There's no "telecom as a service", and there's no "5g can be split into multiple networks" nonsense.
Amazon is just selling 5g access points and hardware (just like you would install wifi), and rents you a private connection for that hardware to AWS, and management of that network from AWS. Basically.
So now I can use 5G instead, and template and deploy it via the cloud? Yes, yes! We'll put this through some cost models, but it will likely jump NPV of IoT and automation projects by pushing down the initial capital costs (fiber runs pulled by union electricians to wifi gear installed by a vendor vs. 5G base stations and servers installed and configured by plant electricians and corporate IT).
The other thing is there's a non-zero amount overlap in the way spectrum is used in wifi and 3/4/5G, MIMO, spread spectrum and other approaches are all trying to get as close to the theoretical limit of the channel bandwidth. When you start looking at large scale wifi deployments it starts getting split into cells of channels not to dissimilar to cellular deployments. There are some differences and certain bands benefit from discrete allocation/cell management but at the end of the day it's all radio waves over the air.
Amazon in the past flirted with the idea of building a mesh network of Amazon IOT devices so that your neighbours Echo could connect yours to the internet even if you didn't have a connection. BT in the UK offered reduced price broadband if other BT customers could use a WiFi Guest network from your connection - so BT customers had like 90% free wifi coverage in cities.
I can see a amazon deploying Amazon Echos and automation poducts as 5G enabled IOT devices that backhaul to your home internet but also mesh with neighbours, then eventually deploying its own outdoor 5G coverage and suddenly becoming a mobile network.
For more info: https://dac.nokia.com/private-wireless/
Disclaimer: I work for Nokia.
Sure, it might have a good UX and not require as much expertise to manage, but it's not "deploy via cloud". That's just marketing.
That’s enough to make bars appear on your phone. What’s missing is the IMS, which adds traditional calling, voicemail, SMS, etc. However, FaceTime, iMessage, etc. will all work.
I don't expect this is for telephony, but rather a faster (I guess it's faster...) wifi. But who knows. Maybe if you install your own telephony servers or whatever you could call people on that network. Unsure anyone would care about that unrealistic usecase.
Or did you actually mean "cellular"?
Mesh indicates a deployment where not all access points have a backbone connection.
Cellular indicates a deployment where all access points have a backbone connection.
This actually works already over WiFi too and that's called VoWiFi. That does not support handovers between networks though, so it is not that convenient. Specifically it means that if you walk outside the WiFI network, your call will drop. I suppose the different branding is due to this quality aspect, as there's no difference in the protocol.
And unlocked phone should work provided it supports required frequency(tricky) and voice calls should be possible, but it probably can’t readily connect to PSTN and given actual “1-555-1234567” numbers, or make 911 calls for that matter. If you’re going to have Asterisk SIP VoIP server running on-prem, that is probably supported.
> At a minimum, you need to provide 110-volt AC power outlets, public internet access....
In the US, 120 or 240 volts are used. Per ANSI C84.1-2020
Super cool. For those who are glancing over, this is a big deal. 5G isn't really like 4G upgraded. It's more its own thing. I believe this has been available though for a while and many telecoms have partnerships with FAANG beyond Amazon.
With 5G you can essentially split a network into multiple partitions and scale them independently on-demand called Network Slicing. (like cloud computing but just the network).
This could be extremely useful for security. Maybe even the death of VPNs. This is also useful for scaling network resources to services as they need it.
Short-term, things like "Tesla Free Network" could exist for their self-driving cars. Or, Uber offering free fast Internet to their drivers or a truly private device.
Long-term, I am concerned about the emergence of private networks with different access. Such as a "Google Network" or a "Netflix Network" that offer different services or privacy levels at different costs.
It's a crazy, scary, but also fun direction we are going.
Edit: Final comment. If you think this might be the death of AT&T with independent providers, think again . Amazon & Co. and others like Google are bringing their developer platform, while the telecoms offer their infrastructure. It's a gross partnership that makes sense. When you send bits over the network -- everyone will be getting paid except you.
If you read the whitepaper, they list examples of what this would be useful for; namely, covering your own space with your own 5G for your own devices.
Deploy it in these areas instead of WiFi:
1. A stadium's remote ad/video/informational displays
2. A logistics distribution hub's stock-tracking robots/systems/handhelds
3. A corporate campus's smart displays or door access systems
4. Oil and gas drilling/processing sites's systems monitoring in remote, non-covered areas
So this isn't about creating a new provider in your local city, but rather about connecting your devices in your space in cases where WiFi is insufficient or overloaded.
So here's the thing, currently I have 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi in my home. Any device that is stationary connects to the 5GHz one and any device that moves around connects to the 2.4GHz one. Why? Because initially I had everything on the 5GHz network, but noticed if I move around with my phone/tablets/laptops (even as simple as standing still and turning around), the connection would become unstable/choppy and introduce some lag and in rare cases a drop in connection. The 2.4GHz one works no matter what I do in my home. I can also get 2.GHz all the way out to the curb and it still works, where the 5GHz one drops significantly once I'm outside my house. In some cases it will still show the 5GHz one being connected but any app that tries to use it just hangs and never loads whatever it tries to fetch. So the 5GHz version of WiFi has been utterly useless to me, thus I'm only using it for devices that I know have decent line of sight, are within certain distance and aren't moving around. I currently have no Bluetooth devices chatting in the same airspace and I've tried it with single network too (only 2.4GHz enabled or only 5GHz enabled) - still the same. It could be that there is interference from neighbors: I can see quite a few WiFi networks of neighbors, most have both frequencies active - but I also had the same issue before I live in this specific house. So if 5G can improve the situation, that will be pretty great.
I'm not sure of the advantage of this over Wi-Fi, though, except to get devices that have no other option other than cellular connectivity to be forced to go over your own network.
> Cellular technology such as 4G/LTE and 5G augments existing networks with higher bandwidth, lower latency, and reliable long-range coverage to an increasing number of devices. With AWS Private 5G, you can build private cellular networks to take advantage of the technology benefits of 5G while maintaining the security and granular application and device controls of a private network.
That's from the Amazon website. Why not just deploy Wi-Fi?
Everyone has a potential wifi access point in their pocket. The only people who have the ability to run their own cellular networks are either a) respectful of frequency allocations or b) know a thing or two about SDR. Interfering with 5G systems is difficult to do on accident and has a much higher barrier to entry to do intentionally.
And this is important for one of the use cases listed in the PDF: sports and entertainment venues. When you have a large venue, you will always have people who are using their phones as wifi hotspots (many of them having simply forgotten to turn them off), and this eats into valuable airtime. You can have your APs send deauth packets to rogue networks, but you could still end up not having enough bandwidth for your own purposes. I'm reminded of an article I read about the unveiling of the first iPhone:
> The software in the iPhone’s Wi-Fi radio was so unstable that Grignon and his team had to extend the phones’ antennas by connecting them to wires running offstage so the wireless signal wouldn’t have to travel as far. And audience members had to be prevented from getting on the frequency being used. “Even if the base station’s ID was hidden” — that is, not showing up when laptops scanned for Wi-Fi signals — “you had 5,000 nerds in the audience,” Grignon says. “They would have figured out how to hack into the signal.” The solution, he says, was to tweak the AirPort software so that it seemed to be operating in Japan instead of the United States. Japanese Wi-Fi uses some frequencies that are not permitted in the U.S.
While wifi has come a long way since 2007, if you need a reliable, high bandwidth system in an environment with lots of interference, this is a good choice.
Edit: this comment has some more good reasons for why you would use this over wifi: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29398181
We all like Wi-Fi because we can attach a Wi-Fi router to an internet link and it "just works". Similarly, if you can make a mobile network "just work", you are getting the same functionality plus the benefits you outlined.
This may not seem very impressive to someone who has no need to support large Wi-Fi deployments, like a typical home or office wireless network. These are not the cases this service is targeting anyway.
The target customers are enterprises that are managing large-scale fully-automated sites like warehouses and factories that need to support 10s-100s of thousands of IOT devices which may include some time-critical systems that need ultra-low-latency reliable connections to a backend. Today these enterprises have to rent a 4g network from a telecom provider to enable these sites which takes months of planning and is expensive to operate and extend.
This is where the "convenience" becomes a game-changer. Using a private-5g service, an enterprise can deploy new large-scale networks in days, manage the networks like just another cloud resource, and extend the network at will. I presume the pricing model for the service will also be much more affordable where instead of paying for each end-user (IOT device), you'd likely be only charged for your data usage on pay-as-you-go basis.
Lower frequencies mean improved building material penetration in environments like warehouses and docks, meaning fewer base stations are necessary.
Generally 5G also supports higher density than WiFi for use cases like hotels and conventions, where too many devices on too few channels will quickly destroy WiFi functionality.
WiFi is pretty crappy for many-device midrange solutions (let's say a dockyard, a 1km long facility with 1000 employees).
I see what you’re saying, but just because a similar statement was made about another service, does not mean the outcome will be the same in this instance with vastly different dynamics at play.
This doesn't seem to use AT&T at all, and amazon is actually bringing their own hardware too.
This isn't MVNO-aaS. Its Antenae-aaS.
I think a lot of people are missing this point. This will not allow someone to become their own carrier. It allows someone to install their own "cell towers" and have devices connect to them without having to use a 3rd party carrier.
This seems more applicable in cases where you need 5G but there is no/insufficient 5G already, when it would be prohibitively expensive to go to existing carriers (mobile data rates in the US are ridiculous), or when the threat model necessitates a private network.
Not sure how Tesla or Uber would get their own private 5G.
AWS Wavelength is Ec2 instances running on-prem on existing telco locations.
one services towers on the ground. base stations. maintenance. physical network deployment
the other is the services of running the network. roaming agreements. customer management. internet breakout
tesla and other vehicle makers may see value owning the service side but very unlikely they want to maintain a network
I doubt Amazon has many towers of their own here and are almost entirely through one of the telecoms.
It looks like Amazon is sending you base stations to set up a private network in one location.
Their offering page specifically says that AWS "delivers your network hardware (small cell radio base-station and servers) Attach power and internet connectivity to smart cells and servers"
They are not using telco partnerships here, or at least if they are, it's not on the level of carving out a chunk of the telco network for private use.
I struggle to see how this remains a "cloud" offering rather than a hardware rental.
Amazon is talking about installing actual local hardware infrastructure here though. It seems like that only makes sense where there is no existing 5G, otherwise it's probably just cheaper to use the telco's infrastructure since, as you said, they could work directly with the telco to get their own slice.
Sort of like the difference in price between a dedicated hosted server (the AWS 5G) and a VPS (a slice of the telco's 5G)
I'm sure I'm misunderstanding some aspect of this whole thing though.
You can already get this - if you think you need it, you should google 'Private APN'. It's been available for years, assuming you're a corporate user looking for a few hundred SIM cards.
You can already get plans from the existing cellular providers to drop you onto a private secure network that behaves like a VPN though... that's common for people who need secure OOB access to their network gear: but install routers with 3g/4g/LTE expansion cards, get the SIMs on one of these plans, and voila -- OOB remote network access that isn't exposing your devices to the internet
This is exactly what the Helium (HNT) project is doing. They started with LoRa coverage (super low datarate but long range for IOT) and are moving into other protocols such as WiFi and CBRS 5G (same as this offering) via the FreedomFi project.
This is my understanding as well, but I have no idea about any of the details. I know there's something cool about "beams". Do you (or anyone) have a good "entry-level" article/doc that outlines some of the major features that makes it so different than 4G?
That is about it really. You can ignore mmWave which is pure hype. Most of the other enhancements are on the carrier / operation side and not consumer.
You can also ignore all the 5G Self Driving Vehicle crap.
I live in a dense suburb of a large city and 5G coverage seems not that great. I'm not sure why self-driving requires or gains much benefit from 5g anyway, but I wouldn't want to rely on it. You can certainly do car-to-car communication & coordination without it, and you wouldn't want a minor network outage turning the system into chaos.
That's me, and no they can't. At least not without searching the full breadth of possible players looking for a set of facts that matches. If I could figure out who you meant, I wouldn't have commented.
About the payment, we're working on a model to compensate the users. Email me if you're interested
If that's true, I wonder if this affects Tailscale's business and how.
For example, AT&T's private APN service has been around since the 3G days: https://www.business.att.com/products/private-mobile-connect...
So like WhisperNet, except 5G, and anyone can make their own?
1) Private 5G can be deployed either with licensed operator (Cellular provider) or in CBRS band (CBRS band is opened by FCC for the private cellular deployment). It can be used free or paid, different options. (Fees is minimal).
2) CBRS still doesnt support 5G. No idea how AWS will provide. But even if it is private 4G, for the end user it doesnt matter.
3) Your available bandwidth is limited by the air waves bandwidth you are using, nit by 4G or 5G. Per enterprise, CBRS band is limited to LTE equivalent band (20MHz). Total CBRS band is 200MHz, if I am not wrong). You are not going to get giga speed just because its 5G.
4) Not all phones support CBRS band. You will be limited to CBRS band support in handset feature.
5) Each end device will need SIM (SIM card either physical or virtual). Its not like your laptop will be connected with private 4G or 5G. You will need modem as well as SIM card (unless your devices support these features).
6) Its really for small geographic reason. Its not that easy to take the equipment with you and start using. (like in car or train etc).
7) There is a concept of SAS server, that's why AWS device needs to be connected to this server in cloud (There are SAS license holders, to them). Once you install the system and that is connected to the SAS server, first you get the frequency band which is open in your area. If some one using that band (another CBRS player), you are out of luck (ask me , who has to call different teams when deploy in lab). PLus, there are scenarios when these licenses can be revoked (if you are using free band). The law enforcement can ask FCC to use the band temporarily. GCC can revoke your lic and stop the system.
What AWS did is big, but for enterprises.
I translate that to: we sell 5G access points as an alternative to wifi access points. Am I wrong? Cause if I am right I fail to see the bigness of it. I just see it as something reasonable.
1) Industrial area coverage: Where you need 50 WiFi radio unit, you can provide service with 3-4 p4G/p5G radios.
2) Hazardous areas: where you cant provide the networking at all the corners or areas, one p5G radio blast area (esp with beam technology) can provide the coverage.
3) Security: Mobile phone systems are based on shared secret and proven to be secure in terms of access compare as well as on air to other technology.
4) Packet loss: Less packet loss compare to WiFi (believe me, its big deal in Industrial world)
5) Compatibility: what's a negative for 5G modem (not many devices are available), is positive to some extent. Once investment is made with 5G modem, the device can be on road too. THink like, acting like enterprise node in p5G area and limited services outside (or device consumer).
6) Edge computing: With new standards, the applications can run at the edge. Those can be done currently with WiFi too. But WiFi has limitation of devices counts (too many needed), path reliability and geographic coverage. Whole factory or port or airport can be covered with small p5G footprint with specific applications running at the Edge (I live in this world :) )
p5G will be game changer in enterprises with large complexes with moving assets.
Regarding your point of tower level handover, that will not be an issue. It should not be in pLTE (p4G) too. But I can understand in earlier versions, the systems might be feature limited.
Are you sure it was local 4G service line p4G or Femto service where operators provide small device to cover either indoor no-RF spots or to move the traffic load from network to public internet/network.
CBRS cant be used for WiFi or other technology (only 4G in US at this point, most probably 5G in future.. 3GPP defined OFDMA based air interface). 6GHz is unlicensed and mostly will be used by WiFi.
Getting outdoor radios for rural access installed though is a bit more challenging, and I would be surprised if AWS was offering an outdoor solution here in the short term. Directional antennas and radio planning become a lot more important. There are a couple different players who will sell outdoor CBRS radios in small volume who all have pluses and minuses. CBRS is great for rural areas since there are often GAA channels available, but depending on the terrain may or may not provide huge area coverage. CBRS limits the height above average terrain and power you can deploy at. There are limits to the types of equipment and locations you can deploy without getting a professional installer certification. Getting the certification slightly raises those limits, but they are still something you need to take into account for wide-area access. You can actually get the CPI certification pretty easily via online classes offered by the different SAS (spectrum access service) providers. If you’re seriously considering founding a cellular wisp, there are some Facebook (unfortunately haha) groups out there that are pretty active and where you can get shoptalk questions answered about specific radios and technologies!
IMO the main value add from the AWS solution here is the access control, monitoring/auditing, and QoS management they are offering, which would be essential in an industrial setting, especially if running sensitive services over the network.
Either way this is just a guess :)
But you have a real point, and AWS already solved that with the 3G enabled Kindles by having carrier agreements. Why not doing that with Smart TVs?
Amazon regretted that pretty soon after they did it, people hacked their kindles to be hotspots and it became an arms race amazon didn't wanna play.
The TV company will deploy base station(s) in my town. Embed SIM cards in TVs they ship. No need to connect to my home WiFi to send personalised data back to their servers, or to upgrade firmware etc.,
Unless I'm misunderstanding how this works, it wouldn't need a base station in your home, just a commodity cellular modem with a network-specific SIM, and an uplink tower somewhere within range.
now they have complete control over the end-to-end, and can cheaply provision sims that only talk to their local tower for example, and reject non-company provisioned IMEI (if they need it anymore?) etc
working on building blocking for this :)
You seem to be interpreting this as "AWS is going to put 5G towers everywhere and smart TVs are going to connect to them to send data they collect!". That's not what this is at all.
This is one of the many reasons it's beneficial to read the actual article/post and comprehend the information, rather than reflexively reacting to keywords you notice in the title.
AWS was one of the companies they were negotiating with - I never realized they had not yet announced this service.
I dont' remember the exact feature name though.
> For device makers, we plan to publish protocols that any manufacturer can use to build reliable, low-power, low-cost devices that benefit from access to long-range, low-bandwidth wireless connections. In the meantime, you can sign up to be notified when more information is available.
So the intention is definitely there that device manufacturers can pay to delvier data over the network.
The idea is to make sure they can keep that data flowing even if someone intentionally disconnects the TV from the internet
Given that there's an extremely simple and straightforward answer to your question (smart TV manufacturers sell data obtained from spying on users, and they need a way to get that data from the TV to their servers), I would encourage you to give some thought before making such an empty and vapid comment about voting habits on HN.
Alternatively, you could maybe do the same to your drywall if you are looking at new home construction... If every room is effectively a faraday cage, you are back in control over what can talk to what on a much more granular level. This clearly creates challenges for your own wireless/mobile signals, but presumably you also have the ability to hardwire additional access points if you are going to this extent.
1 Magma - Facebook built 5G hotspot platform: https://www.magmacore.org/
2 AWS FAQ - https://aws.amazon.com/private5g/faqs/
- Allows real concurrent connections (one "antenna" can connect simultaneously multiple clients vs. the switch that Wifi does for each client).
- The above improves latency, and you can achieve 1ms latency in private networks with multiple connections.
- The stack allows slicing which can help to isolate networks or devices.
Still, I'm confused. The article says that both WiFi 6 and 5G have similar theoretical max speeds. The main difference in the article seems to be that 5G operates on licensed spectrum. But if I understand correctly, this AWS service uses an unlicensed spectrum, so I'm still not sure why would I choose this over WiFi.
Cellular ISPs also don't do routing the way wifi/wired ISPs do, so your IP address isn't tied to your physical location anymore. That wouldn't apply to private 5G so much though.
When I think about creating a high speed wireless network for my factory/campus I don't think of 5G first, since it appears like it has the speed of Wifi, the range of Wifi (the power efficiency of Wifi?) and way more associated cost for stations, modems and SIM stuff while Wifi APs are pretty cheap and Wifi modems virtually free.
3G/4G/5G are standardized and built for operators that are used to manage huge amount of users.
A lot of effort is put in avoiding congestion, providing guaranteed bitrate/latency for dedicated services (like your phone calls), smooth handovers between different antennas, a lot of of security features, and obviously, an excellent user tracking in order to charge the customers.
I did a stint as a (software) architect for a large Norwegian engineering company, and at the time they were looking at getting a private 4G network setup, as their facilities were absolutely huge. I did a little research, and quite a few mobile operators actually offer private 4G networks for exactly this use case.
My impression was that the high speed profile of 5G was basically the same as that of Wifi, with exactly the same issues. Am I wrong/is it better in lower speed modes?
But it all depends on use-case and there is no clear winner for all situations.
no amazon-made device is local only.
> I just don't like the idea that all information must be collected by any means.
I agree with your sentiment, but most devices don't really have access to much data of concern. I'd be more worried 5g bullshit is used in screens that can send ads over a smart bulb or something.
it's still a little unclear to me when 5g becomes a better option than 802.11. the standard bands are just a little faster than lte (which 802.11 outperforms) and the mmwave high bandwidth stuff requires line of sight with no occlusion. 802.11 seems better all around, it can work at high bandwidth without the line of sight requirements... especially considering that most mobile devices are designed to switch between 802.11 and mobile.
LTE and 5G have much more consistent latency, and can provide true quality of service mechanisms. Wi-Fi has 802.11e that moves VoIP packets to the front of a series of queues but this is only a probabilistic process not a guaranteed time slot every 20ms. Of course licensed channels are an important part of this carrier grade experience and Wi-Fi on a low duty cycle 5GHz channel is often good enough.
I don't know how this service differs in pricing, so it's hard to quantify when this AWS service would be a better idea outside of coverage issues.
They have teams of lawyers so suing them does no good.
EDIT: I assumed this was a partnership. I have no clue if they partnered here. Just speaking broadly after watching a couple of my founder friends get screwed by Amazon.
Maybe it doesn't count as partner, maybe it does.
So it seems odd to call out AWS that they should have partnered with soracom or they aren't being ethical.
$187M for an exit is not that large. Were they offering a price in that range to AWS?
It feels a bit like some of the AWS IoT offerings are throw stuff at wall style.
I mean, it sounds like they / their investors were shopping and the KDDI offer of what was reported  to be $180 million won? Who's to say if AWS participated in that or not (I, speaking only for myself, have no knowledge on this). I don't understand at all why you think that this is anything unusual or nefarious, and it seems like the founders got a good exit regardless?
I'm not THAT blown away by AWS offerings, they feel like copies of a couple of players offerings and at least when I last looked not THAT polished up. That said, plenty of folks will use AWS because they are already there. But it does feel like space for other still here maybe.