Charter Considers Fixed Wireless for Business Services

    Charter Communications said this week that it is considering use of fixed wireless to buttress its business services. During its fourth quarter earnings call, CEO Tom Rutledge said that the MSO could use the technology in malls or business parks, according to FierceTelecom.

    The story does not specify that 5G would be the foundation of such a service. However, fixed wireless increasingly is seen as the first commercialized use of the revolutionary wireless platform.

    Charter’s residential and small- and medium-size business primary service units (PSU) increased by 418,000 units during the quarter. The operator’s numbers were down due to churn in the Time Warner Cable markets it acquired.

    Fixed wireless indeed will grow. Last week, ABI Research said that there will be more than 151 million broadband subscribers using the technology worldwide by 2022. That number represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30 percent.

    Deloitte Points to ‘Kinetic’ Change in the Enterprise

    Deloitte Consulting has released its eighth annual report on the state of technology. The title, “Tech Trends 2017: The Kinetic Enterprise,” suggests that the firm thinks that things are moving quickly.

    The key elements of the report, according to InformationWeek, are seven trends that Deloitte thinks are the most significant: dark analytics, machine intelligence, mixed reality, inevitable architecture, everything-as-a-service, blockchain and “nanotech, biotech, quantum and more.”

    The list has some unfamiliar items. For instance, dark analytics refers to “opportunities hidden within unstructured data.” Another unfamiliar term is mixed reality, which refers to both virtual reality and augmented reality (VR and AR). Finally, inevitable architecture describes “the rapid evolution away from inflexible, monolithic systems in IT in exchange for an approach that allows more flexibility and change.”

    Connected Cars at Risk

    Kaspersky’s SecureList issued what in essence is a warning about connected cars. In a blog post this week, the company tested seven proprietary mobile apps. The results, laid out in great detail, are not encouraging.

    The apps are not named. The sense of the post is that while it isn’t simple for the criminals to get control, it isn’t overly difficult. For instance, the first app seems destined to be problematic:

    The absence of integrity verification allows any interested individual to take the app, modify it at his own discretion, and begin distributing it among potential victims. Signature verification is sorely lacking. There is no doubt that such an attack will require an evildoer to make some effort – a user has to be conned into downloading the modified version of the app. Despite that, the attack is quite surreptitious in nature, so the user will not notice anything out of the ordinary until his car has been stolen.

    The idea that crackers can take over the electronics of a car is chilling. The Kaspersky post suggests that it is a real and immediate threat.

    Bluetooth Testing Gear Unveiled

    One of the signs that a technology is gaining in popularity is when there is an increase in equipment to test its performance. It’s simple logic: Manufacturers will only be interested in producing equipment to keep something up and running if there is good penetration of that product into the marketplace.

    This suggests that Bluetooth in general and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) in particular are doing well. RCR Wireless says that Bluetooth testing development has been a hot area recently and that two products were announced this week.

    LifePoint is partnering with ETS-Lindgren to offer an over the air test stem that will provide antenna measurement of BLE devices, the story says. The other product is from Teledyne, which introduced a Bluetooth Conformance Tester that tests Bluetooth 4.1, 4.2 and 5. It also tests BLE when used with a Sodera Wideband Bluetooth Protocol Analyzer.

    Verizon Buys Skyward

    It’s increasingly evident that drones have a tremendous upside to organizations. They can save time by, for instance, inspecting the inside of industrial towers without having to build the scaffolding necessary for a human to do so. They can also assess the damage of a tornado or forest fire quickly and safely.

    The bigger players therefore are moving in. Verizon this week said it bought Skyward, a privately held firm based in Portland, Oregon. Terms were not disclosed.

    The press release says that Skyward is an international provider of drone management capabilities. Its mandate is to improve safety and reduce operating costs. The technology, Verizon said, will provide a single work flow whenever drones are used.

    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 [email protected] and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.


    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk is a long-time IT and telecom journalist. His coverage areas include the IoT, artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence, drones, 3D printing LTE and 5G, SDN, NFV, net neutrality, municipal broadband, unified communications and business continuity/disaster recovery. Weinschenk has written about wireless and phone companies, cable operators and their vendor ecosystems. He also has written about alternative energy and runs a website, The Daily Music Break, as a hobby.

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