Wednesday, June 30, 2021

AT&T to power its network with Microsoft Azure for Operators

AT&T will power its mobile network on Microsoft's Azure for Operators cloud starting with the 5G and migrating existing and future workloads over time. Microsoft will assume responsibility for both software development and deployment of AT&T’s Network Cloud immediately and bring AT&T’s existing network cloud to Azure over the next three years. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under an expanded strategic alliance between the firms, AT&T will continue to operate its network and retain its customer relationships. Microsoft is acquiring AT&T’s Network Cloud platform, which has been running the 5G core since AT&T launched 5G in 2018. In addition, Microsoft will gain access to AT&T’s intellectual property and technical expertise to grow its telecom flagship offering, Azure for Operators. AT&T's engineering team for Network Cloud will be transferred to Microsoft.

AT&T said that by adopting to Microsoft’s hybrid and hyperscale infrastructure it will substantially reduce engineering and development costs. 

“AT&T has one of the world’s most powerful global backbone networks serving hundreds of millions of subscribers. Our Network Cloud team has proved that running a network in the cloud drives speed, security, cost improvements and innovation. Microsoft’s decision to acquire these assets is a testament to AT&T’s leadership in network virtualization, culture of innovation, and realization of a telco-grade cloud stack,” said Andre Fuetsch, executive vice president and chief technology officer, AT&T. “The next step is making this capability accessible to operators around the world and ensuring it has the resources behind it to continue to evolve and improve. And do it securely. Microsoft’s cloud expertise and global reach make them the perfect fit for this next phase.”

Microsoft said the deal builds on its 2020 acquisitions of Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch Networks.

“With Azure, operators can provide a more flexible and scalable service model, save infrastructure cost, and use AI to automate operations and differentiate customer offerings,” said Jason Zander, executive vice president Azure, Microsoft. “Through our collaboration with AT&T, Microsoft will expand its telecom portfolio to support operators with a carrier-grade cloud that provides seamless experiences across Microsoft’s cloud and the operator’s network.”


https://news.microsoft.com/2021/06/30/att-to-run-its-mobility-network-on-microsofts-azure-for-operators-cloud-delivering-cost-efficient-5g-services-at-scale/

In this video, Shawn Hakl, VP 5G Strategy at Microsoft Azure, talks about how Microsoft Azure helps network operators adopt cloud technologies for their network workloads and the important changes Azure made to build a carrier-grade cloud.



Download our 2021 Telco Infrastructure Report here: http://ngi.how/telco-2021

Microsoft outlines Azure for Operators service stack

In September 2020, Microsoft announced its Azure for Operators initiative promising to offer core infrastructure to both fixed and mobile network operators.Microsoft Azure for Operators is built on the company's recent acquisition of Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch, as well as on its development of Azure Edge Zones, which are local extensions of Azure, deployed with carriers or as private infrastructure.In a blog post, Yousef Khalidi Corporate Vice...

Microsoft launches Azure for Operators

 Microsoft launched an initiative called "Azure for Operators" that will provide core infrastructure to network operators.The strategy aims to harness the power of the intelligent edge, connected by high-bandwidth fiber or 5G, to create new opportunities and better efficiencies for communication service providers.Microsoft Azure for Operators is built on the company's recent acquisitio of Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch, as well as on its development...

Microsoft to acquire Metaswitch, extending its reach into telco cloud

Microsoft agreed to acquire Metaswitch Networks, a long-time leader in providing high-performance software to the communications industry. Financial terms were not disclosed. Metaswitch has been a pioneer in cloud-native solutions for telecom operators. Its range of solutions include: VoIP softswitches and gateways VoLTE/VoWiFi Voice and VoLTE interconnect IMS core deployments Session Border Control Robocall blocking Converged voice and data messaging Group...

Amdocs moves to Microsoft Azure and the Azure for Operators

Amdocs is bringing its BSS/OSS portfolio to Microsoft Azure and the Azure for Operators (AFO) initiative. Amdocs says its expanded cooperation with Microsoft will accelerate the communications and media industry’s journey to the cloud by enabling its cloud-native BSS/OSS solutions and services to benefit from the cloud capabilities of Azure at scale. This integrated platform will enable service providers to automate and virtualize their network...


Orange to build experimental 5G SA cloud network in Lannion

Orange is preparing to build an experimental 5G Stand Alone (SA) fully end-to-end cloud network in Lannion, France to serve as a blueprint for its next generation of agile, cloud-native, AI-driven and fully automated infrastructure.

Orange is working with a number of industry partners, including Mavenir for cloud 5G Open RAN, Casa Systems for cloud 5G SA core network, Hewlett Packard Enterprise for Cloud 5G SA SDM (Subscriber Data Management), Dell Technologies for infrastructure and servers supporting RAN Centralized Unit, Distributed Unit and Core and Xiaomi for devices. Orange also uses a continuous integration and continuous deployment approach as well as orchestration open source solutions, including GitLab and ONAP, to automate networks and service management.


Starting in July, the network will test O-RAN radio equipment, CNF’s (Containerized Network Functions) on a cloud infrastructure, network data collection and AI automation. The experimental network will also host Information System OSS (Operations Support System - network inventory management and network operations) and BSS (Business Support System - CRM and billing).

In 2022, the network will expand to further locations to increase the number of users and to test vertical use-cases leveraging dynamic network slicing.

Michaël Trabbia, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Orange, commented: “Our ambition is to prepare Orange for the operator of the future by building more resilient and auto-adaptive networks that offer best in class quality of service in each situation. This experimental network represents an important milestone on our way to implement and deploy Open RAN and AI technologies to prepare on-demand connectivity and zero touch operator capabilities.”


MEF milestone for certified solutions

More than sixty service providers and technology vendors around the globe now offer MEF 3.0-certified Carrier Ethernet (CE) and SD-WAN solutions. Four of the top five companies as ranked on Vertical Systems Group’s 2020 U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN Leaderboard—AT&T, Verizon, Comcast Business, and Windstream—have achieved MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Certification. In addition, the top four SD-WAN technology providers as ranked by Dell’Oro Group—Cisco, VMware, Fortinet, and Versa—have attained MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Certification.

Further milestones:

  • Thirty-six service providers to date have achieved MEF 3.0 CE Certification, including four of the top six as ranked on Vertical Systems Group’s 2020 Global Provider Carrier Ethernet Leaderboard—Orange Business Services, Lumen, Verizon, and BT.
  • MEF experienced a 75 percent annual growth rate in its MEF 3.0 services certifications, which includes SD-WAN and CE. 
  • 7,500 individuals in 85 countries from over 400 employer organizations have earned their MEF professional certifications in SD-WAN, SDN/NFV, and CE.

“This momentum signals that the industry continues to recognize the value of our certifications to ensure simplified, pre-validated functionality for buyers, and frictionless implementation and partnering within the MEF ecosystem,” said Nan Chen, President, MEF. “During this time of tremendous digital transformation taking place in enterprises, MEF 3.0 certified services and technologies are proven to conform to MEF’s meticulous specifications for performance, assurance, and agility. Customers that purchase these services can have confidence that they meet the industry’s highest standards. We applaud all of the companies and professionals that have worked diligently to achieve their MEF 3.0 certifications.”

https://www.mef.net/news/mef-3-0-certification-growth-fueled-by-companies-embracing-network-transformation-and-standardized-services/



Telstra sells a 49% stake in its towers business

Telstra will sell a 49% share in its Telstra InfraCo Towers business, which consists of approximately 8,200 towers across Australia, to a consortium comprised of the Future Fund, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation and Sunsuper.

The transaction values Telstra InfraCo Towers at $5.9 billion, representing an FY21 pro forma EV/EBITDAaL multiple of 28x. Telstra expects net cash proceeds after transaction costs of $2.8 billion at completion and the Towers entity will have no debt. Completion is expected in the first quarter of FY22.

Telstra intends to return approximately 50 percent of net proceeds to shareholders in FY22.


Telstra CEO, Andrew Penn said today’s announcement was a significant T22 milestone and an acceleration of Telstra’s strategy to unlock value in these assets. Our T22 strategy is delivering on multiple fronts and I am proud of what we have achieved. Today’s announcement is a further endorsement of the strategy, as the establishment of our infrastructure assets as a separate business was designed to enable us to better realise the value of these assets, take advantage of potential monetisation opportunities and create additional value for shareholders and that is exactly what today’s announcement achieves,” said Mr Penn.



Comcast Business wins $102M, 10-Year Ethernet Contract with DISA

The United States’ Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) awarded a 10-year, $102.8M contract to Comcast Businesss to provide Ethernet that will enhance connectivity, improve network performance and manage overall telecommunications costs throughout the Agency’s Defense Information Systems Network (DISN), which includes Maryland, Washington, D.C, Virginia, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. 

DISA provides enterprise network and IT infrastructure to support the requirements of the Department of Defense’s more than 40 military services, combatant commands and support organizations worldwide, including the President, Vice President and Secretary of Defense. The Agency is currently undergoing a multi-phase process of replacing 17,000 legacy, point-to-point public switched telephone network (PSTN) circuits with Ethernet-based services across seven regions in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia. CEG Region 3 provides DISA with the underlying network infrastructure to enable voice, video, and data services for their mission partners.


“We are honored that DISA has once again selected – and more importantly entrusted – Comcast Business for its important initiative of modernizing its communications infrastructure and enhancing connectivity with its partners across the military’s information network,” said Ken Folderauer, Vice President, Government Sales, Comcast Business. “This contract solidifies Comcast Business’ position as a premier provider of communications solutions to government agencies.”


Versa Networks secures $84 million for its SASE

Versa Networks, a start-up based in San Jose, California, announced $84 million in a Series D funding round for its Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions, which combine security, advanced networking, SD-WAN, multitenancy, and analytics via the cloud, on-premises, or as a blended combination of both.

The funding round was co-led by investors Princeville Capital and RPS Ventures, with additional participation from existing investors, including Sequoia Capital. This brings the company’s total amount raised in funding to $196 million. 

Versa says the new funding comes on the back of a record year, where the growth of the remote workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic saw organizations across the world accelerate their digital transformation initiatives and turn to flexible and secure solutions such as SD-WAN and SASE to address their networking and security needs. As a result, Versa Networks has seen its worldwide sales in enterprises and channel partner registrations double, increased its workforce by 25 percent, and grew its market share to 150 service providers, including seven of the world’s top 10.

“SASE is the fastest-growing category in networking and security, and the continued support from our investors is a testament to not only our innovative technology, but to our ethos as a company to deliver secure access and networking solutions to all organizations, from enterprises to SMBs, that address and solve the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis,” said Kelly Ahuja, CEO of Versa Networks. “We are the only company that offers a fully integrated SASE solution. We saw the opportunity in the market and have been providing enterprises around the world with a truly modern secure network for five years, so it is exciting that the rest of the industry now recognizes the real value and benefits that SASE can provide.”

https://www.versa-networks.com

Fujitsu teams up with the TIP on O-RAN compliant 5G radios


Fujitsu Network Communications is collaborating with the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) OpenRAN Project Group to accelerate adoption of open radio access network infrastructu. 

Specifically, Fujitsu is contributing 5G multi-band O-RAN compliant radios to the TIP OpenRAN project group. The dual-band and tri-band radios are certified by Fujitsu and listed on the TIP Exchange marketplace, allowing service providers to quickly find interoperable solutions and reference designs for 4G and 5G networks.

“Availability of Open RAN-compliant radios is key to enabling service providers to quickly and efficiently build out tomorrow’s 5G networks,” said Dr. Femi Adeyemi, head of the wireless business unit at Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. “As a longstanding proponent of open networking, Fujitsu is committed to helping advance the adoption of Open RAN infrastructure through our innovative O-RAN radio technology.”


“The development of a vibrant ecosystem will allow mobile network operators to select best-of-breed components from an increasing number of suppliers,” said David Hutton, chief engineer, TIP. “Fujitsu’s contributions to the TIP OpenRAN project group and its commitment to self-certification of its products according to the requirements of operators within the Project Group are an important part of our efforts to continually improve performance of the RAN through innovation, automation and competition.”


Deutsche Telekom tests network slicing with Ericssson, Samsung

Deutsche Telekom completed a 5G end-to-end (E2E) network slicing trial at its Bonn lab on a Samsung S21 commercial device tethered to a VR headset. 

The trial used a commercial-grade 5G standalone (SA) infrastructure provided by Ericsson, including Radio Access Network (RAN), 5G Cloud Core, slice orchestration and ordering automation. 

Through 5G E2E network slicing, different service characteristics and quality parameters can be provided to each slice and adapted to customer needs with full isolation between slices. By creating multiple virtual networks on a single physical network infrastructure, service providers can develop new, differentiated services and business models without having to compromise on quality.  

The test was carried out for a cloud VR streaming game use case with two independent E2E network slices consisting of a default mobile broadband slice and a cloud VR gaming–optimized slice. The gaming slice was designed and configured to enable higher throughput and stable low latency, while also providing resource isolation between the two slices. The trial case demonstrated a superior experience on the gaming slice even under congested network conditions. 

Claudia Nemat, Board Member, Technology & Innovation, Deutsche Telekom, says: “5G SA Network Slicing sets a foundation for the creation of new service offerings to consumer and enterprise customers. As an experienced focused company, it is essential that we demonstrate the value of 5G slicing for our customers lives. As a world’s first, our unique collaboration with Ericsson and Samsung to provide slices to commercial devices shines a light on how we can bring these benefits to our customers.”  

SentinelOne completes highest-valued cybersecurity IPO

SentinelOne, a cybersecurity firm based in Mountain View, California, completed an initial public offering of 35,000,000 shares of its Class A common stock at a public offering price of $35.00 per share, raising $1.2 billion for the firm. 

The shares, which are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "S", closed on 30-June-2021 at $42.50, giving the company a market cap of over $10 billion.

AT&T Android customers get Google RCS as default

AT&T is adopting Messages by Google as the default messaging application for all AT&T customers in the United States using Android phones. 

The collaboration aims to help accelerate the industry toward global Rich Communication Services (RCS) coverage and interoperability to offer a consistent, secure, and enhanced messaging experience for all Android users around the world.

“Many AT&T customers have enjoyed the advantages of RCS for years when texting with friends and family,” said David Christopher, executive vice president and general manager – AT&T Mobility. “We look forward to working closely with Google to extend these benefits to even more of our customers as they enjoy richer conversations with others around the world.”

Working together, AT&T and Google will continue the momentum to upgrade SMS with enhanced messaging features offered in Messages, which includes the support of chat features based on the open RCS standard. 

In addition, Google is rolling out end-to-end encryption for one-on-one RCS conversations between people using Messages and people who have chat features enabled.


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Ericsson 5G is onboarded on Google Cloud's Anthos

Ericsson and Google Cloud have completed functional onboarding of Ericsson 5G on Anthos to enable telco edge and on-premise use cases for CSPs and enterprises.

The companies have also agreed to jointly develop 5G and edge cloud solutions. As part of the partnership, Google Cloud and Ericsson are also piloting enterprise applications at the edge on a live network with TIM. The project, which will automate the functions of TIM’s core 5G network and cloud-based applications, will use TIM’s Telco Cloud infrastructure, Google Cloud solutions and Ericsson’s 5G core network and orchestration technologies. 

Thomas Kurian, CEO, Google Cloud, says: “Organizations have a tremendous opportunity to digitally transform their businesses with 5G and cloud capabilities like artificial intelligence and machine learning at the edge. We are proud to partner with Ericsson to help build a foundation for communications service providers and enterprises alike to take advantage of cloud technology and cloud-native services, from telecom network core to the  edge and enterprise premises.”

Niklas Heuveldop, President and Head of Ericsson North America, says: “5G is a powerful innovation platform. Combined with edge cloud capabilities, 5G has the potential to accelerate the digital transformation of virtually any sector of industry or society. We are excited about our partnership with Google Cloud as we engage with our customers to leverage our combined capabilities to solve real-world business challenges for the benefit of consumers, enterprises and society at large.”


WATCH: Elon Musk expects Starlink to hit 500,000 subscribers in a year

"Think of Starlink as filling the gaps between 5G and fiber connectivity... reaching 3-5% where connectivity is limited" stated Elon Musk in a virtual keynote for MWC Barcelona.

Some highlights

  • 1,500 Starlink satellites are currently in service
  • over 5MW of combined power from the solar arrays on each satellite
  • The Starlink constellation is currently carrying 30 Tbps of data
  • By August, there will be global coverage except for the poles
  • Currently offering service in 12 countries
  • The service is meant for sparsely-populated areas and not dense urban areas
  • Recently passed over 69,420 active users
  • Elon expects over 500,000 active users within 12 months
  • Several telcos have signed up to use Starlink for data backhaul but not yet ready to disclose their names.
  • Starlink is getting ready to launch satellite version 1.5 with inter-satellite laser links
  • Version 2.0 of Starlink satellites will be much more capable and will start launching next year.
  • Elon estimates the total investment in Starlink at between $5 billion to $10 billion before the company becomes cash flow positive, and a lot more after that.

The archived webcast is here (32 minutes):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcnVTgrgThE

NEC's Optical Sensing measures vibrations in fiber cables

NEC has begun commercial sales of a new AI-driven technology that analyzes small vibrations detected with optical fibers.

The "NEC Intelligent Optical Fiber Sensing Solution" enables the operator of fiber cables to utilize optical fiber as a sensor. The detected vibrations can be indicative of fiber damage or environmental shaking. In addition to a sensing device attached to one end of the optical fiber, this solution consists of software with a function that detects vibrations and external conditions that may cause an abnormality, and a mapping function that accurately displays location information, such as the latitude and longitude of a fiber section.

NEC has already examined the possibility of using optical fiber sensing technology to detect cracks in utility poles. Moreover, NEC and Verizon have conducted joint field experiments of a traffic monitoring system in the United States, where the companies confirmed the effectiveness of a traffic monitoring solution* for assessing roadway traffic conditions. This is in addition to the companies also verifying the effectiveness of the new NEC Intelligent Optical Fiber Sensing Solution in the field.

"Optical fiber cable networks are becoming increasingly important as 5G becomes more prevalent. We have been working for many years on the practical application of fiber sensing utilizing optical fiber networks, and are excited to capitalize on this technology in order to improve the efficiency of network operations," said, Kazuhiro Tagawa, General Manager, 1st Network Service Division, NEC Corporation.

In the future, NEC will expand the application of this solution and aims to create new value across a variety of fields, such as utilizing information acquired through wide-area monitoring with existing fibers to enhance the services of smart cities.

https://www.nec.com/en/global/solutions/ofs/

NEC delivers submarine cable seismic and tsunami observation system

NEC has delivered a submarine cable seismic and tsunami observation system to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau (CWB) under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. The new system is mainly intended for observation of earthquakes and tsunami in the area ranging from the offshore coast of Yilan in eastern Taiwan to Fangshan in Pingtung County. 

The submarine cable measures 620 kilometers and reaches a depth of 5,800 meters. All products, including optical submarine cables, submarine observation units, and optical submarine repeaters, which constitute the system, were manufactured and assembled at NEC factories in Japan.

According to the CWB, when an earthquake occurs in the eastern sea area of Taiwan this new system can provide an emergency warning more than 10 seconds before the actual tremor is felt on land. Moreover, a warning can be issued 20 to 30 minutes before a tsunami reaches the coastal area. As a result, this system will contribute to the enhancement of disaster prevention and mitigation capabilities. For example, public transportation systems, including MRTs (Mass Rapid Transit) and HSRs (High Speed Rail) can quickly decelerate in the event of an earthquake.

Atsushi Kuwahara, General Manager, Submarine Network Division, NEC Corporation, said, "It is a great honor that the NEC Group can use its many years of experience in optical submarine cable communication technology and submarine observation technology to help prevent disasters and ensure safety for the residents and government of Taiwan. Going forward, we will continue to provide technology and solutions that contribute to the well-being of our communities."

https://www.nec.com/en/press/202101/global_20210126_01.html

EllaLink's transatlantic cable to deploy acoustic sensor tech

EllaLink, which is building a four-pair subsea cable between Portugal and Brazil, will deploy smart sensor on its cable to provide the scientific community with real-time, accurate and relevant data on seabed conditions. This will make EllaLink the first commercial subsea telecom cable system to integrate SMART cable concepts.

The EllaLink GeoLab infrastructure, which will be provided by EllaLink in cooperation with EMACOM, will leverage distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology in the Madeira branch of the subsea cable system. It will collect data along the route which will be optically transmitted back to the shore, independently and without impacting either telecoms traffic or the design life of the cable.

EllaLink is collaborating with GÉANT and the Portuguese NREN, FCT, both members of the BELLA Consortium, who will use EllaLink cable to support R&E collaborations between Europe and Latin America.

Philippe Dumont, CEO of EllaLink said “In a time of continued environmental change, critical information about the planet can be ascertained from the seabed. Submarine telecoms cables are best placed to monitor seabed conditions at all time and make such data available to scientists on-land. We are proud to lead the way into a new era of submarine cable systems supporting such scientific progress.”

Erik Huizer, CEO of GÉANT commented “GÉANT provides users with highly reliable, unconstrained access to computing, analysis, storage, applications and other resources, to ensure that Europe remains at the forefront of research.  EllaLink will provide direct connectivity between the research and education communities of Europe and Latin America, thanks to the work of the BELLA Consortium of which GÉANT is a member. GÉANT therefore welcomes the development of a dark fibre research infrastructure that can support DAS and other technologies, without disturbing telecommunications traffic, as a further engagement from EllaLink for the R&E community.”

https://ella.link/category/press-releases/


Rakuten Mobile implements Cisco SRv6 micro-segments

Rakuten Mobile, which launched 4G service in Japan in April 2020 and 5G non-standalone (NSA) services in September 2020, will implement Cisco's Segment Routing over IPv6 (SRv6) and Cisco Routed Optical Networking. To support its future 5G SA services with network slicing capabilities, Rakuten Mobile will introduce SRv6 micro-segments, an extension to the SRv6 network programming model that is key to addressing multi-domain 5G deployments across its network. Cisco Customer Experience (CX) will plan and implement the overall architecture and design.

Cisco says transitioning to SRv6 will help Rakuten Mobile increase network resiliency and support a wider range of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that are foundational for upcoming 5G and IoT services.  Cisco Routed Optical Networking will enable Rakuten Mobile to consolidate coherent pluggable optics into a router, making the entire network more automated to deploy services faster (from 100 days down to 40), reduce power consumption by nearly 30 percent, and increase profitability through high-quality services at a competitive price.


“Reimagining mobile networking is at the very heart of Rakuten Mobile’s strategy, and our decision to go full-speed ahead on SRv6 and Cisco Routed Optical Networking demonstrates our effort to take advantage of technology innovation at every layer of the stack,” said Tareq Amin, Chief Technology Officer, Rakuten Mobile. “We knew that Cisco would walk in lock-step with us as we worked through each phase needed to implement this new technology and align it to our business goals.”

“Cisco and Rakuten Mobile are on a path to profoundly change the way network infrastructure is built, in order to connect as many people as possible to quality internet services,” said Jonathan Davidson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Mass-Scale Infrastructure Group, Cisco. “Rakuten Mobile continues to mark important milestones to take its network to the next-level, and together we are showcasing the blueprint for the internet for the future to support our world of wireless and cloud-powered experiences.”

https://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=2174308

Qualcomm's new 5G RAN for Small Cells support Release 16

Qualcomm Technologies introduced its second-generation  5G RAN Platform for Small Cells featuring support for all commercial global mmWave and Sub-6 GHz bands, including the new n259 (41 GHz), n258(26 GHz) and FDD bands. 


Key features:

  • Extends mobile 5G mmWave coverage and power efficiency
  • Offers 3GPP Release 16 Modem-RF with data speeds of up to 8 Gbps with 1 GHz bandwidth support on mmWave and support for wider 200MHz carrier bandwidth.
  • Supports spectrum aggregation of 200 MHz of Sub-6 GHz spectrum across FDD and TDD delivering data speeds of up to 4 Gbps
  • Supports open and virtualized RAN combined with open interfaces to facilitate scalable and cost-effective 5G RAN networks spanning mmWave and Sub-6 GHz. 
  • Open RAN (O-RAN) compliant with support for all key 5G functional split options allowing for the disaggregation of the RAN into standards-based and interoperable modular components
  • Enhanced Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication (eURLLC)
  • Built on a 4nm process node.

“Qualcomm Technologies’ engineers have been leading in the small cells industry for over a decade with our Qualcomm RAN platform. As Open RAN and small cells infrastructure continue to gain momentum, Qualcomm Technologies is at the forefront of delivering cutting edge 5G mmWave and Sub-6 GHz technology to power 5G networks on a global scale,” said Gerardo Giaretta, senior director, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Small cells have been at the heart of the global 5G proliferation and Qualcomm Technologies is leading the charge as the industry transitions to open and virtualized 5G RAN networks.” 

Huawei updates its 5G RAN portfolio

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Huawei announced major upgrades to its 5G portfolio, especially products and solutions offering multi-antenna technology for all 5G bands. 

Highlights:

  • A 400 MHz Ultra-Wideband 64T64R Massive MIMO product that supports the entire C-band, enabling operators to deploy their multi-segment spectrum on just one module to reduce the number of devices. One module can be shared by multiple operators. This allows them to overcome the insufficient spectrum that may occur in single-operator cases and greatly improves user experience, while also considerably reducing the footprint and site power consumption of antenna modules compared with separate deployments.
  • A lightweight 64T64R Massive MIMO base station, with a single module weighing as little as 19 kg. Huawei's new 64T products can be transported and installed with just one person while also delivering on performance, significantly improving construction efficiency.
  • BladeAAU a 64T A+P Solution that integrates active and passive antennas into a single box, making it the first choice for single-pole scenarios. It is the optimal approach for overcoming scenarios with limited space, which have become a common headache among operators worldwide. BladeAAU has made it easier for operators in Switzerland to acquire new sites and rapidly deploy 5G networks. By supporting a higher mounting height, BladeAAU has helped operators in China expand coverage and improve 5G user experience. Through continuous innovation, Huawei unveiled its latest BladeAAU Pro — the only one of its kind that is 64T capable while maintaining a high level of A+P integration. The active module is improved with 64 channels over the previous 32 and support for a 320 W transmit power and 200 MHz bandwidth, which provide extra flexibility for operators to meet higher capacity. The passive module is also improved with port specifications further upgraded to 2L6H to facilitate full sub-3GHz coverage.
  • BladeRRU Pro RF Unit that supports three low and three medium bands. With traditional RF solutions, one band corresponds to one module, which aggravates the insufficient antenna space, difficult site acquisition, and high cost of deployment and maintenance. Huawei's BladeRRU Pro is the first to integrate three low bands/three medium bands, reducing the required number of FDD RRUs for full-band coverage by two thirds and making investments in multi-band deployment more efficient. The low-frequency integration module has been adopted commercially in multiple countries. Huawei provides a SingleCell software solution for BladeRRU Pro to coordinate scheduling between low and medium bands, enabling more resources to serve low-band UEs at cell edges. Commercial use of the solution at multiple sites showed that SingleCell can nearly double the average seen in experience indicators for these UEs.
  • A FDD Massive MIMO product.  Though Massive MIMO has already been successfully commercialized on TDD bands to ensure premium experience and high capacity in 5G networks, FDD Massive MIMO is struggling amid the challenge to balance device dimensions, weight, and performance. The product combines a meta-material array design and ultra-miniature passive intermodulation (PIM)-free filter technology. The FDD Massive MIMO device is less than 500 mm in width but carries engineering specifications comparable to those of TDD Massive MIMO. Its cell capacity is five to six times higher than 4T4R while providing similar in-depth coverage performance as that of sub-1 GHz bands.


https://www.huawei.com/en/news/2021/6/5g-industry-unique-all-band-all-scenario-2021

NETGEAR's new WiFi 6 AP is Tri-band, PoE powered, mesh-capable and cloud manageable

 NETGEAR unveiled a fourth member in its Insight Managed WiFi 6 Access Points.

The Insight Managed WiFi 6 AX6000 Tri-band Multi-gig Access Point delivers up to 40% higher speeds to each connected device as compared to WiFi 5 (802.11ac). WAX630 interoperates with other NETGEAR Insight Managed Access Points, including the existing WiFi 5 (WAC510, WAC540) and WiFi 6 (WAX610, WAX610Y, WAX620) models. Additionally, WAX630 allows access points to be connected to each other using Instant Mesh2 - a NETGEAR wireless backhaul technology. The WAX 630 comes equipped with two Ethernet ports - one Gigabit Ethernet port and a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE++) 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port.

The new AP is suited for environments with open spaces where there is a need to provide WiFi connectivity to a large number of concurrent users, such as schools, community colleges, mid-sized manufacturing facilities, warehouses and office premises of mid-sized companies. The WAX630 also supports 12-streams (4x4 on each band) with each unit capable of delivering up to 6.0 Gbps of aggregate data throughput with all three bands supporting WiFi 6. Specifically designed for high-density deployments, the industry unique tri-band solution enables either one dedicated band for wireless backhaul with two front-haul bands for client devices, or a 2.5GbE wired backhaul with three front-haul bands for client device connection – thus making WAX630 amongst the most versatile and high-performance access points in the industry.


QCT builds a vRAN with Intel and Radisys

Quanta Cloud Technology (QCT) announced OmniRAN, its virtualized radio access network (vRAN) solution developed with Intel and Radisys. The solution uses Intel FlexRAN , a cloud-enabled wireless access virtual network functions reference implementation, and Radisys Connect 5G RAN software, a disaggregated RAN architecture for promoting 4G, 5G and IoT to build a cloud-native vRAN based on 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processors running on QCT EGX63IS-1U servers.

Intel’s vRAN dedicated accelerator, ACC100, is used for forward error correction (FEC) and Intel’s 5G optimized network adapter, codenamed Westport Channel, is also implemented for accurate time synchronization without the added complexity or expenses that come with specialty timing hardware. This validated combination on QCT EGX63IS-1U extends distributed unit (DU) capabilities to support multi-cell and multi-RRU 5G scenarios, delivering reliable performance for various network workloads.


QCT says OmniRAN has already been deployed in smart manufacturing use cases such as safety AI for environment control, high-resolution streaming for quality control, AR goggles for maintenance and repair, and autonomous guided vehicles (AGV) for equipment transport. 

“QCT works closely with its partners to ensure that customers can always stay ahead of the game,” said Mike Yang, President of QCT. “Incorporating the newest technologies and features from Intel and Radisys, QCT’s latest vRAN solution improves capital and operational efficiencies by optimizing resource utilization and making software-defined management and orchestration possible.”

“Open 5G networks are the next step for customers across many sectors, and Radisys, along with our partners, is providing open, disaggregated and virtualized RAN solutions to meet varying business demands,” said Munish Chhabra, head of Mobility Software and Services Business, Radisys. “We are excited to power the QCT vRAN solution through our market first Release 16 Radisys 5G software stack. The integrated solution enables mobile operators and enterprises to benefit from reduced costs, improved network efficiencies, and faster time-to-market of new services that open APIs and open architectures provide.”

Monday, June 28, 2021

MWC Barcelona opens as an in-person event

 Mobile World Congress officially opened in Barcelona as both an in-person and virtual event with the theme of "Connected Impact".

Kicking off MWC Barcelona 2021 with a keynote address, Mats Granryd, Director General of GSMA, said: "We are excited to be back to business, back in Barcelona and back together. This year's theme, Connected Impact, puts front and centre the power of mobile technology to affect meaningful change. With arguably our strongest speaker line-up yet, innovative product launches, and the release of the GSMA Intelligence Global Mobile Economy Report 2021, we're celebrating the resilience and progress the industry has made despite a year of extraordinary challenges."

Highlights of the week are expected to include a keynote from Elon Musk and a performance by Jon Bon Jovi live from TelcoDR's booth.

Some notable items from the GSMA's newly published Global Mobile Economy Report 2021:

  • By the end of 2025, 5G will account for just over a fifth of total mobile connections, and more than two in five people around the world will live within reach of a 5G network.
  • In 2021, 5G networks have been launched for the first time in Indonesia, Kenya, and just this month, Tajikistan.
  • Although 4G has significant headroom for growth; Globally, 4G is expected to peak at just under 60% by 2023 as 5G begins to gain traction in new markets. In leading 5G markets such as China, South Korea, and the US, 4G has peaked and, in some cases, begun to decline.




NVIDIA Aerial 5G platform extends support for Arm

NVIDIA is extending support for Arm-based CPUs in the NVIDIA Aerial A100 AI-on-5G platform, bringing more choice to the 5G ecosystem. The idea is to enable leading OEMs to offer industry-standard servers running Arm-based CPUs and NVIDIA AI Enterprise software with Aerial 5G.

In April, NVIDIA announced partnerships with Fujitsu, Google Cloud, Mavenir, Radisys and Wind River to develop solutions for NVIDIA’s AI-on-5G platform.

These NVIDIA-Certified Systems will create a simplified path to building and deploying self-hosted vRAN that converges AI and 5G capabilities across private enterprises, network equipment companies, software makers and telecommunications services providers.

The NVIDIA Aerial A100 AI-on-5G computing platform uses the NVIDIA Aerial software development kit and will incorporate 16 Arm Cortex-A78 processors into the NVIDIA BlueField-3 A100 DPUs. 

“We’re bringing together two worlds — AI of computing and 5G of telecommunications — to create a software-defined platform for AI on 5G,” said Ronnie Vasishta, senior vice president of Telecom at NVIDIA. “Now supporting Arm, our growing Aerial platform is accelerating AI-on-5G everywhere.”

“This convergence of edge AI and 5G technology is driving the need for more diverse compute than ever before,” said Chris Bergey, senior vice president and general manager of the Infrastructure Line of Business at Arm. “BlueField-3 expands the Arm ecosystem by offering a combination of NVIDIA accelerated computing and Arm performance to enable network providers more choice in how they create and deploy 5G systems.”



Momentum for 5G mmWave ecosystem

At Mobile World Congress, a contingent of mobile communications operators and vendors announced their collective support for 5G mmWave technology globally. 5G mmWave uses abundant spectrum resources in frequencies above 24 GHz to complement sub-6 GHz rollouts.

Major global mobile industry leaders advancing current 5G mmWave momentum include Airtel, AT&T, Casa Systems, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Electronics Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Elisa, Ericsson, Fastweb, Fibocom, Gongjing Electronic, HMD Global, HONOR, Infomark Co., Ltd, Innowireless Co., Ltd., KDDI CORPORATION, Kyocera, MeiG, Motorola, NBN Co, Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, OPPO, Optus, Orange, Partron Co., Ltd., Quectel, Rakuten Mobile, Samsung Electronics, Singtel, SoftBank Corp, Sunsea AIoT, TCL Communication, Telia Finland, Telstra, TIM, True Corporation Plc., UScellular, vivo, Vodafone, Xiaomi, and ZTE. 

“The global deployment of 5G mmWave is now inevitable. It is essential to achieve the full potential of 5G and those embracing 5G mmWave will find themselves with a competitive advantage,” said Cristiano Amon, president and chief executive officer-elect, Qualcomm Incorporated. “Support from companies across the ecosystem further demonstrates the global scale and maturity of 5G mmWave. We are proud of our industry leadership in the development, standardization and commercialization of 5G mmWave and honored to work with major mobile industry leaders to accelerate its deployment worldwide.”

https://www.qualcomm.com/news/releases/2021/06/28/global-mobile-industry-leaders-commit-support-5g-mmwave

Qualcomm intros 5G DU accelerator card

Qualcomm introduced its 5G DU X100 PCIe inline accelerator card with concurrent Sub-6 GHz and mmWave baseband support.

The accelerator card is designed to ease of deployment with O-RAN fronthaul and 5G NR layer 1 High (L1 High) processing. It plugs into standard Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) servers to offload CPUs from latency-sensitive and compute-intensive 5G baseband functions such as demodulation, beamforming, channel coding, and Massive MIMO computation needed for high-capacity deployments. For use in public or private networks, this accelerator card aims to give carriers the ability to increase overall network capacity and fully realize the transformative potential of 5G.

“Qualcomm Technologies, with its leadership in 5G, is uniquely positioned to drive the evolution of cellular networks and lead the industry towards 5G virtualized networks” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 5G, mobile broadband and infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are working closely with mobile operators, network equipment vendors, standards bodies, and other key stakeholders, to enable the deployment of innovative, high-performance, virtualized, and modular 5G networks at scale.”

Marvell debuts OCTEON 10 DPU

Marvell introduced its new OCTEON 10 DPU for accelerating security, networking, and storage workloads required by demanding 5G, cloud, carrier and enterprise datacenter applications. 

The OCTEON 10 DPU is designed on a 5nm process and incorporates Arm Neoverse N2 cores, as well as the first inline artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) hardware acceleration, the first integrated 1 terabit switch and the first vector packet processing (VPP) hardware accelerators.

“To meet and exceed the growing data processing requirements for network, storage, and security workloads, Marvell focused on significant DPU innovations across compute, hardware accelerators, and high speed I/O,” said John Sakamoto, vice president of Marvell’s Infrastructure Processors Business Unit. “The OCTEON 10 brings compute leadership, supports networking and security workloads exceeding 400G, and incorporates leading edge I/O including DDR5 and PCIe 5.0.”

“A significant amount of compute is required to process the deluge of data generated from cloud to edge devices today,” said Chris Bergey, senior vice president and general manager, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm. “The combination of leading-edge 5nm technology, Neoverse N2 cores and OCTEON 10 will enable Marvell to take on complex workloads, and showcase its strengths in DPU computing.”

OCTEON 10 will be available in the second half of 2021, with additional product updates shortly thereafter.

https://www.marvell.com/products/data-processing-units.html

Verizon to build 5G core on hybrid cloud with IBM and Red Hat

Verizon has chosen IBM and Red Hat to help build and deploy an open hybrid cloud platform with automated operations and service orchestration as the foundation of its 5G core.

IBM Global Business Services is also integrating Telco Network Cloud solutions into Verizon’s Service Orchestration Platform to automate and manage services much more efficiently. This integration is designed to improve the service quality, predictably and automation of virtual network functions and comply with Open Network Automation Platform interfaces.


Steve Canepa, Global GM & Managing Director, IBM Communications, states "Verizon is a great example of a communication services provider that is on the forefront of this transformation, by embracing an open hybrid cloud platform that enables a world-class operations environment, aligned to their next-gen vision of an intelligent, highly automated and efficient 5G network. With this transformation, they can scale and deploy new services across a variety of environments, speeding innovation that delivers new value to customers."


Vodafone tests single 1T clear channel with Nokia

Vodafone Turkey has tested a 1T (terabit) clear-channel IP connection using Nokia's 7950 XRS routers with terabit interfaces powered by Nokia’s FP4 chipset. Nokia’s FP4 terabit linecard offers two 1T ports and demonstrated deployment readiness by carrying test traffic on Vodafone Turkey’s network. 

Nokia said the trial is part of an ongoing modernization effort to transform Vodafone Turkey’s IP network. Nokia is delivering a multi-access mobile transport architecture that will enable the operator to evolve its transport infrastructure in a changing industry. Nokia’s 7250 IXR interconnect router and FP4-based 7750 Service Router portfolios have already been deployed for the delivery of high capacity, low latency 5G services to Vodafone Turkey’s customers. Nokia’s platforms support the features and protocols that will enable SDN control automation and optimization of applications and use cases.


Thibaud Rerolle, CTO, at Vodafone Turkey, said: “As we ramp up our delivery of new services, we are committed to providing the best possible quality of experience to our customers. We continue to rely on Nokia to evolve our IP network with industry-leading router innovation and technology to address our needs today and for next generation services." 

Vach Kompella, Head of IP Networks Division, Nokia, said: “Today’s IP networks are expected to handle hundreds of new applications and services for millions of users. The 1T trial builds upon Nokia’s advanced routing technology and platforms to future-proof Vodafone Turkey’s IP network, which serves one of the world’s largest intercontinental markets. Together we have successfully validated Nokia’s FP4 based 1T clear channel interface across Asia and Europe.”

Nokia and Elisa test first 1 terabit clear-channel interface

Elisa, a network operator serving Finland and Estonia, has tested the first 1 Tbps clear-channel interface across its commercial infrastructure.Elisa upgraded some of its Nokia 7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS) nodes with 1T interfaces powered by Nokia’s FP4 chipset, the industry’s first terabit capable routing silicon. The new FP4 terabit linecard supports two 1T ports and demonstrated deployment readiness by carrying live traffic on Elisa’s...


Brazil's Mercantil bank connects data centers with Padtec DWDM

Banco Mercantil do Brasil is increasing the transmission capacity of its DWDM networks in Belo Horizonte using a solution provided by Padtec.

Padtec supplied transponders and route protection systems to connect the bank's data centers in Belo Horizonte. The project’s technical highlight is the use of the family of 200 Gbps transponders developed by the company for the transport of multiple 16 Gb/s data channels, in a network protocol called Fiber Channel, which is suitable for interconnect applications between servers and data storage systems.

The partnership between the companies also includes the provision of services, by Padtec, for managing the operation and maintenance of the Mercantil do Brasil bank’s optical networks.

“Customer experience is one of the pillars of the digital transformation we are experiencing. And, in the world of finance, investing in high-capacity infrastructure is essential to remain competitive and continue to offer customers unique digital experiences”, says Robson Oliveira, Banco Mercantil do Brasil’s Infrastructure Coordinator. “In the case of financial institutions, this means looking for solutions that allow more effective use of transport networks and that provide a high level of security, availability, transmission and storage of data. In this regard, Padtec is an important ally. In addition to the technical quality of its equipment, the installation, operation and maintenance services offered by the company are a differential that favors the sustainable growth of our network infrastructure”, he adds.

https://www.padtec.com.br/en/padtec-provides-dwdm-solution-to-connect-mercantil-bank-data-centers-in-belo-horizonte/

Telstra sets distance record for 5G SA -- 113km

 Telstra, in collaboration with Ericsson, completed a 5G Standalone (5G SA) data call of a record distance of 113 km.  The call connected to a Telstra commercial mobile site in Gippsland, Victoria using a commercially available smartphone.


Nikos Katinakis, Telstra Group Executive, Networks & IT, says: ”This achievement is another example of Telstra’s drive to innovate for the benefit of all of its customers, particularly those in regional areas. Australia’s geography and demography present challenges to any network provider, but it is Telstra’s commitment to meet those challenges and bring its technology to all its customers that fuels such innovation. And it is that innovation, in partnership with Ericsson, that puts Telstra in a leadership position globally when it comes to 5G.”

Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson, Australia and New Zealand, says: “This new world record of an extended 5G cell range of 113 km is a huge win for rural and regional Australia giving Telstra another coverage capability option. Whether it’s enabling remote learning, especially during times of lockdown, or even facilitating remote telehealth over 5G and more such applications, this announcement today demonstrates both Telstra and Ericsson’s dedication to empowering everyday Australians with faster speeds, greater convenience and superior connectivity.”


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Boingo launches Private Networks Service

Boingo Wireless has launched an enterprise private networks offering that provides dedicated, secure wireless connectivity with enhanced capacity, control and coverage. It is currently being trialed at leading airports, sports and entertainment venues nationwide.

Boingo is offering a network as a service (NaaS) model. It can be implemented with 5G, LTE, CBRS, Wi-Fi 6, multi-access edge computing (MEC) and work seamlessly alongside neutral host DAS and Wi-Fi. 

“Businesses are accelerating their digital transformation to streamline operations, reduce overhead and provide a secure experience—and private networks from Boingo are an important piece of that transformation,” said Michael J. Zeto III, senior vice president of global strategy and emerging businesses at Boingo. “Whether it’s creating a touchless customer journey, deploying robotics on the manufacturing floor, implementing advanced asset tracking, or introducing IoT for industrial safety, a Boingo NaaS Private Network provides a secure connectivity backbone that enables an enterprise to execute its vision, realize outcomes and own their own data.”

“Boingo is the only provider of a true converged, neutral host wireless private network,” said Zeto. “That means we put the enterprise needs first and bring multiple technologies and spectrum together to efficiently provide the right solution for the right use case.”

https://www.boingo.com/private-networks

Boingo: Wi-Fi 6 vs. CBRS? Competing or Complementary?

https://youtu.be/XUPIUe_3R5s

Digital Transformation is driving the deployment of a new class of Private Mobile Networks. But which technology should enterprises choose? Wi-Fi 6 or private 5G based on CBRS? In this video, Derek Peterson, CTO of Boingo, offers his perspective.

Download the 2021 Private Mobile Networks Report here: http://ngi.how/private-networks-2021


 

Celona adds eSIM provisioning for private mobile networks

Celona is supporting enterprise embedded subscriber identity modules (eSIMs) to simplify the provisioning and streamline the management of client devices accessing private mobile networks. 

By using software-based eSIMs, device provisioning for private mobile networks can be effectively centralized and automated. Enterprise IT staff can now provide users with QR activation codes that once scanned will trigger the secure download and installation of the requisite SIM profile for a given client device. In live field-testing Celona has demonstrated successful interoperability between its private mobile network platform and leading CBRS-capable devices, such as the Apple iPhone, Apple iPad and the new Zebra T26 touch computer.

“The use of eSIMs represents a significant market shift in advancing how devices are bootstrapped and managed on private cellular networks,” said Mehmet Yavuz, Co-Founder and CTO of Celona. “At Celona we are uniquely focused on simplifying the deployment and streamlining the end-to-end operation of private mobile networks by eliminating many of the friction points that have historically inhibited widespread adoption.”

https://www.celona.io/

Celona: Private Cellular in the Enterprise

https://youtu.be/vr2flgmGEyk

IT professionals, operational technology leader and enterprise innovation teams each have different requirements that can benefit from Private Mobile Networks. In this video, Özer Dondurmacıoğlu, VP of Marketing at Celona, shares practical lessons learned from his enterprise customers and key business drivers.

Solution Demo: Celona Platform and MicroSlicing - https://youtu.be/UD7sS7P3wGo

Case Study Video: Real world Performance of CBRS based Private LTE with University of California, Santa Barbara - https://youtu.be/5EHRjT9wxfI

Download the 2021 Private Mobile Networks Report here: http://ngi.how/private-networks-2021