Monday, October 21, 2019

Ericsson adds AI functionality to radio access networks

Ericsson announced new AI for radio access networks covering two main applications: advanced traffic management, which secures optimal distribution of traffic; and evolved carrier optimization, which enables uplink improvements and predictive carrier aggregation. The new software will become available worldwide from November this year.

The new AI capabilities for advanced traffic management can provide extended 5G coverage, and more intelligence for the dynamic distribution of users across frequencies, improving user experience.

The new AI capabilities for evolved carrier optimizations enable traffic-aware carrier aggregation, which can offer an instant speed boost in the uplink and the downlink simultaneously for smartphone users.

Ericsson clains 5G coverage can be boosted by up to 25 percent using AI capabilities compared with default settings. It will also enable four times more uplink capacity on LTE networks for a more seamless upload of data, through traffic-aware carrier aggregation, boosting connectivity for a broad ecosystem of advanced smartphones.

Ulf Rydin, Head of Product Area 4G RAN, Ericsson, says: “Ericsson has developed advanced AI capabilities so service providers can improve network performance continuously and deliver a superior user experience. The new AI capabilities can be enabled with a remote software update. Any current installed RAN Compute base will benefit from the enhancements without the need for any site visits or additional new equipment.”

NVIDIA unveils EGX Edge Supercomputing platform

NVIDIA introduced a high-performance, cloud-native edge platform.

The NVIDIA EGX Edge Supercomputing Platform combines NVIDIA CUDA-X software with NVIDIA-certified GPU servers and devices.

The EGX platform features software to support a wide range of applications, including NVIDIA Metropolis, which can be used to build smart cities and intelligent video analytics applications, as well as the just-announced NVIDIA Aerial software, which allows telcos to build completely virtualized 5G radio access networks that are highly programmable, scalable and energy efficient.

Early ecosystem partners include Microsoft, Ericsson and Red Hat. The EGX software stack architecture is supported by leading hybrid-cloud partners Canonical, Cisco, Nutanix, Red Hat and VMware.

Early adopters include Walmart, BMW, Procter & Gamble, Samsung Electronics and NTT East, as well as the cities of San Francisco and Las Vegas.

“We’ve entered a new era, where billions of always-on IoT sensors will be connected by 5G and processed by AI,” said Jensen Huang, NVIDIA founder and CEO, at a keynote at the start of MWC Los Angeles. “Its foundation requires a new class of highly secure, networked computers operated with ease from far away.

“At Walmart, we’re using AI to define the future of retail and re-think how technology can further enhance how we operate our stores,” said Mike Hanrahan, CEO of Walmart Intelligent Retail Lab. “With NVIDIA’s EGX edge computing platform, Walmart’s Intelligent Retail Lab is able to bring real-time AI compute to our store, automate processes and free up our associates to create a better and more convenient shopping experience for our customers.”

World Wide Technology partners with MobiledgeX

World Wide Technology (WWT) and Deutsche Telekom-founded MobiledgeX, a leading mobile edge computing (MEC) platform provider, today announced a partnership to accelerate the commercialization of scalable MEC deployments.

The companies said their partnership will make it easier for service providers to quickly create new 5G revenue streams by delivering industry vertical applications to their customers via their MEC platform. The blueprints for these integrated solutions will be validated in WWT’s state-of-the-art Advanced Technology Center (ATC), a unique multi-vendor testing and validation environment, and take advantage of WWT’s deep integration and deployment expertise through its global integration centers.

Specifically, MobiledgeX will provide their cloud-native MEC platform as a service (PaaS) software, which determines where customers need edge services and securely delivers them on-demand. WWT, MobiledgeX’s sole distributor, will deliver the fully integrated MEC infrastructure, on which MobiledgeX’s software will run and the validated CPE and in-network system resources required by enterprise customers to consume MEC services. Both the MEC infrastructure and CPE will be available from WWT’s three global integration centers in St. Louis, Amsterdam, and Singapore.

In collaboration with Dell EMC and VMware, MobiledgeX and WWT have released their first MEC infrastructure blueprint available at www.wwt.com. This blueprint includes Dell 14G servers with Cascade Lake 2 processors and Optane persistent memory and VMware Integrated Openstack. Additional blueprints will be available as they’re validated in the ATC.

“Service providers across the globe are under intense pressure to deploy 5G infrastructure while ensuring they can monetize their 5G investment,” said Joe Wojtal, WWT CTO for Global Service Providers. “WWT’s partnership with MobiledgeX will allow service providers to commercialize scalable MEC deployments via validated blueprints available from WWT’s global integration centers.”

“Innovation is vital for service providers to play a key role in the 5G economy, especially as they’re under pressure to move quickly while limiting costs,” said Jason Hoffman, CEO of MobiledgeX. “5G deployments require scale and low latency to provide cost savings and fast speeds, and MEC serves as a key piece in delivering that. WWT’s ATC and global integration centers help bring it all to life.”

Deutsche Telekom deploys MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud

MobiledgeX, the edge computing company founded by Deutsche Telekom AG, unveiled its architecture for connecting mobile users to application cloud containers created by aggregating existing operator network resources.

Deutsche Telekom is now using the MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud R1.0 to power the first world's first public mobile edge network deployment and is already supporting the prototyping of developer use cases such as live trials around Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM).

The solution MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud R1.0 leverages application cloud containers created by aggregating existing operator network resources. At runtime, MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud R1.0 spins up the containers on-demand in edge cloud locations (also known as “cloudlets”) that optimally fulfill the needs of the desired application and user quality of experience.

Key features of MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud R1.0:

  • Device and platform-independent SDKs for Android and IOS devices in Java, C++, C# or REST that support edge node discovery, built-in identity and verified location services, with the ability to connect automatically to the nearest edge location. MobiledgeX will release these SDKs as open source to speed development times and flexibility.
  • A Distributed Matching Engine (DME) that is natively borne and integrated into Telekom Deutschland’s mobile network in Germany. The DME allows developers to ensure the identity and location of application users while guaranteeing their privacy as this data remains within the boundaries of the mobile service provider and is not disclosed to MobiledgeX.
  • A fully multi-tenant control plane that supports zero-touch provisioning of edge cloud resources via a Cloudlet Resource Manager. This architecture is massively scalable based on the number of distributed edge cloud locations and enables the operator to bring any combination of compute, storage and network resource pools to add to capacity independently of a preferred Virtualization Infrastructure Management (VIM) layer. For example, while Deutsche Telekom edge cloud resource pools are virtualized using OpenStack, MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud R1.0 equally supports other industry- standard VIMs such as VMware or native Kubernetes.
  • A global edge cloud SAAS portal that allows operators to visualize application delivery performance and developers to deploy their application containers.



MobiledgeX 

NVIDIA brings GPU power to Ericsson's virtualized 5G RAN

Ericsson and NVIDIA are collaborating on technologies for virtualized 5G radio access networks (RAN).

The companies said their ultimate goal is to commercialize virtualized RAN technologies to deliver radio networks with flexibility and shorter time to market for new services, such as augmented reality, virtual reality and gaming.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, says: “As a technology leader, we embrace openness and new platforms where we can continue to innovate and push boundaries to provide our customers with the best possible solutions. With NVIDIA we will jointly look at bringing alternatives to market for virtualizing the complete radio access network.”

Jensen Huang, founder and chief executive officer of NVIDIA, says: “5G is set to turbocharge the intelligent edge revolution. Fusing 5G, supercomputing, and AI has enabled us to create a revolutionary communications platform supporting, someday, trillions of always-on, AI-enabled smart devices. Combining our world-leading capabilities, NVIDIA and Ericsson are helping to invent this exciting future.”

ModelOp targets AI-based model operations in large enterprises

ModelOp, formerly Open Data Group (ODG), has relaunched with a focus on AI-based model operations in large enterprises. The idea is to integrate data science and machine learning with enterprise applications that use the models’ predictions to automate and improve decisions like credit scoring, fraud detection, bond trading, customer retention, manufacturing operations, supply chain optimization, ecommerce sales, ad conversions, etc.

The company was founded 2016 by Pete Foley and Stu Bailey, who previously worked together at Infoblox, where they pioneered a new category of IT infrastructure, leading to a successful IPO in 2011 and an acquisition of the company by Vista Equity for $1.6B in 2016.  Prior to co-founding Infoblox, Bailey as the technical lead at the National Center for Data Mining, worked closely with the pioneers of data science. Foley previously served as CEO at Port Authority (acquired by Websense) and Ring Cube (acquired by Citrix), and as chairman of Graphite Systems (acquired by EMC).

The company describes DS/ML models as a new kind of software because they are probabilistic and must be “trained” using large quantities of data.  Over time, DS/ML models decay, producing degraded results unless they’re re-trained or re-written. The practice of Model Operations must address the release, activation, monitoring, performance tracking, management, reuse, maintenance and governance of the AI and ML models. 

“We got ahead of the market when we started this venture, convinced that the unique characteristics of data science and machine learning (DS/ML) models would require new organizational and technical approaches in order to realize their value, especially within large enterprises” said Pete Foley, CEO of ModelOp.  Foley continued, “Our expanding customer base, and the level of activity we are seeing in the industry overall strongly validates our vision and makes us extremely excited for this next phase of growth.”  ModelOp’s customers include five of the top 10 largest financial institutions, as well as Fortune 500 manufacturers, insurers, and credit bureaus.

ModelOp has offices in Chicago, IL and San Jose, CA.

Riverbed revamps SD-WAN

Riverbed has revamped its SD-WAN portfolio with the release of SteelConnect EX, an enterprise-class and carrier-grade WAN Edge Infrastructure solution with best-of-breed SD-WAN, integrated application acceleration and advanced network security services.

Riverbed said its unique combination of SD-WAN and advanced network security with application acceleration will enable large organizations to confidently deploy and operate SD-WAN at high scale (5,000 sites) within the world’s most complex and secure networks. Product solutions include:

  • SteelConnect EX SD-WAN enables enterprises to cost-effectively expand WAN capacity, accelerate the roll-out of new sites and applications and streamline operations for hybrid and Internet-based WAN topologies.
  • SteelConnect EX App Acceleration provides industry-leading application acceleration and optimization capabilities to boost app performance and end-user experience by up to 33x or more for on-premises, cloud and SaaS-based applications. SteelConnect EX interoperates directly with SteelHead physical and virtual appliances today. And with the availability of SteelConnect EX, Riverbed also announces plans to further integrate Riverbed's industry-leading application acceleration and optimization capabilities into the SteelConnect EX platform in Q1 2020 for a converged SD-WAN Edge solution.
  • SteelConnect EX Security enables fully integrated and layered security services to deepen and simplify branch security. Provides a broad set of security functions, including Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW), Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Antivirus (AV), and Intrusion Detection and Protection Services (IDS/IPS).

“Riverbed now offers the most complete and powerful digital networking solution in the market to help organizations achieve higher levels of agility, efficiency, innovation and growth. Riverbed’s new SteelConnect EX encompasses the scalability, performance, and security to meet the needs of the most complex networks,” said Dante Malagrino, Chief Development Officer at Riverbed. “With a proven track record of WAN expertise, world-class support and professional services, Riverbed sets the new standard for digital networking to propel and accelerate digital transformation with confidence.”

Riverbed to resell Versa Networks' SD-WAN

Riverbed signed a global original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement with Versa Networks that brings together Riverbed’s global support and services with Versa Networks' enterprise-class secure SD-WAN technology.

Riverbed said it will now offer an expanded portfolio of SD-WAN solutions alongside Riverbed SteelConnect, which will now include a new enterprise offering leveraging Versa Network’s Secure Cloud IP software platform. Since the initial 2016 launch of Riverbed’s SD-WAN solution SteelConnect, Riverbed has grown its SD-WAN customer base to 1,000+ organizations.

“The agreement with Versa Networks allows Riverbed to provide our customers with a broader set of choices and address the modern networking needs of organizations of all types and sizes – large, medium and small, cloud-first, hybrid and traditional – across the globe,” said Paul Mountford, CEO at Riverbed. “Versa’s enterprise-class technology complements Riverbed’s leading SD-WAN, application acceleration and digital experience management solutions nicely, and will be backed by Riverbed’s leading support and professional services that customers rely on. This expanded portfolio allows Riverbed to more fully go after our large enterprise installed base, which includes the vast majority of the Fortune 2000, and will empower our customers to choose the right SD-WAN solution to help them transform their networks, gain agility and remain competitive in their respective industries.”

“Versa is teaming up with Riverbed to leverage the organization’s global reach into large enterprise, industry-leading support and services, and expertise and leadership in digital performance, which will drive greater opportunities for Versa and a strong offering for enterprise customers,” said  Kelly Ahuja, CEO at Versa Networks.

Next Gen SD-WAN: Automation and Programmability



In enterprises today, too many tasks are manual, but as the network evolves from site-to-site to a user-to-app model this will change,  says Kelly Ahuja, CEO of Versa Networks.

A key to this is network telemetry from wherever the user is located. This data will open new possibilities for (1) security/compliance and (2) automation/programmability.

Kelly Ahuja, CEO of Versa Networks, discusses market momentum with SD-Branch services. Versa recently surpassed 1,000 enterprise customers and 200,000 software licenses.

https://nginfrastructure.com/sd-wan

Corning and Intel develop 5G In-Building Networks

Corning and Intel agreed to collaborate on 5G in-building networks. The work combines Corning’s 5G network solutions powered by Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Intel FlexRAN Reference Software Architecture.

“5G will enable dramatic advances in the way people work and companies create value,” said Michelle Engarto, vice president, Wireless Product Line Management, Corning Optical Communications. “Capturing the benefits will require flexible and scalable infrastructure that can evolve and adapt as fast as software-based applications.  Fiber offers effectively unlimited bandwidth and is protocol agnostic. Virtualization converts a traditional hardware challenge into a software-based solution. By combining fiber and virtualization, Corning and Intel will demonstrate the ultimate in flexibility and scalability for in-building 5G infrastructure.”

“Our collaboration with Corning will help ensure the 5G revolution does not stop at the building door,” said Cristina Rodriguez, vice president and general manager of Wireless Access Networks Division, Data Center Group at Intel.

“This Intel-based foundation for next-generation virtualized radio access networks (vRAN) will enable customers to reap the full benefits of 5G based platforms for ultra-reliable low latency, enhanced mobile bandwidth, and massive machine-to-machine communication both inside and outside their buildings,” she said.

The new enterprise platform will be commercially available in 2020.

https://www.corning.com/worldwide/en/products/communication-networks/applications/wireless-networks.html

Sunday, October 20, 2019

NJFX and Telxius interconnect their East Coast Cable Landing Stations

The NJFX Cable Landing Station (CLS) in Wall, New Jersey has been directly connected to Telxius facilities at the CLS in Virginia Beach, VA using Windstream's fiber network.

NJFX’s CLS campus offers access to four subsea cable systems to Europe and South America and seven independent US fiber-based backhaul providers. Customers can access points of presence in 15 countries across Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. NJFX said its CLS campus is resistant to even Category 5 hurricanes in part because of its location 64 feet above sea level.

The Telxius CLS campus in Virginia Beach, includes the Telxius facilities at the MAREA and BRUSA CLS. MAREA’s 200 Tbps transmission capacity plus BRUSA’s 138 Tbps equal that of the top 10 hub cities in the world combined, ranked by international capacity.[1] They are uniquely suited to deliver massive capacity and the lowest possible latencies. In addition to offering direct access to those two subsea cable systems to Europe and South America, the Telxius CLS campus features connections with several independent US fiber-based backhaul providers. Access to other advanced subsea cables will be completed soon. Additionally, the Telxius Communications Campus in Virginia Beach connects directly to main data center campuses in Ashburn, Richmond and Phoenix.

“We are proud to be the catalyst of the first-ever CLS to CLS terrestrial route,” states Gil Santaliz, CEO for NJFX. “This is an integral part of the shift the industry is seeing in new infrastructure being deployed to replace the old networking models. The total capacity of the subsea cables coming out of these two cable landing stations is greater than all of the capacity of the previously placed North American subsea cables stretching across the Atlantic combined. Windstream and Telxius are bilaterally leveraging each company’s routes to address customer network diversity requirements and capacity needs. The potential for clients is endless.”

“Telxius as a world-class communications infrastructure company, is keen to enable the interconnection of two key cable landing stations in the US, offering the strategic ability of network protection at the subsea cable level,” states Gerardo Bonilla, Head of Sales for Telxius. “A pioneer as the first provider with connectivity between these two cable landing stations, Windstream can offer robust options to customers to use either cable landing station. Our companies are now able to provide our respective customers end to end global solutions leveraging Windstream’s robust US network and the Telxius subsea global network. Additionally, we are happy to be able to offer services over MAREA and BRUSA from NJFX facilities, creating tremendous value.”

“Our fiber deployment between two of the most important cable landing stations along the east coast aligns with Windstream’s core strategy to take our national network – global,” comments Joe Scattareggia, Executive Vice President, Windstream Wholesale. “Our fiber connectivity across the US from Canada to Mexico, combined with our build out at the NJFX CLS campus in New Jersey and at the Telxius CLS campus in Virginia Beach, offers customers the ability to leverage our national network and go beyond.”

5G is now active in 38 carrier networks

There are currently 38 3GPP standardized commercial 5G networks globally, and it is anticipated that there will be 77 commercial 5G networks by the end of 2019, according to TeleGeography. Ovum’s forecast predicts 156 million 5G connections worldwide and 32 million in North America by end of 2021. 

Citing figures from Ovum, 5G Americas, the wireless industry trade association and voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas, reports that nearly a quarter billion new LTE connections were added around the world in the second quarter of 2019, bring the total to 4.7 billion as of June 2019.

With 459 million LTE connections in Q2 2019, North America continues to lead the world in LTE market share. LTE represents 88 percent of all mobile connections in North America as of June 2019, which is up from 82 percent in June 2018. The Oceania, Eastern and South Eastern Asia region has the second highest market share for LTE at 73 percent, up from 65 percent in June 2018. Western Europe follows with 55 percent (up from 48 percent), while Latin America and Caribbean continues to see strong LTE subscriber growth, up to 47 percent (from 35 percent) during the same period.  Market share represents the percentage of mobile wireless connections that are LTE technology versus all other mobile cellular technologies.

https://www.5gamericas.org/5g-network-rollouts-accelerate-as-ltes-long-tail-extends/

Verizon expands 5G in sports arenas

Verizon’s 5G service will be live in 10 arenas by the end of the 2019-2020 season, including Talking Stick Resort Arena, Chase Center, Pepsi Center, and coming soon to Madison Square Garden.

These arenas together host millions of basketball fans, hockey fans, and concert goers each year.

Last month, Verizon launched its 5G service in 13 NFL stadiums.

“Verizon is leading in 5G development and is transforming how entire industries operate ranging from entertainment to manufacturing,” said Heidi Hemmer, Vice President of Technology at Verizon. “Having this next generation technology in large venues like arenas should not only enhance the game-day experience for sports fans, but provide greater bandwidth for concert-goers, visitors or businesses working inside the venue.”

Verizon signs Boingo to bring 5G in airports, office buildings, stadiums, etc.

Verizon is working with Boingo Wireless to bring 5G Ultra Wideband service indoors and to public spaces – places like airports, stadiums and arenas, office buildings, hotels, etc.

Boingo is a leading distributed antenna system (DAS), small cells and Wi-Fi provider.

The companies confirmed that they are working together to architect a hyper-dense network designed for large and small indoor spaces as part of Verizon’s ongoing 5G network expansions.

In addition, Verizon announced the expansion of its 5G service to Phoenix, Arizona. Initially, Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband service will be concentrated in Downtown Phoenix around several well-known landmarks, including: Phoenix Convention Center, Talking Stick Resort Arena, The Orpheum Theatre, CityScape, and Chase Field. It will also be available in Tempe, on the Arizona State University campus.



Huawei introduces 5G Microwave SuperHUB

Huawei introduced a SuperHUB 5G microwave solution with simplified architecture to improve the spectrum efficiency and enables high bandwidth for aggregation sites. H

vision Multiplexing (SDM) technology. The solution enables a spectrum used only once within 90° range to be multiplexed three times, thus improving spectral efficiency by 300%. This allows the same amount of spectrum to provide triple the bandwidth for all directions at a hub site, facilitating multi-directional bandwidth upgrade.

Huawei is also using modular dual-band antennas to combine any two 6–86 GHz bands at a site. This avoids the deployment of multiple antennas in cases where a single band is not sufficient to achieve a high bandwidth. The carrier aggregation ODU can aggregate four channels into one, resulting in a single ODU delivering capacity equal to that of four regular ODUs. This amounts to a 75% reduction in installation space and load bearing required on a tower where multiple channels are used to support high bandwidth.

Huawei also unveiled 40Gbps and 100Gbps ultra-bandwidth microwave solutions for 5G aggregation sites, setting a new record for microwave solution bandwidth. The company says its ongoing E-band innovation will increase transmission distances by 30% for E-band while boosting bandwidth to 40Gbps in short-distance cases when compared to current all-scenario 10Gbps capabilities. This will enable operators to meet the requirements of high bandwidth at huh sites as 5G continues to mature. New innovations involving new spectra, such as D-band (130–175 GHz), will be able to support an ultra-high backhaul bandwidth of 200Gbps, raising microwave bandwidth to new heights.

https://www.huawei.com/en/press-events/news/2019/10/Huawei-Released-5G-Microwave-SuperHUB-Solution

Singapore plans 5G gaming trial

Razer, Singtel and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) are preparing to launch Singapore’s first 5G cloud gaming trial.

Throughout the trial, Razer will provide the 5G cloud gaming use case and test scenarios, leveraging their unique know-how and intellectual property for the development of cloud gaming technologies and hardware, while Singtel will provide the 5G platform and technical test scenarios.

The trial will commence in the next few months and will be conducted at three locations – Shaw Centre and Ngee Ann City on the Orchard Road shopping belt, and Razer’s new Southeast Asia headquarters at one-north. At the end of the trial, Razer and Singtel plan to hold a cloud gaming showcase that will be open to the public.

The trial aims to gain insights on:

  • 5G network characteristics and requirements of cloud gaming;
  • Design and engineering of low latency hardware for cloud gaming that can deliver quality performance and a broader range of gaming experiences, from ultra-fast responsiveness to portability to seamless device-to-device sync to cloud servers.


Telia launches 5G commercial services in Finland

Telia launched commercial 5G service in Finland. The first phase is underway in Helsinki, Vantaa and Oulu. An expansion to the top seven cities in Finland will follow shortly. Nokia is the lead vendor. Telia's 5G network has actually been running since the beginning of 2019 in pilot projects including at Helsinki Airport and the ABB factory at Pitäjänmäki.

Telia’s newly launched offering several 5G Rajaton (”Limitless”) subscriptions with maximum speeds of 1.000 and 450 Mbps. The first mobile broadband subscription offers 1000 Mbps.

Telia’s first 5G devices are Huawei Mate 20 X 5G and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G phones and for mobile broadband customers, Nokia 5G FastMile gateway and Huawei 5G CPE Pro router.

In addition, Telia's 5G service is now available in the new Mall of Tripla in Helsinki -- the largest indoor shopping mall in the Nordics. In addition, Telia has opened a new flagship store in Mall of Tripla, and in Q1/2020 the site will also accommodate Telia Finland’s headquarters.

”Mall of Tripla is an excellent example of building a modern smart city: the digital infrastructure has been on the drawing board right from the start together with the more traditional infrastructure of the complex. To us it was clear that the mall, which will also host our future Helsinki headquarters ​were at the top of the list in our 5G roll-out program,” says Janne Koistinen, 5G Program Director, Telia Finland.

”Mall of Tripla is the largest mall in Scandinavia, and with its meticulously planned concept and new innovations it is a real forerunner. We naturally wanted that the Mall of Tripla represents state of the art technological solutions right from the opening day, and the fast 5G network is an example of that,” says Kati Kivimäki, Managing Director, Mall of Tripla.

SK Telecom invests in Switzerland's ID Quantique

SK Telecom has made an equity investment in ID Quantique, a start-up based in Switzerland that is developing quantum cryptography.

The European Union has launched a 3-year European research project, named Open Quantum Key Distribution (OPENQKD), that will install test quantum communication infrastructures in several European countries. It will boost the security of critical applications in the fields of telecommunication, finance, health care, electricity supply and government services. The project will lay the groundwork for a pan-European quantum communication infrastructure that uses satellite as well as ground-based solutions. For this €15 million project, the European Union has selected 38 companies and research institutes across the continent, including ID Quantique, Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Nokia.

Since establishing Quantum Tech Lab in 2011, SK Telecom has been making aggressive efforts to develop quantum cryptography technologies to enhance the safety and security of its mobile networks. In March 2019, the company has applied ID Quantique’s Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) to its 5G authentication center (AuC) to prevent hacking and ensure quantum-safe security. It has also applied ID Quantique’s Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology to the Seoul-Daejeon section – the most data traffic-concentrated section in Korea - of its 5G and LTE networks, to strengthen the security of 5G and LTE data transmission and reception.

“In the 5G era, security will become increasingly important as all connected things will generate data,” said Park Jin-hyo, the Chief Technology Officer of SK Telecom. “SK telecom will make continued investment in quantum cryptography communication technologies to secure the world’s top competitiveness in this area.”

SK Telecom applies Quantum Cryptography to network security

SK Telecom has applied a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) developed by ID Quantique of Switzerland to its 5G authentication center (AuC). QRNG is a device that constantly generates “quantum random numbers,” which creates strong keys that are not biased and cannot be predicted. SK Telecom said it plans to apply the same quantum random number technique to its 4G network as well.

Next month, SK Telecom will also apply ID Quantique’s Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology to the Seoul-Daejeon section – the most data traffic-concentrated section in Korea - of its 5G and LTE networks, to strengthen the security of 5G and LTE data transmission and reception. QKD provides ultimate cryptographic security based on the laws of quantum mechanics. It enables two parties to produce a shared random secret key known only to them, which can then be used to encrypt and decrypt messages.

SK Telecom invested US$65 million in ID Quantique in February 2018.

SK Telecom also noted its pivotal role in global standardization of QKD and QRNG technologies at ITU-T. In February 2019, SK Telecom’s two new technologies related to QKD have been selected as work items by ITU-T’s Study Group 17 (SG17), which coordinates security-related work across all ITU-T Study Groups. Combining these two work items with the two on-going work items on QKD and QRNG technologies it proposed in July 2018, SK Telecom is currently leading a total of four meaningful work items in SG 17. In addition, Sim Dong-hi, a delegate from SK Telecom,  is serving as associate-rapporteur on quantum technology in SG17.

“As security emerges as one of the most important issues in the 5G era, SK Telecom is determined to provide the most secure 5G network and focus on expanding the ecosystem by developing quantum cryptography technologies,” said Park Jin-hyo, the Chief Technology Officer of SK Telecom.

Spain's central government picks BT for global network

Spain’s Central Government has awarded a 3-year contract valued at €39.97 to BT to support its operations by providing communications services in 120 countries.

BT will draw on its global reach and technical expertise to upgrade the Spanish Central Government’s global network, which provides resilient connectivity for Spain’s embassies, consulates and trade offices. It also includes satellite-based connections to ten scientific research ships in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea as well as a Spanish polar research station in Antarctica.

BT said it was selected to support the international presence of the Spanish Government because of its global footprint, experience and the quality of its offer during the tender process.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Now Available: 2019 Next Gen Network Automation site and report



The dream of fully automated networks has been with us for decades, but with the rise of machine learning and virtualized network architecture, the industry finally appears ready to step ahead with Next Gen Network Automation.

In this series of videos, we speak with the thought leaders who are redefining the concept of automation. This 4-minute overview video gives us some high-level definitions:



  • Arpit Joshipura, The Linux Foundation
  • Partho Mishra,  Cumulus
  • Jeff Gray, Gluware
  • Prasanth Shenoy, Cisco
  • Chris Wade, Itential
  • Gerhard Wieser, FRINX
  • Mansour Karam, Apstra
  • Dr. Junlan Fang, China Mobile
  • Chris Rice, AT&T


See our full series of Thought Leadership videos, and download the exclusive report from our partner AvidThink, at https://nginfrastructure.com/network-automation/

BT’s new automation platform accelerates journey to SD-WAN

BT has launched a new Service and Network Automation Platform (SNAP) designed to help customers innovate using SD-WAN and network functions virtualisation (NFV) technologies.

The unique platform sits at the heart of BT’s global network and leverages SD-WAN controllers from Cisco and Nuage Networks. SNAP also works with Cisco’s Network Services Orchestrator. SNAP uses open source software and industry-standard languages including YANG for network modelling and TOSCA for service definition and VNF service chaining. Control commands can now cascade through BT’s systems taking effect within minutes, something that previously could take weeks.

BT said it plans to extend orchestration from its core network to major third-party cloud data centres and all the way into customers’ local area networks (LAN) and data centre LANs (DC-LANs). This will provide end-to-end applications visibility, control and configuration from customers’ laptops and devices through to servers in the cloud.

BT has pooled its SD-WAN and NFV expertise and key skills into a new Centre of Excellence (CoE). The CoE supports the full life cycle of customers’ SD-WAN or NFV services, collaborating across design and deployment to operations. The integrated team is backed with a programme of investment in training and tools in areas such as YANG, Netconf and TOSCA — new skills that are in very short supply.

Keith Langridge, vice president of network services at BT, said: “We’re investing to make it easier for our customer to take advantage of the latest networking technologies and cloud. Our new Service and Network Automation Platform and Centre of Excellence help customers tap into our wealth of know-how and experience in SDN and NFV. We have created a unique environment in which customers can deploy the latest software-defined services alongside their underlying network technologies. This transforms their experience of the journey to SD-WAN and makes the promise of software-defined services an operational reality.”

https://www.btireland.com/company/communications/bt-ireland-blog/authors/steve-coakley/new-automation-platform-accelerates-journey-to-sdwan

Ericsson: 5G is taking off faster than earlier anticipated

Citing strong growth in North America and North East Asia, Ericsson reported Q3 2019 sales of SEK 57.1 (53.8) billion (US$5.88 billion), up 3% when adjusted for comparable units and currency, and up 6% on a reported basis. Operating income was SEK 6.5 billion (11.4% operating margin) when excluding restructuring charges and items affecting comparability.  Net income was SEK -6.9 (2.7) billion.

Ericsson now has 27 commercial 5G contracts with named operators.

At its Investor Day in Stockholm, Ericsson expressed confidence in reaching 2020 and 2022 financial targets.


Some comments from Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson:

We continue to see strong momentum in our business, based on the strategy to increase our investments for technology leadership, including 5G. We saw organic sales growth[1] of 3% in the quarter, driven by the early adopters of 5G, in North America and North East Asia. Our operating income was SEK 6.5 b., corresponding to a margin of 11.4% excluding restructuring costs, the SEC and DOJ provision of USD -1.2 b. (SEK -11.5 b.) and the refund of social security costs of SEK 0.9 b. Free cash flow before M&A was SEK 5.5 (0.7) b. adding to our strong financial position.

Our focused strategy, introduced in 2017, is aimed at building a stronger Ericsson longer term. With clear focus on our operator customers the strategy stands on a foundation of increased investments in R&D for technology and cost leadership, and growing market footprint. Increased R&D efforts, which will continue, have resulted in a competitive portfolio driving improved gross margin. In addition, we have been able to record several important wins improving market footprint for future business. We are disciplined in the deals we take and target opportunities where we have a clear competitive advantage through technology leadership, supported by our improved cost structure in hardware and software. While we believe the strategic contracts are attractive long term, the initial margins may be challenging. This is due to high associated costs as operators change vendors.

An important indicator for our execution of the strategy is the improvement in gross margin. The gross margin[2] in the quarter ended at 37.8% compared with 36.9% last year and 36.7% last quarter. Within the 0.8 percentage point[3] sequential decline in Networks gross margin, we have absorbed the margin impact and inventory provisions related to strategic contracts.

The largest market for 5G infrastructure will be China where deployments are expected to start near term. We have invested to increase our market share, however it is still too early to assess possible volumes and price levels. Based on historic experience we expect to have challenging margins initially but positive margins over the lifespan of a contract.

With an organic sales growth[1] of 4%, segment Networks delivered another solid quarter, with strong development in North America. Operating margin improved YoY, with continued good traction for the Ericsson Radio System.

The turnaround of Digital Services is on track for low single digit margins in 2020. Driven by strong improvement in the underlying business, the losses were substantially reduced QoQ, in spite of a negative impact from the remainder of the 45 critical contracts of SEK 0.5 b. (slightly more than in the second quarter). The negative impact of these contracts will continue to vary between quarters as they are addressed. We continue to focus on developing a full 5G and cloud-native portfolio. It is encouraging to see that the sales growth in our new product portfolio improved from 13% to 19% rolling 12 months.

5G is taking off faster than earlier anticipated and we see initial 5G buildout as a capacity enhancer in metropolitan areas. However, over time, new exciting innovations for 5G will come with industrial and IoT use cases, leveraging the speed, latency and security characteristics of 5G. This provides opportunities for our customers to capture new revenues as they provide additional benefits to consumers and businesses.

Our IoT business is growing almost twice as fast as the estimated market growth of 20-25% per year. We have more than 4,500 enterprises on our IoT platform and the number of connected devices on the platform has more than doubled year to date. To fully leverage our position and capture new recurring revenue streams we are increasing our investments in IoT within Emerging Business. With this investment, we do not expect to reach breakeven for the segment next year, and instead incur losses of SEK -1.5 to -2.0 b.


https://www.ericsson.com/4a98ea/assets/local/investors/documents/2019/ericsson-investor-update-2019.pdf

Korea’s LG U+ selects Ericsson for RAN and core #5G NSA

South Korea-based LG U+ has selected Ericsson as a 5G radio access network (RAN) vendor for its 3.5 GHz Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G network. Ericsson has already been selected by LG U+ as a preferred 5G core network vendor.

This first 5G RAN contract with LG U+ sees Ericsson deploying 3GPP standards-based 5G New Radio (NR) hardware and software from Ericsson Radio System (part of Ericsson’s 5G platform).

RAN deployment got underway in October 2019. Ericsson solutions are going commercially live as they are deployed in the LG U+ network.

The new RAN deal means that Ericsson now has commercial 5G RAN contracts with all three major communication service providers in Korea.

Daehee Kim, Vice President, Network Strategy, LG U+, says: “We are delighted to have Ericsson as a trusted 5G Core and 5G RAN vendor. Ericsson’s end-to-end 5G technology leadership is key to ramping-up our nationwide 5G ambitions in Korea. Ericsson will help us to deliver the very best enhanced mobile broadband experiences for our subscribers, as well as opening up innovation and job creation opportunities through the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 and digitalized society.”

Hakan Cervell, Head of Ericsson Korea, Ericsson, says: “We’re working in close partnership with LG U+ to strengthen its 5G network in Korea. We look forward to building the partnership to help LG U+ meet its 5G needs as its subscriber base grows across enhanced mobile broadband, IoT, and Industry 4.0. We’re also delighted to now be working with all three communication providers in Korea to use our 5G abilities to keep the country at the forefront of 5G innovation and benefits.”

Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT is forecasting that says the number of 5G subscriptions his pass the five million mark by the end of 2019.

Corelight raises $50m for network traffic analysis in the cloud

Corelight, a start-up based in San Francisco, announced an additional $50 million in Series C financing for its network traffic analysis (NTA) solutions for cybersecurity.

Corelight was founded by Dr. Vern Paxson (a Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley and Chief Scientist at Corelight), Robin Sommer (CTO) and Seth Hall (Chief Evangelist) to deliver network visibility solutions for cybersecurity built on an open source framework called Zeek (formerly Bro). Paxson began developing Zeek in 1995 when he was working at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The software is now widely regarded as the gold standard for both NSM and network traffic analysis (NTA) and has been deployed by thousands of organizations around the world.

The new Series C financing was led by Insight Partners and its first capital investor, Accel.

“What makes our data first security approach so powerful is the global community behind it,” said Greg Bell, CEO of Corelight. “That community generously contributes new detections, parsers, and other capabilities for the benefit of all defenders. In addition to helping Corelight accelerate commercial progress, the new investment will enable us to engage and serve our community at a higher level. Belief in this joint vision is a key driver for the partnership with Insight and Accel, two renowned and experienced firms.”

Corelight has raised a total of $84 million to date, with investment from General Catalyst, Accel, Osage University Partners and Riverbed Technology Co-founder Dr. Steve McCanne in previous rounds. The company has more than doubled in size since its Series B in September 2018.

https://www.corelight.com