Sunday, October 15, 2023

NTT and NEC demo wavelength path provisioning

NTT and NEC published results of a field demonstration of optical wavelength path provisioning technology based on IOWN.

The tests demonstrated on-demand, high-capacity/low-latency connections among data centers through the National Science Foundation's (NSF) COSMOS testbed in the U.S. with Politecnico di Torino, Columbia University, Duke University, and Trinity College Dublin.

The results were presented earlier this month at the European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) in Glasgow.

NTT has been collaborating with NEC, a member of the IOWN Global Forum, to verify technologies to implement data center exchange (DCX) services that directly connect many data centers built in metro areas via optical fiber. DCX requires the connection of devices from multiple vendors between many-to-many locations with various transmission modes suitable for link length and quality (Figure 2). Unlike conventional DCI, new technology development has been required to control devices from multiple vendors across the user access links and carrier links and to set up optical wavelength paths on demand with various transmission devices in different transmission modes suitable for the link's quality.

NEC has developed an open platform with Linux-based device software architecture that utilizes open interfaces, specifications, and architectures defined by Open ROADM MSA (*11), TIP, and the IOWN Global Forum. NEC leveraged Open ROADM MSA-compliant coherent TRxs to ensure data plane interconnectivity. For the hardware abstraction interface and network operating system (NOS) that controls user TRxs, NEC applied the TAI architecture (that hides the differences among various TRx form factors or vendors) and the Goldstone NOS that are under development openly in TIP OOPT.

Another key innovation is a simple signal quality model developed by NTT that can be applied to short links. It combines a Gaussian noise model with a method for designing and configuring optical wavelength paths on demand, even when crossing multiple user access links and carrier links and when using a wide variety of WDM transceivers.

Elisa tests first Cloud RAN powered by in-line acceleration

Elisa completed a trial of Cloud RAN powered by In-Line acceleration at its headquarters in Finland. The test utilized Nokia’s commercial 5G Standalone RAN and 5G Core. 

The trial builds on Nokia’s anyRAN approach, which was introduced to ensure the feature richness, energy efficiency, and high performance of Cloud RAN compared to purpose-built RAN. Using In-Line layer 1 (L1) acceleration ensures each of these aspects while enabling flexibility to select between x86 and ARM-based ecosystems.

The trial took place in an over-the-air environment, utilizing 100MHz cells on the n78 spectrum band (3.5 GHz band), which globally is the most common 5G capacity band. Data calls were successfully performed with a selection of both test and commercial user devices. The trial followed a Nokia reference design with a CaaS layer from RedHat as well as an x86 server architecture. The feature performance delivered by Nokia’s anyRAN approach enabled immediate interoperability with 5G user equipment and Elisa’s 5G core network.

Markus Kinnunen, Vice President, Cloud Services, Elisa said: “Elisa is a pioneer in automation and in introducing the benefits of network cloudification to Finnish customers. This first call using Cloud RAN is a remarkable milestone on our cloudification journey. After already taking the first steps in cloudifying the telco network core, this transformation is now also expanding towards the access network. The key benefits of Cloud RAN include the diverse network service platforms and scalability for different kinds of customer needs. In the future, we can provide more agile network services to our customers, whose network usage is transforming closer to the network edge.”

Orange and Vodafone test Open RAN in Romania

Orange and Vodafone have completed 4G calls over a cluster of shared commercial network sites in a rural area near Bucharest, Romania, based on Open RAN technology. 

This technological milestone follows the two companies’ announcement in February this year that they will build an Open Radio Access Network with RAN sharing in rural parts of Europe where they both have mobile networks. 

Open RAN technology decouples software and hardware functionalities. This enables mobile base stations to be upgraded with new features and services remotely, quickly and more cost effectively, reducing the need for site visits thanks to greater network automation.  In the context of RAN sharing, it will also allow each operator to operate their own virtualized RAN software on a common cloud infrastructure in future, enhancing operator autonomy and differentiation while sharing network costs. 

Within this pilot with commercial traffic, Orange and Vodafone worked together with key vendor partners.  This includes a Samsung commercial virtualized RAN solution, Wind River abstraction layer on top of hardware to deploy and scale the RAN software, and Dell PowerEdge servers. 

Following the successful completion of 4G calls over shared Open RAN sites in a rural location, Orange and Vodafone will soon introduce 2G, which has already been tested successfully in lab, and then 5G.

Bruno Zerbib, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Orange, said: “This first pilot deployment of Open RAN within Orange is an important milestone to demonstrate Open RAN is now mature for roll-out in brownfield networks. It opens the door for wider scale deployments across the group, and paves the way towards fully automated and intelligent networks.”

Alberto Ripepi, Chief Network Officer, Vodafone, said: “Alongside Orange we have developed a model which will serve as a blueprint to extend mobile networks to rural communities across Europe. Open RAN sharing will allow us to reduce costs by sharing hardware components while independently managing our own RAN software in the cloud to be able to offer differentiated services to our respective customers.”  

Qatar Airways picks Starlink for 350 Mbps in-flight service

Qatar Airways announced a partnership with Starlink to offer a complimentary high-speed, low-latency internet connectivity experience onboard specific aircraft and routes. 

Qatar Airways envisions that once the service is active, passengers will be able to enjoy ultra-fast Wi-Fi speeds of up to 350 Mbps for a variety of Internet-based services such as video streaming their favourite entertainment and sports videos, gaming, enriched web-browsing, etc.

Qatar Airways and Starlink are currently in the pre-launch phase of the rollout strategy across Qatar Airways fleet.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is proud to announce its agreement with Starlink to provide seamless and complimentary Wi-Fi to its global passengers. This exciting collaboration is not only in line with our industry-leading approach to technological adoption, but also serves as an unmissable opportunity to connect Starlink to our global passengers. We look forward to our passengers benefitting from this state-of-the-art addition to Qatar Airways’ in-flight experience.”

Deutsche Telekom delivers ESA Copernicus Data Space services

A new service from the European Space Agency (ESA) went live last month allowing anyone to access its Earth observation data.

The new Copernicus Data Space service is supported by Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems division.

Since January 2023, the Copernicus Data Space has been open to the public. The services include a range of open-source tools, to support users from novice to expert to professional. The browser provides the entry level with extensive visualization functions. Based on the popular Sentinel Hub Browser it enables users to generate 2D and 3D images and time lapse videos within seconds and use the results in GIS systems. Experts can use the renowned Jupyter Hub for more detailed and immediate data analytics. 

T-Systems says the unique combination of open data, open-source tools and leading European public clouds will enable new knowledge and better response to extreme weather conditions, climatic change and the impact of natural disasters. 

T-Systems is responsible for managing and providing the huge volumes of data. From the current 55 petabytes, the data room will grow to up to 100 petabytes over the next six years. This will represent one of the largest data spaces that T-Systems hosts in its and partner data centers worldwide to date. The data will be stored sustainably. The Telekom subsidiary ensures this with green infrastructure and electricity from renewable sources.

Amphenol to acquire PCTEL for $140M

Amphenol Corporation, agreed to acquire PCTEL for approximately $139.7 million in cash. PCTI stockholders to receive $7.00 per share in cash.

PCTEL is a leading global provider of wireless technology solutions, including purpose-built Industrial IoT devices, antenna systems, and test and measurement products.

“Today marks an exciting milestone for PCTEL as we join forces with one of the world’s leading antenna solutions companies in Amphenol,” said David Neumann, Chief Executive Officer of PCTEL. “Our team has done an excellent job of growing the business, establishing a leadership position in both antenna and test & measurement (T&M) innovation, and meeting our customers’ strong global demand for high reliability applications. Amphenol is a leading global provider of interconnect, sensor and antenna solutions. Their sustained financial strength and unique entrepreneurial culture will create a valuable home for our employees around the world. We look forward to the accelerated growth opportunities enabled by the combination of our two companies.”

William J. Doherty, President, Communications Solutions Division of Amphenol Corporation added, “PCTEL and its employees are clear innovation leaders in the wireless technology solutions area, and will serve as an excellent addition to the Amphenol family. We look forward to working closely with them to leverage our existing international presence, dedicated customer base, and scale to take PCTEL’s business to new and exciting heights.”

Ericsson appoints Chris Houghton as COO

Ericsson announced the appointment of Chris Houghton as Chief Operating Officer (COO) . Houghton, who is currently Senior Vice President, Market Area North East Asia, has been with Ericsson for 35 years and brings deep institutional knowledge across key markets and operational areas of the business.

Ericsson also announced the appointment of Åsa Tamsons to Head of Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solutions.  Tamsons currently serves as Senior Vice President, Business Area Technologies & New Businesses (BTEB.  In her new role, Ms. Tamsons will focus on growing Enterprise Wireless Solutions but also to increase the pace towards breakeven.

On the new appointees, Börje Ekholm notes: “The Chief Operating Officer’s objective will be to strengthen and oversee the operational execution across the Group and to enhance alignment and co-ordination across operational areas. This will enable me to fully focus on the key strategic priorities of our business. I’m happy that Chris with his extensive international experience has accepted to take on this new role within Ericsson”.

Börje Ekholm continues: “BTEB’s role within Ericsson is to create and scale strategic growth businesses that deliver long term profit and positive impact on people and our planet. During Åsa’s tenure BTEB has reached profitability and Åsa has done a great job over the last five years. I’m now looking forward to having her head another very important business area within Ericsson and drive growth and profitability improvements.”