Saturday, March 14, 2020

Expecting a surge, T-Mobile US increases network capacity

To address an expected surge in network usage during the COVID-19 national emergency, T-Mobile US is activating 600 MHz spectrum from multiple companies, including Bluewater, Channel 51, Comcast, DISH, Grain Management affiliate NewLevel, LLC, LB Holdings and Omega Wireless, LLC in the markets where it can be quickly deployed.

“In trying times like this, we understand how important it is for people to remain connected – to family and friends, to resources and information, to their jobs via teleworking or schools via virtual classrooms. And we take our responsibility to keep our customers connected incredibly seriously,” said Neville Ray, President of Technology for T-Mobile. “We can’t thank these partners and the FCC enough for coming together to provide people across the country with the critical connectivity they’re relying on right now.”

T-Mobile also expanded roaming access for Sprint customers to use the T-Mobile network.

The following additional measures have been put in place by T-Mobile:

  • All current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers who have plans with data will have unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days (excluding roaming).
  • Providing T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot / tethering service for the next 60 days – coming soon.
  • Increased the data allowance for free to schools and students using its digital learning programs to ensure each participant has access to at least 20GB of data per month for the next 60 days.
  • Offering free international calling for ALL current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers to Level 3 impacted countries.


https://www.t-mobile.com/news/tmobile-to-increase-network-capacity-and-expand-roaming-for-sprint-customers

DISH lends 600 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile US for 60 days

DISH is providing its entire portfolio of 600 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile at no cost for 60 days during the COVID-19 national emergency

"DISH is proud to support Americans' personal and professional connectivity needs during this challenging time," said Jeff Blum, DISH SVP of public policy and government affairs. "As we take this step, we'd like to thank the FCC for their leadership on the technological needs arising as a result of the virus, including the increased need for broadband access to help consumers respond to the impact of COVID-19 on daily life."

http://about.dish.com/2020-03-13-COVID-19-Response-DISH-Lends-Critical-Spectrum-to-T-Mobile-in-Effort-to-Bolster-Nationwide-Wireless-Capacity-to-Help-Consumers


Earlier this year, DISH announce plans to release a Request for Information and Request for Proposal (RFI/RFP) for Telecom Transport Services in support of its plans to deploy a virtualized 5G Stand-Alone network across the United States. DISH has committed to building a standalone 5G broadband network available to at least 70 percent of the U.S. population by June 2023.

The Telecom Transport Services RFI/RFP, the fifth in a series of RFPs for different elements of the national network, will include requests for telecom transport service companies to facilitate lit and dark fiber connectivity to cell towers, buildings and data centers.

As part of the T-Mobile US + Sprint deal, Sprint’s prepaid businesses and Sprint’s 800 MHz spectrum assets be divested to DISH. Sprint and T-Mobile must also provide DISH wireless customers access to the New T-Mobile network for seven years and offer standard transition services arrangements to DISH during a transition period of up to three years. DISH will also have an option to take on leases for certain cell sites and retail locations that are decommissioned by the New T-Mobile, subject to any assignment restrictions.


Ajit Pai's Keep Americans Connected Pledge endorsed by carriers

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai solicited pledges from the U.S. network operators to ensure availability of network services during the COVID-19 national emergency

The Keep Americans Connected Pledge reads as follows:

Given the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on American society, [[Company Name]] pledges for the next 60 days to:

  1. not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
  2. waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
  3. open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

The following companies immediately agree to the Keep Americans Connected Pledge: ACIRA – Powered by Farmers Mutual Telephone Company & Federated Telephone, Allstream Business US, AlticeUSA, Antietam Broadband, Atlantic Broadband, AT&T, BBT, BOYCOM Vision, Burlington Telecom, Cable One, Central Arkansas Telephone Cooperative, CenturyLink, Charter, Cincinnati Bell, Citizens Connected, Comcast, Consolidated Communications, Cox Communications, Digital West, East Ascension Telephone Company, Education Networks of America, Emery Telecom, Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative, FirstLight, Frontier, Google Fiber, Grande Communications, Granite Telecommunications, Great Plains Communications, GWI, Hiawatha Broadband, Hill Country, IdeaTek Telcom, Inteliquent, Lafourche Telephone Company, Lakeland Communications, Long Lines Broadband, Mammoth Networks/Visionary Broadband, Mediacom, MetTel, Nex-Tech, Ninestar Connect, Northwest Fiber, Orbitel Communications, Pioneer Communications, Premier Communications, Range Telephone Cooperative, RCN, Reserve Telephone Company, Sacred Wind Communications, Shawnee Communications, Socket Telecom, Sonic, Sprint, Starry, TDS Telecom, TelNet Worldwide, T-Mobile, TracFone Wireless, Uniti Fiber, US Cellular, Vast Broadband, Verizon, Vyve Broadband Investments, Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom, Wave Broadband, West Telecom Services, Windstream, and ZenFi Networks.

“As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and causes a series of disruptions to the economic, educational, medical, and civic life of our country, it is imperative that Americans stay connected.  Broadband will enable them to communicate with their loved ones and doctors, telework, ensure their children can engage in remote learning, and—importantly—take part in the ‘social distancing’ that will be so critical to limiting the spread of this novel coronavirus,” said Chairman Pai.  “That’s why I’m asking all broadband and telephone service providers to take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge.  I don’t want any American consumers experiencing hardships because of the pandemic to lose connectivity.

Comcast confident it can handle usage spikes during emergency

Comcast is opening its nationwide network of Wi-Fi hotspots to the public at no charge to help during the COVID-19 crisis.

In addition, Comcast is pausing data caps for its residential broadband customers. The move is expected to help people working from home and students studying online. All customers will have unlimited data for no additional charge for 60 days.

Comcast said remains confident that its network will be able to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns during this national emergency.

Furthermore, Comcast promised not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they inform the company that they can’t pay their bills during this period.

http://www.comcastcorporation.com/COVID-19

BT's CEO tests positive for COVID-19

Philip Jansen, Chief Executive, BT Group confirmed that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Philip Jansen said: “Having felt slightly unwell I decided as a precaution to be tested. As soon as the test results were known I isolated myself at home. I’ve met several industry partners this week so felt it was the responsible thing to do to alert them to this fact as soon as I could. Given my symptoms seem relatively mild, I will continue to lead BT but work with my team remotely over the coming week. There will be no disruption to the business.”

BT said it is now working closely with Public Health England to undertake a full deep clean of relevant parts of its Group headquarters and will ensure those employees who have had contact with Philip are appropriately advised.


IDC: Worldwide server market grew 7.5% in 4Q19

Vendor revenue in the worldwide server market grew 7.5% year over year to $25.4 billion during the fourth quarter of 2019 (4Q19), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker. Worldwide server shipments grew 14.0% year over year to just over 3.4 million units in 4Q19.

"While the server market recaptured growth during the fourth quarter, it was a bit of a mixed bag as robust hyperscaler demand benefited the ODM Direct vendor group, which combined with strong non-x86 server purchases to drive the broader market," said Sebastian Lagana, research manager, Infrastructure Platforms and Technologies at IDC. "While the OEM x86 market was tepid, it's worth noting that 4Q18 was one of the most challenging comparison periods in history, during which many OEMs generated double-digit growth and large revenue bases."



Some highlights:

  • The number one position in the worldwide server market in 4Q19 was shared by the combined HPE/New H3C Group and Dell Technologies with revenue shares of 16.3% and 15.7% respectively. 
  • HPE/New H3C Group revenues were down 3.4% year over year while Dell Technologies declined 9.9%. 
  • The third ranking server supplier during the quarter was IBM, generating 9.1% revenue share on growth of 17.6%. 
  • Inspur/Inspur Power Systems was fourth with 6.8% revenue share and year-over-year growth of 12.1%. 
  • Lenovo and Huawei were statistically tied* for the fifth position in the market with market shares of 5.6% and 5.1% respectively. 
  • Lenovo's revenues were down 2.6% year over year while Huawei grew its revenues 1.8% in 4Q19. 
  • The ODM Direct group of vendors accounted for 25.5% of total revenue and was up 37.9% year over year to $6.47 billion. 
  • Dell Technologies led the worldwide server market in terms of unit shipments, accounting for 16.1% of all units shipped during the quarter.

NBC: U.S, launches new investigation into ZTE

The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a new investigation of ZTE, according to NBC News. The investigation reportedly is looking into possible bribes paid by ZTE to foreign officials.

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/corporations/u-s-now-investigating-chinese-telecom-giant-zte-alleged-bribery-n1156696

In 2018, ZTE agreed to pay $1 billion to the U.S. Treasurey and place an additional $400 million in escrow to resolve a case concerning exports to Iran and North Korea. ZTE also agreed to certain provisions allowing monitoring of its compliance with U.S. export control laws.

GlobeNet's Malbec Subsea Cable links Rio and Buenos Aires

GlobeNet is in the final stages of the construction of its new Malbec subsea cable system, which will link the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo with Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The 2,500 km Malbec cable will be fully integrated into GlobeNet's regional network, offering seamless connectivity between the Southern Cone and the rest of the GlobeNet's network to Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Bermuda and the United States.

The Malbec system will use Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM) and the latest generation in repeaters and transponders.  The system is expected to be ready for service in July.

See also