CWTA President: 5G Ensures a Competitive Economy

September 2, 2019 – Although 'phone-bill populism' has become a talking point ahead of Canada's October 21 election, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association says investments in 5G networks are vital to moving Canada’s economy forward. “Our members want to continue to build out to ensure that more Canadians get connected... because the 5G economy is going to be the future for those countries that are able to get there and deliver those networks,” said CWTA president and CEO Robert Ghiz, adding that 5G networks will increase Canada's GDP growth and “make sure that Canada can remain competitive.” Ghiz also cautioned against mandating access to networks by virtual operators (MVNOs), which could reduce investment, speed, coverage and connectivity across urban and rural Canada.

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Global 5G

New Report Confirms 5G Sites Don't Pose Health Risk

August 28, 2019 – Sacramento was one of the first cities to receive 5G service from Verizon, but critics said the infrastructure was deployed without adequate consultation. In response, the City has commissioned an independent safety study led by UC Davis professor Jerrold Bushberg. Assessing the impact of Sacramento's 5G network, Bushberg found “very low levels of exposure” that cannot be associated with adverse consequences. He added that the 5G sites do not pose a health risk of any nature, and tested “well below” the safety limits set by the FCC. In order to exceed the FCC's limits, Bushberg explained, “you’d have to climb up the pole" and "hug the antenna.” As in Canada, exposure standards in the U.S. are set 50 times below the threshold for potential harm.

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Two Chinese Operators Team Up to Build 5G Network

September 9, 2019 – Two of China’s biggest three telecoms, China Telecom and China Unicom, are teaming up to build a 5G network in an effort to reduce costs. China is the world's largest smartphone market and a joint project by the operators could lessen overall infrastructure spending, which could also impact telecom equipment manufacturers. Countries including South Korea and the United States have already begun to offer 5G services, and China is eager to roll out 5G itself in over 50 cities this year. Through their "co-build, co-share" framework agreement, China Telecom and China Unicom have announced that they will identify specific districts in 15 cities where network construction is to occur.

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FCC Will Vote on Rules for 3.5GHz 5G Auction in June

August 19, 2019 – Prior to the FCC's next open meeting, Chairman Ajit Pai has set an agenda that highlights procedures for a 3.5GHz spectrum auction, broadband funding and actions related to Hurricane Dorian. Last year, the FCC introduced rules to facilitate 5G deployment in the 3.5GHz band, and its September 26 meeting will include a vote to seek comment on procedures for a 3.5GHz auction slated for June 25. Pai added that a draft order will be voted on that will allocate $950 million to improve and expand broadband networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.” Pai said he is "pleased" with how the order creates incentives for deploying fixed broadband and 5G on the islands. He also noted that the FCC is working with federal and state partners to minimize the impact of Hurricane Dorian on the southeast coast.

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For 5G Agriculture, Rural Broadband Is a Global Issue

August 27, 2019 – A new initiative in Brazil, ConectarAGRO, uses LTE and 5G to enable 500,000 farms to connect machinery, deploy robots and carry out precision mapping. Nokia is working with the Brazilian arm of Telecom Italia and U.S. agricultural firm AGCO Corporation to bring wireless automation to 93% of Brazilian farmers, who often lack connectivity. AGCO already provides telemetry systems to enable growers and dealers to monitor equipment remotely, as well as precision planting sensors to help them self-calibrate in the field. “Rural broadband is a global issue," says AGCO marketing manager Jonathan Riley. “We're connecting the entire operation through innovative solutions to capitalize the land more effectively and efficiently.”

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5G's Impact on Self-Driving Cars and Safer Commutes

August 27, 2019 – Initially, 5G will assist conventionally-driven cars in such cases as warning of collision risks. It will really shine, though, by making autonomous vehicles more practical and capable, so self-driving cars can decide what to do on their own. According to the 5G Automotive Association, using 5G to power C-V2X systems "will unlock the full potential of self-driving technology." A proponent of C-V2X technology, 5GAA was founded in 2017 with 8 members. It now has 120 members that extend beyond carmakers to include AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Vodafone, Nokia, Ericsson, Intel, Samsung and Qualcomm. C-V2X is likely to overtake Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) as the standard for self-driving cars, as the latter struggles to gain traction with U.S. and European lawmakers.

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