Far EasTone Telecommunications 5G Indoor Trials; Chunghwa Telecom 5G Field Trial for Driverless Cars

The telecom hopes the trials help companies transit to 5G technology more smoothly, vice president Philip Tseng told reporters in Taipei.

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd of Taiwan said yesterday that it plans to set up an indoor 5G trial field next month at Neihu Technology Park for 100 enterprises or research organizations.  The announcement came a day after the telecom won the first approval to install a 5G-based Proof of Business network.  The Taiwan National Telecommunications Commission has approved six 5G proof-of-concept trials and is still reviewing other applications, it said, adding that it welcomes more applications to explore business opportunities or business models on 5G networks. Telecoms that win 5G spectrum licenses are expected to launch commercial 5G services in July next year (2020) at the earliest, the commission said.

The telecom said it plans to offer the trials in collaboration with Ericsson Taiwan at the Neihu Sports Center on a commercial 5G network using the 3.5 gigahertz band. As part of the trials, Far EasTone  is to supply free 5G SIM cards, routers and a 5G applications enablement platform (undefined?), allowing firms to test Internet of Things (IoT) business opportunities from this month to December 2019.  The average download speed of the 5G network will be at least 10 times faster than a 4G LTE network, the company said.

Image result for pic of Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd

“We hope the trials help upstream and downstream companies transit to 5G technology more smoothly,” Far EasTone vice president Philip Tseng told reporters on the sidelines of a news conference in Taipei. The telecom is teaming up with Taipei’s Smart City Project Management Office, Department of Information Technology and Department of Economic Development, as well as the Taiwan IOT Technology and Industry Association to launch the 5G trials.

Notebook computer maker Compal Electronics Inc and smartphone maker HTC Corp are to provide the 5G endpoints to be tested, the telecom said.

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Ericsson — Taiwan to beat Europe in 5G deployments:

In August, Ericsson said it expects Taiwan to ramp up 5G services faster than Europe once the nation’s 5G spectrum is auctioned, thanks to its strong position in the communications components manufacturing supply chain.

“Taiwan has an industry that manufactures a lot of components. That is not the case in many countries in Europe or elsewhere,” Nassif told a media briefing in Taipei. “Here you have the possibility of creating all kinds of ecosystems. You have a better chance of rapidly achieving scale.”

“Taiwan is getting ready and I have a good feeling that 5G will be here in Taiwan next year, thanks to the many initiatives that have been planned by local telecoms even before December’s 5G spectrum auction,” Nassif said.

Taiwan’s National Communications Commission plans to auction 2,790 megahertz (MHz) of bandwidth for 5G services, including 270MHz in the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) band, 2,500MHz in the 28GHz band and 20MHz in the 1,800MHz band.  The commission has not yet set the floor price.

Taiwan has shown a readiness to embrace 5G services, given its high data usage — 20 gigabytes per month, one of the highest in the world — and its tech-savvy mobile users, said Peter Fung,  head of networks for Ericsson in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

Ericsson, which has secured 47 contracts from telecoms worldwide, is collaborating with Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) and Asia Pacific Telecom Co (亞太電信) in the deployment of their 5G networks.

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About Far EasTone Telecommunications:

Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) is a leading company in Taiwan which provides telecommunications and digital application services. Since its establishment in 1997, FET has strived to close the gap between people to achieve the objective of “Closing the distance”. As the 5G era approaches, FET has set its sights beyond telecommunications and has reinterpreted the brand statement in 2019, setting a new milestone with ” For Every Thought, We Go Further”. FET’s aim is, through Big Data, AI, IoT and other digital applications, to not only bring people closer together in mind, also to reduce the gap between people and new technology.

Since its establishment in 1997, FET has continued to introduce new products and services utilizing access technologies, including 2G, 3G, 4G and WiFi. As the popularity of smart devices grows rapidly, FET is investing heavily in the improvement of internet infrastructure, actively enhancing the speed and quality of mobile networks, upgrading base stations, and expanding the channel range.

FET has collaborated with the telecom equipment giant Ericsson to establish the first 5G Lab in Taiwan. In 2018, FET announced the establishment of the “FET 5G Pioneer Team,” the first in Taiwan to drive development of 5G connected vehicle technologies and ecosystem in Taiwan. In the future, it will further take on the challenge of reaching the fastest network speed with 4-band dual technology. We will also continue to develop IoT applications and polish our mobile services to become the preferred partner in the digital life and pave a solid path forward to the future of 5G roll-out.

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References:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2019/10/05/2003723392

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2019/08/13/2003720368

https://www.fetnet.net/corporate/en/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Communications_Commission

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In a related development — Chunghwa Telecom holds 5G field trial for driverless cars:

Chunghwa Telecom yesterday (October 3, 2019) conducted a 5G spectrum-based field trial for autonomous vehicles at a lab in New Taipei City’s Banciao District  to demonstrate vehicle-to-infrastructure technology developed by a subsidiary.  The telecom expects to provide more autonomous vehicle tests and trials using 5G networks at its lab in the future.

“Our aim is to help grow this 5G value chain ranging from chips and small cell stations to all kinds of applications,” Chunghwa Telecom chairman Hsieh Chi-mau  told reporters on the sidelines of the field trial.

The company focuses on the delivery of real-time information, such as traffic data to vehicles using high-speed and low-latency 5G technology, while Kingwaytek Technology Co (勤崴), a 26 percent held subsidiary, is helping to develop autonomous driving systems, particularly for shuttle buses, Hsieh said.  Kingwaytek is a supplier of high-definition (HD) electronic maps and vehicle navigation systems.

“We are developing a decisionmaking system for self-driving vehicles and a traffic prediction system, which will be combined with our HD electronic maps to complete our self-driving solution,” Kingwaytek chairman Alfred Ko said.  Kingwaytek plans to conduct a series of self-driving field trials next year in collaboration with Automotive Research and Testing Center via a sandbox program in Changhua County, Ko said.

The trial, if successful, would pave the way for the company to sell its self-driving solutions overseas in the next two to three years, injecting new revenue growth momentum into the business, he said.  Southeast Asian nations would be ideal markets, as Chunghwa Telecom’s strength in the region could provide leverage, he said.

President Tsai Ing-wen, sitting, tries out 5G-enabled technology at a news conference in New Taipei City yesterday. Photo: Lai Hsiao-tung, Taipei Times

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Kingwaytek operates one autonomous vehicle trial field in Changhua County and another in Taoyuan’s Hutoushan.

Chungwha Telecom and Taiwan Mobile Co both said separately that they have submitted their applications to bid for 5G bandwidth and are prepared to substantially invest in 5G network deployment.  Asked if Taiwan Mobile still aims to secure 100 megahertz of bandwidth at the auction, Taiwan Mobile president Jamie Lin (林之晨) said: “Only for a reasonable price.”

“Taiwan Mobile will make 5G [services] available in the second half of next year,” Lin said.

The telecom is in talks with multiple agencies about launching 5G trial fields, he said, adding that the company has one trial field in the baseball stadium in New Taipei City’s Sinjhuang District.

Reference:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2019/10/04/2003723337

 

 

 

Altice Portugal Interview: 10Gbps services to build the ultra-connected future

Interview of Alexandre Fonseca, CEO of Altice Portugal by Chris Kelly of Total Telecom

Portugal is one of the most ambitious nations in Europe with regards to FTTH penetration targets. How are you progressing with this and what challenges are you facing?

Due to the work developed by Altice Portugal in the last years, Portugal is today an international case study with proven experience in several countries, such as USA, France, Russia, New Zealand, India, the UK or Brazil, regarding FTTH projects. Altice Portugal presents one of the best and largest next generation network infrastructures, reaching 4.8 million of households in Optical Fiber, moving closer to the 2020 target of 5.3 million. This brings Portugal as one of the first countries in Europe to reach nearly 100% of the population. We deployed FTTH throughout the country, both in urban and rural areas, boosting the economic development and digital inclusion.

Despite the significant investment performed, it is important to underline that Portugal still awaits for a 5G Roadmap, regarding the availability of frequencies and licenses in order to launch 5G commercial networks. The country needs a clear strategy and vision for 5G, to continue to take the lead, as in previous technology generations of telecommunications.

Does Europe need to agree a single unified switch off date for its existing copper networks?

The optical fiber infrastructure is more robust and more reliable in technological terms, being more immune to adverse weather conditions, thefts or vandalism, with a much lower failure rate than the copper networks and, consequently having better operational responsiveness, besides the significantly better performance it brings to Services.

The replacement of copper by optical fiber, being a natural evolution both for technological and business reasons, depends on each country´s dynamics, not being determinant the existence of a single date for this to happen. However, this change is essential for Portugal to remain at the forefront of Europe and is also sustained by the fact that copper networks are obsolete and unable to support new innovative services. Optical fiber is undoubtedly the technology that makes it possible to offer a set of new future proof services and features that copper no longer supports. Altice Portugal has started a pilot project in parishes of six Portuguese municipalities that were 100% covered by fiber. The project contributes to digital inclusion growth, broadening access to advanced services, promoting economic development and modernization and of course, copper decommissioning.

 

With the emergence of new technologies, what scope is there for delivering 10Gbps services?

10Gbps services will help us build the ultra-connected future we all require. The predicted increase in number of devices and data volumes requires intelligent networks with a new level of speed and capacity. Homes with 50-100 connected devices will drive unprecedented demand. Now, life-changing technologies for connected health, augmented and virtual reality, will deliver incredible experiences and require significant speed, low latency and high capacity. 10Gbs services are becoming more crucial for the enterprise market, namely for data center access, data center interconnection and trunk circuits to collect high bandwidth traffic from data, video & voice under virtual private networks.

The launch of new technologies is not a goal in itself – what really matters is the experience provided by services and the added value for customers. That’s the world we are building, one in which everything is connected everywhere.

 

What role will fibre play in underpinning 5G mobile network rollout in Portugal?

5G technology is not simply about faster internet connections, it will bring huge changes in network architecture and services. It will enable a step change of ultrafast broadband connections, boosted by low latency, ultra-reliable communications, massive machine-type communications and slicing capabilities. The major characteristics introduced by 5G can be summarized in the Throughput, Latency and Density of the connections.

Fibre optics will be a key enabler of 5G, especially as a backhauling technology, once it provides the extremely high speeds, capacity and low latency required to connect each 5G station. FTTH rollout is a key differentiator for providing nationwide 5G coverage and Altice Portugal is ready and prepared for 5G rollout, with over 95% of its mobile stations already connected through fiber. Besides the FTTH deployment, Altice Portugal performed the first 5G live demonstration in a commercial network environment with pre-commercial terminals in July 2018 and the first live television broadcast in Portugal using the 5G network in real environment in June 2019.

How much of a game changer is 5G going to be in regard to IoT uptake?

5G will have a fundamental role boosting the era of smart connectivity, capable of taking advantage of unreachable response times with today’s technologies, to grant new scenarios of digital interactivity on multiple devices. 5G will reinforce applications for B2B, B2C and B2B2C markets, especially in areas as IoT, or IIoT, industrial automation and critical services, especially in Healthcare, Smart Grids, Smart cities, Industry 4.0 or Autonomous Vehicles, being a relevant factor in the development of the economy of each country and the world in general.

Altice Portugal has been exploring, for a long time, the opportunities related to IoT. In 2018 we opened the Golabs.IoT, a live technology Lab that generates synergies between developers, universities, startups and industry players.

Altice Labs, our R&D unit, also has projects in 5G and IoT landscape, with several national and international institutions, including Portuguese municipalities, such as the city of Aveiro, with 5G being available for the development of early adoption services for cities or citizens, on an open community enviroment.

What predictions do you have for the industry over the next 12-18 months?

Companies and businesses are undergoing a very important digital transformation process…the telecommunications sector is amongst the ones suffering the most, but also well positioned to have a leading role on this transformation.

We will surely see a transition´s process from automation to true digitalization. Digitalization has accelerated information production and distribution, innovation and process disruption, together with the integration of the physical and virtual worlds and the use of real time data. All this has a huge impact on organizational structures, business models, logistics operations and products and services themselves.

But this is not just a business-level transformation. This represents a social transformation, with new ways for people to relate themselves, to learn, to work and providing all equal access to technologies.

The process of digital transformation and technological development requires us to always innovate and our effort and commitment must be dedicated to always bring more and better services to the Portuguese.

We believe that the Smart Living concept will bring forward a set of new and combined technologies, for personal and business usage that will improve our live, generate the opportunity to save time and therefore improving our work life balance. Technology will continue to improve people’s life’s and business productivity, providing quality time to individuals, families and communities, turning content and experience the most relevant killers Apps in this new technology generation.

https://www.totaltele.com/503944/Altice-Portugal-10Gbps-services-will-help-us-build-the-ultra-connected-future-we-all-require

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Backgrounder:

Altice Portugal is the largest telecommunications service provider in Portugal. Since June 2, 2015, the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Altice Group, a multinational cable and telecommunications company with a presence in France, Israel, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, French West Indies/Indian Ocean Area, the Dominican Republic (“Overseas Territories”), Switzerland, and the United States. Its assets in Portugal were sold to Altice in 2015 per request of, Oi SA,[4] to reduce debt. The African assets were mostly sold for the same reason. Portugal Telecom, SGPS SA was split in separate companies: PT Portugal (now Altice Portugal) and Pharol (formerly PT SGPS), which owns a 27,5% stake in Oi.

The company owns MEO, the largest landline operator in Portugal. Its operating brands include MEO, a quadruple play service provider and SAPO, an ISP and producer of web content. Portugal Telecom also owns Altice Labs (formerly known as PT Inovação), an IT services and research and development company; PT Contact, focused in the business of managing contact centers.

                                                   Altice Portugal Building in São Jorge de Arroios

Reference:

https://www.telecom.pt/en-us

 

 

 

Nokia successful field trial of single-carrier, 50.8 terabit-per-second on Etisalat’s WDM fiber optic network

Nokia and Etisalat (UAE) report the completion of a multi-terabit-per-second, single-carrier data transmission over an operator-deployed fiber network in a field trial.  Nokia said in a press release that a terabit-per-second is enough bandwidth to download the entire “Game of Thrones” video series in HD in under two seconds.

Using Etisalat’s wavelength division multiplexing network, the companies were able to reach a transmission speed of 50.8 terabits per second over 93 kilometers of optical fiber.

Nokia said the trial successfully transmitted a record 50.8 terabits per second using multiple wavelengths, each with a net information rate of 1.3 terabits per second, over a 93-kilometer fiber route of Etisalat’s wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) network.

The Nokia field trial showed that Etisalat’s existing network could support the higher optical wavelength bit rates that will be required to support high-bandwidth services such as 5G extreme mobile broadband, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and data center interconnect (DCI) cloud services.

Here are the key points:

  • Trial is the world’s first terabit-per-second, single-carrier data transmission over an operator deployed fiber network.
  • New transmission capacity record comes as Etisalat invests in core network infrastructure in anticipation of a new generation of high-bandwidth services.
  • Results move Nokia Bell Labs’ experimental lab records of terabit-per-second single-carrier transmission to a deployed operator network.

In addition to the speeds, higher bit rates per wavelength enable power and space savings, improved network simplicity, as well as increased spectral efficiency and capacity. It also enables reduced cost per bit compared to optical networks composed of lower rate channels, according to Nokia.

Using a single optical carrier operating at 100 Gigabaud, the terabit wavelengths tapped into Nokia Bell Labs’ probabilistic constellation shaping (PCS) to intelligently shape the signal to achieve maximum capacity for the specific fiber route. Nokia said its Photonic Service Engine 3 was the first coherent digital signal processor to implement PCS.

Esmaeel Alhammadi, Senior Vice President, Network Development at Etisalat, said:

“We are pleased to have partnered with Nokia Bell Labs to demonstrate that our optical network is capable of transporting a terabit per second over a single wavelength, and a total per-fibre capacity of over 50 terabits-per-second.  Increasing network capacity helps us to provide bandwidth-hungry services such as 5G extreme mobile broadband, fibre-to-the-home and DCI for enterprises.”

Sam Bucci, Head of Optical Networking at Nokia, said:

“The introduction of 5G will require a network that can support dramatic increases in bandwidth in a dynamic fashion. This ground-breaking trial with Etisalat is testimony to Nokia’s commitment to continue to invest in coherent and optical component technologies required to meet the 5G networking challenge at the lowest total cost of ownership for our customers.”

Nokia has a long history of advancing the frontiers of optical transmission. It was the first to demonstrate single-carrier 100G transmission in a deployed production network in 2007, and the first to commercialize single-carrier 100G and 200G wavelengths in 2010 and 2013, respectively. More recently, the Nokia Bell Labs optical research team published the world’s first terabit-per-second transmission lab trials in 2015 and 2017.  By extending these records to a deployed operator network, Nokia Bell Labs is bringing the age of terabit wavelength networks a big step closer to reality.

Details of the Nokia trial with Etisalat were published in a post-deadline co-authored paper at the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC), held last week in Dublin, Ireland:

1.3-tb/s Single-Channel and 50.8-tb/s WDM Transmission Over Field-Deployed Fiber

Authors: Fred Buchali 1, Karsten Schuh 1, Roman Dischler 1, Mathieu Chagnon 1, Vahid Aref 1, Henning Buelow 1, Qian Hu 1, Florian Pulka 1, Massimo Frascolla 2, Esmaeel Alhammadi 3, Adel Samhan 3, Islam Younis 4, Mohamed El-Zonkoli 4, Peter Winzer 1

Affiliations: Nokia Bell Labs 1, Nokia 2, Etisalat UAR 3, Nokia UAR 4

References:
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Additional Resources from Nokia:

UBS: 5G capex at $30 billion for India telcos; 5G spectrum auction by January 2020?

UBS analysts say that India’s top three telecom operators will have to spend a little over $30 billion on 5G base stations and fiber infrastructure. According to UBS, the need for a dense site footprint and fiber backhaul for 5G access networks will likely shift the balance of power towards larger and integrated operators with strong balance sheets.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea would need $10 billion capex each over the next five years.

“Bharti has solidly defended its market share and has narrowed the gap with Jio on 4G network reach, with improving 4G net adds. The company recently revamped its digital offering and launched converged digital proposition ‘Airtel Xstream’ offering digital content across TV, PC and mobile devices along with IoT solutions for connected homes. Further, Jio’s recently announced fixed broadband plans starting at Rs 699 are not as aggressive as we (and the market) feared and, therefore, do not pose significant pricing pressure on Bharti’s broadband average revenue per user,” UBS said in a research note to clients.

Reliance Jio’s incremental 5G capex is estimated somewhat lower at around $8 billion.  That’s because Jio already has more 5G-ready fiberised towers than the incumbents, having already spent around $2 billion on tower fiberization.

Analysts were skeptical about Vodafone Idea’s ability to sustain such big-ticket capex spends given its continuing market share losses and weak financials, which they said could limit its 5G deployment ambitions.

They also said the need for a dense site footprint and fibre backhaul in 5G would shift the balance of power towards larger and integrated operators with strong balance sheets like Jio and Airtel, while those with high gearing levels are at risk given the sustained high capex needs.

“Airtel and Vodafone Idea will each need to spend $2 billion annually on 5G radio and fiber capex spread across 5 years,” UBS said in a report, implying 65% and 85% of Airtel’s and Vodafone Idea’s current annual India capex run rates respectively.

By contrast, Jio’s 5G capex, “would be lower due to its larger tower footprint and higher proportion of towers on fibre backhaul compared with Airtel and Vodafone Idea.”  The brokerage firm also expects Jio to transition to 5G in a “time-efficient manner,” given its in-house data centres and investments in a content distribution network (CDN).

“Vodafone Idea’s stretched balance sheet will limit its participation in the 5G opportunity, and the company will require a significant improvement in network quality to arrest market share loss and revert to revenue growth,” UBS said.

Credit Suisse backed the view, saying, “Vodafone Idea will lose the most market share, and will need additional equity capital by FY2021, given our expectation of no price increase”.

UBS estimates that Airtel’s India mobile revenue will grow 5-6% in this financial year and the next even if interconnect usage charges – a source of revenue for incumbents – get scrapped from January 2020.

According to analysts, the India telecom sector can reduce overall estimated $30.5 billion 5G capex spends by 15-20% if Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Jio share towers and fiber resources.  However, there is currently no progress on that front.

“We estimate the sector can reduce overall capex by 15-20 per cent if the three Indian telcos share towers and fiber (either commercially or driven by the regulator) – third-party tenancy poses upside risks to our estimates,” UBS said in its report.

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India’s Department of Telecommunications wants to hold a 5G spectrum sale by January 2020 at the latest, according to referenced sources.

Credit Suisse doesn’t expect that 5G spectrum sale to attract much interest.  That’s due to a mix of “high reserve prices, telcos’ focus on monetising 4G investments, stretched balance sheets, a nascent 5G ecosystem and lack of significant 5G use cases for mass consumption.”

Rajiv Sharma, co-head of research at SBICap Securities, said that Vodafone Idea is unlikely to bid for 5G spectrum at current base prices “as the telco doesn’t have an existing pan-India 4G network that is essential for any telco planning to spend top dollars on 5G,” according to the report.

Analysts believe that Reliance Jio will probably take part in the process, as it is the only profit-making telco in the Indian market.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had recently asked the Trai to lower the starting prices, which the regulator refused.  “There was a chance for the Trai to reduce 5G prices. Let’s see what the DoT does now. But at current rates, Airtel won’t buy,” Airtel’s executive reportedly said.

Vodafone Idea CEO Balesh Sharma has previously said that the prices recommended by the regulator were ‘exorbitant.’ The telco said it will participate in the next auction but did not confirm if it would buy 5G spectrum.

Hemant Joshi, partner at Deloitte India, said it would be “prudent to defer the 5G auction till 2020 at least since at Trai’s recommended base prices, the industry response may be very lukewarm.” He also said that the reserve prices need to be lowered, taking into account the experiences in countries where 5G spectrum was recently auctioned.

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Analysts said there are three things that India’s Centre for Telecom Excellence (within the DoT) must do immediately to hasten the adoption of 5G:

First, lay down a clear roadmap of spectrum availability and specify frequency bands aligned with global standards (IMT 2020 from ITU-R). Given that 5G services will be supporting massive data applications, operators will need adequate spectrum.

Editor’s Note:  India’s TSDSI has proposed a candidate IMT 2020 RIT based on Low Mobility Large Cell (LMLC), but it hasn’t yet been accepted by ITU-R WP 5D.  TSDSI posted a revised and more comprehensive proposal on 10 September 2019, which will be evaluated at the next ITU-R WP 5D meeting in December.

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Second, there is a need to move away from the existing mechanism of pricing spectrum on a per MHz basis. 5G services require at least 80-100 Mhz of contiguous spectrum per operator. If the Centre were to fix the floor price based on the per Mhz price realised in the last auction then no operator would be able to afford buying 5G spectrum. The pricing, therefore, will have to be worked out anew, keeping in mind the financial stress in the telecom sector and affordability of services.

Finally, the Centre must rapidly complete the national fiber optic network rollout as 5G high speed services will require huge back-haul support for which existing microwave platforms will not be sufficient.

References:

Orange-Spain not rushing to join the “5G” deployment scramble and reveals why not

At the 5G Core Summit 2019 in Madrid, Orange España’s Head of Product Engineering-Tomas Alonso said his company was taking its time to deploy “5G,” despite pressure from other telcos, like Vodafone-Spain and Telefónica Móviles.  During his conference session titled Orange Spain on the Road to 5G, Alonso said that 5G technology is still not mature enough to make any real difference to customers and Spanish authorities are not helping operators deploy it.

Obviously that’s true, because all pre-standard 5G deployments use LTE signaling/control plane and mobile packet core (5G NSA). Also there is no ultra low latency in 3GPP Rel 15 5G NR. More on this 5G core topic below.

“I would summarize our work in two words; testing and learning. We do not launch the technology because of the technology. We launch the technology to offer a better customer experience,” said Alfonso.

Orange Spain is currently trialing 5G at various locations throughout the country, though there are no plans to speed up the commercial launch, which is currently set for some point in 2020.

Spanish wireless network operators also lack sufficient spectrum they need to provide a high-quality 5G service.  Spain held its 5G auction way back in July 2018, when Orange collected 60 MHz of spectrum in the 3.6GHz-3.8GHz band. The trouble, it seems, is that telcos’ band plans look like a piano with missing keys.

“In almost all cases, the spectrum is allocated in different packets,” said Alonso. “We need to do some shuffling to have contiguous bands so that we can provide the best experience in 5G.”

“The earliest date [for an auction] is the first half of next year,” Alonso added. That spectrum will be needed for “effective and efficient” mobile rollouts, he said.

Equally important, Alonso believes the 5G network equipment currently available remains “too heavy” and too power-hungry. “To be efficient, we need to wait a bit more and then have a better ROI [return on investment] when we deploy the network,” he said. There will be a stronger business case for 5G deployment when the equipment has been improved.

Also, Orange Spain’s wireless backhaul infrastructure must be upgraded, with more fiber optics urgently needed. Orange is leveraging  its investments in fiber-to-the-home networks — which today reaches more than 14 million Spanish households — and extending fiber optics links to mobile sites. But the job is not yet nearly completed.

As for the scarcity of “5G” devices: “They are all very high end today and [each] costs more than €1,000 [$1,100],” said Alonso. None is yet available that supports the “standalone” (SA) version of 5G, which uses a new 5G core network in conjunction with the 5G NR technology.

As the IMT 2020 standard is over one year away from completion, there is no European operator that can deploy a 5G mobile packet core.  In the meantime, operators are deploying services based on the “non-standalone” (NSA) system, which hitches the 5G New Radio to an existing 4G core. Alonso does not sound overly impressed. “So far, we have completely defined the enhanced mobile broadband [eMBB] functionality and in the second and third steps there will be newer standards for latency and mobile IoT [the Internet of Things],” he said. “Standalone will be mature in a matter of months … The real technology that will provide all the promises of 5G is not here.”

Orange Espagne S.A.U., more commonly known by its trade name of Orange España, is a mobile network operator in Spain. It was previously known as Amena, a brand of Retevisión, (Amena means pleasant in an amusing way in Spanish) until 2005, when it was bought by France Télécom (now Orange S.A.)

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According to Alonso, the biggest challenge is to change how the company works. “The way we deliver value to customers will be completely different from the way we deliver value to customers with current technology and so we are spending a lot of time on that,” he said. That overhaul appears to involve setting up dedicated 5G teams within the company and breaking down some of the silos that currently separate technical and commercial departments.

A further requirement is for some type of certifications process for security of 5G technology.(from device to access network to mobile packet core to edge network to ISP/content provider point of presence)  That’s endeavor is made much more difficult with no de facto or de jure 5G security standard (the work in ITU-T on IMT 2020 security is in its infancy). “Security is something we talk about a lot, but we need the sector to complete the analysis to have certifications,” said Alonso. “That is something we need in the short term.”

–>As Vodafone and other telcos race to deploy pre-standard 5G, the lack of any security system is a huge weakness, in this author’s opinion.

Network sharing is another important issue which the Orange Spain team will have to consider.  This will probably not prevent the telco from launching 5G services, though it will impact the rollout strategy. Reports have emerged suggesting the team is in conversation with Telefonica and MásMóvil over sharing non-critical 5G sites.  The idea of network sharing is becoming increasingly popular with telcos around the world, and it is easy to see why. During her own presentation, Lucy Lombardi of Telecom Italia quoting research from McKinsey, suggesting network sharing agreements could save as much as 40% of deployments costs for a telco. 5G is going to be a very expensive business, and any opportunity to reduce the financial burden will be strongly considered.

Some might disagree with the position of Orange Spain, but being first doesn’t necessarily mean best. Orange has shown itself to be one of the more considered, long term focused and successful telcos in Europe in recent years, so it would be quite reasonable to have confidence in the team.

 

References:

https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/5g/orange-spain-demands-5g-progress-ahead-of-2020-launch/d/d-id/754366?

http://telecoms.com/499911/orange-spain-not-going-to-be-rushed-into-5g-fracas/

 

5G’s positive impact on Telemedicine + “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) problem of small cells

The IEEE Techblog post below is an excerpt of a November 1, 2019 article titled 5G Is the Future, by Eric  Boehm- a reporter at Reason magazine. Reason magazine- Volume 51; Issue 6; ISSN:00486906.   Edits and additional comments by Alan J Weissberger.  You can read the entire article by subscribing to Reason here.

5G Impact on Telemedicine:

The ability to move more data more quickly between devices will open the door to new medical technologies, giving doctors volumes of information about patients even without being in the same room. That means telemedicine could finally be ready to go mainstream.

Market Research Future, a firm that predicts business trends, expects the American telemedicine market to grow by more than 16 percent annually from 2017 to 2023, in large part because faster connection speeds and lower latency will let doctors talk to and diagnose patients via high-definition video streamed from a phone. That could be a huge development for access to medical care-one that would be a boon for residents of rural areas, for the poor, and for the elderly. And everyone will benefit from spending less time sitting in a waiting room. If 4G gives you the ability to play Angry Birds until the doctor is ready to see you, 5G may let you skip the in-person visit altogether.

Some telemedicine will be fully automated, with wearable sensors providing real-time information about vital signs, falls, or physical activity, giving doctors a better understanding of a patient’s health with fewer invasive procedures. A Stanford University study estimates that, in 2020, Americans will produce 2,314 exabytes of medical data (an exabyte is equal to a billion gigabytes), up from a mere 153 exabytes in 2013.

“Those troves of information become the foundation for biomedical research,” the Stanford researchers conclude. “We are beginning to reconstruct the relationship between genes and life and health in ways that are likely to be transformative.”

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5G’S NIMBY Problem:

Some of the U.S. government policies that will dictate 5G’s future are being made right now at the State Department, the Commerce Department, and the FCC. But equally important is what happens in places like Washington, D.C. office of Mayor Muriel Bowser and the city council.  During an October 2018 hearing there, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Ann Mladinov voiced concern about the “visual clutter” that could result from having “so many additional poles holding small cell boxes over sidewalks and in other public space.” At the same hearing, another attendee told the council it should protect D.C. neighborhoods’ aesthetic qualities from being “put at risk for more corporate gain.” Like tall buildings and other forms ofvisible urban development, 5G has a “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) problem.  For sure, it will be exacerbated with 5G mmWave spectrum which requires many more small cells due to limited range.

Those complaints, and many more like them lodged with city councils across the country, have to do with the physical hardware that will be necessary for widespread 5G adoption. Mobile providers are ditching the traditional cell tower, the backbone of cellular networks since they first emerged, in favor of so-called “small cell” antennas. These devices-some no bigger than a backpack, others as large as a refrigerator-will be affixed to telephone poles and buildings. Because each one has a considerably smaller range than a tower, covering a whole city requires a small cell to be placed every few blocks, a potential point of friction for residents who dislike change. But the benefits for users will be large.

Not only will the physical components be capable of making faster connections, but the physical proximity to users and greater bandwidth will allow more devices to be connected at once. A 4G network can handle about 4,000 devices per square kilometer. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg has claimed that 5G networks will be able to handle up to 1 million devices within the same space.

“It’s going to introduce more competition, that’s for sure,” says Ian Adams, a 5G policy expert with TechFreedom, a nonprofit advocacy group. Because 5G mobile networks will offer speeds similar to wired connections, cable companies and traditional internet service providers will have more rivals. This may force them to innovate or lower prices, and the likely result will be better, cheaper online access for all.  But if the tradeoff is greater “visual clutter” on and above city streets, some people won’t be on the side of innovation.

In letters to the FCCtelecom companies have complained about a wide range of local regulations that have slowed the deployment of 5G infrastructure-often a result of trying to apply rules written for large cell towers to the small cell antennas. For example, one Pennsylvania town requires that an eight-foot fence be erected around any structure containing a small cell antenna. That’s common sense for older, larger towers, but it’s nonsensical for a device that can be attached to a telephone pole.

Similarly, AT&T complained that it has had to pause or decrease small cell deployments in parts of California, Maryland, and Massachusetts due to high fees, and that some municipalities in Washington and New York have used restrictive zoning to limit the placement of small cell antennas. Timing is also an issue. The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), an industry group, claims that about a third of all wireless antenna approvals exceed the 90-day limit for review that the FCC established in 2009. In one extreme case, the town of Paramus, New Jersey, spent five years considering a Sprint application for a new cell site before denying the request. In Greenburgh, New York, a small cell contractor faced a review process for a single antenna that “took approximately two years and nearly twenty meetings, with constantly shifting demands,” the WIA says. When a telecom company wanted to attach 23 small cells to the sides of Houston’s NRG Stadium, it first had to spend $180,000 in mandatory historic review fees. The stadium was built in 2002.

In taking action to curb the worst abuses, the FCC is attempting to strike a balance between innovation and local control. The agency estimates that streamlining the approval process will save telecoms $2 billion that can be put toward further expansion of their 5G networks.

But federal pre-emption is always going to be an imperfect solution. Ideally, telecom companies would negotiate with individual property owners to obtain the right to place small cell antennas on the sides of buildings or atop privately owned poles. But local governments generally control where such devices can be installed and how much companies are required to pay for the privilege.

It’s fine for residents to voice their opinions, of course, but “a local government shouldn’t get to impede the development of a national infrastructure,” says Adams. “Putting guardrails on particularly egregious local actions,” as the FCC has tried to do, is “important if we want to have uniformity of infrastructure.”

The local interference can indeed be egregious. In 2015, San Jose, California, started charging telecom companies $3,500 for each small cell antenna installed-far more than what similarly sized cities like Phoenix ($100) and Indianapolis ($50) charge for the right to install the same equipment. By 2018, it was apparent that the costs were causing San Jose to fall behind in the early stages of 5G deployment. So the city reconfigured the per-antenna fee into a $1 million one-time payment coupled with ongoing tax obligations. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo promised to use the revenue for a “Digital Inclusion Fund” that would spend $24 million bringing high-speed internet to 50,000 low-income households within the next 10 years.

The FCC’s new rules put an end to that shakedown. By capping the fees that localities can charge for installing 5G small cell antennas, it ensured that companies like T-Mobile and Verizon don’t have to pay off cities like San Jose for the right to bring residents high-speed mobile internet.

Shireen Santosham, the chief innovation officer within the San Jose mayor’s office, has called the FCC’s rules “a $2 billion taxpayer-funded subsidy to corporate interests.” But that’s hardly accurate. The new policy doesn’t require that taxpayers underwrite the 5G rollout. It only prevents cities from extorting telecom companies for the right to deploy small antennas. Keeping those dollars out of city tax coffers means the companies will be able to invest in infrastructure where they know it’s needed rather than where bureaucrats decide it should go.

Governments should strive to make “an honest assessment of where the market is,” says Pai, “recognizing that government can’t predict and shouldn’t micromanage the future, and getting rid of the red tape that stifles innovation and progress.”

FCC vs Dept of Commerce on 5G mmWave at 24 GHz:

In May, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which are jointly responsible for America’s fleet of weather-tracking satellites, complained to Congress that 5G cellphone signals in the 24 GHz band could interfere with satellites that read water vapor signals coming off the ocean. Among other things, those satellites are critical for forecasting the paths of tropical storms. In 2012, for example, they correctly predicted that Hurricane Sandy would make an unusual westward turn toward the New York City metro area. Without that tip, the disaster could have been far worse.

NOAA relies on a signal band that runs between 23.6 GHz and 24 GHz, so there won’t be direct overlap with the 24 GHz space that the mobile companies bought, which is currently unused. The federal weathermen say things could get cloudy along the very edges, where the bands run up against one another. Pai’s agency predicts sunny skies ahead because there’s already a buffer zone between the two bandwidths-and because independent testing commissioned by the FCC has concluded that there’s no need to worry.

“The assumptions that undergird [NOAA’s 5G interference claims] are fundamentally flawed,” Pai told the Senate Commerce Committee in June. Among other things, the NOAA study did not take into account the fact that 5G signals will be more focused (“beam-forming signals,” in industry lingo) than the signals sent by traditional cellphone towers, which broadcast in all directions.

In the two years since NOAA initially objected, the agency has not completed a follow-up study to confirm its worries about interference. FCC Chairman Pai told lawmakers he was frustrated by the holdups. “The Department of Commerce [which oversees NOAA] has been blocking our efforts at every single turn,” he said.

If the possibility of interference with weather satellites “is truly a technical problem,” says Joel Thayer, policy counsel for The App Association, which represents more than 5,000 app makers and mobile device companies, “then these agencies can solve it with technical solutions instead of performing political theater.”

Conclusions:

Realistically, 5G technology is going to make everyone better off, even if we can’t predict exactly how. When the first 4G smartphones went on the market in 2009, they were expected to usher in an explosion of new apps and other software. But few could have predicted the specifics, from Uber to Fortnite.

The same will be true for the 5G era. Brent Skorup, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, predicts we’ll get “warehouse-floor robots that self-organize shipments, remotely operated electric air taxis that carry passengers high above rush-hour traffic, or smart glasses that connect blind people with professional guides who use audiovideo feeds to help wearers get around.”

Fast mobile connectivity is the foundation for whatever future innovations may develop. It promises more jobs, better communication, more enjoyable leisure time, and medical advances that let us live longer. “The speed of our connections is the speed of commerce,” says Adams, who favors the mostly hands-off approach the FCC has been taking with the 5G rollout. Whether for work or for play, he says, “the availability of virtually unlimited data is only going to improve the quality of life.”

The ability to move more data more quickly will open the door to new medical technologies, giving doctors volumes of information about patients even without being in the same room.

KT has >1M “5G” subscribers; 5G roaming agreements announced with 3 European telcos

KT, South Korea’s second largest operator (SK Telecom is #1), has announced its (pre-standard) 5G subscriber base has gone past the one million mark just five months after its 5G service was launched.

More importantly, KT also said it has entered into 5G roaming agreements with operators in Italy, Switzerland, and Finland.   Specifically, KT has partnered with Telecom Italia Mobile in Italy, which is the largest telco in the country with over 31.7 million subscribers. The Italian telco is currently providing 5G services in Rome, Napoli, and Turin.  In Switzerland, KT has partnered with the local telco Sunrise. Sunrise currently provides 5G connectivity to 262 cities, including Geneva and Zurich. In Finland, it has paired with Elisa which provides in 5G services in five cities, including Helsinki.  That means that KT’s 5G subscribers will be able to use the 5G networks provided by those three operators in the three European countries.

KT has standing agreements with operators in 185 countries for 3G and 4G-LTE roaming. The operator aims to extend those agreements to 5G when 5G services go live in those countries. Prior to the agreements with the three European countries, KT had already set up a similar agreement with China Mobile, despite the fact it hasn’t launched services yet.

According to KT’s price proposals at the time of its 5G launch, customers on the starting package (paying KRW 55,000, or $46 per month) will have 8 GB roaming data while overseas, with the speed capped at 1 Mbps. Those on higher tiers (paying KRW 80,000 ($67) or KRW 100,000 ($84) per month) will have unlimited roaming data, but the speed will be capped at 100 Kbps. Customers on the premium tier of the 5G service (KRW 130,000, or $109, per month) will have the speed limited lifted to 3 Mbps.

Image result for image of KT - korea telecom 5G

KT’s “5G” Buses, which are equipped with transparent displays that give the South Korean passengers a taste of the 5G service, Giga-live TV.

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KT is not the first South Korean operator to tie 5G roaming partnerships.  We reported in July that SK Telecom 5G subscribers will be able to connect to Swisscom while travelling in Switzerland, while those on LG U+ will be able to connect to China Unicom’s 5G when travelling to its neighboring country, after the latter’s 5G service goes live.

A concern for KT 5G users intending to visit Europe is that the roaming can only be done on Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, the vendor’s first 5G smartphone, though KT said the service will be extended to other devices soon. Earlier this month, at IFA in Berlin, Samsung announced that it had already sold 2 million 5G smartphones and expected to double the volume to 4 million by the end of the year.

Korean telcos  have also started performing tests on 5G standalone networks using mmWave spectrum. The standalone networks are expected to be deployed sometime next year.

References:

http://telecoms.com/499860/kts-one-million-5g-subs-may-now-roam-in-europe-and-stay-on-5g/

https://www.zdnet.com/article/kt-rolls-out-5g-roaming-services-in-europe/

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2019/07/15/sk-telecom-with-swisscom-worlds-first-5g-roaming-service/

Posted in 5G Tagged

Conflicting reports: Huawei and China Mobile may buy Brazil carrier Oi

The O Globo website reported on Saturday that Huawei is joining forces with China Mobile to buy struggling Brazilian carrier Oi, in an attempt to boost their footprint in Latin America’s largest market.  The two Chinese companies anticipate a significant growth in business once Brazil starts deploying its 5G network. Oi’s 360,000 kilometers of fiber infrastructure is seen as an attractive asset.

Oi declined to comment on the matter, while Huawei and China Mobile did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

However, on Sunday Huawei told Reuters it was not interested in acquiring struggling Oi or any other Brazilian carrier.

“Huawei has no plan or interest in acquiring Oi or any other Brazilian carrier. In Brazil for more than 20 years, the company is working with all major Brazilian carriers supplying the best products and solutions to support digital transformation in Brazil,” the company said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

It would be very strange for Huawei to invest in a telecom carrier which is traditionally its bread and butter customer!

Brazil’s largest fixed-line carrier has been struggling to turnaround its business since it filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2016 to restructure approximately 65 billion reais of debt.  Oi is also negotiating its network with Spain’s Telefonica and Telecom ItaliaAT&T and another (unnamed) Chinese company.

Speculation of the bid comes as Brazil’s Senate approved a bill to update the country’s obsolete framework for telecommunications, paving the way for Oi to implement a plan to sell up to $2 billion in non-core assets. Earlier this week, Suno Notícias reported that China Mobile has filed a request to operate in Brazil and eventually acquire Oi. The country’s telecom regulatory agency Anatel said Sept. 17th it didn’t have any official information regarding the request.

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Addendum: Huawei launches new ‘Vision TV’ with 4K quantum dot color, which comes in 55″/65″/75″ sizes. Media paying attention to the fact that Huawei is adopting QD technology, which until now has been a key technology for Samsung’s TV (QLED) strategy. (ZDNet)

http://www.zdnet.co.kr/view/?no=20190920082939

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References:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oi-m-a-huawei-tech/huawei-to-join-forces-with-china-mobile-to-bid-for-brazils-oi-report-idUSKBN1W60EH

https://www.euronews.com/2019/09/22/huawei-denies-interest-in-acquiring-oi-or-any-other-brazilian-carrier

 

 

Verizon CEO: 5G will require fiber optic expansion, mobile edge computing and continue to use mmWave spectrum

Verizon 5G Overview:

Verizon’s 5G network strategy is centered on three deliverables with fiber optics for backhaul playing a huge role in all of them:

  1.  5G mobile for businesses and consumers,
  2.  5G home broadband (see Note 1. below) —delivering home internet over the air—and
  3.  Mobile edge computing, which is essentially miniature data centers distributed throughout the network so they’re closer to the 5G endpoints.

The company’s CEO Hans Vestberg said that a total of 30 5G mobile cities will be launched by Verizon this year. He also plans to restart Verizon’s fixed wireless 5G Home service [1] later this year. 5G Home currently is in four U.S. markets.

Note 1.  There is no standard for 5G fixed wireless and none is even being worked on.  It is not an IMT 2020 use case within ITU.

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Fiber and Mobile Edge Computing:

The U.S.’s #1 wireless carrier by subscribers will continue to install fiber at a rate of 1,400 miles per month in support of its 5G network builds for between two and three years.  Verizon will begin to provide mobile edge computing [aka Multi-access edge computing (MEC)] during the upcoming quarter, Vestberg said at a Goldman Sachs Communacopia investor conference on Thursday, September 19th.  Verizon fiber deployments are critical to supporting a mixture of services, Vestberg said.

As part of its Fiber One project, two years ago Verizon signed a $1.1 billion, three-year fiber and hardware purchase agreement with Corning to build a next-generation fiber platform to support 4G LTE, 5G, and gigabit backhaul for 5G networks and fiber-to-the premise deployments to residential and business customers. Also in 2017, Verizon also announced a $300 million fiber deal with Prsymian Group to provide additional fiber for its wireline and wireless services.

“The whole Intelligent Edge Network was basically all of the way from the data center to the access point we have one unique network for redundancy. And then, of course, in between fiber to the access point and then you decide if its 5G, 4G, or fiber to the home or fiber to curb, or fiber to the enterprise,” Vestberg said. “In that, the fiber deployment for us was extremely important.”

“One part of the whole intelligent edge network was that . . . all the way from the data center to the access point you have one unique network with a lot of redundancy and, in between, a lot of fiber to the access point and then you decide if it’s 3G, 5G, 4G or fiber to the home or fiber to the curb or fiber to the enterprise,” he explained.

Vestberg said: “You have one unique network with a lot of redundancy and, in between, a lot of fiber to the access point,” he said of edge computing, which has become a priority for many wireless and wireline network operators.

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mmWave for 5G:

Verizon will continue to deploy millimeter wave (mmWave) for its 5G network for the foreseeable future, Vestberg told the investor conference audience.  High frequency band mmWave has great download speeds but its range is very limited, which requires many more small cells.

“Maybe you have 50 to 70 megabits per second on a 4G network today, when you get 1 gig [on 5G] it’s a totally different experience and what you can do with it,” Vestberg said. “What we saw in the 4G era was enormous innovation coming with that [greater] coverage and that speed [over 3G]. It’s going to be the same with 5G for sure,” he added.

“Now we have 2 gigs [gigabits per second] on the phones,” Vestberg said. The range, however, can veer from 2,000 feet to 500 feet and the network can’t deliver flashy streaming videos — or, in fact, any kind of service — indoors.  Verizon is the only US carrier solely dedicated to the highband (28GHz) approach to 5G for now. AT&T and T-Mobile plan to launch low and mid band 5G networks next year, along with limited mmWave deployments. Sprint has mid band 5G launched so far.

“We can launch nationwide with millimeter wave,” the Verizon CEO insisted.  “Any spectrum will have 5G in the future,” Vestberg noted. Verizon will also offer dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) in the future. DSS will allow operators to share spectrum instantaneously and simultaneously between 4G and 5G networks. But not for mmWave, since that doesn’t share spectrum with any 4G networks.

Vestberg said Verizon has all the spectrum it needs now to do a nationwide network on mmWave, and that adding more antennas in a given area or making software adjustments are also options for increasing capacity on existing spectrum bands.

Vestberg insisted that the mmWave-based service will be “self-install.” This would be more economical than the “white glove” — a.k.a. professional — installation model that 5G Home started with in October 2018.

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Verizon’s mobile network:

A growing percentage of Verizon’s mobile subscribers are on unlimited data plans, with about half today.  “This is a way for us to continue to see that our customers have a great journey from metered plan to Unlimited (data) plans and then they can move up…to 5G,” Vestberg said.

“We think that we are best equipped to leverage the best network and continue to partner with [media companies] rather than us managing it.  Others might have better qualities for doing that but we don’t, Vestberg said.

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References:

Verizon to speak at Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference September 19
https://www.verizon.com/about/investors/goldman-sachs-28th-annual-communacopia-conference

https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1260712&tp_key=eae790b458

https://www.barrons.com/articles/verizon-ceo-hans-vestberg-stock-5g-wireless-competition-51568906382

https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/5g/verizons-vestberg-sticks-with-mmwave-for-5g-/d/d-id/754248

https://www.telecompetitor.com/verizon-ceo-ongoing-fiber-investments-paying-dividends-including-mec/

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