Tech / Telecom news — 15 Dec 2016

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Video

AT&T’s DirecTV Now streaming app seems to be having problems to broadcast live sports, the least mature content for streaming due to real-time requirements. Multiple outages reported these days, with some users meeting blank screens while watching. This is in addition to previously known licensing restrictions (Story)

Meanwhile, Amazon is expanding its streaming video app worldwide, with the only big exception of China, where there are regulation and censorship limitations. The service is typically commercialised in a bundle with the Amazon Prime subscription, as expected, and the expansion creates new competitive stress for Netflix (Story)

Twitter just announced the possibility to broadcast video from their core app: One more sign that new video formats, with final users playing a role as broadcasters, are a key growth priority for social networks (also for Facebook). It remains to be seen if these players will do to mainstream video/TV what they did to newspapers (Story)

Enterprise / Cloud

A key issue for General Electric to deliver on its vision to enable the digital transformation of industry is the need to connect on-premises sensors, extracting local data, with the Cloud. GE is developing basic networking hardware to make the connection easier and address some clients’ concerns on potential loss of control (Story)

Components

Nvidia, the current star of the chip industry, with its GPU processors at the core of both the AI and the VR revolutions, is now selling a very expensive super-computer, with 8 high end GPUs and pre-installed Machine Learning software that apparently would enable companies to train AI algorithms more easily and faster (Story)

NETWORK TECHNOLOGY

Verizon expanding their trials of 5G as a technology to provide fixed wireless services, which many agree will be the first application of the new radio technology. They’re now seeking FCC permission to test this in 4 states, using the 28 GHz spectrum. In an analyst meeting yesterday, this was presented as a key priority (Story)

Related to this, and after the meeting yesterday, some analysts are expecting Verizon to do more acquisitions of metro fibre companies in the US, in addition to the deal under way with XO Communications (40 markets, 4,000 buildings), to provide fibre backhaul for small cells across the country (and also to serve SMEs) (Story)

SECURITY

Yahoo! has just revealed a new hack, apparently happened in 2013 and twice as large as the previously known from 2014, affecting more than 1bn accounts (!), the largest ever theft of personal data. The deal with Verizon was already compromised, but this could be a fatal blow, even if they say that “all options are open” (Story)

M&A MOVES

Tech-journalist W Mossberg made the case against the Time Warner — AT&T deal, claiming it implies an “unhealthy concentration of power” and a threat to smaller players, particularly if AT&T applies “zero-rating” data pricing to own content. He joked about operators being “permanently unhappy” even if they’re successful (Story)

In their meeting with analysts yesterday, Verizon denied previous rumours of an interest in CBS, as “traditional” media is out of current Verizon scope to become a specialist in new digital, “millennial-oriented” content. However, new uncertainties may appear in their M&A strategy after Yahoo! revelations (also yesterday) (Story)