Budget 2019 Supports Rural Broadband, 5G Networks

March 19, 2019 – The Liberals' federal Budget 2019 introduced a 13-year $1.7B Universal Broadband Fund that will help to deploy high-speed "backbone" to underserved communities. The budget also proposed a $1B broadband investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank. $117M was earmarked for ISED to prepare Canada for next-generation networks – consistent with a further Government pledge to bring 50 Mbps speeds to all Canadians by 2030. Finance Minister Bill Morneau expects $5-6B to be invested in connectivity over the next 10 years.

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Global 5G

MWC 2019 Recap: Takeaways From Industry Analysts

March 5, 2019 – At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, top industry analysts shared their perspectives on 5G with LightReading.com:
  • Mark Lowenstein of Mobile Ecosystem thought that 2019 was "year one" for 5G, with the "next phase" being likely to focus on IoT and enterprise opportunities.
  • Stefan Pongratz of Dell'Oro said that 2019 will be a "solid year" for the RAN market, as well as for NR shipments and revenues.
  • Dario Talmesio of Ovum noted that the search for a "killer" 5G app is over and the relevant conversation has become selling the wide-ranging capabilities that 5G can offer.
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Wireless Summit Explores "6G" Technology

March 21, 2019 – Over 200 researchers will gather at the 6G Wireless Summit in Finland this month to discuss standards that may apply to 6G technology in 10 years' time. 6G networks would utilize the “terahertz” spectrum, including 95GHz-300GHz frequencies between infrared and microwave radiation. On March 15, the FCC approved such frequencies for experimentation involving post-5G hardware (such as the molecular spectroscopy devices being developed by Genia Photonics).

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How Much Will 5G Services Cost?

March 15, 2019 – As U.S. operators prepare to roll out nationwide 5G between 2020–2021, Verizon AT&T and T-Mobile have announced pricing details for their 5G plans:
  • Verizon will launch mobile 5G in Chicago and Minneapolis on April 21, where postpaid subscribers with unlimited data can receive 5G for an additional $10 per month.
  • AT&T launched 5G in 12 American cities last year with its mobile hot spot device. A Nighthawk device costs $499 together with a 5G plan that includes 15 GB of data for $70 per month.
  • T-Mobile claims it will not increase prices for 5G smartphones. CEO John Legere said that a potential $26B merger with Sprint could actually reduce prices, due to "excess network capacity.”
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NASA to Test 5G Solar Drone with Japanese Firm

March 8, 2019 – Aerospace company AeroVironment is partnering with Japanese firm SoftBank to develop a solar-powered drone capable of beaming 5G almost anywhere on earth. The Hawk 30 is an unmanned aerial vehicle with 10 electric engines that can reach altitudes of over 20 km. Several NASA-authorized tests are scheduled for the next three months. AeroVironment previously tested an unmanned vehicle, the Helios, in the early 2000s. Facebook and Google tested similar drone systems between 2016-2017.

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5G's Public Safety Impact

March 7, 2019 – A panel at the International Wireless Communications Expo this month focused on the relationships between 5G, public safety and first responders. Ericsson's VP of energy & public sector markets, Rishi Bhaskar, said that addressing broadband deployment and speed issues will improve first responders’ ability to engage with data-based services. Panelists at the Expo also observed that wireless standards bodies are paying greater attention to public safety issues, with mission-critical features now being built into 5G standards.

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Nationalizing 5G Unnecessary to Compete with China

March 5, 2019 – As large economies such as the U.S. and China compete to advance in 5G, their efforts highlight a difference between two economic systems — Chinese central planning versus the free markets of the west. Some advisers are calling for the U.S. to take a nationalization path to 5G, but America's free-market approach to developing 4G networks arguably enabled a $950B app economy and the growth of companies like Amazon and Apple. Brendan Carr of National Review now recommends doubling down on the free-market "playbook" that the FCC has largely followed over the last two years.

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