Telecom

Blogs

5G Leadership Reality Check: January 2020

As we embark on a new year and decade, it seemed worthwhile to take a peek at the principal forums for global 5G industry technical collaboration and do a quick assessment of what is occurring and who are the "leaders." The leadership dimension is especially relevant in Washington these days – which is suffering from a peculiar 5G dementia. As the year ended, there were no less than 35 current 5G related Congressional legislative actions, several of which actually passed one of the chambers. more

U.S. Has Poor Cellular Video

Opensignal recently published a report that looks around the world at the quality of cellular video. Video has become a key part of the cellular experience as people are using cellphones for entertainment, and since social media and advertising have migrated to video. The use of cellular video is exploding. Netflix reports that 25% of its total streaming worldwide is sent to mobile devices. The new Disney+ app that was just launched got over 3 million downloads of their cellular app in just the first 24 hours. more

Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Internet Service Developments for 2019

I posted reviews of important LEO-satellite Internet service developments during 2017 and 2018. I've been updating those posts during the years and have 16 new posts for 2019. In 2019 we saw four inciteful simulations, Leosat suspending operations and Amazon announcing the availability of a new ground station service and plans for a LEO constellation, progress in phased-array antennas but a lowering of expectations for inter-satellite laser links (ISLLs), new competition from China... more

Spectrum and Weather Forecasting

There is currently a brewing controversy over the allocation of various radio frequencies for 5G that could have a negative impact on weather forecasting. Weather forecasting has become extremely sophisticated and relies on masses of data gathered from weather satellites and other data-gathering devices. The masses of data, along with modern supercomputers and data center computing, have significantly improved the ability to predict future weather. more

My Telecom Predictions for 2020

There is already a growing shortage of fiber resources that includes engineers, construction companies, and fiber consultants. The upcoming $16.4 billion RDOF program will create a resource shortage in 2020 for those who can help companies seek grant funding. Once the grants are awarded, the size of the program will add stress to the resources needed to build networks. Companies that don't line up their experts early might find themselves without help. more

Starlink Simulation Shows Low Latency Without Inter-Satellite Laser Links

Handley's simulation shows that, while not as fast as an equivalent ISLL path, long bent-pipe paths would typically have lower latency than terrestrial fiber routes between the same two points. Mark Handley, a professor at University College London, has made two terrific videos based on runs of his simulation of the first – 1,584 satellite – phase of SpaceX's Starlink Internet-service constellation. I discussed the first video, which assumes that the satellites have inter-satellite laser links (ISLLs), in recent post. more

Fiber Resource Shortages

The fiber industry is as busy as I have ever seen it, and it's about to get even busier. The cellular carriers, particularly Verizon are actively building fiber to reach small cell sites. The cable companies are building a significant amount of fiber, particularly Altice which is upgrading to FTTP. The FCC is going to award $9 billion in 2020 for the 5G Fund grant program, much which will go for fiber to reach rural cell sites. more

5G Funny Numbers: 10M Sign on October, Only 5M Phones in November

Ten million Chinese "reserved" 5G phones in the first two weeks of October, a powerful signal of high demand. Huawei thought they could all get phones in October. But the official figures are less than 1M 5G phones in October and ~5M in November. WTF? It could be an ordinary problem of ramping supply of a new product. It could be the official figures on phone sales are lagging reality by several weeks. more

How AI Affects ComSec and Accessibility

Data transmission is one area where security should be among the biggest concerns. Overseeing data integrity is the realm of communications security (ComSec) teams, and they're getting a lot of assistance these days from artificial intelligence (AI) via machine learning and other AI components that also prove helpful in improving accessibility. Under the umbrella of AI, advances like assistive technologies promote accessibility while preserving data integrity and the flow of communications. more

The Upcoming 5G Confusion

Until now, the 5G industry has spread a lot of hype, but it hasn't affected customers. That's all starting to change as the cellular carriers are starting to offer 5G phones. Many customers who spend extra for 5G phones are going to quickly be frustrated and disappointed as they try to participate in the new 5G world. Consider both AT&T and T-Mobile. Both companies are introducing both a low-band and a high-band 5G phone, and customers who want 5G will have to choose... more

Monetising Solutions for the Telcos

Developments in the telecommunications industry and the broader digital economy have opened up many new markets over the last few decades. Telecoms has changed from a more or less standalone, horizontally-organized industry to one that has become a key facilitator in a range of vertical markets. The keyword that is used to indicate that change is "smart." We are talking about smart transport, smart energy, smart cities and so on. more

Be Wary of 5G Hardware

We've now entered the period of 5G competition where the wireless carriers are trying to outdo each other in announcing 5G rollouts. If you believe the announcements, you'd think 5G is soon going to be everywhere. Device manufacturers are joining the fray and are advertising devices that can be used with the early carrier 5G products. Buyers beware -- because most of what the cellular companies and the manufacturers are hyping as 5G is not yet 5G. more

Farm Access to Broadband

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been measuring computer usage on farms and publishes the results every two years in its Farm Computer Usage and Ownership report. The most recently released report for 2019 was compiled by asking questions to 20,000 farmers. This is a large sample from the more than 2 million farms in the country. more

The Unbelievably High Cost of the War Against Huawei

U.S. companies were selling $11 billion a year of parts to Huawei before the blockade. Losing those sales is just the start of the damage. Every other Chinese and Russian company is making sure to find non-US suppliers. The U.S. has threatened India and Turkey with sanctions as well. As other companies replace U.S. components, the impact will be tens of billions more than the $11 billion of Huawei suppliers. more

Shame on the Regulators

It's clear that even before the turn of this century that the big telcos largely walked away from maintaining and improving residential service. The evidence for this is the huge numbers of neighborhoods that are stuck with older copper technologies that haven't been upgraded. The telcos made huge profits over the decades in these neighborhoods and ideally should not have been allowed to walk away from their customers. more

News Briefs

Red Sea Region Suffers From Multi-Day Internet Outage Following an Undersea Cable Cut

New York City Releases Internet Master Plan For City's Broadband Future

Germany's New Rules for Developing 5G Mobile Networks Will Not Exclude China's Huawei Technologies

China to Require Face Scan for Internet Access and New Phone Numbers Starting December

US Court Upholds FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal But Says States Can't Be Barred from Passing Own Rules

Huawei Founder in a Staff Memo Warns Company Is Facing a 'Live-or-Die Moment'

Study Reveals U.S. Carriers Throttle Online Video on Their Mobile Networks Even When Not Congested

Telesat and the Government of Canada Join Forces to Tackle Canada's Digital Divide

State-Sponsored Cyberattack Against Telecom Providers Is Targetting Data on Specific Individuals

Loon Balloons Restore Internet After a Massive Earthquake Strikes Remote Parts of Peru

Critics Say FCC's New Report Declaring US Broadband Healthier Than Ever is Based on Flawed Data

Huawei Files Motion in US Federal Court Calling Ban Unconstitutional, an Assault on Human Rights

NGOs, Academics Warn Against EU’s Deep Packet Inspection Problem, at Least 186 ISPs Breaking Rules

Huawei Says They Are Willing to Sign No-Spy Agreements With Governments

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Chief David Redl Resigns

Britain to Involve Huwawei in Nation's 5G Rollout Amid US Ban

FCC to Block China Mobile From Gaining Access to the U.S. Market

Trump Administration Announces Its Big 5G Push: Largest-Ever Spectrum Auction and a 20.4B Fund

Researchers Demonstrate Serious Privacy Attacks on 4G and 5G Protocols

Government Shutdown Halts Trump’s FCC Deregulation Agenda, Says Tom Wheeler

Most Viewed

Most Commented

Introductory Remarks from Innovation '08

Has the FCC Created a Stone Too Heavy for It to Lift?

Internet Governance: An Antispam Perspective

New Mobile Domain Another Bad Idea

DPI is Not a Four-Letter Word!

Industry Updates

Participants – Random Selection