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North America

by david.nunes

Connect-World: North America covers each of the major nation-states, principally: The United States, Canada and Mexico.

Past editions of the magazine have discussed important and relevant topics affecting the development of ICT within North America including: 5g technology and Innovation, mobile device connectivity, Cloud Computing. Fintech, Cybercrime, Internet of Things (IoT) and network capacity.

North America I 2023

Theme: North American 6G initiative publishes roadmap for technical leadership.A working group designed to promote North American leadership in the nascent field of 6G networks has published a roadmap for the industry, outlining six ‘audacious’ goals that can make its ambition a reality.The development and deployment of 6G is viewed as a “trillion dollar opportunity” for the mobile industry, while technical leadership is increasingly a political priority for many governments around the world.Research efforts are well under way in Europe, China, Japan and in North America in a bid to become a leader not just in the development of 5G applications and services, but also the technologies that will comprise global standards.6G leadership in North AmericaWith mobile connectivity increasingly important to society and the economy, any influence on global standards is an increasingly viewed as desirable from a geopolitical standpoint.The ‘Next G Alliance’ is an industry initiative comprising more than 80 organisations and 600 experts from industry, government and academia established last year and the ‘Roadmap to 6G’ is the first significant result of its actives.The publication describes the steps that all stakeholders must take to give North America the best chance of technical leadership, along with a timeline that will promote coordinated research, commercialisation, and adoption strategies.Key priorities for the group include the advancement of trust, security, and resilience, an enhanced digital world experience, cost efficiencies across the entire mobile infrastructure, distributed cloud and communications systems, an AI native future network and sustainability.“This report will ensure North America proactively aligns all critical sectors vital to 6G success to create a foundation for North American global leadership,” said Susan Miller, president and CEO of ATIS, the industry body behind the Next G Alliance. “Beyond its technical contributions, the Roadmap shows how 6G can benefit society and industries in a variety of sectors – as well as how North America will become an epicenter of innovation-driven economic growth in a new era of wireless.”Although it is too early to predict the final form the 6G standard will take and which technologies will be included, there are some plausible assumptions about its capabilities and the challenges that operators, manufacturers and researchers face.Naturally, 6G networks will deliver huge advances in speed, capacity, and low latency, while it is also expected they will be much more intelligent and reliable. This will deliver superior mobile broadband but also enable advanced services such as truly immersive extended reality (XR), high-fidelity mobile holograms and digital twins.Central to these applications will be the ability of 6G to compensate for current constraints – such as the limited processing capability of mobile devices – and the integration of intelligence into the network.If the most ambitious targets are met, then 6G will deliver 100 times the capacity of 5G and will be able to support ten million devices per square kilometre.Signals would extend 10,000 metres above the surface, enabling ‘3D coverage’ in the skies, space and underwater. All these capabilities would allow for intelligent sensing, positioning, edge computing, and high-definition imaging.

North America I 2022

Theme: 5G Network Rollouts. Discuss!.While the COVID-19 pandemic could slow the rollout of 5G in countries around the world, most 5G players in the US argue that they remain on track with their network-buildout efforts.The latest signal on the topic came from T-Mobile, which recently announced it remains on track to launch the “standalone” version of 5G this year. Specifically, the operator said it tested a variety of serviceson standalone 5G, including data and voice sessions with such vendors as Ericsson, Nokia, Cisco, Qualcomm and others.T-Mobile isn’t alone in moving to the “standalone” version of 5G, which will allow operators to transmit 5G signals without the support of a 4G connection. For example, Telstra in Australia recently announced it switchedon a new “cloud native” 5G core network with vendor Ericsson to handle new standalone 5G traffic.But the fact that T-Mobile reiterated its plan to launch standalone 5G this year – a goal it laid out in 2019 – adds further momentum to the 5G push, at least in the US.“We still plan to deliver nationwide 5G this summer,” wrote Scott Mair, President of AT&T’s networking operations, adding that the operator also still expects to virtualize 75% of its networking functions by the end of 2021, another of its networking targets. Discuss.

North America 2020

Theme: Mobile Device Connectivity.Wearable technology, wearables, fashionable technology, wearable devices, tech togs, or fashion electronics are smart electronic devices (electronic device with micro-controllers) that can be incorporated into clothing or worn on the body as implants or accessories.Wearable devices such as activity trackers are an example of the Internet of Things, since “things” such as electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity are effectors that enable objects to exchange data (including data quality through the internet with a manufacturer, operator, and/or other connected devices, without requiring human intervention.Wearable technology has a variety of applications which grows as the field itself expands. It appears prominently in consumer electronics with the popularization of the smartwatch and activity tracker. Apart from commercial uses, wearable technology is being incorporated into navigation systems, advanced textiles, and healthcare.The NFL, the national football league of America, is probably the best example to show the possible influence of sports data monitored by wearable devices and used for TV coverage. Last year, the NFL announced to equip all 1696 players of the 32 Teams with a set of RFID chips. These special chips are capable of sending back all kinds of statistics and facts like position, distance travelled or acceleration in real time.

North America I 2019

Theme: Mobile Device Connectivity.The demand for mobile device connectivity is exploding. That means more sites, more infrastructure and better management of existing resources are needed now. Further complicating the situation is the challenge posed by the ever-changing regulatory landscape, the complexities inherent in creating appropriate network solutions, and the growing importance of working harmoniously with local communities.

North America I 2018

Theme: Mobile Device Connectivity.The demand for mobile device connectivity is exploding. That means more sites, more infrastructure and better management of existing resources are needed now. Further complicating the situation is the challenge posed by the ever-changing regulatory landscape, the complexities inherent in creating appropriate network solutions, and the growing importance of working harmoniously with local communities.

North America II 2017

Theme: Is Cloud Computing similar to Virtualization?.Virtualization and Cloud Computing are becoming common terms. Global leaders in Information Technology (IT) advertise with their new solutions of Virtualization and Cloud Computing.Is Cloud Computing similar to Virtualization? Are these solutions a proven-technology or a hype? Can a virtualized environment handle real-time data? What are the benefits of these solutions? And more over, what are the challenges of these solutions?

North America I 2017

Theme: How will the financial world be affected by Fintech?Financial technology, also known as FinTech, is a line of business based on using software to provide financial services. Financial technology companies are generally startups founded with the purpose of disrupting incumbent financial systems and corporations that rely less on software.

North America I 2016

Theme: The Internet of things [IOT]The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment.IoT is transforming the everyday physical objects that surround us into an ecosystem of information that will enrich our lives. From refrigerators to parking spaces to houses, the IoT is bringing more and more things into the digital fold every day, which will likely make the IoT a multi-trillion dollar industry in the near future.

North America I 2015

Theme: Cybercrime evolution in North AmericaCybercrime exhibits few signs of slowing down,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs. “Though we tend to highlight the numbers, the fact is that we continue to see increased sophistication of attacks. Cybercrime, hacktivism, and cyberwarfare are in a continual state of evolution. Everyone from governments to large enterprises, small business and home users are facing a wider range of digital threats from these forces, as they gain more actionable intelligence on their victims, and leverage the newest attack platforms and exploits tools to launch their campaigns. We all need to equip ourselves with basic situation awareness to our online risks and how best to prevent and combat these threats

North America I 2014

Theme: Networks in the zettabyte era.A recently published study by a major network equipment vendor claims that worldwide cloud traffic – 1.2 zettabytes in 2012, will grow to 5.3 zettabytes by 2017. Global data centre traffic during the same period will reach the astounding total of 7.7 zettabytes by 2017.One zettabyte is incomprehensible; it’s a hundred trillion – also incomprehensible – hours of music. Nevertheless, we will soon have to build, control, fill and pay for, multi-zettabyte networks and everything will have to work seamlessly and securely – everywhere.

North America 2012

Theme: The Broadband Provider as a media impresarioThe role of the carrier is changing as more services migrate to the web and their delivery is becoming more demanding. The tsunami of Video traffic forces carriers to manage network resources while seeking to monetise the perceived value of such services. Carriers look to deliver content to users more cost effectively via smart network management, and to manage the value chain, web service providers and media content channels, rather than provide a fat dumb pipe. By forming partnerships with content providers directly, carriers can monetise the delivery. By filtering traffic and determining the quality of service, the carrier is orchestrating the media flow to the user. However, this must stay within the proviso of ‘net neutrality’, allowing innovation to keep morphing our digital life.

North America 2010

Theme: The enterprise in an everything-wireless worldThe widespread availability and constantly accelerating expansion of wireless network, applications and the intensified development of network-centric hardware and software offers great opportunities for the enterprise, but they will have to rethink their operations and policies to obtain them. Increasing employee use of smartphones, netbooks and laptops is just the beginning; to make the best use of them, though, enterprises need to look at mobility as a strategic option and not just another tool.

North America 2008

Theme: 3G, 4G or both? The race is on.In a normal world 2.5G follows 2G and is followed by 3 or 3.x G and then 4G, Operators normally would follow a pre-defined evolutionary sequence, but the competition is so rough – and the economics so compelling – that many companies are considering jumping the track and switching technologies and generations. What might the consequences of this be in terms of the networks, equipment, applications, security and especially the market and the consumer?

North America 2006

Theme: Network shifts – telephony will never be the sameConnect-World series of magazines is the leading magazine in the telecom and ICT industry that brings together the leading industry players, regulators, associations and governments, to discuss how technological integration and digital inclusion helps reduce the gap the leading industry players, regulators, associations and governments, to discuss how technological integration and digital inclusion helps reduce the gap between the developed and developing world.

North America II 2022

Theme: What does the future of the Internet of hold?The internet has become one of the most vital tools for communication, information, and entertainment in today’s globalized world. As of 2022, more than half of the global population is connected to the internet, and while some regions still lack the infrastructure that is needed to provide sufficient online coverage, others are seeing internet penetration rates of close to 100 percent. Among the largest online markets in the world, the United States ranks third with over 313 million active internet users nationwide. As a global hub of technological innovation and home to some of the world’s leading internet companies, the United States has increased its digital population for over two decades. Today, over 90 percent of Americans have access to the internet, many of whom could no longer imagine a life without it.From learning and working to shopping and dating – the internet has transformed and digitized many aspects of everyday personal and professional life. In the United States, some of the most popular digital activities include the use of e-mail, search engines, video streaming platforms, and social networks. Home to many social media giants, the country sees a particularly high demand for social networking platforms and apps. As of 2022, the number of social network users in the United States stood at 223 million, with Facebook remaining the leading social media website. What does the future of the Internet of hold?

North America I 2021

Theme: Unleashing the power of 5G in North AmericaIn a matter of 12 months, North American service providers have turned the globe upside down. Even though other countries may have had a head start on early 5G deployments, the first commercial 5G deployments at scale are happening in North America. All major service providers in the U.S. and Canada, are moving aggressively to launch 5G commercially.5G has the potential to make loading websites, streaming music, and downloading up to 10 times faster than 4G.Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T are in the process of launching 5G-compatible smartphones. Even smartphone manufacturers, like Samsung and Qualcomm, discussed 5G innovations on the horizon. But for now, it’s unclear just how much the protocol upgrade will impact music-specific properties.One quick possibility is that higher-fidelity streams can be consumed more readily, and production collaboration could be catapulted. Another impacts the live experience: with a 5G connection, companies like BASE Hologram, which has produced hologram shows featuring Amy Winehouse, Roy Orbison, and Maria Callas, could upgrade these experiences and bring them to broader audiences.The advent of 5G could also impact VR/AR concerts, with immersive experiences suddenly more realistic and real-time. But even without VR, performance collaborations in real-time could become strikingly like the real thing.What are the implications for networks, including capacity?

North America II 2019

Theme: 5G and Innovation: What is the future?5G is not simply the latest incremental step from 4G – it’s an entirely different proposition altogether. 5G will completely transform the role connectivity plays in our everyday lives, making widespread some extraordinary use cases which were the preserve of a very few who could afford elite technologies, and making many others possible for the first time. The services made possible by 5G, through its enormous data transfer speeds and ultra-low latency, are wholly unprecedented in their sophistication – and, with operators in the process of commercial network launches now, they are soon to arrive on the mass global market.

North America II 2018

Theme: DevOps and better information security; how to combine?DevOps (development and operations) is an enterprise software development phrase used to mean a type of agile relationship between development and IT operations. The goal of DevOps is to change and improve the relationship by advocating better communication and collaboration between these two business units.DevOps is all about agility for the enterprise, but recent incidences such as large data breaches, Mirai botnet DDOS attacks and the WannaCry Ransomware are putting the spotlight on the need for better information security. How can these two seemingly incompatible organizational goals not only co-exist but thrive?

North America II 2016

Theme: The evolution from 4G to 5G technologies.When 5G is ultimately introduced in five years, SDN, NFV and Carrier Aggregation will be widely adopted. Base station resources will be pooled in centralized locations and the RF channels will be dynamically assigned and routed to the cell sites for transmission to users. That instantaneous RF resource assignment will require a real time, low latency and high capacity transmission front haul network for RF routing to the cell sites. Backhaul connectivity from the cell sites to the core must be of equal speed and quality in order for voice, data or video sessions to be successfully completed. Our keynote is playing a leadership role in the PCIA Innovation & Technology Council, and he will argue that fiber front haul and back haul to all of cells, data centers and application centers will be required for the smooth evolution from 4G to 5G technologies.

North America II 2015

Theme: What are some steps telecommunications companies can take to foster innovation and/or growth?Innovation has been the cornerstone of success in the mobile ecosystem, and companies should keep pushing on the accelerator as many more opportunities exist. For example, new devices will continue to arrive with varied price points and different form factors – bigger screens, flexible screens, curved screens. Mobile capabilities are being extended into completely new devices, including wearable technology such as glasses, smart watches and fitness/health devices – and these are just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve been seeing indications that the benefit derived from relevant features and functionality, as well as apps, have greatly improved the value proposition to consumers, resulting in increased receptivity in paying more for devices.

North America II 2014

Theme: The Voice of the Network – let the battle commenceWebRTC is gaining momentum, but its standards are still fragmented, and this provides a breathing space before the big onslaught. Should carriers double in WebRTC as well as VoLTE and help to improve WebRTC standards? The challenge for WebRTC standards is to design Internet-style VoIP which can inter-connect like carriers’ IMS, to provide network of networks, regardless of the application. Yet Voice is becoming nothing more than an application itself.

North America 2013

Theme: Enterprise metamorphosis – under the influence of BYOD, VDI and Cloud.The workplace is now changing, as employees demand the magic of smart devices to be extended to their daily business. The advent of BYOD is like a river busting its banks when suddenly everything that was restricted before becomes acceptable. Do enterprises fully appreciate the impact of BYOD and VDI? Do Operators have clear vision to understand the end-game? Will those enterprises that do not join in lose out?

North America 2011

Theme: It’s the network!Despite the downturn, businesses are spending on IT and telecom services, LAN/WAN infrastructure, storage hardware as well as data, wireless, and security services. Good news for the service provides that can get sound new product offerings – managed services, for example – to the market to meet the demand and simplify the lives of CTOs/CIOs.Consumers are pushing many operators to the limit of their broadband capacity. New devices – iPhones, Android smartphones, tablets and such – are snowballing data traffic at an astounding rate.

North America 2009

Theme: New information and communications technologies – separating the long distance runners from the sprintersA great number of new information and communication technologies leave the labs and reach the market each year; many are greeted with great expectations. Most, though, are fated to fill small market niches or succumb to the competition and disappear. Some become market leaders, disrupt existing technology ecosystems, change the sector, change businesses and change lives. Which technologies are here to stay? Which ones will lead the market? Which ones will fill small but important niches? What are the innovations you believe will fill an important need – no matter what the size?

North America 2007

Theme: TV here, there, everywhere, from anywhereThe focus of the telephone networks has shifted dramatically over the last years and promises to continue to do so at an accelerated pace. Wired and wireless, business and residential, both the networks and the users will converge. The network will support seamless handoffs between fixed and wireless networks of all sorts and the same devices will be used for work and leisure. The traffic will increase exponetionally, but the rates will go down. Added-value applications, services and content will drive revenues. Networks will have a pervasive impact upon society we live in.

North America 2005

Theme: Turning The HourglassTechnology is both disruptive and constructive. Throughout the ages, whenever superior technologies appeared they tipped society’s hourglass and slowly, inexorably, drained substance out of the reigning economic model, out of the society itself, and filled the then current base with the marvels and tragedies of a new era. There is no going back to the quill, the horse, the telegraph, punch card or the heyday of the bulky black phone.

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