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CSI-RS vs SRS Beamforming

In an issue of Signals Flash by Signals Research Group (SRG), they talked about 2 different types of MIMO. Quoting from their journal, "CSI-RS versus SRS. Those operators that have tested or made token use of MU-MIMO leverage a flavor of MU-MIMO that is based on CSI-RS. The MU-MIMO network we tested was based on SRS, which makes it far more likely to observe sixteen spatial layers (versus eight)." I reached out to Emil Björnson, Visiting Professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Associate Professor at Linköping University to see if he has explained this in any of his videos. Here is what he said: " I'm not talking about 3GPP terminology in any of my videos. But you can listen to the slides that starts around 12:40 in this video (embedded below) . If you are looking for CSI-RS vs SRS based MU-MIMO, then jump to around 12:40 in this video where you can see CSI-RS being referred to as "grid of beams" and SRS is similar to the other option, which is t
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The Wide Variety of Internet of Things (IoT) Technologies for Different Situations

For a very long time, Internet of Things or IoT has been promised to revolutionise the world and solve many of the issues with ARPU and Monetization that many operators are facing. Many of the predictions have yet to come pass but nevertheless, IoT is a promising technology.  While we are now conditioned to just think about 4G & 5G for everything, IoT is a very wide topic and there are a variety of technologies that help solve some or the other issue. While NB-IoT and LTE-M are catching on, the majority of Cellular IoT is still based on 2G / GSM. It is increasingly looking like a 2G+4G+5G world as IoT will ensure 2G is not shut off everywhere #2G3Gshutdown https://t.co/3hegU4AzPw — Zahid Ghadialy (@zahidtg) February 12, 2021 This is a misleading title @Telecomwaring - China Mobile had 884 million IoT customers at the end of 2019. According to @CounterPointTR some 95 million were on NB-IoT ( https://t.co/KS9ilaA23h ) so nearly 750 million+ on GSM / 2G - migration will take a deca

Verizon 4G/5G to help Deliver Retail Products with Connected Drones

At CES 2021 , Skyward, A Verizon company, and UPS Flight Forward, announced collaborative efforts to deliver retail products with drones connected to Verizon 4G LTE, as well as 5G testing and integration for delivery. The companies aim to deliver retail products via connected drones at The Villages in Florida.  The press release said: “We will need the ability to manage and support multiple drones, flying simultaneously, dispatched from a centralized location, operating in a secure and safe environment. To do this at scale, alongside Verizon and Skyward, we’ll need the power of 5G,” said Carol B. Tomé, CEO of UPS. “We’re just beginning to see how the power of 5G Ultra Wideband will transform the way businesses operate,” said Rima Qureshi, Chief Strategy Officer at Verizon. “By partnering with UPS and other innovative companies, we can learn from each other’s expertise and collaborate to create solutions that help move the world forward.” In 2020, Verizon, UPS Flight Forward, and Skywa

Docomo and AGC use Metasurface Lens to Guide Millimeter Waves (mmWaves) Indoors

We wrote about  Futuristic Glass Antenna by NTT Docomo and AGC back in 2019. It's good to see the partnership continue with this new announcement about use of metasurface lens to enhance radio signal reception indoors.  Metamaterials is one of the focus areas of 6G as highlighted here . Samsung's 6G Vision whitepaper explains it as follows: A metamaterial is usually constructed by arranging multiple tunable elements (PIN diodes, varactor diodes, etc.) in repeating patterns, at scales that are smaller than the wavelengths. Its precise shape, geometry, size, orientation, and arrangement enable smart properties capable of manipulating electromagnetic waves, e.g., blocking, absorbing, enhancing, or bending waves, to achieve benefits that go beyond what is possible with conventional materials. In addition, each element constituting a metamaterial can be controlled independently to achieve desirable characteristics of the electromagnetic waves such as the direction of propagation and

Loon's Journey is Coming to an End but its Legacy Will Live On!

We have written a lot about Loon on this blog. The project started with a lot of scepticism within the mobile industry but over the years they kept on persisting and solving challenges, one after another. Just when everyone thought that the technology is mature enough and operators starting to give commitment, the parent company has announced the end of Loon! The internet balloon that came down in Morelos, Mexico An official blog post by Alastair Westgarth, CEO of Loon, explains : We talk a lot about connecting the next billion users, but the reality is Loon has been chasing the hardest problem of all in connectivity — the last billion users: The communities in areas too difficult or remote to reach, or the areas where delivering service with existing technologies is just too expensive for everyday people. While we’ve found a number of willing partners along the way, we haven’t found a way to get the costs low enough to build a long-term, sustainable business. Developing radical new t

Operators Are Looking Up to SpaceMobile for All Gs and IoT Connectivity

Last year we wrote about how Rakuten and Vodafone have joined forces by becoming lead investors in a venture to extend mobile coverage to more people and devices across the planet, using the first mobile broadband network that will be broadcast directly from space .  In our earlier blog post , we mentioned how AST & Science's SpaceMobile will beam 4G / 5G directly to devices. In the recent investor presentation deck, they claim that the satellites will be able to provide all generations of mobile cellular technology; 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G and even NB-IoT.  The Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, when launched, will be at 700km altitude which will allow them to offer a far lower latency as compared to MEO/GEO satellites. The low and mid-band spectrum would be shared with wireless partners on non-interference basis. Put simply, the satellites would use the spectrum from the operator as it is the most expensive resource otherwise. Back in December, Reuters reported : Satellite network comp

Cellular-connected Drones to Form Part of Vodafone’s ‘Telco as a Service’ (‘TaaS’) Model

Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) has been one of the most talked about thing in the drone industry, for a very long time. As this article points out , countries around the world are amending their drone policies so that they can allow unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight for maximum efficiency. Unlike VLOS flights, which are operated within the pilot’s line of sight, BVLOS flights are flown beyond the visual range. BVLOS capabilities enable a drone to cover far greater distances. BVLOS has numerous applications and is cost-effective. It enables service providers to conduct complex drone operations and facilitate drones to fly without any human interference. But, drones have to become ‘airworthy’ to get there. BVLOS flights are mainly performed in infrastructure inventory, for monitoring large areas and creating orthophoto maps.  Drones flying Beyond Visual Line of Sight are controlled by data provided by on-board instruments. Information is transmitted

Kima - Faroese Telecom's Mission Critical Communications Solution

 The Faroe Islands is a self-governing archipelago, part of the Kingdom of Denmark. It comprises 18 rocky, volcanic islands between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic Ocean, connected by road tunnels, ferries, causeways and bridges. Hikers and bird-watchers are drawn to the islands’ mountains, valleys and grassy heathland, and steep coastal cliffs that harbor thousands of seabirds. It's population is just over 50,000 people. Faroese Telecom (or Føroya Tele, FT) is the incumbent mobile operator and the public telco of the islands, owned by the govenment. Since 2014 they branded their mobile products and market them as ver. KIMA is a modern Mission Critical Push to Talk communication system from Faroese Telecom. The system is routed in the Faroese context and intended those who serve us and keep us safe. KIMA enables the islands’ search and rescue teams to operate safely on land, at sea and in the air. Their website states: KIMA enables users to communicate and collaborate on

5G vs Wi-Fi Debate for Indoor Connectivity

It's been a while since we looked at the 5G vs Wi-Fi debate. In the meantime, 5G rollouts have gained momentum while Wi-Fi 6 (a.k.a. 802.11ax) has started appearing in the devices as well. Hence the debate of whether 5G or Wi-Fi makes more sense indoors keeps going on.  It should be pointed out that the discussion is more about Enterprise and Private networks, rather than Wi-Fi vs Cellular at home. Ericsson has been looking at this debate and their whitepaper argues that both Wi-Fi and Cellular have a role to play indoors.  As one would expect, one of the conclusions is that 5G will play a larger role in future connectivity scenarios as 5G NR supports more use cases than Wi-Fi 6, is more reliable, and provides both wide and local-area coverage with mobility. Many service providers will benefit from the added value of 5G NR and the fact that ultimately, they get more for their money. 5G is also the best fit for addressing emerging new IoT use cases. The paper also contains a Tota

Top 5 Posts for 2020

It's that time of the year when we look back to see which posts did well and which didn't. Here are the top 5 posts from this year. 1.  5G Connectivity will Enable New Use Cases , May 2020 2.  Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) and the Path to 5G Wireless Wireline Convergence (WWC) , June 2020 3.  Integrated Access and Backhauling (IAB) - Today and Tomorrow , March 2020 4.  R&S Technical Explainer on 3GPP 5G Non Terrestrial Networks (NTN) , May 2020 5.  Two Short Training's on 5G - Beginners & Advanced , Aug 2020 There is also a bonus post. This was posted in 2019 but the most popular post of the year. 1*:  High-level Architecture Introduction of Mobile Cellular Networks from 2G to 5G , Aug 2019 Related Posts : The 3G4G Blog: Top 10 Posts for 2020 and Top 5 Videos Operator Watch Blog: Top 5 Posts for 2020 Telecoms Infrastructure Blog: Top 5 Posts for 2020