Wednesday, July 7, 2021

How Service Providers are addressing Service Assurance

What’s the boundary of where managed service providers and carriers start and stop with respect to cloud services? In this video, Jeff Lewis, Vice President, Software Defined Networking – Products, Solutions and Operations at Comcast Business, discusses the complexity of interacting with services in the cloud.

https://youtu.be/7zH8SgY-sCc


Download the 2021 Service Assurance Report here: https://ngi.how/sa-2021


Active vs Passive Monitoring for Service Assurance

5G is changing the landscape for service assurance. Historically, the telco industry has relied on passive monitoring to fulfill service assurance needs. In this video, Mikael Grill, CEO of Emblasoft, talks about the advantages of introducing active monitoring for more precise measurement of network service KPIs and QoS.

https://youtu.be/ozqCaEaKvTA

Announcement: Emblasoft provides end-to-end validation for world’s first cloud-native 5G SA Core deployment with Telenor - https://ngi.how/2V3fDgx

T-Mobile Case Study: Validating migration to virtual EPC - https://ngi.how/3ycSR3L 

Edgecore unveils a core router for Cloud and Service Providers

Edgecore Networks announced a new open router product family for next-gen cloud and Service Provider infrastructures.

The AS7926-40XKFB is a high-performance 100G deep packet buffer core router that can operate as a standalone device or be stacked with another unit to build a small core system. The AS7926-40XKFB can also be connected to Edgecore’s AS9926-24D Fabric switches to create a 96Tbps Distributed Disaggregated Chassis (DDC) router. 

The AS7926-40XKFB is powered by Broadcom’s StrataDNX Jericho2 ASIC and delivers non-blocking line-rate performance across forty 100G Ethernet interfaces and thirteen fabric interfaces. 

Edgecore says its NEBS3 compliant AS7926-40XKFB is a thermally efficient design with redundant, hot-swappable power supplies and fans and supports telecom grade timing and synchronization. 

“Edgecore’s new core router family delivers the industry’s best-in-class solution for the next generation of cloud router and service provider infrastructure. This solution helps carriers upgrade their network infrastructure to address the network challenges of 5G deployment. Together with software partners, Edgecore Networks delivers leading open disaggregated network solutions, as well as enabling value-added application development,” states Matt Roman, VP of Marketing and Product Management, Edgecore Networks.

http://www.edge-core.com

Telecom Egypt plans Evenstar O-RAN trial

Telecom Egypt is preparing to launch a multi-vendor O-RAN trial.

As part of the trial, Telecom Egypt will use an Evenstar radio unit in its initial OpenRAN deployment. Additionally, Telecom Egypt will test Cisco’s Edge Computing Technology and Cisco’s fronthaul transport solution for the OpenRAN cell sites.  Telecom Egypt will also test Altiostar’s Open vRAN common software platform for the DU and CU functions.  


The Evenstar program, which is developed under the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), is a general-purpose OpenRAN reference architecture for 4G and 5G networks. By decoupling the radio unit (RU) hardware, distributed unit (DU), and control unit (CU) software of the RAN, which are traditionally sold as a package, Evenstar provides operators like Telecom Egypt with the flexibility to deploy solutions from an increasing number of technology providers, while expanding its network coverage in Egypt.

Adel Hamed, Managing Director and CEO, Telecom Egypt, said: “OpenRAN plays an important role in helping reduce costs and increase flexibility and component-level efficiency for operators globally. Our hope is that early positive experiences will lead to greater commercial adoption of these initial products which will, in turn, help expand the network of OpenRAN suppliers. With the specialist help of Cisco and by working with partners like in the Evenstar ecosystem, we intend to drive disruptive technology innovations to keep OpenRAN competitive in the long term. We look forward to more successes with Altiostar, Cisco, Evenstar partners and TIP to deliver on our promise and ambitious plans for a fully digitized Egypt society.”

Australia's Lumea picks Ciena for 100G+ wavelength services

 Lumea, which operates over 10GW of renewable energy across Australia, has selected Ciena to enable 100G+ wavelength services.


Using Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai-powered 6500 platform to support its Data Centre Interconnect (DCI) strategy, Lumea will be able to offer 100G to 400G Wavelength services between key data centres across one of Australia’s most diverse and secure fibre networks.

Lumea manages one of the largest fibre networks in Australia. The provider focuses on two main areas: data services and wireless colocation on its towers - with more than 130 telecommunications towers and 37,000 high voltage transmission towers.

Ciena’s Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand, Matt Vesperman says, “Lumea is a prime example of how improved connectivity enables a smarter and more connected society. With Ciena, Lumea adapts and scales to deliver new levels of performance while transitioning to a more sustainable network.”

Iron Mountain to acquire Frankfurt data center

Iron Mountain agreed to acquire a data center in Frankfurt from Calcium DC Pte. for EUR 76 million, 

The data center is a two-story, 20,000 square meter colocation data center site on freehold land in the Am Martinszehnten Industrial Park, which is in close proximity to the city center and Frankfurt Airport. The facility currently has 2.6 megawatts of leased capacity and 8 megawatts of capacity available for retail colocation customers with the option to expand in the future to add Edge computing at the premises. The data center has robust network connectivity, including access to DE-CIX.

Iron Mountain said the acquisition expands its presence in the Frankfurt market, which includes a 27 megawatt pre-leased facility in Frankfurt (FRA-1), and enables the company to add immediate capacity and to build out a team in a market with strong long-term demand.


“This latest investment in one of the most sought-after European markets further solidifies our commitment to invest in the global markets where our customers need us,” stated Mark Kidd, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Data Centers at Iron Mountain. “As a leading global data center provider, we are pleased to continue to meet the key growth milestones that this acquisition, and the recently announced expansion in London, represent.”

In addition to the agreement to acquire the Frankfurt data center, Iron Mountain recently announced further expansion in Europe with a 27 megawatt data center build in London (LON-2), in addition to 9 megawatts of leasable capacity at its LON-1 data center. The Company also announced a recent joint venture with Web Werks, one of the top data center providers in India, adding three Tier 3, carrier-neutral data centers in Mumbai, Pune and Delhi to their global footprint.

https://www.ironmountain.com/data-centers

Kaloom hires George Khatchadourian to lead strategic partnerships

Kaloom appointed George Khatchadourian as Executive Vice President, Strategic Partnerships. 


Khatchadourian most recently was COO of IBM Americas and prior to that COO of IBM Japan. IBM Americas Operations represent a $30B+ Business spanning the US, Canada and Latin America. IBM Japan is the second largest country in IBM Worldwide Operations. His previous roles included Vice President of Strategy and Transformation for Global Markets, and Vice President of Service Delivery at IBM Japan, Global Technology Services.

"After a successful career at IBM, I am extremely excited to join Kaloom and to leverage my experience in technology, innovation and Global operations to drive Kaloom’s go-to-market strategy to higher levels,” said Khatchadourian. “Continuing to build on the long and deep relationships established to date, I look forward to strengthening Kaloom’s partnerships with IBM and Red Hat and other Strategic Partners."

http://www.kaloom.com

Kaloom lands new funding for its Unified Edge

Kaloom, a start-up based in Montreal, has secured additional capital for its fully programmable and automated cloud-native edge center networking software solution. Kaloom's Cloud Edge Fabric is an automated and programmable network fabric with built-in support for network slicing featuring an embedded multi-Terabit per second (Tbps) 5G UPF that is a highly performant, scalable, low latency cloud native solution. Coupled with the Unified Edge...


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Video: Service Assurance for Cybersecurity

With large amounts of data, endpoints and interactions taking place on a network, the focus on service assurance becomes even more important. In this video, Rupesh Chokshi, Vice President of AT&T Cybersecurity, discusses why service assurance and cybersecurity are critical in the ongoing management of the network.

https://youtu.be/dpiseggRc7Y


Video: Deliver End-to-end Network Quality with Active Assurance

The requirements around network quality are drastically increasing for both business and home use cases. SLAs are promising network quality with network KPIs, but how can we measure this? Meet active assurance. In this video, Stefan Vallin, Senior Product Manager at Juniper Networks, discusses how active assurance manages SLAs to ensure network quality.

https://youtu.be/C0q9Gr-jzrw


Pentagon reopens $10 billion cloud contract

The U.S. Department of Defense is canceling the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud infrastructure contract awarded to Microsoft in late 2019.

In a press release, the Pentagon said the existing JEDI Cloud contract no longer meets its needs due to evolving requirements. However, the DoD "continues to have unmet cloud capability gaps for enterprise-wide, commercial cloud services at all three classification levels that work at the tactical edge, at scale -- these needs have only advanced in recent years with efforts such as Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Acceleration (ADA) initiative."

"JEDI was developed at a time when the Department’s needs were different and both the CSPs technology and our cloud conversancy was less mature. In light of new initiatives like JADC2 and AI and Data Acceleration (ADA), the evolution of the cloud ecosystem within DoD, and changes in user requirements to leverage multiple cloud environments to execute mission, our landscape has advanced and a new way-ahead is warranted to achieve dominance in both traditional and non-traditional warfighting domains," said John Sherman, acting DoD Chief Information Officer. 

The DoD will now open a new, multi-vendor Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) contract and said it will seek proposals from Microsoft and AWS, since "available market research indicates that these two vendors are the only Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) capable of meeting the Department’s requirements."
 

Microsoft wins $10 billion cloud contract with U.S. Department of Defense

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded an enterprise general-purpose cloud contract valued at up to $10 billion to Microsoft. 

The DoD said the contract will address critical and urgent unmet warfighter requirements for modern cloud infrastructure at all three classification levels delivered out to the tactical edge. The contracting process began two years ago and considered four different offerors.

The Pentagon said it is committed to a strategy of a multi-vendor, multi-cloud environment.

“The National Defense Strategy dictates that we must improve the speed and effectiveness with which we develop and deploy modernized technical capabilities to our women and men in uniform,” DOD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy said. “The DOD Digital Modernization Strategy was created to support this imperative. This award is an important step in execution of the Digital Modernization Strategy.”

AT&T integrates its 5G MEC with Google Cloud

AT&T and Google Cloud are announcing new integrated solutions including AT&T’s on-premises Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) solution, as well as AT&T Network Edge capabilities through LTE, 5G, and wireline.

The company say the AT&T Network Edge (ANE) with Google Cloud solution will enable enterprises to deploy applications at Google edge points of presence (POPs), which will be connected to AT&T’s 5G and fiber networks. In this low-latency compute and storage environment, businesses can deliver faster, more seamless enterprise and customer experiences. AT&T and Google Cloud are focusing on a multi-year strategy to bring the solution to 15+ zones across major cities, starting with Chicago this year. We expect to roll out the solution next in Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, and San Francisco.

“By combining the power of AT&T 5G and Google Cloud technologies, we are helping enterprises create new customer experiences and business services that were previously impossible,” said George Nazi, Vice President, Global Telecom, Media and Entertainment Solutions, Google Cloud. “Together with AT&T, we are committed to enabling our customers to build and deliver next-generation applications, whether on-premise or on AT&T’s leading mobile network.” 


“With premises-based 5G and network edge computing, we give our customers even greater control of where their data goes and how they use it – at higher speeds and with lower latency. These capabilities allow businesses to deliver unique experiences to their customers, today and into the future,” said Rasesh Patel, Chief Product and Platform Officer, AT&T Business. “We’re bringing forth a new era where the latest technological advancements, including 5G and edge computing, make it possible to transform, innovate and prepare for whatever the future holds.”

The companies are also working together to evaluate how network APIs could optimize applications, using near real-time network information at the Google Cloud edge. 

https://cloud.google.com/press-releases/2021/0706/att-google-cloud-5g-edge

Seaborn picks Infinera's ICE6 800G coherent

Seaborn Networks has selected Infinera’s ICE6 800G coherent technology for its’s subsea network.

Seaborn operates two high-capacity open cable systems, Seabras-1 and AMX-1, with connections between Brazil and the U.S. offering a range of managed digital services and wavelength services.  Infinera’s ICE6-powered solution will provide Seaborn with an architecture that can deliver 400 GbE services, including the option for direct PoP-to-PoP transport. The Smart Spectrum feature within Infinera’s Intelligent Power Management (IPM) solution allows Seaborn to offer multiple virtual fiber pairs to its customers so they can take advantage of open cable demarcation, while being protected from potential optical power instability caused by other tenants on the same fiber pair.


“Seaborn is delighted to be side by side with Infinera as our technology partner as we move the needle once again in service delivery capabilities for the Americas,” commented Paul Cannon, Vice President of Network Development at Seaborn. “With Infinera’s solutions, Seaborn can offer a fully integrated spectrum solution across our subsea networks, which is fundamental to delivering sustainable capacity solutions to our customers while also enabling our larger customers to benefit from end-to-end spectrum capabilities with the freedom to select hardware and platforms in their existing high-capacity PoP locations. Once Infinera’s ICE6 technology is deployed on our network this summer, Seaborn will be positioned to deliver industry-leading 400 GbE PoP-to-PoP services at distances over 10,000 km.”

“Seaborn’s ongoing commitment to Infinera’s solutions underscores the value our technology delivers to network operators globally,” said Nick Walden, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Infinera. “With Infinera’s ICE6 800G solution, Seaborn will continue to capitalize on the benefits of Infinera’s technology, providing its customers with access to cost-effective, high-performance, and high-capacity services.”

https://www.infinera.com/press-release/seaborn-selects-infinera-ice6-technology-and-expands-spectrum-delivery-in-the-americas

Seaborn deploys Infinera on AMX-1 cable connecting US and Brazil

Seaborn Networks has deployed Infinera’s XT Series submarine network platforms to launch new services on its AMX-1 cable connecting the U.S. and Brazil. Seaborn operates two leading cable systems, Seabras-1 and AMX-1, both powered by Infinera solutions. Seaborn’s AMX-1 cable system provides transport, Ethernet private line, and IP services on a geographically diverse path from its Seabras-1 cable, connecting Rio de Janeiro and Jacksonville,...

Seaborn appoints Steve Orlando as CEO

Seaborn Networks appointed Steve Orlando as its new Chief Executive Officer. Orlando brings 27 years of experience across senior leadership positions at Zayo Group, Orlando joins Seaborn from Zayo Group, where he served as the Senior Vice President of Fiber and Network Solutions. In this role, he led product, operations and network development to support indirect and direct sales for the organization across 18 states in the Central Region. He...

Seaborn offers global interconnection to DE-CIX

DE-CIX and Seaborn are expanding their are now offering access and interconnection services to DE-CIX IXs in Marseille, Madrid, New York and Dallas, as well as one of the world’s largest IX by peak traffic, DE-CIX Frankfurt. The interconnection provides Seaborn customers the ability to access DE-CIX IXs through a single one-stop-shop solution directly with Seaborn, or to select Seaborn’s network for transport connectivity to DE-CIX for the greatest...


Colt and IBM form edge alliance

Colt Technology Services is collaborating with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to help customers adopt an edge computing strategy designed to enable them to move data and applications seamlessly across hybrid cloud environments, from private data centres to the edge. 

The companies have agreed to jointly explore  use cases using IBM Cloud Satellite and Edge Application Manager, designed to benefit enterprise customers globally across 29,000 enterprise buildings.

IBM Cloud Satellite is IBM’s hybrid cloud offering, built on Red Hat OpenShift, that allows customers to deploy secure and open IBM Cloud services anywhere they choose –on-premises, on any public cloud, or at the edge. Virtual machines for IBM Cloud Satellite can be instantiated and configured using a management and orchestration tool with zero-touch provisioning. Furthermore, Colt’s on-demand networking capabilities are designed to help critical connectivity be provisioned in near real- time to help enable distributed cloud deployments with IBM Edge Application Manager for its customers (in industries such as retail and healthcare) across 29,000 enterprise buildings.


“We look forward to collaborating with Colt to help customers deploy, operate and manage thousands of endpoints throughout their operations with IBM Cloud Satellite and IBM Edge Application Manager,” said Evaristus Mainsah, GM, IBM Hybrid Cloud and Edge Ecosystem. “Together, we can help enterprises accelerate their digital transformation by acting on insights closer to where their data is being created, at the edge.”

“Colt and IBM have been working together for many years across multiple markets and verticals with a focus on accelerating digital transformation. As we see an increasing demand for multi and distributed cloud environments, we will collaborate on how we can serve our joint customers,” said Mark Hollman, Colt’s VP Partner Development and Success. “We’re exploring now how to combine our Colt IQ Network with IBM’s hybrid cloud platform, to help deliver innovative solutions designed to help accelerate digital transformation for our enterprise customers.’’

IBM Cloud Satellite brings edge capabilities built on Red Hat OpenShift

IBM announced the general availability of its hybrid cloud services - IBM Cloud Satellite.

IBM Cloud Satellite promises a secured, unifying layer of cloud services for clients across environments, whether on-premise or in the public cloud.  IBM said its architecture addresses critical data privacy and data sovereignty requirements for industries including telecommunications, financial services, healthcare and government.

In addition, Lumen Technologies and IBM have integrated IBM Cloud Satellite with the Lumen edge platform to enable clients to harness hybrid cloud services in near real-time and build innovative solutions at the edge.  Applications can be hosted on Red Hat OpenShift via IBM Cloud Satellite from the close proximity of a Lumen edge location. 

Customers using the Lumen platform and IBM Cloud Satellite can deploy data-intensive applications like video analytics across highly distributed environments such as offices and retail spaces, and take advantage of infrastructure designed for single digit millisecond latency. 

"With the Lumen platform's broad reach, we are giving our enterprise customers access to IBM Cloud Satellite to help them drive innovation more rapidly at the edge," said Paul Savill, SVP Enterprise Product Management and Services at Lumen. "Our enterprise customers can now extend IBM Cloud services across Lumen's robust global network, enabling them to deploy data-heavy edge applications that demand high security and ultra-low latency. By bringing secure and open hybrid cloud capabilities to the edge, our customers can propel their businesses forward and take advantage of the emerging applications of the 4th Industrial Revolution."

IBM also noted that it is collaborating with more than 65 ecosystem partners, including Cisco, Dell Technologies and Intel to build secure cloud services helping clients run workloads in any environment via IBM Cloud Satellite. 

https://newsroom.ibm.com/2021-03-01-IBM-Cloud-Satellite-Enables-Clients-to-Deliver-Cloud-Securely-in-Any-Environment-Including-at-the-Edge

Spain's Red Eléctrica picks Nokia for transport upgrade

Red Eléctrica de España (REE), the Spanish transmission system operator (TSO) responsible for the transmission of electricity nationwide, selected Nokia to upgrade its existing network with an IP/MPLS and DWDM optical transport. Its 800-site network is used to control and manage a nationwide transmission grid.

The new IP/MPLS and optical transport networks from Nokia will provide significantly more bandwidth to the utility sector and its subscribers and improve efficiencies. It will support a new generation of IP-based applications that will play a key role in everything from IoT-based asset management to managing distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar and residential power storage.


Services supported by the Nokia network include sub-station communications, low-latency communication of IoT sensor data for measurement, protection and control, and time synchronization of devices. The network will also support operational control systems such as SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) and line protection, as well as synchrophasors (PMUs - phasor measurement units), which are one of the key applications for enabling highly accurate and dynamic analysis of the state of an electrical system. This is an important capability in smart, distributed energy grids, especially with intermittent power sources such as renewables.

The core and aggregation networks will be based on Nokia’s IP/MPLS portfolio. The optical transport network, which replaces a legacy SDH (synchronous digital hierarchy) system, will use Nokia’s DWDM portfolio.

Patrick Langelaan, Head of Enterprise in Southern Europe at Nokia, said: “We have worked closely with REE for several years to prepare for this migration, culminating in a successful proof of concept in 2019. Our work with European transmission system operators enables us to ensure that REE’s network will interwork seamlessly with continental systems – a key capability in the shift to renewables and our ability to manage intermittency across the region. This win reflects Nokia’s ongoing commitment to the energy sector and our collective journey to a de-carbonized, electrified future.”

Keysight and Qualcomm demo 10G using 5G NR-DC

Keysight Technologies and Qualcomm demonstrated a 10 Gbps data connection using 5G new radio dual connectivity (NR-DC), an industry-first.

NR-DC allows 5G NR devices to concurrently connect and aggregate multiple NR cells, leading to significantly increased data transfer speeds.

The demonstration included Keysight’s network emulation platform and Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System with Qualcomm QTM545 mmWave Antenna Module to aggregate 5G mmWave and sub-6GHz spectrum. The demonstration used spectrum in both frequency range 1 (FR1) and FR2 (mmWave), which enables 5G user equipment (UE) to leverage wide bandwidths and high order modulation, leading to data transfer speeds of more than 10 Gbps. Flexible spectrum utilization combined with higher data speed connections allows mobile operators to dynamically deploy 5G services in wireless congested areas where bandwidth resources need to be managed efficiently to support advanced applications.


“We’re pleased to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies to reach another industry-first milestone that lays the foundation for consumers and enterprises to achieve wired-broadband grade speeds in this next phase of 5G,” said Cao Peng, vice president and general manager for Keysight’s wireless test group. “This accomplishment clearly reflects that the industry has entered the second phase of 5G NR deployment, which will enable advanced wireless communications built on the latest 3GPP Release 16 specification.”

“Qualcomm Technologies is pleased to work with Keysight to develop pioneering solutions that allow device makers to accelerate innovations that support considerable performance improvements,” said Francesco Grilli, vice president, Product Management at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “This achievement builds on the recent milestone Qualcomm Technologies and Keysight realized in March 2021, showcasing 5G low/mid and high band aggregation across key global combinations on a smartphone form-factor device equipped with the Snapdragon X65 using Keysight’s 5G network emulation solutions. Together, we move significantly closer to providing users access to seamless, rapid connections on 5G devices in traditionally congested areas worldwide.”

http://www.keysight.com


NeoPhotonics adds to its Board


NeoPhotonics announced the appointment of Sheri L. Savage to its Board of Directors.

Ms. Savage has served as Chief Financial Officer of Ultra Clean Holdings, Inc. (UCT), a supplier for critical subsystems for semiconductor capital equipment, since July 2016. Ms. Savage previously served as Senior Vice President of Finance, Chief Accounting Officer and other senior finance roles at UCT since 2009.

Prior to joining UCT, Ms. Savage served at Credence Systems Corporation, a manufacturer of test equipment for the global semiconductor industry, as its Corporate Controller and Vice President of Finance and as Director of Internal Audit. 

Monday, July 5, 2021

Blueprint: Leveraging automation to accelerate assured service

By: Julius Francis, Head of Product Marketing & Strategy, Juniper Networks 

Despite the world’s transition to remote operations nearly overnight, customers have maintained high expectations that their experiences would remain seamless throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep pace with these expectations, service providers have had to shift their priorities to focus on automation in order to deliver reliable, efficient and scalable network operations despite surging traffic patterns and challenges posed by new disparate workforce models.

In fact, a study by Ernst & Young found that the main driver of automation adoption in telecommunications is the optimization of customer experience. Nearly four-fifths of respondents cited that the importance of optimizing the customer experience was the key reason for their adoption of artificial intelligence (AI). This concept is known as ‘Experience-First Networking,’ which requires a high level of automation to ensure large-scale networks are run reliably and efficiently.

However, the benefits of network automation extend not only to customer experience, but also to other critical areas where the network plays a foundational role, including Smart Cities, 5G growth, the introduction of AI for new applications and more.

The Vital Role of Networks in Emerging Applications and Smart Cities

There’s no doubt automated networking will play a vital role in the emergence of smart cities. In a recent report by ESI ThoughtLab, North American cities, including 40 in the United States, have more advanced digital services and digital infrastructure than their international counterparts. According to the report, cities in North America are the most prepared to deliver government services built on AI, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based software.

Beyond the United States, we’re seeing the emergence of smart cities around the world. In Singapore, one of the highest ranked smart cities in the world, there are impressive advances to the city’s technology infrastructure and ongoing digital initiatives. The smart city’s efforts were especially helpful in returning their citizens to normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic – the government used smart facility management, IoT and surveillance to create advanced, safe and livable urban environments.

With more than two-thirds of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, networks are poised to play a foundational role in supporting the future of smart cities. As planning takes shape, connectivity will need to incorporate a blend of emerging applications and technologies that will require a strong network infrastructure centered around a secure, scalable and automated multi-cloud environment. Leveraging automation and AI will be extremely important in gathering and analyzing the large amounts of data these cities produce, while allowing networks to make real-time decisions for an overall assured service experience.  

The Growth of 5G

While 5G rollouts slowed in the past year due to the pandemic, we’re now seeing rollouts quickly progressing around the world. This is crucial, as the right 5G infrastructure is required to deliver the next generation of services and experiences to consumers, enterprises and government. 

It’s important to note that AI and automation are required to reduce the operational costs and complexities of 5G networks by automating complex network functionalities and effectively using data to make decisions and solve problems. With massive speeds, huge connection densities and ultra-low-latency experiences, automation will be a critical aspect of 5G rollouts.

Further, with the expansion of 5G, we’re sure to see progress in new consumer applications (e.g., gaming and augmented/virtual/mixed reality), as well as 5G for industry verticals, consumer broadband, enterprise broadband, cloud-managed services and more. As such, service providers should expect to invest in AI and automation to manage 5G networks, ensuring they are optimized to provide assured service experiences to customers.

Tapping AI for Greater User Experience

While network operators have long relied on manual processes for managing connectivity and fixing issues that arise, this approach has consistently introduced human error into the process. The past year made it more evident that connectivity will always be in demand; therefore, it’s no surprise to see service providers continue to invest in open, agile network architectures that enable them to respond, innovate and scale smartly – driven by the expansion of 5G networks, smart cites and other emerging technologies. 

AI-powered automation has the power to transform the way of designing, building and running networks by taking the guesswork out of network operations, removing human error and improving the decision-making process. This will allow service provides to deliver a consistent and assured service experience for both operations and customers.

As the rise of emerging technologies make networks more complex and workforces become more dispersed, service providers must embrace the concept of ‘Experience-First Networking’ and formally place automation at the forefront of their customer experience investment priorities.



Video: Three Pillars of Service Assurance


Are you ready to reimagine your network operations? In this video, Walter Kenrich, Sr Director Product Management for Analytics and SaaS at Ribbon Communications, discusses the three key pillars that telecom customers need to endorse in their service assurance efforts: visibility, agility, and automation.

Advanced Root Cause Analysis - https://hubs.la/H0NHlyb0

ML-Based Forecasting and Planner - https://hubs.la/H0MV9_80

 Download the 2021 Service Assurance Report here: https://ngi.how/sa-2021

Facebook announces Magma on AWS

Facebook announced a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to integrate the open source Magma cellular core technology with AWS’s edge computing services. 

Facebook says Magma on AWS Marketplace will enable service providers to deploy 4G and 5G networks significantly faster by obtaining AWS infrastructure preinstalled with Magma, no matter how large or small the deployment. With no licensing fees for the packet core software, Magma on AWS Marketplace will make fixed wireless and private network deployments quick and at a significantly lower cost of ownership.

https://engineering.fb.com/2021/06/28/connectivity/digital-divide/

Linux Foundation targets cellular core network stack with Magma

The Linux Foundation is launching an open source industry collaboration focused on enabling a converged cellular core network stack, starting with the Magma open source software platform. 

Magma, which was previously open sourced by Facebook in 2019,  will now be managed under a neutral governance framework at the Linux Foundation.

Arm, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, FreedomFi, Qualcomm, the Institute of Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern University, the OpenAirInterface Software Alliance, and the Open Infrastructure Foundation, will join the collaboration as founding members to accelerate the path to production use cases at scale. 


Magma features an access-agnostic mobile packet core, advanced network automation and management tools, and the ability to integrate with existing LTE networks with use cases across both virtual and container Network Functions (xNFs) including fixed wireless access, carrier Wi-Fi, private LTE and 5G, network expansion, and mobile broadband. 

A number of Magma community members are also collaborating in the Telecom Infra Project (TIP)’s Open Core Network project group to define, build, test, and deploy core network products that leverage Magma software alongside disaggregated hardware and software solutions by the TIP Open Core ecosystem.

“Arm is synonymous with a diverse technology ecosystem that underpins the compute, connectivity, and security required for solutions spanning cloud to edge to endpoint devices,” said Chris Bergey, senior vice president and general manager, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm. “Together with the Linux Foundation and Facebook Connectivity, Magma is helping to solve the very real challenge of providing feature-rich, cost effective access for worldwide mobile networks.”

“Bringing Magma to the Linux Foundation is a huge milestone as the Magma ecosystem of developers continues to grow,” said Dan Rabinovitsj, vice president for Facebook Connectivity. “We are excited to see the contributions and innovations from this collective group of industry players, and we look forward to celebrating Magma’s success as the project continues to scale.” 

“Qualcomm Technologies strongly supports the evolution of the Magma core network efforts into a broader coalition among the key founding and contributing projects,” said Douglas Knisely, engineer, principal, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and OSA Advisory Board member. “This effort builds on the collaboration activities and code contributions from OAI into the Magma project and promotes the harmonization of a common 5G Core Network reference architecture, internal structure, APIs, and interfaces for all of the emerging 5G open source projects in the industry.”

https://www.linuxfoundation.org/press-release/linux-foundation-launches-industry-collaboration-with-magma-to-accelerate-deployment-of-wireless-networks/

https://www.magmacore.org/

Facebook backs terrestrial cable projects in DRC, Pakistan, Indonesia

Facebook announced plans to back terrestrial fiber projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Pakistan

In the DRC, Facebook is working with Liquid Intelligent Technologies to build 2,200 kilometers of fiber to increase active long-haul fiber. The project will complete a missing fiber link between East and West Africa, and establish DRC as a connection hub for neighboring landlocked countries, including Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia. The investment builds on Facebook's completion of DRC’s first privately held long-haul fiber route, from Muanda to Matadi. 



In Pakistan, Facebook recently announced its first terrestrial fiber investment to support the country’s digital transformation. Facebook is partnering with Nayatel to build 1,700 kilometers of open-access fiber to help address the growing demand for urban connectivity for 10 million people across eight cities. 

In Indonesia, Facebook is increasing its investment with Alita Praya Mitra to add fiber to the initial build areas and to additional cities to address the increasing demand for high-speed internet. 

Facebook also noted its backing of the 2Africa project and the Bifrost transpacific cable project.

2Africa subsea cable boasts design capacity up to 180 Tbps

2Africa, a new subsea cable to serve the African continent and Middle East region, promises to deliver  more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbps on key parts of the system.

Consortium partners include China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC.

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has been selected to build the fully-funded cable. The project will leverage SDM1 (space division multiplexing) technology from ASN, allowing deployment of up to 16 fiber pairs instead of the eight fiber pairs supported by older technologies. The cable will incorporate optical switching technology to enable flexible management of bandwidth. Cable burial depth has also been increased by 50% compared to older systems, and cable routing will avoid locations of known subsea disturbance, all helping to ensure the highest levels of availability.

The 2Africa subsea cable will span 37,000km long, interconnect Europe (eastward via Egypt), the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia), and 21 landings in 16 countries in Africa. The system is expected to go live in 2023/4. Each of the cable landing sites will offer carrier-neutral data centers or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis.

In addition, the 2Africa parties and Airtel have signed an agreement with Telecom Egypt to provide a completely new crossing linking the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, the first in over a decade. This includes new cable landing stations and deployment of next-generation fiber on two new, diverse terrestrial routes parallel to the Suez Canal from Ras Ghareb to Port Said, and a new subsea link that will provide a third path between Ras Ghareb and Suez. 



 Facebook backs Bifrost cable from U.S. to Southeast Asia

In addition to its participation in the Echo subsea cable from the U.S. to Singapore, Facebook confirmed its investment in the Bifrost Cable System from the U.S. to South East Asia.

The Bifrost Cable System will span over 15,000 km, connecting Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Guam and the west coast of North America. The cable is expected to be completed in 2024.

The project is also backed by Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation Limited (Keppel T&T) and Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin), which is a subsidiary of PT Telkom Indonesia.

The partners say that when fully commissioned, the multiple fibre paired Bifrost Cable System will be the largest capacity cable across the Pacific Ocean.

Keppel T&T, Facebook and Telin have appointed Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) for the supply and installation works of the cable system.

“Connectivity is at the heart of our mission to give people the power to build community,” said Kevin Salvadori, Vice President, Network at Facebook. “We are committed to bringing more people online to a faster internet, to support the growth of digital economies, and to do this in collaboration with local partners.”

https://engineering.fb.com/2021/03/28/connectivity/echo-bifrost/