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NICT Japan's Versatile Miniaturized Lasercom Terminals for Moving Platforms

National Institute of Information and Communications Technology ( NICT ) is Japan’s sole National Research and Development Agency specializing in the field of information and communications technology. It is charged with promoting ICT sector as well as research and development in ICT, which drives economic growth and creates an affluent, safe and secure society. Free-space optical communications have the potential to bring the bandwidth of optical fibers to moving platforms, greatly enhancing their communication capabilities. This communication technology has already become mature after numerous demonstrations during the last few years. Free-space laser communication is expected to play a key role to cope with the demanding bandwidth requirements of 5G (and beyond) networks to support an increasing number of wireless terminals disseminated throughout the world and generating an unprecedented amount of data. For this purpose, practical and versatile lasercom systems will be necessary to
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Amazon's Project Kuiper Megaconstellation Aims to Deliver Fast, Affordable Broadband

Amazon's Project Kuiper is an initiative to increase global broadband access through a constellation of 3,236 satellites in low earth orbit (LEO). Their mission is to deliver fast, affordable broadband to unserved and underserved communities around the world. A post on Amazon explains: Project Kuiper started off as an internal code name for the program—and it stuck. The name refers to the Kuiper Belt, a region of the solar system that exists beyond the eight major planets. The Kuiper Belt itself is named after the late Dutch astronomer Gerard Kuiper, who is considered by many to be the father of modern planetary science. Project Kuiper is a long-term initiative. Our FCC license requires that we deploy and operate at least half of our satellite constellation by July 2026. We’re preparing to launch our first two prototype satellites in early 2023, and we expect to provide service to the earliest Project Kuiper customers by the end of 2024. This marketing video is a good explainer o

IEEE 802.11bn Ultra High Reliability (UHR), a.k.a. Wi-Fi 8

Back in 2020 we looked at the introductory post of Wi-Fi 7 which was followed up by a more detailed post in Feb 2022. We are now following on with an introductory post on the next generation Wi-Fi.  A new paper on arXiv explores the journey towards IEEE 802.11bn Ultra High Reliability (UHR), the amendment that will form the basis of Wi-Fi 8. Quoting selected items from the paper  below: After providing an overview of the nearly completed Wi-Fi 7 standard, we present new use cases calling for further Wi-Fi evolution. We also outline current standardization, certification, and spectrum allocation activities, sharing updates from the newly formed UHR Study Group. We then introduce the disruptive new features envisioned for Wi-Fi 8 and discuss the associated research challenges. Among those, we focus on access point coordination and demonstrate that it could build upon 802.11be multi-link operation to make Ultra High Reliability a reality in Wi-Fi 8. The IEEE 802.11bn UHR: Whose Study Gro

5G NR-NTN Demos make a Debut at MWC 2023

We have been talking about 5G NR Non-Terrestrial Networks (NR-NTN) for years but only now we are starting to see some demos, prototypes and real-world devices. At MWC 2023, satellite connectivity stole the show to some extent. Many NTN sceptics were able to see real-world demos for the first time. MediaTek demoed their NTN solution that brings two-way satellite communications to smartphones. Their press release said: The first smartphones with MediaTek’s satellite connectivity are also launching, with more devices to be unveiled in the coming months. Additionally, MediaTek will also be sharing a sneak peek of its next-generation 5G New Radio NTN (NR-NTN) technology for the next wave of satellite-enabled devices. Satellite networks aim to fill gaps in mobile coverage, offering a reliable way for devices to communicate in remote locations. With satellite-enabled smartphones, consumers can stay in touch when they are hiking, driving in secluded areas, on a boat, or in other situations w

Next Generation Multiple Access – New Challenges & New Opportunities

Back in November 2022, Peiying Zhu, Senior Vice President of Wireless Research at Huawei presented a talk at IEEE Comsoc ' Next Generation Multiple Access Emerging Technology Initiative ' discussing the potential new challenges, requirements, and opportunities for the next generation of multiple access in these new scenarios. As a Huawei Fellow, IEEE Fellow and Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering who is also currently leading 6G wireless research and standardization in Huawei, she is very well placed to talk about this. The overview of the talk is as follows: The discussion in this talk includes the potential new challenges, requirements, and opportunities for the next generation of multiple access in these new scenarios. The next generation of wireless communication networks requires continuous evolutions of multiple access (MA) techniques due to the demand for ubiquitous connections of everything besides humans. In the 5G system, many potential MA techniques have been

NTT Docomo's Disaster Countermeasures to Keep People Connected

Recently I blogged about Disaster Roaming in 3GPP Release-17. While this will take time to be implemented worldwide, it is already available in Japan, maybe not in the 3GPP standardised way. Similarly, back in 2011, I blogged about Earthquake and Tsunami Warning service (ETWS) from NTT Docomo's Journal, it was two days before the  2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami hit. Japan is no stranger to earthquakes, typhoons, and other natural disasters, which can have a devastating effect on infrastructure. To ensure that the mobile networks keep functioning, operators work extremely hard to ensure people remain connected one way or another. NTT Docomo has released a video detailing the countermeasures to keep everyone connected in case of emergencies. The following detail is provided with the video: DOCOMO's network is no exception, and our services could get cut off by a base station power outage, disconnected fiber-optic cable, or other malfunctions. DOCOMO established the three pr

Direct-to-Mobile Communications Using LEO Satellites gets a Step Closer

In Nov 2022, Rakuten Mobile announced that it has obtained preliminary experimental test station licenses to conduct mobile communication tests and preliminary verification in Japan using AST SpaceMobile’s low earth orbit satellite, BlueWalker 3. We blogged about AST & Science's ambition to have SpaceMobile beam 4G/5G directly to devices here and here . Back in Nov. AST SpaceMobile announced that it had successfully completed deployment of the communications array for its test satellite, BlueWalker 3 (“BW3”), in orbit. I found the Tweet showing the unfolding very interesting. History is unfolding! We've deployed #BlueWalker3 's 693-square-foot array, which is now the largest-ever commercial communications array in low Earth orbit. Read more about this important milestone here: — AST SpaceMobile (@AST_SpaceMobile) November 14, 2022 Coming back to Rakuten Mobile's announcement, the press release said: In order to

Top Posts of 2022

It's that time of the year again when we look back to see which posts did well and which didn't. Here are the top 3 posts from this year. Laser Inter-Satellite Links (LISLs) in a Starlink Constellation , Feb 2022 Almost everything you need to know about Wi-Fi 7 (IEEE 802.11be) , Feb 2022 GSMA's DIG discusses how 5G Networks will handle UAV Layer , June 2022 Since this blog is just over three years old, the most popular posts are not necessarily from 2022. Here are the 5 most viewed posts this year. Laser Inter-Satellite Links (LISLs) in a Starlink Constellation , Feb 2022 CSI-RS vs SRS Beamforming , Mar 2021 IEEE 802.11be Extremely High Throughput (EHT), a.k.a. Wi-Fi 7 , Nov 2020 High-level Architecture Introduction of Mobile Cellular Networks from 2G to 5G , Aug 2019 Fibre-to-the-room (FTTR / FTTRoom) , July 2021 Do you have a favourite post on this blog? Please let us know. Related Posts :  The 3G4G Blog: Top Blog Posts of 2022 Free 6G Training: Top Blog Posts of 2022 Tel

Shared Neutral Host RAN Solution in India to Unlock 5x QoE Improvement

At Telecom Infra Project's Fyuz 22 conference, one of the main stage panel session talked about New Business Models, Neutral-Host NaaS and the Rule of Threes. During that session, Kunal Bajaj, CEO & Co-Founder of CloudExtel spoke on how India can tackle this challenge and unlock 5X Quality of Experience improvement for users, through Shared RAN solutions. CloudExtel successfully deployed its first solution at Mumbai Central railway station , one of the country's largest railway stations, addressing this issue. The video of the panel session below has been adjusted to start exactly at Kunal's talk. There is an Q&A session followed by the talk. If you would rather hear all the talk in the panel sessions, rewind to 33:10. A lot of neutral host solutions are being deployed in different parts of the world. If properly planned, they can help service providers deliver a much better experience for the end users.  Related Posts :  Telecoms Infrastructure Blog: Details on Ind

'Matter' and 'Thread' to Improve Smart Home Connectivity & Interoperability

After years of wondering if smart devices and gadgets in home made by multiple vendors would be able to talk to each other, there is a hope. Two new protocols, Matter and Thread, are enabling devices to quickly talk to each other. The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) is responsible for Matter and describes it as: Matter is the foundation for connected things. This industry–unifying standard is a promise of reliable, secure connectivity—a seal of approval that devices will work seamlessly together, today and tomorrow. Matter is creating more connections between more objects, simplifying development for manufacturers and increasing compatibility for consumers. The Thread Group explains Thread as follows: Thread is a low-power and low-latency wireless mesh networking protocol built using open and proven standards. Thread solves the complexities of the IoT, addressing challenges such as interoperability, range, security, energy, and reliability. Thread networks have no single point