Verizon and Nokia refuse to wait for 2020 for 5G. Massive MIMO promises major speed jumps in the same spectrum. Testing in 2016 for Massive MIMO, beamforming and interference cancellation. Hopes for huge speed boost starting in 2017. Think 64 antennas and 5-10x throughput. Good engineers tell me it's possible but didn't expect it so soon. At the new 5GW News:
Verizon Ready to Try Massive MIMO and Beamforming
Confirms the importance of going beyond vectoring to eliminate other noise. Because I'm on the Advisory Board of ASSIA, I choose not to do any assessment of this competing product. The pr is below. Because there are almost no details of the product in the press release, I've also included a recent Broadcom patent filing for "reference noise technology" to suggest possibilities.
Gigabit (shared) to nearly all of 53M homes and businesses. Comcast is going to upgrade 40% of the U.S. to DOCSIS 3.1, offering a gigabit. Brian's boys are going to start in 2016, probably early, and continue for another year or two. Comcast VP Robert Howald dropped a bombshell. "We're testing it this year. Our intent is to scale it through our footprint through 2016. We want to get it across the footprint very quickly. We're shooting for two years," he said in Mike Dano's Fierce Cable interview. The story was picked up by the Washington Post and a dozen others. Everyone in broadband has known for years gigabit cable was on the way and now the big papers are getting the message.
"Shared" speeds will be 500+ megabits down 95+% of the time, I predict. That's similar to the 400-700 megabit speeds of AT&T's coming "gigaclear" G.fast fiber to the basement.
Joe Garner of BT claims Britain is ahead of other big Euro countries in "superfast" broadband. BT deserves credit for offering ~80% of Britain 30 meg or more downstream, a little ahead of Germany and well ahead of France, Spain and Italy. "Superfast" is pure hype. BT's deployment is mostly DSL from their 100,000 street cabinets, typically 30-70 megabits. Unlike Germany, Belgium, Swisscom and Australia, England isn't using vectoring to ~double many connections. Half of the UK is able to get 100 meg or more from cable, as well as nearly 90% of the U.S. ~50 meg would have been superfast in 2007 but is only medium in 2015.
One Garner comment in the Telegraph is offbase. French prices by almost any measurement are considerably lower than Britain. Miles Brignall in the Guardian just wrote "Ripoff Britain: why we pay more for broadband than Europe," with a comparison to France at half the price. Garner's comment, "Britain has the lowest landline, broadband and superfast broadband prices among major economies" is a mistake. The original source, Analysys Mason, had it wrong. It should be corrected by sending a letter to the paper.
Consumers at carriers with fewer than 7M customers wind up paying a high price. At Goldman Sachs, CFO John Stephens suggested major synergies for the DirecTV deal due to “There's about a $17 difference on average between the price the U-verse platform pays for content on an apples-to-apples basis than the DirecTV platform pays. And on 6 million customers, you can get your head around about $100 million a month of expense.” That's an important datapoint to understand the U.S. TV market. Hollywood takes most of the gross income. Seeking Alpha transcript, more below.
Tom Cloonan of Arris is confident of remarkable speeds. (Video and transcript below). At CableLabs' 2015 summer event he predicted DOCSIS would reach 15 gig (shared) in a few years and 50-80 gig a decade later. 15 gigabits would require using 1.7 GHz and higher speeds would require going to 6GHz and more. Jeff Baumgartner at Multichannel calls this "supersonic DOCSIS."
Compensation to be negotiated. SASAC, the State Holding Company, will have 50% - 1 share in the combined Nokia China and Alcatel Shanghai Bell. Yuan Xin will continue as chairman and party secretary. No word yet on whether Luis Martinez-Amago will continue as second in command. Nokia, the European survivor, will have 50% +1 but is unlikely ever to challenge Chinese control. Chinese sales are absolutely crucial to Alcatel and Nokia. They had no real negotiating room and had to take whatever the Chinese offered.
As part of the EU/China deal for a telecom equipment cartel, Alcatel Shanghai Bell and Nokia each have a share of the Chinese market, crucial sales for the struggling companies. In an interview with Jessica Lipsky of EE Times, Alcatel CTO Marcus Weldon notes, "China allows foreign vendors to claim a maximum 11% of the wireless market; Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia each have an 11% share." Whether China will allow the merged company 22% or only 11% is a major factor in the future success of the company, but nothing is decided.
Unlike Canada, Holland and England, telcos falling behind. Overall growth continues at about 2%/year. Some of those without broadband are signing on. There's a surprisingly modest loss to "wireless only" broadband despite speeds of 5-15 megabits and going up. AT&T lost 136,000 broadband customers while Time Warner Cable added 189,000. Both AT&T and Verizon showed large gains where they've upgraded (U-Verse, FiOS) and large losses where they haven't.
Saul Hansell in NY Times got this one right: AT&T & Verizon and Verizon put much of their network into "harvest mode," back in 2004-5 with the intent of milking those lines and/or selling them.