Displaying items by tag: Wireless
The $26 billion merger deal between US telecommunication operators T-Mobile US and Sprint has received the backing of a key official at the US communications regulator FCC (Federal Communications Commission).
US telecommunications operator Verizon has said its proposed deployment of 5G services remains on track, but its CEO Hans Vestberg conceded that its plans to expand 5G services to the home has encountered issues.
Verizon has planned to invest significantly in its 5G home internet product portfolio, but that has been derailed because of the delay in the release of standards-based equipment.
The US telecommunications behemoth launched its residential 5G product to much fanfare in four US cities in October last year using a proprietary standard – and at the time it had indicated that it planned to transition to 3GPP New Radio standard for its mobile launch and subsequent fixed expansion.
However, Verizon’s CEO informed investors and shareholders during an earnings call that it may now take to longer than originally expected for 5G NR home equipment to become available as smartphone launches take precedence.
The CEO said, “As the industry is evolving, the first focus for the industry is actually to do chipsets for smartphones and then secondary the next generation of chipsets comes on the CPE side.”
In addition to this, Vestberg said he projects standards-based 5G equipment to become available in the second-half of 2019, with handsets due to appear on the market in Q1.
The US operators’ major competitors such as AT&T and T-Mobile US have all outlined their 5G plans - but Verizon’s CEO declined to unveil their 5G plans for competitive reasons.
The latest announcement from Verizon in relation 5G comes on the back of disappointing financial results for Q4 in 2018, with consolidated revenue up 1 per cent year-on-year to $34.3 billion. Full year 2018 revenue of $130.9 billion increased nearly 4 per cent from $126 billion in 2017.
In addition to this, it was disclosed that net income attributable to Verizon plummeted to $1.9 billion in Q4 from $18.7 billion in Q4 2017, though it should be noted the latter figure included a one-time tax perk of $16.8 billion.
Verizon’s 5G progress isn’t expected to have a significant impact on its financials in 2019: it projected only low single-digit percentage revenue growth for the full year. That guidance reiterated previous statements given by CFO Matt Ellis which indicated that 5G wouldn’t have a substantial impact on results until at least 2020.
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.
Philippine telecom and digital services provider PLDT and its mobile unit Smart Communications announced a US$28.5 million partnership with global information and communications technology leader Huawei to transform the group's wireless service delivery platforms.
This project is part of PLDT Group's massive capital expenditure program for the continuing overhaul of its fixed and wireless networks infrastructure and their information technology system which is expected to exceed P50 billion in 2018.
"This partnership will enable PLDT Group's wireless services under the brands PLDT, Smart, Sun and TNT to become much more agile, efficient and resilient in developing and delivering a growing array of digital services,” said PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.
“Under the 15-month agreement, Huawei will improve Smart’s online charging platforms and electronic loading for prepaid subscribers,” added Ray C. Espinosa, PLDT Group Chief Corporate Services Officer. “This involves consolidating similar applications for different brands under one system and streamlining business processes through a unified platform and simplified processes,” he said.
As a result, PLDT, Smart, Sun and TNT will be able to offer more personalized offers and rewards for their customers. PLDT’s wireless services will also be able to offer bundled services more quickly and efficiently. All these will significantly improve customer experience, PLDT claims.
“Through this partnership, our customers will have quick and ready access to the services that they value and enjoy,” said PLDT Group Chief Business Transformation Officer Victorico P. Vargas. "This is part of our broader effort to overhaul our IT systems so that we can leapfrog our ability to deliver best-in-class wireless services.
“By leveraging deep understanding of PLDT and our worldwide experience, Huawei proposed our industry leading OCS and eLoad Solutions to accelerate PLDT’s evolution in the digital market through this transformation program,” said Mr. Wilson Zang, President of Huawei Revenue Management product line. “Huawei is confident we can successfully deliver this critical program in a timely way together with PLDT.”
Huawei Revenue Management Software Solutions, including OCS and eLoad, enable the services of more than 1.7 billion subscribers at over 190 CSPs, across 107 countries. Huawei is enabling the digital transformation of Communications Service Providers (CSPs) and on the evolution of revenue management towards the monetization platforms of the future.
French tech startup Devialet has created a one-of-a-kind egg-shaped Bluetooth speaker that is able to compete against most high-end sound equipment. The Phantom blasts out sounds at an incredible 99 decibels (close to what you would hear sitting on a motorcycle) via a streamlined sound system that combines all of the components of a home audio setup into an egg-shaped shell. It’s no bigger than a regular bowling ball. It sells for $1,990.
Devialet started up in 2007, engineering amplifiers for home audio systems selling for more than $30,000. The company stands out with its hybrid digital and analog amplification process that allows for high volumes without the common distortion that often comes with that territory. Devialet aims “to be the next Dolby” and get its technology into other products such as TVs and cars. The company’s amplification system has been praised by the likes of LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault, who was so impressed by it that he invested more than $3 million in Devialet as part of its $19.1 million Series A funding round.
The Phantom is the company’s first self-contained sound system, meaning there is no need for a collection of speakers, an amplifier, or any other gear to experience quality sound. The egg-shaped device contains a digital-to-analog converter (DAC), processor, amplifier, loud speakers and Bluetooth connectivity. Simply connect your smartphone to the speaker via Bluetooth and you’re ready to go. To protect its product, Devialet has received 88 patents on the Phantom.
The Phantom’s egg-shape comes from the need for all the sound to come from a single point at the center of the unit (hermetically sealed by 1.2 tons of pressure) and to radiate out from that source. According to a review by Stephen Pulvirent, this allows the speakers to sit close together without disturbing one another. The result is an egg or capsule-shaped unit with a shiny white surface and chrome accents.
An important thing to note about the Phantom is that while it’s been dubbed ‘wireless’, that only refers to the fact that it’s Bluetooth. At 750 watts, the unit does have to be plugged into a wall for power to perform. It can run using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. When connecting the speaker via Wi-Fi, Devialet’s proprietary Spark app (iOS and Android) works as a bridge between the Phantom and your music, either saved or streamed through services such as Tidal. Through the app, you have a wider selection of volume controls, and it allows you to network multiple units together and control them independently from one source.
The Phantom’s ability to produce extremely high volume relative to its size is its main selling point. The unit can reportedly produce sounds equivalent to a premium sports car revving before its let loose. “As you crank the volume up to the maximum 99 decibels, the soundstage opens up and you really start to notice the clarity and separation between instruments,” said Pulvirent in his review. “Bass shakes your chest—the side woofer cones hypnotically blur along with the music (with 30 kilos of thrust force, according to Devialet's stats)—and treble is powerful without being shrill. Low-end heavy music such as SBTRKT and The Weeknd sounded boring on my headphones after using the Phantom.”
Devialet’s primary competition consists of full home theatre systems and dozen-component audiophile setups, according to the company, but not Bluetooth or networked speakers. It would seem like the Phantom aims to be a super-premium alternative to the Sonos, which claims to be the first name in wireless Hi-Fi home audio.
But according to Pulvirent’s review, the Phantom is the better option when it comes to bass. He said that he didn’t necessarily test them head-to-head, but mentioned that without a $699 subwoofer offered by Sonos, “none of the alternatives are going to come close to getting you that same bone-shaking feeling as the Phantom.”
Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) allow for improved network capacity in both indoor and outdoor crowded areas such as sports arenas, hotels, shopping malls, conference centers and hospitals. DAS is a way to deal with isolated spots of poor coverage by installing a network of relatively small antennas throughout an area to serve as repeaters. Leading global wireless providers are adopting the technology at a steep price because the usefulness of DAS is groundbreaking.
Expectations for consistent wireless network availability are growing faster than ever. Sports events today are filled with people filming, uploading and downloading high levels of voice and video content with their smartphones or tablets, driven by the BYOD phenomenon. Demand is soaring, which is great for wireless operators, but how can they ensure that they have enough capacity to supply this heavy demand? One of the best solutions to this issue is Distributed Antenna System Solutions, more commonly known as DAS.
A DAS system uses a cluster of antennas designed to rapidly boost cellular network coverage where there is weak or no signal in the area. The perfect scenario for using a DAS is in areas with poor line-of-sight to existing towers, for example, an area deep within very large facilities or inside underground transportation systems. Another scenario where DAS is useful, which is becoming more common today, is in areas with concentrated demand that would otherwise overwhelm existing network coverage, such as large hospitals, airports and, of course, sports arenas.
DAS technology was first introduced about 20 years ago, but today, the need to do more with fewer assets is driving innovation in DAS and optical networks. DAS solutions not only address the need for small cell delivery, but also address efficient small cell backhaul. Mobile operators are keen to implement DAS and fiber technologies to create leaner, more cost-effective deployments. The systems are commonly used in urban subways, airports, stadiums, office buildings and other venues where enhanced coverage capacity is needed.
DAS is a system of managed hubs and remote antennas that distribute a wireless signal to a series of connected indoor or outdoor multi-band, multi-technology radio heads. Service providers typically locate base stations to provide the cellular signal. A main hub then takes the signal and distributes it to other hubs and radio heads via a high bandwidth fiber optic network. A DAS can transport mobile signal at full-strength to any remote antenna connected, no matter how far away it is from the main hub and base station. Some DAS provide vast coverage and support thousands of subscribers. To keep the systems out of sight, DAS remote antennas can be attached to lampposts, street furniture, telephone poles, etc.
One of the leading manufacturers of DAS systems is CommScope which manufactures energy efficient integrated distributed coverage and capacity systems. CommScope’s Andrew Integrated Management and Operating System (AIMOS) helps to manage DAS by allowing the user to monitor and control a network from one central location or multiple hubs.
TE Connectivity is another DAS leader, with solutions that operate as seamless extensions of a wireless network. Another vendor, Axell Wireless, provides coverage and capacity around buildings or facilities by taking single or multiple operators’ base station resources and re-distributing them. Eighty of the world’s largest subway systems have deployed DAS networks with Axell Technology. Axell’s DAS network powers the Chunnel connecting London and Paris, as well as Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and the Department of Homeland Security campus.
In 2013, Ericsson introduced its own DAS technology dubbed the Radio Dot system, a radio that can fit in the palm of your hand and hook up to a full-size base station via conventional LAN cables. The system allows carriers to fill large and medium-sized buildings with strong voice and data signals while keeping their equipment and management costs low. Buying and installing specialized DAS equipment is expensive and managing and coordinating a collection of small individual cells around a building is complicated. Therefore, Ericsson attempted to solve those problems by putting the core components of a macro cell into a building and spreading the radio parts of the cell throughout the rooms as Radio Dots.
In January 2016, American operators Verizon and AT&T reportedly invested heavily in DAS and also cell on wheels (COWs) which are portable mobile cellular sites that provide temporary network wireless coverage to locations where cellular coverage is minimal or compromised. The investments were made to ensure the companies could handle the 75,000 football fans who gathered in the San Francisco metro area for the Super Bowl 50 in February.
Verizon is said to have made a $70 million long-term investment to more than triple LTE wireless data network capacity for key areas throughout the Bay Area for the Super Bowl. AT&T invested more than $25 million, while also upgrading its DAS to provide 150 percent more LTE capacity than the start of the 2015 pro football season, upgrading new DAS systems at 26 locations throughout the Bay Area. Many businesses were also able to benefit from the improved connectivity, such as hotels, airports and convention centers where large numbers of people gathered.
The millions spent on DAS by Verizon and AT&T is a testament to the technology’s worth. To justify these high costs, providers and carriers often prefer long contract terms, with ten years becoming the industry norm. In most cases for a carrier-owned DAS system, a wireless service provider, such as Verizon, will pay for the equipment and installation costs, as well as maintenance and upgrades.
As a result, the carrier has access to exclusive improved network service in any given area, unless the carrier voluntarily allows its competition to make use of it. When a third-party neutral-host provider installs a DAS, this entity typically bears all of the costs, which can be recouped by charging any or all of the service providers to have access to the system.
The advantages of DAS systems are plentiful because they can be deployed indoors and outdoors, because DAS antenna node installations are compact. The size and power requirements of DAS systems also allow for installation in areas where traditional cell towers cannot be placed due to zoning restrictions.
DAS systems also hold credit regarding safety. For instance, cell phones aren’t simply used for convenience, but also for reaching out to authorities when in trouble. Cell phones can only be used when there is an effective signal. In this way, making a call from a DAS is better than using WiFi, because WiFi was never designed to provide location information, which is required when an emergency call is made to authorities.
Since the inception of commercial wireless technology, network operators have been working hard to obtain the maximum number of users. This has resulted in a struggle to maintain the quality of service for increasing the number and usage of cellular systems, as well as providing wireless service to people located in isolated areas or to those in very dense areas. Although expensive, Distributed Antenna Systems have emerged as the most promising solution to address these issues.