Samsung (with AT&T) Tests How 5G Can Improve Chip-Making

By Sara Castellanos of the Wall Street Journal

Samsung Electronics Co. is testing how 5G wireless networks can speed up connections at its chip-making factory in Austin, Texas, a pilot that aims to prove 5G is more than a buzzword. The company is experimenting with the new technology to show what ultra-fast speeds can do at its Austin chip factory

The company has teamed up with AT&T Inc. ’s communications division to develop a customized 5G network to experiment with how it could be used in chip manufacturing.

The fifth generation of cellular networking, 5G is designed to replace current 4G technology, also known as LTE. The ultrafast speeds and reduced lag that will come with 5G will buttress new applications such as augmented reality and self-driving cars. Peak download speeds using 5G are expected to be about 100 times as fast as with 4G.

The transformation that will come from widespread commercial 5G deployments in manufacturing, logistics, transportation and energy is still about a decade away, experts have said. That’s partly because it will take time to roll out the infrastructure to achieve full 5G coverage.

In the meantime, Samsung and other companies are testing 5G’s potential in limited pilots to show what the technology can do.

“We’re still in the experimentation phase, but we’re hopeful there’s value,” said Alok Shah, vice president of networks strategy, business development and marketing at Samsung Electronics America, the company’s U.S. unit.

Factories will be a big beneficiary of 5G connections, said Andre Fuetsch, chief technology officer for AT&T Communications, AT&T’s biggest division.

“We see 5G being a great solution for solving a lot of the Wi-Fi issues that typical factories have today,” he said. The technology, for example, could be used on manufacturing floors to power more reliable connections for computer-vision-scanning equipment that checks product quality.

AT&T has also rolled out consumer 5G networks in about 20 U.S. cities.

Samsung Electronics America and AT&T have invested millions of dollars in 5G innovation at Samsung’s chip-manufacturing facility in Austin. Thousands of employees work at the chip factory, which is the size of about 10 football fields, Mr. Shah said.

Chip-making uses a lot of water and toxic chemicals; 5G could help chip factories cut waste and alert workers to safety hazards.

For example, 5G would allow more sensors to be installed to detect air quality, Mr. Shah said. Streaming real-time data from the sensors over 5G networks would mean that a control center can immediately detect serious air-quality hazards and move people out of harm’s way. Sensors in factories today can’t rely on existing wireless networks to pass along warnings to a control center, Mr. Shah said.

“Being able to put thousands of sensors within a relatively small space is hard for other [networking] technologies to support,” Mr. Shah said. Certain networks can only support a finite number of devices. Fifth-generation wireless networks could support 1 million devices per square kilometer, up from about 100,000 devices per square kilometer with 4G LTE, he said.

Sensors on pumps and valves could also stream data about water usage over 5G networks so the facility can improve the efficiency of its water usage in real time and reduce waste.

Using 5G connections, workers could also learn how to repair equipment on the factory floor through augmented and virtual-reality headsets without any buffering or lags.

Other companies including New York Times Co. and German engineering firm Robert Bosch GmbH are testing 5G in pilots. The market for 5G, including related network infrastructure, is forecast to grow to $26 billion in 2022 from $528 million in 2018, according to research firm International Data Corp.

The tests are often “showcase demonstration pieces,” useful for proving that 5G could generate revenue through new services or make processes more efficient, said Jason Leigh, research manager for mobility and 5G at IDC.

“The sooner you can get something tangible, it makes it easier to have that discussion at a C-suite and board level about what 5G really is, and it’s not just this fad,” Mr. Leigh said.

Write to Sara Castellanos at sara.castellanos@wsj.com

https://www.wsj.com/articles/samsung-tests-how-5g-can-improve-chip-making-11565813658

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Last September, AT&T and Samsung created the US’s first manufacturing-focused 5G “Innovation Zone” in Austin, TX.  The zone, designed to test 5th generation wireless broadband technology, will be on Samsung Austin Semiconductor’s 160-acre campus in north Austin. The site will feature AT&T’s 5G wireless technology along with Samsung’s 5G network equipment, according to an announcement Wednesday from the two companies.

Technology experts say 5G — which is essentially ultra high-speed wireless connections — will not only power future waves of mobile devices, but also will evolve technology in other industries like automotive and health care. Companies expect 5G to be up to 100 times faster than the current 4G networks.

“This collaboration with Samsung Electronics America and AT&T will help us test how a 5G network can improve mobility, performance and efficiencies within our plant,” Sang-Pil Sim, president of Samsung Austin Semiconductor, said in a statement.

South Korea-based Samsung has operated in Austin since 1997. About 3,000 employees work in the 2.45 million-square-foot Austin chip making plant. Samsung has invested $17 billion in its Austin campus through the years.

https://www.dallasnews.com/business/att/2018/09/26/att-teams-samsung-launch-5g-innovation-zone-austin

 

GSA Update and Analysis: 5G Devices Ecosystem – August 2019

  • The GSA Research team has identified 100 announced 5G devices in total, excluding regional variants and prototypes not expected to be commercialised.In the first half of 2019, the number of announced 5G devices grew rapidly, starting with a few announcements and then gathering pace as operators in various parts of the world launched their first commercial 5G services. We can expect the device ecosystem to continue to grow quickly and GSA will be tracking and reporting regularly on 5G device launch announcements. Its GAMBoD database will contain key details about device form factors, features and support for spectrum bands. Summary statistics are released in this regular publication. By the first week of August, GSA had identified:
    • Thirteen announced form factors (phones, hotspots, indoor CPE, outdoor CPE, laptops, modules, snap-on dongles/adapters, enterprise routers, IoT routers, drones, a switch, a USB terminal and robot).
    • Forty-one vendors that had announced available or forthcoming 5G devices, including sub-brands separately (plus four in partnership with Sunsea).
    • One hundred announced devices, up from 90 at the end of June (excluding regional variants, re-badged devices, phones that can be upgraded using a separate adapter, and prototypes not expected to be commercialised):
    • 26 phones (plus regional variants); at least nine of which are now commercially available
    • eight hotspots (plus regional variants); at least three of which are now commercially available
    • 26 CPE devices (indoor and outdoor, including two Verizon-spec compliant devices) at least eight of which are now believed to be commercially available
    • 28 modules
    • two snap-on dongles/adapters
    • two routers,
    • two IoT routers
    • two drones
    • one laptop
    • one switch
    • one USB terminal
    • one robot

Here are the commercially available 5G devices as listed in the GSA’s latest report August 2019:

  • HTC 5G Hub (hotspot)
  • Huawei 5G CPE 2.0 (indoor and outdoor customer premises equipment, or CPE)
  • Huawei 5G CPE Win (outdoor and window CPE)
  • Huawei 5G CPE Pro (indoor CPE)
  • Huawei Mate X (phone)
  • Huawei Mate 20x 5G (phone)
  • Inseego R1000 Home Router/MiFi IQ 5G (fixed wireless indoor CPE)
  • Inseego MiFi M1000 5G Mobile Hotspot (hotspot)
  • LG V50 ThinQ (phone)
  • Motorola 5G Moto Mod Snap-on (dongle)
  • Netgear Nighthawk M5 Fusion MR5000 (aka Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot) (hotspot)
  • Nokia Fastmile 5G Gateway CPE (indoor/ outdoor CPE)
  • OnePlus OnePlus 7Pro 5G (phone)
  • Oppo Reno 5G (phone)
  • Percepto Drone-in-abox (drone)
  • Samsung SFG-D0100 (indoor CPE)
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 5G (phone)
  • SIMCom Wireless SIM8200- EA-M2 (module)
  • SIMCom Wireless SIM8200G (module)
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G (phone)
  • ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G (phone)
  • ZTE 5G Indoor CPE MC801 (indoor CPE)

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What versions of 5G have been deployed/announced? 
After downloading and reading the GSA report, I noticed a huge omission: the version of 5G is not disclosed for any of the “pre-IMT 2020 standard 5G” deployments.  Most are likely to be based on 3GPP release 15 “5G NR” for the data plane NSA (LTE signaling and EPC).  However, many of the 5G fixed wireless deployments (like Verizon’s and C-Spire) are proprietary.

5G silicon? 

Also of note is that within the 5G devices, there are only four 5G silicon vendors chipsets – Qualcomm is by far the largest selling 5G SoC’s/IP, then Mediatek selling on the merchant market, whereas Huawei and Samsung design their own silicon for their 5G terminals/handsets and base stations.

Note while there is not yet any “Intel inside” 5G, Intel has sold its 5G smartphone modem silicon business to Apple recently for $1B.

If 5G were truly such a hot market, why aren’t there other semiconductor vendors pursuing it? 

Posted in 5G Tagged

China Mobile Explores 5G Tie-Up With National Cable TV Operator

by Liu Yanfei and Yang Ge of Caixin Global

China Mobile Ltd., the world’s biggest wireless carrier by subscribers, said it is talking with a recently formed national cable TV operator about cooperation in upcoming 5G networks and services, as it looks for new income sources to jumpstart its stagnating revenue.

China Mobile controls about 60% of its massive home market, making it flush with cash for aggressive spending on a state-of-the-art 5G network that has become a recent top priority for Beijing. By comparison, China Broadcasting Network Corp. was formed only five years ago by cobbling together many of the nation’s regional cable TV operators, and is relatively cash poor.

China Mobile and its two peers, China Telecom Corp. Ltd. and China Unicom Telecommunication Corp. Ltd., all received 5G licenses when the regulator awarded them in June, a move that was widely expected. But many industry watchers were surprised when China Broadcasting also received a 5G license because the company is relatively cash-poor and also has little or no experience in wireless services.

China Mobile had previously made known its desire to work with China Broadcasting, even though Unicom and China Telecom opposed such a move. China Mobile Chairman Yang Jie told Caixin on Thursday that talks between the two sides have taken place on building and sharing 5G networks, but he added there is nothing to reveal just yet.

“Building and sharing 5G networks is something the nation also supports, and businesses are also quite willing,” he told Caixin on the sidelines of an event to discuss the company’s latest financial results, which were also released on Thursday.

China Mobile Chairman Yang Jie says Thursday in Hong Kong that his company and China Broadcasting have discussed building and sharing 5G networks. Photo: VCG

China Mobile Chairman Yang Jie says Thursday in Hong Kong that his company and China Broadcasting have discussed building and sharing 5G networks. Photo: VCG

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A collaboration with China Broadcasting would give China Mobile access to one of the country’s biggest providers of programming via the former’s vast cable network. Such a tie-up could help to reinvigorate China Mobile’s revenues, which have stagnated in recent years as demand for its core wireless voice and data services starts to mature.

On Thursday, China Mobile reported interim results that showed the company’s revenue dipped by 0.9% to 204.4 billion yuan ($29 billion) in this year’s second quarter, while its profit plunged 18.8% to 32.4 billion yuan, according to calculations by Caixin.

China Broadcasting was formed in 2014 by combining many of the country’s regional cable-TV operators. It was originally set up to run cable TV networks, but was granted a license to operate internet and telecom services in 2016.

Before issuing 5G licenses in June, China’s telecom regulator called a meeting with each of the three big carriers’ top officials in charge of network construction, a source close to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) previously told Caixin. China Mobile raised its hopes of working together with China Broadcasting on that occasion, even though Unicom and China Telecom opposed.

As the nation’s dominant carrier, China Mobile is spending the most aggressively on 5G. Figures from the company indicate it now plans to spend about 24 billion yuan on the network this year. By comparison, Unicom has said it plans to spend 6 billion yuan to 8 billion yuan on 5G this year, while China Telecom has said it plans to spend about 9 billion yuan.

Contact reporter Yang Ge (geyang@caixin.com; twitter: @youngchinabiz)

Original article athttps://www.caixinglobal.com/2019-08-09/china-mobile-talks-5g-tie-up-with-national-cable-tv-operator-101449253.html

India’s Airtel: Security concerns should be addressed before adopting 5G; Nokia and Huawei disagree!

India Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has cautioned that security concerns [1.] should be addressed before adopting 5G in India, even if it means pushing the rollout back by 12-18 months. Telecom equipment vendors Nokia and Huawei disagreed, saying security aspects shouldn’t be overplayed, and that India should not waste time before adopting 5G.

Airtel.Reuter

Gopal Vittal, CEO-India South Asia for Bharti Airtel said India must have right security architecture and policy. 

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Note 1.  5G (IMT 2020) networks will also come with risks. Vastly increased numbers of devices and an elevated use of virtualization and the cloud will mean many more 5G security threats and a broader, multifaceted attack surface. To realize a strong and healthy communications future, the industry needs to maintain a laser focus on 5G security.

ITU-T SG17/Q6: Security aspects of telecommunication services, networks and Internet of Things is the lead ITU-T activity on 5G security.  Doesn’t appear anything concrete has come out yet!

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The above referenced companies differed  on the broader issue of security, with Nokia saying security around 5G was also a geopolitical matter, and not just a matter of technology, with “trust” in the gear supplier of crucial importance. China’s Huawei – under pressure across the world owing to alleged security concerns due to its perceived proximity to the Chinese government and fighting to gain trust of countries like India – downplayed the issue, saying it was a “a technical issue, not a political one.”

The government assured it is going through all issues, adding that concerns will be addressed through the Personal Data Protection Bill.“We should not plunge into this (5G), we should take next 12-18 months …to make sure we really understand this beast thoroughly,” Gopal Vittal, CEO-India South Asia for Bharti Airtel, said at ET Telecom 5G Congress held last week. He said India must have right security architecture and policy.

“Telcos have been mandated as per the licensing conditions how they have to deal with the data…Yes, there are concerns in OTT (over-the-top, or app) players and third-party solution (providers), and data protection will be in place,” said R Shakya, deputy director general (security) at the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).  Shakya was part of a panel on Policy and Regulatory Challenges in India’s 5G Journey that was moderated by Prashant Singhal, TMT emerging markets leader at EY.

Sanjay Malik, Nokia’s head of India market, said, “There will be a bit more threat in 5G but, from launching perceptive, let’s not overburden with policy and security aspects. Maybe it needs to be seen in terms of more than just network security, (and also the) geopolitical situation.”

Huawei India CEO Jay Chen countered, saying network security in the 5G context is “a technical issue, not a political one,” which he believes the Indian government is increasingly aware of. He added that challenges can be handled by framing universal security standards, equipment testing and even thrashing out legal arrangements. Chen also said 5G technology was also a lot more secure than 2G, 3G, or 4G due to its unique architecture, and its encryption codes can only be broken by quantum computers of the future.  Huawei India’s CEO said there is no time to lose as there are already 26 commercial 5G networks worldwide as we speak, which is likely to rise to 60 by the year-end, adding that there would also be 1 million 5G base stations in China alone by next year.

References:

https://www.ctia.org/news/whats-new-in-5g-security-a-brief-explainer

http://www.5gamericas.org/files/8815/4092/3086/5G_Americas_5G_Security_White_Paper_Final.pdf

https://www.3gpp.org/news-events/1975-sec_5g

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-telecoms-5g-security/western-allies-agree-5g-security-guidelines-warn-of-outside-influence-idUSKCN1S91D2

https://www.huawei.com/minisite/5g/img/5G_Security_Whitepaper_en.pdf

https://docbox.etsi.org/Workshop/2018/201806_ETSISECURITYWEEK/5G/S01_INPUT_TO_5G/ACTIVITIES_ACTION_PLAN_5G-SEC_ITUT_YANG.pdf

https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/Workshops-and-Seminars/20180319/Pages/default.aspx

China Races Ahead of the U.S. in the Battle for 5G Supremacy + 5G to stimulate US$500B in China tech growth over next 5 years (CAICT)

Bloomberg: China Races Ahead of the U.S. in the Battle for 5G Supremacy

by Sheryl Tian Tong Lee –with assistance from Ed Ludlow (emphasis added by Alan J Weissberger)

In the race for tech supremacy, China is betting it can seize the lead by building the world’s biggest 5G wireless networks.

To get there, the country is banking on the might of the one-party state, making sure its state-run carriers have access to cheap airwaves and fast, inexpensive approvals for putting up the hundreds of thousands of base stations the fastest wireless technology requires.

As top phone companies elsewhere flinch at the cost of building 5G wireless networks, China’s operators are barreling ahead on the government’s mandate, virtually free airwaves and equipment at less than half the price U.S. carriers are paying. Being the first to reach massive scale with the speediest networks could also help the nation in its ambition to dominate industries like factory automation, robotics and autonomous driving.

“5G is a foundation and catalyst for reinventing industries,” said Paul Lee, U.K.-based head of research for technology, media and telecommunications at Deloitte Consulting. “The fundamental benefit of being the first mover is that you can build business models on the back of that and export them to other countries.”

As top mobile carriers elsewhere flinch at the cost of building 5G wireless networks, China’s telecoms operators are barrelling ahead on the government’s mandate, virtually free airwaves and equipment at less than half the price US carriers are paying. Photo: Reuters

As top mobile carriers elsewhere flinch at the cost of building 5G wireless networks, China’s telecoms operators are barrelling ahead on the government’s mandate, virtually free airwaves and equipment at less than half the price U.S. carriers are paying. Photo: Reuters

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South Korea’s wireless carriers were the first to offer commercial 5G services, with SK Telecom Co. launching its network in April and Samsung Electronics Co. already offering a 5G-enabled smartphone. But while U.S. carriers in cities like Minneapolis and Chicago have the beginnings of 5G offerings, it’s in sheer scale where China is on course to edge ahead over the next five years.

That size advantage is also reflected in China’s push to invent 5G technology.

The country’s biggest companies have already established a lead in patents related to the fastest network technology. Huawei Technologies Co., the contentious Chinese firm that’s at the heart of current U.S.-China tensions, leads the pack as the world’s biggest telecom equipment supplier. Meanwhile, ZTE Corp., which has also drawn America’s ire in the past, comes in at No. 3, according to Berlin-based patent information platform IPlytics.

But that won’t necessarily translate into network domination. China’s three carriers — China Mobile Ltd., China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. and China Telecom Corp. — are all state owned.

Harvard Business School economist Shane Greenstein says having a bigger government role in 5G may not provide an advantage.  “The private firms in China in the digital sector have an admirable record with experimentation,” he said. “The state-owned enterprises? That is a more open question.”

Where the government is helping is by holding carriers’ costs down. Beijing is providing the bandwidth for 5G networks almost for free, said Edison Lee, head of telecommunications research at Jefferies Hong Kong Ltd.

U.S. carriers, by contrast, bid $2.7 billion at two auctions of 5G airwaves, according to the Federal Communications Commission. In India, the industry group representing carriers says its members can’t afford spectrum the government expects to auction for about $84 billion this year.

China’s operators will also pay less for base stations. The units will probably cost about $30,000 each in China, less than half the $65,000 average in other developed-economy markets, Jefferies’ Lee estimates. Two of China’s carriers have said they will lease the equipment, cutting the upfront cash outlay to roughly $6,500 each per year, Lee said.

In the U.S., where the government is leaving 5G to companies, carriers will also pay at least five times more than Chinese operators for civil engineering and permits to build 5G, Deloitte Consulting estimates.

The world’s most populous country has about 350,000 5G-operable base stations deployed, nearly 10 times as many as in the U.S., according to a U.S. Department of Defense study.  The report says China claiming the position of standard-setter for 5G, with Huawei leading rival telecom equipment makers, is a risk for the U.S. This “will create serious security risks for DoD going forward if the rest of the world accepts Chinese products as the cheaper and superior option for 5G,” said the report.

Concern about China’s edge prompted President Donald Trump to float a proposal last year for the government to build a secure 5G network, people familiar with the matter said at the time. The idea was dropped immediately after regulators, industry leaders and elected officials immediately pushed back, saying companies were in a better position to move the technology forward.

The idea of China securing that advantage is also stoking concern among competitors beyond the telecommunications equipment and wireless services industries.

Chip maker Qualcomm Inc., for example, is urging the U.S. and other Western governments to embrace 5G more rapidly or risk falling behind China in the potentially life-saving technology, which is also used in self-driving cars.

China will be “saving hundreds if not thousands of lives much sooner than we will as we fumble to determine which is the standard that is best for the long-term road map in the Western world,” Qualcomm Senior Vice President Patrick Little said in an interview.

While China’s autonomous driving infrastructure lags behind the U.S., where firms like Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo LLC are streaking ahead in real-world testing, Chinese companies are developing related 5G applications with some established car makers.

ZTE is conducting 5G tests on self-driving cars, and has cooperated with Audi AG’s China unit to develop “internet-of-vehicles” technology. In robotics, ZTE is working with internet giant Baidu Inc. and Siasun Robot & Automation Co. to develop 5G applications.

Byton Ltd., an electric-vehicle startup based in Nanjing, will release an SUV in China at the end of this year that includes a range of artificial intelligence functions and a roof antenna that offers data transfer rates up to 10 Gbit a second, which it says is hundreds of times the normal average bandwidth.

The benefits of setting 5G standards may also help China outside its borders. President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative includes a push for Chinese-built network infrastructure across the length of a route that runs across Eurasia, the Middle East and parts of Africa.

“Developing countries that are more sensitive to cost will find the Chinese 5G price-point difficult to turn down, especially when the offer is sweetened with infrastructure and project-financing incentives like the Belt and Road Initiative,” the U.S. Department of Defense report said.

For its part, the U.S. is letting the private sector guide 5G development, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said in a June speech to wireless executives in New York.

“For all this talk about our government’s focus on 5G, make no mistake that we are pursuing a market-based strategy to promote 5G development and deployment,” Pai said.

And the U.S.’ crackdown on Huawei, cutting it off from components made by American companies, will be a big test of China’s 5G lead, says Anthea Lai, Asia Pacific media, technology and telecommunications analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence.

“Before Huawei’s ban, China had strong potential to lead in standalone 5G,” Lai said. “But now we have to see how much Huawei can keep its carrier business intact,” she said.  “Huawei could slow China down.”

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To contact the reporter on this story: Sheryl Tian Tong Lee in Hong Kong at slee1905@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dave McCombs at dmccombs@bloomberg.net, Jason Clenfield

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Original article at: https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/china-races-ahead-of-the-u-s-in-the-battle-for-5g-supremacy-1.1296079

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From South China Morning Post: 5G to stimulate US$500 billion in China tech growth over next five years

At the Global Mobile Internet Conference held in the southern coastal city of Guangzhou on Saturday, a representative from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) forecast that 5G will stimulate growth in the country’s information technology industry by 3.3 trillion yuan (US$479 billion) over the next five years.  That development is expected to rev up digitization across traditional industries, which would yield more than 10 trillion yuan in growth over the same period.

China Telecom technicians set up a 5G base station near the Yellow River in Lanzhou, capital of Gansu province in northwestern China, on May 16, 2019. Photo: Reuters

China Telecom technicians set up a 5G base station near the Yellow River in Lanzhou, capital of Gansu province in northwestern China, on May 16, 2019. Photo: Reuters

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“4G has changed people’s lives,” said Chen Jinqiao, deputy chief engineer at the academy, which is under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), during his presentation on China’s 5G development in the conference. But he indicated that 5G has the potential “to change society,” as different industries adopt the technology to their various requirements.

Chen’s growth estimates come amid the increased pace of 5G infrastructure spending in China, which is attempting to move ahead in the global race to deploy ultra-fast, next-generation mobile networks.

With peak data rates up to 100 times faster than what current 4G networks provide, 5G has been held out as “the connective tissue” for the Internet of Things, autonomous cars, smart cities and other new mobile applications, establishing the backbone for the industrial internet.

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References:

https://www.scmp.com/tech/big-tech/article/3020815/5g-stimulate-us500-billion-china-tech-growth-over-next-five-years

https://www.scmp.com/tech/enterprises/article/2168665/made-china-2025-5g-offers-worlds-biggest-mobile-market-chance-seize

China IT Minister: 5G Licenses Coming this Year; Deployment timing dependent on technology maturation

China Telecom to accelerate 5G deployment; 100% Fiber network coverage; Gigabit fiber broadband deployment

https://techblog.comsoc.org/tag/chinas-imt-2020-promotion-group/

http://www.imt-2020.cn/en/category/65569

https://money.cnn.com/2018/04/16/technology/china-united-states-5g-technology-study/index.html

 

T-Mobile Claim: 1st Standalone 5G Data Session on a Multi-Vendor Radio and Core Network

T-Mobile and Ericsson have conducted the first standalone 5G data session in the United States.

“This major 5G breakthrough is another example of how the T-Mobile engineering team continues to innovate and drive the entire industry forward. I could not be more proud of them,” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer at T-Mobile. “5G brings a new era in wireless, and if our merger with Sprint is approved, the New T-Mobile will bring together the resources and vision necessary to ensure America has a network that’s second to none,” he added.

Existing 5G networks are non standalone (NSA) and require a simultaneous connection to an LTE network. While a non-standalone architecture still offers better speeds and performance than just LTE, a standalone architecture makes sense for some new enterprise 5G services such as smart cities.

T-Mobile used Ericsson’s AIR 6488 radio and Baseband 6630. These products, from Ericsson’s Radio System portfolio, can become standalone with just a software update Ericsson says (we have our doubts).

According to Ericsson, Standalone New Radio (SA NR) – coupled with cloud-native 5G Core – will help to power exciting new applications such as mobile VR, cloud gaming, and connected cars. Such applications require almost real-time responses and reliable connectivity.

Image result for Stand Alone 5G pic

3GPP Release 15 “5G New Radio (NR)” is an OFDM-based global wireless spec for pre-standard 5G mobile networks.

It has two versions: Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G NR (widely deployed) and Standalone 5G NR (not deployed yet).

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Accomplishing this standalone 5G milestone on a multi-vendor 5G next generation network was no small feat. To complete the successful data session in its Bellevue, Washington lab, T-Mobile enlisted the help of industry leaders Ericsson, Nokia, Cisco and MediaTek.

Ericsson said in a blog post:

 Standalone New Radio (SA NR) – coupled with cloud-native 5G Core – will provide better support for all use cases and unlock the power of next-generation mobile technology. It will supercharge applications that require real-time responses and massive connectivity such as mobile augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), cloud gaming, smart factories and meters, and connected vehicles. 

Ericsson has been providing T-Mobile with equipment for multi-band 5G networks since 2018.

T-Mobile has not specified what spectrum it used for the standalone 5G data session, but a spokesperson has confirmed it was sub-6GHz.

As part of concessions to win the Department of Justice’s approval for the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger, Sprint will divest its prepaid business to Dish. Dish will have access to T-Mobile’s network through an MVNO arrangement for seven years while Dish builds out its own 5G standalone network.

T-Mobile says it plans to introduce standalone 5G in 2020, but that will NOT be compatible with IMT 2020 which won’t be completed till the end of that year!

All of today’s 5G networks in the US are currently non standalone (NSA),  based on 3GPP Release 15 5G NR in the data plane.  3GPP Release 16, together with parts of Release 15, will be 3GPP’s final IMT 2020 RIT submission to ITU-R WP5D.

3GPP has agreed revised completion dates for Release 16 – schedule shifted out by 3 months:

  • Release 16 RAN-1 Freeze RAN # 86 December 2019
  • Release 16 RAN Stage 3 Freeze RAN # 87 March 2020
  • Release 16 ASN.1 Freeze RAN # 88 June 2020
  • Release 16 RAN-4 Freeze RAN # 89 September 2020

References:

https://www.telecomstechnews.com/news/2019/aug/01/tmobile-ericsson-us-first-standalone-5g-data-session/

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2019/7/t-mobile-5g-data-session

https://www.t-mobile.com/news/t-mobile-achieves-a-worlds-first-with-standalone-5g-data-session

https://www.ericsson.com/en/press-releases/2018/2/ericsson-and-t-mobile-to-deploy-multi-band-nationwide-5g-network

Fitch: 5G rollout in Philippines to be ‘limited’

by Lisbet  K. Esmael, The Manila Times

Despite the publicized efforts of telecommunications companies (telcos) to roll out services powered by “5G” technology in the Philippines, Fitch Ratings presented a bleak outlook for its initial adoption.

In a report published on Tuesday night July 30th, the global debt watcher said 5G reach in the country remained “uncertain,” and expected its rollout “to be limited this year, considering the early stage of adoption and deployment, particularly in a predominantly prepaid market like the Philippines.”

Such adoption, Fitch Ratings said, may lie in the affordability and availability of devices, which should be 5G-ready.

“Prices of 5G customer-premises equipment would need to fall considerably for mass-market adoption to take place in emerging markets,” Fitch added.

a black sign with white letters

“The Philippine government has also not formally identified the 5G spectrum band for telcos,” Fitch Ratings noted.

The report comes after one of the country’s leading telcos, Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc. recently introduced 5G-powered fixed wireless services (not standardized by anyone), mainly to its home subscribers.

It made these services commercially available on Saturday in Buting village in Pasig City, offering speeds of up to 100 megabits per second and data capacity of up to 2 terabytes.

Globe Telecom aims to also offer these services in two dozen more areas, including Greenpark in Cainta town, Rizal province; Woodland Hills in Carmona town, Cavite province; and Carissa Homes 2A and 2B, Palmera Homes in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan province.

Another telco, PLDT Inc., is poised to introduce its own 5G services by early 2020, delaying its supposed fourth-quarter launch, as it is yet to identify its technology vendor.

New telco players Dito Telecommunity Corp. (formerly Mislatel Consortium) — selected by the government in November to challenge the dominance of the so-called PLDT-Globe duopoly — and NOW Telecom are also looking to launch their 5G services soon.

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From Fitch Solutions:

  • We expect over 4bn 5G subscribers in 2028, while (pre-standard) 5G services will be available in 25 countries by the end of 2019.
  • 4G will remain a key technology worldwide in the 2020s.
  • IoT and industry remain the key use case in our view.
  • Business users will be the key clients of 5G services, as part of the digital transformation trend.

–>US, China, South Korea And Japan Key Early Adopters

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References:

5G rollout in PH ‘limited’ – Fitch

Philippines’ Globe Telecom to deploy “Air Fiber 5G” this month

Philippines’ Globe Telecom to deploy “5G” by 2Q19

 

“5G” Fixed Wireless Technology to be Deployed in Philippines by Globe Telecom in 2Q 2019

 

AT&T tests “5G” transmission on mid band (sub 6GHz) and later low band (700MHz) spectrum

AT&T plans to test “5G” transmission  equipment in the 4400 MHz to 5000 MHz band in Austin, Texas, having received an experimental license from the FCC.

The 4400MHz to 5000MHz band is known as the n79 band in 3GPP Release 15 “5G New Radio (NR)” specification [1.]. It is also part of the C-Band in the US.

Note 1.  3GPP completed Release 15 “5G NR” specifications in June 2018. Together with 3GPP final NR specifications in Release 16, they will be submitted for consideration as an IMT 2020 Radio Interface Technology (RIT) at a future ITU-R WP5D meeting.  Release 16 is now scheduled for completion during the first half of 2020.  It will (hopefully) specify ultra low latency, ultra high reliability operation in the data plane- an important use case for 5G/ IMT 2020.

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AT&T is running mobile tests between the beginning of June and the beginning of September this year.  AT&T says that those tests will operate “within 20 meters radius of base.”

“AT&T seeks to further validate system design and operation in the sub-6 GHz band for certain applications and use cases such as IAB (Integrated Access and Backhaul), LNC (LTE-NR Coexistence), V2X (Vehicle to vehicle/others), URLLC (Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication), mMTC (massive Machine Type Communications), and eMBB (enhanced Mobile BroadBand),” wrote AT&T’s David Wolter in the company’s application for the FCC license.

“We wouldn’t be able to share info beyond that in the license app,” an AT&T spokeswoman told Light Reading.

AT&T is scheduled to start its rollout of 5G on low-band spectrum next year, probably on the 700MHz band.

This week, the company announced a successful sub-6GHz spectrum transmission field test in in Plano, TX. However, the actual frequencies used were not disclosed.

After making our first data transfer over Sub-6GHz spectrum in the field this week, AT&T is a step closer to introducing 5G over sub-6 spectrum, with plans to offer nationwide 5G in the first half of 2020.  This milestone connection was made in Plano, Texas using a Qualcomm Technologies smartphone form factor test device powered by a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 5G modem, RF transceiver and RF Front-End (RFFE) solution. Moving this connectivity from the Lab to the field marks significant progress toward our plans to offer 5G to customers across the country. We also remain on track to offer our first smartphone capable of accessing 5G over low-band spectrum as early as this year.

The mega telco and media giant is currently running some of its 5G networks in 21 cities on its 39GHz millimeter wave system for businesses and selected developers. Compared with low-band, these millimeter wave networks offer blazing speeds (1 Gbit/s), but much lower coverage ranges (1,000 to 2,000 feet).  Hence, they will require many more small cells for any given geographical area.

AT&T plans to offer nationwide 5G running on low-band spectrum in the first half of 2020. The operator is expected to use 700MHz spectrum, alongside its FirstNet 4G 700MHz deployment, but could rely on other frequencies as well. AT&T has also been involved in discussions about using the C-Band, largely in the 3.7GHz to 4.2GHz ranges, for 5G.

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Addendum: Frequency Bands for IMT 2020

The actual frequencies to be used for IMT 2020 radio aspects (ITU-R WP5D) will be determined at WRC-19 in Egypt this fall.  Those will then be listed in a REVISION OF ITU-R Recommendation
M.1036-5:  Frequency arrangements for implementation of the terrestrial component of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) in the bands identified for IMT in the Radio Regulations (RR). 
While nothing has been decided yet, ITU-R has proposed some high band frequencies as per  https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/Documents/ITU-R-FAQ-IMT.pdf
  19. Question: What frequency bands are under study for the implementation of IMT2020 (5G) RIT/SRITs? 
The following (high) bands, which are already allocated to mobile, will be studied with a view to an IMT-2020 (5G) identification: • 24.25 – 27.5 GHz • 37 – 40.5 GHz • 42.5 – 43.5 GHz • 45.5 – 47 GHz • 47.2 – 50.2 GHz • 50.4 – 52.6 GHz • 66 – 76 GHz • 81 – 86 GHz The following bands will also be studied, although they are not currently globally allocated to the mobile service: • 31.8 – 33.4 GHz • 40.5 – 42.5 GHz  • 47 – 47.2 GHz
 
The results of the studies will be submitted for decision to the next World Radio Conference (WRC-19), to be held from 28 October to 22 November 2019 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.  
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References:

SK Telecom Launches 5G AR and VR Services for eSports

SK Telecom today announced the launch of three 5G AR and VR services – ‘Jump AR’, ‘LCK* VR Live Broadcasting’ and ‘VR Replay’ – to offer a more realistic and immersive experience when watching eSports games.

‘Jump AR’ is an augmented reality service that teleports users to an eSports stadium, LoL Park, through their smartphone screens. When accessing the ‘Jump AR’ app, a ‘virtual portal’ to LoL Park in Seoul appears on the screen. If users take a few steps towards the virtual portal, they are transported to the virtual LoL Park.

By moving their smartphones around, users can get a 360-degree view of LoL Park’s interior, leave AR messages of support, watch greeting videos of players, and also read messages left by other eSports fans.

SK Telecom applied a hyper-immersive space platform and real-time tracking technology to allow users to freely navigate the virtual LoL Park. Users can also take fan selfies through 3D facial recognition and realistic AR rendering technologies.

LCK VR Live Broadcasting’ allows users to watch eSports players close-up through the 360-degree VR cameras installed in LoL Park while enjoying the cheers from actual audience in real time.

‘VR Replay’ is a new eSports video content that provides highlights from the perspective of characters in the game. By wearing VR headsets, users can watch 360-degree battle scenes from characters’ point of view. SK Telecom applied an advanced technology that combines separate scenes into a 360-degree video content.

The company provides ‘LCK VR Live Broadcasting’ and ‘VR Replay’ through ‘SKT-5GX’ section of ‘oksusu.’

The esports arena within the LoL Park, set up by Riot Games in Seoul, can seat 400 spectators, but tickets are frequently sold out early, the Korean telecom firm said, noting that its new AR and VR services will allow esports fans to enjoy games anywhere with smartphones if they fail to obtain tickets.

The Jump AR service offers users the experience of being teleported down to the esports arena, providing a 360-degree view.

The VR Replay offers highlight scenes of games from the perspective of game characters. Wearing a VR headset, users can enjoy an immersive viewing experience as if they are in the middle of the battlefield in the games.

The VR on-the-spot live broadcast enables users to watch players at close range through 360-degree VR cameras installed at the esports arena.

“With new 5G immersive technologies, SK Telecom has realized unprecedented eSports broadcasting services and content,” said Jeon Jin-soo, Vice President and Head of 5GX Service Business Division of SK Telecom. “We will continue to develop innovative 5G services to offer immersive experiences for customers.”

Models promote SK Telecom’s AR and VR services designed to offer more immersive viewing experiences for esports fans at LoL Park in Seoul in this photo provided by the mobile carrier,  PHOTO Courtesy of SK Telecom

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About SK Telecom

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

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

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

Media Contact

Yong-jae Lee

SK Telecom Co., Ltd.

(822) 6100 3838

yjlee6880@sk.com

Irene Kim

SK Telecom Co., Ltd.

(822) 6100 3867

gahaekim@sk.com

Ha-young Lee

BCW Korea

(822) 3782 6421

Hayoung.Lee@bcw-global.com

The Mouse that ROARED: Monaco Claims It’s Won the 5G Race!

Monaco Grand Prix inspired the country to win the 5G race, by Digital Trends

Editor’s Note:

With a population of less than 39,000 people, Monaco is a tiny independent city-state on France’s Mediterranean coastline known for its upscale casinos, yacht-lined harbor and prestigious Grand Prix motor race, which runs through Monaco’s streets once a year. Monte-Carlo, its major district, is home to an elegant belle-époque casino complex and ornate Salle Garnier opera house. It also has many luxurious hotels, boutiques, nightclubs and restaurants.  I visited the country with my son in the summer of 2003 while attending an ITU standards meeting near Valbonne, France.

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Monaco is the first fully 5G-connected country in the world. That means if you have a 5G phone, a 5G connection (and therefore super-fast download speeds) will accompany it anywhere in Monaco. It sounds small, but 5G is rolling out in small areas of select cities around the world, so at the moment it’s impossible to get a complete 5G experience outside of Monaco. What drove the country to adopt the next-gen network so quickly?

“It’s the Grand Prix that brings a sense of urgency to launching 5G in Monaco,” Martin Peronnet, CEO of Monaco Telecom, told Digital Trends in an interview at the company’s headquarters, less than two weeks after its 5G service went live.

Monaco is not your usual country as it’s not very big at all. It’s actually smaller than Central Park in New York, but it’s still home to almost 40,000 people and another 70,000 people come to Monaco to work each day — it’s one of the few places that has more jobs than residents.

While 5G will bring new opportunities to everyone there, it was the annual Formula One Grand Prix that shaped Monaco’s 5G endeavour. It launched on July 10 after two months of hard work — an incredibly fast turnaround — made possible by a vital partnership and meticulous planning. Monaco Telecom worked with Huawei to make its 5G network a reality, and it’s solely powered by the Chinese company’s network infrastructure.

“Monaco is sometimes the busiest place in the world, in terms of mobile usage, and that’s typically during the Grand Prix,” Peronnet said. “It’s really one of the most challenging events to cover with telecommunications. There is so much usage, and each year we continuously rework our network to serve the 50% more usage we get. We knew our 4G network would not be enough in two years time.”

Implementing a 5G network is not easy, but Monaco was prepared and has been at the forefront of some serious mobile tech breakthroughs already — key to 5G’s rollout.

“For the last four years, our strategy has been to be in the leading position for new technologies. We were the first to introduce 450Mbps speeds on 4G, and the first in the world to launch 1Gbps on 4G in 2017. We have done a lot of work to modernize the network,” Peronnet added.

This forethought is important, along with the introduction of tech like 4×4 MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output), and key to Monaco Telecom’s 5G launch going smoothly. Long trials were shunned and the focus was always on the commercial launch. Why the rush? Introducing 5G is essential to make sure everyone in Monaco during future Grand Prix will be able to enjoy a good connection. At least 200,000 people attend the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, and as you’d expect, photos and videos are constantly shared, and the level of activity is only going to increase.

The Grand Prix didn’t just dictate Monaco’s need for 5G — it even dictated when work on deploying the Huawei infrastructure and equipment could start. Astonishingly, work began just two months before the July 10 switch-on, and the final base station was installed only two days before that date.

“We couldn’t work on the network before the end of the 2019 Grand Prix,” Peronnet said. “Because it’s so busy, we cannot touch [the network]. In fact, each year we redesign it to make it Grand Prix-ready, and when it’s all over, it’s put back into its normal configuration.”

This tight time frame was oddly advantageous, because it allowed Monaco Telecom to use the newest Huawei equipment and the latest commercial versions of the 5G technology, which only came along in June. Martin admits all this wouldn’t have been possible in a country any bigger than Monaco. However, there are still 23 sites that needed to be equipped with 5G antennas, and six tons of hardware was used, some of which had to reach some challenging places.

For example, one base station is found on the side of a cliff and accessed by climbers, while another is hidden on top of the old town’s cathedral — which required a crane and serious negotiation with authorities to place. Another antenna is on the Monte Carlo Casino, which was problematic due to specific network interference issues. Remember, all this and a lot more was completed in two months.

To launch a full 5G network so fast required hard work, a strong partnership, and plenty of trust. Peronnet described Monaco Telecom as one of the smallest carriers in the world while pointing out its partner Huawei is one of the biggest mobile technology companies in the world.   Yet the two teams worked well together.

“They’re very good on mobile; they’re very reliable, and they like challenges,” he said about Huawei.

Apparently, engineers in both Monaco and China didn’t sleep for a week during the final stages of the project — such was the drive to complete it. “It’s good to know you can rely on the company you need to achieve things with, and it gave us confidence,” he added.

He explained that using only one manufacturer’s equipment is important on a small network like Monaco Telecom, as multiple vendors complicate the process. My interview came on the same day the U.K. announced a continued delay in choosing providers for its own 5G network infrastructure and additionally stated concerns over the availability and reliability of Huawei technology due to the firm’s presence on the Entity List in the U.S.. Was this a concern for Monaco Telecom? “Not on 5G,” he said. “But we are concerned. We are a small country, and we can’t influence the world. Nobody really cares about the decisions Monaco is making, as it doesn’t have a consequence for the rest of the world. We are faced with this uncertainty, and in business you don’t like uncertainty.”

“The main issue isn’t about people spying, it’s about security breaches.” Monaco Telecom takes its network security seriously. Like the U.K., it has a security center that tests infrastructure equipment. “Security applies to all,” he said. “The main issue isn’t about people spying, it’s about security breaches. We’ve been working a lot with the government and Monaco’s security agency to try and define a fortress around our equipment, to monitor individually each piece. This applies not only to Huawei, but all.”

Peronnet was quick to add that Monaco is not breaking new ground using Huawei equipment, which puts security concerns into context. “We’re not making a choice that no-one else has,” he said. “Huawei is the number one network provider in Europe, and Monaco Telecom is not big enough to help it achieve that.”

The launch will make the 2020 race the first 5G Monaco Grand Prix. Does that mean there will be specific 5G-centric plans for the race? Peronnet believes it’s a little too early for that, but is open to doing something.

“If there are some use cases that make the race safer because of 5G, why not?” This would still need the Formula One Association and the Automobile Club of Monaco’s involvement. However, he sees greater advantages coming in 2021.

“By this time there will be roaming agreements between operators, so visitors will be able to roam on 5G,” he said. “The line-up of handsets will be much larger, and the costs will have dropped. The line-up of handsets will be much larger, and the costs will have dropped.” For these reasons, he expects 5G phones to take at least 10% of the traffic during the race weekend, which will also take load away from the 4G network, resulting in a better connected experience at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix for everyone. How about the network itself? Increasing the density of coverage outside and advancing the indoor coverage is on the agenda.

The 5G network operates on the 3.5GHz bandwidth, making it difficult for the signal to penetrate buildings. “We still have a long way to go in order to provide great indoor coverage with 5G,” Peronnet said. “It will need specific hardware, which is coming, but not ready yet.”

How about the smartphones that receive the 5G signal? Currently, Monaco Telecom offers the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G smartphones.  However, while both are very good devices, Peronnet told me that Monaco adores the iPhone, and inhabitants may be waiting for Apple to enter the 5G race. foxconn china tariffs could make iphone more expensive manufacturing Apple “[It will be] huge. Decisive,” Peronnet said about the potential of a 5G iPhone.

“Monaco is 80% iPhone. When Apple releases a 5G iPhone, 5G in Monaco will skyrocket.” Apple is rumored to launch a 5G iPhone in 2020, so for now the line-up is Android only, but there are no current promotions running to convince people to adopt Android instead. Peronnet believes people should make their own choice, and that feeling at ease with their phone is more important than pushing them to make a switch. While Monaco has early adopters, they are not ones who are keen to test or deal with bugs. This emphasizes the importance of launching a reliable 5G network quickly.

Over the course of an afternoon, evening, and following morning I tested out Monaco Telecom’s 5G network on a Huawei Mate 20 X 5G. The experience displayed the promise we all expect from 5G, but has not always been evident in early tests elsewhere. The speeds were consistently impressive, ranging between 500Mbps to over 1Gbps, but what was most noticeable was the reliability and breadth of coverage.

I walked around Monaco’s main town, taking in the Monte Carlo Casino, the world-famous harbor which becomes the pit lane during the Grand Prix, and up the hill past La Rascasse and towards more residential areas, throughout which the 5G signal remained constant. Each test I performed along the way showed I was getting 5G, rather than 4G speeds with a 5G network indicator on the phone. Although I could only browse and view YouTube videos on the phone, rather than anything more complex, it was seamless, speedy, and a wonderful thing to use. The 5G signal struggled to work indoors, and my hotel only served 4G speeds, but a 5-minute walk saw 5G quickly return.

Not that 4G is a problem in Monaco, and the speeds I achieved still regularly reached 300Mbps. It’s a deeply impressive feat to have 5G coverage like this so quickly, in a challenging environment, and Monaco truly provides the first proper glimpse of the 5G world we have been teased with for several years.

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This article is posted at:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/5g-in-monaco-with-huawei-interview/

 

 

 

 

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