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Huawei to launch two 6G network satellites in July, report finds

Yehia El Amine

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6G network

Chinese tech titan Huawei is reportedly looking to launch two satellites alongside two Chinese partners during July 2021 meant for verifying 6G network technologies, as the company aims to take the lead in its global R&D efforts, The Global Times reported late last week.

According to the report – which cites independent digital blogger Chang’an Shumajun, who claims of having close relations with Huawei – the cooperation will include Chinese network operator China Mobile as well as a national space firm.

It is worth mentioning that this isn’t the first time Huawei launches 6G network satellites; the company successfully shot their first satellite back in November last year in a bid to test the technology, going into orbit alongside 12 other satellites from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in the Shanxi Province.

The 6G network technology involves use of high-frequency terahertz waves to achieve data-transmission speeds 100 times faster than 5G is likely to be capable of. According to Chinese news services, the satellite also carries technology which will be used for crop disaster monitoring and forest fire prevention.

Earlier this month, Huawei’s rotating chairman Xu Zhijun used the company’s global analyst conference in Shenzhen to announce that it intends to launch 6G network equipment and subsequent networks in 2030. A white paper is also planned in which Huawei will tell the industry what 6G is.

China’s R&D endeavor within 6G network technologies underlines the country’s lead in the development and rollout of the fifth generation of mobile networks. According to a report by the GSMA back in February, China is expected to have 822 million 5G subscribers by 2025, up from 202 million subscribers at the end of last year.

The report estimates that 5G connections will represent 47 percent of total mobile connections in China, surging from its current 12 percent. This places the tech powerhouse only behind South Korea, with a penetration of 5G of 67 percent, the U.S. (55 percent), and Japan (50 percent).

“Due to the rapid take-up of 5G in China, the region sits among the global leaders in terms of adoption. In 2020, the region added more than 200 million 5G connections, taking its share of global 5G connections to 87 percent. Growth in 5G adoption in the region is supported by aggressive network rollout and a growing device ecosystem. Chinese operators deployed around 600,000 new 5G base stations in 2020 and have announced plans to deploy more than that number during 2021,” according to the GSMA report.

Not only that, but a report by Amsterdam-based games and esports data company Newzoo found that Huawei became the 5G-ready market leader at the end of 2020. The company’s share of active 5G-ready devices skyrocketed from 8.6 percent in November to 27 percent in December.

Yehia is an investigative journalist and editor with extensive experience in the news industry as well as digital content creation across the board. He strives to bring the human element to his writing.

Telecoms

Major Thai telecom operator steps into bitcoin mining

Hala Turk

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Thailand-based mobile operator Jasmine Telecom Systems (JTS) announced last week its Bitcoin mining plans to become the largest miner in Southeast Asia by 2024.  

The Thai telco, which is a subsidiary of telecom operator Jasmine International (JAS), aims to install 500 bitcoin mining machines at its Jastel Data Center during the third quarter of this year. 

This step is considered rare, especially that several telcos are primarily interested in blockchain, yet few are concerned about cryptocurrency. 

“Now is a good time for JTS to invest in bitcoin mining, given its widespread adoption and the incident in China that caused the hash rate to drop to an eight-month low,” said Dusit Srisangaoran president of JTS.  

By the year 2022, the company will look to scale its mining operation ten-fold, installing a further 5,000 machines in partnership with the Jastrel Network at industrial locations around Thailand. 

After this stage, JTS will bring 50,000 machines online, scaling its operation 100-fold before the next bitcoin halving, that occurs almost every four years, or once every 210,000 blocks, and is next scheduled for 2024. 

JTS declared that it would bring “about 5 exahashes of power onto the network, which, even by the next halving’s standards, would be an impressive percentage of global mining power, and would make JTS the largest bitcoin mining operation in Southeast Asia.” 

This will lead the company to mine about 16,000 bitcoin per year. 

JTS revealed it plans to have a mining capacity of more than 5 exahash per second, or 5 percent of the total global mining capacity, making it the largest Bitcoin mining farm in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN. 

It’s worth mentioning that ASEAN include ten countries Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

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BT, Microsoft partner to enhance voice calling

Hala Turk

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London-based telecom provider BT partnered on Thursday with Microsoft to enhance enterprise voice calling, security, and industry-focused services in various sectors. 

The new agreement will allow BT to switch its global managed voice services to the cloud and deliver them directly through Microsoft Teams. 

Microsoft’s Operator Connect plan, that supports telecom operators adding their calling plans to Microsoft Teams, will help the British partner to create new business models and revenue streams. 

According to Microsoft’s blog post this deal “paves the way for the development of revolutionary new cloud-based products and services for BT’s voice customers and the wider telecoms sector.” 

As for cybersecurity part of the deal, the pair will work together to build and launch a new generation of managed security services that will enable and secure the modern collaborative workplace. 

The British provider will team up with the U.S. tech giant to create unique security propositions to protect clients’ operations in the cloud as well as its own IT infrastructure. 

“BT and Microsoft are at the forefront of innovation in global digital platforms and connectivity that will take technology and communication beyond limits,” Bas Burger, CEO of Global at BT, and executive sponsor of BT’s partnership with Microsoft said in a joint statement.  

“This partnership will ensure all of Microsoft’s solutions work ‘Best on BT’ and support both companies’ commitments to improving digital skills in the community,” Burger added. 

In parallel, Omar Abbosh, corporate vice president of industry solutions at Microsoft, considered the partnership as the “start of an exciting, shared journey of innovation and collaboration that will shape the future of telecoms.” 

Abbosh further explained that BT can use Microsoft’s cutting-edge tools to develop new communications services that meet the needs and demands of today’s customers. 

It is worth mentioning that the number of users of BT’s managed Microsoft Teams collaboration service has almost doubled during the past 12 months, according to the pair. 

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Telecoms

5G drives Chinese mobile service to rise at 3.1% in 2026

Hala Turk

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Chinese mobile service revenues are expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate CAGR of 3.1 percent from $131.3 billion in 2021 to $152.7 billion in 2026, according to a study published on Thursday.  

London-based data analytics company, GlobalData published a study showing that the mobile data revenues will witness a rise in its CAGR reaching 6.8 percent due to the growing adoption of 5G services, followed by the rise in data Average Revenue Per Unit (ARPU). 

“5G subscriptions will surpass 4G subscriptions in 2023 and go on to account for 73.8 percent of the total mobile subscriptions share in 2026, driven by the ongoing 5G network expansion by operators and increase in the availability of 5G-enabled smartphones,” said Harika Damidi, Telecoms Analyst at GlobalData. 

In parallel, findings indicate that the average mobile data usage is expected to increase from 9.9GB per month in 2021 to around 32.6GB per month in 2026, as a result to the mounting consumption of high-bandwidth online entertainment and social media content over smartphones. 

However, data revealed that the mobile voice revenues are supposed to drop at a CAGR of 5.2 percent between 2021 and 2026, due to falling voice ARPU levels. 

Damidi explained that the increase in penetration of Internet of Things (IoT) and M2M services are also expected to drive market growth during the forecast period. 

The analyst further highlighted that two state-owned companies had led the Chinese telecom market in terms of mobile subscriptions last year.  

Damidi said that China Mobile ranked first followed by China Telecom, explaining that China Mobile “is making strategic investments in 5G base stations, data centers, industrial Internet, and IoT to ensure its leadership.” 

It is worth mentioning that, in 2020, China mobile generated a revenue of $118.8 billion, in comparison China Telecom’s $60.91 billion during the same year according to Statista.  

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