Spotify to carriers: We don't need to be enemies

AMSTERDAM -- Spotify is one of the most prominent "over the top" services that tax the mobile data networks of wireless carriers, but the music-streaming service should be seen as an ally, not an enemy, in the view of the company's telco partnership leader.

Michael Abbatista argued here that a Spotify partnership actually helps carriers by reducing subscriber churn -- the tendency for customers to hop from one carrier to another. And particularly with younger customers, it can make the carrier look better.

"We bring a certain brand uplift," Abbatista said at the Broadband World … Read more

Qualcomm adds new high-tech luster to lowly electrical wires

AMSTERDAM -- Electrical wires hardly have the glamor of 4G mobile networks or invisibly small microchip transistors. But Qualcomm hopes a faster new version of technology called HomePlug will breathe new high-tech life into homes' old wiring.

Qualcomm's Atheros division makes processors that let devices such as set-top boxes and wireless network range extenders communicate over power lines using HomePlug. A new chip, the QCA7500 announced here this week at the Broadband World Forum, can take advantage of a HomePlug AV2 feature called MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) to boost data-transfer speeds up to 1 gigabit per second.

The HomePlug … Read more

Carriers, regulators tussle over next-gen broadband

AMSTERDAM -- From the European government's perspective, those who operate telecommunications networks are moving too slowly. From the operators' perspective, the government's rate of change would mean unacceptable financial risk.

That, in a nutshell, is the debate that underscores many declarations and discussions here at the Broadband World Forum. The industry players share a love of high-speed networking and all that it can bring to the world, but they don't always share a vision of how to move beyond basic broadband.

Last week, the European Commission (EC) announced it reached its 2013 goal of basic broadband at 100 percent of homesRead more

Equipment makers try coaxing telcos beyond basic broadband

AMSTERDAM -- Telecommunications companies can be reluctant to spend the money necessary to bring higher-speed broadband Internet access to the masses, but two network equipment suppliers think they have sales pitches that will convince them.

Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei, two giants in the telco equipment market, share a powerful business motivation to sell telcos the next round of high-speed gear. But they have different ideas about how to get there.

For Marcus Weldon, chief technology officer at Alcatel-Lucent, the approach involves bringing the high-speed core of the network closer to the edges with small, short-range wireless network cells and micronodes that … Read more

Got Google Fiber envy? Here are three steps to pave the way

AMSTERDAM -- The number of communities that wanted Google Fiber proved vastly larger than than the number of places -- three -- where Google thus far has actually chosen to build its gigabit broadband network.

But for the have-nots out there, Google Access project leader Kevin Lo offered some advice at the Broadband World Forum here for attracting Google Fiber or some other ultrafast broadband provider. It's not about tax breaks, he said, but rather relatively mundane measures that cities and towns can take:

• First, grant new Internet providers access to power poles, ducts, and cable conduits. Once Google … Read more

Mobile phone data usage ripe for Wi-Fi offload

LA DEFENSE, France--"Mobile devices"? Smartphones and tablets might better be called just wireless devices, because people use them while out and about comparatively rarely.

So said Olivier Baujard, Deutsche Telekom's chief technology officer, speaking here at the Broadband World Forum. He based his conclusion on data from the Netherlands, where 45 percent of traffic is from home, 45 percent is from work, and only 10 percent is while "walking, driving a car, taking a bus, or things like that."

"It's more a wireless experience than a true mobile experience," Baujard said. &… Read more

BitTorrent offers tech to decongest ISPs' networks

LA DEFENSE, France--BitTorrent, a company that's enabled network-crushing levels of file sharing, can be seen as Internet service providers' natural opponent. But the company's chief executive today entered the lion's den with a surprising message:

"I'm actually here to help."

How? In a speech at the Broadband World Forum here, BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker tried to build enthusiasm for his company's Micro Transport Protocol, or μTP, an open-source technology that's built into the company's client software for sharing files over peer-to-peer connections. μTP increases network efficiency and addresses congestion--the biggest concern … Read more

Google to government: Let us build a faster Net

LA DEFENSE, France--Governments are eager for the benefits of high-speed Internet access, but if they really want it, they need to reform regulations to help those who would build it, a Google executive argued today.

"Regulation can get in the way of innovation," said Kevin Lo, who as general manager of access oversees the Google Fiber project to bring extremely fast Net access to Kansas City in Missouri and Kansas. "Regulations tied to physical infrastructure sometimes defer the investment altogether," he said in a speech at Broadband World Forum here.

Tension between private-sector ambitions and public-sector … Read more