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Three UK to invest over £2bn in new 5G infrastructure

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Mobile network operator Three UK has announced its commitment to pump more than £2bn into an infrastructure upgrade that will prepare it to deliver ‘market leading’ 5G services to customers in 2019. Those services will include wireless home broadband, via Three’s UK Broadband-operated subsidiary Relish.

So far, Three has focused spending on the following areas:

* Acquired the UK’s leading 5G spectrum portfolio

* Signed an agreement for the rollout of new cell site technology to prepare major urban areas for the rollout of 5G devices, as well as enhance the 4G service

* Built a super high-capacity dark fibre network, which connects 20 new, energy efficient and highly secure data centres

* Deployed a world-first 5G-ready, fully integrated cloud native core network in new data centres, which at launch will have an initial capacity of 1.2TB/s, a three-fold increase from today’s capacity, and which can scale further, cost effectively and rapidly

* Rolled out carrier-aggregation technology on 2,500 sites in the busiest areas, improving speeds for customers

Following its 2017 UK Broadband/Relish acquisition, Three UK now has 144MHz of 5G spectrum — more than any other mobile network (Vodafone has 50MHz, while O2 and BT have 40MHz each). Remaining 5G spectrum is still up for grabs in the 700MHz and 3.6GHz frequency bands.

Upgrades to cell sites for 5G and enhanced 4G will be undertaken by Huawei. SSE Enterprise Telecoms built the fibre network connecting the 20 data centres, which were consolidated into a virtualised core network in partnership with Nokia. The final link in the chain is an IT system upgrade (with IBM Services, Tech Mahindra and TCS) that will see 80 percent of the network operator’s IT in the public cloud, Three UK’s CEO Dave Dyson said at a ‘Transforming the network’ briefing in London this morning.

Three’s infrastructure upgrades will see enhanced 4G and, from the second half of 2019, 5G services.


Image: Three UK

All of this end-to-end upgrade activity should put Three UK in a good position to deliver 5G services, which are expected to begin rolling out in the second half of 2019.

“Also described as wireless fibre, 5G delivers a huge increase in capacity together with ultra-low latency. It opens up new possibilities in home broadband and industrial applications, as well as being able to support the rapid growth in mobile data usage,” said Dyson, in a statement. “This is a major investment into the UK’s digital infrastructure. UK consumers have an insatiable appetite for data and 5G unlocks significant capability to meet that demand.”

Although both Vodafone and EE have announced 5G trials in the UK, Three is in no rush to follow suit, said Dyson. “It’s not about being first, it’s about doing things that will set us up longer-term,” he added.

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The Incredible And Controversial Evolution Of Elon Musk’s Neuralink

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During a 2021 interview with the Wall Street Journal, Musk outlined his desire to put a Neuralink chip in a person at some point in 2022. During the interview, Musk described the device as “safe,” “reliable,” and “something that can be removed safely.” Musk again confirmed the first patients the device would be tested on would be people who suffer from serious, debilitating spinal cord injuries such as quadriplegics and tetraplegics (people who have lost the ability to voluntarily control the movement of multiple limbs). The world’s richest man went on to say he is “cautiously optimistic” about Neuralink’s chances of success.

Although Neuralink is still waiting for FDA approval, some of the company’s direct rivals have been given the green light to proceed with human testing. New York-based Synchron Inc., which has been around since 2012, got the go-ahead in 2021 and announced the enrollment of their first patient in early May 2022 (via Businesswire). Like Neuralink, Synchron is developing a product that will allow the human brain to interface with existing electronic devices. Synchron also intends to use its device to improve the lives of people with debilitating medical conditions. So Neuralink may one day change the world, but there’s a good chance another company will get there first.

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Apple’s New Privacy Commercial Puts Data Brokers On Notice

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Since then, we’ve seen a number of other options added, some of which this new commercial — called, simply, “Data Auction” — calls out. Some are active, like Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari, which when activated will use machine learning to figure out what in websites is functional and what is for tracking, and then block the latter. More recently, it has also gained the ability to hide your IP address, too.

That’s something Mail Privacy Protection does as well, as well as blocking the so-called “invisible pixels” which can report back to data brokers whether or not you opened an email. Obscuring location in a more granular way is something Apple has been exploring for a while now: iOS 14, for example, introduced the ability to share approximate location with apps and sites. Rather than giving exact coordinates, it narrows your position down to a roughly 10 square mile zone; enough to get local recommendations and news, but nothing more specific.

Other additions have focused more on awareness. App Privacy Report, for example, shows which apps have tapped which hardware and software permissions on your iPhone and iPad, including a list of the domains that app might be contacting in the background. Safari Privacy Report does much the same thing, only for website trackers.

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The Subaru Legacy Is Getting Some Serious Upgrades

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We like what we’re seeing (so far), but the most significant update is a bigger Boxer engine for the Legacy Sport, bringing some much-needed adrenaline and “sportiness” to the equation. It’s typically the same motor from the outgoing Legacy Limited XT and Touring XT, boasting 2.4 liters of displacement and turbocharging to deliver a healthy 260 horsepower.

The 2023 Legacy Sport is also home to bespoke styling updates like striking red accents on the front grille, gray metallic side mirrors, a gray rear spoiler, 18-inch gray alloy wheels, and custom-made black and gray seats with red stitching. Further enhancing the Legacy Sport’s “sportier” driving feel includes a sport-tuned suspension, LED fog lights, a power moonroof, a 360-degree heated steering wheel, and navigation — features you’ll also find in the range-topping Legacy Touring XT.

All Legacy models have standard Subaru symmetrical all-wheel-drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Meanwhile, the standard engine is a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter Boxer-four with 182 horsepower. Subaru claims the standard 2.5-liter Boxer engine achieves an EPA-estimated 35 mpg and 600 miles of range on a single full gas tank. On the other hand, the new Legacy Sport and its turbocharged 2.4-liter mill achieve 24 to 32 mpg.

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