TBR Analysis of Verizon’s 2nd Quarter Results + Earnings Call Remarks

Unlimited data boosts Verizon’s phone net additions though wireless margins continue to diminish

by Steve Vachon, TBR Analyst

In 2Q17 Verizon was able to report consolidated year-to-year revenue growth (+0.1%, on a historical, non-adjusted basis) for the first quarter since 1Q16, but this was mainly due to $693 million in revenue generated from acquisitions that have closed in the past year, including Fleetmatics, Telogis and, most recently, Yahoo, which closed on June 13, 2017.

Verizon’s core businesses continue to feel the weight of pricing pressures and market saturation within the mobility, video and business services markets. These trends are exemplified by wireless revenue remaining in decline (-1.9% year-to-year) despite the recent launch of unlimited data, competition from over the top (OTT) preventing Fios video subscriber additions and growth within Verizon’s new Business Markets unit being largely contingent on the XO Communications acquisition.

The launch of Verizon’s unlimited data plans in February boosted postpaid phone net additions, totaling 358,000 in 2Q17 compared to 86,000 in 2Q16, as more customers are shifting to unlimited data for its convenience and to support increasing mobile video usage. TBR believes the price point of Verizon’s unlimited plans is also benefiting subscriber growth while minimizing average revenue per user (ARPU) declines as they strike a happy medium, starting at a lower price point than AT&T’s Unlimited Plus program, competing on-par with multiline T-Mobile One Plus plans without yielding to the overly aggressive pricing of Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom promotions.

Maintaining sufficient LTE capacity is critical as the carrier is continuing to rely on its reputation of providing superior network coverage as its primary differentiator to attract unlimited data coverage. TBR believes Verizon is well-positioned to sustain its unlimited data strategy long term as currently only 50% of its spectrum is being used for LTE and the company can continue to add network capacity via small cells, deploying AWS-3 licenses and refarming 3G licenses for LTE. However, Verizon’s network distinctions are becoming less pronounced as competitors continue to densify their networks and move towards 1Gbps data speeds by implementing LTE-Advanced technologies, which will require Verizon to implement new differentiators to stand out in the unlimited data market.

Despite the success of Verizon’s unlimited data plans, wireless EBITDA margins fell for the third-consecutive quarter in 2Q17, declining 170 basis points year-to-year to 45.8%. Verizon’s diminishing wireless (profit) margins are in part due to the carrier’s shift to a non-subsidy device pricing model as decreased equipment subsidies are failing to offset service revenue declines stemming from lower-priced wireless plans offered under this model. Postpaid ARPU is also being limited by Verizon Plan features including Carryover Data and Safety Mode that are helping tiered data customers conserve data usage. Conversely, TBR anticipates the adoption of unlimited data plans will mainly have a stabilizing effect on postpaid phone ARPU over the next year as migrations from customers on less expensive plans will be offset by the cost savings heavy overage customers will realize by transitioning to unlimited data.

Highlights of Verizon’s Earnings Call Transcript: 

Matthew D. Ellis – Verizon Communications, Inc.

We had a strong quarter of execution. First, we invested in our 4G network leadership position, resulting in a sweep of third-party network performance surveys for the first half of 2017, while prepositioning for 5G services. Second, we delivered solid wireless operational performance and financial results in a competitive environment with an increase in both postpaid and prepaid accounts. Third, we successfully completed the acquisition of Yahoo’s operating assets to scale our media business.

Network leadership is the central element of our strategy, and we are continually investing in our network to extend our leadership in 4G capacity growth with densification using small cells, which includes expanding our fiber capabilities. As we prepare for the network of the future, we announced the acquisition of Straight Path for $3.1 billion, which we expect will close by the end of first quarter 2018. Straight Path complements our spectrum portfolio and positions us to lead and further drive 5G technology and its ecosystem. We have begun the pre-commercial fixed wireless trials in eight out of the 11 markets and have our first batch of customers on this technology. As we have previously highlighted, we will have trial results later in the year, and I look forward to sharing them with you.

We had a strong quarter, adding and retaining wireless customers as the momentum from the launch of our unlimited plans was sustained throughout the quarter. We delivered a strong wireless operational performance that reflects customer demand for our high-quality network in a highly competitive market. Finally, we completed the acquisition of Yahoo’s operating assets and immediately began executing on integration plans that we’ve been working on for over a year. We are confident in the execution of our strategy, which we expect to drive profitable growth, generate strong cash flows, and return long-term value to our shareholders.

http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/call-transcript.aspx?StoryId=4091322&Title=verizon-communications-vz-q2-2017-results-earnings-call-transcript

Total wireline revenue on a reported basis grew 1.2%, including the recently acquired XO operations. On an organic basis, wireline segment revenue decreased 2.8% compared to a decline of 3.2% last quarter. This shift in the wireline revenue trend towards fiber is growing. Organically, fiber based products grew more than 3%, which supports our plans to further invest in fiber. Our emphasis on delivering value to all business customers, from the very small to the large enterprise, was recognized recently in a leading third-party study. More importantly, we won the large enterprise business award for the second consecutive year in the same study.

Consumer markets revenue increased 0.6%, driven by Fios Internet activity. Consumer Fios revenue growth of 4.1% was consistent with the past several quarters. During the quarter, we launched Fios Gigabit Connection in certain markets, which offers symmetrical speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second. In Fios Internet, we added 49,000 customers. Fios Video results were pressured due to softer secular demand for traditional linear video, given growth in the over-the-top offerings, as well as competitive promotional activity. Fios Video losses were 15,000 in the quarter. For the second quarter, Enterprise Solutions revenue fell 4.1% on an organic basis, which was due to persistent trends in our legacy products and pricing compression in the marketplace. On a constant-currency basis, revenue was down 3.5%.

Partner Solutions revenue declined 6.8% on an organic basis, while the revenue mix towards fiber has been trending higher. Within business markets, fiber revenue is expanding, driven by Fios broadband demand, offset by continued pressure in legacy products. On an organic basis, revenue declined 4.9% and improved slightly sequentially.

On a comparable basis, the second quarter wireline EBITDA margin was 20.8%, compared to 13.3%, which included the work stoppage, last year. Sequentially, wireline EBITDA margin was down 120 basis points, primarily due to lower revenue from Enterprise Solutions and Partner Solutions and an increase in operating expense as a result of leasing data center space related to the sale to Equinix.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4091322-verizon-communications-vz-q2-2017-results-earnings-call-transcript?page=4

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Commentary from Fierce Wireless:

Whether Verizon can maintain its network edge in an era of unlimited data is unclear, however. Recent data from Ookla indicates that the networks of both Verizon and AT&T have suffered as traffic has ramped up in recent months, as T-Mobile recently pointed out. So Verizon must continue to move quickly to meet the ever-increasing demands of consumers as mobile data traffic soars.

“Subscriber trends recovered sharply this quarter; however, this is partly due to an aggressive push behind unlimited that we don’t think is sustainable for Verizon,” New Street Research analysts said in a note to investors. “They have the least capacity per sub of all the carriers, and their network performance is already deteriorating both in absolute terms and relative to peers.  Verizon is also paying for improved subscriber trends with ARPU and service revenue pressure. The recovery in subs is also partly due to record low churn across the industry in general, which we suspect will reverse later in the year with the new iPhone launch.”

 

AT&T: Latency sensitive, next-gen apps need Edge Computing & We’re All In!

AT&T strongly advocates the use of edge computing (EC) as a way to reinvent the telco network and cloud so as to make new services like augmented reality, virtual reality, and low latency “5G” applications practicable.

The company’s CTO wrote in a blog post that it is adding intelligence to its cell towers, central offices, and small cells that are at the “edge” of the cloud by outfitting them with high-end graphics processing chips and other general purpose computers. By doing so, it will reduce the distance that data has to travel to get processed, thereby reducing latency and boosting overall network performance.

“Edge computing fulfills the promise of the cloud to transcend the physical constraints of our mobile devices,” said Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and CTO in a statement. “The capabilities of tomorrow’s “5G” are the missing link that will make edge computing possible.”  That’s because many “5G” applications require low latency, especially for real time control of machinery and Internet connected devices (IoT).

AT&T said it will begin deploying edge computing out over the next few years starting with urban areas and expanding those over time. The company also said that MEC is an important element to the company’s network virtualization program. The company’s goal is to have 55 percent of its network virtualized by year-end with a longer term goal of having 75 percent of its network virtualized by 2020.

Part of AT&T’s network virtualization effort is the deployment of a centralized RAN (C-RAN) architecture, which will be virtualized to help speed the evolution to “5G” services. More on that from Gordon Mansfield, AT&T’s VP of RAN and Device Design here.

The above referenced AT&T blog post identified the challenge and solution for next-gen applications:

Here’s the challenge: Next-gen applications like autonomous cars and augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) will demand massive amounts of near-real time computation.

For example, according to some third-party estimates, self-driving cars will generate as much as 3.6 terabytes of data per hour from the clusters of cameras and other sensors. Some functions like braking, turning and acceleration will likely always be managed by the computer systems in the cars themselves.

But what if we could offload some of the secondary systems to the cloud? These include things like updating and accessing detailed maps these cars will use to navigate.

Or consider AR/VR. The industry is moving to a model where those applications will come through your smartphone. But creating entirely virtual worlds or overlaying digital images and graphics on top of the real world in a convincing way also requires a lot of processing power. Even when phones can deliver that horsepower, the tradeoff is extremely short battery life.

Edge computing addresses those obstacles by moving the computation into the cloud in a way that feels seamless. It’s like having a wireless supercomputer follow you wherever you go.

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AT&T said that it’s already deploying EC-capable services to enterprise customers today through AT&T FlexWareSM service. Customers can currently manage powerful network services through a standard tablet device. We expect to see more applications for EC in areas like public safety that will be enabled by the FirstNet wireless broadband network.

The company claims to be committed to deploying mobile 5G as soon as possible and are committed to edge computing. As AT&T rolls out EC over the next few years, dense urban areas will be their first targets, and they’ll expand from those over time.

In conclusion, AT&T stated “we’re all in- now (for edge computing)” as per these strong closing remarks:

AT&T Labs and AT&T Foundry innovation centers are at the heart of designing and testing edge computing. In February, the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto, CA, released a white paper on the computing and networking challenges around AR/VR. We’ll put out a second white paper in the coming weeks. It will discuss how we can apply edge computing to enable mobile augmented and virtual reality technology in the ecosystem.

There’s no time to lose. We think edge computing will drive a wave of innovation unlike anything seen since the dawn of the internet itself. Stay tuned.

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Other network operators have been touting multi-access edge computing (MEC) in conjunction with “5G” networks. Late last year, 5G Americas, a trade group representing several operators in North and South America (including AT&T), released a white paper about the growing interest in MEC and said that standards bodies like the 3GPP and ETSI are considering including MEC in the 5G standards development.

ETSI has formed the Multi-access Edge Computing Industry Specification Group (MEC ISG).  Earlier this month, ETSI released its first package of standardized application programming interfaces (APIs) that will support MEC interoperability.

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References:

http://about.att.com/story/reinventing_the_cloud_through_edge_computing.html

https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/att-touts-mec-tool-reduce-latency-boost-performance/2017/07/

https://www.wirelessweek.com/news/2017/07/t-turns-edge-computing-vr-other-5g-use-cases

 

 

Telecom Italia “5G” trial to blanket San Marino in 2018

According to the Financial Times (on line subscription required):

Telecom Italia plans to test its home grown “5G” technology in the micro-state of San Marino next year, making it the first country in the world to boast a nationwide 5G network.  The state of San Marino, which has little more than 30,000 citizens, extends to only 61 sq km, making it the smallest republic in the world.

Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of the tiny country to upgrade the existing 4G-LTE network in advance of a trial of “5G” services in 2018. It will double the number of mobile sites and will install a network of small cells in downtown San Marino, a Unesco heritage site, this year that will provide the backbone of the future commercial network. Investment in 5G network trials are taking place around the world with carriers in South Korea, China and the US among the most active in testing 5G technology. Giovanni Ferigo, head of technology for Telecom Italia Mobile, said San Marino’s 5G network would be the first in Europe “for sure.”

It was not revealed who created the specs for the Italian telco’s “5G” network or where Telecom Italia will procure the end point devices/handsets.  One would assume that Ericsson is supplying TIM with the “5G” base stations, based on a MOU signed between the two companies in March of this year.  TIM wrote in a press release on March 2, 2017:

TIM and Ericsson are committing to share skills, projects, laboratories and resources for designing, testing and building the technological components of the new 5G network needed to create a complete and open ecosystem around next-generation digital services.

In particular, the agreement will directly involve the research and innovation structures of the two companies, focusing on the design and testing of access infrastructure, the respective antenna systems and network virtualisation solutions, particularly through joint participation in Italian and European research projects and integration of service platforms for testing in the field of innovative Use Cases.

The 5G system will provide peak speeds of up to dozens of Gbps for UltraHD services and cloud computing solutions, a decrease in communication latency, reducing it to a few milliseconds, reliability for mission-critical services and service density with the ability to connect up to a hundred thousand terminals per cell. These characteristics mean that 5G will become the reference mobile network for next-generation digital services (such as virtual reality) and for the industrial Internet (robotics, manufacturing, health, environment, self-driving logistics).

The agreement is part of the “5G for Italy” initiative launched in 2016 by TIM and Ericsson for the establishment of an ecosystem of experimental industrial partners, confirming the commitment of the two companies to innovating technologies and networks in support of the socio-economic growth of the country.

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Telecom Italia is also testing “5G” in Milano and Torino, but has more freedom in San Marino to experiment because of fewer restrictions on the use of airwaves than in Italy.

“We need to experiment as soon as possible,” Mr Ferigo said.  The work done in San Marino would play a critical role in the future of 5G technology in Italy but was also crucial to the wider European sector as standards for the new network are refined.

“For 5G, our intention is a European leadership in standardization,” he said. The European Commission published a 5G action plan last year when it estimated that sectors such as healthcare, transport, cars and utilities would see economic benefits of €113bn by 2025 from the technology.  However, the European Commission does not generate any telecom standards.  For Europe, that’s ETSI which contributes to 3GPP and its members contribute to ITU-R WP 5D which is standardizing true 5G (as we’ve noted in numerous blog posts/articles).

Earlier this year, Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) said LTE customers are expected to account for around 90% of its mobile broadband customers by 2019;  That’s due to almost blanket LTE coverage of Italy with network speeds up to 75 Mbps and peaks of 500 Mbps in the main cities via the use of LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation.

The above referenced FT “5G” article states:

Some countries have committed to the first 5G launches in 2019 but the wider telecoms industry is still struggling to define exactly what 5G technology is and some have argued that it is not yet clear how they can justify spending billions on the new network.

Mr Ferigo said the San Marino launch would be “very important” in defining the use case for 5G that would transform all sectors from healthcare to robotics to public transport. Telecom Italia has started working with companies including Maserati and Ducati on the use of better wireless technology but also the makers of parmesan cheese who want to better monitor the cows in their fields. Small territories have been used in the past for telecoms testing. The first 3G trial in the UK took place on the Isle of Man, while the remote Isle of Bute in Scotland was used to test “white space” technology.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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References:

http://www.telecomitalia.com/tit/en/archivio/media/note-stampa/corporate/2017/TIM-Repubblica-San-Marino-MoU-5G-ENG.html

http://www.telecomitalia.com/tit/en/archivio/media/note-stampa/market/2017/PN-TIM-Turin-5G-Day.html

http://www.telecomitalia.com/tit/en/archivio/media/comunicati-stampa/telecom-italia/mercato/business/2017/10-03-17CS-TIM-Comune-di-Torino-5G.html

https://www.ericsson.com/assets/local/publications/white-papers/wp-5g.pdf

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news-and-events/press-center/media-kits/5g

 

Overview & Schedule for ITU-R WP 5D: IMT 2020 True “5G” Standards

Overview of ITU-R Working Party 5D work (as per July 5, 2017 report):

Working Party 5D:

1. Is responsible for the overall system aspects of the terrestrial component of IMT, comprising IMT-2000, IMT-Advanced, and IMT for 2020 and beyond.

2. Has the prime responsibility within ITU-R for issues related to the terrestrial component of IMT, including technical, operational and spectrum related issues to meet the objectives of future IMT systems.

3. Is the lead group for the overall maintenance of existing and the development of new Reports/Recommendations on IMT.

4. Is responsible for studies related on aspects regarding the continued deployment of IMT‑2000 and IMT-Advanced including aspects such as convergence impacts regulatory and operational matters within the purview of Study Group 5.

5. Will continue to work closely with Working Parties 4B and 4C on issues related to the satellite component of IMT.

6. Will continue to work closely with other Working Parties on issues relevant for IMT systems.

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

Scopes for the various ITU-R WP 5D Working Groups:

WG GENERAL ASPECTS:

– To develop deliverables on services, forecasts, and also convergence of services of fixed and mobile networks which take account the needs of end users, and the demand for IMT capabilities and supported services. This includes aspects regarding the continued deployment of IMT, other general topics of IMT and overall objectives for the long-term development of IMT. To update the relevant IMT Recommendations/Reports.

– To ensure that the requirements and needs of the developing countries are reflected in the work and deliverables of WP 5D in the development of IMT. This includes coordination of work with ITU-D Sector on deployments of IMT systems and transition to IMT system.

WG TECHNOLOGY ASPECTS:

– To provide the technology related aspects of IMT through development of Recommendations and Reports. To update the relevant IMT‑2000 and IMT-Advanced Recommendations.  To work on key elements of IMT technologies including requirements, evaluation, and evolution. To develop liaison with external research and standardization forums, and to coordinate the external and internal activities related to the IMT-2020 process.

– To manage the research topics website and its findings.

WG SPECTRUM ASPECTS:

– To undertake co-existence studies, develop spectrum plans, and channel/frequency arrangements for IMT. This includes spectrum sharing between IMT and other radio services/systems coordinating as appropriate with other Working Parties in ITU-R.

AD HOC WORK PLAN:

– To coordinate the work of WP 5D to facilitate efficient and timely progress of work items.

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Meeting schedule

The following table shows the proposed meeting dates for Working Party 5D following on WRC‑15. Some adjustment of these dates might be required to accommodate availability of facilities at specific venues. Every effort will be made to keep these dates as listed. Please check the ITU website in case meeting details have changed. (http://www.itu.int/events/monthlyagenda.asp?lang=en)

GROUP

No.

FROM

TO

PLACE

COMMENTS

WP 5D

23

23 February 16

2 March 16

China

7 working day meeting

WP 5D

24

14 June 16

22 June 16

Geneva

7 working day meeting

WP 5D

25

5 October 16

13 October 16

Geneva

7 working day meeting

WP 5D

26

14 February 17

22 February 17

Geneva

7 working day meeting

WP 5D

27

13 June 17

21 June 17

Canada

7 working day meeting

WP 5D

28

3 October 17

11 October 17

Germany

7 working day meeting, including a one-day workshop

WP 5D

29

31 January 18

7 February 18

[Korea]

WP 5D

30

13 June 18

20 June 18

[TBD]

WP 5D

31

9 October 18

16 October 18

[Japan]

WP 5D Expert meeting

31bis

[11 February 19]

[15 February 19]

[TBD]

If needed. Focus of meeting towards RA-19 and WRC-19

CPM19-2

18 February 19

28 February 19

Geneva

WP 5D

32

9 July 19

17 July 19

[TBD]

7 working day meeting

RA-19

21 October 19

25 October 19

Geneva

WRC-19

28 October 19

22 November 19

[Egypt]

WP 5D

33

[9 December] 19

[13 December] 19

[TBD]

Focus meeting on evaluation (WG Technology Aspects)

WP 5D

34

19 February 20

26 February 20

[TBD]

WP 5D

35

24 June 20

1 July 20

[TBD]

WP 5D

36

7 October 20

14 October 20

[TBD]

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Work with involved organizations, including research entities:

The strategy for ITU-R WP 5D going forward is to gather information from the organizations involved in the global research and development and those that have an interest in the future development of IMT and to inform them of the framework and technical requirements in order to build consensus on a global level.

ITU-R WP 5D can play an essential role to promote and encourage these research activities towards common goals and to ensure that information from the WP 5D development on the vision, spectrum issues, envisioned new services and technical requirements are widespread among the research community. In the same manner, WP 5D encourages inputs from the external communities involved in these research and technology developments.

It is evident that continuing dialogue between the ITU and the entities taking part in research is a key to the continuing success of the industry in advancing and expanding the global wireless marketplace.

Working Party 5D, as is the case with all ITU organizations, works from input contributions submitted by members of the ITU. In order to facilitate receipt of information from external entities who may not be direct members of ITU, the Radiocommunication Bureau Secretariat may be considered as the point of interface, in accordance with Resolution ITU-R 9‑5.

The following major activities are foreseen to take place outside of the ITU, including WP 5D, in order to successfully complement the WP 5D work:

research on new technologies to address the new elements and new capabilities of IMT‑2020;

the ongoing development of specifications for IMT and subsequent enhancements.

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Agreed overall deliverables/workplan of WP 5D

The following table provides the schedule of when approval of the planned major deliverables will be achieved following the procedures of WP 5D.

October 2017

TBD WP 5D #28

Finalize revision of Recommendation ITU-R M.2012

Liaison Reply to Task Group 5/1

February 2018

TBD WP 5D #29

Finalize input to WP 1A on WRC-19 agenda item 1.15

Finalize CPM text on WRC-19 agenda item 9.1, issue 9.1.1

Finalize draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT.MS/MSS.2GHz]

June 2018

TBD WP 5D #30

Finalize CPM text on WRC-19 agenda item 9.1, issue 9.1.8 (MTC)

Finalize draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT.EXPERIENCES]

Finalize draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT. MTC]

Further update/Finalize draft new Report/Recommendation ITU-R
M.[IMT.1518 MHz COEXISTENCE]

Finalize input to WP 4A on WRC-19 agenda item 9.1, issue 9.1.2

October 2018

TBD WP 5D #31

Finalize draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT.1452-1492MHz]

Finalize draft new Report/Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT.3300 MHz RLS]

Finalize draft new Recommendation ITU-R M.[MT.3300 MHz FSS]

Finalize draft new Report/Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT.COEXISTENCE.AMS]

Finalize draft revision of Report ITU-R M.2373

Finalize revision of Recommendation ITU-R M.1036

Finalize draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT.BY.INDUSTRIES]

Finalize revision of Recommendation ITU-R M.1457

July 2019

TBD WP 5D #32

Finalize Doc. IMT-2020/YYY Input Submissions Summary

Finalize Addendum 4 to Circular Letter IMT‑2020

October 2019

TBD WP 5D #33

February 2020

TBD WP 5D #34

Finalize Doc. IMT-2020/ZZZ Evaluation Reports Summary

Finalize Addendum 5 to Circular Letter IMT‑2020

June 2020

TBD WP 5D #35

Draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.OUTCOME]

Finalize Addendum 6 to Circular Letter IMT‑2020

October 2020

TBD WP 5D #36

Finalize draft new Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT‑2020.SPECS]

Finalize Addendum 7 to Circular Letter IMT‑2020

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Detailed timeline and process for Technology related work stream towards IMT-2020:

Working Party 5D has developed a work plan, timeline, process and required deliverables for the future development of IMT, necessary to provide by 2020 timeframe, the expected ITU-R outcome of evolved IMT in support of the next generation of mobile broadband communications systems beyond IMT-Advanced.

Circular Letter(s) are expected to be issued at the appropriate time(s) to announce the invitation to submit formal proposals and other relevant information.

It has been agreed that the well-known process and deliverable formats utilized for both IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced should be utilized also for IMT-2020 and considered as a “model” for the IMT‑2020 deliverables to leverage on the prior work.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Dates have been decided for RA-19 (21-25 October 2019) and WRC-19 (28 October – 22 November 2019).

The WP 5D #32 (July) is the main meeting for year 2019.

The WP 5D #33 is to be held in December with a focus on the evaluation process (WG Technology Aspects).

If needed there is an opportunity for expert meeting to focus on preparation towards WRC-19 (WG General Aspects and WG Spectrum Aspects) prior to the WP 5D #32 (July).

Click on above image to enlarge.  Source:  ITU-R WP5D report, 5 July 2017

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Reference:

Timeline for IMT 2020 (5G) Radio Access Recommendations + Evaluation Methodology

AT&T to Test “5G” via DIRECTV Now in Austin, TX

In the continuing saga of pre-standard “5G” trials, AT&T has begun field trials of its “5G” based fixed wireless system in Austin, TX using its DIRECTV Now streaming-video service.  That’s the mega telco’s second commercial trial of gigabit millimeter-wave spectrum technology. Its first “5G” millimeter-wave trial in 2016 was also in Austin.

Earlier this year, AT&T and Nokia combined on a lab test of 5G fixed-wireless streaming of DirecTV Now over a 39-GHz system that was conducted at the AT&T Labs facility in Middletown, NJ.

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AT&T is using Ericsson’s “5G” RAN and Intel’s “5G” Mobile Trial Platform and says it plans to incorporate software-defined networks in other “5G” efforts this year.

AT&T said it expects the trial in Austin will deliver speeds up to 1 Gbps using mmWave spectrum.

The latest Austin trial represents a “major step on our journey to deliver state-of-the-art 5G wireless speeds as early as late 2018,” according to an AT&T press release, which also stated:

“We expect 5G to take people and businesses places they’ve never been with all new experiences thanks to the advantages of enhanced mobile broadband, critical IoT solutions and low latency applications.

Lower latency will play a powerful role in the connected experience. It impacts things like the time between clicking a web link and seeing a webpage begin to load on your device. Through this trial, participants will be able to see the real-life, daily benefits that fixed wireless 5G offers them directly or to their customers.”

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“The technology behind 5G is important. But it’s also about advancing social trends like mobile video streaming,” said Marachel Knight, AT&T senior vice president, wireless network architecture and design.

“In Austin, we’re testing DirecTV NOW over ultra-fast internet speeds at a variety of locations,” Knight said. “The network of the future will help redefine what connectivity means to both consumers and businesses. This trial helps show that the new reality is coming fast.”

 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/att-launches-5g-trial-with-directv-now-in-austin-300479656.html

http://www.multichannel.com/news/content/att-kicks-5g-powered-directv-now-trial/413707

 

Posted in 5G

Deloitte: $150B U.S. Fiber Infrastructure Investment for 5G

The U.S. needs $130 billion to $150 billion in fiber network expansion to be fully ready for 5G-based networks and to ensure that the digital economy’s benefits reach all Americans, according to a Deloitte report.

The suggested $130 billion to $150 billion fiber infrastructure investment is required in the U.S. to unleash innovation, close the digital divide, and fully prepare the country for 5G, according to a report from management consulting firm Deloitte. The report says the investment is needed over the next five to seven years to enable ‘deep fiber,’ or fiber infrastructure closer to the end user.

Much of the premise behind the report focuses on 5G, which requires a dense fiber network for backhaul and fronthaul. But it also stresses the discrepancy between rural and urban broadband options. Deloitte is calling on regulators and the broadband carrier community to address this issue, or risk losing leadership for the global digital economy opportunity.

Key Points:

– Future of connectivity remains uncertain in the U.S.; investment needed to ensure U.S. is 5G ready

– Vast discrepancies in choice, affordability and performance exist between rural, underserved and urban geographies

– Deep fiber paramount to unleashing wireless innovation, internet of things (IoT) functionality and immersive entertainment.

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“Network infrastructure is among the key factors in a nation’s economic growth potential and status as an innovator, and ultimately in propelling our economy’s gross domestic product and job growth,” said Craig Wigginton, vice chairman and telecommunications sector leader, Deloitte & Touche LLP in a press release announcing the report.

“We see a 5G ready U.S. infrastructure as critical to enabling a range of other adjacent industries to compete globally and safeguard our digital economy.”

The report says the U.S. currently lacks the fiber infrastructure necessary to take advantage of 5G. Many tier one carriers, including Verizon, have expressed their plans to ramp up fiber investments. Deloitte seems to suggest it’s not enough.

The report notes that FTTP reaches less than one-third of U.S. homes, with only 39% of U.S. consumers having access to more than one provider who offers a 25 Mbps speed tier or higher. The situation is worse in rural communities, where 10 million rural homes do not have broadband of at least 25 Mbps. The FCC definition for broadband includes a minimum speed of 25 Mbps. Well sort of. It depends on where you live and whether your carrier receives Connect America Fund (CAF) support.

“It is essential that fiber gets deployed closer to the customer to enable next generation wireless and to ensure affordable high speed connectivity across urban, suburban and rural geographies,” said Dan Littmann, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP in the press release.

The report calls for $35B to $40B for rural fiber infrastructure and $60B to $100B for what Deloitte calls ‘broadband competition.’ I assume broadband competition means enabling multiple broadband providers who offer speeds of 25 Mbps or more.

Deloitte suggests carriers consider “shared infrastructure” models, a play on open access perhaps. IoT presents integration and security opportunities, that Deloitte says carriers need to get better at exploiting. They also suggest, carriers partner with OTT players, inviting them to fund and own their own fiber optic networks.  This author believes that’s highly unlikely!

The report suggests that IP migration and regulatory reforms, while important, will not be enough to create the case for fiber deployment. Wireless, wireline and cable require creative new ways to monetize “last mile” access as an incentive for massive fiber deployment. The report contemplates three potential models:

  • Synergies between deep fiber and adjacent services in an “unlimited” world:  Gartner predicts that affluent households will have up to 500 connected devices by 2022. In some cases, IoT services offer the prospect of new revenue. However, most connected devices will require low bandwidth or be WiFi enabled and, therefore, may not provide carriers with incremental revenue. In such cases, carriers have an opportunity to increase revenue by offering integration, network security, and traffic management services within the increasingly complex mix of IoT devices and ecosystems.
  • Partnership between carriers and OTT players to fund deep fiber:  As limited fiber availability constrains increased wireless densification and fiber broadband, over the top players may choose to fund fiber deployment, including owning assets or forming partnerships with carriers.
  • Deep fiber as a financial investment: Insufficient supply of deep fiber and overwhelming demand growth are strong fundamentals for fiber investment.  As interest grows from nontraditional fiber investors, we expect shared infrastructure models to emerge for last mile fiber access. Fiber as leased real estate could allow carriers to maximize asset utilization.

fiber infrastructure investment

Communications Infrastructure Upgrade – The Need for Deep Fiber (Source: PRNewsfoto/Deloitte)

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For regulators, Deloitte offers these suggestions, which on the surface are pretty light on the details:

  • Eliminating regulatory barriers that prevent carriers from operating a single IP network, impede deployment of additional fiber assets, or restrict the types of services that may be offered.
  • Avoiding regulation that limits carrier innovation in creating new monetization mechanisms.
  • Reforming the Universal Services Administrative Company internal operations to meet broader goals of expanding fiber infrastructure and addressing rural internet access to close the digital divide.

References:

http://www.telecompetitor.com/deloitte-calls-for-150b-fiber-infrastructure-investment-for-u-s-to-reach-full-digital-potential/

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/deloitte-us-investment-of-130b-to-150b-in-deep-fiber-infrastructure-required-to-lead-global-digital-economy-opportunity-300480135.html

Timeline for IMT 2020 (5G) Radio Access Recommendations + Evaluation Methodology

Introduction:

This article was written based on the ITU-R WP5D Niagara Falls, Canada meeting that concluded last week.  We attempt to present the true picture for standardizing IMT 2020 (5G) Radio Interface Technologies (RITs – aka Radio Access Networks or Radio Access Interfaces).

We don’t mention 3GPP release 15 (“5G” features over a LTE network) or 16 (pure 5G- no LTE) which will provide different levels of “5G” support.  Those specs might be submitted to ITU-R WP 5D for their consideration, based on the IMT 2020 RIT Evaluation methodology described in item 2. below.

Global carriers that have announced 5G specs and trials will likely have to do a major upgrade to their “5G” base stations to support the ITU-R IMT 2020 RIT specifications to be completed at the end of 2020 as per item 1. below.  It’s a mystery (to me and other IEEE members on the ComSocSCV email discussion group) as to what companies will provide the pre-standard “5G” handsets and other mobile/fixed end point devices that will have to be upgraded or replaced completely when standardized 5G is finalized in late 2020.

Note: SK Telecom said that’s not a problem as mobile device refresh/replace time is 18 months, so pre-standard 5G handsets will be obsolete when standardized 5G is finally deployed.

1.  Development of IMT 2020 (5G) radio access recommendation(s) by ITU-R WP 5D

Critical milestones in IMT 2020 radio interface development process:
(0): Issue an invitation to propose Radio Interface Technologies (RITs) -March 2016
(1): ITU proposed cut off for submission – July 2019
(2): Cut off for evaluation report to ITU – February 2020
(3): WP 5D decides framework and key characteristics of IMT-2020 RIT and SRIT -June 2020
(4): WP 5D completes development of radio interface specification recommendations- October 2020

Terminology:

RIT= Radio Interface Technologies
SRIT= Set of Radio Interface technologies, each meeting the evaluation criteria

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2.  Key Sections of Evaluation of IMT 2020 Radio Interfaces (from new ITU-R WP5D draft report):

Scope:

This Report provides guidelines for the procedure, methodology and the criteria (technical, spectrum and service) to be used in evaluating the candidate IMT-2020 radio interface technologies (RITs) or Set of RITs (SRITs) for a number of test environments. These test environments are chosen to simulate closely the more stringent radio operating environments. The evaluation procedure is designed in such a way that the overall performance of the candidate RITs/SRITs may be fairly and equally assessed on a technical basis. It ensures that the overall IMT‑2020 objectives are met.

This Report provides, for proponents, developers of candidate RITs/SRITs and independent evaluation groups, the common evaluation methodology and evaluation configurations to evaluate the candidate RITs/SRITs and system aspects impacting the radio performance.   This Report allows a degree of freedom so as to encompass new technologies. The actual selection of the candidate RITs/SRITs for IMT-2020 is outside the scope of this Report.

The candidate RITs/SRITs will be assessed based on those evaluation guidelines. If necessary, additional evaluation methodologies may be developed by each independent evaluation group to complement the evaluation guidelines. Any such additional methodology should be shared between independent evaluation groups and sent to the Radiocommunication Bureau as information in the consideration of the evaluation results by ITU-R and for posting under additional information relevant to the independent evaluation group section of the ITU-R IMT-2020 web page (http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/study-groups/rsg5/rwp5d/imt-2020/Pages/submission-eval.aspx)

Evaluation guidelines:

IMT-2020 can be considered from multiple perspectives: users, manufacturers, application developers, network operators, service and content providers, and, finally, the usage scenarios – which are extensive. Therefore candidate RITs/SRITs for IMT-2020 must be capable of being applied in a much broader variety of usage scenarios and supporting a much broader range of environments, significantly more diverse service capabilities as well as technology options. Consideration of every variation to encompass all situations is, however, not possible; nonetheless the work of the ITU-R has been to determine a representative view of IMT‑2020 consistent with the process defined in Resolution ITU-R 65, Principles for the process of future development of IMT‑2020 and beyond, and the key technical performance requirements defined in Report ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.TECH PERF REQ] – Minimum requirements related to technical performance for IMT-2020 radio interface(s).

The parameters presented in this Report are for the purpose of consistent definition, specification, and evaluation of the candidate RITs/SRITs for IMT-2020 in ITU-R in conjunction with the development of Recommendations and Reports such as the framework and key characteristics and the detailed specifications of IMT-2020. These parameters have been chosen to be representative of a global view of IMT-2020 but are not intended to be specific to any particular implementation of an IMT-2020 technology. They should not be considered as the values that must be used in any deployment of any IMT-2020 system nor should they be taken as the default values for any other or subsequent study in ITU or elsewhere.Further consideration has been given in the choice of parameters to balancing the assessment of the technology with the complexity of the simulations while respecting the workload of an evaluator or technology proponent.

This procedure deals only with evaluating radio interface aspects. It is not intended for evaluating system aspects (including those for satellit system aspects).

The following principles are to be followed when evaluating radio interface technologies for IMT‑2020:
− Evaluations of proposals can be through simulation, analytical and inspection procedures.
− The evaluation shall be performed based on the submitted technology proposals, and should follow the evaluation guidelines, using the evaluation methodology and the evaluation configurations defined in this Report.
− Evaluations through simulations contain both system-level and link-level simulations. Independent evaluation groups may use their own simulation tools for the evaluation.
− In case of evaluation through analysis, the evaluation is to be based on calculations which use the technical information provided by the proponent.
− In case of evaluation through inspection the evaluation is to be based on statements in the proposal.

The following options are foreseen for proponents and independent external evaluation groups doing the evaluations:

− Self-evaluation must be a complete evaluation (to provide a fully complete compliance template) of the technology proposal.
− An external evaluation group may perform complete or partial evaluation of one or several technology proposals to assess the compliance of the technologies with the minimum requirements of IMT-2020.
− Evaluations covering several technology proposals are encouraged.

6. Overview of characteristics for evaluation
The characteristics chosen for evaluation are explained in detail in Report ITU-R M.[IMT‑2020.SUBMISSION −Requirements, evaluation criteria and submission templates for the development of IMT‑2020], § 3, including service aspect requirements, spectrum aspect requirements, and technical performance requirements , the last of which are based on Report ITU‑R M.[IMT-2020.TECH PERF REQ]. These are summarized in Table 6-1, together with their high level assessment method:
− Simulation (including system-level and link-level simulations, according to the principles of the simulation procedure given in § 7.1).
− Analytical (via calculation or mathematical analysis).
Inspection (by reviewing the functionality and parameterization of the proposal).
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Summary of evaluation methodologies:

  • Characteristic for evaluation
  • High-level assessment method
  • Evaluation methodology in this report

Related IMT-2020 Reports:

ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.TECH PERF REQ] and ITU-R M.[IMT‑2020.SUBMISSION]

7. Evaluation methodology
The submission and evaluation process is defined in Document IMT-2020/2 − Submission, evaluation process and consensus building for IMT-2020.

Evaluation should be performed in compliance with the technical parameters provided by the proponents and the evaluation configurations specified for the test environments in § 8.2 of this Report. Each requirement should be evaluated independently, except for the average spectral efficiency and 5th percentile user spectral efficiency – both of which criteria shall be assessed jointly using the same simulation; consequently, the candidate RITs/SRITs shall fulfil the corresponding minimum requirements jointly.

Furthermore, the evaluation parameters used for the system-level simulation used in the mobility evaluation should be the same as the parameters used for system-level simulation for average spectral efficiency and 5th percentile user spectral efficiency.

The evaluation methodology should include the following elements:
1 Candidate RITs/SRITs should be evaluated using reproducible methods including computer simulation, analytical approaches and inspection of the proposal.
2 Technical evaluation of the candidate RITs/SRITs should be made against each evaluation criterion for the required test environments.
3 Candidate RITs/SRITs should be evaluated based on technical descriptions that are submitted using a technologies description template

In order for the ITU to be in a position to assess the evaluation results of each candidate RIT/SRIT, the following points should be taken into account:
− Use of unified methodology, software, and data sets by the evaluation groups wherever possible, e.g. in the area of channel modelling, link-level simulation, and link-to-system-level interface.
− Evaluation of multiple proposals using a single simulation tool by each evaluation group.
Evaluations of average spectral efficiency, 5th percentile user spectral efficiency, peak spectral efficiency, user experienced data rate, area traffic capacity, peak data rate, mobility, reliability, and connection density of candidate RITs/SRITs should take into account the Layer 1 and Layer 2 overhead information provided by the proponents.
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AT&T and KT to work together on 5G, NFV & SDN; Consortium of 5G Carriers Forming?

Executive Summary:

According to Business Korea, AT&T Chief Strategy Officer John Donovan met with Lee Dong-myeon, director of the KT  (Korea Telecom) Technology Convergence Center to discuss plans for the well respected telcos to share AT&T’s NFV and SDN work and KT’s efforts around 5G.  AT&T is expected to cooperate with KT in many new technologies, especially their own version of SDN/NFV and 5G.  KT is leading the 5G technology development (along with SK Telecom) and is prepared to share that with AT&T.

“We expect that cooperation through AT&T’s SDN/NFV leadership and KT’s 5G leadership will create synergies to solve challenges of the telecom industry in the future,” said Mr. Lee.

Lee Dong-myeon (left), director of the KT Technology Convergence Center and John Donovan, CSO of AT&T.

Lee Dong-myeon director of the KT Technology Convergence Center and John Donovan, AT&T Chief Strategy Officer.                                                                         Photo courtesy of Business Korea

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KT and AT&T Working with Other Companies on 5G Development & Deployment:

Verizon’s Huge Increase in Fiber Investments for “5G” Small Cell Backhaul & FTTP

Verizon Communications’ recent surge in buying fiber assets has little to do with its FiOS video and broadband Internet access.  Yet the company expects to benefit from the investments, Senior Vice President Kyle Malady said at the Fiber Connect conference this week. He said Verizon is doubling down on fiber to fuel 5G network builds.  His presentation can be viewed here.

“All the cards are lining up for us to double down on fiber again,” Malady said during his June 13th keynote address at the conference. Malady said balancing CAPEX requirements in a world of 4G, pending 5G, and other key network initiatives may have given the appearance that Verizon was scaling back on fiber investments. But that has now changed and you can thank wireless backhaul for it.

“Fiber is basically the nervous system of the networks of the future,” Malady said and Verizon is making big investments in it. He cited recent announcements with Corning and other fiber suppliers that Malady said has the carrier buying enough fiber to string to “Mars and back.”

This doubling-down in fiber is not driven by expanding FiOS. It’s driven by the need to densify Verizon’s network for 5G.  FTTP applications will be a benefit of this densification. Because of 5G, Verizon will need to backhaul wireless traffic from small cells located at approximately 1,000-foot intervals in urban applications.

Those small cells will require gigabit capable backhaul, which is best delivered through a deep fiber network, says Malady. As a result, Verizon is changing their approach to fiber. They are adding many more strands as they lay this fiber, leading to the ability to offer FTTP services as they accommodate their small cell-heavy 5G network. “All applications can be served out of one fiber sheath,” said Malady.

Verizon’s “One Fiber” in Boston, MA. is their first market for this approach. It’s an approach that Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam stressed at a recent industry conference, suggesting Verizon will have the largest national fiber footprint as a result of their 5G intentions.  Verizon is also partnering with the city of Sacramento, CA.  The theme is: “Designing and Constructing an Integrated Fiber Solution with our Municipality Partners,” according to Malady.

“[5G] leads to a whole new architecture and will require massive bandwidth, deep fiber and flexible access at the edge,” said Malady. This 5G-driven architecture is one reason Verizon is moving to NG-PON2 for their next generation fiber platform.

“We’re going to skip XG-PON and move on to NG-PON2,” Malady said, citing mid-2018 as their commercial launch time frame. NG-PON2 is better suited for 5G because of its wavelength flexibility and capability to eventually scale up to 80 Gbps in capacity.

Malady hinted this new outlook on fiber could lead to Verizon entering markets outside of their traditional territory. He cited ongoing discussions with Sacramento, Calif. for a fiber broadband-based public-private partnership.

New network architecture, according to Verizon:

• Massive bandwidth – deep fiber, flexible access
• Edge Computing
• Dense 5G Wireless
• Unlicensed and shared spectrum
• Software defined infrastructure
• Open source and automation, open RAN

 

References:

http://www.telecompetitor.com/verizon-were-doubling-down-on-fiber-broadband-just-dont-call-it-fios/

https://static.coreapps.net/fiber2017/handouts/106c1f9a-833d-4387-8afa-3b83ace7ea26_1.pdf

https://www.fiberconnect.org/page/education-program

https://app.core-apps.com/fiber2017/event/a041198839018a16ba6025fbe8eca53d

 

 

 

 

Apple to test “5G” in Cupertino & Milpitas, CA, but which RAN/Modulation Scheme?

Apple  has applied for an experimental license from the FCC to test next-gen “5G” wireless technologies, according to a report from Business Insider and an article in USA Today which wrote:

It’s hardly a surprise that Apple would be pursuing a path to 5G. The promise of this next generation of wireless is that smartphone makers might eventually achieve blistering wireless data speeds of 1 gigabit per second and beyond, along with low latency and other potential benefits. In the U.S., Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are all chasing their own 5G future—and each other.

Apple indicates that it plans to test 5G technologies in two locations in controlled facilities, one in Cupertino and another in Milpitas, California. Apple said that it plans to use the 28 and 39 GHz bands via technology provided by Rohde & Schwarz, A.H. Systems and Analog Devices.

Apple’s FCC application reads in part:

Apple Inc. seeks to assess cellular link performance in direct path and multipath environments between base station transmitters and receivers using this spectrum…These assessments will provide engineering data relevant to the operation of devices on wireless carriers’ future 5G networks.

Apple respectfully requests that the Commission grant its request for an experimental license for operations in accordance with Section 5.3(j) of its rules.2 Apple intends to transmit from two fixed points located at Apple-controlled facilities in Cupertino and Milpitas, CA. These transmissions will be consistent with the parameters and equipment identified in Apple’s accompanying Form 442, and will include the use of a horn antenna with a half-power beamwidth of 20 degrees in the E-plane and H-plane and a downtilt between 20 – 25 degrees. Apple anticipates that it will conduct its experiments for a period not to exceed 12 months.

The transmitting equipment Apple intends to use is incapable of station identification. Because Apple will coordinate its operations with existing microwave users in the area, Apple respectfully requests that the Commission exempt this authorization from the station identification requirements.

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Light Reading earlier reported Apple to be hiring at least one engineer with knowledge and experience of “radar signal processing,” which implies the signals which are used in millimeter wave transmissions. Millimeter wave is the band of spectrum between 30 GHz and 300 GHz.  The ITU-R WP 5D/IMT 2020 standards committee has proposed 30 GHz to 86 GHz  for use by 5G networks (see below).

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“5G” Carrier Specific vs ITU-R IMT 2020 Standard?

Since Apple’s application notes that it “will conduct its experiments for a period not to exceed 12 months.” Consequently, it stands to reason that the 2019 iPhone 9 will be the first iPhone with “5G” connectivity.  But what version of “5G” will that be?

A few months ago, AT&T and Verizon said  that they will  begin rolling out their own (non standard, carrier specific) 5G networks late this year and in 2018.  That’s before ITU-R WP 5D/IMT2020 standards committee will decide on the Radio Access Network (RAN) to be used for true 5G.  End point devices made for AT&T’s “5G” network won’t work on Verizon’s and vice-versa.  Apple (and other smart phone/tablet makers) will likely delay the release of a volume production 5G iPhone until overall 5G coverage becomes widespread.

On May 25th, Wang Xinhui, Director of Wireless Standardization and Industrial Relationships at ZTE Corporation, said wireless telecommunications operators should work towards to incubate globally harmonized ecosystem for 5G mobile communication in the interests of the healthy development of the telecommunications industry.  In an address to the 3rd Global 5G Event in Tokyo, Mr. Wang said industry standardization for mobile broadband and the Internet of Things should move forward in parallelism, in order to drive adoption by different industries and economic sectors. Mr. Wang is also Vice Chair of International Cooperation of the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group.   Mr. Wang said that 5G should meet the requirements of eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband), URLLC (Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications) and mMTC (massive Machine Type Communications), supporting greater mobility and seamless coverage. Industry participants globally should collaborate in a more open manner to build unified standards and industry ecosystems.  [This author doesn’t see such co-operation amongst wireless carriers in the U.S.]

ZTE has signed strategic partnerships on 5G development with the world’s top telecommunications carriers including Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, SoftBank, KT Group, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.

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From an ITU-R press release this past February:

“The IMT-2020 standard is set to be the global communication network for the coming decades and is on track to be in place by 2020. The next step is to agree on what will be the detailed specifications for IMT-2020, a standard that will underpin the next generations of mobile broadband and IoT connectivity,” said François Rancy, Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau.

We can anticipate that there will now be a number of early technical trials, market trials and deployments of 5G technologies based on the foreseen developments slated for IMT-2020. These systems may not provide the full set of capabilities envisaged for IMT-2020, but the results of these early activities will flow forward into, and assist the development of, the final complete detailed specifications for IMT-2020.

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5G Frequency Spectrum:

During the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) 15, the ITU proposed a set of global frequencies for 5G, which it intends to finalize at the next conference in 2019 (WRC 19):

 24.25–27.5GHz

 31.8–33.4GHz

 37–40.5GHz  40.5–42.5GHz

 45.5–50.2GHz  50.4–52.6GHz

 66–76GHz

 81–86GHz

In 2014, the FCC published a Notice of Inquiry into use of spectrum bands above 24 GHz for Mobile Radio Services, 80 followed by a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in October 2015, which listed the following potential bands for 5G in the United States.

 27.5-28.35 GHz (28 GHz band)

 37.0-38.6 GHz (37 GHz band)

 38.6-40 GHz (39 GHz band)

 64-71 GHz (unlicensed use)

 70/80 GHz Bands: 71-76 GHz, 81-86 GHz

The FCC issued adopted rules to identify and open up 5G spectrum allocation in July 2016 that identify 3.85 GHz of licensed spectrum and 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum: licensed use in 28 GHz, 37 GHz, and 39 GHz bands; unlicensed use in 64-71 GHz; and shared access in the 37-37.6 GHz band.

Reference:

http://www.5gamericas.org/files/2214/7257/3276/Final_Mobile_Broadband_Transformation_Rsavy_whitepaper.pdf

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