Virgin Media to Add 1 Million FTTH Connections; BT to Add 2 Million

Virgin Media, owned by Liberty Global has said it will use fiber to home to connect about a million U.K. homes by 2019. That is historically unusual, as cable operators have insisted loudly that the hybrid fiber coax network is extensible enough to underpin the business. The Virgin Media decision is a rather major step towards use of a physical media platform suggesting Virgin sees an end to HFC as a market-leading platform. To be sure, there is a key difference between the protocols telcos normally run when deploying FTTH and what Virgin Media will do.

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Virgin Media to Add 1 Million FTTH Connections; BT to Add 2 Million

OneWeb Raises $500 Million, Places Rocket and Launch Orders

OneWeb has raised $500 million of funding from Airbus Group, Bharti Enterprises, Hughes Network Systems, a subsidiary of EchoStar Corp., Intelsat, Qualcomm Incorporated, The Coca-Cola Company, the Virgin Group, and Totalplay, a Grupo Salinas Company, owned by Ricardo B. Salinas. The OneWeb user terminals are optionally solar powered, and support Long Term Evolution 4G, 3G, 2G and Wi-Fi access, suggesting the business model for OneWeb’s new fleet of low earth orbit satellites, namely trunking to mobile operator cell towers, with end user access using either Wi-Fi or mobile network protocols. The network will also provide service to ships, planes, trains and oil platforms and interoperability with Intelsat’s fleet of Ku-band satellites. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises and Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus Group will be joining Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, Dr

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OneWeb Raises $500 Million, Places Rocket and Launch Orders

UK Regulator: BT Cannot Set Wholesale or Retail High Speed Access Rates "Too Low"

Facilities-based competition might be the best alternative, where it is possible, but competition based on wholesale access often is the only available choice to regulators. But there are some obvious limits to the degree of innovation possible when the range of features is fixed, by definition. Since all contestants use the same platform, the services and features also will be the same. The other problem is the range of pricing options

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UK Regulator: BT Cannot Set Wholesale or Retail High Speed Access Rates "Too Low"

Netflix makes headway with cable, but true integration is a long way off

Netflix may have been traditionally been one of cable operators' marked enemies, but through its partnership with TiVo it recently secured deals to carry its app over both Com Hem in Sweden and Virgin Media in the U.K.

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Netflix makes headway with cable, but true integration is a long way off

Municipal Broadband Sometimes is Not a Good Idea

Digital Region Limited

Voice Erosion Now "Alarming" in Some Markets?

Though the trend is not always quite so obvious in the U.S. and Canada telecom markets, erosion of fixed network voice lines is assuming alarming proportions in some markets, including the United Kingdom.

Would You Pay $600 for an Apple iPhone?

Leap Wireless and Virgin Mobile are betting that users will pay $500 to $600 for an Apple iPhone, at full retail prices. AT&T thinks they will not do so. It is possible, perhaps likely, that the actual answer will be that some users will do so, but that most will not want to do so. The answer obviously matters greatly for Leap (Cricket) and Virgin Mobile, as well as for all other mobile service providers that clearly would prefer to reduce the amount of money they tie up in device subsidies. Leap Wireless has committed to buy nearly $1 billion of iPhones over the next three years that it hopes to sell at a partially subsidized price of at least $400 for the iPhone 4 and $500 for the iPhone 4S.

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Would You Pay $600 for an Apple iPhone?

Virgin Media selects Transmode as preferred supplier for metro optical WDM

Transmode Systems AB

Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile offer veterans a simplified deal

Service men and women can now keep their Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile accounts without being bothered to “top-up” while deployed.

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Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile offer veterans a simplified deal

1/2 of New Virgin Media, BT Broadband Connections are for 30 Mbps or Faster

About half of new connections for high-speed broadband service at Virgin Media and BT in the United Kingdom are for service at 30 Mbps or faster. That is a pretty big deal, as up to this point, take rates for “super fast” service have been fairly minimal.

CenturyLink’s Savvis to power Virgin Media’s cloud service drive

CenturyLink’s ( NYSE: CTL ) Savvis has become the engine behind UK-based Virgin Media’s ( Nasdaq: VMED ) new cloud and data center service. Leveraging its own fiber and HFC-based network and Savvis’ private data center (VPDC), Virgin Media plans to serve up a contract-free cloud service that will be delivered to businesses on a pay-as-you-go basis. Targeted initially at

Sprint to Introduce 10 New Motorola Devices using Android

Sprint and its prepaid brands of Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA will launch more than 10 new Motorola wireless devices in 2011, all using Android, and including smartphones, tablets and best-in-class Push-to-Talk devices. Two new devices were announced June 9, 2011, including the iconic Motorola PHOTON 4G, Motorola’s first Sprint 4G device with a dual-core 1GHz processor, Android 2.3, Sprint ID and worldphone capabilities, and Motorola TRIUMPH, the first Virgin Mobile USA device from Motorola. Sprint and Motorola Forge Renewed Business Relationship That Extends Device Innovation

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Sprint to Introduce 10 New Motorola Devices using Android

BT cuts costs on wireline to wireless calls, but competitors say it’s too little, too late

BT Retail ( NYSE: BT ) thinks it can one-up its competitors with lower cost calling between wireline and wireless calls. Fueled by a decision made by the U.K.’s telecom regulator Ofcom to reduce mobile termination rates, the incumbent has reduced the cost of U.K. wireline to wireless phone calls, cutting the cost of evening calls from wireline phones to mobile phones 24 percent from GBP0.07 (US$0.11) per minute to GBP 0.053 (US$.086).

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BT cuts costs on wireline to wireless calls, but competitors say it’s too little, too late

Fujitsu plans to build rural UK open access fiber network

Fujitsu has hatched a plan to build an open access fiber-based broadband network in the rural UK with service provider partners TalkTalk ( LSE: TALK ) and Virgin Media ( Nasdaq: VMED ) and vendor Cisco ( Nasdaq: CSCO ). Touted as a “groundbreaking and innovative alternative” to BT Openreach’s ( NYSE: BT ) own rural fiber broadband effort, Fujitsu’s plan will deliver fiber-based broadband to about five million rural sites. Ultimately, the Fujitsu-led group would like to tap into the UK government’s

Sprint Makes More Progress

Sprint’s fourth quarter highlighted a company that has rebounded nicely, with almost 1.1 million net subscriber additions includng prepaid and postpaid customers. Sprint added 58,000 postpaid subscribers, 519,000 net subscribers to its brand and prepaid subscribers of 646,000 to the Virgin Mobile, Assurance Wireless and Boost Mobile brands. Overall, Sprint added almost 1.1 million wireless subscribers—the most additions since the first and second quarters of 2006. Postpaid churn also improved to 1.86 percent in the fourth quarter compared to 2.11 percent a year ago

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Sprint Makes More Progress

Shift to Prepaid Wireless Continues

I doubt this is news to anybody who follows subscriber trends in wireless, but prepaid accounts continue to grow, accelerating through all of 2009 and 2010 so far. Up to a point that might be considered a good thing for

Virgin tests viability of aerial-based FTTH connections

Virgin Media is increasing its push to challenge BT in the broadband race by testing the effectiveness of Fiber to the Home (FTTH) by running fiber cable in aerial telephone pole deployments. The trial, which will bring 50 Mbps service speeds to the Berkshire village of Woolhampton, is part of the service provider’s broader plan to bring FTTH to 500,000 homes. Although Virgin Media currently serves 12.6 million homes with an underground fiber network, Virgin said that an aerial deployment could enable it to target more than 1 million new homes. “This unique trial will allow us to understand the possibilities of aerial deployment and may provide an exciting new way to extend next generation broadband services,” said Virgin Media’s CEO Neil Berkett in a release

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Virgin tests viability of aerial-based FTTH connections

Virgin Media picks business services fight with BT

Already a thorn in BT’s consumer broadband side, Virgin Media hopes it can do the same in the business segment through the launch of Virgin Media Business. The new division, which is really a rebranded ntl:Telewest Business, has put forth an ambitious strategy to become what it describes as a ‘compelling alternative to BT.’ To battle BT for business dollars, Virgin Media Business will leverage its established set of 40 UK-based offices to target mid-sized businesses and government divisions. Over its next-gen fiber network, the service provider will deliver a number of core technology services, including an expanded Ethernet service portfolio (Metro point-to-point Ethernet, national point-to-point/multipoint and any-to-any Ethernet VPNs). Complementing its service set, Virgin will be an integrated customer portal that will enable various functions, including fault and order management, online billing and customer self-provisioning.

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Virgin Media picks business services fight with BT

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