Strand Consulting: Why the Quality of Mobile Networks Differs

Many believe that a mobile application can measure the quality of the mobile and fixt network. Strand Consult’s new report “The Moment of Truth – Why the Quality of Mobile Networks Differs” describes the many factors that affect the network’s capacity and coverage and the user’s experience.

It assesses and compares the mobile apps which claim to measure network quality at a time when mobile networks are evolving from 2G, 3G and 4G to a combination of 4G and 5G. The next generation mobile networks are more complex and use technologies such as carrier aggregation, spectrum management, and multiple input/multiple output (MIMO). These innovations change how a network is built and operated and therefore also how the networks performance can be measured.

As each network is constructed differently, making comparisons across operators is difficult. The simple measurements collected and presented on a glossy app and the user’s experience will also differ considerably for various reasons.

While the effort to bring facts and evidence to policy and regulatory discussions is welcome, network measurement data from mobile apps is increasingly presented without adequate scientific and methodological background. Users of the various apps are perplexed about wildly differing measurements reported by the individual app even if the tests are run at the same time, in the same location and on the same device.

The same data may be used to praise a mobile operator one day but then to rank it in the bottom the next. Moreover, the performance of mobile operators varies widely across different apps. Vodafone, Orange, EE, Telia, Telenor, AT&T, Verizon, and Telefonica, and others have appeared either at the top or bottom of any one app report. This says more about the design of the app than the quality of any one network.

The report “The Moment of Truth – Why the Quality of Mobile Networks Differs” reviews the mobile apps and provides a common framework to judge their usefulness and applicability by better understanding they inner workings, potential and pitfalls.

Strand Consult’s report “The Moment of Truth – Why the Quality of Mobile Networks Differs” is offered either with or without a workshop. The report focuses on the many factors that influence the experience of network coverage, quality, and the capacity.

The report’s chapters include:

  • A review of the leading mobile network measurement apps. We describe and categorize how and which data the apps collect. We assess the marketing strategies of the apps in what they purport to measure versus the scientific state of the art of what can be measured.
  • An analysis of how the app interacts with the mobile phone and how the phone’s specifications can influence resulting network measurement. International examples are provided to demonstrate how wildly measurements can vary.
  • A review of the question of network quality in light of the relevant market factors. Network performance is mapped against factors such as gross domestic product (GDP), churn, ARPU, and so on.
  • An examination of the conditions for infrastructure development in the relevant country and different policies used by government actors for network deployment. It details how rollout policies vary considerably and compares these results to reported network quality, coverage, and capacity.
  • The report also examines measurement tools either mandated or preferred by telecom regulatory policies. The report examines the scientific basis for these tools and whether they can measure what they claim.
  • Viewpoints and analysis which is helpful to improve the discussion about the quality of mobile coverage and its measurement and can help to increase the scientific understanding of policymakers, press, and the public.

Strand Consult’s new report “The Moment of Truth – Why the Quality of Mobile Networks Differs” provides valuable scientific, policy, and market background to bring context to the growing popularity of network quality measurement by mobile apps. The report will help policymakers focus on the facts and other important scientific information when deciding how to measure network quality and what role apps should have in policy.

The report demonstrates that relying on mobile apps to measure network quality provides an incomplete and inaccurate picture of the network. It is based in part upon 7 years of experience of working with mobile coverage policy, regulatory issues and mobile measurement app initiatives across several countries.

If you want to know more, please request more information about our unique new report.

http://www.strandconsult.dk/sw8445.asp?utm_campaign=9.%20november%202019%20%20Presse%20%20The%20Moment%20of%20Truth%20%20Why%20the%20Quality%20of%20Mobile%20Networks%20Differs155229&utm_source=Presse&utm_medium=email

Counterpoint Research: Smartphone Market Decline Ends, What Might Help it Grow?

The global smartphone market showed signs of recovery ending a long period of continuous quarterly YoY declines. Shipments during 3Q 2019 were flat at 380 million units. The two markets that helped halt the slide are India, which has been growing steadily, and China, now showing a slower decline.

Both countries saw healthy channel builds, in India, OEMs prepared early for Diwali and online sales. In China, Huawei, Oppo and Vivo enjoyed healthy demand ahead of the National Day Golden Week holiday in October. The upcoming holiday season should drive smartphone demand into growth for the second half of the year.

Highlights:

  • Samsung continued its growth thanks to strong sales of the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy A series. The improved product-mix helped it post better profits.
  • Huawei grew a healthy 28.5% YoY globally. It captured a record 40% market share in China. It rebounded in Europe after the decline mid-year caused by the US trade ban. As it continues its aggressive push, there’s an increased need for careful inventory management in China and Europe in Q4 2019.
  • Apple iPhone shipments were down 4% YoY. However, initial uptake for the iPhone 11 series was robust. In the US, pre-orders and the first week of sales, saw more demand for the iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 11 Pro, but the standard iPhone 11 rose quickly into the best-seller’s list.
  • Apple’s price corrections in China and elsewhere with iPhone 11 and iPhone XR stimulated demand during the last week of September.
  • Realme was the fastest-growing brand for the second successive quarter, capturing 7th place globally. Strong performances in India and Indonesia drove its growth.

Counterpoint believes the key OEMs with the largest installed bases, especially in developed regions, will rely on 5G as a key point of differentiation and will encourage their users to upgrade.  Already, 5G rollouts have been faster than 4G was in its first few months, with 15 commercially available 5G devices and many more lined-up for launch in the last few months of 2019. Nevertheless, 5G smartphones only accounted for 2% of shipments in Q3 2019 and will contribute relatively little to the overall market for the full year 2019. But, 2020 will likely be a breakout year for 5G smartphone adoption,rekindling smartphone demand.

Note: This author completely disagrees with that last conclusion.  We don’t think 5G smartphone adoption will achieve any real market traction till late 2021-early 2022.

Analyst Contacts:

Neil Shah | Peter Richardson

SOURCE Counterpoint Research

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Looking at the current scenario, Xiaomi, famous for its commitment to affordability, launched the cheapest 5G model in China at the end of September. The new flagship of Xiaomi’s number series, MI 9 Pro 5G, has a starting price of roughly US$520.

Exhibit 1: 5G enabled new models in 2019

5G Enabled New Models in 2019

According to the analysis of the 5G cost structure, we expect an addition of US$50 to implement the sub-6Ghz only by using a standalone 5G modem.

However, costs can be reduced through the integration of a modem with the SoC (System on a Chip). Huawei’s Kirin 990 and Samsung’s Exynos 980 had taken a step ahead in this direction, and Qualcomm is expected to launch its first 5G SoC in the Snapdragon 700 family by the end of 2019. Besides, both Qualcomm, MediaTek plans to mass-produce respective 5G flagship platform SDM865, MTK6885, in Q1 2020.

Exhibit 2: 5G platform timeline in 2019 & 2020

5G Platform Timeline in 2019 & 2020Given the fragmented frequency allocation, we expect smartphone brands targeting North America and parts of European markets will customize designs with an external 5G model for mmWave, even though, most 5G models will resort to a 5G SoC for a cheaper sub-6Ghz only solution.

To sum up, we believe that 5G smartphones will be available in the mid-end price bands over the course of 2020. As a result, cheaper solutions for a next-generation offering will unlock consumer demand for upgrades of their smartphones.

SK Telecom top winner at Global Telecoms Awards in London, UK

South Korean network operator SK Telecom’s early success in 5G helped it win three awards at the Global Telecoms Awards (GLOTEL Awards), held on November 7 in London, UK.  SK Telecom received awards in the categories of ‘5G Implementation Excellence,’ ‘Best Operator,’ and ‘BSS/OSS Transformation Excellence.’

SK Telecom was also highly commended in the consumer IoT and fixed network categories, bringing its awards total on the night to five. Other notable performers were Huawei, with two wins and a highly commended, and ZTE with one win and two highly commended.

With the aim to provide customers with the best 5G service quality, SK Telecom has deployed the fastest and widest 5G network in Korea, arming it with quantum cryptography technologies and an AI-based network management system named TANGO (T Advanced Next Generation OSS). Moreover, by combining its 5G with cutting-edge ICT, the company has introduced a wide range of powerful solutions including 5G-AI Machine Vision, 5G Live Golf Broadcast, AI Video Security and 5G-based Cooperative Intelligent Transportation System.

“I feel confident in saying that this was the strongest set of entries to the awards we’ve had yet,” said Telecoms.com Editor Scott Bicheno (pictured above with Chang-min Park of SK Telecom), who hosted the awards alongside comedian Miles Jupp and was also one of the judges. “Our judges had a really tough job choosing between so many great products, services and projects this year and for that I thank them. The fact that so many entries were highly commended shows how close the scoring was. My congratulations to the winners and thanks everyone who contributed to our best awards yet.”

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Here’s the complete list of winners:

5G Implementation Excellence  

Winner – SK Telecom: World’s First 5G Commercialization

Advancing Artificial Intelligence               

Winner – Telefónica: Aura

Highly Commended – Nokia: AI as a Service for CMCC Hainan

Automation Initiative of the Year             

Winner – Huawei: AUTIN

Best 5G Innovation         

Winner – Vodafone Germany: Automotive Factory of the Future

Highly Commended – China Mobile, China Southern Power and Huawei: Smart Grid 5G Slice Operation and Monetization

Best Digital Transformation Project        

Winner – Infosys and Vodafone UK: Digital Platform

Highly Commended – Singtel: Unboxed

Best Operator    

Winner – SK Telecom

Highly Commended – Reliance Jio Infocomm

BSS/OSS Transformation Excellence        

Winner – SK Telecom: OSS Evolution for E2E integration and 5G Business

Connecting the Unconnected     

Winner – Ufinet: Rural connectivity case studies

Consumer IoT Initiative of the Year         

Winner – O2 and Accenture: Making UK homes smarter energy users

Highly Commended – SK Telecom: V2X Service Enabler (VSE)

Digital Transformation Innovation          

Winner – BT: The Digital Business Marketplace

Highly Commended – Netcracker: Digital Transformation Solution

Fixed Network Evolution             

Winner – Turkcell: Customer Oriented Failure Prioritization and Complaint Management

Highly Commended – SK Telecom: Giga Premium 10G Residential Broadband Internet Service

Ground-breaking Virtualization Initiative            

Winner – AT&T: Edge Solutions

Industrial IoT Initiative of the Year          

Winner – Dialog Axiata: Affordable and Purpose-built IoT Solutions for Industries in Emerging Markets

Highly Commended – ZTE:  ZTE NMVP Solution

Innovating in the Cloud 

Winner – MYCOM OSI: The Assurance Cloud

Managed Services Innovation of the Year            

Winner – Ericsson and Telenor: Common Delivery Center for innovative Managed Services model

Highly Commended – Saudi Telecom Company: STC Fixed Network Customer Operations Service transformation

Mobile Device Innovation           

Winner – Reliance Jio Infocomm: JioPhone

Mobile Money Mastery 

Winner – AsiaHawala and Comviva: AsiaHawala powered by mobiquity Money

Most Innovative Cloud Service  

Winner – Tata Communications Transformation Services: Cloud Networking and Security as a Service

Highly Commended – Red Hat: Red Hat open hybrid cloud technologies

Project Delivery Perfection         

Winner – ZTE: ZTE for China Mobile ‘He-Fetion’ Project

Highly Commended – X by Orange: X by Orange with Red Hat

Security Solution of the Year      

Winner – Mobileum Signalling Firewall

Highly Commended – CUJO AI: AI-powered cybersecurity technology

Telecoms Transformation            

Winner – Huawei: NFV-SDN based telco cloud technology initiative

Highly Commended – ZTE: 5G Slicing Wholesale Solution for New B2B2C Business Model

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About SK Telecom

SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea with nearly 50 percent of the market share. As the pioneer of all generations of mobile networks, the company has commercialized the fifth generation (5G) network on December 1, 2018 and announced the first 5G smartphone subscribers on April 3, 2019. With its world’s best 5G, SK Telecom is set to realize the Age of Hyper-Innovation by transforming the way customers work, live and play.

Building on its strength in mobile services, the company is also creating unprecedented value in diverse ICT-related markets including media, security and commerce.

For more information, please contact: skt_press@sk.com or sktelecom@bcw-global.com

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SK Telecom wins big at the 2019 Global Telecoms Awards

Global Wireless Solutions (GWS): Only about 25% of mobile phone users of Wi-Fi/VoIP calling

Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) surveyed approximately 5,000 mobile phone consumers and found that its survey results “are even more surprising, because [we found] Wi-Fi calling is not being used in places where cellular service isn’t available or there can be poor signal issues –including the home.

Only 25% of those surveyed said they were using Wi-Fi calling “often,” compared to 32% who responded that they either had never heard of Wi-Fi calling or didn’t know how to turn it on. Another 18% said they had turned on the feature but didn’t know how often they were actually using it.

The likely reason, from this author’s experience, is the voice quality varies greatly and is awful most of the time, especially from Starbucks or other public hotspots.  I use Google Voice over WiFi/IP on my Samsung smart phone, but prefer to use SPRINT CDMA for all my voice calls.

Image result for image: WiFi calling on mobile phones

https://www.howtogeek.com/234608/how-to-enable-wi-fi-calling-on-an-android-phone/

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When consumers did use Wi-Fi calling, though, they generally had a good experience with it. Among the survey respondents, 88% who had used Wi-Fi calling said that it worked as well or better than cellular, while 12% who had used Wi-Fi calling ended up turning the feature off because the call performance was worse than their cellular connection.

Asked where they use their mobile phone the most, half of respondents said at home, compared to in the local area (17%), at work (15%) and while commuting (12%).

 

GWS also asked consumers about factors that will play into their next decision on cellular service contract or purchases. The top three factors were monthly contract cost (19% of those surveyed said it was a factor), the value they felt they were getting for the money (18%) and network reliability (18%). Network coverage (16%), network speed (13%), mobile device cost (8%), availability of a specific mobile device (4%) and contract length (3%) also will impact their decision, consumers reported.

https://www.rcrwireless.com/20191106/network-infrastructure/wi-fi/most-consumers-dont-use-wi-fi-calling-gws-survey-finds

NYC will build Power over Ethernet-based IoT system to track traffic & reboot as needed

New York City [1] officials will put Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) switches at 10,000 intersections in order to remotely repair dysfunctional stoplights.  City traffic engineers are working with vendor Transition Networks (Minneapolis, MN) to build PoE systems in which a single cable can power a number of device such as VoIP phones, IP cameras and wireless access points, the city said.

Note 1.  NYC is this author’s home town (he grew up in Manhattan). This seems to be a very real and useful IoT project!

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PoE systems pass electric power and data on single cable to various devices, including wireless access points, IP cameras, and VoIP phones. The Managed Hardened Gigabit PoE+ Switch from Transition is designed for outdoor environments and can supply up to 30 watts per port on all eight ports simultaneously.

The switches power cameras and sensors at intersections. The cameras track traffic and pedestrian flows while the sensors count cars and support the city’s Connected Vehicle project. The data is transmitted to the city’s traffic monitoring center.

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Transition Networks, a unit of Communications Systems, provides services and devices for security and surveillance, data center networking, business Ethernet, Fiber-to-the-Desk and wireless backhaul. Customers include enterprises, integrators, service providers, federal agencies, and the military.

According to a company press statement, “This application brings intelligent transportation infrastructure citywide and reinforces the relevance and timeliness of Transition Networks’ strategy of developing smart city Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Transition Networks is working with a major North American telecommunication services company on the deployment of the solution.”

Anita Kumar, a director of product management and software engineering at Transition Networks, said in a news release.”Installing smart devices across cities allows transit agencies to enact changes that improve safety and traffic flow.  Our solution provides the power and connection to make it all possible. Smart device installation will grow in importance as transit agencies look to improve service, create efficiencies and increase quality of life for growing cities.”

Transition Networks Switch Technology Powers Traffic Cameras

Photo courtesy of Transition Networks

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The Connection Vehicle project will support Vision Zero, a plan to eliminate traffic deaths and injuries and reduce damage to vehicles and infrastructure. The NYC deployment uses vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and infrastructure-to-pedestrian (IVP) communications. V2V communications include blind spot and lane change warnings. V2I communications track cars that speed and run red lights. IVP alerts include warnings to cars when people are in a crosswalk and guidance to blind pedestrians via cell phones.

The new system includes a reboot feature. When there is a problem with a traffic signal, a technician goes out to check the device and reset it manually. Transportation officials will use this new system to reset the devices remotely, without having to close lanes and stop traffic.

Transition’s Device Management System (DMS) software also creates an interactive map of all connected devices, making it easier for city engineers to identify problems in the system.  (DMS) software creates an interactive map to see all connected devices, enabling the agency to pinpoint issues and quickly take action. DMS has been an important function for several smart city projects including an installation at New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge.

Transition Networks, “Currently, if a device stops working at an intersection, the agency must take multiple actions prior to deploying a repair technician. This includes scheduling a technician to evaluate the issue and deploying a bucket truck to reach the device. Once the technician is at the site, the lane closures cause significant stress and traffic delays for motorists. Many times the fix only requires a reboot of the device. Transition Networks’ Auto Power Reset (APR) feature provides the ability to remotely reboot or manage Transition Networks’ equipment fixing the issue within minutes and eliminating all of the lane closure requirements. This feature alone will save the agency significant costs and lessen traffic disruptions by reducing the need to send a technician to inspect equipment.”

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New York City is counting on these new tools and data collection to improve safety, traffic management and transportation citywide.

New York needs all the help it can get with trafficUber and Lyft have increased traffic congestion and trucks deliver 1.5 million packages from Amazon to city residents every day. In Manhattan, the average speed is 7 mph, about 23% slower than 10 years ago.

References:

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/nyc-launching-iot-system-to-monitor-traffic-and-reboot-malfunctioning-signals/

https://www.cablinginstall.com/connectivity/article/14071326/transition-networks-takes-on-smart-city-iot-project-for-nyc

 

 

 

India’s Airtel, Vodafone Idea preparing for commercial NB-IoT after pilots

Danish Khan  |  ET Telecom (editd and corrected by Alan J Weissberger)

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Limited are now preparing to launch commercial narrow-band IoT (NB-IoT) service in India in the coming months having brought various partners on board to develop a complete device and sensor ecosystem. Both Indian telcos are in currently in various stages of pilot runs in different circles.

Airtel is now deploying around 20,000 sites in Karnataka and Chennai to conduct NB-IoT trials. “We’ll be going with a pilot in a denser way rather than just a few trial sites..in a couple of months, we will be commercially rolling out,” Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO, Airtel Business, told ET.

Vodafone Idea Limited, on the other hand, has already conducted commercial pilots in eight cities in India, and is now hoping to win its first commercial NB-IoT deployment deal in the coming weeks.

“We’re looking at winning our first commercial deployments over the next six weeks. So commercially we’re also seeing customers now, wanting to buy that. Once we contract them will go and deploy,” Nick Gliddon, chief enterprise business officer separately told ET.

Gliddon said that all eight pilots were conducted in cities like Kochi, Jaipur, Bengaluru, and Chennai and involved smart meters. “We’ve run a long-term trial with those guys to understand how the network and services work.

Airtel’s Chitkara said that the telco’s IoT services are already growing in the country and NB-IoT technology will help it address the demand. “We have around five and a half million subscribers on our IoT side and the way growth is happening, we need to eventually get into NB-IoT.”

Chitkara added that NB-IoT will offer scale as compared to traditional IoT technologies. “130 million devices need to be connected on meter and that is the reason people say that you can’t run on the existing ecosystem.”

Vodafone is also aiming to expand its NB-IoT in India in the next 12 months to tap specific opportunities in the smart city space along with other applications.

NB-IoT is a new 3GPP spec which will likely be included in IMT 2020. It is designed to broaden the future of IoT connectivity, providing significantly improved and deeper network coverage for communication between machines while lowering power consumption by devices.

Both telcos are taking a partner-led approach building a complete ecosystem including sensors, devices and to bring the overall cost down for devices.

Chitkara said that building applications is a challenge, thereby Airtel is bringing partners on board. “…another issue is with all the sensors and other things there is a cost involved so it’s a chicken and egg story…the cost of those 2G sensors still is cheaper so we are making sure at least this whole ecosystem is build up so that we can bring from some more sites,” he added.

Vodafone Idea has already brought over 25 partners on-board and is working towards doubling this number soon to build new use cases around the new technology. These partners are mainly startups and small and medium enterprises that will bring in hardware and software capabilities to enable new NB-IoT use cases.

Rival Reliance Jio Infocomm had last year launched an NB-IoT network with a commercial network available in Mumbai. It is preparing to foray into enterprise services and may expand its IoT services accordingly.

Jio recently claimed that it is the only telco in India to have the capability and network footprint for a nationwide launch of NB-IoT services. Airtel, however, countered the claim by saying that the company’s pan-India 4G network is also ready to support the technology, along with LTE-M.

Within the enterprise business, IoT is expected to be the growth area going forward, given that the consumer retail business continues to face competitive headwinds. India’s IoT market size is expected to increase to $9 billion by 2020 from $1.3 billion in 2016, according to consultancy firm Deloitte.

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/airtel-vodafone-idea-preparing-for-commercial-nbiot-services-expand-pilots-in-india/71875177

 

Visual Comparison of 3G, 4G, and 5G

Courtesy of Ashley Viens at Visual Capitalist

Summary:

Wireless technology has evolved rapidly since the turn of the century. From voice-only 2G capabilities and internet-enabled 3G, today’s ecosystem of wireless activity is founded on the reliable connection of 4G.

Fifth-generation wireless network technology, better known as 5G, is now being rolled out in major cities worldwide. By 2024, an estimated 1.5 billion mobile users?which account for 40% of current global activity?will be using 5G wireless networks.

Today’s chart highlights three generations of wireless technology in the 21st century, and the differences between 3G, 4G, and 5G networks.

5G: The Next Great Thing?

With over 5 billion mobile users worldwide, our world is growing more connected than ever.

Data from GSMA Intelligence shows how rapidly global traffic could grow across different networks:

  • 2018: 43% of mobile users on 4G
  • 2025: 59% of mobile users on 4G, 15% of mobile users on 5G

What Does This Mean For 4G?

4G isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As 5G gradually rolls out, 4G and 5G networks will need to work together to support the wave of IoT devices entering the market. This network piggybacking also has the potential to expand global access to the internet in the future.

 

https://www.philstockworld.com/2019/11/01/visualizing-the-future-of-5g-comparing-3-generations-of-wireless-technology/

 

GSMA: 5G mmWave activities at WRC 19

The GSMA, which lobbies on behalf of the mobile industry, is bracing itself for a battle with Europe over the use of millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum for 5G services. The group is anticipating a potential clash at this week’s World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC 19) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt over the use of mmWave, which some European authorities argue interferes with “space services” such as satellite-based weather-sensing.

Brett Tarnutzer, head of spectrum at the GSMA, wrote: “We are calling for Europe to join the US in taking a pro-5G stance at WRC-19 to protect its digital future. Some administrations are still determined to limit mobile use of airwaves that 5G requires to reach its full potential. This protectionist attitude will have consequences for our global economy if allowed to prevail.”

WRC-19 and Agenda Item 1.13 presents the opportunity to identify mmWave spectrum in the 26, 40, 50 and 66 GHz bands. By doing so, the conference can lay the essential foundation for a bright 5G future. These bands enable key capabilities of 5G such as ultra-high capacity and ultra-high speed services.

It is also important the bands come with reasonable conditions. Unfortunately, it is possible to identify a band for IMT on paper, but effectively render it unusable in practice. Where conditions are necessary to protect other services, they should be applied. Where conditions have been found by the technical studies to be unnecessary, it will be harmful to 5G deployment to impose them without reason.

On October 31 at WRC-19, GSMA welcomed delegates from Arab Spectrum Management Group (ASMG) to a lunchtime seminar to discuss Agenda Item 1.13 with a focus on mmWave spectrum for the future of 5G.

“The Arab Spectrum Management Group has already positioned itself as a 5G leader. And its full support for the identification of mmWave spectrum at WRC-19 will help it build on that momentum.” said GSMA Director General Mats Granryd.

Speakers from Nokia, TMG and the GSMA, and Director General Mats Granryd, talked about how the right conditions for mmWave spectrum at WRC-19 can change how connectivity drives the Arab region forward.

At the seminar, the GSMA also presented findings from its recently published report on mmWave Use Cases, and the impact they will have on all aspects of society. GSMA believes the performance benefits of mmWave, including ultra-high speeds and low latencies, will drive the revolutionary impact of the most advanced 5G services. Use cases such as expanded broadband access and advanced healthcare stand to profit greatly from access to mmWave spectrum.  [No mention was made of mmWave’s need for the line of sight, short distance/reach, or need for many small cells.]

The Middle East and North Africa are expected to deliver $15.4 billion in GDP from mmWave 5G by 2034. But economic impact, along with all the underlying use cases that make it possible, is only possible if mmWave spectrum is identified for IMT with reasonable conditions.

The mobile industry is asking for the IMT (ITU acronym for International Mobile Telecomunications) identification of:
• 26 GHz (24.25-27.5 GHz);
• 40 GHz (37-43.5 GHz);
• 50 GHz (45.5-52.6 GHz); and
• 66 GHz (66-71 GHz).

The presentation from the seminar is available here.  A few highlights follow:

Various applications and services require access to spectrum from low, mid, and high bands:

  1. High band: Extreme capacity, e.g. 2.3, 2.6, 3.3–4.2, 4.4-5 GHz etc.
    80-100 MHz MNO contiguous 2020 onwards
  2. Mid band: Both coverage & capacity, e.g. 24.25-29.5, 37-43.5 GHz etc
    800-1000 MHz MNO/Network contiguous 2020 onwards
  3. Low band: Extended coverage, e.g. 600, 700 MHz etc
    Up to 20 MHz channel bandwidth; 2020 onwards

5G is expected to contribute $2.2 trillion to global GDP (by 2034)

In a report written by TMG, 5G mmWave services are said to realize $565 billion in global GDP and $152 billion in tax revenue over a 15-year period, from 2020 to 2034. By the end of this period,That equals 25 per cent of the value created by 5G. The report also breaks down the impact on a regional level.

A second TMG report, looks at the impact of mmWave spectrum  on economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and South East Asia and the Pacific Islands, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the RCC region. It reveals how the benefits on mmWave 5G will be felt across industries and explores exciting new 5G use cases, including healthcare, industrial automation, education and connectivity.  None of these use cases will reach their full potential without access to mmWaves.

Case Studies (with illustrations): Extractive Industries, Connectivity, Smart transportation logistics hubs

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References:

The GSMA WRC series – getting the most out of WRC-19

WRC-19: ASMG lunchtime seminar on mmWave spectrum for 5G

mmWave 5G success sets the stage for big benefits

5G mmWave: Facts and fictions you should definitely know

https://www.wsj.com/video/why-5g-is-fast-but-spotty-in-the-us/2A87AB60-8081-4CB6-BC23-395123650F19.html?mod=article_inline

 

China to launch 5G mobile networks on Friday with a huge government backed push

China’s  three major wireless carriers— China MobileChina Unicom , and China Telecom —will begin selling 5G services to consumers on Friday, November 1st in 50 major cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, said Chen Zhaoxiong, vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Thursday October 31st at a Beijing conference. That will allow those with the few available 5G-China compatible smartphones to buy a subscription to access the network.  The Chinese telcos will charge by speed rather than data used. See the section on 5G Subscriber Pricing below.

A woman using her cellphone walks past a vehicle covered in a China Unicom 5G advertisement in Beijing on Sept. 17. Chinese phone carriers will begin offering 5G service Friday. (China Stringer Network/Reuters)

A woman using her cellphone walks past a vehicle covered in a China Unicom 5G advertisement in Beijing on Sept. 17. Chinese phone carriers will begin offering 5G service Friday. (China Stringer Network/Reuters)

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The Chinese government has made building 5G a national priority, clearing red tape and reducing costs so the three wireless providers introduce the new technology as swiftly as possible.  “They’ve made this a national priority. It’s part of the [Communist] Party‘s ability to show that it’s delivering the goods,” said Paul Triolo, head of geo-technology at the Eurasia Group consultancy. “And in the middle of the trade dispute and the actions against Huawei, it’s even more important for China to show that they are continuing to move forward despite all these challenges,” he added.

“This 5G technology is part of an overall, far-reaching revolution, and it will bring brand-new changes to the economic society,” China Telecom President Ke Ruiwen said at the launch Thursday.

China is forecast to spend between $130 billion and $217 billion on 5G between 2020 and 2025, according to a study by the state-run China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

While some countries, such as South Korea, Australia and parts of the United States, have started 5G pilots, the Chinese government has embarked on a centrally planned push to roll out the technology on a commercial basis and give it an unassailable lead in the global race to install 5G wireless networks.

“The commercialization of 5G technology is a great measure of [President] Xi Jinping’s strategic aim of turning China into a cyber power, as well as an important milestone in China’s information communication industry development,” said Wang Xiaochu, president of China Unicom.

China President Xi has described the world as on the cusp of a fourth industrial revolution, one characterized by advances in information technology and artificial intelligence, analysts at Trivium China, a consultancy, wrote in a research note this week. “Xi wants to make sure that China is at the forefront of this new revolution — getting 5G up and running is a way to get a leg up in that race,” they said.

China’s central government wants 5G coverage extended to cover all of Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Guangzhou by the end of the year. The country’s largest carrier, China Mobile, which has 900 million cellphone subscribers, says it will be able to offer 5G services in more than 50 cities this year.  Chinese technology companies have been touting the industrial applications of 5G, such as managing cement production,  typhoon monitoring and  surgeries performed by robots.

“Two robots accurately planted 12 guide pins into the patients’ spines,” Beijing Daily reported after a surgeon manipulated robots performing operations in Shandong and Zhejiang provinces. “The signal transmission ran smoothly during the surgery without latency, despite the distance of over 1,000 miles.”
The advent of 5G could also enable some of China’s more repressive applications of technology, such as facial recognition. Travelers will be able to enjoy faster check-in with facial recognition systems at Beijing’s gargantuan new airport, a China Unicom representative said at a 5G exhibition in the capital accompanying the commercial rollout.

But there are challenges ahead.  For one, relatively few people have 5G-enabled phones or other 5G end points. Huawei has released phones that can support 5G, as have China’s Oppo and South Korea’s Samsung.  Apple, which comprises only 6 percent of the Chinese market, is not expected to release a 5G-capable iPhone until next year.

Further, there are questions about whether Huawei, the main manufacturer of base stations, can keep up its production pace now that it is on an American blacklist. The Trump administration, citing national security concerns, added Huawei and 70 of its affiliates to its entity list in May, blocking them from buying American parts and components.

“It’s going to be really hard for Huawei to overcome the supply chain problems,” said Triolo of Eurasia Group. “Basically, the United States has Swiss-cheesed their supply chain, and there are big question marks hanging over Huawei’s ability to plug the holes.”

The technology is at the heart of a bitter dispute between China and the United States. Washington has expressed concern that 5G hardware made by Chinese manufacturers might contain hidden “back doors” that could enable spying.

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5G Base Stations:

Approximately 13,000 5G base stations have been installed in Beijing, the communications administration said this week.  About 10,000 are already operating.  China already has a total of more than 80,000 5G macro base stations, typically cellular towers with antennas and other hardware that beam wireless signals over wide areas, government officials said. They said China will end the year with about 130,000, while Bernstein Research estimates South Korea will be in second place with 75,000, followed by the U.S. with 10,000.  Piper Jaffray estimated that of the 600,000 5G base stations expected to be rolled out worldwide next year, half will be in China.

Indeed, Chinese operators are launching 5G across fully 80,000 macro base stations this week, a figure that will grow to 130,000 by the end of this year, according to Wall Street research firm Bernstein Research. In comparison, the firm expects South Korea to end the year in second place with 75,000 base stations, followed by the US with just 10,000.

This is why most analyst firms expect China to command the largest number of 5G customers in the years to come.

Telecom-industry executives say Chinese wireless carriers now (and in the future will) buy the most of their cellular transmission equipment from Huawei. Analysts say U.S. measures that limit American businesses from selling components to Huawei could make it more difficult for the Chinese company to make telecom equipment. Huawei says it has taken steps to minimize the impact of such restrictions.

China’s 5G Standard-Approved by ITU-R for IMT 2020 RIT:

It should be noted that China has their own 5G standard, which has been presented to and progressed by ITU-R WP5D which is standardizing the radio aspects of IMT 2020.  Here’s an excerpt of an IEEE Techblog comment:

On July 17, 2019, the ITU-R WP5D#32 meeting ended in Buzios, Brazil. At this meeting, China completed the complete submission of the IMT-2020 (5G) candidate technical solution, and obtained the official acceptance confirmation letter from the ITU regarding the 5G candidate technology solution.

China’s 5G wireless air interface technology (RIT) solution is based on 3GPP new air interface (NR) and narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology. Among them, NR focuses on the technical requirements of enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), low latency and high reliability (URLLC) scenarios, and NB-IoT meets the technical requirements of large-scale machine connection (mMTC) scenarios. China’s 5G technology program expresses China’s understanding of 5G technology, considers the integrity and advancement of 5G technology, and maintains the global unified standard with 3GPP as the core, reflecting China’s industrial interests.

According to the requirements of the ITU, the complete 5G technology submission materials include technical solution descriptive templates, link budget templates, performance indicator satisfaction templates, and self-assessment reports. China’s 5G technology solutions and technical support materials come from many research results of domestic equipment manufacturers, operators and research units, reflecting the collective efforts and collective wisdom in the domestic communications field. China’s self-assessment research results show that the NR+NB-IoT wireless air interface technology solution can fully meet the technical vision requirements of IMT-2020 and the IMT-2020 technical indicators.

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2019/07/17/itu-r-wp5d-brazil-meeting-imt-2020-rit-srits-from-3gpp-china-korea-advance-nufront-submits-new-rit/#comment-3673

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5G Subscriber Pricing:

Chinese officials said the cheapest 5G subscription would cost 128 yuan (about $18) for 30 gigabytes of data a month.  To enjoy the peak speed of 1 Gbps, Unicom customers will pay about $45 a month.

According to the Wall Street research analysts at New Street Research, China Mobile is offering 5G services at a 30% discount to 4G. “A 30GB 4G customer who migrated to 5G on the same plan would see their bill reduced from RMB 188 to RMB 128. Even a 12GB 4G customer migrating to the 30GB 5G plan would save money,” the analysts wrote in a report to investors.

Source: New Street Research

10 million people in China have already registered their intention to purchase 5G subscriptions as we wrote in this IEEE Techblog post.

Mike Dano of Light Reading had this assessment:

A big part of the “race to 5G” discussion centers on spectrum allocation. Operators in China and South Korea are mainly using midband spectrum like 3.5GHz for their 5G buildouts, while operators in the US are using bands ranging from 600MHz to 28GHz because there isn’t much available midband spectrum for 5G in the US. This could change in the months to come as the FCC moves to release midband C-Band spectrum for 5G in the US. Midband spectrum is useful for 5G because it toes the line between providing high-speed connections and covering large geographic areas.

However, in recent months some US policymakers have been working to move the goalposts in the “race to 5G” a bit by pointing out that China’s 5G buildout is mandated by the country’s ruling party while 5G buildouts in the US and elsewhere are driven by the economics of competition and capitalism. As FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr explained earlier this month, that means 5G networks in the US will be more directly aligned with consumer demands than 5G networks in China.

Regardless, China’s official 5G rollout is starting this week — in a country with about four times more potential customers than the US — and it’s undoubtedly going to dwarf the 5G efforts in other countries in terms of most industry metrics.

Huawei vs Apple 5G smartphones in China:

Huawei Technologies has increased its smartphone market share in China to a record 42% in the September quarter, growing shipments by 66% year over year, while Apple’s share fell by two percentage points to 5%, with its shipments falling 28% year over year, according to Canalys.

Huawei has already released 5G-enabled phones—and they’re cheaper than Apple’s high-end non-5G iPhones. More models from other Chinese competitors will likely come out in the next few quarters. Industry analysts don’t expect a 5G-enabled iPhone until late 2020.

Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang predicts many low- to mid-end iPhone users in China could switch to a cheaper 5G Android phone in 2020. “We believe Apple still has yet to face its biggest challenge in China, which is the upcoming launch of 5G service in November as well as the coverage for 5G service expanding to 100 cities by the middle of 2020,” Zhang wrote in a Thursday research note. “We continue to expect Apple’s smartphone market share will decline once 5G service starts in more cities,” he wrote in a note to clients.

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References:

https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/5g/chinese-operators-start-selling-5g-at-a-big-discount/d/d-id/755307?

https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-is-about-to-switch-on-5g-its-behind-the-u-s-but-not-for-long-11572494203?

https://www.barrons.com/articles/chinas-5g-networks-go-live-friday-it-could-be-bad-news-for-apple-51572545922

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/showing-that-the-us-wont-hold-it-back-china-launches-commercial-5g-service/2019/10/31/4f2e64da-fb16-11e9-9e02-1d45cb3dfa8f_story.html

China’s big 3 mobile operators have 9 Million 5G subscribers in advance of the service; Barron’s: China to lead in 5G deployments

Zayo’s largest capacity wavelengths deal likely for cloud data center interconnection (DCI)

Zayo Group Holdings announced it has signed a deal for the largest amount of capacity sold on any fiber route in the company’s history.  The deal with the unnamed customer will provide approximately 5 terabits of capacity that can be used to connect mega scale data centers. While Zayo didn’t disclose the customer, large hyperscale cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Project, and webscale companies such as Facebook, seem to be likely candidates.

Zayo provides a 133,000-mile fiber network in the U.S., Canada and Europe.  Earlier this year it agreed to be acquired by affiliates of Digital Colony Partners and the EQT Infrastructure IV fund.  That deal is slated to close in the first half of next year.

“Our customers [1] are no longer talking gigabits — they’re talking terabits on multiple diverse routes,” said Julia Robin, senior vice president of Transport at Zayo. “Zayo’s owned infrastructure, scalable capacity on unique routes and ability to turn up services quickly positions us to be the provider of choice for high-capacity infrastructure.”

Note 1. Zayo’s primary customer segments include data centers, wireless carriers, national carriers, ISPs, enterprises and government agencies.

Image result for image of zayo's fiber optic network

Zayo to extend fiber-optic network in central Florida: The new fiber network infrastructure, comprising more than 2300 route miles, will open Tampa and Orlando as new markets for the fiber-optic network services company.

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Zayo’s extensive wavelength network provides dedicated bandwidth to major data centers, carrier hotels, cable landing stations and enterprise locations across our long-haul and metro networks. Zayo continues to invest in the network, adding new routes and optronics to eliminate local stops, reduce the distance between essential markets and minimize regeneration points. Options include express, ultra-low and low-latency routes and private dedicated networks.

Zayo says it “leverages its deep, dense fiber assets in almost all North American and Western European metro markets to deliver a premier metro wavelength offering. Increasingly, enterprises across multiple sectors including finance, retail, pharma and others, are leveraging this network for dedicated connectivity as they seek ways to have more control over their growing bandwidth needs.”

According to a report by market research firm IDC, data created, captured and replicated worldwide will be 175 zettabytes by 2025 and 30% of it will be in real time. A large chunk of that amount will be driven by webscale, content and cloud providers that require diverse, high capacity connections between their data centers. In order to provision high bandwidth amounts, service providers and webscale companies are turning to dedicated wavelength solutions.

Zayo’s wavelength network provides dedicated bandwidth to major data centers, carrier hotels, cable landing stations and enterprise locations across its long-haul and metro networks. Its communications infrastructure offerings include dark fiber, private data networks, wavelengths, Ethernet, dedicated internet access and data center co-location services. Zayo also owns and operates a Tier 1 IP backbone and 51 carrier-neutral data centers.

References:

https://investors.zayo.com/news-and-events/press-releases/press-release-details/2019/Zayo-Announces-Largest-Capacity-Wavelengths-Deal/default.aspx

For more information on Zayo, please visit zayo.com

https://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/zayo-lands-largest-wavelengths-deal-its-history-at-5-terabits

 

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