Displaying items by tag: 5G

UK University declines additional funding from Chinese vendor

Written on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 06:22

Embattled Chinese telecommunications vendor Huawei has endured a miserable number of months – and is under intense scrutiny globally.

Huawei has become embroiled in a series of controversies and has been subjected to lurid allegations which claim the telecommunications behemoth is a security threat to nations that deploy its equipment due to its close ties with the Chinese government in Beijing.

The under-fire company suffered another setback when one of the world’s most famous academic institutions Oxford University, declined the opportunity to receive additional funding from the vendor.

A spokesman for the University said that it would not be pursuing new funding opportunities for both research contracts or philanthropic donations from Huawei and related group companies, although it did confirm that existing projects currently in place will continue.

The spokesman said, “We currently have two such ongoing projects, with a combined funding from Huawei of £692,000. However, after careful consideration we have decided to turn away future funding from Huawei and have informed them of our decision.”

Oxford confirmed that the decision to decline future funding from Huawei was due to the public concerns which have been expressed regarding the company’s operations. A Huawei executive was arrested in Poland last week on suspicion of espionage. In December, its CTO, Meng Hanzhou was arrested in Vancouver for alleged fraud in Iran.

The US have banned them for participating in the rollout of its 5G networks and has its allies New Zealand and Australia have followed suit. Washington is also instructed the UK and Japan to ban Huawei, whilst both the German and Canadian governments are considering banning them from their 5G programs over the security concerns raised by US intelligence. 

However, Huawei has contradicted what Oxford University has stated, and is adamant that it has not been informed of any decision by the academic institution in relation to funding.

A Huawei spokesman said, “We have operated in the UK since 2001, employ 1,500 people here and have long standing research collaborations with 20 other UK universities working to develop the technologies of the future. We will await their decision.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

Germany and Canada both considering banning Huawei from 5G

Written on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 06:07

The Canadian and German government are reportedly both seriously considering excluding Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei from its 5G networks due to security concerns.

Published in Telecom Vendors

SK Telecom and Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) announced they have developed a 5G antenna control technology and have filed for a patent.

SK Telecom is preparing for the rollout of 5G in March in South Korea with compatriots KT and LG uplus.

It is collaborating extensively with ally Samsung Electronics in 5G equipment research, as well as Hyundai and Trimble to develop construction monitoring solutions that improve overall efficiency. The company excluded Huawei equipment from its list of vendors in September 2018.

The call quality is maintained in ultra-high 28GHz spectrum 5G by controlling the electrical characteristic of the antenna. Ultra-high frequency reception sensitivity can be affected by how users hold their smartphones or the angle of their head but the new technology has been developed to offset that. Power consumption of smartphones also decreases due to increased reception sensitivity.

Ultra-high spectrum such as 28GHz requires components to be placed in a smaller area compared to LTE, with SK Telecom and POSTECH.  This was taken into account when finishing testing for commercial launch.

It follows news that SK Telecom and Sinclair Broadcast Group will invest $33 million into a joint venture that will develop next-generation broadcasting solutions, will allow faster data transmission for high resolution broadcasting, as well as the combining of broadcasting and telecommunications spectrum.

Published in Telecom Operators

US operator achieves 5G milestone in San Diego

Written on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 07:00

US telecommunications operator Sprint has achieved a 5G milestone following a pilot trial in the sun-kissed city of San Diego.

Sprint, which is owned by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank announced that it had completed a successful 5G OTA data transmission on its live network. Sprint CTO John Saw has expressed his delight at the success of the 5G project, and claims that it will provide a huge step forward in relation to the operators’ overall plans to launch next-generation services in the forthcoming months.

Sprint disclosed the details of the field test and revealed that it was conducted using 2.5GHz spectrum on the operators’ commercial network with radio equipment from Finnish vendor Nokia and a mobile test device from Qualcomm.

In addition to this, Sprint also disclosed that the trial demonstrated a successful handoff between 4G and 5G connectivity while streaming video, conducting Skype audio and video calls, and sending instant messages. Its test follows the completion of a 5G data transmission in a lab during December 2018. The operator earlier this week announced plans to release a Samsung 5G handset in 2019.

“Sprint 5G is now out of the lab and in the field as we prepare for our commercial launch in the first half of this year,” Saw said in a statement.

Nokia North America CTO Mike Murphy noted Sprint’s use of 2.5GHz spectrum for 5G will allow it to reuse existing 4G sites to provide both indoor and outdoor coverage: “This first standards-based call is thus a critical step towards Sprint’s offering of a 5G service to its customers.”

T-Mobile US recently claimed a similar milestone with what it said was the world’s first 5G data call and video call using 600MHz spectrum.

Published in Telecom Operators

Epiroc, a leading productivity partner for the mining, infrastructure and natural resources industries, has signed a cooperation agreement with Ericsson to jointly help mining companies achieve optimal wireless connectivity in their operations through LTE and 5G technologies.

Mining companies are increasingly seeking to digitalize and automate their operations to increase productivity, enhance operator safety and lower cost. This includes, for example, remotely operating machines from a control room, and collecting machine performance data to optimize use of the equipment. This creates a need for reliable, high-performance wireless connectivity at the mines. Epiroc and Ericsson have agreed to work together to provide mining customers with high-performing LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and 5G mobile technology solutions.

Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s Senior Executive Vice President Mining and Infrastructure, says: “We are happy to team up with Ericsson so that our mining customers can get the most reliable and high-performing wireless connectivity possible. This is a crucial step in our ongoing work to ensure mining customers reap all the benefits, including higher productivity and better safety, made possible by digitalization and automation.”

Åsa Tamsons, Ericsson’s Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Technologies & New Businesses, says: “Cellular technology and the introduction of 5G is critical to realize the full value of digitalization and automatization for smart industries. This will open up for new business models and ecosystems across the mining industry, telecom services providers in each market, and Ericsson. By combining our expertise in connectivity and Epiroc’s cutting-edge technology in mining equipment, we will be able to ensure stable and secure mining operations, leading to increased utilization, improved productivity and reduced costs.”

Key advantages of LTE and 5G solutions compared with other wireless solutions include better coverage, higher reliability and stronger security, especially when machines are in the same area and share information.  The technology, which is for both underground and open pit mines, has already been tested on Epiroc’s machines at the company’s test mine in Kvarntorp, Sweden. Further testing will be done before providing the solutions to customers. 

Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei has moved swiftly to terminate the contract of an employee who has been arrested in Poland amidst claims he was spying for China.

Huawei executive Wang Weijing was detained by Polish authorities on Friday, following a lengthy investigation that was conducted by Poland’s special services. It is believed that Weijing is a director for the Polish branch of Huawei.

It’s the latest setback for Huawei’s brand globally following the high-profile arrest of the vendors’ CTO, Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in December. She is fighting extradition to the US, where she stands accused of fraud relating to business activity in Iran.

The Chinese vendor robustly defended its CTO following her arrest and demanded her immediate release from jail. However, Huawei has wasted no timing in trying to distance itself from this latest scandal in Poland by announcing it has fired the employee in question for harming the company’s global reputation.

In a statement given to the Global Times, Huawei said that Wang Weijing was arrested for ‘personal reasons’ and said the incident caused significant damage to the company at a time when it’s under intense scrutiny regarding security.

Huawei cited management rules in company contracts and said it was left with no decision but to terminate its employer relationship with Wang Weijing immediately.  Poland has claimed that they firmly believe the Huawei executive was spying for China.

China’s Foreign Ministry responded quickly to the claims made by Polish authorities and expressed that it was ‘highly concerned’ by the arrest. The latest controversy is something Huawei really could’ve done without.

US President Donald Trump is expected to issue an executive order which would ban US companies from working with Chinese vendors ZTE and Huawei over the alleged risk both pose to national security.

In addition to this, Australia and Japan have blocked Huawei from participating in the construction of their super-fast 5G networks, whilst the UK and New Zealand are also considering banning the vendor from the rollout of its 5G networks.

EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic refused to "speculate" when asked Friday if there were any concerns about Chinese retaliation.

"We are aware of the reports and we will be indeed in touch with the Polish authorities for further information," she told reporters. 

Published in Telecom Vendors

US telecommunications behemoth AT&T has been roundly criticized by its rival operators in the United States who have described its 5G marketing as ‘overhyped’ and ‘misleading’.

US operator Verizon has urged those within the industry to resist the temptation to overhype and subsequently under-deliver on the promise of next-generation technology. In a statement released by Verizon, it’s CTO, Kyle Malady pointed out that whilst new technologies including AI, virtual reality and Internet of Things would all be underpinned by 5G, he stressed the importance of being realistic in terms of what operators can actually deliver in relation to the revolutionary technology.

AT&T launched a mobile 5G service towards the end of 2018, and claimed that it was offering the service to select businesses and consumers in 12 US cities via a mobile hotspot device provided by Netgear. The network operator has adopted an ambitious approach to 5G and was also pushing its 5G Evolution program which promised users speeds faster than your standard LTE.

In addition to this, it was also disclosed in a previous statement by AT&T that Android devices from the operator will display a 5G E logo pop-up on the home screen which would indicate they have connected to AT&T’s 5G evolution experience.

However, critics have claimed that the service provided by AT&T should not be considered as a 5G network offering. Verizon’s CTO said, “If network providers, equipment manufacturers, handset makers, app developers and others in the wireless ecosystem engage in behaviour designed to purposefully confuse consumers, public officials and the investment community about what 5G really is, we risk alienating the very people we want most to join in developing and harnessing this exciting new technology.”

Although not mentioned by name, Verizon’s comments appear to be directed at its main rival AT&T.

Verizon is still preparing for its mobile 5G launch after deploying a fixed wireless access service in October 2018.

In another apparent swipe at AT&T’s Android device move, Malady also cautioned on the industry to only commit to labelling something 5G if new device hardware is connecting the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities.

The CTO added, “Verizon is making this commitment today: we won’t take an old phone and just change the software to turn the 4 in the status bar into a 5.”

T-Mobile
Also turning up the heat was T-Mobile US, which didn’t pass up the opportunity to seemingly mock AT&T on Twitter, while making the same point as Verizon. “Didn’t realise it was this easy, brb updating,” the operator said on its official Twitter account, with the message accompanied by a video of someone taping a 9G sticker on a smartphone.

Published in Telecom Operators

Embattled Chinese telecommunication vendors Huawei and ZTE have received a welcome reprieve following the news that two Spanish operators are planning on using them for forthcoming 5G pilots.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Chinese telecommunication vendors ZTE and Huawei have both endured a difficult number of years in the US marketplace – and their issues have multiplied during the Trump administration.

ZTE were momentarily crippled and almost went out of business following a decision by the US Department of Commerce to ban US companies from using their equipment and products for 7 years. However, following an intervention from US President Donald Trump, the ban was overturned and the vendor was instead hit with a $1bn fine and has to adhere to a number of strict rules and regulations.

Huawei have also been subjected to sharp criticism and have been deemed by US intelligence as a serious threat to national security due to their close ties to the Chinese government. Observers believe that the aggression from the US towards the Chinese telecommunication vendors is part of Trump’s plan to use them as pawns in his trade war with China.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing escalated when ZTE were initially banned, and it sparked an angry backlash from China. The rest of the world looked on anxiously as the two economic superpowers clashed head-on, it has since deescalated, but the high-profile arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver has once again put diplomatic relations between the two countries under the microscope.

However, the situation in the US for both ZTE and Huawei is set to worsen following reports that US President Donald Trump is set to issue an executive order that would effectively ban operators in the country from using the Chinese manufacturer’s equipment and products.

Reuters has reported that the Trump administration has been mulling over the order for eight months, but it expected to formally enact it later this month.  It is said the order would not name Huawei or its compatriot ZTE by name but would give the US Department of Commerce scope to ban any supplier it suspects of being a threat to national security.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Telcos team up on first 5G NR video call in Europe

Written on Thursday, 03 January 2019 11:25

Telecom Italia (TIM), Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson have successfully completed the first, live video call in Europe using 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum.

The partners used a smartphone equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G chipset on Ericsson equipment to make the call during the inauguration of the TIM’s new 5G Innovation Hub in Rome.

The new TIM 5G Innovation Hub aims to attract and support an ecosystem of startups, research centers and other stakeholders interested in the digital transformation. In addition to the 5G video call, TIM also showcased a series of new services including a remote-driven car; a virtual museum tour, remote controlled industrial robots; and multiplayer interactive video gaming using augmented reality.

Mario Di Mauro, Chief Strategy, Innovation and Customer Experience Officer at TIM, said: “When we started to define the strategy and the development plans for 5G, we immediately realized that such a massive challenge could not be faced without the support of a wide range of partners committed to the same goal. We therefore proposed Qualcomm Technologies set up a place where work on the new 5G services and every business idea could find a quick realization thanks to the support of leading international technology players, innovative partners and start-ups from the local and national ecosystem.”

Published in Infrastructure
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