Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Aruba Finds High IoT Deployments

Use of internet of things is quite widespread, a new global study published by Aruba (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) suggests, at least in industry companies and healthcare,

The Internet of Things: Today and Tomorrow study reports that 85 percent of respondents say they plan to implement IoT by 2019, though some might question the definition of “internet of things” that was used. The report notes that “our research found conflicting definitions of what IoT means, what IoT devices are connected and how to extract value from them.”

Nor is it clear how much of the installed base includes older industrial sensing systems such as SCADA that might, or might not, fit a definition of IoT.

About 72 of surveyed enterprise organizations report they have introduced IoT devices and sensors into the workplace, ranging from air conditioning and lighting systems (56 percent) to personal mobile devices (51 percent).

Enterprise respondents cited indoor location-based services as their leading use case for IoT, as well as remote monitoring of utilities, such as energy usage.

With a 62 percent adoption rate, leaders of industrial organizations reported using IoT  devices such as chemical sensors (62 percent) and picking systems (46 percent) to reduce operational risk and address downtime. IoT has the greatest impact on the sector when it is used to monitor and maintain operating infrastructures (31 percent).

About 60 percent of healthcare organization respondents also indicated they are using IoT, with patient monitors (64 percent) and X-ray/imaging devices (41 percent) among the main devices connected to the network.

The biggest IoT benefit for healthcare companies comes from using sensors to monitor and maintain medical devices (35 percent cite it as the top benefit). But with growing pressure on healthcare infrastructures and resources, efficiency is paramount. Perhaps this is why 22 percent of respondents gave their number one IoT use case as ‘remotely tracking assets by location’.

Just under half (49 percent) of global retailers say they have deployed IoT technology, and a large number of those (56 percent) are allowing personal mobile devices to access the network in order to create new and engaging retail experiences. A leading application of IoT is to create store location services that deliver personalized offers and product information to shoppers (30 percent). A further 18 percent are using IoT to remotely control environmental factors, such as heating and lighting.

Some 42 percent of government respondents indicated they use IoT now. Some 35 say they are connecting building security systems (57 percent), street lights (32 percent) and vehicles (20 percent).

The study questioned 3,100 IT and business decision makers across 20 countries.

You Tube Launches Sreaming Service

YouTube TV, a streaming service heavy on live programming, rather than pre-recorded video (movies, for example). The service will sell for about $35 a month for a package of 40-plus channels, including live TV streaming from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, regional sports networks and dozens of popular cable networks.

Subscribers can add Showtime or Fox Soccer Plus for an additional charge

A cloud DVR, with no storage limits, also is part of the service. YouTube Red Originals, offering series and movies, are included. Six accounts per account are supported, and three concurrent streams can be viewed at a time.


YouTube TV will be available soon in the largest U.S. markets and will quickly expand to cover more cities across the country. Visit tv.youtube.com and sign up to find out when we’ll launch in your market.

YTTV_05_Blog.png

Moore's Law Now Drives Advance in Spectrum Use

You can credit Moore’s Law for much of what you now see happening in terms of spectrum policy and access. Shared spectrum in 3.5 GHz (Citizens Broadband Radio Service), the ability to run Long Term Evolution 4G in unlicensed spectrum, use of unlicensed 5-GHz Wi-Fi spectrum as though it were part of an operator’s licensed spectrum, and the vast amounts of new 5G spectrum (and also unlicensed spectrum in millimeter ranges), are possible only because continuing advances in signal processing and computation now allow us to do all those things affordably.




Where in the analog domain millimeter waves would have had cost and distance limitations, we now can process signals at low cost, and code and reconstruct signals at distances that are economically useful and realistic.


That is why the Federal Communications Commission is opening up nearly 11 GHz of spectrum (capacity),  in the bands above the 24 GHz frequency range, for mobile use. The FCC also currently considering whether to open up even more spectrum in the millimeter wave bands for 5G and other uses, for perhaps a total of 29 GHz of new spectrum (capacity).

“Within living memory, it was thought that spectrum above 3 GHz (frequency) could not be used for mobile communications,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “Today, one can use millimeter wave spectrum to produce multi-gigabit speeds.”

Monday, February 27, 2017

One Way Comcast, AT&T and Verizon All Have Similar Strategies

Whether AT&T and Comcast are right or wrong about their business strategy, both have one clear view of what has to be done. In addition to operating access networks with a “dumb pipe” character, both companies believe they absolutely must own at least some of the apps delivered using their pipes.

For both firms, that means owning major content creation assets and programming networks.

Verizon, so far, is not as keen as the idea of owning content assets, but has a similar strategy in the connected car and other internet of things areas, where the objective is to own software service and content assets (app layer), not just the physical and network layers (layers one and two)

And AT&T (and most other access companies) likely agree that video will be the media type representing the overwhelming amount of network traffic. Video will be the dominant payload on future networks, says AT&T Entertainment Group CEO John Stankey.

As part of this movement, AT&T will transform from being a “phone and broadband distribution company to a company of tastes” he said. Substitute the word “personalization” or “customization” and you will understand where AT&T wants to go.

In the past,  pre-packaged solutions were wht AT&T sold, when customers increasingly indicate they want customization and personalization. Talking about video entertainment, for example, Stankey says “we added steps, hoops, rules, and requirements when simpler models were emerging everywhere.”

In the future, that is why over the top video entertainment eventually will win, and why other apps and services are likely to move towards more-flexible end user packaging.

The important broader point is that, going forward, most tier-one service providers will probably have to pursue a similar strategy. Since nearly all revenue-generating apps and services, for businesses or consumers, now run “over the top,” access providers have to operate at multiple levels of the stack: not just access, but also apps.

Will 5G be "Transformational?"

Though you might expect mobile executives to say such things, many believe 5G will be transformational, representing “an opportunity for operators to move beyond connectivity and collaborate across sectors such as finance, transport, retail and health to deliver new, rich services.”

In other words, 5G is seen as an important way mobile service providers can move up the stack into applications. In that sense, 5G also (it is hoped), will be part of the effort to create big and brand-new revenue sources to replace legacy services that are disappearing.

The GSMA expects 5G connections to reach 1.1 billion, some 12 percent of total mobile connections, by 2025. As a result, GSMA hopes, where mobile operator revenues are forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.5 percent, reaching $1.3 trillion in 2025. But GSMA also hopes 5G will boost that growth rate by about double, to five percent CAGR.

GSMA believes three 5G usage scenarios are important, with platforms other than the mobile network playing a potential role in each.

Indoors coverage might well incorporate fixed wireless,  Wi-Fi, fiber to building or home, and  device-to-device communication, in addition to mobile network access.

Outdoors in dense urban areas might lean more heavily on 5G small cells.

In rural areas, it is likely 5G and 4G, as well as low earth orbit (LEO) satellites and other alternative network technologies are going to be used.

What is noteworthy is the formal recognition that access will use multiple networks, on a more heterogeneous basis than in the past.

In the early going, it is possible that enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) will be the key revenue driver, early on, with content apps and services providing the rationale (high-definition video for TV and gaming). At least that is what mobile executives expect. Some gains also will come from immersive communication (video calling and augmented and virtual reality) and smart city services.

Longer term, the most-important new use cases and revenue streams might come from internet of things (machine-to-machine communications), in several ways. All those billions of devices will represent incremental account demand for data connections. But that is likely going to be the lesser of the advantages. In the near term, revenue expectations for IoT are likely to be muted, if potential volume could match expectations later.

At least some tier-one mobile operators will create or acquire (the latter is more likely than the former) application or service assets, much as some will acquire content or other application assets. Many analysts now believe apps, devices and other integration services will represent as much as 75 percent to 80 percent of IoT revenue.
source: Bain

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Spectrum Futures Conference Call for Content

Spectrum Futures, Bangkok
18-19 September

Call for Content and Participants


Spectrum Futures is an annual conference held by the Pacific Telecommunications Council focusing on the coming revolution in communications spectrum (shared, unlicensed, bonded, licensed, millimeter wave, 5G), with a key emphasis on how it applies across South Asia and Southeast Asia.

To be held 18 and 19 September, 2017, in Bangkok, Thailand, Spectrum Futures will include a half-day tutorial on key “spectrum revolution” fundamentals, followed by a 1.5-day conference.

For the first time, the event will be coordinated with PTC Academy, PTC’s training event for Asia telecom professionals. Students who attend both Academy and Spectrum Futures will earn a “5G/mobile” endorsement to their Academy certificate of completion credentials.

Spectrum Futures invites your recommendations for themes, content and speakers we should add or feature, with your recommendations for speakers to address those topics.

Overview: “Spectrum Revolution” is the overall theme.

18 September Format

Morning program: “Spectrum Revolution”  tutorials (for students who register for both SF and Academy, attending SF tutorials earns a “5G/wireless endorsement” on their Academy certificates of completion.
  • The millimeter wave revolution
  • Shared spectrum revolution
  • Bonded spectrum revolution
  • Unlicensed spectrum revolution

Afternoon program: 4 discussion sessions to mirror the morning tutorials
  • The millimeter wave revolution
  • Shared spectrum revolution
  • Bonded spectrum revolution
  • Unlicensed spectrum revolution

19 September Format

Morning program: panels or talks focusing on policy and business model implications of 5G, millimeter wave, spectrum sharing, unlicensed spectrum for regulatory policy in various countries.

  • How do regulators plan to release licensed spectrum for 5G?
  • Will spectrum sharing play a role?
  • How will unlicensed spectrum policies unfold?
  • How does release of new 5G spectrum affect thinking on competition, universal service, infrastructure sharing, taxes, fees, auctions?

Afternoon program: panels or talks focusing on how service provider platforms will change because of 5G, millimeter wave, spectrum sharing, unlicensed spectrum

  • What new competitive platforms using new spectrum could develop?
  • How will spectrum sharing affect business strategy, capital investment, network architectures,
  • What new services, applications, business models could develop, based on new spectrum options?
  • How important will bonding of licensed and unlicensed spectrum become?
  • Can new or existing competitors consider new business models using unlicensed spectrum?

Please send any ideas and recommendations to gary@fatpipes.biz.

Friday, February 24, 2017

10% of Fixed Internet Access Customers to Weigh Mobile Substitution Over Next Year?

Mobile substitution is not a new phenomenon in the telecom business, as first consumers began using mobile for voice instead of fixed services, then over-the-top for carrier messaging, and now OTT video as a substitute for linear video subscriptions.

And though there has been speculation for decades about the ability to substitute mobile or Wi-Fi for a fixed access connection, and though some percentage of consumers actually do so, it has not been a serious choice for most consumers.

That could change, if mobile “unlimited” data usage plans remain a staple. A study by Parks Associates suggests that perhaps 10 percent of U.S. broadband households are “likely to cancel their fixed broadband service” over the next 12 months, and use wireless or mobile data services as a replacement.

Now that all four leading U.S. mobile service providers offer some form of unlimited usage mobile data plan, one key barrier--the cost per gigabyte of mobile, versus fixed usage--is largely eliminated, for many consumers.

The other change which may be happening is the earlier move by all four leading providers to delink consumption of OTT video from data usage charges.

“Subscribers to value-added mobile data services are substantially more likely to cancel their fixed broadband service,” said Harry Wang, Parks Associates senior director. “This suggests that the use of a mobile phone for entertainment purposes contributes to the consumer perception that they can substitute mobile for fixed-data service with little or no pain.”

Likelihood of Canceling Fixed Broadband Service in the Next 12 Months and Use Mobile Data Services

ITU Sees Minimum 5G Peak Speed Downstream at 20 Gbps

5G, known as IMT-2020 at the International Telecommunications Union, will feature a minimum peak data rate of 20 Gbps downstream and 10 Gbps upstream, for each connected device.


User-experienced data rates in a dense urban environment as set at 100 Mbps in the downlink and 50 Mbps in the uplink, per device.

Spectral efficiency minimums are 30 bits per Hertz in the downlink and 15 bits per Hertz in the uplink.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

FCC Okays LTE-U, One of Many Steps Toward a "Converged" Spectrum Future

The Federal Communications Commission, T-Mobile US, Verizon, Ericsson and Nokia have taken new steps toward a communications business that uses spectrum more efficiently than ever before, in ways more dynamic than ever before, and “converges” licensed and unlicensed spectrum more tightly than in the past.

The Federal Communications Commission has authorizes LTE-U, a protocol that allows mobile operators to use some unused Wi-Fi spectrum in the U-NII-1 band (5150-5250 MHz) and U-NII-3 band (5725-5850 MHz) as those it were part of a licensed spectrum asset.

Some devices support LTE-U in hardware, including those using Qualcomm's X16 LTE modem (Snapdragon 820 chip and newer designs). That includes smartphones such as the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, LG V20, and Google Pixel.  Existing T-Mobile phones will probably need a software update to enable LTE-U  functionality.

Verizon has been working towards LTE-U since at least 2015. And T-Mobile US has announced deployment of LTE-U  capabilities in its LTE network, following FCC certification of equipment from Ericsson and Nokia.
T-Mobile US expects to begin commercial LTE-U functions in the spring of 2017. Basically, LTE-U gives T-Mobile US customers the ability to bond some Wi-Fi spectrum (20 MHz) with T-Mobile’s licensed spectrum, while maintaining LTE sessions.


“LTE-U allows wireless providers to deliver mobile data traffic using unlicensed spectrum while
sharing the road, so to speak, with Wi-Fi,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Smartphones Now are Content Consumption Devices

Though smartphones are best described as multi-function devices, among the key activities smartphones support is content consumption.

According to comScore, about 67 percent of all the time consumers spend with digital apps and services is on a smartphone, compared to about 33 percent of such time spent on PCs.

Smartphones also are the primary way most consumers interact with web apps and services as well.

Though much of that time is spent with mobile apps of various types, smartphones also will eventually emerge as a primary platform for video entertainment consumption as well.




AT&T Tests 39-GHz Fixed Wireless

AT&T has demonstrated use of a 39-GHz Nokia platform to deliver DirecTV Now streaming content over a fixed wireless connection. The test of the Nokia “AirScale” radio access platform took place at the AT&T Labs facility in Middletown, New Jersey. Though it is testing both 28-GHz and 39-GHz signal performance, AT&T now believes 39-GHz frequencies will be plentiful as an underpinning for gigabit internet access and video delivery.

The tests of pre-5G platforms in fixed modes is important for business model reasons, even if some do not believe fixed wireless will be so important for 5G revenues and apps. In fact, 5G fixed wireless might be quite significant.

Both AT&T and Verizon are testing use of pre-5G for fixed wireless purposes, important as a way for extending gigabit services without deploying new fiber-to-home infrastructure. With U.S. cable operators extending gigabit access to virtually every location over the next several years, fixed wireless might allow Verizon, AT&T and others to match such deployments faster, and at lower cost, than building brand-new fiber-to-home plant.

Also, since fixed wireless will build off of the network deployed to support mobile access, both AT&T and Verizon might find they can extend their fixed network footprint nearly nationwide, something neither has done so far.

Verizon will launch commercial pre-5G service for some customers in 11 markets throughout the United States, in the first half of 2017, in Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Bernardsville (NJ), Brockton (MA ), Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

The services will provide fixed wireless gigabit internet access service, not pre-5G mobile service, and seem to be targeted at selected lead customers as well, perhaps several thousand or so sites, including homes and businesses.

Some will take issue with the “pre-5G” platform, or perhaps the immediate focus on fixed wireless. Aside from the fact that supplying fixed wireless is something Verizon can do today, rather than waiting for the full standards to be ratified, fixed wireless also is one of the new use cases and revenue drivers for early 5G, many believe.

"Ericsson's partnership with Verizon in rolling out 5G customer trials is accelerating the global 5G ecosystem," said "These end-to-end solutions are a key step for preparing Verizon's network for commercial deployment with different 5G scenarios and use cases," said Rima Qureshi, Ericsson North America region head.

It matters, and matters perhaps significantly, if fixed wireless piggybacking on the 5G mobile infrastructure also can support widespread and affordable gigabit access services. Depending on how well the initial business case works, Verizon might well be able to dramatically extend its fixed network footprint nationwide, from its northeast and mid-Atlantic footprint.

That would represent a major new opportunity for Verizon, which has a relatively-limited fixed network geography.

Verizon to Launch Pre-5G Service in 11 Cities in 2017, Focusing on Fixed Wireless

Verizon will launch commercial pre-5G service for some customers in 11 markets throughout the United States, in the first half of 2017, in Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Bernardsville (NJ), Brockton (MA ), Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

The services will provide fixed wireless gigabit internet access service, not pre-5G mobile service, and seem to be targeted at selected lead customers as well, perhaps several thousand or so sites, including homes and businesses.

Some will take issue with the “pre-5G” platform, or perhaps the immediate focus on fixed wireless. Aside from the fact that supplying fixed wireless is something Verizon can do today, rather than waiting for the full standards to be ratified, fixed wireless also is one of the new use cases and revenue drivers for early 5G, many believe.

"Ericsson's partnership with Verizon in rolling out 5G customer trials is accelerating the global 5G ecosystem," said "These end-to-end solutions are a key step for preparing Verizon's network for commercial deployment with different 5G scenarios and use cases," said Rima Qureshi, Ericsson North America region head.

It matters, and matters perhaps significantly, if fixed wireless piggybacking on the 5G mobile infrastructure also can support widespread and affordable gigabit access services. Depending on how well the initial business case works, Verizon might well be able to dramatically extend its fixed network footprint nationwide, from its northeast and mid-Atlantic footprint.

That would represent a major new opportunity for Verizon, which has a relatively-limited fixed network geography.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How Artificial Intelligence Will Show Up in Mobile Apps

It sometimes is hard to envision how artificial intelligence will affect the applications and access  businesses. Voice interactions are probably the best present examples (Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple’s Siri), but pervasive (context-aware) apps are going to develop in the future.

Pervasive apps (usually mobile apps) adapt to their external environments, using geolocalization, phone sensors, externals sensors, surrounding data (places databases) to provide a highly-personalized user experience. Over time, machine learning (artificial intelligence) will enhance the ability to sift through huge amounts of data to personalize and contextualize at levels not presently possible.

At the same time, that will mean less need for active user actions to pull up and use data. That means less filling out of forms, for example, as apps will be able to predict what the user wants and act on the user’s behalf to provide answers and initiate actions.

A related and perhaps interim step is the use of "chat" platforms allowing organizations to get information, answer questions and transact with users and customers through messaging or virtual personal attendants (voice interfaces). That will likely also extend to smartphone communications with internet of things sensors and devices.

Gartner predicts that by 2018, 25 percent of new mobile apps will communicate with Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Most IoT devices that talk to smartphones do so via an app or the browser, at least through 2018, according to Gartner researchers. But artificial intelligence could change all that.

"We are witnessing the beginning of the post-app era based on the evidence that users are starting to use fewer apps actively on their smartphones," according to Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner. "At the end of 2016, only 33 percent of survey respondents used six to 10 apps a month, which is down 6.2 percent from a year ago."

Another interim step is the growing use of voice interfaces.

A Gartner mobile apps survey found 35 percent of respondents using virtual personal assistants (VPAs) in 2016, up four percentage points from 2015. Some 71 percent of respondents used messaging apps, a three point increase in 2016.

Type of Apps
2015 Survey Respondents (%)
2016 Survey Respondents (%)
Social Media
85
83
Video
73
71
Maps
74
71
Messaging
68
71
Shopping
56
60
Personal Assistant
31
35
source: Gartner

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