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10 January 2023

Round-up of highlights from the week’s news

Quectel adds new automotive 5G modules

IoT system provider Quectel Wireless Solutions has unveiled a range of 5G modules for automotive applications, its AG59x series.

The modules support C-V2X PC5 side channel direct local communications, bypassing public mobile networks, as well as improved location services, with a multicore application processor incorporating stronger security.

Like Quectel’s existing automotive products, the AG59x modules comply with the international IATF 16949:2016 automotive quality management system to address unique automotive device requirements such as high robustness and immunity against high temperatures.

Iliad and WindTre join forces to tackle Italy’s digital divide

Italian operators Iliad and WindTre have established a joint venture called Zefiro Net to reduce the country’s digital divide with rural 5G services.

With a 50% stake each, the pair will share cost and management of mobile networks in the country’s rural areas comprising 26.8% of the country’s total population.

The process involves transfer of some 7,000 rural mobile towers from the operators to Zefiro, along with about 50 staff. Italy’s Communications Regulatory Authority, Autorita per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni, Agcom, gave Iliad and WindTre the go-ahead for the venture in mid-2022.

Globe reaches 70 Philippine Cities With 5G

Philippine carrier Globe Telecom has more than doubled its 5G footprint during 2022, reaching 70 cities at the end of the year, according to the operator.

Globe also noted its 5G network is now available to almost all people in the National Capital Region (NCR), Davao City and Cebu.

The telco said its 5G covers 97% of the population in Bulacan, 95% in Cavite, 90% in Iloilo City and Zamboanga City, 88% in Tuguegarao City, 87% in Laguna, 84% in Pampanga and Cagayan De Oro City, 81% in Boracay, 80% in Bacolod City, 76% in Baguio City and 39% in Butuan City.

Globe has now tested and started deploying use cases for 5G Standalone (SA).

Verizon turns off 3G three years after original plan

Verizon became the last national MNO in the USA to turn off its 3G network on the final day of 2022, three years later than had been initially planned when the shutdown process was announced in 2016.

The carrier had indicated in March 2021 that it was helping customers with 3G devices, by then under 1% of the total, migrate to 4G or 5G-capable handsets.

AT&T phased out its 3G network in February 2022, while T Mobile USA has been rationalizing its network since its acquisition of Sprint completed in 2019. TMO finally shut down Sprint’s 3G CDMA network in March 2022, but has left its 2G network intact with no date yet announced for shutdown.