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  1. Wholesale Fiber: Fostering Faster Communications with Fiber Optic Networks

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    Telecom providers worldwide have a responsibility to connect people through providing a conduit to exchange information and they’re expected to utilize the latest technologies to meet that goal.

    It’s no secret that the use of cellphones and other devices is increasing. Paired with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), demand for more data at faster speeds is steadily growing. In 2019, there were 41.3 billion internet users worldwide. In 2018, the average daily time spent with the internet per capita was 161 minutes, with experts predicting a rise to 192 minutes per day by 2021.

    DQE recently published a data sheet demonstrating the role fiber-based network services can play in helping carriers, including mobile operators, adjust to the growing demands of new data transmission systems, including IoT and 5G.

    The future of next gen network architectures like 5G depends on fiber-based network solutions. Wireline fiber is critical for 5G wireless to meet projected performance metrics. Mobile operators are already familiar with traditional fiber-based backhaul between a remote tower and a centralized headend. However, as they holistically revamp entire network structures to support the growing needs of their subscribers, they will require fiber in a myriad of alternate configurations. Example use cases include:

    • Mobile Fronthaul
    • Mobile Backhaul
    • Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
    • Software-defined networking (SDN)

    Optical fiber network solutions are the fastest and most reliable, and its benefits go well beyond the world of mobile operators. The medical, data storage, video on-demand service fields and more can all benefit from the lower latency, increased bandwidth, network density, better signal strength and reliability that come with fiber-based solutions.

    Are you ready to strengthen your offerings with fiber optic connectivity? DQE offers carriers, service providers and others a variety of customizable, fiber-based wholesale network solutions that meet their requirements for fast, reliable bandwidth. Our solutions will ultimately help you provide a stronger experience for your customers, which is key when it comes to helping people connect. Solutions include:

    To learn more about the role a fiber optic network can play for you, download our data sheet, or contact us.

  2. Technology Trends for 2020

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    2019 was a whirlwind year in the technology industry. Many trends from the year will continue to be a factor in 2020 and beyond. The demand for process automation will keep rising for the foreseeable future as web-based products become more widely used by businesses. Cybersecurity continues to be a top priority for businesses across the globe and artificial intelligence will drive demand for cloud-based services. Conversely, autonomous vehicles had been gaining steady traction, but slightly stalled in 2019 amid concerns regarding adequate safety and testing.

    No matter what 2020 brings, DQE is prepared with solutions to keep your business at the forefront. Here are the major trends we’re anticipating:

    5G

    As of November 2019, dozens of U.S. metropolitan areas had 5G, and major carriers promised more will come in the near future.

    The system will enhance device and network capabilities, offering a high rate of data, more capacity, better connections and more device connectivity. The demand for fiber optics will increase as the 5G network continues to expand because of its capacity capabilities and ability to connect carriers to fixed wireless access networks.

    Telecom Mergers

    The Sprint/T-Mobile merger grabbed headlines this year as the Department of Justice approved the $26 billion deal. Look for mergers and acquisitions on a smaller scale to be a large part of growth strategies for local and regional businesses in 2020. More telecom mergers were expected in 2019 than 2018. The current data center infrastructure is already heavily in use, and the continuing trend will mean more demand for data center infrastructure, including fiber optic cable.

    Data Center Growth

    With the rising demand of 5G and Internet of Things (IoT), the global data center market has experienced growing demand. The global data center market is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of more than 4% by 2024. Fiber is an integral tool in any data center, meaning the demands on the fiber market will also remain high.

    Cybersecurity

    IoT opens a world of possibilities for users, but it also a potential portal for cyberattacks. IoT attacks were up 600% in 2017, and more than 8,800 breaches were recorded between January 1, 2005, and April 2018, with small businesses of fewer than 1,000 employees being the most vulnerable.

    The need to protect financial data and private customer information is at an all-time high. Distributed Denial of Service mitigation services will grow as businesses of all sizes look to put processes in place to prevent or minimize breaches.

    Artificial Intelligence

    As artificial intelligence (AI) and information technology (IT) needs of various industries increase in use, the infrastructure that supports those technologies will need to keep pace.

    The medical industry is turning to web-based technology to communicate with patients and even conduct surgeries in some cases, however the general IT infrastructure of hospitals is often outdated.

    Technology is playing a larger role in the education system with students attending class through virtual classrooms and teachers communicating with parents through apps and other web-based forums.

    Conclusion

    To keep up with demand, industries across the globe will need to strengthen their cloud solutions and overall network capabilities to give the end user the fast, seamless and secure services necessary to remain relevant in today’s digital marketplace. DQE’s expansive fiber-based services provide scalable, safe solutions for businesses across Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. The network is built to grow with the industry and will be ready to meet increased bandwidth needs that will come with these trends in 2020 and beyond.

  3. Going Wireless with 5G Means Going Deeper into Wholesale Wireline Fiber Solutions

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    Wholesale network operators are a mainstay of the American telecommunications landscape, serving a host of other carriers and service providers, including mobile operators. The idea, then, of last mile networks and wholesale mobile backhaul is nothing new. What is new, however, is the surging volume of consumer and enterprise data that is being facilitated by new cellular technologies like 5G. In effect, 5G will completely reshape the telecommunications landscape, putting pressure on existing network infrastructure and providing new business opportunities for wholesale operators. In this blog, we examine how this will happen and the role fiber-based network services can play in helping the wholesale community adjust.

    The Effect of 5G on Legacy Networks

    As you are likely already aware, 5G promises significant upgrades in terms of data speeds, bandwidth and low latency connections. Compared to current wireless standards like 4G, 5G is arguably a necessity for bringing the world of the Internet of Things (IoT) into its golden era. As the telecommunications industry begins to witness the roll out of preliminary 5G networks, it is worth understanding that the shift to ubiquitous, worldwide 5G coverage is really a two-step process.

    The first step in the transition to 5G is achieving what is known as non-standalone coverage. This is basically a response to the realization that, although 4G networks have come a long way being supported by fiber-based backhaul, 5G will require a never-before-seen level of densification of existing networks. This is, of course, due to the higher frequencies that 5G networks use. Compared to the lower frequencies of 4G and its predecessors, these higher ones travel much shorter distances. As a result, in order to avoid signal dissipation and poor service quality, carriers and other operators will have to place cell-sites and antennas much closer together.

    Whether we are talking about macro sites, small cells or remote relays, one thing is clear here – the future of 5G depends on fiber-based network solutions. While backhaul immediately comes to mind, the opportunities for wholesale carriers are quite diverse and extensive. After all, every part of the network that connects to the 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) will need up be upgraded to support the surge in traffic that will result from greater 5G rollouts in the coming years.

    The Role of Wholesale Fiber Optic Network Solutions in Enabling 5G

    As RCR Wireless recently wrote about a Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) convention here in the Eastern US, “5G was all the rage, but…talk of fiber optics was noticeably lacking.” This trend needs to shift because, although RAN and core are important, “none of that works without the fiber.” The bottom line is that 5G architectures will not only require densification but will also demand a greater selection of fiber-based assets to support a variety of use cases including fronthaul, backhaul, network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN).

    Fiber is critical in enabling 5G and not just for capacity reasons. In order to meet the availability and coverage goals of 5G deployments, operators working with everything from Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) to Fiber-to-the-X (FTTx) will need to transform their access networks. As Light Reading has implied, 5G is more than just a technology. It is a shift to a whole new way of deploying network infrastructures.

    Wholesale carriers thus face a clear opportunity. Instead of concentrating just on traditional backhaul between a remote tower and a centralized headend, now wholesale operators can offer fronthaul to a multitude of small-cell sites. These include installations like light posts, for example. Also, as existing carriers and cable companies turn to decentralized software-controlled distributed access architectures (DAA), the wholesale community can also benefit from offering Ethernet services and SDN capabilities. This can help solve capital expenditure issues for carriers and service providers who might find investing in dark fiber uneconomical. From fronthaul to backhaul and transport, the role of fiber in supporting 5G is critical.

    In short, wholesale operators and fiber providers like DQE Communications are going to be critical pillars of support for 5G in the US. As Ciena notes, “it’s rather ironic that the projected performance goals of 5G wireless will depend on the availability of wireline fiber.” Here at DQE, whether you’re looking for backhaul, CRAN or small cell solutions, we know what it takes to build a reliable network to grow with the demands of the wireless industry. Contact us to learn more about our available services, including Metro Ethernet, Wavelength Services, Dark Fiber and SD-WAN.

  4. Technology trends for 2019

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    Staying on top of technology trends is important to DQE, to make sure we offer the best products and services to our customers, preparing for 2019 and beyond in this dynamic industry. Here are some of the things we’re watching right now.

    Autonomous vehicles

    While the widespread launch of fully autonomous cars is not expected for the foreseeable future, more and more autonomous technology is being offered in today’s cars – notably, traffic jam features that can take over acceleration, braking, and even steering when you’re driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

    More advanced autonomous driving technologies continue to be developed and tested by dozens of companies. For example, European brands are cooperating on a truck “platooning” concept in which multiple trucks are connected through wireless signals, so that fewer people are required to drive them. In addition, autonomous vehicles are required to consistently update their software, which must be done via wi-fi, and need reliable internet service.

    Process automation

    There is an increased emphasis on business and industrial process automation, which will require an increase in bandwidth as companies upgrade their systems.

    Business process automation helps businesses automate complex business processes by integrating applications and software, particularly in areas like marketing, sales, and workflow. The goal is to reduce manual tasks such as data processing, transferring, and notifications, saving time and money.

    Industrial process automation goes beyond mechanization to use robots, computers, and other information technology to automate processes, thus reducing staffing requirements and increasing quality and productivity. It’s the next step beyond mechanization, and while initial costs are high, the returns are great.

    AI and robotics

    Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the world of robotics, making robots easier to train with less human involvement. Increasingly sophisticated robots are being equipped with 3D vision and the AI necessary to interpret what they see.

    As robotic technology evolves, cloud robotics will develop rapidly, because robots will increasingly require huge datasets in order to accurately process images and speech. Cloud robotics will allow robots to share information in a connected environment.

    AI and robotics are data-heavy technologies, which will help drive the need for fiber and increased bandwidth.

    5G

    5G is the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications, and will eventually replace the current 4G (LTE) system. The system will greatly enhance device- and network-level capabilities, providing for a high rate of data, more capacity, better connections, and significantly more device connectivity.

    The improved capacity of the system will enable a drastic increase in the use of IoT technology, with an estimated 75.4 billion devices online by 2025. This should drive innovations in the use of the collected data.

    This is yet another technology trend driving an increased need for fiber optics. Further, the coming 5G network is being implemented more quickly than many experts had predicted – so fiber is now the preferred option for telcoms, and is being deployed at a faster rate than ever.

    Security and the need for protection

    Digital security continues to be a pressing issue, due to frequent , well-publicized data breaches of sensitive information such as credit card records, medical records, and other personal data. The need for cybersecurity will only continue to increase as the digital revolution continues, and more and more information is online.

    At the same time, DDoS attacks are still a constant threat to a wide variety of entities, ranging from private industries to critical infrastructure.

    For all these reasons – as well as regulatory changes, like the European Union’s Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – worldwide spending on information security products and services continues to dramatically increase.

    Conclusion

    As these technology trends evolve, count on DQE to provide scalable, secure and reliable fiber-based services for your bandwidth needs.

  5. The 5G Revolution

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    What is 5G?

    5G is a major buzzword in the telecommunications industry right now. It’s important to understand this upcoming enhancement because it will change our whole online experience. What exactly is 5G and what impact will it have on technology? By definition, 5G stands for the 5th Generation of wireless technology and it is the successor to what we currently use on our smart devices – 4G or LTE. There will be a plethora of benefits for your smart devices such as: extremely fast speeds, the ability to move more data, lower latency, more responsiveness, and the ability to connect multiple devices at once. The connection speeds will be exponentially faster in comparison to 4G and LTE. It will supposedly have a download speed of an impressive 1 to 10 Gbps compared to a mere 100 Mbps with LTE. That’s fast, and with 5G this will become the standard for the industry around the world.

    What will 5G do?

    While these benefits will enhance our personal device usage, the impact on technology and telecommunications will be transformative. One of these benefits is the ability to perform remote surgery. Low latency of 5G paired with the fact that there will be almost no lag at all will allow surgeons to perform in other rooms through the use of Virtual Reality and a robotic arm. This will enable surgeons, or people of any profession, to use their skills in real time from anywhere in the world. The IoT (Internet of Things) as a whole will benefit, particularly self-driving cars and other autonomous vehicles. Several companies are working on the emerging technology of self-driving cars now, but many people believe they won’t be successful until the implementation of 5G. Instant responses, unlimited coverage, and 5G sensors built around cities will allow for the cars to seamlessly communicate with one another and maneuver urban traffic safely and efficiently. This same concept is also true for drones. Drones are currently being used, but not nearly to their full potential. Through 5G, drones will now be able to share information with one another and send real time data to users, thus unlocking an unlimited amount of different uses.

    When will 5G be available?

    So, when can we expect this exciting change to be implemented? The larger wireless providers will be unveiling the service throughout this year. Multiple companies ran test trials in several different cities in 2017 and plan to launch mobile 5G in a dozen cities across the country by the end of 2018. One company has tested 5G in almost 50 cities already and are promising to have full, nationwide 5G coverage available by 2020. Another important thing to note is the fact that to use 5G, you must have a 5G compatible phone that can handle the huge amounts of data and the instantaneous speeds. Over 18 global device makers have pledged to have their 5G compatible phones on the market by early 2019. However, there are still some finishing touches that need to be done before 5G can become a normal, readily available service. For now, all we can do is prepare ourselves and wait!