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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

Google, Reliant On Success of 5G, Says It Wants Government-Funded Test Beds for Open RAN

Company says that the next generation of its products depend on 5G progress.

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Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai

WASHINGTON, October 20, 2021 — Google made its case for regulators to make room for greater public-private collaboration in the wake of 5G and more research into open radio access network technologies.

Speaking at the FCBA’s “What’s New and Next in Wireless” session on Tuesday, Michael Purdy from Google’s product and policy team emphasized Google’s interest in the emerging 5G landscape, but wants a “collaborative environment” for innovation.

“5G is exciting because of Google’s products depend on 5G,” he said. “[Our] products can’t come to market without it.” Google’s recent product launches include smart-home technologies. Purdy says their products’ benefits are enhanced as 5G is deployed.

Google, like the technology sector at large, is building on the innovation that the “app economy” produced using existing 4G technology and plans to expand their software capabilities with 5G. “The app economy benefited consumers,” Purdy says. “Our lifestyles are going to depend on 5G.” For telehealth, “real time medical advice needs low latency [and] high speeds.”

However, Google hopes for better regulatory conditions during 5G deployment. “We haven’t been as focused on the FCC [for guidance] . . . we want stability to determine spectrum policy.”

Purdy said the company hopes to work collaboratively with government to find solutions for wider 5G deployment. “[We] want to know what position the government takes in creating an open RAN environment.”

The company said it wants government funded-test beds for open RAN, research into development to ensure that “the downside costs are defrayed.” In overcoming these challenges to 5G deployment, Purdy said Google wants the government to foster a “collaborative environment” to develop open RAN. “We don’t want government picking winners and losers in the innovation process” he said.

Purdy added that spectrum sharing between licensed and unlicensed users “can be good for consumers and for industry.”

The Federal Communications Commission has pushed for ways to develop open RAN to minimize network security risk, as the movement has gained significant momentum. FCC Acting Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has described open RAN as having “extraordinary potential for our economy and national security.”

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Huawei Avoids Network Security Questions, Pushes 5G Innovation

Huawei’s CTO avoided questions about concerns over its network infrastructure security as countries ban its products.

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Huawei carrier business CTO Paul Scanlan.

WASHINGTON, October 19, 2021 — Huawei’s chief technology officer did not address questions Monday about the company’s network security practices during a session on how 5G drives economic growth, but said the focus should be on the evolutionary technology instead.

Paul Scanlan, Huawei’s CTO in the carrier business group, focused his presentation at the Economist Impact Innovation@Work conference on the promise of 5G technology and ignored concerns about network safety.

“We can service more customers with 5G” to start bridging the digital divide, he said. The pandemic has given the company an insight into customer behavior to better channel its data traffic needs. “5G performs better for the types of services we use now” he says, such as video streaming and user-generated content.

Scanlan avoided specific questions about his company’s technology and steered the conversation toward providing faster speeds for the health care industry. “Give me some use instances where the company has introduced 5G and helped companies be efficient” asked the moderator, Ludwig Siegele. “I’d like to stick on the health care sector, that’s more topical as you can imagine,” Scanlan responded.

“People are missing [innovation in 5G] because of geopolitical issues around the world,” said Scanlan. “Being able to collect the data and analyze it is where the business benefit lies . . . 5G adoption through the [standardized network] ecosystem is very important and we see this with 5G” for interoperability with other companies and providers.

Huawei’s promotion of their telecommunications products continues as the U.S. maintains national security sanctions against the tech giant. The impact of U.S. sanctions results a drop in sales for the company in 2021. The FCC has also recommended that Huawei’s equipment be listed as “high risk” to U.S. network security. Huawei told the FCC it cannot show the company’s equipment is a threat to U.S. networks.

Huawei’s global head of cybersecurity said this summer that President Joe Biden‘s executive order banning investments in Chinese companies is a “policy misstep” that will not only lose the U.S. a huge market, but will just make the company more self-sufficient.

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Celebrating Progress on 5G, the FCC’s Brendan Carr Urges Broadband Mapping

5G crusader Commissioner Brendan Carr voiced pride in the FCC’s focus on 5G over the past four years

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Photo of Brendan Carr from the Tennessee Star

WASHINGTON, October 15, 2021–Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr on Friday celebrated U.S. progress in 5G wireless investment and urged the completion of the agency’s broadband mapping initiative.

Speaking a the Free State Foundation gala luncheon, Carr argued that the United States has progressed in its 5G investments and is catching up to foreign networks. ”Years ago we imaged the U.S. would be left behind in 5G,” he said.

He touted his and former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s efforts to “remove the red tape.” Enabling the private sector has paid off, he said: The U.S. has jumped 20 places on the country internet speed index, signaling the installation of more robust U.S. 5G networks.

Further, the FCC should complete its broadband mapping process and take caution with the federal money allocated toward broadband deployment, he said, adding that he asked the FCC earlier this year to complete its map by fall 2021.

“There’s planning that can take place when the maps are completed” he said, reflecting a desire from the public and private sector for better, more accurate broadband maps.

He also said that federal money allocated toward the FCC’s efforts to bridge the digital divide should be used carefully, and that money to connect unconnected Americas should not be wasted.

Carr celebrated American investment in 5G progress earlier this year, calling U.S. leadership in 5G “one of the greatest success stories in of the past four years.” In that time, the FCC opened up more than six gigahertz of spectrum for 5G services.

Former FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly also gave remarks at the event, expressing concern about the federal Made In America policy’s implications on the telecommunications sector.

The Made in America policy refers to President Biden’s push to increase American made content in supply chains. O’Rielly, who left the Commission in December 2020, argued that the policy limits telecommunications companies to the kinds of products that can be made available to consumers.

The Free State Foundation’s Randy May at the Friday event

He also questioned “what it means to be an American manufacturer” because foreign companies are “in essence, being punished by law” for having “investments in the U.S. with U.S. workers as part of a U.S. subsidiary.”

In O’Rielly’s view, the location of the companies headquarters does not impact its national security risk to the U.S.

The remarks by Carr and O’Rielly were at the 15th anniversary celebration for the free-market think tank. Carr said that the foundation has been an “invaluable resource” and has been cited more than 200 times in FCC decisions.

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