BBWN Bites: BT Explores Fiber Funding Options
Also today, satellite broadband's mixed impact on IoT, SVoD markets' surge, SVoD startup MX to get $100 million infusion and Vodafone Italy extends deal with City Fiber.
To help fund his company's fiber deployment to 15 million UK homes by the mid-2020s, BT Chairman Jan du Plessis cautioned investors it will "consider reducing the dividend," Light Reading reported, citing the paywalled Financial Times. Other possibilities include cutting costs and borrowing more money, du Plessis said during the British incumbent's annual meeting. (See BT Openreach to Ramp Up Fiber Rollout.)
By 2024, satellite broadband will connect more than 24 million IoT devices worldwide, according to ABI Research. That's only a small percentage of the connected devices out there, though: This year, there will be more than 8.3 billion such devices globally and in five years the market will reach 21.5 billion such units, estimated IoT Analytics Research.
Many regions' SVoD services saw increased subscriber growth after plateauing at around 70% between Q3 2016 and Q1 2018, according to Ampere Analysis. With 86% of the population subscribing to at least one SVoD service, Saudi Arabia leads the world, followed by the US at 80% penetration, wrote Hollywood Reporter. Other than the Netherlands, European populations increased SVoD subscriptions; at more than 70%, Nordic territories and the UK led the continent, the new report said.
In other SVoD news, Indian streaming service MX is getting $100 million in funding from China's Tencent (developer of social media network WeChat) and India's Paytm (which offers a leading mobile payment service in India). This marks Tencent's second stride into the international video streaming market, which it entered last month with an SVoD offering in Thailand, wrote IBC365 (an organization for the technology, media and entertainment industry). More details on funding and what startup MX will use it for were unavailable, IBC365 said.
Vodafone Italy extended its wholesale contract with Open Fiber to more than 7,600 locations from today's 271 municipalities. This includes unserved and underserved areas; eventually, Open Fiber expects to cover about 19 million households in rural and urban areas with speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s.
Plugged into the IoT
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.
Here's where you can find episode links for 'The Divide,' Light Reading's podcast series featuring conversations with broadband providers and policymakers working to close the digital divide.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will present our Cable Next-Gen Europe conference as a free digital symposium on June 21.
Charter has sparked RDOF work in all 24 states where it won bids. The cable op booked about $19 million in RDOF revenues in Q1, and expects to have about $9 million per month come in over the next ten years.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will stage the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference as a free digital event over two half-days in mid-March.
Launch of 2-Gig and 5-Gig FTTP tiers in 70-plus markets puts more pressure on cable ops to enhance their existing DOCSIS 3.1 network or accelerate their upgrade activity centered on the new DOCSIS 4.0 specs.