Tag Archives: 5G

The Evolution of Cellular Modems for Enterprise Networking

Evolution of Cellular Modems

Embedded Wireless Modems Eliminated the Challenges of External, USB-Based Modems

Wireless modems and connectivity for enterprise networking have come a long way. A variety of factors ranging from technological advancements to innovative customer use cases have transformed cellular modems into a critical component of how a company operates and succeeds — and with 5G on the horizon, that progress is poised to continue.

When modems were first introduced, they were analog, used DSL, and had a simple function: allow computers to connect and pass data to networks. With the advent of cellular technology came the possibility of sending data over wireless connections. This demonstrated the potential of wireless connections for both business and personal use.

The leap to modems that could transfer data wirelessly was significant but difficult. Passing data back and forth through the air was slow, limiting the types and volumes of data that companies could reasonably transfer wirelessly.

The Evolution of USB Modems

In response to the challenges associated with the first wireless modems, manufacturers took another evolutionary step and created USB modems. The first examples were the sleek, stick-like versions that many are familiar with today, but they were not very practical in customer applications.

With the introduction of 3G, individual users could transfer data much easier and faster via a USB modem connected to a laptop. Before Starbucks offered free WiFi to its customers, for example, a professional working remotely from a coffee shop could potentially use a USB modem and his or her laptop to connect to the Internet using cellular technology. Thanks to 3G, this connection was finally reliable and fast enough to truly make remote work — and access — possible.

As 3G developed into a viable data transfer mechanism, Cradlepoint realized the potential it presented and began adding support for USB modems in its routers. If an enterprise bought a router, it could get a USB modem from a provider (such as AT&T or Sprint) and plug it in; the device would then be able to connect. This setup essentially created the first forms of WiFi hot spots, as the Cradlepoint router was able to share a connection to the Internet.

Eliminating the Challenges of USB Modems

Customer creativity complemented, and even advanced, the technological evolution of modems. As wireless routers were able to transfer data more reliably and quickly, customers began using them in new, innovative ways. While in-vehicle deployment wasn’t necessarily part of the initial goal for developing wireless routers, emergency responders saw the potential of deploying wireless access in their vehicles.

However, USB modems presented unique challenges — most notably, form factor and durability. For instance, when police cars or ambulances took sharp turns quickly during emergencies, modems often were damaged or simply broke off. They weren’t designed to work in such conditions.

Further, USB modems stick out from whatever device they’re plugged into to, making them easy to steal by passersby.

When 3G eventually evolved into 4G, the USB stick modems were still in use by customers, but they started to prefer a smaller-footprint, embedded solution. Thus, Cradlepoint began buying the actual modem modules from vendors directly and embedding them into higher-quality, more compact enterprise routers — eliminating the challenges related to USB sticks.

The Benefits of Embedded Modems

The evolution from 3G to 4G ushered in significant improvements for connectivity. With 3G, some companies (such as Verizon and Sprint) were based on CDMA technology, while others (such as AT&T and T-Mobile) were based on GSM technology. The two technologies had disparate 3G speeds, and CDMA-based companies needed a way to increase their speeds. 4G and LTE met the challenge.

4G has ushered in a new chapter of modem evolution. Modern routers provide many more enhancements and solutions than the simple connected/disconnected features offered by the earliest USB devices.

Customer use cases have helped drive enhancements and solutions, too. Modems that used to be damaged in high-speed situations in ambulances and police cars, for instance, are now field-tested and shock-certified specifically for in-vehicle use.

Additional advancements include Auto Carrier Selection. With carrier-switchable embedded modems, Cradlepoint can self-detect the SIM and configure the modem to the given carrier automatically. This significantly boosts flexibility and reduces IT man-hours.

Of course, modems will never stop evolving. The combination of consumer creativity and technological innovation will always create new and exciting steps forward. Over its history, Cradlepoint has supported as many as 300 types of modems and continues to learn from its experiences supporting the evolution from USB devices to embedded modems. Overall, Cradlepoint continues to build on current LTE technologies and looks forward to the transition to 5G.

Source: Janice Mainvil-Cradlepoint

5G done testing by BT Labs prove successful

5G to control drones and keep them airborne

5G drone trial

In a test carried out by uVue, a drone was successfully operated over BT’s pre-5G network slicing testbed at BT Labs, Martlesham in Suffolk.

The network slice (which is a virtual network partitioned away from the main network with dynamically allocated resources), apparently worked perfectly, with Maria Cuevas, BT’s Head of Converged Core Network and Services Research noting that:

“The demonstration was most effective in showing that we are able to protect a private ‘slice’ of the network for uVue’s drone as the rest of the network was deliberately overloaded. The slice allocated to drone control remained perfectly functional and stable, enabling the drone to remain responsive to the pilot’s control at all times.”

And this wasn’t just a fluke, as well over 100 flights were executed, proving that this is a viable method of drone control.

And not only is it viable, but also advantageous, as it allows drones to operate with existing air traffic control systems, and even in its pre-5G state is capable of streaming high-definition video from the drones across the network at low latency – in this case allowing the footage to be displayed to an audience.

Russ Delaney, Director of Tech Ops at uVue, an ex-British Army helicopter instructor and drone pilot summed up the potential, saying:

“I was delighted at how responsive the drone control was over the mobile network and at how reliable the private slice was. Delivery of real-time low latency HD video footage back over the network provided a completely new standard for ‘eye in the sky’. This is a key milestone in UAV development, showing that cellular networks have immense potential to provide uncompromised drone control and hence air safety.

The video below simply shows a uVue drone demonstration, not connected to the trials performed at BT Labs.

Source: 5G James Rogerson

3 UK seeks High Court review of 5G auction rules

3 UK seeks High Court review of 5G auction rules – Mobile World Live 3 UK seeks High Court review of 5G auction rules – Mobile World Live

3 UK is set to launch a legal challenge against Ofcom’s rules for an upcoming 4G and 5G spectrum auction, which the operator said fails to address competition concerns.

A company representative confirmed it notified Ofcom of its intent to seek a judicial review in the UK’s High Court. It expects the process to be complete by early 2018 – a timeline it said would not impact the country’s 5G rollout timetable.

However, as the UK’s auctions for 4G and 5G spectrum were scheduled to be held by the end of 2017, legal action would significantly delay the allocation process.

In a statement, the company representative said: “It is absolutely vital that the regulator gets this auction right for the long-term benefit of all consumers. For a relatively short process, we feel it is a proportionate response to request an independent review of Ofcom’s proposal, which we feel unduly puts at risk its stated objective of a competitive four-player market and is to the detriment of UK consumers.”

The move comes as little surprise. 3 is a long-term critic of the division of spectrum in the UK and threatened action if Ofcom failed to address the market dominance of BT and Vodafone with its auction rules.

In its subsequent announcement, the regulator said it would impose a spectrum cap to limit the participation of the UK’s largest operators in the 3.4GHz band – earmarked for 5G. Its new rules also effectively banned EE from bidding on 40MHz of 2.3GHz spectrum also set to be allocated.

Following the announcement, 3 slammed Ofcom for not going far enough, with CEO Dave Dyson describing the rules as a “kick in the teeth” for consumers.

Although Telefonica’s O2 UK was also critical of Ofcom’s new guidelines, it appeared to rule out legal action, highlighting the importance of pressing ahead with the auction quickly.

Source: Mobile World Live

Arqiva acquires 28GHz spectrum licence for 5G fixed wireless access in London

Arqiva, the leading UK communications infrastructure company, has today announced its acquisition of an additional 28GHz spectrum licence from intelligent managed services provider, Luminet.

The Region A licence for 2x 112MHz covers Central and Greater London and bolsters Arqiva’s existing nationwide spectrum band ownership.

The 28GHz spectrum band is the standard band used for 5G connectivity trials in the USA, Japan and South Korea focused on Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) – offering promise for future 5G implementations in the UK.

The next key milestone in 5G deployment will be March 2018 when the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) completes Release 15. This will be the first standardisation of 5G, paving the way for FWA to be the first commercial release of 5G technology.

This commercialisation of 5G standards will allow vendors and operators to deploy at scale an ecosystem that spans from chip-set to network equipment on a global basis, therefore driving further economies of scale.

“5G connectivity is a highly debated topic, especially with regards to what it will deliver and by when. However, the FWA component is set for a head start thanks to the drive from major global fixed line and mobile operators as both a substitute and a companion to traditional fibre services. 3GPP certification is critical to achieving global acceptance.

“5G FWA is an exciting opportunity to deliver true ultrafast broadband above 500Mbps to millions of households; this is especially relevant in the UK where so few households are connected by fibre to the home (FTTH) or fibre to the cabinet (FTTC). FWA has the ability to become a truly alternative technology to deliver fibre-like services.

“In purchasing this additional licence we are able to further our ambitions in this area, standing ourselves in good stead to deliver a compelling 5G FWA wholesale service to UK mobile and fixed operators across the country, and with even more capacity in Greater London.”

Arqiva is set to conduct the UK’s first 5G FWA field trial, in partnership with Samsung, in London this summer. Using the 28GHz band, the trial will explore the possibilities of ultra-fast, high bandwidth connectivity via wireless technology rather than conventional wired services.

“The advent of 5G is set to be one of the most exciting digital developments of the decade, and we will be following Arqiva’s trial with interest.

“Divesting the spectrum was a strategic business decision for Luminet as we continue to build on our existing 400Sqkm London network and enhance our focus on wholesale for our intelligent GB connectivity and computing services.”

Source: Arqiva

5G could bring massive opportunities for mobile operators says report

3G report

Mobile network operators have a massive opportunity as 5G’s final form begins to take shape, but they also face increased competition in the shape of new players from different industries.

That’s the conclusion of a recent report on the state of 5G by international management consulting firm Arthur D Little.

The report claims that for the first time, mobile operators have the chance to offer more than mere connectivity to companies with the jump to 5G. “We expect 5G to support the strategic shift of telecom operators from being predominantly providers of high-speed connectivity, to becoming true enablers of next-generation ecosystems,” it says.

As the report points out, 5G is already beginning to take shape through various global pilot schemes and testbeds. In particular, it identifies five distinct 5G rollout models that are already being used by operators around the world:

  • Gigabit broadband to residential homes (also known as Fixed Wireless Access)
  • Next-generation mobile experiences such as virtual reality and tactile internet (eg. solving physical problems remotely in real time over a wireless connection)
  • Providing reliable, low-latency connectivity for corporations
  • Digital industrial ecosystems with machine-to-machine connectivity
  • Next-generation infrastructure-as-a-service for the country

Outside threats

However, besides this massive opportunity to expand their influence, mobile operators need to be wary of new threats from other industries. There are non-telecom players that are are already active in the 5G-enabled product space, running pilots in such related fields as autonomous driving and virtual reality infotainment services.

Perhaps the biggest threats to telecoms companies are giant tech companies like Google, Apple and Amazon. These major players are heavily active in the Internet of Things, which is expected to be both a major beneficiary and driver of 5G. It would be a logical step for such cash-rich companies to launch 5G-based solutions of their own in order to help support their IoT initiatives.

The report therefore concludes that “Telecom operators should move quickly to place their stakes in the 5G ground”. It then lists a range of concrete steps that they can take now to achieve this.

These steps include building an application ecosystem with start-ups and service providers, preparing the spectrum and infrastructure for 5G (such as the hundreds of thousands of small cells that will be required), ensuring physical networks are ‘fiberised’ so that they can assist in aggregating and backhauling 5G traffic, preparing their computer systems to handle this gigabit traffic, and finally by “cloudifying the core” to enable easy scale-up and external partnerships.

Source: Jon Mundy- 5g.co.uk

Vodafone UK selects Ericsson technology to evolve London network

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  • Ericsson has been selected to provide Massive MIMO and Carrier aggregation technology to help Vodafone UK evolve its 4G network in southern England
  • In addition, Ericsson has been selected to provide Vodafone UK with 5G Radio technology to prepare for the introduction of 5G in the region

Vodafone UK has selected Ericsson  to evolve its 4G networks in London and southern England using technologies such as Massive MIMO and Carrier Aggregation, which will help deliver improved capacity and end-user performance.

Massive MIMO technology utilizes advanced antenna arrays to improve the quality of radio signals and capacity, while Carrier Aggregation combines different cellular frequencies to increase capacity and user data rates.

The scope of the agreement includes technology trials, product validation and commercial deployment, as well as professional services.

Jorge Fernandes, Technology Director, Vodafone UK, says: “We are continually enhancing our network to optimize performance and give our customers the best possible experience. We will continue to expand our 4G network and develop greater capabilities for our customers. We look forward to continuing to work with Ericsson in order to achieve our goals.”

Arun Bansal, Head of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson, says: “We are working with Vodafone UK to evolve its 4G network and test new 5G technologies. Together we will enable ubiquitous connectivity for their users that enable entirely new experiences, as well as monitoring and control of IoT in real time.”

Ericsson and Vodafone have also signed a memorandum of understanding that will cover the following areas of collaboration:

  • 4G evolution, 5G radio non-standalone and standalone;
  • 5G site deployment scenarios;
  • NR simulations: 3.5 GHz and mmWave;
  • 5G use-cases: business case study and proof of concept;
  • distributed cloud and network slicing proof of concept: end-to-end latency and cloud- optimized network applications;
  • collaboration with King’s College London; and
  • 5G innovation: Technology Incubation Programme.

Source: Ericsson

First NarrowBand IoT service packages launched in Germany

  • Two entry packages available to experience and pilot NB-IoT solutions
  • NB-IoT based smart parking solutions introduced in several German cities
  • Rapid NB-IoT network expansion in Germany and across Europe with nationwide rollout in the Netherlands already accomplished

NB-IoT Germany map

Deutsche Telekom today offers its first NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) service packages in Germany as it rapidly expands the availability of the NB-IoT network across its footprint and sets the scene for its 2020 5G communications standard. The ready-for-sale NB-IoT service packages in Germany consist of two options: NB-IoT Access, a streamlined NB-IoT device connectivity package, as well as NB-IoT Access & Cloud of Things, a more comprehensive NB-IoT product connectivity package, which also includes Deutsche Telekom’s Cloud of Things platform.

The NB-IoT Access entry package is available from EUR 199 and includes a 6-month activation of up to 25 SIM-cards with 500 KB per SIM pooled in Germany’s NB-IoT network. As a further optional add-on – a private APN with IPsec-key encryption is available. The NB-IoT Access & Cloud of Things entry package is available from EUR 299 and additionally includes direct access to Deutsche Telekom’s Cloud of Things platform for device and data management. Both packages will enable customers to easily prototype their NB-IoT solutions and pilot them in their markets. A full NB-IoT service pricing is available on request.

“Deutsche Telekom believes that NarrowBand IoT is a radical Innovation in our market paving the road to digitization and our 5G services available from 2020,” says Hagen Rickmann, Head of Business Customer Segment, Telekom Deutschland. “NarrowBand IoT enables ambitious new business models, huge scale and a secure operating environment, which is exactly what our small and medium enterprise customers are looking for today as they increasingly move their business operations online.”

Smart parking solutions among the first NB-IoT services in Germany

In parallel to the European NB-IoT network rollout and commercial introduction in Germany, Deutsche Telekom already actively works with numerous customers and partners on the implementation of real-live solutions using the innovative technology. Smart parking is one such area: In Hamburg, a smart parking service is being introduced, which provides information about parking spaces to drivers in real time, digitizing up to 11,000 public and private spaces, including parking garages, with the support of Deutsche Telekom’s NB-IoT technology. Darmstadt, Duisburg, Dortmund, Merzig and Moers will also introduce smart parking solutions in their city centers, enabling citizens to book parking spaces even ahead of time for a worry-free visit. For the parking search in real-time, sensor data transmitted via NB-IoT is being evaluated in combination with information from parking payment machines and other data sources across town to generate reliable probability calculations.

Rapid growth of NB-IoT ecosystem predecessor to 5G future

The commercial introduction of new, standardized and cost-effective NB-IoT services comes on the heels of Deutsche Telekom’s NB-IoT network expansion across its markets. The nationwide rollout in The Netherlands has been finalized at the end of May, making it the first country worldwide to be completely covered by an NB-IoT network with services already being offered to selected customers. The rollout in Germany is progressing well, and other countries within Deutsche Telekom’s footprint, including Greece, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and Croatia are also preparing to introduce NB-IoT. In the US, T-Mobile plans to support NB-IoT from 2018 onwards.

The NB-IoT technology is hailed as the most robust answer to current customer demand for innovative Internet of Things solutions. Its key advantages are the low-cost factor due to low bandwidth demand, good in-building coverage, extremely long battery life of connected devices, as well as its usage of licensed spectrum and approved standardization by 3GPP. As digitization filters into just about all aspects of life, NB-IoT is designed for large-scale use and paves the road to 5G, Deutsche Telekom’s completely new network concept, which integrates fixed and mobile networks.

Source: Deutsche Telekom

Ericsson Mobility Report Sees a 5G Transport Revolution

logo5g

Remote operation of vehicles with 5G

In the near future it will be a common occurrence to see driverless buses on city streets. A key step towards introducing autonomously driven buses into the public transport system is the development of remote monitoring and control capabilities, which will help to ensure safety, the Ericsson Mobility Report describes.


Key highlights

  • Scania has a 5G proof-of-concept test network used to carry out  trials in which a remote operator drives a bus around its test track
  • 5G will bring a number of benefits to remote control systems, including core network slicing that will enable priority service provisioning, and radio access to bring ultra-low latency and beamforming for high throughput and capacity
  • The work on remotely-controlled buses is making safe, autonomous vehicles a reality

While autonomous vehicles could revolutionize mass transportation as we know it, their safety has been widely debated. To address this concern, remote operation brings a safety mechanism that allows public buses to be monitored and controlled by a remote operator from a distance, if needed. The vision of operators scanning screens and on-hand to intervene if necessary, should contribute to public acceptance of autonomous vehicles.

Network requirements for remote operation include broad coverage, high data throughput and low latency to enable continuous video streaming and to send commands between a remote operations center and a vehicle. 5G will bring a number of benefits to remote control systems, including core network slicing that will enable priority service provisioning, and radio access to bring ultra-low latency and beamforming for high throughput and capacity.

At its headquarters in Södertälje, Sweden, Scania has a 5G proof-of-concept test network devoted to controlling a bus remotely from a vehicle operations center. Work at the site is focused on two important areas: total system response time for remote monitoring and control, and the automated tools required to provision prioritized network services.1

The tests involve a remote operator driving a bus around the test track, as well as to and from the parking facilities. Sensor data from the bus, including a high-resolution video feed, is streamed to the remote operations center over LTE radio access with an evolved 5G core network. The testbed features automated service ordering and provisioning, allowing the set-up and take-down of prioritized network resources needed for the remote monitoring and operation.

The 5G proof-of-concept network is not the biggest source of latency in the complete remote operation system. Additional factors that cause delays include servo-driven mechanics, as well as video encoding and decoding

Isolating and measuring contributors to system response time

A key objective is to isolate and measure the different contributors to the remote control system response time, including network latency. Response time is measured in milliseconds (ms) – for example, from when an operator sees an obstacle on the road and reacts by using the remote controls to apply the brakes, to the point when the result (the bus slowing) is visible in the video presented to the operator. During the tests, total system response times of around 185 ms were achieved. The most significant contributors to the response time and its variation were mechanical delays (physical actuators controlling the bus), followed by the video processing delay and, finally, the network delay (round trip time (RTT)).

Network RTT mostly stayed under 50 ms during the study, although some areas with obstacles along the test route increased the latency beyond this value.  Uplink throughput, which is critical for remote operation, was also measured. In good coverage areas, the uplink throughput was between 10–20 Mbps.

Graph: Illustration of system response time

5G radio access lowers round trip time to under 4 ms

Reducing system response time

Improvements are being made in all areas affecting system response time. Network latency improves significantly with 5G radio access, lowering network RTT to under 4 ms. Video encoding and decoding are on a track to continuously improve, with advances in both codecs and adaptive streaming mechanisms. Mechanical delays will decline as the buses themselves are specially designed for autonomy and remote operation is deployed – rather than being converted from today’s driver-controlled buses.

Automated network resource prioritization

A critical requirement for a remote vehicle control center is the ability to prioritize network services if remote operation is required, through a service ordering API to a mobile telecom operator. In the testbed, an interface based on the Open Mobile Alliance candidate standard is used for network resource prioritization.

Technology is being developed to enable a self-service portal, allowing network customers, such as public transport companies, to specify quality of service (QoS) requirements on their own terms; for example, to prioritize 4K video traffic for 40 buses. The software will then translate this specification into instructions for network resource prioritization.

Mechanical delays will decline as the buses themselves are specially designed for autonomy and remote operation is deployed – rather than being converted from today’s driver-controlled buses

Research concept vehicle

Parallel to the Scania activities, the remote operation of a research concept vehicle (RCV) – developed and custom-built by the Integrated Transport Research Lab at KTH Royal Institute of Technology – was demonstrated at Mobile World Congress 2017. A 5G testbed radio, using a 15 GHz carrier frequency, provided sufficient bandwidth for remotely operating multiple vehicles in the same cell. Delivering the throughput on 15 GHz is accomplished using beamforming; that is, tracking the moving vehicle and focusing the radio power for maximum effect. Due to the low latency of the 5G radio access, RTT was under 4 ms.

Attributes of 5G – including network slicing and low latency – will make safe public transport using autonomous vehicles a reality

The work on remotely-controlled buses and the RCV are making safe, autonomous vehicles a reality. Additionally, the insights from these activities can be applied to other industrial use cases that require high uplink throughput, low network latency and automated service provisioning.

Integrated Transport Research Lab: The Integrated Transport Research Lab (ITRL), a collaboration between the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Scania and Ericsson, is actively exploring intelligent transport systems. Recent studies illustrate the use of emerging 5G cellular technologies in testbed environments.

Graph: Illustration of the Remote control system

Testbed and methodology

Testbed network

The Scania testbed network uses LTE radio access on band 40 (2.3 GHz TDD) to provide data connectivity to the bus. Throughput and RTT were measured between the remotely-operated bus and the network provisioning system. RTT was measured from the remote operations center to the vehicle and back, along with covered radio and network transport (both uplink and downlink). RTT measurements were collected at a rate of one per second, resulting in hundreds of measurements collected from different areas of the test track.

Video link

A single camera at the front of the bus requires an uplink throughput of 8 Mbps to stream a 1080p 60-frames-per-second video from the bus to the operations center. An industrialized solution will include cameras to capture video from the front, back and sides of the bus, requiring about 24 Mbps bandwidth using current codecs.  The video latency was measured using two GPS-synchronized clocks. Each clock displayed time in binary format as a line of LEDs, allowing sub-millisecond resolution. One clock was placed on the bus in view of the camera, while the second clock was attached to the video display at the control center. Photos showing both clocks were taken at one-second intervals. The difference between the clocks indicated the video latency, measured to a high degree of accuracy.

Mechanical controls

The latency of the remote control rig can be reduced to under 1 ms by using optimized equipment. On the other hand, the vehicle latency, including mechanical controls, has a wide variation.

Automated network service prioritization

A cloud-hosted application function (AF) dynamically sets up virtual connections between vehicles and the 5G Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network, with specific QoS attributes such as designated latency levels and guaranteed throughput. This application functionality can be securely opened to third parties through an API. In the use case described here, the testbed uses this API to set up priority virtual connections for vehicles in need of remote operator assistance.

In 5G radio, uplink/downlink allocation will be more flexible and able to meet the demands of uplink critical use-cases

1Ericsson Research, “5G teleoperated vehicles for future public transport” (2017), Rafia Inam, Keven (Qi) Wang, Nicolas Schrammar, Athanasios Karapantelakis, Leonid Mokrushin, Aneta Vulgarakis Feljan, Viktor Berggren and Elena Fersman: www.ericsson.com/research-blog/5g/5g-teleoperated-vehicles-future-public-transport/

Source: Ericsson

EE and BT Showcase ‘Pre-standard 5G’ to Connect Air Mast

ee 5g

  • EE first UK mobile operator to showcase ‘pre-standard 5G’ backhaul capability, using its patent pending 4G air mast
  • 26GHz test spectrum used to carry traffic from 4G air mast as part of Adastral Park Innovation Week event
  • ‘Pre-standard 5G’ backhaul solution increases 4G speeds and lowers latency

EE, the UK’s largest mobile network operator and part of the BT Group, has become the first UK provider to successfully demonstrate pre-standard 5G backhaul technology, using it to connect its unique Helikite ‘air mast’ mobile coverage solution.

EE’s patent-pending Helikite solution uses mini mobile sites attached to a helium balloon to provide 4G mobile coverage where permanent sites have been damaged by extreme weather and other disasters, or in areas where there is no 4G coverage. The addition of pre-5G backhaul increases 4G speeds and lowers latency, which increases the number of people that the air mast could keep connected, and gives them a faster internet connection.

Marc Allera, EE CEO, said: “Innovation is what drives advances in technology, and it’s what keeps making UK consumers’ experience of mobile better and better. The EE network will go from strength to strength thanks to BT’s incredible R&D capabilities and our commitment to delivering what our customers need. Today’s demonstration is a great example of that: we know that we need better solutions to keep customers connected in the most rural parts of the UK and during disasters, and we can make that solution even more powerful by developing ground breaking pre-standard 5G technology.

“This is not 5G, but it is a technology that’s an important stepping stone to 5G. We’re working hard to adopt the principles and the technologies that will become 5G, and to showcase what benefits these can bring to our customers.”

Today’s demonstration is an example of the potential applications and customer benefits of BT and EE’s 5G research activities which are being progressed well ahead of the deployment of future 5G networks.

The ‘pre-standard 5G’ backhaul technology – demonstrated for the first time today at BT’s Innovation Week at its labs in Adastral Park, Ipswich – uses millimetre wave (mmWave) frequencies, regarded as one of the main building blocks of future 5G technology.

By applying the technology to deliver the mobile backhaul requirements for EE’s recently announced 4G Helikite solution, EE and the BT Labs have proven the potential for delivering even faster 4G speeds and lower latency using mmWave.

The innovative mobile backhaul solution demonstration uses 26GHz test spectrum to connect the Parallel Wireless small cell on the Helikite to an Athonet virtualised Evolved Packet Core (EPC) on the ground using a PHAZR link.

EE and BT Labs are taking a leading role in developing technologies that will play a role in delivering future 5G mobile networks, including mmWave, Massive MIMO and network slicing – a new method of carving out specific ‘slices’ of an IP based network to support dedicated services delivered over future 5G networks. EE and BT are working towards enabling 5G in alignment with standards that will be set by mobile standardisation body 3GPP as part of their Release 15 update, which is scheduled for 2018.

Source: EE

Patients to take more control of healthcare with 5G

Ericsson has published its latest ConsumerLab report, From Healthcare to Homecare. The report reveals consumer insights into the impact of 5G on the future of healthcare and its transformation across preventative, routine, and post-operative care.

Patients take more control of healthcare with 5G

Ericsson ConsumerLab has more than 20 years’ experience of studying people’s behaviors and values, including the way they act and think about ICT products and services. Ericsson ConsumerLab provides unique insights on market and consumer trends.

  • Among main Ericsson ConsumerLab report findings, patients believe online consultation will reduce the pain of waiting times
  • Consumers to take more control over monitoring health with wearables when 5G improves reliability and security
  • Industry players are counting on increased online access to centralized patient data to positively impact healthcare services

The report states that next-generation networks will be pivotal in healthcare transformation, providing transmission efficiency in an ecosystem of feedback and alerts, mobility and low latency. The networks will become a vehicle for a range of applications, including remote monitoring through medical-grade wearables, virtual doctor-patient interaction, and remotely operated robotic surgery.

Key findings include the decentralization of healthcare moving from hospitals towards homes. Also, that patient data is becoming more centralized, turning hospitals into data centers. Increasing dependence on wearables and remote treatments makes 5G essential to provide reliable and secure services. Evolving consumer expectations, anytime patient data access, and increased internet use are also making way for non-traditional players to disrupt the healthcare industry.

This report covers insights from an online survey of 4,500 advanced smartphone/mobile broadband users in Germany, Japan, South Korea, the UK and the US plus an online survey of 900 decision makers across six industries in these countries – healthcare, insurance, medical technology companies, telecom operators, app developers/aggregators and government regulatory bodies.

Read the full report: Healthcare to Homecare

Source: Ericsson