Monday, February 25, 2019

Telefónica and Microsoft envision telco of the future

Telefónica and Microsoft outlined a strategic partnership to leverage the Microsoft Azure AI platform alongside the Telefónica global network to design services telcos will offer in the future.

Specifically, Telefónica and Microsoft will expand the use of Azure Cognitive Services for customer engagement and business processes, create new AI-powered, in-home experiences for customers and explore the use of intelligent technologies to transform the network.

“Telefónica has been a leader in using AI to transform customer engagement, and the strategic partnership we announced today builds on this history of innovation,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Together, we will apply the power of Azure and Azure AI to create new, innovative experiences for millions of Telefónica customers around the world and shape the future of Telefónica’s network.”

José María Álvarez-Pallete, chairman and CEO of Telefónica, said “Telefónica is applying cutting-edge technology to its ongoing transformation, pioneering virtualization and softwarization to develop smart, liquid networks ready to be powered by AI. Specifically, we are already using AI to enhance our customer relationships and are really excited to work with Microsoft to further harness the power of Azure AI. This agreement strengthens our relationship and our common belief that AI technology and the use of data should be based on solid ethical principles and empower people to control their digital lives.”

Ericsson to acquire Kathrein's antenna business

Ericsson agreed to acquire Kathrein’s antenna and filters business. The purchase price was not disclosed. Preliminary and unaudited revenues from the acquired part of Kathrein were approximately EUR 270 million in 2018, excluding sales to Ericsson.

Kathrein, with headquarters in Rosenheim, Germany, founded in 1919, specializes in antenna and filter technologies and is an existing Ericsson supplier. The antenna and filters business has a strong R&D organization with extensive experience in antenna design and research, coupled with a strong IPR portfolio. In addition to broadening Ericsson’s portfolio of antenna and filter products, the acquisition will bring vital competence for the evolution of advanced radio network products. The acquisition will add around 4,000 highly-skilled professionals in R&D, production, and sales based in more than 20 locations, including Germany, Romania, the U.S., Mexico and China.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “Strengthening our in-house antenna competence is another important step in our Networks portfolio strategy. The acquisition of Kathrein’s antenna and filters business will expand our capabilities and competences in the advanced active and passive antenna domain further. With the additional focus on the antenna and filter business led by Kathrein professionals, we will broaden our offering to further optimize site space, which is vital for the introduction of 5G.”

Qualcomm intros 5G gateway for sub-6GHz and mmWave fixed

Qualcomm introduced its first 5G customer premise equipment (CPE) reference design for sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G fixed wireless broadband (FWB) products.

The reference design features the newly announced second generation Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G modem and next-generation Qualcomm RF  front-end (RFFE) components and modules for sub-6GHzand mmWave deployments, providing a  5G modem-to-antenna solution.

"Qualcomm Technologies is committed to enabling our customers to develop the next-generation of 5G products and services and this reference design will allow manufacturers and ISPs to accelerate the deployment of fixed wireless broadband services using 5G,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 4G/5G, Qualcomm.

“With support for both mmWave and sub-6GHzspectrum bands manufacturers can address multiple operators needs as they look to improve network performance, increase range, provide an unsurpassed user experience, and expand fixed broadband coverage by taking advantage of 5G infrastructure.”

Qualcomm builds its Snapdragon automotive 4G, 5G solutions

Qualcomm is introducing new wireless solutions for next-generation connected vehicles.

The Snapdragon Automotive 4G and 5G Platforms feature integrated C-V2Xdirect communications, high-precision multi-frequency global navigation satellite system (HP-GNSS) and RF Front-End (RFFE)functionalities to support major operators across key spectrum bands globally.

These capabilities enable rich in-vehicle experiences, including dual SIM dual active(DSDA)(included on the Snapdragon Automotive 5G Platform), precise positioning for lane level navigation accuracy, multi-gigabit cloud connectivity, vehicle-to-vehicle(V2V) and vehicle-to-roadside infrastructure (V2I) communications.

The new SnapdragonAutomotive 4G and 5G platforms are expected to sample later this year and are planned for production vehicles in 2021.

Rakuten will use Small Cells powered by Qualcomm

Rakuten upcoming next-generation end-to-end cloud-native mobile network across Japan will use small cells based on Qualcomm FSM Small Cell Platforms.

Rakuten plans to utilize small cells to reduce site acquisition and deployment cost and to provide indoor capacity. Rakuten will leverage network virtualization and small cells from the start and thereby create a network that can be scaled easily and deliver on the promise of 5G experiences to subscribers.

Qualcomm's solution offers advanced LTE features and a roadmap towards 5G-NR via the FSM Small Cell 5G Platform.

“We are very excited to work with leading technology leaders such as Qualcomm Technologies as we advance towards realizing our vision of creating the world’s first end-to-end cloud-native mobile network,” said Tareq Amin, chief technology officer of Rakuten Mobile Network, Inc.

“By designing a new mobile network with small cells as a key component, and with 5G-readiness in mind, Rakuten can intelligently deliver 4G LTE and 5G performance where it is needed to bring enhanced experiences for their subscribers,” said Rahul Patel, senior vice president and general manager, connectivity and networking, Qualcomm Technologies.

MAREA transatlantic cable sets record: 26.2 Tbps over 6,000 km

A team of researchers from Infinera has achieved new benchmarks for efficiency for transatlantic fiber optic cables. By employing 16QAM modulation on the MAREA transatlantic cable, the researchers generated signal speeds topping out at 26.2 terabits per second, a 20 percent increase over what the cable designers originally thought feasible. By comparison, the most common way signals are modulated for MAREA today only reaches 9.5 terabits per second. The test marked the first time PM-16QAM signals were sent such distances.

The 6,605-km MAREA cable came online last year and is made of eight pairs of optic fibers, with each pair designed to carry 20 Tbps.

The paper will be presented at the upcoming Optical Fiber Conference and Exposition, held 3-7 March in San Diego, Calif., U.S.A.

“In an optical fiber, it’s desirable to carry more data per second, which we call the fiber capacity, and also to be able to send the signal over longer distances, which we call the optical reach,” said Dr. Pierre Mertz, an author on the study. “In simple terms, if you try to push the limits of fiber capacity you will reduce the reach. The biggest challenge is that the system was operating very close to the Shannon Limit, or the theoretical maximum information transfer rate for a communications channel, according to Mertz. "That means that every gain we make becomes harder and harder,” he said.

Authors: Stephen Grubb, Pierre Mertz, Ales Kumpera, Lee Dardis, Jeffrey Rahn, James O’Connor, Matthew Mitchell


BT to deploy Ciena’s Waveserver stackable DCI platform

BT will deploy Ciena’s Waveserver stackable data center interconnect (DCI) platform to increase the capacity connecting its data centers to the UK’s main Internet peering nodes.

Ciena said its Waveserver enables BT to quickly, reliably, and more economically turn up larger and multiple low-latency connections to its data centers. Waveserver supports high-speed data transfer, virtual machine migration, disaster recovery and backup between data centers.

To support its network automation and orchestration goals, BT will also deploy Ciena’s new domain controller: Blue Planet Manage, Control and Plan which will enable BT to introduce the Waveserver quickly and easily.

“This deployment marks a significant step forward for UK telecoms. Today’s service providers are turning to tailor-made solutions that add capacity and programmability features with greater power and efficiency, enabling reduced cost per bit. With Ciena’s Waveserver platform, BT is creating a more adaptive network that can adjust as needed to meet changing subscriber demands," stated Jamie Jefferies, Vice President & General Manager, EMEA, Ciena

Anritsu and Samsung Verify First 5G NR in Sub-6 GHz

Anritsu submitted the industry's first Protocol Conformance test in the Sub-6 GHz Frequency Range 1 (FR1) to 3GPP RAN5 working group for approval.

The test defined by 3GPP TS38.523 has been verified with the Exynos Modem 5100 5G New Radio (NR) modem developed by Samsung's System LSI Business on the Anritsu ME7834NR Protocol Conformance test system.

Anritsu offers a test platform for 3GPP-based Protocol Conformance Test (PCT) and Carrier Acceptance Testing (CAT) of mobile devices incorporating Multiple Radio Access Technologies (RAT). It supports 5G NR in both Standalone (SA) and Non-Standalone (NSA) mode, in addition to LTE, LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), LTE-A Pro, and W-CDMA. When combined with Anritsu's new OTA chamber MA8171A and RF converters, the ME7834NR covers the sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G frequency bands.

"Anritsu continues to support our leading-edge technology development by providing quick access to the latest features on their test solutions," said Woonhaing Hur, Vice President of System LSI Protocol Development at Samsung Electronics. "5G is evolving at a much faster pace than previous technologies, and I am pleased to see that Anritsu is keeping ahead of the evolution as they did during LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro."

"We are proud that Samsung continues to rely on our test solutions," said Mr. Tsutomu Tokuke, General Manager of Anritsu's Mobile Solutions Division. "Our collaboration with Samsung has helped us achieve yet another important industry milestone in the journey towards 5G NR commercialization."

Dell'Oro: Worldwide mobile infrastructure market better than expected

The worldwide Mobile Infrastructure Radio Access Network (RAN) market surprised on the upside and performed better than expected for the full-year 2018, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia were the top three vendors for 4Q18 and 2018.

Some highlights from the report:
  • The year 2018 also turned out to be a pivotal one for Massive MIMO as demand increased at a significantly faster pace than expected, adding confidence the technology will play a fundamental role going forward.
  • 5G steps into a tangible commercial cycle – NR revenues expected to accelerate rapidly in 2019.
  • The short-term outlook is now more favorable – projections have been adjusted upward for 2019.

“The global upswing that began in the second half of 2018 was broader and deeper than previously expected, validating the message we have communicated for some time; namely, there are reasons to be optimistic about the RAN market,” said Stefan Pongratz, senior director at Dell’Oro Group. “In addition to the strong focus on LTE and LTE-Advanced, the shift toward 5G NR continued to accelerate throughout the year. And while the 5G narrative has morphed somewhat over the past couple of years as expectations gradually shift from the long-term vision to what will drive the business case today, the reality is that the technology is now ready for the first phase of the 5G NR launch supporting the eMBB and FWA use cases,” continued Pongratz.

http://www.delloro.com

Zayo announces big wavelength contract with webscale client

Zayo confirmed that it has been selected by a webscale customer for multiple 100G wavelengths along Zayo’s Dallas to Los Angeles 2,000-mile fiber route that was completed in August 2018.

The company described the deal as one of its largest recent waves deals in terms of capacity.

Zayo also noted that the deal is another follow-on sale on this high fiber-count route, which enables unique options between Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, Ft. Worth and Dallas.

“This is one of our largest recent waves deals in terms of capacity,” said Jack Waters, president of Zayo Networks and COO. “The unique route and our ability to mobilize to install the solution to meet the customer’s stringent deadlines were key factors in winning this business.”

Sunday, February 24, 2019

GSMA: 1.4 billion 5G connections by 2025

The GSMA is predicting a relatively fast uptake of 5G with 1.4 billion global 5G connections by 2025, accounting for more than 15 percent of the mobile market, and up from a predicted, up from about 200 million 5G connections in 2021.

In a new report, ‘Intelligent Connectivity: How the Combination of 5G, AI, Big Data and IoT Is Set to Change Everything,’ the GSMA highlights how 5G networks, artificial intelligence (AI), smart platforms and the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to transform the lives of citizens and businesses around the world.

The report draws on fresh interviews with senior representatives from Deutsche Telekom, GSMA Intelligence, KT Corp, Telefonica and Vodafone.

"The combination of 5G, the IoT, Big Data and AI will impact almost every aspect of our daily lives from the way we consume entertainment to the "way in which we learn and interact with colleagues - all underpinned by ubiquitous hyper-connectivity, commented Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “The fusion of these transformative technologies will drive fundamental changes and intelligently connect everyone and everything to better future."


https://www.gsma.com/IC/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/22209-Intelligent-connectivity-report.pdf

Vodafone and Telecom Italia form 5G network sharing pact

Vodafone and Telecom Italia (TIM) announced a 5G active network sharing pact that expands on their existing passive sharing agreement.

Also, the companies are considering a combination of their respective passive towers located in Italy into a single entity.

With reference to the Active Sharing Project, Vodafone and TIM intend to enter into an agreement that would enable them to jointly roll-out 5G infrastructure. The Active Sharing Project would support a faster deployment of 5G over a wider geographic area, at a lower cost.

Vodafone and TIM also intend to consider active network sharing for their existing 4G networks, in order to support 5G active network sharing.

Luigi Gubitosi, CEO, TIM, said: “This partnership will allow our customers to enter the 5G revolution faster and deeper, while at the same time making the best use of both companies’ resources. We believe that network sharing is key to do more, effectively and better for the benefit of our clients and all stakeholders, in view of the process of change that will be triggered by the launch of 5G in the years to come and that will be paramount for the development and digitalization of our Country”

Cisco customer wins at MWC: Airtel, KT, Softbank, Sprint

Airtel has selected Cisco to build India's largest 5G-ready, IP-based fully automated network. Airtel's IP-based network architecture will enable new functionality, including segment routing, traffic engineering and ethernet VPN that helps ensure seamless interoperability and the ability to leverage existing investments in its MPLS-TP network.

KT has selected Cisco to transition its network architecture to better manage upcoming 5G traffic with advanced routing and automation software, intelligent analytics and machine learning. Specifically, KT has rolled out a new 5G mobile network platform with automated and virtualized technologies on Mobile Edge Cloud, featuring Mobile Packet Core, network slicing, segment routing, control and user plane separation (Remote-CUPS). The new architecture with Remote-CUPS is designed to serve reliable, scalable, flexible and low-latency network services. The virtualized mobile packet platform is designed to remotely manage traffic at scale and accelerates packet processing to meet the requirements of commercial 5G services with high throughput and low-latency network services.

The end-to-end network includes a 5G routing backbone with Cisco Network Convergence System Router 6000 and ACI on Nexus 9000 switching platform at KT’s distributed data centers.

“As the global leader in 5G, KT is aligned with innovative technology partners like Cisco that can design and launch commercial 5G services focused on ultra-low latency as the world’s first CUPS architecture use in combination with the strong foundation of IP network hardware, software and cloud-powered technologies” said Su-Kil Lee, Senior Vice President of Network Research Technology Support Unit, KT Corp.

SoftBank is deploying Cisco's Segment Routing IPv6 (SRv6) networks nationwide to build a future network architecture. Cisco says current mobile networks are deployed as divided networks, with several layers and complicated control plane processing, which makes it difficult to respond to strict quality requirements like in the case of 5G. Deploying SRv6 in a 5G mobile network simplifies network layers and integrates user plane functions from end-to-end with only IPv6 protocol, making things simple, controllable, and flexible.

Sprint is relying on the Cisco Network Convergence System 540 router series, which is capable of tripling backhaul network capacity and delivering 100G connectivity into the core transport network, and the Cisco Network Services Orchestrator for performance optimization and network automation.

"Cisco NCS routing technology powered by automation software running traffic over dark fiber offers us an ideal blend of innovative technology to support our LTE Advanced and 5G network," said Greg O'Connor, vice president of Network Core and Access, Sprint. "This mix of innovation strengthens our backhaul network and our ability to support connect-to-everything experiences for our customers."

Cisco and Verizon partner on 5G SD-WAN

Verizon’s Virtual Network Services will support 5G devices on Cisco’s SD-WAN platform.

This will enable enterprises to leverage the performance of 5G when using services such as network slicing and mobile edge computing.

“These solutions highlight what a transformative platform 5G will be for enterprises,” said Shawn Hakl, senior vice president, Business Products, Verizon. “Cisco has been a close technology partner in driving SD-WAN based transformation in campus and branch environments, and we look forward to bridging those same best practices to mobile devices.”

“We’re excited to partner with Verizon to take the next step in SD-WAN. 5G is a transformational technology, and when combined with Cisco SD-WAN, users’ application experience can be better than ever before,” said Scott Harrell, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Networking Business, Cisco.“Verizon’s new Mobile SD-WAN will help enterprise customers quickly and easily transition to 5G, giving them an edge as we embrace the next generation of mobile connectivity.”

Rajeev Suri: Nokia can meet demand for European 5G rollouts

It is bluntly not true that if a certain vendor is held back then 5G rollouts in Europe will be delayed and costs will rise, said Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia, speaking at a press event ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Taking the example of current 5G rollouts underway in the United States, Suri said that it is illogical to assume that timely 5G rollouts in Europe are dependent on one vendor. Europe is likely to face to 5G rollout constraints from spectrum availability, which will play out over several years.

Suri also stated that Nokia has the technology and industrial capacity to meet whatever commercialization demands that mobile operators require.

Suri went on to give 5 predictions about 5G

1. Security will become (even more) non-negotiable
2. Operators will start to make money from 5G especially from enterprise services
3. 5G will uncork global productivity
4. 5G will grow and grow for the next decade
5. 6G - apart from researchers at Bell Labs and certain politicians, there's no need to talk about 6G when so much is yet to be accomplished in 5G.

Cisco teams with Google Station on public Wi-Ri

Cisco is working with Google Station to bring improved Wi-Fi infrastructure to public transit locations.

Google Station, which got underway a few years ago in a partnership with railways in India, is a free service to the public supported with a revenue share with the venue based on the ability to monetize the service. Google operates the network and provides quality assurance support.

Google Station is currently active in India, Mexico, Nigeria, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Specifically, Cisco and Google Station intend to work together to:


  • Provide access to capital via Cisco financing
  • Simplify operations by combining Cisco networking technology and integration services with Google network management
  • Improve experience through secure, fast, reliable Wi-Fi that’s easy to access

“We chose to work with Cisco on the Google Station initiative because they offer the networking technology, finance capabilities and global reach to enable sustainable public Wi-Fi,” said Mahesh Bhalerao, global director of partnerships, Next Billion Users at Google. “We share the belief that making Wi-Fi truly sustainable is an important puzzle piece in solving global connectivity issues.”

Redis Labs raises $60 million for fast database

Redis Labs, the home of Redis and provider of Redis Enterprise, raised $60 million in Series E financing led by a new investor, Francisco Partners, a leading global technology-focused private equity firm.

Redis Labs was founded in 2011 by Ofer Bengal (CEO) and Yiftach Shoolman (CTO) around the promise of open source Redis, to deliver instant experience to modern applications at any scale, by building their datasets with native data structures and serving their applications requests directly from memory. In July 2015, Salvatore Sanfilippo, the creator of Redis, joined the company as leader of open source development. The company has now raised $146 million in total funding to-date. With these funds, the company plans to accelerate its global go-to-market execution, invest further in the enthusiastic Redis community, and continue its leadership in delivering the highest performing, most efficient database platform for modern applications.

The latest funding round included participation by the company’s existing investors, Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing, Bain Capital Ventures, Viola Ventures and Dell Technologies Capital. With this investment, Francisco Partners’ Chief Investment Officer David Golob will join the Redis Labs Board of Directors and Operating Partner Eran Gorev will join as a board observer.

“The impact of the Redis platform is being experienced everywhere as enterprises look to modernize or build new applications,” said Ofer Bengal, co-founder and CEO at Redis Labs. “This financing enables us to accelerate our strategy to deliver the fastest and most efficient database to the world and enable instant experiences for any modern application.”

Database for the Instant Experience -- a profile of Redis Labs



The user experience is the ultimate test of network performance. For many applications, this often comes down to the lag after clicking and before the screen refreshes. We can trace the packets back from the user's handset, through the RAN, mobile core, metro transport, and perhaps long-haul optical backbone to a cloud data center. However, even if this path traverses the very latest generation infrastructure, if it ends up triggering a search in...


Cisco: 5G connections to generate 3X traffic load

By 2022, mobile traffic will represent nearly 20 percent of global IP traffic and will reach 930 exabytes annually, according to Cisco's latest Mobile Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast.

Cisco is predicting that mobile networks will support more than eight billion personal mobile devices and four billion IoT connections, up from nine billion such connections at the end of 2017.

Some other top observations and predictions:

  •  5G connections will represent over three percent of total mobile connections (more than 422 million global 5G devices and M2M connections) and will account for nearly 12 percent of global mobile data traffic.
  • By 2022, the average 5G connection (22 GB/month) will generate about 3X more traffic than the average 4G connection (8 GB/month).
  • In 2017, monthly offload traffic (13 EB) exceeded monthly mobile/cellular traffic (12 EB).
  • In 2017, 54 percent of total mobile data traffic was offloaded; by 2022, 59 percent of total mobile data traffic will be offloaded.
  • 2017 Total IP Traffic (fixed & mobile): 48 percent Wired, 43 percent WiFi, nine percent Mobile.
  • 2022 Total IP Traffic (fixed & mobile): 29 percent Wired, 51 percent WiFi, 20 percent Mobile.
  • Globally, total WiFi hotspots (including home spots) will grow 4X from 2017 (124 million) to 2022 (549 million).

The 33-page whitepaper is available for downloading:
https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/white-paper-c11-738429.pdf

Nokia adds small cell options for mmWave and mid-band

Nokia announced two additions to its AirScale small cells portfolio that extend the high performance of 5G both indoors and outdoors and support a wide range of use cases.

A new compact millimeter wave (mmWave) radio supports 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands to provide extreme high-capacity for the busiest traffic locations, such as airports, stadiums and busy pedestrian zones. It allows 180-degree, 360-degree and multi-band deployments to provide flexible coverage that meets mmWave radio signal attenuation challenges. It offers support for eCPRI connectivity to a distributed data center provides high capacity fronthaul.

A new 5G pico Remote Radio Head for the Nokia AirScale Indoor Radio System enables an upgrade of indoor coverage to 5G without replacing installed hardware, even in complex buildings such as hospitals and shopping malls. The new 5G pico Remote Radio Head supports sub-6 GHz. It is deployable on an existing Distributed Antenna System. It provides high 4 x 250 mW output power for a wide coverage area. In addition, a new dual port Ethernet extender allows pico Remote Radio Heads to be located up to 200m away from the smart HUB for even greater deployment flexibility.

Mark Atkinson, Head of 5G and Small Cells of Nokia said: "Small cells are perfectly suited for using 5G mmWave and mid-bands to deliver very high capacity to support the busiest traffic areas and ensure subscribers always enjoy the highest quality services. We are building on our small cells leadership to enable operators to deploy almost any scenario of 4G indoor and outdoor capacity and coverage that can be upgraded to 5G New Radio using a choice of spectrum bands."

https://www.nokia.com/mwc

Nokia debuts FastMile 5G Gateway

Nokia unveiled its new FastMile 5G Gateway for residential and business Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) rollouts.

Optus is testing the FastMile 5G indoor gateway in a live network to simultaneous stream multiple 4K video services to select residential customers in Australia.

The indoor device connects wirelessly to the mobile network using either 3GPP compliant 5G New Radio (NR) or 4G signals. It offers carrier aggregation capabilities and can deliver peak speeds of 1 Gbps.

Nokia said its FastMile 5G Gateway maximizes spectral assets and uses the industry's highest gain (11dBi) antenna to deliver up to twice the indoor coverage, three times the downlink capacity and five times the uplink capacity compared to traditional designs.