AT&T Outlines How Its Drone Use Will Evolve

Monday Sep 11th 2017 by Carl Weinschenk
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AT&T said that in the future it will use drones to do tasks more agilely.

Drones have already have shone their mettle as tools for emergencies and for maintenance, boosting capacity at crowded events and other tasks during quiet times. Enterprise IoT Insights reports that AT&T has fleshed out its plans for these emerging drone tools.

AT&T said that in the future it will use drones to do today’s tasks more agilely. For instance, they will perform autonomous repairs. Currently, the carrier told the site, drones are photographing cell towers. The next step will be to provide the intelligence and capability to interpret those photographs and take an action based on what they learn.

These glitzier tasks are a bit further in the future, however. The next step will be network testing, according to the story.

Wi-Fi Alliance Adds Functionality

The Wi-Fi Alliance has introduced Wi-Fi Certified Vantage. The goal of the new functionality is to improve services in dynamic managed network settings.

The offering has two elements: Wi-Fi Agile Multiband and Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity. The former focuses on enabling more granular communications between mobile devices and infrastructure. In this way, the access points (APs) can direct the device to a recommended band, channel or AP. Thus, devices won’t stay on the edge of one AP when a stronger one is nearby, for instance.

Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity is described as a complement to Wi-Fi Agile Multiband. The Wi-Fi Alliance says that it optimizes the discovery of Wi-Fi networks, establishing connectivity and roaming between APs connected to the same or a different network.

T-Mobile, Verizon, XFINITY Win in Ookla Speed Test

Ookla, a company that specializes in providing broadband users with speed testing capabilities, has released a tremendous amount of data on how U.S. networks are doing.

The report covers both fixed wireless and broadband uses. On the fixed wireless side, XFINITY is the definite winner. It had an overall speed score of 69.58. This is a measure of low, medium and high-end performance. It also scored a 91.6 percent score on the acceptable speed ration (ASR), a measure of the portion of those testing received 10 Mbps or greater service. The national average for all tests was 64.17 Mbps downloads (15th in the world) and 22.79 Mbps uploads (24th in the world).

On the wireless side, Ookla found that T-Mobile had the faster overall speeds, “acceptable speeds” at a national level, and provides the fastest service in 40 percent of the largest U.S. cities. Verizon Wireless was first in acceptable speed in the listing of top cities. AT&T fared poorly in consistency of acceptable speeds, with low-end speeds spiking during second quarter. Sprint was slowest and struggled to provide consistently acceptable speeds. It did make gains during the first half of the year, however.

T-Mobile, Nokia and Qualcomm Break 1 Gbps LTE Barrier

T-Mobile says that it, Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies have used commercially available 4G LTE technology to transmit data at 1.175 Gigabits per second (Gbps). The carrier claims that this is the first time the 1 Gbps boundary has been broken with such equipment.

Technology included Nokia’s 4.9G AirScale Base Station and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X20 LTE modem. The test involved 12 streams of LTE data and 4x4 multiple in multiple out (MIMO) antennas, 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) operating across 60 MHz of downlink spectrum on T-Mobile’s network.

Atlassian Unveils Stride Collaboration Platform

Few platforms have changed as much during the past decades than collaboration. Standalone unified communications (UC) products still exist, of course. The explosion of consumer tools and platforms has broadened the area, however, and the line between traditional UC and less formal approaches is fuzzy.

Atlassian has taken the wraps off an enterprise product that combines text, voice, video and file sharing. The Stride platform, according to Computerworld, is solely aimed at corporate users and scales from 10 to more than 10,000 users. Two versions are available: One is a free version and the other offers additional features for $3 per subscriber per month.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.

 

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