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The Disappointment of 5G

Karl Bode recently wrote an excellent article highlighting the overhyping of wireless technologies. He's right, and for the last twenty years, we've been told that a world-changing wireless technology is coming soon, but none ever materialized. No wireless technology has been a bigger flop than 5G when comparing the hype to the eventual reality. The hype for 5G was amazingly over-the-top. more

Satellite Cell Service: What’s Coming

T-Mobile and Starlink made a joint announcement recently about an arrangement where Starlink will enable voice and texting capabilities to T-Mobile cellphones by the end of 2023. This is a service that would work with existing cell phones and would supposedly kick in when a phone can't find a signal from a cell tower. Starlink said the technology would be enabled by new satellites that have significantly larger antennae than the current satellites in the constellation. 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

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

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

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

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

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

The 12 GHz Battle

A big piece of what the FCC does is to weigh competing claims to use spectrum. It seems like there have been non-stop industry fights over the last decade on who gets to use various bands of spectrum. One of the latest fights, which is the continuation of a battle going on since 2018, is for the use of the 12 GHz spectrum. The big wrestling match is between Starlink's desire to use the spectrum to communicate with its low-orbit satellites and cellular carriers and WISPs... more

Amazon Announces Project Kuiper Customer Terminals with Speeds up to 1Gbps

Amazon has announced the development of a range of customer terminals for its broadband satellite network, Project Kuiper. The company's first device is a "standard" customer terminal that measures less than 11 inches square and one inch thick and weighs less than five pounds. more

SpaceX and T-Mobile to Test Satellite-To-Cell Service This Year

SpaceX and T-Mobile are set to begin testing their satellite-to-cell service this year, an executive of Elon Musk's company confirmed Monday. Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX vice president of Starlink Enterprise Sales, made the announcement during a panel at the Satellite 2023 conference in Washington, D.C. more

New EU Satellites to Protect Government Communications, Provide Connectivity and Surveillance

A new network of European telecommunication satellites will be active from 2024, following the green light by European Parliament. The Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity and Security by Satellite project is aimed at providing a secure communications infrastructure for EU government bodies and agencies, emergency services and European delegations around the world. more

Connecting Every Home in Africa - Starlink Backhaul?

The vision of Kenyan ISP Poa! Internet is "to bring internet to every home in Africa." Poa! offers unlimited, uncapped, 4 Mb/s fixed wireless connectivity to homes for 1,500 KSh ($11.64) per month plus a one-time installation fee of 3,500 KSh ($27.16). But wait, there's more. They provide a dual-SSID router, and the home SSID is used by trusted family members, and the open street SSID is for others. Street users get 100 MB of free data each day and are charged 15 KSh ($.16) per GB with no expiry .data if they exceed 100 MB on a given day. more

Fixed Wireless in Cities

I am often asked by cities about the option of building a municipal fixed wireless broadband network. As a reminder, fixed wireless, in this case, is not a cellular system but is the point-to-multipoint technology used by wireless Internet service providers (WISPs). My response has been that it's possible but that the resulting network is probably not going to satisfy the performance goals most cities have in mind. more

Getting Serious About Satellite Texting

One of the more interesting telecom announcements at the CES electronics show in Vegas was the announcement from the partnership of Qualcomm and Iridium of plans to bring satellite texting capability to many more cell phones and other devices. We've already seen a few other announcements recently of the ability to make emergency text calls when out of reach of cell coverage. more