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DSL/vectoring/G.fast

Will Verizon Abandon DSL for Mobile Broadband?

Verizon Wireless 's deal to acquire Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum from cable's SpectrumCo camp may be the final nail in the coffin of DSL, as the operator could end up replacing the fixed service with bundled broadband wireless access.

Verizon Wireless parent company Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) hasn't specifically outlined plans for the fixed-line service, but the carrier has been deemphasizing it for years now. With the extra capacity on the way for Long Term Evolution (LTE) from Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks , as well as a complementary services relationship with those MSOs, Verizon may have little need left for the wireline tech now. (See MSOs Sell AWS Spectrum to Verizon for $3.6B , MSO Deal Not Verizon's Spectrum 'End Game' , Charter Sizes Up Verizon Wireless Opportunity and Verizon Wireless: Cable’s New BFF.)

"If you read into the co-marketing, resale and technology integration terms of the cable–Verizon Wireless hook-up, you could surmise that Verizon intends to package mobile broadband services with cable's wireline broadband and video services as a bundle," Telecompetitor analyst and Light Reading contributor Bernie Arnason writes on his blog.

In territories where Verizon doesn't offer its fiber-based FiOS services, and that's most of them today, it could instead offer a new type of cable-mobile broadband bundle, washing its hands entirely of DSL, he adds.

Arnason believes that Verizon has around 40 million to 60 million customers, as well as portions of its retail footprint, that are not served by cable or FiOS, making them potential targets for this new bundle.

This would spell trouble for the DSL offers from competitors like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) and Frontier Communications Corp. (NYSE: FTR). Heavy Reading analyst Berge Ayvazian believes, however, that Verizon will only use its coveted Long Term Evolution (LTE) spectrum to deliver basic broadband in rural areas where it's the only option to reach them.

End of the road for FiOS
While DSL's long-term future with Verizon appears to be in some doubt, the company is a bit more sure about how much more certain about its future buildout of FiOS. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told investors at the UBS AG conference Wednesday that "for now the bottom line is we are going to build out what we said and not any more."

But he did leave some wiggle room, noting that Verizon could "reevaluate" that later if it can get more favorable economics by getting more efficient on the ONTs [optical network terminals] and with the gear that that's required inside FiOS households.

McAdam wouldn't commit to a completion date for the FiOS buildout, only saying it should reach the end in a couple of years, and perhaps four at the most. The carrier is at about 15.8 million homes passed now, and likely to reach 17 million to 18 million when it's done.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:47:05 PM
re: Will Verizon Abandon DSL for Mobile Broadband?

I dunno. I think about how spotty cellular service generally is (across all carriers, all devices). I'd rather have a wired connection coming to my home, even if it cost more.


 


re: "This would spell trouble for the DSL offers from competitors like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) and Frontier Communications Corp. (NYSE: FTR)." 

steve q 12/5/2012 | 4:47:04 PM
re: Will Verizon Abandon DSL for Mobile Broadband?

The only problem about telling those customer to leave dsl and hope that the wireless can save will be the end of 1/2 the people with a computer.The best thing is for the fois to move to bigger area and verizon find the right people that understand the fiber optic , so they can copy what dsl gave to everyone simply service. And let the cable company do the tv part with everything moving to the internet tv will be like movie stores and verizon with there fiber network will still win.

jdbower 12/5/2012 | 4:47:02 PM
re: Will Verizon Abandon DSL for Mobile Broadband?

Fixed LTE is a much simpler problem than mobile LTE.  Fixed LTE could be brought to you with a big, amplified antenna in your attic and power consumption isn't nearly the concern it is with a pocket-sized MiFi device.  A bigger concern would be metered billing, I have no idea how much BW I use on my wired connection but it's probably well in excess of 10GB per month.

pivotmedia 12/5/2012 | 4:47:01 PM
re: Will Verizon Abandon DSL for Mobile Broadband?

One of the things that's getting somewhat lost in the translation of my original post is I'm suggesting that in these non FiOS territories, Verizon may be forfeiting the wireline broadband connection to the home, in effect giving that business to their new 'cable partner.' It's not that they are going to try to substitute wireline broadband with LTE. They are going to let their cable partner take care of the wireline connection to the home and be content with being the mobile broadband provider. It's a land grab, or maybe in this case, an air grab to be the dominant mobile broadband provider in all markets. Partnering with cable companies just gives them another channel to reach domination, and spend less time and capex worrying about those pesky little wireline broadband connections outside of FiOS territories.


They want to be a LTE and FiOS company. Their DSL territories (and everyone else's for that matter) - the hell with them. They'll let their cable partners fight over those scraps.


 


Bernie

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:47:01 PM
re: Will Verizon Abandon DSL for Mobile Broadband?

I have no idea how much BW I use either. I think this year is a record breaker since my family discovered the greatness of HBO GO.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:46:59 PM
re: Will Verizon Abandon DSL for Mobile Broadband?

pivot,


I think the plan in the medium to long term is that Verizon owns NO non-FiOS properties in its Wireline Group.


They sold a bunch of lines to Fairpoint, then another batch to Frontier.  There are some more to go but I think over time as they can they will continue to dump non-FiOS properties.  Note both Fairpoint and Frontier picked up a couple of FiOS properties as part of this.


That has been the plan since the start of FiOS.


seven


 

kaps 12/5/2012 | 4:46:59 PM
re: Will Verizon Abandon DSL for Mobile Broadband?

And let's not forget that the new CEO and chairman of the company came from the wireless side of the biz. Pretty clear where the VZN boat is being steered, and it ain't toward wires in the ground.

kaps 12/5/2012 | 4:46:59 PM
re: Will Verizon Abandon DSL for Mobile Broadband?

And let's not forget that the new CEO and chairman of the company came from the wireless side of the biz. Pretty clear where the VZN boat is being steered, and it ain't toward wires in the ground.

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