Archive for the ‘5G’ Category

AT&T defends misleading “5G” network icons on 4G phones

January 10th, 2019
A smartphone with AT&T's

Enlarge / A smartphone with AT&T's "5G E" network indicator. (credit: AT&T)

An AT&T executive defended the company's rebranding of 4G phones as "5G E," saying that the name change has helped AT&T "br[eak] our industry's narrative" and get inside of its "competitors' heads."

Speaking at CES yesterday, AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan said AT&T is changing the 4G network indicator on smartphones to 5G E because "we felt like we had to give [customers] an indicator that said your speed now is twice what it was with traditional 4G LTE."

AT&T's 5G E stands for 5G Evolution, but it's just 4G LTE. AT&T says that 5G E is different from its normal 4G network because it uses 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO, and three-way carrier aggregation. But those technologies are part of the years-old LTE-Advanced standard, and are already used by Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint on their 4G networks.

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Posted in 5G, 5g evolution, AT&T, Biz & IT | Comments (0)

A sampling of networking gear from CES: TP-Link goes Wi-Fi 6, D-Link goes 5G

January 10th, 2019
The Deco X10.

Enlarge / TP-Link's Deco X10 Wi-Fi 6 mesh product. (credit: TP-Link)

The halls of CES might be filled with voice assistants and OLED televisions, but few things make a bigger impact on your day-to-day experience with technology than your networking solution. And there were a bunch of announcements on that front this year.

5GHz routers, smart home, and mesh Wi-Fi systems are where most of the movement is, and many companies like D-Link and TP-Link are offering similar options—but of course, each has its own unique value propositions.

To get a sense of the landscape for home and office networking products (the consumer ones, mind you), let's look at what those two companies showed at CES this year.

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Posted in 5G, antivirus, CES, d-link, ethernet, networking, routers, smart home, Tech, TP-Link, WiFi | Comments (0)

Verizon’s 5G promise: It won’t falsely claim 4G phones are really 5G

January 8th, 2019
A Verizon logo.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Scott Olson)

While AT&T pretends to kick off the 5G mobile era early by slapping a 5G network indicator on 4G phones, Verizon Wireless says it won't be doing the same.

"[W]e're calling on the broad wireless industry to commit to labeling something 5G only if new device hardware is connecting to the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities," Verizon CTO Kyle Malady wrote in a blog post yesterday [emphasis theirs]. "Verizon is making this commitment today: We won't take an old phone and just change the software to turn the 4 in the status bar into a 5. We will not call our 4G network a 5G network if customers don't experience a performance or capability upgrade that only 5G can deliver."

One would hope such a promise wouldn't be necessary, but what Verizon described is exactly what AT&T has already done. This past weekend, AT&T started rolling out software updates to Android phones that change the network indicator from "4G" to "5G E."

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Posted in 4G, 5G, AT&T, Biz & IT, verizon | Comments (0)

Don’t buy a 5G smartphone—at least, not for a while

December 14th, 2018
5G is here, but that doesn't mean you have to buy into it.

Enlarge / 5G is here, but that doesn't mean you have to buy into it.

2019 is going to be the year of 5G—at least, that's what the cellular industry keeps saying. We're going to see the launch of several 5G smartphones from OEMs like Samsung, Motorola, and OnePlus, and carriers will be tripping over themselves to tell you how awesome their new 5G networks are despite coming with a slew of asterisks. I would like to make something up about how ridiculous the 5G hype has gotten, but it's hard to top actual quotes from industry executives, like Verizon's claim that 5G will "dramatically improve our global society." Faster mobile Internet is coming, but should you care about it yet?

Qualcomm recently had its big 2019 chip announcement, and as the world's biggest provider of smartphone chips, that gives us a good idea of what the upcoming 5G hardware will look like. The industry is doing its best to hype 5G up as The Next Big Thing™, but 5G hardware in 2019 is going to be a decidedly first-generation affair. Early adopters for 5G will have to accept all manner of tradeoffs. And when there might not even be 5G reception in your area, it might be better to just wait the whole thing out for a year or two.

A 5G mmWave primer: Making use of the spectrum that nobody wanted

"5G" is a shorthand reference to the next generation of cellular network technology that is launching in 2019. The whole "G" naming scheme started in the 1990s with the launch of GSM, which was called the "second generation"—aka "2G"—of mobile networking technology. GSM upgraded early networks from analog to digital, and those old analog networks were retroactively given the name "1G." Since then, we've gotten new "G" numbers with major coordinated network upgrades about every 10 years. These iterations brought important features like SMS and MMS messages, IP-based networking and mobile Internet, and, of course, more speed.

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Posted in 4G, 5G, Android, Features, Qualcomm, Tech | Comments (0)

Apple will skip 5G in 2019, report says

December 3rd, 2018
The iPhone 8, the iPhone XS, the iPhone XR, and the iPhone XS Max.

Enlarge / From left to right: the iPhone 8, the iPhone XS, the iPhone XR, and the iPhone XS Max. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple will not introduce an iPhone capable of taking advantage of faster 5G cellular data networks in 2019, a report from Bloomberg says. Citing people familiar with Apple's plans, the report specifies that Apple will wait until "at least 2020" to make the move.

5G networks are expected to ramp up deployment in the US, China, and other Apple markets in 2019. 5G promises one of the biggest generational leaps in cellular data speeds yet, and Apple competitors like Samsung are likely to market 5G handsets next year to capitalize on it. Further, networks like Verizon want to lead users onto the new 5G networks as soon as possible because the technology is more efficient and will ensure that the companies can make higher profits while theoretically offering the most reliable service.

Investors and analysts might have reason to be concerned that Apple will miss a major marketing opportunity if it waits too long to adopt the new technology, the Bloomberg report suggests.

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Posted in 5G, apple, broadband, cellular data, iphone, LTE, Tech | Comments (0)

FCC’s $2 billion giveaway to carriers won’t speed up Verizon’s 5G deployment

October 31st, 2018
A Verizon logo at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Enlarge / A Verizon logo at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

Verizon Wireless says it will not move faster on building its 5G cellular network despite a Federal Communications Commission decision that erased $2 billion dollars' worth of fees for the purpose of spurring faster 5G deployment.

The FCC's controversial decision last month angered both large and small municipalities because it limits the amount they can charge carriers for deployment of wireless equipment such as small cells on public rights-of-way. The FCC decision also limits the kinds of aesthetic requirements cities and towns can impose on carrier deployments and forces cities and towns to act on carrier applications within 60 or 90 days.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai justified the decision by saying it would speed up 5G deployment, and he slammed local governments for "extracting as much money as possible in fees from the private sector and forcing companies to navigate a maze of regulatory hurdles in order to deploy wireless infrastructure."

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Posted in 5G, Biz & IT, FCC, Policy, verizon | Comments (0)

A Reflection on Mobile World Congress

March 13th, 2017

As the dust settles on another busy year at Mobile World Congress, it’s important to reflect not just on the conference itself, but also the key takeaways for the security and consumer tech industry.

MWC is seen by many as the key event for the mobile industry, but one thing I realised this year is the show is moving way beyond being just about mobile. For me, and I’m sure others, it feels like the key focus is now connectivity. MWC has historically been the place where phone manufacturers got the chance to show off their latest handsets. This year however, it felt like the pendulum had swung and handsets were merely part of a much bigger ecosystem. We saw car manufacturers showcasing the latest developments in the connected car space, a host of IoT demos (including our very own Secure Home demo) right the way through to VR, which appeared to feature even more heavily this year than previous years. The proliferation of technology on show that wasn’t traditionally “mobile” was striking, but merely highlighted how fast technology is developing.

Another key theme was 5G. Looking at all the innovation being showcased across the show, the eagerness to get to a sustainable 5G network is obvious because of the connectivity benefits it provides. All these smart devices need a network to operate and the potential offered by 5G is incredibly exciting. However, there’s one more thing which connects all these devices and that’s the need for security. Connected devices are more integral to our lives than ever before and looking at the raft of exciting innovation on show at MWC, that’s only going to increase.

This year’s MWC has proven that innovation in the mobile space is far from slowing down. In fact, it’s adapting to changing trends instead. As security vendors, we need to adjust to ensure we’re staying one step ahead the curve. It’s no longer just the home and work computer that’s internet-connected. The onset of smart homes and connected cars mean we need to have the required security in place, and soon. The implications of increasing the number of connected devices creates potential risk to cyber-attacks much closer to home and as the smart home is only as secure as its weakest link, platforms like our own Secure Home platform will be critical moving forwards. Even everyday objects are being targeted by hackers, so as we move to a more autonomous connected future, it’s critical we’re able to provide the necessary protection for all.

It’s going to be an interesting road but one that we’re excited to go down. To stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, please do follow me and @IntelSec_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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Posted in 5G, consumer, Internet of things, Mobile, Mobile World Congress, smart home | Comments (0)