According to Lincoln Lavoie, Broadband Forum Technical Committee Chair, of the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab (UNH-IOL), flexibility in network control and distribution has created the need to separate the functions between wireless and wired network equipment.
In a feature with 5G Technology World, he reveals that to deliver on the promise of 5G, network operators will need to augment their existing network architectures, addressing some flexibility brought into existence with the new 5G technologies and designs. Overall, 5G brings numerous changes to the mobile network, its architecture, and the equipment used to construct it. 5G is so much more than a wireless technology. Indeed, it’s producing significant changes on the wired network, particularly in the fronthaul, the portion of the network closest to the radio.
Since COVID-19 wreaked devastation on the world, a number of countries have been in lockdown to help reduce the spread of the virus, leading to a record number of people working from home and staying indoors. The impact this has had on broadband networks has been nothing short of remarkable, with double-digit growth reported across the board in quarantined countries.
According to NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, based on data it aggregated from Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, GCI and Midco, downstream peak usage is up 20.1% since March 1. This is likely to be driven by the use of OTT services and gaming downloads, while the increased use of video conferencing apps has seen peak upstream usage surge by 27.7%.
Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum, says that operators’ response to managing this extra traffic has been quite phenomenal – a testament to the ongoing programs to add capacity and upgrade networks. Find out more about how are operators across the globe coping with this spike in demand here.
Hub Entertainment Research has released the findings from its Connected Home study that shows US consumers are getting smarter in their homes.
The study showcases a rise in smart speaker purchases, a dramatic increase in smartphone viewership, and Amazon’s entrenchment as a leader in the smart electronics space (most notably smart speakers, smart devices, and smart TVs). Lower prices with more features and greater entry of these devices into consumer consciousness have contributed to this growth.
“Consumers and their homes are getting smarter all the time, whether it’s for entertainment, comfort or security,” said David Tice, Senior Consultant at Hub. “Although fielded prior to the main impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, this US snapshot shows how well most households were equipped to deal with both work at home and entertainment needs during the lockdown.”
AT&T has announced it will give doctors and nurses three months of free service on its nationwide FirstNet® first responder network amid the coronavirus pandemic.
While connectivity is important to consumers, it becomes critical for first responders that are handling the coronavirus crisis.
Data from AT&T has revealed COVID-19’s impact on communication, with core network traffic rising by 26%. Wireless voice minutes grew by 16%, consumer home voice calling minutes by 43%, and Wi-Fi calling minutes by 52%.
A statement on the AT&T website said: “As public safety’s communications network partner, we have a responsibility unlike any other wireless carrier, and the FirstNet Authority holds AT&T accountable to deliver the solutions that meet public safety’s needs today and for decades to come. FirstNet was built for this situation – it’s exactly what the first responder community designed it for.”
Elsewhere, UK operators have also introduced several initiatives to support their customers during the COVID-19 crisis. Vodafone has increased its capacity to deal with new spikes in internet traffic, while consumers accessing government-supported healthcare websites and educational resources will be able to do so without worrying about data consumption.
Since March 23, Virgin Media’s postpaid customers have been offered unlimited minutes to landlines and other mobile numbers, as well as a 10 GB data boost for the month at no extra cost. For broadband, data caps on legacy products have been lifted.
And like many other telcos, O2 has said all NHS UK and some social welfare websites will be ‘zero rated’, meaning any data used on these sites won’t count towards a customer’s monthly allowance, while it will also make efforts to help those who are not able to pay their monthly bill.
The UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a £30 million scheme known as the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme (5GTT), which will allow innovators to apply for 5G use case funding.
UK-based entrants can apply from £250,000 to £5 million to support their 5G projects.
“The UK government believes it has a responsibility to stimulate the investment and research in to 5G technology on a national scale, for the benefit of all citizens and businesses,” said Ian Smith, programme director of 5GTT.
A Series of Fortunate Events – by Broadband Forum
And that’s a wrap! Broadband and Axrios complete USP webinar
On April 16, the Broadband Forum Connected Home Council and Axiros hosted a webinar on how today’s providers and consumer electronics vendors are monetizing the connected home.
A hot topic of discussion was the Broadband Forum’s User Services Platform (TR-369) which has powerful new tools and an improved data model to make managing the connected home simpler than ever before. The webinar also took an in-depth technical look at the device capabilities of USP, the flexibility of the USP’s TR-181 data model, and how the TR-181 data model aids migration.
To find out more about how Broadband Forum is unleashing the connected home ecosystem, please click here to receive a recording of the webinar.
The event must go on…Broadband Forum to host virtual Q2 meeting
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is continuing to impact the way of life for all, bringing a set of unprecedented challenges. In light of the current global situation, Broadband Forum has decided to switch its Q2 meeting, scheduled for June 16-19 in Melbourne, Australia, to a series of virtual meetings.
Broadband Forum anticipates the series of virtual meetings to run for approximately two weeks and will have both opening and closing sessions, as well as technical sessions driven by an agenda with the usual contribution deadlines.
More details will be forthcoming as Lincoln Lavoie, Broadband Forum Technical Committee Chair, has been tasked to work with the Steering Committee to further define the details of the virtual meetings. At these uncertain times, the Forum is able to take a new approach to meetings, explore new tools, and continue valuable work and cadence of that work to the best of its ability.
If you would like to attend the virtual Q2 meeting, please contract Rhonda Heier at email@example.com for more information.
Knowing me, knowing you…
From 5G and the smart home to next-generation access and network automation, Broadband Forum is working on a series of initiatives to enable the next era of connectivity. If you would like to track or get involved in these projects, you can learn more about Broadband Forum’s work in progress here or visit its YouTube channel for further insight.