Sunday, June 10, 2018

FWD Russia's MTS rolls with Massive MIMO for World Cup

Major sporting events are often used as showcases for next-gen networking technologies. Earlier this year, KT conducted a number of 5G tests at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea. The 5G public demos were interesting but not directly relevant to fans equipped with current generation smartphones.

For the upcoming World Cup, MTS, the leading communications service provider in Russia and the CIS, has pushed ahead with what is described as Europe’s largest deployment of Massive MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) to date. Organizers are expecting more than 1.5 million international fans in Russia during the course of the tournament.

The Massive MIMO deployment is based on Ericsson, including its AIR 6468 NR-capable radio designed for compatibility with the 5G New Radio standard while also supporting LTE. This Ericsson radio features 64 transmit and 64 receive antennas enabling it to support 5G plug-ins for both Massive MIMO and Multi-User MIMO. 

If the mobile broadband coverage performs as expected, it will be a showcase deployment of Massive MIMO both for MTS and for Ericsson. Last year, MTS awarded a major network upgrade to Ericsson. 

Massive MIMO improves capacity by transmitting data to multiple user devices using the same time and frequency resources with coordinated beam forming and beam steering.

The MTS rollout includes seven of the 11 tournament cities. In Moscow alone, the deployment covers two stadiums and fan zones, Sheremetyevo airport, Red Square, Tverskaya Street and Gorky Central Park.

Saint Petersburg coverage includes stadium and fan zones, Dvortsovaya Square, and Moskovsky railway station. 

The other covered cities are Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Niznny Novgorod, Samara and Rostov-on-Don. Ericsson installed AIR 6468 for MTS at more than 40 sites across the seven cities.

Andrei Ushatsky, Vice President, Technology and IT, MTS, says: "This launch is one of Europe's largest Massive MIMO deployments, covering seven Russian cities, and is a major contribution by MTS in the preparation of the country's infrastructure for the global sporting event of the year. Our Massive MIMO technology, using Ericsson equipment, significantly increases network capacity, allowing tens of thousands of fans together in one place to enjoy high-speed mobile internet without any loss in speed or quality.”

Just last month, MTS announce the first deployment of Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology -- again, in partnership with Ericsson. This initial deployment only covered one shopping center in one city (Ufa) but shows the way for a much wider usage of spectrum resources for MTS. 

The new LAA network in Ufa aggregates a 20 MHz band in the 1800 MHz licensed LTE spectrum (4x4 MIMO, 256-QAM) and three 20 MHz bands (2x2 MIMO, 256-QAM) in the 5 GHz unlicensed spectrum. The installation is built on Ericsson’s ERS indoor small cell stations using 1800 (2212) and LAA (2205) broadband radio modules, while Motorola Moto Z2 Force smartphone powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform was used as a smartphone. The Snapdragon 835 integrates X16 LTE modem, the first commercial modem supporting the LAA technology. The configuration yielded downlink speeds of 979 Mbps. This marked the first commercial LAA rollout in the region. Qualcomm is also listed as a technology partner.

SKBroadband hits 4 Gbps downstream with DOCSIS 3.1

SKBoadband, a leading cable operator in Korea, has hit a record speed of 4 Gbps downstream and 1Gbps upstream, using DOCSIS 3.1

SKBroadband rolled out DOCSIS 3.1 downstream and upstream pilot service in the Anyang area in Gyeonggi Province and the Gwangju area in Jeollanam Province in November 2017. The deployment uses the Cisco cBR-8 converged broadband router. The Cisco cBR-8 is designed from the ground up for DOCSIS 3.1, featuring support for future advanced technologies like Full Duplex DOCSIS (FDX), Infinite DOCSIS and SDN-based orchestration.

The operator expects to roll out a larSKBroadband plans to further expand the bandwidth of its HFC coaxial cable network to ten Gbps downstream and five Gbps upstream in the future.
ge-scale deployment in the second half of 2018.

“By securing an HFC four Gbps transmission solution, we can provide sufficient bandwidth and stable 1 Gig service to our HFC subscribers," said Jichang Yu, Vice president of SKBroadband Infrastructure Division. "We will continue to provide our customers with the highest value."

“With this technology in place, SKBroadband can deliver services at ultra-high speeds to meet its growing customer needs,” said Sean Welch, VP and general manager of the Cisco Cable Access Business Unit. “The cBR-8 Converged Broadband Router not only addresses today’s bandwidth needs, but also establishes a foundation for continued network evolution to Remote PHY and distributed access networks, Full Duplex DOCSIS and cloud native technologies.”

Verizon appoints Hans Vestberg as next CEO - former boss of Ericsson

Verizon Communications named Hans E. Vestberg to succeed Lowell C. McAdam as CEO, effective August 1, 2018.

Vestberg, 52, is the former CEO of Ericsson and currently serves as Executive Vice President and President of Global Networks and Chief Technology Officer. From 2007 to 2009, Vestberg served as Chief Financial Officer at Ericsson, and he previously served in a number of leadership positions at Ericsson. From 2009 till 2016, Vestberg led Ericsson during a period of significant industry and company transformation. He joined Ericsson in 1991 and earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Uppsala, Sweden.

McAdam, 64, has served as CEO of Verizon since 2011 and as chairman since 2012. During his tenure, Verizon took over complete ownership of Verizon Wireless in 2014 through a $130 billion purchase of Vodafone’s 45 percent stake in the company. McAdam also led the acquisitions of major media, fiber and telematics assets, including AOL, Yahoo!, XO Communications and the purchase of millions of miles of optical fiber from Corning. He also oversaw the divestments of non-strategic wireline, tower and data center operations. After stepping down from the CEO post, McAdam will serve as Executive Chairman of the Board through his retirement from the company at the end of the year, at which time he will become Non-Executive Chairman.

Cisco and NetApp offer FlexPod private cloud with consumption pricing

Cisco and NetApp introduced new FlexPod solutions that combine Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure with NetApp data services.

The companies said their new Managed Private Cloud solution offers new consumption options for more flexible access to powerful IT infrastructure and applications as customers modernize their data center for hybrid cloud. This enables customers to realize a cloud-like, As-a-Service model for their on-premises IT. The FlexPod infrastructure would be located on-premises but managed remotely, securing critical customer data and advancing cloud-capabilities for both partners and their customers. This solution will be delivered by channel partners. Initial delivery partners include Dimension Data, ePlus, Microland, and ProAct and as the program evolves it would expand to a larger set of partner

The collaboration also extends to pre-tested vertical solutions, such as FlexPod Datacenter for Epic EHR, a key healthcare application.

Cisco unveils Cloud Native Broadband Router based on containers

Cisco bringing new agility to IP-based cable networks with the introduction of the Cisco Cloud-Native Broadband Router, which is a containerized, full software rewrite of converged cable access platform (CCAP) services, built as a set of microservices using standard tools such as Kubernetes for container orchestration and Docker for creating, deploying, and operating containerized applications.

"Taking the next step by disaggregating software from hardware and deploying software-based CCAP services is an opportunity for operators to embrace DevOps and to improve speed to market for new services," saidSean Welch, vice president and general manager, Cable Access Business Unit, Cisco."Cisco is uniquely positioned to help operators make the entire network transition to IP and cloud as seamless, secure, and automated as possible."

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/routers/cloud-native-broadband-router/index.html

BT launches SD-WAN managed services with Cisco

BT announced the global launch of a new Connect Cisco SD-WAN service, which is offered globally as a managed service, provides customers with a clear view of data flows across their WAN, allowing them to optimise traffic to suit business needs

BT said its orchestration capabilities allow it to correlate data from across a customer’s hybrid network, providing a complete picture of incidents and causes to manage day-to-day network operations effectively.

BT said the launch deepens its strategic partnership with Cisco. Recently, BT announced plans to add two other Cisco-based solutions to its portfolio: a customer premises equipment virtualisation solution managed by BT (BT Connect Edge) and a network automation and orchestration software platform integrating BT and Cisco technology (BT Connect Services Platform).

Keith Langridge, vice president of network services at BT, said: “Over 90 per cent of BT’s global WAN customers use Cisco technology and the vast majority ask us to manage it. Today’s announcement gives them a choice of physical or virtualised Cisco SD-WAN portfolio delivered as managed services backed by our excellent security credentials.

FCC authorizes O3b's fleet of Medium Earth Orbit Satellites

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorized SES to serve the U.S. market using a significantly expanded O3b fleet in the Medium Earth Orbit (MEO).

“This important FCC grant provides SES with the means to grow and scale our network, connecting the planet and delivering world-class solutions to our customers globally,” said Steve Collar, President and CEO of SES. “With the first 7 O3b mPOWER satellites, we will deliver a paradigm shift in performance, bandwidth and service. The FCC grant provides the platform to exponentially scale the network in response to surging demand for global data connectivity.”

Some highlights:

  • opens significant additional frequencies to SES for use in its non-geostationary (NGSO) constellation and 
  • enables SES to deploy O3b mPOWER satellites into inclined and equatorial orbits, delivering full global pole-to-pole coverage. 
  • a total of 26 new O3b satellites are authorized, in addition to the 16 satellites already operational and in orbit. 
  • allows SES to add 4 satellites to its existing O3b constellation, which are scheduled for launch next year
  • provides the framework for SES to triple its next-generation O3b mPOWER fleet by giving U.S. market access for another 22 super-powered satellites, of which 7 are currently under construction and scheduled for launch starting in 2021.

Soyuz rocket carries four O3b MEO satellites to orbit

A Soyuz rocket launched by Arianespace from the Guiana Space Center successfully carried four O3b satellites into Medium Earth Orbit (MEO).

The new Ka-band satellites will join SES’s existing constellation of 12 MEO satellites, orbiting at approximately 8,000 km from Earth – four times closer to the planet than geostationary (GEO) satellites. Thales Alenia Space built the satellites.

“We are very excited to have four more O3b satellites in orbit, and we look forward to them joining the constellation in May and serving our customers around the globe. The demand for high performance bandwidth and networks continues to grow and, as the only successful non-geostationary broadband system, we need these new satellites to fulfil demand across a wide range of verticals and applications. From connecting underserved communities and meaningfully transforming lives through improved broadband access, to delivering state of the art satellite-enabled network services to ships, planes and government platforms, our O3b fleet offers unique and differentiated performance and is driving our customers’ businesses forward,” stated Steve Collar, CEO at SES Networks. Another four O3b satellites are scheduled to launch in H1 2019, also on Soyuz rockets.

John Stratton to step down as president of Verizon's global operations

John Stratton, Executive Vice President and President of Global Operations, will retire from Verizon by the end of 2018. Effective immediately, Stratton will step down from his current role and will support a smooth transition as a strategic advisor reporting to Lowell McAdam.

Verizon noted that Stratton, 57, has served the company and its predecessor, Bell Atlantic Mobile, for more than 25 years, holding a number of executive level positions. Since his appointment to EVP and President of Global Operations in 2015, Stratton has led and grown the company’s established businesses, including Verizon Wireless, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Verizon Consumer Markets, Verizon Business Markets, Verizon Partner Solutions and Verizon Connect (telematics).


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