The February 2023 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Winner: Sprint’s Broadband Gamble

A new cellular service will sell high-speed data access instead of phones and phone calls

11 min read
Winner: Sprint’s Broadband Gamble
Illustration: Bryan Christie Design

The number of traditional telephone lines is in sharp decline, and yet people are spending more on telecommunications than ever. The reason? Their money is paying for their wireless and high-speed Internet access. The logical culmination of these trends is a single mobile broadband service that would serve your every communication need—voice and data everywhere, in your kitchen, in your car, on the beach.

The idea hasn’t escaped some of the brightest minds in telecommunications. Two companies are now racing to unveil large commercial wireless broadband networks. Of the two, the one by U.S. long-distance giant Sprint Nextel of Reston, Va., is clearly in the lead: it expects to begin commercial service in three U.S. cities in April and to cover 70 million people by year’s end.

Keep reading...Show less
{"imageShortcodeIds":[]}

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

IEEE’s Medal of Honor Ebook Explores 100 Years of Innovation

It celebrates recipients such as Intel’s Robert Noyce

4 min read
a book that reads “Over 100 Years of the IEEE Medal of Honor” against a blue background
IEEE

For more than a century, IEEE has been honoring technology pioneers with its Medal of Honor. The organization’s most prestigious award, it is given to engineers who have made exceptional contributions to or had an extraordinary career in electronics, electrical sciences, and engineering.

To celebrate the award’s long history, IEEE recently released a commemorative ebook, Over 100 Years of the IEEE Medal of Honor. The volume chronicles the innovators who have received the award since its establishment in 1917. The Medal of Honor has been awarded annually since its establishment except in 1925, 1947, 1965, and 1976.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

Designing a Silicon Photonic MEMS Phase Shifter With Simulation

Engineers at EPFL used simulation to design photonic devices for enhanced optical network speed, capacity, and reliability

4 min read
Designing a Silicon Photonic MEMS Phase Shifter With Simulation
EPFL

This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.

The modern internet-connected world is often described as wired, but most core network data traffic is actually carried by optical fiber — not electric wires. Despite this, existing infrastructure still relies on many electrical signal processing components embedded inside fiber optic networks. Replacing these components with photonic devices could boost network speed, capacity, and reliability. To help realize the potential of this emerging technology, a multinational team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) has developed a prototype of a silicon photonic phase shifter, a device that could become an essential building block for the next generation of optical fiber data networks.

Keep Reading ↓Show less
{"imageShortcodeIds":["32366883","32366901","32366913"]}