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Telecom Daily

Welcome to Faulkner's Telecom Daily. We publish Monday through Friday, updating top stories as events warrant.

Friday, October 23... 

FCC Releases Staff Report on June's Major T-Mobile Outage
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) posted a new staff report detailing its findings on the cause and impact of the nationwide T-Mobile outage which occurred on June 15, 2020. According to the regulator's investigation, the downtime lasted over 12 hours, impacting calling, texting, data, and 911 services for customers across the country. The agency's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau estimates that approximately 41 percent of all attempted calls failed during the outage, including 23,621 calls to 911. As for the cause, the FCC points to "an equipment failure" that was "exacerbated by a network routing misconfiguration." While T-Mobile had already admitted as much, the FCC further claimed that the outage was worsened by a "software flaw in T-Mobile's network that had been latent for months and interfered with customers' ability to initiate or receive voice calls during the outage." The regulator's report includes a series of network reliability best practices that it expects T-Mobile to implement to prevent any recurrence of such issues in the future, as well as network reliability issues that it would like "standards bodies" to examine in the future.

AT&T Reports Booming Mobile Customers, Slipping finances for Q3
AT&T posted its financial results for the third quarter of the 2020 fiscal year. For the period, the telecom giant reported revenues of $42.3 billion, a modest decline from the $44.59 billion posted for the same period in the prior year. Net income for the quarter came in at $2.76 billion, a more severe drop from the $3.7 billion posted one year ago. This translated to earnings per share of $0.39, compared to the year-ago quarter's $0.50 figure. On the subscriber front, AT&T Mobility reported its best quarter in two years, adding a net total of 5.5 million subscribers, 645,000 of which were postpaid phone adds. However, AT&T suffered the same video losses being seen across the industry, with 590,000 TV accounts having been lost during the quarter. This was offset somewhat by the 357,000 fiber broadband net additions reported for the period. AT&T's decision to drop its DSL services in many locations resulted in 29,000 accounts being lost due to a lack of viable replacement services in those locations.

Quibi Confirms Shut-Down Plans
Short-form streaming video service service Quibi confirmed it is shutting down. The entertainment offering was only in operation for around six months, during which it failed to capture anywhere near the audience needed to justify its costly advertising and content budget. This will likely come as a particularly massive disappointment to investors, which The Wall Street Journal notes provided the service with $1.75 billion, only $350 million of which remains in its coffers. These unspent funds will be returned to investors now that the service is closing up shop. The aforementioned confirmation letter blamed Quibi's failure on "one of two reasons: because the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing.” However, the service was plagued from the start by complaints about factors such as a total lack of access on non-mobile screens, a lack of compelling content, and the availability of free alternatives such as YouTube. While there is currently no specific date for the service to shut down, the company expects to inform subscribers via messaging in the "coming months."

....Michael Gariffo, Faulkner Information Services


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