Friday, May 19, 2017

Nokia and China Huaxin establish Nokia Shanghai Bell JV

Nokia and China Huaxin Post & Telecommunication Economy Development Center announced the signing of definitive agreements relating to the proposed integration of Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell (ASB) and Nokia's China business, with the new joint venture to be branded as Nokia Shanghai Bell (NSB).

Through the agreement, the joint venture will become Nokia's exclusive platform in China for the development of new technologies in spanning IP routing, optical, fixed and next-generation 5G, while with the support of Nokia, NSB will continue to seek opportunities in select overseas markets. Nokia noted that ASB and its China business have been operating as a single entity since January 2016, when an interim operational agreement was signed.

The closing of the agreement, which is expected to take effect in July 2017, is subject to customary administrative, legal, regulatory and other conditions. On completion of the agreement, Nokia will own 50% plus one share of NSB, with China Huaxin owning the remainder, and the new joint venture having one board of directors and one management team.

The new NSB will represent the major part of Nokia's overall Greater China business and will leverage the strengths of both parties, encompassing innovation, global scale, efficiency and an understanding of the local market, with the goal of expanding Nokia's market presence in China. The operation will also support Nokia's strategic goals of delivering high-performance networks for service providers and expanding into new vertical markets.

NSB R&D will constitute an integral part of Nokia's global R&D community, housing a total of around 16,000 personnel, including 10,000 researchers, distributed across six R&D sites in China.

China Huaxin is an industrial investment company that aims to address long-term commercial growth opportunities in the ICT sector leveraging global operations and international investment experience. China Huaxin is aiming to be a major global industry holding group through supporting and advancing technology development in the information industry.



Aqua Comms and Epsilon join NJFX landing station

NJFX, the first colocation and data centre campus to be situated at a cable landing station, announced the addition of Aqua Comms DAC, operator of Ireland's first dedicated subsea network interconnecting New York, Dublin and London, and Epsilon Telecommunications, a privately owned global communications provider, to its connectivity ecosystem.

With the addition of Aqua Comms, NJFX customers are able to diversify their connectivity options to key European hubs, bypassing legacy bandwidth restrictions within the U.S. Under the agreement, Aqua Comms has deployed a point of presence (PoP) within NJFX's colocation campus, allowing NJFX customers to directly access the carrier's suite of services without incurring cross connect fees.

In addition, Epsilon and Aqua Comms have partnered to deploy Infiny by Epsilon, an on-demand connectivity platform, within the NJFX facility. As part of the partnership Aqua Comms will use the Cloud Link eXchange (CloudLX) module of Infiny to interconnect new services arriving into and leaving the NJFX campus.

NJFX (New Jersey Fiber Exchange), claiming to be the only colocation campus sited at a cable landing station and offering carrier neutral data centre capabilities, provides direct access to multiple subsea cable systems that interconnect North America, Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

Epsilon is a cloud-centric network service provider, extending carrier grade connectivity services to communications and cloud ecosystems. The company offers networking capabilities that combine on-demand infrastructure, automation, web-based portals and APIs designed to enable global connectivity.

Aqua Comms DAC is the owner and operator of the trans-Atlantic cable AEConnect and the Irish Sea cable CeltixConnect-1, and has a strategy of building, acquiring or merging with subsea cable networks to provide networking solutions to the media, content provider and IT company sectors.

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ZTE participates in second phase 5G testing led by China's MIIT

ZTE announced its participation in the second phase of 5G testing, carried out under the guidance of the Chinese government via the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), as well as advances through a number of technical verifications.

China's 5G testing is being led by China's MIIT and implemented by its IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group, with R&D activities divided into three phases: technology verification, technical solution verification and system verification. ZTE noted that the project entered the technical solution verification phase in 2017.

ZTE is participating in R&D work relating to a range of 5G new radio (NR) prototype products based on early key technology verification, and is now seeking to verify product functionality and performance in typical 5G scenarios in preparation for 5G commercial network deployments. For the latest phase of testing, ZTE is providing a series of 5G prototype products based on a new unified platform and is working with test equipment suppliers including Keysight and Rohde & Schwarz.

The technical solution verification centred on four key technologies, specifically: 5G NR operating at sub-6 GHz and mmWave bands, massive machine type communication (mMTC) and ultra-reliable low latency communications (uRLLC). The tests also included seven scenarios: continuous wide-coverage scenario; low-delay and high-reliability scenario; low-power and massive-connection scenario; hotspots at sub-6 GHz scenario; hotspots at mmWave scenario; and sub-6 GHz and mmWave hybrid networking scenario.

ZTE stated that as part of the process, in the prototype sub-6 GHz field it provided a new 3.5 GHz NR pre-commercial base station, with all entries passing the RF tests of the MIIT and the RF bandwidth of the base station reaching 200 MHz. In addition, the solution's volume, weight, power and other key features comply with requirements for pre-commercial networks.

Additionally, related field performance tests in Beijing have also commenced. In the mmWave field, ZTE launched a series of prototype products and claims that it has made significant progress in technical solutions, machine integration and other aspects pertaining to performance.

In a recent pre-test at the ZTE Shanghai Institute, ZTE showcased its latest 26 GHz base station at mmWave, where single-user peak rate of nearly 16 Gbit/s was achieved. In addition, ZTE conducted a 60 GHz prototype at mmWave comparison test. As well as developments in the fields of mMTC and uRLLC, ZTE has launched an improved enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) platform based on its previous technology verification platform.


Following the completion of the first phase of China's 5G technology testing, the second phase and testing ongoing 5G tests in Beijing have been implemented, providing 5G NR at sub-6 GHz, mmWave and mMTC and uRLLC test conditions designed to support progress towards the future large-scale commercial use of 5G.



Telia Carrier expands connectivity in EMEA via 2 new PoPs in Milan

Sweden-based wholesale carrier Telia Carrier announced it has expanded its presence in Italy with two new PoPs in Milan, designed to enable improved backbone services for major service, content and cloud providers requiring low latency and high speed connectivity.

As a key termination point for traffic entering Europe from the Middle Eastern and North African countries, together with traffic from Asia landing in nearby Marseille in France, Telia Carrier noted that Italy is becoming a key hub for connectivity in the region. Telia Carrier's expansion to serve this connection point is part of its strategy to meet the local needs of customers in Italy and in adjacent countries.

With the build-out into the Data4 and SuperNAP facilities in Milan, Telia Carrier is able to better support the increasing demands of service providers and their customers in the city and the region. In particular, as over-the-top (OTT) providers, 'mega cloud' providers and carriers expand their service offerings in Italy, Telia Carrier's IP backbone can provide a platform to reliably mission-critical IP services.

Additionally, Telia Carrier's expanded presence in Milan enables it to offer global wholesale customers lower latency, higher capacity routing options to Northern Italy, as well as to Switzerland and Germany in Europe and south to countries in North Africa.

Regarding the latest expansion, Davide Binaghi, MD of Telia Carrier Italy, said, "With subsea cables landing in Sicily and Bari, as well as Marseille, Milan is an ideal location for large content and cloud providers to connect to… as Italian service providers look to expand their services to both residential and business customers, Telia Carrier is… positioned to supply the high capacity backbone services needed to support such expansion".


  • Earlier this week, Telia Carrier announced a new high capacity route between Zurich, Switzerland and Strasbourg in France via Basel, enabling a shorter path and lower latency between Frankfurt in Germany and Zurich.
  • In April, Telia Carrier announced it had added a new PoP that enables connectivity services for a growing economic sector in Berlin, Germany via the Carrier-Colo data centre, owned by I/P/B/, located between Frankfurt and Warsaw in Poland. Telia Carrier previously launched the low latency Frankfurt - Warsaw Express route.
  • Additionally, in January Telia Carrier announced a new route extending 900 km from Stockholm, Sweden to St. Petersburg via Tallinn, Estonia, also noting it had upgraded multiple submarine cables across the Baltic Sea.

Avaya extends hyper-segmentation to OpenStack

Avaya announced that it has extended the hyper-segmentation capabilities of its fabric networking to OpenStack via integration between its Fabric Connect and the OpenStack networking subproject Neutron, providing a simple plugin designed to improve security and facilitate provisioning of virtual networks from the data centre to the desktop.

Avaya noted that OpenStack offers an open industry project for data centres that act as a cloud service for the enterprise. Enterprises are adopting the OpenStack software platform to help simplify orchestration of virtual compute, storage, and networking resources for best-of-breed implementations.

Meanwhile, as increasing demands at the edge of the network drive traditional enterprise data centres to transition into Everywhere Data Centers, the ability to extend virtual networks from the core to the desktop requires extensive configuration and greater complexity.

Avaya Fabric Connect is designed to simplify configuration through enabling automation from the core to the edge, and to provide increased security leveraging hyper-segmentation, which creates isolated, secure lanes for network traffic that mitigate the potential impact of cyberattacks and unauthorised access.

In collaboration with Mirantis, Inc., a company specializing in building and managing private cloud infrastructure using OpenStack, the new plugin -- called ML2 -- replaces complexity with automation available through Avaya Fabric Connect. As a result, the secure, hyper-segmentation capabilities of Fabric Connect can be extended through OpenStack, alleviating typical border issues including onboarding and cyberattacks.


Avaya noted that the new ML2 plugin is due to be released to the open source community in May and will immediately work on standard OpenStack implementations.


Celcom partners with Ericsson to trial 5G technology in Malaysia

Celcom Axiata Berhad, an Axiata Group company with around 12 million customers, and Ericsson announced what they claimed is Malaysia's first 5G trial, and the first 5G trial to be conducted on the 28 GHz band in South East Asia.

The trial in Malaysia featured 5G radio prototypes and achieved a peak throughput of up to 18 Gbit/s with latency as low as 3 ms (milliseconds). The trial also demonstrated advanced 5G use cases such as robotic control, connected environment, virtual reality, Internet of Things (IoT) applications and 4K video streaming.

Ericsson noted that the demonstration follows the signing of a 5G memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Celcom in February 2017, which provided for a joint partnership to evaluate opportunities for 5G and IoT in Malaysia. Through the MoU, Celcom and Ericsson will aim to support technology development in Malaysia and the government Digital Malaysia initiative for the creation of a digital economy by 2020.

Celcom's recently announced 'journey to 5G' strategy will involve the deployment of key technologies such as 4 x 4 MIMO and 256QAM and is intended to provide customers with data speeds up to 400 Mbit/s. Celcom also plans to deploy IoT technology.

Ericsson noted that the 5G lab trial demonstration was attended by Yang Berhormat Dato' Jailani Johari, Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia, and Yang Berbahagia Dato' Sri Dr. Halim Shafie, Chairman of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission at Menara Celcom in Kuala Lumpur.


Celcom is Malaysia's leading data network provider, with nearly 12 million customers, operating national 2G, 3G and 4G LTE networks that cover 98% of the population. Celcom is part of the Axiata Group, a major telecommunications group serving around 300 million customers in 10 Asian markets.


Broadband Forum progresses on Cloud Central Office and 5G

The Broadband Forum announced at its second quarter meeting in Taipei significant progress on five projects relating to the realisation and implementation of Cloud Central Office (CloudCO), which is scheduled to be launched later in the year, with preparations to test the implementations under way at the first Open Broadband Lab in Asia, which was announced recently.

The Broadband Forum's CloudCO projects encompass architecture and hardware, as well as software implementation and migration, and represent one of the first use cases for the recently launched Open Broadband initiative designed to provide a new platform for the integration and testing of broadband-related services.

The forum is also focusing on key use cases for 5G networking, including hybrid wireless wireline networking in access and home networking, network slicing and projects for backhaul and fronthaul transport.

Additionally, further aspects of the forum's Broadband 20/20 vision include the evolution of TR-069 into a user services platform for premises' networks and compute resources, for example entertainment and the Internet of Things (IoT), which are scheduled to be released later this year.

During the second quarter meeting a number of specifications were approved, including TR-390, which defines standardised mechanisms for performance measurement and is designed to enable service providers to gain greater insight into how the access network is performing.


Unveiled in August last year, the CloudCO projects aim to enable functionality that can be accessed via a northbound API and cover:

1.         Definition of a reference architectural framework for the CloudCO specifying the behaviour of functional modules.

2.         Definition of interfaces (potentially including APIs, Yang or other schemas and protocols) between the functional modules.

3.         A software reference implementation of the framework to allow code to be upstreamed to open source organisations in the future, plus enable VNF vendors to test functions on the reference implementation.

4.         A project on CloudCO coexistence with, and subscriber migration from, legacy broadband architectures, such as TR-178-style architectures.

5.         A project to deliver a hardware reference implementation of CloudCO based on deployment considerations.

See also