Wireless networks have performed well as cellular traffic has risen by up to 20% in recent weeks due to sheltering practices, carriers told Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Usage has shifted to daytime hours and has risen notably outside urban areas, with carriers reporting that voice calls have increased substantially.
The California Public Utilities Commission still wants to enforce conditions for T-Mobile's merger with Sprint, insisting that the companies need its approval for the deal to go forward. T-Mobile says that the regulatory agency lacks authority to affect wireless transactions.
The coronavirus outbreak has pushed carriers to boost their capital spending budgets and invest in building 5G networks as stay-at-home orders have pushed wireless broadband connectivity issues to the fore. “It really is opening people’s eyes hopefully to how important this is. And when we get 5G, it’s going to be even more exciting," said Jonathan Adelstein, head of the Wireless Infrastructure Association.
The ongoing pandemic has upended the traditional strategy of building out new technology starting from business districts, notes RootMetrics Chief Commercial Officer Kevin Hasley. "If 5G networks are positioned in now-empty business districts or areas that are experiencing much less traffic thanks to Covid-19 usage patterns, 5G speeds won't matter to many consumers," RootMetrics says.
The Federal Communications Commission could distribute as much as $9 billion for 5G connectivity in unserved rural areas using the Universal Service Fund. Allocation would take place through multiple phases of a reverse auction, which the FCC could use available data to hold next year or delay until more complete coverage maps are available in 2023.
Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has scheduled April 23 for a vote on opening up 1200 MHz of 6 GHz spectrum to unlicensed Wi-Fi connections. A number of technology companies and NCTA-The Internet & Television Association have praised the move, while the National Association of Broadcasters expressed concern about potential interference with existing services.
Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is proposing rules that would open up 1,200 MHz of 6GHz spectrum to unlicensed use, with a vote expected April 23. WISPA leader Claude Aiken praised the proposal, noting unlicensed and licensed services "are co-equals, working together to boost the entire wireless-driven economy, and offering real competition where it is needed."
States can be valuable bridges between federal agencies distributing relief funds and unserved rural communities that need the money for broadband, writes Anne Stauffer of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Stauffer points to a recent Pew reports that details state innovations when it comes to improving internet access.
The coronavirus and emphasis on social distancing have produced a milestone in telemedicine, which has been around since the 1990s. Steven Waldren of the American Academy of Family Physicians defines the types of telemedicine and its general advantages and limitations, noting "the physical exam piece is still challenging."
AT&T spent more than $2 billion in recent Federal Communications Commission auctions, boosting its spectrum holdings in the 39 GHz band by more than 100% to reach 786 MHz. The carrier will use its mmWave spectrum, approximately 1,040 MHz, to build out its mobile 5G service initially, potentially followed by fixed wireless.
- Page 1