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Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Hutchison's 3UK and Google push 3.5 GHz on both sides of the pond

Analysis Some are talking about 3.5 GHz as a 5G band, but Hutchison’s deal to acquire UK Broadband to bolster its 3UK arm is all about the good old fight for LTE spectrum. This deal shows that it is not just the US’s opening of its 3.5 GHz band, via its CBRS scheme, that has thrust this spectrum into the limelight. In many parts of the …
Wireless Watch, 15 Feb 2017
shutterstock_300234617-signal

MNOs will lose 5G rewards to new entrants if they will not share networks

Analysis The advantages of network sharing seem glaringly obvious in a world where the mismatch between mobile data demand and mobile data ARPU is rushing MNOs’ profits. The need to reduce the cost of delivering those rising tides of data is urgent, but many operators are ready to discuss almost any tactic – Wi-Fi offload, automation, …
Wireless Watch, 02 Feb 2017
robot smart home assistant illustration

Huawei could rescue Amazon's Alexa from the smart home

Analysis Huawei’s upcoming launch of a smartphone incorporating Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant will mark a new phase in one of the most important battles for the modern internet experience. Voice-activated assistants - which use powerful AI engines to deliver detailed, context-aware and personalized answers to users’ questions – are …
Wireless Watch, 26 Jan 2017

LTE-Broadcast has broad deployment models. What it doesn't have is the iPhone

Analysis LTE-Broadcast is poised for mass adoption at last, claims the Alliance which was set up last April to promote it. The Alliance aims to make a splash at next month’s Mobile World Congress, to boost operator confidence in the mobile TV standard and outline some of its use cases beyond the consumer TV sector. For instance, the UK …
Wireless Watch, 18 Jan 2017
Car polishing photo via Shutterstock

Qualcomm/NXP, Nvidia and Intel: The race to define the car platform

CES 2017 So the stakes are high, and many companies are already playing hard. There were important announcements from two of the most established chip suppliers in the auto sector, NXP and Nvidia – the former particularly closely watched because it will soon be part of Qualcomm. Its launches reminded the industry how strategic an …
Wireless Watch, 12 Jan 2017
Google bikes outside Google HQ. Photo by Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock - for editorial use only.

'Twas Brillo but then Android Things, which watched as Google Weaved its Nest

Comment Google has launched the developer preview of Android Things, updating and rebranding the Brillo IoT operating system which was unveiled over a year ago. Designed for medium-complexity devices, like home hubs, thermostats, and security cameras, the stripped-down version of Android has had zero success in the market. The new …
Wireless Watch, 22 Dec 2016
shutterstock_annoyed_man_on_phone

Radical 5G rules proposed, but UK can address woeful coverage right now

Analysis The UK’s National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has blasted the level of coverage achieved with 4G and urged early action to deploy 5G more effectively. The organisation’s report particularly highlighted the role small cells will play in providing good services in urban areas, and on roads and railways, where the NIC says …
Wireless Watch, 21 Dec 2016
Matthew with the magic spheres

Bluetooth: Remember us? Internet of Things before it was a Thing?

Analysis Bluetooth 5 has finally been unveiled, with headline claims of 200-metre range (quadrupling that of Bluetooth 4) and doubled bandwidth (now 2Mbps). There is a clear focus on Internet of Things devices and applications, but no sign of the proposed mesh protocol, which would do even more to improve the spec’s capabilities. The …
Wireless Watch, 14 Dec 2016

Russia's bid for mobile self-sufficiency may be the saviour of Sailfish

Comment The quest for freedom from US technologies and patent fees has been a persistent theme in China and has helped shape the new mobile landscape, in which Baidu and Alibaba, not Google and Amazon, dominate the user experience. Less is heard about another massive market, Russia, but here too, the push for technology self-sufficiency …
Wireless Watch, 07 Dec 2016
Photo by Windover Way Photography / Shutterstock

US telecoms industry weighs up the Trump effect

Comment As in every sector of US life, the telecoms industry is trying to work out what the shock election of maverick candidate Donald Trump to the presidency will mean for its operators and suppliers. There are few clues, of course – telecoms, even broadband, were not major campaign issues; Trump obviously has no track record of …
Wireless Watch, 21 Nov 2016
Man heaves giant rock above his head in the middle of the woods. Photo by Shutterstock

Facebook Telecom Infrastructure Project starts chucking rocks at mobile model

Analysis Nine months after announcing its Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP), Facebook has held its first summit and unveiled new partners and a first concrete project, a white box transponder/router for fibre backhaul, called Voyager. This is an indication, if any were needed, that the social media giant was not just tub-thumping …
Wireless Watch, 17 Nov 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Vodafone UK hails results of Massive MIMO trial with TD-LTE

Massive MIMO is an increasingly important element of operators’ plans for LTE-Advanced Pro and for 5G, despite a lack of devices and mass market chipsets on the near horizon. But the tests are piling up, many of them in China, Japan and Korea – but Vodafone UK is claiming the first in Europe in the 2.6 GHz TDD band. The …
Wireless Watch, 08 Nov 2016
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Will rush for New Radio compromise 5G quality?

Analysis The US operators have ended their long love affair with sub-1 GHz spectrum, which was so important to their LTE coverage roll-outs, and are leading the world in harnessing high frequency bands to address the challenge of the expected capacity demands of the 5G era. While regulators and operators in some areas – many in Europe …
Wireless Watch, 20 Oct 2016

Google Pixel: Devices are a dangerous distraction from the new AI interface

Analysis There was a distinct whiff of the retro about Google’s launch of its Pixel smartphone. Exclusives with selected large mobile operators; yet another attempt to create a unified Android experience; even the clear focus on Apple as the primary competition – all these should be issues of the past. "Premium is a very important …
Wireless Watch, 12 Oct 2016

Will 5G give Samsung a chance at global Radio Access Network glory?

Analysis Will 5G bring Samsung the network infrastructure success which has largely eluded it outside of its home country? Samsung was part of a group of network equipment vendors – also including NEC and Motorola – which missed out on the W-CDMA 3G market, except in a few niches. All these companies had plans to seize share back from …
Wireless Watch, 05 Oct 2016

Ericsson’s patent pool is far from the new start the IoT needs

Analysis There are many interesting aspects to the announcement that Qualcomm, among others, is joining Ericsson’s Avanci patent pool scheme. Some of these appear contradictory. On the one hand, Avanci illustrates how the old patent structures of the mobile industry will no longer be fit for purpose for the Internet of Things (IoT). …
Wireless Watch, 03 Oct 2016
Jean-Claude Juncker speaking in front of EU flag

EU chief promises modernised spectrum policy to avoid mistakes of LTE

The European Union announced its 5G Action Plan last week, and president Jean-Claude Juncker set out some ambitious connectivity goals in his State of the Union address. These include promises to enable free Wi-Fi in public spaces in every town and village in the EU states, and to achieve “full deployment” of 5G by 2025 ( …
Wireless Watch, 21 Sep 2016
End of the line (train line). Photo by Shutterstock

Nokia's 4.9G races Ericsson's almost-5G, yet the finishing line is a mirage

At Mobile World Congress this year, Nokia emerged as the most aggressively "5G-ready" of the big vendors, while Huawei was still stressing "4.5G", a term it coined, but which has been widely adopted. This week saw Nokia going one better with "4.5G Pro" and even "4.9G", recalling the build-up to LTE, when some vendors and …
Wireless Watch, 07 Sep 2016
Handsome man has fuchsia-painted skin. Photo by Shutterstock

Google Fuchsia OS eyes non-Linux things

Google’s latest operating system project, Fuchsia, may be largely a mystery, but it reinforces a truth that platform vendors are having, grudgingly, to acknowledge: one operating system does not fit all. For a company which has put so much effort into making Android an OS for all purposes, Google has a remarkable number of …
Wireless Watch, 24 Aug 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

LTE-U’s window is closing and bigger 5G disputes may be coming

One of the presumed outcomes of the 5G process is full convergence of licensed and unlicensed spectrum, with one or more air interface standards which can span both, using frequencies entirely flexibly according to requirement. This is a very long way off, if the current quarrels over extending LTE into licence-exempt bands are …
Wireless Watch, 22 Aug 2016
Robot AI Woman

Chip giants pelt embedded AI platforms with wads of cash

Analysis Artificial intelligence and machine learning engines are underpinning many emerging applications and services, from making sense of big data for enterprises, to supporting hyper-personalized consumer content, or virtual reality gaming. The current challenge is to move AI from the supercomputer to the mobile device, supporting …
Wireless Watch, 17 Aug 2016
Man loads in blanket into the washing machine. Photo by Shutterstock

Facebook and Google show how the world really will be blanketed in 5G

Facebook has outdone even Google recently, in its efforts to shake up the mobile industry and accelerate the delivery of broadband services (and its revenue generators) to the entire planet. This is no longer just about using balloons and new spectrum to push affordable wireless access to underserved communities. It is about …
Wireless Watch, 18 Jul 2016
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Photo by Shutterstock - must mark as editorial use only

EU operators’ 5G manifesto misses the point

Never before have events coincided so neatly to demonstrate the gap between mobile operators’ thinking about 5G, and how future networks will really be deployed for disruptive effect. While Europe’s leading MNOs were presenting a backwards-looking "5G Manifesto" to the European Commission, veiling pleas for net neutrality …
Wireless Watch, 13 Jul 2016
Man checks mobile while sitting on skateboard ramp. Photo by Shutterstock

Verizon, KT, Telefonica: On three continents, operators prepare for 5G

In the week of Brexit and Iceland, a London event perhaps did not need any more reminders about falling behind the rest of the world – but a final, unavoidable conclusion from last week’s 5G World was that the east Asian operators, always very technically progressive, are also in a league of their own when it comes to detailed …
Wireless Watch, 06 Jul 2016
US Navy man crawling under barbed wire in tough mudder competition

Ericsson: 5G migration won't be a terrifying slog. No. We have ‘plug-ins’

Analysis All the network equipment providers are engaged in major operator projects which they hope will guarantee them a place in those MNOs’ 5G rollouts in the coming years. This week, it was certainly the turn of Ericsson to score 5G marketing points, with a series of operator engagements around the world, and the announcement of 5G …
Wireless Watch, 24 Jun 2016