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The 500M Wireless-Only Connections

Around 500M Africans, Indonesians, and Indians are regular Internet users without a landline. Brazil, Indonesia, and Mexico add about 200M more. In total, something like 1B people were wireless-only at the end of Q3 2017. I'm comparing the number of Facebook users (over 250M in India) with the number of landlines (less than 20M in India) for a rough guess at how many are wireless only. In the developed world, 70-90% of all homes have a landline connection... more

The Color of the Net Has Changed

About 65% of 1.5B Internet "connections" are in the Global South, led by the BRICS. The actual number of users is probably twice that. Three quarters are not native English speakers. China has three times as many as the United States. India has more Facebook users than the United States. Vietnam has the fastest growth. See some figures below for why I'm confident Indonesia has more than 100M wireless only. more

Today's Internet: More BRICS Than Westerners

Something over 55% of landline broadband users are in the "Global South," about 500M. The South is about 65% if you include "wireless-only" many of which are 4G LTE at ten megabits or more. The gap is widening rapidly and will increase by well over 70M in 2018. Six large developing countries are growing 5% or more in the last year, compared to only one in the developed world. China is adding ~30M more each year. Most developed countries are between 75% and 95% connected. That leaves little room for growth. more

O3b Satellite Internet - Today and Tomorrow

I have written a lot about the potential of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites for Internet service, but have not said much about medium-Earth orbit (MEO) satellites - until now. O3b (other three billion) is an MEO-satellite Internet service provider. Greg Wyler founded the company, and it was subsequently acquired by SES, a major geostationary-orbit (GSO) satellite company. (Wyler moved on to found future LEO Internet service provider OneWeb). more

From Net Neutrality to Seizing Opportunity

Network neutrality is important in the context of assuring the opportunity to innovate in how we communicate and connect. We can't define it in terms of specific outcomes but rather in terms of what we enable. The Internet is just one example of what we can do when given the opportunity to use software to fashion our own solutions... I thought about this more when I found myself in my hospital room (after knee surgery) unable to open and close the shades by myself. But yet I could control the lights in my house! more

The Magical Ampersand: Hope Is Not an Integration Plan

In a software-defined and virtualised world, who will integrate the complex dynamic systems, and take responsibility for the result? It is unclear if telcos have the skills, but someone else likely does... The included image caught my eye whilst I was reviewing presentations from last October's Metro Ethernet Forum gathering in Florida on behalf of a consulting client. At first glance, it's just a marketing pseudo-Venn diagram peppered with telco tech buzzword bingo. But... more

Who Will Crack Cloud Application Access SLAs?

The broadband industry doesn't have an agreed-upon unit of supply and demand that meaningfully "adds up". This is rather odd for a service that aspires to be a utility. It is also a barrier to a much-needed transformation from "bit pipes" to "digital supply chain management". The chart here ought to be in every basic undergraduate textbook on packet networking and distributed computing. That it is absent says much about our technical maturity level as an industry. more

Will 5G Trigger Smart City PPP Collaboration?

As discussed in previous analyses, the arrival of 5G will trigger a totally new development in telecommunications. Not just in relation to better broadband services on mobile phones - it will also generate opportunities for a range of IoT (internet of things) developments that among other projects are grouped together under smart cities (feel free to read 'digital' or 'connected cities'). more

Automation for Physical Devices: the Holy Grail of Service Provisioning

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) are finally starting to pick up momentum. In the process, it is becoming clear that they are not the silver bullet originally advertised to be. While great for some use cases, emerging technologies like SDN and NFV have been primarily designed for virtual greenfield environments. Yet large service providers continue to run tons of physical network devices that are still managed manually. more

The New State Department Cyberspace Bureau: from Multilateral Diplomacy to Bilateral Cyber-Bullying

These days in Washington, even the most absurd proposals become the new normal. The announcement yesterday of a new U.S. State Department Cyberspace Bureau is yet another example of setting the nation up as an isolated, belligerent actor on the world stage. In some ways, the reorganization almost seems like a companion to last week's proposal to take over the nation's 5G infrastructure. Most disturbingly, it transforms U.S. diplomacy assets from multilateral cooperation to becoming the world's bilateral cyber-bully nation. more

Transition of the Telecoms Industry Is Overdue

It is interesting to observe the changes in the telecommunications environment over the last few decades. Before videotex (the predecessor of the internet) arrived in the late 1970s early 1980s, 90% of telecommunications revolved around telephone calls. And at that time telephony was still a luxury for many, as making calls were expensive. I remember that in 1972 a telephone call between London and Amsterdam cost one pound per minute. Local telephone calls were timed... more

From Crisis to Resilience - the Path to Sustainable Communications Infrastructure in the Caribbean

The Caribbean suffered six major storms in 2017, including the record-breaking Category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria. In the unprecedented destruction, the islands of Dominica and Barbuda lost all communication and telecommunications service, and eight other Caribbean countries were severely disrupted. Each hurricane season wreaks greater devastation than the last, yet decreased telecommunications competition, inadequate regulation, and high national debt burdens in the region yield ever-diminishing infrastructural investment. more

Nationalizing the Imaginary 5G Network?

To put it bluntly, the proposal cited in Axios story on "Trump team considers nationalizing 5G network" doesn't make sense on a number of levels. The real danger comes if this indeed represents the NSC's failure to understand Internet style connectivity. The proposal may just be the work of an NSC staffer who accepted all the 5G hype as if it were real. I credit the Axios article for having some skepticism... more

Important Developments on Low-Earth Orbit Satellite Internet Service (2017 Review)

The internet is unavailable and/or unaffordable by about 50% of the world's population. The situation is worse in, but not confined to, developing nations where the service is typically sub-standard when it is available.Geostationary satellite connectivity is available globally, but it is slow and expensive because the satellites are high above the Earth. Low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites can deliver speeds comparable to terrestrial links, but constellations of many satellites would be needed to serve the entire planet. more

Sorry, Ajit Pai: Smaller Telcos Did Not Reduce Investment After Net Neutrality Ruling

Primary suppliers see sales go up. ADTRAN's sales in the most recent nine months were $445M, up from $399M the year before. Calix sold $372M, up from $327M. At analyst meeting this year, both said demand had picked up. Clearfield, a supplier of fiber optic gear, was up 8%. Pai claimed, "the impact has been particularly serious for smaller Internet service providers." It was a primary justification for his Net Neutrality decision. more

News Briefs

T-Mobile, Sprint Announce Merger Plans, Deal Will Combine 3rd and 4th Largest US Telecom Companies

Court Sides with FTC, Says AT&T Cannot Escape Jurisdiction of the Agency

A Brooklyn Bitcoin Mining Operation is Causing Interference to T-Mobile's Broadband Network

California Introduces Its Own Net Neutrality Bill; Similar Bills in Progress for WA and New York

EFF to FCC: 'Restoring Internet Freedom' Plan Riddled With Technical Errors and Factual Inaccuracies

FCC Approves Google's Project Loon Balloons for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

Russia Appears to Have Begun Providing an Internet Connection to North Korea

The Impacts of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria on the Internet

China to Create National Cyberattack Database

China Continues VPN Crackdown, Targets Alibaba and Other Ecommerce Sites

Verizon, AT&T Speeds Slow After Unlimited Data Plans Launch

Somalia's Extended Internet Outage Results in Millions of Dollars of Loss per Day, Says Government

Over 190 Internet Engineers, Pioneers, Technologists File Comments with FCC on Net Neutrality

Cloud Leak Exposes at least 14 Million Verizon Subscribers, Phone Numbers and Account PINs Included

Chinese Scientists Have Built First Quantum Network With No Danger of Being Decrypted

European Countries Continue to Lead IPv6 Adoption, Reports Akamai

5G Frequency Fees Are Waived in Singapore to Help Drive Market Tests

Canada's Telecom Regulator to Uphold and Strengthen Commitment to Net Neutrality

Tom Wheeler Announces Resignation as FCC Chairman

Google Signs Internet Deal With Cuba

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