SpaceX asks ITU for permission to launch 30,000 more Starlink satellites

SpaceX is doubling-down on its orbital broadband project and has filed paperwork with the ITU to launch 30,000 more Starlink satellites.

The ITU (International Telecommunication Union) is a global body which governs the allocation of international bandwidth. Any launch requires the ITU's permission to ensure fair, safe, and responsible satellite deployments.

SpaceX already has permission for 12,000 satellites to be launched. If the request for further launches is granted, a constellation of 42,000...

By Ryan Daws, 16 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Industry, Infrastructure, Innovation, Networks, Rural, Satellite.

uSwitch: 5G launch won’t solve the UK’s rural connectivity problems

Research from uSwitch suggests Britain’s rural connectivity problems will not be solved by 5G connectivity.

The research found a third of adult smartphone users still have trouble connecting to 4G at least once a week. As shown in the chart below by OpenSignal, every region of the UK still has 4G availability issues with the South West suffering most:

opensignal-4g-avaiable

Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at...

By Ryan Daws, 03 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Connectivity, Consumers, Europe, Industry, Infrastructure, Mobile, Networks, Operators, Rural, Wireless.

UK government pledges £5bn for gigabit broadband in every home by 2025

During the Conservative Party Conference, Chancellor Sajid Javid pledged £5 billion for gigabit broadband in every home by 2025.

Standing on the steps of Downing Street following his election in July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the rollout of gigabit broadband one of his key pledges. The chancellor has now committed public money to help achieve Johnson’s pledge.

"We are setting out plans to invest £5bn to support the rollout of full-fibre, 5G and other gigabit-capable networks to...

By Ryan Daws, 30 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Broadband, Connectivity, Europe, Fiber Optic, Government, Industry, Infrastructure, Mobile, Networks, Rural.

Satellites will deliver fiber-like connectivity across the Arctic in 2020

Fiber-like connectivity will be available across the entire Arctic from 2020 thanks to a network of low-orbit satellites.

While a number of satellite providers have announced expansions into the Arctic, OneWeb claims to be "the only one capable of providing true high-speed, low-latency internet, at far lower costs than existing suppliers and before any other planned systems."

OneWeb's satellites deliver 375 Gbps of capacity to every country above the 60th parallel North. While 48 percent of the...

By Ryan Daws, 04 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Infrastructure, Networks, Operators, Rural, Satellite, Wireless.

SoftBank aims for drone-delivered internet and IoT connectivity by 2023

Japanese telecoms giant SoftBank aims to use drones for delivering internet and IoT connectivity by 2023.

SoftBank is teaming up with US drone builder AeroVironment for the project. The pair’s first drone, the HAWK30, is powered by solar energy.

Using the stored power, 10 electric motors will enable the HAWK30 to fly 12 miles (65,000 feet) above sea level – around twice as high as commercial aircraft.

The high altitude helps to provide a steady current for the drone’s operations while also...

By Ryan Daws, 18 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Connectivity, Infrastructure, Innovation, IoT, Mobile, N America, Networks, Rural, Smart Cities, Wireless.

How agriculture’s digital transformation is being enabled by IoT apps

The global agricultural sector is currently evolving, as applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) technology disrupts more traditional methods of farming. With use cases that target several different segments of the market already available, new solutions are being created to evolve more segments.

The fact that there is no single, specific problem experienced by all farmers and ranchers has led to the development of a variety of different solutions, notably including water usage concerns from the...

By David H. Deans, 28 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, Industry, Innovation, IoT, Rural.

Amazon plans to launch a 3,236-strong constellation of satellites

Amazon has confirmed plans to launch a constellation of 3,236 satellites for global internet connectivity.

GeekWire first discovered the plans known as ‘Project Kuiper’ which refers to the name of an icy asteroid belt situated between Neptune and Pluto. 3,236 satellites would be deployed across three altitudes of earth's orbit under Amazon's plans.

In an emailed statement, Amazon wrote:

“Project Kuiper is a...

Musk fired SpaceX execs over lack of satellite broadband progress

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk fired several executives after being unimpressed with the lack of progress made in developing and testing broadband satellites.

According to Reuters, at least seven managers at the company were axed within hours of Musk landing on a trip to visit engineers leading the Starlink project.

Musk was reportedly unhappy with the pace of developments and believed a management shakeup was needed to keep the project on track.

Reuters

By Ryan Daws, 01 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Developing Countries, Infrastructure, Rural, Satellite.

Budget 2018: UK chancellor pledges £250m to boost rural broadband

In his latest budget, UK Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced £250m will be used to provide rural areas with superfast broadband.

Poor rural connectivity has held back certain areas from the rest of the nation.

The funding boost will target rural schools and libraries to ensure they have access to ‘full fibre’ connectivity.

DCMS Secretary of State Jeremy Wright said:

"Through our modern Industrial Strategy, it’s our ambition to have a full fibre Britain that...

By Ryan Daws, 29 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Fiber Optic, Government, Infrastructure, Networks, Rural.

Almost 20 percent of UK roads suffer from little-to-no mobile signal

While governments and operators prepare for 5G, the UK still has over 49,000 miles of road with poor or no mobile signal.

A study conducted by the RAC Foundation has found two percent of UK roads (over 5,500 miles) are unable to receive a mobile signal from any of the nation’s four mobile networks.

The inability to receive a signal is at best a mild annoyance due to problems such as potential lack of navigation, at worst the inability to call for help in a breakdown or accident.

Among the worst covered...

By Ryan Daws, 10 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Government, Industry, Infrastructure, Mobile, Networks, Operators, Rural.

FCC plans to inject $1.5 billion into rural broadband expansion

US telecoms regulator the FCC is set to provide a substantial cash injection over the next ten years to expand rural broadband availability.

Over the next decade, some 713,176 homes and businesses across 45 states will benefit from the investment.

The FCC is seeking minimum broadband speeds of 100Mbps in 53 percent of the rural locations targeted. Over 99.7 percent of these locations will receive at least 25 Mbps downstream speeds.

Better still, according to the FCC, 19 percent of locations will get access to...

UK makes bold promises to advance digital infrastructure

An assessment by the UK National Infrastructure Commission highlights areas where investment should be prioritised to prevent shortcomings.

“The whole purpose of the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment is to think beyond the technologies of today and to ensure we can make the most of future innovations,” explains Sir John Armitt CBE.

“It’s why it’s not just a one-off but something we will be repeating every five years to ensure we remain on the front...

Senators challenge the accuracy of FCC’s rural broadband map

Senators have expressed concern over the accuracy of a map the FCC is using to plan the allocation of over $4 billion in subsidies to improve rural broadband.

Under the Mobile Fund Phase II plans, money will be redirected over the next decade away from where private capital is already being supplied, and instead used to help bring 4G services to Americans in under-served rural areas.

In an op-ed back in February,  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wrote:

"Right now, the federal government...

By Ryan Daws, 31 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Government, Industry, Infrastructure, Mobile, N America, Networks, Rural.

Praise be signal! Masts will be installed on rural church spires

Ministers have signed a deal with the Church of England to install mobile phone masts on the high spires of rural churches.

Matt Hancock, Digital Secretary of State, says:

“Churches are central features and valued assets for local communities up and down the country. This agreement with the Church of England will mean that even a 15th century building can help make Britain fit for the future improving people’s lives by...

By Ryan Daws, 19 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Government, Infrastructure, Rural.

EE’s new 4G home broadband antenna plans to connect 580,000 homes across the UK

EE has announced trials of a new 4G home broadband antenna that it expects will provide more than 580,000 UK homes with high-speed internet for the first time.

The new 4G home broadband solution combines the 4GEE Home Router with a powerful external antenna and professional installation service. EE believes it will deliver high-speed internet in rural areas that can only access broadband speeds under 10Mbps today.

Sarah...

By Ryan Daws, 09 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Infrastructure, Networks, Operators, Rural.

Openreach use drones to connect rural areas with fast broadband

Openreach is using drones to quickly bring high-speed fibre broadband to rural areas.

The drones help to lay a fibre cable across routes that would have been difficult to deploy across. Due to the small drones used, the actual fibre cable was too heavy for them to lift directly.

Instead, Openreach engineers are using the drones to fly a high-strength fishing line around 100 meters and drop it across the top...

By Ryan Daws, 30 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Fiber Optic, Infrastructure, Networks, Rural.

Research: Mobile broadband penetration significantly boosts the economy

A report has found that increasing mobile broadband penetration has a significant impact on a country's economy. The research, conducted by Ericsson and the Imperial College of London, examines data from 135 countries.

Researchers found that as mobile broadband penetration increases by 10 percent; a 0.6 - 1.6 percent growth in GDP is observed. In 2016, this equated to anywhere between $500 billion to $2 trillion.

By Ryan Daws, 02 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Consumers, Industry, Infrastructure, Mobile, Networks, Research, Rural.

T-Mobile shows how its 600MHz rollout will affect coverage

T-Mobile has updated its coverage map to show how its new 600MHz network will affect coverage.

The map has been updated mere days after rumours circulated T-Mobile and Sprint have agreed on a merger-in-principle. It goes to show how T-Mobile is looking to further improve its coverage whether the anticipated deal passes regulatory approval or not.

By Ryan Daws, 29 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Mobile, Networks, Research, Rural, Spectrum.

ESA partners with space industry on ‘Satellite for 5G’

The ESA (European Space Agency) has joined forces with 16 space companies on a new ‘Satellite for 5G’ initiative.

Satellite for 5G aims to offer truly global high-speed coverage even in areas difficult to reach by cell towers such as up mountains and remote islands. To preserve bandwidth, cell towers will remain the first point of access for most but satellites could be used to reach the emergency services wherever you are on Earth.

“5G provides a major...

By Ryan Daws, 22 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Connectivity, Europe, Industry, Rural.

EE’s inflatable masts are powered by ‘pre-5G’ backhaul

We’ve already reported on EE’s plans to use inflatable masts for providing mobile coverage during events, blackouts, and emergencies, but now we have more details about what technology powers it.

EE’s helium balloon, the Helikite, packs miniature antennas which link to a ‘network in a box’ on the ground via 26GHz millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum. Similar...

By Ryan Daws, 14 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Connectivity, Innovation, Mobile, Rural.