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23 Feb

Comcast® Files an Application with FCC to Trial Services in 3.5 GHz Band

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Wireless And Mobile Services

Comcast® hopes to trial fixed wireless and mobile services over 3.5 GHz CBRS spectrum band and has filed an application with Federal Communications Commission. “Comcast® will conduct outdoor and indoor fixed and mobile testing in a small targeted portion of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, market within its service territory. Specifically, testing will be conducted within a 7 km radius,” the company’s FCC filing stated.

“The field test will evaluate coverage, throughput, and mobility of equipment and facilities operating in the CBRS band to obtain data and advance Comcast’s understanding of the full potential of the technology and equipment utilized in these experimental operations. The field testing will also evaluate the performance of pre-commercial equipment in the CBRS band.”

The best internet provider also suggested that its interests firmly lie in phones that support CBRS band. “Through the use of mobile test devices and commercial handsets (i.e. ‘End User Equipment’), Comcast® will evaluate propagation characteristics for model verification, data throughput performance, inter-cell interference, and advanced Spectrum Access System (‘SAS’) functionality.”

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Deploy Wireless Services

Comcast® is one of the members of CBRS alliance, which includes some major internet providers and equipment vendors. In August last year, Comcast® seemed to have contacted Nokia® to conduct small cell trials and half a dozen mobile units operating in CBRS band in Philly. Comcast’s application with FCC to self-test CBRS band in their headquarters may suggest an even deeper interest to deploy wireless services. Comcast® is not the only company to show interests in CBRS band; even Charter® has urged FCC to regulate 3.5 GHz band in the previous month using geographic currency no more than counties.

Charter® has also suggested that their fixed wireless trials in rural locations on 3.5 GHz have shown it can provide speeds at 25 megabytes per second at ‘significant distances’. Charter® has conducted mobile and fixed wireless trials in the said band but is yet to disclose details on results of the trials.

The interests in mobile wireless in CBRS band from Comcast® could coincide with Xfinity® Mobile, which runs on Verizon® network. Xfinity® Mobile is Comcast’s MNOV tie-up with Verizon®. As of now, the wireless service from Comcast® roams on to the public wireless hotspots, and the company might be looking to add more locations that can handle CBRS band and traffic from the customers. If that goes through, Comcast® would have to pay a less amount to Verizon® for network use.

30 Jan

AT&T® and T-Mobile® will Help Customers to Stay Connected Throughout the Winter Olympics

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Video Streaming Services

If you are planning to visit South Korea to catch the live action of the upcoming Winter Olympics, then you will most likely wish to share your good fortune with your friends and family members who are not able to make it to South Korea. So, you will be probably planning to keep them up-to-date with the live actions from the Olympics but you will certainly need unlimited data, calling, and text to do so.

Two of the leading internet providers in the United States, AT&T® and T-Mobile® have already introduced attractive offers for their customers so that they can stay connected to their loved ones who are back at home. In a recent announcement, the officials from T-Mobile® said that their customers who are attending the Winter Olympics in South Korea will be able to enjoy unlimited data, text, and calling throughout the event.

The best thing about T-Mobile’s new offering is that customers will not have to do anything to reap these benefits. This means that customers will not need to pay any sort of additional charges to enjoy these benefits. Yet it is crucial to note that the unlimited data and calling offering to customers across South Korea will automatically kick in from February 7 to March 20, 2018, and it will be available to all postpaid customers of T-Mobile®.

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International Day Pass

The President and CEO of T-Mobile®, John Legere said, “The Winter Games are full of unforgettable moments, and now, T-Mobile® customers in South Korea can snap, tweet, and share those big moments without worrying about bill shock when they get back home. And while the carriers gouge you and make you jump through ridiculous hoops, the Un-carrier makes it easy! Free and unlimited data and calling just happen from the moment you step foot in South Korea.”

Likewise, one of the best internet providers in the country, AT&T® has also announced that their customers who are in South Korea for the Olympics will be eligible to access the International Day Pass of the provider at zero additional charges. This implies that AT&T® customers will be able to save $10 a day on unlimited texts, calls, and data usage. However, the officials from the telecom company have not confirmed whether customers will have to call ahead to get the International Day Pass.

24 Jan

Charter Spectrum® to Offer Gigabit Internet Service Across the Capital Region

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Gigabit Internet Service

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that Charter Spectrum® subscribers across the Capital Region will soon be able to enjoy the Gigabit Internet service of the telecom giant. However, the Gigabit Internet service offered by Charter Spectrum® is mostly available only to the schools and businesses in the country at the present.

Charter Communications®, who are currently operating under the brand name Spectrum®, have already started to offer their high-speed internet service in the lower Hudson Valley and New York. Customers who have subscribed to the Spectrum® internet service in these areas will be able to enjoy a maximum internet speed of 1 gigabit per second, which is approximately 10 to 40 times faster when compared to the internet service available to customers in the Capital Region.

It is significant to note that gigabit internet speeds offered by the leading internet providers in the country were usually available only to business and government entities in the Capital Region. However, Verizon recently started to offer a 1-gigabit service to the residential subscribers in their FiOS network but the drawback is that this service is available only in certain parts of Albany and Schenectady counties.

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High-Speed Internet Service

The new internet service launched by Charter Communications® will certainly allow most residents to get connected to a reliable and high-speed gigabit internet service. Even though most residents are happy and content with the current internet speeds, the availability of gigabit internet service will increase the download speed, boost the streaming quality, and customers will be able to connect more number of devices to their internet network at the very same time.

In a recent interview, a spokesman from Charter Communications® said, “We’re currently in the process of upgrading the Capital Region to all-digital, which is an important first step to enabling faster speeds, including gigabit connections for residential customers. We intend to launch gigabit connections in additional markets in 2018 but haven’t announced any plans yet.”

The official also stated that customers would be able to stick to their Time Warner Cable® package if they wish to or they could even switch to the Spectrum® plans. He added, “They can keep their legacy Time Warner Cable® package or switch to Spectrum® if they prefer. We believe they will find Spectrum® is a better value with superior products and services, like the 100 Mbps starting speed for Spectrum® internet.”

22 Jan

Charter® to Create Original Programming for its Spectrum Customers

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Distribute Original Content

Charter Communications® is making plans to create and distribute original content. The Telco wishes to foray into programming like other major providers in the country. Because of that, Charter® had already appointed a new senior vice president to oversee its plans to produce and distribute original programming. The new senior vice president will focus on creating original content that is in tune with the interests of the viewers. Charter® has brought in Katherine Pope, the former NBC Universal and Chernin Group TV production executive, to serve as its new senior vice president.

The creation of original content is seen by Charter® as a way to offer a different experience for its Spectrum® customers. The hiring of the new executive will supervise the creation of planned original programming, such as a lineup of shows to aid on Charter®-carried channels. Charter® has a previous partnership with AMC and Viacom that involves co-production of television shows, and this new announcement will help in its quest to produce and air an array of original content.

Katherine Pope stated, “I’m excited to partner with networks, studios, and creators to build a high-quality original content experience for Charter’s wide-reaching and diverse audience. I look forward to working with David and the extraordinary team at Charter®.” This appointment of the new executive follows a previous deal between AMC and Viacom. It has reached an agreement with these companies regarding co-production and co-funding of content that will be air across the Spectrum platforms of Charter® in this year.

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Charter®-Carried Channels

Under the former agreement, Viacom and Charter® had reached an agreement regarding the co-production of original content that will be exclusively available to Charter® subscribers. David Ellen, Charter® Senior Executive VP said, “Katherine’s creativity, strategic prowess, and wealth of industry knowledge will play an instrumental role in positioning Charter® as an industry leader in the creation and distribution of high-quality, original entertainment that will further differentiate Charter’s market-leading video products in ways that create value and drive subscribership.”

Recently, many of the major cable and internet providers have also come with collaborating with various content production houses. The acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast® is one key example that demonstrates this new trend among providers. Charter’s action plan for the creation and airing of original content makes it one among the other providers who have done the same with various production houses. Moreover, this comes amidst the rise of its internet service and a decline of video subscriptions.

19 Jan

AT&T® Equips Minneapolis’s Super Bowl LII Host Stadium with 5G Evolution

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Launching 5G Evolution

One of the fastest internet providers in the US, AT&T® revealed last year that they plan to launch 5G Evolution in select areas of Minneapolis alongside Distributed Antenna System at the host stadium of Super Bowl LII. The new stadium in downtown Minneapolis is all set to host the event as planned. As per recent reports, AT&T® announce spending of more than $40 million to upgrade mobile network across the city and the stadium ahead of the Super Bowl slated in February.

It is expected that approximately 1 million NFL fans will come to the stadium for the ‘Big Game’ as AT&T® puts it forth. “We’ve been working for over a year to boost the network in Minneapolis for the Big Game. We’ve done this through a series of permanent and temporary upgrades throughout the city,” AT&T® representatives said.

The Telco has upgraded the Distributed Antenna System inside the stadium in order to provide higher percentage LTE internet accessibility. The stadium’s mobile network feature 800 antennas that will provide enhanced coverage to Minneapolis city in its entirety. Depending on how many people will turn up for the much anticipated event next month, the venue is all equipped to handle extensive mobile traffic.

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LTE Internet Accessibility

“We’ve been working closely with the city of Minneapolis to ensure its network is ready to support the technology of the future. The investments we’re making prepare us for the future of 5G and innovations like smarter cities and immersive entertainment experiences like augmented and virtual reality,” said AT&T®. “We’ve overloaded the stadium with wireless capacity and boosted LTE capacity by more than 150 percent compared to last year. With more than 800 antennas, the network inside the stadium alone could provide coverage to the entire city of Minneapolis.”

Besides, AT&T® has installed the antennas at sixteen locations across Minneapolis to give improved coverage at airports, restaurants and the like. “We’ve upgraded the DAS at the airport and installed a new DAS at the convention centre in Minneapolis. We’ve also installed a new DAS at Nomadic Live at The Armory to enhance coverage for all the fans headed to the concert venue each night,” reaffirms AT&T®.

Besides, AT&T® will roll out Cells on Wheels in order to provide temporary network and wireless internet a week prior to and during the event to add to the network capacity and internet speeds somewhere in the stadium.

12 Jan

CenturyLink® Formulates its Top Goals and Priorities for the New Year

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Level 3 Communications Acquisition

The year ahead is going to be largely fruitful for CenturyLink® as it lays down its goals and priorities for the year. The Telco has announced that it is focusing more on finalizing its interlinking with Level 3 Communications. By finalizing this merger, CenturyLink® intends to create a new digital experience that extends from quoting to payment for its entire range of customers. CenturyLink® acquired Level 3 Communications in the previous year for a sum of $34 billion. The goals and were laid by the Chief Financial Officer of CenturyLink®, Sunit Patel, during the Citi 2018 Global TMT West Conference in Las Vegas.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do in terms of digitizing our customer experience so people don’t have to call to find out why their network is down, how long is it going to take, etc.,” Patel said. “So I think focusing on that will simultaneously improve our customer experience; it will drive a lot of change inside the enterprise in terms of automating workflows for our employees so they can support our customers better. A digital future for us inside and how we interact with our customers is going to be pretty important.”

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Internet Of Things

Being one of the top internet providers in the country, CenturyLink® is looking for new developments to compete with other major providers. He also stressed that the approach to the market and the customers are another key goal of CenturyLink®. Moreover, the Telco has made further plans in attracting more of the enterprise market share. This includes customer organization based on segments as per their needs, capital, and strategic priorities.

Patel said, “The other big thing is the scale that we now have in the United States; we are the second-largest enterprise provider in the [U.S.], larger than Verizon® and second to AT&T®. I think that scale and the network footprint that we have will allow us to improve our win-loss ratios. We should be able to win in the marketplace a lot more because our network goes to more places than any of our competitors do.”

He also stated that there is an increase in the demand for bandwidth in this year. “Looking forward, you’re going to have a lot more bandwidth demand driven by machine-to-machine bandwidth needs, the Internet of Things (IoT), etc.,” Patel added. “There’s a constant need for more bandwidth, so while you might have different legacy services going down and new services going up, the backdrop is everyone needing more bandwidth.”

10 Jan

KTVN Channel 2 Blocked for AT&T U-Verse® Customers Following Negotiation Disputes

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KTVN Channel 2 Blocked

An ongoing negotiation relating to the agreement on extending the distribution has led to the KTVN Channel 2 being barred for AT&T U-Verse® TV subscribers based in Northern Nevada. AT&T® failed to come to an agreement in the negotiations regarding the extension of distribution and the amount the Telco is agreeing to pay KTVN for its content. Moreover, AT&T® denied the permission to offer the channel without the approval from its owner Sarkes Tarzian Inc.

Lawson Fox, who is the General Manager of KTVN said, “Negotiation has to do with the value of our programming for the system. So they pay us for the privilege of the content. We’ve done 10 of these in the last few months successfully. This is the one that isn’t complete. And the only one where we didn’t maintain carriage during the conversation.”

He did not stress on the price they require from AT&T® on behalf of offering their content. The fact is that the pricing has increased right from the previous contract. The negotiations are further stalled by AT&T’s reluctance to pay higher prices for obtaining the same content.

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Best Entertainment Programs

Regional spokesperson of AT&T®, Steven Ramirez, said, “We want to get KTVN back into our Reno customers’ lineups as soon as possible, but by law, KTVN’s owner Sarkes Tarzian has exclusive control over whether that station remains available on U-verse or not. Sarkes Tarzian is seeking a significant increase in fees even though the same people can still watch its shows for free over-the-air on channel 2 and, often, at cbs.com or using the CBS app.”

However, KTVN is also stating that the price increase is also not that high. Fox also stresses that other TV and internet providers have already paid the new price and it is only AT&T® that is showing reluctance regarding paying the fees. AT&T® spokesperson Ramirez has also stated that Tarzian has disconnected the service based on contract disputes several times before.

Ramirez said, “Our goal is to offer customers more choice over the content they may care about most, delivered at a value they can consider justified. We want to resolve this matter quickly and reasonably, and appreciate our Reno customers’ patience while we attempt to do just that.” However, latest reports say that the negotiations are heading in a positive direction as AT&T® has finally accepted the offer made by KTVN to extend the distribution of the channel.

04 Jan

AT&T® Trying to Prevent Future Service Outages

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Prevent Future Service Outages

The executives from one of the best internet service providers in the country, AT&T® recently explained Humboldt County’s Board of Supervisors about the circumstances of the recent outages. In addition to that, the officials from the telecom company also talked about the efforts made by them to prevent service outages in the future.

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that AT&T® updated their progress on preventing the phone and internet service outages during the supervisors meeting that was held a few weeks earlier. The telecom company has been facing widespread criticism for experts and customers for being prone to such regional service outage.

The most recent AT&T® outage was a few months ago when fiber optic cables of the company were burnt in a wildfire. As a result, customers in those regions were not able to access the internet and phone service of AT&T® for approximately 48 hours.

The area director of external affairs at AT&T®, Rhunette Alums stated that the telecom company is trying to expand the “diversity” of broadband cables. She further added that the company is planning an extension of north-south lines from Eureka to Trinidad.

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High Speed Internet

The AT&T® official also said that the other work would “provide some redundancy and will reduce the opportunity for a cut that will take you totally off the air.” Alums also stated that the work would certainly bring “significant changes that will improve Internet experiences, accessibility, and survivability.”

She further said that customers and others often ask her why service outages “along Highway 36” affect AT&T® while the services from other leading TV and internet providers remain unaffected. “We need to have more equipment placed along Highway 36 that will allow the opportunity for that equipment to talk to each other, talk to our systems, so we can continue to isolate issues,” Alums said.

Reports have been indicating that the telecom company is offering much better service resiliency to subscribers who are ready to pay for it. When asked about it, Alums said, “It wasn’t predicated on who paid for it and who didn’t, it was where can we get the maximum amount of restored coverage for people as fast as we could.” It is pretty evident that the officials from AT&T® have put in a number of efforts to significantly reduce the chances of another service outage. Only future will tell how well their efforts fare.

27 Dec

Cox® Introduces its Latest Storytelling Platform, Converge

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Story-Telling Platform

Cox Communications® has rolled out its latest storytelling platform known as Converge. This platform is designed in such a way to allow the people to remain connected and informed with the things they like through the means of technology. The Converge platform has a new design that consists of stories divided into three major categories, which are Community, Entertainment, and Technology.

In Community, users can access stories that highlight the changes that Cox® is carrying out for the people living and work in its communities. Entertainment and Technology consist of various stories that inform and connect people regarding the latest shows, movies, sports, places, and names. It also provides stories that connect and inform the people regarding the latest technologies and important moments.

Gaston Vaneri, senior vice president of brands, Cox Communications®, “On Converge, you’ll find stories that humanize us and showcase how Cox helps to create the moments that matter. It’s also a great resource for stories about trending topics, entertainment, helpful tips and lifestyle advice from third-party influencers.” The development of this new story-telling platform is a progressive approach carried out by Cox® one of the major internet providers in the country.

It is mainly due to the results of recently conducted surveys that pointed out the importance and reliability of custom content over traditional content among the customers. A majority of the customers prefers custom content as it allows their favorite brands to engage with them and thereby provide guidance and value to the content available.

As a part of the rollout of Converge, Cox® is planning to collaborate with numerous companies like Common Sense Media, Music Choice, The Hallmark Channel, and many others for sharing and creating content. Currently, Cox® is collaborating with Crown Media Family to add more content in tune with the prevailing festive season and holidays.

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Digital Literacy Training

The content in the Converge platform is based on a library, which is developed, curated, and updated regularly by Cox®. The team behind the operation of the Converge platform is also closely following the various latest events and trends that are of importance to the audience.

Leigh Woisard, the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at Cox Communications® said, “Our goal is to deliver an authentic, engaging experience with the Cox® brand. We are energized by a wealth of storytelling opportunities, and we are excited to offer compelling content that people will enjoy and share.”

Besides, Cox® is also planning to use Converge for addressing numerous societal issues, like the role played by the Telco in easing out digital divide, free digital literacy training, and the technology centers based on more than 100 boys and girls clubs in the country.

22 Dec

CenturyLink® Plans to Expand Broadband Service to Rural Missouri

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Expanding Broadband Service

The Federal law necessitates FCC to release an annual report which tells whether broadband “is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion,” as per the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The Republican-led FCC lead by Tom Wheeler defined ‘reasonable’ as high-speed broadband in 2015. The stipulated speeds mandated then have been subject to improvements in speed but the basic intention remains to be the same. Many of the internet providers are expanding their network nationwide in order to clear the connectivity gap felt in broadband sector and CenturyLink® is one of them.

CenturyLink® is planning to expand their broadband network to Salem, and select areas of rural Missouri in the near future suggest reports received from their branch in Jefferson City. The expansion from CenturyLink® was announced earlier this year and is part of their commitment to FCC Connect America Fund. Federal Communications Commission recently repurposed ‘universal voice service’ funds to expand broadband service in rural Missouri, which still lack access to high-speed internet. It is an initiative from FCC taken in order to improve broadband service in underserved areas in the United States.

The Telco is also planning to expand their broadband network areas to more than 152,000 in Missouri alone by 2021 indicate reliable sources. The locations would include select areas of Missouri where customers are looking for a best internet service provider as of now.

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High-Speed Internet

CenturyLink® installed fiber optical cable across the communities in the state, which enabled the customers to choose select high-speed broadband plans. Now, the Telco is in the process of upgrading the network to cater more than 1200 residents and businesses residing in Salem, out of which many customers reside outskirts, suggest the reports.

The upgrades are yet to rollout completely, said a representative of CenturyLink® to reliable sources. This is courtesy many of the factors like accessibility for labor, the natives affected by lack of internet access and the guidelines, which should be followed as the rules of Federal Communications Commission.

“Determining the geographical boundaries of the expansion area are dependent on multiple variables,” as per the representative of CenturyLink®. “Engineers are working to develop plans that cover as much area as possible. As locations near completion, customers will receive a letter announcing broadband availability and other pertinent details.”

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