AT&T signs 5-year deal with Nokia for C-band gear
by Monica Alleven | Mar 18, 2021 10:24am Nokia announced today that it will be supporting AT&T’s C-band buildout, a development that is not the least bit surprising given their history together. Financial terms of the five-year deal were not disclosed. AT&T said last week that it will be spending on the order of $6 billion to $8 billion on its C-band rollout, which will begin when the first batch of spectrum becomes available at the end of this year, although a lot of planning and pre-deployment work occurs before that. Most of its C-band spend will be happening in the 2022-2024 timeframe. AT&T will use Nokia’s C-band portfolio to boost network capacity and support both indoor and outdoor 5G coverage in parts of the U.S. Included in the deal are Nokia’s Massive MIMO antenna solutions, macro remote radio heads (RRH) and next-generation AirScale baseband equipment. The FCC's C-band auction opened up 280 MHz of the mid-band spectrum, with 100 MHz of spectrum coming available for 5G by the end of this year. AT&T won 40 MHz of that, while Verizon bought the other 60 MHz, spending upwards of $23 billion and $45 billion, respectively, before clearing costs are factored in. Notably, AT&T’s deal with Nokia includes open Radio Access Network (RAN) products. Nokia says its C-band RAN technology will interwork with existing Nokia LTE RAN equipment that’s already been deployed by AT&T. Nokia’s portfolio also supports both 5G standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) networks and cloud-based implementations. “AT&T is committed to bringing the power of 5G to businesses and communities across the nation, and our C-Band deployments with Nokia will help add 5G capacity where it’s needed,” said Igal Elbaz, senior vice president of Wireless and Access Technology AT&T, in a statement. “Nokia has been our trusted collaborator for more than 20 years as we’ve rolled out each generation of wireless technology, and its C-Band portfolio brings the right capabilities to help enable AT&T to deliver an exciting and powerful 5G experience that our subscribers have come to expect from us.” RELATED: Nokia ready with C-band gear on heels of 5G spectrum auction Nokia announced last summer that its C-band equipment would be ready for prime time, achieving stable peak throughput speeds of over 1 Gbps and successful handoffs during a C-band demo in Dallas. Nokia’s C-band portfolio is based on its AirScale 5G radio frequency (RF) products, and its solutions support a range of deployment scenarios: 64TRX and 32TRX massive MIMO for extreme capacity; 8T8R radios for coverage solutions; 4T4R micro RRH for street level and venue deployments; and indoor pico RRH for extensive in-building coverage.
Advances in 5G Boosts Mobile Speeds in Taiwan
ARÍA F. VALENZUELA GÓMEZ 03 Feb 2021 Taiwan has seen considerable growth in its mobile performance since it issued its first 5G commercial license in July 2020. Using Speedtest Intelligence® data from Q4 2020, we explored how the emerging technology has affected overall mobile speeds, how much faster 5G was compared to 4G, which operator had the fastest 5G and what speeds look like in Taiwan’s largest metropolitan areas. Mobile internet speeds in Taiwan showed steady improvement Mobile internet speeds in Taiwan have steadily increased in the last two years thanks, in part, to 5G deployments across the country. In December 2020, Taiwan reached 16th place in the Speedtest Global IndexTM, an improvement from their 29th place ranking in January 2019. Looking at mean download speed over mobile on all technologies, Taiwan showed a 30.4% increase from 2019 to 2020. Mean Mobile Download Speeds in Taiwan Speedtest Intelligence® | 2019 - 2020 Download (Mbps) 2019 Download (Mbps) 2020 % Increase All Operators 42.20 55.01 30.4% 5G median download speed was 522% faster than 4G in Taiwan We compared 5G speeds in Taiwan to speeds over 4G using measurements from devices using modern chipsets. As expected, median download speed over 5G far exceeded that over 4G during Q4 2020, with 5G coming in 522.0% faster than 4G. We report 5G using median rather than mean speeds because the potential for outliers is high, so median gives a better expectation of the performance a consumer is likely to experience. FarEasTone was the fastest operator for 5G in Taiwan FarEasTone showed the fastest median download speed over 5G among mobile operators in Taiwan during Q4 2020, followed by Chunghwa Telecom. Taiwan Mobile was third and TSTAR fourth. Taoyuan showed the fastest 5G download speed in Q4 2020 Country-wide averages do not reflect the differences in performance that can occur between different metropolitan areas. We looked at median download speeds over 5G for Taiwan’s five most populous metropolitan areas during Q4 2020 to get a better understanding of how 5G performance varies in locations across the country. 5G download speeds varied among Taiwan’s largest metropolitan areas, but were not far from the country-wide average for 5G of 260.01 Mbps during this period. While it would appear that Taoyuan had the fastest median download speed over 5G at 265.01 Mbps, followed by Taipei at 261.79 Mbps and Taichung at 260.20 Mbps, the confidence intervals show that it’s really a toss-up between cities at the top of this list. Confidence intervals also make it impossible to declare a slowest city, though the slowest median download speed was measured in New Taipei at 236.69 Mbps. The expansion of 5G in Taiwan is exciting and has provided consumers with much faster mobile speeds. We look forward to seeing how this emerging technology continues to expand across the country and how it affects mobile performance in Taiwan. Sources : www.speedtest.net
AT&T scores fastest 5G network, Verizon’s availability drags down speed
by Bevin Fletcher | Jan 19, 2021 5:24pm While Verizon and T-Mobile lately seem to be competing largely with each other over network prowess, new results from Ookla named AT&T as the fastest U.S. mobile operator in Q4 – for both 4G and 5G. Average mobile download speeds overall climbed quickly in the U.S. during the fourth quarter – jumping more than 20 Mbps from about 47.13 Mbps in September to 67.33 Mbps in December, according to the latest Speedtest Global Index. That pushed the U.S. into the top 20 for global speed rankings, up from 33rd at the end of the third quarter. AT&T claimed network bragging rights for the top speed spot in the U.S. overall in Q4, with an Ookla Speedtest Speed Score of 50.27 – roughly three points higher than T-Mobile and nearly 10 points higher than fourth-place Verizon. Ookla is still reporting T-Mobile and Sprint separately until their post-merger network integration is fully complete (the latter placed third with a one-point lead on Verizon). Measures of both upload and download speeds are incorporated in Speed Scores, with 90% of the final attributed to download and remaining 10% attributed to upload. Notably, AT&T also nabbed the number one position for fastest 5G speeds while Verizon dropped to last place. Speedtest 5G Speed Score Q4 2020 (Ookla) With its initial millimeter wave focused 5G strategy, Verizon often found itself at the top in terms of speed rankings and far outpacing competitors, but with barely-there availability. For example, Ookla results in Q3 showed Verizon’s 5G speed score at a whopping 792.5 Mbps, versus its closest competitor AT&T at 65.22. However, at that time Verizon users with a capable device were only connected to 5G a mere 0.6% of the time versus AT&T at 18.4%. Fast forward and as noted in the analysis, Q4 saw a significant change to Verizon’s 5G network. The carrier rolled out ‘5G Nationwide’ using sub-6 GHz spectrum and dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) technology. That greatly expanded Verizon’s 5G footprint (covering 230 million people as of mid-December) and also coincided with the launch of the first 5G-capable iPhone. This time around AT&T is top for speed but last in time spent on 5G (albeit not as dramatic as the disparity between Verizon’s earlier speed and availability scores). Time spent on Verizon’s 5G shot up to 29.6% in Q4 and pushed AT&T, which also saw improvements in the category, to fourth place at 26%. “The dramatic increase in Verizon’s 5G Time Spent is the second half of the puzzle of the drop in performance as more users over a larger footprint are now accessing the network,” the Ookla report stated. Meanwhile, speeds on AT&T’s 5G network, which uses lower band spectrum, jumped more than 10 Mbps over the past three months to 75.59 Mbps. T-Mobile nabbed second place for speed and continued its reign as carrier with most time spent on 5G (including for Sprint users roaming on the T-Mobile network). T-Mobile has been touting its ‘Ultra Capacity 5G’ service where mid-band 2.5 GHz spectrum is deployed along with millimeter wave, covering 106 million people. The operator’s nationwide 5G network using 600 MHz spectrum covers 280 million people. In Q4 Speedtest users with a 5G-capable device connected to T-Mobile’s 5G network about 64% the time, and Sprint users were at 59%. That’s an increase from 54.4% and 47.6% in Q3, respectively. U.S. carriers have all taken different approaches to 5G, including different spectrum bands with different flavors of low-, mid- and high-band 5G. Dan Hays, US TMT Corporate Strategy Leader at PwC’s Strategy& consulting practice believes one challenge still facing the industry in significantly growing 5G penetration is the customer experience. “Coverage continues to be uneven and performance is not consistent,” he told Fierce. 5G expanded in 2020, with 5G covering three quarters of the U.S. population as of January 1, 2021 and device penetration at 8%, according to a new PwC Mobile Index. That’s expected to grow to 80% and 12% by July, respectively. “The industry has a significant opportunity to improve customer experience and also educate people on what they should be expecting from 5G,” Hays said. He acknowledged that 5G marketing is currently well ahead of 5G service at this point. “The [5G] experience will improve in terms of coverage as the networks get built out,” he said. “And spectrum deployment is certainly a key requirement but is unlikely to change things over night.” Based on mid-band auctions over the past year, Hays noted the industry is still likely 2 to 3 years out from when a sizable amount of that spectrum is fully deployed. Just last week the first phase of the FCC’s C-band auction for key mid-band spectrum licenses in the 3.7 GHz band wrapped up with more than $80 billion in gross proceeds. All three nationwide carriers participated but the question still remains of who came away with what.