New device testing lab opens for T-Mobile

T-Mobile US is opening up the Launch Pad. This will be a facility that will test 5G devices as well as devices which enable License Assisted Access, narrowband IoT, LTE and 3G. It will be 20,000 square foot and will also house the carrier’s 5g Tech Experience showcase for 4g and 5g.

The Launch Pad will have more than a dozen testing areas, ranging from radio frequency signal testing to voice call/sound quality, video optimization and data throughput testing; “in-depth testing” of software, applications and services; and durability testing including drop-testing, water testing and sensitivity to heat.

The facility will have equipment to test devices across a range of frequencies, from low-band to mid-band.

They plan for this lab to bring device and network quality engineers together to innovate and refine technologies from end-to-end before delivering them to customers.

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5g cell towers can be installed in Florida front yards

Everyone is awaiting 5g to be available where they live, but do they want the actual antenna in their front yard? According to a new law, Florida doesn’t have a say. Local governments have almost no say in where the new antenna will be placed. The telecommunication companies are looking for the best sites to install the new antennas. The antennas are quite small, its a little larger then a mini refrigerator and they will be mounted on top of a utility pole. 5g uses a much higher frequency, which means it doesn’t travel as far. Signals are blocked by buildings and trees, which means they will need to mount more antennas then they normally do for the other technologies in the past.

Sadly, under a new Florida law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis this year, cities can’t require telecommunication companies to notify residents or require much of anything from the companies.

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OnePlus is bringing a 5G phone to Sprint ‘soon’

OnePlus and Sprint are working together to bring a 5g phone to the US. They both said, that more details will be announced soon!

Currently OnePlus sells a 5g version overseas, but only sells a 4g version in the US unlocked. It will work on AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile networks. 

Sprint currently has 5g in five cities and will be adding four more cities in the “coming weeks.”

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AT&T retail robots

Don’t be alarmed if you run into a robot at the AT&T store. AT&T is partnering with Badger Technologies for the project. They are planning on having a robot be able to identify any out-of-stock, mispriced or misplaced products in a store, as well as finding store hazards.
The carrier said the retail robots being developed in one of AT&T’s labs require too much data to be used on traditional Wi-Fi and need the better network security and control that 5G connectivity can provide.
“The AT&T Foundry is testing 5G connectivity with Badger Technologies’ robots in a multi-access edge computing (MEC) environment,” AT&T said. “5G using millimeter wave spectrum and edge computing could provide Badger Technologies with the lower latency and high throughput required to process and share vast amounts of data while running concurrently with other in-store network applications.”
Other stores and chains are working on robots for retail too. 

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5g can’t handle the summer heat

We have known since 5G’s launch that the signals that rely on ‘millimeter wave’ technology don’t generate well through walls, windows, people, or water, including water vapor in the atmosphere. However, now that we’re in July they’re noticing the issues with Summer!

According to reports from both The Wall Street Journal and PCMag, the current bare handful of 5G devices available to consumers literally wilt and die if you attempt to use them in hot weather.

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AT&T President Reveals Why 5G is Taking So Long to Come Out

AT&T hosted its annual Shape conference last month and Newsweek spoke with AT&T President Kevin Petersen to discuss the rollout of gig-speed mobile networks and what that might mean for entertainment and business experiences of the future. The ultimate goal of 5G is to offer speeds that rival the fastest wifi, not all network frequencies are created equal. As Petersen describes, “there are different types of deployment. There’s the millimeter wave deployment where you truly do get the gig-plus speed or the wider deployment where you’re getting great coverage as well as performance.” So, at least initially, 5G customers will be swapping between blistering-fast maximum speeds in smaller doses and something that’s a marked improvement but not quite gig-speed everywhere else.

“5G plays a really important role when you start to think about the data intensity required for AR, VR, spatial computing and reducing latency. It’s a means of ultra-responsive connectivity, ultra-fast speeds and higher capacity,” Petersen explained.”While you can do a lot on today’s technology, the 5G improves it in terms of response times and latency, speed as well as higher capacity. So it enhances today’s experience and opens up the possibility for new experiences.”

Peterson thinks over the next three or so years we’ll see a very quick evolution and shift to 5G. The slow rollout of 5G is mostly due to necessary physical manpower and community logistics. The millimeter wave is short, so area that it covers is smaller. They’re putting it on these small cells to enhance coverage and performance. That requires them to go locally and get the permits, which is one of the biggest challenges.

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Real 5G is nearly three times faster than LTE, but not everywhere

It’s all over the internet that 5g is better then 4g LTE, but how much better is it in the real world? According to Opensignal’s crowdsourced data, it’s indeed a lot faster, but mainly in the US! They found that peak download speeds on 5G reach just past 1.8Gbps in the States versus 678Mbps for LTE, or about 2.7 times faster. That’s because of the use of millimeter wave spectrum whose ultra-high frequencies (about 30GHz and up) allow such a huge bandwidth boost. Other countries don’t have that, the speeds are much lower. Switzerland and South Korea come the closest at about 1.1Gbps on 5G.

It’s slower due to these markets don’t have millimeter wave access and are relying instead on “mid band” (typically 3.4GHz to 3.8GHz) frequencies to deliver 5g service.

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5g launches in UK

EE first launched 5g in May 2019 and now this month Vodafone is the second to launch 5g in the UK. They’re launching it in Cardiff, London, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool. The 5g network can offer up to 100 times faster than 4g. Later this year they plan to have the service in Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton.

Vodafone is the first UK provider to even offer 5G roaming in Germany, Spain and Italy.

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Expect to wait 2-3 years before 5G phones get cheaper

Some people are lucky and live in the areas where 5g is available. However, the 5g phones are quite expensive considering the limited 5G coverage with the carriers. At least they will still work with 4g if 5g isn’t available.

TechRadar attended a meeting with Samsung CEO, DJ Koh, saying that he expects consumers to turn to 5G in the next two to three years, once their current contract comes up for renewal, networks improve coverage, and mid-range 5G devices become available. Explaining that smartphones tend to last longer these days, “their lifespan is nearly 2.5 or even 3 years” Koh told them, Samsung expects the S10 5G to still provide a solid experience for customers in 2020. “When carriers expand 5G coverage, customers [will make the switch] when they come to renew [their phone contract] in two to three years,” Koh explained while adding “then I expect much faster expansion than LTE.”

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T-Mobile launches 5g in 6 cities

On June 28th, T-Mobile will have the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G for sale. They will be launching the 5g service in Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York. Customers who are not in these six cities can still purchase the phone and use T-Mobile’s LTE network. T-Mobile at this time is not requiring you to purchase a special data plan to access the new network. T-Mobile will utilize mmWave technology, however it’s very limited. They plan to launch a larger 5G network later this year using the low-band 600Mhz 5G spectrum, a technology not supported by the Galaxy S10 5G.

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