Viavi: 55 Global 5G Deployments by Year-End; Deloitte on the Shift to 5G

Viavi’s 5G Forecast:

Fifty-five commercial 5G networks will be live by the end of the year, according to new 5G deployments research from Viavi Solutions. The eclectic firm (see About Viavi below) said that 13 fixed wireless and mobile 5G network were launched in 2018 and 42 more will be added this year. “The State of 5G Deployments” says that this is particularly impressive considering that the first deployments were not expected until 2020.

Viavi said that 21 5G deployments will be in Europe, 14 in the Middle East, 10 in Asia, eight in North America and two in Australasia.

“5G represents a paradigm shift in the way that networks are designed, deployed and managed, introducing inherent complexities in the architecture as well as exacting demands on performance and latency,” Sameh Yamany, Viavi’s Chief Technology Officer, said in a press release. “The anticipated improvements that 5G offers will depend on precise operation of multiple elements throughout the network.”

The momentum seems high. A year ago, only 28 service providers said they were in 5G field trials. The acceleration has occurred, Viavi notes, despite the lack of finalized standards from the 3GPP. Those are not expected until next year.

The lack of finalized standards would suggest some fluidity in Viavi’s findings. Simply, it’s difficult to conclusively say how many networks there are if it a precise definition of what that network consists of is not yet set.

It’s also worth noting that the usefulness of mobile 5G will be limited until the arrival of mobile devices. Indeed, the 5G handset market is shaping up to be more dramatic than the accelerating network build outs. In October, Strategy Analytics said that the high initial cost of 5G smartphones – which could retail for more than $1,000 – will require a return to the subsidy pricing model.

The emergence of 5G handsets also could roil the vendor landscape. Last November, Strategy Analytics said the dominance of Samsung and Apple could be challenged.

The complete State of 5G Deployments infographic is available here. The data was compiled from publicly available sources for information purposes only, as part of the VIAVI practice of tracking trends to enable cutting-edge technology development. The State of 5G Deployments serves as a companion document to the VIAVI Gigabit Monitor, a visual database of gigabit internet deployments worldwide.

About VIAVI:

VIAVI (NASDAQ: VIAV) is a global provider of network test, monitoring and assurance solutions to communications service providers, enterprises, network equipment manufacturers, civil, government, military and avionics customers, supported by a worldwide channel community including VIAVI Velocity Partners. We deliver end-to-end visibility across physical, virtual and hybrid networks, enabling customers to optimize connectivity, quality of experience and profitability. VIAVI is also a leader in high performance thin film optical coatings, providing light management solutions to anti-counterfeiting, consumer electronics, automotive, defense and instrumentation markets. Learn more about VIAVI at www.viavisolutions.com. Follow us on VIAVI PerspectivesLinkedInTwitterYouTube and Facebook.

US Media Inquiries:
Sonus PR for VIAVI 
Micah Warren
+1 (609) 247-6525 
viavi@sonuspr.com

References:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/viavi-reports-on-the-state-of-5g-deployments-worldwide-300796995.html

https://www.telecompetitor.com/report-global-5g-deployments-to-number-55-by-year-end/

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Deloitte on The shift to 5G:

First-adopter countries embracing 5G could sustain more than a decade of competitive advantage. Unfortunately, an examination of how the United States compares internationally on investments critical to 5G deployment surfaces a concerning trend. It’s critical that this trend is immediately reversed to help promote US economic competitiveness.

Almost everyone agrees, 5G will generate new products and services— but how much of this value that will be captured by carriers is uncertain.

As another era of untapped economic potential emerges with the adoption of 5G technology—where the number of subscribers and the amount of information they can consume is no longer a limiting factor, but where an unlimited number of devices and applications can exchange, process, and synthesize massive amounts of data for our benefit—investment in upgrading the underlying communications infrastructure becomes even more critical.

But unless tangible steps are taken to help rebalance the private investment case for the upgrade with the demonstrated external benefits to other industries and the public good, the United States may risk losing the leadership it gained in the previous era. The negative consequences could take decades to overcome, and other countries are already making their moves. Policy makers, carriers, and industries with the most at stake should move now to streamline policies and processes and collaborate with ecosystem players to help create efficient solutions to investment barriers.

References:

Posted in 5G

China Mobile & Huawei deploy indoor 5G at Shanghai rail station

China Mobile – Shanghai and Huawei announced the launch of the first 5G digital indoor system at a railway station.  The deployment at Shanghai’s Hongqiao station will provide deep indoor 5G coverage to the whole station by the end of the year. During the launch on February 18, 2019, China Mobile Shanghai and Huawei demonstrated a peak indoor data rate of 1.2 Gbps.
Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station is one of Asia’s biggest traffic hubs, handling over 60 million passengers per year. Its large size and heavy traffic flows make it an ideal testbed for 5G indoor systems.  The deployment will support the Shanghai government’s ambitions of leading adoption of 5G in China, according to Zhang Jianming, vice chairman of Shanghai’s Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology (see quotes below).

Guests at the launch event included: Zhang Jianming, Vice Chairman of Shanghai’s Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology; Wang Guannan, Deputy Division Chief of the Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission; Bai Zhengguo, Station Master of the Shanghai Railway Station; Li Xuecheng, Deputy General Manager of China Mobile Shanghai; Peter Zhou, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Huawei’s Wireless Solution; Zang Binyu, Dean of the School of Software at Shanghai Jiao Tong University; and Xiao Yuhuo, General Manager of China Mobile Tietong Shanghai.

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“Hongqiao Railway Station is leading the 5G commercial deployment in Shanghai,” said Zhang  Jianming, Vice Chairman of Shanghai’s Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology. “The 5G digital indoor system will deliver a new travel experience. Passengers will feel they are getting more out of their journey. The railway station will show how 5G applications can improve the user experience and offer real benefits to the public. It will help speed up digital transformation for all sectors across the digital economy.”

“Shanghai is committed to building a Dual-Gigaband City. We are now planning field tests and pre-commercial trials of the technology. Ultimately, we will deploy 5G base stations across the whole city, and lead 5G commercial use in China,” he said.

“With Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Huawei, we have set up platforms to bring together the industry, academia, and research institutes. Through more investment in new infrastructure including AI, industrial Internet, and IoT, we will revitalize this city and build a hi-tech, intelligent Shanghai.”

As 5G industrialization accelerates, Huawei is working with partners in many industries to develop the indoor 5G industry, and enable smart buildings, remote healthcare, and smart railways. The whole world is becoming more intelligent.

Within the 5G world, the functions of mobile Internet, big data, cloud computing, and smart devices are constantly integrating and transforming.  5G is more than a next-generation technology. It is key infrastructure for the future digital world. Just as 2G transformed voice services and 4G transformed mobile Internet, 5G is the engine that will transform the world.

This vision of the future led Huawei to invest consistently in 5G R&D from 2009 onwards, paving the way for its leadership of the industry today. Huawei’s technological leadership has made it the technology supplier of choice for more and more customers. As of mid-January 2019, Huawei has signed 30 5G contracts and has shipped more than 25,000 5G base stations. Huawei possesses 2,570 patents on 5G.

https://www.huawei.com/en/press-events/news/2019/2/China-Mobile-Huawei-Shanghai-Hongqiao-Railway-Station-5G-DIS

Posted in 5G

Dec 2019 ITU-R WP 5D Workshop on IMT-2020 Terrestrial Radio Interfaces Evaluation

1.   Background

Following the IMT-2020 developing process “Submission/Reception of the RIT and SRIT proposals and acknowledgement of receipt” in accordance with Document IMT-2020/2(Rev.1), ITU-R Working Party (WP) 5D started evaluation process for Independent Evaluation Groups (IEGs) from its 31st meeting in Oct. 2018, in conjunction with the ongoing IMT-2020 development under Step 3 of the IMT-2020 process.

At the 32nd meeting of WP 5D in July 2019, the Step 3 of the IMT-2020 developing process “Submission/Reception of the RIT and SRIT proposals and acknowledgement of receipt” will end in accordance with Document IMT-2020/2(Rev.1). In this context, all the submissions from proponents will be finalized at the 32nd meeting of WP 5D. In addition, WP 5D will acknowledge the completed submission(s) based on the materials provided by the proponents at the same meeting.

2.   Objectives

ITU-R WP 5D will hold a workshop on IMT-2020 focusing on the evaluation of the candidate terrestrial radio interfaces in conjunction with the 33rd meeting in December 2019, in which interim evaluation reports are expected. This will facilitate the possibility on the IEGs to understand the details of the proposed candidate technologies, and to interact with WP 5D and other IEGs participating in the ITU-R evaluation process on IMT‑2020. This workshop is a continuation of the previous workshop on IMT-2020 held in 2017, Munich, which addressed the process, requirements, and evaluation criteria for IMT-2020 as well as views from proponents on the developments on IMT-2020 radio interface(s) and IEGs activities.

The objectives of the workshop are as follows;

–                 to promote information sharing on IMT-2020;

–                 to facilitate dialog among ITU-R WP 5D, the proponents and the evaluation groups; and in particular;

  • to review the final submissions of the proposed RIT/SRIT for IMT-2020;
  • to review the evaluation results reported by the IEGs at this stage;
  • to demonstrate the WP 5D template which will be used to summarise evaluation results for each IEG, etc.;
  • to present the details of the proposed RIT/SRIT including self-evaluation results and detailed evaluation method by RIT/SRIT Proponents;
  • to introduce the evaluation activities and further plan by IEGs, and to share the information relating to the evaluation; and
  • to review WRC-19 outcome and the implication on IMT-2020 evaluation and further development.

3.  Draft Program of the Workshop  

Registration
Opening remarks by the Chairman of WP 5D
Welcome remarks by the Host of the 33rd WP 5D meeting
Presentations by ITU-R
Presentation by WP 5D (e.g., introduction to IMT-2020 evaluation process, status of submissions, status of evaluation and related information, etc.)
Presentations by IMT-2020 RIT/SRIT proponents
Presentations by IMT-2020 RIT/SRIT proponents (e.g. the introduction of technical characteristics according to final submission, the self-evaluation results and detailed evaluation method, and submission templates, etc.) [Editor’s note: This session could be divided into sub-sessions considering technology groups, each of which consists of technically identical proposals]
Q & A for each proponent in Session 2
Presentations by registered independent evaluation groups
Presentations by the registered independent evaluation groups (e.g. evaluation activities of RIT/SRIT, initial independent evaluation results, useful experiences, tools, and future plans, etc.)
Presentation from each IEG

[Editor’s note: to consider the possibility of panel discussion etc. to facilitate the exchange of information on evaluation parameters among IEGs.]

 
Q & A for each IEG in Session 3
Wrap up and Closing

 

Note 1: The program and time schedule are subject to change.

Note 2: The program of sessions 2 and 3 would be based on number of requests for presentation from the interested bodies.

 

 

 

References:

The workshop information will be appropriately communicated and/or updated on the WP 5D webpage (https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/study-groups/rsg5/rwp5d/imt-2020/Pages/submission-eval.aspx).

https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/study-groups/rsg5/rwp5d/imt-2020/Pages/submission-eval.aspx

 

 

 

Communications Minister Manoj Sinha: India will not miss 5G opportunity; New Spectrum Bands Coming?

The economic impact of 5G is estimated to be over one trillion dollars for India, which is aggressively positioning itself to be at the forefront of the new age technologies, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday.  Vowing that India will “not miss the 5G bus”, the minister outlined the country’s strides in telecom over the last five years, highlighting the spike in data consumption, broadband user base, and low tariffs, but added that ensuring safety and sovereignty of digital networks will be a priority for the government.

“While we are gearing up for the next wave of digital transformation, it is also important to ensure the safety, security and sovereignty of digital communications…It is important that we focus on security testing and establish appropriate security standards.  We have recently started a state-of-the-art facility for preparation of security assurance standards, putting us at the forefront of technology,” Sinha said.

India will not miss 5G opportunity; economic impact seen at over USD 1 trillion: Manoj Sinha

“The economic impact of 5G is expected to be over one trillion dollars for India, and the consequent multiplier effect is expected to be much more,” Sinha said.

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The facility will work on security requirements and also facilitate development of testing and certification ecosystem in the country, Sinha said while speaking at India Telecom 2019 expo organised by Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC). Terming 5G as a “game changer”, the minister said that flagship government programs like Digital India and smart cities will ride on 5G.  “The economic impact of 5G is expected to be over one trillion dollars for India, and the consequent multiplier effect is expected to be much more,” Sinha said.

The minister underscored the need for promoting investments to build underlying infrastructure that would make 5G a success, and added that a working group has been constituted to initiate implementation of recommendations of high level forum on 5G that had submitted its report in August 2018.  Sinha also said that the government is in favour of policies and regulations that will facilitate development of 5G based technologies and services.  “To ensure that we are able to launch 5G services in India along with the world, we have established 5G test beds through industry-academia partnerships, and we expect trials to be conducted over the next 12 months,” he said.  India will position itself as a “globally synchronized  participant” in manufacturing and development of 5G based technologies, products and applications, Sinha added.

In her address, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan noted that connectivity needs of developing and developed markets were different.  “Our challenges are different…we need telecom networks to deliver inclusion, basic services, to connect the unconnected, and serve the under-served,” she said, adding that India, with its technological prowess and manufacturing capabilities, is keen to partner other nations who are looking for affordable and robust digital communications solutions.

Rajiv Mehrotra, Chairman of VNL Ltd, highlighted the need to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban areas through connectivity solutions, and said that opportunities should be created for promoting indigenous telecom equipment manufacturing.

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Separately, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) could come out with the pricing and quantum of newer spectrum bands including millimeter wavelength (mmWave) range for 5G wireless technology rollout if the government seeks its view, a top official told ETT.  “Government can ask for recommendations on new bands including millimeter wavelength (mmWave) band, and the telecom department can send us a reference,” Trai chairman Ram Sewak Sharma said, adding that the authority was in a view of opening up of all kinds of bands for newer technology.

The Narendra Modi-led government has already established a high-level 5G Forum under the Indo-American engineer and Stanford University professor emeritus AJ Paulraj which has already recommended newer bands to aid 5G rollout.  It has suggested mmWave band for the 5G technology and said that 140 Mhz spectrum for backhaul usage should be allowed in addition to opening up of new bands for indoor access in line with practices worldwide.

References:

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/internet/india-will-not-miss-5g-opportunity-economic-impact-seen-at-over-usd-1-trillion-manoj-sinha/articleshow/67959422.cms

https://www.rediff.com/business/report/tech-india-will-not-miss-5g-opportunity-says-manoj-sinha/20190212.htm

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/telecom/telecom-news/telecom-regulator-may-suggest-new-spectrum-bands-for-5g-services/articleshow/67944091.cms

https://web.stanford.edu/~apaulraj/

Overview of Recent FCC and North America Forum Activity related to 5G

FCC adopts innovative incentive auction for 5G high-band spectrum:

On 12 December 2018 the FCC  took a significant step toward holding a major 5G spectrum auction in 2019 by adopting new rules that will promote the availability of high-band millimeter wave spectrum for the next generation of wireless connectivity.  The airwaves in the combined Upper 37 GHz and 39 GHz bands are the largest amount of contiguous spectrum available for wireless service in the millimeter wave bands—2,400 megahertz in total—while the 47 GHz band provides an additional 1,000 megahertz of spectrum.

Specifically, the Fourth Report and Order:

  • modifies the band plans for the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands from 200 megahertz blocks to 100 megahertz blocks to be licensed by Partial Economic Area, which will facilitate the simultaneous auction of licenses in the three bands;
  • adopts an incentive auction mechanism that will offer contiguous blocks of spectrum throughout the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands, while preserving spectrum usage rights for existing licensees; and
  • adopts a pre-auction process that allows incumbent licensees to rationalize their holdings.

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-innovative-incentive-auction-5g-high-band-spectrum

Spectrum:

Forward-thinking spectrum policy is critical for next generation wireless networks. The FCC is focused on making additional low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum available for 5G services.

  • High-band: The FCC has made auctioning high-band, millimeter-wave spectrum a priority. The FCC will hold its first 5G spectrum auctions this year in the 28 GHz and 24 GHz bands. In 2019, the FCC will auction the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands. With these auctions, the FCC will release almost 5 gigahertz of 5G spectrum into the market—more than all other flexible use bands combined. And we are working to free up another 2.75 gigahertz of 5G spectrum in the 26 and 42 GHz bands.
  • Mid-band: Mid-band spectrum has become a target for 5G buildout given its balanced coverage and capacity characteristics. With our work on the 2.5 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 3.7-4.2 GHz bands, we could make up to 844 megahertz available for 5G deployments.
  • Low-band: The FCC is acting to improve use of low-band spectrum (useful for wider coverage) for 5G services, with targeted changes to the 600 MHz800 MHz, and 900 MHz bands.
  • Unlicensed: Recognizing that unlicensed spectrum will be important for 5G, the agency is creating new opportunities for the next generation of Wi-Fi in the 6 GHz and above 95 GHz band.

Infrastructure Policy – Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee:

The Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, formed by Chairman Pai in 2017, provides advice and recommendations for the Commission on how to accelerate the deployment of high-speed Internet access. See the latest BDAC news.

The FCC is updating infrastructure policy and encouraging the private sector to invest in 5G networks.

  • Speeding Up Federal Review of Small Cells: The FCC adopted new rules that will reduce federal regulatory impediments to deploying the small-cell infrastructure needed for 5G (as opposed to large cell towers) and help to expand the reach of 5G for faster, more reliable wireless service.
  • Speeding Up State and Local Review of Small Cells: The FCC has reformed rules designed decades ago to accommodate small cells. The reforms ban short-sighted municipal roadblocks that have the effect of prohibiting deployment of 5G and give states and localities a reasonable deadline to approve or disapprove small-cell siting applications.

https://www.fcc.gov/5G

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5G Americas – Powering the 5G future with global technology standards:

On 23 October 2018, 5G Americas announced the publication of Wireless Technology Evolution: Transition from 4G to 5G which details the extensive standards work by the global organization 3GPP in the development of 5G wireless technology.

The whitepaper takes a step-by-step look behind the curtain at the 3GPP standards for 5G with a detailed status of key areas of work in 3GPP through Release 16, providing an easy and time efficient approach to understanding the technology standards development.

Release 15, the first phase of normative specifications for 5G provided specifications for a wider range of spectrum bands, from below 6 GHz to millimeter (mm) Wave bands up to 100 GHz enabled by a New Radio (NR) access technology.

The 5G NSA specifications have an LTE anchor for the control plane communications with a 5G NR cell to boost user data. The Rel-15 Standalone 5G NR specification will work without any reliance on LTE and those specifications were completed in June 2018 along with specifications of the new core network. The new core network specified in Rel-15 will provide interaction with the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) 4G system with orchestration, virtualization, a clearly separate control and user plane, and signaling architecture. Network slicing and Service Level Agreement (SLA) for groups of devices of new vertical industries and services will be provided for by the 5G core specification.

Release 16, or phase 2 of 5G, will primarily address any outstanding issues in Rel-15, expansion of 5G NR based on C-V2X capabilities, Industrial Internet of Things (IoT), enhancements to Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC), and 5G in operation in unlicensed spectrum and above 52.6 GHz. 5G efficiency improvements in Rel-16 will include enhancements to 5G Self-Organizing Networks (SON) and Big Data capabilities, MIMO enhancements, improved power consumption, support for device capabilities exchange, and a study of support for non-orthogonal multiple-access (NOMA).

Security – A critical success factor for 5G:

On 31 October 2018, 5G Americas announced the publication of The Evolution of Security in 5G which details a 5G world that is defined by the core tenets of network security architecture – an evolution of best common practices for people, processes and tools.

The report describes 5G safeguards in depth, as well as the vulnerabilities and attack vectors that they’re designed to mitigate. It also explores how 5G differs from 4G and 3G in terms of radio and core network architectures, and how those differences affect the security mechanisms available to mobile operators, their business partners and their customers. For example, 5G is the first mobile architecture designed to support multiple, specific use cases, each with their own unique cybersecurity requirements. In the enterprise IT world, network segmentation is a common, proven way to mitigate security risks. 5G introduces the concept of network slicing, which provides mobile operators with segmentation capabilities that weren’t possible with previous generations.

Key functions and frameworks specific to previous generations (3G, 4G) will continue to work within the overall 5G umbrella. 5G allows for a proliferation of access technologies of all types with data speeds from Gbps to Kbps, licensed and unlicensed, that are based on wide swaths of spectrum bands and include technologies specified by standards bodies other than 3GPP.

The Evolution of Security in 5G report delves into details encompassing security topics such as cybersecurity considerations and responses, 5G use cases, security functions for 5G-DDoS, various types of threats that are imperative to combat in the connected world of 5G, mitigated controls for 5G networks, and IoT threat mitigation and detection.

Communication (URLLC) to digitize industries and unearth new use cases

On 8 November 2018 announced the publication of New Services & Applications With 5G Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication which details the principles of achieving URLLC, explains the need for a new approach and highlights key requirements of URLLC services with an emphasis on technical challenges and solutions.

The 5G Americas report describes upcoming use cases of URLLC in smart transportation, industry automation and tele-surgery, and presents the latency and reliability requirements for these applications. The white paper also identifies possible latency bottlenecks in current cellular networks as well as future 5G networks and lays out the necessary implementation blocks for achieving end-to-end latency reduction required to support mission-critical applications. In addition, New Services & Applications With 5G Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication summarizes the recent performance evaluation results of the basic designs and implementation of the 5G physical layer, multiple access layers and air interface blocks essential to reducing latency and achieving the desired reliability. It also discusses other potential latency reduction measures including Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC).

5G to provide advanced connectivity for 4th industrial revolution:

On 15 November 2018, 5G Americas announced the publication of 5G Communications for Automation in Vertical Domains, summarizing automation concepts and communication modeling for vertical domains incorporating the key specific use cases, requirements and security mechanisms.

Communication for automation in vertical domains comes with demanding and diverse requirements with respect to latency, data rates, availability, reliability, and in some cases, high-accuracy positioning. The vertical industries that will reap the benefits of this new level of automation will range from railways, buildings, factories, healthcare, smart cities, electrical power supply and special events. These new Industry 4.0 opportunities will be possible through making sure that communications between machines is secure, dependable and seamless.

To achieve this, 5G supports three essential types of communication: enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), massive Machine-Type Communication (mMTC), and Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications (URLLC). Connectivity is a key component of Industry 4.0 which aims at significantly improving the flexibility, versatility, usability and efficiency of future smart factories, integrates the Internet of Things (IoT) and related services in industrial manufacturing, and delivers seamless vertical and horizontal integration down the entire value chain and across all layers of the automation pyramid. Meeting these objectives will greatly depend on the 5G technical performance such as supporting a peak data rate of 1–20 Gbps; connection density 1 thousand – 1 million devices/km2; reliability of 99.999 percent; enhanced battery life of 10 years; higher position accuracy; latency 1–10 ms; and strong privacy and security.

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ATIS:  Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions

Spectrum bands:

ATIS has published standard ATIS-0700040 [June 2018, https://www.techstreet.com/standards/atis-0700040?product_id=2018216], North American Spectrum Bands (United States and Canada), which summarizes frequency bands in which various technologies are deployed using wireless systems throughout North America and includes commercial and commercial/unlicensed wireless bands. This document maps out the band numbers with frequencies for the uplink and downlink operating bands and is associated with 3GPP 26.101. Also included in this standard is the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band (3,550-3,700 MHz) which is managed and operated by a dynamic Spectrum Access System. ATIS is currently working on incorporating band classes and frequencies for Mexico.

IoT categorization:

ATIS launched an IoT Categorization Focus Group in late 2017 to address how the burgeoning growth in the IoT ecosystem is driving a wide range of new uses and requirements on the network infrastructure.  Several recent industry initiatives have examined the main features of IoT applications to better understand the requirements posed by each. The objective of ATIS’ work is to explore the multidimensional characteristics of IoT across devices, applications, subscription type and technology as well as regulatory and market drivers. This work is instrumental in identifying design choices relevant to the standardization of 5G.

ATIS has developed an IoT characteristics matrix, which will be used in subsequent activities to categorize IoT applications to identify network requirements (e.g., network slices). The initiative will aid service providers’ efforts to build networks that support a full range of IoT devices and services.

ATIS has contacted several IoT international standards bodies and fora requesting that they review the characteristics matrix and provide feedback.

http://www.atis.org/01_strat_init/5G/

 

Posted in 5G

T-Mobile’s “Record Breaking” 4th Quarter, Prospects for Sprint Acquisition; 5G Bragging Rights?

Controlled by Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile USA said it added 1 million postpaid phone customers in the December quarter, accelerating its holiday period gains from 891,000 new subscribers a year ago. For fiscal 2019, T-Mobile said it expects to add 2.6 million to 3.6 million subscribers.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere sounded very optimistic on Thursday’s  earnings call:

“We had the highest total customer net additions ever in Q4 and we followed that up with record breaking financials, which is a winning formula for our shareholders. T-Mobile led the industry in postpaid phone net adds for the fifth year in a row and we posted a Q4 record low branded postpaid phone churn. Both service and total revenues hit record highs in this quarter while adjusted EBITDA was our best Q4 ever. Our 2019 guidance shows our confidence for the standalone outlook for T-Mobile. We continue to meet the needs of wireless customers and translate that into incredible results. I feel good about the state of our business going into 2019.

I want to reiterate unequivocally that prices will go down and customers will get more for less. We’re entering the final stages of our regulatory review process and it’s an important time to document the commitments that we’ve made from day one. This is another example of T-Mobile putting its money where its mouth is and backing up what we said in our public interest statement.

In summary, I am very, very pleased with the progress we’ve made on our merger and the process so far and I continue to expect regulatory approval in the first half of this year. Okay, to wrap it up I also couldn’t be more excited about the performance in 2018 and our guidance shows continued momentum in 2019. The combination with Sprint means that we will be able to create a future that is even more exciting for American consumers.”

Legere also said that he expects the acquisition of Sprint to be approved in the first half of this year.

“We continue to work through the regulatory review process with humility and respect for all parties involved. A number of major milestones have been completed and we remain optimistic and confident that once regulators review all the facts they will recognize the significant pro consumer and pro competitive benefits of this combination. We continue to have a productive dialogue with both federal and state regulatory authorities.”

On Monday, T-Mobile told U.S. Federal Communications Commission it would not increase prices for three years, with few exceptions, if it gets approval to buy Sprint for $26 billion.

In sharp contrast,  MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett said in a report published on Thursday:  “A series of developments over the past few weeks have forced investors to consider the possibility that T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint may be in more trouble than previously appreciated,”

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T-Mobile has just a 10 percent market share of business customers, said Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert during the call, giving the carrier opportunity for more growth.  “Now that the network is there … we’re starting to see these kinds of customers come in, in historic numbers,” Sievert said. T-Mobile added network capacity in rural areas of the United States during the 4th quarter of 2018.

Legere summarized the wireless carrier’s progress and 5G and how the competition (mostly AT&T) responded:

“Our engineering team is hard at work furiously building out our 600 MHz and setting the stage for America’s first real nationwide 5G network next year. Our aggressive build out is on 5G ready equipment and we have made rapid progress in just one year since getting our hands on the spectrum. 2700 cities and towns in 43 states and Puerto Rico are live on 600 MHz and we already have 29 600 MHz capable devices in our lineup today including the new iPhones.

We have standards based 5G equipment deployed to six of the top 10 markets including New York and Los Angeles. We believe the 5G revolution should be for everyone, everywhere, and not just the few intense areas. While the other guys hyped 5G we continue to focus on real 5G using global standards based equipment, 5G NR that will light up and deliver for customers across the U.S.

How has the competition responded to our plans? Well, AT&T responded by trying to rebrand 4G as 5GE and we know the customers see right through their bullshit and Verizon by the way, their current standard pups, pre-standard 5G footprint covers what they even themselves call limited areas in four cities, while our 5G capable 600 MHz network already covers hundreds of thousands of square miles. Also we continue to expand our 4G LTE coverage and deliver industry leading network performance.

Our network now covers more than 325 million Americans with 4G LTE effectively matching Verizon’s population coverage. We now have 600 and 700 MHz low band spectrum deployed to 301 million people across the country and we continue to lead the industry in 4G LTE speeds. In Q4 our average download 4G LTE speed was 33.4 Mb per second once again ahead of all the competitors. We remain very confident in our outlook for 2019 and this is reflected in our guidance.”

T-Mo CTO Neville Ray, bragging about T-Mobile’s adding 600 MHz spectrum for both 5G NR and LTE, said that the uncarrier’s  600 MHz spectrum is deployed in more than 2,700 cities and is supported by 29 devices.  It is “going to be the biggest and largest and most transformative piece as we move through ’19 and into ’20. We do not take our eye off the ball at all on capacity and performance…The 600 LTE rollout has been going incredibly strong. As we get our software matured and ready for primetime, we will light up 5G services on those same radios. The 5G story is coming on super strong.”  If that wasn’t enough, Ray said:

“You can see an aggressive competitive response against 5G NR victory lap on the fastest LTE. AT&T especially trying to figure out how to not be second or third in that race for the coming couple of years. We’re going to be adding 600 MHz spectrum to the fight, both with LTE and with 5G NR and speeds and performance are going to continue to increase on this network into 2019 and materially more so in 2020 when we can reach our nationwide ambition on the 600 MHz 5G deployment……

Biggest focus right now is, as we’ve reference multiple times here is the 600 MHz build, that’s going to be the biggest and largest and most transformative piece as we move through ’19 and into ’20. I mean thousands upon thousands of new sites with 600 MHz capability coming on air, but we do not take our eye off the ball at all on capacity and performance. We’re at the best capacity performance in our company’s history right now, lowest congestion figures we’ve ever seen. We love to be that way.

The proxy for that in the marketplace is our fastest speed performance. And as I mentioned earlier, we continue to win on that front and look to maintain that lead. On the small cell piece, we are starting to see and introduce license assisted access, so LTE in the 5 gig space we’re seeing very positive results and returns from those investments and so a lot of opportunity to grow capacity in the urban calls. We’re not taking our eye off that ball, but big, big most major improvements coming on the 600 MHz side this year.”

On small cells:  “(we have) just over 21,000 small cells in play today. We plan on continuing our march on small cells another 20,000 or so plan to come off as we exit ’19 and into ’20. And we continue to densify this network to prepare for obviously a tremendous capacity and performance future.”

T-Mo President Mike Sievert on incremental revenues and pricing:

“So, on pricing, the short answer would be, we have big aspirations for incremental revenues and growth from 5G, but not through pricing, through our current smartphone plans. So the incremental revenues come from more and more users picking wireless technologies instead of other technologies for their conductivity.

There is a big broadband business that we expect to build, there are big enterprise opportunities, there are IoT opportunities, there more devices per users, there are new capabilities being developed, all of which we can monetize with revenue growth. But we don’t have plans for the smartphone plans that you see today to charge differently for 5G enablement versus 4G LTE.”

Legere concluded his bragging about T-Mo’s (not yet deployed with paying customers) 5G network:

“Yes, so again, as I said from the very first day back in April going into the first week of May, I’ve been down here in Washington with the very same story that the 5G Network that’s going to be built with the $40 billion worth of investment and the breadth and the depth is going to be something that the country needs and has yet to see, it’s going to be super charging the uncarrier, capacity will go up precipitously and prices will go down and jobs will increase. And that’s been a dialogue that has gone from sound bite to tremendous modeling and conversation and depositions and hearings.”

References on T-Mo’s 5G at 600MHz:

https://www.t-mobile.com/news/first-600mhz-5g-test

https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/t-mobile-5g-rollout/

https://venturebeat.com/2019/02/07/t-mobile-has-5g-towers-in-most-top-u-s-markets-handsets-arriving-in-2019/

https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/5g/t-mobile-quietly-confirms-5g-network-in-30-cities/d/d-id/748791

http://fortune.com/2019/02/07/t-mobile-5g-prices-sprint/

https://www.rcrwireless.com/20190207/carriers/t-mobile-us-600-mhz-update

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Related post: 

The Future of 5G—and the Risks that Come With It

 

Vietnamese Mobile Network Operators in 5G Trials

 Vietnam Minister of Information & Communications Nguyen Manh Hung signed a decision to license the implementation of 5G for Viettel – a military-run telecommunications company.  This licence was granted to test and evaluate technical features and the ability to deploy telecommunications infrastructure using (undisclosed spec for) 5G  technology. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City will be the first two cities to test Viettels 5G and the trial will last for 12 months.   Users will not be charged during the test period.

The group must be responsible for investment efficiency and report results to the Ministry of Information and Communications. The ministry said that, together with the 5G trial, it would license the new 4G frequency and study the route to find the right time to turn off 2G or 3G waves.

Viettel engineers install telecom equipment. The company is ready to trial 5G technology. – VIET NAM NEWS/ANN

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Meanwhile, MobiFone said they had sent a document to the Ministry of Information and Communications, asking for 5G testing in Hanoi and HCM City to evaluate technology and the marketplace before officially going live.  MobiFone General Director Nguyen Dang Nguyen said they asked for permission to test 5G for the Ministry of Information and Communications from September last year.  MobiFone is working with equipment suppliers to prepare for this test.  It is expected that devices will come to Vietnam and will be installed in the second quarter of this year, he said.

Viet Nam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), is also planning to test 5G in the future.  VNPT and Nokia signed a co-operation agreement to research, survey and test 5G technology and Internet of Things (IoT) during the working visit in Europe of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in October last year.  The project is expected to be implemented within three years and worth around US $15 million.  Chairman of VNPTs member council Tran Manh Hung said the group submitted documents to the Ministry of Information and Communications to ask for 5G testing.  The purpose of the 5G testing is to enable VNPT to master the technology and plan the network in the future.  VNPT had also tested to prepare for the production of 5G network devices, he said.

https://borneobulletin.com.bn/vietnamese-operators-speed-up-with-5g/

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“Vietnam should be among the first nations to launch 5G services in order to move up in global telecom rankings,” said Nguyen Manh Hung, the country’s new minister of information and communications.

Four Vietnamese telecom companies — Vietnamobile, a joint venture of Hanoi Telecom and Hongkong based Hutchison Asia Telecommunications, and three state-owned entities, Viettel, Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group, MobiFone and Vietnamobile — are expected to receive 5G testing licenses this year.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Technology/Vietnam-to-begin-testing-5G-networks-next-year

 

AT&T’s 5G Use Cases at NGNM Conference on Licensing Practices in 5G Industry Segments

Dawn Of The 5G World –  AT&T Perspective

by Michael Robinson Director, Business Development AT&T Intellectual Property

Current “5G” Deployment:
• Live in 12 Cities: Atlanta, Charlotte & Raleigh, NC, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, FL, Louisville, KY, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio & Waco, TX
• Millimeter wave spectrum

2019-2020 “5G” Deployment:
• Live in 9+ additional cities: Austin TX, Las Vegas, Nashville, New York City, Orlando, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, CA, (millimeter wave spectrum)
• Nationwide coverage available early 2020 (sub 6Ghz spectrum)

5G Use Cases:
1.  Healthcare
• Provide more effective healthcare and improve revenue realization for providers
• Minimize need for annual exams or office visits
• Wearables/Home Sensors provide near constant monitoring
• Alert healthcare providers of potential ailments or abnormalities
• Preventative Care: wearables will calculate daily recommendations, provide prompting based on medical records, real-time vitals, projected needs
• Hospital of the Future: collaboration with Rush University Medical Center and the Rush System for Health

2. Retail
• Enable in-store 3D printers to create custom products
• AR/VR to try on clothing
• Home improvement stores use VR to create personalized demo of remodeling options

3. Finance
• Create highly customized financial/insurance experiences
• High resolution video enables customer interaction with in-person or AI representatives
• Security – AI cyber immune system to send threat intelligent defender cells from one edge of the network to the other
• Insurance companies
• Dispatch drones for claim investigations
• Holographic teleportation for adjusters – tour damaged property to provide benefits more rapidly

4. Manufacturing
• IoT neural network enables a ‘brain’ to react, calibrate and optimize end-to-end manufacturing process
• Robots mimicking human capabilities to carry out high-risk, dangerous tasks
• Network reliability and low latency enables manufacturing equipment to communicate wirelessly with back-end systems for time critical  operations
• Samsung Austin Semiconductor “Innovation Zone”
• Test bed for the Smart Factory
• Location services to improve safety
• Industrial IoT sensors – environmental & equipment conditions

AT&T Foundry (Plano, TX) – Use Case Development:
• Plano Foundry prototypes innovative solutions for AT&T customers in manufacturing, retail, finance, public sector
• 5G functionality (2019) to co-create 5G solutions:
• Using 5G-enabled network slicing in a manufacturing shop floor to create a separate network for operational equipment efficiency,
• Transform the retail buying experience for consumers through innovative solutions like digital signage, IoT-enabled smart shelving and auto-inventory tracking,
• Enabling life-changing healthcare technologies, like Aira, that use our IoT connectivity to bridge the physical gap between caregiver and patient,
• Deploying drones to rethink the damage assessment process for insurance companies, and ………………
• Applying AI or machine learning techniques to enhance situational awareness for first responders

https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/Workshops-and-Seminars/itu-ngmn/Documents/2018/Michael_Robinson_Presentation.pdf

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NGMN Alliance Backgrouner:  by Peter Meissner, CEO NGMN

The NGMN Alliance was founded by leading international mobile network operators in 2006 with the “Objective to ensure that functionality and performance of next generation mobile network infrastructure, service platforms and devices will meet the requirements of operators and, ultimately, will satisfy end user demand and expectations.”

§ NGMN actively drives global alignment and convergence of technology standards and industry initiatives with the objective to avoid fragmentation and to guarantee industry scale.

§ A global presence has been established that comprises a leadership network of about 90 Partners: Operators, Vendors, Software Companies and Universities. These Partners are contributing to and delivering the results of the Work Programme with a focus on 5G. Several Cooperation Partners support the NGMN Alliance by two-way liaison statements.

§ The 5G Eco-System is different! New use cases beyond mobile broadband like massive IoT as well as highly demanding requirements from Vertical Industries on low latency, ultra-high reliability and security are causing substantial network transformation. Service Based Architecture, Network Slicing as well as Network Function Virtualisation are the solutions with major impact on network architecture and operations.

https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/Workshops-and-Seminars/itu-ngmn/Documents/2018/Peter_Meissner_Presentation.pdf

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http://techblog.comsoc.org/2019/02/01/ngnm-alliance-holds-conference-on-5g-and-iot-licensing-ran-core-network-report-with-wba/

India’s 5G Conundrum: Mass Adoption not seen till 2023-2024!

by Hetal Gandhi (edited by Alan J Weissberger)

The writer is a Director at CRISIL Research

As the noise around India’s upcoming 5G spectrum auction rise, one must remember that ecosystem development is crucial to the success of next-generation technology. India is yet to complete the transition from 2G and 3G to 4G-LTE.  But the march towards 5G is inexorable and necessitates giga-buck spending. Telcos have already invested more than Rs 3 lakh crore (India money) over the past three years, and a large portion of that money has been used to roll out 4G-LTE networks across the country, and we are still counting.

The implementation of any paradigm-shifting technology spawns manifold ecosystem changes such as spectrum usage, network infrastructure and devices. While newer bands will be made available for 5G services in India, the reserve price for the spectrum bands, recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAIat around $0.23/MHz/pop (for metros), is almost twice compared to $0.12/MHz/pop auctioned in the UK in June 2018.

At TRAI’s pricing, owning a block of 20 MHz spectrum across circles in the 3.3-3.6 GHz band will cost a staggering Rs 98,000 crore or so. Also, high-frequency bands such as these will require more investments in cell sites because of their low-propagation characteristics.  Even though a combination of sub-1 GHz and 3.3-3.6 GHz is ideal for the 5G rollout, prices in the 700 MHz band remain very high while the rest of the sub-1 GHz bands will be mostly utiliszd for 2G (voice) and 4G-LTE services.

The government seems ready to conduct the 5G auction towards the end of 2019, but it is imperative for telcos to check the readiness of their ecosystems before plonking down truckloads of money to buy spectrum. On the other hand, if the US and China successfully adopt 5G by 2020 as expected, subsequent adopters will have the benefit of lower network equipment and device costs, thus making the ecosystem transition smoother.

An important 5G ecosystem prerequisite, essential to building use cases, is optic fibre networks. But India lags far behind with lower than 30 per cent use of fibre as on date compared to more than 70 per cent in the US and China. CRISIL Research estimates that India needs to lay another 10 lakh fibre km to be 5G-ready. That will require an investment of over Rs 1 lakh crore.

Nearly three-fourths of this cost will occur to get right-of-way (RoW) approvals, which can be as high as Rs 1 crore per km in metros. We believe it will take three-four years for telcos to reach the required fibre levels, given delays in RoW and other permissions.

For telcos, getting RoW approvals has been as much an issue as making investments and RoW issues may delay fibre deployment. However, leasing of fibre can significantly reduce the investments required, depending on sharing modalities, and it will also make India 5G-ready sooner.

Furthermore, the Indian telecom industry is struggling under a massive debt load of Rs 4 lakh crore (as of March 31, 2018). In the recent past, a combination of asset and stake sales and sponsor support have helped telcos maintain their debt levels. But bundling of voice with data amid a price war, coupled with high investments, has resulted in low returns. We now see low single-digit returns on the capital employed in the industry compared to more than 15 per cent three-four years ago. So, telcos need to explore areas of revenue generation to make such investments viable.

While 5G-enabled devices are expected to enter India in late 2019 or early 2020, it may take another three-four years before mass adoption of affordable versions takes place. With the number of interconnected devices rising, the Internet of things will unfold newer revenue streams across domains such as healthcare, education and transportation. A lot is in store for Indian telcos, but things will not take a clear shape before fiscal 2023.

Copyright 2019. Living Media India Ltd

Sprint’s Earnings Report + Update on LTE Wireless Network and 5G Launch

Sprint Corp.’s third quarter earnings report showed the company’s effort to produce rapid growth and cut costs, while awaiting approval of its proposed $26.5 billion merger with T-Mobile US Inc.

On Thursday January 31th, the Overland Park-based wireless carrier reported its second consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth in wireless service revenue and its sixth consecutive quarter of postpaid net additions. The company also reported its 12th consecutive quarter of operating income.

Sprint reported 309,000 postpaid net additions in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, an improvement of 53,000 compared to the previous year, as the carrier focused on growing revenue per customer with wearables and other services.

Sprint Corp. Logo (PRNewsfoto/Sprint Corp.)

“Sprint’s strategy of balancing growth and profitability while we work toward regulatory approval of our T-Mobile merger is reflected in our fiscal third-quarter results,” Sprint CEO Michel Combes said in a press release. “We delivered solid financials, increased network investments as we prepare for our mobile 5G launch, and continued the digital transformation of the company.”

For the full fiscal year, the company expects to cut costs by more than $1 billion for the fifth consecutive year, with net reductions of less than $500 million after reinvestments.  Sprint more than doubled its quarterly network investments, or cash capital expenditures excluding leased devices, to $1.4 billion, and increased by approximately $150 million compared to the previous quarter as the company moved toward launching its 5G service.  The company reports it now has 2.5 GHz spectrum deployed on approximately 75 percent of its macro sites, and has 27,000 small cells deployed — both key factors in deploying 5G service.

Sprint reported a net loss of $141 million in the quarter compared to a net income of $7.2 billion in the year-ago period.

https://investors.sprint.com/news-and-events/press-releases/press-release-details/2019/Sprint-Reports-Continued-Year-Over-Year-Growth-In-Wireless-Service-Revenue-With-Fiscal-Year-2018-Third-Quarter-Results/default.aspx

https://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2019/01/31/sprint-third-quarter-earnings-report.html

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Highlights of Sprint’s Earnings Call:

Sprint CEO Michel Combes:

Atlanta is one of our Massive MIMO markets preparing for 5G launch in the coming months. That means fans in town for the Superbowl will see exceptional network performance in the highest traffic locations, whether they are inside or outside the stadium, to a nearby museum or hotel, or traveling around the city to one of the many special events planned this weekend.

We’re also preparing to launch our mobile 5G network in the first half of 2019. Our Massive MIMO radio are software upgradable to 5G NR as you know, allowing us to fully utilize our spectrum for both LTE and 5G simultaneously while we enhance capacity even further with 5G and begin to support new 5G use cases.

We celebrated an important milestone earlier this month on our path towards launching mobile 5G service in the first half of this year, when we completed the world’s first over-the-air 5G data transition using 2.5 and Massive MIMO on Sprint’s live commercial network.

We’ve also announced three 5G devices including smartphones from both LG and Samsung as well as a feature-rich mobile hotspot from HTC. The other carriers are not standing still, but our significant work investments, spectrum resources and cutting-edge technologies will help us continue to improve our network and we expect to deliver robust 5G experience in major metro areas.

Nevertheless, we’re hopeful to complete our merger with T-Mobile which is the only path to deliverings of breadth and depth of spectrum which will allow us to provide a truly consistent national-wide 5G experience to Americans.

As a stand-alone company, we love to scale to keep pace with the bigger carriers, AT&T and Verizon, in sustained capital investments and without additional low-band spectrum we will face challenges to provide customers with coverage comparable to that of the big two carriers.

Sprint CTO John Saw:

We expect to be substantially done with adding 2.5 GHz to where we needed it in another quarter, towards spring this year. And like we have said, we have made significant progress. A year ago, we were only at 50% of our sites having 2.5 GHz.

Small cells, again, a lot of momentum recently, 27,000 small cells. A year ago, we only had 3,000. So the permits are starting to come in. Some of our infrastructure that we are leveraging, especially with the cable companies, is making it easier for us to deploy small cells faster.

LTE Advanced has rolled out in more than 270 cities, and this is why we’re starting to make an impression even in the big markets where our customer experience speeds have improved significantly because of LTE Advanced.

We expect the LTE Advanced upgrades to complete around spring this year as well. Small cells will continue to be a focus for us because we need to continue to densify our networks even with 5G. A network is never done, Brett, so we are also rapidly transitioning to focusing on 5G as well. As you know, a lot of our radios that we’re deploying today with Massive MIMO allows us to simultaneously support LTE and 5G, and that is going to be the main focus for the rest of this year for 5G.

Closing remarks by Michel Combes:

We are aggressively executing our Next-Gen Network deployment to deliver a network build for unlimited with building the foundation for our mobile 5G network that will launch commercially in the coming months. We continue to enhance our value proposition and continue to transform our cost structure and customer experience with digital, artificial intelligence, advanced analytics and automation.

References:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4237217-sprint-corporation-s-ceo-michel-combes-q3-2018-results-earnings-call-transcript?page=3

Sprint’s Next-Gen Network and Massive MIMO as “linchpin for 5G”

 

 

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