FCC: Verizon, T-Mobile, and US Cellular exaggerated 4G-LTE coverage maps + 5G Fund for Rural America

FCC Investigation finds that three wireless network operators exaggerated coverage maps for rural areas:

In its MOBILITY FUND PHASE II -COVERAGE MAPS INVESTIGATION report, the FCC concluded that: “that 4G-LTE coverage maps submitted by Verizon, U.S. Cellular and T-Mobile overstated their coverage and thus were not accurate reflections of actual coverage.”

As part of the Mobility Fund Phase II, mobile network providers were given U.S. federal support for deploying 4G-LTE services to rural and underserved areas. That initiative was supposed to bridge the digital divide between the served and underserved U.S. population.  As part of the agreement, the mobile providers were obliged to provide accurate coverage maps to ensure the federal government cash they were receiving was being spent to provide better coverage to their under-served and unserved customers.

The FCC said that U.S. mobile network providers are responsible for submitting accurate coverage maps in accordance with the Commission’s rules and orders. In response to these concerns and based upon a preliminary FCC staff review of the challenger data, the Commission launched an investigation into whether one or more major mobile network providers violated the requirements of the one-time collection of coverage data.

The investigation was led by the Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force in coordination with the Office of Economics and Analytics, Enforcement Bureau, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Wireline Competition Bureau, and the Office of Engineering and Technology. FCC staff initially requested information directly from several providers in order to understand providers’ mapping processes, and later issued subpoenas to Verizon and U.S. Cellular.

This FCC investigation discovered that the MF-II coverage maps submitted by Verizon, U.S. Cellular, and T-Mobile likely overstated each provider’s actual coverage and did not reflect on-the-ground performance in many instances.

Only 62.3% of staff drive tests achieved at least the minimum download speed predicted by the coverage maps—with U.S. Cellular achieving that speed in only 45.0% of such tests, T-Mobile in 63.2% of tests, and Verizon in 64.3% of tests. Similarly, staff stationary tests showed that each provider achieved sufficient download speeds meeting the minimum cell edge probability in fewer than half of all test locations (20 of 42).

In addition, FCC staff was unable to obtain any 4G LTE signal for 38% of drive tests on U.S. Cellular’s network, 21.3% of drive tests on T-Mobile’s network, and 16.2% of drive tests on Verizon’s network, despite each provider reporting coverage in the relevant area.

In other words, these three mobile network operators were not spending federal money as promised. Worse, is that they were effectively lying to the FCC and their subscribers (or potential subscribers) in the geographical areas with inaccurate coverage maps.

Image result for image for wireless in rural america

Astonishingly, the FCC does not currently have any plans to punish (via fine or reduce future subsidies) these three mobile operators.  Yet the FCC said that “inaccurate data jeopardize the ability of the Commission to focus our limited universal service funds on the unserved areas that need the most support.”

Instead of punishment, the FCC Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force made the following recommendations:

First, the Commission should terminate the MF-II Challenge Process. The MF-II coverage maps submitted by several providers are not a sufficiently reliable or accurate basis upon which to complete the challenge process as it was designed. The MF-II Challenge Process was designed to resolve coverage disputes regarding generally reliable maps; it was not designed to correct generally overstated coverage maps. 7.

Second, the Commission should release an Enforcement Advisory on broadband deployment data submissions, including a detailing of the penalties associated with filings that violate federal law, both for the continuing FCC Form 477 filings and the new Digital Opportunity Data Collection.

Editor’s Note: The Commission relies upon coverage maps submitted by providers in accordance with data collection rules and specifications adopted through notice and comment rulemakings. For almost two decades, the Commission has relied on FCC Form 477 to collect data on mobile services.

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Overstating mobile broadband coverage misleads the public and can misallocate our limited universal service funds, and thus it must be met with meaningful consequences.

Third, the Commission should analyze and verify the technical mapping data submitted in the most recent Form 477 filings of Verizon, U.S. Cellular, and T-Mobile to determine whether they meet the Form 477 requirements.

Fourth, the Commission should adopt policies, procedures, and standards in the Digital Opportunity Data Collection rulemaking and elsewhere that allow for submission, verification, and timely publication of mobile broadband coverage data. Mobile broadband coverage data specifications should include, among other parameters, minimum reference signal received power (RSRP) and/or minimum downlink and uplink speeds, standard cell loading factors and cell edge coverage probabilities, maximum terrain and clutter bin sizes, and standard fading statistics. Providers should be required to submit actual on-the-ground evidence of network performance (e.g., speed test measurement samplings, including targeted drive test and stationary test data) that validate the propagation model used to generate the coverage maps. The Commission should consider requiring that providers assume the minimum values for any additional parameters that would be necessary to accurately determine the area where a handset should achieve download and upload speeds no less than the minimum throughput requirement for any modeling that includes such a requirement.

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In a call with reporters, a senior FCC official said that commission staff was unable to determine whether the carriers’ exaggerations were deliberate. The official said that the investigation did not establish a clear violation of a specific rule. The FCC official said that maps submitted by carriers were based on industry-standard propagation models and that the FCC’s own tests made it clear that those industry models do not reflect on-the-ground experience.

U.S. Cellular said it had warned that the FCC’s directions for the coverage maps would result in overstated coverage, and said the staff report comes as “no surprise.”

The company “faithfully implemented” the FCC’s requirements for the coverage maps it submitted but recognizes “better and more accurate maps are necessary,” said Grant Spellmeyer, vice president of federal affairs and public policy for the carrier.

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FCC to Launch $9 billion 5G Fund for Rural America:

In a related press release, the FCC will create a new fund which will make $9 billion available to ensure 5G connectivity reaches underserved areas that have been largely neglected by the large nationwide U.S. wireless operators.

“5G has the potential to bring many benefits to American consumers and businesses, including wireless networks that are more responsive, more secure, and up to 100 times faster than today’s 4G LTE networks,” said Chairman Pai in the aforementioned press release. He added:

“We want to make sure that rural Americans enjoy these benefits, just as residents of large urban areas will. In order to do that, the Universal Service Fund must be forward-looking and support the networks of tomorrow. Moreover, America’s farms and ranches have unique wireless connectivity needs, as I’ve seen across the country. That’s why I will move forward as quickly as possible to establish a 5G Fund that would bring next-generation 5G services to rural areas and would reserve some of that funding for 5G networks that promote precision agriculture. We must ensure that 5G narrows rather than widens the digital divide and that rural Americans receive the benefits that come from wireless innovation.”

The new 5G Fund would replace the planned Mobility Fund Phase II, which would have provided federal support for 4G LTE service in unserved areas. Pursuant to the Mobility Fund Phase II rules, wireless providers were required to submit 4G LTE coverage data in order to help the Commission target federal subsidies to unserved parts of the country.

Editor’s Note:

The smaller, rural wireless network providers (some of whom use Huawei gear) have long complained the nationwide, larger wireless operators were exaggerating coverage maps. These coverage maps helped the FCC determine who should get a slice of the $4.5 billion reserved for the Mobility Fund Phase II fund.

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Questions to Ponder:

What is being done to make sure the same abuses do not reoccur in the new 5G Fund for Rural America

Can these three telco exaggerators be trusted to appropriately spend their allocation of the $9 billion moving forward? 

Is FCC enforcement a thing of the past, now that net neutrality is gone?

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Closing Quote:

Michael Copps, Former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Adviser had this to say:

“With its latest announcement to deploy 5G in rural America, the FCC continues its smoke and mirrors show to cover up the poor state of broadband deployment in the nation.

“First, many parts of the country – both urban and rural – lack 4G or any type of wireless connectivity at all. The FCC has systematically failed to address the wireless broadband needs of many communities but chooses to put the cart before the horse with another announcement on 5G.

“Second, the FCC buries the real story in its announcement – wireless carriers have greatly exaggerated their coverage maps, helping paint an inaccurate picture of who has access to broadband. The FCC has known the maps have been bad for quite some time but chose to do nothing. Even with its latest findings that carriers lied about coverage maps, the FCC has not leveled any fines or held the companies accountable in any way. This points to a larger problem regarding the FCC’s failure to provide the public with granular and accurate broadband maps. If we can’t even determine who does and does not have access to broadband, we can’t sufficiently close the digital divide.

Third, the agency is seemingly not providing any new funding to deploy 5G. Rather, it is terminating the current funding mechanism to deploy 4G only to open a new one for 5G. Moving a pot of money around shows that the FCC lacks a clear strategy and vision to deploy 5G nationwide. It is these kinds of zig-zags and diversions on broadband that make our country such an outlier when it comes to broadband penetration.”

References:

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-361165A1.pdf

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-361168A1.pdf

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/12/fcc-tries-to-bury-finding-that-verizon-and-t-mobile-exaggerated-4g-coverage/

https://telecoms.com/501286/verizon-t-mobile-and-us-cellular-lied-on-4g-coverage-but-will-get-away-with-it/

https://www.commoncause.org/press-release/fccs-9b-rural-5g-fund-insufficient-hides-poor-state-of-broadband-deployment/

GSA Report: Spectrum Above 6 GHz & related FCC Activity

Executive Summary:

GSA’s latest report provides a snapshot of the global status of national usage of spectrum above 6 GHz for 5G services. It is part of a series of reports which separately also cover spectrum bands below 1 GHz and between 1 GHz and 6 GHz. This report reflects a market that is in constant flux (which this author has repeatedly stated would be the case till the most important IMT 2020 recommendations have been approved by ITU-R and ITU-T).

Key statistics:

  • Sixty-seven operators in 13 countries hold licences enabling operation of 5G networks using mmWave spectrum.
  • Fourteen operators are known to be deploying 5G networks using mmWave spectrum.
  • Fourteen countries have announced formal (date-specified) plans for allocating frequencies above 6 GHz between now and end-2021.
  • Fifty-nine announced 5G devices explicitly support one or more of the 5G spectrum bands above 6 GHz (though note that details of spectrum support is patchy for pre-commercial devices). Eleven of those devices are known to be commercially available.

5G deployments in bands above 6 GHz:

Spectrum bands above 6 GHz are being explicitly opened up to enable provision of 5G services. GSA is aware of the following usage for 5G. The 24250–29500 MHz range covering the overlapping bands n257 (26500–29500 MHz), n258 (24250–27500 MHz) and n261 (27500–28350 MHz) has been the most-used 5G mmWave spectrum range to date:

  • 113 operators in 39 countries are investing in pre-standard 5G (in the form of trials, licences, deployments or operational networks) across this spectrum range.
  • 66 operators are licensed to deploy 5G in this range.
  • 12 operators are understood to be actively deploying 5G networks using spectrum above 6 GHz.
  • Eight operators in seven countries have reported running 5G tests/trials at 15 GHz.
  • One operator has reported running 5G tests/trials at 18 GHz.
  • Band n260, covering 37–40 GHz, is also already being used, with three companies in the USA actively deploying networks using this spectrum.
  • Thirteen operators in eleven countries have been evaluating/ testing/trialling 5G using spectrum from 66 GHz to 76 GHz.
  • GSA has identified four operators that have run tests/trials using spectrum from 81 GHz to 87 GHz.

Figure 1: Use of 5G spectrum between 24.25 GHz and 29.5 GHz, countries plotted by status of most advanced operator activities

At WRC-2019 in November, delegates identifi ed several new frequency ranges for IMT and IMT-2020 (5G). These encompassed many of the existing 3GPP specified bands plus some new spectrum ranges:
• 24.25–27.5 GHz

• 37–43.5 GHz

• 45.5–47 GHz

• 47.2–48.2 GHz

• 66–71 GHz.

Other spectrum being considered by national regulators and international standards bodies, or that has been used in operator trials, is between the 71–86 GHz range.

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5G device support for bands above 6 GHz:

5G device support for spectrum bands above 6 GHz is still at an early stage. GSA’s GAMBoD database includes 59 announced 3GPP compliant 5G devices that do or will support mmWave spectrum bands. Eleven of those are commercially available. The numbers of devices identified as supporting specific bands is much lower, as details of spectrum support is patchy for pre-commercial devices.

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USA (Federal Communications Commission (FCC)):

In the USA, any bands already used for mobile service can also be deployed for 5G; FCC doesn’t require any particular technology and the choice is driven by carriers. This means multiple historic auctions are relevant for 5G including but not limited to those for spectrum at 28 GHz (March 1998 and May 1999) and 39 GHz (May 2000).

The FCC is currently undertaking a range of activities with a view to opening up extra spectrum for mobile use. In 2016, the FCC adopted its Upper Microwave Flexible Use Rules to make spectrum at 28 GHz, upper 37 GHz and 39 GHz available (including for 5G). Then the new Spectrum Frontier order dated 16 November 2017 put in place plans to open up an additional 1.7 GHz of mmWave spectrum in the 24 GHz and 47 GHz bands for fl exible terrestrial wireless use. FCC also enabled use of spectrum between 64 GHz and 71 GHz by unlicensed devices (subject to restrictions).

In October 2018, the Commission issued a notice of proposed rules that would open up the 5.925–6.425 GHz and 6.425–7.125 GHz bands for unlicensed use, subject to establishing a mechanism to prevent interference with incumbent services. It specifi cally anticipates – depending upon the part of the spectrum concerned – the use of low or standard power WiFi or variants of LTE for indoor or outdoor use.

The FCC has been running auctions of spectrum in the 24 GHz and 28 GHz bands. The auction of spectrum at 28 GHz (27.5–28.35 GHz) completed in January 2019, with bids totalling more than $700 million. Thirty-three bidders won 2965 licences.

The auction of spectrum at 24 GHz (24.25–24.45 GHz and 24.75–25.25 GHz) ended in May 2019 raising $2.02 billion in net bids. Twenty-nine bidders won 2904 licences.

In June 2018, FCC announced that it is also considering making an additional 2.75 GHz of the 26 GHz and 42 GHz bands available for 5G. In December 2018, FCC announced an incentive auction (Auction 103) covering spectrum at 37 GHz (37.6–38.6 GHz), 39 GHz (38.6–40 GHz) and 47 GHz (47.2–48.2 GHz) in order to free up more spectrum for 5G. Under the incentive auction, existing rights holders in those bands can choose either to relinquish their rights in exchange for a share of the auction revenue or alternatively receive modifi ed licences after the auction consistent with a new band plan and service rules.

Auctions for 37 GHz, 39 GHz and 47 GHz bands are planned by the end of 2019. Procedures for reconfiguring the 39 GHz band, enabling existing licensees to relinquish or modify their licences were published in March 2019. Technical guides for bidding procedures were published in April 2019, along with the announcement of a process for sharing the spectrum at 37 GHz with the Department of Defense. Timelines for the reconfiguration of existing rights were published in June 2019.

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Planned 5G auctions and their dates:

Fourteen countries have announced formal (date-specifi ed) plans for allocating mmWave frequencies between now and end-2021. A few other auctions/ allocations are timetabled to happen from 2022 onwards. Many countries are still deciding whether and when to hold auctions/ allocations for spectrum above 6 GHz.

Summary:

Spectrum above 6 GHz, and in particular mmWave spectrum, has rapidly become important for mobile telecoms. It is clear, with the number of spectrum awards expected over the coming years, and the agreement of new mmWave spectrum bands at WRC-19, the investment in these spectrum bands by operators and commitments to launch compatible devices by vendors, that the importance of spectrum above 6 GHz is going to continue to grow. GSA will continue to track this trend. This report will be next updated in early 2020.

 

 

 

 

Qualcomm Unveils Roadmap for 5G in 2020 at Snapdragon Tech Summit

During the first day of the annual Snapdragon Tech Summit in Hawaii, Qualcomm Incorporated President, Cristiano Amon said that 2020 will be the year for mainstream 5G (that’s before any part of IMT 2020 standard is finalized) and provide more consumers around the world with 5G’s multi-gigabit speeds. The new Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 5G mobile platforms were said to define what is possible in flagship smartphones while enabling broad based 5G adoption across the growing number of commercial 5G networks.

“5G will open new and exciting opportunities to connect, compute, and communicate in ways we’ve yet to imagine and we are happy to be a key player driving the adoption of 5G around the world,” said Amon. “Our Snapdragon 5G mobile platforms announced today will continue to show leadership in the industry and deliver on the promise of scaling 5G in 2020.”

“One year ago, we were talking 5G future. In 2019, we’ll be talking about 5G,” said Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s president. Forty operators and forty OEMs across the world are investing in 5G, he said. By 2021, there will be more than 2.8 billion subscribers, with more to come he said.

Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., unveiled two new 5G Snapdragon mobile platforms to lead and scale 5G and AI in 2020. The flagship Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform, which includes the Snapdragon X55 Modem-RF System, is the world’s most advanced, global 5G platform, designed to deliver unmatched connectivity and performance for the next generation of flagship devices. The Snapdragon 765/765G bring integrated 5G connectivity, AI processing and select Qualcomm® Snapdragon Elite Gaming™ experiences. We expect Snapdragon 865 and 765/765G to power the most advanced Android-based smartphones launching in 2020 – regardless of whether users are in 5G or 4G coverage. Full platform details will be shared tomorrow.

Katouzian also introduced our first family of mobile platform-based modules, the Snapdragon 865 and 765 Modular Platforms. These modular platforms are products of an end-to-end strategy to empower the industry with the tools needed to scale 5G with ease, offering our customers lower development costs while also more quickly commercializing products with new industrial designs for mobile and IoT devices. The first carriers announcing support of the certification program for Snapdragon Modular Platforms are Verizon and Vodafone, with more expected in 2020.

Qualcomm Snapdragon

Quotes from Partner Companies (mostly customers) at the Snapdragon Summit:

“Given its role to date in helping advance the global 5G ecosystem, I’m excited to see Qualcomm Technologies announce plans for mobile platform-based modules designed to further scale products across the industry,” said Nicki Palmer, chief product development officer, Verizon. She added, “the Snapdragon Tech Summit is a great venue for ecosystem partners to collaborate and for Verizon to share our vision of where 5G will make the greatest impact on society.”

“5G is a focus for the entire Lenovo organization – from network infrastructure to personal devices, being the first to launch a 5G smartphone and preview a 5G PC,” said Sergio Buniac, president, Motorola. “As the mobile arm, Motorola will continue leading the 5G era with our expanded lineup of 5G solutions in 2020 — driven by the high-performing Snapdragon 765 and 865 Mobile Platforms, re-invigorating our place in the premium flagship space.”

“The 5G era opens up new opportunities and challenges. It brings great innovations and redefines how users interact with devices, audio, and video applications. The next generation of “Super Internet” will be an all-new model that combines 5G + AI + IoT, and Xiaomi will be at the forefront of this, developing and bringing 5G smartphones to the masses,” said Bin Lin, co-founder, vice chairman, Xiaomi Corporation. “In 2020 Q1, Xiaomi is proud to announce that we will be introducing our flagship Mi 10 – one of the world’s first smartphones to feature the flagship Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform.”

“OPPO and Qualcomm Technologies have maintained a close and strong collaboration, and today we are honored to witness the launch of Qualcomm Technologies’ latest 5G mobile platforms and be part of its global commercialized plan. In 2020 Q1, OPPO will launch its flagship product using the Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform, together bringing a faster and superior 5G experience to users. In the era of 5G and intelligent connectivity, OPPO will continue to invest in 5G products, research, standard development and application scenarios, with Qualcomm Technologies and other partners in the industry, to bring more 5G values and possibilities to users around the world,” said Alen Wu, vice president and president of global sales, OPPO.

“Our highest priority for 2020 is making 5G more accessible – bringing an affordable yet premium grade, future proof 5G experience for the best possible performance in NSA and SA networks with the Snapdragon 765 Mobile Platform,” said Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer, HMD Global. “Aside from being an excellent mobile platform for best-in-class 5G connectivity, Snapdragon 765 mobile platform allows us to offer breakthrough entertainment capabilities combined with our PureDisplay technology, and our unique ZEISS powered imaging solutions that enable fans to create and share amazing content over 5G.

We also congratulate Qualcomm Technologies on the announcement of its Snapdragon Modular Platform. This innovative approach to making 5G more accessible to OEMs will dramatically streamline the development process and we look forward to exploring possibilities of working with Qualcomm Technologies on this exciting platform.”

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This year’s Snapdragon Tech Summit keynotes are being live streamed daily Dec 3, 4 and 5 at 9:00 a.m. HST (11:00 a.m. PST / 2:00 p.m. EST / 7:00 p.m. GMT at www.qualcomm.com/snapdragontechsummit

Reference:

https://www.qualcomm.com/news/releases/2019/12/03/annual-snapdragon-tech-summit-qualcomm-unveils-roadmap-bringing-5g

https://www.pcworld.com/article/3481783/qualcomms-next-gen-snapdragon-865-mobile-chip-focuses-on-5g.html

 

 

 

India: Low mobile tariffs end; Big 3 Telcos increase rates by 40-50%

by CanIndia New Wire Service (edited for accuracy and clarity by Alan J Weissberger)

The long honeymoon for India telecom subscribers has come to an end as all the three private wireless telecom network providers — Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Jio — on Sunday announced pre-paid tariff plans with 40-50 per cent higher rates.  The hike comes after three years and amid the acute financial stress the sector is going through after a Supreme Court ruling on adjusted gross revenue. The hikes, however, come with enhanced data and other benefits.

Editor’s Note:

India is currently the world’s second-largest telecommunications market (China is number 1) with a subscriber base of 1.20 billion and has registered strong growth in the past decade and half. The Indian mobile economy is growing rapidly and will contribute substantially to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to report prepared by GSM Association (GSMA) in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). As of January 2019, India has experienced a 165 per cent growth in app downloads in the past two years.

Image result for images: telecom in India

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Reliance Jio, the last one to announce a revised rates on Sunday, said it would raise tariffs by up to 40 per cent. “Jio will be introducing new ‘all-in-one’ plans with unlimited voice and data. These plans will have a fair usage policy for calls to other mobile networks. The new plans will be effective from December 6,” Jio said.

“The new ‘all-in-one’ plans will be priced up to 40 per cent higher, staying true to its promise of being ‘customer-first’, Jio customers will get up to 300 per cent more benefits,” it said.

Airtel’s new rates will be effective from December 3. After December 3, the Rs 129 pack for 28 days with unlimited calling, 300 SMS, and 2GB data would cost Rs 148, it said.

A major hike is witnessed in Airtel’s Rs 998 plan with 336-day validity, unlimited calling, 3,600 SMSs and 12GB data. It would be replaced by a Rs 1,498 plan, marking 50 per cent rise, with 24GB data and 365-day validity.  The users of Rs 1,699 plan would have to pay Rs 2,398, which is an increase of 41 per cent. It would continue to offer unlimited calling, 100 SMS and 1.5GB data per day.  Airtel had merged Rs 169 and Rs 199 plans for 28 days to offer a Rs 248 plan with same benefits — unlimited calling, 100 SMS and 1.5GB data a day.

The Rs 249 plan, which offered unlimited calls, 100 SMS and 2GB data a day, would now cost Rs 298. The Rs 448 and 499 plans for 82 days would now cost Rs 598 and Rs 698 for 84 days.

“Airtel’s new plans represent tariff increases in the range of 50 paise a day to Rs 2.85 a day and offer generous data and calling benefits. Airtel also provides exclusive benefits as part of the Airtel Thanks platform, which enables access to premium content from Airtel Xstream (10,000 movies, exclusive shows and 400 TV channels), Wynk Music, device protection, anti-virus protection and much more,” it said.

The revised Vodafone Idea tariffs too would come into effect from December 3. It has launched ‘First Recharge Packs’ where the four first recharge packs will cost Rs 97 with Rs 45 talk time, 100MB data and voice calls charged at 1 paisa per second along with 28 days validity. Other plans include Rs 197, Rs 297 and Rs 647. They offer up to 1.5GB data a day and unlimited ‘on-net’ calling for 84 days.

Vodafone Idea announced that the ‘on-net’ voice calls would be billed at 6 paise per minute. The ‘on-net’ voice calls after the provided FUP limit will be charged 6 paise per minute, similar to Reliance Jio. It is also providing bundled ‘on-net’ minutes, whereas Jio will be charging customers for IUC ‘top-up’ vouchers.

In unlimited packs with 28-day validity are — Rs 149 plan with unlimited voice (FUP of 1,000 minutes for off-net calls), 2GB data, 300 SMS; Rs 249 plan with unlimited voice (FUP of 1,000 minutes for off-net calls), 1.5GB data, 100 SMS per day.

The company has removed the All Rounder packs and introduced two Combo Vouchers of Rs 49 and Rs 79 with 28-day validity. It has announced new prepaid plans with 2 days, 28 days, 84 days, 365 days validity, and broadly compared with existing plans of similar nature. However, new plans are costlier up to 42 per cent.

Vodafone Idea had earlier said it would increase tariff in December. The announcement has come in the backdrop of its highest quarterly loss of Rs 50,922 crore.

It’s now expected that the state-run BSNL could also hike tariffs. The government and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) have made it clear that there will be no floor rate for voice or data and the telcos would have to thrash out pricing among themselves to cover up losses.

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References:

The original (unedited) article was first published at:

Low tariff regime over, telcos up rates by 40-50% (Roundup)

Also see:

Mobile call, internet to become costlier in India by up to 50% from Dec 3rd

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/biggest-telecom-tariff-hike-to-bring-40-higher-bills/72324808

ZTE and China Telecom: 5G network test on a high speed train; Uplink enhancement FAST verification

5G network test on a high speed train:

ZTE and China Telecom have jointly launched the world’s first commercial 5G maglev (magnetic levitation) high-speed network test in Shanghai, China. The test measured communications within a train travelling at a maximum speed of 500KM/h. During the test, the 5G commercial terminal was stable and easy to support various high performance mobile broadband services, demonstrating that the 5G network can provide high-speed maglev trains with ideal broadband communications.

Shanghai Maglev is the world’s first maglev line for commercial operation and at present it is also the fastest commercial high-speed train. It has been a business card for Shanghai and even for China since its operation. Built by China Telecom and ZTE together, the 5G network uses a full set of ZTE 5G system equipment, perfectly enabling passengers to get high-speed data access on a quick journey and enjoy services like mobile working, video conferencing, HD/UHD video or interactive games, ensuring a brand-new communication experience.

Due to special scenario restrictions, providing high-quality network coverage for high-speed trains has always been a challenge for both operators and equipment vendors. When a 5G network is deployed in a higher frequency than 2G, 3G and 4G networks, the situation will be even less ideal. To solve these problems, ZTE and China Telecom have made breakthroughs in multiple aspects by constantly challenging the technical limits through technological discussions and tests. With proprietary doppler frequency shift channel compensation technology, wireless channel deterioration caused by high-speed movement is eliminated. The solution can support a moving speed of over 500 KM/h, meeting the speed requirements of various high-speed trains. Besides, Multi-RRU (Remote Radio Unit) combination can realize single cell 6-12km belt shape coverage, reduce 90 percent of inter-cell handover and ensure continuous and stable access. Compared with the traditional 2T2R solution, ZTE is the first to introduce 8T8R RRU for high-speed railway coverage in the 5G industry. Multi-channel equipment, combined with 5G featured channels and beam scanning technology, can enhance the coverage significantly. It is also worth mentioning that the solution is implemented through technical innovation at the base station network side and has no special requirements for terminals.

The 5G network solution used for the Shanghai Maglev line can provide a complete set of network equipment for HSR (High Speed Rail) broadband communication. The radio units can support global mainstream 5G bands like N41 and N78. The top speed of Shanghai Maglev train is the highest among commercial trains in the world, which implies that this 5G network solution can be applied to various high-speed railways and maglev lines worldwide and has great market potential.

Over the years, ZTE and China Telecom have jointly provided broadband information channels for high-speed rail transit. LTE coverage has been deployed for multiple high-speed railway lines, which was highly appraised by users. Going forward, the two parties will continue to optimize the commercial performance of the 5G networks and steadily promote tests and verification according to specific service characteristics to facilitate ubiquitous high-speed broadband access.

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ZTE, China Telecom Partner to Build 5G-powered Industrial Service Platform

Uplink enhancement FAST verification:

On November 27th, ZTE announced a partnership with China Telecom to complete the verification of the industry’s first FAST (FDD Assists Super TDD) solution at 2.1GHz and 3.5GHz in Shenzhen, China.   Based on China Telecom’s uplink enhancement technology, this solution enables spectrum to reach its full potential by integrating time and frequency domains and constructing high-quality 5G networks with excellent performance and coverage.

Editor’s Note:  FDD=Frequency Division Duplexing;   TDD= Time Division Duplexing

China Telecom’s innovation of the “uplink enhancement” concept enhances the 5G uplink by using low frequency bands, such as 1.8GHz and 2.1GHz, to improve 5G network coverage and performance. For China Telecom’s existing 2.1GHz FDD and 3.5GHz TDD bands, ZTE and China Telecom has launched the uplink enhancement FAST (FDD Assists Super TDD) solution.
Based on the complementary qualities of TDD and FDD, in 3.5GHz weak uplink area, the terminal can transmit data at a high speed based on the 2.1 GHz frequency band. In addition, it can continue to make use of the advantages of 3.5GHz in bandwidth and large-scale array antennas to benefit from the downlink ultra-high rate.

In other areas with quality 3.5GHz coverage, the potential of 2.1GHz and 3.5GHz frequency bands can be fully utilized. This enables the terminal to transmit uplink data, in conventional UL CA mode, via three channels on two frequency bands at the same time. In the time domain, all the uplink frequency bands of FDD are fully utilized.
In addition, by deeply analyzing the features of frequency division duplex at 2.1GHz and time division duplex at 3.5GHz, the innovative CA with transmission mode switching in time domain, is based on multiple uplink carriers for time division transmission. This makes the full use of downlink timeslot resources.

To make the most effective use of the uplink resources of TDD and FDD, the terminals that only support two Tx-channel transmissions can flexibly switch between two channels of NR 3.5GHz and one channel of FDD 2.1GHz. At the same time, the downlink throughput can be improved in the FDD and TDD band aggregation mode, so that the best performance can be obtained in the uplink and downlink directions in the complicated wireless environment.

The test shows that, the uplink rate of a single user can be up to 40% higher than that of a single carrier (3.5GHz) when time division multiplexing (CA) is used. When conventional UL CA is used, the maximum increase of the single-user uplink rate is 60%. In addition, through high and low-frequency aggregation, the downlink user experience rate in both conditions can be increased by 20%, compared with a 3.5GHz single carrier.

In the future, ZTE will continue to partner with China Telecom to explore the application of new 5G technologies and functions in commercial networks, improve network quality, build 4G and 5G top-quality networks and provide better network services.
ZTE is a provider of advanced telecommunications systems, mobile devices, and enterprise technology solutions to consumers, operators, companies and public sector customers. As a part of ZTE’s strategy, the company is committed to providing customers with integrated end-to-end innovations to deliver excellence and values as the telecommunications and information technology sectors converge. Listed in the stock exchanges of Hong Kong and Shenzhen (H share stock code: 0763.HK / A share stock code: 000063.SZ), ZTE sells its products and services in more than 160 countries.

To date, ZTE has obtained 35 commercial 5G contracts in major markets, such as Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (MEA). ZTE commits 10 percent of its annual revenues to research and development and takes leadership roles in international standard-setting organizations.

References:

https://www.zte.com.cn/global/about/news/20191129e1.html

https://www.zte.com.cn/global/about/news/20191127e1.html

ZTE, China Telecom and China Unicom complete 5G co-build, co-share verification

Posted in 5G Tagged

T-Mobile Netherlands: The Hague is ‘5G-ready’; Tests completed in 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands

T-Mobile Netherlands announced on its website (in Dutch) that its mobile network in The Hague is now ‘fully equipped for 5G’ and will be ready to offer city-wide access to 5G services ‘immediately’ after the upcoming frequency auction expected by spring 2020.

Technical testing of the 5G infrastructure in the Hague has been completed using experimental frequency permits for the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands.

“Various innovative 5G-IoT applications in the field of care, safety and mobility will be realized in the coming period,” T-Mobile said.

5G_Press_Release_NL

As noted above, T-Mobile plans to participate in the Netherlands spectrum auction next Spring, and assuming it acquires the necessary spectrum, it will then open up access then to the 5G network within the entire country. That would enable T-Mobile to create a national 5G network in 2020, leaping ahead of rival KPN. A quick roll-out of 5G was one of the promises made by T-Mobile as part of its takeover of Tele2 Netherlands at the start of this year.

The global network operator has been working with the municipality of The Hague to prepare for the 5G launch. At its Living Lab Scheveningen, T-Mobile has various projects underway with local partners in the health, security and mobility sectors. These are expected to help develop general business cases for 5G applications.

The European Commission has called for each EU country to have at least one 5G city in 2020. T-Mobile has upgraded its network throughout the city. KPN also announced recently that The Hague is the first city with its new radio network from Huawei. This means KPN also will be able to start 5G quickly there, once the 700 MHz band is available.

References:

https://newsroom.t-mobile.nl/netwerk-den-haag-als-eerste-in-nederland-klaar-voor-5g/

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/t-mobile-says-network-ready-to-launch-5g-in-the-hague–1318043

 

SK Telecom Selects Ericsson 5G Packet Core (3GPP Release 16- 5GC)

SK Telecom has selected Ericsson to deliver a Cloud Packet Core for its 5G network. Ericsson says its Cloud Packet Core (part of the company’s Cloud Core portfolio) helps service providers to smoothly migrate to 5G Core (5GC) stand-alone architecture.

Author’s Note:

Please see below for more information on 3GPP 5GC which is part of Release 16 and as yet has not been submitted to either ITU-R or ITU-T for IMT 2020 mobile packet core.  There seems to be no independent work on a 5G mobile packet core within ITU, which is evidently waiting anxiously for 3GPP Release 16 to be completed and forwarded to various ITU-R WPs and ITU-T Study Groups.

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Ericsson’s Cloud Packet Core is at the business end of mobile broadband and IoT networks. It creates value, visibility and control of traffic and applications by determining the optimal quality of a service, then enforcing it through appropriate policy.

Jung Chang-kwan, Vice President and Head of Infra Engineering Group, SK Telecom, says: “By utilizing Ericsson’s Cloud Packet Core network solution, which realizes simplified network operations, we will unleash the full potential of new 5G-enabled use cases with greater efficiency.”

Jan Karlsson, Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Services, Ericsson, says: “This deal, and the opportunity to work with SK Telecom’s Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI), has put us in the ideal position to further strengthen their 5G network. Delivering our Cloud Packet Core solution will positively impact SK Telecom’s network operations and will reinforce Ericsson’s position as a leader in 5G core.”

SK Telecom switched on its commercial 5G network in December 2018 after selecting Ericsson as one of its primary 5G vendors. Previously, Ericsson provided radio access network (RAN) products, including mid-band Massive MIMO.

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3GPP 5GC (the only specification for a 5G mobile packet core):

The 5GC (5G packet Core), specified in 3GPP TS 23.501, will be part of 3GPP Release 16 which won’t be completed till mid 2020 at the earliest. The network evolution from EPC to 5G core plays a central role in creating a powerful network platform that is capable of being exposed and automated for service providers.

5GC has been designed from its inception to be “cloud native”, that is inheriting many of the technology solutions used in cloud computing and with virtualization at its core.  Virtualization of network functions enables  5GC to be redesigned and become open and flexible enough
to meet the diversity of service and business requirement in 5G era.

5GC also offers superior network slicing and QoS features. Another important characteristic is the separation of the control plane and user plane that besides adding flexibility in connecting the users also allows an easier way to support a multitude of access technologies, better support for network slicing and edge computing.

5GC proposes a service based architecture  (SBA), which provides unprecedented efficiency and flexibility for the network. SBA is an architectural for building system based on fine-grained, interaction of loosely coupled and autonomous components called services. This architecture model is chosen to take full advantage of the latest virtualization and software technologies.

Service-based architectures have been in use in the software industry to improve the modularity of products. A software product can be broken down into communicating services. With this approach, the developers can mix and match services from different vendors into a single product.

Compared to the previous generation reference point architecture as EPC, the elements of service based architecture are defined to be the NF (network functions), which interconnect with the rest network functions across a single API calling interface and provide the authorized services to them. Network repository functions (NRF) allows every network function to discover the services offered by other network functions. A service is an atomized capability in a 5G network, with the characteristics of high-cohesion, loose-coupling, and independent management from other services. This allows individual services to be updated independently with minimal impact to other services and deployed on demand. A service is managed based on the service framework including service registration, service authorization, and service discovery. It provides a comprehensive and highly automated management mechanism implemented by NRF, which greatly reduces the complexity of network maintenance. A service will interact with other services in a light-weight manner, e.g. API invocation.

Virtualization and cloud computing have resulted in lowering the cost of computing by pooling resources in shared data centers.

  • 5G core networks can be shrunk in size by using virtualization. Varies components of the core network can be run as communicating virtual machines.
  • Moving the control plane of the 5G core network to a cloud provider lowers the deployment cost.

The 5G core is a mesh of interconnected services as shown in the figure below:

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Ericsson Addendum:

According to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Reportpublished earlier this week, global 5G subscriptions will exceed 2.6bn within the next six years and by that time Ericsson predicts that 5G will cover 65 percent of the world. It also believes that total mobile subscriptions, including to previous generation networks, will reach 8.9bn from 8bn over the next six years. More than quarter of the global subscriptions will be 5G by 2025 and will account for around 45 percent of worldwide mobile data traffic.

Additionally, Ericsson has also announced its partnership with NVIDIA in order to develop technologies that will enable communication service providers to build virtualized 5G radio access networks, which will boost the introduction of new AI and IoT-based services. The ultimate focus will be to commercialize virtualized RAN technologies to offer radio networks with flexibility and ability to enter the market in a shorter time for new services like VR, AR and gaming.

References:

https://www.ericsson.com/en/press-releases/2019/11/ericssons-cloud-packet-core-to-strengthen-sk-telecoms-5g-network2

https://www.gsma.com/futurenetworks/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Road-to-5G-Introduction-and-Migration_FINAL.pdf

https://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-t/opb/tut/T-TUT-HOME-2018-2-PDF-E.pdf

https://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/archive/23_series/23.501/

https://www.ericsson.com/en/portfolio/digital-services/cloud-core/cloud-packet-core

https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/ericsson-and-verizon-claim-worlds-first-cloud-native-tech-on-live-core/2019/07/

https://medium.com/5g-nr/5g-service-based-architecture-sba-47900b0ded0a

 

Siemens & Qualcomm create private 5G network for industrial applications

Siemens and Qualcomm have set up a private standalone 5G wireless network for industrial applications in a test center in Nuremberg, Germany.  The test center network uses 5G NR (data plane) over the 3.7-3.8 GHz band to connect Simatic control systems and IO devices.  It enables Siemens and Qualcomm Technologies to test technologies, solve problems, and come up with solutions for the future of private wireless applications in industrial settings. Qualcomm Technologies set up 5G industrial test devices along with a 5G standalone test network that includes a 5G core network and 5G base station with remote radio head. Siemens provided the actual industrial setup including Simatic control systems and IO devices.

“We are excited to announce our 5G private network proof-of-concept collaboration project with Siemens. This project will provide invaluable real-world learnings that both companies can apply to future deployments and marks an important key milestone as 5G moves into industrial automation,” said Enrico Salvatori, Senior Vice President, Qualcomm Europe, Inc. & President, Qualcomm Europe/MEA. “Combining our 5G connectivity capabilities with Siemens’ deep industry know-how will help us deploy technologies, refine solutions, and work to make the smart industrial future a reality.”

Using the network in the test center, vehicle makers can see automated guided vehicles interact live. The intention is to “drive forward the development and technical implementation of private 5G networks in the industrial sector,” said Eckard Eberle, CEO of process automation at Siemens.

In the course of this joint research effort at the Siemens Automotive Test Center, currently available industrial technologies such as OPC UA and Profinet will be tested and evaluated – technologies that require a 5G private network in order to work. In Germany, private networks can use the local broadband spectrum from 3.7-3.8 GHz, which has been reserved for industrial usage in local deployments. These private networks allow industrial sites to control and manage their own networks as they see fit, allowing for high reliability, low latency, and the ability to reconfigure the network to suit changing needs while at the same time keeping data onsite for added security.

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Qualcomm Technologies and Siemens have a longstanding technical collaboration focused on cooperation in wireless technologies. This has resulted in over 15 years of success and the development of Siemens’ unique Scalance portfolio of industrial wireless products. With Qualcomm Technologies’ leading expertise in 5G technologies, this collaboration continues to evolve —leading into the first 5G private standalone network in an industrial environment using the 3.7-3.8GHz band. This allows solutions to be tested and developed which the industry will be able to use with the upcoming Release 16 of the 5G standard.

The two  companies are also exhibiting elsewhere in Nuremberg, Germany at the Smart Production Solutions (SPS) 2019 conference that continues this week.  At SPS, Qualcomm joined with Bosch Rexroth to showcase time-synchronized industrial devices over a live 5G network.

Time-sensitive networking (TSN) over 5G will provide greater flexibility for factory operations, said Yongbin Wei, vice president of engineering at Qualcomm. The company is planning to demonstrate full 5G TSN in the next 3GPP release 16 in 2020.

Bosch Rexroth makes a ctrlX Automation platform so that industrial machine makers can pick between real-time wired industrial Ethernet or real-time 5G wireless as needed, without having to change the machine application.

Elsewhere at SPS, STMicroelectronics and maxon showed off a $129 industrial servo control development kit for drives, robotics and automation. Called the Evalkit-Robot-1, it is designed to help users work with precise positioning and motion in servo drives and robotics. A maxon 100-watt motor with a built-in encoder is included in the kit as well as an intelligent three-phase motor controller with an inverter stage that includes ST power transistors.

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The one area of the globe currently leading the way with 5G is Europe, said Sebastiano Di Filippo, senior director, business development for Qualcomm Technologies Europe. As an example of Europe’s advanced activity in this area, he noted that the European Commission recently announced that it is “harmonizing its 26GHz radio spectrum band for 5G.”

As for 5G’s application in industry, Di Filippo said “real time computing at the edge is a major application for 5G.” With this in mind, specific factory applications Qualcomm is investigating for 5G include wearable devices, automated guided vehicle, robots, wireless edge analytics, sensors, and computer vision.

References:

https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=250700

https://www.fierceelectronics.com/electronics/siemens-qualcomm-showcase-private-5g-net-for-industrial-apps

https://www.automationworld.com/factory/blog/21103544/bosch-rexroth-and-siemens-collaborate-with-qualcomm-on-5g

 

Analysis: Intel and MediaTek partnership to make 5G PCs; Qualcomm competition?

Summary:

Intel and MediaTek are partnering to make cellular-connected personal computers.  Intel will “define” a 5G PC system spec (“Intel will define a 5G solution specification focused on deployment in key laptop segments”) while MediaTek will develop the 5G cellular chip for those PCs.  The first products are targeting availability in early 2021. Dell and HP are expected to be among the first OEMs to deliver laptops enabled with Intel and MediaTek’s 5G solution.

Intel also will help make sure the 5G chip works properly and will help computer makers integrate their processor into PCs (“Intel will also provide optimization and validation across the platform and lend system integration and co-engineering support to further enable its OEM partners.”).

The partnership is also expected to increase the global presence for MediaTek’s 5G modems, which are mainly sold to Chinese smartphone makers.  The 5G PC chip is based in part on MediaTek’s Helio M70 5G modem, introduced earlier this year.  From the Intel announcement:

“5G is poised to unleash a new level of computing and connectivity that will transform the way we interact with the world. This partnership with MediaTek brings together industry leaders with deep engineering, system integration and connectivity expertise to deliver 5G experiences on the next generation of the world’s best PCs.”
–Gregory Bryant, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group

The partnership helps MediaTek break into a bigger U.S. market and prevents Intel from being shut out of 5G-connected PCs. It also helps Intel defends one of its most important markets: computers. It has long made the majority of chips that go into PCs, but rival Qualcomm has been gaining market traction with its Snapdragon SoCs that were originally designed for smartphones. Qualcomm’s SoCs generally provide better battery life and connectivity that are not traditionally found in computers.

5g 2x1

Image courtesy of Intel

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The two companies are also working with Fibocom on the development of M.2 modules optimized for integration with Intel client platforms. As the first module vendor for this solution, Fibocom will provide operator certification and regulatory support, as well as lead 5G M.2 module manufacturing, sales and distribution.

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Analysis:

Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, people have started to spend more time on their phones and less time on their PCs. They also hold onto computers longer than their mobile devices. The answer for Microsoft and traditional PC makers has been to turn computers into something more like phones. They’ve been working with Qualcomm on such devices for a couple of years, and Intel, the world’s biggest PC chipmaker, has started to jump into the fray.

Intel earlier this year introduced its Project Athena initiative, a multiple-company, multiple-year effort to make PCs more like computers. Devices are meant to wake instantly, sport brighter screens for outdoor use and have battery life that lasts all day. Project Athena laptops also need to be able to complete a biometric login process in a second or less after a laptop lid is opened, and Athena gets an additional second to connect to Wi-Fi. The first devices are due this year, but they’re not cellular-enabled.  For that, users have to turn to Qualcomm-powered PCs.

Last year, Qualcomm unveiled its first processor designed specifically for computers, called the Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform. Qualcomm partnered with Lenovo to introduce its the Snapdragon 8cx 5G compute platform in late May this year. “Consumers can expect more to come from Lenovo and Qualcomm in early 2020,” the Qualcomm said. The chip is powerful but also power efficient, giving users multiple days of battery life on a single charge.

Many PC makers have started using Qualcomm chips. That includes the Samsung’s Galaxy Book S, which was unveiled in August and runs on the 8cx. The ultrathin, ultralight laptop has a 13.3-inch touchscreen and sports 23 hours of battery life. It also has built-in LTE.

Intel, on the other hand, struggled to make a cost competitive 5G chip for Apple’s iPhones and was losing lots of money on that project.   it exited the cellular modem business After Apple and Qualcomm reached a multiyear chip supply agreement in April, Intel exited the 5G smartphone modem business.  This past July, Apple and Intel jointly announced that Apple planned to buy Intel’s smartphone modem business for $1 billion. The deal likely gives Apple access to some of Intel’s work on 5G technology mostly from the latter’s acquisition of Infineon cellular division.

There are only four companies in the world making 5G chips: Qualcomm, MediaTek, Samsung and Huawei while only the first two sell into the merchant semiconductor market. Samsung and Huawei largely only use their 5G chips in their own devices (though a new phone from Vivo will use Samsung’s Exynos 5G modem).

MediaTek predominantly supplies modems to Asian (mostly China) handset makers. Its first 5G modem chip/chip set won’t work on any of the 5G networks that have been deployed in the U.S.

Intel and MediaTek now hope their efforts will be enough to fend off Qualcomm and attract PC makers.  Other spin offs are also possible, depending on the success of this initial effort.

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Qualcomm Competition or 5G Monopoly?

Qualcomm has supplied 5G modems for the vast majority of 5G smartphones sold this year. Intel wouldn’t partner with Qualcomm, a company it views as its chief rival in the semiconductor business.  Michael Chertoff, former Head of U.S. Homeland Security penned an oped in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal that Qualcomm’s Monopoly Imperils National Security.  He wrote:

A monoculture technology system likewise poses substantial risks. If there is some critical flaw in the single system on which the U.S. is dependent, its failure would be catastrophic. These technical vulnerabilities are especially risky in security-sensitive industries such as telecommunications. American reliance on a single chip provider creates an inviting target for adversaries, who would need to find and exploit only one vulnerability to execute a destructive cyberattack.

In the Pentagon’s view, maintaining the company’s economic health is also essential because it is a critical player in the competition with China to develop 5G technology. To be sure, it’s important to support the viability of U.S. firms that can compete with China on 5G, but this hardly justifies the risks of a mono-culture in the defense-industrial base.

Further, the argument mistakenly links two national-security issues in an artificial way. Qualcomm doesn’t need protection in the wireless chipset market to strengthen its competitive edge in the 5G race. To the contrary, it has every incentive to develop leading 5G technologies even in the absence of protection in the chip market.

In the technology race against China, the U.S. should prefer to let competition drive innovation rather than support exclusive national champions. Apart from the economic inefficiency, a single-source national champion creates an unacceptable risk to American security—artificially concentrating vulnerability in a single point. The government’s argument in support of Qualcomm isn’t prudent, and if courts accept it, the result would be a self-inflicted wound to U.S. national interests. We need competition and multiple providers, not a potentially vulnerable technological monoculture.

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References:

https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-mediatek-partner-deliver-5g-pc/

https://www.cnet.com/news/intel-mediatek-partners-to-make-5g-chips-for-pcs/

https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/5g/intel-partners-with-mediatek-for-5g-pc-chips/d/d-id/755933?

 

2019 World 5G Convention in Beijing: China has built 113,000 5G base stations; 130,000 by the end of 2019

China secured 870,000 5G mobile subscribers in just 20 days after the country kicked off commercialization of the (pre-IMT 2020 standard) 5G mobile technology on October 31st.  About 113,000 5G base stations have already entered service and the number will hit 130,000 by the end of this year, marking China one of the world’s largest 5G deployments, the ministry said.

As China continues to expand its 5G market, it has never set limits on what percentage of the domestic market can be supplied and equipped by foreign tech brands, the nation’s top industry regulator said on Thursday, November 21st.  Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, said the world is at a tipping point for large-scale 5G network construction, and it is wrong for any country to use the excuse of cybersecurity risks to practice trade protectionism.

“No country should ban a company in its 5G network rollout based on unproved allegations of cybersecurity risks,” Miao said at the opening ceremony of the 2019 World 5G Convention in Beijing. The event runs through Saturday.  China highly values cybersecurity and deeply understands that ensuring cybersecurity is a prerequisite for better growth of new-generation wireless technology, he added.  “China sticks to transparent, equal and fair principles when purchasing 5G telecom equipment. We never preset market shares for domestic and foreign enterprises,” Miao said.  “China welcomes global companies and research institutions to jointly build a 5G network and share the benefits of its development,” he added.

As the top industry regulator, the ministry will oversee Chinese telecom carriers’ bidding processes, and it encourages competition, Miao said, adding that delivering quality 5G products and services is the only way for companies to increase their market share in China.

The minister also called for international cooperation to accelerate the global rollout of 5G, highlighting the need to establish an international mechanism for recognizing 5G-related patents in a bid to build unified global standards.

Ke Ruiwen, chairman of China Telecom, said the telecom operator has established close ties with foreign companies and international associations to promote maturity of the 5G industry chain.

Foreign telecom equipment makers including Nokia and Ericsson as well as US chip giants such as Intel and Qualcomm have actively participated in China’s 5G testing and trial operations. Now they are scrambling to tap into opportunities in the country, which has built the world’s largest 4G network and is eager to do the same in the 5G era.

Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China, said the company is pleased to join hands with industry partners to accelerate development of 5G in China.

Qualcomm has partnered with Chinese smartphone makers to bring affordable and quality 5G handsets to the global market. Xiaomi Corp, for instance, said it will unveil at least 10 5G smartphones next year.

Nokia China President Markus Borchert said earlier this year that cooperation with multinational companies is highly regarded by the Chinese government. This makes the Finnish company more confident in the healthy, steady and sustainable development of China’s 5G industry, Borchert added.

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China is set to become the world’s largest 5G market by 2025, with 460 million 5G users, according to the Global System for Mobile Communications Association.

The number of 5G users in China is expected to be higher than that in Europe (205 million) and the United States (187 million) combined by that time, the association said.

Raymond Wang, partner with global consultancy firm Roland Berger, highlighted China’s commitment to further deepen opening-up and said Chinese companies have the confidence to compete with their foreign counterparts on the global stage.

References:

http://www.china.org.cn/business/2019-11/22/content_75434545.htm

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-11/21/c_138572698.htm

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