Friday, April 13, 2018

Vodafone UK tests 3.4 GHz spectrum for 5G

Vodafone UK completed the first test of 3.4 Gigahertz (GHz) spectrum for 5G across an existing live network between Manchester and the company’s headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire.

The test used Massive MIMO combined with 3.4 GHz spectrum running over the core 4G network. Vodafone's site in Manchester was its contact centre, which houses around 1,000 customer service employees

The company described the test as a major milestone in UK telecommunications, as it is the first time that the 3.4 Gigahertz (GHz) radio frequency allocated for 5G has been used in the UK, and noted that is was carried out just a week after Vodafone secured the largest slice of 5G spectrum in Ofcom’s auction.

Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery said: “5G will improve the quality of our lives and transform how we work. This next generation technology will enable medical services that could save lives, from remote surgery to remote care for the elderly. It will enhance industrial applications, from automated systems to robotics, helping manufacturers across the UK boost their productivity. And it will enable families to share their experiences with loved ones wherever they are, thanks to innovations like augmented reality."

UK completes spectrum auction - EE and Vodafone gain 5G bands

Ofcom, the official telecoms regulator in the U.K., completed the auction of 190 MHz of spectrum across two frequency bands: 40 MHz in the 2.3 GHz band, which will be used to increase 4G mobile broadband capacity; and 150 MHz in 3.4GHz, which has been earmarked for 5G.

Here are the results:

EE won 40 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £302,592,000.

Hutchison 3G UK won 20 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £151,296,000.

Telefónica UK won all 40 MHz of 2.3 GHz spectrum available, at a cost of £205,896,000; and 40 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £317,720,000.

Vodafone won 50 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £378,240,000.

Airspan Spectrum Holdings, which would have been a new entrant to the UK mobile market, failed to win spectrum in either band.

The total value of the winning bids amounts to £1,355,744,000.

Former CEO of Alaska's Quintillion is accused of fraud

Elizabeth Ann Pierce, the former CEO of Quintillion, a telecommunications firm building a subsea and terrestrial fiber network in Alaska, has been arrested and charged with fraud by U.S. federal authorities.

The allegations accuse Pierce with a scheme to use forged guaranteed revenue contracts to fraudulently induce investors to invest more than $250 million in the fiber optic cable network in Alaska. The faked documents reportedly assured that Quintillion would collect hundreds of millions of dollars in future revenue, but proved to be worthless. The fraudulent activity is said to have occurred between 2015 and 2017.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: "To realize her plan to build a fiber optic system that would service Alaska and connect it to the lower 48 states, Elizabeth Ann Pierce allegedly convinced two investment companies that she had secured signed contracts that would supposedly generate hundreds of millions of dollars in guaranteed future revenue from the system.  As it turned out, those sales agreements were worthless because the customers had not signed them.  Instead, as alleged, Pierce had forged counterparty signatures on contract after contract.  As a result of Pierce’s deception, the investment companies were left with a system that is worth far less than Pierce had led them to believe."

In a statement, Quintillion says it "self-reported" last year to the U.S Department of Justice when it became aware of the alleged actions and that it is cooperating with authorities. The company says the ongoing investigation has not impacted its network operations. An interim CEO, George Tronsrue III, was appointed last August when Pierce abruptly resigned.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/manhattan-us-attorney-announces-arrest-former-ceo-alaska-based-fiber-optic-company

In December 2017, Quintillion announced the activation of commercial service on its new subsea fiber optic cable system serving five northern Alaska communities: Utqiaġvik, Wainwright, Point Hope, Nome, and Kotzebue.

Installation of the Alaska Arctic portion of the international Quintillion Subsea Cable System was completed in early October.

Quintillion’s subsea and terrestrial fiber optic network spans 1,400 miles, including a subsea trunk line from Prudhoe Bay to Nome with branching lines to the five communities.

Quintillion is aiming to extend its Arctic subsea cable system westwards to Asia (phase 2) and then eastwards to Europe (phase 3).

In July 2015, Quintillion Subsea Holdings awarded a turnkey contract to Alcatel-Lucent for the design and construction of a submarine cable system in Alaska from Prudhoe Bay to Nome.

Comcast and Netflix expand partnership

Comcast will begin offering Netflix subscriptions in its new and existing Xfinity packages.

Comcast first launched Netflix on its X1 platform in 2016, offering voice control and seamless access to the Netflix service through its platform. Since then Netflix has become one of the most popular voice searches and highly-viewed services on the platform.

“Netflix offers one of the most popular on demand services and is an important supplement to the content offering and value proposition of the X1 platform,” said Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer, Comcast Cable. “Netflix is a great partner, and we are excited to offer its services to our customers in new ways that provide them with more choice, value and flexibility. The seamless integration of Netflix with the vast Xfinity entertainment library on X1 present a unique and comprehensive experience for customers.”

Nokia and Telia look to combine 5G with Industry 4.0

Nokia and Telia conducted a 5G trial at the end of March to test its usefulness in real-world applications of 'Industry 4.0', the industrial trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.

Specifically, Nokia and Telia worked with Intel and Finnish software startup Finwe to provide a 5G radio access network operating in the 28 GHz frequency band for a "Conscious Factory" in Oulu, Finland.

The Nokia AirFrame data center solution, equipped with Intel Xeon Scalable processors, delivered network edge and core cloud flexibilities and capabilities.

Nokia said the use of Multi-access Edge Computing together with 5G allows data to be processed close to where it's needed, dramatically reducing latency. The Finwe video application was used to monitor and analyze a video feed of a process on one assembly line. The application leveraged machine learning to immediately alert the assembly line operator of any inconsistencies in the process so they could be corrected in real-time, ensuring high-performance, reliability and quality.

In a second trial, the Nokia AirFrame data center solution, Nokia's Multi-access Edge Computing platform and Finwe's video analytics application were installed at Telia's centralized data center in Helsinki, approximately 600 km from the Nokia Conscious Factory in Oulu.

Janne Koistinen, director of 5G Program at Telia Finland said: "Under our '5G Finland' initiative we are working with companies such as Nokia to accelerate the fourth industrial revolution in the country. In this trial, we could show how we can extend our service offering to new industry customers to enable efficiencies that will advance their production capabilities."

Marc Rouanne, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: "Nokia's 5G capabilities allow operators such as Telia to leverage machine learning and automation by opening up network data and intelligence. As we continue to deliver machine learning capabilities in Nokia's ReefShark chipsets and develop advanced algorithms we will further enhance our radio performance, allowing customers to take advantage of new business opportunities in the 5G and IoT world."

The LF Networking Fund adds iconectiv (Telcordia)

iconectiv (Telcordia Technologies)  has joined The LF Networking Fund (LFN), a new open source networking initiative created by The Linux Foundation. The focus of LFN is to increase collaboration and operational excellence across networking projects, including Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), to help deliver a new generation of services.

“The move to hybrid networks that combine physical assets with virtual functions promises enhanced operational efficiencies and speed-to-market for new kinds of services for customers globally,” said Alex Berry, Executive Vice President, Information Solutions, iconectiv. “The Linux Foundation understands the successful integration of these two worlds will require the collaboration of network architects and operators. We intend to offer our intimate knowledge of interconnection and network and operations management to help ensure the full rollout and adoption of hybrid networks.”

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