Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Australia's NBN Co awards 10-year FWA contract to Ericsson

Australia’s National Broadband Network Co’s (NBN Co) has selected Ericsson to expand its fixed wireless access (FWA) footprint by up to 50 percent nationally by the end of 2024.

Under an exclusive ten-year partnership, Ericsson becomes the sole supplier of 4G and 5G radio access and microwave transport solutions. Deployed solutions will include Ericsson’s 4G and 5G antenna-integrated radios across nbn’s current and future spectrum bands, and the latest Massive MIMO solutions providing best-in-class performance and energy efficiency in a lightweight small footprint form factor.

Also being deployed are Ericsson’s latest high-powered 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) solutions, the latest RAN Processor for 4G and 5G, and MINI-LINK microwave transport solutions such as dual carrier solutions in traditional frequency bands, all outdoor E-band, and long-haul.

Ericsson’s extended-range innovation will enable NBN Co to expand its Fixed Wireless network cell range from 14 km to 29 km.

NBN Co's FWA currently covers more than 650,000 premises across Australia. Under the new partnership, Ericsson will supply the next-generation technology critical to 5G-enable many existing towers across the nbn Fixed Wireless network. The additional capacity and reach of the upgraded network will provide up to 120,000 homes and businesses in nbn’s satellite footprint access to fixed wireless for the first time.

Jason Ashton, nbn Executive General Manager for Fixed Wireless and Satellite, says: “Our network is the digital backbone of Australia, and it is constantly evolving as we help keep communities, businesses and all areas of society connected, and our nation productive. Investing in 5G mmWave is a part of our commitment to evolve the nbn Fixed Wireless network for future needs and continually enhance customer experience. We’re committed to maximizing the performance of both our fixed wireless and satellite networks, and our work with Ericsson will help us push the boundaries of its capabilities to the benefit of the more than one million homes and businesses covered by these networks across Australia.”

Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand, says: “NBN Co’s Fixed Wireless and Satellite Upgrade Program is an important part of Australia’s digital evolution. After working with nbn for more than a decade, I’m pleased that Ericsson’s technology continues to play a pivotal role in supporting the program to deliver better broadband services to people in regional Australia. With the extended range innovation showcased in Ericsson’s industry-leading radio access and microwave transport solutions, more Australians will have access to faster fixed wireless broadband in more places around the country.”

Samsung to provide O-RAN radios for NTT DOCOMO


Samsung will provide Open RAN-compliant radios covering all of the TDD spectrum bands held by NTT DOCOMO — including 3.4GHz, 3.7GHz, 4.5GHz and 28GHz. The companies have tested the interoperability of these new radios with basebands from various vendors in NTT DOCOMO’s commercial network environment.

The announcement expands upong a 5G agreement previously announced in March 2021 in which NTT DOCOMO selected Samsung as its 5G network solutions provider

Samsung also introduced a new 28GHz Radio Unit (RU) for the first time — as a new addition to its portfolio of mmWave solutions. Weighing less than 10 lbs., the RU features a light and compact form factor with very low power consumption, enabling flexible deployments in various scenarios. NTT DOCOMO will use this new radio as part of their deployment.

“We have been collaborating with Samsung since the beginning of 5G and through our Open RAN expansion, and we are excited to continue extending our scope of vision together,” said Masafumi Masuda, Vice President and General Manager of the Radio Access Network Development Department at NTT DOCOMO. “Solidifying our global leadership, we will continue to build momentum around our Open RAN innovation and to provide highly scalable and flexible networks to respond quickly to the evolving demands of our customers.”

“Japan is home to one of the world’s most densely populated areas with numerous skyscrapers and complex infrastructure. Samsung’s industry-leading 5G radios portfolio meets the demands of low-footprint, low-weight solutions, while also ensuring reliable service quality,” said Satoshi Iwao, Vice President and Head of Network Division at Samsung Electronics Japan.

KT, NTT DOCOMO and Fujitsu test O-RAN in Korea

The KT Research and Development Center in Seoul, South Korea, has tested Fujitsu’s Open RAN based 5G base station equipment in trials for open fronthaul. NTT DOCOMO provided Fujitsu with technical support throughout the project. With the construction of this new test facility, KT will accelerate the introduction of Open RAN technology to Korea’s 5G network.The three companies have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding centered on the introduction...

Equinix to build data center in Johor, Malaysia

Equinix unveiled plans to invest approximately $40 million in a new data center located in JOHOR, Malaysia.

The new facility, named JH1, is scheduled to begin operations in Q1 2024, providing 500 cabinets and 1,960 square meters of colocation space. 

The two-story facility will be located at Nusajaya Tech Park (NTP) in Iskandar, Johor. It is 15 kilometers from Singapore, allowing the data center to address excess demand from organizations in the city-state in addition to Malaysian domestic demand.

Equinix also has the option of acquiring additional land in NTP to build a second facility, supporting Malaysia's digital growth aspirations. Companies and multinationals doing business in Malaysia will be able to access Platform Equinix to store and distribute large volumes of latency-sensitive data and applications closer to end users and local markets.

When opened, the new IBX data center in Johor will increase Equinix's total global footprint of more than 245 data centers across 71 metros and 32 countries, providing Equinix's 10,000+ customers more ways to securely deploy, directly connect and effectively scale their digital infrastructure in a rapidly growing economy. It is expected to also present opportunities for further expansion into new metros and market segments in Malaysia.

In Asia-Pacific, Equinix currently has 51 data centers across 13 metros across Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea and Singapore. In addition, Equinix also announced expansions into Chennai in India, and Jakarta in Indonesia in 2022, strengthening its market leadership in the region.

Keysight and MediaTek test 3GPP Release 17 and 5G RedCap

MediaTek has used Keysight’s 5G Network Emulation Solutions to establish connectivity to its 5G chips using the 3GPP 5G Release 17 (Rel-17) and the 5G reduced capability (RedCap) specifications.

Through its collaboration with Keysight, MediaTek  established a 5G Rel-17 data call on its Dimensity 5G chipsets. This will allow MediaTek to accelerate the deployment of new Rel-17 5G features including reduced power use, and enhanced MIMO capability.

Keysight’s network emulation platform also enabled MediaTek to validate RedCap connectivity on its 5G chips. The 5G RedCap specification introduces support for wireless devices with reduced 5G capabilities. These devices are less complex, lower cost, and consume less power, allowing them to address new use cases such as industrial sensors and wearables.

Keysight's 5G wireless network emulators and device test solutions enable the entire mobile device ecosystem to accelerate the market introduction of new wireless devices by streamlining the workflow from early prototyping, development, and design verification to conformance, carrier acceptance, and high-volume manufacturing. These tools continue to rapidly evolve to keep pace with 5G market leaders offering unmatched breadth and depth of coverage.

Peng Cao, Vice President and General Manager of Keysight’s Wireless Test group, said: “We are pleased to continue working with MediaTek on advancing 3GPP Release 17 technologies and RedCap, which is the latest 5G NR standard to unleash new use cases to the wider IoT market and wearable devices beyond the traditional smartphone use cases. It’s exciting to collaborate with MediaTek to accelerate the deployment of the latest 5G technology at the pace of their go-to-market plans.”

Dr. Ho-Chi Hwang, General Manager of Wireless Communication System and Partnerships at MediaTek, said: “MediaTek has been working with the Keysight 5G test platform for the latest Rel-15/16/17 standard to extend the technological advantage of our wide-ranging 5G products. The Keysight platform supports MediaTek's ability to develop industry-leading 5G modem platforms, which in turn enable a growing ecosystem of 5G device innovators.”

Nutanix reports 27% YoY ACV billings growth, revenue up 15%

Nutanix reported quarterly revenue of $433.6 million for its first quarter ended October 31, 2022, up 15% from the $378.5 million for the same period a year earlier. There was non-GAAP operating income of $10.6 million, compared to a loss of $(41.9) million a year earlier.

“We delivered a solid first quarter financial performance against an uncertain macro backdrop, reflecting the value our customers see in the Nutanix Cloud Platform and the strength of our subscription-based business model,” said Rajiv Ramaswami, President and CEO of Nutanix. “We also made important progress towards realizing our hybrid multicloud vision with the general availability of Nutanix Cloud Clusters (NC2) on Microsoft Azure and enhancements to our platform to accelerate the adoption of Kubernetes at scale in the enterprise.”

“Our first quarter results reflect continued progress on our subscription-based business model with 27% year-over-year ACV billings growth and achievement of positive quarterly non-GAAP operating income for the first time,” said Rukmini Sivaraman, CFO of Nutanix. “We continue to see good execution on our building base of subscription renewals and remain focused on driving towards sustainable, profitable growth.”

Telstra names Katy Greenfield as VP of Customer Solutions

Telstra has named Katy Greenfield as Vice President of Customer Solutions for the Americas. She will lead a specialized team working directly with enterprises across the region to develop customized network connectivity products and services.

Greenfield most recently served as Director of Solutions Engineering at Zayo Group. She will report to Noah Drake, President, Americas for Telstra.

Greenfield is a certified AWS Solutions Architect and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“Organizations already have enough challenges managing their business, customers and employees,” said Greenfield. “Network infrastructure decisions shouldn’t be added to that list. What drew me to Telstra was its commitment as a service provider to identifying and deploying the right solution for a customer, whether it involves servicing enterprises at the edge, enabling international expansion plans or helping companies effectively scale for fluctuations in user bandwidth.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

AWS touts in-house developed silicon for Elastic Compute Cloud

At the AWS re:Invent event in Las Vegas, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced three new Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances powered by three new AWS-designed chips.

AWS said its decade long pursuit to develop specialized chip designs have made it possible for customers to run even more demanding workloads with varying characteristics that require faster processing, higher memory capacity, faster storage input/output (I/O) and increased networking bandwidth. Since the introduction of the AWS Nitro System in 2013, AWS has developed multiple AWS-designed silicon innovations, including five generations of the Nitro System, three generations of Graviton chips optimized for performance and cost for a wide range of workloads, two generations of Inferentia chips for ML inference, and Trainium chips for ML training. 

AWS uses cloud-based electronic design automation as part of an agile development cycle for the design and verification of AWS-designed silicon. 

“Each generation of AWS-designed silicon—from Graviton to Trainium and Inferentia chips to Nitro Cards—offers increasing levels of performance, lower cost, and power efficiency for a diverse range of customer workloads,” said David Brown, vice president of Amazon EC2 at AWS. “That consistent delivery, combined with our customers’ abilities to achieve superior price performance using AWS silicon, drives our continued innovation. The Amazon EC2 instances we’re introducing today offer significant improvements for HPC, network-intensive, and ML inference workloads, giving customers even more instances to choose from to meet their specific needs.”

The new services include:

  • Hpc7g instances, powered by new AWS Graviton3E chips, offer up to 2x better floating-point performance compared to current generation C6gn instances and up to 20% higher performance compared to current generation Hpc6a instances, delivering the best price performance for high performance computing (HPC) workloads on AWS. 
  • C7gn instances, featuring new AWS Nitro Cards, offer up to 2x the network bandwidth and up to 50% higher packet-processing-per-second performance compared to current generation networking-optimized instances, delivering the highest network bandwidth, the highest packet rate performance, and the best price performance for network-intensive workloads. 
  • Inf2 instances, powered by new AWS Inferentia2 chips, are purpose built to run the largest deep learning models with up to 175 billion parameters and offer up to 4x the throughput and up to 10x lower latency compared to current-generation Inf1 instances, delivering the lowest latency at the lowest cost for machine learning (ML) inference on Amazon EC2.

5G SA network slicing for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

Ericsson, Deutsche Telekom, BMW, Valeo and Qualcomm are collaborating on a proof-of-concept (PoC) with 5G Standalone (SA) network slicing supporting Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). 

The trial successfully used Ericsson's User Equipment Route Selection Policy (URSP) network slicing feature, which dynamically selects and connects to multiple slices simultaneously, together with a Quality of Demand (QoD) Network API. The QoD was used to request a defined QoS level from the network. When combined, these features meet the demands of mission-critical applications under various load conditions. 

Nicolai Martin, SVP BMW Group Driving Experience says: “The BMW Group sees the activities in the telecommunications industry with 5G as a central enabler for many innovative automotive features and also for Automated Valet Parking. It is crucial for such a new solution that several industries work closely together to offer the customer a valuable benefit. The aim is to build a standardized and interoperable AVP ecosystem. The BMW Group welcomes activities in the telecommunications industry especially the CAMARA project. This is an important enabler for future services.”

Claudia Nemat, Board member Technology and Innovation, Deutsche Telekom says: “Deutsche Telekom is excited to be part of this activity to demonstrate the capabilities of advanced network features like 5G network slicing with integrated APIs to meet the Quality of Service demands of automotive use cases. The close cross industry collaboration is essential to co-innovate and develop new solutions that bring customer benefits. This is an enabler for future services.”

Nokia and Orange France test 20 Gbps microwave carrier aggregation

Nokia and Orange France demonstrated the use of microwave carrier aggregation techniques, achieving a throughput of 20 Gbps over a distance of 3.6 km. This was enabled by combining the carriers from two microwave radios operating in the 18 GHz band with two E-Band microwave radios operating at 80 GHz, using a single dual-band (18+80 GHz) antenna.

In addition to new products from its Wavence microwave portfolio, Nokia will provide Orange France with a range of products and services from its comprehensive AirScale 5G radio access portfolio, as well as a state-of-the-art network management solution and associated professional services.

The Nokia Wavence portfolio includes innovative, high-capacity ultra-broadband microwave transceivers, designed to support operators as they build out their 5G networks. Wavence products support the evolution of both backhaul and fronthaul with multi-gigabit capacity, low-latency characteristics, and industry-leading RF power output for deployment flexibility.

Christian Gacon, CTO Fixed/IP/Optical/Microwave Networks at Orange France, said: “Nokia’s innovative Wavence portfolio and microwave technology will ensure that we can deliver high-capacity services and experiences to our customers over long distances, which is critical as the usage of 5G increases. This technology will support Orange’s ambition to remain the indisputable best network in France. I look forward to continuing our partnership with Nokia moving forward.”

Lightwave Logic acquires polymer tech of Chromosol (UK)

Lightwave Logic has acquired the polymer technology and intellectual property assets of Chromosol Ltd (UK).

Lightwave Logic said the acquisition significantly strengthens its design capabilities with foundry PDKs with extremely low temperature atomic layer deposition (ALD) processes that effectively hermetically seal polymer devices that have been prepared for high volume manufacturing. The advanced fabrication processes of ALD with temperatures below 100C will solidify the company's market position with both the company's manufacturing foundry partners as well as end-users as it prepares to enter the 800 Gbps integrated photonics marketplace.

The acquisition also advances Lightwave Logic's patent portfolio of electro-optic polymer technology with an innovative polymer chemistry device patent1 that has potential to increase the performance of integrated modulators through optical amplification in a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) and enhance the functionality of the PIC by integrating laser light sources made using the polymer-based gain and a laser optical cavity defined on the Silicon photonic platform, with Lightwave Logic's high speed, high efficiency modulators. 

Dr. Michael Lebby, Chief Executive Officer of Lightwave Logic, said: "Chromosol's' polymer technology and intellectual property patent dovetails well with Lightwave Logic's development of a polymer platform that not only enables 'green photonics' – but is foundry compatible with manufacturing PDKs.  Having access to extremely low temperature ALD allows the company's polymer modulators to be protected from the environment without the need of expensive and large footprint gold box packaging, propelling the company forward with chip-scale packaging as required by major hyper-scaler end-users. The patent opens a new class of PICs which expands our variety of devices.

"What is more interesting is that every foundry we have visited has ALD systems and equipment in place for semiconductor processing.  This acquisition for low temperature ALD processes provides a key piece of the PDK that we need when working with foundries for our polymers, and allows us to achieve our goals more effectively," concluded Lebby.

Lockheed Martin integrates Intel's FlexRAN in 5G.MIL Base Station

Lockheed Martin and Intel have integrated a 5G Core and Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) into Lockheed Martin's 5G.MIL Hybrid Base Station (HBS).

The implementation brings Intel's FlexRAN reference architecture and Intel Xeon Scalable processors into a rugged, 3U tactical chassis with open system communications gateway capabilities.

Lockheed Martin has now demonstrated over-the-air 5G and tactical network connectivity in a laboratory environment that is capable of transitioning to military air vehicles. While most applications of 5G base station technology are data center centric, this demonstration hosted 5G O-RAN technology on ruggedized computers suitable for fighter and other aircraft, paving the way for the team to fly on any number of military platforms during upcoming crewed-uncrewed distributed teaming flight tests.

"The integration of 5G and military tactical radios into our Hybrid Base Station enables resilient, link-diverse data routing throughout the battlespace to make future crewed-uncrewed distributed teaming missions possible," said John G. Clark, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. "The Lockheed Martin 5G.MIL HBS was designed using open mission systems standards so that the technology can onramp to multiple and varied platforms quickly in support of our customers' transformation vision."

"Lockheed Martin's latest innovation for HBS (Hybrid Base Station) highlights the type of highly flexible and portable data capabilities made possible by a virtualized and software-programmable architecture powered by Intel FlexRAN reference architecture and Intel Xeon processors," said Dan Rodriguez, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's Network and Edge Solutions Group. "Our continuing collaboration on 5G.MIL showcases new abilities to strengthen DoD critical digital communications across Lockheed Martin's platforms."

Lockheed Martin and Microsoft expand classified cloud work

Lockheed Martin and Microsoft have expanded their strategic relationship to help power the next generation of technology for the Department of Defense (DOD) in four critical areas:Classified Cloud Innovations: Microsoft’s latest secure framework will make Lockheed Martin the first non-government entity to independently operate inside the Microsoft Azure Government Secret cloud ushering in a new era of cloud opportunities for industry.Artificial Intelligence/Machine...

Lockheed Martin and Verizon demo 5G.MIL drones

Lockheed Martin and Verizon demonstrated 5G-enabled drones for capturing and securely transfering real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data from aircraft in flight. The demonstration, which occurred at Lockheed Martin’s 5G test range in Waterton, Colorado, used mmWave 5G to move data from aircraft in flight over Lockheed Martin’s multi-site, multi-vendor 5G.MIL pilot network.Lockheed Martin flew four rotary wing drones...

Verizon and Lockheed Martin collaborate on 5G.MIL

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Lockheed Martin are collaborating on 5G.MIL technologies that will provide ultra-secure, reliable connections for U.S. Department of Defense systems , bringing together high-tech platforms into a cohesive network spanning air, land, sea, space and cyber domains. The companies highlighted a joint demonstration that used a Verizon private 5G network installed at Lockheed Martin Space’s 5G Test Range in Colorado, connected...

Dell'Oro: Mobile core market declines in 3Q 2022

The Mobile Core Networks (MCN) and Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) market revenue growth declined year-over-year (Y/Y) once more in 3Q 2022, according to a recent report from Dell'Oro Group -- the second quarter in a row with negative Y/Y growth. Since last quarter, nine new Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have launched 5G Standalone (5G SA) networks, but it was not enough to offset the decline in 4G MCN and IMS Core markets.

“The China region had a positive Y/Y growth rate for the quarter, but it was not enough to offset the decline in the rest of the market, with the global market declining Y/Y,” stated Dave Bolan, Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “Even with nine new MNOs launching 5G SA eMBB networks since last quarter, it was not enough to propel the MCN market into positive Y/Y growth. Many of these new 5G SA networks recently launched were not country-wide, limiting the growth. In addition, the fall-off in 4G MCN and IMS Core market was more than anticipated.

“To date, we count 36 5G SA eMBB networks that have been commercially deployed. The nine new 5G SA eMBB networks that MNOs launched since last quarter include Bell (Canada), AT&T and Verizon (USA), stc Bahrain, Telekom (Germany), Optus (Australia), Claro, TIM, and Vivo (Brazil),” continued Bolan.

  • Additional highlights:
  • The top five global MCN vendors for the quarter were Huawei, Ericsson, ZTE, Nokia, and Cisco.
  • The top five global 5G MCN vendors for the quarter were Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, Nokia, and Mavenir.

Indonet deploys Juniper Apstra for network automation

PT IndoInternetTbk (Indonet), an Indonesian digital infrastructure provider, has selected Juniper Apstra to help automate, modernize and facilitate an experience-first expansion of its network infrastructure. Through managed automated network provisioning and monitoring, Apstra has already delivered Indonet an estimated 20% in cost-savings efficiency.

Indonet utilized Apstra to validate the design, deployment and operation of the EVPN/VXLAN overlay and IP fabric underlay of its latest data center, both built on Juniper QFX Series Switches. The use of validated templates and zero-touch provisioning has resulted in reduced deployment times and reliable data center operations, allowing Indonet to significantly streamline the day-to-day management of its data center networks and unify them in a virtual environment seamlessly.

“Juniper Networks is excited to partner with and grow Indonet’s network as they build out a simplified, reliable and efficient infrastructure across Indonesia. Apstra has greatly facilitated the automation and expansion across their data center networks and we look forward to continuing our journey together as they transform into a modern digital infrastructure provider, further fueling Indonesia’s growth momentum," said Perry Sui, Senior Director, ASEAN & Taiwan, Juniper Networks.

Juniper extends Apstra software to the edge

Juniper Networks is extending its Apstra software platform to edge data centers with collapsed fabric topologies. The latest release of Apstra software also enables tighter Zero Trust security with new policy assurance and Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) capabilities, as well as simplified migration from legacy data centers with new Apstra professional services.Specifically, the latest version of Apstra provides policy assurance to enable granular...

Vodafone New Zealand extends Nokia’s Voice Core

Building on a 30-year partnership, Vodafone New Zealand has agreed to extend Nokia’s Voice Core services to an additional one million subscribers across the country. 

Vodafone New Zealand is already using Nokia’s high-performance Voice Core services for one million subscribers. Nokia will also supply its NetAct application for network management and seamless daily network operations as well as its Voice Core network solution to help Vodafone New Zealand extend superior voice services to more subscribers and tourists. 

The initiative is the next phase of the existing program, where Vodafone New Zealand and Nokia transformed the end customer voice experience by providing Voice Core services on a fully virtualized core network. 

This extended program will further improve the resiliency and redundancy of Vodafone New Zealand's Voice Core network and ensure that the network is always using the latest software. It will also introduce VoLTE roaming which has become crucial as several operators are shutting down legacy 2G and 3G networks to improve cost economics and to use the spectrum for 5G. 

Sharina Nisha, Head of Networks at Vodafone New Zealand, said: “At Vodafone we’re helping customers unlock the magic of technology, better connecting them through our award winning Smart Network. We’re delighted to build on Nokia’s solution to provide Voice Core services to our subscribers by extending high-definition voice services to an additional million users. This crucial project is another great step forward in our 30-year partnership with Nokia, delivering a more awesome Aotearoa through innovation for both local customers and our very welcome visitors to New Zealand.”

Monday, November 28, 2022

AWS deploys Intel's Sapphire Rapids from EC2 R7iz

Amazon Web Services (AWS)launched a private preview of Amazon EC2 R7iz instances powered by 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, code-named Sapphire Rapids.

R7iz instances deliver an all-core turbo frequency up to 3.9 gigahertz and AWS claim up to 20% higher performance over comparable high-frequency EC2 instances. Leveraging 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors and AWS Nitro System, R7iz instances offer a combination of dedicated hardware and a lightweight hypervisor – delivering better overall cost, performance and security.

R7iz instances are available in various sizes with up to 128 vCPUs and up to 1,024 gigabytes of memory, resulting in up to 2.6 times more vCPU and memory than comparable high-frequency instances. The first x86-based EC2 instances to use DDR5 memory, R7iz delivers up to 2.4 times higher memory bandwidth than comparable high frequency instances.

“Data center customers are looking to keep up with demand, increase business value of their data and improve their overall costs,” said Lisa Spelman, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel Xeon Products. “AWS is delivering new instances that leverage the accelerated performance and security of 4th Gen Intel Xeon to support the most demanding workloads.”

vRAN powered by Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service on Intel

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is working with Intel to boost Telco adoption of cloud-native network solutions. 

AWS is planning to certify a specific set of use cases for Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) Anywhere on Intel Xeon scalable platforms. These platforms will be commercially available solutions from leading OEMs.

As part of this effort, each company will bring key expertise to develop reference architectures with the following deliverables that can be sourced by service providers:

  • Certification of bare-metal deployments of Amazon EKS Anywhere on third-party, Intel-based compute platforms
  • Ability to deploy customized OS with Amazon EKS Anywhere and third-party hardware (firmware, accelerator firmware, NICs, BIOS settings)

AWS solution architects and specialists will work with Intel to validate Amazon EKS Anywhere with Intel’s FlexRAN reference software. Other validated platform components include open source projects such as Multus, SR-IOV, DPDK, MacvLAN, and IPvLAN.

BT agrees to Cost of Living Pay Rise

BT Group announced a UK Cost of Living Pay Rise to all but the highest paid staff. 

The decision comes as the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Prospect are now recommending agreement to their members.

Details of the Cost of Living Pay Rise are:

  • £1,500 pay rise for all UK colleagues who currently earn £50,000 or less from 1 Jan 2023
  • Consolidated salary increase, not one-off payment
  • Covers 100% of frontline staff (and others at ‘Team Member’ grade), and 51% of managers in the UK. In total, 85% of UK-based BT Group colleagues
  • Highly competitive pay award when combined with the increase made in April, bringing the total percentage pay rise for the lowest paid to over 15% since this time last year
  • Includes Openreach

BT faces further strikes on August 30 and 31

The Communications Workers Union (CWU), which represents BT Group employees, served notice of pending industrial action on August 30th and 31st, directly after the August bank holiday weekend.  As part of their ongoing campaign to seek higher wages and benefits, the union already held strikes on 29th July and 1st August, 2022.CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr states “There’s no doubt that we were as solid as we could have been in the first...

AWS promises water replenishment for data centers

Amazon Web Services has committed to become water positive (water+) by 2030, returning more water to communities than it uses in its direct operations. 

The company also announced its 2021 global water use efficiency (WUE) metric of 0.25 liters of water per kilowatt-hour.

The company said it will use sustainable water sources, such as recycled water and rainwater harvesting, wherever possible. In Ireland and Sweden, AWS uses no water to cool its data centers for 95% of the year.

AWS also announced several new projects, which, once completed, will provide more than 823 million liters of water to communities each year, including:

  • India: AWS is providing continued support to WaterAid to complete projects in Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh after they were launched in March 2022. Since then, WaterAid has already completed five piped water systems and new groundwater recharge projects, which will supply 500 households–approximately 2,100 people–with an estimated 47 million liters of water per year. WaterAid also conducted education campaigns on water conservation in these communities to educate residents on practical ways they can conserve clean water, use rainwater harvesting, and conduct water audits.
  • UK: AWS is working with The Rivers Trust and Action for the River Kennet to create two wetlands on a tributary of the River Thames, one of the most important water catchment areas in the UK. The wetlands will recharge over 587 million liters of groundwater per year and improve water quality by receiving and treating polluted runoff from farms and roadways, addressing growing water scarcity and boosting water quality in the Thames River basin.
  • US (California): Beginning this winter, AWS, the conservation non-profit Freshwater Trust, and the Omochumne-Hartnell Water District will recharge 189 million liters of groundwater per year using winter water from the Cosumnes River. This will allow water to gradually flow through the groundwater table and back into the Sacramento and San Joaquin watershed, increasing water flows during drier summer months. This lowers the temperature of the river, improves salmon habitat, and increases summer flows into the San Francisco Bay Delta, a critical water supply source for the communities in the region.

“Water scarcity is a major issue around the world and with today’s water positive announcement we are committing to do our part to help solve this rapidly growing challenge,” said Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS. “In just a few years half of the world’s population is projected to live in water-stressed areas, so to ensure all people have access to water, we all need to innovate new ways to help conserve and reuse this precious resource. While we are proud of the progress we have made, we know there is more we can do. We are committed to leading on water stewardship in our cloud operations, and returning more water than we use in the communities where we operate. We know this is the right thing to do for the environment and our customers.”

Deutsche Glasfaser and Vodafone reach FTTH wholesale deal

Deutsche Glasfaser, which is building open FTTH networks in rural and suburban areas in Germany, announced a ten-year wholesale agreement with Vodafone.

The contract offers Vodafone nationwide access to Deutsche Glasfaser's FTTH network. 

Open access allows fiber optic customers to choose between different offers.

Andreas Pfisterer, CEO of the Deutsche Glasfaser Group: "We are pleased that Vodafone relies on our fast-growing fiber optic network in rural and suburban areas. Everyone benefits from OA: Fiber optic customers in the countryside have freedom of choice. And we as a company are getting closer to our goal of supplying the regions with fiber optics quickly and comprehensively through such wholesale partnerships.

Nokia opens 6G R&D center in Portugal


Nokia inaugurated a research and development center focused on 5G and future 6G mobile network technology at its campus in Amador, Portugal. 

Nokia said the new facility will oversee the full cycle of embedded and real-time software development from early analysis to final delivery. It will bring together professionals from diverse technical disciplines, including software engineers, product owners, and technical leads to work alongside teams around the world. 

Tommi Uitto, President of Nokia Mobile Networks, said: “The new research and development center in Portugal demonstrates Nokia’s continued investment in the future of wireless communications. The center’s vital work will continue to expand the possibilities of mobile networks, critical for seamlessly connecting people, businesses, and industries. Importantly, this will be a hub for innovation, reinforcing our 5G technology leadership and helping to realize our ambition to become a 6G pioneer.”

Lightbits demos NVMe over TCP block storage for AWS

Lightbits Labs, which offers high-performance Cloud Data Platform based on NVMe over TCP (NVMe/TCP) protocol, will be demonstrating its next-generation block storage for AWS at the AWS re:Invent Marketplace Pavilion that will run from November 28 to December 2.

Lightbits will demonstrate how its technology, accelerated by Intel-based storage-optimized EC2 instances can accelerate analytics, high-performance databases, and transactional workloads on the public cloud for half the cost of alternative solutions. 

Lightbits, an AWS APN partner, said its NVMe/TCP architecture delivers high-performance at consistent low-latencies, making it ideal for database workloads like Oracle and PostgreSQL.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Blueprint: To unleash the 5G opportunity, we need to tackle 5G operational challenges

by Charles Thompson, Vice President, Service Assurance, Spirent Communications

5G brings incredible opportunity for communication service providers (CSPs), enterprises, and the broader digital ecosystem. By 2022, there were already 700 million 5G subscriptions across more than 70 countries—an explosion of devices that can take advantage of 5G density and performance. Even more exciting, the industry is gearing up to unleash a new generation of enterprise use cases across manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and other verticals. 

Operators and their customers are banking on new 5G capabilities like ultra-low latencies, native cloud/edge connectivity, and network slicing to fuel transformative new business models. Before that can happen, however, we need to be confident that CSPs can actually operate next-generation networks and services. And so far, that’s not a given. 

5G introduces a radically different network than CSPs have worked with before, requiring new strategies for monitoring, troubleshooting, and other basic network operations. It’s tempting to focus on the amazing 5G possibilities. But for most CSPs, just assuring 5G networks and services remains a work in progress. 

Navigating 5G Complexity

Why does 5G present so many challenges? Because it changes pretty much everything about telecom networks, from deployments to updates to the basic definition of “network infrastructure.” Most current operations strategies were designed for yesterday’s networks. They’re built to assure mostly hardware-based network functions from one or two vendors, and services with fixed, predictable traffic patterns. In a 5G world, however, the network mimics a living, breathing organism, composed of virtualized and disaggregated software running as a dynamic hybrid cloud. 

It’s a huge change, and for CSP assurance teams, it brings: 

  • New technologies: 5G network functions are more flexible and adaptable, scaling in and out dynamically as conditions change. But for teams trying to monitor network services, this means service paths constantly change too—including traversing clouds and infrastructure segments outside the CSP’s control. 
  • Cloud software models: By running open, disaggregated network architectures, CSPs can work with new vendors and more quickly tap into new innovations. But these architectures also bring many more network layers and interfaces that assurance teams now have to observe. Additionally, instead of receiving software updates two to three times per year and implementing them in fixed maintenance windows, operators now receive continuous updates from many more vendors, each releasing on its own cadence.  
  • Cloud-centric architectures: The passive assurance tools used to monitor 4G networks assumed a more centralized topology, with the “network edge” located in a few large regional data centers. To enable new 5G use cases with ultra-low latencies and advanced edge intelligence, CSPs are embracing highly distributed architectures. Large operators might maintain 50 edge data centers—and potentially hundreds more “far edge” sites hosting network functions closer to customers. When monitoring is designed to observe a few fixed points in the network, that’s no longer enough. 
  • New security concerns: The traditional enterprise network perimeter has eroded, with most applications and users now operating outside the firewall. As a result, almost all data is now encrypted. How can operators measure end-user experience in an always-encrypted world? 

If you’re wondering how current assurance strategies will adapt to this new reality, CSP operations teams are, too. Traditional approaches rely on passive monitoring infrastructures that collect real user data from live services. This type of monitoring can’t keep up with dynamic cloudified networks and service paths that continually change. Even if it could, it would still only detect problems after they’d affected customers. By then, the stringent service-level agreements (SLAs) on which operators are depending to monetize their 5G investments may already be violated. 

Introducing Active Assurance

Traditional static probes may not scale with 5G networks, but another monitoring strategy seems tailor-made for them: active assurance. Active assurance agents function like a virtual device, injecting synthetic traffic into the network to measure performance from a user’s point of view. They can plug into any part of the network, running the same applications and emulating the same behavior as real users. And since they use the same authentication and trust framework, they provide a firsthand view of what real users experience. 

Active assurance can continuously monitor the performance of complex 5G networks, applications, and services. By emulating real application traffic, CSPs can maintain SLAs for the most demanding 5G use cases. And unlike traditional monitoring, which only measures real user traffic, active assurance can address the full network lifecycle: validating new network functions and slices before activation, monitoring and troubleshooting live services, and re-validating after any change. 

It adds up to an assurance strategy perfectly suited for 5G networks and services. CSPs can:

  • Detect problems before users: Active assurance uses artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to spot emerging issues in highly dynamic, distributed environments. Combined with automated activation testing and post-change validation, CSPs can spot many problems before they affect live services—essential for supporting more stringent SLAs. 
  • Scale with dynamic 5G networks: There’s no way to instrument static monitoring infrastructure for service paths that are constantly in flux, or that traverse third-party networks and clouds. But active agents work like any other endpoint, sending traffic through the network and observing how the network performs. As a result, they capture the end-to-end service experience—including those parts outside the operator’s control. 
  • Accelerate root cause analysis: Since active assurance follows the same path through the network as real users, it provides true end-to-end visibility. Supported by AI analysis tools, operations teams can quickly segment any problem, even when it originates in someone else’s network. 
  • Support encrypted traffic in motion: Traditional static monitoring must decrypt packets to analyze the service experience—limiting where it can be used and potentially increasing risk. Since active assurance uses the same security, following the same paths as real users, no decryption is needed. 
  • Automate testing: Active assurance plugs right into the automated, AI-enabled operational models that accompany modern cloud-native, software-driven networks. Service providers can automatically invoke active testing as part of Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) toolchains and change management procedures. And they can use automated triage test scripts to quickly isolate issues.

Looking Ahead

5G networks hold enormous potential for CSPs and their customers—provided we can overcome the daunting operational challenges that come with them. CSPs are still refining the monitoring strategies they’ll need to deliver on 5G’s potential. But with active assurance, they have a powerful toolset for assuring 5G services—and a clear roadmap to operationalize them. 

OpenLight releases process design kit for photonic ICs

OpenLight released its process design kit (PDK) for use with the Synopsys photonic IC design solution, and includes indium phosphide active optical elements on-chip that can be directly used by Synopsys OptoCompiler and simulated with the Synopsys OptSim photonic simulator,

The PDK can be used  to create PICs with optical amplifiers, on-chip lasers, and high-speed, low-loss modulators tailored to their design requirements.

Customers can access an extensive library of tested and proven photonic components to enhance first-time PIC success and deliver more reliable design and fabrication. The technology has passed qualification and reliability tests on Tower Semiconductor's Silicon Photonics production flow (PH18DA).

"We strongly believe in the ability of OpenLight's technology implemented in Tower's foundry platform to push the envelope and enable the next generation of photonic IC products," said Dr. Marco Racanelli, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Tower Semiconductor's Analog Business Unit. "With PDKs now available to the world, mutual customers can benefit from access to this advanced technology through an open foundry model. Results of PICs fabricated to date are impressive and the PDK announced here will speed up further PIC innovation from the industry as designers confidently develop and bring to market new products faster with on-chip lasers and optical amplifiers."

Synopsys supports OpenLight's PDK through Synopsys OptoCompiler, bridging the gap between photonic experts and IC designers to make photonic designs as productive as electronic designs. Synopsys OptoCompiler is a complete end-to-end design, verification, and signoff solution for photonic ICs. The solution combines specific capabilities for photonic design with industry-proven electronic design methods in a unique, unified platform to make photonic IC design accessible, fast, and flexible.

"The combination of Synopsys' industry-leading photonic IC design solution and OpenLight's integrated laser technology in one cohesive platform empowers teams to design real-world PICs in a way that has never been done before," said Aveek Sarkar, Vice President of Engineering at Synopsys. "We look forward to supporting mutual customers together with Tower and OpenLight to accelerate adoption of silicon photonics with integrated lasers."

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