Thursday, May 9, 2024

O2 Telefónica deploys Nokia's5G standalone core on AWS

O2 Telefónica in Germany has deployed a 5G standalone core on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The installation leverages Nokia’s secure and cloud-native 5G core architecture, including packet core.

Nokia says the deployment underscores its multi-cloud ability to migrate existing communication service providers (CSPs) to a range of cloud platform options including public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud; using their choice of cloud platforms and making it easy for CSPs to deploy applications and services on any infrastructure. 

Nokia also noted that it now has 107 CP customers for its 5G standalone core.

Mallik Rao, Chief Technology & Information Officer at O2 Telefónica, said: "We are building our network of the future. With the launch of the new, cloud-based 5G core network, we are doing pioneering work in Europe and we are taking a major step in our transformation process. With the new 5G cloud core, we are moving away from traditional architectures and instead focusing on modern, high-performance, and efficient network technologies. In doing so, we are relying on the quality and global expertise of Nokia and AWS. We offer our customers an excellent 5G experience and new digital applications."

Fabio Cerone, General Manager Telecom EMEA at Amazon Web Services, said: “We’re thrilled to be selected for the 5G Cloud Core network deployment of O2 Telefónica and to realize their vision of the network of the future. By using Nokia 5G Core network on AWS, O2 Telefónica is redefining its operating model through full automation and elasticity at scale. It will bring O2 Telefónica the ability to dynamically scale and allocate 5G network capabilities to meet customer needs, as well as the needs of the new applications that will run on top of the new core.”

Raghav Sahgal, President of Cloud and Network Services at Nokia, said: “We are delighted to support O2 Telefónica Germany’s move onto AWS. This deployment, the first major one of its kind for an existing communication service provider, enables greater network agility and service offerings, and provides Telefónica Germany with all the tools it needs to efficiently manage and extract greater value from its network assets. The deployment underscores Nokia’s multi-cloud ability to migrate communication service providers to the public cloud, making it practical for them to deploy applications and services on the infrastructure of their choice; and, with more flexible scaling, reliability, and near zero-touch automation.”


Nokia and Vodafone trial Open RAN with Arm and HPE

Vodafone completed a trial of Nokia's anyRAN in collaboration with partners Arm and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). The live demonstration, held at Nokia's Open RAN Innovation Center in Dallas, Texas, showcased the completion of an end-to-end Layer 3 (L3) data call.

The test platform leveraged Ampere Arm-based general-purpose processors, the HPE ProLiant RL300 server, Nokia's Layer 1 (L1) accelerator, and Nokia’s RAN software. To complement the 5G Standalone (SA) RAN architecture, Nokia integrated its 5G SA Compact Mobility Unit (CMU) Core.

The trial took place over-the-air with Nokia's AirScale massive MIMO radios on the n78 spectrum band (3.5 GHz band). Additionally, Nokia's intelligent MantaRay NM network management system provided a consolidated network view for improved monitoring and management.

During the demonstration, the data calls were successfully conducted using commercial user devices. The trial shows that the introduction of Arm Neoverse-based processors on HPE servers within the Nokia anyRAN approach will provide operators, including Vodafone, with enhanced supplier diversity and efficiency advantages of the latest silicon technology.

Francisco Martin, Head of Open RAN at Vodafone, said: “Vodafone is dedicated to supporting the development and adoption of Open RAN platforms by fostering a diverse ecosystem of silicon solutions. The approach offers numerous benefits, including increased choice, enhanced energy efficiency, higher network capacity, and improved performance in wireless networks. We are excited to collaborate with Nokia, Arm, and HPE in this live demonstration, and the initial results have been promising, paving the way for future commercialization.”

Mark Atkinson, Head of RAN at Nokia, said: “Achieving future computing evolution requires a flexible approach to RAN deployments, allowing freedom of choice in server hardware, general-purpose processors and cloud platforms. This trial not only builds upon past accomplishments but also solidifies Nokia's leadership in Open RAN innovation. It is another testament to the openness of Nokia's anyRAN approach, ensuring consistent performance of Open RAN while empowering operators with more options to build their networks.”

RSA: Kevin Mandia's State of Cybersecurity - the Year in Review

 Despite better collaboration between industry and law enforcement, 2023 proved to be another record year for ransomeware, with attackers collecting an estimated $1.1 billion in payments from extorted companies, according to a keynote presentation at this week's RSA conference in San Francisco by Kevin Mandia, CEO of Mandiant and Google Cloud. The damages caused by the attackers vastly exceeded this amount. 

Mandia's commentary is based on 1,100 investigations and numerous red team exercises conducted over the year. 

Here are highlights from his keynote.

Conclusions from Investigations

  • Global Risks and Repercussions: There's a perceived lack of significant risks or repercussions for cyber attackers globally, which emboldens their activities.
  • Innovation in Cyber Offense: There has been noticeable innovation in ransomware, evolving from data theft and extortion to more aggressive tactics including harassment.
  • Private and Government Cooperation: 2022 has seen improved collaboration between private sectors and government bodies, enhancing cybersecurity responses.

Findings and Suggestions

  • Zero-Day Exploits: There has been a sharp increase in zero-day exploits, with significant impacts on multiple vendors beyond the major ones like Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Mandia emphasizes the importance of being prepared for such vulnerabilities as they are inevitable.
  • Espionage and Attribution: Espionage remains difficult to manage with traditional cybersecurity methods. Mandia discusses the need for modernizing treaties to help attribute and impose risks on criminal actors more effectively.
  • Spearphishing Evolution: Attackers are shifting techniques due to enhanced email security measures and more widespread use of multifactor authentication (MFA). Mandia suggests focusing on proxy logs to detect malicious downloads which bypass secure email gateways.

Strategy for Defense Improvement

  • MFA and Social Engineering: Mandia highlights the ongoing challenges with MFA and the need for secure systems that can resist social engineering attacks.
  • Infrastructure and Evasion Techniques: Cyber attackers are increasingly using sophisticated methods to blend into normal network activities, requiring advanced detection strategies that go beyond initial breach detection.
  • Public and Private Sector Collaboration: The talk concludes with a call for continued improvement in collaboration between the public and private sectors, emphasizing the need for transparency and shared standards in cybersecurity practices.

A recording of the keynote can be seen here:

Tech Update: AI for Security and Security for AI

What's the difference between AI for Security and Security for AI?  Larry Lunetta, VP of Portfolio Solutions Marketing from HPE Aruba Networking explains:

- The importance of AI in enhancing security solutions, particularly in protecting IoT devices which are prone to going rogue and initiating larger attacks.

- The role of AI in identifying, fingerprinting, and assigning access rights to IoT devices, as well as monitoring their behavior in real-time for any anomalies indicating a potential compromise.

- The security solutions offered by HPE , including firewall as a service, security observability dashboards, and a bundle of edge connect SD-WAN and a secure web gateway.

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Lumen partners with Versa on Sovereign SASE

Lumen Technologies has expanded its partnership with Versa Networks to deliver a Sovereign SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) solution that integrates AI-powered in-line security for Zero Trust at the network edge. This solution leverages Lumen's global network, as well as Versa's  Secure SD-WAN and Unified SASE capabilities, to provide real-time threat detection and remediation for customers.

The Sovereign SASE solution is deployed on dedicated SASE gateways in Lumen's global points of presence (PoPs) or on customer premises, based on the customer's preference and needs. It can integrate Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), SD-WAN, and other technologies into a hybrid network that connects users, devices, and sites seamlessly and securely. Lumen will also deploy Versa SD-WAN at customer premises as part of the Versa Unified SASE offering. Additionally, the solution utilizes Lumen SASE with Versa to deliver advanced security services such as Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), Security Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) services for remote and hybrid workforces.

Lumen Defender proactively blocks evolving threats at the network edge before they can compromise a business’s network perimeter. Black Lotus Labs, Lumen’s threat research team, leverages its  visibility into Lumen’s global internet backbone using ML algorithms to generate threat intelligence that detects malicious infrastructure being used by cybercriminals and nation state actors.

“Lumen SASE powered by Versa technology leverages the best of both worlds: Lumen's global network and security expertise, and a dedicated, network-based SASE solution that gives customers more choices and customization,” said Hemen Mehta, VP of Managed Service Providers, NA of Versa Networks “Versa SASE combines Versa Secure SD-WAN and Versa SSE to uniquely deliver a unified SASE architecture that can be consumed as a service from the cloud along with on-premises deployment.”

"The Lumen and Versa partnership just got stronger. Together, we are now offering a Sovereign SASE option that will provide customers with more control, flexibility, and security," said Sharada Achanta, Lumen VP of Product, Cybersecurity and AI. “With this solution, our customers can take advantage of Lumen's new AI-enabled threat defense product, Lumen Defender, for real-time threat detection and remediation.”

Deutsche Glasfaser picks Nokia for fixed access and IP

Nokia confirmed a major contract with Deutsche Glasfaser to build a highly innovative and modern country-wide fiber broadband network in Germany. 

Nokia will provide a full suite of fixed access and IP network products including its next-generation PON fiber solution, capable of supporting GPON, XGS-PON and 25G PON on the same fiber, along with its Broadband Network Gateways (BNG). Nokia is swapping out two competitors’ installed basis of IP Core, BNG and Edge Routers including related services.

Nokia leads the design and the validation of Deutsche Glasfaser’s new network architecture, customizes its IP domain controller (Network Service Platform) and the fixed access domain controller (Altiplano Access Controller). Nokia will also deploy services for the installation and the commissioning of Nokia’s systems.

Deutsche Glasfaser aims to triple its installed base of 2 million ‘homes passed’ going forward. Driven by a 7 billion Euro investment from Deutsche Glasfaser owners EQT and Omers, the company is modernizing its network architecture and operations. 

Pascal Koster, Chief Operating Officer at Deutsche Glasfaser, said: “Nokia is an important strategic partner for us and provides future-proof and highly reliable network technology and services. 10 Gbps XGS-PON access technology will be deployed as standard across our network from April 2024 onwards in partnership with Nokia. The first XGS-PON customer connections are already live in the aera of Neuwied. The deployment program enables the introduction of symmetrical broadband services up to 10 Gbps for homes and business.”

Matthieu Bourguignon, Senior Vice-President and Head of Europe Business, Network Infrastructure at Nokia, added: “Nokia’s full suite of products and professional services will help Deutsche Glasfaser to design an optimized and automated network across different network domains. This includes the whole scope of work from design, validation and integration, swap services, site surveys, installation, commissioning and maintenance. Deutsche Glasfaser has been a customer of our FTTH access equipment since 2017, so this is a valuable seal of approval to extend our partnership to the IP domain.”

Spirent and Aviz partner on 5G traffic monitoring

Spirent Communications and Aviz Networks announced a collaboration to further strengthen the Networking 3.0 Stack by offering customers more open, hardware vendor-agnostic methods for conducting intelligent traffic monitoring across various 5G network applications such as voice, video, data, mission critical services, IoT, and enterprise and industrial applications. 

Aviz Service Nodes integrate with existing packet broker networks operating on general-purpose hardware. 

With this partnership, Aviz Service Nodes are can be validated by Spirent's Landslide test platform for  service provider networks. This enables telcos to:

  • Gain deeper insights: Aviz Service Nodes provide  metadata extraction and advanced correlation analysis by leveraging Landslide’s advanced, state machine-driven implementation of 3GPP standards, along with its compatibility with release 17 based 5G nodes and interfaces. The platform’s flexibility to customize call flows, messages, and information elements is instrumental in generating call models that mimic the real world at unprecedented scale to rigorously test performance through LLM-based AI models.
  • Optimize deployments: In the dynamic landscape of 5G network deployment, which encompasses diverse setups like Standalone (SA), Non-Standalone (NSA), and Private 5G that are tailored to address fundamental elements of 5G design and architecture, the support for real-world Busy Hour Call Attempts (BHCA) models becomes indispensable. With 5G deployments being platform-independent, testing must be platform-agnostic. Spirent Landslide's line-rate scaling capacity, and ability to replicate real-world deployments through its Real-World Call model, ensures maximum efficiency and service quality.

“Our solution is designed for AI-powered data-driven networking for 5G deployments and we estimate that customers can achieve a staggering 50% reduction in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) through this software-defined approach,” said Vishal Shukla, Founder and CEO at Aviz Networks. “Thanks to our new collaboration, Aviz Service Nodes, combined with the unmatched testing capabilities of Spirent Landslide, represents a significant milestone in our commitment to Telco success with our AI-enabled Networking 3.0 Stack.”

“Partnering with Aviz Networks represents an important step to further enhance network testing, while demonstrating Landslide’s capabilities to seamlessly integrate with Aviz’s Networking 3.0 framework,” said Kishore Kumar, 5G Business Development, APAC South at Spirent Communications. “This integration ushers in a new era of intelligent traffic monitoring and AI-driven network optimization, enhancing the capabilities of both solutions and setting a new standard for open, scalable, and efficient 5G network applications.”