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Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom Briefly Starts Drone War

Back in 2017, we were discussing about drones and helikites to bring temporary coverage in areas that have either no coverage or have lost coverage due to some or other reason. Things have certainly moved on in the last few years as we look at connected drones to help solve problems. In a LinkedIn post couple of weeks ago, Santiago (Yago) Tenorio, Fellow and Network Architecture Director at Vodafone posted on LinkedIn on how "Vodafone has been able to transport urgent nutrient solutions to premature babies across a 40-hectare hospital – setting the stage for future innovation in medical deliveries".  This briefly started a 'we did it first' discussion with rival Deutsche Telekom's SVP of Group Technology for Innovation, Arash Ashouriha, posting their achievement from 2020. Others from Vodafone jumped in to point out all the other demos that Vodafone has done over the years.  So what has Vodafone been up to with all the drone demos? Here is a short summary: May
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Key learnings from the 5G VISTA Project in UK

The 5G VISTA (Video in-stadia Technical Architecture) project is part of the UK Government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport's (DCMS) 5G Testbeds and Trials programme, a £200 million investment in testbeds and trials across the UK to investigate new ways that 5G can boost productivity, grow existing businesses, and spark new ones. It was completed on 1st April 2022. The project has tested and demonstrated the potential of 5G Broadcast and Multicast to deliver new and exciting digital experiences to spectators at live events.  The technology developed uses a concept called Further-evolved Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Service (FeMBMS) technology to support innovative use cases - to both enhance customer experience at events, and increase engagement. Whilst most mobile and internet communications are modelled on a “one-to-one” system, FeMBMS is a “one-to-many” service; it will take a single stream and send it to multiple users. Following a successful tria

Future Spectrum Demand for Rail Communications

Back in March, the UK Spectrum Policy Forum (UK SPF) held an event looking at what does the future look like for rail communications and what does it mean for spectrum policy? It explored the spectrum and technology possibilities for the future passenger and operational communications of the rail sector. The following is a summary from the event roundup : The session opened with the changing landscape of railway communications, notably the transition to the new Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS), the successor of the Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway (GSM-R). This is set to be rolled out in the coming years and should allow the railway sector to better leverage the latest communications technology. New rail related use cases and applications have been identified over the past few years increasing the demands on spectrum which can no longer be handled by GSM-R. The increasing number of performance related use cases include energy efficient driving, video

Introduction to Radar – the Challenges and Opportunities

Radio (or Radiation) Detection and Ranging, a.k.a. RADAR is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the distance (ranging), angle, and radial velocity of objects relative to the site. The modern uses of radar are highly diverse, including air and terrestrial traffic control, radar astronomy, air-defense systems, antimissile systems, marine radars to locate landmarks and other ships, aircraft anti-collision systems, ocean surveillance systems, outer space surveillance and rendezvous systems, meteorological precipitation monitoring, altimetry and flight control systems, guided missile target locating systems, self-driving cars, and ground-penetrating radar for geological observations. Radar is an important sensor in the autonomous cars. Typically, an autonomous car will have Lidar to scan the environment, Radar to identify the objects and Sonar to hear the objects. In our video of Tesla Model 3, we saw that the Forward-looking Radar is the primary sensor used to detect th

StarHub's SmartPTT Push-to-talk over Cellular (PTToC) Solution

Back in November, the Singaporean MNO StarHub announced the launch of Singapore’s first 5G-capable mission critical communications solution, enabling enterprises and government agencies to communicate with specified groups of people simply by pressing a Push-to-Talk (PTT) button.  A press release said: Named StarHub SmartPTT, the new solution sets up an encrypted enterprise-grade network over StarHub 5G and 4G connectivity, for identified mobile phones to function just like walkie-talkies or two-way radios – boosted with crystal-clear quality, unlimited range nationwide, and first-of-its-kind ‘live’ video feeds. StarHub SmartPTT is a one-stop solution comprising island wide 5G/4G connectivity, ruggedised PTT devices, customisable user application, training, and comprehensive after-sales support with guaranteed response times. Customers just need to liaise with a single party for all of their instant and critical communication needs. In addition, the solution offers a dispatch console

5G NR (New Radio) for Beginners

While our Free 5G training course , '5G for Absolute Beginners', is still going great, nearly 2 years after we put it online, there is one area that was just too big to cover, the basics of 5G New Radio (5G NR). While we have quite a few materials on the topic, a recent webinar from the training company Wray Castle is a good one for beginners.  In the one-hour talk, they discuss some of the features of 5G NR, together with the advantages and opportunities they bring to network operators. Topics include: 5G New Radio Overview Underlying Flexibility – the Key Difference Compared to 4G LTE Working Efficiently with 4G LTE – Controlling the Investment 5G New Radio - Opening New Spectrum Advanced Antenna Techniques – Increasing Efficiency Maximising Efficiency Across a Wide Range of Radio Environments Coding for Error Protection – Across a Wide Range of Radio Environments Efficiently Tailoring the 5G NR to Different Use Cases Achieving Low Latency with 5G NR The video is embedded bel

Gogo to bring 5G Connectivity to Planes

We have looked at Connectivity on Planes in a tutorial before. We have also discussed Air-to-Ground (A2G) Networks for Emergency Communications. As the number of 5G devices grows, it makes sense to have 5G connectivity on the planes to be able to provide much faster speeds to the end users willing to pay the premium. Gogo is the world's largest provider of broadband connectivity services for the business aviation market. According to their website , Gogo Business Aviation has shipped more than 17,000 systems worldwide, is a factory option at every major business aircraft manufacturer, and has solutions installed on the world’s largest fractional ownership fleets.  They also offer a customizable suite of smart cabin systems for highly integrated connectivity, inflight entertainment and voice solutions. Their products and services are installed on thousands of business aircraft of all sizes and mission types from turboprops to the largest global jets, and are utilized by the largest

Almost everything you need to know about Wi-Fi 7 (IEEE 802.11be)

We have looked at Wi-Fi 7, a.k.a. IEEE 802.11be  earlier . The technology is still undergoing standardization with a final release expected in 2024. A recent IEEE Spectrum article details speed evolution of IEEE 802.11.  Wi-Fi went mainstream with the 802.11g standard in 2003, which improved performance and reliability over earlier 802.11a/b standards. My first 802.11g adapter was a revelation when I installed it in my ThinkPad’s PC Card slot. A nearby café jumped on the trend, making a midday coffee-and-classwork break possible. That wasn’t a thing before 802.11g. Still, 802.11g often tried your patience. Anything but an ideal connection left me staring at half-loaded Web pages. I soon learned which spots in the café had the best connection. Wi-Fi 6, released in 2019, has maximum speeds of 600 megabits per second for the single band and 9,608 Mb/s on a single network. That’s nearly 40 percent as fast as the Wi-Fi 5 standard and more than 175 times as fast as the 802.11g connection I

Will 5G make IoT mainstream?

This is definitely a billion (or millions of) dollar(s) question. Anyone even remotely familiar with 5G will know that one of the use cases for 5G is mMTC or massive 'Machine Type Communications' (MTC - 3GPP defined name for M2M). We also looked at , not so long back, that even though it was predicted that there would be 50 billion cellular IoT devices by 2020, the total number is far behind. In another recent post we argued that the IoT traffic will be shifting from 2G to 4G over the next few years because of the uncertainty of 2G networks in many countries after 2030. This has led to many IoT devices manufacturers to start thinking about not just 4G but also 5G.  At the Telecoms Europe 5G conference back in November 2021, Erik Brenneis, CEO of Vodafone IoT presented their vision on how IoT is already mainstream and how IoT will make 5G mainstream. Here is the summary of his talk: 5G promises to be 10x faster than current LTE networks. This increase in speed will allow IoT d

Laser Inter-Satellite Links (LISLs) in a Starlink Constellation

When we first talked about Starlink back in 2019 , we saw in the video that the concept involved laser communication to communicate between the satellites. While the initially launched satellites did not have the laser communication mechanism built in, it looks like they are being added to the newer ones.  A report from Fast Company in late 2021 said: One of the next big upgrades in telecom will involve satellites firing lasers at each other—to beam data, not blow stuff up. The upside of replacing traditional radio-frequency communication with lasers, that encode data as pulses of light, can be much like that of deploying fiber-optic cable for terrestrial broadband: much faster speeds and much lower latency. “Laser links in orbit can reduce long-distance latency by as much as 50%, due to higher speed of light in vacuum & shorter path than undersea fiber,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted in July about the upgrade now beginning for that firm’s Starlink satellite constellation. The