Monday, February 26, 2024

Global Telco AI Alliance targets Large Language Models

A newly-launched Global Telco AI Alliance (GTAA), backed by Deutsche Telekom, e& Group, Singtel, SoftBank Corp. and SK Telecom, plans to develop Large Language Models (LLMs) specifically tailored to the needs of telecommunications companies. The initiative will lead to the establishment of a Joint Venture Company within this year.  

The goal is to develop multilingual LLMs optimized for languages including Korean, English, German, Arabic and Japanese, with plans for additional languages to be agreed among the founding members. These will be used by digital assistants and chatbots to improve customer service.

The joint venture plans to focus on deploying innovative AI applications tailored to the needs of the Global AI Telco Alliance members in their respective markets, enabling them to reach a global customer base of approximately 1.3 billion across 50 countries. Deutsche Telekom boasts about 250 million subscribers across 12 countries, including Germany and the U.S. The e& Group has 169 million subscribers in 16 countries across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, while the Singtel Group has 770 million subscribers in 21 countries, including Australia, India, and Indonesia. 

"We want our customers to experience the best possible service. AI helps us do that. Already today, more than 100,000 customer service dialogs a month in Germany are handled by Generative AI. By integrating telco-specific large language models, our 'Frag Magenta' chatbot becomes even more human-centric: AI personalizes conversations between customers and chatbots. And our joint venture brings Europe and Asia closer together,” says Claudia Nemat, Member of the Board of Management for Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom.


Microsoft advances its Azure Operator Nexus

 Microsoft reports steady progress with Azure Operator Nexus, its carrier grade, hybrid platform. Some highlights: 

  • Additional Operator Nexus deployments supporting 5G standalone roll outs as primary platform.
  • Expanding capabilities to address national security requirements in multiple regions.
  • Increasing support for common operational requirements and refining approach to the DevSecOps models supporting multi-vendor network function deployments.
  • Additional form factors to support RAN and additional workloads.
  • As a service model to support customer and partner lab deployments in Microsoft datacenters.
  • Expanded Nexus Ready program with over 20 certified partners and over 80 network functions.

Operator Nexus enables operators to run workloads on-premises or on Azure, seamlessly deploying and managing everything from the bare metal to the network to the tenant. Purpose-built for and validated by tier 1 operators to run mission-critical workloads, Operator Nexus:

  • Accelerates time to market for new services.
  • Lowers total cost of ownership (TCO).
  • Drives operational efficiency and resiliency.
  • Critically, improves the security of highly distributed, software-based networks.

“As part of e& UAE’s transformation to becoming a digital telco we are excited to collaborate closely with Microsoft as we drive innovation in our services and excellence in our customer experience. The use of Azure Operator Nexus and Azure Operator 5G Core to support our core network will better enable us to leverage the power of AI and automation and provide new avenues for monetization,” stated Khalid Murshed, Chief Technology and Information Officer, e& UAE.

“AT&T is moving to the next phase of our cloud migration that includes deploying Microsoft’s Azure Operator Nexus platform in our network as part of the next phase of our 5G SA deployment. Continuing its leadership in cloud networking, AT&T is using cloud native DevOps tools to drive improvements such as one-touch deployment, vendor-agnostic framework, CI/CD integration, automated network testing, in-service upgrades, and advanced security and compliance management. Azure Operator Nexus’ API-driven solution helped us to significantly simplify, automate, and improve the deployment cycle time for cloud infrastructure software and configuration in our data centers,” stated Yigal Elbaz, Senior Vice President, Network CTO.


Keysight and Intel combine mMIMO with O-RAN

 Keysight Technologies and Intel are collaborating to enable mMIMO) beamforming designs for use in Open Radio Access Networks (RAN).

Open RAN architectures revolutionize mobile networks by decoupling software from hardware, enabling operators to combine components from various suppliers for enhanced flexibility and cost savings. This approach, complemented by the use of mMIMO technology, which employs numerous antennas to improve data transmission efficiency, offers substantial benefits in network performance. However, integrating these technologies poses significant challenges in ensuring compatibility and interoperability among different vendors' equipment.

Intel has tackled these challenges head-on with its mMIMO digital beamforming solution, housed on an Intel Agilex™ 7 SoC FPGA, optimized for Open RAN systems through dynamic beamforming techniques. By leveraging Keysight's Open RAN Studio for validation, Intel ensures its solution fits seamlessly within the Open RAN ecosystem, enhancing the ability to handle numerous connections essential for 5G's high data demands. Open RAN Studio, a key component of the Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) portfolio, offers advanced tools for testing and optimizing Open RAN configurations, ensuring efficient, secure, and high-performing 5G networks.

#MWC24 NTT video: AI Opportunity at the Edge

 Check out complete MWC Barcelona 2024 Showcase at:

We're really just getting started with AI and the main area of focus will shift to the edge. Devin Yaung, SVP, Global Enterprise IoT from NTT explains:

- AI is only as effective as the data it's fed, and that's where Edge computing comes into play. It's the layer closest to the physical environment, collecting data to feed AI models.

- Companies are running out of processing power on the edge due to over-reliance on the cloud. Now, the focus is shifting back to the edge, with IoT sensors playing a crucial role in data collection.

- The importance of Edge computing is highlighted in applications like computer vision, where constant data collection from various environmental constraints is necessary to train the model effectively. The right network, devices, and Edge compute are vital in this process.

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Adtran confirms Build America, Buy America compliance

Capitalizing on its 30-year history of US-based manufacturing, Adtran confirmed its compliance with the final Build America, Buy America ruling.

Adtran will supply BABA-compliant optical line terminals (OLTs), cabinets, ONTs and pluggable optics, providing a comprehensive solution fully ready to meet the needs of the BEAD program.

“We welcome the clarity of the final BABA ruling, enabling us to align our solutions with federal requirements and ensure our readiness to support the BEAD program in closing America’s digital divide. As we continue to align our efforts with the program’s objectives, we’re looking forward to the National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) providing the certification process and website details. This step is crucial for operators to design their BEAD networks with confidence, ensuring they can leverage our BABA-compliant solutions and accelerate the deployment of high-speed broadband infrastructure across the nation,” said Robert Conger, GM of software platforms and strategy at Adtran. “The BEAD program is improving access to key digital services and driving economic growth while also empowering communities by generating high-quality jobs. At Adtran, we have a longstanding tradition of harnessing home-grown innovation and building on American soil. That’s why our support for the BABA Act isn’t a new direction for us — it’s a reaffirmation of our legacy.”

Nokia to meet Buy America guidelines by mid-2024

Nokia confirmed that its fiber optic broadband network electronics and optical modules manufactured in the U.S. meet the final Buy America guidelines issued by the Department of Commerce for BEAD participants.

State and infrastructure builders can order Nokia BEAD-certified products today with delivery starting from June 2024 onwards.

Nokia Buy America Compliant fiber-optic products

  • Nokia FX and MF OLT modular product lines
  • Nokia SF-8M sealed OLT
  • XS-220X-A ONT 

Sandy Motley, USA Country Manager at Nokia, said: “We are proud to be Buy America compliant and to support the U.S. government's efforts to bring broadband to every American. We believe broadband is a fundamental right and a vital social and economic development enabler. As a leader in fixed access technologies, we have the solutions and experience to help states eliminate the digital divide and deliver high-quality broadband services to their communities.”


NTT partners with SKT and Rohde & Schwarz on 6G 

NTT DOCOMO and NTT added two new global partners to their collaborative 6G trials: SK Telecom and Rohde & Schwarz, a manufacturer of high-frequency high-performance measurement instruments.

The two new companies join existing collaborators Fujitsu, NEC, Nokia, Ericsson and Keysight Technologies.

As part of its technical collaboration with DOCOMO and NTT, SK Telecom will participate in trials using AI technology to tailor radio interfaces for various propagation environments, which is being conducted jointly by DOCOMO with NTT and Nokia. The trial will now be expanded to include environments closer to envisioned uses, leveraging SK Telecom’s expertise as a telecom operator and ecosystem creator, similar to DOCOMO. 

In addition, Rohde & Schwarz will use its measurement-system design technology in channel models to evaluate new wireless-sensing solutions beyond mobile communication technologies, and evaluate wireless-sensing performance using measurements and channel models in real-world environments.

Separately, DOCOMO and NTT also announced the following results of trials using new wireless communication technologies and AI.



DT and Sony test live TV production via network API

Deutsche Telekom and Sony are testing the use of 5G network Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to manage Nevion’s VideoIPath media orchestration platform. Nevion is a subsidiary of Sony.

The solution uses Deutsche Telekom’s network APIs to make optimum use of the 5G network and offer low latency and reliable bandwidth, which is essential for live, professional video production.

The tests successfully combined Nevion’s smart bandwidth management capabilities and Sony’s ultra-low latency video compression technology with seamless access to Deutsche Telekom’s 5G SA network and optimized via network APIs. The tests were carried out on a 5G standalone (SA) testbed in a Deutsche Telekom lab environment in Krakow, Poland. As part of this test, Sony used its recently-launched CBK-RPU7 HEVC 4K/HD remote production unit for the video compression, and its new 5G Portable Data Transmitter PDT-FP1 – both attached to a camera.  These devices complement the solution by enabling cameras in the field to connect to the broadcast production center over the 5G network. The network APIs used in the tests follow the standards set by CAMARA, the open-source network API project within the Linux Foundation, of which Deutsche Telekom is an active member.


Fujitsu: Trial of distributed MIMO at 100GHz and 300GHz

The trial successfully acquired propagation channel information equivalent to a distributed MIMO system using Fujitsu's 100GHz phased-array antenna prototype and wireless circuit.

Simulations will be performed to analyze factors such as shielding resistance and distributed MIMO characteristics.

Amazon to launch AWS infrastructure Region in Mexico

Amazon Web Services (AWS) plans to launch an AWS infrastructure Region in Mexico by early 2025. 

The new AWS Mexico (Central) Region is the latest in AWS’s ongoing investments in Mexico to provide customers with advanced and secure cloud technologies. 

The new AWS Region will consist of three Availability Zones at launch, adding to AWS’s existing 105 Availability Zones across 33 geographic regions globally. With today’s announcement, AWS has plans to launch 15 more Availability Zones and five more AWS Regions in Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Thailand, and the AWS European Sovereign Cloud. AWS Regions consist of Availability Zones that place infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations. Availability Zones are located far enough from each other to support customers’ business continuity, but near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications that use multiple Availability Zones. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security and is connected through redundant, ultra-low-latency networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can design their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even greater fault tolerance.

“Cloud services are an essential part of everyday life, helping us to digitally and economically transform Mexico,” said Raquel Buenrostro, Mexican secretary of economy. “We welcome AWS’s investment and expansion in Mexico because it is a sign of trust and demonstrates conditions are right to support the nearshoring trend across many sectors of our economy. We also welcome AWS’s investment in training students, micro, small and medium-sized companies, and digital entrepreneurs in Mexico at scale.”

AT&T activates Ericsson Cloud RAN

AT&T has begun deploying Ericsson Cloud RAN technology on its commercial 5G network. This includes migrating the 3700MHz band for C-Band traffic to Cloud RAN infrastructure. 

AT&T now has commercial traffic flowing on Cloud RAN sites, the first ones of which are located south of Dallas, Texas. The configuration allows third-party vendors to use this configuration for Open RAN in the future.

The companies describe the deployment as the next step in the ongoing collaboration between AT&T and Ericsson to realize the benefits of Cloud RAN and move AT&T closer to their goal of a fully open, agile, programmable wireless network.

Chris Sambar, Head of Network, AT&T, says: “This is the next milestone in AT&T’s Open RAN journey. By moving traffic to cloud RAN sites, we’re accelerating our c-band deployment and continuing to virtualize our network. The open network future is coming fast and we’re looking forward to seeing the innovation that it brings for our customers.”

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, says: “Taking the next leap is second nature to us at Ericsson as we constantly innovate and capitalize on technology trends and shifts to stay ahead of the curve. This progress in our collaboration with AT&T shows our commitment to supporting their Open RAN ambition.”