Displaying items by tag: Brazil

China Mobile considering purchase of Brazil’s Oi unit

Written on Thursday, 05 October 2017 08:52

China Mobile is reportedly in talks with Brazil’s telecom regulator to purchase Brazilian telecom provider Oi SA’s mobile phone division. According to Exame magazine, China’s largest telecom company is interested in taking over the Brazilin telecom company, which is currently under bankruptcy protection.

China Mobile wouldn’t be responsible for paying overdue fines that Oi owes if it were to purchase the struggling telco, according to Exame, referring to China Mobile’s discussions with Anatel, Brazil’s agency of telecommunications. The agency reportedly confirmed on Sept. 11 that the talks took place.

If China Mobile were to purchase Oi, it would be the company’s first international buyout and could fire up tensions amid a crackdown by regulators on financing for outbound acquisitions. The Brazilian telecom company has around $19 billion in debts. The company filed Brazil’s largest bankruptcy protection request in June 2016.

Once regarded as one of Brazil’s “national champions”, Oi’s financial problems are mostly attributed to debt accrued from the heavy CAPEX required to meet mandatory goals for the expansion of its fixed-line network, and from mergers and acquisitions, said a report by the Financial Times.

Anatel is Oi's largest individual creditor, with $3.5 billion in fines accumulated during Oi's 20 years of operations. The regulatory agency set a deadline for Oi to present a competent recovery plan by August 23, but it failed to do so, according to Exame. Therefore, the company is facing intensifying pressure to come up with a solution to its financial woes.

Oi’s CEO, Marco Schroeder, said in August that the company needs a capital boost soon in order to survive. The company is said to have lost around 6 million clients in Brazil in the first year under bankruptcy protection. Brazil’s economy is facing a massive amount of pressure due to its recession, with many companies facing heavy debt.

Published in Telecom Operators

Infinera and Seaborn Networks (Seaborn) tells us they have deployed Infinera’s new XTS-3300 meshponders on Seaborn’s Seabras-1 submarine cable to rapidly offer cloud connectivity services like SeaCloud™. Seabras-1 is the only submarine cable system with a direct connection between São Paulo, Brazil and New York City, enabling Seaborn to offer SeaSpeed™, its proprietary lowest-latency route, between these key global financial centers. 

Seaborn recently announced that Seabras-1 is now ready for operations. At 10,600 kilometers of subsea cable with multiple branching units, Seabras-1 is the longest uncompensated cable deployed connecting North and South America. Seabras-1 is designed to provide additional route diversity to Virginia Beach, Miami, St. Croix, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, southern Brazil and Cape Town. Seaborn selected the XTS-3300 to deliver the industry’s highest subsea spectral efficiency and lowest power consumption available in a commercially deployed, compact, easy-to-use platform. 

While many subsea cables can take days to activate capacity, the Seaborn team was able to configure the XTS-3300 and light the fiber in an impressive 30 minutes. Infinera’s unique large-scale photonic integration technology delivers terabit super-channels and, along with the Advanced Coherent Toolkit (ACT), enables rapid activation of subsea links. With Infinera Instant Bandwidth, the industry’s first software defined capacity (SDC) solution, Seaborn can deploy bandwidth in 100 gigabits per second increments within minutes and a few clicks of a mouse, while the XTS-3300 platform enables scalability up to 11.8 terabits per second on a fiber. The XTS-3300 seamlessly integrates with Seaborn’s existing Infinera terrestrial backhaul networks in Brazil and New York, which include Infinera’s XTC and XTM Series.

The XTS-3300 provides Seaborn with a subsea platform that integrates the groundbreaking performance of the Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine 4 (ICE4), which features unique performance-enhancing technologies such as Nyquist subcarriers and SD-FEC gain sharing. The deployment of the XTS-3300 on Seabras-1 significantly exceeded Seaborn’s capacity-reach performance targets, helping increase the return on Seaborn’s deployed subsea cable asset. The XTS-3300 is a highly efficient rack-and-stack solution with the lowest power consumption in a commercially deployed platform.  

“In our quest to meet unprecedented bandwidth demand from our customers, we rely on solutions that are easy to operate, highly reliable and provide cloud scale capacity in a small form factor,” said Larry W. Schwartz, Chairman & CEO, Seaborn Networks. “The Infinera XTS3300 meshponder significantly exceeded our expectations, allowing us to provision services within minutes between our Infinera metro networks in Brazil and New York. This, combined with Instant Bandwidth, enables us to rapidly respond to our customers’ hyperscale requirements and offer cloud scale service on demand.”

“We are honored to partner with Seaborn to light the Seabras-1 cable,” said Tom Fallon, Infinera Chief Executive Officer. “Infinera continues to push the physics of the optical transport world for the benefit of our customers and the networks they run. The XTS-3300 is purpose-built for subsea applications, delivering industry leading subsea performance while integrating seamlessly into Seaborn’s existing terrestrial and subsea network.” 

Published in Infrastructure

Satellite communications giant Intelsat said it will provide communications solutions for maritime customers in Latin America under an agreement with Brazil’s Mareste, a privately held firm based in Rio de Janeiro.

Under the agreement, Mareste will provide Ku-band communications services delivered by the Galaxy 28 satellite for the leisure, fishing and coastal sectors in Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.

Mareste will package the satellite services with its Ello product, which includes antennas and hardware, to provide a cost-effective satellite communication system designed to serve smaller coastal and regional vessels, where physical space for onboard equipment and budgets can be scarce or limited.

“With access to Intelsat’s satellite fleet and services, Mareste will be able to rapidly grow into a market that has traditionally been underserved,” said Márcio Esteves, Mareste’s President. “These leisure, fishing and coastal sectors traditionally have been forced to settle for low-speed, expensive connections.”

Esteves added, “With faster, more affordable broadband connectivity, Ello will solve the communications challenges for these customers, delivering a cost-effective satellite system that can be easily and rapidly deployed on smaller vessels.”

Carmen González-Sanfeliu, Intelsat’s Managing Director, Latin America & Caribbean, Sales, said, “Satellites are delivering next generation broadband services to the maritime sector.  Intelsat is focused on simplifying the process of acquiring the services and integrating them into existing operations.”

Carmen added, “Intelsat makes it easier to access connectivity from across the Intelsat fleet, including the Intelsat EpicNG platform and IntelsatOne Flex for Maritime service. For network operators and service providers, Intelsat delivers accelerated time to market, ensured availability and secure delivery of bandwidth.”

Published in Satellite Industry

UK telecom operator Three recently announced that its customers will be able to use their phones abroad at no extra cost in a further two worldwide destinations – Singapore and Brazil - from June 15, bringing its total destinations to 60.

As the network continues its assault on “unfair roaming charges”, specifically in destinations outside the EU, these new destinations keep Three positioned as the global leader in mobile roaming.

Other networks are playing catch-up as EU regulations force them into freeing travelers from unfair roaming charges in Europe from June 15. Roaming charges are a “rip off” and Three continues to tackle the issue head on by opening up further global destinations to phone users at no extra cost and now covers 82% of total trips abroad worldwide.

Dave Dyson, Chief Executive at Three, said: “We are committed to unlocking unfair roaming charges for British travelers, not just in the EU but across the world. Our announcement today is testament to this, as we extend our popular “Feel At Home” service with two additional worldwide destinations, taking our total to 60 with 17 of those being outside of Europe.”

Three was the first network to scrap roaming charges back in 2013, allowing customers to use their allowances at no extra cost. Over time it’s continued to add more destinations to the list, not just across Europe, but also popular rest-of-world places, including the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.

Dave Dyson continues: “We are doing this proactively for the benefit of our customers and not because regulators are forcing us to do it.  That’s what sets us apart and this approach means we will always be ahead of our competitors when it comes to fair overseas roaming.  I am proud that our customers can now use their phones as if they were in the UK in more than 80% of the destinations they travel to.  Our ambition is greater and we are moving quickly towards a goal of 100% of overseas travel, so our customers can stay connected and enjoy the freedom of using their phones whilst they’re abroad.”

The addition of Brazil and Singapore are in response to emerging and growing travel trends. Currently 450,000 Brits visit Singapore each year and, since the Olympics, more travelers are making the trip to Brazil, with nearly 200,000 visits in the last year alone. 

Three has also significantly overhauled its latest international calling offering for Pay As You Go customers by making it just 3p a minute to call directly to both landline and mobile numbers in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China. By June, a further 16 countries will be added to this list.

In a further move to simplify things for customers, this new PAYG international calling service is available without the complexity of having to remember the country pre-fix dialing codes. So you can now simply phone the number abroad without any prefix whatsoever.

Published in Telecom Operators

Spanish and Brazilian government officials have confirmed that a proposed fiber optic submarine cable between the two countries has been given the go-ahead.

The 9,200 km-long (5,700 mile) Ella-Link, previously known as Eula-Link, will connect to data centers in Madrid, Lisbon and São Paulo, as well as connecting to Fortazela, the archipelagoes of Madeira, Spain’s Canary Islands and Africa’s Cape Verde. A 72Tbps cable, it will be the first fiber optic submarine cable between Europe and Brazil, with the only existing direct link being a 20Gb copper cable laid in 1999.

Ella-Link, a partnership between Spanish submarine cable operator Isla-Link and Brazilian telecoms provider Telebras, will be operator neutral. Alcatel Submarine Networks will be responsible for the project.

The European Commission provided €25 million ($27.2m) in financial support for the cable, as part of its Building Europe Link to Latin America (BELLA) initiative. Current cost estimates were not provided, but when a version of Ella Link was announced by then-Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in 2014, it was pegged at $185 million.

During the event to launch the underwater Ella-Link telecommunications cable that took place in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, the Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, explained that the new connection will reduce the time to transmit data by 40%, as well as improve the quality, reliability and confidentiality of communications between Ibero-America and Europe.

Rajoy commented that the new cable is “a necessary connection between Europe and Ibero-America” and “an example of public-private cooperation”, in which the European Union has also played a “very important” role, with a contribution of 25 million euros.

Rajoy also pointed out that the new underwater cable, which connects the cities of Fortaleza and Lisbon – to then connect with Madrid – is “a modern connection” with a very high capacity of “no less than 72 terabytes per second”.

According to Rajoy, the new connection between Latin America and Europe “will reduce the time to transmit data between the two continents by 40% and will also help us to improve quality, reliability and confidentiality.”

Confidentiality was previously touted as a key reason for the cable, with communications between Brazil and the EU currently routed through North America, despite the fact that the Iberian Peninsula is roughly 60 kilometers (37mi) closer to Fortaleza than to Miami.

The question of United States’ dominance in matters of Atlantic Ocean submarine cable affairs came to the fore in 2013, after a series of damaging revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, brought to light the extent of the agency’s surveillance operations.

Rousseff, who in 2013 postponed a state visit to Washington after it was revealed the NSA spied on her email account and phone records, said in 2014 when announcing the cable: “We have to respect privacy, human rights and the sovereignty of nations. We don’t want businesses to be spied upon.”

She continued: “The internet is one of the best things man has ever invented. So we agreed for the need to guarantee … the neutrality of the network, a democratic area where we can protect freedom of expression.”

Published in Infrastructure

Ericsson and Cisco to strengthen Nextel IP network in Brazil

Written on Wednesday, 12 April 2017 10:01

The Ericsson and Cisco partnership has secured its first agreement in Brazil, with the two companies working together to supply and install IP routers for Nextel. The key components in the combined offering include a combination of hardware from Cisco, and services and project management from Ericsson.

Nextel's IP network in Brazil will be strengthened to support traffic growth and improve performance on the mobile network.

"Ericsson and Cisco are already long-term suppliers to Nextel, and their alliance makes them good partners to strengthen our IP network,” said Jorge Braga, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Nextel. “We needed a powerful and intelligent solution to improve our IP network in Brazil, and that's what we have secured with this deal."

Eduardo Ricotta, Vice President, Ericsson Latin America and Caribbean, says: "Our teams complemented each other with the right approach, from network analysis and planning to systems integration and customer support from Ericsson, to selecting the right routers from Cisco, and finally implementation with Ericsson services. The partnership has delivered real value to Nextel in terms of delivering end-to-end IP solution to meet the operator's needs."

The deal includes Cisco routers (ASR9010), supply and installation, overall project management, and customer support.

"Together, Cisco and Ericsson have the best mix of engagement required to support operators like Nextel address data traffic challenges,” said Yvette Kanouff, SVP and GM, Service Provider Business, Cisco. “Working together on this project, we will support Nextel's mobile broadband offering and help them deliver better network performance for customers."

Ericsson and Cisco - two industry leaders in the development and delivery of networking, mobility, and cloud - formed a global business and technology partnership in November 2015 to create the networks of the future. The partnership offers customers the best of both companies: routing, data center, networking, cloud, mobility, management and control, and global services capabilities.

The next-generation strategic partnership will drive growth, accelerate innovation, and speed digital transformation demanded by customers across industries. To date, over 300 active customer engagements have now started to turn into won deals. More than 100 deals, spread around the world, are in IP (routing and transport) and services. The companies announced deals with 3 Italy, Vodafone Portugal, Aster Dominican Republic and Cable & Wireless in Caribbean in 2016 as well as with Telefónica Guatemala and Vodafone Hutchison Australia this year.

The Ericsson/Cisco partnership has been cleared by Brazilian regulatory authorities and will be implemented there under local agreements.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Brazilian telecom operator Oi is stuck in limbo waiting for the government to finalize a decree that would allow it to intervene and revive the debt-ridden company because it could impact other sectors beyond domestic phone carriers, according to a Reuters report.

The decree is aimed at helping the operator and other broadband service providers, but the legal change could also allow for intervention in other infrastructure sectors such as railways, highways, and energy, said an official who spoke to Reuters.

“A legal change cannot be done only for the telecommunications sector,” said the official. “It has to be more general.” The reason for the delay in implementing the decree, the official indicated, is because the broader scope of it requires careful analysis.

In the meantime, Oi has to wait patiently for the decree to pass before the government can offer any assistance. The Communications Minister Gilberto Kassab recently promised to finalize the decree within the next week.

Published in Government

Nokia has extended its long-term relationship with TIM in Brazil, signing a new contract supporting the operator's strategy to build a robust network infrastructure to cope with increasing consumption of mobile data with 4G.

TIM, the leader in 4G coverage in the country, is the first operator in Brazil to use the frequency of 2600 Mhz and refarm the 1800 Mhz frequency band to 4G LTE. TIM is now ready to make the move to future-proofing its network using the 700 MHz spectrum band, which enables excellent indoor and rural area coverage for 4G-enabled devices.

To support this groundbreaking network project, TIM has selected the Nokia AirScale radio  access platform, which runs multiple radio technologies simultaneously in one base station and allows virtually unlimited scalability that will support massive IoT demand and 5G speeds. With the network upgrade to 4.5G Pro the operator will be able to better mix frequencies and technology usage at the same site, reducing costs and ensuring a fast and smooth deployment of the new LTE network.

"We're looking at the highest technology quality standard today in the market, with the combination of three spectrum bands to increase our capacity and improve the end-user experience,” said Leonardo Capdeville, head of Technology at TIM. “With the support of Nokia and its AirScale radio access, we will be able to reach more areas and speed up LTE coverage in the country, reinforcing our innovation capabilities and commitment to the Brazilian market."

Luiz Tonisi, head of the TIM Brazil customer team at Nokia, said: "Our commitment with TIM is to deliver a best-in-class service experience for its subscribers. This project is an important milestone for us as it paves the way towards the network of the future and reinforces our long-standing partnership with TIM. The near future looks very promising with the possibility to expand further our LTE footprint and make a positive impact in the digital society."

This news follows another initiative, announced in late 2015, in which Nokia and TIM collaborated to modernize and expand TIM's 3G and 4G LTE networks in 17 states in Brazil with the use of Nokia's small cells products, as well as the implementation, optimization and care services.

Published in Telecom Vendors

TE SubCom, a TE Connectivity Ltd. company and an industry pioneer in undersea communications technology, recently announced that it has successfully completed the U.S. shore landing for the Monet Submarine Cable, a 10,556km cable that will connect Boca Raton, Florida to both Fortaleza and Praia Grande, Brazil.

Monet is owned by Algar Telecom (a Brazilian telecom company and ISP), Angola Cables (an Angolan telecom company operating in the wholesale market), ANTEL (the Uruguayan telecom company) and Google. The 100G-capable cable system will provide a low latency route from Brazil to North America with a minimum bandwidth of 60 Tbps. The Boca Raton landing is the third of three shore landings successfully installed by TE SubCom for the Monet Cable. Shore landings were completed earlier this year in Fortaleza and Praia Grande, Brazil.

“With our system supply partners at TE SubCom, we’ve seen tremendous progress on Monet in the past several months, making today’s U.S. shore landing a very exciting milestone for all involved with the project,” said Javier Emicuri, ANTEL’s CEO and Chairman of Monet’s executive committee. “Latin America has a connected population of nearly 300 million and there has never been a greater demand for capacity. We are seeing an increase in local and regional deployment of LTE and FTTH (fiber-optic) networks, along with state of the art data centers that will deliver high quality content (HD/4K) and cloud-based services. The demand for these services makes bandwidth vital for the entire region and we are confident that Monet will have a positive impact for decades to come.”

“The design and deployment of a network as large and advanced as Monet is a very complex venture and each stage is carefully considered against a number of factors,” said Chris Carobene, VP Marine Services, TE SubCom. “One of those considerations is the shore landing technique and its potential environmental footprint on the landing site. In the case of Monet, we used a horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technique that’s designed to avoid sensitive beach crossings and eliminate open trenching. We are grateful to the Monet project leads for trusting in TE SubCom’s expertise as we move ahead with these critical implementation processes.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

When Rio de Janeiro was announced as the venue for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the world held its breath. Doubt gnawed at athletes who grew wary about the city’s cleanliness and safety, while Brazil’s political instability was also called into question. In the end, Rio pulled through and put on a spectacular show. But premium connectivity proved to be an issue with so many people uploading and downloading content on the go. With the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics set for 2018, 5G has been highlighted as the ultimate solution to deliver premium connectivity to attendees. South Korea is racing to deliver 5G on time, despite predictions for a 2020 launch.   

We’re living in the dawn of the online era. Sharing content online has become an essential tool at events like the Olympics for media and enthusiasts to share sporting victories and highlight intriguing controversies. Even though Brazil made its best effort to connect people by bringing in 180 mobile stations and 40 dedicated coverage stations in anticipation of the high communication volume, weak infrastructure was exposed as it attempted to deal with an estimated  27 million voice calls and three million SMS texts.

As the fifth-largest country in the world, covering 3.3 million square miles, Brazil faced unique challenges creating seamless connectivity for the 2016 Olympics. For instance, there are areas of rural countryside that require some degree of coverage but don’t have the same demands as the cities. What’s more, Brazil’s urban centers have huge populations making it all the more difficult to serve (Sao Paulo hosts more than 11 million people, while Rio hosts more than 6 million).

These obstacles have made Brazilian telecommunications services infamously unreliable and expensive. According to a report by Recode, SMS texts in Brazil cost 55 times more than in the U.S. As a result, Brazil has become famous for its widespread use of the free messaging service WhatsApp, with 96 percent of the population said to be using it as their primary channel of communication. At the Rio Olympics, every Snapchat sent, every Tweet and every Facebook post uploaded, put a strain on Rio’s mobile infrastructure.

To offer an immersive and connected experience for those who attend the Olympics, mobile operators are planning to introduce 5G at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, to provide innovative new services to spectators, viewers and organizers. If implemented by then, 5G could transform the experience of watching live sporting events, removing the obstacle Rio faced with so many people uploading and downloading at the same time, since 5G is expected to serve data rates of tens of megabits per second for tens of thousands of users, with added spectral efficiency compared to 4G, and reduced latency.

But will 5G be ready for deployment as early as February 2018? Korea Telecom certainly believes so. The telco has been selected as the official telecommunications service provider for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, which the company has dubbed the “5G Olympics”. KT plans to show the world how far it has gone in deployment and testing of 5G technologies. The company is working closely with American telecom operator Verizon as part of its effort to lead the development of a 5G standard, and will also be conducting 5G trials with a view to launching a live service ready for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

KT’s Jae Yoon Park spoke at the LTE World Summit in Amsterdam this year, where he presented the operator’s 5G vision and enabling strategy to achieve next-generation cellular connectivity. He suggested that achieving 5G connectivity will be as big an achievement as it was putting a man on the moon. After giving a technological and strategic overview of KT’s 5G roadmap, Park said a revolution is required in order to realize the full potential of 5G.

“5G evolution alone based on LTE is not going to realize its own potential, a revolution based on new industry architecture, a new radio access technology is required,” said Park. “KT will continually evolve its network and develop key technologies, like massive MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) with beamforming, as well as virtualization such as vRAN, SDN and NFV.”

Park discussed the spectrum requirements of 5G, and stressed the significance of MIMO and beamforming to help cope. “Coverage should be one of the main concerns, as well as throughput, latency and capacity,” he said. “It is speculated that 5G will utilize ultra-high frequencies beyond 6GHz. Massive MIMO and beamforming will be mandatory.”

KT is optimistic about launching 5G in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics – a target that will be a world-first. “We’re trialing a 5G network across Seoul, PyeongChang, Jeongseon, Bogwang, and Incheon International airport, using our revolution versus evolution model,” Park said. “We believe PyeongChang 2018 will be the first 5G Olympic Games ever.”

According to a recent post on the Netmanias Tech Blog, "KT is aiming to add 35,000 wired communication lines along the communication duct lines (1,391 km long) being placed across the town of the event. It also plans to install over 5,000 Wi-Fi APs, support 4G/5G/WiFi access, and deploy a mobile communication network capable of supporting up to active 250,000 devices concurrently.

“The company is also building a cloud-based data center to ensure more efficient and reliable mobile services through more stabilized networks even during traffic spikes with hundreds of thousands of concurrent users. The data center is scheduled to be completed in the first half of the year, and will become fully stabilized after trial operation in the second half of the year."

5G standardization

There is reason to doubt that 5G could be ready for deployment by 2018 because of its current lack of standardization. The 3GPP standards body is working on standardizing 5G as soon as possible, but the group isn’t planning to produce the first incarnation of Release 15 (the first 5G specifications) until June 2018. That means if 5G is introduced at the 2018 Winter Olympics, it will have to be pre-standardization. Even so, South Korea remains confident that it will be able to deliver 5G at its games, and beat Japan to the race.

The United Nations International Telecommunications Union has set a goal for 5G standardization by 2020, far from what South Korea expects, meaning that the technology might not even be fully defined until then. But in saying that, there are some technologies that are widely expected to be a part of 5G, such as the use of millimeter save spectrum, which according to the Korea Times, is an area of expertise of great interest to Verizon Wireless.

In February this year, KT joined with Verizon, as well as its South Korean counterpart SK Telecom, and Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, to set testing standards for 5G. The announcement was made at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The purpose of the alliance was to help network equipment manufacturers design 5G equipment more efficiently, and allow the wireless industry to test key technical components.

Verizon and SK Telecom have since announced further ties to strengthen their 5G network footprint. The telcos recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to merge their 5G technical specifications on a global basis. The partnership is said to produce a number of joint studies and research that will further be utilized for the development of 5G technical specification and innovative use cases.

Like KT, SK Telecom is eager for a pre-commercial 5G launch in 2017. The company plans to bring together an “end-to-end 5G pilot system in an outdoor environment” using the “key enabling technologies” it has identified for 5G which includes: millimeter wave (mmWave), high-frequency radio connectivity for devices and network, LTE, 5G and WiGig (60GHz) internetworking, virtualized RAN, network slicing and a distributed core network, all by the end of 2016.

SK Telecom also has ambitions for a large scale pre-commercial 5G deployment for more detailed assessment of the overall 5G system by 2017. In March, the company completed a 5G 28GHz radio test outdoors.

American operator AT&T has also made waves in the run-up to 5G, working with several other teclos to enable 5G deployment once 3GPP completes the first release of the official specifications, which will form the basis of the global standards for 5G. AT&T has reportedly entered preliminary discussions with Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, LG, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, SK Telecom, Telstra, Vodafone and others to find and resolve key standards issues to boost commercialization of 5G.  

“We’re joining other tech leaders to find and resolve key standards issues early and bring 5G to market sooner,” said Tom Keathley, senior vice president, wireless network architecture and design, AT&T. “Interim and fragmented pre-standard specifications can distract from the ultimate goal. Linking trials to the standards process is the fastest path to large-scale global 5G deployment.”

AT&T has been trialing 5G this year, including lab tests in the second quarter and outdoor tests in Middletown, New Jersey and Austin, Texas over the summer. 5G speeds between 10 to 100 times faster than today’s average 4G LTE connections were anticipated by the AT&T, and it achieved this in June when its 5G data speeds reached up to 10 Gbps in the lab.

South Korea’s great ambition

South Korea is working aggressively to launch 5G by 2018 in order to set the record as the first country to launch the technology at an Olympic event. To get there, GSMA Intelligence indicates that the country’s R&D efforts are partially integrated with similar efforts taking place around the world. For example, some of the 5G research that is going on in South Korea is being partly financed by the European Union, through collaboration with the Korean government on 5G technologies.

A report by Mobile World Live says the Finnish University of Oulu’s research unit - The Centre for Wireless Communications – has been deployed to develop the necessary 5G radio solutions and integrating them into a functioning mobile network, to be ready for the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Similar arrangements are said to exist with operators, vendors and research institutes in Germany, France, Belgium and Korea. Swedish vendor Ericsson is specifically supporting KT’s efforts to develop 5G.

Tying into its smart-connected vision, in 2014, South Korea announced plans adopted by the government to build a broadband network dedicated to public safety using LTE technology to be deployed nationwide by 2017 just in time for the Winter Olympics.

In July, SK Telecom said it had established a demonstration network for its public safety long-term evolution (SP-LTE) service in Gangwon Province. The Korean carrier said it had completed its own demonstration PS-LTE network in the same region for the government’s trial project to prepare to launch a nationwide pubic security network service before the 2017 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

In the case of an emergency, the PS-LTE network will be able to seamlessly transfer multimedia information, such as high-resolution photos and videos, between related government departments and agencies, including fire departments, police and rescue teams, through high-speed LTE networks to support efficient relief activities, reports Korea Times. SK Telecom says it has passed all functional qualification tests and approval processes administered by the Ministry of Public Safety and Security.

SK Telecom has established new mobile base stations and an emergency recovery system to provide temporary networks incase network facilities are damaged by natural disasters. The telco said these technologies have been certified by the Telecommunications Technology Association for compatibility and security.

South Korea also launched its inaugural commercial, low-cost Internet of Things (IoT) network in July that will allow smart devices to communicate. The only other country to launch a nationwide IoT network is the Netherlands. SK Telecom was behind the initiative, which uses technology that will allow it to reach 99 percent of South Korea’s population.

Given the collected efforts of multiple telcos around the world to develop 5G, as well as a nationwide commercial IoT network, and forward-thinking network safety technology being put in place, South Korea could see its dream of 5G deployment come true at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Domestic competition between the likes of SK Telecom and KT, as well as considerable international interest could see 5G pushed into early deployment just in time.

Published in Featured
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