The Federal Communications Commission has recently granted AT&T permission to conduct experiments using 3400-3600 MHz, 3700-4200 MHz, 28 GHz and a wide variety of other spectrum bands. Tests are due to begin on May 1, with the authorization set to expire on the same date in 2021.
DISH Network said it's making progress with the deployment of a network for narrowband IoT, which is estimated to cost between $500 million and $1 billion. Charlie Ergen, the company's chairman, admitted that "there will be a lot of obstacles in the way," but that the plan is on schedule to be complete in March 2020, and that it will meet the Federal Communications Commission's requirements for buildout.
Democratic lawmakers on the House Commerce Committee sharply questioned the heads of T-Mobile and Sprint on Wednesday about the anticompetitive effects of their proposed merger as well as the potential fallout in rural areas. John Legere and Marcelo Claure, who lead the respective companies, asserted that the deal is necessary for the companies to compete with bigger rivals and said it will spur rural 5G network development, reduce prices and create jobs.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai urged major carriers to voluntarily set up caller ID authentication before 2019 ends, adding that failure to do so may result in "regulatory intervention." This development comes three months after Pai wrote to several telecom giants, including T-Mobile, AT&T, Comcast and Sprint, asking them to take measures against robocalls this year.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere plans to tell lawmakers at a House hearing today that his company will never incorporate telecom gear made by Chinese companies ZTE and Huawei into its 5G network and that its merger with Sprint is the US' only chance to compete against China in the 5G race. The transaction is facing mounting opposition from several Senate Democrats, who recently sent letters asking the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission to reject the merger, saying it would hurt competition, threaten innovation, increase prices and result in lost jobs.
AT&T has announced Chicago and Minneapolis as the next two cities due to receive 5G service in the first half of this year, with seven previously announced 2019 launch cities including San Diego, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The carrier rolled out millimeter-wave 5G service to limited areas of 12 cities in December, but accessing the network is only possible using devices such as AT&T's Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot, which the company has provided.
Network testing company RootMetrics reports that initial 5G implementations in US urban areas are already helping improve the quality of wireless services, driving speed gains and improved reliability. Verizon topped RootMetrics' ranking of the best carriers based on metro performance for the 11th consecutive time, registering download speeds faster than 20 Mbps in 111 of the 125 markets tested.
Apple is reportedly proposing deals to publishers for its planned subscription news service that would see the tech giant keep roughly 50% of the revenue, while the remaining half would be shared among publishers based on user engagement metrics. The proposed revenue split has drawn the ire of publishers, especially considering that Apple likely won't share subscriber data with them.
AT&T has rolled out limited 5G coverage to the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in a move that the company's Senior Vice President of Wireless Technology, Igal Elbaz, says "is expected to alter the in-stadium experience in dramatic, exciting ways by blurring the physical and digital experience in ways that are simply not possible on today's networks." The carrier also said it was able to achieve 1.53 Gbps download speeds in field tests on its live commercial millimeter wave network.
Performance reviews should be more frequent than annually and include a short and to-the-point set of questions about goals, writes Randal Vegter, NewsCred people operations chief. "Things clicked into place when we transitioned to eight forward-facing, light-touch conversations per year," he writes.