BBWN Bites: Consumer Tech Spending to Climb to $2.06T by 2023 – IDC
Also today, Comcast is really virtualizing, Verizon counts on emerging backhaul tech to cut 5G costs, Altice Labs gets results with RDK software, Openreach adds up broadband's benefits for Brits, BT boosts some rural speeds for free, Alcatel's submarine team buys a new-to-them ship, Comcast fixes minor glitch and Brits like broadband, bedrooms and boozing up at the pub, a new study finds
(BBWN was not included in this survey but agrees with the results).
Consumer tech spending will reach $2.06 trillion by 2023 compared with $1.69 trillion this year, an increase of 5.3% over 2018, according to IDC's
"Worldwide Connected Consumer Spending Guide," released today. Bandwidth-hogging gear related to augmented reality and virtual reality, smart home and wearables, as well as robotic systems, on-demand services and drones, will grow at a CAGR of 13.2%, the research firm predicts. They'll represent about one third of all consumer tech spending, with approximately nine in ten of emerging-tech dollars going to smart home devices and on-demand services, IDC said.
Comcast has deployed a form of virtualized cable modem termination system (CMTS), having activated the tech in some key markets for more than 100,000 customers. It's coupled a vCCAP solution with a distributed access architecture (DAA) that pushes key processing and electronics to the network edge and has rolled out several thousand remote PHY nodes, Tony Werner, Comcast's president of Technology, Product and Xperience, told Light Reading's Jeff Baumgartner during last week's SCTE/ISBE Cable-Tec Expo. Comcast's "initiative to virtualize the access network has evolved into reality," Baumgartner wrote.
Verizon expects to use Integrated Access Backhaul (IAB) technology to augment fiber backhaul for 5G deployment, Glenn Wellbrock said at Light Reading's 5G Transport & the Edge event in New York on Thursday. IAB, which relies on wireless without fiber, is obviously less costly and much faster to deploy; 3GPP is expected to include the technology in its next round of 5G specs, slated for early 2020 release. That means Verizon could start deploying IAB tech next year if vendors have products available then, Wellbrock said. (Read Mike Dano's full piece in Light Reading: See Verizon to Use 'Integrated Access Backhaul' for Fiber-Less 5G.)
Prepping for Broadband World Forum next week, Altice Labs unveiled a family of next-generation broadband gateways powered by RDK software for deployment by service providers worldwide. An Altice affiliate has already rolled out an RDK GPON product. To support operators' increasing use of multiple access technologies such as DOCSIS and PON, RDK is working with Altice and other operators to provide a common set of broadband functionality and data analytics. Altice Labs' RDK-powered gateways include a GPON gateway with WiFi 6 (802.11ax); DOCSIS 3.1 with WiFi 6 (802.11ax); and a DOCSIS 3.0 gateway with WiFi 5 (802.11ac). Altice Labs plans to soon offer an XGS-PON model with WiFi 6.
Openreach predicts the universal deployment of fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband by 2025 would boost the UK economy almost £60 billion ($75.4 billion). Nationwide fiber could bring about 500,000 people back to the workforce, allow an additional 400,000 individuals to work remotely from home and empower 270,000 employees to relocate from cities to more rural areas, saving 300 million commuter trips annually, according to "Full Fibre Broadband: A Platform for Growth."
Separately, BT says it will upgrade many UK rural properties' aging, previously untouched copper lines to fiber-optic cable, thereby boosting broadband from 10 Mbit/s to at least 50 Mbit/s. There's no charge to customers, the incumbent said.
France's Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) recently bought 87-meter, light construction vessel Toisa Warrior from UK-based Sealion Shipping for $6 million. ASN will primarily use the eight-year-old ship -- which it renamed Ile d'Ouessant -- to maintain submarine cables in the Atlantic. Ile replaces Peter Faber, built in 1982.
A newly installed software platform for its broadband data-usage meter had a "technical error" that led to Comcast over-charging about 2,000 subscribers for their residential data plans; Comcast has approximately 25.63 million high-speed Internet residential subscribers. Comcast declined to provide many details to Light Reading, but said it's changed how the solution measures traffic and continues to investigate. After learning about the problem from social media, Comcast fixed the problem, corrected subs' bills and gave affected customers an additional $50 credit, it said.
Cruising to Crinkled Cable
Ile d'Ouessant, previously called Toisa Warrior, will primarily be used for submarine-cable upkeep. No word, however, on whether ASN (or more likely, the captain) purged the Ledger of the Deep and consulted Poseidon.
(Photo source: Alcatel Submarine Networks)
When looking to buy a new home or rent a different apartment, the number of bedrooms, speedy broadband connection and proximity to the pub are among Brits' top priorities, according to a newly released study commissioned by fiber-only UK provider Hyperoptic. More than two-thirds would be "put off" by a home with slow WiFi; 54% are "more likely" to select a home with good Internet, while 20% would choose a different property if an area had poor broadband, the survey of 2,000 homeowners and renters found. Many respondents criticized a lack of clear information on broadband availability, speed and reliability, with about three in five requesting a "traffic light type system" for convenience.
Give Me High-Speed Broadband (and a Decent Local)
One fifth of respondents would look for a new house or apartment if the place they were considering had poor broadband, a newly released study by OnePoll for Hyperoptic found.
— 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.