#TBT: Ookla buys RootMetrics; 5G Coming to Brazil; Discussing the future of USF…this week in 2021 | Jobs Reply

Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News uses Throwback Thursdays and draws on our archives to revive top headlines from the past. Start the time machine, put on those sepia shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

Brazil gets its first 5G network

Brazilian telecoms operator Algar Telecom announced that it has launched what it says is the country’s first commercial 5G network. In a press release, the airline said the first 5G service will be rolled out in parts of Uberlandia, Uberaba and Sao Paulo, with initial coverage reaching about 40 districts in those three cities. Algar said the 5G service will be offered through non-standalone technology in the 2.3GHz band. Algar had held demonstrations of 5G technology in Uberaba two weeks ago via an implementation done together with Nokia and with a focus on the agribusiness. Communications Minister Fábio Faria had foreseen in his Senate hearing last week that Algar would be the first telecoms company to roll out 5G services in the country. … Continue reading

What’s next for Ookla?

There’s a long debate about network testing that basically asks what’s better: Highly controlled and repeatable drive and walk tests with special test setups to get deep RF and chip-level data showing what for a network compatible with the latest devices; Or crowd-sourced, device-based data that gives a more aggregated but realistic view of typical user experience under complicated conditions? Ookla’s acquisition of RootMetrics this week provides an answer. “The answer is definitely both. I think it always has been,” said Doug Suttles, CEO, GM and co-founder of Ookla. Then he adds, “But those who don’t have the other will say the opposite.” In a statement on the acquisition, Suttles called Ookla-plus-RootMetrics “the network assessment trifecta of crowd measurement, controlled testing, and consumer perception.” In conversation with RCR Wireless News, Suttles says that Ookla’s customers have regularly asked if it’s possible to get some controlled testing in addition to the company’s crowd-based data. He also says he’s had discussions with RootMetrics for years about how to combine crowd-based data with controlled testing, but it was “impossible to find common ground where we as competitors could do that. “So now we’ve solved that problem,” he continues. “We have an opportunity to share and find out everything for years to come.” Crowdsourced data is often seen as messy, biased, or simply lacking in adequate controls. The addition of controlled testing, Suttles says, will make crowdsourced data “more bulletproof.” … Continue reading

China Mobile is considering Shanghai IPO after NYSE ban

China’s largest telecoms operator, China Mobile, has been given the green light for an initial public offering (IPO) through the Shanghai Stock Exchange after the company was removed from the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year due to a ban ordered by former President Donald Trump. China Mobile said in a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where it also trades, that it has received approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission to proceed with the share sale. The airline also said it plans to issue 845.7 million shares. Based on the closing price of Hong Kong-listed shares on Monday, the offering would raise the equivalent of around CNY39.16 billion ($5 billion). The telecom company also said a price will be set after a roadshow with investors. China International Capital Corp. and Citic Securities Co. are sponsors of China Mobile’s IPO of A shares. Key underwriters include Huatai United Securities Co., BOC International (China) Co. and China Merchants Securities Co. In August, China Mobile filed a preliminary prospectus outlining its intention to raise CNY 560 billion to expand its 5G , Cloud infrastructure and procure smart home projects. … Continue reading

Where Do 911 Fees Go?

Each year for the past 12 years, the Federal Communications Commission has collected information from states and territories on their collection, distribution, and general operations of 911 fees and compiled it into a report to Congress. The latest available report from 2020, which is normally released in early December each year, covers the calendar year from January 1st to December 31st, 2019. Here are some key statistics from the 2020 Annual 911 Fees Report regarding 911 funding across the country for the more than 5,300 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) that served more than 211.1 million 911s during 2019 -Answered calls. However, the total estimated cost of providing service in 39 states and four territories was nearly $5.2 billion (not all jurisdictions gave the FCC an estimate of their total cost of service). When asked whether 911/E911 fees were combined with other sources of funding to provide 911 services, 27 states said they were not, and 12 states plus Guan and Puerto Rico said they rely solely on state 911s -Fees to cover the cost of 911 services. … Continue reading

Verizon is preparing for C-band deployment

Verizon says it has surpassed its goal of deploying 14,000 new 5G ultra-wideband or millimeter wave (mmWave) cellular sites by the end of 2021. The carrier now offers 5G phone service in parts of 87 US cities, 5G Home in parts of 65 cities, and 5G Business Internet in parts of 62 cities. At the UBS Global TMT Conference 2021 earlier this week, CEO Hans Vestberg announced this latest news, noting that Verizon has made significant progress in its five “growth vectors” and expects that trend to continue next year. “I have to say, 22 is an important year and we’re really looking forward to it,” Vestberg said at the conference. Verizon CTO Kyle Malady further characterized the airline’s progress in a more recent statement: “This year, our team has nearly doubled its 5G deployment compared to the last two years and the aggressive goals we set ourselves at the beginning of the year have set, even surpassed in the face of global supply chain issues, and we’re not stopping. We are on track to roll out our 5G ultra-broadband service across the C-band spectrum to more than 100 million people in Q1 2022.” … Read more

FCC Opens Talks About Future of USF

The Federal Communications Commission has launched a case to find out the future of the Universal Service Fund, which is funded by a portion of telecom carriers’ revenues passed through to consumers through line-item billing charges. Congress directed the agency to initiate such a process in light of the massive funding flowing into broadband – $65 billion – as a result of the recently passed infrastructure bill, and is seeking input on the impact of this funding on universal service goals and on existing programs. The FCC said it would propose that its “universal service” goals be defined as “universal deployment, affordability, adoption, availability, and equal access to broadband in the United States.” Among the questions the agency would like input on: How will the Infrastructure Act affect the costly service program, which has typically subsidized the capital cost of deployments in hard-to-serve areas? Should this program be changed to cover ongoing operational costs? … Continue reading

For more stories from the past, visit the RCR Wireless News Archive.

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