Gartner: The Growth of Wearables Is Accelerating

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    Gartner released research this week that predicts that 274.59 million wearable devices will be sold this year. That is a significant jump from the firm’s belief that 232 million units were sold in 2015. Next year, the firm believes that there will be an even larger jump, with 322.7 million units sold.

    Commentary in the story credits Apple with driving the increases, which will total 48 percent from last year through 2017. Smartwatches, the story says, have the greatest revenue potential and will be worth $17.5 billion in 2019. The story says that the head-mounted device category will grow exponentially. Last year, only 140,000 units were sold. That number will rise to 6.3 million next year.

    Canonical Unveils Aquaris

    Canonical, the commercial side of the Ubuntu open source operating system, this week unveiled the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet.

    The project emerged from the unsuccessful attempt to create an open source operating system (OS) spanning the mobile and desktop worlds. It is, according to Network World’s Ben Kepes, the first of a planned series. He used the device for a year and says that it is significantly different from the established mobile OSes:

    Rather than being completely application-centric, as is the case for the other platforms, Ubuntu introduced ‘Scopes’ mobile pages, which are essentially aggregation destinations for web content. As an example, a ‘nearby’ scope might show local weather, local foreign exchange rates, and local sightseeing options. Scopes are a great way for a new player, without an existing mobile customer base or application ecosystem, to more rapidly build up functionality for their users.

    AT&T to FCC: Let Us Try 5G in Austin

    WirelessWeek – working off a tweet from consultant Steve Crowley – says that AT&T has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to grant it experimental licenses to test 5G in four bands.

    The story points out that AT&T is doing so despite its stated skepticism over claims by Verizon Wireless that it is ready to test the technology.

    In general, experts peg 2020 as the likely date for 5G’s arrival. Either the carriers really are ready to test at least some elements this early or are saying so for public relations’ sake. The bands AT&T is asking access to are 3.4-3.6 GHz; 3.7-4.2 GHz; 14.5-15.35 GHz and 27.5-28.5 GHz, according to the story.

    Bluetooth Bulks Up

    The Bluetooth Special Internet Group (SIG) is upping the functionality of the ubiquitous wireless protocol. Computerworld reports that the upgraded standard, which may show up in products next year, will transmit faster and over longer distances.

    The story says that the approximate range will increase from about the size of a room to a house and that the speed will double to 2 Megabits per second (Mbps). The numbers of Bluetooth are staggering: Analysts say that about 3 billion devices with the protocol shipped in 2015 and that 50 million will ship by 2020, according to the story.

    Deutsche Telekom Testing XG.FAST

    Lightreading reports that Deutsche Telekom and Alcatel-Lucent tested XG.FAST, a next-generation digital subscriber line (DSL) technology. The goal of the protocol is to achieve very high data rates over copper for very short distances.

    The tests reached data rates of 11 Gbit/s on two bonded pairs of copper for about 50 meters, according to Nokia, which now owns Alcatel-Lucent. The company reported that the tests also trafficked data at 8 Gigabits per second (Gbps) for 50 meters and 1 Gbps for 70 meters over standard drop cable.

    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 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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