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Senate Report on 5G: Recipe for Disaster

The Democratic Staff Report Prepared for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate, July 21, 2020, entitled "The New Big Brother," is actually all about 5G technology. The report jumps on the runaway anti-China train chaotically flailing around Washington these days to "out-Trump, Trump." It characterizes 5G technology, longstanding international collaboration, and COVID-19 tracking as all part of a global conspiracy for "digital authoritarianism" run out of Beijing. more

Japan Fueling China’s Leap to 5G, but for How Long?

As the U.S. is making it tough for American companies to help China roll out super-fast cellular networks, Japan, a U.S. ally, is fueling China with parts needed to blanket the nation with 5G cellular service. more

Can SpaceX Launch 30,000 Second-Generation Starlink Satellites? Maybe

The bottom line is that success is not guaranteed, but neither is failure -- there is a non-zero probability of success. On May 26th, SpaceX applied for permission to launch 30,000 "second-generation" Starlink broadband Internet satellites. (Note that the software on Starlink satellites is updated about once a week). The application narrative states that the second-generation satellites will be configured... more

Internet Governance Outlook 2020: The Next Generation of Players and Problems Is Coming

The beginning of a new decade is always an invitation to have a broader look into the future. What, in the next ten years, will happen in the Internet Governance Ecosystem? Will the 2020s see the usual swinging pendulum between more liberal and more restrictive Internet policies in an interconnected world? Or will we move towards a watershed? more

Spectrum and Weather Forecasting

There is currently a brewing controversy over the allocation of various radio frequencies for 5G that could have a negative impact on weather forecasting. Weather forecasting has become extremely sophisticated and relies on masses of data gathered from weather satellites and other data-gathering devices. The masses of data, along with modern supercomputers and data center computing, have significantly improved the ability to predict future weather. more

Trump Orders Cyberattacks by US Companies

It is supremely ironic. A rogue national leader with the stroke of a pen, dictates that its companies will expose a foreign company's end users to cyberattacks. This is the net effect of denying security patches or operating system updates pursuant to Trump's order. In the US Great Rogue Leader's bizarro world, this is the very behavior that he claims makes his actions necessary. In fact, this Trump malware attack is worse because of the mass exposure to exploits. more

Amazon’s Orbiting Infrastructure

I have been following satellite Internet service since the 1990s, but I was surprised when I learned last week that Amazon had filed an application for a 3,236-satellite constellation of low-earth orbit Internet service satellites - Project Kuiper. I shouldn't have been surprised - Amazon was an infrastructure company from the start. In his first post-IPO letter to shareholders in 1997, Jeff Bezos pointed out that their distribution center capacity grew from 50,000 to 285,000 square feet and said their goal remained... more

Electronically Steerable, Flat-Panel Antennas for Satellite and Terrestrial Connectivity

What will the cost and capability of these antennas be in ten or twenty years? What would be the applications and implications of ubiquitous wireless networks? You might have some short-term guesses, like smart cities, but farther out it's science fiction -- Gaia, the Noosphere, 1984? ... Three companies, OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat, plan to provide global, low-latency broadband Internet service using constellations of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. more

5G Security Transparency

There is considerable rhetoric propagated today about 5G security. Some of the more blatant assertions border on xenophobia with vague assertions that the 5G vendors from some countries cannot be trusted and wholesale government banning is required. Existing treaty obligations are being summarily abrogated in favour of bilateral trade bullying. These are practices that the late President George H.W. Bush sought to eliminate a quarter century ago through intergovernmental organization initiatives... more

Hidden in Plain Sight: FCC Chairman Pai’s Strategy to Consolidate the U.S. Wireless Marketplace

While couched in noble terms of promoting competition, innovation and freedom, the FCC soon will combine two initiatives that will enhance the likelihood that Sprint and T-Mobile will stop operating as separate companies within 18 months. In the same manner at the regulatory approval of airline mergers, the FCC will make all sorts of conclusions sorely lacking empirical evidence and common sense. more

Broadband Carrier Quandary: Exploit Bandwidth Scarcity, or Reduce It?

Comcast enhanced the value position of its broadband subscriptions by increasing the monthly data allowance to 1 Terrabyte (1000 Gigabytes). See Comcast Announcement. As an independent, unsponsored researcher, I can say "Thank You Comcast" without adverse consequences and only a bit of irony. This company does much to displease, but an expanded data allowance offers a winning proposition. more

Mobiles Moving Into Fixed Networks

There are often confused reports in the media about mobile and fixed broadband, with arguments that one could replace the other. Yet the reality is that they coexist and complement each other - perhaps even more so since one cannot manage without the other. Increasingly, devices such as smartphones, tablets and smart TVs are at the end of fixed lines, with a wireless (WiFi) connection between the fixed line and the device. more

Spectrum Key to Broadband Utility

The explosion in mobile communications in the developing world has created social and economic changes that have exceeded all expectations and predictions -- even those made as recently as five years ago. There are still countries lagging behind, but now is the time to move on to the next stage -- and that means broadband. Already the developed world is showing an enormous appetite for mobile broadband, so the demand is most certainly there. The rapid development of low cost Smartphone, projected to approach $50 soon... more

Why Wireless Broadband Is No Alternative to FttH

The mainly politically-driven debate - FttH versus wireless broadband - is spreading uninformed messages and half-truths in the market. And confusing messages from mobile operators are also blurring the picture. All well-informed people confirm that this is a nonsensical debate -- both infrastructures will coexist with, and supplement, each other. more

WiFi in All U.S. Federal Buildings

Legislation has been introduced in the US that will require all public federal buildings to install WiFi base stations in order to free up cell phone networks. The Federal Wi-Net Act would mandate the installation of small WiFi base stations in all publicly accessible federal buildings in order to increase wireless coverage and free up mobile networks. The bill would require all new buildings under construction to comply and all older buildings to be retrofitted by 2014. It also orders $15 million from the Federal Buildings Fund be allocated to fund the installations. more