CoverageCo, the brainchild of the late Vanu Bose, has served communities in Vermont with cell phone service and access to emergency calling since 2012, thanks to over $4 million in public investments. According to Valley News, customers across 26 rural communities are now likely to lose service in the coming days and weeks, as the company’s operating costs have overtaken its earnings and the company faces its demise. Valley News reported that call volumes have not been high enough to collect sufficient fees from Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular, whose customers were able to connect using CoverageCo’s antennas.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai speaks with a Liberty crew (left) mapping its work in Puerto Rico. In the photo on the right, the newly-installed pole stands next to the one snapped by Hurricane Maria laying on the ground. Bamboo poles serve as a makeshift solution to hold up communications lines on the right.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai pledged to continue to help the residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands get back on their feet. He was part of the agency’s Hurricane Recovery Task Force that visited the islands last week.
In a blog post on Monday, Pai described what he’s learned about the communications restoration efforts since his visit to the islands last year. In the nearly six months that have passed since the devastating hurricanes virtually wiped out communications, just 4.4 percent and 13.8 percent of cell sites are now out in Puerto Rico and the USVI, respectively, compared to 95 percent and 77 percent, respectively, right after the storms.
KP Performance Antennas, a manufacturer of WISP antennas and accessories, has introduced two dual-polarized feed horn reflector dish antennas for point-to-point and customer premises equipment applications.
KP’s 5 GHz feed horn antennas have an adjustable bracket that allows for vertical/horizontal or ±45-degree slant polarization schemes and delivers 27 dBi and 30.5 dBi, respectively. These antennas operate in the 4900-5900 MHz frequency range and provide VSWR as low as 1.5:1.
A consortium of telecom companies and academic institutions, led by the University of Kent, achieved speeds of up to 5 Gbps in a 5G test environment in what they say is a significant step towards the delivery of the next generation of high-speed mobile networks.
The consortium issued an announcement that the experiment was part of the iCIRRUS (intelligent Converged network consolidating Radio and optical access aRound USer equipment) project that is designed to test technologies required to deliver future high-speed mobile networks. It is funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 program.
The consortium has been a global pioneer in the use of Ethernet in the fronthaul segment of a mobile access network where mobile signals are received at antennas and sent to fixed base station terminals.
Lobbying efforts by wireless companies to ease regulations on the installation of 5G equipment is causing friction between local and state leaders. According to The Washington Post, wireless carriers expect to install 300,000 small cell sites across the country, and so far this year, 18 states have proposed zoning law preemptions; since 2016, 13 states have adopted such legislation. Though wireless industry leaders have explained that the demand for better internet service necessitates removing barriers to cell sites’ installation, some local leaders, like Montgomery County Council President Hans Riemer, see the state proposals as “a giveaway to the industry.”
UPDATE Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, will hold a hearing titled “Hawaii False Missile Alert: What Happened and What Should We Do Next?” on Thursday, April 5, in Honolulu, HI.
In January, the full committee held a hearing concerning the use and effectiveness of Wireless Emergency Alerts and the Emergency Alert System after a false ballistic missile threat alert was sent to Hawaii residents on January 13.
Bidding in the auction for spectrum in the UK in the 2.3 GHz band (2350-2390 MHz) and the 3.4 GHz band (3410-3480 MHz and 3500-3580 MHz) begins today. The “British FCC,” OfCom, said releasing spectrum will allow mobile companies to increase data capacity, enabling their customers to enjoy more reliable internet browsing.
Verizon Wireless has spent 10 years trying to find an appropriate site for a new 100-foot monopole in Williamstown, MA to bridge coverage gaps along Route 7. But after evaluating 25 potential sites and making numerous concessions to concerned residents, the company is still struggling to obtain the town’s approval for construction. According to The Berkshire Eagle, a public hearing in February ended with Verizon’s proposal being passed from the Zoning Board of Appeals to the Conservation Commission, who will consider a site in Margaret Lindley Park, located on state conservation land.
Later this year, AT&T will release a Request For Proposals (RFP) for carrier-grade Mission-Critical Push-To-Talk (MCPTT) options linked to First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) subscribers, reported RR Media Group. The carrier and FirstNet recognize the importance of open standards and competition to deliver the best solution for public safety, according to a FirstNet spokeswoman.
Chris Sambar, AT&T FirstNet senior vice president, commented that the company signed a product agreement with Motorola Solutions for its Kodiak carrier integrated PTT product, along with the eventual MCPTT version of the Kodiak service.
Initial reaction by some Native American groups to the FCC’s proposal to streamline small cell siting and permitting was muted, Inside Towers reported. Now, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the United South and Eastern Tribes Sovereignty Protection Fund (USET SPF) oppose much of the proposal and urge Commissioners to vote against it.