Dots in the trend lines that we analyze in depth in the weekly The Online Reporter.
Ericsson to Help Hong Kong’s Smallest Cellco Start 5G Trials & Pilots This Quarter
Large and small cellcos worldwide want to deploy 5G – not just the big ones. SmarTone, Hong Kong’s smallest cellco, has selected Ericsson as its sole supplier for its 5G core and radio access network for the next five years. SmarTone CTO Stephen Chau said the long-term deal paves the way for 5G in Hong Kong. Trials and pilot deployments of key pre-5G technologies will begin this quarter. Chau said SmarTone will invest in spectrum and pre-5G technologies to evolve its network into “an advanced, dynamic and cloud-based network architecture.” The two companies are already working together to introduce 4.5G LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro. The two said new equipment and software will enable cost-effective, energy-efficient operations that support the new services required for 5G.
Separately, Ericsson said most cellcos are already deploying 5G equipment. It based that on interviewing 50 industry executives from 29 different cellcos and finding that every one of them is active in 5G space in one way or another. Two thirds are in either the R&D phase (34%) or actual trials (32%) and another 22% are in the initial planning stages.
FCC to Vote on Spending $470m Annually to Extends 4G LTE in Sparsely Populated Areas
The FCC plans to vote whether to auction $470 million of spectrum each year for five years to fund the preservation and expansion of 4G LTE services in places where private companies cannot sustain or expand their service. The $470 million is a $300 million increase in the one-time funding that’s provided by Mobility Phase I to help cellcos expand 3G or better mobile service. Of that, $420 million will go to “any portion of a census block not fully covered by unsubsidized 4G LTE coverage” and $50 million will be used for 4G LTE on tribal lands. Financial support from the Universal Service Fund would end July 1, 2021.
The proposal requires that participating cellcos provide speeds of 10 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up, latency of less than 100 milliseconds, and service rates comparable to those available in urban areas.
YouTube Expects Samsung’s UHD TVs Will Soon Play Its HDR Content
YouTube’s HDR content will play only on HDR supported devices such as HDR TVs that have a Chromecast Ultra connected. YouTube said it expects that 2016 Samsung SUHD and UHD TVs will soon be able to play its HDR content. TVs and connected devices that do not support HDR will play its HDR content in standard dynamic range.
Sales of Wi-Fi Gear to Carriers Increases 1.3% in 1st Half of 2016
Think cellcos, telcos and cablecos are deploying Wi-Fi networks at record rates? Nope!
The global market for purchases of Wi-Fi equipment by carriers – telcos, cellcos and cablecos – only increased by 1.3% in the first half of 2016 (H1 2016) from the second half of 2015 (H2 2015) to , according to the IHS Markit report “H2 2016 Carrier WiFi Equipment Biannual Market Tracker.” The report said that the majority of purchases were by cellcos with big ones such as China Mobile driving volume. It said Brocade (Ruckus Wireless) had a slight lead over Huawei and followed by Cisco in third in revenue from sales of Wi-Fi equipment to carriers. The report blamed price erosion and slow demand for the slight increase but said equipment makers are counting on a growing demand for bandwidth and acceleration in the adoption of dual-mode small cells and Wi-Fi access points.
Females Want Telemedicine
The next big user of bandwidth (not nodes but total bandwidth) is more likely to be telemedicine than IoT – and it will be females that drive the demand. About 64% of mothers said that access to digital health care is more important to them than access to any other online services, according to a survey by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and telehealth provider LiveHealth Online that asked 500 women. The survey showed that 79% of mothers would like to learn more about or try telemedicine and 61% said their children’s overall health could be improved by innovations in health technology.
BT Announces Wholesale FTTP Monthly Rates
Here are BT’s official wholesale rates for FTTP broadband that provide speeds up to 1 Gbps and will become available December 6:
up to down monthly wholesale rate
500 Mbps 165 Mbps £55 ($68)
1 Gbps 220 Mbps £80 ($100)
The connection fee is £500 ($622)
Currently BT’s top speed, which is only available in select areas, is 330 Mbps at a monthly rate of £38 ($47). Its 40 Mbps up/2 Mbps down service is £15.29 ($19).
A reminder again that these are the wholesale rates that BT charges resellers such as TalkTalk and Sky. Consumers will pay higher monthly rate – even if the buy the service from BT.
BT said FTTP network is now available to over 327,000 homes and business premises in the UK and expects that to double over the next year and two million by the end of the decade.
BT has also streamlined FTTP installations from multiple visits by a technician to one that can last up to two hours.
BT is continuing to offer G.fast, which is fiber to a node and then existing copperwires into the home. Its G.fast speeds are up to 330 Mbps down and 50 Mbps up.
Huawei to Use AI to Become Number 2 in Smartphones Globally
Huawei, which currently has a 9% market share globally, says it wants to be the world’s second largest maker in two years, according to Reuters. If it does, it will likely be second only to Samsung and have passed Apple – at least in unit sales if not profits. Samsung currently leads the market about 20% and 75.3 million devices. Apple currently has 12% with 45.5 million devices. Huawei CEO Richard Yu said, “When we announced four years ago that we wanted to sell phones, people told us we were crazy. When we said we wanted to sell 100 million phones, they told us we were crazy.” He said that adding Huawei’s new artificial intelligence functions into its phones will help it pass its competitors – saying, “We are going to take Apple step-by-step, innovation-by-innovation. There will be more opportunities. Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality. It is like driving a car. At every curve or turn, there is an opportunity to overtake the competition.”
NTT Docomo to Start Field Tests of 5G Next May
NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest cellco and a recognized leader in cellular technology, plans to begin testing in 5G next May in two Tokyo districts where it will create 5G trial sites to allow subscribers to try new applications. It will use Ericsson’s 5G radio network gear and Intel’s 5G technologies. NTT Docomo plans to launch commercial 5G services for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It said it believes will provide speeds up to 1Gbps by 2020 and increase to 4 Gbps. The ratification of the 5G standard isn’t expected until 2018 so Docomo will initially use pre-standard 5G technology.
The Online Reporter sends a free daily briefing to anyone that wants to receive it. The weekly newsletter will contain research, analysis and complete reports. Want to try the daily? Sign up and/or unsubscribe at will here.