Monday, February 28, 2022

Orange names its 5G Stand Alone vendors

Orange has chosen the following industrial partners for its 5G Stand Alone networks across Europe:

  • Ericsson’s 5G SA core network for Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg and Poland
  • Nokia’s 5G SA core network for France and Slovakia, and Nokia’s Subscriber Data Management for all countries
  • Oracle Communications for 5G core signaling and routing in all countries

For other network functions, in particular the radio, a software update of the existing equipment will be carried out.

Orange also announced plans for a Network Integration Factory to test and validate technical chains, the performance of end-to-end services and to conduct tests with users. The carrier expects 5G SA tests and trials in 2022, with commercial launches from 2023.

Intelsat demos private cellular over satellite using Azure 5G core

Intelsat has demonstrated a private cellular network with Microsoft Azure Private Multi-Access Edge Compute and FlexEnterprise, Intelsat’s satellite-based global connectivity service.

The demonstration creates a private LTE service using Azure Private 5G Core deployed on an Azure Stack Edge device. Connectivity to the internet and Azure services is enabled by Intelsat’s FlexEnterprise. Via the private cellular network, users can access local enterprise resources via SIM-authenticated connections to the Azure Stack Edge and access remote resources through the FlexEnterprise connection, the IntelsatOne global network and Azure. Additionally, the LTE network powers a Wi-Fi access point and IoT applications.

“As enterprises look to private cellular networks to improve the reach, security, and quality-of-service over Wi-Fi-only local networks, the ability to support deployments at any site is crucial to creating a fully connected organization,” said Jean-Philippe Gillet, SVP Global Sales Media & Networks, Intelsat. “The applications demonstrated here with Microsoft highlight the increased automation and standardization of enterprise data processing services that globally-available private cellular networks will enable. Support for high-bandwidth, low-latency networks is central to Intelsat’s vision of an end-to-end ecosystem for a global software-defined 5G network.”

“At Microsoft, we are committed to enabling an ecosystem of satellite operators through collaborations such as this one with Intelsat. As the world continues to move to 5G, Microsoft’s Azure Orbital platform, together with our Azure hyper-scale computing platform, allows operators to deploy and maintain faster, easier, and more cost-effective solutions anytime and anywhere, ” said Tom Keane, corporate vice president, Mission Engineering.

DISH tests VMware RAN Intelligent Controller

DISH Networks will trial VMware’s RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) as the platform on top of which RAN applications will run. DISH is already using VMware Telco Cloud Platform to run RAN workloads.

VMware RIC is a multi-RAN, multi-cloud platform that abstracts the underlying RAN infrastructure and can host both near-real-time applications (xApps) and non-real-time applications (rApps). These apps enable new capabilities – automation, optimization and service customization – that fuel innovation across a telco network.

DISH expects a rich ecosystem of xApps and rApps to take shape — almost like an App Store for the RAN. 

Sanjay Uppal, senior vice president and general manager of VMware’s Service Provider and Edge business unit, said, “DISH is building a first-of-its-kind network that will move the entire industry forward. We’re excited to be a part of the journey as we continue to work with DISH and its ecosystem partners to launch the first Open RAN-based 5G network in the United States.”

VMware builds two RAN Intelligent Controllers (RICs)

VMware announced two RAN Intelligent Controllers (RICs), new capabilities for its Telco Cloud Platform RAN, and several key partnerships aimed at helping service providers smoothly transition to Open RAN.“When it comes to Open RAN, the genie is out of the bottle. The potential benefits of increasing innovation while reducing operational expense are compelling. As such, VMware is pushing to accelerate the transformation of the RAN along with Open...

Open XR Forum builds momentum with Tier 1 carrier support


AT&T, Colt, Crown Castle, Telef√≥nica and ZAYO have joined the Open XR Forum, which is dedicated to the deployment of software-configurable point-to-point and point-to-multipoint coherent optical networks utilizing XR optics pluggable transceiver technology. 

The Forum also released the “Open XR Concept Introductory White Paper,” available for download from the Open XR Forum site. The white paper describes the limitations and shortcomings of today’s point-to-point optical networks and the inherent performance, cost-effectiveness and network agility benefits of point-to-multipoint coherent optical networks utilizing digital subcarriers. The white paper also presents key technical design considerations along with network management and control concepts and highlights a number of important application scenarios.

Open XR Forum membership is expanding to cover a wide range of industry participants and applications and currently includes AT&T, BT, Colt, Crown Castle, Infinera, Liberty Global, Lumen Technologies, Telef√≥nica, Verizon, Windstream and ZAYO.

Open XR Forum MSA gets underway

A new Open XR Forum has been established to advance the development of XR optics-enabled products and services, accelerate the adoption of coherent point-to-multipoint network architectures, and drive standardization of networking interfaces to ensure ease of multi-vendor interoperability and an open, multi-source solution ecosystem.The Open XR Forum will function as a multi-source agreement (MSA) working group for XR optics, the industry’s first...

Infinera introduces XR Optics-powered coherent pluggables

Infinera introduced a suite of coherent optical pluggables based on its XR optics technology and designed to seamlessly address point-to-point and point-to-multipoint transport applications from the network edge to the core. Infinera’s new suite of vertically integrated ICE-XR pluggables will support a range of transport rates, including 100G, 400G, and 800G, and utilize industry-standard form factors such as QSFP-28, QSFP-DD, and CFP2 to enable...

Cisco enhances IoT Control Center subscription service for operators

Cisco is rolling out advancements to its internet of things (IoT) portfolio for service provider customers.

Cisco IoT Control Center, which is delivered as a subscription service, now offers a new simplified and secure connectivity management package purpose-built for lower complexity IoT devices. Cisco IoT Control Center manages nearly 200 million devices today, across all licensed cellular networks (LPWAN/4G/5G).

Cisco says its new offer reduces connectivity management complexity and costs, enabling service providers to drive new revenue streams and capitalize on new Mass IoT market opportunities.

"We strive to help our service provider customers enable new services and business outcomes for Mass IoT to simplify data collection from millions of devices," said Masum Mir, Vice President and General Manager, Cable, Mobile and IoT, Cisco. "With these enhancements to Cisco IoT Control Center, our customers can expand into the LPWAN market using a proven platform to help a broad range of growing industries realize what the future of mobile IoT can do to transform their business."

Ekinops signs reseller partnership with Fujitsu

Fujitsu will integrate the Ekinops next generation OTN compact modular switches into the Fujitsu 1FINITY open optical networking portfolio.

The Ekinops ETSc, an OTN compact platform optimized for metro and metro-access services, provides greater scaling capacity for optical networks from 1GbE to 200G, while giving service providers more choice in open networking solutions. Virtuora, Fujitsu's multi-layer, multi-vendor control and orchestration software platform, will provide automated and seamless network operations for the Ekinops platform. In addition to scalability and flexibility, the compact form factor delivers operational efficiencies to service providers.

"Fujitsu's partnership with Ekinops is part of our continuous strategy to create an industry-leading, open networking ecosystem for service providers worldwide," said Paul Havala, head of the optical business unit at Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. "We are proud to offer our customers new solutions that comply with our high performance, quality and reliability standards."

"The combination of our high-performance OTN products integrated with Virtuora® is a best-in-class next-generation solution. North American service providers now have a flexible, scalable, future-proof system using state-of-the-art technology for operation and management," added Kevin Antill, Group VP heading North America at Ekinops.

#MWC22: Using Azure to build private cellular over Satellite

What's hot at #MWC22? Intelsat demonstrated a private cellular network with Microsoft Azure Private Multi-Access Edge Compute and FlexEnterprise, Intelsat’s satellite-based global connectivity service.

“As enterprises look to private cellular networks to improve the reach, security, and quality-of-service over Wi-Fi-only local networks, the ability to support deployments at any site is crucial to creating a fully connected organization,” said Jean-Philippe Gillet, SVP Global Sales Media & Networks, Intelsat.

Telstra hits 5.9Gbps with mmWave 5G on Ericsson/Qualcomm

Telstra achieved a new network download speed record of 5.9Gbps using a smartphone form factor mobile test device, powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System and Qualcomm® FastConnect™ 6900 subsystem. The network infrastructure was powered by an Ericsson Radio System and dual connectivity software connected to Telstra’s commercial mmWave 5G mobile network. 

Ericsson’s NR-DC software leverages downlink eight-component Carrier Aggregation (DL 8CC CA), in which eight contiguous carriers of 100MHz mmWave are combined with 100MHz of mid-band spectrum, resulting in higher data speeds on Telstra's mmWave 5G network. 

The record was set as Telstra readies itself for its third mmWave compatible device, The NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 Pro, slated to hit the shelves in April. It features mmWave 5G, WiFi 6 and high-speed ethernet. It is capable of connecting 32 devices simultaneously and through 5G connectivity able to deliver speeds significantly faster than 4G equivalents. 

“As we continue to work closely with Telstra and Ericsson in Australia in 2022, we are proud to have contributed to break a network speed record with Telstra again, this time reaching 5.9Gbps,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 5G, Mobile Broadband and Infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “As 5G mmWave grows globally, we look forward to bringing the multi-gigabit speed and low latency benefits of mmWave to more consumers and businesses.”

“Demand for cloud gaming, immersive media, and video streaming services are growing at a faster rate than ever before”, said Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson, Australia and New Zealand. “Not only will this new 5G record enable faster mobile broadband speeds and greater network capacity, it demonstrates Ericsson and Telstra’s commitment to push the boundaries of what is possible, ensuring customers can access the best mobile connectivity available.”

Rakuten Symphony to acquire

Rakuten Symphony agreed to acquire, a start-up based in San Jose, California that develops multi-cloud mobility, hyper automation and orchestration solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed. holds over 70 patents in the cloud-native technology space. Its product portfolio includes:

  • Robin Cloud Native Storage (Robin CNS) – An award winning, high performing, software-defined and industry-first application-aware storage solution that has been built from the ground-up for Kubernetes.
  • Robin Cloud Native Platform (CNP) – A leading open-source platform optimized for running data and network intensive applications used in production for various use cases involving databases, big data, data analytics, 5G, O-RAN, packet core & edge.
  • Robin Multi Data Center Automation Platform (MDCAP) – The web-scale platform for metal-to-service orchestration and automation. claims to have petabyte size deployments underway with its software running on tens of thousands of servers in production that span across its product portfolio and services Fortune 1000 customers across the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Collaboration between the companies has already been underway for more than two years. Rakuten Mobile leveraged in production for the Japan deployment of the world’s first end-to-end fully virtualized cloud-native mobile network. 

Rakuten Symphony says adding’s portfolio for cloud-native deployment, lifecycle management and orchestration enables it to deploy highly reliable, flexible, scalable, secure and resilient mobile networks built on the principles of open interfaces, virtualization and interoperability. Following the acquisition, Partha Seetala will take up the position of President of the Unified Cloud business unit of Rakuten Symphony.

“Edge cloud requirements are unique and critical as mobile operators transition to 5G: The next era of digital experience requires another level of performance, responsiveness and consistency that enables telecom operator and enterprise transformation to be safely accelerated while creating a platform to support the next 10 years of experiences.’s cloud capability is proven to be effective for the most demanding workloads in mobile and we believe it will allow Rakuten Symphony to safely accelerate cloud-native transformation for our customers and prepare the industry for the future,” said Tareq Amin, CEO, Rakuten Symphony.

“I am delighted that’s technology innovations over the last several years will now get a much bigger canvas to lead the vision for cloud-native transformation for the industry. Our vision to deliver simple to use, easy to deploy hyperscale automation is very well aligned,” said Partha Seetala, CEO, “We believe’s customers will hugely benefit from the synergies of cloud-native technology innovations from, and the open competitive infrastructure solutions and global scale of Rakuten Symphony. This is indeed an exciting phase for us as we work together to bring a much larger ecosystem together to deliver higher value for our customers globally.”

Rakuten Symphony: Disrupting the Mobile Industry

 How can a brand new network become the best network in Japan? In this video clip, Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Symphony, discusses their success in the use of Open RAN to disrupt the mobile market and how they prevailed despite naysayers.

Rakuten acquires Altiostar for Open VRAN solutions

 Rakuten Group has acquired Altiostar Networks at a total valuation of US$1 billion.Altiostar’s 4G and 5G open virtual Radio Access Network (Open vRAN) solutions are being used by Rakuten Mobile in its new 5G network in Japan. Altiostar's suite of Open vRAN network functions are running on the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), which is a fully virtualized, cloud-native telco platform.Altiostar Networks CEO, Ashraf Dahod commented: “Open...

Sparkle deploys Juniper PTX Series Routers for 400G

Sparkle, the first international service provider in Italy and among the top global operators, has deployed Juniper’s 400G PTX Series Routers.

Juniper says 400G optical transceiver modules deliver a lower cost-per-bit by delivering the same bandwidth in less physical space. A 400G-capable network is a key step for Tier-1 providers like Sparkle, who are grappling with relentless traffic growth.

“The 400G platform from Juniper will be a key tool in our ongoing challenge to match constantly growing traffic demands at very competitive price-per-port in the context of premium space and power costs, without sacrificing reliability and features. In addition, the better economy of scale and a denser configuration supports the high standard for eco-sustainable design and energy efficiency to which we work,” says Enrico Bagnasco, Chief Technology Officer, Sparkle

“Juniper is pleased to support customers like Sparkle as they balance their sustainability journey with achieving their commercial goals and customer experience requirements. We share Sparkle’s vision of having a significantly positive impact on the environment and believe that innovation in sustainable technology is as important as reducing our environmental footprint,” states Raj Yavatkar, Chief Technology Officer, Juniper Networks.

With its global Tier-1 IP Transit backbone “Seabone”, Sparkle is a Top 5 global IP player, providing high-speed and reliable Internet connectivity to ISPs and content providers worldwide. The service is delivered over an advanced proprietary network of over 600,000 km of fiber including major regional systems in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Americas, plus ownership of major international submarine cables. 

Juniper scales edge and core with next gen Trio and Express ASICs

by Benedict Chua, Associate EditorJuniper Networks is pushing ahead with its next generation Trio and Express ASICs for cloud and Service Provider networks.The 5th generation Express ASIC, which powers Juniper's PTX Series core routers, increases forwarding performance with pipeline and memory capabilities for scaling, filtering, telemetry and sampling operations. It offers 45% power efficiency improvement over the 4th generation introduced in 2020. The...

STL partners with Analog Devices on 5F Open RAN radios

STL is using Analog Devices to develop 5G Open RAN radio units (O-RU). STL and Analog Devices agreed to work closely with other ecosystem providers, including leading power amplifier (PA) vendors, to expand the range of STL's Garuda O-RU indoor small cell offerings. STL will integrate Analog Devices' RadioVerse transceivers into Garuda to create power-efficient, high-performance radios.

"STL has developed a set of open, disaggregated, virtualized and programmable products and solutions for the access side of the network," said Chris Rice, CEO, Access Solutions Business, STL. "Garuda is a next-generation radio product with open interfaces compliant to O-RAN standards. It is cost-effective and a key component in solutions that deliver Industry 4.0 use cases, such as worker safety and factory automation. Leveraging Analog Devices' RadioVerse offerings in our products creates a new industry benchmark for indoor small cell radios, enabling the full power of 5G technology to enhance billions of lives worldwide."

"Building on the success of the Garuda project, we look forward to expanding the collaboration with STL and providing the Open RAN ecosystem with high-performance O-RUs," said Nitin Sharma, General Manager of the Wireless Systems Group at Analog Devices.