Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Rosenworcel proposes more mid-band spectrum for 5G

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel is proposing 100 megahertz of mid-band spectrum in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band would be made available for auction and 5G deployment across the contiguous United States.  The Acting Chairwoman also shared with her colleagues a proposed Public Notice seeking comment on procedures for this auction (Auction 110), in which bidding would begin in early October 2021.


The proposed new rules, if adopted, would allocate the 3.45-3.55 GHz spectrum band for flexible-use service.  It would establish a framework for coordination of non-federal and federal use and establish a band plan, as well as technical, licensing, and competitive bidding rules for the band.  Lastly, it would complete the relocation of non-federal radiolocation operators to the 2.9-3.0 GHz band and the sunset of amateur use in the 3.3-3.5 GHz band.

The draft order will be considered at the FCC's March 17th Open Meeting.

“The promise of 5G means new and improved services and applications for consumers and businesses alike.  This means not only faster download speeds, but also enabling digital tools we can’t even imagine yet,” said Rosenworcel.  “We need to deliver the 5G that the American people were promised.  That means a 5G that is fast, secure, resilient, and—most importantly—available across the country.  This important auction is a crucial step toward making that a reality.  I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this proposal.”



Samsung intros indoor 5G mmWave Small Cell

Samsung Electronics introduced a 5G mmWave small cell for indoor use within enterprises, including manufacturing or distribution facilities, corporate offices, and entertainment or public venues (such as shopping centers, stadiums or hotels). The first version of Samsung’s Link Cell will support 28GHz and has the capability to combine four 100MHz bandwidth of frequencies.

Verizon will be the first U.S. wireless operator to commercially deploy Samsung’s Link Cell, which the wireless provider will use to extend the footprint of its 5G Ultra Wideband network. 

In addition, Samsung is introducing Link Hub and Link HubPro small cells to provide low and mid-band support to operators and enterprises. Link Hub is designed for venues with existing Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), providing low and mid-band 5G service across an existing in-building infrastructure. Link HubPro is an active antenna system, which includes a hub and indoor radios for mid-to-large enterprises with support for various spectrum options. Link Hub and Link HubPro are expected to begin commercial rollouts beginning 1Q 2021.


Infinera posts Q4 2020 revenue of $353.5 million

Infinera reported Q4 2020 revenue of $353.5 million compared to $340.2 million in the third quarter of 2020 and $384.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.

GAAP gross margin for the quarter was 35.7% compared to 31.8% in the third quarter of 2020 and 29.0% in the fourth quarter of 2019. Non-GAAP net income for the quarter was $26.3 million, or $0.13 per share, compared to a net income of $4.2 million, or $0.02 per share, in the third quarter of 2020, and $6.4 million, or $0.03 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2019.


“We ended the year with another quarter of strong performance marked by solid execution across the board. Fourth quarter non-GAAP revenue was in line with our outlook, with non-GAAP gross margin and non-GAAP operating margin coming in above the guidance range. Further, we generated free cash flow in the quarter,” said David Heard, Infinera CEO. “I am encouraged by the financial progress, operational improvements, and technology innovation delivered by the Infinera team in 2020. We believe our team’s focused execution in 2020 positions us well towards achieving our target business model.”

https://investors.infinera.com/

Samsung ships SSDs tuned for hyperscale operators

Samsung Electronics Co. has begun mass producing its most advanced line of data center SSDs, the PM9A3 E1.S.

The new PM9A3 fully complies with the Open Compute Project (OCP) NVMe Cloud SSD Specification to satisfy the rigorous demands of enterprise workloads. Defined by leading data center providers including Facebook, the OCP Specification is a set of unified interoperable standards, enabling SSD vendors to work toward next-generation storage designs with much more effectiveness.

The drives feature Samsung's sixth-generation (1xx-layer) V-NAND with double the sequential write speed at 3000MB/s, a 40% higher random read speed of 750K IOPS and 150% higher random writes at 160K IOPS.

"Wider 5G deployment and accelerating growth in IoT devices are fueling a hyperconnected lifestyle, driving the demand for more sophisticated hyperscale data centers," said Cheolmin Park, vice president of Memory Product Planning at Samsung Electronics. "Providing an optimal mix of performance, power, reliability and firmware, we believe our new PM9A3 will help advance today's data center storage technologies and expand the market for OCP-compliant SSDs."

“Innovations such as the OCP NVMe Cloud SSD and E1.S are important to solving today’s data center challenges. The OCP NVMe Cloud SSD Specification defines hyperscale SSD requirements, enabling SSD makers to provide leading-edge products that meet the challenging demands of hyperscale environments. Deploying storage at scale is very challenging and Samsung’s support for next-generation industry-leading technologies such as the OCP NVMe Cloud SSD and EDSFF E1.S is a great step forward,” said Ross Stenfort, Hardware Storage Engineer at Facebook.


Lacework names David Hatfield as CEO, Ulfar Erlingsson as Chief Architect

Lacework, a Silicon Valley start-up offering cloud security solutions, named David “Hat” Hatfield as its new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, replacing former CEO Dan Hubbard who now takes the helm as Lacework’s Chief Product Officer. Lacework founder and CTO, Vikram Kapoor is taking on an additional role as the founder of a wholly owned Lacework entity, to be revealed at a later date. 

Hatfield most recently has served as president and vice-chairman of Pure Storage. Prior to that he played key leadership roles at Akamai Technologies and Limelight Networks, from the early stages through IPOs, and participated in one of the largest software mergers in history at the time, of Veritas Software and Symantec Corporation.

“Lacework is building the security company for the public cloud and we believe Hat is the right leader to fully realize its potential,” said Mike Speiser, Managing Director at Sutter Hill Ventures and Lacework board member. “We believe Lacework is on a trajectory to do for cloud security what Snowflake is doing for cloud data warehousing. We are thrilled to have Hat take the helm as we aggressively expand product development and scale globally. We also wish to recognize the important contributions Dan Hubbard has made over the past four years and we’re excited he will be leading the innovation strategy to deliver the most comprehensive and loved cloud security platform in the market.”

“Lacework is a special company with a fantastic team and an enormous opportunity,” said David Hatfield, newly appointed Lacework CEO. “With tens of thousands of companies and hundreds of billions of dollars shifting away from data centers to the cloud, the attack surface area and software development processes have fundamentally changed, and the legacy approaches for security simply don’t work. Lacework was purpose built to secure digital businesses built on dynamic cloud infrastructure. Digital businesses should not have to choose between innovation speed and security. With our leading innovation and customer obsession, Lacework is poised to become the leading security platform of the cloud era.”

Lacework also announced that renowned security and machine learning researcher Ulfar Erlingsson, PhD. has joined the company as Chief Architect. Erlingsson holds over 30 issued U.S. patents and has authored dozens of influential scientific publications with wide-ranging impact on computer architecture, operating systems, data-parallel processing, as well as computer security and privacy mechanisms.  He is currently chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Security and Privacy, and joins Lacework from Apple, where he led the development of privacy-preserving technologies for machine learning. Prior to that he held similar positions at Google Brain, led research in cloud security in Google’s infrastructure security team, as well as at Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley. Early on, his startup GreenBorder Technologies provided the security foundations of the Chrome web browser.  

https://www.lacework.com/

  • In January 2021, Lacework, the security platform for the cloud generation, today announced a $525 million growth round with a valuation of $1 billion. Led by Sutter Hill and Altimeter Capital, and joined by D1 Capital Partners, Coatue, Dragoneer Investment Group, Liberty Global Ventures, Snowflake Ventures and Tiger Global Management, the round reflects Lacework’s accelerated adoption among digital businesses building on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Kubernetes. 

Japan's MCTV to deploy Ciena’s 6500 platform

Matsusaka CATV (MCTV), a cable operator in Japan, will deploy Ciena's 6500 Coherent Optical Platform to transform its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure and deliver high-quality digital services across rural areas. Ciena’s 6500  will enable MCTV to expand its backhaul capacity from 10G to 400G and scale its network to support new user demands.


“Our vision is to contribute to the local community by delivering superior telecom and broadcast services and ensuring our customers in rural areas have access to exceptional connectivity,” said Toshiyuki Shiota, deputy director of technology department, MCTV. “Ciena’s WaveLogic coherent optical solutions will allow us to further satisfy the digital needs of our growing customer base and promote a more connected society.”

ICT Infrastructure service partner UNIADEX will provide configuration, construction, service and support for the deployment.


Monday, February 22, 2021

Ericsson releases Massive MIMO radios and RAN compute solutions

Ericsson launched three new radios in its Massive MIMO portfolio and expanded its RAN Compute portfolio with six RAN Compute products to accelerate 5G mid-band rollouts. 

Ericsson’s new line of ultra-lightweight, mid-band Massive MIMO 5G radios from its Antenna-Integrated Radio (AIR) portfolio, is designed to ease mid-band deployment for service providers. This enables a full-fledged 5G user experience for subscribers, while reducing site footprint and increasing capacity by more than three times.

The new radios weigh only 20kg, which is up to 45 percent lighter than the previous generation, and 20 percent more energy efficient. The new radios can be deployed from urban high-rise buildings to suburban and rural capacity areas for use cases, such as Fixed Wireless Access, automotive, transport and logistics.

Ericsson has also advanced its RAN Compute portfolio with six new products. These include both indoor and outdoor options for 4G expansions and mid-band 5G rollouts, with up to 50 percent higher throughput and 15 to 20 percent lower energy consumption.

The latest additions to Ericsson’s Massive MIMO and RAN Compute portfolios are powered by the company's own silicon. Additional security has been embedded into the tight co-design of the silicon and the architecture of the launched hardware, ensuring the software and sensitive data are protected.

Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, at Ericsson, says: “After the first rollouts of 5G networks, now is the time to scale up 5G by leveraging Massive MIMO to a much larger extent. With our new portfolio, communications service providers can speed up their mid-band deployments efficiently with superior performance for their users, while reducing energy consumption.”





Telefónica tests Huawei's 600G and 800G WDM

Telefónica has completed a trial of single-wavelength 600G and 800G transmission using equipment from Huawei.

The testing used Huawei OSN 9800 devices on Telefónica's photonic mesh network in Madrid spanning 47 km. 


Juan José Marfil, the director of transport and IP connectivity at Telefonica, pointed out: "These pilots on the photonic meshes, in which signals are transmitted over optical channels without the need to switch to the electrical domain, are important milestones that build on the 400G speed that was achieved in 2019, also in Madrid. The goal is to begin implementing the 400G speed this year and subsequently optimize the Fusion IP Network to meet the needs for higher capacity and speed in view of the exponential growth of both connected devices and data transmission."

https://www.huawei.com/en/news/2021/2/telefonica-600g-800g-osn9800-madrid

Rosenworcel structures $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Program

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel circulated a proposal to establigh the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, a $3.2 billion federal initiative to provide qualifying households discounts on their Internet service bills and an opportunity to receive a discount on a computer or tablet.  

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program was created by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.  Eligible households may receive a discount off the cost of broadband service (up to $50.00 per month and, on Tribal lands, the monthly discount may be up to $75.00 per month) and certain connected devices during an emergency period relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


“As we work our way through a pandemic that has upended so much in our day-to-day life, we have been asked to migrate so many of the things we do online.  From work to healthcare to education, this crisis has made it clear that without an internet connection too many households are locked out of modern life.  It’s more apparent than ever that broadband is no longer nice-to-have.  It’s need-to-have,” said Rosenworcel.  “But too many of us are struggling to afford this critical service.  Late last year Congress directed the FCC to establish a new Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to assist families struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic.  Today I’m proud to advance a proposal to my colleagues to implement this program so we can help as many eligible households as possible.  No one should have to choose between paying their internet bill or paying to put food on the table.  With the help of the Emergency Broadband Benefit, we have a new way for households to access virtual learning, for patients to connect to telehealth providers, and for those struggling in this pandemic to learn new online skills and seek their next job.” 


CommScope supplies 10G-EPON Remote OLT for Japan's J:COM

Jupiter Telecommunications (J:COM), Japan’s leading cable broadband and multi channels video provider, has selected CommScope's XE4202 10G-EPON Remote OLT fiber node module to deliver 10Gbps broadband to residential and business broadband customers in Japan’s highly-competitive Kansai region.

CommScope says the deployment of 10G EPON with Remote OLT allows J:COM to leverage its existing hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) network and fiber nodes to offer 10G EPON which enables groundbreaking 10Gbps symmetrical speeds using CommScope’s NC4000 Optical Node and CH3000 Headend Optics Platform.

CommScope’s unique combination of headend, node, and optics solutions paves the way to further strengthen J:COM’s HFC and Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) networks. The capability to support 10G EPON along with fiber deep upgrades allows J:COM to take immediate advantage of broadband spectrum expansions, virtualized and distributed access architectures, and to reduce capital and operating expenditures. The remote OLT system will also enable the use of centralized network management that can be located in the data center.

“This milestone deployment highlights the strength of our partnership with J:COM as well as our focus on Japan as a priority growth market,” said Morgan Kurk, executive vice president, chief technology officer and segment leader, Broadband Networks at CommScope. “J:COM’s ‘network of the future’ showcases our portfolio’s versatility in facilitating the migration to FTTH, providing more network capacity and reliability for end users. Together, we’re delivering the fastest speeds and the most advanced broadband services for millions of consumers across Japan.”

“J:COM is offering the ‘J:COM NET Hikari 10G Course /Hikari 5G Course /Hikari 1G Course’ ultra-high speed data service to Kansai area to meet the growing needs in high-speed, large capacity communication due to video consumption and the growth of IoT in home devices,” said Shigenari Saito, managing corporate officer and GM of Technology Unit, J:COM. “Working with our trusted partner CommScope on delivering a high performance and high quality network, we aspire to continue to provide valued services that would resonate with our customers.”

Dell’Oro: Ericsson and Nokia gain in RAN market

Preliminary estimates suggest that the 2G-5G radio access network (RAN) market ended the year on a high note, with the full year 2020 revenues marking a new record since we started tracking the program in the year 2000, according to a newly published report from Dell'Oro Group.

Additional highlights from the 4Q 2020 RAN report:

  • Initial estimates suggest that vendor rankings remained stable between 2019 and 2020, while revenue shares were impacted to some degree by the state of the 5G rollouts in China and North America.
  • Ericsson and Nokia maintained their No. 1 and No. 2 RAN revenues rankings excluding China. Both suppliers improved their RAN revenue shares outside of China, accounting for 35 percent to 40 percent and 25 percent to 30 percent of the overall RAN market, respectively.
  • Huawei maintained its No. 1 ranking for the global RAN market, reflecting share gains in China.

“While we correctly identified the overall trajectory of the market going into the year and maintained the positive outlook even as the pandemic intensified and economists adjusted their GDP projections sharply downward,” said Stefan Pongratz, Vice President and analyst with the Dell’Oro Group. “We also need to recognize that we completely underestimated the magnitude and the breadth of the ascent in the fourth quarter and for the full year 2020, reflecting stronger than expected results in multiple regions,” continued Pongratz.


Keysight acquires Sanjole for wireless protocol decoding

Keysight Technologies has acquired Sanjole, a privately-held company offering protocol decoding and interoperability of 4G, 5G and other wireless technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sanjole provides problem solving capabilities from inside the wireless network through over the air analysis tools that provide visibility into events spanning multiple layers of the protocol stack. The company has worked extensively with the 3GPP community. Sanjole is based in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“As the 5G ecosystem and deployments scale, Keysight remains committed to enabling customers with end-to-end design and test solutions. We are happy to announce the addition of Sanjole to our portfolio, providing unique capabilities for solving complex interoperability challenges,” said Satish Dhanasekaran, Keysight chief operating officer. “The talented Sanjole team will be a valuable addition to Keysight, and will further our mission to accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world.”

https://www.sanjole.com/


T-Mobile US offers unlimited 5G data with premium plan

T-Mobile introduced a new Magenta MAX smartphone plan with unlimited premium data over 4G and 5G.

The service tier offer video streaming with UHD (ultra-high definition) streaming up to 4K resolution and Netflix. The Magenta MAX plan also include 40 GB of smartphone mobile hotspot connectivity. 

T-Mobile is also upgrading the core Magenta plan with double the Premium Data, from 50GB to 100GB, and nearly double the high-speed smartphone mobile hotspot data, from 3GB to 5GB. 

“We just joined forces with Sprint, and we’re already America’s 5G coverage and speed leader. Magenta MAX is just a first taste of what our network capacity allows us to do!” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert. “When you’re a heavy data user with a super-fast 5G smartphone, you don’t want to be hit with speed bumps. It’s like having a Ferrari and being forced to drive it in the school zone. Well, now it’s time to open ‘er up on the wide open magenta road! And we are just getting started. Buckle up!”

Unitas Global builds edge to cloud access network

Unitas Global introduced a software-defined network built for interconnecting cloud providers, carrier-neutral data centers, SaaS applications, and edge access networks to form a multi-service global interconnection fabric.

Unitas Reach delivers automated ubiquitous edge access to any cloud location, including access from 900 carrier neutral data centers and 30 million enterprise locations in over 85 countries.

"Organizations today need flexible, proven, and secure infrastructure to run their enterprise applications and multi-cloud solutions," shares Patrick Shutt, CEO of Unitas Global. "With Unitas Reach, our clients achieve cost-optimized network connectivity with the agility needed to scale quickly and support the growing demands of applications on network architectures, performance, and costs."

"We designed Unitas Reach™ in response to the dynamic networking requirements that today's businesses require and have yet to experience," comments Grant Kirkwood, Founder and CTO of Unitas Global. "Providers and enterprises can easily add connectivity to dynamically support their ever changing network strategies, and customize capabilities to their unique set of service delivery, operations, access and configuration requirements.”

https://unitasglobal.com/


United Arab Emirates’ du picks Ericsson 5G RAN

United Arab Emirates’ du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), has selected Ericsson's 5G radio access network (RAN) products and solutions. 

Following the 2021 deployment, which includes Ericsson AI-powered 5G network optimization services utilizing Cognitive Software, du and its customers will benefit from a 5G RAN network that will enhance versatility, improve capacity, increase cost efficiency and future-proof technology developments.


Fahad Al Hassawi, Acting CEO, du, says: “Utilizing the full power of 5G to support industries and empowering our customers to reap the full rewards of this technology is among our top priorities at du. The technological evolution continues to accelerate at unprecedented speed, and it is our responsibility to ensure those we serve can capitalize on every related benefit and opportunity. du has always enjoyed an excellent relationship with Ericsson. As such, we are delighted to be joined by the organization as we pursue 5G radio network expansion and attempt to harness the full power of 5G. With a next-generation 5G radio network, du will deliver newfound capabilities and further support the UAE’s digital transformation agenda.”

Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, says: “The path to a digital future is paved through the power of transformative technologies such as 5G. Our new partnership with du will deliver on that promise and enable an ecosystem of possibilities. We are pleased to work with du on 5G technology as their new network infrastructure partner, gaining us new market position to further contribute to the development of the UAE digital society vision, empowering new services and use cases for consumers, enterprises and society at large.”


 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Blueprint column: Rise of cognitive self-organizing networks

by Yatin Dharamshi, Head of Digital Operations - Orchestration and Fulfilment Engineering, Nokia

For many communications service providers (CSPs), self-organizing networks (SON) have been the golden key to efficiently configure and optimize booming mobile networks with closed-loop automation. SON has brought tremendous value for earlier-generation mobile technologies. And if they were not already essential back then, they are undoubtedly going to be crucial for CSPs to manage the complexity that comes with the adoption of 5G technology.

So why does 5G make self-organizing networks more exciting in the next decade compared to the last? To start, 5G is a wireless technology that promises to cut the cord – untethering people and objects from certain locations or places. To achieve this promise, 5G has introduced a slew of new capabilities and deployment options to wireless networks. These emerging technologies include network slicing, dynamic spectrum sharing, beamforming, edge cloud, orchestration and more.

On its own, these technologies already pose difficulties for humans to manage individually. And if these technologies were united, the challenges that arise are becoming more difficult for humans to control and manage with the current toolset at our disposal. Further, 5G offers multiple frequency bands, which combined with network slicing would unleash a myriad of use cases. But with growing number of use cases (and technologies), complexity increases. This is where closed-loop automation comes in, and where SON will shine. Now more than ever, self-organizing networks will be a critical element in the shift toward autonomous operations, which will push current-generation SON to its limits.

A snapshot of SON and its capabilities

Most common self-organizing networks today have five key abilities. First, it drives automation and reduces the reliance on manual operational applications starting from network configurations during rollout to keeping networks optimized thereafter. 

Second, SON can conduct rapid, real-time detection of cell outages or degraded performance. This is crucial for network operators and CSPs to ensure that their networks can efficiently cope with unprecedented loads, as well as calibrate nearby cells to balance out the lost coverage.

The third capability of SON is that it allows for seamless connectivity, which helps network operators achieve optimal performances and overcome challenges around insufficient capacity or coverage and mobility robustness. 

Fourth, self-organizing networks can carry out ongoing network monitoring and healing. A typical example is identification of “sleeping cells,” or cells performing sub-optimally, and instinctively reset it to improve network reliability.

Lastly, SON is great for cost management as it enables network operators to manage and control costs. For e.g., by optimizing a network’s energy consumption. This is done through the active monitoring of cell loads so that traffic cells can be switched on or off automatically when needed.

Upgrading with cognitive SON

Today, many higher-order self-organizing network functions require a human expert touch. By this, I mean the involvement by experienced — and at times, hard to come by — optimization engineers in the following tasks:

  • Identify and place network performance objectives
  • Evaluate network conditions across individual regions and parameters, such as rural vs. urban, high-volume vs. low-volume, and so on
  • Analyze and correct problems, while also determining if those corrections were effective

While having the eyes of a human expert on SON functions is great, the dependency can also create bottlenecks in the dynamic and radically complex 5G environment. Besides, as humans, we are naturally prone to errors. Thus, shifting from human-led automation to fully machine-led autonomous operations is key.

This is where the next generation of self-organizing networks with cognitive abilities come into play. Cognitive SON is ideal because it brings in machine learning to take over manually driven SON functions. To do this, a mobile operator simply sets the objectives, and cognitive SON will do the rest: understanding network context, identifying problems, applying and orchestrating the right actions, and evaluating their efficacy. Machine learning is truly the secret ingredient to cognitive SON’s effectiveness. Its intelligence allows for predictive analytics, so cognitive SON can characterize networks, label different cells based on the deployment area and problems present, and instinctively invoke proper algorithms that provide solutions to reach an objective – all without the need for human intervention.

To take your cognitive SON to the next level, moving certain functions to the edge cloud will be key as it reduces latencies. Mobile operators understand that common networks today require a long time to collect data, and it’s often not real-time or near-real-time. But on the edge cloud, real-time data collection becomes a reality, which allows for faster changes in controls or functions, thus achieving swifter reaction times to problems that may arise. Combine this capability with the predictive analytics brought forth by machine learning, and cognitive SON becomes an extremely powerful tool.

Take a leap of faith in cognitive SON

The benefits of cognitive self-organizing networks are abundant. Its intelligent automation capabilities deliver improved, more consistent customer experiences, while also ensuring timely and automatic problem detection so issues can be mitigated in digital-time.

It’s understandable that not every CSP will be ready or comfortable to leap from their current human-led network optimization operations to trusting a fully machine-led autonomous system overnight. So, to ease CSPs into this new mode of working, cognitive SON offers extensive visibility and open controls so that experts can have a strong hand in influencing its operation’s journey while gradually adopting a fully autonomous system.

As we move deeper into the 5G era and CSPs continue on their journey to digitization, cognitive SON will be the key step for enabling autonomous intelligent closed-loop systems, and therefore achieving successful 5G operations.


Microsoft outlines Azure for Operators service stack

In September 2020, Microsoft announced its Azure for Operators initiative promising to offer core infrastructure to both fixed and mobile network operators.

Microsoft Azure for Operators is built on the company's recent acquisition of Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch, as well as on its development of Azure Edge Zones, which are local extensions of Azure, deployed with carriers or as private infrastructure.

In a blog post, Yousef Khalidi Corporate Vice President, Azure Networking, describes the engagement with operators as a partnership and a journey. Microsoft endeavors to work with providers of radio access network (RAN), core, cloud-native functions (CNFs), and operations support systems (OSS) or business support systems (BSS) to integrate and innovate.

Kalidi says Azure for Operators will grow to encompass the full service stack, including global transport, edge platforms, network functions, business intelligence, and cloud solutions. However, Azure for Operators will allow elements to be selected individually, including products and solutions from Microsoft and its ecosystem partners. 


https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/futureproof-your-network-with-azure-for-operators/

Microsoft launches Azure for Operators

 Microsoft launched an initiative called "Azure for Operators" that will provide core infrastructure to network operators.The strategy aims to harness the power of the intelligent edge, connected by high-bandwidth fiber or 5G, to create new opportunities and better efficiencies for communication service providers.Microsoft Azure for Operators is built on the company's recent acquisitio of Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch, as well as on its development...

Microsoft to acquire Metaswitch, extending its reach into telco cloud

Microsoft agreed to acquire Metaswitch Networks, a long-time leader in providing high-performance software to the communications industry. Financial terms were not disclosed. Metaswitch has been a pioneer in cloud-native solutions for telecom operators. Its range of solutions include: VoIP softswitches and gateways VoLTE/VoWiFi Voice and VoLTE interconnect IMS core deployments Session Border Control Robocall blocking Converged voice and data messaging Group...


Microsoft Azure enhances its global CDN

Microsoft is consolidating the capabilities of Azure Front Door, Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) standard, and Azure Web Application Firewall (WAF) into a single secure cloud CDN platform with intelligent threat protection and a simplified pricing model.

Azure Front Door standard is a content delivery service that offers both static and dynamic content acceleration, global load balancing, SSL offload, domain and certificate management, enhanced traffic analytics, and basic security capabilities. Azure Front Door premium adds extensive security capabilities, BOT protection, Azure Private Link support, integration with Microsoft Threat Intelligence, and security analytics. 

The service will also move to a simplified pricing structure based on a fixed monthly fee, tiered egress (data transfer outbound),  requests per seconds (RPS), and ingress (data transfer inbound) fees. 

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-front-door-enhances-secure-cloud-cdn-with-intelligent-threat-protection/

Google Cloud improves VMware Engine for migrating from on-premise to cloud

Google Cloud released a series of improvements to its VMware Engine, which lets user migrate  VMware workloads from on-premises data centers directly into Google Cloud. New features include:

  • Improved networking support: Multi-region networking, connectivity from multiple VPCs, Cloud DNS for management across global deployments, end-to-end dynamic routing, and support for reserved blocks as well as non-private addresses.
  • Improved scalability and support for the VMware platform: vSphere/vSAN version 7.0 and NSX-T 3.0, larger clusters, HCX migration support, ESXi host configuration retention, and enhanced password management.
  • Improved reach: regional presence in two new regions: Montreal and São Paulo

Regarding the multi-region networking, Google Cloud enables VMware environments deployed in multiple geographies to communicate without first building a VPN-based tunnel over the WAN to ensure uniform network addressing. Google Cloud solves this problem in a unique way. VPCs support global routing, which allows a VPC’s subnets to be deployed in any region worldwide. VMware Engine now also supports this capability. 



FCC seeks expedited removal of Huawei and ZTE gear

Seeking to expedite the removal of equipment from Huawei and FCC from U.S. communications neteworks, the FCC is looking to modify its Secure and Trusted Network Reimbursement Program rules to align with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which appropriated $1.895 billion to remove, replace, and dispose of communications equipment and services that pose a national security threat. 

The FCC is seeking to raise the cap on eligibility for participation in the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program to providers of advanced communications service with 10 million or fewer customers.  The FCC also seeks comment on rules regarding the acceptable uses of reimbursement program disbursements, eligibility of certain equipment and services, and modifications to the prioritization scheme in the event that requests for reimbursement exceed the $1.895 billion appropriation. 


Another proposed change would allow recipients to use reimbursement funding to remove or replace Huawei or ZTE equipment and services obtained on or before June 30, 2020.

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel writes "I am committed to working with our federal partners and the private sector to increase the security and resiliency of our nation’s communications networks.  Moreover, I am guided by the conviction that working with our allies and multilateral institutions can multiply our strength across the globe.  I believe it is time for this agency to revitalize its approach to network security because it is an essential part of our national security, our economic recovery, and our leadership in a post-pandemic world."