Showing posts with label #MWC18. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #MWC18. Show all posts

Thursday, March 8, 2018

ZTE makes a big showing at MWC with its push for 5G

ZTE, now one of the world’s major network equipment suppliers, recently reported 2017 operating revenue of RMB 108.82 billion, 7.49% higher than a year earlier, but not the double-digit growth rate seen earlier in the decade. The big 4G expansion projects in its home market of China have largely wrapped up and the company has pivoted from chasing any sale just for the sake of growing its global market share to the pursuit of profitability. For 2017, ZTE’s net profit RMB 4.55 billion, an increase of 293%. Net cash flow from operating activities for 2017 was approximately RMB 6.78 billion, about 28.88% year-on-year growth. This was a much stronger performance than 2016 when revenues grew just 4% and profits were lower.

The 2017 results were impacted by troubles with the U.S. government. In March 2017, ZTE made penalty payments of over US$1.19 billion to the U.S. government in the case involving the shipment of U.S.-origin technology to Iran during the period of economic sanctions. ZTE plead guilty in the case and paid the fine, but this has not opened new doors to the U.S. market. As with Huawei, U.S. government officials continue to cite national security as the reason to block the company from supplying any equipment to the U.S. government or U.S. carriers.

This has not impeded ZTE from growing sales in other global markets. ZTE generates about 40% of its revenue abroad. Like other suppliers from China, the company has been backed by substantial export/import loans from the China Development Bank (CDB), which have helped expand its international reach, especially in developing countries.

In Russia, ZTE has just clinched a 70% share of the first stage of  Rostelecom's the access network modernization project. ZTE's Multi-Service Access Network (MSAN) product delivers VDSL. Rostelcom is currently testing G.vectoring and G.fast for deployment in a second stage of its upgrade project. Rostelecom, of course, is Russia's leading broadband and pay-TV provider with over 12.7 million fixed-line broadband subscribers and over 9.7 million pay-TV subscribers, over 4.7 million of which are subscribed to its IPTV service.

One might have expected certain Nordic vendors to have been the likely choice for this Rostelecom tender, but it was not too be. Although geopolitics perhaps plays its role in deals at this level, there is no denying that ZTE has been highly successful with its MSAN platform in many other markets outside its home territory and that it is investing in the future of copper and fibre access technology just as aggressively as with 5G. On the copper side, ZTE recently became the first vendor to add 35b bonding profile support to its VDSL2 CPE device. Profile 35b technology can provide downstream rates three times those of profile 17a by expanding the spectrum to 35 MHz. This enables the CPE to deliver 500 Mbps downstream and 100 Mbps upstream rates over a 200-meter telephone line – a great solution for where it is not cost effective for the operator to pull fibre over that last link from the street to the home. As of February 2018, ZTE claims to have shipped over 280 million CPE devices.  Think about that number – certainly enough scale to become the major supplier in Russia going forwards.

A more surprising series of wins perhaps, given geopolitics, comes in India, where ZTE is now a major supplier of low-cost smartphones and optical transmission gear. From our records, we know that ZTE has been growing its engineering team in India since at least 2010. In October 2017, ZTE announced a 100G WDM Backbone Network Project and metro area network (MAN) construction contract with Idea Cellular, the third largest mobile operator in India with 189 million subscribers. With this deal, ZTE’s OTN optical transport platform captured a 95% share in the metro optical backbones that carry Idea Cellular’s traffic. ZTE has previously disclosed major contracts with Bharti Airtel as well. This success comes despite some protectionist voices in India warning against Chinese suppliers for critical network infrastructure.

With 5G, we are seeing the results of ZTE massive R&D efforts over the past five years. In 4G, ZTE already established itself as an equal to rival Huawei. The company knows that 5G is the opportunity to race ahead not only in core mobile infrastructure but also in smart city and industrial IoT deployments.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ZTE captured the “Best Technology Innovation for 5G" award for its end-to-end vision encompassing the radio access network, the core network, bearer platforms, custom 5G silicon and CPE terminals. As with other suppliers, many of these are “works in progress” rather than commercially deployable solutions right now.

The company believes its 5G strengths to include its work with Massive MIMO, the antenna technology which has been shown to improve spectral efficiency up to 8 times.

ZTE has been pioneering a multi-user shared access (MUSA) technology to effectively increase the number of connections served, and thereby enable support for scenarios involving mass connectivity with low power consumption. This could be extremely useful in very crowded areas, such as subway systems, when everyone is using their smartphone. The MUSA technology works by allowing high overload and eliminating scheduling operations, thereby increasing the number of connections by between 3- and 6-fold. It uses advanced spread spectrum sequence and SIC technology to simplify terminal implementation and help reduce energy consumption.

In an ongoing series of tests in China, ZTE’s MUSA reached 90 million connections / MHz / hour -- which far exceeds current network capacity/efficiency performance levels.

In the network core, ZTE is ready to commercialize end-to-end 5G network slicing. Its Cloud ServCore platform implements lightweight micro-service components to enable the network slices to operate independently and with easy scalability. This will allow IoT applications, for instance, to scale smoothly and without impacting other network slices.

ZTE is also readying a 5G Flexhaul bearer solution based on next-gen FlexE technology. Part of this vision to achieve a unified bearer network for 3G / 4G / 5G traffic. ZTE says its 5G Flexhaul achieves end-to-end protection switching time of less than 1ms, as well as single node forwarding latency of less than 0.5μs.

ZTE’s MWC performance included the signing of a 5G agreement with Ooredoo Group, which serves 164 million customers across the Middle East. ZTE will provide Ooredoo Group with end-to-end networks, applications, and terminals. Currently, the parties are completing the joint verification of the 5G architecture,. There are also the questions of defining the 5G business model and user experience. It is too early to quantify this work in financial terms, as it remains to be seen how fast the market adopts 5G and whether customers will pay more for 5G than their current 4G plans.  South Africa-based MTN also inked a deal with ZTE while at Mobile World Congress.  MTN is also currently conducting lab and field tests of ZTE’s 5G NR radio access, 5G virtualized network slicing, carrier DevOps and container-based vEPC, and 5G Flexhaul bearer network.


Sunday, March 4, 2018

2018 Mobile World Congress nets 107,000 visitors just below last year's record

Attendance at the 2018 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was 107,000 visitors, down slightly from 108,000 attendees in 2017 and compared with 101,000 attendees in 2016.

Some stats for #MWC2018:

  • attendees came from 205 countries and territories
  • there were 2,400 exhibitors, up from 2,300 last year
  • over 55 percent of attendees held senior-level positions, including more than 7,700 CEOs, up from more than 6,100 CEOs in 2017. 
  • approximately 24 percent of attendees were female, an increase from 23 percent last year.
  • 28 percent of speakers in the conference programme were female, compared with 21 percent in 2017
  • there were over 3,500 journalists and analysts in attendance
  • preliminary independent economic analysis indicates that the 2018 Mobile World Congress will have contributed approximately €471 million and over 13,000 part-time jobs to the local economy.


“We had another highly successful Mobile World Congress, across so many fronts,” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd. “We are gratified with the number of senior-level attendees, particularly the number of CEOs, as well as the continued strong attendance of government ministers and regulators. However, we are not focused on necessarily having the biggest event – we continually strive to convene the right audience and deliver a high-quality experience across all aspects of the event, the conference, the exhibition, and the many other programmes and events at Mobile World Congress.”

Mobile World Congress 2019 will be held 25-28 February, 2019 in Barcelona.

Coriant advances its Hyperscale Carrier Architecture

Coriant has announced several advancements to its Hyperscale Carrier Architecture (HCA), which is its open, agile, automated, and software-driven approach to network service innovation and which is aligned to CORD and optimized for Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC). The latest advancements include:

Coriant Transcend Network Control and Orchestration Software enhancements - (1) the addition of an NFV MANO for managing Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) in the highly distributed compute environment. This was developed using the Aricent MANO framework (2) the introduction of an advanced Virtual POD Controller (vPC) for helping network operators to seamlessly scale disaggregated solutions by effective end-to-end network control including service stitching.

Coriant IP/MPLS Network Operating System (C-NOS) – an open, disaggregated approach to packet-based networking. The Coriant NOS is designed to operate on industry-standard COTS whiteboxes as well as application-optimized carrier-grade whiteboxes such as the new Coriant Vibe series.

Coriant Vibe Series of Programmable Packet Platforms – this series of application-optimized, carrier-class whiteboxes boasts important networking features such as hardware acceleration, advanced timing capabilities to enable a variety of MEC services and applications, and support for seamless horizontal scalability. Coriant said its Vibe series can provide the foundation for a disaggregated open networking solution or can be added to a COTS whitebox-based disaggregated networking solution to enable/enhance specific network applications

“In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive services market, network operators need to evolve their multi-layer infrastructure networks to maximize the value of faster innovation cycles in hardware and software components and best-in-class functions and solutions,” said Uwe Fischer, Executive Vice President, R&D and PLM, and CTO, Coriant. “One of the key challenges that operators face is the limitations imposed by proprietary approaches that result in vendor lock-in, especially in the IP routing domain. Our Hyperscale Carrier Architecture breaks that stranglehold and accelerates new service deployment by leveraging an open hardware and software ecosystem that unlocks the barriers to seamless automation and the virtualization of network functions across network layers.”

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Huawei is first with 5G CPE based on its own silicon

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Huawei introduced the world’s first commercial terminal device supporting 3GPP 5G NR. The device uses Huawei’s internally-developed Balong 5G01 chipset, which is compatible with all 5G frequency bands, including sub-6GHz and millimeter wave (MMW).


“At Huawei, we’re guided by a vision of an all-connected world, and to achieve that goal, we invest significantly in research and development to understand the ways in which people interact and connect with technology,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei CBG.

“We’ve made it our mission to push the boundaries of what technology and innovation are capable of. With the introduction of the new HUAWEI MateBook X Pro, HUAWEI MediaPad M5 Series and the world’s first 3GPP 5G CPE, we are delivering on the promise to provide breakthrough devices that redefine every part of the mobile computing experience.”

Huawei Consumer Business Group also unveiled new laptops and tablets: the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro and the HUAWEI MediaPad M5 Series.

GSMA: 690 million Mobile Money accounts worldwide

Mobile money has evolved into the leading payment platform for the digital economy in many emerging markets, according to GSMA.

There are now more than 690 million mobile money accounts worldwide, many of which are held by individuals who previously had no access to the traditional banking system.

The GSMA's newly published, seventh annual ‘State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money’ the mobile money industry processed transactions worth a billion dollars a day, generating direct revenues of over $2.4 billion.

Additional highlights:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa has long been the epicenter of mobile money and growth in this region shows no sign of slowing
  • In 2017, for the first time, the growth of the industry was led by South Asia, which had 47% YOY growth and now represents 34% of registered accounts globally.
  • Mobile money is evolving into a sustainable industry and represents an important driver of economic growth in developing markets, particularly through formalizing payments, increasing transparency and boosting GDP.
  • A growing number of mobile money services are seeing the proportion of their customer base regularly using their service increase to over 50%
  • More funds are entering and leaving the mobile money ecosystem in digital form; bulk disbursements, bill payments and bank-to-wallet transactions have been the main drivers. In 2017, nearly 25% of incoming funds were digital, compared to nearly 12% in 2012.


“As the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) enter their third year, mobile technology is proving to be an essential tool for delivering these global goals with increased connectivity and innovative services enabling more inclusive communities,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “Mobile money remains a central part of this story, contributing to 13 of the 17 SDGs, enabling access to essential services like health and education, empowering women with employment opportunities and reducing poverty by offering life-enhancing financial services, often for the first time.”

Alibaba Cloud launches services in Europe

Alibaba Cloud launched eight cloud services for European markets.

The services, which were introduced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, range from big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to infrastructure, security and private cloud solutions.

“Alibaba Cloud wants to be an enabler for technology innovation in Europe helping enterprises do business. The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is a great opportunity for us refresh our European strategy and consider how we can make an increasing contribution to the digital transformation of enterprises in this market from different sectors with our offerings and expertise,” said Yeming Wang, General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Europe.

Alibaba Cloud said it is committed to investing in cloud computing services and digital infrastructure in Europe. It opened its first availability zone in Frankfurt Germany in November 2016 and recently commenced operation of the second availability zone in the same region. To better serve its customers in Europe, Alibaba Cloud is establishing a technology ecosystem with European partners, such as Vodafone in Germany, the Met Office which is the national meteorological service for the UK, and Station F, an innovation hub in France.

CommScope and Nokia develop Massive MIMO Integrated Antenna

CommScope and Nokia have collaborated to develop a Massive MIMO (multiple input/multiple output) integrated antenna solution that enables network densification in support of mobile data traffic growth and the evolution to 5G.

The Massive MIMO beamforming antenna solution consists of a CommScope dual-band, FDD-LTE antenna integrated with two Nokia AirScale radios to deliver 16T16R Massive MIMO in two bands simultaneously. This integrated antenna solution will add capacity in both uplink and downlink and provide coverage enhancement for 4.9G networks.

“The path to 5G includes evolving the current 4G network through densification, virtualization and optimization to deliver an enhanced mobile broadband experience,” said Ben Cardwell, senior vice president, CommScope Mobility Solutions. “The new Massive MIMO solution showcases the synergies of combining Nokia’s radio expertise with CommScope’s advanced antenna technology.”

Commercial availability is expected by mid-year.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Sprint deploys 64T64R Massive MIMO antennas

Sprint is deploying Massive MIMO antennas as it prepares for a 5G rollout in the first half of 2019. Sprint expects to deploy thousands of Massive MIMO radios in 2018 and 2019, significantly increasing network capacity for millions of customers across the country.

Specifically, Sprint will deploy 64T64R (64 transmit, 64 receive) Massive MIMO radios using 128 antennas from Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung Electronics. The Massive MIMO radios from all three suppliers are software-upgradable to 5G without additional tower climbs. The Massive MIMO radios support split-mode service, enabling Sprint to offer both 4G LTE and 5G on the same radio.

Sprint customers using a 2.5 GHz (band 41) device in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles will begin seeing a significant bandwidth boost on the existing network in April thanks to the new equipment.

Massive MIMO deployments in additional markets including Atlanta, Houston and Washington, D.C. are planned for later this year.

“Massive MIMO is a game-changer for TDD-LTE networks that’s being used by leading operators around the world to deploy Gigabit LTE and 5G,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint Chief Technology Officer. “For more than a year we’ve been testing this new technology, and in a few short weeks we’ll be bringing the power of Massive MIMO to Sprint customers beginning with some of the largest markets in the country.”

Sprint noted that it has 204 MHz of spectrum and more than 160 MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum in the top 100 markets, giving it enough capacity to operate LTE and 5G simultaneously over 100-200 MHz on the same Massive MIMO radios.

Vodafone and China Mobile enter IoT resale partnership

Vodafone and China Mobile agreed to resell each other’s IoT services.

Under the agreement, each company will share new IoT project opportunities. Vodafone customers will be given access to China Mobile IoT SIMS for deployments in China, and China Mobile customers wanting to offer IoT-enabled products outside of China will use Vodafone’s Global IoT SIM and management platform. Vodafone will manage all elements of the operational model for its customers including on-boarding, SIM and logistics as well as billing and support. The company will effectively act as a single point of contact for its enterprise IoT customers wanting to move into China.

Huawei develops FDD bull-band 4x4 MIMO compact antenna for TIM

At Mobile World Congress 2018, Huawei is showcasing the first FDD full-band 4x4 MIMO antenna - a designed developed for TIM, the Italian mobile operator.

The antenna uses Huawei's patented AirType Dipole and AirMax Feeding Network technologies to support 4x4 MIMO on all of TIM's sub-3 GHz frequency bands in a single sector and a single antenna, including 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1400 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2600 MHz, while leaving room for one new active antenna in C band and mmWave. Its compact size - a 6-array, side-by-side design, only 469 mm wide - and excellent wind load allow for a 15% increase in efficiency and rapid deployment of best-experience networks.

Huawei said this innovation will help TIM to maximize site value while also favoring site sharing.

Giovanni Ferigo, Chief Technology Officer at TIM, comments: "TIM is dedicated to technological innovation for better network capacity and user experience. We worked together with Huawei to develop this FDD full-band 4x4 MIMO antenna, which helps us better address antenna deployment issues and paves the way for 5G."

Mr. Joyee Zhang, President of Huawei Wireless Network Antenna Business Unit, says: "We propose a 1+1 Antenna Modernization, Ready for 5G concept. This concept uses one passive antenna for 4x4 MIMO on all sub-3 GHz frequency bands and one antenna for C band and mmWave. The FDD full-band 4x4 MIMO antenna jointly developed with TIM will help TIM as well as other operators rapidly deploy 5G-oriented networks."

Ericsson supplies radio access for T-Mobile's 5G in NY, LA, LV

Ericsson is supplying its radio access platforms for T-Mobile's 5G rollout in U.S. cities using 600 MHz and 28 and 39 millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Specifically, T-Mobile is building out 5G in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas this year utilizing Ericson's 5G New Radio (NR) radios and baseband.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “We have been working in close partnership with T-Mobile on 5G for tests in the lab, field trials, and now initial deployment into the T-Mobile network. Our 5G Platform enables operators like T-Mobile to launch 5G as quickly as possible.”

Ericsson says 5G RAN software will be ready by Q4

Ericsson announced that its 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) software, based on the recently approved first 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standard, will be commercially available by Q4 2018, paving the way for operators to launch commercial services in 2019. The 5G radio network software complements Ericsson’s already launched baseband and 5G radios. The company says all of the base radios from the Ericsson Radio System delivered since 2015 will be 5G NR-capable by a remote software installation.

Ericsson’s 5G radio network software promises multi-band support for global deployment and will allow operators to use new frequency spectrum as it becomes available. It also introduces a new category of radio products called Street Macro – a new site type that addresses the need of operators to grow in cities with limited available radio locations. The idea is to place radios on building facades with a smaller footprint but the necessary strength to secure network efficiency and coverage. Ericsson is also adding new radios with Massive MIMO technology.

Ericsson also announced enhancements to its Distributed Cloud architecture, which support cloud application deployment across multiple sites - central, distributed, and edge. The design can be managed, orchestrated, and perceived as one solution in what the company calls "Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) to the edge". In addition, the Ericsson Distributed Cloud will add support for hardware options in a multi-vendor framework.

GSMA: 23 operators now running both NB-IoT and LTE-M

To date, 23 mobile operators have commercially launched 41 Mobile IoT networks worldwide across both NB-IoT and LTE-M, according to the GSMA.

The GSMA's Mobile IoT Innovators Community has grown to include 34 IoT Labs and an expanding community of over 800 organisations.

According to GSMA Intelligence forecasts, by 2025 there will be 3.1 billion cellular IoT connections, including 1.8 billion licensed LPWA connections.

“2018 is the year that Mobile IoT networks will scale. We have seen huge growth in the availability of commercial networks in licensed spectrum and anticipate seeing many more launches this year. This is underpinned by an expanding community of organisations developing innovative new solutions and a number of IoT Labs helping companies to test out new products and services,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “Mobile IoT networks are fast becoming the defacto global IoT solution, as only licensed, managed mobile services can provide the secure low power connection that can meet future demand.”

China Mobile signs cooperation pact with Ericsson

At Mobile World Congress, China Mobile signed a Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement with Ericsson to develop Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities in industry and enterprises.

The partnership will build on Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform IoT (DCP-IoT) Connectivity Management platform, as part of the IoT Accelerator Platform, to help China Mobile expand IoT business worldwide, and to support China’s One Belt One Road initiative.

The companies plan to jointly build an Industry IoT Cooperation Center to plan for and develop IoT Connectivity and IoT ecosystem solutions in areas such as manufacturing, industry, health, and intelligent transportation.

Ericsson and China Mobile also agreed to strengthen cooperation in 5G standardization and 5G networks, and also jointly develop 5G network-enabled use cases for industries, as well as exploring business opportunities to reach the full potential of IoT.

Chris Houghton, Head of Market Area North East Asia, Ericsson, says: “At MWC 2018 we are showing that we are no longer just talking about 5G and IoT, we are doing what it takes to make it happen. The IoT Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China Mobile shows we are working with partners to put our 5G and IoT technology leadership into practice.”

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 700 on pace for this year

Qualcomm confirmed that it will begin sampling its Snapdragon 700 Mobile Platform Series in the first half of this year.

The chipset promises features and performance previously only available in the premium Snapdragon 800 Mobile Platform Series. These capabilities include on-device AI supported by the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine, and improvements to camera, device performance and power.

"The Snapdragon 700 Mobile Platform Series will bring premium tier technologies and features into more affordable devices, something our global OEM customers and consumers are demanding," said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies. "From our cutting-edge Qualcomm AI Engine to superior camera, device performance and power, the Snapdragon 700 Series is optimized to support the experiences consumers have come to expect from the most advanced mobile devices at a lower price point."

Orange Labs integrates Radisys' virtualized Media Resource Function into ONAP

Orange Labs Networks has integrated Radisys’ MediaEngine virtualized Media Resource Function (vMRF) in the ONAP (Open Network Automation Platform) “Amsterdam” release. This paves the way for additional VNF integrations with ONAP, accelerating commercial deployments.

The overall solution includes complete cost-effective vMRF lifecycle management of ONAP infrastructure, including elastic scaling, policy-driven controls, and zero-touch automation and management, significantly reducing time-to-market and OpEx.

“As we transform our network, we are turning to new innovative and disruptive vendors that will support our move to open source technologies like ONAP to guarantee our software independence and openness,” said Eric Debeau, Head of Network Automation Platform Team at Orange. “With its deep heritage in software, hardware and services for the telecom industry combined with its experience with ONAP, Radisys is helping drive new service creation through enabling virtualization of network services through cost-efficient design, implementation and management.”

“Our collaboration with Orange on this first demonstration of vMRF on ONAP sets the stage for operators like Orange to transform their networks with other commercial VNFs,” said Adnan Saleem, CTO Software and Cloud Solutions, MediaEngine, Radisys. “We are excited to be able to participate with Orange Labs Networks, and other service providers to not only onboard our VNFs, but also bring the expertise to onboard other VNFs and provide complete ONAP integration services to accelerate delivery of new innovative applications.”

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

T-Mobile US to deploy Nokia 5G in 600MHz and 28GHz mmWave this year

T-Mobile U.S. announced plans to build out 5G in 30 cities this year and Nokia confirmed that its equipment has been selected for the rollout. T-Mobile will deploy its 5G RAN using both 600MHz and 28GHz millimeter wave spectrum.

Nokia will begin building the network during the second quarter of 2018, completing the deployment during 2020. Financial terms were not disclosed.

T-Mobile said New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Las Vegas will be first to get 5G. Service, of course, will require a 5G smartphone and these are expected to launch early in 2019.

Nokia listed the following elements in T-Mobile's deployment:

  • Nokia AirScale baseband and remote radio heads supporting 5G NR, and ReefShark-enabled portfolio in the 600MHz and 28GHz mmWave spectrums. The Nokia 5G-ready AirScale radio access portfolio, which is software upgradable to full 5G services will provide enhanced RAN support for 4G and 5G T-Mobile subscribers
  • Nokia installed Core technologies will be enhanced to support 5G, implementing a cloud-native architecture, powered by the Nokia AirFrame data center solution, Subscriber Data Management, CloudBand and Cloud Packet Core
  • Nokia Mobile Anyhaul framework to enable ultra-broadband connectivity
  • Nokia Digital Experience and Monetization solutions will support 5G device management and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) solutions
  • Nokia CloudBand Management and Orchestration (MANO) software suite will automate cloud application deployment and lifecycle management
  • Nokia NetAct virtualized network management software provides capabilities for troubleshooting, assurance, administration, software management and configuration, and managing the smooth evolution to 5G
  • Nokia Global Services expertise, including automation to speed the rollout and analytics to help optimize network performance

T-Mobile also took the launch announcement as a chance to poke fun at its rivals.

“Dumb and Dumber are in a meaningless race to be first. Their so-called 5G isn’t mobile, and it’s not even on a smartphone. It’s a puck?! You gotta be pucking kidding me!” said John Legere, president and CEO at T-Mobile. “While the Duopoly focus on bragging rights, we focus on customers. T-Mobile has massively bigger plans for a truly transformative 5G experience on your smartphone nationwide. We’re playing the long game ... the only game that matters.”

Nokia's President and Chief Executive Officer Rajeev Suri said: "We are excited to work with T-Mobile for their groundbreaking nationwide 5G rollout. Nokia's 5G solution combines our high-capacity New Radio, Core and SDN controlled 'anyhaul' transport and software, and incorporates innovations such as the new in-house silicon ReefShark chipset to deliver a new level of network performance. 5G is happening now, and no company is better placed to deliver than Nokia."

Nokia's ReefShark silicon cuts massive MIMO antenna size and power consumption

Nokia unveiled its ReefShark 5G chipsets for radio frequency (RF) units such as the radio used in antennas. The chipsets, which were developed in-house, significantly improve radio performance resulting in halving the size of massive MIMO antennas. Nokia says its ReefShark chipsets also reduce power consumption in baseband units by 64%, compared to current technology.

The ReefShark chipsets comprise:

  • ReefShark Digital Front End for LTE and 5G radio systems supporting massive MIMO
  • ReefShark RFIC front-end module and transceiver: massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna solution
  • ReefShark Baseband Processor: All-in-one compute heavy design, capable of supporting the massive scale requirements of 5G. This is the brain power of baseband processing.

The ReefShark chipsets for compute capacity are delivered as plug-in units for the commercially available Nokia AirScale baseband module. The new plug-in units triple throughput from 28 Gbps today to up to 84 Gbps per module. Additionally, AirScale baseband module chaining supports base station throughputs of up to 6 terabits per second. Nokia said this level of performance will allow operators to meet the huge growing densification demands and support the massive enhanced mobile broadband needs of people and devices in megacities.
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xRAN Forum merges with C-RAN Alliance, seeking innovation in radio access

Two industry organizations are combining their efforts to drive innovation in radio access networks.

The xRAN Forum will merge with the C-RAN Alliance to form the ORAN Alliance, which is backed by AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO, and Orange.

  • The key principles of the ORAN Alliance include:
  • Leading the industry towards open, interoperable interfaces, RAN virtualization, and big data enabled RAN intelligence.
  • Maximizing the use of common-off-the-shelf hardware and merchant silicon and minimizing proprietary hardware.
  • Specifying APIs and interfaces, driving standards to adopt them as appropriate, and exploring open source where appropriate.

“xRAN Forum members have made excellent progress this year and we expect completion of the first open, interoperable front haul specification in March,” said Dr. Sachin Katti, Professor at Stanford University and Director of the xRAN Forum. “We are advancing both a southbound interface specification to an open RAN and a northbound interface specification, delivering applications access to rich controller functions and abstracted RAN control. Going forward, we believe there will be strong, complimentary collaboration with our new colleagues from the C-RAN Alliance.”

“The xRAN Forum was created to accelerate the delivery of products that support a common, open architecture and standardized interfaces that we, as operators, view as the foundation of our next-generation wireless infrastructure,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Research & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom. “xRAN members have made strong progress this year, and we are confident that by building on the xRAN architecture in combination with the RAN virtualization focus brought by the C-RAN Alliance, we are well positioned to achieve the joint objectives of the ORAN Alliance.”

"Our industry is approaching an inflection point, where increasing infrastructure virtualization will combine with embedded intelligence to deliver more agile services and advanced capabilities to our customers. The xRAN Forum has been at the forefront of defining the next generation RAN architecture for this transformation," said Andre Fuetsch, CTO and President AT&T Labs. "This is a global change that will impact all network operators. It will be accelerated by the merger of the xRAN Forum and the C-RAN Alliance into the ORAN Alliance, which promises to be a strong global forum."

ECI presents its connectivity fabric for 5G

At Mobile World Congress, ECI is presenting its dynamic, intelligent connectivity fabric for 5G networks.

At the core of ECI’s solution is its newly launched Elastic Services Platform, which consists of its: Apollo Optical family, Neptune Packet-Optical family and Mercury NFV-based solutions.

ECI has developed an open, modular SDN software suite for eal-time network control and optimization of service delivery.

The company says its solution brings together the latest in IP and Optical interworking (including new technologies such as FlexE and Path Computation), intuitive service orchestration and network automation. Highlights of ECI’s 5G solution:

Scalable Transport – provides the basis for a highly dynamic, distributed 5G architecture. ECI’s Neptune and Apollo product lines deliver scalable transport for RAN to Core connectivity, offering an optimized feature set for mobile backhaul. The solution is also environmentally hardened.

Adaptive Network Slicing – ECI’s Elastic Services Platform creates and supervises end-to-end network slicing, enabling dynamic latency adaptation and policy-driven bandwidth assignment for ultra-high bandwidth and low latency services, so slices can be customized according to required network performance metrics.

Assured Service Delivery – ECI’s Muse software suite enables a simple and intuitive way to define, profile, monitor and enforce SLAs to ensure current and future 5G services e.g. autonomous cars, are optimized, always on and running at peak efficiency.

Integrating (MEC) Multi-Access Edge Computing – ECI’s Mercury NFV-based solutions, operators can simply and easily add compute power, speed or capacity while preparing for 5G.

Open Architecture – ECI's ELASTIC network strategy promotes and supports open APIs, interfaces and SDN controllability to ensure full functionality in multi-vendor environments.

“5G promises to change the way we live, offering unprecedented services and an unparalleled user experience, but 5G goes beyond capacity. It is not just another G, nor is it simply about radio, rather it will change networking as we know it,” said Darryl Edwards, CEO and president of ECI. “However, we must remember 5G will still need to operate in conjunction with 4G LTE, and even 3G. It is paramount that network infrastructure be ELASTIC enough to enable the interworking and coexistence of generations.”


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Samsung's Galaxy S9 brings camera improvements but no 5G

Samsung is ready to ship its Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones in March in global volumes.

The new flagships boast an improved camera with a dual aperture lens for low light, Super Slow-mo video capabilities, and personalized AR Emoji.

As the units are now ready, network connectivity remains pretty much unchanged, with no 5G in this generation.

However, Samsung is introducing a SmartThings App with S9 and Galaxy S9+ that will connect to other Samsung and non-Samsung devices to serve as a connected hub for Smart Homes.

Regarding security, the new phones are protected by Knox 3.1, Samsung’s latest defense-grade security platform, as well as three different biometric authentication options – iris, fingerprint, and facial recognition.

A new verification mode can combine iris scanning and facial recognition technology to quickly unlock a user’s phone.

Dell'Oro: Fast growth predicted for CBRS

The nascent Citizen Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) market opportunities are expected to grow 10-fold between 2018 and 2022 with total RAN investments approaching $1 billion, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

“One of the more compelling propositions relating to the CBRS band is that it lowers the barrier to entry and provides opportunities for a wide range of participants to operate a public or private LTE network — or eventually even a 5G network — at a fraction of the cost of operating a typical network, utilizing licensed spectrum,” said Stefan Pongratz, Senior Director at Dell’Oro Group. “Taking into consideration both the enormous market opportunity with CBRS and the long list of caveats that could curtail the impact in the near-term, we expect activity to accelerate rapidly between 2018 and 2022 to support a wide range of participants to operate a public or private LTE network,” explained Pongratz.

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