USA - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media


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Network neutrality promising major changes to fixed and mobile broadband service conditions

The US broadband market is currently witnessing significant investment activity in fibre deployments, HFC upgrades and mobile broadband network rollouts. Much of the investment in fibre is being undertaken by a significant number of smaller players and municipalities rather than the two key telcos, which are concentrating on a hybrid fibre/copper network. The activities of market players such as Google, Cincinnati Bell and others have encouraged smaller carriers to continue to deploy fibre deeper into their networks.

Broadband services in most regions still lack effective competition, with the AT&T and Verizon managing an effective duopoly in many areas of the country. Municipal activity, often geared at breaking this stranglehold and introducing competition and innovation, continues to be stymied by lobbying pressure from these main telcos, which has led to at least 19 states banning or restricting municipal or state-led infrastructure projects.

There is now a growing consensus, supported by the President in his 2015 State of the Union address, that such restrictions should be lifted. The FCC Chairman also in February 2015 proposed measures which would reclassify broadband as a telecom service rather than a content service, and would extend network neutrality conditions to mobile broadband services. The FCC is also determined to use its authority to override restrictive state laws.

The US mobile subscriber base is approaching 340 million, and although growth has slowed with higher penetration levels, mobile data use remains strong in line with the fast development of LTE networks and the high take-up of smartphones, which now account for about 80% of all handset devices on mobile networks. Data revenue also continues to grow steadily year-on-year, though is subject to considerable price competition among the main players. A potential shift market dynamics can be expected in coming years following the FCC’s recommendation that mobile broadband be subject to network neutrality rules.

Key developments:

  • Google Fibre extended to four more cities;
  • C Spire adopts Google Fiber’s strategy to build out fibre in Mississippi;
  • fibre extends to more than 39% of commercial buildings;
  • AT&T to invest $14 billion in LTE and U-verse network to 2015;
  • FCC proposes new net neutrality measures, also to cover mobile broadband;
  • State of the Union address promotes end to state legislation banning municipal broadband networks;;
  • Frontier acquires Verizon’s wireline assets in three western states for $10.5 billion;
  • New York state proposal for $1 billion investment in broadband infrastructure, using state and private funds;
  • Next Century Cities program expands to 50 cities developing affordable broadband solutions;
  • USDA makes available $190.5 million in loans and grants for rural broadband;
  • FCC rules 25Mb/s as a newly defined broadband speed;
  • Liberty Media to spin off new Liberty Broadband Group;
  • FCC approves $2 billion to improve WiFi to schools;
  • FCC concludes AWS auction, securing $44.9 billion;
  • AT&T to close down 2G infrastructure by end-2016;
  • telcos’ operating and financial data to Q4 2014;
  • recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report

Verizon; Google; AT&T; CenturyLink, Clearwire; Sprint; MetroPCS; US Cellular; Qwest; Frontier; Windstream; Fairpoint; Cincinnati Bell; Comcast; HughesNet; ViaSat, T-Mobile US, Tracfone, MetroPCS Communications, Leap Wireless, Frontline, Alltel.

1. Fibre-to-the-Home Market
1.1 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
1.1.1 Analysis
1.1.2 Overview
1.1.3 FttP network rollout
1.2 Policy and regulation framework
1.2.1 National Broadband Plan
1.2.2 Network Neutrality regulation
1.2.3 Gigabit City Challenge
1.3 Public (ILEC, CLEC and Municipal) FttP networks
1.3.1 Municipalities
1.3.2 Google Fiber
1.3.3 Other projects
1.4 RBOC FttP roll-out
1.4.1 Verizon
1.4.2 AT&T
1.4.3 CenturyLink
1.4.4 Cox Communications
1.4.5 Cincinnati Bell
1.4.6 Regulatory considerations
1.5 FttP Forecasts

2. Broadband Market
2.1 US broadband market
2.1.1 Broadband market overview
2.1.2 Broadband market statistics
2.2 Policy and regulation framework
2.2.1 Network regulation overview
2.2.2 Broadband stimulus package
2.2.3 FCC’s National Broadband Plan
2.2.4 Migration from copper to fibre
2.2.5 FCC change of chairman – opportunities to advance telecoms
2.2.6 FCC calls for more competition
2.2.7 Presidential support for municipal broadband
2.2.8 Gigabit City Challenge
2.2.9 Universal Service Fund
2.2.10 E-Rate Fund
2.2.11 Private networks
2.2.12 Network neutrality
2.3 Cable broadband
2.3.1 New technologies
2.3.2 Cable broadband statistics
2.4 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
2.4.1 DSL overview
2.4.2 Verizon
2.4.3 AT&T
2.4.4 Frontier Communications
2.4.5 DSL statistics
2.5 PLC
2.6 Fixed wireless broadband
2.6.1 Overview
2.6.2 WiFi
2.6.3 WiMAX
2.6.4 Municipal wireless broadband
2.6.5 State and municipal deployments
2.6.6 Satellite broadband
2.7 E-services
2.7.1 E-entertainment
2.7.2 E-health
2.7.3 E-government
2.7.4 E-education
2.8 E-commerce, m-commerce and online advertising
2.8.1 E-commerce
2.9 Broadband Forecasts
2.9.1 Overview

3. Mobile Communications
3.1 Market overview and analysis
3.1.1 Public Safety Network
3.1.2 Auction delay
3.2 Regulator support
3.3 Mobile statistics
3.3.1 Market statistics
3.3.2 Mobile carrier statistics
3.3.3 ARPU statistics
3.4 Spectrum developments
3.4.1 AWS spectrum
3.4.2 800MHz
3.4.3 2GHz
3.4.4 700MHz
3.4.5 1900MHz
3.4.6 Spectrum swaps and acquisitions
3.5 Mobile network operators
3.5.1 Industry body
3.5.2 AT&T
3.5.3 Verizon
3.5.4 T-Mobile US
3.5.5 MetroPCS
3.5.6 Sprint Corporation
3.5.7 MVNOs
3.6 Mobile broadband developments
3.6.1 Third Generation mobile (3G)
3.6.2 High Seed Packet Access (HSPA)
3.6.3 4G network investments
3.6.4 Fixed-line backhaul
3.6.5 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
3.7 Mobile data applications
3.7.1 Overview
3.7.2 Mobile internet
3.7.3 Mobile music
3.7.4 Mobile TV
3.7.5 Mobile VoIP (VoLTE)
3.7.6 Non-voice messaging
3.7.7 Push-to-Talk (PTT)
3.7.8 Smartphone market
3.7.9 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
3.7.10 M-payment
3.7.11 M-commerce
3.8 Mobile Forecasts

Table 1 – FttP homes passed and connected – 2001 - 2013
Table 2 – FttP market share by type of provider – 2006 - 2010
Table 3 – Non-RBOC and overall FttP take-up rates – 2002 – 2011
Table 4 – Verizon wireline (FiOS) operational data – 2010 - 2014
Table 5 – Forecast FttP homes passed, connected and penetration – low growth scenario – 2011 - 2016
Table 6 – Forecast FttP homes passed, connected and penetration – high growth scenario – 2011 - 2016
Table 7 - US internet users and penetration – 2000 – 2014
Table 8 – Broadband (fixed and fixed wireless) subscribers and penetration – 2000 - 2014
Table 9 – Fixed-line broadband penetration, by population and household – 2000 - 2015
Table 10 – USA broadband penetration and OECD ranking – 2001 - 2013
Table 11 – Broadband connections by data speeds – 2010 - 2013
Table 12 – Market competition: proportion of broadband subscribers by speed band – 2014
Table 13 – US cable industry infrastructure expenditure – 2000 - 2012
Table 14 – Top 10 cable MSOs’ coverage, subscribers and penetration by technology – 2010; 2012 - 2014
Table 15 – US cable modem subscribers – 2000 - 2015
Table 16 – Subscribers for top cable modem providers – 2007 - 2014
Table 17 – Verizon wireline (FiOS) operational data – 2010 - 2014
Table 18 – AT&T operational data – 2011 - 2014
Table 19 – AT&T financial data – 2011 - 2014
Table 20 – Frontier Communications revenue – 2008 - 2014
Table 21 – Frontier Communications customers by sector – 2011 - 2014
Table 22 – DSL subscribers – 2000 - 2015
Table 23 – DSL subscribers by major carrier – 2008 - 2014
Table 24 - Online retail sales – 2003 – 2014
Table 25 – Forecast broadband subscribers and penetration – lower growth scenario – 2010 - 2016
Table 26 – Forecast broadband subscribers and penetration – higher growth scenario – 2010 - 2016
Table 27 – Prepaid subscribers and market share – 2008 - 2014
Table 28 – Mobile market revenue, roamer revenue, ARPU – 2000 - 2014
Table 29 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2002 - 2015
Table 30 – AT&T wireless financial data – 2009 - 2014
Table 31 – AT&T wireless financial data by sector– 2010 - 2013
Table 32 – AT&T wireless subscribers – 2002 - 2014
Table 33 – Verizon wireless financial data by sector– 2010 - 2014
Table 34 – Verizon wireless subscribers – 2005 - 2014
Table 35 – T-Mobile wireless subscribers – 2003 - 2014
Table 36 – T-Mobile USA ARPU (annualised) – 2009 - 2014
Table 37 – T-Mobile USA financial data (€) – 2009 - 2014
Table 38 – MetroPCS financial data – 2007 - 2012
Table 39 – MetroPCS financial data – 2007 - 2012
Table 40 – Sprint financial data – 2009 - 2014
Table 41 – Sprint subscribers – 2010 - 2014
Table 42 – Sprint blended ARPU – 2010 - 2014
Table 43 – Mobile data traffic – 2011 - 2015
Table 44 – Verizon Wireless LTE device on network– 2011 - 2014
Table 45 – Wireless data revenue – 2009 - 2014
Table 46 – Messaging traffic (SMS, MMS) – 2009 - 2014
Table 47 – Tablets, smartphones in use – 2009 - 2013
Table 48 – Handset market share by manufacturer – 2011 - 2012
Table 49 – Handset sales by manufacturer – 2011 - 2012
Table 50 – Handset market share by platform – 2012 - 2013
Table 51 – M2M connections – 2009 - 2016
Table 52 – Forecast mobile broadband users and mobile services revenue growth – lower growth cenario – 2011 - 2016
Table 53 – Forecast mobile broadband users and mobile revenue growth – higher growth scenario – 2011 - 2016

Chart 1 – FttP homes passed and connected – 2001 – 2013
Chart 2 – Non-RBOC and overall FttP take-up rates – 2002 – 2011
Chart 3 – Verizon wireline (FiOS) operational data – 2010 – 2014
Chart 4 – AT&T operational data – 2011 – 2014
Chart 5 – AT&T financial data – 2011 – 2014
Chart 6 – AT&T wireless financial data – 2004 – 2014
Chart 7 – Verizon wireless financial data by sector– 2010 – 2014
Chart 8 – Verizon wireless subscribers – 2010 – 2014
Chart 9 – T-Mobile USA subscribers – 2009 – 2014
Chart 10 – T-Mobile USA financial data (€) – 2009 – 2014
Chart 11 – Sprint financial data – 2009 – 2014
Chart 12 – Sprint operating data – 2010 – 2014
Exhibit 1 – Status of RBOC fibre network build out
Exhibit 2 – Cable broadband drives cable VoIP
Exhibit 3 – AWS spectrum auction – January 2015