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!

Serving up machine learning
Machine learning can help retailers address the challenges of offering fresh foods, which account for up to 40% of a grocers’ revenue and one-third of the cost of goods sold, according to a report by McKinsey and Company. The increasing demand of these products have led to new offerings, like exotic and hard-to-find items as well as “ultrafresh” items with a shelf life of no more than one or two days. Old processes can make it difficult to order the correct amount of food: order too much, and the food goes to waste; order too little, and you lose sales. Most traditional supply chain planning systems take a fixed, rule-based approach to forecasting and replenishment, but because local demand and conditions vary from day to day, planners have to manually enter different types of data into their replenishment systems. These manual processes are time consuming, error prone and reliant on individual planners’ experience and instincts. … Read more

BlackBerry hits the road
BlackBerry was one of three groups approved by Ontario, Canada, to participate in an autonomous vehicle testing program. The pilot licensing program is set to allow autonomous vehicle testing with a safety driver behind the wheel. BlackBerry QNX said it will participate alongside the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Automotive Research and Erwin Hymer Group. The initiative kicked off earlier this year, with Ontario hoping to join markets around the world as the place automakers and enthusiasts come to test and observe self-driving technology. According to the province, self-driving vehicles have the potential to deliver “environmental, economic, social and safety” benefits, including decreased emissions tied to enhanced mobility; reduced traffic congestion and improved flow of goods and services; minimized driver error, distraction and increased road safety; expanded employment through a made-in-Ontario AV supply chain; and foster potential in the academic and research and development sector. … Read more

When cellular meets IoT
Over the last two decades, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of devices designed and manufactured for cellular networks. A recent report by a U.S. market research group found there are 8.6 billion connected devices on the planet now. In fact, analysts and industry observers predict this number will skyrocket to 12 billion in three years. As a result, cellular carriers, seeing the potential to connect millions and possibly billions of “internet of things” devices, have created narrowband IoT channels such as Cat 1 LTE specifically for IoT and machine-to-machine device communications.Typically, design teams focus primarily on the functional requirements of their devices, aiming to create higher margin, differentiated products. Unfortunately, a significant number of those products subsequently fail initial carrier certification tests resulting in costly rework and delays. The reasons for failure are numerous, which makes it important to understand not just the carrier’s exact requirements but also how to integrate those requirements from concept to product launch to ensure that new products pass required compliance tests. If you’re charged with continuously maintaining a network of connected devices, it may be worth considering what the future of networks will be in an IoT-driven world. … Read more

US predicted to lead in early 5G
As one of the world’s largest telecom equipment vendors, it’s probably of little surprise Ericsson is boastful on the potential of “5G” technology, with the vendor on board with expectations North America will lead the world in early adoption of the new wireless standard.In a new report, the company predicts North America will lead the world in 5G connections by 2022, with the region accounting for 25% of the forecast 550 million 5G connections worldwide. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to be the second fastest in terms of 5G subscription growth, accounting for 10% of 5G connections by 2022. … Read more

The IoT comes to D.C.
A suburb of Washington, D.C., is growing into a living laboratory for “internet of things” technology projects. Set in Montgomery County, Maryland, Thingstitute is set to be an agricultural testbed to help farmers use data to become more “productive, prosperous and viable.” The goal of the project is to determine what services and support Montgomery can provide farmland that makes up one-third of the county. “Farmers care what’s happening at their farms — ground temperatures, weather conditions, the more local the better,” said Dan Hoffman, Montgomery County’s chief innovation officer and Thingstitute leader. “A lot of farmers also have reporting requirements: a dairy has significant federal and state requirements regarding milk production. We want to explore services that may make it easier and faster to collect the data to be compliant with those regulations.” The result of this project could involve better use of pesticides or more precise nutrient management practices. … Read more

Softbank looks to massive MIMO
TOKYO – Japanese mobile operator SoftBank believes massive multiple-input/multiple-output antenna technology will represent a key part of the firm’s “5G” strategy. Hidebumi Kitahara, senior director of mobile netowrk planning at SoftBank, said during a media briefing in Tokyo this week, that a total of 100 cell sites, mostly in Tokyo, had already been upgraded with the technology. Kitahara also said the technology would be deployed in “a few thousand sites” across Japan next year, with equipment provided by ZTE and Huawei. “We are currently commercially offering this technology in Tokyo, Osaka and another four cities,” Kitahara said, adding sites were deployed in stadiums, domes and stations. “So far this technology is running very well,” the executive said, noting massive MIMO is a key tool for the carrier in solving capacity problems. SoftBank said it has seen a tenfold boost in capacity since it began rolling the technology out in September. … Read more

China Mobile gears up for 5G trials
China Mobile plans to launch tests of “5G” technology next year, Chinese press reported, with the telco looking to roll out nearly 10,000 5G base stations by 2020. According to the reports, China Mobile will initially deploy a limited number of 5G base stations in four or five cities across China in order to test the potential of the new technology. The mobile operator plans to focus its efforts on 5G research and development, according to officials from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, with a strong focus on testing 5G products and services beginning in 2018. In 2018, China Mobile expects to roll out at least 20 5G sites in several cities across the country, with the main goal of testing end-to-end services. The carrier is said to initially focus on sub-6 GHz spectrum, with a view to eventually begin testing higher frequency bands. … Read more

Concerns about 5G fragmentation
DEL MAR, Calif. – As “5G” moves into development, testing and standardization phases, the outline of the next generation of wireless technology is becoming more clear – and so are the challenges that come along with meeting new and complex network demands. With each jump to a next generation there is often a disconnect between the actual emerging standard and the marketing terminology that carriers use as they begin trials and commercialization. There are some concerns that prestandard work in 5G may lead to some fragmentation within the 5G ecosystem, according to Andreas Roessler, technical marketing manager with Rohde & Schwarz. Speaking to the audience at this week’s 5G Innovation Summit, Roessler said that while moving to LTE got operators on common ground standards-wise, they still had to deal with supporting dozens of spectrum bands around the world, plus the differences between frequency division duplex and time division duplex. As operators begin 5G activities ahead of standardization, Roessler said, they are identifying use cases and moving faster than standards work, increasing the the risk of divergence. … Read more

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

The post #TBT: BlackBerry hits the road; when cellular meets IoT; 5G fragmentation worries … this week in 2016 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.