Records fall as high-speed Internet
piles up the numbers
It was a quarter both DSL and cable broadband providers should
be smiling about. At least that's the indication from the
latest numbers from Leichtman Research Group. LRG's fresh
report found that the 20 largest cable and DSL providers in
the U.S., representing about 94 percent of the market, achieved
record net high-speed Internet additions in 2005, as more
than 9.6 million new subscribers signed up for Internet service.
DSL service provider smiles may be a bit wider than cable's,
however, as that group had the bulk, 57 percent, of the gains
in Q4 2005.
Some key findings include:
- By the end of 2005, the top broadband providers accounted
for nearly 43 million high-speed Internet subscribers.
- The top cable broadband providers now have a 57 percent
share of the overall market versus DSL. That equates to
24.3 million high-speed subs for cable, and 18.5 million
- The top DSL providers netted 54 percent of the broadband
additions in 2005.
- DSL providers added 5.2 million broadband subscribers
in 2005-about one million more than in 2004.
- Cable operators added about 4.4 million broadband subscribers
in 2005-about the same as they did in 2004.
- The fourth quarter of 2005 was the best ever for DSL providers,
as they added nearly 1.5 million net additional subscribers
and captured 57 percent of the net 2.64 million high-speed
Internet additions for the quarter.
It doesn't take a Phi Beta Kappa to figure out that DSL is
gaining on cable. Yet, sustaining those numbers will be difficult,
and the effect of DSL gains are having little impact on cable's
high-speed growth, concludes LRG Principal Bruce Leichtman.
"Cable keeps growing at the same rate. What's changed the
market is DSL expanding the market by lowering the price.
The misconception, however, is that DSL's gains are at cable's
expense. They're not. For 2006, prudent business models will
be important because the pricing may be attracting bad subscribers,
and causing more churn. So, are they adding too many subscribers
too fast? The market has expanded because of those lower price
points," Leichtman says.
Top Broadband Internet Providers in the U.S.
Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* Adelphia subscriber counts are adjusted from prior
quarters to account for the sale of some properties.
** Includes combined LRG estimates for Cox and Bright
^ Total includes wireline broadband connections along
Top cable and DSL providers represent approximately
94% of all subscribers. Company subscriber counts may
not represent solely residential households.
Tandberg closes on SkyStream
Television has closed its previously announced $80
million acquisition of SkyStream
Networks Inc. SkyStream brings to Tandberg TV the
VOD technology and market presence Tandberg was seeking as
it adds to its existing suite of standards-based products
for IPTV, HDTV, VOD, advertising on-demand and interactive
Why the deal? SkyStream allows quick entry for Tandberg TV
into the growing Telco regional headend business, with the
prize being the burgeoning IPTV market.
Tandberg also found much to like in zBand, a "push" VOD system
from SkyStream that MovieBeam
is using to manage content delivery.
eWan1 completes test, adds
has completed the engineering, testing and integration of
its proprietary international IP-based electronic program
It will offer the EPG, dubbed, "IPtv Guide," within the company's
Global Internet Television service offering, which is set
to launch and begin IP broadcasting in near HD quality to
subscribers April 19.
IPtv Guide will be accessible "anywhere on the planet," the
company says, and in 36 languages. Subscribers will be able
to access program listings from their local markets and time
zones in addition to 75 channels of traditional broadcast
television initially offered by eWan1.
So what's the big deal? The guide will include interactivity
with eWan's time-shifted feature set, "EVO," which is similar
(hey, it even rhymes) to TiVo. The guide will also allow travelers
to tune in to personal preference programs at anytime, anyplace.
Modulus now packing MPEG-4
Video Inc. has launched its ME1001, a compact version
of its standard definition video encoding platform, replete
with the technology to maximize bandwidth efficiency, along
with new features to enhance IPTV services, including an embedded
low resolution proxy solution for enabling Picture-in-Picture
for Microsoft TV and Electronic Program Guide applications,
the company says.
Modulus Video's standard definition
video encoding platform, ME1001,
is hitting the shelves.
The ME1001 is a full resolution MPEG-4 AVC video encoder
with support for Main Profile video encoding at Level 3, which
Modulus says can deliver quality video at about half the bandwidth
of traditional MPEG-2.
The upside? Modulus says the ME1001 "directly addresses the
economics of IPTV," says Modulus Chairman and CEO, Bob Wilson.
Inc. is a key Modulus reseller.
Verso and Acme get connected
Verso Technologies' newly announced partnership with Acme Packet
will include products such as its Clarent Border Agent.
Inc. and Acme
Packet have announced a strategic partnership to jointly
develop integrated network solutions for service providers using
Acme Packet Net-Net session border controllers (SBC), the companies
SBCs provide control functions to enable interactive communications
across IP network borders. The partnership will allow Verso
to deploy complete solutions for interconnecting IP-based
voice, video and multimedia networks using Acme Packet's Net-Net
Communications Inc. is launching an Optical Services
Gateway platform that hooks into optical as well as VoIP systems,
the company announced.
The platform will enable systems vendors to immediately offer
an integrated services gateway to their customers. The gateway
carries Centillium's Ethernet passive optical network system
chip with the VoIP, routing and advanced security capabilities
of its Atlanta product family, the company adds.
What's the big deal? The platform will allow faster time-to-market
and lower costs and development expenses, Centillium says.
E911 support has Vonage
feeling like a million
America now has more than a million subscriber lines
with Enhanced 911 service, a service that automatically associates
a physical address with the calling party's telephone number,
the company says.
Vonage, the all Internet-based phone service company, has
been working with local 911 centers, also known as PSAPs (Public
Safety Answering Points) to address the on-going VoIP issue
of enabling E911 service with its Internet telephony service.
iBasis using Stealth tactics,
Inc. will use Stealth
Communications' Voice Peering Fabric (VPF) to offer
call termination to more than 100 countries through a single
interconnection, the companies announced. In addition, with
iBasis joining the VPF, a peering network that allows members
to exchange VoIP traffic without relying on traditional telephone
networks, the company can take advantage of the VPF ENUM Registry.
Why the connection? With iBasis joining the peering network,
it adds to Stealth's VPF's global footprint. And for iBasis,
its use of the registry will allow its VoIP calls to remain
within the IP domain, and reduce operational costs.
Cox looks to Next Generation
has enhanced its subscriber self-activation capabilities through
a partnership with Next
Generation Broadband (NGB).
Under the deal, Cox will use Auto Install III, a platform
that enables customers to install cable modems and activate
broadband service without operator intervention.
Cox high-speed Internet customers will be able to purchase
a cable modem in a store or online, plug it in, open the Internet
browser and be guided through service activation.
The bottom line? Automation, automation, automation translates
to fewer truck rolls, fewer customer service calls and, overall,
lower operational expenses.
A Cox spokesman noted that the MSO has offers the self-install
option for cable modem service for about three years, but
the arrangement with NGB marks the latest version, which accounts
for a set of new technologies that accommodate customer preferences.
Inukshuk is getting Canada
Wireless Inc. has completed the first phase of its
new wireless broadband network, which will serve 20 centers
across Canada serving more than five million households, the
Inukshuk, a joint effort of Bell
Canada and Rogers
Communications, is a next generation IP wireless network
based on pre-WiMAX standards. Rogers and Bell will spend about
$200 million (Canadian) to build out the network by 2008,
when the wireless grid will cover 100 urban and rural areas.
The pooled wireless platform leverages existing cellular towers
of both Bell and Rogers, and will allow secured data transmission
over licensed spectrum.
Amperion, Corinex pumping
up the power
Inc. and Corinex
Communications Corp. are partnering to deliver a turnkey
platform for Broadband over Power Line (BPL). The platform,
comprised of software, hardware and the services themselves
will be marketed to operators around the world.
The agreement combines Amperion's Corinex 200 Mbps Medium
Voltage, Low Voltage and Multi Dwelling Unit Powerline equipment
with Amperion's MV Couplers and network design capabilities.
What's the big deal? Amperion's customers can receive end-to-end
BPL solutions less expensively because of its access to Corinex's
powerline hardware for utility power grids and in-building
Choice One, CTC acquire
One Communications and CTC
Communications have teamed to acquire Conversent
Communications, an integrated services provider.
The three companies combined serve more than 150,000 business
customers representing more than 1.3 million access lines
equivalents, the companies report. With an emphasis in the
Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and upper Midwest regions, the network
will include a variety of voice and data services.
Kagan Research and JupiterResearch are now teammates, and
the combined company will be called JupiterKagan, Inc. The
merger creates an organization of more than 100 employees
operating out of six offices in the U.S., UK, Germany and
The two companies will continue to provide research and consulting
in the areas of media, telecommunications, the Internet and
emerging consumer technologies.