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Virtual Reality to enhance the travel experience

Karim Hussami

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Virtual Reality to enhance the travel experience

Virtual Reality (VR) has been considered a viable tech solution for many industries before Coronavirus hit and might be one of the ways to facilitate people’s businesses and lives well after the pandemic. The reality is that many commercial activities, like concerts, trade shows and travel, will have to utilize technology to adapt to the changing consumer and market landscape.

Some companies such as VResorts, an India-based company, produces and implements virtual reality-enabled travel content including, tourist landmarks and attractions in India. Despite the disruption in travel, VResorts plans to offer a practical tech solution, by launching an online travel agency for hotel and resort bookings that makes full use of virtual reality.

“We’ve gone through a phase of consumers getting used to buying travel on their mobile phones,” said Romain Baron, Chief Marketing Officer for VResorts. “The next phase in travel booking, especially for luxury and youth segments, is the VR phase. Early adopters will want VR as a kind of proof before booking somewhere, similar to how we use online reviews today.”

Similarly, YouVisit sells immersive experiences. Whether its travel destinations, hotels, colleges, or corporate offices, the company aims to bring prospective visitors to a place before they set foot there, via its Aria VR solution that converts video and photos into 360º experiences.

Ascape, has a large collection of 360º videos from all corners of the globe, and a great solution for getting the travel demand going. It displays the high-quality videos for travelers to experience the trip before it has happened, from walking with elephants in Botswana, sailing around the Caribbean to snowboarding in the Alps and much more.

VR is a useful tool to check and customize the hotel experience before reaching a desired destination. Rizort, an online travel agency, is taking full advantage of presenting to clients, attractive locations like Thailand, and the Maldives through VR. By having Oculus GO headsets, the company is able to take people into the resort of their choice and walk them through the rooms, pool, gym, spa treatments and anything else on offer.

“Virtual reality content can help narrow down choices more efficiently”, said Sachin Kanodia, founder and CEO at Rizort.

Cultural sites such as museums and exhibitions can also be visited virtually while staying home. According to Fast Company, Google Arts & Culture teamed up with over 2500 museums and galleries around the world to bring people virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world.

Some of the famous museums that offer virtual tours include: British Museum-London, National Gallery of Art-Washington, D.C, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art-Seoul., Rijksmuseum-Amsterdam, MASP- São Paulo.

“The beauty of the world’s most treasured spots doesn’t change, but our ability to reproduce it digitally does,” said Valentina Frassi, a program manager for Google Street View who has been filming locations since 2011.

However, many experts say that the adoption of this technology in travel won’t be virtual reality, instead, it will be augmented reality which superimposes digital content on real life.

Journalist for 7 years in print media, with a bachelor degree in Political Science and International Affairs. Masters in Media communications.

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Digicel Tonga upgrades its LTE network

Karim Hussami

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Digicel Tonga upgrades its LTE network

When offering any network service, companies or telecom operators should consider improving the quality of the service in order to boost coverage and provide capacity and speed.

Each network wireless broadband communication demands a different solution, therefore, 4G require LTE, which is Long-Term Evolution and a standard for wireless broadband communication for mobile devices and data terminals.

Digicel Tonga has successfully implemented a network-wide upgrade to LTE on all its cell sites.

Tonga’s leading telecommunication and entertainment provider, Digicel Tonga, announced “The completion of a major TOP 1.8million network upgrade. All sites are upgraded to LTE network and Digicel Tonga is the first operator to achieve this on the island.”

“The upgrade has been implemented in all cell sites across the islands of Tongatapu, Ha’apai, Vava’u and ‘Eua, and was set to boost coverage and provide improved capacity and speed,” Digicel Tonga said in a statement.

25 percent of the company’s sites were upgraded to LTE during the first phase of the upgrade project which started in late 2019, while the second phase of the upgrade started in May 2020 to bring the remaining sites up to LTE.

Customers are using 77% more data than they did in June 2019 because of the upgrade allowing for additional data capacity using the latest LTE technology.

Digicel Tonga CEO, Anthony Seuseu said; “We simply want to give every Tongan the best mobile data experience and become their digital lifestyle partner. We are now living in a time where our online and digital experiences are part of our lives.  The TOP $1.8million investment in our data network over the last 12 months is a major milestone for Tonga to celebrate and be proud of. We are the first and only operator to upgrade all our towers 100% LTE in Tonga.”

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Telecom Network Infrastructure Market is set to reach USD 100 billion by 2026

Inside Telecom Staff

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Telecom Network Infrastructure Market is set to reach USD 100 billion by 2026

According to a recent study from market research firm Global Market Insights, Speedy internet penetration across the globe will offer prolific growth opportunities to telecom network infrastructure market. High adoption of wireless devices is a key impetus to the market growth. People are extensively adopting wireless devices across the globe, which has intensified the need for development of existing telecom network infrastructure.

Various telecom companies are endeavoring to expand their network infrastructure to support the ever-increasing base of cellular users. Governments and telecom companies are outlaying huge amounts in upgrading current telecom infrastructure and developing advanced technologies, which will spur telecom network infrastructure industry growth.

In addition, the advent of 5G technology is likely to be instrumental in the industry growth as it is compelling telecom operators to upgrade their capacities to support the commercialization of the technology.

A research report published by Global Market Insights, Inc., predicts that telecom network infrastructure market is likely to surpass a valuation of $100 billion by 2026.Several supportive proposals for commercialization of 5G technology are urging telecom service providers to enhance their existing telecom infrastructure. Since the need to commercialize next gen 5G network has grown-up, it has enabled companies to implement advance telecom infrastructure. Compared to conventional 4G and LTE network, 5G network offers enhanced speed capacities together with improved bandwidth.

Rise in the prevalence of cyber threats across wireless telecom networks has become a key concern due to increasing number of wireless devices being deployed worldwide. Cyber criminals nowadays can easily access confidential information inside a telecommunication infrastructure. Cyberattacks on telecoms service providers have also grown substantially, creating a big challenge for firms when it comes to safeguarding their network assets.

Rising need for superior cellular connectivity in rural areas is helping with the growing adoption of base stations. Microcells are projected to foresee high demand since they are more suitable base stations that can be used for providing connections in isolated rural places.

Telecom network infrastructure in North America is relatively developed and is among the frontrunners in the adoption of the 5G. Moreover, positive investment outlook is likely to present unprecedented growth opportunities to North America telecom network infrastructure industry. The regional federal authorities have introduced several initiatives to transform telecom network infrastructure, especially to support 5G spectrum.

Many government authorities, such as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and Federal Communication Commission (FCC) have been endeavoring to improve their regulatory frameworks and attract huge investments for deploying 5G telecom infrastructure.

Several major telecom operators across the world are carrying out 5G network trials to expedite the commercialization of 5G technology. Various new products and services are being introduced by telecom network infrastructure companies to encourage 5G network. For example, in October 2019, Nokia rolled out Time-sensitive Packet Switch (TPS) Nokia 1830 to support cloud-native architectures and Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), both time-critical service components in 5G. The latest product enabled telecom operators upgrade their existing networks to 5G cloud RAN economically.

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Huawei has lost the Romanian 5G market

Ranine Awwad

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Huawei has lost the Romanian 5G market

Romania was one of the first countries worldwide to follow US decisions on banning Huawei from the deployment of the 5G network. According to CMS law, in December 2019, the National Authority for Administration and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) launched public consultations for its 2020 action plan aiming to publish tender rules and requirements for the deployment of the 5G network.

On July 5, 2020, the Romanian government released legislation for public debate that will be used to determine which company carries out the installation for 5G networks in the country.

Under the new law, companies controlled by a foreign government, which lack a transparent ownership structure, a history of unethical behavior or are subjected to an independent justice system in their own country are not eligible to participate in the deployment of the 5G network. Huawei is one of the companies that does not comply with the law. However, the new terms came out without explicitly mentioning the company. The Chinese Telecom giant was banned from participating in the deployment of high-speed internet technology following sanctions by the United States. “Huawei refuses to reveal its corporate structure or explain its connection to the Chinese Communist Party”, according to a blog post published by US mission in Romania on January 28, 2020.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis was always against awarding Huawei a license for the deployment of the 5G network. On August 21, 2020, he signed a memorandum with US President Donald Trump in which they agreed to avoid the security risks that accompany Chinese investments in 5G telecommunications networks. “We don’t want to end up with critical systems being operated by companies which are not trustworthy,” said Iohannis, according to Balkans Insight.

Nokia, Ericsson, and Samsung are among the alternative telecom operators to Huawei.

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