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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

A Short History of Internet Protocol Intellectual Property

A little over 25 years ago, the Internet Society proposed that they assume responsibility for the DARPA Internet Protocol (IP) specifications Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) that were being evolved by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to facilitate their use by the mainstream network communication standards bodies and providers. Last week, the IETF, in an attempt to fend off alternative Internet Protocols emerging in the 5G ecosystem and create a standards monopoly, asserted... more

Can 5G Replace WiFi?

Verizon recently posted a webcast with investors where Ronan Dunne, EVP and CEO of the Verizon Consumer Group said that he believed that 5G hotspots using millimeter wave spectrum would eventually displace WiFi in homes. He cites major benefits of 5G over WiFi. He believes that a 5G network will be more reliable and more secure. He thinks that people will value the safety that comes from having traffic inside their home being encrypted... more

Broadband in China

For years I've been hearing how we are losing the broadband battle with China, so I decided to take a look at the current state of broadband in the country. The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) publishes statistics about the state of broadband in the country, and I used the Statistical Report on Internet Development in China from August 2019 in writing this blog. more

5 Broadband Predictions for 2020

The 2010's have been nothing short of transformative in the broadband space. Despite disappointing deployment rates across the U.S., the past decade has been a period of exponential change and innovation. As we look toward the new decade, here are five key predictions based on current trends and developments in the broadband industry. more

5G Leadership Reality Check: January 2020

As we embark on a new year and decade, it seemed worthwhile to take a peek at the principal forums for global 5G industry technical collaboration and do a quick assessment of what is occurring and who are the "leaders." The leadership dimension is especially relevant in Washington these days – which is suffering from a peculiar 5G dementia. As the year ended, there were no less than 35 current 5G related Congressional legislative actions, several of which actually passed one of the chambers. more

Huawei’s Very Red World

The map below shows countries working with Huawei 5G in red and pink. As can be seen, Huawei is doing very well in 5G, although it's not as dominant as the colors here suggest. Ericsson is actually close to Huawei in 5G revenue, aided by the ban in the US and Australia. Years ago, Huawei was the price leader in order to break into the European market. 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

Starlink Making a Space Grab

SpaceNews recently reported that Elon Musk and his low-orbit space venture Starlink have filed with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to launch an additional 30,000 broadband satellites in addition to the 11,927 now in the planning stages. This looks like a land grab and Musk is hoping to grab valuable orbital satellite paths to keep them away from competitors. more

The Myth of 5G and Driverless Cars

A colleague sent me an article that had been published earlier this year in MachineDesign magazine that predicts that driverless cars can't be realized until we have a ubiquitous 5G network. When looking for the original article on the web I noticed numerous similar articles like this one in Forbes that have the same opinion. These articles and other similar articles predict that high-bandwidth, low-latency 5G networks are only a few years away. more

Telesat and the Government of Canada Join Forces to Tackle Canada’s Digital Divide

The Canadian satellite operator, Telesat announced this week that it has partnered with the Government of Canada in a mission to provide affordable high-speed Internet connectivity across rural and remote areas of Canada through the development of Telesat's LEO Satellite Constellation. more

Telesat, a Fourth Satellite Internet Competitor

I've been following SpaceX, OneWeb and Boeing satellite Internet projects, but have not mentioned Telesat's project. Telesat is a Canadian company that has provided satellite communication service since 1972. (They claim their "predecessors" worked on Telstar, which relayed the first intercontinental transmission, in 1962). Earlier this month, the FCC approved Telesat's petition to provide Internet service in the US using a proposed constellation of 117 low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. more

Trump’s Assault on 5G Standards Bodies

Over the past 30 months, since Trump was installed in the White House, he has systematically abrogated US treaty responsibilities and diminished the nation's engagement in international collaborative activities. More recently, his gambits have expanded to market entry, chip component, and software restrictions on Chinese telecommunication equipment vendors, especially Huawei. more

As a Service?

I'm happy to have the option of buying services. It's easier to eat at a restaurant than to do my own cooking, and I'm happy to pay for a ride rather than fighting traffic on my own. However, I'm not happy if I don't have the option of cooking for myself or of taking a stroll. I used to be willing to pay for all of my phone calls but today I know that, thanks to VoIP, there is no need to. But the phone companies are attempting to wrest back control with their wider 5G agenda. 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