Monday, October 7, 2019

Verizon tests optical sensing with NEC

Verizon conducted a proof-of-concept test to assess whether fiber optic cables laid in the ground can serve as distributed optical sensors to collect information on city traffic patterns, road conditions, road capacity, and vehicle classification information.

The trial used new optical sensor technology developed by NEC with software underpinned by artificial intelligence (AI) for intelligent traffic monitoring including the measurement of vehicle density, direction, speed, acceleration, deceleration, and more. The trial used fiber already deployed in the ground.

The fiber sensing system coexisted with existing Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) communication channels on the same fiber with minimal impact to data communication capacity. The distributed multi-parameter sensor system evaluated various properties of back-scattering light, which can be used to derive the static strain, dynamic strain, acoustics, vibrations and temperatures for each fiber segment. This allows users to identify detected signatures and to translate those back-scattering signals into actionable information over a wide range of area previously unattainable by conventional sensors. With this unique technology provided by NEC, Verizon is able to use existing telecom networks, which were not built for sensing purposes, to generate valuable new data and to automatically analyze various environments.

“This test marks an important milestone for technology that could provide a huge leap forward for those building smart cities and those tasked to manage them,” said Adam Koeppe, Senior Vice President of Technology Planning and Development with Verizon. “Instead of ripping up tarmac to place road and traffic-sensing technology, cities will be able to simply piggyback Verizon’s existing fiber optic network.”

Results from this trial were reported jointly at OFC 2019 by Verizon and NEC (download PDF at https://www.osapublishing.org/abstract.cfm?uri=OFC-2019-Th4C.7).

“NEC has a strong history of leadership in the area of optical fiber technology. The results obtained from this joint research program with Verizon are a great advancement for smart city business opportunities, especially for safer city solutions such as the conservation of roads and the utilization of traffic information. We are confident that these cutting-edge solutions will provide meaningful new value for optical fiber networks,” said Atsuo Kawamura, Executive Vice President of NEC.

https://www.verizon.com/about/news/verizon-and-nec-just-made-fiber-sensing-whole-lot-easier

Vodafone kicks off OpenRAN trials

Vodafone Group has initiated trials of OpenRAN in the UK and may extend to more of its markets on the continent.

Vodafone has also initiated OpenRAN trials in the DRC and Mozambique – which have largely rural communities and are near the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index – to make mobile calls and to access data.  The trial sites across the three countries will provide 2G, 3G and 4G services, with 5G possible over OpenRAN in the future.

Vodafone has already undertaken lab trials of OpenRAN with Vodacom South Africa, and in Turkey has deployed the technology to deliver 2G and 4G services to customers in both urban and rural parts of the country.

Vodafone is working with a number of new vendors supplying OpenRAN technology including US companies, Parallel Wireless and Mavenir, and UK-based Lime Microsystems for Open CrowdCell.

Nick Read, CEO, Vodafone Group said: “We are pleased with trials of OpenRAN and are ready to fast track it into Europe as we seek to actively expand our vendor ecosystem. OpenRAN improves the network economics enabling us to reach more people in rural communities and that supports our goal to build digital societies in which no-one is left behind.”

MEF and ONUG team up on Next Gen SD-WAN

MEF and ONUG are now collaborating to advance SD-WAN.

Specifically, MEF will leverage ONUG’s hybrid multi-cloud enterprise end user requirements to accelerate development of MEF 3.0 SD-WAN managed services standards and related certification programs for services, technologies, and professionals.

ONUG’s SD-WAN 2.0 Working Group is focused on addressing specific challenges in integrating SD-WAN connectivity into enterprise hybrid multi-cloud environments. As part of its work, the working group developed an impressive reference architecture to define use case requirements for typical deployment scenarios, including multiple cloud provider connections, application performance assurance, scaling, security policy enforcement, hybrid environment security integration, and multi-domain connectivity orchestration.

As part of this collaboration, ONUG’s enterprise use case requirements will directly influence MEF’s ongoing SD-WAN projects so that the appropriate service specifications and certifications can be further matured. ONUG and MEF will collaborate on the joint definition of common service models and APIs for automating SD-WAN services, with initial areas of focus including:

  • ONUG SD-WAN 1.0 service models and API specifications
  • ONUG SD-WAN 2.0 multi-cloud integration use cases

Application security for SD-WANs

  • Intent-based networking and service automation for SD-WANs

MEF’s recently published SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services (MEF 70) standard describes requirements for an application-aware, over-the-top WAN connectivity service that uses policies to determine how application flows are directed over multiple underlay networks irrespective of the underlay technologies or service providers who deliver them.

“ONUG is playing a vital role in determining the requirements for key enterprise SD-WAN use cases. This is a major step in ensuring that enterprise end users are provided with the services needed to enable digital transformation in the hybrid multi-cloud era,” said Nan Chen, President, MEF. “Together, our communities can create a lasting impact in the industry and shape how innovative software-defined WAN services are developed, designed, and delivered.”

“ONUG is eager to help define MEF 3.0 SD-WAN managed services standards by ensuring that they address the critical enterprise requirements of the Global 2000 on their journey to hybrid multi-cloud adoption,” said Nick Lippis, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, ONUG. “ONUG looks forward to seeing these new standards reflected in the development of future SD-WAN reference solutions and proof-of-concept demonstrations for the benefit of the entire ONUG Community.”


Zain activates 5G on 2,000 towers across 20 Saudi cities

by James E. Carroll

Zain Group activated commercial 5G services in Saudi Arabia.

The first phase of the rollout covers a network of 2,000 towers in more than 20 cities in the Kingdom. Zain aims to cover a total of 26 Saudi cities utilizing 2,600 towers by the end of 2019.

Zain describes the launch as the largest 5G network deployment in the region to date. The carrier already has 5G operational in Kuwait.

Commenting on this significant milestone, Zain Vice Chairman & Group CEO, & Zain KSA Vice Chairman, Bader Al Kharafi said, “5G will bring substantial change for the Kingdom’s telecom industry, creating new business models and unlocking opportunities for many sectors such as financial, ICT, agricultural, tourism, entertainment, automotive, health, education and public sectors, to name a few. The technology is also expected to contribute significantly to the country’s economy, creating thousands of new jobs.”

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 te

Seaborn partners with EdgeUno for managed cloud services

Seaborn Networks, the independent developer/owner/operator of submarine cable systems between the U.S. and Brazil, has partnered with EdgeUno to launch Latin American managed cloud and datacenter services.

Seaborn launched IP and SD-WAN networks in Brazil in the past few months and, in partnership with EdgeUno as its managed cloud service provider. The two companies have deployed unique virtualized cloud infrastructure technology to provide clients with both physical and virtual infrastructure as a service – not just in Brazil, but throughout the region.

“We live in a results-first world where a product list is no longer of interest to customers. They need customized solutions, and each customer’s needs in this space are very specific,” says Seaborn’s COO Andy Bax. “Seaborn has built a reputation for delivering creative, customer-centric solutions; and our partnership with EdgeUno integrates our capacity/IP solutions into the bare-metal and cloud computing markets with a level of coverage customers can’t find elsewhere.”

“These are the types of partnerships we dreamed of when we first started,” says EdgeUno CEO Mehmet Akcin. “Our goal has always been to offer users in Latin America the most seamless internet experience possible, and now, thanks to Seaborn, we have more options than ever to help make that happen.”

Deutsche Telekom boosts 734,000 lines to 250 Mbps

Over the last four weeks, Deutsche Telekom has been increasing connection speeds to up to 250 Mbps for 734,000 million lines across Germany.

The number of lines with speeds of 250 Mbps has grown to its current total of nearly 25 million.

Using other technologies, Deutsche Telekom has sped up lines of a further 24,000 households to up to 100 Mbps. The total number of households who can use a rate with up to 100 Mbps or more climbed on more than 30 million.

du integrates Cisco Viptela SD-WAN

UAE-based du has integrated the Cisco Viptela SD-WAN platform into its telco cloud and will now offer SD-WAN service.

du says that by structuring their network, applications, and cloud under a single management interface, clients can now experience an end-to-end unified cloud solution that provides complete application visibility and total control of their enterprise networks.

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