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China Unicom Brings 5G Connectivity to Nanjing Metro

China is bringing 5G to not just people but even to the trains. While the subways already have fantastic 5G for the commuters, 5G can do a lot more than just B2C (often referred to as 5GtoC as opposed to 5GtoB, which is generally called B2B).   In a recent video, Huawei provides a glimpse of first 5G-enabled metro system in Nanjing and also 5G powered helmet. Quite a few use cases have been explained. Video as follows: The project has been ongoing since 2019 as you can see from the tweet below The 5G era has come! After the setup of more than 2,000 5G base stations in downtown and Jiangbei New Area, the Nanjing Metro Line 4 has also achieved full 5G coverage since 22 Dec, marking that the no-blind-spots 5G network will be around the corner. — Discover Nanjing (@DiscoverNanjing) December 28, 2019 For people who may be curious on how connectivity is achieved in the metro, we are making a tutorial on that soon.  Related Posts :  Connectivity Technology Blog: Pa
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SoftBank to Promote Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) Solutions

SoftBank announced that it will start promoting the deployment of Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) solutions that provide connectivity from space and the stratosphere. For those who may not know, we made an introductory tutorial on NTN here .  The press release explained: SoftBank's NTN solutions will encompass the Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting (GEO) satellite NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) services provided by Skylo Technologies, Inc. (“Skylo”), which recently agreed to partner with SoftBank to provide satellite connectivity services in Japan. SoftBank's NTN solution portfolio will also include Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications to be provided by OneWeb Ltd. (“OneWeb”) and High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS)-based stratospheric telecommunication platforms to be provided by SoftBank subsidiary HAPSMobile Inc. (“HAPSMobile”). The respective services of Skylo, OneWeb and HAPSMobile in SoftBank's NTN solutions lineup will offer unique advantages to meet the diverse needs

Vodafone's Private 5G Network Revolutionises Ford's Manufacturing Processes

Vodafone’s 5G is completely transforming production at Ford’s E:PrimE (Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering) facility in Dunton, Essex, UK. GSMA produced a case study to explain the details. The following is from GSMA's case study The Ford Motor Company is using a mobile private network to enable an electric vehicle plant in the UK to enhance production quality in real-time. A combination of 4G and 5G connectivity provided by Vodafone UK enables Ford to analyse and control the new laser welding machines used to manufacture batteries and electric motors for vehicles. Although automotive plants are highly standardised with repetitive processes for assembling parts to tight tolerances, Ford still sees variations that can impact the efficiency of the plant and the quality of finished products. These can be as subtle as changes in temperature, or even sunlight affecting the cameras used to detect issues on the production line. Low latency connectivity is required to enab

Virve 2.0 is becoming a broad-band service

We have looked at the Finnish public safety network on The 3G4G Blog here . State Security Networks Group Finland (Erillisverkot) safeguards the Finnish society by offering authorities and critical operators engaged in critical infrastructure and services secure and reliable ICT services.  At the core of the Virve 2.0 project is the secure and seamless transition from the current Virve to new services. Critical communication and mission control between authorities and other mission critical operators will be safeguarded under all circumstances. A recent update stated: The highly tuned current Virve network for authorities will continue to work seamlessly alongside new services during the migration phase between 2023-2025. At the same time, the development of Virve 2.0 will proceed strongly in the areas of radio networks, information systems, devices, and application services. Our desire is to conduct the development, testing and piloting of new services in close collaboration with Vir

Astranis MicroGEO to help bring Connectivity Capacity to Alaska and Beyond

While we have been talking mostly about LEO satellites in the satellite technology related posts on this blog, Astranis , a startup based in Califonia has been designing small geostationary satellites for internet connectivity. Known as MicroGEO, these smaller and more powerful satellites cost a fraction of what traditional geostationary satellites cost. They can be built faster (12-18 months) compared to the traditional large geo satellites (3-4 years) and can bring connectivity to smaller areas quickly.  Back in 2019, Astranis signed Pacific Dataport Inc. of Anchorage, Alaska, an Alaskan telecommunications provider, as its first customer. The intention is to cover the entire state of Alaska, including the Aleutian Islands, with Ka-band connectivity for broadband, according to officials from Astranis and Pacific Dataport. Last month Astranis announced $250 million Series C financing round, valuing the company at $1.4 billion. According to the press release : Astranis is solving one o

Tarana's Air Fibre

5G has enabled many different Service Providers (SPs) to offer Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) as an alternative to a fibre based connectivity. We can always discuss the pros and cons of this approach but not in this post.  In a few cases, the operators have given fancy names to these FWA products. Saudi MNO, Mobily, calls it " 5G Air Fiber " while the Philippines MNO, Globe, calls it " Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G ". Then there is also satellite based "Smart Fibre From Space", as detailed by RTT here . The reason we are talking about Air Fibre in this post is because there is an alternative as proposed by a young US company called Tarana Wireless . There was a feature on them in Bloomberg last week but this Fierce Wireless webinar is a good starting point as well. South African ISP, Supersonic, has started offering this solution since Feb 2021 : Starting from R399 per month, customers can get fast, consistent download speeds of 5Mbps and upload of 2Mbps. This

Increasing 5G Coverage and Capacity with OPRA (Orthogonal Polarization Reuse Antenna)

Efforts to increase capacity and extend coverage have continued through antenna technology advancements. Increasing capacity by dual orthogonal polarization technology and extending coverage by narrow multi-beam are the best examples. However, dual orthogonal polarization technology results in deterioration of capacity due to correlation by the overlap of polarization in multiple MIMO environments, and narrow multi-beam technology has a limitation that extends coverage. However, capacity increases are low due to the correlation between antenna polarizations. The limitations of these technologies occur because the same polarization is used in the same space, at the same time, and at the same frequency. In a new whitepaper , KMW announced that they have implemented OPRA that has applied Orthogonal Polarization Reuse to increase capacity and extend coverage simultaneously. KMW is ready to offer a variety of RU products powered by OPRA technology to global partners and customers. Orthogona

LTE vs 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)

We have done multiple posts on our blogs looking at Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). It all started with this tutorial here . 5G FWA was one of the most popular services being offered by the operators.  Late last year, the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) announced the establishment of the GSA 4G-5G fixed wireless access (FWA) forum to bring together leading chipset, module and terminal vendors—as well as other telecommunications industry representatives, who wish to promote 4G and 5G FWA technology, products and services—to report on progress of FWA deployments, identify use cases and encourage global adoption.  At the recent GSA 4G-5G FWA Forum, Simon Sherrington, VP Research, GSA, presented the status of Fixed Wireless Access. Some of the highlights from his talk: FWA investment is global At least 477 operators in 175 countries/territories catalogued as investing in FWA based on LTE or 5G Trials, pilots, deployments, commercial launches or investment in licences GSA has identi

'5G Ready' OneWeb Megaconstellation is Getting Ready for Commercial Launch

Last week, OneWeb announced that they have successfully launched another 36 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites thereby bringing its total in-orbit constellation to 146 satellites. These will form part of OneWeb’s 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity. In a written evidence submitted to the UK parliament back in May 2020, it said : OneWeb is deploying the first satellite communication network with 5G features capable to deliver fibre-like connectivity to people around the world, especially in rural and hard to reach areas, powered by a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites. 5G ready, at low latency and providing global coverage, OneWeb will be the first telecommunication operator to bring high speed internet everywhere. Its communications network will offer game-changing Mobility solutions to industries that rely on global connectivity, such as Aviation, Maritime, Automotive and create solutions for Broadband, Government and Cellular B

GSMA Releases 5G Fixed Wireless (FWA) Playbook

Fixed Wireless is one of the recurring topics on our blogs (see links to other posts at the end). Now GSMA Intelligence has just released a playbook on this topic. The executive summary says: One of the most interesting potential applications of 5G is in providing access to home broadband, through fixed wireless access (FWA). This hybrid approach combines aspects of traditional mobile and fixed-line delivery methods but is primarily marketed as a ‘home’ internet product. FWA offers the principal advantages of (generally) lower upfront deployment costs relative to fixed options, and capital efficiency gains through the reuse of existing spectrum holdings. The technology has been around for more than a decade through the 3G and 4G eras, particularly in serving rural areas that lack fixed broadband access or have low speeds. At the end of 2020, 492 mobile operators (approximately 50% of the sector) had launched 4G FWA services, with varying levels of ambition. 5G will enable FWA to targe