Sprint Sets 5G Launch in Nine Cities as Competition Heats Up

The wireless carrier set a May launch of its 5G mobile-phone service in four of the nine cities it’s targeting in the first half of this year. That might make it the first carrier out of the gate in a race with rivals to snap up early adopters of the next-generation wireless platform.

[. . .]

Sprint said its 5G service will be available initially in four metropolitan areas — Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City — followed by Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Washington. In an interview Monday, Sprint Chief Executive Officer Michel Combes said he was eager to show the benefits that 5G will bring. He declined to say how much Sprint would charge consumers for the new service.

Bloomberg has more details HERE.


OneWeb Network First Launch [Update]

The first of six satellites designed by OneWeb as part of a 600-satellite constellation to provide worldwide internet on Wednesday from the European Space Port in Kourou, French Guiana, aboard an Arianespace Soyuz rocket.

Source: POLITICO Space


The OneWeb satellite constellation is a proposed satellite internet constellation of  900 satellites expected to provide global Internet broadband service to individual consumers as early as 2019.

The 900 communication satellites will operate in circular low Earth orbit, at approximately 750 miles (1,200 km) altitude, transmitting and receiving in the Ku band of the radio frequency spectrum. Most of the capacity of the initial 648 satellites have been sold, and OneWeb is considering nearly quadrupling the size of the satellite constellation by adding 1,972 additional satellites that it has priority rights to.

Source: Wikimedia[updated]

Learn more at OneWeb  

(Update 04-27-19) A Soyuz rocket provided by the European launch company Arianespace lofted six OneWeb satellites into low Earth orbit today after lifting off from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana at 4:37 p.m. EST (2137 GMT). Those six satellites are the first of hundreds that the Virginia-based communications company OneWeb plans to launch over the next two years.

Source: Space.com

5G Security Issues Examined

5G Security: Analysis of Threats and Solutions


5G will provide broadband access everywhere, entertain higher user mobility, and enable connectivity of massive number of devices (e.g. Internet of Things (IoT)) in an ultra- reliable and affordable way. The main technological enablers such as cloud computing, Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are maturing towards their use in 5G. However, there are pressing security challenges in these technologies besides the growing concerns for user privacy. In this paper, we provide an overview of the security challenges in these technologies and the issues of privacy in 5G. Furthermore, we present security solutions to these challenges and future directions for secure 5G systems.

Download Paper HERE.

Security for 5G Mobile Wireless Networks


The advanced features of 5G mobile wireless network systems yield new security requirements and challenges. This paper presents a comprehensive study on the security of 5G wireless network systems compared with the traditional cellular networks. The paper starts with a review on 5G wireless networks particularities as well as on the new requirements and motivations of 5G wireless security. The potential attacks and security services are summarized with the consideration of new service requirements and new use cases in 5G wireless networks. The recent development and the existing schemes for the 5G wireless security are presented based on the corresponding security services, including authentication, availability, data confidentiality, key management, and privacy. This paper further discusses the new security features involving different technologies applied to 5G, such as heterogeneous networks, device-to-device communications, massive multiple-input multiple-output, software-defined networks, and Internet of Things. Motivated by these security research and development activities, we propose a new 5G wireless security architecture, based on which the analysis of identity management and flexible authentication is provided. As a case study, we explore a handover procedure as well as a signaling load scheme to show the advantages of the proposed security architecture. The challenges and future directions of 5G wireless security are finally summarized.

Download Paper HERE.

The Real Reason America Is Scared of Huawei: Internet-Connected Everything

The article originally published in the MIT Technology Review

5. Why is Huawei’s 5G causing so much concern?

As the world’s biggest supplier of networking equipment and second-largest smartphone maker, Huawei is in a prime position to snatch the lion’s share of a 5G market that, by some estimates, could be worth $123 billion in five years’ time.

Stalling the company’s expansion into Western markets could have the convenient side effect of letting competitors catch up. But there are also legitimate security concerns surrounding 5G — and reasons to think it could be problematic for one company to dominate the space.
The US government appears to have decided that it’s simply too risky for a Chinese company to control too much 5G infrastructure.
The focus on Huawei makes sense given the importance of 5G, the new complexity and security challenges, and the fact that the Chinese company is poised to be such a huge player. And given the way Chinese companies are answerable to the government, Huawei’s apparent connections with the Chinese military and its cyber operations, and the tightening ties between private industry and the state, this seems a legitimate consideration.

But the ongoing fight with Huawei also goes to show how vital new technology is to the future of global competition, economic might, and even international security.

Full Article is HERE.

I think the problem is more complicated than described above.  China makes its integrated circuit chips and it would be possible to create a 5G chip with an embedded hardware routine that lays dormant until it is turned on. Once turned on the chip routes key messages to China servers controlled by the Army Intelligence Corp. Those chips with the dormant hardware could be in all Huawei 5G routers.   On multi-layer chips, it might be impossible to find by visible inspection and unless turned on would not show in the message traffic.  These chips could be turned on/off at strategically important times, make them even harder to detect.  An additional problem is that many chips are designed in the US but manufacture overseas.  An opportunity for more intelligence collection skulduggery. I do not know if a US chip designer could recognize that the manufacturer added an embedded hardware routing routine to his or her design.

The solution is to use 5G routers with US certified chips, produced under US control.

FCC Says Digital Divide Narrowed

— FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Tuesday that the agency’s annual broadband deployment report shows that the number of Americans who lack access to high-speed internet service dropped by 25 percent, from 26.1 million at the end of 2016 to 19.4 million at the end of 2017. The figure, an FCC spokesman said, reflects revised data provided by carriers for 2016. (MT readers may recall that last year’s report put the 2016 figure at 24.7 million.) The full report for this year is not yet public.

— Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel quickly disagreed with the report’s conclusion that broadband deployment is happening on an adequate and timely basis. “Millions of households — in rural and urban communities — have no access to high-speed service. That’s a fact.” The FCC said the data shows an improvement in rural parts of the country, with approximately 5.6 million gaining access in rural America.

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech

I will wait for the full report to see how the numbers were collected. If they used the Federal Broadband Maps or the Telco Self Reporting, there is a high probability the FCC numbers are wrong.

Bridging The Digital Divide In Nevada County

The Union has the details HERE.

Race Communications’ mission is to “bridge the digital divide in California,” and this project has the potential to do just that for Nevada County. Local businesses are severely limited by what they can accomplish with copper internet speeds. Businesses and professionals looking to relocate to Nevada County won’t even consider doing business here without a fast, reliable internet connection. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is changing the way we do everything through the internet of things, requires the same. Technology is changing fast, and everyday activities increasingly rely on the internet. Our county and our local businesses will soon be at a severe disadvantage without fiber internet. We’re all glad it is finally here.

Nevada County High Speed Internet
The Green shading is the Race Communications coverage for Phase 1. 

Buy Local (Including Broadband)


An article in Broadband Communities Magazine by Eric Ogle

Ogle’s conclusion:

As corporate service providers continue to shortchange many rural communities on the services they should provie, they also remove tremendous amounts of money from communities. Given the public outcry for buy-local campaigns, why isn’t there a similar outcry for buy-local campaigns focused on local broadband service?

In the example provided, through a sustainable partnership with the local utility, what long-term local economic impact would result if a utility-anchored broadband initiative were able to capture 50 percent – or even a third or a quarter – of the market?

As with many public infrastructure projects, utility-provided broadband is deployed for the common good, and many benefits occur “off the balance sheet” in terms of enhanced economic opportunities and quality-of-life improvements. So instead of wondering how it can afford to offer broadband services, given the money that is lost each year to corporate providers with inferior services, a community should wonder instead how long it can afford not to offer broadband services.

It has been my experience, that AT&T moves much faster to improve broadband services when threatened by competition.

American Broadband Initiative to Expand Connectivity for all Americans

White House announces the initiative on the White House Blog

Expanding America’s broadband connectivity is critical to our nation’s economy, and a top priority for President Trump and the Department of Commerce. Today, we join with our partners in government to announce the American Broadband Initiative (ABI), a comprehensive effort to stimulate increased private sector investment in broadband.

NTIA is proud to share leadership of the ABI, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the White House Offices of American Innovation, Management and Budget, Science and Technology Policy, and the National Economic Council. In a report released today, over 20 federal agencies set out strategies for streamlining federal permitting, leveraging federal assets, and maximizing the effectiveness of federal funding for broadband.

We congratulate the Department of Interior on the launch of the new Joint Overview Established Location Map, which pulls data related to federal lands and assets from multiple agencies into a single map. This map will help the broadband industry more easily identify the location of available assets. It is an important first step in one of the Initiative’s core priorities: making it easier for the private sector to leverage federal assets to promote investment.

More details and links at the Broadband USA Blog