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#TBT: Charter tests 5G; Wi-Fi analytics from Super Bowl LII; Alphabet launches Chronicle … this week in 2018

Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

Charter tests 5G

U.S. cable operator Charter Communications said it is currently carrying out 5G testing in a move to use fixed wireless services to expand coverage. In a blog post, the operator said it’s “actively developing and testing” 5G wireless connectivity in a growing number of markets, including Orlando, Florida; Reno, Nevada; Clarksville, Tennessee; Columbus, Ohio; Bakersfield, California and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Charter added that it it will rely increasingly on next-generation wireless technologies to help the operator improve and expand the reach of its wired broadband network infrastructure. Charter highlighted that the deployment of 5G technologies using lower-frequency bands, can help deliver wireline-like internet speeds in rural areas. According to the company, some current 5G technologies, usually delivered in millimeter wave bands, face challenges to cover the long distances required in many rural areas, and have trouble dealing with areas with lots of trees and foliage. “However, Charter believes fixed wireless access technologies at lower frequencies could be suitable for rural broadband, providing wireline-like broadband connectivity and speeds, and is conducting trials in the 3.5-GHz band,” the company said. “Whether it’s testing 5G technologies, investing in broadband infrastructure or expanding the reach of our wired network, we are committed to doing more to deliver better and faster broadband to more communities – large and small, urban and suburban,” Charter added. … Read more

Huawei concerns prompt Verizon to drop device deal

U.S. government officials seem highly concerned about perceived security threats posed by Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei, which sells everything from radio access network equipment to smartphones. In the latest, Bloomberg reports that Verizon has dropped out of a deal to sell Huawei devices to its U.S. subscriber base. AT&T did the same thing in the run-up to CES earlier this month. Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg reports that carriers are “under pressure from the U.S. government.” In the aftermath of the AT&T decision at a CES keynote, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group Richard Yu spent the better part of an hour boasting the features of the company’s new Mate Pro 10 smartphone before addressing what was really on everyone’s mind. “It is a big loss for us and also for carriers but more for consumers. Huawei has proved its quality and security.” But the level of concern at top levels of the government extends well beyond just smartphones. Rep. Michael Conaway (R-Texas) wants to formally bar Huawei and ZTE from doing business in the U.S. with his HR 4747, which has drawn 11 co-sponsors. … Read more

Wi-Fi analytics from Super Bowl LII

Fans who make it to Super Bowl LII at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. this weekend may not be able to get close to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson or the Patriots’ Bill Bellicheck, but they will be able to touch base with “Wi-Fi coaches” to troubleshoot Wi-Fi issues during the game, courtesy of Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi analytics provider Extreme Networks. That team of 20 certified Wi-Fi coaches will not only interact with fans to help with connectivity issues on their phones and questions about the NFL’s Game Day application, they’ll be on tap to respond to any Wi-Fi network issues around the stadium as a means of closing the loop on real-time operational analytics, according to John Brahms, director for sports and entertainment at Extreme. Those tech-savvy coaches will be carrying a cross-section of devices, including some with equipment for more extensive testing, for insights into the radio frequency environment and the user experience. They’ll also be monitoring social media to see if fans are talking about connectivity problems. Extreme has been the National Football League’s official analytics partner for five years now and is also the league’s official Wi-Fi solutions provider, so it handles both in-stadium Wi-Fi infrastructure and the analysis of the data from that network. … Read more

Fog computing and 5G

Fog computing is expected to play a major role in meeting the needs of future 5G networks. The technology has been boasted as an effective way to provide the low latency promised by the 5G New Radio standard. With plans to roll out nationwide 5G by 2020, the convergence of 5G and fog computing is anticipated to be an inevitable consequence of bringing processing tasks closer to the edge of an enterprise’s network. Fog computing involves extending cloud capabilities, such compute, storage and networking services, through various nodes and IoT gateways. A major benefit of the technology includes the ability to run applications closer to the end user, processing data received from multiple endpoints. It is also more scalable in comparison to edge computing, providing an overall picture of a network based on information provided by various data points. … Read more

Alphabet launches security firm Chronicle

Google parent company Alphabet announced it is deploying a new security firm dubbed Chronicle, with the aim of helping businesses recognize and thwart cyber attacks. The company will leverage Google’s computing and storage infrastructure, as well as machine learning technologies, to enable companies to analyze their security data. Cyber attacks have been on the rise over the past few year, which has increased spending on security solutions in return. Last September, for example, Equifax announced that the personal information of potentially 143 million U.S. citizens had been accessed by hackers between mid-May and July, marking one of the biggest security breaches not just of the year, but history. According to a​ report from Allied Market Research (AMR), the global managed security services market is projected to reach ​almost $41 billion by 2020. Chronicle emerged in 2016 as a part of Alphabet’s “Moonshot factory” X group, a unit which focuses on testing self-driving cars, drones, wind energy kits, among other projects. The new company will be divided into two parts, according to Chronicle CEO Stephen Gillett. The first part involves a new cybersecurity intelligence and analytics platform intended to help companies break down and understand security data. The second part involves a malware intelligence service called VirusTotal, which Google acquired in 2012. … Read more

Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.


Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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