Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Video: Upperside's SD-WAN + SASE conference in Paris

Demand for secure connectivity to branch offices and remote workers is driving the SD-WAN + SASE market to new levels and the pandemic is accelerating this trend.

This week, industry leaders gathered virtually and in-person at Upperside's SDWAN + SASE 2021 conference in Paris to discuss competing architectures, new ways to deliver SASE, and how Service Providers can make money with these new services.  Roy Chua, Founder and Principal, AvidThink, provides an on-site report.

MEF publishes new SD-WAN standards

MEF published new SD-WAN standards that add critical enhancements, including new service capabilities for underlay connectivity, important application performance metrics, and security zones for service providers deploying SD-WAN managed services.

The new standards include:

  • MEF 70.1 updates MEF 70, the industry’s first global SD-WAN standard, to include new service attributes for underlay connectivity services, new measurable performance metrics that provide visibility into an application’s performance within the provider network and across multiple service providers, and the infrastructure to support application-based security defined in MEF 88 (see below).
  • MEF 88, MEF’s first security standard, enhances an SD-WAN service to add security functions. These include defining threats, malware protections, security policy terminology and attributes, and describing what actions a policy should take in response to certain threats.
  • MEF 95 provides a unified policy framework for MEF’s SD-WAN (MEF 70.1), Network Slicing (MEF 84), and SASE (MEF W117) and Zero Trust (MEF W118) standards coming in 2022.

“We’re seeing a healthy uptick in SD-WAN deployments driven by work from anywhere, as more users are connecting to the cloud and cloud-based applications. We estimate the global SD-WAN service market will grow from $2.85B in 2020 to $14.5B in 2025 (CAGR of 38%),” said Roopa Honnachari, vice president of research & global program leader – network & edge services, Frost & Sullivan. “MEF’s work in standardizing and certifying SD-WAN managed services is helping to drive that adoption, and we believe certified services and professionals will continue to play an important role in moving the market forward.”

“MEF develops standards and certifications to provide clarity and assurance and remove complexity for SD-WAN managed services. The new standards define the service behavior and associated policy language needed to deliver high-performance, secure SD-WAN managed services,” said Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. “These standards, and the forthcoming SASE and Zero Trust standards, benefit both customers and providers—customers know what to expect when purchasing SD-WAN managed services from a provider, and providers have the tools needed to deliver secure SD-WAN services that drive customer satisfaction.”

MEF also announced that in 2022, secure SD-WAN requirements will be added to the MEF 3.0 certification program. To date, 17 companies have achieved MEF 3.0 SD-WAN certification. In addition, the MEF-SDCP Professional Certification training and certification provides an opportunity for the engineers, architects, product managers, and others deploying SD-WAN solutions to demonstrate their expertise in MEF 3.0 service standards. Worldwide, there are over 700 MEF-SDCP professionals employed by more than 120 companies.

DigitalBridge forms ÍslandsTurnar - mobile towers for Iceland

DigitalBridge Group announced the formation of an independent mobile tower company in Iceland through the merger of the telecom tower portfolios of Sýn and Nova, two leading Icelandic mobile network operators.

The new company, called ÍslandsTurnar, is backed by funds affiliated with DigitalBridge Investment Management. Both Sýn and Nova will be long-term customers of ÍslandsTurnar.

ÍslandsTurnar is the first independent tower company of scale in Iceland with national coverage to support the MNOs as they execute their 5G deployment plans. Sýn and Nova are slated to be long-term dual-anchor tenants on all of the Company’s towers and the transaction includes a material BTS 

DigitalBridge said the deal expands its presence in the Nordics, as the firm acquired Finland-based Digita Oy, an independent tower operator with a national portfolio of sites, in 2018.

“The creation of ÍslandsTurnar is a unique opportunity to establish a leading independent tower company in Iceland and support both Sýn and Nova in their operation of high-quality mobile networks as well as accelerating their 5G network deployment,” said Marc Ganzi, President and CEO of DigitalBridge. “We are excited to play a role in Iceland’s stable, attractive and digitally advanced telecom market, bringing DigitalBridge’s deep experience of successfully owning and operating tower portfolios on a global basis.”

“This is an exciting opportunity to set up the first independent tower company in my home market of Iceland. We are proud that two anchor tenants of the caliber and technical experience of Sýn and Nova have entrusted us with their mission-critical network infrastructure. I am looking forward to working with DigitalBridge to deliver high-quality telecommunication infrastructure services in Iceland,” said Joakim Reynisson. Mr. Reynisson, an industry veteran with more than 30 years of telecom experience, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of ÍslandsTurnar effective immediately. Prior to this role, Mr. Reynisson was Chief Technology Officer of Nova for over a decade.

O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021attracts 144 corporate participants

The O-RAN ALLIANCE conducted its worldwide O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021 to demonstrate the functionality and multi-vendor interoperability of O-RAN based network equipment. 

The event was conducted in 7 global venues, with 94 participating companies. Many of the companies contributed to multiple venues, bringing PlugFest to a total of 144 active corporate participants compared to 70 at the 2020 PlugFest.

“The expanded and diverse participation of companies from across the technology ecosystem at the O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021 is testimony to growing momentum behind Open RAN and its relevance for our industry,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, Chief Operating Officer of the O-RAN ALLIANCE and SVP of Strategy and Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom. “The joint, open and coordinated O-RAN Global PlugFest framework is crucial for all O-RAN members to collaborate within the community and accelerate the ecosystem development of commercially available Open RAN solutions.”

Some highlights:

  • This year’s PlugFest proved advanced maturity of the Open Fronthaul (OFH) implementations. Interoperability has been achieved between many vendors in different network setups, base station classes, OFH profiles and RU/CU-DU product combinations.
  • There were several demonstrations of advanced use cases utilizing the O-RAN Near-Real-Time Radio Intelligent Controller (Near-RT RIC) and Non-Real-Time RIC (Non-RT RIC), like automated network outage detection and recovery, and latency assurance for end-to-end network slicing. A lot of effort also went into testing individual RIC interfaces, application protocols, and related xApps and rApps.
  • Several venues successfully tested O-Cloud products and multi-vendor virtualized RAN integrations.
  • Specific tests dealt with the O-RAN infrastructure security.
  • Thanks to the O-RAN community enthusiasm and great collaboration, several O-RAN end-to-end functionality tests passed against production core network elements, while many others utilized simulators.
  • All venues proved the readiness of advanced test equipment and simulation of different parts of the network.
  • PlugFest hosts managed combinations of on-site and remote testing, reflecting the Covid-19 pandemic situation in different parts of the world.

In Asia, the O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021 took place at four venues:


The PlugFest in Japan was hosted by NTT DOCOMO, KDDI, Rakuten Mobile, SoftBank and YRP in Tokyo area and Yokosuka. Activities focused on multi-vendor interoperability testing of Open Fronthaul interface in 5G NSA/SA setup achieving 1Gbps DL throughput, as well as multi-vendor vRAN integrations.

Another stream focused on 3GPP RF Conformance testing and demonstration of autonomous RAN outage detection and self-healing utilizing O-RAN Non-Real-Time and Near-Real-Time Radio Intelligent Controllers (Non-RT and Near-RT RIC). Near-RT RIC concept and the detailed mechanisms were also showcased to support latency assurance for end-to-end network slicing. Potential parameters to be supported in the O-RAN specifications were identified as study results.

As a complementing activity, selected participants started a study on RAN emission characteristics.

In addition to the hosts, participants included Fujitsu, HCL, JMA Wireless, Keysight Technologies, NEC, Nokia, NVIDIA, Samsung, VIAVI Solutions and Wind River.


The O-RAN PlugFest in Republic of Korea was hosted by LG Uplus for the first time in Korea at its 5G Innovation Lab in LG Science Park, Seoul. The primary focus was on evaluation of Open Fronthaul for multi-vendor interoperability of a 5G SA system (FR1, TDD).

In addition to the hosts, participants included Altiostar, DZS, Intel, Keysight Technologies and NEC.


Activities at Taiwan-based O-RAN PlugFest in Auray OTIC and Security Lab & Chunghwa Telecom were performed by two hosts:

Auray at their OTIC and Security lab in Taoyuan, Taiwan hosted multi-vendor interoperability testing for indoor scenario focusing on Open Fronthaul as well as scenarios according to O-RAN end-to-end test specification v2.0.

Chunghwa Telecom in Yangmei hosted validation of multi-vendor E2E solutions for O-RU, O-CU/O-DU with real core network, as well as demonstration of Service Management and Orchestration using O-RAN Non-RT RIC.

In addition to the hosts, participants included Aethertek, Alpha Networks, Arcadyan, Calnex, Compal, Delta Electronics, Foxconn, iConnext, Institute for Information Industry, Intel, Inventec, IP Infusion, ITRI, JPC Connectivity, Keysight Technologies, Lions Technology, Liteon, Metanoia Communications, MICAS, MiTAC Computing, NKG, O'Prueba, Pegatron, QCT, Rohde & Schwarz, Sageran, Sercomm, VIAVI Solutions, Wiwynn and WNC.


The O-RAN PlugFest in India was hosted by Bharti Airtel at NOC Manesar in Gurgaon, Delhi.

The primary focus was on traffic steering using the O-RAN Near-RT RIC, physical infrastructure security, O-RU M-plane and S-plane tests, Open Fronthaul gateway tests and E2E testing of O-RAN solution.

In addition to the host, participants included AMI, ASOCS, Capgemini Engineering, Cisco, Intel, IP Infusion, Keysight Technologies, Mavenir, Sercomm, STL, TCS, VIAVI Solutions, VMware and VVDN.

The O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021 in Europe took place at two venues


The O-RAN PlugFest hosted by Skoltech was hosted by Skoltech at its OpenRAN 5G Lab in Moscow.

The activities focused on 3GPP compliance validation for O-RU and on end-to-end integration of O-RAN 5G gNB with commercial 5G core.

In addition to the hosts, participants included Foxconn, Keysight Technologies and Xilinx.

Berlin, Madrid, Paris and Torino

BT, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, TIM and Vodafone have teamed up together with the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) to host the Joint European O-RAN & TIP PlugFest at 4 European OTICs in Berlin, Madrid, Paris and Torino.

The focus was on O-RU conformance testing, E2E multi-vendor integration with performance and functional testing, load and scale testing of O-CU, security testing, validation and demonstration of RIC, xApps and rApps, demonstration of multi-vendor O-RAN based architecture and xHaul transport.

In addition to the hosts, participants included Accelleran, ADVA, Advantech, AirHop Communications, Anritsu, Capgemini Engineering, Ciena, Cisco, Comba Network, Dell Technologies, DZS, EANTC, EXFO, Facebook, Foxconn, Fujitsu, Intel, IP Infusion, IS-Wireless, JMA Wireless, Juniper Networks, Keysight Technologies, Mavenir, MICAS, MTI, NEC, ONF, Precision OT, Radisys, Rohde & Schwarz, VIAVI Solutions, VMware, Wind River, Wiwynn and Xilinx.

In North America, the O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021 brought together companies and academic institutions


The Joint O-RAN, TIP, Linux Foundation PlugFest & Proofs of Concept hosted by AT&T and Verizon, was conducted across 3 labs in the USA: the NSF POWDER lab at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, the NSF COSMOS lab at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and the TIP Community Lab on the Facebook (META) campus in Menlo Park, California.

PlugFest activities focused on Open Fronthaul conformance testing and multi-vendor interoperability. Proofs of Concept demonstrated O-Cloud infrastructure behaviour in latency sensitive applications, RIC demonstration of successful E2AP procedures and measurement collection via E2 Service Model, RAN Slice SLA, AI-enabled management of multiple-operator/multi-vendor RAN with O-RU pooling & multi-vendor slices.

In addition to the hosts, participants included Analog Devices, Anritsu, Calnex, Capgemini Engineering, Casa Systems, CIG, Commscope, Corning, Foxconn, Fujitsu, highstreet technologies, Intel, IP Infusion, JMA Wireless, Juniper Networks, Keysight Technologies, Mavenir, MTI, National Instruments, NEC, Radisys, Rohde & Schwarz, VIAVI Solutions, VVDN and Wind River.

For more information about the PlugFest, see this blogpost.

Dassault Systèmes teams with NTT Comm on Smart Cities

Dassault Systèmes and NTT Communications signed a memorandum of understanding focused on sustainable smart cities in Japan. 

The two companies will use virtual twin technology and big data to explore solutions to challenges related to sustainability and resilience in multiple domains such as energy, starting with electrification challenges in mobility and other areas, as well as support companies that bring innovative technologies and new value to this sector.

The companies will focus on projects related to buildings, districts, and city management, in which a collaborative platform and virtual twin technologies will be deployed to orchestrate projects on the full value chain, manage sensor data, and simulate energy optimization, among other initiatives. In the future, they plan to expand the scope of their alliance to projects in mobility, tourism and disaster prevention. They will demonstrate their smart city projects at CROSS LAB for Smart City, an innovation hub opened by NTT Com in Japan in April 2021, and aim to work with diverse companies on imagining the smart cities of the future in Japan.

Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides a single virtual environment that enables city stakeholders to collaborate across different domains, and simulate and explore scenarios integrating real-world data in order to test and improve ideas without risk. 

NTT Com develops and delivers its Smart Data Platform for City, a unique city operating system that combines NTT Com’s communication technology network and internet of things capabilities to consolidate and analyze big data. It is used to develop optimized solutions for companies and municipal offices.


Samsung ramps up automotive memory chips for EVs

Samsung Electronics unveiled a portfolio of automotive memory solutions designed for next-generation autonomous electric vehicles. The new lineup includes a 256-gigabyte (GB) PCIe Gen3 NVMe ball grid array (BGA) SSD, 2GB GDDR6 DRAM and 2GB DDR4 DRAM for high-performance infotainment systems, as well as 2GB GDDR6 DRAM and 128GB Universal Flash Storage (UFS) for autonomous driving systems.

The need for high-capacity, high-performance SSDs and graphics DRAM is driven by advanced features in infotainment systems such as high-definition maps, video streaming and 3D gaming, together with the growing use of autonomous driving systems.

Samsung's 256GB BGA SSD controller and firmware are developed in-house for optimized performance, offering a sequential read speed of 2,100 megabytes per second (MB/s) and a sequential write speed of 300MB/s, which are seven and two times faster than today's eMMC, respectively. Furthermore, the 2GB GDDR6 DRAM features up to a 14 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) data rate per pin. Such exceptional speeds and bandwidth will support complex processing of various multimedia applications as well as large amounts of autonomous driving data, contributing to a safer, more dynamic and more convenient driving experience.

"With the recent proliferation of electric vehicles and the rapid advancement of infotainment and autonomous driving systems, the semiconductor automotive platform is facing a paradigm shift. What used to be a seven to eight-year replacement cycle is now being compressed into a three to four-year cycle, and at the same time, performance and capacity requirements are advancing to levels commonly found in servers," said Jinman Han, executive vice president and head of Memory Global Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "Samsung's reinforced lineup of memory solutions will act as a major catalyst in further accelerating the shift toward the ‘Server on Wheels’ era."

Tim Höttges to remain CEO of Deutsche Telekom

Tim Höttges to remain CEO of Deutsche Telekom for another five years. His current contract was due to expire at the end of 2023.

Deutsche Telekom's Supervisory Board proposed Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group, as its new chairman. He will stand for election at the shareholders' meeting on April 7 next year to succeed Ulrich Lehner.

Ulrich Lehner: "I am very pleased that we will be able to retain Tim Höttges at Deutsche Telekom for longer than previously planned. Like no other, he stands for the transformation and success of recent years. Over the past almost eight years, Tim Höttges - together with his team - has modernized Deutsche Telekom and consistently focused it on a course of growth and innovation. In the process, they have always exceeded their targets. With skill, tenacity and assertiveness, Tim Höttges has made Deutsche Telekom the leading telecommunications company in Europe. We are delighted to be able to keep our front man. He is Mr. Magenta and is held in high regard both inside and outside the company. His main task will be to systematically implement Deutsche Telekom's strategy over the next five years and further develop the company into the leading digital telecommunications company."