WATCH: AT&T Puts COWs in the Sky to Beam LTE Coverage Where It’s Needed

WATCH: AT&T Puts COWs in the Sky to Beam LTE Coverage Where It’s Needed

They might not be pigs, but AT&T has made COWs fly.

Seven months after the carrier first announced plans to do so, AT&T on Wednesday said it successfully built and tested a Flying cell-on-wheels, or COW, that can be used to beam LTE coverage where it’s needed during disasters or large events.

AT&T said its Flying COW was made up of a drone carrying a small cell and antennas that was connected to the ground by a thin tether. That tether was used to provide a secure fiber data connection as well as power to the drone for unlimited flight time. The Flying COW uses a satellite connection to carry texts, calls, and data for users in a select area on the ground below.

Here it is in action:

Unlike traditional ground-based COWs, AT&T indicated flying equipment can be easier to deploy in certain circumstances due to its reduced size. The setup flies at altitudes of more than 300 feet – or about 500 percent higher than a traditional COW mast – and has the potential to provide coverage to an area of about 40 square miles. Multiple Flying COWs could be deployed to expand that footprint, the carrier said.

“We see the Flying COW playing an important role within our Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) team. We can transport, deploy, and move it quickly to accommodate rapidly changing conditions during an emergency,” AT&T Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program Director Art Pregler wrote in a blog post. “For example, at the direction of first responders, it could follow firefighters battling a quickly moving wildfire line—keeping them connected while they fight blazes. The Flying COW is tough. It can fly and provide coverage in bad weather—from high winds to heavy smoke.”

“We’ll also look to use Flying COWs to enhance coverage at big events like music festivals,” Pregler continued. “Used in conjunction with traditional COWs, the Flying COW may allow us to extend coverage to the outlying areas of the festival grounds.”

The use of drones to provide cell coverage is AT&T’s latest employment of unmanned aerial vehicle technology. The carrier has previously announced its work with drones to inspect cell sites and measure network strength in venues. AT&T last year also teamed up with NASA to develop a drone traffic management system.

Via: Wireless Week

HOW CONSUMERS ARE ENGAGING WITH MOBILE VIDEO AROUND THE WORLD

HOW CONSUMERS ARE ENGAGING WITH MOBILE VIDEO AROUND THE WORLD

This year, more than ever, mobile is all about video. Findings from a new global research study into consumer behaviour and industry analysis show how video viewing has exploded on mobile devices and what advertisers and publishers need to know to make the most of mobile video in 2017.

Around the world, mobile is fueling video growth
Smartphones continue to grow as a screen of choice for video, rivaling desktop viewership consistently year-over-year. On average, 57% of consumers globally watch videos on a mobile phone every day, while 58% of consumers watch videos on their laptop/desktop every day. With 89% of US and 77% of global consumers saying they can’t live without their smartphone or always have it within arm’s reach, we are very close to the tipping point where mobile will soon be the number one video screen.

A boom in short-form video
Attention spans of online consumers? Dissolving. Consumers are watching more and more digital videos each year, but consumption of short-form video is rising at an even higher pace. 42% of consumers watch videos 5 minutes or less every day. As videos get longer, that number decreases.

Mobile is supporting the rise of VR, 360 and live video
The rate at which consumers are adopting immersive video formats varies around the world. For example 31% of US consumers and 21% of Southeast Asia consumers expect to watch more videos in VR in the next 12 months. But only 9% of Canadian and UK consumers feel the same.

When it comes to live video, an average of 65% of consumers watch live video on their smartphones. Southeast Asia saw the highest result, with 76% of consumers watching live video on their smartphones.

Mobile spend is going up
The industry is set to keep pace with consumer demands- continuing to increase spend in mobile video. Around the world, both advertisers and publishers are increasing spend on mobile.

  • 47% of advertisers expect to increase mobile ad spend by at least 25% in 2017
  • 57% of publishers expect mobile ad spend to increase by at least 25% in 2017

Advertisers are funding this increase in mobile video by shifting more and more money away from TV budgets. And mobile video spend is catching up to desktop video. In fact, when we looked at TV budgets shifting to digital video, we found that 63% is going to mobile video and 70% is going to desktop video.

Our new global research study also takes an in-depth look at how consumers engage with digital video, and what the year ahead holds for the industry. For the seventh consecutive year, AOL has uncovered key challenges and opportunities, as well as emerging trends that drive the industry forward. This annual study has also identified how behavior and attitudes have changed year-over-year.

The research was facilitated across seven global markets, including the United States, Canada (French), Canada (English), the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Australia and Southeast Asia. See what this means for marketers and publishers, and take a closer look at the data from our Mobile Video Research.

Via: AOL

Ericsson Launches Combined Core, Radio Platform for 5G

Ericsson Launches Combined Core, Radio Platform for 5G

Ericsson this week said it hit another milestone on the road to 5G with the launch of a combined core and radio platform for 5G use cases.

According to the company, the new 5G platform includes the core, radio and transport portfolios, together with digital support systems, transformation services, and security. Ericsson’s head of Business Unit Network Products Arun Bansal said in a Wednesday launch webcast the company believes it is the first to offer a complete 5G platform.

“With this we are the first with combined 5G radio and core and we have the market’s first 5G access and transit portfolio,” Bansal said.

Ericsson’s platform includes the 5G Core System, which can support 5G use cases using network slicing. The core system and applications now also include capabilities like federated network slices for global network slices, network slice management to automate service connections and quality, 5G policy and user data for network slices, distributed cloud for short latency applications, and 5G transformation services to ensure successful migration of the network and operation from the legacy to 5G core. Ericsson pointed out it has already successfully tested – in collaboration with Deutsche Telekom, and SK Telecom – an intercontinental 5G trial network where network slices were made available in the other operator’s footprint.

On the radio and transport front, Ericsson noted the addition of mid-band and high-band 5G New Radio (NR) radios to the 5G NR Radio it launched last year. The company said the 5G radio portfolio will be the first to support the new standardized 5G fronthaul interface (called eCPRI).

Ericsson said trials with 28 different operators are already underway, and indicated it expects an uptick in 5G field tests this year.

On Thursday, the company announced it implemented the first end-to-end 5G trial system with Korea’s SK Telecom back in December in Ericsson’s lab in Kista, Sweden. The trial used Ericsson’s Cloud Core, virtual RAN, and over-the-air NR/LTE interworking. A similar demonstration involving Cloud RAN was also made in collaboration with Telefonica the same month, the company said.

Ericsson will be showcasing and discussing 5G; platforms and services for IT, Cloud, Networks, and TV and Media; connected solutions for industries; and the Internet of Things at its booth in Hall 2 at Mobile World Congress later this month.

Source: Wireless Week 

The Nokia Phone From The Early ’00s Is Making A Comeback

The Nokia Phone From The Early ’00s Is Making A Comeback

“The grandmaster of gaming and good old snakes is back!!!”

We have the fondest memories of Nokia phones. The sort-of cumbersome, brick-like phones were uncomplicated and indestructible.

And if you, too, feel nostalgic about playing “Snake” on your phone, then Finnish manufacturer HMD Global Oy has great news for you: It’s releasing an updated version of the Nokia 3310.

SCIENCE & SOCIETY PICTURE LIBRARY VIA GETTY IMAGES

The company acquired “exclusive rights to market phones under the storied Nokia brand” and plans to announce four phones at the Mobile World Congress, which kicks off Feb. 26 in Barcelona, Spain, according to Venture Beat.

A modern version of the Nokia 3310, which launched roughly 17 years ago and was taken off the market in 2005, will be released for a mere €59 (about $62.61). There’s no word yet on how, exactly, the new 3310 will be different from the old one.

Regardless, people are excited for the phone to make a comeback:

Am here for the nokia 3310 as my 3rd phone. Will carry them all at once😂😂

The Nokia 3310 being re-released? Make it so!

oh yea!! The grandmaster of gaming and good old snakes is back!!!

Besides the reboot of the classic 3310, the company also plans to release the Nokia 5 and Nokia 3. The Nokia 5 will reportedly go for €199, and Nokia 3, the entry-level Android, will go for €149.

Long live Nokia!

Source: Huffington Post

Airlines Phasing Out Screens Because You Are All on Your Devices

Airlines Phasing Out Screens Because You Are All on Your Devices

Those seat-back screens that have long been part of in-flight entertainment systems are preparing to depart from many airplanes, experts say, and will gradually be replaced by content streamed to passengers’ electronic devices through improved wireless service.

But as with a delayed flight, don’t expect the changes to take off in a hurry.

For airlines, the switch would save money and cater to customers’ changing viewing habits, which rely increasingly on tablets and smartphones, William Hoppe, the leader of travel, logistics and hospitality at Intelenet Global Services, said in an email.

Jon Cobin, the chief commercial officer at Gogo, which provides Wi-Fi service on more than 2,900 commercial planes, said in an email that “virtually everyone is connected at all times on the ground today.”

“That behavior doesn’t change when you get in the air,” he added.

With built-in screens, airliners provide passengers with a set menu of content through boxes that power the in-flight entertainment system. The screens appeared in their most primitive form in the late 1980s with a few movies played on a loop. By the early 2000s, they had advanced to allow passengers to make choices on demand.

By streaming content over wireless systems, passengers will have a wider array of content and the carriers will not have to maintain screens because passengers will bring their own portable devices on board.

Figures for how many planes are solely equipped to stream content were not available. But screens are “definitely decreasing in popularity,” and most new plane models do not include them, Mr. Hoppe said.

Mergers and acquisitions have led to a hodgepodge of fleets with mixed approaches, Robert W. Mann Jr., an independent airline industry analyst and consultant, said in an email. Compounding the confusion is the pace of fleet makeovers, which can take up to three years.

By the time next-generation planes are in service, the technology on them will already headed for obsolescence, Jason Rabinowitz, the director of airline research for Routehappy — which among other things, tracks in-flight amenities — said in an interview.

“The thing with the airline industry is nothing happens quickly,” Mr. Rabinowitz said. “The only thing that moves quickly is the aircraft itself.”

For carriers that discontinue the screens, the savings can be significant. By one estimate, in-flight entertainment systems are the biggest expense in outfitting a new plane and can make up 10 percent of the entire cost of an aircraft.

The screens and their wiring add weight to the plane, and when fuel prices are high, every pound makes a difference. Another financial incentive: Without the screens, carriers can install slimmer seats, which means they can accommodate more passengers and earn more money, Brett Snyder, the author of the airline industry blog “Cranky Flier,” said in an interview.

Fans of the built-in screens can expect them to remain on long-haul international flights, while carriers with shorter domestic routes will be more inclined to drop them. Mr. Hoppe noted that carriers like Southwest Airlines had been promoting streaming content for eight years and had never purchased planes with seat-back screens.

“Rise of in-flight Wi-Fi aside, the zero screen purchases made by Southwest aligns with the fact that many of the carrier’s flights are shorter in duration than the time it takes to finish a movie,” he said.

Experts said that if airliners are going to rely on consumer electronics for in-flight entertainment, the carriers should be prepared to offer another amenity: outlets for passengers to charge their devices. Mr. Hoppe said it was “imperative” to have them available in all rows and seats, and “essential” to ensure that each one works.

“Being stuck in the seat with the malfunctioning charging outlet is the type of experience that can shape customer attitude towards the airline as a whole,” he noted, “especially as the need to charge increases with more device activity.”

Seat-back screens have drawn complaints that they cast too much light in a darkened cabin, and the bulky boxes below the seats that power the entertainment systems take up leg room and space for stowing carry-on luggage.

A drawback to streaming, however, is that airliners will not gain access to movies before they are released for home viewing. Carriers customarily get a jump on those films by a month or two, but because movie studios are highly protective of their content, they don’t want to risk having anyone download a new release when it is streamed, Mr. Rabinowitz said. He added that about 90 percent of passengers clicked on “new releases” on seat-back screens.

Mr. Snyder said he had seesawed in his feelings about streaming but had come down on the side of the screens.

“It is awesome to be able to watch television or a movie in the background while working on my laptop,” he wrote in a blog post. “This is indeed a first-world problem. Can I be content without the screen? Sure. But I kind of want it to feel like it is when I’m at home. That makes me greedy, but hey, why not?”

The loss of seat-back screens should curb those questionable moments of in-flight etiquette when one passenger peeks at what a seatmate is watching, or more awkwardly, when a passenger watches something rife with sex and violence that may be inappropriate for others nearby.

“There’s definitely a number of passengers who like to watch ‘Game of Thrones,’” Mr. Rabinowitz said.

Source: NY Times

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