Discuss: Television over 5G

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January 5, 2017 at 05:41:48
Specs: Windows 7, 1.4 GHz / 5610 MB
Hi all,

This week's poll question is about news that AT&T is testing using 5G to deliver DirecTV to subscribers. Discuss here if you think that wireless cellular will eventually replace other forms of connectivity, and, if you like, the poll results themselves.


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January 5, 2017 at 15:30:54
AT & T does not want to spend the kind of cash is would take to upgrade their infrastructure so they are trying to sell alternate methods of delivery.

IMHO, fiber optic cable has unlimited capability but of course it is expensive. U-verse is currently using pairs of un-shielded copper wire to deliver their services the last mile to homes & businesses.

That worked for a while but eventually they couldn't push anymore data thru 60 year old cables so they came up with using Direct TV for the video services.

Now, evidently they think wireless will work for them. They may pull that off initially but I don't think it can compete with firer optic cable.

What America needs is a robust fiber optic system that is NOT owned by any content provider and would provide bandwidth on the system to all comers at the same rate, without restriction.

The main advantage to this model would be the elimination of duplicate systems.

Unfortunately I don't think this will ever happen.

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January 8, 2017 at 03:36:35
Hi Othehill,

I am not sure I agree with you, in that fibre optic cable has unlimited capability.

At busy times, it is clearly slower and is`only as fast as the fastest link in one's connection.

Fibre cable has been around for over 25 years. Originally used in the same way as copper, but now plus broadband. With Broadband ever more data is being pushed through such as films and tv channels..ISP's are already concerned at the volumes involved.

I believe here in the UK, one's connection is shared with other users and works by the router only accepting packets addressed to itself.

'You cannot get a quart out of a pint pot' still applies.

Regards - Mike

message edited by Mike Newcomb

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January 8, 2017 at 07:23:01
Mike, I think you are faulting fiber optic for the failings of an entire system. The speed of any connection will only be as fast as the slowest part.

Since the advent of cable TV and broad band internet, the issue has been for the hardware to catch up to the content. As computers got faster, things like the quality of the graphics improved dramatically. That negates much of the speed gains.

Fiber cable technology is only using a fraction of the capability. For one thing, fiber can compress packets just like cable does. I assume this still has more potential. The other thing that can be done is fiber can carry multiple wave lengths simultaneously. I don't think that is currently being done but is possible.

Additionally, the installation of fiber is the bulk of the cost. So installing a cable with more fibers can be cost effective. In short, fiber has all kinds of growth potential, as opposed to coax or wireless.

The issues you site are not caused by any limitation in fiber but in the other parts of the entire system. Most systems are using at least some fiber optic cable but few are using a completely closed fiber system. Even then, they are still connecting to slower technology somewhere in the loop.

Going back to multiple wavelengths of light in use together. I THINK, this is strictly an economic issue at this time. I assume it is cheaper to add more fiber than to complicate the technology by sending multiple threads of different color light simultaneously.

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January 8, 2017 at 17:29:18
DWDM is very much in use by Telco operators for long distance (terrestrial) connectivity. Submarine cables use DWDM technology. For now the limiting factor for optical fiber networks is the equipment connected to it.

The current trend for Telco's is to run optical cables to office buildings and new high-rise flats. It is up to the building management what infrastructure to use towards the subscribers; optical or copper.

Similar for suburban areas (FTTC) where optical cables terminate on strategic places and use the existing copper network as "last mile" to the subscribers. This way extending copper cable life.

New developments could put fiber optics in place during construction. It all depends on economics; who does/pay what. In my opinion, Local Governments should build/manage new optical networks and lease it out to Telco's or ISP's, avoiding a mesh of parallel cables from different providers.

Eventually FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) will replace copper (telephone and CATV) over time. Here in my village they covered the place with overhead optical cables withing a week. Every street has a few poles with connector-boxes mounted. From there they run a "pigtail" (single fiber cable or what we call an optical patch cord) to subscribers home. My connection is 200 meters away from the connector-box. It is amazing how strong these optical cables are.

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January 8, 2017 at 20:21:19
sluc, I know most of what you stated above. I am the chairman of our township cable committee. Unfortunately in the USA I don't hold out too much hope for a better system. I have preached for development of a system where fiber optical cable would be installed as an exclusive delivery system. The company owning and leasing bandwidth to providers would not be able to compete with them. Furthermore, no provider would be able to own content or channels. This is pie in the sky though. The way business works in the states I don't see this ever happening.

I have expounded on this topic here in the past.

When Verizon first rolled out FIOS, the cost to pass each home on a street was North of $900. If you figure they only get a third of those homes, they need to recover $2700 from that customer before any profits come in. That makes it too expensive to have multiple providers.

Verizon and Google have installed total fiber systems in a number of communities and cities.

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