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Telecom Industry News

By: Scott St. John

News on key road-to-5G updates was dominant this month. The completion of the world’s first over-the-air 5G data transmission using 2.5 GHz and Massive MIMO on Sprint’s live commercial network was a collaborative accomplishment between Sprint, Nokia, and Qualcomm. Ericsson and Qualcomm also completed the first 5G data call on the 2.6 GHz band, and Huawei completed the last phase of its 5G NR test at 2.6 GHz. In other developments, a new specification from ETSI and a new agreement between the Telecommunications Industry Association and the Internet of Things Community should advance the development of smart city technology.

The top stories from the month are summarized below. To view all the news as it breaks, check out Pipeline’s News Center or subscribe to receive our news summary each week.

Network Evolution News

In an important milestone toward the 100 Gbps future, Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom became the first companies to successfully demonstrate a millimeter wave link with a data transmission rate of 40 Gbps in a joint innovation project at the Deutsche Telekom Service Center in Athens. The partners achieved four times greater data throughput compared to current commercial millimeter wave solutions to prove the commercial viability of future wireless backhaul technology. 

Telstra and Infinera unveiled a major boost to Telstra’s network services for customers in Asia Pacific, with a significant increase in fiber capacity to its subsea infrastructure using Infinera’s Infinite Capacity Engine 4 (ICE4). And in Italy, Nokia has been selected by Open Fiber to bridge the digital divide in a fiber-to-the-home rollout that will bring speeds of 1 Gpbs to small towns and rural areas.

Stateside network evolution updates came in as well. Windstream Enterprises announced that it will double the availability of 100 Mbps Kinetic Internet Service across its 18-state footprint in the first quarter of 2019 and expand availability of speeds up to 1 Gigabit for 100,000 commercial locations. In addition, ongoing network enhancements will make 25 Mpbs and 50 Mpbs speeds available to more Windstream customers. Windstream Wholesale announced that it will use existing long-haul fiber assets to expand its core network by over 200 miles into Montreal, Quebec. The expansion will connect Windstream’s network within Cologix’s Montreal ecosystem. Services are expected to be available in Q1. And Arvig, a Minnesota-based broadband service provider, announced it is extending its fiber network from Scott County to the Nebraska Data Centers in Omaha. This project will expand Arvig’s service area by more than 350 fiber route miles, providing a connection from the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area directly to Omaha.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai issued a statement on the end of Auction 101, which will provide spectrum in the 28 GHz band for 5G wireless services. Chairman Pai noted the successful conclusion of the US’s first high-band 5G spectrum auction and committed to aggressively pushing more spectrum into the commercial marketplace with additional auctions in 2019.

5G News

The month brought a flurry of progress updates on the march toward 5G. Together with Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies, Sprint completed the world’s first over-the-air 5G data transmission using 2.5 GHz and Massive MIMO on Sprint’s live commercial network. The accomplishment is a significant milestone toward launching mobile 5G service later in 2019. Ericsson and Qualcomm also completed the first 5G data call on the 2.6 GHz band, adding a new frequency band to those tested for commercial deployment. And Huawei announced the completion of the third phase of the 5G NR (New Radio) test at 2.6GHz spectrum in the 5G trial organized by the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group. 

IoT News

This month, partnership news percolated in the IoT space. To accelerate the digital transformation of the Internet of Things and further the development of smart buildings, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the Internet of Things Community (IoT) have announced the signing of an agreement to work in collaboration on a range of initiatives. Senet and Neosen Energy announced a partnership to accelerate the widespread deployment of campus-based LoRaWAN IoT networks for asset and personnel tracking and safety systems.  Through this partnership, Neosen Energy will deploy campus safety products connected over Senet’s LoRaWAN network, providing the fastest response geo-locating system on the market. And Vodafone and Telefonica UK plan to extend the existing network sharing partnership term and include 5G at joint radio network sites, enabling both to deploy 5G faster and offer 5G services to more customers at lower cost.



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