T-Mobile has launched a pilot of its home internet service that will offer roughly 50 Mbps of unlimited LTE data, at a cost of $50 each month, to as many as 50,000 homes in parts of the country where coverage is scarce or lacking. The pilot program is part of T-Mobile's efforts to compete with cable providers and disrupt what it calls "one of the most un-competitive and un-customer-friendly industries."
The Federal Communications Commission is moving forward with plans for an auction of spectrum in the 47, 39 and 37 GHz bands, and will consider issuing a public notice with proposals and questions about how the auction should be structured, announced Ajit Pai, the FCC's chairman, in a blog post. The upper spectrum auction, along with a proposal that would smooth the way for 37 GHz 5G service, are two of the items on the agenda for the FCC's April 12 open meeting.
Verizon prepaid subsidiary Visible is ramping up its advertising efforts as it seeks to build a reputation for itself and stand out in a crowded and competitive space. Funded last May, Visible offers a $40 monthly prepaid wireless plan with download speeds reaching 5 Mbps, as well as unlimited data and hotspot coverage.
Compact photo printers from HP, Canon, Fujifilm and Polaroid let users turn digital memories into physical prints in a snap by connecting printers to phones via Bluetooth. Users can add filters and edit the pics, and while the resolution isn't high, many are enjoying the novelty.
European carriers that use Huawei equipment in 4G networks are not able to switch suppliers for 5G networks because "Huawei is not allowing interoperability to 5G," said AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson at an event in Washington, D.C. Stephenson also said China is still behind the US in the 5G race, but slow permitting processes in the US and heavy Chinese investment, coupled with Huawei's 5G dominance, could change the situation.
The advent of Citizens Broadband Radio Service moved a step closer, with the CBRS Alliance saying it has begun work on Release 3 to support 5G networks. Its goal is to enable the launch of commercial 5G service next year.
Precision Phone Repair offers repairs for smartphones and other mobile devices, along with micro-soldering repairs, in Pocatello, Idaho. The store also has a machine that allows technicians to create custom screen protectors for any type of smartphone.
The immediate future of smartphones will be defined by 5G-compatible phones and foldable devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Although Deloitte has projected 5G smartphone sales to total just 1 million units in 2019, CCS Insight's Shaun Collins expects 5G "to get very big, very quickly" thereafter.
Wireless carriers face opposition from an assortment of groups to their request that federal regulators reserve part of the unlicensed 6 GHz band for licensed 5G services. The carriers contend that building 5G is a more urgent priority than following the wishes of opponents, who want to retain unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi networks.
The Federal Communications Commission has adopted rules to clear spectrum in the 95 gigahertz to 3 terahertz frequencies for experimental use to spur technological breakthroughs in communications and set the stage for 6G and beyond. The FCC will make the experimental licenses valid for up to 10 years and has opened up 21.2 GHz of spectrum in that range for testing unlicensed devices.
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