Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Why Service Assurance is Vital to our Multi-Cloud Future

Going forward, service assurance is vital for personal and business communications, says Chet Patel, BT's Chief Commercial Officer and President, BT Americas.  Continuous investment is needed, especially in AI, automation, and analytics, to ensure the best customer experience.  Here is a 1-minute perspective from San Francisco.

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

DISH Wireless and Cisco target 5G enterprise services

DISH Wireless and Cisco announced a strategic agreement focused on enterprise 5G services in the United States. Some highlights:

  • Go-to-market strategy: DISH will participate in Cisco’s Reseller and Managed Services Program
  • Deployment of an intelligent transport network: Cisco is helping to plan, design and deliver an open, cloud-based network that will predict, self-heal and self-optimize with closed-loop automation for transport network slicing. 
  • Co-innovation on virtual routing:  DISH’s 5G network will be powered with fully automated Cisco XRv9K virtualized routers running on AWS, along with virtual Cell Site Routers (vCSR) at the tower. 
  • New operational models: Cisco is helping DISH build out a lean, world-class DevOps organization that drives automation and improves operational efficiency leading to faster time-to-market with new services, speed to revenue and return on investments. Key outcomes are CI/CD testing and zero-touch onboarding to enable DISH to quickly go from development to pre-production, as well as staging and testing directly to production. 
  • Technology:  Cisco will support DISH with the following: IOS-XR operating system for 5G, backhaul and fronthaul transport via Cisco NCS series routers, segment routing for automated traffic management and network slicing, Nexus 9000 series with an Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) fabric for data center switching, and Cisco Crosswork Network Controller as the transport domain controller including automated service provisioning and assurance.  

“Cisco and DISH are disrupting the mobile and enterprise markets by launching cloud-powered 5G services in record time through innovative technologies, fostering new application development and improving the overall customer experience,” said Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO, Cisco. “Together, we look forward to helping businesses across industries transform their networks to support the evolution of hybrid work models, the transition to Network as a Service (NaaS) offers, and the expansion into new markets including IoT.”

“DISH has compiled an outstanding roster of partners in the wireless industry, and Cisco is a key player helping us launch a customizable, automated, 5G network optimized for enterprise performance,” said Charlie Ergen, Chairman, DISH. “Working with Cisco is central to achieving our goal of delivering a best-in-class experience for enterprises. Our ability to continually drive value and enhance capabilities for our customers is a key differentiator for DISH and positions us to disrupt the industry with more innovation, speed, agility and security.”

Ericsson's Intelligent Automation Platform runs rApps

Ericsson launched its Intelligent Automation Platform and a suite of rApps as its next natural step for existing 4G and 5G radio access networks (RAN). 

The Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform is a service management and orchestration product that builds on the company's cloud native dual-mode 5G Core and the Cloud RAN portfolio, while also supporting multivendor RANs including purpose-built and Open RANs. The solution facilitates AI and automation, which improves network performance, operational efficiency and customer experience to help create smarter networks.

Ericsson said its new platform automates the radio access network using AI and radio network applications (rApps) with different functionalities. In a similar way to an operating system that automates operations, resources and identifies improvements to be made across the network, Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform includes a non-real-time RAN intelligent controller (Non-RT-RIC) that operates rApps. Ericsson is introducing a suite of rApps across four domains: efficient automated deployment; network healing; network evolution; and network optimization. The company is also introducing a software-development toolkit (SDK) to help operators and integrators to build their on rApps.

Jan Karlsson, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Digital Services, Ericsson, says: “We embrace the principle of openness and the evolution to open network architectures. Building upon our Cloud RAN offering, we are taking another major step towards building the network for the digital future with the launch of Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform, which fundamentally enables smarter mobile networks. We look forward to providing our customers with an open platform that enables operational efficiency, enhances customer experience and drives service innovation. I am happy to hear the reactions from our customers already being positive towards our new product and we look forward to future development and innovation.”

Neil McRae, MD Architecture & Strategy, BT Group Chief Architect, says: “At BT we connect for good and continuously innovate to provide the best services for our customers. As we expand and modernize building more reliable networks in more places, managing network complexity via automation is critical to ensure our customers best quality of experience.  I’m pleased to see that Ericsson is launching the Intelligent Automation Platform for automating networks, based on the O-RAN Alliance Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) concept. Ericsson’s vision to extend that SMO concept to support both Open RAN and existing 4G and 5G networks, using a single operational pane-of-glass is an innovative approach.”


FCC attracts $21.8 billion in bids for mid-band spectrum

The FCC announced the conclusion of bidding in the first phase of Auction 110 for licenses in the 3.45 to 3.55 GHz band. Winning bidders will now have the opportunity to bid for frequency-specific licenses in the assignment phase of Auction 110.  

In the clock phase, bidders won 4,041 of the 4,060 available generic blocks, and gross proceeds in the clock phase reached over $21.8 billion, which places Auction 110 among the highest grossing auctions in FCC history.  

Auction 110 makes available 100 megahertz of mid-band spectrum for commercial use across the contiguous United States.  The spectrum licenses are divided into ten 10-megahertz blocks licensed by geographic areas known as Partial Economic Areas (PEAs).  License winners will operate within a cooperative sharing framework that will enable commercial use by an array of service providers, while also ensuring coexistence with federal incumbents where and when they require continued access to the band.  


Bloomberg: Secretive Chinese Committee Draws Up List

China has formed a secretive Information Technology Application Innovation Working Committee with the goal of replacing foreign technology suppliers and boosting local competitors, according to Bloomberg. 

The report says the committee has developed an “IT Application Innovation” plan, known as Xinchuang in Chinese, that serves as a whitelist of approved vendors for government and private sector projects in the areas of telecom equipment, data center servers and switches, computing silicon, cloud servicesm and network security. 

The list is seen as a direct response to the Entity list developed by the U.S. government of non-trusted Chinese vendors.


Lumentum introduces multi-junction VCSEL arrays

Lumentum introduced high-performance 1D and 2D addressable arrays for advanced automotive, consumer, and industrial LiDAR and 3D sensing applications.

VCSEL arrays have become the preferred laser illumination source for short-range 3D sensing applications such as biometric security and world-facing LiDAR in consumer mobile devices due to their proven reliability and ability to be manufactured at scale. 

Lumentum said its multi-junction VCSEL arrays can deliver significantly higher peak optical power densities and efficiencies  for longer-range applications by decreasing the electrical current needed and simplifying electrical driver and package design. Specifically, Lumentum's high-power multi-junction addressable VCSEL arrays emit at 905 nm and 940 nm and are built upon the manufacturing foundation developed over the past several years of high-volume VCSEL array shipments serving the consumer electronics market. The higher peak power, addressability, thermal stability, and narrow wavelength range of these sources open new potential for all-solid-state short-, medium- and long-range LiDAR systems.

"We're excited to build on our industry-leading multi-junction VCSEL technology with this breakthrough and bring addressable array illumination sources to longer-range depth-sensing applications like LiDAR," said Matt Everett, Product Line Director of 3D Sensing at Lumentum. "On-chip array addressability can eliminate the need for mechanical beam scanning, which opens a new world of possibilities for autonomous vehicles and emerging 3D sensing systems and will help accelerate LiDAR adoption across a wide range of customer applications."

Lumentum high-performance multi-junction addressable VCSEL array products are expected to be available starting in calendar Q4 of 2022. 


Keysight and Credo collaborate on 800 GigE testing

Keysight Technologies has collaborated with Credo to enable data center operators  and the respective supply chain to validate the readiness of data center equipment in complex 800 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) environments.

The 800GE testing equipment is comprised of Keysight's G800GE Forward Error Correction- (FEC) Aware and Compliance test system using Credo’s Active Electrical Cable (AEC) connectivity solution. The AECs are key to ensuring signal integrity for copper cabling lengths greater than two meters. Long reach capabilities are essential to connect the data center servers to a top of rack (ToR) switch.

"The move to 800GE presents DCOs and vendors in the supply chain with new challenges to validate chips, optical transceivers, or networking equipment port electronics,” said Ram Periakaruppan, vice president and general manager, Keysight's Network Test and Security Solutions group. "The unique combination of the Keysight G800GE test system and Credo's 800GE AEC technology addresses the interoperability challenges and enables the data center community to accelerate validation of 800GE devices and network infrastructure.”

"Keysight's G800GE test system with 400GE/200GE/100GE per port fan-outs meets the performance and verification needs of 800GE interconnect and infrastructure," said Don Barnetson, vice president of product at Credo. "It is very exciting to see Keysight leverage our HiWire LP CLOS AEC 800 in their 800GE test and validation platform. The performance of this AEC is not only enabling next generation hypsercale data center implementations, but is also a valued component of the infrastructure making those implementations possible.”


PacketFabric offers hourly billing for 100G data center interconnection

PacketFabric is now offering hourly billing for data center interconnect (DCI) backbone virtual circuits (VCs), at speeds up to 100Gbps across nearly 200 global points of presence (PoPs).

PacketFabric customers can now create hourly backbone VCs on demand via the PacketFabric portal and API. In addition, customers can dynamically provision burstable bandwidth on an hourly basis, above term-based backbone VCs.

"The cloud is what happens to traditional infrastructure when you automate and make it hyper-consumable," said Anna Claiborne, PacketFabric Chief Technology Officer and Chief Product Officer. "At PacketFabric, our mission is to turn the inflexible slog of getting premium-grade network connections into a rocket-fueled network multi-tool, just like interaction you expect from cloud providers. Hourly backbone VCs up to 100Gbps, deployed in minutes, are a first. This new capability is a significant step forward in pushing the networking industry towards the vision of true bandwidth on demand."


Zayo Expands in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne

Zayo announced an expansion of network infrastructure in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

Expansion plans include adding more than 200 route miles throughout Indiana over the next two years, including a new fiber route from South Bend, Indiana, to Grand Rapids, Michigan. By year’s end, a long haul dark fiber route from Indianapolis to St. Louis, Missouri will be available to new and existing customers, adding network protection on a key route between two emerging tech hubs. Additionally, starting in Q1 2022, Zayo will offer wave bandwidth up to 400Gbps from Indianapolis to Columbus, Ohio, and Chicago, Illinois.

Zayo is also rolling out a new Shielded Internet Access product offer to new and existing customers in the region.