U.S. Improves Lead in 5G Race, Lags in Mid-Band Allocation

According to the wireless industry association CTIA, the global 5G race has shifted from a year ago when China and South Korea were the leaders. Thanks to the actions of U.S. carriers and government officials, U.S. has passed South Korea and tied with China as one of the top countries excelling in categories from readiness to actual deployments and spectrum allocation. CTIA stressed, however, that two obstacles remain unresolved: mid-band spectrum and a national strategy for transitioning to the next-gen mobile standard. Continue reading U.S. Improves Lead in 5G Race, Lags in Mid-Band Allocation

FCC Nixes California Regulators’ Plan to Add Fee to Texting

California telecom regulators wanted to impose a state fee on text-messaging services, but the Federal Communications Commission has squelched that plan by classifying text-messaging as an information service, not a telecommunications service. That’s the same classification the FCC applied to broadband when it repealed net neutrality and dictated that states cannot create their own net neutrality laws. Although California’s legislature is challenging the latter in court, it isn’t challenging the latest FCC ruling. Continue reading FCC Nixes California Regulators’ Plan to Add Fee to Texting

Charter Plans 10Gbps Wired Broadband, But Will Need Time

While AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are preparing to roll out their 5G wireless services, Charter has plans to introduce fast wired broadband with an option of offering its own 5G wireless service. However, deployment of the wired service is expected to take some time. Charter chief executive Tom Rutledge shared the company’s plans on CNBC after appearing at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Brokers Conference. His remarks expand on chief financial officer Chris Winfrey’s earlier statement that his company’s wired service can outperform 5G. Continue reading Charter Plans 10Gbps Wired Broadband, But Will Need Time

AT&T, Verizon and Tillman to Build Hundreds of Cell Towers

AT&T and Verizon announced they are partnering with New York-based Tillman Infrastructure to build hundreds of new cell towers that will be introduced to locations presently in need of additional coverage. The towers will be built to suit AT&T and Verizon. The two telecom leaders plan to lease and co-anchor the towers, and possibly relocate equipment from their current towers. Construction on the first towers is scheduled to begin early in 2018, with installation of equipment and operation to begin shortly after. Continue reading AT&T, Verizon and Tillman to Build Hundreds of Cell Towers

T-Mobile Is Biggest Spender in Government Spectrum Auction

The results of the government’s wireless airwaves auction are in, and T-Mobile ended up as the biggest spender at $8 billion, followed by Dish at $6.2 billion and Comcast at $1.7 billion. The FCC auction, which began last year, generated $19.8 billion in bids. While the companies have yet to announce their plans for the spectrum, Comcast recently indicated that it would offer cell service to its Internet subscribers. Conclusion of the auction also means that companies will be able to resume deal discussions by April 27, now that bidding collusion is no longer a concern. Continue reading T-Mobile Is Biggest Spender in Government Spectrum Auction

Amazon Unveils Plans to Build New Air Cargo Hub in Kentucky

Amazon is taking the next step in expanding the transportation and delivery side of its e-commerce business, and lessening its reliance on carriers such as FedEx and UPS. The Seattle-based company announced yesterday it plans to build an air cargo hub for its growing fleet of aircraft. The facility, expected to create more than 2,000 jobs, will be located in Hebron, Kentucky at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. According to insiders, Amazon aims to transport and deliver its own packages and eventually branch out to other retailers while competing with traditional carriers. Continue reading Amazon Unveils Plans to Build New Air Cargo Hub in Kentucky

Samsung Pulls the Plug on its Troubled Galaxy Note 7 Phone

In the latest update to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 saga, the company announced it would permanently discontinue production and sales of the smartphone, “pulling the plug on a premium product whose botched recall has brought headaches to consumers and inflicted damage on the Samsung brand,” reports The Wall Street Journal. In the wake of overheating problems and reported fires, the company explained to South Korean regulators that it would cease making the device. Analysts including Sanford C. Bernstein’s Mark Newman suggest Samsung should drop the Galaxy Note series altogether, while Macquarie analyst Daniel Kim estimates losses could reach $2.8 billion for the last three months of 2016, explains WSJ, “enough to wipe out the entire mobile division’s operating profits for the fourth quarter.” Continue reading Samsung Pulls the Plug on its Troubled Galaxy Note 7 Phone

Samsung Temporarily Halts Production of its Troubled Note 7

Samsung has reportedly stopped production of its Galaxy Note 7 as the company struggles with the smartphone’s recall and additional reports about battery problems, overheating and fires regarding replacement devices (including one incident prior to takeoff of a Southwest Airlines flight). “Samsung understands the concern our carriers and consumers must be feeling after recent reports have raised questions about our newly released replacement Note 7 devices,” the company said, noting that an investigation is underway. According to The Wall Street Journal, AT&T and T-Mobile “said that they would stop issuing new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to replace the ones turned in by U.S. customers.” Continue reading Samsung Temporarily Halts Production of its Troubled Note 7

Comcast Plans to Launch its Own Wireless Service Next Year

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts confirmed yesterday that the company plans to launch a wireless cell service by mid-2017. Speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference, Roberts said the company would leverage its 15 million Wi-Fi hotspots and use airwaves leased from Verizon to handle much of the traffic. “Comcast has a deal with Verizon dating back to 2011 that allows the cable company to sell wireless service using the telecom carrier’s network at set terms and pricing,” explains The Wall Street Journal. Since “Comcast is essentially renting Verizon’s network,” it will not need to invest in major infrastructure. Continue reading Comcast Plans to Launch its Own Wireless Service Next Year

Sprint and Mobilitie Plan to Install Low-Power Cellular Antennas

Sprint is working with Mobilitie, a Newport Beach, California-based company, to install low-power cellular antennas on existing poles in public rights of way (where utility poles, street lamps and fire hydrants are installed) and build new poles where none are available. Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son created this strategy to improve services and keep costs down. Sprint aims to install 70,000 antennas in the public right-of-ways in the coming years. It currently has 40,000 traditional antenna sites, but there are obstacles. Continue reading Sprint and Mobilitie Plan to Install Low-Power Cellular Antennas

Unity Warns VR Forecasters “Wrong,” Sets Course Correction

John Riccitiello, CEO of game engine company Unity, set a course correction for virtual reality adoption in his keynote address at the Vision VR/AR Summit conference in Hollywood this week. Riccitiello warned, without equivocation, that analyst prognostications suggesting VR will become a $100 billion industry by 2020 “are wrong.” He assured the audience of 1,500 plus developers that VR is a transformative platform that will reap financial rewards in the long run and give birth to great “century companies” like Netflix and Disney. Continue reading Unity Warns VR Forecasters “Wrong,” Sets Course Correction

Nokia’s Revival with Alcatel-Lucent Takeover, OZO VR Camera

On November 30, Nokia introduced its OZO virtual reality camera in Los Angeles. The camera, aimed at professional content creators, features eight 2K-by-2K-resolution cameras, with lenses capable of a 195-degree field of view and spaced at the same distance as between human eyes, as well as eight microphones for 3D audio capture. Weighing 10 pounds and expected to cost $50,000, the OZO is capable of full 360-degree stereoscopic video in real time and its output is compatible with existing VR headsets

Continue reading Nokia’s Revival with Alcatel-Lucent Takeover, OZO VR Camera

Ericsson: 70 Percent of World Will Have Smartphones by 2020

There are currently 2.6 billion smartphone subscriptions worldwide, and while developing markets have been leveling off, less mature markets are starting to experience significant growth. According to the latest annual Mobility Report from Ericsson, we should expect to see 6.1 billion smartphones in circulation by 2020, at which point phones will exceed the number of active fixed line subscriptions globally. Ericsson projects that the total number of mobile subscriptions will reach 9.2 billion in five years, as less developed markets continue their expansion. Continue reading Ericsson: 70 Percent of World Will Have Smartphones by 2020

Zuckerberg Pushes Potential of Internet.org at Telecom Confab

At this week’s Mobile World Congress, Facebook chief exec Mark Zuckerberg explained to a packed crowd why he believes Internet.org will eventually help carriers convince consumers to increase spending on mobile content. The Facebook-backed service, currently available in countries such as Paraguay and Zambia, is designed to offer those in emerging markets free access to the social network and some other online applications. For many new users, this would represent their first time surfing the Internet. Continue reading Zuckerberg Pushes Potential of Internet.org at Telecom Confab

San Francisco to Get Fast Mobile Wireless Network This Year

San Francisco will be the first city to use a new wireless technology that is reportedly 35 times faster than current 4G LTE networks. Artemis Networks is leasing the wireless spectrum for two years from Dish Network. Artemis still needs regulatory approval before it can begin operating, but the company hopes to start serving customers by the fall of this year. The company’s pCell technology is super fast because the network is designed to utilize wireless interferences that usually slow most networks. Continue reading San Francisco to Get Fast Mobile Wireless Network This Year

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