Thursday, February 15, 2024

Ericsson adds Explainable AI

Ericsson introduced new capabilities leveraging Explainable AI (XAI) within its Cognitive Software portfolio for communications service providers (CSPs) to significantly improve time-to-value from AI adoption in network design and optimization.

The new capabilities add "full explainability" on actions recommended by the AI-powered solution that identifies the root causes of events affecting network performance and end user experience. This gives optimization teams visibility on the highest contributing factors to the issue, the impact on network performance, and recommended actions.

Ericsson said its solutions rely on AI models trained on the largest, most diverse global data sets in the market, which can also be retrained locally for fast and flexible use case deployment. 

In addition to the new XAI capabilities, an intuitive and adaptable user interface is also being introduced to enable CSPs to boost productivity.

Jean-Christophe Laneri, Vice President & Head of Cognitive Network Solutions at Ericsson: “The complexity and sophistication of AI-powered systems is evolving at a fast pace, and facilitating the easiest and most agile adoption of these capabilities for CSPs is key to minimize time to value. Explainable AI provides methods and techniques to understand AI models, which brings transparency to otherwise opaque decision-making processes. We are very excited with making these capabilities available in our Cognitive Software applications and consider this a fundamental step in the automation journey.”

TELUS to deploy virtualized Open RAN with Samsung

TELUS will build Canada’s first commercial virtualized and open radio access network (RAN) with Samsung, which has been a 5G network supplier to TELUS since 2020.

For this expanded collaboration, Samsung will deliver its versatile vRAN software and proven Open RAN compliant solutions, including its 64T64R Massive MIMO radios, as well as the support for third-party radio integration. Samsung’s solutions include its latest vRAN 3.0 for 4G and 5G, which features enhanced capabilities for improved energy savings, optimized performance and intelligent automation via Samsung’s Service Management and Orchestration (SMO). Samsung’s AI-based SMO will help TELUS accelerate vRAN rollouts at scale by enabling automated deployment of thousands of network sites simultaneously. It will also provide TELUS with a comprehensive set of capabilities for end-to-end automation for multi-party solutions, enabling easier deployment, operation and optimization of their network.

Cloud infrastructure will be provided by Wind River, tapping the company’s experience in real-time operating systems and cloud-native, distributed edge platforms. Additionally, Hewlett Packard Enterprise will deliver HPE ProLiant DL110 Gen11 servers featuring 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor with Intel vRAN Boost, that are workload optimized for Open RAN while being open and flexible, providing the foundation for a Distributed Unit (DU).

“This is a very exciting milestone for TELUS and the industry overall, as we now have the most flexible way to offer a diversified set of services to Canadians, unlocking new levels of mobile experiences,” said Nazim Benhadid, Chief Technology Officer at TELUS. “We are proud to be the first Canadian telecommunications company to integrate this cutting-edge technology, together with Samsung and our other partners.”

 “Innovation is not a result, but a continuous process that transforms our daily lives,” said Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Sales & Marketing, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “TELUS and Samsung have been spearheading a meaningful transformation in mobile communications and we look forward to continuing to unleash the full benefits of software-centric innovation, by advancing our industry-leading vRAN and Open RAN.”

Digital Realty: AI will lift data center demand

Digital Realty reported revenues of $1.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023, a 2% decrease from the previous quarter and an 11% increase from the same quarter last year. 

The company delivered net income of $20 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, and net income available to common stockholders of $18 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, compared to $2.33 per diluted share in the previous quarter and ($0.02) per diluted share in the same quarter last year. 

Some highlights

  • Digital Realty signed total bookings that are expected to generate $110 million of annualized GAAP rental revenue, including a $39 million contribution from the 0–1 megawatt category and a $13 million contribution from interconnection.
  • The weighted-average lag between new leases signed during the fourth quarter of 2023 and the contractual commencement date was 16 months.
  • In addition to new leases signed, Digital Realty also signed renewal leases representing $210 million of annualized rental revenue during the quarter. Rental rates on renewal leases signed during the fourth quarter of 2023 increased 8.2% on a cash basis and 10.6% on a GAAP basis.
  • During the quarter, Brookfield agreed to acquire Digital Realty's interest in four data centers for approximately $275 million, Digital Realty would redeploy $55 million to buy out Cyxtera's leases in three Digital Realty data centers in Singapore and Frankfurt, Brookfield would grant Digital Realty a purchase option to acquire a data center outside of London, UK, Brookfield would assume the leases in three data centers previously leased to Cyxtera, and Brookfield would amend the leases in these three data centers in New Jersey and Los Angeles, accelerating the expiration date to September 2024.

T-Mobile US hits 345 Mbps uplink with UL Tx switching

T-Mobile US achieved record-breaking uplink speeds of 345 Mbps on its 5G standalone (SA) network in a recent test leveraging a new feature called UL Tx switching. 

The achievement marks a new speed record in North America using sub-6 GHz spectrum.

UL Tx switching enables seamless switching and a combination of different frequencies, effectively creating more uplink capacity and higher uplink speed.

This test combined the power of carrier aggregation (combining different channels of spectrum for more capacity and speed) and SU-MIMO (single user multiple input, multiple output – which means it gives your phone the ability to send multiple data streams at the same time) to deliver uplink speeds 25% faster than T-Mobile’s previous record of 275 Mbps. The test used equipment from Nokia’s AirScale portfolio and a mobile test smartphone powered by a flagship Snapdragon Modem-RF system from Qualcomm Technologies.

“This achievement is a testament to our relentless pursuit of innovation and our commitment to delivering an even better network experience to our customers,” said Ulf Ewaldsson, President of Technology at T-Mobile. “Uplink transmit switching has the potential to significantly boost upload speeds and capacity, and we implore our partners around the globe to build the capability into the 5G ecosystem moving forward.”

“We are proud to work with our long-term partner, T-Mobile on this important and significant achievement that will enhance the uplink speed and capacity of their 5G network - the largest and fastest in the U.S. - and deliver an even better experience for customers,” said Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia. “By working closely and collaboratively with our partners we can push the boundaries of what is possible with 5G.”

Lambda secures $320M funding to forge AI-optimized GPU cloud

Lambda, a GPU cloud company established by AI engineers and powered by NVIDIA GPUs, has announced the completion of a $320 million Series C funding round. 

Founded in 2012, Lambda brings over a decade of experience in building AI infrastructure at scale. With over 100,000 customer sign-ups on Lambda Cloud, the company has established itself as an early provider of NVIDIA H100 Tensor Core GPUs, attracting AI developers seeking rapid access to the latest architectures for various AI tasks, including training, fine-tuning, and inferencing of generative AI, large language models, and foundation models.

Lambda said it will focus the new investment on cloud infrastructure tailored specifically for AI workloads. 

The investment was led by Thomas Tull’s US Innovative Technology, with contributions from new investors B Capital, SK Telecom, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., as well as existing investors Crescent Cove, Mercato Partners, 1517 Fund, Bloomberg Beta, and Gradient Ventures, among others. The company intends to utilize this new funding to expand its AI cloud business, which includes both Lambda’s popular on-demand and reserved cloud offerings.

Telstra advances 5G network slicing with Ericsson

Telstra will harness the power of the new Ericsson Dynamic Network Slicing solution to fully operationalize and monetize network slicing. The partners have completed the first phase of work in their journey to enable slice-based use cases like Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), broadcasting, automotive connectivity, stadium or precinct services, and more on Telstra’s 5G network.

The companies have finalized the build of the initial wireless capabilities for this project. The two main features of this phase are the orchestration of Telstra’s Radio Access Network (RAN) Rate Controlled Scheduling (RCS) which enables network slices to support efficient utilization of radio resources, and creating the ability to automate discovery of the entire Telstra 5G RAN topology by integrating Ericsson’s Common Topology Service and RAN management layer via the Ericsson Discovery and Reconciliation Framework.

Over the course of 2024, the partners will finalize the next phase of this work – the development and deployment of more advanced, open architecture supported features. This involves the two companies developing a network abstraction layer to provide open integration to the Telstra IT system via a Network as a Service reusable model for handling of service order management of the entire customer journey including service feasibility check, to site survey, to order to activate and network slice conditioning, antenna install and network assurance use cases.

Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand, says: “We’re proud to have such a deep and successful partnership with Telstra in this mission to ensure 5G network slicing is as accessible as possible to those who can use it as a platform for innovation and evolution. Building these systems with automation as a key feature to reduce complexity and enhanced efficiency is the true path forward to achieve superior service experience, seamless operational excellence, and assured revenue with new business models.”

Shailin Sehgal, Telstra Executive Network Applications and Cloud, says: “The true opportunity of 5G is to be found in its ability to deliver premium, dependable and differentiated service experiences, beyond standard mobile broadband, through network slicing. With Ericsson’s Dynamic Network Slicing capability we are able to design experiences and deliver a service to meet the needs of specific customer use cases. As we continue to invest in and develop advanced 5G connectivity for Australia, the opportunity to extend this capability across a broad range of customer use cases expands and allows us to deliver incredible value for the biggest enterprise customers, all the way across to our individual subscribers.”

Aryaka appoints Shailesh Shukla as CEO and Chairman

Aryaka, which offers fully managed SD-WAN and Unified SASE solutions, appointed Shailesh Shukla as CEO and chairman, effective immediately. Mr. Shukla had earlier joined Aryaka as an independent board member and has served as Aryaka's Executive Chairman of the Board since September 2023.

Shukla joins Aryaka after helping build the multi-billion-dollar Networking and Security business at Google Cloud as the Vice President and General Manager. His prior roles include Chief Operating Officer at Instart and VP/GM of several routing and software businesses at Cisco.

"Working closely with Aryaka and its customers over the last five months, I've been extremely impressed with the capability and innovations from the team, as well as the recent customer wins such as Cathay Pacific's global SASE deployment," said Shukla. "It's an honor for me to lead Aryaka, with its incredible group of people and technical assets, and propel the company to its next phase of growth. Aryaka has already reached the $100M ARR milestone that 98% of venture-backed companies never do. Now that the markets for networking and security are converging, we have an opportunity for Aryaka to become the next billion-dollar security industry player."