Broadband

Open Set Top Box: A Slippery Slope to À La Carte and Weakening Power of MVPDs

The FCC’s February 18, 2016 NPRM seeking to open set-top boxes (AKA “Unlock the Box”) is more than it seems. The proposal would allow consumers to watch content they are entitled to view on their cable system on other devices as well. The cable industry’s strong resistance is filled with arguments about copyright infringement and […]

The Satellite Story Today – Not a Replay of the Fiber Story of 2000 – It’s Worse!

Initially, the parallels between the fiber buildout around the turn of the twenty first century and the satellite industry today are compelling. In the late 1990s, the telecom industry increasingly poured billions of dollars into fiber. As these investments peaked, new technologies emerged to increase fiber optic capacity, including wavelength division multiplexing. This resulted in […]

Five Reasons Distribution May be King of the HTS World

Satellite distributors (including resellers/systems integrators) have long been considered the black sheep of the satellite industry. Low margins, slow growth, low barriers to entry and dependence on large FSS operators have all kept returns down. But this may be changing. High throughput satellites (HTS) are poised to increase satellite capacity roughly 250-500% over the next several […]

Industry Data Shows FCC Overstated Mobile Traffic . . . and Spectrum Demand

While an industry White Paper on spectrum demand is being offered to support the accuracy of FCC’s spectrum demand projections used in its National Broadband Plan, the data actually shows just the opposite.[i] It is difficult to ascertain the exact numbers in the graphs in the paper. However, comparing the actual numbers in the FCC projections […]

Downstream Implications of AWS-3 Auction

While there has been extensive discussion about the AWS-3 auctions, there has been less discussion about the long-term industry impacts of the auctions: 1)    Upcoming 600 MHz Auction Prices – Higher transaction prices from the AWS-3 auction could imply higher prices for the 600 MHz auction. However: With the telecom industry spending ~$45B on the […]

U-verse is the Regulatory Key to the Proposed AT&T/DIRECTV Merger

AT&T ‘s proposed $48 billion acquisition of DIRECTV is based on two simple business facts – 1) AT&T has broadband but needs a stronger video product to compete with cable; and 2) DIRERCTV needs a voice and broadband product to compete with cable. By combining services the can save money on customer service, back office […]

Five Reasons the Comcast/Time Warner Cable Anti Trust Concerns are Overbown

There has been a lot of market speculation that the Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable might be blocked on anti-trust concerns. We believe these concerns are overblown. 1) The Cable Operations Don’t Compete in the Same Markets, so Industry Concentration Doesn’t Change. The combined company would serve over 30 million homes, which initially […]

New White Paper: Right-sizing Spectrum Auction Licenses: The Case for Smaller Geographic License Areas in the TV Broadcast Incentive Auction

Summit Ridge Group, LCC  just completed a white paper covering a significant issue related to the upcoming FCC Broadcast Incentive Auction. The paper, Right-sizing Spectrum Auction Licenses: The Case for Smaller Geographic License Areas in the TV Broadcast Incentive Auction was sponsored by the Competitive Carriers Association.  The Executive Summary is below. Executive Summary The wireless […]

Is “Terrestrial Bias” a Political Problem for the Satellite Industry?

Is “Terrestrial Bias” a Political Problem for the Satellite Industry? I recently caught-up with a European wireless executive and we compared notes on the communications industry. While discussing different technologies, I mentioned the progress satellite broadband was making in various countries. He responded with an interesting insight. Simply put, local politicians are eager to support […]

“The Spectrum Handbook 2013” Released

Summit Ridge Group, LLC is pleased to announce the release of its publication, The Spectrum Handbook 2013. The 182-page publication provides an overview of spectrum-related issues globally from technical, regulatory and business perspectives while acknowledging the many public policy issues. The Handbook is intended to be a useful resource for new attorneys, bankers and government staffers […]

More Evidence on Widespread Telecom Pricing Pressure

Last week I attended the 16th Annual Oppenheimer Technology, Internet and Communications Conference in Boston. Over 100 companies also attended, with 5 to 7 presenting simultaneously in different rooms, so unfortunately I could not attend all of them and concentrated my time on the communications presentations including: American Tower [AMT], AT&T [T], Ceragon Networks [CRNT], […]

Wall Street Finally Starting to UnderstandHigh Throughput Satellites

A recent Morgan Stanley research report  suggest they are cooling on their view of SES, in part, due to the expanded capacity upcoming High Throughput Satellites (HTS) may bring the industry. Each of these satellites has 40x to 100x the capacity of a traditional single-beam satellite. The Morgan Stanley report estimates that industry capacity may increase […]

Wireless Industry Lobbying Mutes Alternative Views

The wireless industry invests roughly $30 billions of dollars annually in capital expenditures building out their networks and acquiring spectrum. The major carriers average $5 billion to $10 billion in capital expenditures each. Given that the industry is heavily regulated, it would be irresponsible for them to not protect their investment with appropriate political lobbying […]

Unbelievable Lack of Consensus on Spectrum Supply & Demand

I’ve recently spoken at several wireless industry conferences where I’ve had a chance to informally discuss various topics with a number of well-regarded U.S. industry experts. In the course of these conversations, the discussion often turned to the issue of supply and demand for wireless spectrum. While it’s normal for opinions about the future to […]

Could Incumbents Wireless Cos Dominate Unlicensed Spectrum?

Significant amounts of government spectrum are headed towards being made available for shared unlicensed use. However, industry commentators have barely analyzed the potential impact on the industry structure from the availability of this new spectrum. The common initial reaction, and one suggested in the PCAST Report is that new entrepreneurial unlicensed providers will emerge to […]

Super Wi-Fi Presentation – January 2013

I participated in a panel at the Super Wi-Fi Summit in Miami on January 31st titled, “The Financial Community and Shared Spectrum: Looking for Common Ground.” Other panelists included: Bill Evenson of CIT; Chuck Walters of Walters Associates; and Thomas Carroccio of the Law Offices of A. Thomas Carroccio PLLC (Moderator). My slides from this investment panel […]

Unlicensed Spectrum and the Challenge of Finding Investment Capital

White spaces use is becoming increasingly visible way to use spectrum more efficiently and jumpstart the use of new services. However, the industry will need significant investment in order to build a substantial industry. Traditional telecom service providers have FCC spectrum licenses that can serve as collateral for investors. White space service providers don’t have […]

The Shifting Balance Between Infrastructure vs. Service Providers Now Favoring Infrastructure

In the wireless industry hardware providers seem to be gaining the upper hand over the wireless service providers. Examining the wireless value chain, its clear that hardware and spectrum are the only areas with increased demand. The wireless service infrastructure consists of 1) spectrum; 2) network hardware; 3) network integration and management; 4) marketing, billing […]

Technology Won’t Decide the Ka-band vs. Ku-band HTS Battle

Technology Won’t Decide the Ka-band vs. Ku-band Battle for HTS Satellites The current debate about the advantages of Ka-band vs. Ku-band for next generation High Throughput Satellites (HTS) misses the point. Endless pages have been written about Ka-band advantages of higher theoretical throughput vs. Ku-bands superiority in sub-optimal weather vs. the costs of end user […]

Takeaways from Reverse Incentive Auction Webinar

Takeaways from Reverse Incentive Auction Webinar The reverse incentive auction webinar took place at Pillsbury Winthrup’s Washington DC offices yesterday December 19th.  A replay is available at  http://www.tmcnet.com/webinar/crossfire/incentive-auctions.htm  (note: paid registration required, CLE credits may be available). In addition to the opening remarks, there were three panels – Legal, Valuation and Policy. The key takeaways […]

Reverse Incentive Auction Webinar – December 19th

I’ll be moderating a valuation panel discussion as part of a three hour webinar on the FCC’s Reverse Incentive Auction process. Here is a link to the site describing the event: http://www.tmcnet.com/webinar/crossfire/incentive-auctions.htm : Incentive Auctions: What Broadcasters Need to Know A 3 Hr. a Video Virtual Event (Webinar). December 19th starting at 8:45 AM EST The discussion […]

Implications of Expected FCC Limits on DISH’s AWS-4 Spectrum

BACKGROUND The FCC recently indicated it was leaning towards limiting DISH’s use of its 40 Mhz of AWS-4 spectrum it acquired from Terrestar and DBSD North America to prevent interference with the H-block which runs from 1915 MHz to 1920 Mhz and 1995 MHz to 2000 MHz. DISH’s spectrum currently runs between 2000 Mhz and […]

Spectrum Property and Spectrum Valuation Presentations

We’ve just added two presentation to our website that might be of interest: 1) An Introductory Framework for Wireless Spectrum Valuation 2) Broadcasting Licenses: Ownership Rights and the Spectrum Rationalization Challenge: Why the Government is Buying Back its Own Spectrum. The first presentation is what the title implies — It outlines a basic framework for analyzing […]

Super WiFi Summit Takeaways

I just returned from the “Super WiFi Summit” in Austin, TX (Oct 3-5).  The range of speakers – from major companies including Microsoft and Texas Instrument to start-up entrepreneurs and various policy experts (including Blaire Levin and Michael Calabrese as well as some international policymakers)  indicated a robust WiFi industry.  A general theme was ne of disappointment in the […]

Telecom Exchange 2012

I spent an interesting day at Telecom Exchange 2012 on Wednesday June 27th at the fabled Cipriani on Wall Street. While there were also plenty of major company announcements, I’ll leave commenting on those to the many qualified industry observers and instead focus on macro connections between industry segments. The conference was a step away […]

Television Broadcast Spectrum Reclamation Through Eminent Domain Paper Published

My paper “How the Traditional Property Rights Model Informs the Television Broadcasting Spectrum Rationalization Challenge” has been published in the Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal – 34 Hastings Comm. & Ent. L.J. 145 (2012). While some of the issues have been overshadowed by recent incentive auction legislation, the conceptual framework is likely to be […]