BBWN Bites: Reliance Jio to Debut Fixed Broadband – Report
Also in today's BBWN Bites: Broadband buoys Altice USA results, new Pew tool encourages research into US states' connectivity policies, Vodafone finalizes European acquisitions, Telenet ekes out sales increase, new features ring up more revenue for smart doorbells and Missouri telecom association has a new chairman.
Reliance Jio is expected to unveil three fiber-based fixed broadband services at its August 12 annual meeting, one year after it debuted a trial of its gigabit offering. These residential services could include an entry-level 100 Mbit/s offering; a bundled broadband and TV service; as well as a premium bundle of high-speed broadband, TV and smart-home devices, according to Economic Times India, citing a note to clients from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. The brokerage does not expect parent company Reliance Industries (RIL) to heavily discount GigaFiber packages, opting instead to differentiate itself through "value add offerings." Although RIL did not confirm these reports, it did state trials are in the final stages and hinted a launch would come soon.
Strong residential and business broadband helped Altice USA reach revenue of $2.45 billion, up almost 4% year-over-year (YoY) from $2.36 billion. The operator credited its ongoing network investment and enhanced WiFi router for improved home-broadband trends, which reached 429,000 unique Altice One customers in Q2 2019; that's about 13% of all video subs, versus 4% 12 months ago. Broadband revenue for the quarter hit $806.3 million. Residential ARPU per unique customer increased 2.9% YoY to $144.27 in Q2 2019, or about 3.4% up from last year's Q2. On the business services side, Altice USA saw revenue growth of +6.1% YoY in Q2 2019, with continued strength in its Enterprise & Carrier segment of more than 5.3% YoY and SMB about 6.5% YoY. (For Altice Europe's results, see Eurobites: Altice Full of Joie de Vivre After French 'Turnaround'.)
Vodafone says it's completed the takeover of Liberty Global's former European assets in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic. Despite Deutsche Telekom's fierce complaints about the move on competitive grounds, Vodafone now is Europe's biggest operator offering fixed and wireless services. The operator said it has 54 million subscribers "on net" with cable and fiber and a next-generation network reach of 124 million homes and businesses. DT is in Vodafone's sights, with CEO Nick Read stating it will sell gigabit services to 25 million German homes by year-end 2022 compared with his prediction DT's all-fiber network will reach 8 million by that time.
Liberty's Telenet Belgian subsidiary increased half-year sales to €1.26 billion ($1.39 billion), growth of 1% compared with 12 months prior. Its acquisition of the Nextel and De Vijver Media businesses bumped up sales, but net profit toppled 48%, to €56 million ($62 million), due to a non-cash loss on interest rate derivatives, according to Telenet.
The Pew Charitable Trusts on Wednesday rolled out its State Broadband Policy Explorer, a tool that lets people discover which state agency funds programs to increase rural broadband access, rules surrounding municipal broadband and the state's definition of "broadband." Search tools include filters for category, year or both by state. There is not net neutrality filter, although related subjects such as competition and regulation, and infrastructure access are available. Cable-industry hub Colorado, for example, wants 100% of rural households to have 25 Mbit/s down by 3 Mbit/s up broadband by 2020, Pew reported. North Dakota has a task force but no formal plan, and Pew did not include any data from Ohio, according to Policy Explorer.
Who's in the Money?
Earnings season continues, with reports from Altice USA and Telenet included today, plus Altice Europe's financial news on sister site Light Reading.
The global smart-doorbell market will surge at a CAGR of more than 69% between 2018 and 2022, Technavio expects. Vendors increasingly are integrating night vision technologies and motion sensors, making these devices more attractive to new consumers and encouraging existing customers to upgrade, the research firm said in a report released today.
The Missouri Telecommunications Industry Association (MTIA) appointed Michael Morey as chairman. Morey is president and CEO of Midwest telco Bluebird Network, which operates a network with over 6,500 fiber route miles of high-speed broadband and fiber-optic connections, as well as more than 135 Points of Presence (PoP) sites spanning the Midwest. MTIA was formed to encourage cooperation and discussion among Missouri's telecommunication providers and promote broadband adoption and deployment across the state.
So Long 'Ding Dong Ditch'?
Or "Knock and Run" or any of the other names for this game. As consumers relegate traditional these devices to the trash heap, smart doorbells equipped with sensors and night vision bring more security -- and fewer anonymous rings at the door.
— 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.