Thursday, January 16, 2020

5G Americas highlights latest 3GPP Release 16 and 17

5G Americas, which is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers, highlighted key advancements in 3GPP Releases 16-17 - the next steps in the evolution of 5G.

Release 16 is an evolutionary development that will positively impact multiple industries and is expected to be finalized in March 2020. Release 17 provides additional improved radio flexibility and will be 3GPP’s focus in 2020 and 2021 with target standard finalization in July 2021.


3GPP Release 16 enhancements include:

  • Radio access technology improvements include enhancements for LTE-MTC, NarrowBand-IoT, Downlink Multi-In Multi-Out (DL “MIMO”) efficiency, mobility, performance in high speed scenarios and 5G terrestrial broadcasts. Features of Release 16 boast enhanced capacity and improvement of operation efficiency including: MIMO enhancements, Integrated Access and Backhaul, Cross Link Interference/Remote Interference Management, User Equipment (UE) Power Savings, Mobility Enhancements, Multi-Radio Access Technology (“Multi-RAT”) dual connectivity and Carrier Aggregation enhancements, Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), NR Unlicensed, NR Positioning, and 2-Step Random Access Channel (“2-Step RACH”).
  • Network core architecture enhancements include Service-Based Architecture, improved flexible deployments of Session Management Control Function (SMF) and User Plane Function (UPF), support for commercial services using location-based service architecture, enhancements to UE capability signaling, RAN Self-Organizing Networks, and Dual Connectivity and Carrier Aggregation improvements.

3GPP Release 17 improvements include:

  • Radio access technology improvements that add more capabilities, including NR Beyond 52.6 GHz spectrum, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing improvements, Integrated Access and Backhaul (IAB) enhancements, NR-Light (Reduced Capability NR devices), Small Data Enhancements, more V2X enhancements and General Sidelink Communication, NR Broadcast and Multicast, and Multi-SIM support.
  • Network system upgrades include support for new services for asset tracking, audio-visual service production, communication service requirements for critical medical applications, service requirements on enhancements for cyber-physical control applications in vertical domains, multimedia priority services (phase 2), support for Multi-SIM devices, enhanced relays for energy efficiency and extensive coverage, and others.
  • Erik Dahlman, Senior Expert at Ericsson Research and leader for the project, said: “The evolution and revolution in wireless continues with new standardized technical features at 3GPP as the mobile wireless industry connects more people and things in existing and new markets. The defined cellular technology roadmap and success of the wireless industry is a demonstration of 3GPP’s well-defined approach to structure and consensus process.”


A whitepaper outlining these specifications is on the 5G America's website.

In addition, 5G Americas noted that there were approximately five million 5G subscriptions at the end of 2019, a number forecast to increase to 1.9 billion by 2024, according to data from Ovum. Additionally, the number of IoT connections is expected to quadruple from one billion to over four billion during the same time frame.

Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas said, “The age of smartly connecting everything is here. The rapid increase in 5G-connected devices will be largely due to increased technical capabilities of networks and devices standardized by 3GPP for commercial roll outs.”

2020 5G Outlook



2020 is going to be a huge year for 5G, predicts Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas. This 2-minute video highlights some key ingredients necessary for the success of 5G, including the need for more spectrum, network densification, and the move to 5G Stand Alone architecture.

https://youtu.be/dVL_OsKRD8k



  • 5G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization’s mission is to advocate for and foster the advancement and full capabilities of LTE wireless technologies and their evolution to 5G, throughout the ecosystem’s networks, services, applications and wirelessly connected devices in the Americas. 5G Americas is invested in developing a connected wireless community while leading 5G development for all the Americas. 
  • 5G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. More information is available at 5G Americas Website and Twitter. 5G Americas’ Board of Governors members include AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Ciena, Cisco, CommScope, Ericsson, Intel, Mavenir, Nokia, Qualcomm Incorporated, Samsung, Shaw Communications Inc., Sprint, T-Mobile US, Inc., Telef√≥nica and WOM.


Akraino Edge Stack R2 enables Connected Car, AR/VR, AI Edge

by Benedict Chua, Assistant Editor

LF Edge announced the availability of Akraino Edge Stack Release 2 featuring 6 blueprint families and 14 blueprints, all tested and validated on real hardware labs supported by users and community members. This release enhances the edge stacks delivered in R1 for cross-disciplinary edge use cases as well as new edge stacks to support connected vehicles, AR/VR, NFV, Telco Access, integration with SDN solutions and project promotions to maturity, with rigorous community standards.

The 14 “ready and proven” blueprints, include both updates to existing R1 blueprints, and the introduction of five new blueprints:
  • Connected Vehicle: This blueprint establishes an open source MEC platform to enable use cases such as accuracy of location, smarter navigation with real-time traffic updates, driver safety improvements, and traffic rule alerts. 
  • IEC type 4: AR/VR-oriented Edge Stack: Focused on focused on AR/ VR applications running on the edge, the blueprint builds the AR/VR infrastructure and introduces  a virtual classroom application, which improves online education experiences for teachers and students through a virtual classroom simulation. 
  • Integrated Cloud Native NFV/Application Stack (ICN): ICN addresses the overall challenges of edge deployments in a single deployment model that enables Edge Providers for Zero Touch Provisioning support in multi-cloud, multi-edge and multi-party orchestration. It integrates Kubernetes and ONAP4K8s for container run times and service orchestration and supports bare metal and virtual deployments. 
  • Network Cloud and Tungsten Fabric: This blueprint implements the Network Cloud with LF Networking’s Tungsten Fabric as an SDN Controller supporting cloud native integration for Kubernetes as well as the Neutron plugin for OpenStack, allowing operators to leverage Tungsten Fabric as a deployment tool and control infrastructure. 
  • SDN-Enabled Broadband Access (SEBA): Part of the the Telco Appliance blueprint family, SEBA provides an appliance tuned to support the SDN-enabled Broadband Access (SEBA) platform. The blueprint utilizes a reusable set of modules introduced by the Radio Edge Cloud (REC), introduced in Akraino R1.
Akraino Edge Stack is creating an open source software stack that supports a high-availability cloud stack optimized for edge computing systems and applications. The first release of Akraino was accomplished in June 2019.

“The Akraino community has grown rapidly in the past year, and now includes contributions from 70 percent of LF Edge Premium member companies and countless other ecosystem partners beginning to deploy the blueprints across the globe,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Automation, Edge and IoT, the Linux Foundation. “With R2, strong community collaboration brings even more blueprints to the ecosystem that support current and future technology at the open source edge.”

In September, LF Edge announced two new projects:  Baetyl, an existing project contributed by Baidu and previously known as “OpenEdge,” extends cloud computing, data and services seamlessly to edge devices, including 5G and IoT; and Fledge, an existing project contributed by Dianomic and previously known as “Fog Lamp.” Fledge is an open source framework and community for the industrial edge focused on critical operations. Baetyl and Fledge join the organization’s founding projects: Akraino Edge Stack, EdgeX Foundry, Home Edge, Open Glossary of Edge Computing, and Project EVE. Concurrently, IOTA Foundation, SAIC Foundation (TESRA), Thunder Software, and Zenlayer join as General members.

https://www.lfedge.org

2020 SPIE Startup Challenge draws 42 companies

Forty-two photonics business startups from 14 countries will participate in the 2020 SPIE Startup Challenge semi-finals held during SPIE Photonics West on 4 February. Forty-two photonics business startups from 14 countries will participate in the 2020 SPIE Startup Challenge semi-finals held during SPIE Photonics West on 4 February. On 5 February, 12 finalists will compete for cash prizes from Jenoptik as well as for business support from Challenge partners and sponsors. Prizes include $10,000 for first place as well as $5,000 in products from Edmund Optics; $5,000 for second place; and $2,500 for third place. In addition, Early-stage Entrepreneurship travel grants have been awarded to three of the semi-finalists.

On 5 February, 12 finalists will compete for cash prizes from Jenoptik as well as for business support from Challenge partners and sponsors. Prizes include $10,000 for first place as well as $5,000 in products from Edmund Optics; $5,000 for second place; and $2,500 for third place. In addition, Early-stage Entrepreneurship travel grants have been awarded to three of the semi-finalists.

https://spie.org/industry-resources/industry-events/spie-startup-challenge/2020-semi-finalists?SSO=1

Telstra's Programmable Network integrates with Equinix ECX Fabric

Telstra's Programmable Network (TPN) is leveraging Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric) to enable customers to create private multicloud network connections to cloud providers. The on-demand multicloud network connectivity to more than 170 service providers will be available in 38 Equinix markets globally.

The Equinix ECX Fabric is a software-defined interconnection service that enables any business to connect between its own distributed infrastructure and that of any other business, including the world's largest network service and cloud providers, on Platform Equinix. Telstra's API integration with ECX Fabric enables streamlined access to the world's largest cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Google Cloud on Platform Equinix via global, software-defined interconnection.

Telstra's TPN is a software-defined network service platform designed to help businesses embrace digital transformation and quickly respond to customers and changing market dynamics with next-generation agility, flexible consumption of services and automated provisioning of network services. Telstra provides a wide range of network, security, cloud and application services that can be managed via a customer portal with a single unified view or customer systems interfaced via APIs.

"As customers scale delivery of their enterprise applications by leveraging leading cloud providers across new markets, the deeper integration of Telstra Programmable Network (TPN)—our SDN platform—with Platform Equinix provides our customers a unique ability to provision cloud connectivity services within minutes to 170 providers across 38 locations globally. TPN allows our customers to build secure, reliable and predictable performance for their applications, which in turn drives acceleration of business outcomes through improved employee productivity," states Sanjay Nayak, Product and Service Design Director, Global Connectivity and Platforms, Product and Technology, Telstra.

Outages on West African Cable System (WACS) & SAT3 cables

Internet service in central and southern Africa is impacted by simultaneous outages on the West African Cable System (WACS) & the SAT3 cable.

The break in the WACS system is believed to have occurred near Libreville, Gabon, while the break in the SAT3 cable reportedly happened near Luanda, Angola.



West Africa Cable System upgraded to 32X100G

The West Africa Cable System (WACS) has been successfully upgraded to 32*100G wavelengths configured on the longest optically amplified single fiber span stretching 11500km from South Africa to Portugal.  WACS has two network operation centers and 15 landing points in 14 countries spanning West Africa and Europe.
Huawei Marine, which was the contractor, said the upgrade employed Flex Grid and Optical pass-through technologies, and now represents the world's longest 100G system.

ALU Completes SAT-3/WASC Undersea Cable Upgrade

Alcatel-Lucent completed the fourth upgrade of the SAT-3/WASC undersea cable system, which now offers 40 Gbps connections, full in-system protection, and one of the lowest latency routes between Europe, West Coast of Africa and Southern Africa.

The SAT-3/WASC cable system was upgraded from 420 Gbps to 920 Gbps in the northern segments, north of Ghana, and from 340 Gbps to 800 Gbps in the southern segments. Overall, this fourth upgrade enables a sevenfold increase in SAT-3/WASC’s original design capacity through the use of Alcatel-Lucent’s advanced coherent technology.

This latest upgrade went live during the first half of 2014.

The SAFE cable provides on-going connections via the shortest route and therefore lowest latency between Southern Africa and Asia with connectivity via South Africa, Mauritius, Reunion, India and Malaysia.

CoreSite hits Eight 9s data center uptime in 2019

CoreSite reported "Eight 9s" level of reliance, or 99.999999% uptime, across its portfolio of data centers for 2019.

“Our clear procedures and rigorous training approach are the foundation of our operational excellence,” said Anthony Hatzenbuehler, CoreSite’s SVP of Data Center Operations. “Our operational resilience efforts translate into our data center reliability, or uptime, a crucial performance indicator that is our top priority, which directly affects our customers’ bottom line.”

“While we target a minimum of “Six 9’s” of uptime, which is above the industry standard of “Five 9’s”, we are pleased with our exceptional results for 2019,” said Hatzenbuehler.

Overall, CoreSite incrementally improved its PUE by approximately 4.8% in 2019 on a same-store basis as compared to 2018 PUE. “This improvement in PUE enables customers to be more cost effective and efficient and improves our overall power consumption for a more sustainable environment,” said Hatzenbuehler.

In addition, as part of its compliance examinations, CoreSite completed a new independent third party assessment of controls related to the National Institute of Standards and Technology Publication Series 800-53 (NIST 800-53). This new NIST compliance level complements CoreSite’s existing certifications such as SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2, ISO 27001, PCI DSS, and HIPAA. The completion of these annual examinations uniquely positions CoreSite to provide its customers a consistent and comprehensive solution to compliance standards and support in meeting a wide variety of United States regulatory requirements, including the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).

STACK to build another 32MW data center in Silicon Valley

by Benedict Chua, Assistant Editor

STACK INFRASTRUCTURE will expand its data center campus in San Jose, California with a new 32MW, 240,000-square-foot data center. As with the rest of the campus, the new building is expected to be served through PG&E’s Direct Access program, which enables STACK to procure energy from renewable sources on behalf of its clients.

STACK’s Silicon Valley development is the fourth expansion project to take place since the company’s launch in 2019. At the time of its launch, STACK, which is underwritten by IPI Partners, combined existing operating data centers in six U.S. markets totaling over 100 megawatts of capacity and approximately 1.5 million square feet in aggregate. This includes key data centers in Silicon Valley and Ashburn, Virginia. The company’s offering includes hyperscale campuses and build-to-suit data centers, immediately available wholesale colocation and private data suites, and powered shell options. STACK also owns development parcels in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Portland, and Silicon Valley available for additional future development, including data center campuses and build-to-suits.

“As home to a number of the world’s leading technology companies, Silicon Valley is undoubtedly one of the most compelling markets in the world for data center investment,” said Brian Cox, Chief Executive Officer of STACK. “We consider our ability to deliver cost-efficient, renewable energy to be extremely important in this market where our clients are seeking strategic proximity. We’re confident that our newest development will help our clients fulfill critical business requirements in a world-class facility.”



In October 2019, STACK acquired a purpose-built, Tier III data center in New Albany, Ohio. The acquired campus offers 17 acres for future data center development. The STACK campus is positioned within the Golden Triangle, a geographic area linking Northern Virginia, Northern New Jersey, and Chicago. The company believes New Albany and the surrounding area represent a premier emerging market for cloud and enterprise data centers based on their competitive power costs, advantageous tax climate, skilled labor pool, and low risk of natural disasters.

In September 2019, STACK announced a major expansion of its data center in Hillsboro, Oregon. The near-term campus additions will provide more than 60MW of additional critical capacity and, when combined with STACK’s established Hillsboro facilities, bring the company’s total capacity in Hillsboro to nearly 100MW. STACK developed its first data center here in 2012.

CenturyLink lands $1.6 billion contract with US Dept. of Interior

CenturyLink has been awarded a task order worth up to $1.6 billion to provide secure network services and IT modernization solutions to the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI). The contract was awarded via the General Services Administration's Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) program.

The task order covers two areas and has a combined maximum value of $1.6 billion, with 11 one-year options that run through 2032. Task area one is for managed core network services to design, engineer, build, secure, operate and maintain DOI's enterprise network from end to end, including SD-WAN, virtual private network, private line and Ethernet transport services. It also includes managed security services, such as Managed Trusted Internet Protocol Services (MTIPS), and implementation of zero-trust networking solutions that meet the government's strict security requirements. Task area two covers managed access services, including secure cloud connectivity and WiFi.

"The Department of the Interior selected CenturyLink to deliver secure, modern network services that will help the agency achieve its mission to conserve and manage our nation's natural resources and cultural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people," said David Young, CenturyLink senior vice president, public sector. "This award from DOI shows that government agencies are increasingly turning to CenturyLink as their trusted provider to help them with their IT modernization efforts so they can focus on their mission."

Keysight adds 5G channel emulation

Keysight Technologies introduced new 5G channel emulation capabilities that enable the deployment of seamless connectivity and end-user experiences.

Keysight’s PROPSIM FS16 channel emulation solution enables users to verify the performance of 5G new radio (NR) devices with support for ultra-wide bandwidths in mmWave frequency spectrum, beamforming technology and multiple-antenna configurations. The new 5G channel emulation helps chipset and device makers validate the real-world performance of 5G designs using MIMO and massive MIMO antenna technology for high data rate applications. The solution is housed in a compact and modular benchtop 5G NR radio frequency (RF) channel emulator with scalable fading capacity and intuitive software tools.

“Keysight’s new RF channel emulation solution enables a connected ecosystem to cost-effectively accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative 5G devices used to deliver superior end-user experiences,” said Janne Kolu, director of Keysight’s channel emulation solutions. “Our comprehensive 5G channel emulation portfolio uniquely offers consistent fading capabilities across the device workflow to support cost-effective debugging, optimization and performance validation.”

Keysight’s PROPSIM FS16 key features and benefits:
A scalable number of fading channels (from 2 to 1024) to create an affordable path towards testing a wide range of MIMO designs.
Support for realistic bi-directional fading to verify the up- and downlink of a device.
A unidirectional fading capability that focuses the fading capacity on the downlink for efficient testing of the device receiver. This leads to cost-effective, yet comprehensive support of MIMO over-the-air (OTA) test requirements specified by 3GPP.

Intro to NTT's Innovation Optical & Wireless Network



Networking infrastructure is sure to evolve quickly during the 2020s.

Kazuhiro Gomi, CEO of NTT Research, introduces the Innovative Optical & Wireless Network (IOWN), a new vision for an all-photonic core network enhanced by quantum technology and breakthroughs in privacy and security.

To download the NTT Technology Report for Smart World
https://www.ntt.co.jp/RD/e/techtrend/pdf/NTT_TRFSW_S_E.pdf

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See also