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Telecom / Featured Blogs

Trump's Assault on 5G Standards Bodies

Over the past 30 months, since Trump was installed in the White House, he has systematically abrogated US treaty responsibilities and diminished the nation's engagement in international collaborative activities. More recently, his gambits have expanded to market entry, chip component, and software restrictions on Chinese telecommunication equipment vendors, especially Huawei. more

Amazon's AWS Ground Station Service Is Now Available

Amazon announced that they would be providing satellite ground station service last year and Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web services, announced its availability in the video at the end of this post. AWS Ground Station is a fully managed, ready-to-go ground station service... This sounds like a compelling case, especially for a small operator or startup, but I don't know how the prices compare to existing services or building proprietary ground stations. more

Havana Can Have 5G Before Miami

Compared to Miami, Havana is an Internet desert, but Havana may have 5G wireless connectivity before Miami. 5G architecture, US politics and policy, and the 5G timetable favor Havana. Let's start with 5G architecture. 5G will require many "small cells" because it uses high-frequency radio signals that don't travel as far as 4G signals and are more easily blocked by obstructions like trees and buildings. more

Cuba's New WiFi Regulations – Good, Bad or Meh?

Soon after ETECSA began rolling out WiFi hotspots for Internet access, people began linking to them from homes and community street nets. These connections and importing the WiFi equipment they used were illegal, but generally tolerated as long as they remained apolitical and avoided pornography. Regulations passed last month legalized some of this activity in a bid to boost connectivity by allowing Internet access from homes and small private businesses like restaurants and vacation rentals that are located close enough to a hotspot to establish a WiFi connection. more

Have We Reached ‘Peak Telecom’ and What Does This Mean for 5G

"Peak telecom" is described as the maximum point of expansion reached by the traditional telecommunications industry before the internet commoditized the industry to a utility pipe. I had to think of this when I read the recent outcomes of the famous Ericsson Consumer Lab survey. The company used the result of the survey to counteract market criticism regarding the viability of the telco business models in the deployment of 5G. more

As a Service?

I'm happy to have the option of buying services. It's easier to eat at a restaurant than to do my own cooking, and I'm happy to pay for a ride rather than fighting traffic on my own. However, I'm not happy if I don't have the option of cooking for myself or of taking a stroll. I used to be willing to pay for all of my phone calls but today I know that, thanks to VoIP, there is no need to. But the phone companies are attempting to wrest back control with their wider 5G agenda. more

State Department Should Return to Its Knitting

Having researched and written about the 100 year history of U.S. State Department's institutional machinations in the telecom/cyber sector, taught law school graduate courses, and worked with its bureaus and staff over the past 45 years, the latest twists and turns seem to repeat past mistakes. The fundamental problem is that the U.S. is the only country whose Foreign Ministry is given a significant role and engaged in telecom and cyber matters in global venues. more

Squirrels Are the Number One Culprit for Animal Damage to Aerial Fiber

These cute rodents are the number one culprit for animal damage to aerial fiber. To a lesser degree, fiber owners report similar damage by rats and mice. Squirrels mainly chew on cables as a way to sharpen their teeth. Squirrel teeth grow up to 8 inches per year and if squirrels aren't wearing their teeth down from their diet, they look for other things to chew. more

Does China’s Digital Silk Road to Latin America and the Caribbean Run Through Cuba?

China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an ambitious, long-term, global investment and development program. It was launched in 2013 with a focus on infrastructure -- roads, railroads, pipelines, undersea cables and ports. Since then China has invested $80 billion and signed 173 BRI agreements with 125 countries and 29 international organizations. more

Economics and Common Sense Deprecates the Common Argument for Lower Spectrum Prices

Outside of China, very few governments would expect a saving in spectrum costs would mostly go to investment. Corporations have other priorities, including advertising and executive salaries. Stockholders come above everything at most companies. Rarely would even 1/3rd of the saving go to capital spending. The U.S. under Trump had a massive tax cut, worth literally billions to Verizon and AT&T. Verizon actually cut investment. AT&T's increase in capex was far lower than the tax saving. more