Bit rates are improving on many fronts, but I came across a specific statistic last week that I thought was worth sharing. Since 2006, Motorola has continually improved encoding efficiency for AT&T’s U-verse TV service. Today, Motorola is operating at 63% of the data rate used just four years ago. That’s almost a 40% savings in bandwidth.
Since AT&T’s Fiber-to-the-Node (FTTN) strategy is often compared to Verizon’s Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) strategy, it’s worth noting how AT&T has made FTTN pay off. What’s AT&T doing with the extra bandwidth from increased encoding efficiency? The telco rolled out a second HD stream to U-verse homes back in 2008 and reportedly has room to extend that further. Late last year, AT&T also announced that it’s starting to test Internet speed tiers of 24 Mbps in select markets. Not bad for DSL – VDSL2 in this case – and AT&T hasn’t even implemented pair bonding yet.
Perhaps even more telling, AT&T continues to bring on U-verse subscribers and make money from the service. Two-plus million subscribers, and two-plus billion in revenue.