In some ways, 2015 was a great deal about a technology that A) doesn't yet exist; B) isn't even defined by standards bodies and C) won't come to fruition for four or five years, by most accounts. That technology is 5G, and if you don't know what all the fuss is about, don't worry. You will soon enough.
As we end another year here at FierceTelecom, it's time to reflect on the major news themes of the past year in the telecom industry's wireline segment. For this issue of FierceTelecom, we are serving up our seventh annual Year in Review issue. The year 2015 was a time again of transition and, arguably, disruption in the wireline segment on three fronts: regulatory, consolidation, and technology.
AT&T, CenturyLink, Level 3, Verizon Business and a host of other service providers got their tickets to participate in the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to compete for contracts worth up to $4.3 billion.
Verizon said it is concerned that the FCC's proposed new rules that would require submarine cable operators to report outages to the regulator could place burdensome requirements on submarine cable providers.
The global number of cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) subscribers is expected to reach 265.2 million at the end of 2015.
Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam paid a visit to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's office last week where he urged the commission to act quickly to make spectrum bands above 24 GHz available for mobile broadband. He also made a point to describe how LTE-U will allow wireless companies to provide customers with a better broadband experience, according to a Verizon ex parte filing with the FCC.
A study by Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Sweden's Omnitor into real-time text (RTT) concludes that RTT together with audio and video in smartphones with additional alerting features is the way to go for accessible electronic communication.
Heading into 2016, the Wi-Fi Alliance is confident the industry can reach a consensus on LTE-U in unlicensed spectrum, and it's demonstrating its ability to bring a diverse set of stakeholders to the table that are committed to develop a testing system that ensures LTE-U products fairly coexist with Wi-Fi. All of which is key if the industry is to avoid tighter scrutiny by the FCC.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler sent letters to Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, summoning them to a Jan. 15 meeting to explain their various data-cap exemptions.
A couple weeks after rival Verizon announced the availability of the world's first Cat 1 LTE network features for the Internet of Things, AT&T wants to make sure everyone is aware that it signed more than 300 IoT deals in 2015-- and ended up connecting 25 million connected devices to boot.