Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on those sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!
Covid-19’s impact on IoT tracking
It is not just about the march of technology – that trackers are getting smaller and cheaper, and more clever in even their low-level functionality. Outside aspects have coalesced around sensor-based tracking, as well. The most significant of these, arguably, is the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, of course, which has obliged society to track social distancing to get back to work. Covid-19 has made assets of people, in tech terms, and subjects of tracking; it has provided the asset tracking market with an inadvertent fillip, even as whole industrial sectors have gone into lockdown for most of 2020. “We are seeing brand new use cases – the government tracing apps, but also because schools and businesses want to track proximity as well,” comments Michael Ammann, global head of industrial application marketing at IoT module maker u-blox. The impact of Covid-19 on asset tracking has been three-fold, at least. Firstly, it has highlighted inefficiencies in interconnected global supply chains as markets have shut down independently of each other. Intermittently, this has forced crucial links out of the chain altogether, and a best-effort shuffling of the rest to cover the gaps. “The market is hotting up, and a big part of that is the fallout from Covid-19, accelerating the trend towards digitising the supply chain,” comments Tancred Taylor at ABI Research. … Read more
Rakuten Mobile joins O-RAN Alliance
Japanese operator Rakuten Mobile, a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Rakuten, announced it has joined the O-RAN Alliance, a worldwide community promoting open, fully interoperable radio access networks (RAN). Tareq Amin, representative director, EVP and CTO of Rakuten Mobile, was appointed as a member of the board of directors of the O-RAN Alliance. Rakuten Mobile has built what it claims to be the world’s first end-to-end fully-virtualized, cloud-native mobile network. Rakuten Mobile’s network utilizes a multi-vendor approach incorporating virtualization technologies. The architecture also makes it possible to transition to an O-RAN standard-compliant RAN mainly through a software upgrade. “At Rakuten Mobile, we believe that Open RAN is the future evolution of mobile networks,” said Tareq Amin. “As a member of the O-RAN Alliance, we will leverage the experience gained from the development of our open, virtualized network in Japan to contribute to the creation of a fully open standard for RAN for the world.” As a member of the O-RAN Alliance, Rakuten Mobile will contribute to the technical development of Open RAN. The alliance is a global community of over 200 operators, vendors, research and academic institutions operating in the RAN industry. Founded in February 2018 and established as a German entity in August 2018, the organization’s mission is to enable an open, interoperable supply chain ecosystem in full support of and complimentary to standards promoted by 3GPP and other industry standards organizations. … Read more
Intel lands Dish 5G contract
Intel has signed a partnership with U.S. operator Dish Nework to supply virtualized RAN (vRAN) equipment for a standalone 5G deployment, the chipmaker said in a release. As part of the deal, Intel’s 5G infrastructure technology will create the foundation for Dish’s greenfield 5G network. The deployment will include the Intel Xeon Scalable processor, the Intel Ethernet 800 Series network adapter, the Intel vRAN Dedicated Accelerator ACC100 and Intel FlexRAN software reference architecture. Through this collaboration with Intel, Dish will be able to consolidate and optimize multiple workloads at locations across its network for increased efficiency. “Fully virtualized, cloud-native networks, like the one Dish is building, bring the same server economics that transformed the datacenter,” said Dan Rodriguez, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel’s Network Platforms Group. “We are excited to partner with Dish to lay the foundation for a truly agile network and have already begun working with our OEM partners who have designed FlexRAN-based servers to enable a variety of new innovative use cases and services.” … Read more
Cradlepoint’s 5G future
Ericsson has officially brought enterprise network endpoint company Cradlepoint into its fold, closing the $1.1 billion acquisition that Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm said recently will be a “key building block” for the network equipment vendor’s strategy to capture new business and revenue from the enterprise space. Cradlepoint recently offered a peek at what it means to enable the enterprise possibilities of 5G, highlighting a case study in Australia with construction company Taylor Construction. Cradlepoint introduced its 5G enterprise solution line in February. Todd Krautkremer, Cradlepoint’s CMO, pointed out a number of differentiators for its 5G enterprise solutions. He said that Cradlepoint designed the solutions to be flexible, comprehensive—so that enterprises could use it to get to 5G by a number of paths, including leveraging their own existing infrastructure and SD-WAN implementations—and to cover both sub-6 GHz and millimeter-wave frequencies. … Read more
T-Mo says Sprint network integration is ahead of schedule
In providing third quarter fiscal reporting this week, T-Mobile US executives provided an update on the progress of integrating the Sprint network and migrating customers to the new T-Mobile US network, and discussed further financial synergies gained through the combination of Sprint and T-Mobile US. T-Mobile US currently offers nationwide standalone 5G service using its 600 MHz spectrum and is rapidly deploying Sprint’s 2.5 GHz holdings to balance capacity and coverage in its 5G network. CEO Mike Sievert said 2.5 GHz 5G is currently available in 400 towns and cities covering 30 million people. By year-end, he expects mid-band 5G in 1000 towns and cities covering 100 million people with the goal of nationwide coverage by the end of 2021. “The country has never seen anything like this network build, which is tracking well ahead of schedule and is clearly beginning to differentiate T-Mobile as the bonafide leader of the 5G era,” Sievert said. In terms of total subscribers, T-Mobile US earlier this year unseated AT&T as the number two Tier 1 carrier and Sievert said, “We’re pulling further ahead of AT&T.” In terms of cost savings associated with the Sprint merger, Sievert said T-Mobile US has realized $1.2 billion in synergies this year—”way ahead of our plan.” He broke that out to include $600 million related avoiding new site builds and site decommissioning, $500 million from streamlined marketings and $100 million in back office savings. … Read more
RootMetrics on ‘apples to apples’ 5G comparisons
5G may be a single technology, but the spectrum that each mobile network operator uses to deploy its 5G makes a significant difference in the performance and user experience under the umbrella of “5G”. It’s hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison of 5G networks when the apples – er, airwaves each carrier is using – are so different. “In a word, 5G can be complicated. There is no one-size-fits-all 5G solution and the end-user 5G experience can vary a great deal depending on what type of spectrum the carriers use for deployments,” said RootMetrics in a report on 5G testing across carrier networks from March of this year. RootMetrics examined factors including 5G availability (how often devices connected to 5G networks) to speed and latency analysis. Unsurprisingly, the benchmarking company found that while carriers with low- and midband 5G deployments had greater 5G availability, it was mmWave that provided the fastest speeds. The fastest 5G max download speed that RootMetrics recorded on AT&T and T-Mobile US’ low-band 5G networks was AT&T’s 175.2 Mbps in Indianapolis, Indiana. Compare that to a max download speed of 845.7 Mbps recorded on Verizon’s network in Washington, D.C. Mid-band spectrum fell somewhere between the two, with a max download speed on then-Sprint’s 2.5 GHz 5G network of 249.4 Mbps in Chicago. (Note: Verizon has since begun implementing 8-component carrier aggregation of mmWave frequencies and promising speeds up to 4+ Gbps in markets where it has that capability deployed.) … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.