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5G Update

The Convergence of 5G, IoT, and AI

Today, emerging internet technology draws from mobile broadband, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create strong wireless networks that support a growing number of wireless devices.Video Streaming This new technology has an almost limitless potential to improve our lives by giving us more control over our environments and boosting our efficiency.

Let’s take a closer look at the convergence of mobile broadband, IoT, and AI and what advancements in internet technology mean for rural people who depend on wireless solutions to connect to the internet.

 

5G Networks Supports a Vast Number of Wireless Devices

The next generation of mobile broadband is almost here. The global standards body for mobile broadband, 3GPP, introduced the first 5G NR mobile data specifications at the end of 2017. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, cellular carriers were excited to show consumers how they’ve been using these specifications to build powerful new networks:

  • In his keynote address, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg spoke enthusiastically about the next generation of mobile broadband. Vestberg and other industry leaders, including AT&T CEO John Donovan, predict that 5G will trigger a second digital revolution that replaces wired internet technology with powerful wireless networks.

  • AT&T CEO John Donovan also delivered a keynote address on 5G. Unfortunately, his address was overshadowed by the widespread industry criticism of AT&T’s “5G E” networks, which do not meet industry specifications for 5G. Sprint is, currently, suing AT&T for deceptive marketing of 5G E.

  • Sprint took CES 2019 as an opportunity to announce that, in partnership with Nokia and Qualcomm, it had just completed the world’s first call over a 5G network in San Diego. During the test, researchers were also able to stream YouTube videos and use Skype.

 

Experts predict that 5G will be up to 120 times faster than 4G LTE. The average 4G LTE internet connection from Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint has a download speed of between 5 and 12 Mbps and an upload speed of between 2 and 5 Mbps.Video Streaming 5G, then, may overtake the speeds of wired internet connections like cable internet, which typically have download speeds of between 20 and 100 Mbps.

Unfortunately, rural people won’t see these faster internet speeds right away. While Verizon has experimented with installed 5G in smaller cities like Brockton, MA, and Bernardsville, NJ, most carriers are currently focused on bringing 5G to major urban areas. If carriers deploy 5G on the same timeline as 4G LTE, rural areas won’t have access to 5G networks until around 2025.

IoT Rapid Growth is Sparking an Increase in Mobile Data Traffic

The IoT is the network of wireless devices, including self-driving vehicles and devices that use augmented or virtual reality, that connects to the internet over wireless protocols like mobile broadband. Ericsson predicts that, because the IoT is growing so quickly, mobile data traffic will increase 8000% between 2018 and 2023.

In the next decade, 5G will meet much of this growing demand for mobile data. By 2023, Ericsson predicts that 5G networks will carry 20% of mobile data traffic. Hardware manufacturers are already preparing for this shift. At CES 2019, manufacturers showcased a number of IoT devices that already work with 5G:

  • Qualcomm showcased a range of mobile hotspots compatible with wireless 5G networks during CES 2019. Qualcomm is taking a leading role in 5G hardware development, as it’s producing 5G chips for carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

  • Samsung displayed a 5G-compatible prototype of the Galaxy S10 in its booth. This prototype is the first that meets industry specifications for 5G NR. Unfortunately, Samsung has since confirmed that the phone won’t be part of its Galaxy S10 drop this spring.

 

The Newest IoT Devices Use Innovative AI Technology

One of the main purposes of the IoT is to automate routine processes, so that people don’t have to waste time on mundane tasks. The key to automation is AI. AI devices can complete tasks that typically require human intelligence, like planning, problem solving, perceiving, moving, socializing, and learning. Like humans, these devices turn to the internet for answers.

AI programs, like Siri, have limited functionality when they aren’t connected to the internet. For example, Siri only knows who the Patriots play next week because it finds that information on the internet. Video Streaming Many AI devices depend on mobile broadband to function and communicate effectively with humans and other devices. AI, then, converges with 5G and the IoT on an existential level.

Are you ready for the future? Check out our mobile broadband plans to see how you can start using IoT and AI technology, even if you live in a rural area without access to wired internet.

Video Streaming

Grow Your Rural Business with Online Video

Video Streaming At any given moment, most people using the internet on their phone, tablet, or computer are streaming video. In fact, online video now makes up a full 80% of worldwide internet traffic. By including online video in your digital marketing efforts, your rural business can reach the many people looking for video content online.

 

Online Video to Grow Brand Awareness and Make Sales

There are many ways to utilize online video in your rural business’s marketing efforts:

  • Place promotional videos and testimonials on a platform like YouTube to bring new customers to your business from that platform. These customers will likely find your content through search, so make sure you search-engine optimize the text descriptions for your videos.

    Video Streaming Boost your online conversion rate by integrating video content into your business’s website. Websites with video content have an average conversion rate of 4.9%, which is almost 100% higher than the 2.9% average for websites without video content.

     

    Video Streaming Link to video in your promotional emails to improve your click-through rate. A video link in an email increases the click-through rate of that email by between 100% (for an introductory email) and 300%.

    Drum up excitement for an event with live video on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. Four in five of internet users watch video on Facebook Live and two in three live-video viewers are more likely to buy a ticket to a future event after watching a live video of a similar event.

 

Brand awareness is often an issue for isolated rural businesses, since fewer customers encounter your business daily compared to urban businesses. Increase brand awareness and conversions by utilizing online video in different ways.

Create Quality Video Content by Telling Compelling Stories

Video Streaming Before anyone makes an online purchase or visits your rural business, they need to know that your brand exists. In your online videos, tell a compelling and consistent brand story that shows people what their lives could look like if they purchased your product, service, or solution.

 

There are many ways to tell your brand story, but video is probably the most effective way. In fact, four in five people would rather watch a video about your business than read a blog post about it. Four in five people would also rather watch a live video about your business than read your business’s social media posts.

 

Video Streaming People also like to learn about your products, services, or solutions with exploratory videos. A potential customer is 400% more likely to prefer watching a video about a product than to prefer reading about a product.

While people generally prefer video to other online content, the quality of the video’s content and production matter a lot. People only spend their time watching live video if the content is compelling and two in three people say the production quality of a live video is the most important thing about it.

A poor-quality video is often worse than no video at all. In fact, one in four people are actually less likely to purchase from your business if you produce poor-quality video content.

Help Your Online Video Content Go Viral

As many as 92% of people who watch online video on their phones share that content with others, so the right content can end up going far. Whether your business is looking to reach a local audience or a global one, there are a few things that you can do to help your online videos resonate with the people they reach:

  • Video Streaming Think about the relevance and timeliness of your videos. Target certain videos to certain people through email marketing and, whenever possible, stream video live. Live video is often more interesting to people than video on demand because it’s happening right now.

    Your videos don’t necessarily have to be short, but, if they’re long, make sure they’re engrossing. The optimal length for a video depends on both the video content and the platform people watch your video on. People will, for example, spend far more time watching a live stream on a desktop computer than looking at a video on their phone.

 

A great internet connection is key to producing quality online video. Get in contact with us today to learn more about our 4G LTE solutions for rural businesses.

Online Video Gaming

10 Best-Selling Video Games to Check Out in 2019

video games 2019 Are you looking for a new game to spend your time on in the new year? From Red Dead Redemption II to Marvel’s Spider-Man, last year was full of exciting new video game releases that deserve a second look in 2019.

 

Amazon’s “Best Sellers of 2018 in Video Games” is as good a place as any to start looking for your next big distraction. The list includes a wide range of video games with varying target audiences, online modes, and multiplayer capabilities. Here are the top 10 games from that list.

video games 2019 1. In Super Smash Bros Ultimate, gaming icons like PacMan, Mario, and Pikachu face off in 1-on-1 battles and multiplayer free-for-alls. While most of the modes in this game are offline, it also includes online modes that pair you with random players.

 

2. In Red Dead Redemption II, the bandit Arthur Morgan and his gang rob, steal, and fight their way through the Wild West. In late 2018, Rockstar released the online multiplayer version of the game as a public beta. The popular beta is now a full-fledged online mode available to anyone who owns the game.

3. In Super Mario Party, players race across the board to find Stars before the other players get to them. The online mode, Online Mariothon, pairs you with random players from around the world.

4. In Marvel’s Spider-Man, Spider-Man must save New York from another malicious plot from the city’s criminal elements. While there’s no online multiplayer for this game, it does include some online features and updates.

5. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, players race each other on new and classic battle courses. The game also includes an online multiplayer mode where you can compete against either friends or random players.

6. In Super Mario Odyssey, Mario explores new environments in his classic quest to save Princess Peach from Bowser’s clutches. The game includes some online modes, such as Luigi’s Balloon World.

7. In Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!, the player teams up with Pikachu to become a top Pokemon Trainer by battling other trainers. The game includes online modes where you can battle and trade with friends as well as with random players.

video games 2019 8. In Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, players compete in combat scenarios. In the online multiplayer mode, you team up with friends and random players to compete against other teams in the complex and expansive world of Black Ops.

 

9. In God of War, Kratos navigates the lands of Norse Gods and monsters with his son in tow. This game doesn’t have any online modes, although players need to be connected to the internet to download patches and updates.

10. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Zelda travels through an exciting and expansive world as she discovers what’s become of the kingdom of Hyrule. Like God of War, this game doesn’t have any online modes, although players need to be connected to the internet to download patches and updates.

Gaming on a 4G LTE Connection

Some of the games above have more online modes than others. The minimum internet speed requirements for video games 2019 online gaming are a download speed of 3 Mbps and an upload speed of 500 Kbps. For standard definition (SD) video streaming, you likely need a download speed of 1 Mbps and, for high definition (HD) video streaming, 3.5 Mbps. When it comes to gaming, the latency of your internet connection is often more critical than the speed of your connection. Latency, or ping time, is the time it takes, in milliseconds, for your network to connect to the internet host and start uploading or downloading game data.

A latency of more than 100 milliseconds can cause noticeable lags in your game. Latency is particularly important in games that require close to real-time responses from players, like first-person shooters. In these games, lags make a huge difference in performance.

 

Minimum internet speeds for online gaming

Download speed

3 Mbps

Upload speed

500 Kbps

Latency

150 milliseconds

 

Average 4G LTE internet speeds

Download speed

5-12 Mbps

Upload speed

2-5 Mbps

Latency

70 milliseconds

5G Update

When Will Mobile Networks Switch to 5G?

This week, technology innovators from around the world convened at CES 2019 to discuss, among other things, the future of mobile broadband. At the event, the cellular manufacturers Qualcomm and Intel both debuted impressive 5G-capable devices. These devices, and others, give us a preview of what 5G will look like when it’s finally implemented.

5G Update The global standards body 3GPP introduced the first 5G NR mobile data specifications at the end of 2017. Now it’s time for carriers and cellular manufacturers to realize these standards in their devices and networks. While the future of 5G is still mostly potential, we know more about the new mobile broadband technology now than ever before.

 

Here’s the latest:

Mobile Devices Will Be Compatible With 5G in 2019

At CES 2019, Qualcomm showcased several 5G-capable hotspots. Samsung, too, showcased a prototype of its first 5G-compatible smartphone. Samsung plans to release this model, which Verizon and AT&T will both offer customers, this spring. As 2020 approaches, we’ll likely see more and more 5G-capable devices popping up from cutting-edge manufacturers like Samsung.

5G Update Because mmWave antennas are larger than the antennas that wireless devices currently use, devices that are compatible with 5G will be thicker and bigger than current devices. For example, new 5G-capable smartphones will probably be about as thick as the iPhone 4 (about 9.3 mm).

Carriers Will Debut 5G Networks in 2020

While competitors are ragging on AT&T for rolling out “fake” 5G networks that don’t conform to the 5G NR standard, other carriers are planning to roll out their 5G NR networks in 2020. Intel, for example, is currently at work developing a 5G network for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

  • Sprint seems to be putting 5G on the backburner as it negotiates a merger with T-Mobile. Nevertheless, the carrier plans to provide 5G NR to major cities–including New York, NY, Phoenix, AZ, Kansas City, MO, Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Houston, TX, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, LA, and Washington, DC–this year.
  • T-Mobile plans to launch 5G NR networks in an impressive 30 cities–including Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, Las Vegas, NV, and Dallas, TX–this year. The carrier promises that, by 2020, it will offer nationwide 5G coverage to its customers.

Asia is Taking the Lead in 5G Development

In December 2018, Korean telecoms SK Telecom, LG Uplus, and KT simultaneously launched installed 5G in South Korea. These installed connections, like Verizon’s 5G networks, aren’t mobile. Nevertheless, a government report predicts that 5% of the country’s population will use 5G by 2020, 30% by 2021, and 90% by 2026.

5G Update China, too, is aggressively building and testing new 5G networks. The government’s “Made in China 2025 Plan” outlines the country’s dedication to mobile broadband development on a national level. As an industrial leader, the country no longer wants to play catch up when it comes to wireless internet technology. Instead, it wants to beat the US to 5G deployment.

In the 1990s, European countries took the lead in adopting 2G mobile broadband. Then, Japan took the reins in the 2000s when 3G took over. In the early 2010s, the US played a leading role in 4G development and implementation. Now, South Korea and China are taking a leading role in the development and implementation of 5G technology.

4G LTE / Patriots over Eagles

Mobile Broadband Puts Super Bowl LII online

 
As Super Bowl LII fast approaches, network engineers at U.S. Bank Stadium are updating the stadium’s wireless networks. The stadium is
 

increasing both its Wi-Fi and mobile broadband bandwidth, so that dozens of news outlets and thousands of football fans can enjoy seamlessly internet connectivity on football’s biggest night.

 
These network updates offer a peek at the latest wireless hardware innovations and at the future of mobile broadband in general. Mobile broadband applications, like this one, demonstrate the power and the potential of the rapidly evolving internet technology.

 

Hardware Supports Stadium-sized Capacity

 
For years, a powerful system of cellular antennas and Wi-Fi extenders has lined the railings at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The cellular antennas, supplied by Verizon, increase the strength of the local Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint networks inside the stadium. The Wi-Fi extenders support the stadium’s public Wi-Fi network.

 
 
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In preparation for this year’s Super Bowl, cellular carriers installed a number of new multi-beam base station antennas in the stadium. These base stations, known as MatSings, are clusters of a dozen cellular antennas that increase the strength of the local cellular networks exponentially, allowing for greater mobile broadband bandwidth. These base stations increase internet connectivity for, especially, the field and outdoor plaza.

 
 

Verizon leads the pack in mobile broadband connectivity inside U.S. Bank Stadium. This year, the carrier increased the number of cellular antennas from 900 to 1,200 units, to AT&T and  Sprint’ s 800 units. In the city of Minneapolis, too, the carrier increased its network capacity by 500%

 

Bandwidth extends Super Bowl Reach, Meets Spectator Demand

 
The stadium’s increased bandwidth supports two stadium and league goals: extending the online and social reach of Super Bowl and meeting the growing demand, from spectators, for internet data and bandwidth.
 
  • Goal 1: Extend the online and social reach of Super Bowl LII.
 

Today, online and social media play an essential role in marketing any sports event. For football players, news outlets, and fans to utilize theses mediums, a reliable internet connection is essential.

 
  • Goal 2: Meet growing demand for internet data and bandwidth from spectators.
 

The demand for mobile data has nearly doubled every year since 2015. Verizon predicts that, this Super Bowl, it will see double the network traffic it did in 2017. This means that fans will, likely, use close to 20 terabytes of data over the course of the game. Mobile broadband networks need to be strong enough to support this unprecedented demand.

 

Sports Stadiums Offer 5G Previews

 
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Connecting thousands of spectators to the internet at a jam-packed sporting event is the perfect way to showcase the potential of 5G. For many working on the next generation of mobile broadband, increasing network capacity is a top priority.

 

The Super Bowl isn’t the only sporting event where 5G prototypes will make a debut this year. Huawei and MegaFon, for example, will introduce a 5G prototype at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Before that, South Korean telecom KT will launch a separate 5G prototype at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

 

Online Video Gaming

Nintendo Switch just Keeps Getting Bigger

It’s been almost two years since Nintendo launched its successful, first-generation Switch console. They’ve been two years of relatively


steady growth for Nintendo’s hardware branch. The console has gathered a loyal following of users, putting Switch on par with predecessors like the Wii U and, some say, the revolutionary Wii console itself.



If you aren’t already on the Switch bandwagon, now’s the time to explore Nintendo’s newest hardware product. The console puts retro games, like Mario Kart, and new titles, like Splatoon, at your fingertips. The console also uses a relatively low amount of bandwidth, which makes the console a real possibility for mobile broadband users.


Console’s Retro Appeal is Driving its Popularity


5G™

While Nintendo has had success with new games like Splatoon, Rocket League, and Darkest Dungeon, the console really embraces classic games like Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda, and Sonic. The console’s retro appeal drives much of its popularity. About half of Switch’s top-selling titles, for example, are retro reboot

 

Wireless Specifications for Nintendo Switch


Switch has a set of pretty standard wireless specifications:



  • Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac).
  • Bluetooth 4.1



You don’t need to go wireless with Switch. You can also connect Nintendo Switch with a wired LAN adapter in TV mode, although you’ll have to purchase the adapter separately.



Nintendo Switch on Mobile Broadband


While, officially, Nintendo recommends that you connect your Switch to a reliable cable or DSL internet connection, the console’s specifications don’t rule out 4G LTE. Like other gaming platforms,


Switch requires a download and upload speed of 1.5 Mbps or higher, speeds that 4G LTE regularly achieves.



Here’s what Nintendo says, on its troubleshooting page, about connecting your Switch console to the internet:

We recommend use of a high-speed, wired Internet connection such as a Cable, DSL, or Fiber Optics Internet connection. Use of other services, such as cellular or satellite Internet, may result in lag, latency, or slow download speeds that prevent use of some online features. If you’re experiencing an issue that may be related to use of these services, try another type of Internet connection if possible.



Luckily, lags don’t ruin retro games the same way they ruin the real-time multiplayers that are so popular on the PS4 and Xbox One

 

consoles. Given the low-bandwidth requirements of its top-selling games, Switch is one of the better consoles to purchase if you use mobile broadband.



Track Your Mobile Data Usage


If you use mobile broadband, you’re probably also worried about wasting tons of data on Switch. No worries. To help you track your data usage, the carriers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint all offer streamlined online and text services. These services give you easy access to useful information about your data use.



While carrier services are useful, they aren’t particularly specific. To determine how much data you spend on Switch specifically, use a free traffic monitoring application like PRTG Network Monitor or Netlimiter 4. These applications generate exact numbers that you can use to estimate your long-term data usage with greater accuracy.

Trending Stories

Louisville: The First Smart City to Begin Automating Public Safety

To keep residents safe, city officials in Louisville, KY are using new internet technology to share important information about air quality

Louisville, Kentucky: Fourth street is where the city goes live

with the city’s residents. Any resident with internet access can now sign up to receive alerts from the Louisville channel on the IFTTT platform when the air pollution reaches a dangerous level.

IFTTT, which stands for “IF This Than That,” is a free-to-use, open-source online platform that lets users create simple conditional statements that trigger a definitive action. It’s easy to create a condition – the air quality index provided by Louisville Metro’s Air Pollution Control District exceeding 50, for example – that triggers an alert warning those with sensitivities to stay inside.

True to the platform’s democratized approach, residents who subscribe to IFTTT’s Smart Louisville channel can choose the type of alert they want to receive from the platform. Options range from the conventional – a text-based mobile alert or email – to the less so – a connected LIFX or Philips Hue light bulb that changes color based on air quality index.

Matt Gotth-Olsen, a developer for the city of Louisville,

5G™

Matt Gotth-Olsen

told ZDNet.com: “We wanted to create a very flexible service because so many people digest information in different ways. Some people like email, some people like text, some like email or a phone call. IFTTT allows a lot of flexibility not only for us, but the citizen.”

High pollen and mold counts in the Ohio Valley make it difficult for people who suffer from sensitivities like asthma to breath in Louisville when the air quality is low. Targeted alerts, then, aim to protect the health and safety of many of the city’s vulnerable residents.

Information about the local air quality is already available to the public on the City of Louisville’s website. The new IFTTT channel, however, is infinitely more useful because it anticipates the needs of users. It saves those with allergies the trouble of searching for changing air quality information online, only delivering information when it actually affects the person’s life.

IFTTT is a platform that lets you to more with the services you love

Speaking again to ZDNet.com, Linden Tibbets, founder and CEO of IFTTT, said the residents of Louisville and other cities were enthusiastic about the IFTTT project: “It’s clear that people want more access to government data, and they don’t just want to download a spreadsheet. They want to be able to use it. Watch this space – we have no doubt other cities will soon follow Louisville’s example.”

Indeed, by anticipating the needs of residents and responding with innovative solutions, city governments can

5G™

Internet of Things is the driving force behind IFTTT

improve not only their transparency, but also their responsiveness. Thanks to new technology like the Internet of Things, the internet is transitioning from search- to service-based information. Governments that get on board are already able to serve their citizens better.

A good government doesn’t just respond to the needs of its citizens, it anticipates them. City governments could, for example, send residents updates about local road conditions after a storm, before that person even thinks to search for the information themselves. Like the Louisville air quality alert, automating local road conditions could better protect public safety.

Louisville developers began automating air quality alerts because the information was already readily available, but city officials plan to take full advantage of their IFTTT channel in the coming years. More alerts will make relevant public information more accessible to a wider range of residents than ever before.

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Online Banking

New ATMs Use Phones Instead of Cards to Authenticate Customers

This year, a handful of national banks plan to introduce ATMs that dispense cash when you tap your phone on a wireless keypad, instead of when you swipe your card.

Smartphone getting cold hard cash from the Automatic Teller Machine

It’s a mobile wallet innovation that mid-western bank Wintrust Financial and national bank J.P. Morgan Chase have already begun successfully introducing in several cities across the United States.

These new ATMs might just be the innovation that bridges the gap between online financial management services, cash, and digital wallets. Customers have been quick to adopt convenient financial management services like remote deposit, but slow to adopt digital wallet technology, which many people see as redundant or unsafe.

The Idea Behind the Digital Wallet

A digital wallets is an online payment technology that lets a person pre-register their credit, debit, gift, and

5G™

It’s called a smart or digital wallet

loyalty cards so that they can efficiently make payments from a smartphone or tablet. Many financial service brands offer digital wallets, including big players like PayPal (Mobile), MasterCard (MasterPass), Visa (V.me), QIWI Wallet, and Allied Wallet.

Digital wallets combine the convenience of paying with cash (it’s faster to process, no PIN involved) with the ease and security of paying with a card (no messy change to sort out, no chance of losing paper money or having it stolen).

Customers Don’t Yet Demand Digital

A staggering 57% percent of consumers still do not know what a digital wallet is or how to use it, according to a

5G™

Market Force show 57% consumer don’t what digital wallet is

2016 Market Force study, and – for better or for worse – many do not care to find out. Since credit cards are already convenient and secure, many people don’t see the need to open and manage another account.

As of late 2016, very few American consumers make payments using a mobile wallet. Only 14% of the consumers that Market Force surveyed ever use a digital wallet, up just 2% from last year. The age group most likely to use a mobile wallet is 25-34 year-olds, who use services like PayPal Mobile and Apple Pay to make in-store payments, to “tap-and-pay” for purchases, and to conveniently store a loyalty card.

Even among those who use mobile wallet, it’s not typically the preferred payment method. A 2015 study by the credit card service company TSYS found that a negligible minority of consumers prefers to use a mobile wallet for in-store purchases. Consumers prefer, first, to use a debit card, second, a credit card, and, third, cash.

Like previous studies, the Market Force study concluded that, overall, consumers are far more interested in mobile financial management services than they are in mobile payment services.

Studies continue to show people prefer to visit the physical bank

It also concluded that people still like to visit a physical bank or, at least, to have the option of doing so. Only 3% of consumers use an online bank with no physical branch locations.

Banks are Slow to Innovate

In 2016, investors poured nearly $20 billion into fintech projects like the new ATMs. Despite efforts from banks like Wintrust and J.P. Morgan, however, most banks are slow to innovate. When banks do innovate, it’s usually in reaction to customer demands, and the demand for mobile wallet and similar technology just isn’t there.

A 2016 report by the business intelligence firm L2 analyzed the digital transformation of 70 financial service brands that operate in the United States. It found that, overall, banks were slow to adopt new online technology and, especially, to adopt new services like “Get a Quote” and “Find an Advisor.” Forty-four percent of the financial service brands that L2 looked at offered neither service to customers.

Wintrust and J.P. Morgan’s new ATMs, which Bank of America and Wells Fargo will also introduce in 2017, give customers the chance to get more comfortable using their phones where their cards ought to go. By integrating withdrawing cash and the mobile wallet, these ATMs help bring disparate payment methods into a coherent, single system.

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Social Network

Rural Influencers Reach People Through Live Video Streaming

As the world transitions from traditional network television to online video streaming, one aspect of television has, until recently, been conspicuously absent: the live broadcast. While video streaming offers customers the

Live streaming allows rural businesses to serve up products and services to customer instantly

convenience of on-demand choice, it hasn’t been able to offer up the urgency of live sports or breaking news. Today, new initiatives from network television, Facebook, Snapchat, and other online platforms are changing this. Businesses in rural areas can take advantage of these new live features to engage with followers in real time.

By using a tool like Facebook Live or Snapchat’s Live Stories, anyone can establish a live video stream that gives followers a view into an ongoing event. Right now, social media often draws us out of the present. We scroll through posts of things our friends have done and, while we’re actually doing something, we sometimes think more about taking the perfect photo for a future post than about actually enjoying the moment. Live streaming keeps social media users in the present. Much like watching a playoff game on television, a live stream makes viewers a part of the experience.

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Live video streaming event from Twitter impacts marketing

Live video streaming can dramatically expand the reach of experiential marketing campaigns, like events and sponsorships. For businesses reaching out to rural customers, a live stream connects rural dwellers with events happening in cities hundreds of miles away. A live stream also does the opposite. It helps rural influencers deliver their messages, in real time, to followers all over the world. An event in a remote location, like an isolated farm or the top of a mountain, is, then, suddenly accessible to billions.

In October of this year, for example, a new land vehicle called the Bloodhound will attempt to meet or exceed 1,000 mph. The attempt is meant to inspire young people to pursue science and technology, but most young people won’t have a chance to watch he attempt in-person in the South African desert. In 1997, a successful attempt on the sound barrier was broadcast on network television. This year, a live stream from inside the vehicle will give anyone with access to the internet a chance to watch the historic feat as it unfolds.

For businesses that offer a service, like education, live streaming gives more people direct access to that service. Distance learning makes education accessible to a whole group of new students that want to learn, but can’t relocate to do so. For organizations, live-streaming platforms like Ustream and Skype also let companies connect with remote associates, conducting business as if the two parties were in an office together.

In the past, a television network made a significant resource investment every time it filmed a live broadcast. While high quality production still takes equipment and expertise, you no longer need to spend a lot of money or time to go live. Sometimes all you need is a smartphone. Here are three easy ways to stream your event live to the world:

All you need today is a smartphone to do a live streaming event to your audience

Via smartphone: Services like Facebook Live and Snapchat Live Stories are optimized for smartphone. With a smartphone, one person can walk your viewers through your event. Because the production value of a smartphone video is typically low, however, it’s best to have an engaging narrator or a talented director on board to make up for shaky, low-quality video.

Via webcam: A webcam is low-maintenance, but effective for a spatially static event like a concert or performance. Just set it up facing the stage, establish a live stream, and, essentially, you’re done. It requires no dedicated manpower.

Via connected camera: There is room for high-quality production in live streams. News outlets have begun broadcasting breaking news simultaneously on the network and on Facebook using internet-connected video equipment.

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5G Update

China Builds Massive Test Field for New 5G Technology

China has unveiled the world’s largest mobile broadband test field in Beijing. Chinese telecommunications companies, including Huawei

ZTE Corp providing wireless modules for the upcoming 5G deployment

Technologies and ZTE Corp (the Sierra Wireless equivalence of Asia), will use the massive outdoor space to test the effectiveness of their 5G network technologies. These companies will use the new space to test the real-world range and capacity of the new technology.

With the next generation of mobile broadband expected to reach commercial markets in 2020, the 5G standard is still largely undefined. Stakeholders have agreed that new networks should, in general, support large-scale data transmission with low-latency, high throughput connections processed at cloud-based hubs. The means to these general ends are, however, still open-ended.

Large data transmission is required for ‘technology solution verification’.

With support from the Chinese government, Huawei and ZTE have been working tirelessly to find the means to these ends as quickly as possible. Officials from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology hope the new test field will accelerate 5G research, particularly the phase of testing it calls “technological solution verification.”

China’s Bullish National Investment

Like other governments around the world, particularly South Korea and the European Union, China has been working to clear the way for 5G technology with programs aimed at minimizing regulation and patenting, while maximizing standardization between telecoms. An international body, such as the International Telecommunications Union, will decide on a worldwide standardization in, most likely, 2020.

IMT- 2020 is a Chinese government sponsored 5G marketing group

In China, the government sponsored IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group, which includes government ministries, operators, vendors, universities, and research institutes, promotes and coordinates 5G research within the country. Similar to the 5G Forum in South Korea and the 5G Public-Private Partnership in the EU, the IMT-2020 seeks to maximize domestic and international cooperation on 5G research and minimize private patents that could restrict national deployment.

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The group, however, is less bullish on research and development than Huawei is itself. Huawei, the largest telecommunications equipment maker in the world, committed to a $600 million investment in 5G in 2013. Since then, the multinational corporation has bridged the Europe-Southeast Asia divide in 5G research by sponsoring 5G research institutes in both China and Europe and taking on projects for the EU’s 5G Public-Private Partnership.

In both public funding and private investment, South Korea, the EU, and China (and, to a lesser extent, Japan and the United States) have taken the reigns in 5G standardization. This trend marks an increase in the role of Southeast Asian stakeholders in a process that, for 3G and 4G LTE, was previously dominated by European players.

High Performance Expectations

A few months back, Steven Mollenkopf, CEO of the telecommunications company Qualcomm, caused a stir when he compared the introduction of 5G to the introduction of electricity. Mollenkopf, and others, expect 5G to be a revolutionary development in the history of the internet.

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The current mobile broadband standard, 4G LTE, was the first to truly exploit the potential of the wireless technology. It was the first standard fast enough to handle high-resolution images and videos and, therefore, encouraged many internet users to switch from desktop to mobile browsing. In 2016, mobile internet use overtook desktop use for the first time ever.

Many stakeholders expect 5G technology to solidify this lead and, also, to encourage the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT – a network of internet-connected sensors and devices that includes everything from fitness trackers to smart homes – will make internet use intuitive and automatic.

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5G Update

The Convergence of 5G, IoT, and AI

Today, emerging internet technology draws from mobile broadband, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create strong wireless networks that support a growing number of wireless devices.Video Streaming This new technology has an almost limitless potential to improve our lives by giving us more control over our environments and boosting our efficiency.

Let’s take a closer look at the convergence of mobile broadband, IoT, and AI and what advancements in internet technology mean for rural people who depend on wireless solutions to connect to the internet.

 

5G Networks Supports a Vast Number of Wireless Devices

The next generation of mobile broadband is almost here. The global standards body for mobile broadband, 3GPP, introduced the first 5G NR mobile data specifications at the end of 2017. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, cellular carriers were excited to show consumers how they’ve been using these specifications to build powerful new networks:

  • In his keynote address, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg spoke enthusiastically about the next generation of mobile broadband. Vestberg and other industry leaders, including AT&T CEO John Donovan, predict that 5G will trigger a second digital revolution that replaces wired internet technology with powerful wireless networks.

  • AT&T CEO John Donovan also delivered a keynote address on 5G. Unfortunately, his address was overshadowed by the widespread industry criticism of AT&T’s “5G E” networks, which do not meet industry specifications for 5G. Sprint is, currently, suing AT&T for deceptive marketing of 5G E.

  • Sprint took CES 2019 as an opportunity to announce that, in partnership with Nokia and Qualcomm, it had just completed the world’s first call over a 5G network in San Diego. During the test, researchers were also able to stream YouTube videos and use Skype.

 

Experts predict that 5G will be up to 120 times faster than 4G LTE. The average 4G LTE internet connection from Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint has a download speed of between 5 and 12 Mbps and an upload speed of between 2 and 5 Mbps.Video Streaming 5G, then, may overtake the speeds of wired internet connections like cable internet, which typically have download speeds of between 20 and 100 Mbps.

Unfortunately, rural people won’t see these faster internet speeds right away. While Verizon has experimented with installed 5G in smaller cities like Brockton, MA, and Bernardsville, NJ, most carriers are currently focused on bringing 5G to major urban areas. If carriers deploy 5G on the same timeline as 4G LTE, rural areas won’t have access to 5G networks until around 2025.

IoT Rapid Growth is Sparking an Increase in Mobile Data Traffic

The IoT is the network of wireless devices, including self-driving vehicles and devices that use augmented or virtual reality, that connects to the internet over wireless protocols like mobile broadband. Ericsson predicts that, because the IoT is growing so quickly, mobile data traffic will increase 8000% between 2018 and 2023.

In the next decade, 5G will meet much of this growing demand for mobile data. By 2023, Ericsson predicts that 5G networks will carry 20% of mobile data traffic. Hardware manufacturers are already preparing for this shift. At CES 2019, manufacturers showcased a number of IoT devices that already work with 5G:

  • Qualcomm showcased a range of mobile hotspots compatible with wireless 5G networks during CES 2019. Qualcomm is taking a leading role in 5G hardware development, as it’s producing 5G chips for carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

  • Samsung displayed a 5G-compatible prototype of the Galaxy S10 in its booth. This prototype is the first that meets industry specifications for 5G NR. Unfortunately, Samsung has since confirmed that the phone won’t be part of its Galaxy S10 drop this spring.

 

The Newest IoT Devices Use Innovative AI Technology

One of the main purposes of the IoT is to automate routine processes, so that people don’t have to waste time on mundane tasks. The key to automation is AI. AI devices can complete tasks that typically require human intelligence, like planning, problem solving, perceiving, moving, socializing, and learning. Like humans, these devices turn to the internet for answers.

AI programs, like Siri, have limited functionality when they aren’t connected to the internet. For example, Siri only knows who the Patriots play next week because it finds that information on the internet. Video Streaming Many AI devices depend on mobile broadband to function and communicate effectively with humans and other devices. AI, then, converges with 5G and the IoT on an existential level.

Are you ready for the future? Check out our mobile broadband plans to see how you can start using IoT and AI technology, even if you live in a rural area without access to wired internet.

Video Streaming

Grow Your Rural Business with Online Video

Video Streaming At any given moment, most people using the internet on their phone, tablet, or computer are streaming video. In fact, online video now makes up a full 80% of worldwide internet traffic. By including online video in your digital marketing efforts, your rural business can reach the many people looking for video content online.

 

Online Video to Grow Brand Awareness and Make Sales

There are many ways to utilize online video in your rural business’s marketing efforts:

  • Place promotional videos and testimonials on a platform like YouTube to bring new customers to your business from that platform. These customers will likely find your content through search, so make sure you search-engine optimize the text descriptions for your videos.

    Video Streaming Boost your online conversion rate by integrating video content into your business’s website. Websites with video content have an average conversion rate of 4.9%, which is almost 100% higher than the 2.9% average for websites without video content.

     

    Video Streaming Link to video in your promotional emails to improve your click-through rate. A video link in an email increases the click-through rate of that email by between 100% (for an introductory email) and 300%.

    Drum up excitement for an event with live video on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. Four in five of internet users watch video on Facebook Live and two in three live-video viewers are more likely to buy a ticket to a future event after watching a live video of a similar event.

 

Brand awareness is often an issue for isolated rural businesses, since fewer customers encounter your business daily compared to urban businesses. Increase brand awareness and conversions by utilizing online video in different ways.

Create Quality Video Content by Telling Compelling Stories

Video Streaming Before anyone makes an online purchase or visits your rural business, they need to know that your brand exists. In your online videos, tell a compelling and consistent brand story that shows people what their lives could look like if they purchased your product, service, or solution.

 

There are many ways to tell your brand story, but video is probably the most effective way. In fact, four in five people would rather watch a video about your business than read a blog post about it. Four in five people would also rather watch a live video about your business than read your business’s social media posts.

 

Video Streaming People also like to learn about your products, services, or solutions with exploratory videos. A potential customer is 400% more likely to prefer watching a video about a product than to prefer reading about a product.

While people generally prefer video to other online content, the quality of the video’s content and production matter a lot. People only spend their time watching live video if the content is compelling and two in three people say the production quality of a live video is the most important thing about it.

A poor-quality video is often worse than no video at all. In fact, one in four people are actually less likely to purchase from your business if you produce poor-quality video content.

Help Your Online Video Content Go Viral

As many as 92% of people who watch online video on their phones share that content with others, so the right content can end up going far. Whether your business is looking to reach a local audience or a global one, there are a few things that you can do to help your online videos resonate with the people they reach:

  • Video Streaming Think about the relevance and timeliness of your videos. Target certain videos to certain people through email marketing and, whenever possible, stream video live. Live video is often more interesting to people than video on demand because it’s happening right now.

    Your videos don’t necessarily have to be short, but, if they’re long, make sure they’re engrossing. The optimal length for a video depends on both the video content and the platform people watch your video on. People will, for example, spend far more time watching a live stream on a desktop computer than looking at a video on their phone.

 

A great internet connection is key to producing quality online video. Get in contact with us today to learn more about our 4G LTE solutions for rural businesses.

Online Video Gaming

10 Best-Selling Video Games to Check Out in 2019

video games 2019 Are you looking for a new game to spend your time on in the new year? From Red Dead Redemption II to Marvel’s Spider-Man, last year was full of exciting new video game releases that deserve a second look in 2019.

 

Amazon’s “Best Sellers of 2018 in Video Games” is as good a place as any to start looking for your next big distraction. The list includes a wide range of video games with varying target audiences, online modes, and multiplayer capabilities. Here are the top 10 games from that list.

video games 2019 1. In Super Smash Bros Ultimate, gaming icons like PacMan, Mario, and Pikachu face off in 1-on-1 battles and multiplayer free-for-alls. While most of the modes in this game are offline, it also includes online modes that pair you with random players.

 

2. In Red Dead Redemption II, the bandit Arthur Morgan and his gang rob, steal, and fight their way through the Wild West. In late 2018, Rockstar released the online multiplayer version of the game as a public beta. The popular beta is now a full-fledged online mode available to anyone who owns the game.

3. In Super Mario Party, players race across the board to find Stars before the other players get to them. The online mode, Online Mariothon, pairs you with random players from around the world.

4. In Marvel’s Spider-Man, Spider-Man must save New York from another malicious plot from the city’s criminal elements. While there’s no online multiplayer for this game, it does include some online features and updates.

5. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, players race each other on new and classic battle courses. The game also includes an online multiplayer mode where you can compete against either friends or random players.

6. In Super Mario Odyssey, Mario explores new environments in his classic quest to save Princess Peach from Bowser’s clutches. The game includes some online modes, such as Luigi’s Balloon World.

7. In Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!, the player teams up with Pikachu to become a top Pokemon Trainer by battling other trainers. The game includes online modes where you can battle and trade with friends as well as with random players.

video games 2019 8. In Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, players compete in combat scenarios. In the online multiplayer mode, you team up with friends and random players to compete against other teams in the complex and expansive world of Black Ops.

 

9. In God of War, Kratos navigates the lands of Norse Gods and monsters with his son in tow. This game doesn’t have any online modes, although players need to be connected to the internet to download patches and updates.

10. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Zelda travels through an exciting and expansive world as she discovers what’s become of the kingdom of Hyrule. Like God of War, this game doesn’t have any online modes, although players need to be connected to the internet to download patches and updates.

Gaming on a 4G LTE Connection

Some of the games above have more online modes than others. The minimum internet speed requirements for video games 2019 online gaming are a download speed of 3 Mbps and an upload speed of 500 Kbps. For standard definition (SD) video streaming, you likely need a download speed of 1 Mbps and, for high definition (HD) video streaming, 3.5 Mbps. When it comes to gaming, the latency of your internet connection is often more critical than the speed of your connection. Latency, or ping time, is the time it takes, in milliseconds, for your network to connect to the internet host and start uploading or downloading game data.

A latency of more than 100 milliseconds can cause noticeable lags in your game. Latency is particularly important in games that require close to real-time responses from players, like first-person shooters. In these games, lags make a huge difference in performance.

 

Minimum internet speeds for online gaming

Download speed

3 Mbps

Upload speed

500 Kbps

Latency

150 milliseconds

 

Average 4G LTE internet speeds

Download speed

5-12 Mbps

Upload speed

2-5 Mbps

Latency

70 milliseconds

5G Update

When Will Mobile Networks Switch to 5G?

This week, technology innovators from around the world convened at CES 2019 to discuss, among other things, the future of mobile broadband. At the event, the cellular manufacturers Qualcomm and Intel both debuted impressive 5G-capable devices. These devices, and others, give us a preview of what 5G will look like when it’s finally implemented.

5G Update The global standards body 3GPP introduced the first 5G NR mobile data specifications at the end of 2017. Now it’s time for carriers and cellular manufacturers to realize these standards in their devices and networks. While the future of 5G is still mostly potential, we know more about the new mobile broadband technology now than ever before.

 

Here’s the latest:

Mobile Devices Will Be Compatible With 5G in 2019

At CES 2019, Qualcomm showcased several 5G-capable hotspots. Samsung, too, showcased a prototype of its first 5G-compatible smartphone. Samsung plans to release this model, which Verizon and AT&T will both offer customers, this spring. As 2020 approaches, we’ll likely see more and more 5G-capable devices popping up from cutting-edge manufacturers like Samsung.

5G Update Because mmWave antennas are larger than the antennas that wireless devices currently use, devices that are compatible with 5G will be thicker and bigger than current devices. For example, new 5G-capable smartphones will probably be about as thick as the iPhone 4 (about 9.3 mm).

Carriers Will Debut 5G Networks in 2020

While competitors are ragging on AT&T for rolling out “fake” 5G networks that don’t conform to the 5G NR standard, other carriers are planning to roll out their 5G NR networks in 2020. Intel, for example, is currently at work developing a 5G network for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

  • Sprint seems to be putting 5G on the backburner as it negotiates a merger with T-Mobile. Nevertheless, the carrier plans to provide 5G NR to major cities–including New York, NY, Phoenix, AZ, Kansas City, MO, Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Houston, TX, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, LA, and Washington, DC–this year.
  • T-Mobile plans to launch 5G NR networks in an impressive 30 cities–including Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, Las Vegas, NV, and Dallas, TX–this year. The carrier promises that, by 2020, it will offer nationwide 5G coverage to its customers.

Asia is Taking the Lead in 5G Development

In December 2018, Korean telecoms SK Telecom, LG Uplus, and KT simultaneously launched installed 5G in South Korea. These installed connections, like Verizon’s 5G networks, aren’t mobile. Nevertheless, a government report predicts that 5% of the country’s population will use 5G by 2020, 30% by 2021, and 90% by 2026.

5G Update China, too, is aggressively building and testing new 5G networks. The government’s “Made in China 2025 Plan” outlines the country’s dedication to mobile broadband development on a national level. As an industrial leader, the country no longer wants to play catch up when it comes to wireless internet technology. Instead, it wants to beat the US to 5G deployment.

In the 1990s, European countries took the lead in adopting 2G mobile broadband. Then, Japan took the reins in the 2000s when 3G took over. In the early 2010s, the US played a leading role in 4G development and implementation. Now, South Korea and China are taking a leading role in the development and implementation of 5G technology.

4G LTE / Patriots over Eagles

Mobile Broadband Puts Super Bowl LII online

 
As Super Bowl LII fast approaches, network engineers at U.S. Bank Stadium are updating the stadium’s wireless networks. The stadium is
 

increasing both its Wi-Fi and mobile broadband bandwidth, so that dozens of news outlets and thousands of football fans can enjoy seamlessly internet connectivity on football’s biggest night.

 
These network updates offer a peek at the latest wireless hardware innovations and at the future of mobile broadband in general. Mobile broadband applications, like this one, demonstrate the power and the potential of the rapidly evolving internet technology.

 

Hardware Supports Stadium-sized Capacity

 
For years, a powerful system of cellular antennas and Wi-Fi extenders has lined the railings at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The cellular antennas, supplied by Verizon, increase the strength of the local Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint networks inside the stadium. The Wi-Fi extenders support the stadium’s public Wi-Fi network.

 
 
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In preparation for this year’s Super Bowl, cellular carriers installed a number of new multi-beam base station antennas in the stadium. These base stations, known as MatSings, are clusters of a dozen cellular antennas that increase the strength of the local cellular networks exponentially, allowing for greater mobile broadband bandwidth. These base stations increase internet connectivity for, especially, the field and outdoor plaza.

 
 

Verizon leads the pack in mobile broadband connectivity inside U.S. Bank Stadium. This year, the carrier increased the number of cellular antennas from 900 to 1,200 units, to AT&T and  Sprint’ s 800 units. In the city of Minneapolis, too, the carrier increased its network capacity by 500%

 

Bandwidth extends Super Bowl Reach, Meets Spectator Demand

 
The stadium’s increased bandwidth supports two stadium and league goals: extending the online and social reach of Super Bowl and meeting the growing demand, from spectators, for internet data and bandwidth.
 
  • Goal 1: Extend the online and social reach of Super Bowl LII.
 

Today, online and social media play an essential role in marketing any sports event. For football players, news outlets, and fans to utilize theses mediums, a reliable internet connection is essential.

 
  • Goal 2: Meet growing demand for internet data and bandwidth from spectators.
 

The demand for mobile data has nearly doubled every year since 2015. Verizon predicts that, this Super Bowl, it will see double the network traffic it did in 2017. This means that fans will, likely, use close to 20 terabytes of data over the course of the game. Mobile broadband networks need to be strong enough to support this unprecedented demand.

 

Sports Stadiums Offer 5G Previews

 
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Connecting thousands of spectators to the internet at a jam-packed sporting event is the perfect way to showcase the potential of 5G. For many working on the next generation of mobile broadband, increasing network capacity is a top priority.

 

The Super Bowl isn’t the only sporting event where 5G prototypes will make a debut this year. Huawei and MegaFon, for example, will introduce a 5G prototype at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Before that, South Korean telecom KT will launch a separate 5G prototype at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

 

Online Video Gaming

Nintendo Switch just Keeps Getting Bigger

It’s been almost two years since Nintendo launched its successful, first-generation Switch console. They’ve been two years of relatively


steady growth for Nintendo’s hardware branch. The console has gathered a loyal following of users, putting Switch on par with predecessors like the Wii U and, some say, the revolutionary Wii console itself.



If you aren’t already on the Switch bandwagon, now’s the time to explore Nintendo’s newest hardware product. The console puts retro games, like Mario Kart, and new titles, like Splatoon, at your fingertips. The console also uses a relatively low amount of bandwidth, which makes the console a real possibility for mobile broadband users.


Console’s Retro Appeal is Driving its Popularity


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While Nintendo has had success with new games like Splatoon, Rocket League, and Darkest Dungeon, the console really embraces classic games like Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda, and Sonic. The console’s retro appeal drives much of its popularity. About half of Switch’s top-selling titles, for example, are retro reboot

 

Wireless Specifications for Nintendo Switch


Switch has a set of pretty standard wireless specifications:



  • Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac).
  • Bluetooth 4.1



You don’t need to go wireless with Switch. You can also connect Nintendo Switch with a wired LAN adapter in TV mode, although you’ll have to purchase the adapter separately.



Nintendo Switch on Mobile Broadband


While, officially, Nintendo recommends that you connect your Switch to a reliable cable or DSL internet connection, the console’s specifications don’t rule out 4G LTE. Like other gaming platforms,


Switch requires a download and upload speed of 1.5 Mbps or higher, speeds that 4G LTE regularly achieves.



Here’s what Nintendo says, on its troubleshooting page, about connecting your Switch console to the internet:

We recommend use of a high-speed, wired Internet connection such as a Cable, DSL, or Fiber Optics Internet connection. Use of other services, such as cellular or satellite Internet, may result in lag, latency, or slow download speeds that prevent use of some online features. If you’re experiencing an issue that may be related to use of these services, try another type of Internet connection if possible.



Luckily, lags don’t ruin retro games the same way they ruin the real-time multiplayers that are so popular on the PS4 and Xbox One

 

consoles. Given the low-bandwidth requirements of its top-selling games, Switch is one of the better consoles to purchase if you use mobile broadband.



Track Your Mobile Data Usage


If you use mobile broadband, you’re probably also worried about wasting tons of data on Switch. No worries. To help you track your data usage, the carriers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint all offer streamlined online and text services. These services give you easy access to useful information about your data use.



While carrier services are useful, they aren’t particularly specific. To determine how much data you spend on Switch specifically, use a free traffic monitoring application like PRTG Network Monitor or Netlimiter 4. These applications generate exact numbers that you can use to estimate your long-term data usage with greater accuracy.

Trending Stories

Louisville: The First Smart City to Begin Automating Public Safety

To keep residents safe, city officials in Louisville, KY are using new internet technology to share important information about air quality

Louisville, Kentucky: Fourth street is where the city goes live

with the city’s residents. Any resident with internet access can now sign up to receive alerts from the Louisville channel on the IFTTT platform when the air pollution reaches a dangerous level.

IFTTT, which stands for “IF This Than That,” is a free-to-use, open-source online platform that lets users create simple conditional statements that trigger a definitive action. It’s easy to create a condition – the air quality index provided by Louisville Metro’s Air Pollution Control District exceeding 50, for example – that triggers an alert warning those with sensitivities to stay inside.

True to the platform’s democratized approach, residents who subscribe to IFTTT’s Smart Louisville channel can choose the type of alert they want to receive from the platform. Options range from the conventional – a text-based mobile alert or email – to the less so – a connected LIFX or Philips Hue light bulb that changes color based on air quality index.

Matt Gotth-Olsen, a developer for the city of Louisville,

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Matt Gotth-Olsen

told ZDNet.com: “We wanted to create a very flexible service because so many people digest information in different ways. Some people like email, some people like text, some like email or a phone call. IFTTT allows a lot of flexibility not only for us, but the citizen.”

High pollen and mold counts in the Ohio Valley make it difficult for people who suffer from sensitivities like asthma to breath in Louisville when the air quality is low. Targeted alerts, then, aim to protect the health and safety of many of the city’s vulnerable residents.

Information about the local air quality is already available to the public on the City of Louisville’s website. The new IFTTT channel, however, is infinitely more useful because it anticipates the needs of users. It saves those with allergies the trouble of searching for changing air quality information online, only delivering information when it actually affects the person’s life.

IFTTT is a platform that lets you to more with the services you love

Speaking again to ZDNet.com, Linden Tibbets, founder and CEO of IFTTT, said the residents of Louisville and other cities were enthusiastic about the IFTTT project: “It’s clear that people want more access to government data, and they don’t just want to download a spreadsheet. They want to be able to use it. Watch this space – we have no doubt other cities will soon follow Louisville’s example.”

Indeed, by anticipating the needs of residents and responding with innovative solutions, city governments can

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Internet of Things is the driving force behind IFTTT

improve not only their transparency, but also their responsiveness. Thanks to new technology like the Internet of Things, the internet is transitioning from search- to service-based information. Governments that get on board are already able to serve their citizens better.

A good government doesn’t just respond to the needs of its citizens, it anticipates them. City governments could, for example, send residents updates about local road conditions after a storm, before that person even thinks to search for the information themselves. Like the Louisville air quality alert, automating local road conditions could better protect public safety.

Louisville developers began automating air quality alerts because the information was already readily available, but city officials plan to take full advantage of their IFTTT channel in the coming years. More alerts will make relevant public information more accessible to a wider range of residents than ever before.

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Online Banking

New ATMs Use Phones Instead of Cards to Authenticate Customers

This year, a handful of national banks plan to introduce ATMs that dispense cash when you tap your phone on a wireless keypad, instead of when you swipe your card.

Smartphone getting cold hard cash from the Automatic Teller Machine

It’s a mobile wallet innovation that mid-western bank Wintrust Financial and national bank J.P. Morgan Chase have already begun successfully introducing in several cities across the United States.

These new ATMs might just be the innovation that bridges the gap between online financial management services, cash, and digital wallets. Customers have been quick to adopt convenient financial management services like remote deposit, but slow to adopt digital wallet technology, which many people see as redundant or unsafe.

The Idea Behind the Digital Wallet

A digital wallets is an online payment technology that lets a person pre-register their credit, debit, gift, and

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It’s called a smart or digital wallet

loyalty cards so that they can efficiently make payments from a smartphone or tablet. Many financial service brands offer digital wallets, including big players like PayPal (Mobile), MasterCard (MasterPass), Visa (V.me), QIWI Wallet, and Allied Wallet.

Digital wallets combine the convenience of paying with cash (it’s faster to process, no PIN involved) with the ease and security of paying with a card (no messy change to sort out, no chance of losing paper money or having it stolen).

Customers Don’t Yet Demand Digital

A staggering 57% percent of consumers still do not know what a digital wallet is or how to use it, according to a

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Market Force show 57% consumer don’t what digital wallet is

2016 Market Force study, and – for better or for worse – many do not care to find out. Since credit cards are already convenient and secure, many people don’t see the need to open and manage another account.

As of late 2016, very few American consumers make payments using a mobile wallet. Only 14% of the consumers that Market Force surveyed ever use a digital wallet, up just 2% from last year. The age group most likely to use a mobile wallet is 25-34 year-olds, who use services like PayPal Mobile and Apple Pay to make in-store payments, to “tap-and-pay” for purchases, and to conveniently store a loyalty card.

Even among those who use mobile wallet, it’s not typically the preferred payment method. A 2015 study by the credit card service company TSYS found that a negligible minority of consumers prefers to use a mobile wallet for in-store purchases. Consumers prefer, first, to use a debit card, second, a credit card, and, third, cash.

Like previous studies, the Market Force study concluded that, overall, consumers are far more interested in mobile financial management services than they are in mobile payment services.

Studies continue to show people prefer to visit the physical bank

It also concluded that people still like to visit a physical bank or, at least, to have the option of doing so. Only 3% of consumers use an online bank with no physical branch locations.

Banks are Slow to Innovate

In 2016, investors poured nearly $20 billion into fintech projects like the new ATMs. Despite efforts from banks like Wintrust and J.P. Morgan, however, most banks are slow to innovate. When banks do innovate, it’s usually in reaction to customer demands, and the demand for mobile wallet and similar technology just isn’t there.

A 2016 report by the business intelligence firm L2 analyzed the digital transformation of 70 financial service brands that operate in the United States. It found that, overall, banks were slow to adopt new online technology and, especially, to adopt new services like “Get a Quote” and “Find an Advisor.” Forty-four percent of the financial service brands that L2 looked at offered neither service to customers.

Wintrust and J.P. Morgan’s new ATMs, which Bank of America and Wells Fargo will also introduce in 2017, give customers the chance to get more comfortable using their phones where their cards ought to go. By integrating withdrawing cash and the mobile wallet, these ATMs help bring disparate payment methods into a coherent, single system.

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Social Network

Rural Influencers Reach People Through Live Video Streaming

As the world transitions from traditional network television to online video streaming, one aspect of television has, until recently, been conspicuously absent: the live broadcast. While video streaming offers customers the

Live streaming allows rural businesses to serve up products and services to customer instantly

convenience of on-demand choice, it hasn’t been able to offer up the urgency of live sports or breaking news. Today, new initiatives from network television, Facebook, Snapchat, and other online platforms are changing this. Businesses in rural areas can take advantage of these new live features to engage with followers in real time.

By using a tool like Facebook Live or Snapchat’s Live Stories, anyone can establish a live video stream that gives followers a view into an ongoing event. Right now, social media often draws us out of the present. We scroll through posts of things our friends have done and, while we’re actually doing something, we sometimes think more about taking the perfect photo for a future post than about actually enjoying the moment. Live streaming keeps social media users in the present. Much like watching a playoff game on television, a live stream makes viewers a part of the experience.

5G™

Live video streaming event from Twitter impacts marketing

Live video streaming can dramatically expand the reach of experiential marketing campaigns, like events and sponsorships. For businesses reaching out to rural customers, a live stream connects rural dwellers with events happening in cities hundreds of miles away. A live stream also does the opposite. It helps rural influencers deliver their messages, in real time, to followers all over the world. An event in a remote location, like an isolated farm or the top of a mountain, is, then, suddenly accessible to billions.

In October of this year, for example, a new land vehicle called the Bloodhound will attempt to meet or exceed 1,000 mph. The attempt is meant to inspire young people to pursue science and technology, but most young people won’t have a chance to watch he attempt in-person in the South African desert. In 1997, a successful attempt on the sound barrier was broadcast on network television. This year, a live stream from inside the vehicle will give anyone with access to the internet a chance to watch the historic feat as it unfolds.

For businesses that offer a service, like education, live streaming gives more people direct access to that service. Distance learning makes education accessible to a whole group of new students that want to learn, but can’t relocate to do so. For organizations, live-streaming platforms like Ustream and Skype also let companies connect with remote associates, conducting business as if the two parties were in an office together.

In the past, a television network made a significant resource investment every time it filmed a live broadcast. While high quality production still takes equipment and expertise, you no longer need to spend a lot of money or time to go live. Sometimes all you need is a smartphone. Here are three easy ways to stream your event live to the world:

All you need today is a smartphone to do a live streaming event to your audience

Via smartphone: Services like Facebook Live and Snapchat Live Stories are optimized for smartphone. With a smartphone, one person can walk your viewers through your event. Because the production value of a smartphone video is typically low, however, it’s best to have an engaging narrator or a talented director on board to make up for shaky, low-quality video.

Via webcam: A webcam is low-maintenance, but effective for a spatially static event like a concert or performance. Just set it up facing the stage, establish a live stream, and, essentially, you’re done. It requires no dedicated manpower.

Via connected camera: There is room for high-quality production in live streams. News outlets have begun broadcasting breaking news simultaneously on the network and on Facebook using internet-connected video equipment.

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5G Update

China Builds Massive Test Field for New 5G Technology

China has unveiled the world’s largest mobile broadband test field in Beijing. Chinese telecommunications companies, including Huawei

ZTE Corp providing wireless modules for the upcoming 5G deployment

Technologies and ZTE Corp (the Sierra Wireless equivalence of Asia), will use the massive outdoor space to test the effectiveness of their 5G network technologies. These companies will use the new space to test the real-world range and capacity of the new technology.

With the next generation of mobile broadband expected to reach commercial markets in 2020, the 5G standard is still largely undefined. Stakeholders have agreed that new networks should, in general, support large-scale data transmission with low-latency, high throughput connections processed at cloud-based hubs. The means to these general ends are, however, still open-ended.

Large data transmission is required for ‘technology solution verification’.

With support from the Chinese government, Huawei and ZTE have been working tirelessly to find the means to these ends as quickly as possible. Officials from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology hope the new test field will accelerate 5G research, particularly the phase of testing it calls “technological solution verification.”

China’s Bullish National Investment

Like other governments around the world, particularly South Korea and the European Union, China has been working to clear the way for 5G technology with programs aimed at minimizing regulation and patenting, while maximizing standardization between telecoms. An international body, such as the International Telecommunications Union, will decide on a worldwide standardization in, most likely, 2020.

IMT- 2020 is a Chinese government sponsored 5G marketing group

In China, the government sponsored IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group, which includes government ministries, operators, vendors, universities, and research institutes, promotes and coordinates 5G research within the country. Similar to the 5G Forum in South Korea and the 5G Public-Private Partnership in the EU, the IMT-2020 seeks to maximize domestic and international cooperation on 5G research and minimize private patents that could restrict national deployment.

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The group, however, is less bullish on research and development than Huawei is itself. Huawei, the largest telecommunications equipment maker in the world, committed to a $600 million investment in 5G in 2013. Since then, the multinational corporation has bridged the Europe-Southeast Asia divide in 5G research by sponsoring 5G research institutes in both China and Europe and taking on projects for the EU’s 5G Public-Private Partnership.

In both public funding and private investment, South Korea, the EU, and China (and, to a lesser extent, Japan and the United States) have taken the reigns in 5G standardization. This trend marks an increase in the role of Southeast Asian stakeholders in a process that, for 3G and 4G LTE, was previously dominated by European players.

High Performance Expectations

A few months back, Steven Mollenkopf, CEO of the telecommunications company Qualcomm, caused a stir when he compared the introduction of 5G to the introduction of electricity. Mollenkopf, and others, expect 5G to be a revolutionary development in the history of the internet.

5G™

The current mobile broadband standard, 4G LTE, was the first to truly exploit the potential of the wireless technology. It was the first standard fast enough to handle high-resolution images and videos and, therefore, encouraged many internet users to switch from desktop to mobile browsing. In 2016, mobile internet use overtook desktop use for the first time ever.

Many stakeholders expect 5G technology to solidify this lead and, also, to encourage the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT – a network of internet-connected sensors and devices that includes everything from fitness trackers to smart homes – will make internet use intuitive and automatic.

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