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Top Executives From Dell, Dish Networks and T-Mobile Tout Details of Their Companies’ 5G Deployments

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Photo of Michael Dell from October 2011 by Hartmann Studios used with permission

September 27, 2020 – Top corporate executives in the computing and communications industry touted the benefits and opportunities of 5G wireless technologies at the fall INCOMPAS conference on September 14.

“5G will bring about a new era of connectivity with the potential to push our country through the fourth industrial revolution,” said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies.

Dell boosted 5G as playing an essential role in making sure that all parts of the United States have access to fast and reliable broadband.

Broadband is not a luxury in a digitally connected economy,” he said. ”Connectivity is economic opportunity.”

Also speaking at the event was Dish Networks Executive Vice President Tom Cullen. He said that his company’s new cloud-native 5G technology is already running on open radio access network: “Open interoperative software is not pie in the sky—it’s here now.”

As part of a condition for approval of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger, certain T-Mobile spectrum was peeled off and turned over to Dish. In turn, Dish promised the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission that it would aggressively deploy 5G using spectrum  covering 20 percent of the U.S. population by June of 2022, and 70 percent by June of 2023.

See “Justice Department Collaborating with State Attorneys General’s Antitrust Investigation of Big Tech, Says Chief,” Broadband Breakfast, August 20, 2019

Both Dish and T-Mobile have adopted E-SIM technology, or embedded universal integrated circuit card as a programmable SIM card inserted directly into a device. This avoids the requirement of a connector for machine-to-machine applications.

Dish, like T-Mobile, said it was  interested in partnerships. “If someone has an asset that Dish can use and not have to replicate, Dish is interested,” said Cullen.

T-Mobile also addressed details of its 5G deployments

Also speaking at the event was Steve Sharkey, vice president of engineering and technology policy at T-Mobile.

He said T-Mobile takes a “layer cake” approach to 5G spectrum. At the base level is the 600 MHz band covering 1.3 million square miles. The 2.5 GHz spectrum, acquired from Sprint, fills the middle layer. Millimeter wavelengths cover the more densely populated areas, he said.

“When we get spectrum, we don’t wait to plan on what we’re going to do with it, we just roll it out,” said Sharkey, Vice President of Engineering and Technology Policy at T-Mobile.

T-Mobile is one of the only providers with a standalone 5G network. While Verizon and AT&T have dismissed T-Mobile’s 5G network because it only delivers 40-80 Megabits per second (Mbps), Sharkey said that ”people can actually find our network. It has much greater coverage than AT&T and Verizon combined.”

Sharkey countered that because Verizon is primarily focused on millimeter wavelength deployments, it delivers spotty coverage in a small number of urban areas.

“They [Verizon] don’t really have a 5G network that’s useful for consumers, but ours is,” boasted Sharkey.

“We have 99 percent of the U.S. covered at 50 Mbps or greater, and that includes 90 percent of the rural population at 50 Mbps or greater.”

That said, T-Mobile admitted that they are “looking to partner with people for backhaul—especially in rural areas.”

Reporter Liana Sowa grew up in Simsbury, Connecticut. She studied editing and publishing as a writing fellow at Brigham Young University, where she mentored upperclassmen on neuroscience research papers. She enjoys reading and journaling, and marathon-runnning and stilt-walking.

5G

CES 2023: Commissioner Starks Highlights Environmental Benefits of 5G Connectivity

Starks also said federal housing support should be linked to the Affordable Connectivity Program.

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Photo of FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks (left) and CTA’s J. David Grossman

LAS VEGAS, January 7, 2023 – Commissioner Geoffrey Starks of the Federal Communications Commission spoke at the Consumer Electronics Show Saturday, touting connectivity assistance for individuals who benefit from housing assistance as well as the potential environmental benefits of 5G.

The FCC-administered Affordable Connectivity Program subsidizes monthly internet bills and one-time devices purchases for low-income Americans. Although many groups are eligible – e.g., Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program enrollees – Starks said his attention is primarily on those who rely on housing support.

“If you are having trouble putting food on your table, you should not have to worry about connectivity as well,” Starks said. “If we are helping you to get housed, we should be able to connect that house,” he added.

Environmental benefits of 5G

In addition to economic benefits, 5G-enabled technologies will offer many environmental benefits, Starks argued. He said the FCC should consider how to “ensure folks do more while using less,” particularly in the spheres of spectral and energy efficiency.

“This is going to take a whole-of-nation (approach),” Starks said. “When you talk to your local folks – mayors – state and other federal partners, making sure that they know smart cities (and) smart grid technology…making sure that we’re all unified on thinking about this is exactly where we need to go to in order to drive down the carbon emissions.”

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CES 2023: 5G Will Drive Safer Transportation

More comprehensive data-sharing is made possible by the reduced latency of 5G, CES hears.

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Photo of Aruna Anand, Durga Malladi, and Derek Peterson (left to right)

LAS VEGAS, January 5, 2023 – Panelists at the Consumer Electronics Show 2023 on Thursday touted the potential for 5G to make transportation safer by enabling information sharing between vehicles and with infrastructure.

5G is expected to expand connectivity by attaching small cell connectivity equipment on various city infrastructure, including traffic lights and bus shelters. 

More comprehensive data-sharing is made possible by the reduced latency of 5G, said Aruna Anand, president and CEO of Continental Automotive Systems Inc., referring to connectivity communications times. Anand argued that making relevant information available to multiple vehicles is key to improving safety.

“We give more information about the surroundings of the vehicle to the car to enable [it] to make better decisions,” Anand said.

Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager for cellular modems and infrastructure at chip maker Qualcomm, described a 5G-enabled “true ubiquitous data space solution” in which vehicles and smart infrastructure – e.g., traffic lights and stop signs – communicate with one another.

Asked for predictions, Malladi forecasted an increased “blend” of communications and artificial intelligence technologies. Anand said 6G is expected to emerge by 2028 and make its way to vehicle technology by 2031.

Both realized and predicted innovations in 5G-enabled technologies have driven calls for expanded spectrum access, from private and public sectors alike. The Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the respective overseers of non-federally and federally-used spectrum, in August agreed to an updated memorandum of understanding on spectrum management

Although relatively new, this agreement has already been touted by officials.

The FCC, whose spectrum auction authority Congress extended in December, made several moves last year to expand spectrum access.

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FCC Permit ‘Shot Clocks’ Provides ‘Predictability’ to Wireless Infrastructure Builds: T-Mobile

Shot clocks are important to industry players, argued T-Mobile’s Tim Halinski.

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Photo of Nancy Werner, partner at Bradley Werner, LLC.

WASHINGTON, November 8, 2022 – Panelists on a Federal Communications Bar Association web panel discussed Monday whether benefits of the Federal Communications Commission’s “shot clocks,” which limit how long states and local governments can review wireless infrastructure applications, outweigh the increased pressures they place on state and local governments.

A shot clock’s deadline puts pressure on city officials’ negotiations with providers over the terms of infrastructure projects, said Nancy Werner, partner at Bradley Werner, LLC, a telecommunications legal and consulting firm. They also “put a lot of pressure on local governments…to make sure (they) have a reason to deny” a provider’s application if an agreement cannot be readily reached, Werner added.

Tim Halinski, corporate counsel for T-Mobile, argued Monday that shot clocks are important to industry players, although he acknowledged the validity of Werner’s concerns. T-Mobile and other providers benefit from expeditious permitting processes, as they look to accelerate the build out of 5G wireless technology.

“There’s no one size fits all,” Halinski said, “But it’s at least the starting point and provides that predictability in deployment that we need.”

The comments come as the FCC fields comments on new standards that would streamline the division of costs between third party attachers and pole owners. Critics say the financial and time delay burden in getting access to these poles have slowed and will slow the expansion of broadband in the country.

In 2018, the FCC instituted shortened shot clocks for small wireless infrastructure projects: “60 days for review of an application for collocation…using a preexisting structure and 90 days for review of an application for attachment…using a new structure.” The commission said the new, limited timeframes would facilitate the deployment of wireless infrastructure.

The FCC’s revised shot clocks for small wireless deployments was but one portion of the agency’s so-called “Small Cell Order” of 2018, which aimed to promote the expansion of 5G. To accomplish this goal, however, the order sought to eliminate regulatory roadblocks by limiting state and local governments’ authorities over wireless infrastructure permitting and their own rights of way. This tactic drew criticisms from many experts and local officials.

Nonetheless, in August 2020, the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals largely upheld the order in City of Portland v. United States.

“(The Ninth Circuit’s) decision is a massive victory for U.S. leadership in 5G, our nation’s economy and American consumers,” said then–FCC Chairman Ajit Pai shortly after the ruling. “The court rightly affirmed the FCC’s efforts to ensure that infrastructure deployment critical to 5G…is not impeded by exorbitant fees imposed by state and local governments.”

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