News is something my readers don't already know. My readers are in the industry and generally know what's in press releases or the scripted press briefing. So send me those in advance, and let's get to what's new and surprising.
I treat most calls as background, including putting them off the record if that makes it easier to talk. If I hear something that would make a good story, great.
Unlike most tech pubs, I'm not looking for stories about companies in the business. I'm looking for new technologies, trends and network building that my readers aren't likely to know about. That's a high bar; some of my readers are CTOs of major companies and very well informed already. 
I minimize reporting about material reported widely or in well-distributed press releases. The people in the industry who care about press release material usually get them directly. On the other hand, I include in my article the press release itself for those who want more detail - at the end.
I've also found that industry readers want to know what the network builders are doing; many articles that mostly are material from a vendor have a headline based on what a carrier is doing. For example, I recently wrote an article about Massive MIMO with a great deal of material from Huawei. My headline and lead were about China Mobile and Softbank ordering 1,000 of units. The Huawei pr guy would have preferred Huawei in the headline, but I believe his prospective customers are more interested in the telcos' decision
Unfortunately, I'm a slow writer. I don't always get to finish stories I should be writing. Sorry.

Five Minute Prep Calls 

I often ask for a five minute prep call before the interview.
I've found my subject shifting is annoying to many who have a presentation. If it's not something I need to know, I try to shift to things interesting to me and I might report. So I like to have a short call to figure out what's most appropriate. 
For example, I asked someone from CBNL to skip telling me the validity of point to multipoint delivery to commercial and high end customers. It's true, but I get it already. 
On the other hand, I'm interested in details of microwave at 2-10 gigabits. Ericsson had just announced five gigabits. I'm also was interested in WTTR, wireless to the rooftop, to consumers, which AT&T is doing in the midwest. What's new here is that AT&T is going to consumers, not businesses, and then using copper throughout the building. They hope to use G.fast over the existing phone wires rather than running Cat 5 or 6. 
Similarly, I knew there were going to be a slew of trials of mmwave 5G across Europe by 2020. To what extent will microwave be able to support them, at what cost, and with what latency? (5 gigabits will be the minimum backhaul. U.S and I think most other carriers assume that requires fibre backhaul, but Ericsson tells me to reconsider.)
All of which are topics I'm sure CBNL has been looking at and might have information I can use. I usually conclude a call asking the subject what questions I should have asked, often discovering important things I missed. In this case, it turns out that CBNL had a large and little reported millimeter wave to consumers. I got an interesting story.
I also often ask the other side if there's anything I might have seen they'd like to ask me. In this case, I was back from a trip to Tokyo where I spoke with Softbank, NTT, China Mobile, and Safaricom about future plans and 5G. I was happy to share what I had, and am looking forward to interesting calls with them in the future.

 

 

Latest issue

Nov 6

G.fast News: Deutsche Wants a Gigabit, Finally Realizes 50 Meg Isn't Enough,1.6 Gig in Sckipio-Calix Test, Reverse Power 4 Port DSLAM for Australia, Australia Makes it Official: G.fast to Million Plus, 2 Bonded 212 Lines = 3 Gigabits

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Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd and dozens of others have exposed Harvey Weinstein. Every industry, including ours, has monsters like that, rarely stopped.
    I choose instead to highlight some women who are driving us forward. Nicola Palmer and Sanyogita Sangupta lead Verizon’s 5G effort, the most successful in the world. They will spend $billions and have already put hundreds of cells in the field  
     Verizon jumped ahead when almost all others held back. Charla Rath persuaded the FCC to offer gigahertz of mmWave spectrum three years before the official WRC plan. They supported the NYU work to make a more accurate channel model.
     With allies, VZ created their own 5G standard in 2015 because they didn’t want to wait for 3GPP.  The system commercial in 2018 and will do mobile in 2019 if the handsets are ready.  
     “The race is on” between Verizon and AT&T to be first in each market.10%-20% of people almost everywhere hate their broadband provider and likely to switch to mmWave. The U.S. build is going fast because the two giants expect to find a large market replacing landlines outside of their existing region.
     If they are first in a land grab.

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