Telecom

Telecom / Featured Blogs

Broadband and Presidential Politics

For the first time in my memory, broadband has entered into U.S. presidential politics. This is an important milestone for rural broadband – not because of the proposals being made by candidates, but because it indicates that the voices of those without rural broadband have reached upward to the top of the political system. I'm sure that when the presidential candidates go to rural areas, they are asked if they can help find a solution for the lack of broadband in many rural counties. more

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