Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

LinkNYC Wi-Fi debuts
New Yorkers can now enjoy blazing fast free public Wi-Fi. The first LinkNYC public Wi-Fi kiosks are now active on Third Avenue in the Big Apple. The 300 Mbps capability is approximately 10 times faster than the average U.S. home Internet connection. The project, which is still in its beta phase, was carried out by a four-company consortium led by CityBridge. The consortium signed a 12-year, $200 million contract with the city and began the for-profit venture last year with the first installations taking place in the last month. The other companies that make up the consortium include Wi-Fi chipmaker Qualcomm and outdoor advertising company, Titan. Design and manufacturing company, Comark, will build the kiosks. Each partner reportedly owns roughly 25% of the venture. There are currently four operational Links on Third Avenue. Early test indicate the Links have a wireless range of up to 150 feet depending on surrounding structures. … Read more

Sprint looks at network revamp
Sprint is reportedly set to again take on a major network overhaul strategy that is expected to result in a new round of service interruptions. According to a report from Re/Code, Sprint has “finalized” plans to re-architect its network away from its current reliance on traditional cell tower companies and backhaul suppliers and instead focus on tapping “government-owned properties” and microwave backhaul solutions. The moves are expected to save the carrier up to $1 billion per year in operating expense, or less than half of the $2.5 billion in annual opex the carrier previously said it was looking to trim. The report claims Sprint is expected to move on the network plan, known as the Next Generation Network initiative, by mid-year. Sprint recently moved forward with its latest job cuts that are expected to cost the company $150 million in related expenses. As part of the reported network program, Sprint will rely on equipment vendor Mobilitie, which focuses on small cell technologies. The move is said to come at the expense of traditional cell tower vendors American Tower and Crown Castle. … Read more

BT acquisition of EE approved
The United Kingdom’s Competition and Consumer Authority cleared the way for BT to acquire mobile operator EE, the regulator said in a statement. The decision follows CMA’s provisional decision to clear the acquisition in October 2015. After looking in detail at different markets – including the supply of retail mobile, wholesale mobile, mobile backhaul, wholesale broadband and retail fixed broadband services – CMA decided the deal is not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market in the U.K. The regulator said the BT Group and EE operate largely in separate areas, with BT strong in supplying fixed communications services, EE strong in supplying mobile communications services and limited overlap between them in both categories of service. EE is currently owned by Deutsche Telekom and French telco Orange. “Since our provisional findings, we have taken extra time to consider responses in detail but the evidence does not show that this merger is likely to cause significant harm to competition or the interests of consumers,” explained CMA’s inquiry chair John Wotton. “The retail mobile services market in the U.K. is competitive, with four main mobile providers and a substantial number of smaller operators. … Read more

Sprint hires regional presidents as part of restructuring
As part of a previously reported nationwide restructuring plan, Sprint announced the hiring of regional presidents to take the helm at six of the company’s 17 new regional subdivisions. The restructuring, announced in November, is part of a larger Sprint plan to cut $2.5 billion out of its operation, which also includes lay offs, restructuring of severance packages and cuts at the executive level including food and transportation. Meet the new regional presidents: Johan Chung has been named president of the Northern California and Nevada region. Chung joins Sprint from LG Electronics where he served as a SVP managing the account division for U.S. operators. Jim Mills joins as president of the Illinois and Wisconsin region. Before joining Sprint, Mills served as VP of retail sales and operations at Vonage. Before that, he held a variety of leadership positions at T-Mobile US, including VP and GM for Chicago and the Great Plains region. … Read more

Obama proposes $4 billion for autonomous car R&D
Federal government officials this week announced a plan to commit $3.9 billion in funding over the next decade to bolster research and development of autonomous vehicles. Anthony Foxx, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, was in Detroit for the North American International Auto Show to discuss the proposal, which President Obama referenced in his final State of the Union address on Tuesday. “We are on the cusp of a new era in automotive technology with enormous potential to save lives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transform mobility for the American people,” Foxx said. “Today’s actions and those we will pursue in the coming months will provide the foundation and the path forward for manufacturers, state officials, and consumers to use new technologies and achieve their full safety potential.” Contained in the budget proposal for fiscal year 2017, the Department of Transportation described the spending as covering “pilot programs to test connected vehicle systems in designated corridors throughout the country, and work with industry leaders to ensure a common multistate framework for connected and autonomous vehicles.” … Read more

DOCSIS 3.1 ready for prime time
DOCSIS 3.1, the latest evolution in data over cable service interface specification, is now certified by CableLabs to run in modems from five key suppliers. The modems will be capable of providing multi-gigabit Internet speeds and interoperability amongst products. Products from Askey, Castlenet, Netgear, Technicolor and Ubee Interactive have all been approved to run DOCSIS 3.1. The certification means the multiple-system operator focused models are capable of operating across platforms and are ready to be sold to high-speed Internet customers. “The DOCSIS 3.1 specifications assure the cable industry’s leadership in the delivery of broadband services,” CableLabs President and CEO Phil McKinney said. “This represents the most rapid development and implementation cycle for a broadband technology development program ever delivered by CableLabs. Development of the initial DOCSIS 3.1 specifications to product certification has occurred in half the time of previous DOCSIS specifications.” Network vendors Arris, Cisco Systems, Casa Systems, Huawei and Harmonic are all working on network gear to support DOCSIS 3.1. … Read more

Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.

The post #TBT: DOCSIS 3.1 heads to prime time; BT’s purchase of EE approved; LinkNYC debuts … this week in 2016 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.


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