Displaying items by tag: US

US communications service provider Sprint recently unveiled the Sprint Magic Box, the world’s first all–wireless small cell. Sprint Magic Box is a revolutionary new plug–and–play LTE small cell for businesses and consumers that dramatically improves data coverage and increases download and upload speeds on average by 200 percent.

The breakthrough new technology allows Sprint to very quickly and cost–effectively densify its nationwide LTE Plus network, and provide an improved experience for its millions of customers today and in the future.

The Sprint Magic Box is an indoor, self-configuring small cell, about the size of a shoebox, that’s easy for customers to install. It requires no implementation, labor, or rental costs that are a hurdle for many traditional small cell deployments. The unit is simply placed near a window and plugged into a power outlet. Sprint Magic Box connects to a nearby Sprint cell site and within minutes is up and running. Customers immediately have a better experience inside their businesses and homes while streaming videos, surfing the web, and using their favorite online apps and services.

Sprint designed the Sprint Magic Box so that customers in surrounding areas will also enjoy the benefits of the locally installed unit. One Sprint Magic Box provides average coverage of 30,000 square feet indoors and can benefit adjacent Sprint customers inside the building. The signal can also extend coverage 100 meters outside a building, benefitting Sprint customers in nearby buildings and improving street–level network performance.

Accelerating Sprint’s Network Densification Strategy

Sprint Magic Box greatly accelerates Sprint’s strategy to densify its network as it improves performance and builds a strong foundation for 5G. It uses Sprint’s ample, dedicated 2.5 GHz spectrum with backhaul provided by Sprint’s outdoor macro cell sites. This removes the cost of backhaul, along with many of the challenges typically associated with small cell deployments, providing a low-cost, effective way to make the Sprint network – already performing at its best–ever–levels – even better for customers.

“Sprint Magic Box is going to quickly transform our network, and it is key to delivering an amazing experience to customers today as we build the kind of dense urban infrastructures needed for 5G,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. “By leveraging our deep spectrum trove, Sprint has the ability to blanket its network with an all-wireless small cell that delivers this kind of dramatic performance boost with zero backhaul, permitting, and engineering costs.”

Sprint Magic Box deployment has begun in several cities across the country such as Denver, San Francisco, Indianapolis, New York, Chicago, and Houston. In the past three months downloads speeds across these markets have significantly improved as Sprint rolled-out its toolkit of densification technologies such as Sprint Magic Box, outdoor small cells, three-channel carrier aggregation, and launched iconic new High Performance User Equipment (HPUE) smartphones.

Unleashing Sprint’s Spectrum Advantage

The development of Sprint Magic Box is part of Sprint’s ongoing program to improve its network through its Densification and Optimization strategy using some of the most advanced technologies in wireless. With 204 MHz of spectrum nationwide, and more than 160 MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum in the top 100 U.S. markets, Sprint has more spectrum capacity than any other U.S. carrier, an advantage that Sprint Magic Box is designed to maximize.

Sprint Magic Box is one of many network innovations taking advantage of the company’s deep spectrum holdings. Sprint continues to improve coverage, reliability and speeds by adding more capacity where it’s needed with a toolbox of solutions including three-channel carrier aggregation and HPUE. In March in New Orleans, Sprint was the first carrier to debut Sprint Gigabit Class LTE on a live commercial network in the U.S.

Looking ahead, Sprint will continue its deployment of three-channel carrier aggregation on 2.5 GHz sites. The company also anticipates leveraging a multitude of advanced technologies including four-channel carrier aggregation, 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) and Massive MIMO to further enhance the capacity and coverage of its 2.5 GHz TDD-LTE spectrum.

Published in Telecom Operators

US technology leaders Apple have formally announced its intentions to create a fund of $1bn – which it will subsequently use to invest in US companies in order to boost job creation. Apple has further disclosed that it will invest the money in US companies that perform ‘advanced manufacturing’.

Apple, which is headquartered in Cupertino, California, will formally disclose the recipients of the first investment in May. It’s the conglomerates latest move to indicate its efforts to boost job creation in the US. In addition to this, Chief Executive Officer, Tim Cook spoke of how Apple would create additionally fund programs which would be specifically designed to teach people how to write computer coding to create new apps.

Apple have used the announcement to highlight how committed the organization is to job creation in the US. The tech colossus is the world’s largest company by market valuation, but it has been criticized for its fiscal policy. It keeps the majority of its cash stockpile in favorable tax systems in overseas markets. A whopping 93% of Apple’s $256.8bn in cash is held overseas to be exact. President Trump attacked the company during his campaign for manufacturing most of its products in China.

However, at Apple’s AGM in February, shareholders were told that the firm spent $50bn in 2016 with US suppliers such as 3M Co (MMM.N) and Corning Inc. (GLW.N), this was the first time Apple had officially disclosed the metric. Cook claimed that Apple has created 2 million jobs in the US, with 80,000 of those being created directly at Apple. The rest of the jobs have been created at suppliers and software developers for the company’s app ecosystem.

Analysts have suggested that Apple has made such a public vow in relation to its US presence – due to the fact lawmakers are currently considering a major tax proposal submitted by the Trump administration that would let Apple, along with other multinational conglomerates the opportunity to bring back accumulated profits from overseas at potentially lower tax-rates.

Apple’s CEO has conducted a number of meetings with lawmakers in Washington this year, in which the topics of tax policy and technology issues were discussed. Cook has confirmed that Apple will borrow cash from its US manufacturing fund – and added he was hopeful the Trump administration would address the repatriation issue. However, Cook did not guarantee that Apple would bring back its cash to the US market even if the tax proposal submitted by Trump is approved and amended by lawmakers.

"To invest in the United States, we have to borrow. This doesn't make sense on a broad basis. So I think the administration, you saw they're really getting this and want to bring this (cash) back. And I hope that comes to pass," Cook said in response to a question about tax reform.

Published in Finance

Verizon Communications announced a deal that will further its commitments to growing its wireless broadband network nationwide, as the landscape for telecom companies only becomes more competitive and crowded.

The agreement calls for Corning a New York-based manufacturer of materials primarily for industrial and scientific applications, to provide up to 12.4 million miles of optical fiber each year for Verizon to purchase starting in 2018 and lasting until 2020, with a minimum purchase commitment of $1.05 billion.

"This new architecture is designed to improve Verizon's 4G LTE coverage, speed the deployment of 5G, and deliver high-speed broadband to homes and businesses of all sizes," Verizon said in a statement. Verizon launched One Fiber, what has been called a more "nontraditional Fios build" for the company, in Boston last year.

On its website, Verizon describes Fios as giving consumers "a 100 percent fiber-optic network that allows you to enjoy the internet speed you crave, the TV channels you love and a home phone that's reliable."

"Our plans [in Boston] identified a shortfall in fiber supply, and Verizon has been working with business teams to forecast demand and fill supply gaps with existing suppliers," Verizon Chief Supply Chain Officer Viju Menon said in a statement. "Securing the required volume of optical fiber and hardware solutions with Corning will ensure we meet our planned rollout schedules."

Verizon said it's been "reinventing" a network architecture of late — one that supports a "next-generation fiber platform" to support all of its business segments.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai praised the news. The deal “heralds the construction of ‘densified’ 5G networks that will benefit American consumers,” said Pai. “It will create thousands of high-quality jobs building and laying fiber.”

The deal coincides with the FCC’s goal of closing the digital divide, added the chairman. He noted the Commission has taken action to promote spending on broadband deployment and will vote on additional proposals today to “unleash major capital expenditures on next-generation networks.”

Verizon has been reinventing its network architecture around a next-generation fiber platform that will support all of the company's businesses. This new architecture is designed to improve Verizon's 4G LTE coverage, speed the deployment of 5G, and deliver high-speed broadband to homes and businesses of all sizes.

Roger Gurnani, Verizon's chief information and technology architect, commented, "Corning's unique combination of capabilities delivers solutions that provide us with performance and cost advantages as we continue to expand our network coverage and capacity."

Viju Menon, Verizon's chief supply chain officer, said: "Our plans identified a shortfall in fiber supply, and Verizon has been working with business teams to forecast demand and fill supply gaps with existing suppliers. Securing the required volume of optical fiber and hardware solutions with Corning will ensure we meet our planned rollout schedules."

Clark Kinlin, executive vice president, Corning Incorporated, said: "We are pleased that Verizon recognizes the value of Corning's innovative solutions in deploying next-generation converged optical infrastructure, such as One Fiber, more quickly and cost effectively. Verizon's purchase commitment supports necessary capacity investments across our manufacturing footprint."

Over the past several months, Corning has announced plans to expand capacity and to invest more than $250 million in its optical fiber, cable and solutions manufacturing facilities to help meet the demand of its global carrier and enterprise customers. Corning expects these capacity expansions to begin to come online in 2017 and become fully operational in 2018.

Published in Infrastructure

South Korean conglomerate Samsung Electronics has expressed its delight at how their new Galaxy S8 flagship series smartphone has been initially received by consumers. There had been fears amongst Samsung executives and stakeholders that the Galaxy Note 7 debacle last year would impact negatively on the new S8. However, it seems that consumers are unfazed by the Galaxy Note 7 fires and pre-orders for the S8 have exceeded those of its predecessor.

The S8 is set to go on sale in the US, South Korea and Canada on April 21st – and analysts are predicting that the device will be central to Samsung’s recovery from the swift forced withdrawal of the Note 7 in October last year. The device has been well received by both analysts and investors – with many suggesting the S8 could represent a first-year sales record for the global smartphone giant.

Mobile Business Chief, Koh Dong-jin confirmed that the organization were delighted at the response so far, but did remain cautious offering a reminder that it was still very early days. He said: "It's still a bit early, but initial response to the pre-orders that have begun at various places across the world have been better than expected.”

Samsung’s latest device is set to be the safest smartphone ever created due to the safety measures they had to implement in the S8 in an attempt to avoid the battery failures that caused some Note 7’s to go on fire and in some instances self-combust. Stakeholders will be further boosted by the news that many analysts expect the South Korean firm to record its best-ever quarterly profit in April-June – which will be buoyed by S8 sales. In addition to this, a memory chip market boom that will deliver record revenue for the industry will further strengthen Samsung’s finances.

Samsung’s S8 has won acclaim with consumers due to its design and comes equipped with either a 5.8 inch or 6.2 inch curved screen – in fact it’s the largest screens to date among all of Samsung’s flagship phones due to a redesign. Koh also disclosed that Samsung intends to use the S8 in an effort to recover in China. It has been dislodged from the top five vendors in the region as a result of heightened competition from local rivals such as Huawei. He concluded by stating that Samsung aims to regain market share in China, but didn’t elaborate on how or what strategies it would implement in order to achieve this.

Published in Devices

White House moves to repeal broadband privacy rules

Written on Sunday, 02 April 2017 10:31

US President Donald Trump is moving to repeal broadband privacy rules put in place during the Obama-era, according to reports. Republicans in Congress passed the repeal of the privacy rules on Tuesday, March 28, and didn’t receive any support from the Democrats.

The net privacy argument in the US sets the stage for a much larger issue later this year over Republican plans to overturn the net neutrality provisions which were adopted by the former administration of Barack Obama in 2015. White House spokesman Sean Spicer has not yet indicated when President Trump plans to sign the bill.

The privacy bill introduced during the Obama-era by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires internet service providers (ISPs) to do more to protect customers’ privacy than websites such as Alphabet’s Google or Facebook. The Trump administration plans to repeal these regulations.

The new rules, according to a Reuters report, would require internet providers to obtain consumer permission to use precise geo-location, financial information, health information, children’s information and web browsing history for advertising and marketing.

The move benefits the likes of AT&T, Comcast Corp and Verizon. Websites must meet less restrictive privacy rules overseen by the Federal Trade Commission.

Republican commissioners have argued that the rules would unfairly enable websites to harvest more data than ISPs.

The vote was “Terrible for American ppl, great for big biz,” tweeted Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

The next step for the Republicans is to overturn net neutrality provisions that in 2015 reclassified providers and treated them as a public utility.

The new Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, said in December that the era of net neutrality will soon come to an end. The rules prevent ISPs from slowing down consumer access to web content and prohibit giving or selling access to faster internet to certain internet services – essentially providing a “fast lane” to the web’s “information superhighway”.

The rules have been criticized for allowing the potential of government rate regulation, tighter oversight, and would provide fewer incentives to invest billions in broadband infrastructure.

Pai is in favor of a “free and open internet,” he told Reuters in February, “and a free and open internet and the only questions is what regulatory framework best secures that.”

Published in Government

US tech giants Apple have seen a ban prohibiting the company from selling its iPhone 6 phones in China overturned following a legal hearing. A Chinese court ruled in its favor in a patent dispute between the Californian based company and a domestic phone-maker. The legal row began in May last year, when a Beijing based patent regulator took the decision to order Apple’s Chinese subsidiary and local retailer Zoom-Flight to immediately stop selling iPhones after Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services lodged an official complaint with the regulatory authority.

The company claimed that the patent for the design of its mobile phone 100c was being infringed by the iPhone sales. Apple strongly objected to both the claims and subsequent decision to ban the sale of iPhone 6 devices by the regulatory authorities. Management at Apple and Zoom-Flight launched legal proceedings and took the Beijing Intellectual Property Office’s ban to courts.

At the hearing, the court decided to revoke the ban imposed on Apple and Zoom-Flight and declared that both organizations did not violate Shenzhen Baili’s design patent for 100c phones. The court said that the regulator did not follow due procedures in ordering the ban. In addition to this, the court said there was a distinct lack of sufficient proof to claim the designs constituted a violation of intellectual property rights.

It has not yet been disclosed whether or not representatives of Beijing Intellectual Property Office and Shenzhen Baili will appeal the decision by the court, and a spokesman representing both organizations said they would take time before making a decision in relation to the legal ruling. In addition to this, the same court denied Apple’s demand to strip Shenzhen Baili of its design patent for 100c phone.

Apple first filed the request to the Patent Reexamination Board of State Intellectual Property Office. The board rejected the request, but Apple lodged a lawsuit against the rejection. The Beijing Intellectual Property Court on Friday ruled to maintain the board's decision. It is unclear if Apple will appeal.

Published in Government

Uber has suspended its autonomous vehicle fleet in the US following an accident in the state of Arizona which left one of its Volvo SUVs flipped on its side when it was in self-driving mode. The ride-sharing company suspended the pilot project in Arizona immediately after the crash happened, including other regions where the pilot is happening: Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

“Our vehicles in Arizona remain grounded while we continue our investigation,” said an Uber spokesperson. “Our vehicles are grounded in Pittsburgh and SF today as well.”

According to the spokesperson, suspension of the self-driving car pilot will continue throughout the duration of the investigation into the crash. However, the suspension period does not have a specific time period, so it’s not clear how long all self-driving Uber vehicles will be grounded.

The company has been testing 12 cars in Phoenix, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After a dispute with regulators in California, Uber had to pull out its autonomous vehicles in the state, until earlier in March when Uber was granted a permit to test two autonomous cars.

Although the Arizona crash raises suspicion about the safety of autonomous vehicles, it has been reported that the self-driving Uber vehicle was not at fault. In fact, the other vehicle in the incident, according to the Wall Street Journal, “failed to yield.”

Published in Internet of Things

US telecoms giant AT&T successfully completed the first of a multi-phase trial testing 400 gigabit Ethernet data speeds. This brings AT&T one step closer to quadrupling network speeds for businesses.

In the field trial, AT&T established a 400GbE connection between New York and Washington, D.C. This proved the AT&T nationwide software-centric network is ready for next-generation speeds.

400GbE end-to-end service was transported across the network, which was carrying live traffic. A software-defined network (SDN) controller created a service along the direct path between the two cities, and through software control rerouted the service to a second path to simulate a response to a network failure.  

Late last year, AT&T announced its intention to be the first in the industry to demonstrate 400GbE service across our production network, aligning with its shift toward a software-centric network.

Traffic on the AT&T network continues to grow. 400GbE speeds will allow AT&T business customers to transport massive amounts of data faster than ever. That also means faster uploads and downloads and ultra-fast video streaming.

"Our approach to roll out the next generation of Ethernet speeds is working. We continue to see enormous data growth on our network, fueled by video. And this will help with that growth," said Rick Hubbard, senior vice president, AT&T Network Product Management.

Next-generation speeds like 400GbE can help transform the way AT&T’s customers do business.

The company is moving on to the second phase – a 400GbE end-to-end service transported across the AT&T OpenROADM metro network to the customer. This will show the network is ready for 400GbE to serve customers in metro areas.

Phase 3 will test the first instance of a 400GbE open router platform. The "disaggregated router" platform uses merchant silicon and open source software – another industry first.

Published in Telecom Operators

US tech giant Apple has unveiled their latest version of its popular iPad tablet – and it’s set to retail at the lowest-ever price for a full-sized tablet from the company. The newly updated product will be available to order from Friday and has a starting price of $329. In addition to this, Apple also disclosed that its smaller iPhone SE model will be available in 32 and 128 gigabyte (GB) versions which will subsequently replace the 16GB and 64GB models.

The tech colossus also revealed that the hardware updates in the product are incremental improvements that were announced without a major media event to publicize the new technologies. It has also been reported in recent months that Apple is set to unveil an update to its flagship iPhone this autumn that may have a series of new features such as wireless charging, 3-D facial recognition and a curved display. The new iPad model starts at 32 GB of storage and replaces the iPad Air 2. It will be slightly less expensive than the smaller iPad Mini 4, which starts at $399 for a 128 GB model.

Apple also unveiled a new app for creating videos which also enables you to share them with friends on its iOS devices. This new feature, coupled with extra iMessage features released in the last number of years have ensured that the organization is competing with features in social networking applications such as Snap Inc. Their new app has been named ‘Clips’ and it allows users to add captions and speech bubbles to videos which they can subsequently share on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram or Apple’s own messaging app, where videos can be sent to contacts with a single tap. But unlike applications like Snap or other messaging apps, users can add captions to videos using their voice.

Published in Devices

US computer chip giant Intel announced on March 13 its plans to purchase Israeli technology firm Mobileye for over $15 billion. The deal is the largest ever cross-border acquisition for an Israeli technology firm, according to Israeli media. The two firms have already collaborated with German automaker BMW to develop autonomous vehicles.

"The combination is expected to accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and position Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles," said a statement by the two companies which added that the deal was worth approximately $15.3 billion.

"Intel estimates the vehicle systems, data and services market opportunity to be up to $70 billion by 2030," the statement added.

BMW announced last year its plans to join with Mobileye and Intel on an autonomous vehicle project for "highly and fully automated driving" planning to go commercial by 2021. BMW said in January that it would deploy 40 self-driving cars for tests in the US and Europe.

In August, Mobileye and UK-based auto-equipment maker Delphi said they were teaming up to develop an autonomous driving system which would be ready for vehicle-makers in 2019. Mobileye, which also develops systems for accident avoidance, has concluded an agreement with Volkswagen on road data technology as well.

Published in Finance
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