Ericsson Introduces 5G New Radio

Carl Weinschenk
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Ericsson said this week that it has introduced the first 5G NR (New Radio). Systems featuring the technology will be ready for deployment in 2017.

The AIR 6468 5G NR radio supports massive multiple in, multiple out (Massive MIMO) and multiple user MIMO (MU MIMO), the company said. It will team with other Ericsson equipment in a full suite of 5G components. In addition to MIMO capabilities, the AIR 6468 offers what the company says is a large number of steerable ports to facilitate beamforming. The radio also supports LTE networks.

Ericsson is moving aggressively on 5G and, perhaps more importantly, the timeframe across the industry appears to be shortening.

The Move to NFV Is Accelerating

The ramp up to network functions virtualization (NFV) seems to be accelerating as well. A service provider survey by IHS Markit revealed that 81 percent of carriers say they will deploy NFV by 2017 and that 59 percent said that they will deploy it this year. The reason is simple, according to the report at eWeek. The technology is needed:

The adoption is an indication of the growing need by telecommunications vendors to change their IT environments in order to meet the growing demand from customers for more performance and bandwidth and the need to more quickly spin out applications and services to those customers and partners.

Michael Howard, the senior research director for Carrier News for IHS, said that the survey results were an indication that NFV and software-defined networks (SDNs) are seen as fundamental shifts that will provide automation, more agile services, more revenue, operational efficiencies and savings. Howard added that NFV is seen as moving from lab tests and proof of concept trials into field deployments.

CA Appeals Court Dismisses FTC Case Against AT&T

Telecommunications is a litigious area. The docket just got a bit less crowded, however, as California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling and dismissed a suit brought against AT&T by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).


The FTC alleged in the suit, which was brought in 2014, that the carrier had violated section 5 of the FTC Act by not completely disclosing its data throttling practices, according to WirelessWeek. AT&T had claimed that it was exempt because it was a common carrier.

The question before the court was whether a carrier’s designation as a common carrier covers everything that company does or just those things associated with its common carrier status. The court sided with AT&T in the case.

FCC Won’t Appeal Municipal Network Decision

A second case of the courts’ dockets stems from a decision last month by the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The court dealt the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) a sound defeat by ruling that it didn’t have the right to preempt laws which gave states the right to control expansion of broadband networks. The cases stemmed from the desire of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilson, North Carolina, to expand their networks.

The FCC now says that it won’t appeal the decision. The New York Times reported this week that the FCC said an appeal would “not be the best use of Commission resources.”

It is possible that the situation could change over the long haul, however. The decision doesn’t say that Congress couldn’t vote to give the FCC the power in the future to control municipal broadband expansions. It just said that it doesn’t currently have that power.

CenturyLink to Provide Broadband to Denver-area Community

Lumiere Fiber and CenturyLink said this week that they will be the sole provider of broadband for residents of Sterling Ranch, a master-planned community in northwest Douglas County, Colorado.

The companies will offer gigabit per second over fiber.

The 1 Gbps services will cost $85 per month. Other services will be extra, the press release said. The community eventually will have 12,000 residents. CenturyLink recently opened the CenturyLink Solutions Store in Denver, where the announcement was made.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.

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