T-Mobile is expanding its rural home internet service to 450 more areas


T-Mobile is bringing its LTE home internet service to more people.

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T-Mobile has announced an expansion of its Home Internet pilot to 450 more areas, which it says covers 20 million households. The service uses T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, and was launched as an invite-only pilot in rural areas in March last year, with the carrier saying it’s now opening the service to non-T-Mobile customers.

T-Mobile’s home internet service is $50 per month, with a $0 hardware lease and no data caps.  

“We’re understanding this massive expansion … at a time when our connection to the Internet is so vital — for work, remote school, connection with family and friends,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert.

You can see a list of the new cities and towns online, but it’s now live in certain areas of 27 states.

Read more: The best internet providers for 2020: How to choose cable vs. DSL vs. satellite and more



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Gartner: These 5 areas of digital commerce will be transformed by COVID-19

Business success in the post-pandemic world means reprioritizing to account for major, long-term changes to the way people and businesses make purchases.

Paper boxes in a shopping cart.

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Gartner has identified five areas of digital commerce that are being changed due to COVID-19’s effects not only on customer behaviors, but also due to rapidly accelerated adoption of online and digital alternatives by businesses.

The five areas highlighted could affect myriad types of businesses, with Gartner saying IT leaders will need to keep up with changes to remain competitive in the new normal.

“Digital commerce has played an important role during the pandemic by enabling organizations to continue serving customers. Measures implemented by organizations during the pandemic, such as enabling new go-to-market (GTM) models and new types of customer engagement are likely to remain, thus evolving digital commerce,” said Gartner senior research director Sandy Shen.

SEE: COVID-19 workplace policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Contactless purchasing is here to stay

Whether it’s Apple Pay or NFC chips in cards, contactless purchasing has become a preferred payment method during the pandemic, and Gartner predicts that 80% of ordering and replenishment will be touchless by 2024. 

“More organizations will offer contactless payments, contactless pickup and delivery for customers and enable contactless commerce operations where organizations can use robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision to assist employees with store-level merchandising, pricing, and pick-and-pack at warehouses,” Gartner said in a press release.

Virtual product views via AR and apps will grow

Gartner admits that 2D and 3D product previews are still lightly adopted, with less than 1,500 deployments globally, but it predicts that number will grow, with software vendors offering visual configuration tools already reporting an uptick in business due to the pandemic.

“In the future, these tools may reduce the need for samples and showrooms and enable more customer self-service

3 Areas Of The Booming Gaming Industry Ripe For Entrepreneurial Opportunities

In 2020, with the pandemic, you likely have been at home more than you ever have before. With movies theatres and restaurants shut down or even unsafe to go to, you’ve had to find new ways to pass your time. 

It may come as no surprise that while many industries have suffered this year, the already growing gaming industry has boomed. From classic games like mahjong and freecell, to mobile games and virtual reality ones, the world is playing more games than ever before. All told, it’s an industry that’s expected to bring in $159.3 billion this year alone, which is a 9.3% YoY improvement. 

To the eyes of an entrepreneur, this means opportunity. But with the gaming world being so large, where should you zoom in? Here are some of the areas in the gaming industry ripe with possibility.

Fantasy and betting for eSports

In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down a 1952 law that made sports betting illegal in most states. Just two years later, 19 states have legalized sports betting, with more to come. 

However, there is still a major gap between wagers made between real sports and eSports. While eSports betting is expected to collect $1.81 billion in 2020, compared to just $24 million in 2015, live sports betting in volume is $250 billion. This suggests that despite the huge growth in eSports today, there is still plenty of room to grow. 

Companies like Skillz, which enables betting in games, are successfully taking advantage of this trend. Recently, they announced plans to go public at a $3.5 billion valuation. 

Moreover, there has been a wave of innovation in fantasy sports. Companies like FanDuel and DraftKing allow you to play fantasy sports on a play-by-play or game-by-game level. It’s only a matter of time before these

European Leaders Ask Commission to Name Areas of Strategic EU Weakness | World News

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders asked their Brussels-based executive on Friday to name strategic areas where the bloc relies too much on countries such as China and the United States, and to propose ways to make amends.

EU leaders said their industry needed to be more competitive, autonomous and resilient after the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the bloc’s dependence on Chinese components in the production of drugs.

In their decision following a two-day summit in Brussels, the leaders told “the Commission to identify strategic dependencies, particularly in the most sensitive industrial ecosystems such as for health, and to propose measures to reduce these dependencies.”

There is also mounting concern that the 27-nation bloc is lagging the United States in the design and manufacture of batteries and in digital cloud storage.

The EU has set digital and green technologies as priorities and wants to help shift the economy using much of its 750-billion-euro ($890-dollar) fund for kick-starting growth after the pandemic.

Leaders named the European Battery Alliance, the Internet of Things and Clean Hydrogen Alliance as projects for the EU to focus on. They also called for the development of new industrial alliances, including on raw materials, micro-processors, telecommunication networks, low-carbon industries, and Industrial Clouds and Platforms.

The leaders agreed that “a significant part” of the 1.8 trillion euros that will be available to EU countries under the bloc’s budget for 2021-27 and the linked recovery fund should be go towards supercomputers and quantum computing, blockchain, human-centred Artificial Intelligence, microprocessors, 5G networks, secure communications and cyber protection.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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SpaceX Starlink brings Internet to emergency responders in wildfire areas

Pictures of a SpaceX broadband-satellite dish and wildfire-ravaged areas of Washington State.
Enlarge / A Starlink user terminal and wildfire-devastated areas seen in images shared by Washington state’s Emergency Management Division.

SpaceX Starlink is providing Internet access to Washington state emergency responders in areas ravaged by wildfires. The group has deployed seven Starlink user terminals (i.e. satellite dishes) since it began using the service in early August, as CNBC reported yesterday:

“I have never set up any tactical satellite equipment that has been as quick to set up, and anywhere near as reliable” as Starlink, Richard Hall, the emergency telecommunications leader of the Washington State Military Department’s IT division, told CNBC in an interview Monday.

The broadband service has helped both emergency responders and families in wildfire-stricken areas. Hall “has set up terminals in areas that were burned severely to provide evacuated families with wireless calling and Internet access to file insurance claims,” CNBC wrote. Hall said he also “did setup to allow kids to do some of their initial schooling.”

Hall said Starlink has “easily double[d] the bandwidth” compared to traditional satellite broadband and consistently provides latency of less than 30ms.

Traditional geostationary satellites that orbit at altitudes of more than 35,000km provide latency to residential customers of about 600ms, according to Federal Communications Commission measurements, making them a poor substitute for cable or fiber. Starlink, with its low-Earth orbits of 540km to 570km, can deliver something much closer to the experience provided by wired broadband services, despite skepticism expressed by the FCC.

Compared to Starlink, Hall said that traditional satellite provides “a lot less speed and bandwidth and a lot higher latency in a much larger package.” On Monday, Washington’s Emergency Management Division said on Twitter that it’s happy to have Starlink “as emergency responders look to help residents rebuild the town of Malden, WA that was overcome by wildfires