Close
Close

Latest Headlines

Published

Pivotal Commware aims to drive 3GPP standards for beamforming

Massive MIMO antenna arrays, combined with beamforming, will be mainstays of 5G cell sites. The former greatly enhances capacity by allowing up to 1,024 antennas (more, no doubt, in future) to work in parallel; while beamforming enables them to be directed far more precisely, increasing performance and spectral efficiency. Pivotal Commware claims to be taking beamforming a step further with its technology, Holographic Beamforming, and is drumming up OEM and operator support to try to establish industry standards for the advanced approach to “beam management”. As with smart start-ups working on other potential enablers of high 5G performance – like mobile full duplex, for instance – Pivotal knows that, with technology operating at this fundamental radio level, success is reliant…

Read more

Published

UK’s fiber market diversifies again with new Vodafone and Elite moves

The UK has become something of a hotbed of activity by alternative fiber providers, aiming to reduce the power of BT’s Openreach wholesale division. CityFibre is one of these companies, and scored a significant boost to its plans last year when it secured Vodafone as a key partner. Vodafone, which has acquired wireline companies in markets like Germany and Spain, in order to move from mobile-only to quad play services, has more limited reach in its home market. It owns C&W Worldwide, but this is mainly focused on the enterprise, so CityFibre could provide an economical way to add fiber-to-the-premise (FttP) access, and small cell backhaul, to its portfolio. CityFibre said it would start work on its latest fibre network,…

Read more

Published

Google pushes its own solution to C-Band spectrum wrangle in USA

Google has openly criticized the FCC’s management of the critical C-band spectrum debate, claiming a third of all FCC-registered C-band satellite dishes are abandoned and calling the US regulator to free up spectrum for a new fixed wireless service. The tech giant has now weighed in with a potential solution which would apparently satisfy satellite, mobile and fixed wireless players – while simultaneously bashing the recent, similar plan from SES and Intelsat. By opening up a 100 MHz slice of spectrum at 3.7-3.8 GHz for mobile 5G in densely populated urban areas, Google claims this may enable some level of global harmonization – in a “win-win-win” situation. In a proposal submitted last week in collaboration with the BAC (Broadband Access…

Read more

Published

Huawei’s R&D spend sets it apart from its rivals, but it still has major challenges

In recent years, Huawei’s results announcements and annual reports have been in painful contrast with those of its main mobile network rivals, achieving growth and profits when Nokia and Ericsson have often been struggling for either. Another aspect that will make depressing reading for the European majors is revealed in its newly published 2017 report, which shows that it invested over 2.5 times more in R&D than its key competitors – which suggests it will only widen the gap between them. The report shows that R&D investment rose to $13.8bn in 2017, up from about $11.8bn the year before. The Chinese firm has already pledged to spend between $10bn and $20bn a year in R&D from this year on. Of…

Read more

Published

Apple’s planned new iPhone features do not address its central dilemma

It gets harder and harder for the big smartphone vendors to come up with an eye-catching new feature every year, and Apple is no exception to the rule, having been dogged for some years by accusations that it has lost its innovative touch. The iPhone X created a splash, but the firm will have to plan for more dramatic changes in future, if it is not to lose ground to the increasingly inventive Huawei, as well as incumbent Samsung and a host of up-and-coming firms from China and India. This is all the more urgent, since the company repeatedly fails to invent a whole new device which might reduce its dependence on its flagship product significantly. Tablets and watches have…

Read more

Published

Intel throws away a crown jewel, selling Wind River to investment firm TPG

Intel has a frustrating pattern of choosing the right companies to acquire, and then failing to capitalize on their advantages. Now, Wind River, in our view one of its most strategically important purchases of recent years, is joining a line that also includes DEC StrongARM/XScale, TI’s cable modems, Level One, Dialogic and Trillium. Intel is selling off Wind River to investment firm TPG (the same firm which acquired half of Intel’s McAfee unit last year). The company – headed by the unit’s current president Jim Douglas – is already pledging to pursue an aggressive strategy in Internet of Things (IoT), edge compute and intelligent devices. But those are all areas which Intel has identified as highly strategic, as it looks…

Read more

Published

Even where regulators are encouraging new players, risks remain

There are exceptions to the gloomy picture outlined in the previous item. As noted, Ireland – whose regulator, ComReg, has often awarded short term or low cost licences – awarded a 3.5 GHz licence to Airspan and another to fixed wireless provider Imagine. And it split the airwaves between rural and urban allocations to ensure 5G would reach country areas too. In total, in that auction (concluded in May 2017), 350 MHz of spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band were sold for more than €78m, split between upfront fees and usage charges. Vodafone Ireland won the biggest chunk, claiming 85 MHz for use in rural regions and 105 MHz for the cities, at a cost of €22.8m. Meteor, a subsidiary of…

Read more

Published

UK’s auction raises fears that 5G will be no kinder to new entrants than 4G

In our view, one of the most important factors which will determine whether 5G will be a commercial and socio-economic success is whether it will trigger the blowing apart of the tight circle of the mobile industry to date. This has been much discussed in terms of the supplier ecosystem. The combination of a virtualized, automated platform based on white box hardware, with the efficient and agile 5G radio, should allow mobile operators finally to achieve their long-held dream of introducing a wider variety of vendors into their domains, in a multivendor architecture with significantly reduced upfront and operating costs. But in opening up the platform and the supply chain, MNOs may also expose themselves to new competition. 5G is…

Read more

Published

Bouygues Telecom (France)

Bouygues’ OTT offering is the Bbox Miami TV Everywhere service. Bouygues also holds a 43% stake in TF1 which has its MyTF1 OTT platform.   Operations and figures: Bouygues Telecom made sales of €32.9 billion in 2017, up 4% against 2016, with operating profit of €1.42 billion, growing 27% year on year. There were 14.4 million mobile subscribers at the end of 2017, adding 490,000 in a year. It also has a fixed broadband subscriber base of 3.44 million, up 341,000 from the end of 2016. Subscriber figures for Bouygues Telecom’s Miami Bbox service have not been made public. Technology suppliers: Envivio encoding and Arkena for packaging. Bouygues started off using Cisco NDS middleware and later switched to iWedia middleware…

Read more

Published

Telefónica plans AI-automated 5G, Cisco pushes virtual telco-box code

This article originally ran in Riot’s sister-service, Wireless Watch. Click here to find out more about this service. Telefónica is one of the most vocal and enthusiastic operators about the 5G idea of a highly automated network, which can use artificial intelligence (AI) to plan and optimize a RAN dynamically according to the needs of particular use cases, and can proactively identify likely faults and heal itself. At the recent Zero Touch & Carrier Automation Congress, the Spanish carrier said it was planning to increase its investment in automation tools, including a “cognitive self-optimizing network (SON)” technology based on AI. This would see Telefónica making an early move towards what Rethink Technology Research, in its recent report about AI-driven SON,…

Read more

Published

Nvidia joins ARM’s Project Trillium, Intel’s brow gets visibly sweatier

ARM and Nvidia have announced a partnership that will combine Nvidia’s open source Deep Learning Accelerator software and framework (NVDLA) with ARM’s recently announce Project Trillium – to create a chip design that can be used for machine-learning and AI applications at the network edge. Essentially, this is a way for developers to take advantage of Nvidia’s development ecosystem, to more easily create applications for ARM-based chips. Project Trillium, announced in the run up to MWC, continues ARM’s strategy of designing chips that can then be licensed by other companies and manufactured. ARM had said that third-party designs could be integrated under the Trillium umbrella, and the Nvidia NVDLA seems to be the first instance of this. Strangely, Trillium won’t…

Read more

Published

Ambarella’s computer vision chip follow-up enters fraught market

Machine-vision silicon specialist Ambarella has revealed its CV2 processor, at a time when the market is asking what exactly went wrong in the Uber crash. Ambarella used a self-driving Lincoln MKZ to show off the capabilities of the system, driving it around Silicon Valley to prove its safety. The car, nicknamed EVA (Embedded Vehicle Autonomy), does not use LiDAR to navigate. It relies on a radar system and an array of Ambarella-powered cameras – six roof-mounted long-range cameras and four short-range units to cover the front, back, and sides. The complete aversion to LiDAR is pretty unique in the industry, with most automakers declaring the technology essential. For Ambarella, EVA’s camera-based process is obviously intended to prove the viability of…

Read more

Published

Fleet Complete steps on telematics gas, with DT and GM deals

  Telematics and fleet management provider Fleet Complete has announced two rather sizeable deals this week, as the company ramps up its expansion plans – funded by Madison Dearborn Partners. One deal with General Motors sees Fleet Complete integrate its management and telematics systems with GM’s OnStar connectivity system, and the other sees Deutsche Telekom partner with Fleet Complete to provide fleet management offerings to German customers. These telematics providers, of both hardware and services, are going to come under increased pressure in the coming decade, as the automakers try to integrate the services they provide directly into the vehicles – so that a telematics system can be provided fresh from the factory. But the specialist telematics vendors are going…

Read more

Published

Tesla nets first Solar Roof installation, still rather expensive

Tesla has announced that the first two installations of its new Solar Roof power system are up and running, using its roof-tile sized solar panels to charge one of its Powerwall home batteries. However, the two homes have paid quite a lot for the privilege of the near-unspottable solar system – between $50k and $100k. It’s still early days for the technology, which should come down in price as production scales. The first home to launch had spent ‘mid $50,000’ on the complete system, after discounts from the federal solar tax incentives, but only had one Powerwall battery. The other home, owned by Tri Huynh, has three of the batteries, and cost around $100,000, before government incentives were applied –…

Read more

Published

Itron and Sonnen sign storage partnership in demand-response push

Utility-focused technology and service provider Itron has announced a partnership with Sonnen, a German solar and storage provider that has made hay in Europe and Australia. The deal will see Itron integrate Sonnen’s SonnenBatterie Eco unit with Itron’s Demand Response Management System (DRMS), a system it hopes to sell to utility customers that are trying to use demand-response (DR) to smooth out their grid loads and cut their energy purchasing costs. Essentially, this gives Itron access to the Sonnen batteries installed in a utility’s market, so that Itron can aggregate the batteries to form a larger system. The batteries can be used to store or draw energy when needed, so that the utility can avoid buying or firing up the…

Read more

Published

Molotov (France)

French OTT video service Molotov launched in November 2016 Operations and figures: Molotov is not a public company, but in September 2016 it received a €4 million ($4.9 million) investment from UK operator Sky. French TV transmission company TDF is also a minority investor in Molotov. Molotov surged to 1 million users in around April 2017, just six months after launching, then hit 2 million active users in January 2018 and as of writing, the service spiked to 5 million. However, Molotov has yet to reach profitability and is aiming to do so when it reaches its target of 400,000 paid subscribers by 2021. Technology suppliers: Molotov uses live encoders from AWS Elemental. CastLabs supplies a multi-DRM system. We believe…

Read more

Published

OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

A data-driven video advertising unit will launch later this year within NCC Media, the cable media group owned by Comcast, Charter and Cox Communications. Comcast’s Media 360 advertising arm will combine resources with the partner firms to design, deploy and sell unified ad solutions across NCC’s footprint in the US, delivering targeted audiences across linear and VoD platforms – using “non-personally identifiable data and targeting capabilities.” Satellite transmission technology provider NovelSat has extended its partnership with French encoding firm Ateme, integrating its PCIe-based NS10C Satellite Modulator cards and NS20C Satellite Demodulator cards into Ateme’s Titan software converged headend. The tie up is targeting broadcasters launching HD and UHD transmission, with the joint system including high efficiency satellite signal modulation within…

Read more

Published

Synchronoss fleeing digital roots for IoT fruits

Some 17 years ago, white label messaging software supplier Synchronoss was handling all the back end components for AT&T following the arrival of the first iPhone. Today, the operator’s reliance on Synchronoss has slipped to managing “a number of services,” presumably as in-house technologies have grown in prominence, driving the vendor to develop software supporting what many operators are striving for in the future – ownership of the smart city. The US vendor is currently on a marketing spree spearheaded by two new faces, CEO Glen Lurie and CMO Mary Clark. Speaking to Faultline Online Reporter this week, Clark explained how Lurie’s 27 years at AT&T, primarily working on digital transformation including the integration of DirecTV, has proved pivotal to…

Read more

Published

Spotify IPO qualified success, but excess sellers crashes price

Spotify duly went public and it was fairly clear that the appetite for holding the stock was exceeded by the supply of shares. It made it possible that 55.7 million shares, out of 178 million were “allowed” to be sold, just under 31% of the company, by investors and insiders, and during the first day the stock began at $167.7 and slowly slipped as 30 million shares were absorbed by the market and began trading a day later around $141. You cannot just go one way with stocks – selling – without the share price falling. The company reached a valuation of $29.9 billion during the day, and has now fallen to something closer to $25 billion, still on the…

Read more

Published

Analyst – “Starry’s fixed wireless could be cheaper than 5G”

A note from US investment analyst Oppenheimer has been doing the rounds and a few US publications have picked up the idea that a new service from start-up Starry, would be cheaper for fixed wireless than the 5G pushes of either AT&T or Verizon. Certainly Starry is charging less, and says that it is offering 200 Mbps for $50 a month all in. We reported Starry back in the middle of last year, run by Chet Kanojia the one-time CEO of the now defunct Aereo. Kanojia is an expert in antennas, and essentially this is an antenna play. It uses 600 MHz of spectrum in the 37 to 37.6 GHz band, which the FCC has not yet finalized rules for,…

Read more

Close