Wednesday, February 28, 2024

#MWC24: The Pivotal Year for Network APIs

 Check out complete MWC Barcelona 2024 Showcase at:

After so many years of development, will 2024 be the pivotal for Network APIs? Usman Javaid, Chief Products & Marketing Officer from Orange Business explains:

- The mobile industry has come together for the first time to establish a common set of standards for Network APIs, ensuring a consistent experience for developers across different mobile network operators globally.

- The convergence of the ecosystem of hyperscalers with mobile network operators, allowing for enriched developer ecosystems through the exposure of APIs via hyperscaler partners and other API providers.

- The potential for application developers to incorporate networking functionality within their applications using Network APIs, enabling them to create a myriad of use cases such as Geo fencing and fraud detection.

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#MWC24: Making Every Connection Count with AI

Check out complete MWC Barcelona 2024 Showcase at:

Perhaps AI's greatest near term potential for Service Providers is improving network operations. Sally Bament, GVP of Marketing from Juniper, explains: 

  • How Juniper's AI-native networking platform is designed to collect the right data from network users and devices, action real-time responses to network issues, and ensure a secure infrastructure.
  • The benefits of AI automation and sustainable service orchestration capabilities, which simplify the validation, provisioning, and management of complex SLA Bank Network Services.
  • The integration of AI Ops into data center operations and managed service offerings, simplifying the experience for operators and assuring an amazing experience for their business customers.

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#MWC24: Next Gen Networks for AI

Underlying every powerful AI implementation is a powerful network.  At the heart of every networking is a switching/routing architecture. Sanjay Kumar, VP of Products and Marketing from Arrcus, explains:

- The world of AI is going to be distributed with workloads and workflows across the entire network. To access these seamlessly, Arrcus has introduced a platform that acts as a network fabric, connecting all these different AI pieces and delivering applications wherever required.

- Arrcus has announced support for new platforms that provide higher connectivity using ethernet, and features that help with lossless connectivity, allowing operators to manage workloads efficiently and reduce job completion time.

- Arrcus also supports SmartNIC and DPU platforms like Nvidia Bluefield, which offloads IPC and provides secure connectivity within a data center at higher speeds. This, along with AR IQ, an observability platform, helps network operators secure their data centers and get a comprehensive view of the network, enabling them to take remedial actions wherever required.

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Ericsson refreshes is radio portfolio at MWC

Ericsson is rolling out extensive updates to its radio, transport and antenna portfolio, including its flagship AIR 3255, a Massive MIMO time division duplex (TDD) radio boasting more than 25 percent energy savings and 20 percent lower embodied carbon footprint compared to the previous generation radio.

The new AIR 3255 is equipped with new small metal filter technology that is scalable to all TDD sub-6GHz frequency bands to incentivize 5G mid-band deployment. This radio is also the first to use the new generation of Massive MIMO Ericsson Silicon (System on a Chip) with enhanced receiver processing and improved energy efficiency. In addition, AIR 3255 uses only one printed circuit board that is unique to the industry in terms of building practice, as well as passive cooling.

Some other product updates/introductions from Ericsson:

  • Triple-band Massive MIMO FDD radio AIR 3284 (32T/32R) providing 2x higher downlink and 4x higher uplink capacity compared to 4T/4R.
  • Radio 4823 (4T/8R), boosting uplink performance (2x) with separate remote electrical tilt on the 2.6GHz frequency band to extend coverage or capacity based on the deployment choice.
  • AIR 5343 for high-capacity and high-performing Fixed Wireless Access with macro deployment. Up to 1600 MHz total carrier bandwidth and 11 dB extended coverage.
  • Radio 4461HP (high power) with 50 percent more output power and 42 percent lower embodied carbon footprint and Radio 8873 in both standard power and high power (HP) variants
  • Uplink Multi-User Massive MIMO FDD with up to four layers in the uplink based on full interference rejection combining (IRC) advanced receiver to add capacity and speed.
  • Uplink-aware Advanced Multi-Layer Coordination –identifies the best cell set for each user, taking into account UE capability, network configuration, service requirements as well as downlink and uplink cell load.
  • Automated Energy Saver – the sweet spot between maximized performance and energy efficiency, autonomously executed via an intent defined by the CSP to adjust radio resources and improve energy efficiency while securing the best user experience.
  • MINI-LINK 6355 – improved E-band performance with next-gen, all-outdoor E-band node. The 2x output power and 25GE interfaces extend hop-length and capacity in multi-carrier configurations. Added Radio Deep Sleep energy-saving feature for E-band.
  • Antenna 4206 – two low-band, four mid-band; 2.1m based on new antenna structure. Latest Ericsson Antenna System high-performing solution with up to 85 percent beam efficiency and 49 percent savings in embodied carbon footprint and 24 percent less weight, using 100 percent thermoplastic radome and lighter build. Fully recyclable.


Open XR Optics Forum releases 400G MSA specs

The Open XR Optics Forum released its first Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) specifications for 400G transceivers.  

The specifications were developed by the Forum's transceiver working group, which includes representatives from 11 member companies. The goal of these specifications is to define standards that ensure interoperability among products from different vendors and support multi-sourcing of compliant coherent transceiver modules.

The release includes two key documents. The first sets out specifications related to the mechanical form factor and client interface, while the second document details the optical and electrical interface requirements. 

These specifications are part of the Forum's broader objective to foster the adoption of advanced coherent network architectures, both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint, by promoting interoperability across different vendors. This approach is intended to enhance network flexibility and achieve cost efficiencies.

The specifications released are titled "Open XR Transceiver Optical and Client Interface Specification" and "Open XR 400G Optical Module Form Factor Hardware Specifications." Additionally, two more documents, focusing on the management interface between pluggable modules and host devices, and signal format specifications, are in development. These will complete the suite of Open XR Optics-compliant transceiver specifications.

The specifications can be downloaded from the Open XR Optics Forum website:


O2 Telefónica begins first Cloud RAN in Europe with Ericsson

O2 Telefónica will begin deploying Ericsson Cloud RAN, supporting 5G Standalone (SA), in Offenbach, Germany during the first half of this year. 

The joint initiative will leverage Ericsson's virtualization and cloud technologies, enabling a new range of services and enhanced customer experiences for the European market. The inclusion of cloud-centralized components will also enable the exploration of new business models and revenue generation initiatives.

Mallik Rao, Chief Technology & Information Officer, O2 Telefónica, says: ”We are constructing our network of the future to offer Germany’s consumers and businesses the best network experience and new digital services. Our cloud transformation in the core and RAN network is an important building block for a flexible, fully automated, high-performance network. We are delighted to partner with Ericsson to add modern Cloud RAN technology to our partner portfolio. We are working with the best players in the field to drive forward network innovation in the German market.”


ServiceNow, Hugging Face, and NVIDIA offer open-access LLMs

 ServiceNow, Hugging Face, and NVIDIA recently announced the launch of StarCoder2, a new set of open-access large language models (LLMs) focused on code generation. This collaboration between the companies aims to offer models that are not only high-performing but also transparent and cost-effective. StarCoder2 is a product of the BigCode community's efforts, with ServiceNow, a company specializing in digital workflows, and Hugging Face, a platform known for its extensive open-source contributions to the machine learning community, playing pivotal roles in its development.

Designed to be versatile, StarCoder2 has been trained on 619 programming languages, enabling its application across a variety of coding tasks such as generating application source codes, automating workflows, and summarizing texts. The model is structured to support further training and integration into enterprise systems for specialized functions. It is available in three sizes to suit different needs and computational capacities: a 3 billion-parameter model developed by ServiceNow, a 7 billion-parameter model from Hugging Face, and a 15 billion-parameter model created by NVIDIA using NVIDIA NeMo technology on their accelerated computing infrastructure. These options aim to balance computational efficiency with performance, offering a choice between smaller, less resource-intensive models and larger, more powerful versions.

“StarCoder2 stands as a testament to the combined power of open scientific collaboration and responsible AI practices with an ethical data supply chain,” emphasized Harm de Vries, lead of ServiceNow's StarCoder2 development team, and co-lead of BigCode. "The state-of-the-art open-access model improves on prior generative AI performance to increase developer productivity and provides developers equal access to the benefits of code generation AI, which in turn enables organizations of any size to more easily meet their full business potential.”

“The joint efforts led by Hugging Face, ServiceNow and NVIDIA enable the release of powerful base models that empower the community to build a wide range of applications more efficiently with full data and training transparency,” said Leandro von Werra, machine learning engineer at Hugging Face and co‑lead of BigCode. “StarCoder2 is a testament to the potential of open‑source and open science as we work toward democratizing responsible AI.”“StarCoder2 stands as a testament to the combined power of open scientific collaboration and responsible AI practices with an ethical data supply chain,” emphasized Harm de Vries, lead of ServiceNow's StarCoder2 development team, and co-lead of BigCode. 

Keysight intros test platform for AI/L networks

Keysight Technologies introduced a test platform for AI / ML network validation and optimization.

Highlights of the Keysight AI Data Center Test Platform:

  • Emulates high-scale AI workloads with measurable fidelity – Offers deep insights into collective communication performance
  • Simplifies the benchmarking process – Provides validation of AI network fabric with
  • pre-packaged benchmark applications, built through partnerships with the largest AI operators and AI infrastructure vendors
  • Executes defined AI / ML behavioral models – Enables sharing between users and customers to help reproduce experiments
  • Offers a choice of test engines – Choose between AI workload emulation on Keysight hardware load appliances and software endpoints or real AI accelerators to compare benchmarking results
  • The Keysight platform enables large scale validation and experimentation with fabric design in a realistic and cost-effective way. This solution complements testing AI / ML workloads using GPUs, providing AI operators with a more scalable, robust, and integrated AI test platform.

Ram Periakaruppan, Vice President and General Manager, Network Test & Security Solutions, Keysight, said: “As a leader in testing ultra-high-speed 800G Ethernet networks, Keysight continues to lead the way in innovation, having formed close partnerships with hyperscalers to co-design this groundbreaking new AI test platform that realistically benchmarks and emulates high-scale AI workloads unlike other test tools available today.”


Zayo appoints Nikos Katinakis as CTO

Zayo Group has appointed Nikos Katinakis as Chief Technology Officer. 

Katinakis brings network leadership experience from Telstra, Australia’s largest mobile network, Indian pioneer Reliance Jio, Canadian telecommunications giant Rogers, and infrastructure provider Ericsson.

“Next-generation technology is being deployed faster than ever before. To meet increasing capacity demands, it’s critical to take an enhanced approach to innovation in the network,” said Steve Smith, CEO of Zayo. “Our strategic appointment of Nikos underscores Zayo’s dedication to advancing network excellence. His network experience and expertise combined with Zayo’s capabilities and automated technology will ensure our customers can meet – and exceed – connectivity expectations, now and in the future.”