The August Review

Now that September is here, let’s have a look at the news which may have slipped under your radar from the previous month.

The first standalone 5G data session was carried out in America, an advance which seeks to improve the potential of 5G applications. Currently there are no standalone 5G infrastructures available; 5G requires access to an LTE network, which is a 4G mobile communications standard. T-Mobile were behind the test and they used Ericsson’s AIR 6488 radio and Baseband 6630. According to Ericsson, Standalone New Radio (SA NR) – coupled with cloud-native 5G Core – will help to power exciting new applications such as mobile VR, cloud gaming, and connected cars. Such applications require almost real-time responses and reliable connectivity. It is worth noting, at present, non-native 5G infrastructures (i.e. those coupled with 4G) offer greater speeds.

No one escapes the nuisance of cold callers and rarely does the TPS have the desired effect. Moreover, there is the increasing new scourge of so-called ‘robo callers’. Increasingly, calls from numbers that we do not recognise are being ignored for fear of cold calling, which can mean important communications are missed. Twilio have teamed up with several caller identification solutions to bring to the market ‘Verified by Twilio’. This is an ingenious solution which will intercept the incoming call and, using data gathered from the number owner and Twilio’s own knowledge base, will show you who is calling and, more impressively, suggest why they might be calling you.

Mid-month, EE issued a formal complaint about how the network Three advertised ‘real 5G’, given that EE had been advertising themselves as the only network to offer real 5G coverage. Three has scooped up 140MHz of 5G-friendly spectrum, including a single 100MHz contiguous block. Three claims this will enable it to offer peak speeds up to twice as fast as any rival network at launch. With 50MHz of spectrum, Vodafone is Three’s closest rival. BT, who also complained, released the following statement to back up their own complaint: “Three’s claim to be the only real 5G network is entirely false, and deliberately aimed at misleading consumers.” Meanwhile, EE said in a statement: “Our customers have been using real 5G since we launched the UK’s first 5G network, back in May.”

In South Korea, SK Telecom proudly announced that they had surpassed one million 5G customers in only 140 days since launching their 5G offering in May. This was seen as a direct correlation to the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy S10 and the V50 ThinQ, all released exclusively on their 5G network.

Huawei and their alleged roles in data misuse and spying appeared once again in the news, with digital minister Nicky Morgan announcing that Britain should soon make a definitive decision regarding collaborating with Huawei in allowing them to install 5G networks in this country. Her comment on the subject was as follows: “We will make the right decision for the UK. I would hope we could do something by the autumn. We’ve got to make sure that this is going to be a decision for the long term, making sure that we keep all our networks secure.” The timing is seemingly significant, as it came towards the very end of the G7 meeting where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met ardent Huawei critic President Trump for the first time.

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