Wednesday, January 8, 2020

ONF marks first deployment of Open Source Mobile Evolved Packet Core

by Benedict Chua, Assistant Editor

T-Mobile (Poland) has deployed ONF’s Open Mobile Evolved Core (OMEC) open source platform in its production network. Specifically, T-Mobile Poland is using OMEC’s gateway control, user plane and billing components to deliver a Fixed Mobile Substitution (FMS) service to its customers. The OMEC components provide all the necessary features and standard 3GPP interfaces for interconnecting to T-Mobile’s existing base stations, mobility management entities and lawful intercept platforms.

The ONF launched OMEC in 2019, making available the first production-grade, disaggregated, control-user plane separated (CUPS), 3GPP-compliant open source mobile core solution that can run on containers, virtual machines or bare metal. It provides a cornerstone for the ONF‘s COMAC (Converged Multi-Access and Core) project, developed to bring convergence to operators’ mobile and broadband access and core networks. It is based on and paired with COMAC Reference Design, which is now available for ONF Member review and feedback.

T-Mobile’s OMEC deployment highlights:

  • Complete connectivity, billing and charging capabilities
  • 3GPP Release 13 compatibility
  • Supports a large number of subscribers with a high-performance DPDK based dataplane
  • Optimized for lightweight cost-effective fixed-mobile substitution service deployments

“Our OMEC deployment provides us with a lightweight packet core providing connectivity, billing and charging at scale for a large number of fixed mobile subscribers. By taking the bold step of embracing open source as part of a new approach for building and deploying solutions, we are realizing a much lower total cost of ownership, rapid customizability, and greater transparency than we can achieve using any traditional EPC,” said Michal Sewera, head of the EPC Shared Service Center at T-Mobile Poland.

ONF said T-Mobile’s deployment demonstrates how operators and supply chain vendors who are willing to embrace open source can deploy solutions with disruptive value propositions in record time. T-Mobile Poland’s pioneering project demonstrates the tremendous value of taking an open source approach to transforming networks and paves a path for other operators to follow.

“T-Mobile Poland, supported by Deutsche Telekom as a partner of the ONF, has been at the leading edge of developing, testing, and now deploying OMEC into a production network,” said Oguz Sunay , Chief Architect for Mobile, ONF. “This successful implementation demonstrates the power of community, the maturity of open source in the telco space, and the production worthiness of OMEC.”

https://www.opennetworking.org/news-and-events/press-releases/t-mobile-poland-achieves-production-roll-out-of-omec-onfs-open-source-mobile-evolved-packet-core/

ONF begins Open Evolved Mobile Core Project

ONF is also launching an Open Mobile Evolved Core (OMEC) project, leveraging its earlier work for its Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD) initiative, and serving as an ‘upstream project’ to the newly launched COMAC project.

The OMEC project, which is being developed in collaboration with Sprint, is built using an NFV (Network Function Virtualization) architecture that is optimized for Intel platforms and tested for scale. OMEC is compliant with the 3GPP architecture, includes the following EPC and Charging components:

  • SGW-C, PGW-C (Includes embedded PCEF), SGW-U, PGW-U, MME, HSS, HSS Database, Diameter Capability, PCRF, Forwarding Policy Control SDN Controller, CTF, CDF, SGX Billing Router
  • Operational tools, including CLI, Logging and Statistics Interface APIs to VNFs
  • DPDK based traffic generator for testing S1u and Sgi user planes
  • CI/CD tools for deployment automation for bringing up core network VNFs, associated networking, package installation, provisioning, and configuration.

Verizon highlights network achievements in 2019

In 2020, Verizon will continue to build its 5G network focusing on providing a differentiated experience in public spaces, continue to advance 4G LTE and fiber networks, expand its Mobile Edge Compute technology to usher in an era of extremely low-latency applications for businesses and consumers, and ensure strong ecosystems around all of these technologies and networks to speed new services and capabilities to market.

In a press statement, Verizon outlined key achievements in network technology for 2019, including:

  • Verizon the first in the world to launch a commercial 5G mobile network with a commercially available 5G-enabled smartphone. In early April, Verizon activated its 5G Ultra Wideband mobility network in Chicago and Minneapolis and 5G is now live in 31 Cities.
  • Verizon was first to market in the US with the new Samsung Galaxy S10 5G on the Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband network
  • Verizon launched 5G in 16 NFL stadiums and four indoor basketball arenas
  • Verizon offered seven 5G devices including the first ever 5G mobile hotspot, the business-ready Inseego 5G MiFi M1000 – the most devices available on a 5G network.
  • Verizon sponsored a number or 5G Challenges – providing either financial support or opening one of its Labs to help companies in a variety of different industries to develop 5G solutions they believe will upend their corners of the world and transform the way people live, work, and play.
  • In addition to its 5G lab in New York City, Verizon built additional 5G innovation hubs in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Washington, DC, and Cambridge.
  • Verizon opened the world’s first 5G production studio at RYOT in Los Angeles to create content for immersive entertainment 
  • Verizon teamed up with Sony and NBC to show how Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband, Sony’s transmitter box and 5G device can support live sports broadcasts.
  • Verizon announced a collaboration with Corning to create the factory of the future with 5G
  • Verizon lit up the first 5G Shipyard in Newport News
  • Verizon launched the world’s first Multi-Access Edge Compute (MEC) platform to the developer community, helping accelerate the creation of applications that can fully utilize the speed and low latency that 5G UWB promises.
  • Verizon is partnering with AWS Wavelength to provide developers the ability to deploy applications that require ultra-low latency to mobile devices using 5G. Its first MEC market is Chicago.
  • Verizon continues to virtualize its network to enable faster deployment of new services and technology.
  • Verizon claims to be first in the world to launch cloud native container-based tech on a wireless network.
  • Verizon launched its NB-IoT network
  • Verizon activated CBRS shared spectrum, a unique solution providing greater speeds and capacity for customers, especially in densely populated areas and venues.
  • Verizon demonstrated the customer benefits stemming from a bonded ONT on its fiber network, delivering up to 34 Gbps to a customer’s location.
  • Verizon demonstrated applications in traffic and infrastructure management and public safety stemming from technological advancements in fiber sensing.
  • Verizon built a fiber-based video distribution network connecting the NBA’s 29 arenas.


https://www.verizon.com/about/news/verizons-vision-2020-network-technology

Falco's runtime security accepted by Cloud Native Computing Foundation

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation has accepted Falco, the open source cloud-native runtime security project originally created by Sysdig, as a CNCF incubation-level hosted project.

Falco entered the CNCF as a Sandbox Project in October 2018, the first and still the only runtime security technology to join. In the event of unexpected behavior at runtime, Falco detects and alerts, reducing the risk of a security incident.

Falco’s accomplishments since joining the CNCF

  • 100 percent increase in commits year-over-year
  • 64 committers
  • More than 2,000 GitHub stars
  • 55 contributors, including engineers from Frame.io, Shopify, Snap, and Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Adoption of a governance model that sets guidelines and standards for both contributors and maintainers was implemented during the last year. 
  • Falco was also made available in the Google marketplace and included in the launch of several major cloud projects, including AWS Firelens and Google Anthos. 
  • The Falco community created an operator that is available in the OperatorHub.io.

“It is great to see Falco advance within the CNCF to the incubating stage. As cloud-native technologies and our ecosystem matures, focus rightly shifts towards security. Falco fills a key gap in the cloud-native security landscape around intrusion detection. Combined with other projects and technologies on the prevention side, we have a comprehensive open source toolkit to enable an enhanced security posture for those investing in cloud native,” said Joe Beda, Principal Engineer at VMware and CNCF TOC Member.

GSMA examines consumer 5G upgrade plans

The arrival of 5G will not guarantee a surge in device upgrades, according to new GSMA Intelligence research.

The newly-released Future of Devices report found that smartphone ownership among adults in most high- and middle-income countries is at 85-95 percent. However, only 30-40 percent of survey respondents in significant markets such as the US, Europe and Australia said the arrival of 5G is likely to result in a smartphone upgrade in the short term. By contrast, markets such as China and South Korea will be early adopters; nearly 50 percent of Chinese consumers say they will buy a 5G phone as soon as they are available.

“The device ecosystem will be critical in shaping the trajectory of 5G adoption,” said Peter Jarich, Head of GSMA Intelligence. “However, it’s a mistake to believe that consumers in every market will look at 5G upgrades in the same way. Operators and device manufacturers will need to understand consumer demand on a granular level if they hope to make the most of the 5G opportunity.”

The report is based on GSMA Intelligence’s 2019 Consumer Survey, which surveyed 38,000 respondents across 36 key markets, using a blend of online and face-to-face sampling methodologies.
 

NTT DOCOMO and MobiledgeX to conduct MEC demo

NTT DOCOMO and MobiledgeX will jointly conduct a proof of concept (PoC) in Tokyo on January 22–24 to verify a solution that leverages multi-access edge computing (MEC) for the worldwide distribution of applications.

In the PoC, a “markerless” augmented-reality (AR) application based on the Edge Realities platform offered by 1000 realities, a Poland-based software studio, will be distributed to the MEC platform, DOCOMO Open Innovation Cloud, connected to 5G and LTE networks operated by DOCOMO in Japan. Edge Realities uses space-recognition technology to superimpose AR content on real objects and large spaces without using place markers. Thanks to outsourcing all computation to the MEC platform and its low-latency network, Edge Realities will be fully hardware agnostic and useable on hardware that does not have native AR capabilities. The MEC platform will enable the content to be positioned in space and displayed, without any time lag. Tanseisha Co., Ltd. and DOCOMO Innovations, Inc. will support the PoC. The event will take place in the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition complex in Tokyo.

MobiledgeX’s solution offers a developer portal site for distributing applications to MEC infrastructure, such as servers and storage systems, located on the edges of mobile operator networks that are close to customers in markets overseas.

DOCOMO and MobiledgeX aim to collaborate on a range of 5G solutions for the global market, which will be distributed in cooperation with partners in Japan and other countries.

https://mobiledgex.com/press-releases/2020/01/08/ntt-docomo-and-mobiledgex-demonstrate-worldwide-distribution-of-5g-applications-in-japan

AT&T updates 2020 targets

John Stephens, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of AT&T, provided the following updates at the Citi Global TMT West Conference this week.

  • For 2020, AT&T expects adjusted EPS in the $3.60 to $3.70 range, including HBO Max investment of $1.5 billion to $2 billion and significant share retirements.  
  • Gross capital investment in the $20 billion range, reflecting downward bias from fiber build completion and the company’s capital efficient one-touch wireless spectrum deployment.
  • AT&T is focused on exceeding the annual 6% to 8% reduction in network operational costs it has achieved in recent years. 
  • AT&T has begun several cost reduction initiatives as it targets an incremental 4% in cost reductions driven primarily by lower labor-related costs and corporate overhead. 
  • AT&T has already virtualized 71% of its network functions and expects to meet its goal of 75% by the end of 2020.
  • AT&T has retired about 140 million shares it issued for the Time Warner acquisition, including about 80 million shares so far in 2020 under its accelerated share repurchase (ASR) agreement. 
  • Q4 2019 revenues will reflect lower Warner Bros. theatrical revenues as compared to a strong fourth-quarter 2018 film slate.  
  • Fourth-quarter revenues are also expected to reflect U.S. wireless equipment sales revenue slightly lower than fourth quarter of 2018. 


https://about.att.com/story/2020/john_stephens_updates_shareholders.html

FCC to vote on $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

by Benedict Chua, Assistant Editor

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today presented his colleagues with final rules to launch the new $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.  The rules, which will be voted on by the Commission at its Open Meeting on January 30, would establish a two-phased process to provide funding for the deployment of high-speed broadband in areas of the United States where there is currently not fixed broadband service that meets the Commission’s minimum speed standard (25/3 Mbps).

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund would allocate $20.4 billion through a reverse-auction format. The Fund would target areas that lack access to 25/3 Mbps broadband services in two stages.  For Phase I, the FCC would target $16 billion to areas that are wholly unserved by such broadband (where there is no 25/3 Mbps service at all).  For Phase II, the FCC would use its new granular broadband mapping approach, called the Digital Opportunity Data Collection, to target unserved households in areas that are partially served by such broadband (areas where some households have access to such service but others do not).  Phase II would also include areas that do not receive winning bids in Phase I.

Commission staff’s initial estimate is that approximately six million model-determined locations would be eligible for bidding in Phase I of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.  This figure is subject to change for a variety of reasons, including updated data regarding broadband deployment and construction as well as any modifications made to Chairman Pai’s draft rules.

“While we’ve made substantial progress in expanding broadband deployment over the last three years, the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund would be the biggest step the FCC has taken to date to close the digital divide,” said Chairman Pai.  “This new fund would target rural areas across the country where residents currently lack access to adequate broadband and would deploy high-speed broadband to millions of rural Americans in an efficient and effective manner.  In particular, as suggested by many Members of Congress, to encourage support for broadband networks that will stand the test of time, we are taking new steps to prioritize the deployment of faster-speed service, including gigabit connections.”

https://www.fcc.gov/document/chairman-pai-tees-rural-digital-opportunity-fund-vote

Source Photonics appoints Weiming Li as CEO

Source Photonics announced the appointment of Weiming Li as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, replacing Doug Wright, who resigned from the company.

Prior to joining Source Photonics as a General Manager from 2007 to 2013, Li served as VP Operations and GM at Auxora Networks. He also held the positions of VP Manufacturing of Photop Group & GM of Photop Koncent, located in Fuzhou, China. In addition, he served as VP of Business Development at Oplink. Prior to these posts, Li held various positions in General Management, Technology Strategy, and Product Development in various fiber optic, industrial automation, and machinery industries in both the US and in China. Li holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Chong Qing University in China, and a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Systems Control from San Jose State University.

“Mr. Li is an experienced executive with extensive telecom industry experience and a diverse operational background,” said Jiang Run, a director for Source Photonics and a partner for the lead investor in the company. “He has also served as General Manager of Source Photonics China between 2007 to 2013. We are confident that Mr. Li will provide the leadership necessary to take the company to the next level of success.”

http://www.sourcephotonics.com

Four new NFC specifications released

The NFC Forum released four new specifications aimed at the robustness and communications speed for Near Field Communication (NFC) devices, like smartphones.

  • Digital Protocol Technical Specification Version 2.2: This specification addresses the digital protocol for NFC-enabled device communication, providing an implementation specification on top of the ISO/IEC 18092 and ISO/IEC 14443 standards. The new specification adds error recovery for Type 2 and Type 5 Tags communication. This update improves the user experience by ensuring reliable NFC communication in difficult environments where NFC communications might be disturbed.
  • Type 2 Tag to Type 5 Tag Technical Specifications Version 1.1: Type 2 Tag to Type 5 Tag Specification Version 1.1 defines NFC-enabled devices in Reader/Writer Mode and detects, reads and writes an NFC Data Exchange Format message on NFC Forum Tags. The specification was updated to support time-optimized implementations to improve the performance for reading NFC Forum tags in support of the new TNEP protocol.
  • Activity Technical Specification Version 2.1 and Profiles Technical Specification Version 1.0: These specifications were created from Activity 2.0 by splitting it into two specifications to ease in the future maintenance of these specifications. The Profiles section of Activity 2.0 is now described in the Profiles 1.0 Technical Specification. It adds a new Profile to discover all services eventually offered with different technologies. The specification explains how the NFC Digital Protocol Specification can be used to set up the communication protocol with another NFC device or NFC Forum tag.

“We are constantly improving on the global specifications to improve the overall user experience for NFC users. NFC Forum members take this responsibility very seriously as their decisions impact the majority of smartphone users and many businesses,” said Mike McCamon, executive director, NFC Forum. “The specifications we are announcing today enhance the quality of NFC communications and allow users to exchange more data, faster in support of the rapid increase we are seeing in the use of TNEP.”


Anana deploys Pluribus’ Netvisor ONE operating system

Anana Ltd. has deployed Pluribus’ Netvisor ONE operating system and Adaptive Cloud Fabric, along with Dell EMC Open Networking hardware, as part of a multi-site network modernization project.

Anana helps businesses to engage, communicate, respond and alert their customers across multiple channels, including phone, web, mobile, etc.

Pluribus said Anana selected its Linux-based Netvisor ONE network operating system, featuring the Adaptive Cloud Fabric running on Dell EMC Open Networking Switches, for its ability to create an SDN-controlled network fabric that federates together a large number of geographically distributed switches to appear as one logical switch, radically simplifying network operations. Pluribus’ controllerless architecture leverages the processing power inside the switches that are already deployed, distributing intelligence to every switch in the network.

Anana is also using Pluribus Insight Analytics, which leverages embedded Netvisor monitoring telemetry and packet flow data sources to enable pervasive visibility across the network, eliminating the need for expensive probes or complex monitoring overlay networks.

“With Pluribus’ controllerless SDN and Adaptive Cloud Fabric, we can dynamically move virtual machines, applications and workloads between data centers, and do maintenance without impacting customers. We can update policy across the entire network with a single command. We’re improving our service levels and customer satisfaction at the same time. Our network is highly automated, enabling us to better serve our business, and our business to better serve our customers,” said Gareth Evans, Anana Infrastructure Manager.

https://www.pluribusnetworks.com/company/news-item/anana-deploys-pluribus-networks-for-multi-site-data-center-modernization/

Intel says Mobileye is its fastest growing business

At CES 2020, Mobileye revealed new growth metrics, including more than 54 million EyeQ chips shipped to date. 2019 was another record year for the company, with sales close to $1 billion driven by significant growth in the ADAS market.

Intel said Mobileye is now its fastest-growing business. Intel acquired Mobileye in 2017.

In his annual CES address, Intel Senior Vice President and Mobileye CEO Prof. Amnon Shashua discussed "VIDAR,” Mobileye’s unique solution for achieving outputs akin to lidar using only camera sensors. In addition, he detailed how Mobileye achieves pixel-level scene segmentation that can be used to detect tiny fragments of road users such as wheelchairs, open vehicle doors and more, as well as the ways in which Mobileye technology turns two-dimensional sensors into 3D understanding.

See also