Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Mobile operators issue next Open RAN technical priorities

Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telef√≥nica, TIM and Vodafone  published Release 3 of their technical priorities for Open RAN. The document is meant to provide guidance to the RAN vendor community so as to help accelerate the rollout of Open RAN solutions in Europe. The priorities listed are intended to act as an input into TIP’s Open RAN Release Framework, which can then be developed with the industry at large to create requirements that can potentially be used as the basis for certification.

Release 3 is primarily focused on developing further requirements on SMO and RIC. Additional clarifications are listed for Cloud Infrastructure, O-CU/O-DU and O-RU. Moreover, this new release focuses in more detail on security topics and various challenges introduced by the disaggregation promoted by the O-RAN architecture. In particular, the security requirements are now contained within a dedicated section of the MoU Technical Priorities document. Energy efficiency (EE) topics were also analyzed in more detail, with new requirements identified in various streams, for example, Cloud Infrastructure, O-CU/O-DU, RIC use cases and RAN features.

  • Release 1 (June 2021) focused on the main scenarios and technical requirements for each of the building blocks of a multi-vendor RAN.
  • Release 2 (March 2022) mainly focused on intelligence, orchestration, transport and cloud infrastructure, addressing also the energy efficiency goals and targets to support sustainable Open RAN.

The mobile operators note that this work is not intended to represent any alignment on procurement / product selection processes of individual signatories.


Intel intros Connectivity Analytics for wireless solution providers

Intel is launching a program to help wireless solution providers generate unique networking and system insights  to deliver enhanced applications and services to their customers. 

The new Intel Connectivity Analytics (ICA) originated as a feature collaboration with Cisco to enable Intel-based PCs to share client information securely with Cisco access points to facilitate IT network and device management and offer proactive customer support.

Subject to end-user and managed service provider consent, Intel Connectivity Analytics can be implemented by service providers to provide unique hardware and software-based insights that can help service providers better understand local network conditions from the PC client’s perspective. Capabilities include:

  • Network performance optimization (health).
  • Dynamic bandwidth adjustment for critical usages (quality of service).
  • Security threat detection and issue resolution (security).
  • Asset tracking and facility resource management (sensing/location).
  • Client networking performance monitoring and technical support (UX/support).

The program is already being integrated with new program participants Wyebot and Ambeent.

Intel says that as more service providers join its Intel Connectivity Analytics program, greater awareness of connectivity issues and challenges on managed devices will support the development of new innovations around PC networking and ultimately enable better user experiences.


Microsoft provides update on Azure Space

Microsoft published an update on its Azure Space activities across commercial and government applications. Key items:

  • Viasat RTE integration with Azure Orbital Ground Station, bringing high rate, low latency data streaming downlink from spacecraft directly to Azure.
  • A partnership with Ball Aerospace and Loft Federal on the Space Development Agency’s (SDA) National Defense Space Architecture Experimental Testbed (NeXT) program, which will bring 10 satellites with experimental payloads into orbit and provide the associated ground infrastructure.
  • Advancements on the Hybrid Space Architecture for the Defense Innovation Unit, U.S. Space Force and Air Force Research Lab, with new partners and demonstrations that showcase the power, flexibility, and agility of commercial hybrid systems that work across multi-path, multi-orbit, and multi-vendor cloud enabled resilient capabilities.
  • Azure powers Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) to deliver Space cybersecurity and threat intelligence operating capabilities. The watch center’s collaborative environment provides visualization of environmental conditions and threat information to rapidly detect, assess and respond to space weather events, vulnerabilities, incidents, and threats to space systems.

A blog post by Stephen Kitay Senior Director, Microsoft Azure Space.


Viasat connects 5 Earth stations to Microsoft Azure

The global Viasat Real-Time Earth (RTE) ground service is now accessible through the Azure marketplace, providing high-speed connectivity directly to the Azure cloud platform.

Viasat is equipping five RTE sites with Azure. Viasat RTE provides Ground-Station-as-a-Service (GSaaS) capabilities to connect commercial and government customers with their satellites on a pay-per-use basis. It is a fully-managed, cost-effective ground network that enables operators with geosynchronous orbit (GEO), medium earth orbit (MEO) and low earth orbit (LEO) satellites using the S-, X- and Ka-bands, to meet increasing data requirements.

Satellite operators are able to schedule passes on RTE antenna systems and will soon be able to rely on secure end-to-end connectivity with Azure over the private Microsoft WAN. This solution is ideal for commercial satellite operators seeking high throughput, low latency connectivity with their spacecraft, coupled with the security and resiliency of the cloud.

"Viasat Real-Time Earth is enabling remote sensing satellite operators who are pushing the envelope of high-rate downlinks," said John Williams, vice president Viasat Real-Time Earth. "Our strong relationship with Microsoft enables those same customers, through increased access to our ground service, Azure Orbital, and a dependable, high-speed terrestrial network, to reduce the time it takes to downlink and deliver massive amounts of data."

"The new capabilities Microsoft Azure Orbital brings together with Viasat RTE are transformational for ground stations and customers pushing for rapid innovation like True Anomaly," said Stephen Kitay, senior director, Azure Space at Microsoft. "This collaboration plays a role in increasing resiliency and reducing latency with real-time streaming across the space community."


NTIA seeks pubic comment on AI regulations

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a public request for comment on whether the U.S. goververnment should adopt policies governing artificial intelligence systems.  

The NTIA’s “AI Accountability Request for Comment” seeks feedback on what policies can support the development of AI audits, assessments, certifications and other mechanisms to create earned trust in AI systems. 

Much as financial audits create trust in the accuracy of a business’ financial statements, so for AI, such mechanisms can help provide assurance that an AI system is trustworthy. Just as financial accountability required policy and governance to develop, so too will AI system accountability.

Written comments in response to the RFC must be provided to NTIA by June 10, 2023.


Comcast Business and Extreme upgrade Oracle Park with WiFi 6E

Comcast Business has partnered with Extreme Networks to provide Oracle Park, home to the San Francisco Giants, with a fully WiFi 6E-ready network. 

The WiFi 6E installation at Oracle Park includes approximately 900 of Extreme’s WiFi 6E access points in a combination of overhead and under-seat placements that will provide strong network connectivity for both fans and back-of-house applications throughout the ballpark. The wireless network will be managed via the ExtremeCloudIQ toolset.

John Brams, Vice President of Strategic Accounts at Extreme Networks said, “The Giants are setting the bar of excellence when it comes to fan experience and overall operational efficiency. In this day and age, when fans come to the park, they expect the experience off the field to match what they see on the field. With the backbone of a high-bandwidth, high-performing, superhighway network, the Giants have laid the foundation for next-generation services like streaming and biometrics.”


Zayo commits to Net Zero emissions by 2030

Zayo has developed a plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.

In 2022, Zayo formally committed to Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) by setting ambitious science-based emissions reduction targets to support environmentally sustainable growth. 

The company has just published its "2022 Sustainability at Zayo Report,"highlighting its commitment to aligning its values with its business practices and progress made toward its environmental, social, and government (ESG) milestones.