Hams in Haiti

Low-tech often wins in a disaster--but it still needs operators

4 min read

27 January 2010—Two weeks after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake devastated Haiti, amateur radio operators are hard at work there connecting rescuers within the country and to the outside world. But they are switching gears from rescue mode to recovery mode as aid workers set up camp and distribute food, water, medical supplies, and other aid to survivors.

This has been ”the most challenging of any disaster response I’ve been part of in terms of communication,” says Maj. Pat McPherson, who heads the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN), which embeds amateur radio operators, or hams, with local Salvation Army recovery teams in disaster areas.

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The Cellular Industry’s Clash Over the Movement to Remake Networks

The wireless industry is divided on Open RAN’s goal to make network components interoperable

13 min read
Photo: George Frey/AFP/Getty Images
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We've all been told that 5G wireless is going to deliver amazing capabilities and services. But it won't come cheap. When all is said and done, 5G will cost almost US $1 trillion to deploy over the next half decade. That enormous expense will be borne mostly by network operators, companies like AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, and dozens more around the world that provide cellular service to their customers. Facing such an immense cost, these operators asked a very reasonable question: How can we make this cheaper and more flexible?

Their answer: Make it possible to mix and match network components from different companies, with the goal of fostering more competition and driving down prices. At the same time, they sparked a schism within the industry over how wireless networks should be built. Their opponents—and sometimes begrudging partners—are the handful of telecom-equipment vendors capable of providing the hardware the network operators have been buying and deploying for years.

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