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.

Cisco appoints new president for Asia Pacific & Japan

Cisco announced the appointment of Miyuki Suzuki as president for Asia Pacific & Japan. Previously, Suzuki served as president of Cisco Japan. Her new responsibilities include regional revenue growth across 18 markets. She will report to Chris Dedicoat, executive vice president of Worldwide Sales and Field Operations.

Suzuki assumes the leadership from Irving Tan, who last month took on the newly created role of senior vice president of Operations and Digital.

Cisco said recruitment is underway for her successor for President of Cisco Japan and will be announced in due course.

AT&T delivers LTE-M for CallPass Tech - vehicle tracking for car dealers

AT&T is delivering LTE-M connectivity to CallPass Tech, which provides location services to car dealers to track or find financed or leased vehicles.

Financial companies and car dealers can now use CallPass Tech’s iGotcha GPS Platform on the AT&T LTE-M network to track, find and manage financed or leased vehicles on the road and in challenging areas such as parking garages.

“We can’t overstate the value of GPS tracking technology across the vehicle finance industry,” said Jason Ashton, president of CallPass Tech and CallPass M2M Solutions. “There’s such an inherent risk in the industry. And there’s limited protection through insurance against losing collateral to theft or lack of payment. We know it doesn’t have to be like this. Working with AT&T to bring the latest, most intelligent network built for IoT is a natural next step and gives our customers the confidence they need to run their business.”

CallPass Tech noted that it currently supports more than 600,000 connected devices via the 4,800 finance companies and car dealers who are customers.

SES boosts Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) connectivity for Palau

Palau Telecoms will be extending and augmenting a contract with SES Networks for satellite broadband connectivity.

Since 2014, Palau Telecoms has been using SES' medium earth orbit (MEO) connectivity. The contract extension runs until 2020 and increases the amount of medium earth orbit (MEO) connectivity by 150%.

“Since we first initiated service with SES Networks, we have seen a tremendous uptick in demand for fast, reliable internet,” said Sam Masang, President of Palau Telecoms. “Now more than ever people expect to be able to access online services such as ecommerce sites and video calling applications at any time. We’ve been extremely impressed by the O3b fleet capabilities, and look forward to providing services for even more Palau residents in the coming years.”

“At SES Networks, our top priority is working with our customers to create unique and cost-effective solutions that help bridge the digital divide in areas that lie beyond the reach of traditional connectivity options,” said Imran Malik, Vice President, Fixed Data, Asia-Pacific at SES Networks. “We are incredibly proud that through our continued partnership, and ongoing efforts, we are making an impact on social and economic development in Palau.”

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Vodafone plans 4G on the moon for rover mission

PTScientists, a privately-held venture based in Berlin, Germany is aiming for a historic lunar landing next year.

The plan calls for delivering two rovers, or up to 100 kg of payload, to the lunar surface using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The mission will be to approach and study NASA's Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle that was used by the last astronauts to walk on the Moon (Commander Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt) to explore the Taurus-Littrow valley in December 1972.

Nokia Bell Labs is developing a space-grade, 4G Ultra Compact Network that will use the 1800 MHz frequency band to communicate from the landing site to the remote rovers. Streaming HD video will be captured by the rovers and retransmitted back to Mission Control in Berlin. The networking gear will weigh less than one kilo.

Audi will supply the rovers.

Vodafone said it is thrilled to deploy a 4G mobile network on the moon.

Vodafone Germany CEO, Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, commented: "This project involves a radically innovative approach to the development of mobile network infrastructure. It is also a great example of an independent, multi-skilled team achieving an objective of immense significance through their courage, pioneering spirit and inventiveness."

Nokia Chief Technology Officer and Bell Labs President, Marcus Weldon, said: "We are very pleased to have been selected by Vodafone to be their technology partner. This important mission is supporting, among other things, the development of new space-grade technologies for future data networking, processing and storage, and will help advance the communications infrastructure required for academics, industry and educational institutions in conducting lunar research. These aims have potentially wide-ranging implications for many stakeholders and humanity as a whole, and we look forward to working closely with Vodafone and the other partners in the coming months, prior to the launch in 2019."

http://ptscientists.com

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.

6WIND, Advantech and Cloudify demo vRouter for White Box Networking

At this week's Mobile World Congress, 6WIND is demonstrating high-performance vRouter use cases for white box networking with partners Advantech and Cloudify.

The demo infrastructure includes:
  • vRouter: 6WIND Turbo Router and Turbo IPsec are routing and IPsec VPN software network appliances to be deployed in bare metal environments or as Virtual Machines (VMs) on COTS servers with licenses for 1 – 100G throughput in a single software instance.
  • COTS Server: Advantech's SKY-8101 offers an innovative white box networking hardware infrastructure in a short depth, 1RU single-socket Intel Xeon Scalable Processor server with a wide choice of GbE, 10GbE & 40GbE connectivity. 6WIND's vRouter software appliances are deployed as VMs and scale linearly with the assigned processor cores.
  • Management & Orchestration: Cloudify Manager is serving the VNF Manager and NFV Orchestrator functions for the 6WIND vRouter. 6WIND's virtual appliances are instantiated on OpenStack, and OSPF routing and IPsec VPN tunnels are configured, deployed and orchestrated by Cloudify Manager with TOSCA based templates. The solution is then monitored by Grafana out of the box or any other pluggable monitoring platform of choice.

"The future of networking is high-performance software on white box servers, just as we've already seen with examples such as cell phones and computers," said Eric Carm├Ęs, Founder and CEO of 6WIND. "The combination of 6WIND, Advantech and Cloudify brings the promise of white box networking with a ready-to-use vRouter that can displace expensive networking hardware to save Network Operator budgets today."

"Universal CPE has successfully disrupted the customer edge with cost-saving SD-WAN and VNF rollouts by service providers around the globe," said Paul Stevens, Marketing Director, Advantech Networks and Communications Group. "In the same vein, we expect this next wave of white box solutions to revolutionize the Provider Edge."

"Building an ecosystem of interoperability is the only way to open up a market that has been a black box of closed technology to date," said Sebastian Grabski, Solution Architect at Cloudify. "Cloudify's goal through this partnership is to achieve both openness & interoperability, as well as greater flexibility. Through open source and open standards with TOSCA - it is now possible for organizations to build best of breed networking stacks with cutting edge technology like 6WIND & Advantech, with VNF management and orchestration across clouds and environments more rapidly and economically."

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.”

Mist raises $46 million for self-learning WLAN

Mist, a start-up based in Cupertino, California. raised $46 million in an unsubscribed C round of funding for its self-learning wireless networks powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Mist says its wireless platform, which is designed specifically for the Smart Device era, makes Wi-Fi predictable, reliable and measurable by providing visibility into the user experience and by replacing time-consuming manual IT tasks with proactive automation.

The funding round was led by Kleiner Perkins, with additional funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, GV (formerly Google Ventures), NTT DOCOMO Ventures, and Dimension Data. This brings total funding in the company to approximately $88 million.
 In addition, Mamoon Hamid (General Partner at Kleiner Perkins) and Rob Lopez (Group Executive – Networking and Data Centre at Dimension Data) join Mist as board observers.

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.”