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19 Sep

Charter® And Samsung Team Up In Carrying Out 5G And 4G LTE Trials

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5G And 4G LTE Trials

Charter Communications® has collaborated with Samsung for carrying out 5G and 4G LTE lab and field trials across the United States. The trials will involve evaluating the usage of the 28 GHz millimeter wave spectrum. Besides that, the two companies are also conducting trials in 4G at the 3.5 GHz spectrum using the small cell technology developed by Samsung in outdoor environments.

According to a statement released by the company, “These tests will provide critical information as Charter® prepares to launch a mobile wireless service next year and bring new competition to that marketplace.” Reports say that Charter® will also stress on an ‘inside-out’ strategy, initially centering on wireless solutions inside the home and office, and then finally expand to outdoors.

Previously, Charter® entered into a MVNO agreement with other internet providers such as Verizon Communications®. Later, the Telco announced some details regarding its plans to test and implement 5G network across various regions of the country. The Telco has also applied for the required licenses to undertake trials using 5G in the previous year.

Craig Cowden, SVP of wireless technology at Charter®, said in a statement, “We are pleased to collaborate with Samsung on these trials, which provide Charter® better insight into how our advanced, powered, high-speed network—which currently passes 49 million homes and businesses—can be used to enable 5G services. In addition, as we move closer to the launch of a Spectrum® wireless service in 2018, our work with Samsung on trials of 4G small cell technology will support our overall wireless strategy.”

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28 Ghz Millimeter Wave Spectrum

Charter® intends to provide extensive connectivity across the country by using 4G and 5G networks along with Wi-Fi. The Telco is expecting to release its cellular service by 2018 for providing wireless access to the customers. Charter® is also considering leveraging the new spectrum such as the 3.5 GHz and millimeter wave to obtain the best speeds, capacity, and quality in the networks. Both Charter® and Samsung announced this new cooperation in conducting trials during the Mobile World Congress Americas held recently.

Mark Louison, SVP and General Manager for Networks, Samsung Electronics America said, “As a pioneer in small cell networks technologies, Samsung is excited to partner with Charter® as they evaluate their next-generation 5G and 4G wireless network technologies. These projects, with communications leaders such as Charter®, will continue to lay the foundation for future business models and customer applications that tap the full potential of both 4G LTE and 5G.”

09 Sep

Cheyenne County Is Closing In On Getting A Broadband Internet Provider

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Broadband For Business Development

The businesses in Colorado’s Cheyenne County will soon get the broadband service, as the county council is closing in on a deal. Mayor Marian Orr has been on ‘a drive’ to bring broadband for “business development” in Cheyenne since last May.

The Cheyenne Mayor recently said that her drive “to reduce fees providers pay to install the cables high-speed internet connections rely on has interested at least one company, Sheridan-based Advanced Communications Technology®.”

In fact, the company would have to pay the “rights-of-way fees” to relay fiber network underneath the public property in downtown Cheyenne. Even the city council is trying to reduce “rights-of-way fees” to bring broadband in the area. Reliable sources suggest that generally, internet providers pay “$2.40 per foot of cable” per year in downtown Cheyenne as the rights-of-way fees. The Mayor is hoping to reduce that to around $1 per foot of cable, as $2.4 per foot of cable will cost $12,672 per mile to make telecom companies reluctant to accept a deal.

Cheyenne’s broadband internet providers have been Charter Communications® and CenturyLink® thus far. The Mayor is hoping an increase in competition would bring down the cost of gigabit broadband, a service that businesses demand in Cheyenne.

“At this point, it’s about increasing our competition,” Orr said. “Advanced Communications Technology® is able to offer fees and rates at a much lower price than Charter Communications® and CenturyLink®.”

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High-Speed Internet Connections

Officials of neither Charter Communications® and nor CenturyLink® have commented on the developments in Cheyenne. However, Aaron Sopko GM at Advanced Communications Technology® said the company has offered “gigabit internet service” for $500 per month in the Sheridan and Buffalo areas.

Commenting on the developments in Cheyenne County, the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce CEO and President, Dale Steenbergen said, “We can do ($500 per month for gigabit internet) now in most places. We support free enterprise, and competition is always a good thing, but I do think that Charter Communications® and CenturyLink® both have been good partners.”

It must be noted the deal between the city council and Advanced Communications Technology® is yet to complete. Once the deal close, County Mayor hopes that Advanced Communications Technology® would offer an alternative broadband service to businesses in Colorado’s Cheyenne County.

08 Sep

AT&T® Gets Ready To Combat Hurricane Irma

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Prepare For Hurricane Irma

One of the leading internet providers in the country, AT&T® has already taken necessary precautionary steps with response equipment and personnel on standby to get ready for Hurricane Irma. The telecom giant has also started their storm preparedness process as the hurricane is estimated to be spread to different parts of the country within a few days.

Reports from several reliable sources claim that the storm will most likely affect Florida and surrounding areas in the next few days. Preventive measures taken against the storm include topping off the fuel generators, protecting the physical facilities, and examining high-capacity back-up batteries at the cell sites.

In addition to that, AT&T® has also put in extra efforts to stage emergency response equipment in the strategic locations and their national reliability center will be monitoring the outages for quick action. The officials from the telecom company have also stated that they have boosted the network redundancy in storm-prone regions. Moreover, the technicians from AT&T® have also been installing more generators at switching facilities and critical cell towers as soon as they heard about the hurricane.

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Stage Emergency Response Equipment

AT&T® Florida president, Joe York said, “Customers rely on us, especially during major storms. That’s why we practice readiness drills and simulations throughout the year. We do all we can to have our networks prepared when severe weather strikes. We’ve worked for the past few days to position equipment and crews to respond to the storm. We’re closely linked with Florida public officials in their storm response efforts. With a storm of this size, we may have some outages. But if service goes down, we’ll do all we can to get it back up as fast as possible.”

The AT&T® National Disaster Recovery (NDR) program is undoubtedly one of the most advanced and largest disaster programs in the country. This innovative program from the telecom company has more than hundred technology recovery and support trailers, which can be instantly deployed to respond to disasters.

The NDR team operates with local response centers, regional emergency operations centers, and AT&T® network personnel in order to keep the service intact until they have made the requires repairs. The officials from the telecom company, AT&T® has also urged customers to get prepared for the hurricane by taking the necessary precautionary steps.

01 Sep

AT&T® Unveils Fixed Wireless Internet In DeSoto County

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Fixed Wireless Internet

AT&T® offers the best internet service in many parts of America, and Mississippi is the latest region they are trying to address by offering best internet of up to 10 Mbps speed. AT&T® Mississippi President, Mayo Flint, and Roger Wicker, who leads the Senate subcommittee on matters Communications, Technology, and Internet, jointly unveiled the AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet in parts of DeSoto County.

The AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet rollout was kicked off recently in Marion County, and this time around, both Flint and Wicker were accompanied by Mississippi Public Service Commissioner, Brandon Presley, District 4 Supervisor, Lee Caldwell, and other officials, who all gathered at the Telco giant’s service tower nearby Mississippi Highway 304 in Eudora.

Reports say that AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet will deliver the best internet at broadband download speeds of no less than 10 Mbps. The fixed wireless connection stems from a wireless tower to a fixed antenna on the subscribers’ homes or the businesses in rural parts of Mississippi.

“This is an efficient way to deliver high-quality internet to customers in rural and underserved areas,” Flint said, while reinstating that, “This will be capable of delivering a fixed wireless signal at a speed of 10 megabits per second, more than enough to do web browsing with plenty of speed and to stream your favorite movie or TV show.”

The Telco giant’s Fixed Wireless Internet rollout in DeSoto County was successful thanks to the commitment they had with FCC Connect America Fund. AT&T® is planning to “reach nearly 133,000 locations with this technology across Mississippi by 2020,” Flint said in an earlier statement.

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Better Cell Phone Service

“”Broadband is the electricity of the 21st century,” said Brandon Presley who last thrived to “Zap the Gap” in rural Mississippi “to bring better cell phone service to rural areas where wireless coverage was spotty or even non-existent.”

For his part, Roger Wicker has also expressed his impartial views on the AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet. “The future growth of Mississippi’s economy relies on innovation and investment like we are seeing announced today with AT&T’s Fixed Wireless Internet Technology.”

“High-speed internet service from AT&T® in this part of DeSoto County and other designated areas across Mississippi provides a great example of the innovative thinking necessary to help close the remaining connectivity gap in rural areas across the state,” Wicker added.

23 Aug

AT&T® Might Sell Their Home Security Business

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AT&T® Digital Life

AT&T®, one of the best internet service providers of the country, has started to explore options for their Digital Life home security business, including selling the business, as they are seeking to pay down the debt following their planned 85.4 billion acquisition of the Time Warner Inc. This process of selling the subsidiary business will mark a reversal for AT&T® that entered the home security market in the US in 2013, with the introduction of Digital Life.

Digital Life from AT&T® offers users cameras and sensors that will allow them to monitor their homes on their smartphones. Digital Life only accounted for a small portion of the 163.8 billion dollars revenue of AT&T® in 2016. The business is estimated to have about 400,000 and 500,000 users and might fetch about a billion dollars when sold. However, this will not do much to decrease the debt of AT&T® that totals to 143.7 billion dollars.

Sources say that the sale of Digital Life could be a prelude to more sales of AT&T® subsidiaries. “AT&T will carry an incredible debt load (after the Time Warner deal closes), which is a risky proposition for a company with declining revenues,” MoffettNathanson research analyst Craig Moffett said. “They will almost certainly have to find assets to sell to appease the bond rating agencies.”

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Time Warner Acquisition

AT&T® said that they are expecting the Time Warner acquisition, which is currently under the review to go through by the end of 2017. Digital Life from AT&T® reaches eighty markets in the United States, which include large cities like New York and Chicago. However, it is not a match to the scale of the rival service from the US cable company Comcast Corporation®.

Comcast® had introduced their Xfinity® Home service in 2012 and they are approaching one million users this year. Before a few years, cable operators turned to home security services to open a new revenue stream. It is reported that the home security companies and buyout firms might show interest in the Digital Life unit of AT&T®. For instance, the private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC bought the home security business ADT Corp for $7 billion in 2016.

It is to be noted that AT&T® has also sold the home security unit of DirecTV®, LifeShield to a private equity firm named Hawk Capital Partners last month, but the details of the sale are not yet disclosed.

19 Aug

CenturyLink® Deploys Field Trials Of Adtran Virtual 10G – PON Platform

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Adtran Virtual 10G – PON Platform

CenturyLink® has commenced the field trials of Adtran’s virtualized Optical Line Terminal (OLT) 10G-PON platform. The trials involve the use of Mosaic operating system of Adtran for making Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) in its networks. CenturyLink® is making this new move as a means to enter into the SD-Access technology in its network that has already deployed the Passive Optical Networking (PON) system.

Adtran is a key provider of open networking solutions and the deployment of SD-Access will allow CenturyLink® to make its networks more flexible and manageable. CenturyLink® is also offering 10-gigabit symmetrical PON (XGS-PON) and the latest PON (NG-PON2).

The networking technologies function via a single fiber optic cable that is divided to supply numerous end points in different access layers such as residential and enterprise. Jay Wilson, Adtran’s senior vice president of technology and strategy said, “Adtran Mosaic OS is a key component of the industry’s most open and complete SD-Access architecture. The solution spans the entire access network from the cloud edge to subscriber edge, providing services delivery and support for all physical access media, allowing our customers to create best of breed networks.”

Commenting on that, Aamir Hussain, CenturyLink® executive vice president and chief technology officer said, “The move to an open, programmable and scalable access network will facilitate CenturyLink’s service agility and support faster deployment of services and applications for our customers. This solution will enable us to reduce operating costs through the economies of data center architectures and automate our networks as we look to offer 10G services and beyond.”

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Flexible And Manageable Networks

CenturyLink® recently accelerated its network virtualization efforts like other internet providers into a more hybrid nature. This involves using a mix of both the older hardware and latest software technologies offered. It is also to be noted that the Telco has made considerable investments in the past 25 years that amounts to about $64 billion for its network.

Hassan stated, “These investments are just to make sure that we bring customers the services they expect. When we move to a programmable network, it’s about having the right platforms with the right programs, software defined networking, and controlling that through our orchestration engine that allows us to manage the customer’s workloads and applications.”

Adtran uses PON technologies for linking CenturyLink’s network infrastructure. The Mosaic operating system of Adtran’s can function using both copper and fiber connections as well. Adtran being a leader in SD-Access technology will enable CenturyLink® to upgrade its networks to accommodate all the latest technologies and in its virtualization efforts.

11 Aug

CBS Networks Comes To DirecTV Now®

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CBS Networks Added

DirecTV Now®, the live TV service from one of the leading internet providers, AT&T® has already become one of the most favorite choices of cord cutters in a short span of time. However, it seems that AT&T® is planning to lure in more cord cutters towards the streaming service by adding CBS and its networks to the streaming platform.

In a recent announcement, the officials from AT&T® confirmed that they have signed an agreement with CBS, which will allow them to live stream from the local CBS and The CW stations in approximately 25 markets in the country. The telecom company also indicated that these stations would be available to DirecTV Now® customers in all the packages.

However, other popular networks such as Showtime, CBS Sports Network, and Pop will be available to subscribers on select premium tiers. Additionally, DirecTV Now® customers who wish to access and watch the contents of Showtime would be able to subscribe the channel as an add on to their current DirecTV Now® plan.

The first United States metros to gain access to The CW and CBS in their DirecTV Now® packages include Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, Boston, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Philadelphia, Chicago, L.A., and New York.

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Directv Now® Plans

AT&T® is hopeful that the recent addition of Showtime network to DirecTV Now® will attract more cord cutters to the service. This is because their streaming service offers the network to customers for just $8 a month, which is actually the lowest monthly rate offered by a streaming service provider.

The officials from the telecom company also added that they would be adding the Pop channel in the DirecTV Now® “Just Right” plan, while the CBS Sports Network will be available to DirecTV Now® customers who have subscribed to the “Go Big” plan. The officials refused to share any details on when these channels will be made available to customers but reports indicate that this will happen within a month or two.

The telecom company, AT&T® also added that they are planning to bring at least 30 more NBC, Fox, and ABC affiliates to DirecTV Now® shortly. This means that the streaming service from AT&T® will contain more than 170 live and local channels, which makes it a great alternative to cable TV. So if you have access to the best internet service, you should definitely check out DirecTV Now®.

09 Aug

Comcast® Partners With FX Networks To Provide Ad-Free Service To Subscribers

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Ad-Free Service To Subscribers

Comcast® has partnered with FX Networks to commence a new subscription service titled as FX+. This premium service is available for an additional cost of $5.99 per month for the subscribers of Xfinity® platform and includes ad-free access to all the currently airing TV series and other shows. The new service from Comcast® will be launched on September 5 and would be much different from the streaming apps rolled out by CBS and other major television networks.

This new collaboration with FX is a great way for the Xfinity® subscribers to access the quality programming offered that includes many of its well regarded TV series and shows. The FX+ paid service will offer about 1000 episodes from some of the most admired TV series such as Sons of Anarchy, Terriers, Damages, American Horror Story, etc. Also included in the FX+ service are FX channel and FXX, the sister network of the broadcaster, which will be made available on Comcast’s Xfinity® platform.

Previously, Comcast® released a simultaneous broadcast streaming service, AMC Premiere, which was available for just $4.99 per month. This streaming service also included the airing of commercial free episodes of numerous running series such as The Walking Dead. FX+ is the second streaming service offered by Comcast® that allows for an extension of the subscription for a basic cable channel.

John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions stated, “This is an exciting day for FX Networks because it represents the next step in building a consumer experience as good as our original programming brand. We have been diligent about recapturing the in-season stacking rights for all current original programming and recapturing the rights to all seasons of a large portion of our legacy of great original series.”

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New Subscription Service

Matt Strauss, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Video and Entertainment Services at Comcast® said, “FX has built a brand known for high-quality, award-winning original content, and we are pleased to partner with John Landgraf and the team at FX to offer premium experiences like FX+ to Xfinity® TV customers, and explore what it means to be a network in the future.”

The subscribers of the new FX+ service can access the contents through Xfinity® On Demand, Xfinity® Stream app, FX NOW, and the service website. FX+ will remain as an upgrade option for the subscribers of Xfinity® TV. Subscribers can easily upgrade to the FX+ service through the Xfinity® set top boxes as well as by visiting the website or calling the Xfinity® service.

08 Aug

AT&T® Appoint GroupM CEO Brian Lesser To Lead A New Advertising Unit

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Premium Video And TV Advertising

AT&T® has hired Brian Lesser, former CEO of GroupM North America, to head an advertisement and business analytics unit of the Telco giant. Lesser would leave the leading position of WPP media agencies and will report directly to Randall Stephenson, CEO and Chairman of AT&T®.

“Brian is a terrific executive and one of the best there is in harnessing technology and data to create targeted advertising,” Stephenson said in a recent statement. AT&T® provides the best internet service in the US, but the internet and cable subscribers should note that the appointment would apply to the media assets. However, AT&T’s $85.4 billion bid for Time Warner® is still pending, and is under review by the US Department of Justice and legislators.

It is unclear if the advertisement sales executives at Time Warner® and Turner cable networks would report to Brian Lesser when the AT&T® – Time Warner® merger goes through. However, Stephenson said, “Once we complete our acquisition of Time Warner® Inc., we believe there is an opportunity to build an automated advertising platform that can do for premium video and TV advertising what the search and social media companies have done for digital advertising.”

Both Time Warner’s Turner network, as well as Comcast’s NBCUniversal, has offered various products letting advertisers use the customer data and place TV commercials timely. Further, many of the TV outlets roll out programmatic advertising products, which allow for the buying of advertisement inventory via bids. Programmatic advertising is the algorithmic buying and sales of commercial space in real time and it uses software to automate the buying of commercial space.

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Advertising And Insights Business

“Advertising is evolving from broad messages delivered through traditional media channels, to customized, individual content coordinated across all connected devices,” Lesser said. “AT&T has amazing assets for creating engaging advertising experiences for consumers. I am excited to work with Randall and the entire AT&T team to build a world-class advertising and insights business.”

As per an AT&T® spokesperson, Brian Lesser would lead “an advertising and analytics business using the company’s unique customer data and growing content assets.” On the other hand, GroupM® is in search of a replacement for Brian Lesser, and Kelly Clark, global CEO of GroupM®, would hold the interim position in the absence of Lesser.

02 Aug

Cardinals And Cox® Announce Marketing And Technology Partnership

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Marketing And Technology Partnership

Cox Communications® and the Arizona Cardinals recently announced a multimillion dollar, multiyear partnership in Phoenix, which expands and extends a partnership between both the businesses back in 2006. As per the partnership, Cox® Business will be the exclusive technology provider and partner for both Cardinals and University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale.

“Through this partnership, Cox® will provide a broad range of services and products that will not only deliver the best possible stadium experience for Cardinals fans, but also enhance the organization’s technological capabilities on a daily basis,” said Cardinals President Michael Bidwill.

Services offered by Cox Communications® include internet and telecommunication services, cable TV, Wi-Fi, video transmissions, and network infrastructure. It will be the responsibility of the Cox® Business to offer technical support to the team for all the important events and to ensure that the technology of the stadium operates seamlessly without any issues.

“It has been a privilege to deliver technology services to the team and the stadium for more than a decade,” said Ed Aaronson, vice president for Cox® Business in Arizona. “This expansion of our relationship will further enhance our ability to partner with the Cardinals to deliver the premier fan experience.”

Cardinals and Cox® will also provide a virtual reality interactive experience for all the fans, which will be similar to the training tools used by the Cardinals players and coaches. Fans of Arizona Cardinals will experience a feeling of being on the field practicing with their favorite team, standing on the field during the pre game player introduction sessions and taking part in the coin toss.

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Exclusive Technology Provider

The free virtual reality experience offered by Cox® for the fans will provided at the upper concourse of the stadium, on the fifth quarterdeck during home games of the Cardinals. The partnership between Cox® and Cardinals features technology product integration of Cox® throughout the training complex of Cardinals and University of Phoenix Stadium, and will include marketing, promotional, community relations and fan activation initiatives.

The University of Phoenix Stadium is hone to the annual Fiesta Bowl and the Arizona Cardinals. The stadium also hosts many international soccer events, large-scale events like super bowl, major concerts like the U2 and the recent NCAA Final Four.

Cox Communications® is the third largest private employer in Arizona and one of the best internet service providers in the country that serves about 3 million business and residential users in Arizona.

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