Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Sprint charts journey to NFV Openstack Cloud

Sprint announced several milestones for its nationwide Network Function Virtualization OpenStack cloud deployment.

In a blog post, Günther Ottendorfer, Sprint's Chief Operating Officer, Technology, described a multi-pronged approach to address both the operational and the technological components of NFV, including the deployment of a common infrastructure in more than 30 data centers around the network. This deployment, started two years ago, coincides with a “cap and grow” approach to commercializing NFV. While building the virtualized infrastructure, Sprint is simultaneously capping the expansion of legacy core network hardware.

Ottendorfer asserts that Sprint is committed to deploying open-source software on standards-based hardware to provide a more flexible, innovative, and cost-effective network that can support the 5G requirements for super-high data speeds, ultra-low latency, automation, and mass connectivity required for IOT, Ultra HD video, AR-VR, and Edge computing.  Sprint's new virtual Core replaces stand-alone, bare metal platforms with a single Network Function Virtualization infrastructure (NFVI) on which all of the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and IP Multimedia Sub-System (IMS) platforms virtually reside as Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs).

http://newsroom.sprint.com/the-sprint-nfv-journey.htm


  • In May 2017, Sprint (announced the availability of C3PO (Clean CUPS Core for Packet Optimization – CUPS: Control & User Plane Separation), an open source NFV/SDN-based mobile core reference solution designed to significantly improve performance of the network core by providing a clean, streamlined, high-performance data plane for the packet core.

    C3PO uses standard high-volume server hardware and streamlines mobile core architecture by collapsing multiple components into as few network nodes as possible. In lab tests conducted on Dell EMC DSS 9000 rack scale infrastructure with compute sleds running dual socket 14 core Intel Xeon processors E5-2680 v4, Sprint achieved 1.63 Mpps (million packets per second) throughput. This C3PO configuration demonstrated high efficiency by utilizing as few as seven processor cores - with one packet processing core and six processor cores supporting other tasks such as Control Plane, statistics, load balancer, operating system and other operations, for 500,000 subscribers using a typical Sprint traffic model. A similar C3PO configuration achieved 2.2 Mpps with a similar traffic model for 50,000 subscribers.

    Sprint's C3PO is the result of four years of collaboration between Intel Labs and Sprint on a joint research effort to develop optimal DPDK-based data plane nodes and disaggregated evolved packet core architectures, as well as a platform for further 5G core infrastructure research. “C3PO makes traditional mobility architectures and software designs more streamlined, efficient and scalable,” said Dr. Ron Marquardt, Vice President of Technology at Sprint. “By combining Sprint’s real-world operator knowledge with Intel’s research on optimizing software for standard high-volume servers, we’ve developed a single solution that provides seven functions previously located within separate physical elements.”

Sprint selects Metaswitch to accelerate mobile innovation

Metaswitch confirmed that Sprint is deploying its products and technologies to enable the accelerated development and deployment of advanced mobile communication services for businesses and consumers.

Metaswitch said its cloud technology portfolio provides an extremely agile and cost-efficient innovation platform for LTE and 5G networks, extending beyond person-to-person communications and into the real time connectivity and control of the Internet of Things. Working together, Metaswitch and Sprint are looking to provide higher quality, feature-rich and sophisticated communication services that are native to the mobile phone dialer. The goal is to provide users a more intuitive, reliable and collaborative experience than is typically available from third party applications that ride on top of a standard mobile data plan.

"We're excited to lay this foundation as part of Sprint's network virtualization initiative, which we expect will deliver an expanding range of innovative services to our customers for many years to come," said Günther Ottendorfer, Chief Operating Officer of Technology at Sprint. "These new services will enable our customers to do more with the devices they depend on at home, at work and on the go, while reducing our infrastructure and operating costs."

"Our goal is to provide a range of exciting and potentially exclusive services that delight our customers and help them connect in new and better ways," added Ottendorfer.

"Sprint's commitment to mobile cloud innovation is impressive and will accelerate value for its customers and partners," said Martin Lund, CEO of Metaswitch. "We are honored to have been selected as a key strategic provider for the core of Sprint's next generation network and we look forward to driving future innovation together."

https://www.metaswitch.com/the-switch/sprint-selects-metaswitch-to-accelerate-mobile-network-innovation

Ericsson broadens 5G with massive MIMO radio

Ericsson expanded its 5G portfolio, which comprises the 5G core, radio and transport platforms, together with OSS, BSS, network services and security. The broadened portfolio now includes a new radio product, AIR 3246, for Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (Massive MIMO), which is a complement to Ericsson’s global 5G radio offering.

AIR 3246 supports both 4G/LTE and 5G NR (New Radio) technologies. It is Ericsson’s first 5G NR radio for frequency division duplex (FDD) and designed for boosting 4G capacity and bringing 5G to subscribers in metropolitan areas using mid-band spectrum. Commercial availability is expected in Q2 2018.

Ericsson’s 5G Platform includes three previously launched time division duplex (TDD) radios capable of supporting 5G and Massive MIMO, as well as core, transport, digital support and security elements. The company has the most complete 5G portfolio in the industry, serving the needs of the first movers in 5G.

Fredrik Jejdling, Head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson, says: “We now expand the 5G platform that we introduced last February. The new radio will enable operators to enhance 4G capacity for their subscribers today and be ready for 5G tomorrow, using the same hardware. We also complement the products with a set of network services, simplifying the journey to 5G for our customers.”                    

Ericsson noted that FDD Massive MIMO is part of a trial with T-Mobile US, on three sites in Baltimore, Maryland. This will be the first time that standardized Massive MIMO will be used to carry commercial LTE traffic using mid-band FDD spectrum.

Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile, says: “T-Mobile’s racing forward at breakneck pace with Ericsson’s next-gen tech that advances LTE today and paves the way for 5G tomorrow. While the carriers scramble to prop up networks caving under the weight of unlimited, the Un-carrier’s rolling out advanced technologies to massively increase network capacity and data throughput for customers. Translation – we’re making America’s best unlimited network even better!”

Commercially available in the second quarter 2018, AIR 3246 will be part of Ericsson Radio System.

SoftBank tests 5G in 4.5GHz band with Ericsson

SoftBank is working with Ericsson to conduct an end-to-end trial of 5G in the 4.5GHz band in the urban areas of Japan.

Ericsson said this will be the first end-to-end 5G trial including two 5G New Radios, virtual RAN, virtual EPC, beamforming, Massive MIMO functionalities and test support services. SoftBank is currently awaiting an experimental license to conduct the trial.

The companies have been conducting 5G lab trials using 4.5GHz spectrum since last year.

Earlier this year, Hideyuki Tsukuda, Senior Vice President, SoftBank Corp., was quoted: "SoftBank started to verify 4.5GHz radio back in August 2016 and now 4.5GHz is becoming the leading candidate band for 5G services in Japan together with 28GHz.  We are leveraging Ericsson's Test Bed with 28GHz radio to validate a lot of advanced features at super low-latency and high throughput, which helps position us as a pioneer of 5G."

http://www.ericsson.com

OIF Updates Micro Intradyne Coherent Receiver IA for 400G

Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) announced updates to its Micro Intradyne Coherent Receiver implementation agreement. The IA introduces three classes of receivers, distinguished by their RF frequency response, to support Flex Coherent DWDM transmission to 400G and beyond.

The OIF said it continues its efforts to look beyond 100G by selecting a 400G implementation technology option. The newly published Flex Coherent DWDM Transmission framework document specifies a single technical approach for diverse network applications, including long-haul (LH), metro and data center inter-connection (DCI). One of the objectives of this work is to provide direction on the technical developments required by system and component providers.

“Our system vendor members continue to flow down future system requirements so that component suppliers can be ready with products to support their designs,” said Karl Gass of Qorvo and the OIF’s Physical and Link Layer Working Group – Optical Vice Chair.

The OIF is currently planning its next global transport SDN Interop demo and seeking input from the service provider community, including those that have not participated in past interop demonstrations.

In addition, the following officers were re-elected to one-year terms:
Klaus-Holger Otto of Nokia - Technical Committee, Chair; Ed Frlan of Semtech - Technical Committee, Vice Chair; Lyndon Ong of Ciena - MA&E Committee Co-Chair, Networking; Brian Holden of Kandou Bus - MA&E Committee Co-Chair, Physical & Link Layer.

http://www.oiforum.com

MTN South Africa looks to Cat-M1 for IoT

MTN South Africa has completed lab trials of Cat-M1 in support of its Internet of Things (IoT) ambitions.

The Cat-M1 trial uses IoT devices integrated with a Qualcomm MDM9206 global multimode LTE IoT modem and the Ericsson Massive IoT Radio Access Network product.

Giovanni Chiarelli, CTIO, MTN South Africa, says: “Cat-M1 provides key advantages of low-cost devices, long battery life, extended coverage and supports a wide range of use cases. The successful trial, in conjunction with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, proves that both companies have the ability to support new IoT services and technologies for MTN. The initial use of this technology has been for tracking and reporting use cases that have benefited both consumer and business customers. At MTN we are providing the platform for these and future applications to enhance people’s lives.”

https://www.ericsson.com/en/press-releases/2017/9/first-cat-m1-test-in-africa-for-internet-of-things

New spectrum will shake up the mobile market

We will be hearing a lot about extending 4G LTE into new spectrum bands in the coming year even as 5G trials and pre-standard commercial deployments get underway in 2018.

Repurposing the 600 MHz band.

In August 2016, T-Mobile US lit up the first base stations using its newly acquired 600 MHz spectrum become the first mobile operator worldwide to activate commercial LTE service using this frequency band. A second 600 MHz location was activated in Scarborough, Maine about 2 weeks later and T-Mobile now says it is on track to light up 600 MHz cell sites in rural locations across the United States over the coming months.

T-Mobile’s 600 MHz rollout is interesting on a couple of fronts.  First, the pace of the rollout is impressive. The first activation, which occurred in Cheyenne, Wyoming, came only two months after T-Mobile received its spectrum licenses from the FCC.  Most of the spectrum licenses were previously held by broadcasters, such as public TV stations, or educational or religious entities which in the days before the commercial Internet really took off had once imagined a future where they would be broadcasting TV directly consumers in their local market. In rural areas, at least, it is proving easier to clear the spectrum for T-Mobile.

Second, T-Mobile now has plenty of 600 MHz licenses, which it acquired in the FCC’ Broadcast Incentive Auction in April for $7.99 billion, covering all of the U.S. and Puerto Rico. T-Mobile acquired 31 MHz of spectrum nationwide on average, quadrupling its low-band holdings, for a total of $7.99 billion. With the purchase, T-Mobile claims to hold more low-band spectrum per customer than any other major provider, and nearly 3x the low-band spectrum per customer held by Verizon, which did not bid in the auction to the surprise of many observers. Other companies picking up 600 MHz spectrum in that auction were Parker B Wireless (Dish Network) $6.2 billion; CC Wireless Investment (Comcast) $1.7 billion; AT&T $902 million; Channel 51 $859 million; Bluewater Wireless $568 million; US Cellular 329 million; NewLevel $296 million; Tsar 600 $131 million; and Omega Wireless $99.7 million.  There was a handful of other local or regional auction winner, implying that some deal-making is likely.

Third, 600 MHz will provide great building penetration and range. It also will be instrumental to T-Mobile’s 5G strategy. In addition to the 600 MHz bands, T-Mobile has 200 MHz of spectrum in the 28/39 GHz bands covering nearly 100 million people in major metros. The company says both resources will be used for 5G. In various company blog posts, T-Mobile argues that 5G should not be equated only with high-band, or millimeter wave, spectrum, even though these bands support massive throughput capacity. The limited range of the 28/39 GHz bands means that vast numbers of small cells will be required for ubiquitous coverage which will be a major capital expenditure.

Fourth, LV’s V30 announced at the end of August is the first smartphone to support 600 MHz LTE. Qualcomm has said that its Snapdragon X20 and X16 modems support 600 MHz. We don’t know yet whether the upcoming iPhones will support 600 MHz – it could be a game changer either way. If yes, it could be a home run for T-Mobile. If no, it could be a big strike-out.

GSA (the Global mobile Suppliers Association) recently reported that Argentina, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand are considering re-purposing and re-licensing 600 MHz spectrum in a similar fashion.

Refarming 450 MHz (Band 31)

Another area of activity around the world is 450 MHz, otherwise known as Band 31, which was widely used for CDMA networks. GSA tracks over 100 CDMA networks worldwide that relied on Band 31 for wide area reach and in-building penetration. The first carriers began deactivating CDMA 450 in 2014. Currently, GSA counts ten networks that have re-farmed this spectrum to extend their LTE coverage.
Ukko Mobile, Aland Islands (Baltic Sea)
Vimplecom (Beeline), Armenia
Net1, Denmark
Ukko, Finland
MVM, Hungary
Net1, Indonesia
Ice.net, Norway
Broadband Everywhere, Philippines
Tele2 (Skylink), Russia
Net1, Sweden

3.5 GHz Mid-band spectrum for 5G
Lots of activity around 5G in the “mid-bands” of 3.5 GHz spectrum is underway in carrier test labs and with regulators, including the FCC. In April 2015, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules for CBRS, which opens 150 MHz of spectrum (3550-3700 MHz) for commercial use — while providing necessary protection of incumbent users of the band. Spectrum access is actively coordinated based on priority and granular location, making previously allocated spectrum available to new entrants and services. In 2016, the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) Alliance was formed with the goal of making LTE-based solutions in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band widely available, Big name players are backing this initiative, including AT&T, American Tower, CableLabs, Intel, Nokia, ZTE, and others.

Another big milestone for 3.5 GHz spectrum came in late August, when Verizon, Ericsson, Qualcomm, and Federated Wireless demonstrated LTE Advanced carrier aggregation using CBRS band 48 spectrum. The demo, which was conducted in an Ericsson lab in Plano, Texas included the end-to-end CBRS communication flow, using 2x20 MHz LTE carriers on the CBRS band 48, and employing a 256 QAM modulation in the downlink. Ericsson provided the band 48 Radio Dot System and Domain Proxy for communication with Federated SAS. Qualcomm Technologies provided a Qualcomm Snapdragon LTE modem test device, and Federated Wireless provided the spectrum management service with their Spectrum Controller.

A month earlier, in July 2017, ZTE and China Unicom announced a field test in Shenzhen that achieved data rates of up to 2 Gbit/s using the 3.5 GHz frequency band with a 100 MHz bandwidth. This test was conducted by ZTE working with the Guangdong branch of China Unicom and the operator's network construction department and the China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute. The field test was designed to verify the 5G technical performance and product commercial capabilities in a live network environment and builds on the established partnership for 5G network development between China Unicom and ZTE.

 Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) looks ready to go

After several years of incubation, Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) appears to be on the cusp of commercial rollout. The magic with LAA is that it enables operators to use unlicensed spectrum in combination with licensed bands. It co-exists with Wi-Fi and other unlicensed spectrum technologies using 'listen before talk', which promises fair coexistence, Multiple carriers are the world are now trialling LTE-LAA or beginning commercial rollouts, boasting of downlink speeds nearing the gigabit mark. In June, AT&T and Ericsson conducted a live LTE-LAA technology field trial, during which initial wireless data rates of more than 650 Mbps were achieved in downtown San Francisco. Also in June, T-Mobile completed the nation’s first mobile broadband data session live in the field using License Assisted Access (LAA) on its commercial network. Italian operator TIM has achieved speeds of nearly 1Gbps on its live advanced 4G network in Milan using Ericsson’s LAA technology.  In addition, Ericsson, Verizon and Qualcomm have reported downlink performance of 953 Mbps in a joint commercial network deployment in Boca Raton, Florida. 

Anuta Supports Remote Deployment of Tata Communications’ IZO SDWAN

Anuta Networks announced that its NCX orchestrator has been successfully deployed by the global managed services provider Tata Communications for automating the roll-out of the company’s IZO SDWAN offering across 130 countries.

NCX delivers configuration and policy management for multi-vendor network devices using extensible device and service models. For Tata Communications’ IZO SDWAN, NCX automates Cisco Integrated Services Routers, Cisco Aggregation Services Routers and Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V Series. In addition to provisioning, NCX collects telemetry from thousands of network elements to provide customers with unprecedented visibility into their network operations.

“Since launching IZO SDWAN, we’ve seen significant interest in this service from our enterprise customers who want to make the most of their cloud deployments, while reducing the complexity of moving to the cloud,” said Peter Juffernholz, Associate Vice President, Virtualized Network Services at Tata Communications. “To enhance the self-service capabilities of IZO SDWAN and enable on-demand service provisioning, including network telemetry driven service assurance, we have partnered with Anuta Networks. The company’s NCX network orchestrator has the breadth and depth of features we needed to automate remote branch deployments for our customers globally.”

“The transition to cloud-centric service delivery including hybrid cloud, presents a great opportunity for managed services providers,” said Chandu Guntakala, President & CEO of Anuta Networks. “NCX with its YANG model driven architecture empowers them to automate complex provisioning and operational flows. It gives me immense pleasure to partner with Tata Communications to accelerate the company’s IZO™ SDWAN deployments.”

HPE announces intent to acquire Cloud Technology Partners

HPE agreed to acquire Cloud Technology Partners (CTP), a consulting company that helps enterprises migrate to hybrid IT capabilities. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CTP is cloud agnostic, with extensive experience on multiple platforms, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google and OpenStack.

Cloud Technology Partners (CTP) describes itself as a born-in-the-cloud services with the following expertise:

  • Move to the cloud – CTP helps sophisticated IT organizations move to the cloud by helping them determine which applications are optimal for both public and private clouds, executing the migrations, while helping them transform their organizations for the future.
  • Innovate on the cloud – CTP helps its clients build new and disruptive solutions using key technologies like IoT, Big Data and Machine Learning.
  • Operate the cloud – With its Managed Cloud Controls (suite of next generation managed services), CTP helps its clients achieve governance, risk and regulatory compliance on day 1 while also automating the reconciliation of actual cloud spend back to the projected TCO savings in the original business case and optimize spend.   

Together, HPE and CTP will provide our customers with a comprehensive IT strategy that includes private, managed and public clouds, as well as traditional IT.  

http://www.cloudtp.com

China Unicom's US$11.7 billion strategic investment brings advantages

China United Network Communications Group (China Unicom or 中国联通), the fourth largest mobile operator with over 270 million subscribers, recently closed a deal that will bring in US$11.68 billion in cash from top Chinese tech companies. Under the deal, the Shanghai-based holding company of China Unicom, will sell a 35.2% stake worth RMB 78 billion to 14 strategic investors, including the following.

The deal is backed by the Chinese government, which holds a significant stake in the China Unicom group and its various listed companies, as part of a wider effort to encourage private investment in state-owned enterprises. In this case, the multisided arrangement between China's biggest tech companies also ties the largest players so that their financial interests are closer aligned. After the investments are completed, by way of both new and old share sales, the state will hold approximately 25% of the new China Unicom A shares.

The deal is complex and since it was announced on Wednesday, trading of China Unicom shares has been halted on the Hong Kong market.  The transaction is described as follows: “Strategic investors will subscribe for about 9 billion new shares of Unicom A Share Company and purchase 1.90 billion shares of Unicom A Share Company from Unicom Group, representing in aggregate 35.2% of Unicom A Share Company’s enlarged share capital, at a price RMB 6.83 per share.”

While China Life is expected to invest the large amount, the deal is interesting mainly for the synergy it could generate with the Internet companies. There has already been word from Tencent that a special broadband card option will be available to China Unicom's mobile users giving the unlimited access for Tencent applications.

Current status of China Unicom

In mobile subscriptions in China, Unicom holds second place, far behind China Mobile but ahead of China Telecom. In fixed-line broadband, China Unicom trails behind its two rivals. As seen from China Unicom's 1H2017 financial results (highlighted below) competition is fierce between these top three operators.

In the first half of 2017, China Unicom’s service revenue reached RMB 124.11 billion, up by 3.2% year-on-year. EBITDA amounted to RMB 43.56 billion, up by 5.5% year-on-year, and accounted for 35.1% of the service revenue, up by 0.8 percentage point year-on-year; and profit attributable to the equity shareholders of the company increased by 68.9% year-on-year to RMB 2.42 billion.
Key operating metrics

Total handset data usage for 1H2017 soared 326% over 1H2016, reaching 2,522 MB (monthly average mobile billing handset subscriber DOU.
Handset Internet Access Revenue for 1H2017 reached RMB 42.90 billion, up 22.9% yoy.
Fixed-line service revenue (including legacy voice) was RMB 46.57 billion, basically flat yoy.
Fixed-line broadband access revenue amounted to RMB 21.56 billion, down by 3.0% year-on-year. The number of fixed-line broadband subscribers increased by 4.0% year on-year to 76.92 million.

China Unicom plans to several high-priorities for the remained of 2017 and 2018, including:

Accelerating mobile customer migration onto the 4G LTE network. In the first half of the year, Unicom added 34.26 million 4G subs, bringing it to 138.81 million out of a total customer base of 269.45 million, which means that about 52% of its customers are using the 4G network and 48% remain of 3G or 2G service. The migration is slower than seen by other operators worldwide, but the subscriber base to migrate is much higher, China is a huge country, and subscribers have to agree to a substantially more expensive monthly package. China Unicom’s 4G ARPU is RMB 66.50 (US$9.97) vs the company’s overall mobile ARPU of RMB 48 (US$7.19).
The 4G network rollout is mostly done.  In 2016, China Unicom installed 337,000 4G base stations bringing it to a total of 736,000 4G base stations in service.
CAPEX is down substantially for the second year in a row. The cost reduction trend is accelerating. In fact, in 1H2017 capital expenditure decreased by 49.5% year-on-year to RMB9.14 billion i
Capital Expenditures

  • 2015 – RMB 133.9 billion
  • 2016 – RMB 72.1 billion
  • 2017 estimate – RMB 45.0 billion

To drive ARPU, China Unicom is pushing subscription packages based on a “data + content” model. A recently launched “Unlimited Video Enjoyment”. WO Video, already has about 16 million subscribers. China Unicom will focus on differentiated video partnerships.
China Unicom claims to be the 2nd largest Internet data center operator / cloud provider in China. It has 12 national-standard cloud data centres in operation with approximately 122,000 data cabinets in services. China Unicom also has some 300 “local data centers”. Revenues for IDC/Cloud for 1H2017 reach RMB 5.80 billion, up 22% yoy.
China Unicom now has a pre-commercial NB-IoT network in operation.
In fixed-line home broadband, China Unicom reports that it has encountered extremely intense competition. For 1H2017, fixed-line broadband access revenue fell to RMB 21.557 billion from RMB 22.231 billion a year earlier. To counter this, China Unicom is again looking to pull more subscribers unto fiber access, and to feature IPTV with enriched content package to drive differentiation.

Implications of the newly announced strategic investments

Another interesting dynamic in this deal is that China Mobile and China Telecom is that the government pushed for this investment deal with China Unicom first.  The new investment and the commercial partnership could become a strategic advantage for China Unicom if the other two carriers fail to secure similar deals.  In terms of finishing the 4G rollout or beginning the 5G construction, the new cash will be advantageous. Special bandwidth + bundling arrangements with Tencent and Alibaba could be alluring.

The investment deal involves only private Chinese companies, so in this stage of reform, China is not acting to further open its telecom market to foreign investment. China Unicom has had an ongoing partnership with Telefónica for many years. A strategic alliance between the firms began in 2009 when China Unicom and Telefonica invested US$1 billion in the other party's shares. In 2011, the companies deepened their cooperation by investing the equivalent of US$500 million in the other party through the purchase of each party's shares. China Unicom raised its stake in Telefonica through the acquisition of 21,827,499 Telefónica shares at an agreed value of 17.16 Euros per share. In turn, Telefonica was to buy more shares in China Unicom from third parties. Since then, the companies have collaborated in technical research and in network interconnections. More recently, Telefónica has sold some of its China Unicom shares.  Its current holdings in China Unicom are probably under 2%.

In terms of overseas investments or strategic expansion China Unicom, like China Mobile and China Telecom, has pretty much abstained from large scale venture or acquisitions. Whereas carriers like Vodafone, Orange, Zain, MTN, NTT, Bharti Airtel or Singtel, have ventured widely into all of the countries of Asia and Africa, China Unicom has kept its focus only on its home turf. With the reduced government equity stake in the company, perhaps this will begin to change but it is too soon to know.

Network management policies could evolve in step with these deals

Another area to watch with this transaction involves network management. As it brings on strategic content partners, like Tencent, China Unicom will be incentivized to ensure that subscribers get assured access to bundled programming and applications.

Monday, September 4, 2017

BT unveils “Business Platform-as-a-Service”

BT unveiled its new “Business Platform-as-a-Service” for helping enterprise customers engage in digital transformation.

The service lets enterprises use the BT Personalised Compute Management System (PCMS) to enable them to sell, fulfil and monetise their own portfolio of digital services.

This is the same platform that BT uses for its own cloud portfolio.

BT said enterprises wanting rapid entry into the cloud market will be able to resell its existing digital ecosystem services, such as Cloud Compute, Compute Storage and Apps , or develop their own new services. BT's platform offers more than 45 fully digitalised business support processes, such as product management, customer management, user authentication, order management, service management and billing and collections.

Services are deliverd from 22 BT locations around the world.

“PCMS brings to life a vision of how businesses can innovate in the digital economy. It is a ready-made platform that allows new ways for companies to digitalise, manage and build profitable business models from their own vibrant ecosystem of consumers, producers and innovators," stated Neil Lock, vice president Compute, Global Services, BT.

http://www.btplc.com/News/#/pressreleases/bt-announces-business-platform-as-a-service-2129340
https://www.globalservices.bt.com/uk/en/products/personalised-cms

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Merger completed between HPE Software and Micro Focus

HPE Software and Micro Focus completed their merger creating the seventh largest pure-play software company with annual revenues of $4.4 billion in a transaction valued at $8.8 billion.

The combined company will use the Micro Focus name and maintain its listing on the London Stock Exchange, where it is now the largest UK technology firm.

Chris Hsu, formerly COO of HPE and Executive Vice President and General Manager of HPE Software, was appointed CEO of Micro Focus.

“Today marks a significant milestone for Micro Focus, and I am honored to be leading this team,” said Chris Hsu, Chief Executive Officer of Micro Focus. “We are bringing together a powerful combination of technology and talent uniquely positioned to drive customer-centered innovation at enterprise scale – enabling organizations to maximize the ROI of existing software investments while embracing the new hybrid model for enterprise IT.”



Friday, September 1, 2017

DT activates its first pre-standard 5G connection in Berlin

Deutsche Telekom activated its first, pre-standard 5G connection over its commercial network in central Berlin using 3.7 GHz spectrum.

The 5G connection is operating a over 2 Gbps with a low latency of three milliseconds.

Huawei supplied the user equipment based on 3GPP specifications for 5G New Radio (NR), the deployment on commercial sites is the first in Europe and marks an important advancement in the global development of 5G.  

DT said the implementation in a live real-world setting in central Berlin using Huawei equipment and software is based on pre-standard 5G that closely tracks the 3GPP global standard for so-called ‘Non-Standalone New Radio’. With the Non-Standalone 5G NR mode for the enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) use-case, it is meant that the connection is anchored in LTE while 5G NR carriers are used to boost data-rates and reduce latency. Therefore, 5G new radio will be deployed with the evolution of 4G LTE as the baseline for wide-area broadband coverage. The specifications enabling that system will be complete by December 2017 as part of the first drop of 3GPP Release 15.

“5G new radio will be critical for meeting our customers’ ever-increasing connectivity requirements that are steadily growing with more and more network connections,” said Claudia Nemat, Deutsche Telekom Board member for Technology and Innovation. “Our achievement demonstrates the feasibility of our plans to deliver a superior, new customer experience.”

“As long time partners, both Deutsche Telekom Group and Huawei have joined hands to successfully test 5G NR equipments in field environments based on latest 3GPP R15 standards. These achievements highlight the capabilities of the 5G NR equipment to meet operators’ requirements for addressing new business opportunities for end users. Huawei is confident that the partnership with Deutsche Telekom can fully prepare the commercial launch of 5G NR services in Europe by 2020 thanks to 3GPP standardization efforts,” said Huimin Zhu, Vice President 5G Huawei.

https://www.telekom.com/en/media/media-information/archive/dt-and-huawei-go-live-with-europes-first-5g-connection-501660

Juniper to acquire Cyphort for security analytics

Juniper Networks agreed to acquire Cyphort, a start-up specializing in security software. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cyphort, which is based in Santa Clara, California, describes its security analytics and advanced threat defense platform as the Anti-SIEM (security information and event management) because it leverages machine learning to address the time, cost, and complexity challenges associated with traditional SIEMs. Cyphort’s open, scalable Cyphort security analytics platform helps incident responders and security analysts work more effectively.

Juniper said the acquisition will strengthen the capabilities of its Sky Advanced Threat Prevention (ATP), giving security practitioners a consistent feature set for both on-premises and cloud solutions. Combined with Sky ATP, Cyphort will provide increased efficiency and performance, a wider range of supported file types, and new threat-detection functionality that draws from advanced machine learning and behavioral analytics.

The acquisition is expected to close within the next month.

http://www.juniper.net

Dell'Oro: Spending on Small Cells Starts to Take Off

The Small Cell Radio market continued to be the bright spot during 1H17 — advancing at a double-digit pace — in the otherwise gloomy RAN market, according to a newly published report from Dell'Oro Group.

In rank order, Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson, ZTE, and Samsung accounting for over 90 percent of the Small Cell market in IH17.

“It is no longer a question if carriers are shifting CAPEX from macro to small cells. Now the question is how quick it is happening and what is the impact on vendor shares,” said Stefan Pongratz, Senior Analyst with Dell’Oro Group. “While the pace of small cell growth remains impressive —2Q17 was the sixteenth consecutive quarter of greater than 50 percent year-over-year shipment growth — RAN vendors with macro solutions accounted for more than 90 percent of the combined indoor and outdoor Small Cell market during 1H17. Huawei, Nokia, and Ericsson accounted for more than 70 percent of this market during that time,” continued Pongratz.

http://www.delloro.com

Bouygues Telecom grows revenue, subscriber count

Bouygues Telecom reported sales of €2,434 million in the first half of 2017, 6% more than in the first half of 2016. Sales from network also rose 6% to €2,084 million and sales from network excluding incoming traffic rose 7% over the period. The increase in data usage resulting from the decline in voice and text usage is leading to a decrease in sales from network generated by incoming traffic. However, there is no impact on EBITDA, since this decline in sales is offset by reduced interconnection costs.

EBITDA was up €139 million versus the first half of 2016 to €547 million. The EBITDA margin rose by 5.5 points year-on-year to 26.2%. Operating profit was €215 million higher at €210 million. It included non-current income of €48 million, mainly related to the capital gain on the sale of towers to Cellnex, which more than offset non-current charges related to the roll-out of network sharing.

Some highlights:

  • In the first half of 2017, gross capex stood at €585 million, in line with the 2017 full-year gross capex target of €1.2 billion. 
  • Bouygues Telecom added 645,000 mobile customers in the first half of 2017, resulting in a total base of 13.6 million customers at end-June 2017. 
  • There were over 10 million mobile plan customers excluding MtoM at end-June 2017, with 240,000 new adds in the first half of 2017, of which 110,000 in the second quarter. 
  • In the fixed market, Bouygues Telecom signed up 133,000 new customers in the first half of 2017, of which 45,000 in the second quarter. 
  • Bouygues Telecom confirms its target of 1 million additional fixed customers by end-2017 versus end-2014. The Miami FTTH offer accounted for close to two-thirds of net growth in the second quarter of 2017. As a result, Bouygues Telecom had 171,000 FTTH customers at end-June 2017, more than twice as many as at end-June 2016. 
  • Bouygues Telecom is continuing to roll out FTTH, with 16 million premises secured at end-June 2017, 7 million more than at end-2016, and 2.6 million premises marketed, 0.6 million more than at end-2016. Bouygues Telecom confirms its target of 12 million premises marketed in 2019 and 20 million in 2022. In all, Bouygues Telecom had 552,000 very-high-speed customers at end-June 2017. 
http://www.bouygues.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/press-release.pdf

Thursday, August 31, 2017

T-Mobile gets its first 600 MHz LTE-capable smartphone

T-Mobile announced it will carry the LG V30 – the world’s first smartphone to support 600 MHz LTE - nationwide this fall.

T-Mobile also announced Scarborough, Maine is the latest location to activate 600 MHz service.

“We’re lighting up our new super spectrum for LTE and laying the foundation for 5G so fast we’re making the other guys’ heads spin – and with the LG V30, everything is coming together in record time,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “While the carriers try to fake their way to 5G and back off unlimited to keep their networks from caving even more, the Un-carrier’s building the future of wireless and a bigger, better, faster, future-proof network.”

They said it wouldn’t be possible. They said it wouldn’t be quick. Clearly, they don’t know T-Mobile,” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. “Smartphones are coming, we just lit up another location with LTE on 600 MHz... AND we’re laying a foundation for nationwide 5G at the same time. The Carriers must get tired of T-Mobile continually running circles ‘round them!”

https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/4g-lte-network
http://www.lgnewsroom.com/2017/08/lg-v30-charts-new-mobile-frontier-with-premium-cinematography-capabilities/

T-Mobile lights up first 600 MHz LTE network


T-Mobile U.S. has begun lighting up its new 600 MHz LTE network — making it the first operator worldwide to activate commercial LTE services on this band. T-Mobile’s first 600 MHz LTE network sites were just switched on in Cheyenne, Wyoming using Nokia equipment. The announcement comes only two months after T-Mobile received its spectrum licenses from the FCC. T-Mobile said it is activating 600 MHz sites in rural locations first, where the spectrum...


Ciena posts quarterly revenue of $729m, up 8.7% yoy

Ciena reported revenue of $728.7 million for its fiscal third quarter 2017, as compared to $670.6 million for the fiscal third quarter 2016. Net income (GAAP) amounted to $60.0 million, or $0.39 per diluted common share, which compares to a GAAP net income of $33.5 million, or $0.23 per diluted common share, for the fiscal third quarter 2016.

“We delivered another solid quarter with strong revenue growth and profitability, and we took additional market share through our diversification and innovation leadership,” said Gary B. Smith, president and CEO, Ciena. “Our continued success, combined with strong fundamental demand drivers that are playing in our favor, is drawing a clear division between the winners and losers in the marketplace.”

Ciena said its expects fiscal fourth quarter 2017 revenue to be in the range of $720 to $750 million.

Some highlights:

  • U.S. customers contributed 60.1% of total revenue
  • Two customers each accounted for greater than 10% of revenue and in aggregate represented 28% of total revenue
  • Cash and investments totaled $854.2 million
  • Cash flow from operations totaled $50.6 million
  • Headcount totaled 5,780




More online.

http://investor.ciena.com

See also