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Airbus and NTT DOCOMO have tested the possibility of supplying future wireless broadband access using the solar-powered Zephyr High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS). The experiment was conducted in August in the United States, when the Zephyr S aircraft flew in the stratosphere for 18 days to assess different capabilities.   The Airbus Zephyr S, which is equipped with an onboard radio transmitter, offered a highly flexible data link during its stratospheric flight to mimic future direct-to-device connection. Test data was collected at different altitudes and during various hours of the day and night, with the goal of determining how weather conditions, varied elevation angles and aircraft flight patterns influence connectivity in the stratosphere.   Various bandwidths were used in the tests to replicate direct-to-device services from the HAPS to end-users at low, nominal and high capacity. The demonstration proved the practicality and adaptability of the 2GHz spectrum for HAPS-based services,…

 Viasat, a worldwide communications company, and Inmarsat, a major UK-based supplier of global mobile satellite communications services, have announced the signing of a formal agreement under which Viasat will buy Inmarsat for $7.3 billion.   The merger will establish a global communications leader with increased size and breadth to link the globe more economically, safely and securely. The new organization’s complementary assets and resources will allow the launch of innovative new services in both the mobile and fixed segments, giving customers more options in broadband communications and narrowband services, such as IoT.   The merged business intends to combine both companies’ spectrum, satellite and terrestrial assets into a worldwide high-capacity hybrid space and terrestrial network able to offer exceptional service in the rapidly developing commercial and government sectors.   Together, these businesses will establish a formidable multi-spectrum, multi-orbit powerhouse. With production and people capacity around the world, the new company…

NEC Corporation, along with its subsidiary OCC Corporation and Sumitomo Electric Industries, has stated that they have conducted the first testing of an uncoupled 4-core underwater fiber cable and confirmed its transmission performance to fulfill the stringent requirements of global telecommunications networks.   International data usage is anticipated to increase by 30-40%  by 2026, owing to reasons such as the expansion of 5G mobile data and the necessity to exchange ever more content between data centers located around the world. Submarine networks are using space division multiplexing (SDM) technology to fulfill this need, which increases the number of separate spatial channels to maximize the overall capacity of the system, decrease energy usage and minimize the cost per bit transferred. Multicore fiber is projected to increase the number of parallel optical fiber cores without changing the size and structure of underwater cables, allowing the introduction of second generation of submarine SDM…

Telefónica and NEC Corporation announced an agreement to undertake pre-commercial Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) tests in Telefonica’s four key worldwide markets: Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom and Brazil. This is a step toward Telefonica’s goal of achieving a 50% expansion of their current radio network based on Open RAN by 2025.   According to a joint press release, Telefonica will perform open RAN trials in Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom and Brazil, with the objective of offering commercial alternatives to at least 800 locations across the four countries beginning in 2022. Under the terms of the agreement, NEC will serve as the primary system integrator for the implementation and testing of multi-vendor Open RAN solutions with the Telefonica group’s operational businesses.   Telefónica and NEC will also cooperate with the newly formed Telefónica Technology and Automation Lab in Madrid to validate and implement cutting-edge Open RAN technologies and…

Singapore based Epsilon Telecommunications, a global connectivity provider simplifying the connectivity for companies, applications and information worldwide as well as in the cloud, has been acquired for $145 million by KT Corporation, South Korea’s largest telecommunication operator.   Epsilon has 260 points of presence in 41 locations across 20 countries, including the Chinese mainland. Furthermore, the firm has data centers in London, New York and Singapore. The firm offers cloud, ethernet, SD-WAN, colocation and voice services, as well as its own network-as-a-service platform called Infiny.   “The acquisition of Epsilon by KT is a great milestone on our company’s journey and recognition of the hard work of our teams across the globe,” said Michel Robert, Chief Executive Officer at Epsilon Telecommunications. “The acquisition is a logical next step for both businesses and a fantastic opportunity for customers, partners and internal teams.”   KT purchased the company in collaboration with the…

In recent years, 5G technology has been deployed around the world at a staggering pace, and the rollout is predicted to continue in the upcoming years. Despite the fact that 5G technology is still in its early stages, the telecom industry is already envisioning and trying to define what the next generation of mobile technology, 6G, will look like.   The 5G Infrastructure Association (5GIA) has published a white paper with the title “European Vision for the 6G Network Ecosystem”, which covers key areas of 6G research from technical, societal, policy and business perspectives.   As stated in this white paper, 6G will participate in making headway towards achieving more united digital, physical and personal worlds. The key features of the next-gen technology include intelligent connected management and control functions, programmability, integrated sensing and communication, energy footprint reduction, reliable infrastructure, scalability and affordability.   5GIA says that 6G will usher…

Ericsson has announced the launch of its Private 5G, which will reshape on-site connectivity by providing secure and simple 4G LTE and 5G Standalone Connectivity (SA), targeting the manufacturing, mining and process industries, offshore and power companies, as well as ports and airports.   Ericsson Private 5G enhances and makes business operations using cloud network management easier, keeping sensitive data on-site without downtime, and guarantees high performance under Service-Level Agreements (SLAs).   The Ericsson 5G Private network is based on a 4G/5G radio and dual-mode core technology for extensive indoor and outdoor environment use cases, that include tracking assets and real-time automation, a digital twin to help optimize production operations, effective quality checks using augmented reality, and smart surveillance drones. This technology seamlessly merges with a variety of business projects, devices, and applications to increase productivity, deliver new offerings, boost customer engagement, and improve the overall work environment.   The…

BT, the UK’s largest telecoms and network provider, has launched hollow core fiber trials at the BT Labs in Adastral Park, Ipswich, in a joint venture with Lumenisity, the University of Southampton’s spin-off company and Mavenir, the Open Radio Access Network (O- RAN) mobile carrier.   The research is being carried out at BT’s research and engineering facilities, with the researchers using a 10-kilometer-long hollow-core fiber cable made by Lumenisity. This state-of-the-art network cable has a hollow, air-filled center that extends through the entirety of the cable. The hollow core fiber will be tested for a myriad of applications, such as the possible benefits to 5G networks and highly secure communications such as Quantum Key Distribution (QKD).   Reducing the latency of hollow fiber light could provide immense benefits, including high-frequency trading and reduced mobile network costs. This joint venture has revealed that the usage of hollow core fiber can…

The new UK joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefónica officially became operational on 1 June, merging the two household names to form Virgin Media O2 (VMO2). This joint venture has committed to providing a unique choice to consumers and has also promised to boost the UK economy. While, at the moment, the company is not changing any of its current services, later this year it plans to offer seamless broadband, entertainment and mobile services all in one place. The Liberty Global-Telefónica merger is devoted to investing at least £10bn in the UK over the next five years. This investment will help businesses further contribute to the UK Government’s goals of connectivity, upgrading infrastructure all around the country, creating stiffer competition and providing a wider variety of choices for customers. The merger instantly makes the new business one of the largest in the UK, with 47 million…

OneWeb, a global communications company that provides broadband satellite Internet services around the world, has announced another successful launch of 36 Arianespace satellites from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. With this launch, the company gets closer to reaching their “Five to 50” goal and the lift off of commercial services by the end of this year.   The launch took place on May 28th at 18:38 BST. The OneWeb satellites detached from their host rocket and were distributed in nine clusters over 3 hours and 52 minutes. Signals were received from all 36 satellites, indicating their operational status. This launch is the fourth in a series of five total launches needed to complete the “Five to 50” program. The program will allow OneWeb to offer connectivity in all parts of the UK, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic Seas and Canada. The service is predicted to be available by the end…