Details on GeekWire.com
The money quote for rural users:
Critics claim that the marketplace will become less competitive if T-Mobile’s mega-merger with Sprint is allowed to go through. But the companies say that the deal will help them improve wireless service, particularly to rural and underserved communities.
The money quotes for the mmWave technophobes is this is a low-band roll out, with mid-band next. These are are all frequencies currently in use, mmWave does not have much application in rural communities.
No new radiation threats from 5G
5G doesn’t pose new cellphone radiation threats, according to the FCC, which spent six years reviewing the issue and receiving public feedback. The regulator voted unanimously this week to keep in place standards for how much exposure to the radio-frequency energy cellphones and antennas emit is safe. The rules cover consumer devices, and the 5G infrastructure used on cell towers and rooftops, as the four major U.S. wireless carriers race to roll out the next-generation of wireless networks.
The FCC discovered they can not fix something if they do not know where it is broken. The nation’s broadband maps are truly broken, as any rural cell phone user can attest.
Through the investigation, staff discovered that the MF-II coverage maps submitted by Verizon, U.S. Cellular, and T-Mobile likely overstated each provider’s actual coverage and did not reflect on-the-ground performance in many instances. Only 62.3% of staff drive tests achieved at least the minimum download speed predicted by the coverage maps—with U.S. Cellular achieving that speed in only 45.0% of such tests, T-Mobile in 63.2% of tests, and Verizon in 64.3% of tests. Similarly, staff stationary tests showed that each provider achieved sufficient download speeds meeting the minimum cell edge probability in fewer than half of all test locations (20 of 42 locations). In addition, staff was unable to obtain any 4G LTE signal for 38% of drive tests on U.S. Cellular’s network, 21.3% of drive tests on T-Mobile’s network, and 16.2% of drive tests on Verizon’s network, despite each provider reporting coverage in the relevant area.
The Full FCC Staff report is HERE.
HOUSTON — New phones will get faster internet than ever before thanks to improved 5G technology, but don’t expect to get blazing-quick speed overnight, a panel of analysts warned.
A discussion at space company forum SpaceCom here in late November went over the benefits and drawbacks of 5G, which is already available in limited markets in the United States and will expand even further in 2020. SpaceX and Amazon are among the companies racing into space to deploy satellites to support 5G.
Continue reading HERE
Rural Broadband Update
This week, Representative Antonio Delgado (D-New York) announced a package of two bills aimed at addressing flawed broadband mapping practices and increasing broadband speeds for rural communities.
The first bill, the Broadband Speed Act (HR 4641), would require internet service providers to annually report data to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that shows the actual speeds they are capable of providing, as opposed to what they can potentially provide. This will help the FCC determine where advertised speeds match actual speeds. The second bill, the Community Broadband Mapping Act, would allow local governments, electric/telephone cooperatives, economic development/community groups and small internet providers to collect information on local broadband service. This will enable communities who are currently incorrectly designated by the FCC as having service to take action to have the information necessary to dispute that status with the FCC.
AT&T is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to exclude 5G from its required upgraded data mapping collection. “There is broad agreement that it is not yet time to require reporting on 5G coverage” AT&T said in a statement to the FCC.
AT&T and other mobile carriers want to hide 5G coverage maps from the public while subsequently marketing the pace and breadth of their 5G rollouts. “Service standards for 5G are still emerging, precluding reporting of service-level coverage for 5G networks (other than the 5G-NR submissions already required),” AT&T wrote.
The Toolbox has the details:
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6G’s focus on big data
The University of Oulu in Finland is leading 6G research. Not surprisingly, the Finns found the emphasis will be on transmitting the huge amounts of data that drive development of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies.
“The bottom line of 6G is data,” Professor Matti Latva-aho, director of 6G Flagship Project at the university, says in a white paper. “The way in which data is collected, processed, transmitted and consumed within the wireless network should drive 6G development.”
A major benefit of 6G will likely be its instantaneous speed. The technology is expected to increase mobile internet speeds to about 1 terabyte per second — enough bandwidth to download 100 movies in a snap of your fingers.
6G will help power communication among machines over the Internet of Things smart devices. The network’s speed will be essential to facilitate development of smart homes and buildings and consumer demand for them.
Researchers at the University of Oulu also expect the capabilities of the 6G system to push communication towards new devices other than smartphones, such as lightweight glasses that can that can provide virtual reality experiences.
Researchers in the United States have also begun work on 6G. In March, the Federal Communications Commission opened ultra-high frequencies ranging from 95 gigahertz to three terahertz for 6G experiments. That will allow researchers to transmit larger blocks of data per time unit, which will increase network speeds.
The full article is HERE.
Report by SUE MAREK, Special Contributor, writing at Light Reading.
American Tower, SBA Communications, Crown Castle and other tower firms in the US are feeling the pinch from what appears to be a 5G network slowdown by T-Mobile. The operator has denied any deceleration of its 5G network plans, but various reports from tower companies and contractors have indicated the carrier is holding off on new cell sites as it awaits the outcome of its proposed $26 billion purchase of Sprint.
In a new report today from Wall Street research firm Wells Fargo, tower companies said T-Mobile’s deployment of new cell sites has slowed down considerably recently, which is primarily impacting macro cell sites but not small cells. Tower companies said that their T-Mobile contacts are telling them that the reason for the slowdown is because T-Mobile’s Sprint acquisition is still not closed — the companies had hoped to close the transaction this summer but delayed that to the end of this year.
Wireless Estimator first reported of the slowdown in T-Mobile’s 5G network deployment last month, citing several network construction contractors that reported the operator was halting new network equipment purchase orders for the remainder of 2019.
T-Mobile’s slowdown is particularly painful for tower firms and construction companies because, over the past 18 months, T-Mobile has been aggressively expanding its network in the 600MHz spectrum. “The build, coupled with T-Mobile’s regular tower activity supporting its other spectrum bands has created a robust driver of revenue growth for the tower cos,” said the Wells Fargo report.
The full report is HERE.
More than a pizza box:
Full article HERE. People are objecting to having this outside the bedroom window? Your thoughts? How ugly can small cells get?
ILSR: Community Networks Fact Sheet
Since 5G connectivity relies on fiber optics that aren’t available in many rural areas, these communities won’t receive 5G access anytime soon. The same market reality discouraging investment in rural broadband will also discourage 5G investment. Even in urban areas, companies like AT&T and Verizon are unlikely to start investing in the low-income neighborhoods they have neglected for years.
This just one insight provided in the Pocket Guild to 5G Hype
THIS is a long article with interactive graphics. The money quote for rural households:
It will be years until 5G fully replaces 4G, and as you start to become addicted to the new, faster speeds, be prepared for frustration and heartbreak when stumbling into areas with slow coverage, or when traveling to rural areas or countries where the expensive networks are still in development. Living with exponentially faster 5G speeds means you’ll feel it harder when they’re gone.
Continue reading at C/NET