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The Growth Rate of Broadband Speeds

Cisco has changed the name of its periodic predictions of broadband usage from the Visual Networking Index to the Annual Broadband Report, and recently issued a report that covers the period from 2018 to predictions made through 2023. Cisco is one of the few industry players that projects future broadband usage. Their past reports have been spot on in terms of predicting future broadband usage. more

WiFi QoE Assurance with TR-069 - Part 1: The Toolbox

Subscribers today expect to be connected at all times with exceptional service quality. For communication service providers operating in urban environments, multi-dwelling units (MDUs) are a big cause for concern. Delivering consistently high WiFi service quality in high-density environments is a challenge. The sheer number of nearby access points, electronics, and outside influences can result in a host of WiFi service quality issues... more

WiMAX Has Early Lead Over LTE, Says New Report

Mobile WiMAX will outpace LTE over the next few years due to its head start on deployments, reports In-Stat. While WiMAX and LTE will take very different paths, the report suggests Mobile WiMAX already has commercial deployments where as LTE won't be commercially available until late 2009. more

5G and the Health Scare

Having been involved in the telecommunications industry for a long time, I followed many of the discussions involving health concerns when the 3G and 4G mobile technologies were introduced. This time, with 5G, the situation is no different. Again, there are many communities worried about the potential negative health effects of the radiation that emanates from mobile communications. more

Cracks Appearing in Trump’s Huawei Boycott

It must have been a galling experience for President Trump when his good mate British Prime Minister Boris Johnson failed to step in line with Trump's demand that the UK should also boycott the Chinese firm Huawei by not allowing them to be involved in the rollout of 5G in Britain. However, the involvement of Huawei will be limited. It further proves that boycotting Huawei is a political and not a technical issue. more

Spending on Mobile Phone Surpasses Residential Phone Services

Recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey has shown that American have been increasingly spending on mobile phones from 2001 through 2007. BLS data indicates cellular phone expenditures surpassed spending on residential landline phone services beginning in 2007. From the report: "In 2001, the ratio of spending on residential phone services to spending on cellular phone services was greater than 3 to 1. In 2007, cellular phone expenditures accounted for 55 percent of total telephone expenditures compared to 43 percent for residential phone expenditures. The distribution of telephone service expenditures between residential telephone/pay phone services and cellular phone services changed significantly in all age groups since 2001." more

WiFi QoE Assurance with TR-069 - Part 2: Optimizing a Single Access Point

As we have seen in the first installment of this series, TR-069 offers unprecedented visibility into the customer premises network to highlight devices beyond the gateway, and in the case of WiFi, the issues affecting service quality. Insights into the surrounding WIFI landscape alone provide ample data to provision the access point (AP) to operate in a part of the spectrum with the least amount of interference. more

China Mobile Is Reporting 15M 5G Contracts, 8.7M Joined in February

5G is growing by millions per month in China, although the exact status is unclear. The telcos are reporting "contracts," which continue to be far higher than the separately reported 5G phone sales. more

Australian Farms Get Connected to the Starlink Satellites

Last year, I reported on the possibility that LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite-based systems might be a gamechanger for the delivery of high-speed data services, including internet access, to people in regional and remote Australia. What has become clear with the rollout of the NBN is that the quality of data connections in metropolitan cities in many cases has improved, but that the rest of Australia doesn't have a similar experience. more

SpaceX Starlink Comes to South America

SpaceX has roughly 90,000 Starlink beta test customers in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand and now they have one in South America -- in Sotomó, an isolated town at 41.6° South in Chile's Lake Region. Chile's second terminal will be online at a school in Caleta Sierra in a few days and other pilot locations will follow. Twenty families live in Sotomó and it is only accessible by private boats or subsidized services that navigate the Reloncaví Estuary on which it is located. more

The US-China Technology Cold War Battle Over Optical Communication in Space

The United States and its allies are in a technology cold war with China and its allies. This is evidenced by major battles like the US ban on Huawei and China's drive for technological independence and their global infrastructure program to create a digital silk road. (The cold war began under Trump, but President Biden is continuing it). There are other, less well-known battles like the battle over optical communication in space. more

Let’s Not Forget the Lobbyists

Common Cause recently released a report, Broadband Gatekeepers, that describes the influence that lobbyists have on broadband policies. The numbers are staggering -- the ISP industry spent $234 million lobbying the 116th Congress (2019 and 2020). That number is likely understated since the rules on reporting lobbying are lax, and enforcement is almost nonexistent. That number doesn't include the huge amounts of lobbying efforts at State legislatures. more

When Will We See Real 5G?

The non-stop wireless industry claims that we've moved from 4G to 5G finally slowed to the point that I stopped paying attention to it during the last year. There is an interesting article in PC Magazine that explains why 5G has dropped off the front burner. The article cites interviews with Art Pouttu of Finland's University of Oulu about the current state and the future of 5G. That university has been at the forefront of the development of 5G technology and is already looking at 6G technology. more