Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Vietnam's Viettel deploys 600G wavelengths with Nokia

Viettel, Vietnam’s largest telecom service provider, has deployed 600G wavelengths in the C-band to connect core sites using Nokia's PSE-V super-coherent optical engines (PSE-Vs).

In this project, Nokia PSE-Vs is deployed in Nokia’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch platform, and will enable Viettel to scale total network capacity to 25.2 Tbps over C-band. In addition, the existing C-band system can be seamlessly upgraded to C+L band by adding L band components, which will double the network capacity.

Rubén Morón Flores, Head of Market Unit Vietnam at Nokia, said: “We are pleased to work with Viettel as a strategic partner. This project was the first in APAC to use our PSE-Vs chipset & implemented during the height of Covid pandemic. Its success showcases our strong partnership and unwavering commitment to maintaining leadership by delivering latest optics technologies and solutions to Viettel.”

Nguyen Khac Tinh, Optics Principle Architect of Viettel, said: “This project is very important to Viettel to fulfil the high demand for transmission capacity which increases dramatically every day. By using Nokia’s industry leading coherent transport solutions, we’ll be able to optimize our cost for both CAPEX/OPEX and stay secured for future expansion. This is truly a network built not just for today, but for tomorrow as well. We wish to work with Nokia to evolve our network even further. Our network is now ready for 800G and we plan to reach 1Tbps/channel and beyond.”


Bharti Airtel selects Ribbon for optical backbone

Bharti Airtel has selected Ribbon Communications to build its new high-speed transport network supporting 5G mobile backhaul and high-speed enterprise business connectivity throughout Northwestern India. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The disaggregated network architecture leverages Ribbon's Apollo suite of programmable and open optical transport platforms, with support for a combined network capacity across C&L bands of up to 51.2T. The long haul solution will support the transport of 100GE/400GE IP services over 400G Optical channels. Finally, Ribbon's Muse domain orchestration platform also delivers real-time network monitoring and management at the click of a mouse.

"Airtel continues to push the boundaries in digital service delivery and we're proud to support their mission with our solutions and expertise," said Sam Bucci, Chief Operating Officer, Ribbon. "This massive new network will have a tremendous impact as it delivers extensive capacity in one of the world's most populous countries."

Rakuten Mobile now at 5 million subscribers in Japan

Rakuten shared the following metrics for its mobile segment for Q4 and full year 2022:

  • In FY2022, the Mobile segment recorded revenue of 368.7 billion yen, a significant increase of 62.0% YoY. Operating losses of 492.8 billion yen were recorded. After peaking in Q1 FY2022,  operating losses continue to contract due to the increased number of paying customers in line with the end of the campaign offering one-year of free mobile service, increased ARPU (average revenue per user) due to subscribers transitioning to the new Rakuten UN-LIMIT VII service plan, reduced roaming costs as the Rakuten network coverage area expands and other factors.
  • 100% of Rakuten Mobile subscribers became paying customers as of September, and as Rakuten UN-LIMIT VII’s essentially free-of-charge campaign came to a close at the end of October, ARPU increased from 837 yen in Q1 FY2022, before the announcement of the new service plan, to 1,805 yen in Q4 FY2022. Average monthly data usage also increased significantly from 9.5 GB in December 2021, before the new service plan was announced, to 18.4 GB in December 2022, contributing to increased ARPU.
  • The total number of MNO and MVNO subscribers reached 5.06 million as of the end of December 2022. New MNO subscribers have shown a net increase since December 2022.
  • The average number of Rakuten services used per Rakuten Mobile subscriber increased by 2.61 services, as Rakuten Mobile continues to promote cross-use within the Rakuten Ecosystem. For subscribers, the average annual purchase amount on Rakuten Ichiba increased 49% after subscribing to Rakuten Mobile.
  • The number of 4G outdoor base stations exceeded 52,003 as of December 31, 2022. The company aims to have 60,000 base stations in operation by the end of FY2023. In addition, the number of outdoor 5G base stations (outdoor Sub6 macro base stations) increased to 7,058 nationwide.
  • The company announced the full-scale launch of the Rakuten Mobile Business Plan, a mobile carrier service for business customers, from January 30, 2023. More than 600 businesses are already using the service, and the number of business subscribers is forecast to continue to increase.
  • Rakuten Symphony revenue increased significantly to US$231 million  Q4 FY2022, up US$141 million over the previous quarter. Cumulative sales revenue since launch reached US$548 million.


EE targets 5G expansion in rural areas

EE announced plans to extend 5G coverage to rural communities across the UK for the first time. Nearly 500 smaller communities, including Church Stretton and Birkenshaw in England, Llandeilo and Pen-y-banc (Carmarthenshire) in Wales and Tayport and Ratho in Scotland, now have their first 5G signal from EE, bringing the total number of UK cities, towns and villages where customers can access EE 5G to over 1,000. 

As part of the rollout, EE’s 5G is also reaching National Parks and popular rural tourist destinations.

In addition, EE is testing a range of  technologies to boost the range, reliability and energy efficiency of its networks. These include:

  • UK’s first 4G sent over low earth orbit satellite: BT Group has partnered with OneWeb to achieve the first transmission of 4G data using a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite link to connect an EE mast to the mobile core network, instead of a traditional line of sight microwave or fibre connection. This paves the way for connecting small ultra-remote communities, emergency responders and disaster recovery units and other temporary deployments like festivals, events or construction sites.
  • Mobile coverage in harder to reach areas: In collaboration with Stratospheric Platforms Ltd (SPL), BT Group is running a trial that aims to deliver mobile coverage from the air using a ‘High Altitude Platform’ (HAPS) system being tested at BT’s Global innovation centre (Adastral Park). This has the potential to unlock connectivity for the most remote areas.
  • Self-powering sites: EE is weeks away from launching its first self-powering mast using sustainable energy, in Wales’ Elan Valley. Initial assessments demonstrate that local sourced renewable energy (wind and solar) can contribute up to 90% of the site’s requirements.
  • Biofuels phase-in: Trials are commencing to test the use of biofuels like Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), Biogas and Hydrogen in network generators to support wider resilience. EE will initially implement the solutions as a trial across 20 physical sites.

Spirent offers end-to-end O-RAN testing and validation

Building upon its previously available O-CU and O-RU test solutions, Spirent Communications released its O-DU, and RIC tests, completing its O-RAN test solution portfolio. 

Spirent’s O-RAN portfolio provides the following:

  • Multi-vendor interoperability and advanced performance testing using real-time emulation - Spirent offers the most thorough, reliable, and realistic testing using comprehensive test portfolios and real-time (bi-directional) emulation, which most accurately reflects a live, real-world O‑RAN environment.
  • Automation - Spirent’s O-RAN solutions provide pre-built test libraries across performance, resiliency, security, compliance, and more with a fully integrated system with open APIs. Additionally, the solution is designed to plug-and-play seamlessly into any automation pipeline.
  • Single User Experience - O-RAN testing requires a variety of testing and emulation approaches, which Spirent has integrated into the industry’s only system managed through a single user experience, regardless of the testing type being executed.

“O-RAN has great potential to introduce new use cases and innovation while lowering costs, but only if its performance and business model deliver as promised,” says James Kimery, VP of product management for Spirent’s Lifecycle Service Assurance business. “With all the opportunity O-RAN has unlocked, it’s made testing more complex than traditional RAN approaches and placed a greater testing burden downstream to carriers and network operators who must integrate various vendor systems.

European operators form digital advertising JV

Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone are forming a joint venture for digital advertising in Europe. The platform has been designed from the outset to be compliant with European data protection policy such as GDPR and the ePrivacy directive.

The four companies will take equal 25% stakes in the new company, which will be based in Belgium. 

The trial platform requires affirmative opt-in consent by the consumer to activate communications from brands via publishers. The only data that is shared is a pseudo-anonymous digital token that cannot be reverse-engineered. Consumers are free to opt in or deny consent with a single click, as well as revoke any other consents given either on the brand’s or publisher’s website, or via a dedicated, easily accessible privacy portal.

The platform is specifically designed to offer consumers a step change in the control, transparency and protection of their data, which is currently collected, distributed and stored at scale by major, non-European players.

A trial run by Vodafone last year successfully tested the platform on Vodafone’s and Deutsche Telekom’s networks in Germany, together with online publishers and advertisers. This enabled the four operators to evaluate the platform’s ease-of-use in providing consumers with greater control and transparency over how brands communicate with them. Furthermore, the initiative has examined how consumers’ personal data is used and their privacy protected in the online advertising ecosystem, while upholding the principles of a free Internet.

Tarana signs South African distributor for FWA

Tarana has signed Switchcom Distribution as its authorized distributor for southern Africa.

Tarana's carrier-grade Gigabit 1 (G1) next-generation fixed wireless access (ngFWA) platform delivers Internet services in either 3 GHz licensed or 5 GHz license-exempt spectrum. The G1 platform is known for its exceptional interference cancellation and non-line-of-sight performance, delivering up to 9.6 Gbps per site and 800 Mbps per link, even in challenging conditions.

Tarana's Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Mike Calabrese, stated, "We look forward to leveraging Switchcom’s robust experience to benefit our joint customers and their end-users in South Africa. Enabling operators to provide fibre-class speeds at a fraction of the cost and time to deploy will bring quality broadband to African communities on significantly shorter timelines and with far superior network economics."