Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!
Google dreams big, in fiber and wireless
Google’s plans to tap wireless technology for its broadband deployments continues to gain steam as the company this week announced closing on its acquisition of fixed wireless broadband provider Webpass and fleshed out more details on its network plans. In a blog post, Google Fiber President Dennis Kish noted Webpass is now officially part of the “family,” and the “combination of Google Fiber technology with Webpass’ great team and operations will result in more choice and better access for many more people.” Google initially announced plans to acquire San Francisco-based Webpass in June. Kish said Webpass would continue to focus on growing the scale of its business using point-to-point wireless technology, including expansion beyond its current footprint in parts of Miami; Boston; Chicago; and San Francisco and San Diego, California. Webpass claims more than 20,000 active “units.” At the same time, Google Fiber is set to continue its recently altered plans for a hybrid deployment approach using both wired and wireless technologies. “Of course, at Google Fiber we’re particularly excited about Webpass’ application of point-to-point wireless deployment methodology,” Kish wrote. … Read More
Telefónica nixes infrastructure IPO
Spanish telecommunications giant Telefónica has abandoned plans to launch an initial public offering of its infrastructure unit Telxius. “Telefónica and the joint global coordinators have decided to abandon the offering, considering inadequate the valuation of the company, Telxius, implicit in the purchase orders received,” the telco said in a statement. The Spanish operator said last month it hoped to raise up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.68 billion) from the IPO. It aimed to sell a 36.36% stake in Telxius, with an over-allotment option that would increase it to 40%. In February, Telefónica established Telxius to manage certain infrastructure assets of the telecommunications group. Telxius currently manages approximately 16,000 telecommunication towers in Spain and other countries, as well as the Telefónica Group´s international network of 31,000 kilometers of submarine fiber optic cable, including SAM-1, a submarine cable that connects the United States with Central America and South America. … Read More
What is 5G, really? (Do we know yet?)
Getting beyond the technical specifications, what “5G” will be in practice is nearly as confusing as digging into its planned technical specifications. In fact, some note the real purpose of 5G will be in somehow managing the growing complexity streaming into the mobile telecom space from various angles. “5G has hit the market with so many facets unlike the somewhat linear fashion of previous technologies,” said Larry Davis, national sales manager at Anritsu. Analysts note the complexity will include integrating a broader swath of spectrum across bands lower than 6 GHz, which will be seen as “low-band” spectrum, and that above 6 GHz known as “high-band” spectrum. In addition, there is likely to be some integration of unlicensed spectrum and new spectrum sharing models. 5G also is set to include greater use of multiple-input/multiple-output antenna technology, as well as beamforming capabilities to take advantage of millimeter wave spectrum bands. All of this will require a greater reliance on software as well, with carriers expected to move on virtualization technologies like software-defined networking, network functions virtualization and cloud platforms. “5G will really be about how the industry and carriers can manage this increased complexity in the network,” noted Bill Ho, principal analyst at 556 Ventures. … Read More
AT&T plans for IoT
AT&T’s plans for the “internet of things” continues to evolve, with the carrier launching mobile-specific IoT rate plans and a scheduled trial of enhanced Machine Type Communication technology in San Francisco next month. The new prepaid plans, which target developers and businesses, include three tiers of data and text messages: 1 gigabyte of data valid for up to 1 year and 500 text messages for $25; 3 GB of data valid for up to 1 year and 1,000 text messages for $60; and 5 GB of data valid for up to 2 years and 1,500 text messages for $100. The plans are set to be available later this month. “Making data plans available for developers and innovators lowers the barrier to entry,” explained Chris Penrose, SVP for IoT solutions at AT&T. “It lets smaller players, used to working at the speed of innovation, get their products off the ground and in the hands of customers quickly. After these initial plans are deployed, we help them scale their solution beyond a thousand SIMs and provide connectivity as they grow their business.” The carrier noted the plans follow up on its IoT Starter Kit, which launched in July. The $99 kit includes a global SIM card; LTE modem; access to AT&T’s Control Center; an expandable development board designed to work with a range of plug-in sensors; an API to monitor the network connection and data transfer; cloud storage to host, manage and share data across multiple groups; access to AT&T Flow Designer, which is designed to help developers launch IoT apps; and a microcontroller carrier board with Arduino-compatible expansion slot. … Read More
Magic beans for IoT
Thumb-sized “plastic beans” are being filled with sensors and tossed into grain bins and storage facilities for precision agriculture, getting rid of the need for handheld devices or elaborate moisture monitoring systems, according to an article on Farm Journal’s AGWeb. The sensor pods can be dropped in an auger and become part of the grain storage. They are charged wirelessly and report data throughout the day to a smartphone or remote hub. The beans are able to send out a signal when they read measurements outside of normal conditions. Currently in testing, BeanIoT uses sensors and wireless connectivity for practical farm applications. It measures temperature, humidity, air quality, altitude, gasses – including CO2 – and movement in bulk-storage grain. Designed to be worn, carried or deployed throughout the home or factory, each bean contains a bluetooth radio, electronic compass, gyroscope and sensors. All the components “speak” with one another using an adaptive wireless mesh network of static or moving nodes. … Read More
CCA 2016: VoLTE, IoT, 5G
As expected, the recently completed Competitive Carriers Association Annual Convention showed a heavy focus on policy, “5G” and the “internet of things,” with at least one of those three main topics actually something CCA’s majority member base seemed willing to discuss. While the event caters to the domestic market’s smaller wireless players, most keynote addresses, educational sessions and conversations were on topics that are increasingly on the minds of all operators. To kick off this look back at the event, we start with an onsite interview with CCA President and CEO Steve Berry, who touched on a number of topics impacting the organization’s members. These included data roaming, business data services and the ongoing 600 MHz incentive auction process. In terms of the movement toward 5G, T-Mobile US CTO Neville Ray took to the stage for a keynote presentation where he provided an update on the carrier’s 5G plans as well as offered up LTE roaming and voice-over-LTE support for CCA’s carrier members. In its latest work with Ericsson, T-Mobile US said it completed trials of voice calls between “4G” and 5G networks using Ericsson’s 5G radio prototype system and the carrier’s LTE network and devices. Network speed testing, which is one of the hallmarks of 5G trials, also showed that download speeds of more than 12 gigabits per second were possible with latency of less than two milliseconds. … Read More
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.
The post #TBT: Google’s broadband dreams; What is 5G, really?; Magic IoT beans … this week in 2016 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.