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All Posts (133)

Gold Level Contributor

Germany to fasten belt on telecoms vendors

The German government was tipped to tighten restrictions on equipment vendors supplying its mobile networks, but to stop short on following global counterparts in issuing a formal ban on Huawei.

Reuters reported government sources said the nation planned to scrutinise vendors’ 5G RAN and core equipment. The news outlet added authorities had developed a formula for dealing with so-called high risk vendors, after two years of wrangling.

The mooted restrictions will now be drafted into legal text, which is expected to be reviewed in November.

Notably, Germany has not yet caved into US pressure to ban Huawei, unlike Australia and more recently the UK, which have restricted the Chinese vendor’s involvement in their 5G networks due to security concerns.

Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone Germany and Telefonica Deutschland are major customers for Huawei and a ban would represent a big blow to the company’s foothold in the country, and indeed the continent.

A source, however, told Reuters that while a ban will not be formally issued, the German government will effectively strangle Huawei in red tape and “the final outcome is the same”.

Deutsche Telekom indicated in July it had already significantly cut down its business with Huawei since 2017, as it struck a deal with Ericsson to deploy its 5G RAN and spectrum sharing solutions.

Originally published by
Kavit Majithia | September 30, 2020
Mobile World

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Gold Level Contributor

Verizon is trying to make it super easy for customers to install the equipment for its home internet service that uses mmWave spectrum. (FierceWireless)

Verizon executives have been talking about this for a while now – the new customer premises equipment (CPE) that is supposed to make its 5G Home fixed wireless access (FWA) product so much more compelling. Well, it’s finally arriving in eight cities, including two new cities in Verizon’s 5G Home Internet coverage area starting on October 1: Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The 5G Home Internet equipment, including a 5G internet receiver and Wi-Fi router in one device, was designed for easy set-up by the consumer in their home. It arrives in a single box and customers can use a smartphone app to find the ideal placement for mounting on a wall or window; the 5G gateway will confirm a 5G signal is available.

The manufacturer of the CPE hardware is Wistron NeWeb Corporation (WNC), an Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) based in Taiwan. Verizon confirmed the home router is powered by Qualcomm’s long-awaited QTM527 antenna, which was first reported by PC Mag.

Verizon says everything the consumer needs to mount the device is in the box, including step-by-step instructions. The operator didn’t say how long it will take to set it up; CEO Hans Vestberg indicated during an earnings call in July that he wanted the self-install to be under one hour. While that didn’t happen, it beats the old model of waiting weeks for an installer to come into the home and set it up. For those who don’t want to set it up themselves, Verizon is offering to do it for them. 

The company says customers can expect typical speeds around 300 Mbps and depending on location, maximum speeds up to 1 Gbps.  

The cost of the service is $50 per month for Verizon customers and $70 per month for non-Verizon customers. To entice customers, Verizon is throwing in YouTube TV for one month and Disney+ for one year for new 5G Home Internet customers.  For smart home enthusiasts, it’s also tossing in a free Amazon Smart Home Bundle, which includes an Echo Show 5, Ring Stick Up Cam, Echo Dot and Amazon Smart Plug.

In addition to Minneapolis and St. Paul, Verizon offers its 5G Home Internet service in parts of Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento. The new equipment is available in all those cities except Sacramento, where customers will convert to the 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) version in 2021.

Verizon has said it plans to be in parts of 10 cities with this service by the end of 2020. The 5G Home Internet product is configured to use millimeter wave (mmWave) signals at 28 GHz and 39 GHz, according to a spokesperson.

More home use during pandemic

Verizon mentioned in its press release that the 5G Internet Gateway comes as people are spending more time at home during the pandemic. 

“Verizon's new 5G Internet Gateway is a game-changer for our customers,” said Frank Boulben, SVP Consumer Marketing and Products at Verizon, in a statement. “With people spending more time at home during these challenging times, the expansion of 5G Home Internet to new markets with new and improved hardware will provide customers with the flexibility and reliability to enjoy more digital experiences and increased productivity from the comfort of their home.”

Earlier this year, Verizon indicated it wasn’t going to wait for its 5G Home service to get fully baked, launching a FWA service using its 4G LTE network. The LTE service enables the operator to expand into more rural areas and expand outside its Fios and 5G Home footprints.

Verizon’s biggest rivals in the home internet space arguably are its “frenemies” – the cable companies, a couple of which use Verizon’s network through MVNO arrangements. Charter Communications and Comcast also are acquiring spectrum of their own to offload traffic in an effort to diminish their reliance on the wireless carrier’s network.

New Street Research investment analysts put out a report this week noting that fixed networks saw a sharp spike in usage at the beginning of the pandemic. Wireless networks saw usage growth of nearly 30% since the start of the pandemic, double the historical rate, but New Street’s research suggests that many users may have run into usage caps, driving them to switch to a fixed provider. They now expect to see greater upside for cable in the next few years.

Originally published by
Monica Alleven | September 29, 2020
Fierce Wireless

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Gold Level Contributor

Readying standalone 5G for prime time

NEW ANALYSIS: Globally, 5G hype is in full swing, fuelled by a pithy a three-pronged technical value proposition to enable enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), ultra-reliable and low latency connectivity (uRLLC) and massive machine type communications (MTC).

In addition, 5G capitalises on virtualised and cloudified architectures to slice network resources and optimise the performance of specific use-cases, such as uRLLC. The 5G value proposition is ambitious and, as the rubber meets the road with network deployments, there is a natural gap between what is technically possible compared to what is commercially viable.

The first commercial 5G networks were launched in April 2019, a year ahead of schedule, with a focus towards 5G radio technology and eMBB services. Most 5G networks today are being deployed with non-standalone (NSA) architectures, so they can piggy-back on 4G base station and core network equipment. With NSA, 5G radios essentially provide secondary resources to expand 4G with eMBB capabilities. NSA is a clever network architecture, but still a far cry from the three-pronged value proposition that many advanced 5G use-cases depend upon.

To achieve the full capabilities of 5G, operators must upgrade their core networks and expand radio coverage across the entire geographical area where the capabilities are needed. With this, operators can deploy standalone (SA) and enable capabilities, such as uRLLC, MTC and network slicing, which are not ordinarily available in a 4G core, and will become more fully developed with 3GPP Release 17 and 18.

In addition to a 5G core, many advanced services are likely to also depend on edge computing to deliver the necessary performance.

Shift to SA
Most 5G radio networks are being overlaid on existing 4G networks and use higher frequency spectrum bands that reduce coverage performance. NSA anchors these networks with 4G coverage, and SA can be used in targeted areas where it is commercially justified and 5G coverage is available.

One exception is T-Mobile US, which is deploying 5G in the 600MHz band, a lower frequency band with superior coverage performance to its 4G service.

As the 5G market matures, service capabilities beyond eMBB which depend on SA will grow in importance. Since the beginning of the year, many operators started touting their SA initiatives. In January, SK Telecom claimed the world’s first SA 5G data session, and in August T-Mobile announced its national SA deployment, which is a logical strategy for its 600MHz 5G network. In addition, other operators across the globe have been trialling and deploying targeted SA solutions, with the aim of advancing their service offerings.

The lofty three-prong value proposition for 5G was originally developed in anticipation of its broader role in providing the wireless connectivity needed for digital services and the fourth industrial revolution. For mobile operators, eMBB is a natural extension to the 4G mobile Internet services that they offer today.

However, much more is expected as 5G is aimed towards vertical applications, such as Industry 4.0 for manufacturing, autonomous capabilities for connected vehicles, and a slew of video and computer vision, and mobile AR and VR applications being developed for both consumer and enterprise use cases.

The variety of use cases that might be enabled with SA are seemingly endless. However, many still lack compelling commercial opportunities, particularly for mobile operators, whose businesses are typically geared towards highly standardised mass-market service offerings. Traditionally, mobile operators have differentiated themselves based on their radio technology capabilities.

While 5G radio performance will continue to be a differentiating factor, the strategic importance of core networks will increase in the future. This is particularly the case with the growing opportunities of SA 5G to enable consumer and enterprise digital service demands. If mobile operators don’t take advantage of these opportunities, others will.

By Phil Marshall, chief research officer, Tolaga Research

Originally published by
Joseph Waring | September 28, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Gold Level Contributor

Most wireless carriers aren’t yet talking about network slicing because it will a be a huge lift for them. (Pixabay)

Before they can sell dedicated “slices” of their network to different enterprises, they’ll have to make sure the slices work across their entire network, from the core to the RAN to the edge and across the transport. But Dish Network is already implementing plans for network slicing.

Dish Wireless Chief Network Officer Marc Rouanne said Dish has a big advantage because it’s building a greenfield network, so it can incorporate network slicing technologies right from the get-go.

“Slicing is coming natively as part of the standalone 5G network,” said Rouanne. “Everything we’re designing now is geared to slicing. The most intuitive way to think of it is having your own private network inside Dish.”

Today, Dish said it selected Ciena’s Blue Planet for its inventory management and service-order fulfillment software. And Blue Planet’s software will help Dish advance its network slicing ambitions.

Rouanne said, “In a traditional network your inventory is the sum of many parts built over time. It’s hard to have one global inventory of the network, then it’s very hard to slice it and automate it because you don’t have a real-time database that tells you at any time how your network is doing.”

Blue Planet’s software does two things. First, it provides the inventory database, revealing all the capabilities of the network at any given time from the core to the edge. Secondly, it provides service order management to match network resources with customer orders that have specific parameters such as bandwidth, coverage and latency.

“A slice is across the network,” said Rouanne. “It makes it difficult if you have parts that were not designed for slicing.” He said the Blue Planet software allows the network to assign resources to a slice based on the service order description.”

Rouanne added that Blue Planet already has refined this software. “We didn’t have to ask Blue Planet to do something specific for us,” he said. “We can leverage everything that was invented for 5G.”

Rick Hamilton, SVP with Blue Planet, said that in the last two years, the company has made three acquisitions to build its expertise in closed-loop automation. It acquired DonRiver for its real-time inventory management; it purchased Packet Design for its multi-layer assurance application; and it bought Centina for its service assurance management.

“We can provision the service, define the right path from core to edge, provide assurance, learn, and then optimize,” said Hamilton. “We’re coming at this automation from a much broader perspective than most people know. Dish is really building this cloud-native virtual environment, and that was how Blue Planet was built."

Dish’s 5G core

Dish’s SA 5G core network is unlike the core networks of previous wireless generations in which hardware and software would reside in a few big data centers spread around the country. Dish’s SA 5G core is completely distributed. “You buy software that we call cloud-native functions (CNFs), and you can have thousands of instances,” said Rouanne. "The core will spin up new instances wherever they’re needed.” 

Those CNFs can reside on Dish data centers or compute resources at partner locations such as public clouds or at enterprises. “We can put it pretty much anywhere, using very basic computing capabilities,” said Rouanne.

Originally published
by Linda Hardesty | Sep 24, 2020 
Fierce Wireless

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Silver Level Contributor

GSMA moves MWC21 Barcelona and Shanghai

The GSMA scheduled the world’s biggest annual mobile tech show, MWC Barcelona, to take place from 28 June to 1 July 2021, with MWC Shanghai slotted in for 23 February to 25 February 2021.

In a statement, the industry association explained it moved the events due to the ongoing global Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. MWC21 Barcelona was initially planned for the first week of March and while it will remain a predominantly in-person event, GSMA said it will “have virtual elements to complement the overwhelming demand to convene physically”.

At a press conference in Barcelona today, GSMA Ltd CEO John Hoffman said 78 per cent of the 100 largest MWC exhibitors including Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia have already confirmed participation at MWC21 Barcelona, and he hopes the figure will eventually exceed 80 per cent.

Earlier this year, MWC20 Barcelona became the first major tech event to be affected by the pandemic, with the GSMA cancelling the show less than two weeks before it was due to begin.

It subesequently struck a deal to hold MWC in Barcelona until 2024, extending a contract with city partners by a year.

The GSMA stated dates for MWC LA are unchanged, with the event scheduled for 26 October to 28 October 2021.

Originally published by
Justin Springham | September 23, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Silver Level Contributor

Huawei slashed its R&D investment in Australia by AUD100 million ($71.9 million) and reduced its workforce by more than 1,000 since the government banned it from bidding on 5G network contracts due to national security concerns, Reuters reported.

In a statement sent to Reuters, Huawei’s chief corporate affairs officer for Australia Jeremy Mitchell said the government’s decision in 2018 to block it from participating in the country’s 5G rollout had cost it “1,000 high-tech and high-wage jobs”, as the vendor lowered headcount to less than 200.

He said further reductions in staff numbers were likely.

The Chinese company announced it will halt its sponsorship of an Australian rugby league team a year early in late September, after nine years of support.

Mitchell told The Australian Financial Review the nation had a lot to lose from any cyber war.

Huawei warned of a risk to jobs and investment from the ban in December 2019, a month after cautioning Australia it risked falling behind in 5G.

Originally published by
Joseph Waring | September 22, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Gold Level Contributor

Orange eyes IoT services boost

Orange highlighted its IoT strategy aimed to support the enterprise and customer segments, as it looks to strengthen its position and address the entire value chain in the market.

Jean-Marc Lafond, director of IoT Innovation (pictured), said the operator had the right networks to respond to the various use cases in IoT and the potential to cover the entire value chain.

Lafond emphasised the company’s goal is to support its B2B customers through digital transformation and highlighted 5G as a key driver, as it will bring “some additional capabilities and will really reinforce what we can do already today with IoT”.

The next-generation networks will also improve current capacity on massive IoT and unlock critical services which will enable use cases in smart industries, Lafond stated, adding the latter would be deployed in the next two-to-three years.

Orange is also working on developing an enriched connectivity promise to manage a large number of devices, along with collecting and inputting data in a secure way with value-added services.

It noted the IoT market’s potential to become more mature and thus it was collaborating with the ecosystem to open new opportunities.

Lafond outlined Orange’s key IoT verticals are smart cities, Industry 4.0, e-health, and automotive and connected products.

By the end of June, Orange had 21.1 million connected objects. It also sold 1 million connected devices in Europe in 2019.

Originally published by
Yanitsa Boyadzhieva | September 21, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Standard

Ericsson struck a deal to acquire Cradlepoint, a US-based wireless solutions specialist, in a move to bolster the Swedish vendor’s strategy to capture a bigger share of the 5G enterprise market.

In a statement, Ericsson said it would pay an enterprise value of $1.1 billion for Cradlepoint, which it has collaborated with since the launch of 4G in the US. The deal is expected to close before the end of Q4, subject to conditions.

Ericsson explained Cradlepoint specialises in wireless WAN edge solutions, connecting through 4G and 5G to deliver “fast, secure and flexible connectivity” for businesses, mobility and critical frontline emergency services.

It operates a subscription model, combining cloud software with hardware endpoints, support and training.

Its sales in 2019 amounted to SEK1.2 billion ($136.7 million) with a gross margin of 61 per cent, and it is “strongly positioned in a market with underlying 25 per cent to 30 per cent growth”, added the Swedish vendor.

For Ericsson, the move builds on an ongoing strategy around offering enterprise services through its 5G portfolio, which includes its Dedicated Networks division and global IoT platform.

Borje Ekholm, Ericsson president and CEO, said Cradlepoint would prove key to its strategy of helping customers “grow the value of their 5G network investments”.

“Combining the scale of our market access and established relationships with the world’s biggest mobile operators we are making a strong investment to support our customers to grow in this exciting market.”

Once the deal is complete, Cradlepoint will be part of Ericsson Business Area Technologies and New Businesses, and is expected to contribute to operating cash flow in 2022.

Cradlepoint operates a R&D centre in Silicon Valley, has offices in the UK and Australia, and more than 650 employees which will remain at the company.

Originally published by
Kavit Majithia | September 18, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Standard

T-Mobile US appeared to fire back at cricitism by tower company executives over the pace of its network investments by signing a deal expected to deliver up to $17 billion in incremental revenue for American Tower.

The long-term lease deal spans close to 15 years and will enhance T-Mobile’s access to the tower company’s portfolio of sites, the operator explained. It added the agreement will enable “continued rapid, efficient deployment of broad and deep nationwide 5G”.

Analysts at Raymond James noted the deal is the first between T-Mobile and any of the three major US tower companies since its merger with Sprint in April.

The deal appears to answer criticism levelled by American Tower CFO Rod Smith in July, who noted a slower than expected start to new T-Mobile’s tower spend had been a factor in a $30 billion reduction in his company’s 2020 property revenue guidance, given its work with other US operators remained steady.

Mobile infrastructure operator SBA Communications had flagged similar concerns, but on T-Mobile’s earnings call in August, CEO Mike Sievert branded the comments as “disinformation”, asserting its network deployment was happening at pace.

American Tower upped its full year property revenue guidance slightly on the back of the deal, from the $7.65 billion to $7.78 billion estimated in July, to $7.75 billion to $7.88 billion.

Originally published by
Diana Goovaerts | September 15, 2020
Mobile World Live

 

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Standard

Orange debuts €500M sustainability bond

Orange issued its first sustainability bond for €500 million, seeking to finance projects aimed at driving digital and social inclusion, and combatting climate change.

In a statement, the group said the move would allow it to expand its investor base and optimise its funding structure, as the issue “was met with great success” from socially responsible investing (SRI) entities.

The larger pile of the raised funds (60 per cent) will be allocated to projects for energy efficiency and a circular economy. The rest will be put into plans for digital and social inclusion.

Orange delegate CEO Ramon Fernandez noted the company felt it was “necessary to drive our business with the objective to contribute to a more sustainable and fair world”, as the Covid-19 (coronavirus) crisis emphasised “the essential nature of telecommunications”.

The operator group stated the bond issuance was in line with its Engage 2025 strategy which Orange CEO Stephane Richard previously claimed needed social and environmental policies following the outbreak.

Originally published 
by Yanitsa Boyadzhieva - September 10, 2020
Mobile World Live

 

 

 

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Gold Level Contributor

The UK economy was tipped to take an £18.2 billion hit due to an order to remove Huawei equipment from 5G networks by 2027, with the move likely to also result in further delays to deployments, a report commissioned by the vendor found.

Market research company Assembly published the report, which examined the consequences of a UK government plan to ban the use of Huawei 5G equipment and require operators to remove existing kit from their networks by 2027.

The UK government previously stated it expects delays of up to three years in 5G deployments as a result of the move, which was prompted by tightened US restrictions on the vendor.

Assembly said it considered the government’s estimation and built on it, finding the removal of Huawei equipment sooner than 2027 would “lead to a further delays to rollout and higher cost to both the UK economy and operators”.

In the last 12 months, UK operators made significant progress in deploying 5G, putting the country in a strong position to reap the future economic benefits, the company added.

However, it expects deployment to slow in the future, impacting global competitiveness and the associated economic benefits of being a leader in 5G.

Lost opportunity
Breaking down the £18.2 billion figure, the expected three-year delay would result in about £10 billion of productivity benefits being lost entirely.

Furthermore, under a scenario where the UK is a global 5G leader, the mobile sector would miss out on the opportunity to generate about £4.7 billion and related industries would lose about £2 billion.

The economy at large would miss benefits estimated at around £1.5 billion.

Matthew Howett, principal analyst and founder of Assembly, said the result of further restrictions on Huawei in the US will result in UK operators incurring billions of pounds-worth of costs.

“This report reaffirms there is also an untold cost in terms of the economy and impact on productivity a delayed 5G roll out will have, the scale of which the UK can ill afford given the current economic circumstances,” he said.

Originally published by
Kavit Majithia | September 9, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Silver Level Contributor

Samsung’s network division secured a multi-year KRW7.9 trillion ($6.6 billion) wireless contract from US-based Verizon, in a major win for the South Korean vendor against established rivals.

Yonhap News Agency said the contract with Verizon is Samsung Network’s largest ever, with the deal representing 3.43 per cent of the company’s entire revenue of KRW230 trillion in 2019.

In a Korean stock market filing today (7 September), the electronics giant said its US subsidiary Samsung Electronics America signed a deal with Verizon Sourcing for the purchase, installation and maintenance of wireless equipment including 5G gear. The contract runs from 30 June 2020 to 31 December 2025.

Remy Pascal, senior analyst at Analysys Mason, tweeted the deal is “a really big one” and a serious boost for Samsung’s global market share.

In early July, US media speculated the operator was lining up a RAN deal with Samsung. Verizon also uses RAN equipment from Ericsson and Nokia, but the huge move to Samsung gear could come at the expense of the latter, which would be major blow for the Finland-based vendor in the US market.

Samsung signed a commercial agreement with for 5G and LTE equipment with US Cellular in February, and is clearly becoming a major player in a market where Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE are banned.

The vendor is already a major 5G supplier for South Korean operators and is tipped to gain market share globally due to a growing list of blocks the on Chinese vendors.

Originally published by
Joseph Waring | September 7, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Gold Level Contributor

IFA 2020, BERLIN: Huawei pledged a major push in the European consumer sector, despite well-documented issues in its local network business, announcing plans to rapidly expand its retail footprint and continue to pump cash into R&D as it targets market leadership.

In a prepared video, Huawei president of consumer business group Europe Walter Ji (pictured) said he wanted to tell the “true story of Huawei in Europe” highlighting its record, scale of business and lofty future plans.

“We are much more European than most realise, we are already an integral part of the continent’s growth and success story,” he said, noting Huawei counts millions of device users; 23 research sites; and supports 14,000 direct and more than 200,000 indirect jobs in the region.

Ji also pointed to heavy investment in local start-ups, including those developing services for its AppGallery, and highlighted its position as the fifth-largest investor in industrial R&D in the European Union during 2019.

“We are proud of what we are doing in Europe and are committed to doing more,” the executive added, as he laid out a plan to drastically increase the scale of its retail footprint in major markets.

By the end of the year, Huawei aims to have flagship retail stores across France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany and the UK, along with 42 smaller experience stores.

Issues

During the session, Ji addressed several criticisms levelled at the company by detractors, emphasising its privacy and security credentials and outlining its response to a lack of access to Google software.

He stated AppGallery was the third-largest marketplace globally: with 5,000 new apps added every month, it is the “big new thing” rather than the “same old experience”. He also noted it was gaining traction for its Petal Search engine, a tool he stated was created in collaboration with European companies.

“Europe is a major part of the next decade for Huawei and that’s why we are committed to be the market leader here,” he added.

Originally published by
Chris Donkin | September 3, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Standard

While it disagreed with the conclusion, Verizon agreed to comply with NARB's decision that the "most powerful" claim was not substantiated. (FierceWireless)

Verizon is still being told to stop claiming it’s building “the most powerful 5G experience for America,” with a panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) determining that it boils down to the interpretation of the word “powerful.”

In May, the National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that Verizon discontinue the claim that “Verizon is building the most powerful 5G experience for America,” which appeared in two TV commercials.

“NFL: 5G Built Right” focused on Verizon’s installation of its 5G network in Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, and “5G Built Right: Madison Square Garden” showed Verizon installing a 5G network in that New York City venue. AT&T had challenged the commercials to the NAD.

Verizon appealed NAD’s recommendation, saying that the claim “Verizon is building the most powerful 5G experience for America,” delivered a “present tense message,” suggesting that 5G is available now, as well as a “future” communication that 5G will be available at a later date. Plus, according to Verizon’s argument, the “present tense message” was limited to the stadiums shown in the commercials and made it clear that Verizon 5G service is not widely available across the country. 

However, the NARB panel concluded that the two commercials did not communicate a “present tense” network message and that the commercials don’t communicate that a Verizon 5G network is generally available in the United States but, rather, “that Verizon is committed to building a first-rate 5G network.”

In its advertiser’s statement, Verizon noted that while it disagreed with the NARB's conclusion that the "most powerful" claim was not substantiated, it agreed to comply with NARB’s decision, noting that it is “pleased the NARB found that Verizon substantiated the claim it is ‘building a powerful 5G experience for America,’ and overturned NAD's conclusion that certain claims were implied.”

‘Most powerful’ claim

The NARB panel found that the evidence doesn’t clearly demonstrate what consumers understand “powerful” to mean in the context of “the most powerful 5G experience." The panel decided that the claim “most powerful” conveys a broad superiority message and that the advertiser would need to demonstrate consumer understanding of the term “powerful” in order to make the claim, NARB explained.  

With no evidence of consumer understanding of the term “powerful,” Verizon didn’t have proper support for the claim and NARB recommended that it be discontinued. 

Each of the three biggest carriers have been accused of making 5G claims that overpromise or misrepresent what they can deliver. AT&T touched off a firestorm when it began using the term “5G Evolution” back in 2017 to describe a service that used its upgraded 4G LTE network; it later agreed to stop using the term.

The NAD recently recommended that T-Mobile stop claims that its 5G network is more reliable than competitors’ 4G or 5G networks, a decision the operator planned to appeal. Earlier this year, Verizon agreed to stop certain 5G ads after the NAD determined some claims could mislead consumers about the carrier’s 5G availability and typical speeds.

Originally published by
Monica Alleven | September 1, 2020
Fierce Wireless

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Standard

5G rolled out across Ontario cities and towns

Rogers Communications is playing a major part in building Canada's 5G city infrastructure

As well as putting in place the infrastructure for businesses and homes, Rogers Communications is supporting the University of Waterloo’s 5G Smart Campus in real-world testing of 5G applications.

Technology and media company Rogers Communications has launched 5G in 18 new cities and towns across Ontario.

Building on the company’s January roll-out of 5G in downtown Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Rogers 5G is available in the following locations: Aurora, Barrie, Brampton, Caledon, Cambridge, Halton Hills, Hamilton, Kitchener, Markham, Milton, Mississauga, Newmarket, Ottawa, Oshawa, Richmond Hill, Toronto, Uxbridge, Waterloo and Whitchurch-Stouffville.

5G research support

In addition to providing the technology for consumers and businesses in the region, Rogers is supporting the University of Waterloo’s 5G Smart Campus where university researchers are testing 5G applications in a real-world setting. The company has a three-year, multi-million-dollar partnership agreement with the university to advance 5G research in the Toronto-Waterloo tech corridor.

The research includes the following projects to support the incubation and commercialisation of future applications:

  • 5G smart city infrastructure monitoring and alerting systems
  • 5G asset tracking technologies and capabilities
  • 5G network design and operations research
  • 5G network slicing
  • Multi-access edge computing (MEC).

“5G is the next technological evolution that will transform the way we live and work in Ontario,” said Philippe Oille, president of Southwestern Ontario Region, Rogers Communications.

“Building on our launch of 5G in Ottawa and Toronto earlier this year, we are proud to now reach 18 new cities and towns in Ontario including our innovation corridor, while continuing to support important 5G research and innovation through our partnerships with the University of Waterloo and Communitech.”

He continued: “Strong digital infrastructure and this next generation technology are critical to fuel productivity and innovation as we power out of the pandemic, and in the future as we reset the competitive landscape in Ontario and for Canada, globally.”

Rogers 5G is currently accessible to customers on Rogers’ Infinite plans and unlimited business wireless plans with select 5G-ready devices. More than two million Canadians are on Rogers Infinite unlimited data plans, which it claims represents the most customers of any wireless provider in Canada.

“Accelerating Ontario’s digital economy is important to our long-term success and competitiveness,” said Laurie Scott, Ontario’s minister of infrastructure. “We welcome the expansion of 5G to more communities in our province and the benefits it will bring to our economy. We look forward to ongoing collaboration with industry partners.”

Through the Rogers 5G Create Lab at Communitech, the provider is also collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to create the 5G Create On AWS developer programme that provides access to talks, workshops, mentoring, 5G and edge infrastructure and technical support for start-ups and researchers with a focus on 5G, IoT and mobile edge computing.

Rogers 5G network, powered by Ericsson, has launched in more than 50 new cities and towns in Canada and has a target of reaching more than 60 markets by year-end.

Originally posted by
SmartCitiesWorld news team | September 1, 2020
Smart Cities World

 
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Silver Level Contributor

US lags in global 5G data rates

A focus on low-band 5G deployments resulted in the US ranking in last place in an Opensignal analysis of typical data rates for the technology spanning 12 countries.

The company stated average download rates in the US stand at 50.9Mb/s, significantly lower than leader Saudi Arabia which registered 414.2Mb/s.

Opensignal cited a focus on low-band deployments as a factor in the US performance, noting operators had tended to focus on coverage over outright speed. All except for Verizon, which rated highly in a previous analysis by the research outfit due to its use of mmWave spectrum.

However, Opensignal noted low-band spectrum provides “excellent availability and reach” compared with higher bands, resulting in the US taking fifth-place in a measure of time spent connected to 5G.

But the nation took another hit as Opensignal revealed data rates combining 4G and 5G, ranking second-to-last with rates of 33.4Mb/s. Saudi Arabia again topped the table, racking up typical rates of 144.5Mb/s by this measure.

Originally posted by
Diana Goovaerts | August 26, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Gold Level Contributor

FTC urged to fight Qualcomm decision

Ford, Daimler, Intel and MediaTek were among a group of 21 which pleaded for the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to contest a successful legal appeal by Qualcomm overturning a patent licensing decision.

In a letter, the group of companies and industry associations urged the FTC to push for a rehearing of the case which went the way of Qualcomm earlier this month.

The decision overturned a judgement from 2019 which would have forced the chip giant to renegotiate old patent deals with customers. It was the latest in a series of long-running rows between industry players and authorities over global patent licensing practices.

Backers of continued action argued if the latest decision was allowed to stand and set a precedent, it would “endanger domestic competitiveness” and weaken the FTC’s hand in similar competition action.

They added the appeals court had conducted a “faulty application of competition law”, adding Qualcomm’s licensing practices “reinforced its product monopoly, excluded rivals, and harmed the competitive process”.

The letter was signed by a number of large companies in the automotive sector including Honda and Tesla, along with a range of other parties including the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, Center for Democracy and Technology, Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), and technology giant HP.

Originally published by
Chris Donkin | August 25, 2020
Mobile World Live

 

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Gold Level Contributor

Verizon wheels out 5G for Indy 500 fans

Verizon teamed with NBC Sports to recreate the upcoming Indianapolis 500 motor race for fans in AR, marking its latest effort to stir interest in sports-related 5G applications.

The operator said select fans will be provided access to an AR hub through a compatible smartphone, allowing them to control their view of the race using footage transmitted by a 5G-enabled 360-degree camera placed at the centre of the stadium.

 

Verizon homed in on sports as a way to demonstrate 5G use cases, deploying the technology in 24 arenas across the US by 13 February. Previous demonstrations included AR and VR fan experiences for American football and basketball.

Nicola Palmer, Verizon’s chief product development officer, stated 5G offers a way to bring sports fans “into the heart of the action and provide a new and immersive viewing experience”.

Verizon noted 5G can also help TV producers reduce camera set-up time and offer new angles by making previously tethered kit wireless.

Palmer added the technology also speeds transmission off-site, enabling remote production.

Originally published by
Diana Goovaerts | August 21, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Silver Level Contributor

SoftBank 5G network gets thumbs up from US

Japanese operator SoftBank Corp welcomed approval of its 5G network by the US State Department, after it excluded Chinese vendor Huawei as a next-generation radio equipment supplier in 2019.

In a statement, SoftBank said the US awarded its network a “clean” status as part of the nation’s Clean Network initiative. The operator added it would “endeavour” to build 5G networks which use equipment from trusted network vendors.

The State Department’s initiative is part of its worldwide effort to have Chinese vendors excluded from participating in 5G rollouts.

On its website, the State Department describes a clean network as one that “addresses the long-term threat to data privacy, security, human rights and principled collaboration posed to the free world from authoritarian malign actors”, such as the Chinese Communist party.

SoftBank announced in May 2019 it had selected Ericsson and Nokia as its 5G radio equipment suppliers, excluding Huawei despite trialing its next-generation kit: the operator had also used Huawei and ZTE equipment in its 4G network.

Its exclusion from 5G was however widely expected after the country’s operators said they didn’t plan to deploy gear from Huawei and ZTE, following a ban by Japanese government agencies.

Originally published by
Kavit Majithia | August 20, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Silver Level Contributor

Google 6GHz test request hints at SAS goal

Google sought permission from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to conduct a series of trials at 6GHz, a move apparently aimed at developing a spectrum sharing system for the band.

The company proposed running tests in 17 states over the course of two years, operating between 5650MHz and 7125MHz. Though it requested confidential treatment for parts of its application, Google stated its objective is to “improve propagation models for incorporation in Automatic Frequency Coordination (AFC) systems to support unlicensed spectrum use in the 6GHz band”.

 

It added data gleaned from testing will be “relevant to the utility of these frequencies for providing reliable broadband connections”.

In April, the FCC voted to open the entire 6GHz band for unlicensed use. It permitted low-power and indoor deployments without the need for an AFC system to manage access to the band, but specified one will be required for applications operating at standard power levels to avoid interference with incumbent services.

Google was one of a handful of companies certified by the FCC to provide a Spectrum Access System (SAS) to manage frequency sharing in the 3.5GHz band. Its trial application suggests it is keen to replicate that model in the 6GHz band.

Originally published by
Diana Goovaerts | August 19, 2020
Mobile World Live

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