Funny Conversations: 6G, Lumpy Fiber Deployment, and Death

6G, Broadband and DeathThrough email, Linkedin, WhatsApp, Skype, Wire, etc. I have many funny conversations with people in the industry. I share here, anonymously of course, a conversation I had recently on the future of 6G, lumpy fiber deployment, and death with a CxO.

AQ: “Enjoying my new Verizon FIOS service at the moment. Yesterday, 6 simultaneous Netflix HD streams over WiFi: 3 @RokuPlayer, PS3, PS4, & Mac! I’m writing a project for my Raspberry Pi to test the link every 5 mins to see how it holds up over the day.”

CxO: “Impressive, but I am getting 145Mbps downstream on my Docsis 3 service! Unfortunately only 4.8Mbps upstream, which for my home office is a significant disadvantage for my video conferencing unit.”

AQ: “You need fiber. You know, the stuff we’ve been working on for 30 years ;)”

CxO: “Yes but that is a race between <country’s broadband aspirations> and death for me!”

AQ: “:) We’re in an industry now dominated by next quarters numbers. For example, the re-emergence of unlimited plans in the US thanks to 4G (remember when we did this with 3G). The long term can burn as long as we get 50k more customer acquisitions this quarter.

Any wholesale change in the access network is a multi-decade commitment. There is no institution that cares beyond a couple of years. Fibre for schools (tick), fiber for those businesses that will pay (tick), fiber in major dense urban / suburban areas (tick), fiber the rest of the country? Let’s leave that to the Gods, it may happen, we’d like it to happen, but…..

Fiber deployment will be lumpy, if we can get passed 50% country-wide, we’re doing well. And you know 2030 will be when 6G ‘changes everything’ and makes fiber redundant 😉 (provided the regulator gives us enough spectrum) Ericsson, Nokia and Huawei will need some excuse for telcos to continue overpaying for their RANs.”

CxO: “So painfully true, death will come first :(“