Alcatel-Lucent Surpasses 300 Million DSL Ports in Its Drive to Connect the World

Erik Keith
Erik Keith

Summary Bullets:

  • Alcatel-Lucent’s 300 million-DSL port shipment benchmark highlights the company’s long-time commitment to the wireline broadband market, including multiple evolutions of DSL that have led to groundbreaking technologies such as VDSL vectoring, Vplus and G.fast.
  • While this achievement is worthy of celebration, Alcatel-Lucent will continue to leverage its extensive product R&D resources, including Bell Laboratories, to develop and deliver even more powerful, higher-speed wireline access technologies to address evolving operator service imperatives such as 4KTV.

The first quarter of 2015 saw Alcatel-Lucent surpass an important, and impressive, milestone: 300 million total DSL port shipments. But, unlike McDonalds’ ubiquitous fast food signage has highlighted for decades – now simply “billions and billions served” – Alcatel-Lucent has taken a far more humble response to achieving this benchmark. Continue reading “Alcatel-Lucent Surpasses 300 Million DSL Ports in Its Drive to Connect the World”

Cable/Pay-TV Customers: Can’t Get No Satisfaction? Is Help on the Way?

Erik Keith
Erik Keith

Summary Bullets:

  • Can’t Get No (Satisfaction): U.S. consumers consistently name their pay-TV/broadband Internet providers as offering their worst customer service experience. Can suppliers drive these operators to improve their customer experience, boosting satisfaction and reducing churn?
  • The Good News: New, disruptive service providers, such as Google Fiber, could spur the incumbents to compete not only on broadband connection speeds and TV channel packages, but also on the customer satisfaction front, which includes quality-of-service/experience (QoS/QoE) and price.

Earlier this week, a now ex-Comcast customer’s audio recording of a telephone call with a Comcast customer service representative went viral, highlighting a well-known issue that many pay-TV/Internet/triple play customers (and consumer survey groups) have known for years: consumer satisfaction – or, more notably, the lack thereof – is an increasingly critical factor in customer retention/churn. The customer was calling simply to have his service disconnected, and a process which should have taken a few minutes (at most) was drawn out by the Comcast rep to 18 minutes, due overwhelmingly to the agent’s badgering of the customer in a poor attempt at customer retention (e.g., “Being that [Comcast is] the number one provider of TV and Internet in the entire country, why is it you don’t want the number one provider?”). Comcast has since apologized and stated that this instance was atypical, but the national media soon picked up on the story, expanding the scope of negative exposure. Continue reading “Cable/Pay-TV Customers: Can’t Get No Satisfaction? Is Help on the Way?”

Copper Is Dead, Right? Not So G.Fast and Furious, My Friend

Erik Keith
Erik Keith

Summary Bullets:

  • Telco copper, much maligned by cable operators and FTTH proponents, may still have a lifespan of another 100 years – to paraphrase the CEO of Australian incumbent operator Telstra – thanks to ongoing technology R&D that will eventually enable multi-gigabit connections over the copper plant.
  •  Fiber-to-the-drop-point (FTTdp) will be a de facto FTTH technology, enabling operators to deliver fiber-speed, ultra-broadband connections by leveraging deep fiber architectures with last-run copper plant, supporting speeds of up to 1 Gbps with G.Fast and 5 Gbps in the not-so-distant future.

American author and humorist Mark Twain once said, “Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated,” and when it comes to the impending demise of telco copper, Twain’s quote has already been overused (I will be the first to plead guilty). For much of the last decade, the wonders of fiber access, or FTTH, have been touted as the end-all, be-all wireline access technology, with fiber evangelists aggressively lobbying across the planet for the upgrade of telco networks to full-fiber as soon as possible. This includes well-established and respected industry groups such as the various FTTH Councils in Europe, Asia and the Americas, which are the “tip of the spear” for fiber network lobbying, as well as high-profile politicians, most notably Neelie Kroes, the European Union’s Commissioner for Digital Agenda. Continue reading “Copper Is Dead, Right? Not So G.Fast and Furious, My Friend”