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Anatech Electronics, a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its April newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry happenings. In it, Sam Benzacar discusses, among other topics, the court battle battle between AT&T and Rivada Mercury Networks regarding the National Public Safety Broadband Network administered by FirstNet, build-out of IoT services, and Google fiber. Anatech's business is to make certain that system and circuit designers have capable filters available to assure successful implementation.
A Word from Sam Benzacar
FirstNet: Interference Challenges on the Way
By Sam Benzacar
If you're involved in public safety communications you've no doubt been following the long slog toward realization of the National Public Safety Broadband Network administered by FirstNet. Finally, it appears that AT&T will be the winner as the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled for AT&T rather than Rivada Mercury Networks, which had filed an appeal to FirstNet's decision. This doesn't mean that the final path is clear for several reasons.
Rivada Mercury can still appeal the decision and it's important to note that the court wasn't entirely satisfied with AT&T's plan, either. Even if the decision stands on further appeal, Rivada Mercury will still likely build networks for states that opt out of FirstNet and go their own way instead. Every state must also individually sign up (or not) so the total number of those opted-in remains to be seen. Currently, Alabama, Arizona, and Michigan are considering it and New Hampshire is already working with Rivada Mercury to develop their system.
However, there is precious little time to sort all this out as states and territories that decide to opt out have three months to make that decision and if opting out have another six months to design their own networks, which must be compatible with the FirstNet network. If state and territories fail to meet the deadlines, the government will impose their own. In addition, the winner (presumably AT&T) has only six months to complete its network plan. Under the first responder contract, FirstNet will provide 20 MHz of spectrum and "success-based" payments to AT&T totaling $6.5 billion during the first 5 years. AT&T must contribute another $40 billion over the 25-year agreement.
Assuming all goes as planned, which seems unlikely as this is a very complex issue, AT&T could begin deploying its networks as early as June. The company has spent years renegotiating terms with tower companies and other entities and is rapidly developing small cells, backhaul, and conducting other necessary work to get things moving.
Looking at this situation at a high level, two things seem certain: A huge new market is about to appear for every type of RF and microwave component and subsystems used in sub-1 GHz radios, as well as for antennas, cables, connectors, and other passive components. The market should ramp up very quickly owing the short timeline for FirstNet system deployment.
The second is that without a doubt, issues with interference will arise. The sheer number of sites at which these systems will be employed (hundreds of thousands) along with the spectrum conditions unique to each site, make this a certainty.
For those of you who are or will soon be fortunate enough to be part of this huge endeavor – congratulations! And by the way, Anatech Electronics has been solving interference problems with RF and microwave filters in public safety systems for more than 25 years. We can help you avoid problems at the design stage through deployment – and beyond. We offer custom cable assemblies as well.
So please call us at (973) 772-4242 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dish Network Raises $1 Billion for IoT Network
Dish Network has raised $1 billion through a debt offering to fund its proposed NB-IoT LTE network, which would add a new dimension to the company's services and place it squarely in competition with wireless carriers and Low-Power Wireless Area Network (LPWAN) providers. The company is involved in the FCC 600-MHz incentive auction that was just completed, and if it is successful it could add to its already sizeable holdings. They include 75 MHz of nationwide spectrum including some in the 1.7/2.1 GHz band, more around 2 GHz, and even more in the lower 700 MHz E-Block.
FCC Encourages 95 GHz Development
FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, says he wants to open spectrum above 95 GHz as a test bed for 5G technology and that the FCC is considering letting experimentation to be conducted. Pai noted efforts of its Spectrum Frontiers initiative that call for the federal government to open nearly 11 GHz of spectrum above 24 GHz for mobile services including 3.85 GHz of bandwidth for licensed use in the 28, 37 and 39 GHz bands, as well as 7 GHz for unlicensed use from 64 to 71 GHz.-of-sight.
IoT Module on the Move
A Strategy Analytics report says sales of 4G IoT modules will peak within 2 years, and sales of 5G modules will begin in 2019 and outsell 4G modules by 2024. The automotive market will initially be the largest single consumer of cellular-based IoT modules, according to the report. However, industrial applications will also begin to feature cellular-based IoT connectivity after 5G is first released.
Google Fiber Continues to Spread
Belgian chipGoogle Fiber is accepting customers in Raleigh, N.C., for Google Fiber, having five months ago launched service in nearby Morrisville. The company has opened a store called the "Raleigh Fiber Space" where consumers can try out its Internet and TV services. Packages include "Fiber 1000" service for $70/month with both download and upload speeds up to 1 GB/s without data caps. Google said last year it will be dialing back its fiber rollouts after its acquisition of Webpass, which delivers high-speed data using point-to-point microwave links. The company says future plans include a hybrid solution with wired and wireless elements.
Verizon Launches First Cellular IoT Services
Verizon Wireless has activated its Cat. M1 LTE network dedicated to IoT, the first U.S. carrier to do so nationally. Verizon says it will offer data plans for $2 per month per device and options for bulk activations and volume purchases. Category M1 LTE uplink and downlink speeds are capped at 1 Mb/s and bandwidth at 1.4 MHz per device to keep cost low and device battery life high. Cat M1 devices will connect seamlessly to the LTE network if they use Verizon's ThingSpace client software with the goal of access as easily as with a smartphone. Verizon generated about $500 million in IoT-related revenue in the second half 2016, a number that should grow massively in coming years.
Check out Our Filter Products
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About Anatech Electronics
Anatech Electronics, Inc. (AEI) specializes in the design and manufacture of standard and custom RF and microwave filters and other passive components and subsystems employed in commercial, industrial, and aerospace and applications. Products are available from an operating frequency range of 10 kHz to 30 GHz and include cavity, ceramic, crystal, LC, and surface acoustic wave (SAW), as well as power combiners/dividers, duplexers and diplexers, directional couplers, terminations, attenuators, circulators, EMI filters, and lightning arrestors. The company's custom products and capabilities are available at www.anatechelectronics.com.
Anatech Electronics, Inc.
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Garfield, NJ 07026
Posted April 25, 2017