Is an Executive Order Necessary to Enable City and Municipal Fiber?

Erik Keith

Erik Keith

Summary Bullets:

  • President Obama has threatened an executive order to ensure that U.S. cities and municipalities are NOT prohibited from building their own broadband networks; he needs to follow through, if necessary.
  • Incumbent operators need to view city and/or municipal networks as opportunities instead of threats. For example, they can partner to deliver service bundles over these networks, without having to invest in FTTH network builds themselves.

When I first became aware that legislatures in 20 U.S. states have passed laws banning cities/municipalities from building their own fiber/ultra-broadband networks – in many cases, spurred by lobbying efforts funded by incumbent operators – I was stunned, and then appalled. How un-American. I had a similar reaction when several state legislatures either passed laws or ensured the continuing enforcement of outdated code preventing Tesla Motors from selling directly to customers (with Michigan, unsurprisingly, being the most blatant about it).

However, there is a massive difference between buying an automobile and “buying” a fiber network. With the Tesla, the buyer/consumer can still buy the car from dealers in Tesla-friendly states, adjacent or not. But, unlike a car, one cannot just buy a fiber network infrastructure and take it home. Read more of this post

Has Core Signaling Vendor Consolidation Gone Far Enough?

David Snow

David Snow

Summary Bullets:

  • Conventional market dynamics operating in the diameter signaling market have led to a series of acquisitions; independent players are now few and far between.
  • Consolidation does not necessarily help operators with multivendor networks and a need for flexible signaling mediation; consolidation may have gone too far.

The title of this blog post is deliberately ambiguous, but you’ll probably guess from the outset that we’re thinking the answer is “yes.” Just this month, Mavenir Systems acquired one of the few remaining independent diameter signaling vendors – Ulticom, Inc. – continuing an acquisition trend that’s been going on for several years (think F5 Networks/Traffix, Oracle/Tekelec, Sonus Networks/Performance Technologies). That’s not to say that Mavenir’s acquisition was a bad move; actually, we think it made a lot of sense. But, as ever, it is conventional market dynamics operating: firstly, a new technology is developed by a large number of smaller players; next, the market becomes “ripe for consolidation;” and then, the bigger fish step in and snap up the smaller ones.

Nothing unusual, you say; the free market doing what it does best. But, is consolidation always good for the market? Read more of this post

Positioning License-Assisted Access (LAA) Relative to WiFi

Ed Gubbins

Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • License-assisted access (LAA) poses messaging/positioning challenges for RAN vendors.
  • Each vendor’s LAA positioning may vary based on their position in WiFi, devices and other factors.

This month, Ericsson has been heavily promoting the concept of license-assisted access (using LTE in unlicensed spectrum as a supplement to LTE in licensed spectrum), with press releases, videos and so forth, demonstrating some of the challenges that other RAN vendors will need to navigate as the technology becomes more prominent. Read more of this post

2014: The Technologies, Themes, Topics (and Reports) You Spaced On!

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • Every year, we write many analyses which “get lost in the shuffle” – read many fewer times than our average report.
  • The topics of these reports are varied – SDN/NFV, video, OSS/BSS, services, small cells – but all include important insights for telecom vendor and operator success.

Where we looked at some of our most read reports from 2014 in an earlier report, it may be even more important to look at the reports that weren’t so well read. Just like the “cool kids” back in school, the top reports showcase what everyone was paying the most attention to. Those reports at the bottom of the list, however, tell an equally important story – specific topics that may be getting ignored, at the peril of telecom stakeholders (think the “not so cool kid” from high school that ended up changing the world). Read more of this post

2014: The Technologies, Themes, Topics (and Reports) You Cared About

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • In 2014, SDN and NFV dominated our “most read reports list,” speaking to what was on the minds of telecom carriers and vendors around the world.
  • A preoccupation with virtualization (network and/or function) could be dangerous if it distracts from other key network technology evolutions.

By definition, some of the analyses we pen will get more attention than others. That attention may be due to any number of factors – the time at which the report was posted, the author, a particularly engaging title – but it’s only natural to assume that the topic of a report is what drives the greatest interest.

To this end, one might wonder: What were the top 10 event analyses and advisories from Current Analysis’ Service Provider Infrastructure practice in 2014? Read more of this post

Corporate and Product Rebranding – Useful or a Convenient Diversion and Just a Costly Expenditure?

Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

• Rebranding: Multiple telcom vendors have rebranded themselves this year (some significantly more than others), but does this really help them grow mind share, while tag lines evolve.

• Targeted Messaging: It’s obvious that as market dynamics change, so finding the right messaging is critical, although too often new phrases and acronyms are invented to recast the same old concepts.

Over the past year, nearly all traditional service providers, as a group, have endorsed the idea of transforming their networks in order to capture the benefits that are promised by a more agile and flexible platform, enabling them to provide XaaS (Anything as a Service) to grow revenues and shake the somewhat “stodgy” telcom image. Network vendors have picked up on this theme of network transformation, and positioned their products, through messaging, to provide this transformation. Analysts typically evaluate, in great detail, the meaning and impact of new product capabilities and features provided by vendors, but we seldom apply the same rigor to a vendor’s messaging and positioning which has been designed to capture the eye of the operator. This blog does not provide detailed messaging analysis, but highlights some interesting new branding, tag lines and positioning that show that the vendor community is well aware of the need to market their wares in a vastly different fashion than the old “speeds and feeds” model from bygone days. Read more of this post