5G-Powered Food Delivery Robots Rollout in Toronto

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August 12, 2021 – A Canadian start-up company will use 5G connectivity to make automated food deliveries in downtown Toronto. In honour of the pioneer of artificial intelligence, Geoffrey Hinton, Tiny Mile has collectively named its delivery robots “Geoffrey”. They will navigate the city using onboard cameras, GPS, and 5G connections from Bell that enable high definition video and real-time decision making. The robots are remotely piloted using a game controller and can deliver within a 2 km radius of Uber Eats restaurants. Customers receive their food by displaying an order number to the robot’s camera.

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Canada Completes First Mid-Band 5G Auction

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August 3, 2021 – Canada’s 3500 MHz auction ended on July 29, 2021. 15 carriers purchased 1,495 licenses for a total of $8.9B, nearly three times the 600 MHz auction in 2019. Rogers acquired 325 licenses and paid $3.3B. Bell purchased 271 licenses for $2.1B, while TELUS purchased 142 licenses for $1.9B. SaskTel won 68 licenses for $145M through regional set-aside procedures. Spectrum must be deployed according to Innovation Canada (ISED)'s guidelines. In urban centres, 30% of the population must be served within five years, and 70% within 20 years. Final auction results are available at ISED’s website.

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Global 5G

5G FWA Driven by Lower-Cost Customer Equipment

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August 28, 2021 – With broadband demand increasing worldwide, some operators are pursuing an early 5G fixed wireless access rollout. The 5G FWA vendor ecosystem is consequently expanding, particularly for customer-premises equipment (CPE). The number of vendors working on 5G FWA CPE now exceeds 4G. As 5G smartphone adoption grows, this should lower the cost of indoor and outdoor 5G FWA units enough to justify the business case for operators. With the number of fixed wireless subscribers capable of doubling globally in 2021, Dell’Oro Group estimates that 3-4 million 5G FWA units could be shipped this year. Most will initially support sub-6 GHz services, with more mmWave units likely to arrive by late-2022 and 2023.

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Aviation, Mobile Industries Debate Radio Interference

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August 25, 2021 – As U.S. carriers begin deploying C-band spectrum for 5G, the aviation industry warns that radio interference could disrupt air travel. According to Light Reading, 19 aerospace and aviation groups urged the FCC to protect radio altimeters from “harmful” 3.7 GHz interference. In February 2020, when the FCC approved C-band for wireless, it said “well-designed radio altimeters” should not ordinarily receive significant interference. Altimeters measure an aircraft’s distance from the ground, and aviation groups claim that interference could lead to flight delays, diversions and cancellations. 5G Americas notes that 5G spectrum has already been deployed near radio altimeter bands in Asia and Europe without issue.

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The Best 5G Strategy Involves "Digital Twins": Nokia

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August 24, 2021 – As 5G deployment continues, operators face challenges from spectrum bands that use different propagation models and require special expertise to design. 5G beamforming and network slicing, for example, require careful optimization to maximize return on investment. Nokia has launched a new technology that boosts end-to-end performance by creating a digital replica of the network – a “digital twin”. Nokia's technique uses traffic dynamics to perform a deep analysis of the network and identify coverage gaps and revenue leakage, yielding up to 44% higher revenue than traditional methods in some cases.

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Looking Ahead to FCC's 3.45 GHz Auction in October

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August 19, 2021 – Referred to as Auction 110, 3.45-3.55 GHz spectrum will be auctioned on October 5 to support U.S. 5G deployment. Analysts believe this could increase spectrum circulation by 100 MHz. The FCC’s last effort was an $81B C-band auction in February. No single bidder in the 3.45 GHz auction will be able to acquire more than 40 MHz in a given area. As a result, New Street Research expects AT&T and T-Mobile to take 40 MHz each, with 20 MHz left for other participants. Morgan Stanley notes, “as we have seen in C-band and Canadian 3500 MHz auctions, aggressive bidding wars should not be ruled out.”

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Launch of First 5G and AI-Compatible Drone Platform

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August 18, 2021 – The first autonomous platform has been launched that will use 5G and AI to develop drones for commercial and enterprise purposes. Qualcomm’s Flight RB5 5G system combines high performance with ultra-low power consumption, allowing drones to be fully autonomous. Breakthrough camera technology and Wi-Fi 6 and 5G connectivity also enables drones to travel beyond line-of-sight for safer long-distance trips. The Flight RB5 5G system can be applied to use cases in defence, security, emergency services, delivery, mapping and entertainment. Qualcomm is working with Verizon to test the system in the U.S. and a 5G mmWave platform will be offered through Verizon’s Thingspace Marketplace.

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