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All Posts (98)

Gold Level Contributor

Dish serves up fresh US mobile option

Satellite service provider Dish Network made its debut in the US mobile market, unveiling new a new logo and tariffs for Sprint’s legacy prepaid brand Boost Mobile as it closed a purchase of the business from T-Mobile US.

The $1.4 billion deal included the transfer of approximately 9.3 million customers and “hundreds” of Boost Mobile employees. T-Mobile noted in a statement Dish Network also agreed the purchase of Sprint’s 800MHz spectrum assets in a separate, but related, $3.6 billion transaction.

Both moves were part of a deal negotiated by T-Mobile, Sprint and the US Department of Justice to secure its approval for the operators’ merger.

Erik Carlson, Dish Network president and CEO, said in a statement the prepaid purchase “marks an important milestone in Dish’s evolution as a connectivity company”.

The company is offering mobile service under the Boost Mobile name, with connectivity supplied via an MVNO agreement with T-Mobile while Dish Network builds a standalone 5G network. Newly appointed retail wireless president John Swieringa, is overseeing Boost Mobile’s operations.

Swieringa revealed plans to revive Boost Mobile’s Shrink It tariff, which was discontinued in July 2014, with an offer to cut $5 from monthly charges when users make three consecutive payments on-time and again after six.

The plan will start at $45 per month for unlimited talk, text and 15GB of data.

Another option offers unlimited talk, text and 10GB of data at a fixed cost of $35 per month.

Swieringa said the move is a preview of Boost Mobile’s plan to disrupt the US mobile market and “bring new, exciting products and offers to customers that better meet their needs and fit their budgets”.

Originally published by
Diana Goovaerts | July 1, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Gold Level Contributor

Ethiopia confirmed nine international mobile players submitted initial applications for telecoms licences, with MTN Group, Orange, Saudi Telecom Company, Etisalat and a consortium comprising affiliates of Vodacom Group, Safaricom and Vodafone Group among the contenders.

Also submiting the expressions of interest were Telkom SA, Madagascar-based Axian Group, international wholesale provider Liquid Telecom and Snail Mobile, which runs an MVNO in China.

Vodafone companies applied under the name Global Partnership for Ethiopia.

In addition to businesses already in the mobile sector, the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) received applications from financial, health and education technology specialist Kandu Global Telecommunications and Electromecha International Projects, a company specialising in construction and infrastructure investments based in Kuwait.

The ECA noted it also had an incomplete submission, taking the total number of interested parties to 12.

At the initial stage prospective bidders were required to supply information on their company structure, global operating footprint and number of mobile subscribers served among other details.

The ECA said the expressions of interest would “help the authorities assess the strength of potential bidders and determine the adequate level of qualification criteria to select the type of operators that would fit best into the Ethiopian market”.

Operators are competing for one of two telecommunications licences being offered by the ECA, which is charged with opening the country’s mobile market. Currently the only player is state-owned Ethio Telecom.

In addition to issuing licences, the state is also assessing the possibility of offering stakes in Ethio Telecom to outside investors. The licensing process was originally meant to be completed in Q1.

Originally published by
Chris Donkin | June 29, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Gold Level Contributor

The US ratcheted up pressure on the UK government regarding the security risk posed by Huawei, as the Chinese vendor was cleared to build a new chip R&D facility in the country.

In a statement sent to Financial Times, the US State Department said the decision put its trust in the UK at risk, as it urged its allies and partners to assess the long-term impact of allowing companies like Huawei “access to sensitive information”.

“We believe countries need to be able to trust that partners will not threaten national security, privacy and intellectual property, or human rights,” said the US State Department.

The latest lobbying comes after Huawei released a statement confirming it had received the nod from local authorities in Cambridge to build the facility, “focused on researching, developing and manufacturing optoelectronics products”.

A committee of councillors voted nine to one in favour of Huawei’s project.

Huawei said it will invest £1 billion on the first phase of the project, which includes construction of 50,000 square metres of facilities across nine acres of land and will directly create around 400 jobs. Huawei acquired the land for the site in 2018.

Speaking to the FT, VP Victor Zhang added Huawei was committed to make the new centre its international headquarters for optoelectronics and its plans would not change if the UK were to tighten restrictions on the company regarding its 5G involvement.

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre is currently conducting a new review into Huawei, which could have ramifications on its long-term position in the market.

“This centre is not to support BT or Vodafone’s network. I don’t think there is a strong link,” said Zhang.

Originally published by
Kavit Majithia | June 26, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Bronze Level Contributor

Samsung is taking the task of 4G/5G antenna configuration off the tower and into a smartphone with a new drone-based measurement tool that leans on AI to collect visual data and deliver it to engineers on the ground for faster analysis.

Samsung just completed a successful demo of the product at its campus this week, which involved a camera-equipped drone transmitting antenna angle data to a mobile device. A global launch is planned for later this year. The tool works on both 4G and 5G smartphones and tablets, and can analyze 4G/5G antennas and radios made by other vendors.

According to Samsung, out of all the antennas in deployment, about 10-15% are out of position by up to 10 degrees, usually due to reliance on the human eye or because of environmental conditions like natural disasters.

While performance can be affected by other external factors, including spectrum, deployment location, type of radio, even slight deviations from antennas’ predefined optimal angles can impact user experience. For example, Samsung told Fierce via email that when antenna tilt is off by just one degree from its intended configuration in a dense urban location, it can create a gap between an operator’s expectation and the actual coverage delivered.

Samsung is touting speed, improved safety for tower climbers, and more efficient network maintenance and cell site management for optimized performance, as the product’s main benefits.

With the tool, an engineer can use a smartphone to remotely fly a camera-equipped drone that takes pictures of installed antennas on rooftops or towers. Visual data is transmitted to a cloud server in less than a minute and then viewable on the mobile device on the ground.

AI is meant to verify the rotation and tilt of the antennas so that engineers can check that they have been installed correctly. A Samsung spokesperson didn’t provide specifics about the accuracy observed. 

“As more data is gathered through deep-learning, accuracy continues to improve,” the spokesperson said. “One way AI is employed is by automatically detecting antennas (whether it is the font, back, or side face of the antenna) based on the learnings of statistical features of the antennas.”  

In the demo, Samsung finished the task within 15 minutes, starting from when the drone took flight to when the measurement results were delivered back to the device. That compares to antenna configuration measurement usually requiring a tower climb, with engineers carrying heavy equipment, which can take several hours from start to finish, according to the news release.  

Safety benefits could be particularly useful in the U.S., according to Samsung, for site audit and maintenance, which requires climbs that involve more advanced training and often mean operators have to dispatch two field technicians. The company plans to add more feature that will enable technicians to adjust antenna tilts to the optimal position remotely via a mobile device and PC. 

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Originally published by
Bevin Fletcher | Jun 24, 2020
Fierce Wireless

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Gold Level Contributor

Huawei pushes ahead with UK R&D centre

Huawei looked set to receive approval for plans to build a new £400 million ($495.8 million) R&D centre in the UK, despite ongoing questions about the company’s future involvement in the country’s 5G networks, The Sunday Times reported.

The Chinese vendor is set to gain planning permission to construct a new facility for researching and developing chips near the city of Cambridge this week, the newspaper stated.

Huawei bought the site for the centre in 2018 for £37.5 million.

Its move comes against the backdrop of a UK government review into Huawei, which could have ramifications for its long-term position in the market.

The UK approved the company to provide a limited amount of equipment for 5G networks in January, however tightened US sanctions and continued opposition from certain members of the government has led to further scrutiny against the vendor.

A Huawei representative told The Sunday Times it was investing in new technology, “and an important part of our commitment to the UK is our proposed new R&D centre in Cambridge”.

Huawei is pushing hard with R&D investment, as it looks to develop its own technology and reduce reliance on imports after facing US bans on components and software shipments.

In 2019 the company stated it invests $15 billion to $20 billion a year in R&D and plans to raise that level to $100 billion over the next five years.

Originally published by
Kavit Majithia | June 22, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Bronze Level Contributor

Accelerating its 5G rollout in Germany was possible, in part, by Deutsche Telekom getting its hands on 10 MHz of additional 3G spectrum earlier than planned. (Deutsche Telekom)

Deutsche Telekom touted its 5G network in Germany this week, covering 16 million people with a boost from additional spectrum and dynamic spectrum sharing technology.

DT said it already has 12,000 5G antennas live, with 40,000 expected on air by the end of 2020. 5G services are available in more than 1,000 towns and DT is tracking to reach 50% of Germany’s population, or 40 million people by mid-July. That’s an acceleration from the earlier target of the end of 2020.

"This is the largest 5G initiative in Germany. We are bringing 5G to urban and rural areas for half of the German population. And we are now reaching this milestone earlier than planned," said Telekom Deutschland CEO Dirk Wössner in a statement. "Despite the Corona crisis, we have expanded 5G without detours. Our networks have worked reliably. 

Accelerating its 5G rollout was possible, in part, by DT getting its hands on 10 MHz of additional 3G spectrum earlier than planned. Originally, DT was going to acquire the spectrum from another unnamed provider to use in 2021 but purchased it “ahead of schedule.” That along with 5 MHz of refarmed 3G spectrum make up 15 MHz of spectrum in the 2.1 GHz band that DT’s using for both LTE and 5G.  

In Germany, continuing to expand 4G LTE is still a focus, in parallel with 5G rollouts, and operators like DT are utilizing spectrum resources for both technologies.  

Last June, DT spent around €2.2 billion at Germany’s 5G auction to scoop up spectrum in the 3.6 GHz and 2.1 GHz frequencies. Vodafone Germany, which launched its commercial 5G network last summer, paid around €1.88 billion at the auction for 40 MHz in the 2.1 GHz band and 90 MHz in the 3.6 GHz range.

Like Vodafone, DT also is using dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) to more rapidly expand 5G. That enables 4G LTE and 5G NR to run on the same channel simultaneously, automatically shifting spectrum allocation between the two based on network traffic needs.

Customers across geographies in Germany are expected to see a speed boost with more bandwidth from additional spectrum and DSS. DT said speeds in rural locations are doubling up to 225 Mbps, while urban areas getting peak speeds between 600-800 Mbps. In major cities like Berlin and Cologne, 5G antennas are delivering data rates up to 1 Gbps over 3.6 GHz, according to the operator.  

So far, DT’s 5G-capable handsets include the Samsung S20 series, the OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Pro and the Huawei P40 Pro.

For its 5G radio access network (RAN), the operator is continuing to use gear from existing 4G suppliers Ericsson and Huawei. The use of Huawei equipment came under scrutiny as the U.S. has campaigned globally for allies to exclude the vendor from 5G networks, citing national security concerns. Huawei denies U.S. claims it could be used by the Chinese government for spying or disruption through telecom networks.

DT in its release said that when it comes to antennas, it’s technically impossible to upgrade 4G components from one manufacturer to 5G from another vendor. To that end, the operator’s completed new 5G RAN contracts with both Ericsson and Huawei.

DT had already decided last year to phase Chinese suppliers out of its core network, including 5G. The core handles data processing and is seen as more security sensitive than the RAN portion, but also less lucrative in terms of operator spending for vendor contracts.

Originally published by
Bevin Fletcher | Jun 18, 2020
Fierce Wireless


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Bronze Level Contributor

Huawei looked to be starting to feel the full weight of US moves to restrict access to critical components, with Nikkei Asian Review reporting the vendor pushed back production of a future Mate flagship smartphone as it reevaluates its supply-chain options.

Sources told the news agency Huawei reduced orders for certain parts for Q3 and told some suppliers to stop producing components for its next premium model, which is generally unveiled in H2. One supplier was scheduled to start making parts this month.

As Huawei searches for new suppliers and evaluates its stock of HiSilicon chips, a source said mass-production of the next Mate models will be delayed by up to two months, Nikkei Asian Review wrote. Another source said a move to another chip vendor could require a redesign of the handset, which would take time.

Gartner ranked the company as the world’s second-largest smartphone maker by shipments in Q1.

In mid-May, the US Department of Commerce introduced rules to close a loophole enabling Huawei to continue using chips made using domestic technology despite a trade block.

Huawei’s flagship models run on its Kirin processor, developed by its chip unit HiSilicon but produced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest contract manufacturer of chips.

TSMC chairman Mark Liu warned last week Huawei could be barred from accessing its components. The chip maker previously said it halted new chip orders from Huawei.

Originally published by
Joseph Waring | June 18, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Bronze Level Contributor

T-Mobile US reiterated plans to add 5,000 new jobs by May 2021 as it began laying off redundant employees two-and-a-half months after closing its merger with Sprint.

The operator did not say how many workers were impacted by the move, but TechCrunch reported a series of calls between executives took place on 15 June, with nearly 400 staff ditched during one of these alone.

T-Mobile confirmed jobs were going, arguing in a statement the move was “essential” for it to “remain a fast-moving and competitive growth company” and would result in “additional career opportunities for many”.

The operator noted a campaign began in May to hire 5,000 new staff “in multiple departments” over the following 12 months, highlighting retail, customer care, enterprise, network and engineering as focus areas.

It added some redundant employees were asked to consider a career change within the company and said it would help others find new positions elsewhere.

The move appears to bear out a warning by the Communication Workers of America union regarding job losses stemming from the merger, which it previously reckoned at up to 30,000.

In May, multiple news outlets reported the operator planned to end franchise agreements with up to 2,000 dealer-owned retail outlets operating under its Metro by T-Mobile prepaid brand, impacting an estimated 6,000 staff.

Originally published by
Diana Goovaerts | June 17, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Gold Level Contributor

Orange explores Africa expansion

Orange CEO Stephane Richard reportedly unveiled the operator was considering expansion to new markets including Nigeria and South Africa, with a view to making moves in the upcoming months.

Richard told Les Echos a move into those markets could make sense for the company, adding the time frame would consist of a few months rather than years.

The executive explained Orange needed to seize the opportunities created by the crisis stemming from the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, adding the operator will be looking to enhance partnerships with health companies or institutions.

Orange has operations in 18 countries in the Middle East and Africa.

In Q1, the group recorded a 6.2 per cent year-on-year rise in revenue from Africa and the Middle East to €1.4 billion, pointing to a 51 per cent rise in 4G customers in the regions as a growth driver.

Originally published by
Yanitsa Boyadzhieva | June 15, 2020
Mobile World Live


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Gold Level Contributor

Image: Shutterstock

Google partnered with Telefonica to expand its cloud footprint in Spain and collaborate on new 5G applications, scoring another major deal in an effort to tap operator interest in edge computing.

As part of the deal, Google will use Telefonica’s infrastructure in Madrid to launch a cloud region, offering enterprises in the area access to products including its compute and app engines, and cloud storage.

Telefonica will use Google cloud services to strengthen its capabilities in machine learning, AI, data analytics and application development. The companies will also create a portfolio of edge compute-enabled 5G products.

In a statement, Telefonica CEO Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete pitched the move as a way to aid Spain’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, arguing it will help “all types of organisations not only to recover the ground lost by the crisis, but also to promote their digital transformation and strengthen themselves for the future”.

The deal is the latest operator win for Google’s cloud platform, building on a partnership signed with AT&T in March.

It also heightens a rivalry between Google and Microsoft, which inked its own deal with Telefonica in February to use the operator’s infrastructure to expand its cloud footprint in Spain.

Originally published by
Diana Goovaerts | June 11, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Bronze Level Contributor

The research was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, but people already were highly interested in better quality video calls. (Nokia)

5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is the top-ranked 5G use case among consumers globally—as long as it performs as well as current broadband services, according to new research released by Nokia.

The research, conducted with Parks Associates, shows that 76% of respondents regard FWA as the most appealing use case overall, with 66% saying they would subscribe to 5G FWA if the cost was the same as their current broadband service and it delivered the same or better quality.

The research included respondents from the U.S., the U.K. and South Korea and was focused on both consumer and enterprise segments. The consumer-focused study included surveys of 3,000 people while the enterprise study included more than 1,000 IT decision-makers.

“We sought to get a temperature check with those audiences as to how they’re looking at 5G, what’s their level of awareness, things around willingness to pay, the types of applications or use cases they’re looking at,” said Josh Aroner, vice president of marketing for Nokia’s service provider business.

FWA also is the top use case for small and medium-sized business, 73% of whom show a strong interest in FWA if cost and performance can match their existing wired broadband service. On the consumer side, it was somewhat surprising that FWA was so attractive.

“I thought it would be attractive, but it was a level higher than I anticipated. Particularly sitting in the focus groups, it really resonated with the people we were talking to,” said Patty Wong, director of market insights for Nokia's service provider business. “They really wanted that alternative” to existing broadband providers, such as cable.

They also heard a lot of people say their building or their apartment only offered one provider even when there were other service providers in the market. “Fixed wireless access would actually open the door for them,” she said.

The research concluded just before everyone went into lock-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it showed video as the “killer app” for 5G across verticals and different business sizes, with 90% rating high-quality, uninterrupted video streams a “very valuable” aspect of 5G. Had the research been done after the pandemic hit, one can only assume that number would be even higher.

Across verticals and enterprises of different sizes, 83% said they found video compelling and 48% of enterprises see video monitoring as a near-term opportunity.

Some 61% of enterprise respondents said they would look to mobile operators for direction in planning 5G services. Energy and manufacturing firms show the highest awareness of 5G and are exploring its potential for advanced WAN/LAN use cases, including infrastructure maintenance, remote machine control and cloud robotics.

Here are some other findings:

  • Nearly half of those who work remotely indicated a strong willingness to switch providers for 5G service and are more likely to want to buy a 5G phone.  
  • Nearly two-thirds of early 5G users are highly satisfied with the speeds they experience on 5G networks, compared with less than half of 4G users.
  • 45% of consumers find connected car concepts appealing with navigation and safety capabilities most valuable, but this jumps to 73% among vehicle owners; 53% of vehicle owners said they’d be interested in bundling car connectivity with a 5G data plan.

Originally published by|
Monica Alleven | Jun 10, 2020
Fierce Wireless

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Bronze Level Contributor

US military expands 5G testing sites

The US Department of Defence (DoD) stepped up efforts around 5G, outlining plans to more than double the number of testbeds it runs with launches at seven new military sites.

Installations will span locations in Virginia, Hawaii, Texas, California and Oklahoma, with work focused on trials of naval connectivity; use of AR in maintenance and training; mobile access for tactical command centres and field bases; 5G core security; and spectrum sharing.

The new facilities add to four sites announced in October 2019 and a fifth outlined last month.

Announcing the move, DoD technical director for 5G Joseph Evans (pictured) stressed the technology is “vital to maintaining America’s military and economic advantages”.

In May, the DoD unveiled a new strategy for the next generation technology, designed to complement a national 5G security plan released by the Trump administration.

The DoD plans to “develop and employ new concepts of operation” which use 5G to boost the military’s “effectiveness, resilience, speed and lethality”. It also prioritised development of key technologies including dynamic spectrum sharing and open architecture, and said it would take steps to raise awareness of, and mitigate, potential security threats.

Originally published by
Diana Goovaerts | June 4, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Gold Level Contributor

Image: Shutterstock

Huawei argued market position rather than security concerns was underpinning US attacks on the company, as it responded to a UK government inquiry into 5G safety.

The inquiry, being conducted by the House of Commons’ Defence Committee, comes as Huawei faces increased scrutiny in the UK following tightened US restrictions.

US Republican Senator Tom Cotton told the inquiry Huawei was using its telecoms equipment to drive a “hi-tech wedge” between the countries, while warning using the vendor’s kit in UK networks could help the Chinese government hack into military operations.

Cotton added the US could team with the UK and other allied nations to develop its own 5G technologies, stating they had the “capability and innovative entrepreneurial spirit” to develop technologies which “will far surpass in quality, performance and price, anything that China produces”.

The Times reported last week the UK government was also exploring a similar approach to reduce its reliance on Chinese technology.

No evidence
In a statement responding to Cotton’s comments, Huawei’s UK VP Victor Zhang said the parliamentary committee was given no evidence to substantiate security allegations.

“Today’s committee concentrated on America’s desire for a home-grown 5G company that can match or beat Huawei.”

He added the company welcomes fair and open competition, “as it fosters innovation and drives down costs for everyone”.

The UK government confirmed last month it was reviewing the impact of a US’ decision to restrict Huawei’s access to components produced overseas using domestic software and technology.

Huawei was cleared in January by the UK government to provide a limited amount of 5G equipment in non-sensitive parts of networks, but the decision faced opposition from certain MPs.

Originally published by
Kavit Majithia | June 3, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Gold Level Contributor

T-Mobile US signed a 5G roaming deal with Alaska operator GCI, a move the former said would make it the first to offer customers next generation service in parts of all 50 states.

The partnership will provide T-Mobile customers with 5G coverage in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, and also allow GCI customers to roam on T-Mobile’s network across the rest of the country.

T-Mobile president of technology Neville Ray stated the agreement will bolster its position in the next-generation technology and help it “deliver meaningful 5G experiences to our customers”.

Greg Chapados, GCI president and COO, called the deal a “tremendous milestone” and a “win for both companies”.

Working with Ericsson, GCI deployed its first 5G sites in Anchorage in April and last month said it was 45 per cent of the way through a plan to upgrade a total of 70 cell sites in the city by the end of 2020. The operator is using a combination of 600MHz; 700MHz; 850MHz; PCS; and AWS spectrum.

GCI said the deployment in Anchorage will serve as a model for 5G upgrades in additional cities, which it said could include Juneau, Fairbanks and “other fibre-served communities” in the state.

Originally published by
Diana Goovaerts | June 1, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Bronze Level Contributor

Executives from Verizon and AT&T laid out plans to press ahead with long-awaited 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) deployments later this year, noting the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic could actually make such offerings more valuable to consumers.

Ronan Dunne, Verizon consumer group CEO (pictured), explained during an investor conference “peoples’ attitude to bandwidth has probably changed more in the last 10 weeks than in the last 5 years” as a mass shift to remote work made consumers more aware they were sharing their internet capacity with neighbours.

Verizon plans to capitalise on this with the expansion of its FWA 5G Home service, which he said will offer access to “uncontended capacity” for the “foreseeable future” via the operator’s mmWave-based mobile network.

Rivals AT&T and T-Mobile US are also eyeing FWA 5G home broadband services, with the former already covering 880,000 consumer and enterprise customers with FWA LTE.


But both Dunne and AT&T SVP of wireless technology Igal Elbaz said operators were stuck waiting on new chipsets for high-power 5G consumer equipment, which they said will help improve deployment economics. New kit is expected to become available in Q3 or Q4 of this year, they said.

The executives added FWA launches will be driven by mobile 5G deployments, as the operators aim to leverage the same infrastructure for both services.

While Dunne dubbed FWA a “byproduct opportunity” of Verizon’s mobile network construction, he noted it has significant potential, particularly in light of the pandemic: “If I’d had the opportunity to sell 5G Home in the last 12 weeks I would have made out like a bandit.”

Originally published by
Diana Goovaerts - May 29, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Gold Level Contributor

Global operators push 5G Extended Reality

A group of fifteen global operators backed a push from Qualcomm to bring 5G-enabled VR and AR headsets to market in 2020, seeking to unlock a new generation of consumer and enterprise applications.

Efforts will focus on the delivery of what Qualcomm branded ‘XR viewers’, a category of devices which can be connected to a 5G smartphone to provide immersive experiences.

Headsets from a mix of vendors including Panasonic, Oppo, Pico, VLAVR, 3Glasses, iQiYi, Nreal and Shadow Creator are expected, with support offered on 5G handsets from Asus, OnePlus, Oppo, Black Shark, Vivo, Smartisan, Vivo and ZTE.

Operators signalled broad support for the initiative, with China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, EE, KDDI, KT, LG Uplus, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, SK Telecom, SoftBank, Telefonica, Verizon and Vodafone all signing on to sample or commercially offer XR devices.

The announcement follows Qualcomm’s debut of a 5G-enabled Snapdragon XR2 platform in December 2019 and XR hardware reference design in February, and comes as operators aim to nail down key 5G use cases.

Wang Hengjiang, deputy GM of China Mobile Group Device Co, in a statement said “XR is one of the first killer applications enabled by 5G and is also one of the key businesses for China Mobile in the 5G era”.

Sean Seaton, Deutsche Telekom SVP of group partnering and devices, said the marriage of XR devices and smartphone capabilities represents “a big step towards bringing these technologies to mass market”, adding the operator is already hard at work on an “exciting integrated XR service”.

Originally published 
Diana Goovaerts | May 27, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Gold Level Contributor

Huawei faces more UK 5G scrutiny

The UK government confirmed a review on the impact of additional US sanctions on Huawei and how tightened restrictions could affect mobile networks in the country, sparking doubts about the vendor’s future involvement.

In a statement, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) told Mobile World Live it was reviewing the potential impact US sanctions on Huawei could have on UK networks.

“The security and resilience of our networks is of paramount importance,” said a spokesperson for the UK government.

Its review comes four months after operators were given the green light to use Huawei 5G equipment in non-sensitive parts of networks, subject to a 35 per cent limit.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson then faced a revolt within his own party, with several MPs arguing that Huawei should be banned on security grounds. The government won a vote to keep its original decision in place on the issue in early March.

However, the situation appears to have changed again after the US moved in mid-May to restrict Huawei’s access to components produced overseas using US software and technology, adding further scrutiny on the company after it was placed on a trade blacklist in the country a year ago.

Huawei confused
NCSC’s confirmation of a review comes after several media reports in the UK indicated Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to give in to pressure from within his party and the US, and would cut Huawei from UK networks entirely by 2023.

In response, Huawei’s VP Victor Zhang said in a statement over the weekend that it had “seen reports from unnamed sources which simply don’t make sense”.

He continued: “The government decided in January to approve our part in the 5G rollout, because Britain needs the best possible technologies, more choice, innovation and more suppliers, all of which means more secure and more resilient networks.”

Originally published by
Kavit Majithia| May 26, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Gold Level Contributor

Nokia lobbies for open RAN

Nokia became the first of the three major telecom vendors to join a new open RAN lobby group, a move executives told Mobile World Live was designed to dispel the notion established vendors won’t have a role to play in the shift to virtualised infrastructure.

The Open RAN Policy Coalition was formed earlier this month by a group of 31 vendors and operators seeking government backing for policies which advance the development and standardisation of open interfaces.

Brian Hendricks, Nokia VP of government relations Americas, said it decided to join to tackle an emerging view among politicians globally “that this is old technology suppliers versus new technology suppliers”, adding “we don’t see this as a binary choice”.

Hendricks stressed there is common ground between Nokia and its coalition partners, adding it believes governments can take action to back traditional vendors while fostering growth of a new ecosystem.

He suggested officials could provide financing to help make 5G kit from “trusted suppliers” more competitive around the globe, while also fuelling R&D programmes focused on future technologies.

US talks
While the coalition is focused on working with governments worldwide, Hendricks noted open RAN discussions in the US have been particularly active as politicians seek alternatives to Chinese vendors including Huawei and ZTE.

He said Nokia’s aim is to take “a little bit of the emotion out of the discussion” by helping officials better understand the equipment marketplace, what issues might make favoured suppliers less competitive and what policy solutions could address those issues.

Originally published  by
Diana Goovaerts | May 22, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Bronze Level Contributor

AT&T drops 5G Evolution branding

AT&T bowed to pressure from advertising watchdogs around branding its LTE-A network as 5G Evolution, following concerns the naming could mislead consumers.

An operator representative told Mobile World Live it “respectfully disagrees” with National Advertising Review Board (NARB) conclusion, but will comply with its direction to drop the term from TV, radio and online adverts.

NARB is the appeals division of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, which is run by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

The bureau investigated after T-Mobile US complained about the moniker, deciding the 5G Evolution name was “misleading” because it implied “a level of technology that AT&T’s service does not deliver”.

This view was upheld by NARB on 20 May, because the naming was “not likely to alert consumers to the fact that the service is not 5G”.

AT&T did not respond to questions about whether the logo would be removed from phones.

The operator faced a backlash after introducing the branding in 2018, with competitors accusing it of false advertising.

Sprint filed a lawsuit in February 2019 to stop AT&T using the term, but later settled the case.

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

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Silver Level Contributor

Verizon seeks more from mmWave

Verizon teamed with Movandi, Pivotal Commware and Wistron NeWeb Corporation (WNC) to broaden the reach of its mmWave 5G network.

The operator said it will use the vendors’ “cutting-edge extender technology” to boost indoor and outdoor coverage, addressing key issues relating to the high-frequency spectrum’s low propagation and penetration characteristics.

Verizon said the move will also allow more devices to connect to its network.

Read more here



Originally posted by:
Diana Goovaerts
May 21st, 2020

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