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MWC 2019: NEC develops 5G baseband radio units

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(Image: NEC)

NEC Corporation has announced developing radio units for 5G base stations, with the small, low-power units “ideal for 5G conditions”.

Its products will fulfil the 5G requirements for a large number of small-coverage base station devices, the company said, amid the expected increase in traffic across the new mobile networks.

“NEC aims to drive the global expansion of 5G by contributing to ecosystems in radio access networks via interoperability testing between multiple vendors’ equipment that is compliant with O-RAN fronthaul specifications,” SVP of NEC Corporation Nozomu Watanabe explained.

The units work across the 3.7GHz, 4.5GHz, and 28GHz spectrum bands, therefore covering both sub-6GHz and millimetre-wave (mmWave) 5G deployments.

NEC is demonstrating its base station radio units during Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 in Barcelona, after last month partnering with Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo to use 5G to live stream 8K footage into a train.

“8K ultra-high-definition live video featuring a steam locomotive train was transmitted from a 5G base station installed along a railroad to a 5G mobile station located inside a running SL train and put on an 8K display,” NEC said in January about the test conducted in November.

The test also streamed 4K content to passengers’ 4G handsets via Wi-Fi from a 5G station on the train.

The NEC base stations used supported the 4.5GHz and 28GHz bands, with the test forming part of a Japanese government project to examine the outdoor use of 5G systems with average speeds of between 4Gbps and 8Gbps.

NEC had inked a 5G equipment supply deal with NTT DoCoMo in May 2018, with the Japanese telecommunications carrier planning to launch its new mobile network in 2020, after the two undertook verification experiments on 5G wireless technologies earlier that year.

Under the deal, NEC is providing control units for 5G base stations as well as using software upgrades to ensure NTT DoCoMo’s existing base stations and telco equipment are compatible with 5G.

In October, NEC also announced a 5G partnership with Samsung.

“The partnership brings together the best-in-class technology and expertise in 5G, merging NEC and Samsung’s leadership in 5G and IT solutions,” the companies said at the time.

“It also provides mobile carriers with flexible 5G solutions that are localised for each region with customised services to meet mobile carriers’ demands efficiently.”

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2022 BMW M8 Competition range revealed with bigger screens and better lights

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German automaker BMW has updated its 2022 M8 Competition sport-luxury car. You can still get an M8 Competition in three body styles (2-door Coupe, 2-door Cabriolet, and 4-door Gran Coupe), sharing the same 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine with 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

Images: BMW AG
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Tesla Cybertruck delayed again plus Elon Musk squashes $25k EV rumors

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Tesla closed out 2021 with a bumper year, besting Q4 estimates and pushing EV deliveries past 300,000, though Elon Musk tempered hopes for the arrival of the Cybertruck and more affordable models. Revenue in the year as a whole grew 71%, Tesla announced, describing 2021 as “a breakthrough year” for the automaker, but some of the most anticipated electric vehicles are still some way out.

Tesla

No Tesla Cybertruck until 2023

The most conspicuous project that Tesla has underway is undoubtedly the Cybertruck. The oddly-shaped all-electric pickup proved controversial when Elon Musk first revealed it, and glimpses of development prototypes in the intervening years haven’t dimmed its ability to polarize opinion. Undoubtedly the most frequently-asked question, however, is when Tesla actually might put the Cybertruck into production.

Tesla

Tesla’s investor deck continues with the same, vague timeline as has been stated in previous releases. “We are making progress on the industrialization of Cybertruck, which is currently planned for Austin production subsequent to Model Y,” the automaker says.

Speaking on the investor call, however, Musk confirmed that the Cybertruck wouldn’t go into production this year. The primary focus for Tesla, the CEO explained, would be ramping production of its existing models, like the popular Model 3 and Model Y. They’re still in strong demand, with orders for some configurations of Model Y not expected to be delivered until August 2022.

Tesla Cybertruck pricing

Tesla screenshot by SlashGear

For the Cybertruck, there are still technological hurdles to be worked through, Musk admitted. The automaker is also still trying to figure out how to make it affordable: there was widespread surprise when Tesla announced the full-size electric pickup would have a starting price of around $40,000 when it began taking reservations in late 2019. For the moment, Musk said, the hope is that production can begin sometime in 2023.

Don’t expect the Tesla Roadster any time soon, either

What goes for the Cybertruck, also goes for Tesla’s rebooted Roadster. Also the spur of no shortage of reservation deposits – or the full $250,000 apiece in advance for those wanting one of the first 1,000 “Founder’s Series” cars – the Roadster was originally intended to go into production in mid to late 2021. That was delayed to 2022, and then to 2023.

Tesla Roadster

Tesla

The good news is that it’s still, apparently, on track for that timescale, though as Tesla feels the impact of the supply chain issues affecting the whole auto industry that could still change in the meantime. Chip constraints were name-checked by Musk as being a primary bottleneck for 2021 production of its cars, arguing that if Tesla tried to introduce new models in 2022 it would only have the overall impact of cutting total production output. The need to assign resources to new models would take away from the ability to build cars like the Model 3 and Model Y, he pointed out.

Engineering and tooling-up for the upcoming Tesla models may still begin in 2022. However they won’t go into production until 2023 at the earliest.

The $25,000 Tesla isn’t happening

Tesla line-up

Tesla

Though Tesla hasn’t been affected by the “market adjustments” that have seen dealers of other brands add thousands or even tens of thousands to the sticker price of a new car, it’s clear that the EV-maker is still focused on the trims with the biggest profit margins. Despite previous chatter of a $25,000 Tesla that could undercut even the most affordable Model 3, Musk says that’s simply not on the cards.

“We have too much on our plate,” the CEO said during the investor call.

The reality is, while Tesla has been surprisingly well placed for dealing with the supply chain crunch – including making admirable use of existing chip supplies by reprogramming its software to suit – like most car companies it can’t build as many as it would like to. Focusing on maximizing the return on each vehicle is the inevitable result, not only by prioritizing the more expensive configurations, but on post-sale software enhancements too. Indeed, “over time, we expect our hardware-related profits to be accompanied with an acceleration of software-related profits,” the investor deck points out.

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This carbon 3D-printed Rolls-Royce Cullinan is a $500,000 upgrade

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The Cullinan is the Rolls-Royce of SUVs, so what does this make 1016 Industries’ carbon-fiber, 3D-printed Cullinan? You can call it anything you like, but it is indeed a dignified way to go sporty. We highly prefer it over the quirky Mansory Rolls-Royce Cullinan unveiled last year for the 50th founding anniversary of the United Arab Emirates, and it’s all thanks to the crafty use of 3D printing for the details.

Images: 1016 Industries
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