Enterprise

MediaTek shows-off 5G Satellite IoT Data Connection

In partnership with Inmarsat

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While commercial services have started, 5G is still in a nascent phase and telecom operators in every country are exploring their options. In a similar way, chipmaker MediaTek has announced a new breakthrough in partnership with British satellite-telecom company Inmarsat.

MediaTek claims it’s the world’s first company to connect an NB-IoT device with an Inmarsat satellite 35,000 kilometers above the earth. NB-IoT stands for Narrow Band-Internet of Things and is designed for indoor coverage along with low-power consumption and high connection density.

With NB-IoT, a device can retain its mobile nature while operating wirelessly. MediaTek said it established a bi-directional link and transferred data from its satellite-enabled standard NB-IoT device to Inmarsat‘s Alphasat L-band satellite in Geostationary Orbit (GEO).

In simpler words, an IoT device was able to connect directly with a satellite for data transfer. Thanks to the new 5G protocol, MediaTek and Inmarsat are exploring the feasibility of new global standards and the market potential of a single device for connecting satellite and cellular networks.

The test was conducted in Northern Italy and the results shall be contributed to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). The 5G test will serve as a starting point for the standardization of non-terrestrial networks.

5G is rolling out in a few cities across the world and phone makers are scrambling to launch 5G-compatible phones. However, the next-generation wireless medium of communication is still undergoing tests to improve its scope of application and improve existing capability.

Enterprise

OPPO is now the number one Chinese smartphone brand

Overtaking Huawei

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Because of the past few years, Huawei’s former dominance atop the smartphone rankings has drastically collapsed. Already, Huawei has already lost its lead as the world’s bestselling smartphone brand. Naturally, Huawei’s woes aren’t over, especially since the new Biden administration will likely keep the previous one’s anti-China bans. Now, Huawei’s fall is even worse. OPPO has overtaken Huawei as the number one Chinese smartphone brand.

Reported by Counterpoint Research, OPPO has captured 21 percent of the smartphone market in China. Vivo takes second place with 20 percent of the market. Meanwhile, Huawei, Apple, and Xiaomi share the third sport with only 16 percent of the market apiece. Since Huawei’s decline, competing Chinese smartphones has rushed in to fill the power vacuum. Likewise, especially with the Reno series, OPPO has rapidly expanded across the board.

Contributing to its downward spiral, Huawei has successfully sold off its sub-brand Honor recently. Though Huawei has certainly suffered from the sale, Honor’s emancipation enabled it to survive America’s bans and thrive on its own. The current rankings have stopped lumping Huawei and Honor into the same spot.

Besides being the top Chinese smartphone brand, OPPO is also the second bestselling 5G smartphone brand in China. Back in 2020, 65 percent of all smartphone sales were 5G-compatible.

SEE ALSO: OPPO Find X3 Pro coming soon

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Enterprise

Alphabet’s Wolverine can isolate voices in a crowded room

Google has not confirmed the device

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Do you miss going to concerts? Though raving with a crowd has always been fun, one thing we don’t miss is not hearing what your friends are saying amid the loud music. Fortunately, audio technology is ramping up how humans hear things. According to a report, Alphabet is developing a wearable called Wolverine that can isolate voices in a crowded room.

Based on a report from Business Insider, Alphabet’s X, the company’s moonshot lab, is secretly developing the wearable behind closed doors. Supposedly, the upcoming wearable can pick out a specific voice in a crowded room and amplify it for the wearable. Ideally, it can help you talk to other people in a crowded room — provided both parties are wearing the same wearable, of course.

Unfortunately, the report has not revealed how the device specifically look like or work. Further, the company has not confirmed anything about the wearable’s development. Likewise, we don’t know if it’s a consumer device or a more professional one. The technology is also useful for producers and performers during a show.

Regardless, the Wolverine concept is a unique and useful one, especially for hanging out with friends in a crowded setting like in a concert or a convention. Obviously, the technology comes at an interesting time when the world is still hoping to bounce back from the socially distant pandemic.

SEE ALSO: Google completes acquisition of Fitbit despite antitrust probes

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Qualcomm announced Snapdragon Sound for hi-fi wireless audio

Certified products coming in the future

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Despite recent audio technology, wireless audio still can’t go up against the quality of wired audio. Wired listening is just better — at least, for now. However, wireless limitations won’t stop tech makers from developing the latest in audio tech. Today, Qualcomm has announced Snapdragon Sound, a new initiative to deliver hi-fi listening to Bluetooth technology.

Though the company has not announced any new processors or devices, Snapdragon Sound will optimize wireless audio listening through its wide array of already available processors. For example, the company’s aptX Adaptive can already deliver audio at a high 24-bit 96kHz clip. Further, Qualcomm Aqstic will ensure driver durability even when playing music at a loud volume.

Besides hi-fi listening, the new initiative will also improve wireless call quality and latency. Though the focus is on audio listening, an improvement in call quality is a welcome addition to the current slew of audio products.

For now, Snapdragon Sound has revealed only its plan to certify products which will fly under its banner. Any future devices will come with a Snapdragon Sound badge on the box. That said, devices out in the market today will not come with the certification. For now, Audio Technica and Xiaomi will launch products under the new banner in the future.

Qualcomm has not announced when the new products will launch. However, the initiative promises to dish out massive improvements for the still-underdeveloped wireless audio market in the future.

SEE ALSO: Sophos and Qualcomm are teaming up to secure 5G PCs

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