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21 June 2022

Round-up of highlights from the week’s news 

By Wireless Watch Staff

Google unwraps private 5G offering 

Google has joined fellow hyperscalers AWS and Microsoft and launched a private wireless networking offering, which it will sell direct to enterprises. This will compete not just with its peers but with wireless equipment makers such as Ericsson and operators such as Verizon. 


The portfolio is based on the Google Distributed Cloud Edge announced in 2021 for enterprises to run the Google Cloud inside their own locations. Google has announced some partners to sell its new private networking solutions portfolio: Betacom, Boingo, Celona, Crown Castle and Kajeet, each charged with reaching different sectors, or targeting specific use cases. 


India confirms 5G auction by end of July after enterprise ruling 

The Indian government is allowing enterprises to acquire spectrum for private networks directly from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), a decision that should break the deadlock over the country’s first 5G spectrum auction. This should now go ahead by the end of July, as targeted by the DoT.  


The Union Cabinet, chaired by prime minister Shri Narendra Modi, announced it had approved a proposal from the DoT to auction a total of 72 GHz of spectrum, valid for 20 years. 


The government also agreed to set a reserve price of INR3.2bn ($40.6m), according to a report by Reuters. The auction will offer licences in the 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2 .1 GHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.3 GHz and 26 GHz frequency bands. 


The government also confirmed there will be no mandatory requirement for successful bidders to make upfront payments, instead being able to spread it across 20 equal monthly instalments.  


Vodafone trials wind- and solar-powered mast in Wales 

Vodafone is trialling the UK’s first mobile phone mast powered solely by wind and solar in Wales, UK, to provide local 4G coverage as part of a vocal campaign to reach net zero for operations by 2027.  


The mast was developed in partnership with wind turbine technology specialists Crossflow Energy and mobile infrastructure firm Cornerstone, aiming to be self-sufficient for power even in light winds and dull days.  


Apart from meeting carbon reduction targets, the mast avoids the environmental impact of trenching to lay electricity cables and is well suited for installation in rugged terrain.  


Bell aims to cover 40% of Canadian population with 5G by end of 2022 

Bell Canada is the latest operator to adopt the ‘5G+’ marketing logo to describe a new iteration of its 5G service, embracing the 3.5 GHz spectrum it acquired in July 2021 for $2.07bn.  


AT&T also dubbed its latest 5G service unveiled in March 2022 ‘5G+’, in that case to reflect use of millimeter wave spectrum with a considerable speed increase.  


In Canada, Bell is more focused on coverage, aiming to reach 40% of the population by the end of 2022. “With our strong 3500 MHz spectrum position, we’re ready to take the country’s top-ranked 5G service even further, leveraging the full capabilities of the technology to help bridge the digital divide with enhanced broadband access for more rural and remote communities,” said the operator’s CTO Stephen Howe.