Thursday, June 27, 2019

Linux Foundation & GSMA seek common NFVi framework

The Linux Foundation and the GSMA will collaborate on a common industry framework for NFVi.

The Common NFVi Telco Taskforce (CNTT), which will be hosted by the GSMA and created with input from the Linux Foundation, will operate as an open committee responsible for creating and documenting a Common NFVi Framework. CNTT will work with global service providers to define and create VNF reference architectures for NFVi (consisting of a global NFVi reference model, reference architecture, and global VNF certification lifecycle). The common NFVi reference architectures will be submitted to LFN for testing and verification via the OPNFV Verification Program (OVP). Open source, SDN/NFV/VNFs, and network automation have become de facto building blocks as the industry moves towards 5G.

The first meeting will be July 23-25 in Paris.

“Operators are undergoing a period of significant digital transformation by migrating their networks from a physical to a virtualized or cloud environment. However, this is a challenging and time-consuming process involving integrating multiple different vendors into a common infrastructure,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “By following a common approach and framework, operators will vastly reduce the time and costs associated with integration and accelerate adoption and deployment.”

“We are pleased to collaborate with the GSMA to simplify NFVi efforts across the industry,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Automation, Edge & IoT, the Linux Foundation. “CNTT is a key enabler for our OVP program that brings NFVi, ONAP, VNFs, and OPNFV initiatives together, helping accelerate deployments.”

Verizon offers Zoom Unified Comms Platform to business customers

Verizon is now offering Zoom’s video-first unified communications platform as a cloud service to all of its global business partners.

All Verizon customers will have access to over 50 countries using either Call-In Toll/Toll Free or Call-me numbers. In addition, users may join Zoom meetings from a Verizon Wireless phone or Verizon VoIP, or just the audio portion of a Zoom meeting via Verizon VoIP, for no additional charge. With Verizon managing the service, customers can use Zoom without the need of dedicated staff or time to look after it themselves. Verizon’s experts will also be available for training, user adoption and any technical support.

“Businesses around the world are growing increasingly dependent on tools and solutions that are agile, intuitive and reliable. Ease-of-use and performance are critical qualities of video collaboration; encouraging employee engagement and driving greater productivity across the enterprise.  Our mission is to offer each and every business the solutions suite that helps ensure these results,” comments Shawn Hakl, SVP Business Products for Verizon. “The addition of Zoom to our collaboration partner portfolio enables our business customers get access to technology that hits both marks – ease of use and performance.”

“This agreement with Verizon is the epitome of our strategy to work with the top global service providers to extend the reach of Zoom around the world. It will allow Verizon customers from SMB to enterprise to enjoy our reliable and innovative video communications platform on Verizon’s best-in-class network,” said Eric S. Yuan, chief executive officer of Zoom.

Sparkle to build new ULH photonic backbone with Infinera

Sparkle, the first international service provider in Italy and among the top 10 global operators, announced plans for a new ultra-long-haul photonic backbone connecting Sicily with major points of presence and data centers in Europe.

Infinera confirmed that its XT-3600 platform will power Sparkle's new "Nibble" network.

Nibble is expected to provide market-leading speeds and low-latency, high-performance, scalable, and guaranteed connectivity services between top European locations. Infinera's XT-3600 enables Sparkle to deliver 100 Gigabit Ethernet cloud-scale services in a compact form factor while automating service activation through Instant Bandwidth.



Sparkle said its new backbone will implement a "Software-defined Bandwidth" model using capacity License to disaggregate the underlying hardware installation from the capacity activation.

Nibble's ultra-performant photonic layer will progressively be integrated with its existing Mediterranean and Balkans networks and with BlueMed, the new multifiber submarine cable linking Palermo and Milan via Genoa, creating a seamless Pan Mediterranean Optical Transport Network.

The first link - planned to go live in summer 2019 - will connect Sparkle’s Sicily Hub in Palermo with Milan Caldera open datacenter; Nibble construction is planned to continue in several phases until the end of 2020 to fully deploy the entire Italian and European footprint and to integrate with the Mediterranean and Balkans networks.

“Sparkle confirms its strong leadership in the European telecom market with a solution that ensures top quality and efficiency standards,” said Mario Di Mauro, Sparkle’s Chief Executive Officer. “The Gigabit Society is demanding faster and more sophisticated capacity services and with the Infinera Instant Network solution we can expand our geographical footprint and satisfy customers’ needs at light speed, investing only in the capacity we need to deploy, where and when we need it.”

“We are pleased to partner with Sparkle, providing Infinite Network solutions that help Sparkle win in its market,” said Bob Jandro, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales at Infinera. “As bandwidth demands continue to grow, operators seek solutions that can scale capacity and simplify operations. The Infinera XT-3600 is yet another example of how Infinera is transforming transport networks to cloud scale.”

https://www.tisparkle.com/PR_NibbleAnnouncement
http://www.infinera.com

Sparkle announces BlueMed subsea cable - up to 240 Tbps

Sparkle announced plans for a massive subsea cable along the west coast of Italy, linking Genoa and Palermo.

BlueMed will be a multi-fiber cable spanning 1,000 kilometers and with a design capacity of 240 Tbps. It will cross the Tyrrhenian Sea connecting Sparkle’s Sicily Hub open data center in Palermo, which serves eighteen international cables, with Genoa’s new open landing station, directly connected to Milan’s rich digital ecosystem. BlueMed will also include multiple branches within the Tyrrhenian Sea and is set to support further extensions southbound of Sicily.

With a capacity up to 240 Tbps and about 1,000 km long, BlueMed will provide advanced connectivity between Middle East, Africa, Asia and the European mainland hubs with up to 50% latency reduction than existing terrestrial cables connecting Sicily with Milan.

BlueMed is expected to enter service in 2020.

Sparkle also noted that its new open landing station in Genoa is set to become the alternative priority access for other upcoming submarine cables to Europe.

Axians UK to deliver NFV services using ADVA Ensemble

Axians UK, which provides ICT services to private-sector companies, public-sector entities, operators and service providers, has selected the ADVA Ensemble software suite to deliver network functions virtualization (NFV) services to its customers. Specifically, Axians UK is leveraging ADVA Ensemble software as part of an open managed hosting service that will support standard applications such as software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and firewalls, as well as any other network functions or customer applications.

The Axians UK managed hosting service uses key elements of the Ensemble suite, including Ensemble Connector deployed at the customer site to provide advanced networking at Layer 2 and 3, including LTE access and Carrier Ethernet 2.0 functionality. Ensemble Connector also features zero-touch provisioning for ultimate simplicity and scale.

With the open and vendor-neutral Ensemble platform, Axians UK’s customers can mix and match their choice of hardware and software components. The service also offers access to a library of VNFs, including some of the most popular SD-WAN, firewall and WAN optimization products.

“The cloud is driving technology innovation for networking, and this means openness and choice. By harnessing our Ensemble software, Axians UK is offering businesses and CSPs a way to achieve the efficiency and flexibility benefits of NFV with only minimal investment and virtually zero risk,” commented James Buchanan, GM, Edge Cloud, ADVA.

“With this solution, we’re empowering our customers with a hosting platform that enables them to dynamically select and manage VNFs. No longer will they have to replace hardware at multiple sites when they change IT or network applications. Now they can access the Axians customer portal to control the customer-located managed hosting platform. This is especially important for our customers with an international footprint, especially the Tier 2 and 3 CSPs, financial institutions, logistics and retail verticals,” said Russell Crampin, managing director, Axians UK. “As a part of this offering we’ll start with at least two qualified suppliers for SD-WAN, two for firewall and two for the hosting servers, and grow all of those later. ADVA’s Ensemble technology perfectly supports our vision of customer choice.”

https://www.advaoptical.com

Fungible raises $200 million for Data Processing Units (DPUs)

Fungible, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, closed $200 million in Series C financing for its efforts to create an entirely new category of programmable processor.

The Fungible Data Processing Unit (DPU) aims to deliver an order of magnitude improvement in the execution of data-centric workloads. The company sees its DPU as a fundamental building block for next-generation data centers.

Fungible has not yet announced its first products. In previous blog posts, Fungible has talked about Composable Disaggregated Infrastructure (DCI), where compute and storage resources are stored in separate servers and interconnected by a very high bandwidth, reliable and low-latency IP over Ethernet (IPoE) network fabric.

Fungible was founded by Pradeep Sindhu and Bertrand Serlet. Sindhu previously founded Juniper Networks, held roles as CEO and CTO, and is now chief scientist. Serlet previously founded a storage startup and before that was senior vice president of software engineering at Apple.

The latest funding was led by the SoftBank Vision Fund with participation from Norwest Venture Partners and existing investors, including Battery Ventures, Mayfield Fund, Redline Capital and Walden Riverwood Ventures. Fungible has raised $300 million to date.

https://www.fungible.com

Nokia wins 5G contract with Zain Saudi Arabia

Nokia announced a three-year deal with Zain Saudi Arabia to supply thousands of 5G sites across the country. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal introduces 5G using 2.6 GHz and 3.5 GHz, along with massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (mMIMO) to deliver enhanced network capacity, coverage, and improved downlink and uplink speeds. In addition, the deal will introduce E-Band microwave in certain areas to allow for ultra-high-capacity backhaul networks.


  • Overview of the solution for the 5G deployment:
  • Nokia AirScale radio platform 
  • Nokia 5G Anyhaul: Nokia Wavence's E-band microwave radio with multi-frequency carrier aggregation will support multi-gigabit capacities and low-latency microwave transport
  • Nokia NetGuard Security Management solution to ensure a highly secure 5G network
  • Nokia Services: Full turnkey services including covering network planning, integration, implementation, project management, logistics and technical support


Nokia said it currently has 43 commercial 5G deals with operators around the world and is involved in more than 100 5G-related customer engagements.

Amr K. El Leithy, head of the Middle East and Africa market at Nokia, said:  "This contract, which includes 5G RAN, backhaul, security and services, demonstrates the breadth of our full-portfolio strengths and depth of global expertise in deploying these next-generation projects."

Zain now serves 50 million customers in Middle East & Africa



Zain Group, which delivers mobile services in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, reached the 50 million customer milestone as of the end of Q1 2019, reflecting a 6% increase year-on-year (Y-o-Y). Zain Group generated consolidated revenues of KD 404 million (USD 1.33 billion) for the first quarter of 2019, up 56% compared to the same period in 2018. EBITDA for the quarter reached KD 178 million (USD 586 million), up 111% Y-o-Y, reflecting...


Zain tests massive MIMO on TD-LTE using 2.6 GHz with Nokia



Zain KSA is testing a massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) pilot in the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on its TD-LTE network using 2.6 GHz spectrum. The pilot uses Nokia's 5G-ready AirScale massive MIMO antenna for 4.9G calls to improve network capacity to provide speeds of above 700 Mbps per user. Massive MIMO uses 64-Transmit-64-Receive (64T64R), which allows gigabit-level throughput. Nokia said its 5G-ready AirScale massive MIMO antenna...


Zain Saudi Arabia tests NB-IoT



Zain Saudi Arabia is testing NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) technology at a live site in Mina area of Makkah Province. Nokia is the technology partner. The trial focuses on smart metering. NB-IoT is used to communicate temperature, humidity and air pressure from a remote location via a Nokia Flexi Multiradio 10 LTE base station at 900 MHz. NB-IoT is a 3GPP Release 13 radio access technology designed to enable connectivity to IoT device...


Kuwait-based Zain Group positions for digital transformation



Kuwait-based Zain Group, which now has operations in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, has just raised $846 million in cash by selling a 9.8% equity stake to neighboring Omantel. The all-cash deal adds a measure of liquidity to Zain Group, which is aiming to transform itself into a digital service provider as it prepares for 5G and other advanced infrastructure. Zain Group, which was established in 1983 as Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications...


Zain Saudi Arabia upgrades LTE network using Nokia centralised RAN technology



Nokia and Zain Saudi Arabia, which recently announced the deployment of Nokia's multi-access edge computing (MEC) platform in Mecca, have enhanced network upload speeds at Jeddah's King Abdullah Sports stadium by a claimed up to 50% utilising Nokia centralised RAN technology.The centralised RAN deployment is designed to improve uplink connectivity and quality of experience for attendees at football matches and other events held at the venue, known...


Zain Saudi Arabia deploys Nokia MEC in Mecca



Nokia announced that Zain Saudi Arabia has deployed its multi-access edge computing (MEC) platform to support the delivery of smart applications to subscribers around Mecca and help provide improved mobile experience during the Umrah and Hajj pilgrimage.Nokia stated that following a successful trial during the last Hajj, Nokia and Zain have deployed the Nokia MEC platform, combined with Edge Video Orchestration capability, in the network using both...


China Telecom completes 5G SA data call with Ericsson/MediaTek

China Telecom completed its first 5G Standalone (SA) end-to-end data call on its 5G trial network in Hangzhou using a commercial chipset-based terminal from MediaTek. Ericsson provided 5G commercial base stations, its newly launched Standalone NR software, and a 5G cloud core solution.

Ericsson’s 5G base station comprises Baseband 6630 and AIR 6488, which are deployed in commercial 5G networks across the world and can support both Non-Standalone (NSA) and SA deployment. Ericsson’s 5G Core will also help to accelerate 5G commercialization and enable fresh use cases in new segments.

In addition to supporting enhanced mobile broadband services, 5G SA also enables Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC) use cases such as autonomous driving, smart manufacturing and remote surgery. Standalone 5G also supports a new range of IoT services with technologies such as network slicing and edge computing. 5G SA has been planned as the 5G target deployment architecture by major service providers in the world.

In April 2019, Ericsson and MediaTek performed an interoperability development test in a lab in Ottawa, Canada, resulting in a groundbreaking 5G standalone end-to-end call on the 2.6GHz band based on 3GPP’s 5G December 2018 specifications. The successful field trial this week with China Telecom in Hangzhou was completed using a 3.5GHz spectrum, also based on 3GPP 2018 December specifications.

NTT Com builds mega data center in Indonesia

NTT Communications will develop a new data center campus at Bekasi, Indonesia.

The new campus will be known as “Indonesia Jakarta 3 Data Center” (JKT3) and is capable of up to 18,000 sqm (7,800 racks) IT space and 45MW IT load once fully developed. The four-story building will be in a large industrial area located 30km east of central Jakarta. Since JKT3 enables customers to customize its server room as well as providing colocation space by the rack, JKT3 will meet various customer’s requirements, in particular, from OTTs and financial institutions who require flexible facility design.

The project is described as the largest data center in Indonesia.

Vodafone Spain deploys Ericsson 5G in Galicia and Asturias

Vodafone Spain has Ericsson's 5G kit in the cities of La Coruña and Vigo, in the Galicia region, and Gijón, in the Asturias region.

The network operates in the 3.7 GHz band.

Arun Bansal, President and Head of Europe & Latin America, Ericsson, says: “We continue to drive 5G in Europe alongside partners like Vodafone in Spain. We will continue to work closely with Vodafone to enable 5G Roaming across the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy in the coming weeks.”

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2019/6/ericsson-and-vodafone---5g-live-in-spain

Vodafone Spain launches 5G in 15 cities with Huawei

Vodafone España lauched commercial 5G service in 15 cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Málaga, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Vitoria, San Sebastián, La Coruña, Vigo, Gijón, Pamplona, Logroño y Santander. This is the first commercial 5G launch in Spain.

Huawei has been a strategic network supplier to Vodafone since at least 2009. In 2014, Huawei was selected to will supply products and services for Vodafone radio access networks in 15 countries including the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, DRC and Ghana. The deployments use Huawei's SingleRAN solutions and beam-forming Active Antenna System.

For its 5G rollout, Vodafone España is using 90 MHz of contiguous spectrum in the 3.7 GHz band.

A premium 5G service tier is priced at EUR50 per month for unlimited data at the maximum rate available to the smartphone.

5G smartphones on offer include the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, LG V50 ThinQ 5G, and the Xiaomi Mi MIX3 5G.

In May, Vodafone completed the first international 5G roaming call between Spain and Portugal.

5G roaming to Germany, Italy, and the UK will be available later this summer.

Vodafone is also announcing an exclusive partnership with Hatch, a cloud gaming platform optimized for 5G.

As of June 2019, Huawei says it has secured 46 commercial 5G contracts and shipped over 100,000 5G base stations.

See also