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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.

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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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Rural ISPs

Internet Provider HughesNet Finishes Testing Its Next-Generation Satellite

The fifth generation of satellite internet will, according to HughesNet™, provide much faster data throughputs and a 50% greater capacity.

HughesNet™ looking to deliver faster data throughput with 50% more capacity

In December 2016, the internet provider successfully launched its EchoStar XIX satellite into geostationary orbit 22,236 miles above Earth. This February, HughesNet announced that it had completed a successful round of in-orbit tests on the four-ton EchoStar 19 and that the satellite was ready for use.

The EchoStar XIX, built by the satellite and spacecraft manufacturer Space Systems Loral, is a Ka-band high-throughput satellite. It features what HughesNet calls “the world’s most advanced”very small aperture terminal (VSAT) platform. The award-winning data-processing platform, developed by HughesNet, gives customers the highest possible capacity and efficiency of today’s satellite internet options. HughesNet calls the new internet service “Gen5.”

Like the EchoStar XVII before it, the EchoStar XIXwill use 138 beams to provide service to the continental United States, Alaska, Mexico, and parts of Canada and Central America.

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Echostar XIX to use 138 beams for services in the USA

With HughesNet Gen4 service, these areascurrently see download speeds of up to 15 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 1 Mbps. Gen5 will increase these numbers, although HughesNet can’t say by how much just yet.

Although it will likely be faster, HughesNet’s Gen5 service will not overcome satellite internet’s biggest stumbling block: high latency or lag time. Geostationary satellites orbit the earth at 22,236 miles above sea level, meaning that online data has to travel at least 44,472 miles round trip. This distance has long been a stumbling block for satellite internet, since it takes upwards of 700 milliseconds (ms) for a satellite signal to travel between earth and space.

A HughesNet™ competitor, Tesla Motor’s SpaceX, has begun a project that, if successful, could overcome satellite’s stumbling block.

Elon Musk, the new darling pf space technology stands next to one of his products

Instead of sending satellites into high, stationary orbit like other providers, SpaceX unveiled plans last year to build a constellation of coordinated, moving satellites would orbit at 715 to 823 miles above earth.

Bringing satellites closer to earth solves the most pertinent problem with satellite internet – high latency. The company estimates that it will reduce the latency of satellite internet to 25 to 35 ms.Today’s satellite internet has a latency that is 7 to 25 times higher than mobile broadband and 50 to 150 times higher than cable. If successful, SpaceX’s satellite constellation will have a latency just 2 times higher than cable.

Rural Americans will be the first to benefit from SpaceX’s new project when it comes to fruition. Musk has appealed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – the government agency that, along with the Department of Agriculture (USDA), has invested over $260 billion in mobile broadband expansion in the last seven years – to oversee the launch of 800 preliminary satellites.

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Space X satellite constellation is a game changer for the future

SpaceX’s satellite constellation has the potential to make today’s geostationary satellite internet technology obsolete. Even if it doesn’t, it will likely increase the competition between providers. More competition could lower prices and encourage other providers to innovate.

Thanks to HughesNet and SpaceX, exciting things are happening in an industry that is, typically, immune from the fast-paced innovation of other technologies. Stay tuned for more information about Gen5 and satellite innovation this year.

If you need another reason to get pumped about HughesNet’s Gen5, be sure to watch the launch of the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 – the vehicle that carried EchoStar XIX into space – from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Dec. 18, 2016.

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IoT

How to Automate a Seven-Figure Job

Advancements in automation pose a threat to many of the rural manufacturing, resource extraction, and farming jobs available today. It’s not, however, just blue-collar jobs that new technology puts on the line.

The Global Hedge Fund company is developing software to replace the 1%

The so-called 1% may soon find their livelihoods challenged by automation as well. A new project by the global hedge fund Bridgewater Associates LP, for example, is developing management software that will take the place of some of the firm’s six- and seven-figure managers.

Blue-collar workers have, so far, shouldered a disproportionate number of layoffs due to the automation of their work, as compared to white-collar workers. Machinated harvesters and livestock monitors, for example, have eliminated a number of farming jobs in the United Kingdom and other developed countries. All this has left many rural workers wondering where they fit in to the new economy. For better or for worse, they soon won’t be the only questioning their job security.

Bridgewater Associates, which manages $160 billion in wealth, is the largest hedge-fund firm in the world.The firm has made a name for itself by consistently earning clients above-average returns on investments. According to industry researcher LCH Investments NV, Bridgewater earns twice as much total profit as any of its rivalfirms. The firm’s success is due largely to the dynamism of its billionaire founder, Ray Dalio.

Daliois also the brains behind the Bridgewater project that seeks to automate the firm’s high-level decision-making. By automating most management positions, the firm hopes to save time and

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to eliminate the emotional volatility that leads to poor decisions.Dalio, who earned a reputationin the ‘70s for his uncanny ability to predict macroeconomic trends, has long held that humans work like machines. Why, then, can’t machines work like humans?

Bridgewater has long usedcomplex algorithms to predict changes in stock and money markets. Its flagship fund, Pure Alpha, uses big data to determine when to buy and sell assets like stocks, bonds, and currencies. Bridgewater’s new project, known as the “Principles Operating System” or PriOS for short, applies principles fromits investing process to the management of the firm itself.

The firm has already begun applying some of PriOS’s features to the firm’s day-to-day operations. A

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company app called “The Contract,” for example, tests employee reliability by having them input goals and deadlines and trackingwhetheror not they follow through on them.Another app, called “The Coach,” automatically answersemployee’s questionsby crawling relevant passages in the Bridgewater employee handbook.

While, right now, PriOS doesn’t have the comprehensive features needed to replace a human manager, the firm plans to expand the software until it does.The firm hopes, for example, to program The Coach to use artificial intelligencethat willhelpemployees make the right decisions for the firm every time. The firm also hopes to introduce a human resource program for PriOS. The program will compile information on employees’ performances and personalities and, when a vacancy opens up, match an employee with the position based on that data.

Daliohopes that, by 2022, PriOSwill make three-quarters ofmanagement decisions for the Bridgewater.Like

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Predicting decisive outcome of meetings based on data

the firm’s Pure Alpha algorithm, Dalio hopes that PriOS willhave the predictive power – like guessing the outcome of a meeting ahead of time based on data – to be a more proactive manager than a human could be.

If Bridgewater’s experiment is a success, the software could replace hundreds of management jobs at the firm and hundreds-of-thousands of similar jobs at other organizations. The software even has the potential to replace seven-figure chief executive officer positions with machines that make better decisions for much lower pay.

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IoT

New Wireless ATMs Use Smartphones Instead of Cards to Authenticate Customers

This year, a handful of national banks plan to introduce ATMs that dispense cash when you tap your smartphone on a wireless keypad,

An example of a smartphone engaging an ATM during a transaction

instead of when you swipe your card. 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 wallet is an online payment technology that lets a person pre-register their credit, debit, gift, and loyalty cards so that they can efficiently make payments from a smartphone or tablet.

™

A digital wallet covers every payment tool

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 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

5G™

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.

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Debit, credit, cash or smartphone

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. 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

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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.

Please feel free to share or add to the conversation based on your own sources. Thanks!

WiFi 802.11 Family

Short-Range Wi-Fi for Connected Rural Living

You know the struggle of finding effective, affordable internet in rural America as well as I do. While, in other parts of the country, never ending

buffering and hour-long downloads are a thing of the past, both are still very real to the many rural dwellers who live out of reach of cable and DSL internet lines.

To address the problem, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Agriculture (FDA) has invested

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over $260 billion in mobile broadband expansion over the last seven years. This money goes into wireline and mobile broadband projects that deliver internet access to isolated communities. Indeed, long-range wireless solutions, like mobile broadband, are the main focus of any conversation on rural broadband expansion these days, but should it be?

Focusing on long-range wireless internet as the only solution for rural communities is “short” sighted, since better short-range Wi-Fi technology is an essential part of the rural internet equation. While establishing that initial (wireless or wired) connection between the provider and the customer is the first step, efficient Wi-Fi technology in the home makes the most of what are often sub-par connections.

Luckily, Wi-Fi technology – the short-range systems that broadcast internet

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to a business or residence – is evolving much faster than mobile broadband. Three modern standards – 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi, 802.11ax Wi-Fi, and 802.11ad – make the most of your internet connection, no matter how sketchy it is.

Wi-Fi is almost twenty years old, but it’s changed a lot in the last two decades. Approved by the IEEE in 2014, the most recent Wi-Fi standard is 802.11ac Wi-Fi, also known as Gigabit Wi-Fi. The newest generation utilizes multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antenna technology and downloads at

MIMO = Multiple, Multiple | MISO = Multiple, Single | SIMO = Single, Multiple
M= Multiple | S = Single | I = Input | O= Output

theoretical speeds of between 1.2 and 3.2 Gbit/s (hence the name). As with many new Wi-Fi products, 802.11 ac transmits exclusively over the less congested, high frequency 5 GHz band.

Although today’s devices still don’t utilize the full potential of 802.11ac, this standard provides the fastest, commercially available, widely available Wi-Fi connection. Virtually all modern devices – from the new Apple TV to your Android smartphone – support the Gigabit Wi-Fi standard. Your older devices are also compatible if they transmit over the 5 GHz frequency band (i.e. use 802.11a or 802.11n).

Gigabit Wi-Fi is the current gold standard in wireless local area networks (WLANs), but new kid on the block, 802.11ad, is already giving it a run for its money in some high-tech markets. This new standard transmits exclusively over the high-frequency, super short-range 60 GHz frequency

Gigabit WiFi is definitely the gold standard for High speed connectivity

band. The standard transmits data at up to 7 Gbit/s, more than twice the maximum speed of Gigabit Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, because it has such a short range and because few devices are designed to transmit at 60 GHz, the 802.11 ad standard is not particularly useful for commercial applications.

Huawei and others are still developing the newest standard – 802.11 ax

– which they will likely release to the public in 2019. This new standard uses Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) technology, alongside MIMO, to process data from multiple users simultaneously. According to Huawei, 802.11 ax already reaches speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s in testing. It transmits over the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.

Short-range Wi-Fi is the final step in getting an internet connection from the provider to the devices of rural customers. In your search for the best internet connection, don’t forget to stay up to date on the most recent, most efficient Wi-Fi routers.

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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.

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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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Rural ISPs

Internet Provider HughesNet Finishes Testing Its Next-Generation Satellite

The fifth generation of satellite internet will, according to HughesNet™, provide much faster data throughputs and a 50% greater capacity.

HughesNet™ looking to deliver faster data throughput with 50% more capacity

In December 2016, the internet provider successfully launched its EchoStar XIX satellite into geostationary orbit 22,236 miles above Earth. This February, HughesNet announced that it had completed a successful round of in-orbit tests on the four-ton EchoStar 19 and that the satellite was ready for use.

The EchoStar XIX, built by the satellite and spacecraft manufacturer Space Systems Loral, is a Ka-band high-throughput satellite. It features what HughesNet calls “the world’s most advanced”very small aperture terminal (VSAT) platform. The award-winning data-processing platform, developed by HughesNet, gives customers the highest possible capacity and efficiency of today’s satellite internet options. HughesNet calls the new internet service “Gen5.”

Like the EchoStar XVII before it, the EchoStar XIXwill use 138 beams to provide service to the continental United States, Alaska, Mexico, and parts of Canada and Central America.

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Echostar XIX to use 138 beams for services in the USA

With HughesNet Gen4 service, these areascurrently see download speeds of up to 15 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 1 Mbps. Gen5 will increase these numbers, although HughesNet can’t say by how much just yet.

Although it will likely be faster, HughesNet’s Gen5 service will not overcome satellite internet’s biggest stumbling block: high latency or lag time. Geostationary satellites orbit the earth at 22,236 miles above sea level, meaning that online data has to travel at least 44,472 miles round trip. This distance has long been a stumbling block for satellite internet, since it takes upwards of 700 milliseconds (ms) for a satellite signal to travel between earth and space.

A HughesNet™ competitor, Tesla Motor’s SpaceX, has begun a project that, if successful, could overcome satellite’s stumbling block.

Elon Musk, the new darling pf space technology stands next to one of his products

Instead of sending satellites into high, stationary orbit like other providers, SpaceX unveiled plans last year to build a constellation of coordinated, moving satellites would orbit at 715 to 823 miles above earth.

Bringing satellites closer to earth solves the most pertinent problem with satellite internet – high latency. The company estimates that it will reduce the latency of satellite internet to 25 to 35 ms.Today’s satellite internet has a latency that is 7 to 25 times higher than mobile broadband and 50 to 150 times higher than cable. If successful, SpaceX’s satellite constellation will have a latency just 2 times higher than cable.

Rural Americans will be the first to benefit from SpaceX’s new project when it comes to fruition. Musk has appealed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – the government agency that, along with the Department of Agriculture (USDA), has invested over $260 billion in mobile broadband expansion in the last seven years – to oversee the launch of 800 preliminary satellites.

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Space X satellite constellation is a game changer for the future

SpaceX’s satellite constellation has the potential to make today’s geostationary satellite internet technology obsolete. Even if it doesn’t, it will likely increase the competition between providers. More competition could lower prices and encourage other providers to innovate.

Thanks to HughesNet and SpaceX, exciting things are happening in an industry that is, typically, immune from the fast-paced innovation of other technologies. Stay tuned for more information about Gen5 and satellite innovation this year.

If you need another reason to get pumped about HughesNet’s Gen5, be sure to watch the launch of the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 – the vehicle that carried EchoStar XIX into space – from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Dec. 18, 2016.

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IoT

How to Automate a Seven-Figure Job

Advancements in automation pose a threat to many of the rural manufacturing, resource extraction, and farming jobs available today. It’s not, however, just blue-collar jobs that new technology puts on the line.

The Global Hedge Fund company is developing software to replace the 1%

The so-called 1% may soon find their livelihoods challenged by automation as well. A new project by the global hedge fund Bridgewater Associates LP, for example, is developing management software that will take the place of some of the firm’s six- and seven-figure managers.

Blue-collar workers have, so far, shouldered a disproportionate number of layoffs due to the automation of their work, as compared to white-collar workers. Machinated harvesters and livestock monitors, for example, have eliminated a number of farming jobs in the United Kingdom and other developed countries. All this has left many rural workers wondering where they fit in to the new economy. For better or for worse, they soon won’t be the only questioning their job security.

Bridgewater Associates, which manages $160 billion in wealth, is the largest hedge-fund firm in the world.The firm has made a name for itself by consistently earning clients above-average returns on investments. According to industry researcher LCH Investments NV, Bridgewater earns twice as much total profit as any of its rivalfirms. The firm’s success is due largely to the dynamism of its billionaire founder, Ray Dalio.

Daliois also the brains behind the Bridgewater project that seeks to automate the firm’s high-level decision-making. By automating most management positions, the firm hopes to save time and

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to eliminate the emotional volatility that leads to poor decisions.Dalio, who earned a reputationin the ‘70s for his uncanny ability to predict macroeconomic trends, has long held that humans work like machines. Why, then, can’t machines work like humans?

Bridgewater has long usedcomplex algorithms to predict changes in stock and money markets. Its flagship fund, Pure Alpha, uses big data to determine when to buy and sell assets like stocks, bonds, and currencies. Bridgewater’s new project, known as the “Principles Operating System” or PriOS for short, applies principles fromits investing process to the management of the firm itself.

The firm has already begun applying some of PriOS’s features to the firm’s day-to-day operations. A

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company app called “The Contract,” for example, tests employee reliability by having them input goals and deadlines and trackingwhetheror not they follow through on them.Another app, called “The Coach,” automatically answersemployee’s questionsby crawling relevant passages in the Bridgewater employee handbook.

While, right now, PriOS doesn’t have the comprehensive features needed to replace a human manager, the firm plans to expand the software until it does.The firm hopes, for example, to program The Coach to use artificial intelligencethat willhelpemployees make the right decisions for the firm every time. The firm also hopes to introduce a human resource program for PriOS. The program will compile information on employees’ performances and personalities and, when a vacancy opens up, match an employee with the position based on that data.

Daliohopes that, by 2022, PriOSwill make three-quarters ofmanagement decisions for the Bridgewater.Like

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Predicting decisive outcome of meetings based on data

the firm’s Pure Alpha algorithm, Dalio hopes that PriOS willhave the predictive power – like guessing the outcome of a meeting ahead of time based on data – to be a more proactive manager than a human could be.

If Bridgewater’s experiment is a success, the software could replace hundreds of management jobs at the firm and hundreds-of-thousands of similar jobs at other organizations. The software even has the potential to replace seven-figure chief executive officer positions with machines that make better decisions for much lower pay.

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IoT

New Wireless ATMs Use Smartphones Instead of Cards to Authenticate Customers

This year, a handful of national banks plan to introduce ATMs that dispense cash when you tap your smartphone on a wireless keypad,

An example of a smartphone engaging an ATM during a transaction

instead of when you swipe your card. 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 wallet is an online payment technology that lets a person pre-register their credit, debit, gift, and loyalty cards so that they can efficiently make payments from a smartphone or tablet.

™

A digital wallet covers every payment tool

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 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

5G™

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.

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Debit, credit, cash or smartphone

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. 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

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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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WiFi 802.11 Family

Short-Range Wi-Fi for Connected Rural Living

You know the struggle of finding effective, affordable internet in rural America as well as I do. While, in other parts of the country, never ending

buffering and hour-long downloads are a thing of the past, both are still very real to the many rural dwellers who live out of reach of cable and DSL internet lines.

To address the problem, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Agriculture (FDA) has invested

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over $260 billion in mobile broadband expansion over the last seven years. This money goes into wireline and mobile broadband projects that deliver internet access to isolated communities. Indeed, long-range wireless solutions, like mobile broadband, are the main focus of any conversation on rural broadband expansion these days, but should it be?

Focusing on long-range wireless internet as the only solution for rural communities is “short” sighted, since better short-range Wi-Fi technology is an essential part of the rural internet equation. While establishing that initial (wireless or wired) connection between the provider and the customer is the first step, efficient Wi-Fi technology in the home makes the most of what are often sub-par connections.

Luckily, Wi-Fi technology – the short-range systems that broadcast internet

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to a business or residence – is evolving much faster than mobile broadband. Three modern standards – 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi, 802.11ax Wi-Fi, and 802.11ad – make the most of your internet connection, no matter how sketchy it is.

Wi-Fi is almost twenty years old, but it’s changed a lot in the last two decades. Approved by the IEEE in 2014, the most recent Wi-Fi standard is 802.11ac Wi-Fi, also known as Gigabit Wi-Fi. The newest generation utilizes multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antenna technology and downloads at

MIMO = Multiple, Multiple | MISO = Multiple, Single | SIMO = Single, Multiple
M= Multiple | S = Single | I = Input | O= Output

theoretical speeds of between 1.2 and 3.2 Gbit/s (hence the name). As with many new Wi-Fi products, 802.11 ac transmits exclusively over the less congested, high frequency 5 GHz band.

Although today’s devices still don’t utilize the full potential of 802.11ac, this standard provides the fastest, commercially available, widely available Wi-Fi connection. Virtually all modern devices – from the new Apple TV to your Android smartphone – support the Gigabit Wi-Fi standard. Your older devices are also compatible if they transmit over the 5 GHz frequency band (i.e. use 802.11a or 802.11n).

Gigabit Wi-Fi is the current gold standard in wireless local area networks (WLANs), but new kid on the block, 802.11ad, is already giving it a run for its money in some high-tech markets. This new standard transmits exclusively over the high-frequency, super short-range 60 GHz frequency

Gigabit WiFi is definitely the gold standard for High speed connectivity

band. The standard transmits data at up to 7 Gbit/s, more than twice the maximum speed of Gigabit Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, because it has such a short range and because few devices are designed to transmit at 60 GHz, the 802.11 ad standard is not particularly useful for commercial applications.

Huawei and others are still developing the newest standard – 802.11 ax

– which they will likely release to the public in 2019. This new standard uses Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) technology, alongside MIMO, to process data from multiple users simultaneously. According to Huawei, 802.11 ax already reaches speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s in testing. It transmits over the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.

Short-range Wi-Fi is the final step in getting an internet connection from the provider to the devices of rural customers. In your search for the best internet connection, don’t forget to stay up to date on the most recent, most efficient Wi-Fi routers.

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