Sunday, June 28, 2020

Global 5G connections reach 63.6 million

There are now over 63.6 million 5G connections globally as of Q1 2020, which represents 308.66% growth over Q4 2019, according to 5G Americas and data from Omdia. The forecast predicts 238 million 5G connections globally by the end of 2020, of which North America will account for 10 million connections.

Chris Pearson, President, 5G Americas said, “Globally, 5G remains the fast-growing generation of wireless cellular technology ever, even as the world is gripped with a pandemic. In North America, we are seeing consistent, strong uptake of new 5G subscribers as new devices have been released that can take advantage of low-band and millimeter wave frequencies. At the same time, new network capabilities are being added.” 

Also cited by 5G Americas:

  • Globally, there are now 82 5G commercial networks, a number which is expected to more than double to 206 by the end of 2020, according to data from TeleGeography. 
  • There are now over 100 commercial 5G device models available globally, according to the Ericsson Mobility June 2020 Report, with increasing support for low-band, mid-band and millimeter (mmWave) frequency bands.
  • Regionally by the end of Q1 2020, North America had 1.18 million 5G connections and 494 million LTE connections. This amounted to 100% growth in 5G, a gain of 591 thousand 5G connections over the quarter and 2.34% growth in LTE, a gain of 11.3 million LTE connections over the quarter. 
  • For Latin America and the Caribbean, Q1 2020 saw 3004 5G subscriptions (142.85% Q4 2019 to Q1 2020 growth) and 372 million LTE subscriptions (3% Q4 2019 to Q1 2020 growth), respectively. 


https://www.5gamericas.org/5g-continues-progress-despite-covid-19/

Ericsson offers 5G standalone (SA) trial kit for enterprises

Ericsson released a 5G standalone (SA) trial kit for enterprises considering a private 5G network.

The kits will be available to enterprises through communications service providers on selected low and mid-band spectrum. The kits include hardware and software to support a network to enable enterprises to test first-hand how 5G can enhance their productivity, efficiency, safety, and security. Enterprises will also have access to business development and technical support to help unlock the full value of 5G dedicated networks.

In Germany, Ericsson is working with Deutsche Telekom to deliver trial kits. Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson recently switched on a 5G SA dedicated network with Ericsson Industry Connect at the Center Connected Industry (CCI) at Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen Campus.

Antje Williams, SVP 5G Campus Networks, Deutsche Telekom, says: "Our industrial customers demand secure, reliable, high-performance network solutions and applications tailored to their specific needs. In partnership with Ericsson, we can bring the benefits of 5G standalone architecture to enterprises to accelerate their production automation journey."

Thomas Norén, Head of Dedicated Networks at Ericsson, says: "By taking full advantage of the 5G SA dedicated networks trial kits, industrial customers can gain competitive advantage by accelerating their move to 5G. As they develop and test industrial applications, they can build optimized and innovative smart factories, warehouses, mines, ports, and more."

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2020/6/ericsson-5g-sa-trial-kits-for-industry

Huawei moves forward with Optoelectronics Centre in Cambridge, UK

Huawei confirmed plans to invest £1 billion in the first phase a new Optoelectornics RD & manufacturing centre in Cambridge, UK.

In 2018, Huawei acquired 500 acres of land at the former Spicers paper mill, located to the west of Sawston. The site includes over 50 acres of brownfield land.

This next phase of the project includes construction of 50,000 square meters of facilities across nine acres of land and will directly create around 400 local jobs.

Once fully operational, Huawei said this new facility will become the international headquarters of its optoelectronics business. The facility will ocus on the research, development, and manufacturing of optical devices and modules.

"The UK is home to a vibrant and open market, as well as some of the best talent the world has to offer," said Victor Zhang, Vice President of Huawei. "It's the perfect location for this integrated innovation campus. Through close collaboration with research institutes, universities, and local industry, we want to advance optical communications technology for the industry as a whole, while doing our part to support the UK's broader Industrial Strategy. Ultimately, we want to help enshrine the UK's leading position in optoelectronics and promote UK tech on a global scale.

Rogers picks Ericsson as sole supplier for 5G Core and RAN

Rogers selected Ericsson as the sole supplier for its 5G radio access network and 5G core across Canada. The Rogers 5G network is initially using 2.5 GHz band and will expand to operate on 600 MHz 5G spectrum as the service rolls out to more markets this year. The Canadian service provider also plans to use 3.5 GHz spectrum and Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, which will allow its 4G spectrum asset to be used for 5G.

The Rogers 5G network is initially using 2.5 GHz band and will expand to operate on 600 MHz 5G spectrum as the service rolls out to more markets this year. Rogers also plans to use 3.5 GHz spectrum and Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, which will allow its 4G spectrum asset to be used for 5G.

Rogers announced earlier this year the rollout of Canada’s first 5G network in downtown Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. It is also deploying 5G in major Canadian sporting, entertainment and events venues: Rogers Centre in Toronto; Scotiabank Arena in Toronto; and Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

Kevin Zvokel, Head of Networks, Ericsson North America, says: “Ericsson is enabling Rogers to continue to execute on their long-standing commitment to bring Canadians market-leading wireless services in the 5G era. 5G will provide the agility, programmability, flexibility, and scale to address growing consumer and enterprise demands. This functionality will improve customer experience and support the development of compelling new services.”

Ericsson notes that it currently has 95 commercial 5G agreements or contracts with unique communication service providers, of which 40 are live networks.

Bell Canada signs Ericsson for 5G RAN

Bell Canada has selected Ericsson 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) technology to support its nationwide 5G mobile and fixed wireless access deployment.

The Canadian government is planning to auction 3.5 GHz spectrum later this year.

Niklas Heuveldop, President and Head of Ericsson North America, says, "We are proud to have earned Bell’s trust to be selected as one of their key partners and significantly expand our existing relationship to accelerate the transformation of their network with 5G mobile and fixed wireless technology. With our industry-leading 5G product portfolio, Bell will be able to provide Canadian consumers, enterprises and the public sector with innovative experiences and services whether they are on the move or at home, regardless if they are in urban or rural areas.”

TELUS selects Ericsson and Nokia for 5G

TELUS selected Ericsson and Nokia for its 5G network.

“TELUS has a successful track record of building globally leading networks with amazing speeds, robust quality and extensive coverage that are consistently recognized as the best in the world,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO, TELUS. “Our team is committed to rolling out superior network technology from urban to rural communities, fueling our economy and driving innovation as we power Canadians into the 5G era through an unparalleled network experience."

Liberty Latin America to virtualize its mobile core

Ericsson has been awarded a three-year contract to upgrade Liberty Latin Americas' mobile core network and modernize its network.

Ericsson will supply its virtualized and cloud-based mobile core network solutions. Deployment is expected to get underway in the second half of 2020 and will benefit LLA’s operations across the region.

Vivek Khemka, Chief Technology and Product Officer, Liberty Latin America, says: “Current circumstances have shown the importance of resilient, high-speed networks. Deploying a new virtualized core network across the region will allow us to be ready for our customers’ changing needs. We continue to invest and modernize our network across the region to ensure better voice quality, higher data speeds, lower latency, data security and increased network resiliency, improving our customer experiences. The extension of our strategic partnership with Ericsson consolidates our commitment to the development of a new generation of services that will provide a greater experience for our customers in the region.”


Anritsu intros 110 GHz components for optical test equipment

Anritsu introduced components, including bias tees, a DC block, and semi-rigid cables, that operate to 110 GHz and provide broadband frequency scalability in high-frequency device characterization and optical networking applications.

The new components can be used as part of a test system consisting of 110 GHz vector network analyzers (VNAs), oscilloscopes and Bit Error Rate Testers (BERTs), as well as for optical transceivers, laser diodes, photodiodes, and optical modulators. Development of switches and routers using NRZ and PAM4 modulation schemes with 56 Gbps and 112 Gbps data rates, and 800G technology are applications, as well.

Anritsu said the addition of the new W1 components provides it with the broadest millimeter wave (mmWave) coaxial component portfolio in the market.


IDC predicts 2.8% decline in Worldwide Services Market

IDC is now forecasting a 2.8% decline in worldwide IT services and business services this year due to COVID-19, however, the forecast is calling for a 1% to 1.4% uptick in 2021.

In April, IDC predicted this market would decline 1.1% in 2020, so the new forecast is more pessimistic.

IDC said the newest forecast is based on the Economist Intelligence Unit's May forecast for worldwide GDP in 2020, which will likely contract by around 4.4%, more than twice as much as the March forecast. After almost four months of shutdowns across most developed markets, the economic downturn in the first half of 2020 will be so severe that even a robust recovery in the next six months will not offset it.

"Over the last few months of shutdowns around the world, services providers have largely shifted clients' core IT and business operations to 'work from home' environments relatively overnight without major hiccups," said Lisa Nagamine, research manager with IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Services Tracker. "This further demonstrates how adaptive and resilient vendors and buyers can be in the 'digital age'."

"We will continue to see the services market growth outpace GDP growth, even during a crisis like this," said Xiao-Fei Zhang, program director, Global Services Markets and Trends. "The pandemic is clamping down on discretionary spending, and puts the brake on many projects for now, but this will be somewhat cushioned by managed services and support services contracts that support core operations of large enterprises and government agencies."

Some additional highlights from IDC:

  • The Americas services markets are now forecast to decline 2.5% year over year in 2020, compared to the March forecast of nearly flat growth. 
  • IDC lowered the US growth forecast to -2.7% in 2020. The project-oriented markets, particularly business consulting, bore the brunt as large US consultancies have already announced workforce reductions worldwide. 
  • IDC also tempered the 2020 outlook for managed services by roughly 1%, now down 1.6%. The outlook for the support services market is unchanged and remains at -1.0% with growth in hardware and software support offset by sharp declines in training and education. 
  • Services markets in Canada also saw a sharper decline in 2020 and weaker recovery is expected across most foundation markets in the coming years, reflecting the gloomier economic outlook as the shutdown drags on. 
  • Latin America will continue to grow but will slump to less than 2% for 2020 with the outlook remaining unchanged from the March forecast.
  • Western Europe will decline 5.2% year over year in 2020 moved downward by almost one percentage point from the March forecast.
  • Central & Eastern Europe's 2020 short-term outlook was lowered while the mid- and long-term growth improved. 
  • The Middle East & Africa market will contract by more than 5% in 2020 as major markets in the region are also flanked by shutdowns and the collapse in oil prices. 
  • Japan will contract this year by 2.8% in 2020, revised downward by more than 1 percentage point with more economic metrics, such as weaker consumer spending in April and May, pointing to a weaker economy. 
  • IDC still expects the China market to deliver growth of 2.7% for 2020.


https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS46637720

Friday, June 26, 2020

Intelsat and Liquid Telecom extend partnership for Africa

Intelsat and Liquid Telecom are expanding their partnership to deliver very-small-aperture terminal (VSAT) service to 20 countries across Africa.

Through the partnership extension, Liquid Telecom will be able to connect more than 2,000 additional VSAT terminals across the continent. This will ensure the continuity of high-speed, reliable satellite connectivity to mobile operators, carriers, enterprise, media, content companies and retail customers across Africa, and it will also help Liquid Telecom better serve the growing demand for improved connectivity in its rural service areas.

“Extending our partnership with Intelsat will enable us to continue developing VSAT products with high- efficiency models and ubiquitous coverage; in fact, Liquid Telecom has just added three new high-performance VSAT service offerings to our portfolio, each with a range of data volume options. Liquid Telecom is continuing to drive increased demand and improve service levels across the continent, and this continuation of our partnership with Intelsat is a significant boost in that regard,” said Liquid Telecom Satellite Services CEO Scott Mumford.

http://www.liquidtelecom.com

Amazon acquires Zoox for autonomous vehicle platform

Amazon agreed to acquire Zoox, a start-up developing purpose-built, zero-emissions vehicles designed for autonomous ride-hailing, along with an end-to-end autonomy software stack. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Zoox's ground-up vehicle focuses on the ride-hailing customer, with tightly integrated features designed "to provide a revolutionary passenger experience."

Zoox, which was founded in 2014, is based in Foster City, California. The company raised over $950 million in venture funding.

"Zoox is working to imagine, invent, and design a world-class autonomous ride-hailing experience," said Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s CEO, Worldwide Consumer. "Like Amazon, Zoox is passionate about innovation and about its customers, and we're excited to help the talented Zoox team to bring their vision to reality in the years ahead."

"This acquisition solidifies Zoox's impact on the autonomous driving industry," said Aicha Evans, CEO of Zoox. "We have made great strides with our purpose-built approach to safe, autonomous mobility, and our exceptionally talented team working every day to realize that vision. We now have an even greater opportunity to realize a fully autonomous future."

"Since Zoox's inception six years ago, we have been singularly focused on our ground-up approach to autonomous mobility," said Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder and CTO. "Amazon's support will markedly accelerate our path to delivering safe, clean, and enjoyable transportation to the world."

Zoox appoints former Intel exec as CEO -- Aicha Evans

Zoox, a start-up developing autonomous vehicle systems, named Aicha Evans as its new CEO and a member of its Board of Directors.

Evans most recently served as Intel's Chief Strategy Officer, where she oversaw Intel’s transformation from a PC-centric to a data-centric company. Previously, Evans was General Manager of the Communication and Devices Group, where she led a team of over 7,000 people across multiple continents and was responsible for driving wireless engineering for multi-comm products and Intel platforms.

“Our team has made incredible progress since we started in 2014,” said Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder, CTO, and President. “We believe now more than ever that the full realization of autonomous mobility is a radical departure from last century’s car architecture, and that requires a completely reimagined vehicle and AI solution. I’m excited to partner with Aicha as we forge our own path and show the world what the next generation of mobility looks like.”


Thursday, June 25, 2020

NTT and NEC alliance to build optical and 5G solutions

NTT and NEC agreed to form a capital and business alliance to develop optical and wireless technologies.

The companies said their joint effort will contribute to the industrial competitiveness of Japan and further ensuring safe and reliable communication infrastructure.

To promote open architectures such as O-RAN and to realize the IOWN initiative,

NTT and NEC will set up a research and development structure at an early stage of their alliance focused on O-RAN and NTT's IOWN initiative. Specific objectives include:

  • The companies will develop and sell globally a compact Digital Signal Processing (DSP) chip with world-leading performance and low power specifications. The companies will develop optical transmission equipment based on this DSP.
  • Working with global operators and communication equipment vendors, the companies will promote O-RAN Alliance specifications while developing and selling globally competitive products compliant with such O-RAN specifications. In the future, the companies aim to attain top global market shares under NEC's leadership. Through development, the companies will realize ultra-high speed processing, ultra-low latency and ultra-low power consumption in these products at a level that has never been attained before, by applying innovative devices utilizing optical and wireless technologies to base station equipment.
  • The companies will develop innovative technologies and optical/wireless devices contributing to the realization of NTT's IOWN initiative. As part of the development, the companies will enable greater capacity, higher functionality and lower costing submarine cable systems, large capacity, low latency and automatic/autonomous space communication, and more sophisticated technologies to ensure infrastructure network security.

As part of the alliance, NTT will acquire 13,023,600 shares of NEC's common stock through the issuance of new shares and disposition of treasury stock by way of third-party allotment conducted by NEC (4.8% of its outstanding shares after the third-party allotment).

https://www.ntt.co.jp/news2020/2006e/200625b.html

Singapore awards 5G spectrum to Singtel and StarHub/M1

Singapore's Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) issued 5G spectrum licenses to Singtel Mobile Singapore Pte Ltd (Singtel) and the Joint-Venture Consortium (JVCo1) formed by StarHub Mobile Pte Ltd (StarHub) and M1 Limited (M1).

The Final Awards were issued to Singtel and JVCo after they completed the required regulatory processes, including the selection of their preferred frequency spectrum lots, vendor partners and other technical and legal matters.

Singtel and JVCo will be assigned 100MHz of 3.5 GHz spectrum each. Singtel, StarHub and M1 will also be assigned 800 MHz of mmWave spectrum each.

Both Singtel and JVCo have provided plans for network rollout and performance, coverage, resilience, cybersecurity and vendor diversity. Singtel and JVCo can now proceed to deploy nationwide 5G standalone networks that deliver full-fledged 5G capabilities. These networks are complemented by localised mmWave deployments to provide high capacity 5G coverage.

TPG Telecom Pte Ltd (TPG) has also applied for and is being allocated the remaining frequency spectrum in the millimeter wave band to roll out 5G networks on a localised basis. This would allow TPG to roll out localised 5G networks.

Wholesale arrangements for the use of 5G networks provided by Singtel and JVCo will be available to TPG and mobile virtual network operators, which can in turn offer retail 5G services to end users.

Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, said, “This 5G Final Award marks the closure of a robust and rigorous CFP process. With this, it sets the stage for the development of a world-class, resilient and secure 5G infrastructure which will be the backbone of Singapore’s digital economy. We remain on track for nationwide 5G standalone deployment by 2025. We will build upon this infrastructure to create a vibrant 5G ecosystem, offering exciting opportunities and benefits for individuals, workers and businesses in Singapore’s digital future.”

"We are excited to get this greenlight to lead and shape 5G in Singapore by building a world-class, secure and resilient 5G network that will serve as the backbone of Singapore’s digital economy. More than a business investment, we see this as a significant investment in Singapore’s digital future as 5G spurs innovation among enterprises and industries, creating new businesses, jobs and economic value in the process,” said Singtel Group CEO Ms Chua Sock Koong. “This licence is also very timely in light of Covid-19 and the ensuing reliance on robust infrastructure and connectivity. Our existing network capabilities have allowed us to pivot quickly to the needs of the public and businesses at this critical time and 5G will help extend and accelerate the digital adoption we’ve witnessed as we navigate our way out of Covid-19 towards recovery."

IDC: Cloud IT infrastructure spending up 2% in Q1

Vendor revenue from sales of IT infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud environments, including public and private cloud, increased 2.2% in the first quarter of 2020 (1Q20) while investments in traditional, non-cloud, infrastructure plunged 16.3% year over year, according to IDC's newly updated Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker.

COVID-19 was the major factor driving infrastructure spending in the first quarter, said IDC, as widespread lockdowns across the world and staged reopening of economies triggered increased demand for cloud-based consumer and business services. This led to additional demand for server, storage, and networking infrastructure utilized by cloud service provider datacenters. As a result, public cloud was the only deployment segment escaping year-over-year declines in 1Q20 reaching $10.1 billion in spend on IT infrastructure at 6.4% year-over-year growth. Spending on private cloud infrastructure declined 6.3% year over year in 1Q to $4.4 billion.


Some highlights:

  • The pace set in the first quarter will continue through rest of the year as cloud adoption continues to get an additional boost driven by demand for more efficient and resilient infrastructure deployment. 
  • For the full year, investments in cloud IT infrastructure will surpass spending on non-cloud infrastructure and reach $69.5 billion or 54.2% of the overall IT infrastructure spend. 
  • Spending on private cloud infrastructure is expected to recover during the year and will compensate for the first quarter declines leading to 1.1% growth for the full year. 
  • Spending on public cloud infrastructure will grow 5.7% and will reach $47.7 billion representing 68.6% of the total cloud infrastructure spend.
  • Compute platforms will remain the largest category of spending on cloud IT infrastructure at $36.2 billion 
  • Storage platforms will be fastest growing segment with spending increasing 8.1% to $24.9 billion. 
  • The Ethernet switch segment will grow at 3.7% year over year.
  • At the regional level, year-over-year changes in vendor revenues in the cloud IT Infrastructure segment varied significantly during 1Q20, ranging from 21% growth in China to a decline of 12.1% in Western Europe.


https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS46639820

Chapter 11 plan to cut Windstream's debt by $4 billion

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has confirmed Windstream's Plan of Reorganization.  Windstream expects to emerge from Chapter 11 in late August as a private company, having reduced its debt by more than $4 billion or approximately two-thirds. The new company will have access to approximately $2 billion in new capital to expand 1 Gig Internet service in rural America and maintain its product and software leadership in SD-WAN and UCaaS for enterprise customers.

“We were able to reach this important milestone thanks to the support of our financial stakeholders, as well as our customers, vendors and business partners. The Court’s confirmation of our Plan puts us on a definitive path to emerge from restructuring with a stronger balance sheet and healthy liquidity position to continue making network and software investments for the benefit of our customers,” said Tony Thomas, president and chief executive officer. “I want to thank the entire Windstream team for remaining focused on our customers and for tirelessly providing essential communications services during the reorganization process.”

Mr. Thomas continued, “We look forward to beginning this new chapter for Windstream. When we emerge, our lenders will become our new owners and strategic partners and are aligned with our long-term strategy and mission to deliver quality and reliable services. As a private company, Windstream will have increased flexibility to invest in our network, accelerate our transformation and return to growth. Together, we will emerge from this process as a stronger company able to successfully compete in the communications marketplace.”

https://investor.windstream.com/news/news-details/2020/Windstream-Restructuring-Plan-Confirmed-by-Court/default.aspx

Broadband Forum offers User Services Platform certification

Broadband Forum is now offering User Services Platform (USP) Agent Certification for the Connected Home market.

This helps service providers and consumer electronics companies by testing any broadband or consumer connected device against the Conformance Test Plan for User Services Platform Agents (TP-469) standard.

Certification is expected to accelerate interoperability by streamlining companies' ability to perform repeatable, automated testing on their own while preserving the integrity of the results and overall value of certified products by testing against rigorous standards.

Companies can self-test their products using an accredited test tool, which provides secure results for validation by a Broadband Forum approved laboratory or can submit products directly to the approved laboratory for testing. Products that have been validated will be recognized with a logo and certification ID and posted on Broadband Forum's product registry website along with a list of the product’s supported features.

"Consumer demand for connected home services is growing, as is the number of products and services coming to the market but in order for mass deployment to be realized, a unified, standardized, and interoperable platform to develop value-add solutions for the connected home is needed," said Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum. "USP Agent certification will give developers and product managers confidence in their products, ensure interoperability, and prove to their customers that their products will work seamlessly with USP-enabled applications in this new and powerful ecosystem."

The first approved tool is the CDRouter automated test solution from QA Cafe.

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) is the first approved test agency. Additional labs are expected to join the program in the coming weeks.

https://www.broadband-forum.org/testing-and-certification-programs/bbf-369-usp-certification

Colt’s SD-WAN now offers multi-cloud connectivity

Colt Technology Services is now offering multi-cloud access via its SD-WAN platform across Europe, enabling enterprises to use a single connection to multiple Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), including cloud-to-cloud connections, with enhanced security, agility and latency compared with connecting via the public internet.

Colt said its SD-WAN leverages application recognition and traffic steering to increase the availability and performance of access to multi-cloud services. This new offering is underpinned by the Colt IQ Network, which is comprised of 29,000 on net buildings and over 900 data centres, serving more than 25,000 customers globally. Colt’s fully-owned and operated dense fibre network allows enterprises to benefit from an end-to-end, seamless connection to the cloud.

Colt’s public and private peering with CSPs globally, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft’s Azure Cloud means that whichever combination of cloud platforms an enterprise choses, application traffic will be optimised to take the most direct path.

Colt’s Vice President Product Portfolio, Peter Coppens said, “As more and more enterprises are shifting their business-critical workloads to the cloud, and using multiple cloud environments to do so, working with a connectivity partner that can provide high-performance, rapidly scalable and highly secure cloud connectivity to one or many cloud environments has never been more important.

“Colt is a leader in delivering quality of experience, exceptional performance, and business resiliency to customers throughout Europe, Asia, and North America,” said Michael Wood, CMO, Versa Networks. “We are excited to partner with Colt and their innovative multi-cloud connectivity offer which leverages Versa Secure SD WAN to enable a best in class experience for businesses around the globe.”

Verizon ramps up its fixed 5G home service

Verizon announced further expansion of its 5G Home Internet service in parts of Houston.

The service has also rolled out in parts of Detroit, Indianapolis and Los Angeles. By the end of 2020, Verizon's 5G Home Internet will be available in 10 cities nationwide.

Verizon also confirmed that it is working with Pivotal Commware, Inc., a Verizon Ventures portfolio company, to conduct trials in Dearborn, Michigan that improve 5G coverage and performance for residents and visitors by strategically placing intelligent repeaters to enhance and boost Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wide Band signal.

The trials in Dearborn focus on providing coverage to larger, multi-unit dwellings such as apartments or dormitories with multiple buildings and floors where repeaters are particularly helpful. Repeaters are small, consume less power than a small cell or macro site and do not require a fiber connection.

“Compared to lower spectrum bands, 5G over mmWave offers far more speed and throughput, is more energy efficient, experiences less signal interference over the air, and has a much greater capacity for expansive scalability,” said Kevin Smith, Vice President of Network Planning for Verizon. “As we’ve known since our very early trials, high band spectrum provides more limited coverage from macro cells. Introducing repeaters like the ones we are trialing from Pivotal will help us expand the footprint of our new 5G Ultra Wide Band network and provide another tool in the toolbox for robust network design.”

http://www.verizonwireless.com/5g/home

Champion ONE 10G SFP+ - a pluggable FTTx solution

Champion ONE began shipping 10G SFP+ transceivers for 10G EPON and XGS-PON applications, developed by Tibit Communications, that can function as an alternative to dedicated OLT equipment.

The OLT solution embedded in a transceiver can plug directly into a commercially available Ethernet switch with SFP+ ports.

Champion ONE said its design makes an ideal fit for virtualized PON (vPON) solutions and software-defined networking (SDN) implementations. The OLT and open-architecture management solution can interoperate with 3rd party ONUs. This interoperability includes pairing with Ethernet-pluggable ONU solutions for a plug-and-play PON deployment without manual provisioning and SLA configuration.

“We are excited to have Champion ONE as an integration partner. They are a proven innovator in both carrier and enterprise solutions which are they key target marker for our MicroPlug™ OLT,” said Jay Teborek, VP Sales and Marketing at Tibit Communications. “Champion ONE continually demonstrates a high level of support for their customers and we’re proud to be a Champion ONE partner. With their product line breadth, they have the unique capability of delivering and servicing the needs of a complete 10G PON solution to their clients.”

“Champion ONE is excited to partner with Tibit Communications to bring the market leading Pluggable 10G OLT / ONU MicroPlug™ to the North American market,” said Tim Yanda, Director of Engineering at Champion ONE. “The ability to support 10G PON technologies from a traditional Ethernet switch is an excellent opportunity to expand in the last mile fiber connectivity market segment.”

https://www.championone.com/press/champion-one-launches-pluggable-10g-microplug-olt-transceivers-powered-by-tibit-communications
https://tibitcom.com/technology/

Telenor begins Open vRAN trial with Cisco

Telenor and Cisco are expanding their partnership to include security, 5G, Open vRAN, B2B expansion, distributed cloud and furthering Telenor Group’s digital transformation to support its flexible working hours approach.

The companies have started an Open vRAN trial at Telenor headquarters in Norway to further investigate using a virtualized, open infrastructure to improve cost efficiency for service rollouts. 

Cisco and Telenor also announced a new round of financing of the joint venture, WG2. WG2 offers a carrier grade, cloud-native mobile core solution that enables rapid service innovation for mobile network operators (MNOs), mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and enterprises. Using open APIs and cross-network interoperability, WG2 radically transforms the ability of mobile operators to innovate quickly. The new financing will be used to accelerate WG2’s growth in Europe, North America and Asia, and to extend its innovative solutions in 5G, IoT and private networks.

“The cooperation with Cisco over the years has delivered great results for both companies, especially within the area of security and mobility,” said Sigve Brekke, President and Chief Executive Officer, Telenor. “Our partnership in WG2 builds towards a future where programmable networks are the key to creating value for 5G, IoT and private networks. Ongoing developments in our agreement with Cisco continue to be forward leaning, addressing the most innovative and in-demand transformation topics in our industry.”

Working Group Two targets wholesale, cloud-managed mobile network on AWS

Working Group Two (WG2), which is a new venture backed by Telenor Group and Digital Alpha (a financial fund supported by Cisco) announced a wholesale cloud-managed mobile network platform that will run both control and user plane on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The WG2 platform includes Cisco’s virtualized Ultra Packet Core, delivering 2G/3G/4G/5G mobile services, hosted on AWS.

WG2 said its platform allows mobile operators and enterprises to create and monetize a new breed of business and consumer mobile services that control the network through a simple cloud-based API.

“WG2 believes that AWS infrastructure and Cisco packet core can provide enhanced scalability, security, and redundancy. Working with AWS gives us agility and execution speed – capabilities we believe are becoming more important than the scale and size of the team. While still early on our journey, we have proven that the speed of development, cost and pace of innovation is radically better than if we had taken traditional technology choices,” said Erlend Prestgard, CEO, Working Group Two.

“WG2’s cloud platform including Cisco’s virtualized packet core represents a next generation architecture for mobile network operators to provide superior flexibility, scalability, and performance over traditional hardware-based networks. Today, operators across the world are transforming their infrastructure to leverage dynamic cloud scalability for both the control and user plane. This will serve as the foundation for high speed low latency networks, enabling an accelerated ability to deliver new innovative applications for end customers and cost effectively scale their network,” said, Jean-Philippe Poirault, Head of AWS Telecom, Amazon Web Services, Inc.

https://wgtwo.com/

Canada's PM rejects calls to end extradition proceedings of Huawei exec

In a press briefing on Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would not move to end extradition proceedings to the U.S. of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's CFO, in exchange for the release of two Canadians being held by the government of China.

“If countries around the world, including China, realize that by arbitrarily arresting random Canadians they can get what they want out of Canada, politically, well that makes an awful lot more Canadians who travel around the world vulnerable,” stated Trudeau.

Central Bank of Austria deploys ADVA FSP 3000

The Central Bank of Austria is deploying ADVA's FSP 3000 for its data center interconnect (DCI) network over dark fiber.

The Central Bank of Austria’s new network can transport up to 200 Gbps on a single wavelength. It supports a wide range of services on one platform, including 1, 10, 25, 40 and 100 Gbps Ethernet as well as 8, 16 and 32 Gbps Fibre Channel.

Austria’s most sensitive financial data is now being safeguarded by encryption at the lowest network layer, guaranteeing resilient protection with none of the latency and performance problems that come with other security methods.

ADVA notes that its FSP 3000 ConnectGuard Optical was the first encryption solution on the market to support Fibre Channel speeds up to 32 Gbps. It’s still the only one capable of such speeds to achieve BSI-approved status, enabling its use for EU and NATO restricted data.

“Our FSP 3000 platform gives the Central Bank of Austria exceptionally fast, agile and robust disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities. And with our ALM technology, it delivers precise, real-time insight into the bank’s fiber plant so that any impairments or breaks can be rapidly repaired with minimal disruption. In fact, our ALM has already repaid the bank’s investment by identifying an issue at the service provider end and preventing outages from occurring,” commented Hartmut Müller-Leitloff, SVP, sales, EMEA, ADVA.

“For a major national bank leasing dark fiber, secure connectivity is of paramount importance. With the low-latency, physical-layer encryption of our FSP 3000 ConnectGuard, customers throughout Austria can now be sure of a frictionless experience and complete peace of mind when accessing their financial data.”