Verizon President of Global Networks and Technology Joe Russo said that Verizon does manage its network capacity on a sector-by-sector basis, which has become especially important with the rollout of its fixed wireless access (FWA) service. T-Mobile has been very transparent about managing its network capacity on a sector-by-sector basis in areas where it introduces FWA, to make sure that FWA doesn’t in any way degrade the experience of T-Mobile’s regular mobile customers. But Verizon has only said that it’s always managing the capacity needs on its mobile network, without getting into spec
The telecommunications industry has been adding fixed wireless access (FWA) subscribers at a clip of between 900,000 and 1 million per quarter over the past five quarters, according to New Street Research. And the analysts say, “We expect similar results over the next two quarters, with T-Mobile targeting around 500,000 per quarter and Verizon targeting 375,000-400,000 per quarter.” FWA has claimed more than 80% of industry broadband adds in the U.S.
In response to claims that Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) funding wouldn't amount to much, Jeff Luong, VP of Network Engineering at AT&T said that the combination of public funds in addition to private investments will be a lot of money that will allow for “the industry, and us as a country, to expand connectivity.” Asked what he would recommend to states that are trying to figure out the best solution, Luong said, “The best way for states to approach that challenge is to create a process, a system that encourages as many providers to participate as possible.
At a New America Open Technology Institute event, Jonathan Campbell, legal advisor for Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, talked about spectrum sharing. In terms of the lower 3 GHz, he said, “We are ready to fulfill our obligation of moving forward with an auction for any of the spectrum that is identified through the Department of Commerce report and continuing to collaborate with our federal partners.” Of course, the FCC doesn’t even have auction authority right now.
Dish and T-Mobile have resolved their dispute over 800 MHz spectrum, with Dish agreeing to pay $100 million now toward the spectrum, in exchange for an extension to buy the spectrum fully. Dish made an SEC filing on October 19, saying the two companies entered into an amendment to their License Purchase Agreement, extending the date by which Dish may purchase the 800 MHz spectrum to April 1, 2024.
Cable operators and vendors are a bit defensive about comparing cable’s hybrid fiber coax (HFC) networks with fiber networks. New fiber builds are being driven by the $42.5 billion in Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program. Jay Lee, chief technology and strategy officer with ATX, said he attended the Fiber Broadband Association’s Fiber Connect conference in August. “I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised the fiber guys were going to beat up on the cable guys,” he said.
AT&T CEO John Stankey spoke at a Semafor event on October 10 to discuss barriers to greater adoption of broadband in the US, and the conversation ended up focusing heavily on spectrum. “You want more competition and resiliency in broadband in the United States, you need deep spectrum,” he said. “The United States is not in an enviable position right now for the next 10 years relative to some other developed nations.” He then proceeded to touch on a lot of hot buttons in the wireless industry.
Asked about net neutrality, Verizon Business CEO Kyle Malady said the Federal Communications Commission has flipped back and forth on the issue over the years. In his view net neutrality wasn’t needed before it was instituted, it wasn’t missed after it was revoked, and it still isn’t needed.
AT&T’s CEO John Stankey said, “There’s a fallacy to say there’s fixed networks and wireless networks. There are only fiber networks with different access technologies on the end of them. That’s where this is all going.” He said the most important thing is having “robust fiber infrastructure with the right capillaries in the right places.” Those “capillaries” can end with different types of access technologies, whether that’s a broadband router or a cell site or a managed router at a business location.
T-Mobile announced to its employees that it is planning to reduce its workforce by about 7%, which equates to about 5,000 jobs. In a letter sent to employees, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert wrote that the cuts will impact employees in locations across the country, primarily in corporate and back-office, and some technology roles. This round of cuts will not affect retail and consumer care employees. “After this process is complete, I do not envision any additional widespread company reductions again in the foreseeable future,” wrote Sievert.