Recent News Items: Internet Speeds, Network Expansion, FTTP in Cincinnati

Just noticed a few items this past week that caught my eye.  The download speeds piece is probably of rather broad interest.  The others are articles about fiber network plans; clearly, after so many years of following those things during my career, those are items that catch my attention.  Anyway, here they are, just in case you missed them in other news sources:

Internet Speeds

The news that U.S. Internet download speeds are 25th in the world sparked an examination of the U.S. broadband market in this InfoWorld article by Caroline Craig. The article included a link to Ookla’s Net Index, which ranks the download speeds by country.  And yes, I can confirm that I get faster download speeds (and much faster upload speeds) in Eastern Europe than I do here at home in the United States.

Fiber Network Expansion and Pending Carrier Acquisition

Rob Powell’s Telecom Ramblings article discussed tw telecom’s East Coast network expansion using Zayo dark fiber. It also points out that this may be just about the end of this sort of announcements from tw telecom in advance of the closing of the Level 3 deal.  (As Channel Partners notes here, in early September, the DoJ cleared Level 3’s acquisition of tw telecom.)

Fiber-to-the-Prem in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Bell hopes to entrench itself in Cincinnati by reaching 70-80% of all homes via fiber-to-the-premises, as CEO Ted Torbeck noted in a recent presentation, per this FierceTelecom article by Sean Buckley.

Carrier Consolidation Update: June 2014

I haven’t had time to formulate thoughtful analyses of any news items recently, but I have been noticing a lot of news about telecom carrier mergers lately, so I thought I’d summarize some of what I’ve seen… with links, of course, if you want to delve further into any of them.

TeleGeography reports that it sees cellular consolidation on the horizon in India, as the country’s top three cellular carriers dominate the market.  If that happens, India’s wireless industry would simply be joining the ongoing consolidation trend in telecom.

Here in the U.S., we’re following the merger chatter surrounding T-Mobile and Sprint.  BGR’s Zach Epstein provides the details in his overview, referencing CNBC’s video discussing the $2 billion break-up fee and the plans to go with the T-Mobile name and management team post-merger.  Meanwhile, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has been widely quoted as noting that a Sprint-T-Mobile merger would reduce the “big four” to a “big three,” the same reasoning cited for disallowing an AT&T-T-Mobile merger three years ago.  Obviously, T-Mobile and Sprint are hoping a merger of the 3rd and 4th largest carriers is more palatable to the FCC and DoJ.

In Europe, the talk is about Telefonica’s proposed acquisition of German wireless carrier E-Plus from KPN.

In the Italian wireless space, Reuters has reported a restart of negotiations between Hutchison Whampoa and Vimpelcom to merge their Italian wireless subsidiaries.  This report came just a week after Hutchison gained final EU approval of its Irish subsidiary’s acquisition of Telefonica’s wireless business in Ireland.

Back in the U.S., on the video side, AT&T continues to push ahead with its proposed acquisition of DirecTV, while Comcast and Time Warner Cable pursue a mega-merger.  In fact, this article suggests the AT&T-DirecTV deal may help boost the likelihood of regulatory approval for Comcast-Time Warner.

One of the interesting aspects of the AT&T-DirecTV acquisition is the role NFL Sunday Ticket plays in the deal.  As this Digital Trends article points out, there is reportedly an opt-out clause for AT&T if DirecTV fails to renew its deal with the NFL.

Meanwhile, Fierce Telecom’s Sean Buckley notes that Level 3 is looking to vastly expand its access on on-net buildings with its proposed acquisition of tw telecom.

I’m sure I may have missed a few, but those are the deals I’ve noticed in the news lately.

Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Juniper maintain carrier router/switch lead, but SDN causes carrier pause – FierceTelecom

Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Juniper maintain carrier router/switch lead, but SDN causes carrier pause – FierceTelecom.

Yes, this article is a couple months old, but I’m sure a lot of my friends and contacts who work for telecom carriers don’t follow news items like this particularly closely (you know who you are) but would still be interested in the results of the Infonetics study quoted in the article.

As the article notes (and here’s the link to Sean Buckley’s FierceTelecom article one more time, just for good measure, before I quote it):

While the top four router/switching vendors Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) maintained their dominant market positions in 2013, fourth-quarter carrier router/switch revenue declined 4 percent from the same period a year ago.

The article's accompanying graphic

Nothing much to see here, though revenue is slightly down.  Cisco, Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, and Juniper still dominate.

Carrier router/switch data may not keep us yawning for long, though, as Infonetics analyst Michael Howard says “change is in the air.” You can read more about that here, in the Infonetics press release about the report featured in the FierceTelecom article.

Yeah, not my sexiest post, but I had this article squirreled away in hopes I’d get the blog up and running so I could share it.  Indeed, you can trace my interest in switch vendors back to my years working with ILECs.  If you’ve read this far, perhaps that’s where you developed your interest, too.