Huawei Analyst Summit 2017: Expanded Video Focus, and Velocity

Erik Keith – Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

• Huawei’s 2017 Analyst Summit showcased the company’s clear progress in the video market on multiple levels, from the integration of video into Huawei’s strategic vision to the hiring of an ex-AT&T video marketing director as CMO for Video Products.

• While Huawei has made clear, tangible progress in the video space, there is still room for improvement, evidenced by its more acute focus on telecom/IPTV operators, at the expense of substantial opportunities with cable operators.

Huawei’s Addressable Video Markets, and Monetization: On day one of the 2017 Analyst Summit, Huawei’s keynote speakers highlighted the company’s heightened commitment to video. This includes Huawei’s segmentation of the video market into three key market segments: the $650 billion entertainment video sector, the $350 billion industry video sector and the $18 billion communication video sector. Entertainment video encompasses live and linear TV, VoD, OTT video and even user-generated content (UGC), Industry video includes telemedicine, remote education and “safe city” applications (supporting a network of public safety cameras, including HD feeds) and Communications video is video conferencing and video calls.
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Cisco, THX Introduce New Video Quality Optimization Solutions to Ensure Enhanced End-User Experiences

Erik Keith - Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Erik Keith – Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • Cisco debuted its Infinite Video Platform (IVP) Labs at CES 2017, confirming the trend of top-tier systems vendors in developing comprehensive video quality measurement solutions.
  • THX has teamed with Conviva to deliver an audio and video streaming quality certification program, with the goal of establishing a “universal standard for quality in the streaming world that consumers can trust,” but the prospects for industry-wide acceptance remain uncertain.

With the USD 400 billion global pay-TV/video market as a revenue foundation, and an increasing percentage of pay-TV/video content being delivered in a non-linear fashion, video quality optimization is becoming an increasingly critical issue for both operators and their system vendor suppliers. Optimizing end-user satisfaction – or, more accurately, quality of experience (QoE) and therefore ongoing revenue potential – is the prime directive. Read more of this post

Nokia Enables NBN’s Nationwide Broadband Goals: A Snapshot from Down Under

Erik Keith - Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Erik Keith – Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

• Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) is on the path to fulfilling its namesake, i.e., bringing broadband connectivity to all of Australia, over copper, fiber and cable wireline networks, as well as fixed wireless and satellite networks for remote locations (e.g., the Outback).

• Nokia is providing the majority of NBN’s fixed access networking systems. As such, NBN is a showcase customer for Nokia while also serving as an example of how nationwide broadband can be achieved leveraging multiple access technologies.

The first day of September, coincidentally the first day of spring in Australia, NBN hosted a field trip for analysts and journalists in the outskirts of Brisbane, Queensland. The field trip was preceded by Nokia’s Fixed Networks Global Analyst Conference, as well as a press and analyst briefing with NBN in Sydney. NBN’s goal is to connect every Australian premise by 2020, with a minimum broadband bandwidth of 25 Mbps downstream/5 Mbps upstream. Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world, with a land area of 7.6 million square kilometers (2.9 million square miles), roughly the same size as the contiguous U.S. However, Australia’s population of 24 million is concentrated primarily on the continent’s east and southern coasts, in the metro areas of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, correlating respectively to the ctates of New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland. NBN is overbuilding and supplementing the existing Telstra network, and provides an open access model, allowing multiple, competing service providers to deliver value-added services such as pay-TV over the network. Read more of this post

Verizon’s NG-PON2 Trial: Reality and Historical Perspective Needed to Temper the Hype

Erik Keith - Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Erik Keith – Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • Verizon’s NG-PON2 trial provides both ADTRAN and Calix/Ericsson with the opportunity to establish a foothold in one of the world’s highest-profile FTTH networks and pressure incumbent supplier Nokia in the process.
  • Optics pricing for NG-PON2 – as much as 10x higher than current GPON prices – means that any vendor meeting Verizon’s demand of deploying NG-PON2 at GPON prices will prove hard-pressed to realize product line profits.

Verizon has announced that it will be trialing NG-PON2 solutions from U.S.-based vendors ADTRAN and Calix, with resale partner Ericsson supporting Calix for good measure. While this trial will be in Verizon’s Waltham, Massachusetts-located FiOS laboratory – i.e., a lab trial, not a field trial, let alone commercial deployment – it has nevertheless generated substantial hype in the industry. To be clear, winning formal, publicly disclosed trial status with Verizon or other Tier 1 operators is no small feat. For both ADTRAN and Calix, winning a slice of Verizon’s NG-PON2 FiOS network upgrade and service deployment would be one of the biggest wins in company history. But, before we all get too excited about the prospects of Verizon going full steam ahead with NG-PON2, several factors must be considered. Read more of this post

Google Fiber Gets Even More Disruptive, Adds Wireless Wallop with Webpass

Erik Keith - Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Erik Keith – Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • The acquisition of Webpass showcases Google Fiber’s strategic focus on fiber-centric service expansion efforts in high-density areas, supplemented by wireless broadband technology which dramatically expands Google Fiber’s addressable market and its status as a broader-scale, highly disruptive threat to incumbent operators.
  • Webpass lacks substantial customer traction – only 20,000 subscribers – especially for a company in business for 13 years. Nevertheless, Google Fiber’s acquisition of Webpass is more about future promise and potential than current power and presence.

Google Fiber’s recently announced acquisition of Webpass, which we covered here, is a clarion call signaling the company’s intentions of becoming an even more disruptive force in the U.S. broadband and TV/video/multiplay market. While there are roughly a dozen operators in the U.S. that offer world-class fixed broadband services – specifically, Gigabit access speeds – a massive number of U.S. consumers and business customers are still underserved by broadband, in terms of service speeds (i.e., well under the FCC’s definition of 25 Mbps), lack of competition or both. To this end, and expanding on its non-traditional approach to broadband network and service buildouts, Google Fiber has acquired Webpass, a wireless broadband service provider with fiber assets that has an established network and customer bases in the San Francisco Bay, San Diego, Chicago, Miami and Boston metros. Read more of this post

For ADTRAN, 200 Reasons Why Gigabit Access Is Relevant

Erik Keith

Erik Keith

Summary Bullets:

  • ADTRAN’s August 2015 announcement highlighting its more than 200 networks supporting Gigabit access speeds demonstrates the growing relevance, and demand, for ultra-broadband fixed access services, despite ongoing skepticism about the need for Gigabit-speed connections.
  • With ADTRAN’s FTTH solutions enabling Gigabit connectivity – primarily for telcos but also for several cable operators – operators will become increasingly compelled to upgrade their networks to respond to competitive pressures, driving additional opportunities for networking equipment vendors.

ADTRAN, while certainly not the largest or most aggressive telecom equipment vendor in the market, has still garnered the rather notable superlative of being the first vendor to claim enabling more than 200 customer networks that offer Gigabit access speeds. While many of ADTRAN’s Gigabit customers are smaller telcos and cable companies in the unique North American market (where there are over 1,200 Tier 2 and Tier 3 service providers), this does not diminish the fact that ADTRAN’s 200-plus Gigabit-enabled communities/networks benchmark is quite an achievement. Read more of this post

CCAP: Taking Cable Operators to an IP Video & Gigabit Future

Erik Keith

Erik Keith

Summary Bullets:

  • Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) solutions, which consolidate formerly discrete CMTS (data) and EdgeQAM (video) cable headend hardware, will pave the way for cable operators to deliver mass-market Gigabit broadband and IP video services.
  • Current Analysis will provide in-depth, qualitative analysis of CCAP solutions from five different vendors in the coming months, specifically, Cisco, ARRIS, Casa Systems, Harmonic and Huawei.

As video services become more sophisticated and bandwidth-hungry, Gigabit connectivity to every home is getting a lot of hype these days. The problem is that very few consumers in the U.S. and worldwide actually subscribe (or have access) to Gigabit services at present. Nevertheless, there is an undeniable sense that the Gigabit future is now. Just this week, U.S. cable giant Comcast announced that its 2 Gbps GigaPro service will be available in several new markets, while AT&T announced that its GigaPower service will be offered in additional major metro markets (17 total) and the operator will expand its target GigaPower customer based to include multifamily residences – i.e., apartments and condominiums – known as multi-dwelling units (MDUs) in industry jargon. Read more of this post