Amidst the (hopefully) final throes of a brutal global pandemic, seniors and their families in the U.S. this year will face additional problems in 2022. The closure of major 3G networks will mean the end of the line for older mobile personal emergency response system (mPERS) devices used by the elderly across America.
Hundreds of thousands of these vital medical tracking devices will be rendered inoperable by the 3G shutdown, leaving elderly users and caregivers scrambling to switch to 4G and Wi-Fi-based devices. The upgrade cost, at least $150, comes at a time of great economic hardship for many ordinary folk.
The first Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) units were invented in Germany in the early 1970s. Initial PERS were bulky, and used a pendant linked to a landline phone, which tied the elderly to their home.
The proposal for the Joint Undertaking on Smart Networks and Services (SNS) towards 6G, adopted last week by the Commission, is part of the Single Basic Act establishing the set of nine Joint Undertakings under Horizon Europe. There is an earmarked €900 million of Commission funding, to be matched through co-funding by industry. The proposal will now be discussed among Member States in the Council with a planned launch later this year.
President Joe Biden has picked Jessica Rosenworcel to run the Federal Communications Commission as its acting chair, making the 49-year-old lawyer and podcast host from West Hartford, Connecticut, the second woman to be appointed to that role in the commission’s 96-year history. The job involves such daunting tasks as helping millions of Americans get reliable access to the internet.
Rosenworcel, aleady a member of the commission, is not only the second woman to lead the FCC (the first, Mignon Clyburn, served for nearly 6 months as interim chair, in 2013), she is also the first mother to lead the agency. She has two school-aged children, and when she’s not crafting the nation’s tech and media laws, she’s trying to ensure that her kids are doing their school work remotely during the pandemic.
There is little sympathy from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), a government spending watchdog, which today slammed Johnson’s intervention in the UK’s broadband sector. Weeks before he became prime minister, Johnson envisaged a universal fiber service by 2025. Downgraded from this “future-proof” technology to a gigabit-for-all pledge when he took office, the target was lowered again in November. Gigabit services for at least 85% of the population would do, said authorities. The rest might have to wait a bit longer. But £5 billion ($6.8 billion) worth of taxpayer money was earmarked for connecting the hardest-to-reach 20% of homes.
My neighbor, a Tesla owner, thinks of his 2018 Model 3 as an “iPhone on wheels.”
It’s true, and the connectivity between electric vehicles and the wireless infrastructure that updates car software and sends traffic and other safety alerts is expanding at a rate reflecting the growing popularity of connected cars.
Huawei is willing to meet any requirement the Swedish government may set on 5G network equipment and take other measures to mitigate concerns, a senior executive said, after a ban in the country delayed spectrum auctions.
In a surprise move in October, Sweden’s telecom regulator PTS banned the use of equipment from China’s Huawei and ZTE by telecom operators taking part in the 5G auctions. Huawei won a court injunction and an appeal by PTS is pending.
“We are even willing to meet extraordinary requirements, such as setting up test facilities for our equipment in Sweden, for example, if they want to,” Kenneth Fredriksen, Huawei’s Executive Vice President, Central East Europe and Nordic Region, told Reuters.
British telecommunications firms must not install new Huawei 5G kit after September 2021, the government said on Monday, as part of a plan to purge the Chinese firm’s equipment from high-speed mobile networks.
Britain has already ordered all Huawei equipment to be removed from its 5G network by the end of 2027, falling in line with intelligence allies including the United States who say the firm poses security risks.
Telecoms companies had also been banned from buying new Huawei 5G kit after the end of the year. Some lawmakers had been concerned that the companies would stockpile equipment to be deployed up until the 2027 deadline.
Okay, so what the heck is Amazon doing in the car business? The straightforward answer is that Amazon Web Services (AWS) has gone whole hog into “Connected Vehicles.”
NXP Semiconductors this week partnered with AWS, with the goal to enable car OEMs to collect and harness the voluminous streams of data generated by their own vehicles.
The auto industry, of course, has been talking up connected vehicles for a long time. Connectivity installed in vehicles, for example, already enabled carmakers to build and offer telematics services such as General Motor’s OnStar. It also allowed users to download apps and other content to in-vehicle infotainment systems.
Avnet, Verizon, Sequans, NXP Semiconductors, and Microsoft are collaborating to supply device developers with the elements they need to create LTE-M-based cellular IoT products, bring them quickly to market, and save them time and money.
The firms are introducing an LTE-M development kit based around the “Monarch Go” IoT modem from Sequans. As well as the modem, the kit includes NXP’s LPC55S69 microcontroller, and Verizon’s SIM ThingSpace platform. The package provides support for Microsoft’s Azure cloud software, as well as access to Avnet engineering expertise.
Much of the early hype around IoT predicting that millions, or even billions, of cellular (LTE-M or NB-IoT) devices would arrive on the market has not yet come to pass. Part of the reason for that is the exorbitant costs associated with developing a cellular IoT device and getting it up and running on a modern commercial network.
The mobile communications industry, and notably the RAN (radio access network) sector, has for long been a complex and relatively slow moving sector.
Not anymore! Not at the moment!
Just in the past weeks:
Nokia has outlined yet another reorganization following poor third quarter results, and a downbeat forecast for the near future;
Arch rival Huawei has just about met expectations for its first half, but it is becoming crystal clear that the US sanctions are hurting and as each week passes more countries are shunning its 5G offerings on national security grounds;
Sleeping giants such as Samsung and NEC are beginning to get their act together and making meaningful inroads into the RAN sector;
The Open RAN bandwagon seems to be taking two steps forwards and one step back.