To industry proponents, it’s the next huge innovation in wireless internet. To the U.S. government, it’s the backbone technology of a future that America will wrestle with China to control. To many average people, it’s simply a mystery.
What, exactly, is 5G wireless — and will you even notice when it comes online?
What is 5G?
5G is a new technical standard for wireless networks — the fifth, naturally — that promises faster speeds; less lag, or “latency,” when connecting to the network; and the ability to connect many devices to the internet without bogging it down. 5G networks will ideally be better able to handle more users, lots of sensors and heavy traffic.
Before we can all use it, wireless companies and phone makers have to upgrade. Phones need new chips and radio antennas to work with the new network.
Wireless companies have been getting ready. They’ve been revamping their network equipment, buying up chunks of radio spectrum for carrying 5G signals, and installing new 5G antennas on cellphone towers, utility poles and streetlights. Wireless providers will invest $275 billion in 5G-related networks in the U.S., according to CTIA, an industry trade group.
When will it be available?
A true U.S. mobile rollout began in 2019, but significantly faster networks are still sparse. It will take a few years to go national, and even then more rural areas of the country will not be covered in the “millimeter wave” frequencies that promise the highest data speeds and capacities, said Michael Thelander, CEO of wireless consultancy Signals Research Group.
Beware of confusion, though. Wireless carriers have a history of rushing to slap the latest-and-greatest label on their networks, and this time is no different. AT&T has already applied the name 5G on a service that’s not really 5G.
Once the network is ready, you’ll need a 5G-enabled phone to connect to it. Android versions have been out for a while, and on Tuesday Apple launched its first 5G iPhone. But you can keep using 4G phones. They just won’t connect to 5G speeds where those are available.
What can 5G do?
There’s a considerable amount of hype over the promise of 5G. Industry groups say it will promote smart cities by connecting sensor networks that could manage traffic and quickly identify streetlight outages. 5G could connect self-driving cars and fuel new applications in virtual and augmented reality. Its high-speed connections could enable better remote surgery and other telemedicine, help companies automate their factories and offer businesses dedicated high-speed internet lanes.
“5G speeds, and ever-faster home broadband, will mean that existing applications will get richer, and also that new applications will emerge — new Flickrs, YouTubes or Snapchats. We don’t know what yet,” Benedict Evans, a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, wrote in a 2019 blog post.
The most immediate impact on consumers is far smaller. There will be faster download speeds for movies and other video. Thelander says your phone’s internet will work better in crowded locations such as stadiums.
What are the security concerns?
The 5G network is one front in rising tensions between the U.S. and China. The U.S. government is rooting out Chinese telecom technology in communications networks due to security concerns, and has pressed other countries to ban Huawei, a Chinese telecom company, from 5G network buildouts.
U.S. officials have suspected for years that the Chinese government could use Huawei network equipment to help it spy. Huawei has rejected such accusations.
Private mobile operator Robi has recently unveiled an innovative digital distribution network model for its retailers, distributors and customers.
The digital solution brings the important stakeholders of the company to a digital platform which enables them to conduct their businesses with Robi digitally, said a press release on Tuesday.
Around 700,000 Robi and Airtel retailers around the country will now be able to purchase and load balance from Robi through an app. So, even if a retailer is difficult to reach for Robi’s sales forces, they would themselves be able to conduct their business with Robi using an app.
This will also allow retailers to serve customers better due to the digitalisation of the process, the company said.
Distributors will also be able to use similar features from the solution. In addition, distributors and retailers will have access to financing support from the Banks on emergency fast track basis.
Nagad, a leading mobile financial service provider, as a partner of this initiative is providing the payment gateway related support. bKash is going to be on-board as well shortly. Mutual Trust Bank is going to join hands with Robi for retailer financing. City Bank and IPDC have already partnered with Robi to provide the financing for distributors.
Customers on the other hand are now able to use this solution to digitally purchase SIMs and other services from the operator.
Robi’s Chief Commercial Officer Shihab Ahmad shared these details at a webinar held on Sunday.
Robi’s Chief Corporate and Regulatory Officer Shahed Alam moderated the webinar. In his concluding remarks, he likened this initiative to taking Digital Bangladesh to the grass-roots level.
Huawei’s new smartwatch ‘Huawei Watch Fit’ will hit Bangladesh market from next week, the company has announced.
The latest product will be available at all Huawei authorised shops and after-sales centres from Oct 12, said a press release from Huawei Bangladesh.
The 1.64-inch Huawei Watch Fit is the company’s first-ever smart sports watch with a rounded rectangular face. It can reframe the fitness and sense of the users and ensure good health by monitoring real-time heart rate and sleeping stage.
Zheng Benyang, GTM Director, Huawei Consumer Business Group (Bangladesh), said, “Huawei has always been dedicated to bringing innovative, quality experience and products to Bangladesh consumers. This latest launch is another initiative with the same inspiration. We’ll continue to innovate and create value for our consumers, and provide an excellent all-scenario smart life experience.”
For intelligent background heart rate monitoring, it has Huawei’s proprietary TruSeen 4.0 and HUAWEI TruSleep 2.0 technologies which will provide sleep stage monitoring, sleep respiration quality, and big data analysis, real-time heart rate monitoring including current resting heart rate and blood oxygen saturation.
Additionally, the user will get an infographic to realise their heart rate changed over the last 24 hours.
The new sports watch has three different modes to track workouts and can support an animated personal trainer covering 12 workout courses including 44 posture demonstrations. Its ‘stand up reminders’ remind users to stay active, prompting them to move if they sit for longer than three minutes.
The large AMOLED HD display allows users to engage with the Huawei Watch Fit’s animated fitness courses and other unique features. With ultra-slim bezels, users can enjoy the dazzling and colorful display with minimal distractions.
Huawei Watch Fit offers over 130 different watch face design options through Huawei’s Watch Face Store. Users can personalise their watch faces with their photo albums synced directly from their smartphones.
The smartwatch will cost Tk 9,999.
TikTok says a video of a man apparently taking his own life that circulated on its platform was spread deliberately by a group of users working together.
The company found evidence of a “coordinated attack” when it investigated why the video was suddenly appearing on the popular short-video sharing app, a TikTok executive told a British parliamentary committee Tuesday.
TikTok scrambled earlier this month to remove clips of the man shooting himself with a gun, raising concerns about the platform’s ability to stop harmful content from reaching its users, many of whom are teens.
Theo Bertram, TikTok’s European director of public policy, said there was a huge spike in the number of clips uploaded to TikTok about a week after the original video was livestreamed on Facebook.
“There’s evidence of a coordinated attack,” Bertrand said. “Through our investigations, we learned that groups operating on the dark web made plans to raid social media platforms including TikTok, in order to spread the video across the internet. What we saw was a group of users who were repeatedly attempting to upload the video to our platform.” The dark web is a part of the internet accessible only through anonymity-providing software.
The users were “splicing it, editing it and cutting it in different ways” and then making new accounts to help spread it, he said.
TikTok users usually look through their own feed or use hashtags to find videos. But these users were clicking on account profiles, apparently anticipating that they would be posting the suicide clip, which is an unusual way to find videos, Bertram said. He gave few other details.
The company wrote Monday to nine other tech platforms proposing that they warn each other about violent and graphic content on their own services.
Bertram’s comments came as TikTok said in its latest transparency report that it took down 104.5 million videos for violating its guidelines or terms of service during the first six months of the year. That’s less than 1% of the total number of videos uploaded for that period.
TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, is fighting pressure in some of its major markets. In the U.S., TikTok faces a ban later this month from smartphone app stores, followed by a broader ban in November unless ByteDance can persuade U.S. officials it can resolve national security concerns.
Huawei along with HKT Hong Kong and Globe Philippines recently held an online commercial release conference to launch the AirPON solution.
This solution reuses existing wireless sites to build full-fiber access networks for mobile operators quickly and at a low cost, said a press release.
As mobile operators transform from mobile to full-service operations, they face huge challenges in FTTH network construction.
Traditionally, operators had to deploy centralized OLTs in central office equipment rooms and layout massive optical cables to reach users. This required large-scale initial investment and the resolution of complex problems such as ROW acquisition. As a result, network construction has always been time-consuming, expensive, while services have been slow to provision.
Huawei AirPON solution specifically addresses these challenges. “The AirPON solution shortens the optical cables between OLTs and users from over 3 km to below 300 m, greatly improves the efficiency of optical cable deployment, and reduces the ROI period to less than 3 years. With it, operators can reap benefits faster when building full-fiber access networks,” said Gary Lu, President of Huawei Network Marketing and Solution Sales Department.
“HKT would like to replicate the solution to village area or low-rise building in the urban area to extend our Ultra-Broadband coverage. AirPON allows the installation of PON equipment on the rooftop, which can be suitable for PON deployment in low rise old buildings in HK,” said Peter Lam, Managing Director of HKT Engineering Dept Hong Kong.
“Huawei’s AirPON solution helps us to efficiently roll out FTTH networks with simple ROW permitting and site acquisition and enables us to quickly provision fiber broadband services,” added Joel Agustin, Vice President of Globe Philippines.