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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
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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  

ITU Satellite Webinars 2020

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for all matters related to information and communication technologies. Established in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union, it is one of the oldest international organizations in operation. The ITU promotes the shared global use of the radio spectrum, facilitates international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, assists in developing and coordinating worldwide technical standards, and works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world.  The ITU recently held a series of Satellite Webinars to share the current technical and regulatory situation, evolution, and trends in the field of satellite communications. They featured discussions and contributions from well-known experts from the satellite and space industries and were open to ITU members and non-members alike! Part 1 - ​Interference to Satellite Systems: preventing or protecting? : From case

SuperCell, a Wide-Area Coverage Solution for Increasing Mobile Connectivity in Rural Communities

In this blog we have looked at lots of different solutions to improve rural and remove connectivity (see related posts at the end of this post). Now Facebook Connectivity has announced that they have been working on prototyping the SuperCell, a wide-area coverage solution for increasing mobile connectivity in rural communities. After working with telecom industry partners to conduct several trials and data analyses, they are ready to share what they have learned. From the Facebook Engineering blog post :  SuperCell is a large-area coverage solution that leverages towers up to 250 meters high and high-gain, narrow-sectored antennas to increase mobile data coverage range and capacity.   Our field measurements found that a 36-sector SuperCell base station mounted on a 250-meter tower can serve a geographical coverage area up to 65 times larger than a standard three-sector rural macro base station on a 30-meter tower in the same topography. In an analysis of uncovered regions in Nigeria,

Connecting LEO and GEO Satellites with Inter-satellite Data Relay System (IDRS)

While there is no shortage of challenges for satellites, especially the low earth orbit or LEO satellites, one of the tricky ones is to to ensure some kind of continuous connectivity to a ground station. LEO satellites orbit the earth roughly every 90 minutes and are in contact with their ground station for roughly 4% of the orbit. To have a continuous connectivity available on demand, Inmarsat and Addvalue Innovation announce real-time link between satellites with promise of quicker delivery of data and imagery across the globe. The press release says : The world’s first ever publicly-available, real-time link between satellites in high and low earth orbits is now available, it was announced today. After a five-year collaboration, Inmarsat and Addvalue Innovation are pleased to announce the Commercial Service Introduction (CSI) of their Inter-satellite Data Relay System (IDRS) service, following the successful demonstration of the first live data connectivity between customer Capella

GNSS helping Synchrophasors keep Power Grids Stable

As we have started converting more wind, solar and other forms of energy to electricity, there is more supply that ever available previously.  Similarly we are also consuming more power than ever. Electric cars for example consume a lot of energy. In addition we have more electronic gadgets that we keep connected to chargers, regardless of weather they need charging or not.  At every instant of time, the power fed in the grid has to be consumed or stored somewhere. In addition, it has to be ensured that the amplitude, frequency and phase remains constant. This is where Synchrophasors come into play. The video below, explains it in a simple way what they are:  u-blox has a nice write-up on this topic explaining why this is important.  Improvements in terms of timing accuracy have come in lock-step with improvements in positioning accuracy. The u‑blox F9 GNSS receiver platform, which brought scalable and affordable high precision positioning – down to the decimeter-level – to the mass m

Deutsche Telekom and Stratospheric Platforms Limited (SPL) show Cellular communications service from the Stratosphere

The technology advancement has reached a stage where it looks like everyone is trying to outperform others in communications from stratosphere. The latest in line is this announcement from Deutsche Telekom and Stratospheric Platforms Limited (SPL).  The DT press release says : Deutsche Telekom and its technology partner Stratospheric Platforms Limited (SPL) conducted the world's first successful demonstration of LTE/4G voice and data connectivity over a platform flying at the edge of the stratosphere and fully integrated into a commercial mobile network.  Beginning of October, several test flights were carried out in Bavaria with a remote-controlled aircraft system at an altitude of approximately 14 kilometers (Flight Level 450) to establish voice and data connections via the antennas installed on the aircraft. This enabled voice over LTE (VoLTE) calls, video calls, data downloads and web browsing on a standard smartphone. During the test, the smartphone was connected to the terres

IEEE 802.11be Extremely High Throughput (EHT), a.k.a. Wi-Fi 7

We have been writing about Wi-Fi for a long time, weather it's to do with indoor connectivity , competition with 5G or just a name change to something simpler. When we last wrote about WiFi 6, a.k.a. 802.11ax, we were expecting a quick adoption of the technology in the industry. We are still not there yet.  You know what's strange? None of the new @madebygoogle gadgets from yesterday support Wi-Fi 6. Not the Pixel 5, not the Pixel 4a 5G, not the Nest Audio, and not the new Chromecast. — Ry Crist (@rycrist) October 1, 2020 Take for instance the new iPhone 12 supports Wi-Fi 6 in all their models as one would expect but none of the new Google Pixel phones (4a, 4a 5G and 5) support it. In fact none of the new Google devices support it. Which is rather bizarre. While we are still looking forward to Wi-Fi 6 becoming widespread, IEEE has already started working on the successor of 802.11ax, 802.11be - Standard for Information technology--Telecommunicati