Article | March 5, 2020
Ericsson's (NASDAQ: ERIC) smart factory in Lewisville, Texas, has produced its first 5G base station. Announced last year, the factory will be one of the most advanced manufacturing facilities in the industry when it is fully operational later this year. The first product manufactured at the factory is the millimeter-wave Street Macro solution, which is key to Ericsson’s 5G portfolio for its North American customers. All radio access components are housed in one lightweight enclosure, allowing service providers to rapidly grow 5G coverage in complex city environments.
Article | February 2, 2021
Telecommunications conglomerate Verizon has partnered with 3D development platform Unity to create entertainment applications and enterprise toolkits that can render 3D environments almost instantaneously, without the need for expensive hardware.
In a press release, Verizon said products from this collaboration will address the demand for instantaneous content in industries such as gaming, retail, and sports, where emphasis is placed on real-time digital immersion.
“We are entering an era of technology-led disruption where 5G and MEC will not only transform the full enterprise lifecycle, it will change the way consumers experience gaming and entertainment,” said Verizon Chief Executive Officer Tami Erwin.
These products will utilise 5G and Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) technology, taking the best of both worlds to enhance the digital experience for consumers.
The concept of edge computing has actually been around for roughly three decades, but it wasn't until recently that we've been able to apply it to Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Edge architecture reduces latency by moving computer services closer to the source — the "edges" — of the data. This not only decongests the centralised cloud of information, but also decreases the distance the data needs to cover to reach user terminals.
Meanwhile, 5G is the highly anticipated next generation broadband network that promises to deliver high speeds with just millisecond latencies. Despite the pandemic, its rollout hasn’t slowed down at all, with countries like China, South Korea, and the US getting a first taste of the technology.
The promise of lightning-fast connections, however, comes at a steep cost: 5G stations consume plenty of energy to work.
Though much of 5G's advantages come from its streamlined digital routing capabilities, it's also underpinned by a powerful network of hardware components — more precisely, printed circuit boards (PCBs). To answer the demand for more energy, engineers use ties to meet PCB requirements for solving the challenges that come with powering a standard board. These include considerations like signal paths and planar delays, among others. Placing the net ties at the right junctions distributes energy more evenly, thus providing efficient power delivery to 5G networks.
Despite all the touted capabilities of 5G, experts have flagged cybersecurity as one major concern. As a new innovation, 5G is still fairly unregulated, leaving loopholes and security gaps that cyber criminals can exploit. For instance, the expansion of bandwidth coverage actually opens up vulnerabilities and additional avenues for cyber attacks. Furthermore, the hyper connected nature of IoT devices makes it easier for hackers to gain access to different networks, both private and public; and unwitting users can potentially expose their contacts to virtual attackers.
Because of these threats, experts urge telecom companies to lay down a solid bedrock for 5G security before finalising the pivot towards it. For now, it remains to be seen how legislators and regulators will implement standards to guide the public in its use of 5G.
Amid this concern, Verizon and Unity are hopeful that their collaboration — and the marriage of 5G and MEC technology — will be a game changer in the gaming, retail, and entertainment industries.
“We know the world is demanding high-speed, AAA content, whether it’s an educational augmented reality application or a robot running a simulation of a digital twin,” Unity Vice President for Solutions Ryan Peterson said.
“5G is the key piece for us to facilitate these real-time 3D experiences broadly and to better meet the demands of the real-time economy.”
Article | July 7, 2021
Despite the COVID-induced interruptions in the first half of 2020, 5G preparations and deployment continued in earnest in the second half of 2020 and now the market – vendors, CSPS, OEMs – are ready to bring 5G to the masses of users. The arrival of Apple’s first 5G devices in 4Q20 marked the tipping point of global consumer readiness, now extending from early-adopters. After the initial phase of network launches that saw coverage built-out in major urban centres, 5G service providers should now focus on expanding coverage to as many areas of high-data demand as possible. At the same time, as CSPs gauge their 5G roll-out strategies, they shouldn’t ignore rural areas with limited-to-no high-speed broadband coverage. In many markets, particularly developing ones, CSPs should carefully assess network-sharing as a way to cost-effectively tap pent-up demand, especially given the accelerating remote working trend.
Article | May 5, 2021
The next-generation of wireless technologies – known as 5G – is here. Not only is it expected to offer network speeds that are up to 100 times faster than 4G LTE and reduce latency to nearly zero, it will allow networks to handle 100 times the number of connected devices, revolutionizing business and consumer connectivity and enabling the “Internet of Things.” Leading policymakers – federal regulators and legislators – are making it a top priority to ensure that the wireless industry has the tools it needs to maintain U.S. leadership in commercial 5G deployments. This blog provides monthly updates on FCC actions and Congressional efforts to win the race to 5G.