Displaying items by tag: Verizon

US operator set to spend $1bn on addressing climate change

Written on Thursday, 07 February 2019 12:29

US telecommunications behemoth Verizon has pledged its commitment to helping the environment in an effort to address climate change by investing $1bn in green-friendly projects.

Verizon had been actively pursuing funding for its environmental commitments by using lower-cost bonds that appeal to a growing block of environmentally-sensitive investors. This week the US operator borrowed $1bn courtesy of a so-called green bond which basically allows them to spend the proceeds on projects that will create a positive impact on the environment.

The injection of capital will significantly help Verizon fulfill its promise from 2018, when it said that it intends to cover at least half of its energy use with renewable sources by 2025. It was further disclosed that new projects will include solar and hydrogen fuel cell electricity production at its existing properties and other investments will be made in larger solar and wind farms in areas in close proximity to its facilities nationwide.

Jim Gowen, Vice President for Verizon’s global supply chain expressed his delight at the investment boost and said it illustrated further proof of its commitment to creating a cleaner and more sustainable environment.

Gowen said, “This is now a real game changer. The whole goal of this new bond was to focus on a new, unique funding source.”

In addition to this, the bond issue was a huge success from a financial perspective. Wall Street underwriters had eight times more orders to buy bonds than bonds to sell which ultimately allowed them to reduce Verizon’s borrowing cost below the rate on its typical corporate debt. Verizon declined to specify the exact borrowing rate.

Green bond issuance rocketed to $167 billion worldwide last year, which represented almost a quadruple increase from the level in 2015. Projections appear to indicate that it has resonated with investors so much so that the sector issuance this year could hit $200 billion, according to Moody’s Investor Service.

The new initiative is one way the investment community is seeking to address the risks of climate change at a time when the federal government has renounced many such efforts. So far, most of the borrowing has been by government entities, but more corporations are getting in the market, too. 

Verizon last year added 200,000 LED bulbs, Gowen says. Some money will also be spent on the company’s reforestation program a commitment to plant 2 million new trees by 2030 including 250,000 in areas hit by the series of major hurricanes in 2017 like Puerto Rico and Miami.

Verizon plans to spend the $1 billion in three years or less. And he’s already thinking about how the company could spend more with additional green bond issues. “I already have plans and I’m setting up my next $1 billion. We see this as a great funding mechanism in the future.

Published in Telecom Operators

US operator forced to cut jobs from its media division

Written on Thursday, 24 January 2019 12:22

US telecommunications behemoth Verizon has announced that it has reduced its workforce in its media division in an effort to realign and restructure its overall business strategy.

Hundreds of jobs are expected to be lost from the operators’ media unit which includes former internet giants such as Yahoo and AOL. A source close to Verizon said the amount of jobs lost amounts to 7% of the overall staff.

Verizon’s media unit has been a successful extension to its comprehensive ICT portfolio - popular news sites such as the Huffington Post and TechCrunch generate large visitors to their websites on a daily basis.

Whilst the number of jobs being lost remains speculative, the reputable Wall Street Journal has reported that around 800 positions will be lost following the decision by Verizon to overhaul its business strategy.

The unit's chief executive Guru Gowrappan, who took over in October 2018, made the changes after a strategic review which determined the group would prioritize "Yahoo's member-centric ecosystem" along with ad technology and video products.

Responding to AFP, Verizon Media said in a statement: "Our goal is to create the best experiences for our consumers and the best platforms for our customers. Today marks a strategic step toward better execution of our plans for growth and innovation into the future."

Verizon, which also operates one of the largest US telecom networks, last year wrote down the value of its Yahoo acquisition by some $4.6 billion.

Published in Telecom Operators

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

5G hotspot expected for 2019

Written on Thursday, 06 December 2018 09:11

Verizon will launch its first 5G hotspot device to consumers in 2019, it has been announced. The American telecommunications company collaborated with Inseego and features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chip and Snapdragon X50 5G modem.

Published in Telecom Operators

Verizon and Ericsson reach milestone in 4G LTE Advanced

Written on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 11:05

US telecom giant Verizon and Ericsson reached another milestone in 4G LTE Advanced Technologies that will also serve as a stepping stone to 5G technology by completing their first deployment of FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) Massive MIMO (Multiple Input – Multiple Output) on Verizon’s wireless network in Irvine, CA.  

This deployment will improve both spectral and energy efficiency, increasing network capacity for current devices in the market.  Further significant enhancements are expected to come as new devices evolve toward 5G.  For customers, the result will be higher and more consistent speeds for using apps and uploading and downloading files.

“While continuing to drive 5G development, the deployment of Massive MIMO offers very tangible benefits for our customers today.  As we innovate, we learn and continue to lay the groundwork and set the standards for 5G technology,” said Nicola Palmer, Chief Network Officer of Verizon Wireless.  “Our collaboration with Ericsson on this new deployment continues to drive industry-wide innovation and advancements.”

The Massive MIMO deployment involves 16 transceiver radio units driving an array of 96 antenna elements supplied by Ericsson.  The deployment is running on a 20 MHz block of AWS spectrum.  Four way transmit has been widely deployed throughout the Verizon network and has contributed to significant 4G LTE advancements. 

In Massive MIMO - the next step of antenna array evolution - the high number of transmitters enables more possible signal paths.  It also enables beamforming, which directs the beam from the cell site directly to where the customer is, dramatically cutting down on interference. Reduced interference results in higher and more consistent speeds for customers. 

Niklas Heuveldop, Head of Market Area North America at Ericsson, said, “Massive MIMO is a key technology enabler for 5G, but already today, 4G LTE service providers and end users can benefit from the superior capacity and network performance this technology enables. The current trial is an important step in the collaboration we have with Verizon to prepare their network for 5G.”

As part of an Intelligent Edge Network that processes data where it’s generated, this Massive MIMO deployment is another step in technological innovation and leadership. As Verizon begins deploying Massive MIMO in the future throughout the network in places where there are capacity needs, customers with compatible devices will automatically begin taking advantage of this technological advancement.

Published in Telecom Operators

US regulator settles $17 million dispute with Verizon

Written on Thursday, 19 October 2017 08:13

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a settlement with Verizon for possible violations of the FCC’s competitive bidding rules for the E-rate program, which provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable internet access. 

Verizon agreed to pay $17.68 million to resolve parallel investigations by the FCC and U.S. Department of Justice, $17.325 million of which will be repaid to the Universal Service Fund (USF).  Verizon has further agreed to withdraw any rights it may have to hundreds of millions of dollars in requested and undisbursed E-rate support.

This settlement follows an investigation into Verizon’s involvement with New York City schools’ use of the E-rate program.  The Commission’s Enforcement Bureau conducted its investigation in parallel with the US Department of Justice Civil Fraud Section and US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. 

In related actions, former New York City Department of Education consultant Willard “Ross” Lanham was convicted by a federal jury sitting in the Southern District of New York.  In December 2015, the Commission settled a related investigation with the New York City Department of Education. 

The Schools and Libraries Universal Service Program, known as E-rate, subsidizes telecommunications, Internet access, and Wi-Fi services for schools and libraries.  E-rate is funded by the Universal Service Fund under rules established by the FCC. 

The program is designed to bring modern broadband connectivity to students, teachers and library patrons.  Program applicants must seek competitive bids from prospective service providers and must treat the price-eligible products and services as the primary factor when selecting amongst competing service providers. 

To resolve the FCC and Justice Department investigations, Verizon will pay $17.325 million to the Universal Service Fund through the FCC settlement and $354,634 to the US Treasury through the Justice Department settlement. 

In addition, Verizon will surrender any claims against the Universal Service Fund it may have to approximately $7,303,668 in undisbursed E-rate support for products and services provided to the New York City Department of Education between Funding Years 2002 and 2013. 

Furthermore, Verizon will surrender any appeal rights before the Universal Service Administrative Company and the FCC in connection with more than $100 million in E-rate support for which the New York City Department of Education has withdrawn requests for support through its 2015 settlement with the FCC.  As part of the FCC’s settlement, Verizon will also operate under a compliance plan for three years. 

While the Commission adopted the consent decree in May 2017, it has not been released until now in order to allow for a global settlement which includes the US Department of Justice.  The Department of Justice settlement with Verizon was submitted to the Court for approval in the Southern District of New York on October 17.

Published in Finance

During Qualcomm’s 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong, the company announced a collaboration with US telecom company Verizon, and Novatel Wireless, an Inseego company, to help move the mobile ecosystem towards faster validation and commercialization of 5G NR mmWave technologies, supporting a full-scale commercial network deployment before the end of the decade.

The companies announced plans to collaborate on 5G New Radio (NR) millimeter wave (mmWave) technology development and over-the air field trials based on the 5G NR Release-15 specifications being developed by 3GPP – the global 5G standard. They plan to focus on 5G NR operation in 28 GHz and 39 GHz mmWave spectrum bands, showcasing advanced 5G NR technologies to efficiently achieve robust multi-gigabit per second data rates with mobility at significantly lower latencies than today’s networks.

“We have tremendous excitement around 5G and today we made a great announcement – a commitment to driving the 5G ecosystem,” said Atish Gude, SVP Corporate Strategy, Verizon, speaking at the summit. “We have a great history of partnership [with Qualcomm]. We have a drive with Qualcomm to accelerate field trials, accelerate 5G’s commercial launch, and this just shows our commitment to 5G and millimeter wave. We’ve very excited about this development.”

The technologies are expected to be critical to meeting the increasing connectivity requirements for emerging consumer mobile and fixed wireless broadband experiences such as streaming high-definition video, immersive virtual/augmented reality, and connected cloud computing. “We think all of these will drive not only new revenue for us in the industry in fixed but also in mobile services, and we’re very excited about that,” said Mr. Gude.

The three companies plan on delivering a common 5G NR mmWave technology platform for mobile and home broadband wireless access, supporting a 5G NR migration path for Verizon’s early 5G fixed wireless access deployments and trials based on the 5G-Technology Forum specifications.

“Verizon’s investment in mmWave spectrum has given us the flexibility to pursue a first-of its kind fixed wireless broadband customer trial, which has been invaluable in advancing our expertise in the deployment of mmWave technology,” said Ed Chan, SVP, Verizon Technology Strategy & Planning. “With the collaboration we’re announcing today, we are taking the next logical step towards extending our leadership position in the advancement of 5G, part of the Verizon Intelligent Edge Network.”

One of the fundamental advantages of New Radio 5G technology is that you get very low latency, said Christiano Amon, EVP, Qualcomm Technologies. This concept of being “cloud connected” having all your data in the cloud takes things to “a whole new level” he said. Having 1 millisecond speeds removes all boundaries.

“Qualcomm Technologies is committed to delivering 5G NR mmWave technologies to meet the ever-increasing connectivity requirements for enhanced mobile broadband experiences,” said Joe Glynn, vice president, business development, Qualcomm Technologies. “We are excited to collaborate with Verizon in making 5G NR mmWave a commercial reality for mobile devices, including fixed wireless home routers, mobile hotspots, tablets and smartphones.”

Published in Telecom Operators

South Korean multinational conglomerate Samsung and Chinese vendor ZTE have both adopted aggressive strategies in relation to investment for 5G infrastructure – and many analysts are predicting that this approach will both disrupt and threaten the traditional trio of networks players which include Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei.

ZTE has focused largely on the development of 5G specifications in the last twelve months, which is much more than any of it previous forays in relation to mobile technology. The Chinese telecommunications equipment and systems colossus has doubled its R&D spending on 5G in 2016 to $400m – and has assigned 1,600 employees to work on the technology at four dedicated research facilities located in China, the US and Europe.

Director of Wireless Standardization, Wang Xinhui has claimed that ZTE’s inactivity with 2G, 3G and 4G was down to the fact that it lacked maturity, and declared it was now much better equipped for the forthcoming era of 5G. At a 5G Summit in Tokyo in May, he told Mobile World Live: “In the past we were simply less mature. With 2G and 3G, and even with 4G, we weren’t that big. But in the era of 5G, we were well prepared. We’ve spent a huge amount of money and devoted so much human resources, particularly towards the New Radio specifications.”

Chief analyst at Global Data Technology, Peter Jarich said it made perfect sense for an entity like ZTE to attempt to penetrate the 5G market, as the technology will require new expertise and infrastructure. He feels it’s a natural and logical progression from ZTE to invest heavily in 5G, as they recognize it as a phenomenal opportunity.

South Korean smartphone giants Samsung have also adopted a similar approach, and have been working on 5G since 2012, when it started its first mmWave research and development. It has previously stated that it firmly believes that strong 5G infrastructure will help ensure Samsung executes its mission which is to ‘connect everything’.

Samsung has boldly set its sights on becoming a top-three player in the 5G infrastructure market, and it has estimated that network equipment sales will treble to $8.6 billion in 2022. It has been disclosed that Samsung, which is the world’s largest smartphone maker plans to accumulate market share by moving swiftly and targeting the US market.

The reason behind its strategic targeting of the US market is that its Asian competitors such as Huawei and ZTE may face a ban on selling networking gear due to security concerns which have been raised by the government. In May, Samsung publicly announced that it had conducted the world’s first field trial of a multi-vendor, pre-standard 5G network with US telecommunications firm Verizon. In addition to this, more recently Samsung and UK communications firm Arqiva announced it had conducted the first field trial of 5G Fixed Wireless Access Technology in Europe that went live in Central London.

VP of next-generation business and products at Samsung Networks, Woojune Kim, has expressed his confidence they can become a top tier network player in 5G, citing the fact that its Finnish and Swedish competitors are currently struggling. This stark assessment of its rivals was evidenced by the CEO of Nokia, Rajeev Suri conceded that the fact 5G was accelerating much faster than originally expected, would almost inevitable create some near term risks for his company, with the timing and completion of certain projects now uncertain. 

Published in Telecom Vendors

Qualcomm Technologies, Verizon and Ericsson together successfully surpassed the Gigabit speed barrier, Ericsson said in a statement on August 21. The companies achieved an industry first with commercial silicon and network infrastructure with 1.07Gbps download speeds using Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 LTE Modem, the first to support Category 18 LTE, during an Ericsson lab trial.

“Ericsson is working across the industry to improve the end-user experience and to develop new functionalities and advancements with greater spectral efficiency on LTE,” said Fredrik Jejdling, Head of Business Area Networks, Ericsson. “Achieving 1.07Gbps with Verizon and Qualcomm Technologies on a commercial chipset is a big milestone on the road to 5G.” 

This achievement builds on Ericsson’s recent announcement about Gigabit LTE with support for License Assisted Access (LAA). Also of significance, the 1.07Gbps speed was achieved using only three 20MHz carriers of FDD (Frequency Division Duplex using separate transmit and receive frequencies) spectrum, achieving new levels of spectral efficiency for commercial networks and devices. These efficiencies will enable the delivery of the Gigabit class experience to more customers and lead to new wireless innovations, Ericsson said.

The companies achieved the 1.07Gbps industry milestone by using 12 simultaneous LTE streams, which allow for up to 20 percent increase in peak data rates and capacity with a corresponding improvement in average speeds. Ericsson’s Radio System and LTE software, in concert with a mobile test device based on the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, enabled the high speeds.

In the lab, the 1.07Gbps speeds were achieved using all licensed band combinations with:12 LTE streams with 3 cell carrier aggregation of FDD spectrum; 4x4 MIMO per carrier (multiple in, multiple out), which uses multiple antennae at the cell tower and on consumers devices to optimize data speeds; and 256 QAM per carrier, which enables customer devices and the network to exchange information in large amounts, delivering more bits of data in each transmission, significantly enhancing data speeds.

“Qualcomm Technologies has been at the forefront of driving Gigabit LTE in the industry,” said Mike Finley, senior vice president and president, Qualcomm North America. “Our work with Verizon and Ericsson has allowed us to be first in surpassing the Gigabit speed barrier with our Snapdragon X20 LTE modem. This is an important milestone on the path to 5G that will allow for better average speeds for all users and will drive new and exciting consumer experiences.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

More than a dozen tech giants in the United States, including Verizon, Facebook, Snap, Twitter and Alphabet’s Google, have filed a 44-page brief with the Supreme Court calling for tighter restrictions on government officials having access to private and sensitive cellphone data of individuals.

The move highlights an ongoing dispute in the US over whether authorities should have to obtain a warrant before accessing data that could reveal an individual’s location via their cellphone. More and more data is being collected through digital devices, the brief said; therefore greater protection is needed for individuals under the law.

The brief stated: “That users rely on technology companies to process their data for limited purposes does not mean that they expect their intimate data to be monitored by the government without a warrant.”

Timothy Carter, a man convicted of robbing Radio Shack and T-Mobile stories in Ohio and Michigan in 2013, appeared before the justices last June to hear his appeal that data was used to convict him without a warrant. Using “cell site location information” obtained from Carter’s wireless carrier, federal prosecutors were able to prove his location near several of the robbery sites.

Carpenter claims that the prosecutors didn’t obtain a warrant to access information about his whereabouts, which he said amounts to an unreasonable search and seizure under the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. But Carpenter’s convictions were upheld by a federal appeals court last year, who determined that no warrant was needed to access the data.

The debate over how much surveillance law enforcement and intelligence agencies should have over individuals is heating up in the US, amidst concern among lawmakers that authorities are ignoring warrant requirements to obtain private information.

Carpenter’s representative, Nathan Freed Wessler with the American Civil Liberties Union, said the brief by tech giants represents a “robust defense of their customers’ privacy rights in the digital age.” Carpenter’s case will be brought before the court some time after its new term begins in October, Reuters said.

Mr. Wessler highlighted the importance of Verizon’s role in the brief, given that, as the largest carrier in the United States, it receives thousands of requests for cellphone location records from authorities every year and just about always complies.

Civil liberties lawyers argue that in order to pursue an arrest, authorities need “probable cause” and therefore a warrant, to avoid searches that are unconstitutional.

People should be able to use technologies without running the risk of having their personal data taken without permission, the tech giants explain in their brief to the Supreme Court.

Published in Government
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