AIRWAVES, Take Two

— Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) is working to reintroduce his AIRWAVES Act, a bill previously filed as S. 1682. The original legislation, backed by the wireless industry, would have identified spectrum bands for unlicensed use, freed up mid-band airwaves and set aside funds from spectrum auctions for expanding rural broadband.

— Gardner is working with Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) on a new version , he told reporters Monday night. Some of the initial elements of the bill have been “picked up by the FCC” while other issues like satellite “have been brought to our attention,” Gardner said, adding adding that he wants lawmakers to get the legislation “right and to make sure this is something that can pass.”

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech [Emphsas added]

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5G Stealing the Show at Consumer Electronics Show.

The 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) officially kicked off in Las Vegas on Tuesday, and devices with 5G connectivity are stealing the show.

The annual conference, which is taking place January 8-11, showcases the latest mobile and connected technology from more than 4,500 exhibiting companies. CES is an important event for developers and manufacturers because it provides a peek at technological shifts.

Consumers Are Interested in Subscriptions for Connected Devices
Business Insider Intelligence
Devices with 5G connectivity were the chief focus at the conference this year, with Qualcomm and Intel making announcements that are poised to transform various industries.

Qualcomm’s chipsets will spearhead the first wave of 5G smartphones. Qualcomm expects its new Snapdragon 855 mobile platform and X50 5G cellular modem to power more than 30 5G devices, mostly smartphones, in 2019. The addition of 5G connectivity will provide considerable improvements to handsets, from more secure fingerprint scanning to faster AI-driven tasks, encouraging more users to upgrade.

Car manufacturers demoed Qualcomm’s 9150 C-V2X chipset, which set the future for connected cars with 5G. Automakers including Audi, Ford, and Ducati staged how the chipset, which will run on 4G and 5G networks, can be leveraged to enable vehicle-to-vehicle communications. Ford, for instance, plans to use the tech in all US models starting in 2022. Qualcomm’s chipset presents cellular carriers with an opportunity to add connected car subscriptions, which consumers are highly interested in paying for despite their lack of widespread availability. For instance, just 30% of consumers own a connected car, but nearly half (49%) are interested in paying a monthly subscription for a connected car, according to Business Insider Intelligence’s Telecom Competitive Edge report (enterprise only).

Intel will facilitate the shift to 5G-powered laptops. Intel lifted the lid on a new initiative, dubbed Project Athena, that aims to open the door to a new class of advanced laptops with 5G connectivity and AI capabilities. The company is developing a roadmap for PC makers including Microsoft, Google, Lenovo, Dell, and Samsung to bring Project Athena devices to market in the second half of this year. Integrated 5G connectivity will provide wireless carriers with an additional opportunity to diversify revenue streams and expand wireless subscriber bases.

Source: Business Insider

In 1996 I gave a presentation at a conference in Canada on Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems. In my slide presentation, I showed how vehicles would be integrated into the digital grid, the internet. When I predicted that in the near the future cars would have an IP address, there was a lot of snickering and laughter in the audience. Only later it occurred to me I had been laughed off the stage. Today 30% of consumers own a connected vehicle and soon with G5 built in it will become a standard feature. Too bad many citizens living in rural communities will not be able to take advantage of this connectivity until they drive to an urban location with 5G.

Will This Technology Save Rural 5G?

T-Mobile, Ericsson and Intel claim to have completed the first 5G data call and video call on 600 MHz spectrum. The calls, which included uplink and downlink communications, were done on a live commercial network and provided a 5G coverage area of more than 1,000 square miles from a single tower. The companies did not say what bandwidth the data call supported.

“5G will power vibrant new use cases that span across network, client and cloud—spurring the convergence of computing and communications that will enable exciting use cases ranging from virtual and augmented reality and gaming, to smart cities, connected cars and intelligent data analytics,” Sandra Rivera, the senior vice president of Intel’s Network Platform Group, said in a press release. “This collaboration with Ericsson and T-Mobile conducted over low-band spectrum and using the Intel® 5G Mobile Trial Platform is a major milestone on the path to enabling the first wave of these types of 5G experiences.”

5G Coverage Area
According to a press release, the goal of the “new” T-Mobile – a company that includes Sprint — is to use the 600 MHz band to deliver “a broad layer of 5G” that will “balance” millimeter wave (mmWave) approaches that have trouble passing through objects and has limited range of less than a square mile. However, the companies also did a three-user triband call over 600 MHz, 28 GHz and 39 GHz band spectrum.

5G is a huge transition for the broadband industry and therefore has ignited significant marketing and technology claims and counter-claims. AT&T and Verizon initially are focusing on mmWave approaches and claim that though it will take longer to deploy, the approach supports higher bandwidth and provides the truer vision of 5G. T-Mobile – which has never said it won’t use mmWave – has placed its bet, initially at least, on the 600 MHz band, which the company notes is ready now and supports a much larger 5G coverage area in comparison with mmWave.

Full Article at Telecompetitor HERE.

 

D-Link Offering a 5G Hotspot

d_link_5g_nr_router__dwr_2010_.0

Consumer Electronics Show 2019 hasn’t officially started yet, but it’s clear that 5G is going to be a big theme at this years show. Case in point: D-Link’s new 5G NR Enhanced Gateway(also known as the DWR-2010), a home router that instead of plugging into a traditional cable jack or modem, instead will use 5G mobile broadband to supply Wi-Fi for a house.

D-Link isn’t offering a whole lot of information just yet as to how much the device will cost, which carriers it’ll be working with, and what data prices will look like compared to traditional broadband, but it’s certainly an intriguing concept considering the promises of 5G, particularly if it really can deliver comparable speeds without requiring the same level of building-by-building infrastructure.

That said, D-Link is offering a few promising details: according to the company, the DWR-2010 will offer speeds up to 40 times faster than the average broadband speed in the US of 70 Mbps (which some quick math works out to 2.8 Gbps). Additionally, the DWR-2010 is expected to support both the sub-6 GHz and mmWave portions of the 5G standard, whenever it does release to carriers to sell sometime in the second half of 2019.

Source The Verge

Utilities To FCC: Stay Off Our Spectrum

— The Utilities Technology Council issued a lengthy and fierce rebuke to Thursday’s FCC vote to proceed to a rulemaking on expanding the use of 6 GHz spectrum, which advocates like Public Knowledge celebrate for its potential use for unlicensed technology like Wi-Fi.

— Broadband broadside: “Although we understand the need for expanded wireless broadband, the risk of radio frequency interference to utilities’ mission-critical networks outweighs the potential benefits from unlicensed use of the band,” said Joy Ditto, who leads the utility trade group. “We are greatly concerned that the proposed rulemaking as drafted would not sufficiently mitigate potential interference to utility systems from these new unlicensed operations.” She argues “there are other spectrum bands more suitable to achieve the Commission’s goals.”

Today: White House Spotlights 5G

— The White House National Economic Council is bringing together government officials, carriers, chip makers and trade groups for a look at the future of next-generation 5G technology. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is expected to give remarks about his agency’s work to support 5G services, and both Republican Commissioners Brendan Carr and Mike O’Rielly are planning to attend. The lone Democratic commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel, was not invited. The summit comes amid growing backlash from local officials over the agency’s approval of a plan to streamline the deployment of small cells across the country to support 5G — an order that will override local regulations.

— House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) expects to discuss the broadband provisions wrapped into Ray Baum’s Act, enacted into law this spring as part of omnibus funding legislation. He said the Trump administration is striking a better balance on 5G than earlier in the year, when a National Security Council staffer floated a proposal to nationalize 5G. “I think they’re rightfully concerned about cybersecurity and most importantly, we want the U.S. and U.S. companies in the lead globally,” Walden told John on Thursday. “So we’re not having to take somebody else’s technology — I’d rather have our companies in the lead, in the forefront, and I believe they are.”

— NEC Director Larry Kudlow will discuss 5G’s impact on the future of the economy, and will argue that the administration’s tax reform and deregulatory policies have helped lay the foundation for the technology, according to an NEC official.

— Other speakers include Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who will also deliver a keynote address, as well as NTIA Administrator David Redl and Deputy CTO Michael Kratsios. The event will include sessions on spectrum, rural broadband deployment, security and applications of 5G technology. About 150 people are expected to attend, including representatives from trade groups such as CTIA, the Consumer Technology Association, the Wireless Infrastructure Association, and companies including Intel and Charter.

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech

Fact Sheet Explains Why “Satellite Is Not Broadband” But?

Community Networks Newsletter

As a nation our goal is ubiquitous broadband coverage so every person, regardless of where they live, can obtain the fast, affordable, reliable Internet access necessary for modern times. For people in rural areas, where large national wireline providers don’t typically invest in the infrastructure for high-quality connectivity, satellite Internet access is often their only choice. In our Satellite Is Not Broadband fact sheet we address some of the reasons why depending on satellite Internet access to serve rural America is a mistake.

Download Fact Sheet HERE.

Analysis:

The data sheet is correct satellite broadband is expensive, it suffers from high latency and from weather interruptions.

Latency is the time it takes for a signal to get from the ground to satellite and back to the ground again. It is not a big issue when you’re sending emails or trying to view a static webpage. However, for online education, telehealth and virtual reality high latency can be a showstopper for any service requiring real-time communications.

SpaceX has proposed to reduce the latency issue with it’s Starlink Program. SpaceX’s idea is to put its satellites into much lower orbit than usual, in order to cut the latency of the services. A typical internet satellite in geostationary orbit is more than 22,000 miles above ground. According to SpaceX’s FCC filings, the company wants to put its Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit, between 684 and 823 miles in the air.

Space x wants to initially deploy 800 satellites in low Earth orbit, in order to cover “initial U.S. and international coverage.” Then it wants to throw over 7,000 more into the sky at “Very Low Earth Orbit” (VLEO, in this case around 211 miles up) to fill in the blanks as needed.

Also, SpaceX is not the only satellite company seeking to provide broadband services. OneWeb, Telesat, and Space Norway have also received the FCC’s go-ahead for similar low altitude satellite services. The competition should reduce the price and smaller low altitude satellites will reduce the latency problem, but all will have to deal with the weather.

Given the Telco focus on 5G which is not a rural friendly technology due to the low user density which makes the return on investment questionable, low altitude satellite may be the only options for rural communities for a long time. Getting taxpayers to pay for the fiber networks that 5G needs to cover rural communities are going to be a tough nut to crack.