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  1. steven36

    FCC deems 5G safe

    The FCC concludes current radio frequency emission levels are safe. Cellphones -- old and new -- are safe, including those that'll use new 5G technology. That's according to a new proposal that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai circulated Thursday. It would keep the agency's current safety limits for radio frequency exposure the same as they've been for 23 years. Following more than six years of public input and review, the agency said the current exposure levels for cellphones, wireless towers, Wi-Fi routers and all other devices emitting RF signals are safe. Agency officials added that they don't have any concern for new gear using 5G technology, including gear that uses millimeter wavelength frequencies. The FCC, which sets radio frequency limits in close consultation with the FDA and other health agencies, said that the other agencies were also in agreement on keeping the current limits in place. "The available scientific evidence to date does not support adverse health effects in humans due to exposures at or under the current limits," Jeffrey Shuren, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, wrote to the FCC. "No changes to the current standards are warranted at this time." There have been concerns and questions about the safety of mobile devices for years. In 2011, the World Health Organization said cellphones might cause some brain cancers, leaving open the possibility that a link exists between cancer and cellphone radiation. But most studies haven't found a link between radio frequency signals from cellphones or cell towers and disease. Concerns have grown recently as mobile carriers throughout the world race to deploy this fifth generation of cellular technology, or 5G. Specifically, there have been concerns that the high-frequency spectrum known as millimeter wavelengths, or mmWave, used in early deployments to make 5G a reality could pose adverse health effects for the public. Adding to the concern is the fact that 5G deployments require many more small cell towers to be deployed much closer to where people live, work and go to school. The growing fear about the health effects has caused lawmakers and policy makers throughout the world to start putting on the brakes. But FCC officials on Thursday reiterated there's no reason for concern. An FCC official told reporters during a press briefing that there's "nothing special about 5G." They added that the scientific evidence to date indicates that 5G is no different from any other cellular technology, including 4G or 3G in terms of causing health effects. They also added that the higher-frequency signals used to deliver 5G also pose no health risk, and that the existing RF exposure guidelines are still applicable to 5G, regardless of the spectrum band used to deliver the service. The officials also emphasized that current RF exposure limits apply to any device emitting a radio frequency signal and are not limited to phones. Also, as part of the proposal, Pai recommends the agency establish a uniform set of guidelines to ensure companies making devices comply with the limits regardless of the technology that's being used. The FCC has for years been criticized for not updating its cellphone safety standards since 1996. Critics have argued that the levels should be reviewed based on the latest wireless technology. The agency uses a value known as a SAR, or specific absorption rate, to determine if devices can be safely sold in the US. The SAR measures the amount of power that's absorbed in the body per given mass. While the FCC hasn't updated its SAR level recommendations since the 1990s, others have reviewed the limits. In March of this year, the engineering group IEEE recommended the safety levels remain about the same as they have been since 1996. The FCC opened a proceeding in 2013 to look into the RF levels. And the order circulated Thursday by Pai is the result of that review. Source
  2. THE HAGUE (Reuters) - European law enforcement agencies set to lose the ability to tap criminals’ mobile devices with the launch of 5G technology must be brought into discussions earlier when communications networks are modernised, the new head of Europol told Reuters. Appealing to EU leaders for greater powers to fight tech-savvy criminals, Catherine De Bolle said its member states do not yet have the domestic regulations or technology to fill the policing gap that will open up when 4G networks become obsolete. “It is one of the most important investigative tools that police officers and services have, so we need this in the future,” she said in an interview, giving the example of locating a child who has been kidnapped. European police authorities are now able to listen to and track wanted criminals using mobile communication devices on the 4G network, but “we cannot use them in the 5G network,” De Bolle said. She said European law enforcement agencies were brought into talks on the 5G transition among tech companies and policymakers too late. That meant that officials were now being forced to seek ways to limit the damage when police are stripped of critical surveillance capabilities under 5G. The comments came as Europol released a report on crime fighting in the digital era, called “Do Criminals Dream of Electric Sheep,” which described the adoption by criminals of new encrypted communication tools, 3-D printing technology and hacking capabilities that target potential victims online. It highlighted the ability by terrorists to use self-driving cars or drones as weapons, artificial intelligence that can spread fake news and high-speed quantum computing that may help crack encryption codes. “WEB-BASED CRIMINALITY” Police agencies “were not vocal enough” when policy makers and commercial businesses were discussing 5G technology, and De Bolle is sounding the alarm to avoid a repeat. “The biggest risk is that we are not enough aware of the developments on a technological level and we have to be ahead on this. We have to understand what is going on and we have to try to provide answers to it,” she said. “So we need to be at the table where they discuss about the technological development, where they discuss standardisation.” Europol opened in 1999 as Europe’s collective policing agency and combats cross-border organised crime, terrorism and cybercrime in the bloc. It has 900 staff based in The Hague. The agency is in discussions in Brussels to double its budget from this year’s 138 million euros ($155 million) by 2027, largely to revamp its cybercrime capabilities, De Bolle said, detailing the new report. “The area we are working in and the technological evolution we are dealing with - the innovation used by criminals, the web-based criminality - it is huge,” said De Bolle, who joined Europol in May 2018 from the Belgian police force. She made the case for Europol to become a platform for modernising EU police forces by developing digital tools and technology. To do that, Europol would need greater political and financial support from European institutions. In the next seven-year EU budget period from 2021 to 2027 “we need a doubling of the money we have today,” she said. Source
  3. Our AT&T 5G speed test yields the craziest speeds yet At the AT&T Shape conference in LA we get a taste of blazing fast 5G speeds. And they sure make for smooth mole whacking. On Saturday, AT&T let us test the speed of its 5G network on a Galaxy S10 5G phone. Juan Garzon/CNET It's fitting that I tested AT&T's 5G network at the Warner Bros. studio in Los Angeles. Both Hollywood and 5G aim to take our wildest ideas and make them real. In AT&T's case, it's the promise of high speed mobile data over a cellular network, which could revolutionize how we use our phones, computers and connected devices. In the little time I spent testing 5G speeds at the AT&T Shape conference at Warner Bros., I was blown away by how fast they were. They cruised past the speeds we've witnessed in similar early 5G tests done with Verizon and Sprint. AT&T now becomes the third US carrier over the past few months to give us a taste of the power and potential of 5G. After a less than stellar preview in April, Verizon flexed its blazing speed muscles in May around select parts of Chicago on its 5G network. Later that month, Sprint showed off its 5G networkin Dallas-Fort Worth, and it proved impressive in terms of its speeds and the size of its coverage -- even if Verizon's demo was faster. AT&T's approach was to show off a 5G connected campus on the Warner Bros. lot. Imagine a film crew being able to instantly share footage with someone on the other side of the lot. If you haven't heard of 5G, it's the next generation of cellular technology, and it should allow for faster data speeds with incredibly low latency. The new generation of wireless innovation could lead to a slew of uses, both practical, like downloading movies to our phones in seconds or streaming AR/VR games without lag, and hopeful, like being a harbinger for new uses and technologies that have yet to be envisioned. The latter could truly revolutionize industries, from self-driving cars to remote medical procedures. Usain Bolt-fast 5G speeds Armed with a loaner Samsung Galaxy S10 5G phone, I ran a dozen speed tests around a town square backlot at Warner Bros. that was dotted with 5G millimeter wave nodes on rooftops. I was able to measure upload and download speeds and to download hours of movies and TV shows in a matter of seconds. The takeaway? AT&T 5G Plus is faster than The Flash when he has to pee. I got speeds that were consistently over 1Gbps, often hitting 1.6-1.7Gbps. That's six times faster than my home internet. I ran 12 tests with the Speedtest.net benchmarking app to measure speeds, and eight were over 1.4Gbps. The top speed I saw was 1.782Gbps, which is faster than the top speed of 1.3Gbps we experienced on Verizon's 5G network in Chicago and the 484Mbps top mark we recorded in Dallas on Sprint's 5G network. I downloaded and installed PUBG Mobile, which is 1.9GB, in less than two and a half minutes. The first season of Blue Planet II (more than 5 hours of video) took less than a minute to download with the Netflix app. From what I experienced on Saturday, 5G is still very much in its raw cookie dough state. Networks are still being built out, and the tests I ran are a wonderful tease of what our future wireless connections should be able to do. But it's worth noting that the speeds I experienced on AT&T's 5G Plus are available only in small zones for businesses like Warner Bros. and Magic Leap. Consumers will have to wait till at least 2020 before they can experience these insane speeds themselves. Speed is just one part of what makes 5G so appealing, though. Low latency is the real game-changer for 5G The Shape conference pointed at the true potential of 5G: its worth for businesses and developers. Interactive demos by companies like Magic Leap, Nvidia, Nokia, Google and IBM gave me a tiny glimpse into how that 5G speed can bring creative dreams and utilities a step closer to reality. But something I noticed across most demonstrations was that 5G's secret weapon is really low latency. Latency is the time it takes your computer or gaming console to send data to an online server and get data back. The less time this takes, the better. A whack-a-mole-style game from Ericsson showed off how vastly different the latency is between 5G, 4G and 3G connections. Instead of moles, there was an arcade table console that had small plastic circles across the top. When a circle lit up, you simply pressed it to get a point. Easy enough, right? However, when I played the game I wore a VR headset with cameras on the front. I could see only the live feed inside the headset, which was streamed over a 5G connection. Gameplay felt natural and easy until the connection switched to 4G. My timing immediately felt off, and then things got much worse when the connection switched to 3G. This demo was such an effective and fun way to show how 5G's latency is crazy low. Nvidia showed off its GeForce Now, a cloud streaming service for games. I played Batman Arkham City over 5G and had no idea I wasn't playing a local copy. Movements were smooth, and reflexive gameplay felt no different than on a PlayStation. Low latency won't make headlines, but it means businesses can use cloud computing to create more-powerful experiences on our phones and devices. And I think it's smart that AT&T is rolling out its 5G network to businesses and developers first. Remember when the iPhone was first released? There wasn't an app store until a year later. And truly it was apps that made the iPhone so innovative. AT&T is pushing businesses and developers to discover compelling uses for 5G. And those uses will be what ultimately makes 5G go mainstream to consumers. Until then, expect more speed tests and 5G phones that are aimed at early adopters. Source
  4. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will vote in July on whether to auction a key band of largely unused 2.5 GHz spectrum to help advance next-generation 5G wireless networks and scrap requirements that it be used for education, the agency said on Tuesday. The FCC in May 2018 voted to consider releasing additional key 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum reserved in the 1960s for what is now known as the Educational Broadband Service. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement the proposal would give existing users more flexibility in how they use the spectrum. “Valuable mid-band spectrum available for new mobile services will allow for more efficient and effective use of these airwaves and will advance U.S. leadership in 5G,” he added. Pai said last year the FCC was seeking to ensure that existing users would retain spectrum, give some entities a chance to obtain new licenses “and then auctioning off the remaining white spaces.” Reuters reported the auction plans earlier on Tuesday. Sprint Corp uses leased spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band in its existing 4G network and 5G network that it is being rolled out. That spectrum is a key part of Sprint and T-Mobile US Inc’s proposed $26 billion tie-up and 5G plan, and is not directly affected by the auction, FCC officials said. The U.S. Education Department in a June 7 letter told the FCC it should maintain an “educational use requirement” for that spectrum and suggested setting aside revenue from license sales to help students who lack the internet access required to do their homework. The FCC proposal would remove that educational requirement, officials told reporters on a conference call. It did not provide an auction timetable but said the proposal would establish a “competitive bidding window.” Several FCC auctions are planned this year, the agency added. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr last year noted that the 2.5 GHz band is unused in about half the country, and more than 90% of the licenses held by educational institutions are leased to other entities. Carr said those arrangements show “many educational institutions have contracted with those providers so that each can focus on what it does best: the former can educate students, and the latter can build wireless networks.” The FCC also plans to vote next month on revising its children’s television programming rules, it said in a statement. Source
  5. Huawei tests 5G downloads in China as government due to issue licenses Huawei is also scheduled to ship its foldable 5G smartphone, the Mate X, this month. Chinese technology giant Huawei has tested the 5G download on its upcoming foldable phone, the Mate X, after the Chinese government announced that it will soon release 5G licenses nationwide, which is believed to largely benefit local telecom equipment vendors including Huawei and ZTE. The download rate through a 5G network has exceeded 1Gbps on the latest Huawei handset. He Gang, head of Huawei's smartphone division, carried out the test at Huawei Shanghai Research Institute, a video shared by the company on Tuesday shows. Huawei's Mate X, which supports the auto switch of 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G networks, could achieve downstream speed of 1Gbps and upstream speed of close to 100 Mpbs, according to the demo. The test came a day after the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that it will "soon grant 5G licenses for commercial use" on Monday. The country's telecoms regulator did not unveil any details apart from the one-line announcement. The market generally expects that the three largest telecom operators of the country, China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom, will give out most their contracts for building up local 5G networks to the two local telecoms equipment giants, Huawei and ZTE. "We are looking forward to the commercialization of 5G networks and Mate X, which will allow users to experience good products and networks," Huawei's consumer business group head Richard Yu said on his Weibo account on Tuesday, commenting on the 5G demo. Huawei, which showcased its Mate X during MWC in Barcelona earlier this year, is scheduled to ship the foldable product this month as planned, the company told media in April, after Samsung postponed the shipment of Galaxy Fold due to serious problems with the screens. Huawei's Mate X is equipped with the world's first 7nm 5G multi-mode modem chipset Balong 5000 which could support "unprecedented 5G download speeds", Huawei said in a press release. Source
  6. SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) will roll out commercial 5G licenses “in the near future”, Xinhua said. It did not provide further details. Beijing had granted licenses at the end of 2018 to China’s three state-owned carriers to conduct trials for 5G deployment. It has yet to approve full commercial deployment, however. Source
  7. The AchieVer

    Tech Tent: Why is 5G data capped?

    Tech Tent: Why is 5G data capped? Image copyrightPA Image captionStormzy launched EE's 5G network With a flash of fireworks and a song from rapper Stormzy, the UK welcomed the arrival of its first 5G mobile network. On this week's Tech Tent podcast, we explore the benefits this next-generation tech is supposed to bring, and ask whether people are likely to pay a premium to upgrade. Image captionChris Fox is sitting in for Rory on this week's podcast Stream the latest Tech Tent podcast on BBC Sounds In the race to launch the UK's first 5G network, it was BT-owned EE that got there first - although the service is only available in a handful of cities at the moment. To put it to the test, our technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones went to Covent Garden in central London, to appear live on the BBC News channel via 5G video link. His broadcast went smoothly, although afterwards he revealed there had been a small technical hitch. Three days of testing the video-streaming technology had hit EE's data cap. The Sim card needed "topping up" before he could go on air. Data cap anxiety? Despite one of the benefits of 5G being a huge increase in network capacity, all of EE's new price plans come with a data cap. The cheapest tariff - £54 a month with a £170 fee for a compatible handset - has a data cap of 10GB. We're told 5G will let us stream ultra-high definition 4K movies in an instant - but you would soon use up your 10GB allowance doing that. When the mobile networks first introduced data caps on 3G tariffs, it was touted by the networks as a necessary step for them to manage demand on congested networks. A cynic might suggest it was also a way to boost revenue, as the number of lucrative SMS text messages being sent dwindled. Are we about to see "data cap anxiety" carry over into the 5G era? The fast download speeds of 5G make it a good candidate for replacing fixed-line home broadband - but not with a restrictive data cap. Downloading one video game on a console could easily blow through 30GB of data. EE has not revealed its tariffs for 5G home broadband. But as the only player in the market right now, it can charge early adopters what it likes. EE told the BBC that some of its 5G tariffs included their biggest data allowances to date and that 10GB was "plenty" for many customers. It also offers customisable "data passes" so that video games or video streaming, for example, are not counted towards your data use. When Vodafone switches on its 5G service in the coming weeks, we may see some more competitive prices - and less restrictive data caps. Perhaps, with the increase in capacity promised by the next-generation tech, it will do consumers a favour and banish them entirely. Source
  8. First to 5G? For smartphone users, the race is kind of meaningless EE is the first UK carrier to jump to 5G. But for more consumers, the upgrade just isn’t worth it yet. 5G has arrived in the UK today. Jaromir Chalabala / EyeEm Pop the champagne and polish the medals, for the competition to be first to 5G has declared its victors. UK carrier EE turned on the country's first 5G network in the country on Thursday, beating its rivals to the punch. EE joins Verizon and Swisscom as "winners" of the race to being the first in its country to offer customers the next generation of network speeds. 5G is successor to 4G and its higher speeds will enable new experiences from autonomous cars to seamlessly integrated smart homes. For a handful of early adopters out there, EE's 5G switch-on will bring the first taste of whizzier, much-hyped mobile internet. 13 PHOTOS Samsung, LG, Motorola: How soon can we expect 5G phones? But it's crucial to recognize that it will just be a handful. Initially, 5G will only be available in the busiest and most central parts of the small number of launch cities.The rest of the time, you'll be connected to the good old-fashioned 4G network. So it may be worth holding off on upgrading to a 5G phone contract for now. Here lies the awkward period when 5G transforms from relentless hype to reality. It's a point of pride for a network to switch on 5G first, and you'll hear a carrier trumpet the claim in countless commercials. But it doesn't necessarily reflect when you'll get 5G or the ultimate strength of your network's 5G offering. Keep in mind, the industry celebrates many 5G milestones, even if most average phone users couldn't care less. Kester Mann, analyst at CCS Insight, doesn't think EE being first to pull the 5G trigger spells doom for other networks. In the UK, Vodafone is due to launch its own 5G network at the beginning of July, with O2and Three set to follow by the end of the year -- a relatively small difference. "If anything, it gives a bit of an opportunity to see how it's been positioned to market and use that early learning to inform their own propositions," he said in an interview. But that's not to say there aren't also good reasons to be in the pole position. "Being first is really important to maintain leadership when you have a technology transition," said Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm in an interview with CNET at EE's launch event in London last week. "You're always going to have first mover advantage, not only because you're going to get the learnings and the technology, but you actually can be faster to bring it to maturity, understand the new use cases and actually provide the value proposition to your customers." And it's not just the networks that could be affected by being early to 5G -- the hierarchy of device manufacturers could also be switched up. 5G is unusual in that it's the first generation of new network technology in which the ecosystem of devices is mature ahead of the carriers, said Amon. Several prominent Chinese manufacturers, including Xiaomi, Oppo and OnePlus, have timed their arrival or expansion in Europe to coincide with the advent of 5G. Of the current top manufacturers in the UK (Apple, Samsung and Huawei), only Samsung is currently in a position to compete with the newbies, with the Galaxy S10 5G variant is available on Vodafone and EE. Apple is conspicuous by its absence from the range of devices offered at launch and may not have a 5G phone of its own until 2020. Meanwhile Huawei's devices were pulled -- or put on "pause" -- by EE and Vodafone at the last moment due to uncertainty over its future relationship with Google's Android. So while you might be trying to decide between a Huawei and Samsung phone for your next upgrade, in a year or so you could be weighing up an Oppo or Xiaomi device instead. "You could certainly argue that it's an opportunity for some of these new device makers to make a bit of an impact on the market," said Mann. Don't worry, there will be plenty of time to make up your mind. Mann estimates networks won't be providing widespread 5G coverage to hundreds of thousands of people until the end of 2020. "It's definitely going to be a long process," he said. Source
  9. T-Mobile CTO says 5G's high-frequency spectrum won't cover rural America. Enlarge / T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray. T-Mobile 5G mobile networks have started arriving but only in very limited areas and amidst misleading claims by wireless carriers. While all four major nationwide carriers in the United States have overhyped 5G to varying degrees, T-Mobile today made a notable admission about 5G's key limitation. T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray wrote in a blog post that millimeter-wave spectrum used for 5G "will never materially scale beyond small pockets of 5G hotspots in dense urban environments." That would seem to rule out the possibility of 5G's fastest speeds reaching rural areas or perhaps even suburbs. Ray made his point with this GIF, apparently showing that millimeter-wave frequencies are immediately blocked by a door closing halfway while the lower 600MHz signal is unaffected: T-Mobile High frequency, small coverage area With 4G, carriers prioritized so-called "beachfront spectrum" below 1GHz in order to cover the entire US, both rural areas and cities. 5G networks will use both low and high frequencies, but they're supposed to offer their highest speeds on millimeter waves. Millimeter-wave spectrum is usually defined to include frequencies between 30GHz and 300GHz. But in the context of 5G, carriers and regulators have generally targeted frequencies between 24GHz and 90GHz. T-Mobile's high-frequency spectrum includes licenses in the 28GHz and 39GHz bands. Millimeter waves generally haven't been used in cellular networks because they don't travel far and are easily blocked by walls and other obstacles. This has led us to wonder how extensive higher-speed 5G deployments will be outside major cities, and now T-Mobile's top technology official is saying explicitly that millimeter-wave 5G deployments will just be for "small pockets" of highly populated areas. Ray wrote his blog post primarily to complain about AT&T and Verizon claiming to be the first carriers to offer 5G, so his statement about high-frequency limitations was made partly to explain why T-Mobile hasn't yet launched 5G. (There's also the small matter of there not being any 5G phones in the market aside from a Motorola phone sold by Verizon that requires a hardware attachment to access 5G.) "Verizon's mmWave-only 5G plan is only for the few. And it will never reach rural America," Ray wrote. Ray pointed out that early reviewers of Verizon's small 5G launch had trouble finding a signal. "Some of this is physics—millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum has great potential in terms of speed and capacity, but it doesn't travel far from the cell site and doesn't penetrate materials at all," Ray continued. "It will never materially scale beyond small pockets of 5G hotspots in dense urban environments." The 5G industry standard was designed to make higher frequencies viable in cellular networks with improved beamforming and massive MIMO technology. The 5G industry standard works on everything from sub-1GHz to millimeter-wave frequencies, but spectrum "[a]bove 6GHz is needed to meet the ultra-high broadband speeds envisioned for 5G. Currently, the 26GHz and/or 28GHz bands have the most international support in this range," the GSMA mobile industry group said in a white paper in November 2018. GSMA called the use of spectrum above 24GHz "vital" for high-speed 5G. This is largely because of the sheer amount of unused spectrum in higher bands—it's much harder to find large unused blocks of spectrum below 1GHz. “A very small footprint” T-Mobile intends to use millimeter-wave spectrum to provide "massive capacity over a very small footprint," Ray wrote today. "It holds big promise for speed and capacity in dense urban areas and venues where large numbers of people gather." But low- and mid-band spectrum will still be needed to cover wider areas with 5G, he wrote. Ray criticized Verizon for "roll[ing] out technology that is nowhere near ready for primetime." He also criticized AT&T for relabeling 4G as "5G E" and for rolling out 5G in some cities without selling any actual 5G phones. "I have the exact same 5G mmWave network equipment and software that AT&T and Verizon do, and there's no way we would launch this for customers right now," he wrote. The 5G standard calls for download speeds of 20Gbps and 1ms latency. One Verizon 5G speed test in Chicago found download speeds of 762Mbps and latency of 19ms. But Verizon's 5G coverage in Chicago and Minneapolis, its two launch cities, is hard to find. T-Mobile over-hypes 5G, too Despite Ray's realism about the limitations of millimeter-wave signals, T-Mobile hasn't shied away from exaggerating the benefits of 5G. CEO John Legere began a recent blog post by complaining that "there is so damn much noise and misinformation about 5G in the marketplace that it's virtually impossible to separate truth from BS." But in the very next paragraph, Legere claimed that 5G "is the most transformative technology of our lifetime" while providing no evidence to support that grand statement. T-Mobile has also claimed that it can only build a robust nationwide 5G network if the government lets it buy Sprint, even though the companies' own previous statements about their 5G plans contradicted those claims. Ray's blog post once again made this merger-related claim, even as recent reports suggest that US regulators are not convinced. Ray argued that T-Mobile and Sprint together will make "a broad and deep truly nationwide 5G network" using a mix of low-band, mid-band, and high-band spectrum. While Verizon is charging an extra $10 a month for 5G, Ray promised that T-Mobile "won't charge our customers more for 5G, while Verizon and AT&T continue to jack up prices." Source: Millimeter-wave 5G will never scale beyond dense urban areas, T-Mobile says (Ars Technica)
  10. The AchieVer

    Will 5G play a role in IoT security?

    Will 5G play a role in IoT security? Threats abound for connected devices as carriers prepare for next-generation of wireless mobile communications. The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow as more and more devices, sensors, assets, and other "things" are connected and share data. Still, many remain concerned about the security threats and vulnerabilities of this environment -- whether it involves IoT networks, data, or the connected devices themselves. Can 5G, the upcoming fifth generation of wireless mobile communications, help enhance the security of IoT? IOT SECURITY CONCERNS IoT ecosystems can be especially appealing as the targets of attacks such as distributed denial of services (DDoS), in part because there are so many different components involved. Two of the major security issues at the moment are the lack of effective security being built into IoT devices themselves, and the existence of a large number of different standards frameworks, says Paul Bevan, research director for IT infrastructure at research and analysis firm Bloor research. "The problem isn't with the standards themselves; rather it is the challenge of translating between the different domains and frameworks," Bevan said. "You are only as secure as your weakest link, and this need to translate between frameworks could be one such weakness." IoT security generally encapsulates existing security threats, but also has some unique challenges, said Patrick Filkins, senior research analyst, IoT and mobile network infrastructure, at research firm International Data Corp. (IDC). For example, enterprises have long juggled with how to address end-point security. "To balance the costs associated with deploying hundreds, if not thousands of sensors, end-point security is sometimes relatively unaddressed," Filkins said. That can leave those end-points open to security breaches. "This puts much of the security heavy lifting on network and IT resources positioned further away from end-points," he says. Research by Gartner Inc., estimated that worldwide spending on IoT security would reach $1.5 billion in 2018, a 28% increase from 2017 spending of $1.2 billion. The firm expects to see demand for tools and services aimed at improving discovery and asset management, software and hardware security assessment, and penetration testing. HOW WILL 5G IMPACT THE IOT? The lower latency, increased bandwidth, and ability to dedicate network slices to specific use cases that are inherent in 5G design specifications will enable a range of new mobile and remote applications not been feasible with 4G technology, Bevan said. "The most widely touted have been autonomous vehicles and control of remote medical devices, both areas where latency issues are likely to have serious, life-threatening implications," Bevan said. If users need real-time response from devices in the field then it is likely that 5G will be a major enabler, he says. The new mobile wireless standard will allow enterprises to seamlessly connect more end-points to a network, Filkins said. "Of course, being wireless 5G will be another tool for enterprises to connect end-points as a potential alternative to a wired connection," he said. While 5G is being hyped for IoT, many use cases will continue to rely on infrastructure leveraging existing wireless network protocols such as WiFi. "As such, the use case/application will dictate which approach best fits," Filkins said. The low-latency characteristic of 5G will be appealing to many verticals, such as manufacturing, he said. A key aspect of 5G for IoT is in the design principles related to both the service provider mobile core and radio access network (RAN) portions of the network, Filkins added. The core portion of 5G is designed to efficiently facilitate a diverse set of IoT use-cases. "IoT connectivity needs can vary greatly by industry, which is where 5G will differentiate from prior mobile generations by enabling operators to service multiple IoT customers and/or use cases from their 5G network platform," Filkins said. While 5G will eventually apply to both the consumer and enterprise spaces alike, it makes sense that many operators are focusing efforts to drive cellular IoT on Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks with enterprise customers now, Filkins said. "Over time, these existing LTE-based IoT connections will be serviced by a multi-access 5G architecture [that] will simultaneously service 5G IoT connections as well," he said. As such, 5G can be viewed as a further catalyst to the IoT market as a whole, by enabling mobile operators and possibly enterprises to apply customized, cellular solutions to an IoT deployment. 5G AND SECURITY ISSUES While 5G itself will not address IoT security threats, it will take a concerted effort from a range of stakeholders spanning mobile operators, enterprise customers, and perhaps specialty vendors to understand and address these issues, Filkins said. "As the network itself is upgraded to 5G, the need to upgrade network security will also be present," Filkins said. "Operators have primarily focused on defending their networks from external, Internet-based intrusions. With IoT, you have greater potential for intrusions from inside the network or through 'middle-man' attacks." It is likely that operators as well as enterprises leveraging 5G for IoT will take a closer look at ways to incorporate security measures more tactically, Filkins said, with security potentially present at more layers than it was in prior network generations." "The vendor community is also moving swiftly to enhance 5G security, by converging traditional firewall functions with application visibility and security," Filkins said. "As more IoT applications are run on the network, which could be hosted in a traditional data center or in an edge cloud, securing applications themselves will be at the forefront of 5G security concerns." Any 5G security concerns related to IoT will be more present once operators introduce 5G core networks and further cater to the IoT needs of enterprise customers, Filkins said. Such 5G core network deployments are not expected to see broad uptake for a couple years, he said, although there will be some China-based operators that plan to introduce this technology as early as next year. FOCUS ON DESIGN "Good security is all about the combination of people, process, and technology; 5G by itself cannot properly address IoT security issues," Bevan said. "For sure, if an IoT device is communicating using a SIM [subscriber identity module], then validation of the device and encryption of the data via a secure link provides at least part of the end-to-end security solution." But this capability is available in 4G and older technologies. Bevan said. "5G is not bringing anything new to the party," he said. "If the IoT device has been compromised through weak or non-existent passwords, then all 5G is doing is sending some secure but malicious commands to the infected device." What's needed is to design security into the IoT devices themselves, move toward a common set of end-to-end security frameworks, and essentially shift the issue of security closer to the design phase of both IoT products and services, Bevan said. This should be backed up by adherence to policies and an increasing use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate security operations, he said. Source
  11. 5G-connected cows test milking parlor of the future SHEPTON MALLET, England (Reuters) - They may look like regular cows, but a herd of Friesian dairy cattle at a British farm are internet pioneers and they are enjoying the benefits of 5G connectivity before you. Cisco Systems Inc, which is developing network infrastructure for the emerging technology, has set up 5G testbeds to trial wireless and mobile connectivity in three rural locations. 5G promises super-fast connections, which evangelists say will transform the way we live our lives, enabling everything from self-driving cars to augmented-reality glasses and downloading a feature-length film to your phone in seconds. While it is being used in pockets of pilot studies around the world, the first near-nationwide coverage is not expected in countries such as China, Japan or the United States until 2023, according to industry analysts. For the cows, among the 5G-connected gadgets they are wearing is a collar that controls a robotic milking system. When the cow feels ready to be milked it will approach machine gates that will automatically open. The device recognizes the individual to precisely latch on to its teats for milking, while the cow munches on a food reward. At the government-funded Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation Centre (Agri-EPI Centre) in Shepton Mallet, in southwest England, around 50 of the 180-strong herd is fitted with the 5G smart collars and health-monitoring ear tags. The gadgets do not harm the cows and the monitoring allows handlers to see any signs of distress. “We are testing the ability of 5G to transmit the data from our sensors much quicker, and not via the farm’s PC and a slow broadband internet connection,” said Duncan Forbes, Project Manager at the Agri-Epi Centre “And the significance of that is it means that this sort of technology could be taken up ... not just on farms but on rural communities right across the country.” The working dairy, set up by Agri-EPI with the support of Britain’s innovation agency, uses a range of technology; including automated brushes that rotate when the cow rubs up against them, sensor-operated curtains that open depending on the weather, and a smart feeding system that automatically delivers food in the barn via ceiling-mounted rails. “We can connect every cow, we can connect every animal on this farm,” Cisco’s Nick Chrissos said. “That’s what 5G can do for farming — really unleash the power that we have within this farm, everywhere around the UK and everywhere around the world.” Source
  12. It was under ideal conditions, but Verizon finally puts real numbers to mobile 5G. Enlarge / The blazing fast conclusion of Verizon's speed test. David Weissmann It was a bit earlier than scheduled, but Verizon switched on parts of its 5G network today, debuting in "select areas" of Minneapolis and Chicago. Every carrier out there likes to slice and dice definitions to have the "First 5G" everything, but in terms of using a real, mmWave 5G signal and something approximating a 5G smartphone, Verizon has made the most progress yet in getting a 5G ecosystem up and running. 5G is still in its very early stages, with access in only a few cities and almost zero device support, so it has been hard to know what 5G will really be like in the real world. Verizon spokesperson David Weissmann shared on Twitter the best look yet at 5G, where he showed a real-life 5G speed test, running on a real smartphone, getting data from a real 5G tower. Specifically Weissmann was out in Minneapolis, pulled out his Verizon™ Moto Z3 phone with the Moto 5G Mod attached, and loaded up the Ookla Speedtest.net app. Behold his speed test: Weissmann's speed test ended with a blazing-fast 762Mbps down and a 19ms ping (the video does not show upload speeds). Unless you are rocking gigabit fibre Internet at home, this is probably much faster than your home Internet connection. Ookla's latest aggregate speed reports peg the average US mobile download speed at 27Mbps, while the average fixed broadband download in the United States is at 96Mbps. Qualcomm's current 5G modem has a theoretically max speed of 5Gbps, but of course nothing is going to hit the theoretical maximum. Carriers are happy to crow about 5G rollouts and upcoming devices, but it has been rare to see actual numbers attached to 5G. Weissmann's test is the closest we've come so far to seeing what real 5G performance is like, and today's press release from Verizon claims "early customers in Chicago and Minneapolis should expect typical download speeds of 450Mbps, with peak speeds of nearly 1Gbps, and latency less than 30 milliseconds." The latency here isn't great compared to the previous promises of 5G. Verizon's Home 5G Internet supposedly has 4-8ms latency, while for mobile Verizon is only promising around 30ms (and showing 19ms in the speed test). According to testing by OpenSignal, 4G LTE latency is usually around 54-64ms, so while this is a bit of an improvement, it's not quite as fast as we were expecting. Verizon’s ideal circumstances Now for the list of many caveats with this video and with 5G in general. Weissmann's test—which was probably pre-approved by Verizon—is being run under ideal circumstances. First, he is standing basically next to a 5G tower with a clear line of sight on a sunny day. Verizon's 5G equipment is actually visible in the frame of the video—it's all those boxes and antennas glommed onto the post lamp on the left. 5G's real problems come in range and penetration, so if you were indoors—or on the other side of a building, or if there was a tree in the way, or if you were farther away from the tower—performance would be significantly worse. 5G even has problems with the weather, so on a rainy or foggy day, performance will suffer. 5G is all about building a network in the slice of spectrum we haven't used for other radio signals yet, and the reason this spectrum is available is because the performance characteristics are very challenging. Second big caveat: there's a good chance Weissmann was the only person on Earth using Verizon's 5G network at the time of this speed test. His own tweet refers to the test as "historic," and we've got to guess the user base with 5G Verizon hardware active the very instant the 5G network went live was approaching "one person." With more people online, the network will be slower. Third big caveat: 5G hardware. 5G smartphones are going to be awful for the first year, as first-generation 5G modems and antennas take up a lot more space and power than our refined, well-worn 4G technology. That's going to impact phone design and battery life negatively. Weissmann's phone—the Moto Z3 with the 5G MotoMod—has a good chance of being the "Worst 5G Smartphone of all time." The 5G MotoMod takes an old smartphone, the Moto Z3, and adds 5G compatibility to it through Motorola's clip-on modular system. Thanks to the state of 5G hardware, though, the 5G MotoMod is almost an entire new smartphone that you're clipping onto the back of your old smartphone. The 5G MotoMod has an entire extra smartphone SoC inside of it, the Snapdragon 855. That's along with a 5G modem, its own 2000mAh battery (because 5G needs a lot of power), and a whole heap of 5G antennas. If you could run apps on it, the MotoMod would be way faster than the Snapdragon 835-powered Moto Z3. Still, for something in a smartphone form factor, the Moto Z3 with the 5G backpack is the best we can do right now. The first fully integrated 5G smartphone should be the 5G version of the Samsung Galaxy S10, which is due out this month in South Korea. Despite all the caveats, this feels like a big step in the wait for 5G. We just need way more coverage, more mature 5G hardware, and more 5G smartphones. Even then, the shaky performance characteristics of 5G make us wonder if any of this is actually worth it. In perfect conditions, it is pretty fast though! Source: Watch a Verizon 5G phone hit speeds faster than your home Internet (Ars Technica)
  13. MG Hector to Be India's First Internet Car, Technology Revealed MG Motor India’s first car will be the Hector SUV which will go on sale in Q2 this year. The second car, which will arrive in 2020, will be a pure electric vehicle - eZS. MG Hector SUV. (Image: MG Motor India) MG Motor (Morris Garages) has showcased their car technology in India with the launch of the iSMART Next Gen, developed in partnership with global technology players. The MG Hector, which will go on sale in June this year, will come with iSMART Next Gen and will be the first internet car in India. MG Motor says that they have partnered with global tech companies Microsoft, Adobe, Unlimit, SAP, Cisco, Gaana, TomTom and Nuance. The carmaker also unveiled other several industry-first features of Internet-enabled cars that will be available in the MG Hector. The iSMART Next Gen, which MG Motor calls the 'brain' of the car, will be housed in a 10.4” Head Unit. The screen is designed with a vertical interface that allows the driver to control the entire car system with just a touch or voice command. MG says that the Head Unit has been built to withstand extreme climatic conditions in India. It will also come with pre-loaded with entertainment content. MG Hector iSMART Next Gen will be embedded with an M2M sim that ensures that the car remains connected. The customized solution has been developed by Unlimit in partnership with Cisco and Airtel who have collaborated with their Jasper platform and telecommunication network respectively. The connected mobility solution on the MG Hector is Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPV6) ready for 5G. Here's one of the interesting facts, MG customers will be able to download software updates immediately or schedule them for later, as in smartphones. This makes MG the first few among the global leaders and the first in India to bring the revolutionary Over The Air (OTA) technology to cars. The OTA feature would be standard in all MG cars enabled with iSMART Next Gen for connected mobility, starting with MG Hector SUV. “The integration of internet with cars opens up a gamut of features that can ensure a seamless and updated ownership experience for MG customers in India. With an embedded SIM card and OTA, the MG Hector promises to do a lot more over time with constantly-expanding capabilities, to create a seamless driving experience, throughout the life of the car,” said Rajeev Chaba, President & Managing Director, MG Motor India. “Furthermore, with the advent of 5G connectivity in India, MG cars will have the potential to add new, breakthrough features to further enrich the car driving experience,” Chaba added. MG Hector SUV. (Image: MG Motor India) The MG Hector will also come with Voice Assist, a voice application that works on the cloud and head unit. Developed by Nuance for MG India, it has been specifically designed for India for Indian accent learning. As a result of built-in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms, MG Motor says that the system will learn and get better every day with usage. Activated with ‘Hello MG’, the voice assist allows over 100 commands, including opening and closing of windows and sunroof, ac control, navigation etc. and works under poor connectivity as well. Furthermore, the MG Hector will also house the world leader TomTom’s real-time navigation application. TomTom has over 600 million vehicles under its platform. This navigation system would regularly update maps, routes and locations through their IQ Maps feature. Other pre-loaded apps include the Gaana app with a premium account and Accuweather. All apps have been specially customized for MG Hector’s large Head Unit. The iSMART Next Gen is supported by the iSMART mobile App. For starters, the car gets scanned each time the App is opened, and information includes the location of the car, tyre pressure, or if the doors are locked or not. Future owners will be able to use the remote app to directly lock or unlock doors, turn on the ignition and switch on the air-conditioner. It would also allow owners to schedule a service and keep track of service history. MG with iSMART has also said that they want to ensure that its customers remain protected against advanced threats while enjoying the benefits of technology. MG car owners can locate their cars remotely and geofence it, so the car cannot be taken out of a predefined zone. The App uses driver analytics data to help people drive smarter. The iSMART is hosted on Microsoft Azure Cloud providing impregnable cybersecurity for all data. If this wasn't enough, MG has also has set up a customer management service centre called the Pulse Hub. This will enable eCall emergency response in all MG cars. If a car’s airbags are deployed under an emergency condition, automatic messages are sent to the Pulse Hub and the registered phones along with a series of emergency response actions that get activated instantly. MG hector also offers a feature called 'iCall'. Owners can activate this with just a touch on the screen, which will then allow the driver to be connected to Pulse Hub. Keeping true to the 'connected car' value, MG has partnered with Adobe and Cognizant to develop the first ever Adobe Experience Cloud for MG customers. Likewise, SAP with iTelligence has built a Dealer Management System - ‘Magnet’, and connected apps. This system would host all information from company, dealers, service centres and customers at one place. Source
  14. KT launches unlimited 5G data plan with no speed cap South Korea's second largest mobile carrier KT has launched a 5G data plan that offers unlimited data with no speed cap to overwhelm rivals SK Telecom and LG Uplus. South Korean telco KT has launched a 5G data plan that offers unlimited data with no speed cap as the country prepares for the rollout of the next-generation network on Friday. The mobile carrier dubbed its price plans for 5G as KT 5G Super Plans, which come in basic, special, and premium packages. All three tiers offer unlimited data on 5G without a speed cap and data roaming in 185 countries. Previously, with 4G LTE, telcos had offered so-called "unlimited" data plans that capped data speeds once consumers used a set amount of data. The Super Plan Basic will cost 80,000 won (US$70) per month and is cheaper than its 4G LTE counterpart which cost 89,000 won. Data roaming speeds will, however, be set at 100kbps. The Super Plan Special and Super Plan Premium will cost 100,000 won and 130,000 won per month, respectively. Those who subscribe to the Premium plan will be able to enjoy 3Mbps data transfer speeds for roaming. KT's move is an attempt to get ahead of its competitors as consumers begin to migrate from LTE to 5G. Rivals SK Telecom and LG Uplus have offered similar price plans, but have capped speeds once the allotted data is spent. KT also unveiled an affordable plan called 5G Slim that costs 55,000 won but caps speeds after 8GB of data has been used. 5G network in South Korea will go live for consumers on Friday, when the sales of Samsung Galaxy S10 5G begins, which will be the world's first roll out of 5G networks. The country's attempt to be the first to roll out the next-generation network ahead of others, however, has not been without its hiccups. It initially planned for a March deployment but this was delayed due to industry players not being ready. Source
  15. China to lead APAC tech spend, 5G race ahead of global markets China will remain Asia's largest in terms of tech spending, growing 4 percent this year and 6 percent in 2020, and lead global markets in the 5G race where its investments in telecommunications account for 57 percent of the country's overall spend. China is expected to remain Asia's largest spender in technology, forking out US$256 billion this year and US$273 billion in 2020, as well as lead global markets in 5G where the country's investments in telecommunications account for 57 percent of its overall tech expenditure. In fact, it has outspent the US by US$24 billion in 5G since 2015, with its three major telcos unveiling plans to launch commercial 5G networks by next year, according to Forrester. The research firm projected that tech spending in the Chinese market would climb 4 percent this year and 6 percent in 2020, despite ongoing trade tensions with the US that had slowed China's economic growth. Japan, at US$198 billion, would be the region's second-largest tech spender this year and, together with China, would contribute 60 percent of the total Asia-Pacific tech budget. Country's government has introduced initiatives to train 12,000 people in artificial intelligence skillsets, including industry professionals and secondary school students. India would place third at US$70 billion, Forrester predicted, while South Korea and Australia would each spend US$50 billion. Countries such as Taiwan, Indonesia, and Hong Kong would each spend between US$10 billion and US$30 billion, with Singapore as pack leader. "In addition to its slowly progressing smart nation vision, Singapore is doubling down on digital to boost the competitiveness of enterprises at home and in the rest of Asean," Forrester said. "Singapore also sees artificial intelligence (AI) as an important enabler of long-term sustainability. The entry of digital-native firms like Amazon and Alibaba into Southeast Asia should create the necessary urgency for sectors like retail and logistics in other Asean markets to begin a long-overdue digital transformation." However, growth in the Asia-Pacific region's technology spending would slow to 4 percent next year amidst bleaker market conditions and waning tailwinds, the research firm said. It noted that digital transformation initiatives in 2019 would be more pragmatic and focused on improving operational efficiencies and agility. China also adopt a similar outlook in its digital transformation efforts as businesses looked to navigate effects of the ongoing trade conflict and a slowing local economy. Its investment in telecommunications, though, would remain robust and China this year was "best positioned" to win the global race in 5G implementations, Forrester said. It added that South Korea also was gunning to be a key player in 5G and AI, and would continue to aggressively invest in 5G technology development this year. Local telco KT had set aside US$20.5 billion for its 5G Open Lab through to 2023 and was expected to roll out one of the first global commercial 5G networks this year. The research firm further noted that public cloud adoption was growing in Asia-Pacific, particularly China, Australia, and New Zealand. Spending in this market, comprising public cloud platform services, middleware, and applications would climb to US$24 billion in 2020, up from US$18 billion in 2018. Chinese businesses are projected to spend US$256.61 billion on tech this year and another US$272.84 billion in 2020, focusing their investments on transforming operations and improving efficiencies as they brace themselves for an uncertain geopolitical climate, says Forrester. SEA internet economy to hit 'inflection' value of $72B in 2018 Southeast Asian internet economy will be worth US$72 billion by year-end, fuelled by increasing number of mobile users and high-growth markets such as e-commerce and ride-hailing, reveals annual Google-Temasek study. https://www.zdnet.com/article/digital-economy-can-push-asean-gdp-up-1t-if-markets-operate-as-one/ Currently representing just 7 percent of GDP, Asean's digital economy can drive an uplift of US$1 trillion by 2025 across the region, but digital trade barriers and lack of seamless cross-border payments are key barriers. Huawei warns bans will increase prices and put US behind in 5G race Huawei's Eric Xu told CNBC that blocking the company's 5G networking products will increase prices and make it harder for the US to become No. 1 in 5G. However, it has been a huge benefit to the two Scandinavian suppliers: Ericsson and Nokia. APAC firms recognise AI as competitive advantage, but see corporate culture as key challenge Majority of Asia-Pacific business leaders see artificial intelligence as a key enabler in ensuring a competitive edge, but just 41 percent have actually adopted such tools, reveals a new study, which points to culture and skills as main challenges. Source
  16. Germany planning 'trustworthy' supplier requirement for all networks and 5G A draft of updated security requirements is set to appear in Northern Hemisphere's spring. Germany's Federal Network Agency, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), published on Thursday a set of planned additional security requirements for telco networks within the country, which are due to appear in draft form during the Northern Hemisphere's spring. The BNetzA pointed out that the requirements will apply to all networks, not just 5G. "Systems may only be sourced from trustworthy suppliers whose compliance with national security regulations and provisions for the secrecy of telecommunications and for data protection is assured," the first requirement BNetzA states. "Network traffic must be regularly and constantly monitored for any abnormality and, if there is any cause for concern, appropriate protection measures must be taken." Further, components may only be used if they are certified by the Federal Office for Information Security and have undergone approved, regular testing. "Proof must be provided that the hardware tested for the selected, security-related components and the source code at the end of the supply chain are actually deployed in the products used," BNetzA said. The planned requirements will force German telcos to avoid using a single vendor, and only "trained professionals" will be allowed to work in security-related areas. In situations where telcos outsource this type of work, "professionally competent, reliable, and trustworthy contractors" must be used. "We revise the security requirements on a regular basis in light of the current security situation and technological developments," Bundesnetzagentur president Jochen Homann said. "Security requirements apply to all network operators and service providers, irrespective of the technology they deploy. All networks, not just individual standards like 5G, are included." The German publication comes as Huawei announced yesterday it had filed to sue the US government. Huawei rotating chair Guo Ping said in Shenzhen on Thursday that the company was seeking a declaratory judgement that the National Defense Authorization Act, which forbids US government entities from using Huawei or ZTE equipment, as unconstitutional, as well as seeking a permanent injunction against the restrictions. "The US government has long branded Huawei a threat. It has hacked our servers and stolen our emails and source code," Guo Ping said. "Despite this, the US government has never provided any evidence supporting their accusations that Huawei poses a cybersecurity threat. "Still, the US government is sparing no effort to smear the company and mislead the public about Huawei. Even worse, the US government is trying to block us from the 5G markets in other countries." At the end of last year, reports said the Five Eyes alliance containing the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, was passing classified information on Chinese foreign interference to countries such as Germany and Japan. In December, the Czech Republic's National Cyber and Information Security Agency issued a warning against equipment Huawei and ZTE. "China's laws, among other things, require private companies residing in China to cooperate with intelligence services, therefore introducing them into the key state systems might present a threat," says the director of NCISA Dusan Navrátil. Navrátil also warned that China "actively pursues its interests in the territory of the Czech Republic, including influence and espionage intelligence activities". Earlier this week, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the ban Australia placed on Huawei was not done at the behest of another nation or for protectionist reasons, but because it defended Australia's sovereigntyand as a "hedge against changing times". "It is important to remember that a threat is the combination of capability and intent," he said. "Capability can take years, decades to develop. And in many cases won't be attainable at all. But intent can change in a heartbeat." Turnbull bemoaned that the Five Eyes members did not have a company capable of competing in 5G. "In many discussions with my western counterparts, I raised the concern that we, and in particular the Five Eyes, had got to the point where there were now essentially four leading vendors of 5G systems -- two Chinese, Huawei and ZTE, and two European, Ericsson and Nokia," Turnbull said. "With the benefit of hindsight it beggars belief that the countries which pioneered wireless technology -- the United States, the UK, Germany, Japan and with WiFi, Australia -- have got to the point where none of them are able to present one of their own telcos [as] a national, or a Five Eyes, champion in 5G." Source
  17. The AchieVer

    5G: A transformation in progress

    5G: A transformation in progress Early 5G deployments are now under way, and general awareness of 5G is increasing. However, fully operational 5G networks that can support advanced business-transforming use cases are still under development. Analogue mobile phones first appeared in the early 1980s, and were used for voice calls only (imagine that!). Second-generation (2G) digital mobiles made their debut a decade later with GSM, offering text messaging (SMS) as the 'killer application' on top of voice services, becoming the dominant technology worldwide. A roughly 10-year cycle has continued ever since, with each generation adding more data bandwidth and therefore enabling a richer set of services: around the turn of the millennium, 3G (UMTS or CDMA 2000) offered data rates of around 1Mbps and could be described as 'mobile broadband', while 2010 saw 4G (LTE) reaching 100Mbps. Of course, as in any evolutionary process, there have been intermediate stages: GPRS and EDGE were '2.5G' packet-switching technologies that made internet connections possible, for example, while HSPA and HSPA+brought '3.5G' data rates up to 2Mbps. More recently, '4.5G' LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro have paved the way from 4G to 5G, taking data rates up to 1Gbps. We are now on the cusp of the 5G era, with standards, spectrum allocation, network infrastructure, chipsets and devices all moving into place around the world. Fast 5G networks with low latencies and high connection densities will improve existing mobile experiences and, in due course, enable new use cases. In the meantime, as the 5G ecosystem develops, we will inevitably see a lot of marketing activity -- some of it distinctly questionable. This article sets the post-CES 2019 5G scene: for more detail, see the remaining content in this ZDNet special feature. 5G specs and use cases The road to 5G began back in 2015, with the ITU's IMT-2020 framework, which set out the general requirements and future development of the next-generation mobile technology (IMT stands for International Mobile Telecommunications). Here's how the performance requirements (which were approved in November 2017) compare to the previous-generation IMT-Advanced (a.k.a. 4G): 4G (IMT-Advanced) 5G (IMT-2020) Peak data rate (downlink) 1Gbps 20Gbps User-experienced data rate 10Mbps 100Mbps Latency 10ms 1ms Mobility 350km/h 500km/h Connection density 100,000 devices/sq km 1,000,000 devices/sq km Energy efficiency 1x 100x Spectrum efficiency 1x 3x Area traffic capacity 0.1Mbps/sq m 10Mbps/sq m The ITU's broad goal for IMT-2020/5G was to accommodate "new demands, such as more traffic volume, many more devices with diverse service requirements, better quality of user experience (QoE) and better affordability by further reducing costs". The key driver for this effort was the need to "support emerging new use cases, including applications requiring very high data rate communications, a large number of connected devices, and ultra-low latency and high reliability applications". Here's the IMT-2020 vision for broad classes of 5G use cases: Image: ITU IMT-2020 It's clear from these scenarios that 5G will be as much about businesses as it is about consumers. Yes, there's Ultra-HD and 3D video, augmented reality, smart homes, self-driving cars and more. But there's also a multitude of business opportunities to be exploited in 5G-enabled smart offices, cities, factories and farms. These mobile use cases are enabled by three classes of service: eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband); URLLC (Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications); and mMTC (massive Machine Type Communications). eMBB essentially delivers faster and better mobile connectivity -- not only for consumer smartphone users, but also for mobile professionals with 5G-enabled tablets or laptops, or field workers using AR apps and smart glasses, for example. Now enshrined in the June 2018 3GPP Rel 15 standard, which includes NSA (non-standalone, built on LTE-A/Pro) and SA (standalone) elements, eMBB is the first phase of 5G. The second phase will address the kinds of connections required by self-driving vehicles (reliable, low-latency -- URLLC) and IoT device-heavy environments like smart cities (moderate bandwidth, high density -- mMTC), and will be covered by the developing 3GPP Rel 16 standard, which was originally due for completion in December 2019 (see below) but has now been put back by three months. Image: 3GPP Another 5G use case is FWA (Fixed Wireless Access), which enters the picture because data rates will be sufficient to compete with wired broadband (over copper or optical fibre -- even fibre-to-the-premises). According to recent research from Ovum (sponsored by UK mobile operator Three), 5G is expected to deliver data rates of 80-100Mbps in the UK and could replace traditional wired broadband connections for 85 percent of the country's 26 million fixed-line customers: Chart: Ovum / Data: Ofcom Other advantages of FWA, says Ovum, include plug-and-play setup, flexible contracts and portability — customers simply take the wireless home broadband box with them when they move. (Note: Three has a stake in this market via its UK Broadband-operated subsidiary Relish, which currently offers FWA on its 4G LTE network). The state of play: early 2019 Next-generation 5G networks will operate on three broad radio frequency bands, each of which have different characteristics and address different use cases. Low frequency (sub-1GHz) spectrum is well suited to wide-area and indoor coverage, and will be important for improving mobile coverage in underserved rural areas as well as mMTC and URLLC applications. Mid-frequency (1-6GHz) spectrum supports a good combination of capacity and coverage, and is the initial focus for eMBB and FWA, with mMTC to and URLLC to follow. High-frequency spectrum -- a.k.a. millimetre wave, or mmWave(>24GHz)-- supports very high speeds and low latency within local 'hot-spot' areas and can deliver 'full' eMBB and high-speed FWA, although indoor coverage is poor. The precise bands used will vary around the world, but here's the picture in the UK (as of March 2018 -- the 2.3GHz and 3.4-3.6GHz auctions referenced below are now complete): Image: Ofcom (Enabling 5G in the UK, March 2018) Following its May 2017 acquisition of UK Broadband (UKB), Three currently holds the most 5G spectrum among the UK's four mobile network operators, although there are upcoming 700MHz and 3.6-3.8GHz auctions in 2019 (which Ofcom aims to conclude by spring 2020): 5G spectrum holdings among UK mobile network operators (H3G = Three, Telefonica = O2) Image: Ofcom In its March 2018 Enabling 5G in the UK report, Ofcom noted that high-frequency mmWave spectrum has not been used to deliver mobile services to date, but is likely to support new high-capacity, low-latency 5G applications. The UK regulator has called for input from MNOs and other players on the 26GHz (24.25-27.5 GHz) band, and has also prioritised 66-71GHz as a second stage high-frequency band, with 40.5-43.5GHz targeted as a priority band for study. All four UK network operators are now trialling 5G services: EE in London; O2 at London's O2 Arena; Vodafone in Salford, Greater Manchester (with six more cities to follow); and Three in London. Areas of high demand -- i.e. big cities -- may get limited 5G services (FWA and eMBB) in 2019, but it will take years before 5G coverage is widespread and new (URLLC and mMTC) use cases are fully supported. Looking further afield, in November 2018 the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) estimated that 192 operators in 81 countries were actively investing in 5G -- that is, "have demonstrated, are testing or trialling, or have been licensed to conduct field trials of 5G technologies, are deploying 5G networks or have announced service launches". By mid-January 2019, the number had risen to 201 operators in 83 countries. The GSA identified over 524 demonstrations or tests in its November 2018 report, noting that: Key 5G technologies being explored include new radio (NR) interfaces operating in spectrum bands not previously used for mobile telecoms services and network slicing to support delivery of services tailored to specific types of customer or service; combinations of technologies such as massive MIMO, or complex beam-forming that are needed to achieve very high speeds; and backhaul, cloud- and edge-computing arrangements to support very low latencies. At least 87 of the 524 projects tested massive MIMO involving 64 or more transmitters or some other 5G-specific technology, while 26 explicitly featured network slicing, the GSA reported. The most common frequency band in the tests was 3.3-3.8GHz (107 trials), followed by 26.5-29.5GHz (87 trials). Many of the trials reported peak downlink speeds of well over 1Gbps, although the GSA noted that the very highest speeds will not be deliverable by commercial networks for some time: Image: Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) As far as latencies are concerned, most of the 68 trials examined by the GSA achieved 1-1.99ms, although again these test results may not be representative of production networks: Image: Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) According to the GSA's latest (January 2019) figures, eleven operators claim to have launched 5G services (either mobile or FWA): AT&T (USA), Elisa (Finland and Estonia), Etisalat (UAE), Fastweb (Italy), LG Uplus (South Korea), KT (South Korea), Ooredoo (Qatar), SK Telecom (South Korea), TIM (Italy), Verizon (USA), and Vodacom (Lesotho). All of these services are limited in terms of geography, device availability and customer coverage, according to the GSA. Seven other operators have turned on 5G base stations but not yet launched commercial services. Samsung's protoype 5G handset at CES 2019. Image: ZDNet Samsung's prototype 5G phone received a lot of attention, even though it simply sat in a perspex box on the booth wall, running a video (from internal memory) about the company's 5G goals. It has a conventional form factor, but no technical details were revealed about its internals. However, the US network Sprintrevealed at CES that it will be carrying Samsung's 5G smartphone later this year on its LTE and 5G networks using the 2.5GHz, 1.9GHz, and 800MHz spectrum bands. Coming soon: Mobile World Congress Naturally, 5G is a major theme at the other big tech show at the start of the year -- Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona (25-28 February). Among the unveilings expected is a 5G phone from OnePlus using Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 855 chipset and X50 5G modem. This is expected to launch in the spring on the UK EE network (using sub-6GHz spectrum), before becoming available from other carriers worldwide. LG has also flagged up an MWC 5G handset announcement based on the Snapdragon 855 chipset. What the surveys say There have been plenty of surveys of different parts of the 5G ecosystem, by various interested parties. Here's a selection from the past six months or so. IHS Markit Business information provider IHS Markit polled 17 mobile operators for its August 2018 Evolution from 4G to 5G: Service Provider Survey. The headline finding was that 14 (82%) were trialling and testing 5G technology, while two (12%) -- both from North America -- were planning commercial rollouts by the end of 2018. South Korea is expected go live with 5G in 2019, said IHS Markit executive research director Stéphane Téral in a statement, while most European networks were not planning to deploy 5G until 2021 or later. Image: IHS Markit Ultra-low latency was the main 5G technical driver for 82 percent of the mobile operators, followed by decreased cost per bit (76%) and increased network capacity (71%). When it came to challenges, 53 percent cited radio as requiring the biggest development effort to make 5G happen, followed by transport (24%) and management (14%). The highest-rated 5G use case was eMBB, although FWA was expected to be ready for commercial development first. "The bottom line is early 5G will be an extension of what we know best: broadband, whether in FWA or eMBB form," Téral said. "Don't expect factory automation, tactile low-latency touch and steer, or autonomous driving to be ready on 5G anytime soon despite being touted as the chief 5G use cases," he added. Gartner In May-June 2018, Gartner investigated the demand and adoption plans for 5G among 185 survey respondents (85 Research Circle members and 100 others). IoT communications was the most popular 5G use case (59% of respondents), followed by video (53%). However, echoing IHS Markit's findings, Gartner senior research director Sylvain Fabre warned in a statement that 5G networks were far from ready for all use cases: "In the short to medium term, organizations wanting to leverage 5G for use cases such as IoT communications, video, control and automation, fixed wireless access and high-performance edge analytics cannot fully rely on 5G public infrastructure for delivery." Gartner noted that a new network topology is required to fully exploit 5G, including new network elements such as edge computing, core network slicing and radio network densification. This will take time: "Most CSPs [Communications Service Providers] will only achieve a complete end-to-end 5G infrastructure on their public networks during the 2025-to-2030 time frame -- as they focus on 5G radio first, then core slicing and edge computing," Fabre said. As a result, organizations keen to deploy 5G quickly may need to look beyond CSPs. "Private networks for enterprises will be the most direct option for businesses that want to benefit from 5G capabilities early on," said Fabre. "These networks may be offered not only by CSPs but also directly by infrastructure vendors -- and not just by the traditional large vendors of infrastructure, but also by suppliers with cloud and software backgrounds." Deloitte In a June 2018 survey of nearly 4,000 UK smartphone users (The Race to 5G), Deloitte found that just 12 percent of respondents would switch to a 5G network as soon as it became available. A further 19 percent would switch on hearing positive reports, while 32 percent would 'probably switch to a 5G network eventually'. Hardly evidence of pent-up demand, although the release of the first 5G handsets during 2019 is likely to change this picture fairly quickly. Image: The Race to 5G (Deloitte, 2018) PwC In September 2018, PwC surveyed a sample of 1,000 Americans aged 18-64 to investigate several things: their satisfaction with current home and mobile internet services; how they feel about 5G's potential; what they expect from 5G (in the home and on mobile devices); and their willingness to pay for 5G. Only 46 percent of respondents were familiar with the term '5G' without prompting (57% male, 37% female), although 62 percent found it 'very appealing' once defined. The main 'must-have' across both home and mobile internet was reliability (33% home, 32% mobile), with portability (66%), DIY installation (57%) and wireless (39%) adding to the appeal of 5G FWA in the home. On average, consumers would be willing to pay $5.06 extra/month for 5G home internet and another $4.40/month for 5G mobile internet. The main driver for this willingness to pay more was faster data speeds, both for home (49%) and mobile (63%) internet. Given that 5G handsets are not yet available, it's perhaps no surprise that PwC's respondents weren't exactly clamouring for the new technology: 74 percent would wait until they were eligible for an upgrade, while only 26 percent were prepared to buy a new device regardless. Having said that, there was some willingness to change mobile habits for 5G: 32 percent would switch providers; 21 percent would switch mobile device brands; and 19 percent would switch platform or OS. An 'end-to-end' approach to 5G You can't go far in 5G-land without encountering the term 'end to end' (or E2E) with reference to network architecture. That's because there's a lot more involved in being a network operator than winning RF spectrum and building a radio-access network (RAN): other key components are backhaul (or transport) from the base stations to the core network, plus supporting IT operations. A full 5G deployment requires architecture changes at every stage: Image: Three UK For example, as well as acquiring a healthy 5G spectrum portfolio, UK mobile operator Threehas: * Signed an agreement for the rollout of new cell site technology to prepare major urban areas for the rollout of 5G devices, as well as enhance the 4G service * Built a super high-capacity dark fibre network, which connects 20 new, energy efficient and highly secure data centres * Deployed a world-first 5G-ready, fully integrated cloud-native core network in new data centres, which at launch will have an initial capacity of 1.2TB/s, a three-fold increase from today's capacity, and which can scale further, cost effectively and rapidly * Rolled out carrier-aggregation technology on 2,500 sites in the busiest areas, improving speeds for customers Investments of this order -- Three has committed to spend £2 billion -- underscore the fact that different 5G use cases (eMBB, URLLC, mMTC and FWA) have different requirements when it comes to bandwidth, latency, mobility, security, reliability and pricing. Early 5G deployments are concentrating on traditional more consumer-oriented areas such as eMBB and FWA, are based on the finalised 3GPP Rel-15 standard, and can utilise a lot of existing 4G LTE infrastructure. But phase 2 of 5G will be based on the still-developing Rel-16 standard, and will require new spectrum and infrastructure to support advanced business use cases like URLLC and mMTC. Enabling all this requires a cloud-native, service-oriented architecture that supports network slicing, where multiple virtual networks coexist on the same physical infrastructure, leveraging technologies like software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV). Image: ITUNews In a May 2018 white paper, Ericsson described a trial with Swisscom showing how network slicing supports critical railway communications on a public network carrying mobile broadband traffic. High-definition video -- from cameras on platforms and in the front of trains -- was isolated, with guaranteed performance levels. "Assurances are required when trains are in areas with only moderate radio signal coverage, or during periods of particularly high mobile broadband traffic loading," Ericsson said. "Although capacity demands from critical communications are low, RAN radio resource partitioning can be used to maximize available capacity for other lower-priority demands, without affecting performance guarantees." Although it's crucial to full 5G deployment, network slicing is still very much a work in progress: in the November 2018 GSA report described earlier, just 26 out of 524 5G demos or tests (5%) explicitly featured the technology. There's plenty at stake though: according to the GSMA, network slicing will permit operators to address revenue opportunities worth $300 billion by 2025. "To unlock this opportunity, Network Slicing will enable operators to create pre-defined, differing levels of services to different enterprise verticals, enabling them to customise their own operations," the GSMA said. "However, the opportunity could become even bigger. Automation and the ability to quickly create slices could pave the way for operators to dynamically package and repackage network capabilities for different customers. This is the end goal of Network Slicing." Outlook Network operators are implementing the first phase of 5G, and 5G smartphones are beginning to surface, all of which means that general awareness of 5G is increasing. However, there's still a lot of end-to-end work to be done before fully operational 5G networks can support the advanced use cases that could transform business. Source
  18. Researchers have reported their findings and fixes should be deployed by the end of 2019. A new vulnerability has been discovered in the upcoming 5G cellular mobile communications protocol. Researchers have described this new flaw as more severe than any of the previous vulnerabilities that affected the 3G and 4G standards. Further, besides 5G, this new vulnerability also impacts the older 3G and 4G protocols, providing surveillance tech vendors with a new flaw they can abuse to create next-gen IMSI-catchers that work across all modern telephony protocols. This new vulnerability has been detailed in a research paper named "New Privacy Threat on 3G, 4G, and Upcoming5G AKA Protocols," published last year. According to researchers, the vulnerability impacts AKA, which stands for Authentication and Key Agreement, a protocol that provides authentication between a user's phone and the cellular networks. The AKA protocol works by negotiating and establishing keys for encrypting the communications between a phone and the cellular network. Current IMSI-catcher devices target vulnerabilities in this protocol to downgrade AKA to a weaker state that allows the device to intercept mobile phone traffic metadata and track the location of mobile phones. The AKA version designed for the 5G protocol --also known as 5G-AKA-- was specifically designed to thwart IMSI-catchers, featuring a stronger authentication negotiation system. But the vulnerability discovered last year by academics from ETH Zurich and the Technical University in Berlin allows surveillance tech vendors to create a new class of IMSI-catchers. We say "a new class" because this vulnerability doesn't allow the same type of tracking as old IMSI-catchers. Instead of intercepting mobile traffic metadata, this new vulnerability reveals details about a user's mobile activity, such as the number of sent and received texts and calls, allowing IMSI-catcher operators to create profiles for each smartphone holder. Furthermore, attackers can keep track of users, even when they move away from the fake base station (IMSI-catcher device), and later briefly return in the station's coverage, with the AKA protocol leaking updated phone activity states. "We stress that those activity patterns can be monitored remotely for a long time even if, most of the time, subscribers move away from the attack areas," said the research team. Tracking mobile activity stats may not look dangerous, but in their paper, the researchers think otherwise, claiming the new attack can be used to spy on politicians or embassy officials: The technique can also be used for better ad targeting: Furthermore, with enough IMSI-catchers deployed in an area, this new vulnerability can be easily adapted into a location-tracking attack by observing when a phone profile associated with a known user enters and leaves the coverage of the fake mobile base stations deployed in an area. In addition, this new vulnerability can be exploited using off-the-shelve electronics equipment at smaller costs than before. For their paper, researchers tested the new attack against a 4G network, due to the lack of 5G equipment on the market, but the attack would definitely work on 5G systems when they're going to be deployed. "We followed the responsible disclosure procedure and reported our findings to the 3GPP [the standards body behind 5G], GSM Association (GSMA), several manufacturers (Ericsson, Nokia, and Huawei), and carriers (Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone UK)," the research team said. "Our findings were acknowledged by the 3GPP and GSMA, and remedial actions are underway to improve the protocol for next generation," they added. "While 5G AKA will suffer from our attack in the first deployment of 5G (Release 15, phase 1), we are still hopeful that 5G AKA could be fixed before the deployment of the second phase (Release 16, to be completed by the end of 2019)." This research, while describing the most severe vulnerability impacting the upcoming 5G protocol, isn't the only one touching on 5G's problematic security issues. For example, two other academic studies from French and Finnish researchers also found that IMSI-catcher attacks are still possible against the upgraded 5G-AKA protocol, despite 3GPP's claims. Three other research papers [1, 2, 3] also looked at the 5G-AKA protocol and found numerous other security issues, despite 3GPP and mobile telecommunications providers claiming that security would be at the top of their mind when designing 5G. Source
  19. (Reuters) - Apple Inc held talks with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and MediaTek Inc along with existing vendor Intel Corp to supply 5G modem chips for 2019 iPhones, according to an Apple executive’s testimony at a trial between Qualcomm Inc and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Friday. Between 2011 and 2016, Apple relied on San Diego-based Qualcomm as the sole supplier of such chips, which help iPhones connect to wireless networks. Starting in 2016, Apple split the business between Intel and Qualcomm, but in 2018, Apple moved solely to Intel for its newest phones. But Apple supply chain executive Tony Blevins testified on Friday that Apple has also considered MediaTek and Samsung, one of its largest rivals in the smart phone market, to supply the chips for the next generation of wireless networks known as 5G. Those networks are expected to start rolling out this year and provide faster data speeds than current 4G networks. The FTC is suing Qualcomm alleging the chip supplier engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices to preserve a dominant position in the premium modem chip market. On the stand at a federal courthouse in San Jose, California, Blevins testified that Apple has long sought multiple suppliers for modem chips but signed an agreement with Qualcomm to exclusively supply the chips because the chip supplier offered deep rebates on patent license costs in exchange for exclusivity. In 2013, Apple broke off work with Intel to start supplying modems for the iPad Mini 2 because Apple would lose its rebates by using Intel’s chips, rendering Intel’s products “economically unattractive” overall. Later that year after cost negotiations with Qualcomm did not go as Apple hoped, Apple kicked off “Project Antique” to secure a second modem supplier, Blevins testified. By 2016 and 2017, Apple introduced Intel’s modems in some of its iPhones but also still used Qualcomm chips. But Apple’s lawsuit against Qualcomm filed in early 2017 caused their business relationship to change “in a very profound and negative manner,” leading to using only Intel’s modems for the phones released last year. “The entire concept of Project Antique was to find a second supplier. No offense to (Intel) but we don’t want to be single supplier with them. We wanted both Qualcomm and (Intel) in the mix,” Blevins said. Blevins also testified Apple considered making Intel the sole supplier of modems for the Apple Watch, which added 4G connectivity in 2017 using Qualcomm chips. Blevins said that talking with Samsung, whose Galaxy and Note devices compete against the iPhone, is “not an ideal environment” for Apple, but that Samsung is currently the largest component supplier to Apple. Blevins did not say whether Apple had reached a decision on a 5G modem supplier or whether it would release a 5G iPhone in 2019. Citing sources, Bloomberg previously reported that Apple would not release such a phone until 2020. Source
  20. AT&T already launched its initial mobile 5G network in parts of 12 U.S. cities last December, but it’s now preparing for full nationwide coverage — a dauntingly large task that its millimeter wave small cells won’t be able to handle alone. This morning, the carrier revealed that it will “offer nationwide 5G coverage with our lower band spectrum,” specifically the sub-6GHz frequencies discussed in our interview with AT&T VP Gordon Mansfield yesterday. Above: Netgear's Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot is the first AT&T mobile 5G device, and already available for purchase. While the announcement isn’t entirely surprising given that AT&T began to distinguish between “5G” and “5G+” in December, noting that it planned to call high-speed millimeter wave service “5G+” and offer it only in select high-traffic areas, this is the first official confirmation that AT&T’s nationwide 5G network will rely upon aggregating lower-bandwidth radio signals, which spread more widely from larger towers. Rival T-Mobile has similarly said that it will use low-bandwidth towers for its nationwide 5G network, while Verizon has focused largely on “true 5G” using high-capacity millimeter wave spectrum. Even so, all of the carriers will eventually rely upon more than one radio band to provide 5G service. Each carrier is expected to convert some of its existing LTE spectrum into 5G spectrum, though there’s a substantial likelihood of a speed penalty for doing so — enough that there could be a noticeable performance gap between millimeter wave and sub-6GHz 5G networks. AT&T specifically says that it plans to “begin deploying that lower band spectrum in the second half of this year,” suggesting that the allocation of some existing LTE spectrum for 5G will happen sooner rather than later, supporting an already announced Samsung sub-6GHz smartphone. In the transition from 4G to 5G, AT&T says that it has brought two interim technologies into more markets than expected: 1Gbps LTE-LAA is now in parts of 55 cities, with its controversially named “5G Evolution” or “5G E” — actually just 4G LTE-Advanced — in over 400 markets, offering roughly 400Mbps speeds on select 4G devices. Towers with the 5G E hardware will be capable of flipping to actual 5G service in the near future, but until then will confuse 4G users into believing that they’re using 5G technologies. AT&T also said that it is expanding its agreement with AR purveyor Magic Leap to include business solutions, including manufacturing, retail, and health care applications. Magic Leap’s current-generation hardware has no cellular hardware, but the company is expected to offer a 5G version in the future, in partnership with AT&T. Source
  21. Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T. DREW ANGERER/GETTY IMAGES In January, AT&T said it would launch a 5G wireless network in 2018. On Tuesday, the company said it would meet that target—barely—by launching a 5G service in parts of 12 cities starting Friday. Even in those cities, though, few people will be able to use the service anytime soon. Eventually, 5G is expected to deliver speeds around 200 times faster than today's 4G wireless networks. For now, though, AT&T's new network, dubbed 5G+, and a 5G home wireless network launched by Verizon in five cities in October, will be nowhere near that fast, and only be available in limited areas. AT&T says it will first offer its service in parts of Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas; Houston; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans; Oklahoma City; Raleigh, North Carolina; San Antonio; and Waco, Texas. Verizon offers its 5G Home service, which only works in fixed locations, in parts of Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, California. Neither company would offer details about service locations in these cities. Even if you’re within a coverage area for AT&T's 5G+, it could be a while before you're actually able to use it. No US smartphones can connect to 5G networks yet, so those hoping to use 5G+ will need a specific Wi-Fi hot spot, the Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot. Like 3G and 4G hotspots, this gadget will act as a mobile Wi-Fi router that you could then connect to your smartphone or laptop. But AT&T says it only has a limited supply of those devices, which it will offer to a few eligible customers; everyone else will have to wait until spring. AT&T isn't saying how fast the 5G+ network will be, but says its theoretical maximum speed is just shy of 1 gigabit per second. Verizon's 5G Home network advertises a maximum speed of about the same. That would make the two services comparable to Google Fiber, if—and this is a big if—the networks could maintain the higher end of those speeds as more people use the services. But it's far short of the 10-gigabit connections 5G could one day provide. Today's 4G technology can, in theory, provide 1 gigabit speeds. But 5G networks will be more up to the task, in part because they will be able to use the "millimeter wave" range of the wireless spectrum, where far more bandwidth is available. AT&T and Verizon both claim to use the millimeter-wave spectrum for these new 5G networks. AT&T offers another service it calls 5G Evolution, which it says will be available in 400 markets by the end of the year. But the wireless technologies AT&T says it uses for this service are actually parts of a 4G standard called LTE Advanced that is already used by T-Mobile, leading some critics to call it a "fake" 5G network. The speeds AT&T advertisers for 5G Evolution are about half of what the company and Verizon both cite as the maximum speeds of the newer 5G services. SOURCE
  22. Chinese smartphone maker Huawei says the Australian government has banned it from providing 5G technology for the country's wireless networks. It said fellow communications firm ZTE had also been banned, both reportedly because of national security concerns. "This is a extremely disappointing result for consumers," the company said on Twitter. Faster data download and upload speeds are promised with 5G, which is the next stage of mobile internet connectivity. Wider coverage and more stable connections than current 4G technology are also highlighted as benefits. What is 5G? Superfast 5G mobiles move a step closer 5G auction bidding starts in UK What's the issue? Several countries are preparing for the roll-out of 5G mobile networks, although analysts say few will launch 5G services before 2020. Mark Newman, from the consultancy ConnectivityX, said: "5G is going to be the next significant wave of mobile infrastructure deployment. "If existing suppliers are banned, it will be quite a major blow for them." Huawei is the world's biggest producer of telecoms equipment. It also ranks second in global smartphone sales, behind Samsung and ahead of Apple. In July, a UK security committee warned that it had "only limited assurance" that Huawei's telecoms kit posed no threat to national security. The UK's cyber-defence watchdog - the National Cyber Security Centre - has also warned that the use of ZTE's equipment and services could pose a national security risk. Huawei has a larger share of the phone market than Apple "As we move into 5G, a greater proportion of the network is controlled by software," said Mr Newman. "There is an argument that in this software realm, concerns about who is managing the network and where from are heightened." What has Australia said? On Thursday, the Australian government said national security regulations that were typically applied to telecoms firms would be extended to equipment suppliers. Companies that were "likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government" could present a security risk, it said. The United States has previously banned Huawei from bidding for government contracts because of fears over espionage. ZTE has also had its activity restricted in the US. Under Chinese law, companies must co-operate with the intelligence services. Analysts therefore warn that equipment produced by firms such as Huawei and ZTE could be compromised. How has China responded? China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Australia should not "use various excuses to artificially erect barriers". It called on Australia to "abandon ideological prejudices and provide a fair competitive environment for Chinese companies". Huawei has defended the security of its products. "Huawei is a world leader in 5G," the company said in a statement. It said it had "safely and securely" delivered wireless technology in Australia for close to 15 years. Source
  23. THE NEXT GENERATION OF WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY IS READY FOR TAKE-OFF Whizzy 5G tech has everything going for it barring a strong business case NORTH KOREAN athletes haven't been the only unusual participants at the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in South Korea. Anyone can take part, at least virtually. Many contestants will be watched by 360-degree video cameras, able to stream footage via a wireless network. At certain venues around the country sports fans will be able to don virtual-reality, head-mounted displays to get right into the action. Flying alongside a ski jumper, for instance, will offer an adrenalin rush without any risk of a hard landing. These virtual experiences will be offered by KT, South Korea’s largest telecoms firm. They are meant to showcase the latest generation of wireless technology, known as “5G”. But just as ski jumpers never know exactly how far they will leap after leaving the ramp, it is unclear where 5G will land. On paper, the new technology should go far. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN body which helps develop technical standards, has agreed on an ambitious set of requirements for the technology. It should offer download speeds of at least 20 gigabits per second, response times or “latency” of less than 1 millisecond and the ability to connect at least 1m devices in one square kilometre. So 5G networks are supposed to be able to transfer a full-length, high-resolution film in two seconds, respond to requests in less than a hundredth of the time it takes to blink an eye and effortlessly serve cities that are densely packed with connected humans and devices. When 5G is properly rolled out, wireless bandwidth may seem infinite, says Alex Choi, until recently the chief technology officer of SK Telecom, South Korea’s second biggest carrier, who is now at Deutsche Telekom, a German operator. That will enable all kinds of data-ravenous services, which SK is testing at its “5G Playground” near Seoul. One such is a virtual-reality offering that allows people to beam themselves into shared digital spaces such as a virtual sports stadium. Another piece of 5G ingenuity is on view at Ericsson, a maker of network equipment. In what was once a factory building next to its headquarters near Stockholm, it is demonstrating “network slicing”, a technique to create bespoke networks. The antennae on display are able to create separate wireless networks, to serve anything from smartphones and wireless sensors to industrial robots and self-driving cars. “Each set of devices will get exactly the connectivity they need,” says Nishant Batra, who runs wireless-network products at the Swedish firm. This versatility, along with the ITU requirements, could make 5G the connective tissue for the internet of things (IoT), as connected devices are collectively called, says Pierre Ferragu of Bernstein Research. Networks based on it could connect and control robots, medical devices, industrial equipment and agricultural machinery. They could also enable “edge computing”, the idea that more and more number-crunching will not happen in centralised data centres but at the fringe of networks. The telecoms industry has a lot riding on 5G. Mature network-equipment makers such as Ericsson and Nokia want it to revive demand for their wares, which has declined markedly since investment in 4G peaked a couple of years ago. Makers of radio chips, such as Qualcomm, are keen too. Countries are also boosters of 5G. Having lagged in the previous wireless generation, Asian countries want to lead the way on the next one. Using the Olympic Games to showcase and launch 5G is not unique to South Korea. Japan will do so in 2020, when Tokyo hosts the summer Olympics and NTT DoCoMo, the country’s largest operator, wants to start offering 5G services commercially. In China the government, operators and local equipment makers such as Huawei and ZTE are about to launch big 5G trials. In America, where competition between AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon has already speeded 5G development, industrial policy may further accelerate its roll-out: a leaked memo written for the White House by an official of the National Security Council went so far as to call for a nationalised 5G network. Such a project, it argued, would allow America “to leap ahead of global competitors and provide the American people with a secure and reliable infrastructure”. The memo was dismissed, but the idea could crop up again. In spite of all this backing for 5G, hurdles exist. One of these is radio spectrum, which is increasingly saturated in the lower frequency bands usually used by mobile networks. Free spectrum abounds in the higher bands—in particular where the length of radio waves is counted in millimetres. But the higher the frequency, the more difficult things get, explains Stéphane Téral of IHS Markit, a research firm. Millimetre waves provide a lot of bandwidth, but even foliage can block them. They either need direct line-of-sight to work or must be bounced around obstacles, which requires lots of computing power. Hardware is another headwind. Some equipment vendors have been touting their wares as “5G-ready”, needing only software upgrades to work with the new standards. In fact, even if equipment is easily upgradeable, most operators will have to rejig their networks. High-frequency radio waves do not travel far, so firms have to erect more base stations (computers that power a network’s antennae). As for mobile devices, big changes must be made for these to be able to use millimetre waves; with current technology, the computing power to process the signals would drain batteries in a twinkling. But the biggest brake on 5G will be economic. When the GSMA, an industry group, last year asked 750 telecoms bosses about the main risk to delivering 5G, over half cited the “lack of a clear business case”. Some of this pessimism is tactical: if operators were more enthusiastic, equipment vendors would raise their prices. But as things stand, 5G is unlikely to be a big moneymaker, says Chetan Sharma, a telecoms consultant. That is because, although people want more bandwidth, they are often not willing to pay for it—an attitude even the fanciest virtual-reality offerings may not shift. Revenue per gigabyte of data has already plunged by over 50% between 2012 and 2015, estimates Mr Sharma. Costs per gigabyte have not gone down nearly as much and building 5G will not be cheap. Because of the higher frequencies, 5G will require more antennae, base stations and fibre-optic cables to connect them. And before firms can take full advantage of “network slicing”, for instance, they have to upgrade the computers at the core of their networks. “We will have to work harder to give 5G a push,” admits Lauri Oksanen, who oversees network research at Nokia, a Finnish equipment maker. Operators are unlikely to ramp up their 5G investments quickly, predicts Bengt Nordstrom of Northstream, a telecoms consultancy. Instead, he says, they will roll it out gradually where the numbers add up. Some will first use the technology to provide superfast “fixed” wireless links (ie, between two stationary antennae), which is less tricky to do. Both AT&T and Verizon have said they will start offering such a service in America this year. Other carriers may use 5G to get more out of the spectrum they own. Others will weave 5G networks to serve densely populated cities, most probably in Asia. And some will launch private systems, for instance to provide connectivity in mines and ports. In other words, 5G’s trajectory is likely to differ from that of a ski jumper: it may fly low for years before it takes off. If this is the case, it would develop much like 3G, a mobile technology introduced in the early 2000s. It disappointed until it found a “killer application” with the smartphone late in the decade. And it was only with 4G that mobile networks lived up to the promises made of 3G, such as being able to watch video streams (see chart). “The odd-numbered generations do not seem to do too well,” quips Dean Bubley, a telecoms expert. “We may have to wait for 6G to get what 5G promises.” SOURCE
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