telecommunications   2119

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The Internet, Divided Between the U.S. and China, Has Become a Battleground - WSJ
One side, championed in China, is a digital landscape where mobile payments have replaced cash. Smartphones are the devices that matter, and users can shop, chat, bank and surf the web with one app. The downsides: The government reigns absolute, and it is watching—you may have to communicate with friends in code. And don’t expect to access Google or Facebook.

On the other side, in much of the world, the internet is open to all. Users can say what they want, mostly, and web developers can roll out pretty much anything. People accustomed to China’s version complain this other internet can seem clunky. You must toggle among apps to chat, shop, bank and surf the web. Some websites still don’t seem to be designed with smartphones in mind.

The two zones are beginning to clash with the advent of the superfast new generation of mobile technology called 5G. China aims to be the biggest provider of gear underlying the networks, and along with that it is pushing client countries to adopt its approach to the web—essentially urging some to use versions of the “Great Firewall” that Beijing uses to control its internet and contain the West’s influence....

The collision of these universes as 5G arrives is exacerbating conflict between the U.S. and China and could broaden the rift and drive more of the world into China’s cyberspace model.

Networks using 5G technology are expected to download movies on phones in seconds, help enable self-driving cars, and connect components ranging from pacemakers to factory machines to the internet. Military futurists say 5G may alter battlefields, connecting tanks and drones with artificial intelligence.

China is aiming to expand its zone with 5G. It is aggressively promoting 5G networks, establishing a body in 2013 composed of regulators, companies and scientists to design and control every aspect of the process. It built a state facility where anyone selling 5G equipment in China must test it....

China’s 5G goal is to “win primacy,” said China’s leading proponent of the effort, Wu Hequan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, last month, according to a transcript conference organizers posted. The government’s information office and the Cyberspace Administration, an internet regulator, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

That Chinese challenge has suddenly come to the fore because one giant has leapt the divide between the parallel universes. Huawei Technologies Co. is now the world’s biggest supplier of the equipment that goes into mobile-computing networks.

The 5G equipment itself won’t tilt the playing field—the gear is the plumbing of the internet, based on global standards that are agnostic as to what web developers and users run on it.

But many in Washington, from Congress to members of the national-security and intelligence communities, warn that Huawei’s Chinese ownership means Beijing could use the gear to spy on the world and more broadly be a camel’s nose under the tent to expand its influence...

The U.S. has also accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and violating sanctions, raising the possibility the Trump administration could cut its access to critical U.S.-made components. Huawei denies wrongdoing.

If that happens, said Paul Triolo, a former federal government analyst who heads up global technology research at risk consulting firm Eurasia Group, China could build a version of 5G that isn’t compatible with the U.S. network. “If the global supply chain for 5G really falls apart,” he said, “we would be in totally new territory.”

Huawei Deputy Chairman Ken Hu said it has amassed 13,000 suppliers and that: “If any link in this global industry chain is obstructed in an unusual way, that would have major impact on the development of the industry chain and even the economic development of countries involved.” Huawei declined to comment further for this article.
5G  telecommunications  infrastructure  china  supply_chain 
7 days ago by shannon_mattern
What is SS7 and is China Using It To Spy on Trump’s Cell Phone?
In 1980, the International Telecommunications Union codified Signaling System 7 as the international standard protocol for telephone signaling. Signaling is the technical term for giving information to a network that tells it how to route a call, such as dialing a phone number. When SS7 was adopted as a standard protocol for routing telephone calls, it marked a revolution in telephony.

Prior to SS7, signaling information was sent on the same channel as the call itself: A user would dial a number (signal) and talk on the same wires, so to speak. SS7, on the other hand, established separate channels for signalling and the actual call. This not only allowed for remarkably higher data transmission rates, but it also allowed for signalling to occur at any point during the call instead of just at the beginning. This drastically improved the quality and reliability of phone calls.

By the new millennium, however, the cracks in the SS7 protocol were starting to show. The main problem with the SS7 network was that it treats all information sent over the network as legitimate. Thus, if a bad actor gains access to the network they can prey on this system of trust and use it to manipulate or intercept the signaling information that is sent. In 1999, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a consortium of organizations that deal with telecom standards, issued a distressing warning about vulnerabilities found in SS7.
telecommunications  infosec  espionage 
14 days ago by campylobacter
Tree Receivers – BLDGBLOG
He called this “talking through the trees.” Indeed, subsequent tests proved that, “[w]ith the remarkably sensitive amplifiers now available, it was not only possible to receive signals from all the principle [sic] European stations through a tree, but it has developed beyond a theory and to a fact that a tree is as good as any man-made aerial, regardless of the size or extent of the latter, and better in the respect that it brings to the operator’s ears far less static interference.”

Why build a radio station, in a sense, when you could simply plant a forest and wire up its trees?
media  sound  telecommunications  trees 
17 days ago by shannon_mattern
Computational Landscape Architecture – BLDGBLOG
In 2017, researchers attending the annual Cable-Tec Expo presented a paper looking at the effect certain trees can have on wireless-signal propagation in the landscape.

In “North America in general,” the researchers wrote, “large swathes of geography are dominated by trees and other foliage which, depending on seasonal growth and longitude, can interrupt a good many LOS [line of sight] apertures between BS [a base station] and client and present performance challenges.”

That is to say, parts of North America are heavily forested enough that the landscape itself has a negative effect on signal performance, including domestic and regional WiFi....

“The impact of deciduous and conifer trees (under gusty wind conditions) suggest that the leaf density from the conifer more frequently produces heavy link losses and these,” they explain.

In other words, for the sake of signals, plant deciduous.
wifi  telecommunications  infrastructure  trees 
17 days ago by shannon_mattern
The Man Who Invented Information Theory | Boston Review
The Man Who Invented Information Theory from Boston Review. Of the pioneers who drove the information technology revolution, Claude Shannon may have been the most brilliant. A new book resurrects his legacy.
information  theory  book  toread  shannon  early  history  computer  messaging  telecommunications  mit 
21 days ago by xer0x
The Lenin Institute for Librarianship by Ivan Leonidov (1927) – SOCKS
Ivan Illich Leonidov (1902-1957) designed the Lenin Institute for Librarianship (the collective scientific and cultural center of the USSR) in 1927 as his thesis project at the VKhUTEMAS, the art and technical School of Moscow, with Alexander Vesnin as his tutor.

The Institute is made of a series of individualized shapes embodied by clear geometrical forms – mostly rectangular boxes and a sphere – which are boldly composed together.
The three main buildings of the institute are a massive library with five million books joined by the Institute of librarianship, both contained in a high-rise building; the auditorium which also functions as a planetarium and as a speaking platform for mass demonstrations, located in a huge glass sphere elevated from the floor through a metallic structure; and the actual research institute hosting the research labs, a horizontal slab, suspended, which also connects the two other buildings. The single volumes are related through the composition of two asymmetrical axes on a decentralized circular platform where both the auditorium and the library are located. The library axis is also prolonged by a straight suspended roadway leading to the city center.

An important feature of the overall design is the presence of steel cables with the double role of guy-wires in tension and radio communication antennae. The cables counterbalance the anti-gravitational effect of the highest buildings and especially that of the auditorium which appears as a hot-air balloon ready to take a flight. They also underline the idea of communication among the people working together in the institute and in the whole country.

The center was supposed to be located in Moscow, on the Lenin Hills, the highest spot in the city, just a few kilometers southwest of the Red Square. An aerial tramway with a central aerodrome and suspended roadway would have connected the institute with the center of the city while the radio station would have put it in communication with the whole country.

As to underline an era of unlimited faith in an upcoming technological world, the role of technology is formally and functionally expressed throughout the whole project, especially in the library where an automated book-delivery system with a vertical and horizontal conveyor system delivers the books directly from the stacks to the reading rooms.
libraries  media_architecture  logistics  telecommunications 
24 days ago by shannon_mattern
Ignore 5G, for Now | WIRED
When Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg delivered his keynote address at CES in Las Vegas on Tuesday evening, his speech was shaded with prophecy. 5G will change everything, he said. 5G will even power the fourth industrial revolution....

But 5G relies on millimeter-wave signals, which can't travel as far as those we use for today's 4G networks, so a 5G network requires a greater number of access points. Wireless carriers would need to invest in an entirely new infrastructure in order to roll out true 5G to their customers with any degree of consistency.

Carriers looking to buy themselves the time needed to build that network have been falling back on grand promises and some muddled messaging about how their new "5G" offerings will take shape.

Vestberg was hardly alone in his predictions for the gains the emerging high-speed wireless technology will deliver. At this week's CES, the annual consumer electronics fest has seen many executives and analysts making bold proclamations about 5G's capabilities.

Look beyond the platitudes, however, and you could detect a more sober, subtle prediction from Verizon's keynote address: Wait a year, and then we'll see real 5G.

Telecom analysts and those within the industry say "real" 5G—that is, a network of antennas that can transmit a high-speed data signal to handsets and devices designed to receive them—won't become a reality for at least a year.
telecommunications  infrastructure  5G 
5 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
5G Is Coming This Year. Here’s What You Need to Know. - The New York Times
Qualcomm, the wireless chip maker, said it had demonstrated peak 5G download speeds of 4.5 gigabits a second, but predicts initial median speeds of about 1.4 gigabits. That translates to roughly 20 times faster than the current 4G experience....

There’s another kind of speed, a lag known as latency, that may become even more important with 5G.

Issue a command now on a smartphone — like starting a web search — and the response isn’t exactly immediate. A lag of 50 to several hundred milliseconds is common, partly because signals often must pass between different carrier switching centers; 5G, which uses newer networking technology, was designed to reduce latency down to a few milliseconds. It was also designed to deliver signals more reliably than earlier cellular networks, which today frequently drop bits of data that aren’t essential for tasks like watching movies on a phone.

That improvement could bring many benefits, notably in fields such as virtual reality. The highest-quality VR applications now typically require bulky headsets that are connected by wire to nearby personal computers that generate 3-D images. With 5G, that would be off-loaded wirelessly to other machines, freeing users to move and making it easier to develop goggles the size of eyeglasses, said Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm’s semiconductor business...

In the related field of augmented reality, people could point a smartphone camera at a football game and see both live video on the display and superimposed player statistics or other data, said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

And 5G’s impact extends to medicine and other fields that increasingly rely on high-speed connections....

When will 5G be here?

The answer for smartphone users in the United States appears to be by the second quarter of 2019; precise timing is uncertain.

AT&T has actually switched on its mobile 5G service in 12 cities, with seven more targeted in its initial rollout plan. But smartphones aren’t ready yet for a direct connection to 5G networks. So AT&T will initially market a 5G hot-spot device, made by Netgear, that can funnel wireless broadband connections to nearby phones and computers using Wi-Fi....

Verizon and AT&T will introduce their 5G offerings with the first use of high frequencies that are known by the phrase “millimeter wave.” Using this, the wireless providers can pump data at high speeds, but the signals don’t travel as far. So the two carriers are expected to first target densely populated areas — “parts or pockets” of cities, as AT&T’s Mr. Fuetsch put it.
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The 5G speeds will be particularly noticeable in higher-quality streaming video. And downloading a typical movie at the median speeds cited by Qualcomm would take 17 seconds with 5G, compared with six minutes for 4G.
telecommunications  infrastructure  5G  virtual_reality 
6 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: A Special Investigation | The Nation
The Internet of Things will require augmenting today’s 4G technology with 5G, thus “massively increasing” the general population’s exposure to radiation, according to a petition signed by 236 scientists worldwide who have published more than 2,000 peer-reviewed studies and represent “a significant portion of the credentialed scientists in the radiation research field,” according to Joel Moskowitz, the director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California, Berkeley, who helped circulate the petition. Nevertheless, like cell phones, 5G technology is on the verge of being introduced without pre-market safety testing....

The wireless industry’s determination to bring about the Internet of Things, despite the massive increase in radiation exposure this would unleash, raises the stakes exponentially. Because 5G radiation can only travel short distances, antennas roughly the size of a pizza box will have to be installed approximately every 250 feet to ensure connectivity. “Industry is going to need hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of new antenna sites in the United States alone,” said Moskowitz, the UC Berkeley researcher. “So people will be bathed in a smog of radiation 24/7.”...

The scientists’ petition discussed earlier urges government regulators to apply the precautionary principle to 5G technology. Current safety guidelines “protect industry—not health,” contends the petition, which “recommend[s] a moratorium on the roll-out of [5G]…until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry.”
telecommunications  infrastructure  5G  health  radiation 
7 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Sorry, your data can still be identified even if it’s anonymized
Carlo Ratti, the MIT Senseable City Lab founder who co-authored the study in IEEE Transactions on Big Data, says that the research process made them feel “a bit like ‘white hat’ or ‘ethical’ hackers” in a news release. First, they combined two anonymized datasets of people in Singapore, one of mobile phone logs and the other of transit trips, each containing “location stamps” detailing just the time and place of each data point. Then they used an algorithm to match users whose data overlapped closely between each set–in other words, they had phone logs and transit logs with similar time and location stamps–and tracked how closely those stamps matched up over time, eliminating false positives as they went. In the end, it took a week to match up 17% of the users and 11 weeks to get to a 95% rate of accuracy. (With the added GPS data from smartphones, it took less than a week to hit that number.)

While the MIT group wasn’t trying to unmask specific users in this dataset, they proved that someone acting in bad faith could merge such anonymized datasets with personal ones using the same process, easily pinning the timestamps together to figure out who was who.
privacy  telecommunications  infosec 
9 weeks ago by campylobacter
Mobile Network Evolution within the UK
v handy of history of mobile networks up to and inc LTE.
telecommunications  telecoms  mobile 
10 weeks ago by diasyrmus
5G is weeks away — and Tuesday marks its first real test
Next week, Qualcomm’s third annual Snapdragon Technology Summit is happening in Maui, and it promises to be the first — and last — major public debut of blazing-fast 5G before the new cellular standard launches in the US for real. And while inviting 330 people to a tropical island setting might seem frivolous, there’s some serious money and technology at stake.

You see, AT&T is promising to launch real 5G NR cellular in 12 cities by the end of 2018, mere weeks from today. But despite that fact — and a variety of promises, milestones, and one-off demonstrations from other carriers which plan to launch as soon as early 2019 — we still don’t have a clear idea of what 5G will actually offer right away. Few journalists have even so much as touched a 5G device.

That will change next week. AT&T and Verizon tell The Verge they’ll have live 5G networks in Maui at Qualcomm’s big event, and we’ll be able to try a real, pocketable 5G mobile hotspot (affectionately known as the “puck”) for the first time...

you’ll probably be waiting until Q2 2019 at the earliest. That’s when Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon expects the first real wave of smartphones to arrive.

”We are working, so as early as the second quarter of 2019, you’ll have smartphones being launched across the United States, across Europe, across South Korea, Australia. Some early in the quarter, some later in the quarter... they’re all going to be Android flagship devices,” says Amon. “You go to CES [in January], you’ll start to see a lot of phone announcements; you go to MWC [in February], you’ll see a lot of actual phone launches.”...

That’s why, even out of the gate, he says 5G will be dramatically faster and dramatically more responsive, to the point that bandwidth-sapping uses like streaming video will feel effortless.

“Today you stream music everywhere. You don’t download music anymore; even if you have low coverage, you have enough quality to stream music. 5G will do that for video,” Amon says, before moving on to fancier, further-out predictions like unlimited storage and on-demand processing power from the cloud that can, he imagines, virtually cram the power of a Magic Leap-lik
5G  infrastructure  telecommunications 
11 weeks ago by shannon_mattern

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