Dell’ Oro Group: WLAN market bifurcation drag on IEEE 802.11ax; 400 Gbps Shipments to Surpass 15M Switch Ports by 2023

WLAN market bifurcation drag on IEEE 802.11ax

According to a newly released market forecast report by Dell’ Oro Group, the Enterprise WLAN market bifurcation is expected to drag down the IEEE 802.11ax adoption rate. The report also anticipates subscription license sales to more than double by 2023.

“We see a clear segmentation unfolding in the Enterprise WLAN market,” said Ritesh Patel, Industry Analyst at Dell’ Oro Group. “One segment is a group of performance-seeking users who are willing to pay a premium for higher performance. The other, is the price-sensitive segment—a group of users who prefer to purchase older technology at a lower price. Our analysis shows that the performance-seeking segment adopts new technology at a faster rate than the price-sensitive segment. We forecast this phenomenon to impact the overall adoption rate for 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6),” added Patel.

“Another trend unfolding is the growing popularity of subscription licenses, which is adding significantly to market revenue. Performance-seeking users are purchasing licenses for applications such as predictive analytics, visibility into the network for troubleshooting, and enhanced security,” said Patel.

The WLAN 5-Year Forecast Report highlights other key trends, including:

  • Enterprise WLAN market revenues to surpass $9 B by 2023.
  • Access Point average prices rising in the near-term.
  • 11ax access points to sustain a price premium for an extended period.

The Dell’Oro Group Wireless LAN 5-Year Forecast Report offers a complete overview of the industry, covering Enterprise Outdoor and Indoor markets, with tables containing manufacturers’ revenue, average selling prices, and unit shipments by the following wireless standards: 802.11ax, 802.11ac Wave 1 vs. Wave 2, 802.11n, and historic IEEE 802.11 standards. It includes forecasts for regions of the world and for Cloud-managed vs. Premises-managed. To purchase these reports, please contact us by email at dgsales@delloro.com

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400 Gbps shipments to surpass 15M Switch Ports by 2023

Dell’Oro revealed in a separate report, that 400 Gbps switch ports are forecast to surpass 15M by 2023. The 100 Gbps ports are expected to peak in 2020 but still comprise more than 30 percent of data center switch ports in the next five years.

“The first wave of 400 Gbps switch systems based on 12.8 Tbps chips were introduced in the market in 2H 2018,”said Sameh Boujelbene, Senior Director at Dell’Oro Group. “However, we do not expect material adoption of 400 Gbps until 2020 due to the lack of high volume, low cost 400 Gbps optics. The only Cloud Service Provider (SP) that started deploying 400 Gbps was Google, which opted for special 400 Gbps optics with an earlier time-to-market. Meanwhile, we expect other Cloud SPs, for instance Amazon, Facebook or Microsoft, to keep deploying 100 Gbps, and to probably consume the 12.8 Tbps chips in the form of high–density 100 Gbps switch systems to reduce cost,” added Boujelbene.

The Ethernet Switch – Data Center 5-Year Forecast Report provides more details about the timing of 100/200/400/800 Gbps and how the use cases may vary depending on the SerDes lane and market segment driving the speed.

The Dell’Oro Group Ethernet Switch – Data Center Five Year Forecast Report provides a comprehensive overview of market trends and include tables covering manufacturers’ revenue, port shipments, and average selling price forecasts for various technologies: Modular and Fixed by Port Speed; Fixed Managed and Unmanaged by Port Speed. We forecast the following port speeds: 1000 Mbps; 10 Gbps; 25 Gbps; 40 Gbps; 50 Gbps; 100 Gbps; 200 Gbps; 400 Gbps.  To purchase these reports, please contact us by email at dgsales@delloro.com.

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Who else has announced or deployed 400G?

We’ve spent a lot of time searching for answers to that question but have found little.  In particular, Amazon has been very secretive in their AWS inter data center deployments which one would expect to have used 400G optics (probably 4 x 100G lanes).

Image result for pic of 400G fiber optic link

Last October, Cisco announced its first set of 400G data center network switches.  Two of the switches were aimed at hyperscale cloud platforms, while the other two are for tech-savvy enterprises, and service providers. The two new Cisco Nexus 3400-S switches are for hyperscalers with high-bandwidth needs for things like video streaming, while the two new Nexus 9000 switches are for high-end enterprises taking advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning and service providers building 5G networks, Thomas Scheibe, VP of product management for Cisco Data Center Switching, told Data Center Knowledge.  Arista Networks announced plans for its first 400G switches last week, while Juniper Networks released details of its forthcoming 400GbE switches in July 2018.

“Everybody who sells to hyperscalers – whether that be Cisco, Juniper, Arista, or the white-box ODMs – will need to have 400GbE data center switches in their portfolio in 2019,” Brad Casemore, IDC’s VP for data center networks, told Data Center Knowledge. “There’s really no alternative, and that’s why you’ve seen a succession of 400GbE announcements from Juniper, Arista, and Cisco respectively. From a sales standpoint, they will all reach market at about the same time, but nobody wants to get outmaneuvered by a competitor.”

In an IEEE techblog post summarizing Facebook’s F16 Switch announcement at OCP 2019 Summit, we said that “Facebook built the F16 fabric out of 16 128-port 100G switches, achieving the same bandwidth as four 128-port 400G switches would.”  So they achieved effective 400G switch ports using 16 times as many 100G switch ports.

In its second quarter earnings call last month, Juniper Networks CEO Rami Rahim said that Juniper has started shipping its first merchant and custom silicon-based 400-gig capable products and that it plans additional 400G products throughout the course of this year and next.   Rahim said that 400G won’t really take off until 400G optics are available, which Juniper will ramp up in the first half of next year. Rahim also said the while the cloud providers will be the first big 400G customers, he expects service providers to be next in line.

Hyperscalers have been the primary drivers for 400G demand, he said. But other segments of the market, including telecommunications service providers rolling out 5G networks and high-end enterprises in verticals such as financial services, will also adopt the technology.  “Hyperscalers will be first, and they will buy in the greatest volumes, creating the sort of economies of scale that will make 400G more affordable for subsequent buyers,” Casemore said.

Here’s a good reference on Trends in 400G Optics for the Data Center.

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

U.S. DoJ in ~$1B Telecom Services Deal With AT&T

Task Order valued at $984 [1.] million over 15 years to help improve mission performance

Note 1.  The total value of the Task Order is estimated at $984 million over 15 years if all options are exercised.

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AT&T is doing great in the public sector.   FirstNet has received many accolades and is world class.  On Monday, July 29th, the telecom and media giant announced the $984 million DoJ award  as part of the General Services Administration’s $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS), contract.

EIS is set to replace the current governmentwide telecom contract vehicles Networx and WITS-3, both of which will expire within the next three years. Agencies are expected to use that transition as an opportunity to fully modernize their communications infrastructure.

The Justice Department (DoJ) is the third U.S. federal agency to select a company to help modernize all its telecommunications services.

“Through this award, the DoJ will transition to a next-generation communications platform supporting more than 120,000 employees across more than 2,100 locations,” AT&T said in a press release. That work will include incorporating IP voice and other modern communications tools, as well as data and cloud security and other professional services.

“The AT&T solution will provide DoJ the flexibility and protections to meet their requirements as they aim to strike the right balance between needs to access cloud services from multiple providers and ensuring the access is highly secure,” the release states.

“The DOJ and its component organizations do the hard work of protecting the freedoms, rights and safety of all Americans,” said Stacy Schwartz, vice president, AT&T – Public Safety and FirstNet. “We are honored to provide a modern communications platform and capabilities to support the DOJ’s work for the next 15 years.”

The contract covers the entirety of the Justice Department, including 43 component offices and programs; the enterprise wide Joint Cloud Optimized Trusted Internet Connection Service, or JCOTS; and the law enforcement special communications network FirstNet.

The enterprise contract will be the only EIS award to come out of the Justice Department, the agency told Nextgov, though the FBI will be reissuing its separate solicitation “at a later date.”

AT&T is one of three vendors to complete the security review required before beginning work on an EIS contract, along with Verizon and CenturyLink. Six smaller vendors—BT Federal, CoreTech, Granite, Harris, MetTel and MicroTech—have yet to finish their security authorization work with GSA.

Two other agencies have made their EIS awards this summer: the Railroad Retirement Board, which also went with AT&T, and half of NASA’s requirement under a $10.5 million deal with CenturyLink.

Additionally, the DOJ solution includes access to the AT&T mobility network and FirstNet, the nationwide, dedicated communications platform purpose-built for public safety. FirstNet brings public safety a physically separate core network for enhanced security, priority and preemption, no speed limitations anywhere in the country, and Band 14 spectrum for their dedicated use. These services and AT&T’s global network offer DOJ and its component organizations access to highly secure and reliable connectivity, as well as vital communications capabilities when and where they are needed.

To learn more about AT&T Public Sector, go here.

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References:

https://about.att.com/story/2019/department_of_justice.html

https://www.nextgov.com/it-modernization/2019/07/justice-signs-nearly-1b-telecom-services-deal-t/158780/

 

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/

 

 

 

 

Justice Dept approves the “New T-Mobile” via Sprint merger; Dish Network becomes 4th U.S. wireless carrier with focus on 5G

The Justice Department approved T-Mobile US Inc. ’s merger with Sprint Corp. after the companies agreed to create a new wireless carrier by selling assets to satellite-TV provider Dish Network Corp.  The federal approval for T-Mobile and Sprint caps a more than yearlong review of a combination that fell apart twice in the past five years over terms of the deal or fears that the Justice Department would object.

The landmark antitrust agreement seeks to address concerns that the combination of T-Mobile, the nation’s No. 3 carrier by subscribers, and No. 4 Sprint will drive up prices for consumers. It would leave more than 95% of American cellphone customers with the top three U.S. operators.

A deal brokered by the Justice Department will require Dish, which has been sitting on valuable airwaves, to build a 5G network for cellphone customers. To help it get started, T-Mobile will sell Sprint’s prepaid brands to Dish and give access to its network for seven years.

“The remedies set up Dish as a disruptive force in wireless” with the pieces needed for the company to have a cellphone service that is ready to go, Makan Delrahim, the Justice Department’s antitrust chief, said in a news conference.

Critics of the arrangement include a group of state attorneys general that broke with the Justice Department and have filed an antitrust lawsuit seeking to block the more than $26 billion merger. Five states that weren’t part of the lawsuit joined the federal government in the settlement announced Friday.

“Why scramble so much to create a fourth competitor when you already have one?” said Samuel Weinstein, an assistant law professor at the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University who worked previously in the Justice Department’s antitrust unit.

The deal gives Dish Network, a satellite-TV provider, about nine million Sprint prepaid cellphone customers and additional wireless spectrum. Those subscribers, which mostly come from its Boost Mobile business, represent about one-fifth of Sprint’s customer base. Dish’s service, which could keep the Boost brand or take on a new name, would also be able to move from pay-as-you-go plans to postpaid service, which tends to be more profitable.

T-Mobile and Sprint must also give Dish access to at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. The new T-Mobile must provide “robust access” to its network, the Justice Department said.  Please see comments on Dish in the box below this article.

The union of T-Mobile and Sprint, years in the making, would create a wireless company surpassing 90 million U.S. customers, closing the gap with Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., which each have roughly 100 million wireless customers. It also would fulfill a long-held goal of Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., which owns most of Sprint, and Deutsche Telekom AG, which controls T-Mobile.

T-Mobile and Sprint currently use separate frequencies, often requiring different cell towers:

Under the merger:

  • Dish rents capacity from the new T-Mobile, creating a new carrier to serve Boost Mobile customers and giving it time to build its own network.
  • After seven years, Dish runs its own network using spectrum from its past acquisitions and its own equipment installed on fewer towers.

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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, who had previously backed the deal, said Friday the Justice Department settlement, coupled with T-Mobile and Sprint’s earlier commitments to deploy a nationwide 5G network, will preserve competition and advance U.S. leadership in rolling out next-generation networks.

In its agreement with the government, T-Mobile promised not to raise prices for three years and cover 97% of the U.S. population with 5G service in three years.   T-Mobile has been adding millions of customers at the expense of its rivals, pushing unlimited data plans and lower prices than the incumbents. Sprint, despite owning valuable airwaves, has been shedding millions of subscribers and has struggled to be profitable.

T-Mobile surpassed Sprint to become the number three wireless carrier by subscribers and argued the acquisition of the smaller carrier’s airwaves would help speed its deployment of a 5G network so that it could better compete with Verizon and AT&T.  U.S. carriers have been battling for customers in the $180 billion wireless voice-and-data market, where growth has slowed now that the companies have rolled out unlimited data plans and most Americans have upgraded to smartphones.

 

Dish will scrap its NB-IoT plan and focus purely on 5G, which the U.S. government has always wanted, according to a person familiar with the matter. (Dish hasn’t totally abandoned its old plan yet because the deal still hasn’t closed).  Dish must build a 5G network that covers 20% of the U.S. population by 2022 and 70% by 2023. If it can’t reach that goal, Dish will have to pay a $2.2 billion penalty to the U.S. Treasury.
Merger Being Challenged:
A group of states led by the attorneys general of New York and California are pressing ahead with an antitrust lawsuit seeking to block the combination, saying it would harm consumers. All the officials who joined the suit are Democrats; those who decided to support the Justice Department on Friday are Republicans.

Letitia James, the New York attorney general, said the proposed merger would cause harm to consumers nationwide. “To be clear: The free market should be picking winners and losers, not the government, and not regulators,” she said during a call with reporters. Ms. James said Dish lacks the experience to operate a nationwide mobile network.

Mr. Delrahim said his office will share its settlement with the federal judge overseeing the states’ lawsuit. “Sometimes independent sovereigns do make independent determinations,” he said. A trial is expected later this year. On Friday, T-Mobile and Sprint extended the deadline to close their deal, from July 29 to Nov. 1.

The Justice Department stopped sharing information with the Democratic attorneys general after they decided to file their lawsuit in June without notifying their federal counterparts, Mr. Delrahim said. “That was their choice, not ours,” he said.

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T-Mobile said it expects to close its Sprint purchase in the second half of this year despite the states’ lawsuit.  Under the deal, Dish will pay $1.4 billion for the Sprint customer accounts, most of which come from its Boost prepaid brand, and $3.6 billion three years later to buy Sprint spectrum licenses in the 800-megahertz range, which can travel long distances and cover rural areas.

The new T-Mobile will have the option to lease back part of that spectrum for an additional two years after the airwaves sale closes. The companies have also agreed to negotiate for T-Mobile to lease Dish spectrum in the 600-megahertz range.

Dish is set to start its wireless life with a base of Sprint’s pay-as-you-go customers, though carriers often struggle to keep those so-called prepaid subscribers. More than 4% of Sprint’s prepaid customers choose to drop their service or are disconnected for nonpayment each month, according to company filings.

The deal creates a fake competitor, said Andrew Jay Schwartzman, a lecturer at Georgetown Law, adding that even if Dish builds out its own network it will take years. During that time, the three large carriers will be able to introduce 5G and lock in their subscriber bases, he said.

“Rather than having Sprint as a weak fourth competitor, the combined companies will now face an extremely weak fourth competitor,” Mr. Schwartzman said.

Sprint ended March with nearly $33 billion of net debt on its balance sheet. Even though it had more than 40 million customers, Sprint said during deal negotiations that it was in poor health and wouldn’t be able to launch nationwide 5G service without the merger.

Dish has argued it can build a better network by starting from scratch. Even before he pursued a deal with the Justice Department, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said his business could invest capital more efficiently without the burden of old equipment and software holding back its ambitions. Dish hasn’t made public the prices or structure of the wireless plans it will sell.

“These developments are the fulfillment of more than two decades’ worth of work and more than $21 billion in spectrum investments intended to transform Dish into a connectivity company,” Dish CEO Ergen said in a press release. “Taken together, these opportunities will set the stage for our entry as the nation’s fourth facilities-based wireless competitor and accelerate our work to launch the country’s first standalone 5G broadband network.”

Dish says:

The 800 MHz nationwide spectrum adds to Dish’s existing 600 MHz and 700 MHz low-band holdings. The low-band portfolio, well suited for wide geographic coverage and in-building penetration, complements Dish’s AWS-4 and AWS H Block mid-band offerings, which promise high data capacity potential with narrower operating range.

Dish has committed to new buildout schedules associated with the company’s 600 MHz, AWS-4, 700 MHz E Block and AWS H Block licenses. In addition, DISH has committed to deploy 5G Broadband Service utilizing those licenses.

Senior FCC officials said on a call with reporters that they are confident the new carrier under Dish will be viable because the wholesale deal it has struck with the new T-Mobile is more aggressive than any other such arrangement the carrier and Sprint currently have. Its terms give Dish the financial ability to compete in the prepaid market against T-Mobile’s Metro brand, they said.   The settlement also included provisions designed to make sure Dish actually builds the promised infrastructure. Among other penalties, Dish agreed to pay the government up to $2.2 billion if it fails to meet its network expansion requirements.

Following the closing of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint and subsequent integration into the New T-Mobile, DISH will have the option to take on leases for certain cell sites and retail locations that are decommissioned by the New T-Mobile for five years following the closing of the divestiture transaction, subject to any assignment restrictions. The companies have also committed to engage in good faith negotiations regarding the leasing of some or all of DISH’s 600 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile.

The completion of the T-Mobile and Sprint combination remains subject to remaining regulatory approvals and certain other customary closing conditions. T-Mobile and Sprint expect to receive final federal regulatory approval in Q3 2019 and currently anticipate that the merger will be permitted to close in the second half of 2019. Additional information can be found at www.NewTMobile.com.

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Addendum from WSJ Editorial Board July 27, 2019 print edition:

The Justice Dept has rescued Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen from his bet of buying wireless spectrum but keeping it idle. Mr. Ergen loudly opposed the merger, and his reward was the chance to buy Sprint’s pre-paid customers at a bargain price and have access to 20,000 T-Mobile-Sprint cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. But Dish has no experience running a wireless network, and it will take years to build one even as the Big Three invest to gain an edge in 5G wireless…………………………………………………..

A  strong third competitor will be good for consumers and 5G deployment in the U.S. The combined company should force Verizon and AT&T to focus on 5G rather than dabbling in content acquisitions like Time Warner. Three strong competitors are better than two.

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FCC Comments:

“That’s a real significant win for U.S. leadership in 5G. It’s been my top priority. It’s been a big priority for the Trump administration. And by accelerating 5G build-out through this deal, 99% of Americans are going to see 5G faster,” FCC Commissioner Carr said.

In addition to the Justice Department, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced support for the more than $26 billion merger in May. The deal still faces a lawsuit from 13 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia that seeks to block it.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/26/fcc-official-clearance-of-sprint-t-mobile-deal-is-significant-win.html

 

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References:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/justice-department-approves-merger-of-t-mobile-us-and-sprint-11564155026

https://www.t-mobile.com/news/t-mobile-sprint-merger-doj-clearance

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/26/dish-network-finally-has-a-plan-for-a-new-wireless-network.html

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2018/08/03/dish-network-on-track-for-5g-build-out-phase1-is-nb-iot/

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