July 27, 2021
SBCA SmartBrief
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Consumer Satellite Industry News
A panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has determined that SpaceX can continue launching broadband satellites. The ruling comes in response to an effort by Viasat to halt the launches pending review of a lawsuit accusing the Federal Communications Commission of improperly allowing them.
Full Story: Ars Technica (7/22) 
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Rising 5G demand helps AT&T beat estimates in Q2
(Toby Jorrin/Getty Images)
AT&T raised its outlook for the year after growing second-quarter revenues by 7.6% year-to-year on the back of a net increase of 789,000 postpaid phone customers as executives cited rising 5G demand for the results. The carrier said it is selling its Latin American-based Vrio video services unit to Grupo Werthein as part of its effort to raise cash and focus on its broadband and wireless businesses.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (7/22),  CNBC/Reuters (7/22),  Mobile World Live (U.K.) (7/22) 
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Ultra devices from Roku now provide users with access to the upgraded Sling TV app, which features a redesigned home screen and DVR feature as well as revised program guide and navigation options. Sling TV expects other Roku devices and DISH Network dongles and boxes to carry the app before 2021 ends.
Full Story: Next TV (7/21) 
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AT&T will likely complete the spinoff of its pay-TV services unit sooner than expected -- "in the next few weeks," Chief Financial Officer Pascal Desroches told analysts. The carrier will receive roughly $2 billion and retain a 70% stake in DIRECTV, U-verse TV and AT&T TV under the agreement with private equity firm TPG.
Full Story: Next TV (7/23) 
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Technology, Manufacturing & Trends
Plume reports that it now enables smart home connectivity for more than 1 billion devices. The company's data shows that US homes had 28% more voice assistants in May 2021 than they did in October 2019, while smart light bulbs became 110% more popular over the same period, and virtual reality use increased 223%.
Full Story: Total Telecom Magazine (U.K.) (7/23) 
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The A Modo Mio Voicy from Lavazza is the first coffee maker that incorporates Amazon's Alexa. The voice assistant lets home chefs command the machine to make coffee, adjust the temperature and even change the machine's volume, among other things.
Full Story: TechRadar (7/21),  Good Housekeeping (7/20) 
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Samsung: No Note, but more durable foldables
(Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
Samsung's upcoming foldable phones will contain "more durable, stronger materials" as well as an S Pen specially made for the devices, leader TM Roh posted in advance of an Aug. 11 event. He also confirmed that Samsung will not release a new Galaxy Note phone in 2021.
Full Story: The Verge (7/26),  PC Magazine (7/26) 
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Leaked images suggest Microsoft's Surface Duo 2 smartphone will sport standard, telephoto and ultrawide lenses. Encased in frosted glass, this iteration of the device seems to have nixed the fingerprint reader, which suggests it may be integrated with the power button.
Full Story: Windows Central (7/26) 
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Broadband, Broadband, Broadband
Broadband access to underserved communities is one of the top priorities of state legislators. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for access to broadband and SBCA has been actively reaching out to stakeholders on the advances of satellite technology. While much of the buzz is for fiber deployment, many state and local policy makers fully grasp that the cost and time needed to deploy wired infrastructure is a significant barrier and may not occur for years. Even then it will not serve every household. Both Hughes and ViaSat are poised to launch new satellites next year and be in a strong position to benefit on the fact that our technology is fast, reliable and quickly deployed. SBCA is ramping up our education and outreach efforts to help state legislators understand the technology and work to get funding to help consumers get connected.
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The news summaries appearing in SBCA SmartBrief are based on original information from news organizations and are produced by SmartBrief, Inc., an independent e-mail newsletter publisher. The SBCA or SBCA Membership is not responsible for the content of the sites that are external to SBCA. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by SBCA. Some links in SBCA SmartBrief are time-sensitive, and may move or expire over time. Questions should be directed to SmartBrief at sbca@smartbrief.com.
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