Four U.S. senators seek details on unusual cellular surveillance in D.C. area


The senators – Ron Wyden and Ed Markey, both Democrats, and Republicans Rand Paul and Cory Gardner – said the Trump administration should make public additional details about possible surveillance using cellphone-site simulators around Washington.

“The American people have a legitimate interest in understanding the extent to which U.S. telephone networks are vulnerable to surveillance and are being actively exploited by hostile actors,” the four said in a letter reviewed by Reuters.

Source: Four U.S. senators seek details on unusual cellular surveillance in D.C. area

The Agony of Rural America’s Inescapable Broadband Gap | Pacific Standard


In an ideal world, state and federal government officials would absolutely treat the Internet as a public utility, an essential resource for not just modern business, but modern homes; as Rick Paulus  put it, connectivity “has gone from optional to obligatory.”

The T-Mobile settlement is a stark reminder that waiting for private industry to make the investment is a losing proposition.

Source: The Agony of Rural America’s Inescapable Broadband Gap – Pacific Standard

U.S. strike on China’s ZTE another blow for Qualcomm


The U.S. Department of Commerce slapped a seven-year ban on sales to ZTE on Monday for breaking terms of an agreement reached last year after it was caught illegally shipping goods to Iran.

Caught in the crossfire is Qualcomm, whose products account for the lion’s share of chips inside ZTE smartphones. The Chinese company shipped an estimated 46.4 million phones last year, according to IHS Markit.

“If you look at ZTE it sells around 45 million smartphones per year globally, and almost half of them have Qualcomm chips,” said Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research.

Source: U.S. strike on China’s ZTE another blow for Qualcomm

AT&T 5G Tests Go Gaga for Gigabit | Light Reading

In Waco, Texas, AT&T says it “provided 5G mmWave service to a retail location more than 150 meters away from the cell site and observed wireless speeds of approximately 1.2 Gbps in a 400 MHz channel.”

While in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the operator “observed more than 1 Gbps speeds under line of sight conditions up to 900 feet,” yet seeing “no impacts on 5G mmWave signal performance due to rain, snow or other weather events.” Millimeter wave connections are noted to suffer signal attenuation due to some weather conditions, or when penetrating foliage or certain building materials. (See Nokia Bell Labs & Verizon Stretch Fixed 5G to the Home.)

As usual, however, the trade-off for high-band gigabit downloads is limited coverage range. Note that AT&T lists fixed wireless 5G ranges between 900 feet and 150 meters.

Source: AT&T 5G Tests Go Gaga for Gigabit | Light Reading

Google Has Intent to Cut Humans Out of Network | Light Reading

In a presentation at today’s MPLS, NFV and SDN World Congress in Paris, he revealed that Google has about 10,000 switches in operation in a typical large data center and is now handling around 30,000 configuration changes every month. Its search engine currently processes about 3.5 billion searches every day.

“What really stresses out the network is humans,” Vijoy Pandey, Google’s head of engineering for data centers and backbone networks, told his audience at a keynote presentation in Paris. “It is actually humanly impossible to do changes in the size of the network we have. Humans are looking at the design elements but software needs to handle the nitty-gritty.”

Pandey estimates that about 70% of failures happen when a management operation is in progress. The apparent aim is to make improvements through even greater reliance on automation

Source: Google Has Intent to Cut Humans Out of Network | Light Reading

Temasek spends $244 million to become CenturyLink top shareholder

Temasek, the Singapore-based investment company, has invested a reported $244.5 million in shares to become the top shareholder of CenturyLink.

Temasek’s total stake in the company has increased to 11% after it acquired just over 14.787 million shares through its affiliate Ellington Investments.

In the filing with US Security and Exchange Commission, the document states that the transaction was funded using Tembusu Capital’s, the subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, working capital.

Source: Temasek spends $244 million to become CenturyLink top shareholder

NTT Com boosts cloud IaaS portfolio with Dimension Data partnership

The partnership means cloud services are available in 15 countries or regions and across 35 data centres. It adds Dimension Data’s private cloud and dedicated SAP platforms to NTT Com’s offering.

It also gives Dimension Data customers access to NTT Com’s software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), global data centre portfolio and DDoS protection services, whilst enabling a more flexible range of hybrid cloud environments.

Source: NTT Com boosts cloud IaaS portfolio with Dimension Data partnership

Huawei Pushes Back On FCC Efforts to Bar It From U.S. Networks | Nextgov


“U.S. authorities have made a series of allegations against Huawei that simply aren’t true,” the company said in an email to reporters.

The FCC proposal would deny money from FCC’s Universal Service Fund “to purchase equipment or services from companies that pose a national security threat to United States communications networks or the communications supply chain,” Commissioner Ajit Pai has said.

The FCC’s $8.5 billion Universal Service Fund provides money to lower the cost of telephone and internet service in high-cost areas and to expand services to rural and low-income areas.

Source: Huawei Pushes Back On FCC Efforts to Bar It From U.S. Networks – Nextgov

Time for a Reality Check to 5G Exuberance | Design News


.. these descriptions didn’t quite capture the essence of 5G, which is that it’s a collection of technologies and design approaches that are being pulled together under the auspices of the 3GPP to develop a standard to meet the ITR-U’s “IMT-2020” vision of what a connected world should be capable of.

To that end, it has put out a number of minimum requirements, such as a downlink rate of 20 Gbits/s, uplink rates of 20 Gbits/s, user-plane latency of 1 ms, control-plane latency of 20 ms (10 ms “encouraged”), the ability to support up to 1 million devices/km2, 90% reduction in network energy usage, 99.999% network availability, among many others.

The point is that 5G isn’t a “technology” per se, it’s a means of wringing the most out of available spectrum and be able to use that spectrum in a flexible, secure, reliable manner.

Under 5G, researchers, silicon providers, system designers, and test and measurement engineers are working to figure out how best to realize the IMT-2020 vision, which requires a rethink of everything, from the radio front end to the core network.

Source: Time for a Reality Check to 5G Exuberance | Design News

Verizon agrees to fix failing broadband networks to settle investigation | Ars Technica


Verizon has agreed to fix failing copper networks and boost fiber deployment in New York, two years after state officials began investigating the quality of Verizon landline phone and broadband service.

A settlement with Verizon “will require the company to repair 54 central offices across the state, replace bad cable, defective equipment, faulty back-up batteries, and to take down 64,000 double telephone poles,” the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union said last week.

“The agreement also includes increased broadband buildout to major apartment buildings in New York City and more than 30,000 homes across the state.”

Source: Verizon agrees to fix failing broadband networks to settle investigation | Ars Technica