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Carr, Simington Disappointed FCC Relieves Wireless Carriers of Public Safety Obligations

FCC Commissioners Brendan Carr and Nathan Simington issued a joint statement in response to the settlement agreements the FCC announced on June 3 between the agency’s Enforcement Bureau and AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon regarding the carriers’ obligations to provide certified lifesaving 911 vertical location information within 3 meters:

“In an emergency, every second counts,” the statement reads “That’s why the FCC adopted rules in 2015 that can save lives by helping first responders quickly locate 911 callers. Through a series of decisions, the FCC required wireless carriers to identify the location of 911 callers within 3 vertical meters for 80 percent of all covered calls by April of this year. The full Commission determined that holding wireless carriers to this standard was technically feasible and would potentially save over 10,000 lives per year — including the lives of first responders going into harm’s way.

“So we were surprised and disappointed to learn through a news release that FCC leadership decided to relieve wireless carriers of their certification requirement. The FCC is letting wireless carriers off the hook in exchange for $100,000 and a promise to provide whatever vertical location information they may have — however inaccurate it may be. This agreement, negotiated without any input from our offices, is a bad deal for public safety.”

Resource: FCC Secures Live-saving Commitments

Source: FCC

FCC Secures Live-saving Commitments From Wireless Carriers to Deliver 911 Vertical Location Information Nationwide Within Seven Days

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has announced what she called breakthrough agreements with America’s three largest mobile phone providers to start delivering vertical location information in connection with 911 calls nationwide in the coming days.

“This information will help first responders quickly locate 911 callers in multistory buildings, which will reduce response times and ultimately save lives,” a statement from the federal agency reads..

The FCC adopted rules to improve location information for 911 wireless calls in 2015. Those rules required nationwide wireless providers to deploy dispatchable location or meet certain z-axis location accuracy requirements in the nation’s largest 25 markets by April 3, 2021, and to certify to such deployment by June 2, 2021. According to the statement, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon sought an extension of these deadlines, based in part on challenges with testing z-axis solutions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, the FCC announced an Enforcement Bureau inquiry into these providers’ compliance with the FCC’s deadlines as well as the current capabilities of z-axis solutions.

“To improve public safety and greatly speed up nationwide implementation of vertical location information, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau reached settlements with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon that resolve the investigations,” the statement reads. “The settlements require each company to start providing wireless 911 callers’ z-axis location information to 911 call centers within seven days; to implement a compliance plan that includes specific testing, reporting, and public interest conditions; and to pay a $100,000 settlement amount.”

According to the FCC, these enforceable commitments extend beyond the 25 largest metropolitan areas required under FCC rules and instead assure that vertical location information will be made available to public safety entities nationwide. The settlements also will provide public safety stakeholders with greater visibility into industry progress toward dispatchable location and floor-level accuracy and guidance on receiving and using z-axis information. Under these agreements, the FCC, carriers, and public safety can move forward collaboratively to better protect American lives.

“Six years is too long to wait for 911 vertical location information that can save lives,” said Rosenworcel. “These settlements accomplish what has evaded the agency for too long: They ensure that the FCC, public safety and wireless carriers work together to immediately start delivering this information to first responders without further delay. They also ensure that we are improving our 911 location accuracy capabilities everywhere in the country and not just in the top 25 markets. This progress will advance important public safety objectives and benefit all Americans.”


The settlements, formally called Consent Decrees, are available at:

Source: FCC

Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T CEOs Talk Fixed Wireless at J.P. Morgan Conference

By Mike Harrington


At J.P. Morgan’s 49th Annual Telecom, Media and Communications (TMC) Conference, a virtual experience held May 24-26, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert and AT&T CEO John Stankey talked about the role that fixed wireless will play at their companies. The CEOs spoke during separate company forums, either interviewed by analysts from J.P. Morgan and queried by company shareholders, at the event.

Verizon’s Vestberg said that the convergence between fixed wireless and mobile presents no risk for his company. “We don’t see it as a risk — we see it as a huge opportunity, “he said. “I mean, of course we have broadband in our Fios footprint which is doing extremely well at the moment because broadband is a necessity in our society. Now outside that footprint, we can now actually get broadband business which is basically for us, yes net new revenues. So, I see it as a great opportunity rather than a risk. I see it is an opportunity also that I have so many customers on wireless and knows my brand and know how well we’re performing, and that also will be extremely interesting in our fixed wireless access.

“We have now been working for two and a half years with our portfolio on fixed wireless access, all the way from the network, from the devices, from how to self-install, to the building, to the pricing, to the offerings on top of it,” Vestberg said. “And I said, this year we’re going to go for 50 million households a combination of 4G, the 5G mmWave and C-Band, so we’re opening up open for sale right now and that side is a great opportunity rather than any risk at all.”

Speaking at his company’s forum, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said his company’s rural plans not only include mobile, but also fixed wireless. The company last month made 5G Home Internet fixed wireless available to 30 million U.S. households, including 10 million in rural areas.

T-Mobile made a wide range of commitments involving rural areas as a condition of regulatory approval of the Sprint merger, which means that the company’s focus on rural areas is not discretionary but mandatory. At that time, the company also launched what it calls T-Mobile Hometown — an initiative that will bring T-Mobile retail stores to hundreds of small towns over the next two years. Sievert noted that T-Mobile’s competitive position varies from one rural market to another, however. “We class every location” based on the extent to which “we have a full license to win,” he said.

AT&T’s Stankey said that fixed wireless will play a larger role in the company’s future — a strategy that differs from Verizon’s take at the same conference.  AT&T appears to be looking to fixed wireless as a way to retire DSL in its non-fiber markets, rather than go on the offense in urban areas. The company has already stopped taking new orders for DSL. Asked by a J.P. Morgan analyst when an AT&T fixed wireless product would be ubiquitous across the operator’s footprint, Stankey pegged the 2023 timeframe for covering most people in the United States.

“You know, we’re not as robust in our point of view on what fixed broadband can do in urban and highly attractive suburban areas, but what we do believe is that fixed wireless plays a role in other parts of our footprint,” Stankey said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of his interview. “There’s no question where we’ve had lower speed, you know, DSL . . . that a fixed wireless solution in the outer reaches of what used to be ILEC footprint, could be a good solution for us, and for those customers.”

Mike Harrington is a contributing editor.

Samsung Introduces C-band Network Solutions Portfolio

Samsung Electronics has developed a C-Band network solutions portfolio to help U.S. mobile operators deliver advanced 5G service in the mid-band spectrum. According to information disclosed by the company, with this line-up, operators can deliver high performance and efficiently expand the coverage of their networks, while providing enhanced 5G experiences to users in both indoor and outdoor environments.

C-Band refers to mid-band spectrum ranging from 3.7 GHz to 4.2 GHz, Samsung explained, of which a total of 280 megahertz between 3.7 GHz and 3.98 GHz was auctioned by the FCC earlier this year. The spectrum will play a critical role in helping operators provide 5G wireless communications service with high performance, advanced features and wide coverage for users in the United States. Samsung said its new C-Band portfolio includes the latest advanced radios, such as massive MIMO radio, indoor solutions and network optimization tools.

Backed by Samsung’s commercial experience delivering 5G network solutions in the mid-band spectrum in leading markets, the company offers U.S. operators a range of C-Band solutions to deliver on the promise of 5G. Samsung’s C-Band portfolio includes:

Massive MIMO radio: Samsung’s C-band massive MIMO radio has 3D beamforming and supports the auctioned spectrum range of 280 megahertz. The radio will support the latest MIMO technologies, including tripling the bandwidth capacity and doubling the output power compared with prior generations. In addition, the radio enables flexible installation for operators deploying 5G. Samsung’s C-band massive MIMO radio is commercially available, and thousands of units have already been shipped to the United States.

Outdoor radio: A compact, lightweight radio with eight antennas – which can operate in bi-sector or tri-sector modes – will be introduced as Samsung’s new 8T8R radio. By bringing greater flexibility in deployment to operators, the new radio is best suited for rural deployments. The product will be available in the second half of 2021.

Micro Radio: To address various C-band deployment environments and scenarios, Samsung is introducing a micro radio, designed for dense urban environments. Through easy installation, such as on light poles in cities, the radio will offer operators the ability to fill coverage holes and gain broader 5G coverage with more efficiency. The product will be available in early 2022.

Indoor 5G Solutions: Last year, Samsung revealed its Link portfolio, a range of 5G indoor solutions that includes Link HubPro and Link Hub. Both will be expanded to support C-band to bring 5G indoors. Samsung’s Link HubPro is an active antenna solution with indoor radios and hub, supporting scalable indoor deployment, while Samsung’s Link Hub is for places with an existing distributed antenna systems (DAS), providing coverage in public venues (i.e., offices, stadiums and shopping centers). It uses legacy passive antenna systems for fast, easy 5G upgrades. These indoor solutions will be available early 2022.

C-band Network Optimization Tools: Samsung introduces two new C-band network deployment and management solutions. First, the Earth Station Protection Solution, commercially available now, enhances C-band networks by preventing interference between a base station and a satellite earth station. Second, Samsung’s time-division duplex (TDD) interference manager is a central coordinator that manages remote interference between cells in TDD networks, enhancing the performance of the C-band network. The TDD interference manager will be available early 2022.

“Samsung is proud to help operators deploy 5G networks in the C-band spectrum with our expansive portfolio of solutions,” said Junehee Lee, executive vice president and head of research and development for networks business at Samsung Electronics. “C-Band spectrum is foundational for delivering 5G networks with high performance and wide coverage. Our complete C-Band solutions portfolio offers U.S. operators greater flexibility in 5G deployments, which will help drive new business models and opportunities.”


C-Band Acceleration

With Samsung’s C-band massive MIMO radio commercially available, units have been shipped for use in Verizon’s state-of-the-art network.

“Verizon has been leading the way with building our 5G Ultra Wideband service on mmWave spectrum using Samsung’s robust mmWave equipment offerings and now, by adding C-band spectrum to this portfolio, we are perfectly positioned to deploy the fastest, most powerful 5G experience to the most people – or as we call it, 5G built right,” said Adam Koeppe, senior vice president of technology planning at Verizon. “We are accelerating our deployment efforts with the support of our partners like Samsung so that our customers will see the benefits of expanding 5G Ultra Wideband service shortly after the C-band spectrum is cleared later this year.”

Bob O’Donnell, president and chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research, said that the arrival and deployment of mid-band frequencies like C-band in the U.S. market is going to lead to an explosion of 5G usage and new applications. “Samsung’s industry-leading C-band portfolio will be critical in helping operators accelerate the buildout of their 5G networks to provide enhanced 5G experiences to users, covering indoor and outdoor applications, as well as urban and rural deployments,” he said.

Samsung Networks has pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end solutions including chipsets, radios and core, according to the Samsung statement. “Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio from fully virtualized RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools,” the statement reads. “The company is providing network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users around the world.”

Source: Samsung

Corning, Verizon Combine to Bring mmWave 5G Indoors

By J. Sharpe Smith, Senior Editor

A laptop with a view. (Courtesy WeWork)

After successful trials in September, Verizon Business and Corning have begun installing Verizon’s 5G mmWave small cell service in Verizon retail locations and in WeWork flexible office space locations.

“We are trying to enable a cost-effective way to get 5G deployed inside an enterprise,” said Michael O’Day, vice president of Corning Optical Communications. “We are creating a cell inside a building that covers 2,000 to 4,000 square feet, depending on the density of users.”

Corning’s indoor 5G solution features a fully integrated baseband unit – radios and antennas – which uses Corning’s composite cable (fiber for data transmission and copper for power) instead of a coaxial cable used for DAS or a CAT 5 cable used for Wi-Fi. The integrated baseband unit fits into a 1u 19-inch rack, which is typically situated on-prem, but the software could be located in a centralized location. The controller works in two different directions, integrating back into the Verizon core network and forward connecting to multiple radio nodes.

Verizon’s 5G network is currently based on higher frequencies in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands, known as the millimeter-wave band. These bands are known for wide channels, high speeds, low latency and short propagation. Integrators will be on a learning curve to deploy millimeter-wave technology indoors, because of the different propagation characteristics.

“You have to be smart about where you place the radios to maximize the coverage based on knowing the location of the walls, doors and windows, and there will be more radio nodes because the millimeter waves don’t penetrate through walls very well,” O’Day said. “Engineering and designing 5G inside a building is difficult, so our architecture makes it easy to put radios in the spots where people need the most bandwidth.”

He envisions future in-building wireless networks designed with a mix of 5G small cells and 4G LTE small cells to provide optimized coverage and capacity.

Every carrier has licensed frequencies in a variety of bands that it has acquired over the years and has a different strategy based on those spectrum holdings. Corning will enable those operators to deploy indoor 5G systems over a variety of spectrum bands.

“I think you are going to see a lot of 5G delivered over C band in buildings, because it gives you the ability to provide more bandwidth that is more affordable and because it may not require as much densification,” O’Day said.

John Madden, chied analyst at Mobile Experts, said the Corning system is one of several technologies with which Verizon is experimenting for indoor 5G coverage.

“I consider this next year as a time of experimentation for indoor 5G technologies to see which ones are most effective and most economical, and then we will see those ramp up,” Madden said. “I think this Corning announcement is pretty promising, because it is a decent product that is worth watching.”

Some buildings may receive their 5G signal through an over-the-air repeater, because of the low cost and ease compared with pulling fiber through a building, Madden added.

“The Corning system gets you high capacity and low latency, and a repeater is more for residential, light industrial applications,” he said. “Different buildings will need different solutions.”

The agreement with WeWork is a sign of just how important indoor wireless has become to land new tenants in the office building market, which has become even more competitive with the work-from-home trend.

Although the key standard  for  ultra-reliable and low-latency communication (URLLC) (3GPP Release 17) won’t be finalized in June of 2021, industry connections and long-term data allow Mobile Experts to confidently anticipate strong pre-investment in Private 5G networks ahead of the standard’s completion.

“Companies like Volkswagen, Toyota, Siemens, and ABB are investing in private 5G networks and expect to control robots using 5G URLLC in their factories despite the fact that standards may force some changes. They’ll be deploying radios anyway, so we foresee a strong market picking up around 2023,” Madden said.

Present investments are a long-term market bet, but as premium tariff opportunities arise, operators will investigate this market in the next five years and solid revenue opportunities will materialize in the long term, according to the new Mobile Experts report.

The global small cell 5G network market was valued $521 million in 2019 and is anticipated to grow with at a rate of more than 31.2 percent during the forecast period 2020-2027, according to Market Insight Reports.

Stalking the Elusive Middleprise

The target market of Verizon’s 5G mmWave service will be office buildings with 100 thousand to 500 thousand square feet, also known as middleprise, which heretofore was seen as too small for carrier-funded systems and unnecessary by office building owners.

“The model for an enterprise customer,” O’Day said, “could be a six-story, 220,000-square-foot building that has a variety of users, perhaps a corporate headquarters, mixed use office space, like WeWork.”

Corning’s indoor cell site is designed to provide Verizon’s 5G mmWave service inside facilities such as hospitals, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, schools, ports, commercial office space, retail stores and any indoor environment where large amounts of data traffic must be managed and optimized. The launch of these indoor cell sites will not only extend the footprint of Verizon’s 5G network, but also will eventually enable private networks with mobile edge compute (MEC) capabilities, according to Verizon Business.

Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business, said: “By combining access to our 5G Ultra Wideband service indoors with a private MEC platform and a private core that helps to run the operations of the network, an enterprise will be able to have a secure, ultra-reliable, high-speed, low-latency private 5G solution.”

Having all three components (5G Ultra Wideband service indoors, private MEC, private network core) of the private 5G network in a single facility will increase speed and efficiency by eliminating the need for data to cross through multiple routers and across large geographies. It will also eliminate the need to share core resources with the macro network and offer the flexibility to develop specific capabilities customized to the private network owner.

A private 5G network will accelerate enterprise automation and digitization efforts, enhance how customers interact in a retail environment, support sensors and alerts in all aspects of an operation and provide real-time, on-site video analysis. With Verizon’s mmWave bandwidth and reliability, it will offer the scalability to manage massive numbers of devices along with advanced capabilities such as edge artificial intelligence, computer vision and other emerging technologies.