Sunday, June 27, 2021

Iron Mountain to sell and lease back its UK storage centers

Iron Mountain has sold a portfolio of five storage centers in the UK to Intermediate Capital Group (ICG), generating gross proceeds of approximately $178 million, based on current exchange rates. The transaction, totaling 550,000 square feet, is a sale-leaseback transaction with the properties located in the greater London area. Iron Mountain will remain in these facilities under an initial twelve-year lease term, with options to renew up to an additional 20 years.

“With our strong development pipeline together with highly attractive market valuations for industrial assets, we are pleased to continue our capital recycling program,” said Barry Hytinen, executive vice president and CFO at Iron Mountain. “The sale-leaseback of these assets allows us to generate significant investable proceeds while essentially maintaining long-term control of the facilities. On a leverage neutral basis, we estimate this transaction will generate nearly $140 million of capital, which we intend to invest in higher growth areas, including our data center business.”

https://www.ironmountain.com/

Huawei deploys massive MIMO in Chengdu airport

China Mobile has deployed Huawei's 5G distributed Massive MIMO solution inside Chengdu Tianfu International Airport to build the first Gigabit 5G airport in China. 

Huawei says the user-perceived rate across the check-in areas exceeds 1 Gbps, with the single-user rate increasing by 26% on average over common 5G networks up to a peak of 1.25 Gbps. Significant improvement was also displayed in both the perceived rate and overall network capacity in multi-user scenarios. 

Chengdu Tianfu International Airport is the second international air hub in Southwest China's Sichuan Province and has the capacity to support 40 million passenger trips, 700,000 tons of cargo and mail, and 320,000 aircraft movements annually. 

Luis Ubiñas elected to AT&T Board of Directors

Luis Ubiñas has been elected to AT&T's board of directors, effective immediately. This brings the number of directors on AT&T’s board to 13. He will serve on the board’s Public Policy and Corporate Reputation committee.

Ubiñas, 58, has had a career spanning business, government and the nonprofit sector. He served as a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, as President of the Ford Foundation, and as an appointee to both the U.S. Competitiveness Committee of the Export-Import Bank and the International Trade Commission. Over the last several years, he has been an investor, advisor and board member. He is currently the lead director of Electronic Arts; serves on the board of Tanger, the publicly traded REIT; and advises several private and pre-IPO companies.

“Luis is an accomplished executive and a terrific addition to our board,” said Bill Kennard, chairman of AT&T’s board of directors. “His leadership experience and expertise across broadband and wireless, government and the nonprofit sector align with our priorities to serve customers, investors and our communities.”


Thursday, June 24, 2021

ONF launches SD-Core and SD-Fabric for private 4G/5G

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has launched two projects that further the open source movement for carrier and private enterprise 5G networks with functionality tied to public clouds.

SD-Core, an open source project for building a 5G/4G disaggregated mobile core optimized for emerging private 5G and enterprise use cases, starts with a pre-integrated dual-mode control plane. The SD-Core control plane simultaneously supports 5G standalone (SA), 5G non-standalone (NSA) and 4G/LTE deployments, thus optimizing for flexibility and future-proofing networks.

It leverages components of the free5GC and ONF OMEC projects, and builds on this with refactoring to add cloud-native capabilities for scale-out, resiliency, multi-cloud agility and SaaS deployment APIs. SD-Core is further structured to allow a single control plane to work with many user plane instances, thus optimizing for edge cloud deployments and for delivering enterprise private 5G from a common core running in the public cloud. 



SD-Fabric, an open source, P4-programmable hybrid cloud network fabric with the power to push customized packet processing deep into networking elements. Think of SD-Fabric as a cloud-managed, full stack, programmable network fabric for edge applications for Industry 4.0 powered by 5G. SD-Fabric can be deployed as-a-service, and exposes northbound APIs to enable developers to request advanced capabilities of the network such as load balancing, in-band telemetry, custom protocol processing, etc. SD-Fabric provides a full complement of classic connectivity functionality (such as L2, L3, Multicast and ACLs).  Hosts and applications require no modification to run on SD-Fabric, but the network is designed and controlled by SDN applications running on the edge cloud by ONOS rather than in embedded software running on all the individual switches in the network. This greatly simplifies the running of the network, and provides opportunities for the applications and the network to all be controlled by the same CI/CD DevOps stack by the same set of developers.

Introducing SD-Core and SD-Fabric for Private Mobile Networks

The Open Networking Foundation's Timon Sloane introduces SD-Core, an open-source project for building a 5G/4G disaggregated mobile core optimized for emerging private 5G and enterprise use cases. 

This is complemented by SD-Fabric, an open-source, P4-programmable hybrid cloud network fabric with the power to push customized packet processing deep into networking elements. Think of SD-Fabric as a cloud-managed, full-stack, programmable network fabric for edge applications for Industry 4.0 powered by 5G.

https://youtu.be/ba4VT3R0vf4

OIF's 3.2T Co-packaged Optics Module Project

COBO/OIF Board Member Jeff Hutchins discusses the industry's Co-Packaged Optics (CPO) collaboration with regards to the OIF's recently launched 3.2T Co-packaged Optics Module Project.


https://youtu.be/nUp2Ytovlhk

OIF begins 3.2T Co-Packaged Module Project for data center switching

OIF started a 3.2T Co-Packaged Module project for intra data center switching applications. The 3.2T Co-Packaged Optical Module Implementation Agreement (IA) is the first project initiated under the umbrella of the Co-Packaged Framework Project announced in November 2020. The IA will define a 3.2T co-packaged optical module that targets Ethernet switching applications utilizing 100G electrical lanes. It will include the following interoperability specifications:

  • Optical interface options supporting 400GBASE-FR4 and 400GBASE-DR4 with backwards compatible to 200G interfaces
  • CEI-112G-XSR high speed electrical interfaces
  • Electrical, mechanical, and management interfaces

“This 3.2T Co-Packaging project builds on OIF’s 20+ year successful track record to anticipate and address the industry’s needs,” said Jeff Hutchins, Ranovus and OIF Physical and Link Layer Working Group, Co-Packaging Vice Chair. “With its broad membership from across the eco-system, OIF is well positioned to create unified host, module and control specifications.”

“The industry has clearly articulated the need for a standardized co-packaged solution to address data center power constraints, and further, to enable new network architectures and applications,” said Mark Filer, Microsoft Principal Hardware Engineer and OIF Board Member. “The 3.2T Co-Packaged Optical Module project is a concrete step toward that goal, and OIF is uniquely qualified to rapidly execute on the implementation agreement in order to meet the market needs.”

https://www.oiforum.com/

Nokia powers AirScale massive MIMO with homegrown ReefShark

Nokia launched new AirScale 5G products covering baseband, remote radio heads, and massive MIMO active antennas with digital beamforming -- powered by the latest generation of its homegrown ReefShark System-on-Chip (SoC) chipsets.

Nokia's newest ReefShark-powered AirScale massive MIMO antennas support 32TRX and 64TRX, as well as 8T8R remote radio head solutions. The 32TRX, which weighs in at only 17kg, boasts high radio frequency bandwidth (200 MHz occupied bandwidth and 400 MHz instantaneous bandwidth) and  high radio frequency power output. Both the new 32TRX and the new 64TRX massive MIMO antennas support both fragmented spectrum and network sharing cases.

Nokia also introduced its new SoC-based baseband plug-in cards to boost the capacity of the AirScale System Module for up to 90,000 connected users simultaneously and has 84 Gbps throughput. Nokia also says its ReefShark powered plug-in cards will reduce power consumption by up to 75 percent. 

Additional highlights:

  • Nokia Single RAN software now includes 5G , accelerating 5G rollouts with common transport, common operability, common software delivery, and increased hardware sharing. 
  • The combination of Nokia’s Single RAN software and the new baseband plug-in cards offer multi-mode (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) and multi-band and supports the latest fronthaul interfaces (eCPRI) on a single baseband platform, simplifying the network and lowering costs.
  • Nokia’s AirScale baseband architecture keeps the L1 and L2 (Layer 1 and Layer 2) computing separate from L3 (Layer 3) and Transport baseband plug-in units, allowing capacity tp be added when and where it is needed in the network. 
  • Nokia’s ReefShark chipsets now leverage AI/ML for features such as predictive load balancing, anomaly detection, and intelligent traffic steering. 
  • Nokia is carrying out proof of concepts with customers this year in innovative areas such as Massive MIMO beam pattern optimization, energy-saving, advanced traffic steering, advanced packet scheduling, and alarm pattern discovery.

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks, Nokia, said: “Our new generation of ReefShark-powered AirScale radio and baseband products is evidence of the successful transformation of our business and ability to deliver market-leading products to our global customers. Nokia’s new portfolio enables communication service providers to offer both consumer and enterprise customers with cutting-edge 5G experiences with premium speeds, capacity, and connectivity underpinned by seamless, simple, and efficient ‘plug-in’ deployment. Our new AirScale products are O-RAN ready. They consume less energy and highlight our commitment to climate change. We’re excited to see our customers deploying these products and see the transformative impact of 5G technology.”

https://www.nokia.com/airscale/

NEC announces new 5G massive MIMO radio units

NEC is launching new radio units (RU) for 5G base stations that are geared for global markets and are scheduled to be available in 2022.

NEC's new RUs will be compatible with the n77, n78 and C-Band 3.7GHz frequency band (3.3-4.2GHz), which is globally used as a 5G frequency. In addition, ultra-multi-element antennas utilizing Massive MIMO and digital beamforming for high-precision beams will help to provide high-speed, high-capacity communications between a wider range of terminals. 

The new RUsfeature higher output and wider bandwidth when compared to conventional products, thereby expanding the communications area and providing high-speed transmission.

The RUs will conform to O-RAN fronthaul interface specifications defined by the O-RAN Alliance and will be compatible with base station equipment from different vendors, making it possible to realize open, flexible and optimized networks according to a wide range of use cases.

Patrick Lopez, VP of product management, 5G products, NEC, said: “NEC has long been developing 5G base station equipment for global markets. As illustrated by the announcement from Vodafone earlier this month, NEC is investing to maintain a market-leading position in the Open RAN ecosystem."

https://www.nec.com/en/press/202106/global_20210623_02.html

 Illumio raises $225 million for its Zero Trust Segmentation

Illumio, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, announced a $225 million Series F funding round at a $2.75 billion valuation for its Zero Trust Segmentation solutions. 

Illumio says its Zero Trust Segmentation SaaS platform delivers automated enforcement in minutes, dramatically reducing risk by stopping successful cyberattacks and ransomware from moving to other applications, clouds, containers, data centers, and endpoints. Th company claims many Fortune 100 companies and hundreds of global enterprises as customers, including the three top enterprise SaaS companies, five of the leading insurance companies, and six of the ten biggest banks in the world.

The round was led by Thoma Bravo and is also supported by Franklin Templeton, funds managed by Hamilton Lane, and Owl Rock, a division of Blue Owl Capital.

“Adopting Zero Trust strategies has never been more important for organizations across all industries, as the Biden Administration’s recent cybersecurity Executive Order demonstrates. This investment signals that now is the time to reimagine the cybersecurity model as we know it, with Zero Trust Segmentation playing a fundamental role in this strategic shift,” said Andrew Rubin, CEO and co-founder of Illumio. “With this funding, we will accelerate our innovation in product and engineering, further invest in customer success, and build upon our global partner strategy.”



Prosimo enters partnership with Google Cloud


Prosimo, which offers an Application eXperience Infrastructure (AXI) platform for secure application delivery in multi-cloud environments, announced a partnership with Google Cloud.

Specifically, Prosimo will deliver edge networking with built in Zero Trust Security and performance stack on Google Cloud with Anthos, and will leverage Google Cloud capabilities like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), as well as Google’s and its partners’ networks, closer to the location of users and applications. With this partnership, enterprises will have a fast and secure way to modernize their application infrastructure and deliver better application experiences, irrespective of where they are hosted - cloud region, edge locations or on-prem data center.

“Businesses like retailers, manufacturers, transportation companies and more can benefit from cloud capabilities and low-latency access to applications at the network edge,” said Tanuj Raja, Global Head, Strategic Partnerships at Google Cloud. “We’re excited to partner with Prosimo to deliver its capabilities in cloud networking, application performance and security on Google Cloud to help these businesses digitize and modernize business processes at the edge.”

“We believe in bringing application connectivity and security as close to the end user as possible,” said Prosimo’s Head of Product, Mani Ganesan. “Our partnership with Google Cloud empowers organizations to modernize their infrastructure and applications with core Google Cloud capabilities that extend the value of their networks and deliver better application experiences to more users, in more locations. Moreover, this partnership validates our approach of bringing multi-cloud and edge networking, security and application experience together in one integrated stack.”

Prosimo targets secure app delivery with multi-cloud networking

Prosimo, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, emerged from stealth to unveil its Application eXperience Infrastructure (AXI) platform for secure application delivery in multi-cloud environments. The platform is positioned for multi-cloud networking, Zero Trust with Identity Aware Proxy, app micro-segmentation, access to lift-and-shift VMware on AWS, Azure or GCP, app-infrastructure modernization for Kubernetes and service mesh apps, and etc.  Promiso,...

Who is Prosimo? CTO presentation

https://youtu.be/58YMebmBJwMProsimo, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California,  has launched its Application eXperience Infrastructure (AXI) platform for ensuring secure application experiences across multi-cloud environments.In this 40-minute presentation, Nehal Bhau, Co-founder & CTO, Prosimo, shares his insights on the SD-WAN market, Prosimo's vertically integrated stack and its method to leverage the global infrastructure of the top...


Mavenir and Qualcomm team on 4G/5G Public and Private Networks

Mavenir announced a collaboration with Qualcomm to develop indoor and outdoor solutions for both private and public network deployments aiming to broaden the choices for Open RAN customers.

Highlights:

The development and integration of Mavenir Open RAN split 2 compliant software solution with Qualcomm 4G and 5G RAN Platforms

Mavenir Software solution adaptation across a variety of Qualcomm 4G and 5G RAN Platforms for Small Cells (FSM) based indoor and outdoor radio products developed by the Small Cell ODM ecosystem


“Mavenir’s role in growing the ecosystem has been to ensure that the market demand is being addressed with a range of radio options to fit all deployments and use cases,” said Mavenir’s Aniruddho Basu, SVP and GM of Emerging Business. “Mavenir’s containerized Open RAN, AI analytics and automation software, coupled with Qualcomm Technologies’ powerful 4G and 5G access point platforms aim to create an extensive range of high performance, cost-effective radio solutions for multiple segments and applications with full architectural flexibility.”

“The Qualcomm 5G RAN Platform for small cells, with support for 5G mmWave and Sub-6 GHz spectrum, is designed to deliver enhanced network coverage, capacity, and superior power efficiency,” said Gerardo Giaretta, Senior Director, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are excited about this collaboration with an Open RAN industry leader like Mavenir as it will help drive open and virtualized 5G RAN proliferation globally in places like airports, stadiums, and hospitals."

MaxLinear enters $350 million loan

MaxLinear entered into a new $350 million seven-year senior secured term B loan facility, the proceeds of which will be used to repay and terminate MaxLinear’s existing credit facilities, pay fees and expenses, and provide additional working capital for MaxLinear. MaxLinear also entered into a new $100 million five-year senior secured revolving credit facility which was undrawn at the time of close.


The new credit facility expands MaxLinear’s borrowing capacity, extends the term of the Company’s indebtedness, and reduces amortization expenses. The revolving facility provides MaxLinear with increased strategic and operational flexibility to support the company’s key growth initiatives.

Wells Fargo Securities, MUFG Securities Americas, BMO Capital Markets, and Citizens Bank acted as joint lead arrangers and bookrunners for the transaction.


 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Cisco's Bill Gartner: DWDM pluggables simplify Internet architecture

Reach limitation of direct detection technologies at higher speeds will expand the need for coherent detection, said Bill Gartner, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Optical Systems and Optics Group, speaking in a Tech Talk webinar hosted by Evercore ISI. This possibly includes the need for coherent optics inside the data center when line rates exceed 1.6 Tbps.

The discussion, which focuses on Cisco’s optical strategy, portfolio evolution and market dynamics, tracks $6 billion in acquisitions that Cisco has completed over the past decade: Core Optics (2010), Lightwire (2012), Leaba (2016), Luxtersa (2019) and Acacia (2021).  

Looking ahead, Gartner says the combination of massively-scalable routers and DWDM pluggables will lead to a simplified, flat, hop-to-hop architecture for Internet backbones.

The discussion also covers 400ZR momentum, the competitive landscape, co-packaged optical (CPO) switch technology, the Acacia acquisition and Cisco's role as an independent component supplier. 

An archive of the webcast is posted on Cisco's Investor relations website.

https://investor.cisco.com/events/default.aspx

Sparkle launches Albania Crossing between Athens and Milan

Sparkle activated Albania Crossing, a new direct route that is the shortest path from Athens to Milan.

The new optical fiber link crosses Albania, the Bari-Durres submarine cable and the Italian backbone. It was built in cooperation with Albtelecom, the largest telecommunication company in Albania, and is directly connected to Sparkle’s extensive continental network.

Albania Crossing is Sparkle’s sixth route connecting the south-eastern area of the Mediterranean basin to the rest of the world, in addition to the existing submarine ring and to the terrestrial fiber links through Sofia, thus enabling the implementation of a robust and fully redundant connectivity.

The new link is part of a wider expansion strategy that leverages on Athens as an increasingly relevant regional cross-point and on Milan as a gravitational Internet and Cloud hub in mainland Europe to cater the needs of diversified and resilient connectivity between the Balkans, Middle East and Europe.

https://www.tisparkle.com/sparkle-launches-albania-crossing

Sparkle announces BlueMed subsea cable - up to 240 Tbps

Sparkle announced plans for a massive subsea cable along the west coast of Italy, linking Genoa and Palermo. BlueMed will be a multi-fiber cable spanning 1,000 kilometers and with a design capacity of 240 Tbps. It will cross the Tyrrhenian Sea connecting Sparkle’s Sicily Hub open data center in Palermo, which serves eighteen international cables, with Genoa’s new open landing station, directly connected to Milan’s rich digital ecosystem. BlueMed...


Everynet launches LoRaWAN network across U.S.

 Everynet launched its LoRaWAN Internet of Things (IoT) network in the United States.  The first phase of Everynet’s national network rollout will include the top 36 metropolitan areas and key logistics corridors across the United States, expected to go live by the end of 2021. 

Everynet will operate as a neutral-host, enabling mobile network operators (MNOs), mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), application service providers (ASPs), managed service providers (MSPs) and internet service providers (ISPs) to offer carrier grade Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) IoT services to their customers. 

Everynet will utilize Crown Castle’s infrastructure which includes more than 40,000 cell towers and nearly 80,000 route miles of fiber. Everynet’s 15-year commitment ensures that LoRaWAN customers, across the U.S., can easily go live on the network to monetize their deployments such as smart sensors or monitoring tools.

In addition to the U.S. market, Everynet networks are live in Brazil, Indonesia, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Puerto Rico, Ireland and Iceland. Everynet also participates in the LoRa Alliance global association that offers roaming to more than 27 countries across the globe. Everynet has also collaborated with Semtech, a leading supplier of high performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and creator of LoRa technology.

“Expansion to the U.S. market is an important part of our global development. Our ultra-low-cost networks are already live across the globe, and we are pleased to enable nationwide, no CAPEX, turn-key IoT networks for our CSP partners,” said Lawrence Latham, CEO of Everynet. “Everynet networks deliver carrier grade connectivity, with built-in resilience, security and meaningful SLAs without any need for network CAPEX from our wholesale customers.”

“It was an easy decision to work with Everynet to build out their LoRaWAN IoT connectivity. We both see the long-term value of LoRaWAN in the U.S. and embrace shared infrastructure access for customers. We look forward to helping Everynet go live with a much-needed network,” said Paul Reddick, vice president of strategy, business and product development for Crown Castle.

“Our work with Everynet extends back many years and across many different geographies. As a company, we are committed to helping our customers address real world challenges and make the world a better, sustainable planet,” said Mohan Maheswaran, president and CEO of Semtech. “Everynet’s network launch will allow even more IoT applications and use cases leveraging LoRa to hit the U.S. market – everything from smart refrigeration and asset tracking to water conservation and utilities management.”

http://www.everynet.com

O-RAN Alliance publishes 33 new specs

The O-RAN Alliance published another 33 specification documents, including 11 new titles, including the following:

Management interface, timing and synchronization for Transport

The baseline for Non-Real-Time Radio Intelligent Controller (Non-RT RIC) and Near-Real-Time RIC Architecture and interfaces (E2, A1, F1/X2/Xn)

Certification and badging guidelines and parts of end-to-end, inter-operability and conformance testing

In addition, the O-RAN ALLIANCE approved the first two European Open Test and Integration Centers (OTIC):

  • European OTIC in Berlin hosted by Deutsche Telekom
  • European OTIC in Torino hosted by TIM

Next week, at the O-RAN Virtual event, a total of 36 demos will be showcased.

“It is great to see the momentum in adoption of O-RAN based solutions,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, COO of the O-RAN ALLIANCE and SVP Technology Strategy & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom. “OTICs will play an important role in managing the complex interoperability scenarios and related integration cost, and accelerate O-RAN product commercialization in large network solutions.”

https://www.o-ran.org/


Windstream launches Intelligent Converged Optical Network

Windstream Wholesale launched its Intelligent Converged Optical Network, which consists of open and disaggregated infrastructure, allowing wholesale and enterprise customers to select unique custom routes, maintain operational insights with Windstream’s Network Intelligence functions, and place their networks closer to the edge to better serve end-users.

ICON stands for:

  • Intelligent – network intelligence customer portal and API provide Layer 0-3 network insights
  • Converged – disaggregated network architecture enables best of breed open line system, scalability and alien wave support
  • Optical – Flexgrid and C+L band support enable extreme bandwidth growth
  • Network - efficient architecture between local and long-haul networks

As part of its network enhancement, Windstream Wholesale has also bolstered its commitment to the West Coast of the U.S. The new ICON includes new routes from Hillsboro and Portland to Sacramento, and from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. The two new West Coast ICON routes are powered by Ciena.


“Windstream is deploying ICON in a holistic way so that businesses can leverage additional bandwidth with a low latency, cohesive infrastructure,” said Buddy Bayer, Windstream’s chief network officer. “We took time to be intentional about our network planning so we can ride the technology curve and won’t have to overbuild line systems every time there’s a stair-step advance in technology.”

“With Ciena, Windstream adds the industry’s highest level of capacity built on an open and automation-ready architecture, ensuring the ICON network can adapt to dynamic and new requirements from customers,” added Kevin Sheehan, chief technology officer of the Americas at Ciena. “Our high-performance coherent optics ensures Windstream can continue to be very successful in their fastest growing markets.”

https://investor.windstream.com/

Vodafone now 100% powered by renewable energy

Vodafone confirmed that its entire European operations – including mobile and fixed networks, data centres, retail and offices – will be 100% powered by electricity from renewable sources from 1 July 2021. The company has set a goal of reducing its own carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2030 and across the company’s entire value chain by 2040.

Vodafone has direct Power Purchase Agreements in the UK and Spain.  In Italy, Germany, Ireland, Hungary, Romania, Spain, Greece, Turkey and Czech Republic, Vodafone has sourced Renewable Energy Certificates (‘RECs’) or tariffs.  In Albania, approximately 67% of electricity consumption is sourced from local renewable sources, and Vodafone has purchased the equivalent of the remaining annual consumption in the form of RECs through our partner in Italy.

Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said: “From 1 July 2021, Vodafone’s customers across Europe can be reassured that the connectivity they use is entirely powered by electricity from renewable sources.  This is a major milestone towards our goal of reducing our own global carbon emissions to net zero by 2030, helping our customers reduce their own environmental footprint and continuing to build an inclusive and sustainable digital society in all of our markets.”

https://www.vodafone.com/news/press-release/100percent-renewables

MulteFire Alliance offers Uni5G technology blueprints

MFA (MulteFire Alliance) has expanded its mission to enable 5G private networks in unlicensed, shared and locally licensed spectrum by providing guidance to enterprises seeking to deploy their own network.

Leveraging existing 3GPP 5G specifications, MFA will deliver Uni5G Technology Blueprints to help enterprises select and implement the key features from the 3GPP standards that are relevant to their specific deployment. MFA will also develop best practices and deployment guides, including industry resources on understanding all available spectrum options for 5G private networks. The first Uni5G Technology Blueprint will be available in Q4 2021.

In addition, MFA has been awarded a global Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) ID by the ITU. MFA is planning to make this PLMN ID available to industry verticals. The PLMN ID is a series of numbers that identifies a specific network and ensures that only authorized devices connect to that network.

With access to a unique global PLMN ID number, industry verticals are able to deploy their own 5G private network in locally licensed spectrum or a MulteFire private network in unlicensed spectrum today.

MFA members and others under MFA authorization are able to bundle the PLMN ID with their network equipment, thus simplifying the deployment process for enterprises by eliminating the need for them to separately apply for a PLMN ID.

“MFA paved the way for industries to contemplate how they can deploy their own private network in unlicensed spectrum using MulteFire 4G/LTE-based cellular technology with high-performance, built-in security and mobility benefits,” said Mazen Chmaytelli, president, MFA. “Now through our expanded role in enabling 5G private networks, MFA will provide industry verticals with practical guidance on deployment that will meet their unique requirements and determine which spectrum option is right for their site.”

http://www.mfa-tech.org 

SPIE and Vanderbilt announce fellowship in optics and photonics

SPIE and Vanderbilt University announced the establishment of the SPIE Faculty Fellowship in Optics and Photonics. A $500,000 gift from the SPIE Endowment Matching Program will be matched 100% by Vanderbilt. This is the eighth major SPIE gift to universities and institutes as part of the Society’s ongoing program to support the expansion of optical engineering teaching and research.

The SPIE Faculty Fellowship will support a Vanderbilt University faculty member who is working in optics and photonics. Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Yuankai “Kenny” Tao has been selected as the recipient of the first gift.

Tao received his bachelor’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering, as well as a master’s degree and a PhD in biomedical engineering, from Duke University. 

“I am thrilled SPIE has chosen Vanderbilt Engineering as a recipient of an endowed faculty fellowship,” said Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean of Engineering Philippe Fauchet. “These investments provide critical support to our most promising young faculty to continue to develop their research programs and increase the school’s competitive advantage to recruit the best graduate students.”