The year 2017 is a great year for broadband, for ultra fast broadband to be specific. So what are the world’s largest broadband companies doing? What new services are thy offering? How are they adapting to the recent advances in data transmission or internet service technology?
Here’s a look at what some of the biggest internet service providers in some regions have been doing this year in regards to their broadband offerings and related business activities.
Australia and New Zealand
Australia’s largest telco and media company recently announced a plan to undertake interoperability testing for 5G services in Australia. The company has been working with Qualcomm and Ericsson as it plans to roll out its 5G services in the near future. Telstra has been working on its three-year network development and rollout plan under the “Network of the Future” initiative.
Another major Australian broadband player, Optus, claims to primed for 5G and media convergence. Its CEO, Allen Lew, says that the company is already preparing to take advantage of 5G through its spectrum holdings and expertise in network technology. The company is set to transform into a multimedia company, especially after it acquired exclusive broadcast rights for the English Premier League.
When it comes to New Zealand, it can somehow be said that there are many exciting things happening in its broadband market. For instance, the number of subscribers switching ISPs has been observed to be on the rise is fiber networks have expanded in the country. Satellite broadband service is also creating a buzz. Ultra-fast broadband is becoming more prevalent in the country with companies such as Bigpipe offering fiber services without data limits and no-term contracts.
In the United States, Comcast has been criticized for claiming that it has the fastest internet but this does not mean that this internet service giant is not capable of offering ultra fast internet. This year the company started rolling out its gigabit internet services. In January, it has started offering 1 Gbps plans to business customers in four major cities. This ultra fast internet service, however, is not a fiber line. This service is based on DOCSIS 3.1 modem technology and uses Comcast’s existing coaxial network.
On the other hand, AT&T, the second largest US mobile telephone services provider, is set to roll out its 5G services later this year. It had been conducting 5G trials since last year. The company’s 5G offering, called 5G Evolution, will be available as mobile and fixed wireless solutions. Also, AT&T has already made available its gigabit fiber services across 46 metros in nearly 4 million locations throughout the United States. It claims to have the largest fiber network in the United States, covering 21 states.
Additionally, AT&T is set to launch its network for the Internet of Things. In a recently released PR, the company said that it has accelerated its deployment of its Internet of Things network that uses LTE-M technology. It is expected to become available by the second quarter of the year.
Another US broadband player, Time Warner Cable, is currently embroiled in a “speed fraud” case as customers claim to have been ripped by the company’s dubious services. Unfortunately, the notable recent developments in the company don’t appear to be related to the advancements in broadband. Right now, it’s bigger concern is on the business side as it has received at least one unfavorable court ruling. The company has been rebranded as Spectrum after it was acquired by Charter Communications for $55 billion last year and it’s still reeling from the unflattering publicity.
These recent developments in Time Warner Cable or Spectrum, though, aren’t something that can be considered insignificant to the broadband industry. It shows that some companies are struggling and are unable to stand up to the competition so they submit to acquisitions or mergers. Whether or not Time Warner Cable’s acquisition is good for consumers is yet to be seen.
Verizon has been testing its ultra fast 5G internet service in 11 cities in the US. The company might already be able to start offering gigabit internet services later this year. There’s no timeline yet but the company has had successful tests that achieved multi-gigabit connections on 5G. It shouldn’t take long for Verizon to become among the first major US ISPs to offer gigabit internet services in the country. Verizon already offers high-speed fiber internet but with a maximum speed of only 500 Mbps.
Also worth noting is the impact of Google Fiber’s fiber internet efforts. Google Fiber may have suffered some setbacks but it is still on its way towards making gigabit internet available to more users across the United States. It may have named a new CEO and lost some staff but its deployment in new locations are still ongoing, albeit at a decelerated pace.
In Europe, the hopes for BT Group to return to 500p may be dim but the company’s endeavor in the 5G race appears solid. The company has entered into a multi-year collaboration agreement with Ericsson for the development of its 5G projects. This partnership is aimed at creating 5G use cases in the consumer and commercial markets, with particular focus on mission-critical services such as in the field of medicine.