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Technologies - network capacity and bandwidth

China’s quantum link from Beijing to Shanghai is near completion

Researchers from the University of Science and Technology in China are about to finish a 2,000 kilometer fiber optic link which will be used to connect quantum networks in four cities in the country. The link will start from Beijing and end in Shanghai and will be intended for secure communications that cannot be hacked theoretically. The process to be accomplished is called quantum key distribution (QKD), which creates shared cryptographic keys, sequences of random bits, that can be used to encrypt and decrypt data. A quantum science satellite has already been launched in August that will test the distribution of keys beyond China's borders. QKD technology has already been used in 2007 to secure the sending of votes from an election in Sweden. It was also accomplished by a firm in the US called Battelle to transmit information securely from a company's headquarters to its production facility.

Key Takeaway: 

China’s quantum link, a 2-kilometer fiber optic link which will serve as the backbone for secure quantum communications and will run from Beijing to Shanghai, is near completion.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 26, 2016

Modem that supports gigabit speeds will be available at year end

Qualcomm, Netgear, Ericsson and Telstra announced the first product, a hotspot, to support gigabit LTE speeds which will be available at the end of the year. The hotspot, a modem called X16, uses different technologies to reach gigabit speeds, including carrier aggregation and is faster than the 600 megabits per second maximum speed the current X12 modem offers. Qualcomm believes carriers will launch gigabit LTE services once X16 is available. It will also include the modem in its new chip for smartphones, expected in the market in 2017. It has also announced its plans for the Snapdragon X50 which will have speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second and will be commercialized in 2018. It will be featured in the next Olympics in Korea as a testbed for 5G technology.

Key Takeaway: 

The first modem to support gigabit LTE speeds will be available at the end of this year, which can be a gateway for carriers to introduce services with fast gigabit speeds.

Transforming Business Models: 
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Publication Date: 
October 17, 2016

UN will buy spaceship to help poor nations launch orbital experiments

The UN is planning to buy a spaceship from a US company to enable developing countries to launch their own scientific discoveries in space. The spaceship called Dream Chaser is a one of a kind orbital space plane made by a company called Sierra Nevada Space Systems. With the spacecraft, 14 nations will be able to conduct experiments in orbit over a two-week mission in 2021. It builds on a program that will let developing countries launch a cubesat satellite every year from Japan's module on the International Space Station. The UN may be looking to large non-profits to fund the mission as well as participating developing nations. Satellites which are getting cheaper with innovation and competition can be used to track the weather, monitor crops, provide telecommunications services and mitigate disasters, according to a Quartz report.

Key Takeaway: 

The United Nations is going to buy a US-made spacecraft to open access for space experiments to developing countries which could benefit from data collected by satellites in space.

Market Disruptions: 
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Publication Date: 
September 29, 2016

AirGig uses antennas on power lines to beam Internet access

AT&T has a new project called AirGig that taps low cost plastic antennas built on top of power lines and millimeter wave technology to beam Internet connection. The system which will be field tested next year can reach speeds comparable to 4G LTE and 5G mobile Internet. It can bring Wi-Fi connection to areas without access cheaply as it does not require new power lines or towers to be built. It could also help utilities monitor electricity usage along power lines, alerting them of any issues that may arise.

Key Takeaway: 

AT&T's new technology AirGig can distribute Wi-Fi access to areas without an Internet connection using antennas without the need to build more towers or power lines.

Publication Date: 
September 21, 2016

BlackBerry sues Avaya and BLU for patents

Since July, BlackBerry has filed three patent infringement cases against two phone technology firms Avaya and BLU. The case with Avaya was the first of BlackBerry's patent lawsuits, filed on July 27 and involves eight US patents. The company also filed two cases against BLU, a manufacturer of affordable Android phones, related to 15 patents. BlackBerry's CEO John Chen said in its May earnings call that it will monetize the company's patents (an estimated 38,000 in number) through patent licensing. According to Ars Technica, some of the patents in question for BLU may pertain more to Android's ecosystem, suggesting that there could be a string of cases to follow for Android handset manufacturers. BlackBerry said in its second BLU filing that it notified the firm November of last year on patents regarding wireless network standards (2G, 3G and LTE) and offered to license said patents.

Key Takeaway: 

In a bid to monetize its 38,000 patents, BlackBerry filed its first three patent infringement cases against Avaya and BLU, with more lawsuits possibly on the horizon for Android phone makers.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
August 23, 2016

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