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!

SK Telecom first-wave mmWave
South Korean mobile telephony operator SK Telecom said it completed building a system to support the development of millimeter-wave technology, seen as one of the key enabling technologies for “5G,” at the corporate research and development center housed in its Bundang Building. The system was developed in collaboration with compatriot company Samsung Electronics. With the launch of the millimeter-wave system, SK Telecom becomes the first mobile carrier in South Korea to install 5G equipment in its building. The millimeter-wave system is said to allow the two companies to realize enhanced data transmission speeds; test, verify and improve wireless transmission performance between base stations and handsets; and review the possibility of applying millimeter-wave technologies in urban cores. … Read more

FirstNet deployables take center stage in Atlantic City
The FirstNet early builder project in New Jersey, known as JerseyNet, provided coverage at a pair of recent weekend beach concerts in Atlantic City, enabling the police department to sidestep the usual crashing of their mobile security cameras and actually use the system as it was meant to be used. It was the first time the Atlantic City Police Department used the LTE Band 14 network to support live operations, according to Lt. James Sarkos of the ACPD, who is the department’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program project manager. “We’ve supported a lot of large events here in Atlantic City,” Sarkos said, adding that for more than a decade, “one of the things we’ve noticed is that when we have large numbers of people show up, we always lose our cellphones [coverage].” … Read more

Welcome to Europe, Wi-Fi calling
Swisscom claims it is the first European operator to effectively combine voice-over-LTE and Wi-Fi calling to combat weak mobile signals in heavily insulated buildings. The Swiss operator recently made its Wi-Fi calling service available in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Wi-Fi will play a key role in the carriers “Advanced Calling” service as it continues to launch the service in other countries. Marc Werner, Swisscom’s head of residential customers, believes the Advanced Calling expansion will increase the value of Swisscom’s Natel Infinity plus subscriptions to users roaming in other European Union markets. The service already allows “between 30 and 365 days of unlimited calls per year,” according to Werner. With the new service, subscribers will automatically be switched to Wi-Fi networks when mobile signals drop below that of the Wi-Fi signal. … Read more

Nokia gets ready for 5G services
Nokia Networks today announced its programmable “5G” multiservice architecture that is said has the capability to automatically and dynamically adapt both radio access and the core network in support of different services and traffic loads. This would allow operators to basically offer network-as-a-service business models. Next-generation networks are expected to support various use cases, each requiring different levels of performance from the network. It’s not feasible to consider that the network will have these use case performance requirements provisioned in separate systems as it would be too costly and unmanageable from a network resources perspective. As a result, nearly all network functions will need to become software-defined and automatically orchestrated within the network. … Read more

Sprint tries to lure DirecTV customers with free service
DirecTV’s 20 million U.S. customers are now part of the AT&T family, but that does not mean they have to subscribe to AT&T’s wireless service, so Sprint is offering DirecTV customers a year of free wireless service. All DirecTV subscribers are eligible, even those who are already Sprint customers. Sprint is offering one year of free talk and text, plus 2 gigabytes of data per line for up to five lines. The carrier will pay early termination fees and cover a customer’s remaining device payment fees up to $300. The offer is set to run through September. In order to qualify, customers need to pay full retail price for a smartphone or add a new line of service through Sprint Lease, iPhone Forever or Sprint Easy Pay. … Read more

Testing carrier networks for luggage tracking
PCTel was recently involved in a global project to assess carrier networks at more than 300 airports around the world, in order to help an airline determine which carriers would be the best local choice to support an RFID luggage-tracking system that utilizes cellular networks.
Jay Maciejewski, VP of business development for engineering services at PCTel, spoke with RCR Wireless News about the unique testing project related to larger cellular network and “Internet of Things” trends. PCTel had been doing design and testing work on a network system at an airline’s headquarters, and conversations about network testing expanded to cover an airline project for RFID luggage tracking which would utilize RFID scanners that connected to the cellular network. Instead of making a choice on which carrier(s) to use based on employee input on-site at each airport, the airline decided to have PCTel conduct assessments of carrier networks at hundreds of airports around the world to guide their decision. … Read more

Keysight snaps up Electroservices
Keysight didn’t wait long to make good on its CEO’s remarks that the company has a “strong” appetite for acquisition, announcing this week that it is expanding its equipment calibration and repair support with the purchase of U.K.-based Electroservices Enterprises for an undisclosed amount. Keysight President and CEO Ron Nersesian said during the Q&A portion of the company’s recent quarterly call that as it pertains to acquisitions, “our appetite is strong. We’re looking to grow and have the absolute strongest portfolio in the wireless communications market, the aerospace and defense market, and the industrial markets. So we’re looking and we will continue to look for strategic acquisitions.” … Read more

Flashback to Connect America 1.0
WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission announced that 10 communications service providers accepted $1.5 billion from the federal government as part of the regulatory agency’s Connect America, a subsidy designed to encourage the development of broadband infrastructure in rural or low-income areas. Under terms of the agreement, each carrier has committed to bringing broadband speeds of at least 10 megabits per second to 7.3 million rural customers over the next six years. Each carrier will need to build out 40% of funded locations by the end of 2017, 60% by the end of 2018, 80% by the end of 2019, and reach completion in 2020.The three largest carriers receiving funds included CenturyLink, which will receive $506 million; AT&T with $427 million; and Frontier, which will receive $283 million. The remaining funds will be divided among Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated, Fairpoint, Hawaiian Telecom, Micronesian Telecom and Windstream. … Read more

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

The post #TBT: Riding the mmWave; FirstNet deployables rock Atlantic City; Wi-Fi calling’s European debut … this week in 2015 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.