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#TBT: mmWave goes the distance; DT tests VoNR; Who owns the edge? … this week in 2021

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 those sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

US Cellular achieves mmWave record

Just weeks after pushing the limits of 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) by demonstrating sustained average downlink speeds of about 1 Gbps and peak speeds of more than 2 Gbps in its live network at a distance of 7 kilometers, US Cellular has achieved a new record in partnership with Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies. In a trial conducted on the carrier’s commercial network in Grand Island, Nebraska, the three companies achieved an extended range connection over 5G mmWave of more than 10 kilometers, after testing multiple locations and scenarios and measuring distance, throughput and latency. “These latest trial results reinforce the important role that fast, reliable wireless service plays in keeping people connected no matter where they live or work,” commented Mike Irizarry, executive vice president and CTO at US Cellular. “With 5G mmWave technology from companies like Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies, we can provide our customers with the leading-edge capabilities of high performance, ultra-low latency 5G and offer an even wider range of communications services to enhance their wireless experience.” The trial utilized Nokia’s AirScale Baseband and mmWave Radios in the 28 GHz (n261) band and … Read more

Verizon focuses on 5G upgrades

Verizon is launching a blitz of advertising and deals aimed at getting consumers and small businesses to upgrade to 5G devices and plans. Touting 5G mmWave coverage in parts of 75 cities, 13 airports and dozens of venues plus Dynamic Spectrum Sharing-based 5G availability for 230+ million people in more than 2,700 cities, Verizon is offering what it calls “the biggest Verizon 5G upgrade campaign ever,” with iPhone 12 series phones and Samsung Galaxy S21 5G devices eligible for the new promo. Customers can get up to $700 (for iPhones) or $800 (for Androids) device credit with a new or upgraded smartphone line, with the requirement that they sign up for one of Verizon’s Unlimited plans. New customers also qualify for a $300 prepaid Mastercard, meant as an offering to defray termination fees from other wireless providers. In an accompanying promotion for small businesses, the device credits are the same and a number transfer will result in a $300 credit to the customer’s bill. The carrier continues to emphasize that users can turn in old or even broken devices, and … Read more

T-Mobile US lays out its rural ambitions

T-Mobile US has grand ambitions for making in-roads in serving customers in rural America with both mobile and fixed wireless services, as the company’s President of Technology Neville Ray laid out at the UBS Future of 5G virtual event. Ray emphasized that in terms of coverage, T-Mobile US already has a strong position, covering 295 million people and 1.6 million square miles. “That coverage story is super strong and it’s very relevant” for the carrier’s rural plans, he added. “When you think about what’s going to happen with 5G, the expansion and capabilities of 5G in rural America, the use cases that can be supported on that, [and] when you think about a voice layer on 5G, all of those things — it’s super important to have a very large … 5G layer across the nation.” “We have huge ambitions to really grow this business in a traditional sense, in rural America,” Ray said. “We see a huge growth factor for this company, in small town and rural areas across the United States, where we under-index today. …It’s a big growth factor for us. It’s a super compelling one. And it also supports so many of the use cases that we’ve talked about in 5G over the years, especially, when it comes to IoT.” … Read more

Deutsche Telekom tests Voice over New Radio

German carrier Deutsche Telekom said it has completed the first 5G Voice over New Radio (VoNR) call in partnership with Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung and Xiaomi. The call was made over a 5G Standalone (SA) network set up at Deutsche Telekom’s lab in Warsaw, Poland. This network setup integrated a 5G Core from Ericsson and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) from Nokia. The calls were completed using the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G, and a 5G smartphone-form-factor test device powered by the Snapdragon 780G and 888 5G Mobile Platforms with Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems. Deutsche Telekom said that this achievement represents an important step towards the commercial introduction of native 5G voice services in Deutsche Telekom networks. In cloud-native 5G SA networks, operators will be able to deliver high quality voice services without having to rely on LTE as anchor. The addition of VoNR to the superior data transmission quality of 5G technology will allow customers to enjoy voice and data services in parallel, the carrier said, adding that VoNR is therefore expected to play a role in many data services enabled by 5G, from enhancements to voice quality in existing services to completely new services around immersive video conferencing and augmented or virtual reality. … Read more

Who owns the edge? It’s still up for grabs, Accedian exec says

RCR Wireless News spoke with Accedian’s Chief Strategy Officer Richard Piasentin about what service providers need to do to ensure that they are well-positioned to take advantage of the emerging revenue streams being made possible 5G, the cloud and edge, especially since, as he puts it, ownership of such technologies is “still up for grabs.” Q: What steps do service providers have to take to take advantage of and capitalize on the new revenue streams being made possible by 5G, the cloud and edge? Piasentin: There is immense opportunity in 5G, the cloud and edge, for both customers and service providers alike. Customers will have the opportunity to leverage technologies that require super-low latency network service — think augmented reality, wearables and automated vehicles. Customers will need to be motivated to pay more, to drive meaningful increasing revenue potential on the service provider side. But with great opportunity comes great complexity, and providers will need to ensure they have the right tools to manage this complexity to assure profits.  Next-generation solutions that encourage enhanced visibility deliver root-cause analysis in complex cloud/hybrid cloud environments will be required. Even the smallest hiccups can create immense consequences; the CIO of Goya Foods recently mentioned that one second of latency can cause a 19-hour delay in workforce efficiency. … Read more

Virgin Media, O2 complete merger

he merger between UK operators Virgin Media and O2 has officially been completed, following recent regulatory approvals in the country. The new Virgin Media O2 is one of the U.K.’s largest operators with 47 million connections including broadband, mobile, TV and fixed lines. The new business employs around 18,000 people and reported equivalent revenue of £11 billion ($15.6 billion) last year. Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media O2, said: “With the fastest broadband and most reliable mobile network in the UK today, Virgin Media O2 is the complete package. “We are ready to shake up the market and be the competitor the country needs at a time when choice has never been more important. Through investment and innovation in cutting-edge infrastructure and future technology, we will connect more people to the things they love, support communities across the country, help businesses to grow, and power the UK economy,” the executive said. … Read more

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


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