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Tag Archives: T-Mobile

T-Mobile Releases 2021 Scam, Robocall Report

T-Mobile has released what it called its first end-of-the-year Scam and Robocall Report, sharing data on how the the carrier kept customers protected against scams and unwanted robocalls in 2021. It said that data through early December 2021 shows that attempted scam call traffic hit all-time highs and jumped over 116 percent from 2020.

“Today, scam call attempts are clocking in at an average of 425 million calls every week,” a statement from T-Mobile reads. “The good news? T-Mobile Scam Shield has identified or blocked over 21 billion calls for T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers through early December 2021. In 2020, T-Mobile launched Scam Shield and was the first major wireless provider to help protect every customer against scammers — no special device, app or plan required.”

Jon Freier, president of T-Mobile’s Consumer Group, said that attempted scam calls hit record highs in 2021. He said that the company’s tools that protect against scam calls identified identified or blocked an average 1.8 billion calls each month — about 700 calls per second — for T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers.

“We are the only provider protecting every single customer with the free scam-fighting tools in Scam Shield, regardless of their plan or device,” said Freier. “We know that scammers won’t stop as long as they continue to be successful, so we are doing everything we can to make their job as hard as possible. Scam Shield leverages T-Mobile’s powerful network to help keep our customers protected in real time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

In 2021, T-Mobile continued to add features to Scam Shield, including improved Scam Reporting and eSIM support in the app, along with patented network tools to identify and block likely scam attempts, the company said.

T-Mobile 5G Launch Partner for Qualcomm Technologies Snapdragon Spaces Platform

T-Mobile has become the exclusive 5G launch partner in North America for Qualcomm Technologies’ new Snapdragon Spaces XR developer platform. In addition, via the T-Mobile Accelerator, T-Mobile will work directly with startups and developers using Snapdragon Spaces to build immersive 5G experiences for AR glasses across gaming, entertainment and other industries starting in spring 2022.

Qualcomm Technologies is working with T-Mobile US, Deutsche Telekom and others to help launch AR glasses as companions to smartphones. To help build the ecosystem of applications, T-Mobile engineers and business leaders will work directly with T-Mobile Accelerator participants as they develop, test and bring to market new products and services built on the Snapdragon Spaces platform.

Neville Ray, T-Mobile president of technology.

“5G is powering more immersive experiences that better connect us to people and things around the world, and glasses will be one of the first disruptive new product categories,” said Neville Ray, president of technology at T-Mobile. “AR glasses will make a real impact for both businesses and consumers, but first we need to build the ecosystem of developers that will bring new applications to life, and Snapdragon Spaces is a critical step in making this happen.”

With Snapdragon Spaces, developers are equipped with resources to create immersive consumer and enterprise AR applications. The platform enables developers to build 3D applications for AR glasses from scratch, or simply add head-worn AR features to existing Android smartphone applications for a unified, multi-screen experience between the smartphone screen in 2D and the real world in 3D.

5G in 2027?

Perspective by Ernest Worthman

Amid all the chatter about how “5G has arrived” and the constant barrage of news bytes that 5G will change the world and has hit new data speeds, yada, yada, yada, comes a reality check from an unlikely media source in the computer world – PCMag (PCRag, as I like to call it).

PCMag is a consumer pub that spends more time doing happy camper surveys between ads about curing dementia and toenail fungus. It likes to talk about things such as who is the fastest internet provider, tips and tricks on Windows optimization, kicking your kids off of Wi-Fi, and finding hidden secrets of apps like Tic Toc and Facebook, rather than providing serious discussions about wireless technology. Every once in a while, it does seem to hit a 5G nail on the head. In this case, PCMag commented on a Finnish report that noted reliable and somewhat pervasive 5G will not arrive before 2027.

I have been hard on the industry hype that claims any real presence of 5G. Sure, deployment and coverage of 5G will become increasingly visible in what I like to call islands, as the rollout proceeds. However, these islands will only offer limited footprints for some time to come. But, as the PCMag journalist pointed out, being able to use 5G for your primary communications network, consistently, is years away.

How one sees 5G is subjective and depends upon a number of factors, just like how one sees quantum computing (QC). Yes, we have a couple of — if one stretches the envelope — quantum computers. They are housed in a sterile environment kept at zero degrees Kelvin. They are highly susceptible to movement, vibration, even looing at it with an evil eye, and must be kept in extremely stable environments. Under these conditions, they do function as quantum computers. In reality, depending upon with whom one speaks, opinions vary from “yes, we have” to “practical quantum computing” is likely a couple of decades off (Gartner, expes at least 10 more years of hype, according to a recent report). However, the unqualified answer to that question is no, we do not have real QC now.

This kind of pushing the envelope is commonplace. Not just with QC, but also with platforms such as wireless, autonomous vehicles and smart X, as well as technologies such as dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) virtualization, software-defined networking (SDN) and O-RAN. In all of these cases, we can say it has arrived, but as well, in all of these cases, the technology or platform is nascent.

Porting that to 5G, if we had listened to the hypsters, we have had 5G since 2019. Do you remember AT&T’s attempt to sell 5G by issuing phone updates that changed the 4G icon to 5GE? Over the last year or so, we have deployed 5G, but only as non-standalone (NSA).

However, these deployments are isolated islands of 5G, with minimal performance (read: performance is not much better than 4G). Does that mean we have 5G? Or does having 5G mean we have the ubiquitous 5G deployments and performance hitting the hype that has been levied these past couple of years? Add to that the fact that only 4 percent of respondents in a Morgan Stanley report said they would switch carriers to access new technologies like 5G. To me, this does not sound like we have 5G.

Another set of financials released by Elisa, a wireless carrier in Finland, on the operator’s 5G launch said it made $3.50 per month per customer from 5G. However, the details are sketchy, and the report does not break down that number further.

Most carriers, globally, are calling 5G a success and throwing out figures and hype that make it sound like 5G is on a fast track. Perhaps that is true in countries like Korea and China, but in the western hemisphere, carriers are simply exaggerating what the numbers really mean. And the hype continues.

Although it is old news now, recall when T-Mo got caught exaggerating claims of 5G being nationwide. Also, remember the National Advertising Division of BBB National Programs examined some of T-Mobile’s claims about having the best 5G network and found that they were potentially misleading to customers.

T-Mo does have a good dispersion of 5G at the lower frequencies they use. However, the benefits of 5G are not as spectacular in lower frequencies as they are at frequencies with more available bandwidth (above 6 GHz). Hence, while T-Mo may cover 200 million people, that coverage is qualified with location — not everywhere or all the time — and performance. Typically, T-Mo’s 5G at these frequencies only comes in at just over 100 Mbps. Although that is a two-to-three-times improvement over typical 4G data speeds (~35 Mbps), it is not nearly the super-speeds of the hype — although that may change somewhat when they bring the midband spectrum they acquired from the merger with Sprint online.

Other carriers, such as AT&T and Verizon, are working at mmWave frequencies. These do deliver significantly faster speeds. However, we are all aware of the propagation and penetration shortcomings of mmWave in large-area coverage and building penetration. Therefore, they are more working with siloed deployments in dense, high-traffic areas in cities, stadiums and, soon, airports, campuses and other similar footprint areas. Where these limited mmWave networks are deployed, the speeds are impressive — anywhere from 600 Mbps to 1.5 Gbps in the most stellar installations. Yet, in other than a few shining examples, the hype still continues.

Okay, circling back to the issue of do we or do we not have 5G — IMHO, as with QC, the unqualified answer is no, and the qualified answer is yes, but it is still nascent. I tend to agree that it will be years before we can say we have a 5G network that meets the expected performance of the 3GPP specs and does so with a large enough global footprint so much of the time the user has access to it.

The best perspective comes from an observation that emerged from the recent Brooklyn 6G Summit. The overall consensus was that 5G has a long way to go, with much that needs to be learned and applied in 5G, before we tackle 6G. That knowledge base will be what shapes the future beyond 5G (B5G), years from now.

Ernest Worthman is an executive editor with AGL Media Group.

T-Mobile’s Dow Draper Talks 5G Home Internet, ‘Layer Cake’ Spectrum Strategy

By Mike Harrington

Dow Draper, T-Mobile executive vice president of emerging products.

Speaking on Sept. 21 at the CCA 2021 Annual Convention in Phoenix, T-Mobile’s Dow Draper touted his company’s massive, $40 billion multiyear plan to offer 5G broadband plans nationwide for rural, suburban and urban markets — and revealed its latest forays into the home internet market. That same morning, T-Mobile announced it had expanded its 5G T-Mobile Home Internet into 51 cities and towns in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Draper, executive vice president of emerging products at T-Mobile, said he believes his carrier (dubbed the “Un-carrier” in a company marketing campaign) is fast becoming a serious competitor to the much-maligned cable companies — and is seeking to disrupt their monopolistic business practices. He said that T-Mobile has partnered with YouTube TV and now offers dynamic 5G home internet and TV plans that are half the price that cable companies charge, with new and better fixed-wireless technologies that eliminate broadband gaps.

“We’ve taken all the crap out of cable,” Draper said. “T-Mobile Home Internet means no more unwanted TV stations in packages, no cable holes drilled in your home’s walls, no waiting for the cable guy, no hidden fees and taxes, no contracts, no price increases.” A Nokia-made T-Mobile Home Internet Gateway serves as modem and router, creating 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi home networks. The fixed price is about $55 a month for the high-speed internet and about $50 more to add home TV.

Looking at T-Mobile’s bigger picture, Draper said, “The pandemic really changed many things but it also highlighted the importance of high-speed internet.” He said Sprint and T-Mobile coming together has created unheard-of 5G synergies in the wireless industry — particularly related to the fixed wireless internet.

“We have an opportunity to significantly improve our growth and penetration in small markets in rural America,” Draper said. “Sprint and T-Mobile had very low penetration in those markets before, but together we’re expanding coverage, we’re deploying our long-range 5G capacity and even our ultra-capacity 5G. So, this gives us a chance to be very relevant in our coverage and to continue expanding that to bring our ‘un-carrier’ ways to customers, including home internet.”

Draper said that T-Mobile’s most important endeavor is probably its quickly expanding network. “We are building a network the likes of which this country has never seen,” he said. “It’s a $40 billion, multiyear investment — and we are driving super-hard to realize this opportunity.” In fact, T-Mobile has committed to the FCC that it will build out 5G in rural markets over the next few years, providing 99 percent of Americans with access to speeds of at least 50 Mbps and 90 percent of the U.S. population with speeds of at least 100 Mbps.

“When Sprint and T-Mobile merged,” Draper said, “the spectrum positions available to the company allow it pursue a strategy that T-Mobile President of Technology Neville Ray called the ‘layer cake.’ That means we have low-band spectrum of extended range 5G that allows us to drive lots of coverage. We have deep, deep capacity in our mid-band spectrum that allow us to deliver the capacity needed to serve so many applications, and so many services at high speeds. Of course, we have millimeter-wave on top that allow us in targeted area to deliver capacity that we need. Our competitors just did the millimeter-wave. They had to follow our strategy and are two years behind.”

Draper expects T-Mobile to enjoy a significant 5G advantage for years to come. He said the company’s biggest challenge is how to bridge the nation’s urban, suburban and, especially, rural broadband gap. “We think there are ways to do this other than running cable,” he said. “Solving the nation’s broadband gap is going to take multiple technologies — satellite, fiber, fixed wiring and cable. But Americans need solutions now, and T-Mobile offers a great solution — that’s our fixed wiring internet.”

T-Mobile now covers more than 305 million people with its Extended Range 5G network — “nearly everyone in the country,” Draper said, “covering 1.7 million square miles — more than AT&T and Verizon combined.” According to T-Mobile, 150 million of those people are covered with Ultra Capacity 5G, which can deliver download speeds of 350 Mbps with peaks up to 1 Gbps.

“Coming out of the pandemic, we will still have millions without high-speed internet,” Draper said. “In fact, the Biden administration says there are 30 million household with no access to high-speed internet. We’re deploying 5G at capacity across the entire country, but these things take time to build.”

Mike Harrington is a contributing editor.

T-Mobile to Bolster 25 Small Towns Nationwide

By Don Bishop

Twenty-five small towns selected to receive grants from wireless communications carrier T-Mobile proposed community development projects to improve their communities. The carrier, which provides wireless communications services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile and Sprint, has committed $25 million to what it calls hometown grants over the next five years. Additionally, according to T-Mobile, it plans to hire 7,500 new employees in small towns and rural communities during the five years.

Earlier in September, T-Mobile said, it named Woodstock, Illinois, to receive a prize package worth $3 million. On Sept. 23, T-Mobile named 25 additional grant recipients.

T-Mobile said that Altmore, Alabama, will receive a grant to provide an internet technology lab and computer furnishings in a former Atmore hardware store. A grant to Wedowee, Alabama, will be used to renovate a town-owned home to be operated as a safe home for abused women and their children. The grant to Clarksville, Arkansas, will be used to beautify and create the Levee Amphitheatre, a public space for the community.

According to T-Mobile, Mammoth Lakes, California, will receive a grant to install and operate a free, pet-friendly dog park that encourages community inclusion, fosters connections and enhances public safety. Grant-winner Dixon, Illinois, is set to use the money to revitalize the Dixon Historic Theatre, which plans to become a full-time performing arts center. The winning grant proposal from Batesville, Indiana, will bring money from T-Mobile to develop and design Inspiration Park in commemoration of 2020’s 100th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, honoring the legacy of women who have shown vision and tenacity to become significant contributors to the Batesville Community, the carrier said.

An additional grant winner, Fruitland, Idaho, intends to purchase and install youth playground equipment in a new city park, according to T-Mobile. The company said that grant recipient Fort Scott, Kansas, will use its money to create a downtown greenspace with an addition of an entrance pavilion and walkway at Market Street Pavilion on Skubitz Plaza. Lake Orion, Michigan, said it would use grant money from T-Mobile to enhance Green’s Park by installing a new pavilion and playground.

Oxford, Mississippi, another hometown grant recipient, will transform an underused space in Oxford’s Courthouse Square into a new urban park that offers residents and visitors with a place to gather, T-Mobile said. Laurinburg, North Carolina, intends to install a dog park, and Robersonville, North Carolina, intends to create a vibrant public space with covered stage and gardens that can be enjoyed by citizens and community organizations, according to the wireless carrier.

A proposal to add wayfinding signage to community parks and other town amenities won a grant from T-Mobile to Boiling Springs, North Carolina. Raton, New Mexico, intends to use its hometown grant to purchase and install monument signage and wayfinding signage to make town more inviting to visitors and increase walkability, as well as driving directions and to increase connectivity among the various parts of the town, T-Mobile said. In Bowling Green, Ohio, the town will use T-Mobile grant money to install what it called parklets, which are public gathering spaces created by converting parking into vibrant community spaces that can be used by the public and adjacent businesses for seating, dining, retail and art displays.

The town of Aumville, Oregon, will use its grant to create space for small businesses to use for Saturday Market Days and to support park use with a community gathering space, T-Mobile said. It said Talent, Oregon, would use its grant to revitalize space in the Depot Building to help it be a focal point of gathering, collaboration and innovation. A grant going to Toledo, Oregon, will be used to transform rural Main Street through business beautifications and murals, which the town’s grant proposal said would lead to a vibrant, economically resilient downtown corridor.

Grant money going to Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, will be used to improve the historic downtown district to create a safer and more walkable open space for restaurants, shopping and community events, T-Mobile said. Pittston, Pennsylvania, has plans to use its grant for an art trail, plants, benches and QR plaques, and South Fayette Township, Pennsylvania, will use its grant to complete the Fairview baseball complex as a part of a community and park hub featuring pavilions, walking paths, a dog park and a splash pad.

According to T-Mobile, Erwin, Tennessee will use grant money from the carrier to complete construction of Phase 1 of the O’Brien Watershed Bike and Hike Park trails, parking lot and trailhead. A proposal from Elgin, Texas, to convert an undeveloped, city-owned lot into am accessible outdoor classroom with public Wi-Fi and shade won a grant from T-Mobile, the carrier said.

Helper City, Utah, will use T-Mobile grant money to beautify its historic Main Street with dark sky-compliant lighting, planters, benches and landscaping, T-Mobile said. It said that Moses Lake, Washington, would use a hometown grant to set up a creative community incubator that will have art, live music, events, a lounge and a maker space; which the town’s grant proposal said would provide everything a person needs to feel inspired and channel their inner creativity.

“These incredible projects spark innovation, ingenuity and hard work that have always been the hallmark of our nation’s small towns,” said Jon Freier, executive vice president of T-Mobile’s Consumer Group. “From beautifying historic main streets to building all-new retail spaces, pop-ups and parks, this is part of our commitment to rural America, and we can’t wait to see all these creative plans come to life.”

T-Mobile said that it collaborated with Main Street America and Smart Growth America, two consultants with a combined experience of more than 60 years working to help build stronger, more prosperous small towns and rural communities. Together, T-Mobile said, they determined the grant recipients based on detail and fullness of the submission, the effect on the community and the viability of the project, among other factors. A statement from T-Mobile said that the group of 25 grant recipients is the first among many, because recipients will be selected and would be awarded grants on a quarterly basis. It said towns with populations less than 50,000 are eligible and encouraged to apply.

“These grant recipients demonstrate the creativity and passion for places we’ve seen in Main Street communities for decades,” said Main Street America’s president and CEO Patrice Frey.

Smart Growth America’s president and CEO, Calvin Gladney, said that his organization is committed to the resilience of America’s small towns, having worked in scores of towns and cities in rural places over the past 12 years.

“Each of the 25 towns selected to receive a T-Mobile grant demonstrated their imagination and commitment to a project that will enliven a sense of place and lift the lives of their citizens,” Gladney said.

T-Mobile said that its hometown Grants represent one of many initiatives underscoring its commitment to rural America.

“Beyond amazing deals on plans and new devices, the Un-carrier’s unleashed a new broadband service available to nearly 10 million rural households — T-Mobile Home Internet — and a commitment to build hundreds of new stores and create 7,500 new jobs supporting the wireless needs of communities across rural America,” a statement from T-Mobile reads. “More than just bringing wireless, T-Mobile wants to be part of the community and help small towns thrive.”

T-Mobile has made details available for submitting proposals for hometown grants at www.t-mobile.com/brand/hometown-grants.

Don Bishop is executive editor and associate publisher of AGL Magazine.