AT&T/DirecTV: Epitome of Bellhead Ploy

November, 2015

While the industry narrative continues to push the illogical idea that AT&T is leading the pack internationally as a transformational player, the operator has seemed to be more concerned in remaining a copper service juggernaut. It appears to us that perhaps the most important, although not apparently stated reason for its acquisition of DirecTV, was to provide extra capacity for data transmission on its U-verse/DSL modems (to become more competitive with CATV providers) as the video services would now obviously be increasingly provided by satellite. One of the biggest ironies is that while incumbent providers have maintained their historical reluctance to move to new solutions offered by their equipment suppliers, they have no problem in overspending billions, if not tens of billions of dollars in purchasing companies to primarily, if not totally, bring in novel technology – only...

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Google Fiber Fizzles as Predicted

August, 2016

In March, we posted an article called “Google’s Fiber: Laugh All the Way to Bank,” in which we stated: “While [Alphabet’s] Google has made a certain amount of investment in the deployment of fiber just to keep up the pretense, as we wrote in late 2014, its vested interest is in encouraging broadband build-outs by other entities in order to increase Internet traffic, which would have a positive effect on its core advertising business." Moreover, when this writer was a Principal at Telecom Pragmatics, Inc., we put out a press release back in April, 2010 with the headline, “Google's Fiber for Communities Will Probably Be Token Effort…” Now this month in the Wall Street Journal, there is a piece called “Google’s High-Speed Web Plans Hit Snags.” It simply defies credulity that the company’s “initial rollouts proved more expensive and time consuming than...

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Double Standard When It Comes to Verizon

January, 2017

Although during its existence as a corporation, Verizon has made its share of mistakes, there are often contrasting principles at work with some members of the press and certain industry analysts when it comes to the firm, especially in relation to AT&T. While the latter is looked upon more favorably nowadays, its strategy has been based mainly over the years in staying as big as possible for its own sake, including: the quasi-re-incorporation of Ma Bell with four of the seven "RBOCs" (despite taking on a massive number of residential lines, particularly copper that can often be money losers), the purchase of DirecTV (with the unstated rationale of offloading video from capacity-constrained, copper-based modems and creating confusion in the market because of the lack of synergy between the operations), and the announced merger with Time Warner (with no apparent questioning of the wisdom...

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CommScope/Arris Combo: Sway of MSOs

October, 2018

Assuming the report of negotiations in Reuters is true, and if CommScope decides to purchase Arris International, despite dealing with some difficulties, it would likely result in a highly diversified juggernaut in combining powerful positions on both the passive and active sides of the telecom infrastructure business. In particular, given that fibeReality is bullish on the long-term viability of the networking of the MSOs, the statuses of the suppliers in this space would become even more dominant in that sector with a marriage. Yet, we also think that it may be reasonable to conclude that the major cable operators have not been totally happy with Arris, its major hybrid fiber/coaxial system vendor. At least on optics-related gear, we agree with the characterization of it being kind of a weak sister to comparable access players in the overall telecom market. Arris became the leading...

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