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RCR Wireless News by Kevin Shatzkamer, Vp/gm Service Pro.. - 6h ago

This is the second installment in our series Not Just Another G, which provides insight into 5G and what it means to the service provider industry. Missed the first post? Catch up here.

The next-generation 5G architecture is built around the realization that different services are consumed differently, and by different types of users. Thus, next-generation mobile access technology must have:

  1. A way to define those differences,
  2. A way to determine and place constraints so as to meet those differences, and
  3. A way to architect access methods that meet the goals of the different services that ride on top of the technology.

It is to this end that the 5G technology has built-in support for what’s called “network slicing” – a fancy phrase to say that the network is sliced up, with each slice configured to meet the needs of a singular class of service.

In the 5G architecture, for example, there is a slice designed to deliver common mobile consumer data. This slice delivers high throughput for data consumers want access to, which may be things like pictures, videos, live video interactions, remote mailbox access or remote shared data vault access.

Another slice is designed for what is called “latency critical” applications. Imagine a connected, self-driving, auto-diagnosing car of the future. The car, connected to 5G, will be the “new cell phone”. It will automatically make things happen so that the driver can choose to not be in control and enjoy life or get work done while commuting. This requires a fast, high-speed, reliable, always-available and latency critical network. The 5G latency-aware slice allow a network design that can make these guarantees. By the way, the car is just one of the many such latency-critical applications.

Another slice of the network is designed to meet both the latency, and the capacity needs of the service. Consider the example of TeleHealth, a use-case where in a medical service provider is physically remote from the consumer. Lots of healthcare situations demand TeleHealth, which has seen only limited realization because a truly mobile, low-latency and capacity-aware network architecture has remained a challenge. All TeleHealth use-cases require:

  1. Interaction with no frame/audio drops,
  2. Atomic guarantees of delivery – if a command was sent, the network must guarantee the delivery of that command and the response back,
  3. Ubiquity – be a stranded climber on a remote mountain, or an inner-city youth who needs the help of a specialist in Mayo Clinic, the network must always be there to support the service.

This new and innovative world requires a large amount of infrastructure. It requires increase in cell stations to which a multitude of end-users will be connected to consume services. It requires compute, storage, and networking capabilities distributed across the edge of the network, enabling a service delivery platform running both network services and 3rd party application workloads. This edge platform coupled with differentiated classes of service provides new ways for Telcos to monetize the infrastructure and charge consumers.

At Dell Technologies, we are focused on creating the best possible infrastructure elements that will help the creation of next-generation mobile access networks. Dell EMC servers are best-in-class and hold the biggest market share. Dell EMC storage is second-to-none, and offers all types and variations as needed to suit the goals of any point of presence in a 5G network. Dell EMC Networking gear brings it all together, in a self-aware, software-defined, declarative manner so that the network can adapt quickly to meet the demands of all the 5G slices.

We are here to help our customers on the Journey to 5G.

The post Not Just Another G: The Next Generation appeared first on RCR Wireless News.

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Speeds and other performance metrics on LTE networks are still rising, even as carriers begin to roll out their 5G networks, according to the latest analysis from OpenSignal. Verizon saw a big bump in its video quality, which AT&T’s FirstNet-fueled network investments appear to be paying off with a jump in its download speed performance.

However, the device-based measurement company found that while carriers continue to invest in the performance of their LTE networks, the geographic expansion of those networks has plateaued.

Among the report’s findings:

-OpenSignal said that “one of the most remarkable trends we’ve been tracking in our measurements over the last year is AT&T’s rapid rise in 4G Download Speed experience,” noting that the carrier is “now within a megabit of challenging the download speed leader in our measurements, and its average 4G Download Speed of 24.6 Mbps was the fastest our users experienced on any of the major operators’ networks due to new spectrum and network upgrades.

“AT&T may still be in third place in Download Speed Experience in this report, but what was once a two-way race in this metric is now a three-way race,” the company added, going on to add that AT&T’s increased performance was “nothing short of astonishing” and likely due to its investments in LTE Advanced Pro features that the carrier is branding as 5GE.

-Verizon and T-Mobile US run just about even in LTE availability, with AT&T and Sprint lagging. OpenSignal said that in the past six months, it recorded only incremental growth in LTE availability, with the largest increase on Sprint’s network — and that one was less than one percentage point.

“The level of 4G access in the U.S. is already extremely high so we would expect 4G Availability growth to tail off, but with operator attention now trained intently on 5G, that growth seems to be grinding to a halt entirely,” the company said.

-Verizon had a notable showing in mobile video experience. OpenSignal started reporting this metric last year, and until the most recent round of testing, no carrier had broken into the “good” category of its assessment. Verizon was the only one to do so; the other three carriers’ scores still remained in the “fair” category of mid-level scores.

The limits that mobile carriers place on video traffic has a lot to do with that, OpenSignal said, explaining that because most of the major operator have restricted video resolution to varying degrees according to data plan tier, “those restrictions often effectively force a device to downgrade streams to lower resolutions, which impacts Video Experience scores.

“Verizon seems to have found a happy — or at least a happier — medium that allows it to maintain a higher level of Video Experience while still limiting the outsized impact of mobile video on its network capacity,” OpenSignal concluded.

Image: OpenSignal

AT&T won the most awards outright in our city-level download analysis, showing that the average 4G speeds users see are really ramping up in urban areas. AT&T also clocked the lowest individual Latency Experience scores in our city-level metrics, despite sharing our national latency award with T-Mobile. Both trends are likely signs that AT&T’s new urban-focused 4G upgrades are having a big impact.

OpenSignal’s most recent analysis is based on 5.6 billion measurements taken from 1.4 million devices across the U.S., with data collected between mid-March and mid-June of this year. The company noted that it captures data from devices both actively and automatically, which it said is “a key distinction that avoids bias from self-initiated consumer tests and ensures results accurately reflect mobile network service the way users are truly experiencing it.

“The race to 5G in the U.S. is increasing competition among operators and the majority of the measurement categories we analyzed within this report have become closely contested three-horse races,” said Brendan Gill, CEO of Opensignal, in a statement. “Competition drives innovation and ultimately better consumer experiences. And the technical enhancements operators are making in preparation for the fifth generation of wireless communication are giving us some of the best 4G mobile user experiences as well.”

The post OpenSignal: Average 4G speeds continue to rise; AT&T sees big jump in download speeds appeared first on RCR Wireless News.

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In September last year, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission passed an order meant to make it easier for operators to deploy small cells and other wireless infrastructure by superseding state- and local-level regulations. The regulatory body, which passed the rule change 3-1, characterized the order as meant to accelerate 5G investment so the U.S. can take a leadership position relative to China and reap the economic benefits of 5G supremacy.

Primary tenets of the FCC’s order:

  • Ban local regulations designed to prohibit wireless infrastructure deployment;
  • Standardize the fee structure cities can charge for reviewing  small cell projects;
  • Establish a 60-day shot clock for attaching small cells to existing structures and 90 days for new builds;
  • And set “modest guardrails on other municipal rules that may prohibit service.”

Keith Pennachio, EVP and chief strategy officer for wireline/wireless design, build and lifecycle specialist SQUAN, said the rule changes have helped but there’s still issues. “We’ve seen certain municipalities open the doors a little bit more.” But, he noted that some major metro markets “were already thinking down this path and breaking down barriers to allow it.”

In terms of outstanding issues, Pennachio said it comes down to pole ownership. “There’s a higher concentration of utility companies that own those poles than there are municipalities or MSOs or ISPs. I think there’s some other red tape that’s adjacent that requires a degree more attention. But we do see it loosening and I think the legislation certainly helped.”

On the vendor side, Ericsson’s Roger Galuban, strategic product manager for small cell solutions, weighed in on to what extent the FCC’s regulatory overhaul is trickling down to the field.

“From my perspective we’ve seen some improvements in some of the municipalities while others maybe take a little longer to go through the process. From an overall ecosystem, there are additional players other than just the municipalities that must come to the table and see how do we enable the industry as a whole to have easier access to the poles and maybe even strands that have ties into utilities or MSO infrastructure. It would key to open that up. I think part of the challenge as well for municipalities is figuring out if there are any challenges from a financing perspective.”

The post Have FCC updates to small cell rules had an impact on deployment process? appeared first on RCR Wireless News.

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Chinese vendor Huawei has not yet seen any benefit from President Donald’s Trump recent decision to allow U.S. firms to sell components to the company and urged the U.S. government to remove the company from a security blacklist, Chinese press reported Huawei’s chairman Liang Hua as saying.

The executive said that the decision to put Huawei in a list that restricts exports of components and software is “unjust and unfair.”

“We’re not saying that just because things have relaxed a little, we’re fine with being on the blacklist,” he said. “Actually, we believe our listing on the blacklist should be lifted completely,” the executive said during a press conference.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump said that U.S. companies can sell their equipment to Huawei as long as the transactions won’t present a “great, national emergency problem.”

Trump made these comments during a press conference at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, after a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which had the main aim of discussing an impasse in the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries.

Despite the U.S. export restrictions, Huawei revenue grew in the first half of this year, Liang said. However, the executive declined to give details ahead of the release of financial results later this month.

Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei said in June that the vendor has cut sales forecasts by $30 billion over the next two years due to the export restrictions currently affecting the company.

Liang also said Huawei is in the process of deciding how to respond to possible loss of access to Google’s Android operating system for its mobile phones under Trump’s restrictions. In May, Google reportedly suspended Huawei’s access to its software and technical services, except for what is publicly available via open source. Huawei has developed its own operating system, Hongmeng, but has said so far it has no plans to use it on phones.

“The open Android operating system and ecosystem is still our first choice,” Liang said. “Of course, if America doesn’t let us use it, then might we in the future develop our own Hongmeng as our cellphone operating system? We still haven’t decided yet.”

In May, the Trump administration confirmed that the U.S. Department of Commerce added Huawei to its Entity List, a decision that effectively banned the company from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval. Under the order, Huawei will need a U.S. government license to buy components from U.S. suppliers.

At that time, firms including Google, Intel, Qualcomm and Microm had halted shipments due to the restrictions. Huawei relies heavily on computer chips imported from U.S companies.

However, since then, the administration announced that it would ease certain export restrictions recently imposed on Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies during 90 days, in a move to give operators time to make other arrangements.

The post Huawei urges Washington to remove the firm from the trade blacklist appeared first on RCR Wireless News.

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RCR Wireless News by Rcr Wireless News And Cradlepoint - 16h ago

Cradlepoint highlights enterprise private network use cases

The notion of an enterprise private network, whether it’s LTE or 5G deployed in unlicensed, licensed or shared spectrum, is a hot topic at the moment. Carriers and vendors see a major opportunity to work with enterprise stakeholders to set up bespoke networks in support of not just everyday talk, text and data but for industrial internet of things projects and in service of applications where data localization and sovereignty is paramount.

In terms of where market demand for private network solutions is coming from, Cradlepoint VP of IoT Strategy and Business Development Ken Hosac offered some color and noted that different enterprises have different needs, largely based on the geographic nature of their business.

“We got started with what we call small footprint distributed enterprise,” he said. “They’re probably not the candidate for private LTE. A lot of times they’re using LTE for a failover. Where we’re seeing the actual uptake in terms of interest, POCs, demand, is with the larger enterprise locations. You get to these large and we call these wide area LANs, like a shipping port or an airport or large warehouse or an enterprise campus or a college campus, a smart city, so again, you’re trying to create this LAN around something that is a large physical size.”

He gave the example of a port facility looking to leverage connectivity for things like autonomous guided vehicles, remotely operated cranes and surveillance cameras. “They’re all related to the shipping port. The shipping port wants to be able to control that, have a better experience. The bottomline is the customers who are really interested in this are struggling to use Wi-Fi to address those requirements and those are the ones that have that immediate need today.”

Private LTE Opportunities and Applications Panel Discussion - YouTube

Hosac was speaking during a panel discussion at the Wireless Infrastructure’s Connectivity Expo in Orlando, Florida. Other panelists included: Cameron McCaskill, senior director of business development, IIoT, Qaulcomm, Ericsson Strategic Product Manager Chris Wallace and MulteFire Alliance’s Karim El Malki, also president of Athonet USA.

Wallace explained what he sees as driving private network interest. “A lot of it comes down these day to control–control over the data, control over the policy, control over the devices. We do see a lot of traction with…our traditional operators understanding that, you know, there is a need to let go of some of that control; that market dynamics are just that individual enterprises are just not accepting the same business models as they used to. I think there is some evidence of things moving in that direction.”

Going back to private networks for ports, in Finland, Nokia is working with private networking specialist Ukkoverkot and port machinery maker Klamar on a collaboration project to construct a private LTE test network for developing industrial IoT applications for shipping ports and terminals. Nokia cited automation, robotics, machine learning, analytics, and real-time remote monitoring as use cases.

In Germany, telecom regulars have set aside the 3.7 GHz band for use by the country’s industrial companies. Ericsson is working there with Vodafone to upgrade a private LTE network, already working as a blueprint for Industry 4.0, to 5G for German electric vehicle maker e.GO. Ericsson is also working with Vodafone and Telefónica to deploy a private 5G network at the carmakers Sindelfingen plant.

Hosac noted that gigabit LTE solutions available today can support a wide range of enterprise use cases, and investments today can evolve to support 5G. “Today you need 4G,” he said. “It’s kind of the path to 5G. Eventually you will have 5G networks. If you have a use case today that benefits from private LTE…[private networks are]a good way to address that today but knowing those same people who are providing those solutions are going to give you the path to 5G.”

For more information on Cradlepoint, click here. And for a discussion on enterprise 5G use cases featuring Cradlepoint’s Lindsay Notwell, SVP of carrier and international business, click here.

The post Exploring enterprise private network opportunities appeared first on RCR Wireless News.

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Today, 5G wireless is getting so much attention in the media and the marketplace. It raises the question, which wireless carrier offers the best, fastest and most consistent 5G connection? So, let’s take a closer look at the current state of wireless technology and try to answer that question.

OpenSignal says the U.S. has the fastest 5G peak speeds in the world. That’s terrific, but that’s just one piece of this puzzle. In another piece, Ookla says AT&T Mobility has the fastest 4G speed and Verizon Wireless has the most consistent signal. Also, good to know.

Ookla says: Fastest 4G is AT&T and most consistent signal is Verizon

While this is great, the truth is, we are still in the very early days of 5G. In fact, we are just in the first half of the first inning of this new ball game. That means there are years ahead of us in this new race.

Bottom line, when complete, all carriers will likely have a marketable 5G service. Although some will be stronger, better and faster than others.

Today, the average user doesn’t care as much about 5G as the industry, investors and the media does. The reason is we are just in the very early stages. As 5G speeds increase and become widespread, and as new applications and devices emerge, so will user interest.

As a wireless analyst, I am invited by carriers to see their 5G progress, test their speeds where available, and their first-generation handsets, then tell the world about it. What I have seen so far is very impressive. However, it will take time to roll out, just like 4G did.

Based on what I see and have been told will be developed, I believe that means once this is available to everyone in the country, and once new smartphones, tablet’s and other gear are in the market, and services and applications are created, our business and personal lives will change dramatically.

This rollout has begun with AT&T last year and will only get better and faster with all players like Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint as it continues across America and as new technologies like self-driving cars, wireless pay TV and more become mainstream.

Remember, to get 5G speeds, we must have a 5G network and 5G smartphones and tablets. And these are just starting to roll out. Over the next several quarters we will see more 5G handsets become available.

T-Mobile and Sprint are third and fourth place leaders in 5G

I believe both AT&T and Verizon will continue to be leaders in this space. T-Mobile will be next. Then Sprint unless they merge with T-Mobile. If that’s the case then a new number four player like Dish Network, Google Project Fi or others may suddenly be created.

Each year, the experience will get better and faster. Each year, we will see more products and services use this new technology. Each year we will see new companies from other industries us 5G making this marketplace even larger than it is today.

This will not only improve everything we already do on wireless, but it will empower new technologies and experiences as well.

Qualcomm is leader in 5G network and chip technology

First, we have to consider building the networks and then the products like smartphones. Qualcomm is a leader in 5G technology which networks use to build their capacity. Huawei is also leader, but they are banned in the US for privacy concerns. In fact, Huawei is reportedly going to lay off many workers in the United States.

Next, come the networks. Which carrier offers the best or fastest 5G service today is really not the question we should be asking. The networks will all get better and faster. We are still in the very early stages of this new wireless revolution which will play out over the next several years.

I would say today AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless are the largest and should remain the strongest 5G wireless networks going forward.

DISH Network, Google Project Fi or Amazon may become fourth-place competitor

T-Mobile US will be next in line. Their problem is they don’t have enough spectrum. That has been a problem with them for a while. That’s why they want to merge with Sprint. They want to sink their teeth into Sprint’s spectrum.

Sprint will be the next wireless carrier in the race to 5G. They are the weakest carrier with regards to marketing, but they do have plenty of spectrum. That’s why they want to merge with T-Mobile.

If T-Mobile and Sprint merge, who will become fourth place leader? Will it be an existing wireless player or a new entrant like DISH Network, Google Project Fi or Amazon? They have all shown interest in entering wireless. This could be their big opportunity.

Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, Altice Mobile are wireless followers

Xfinity Mobile from Comcast, and Spectrum Mobile from Charter resell Verizon Wireless. So, first Verizon has to offer 5G. Then these two cable TV companies can consider moving in the same direction.

Altice Mobile will resell Sprint when they eventually enter the wireless space. That means they will not likely have a rapid move into the 5G market unless and until the T-Mobile, Sprint merger happens.

None of these cable TV companies are dominant competitors in the wireless arena. They use wireless as another leg on their stool in order to hang onto their Internet and pay TV customer base. So far, their impact is very limited.

Wireless will go through major transformation in next few years

So, as you can see, the wireless industry is going through a major transformation. Not only with technology like 5G and all it will bring… not only with new competitors that may acquire assets and become new competitors… not only with how it will let other companies in other industries go wireless and transform their world, but all of this and much more.

That’s why I think we should all buckle our seatbelts because what I have been seeing so far at a variety of carriers and handset makers, is mind-blowing and we are still only in the first half of the first inning of this new game! Batter-up!

Disclosure: Disclosure: Jeff Kagan, like many researchers and analysts, provides or has provided research, analysis, advising, and consulting services to many companies, including AT&T, Sprint, Xfinity Mobile, IBM, PayPal and many others. For more information, as well as a detailed list of clients, visit www.jeffkagan.com. He does not hold equity positions with companies named in this column. 

The post Kagan: Who has the fastest 5G signal today? appeared first on RCR Wireless News.

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Verizon investing in fiber to create favorable economics

Verizon is currently offering mobile 5G in two markets–Chicago and Minneapolis–with plans to activate next-generation cellular in parts of the 30 cities by the end of the year. At the same time, Verizon is deploying fiber in more than 60 areas and is preparing to restart its 5G Home fixed wireless services later this year with long-term ambitions of covering 30 million homes.

As it executes on its network plans, Verizon is making the most of its capital dollars in what Adam Koeppe, SVP for technology strategy and planning, described as an “integrated engineering process.”

Speaking in May during the Wireless Infrastructure Association’s Connectivity Expo, Koeppe said, “We’ve made a conscious effort to really pair our wireless engineering with a fiber engineering process and what
that’s allowed us to do is pursue over 60 markets around the country. We’re going to actually be building fiber into the footprint and, you know, truthfully, serving our own needs if you will from a
frontal and backhaul perspective. That’s a very integrated engineering process that creates tremendous synergy on our end and allows for very rapid deployment.”

Check out Koeppe’s full commentary from Connectivity Expo here. 

Verizon SVP Adam Koeppe talks 5G, CBRS, fiber and more - YouTube

Back in 2016, Verizon announced its One Fiber initiative; the initial deployment was focused on the Boston area and included plans to invest $300 million over six years. In 2017, the operator announced a three-year agreement with Corning that contemplates the purchase of up to 12.4 million miles of optical fiber every year from 2018 to 2020 with a minimum purchase amount of $1.05 billion. Roughly half-way through that
agreement, Verizon is building out fiber in more than 60 markets.

Verizon Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Kyle Malady, speaking June 20 at the 2019 Wells Fargo 5G Forum, discussed the fiber investment–“We wanted owner’s economics.”

He continued, discussing the intersection of fiber and increasingly dense networks: ““As the networks flatten and the antennas get smaller and you put them lower, I think the best way to characterize it is frankly wireless becomes fiber with antennas hanging off of it essentially. That’s why we decided we wanted to go big into fiber. It made sense to us because we’re…going to be densifying 4G. We saw 5G coming. And we see a host of other uses for the fiber.”

For a deeper dive into current network densification trends, including small cells, fiber, policy and spectrum, download this report.

The post For fiber and small cells, Verizon follows an ‘integrated engineering process’ appeared first on RCR Wireless News.

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The Beatles may have given us the best advice to bringing more mid-band spectrum to deploy 5G services in their chart-topping song, “We Can Work It Out.” With enhanced focus on deploying next-generation technologies as soon as possible, it is absolutely critical for policymakers to find ways to free-up as much spectrum as possible for commercial use – not only to benefit customers, but also the U.S. economy. Mid-band spectrum will play an important role in the nation’s rollout of 5G, and the C-band (3.7 – 4.2 GHz) represents a critical opportunity for providers to unleash next-generation technologies.

Mid-band spectrum is critical to satiate consumers’ increasing data appetite, and now is a prime opportunity for the expert agency, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), to advance 5G services to all Americans and rev-up infrastructure investment in the telecom world.  Four international-based satellite companies (the C-Band Alliance, “CBA”) have conceded that they are now ready to cash-in on their inefficiencies – by selling their spectrum licenses for billions of dollars.  Not so fast!

There is a more commonsense approach, the 5G Plus Plan, recently introduced by Competitive Carriers Association (“CCA”), Charter and ACA Connects, that would unleash much-needed mid-band spectrum for 5G, resulting in a win-win-win for consumers, rural America, incumbent users of the C-band, the satellite industry and future wireless services.

The joint proposal best serves the U.S. public interest and consumers by making all of the reallocated C-band spectrum available at the same time in a single FCC-led auction, rather than allowing just a few companies to make bank on the sale of their licenses.  Cornerstone principles of the “middle-ground “proposal include:

  • Freeing-up 370 MHz of mid-band spectrum, almost double the amount of spectrum as the CBA plan, to be reallocated for terrestrial use.  Anything less is a lost opportunity.
  • Clearing the spectrum as fast or faster than the CBA plan in most areas.
  • Awarding the spectrum through an FCC-led auction open to all bidders.
  • Net proceeds from the auction deposited in the U.S. Treasury or used as directed by Congress, a taxpayer dividend!
  • Equal amounts of spectrum cleared in urban and rural areas and, to the extent possible, treated the same.
  • C-Band customers and earth station users made whole and given long term certainty through funding and reimbursement of certain costs.
  • Fully functional 5G spectrum that will have 100% geographical availability after reallocation.
  • Spectrum aggregation limits and licensing rules to encourage auction participation and interoperability.

This is a commonsense approach to reimburse all impacted parties, utilize the spectrum ASAP, and benefit the U.S. Treasury and American taxpayers. Now is the time for the FCC to act and let the mid-band spectrum be used to its fullest potential. Let’s “come together, right now,” over 5G.

So, faced with a choice of a one-sided plan that benefits only the satellite operators, or a more comprehensive proposal that benefits many– which plan should the FCC support?  The 5G Plus Plan offers a sensible solution, and as The Beatles so aptly put it – Try to see it my way…While you see it your way, Run the risk of knowing that our “opportunity” may soon be gone. We Can Work It Out!

The post “We Can Work It Out” cable, wireless band together on key spectrum proposal appeared first on RCR Wireless News.

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As carriers move to implement a new framework to provide more information to end users on incoming calls, they are learning more about both how to deploy the STIR/SHAKEN framework as well as how to work with other operators to ensure cross-network traffic functions the same way as traffic within one operator’s network.

At the Federal Communications Commission’s event focusing on efforts to fight robocalls, representatives of a number of major service providers discussed their ongoing efforts to test and implement the STIR/SHAKEN framework for providing consumers with verification and notification about the origination of incoming calls.

ATIS established a testbed hosted by Neustar Trust Labs for STIR/SHAKEN several years ago, to help with implementation, and that has been a helpful resource, according to Kathleen Foster, core networks engineering director at T-Mobile US.

“One of the biggest challenges early on was, we didn’t really have meany people to test with,” said Foster. She said that the ATIS testbed enabled T-Mobile US to learn some of the basic functionality of STIR/SHAKEN, and it provided negative test cases so that they could see how things worked in the real world. She advised that companies which are just getting started with STIR/SHAKEN to take advantage of the Trust Lab.

“You can learn an awful lot with that,” she said. Foster added that “it’s a good idea to start with validation on your own network … before you start working in [interoperability]” and recommended paying attention to the standards bodies’ work as well as potential test partners.

“We’re ready to test with anybody who’s capable and willing to help,” she said.

Linda Vandeloop, AVP of external Affairs/regulatory at AT&T and the chair of the Secure Telephone Identity Governance Authority Board, said that the testing capability “was invaluable.”

“We don’t build our network to send bad traffic,” she said. Neustar “was able to develop a process where they could send us bad calls, and so we could test our network to see what happens and make sure it works. And then the next step would be the lab testing with other service providers. … By going through the steps, I think the process really went smoothly,” she said. “We found a couple of things because we might implement the standards slightly differently, and we’ve been able to work through those.”

“Do as much testing as possible,” she added. “It’s very effective, and then you’ll be ready to effectively exchange traffic when you’re going live.”

Jeff Haltom, senior manager at Verizon Headquarters Planning, said that while standards are important, it was also important for Verizon to get past standards-speak as it set expectations for its testing with partners.

“The most successful thing we had through our testing process was taking the standard and moving it up a level and talking like real humans talk,” Haltom said. “As we set the expectation for our testing, it was really simple wording that just [said], in the first phases, we’re going to prove we don’t break each other’s network. In the next phase, we’re going to make sure that we expect that calls should be signed and that we’re moving on a path toward requiring it to be through our large interconnections, and those sort of rules for the road of operating that set some boundaries for what we would do through the testing.

“It allowed us to focus on the things that are most important,” he added. “So if you’re wondering what to do to start, start. That’s the best advice I can give you.”

He also recommended focusing on attestation — which is the formal term for the verification of a call, which has a number of levels — for the types “that are most impactful” rather than putting the lowest level on everything and calling it good. He said Verizon is being “very mindful and thoughtful” about what it signs.

Scott Mullen, CTO of wholesale network operator Bandwidth, recommended rolling out in a “slow and methodical way, don’t start immediately blocking calls or labeling calls. Do some analytics, exchange information among your partners. I think that’s critical.”

He added that fostering IP connectivity between carriers is also important, because STIR/SHAKEN operates in an IP environment.

Vandeloop said that combatting robocalls and illegal spoofing is one issue where people and companies can come together — and she called that a key learning of the company’s experience in implementing STIR/SHAKEN so far.

“Once we started working together and coming together, we started really coming up with things that are going to make an impact — that are making an impact right now,” Vandeloop said, adding that her advise to other companies is: “Work with us, work with each other, make sure that we do this as a whole industry.”

“One of the things that is important is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” said Alex Eatedali, director of engineering for core network and voice at Vonage. “A lot of partners … have been working on this for years, and a lot of good lessons to be learned. With collaboration, I think you can overcome a lot of challenges early on — but start now. Because it’s getting too late, if you haven’t.”

The post Lessons learned from testing STIR/SHAKEN appeared first on RCR Wireless News.

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The authorities of Chinese city Guangzhou announced plans to reach full coverage with 5G technology by 2021 with the deployment of 65,000 5G base stations, according to a report by Chinese newspaper China Daily.

Guangzhou’s Bureau of Industry and Information Technology said it aims to deploy 14,600 5G base stations by the end of this year, with 5,000 sites already in operation, according to the report.

5G-related businesses such as electronic manufacturing and artificial intelligence in Guangzhou are expected to generate more than CNY800 billion ($116 billion) by 2021, the bureau said.

To promote 5G use by industry, the Chinese city plans to develop a 5G industrial innovation alliance and apply the technology in various fields, including smart logistics, smart cities and industrial Internet.

Earlier this week, Shanghai, the China’s second-largest city by population, said it is targeting covering the entire downtown and main suburban areas with 5G technology by the end of 2019 through the deployment of 10,000 5G base stations.

By 2020, Shanghai will have full 5G coverage throughout the city with 20,000 5G base stations. A total of CNY 20 billion ($2.9 billion) will be invested in the area. Plans also include the deployment of 10,000 additional 5G stations by 2021.

The municipal government’s ambitious plan to deliver 5G coverage in Shanghai by 2020 is part of a three-year plan which will see it invest a total of CNY30 billion ($4.4 billion), China Daily reported.

China is currently testing 5G technology across all major cities, provinces and regions. It is forecasted that 28% of China’s mobile connections will be running on 5G networks by 2025, accounting for about one-third of all 5G connections globally, according to a recent report by the GSMA.

Last month, China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator, announced plans to deploy 5G commercial cities in over 50 cities across China by the end of this year. The carrier said that it aims to deploy over 50,000 5G base stations across China this year.

The company aims to expand the 5G commercial services to all Chinese cities above the prefecture level by 2020.

Also last month, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) officially issued licenses for the launch of commercial 5G networks in the country.

The 5G permits were granted to state-run carriers China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom and state-owned broadcaster China Broadcasting Network.

At the end of last year, the MIIT issued licenses for 5G trials in a number of cities across China. Commercial rollout of 5G in China was initially expected to occur during 2020. However, the decision by the government to accelerate 5G deployment will trigger investment in the Chinese market.

The post Chinese cities Guangzhou, Shanghai acclerate 5G deployments appeared first on RCR Wireless News.

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