Sunday, March 5, 2017

Carriers Work with MEF and TM Forum on APIs for Inter Carrier Services

Major carriers are working with MEF and TM Forum to release the first set of standard application programming interfaces (APIs) for orchestrated Carrier Ethernet services later this year. This initiative uses MEF’s LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) framework and TM Forum’s Open API framework to enable SDN architectures from different network service providers to interoperate with each other.

Participating carriers include AT&T, Orange, Colt Technology Services, Comcast, Level 3, PCCW Global, Sparkle and Verizon. The effort also includes CableLabs and Kyrio. The projected release of the first round of APIs is at the end of 2017. This is a key step toward enabling orchestrated on-demand services over more automated and interconnected networks.

There are plans to standardize 8 API definitions. This builds on the industry-agreed Open APIs developed by TM Forum members. The first 3 APIs below will be defined in the first round of the project this year.

1. Address validation
2. Service availability
3. Ordering
4. Quoting
5. Billing
6. Assurance
7. Testing
8. Change management

“MEF is delighted to host pioneering inter-provider LSO API standardization work that will help unleash the power of on-demand services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of connected networks. Our collaboration with TM Forum and major service providers is a key step toward automating the $50+ billion Carrier Ethernet services market with LSO and will be foundational for orchestrating IP and wavelength services across many provider networks as well,” stated Nan Chen, President, MEF.

“Transformation of the Carrier Ethernet market is an essential building block in delivering TM Forum’s mission to ensure service providers thrive in the digital market. By leveraging our established Open API framework, digital business architecture, industry standard Information Framework and tools for end-to- end service management and orchestration, we are delighted to partner with MEF and the service provider community to accelerate the pace of industry change,” stated Nik Willetts, Deputy CEO, TM Forum.

“Our research shows that the number one issue impeding the delivery of on-demand services is the need for a standardized approach to orchestrating services across multiple provider networks,” said Rosemary Cochran, Principal, Vertical Systems Group.  “This initiative led by industry leaders to collaboratively standardize on APIs for Ethernet services is an essential step toward tackling this challenge”.

https://www.mef.net/

Video: Nan Chen Discusses Inter-Carrier APIs



Nan Chen, President of MEF, discusses how major carriers are working with MEF and TM Forum to release the first set of standard application programming interfaces (APIs) for orchestrated Carrier Ethernet services later this year. This initiative uses MEF’s LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) framework and TM Forum’s Open API framework to enable SDN architectures from different network service providers to interoperate with each other.

See video: https://youtu.be/rpI48DSbzf0




Vertical Systems: 2016 Global Provider Ethernet LEADERBOARD

Orange and Colt retained the top two positions on Vertical Systems Group's year-end 2016 Global Provider Ethernet LEADERBOARD.  The results are as follows (in rank order based on retail port share): Orange Business Services (France), Colt (U.K.), AT&T (U.S.), BT Global Services (U.K.), Level 3 (U.S.), Verizon (U.S.) and NTT (Japan). The Global Provider LEADERBOARD, the industry's benchmark for multinational Ethernet network market presence, ranks companies that hold a 4% or higher share of billable retail ports at sites outside of their respective home countries.

Based on year-end 2016 Global Provider port share, Orange and Colt retain the first and second LEADERBOARD positions, respectively. AT&T gains share to move into third position, ahead of BT Global Services.

The Challenge Tier of Global Providers includes companies with share between 2% and 4% of this defined market. Six companies qualify for the 2016 Challenge Tier (in alphabetical order): Cogent (U.S.), SingTel (Singapore), T-Systems (Germany), Tata Communications (India), Telefonica Worldwide (Spain) and Vodafone (U.K.).

"Global carriers are rolling out dynamic network services that provide enterprises with unprecedented levels of agility and reliability," said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "Ethernet is playing a critical role in emerging SDN-based architectures that will support the increasing demand for hybrid WANs, and high-speed data center and cloud connectivity."

The three leading Global Providers - Orange, Colt and AT&T - are working with MEF and TM Forum on the first standard application programming interfaces (APIs) for orchestrated Carrier Ethernet services over SDN architectures. These efforts are a significant advancement toward standardizing dynamic service connectivity between network providers throughout the world.

https://www.verticalsystems.com/new-2016-global-provider-ethernet-port-share-results/


ADTRAN to Develop SD-Access for 5G Networks

ADTRAN announced that to further its effort to deliver access networks that are open, programmable and cost-effective as carriers prepare to implement the foundations for 5G, it is focusing on developing its position in mobile access networks.

The company believes that realising the potential of 5G will require a number of steps. Firstly, service providers will need to deploy large numbers of radios closer to the network edge to support bandwidth-intensive applications; secondly, there will be a need for more transport-friendly Ethernet backhaul; and thirdly, it will be necessary to extend SDN/NFV to the 5G mobile network core via the access network leveraging software defined access (SD-Access).

ADTRAN stated that SD-Access for 5G, incorporating point-to-point (P2P) and point-to-multipoint (P2MP) next-generation PON, will constitute a key technology in providing the converged backhaul, fronthaul and 'crosshaul' networks needed to support high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity.

ADTRAN has pioneered the development of XGS-PON, 10 Gbit/s EPON and NGPON2 SD-Access solutions based on open reference architectures such as CORD, and is now focused on extending its position into mobile access networks leveraging the following technologies:

1. Multi-wavelength NG-PON2 as the infrastructure technology for delivering low latency, multi-Gigabit services for fronthaul, backhaul and crosshaul  networks.

2. The open and scalable SD-Access architecture, ADTRAN Mosaic, featuring disaggregated physical network access elements and an open source SDN controller.

3. Fixed Access Network Sharing (FANS) capability, designed to allow access to be shared between multiple operators.

ADTRAN has also announced that it is contributing to the CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) project, expanding its CORD-compliant portfolio and broadening the use cases to enable open principles to be applied over any network infrastructure and for any customer segment.

http://www.adtran.com

EXFO Acquires Ontology Systems for Network Topology Discovery

EXFO has acquired privately held Ontology Systems, which specializes in real-time network topology discovery and service-chain mapping, for US$7.6 million, net of cash.

UK-based Ontology Systems uses graph-data and semantic searches to build real-time views of network services and related network elements. Network functions virtualization (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN) technologies render communications infrastructures highly agile to deploy new services on the fly. This has created the need for an automated network inventory solution fully integrated with probing agents to accelerate fault discovery, root-cause analysis and eventually closed-loop automation in hybrid physical-virtual environments. The company generated approximately US$4.0 million in revenue during the last 12 months, including sales to tier-1 CSPs. The acquisition is expected to be neutral to EXFO's adjusted EBITDA in fiscal 2017 and accretive thereafter.

EXFO said the combination of Ontology Systems' expertise in mapping complex, cross-domain, multi-layer network topologies with its end-to-end service assurance and real-time 3D analytics solutions will deliver a truly comprehensive view across physical, virtual and hybrid networks.

"This strategic acquisition uniquely positions EXFO with agile, real-time visualization and troubleshooting solutions that enable communications service providers (CSPs) to manage their networks more efficiently and ensure heightened quality of experience and scalability for next-generation networks, which will be hybrid in nature for many years to come," said Germain Lamonde, EXFO's Founder, Chairman and CEO. "Combining EXFO's physical and virtual probes and real-time analytics solution, with Ontology Systems' unique mapping methodology, delivers an unmatched value proposition for monitoring and managing next-generation networks. Based on early discussions with CSPs, this new offering is resonating very strongly with them, since they are striving to improve customer experience while becoming more agile and cost-efficient."

http://www.exfo.com

China Unicom Launches "CUniq" MVNO in U.S.

China Unicom Global Limited launched its "CUniq" mobile virtual network operator ("MVNO") business in the U.S. market.

A similar "CUniq" MVNO was launched in Europe in December 2016.

"CUniq" is an overseas mobile communication service created for international business travelers. The service expands on the basis of "CUniq UK" one-card-multiple-number service that shares data in 45 countries and regions, "CUniq US" one-card-multiple-number card service raises the numbers to 47, providing 4G high speed network service among the main countries and regions of China, America, Asia and Europe. Customers are able to keep Mainland China, Hong Kong (China) and the US mobile numbers, which can be managed using a single account. Customers can use data, voice and SMS services in different countries, contact China Unicom's 24/7 trilingual customer service (Chinese, English, Cantonese), and enjoy a smooth, joyful global communication experience.

"CUniq" MVNO business launch ceremony was held in Los Angeles. Liu Haiyan, Economic and Commercial Counselor Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Los Angeles; Marissa Rivera, Representative of Economic Development, County of San Bernardino; Sherman Zhang, Chairman of CGCC-LA(CEC) & President of AVIC International USA; Richard Pelly, Vice President of sales and business operation of Plintron; Meng Shusen, President of CUG and Zhou Lisong, Executive Vice President of CUG jointly officiated the ceremony.

Lisong Zhou, Executive Vice President of CUG, said, the "CUniq" one-card-multiple-number service launched in America this time will have three plans including Share Plan, Local Plan and Visitor Plan, appealing to global businesspersons, American local users and tourists respectively. Besides, CUG supports electronic paying including WeChat paying, Alipay, Visa, MasterCard, UnionPay and other convenient paying methods. Customers can enquire for various plans and make purchase on CUniq website www.cuniq.com/us

Shusen Meng, President of CUG, said the cooperation between CUG and American leading telecommunications operators not only provides high-quality service for business enterprises, but also provides high-quality overseas MVNO business through "CUniq" for the public users. CUG will continue to drive innovations and improve services, expanding high-quality service to more countries and regions.

IBM and Maersk Develop Blockchain for Shipping Industry

IBM is working with Maersk to use blockchain technology to help manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers across the world by digitizing the supply chain process from end-to-end to enhance transparency and the highly secure sharing of information among trading partners.

The blockchain solution based on the Hyperledger Fabric and built by IBM and Maersk, the global leader in transport and logistics, will be made available to the shipping and logistics industry. Blockchain is an immutable, security rich and transparent shared network resource that provides each participant end-to-end visibility based on their level of permission. IBM hosts the solution on the IBM Cloud and the IBM high-security business network, delivered via IBM Bluemix.

Some highlights:

  • Each participant in a supply chain ecosystem can view the progress of goods through the supply chain, understanding where a container is in transit. They can also see the status of customs documents, or view bills of lading and other data.
  • Detailed visibility of the container's progress through the supply chain is enhanced with the real time exchange of original supply chain events and documents.
  • No one party can modify, delete or even append any record without the consensus from others on the network.
  • This level of transparency helps reduce fraud and errors, reduce the time products spend in the transit and shipping process, improve inventory management and ultimately reduce waste and cost.
  • The solution enables the real time exchange of original supply chain events and documents through a digital infrastructure, or data pipeline, that connects the participants in a supply chain ecosystem. This promotes sustainable transport by integrating shipping processes and partners, and establishing evaluation frameworks through increased transparency and trusted access. 

"As a global integrator of container logistics with the ambition to digitize global trade, we are excited about this cooperation and its potential to bring substantial efficiency and productivity gains to global supply chains, while decreasing fraud and increasing security," said Ibrahim Gokcen, chief digital officer, Maersk. "The projects we are doing with IBM aim at exploring a disruptive technology such as blockchain to solve real customer problems and create new innovative business models for the entire industry. We expect the solutions we are working on will not only reduce the cost of goods for consumers, but also make global trade more accessible to a much larger number of players from both emerging and developed countries."

"We believe that this new supply chain solution will be a transformative technology with the potential to completely disrupt and change the way global trade is done," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, Industry Platforms, IBM. "Working closely with Maersk for years, we've long understood the challenges facing the supply chain and logistics industry and quickly recognized the opportunity for blockchain to potentially provide massive savings when used broadly across the ocean shipping industry ecosystem. Bringing together our collective expertise, we created a new model the industry will be able to use to help improve the transparency and efficiency of delivering goods around the globe."

http://www.ibm.com

See also