Ericsson has predicted that there will be eight or more 5G smartphones by mid-2019 — six using mid-band spectrum to launch by April, and two or more millimetre-wave (mmWave) 5G smartphones by July.
Revealed in the Ericsson Mobility Report: November 2018, the networking giant added in its forecast that there will be one mid-band and one mmWave fixed-wireless outdoor device, along with four mid-band and five mmWave indoor customer premises equipment (CPE) pocket routers, by December this year.
In total by December 2019, Ericsson is predicting that there will be seven or more mid-band 5G smartphones, two or more mmWave 5G smartphones, and one or more low-band 5G smartphones.
Oppo, ZTE, Motorola, and LG are among those who have already announced a 5G smartphone for 2019.
By the end of next year, Ericsson said there will likely also be three mid-band 5G PCs and one mmWave 5G PC; three mid-band and three mmWave fixed-wireless outdoor devices; four mid-band CPE/indoor routers and five mmWave CPE/indoor routers; and one mid-band and one mmWave industry 5G devices.
Read also: 5G smartphones cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
“For smartphones, we forecast a strong line-up for Q2 2019. At this point, it is difficult to accurately predict release timing or number of vendors, but second-generation chipsets are expected by the end of 2019, which will enable more 5G-capable devices with enhanced architectures and lower power consumption,” Ericsson said.
“Modules for laptops and industrial applications are expected within the same time frame … 5G will take off in 2019, and 2020 will be the year in which 5G enters the mass market. At this point in time, third-generation chipsets will have been introduced and a large number of devices will be available.”
By the end of 2024, Ericsson is projecting 5G to cover more than 40 percent of the world’s population and over 1.5 billion 5G subscriptions — 17 percent of all mobile subscriptions.
“There is strong momentum in the global 5G market. In the United States, one of the major communications service providers launched a 5G home internet service at the beginning of October, and all four of the country’s major service providers have publicly announced that they will begin providing 5G services between late 2018 and mid-2019,” the report said.
“Other markets expecting significant 5G subscription volumes early include South Korea, Japan, and China. In Europe, some spectrum auctions have already been held, and others will take place over the next few years. The first commercial 5G subscriptions in the region are expected in 2019.”
Ericsson added that fixed-wireless 5G deployments will likely continue to remain relevant, as half of all households across the globe do not have a fixed-line connection.
“Given the current speed and capacity of cellular networks with LTE and its evolution to 5G, there are opportunities for operators to deliver broadband services to homes and small and medium-sized enterprises economically using FWA,” it said.
In total, by the end of 2018 there will be 5 billion smartphone subscriptions, Ericsson said. LTE subscriptions are predicted to reach 5.4 billion by the end of 2024, making up 60 percent of all mobile subscriptions.
Across the Internet of Things (IoT), Ericsson said connections will reach 4.1 billion by 2024 across both narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and Cat-M1 networks.
“Of the 4.1 billion cellular IoT connections forecast for 2024, North East Asia is anticipated to account for 2.7 billion — a figure reflecting both the ambitions and size of the cellular IoT market in this region,” Ericsson said.
Around 85 cellular-based IoT networks using Cat-M1 and NB-IoT have been announced across the globe, according to Ericsson.
“Both technologies are being deployed to complement each other across regions worldwide. Large-scale deployments, and the resulting high-volume chipsets, are expected to continue to reduce chipset prices. This is leading to further acceleration of the growth in cellular IoT connections,” it said.
Ericsson last month called 5G a “commercial reality” in its Q3 earnings report, with the Swedish networking giant planning to “continue to invest to secure 5G leadership” with enhanced mobile broadband and fixed-wireless as the first use cases.
Toyota GR010 Hybrid racer rumored to spawn a street version
Toyota has a new racing car for the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship. The vehicle is called the GR010 Hybrid and what’s more exciting than a new racing car is that reports claim a street-legal version will launch in the near future. The vehicle seen below is the 2021 GR010 Hybrid racing car, but it’s unclear what exactly the street-legal version might look like.
The racing car was built to meet the WEC series regulations, which only allow a single configuration. To perform at its peak on both low and high downforce tracks, the vehicle has an adjustable rear wing. Toyota does warn that the GR010 Hybrid will be slower than the TS050 racing car that it replaces.
The reason it will be slower has to do with regulations for the racing series. Toyota was forced to make the GR010 357 pounds heavier and 32 percent less powerful than the TS050 it’s replacing. The GR010 Hybrid is also nearly 10-inches longer, 4-inches higher, and 4-inches wider than its predecessor.
Toyota expects it will be about ten seconds slower at Le Mans than the TS050. Ten seconds is an eternity on a race track. Development took 18 months, and the car uses a gas-electric powertrain. The gas engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 670 horsepower sent to the rear wheels. The front wheels get 268 horsepower from an electric motor-generator.
The total output is 938 horsepower. However, for WEC racing, total power is limited to 670 horsepower. We hope to learn more details about the street version of the car soon. The first race for the racing version will happen on March 19 at Sebring. Le Mas will occur on June 12, and the car will participate in other events during the season.
Some Ford Mustang Mach-E deliveries have been delayed
Ford has officially confirmed that it is delaying the delivery of hundreds of Mach-E electric vehicles to perform additional quality checks. A very limited number of Mach-E electric vehicles were delivered late last year. With Ford saying it was delaying deliveries to perform additional quality checks after delivering those vehicles last year, it’s easy to wonder if the owners of those vehicles discovered some issues.
Ford says that it is performing additional quality checks on several hundred Mach-E models built before dealer shipments started last month. The automaker says it wants to ensure the EV’s meet the quality customers expect and deserve. Ford took a beating on the new Ford Explorer’s launch when the vehicle launched with some significant issues that delayed deliveries.
Ford doesn’t want vehicles with issues to get into the hands of buyers again. Ford hasn’t confirmed an issue with the Mach-E, but it would seem odd to stop deliveries and conduct additional quality checks if there wasn’t some sort of suspicion of a problem with the quality of the vehicles.
It may simply be that Ford wants its new electric vehicle to be perfect. The delay could be something as small as checking body panels to be sure they’re appropriately aligned. There were some rumors that the EV didn’t charge as fast as expected, but it’s unclear if the checks have anything to do with the charging system.
We were able to spend some quality time hands-on driving the 2021 Mach-E last month. Anyone wanting more details on Ford’s new electric vehicle should check out our hands-on. Ford has a lot riding on this vehicle, and if it wants to compete with Tesla and other big names in the automotive market, it needs to get things right. Delays are certainly better than delivering vehicles that don’t meet expectations.
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Review – A very rational compact crossover
Times are tough if you’re in the market for a brand new all-wheel drive crossover on a severe budget, but the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer thinks it has the answer. Cheapest model in Chevy’s SUV line-up, its sticker price isn’t quite that attention-grabbing $19k by the time you add AWD, but even then it still won’t break the bank – just as long as you’re willing to put up with the Trailblazer’s compromises to get there.
As you’d expect, the Trailblazer owes many of its styling cues to the larger Blazer SUV. The proportions look more muscular and intentional than the overall dimensions would suggest, particularly the squinting headlamps atop a gaping lower front grille. The Midnight Blue Metallic of my test car wasn’t the most flattering shade, mind: brighter colors help emphasize the contrast sections, like the chrome and the chunky cladding.
In displacement-obsessed America, the Trailblazer’s 1.3-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine is a kooky outlier: it’s easy to forget that, over in Europe and Asia, squeezing more out of thriftier sippings of gas has been the status-quo for many years now. Chevy’s three-pot gets you 155 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque, but the biggest surprise is that it’s actually the larger of the two engines the Trailblazer can be had with.
Standard is an even smaller 1.2-liter turbo, coaxing 137 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque from its three cylinders. It uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT), unlike the 1.3-liter with its 9-speed automatic. If you want all-wheel drive rather than power to the front wheels alone, you’ll need to cough up the extra for the bigger engine.
The 2021 Trailblazer FWD L starts at just $19,000 (plus $995 destination), making it less than half the average selling price of a new car in America right now. You’ll pay $3,100 more for the Trailblazer AWD LS 1.3L, the first trim offering the punchier engine and all-wheel drive. My review car was the positively-plush (in comparison) Trailblazer AWD LT, at $28,180 with options and destination.
Your money gets you 17-inch high-gloss black alloy wheels, front fog lamps and LED daytime running lights, power-adjusted side mirrors, electric windows, heated front seats, keyless entry and start, OnStar 4G LTE WiFi, a 7-inch infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and both USB Type-A and Type-C ports plus an aux-in. Safety tech includes lane-keep assistance, forward collision alerts, tire pressure monitoring, and automatic emergency and front pedestrian braking.
The $620 Adaptive Cruise Control package added the smarter cruise, leather wrapping for the shifter and steering wheel, a 4.2-inch color display sandwiched between the analog gauges for the driver, and a rear center armrest. Another $620 added the Convenience package, with single-zone automatic air conditioning, auto dimming for the rearview mirror, a 120V power outlet, SiriusXM, an 8-inch upgrade for the infotainment touchscreen, and rear USB Type-A and -C charging ports.
Finally, $345 throws in rear parking assistance, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot warnings. There’s no leather option, only a leatherette upgrade from the perfectly satisfactory cloth, and weirdly no wireless charging pad available, strange since Chevy has been ahead of many by embracing wireless smartphone projection. You can even connect two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, which is more than many far more expensive SUVs can manage.
Out on the road, the 1.3-liter engine underwhelms. Acceleration is on the sluggish side, and though urban nippiness is reasonable the Trailblazer starts to feel a little more out of its depth on the highway. Put your foot down to take advantage of a gap in the next lane and there’s a disconcerting absence of grunt as the gearbox hurries to get you back into the power band. On Michigan highways, where a 70 mph limit typically means 80 mph in the slow lane, I held back from openings in faster traffic more often than I would in other small crossovers.
The same reticence appears on more interesting roads, where the Trailblazer fails to bring the fire. Squishy suspension makes some sense when you’re trying to smooth out unruly asphalt – though the short wheelbase and no lack of body roll means rougher sections still make themselves known – but does no favors for enthusiast drivers.
Perhaps, though, that’s asking too much. Economy works in the Trailblazer’s favor, with the 1.3L FWD rated for up to 31 mpg combined by the EPA, and my AWD version for 26 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined. My mixed driving hit those numbers with no problems. The cabin design is unmemorable, with swathes of different tone plastic failing to lift what’s a generally dark interior, but it at least feels decently screwed-together and spacious.
25.3 cu-ft of cargo space with the rear seats up expands to 54.4 cu-ft with them down. Honda’s HR-V has more; Nissan’s Kicks has less. What the Chevy gets that neither rival offers is a folding front passenger seat, opening almost the full length of the cabin for hauling longer items. The HR-V and Trailblazer have more legroom in the rear than the Kicks does, too.
I don’t dislike the 2021 Trailblazer, I just struggle to remember it. The idea of a smaller, peppier version of the Blazer isn’t a bad one, and Chevrolet’s styling has some good angles, it’s just that this compact crossover doesn’t really go far enough in any direction to stand out of the crowd. Mazda’s CX-30 is in the same ballpark for price as this LT trim, but looks and drives so much better. The Trailblazer brings more practicality and cargo space to the party, but I know which I’d rather look outside and see parked on my driveway.
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