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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
Recent posts

'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

Webinar: Getting the right 5G transport technology mix

As 5G drives disaggregation of the RAN, it is vital that operators understand the new options that will emerge for their transport networks. Late last year, Omdia hosted a webinar looking at how optical, Ethernet, and routing technologies are evolving to support 5G. The participants included: Richard Webb, Director, Research and Analysis, Service Provider Technology, Omdia Daniel Gonzalez, Business Development Manager, Anritsu Joseph Mocerino, Principal Solutions Architect, Optical Networking, Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. Tim Doiron, Sr. Director, Solution Marketing, Infinera Allen Tatara, Senior Manager, Webinar Events, Omdia (Moderator) The following were key topics of discussion Migrating to 5G X-haul architecture for Stand-alone (SA) and Non-Standalone (NSA) deployments: requirements, challenges, and roadmaps Building a transport solutions toolkit that maximizes performance while lowering operation expense Evaluating Open RAN initiatives and potential impacts on transport H

Why Starlink is Already a Gamechanger

Having worked with the satellite industry many years back, we spent a lot of discussing orbits, rollouts, spectrum, business case, etc. Starlink was the company we heard least from, at least in events, conferences, webinars, etc. The interesting thing is that Starlink is already delivering the results while others are still be debating the details and are yet to deliver the output.  SpaceX has just successfully deployed another 60 Starlink satelllites to orbit. 250 satellites have been deployed in 2021 so far, bringing the total number of Starlinks in orbit to 1,141. This is another potentially trillion dollar venture by @elonmusk built in plain sight. pic.twitter.com/Eer4SxOTNr — Remo Uherek (@remouherek) March 4, 2021 With 250 satellites already deployed in 2021, the total number of satellites have reached to 1,141. The eventual aim is to have over 40K satellites.  During the beta period, Starlink customers can expect data speeds between 50Mbps and 150Mbps with latencies ranging f

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

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