Huawei & Intel Partner for 3GPP “New Radio” Interoperability Testing

On Friday September 22nd, Huawei announced it will collaborate with Intel on the 3GPP “5G” New Radio (NR) based Interoperability Development Testing (IODT). The partnership will pave the way for pre-standard “5G” trials based on 3GPP release 15.  Note yet again, that 3GPP release 15 is targeted at “5G” trials, while release 16 will be a submission to the ITU-R IMT 2020 (real) 5G standards.

“The companies will conduct testing in real mobile, over-the-air environments directly connecting Huawei’s infrastructure and Intel’s terminal platform,” Huawei said on Friday.

The company added: “As one of the first globally converged 5G spectrum, C-Band will provide basic coverage and bandwidth for 5G. Further, C-Band will serve as one of the world’s first commercialised 5G frequency bands.  The verification of these features that Huawei and Intel have launched will point out the future direction for the industry.”

Based on Huawei’s 5G base station prototype and Intel’s 3rd Generation 5G Mobile Trial Platform (MTP), the companies will jointly verify the performance of key “5G” NR technologies which include: Sub-6GHz including C-Band, mmWave and mobility. The companies will conduct testing in mobile, over the air environments directly connecting Huawei’s infrastructure and Intel’s mobile terminal platform.

“Huawei is committed to driving the development and commercial deployment of 5G technologies. In the IMT-2020 field tests in Beijing, Huawei has fully demonstrated its competency and leadership in C-Band, mmWave, and downlink and uplink decoupling 5G technology. We are excited to work with Intel to help the industry drive the development of 5G terminals to promote sustainable development and ecosystem maturity of the industry chain,” said Yang Chaobin, President of 5G Product Line at Huawei.

“Intel has been actively collaborating with leading players in the Chinese 5G industry to accelerate 5G R&D tests and commercialization with Intel’s end-to-end 5G technology advantages. Based on the latest 5G NR technologies, this joint interoperability test with Huawei will further drive unified 5G standards and the industrial ecosystem in China and across the globe,” said Asha Keddy, vice president in the Communication and Devices Group at Intel Corporation.

Here’s the timeline for 3GPP release 15:

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Ongoing 5G Collaboration & Trials:

At the global 5G testing summit at 2017 MWC this past February, Huawei, Intel, and their telecom operator partners jointly announced they would work to drive globally unified 5G standards through 5G testing, enhance cooperation among telecom operators, equipment manufacturers and vertical industry partners, create a unified 5G industry chain from chips, terminals, to network infrastructure and test equipment, and build a global 5G ecosystem. Commencement of IODT seems to be a viable way for Intel and Huawei to achieve this goal.

In January, Huawei demonstrated “5G” like speeds of ~ 35Gbps with Singapore telcos StarHub and M1.  The company is working with wireless carriers all over the world (x-US) in “5G” trials.

Intel is working with U.S. carriers AT&T and Verizon on 5G trials.  AT&T is using Intel’s 5G mobile trial platform in its Indiana, Texas, and Michigan trials, while Verizon relies on Intel for its 11 pre-commercial 5G trial networks across the nation.  Intel is also planning to use the Olympic Games to showcase its 5G “platform.”

Intel and Verizon additionally trialed 5G during the Indianapolis 500 motor race in May, using technologies such as beam forming and beam tracking to attain speeds in excess of 6 Gbps.

–>Having missed out on 4G-LTE by backing WiMAX instead, Intel apparently is trying to catch up by putting a lot of engineering resources into 5G development and collaboration.

Huawei’s Conclusion:

“5G standards are moving quickly to unify, and China will be among the first countries to widely deploy 5G networks. Huawei and Intel will work closely to accelerate the era of 5G.”

References:

http://www.huawei.com/en/news/2017/9/Huawei-5G-collaboration-Intel

https://www.rohde-schwarz.com/us/solutions/wireless-communications/5g/webinars-videos/demystifying-5g-3gpp-ran1-status-for-5g-new-radio-nr_230872.html

http://www.3gpp.org/news-events/3gpp-news/1614-sa_5g

http://www.3gpp.org/news-events/3gpp-news/1813-nr_rel15

http://www.3gpp.org/release-15

http://www.3gpp.org/news-events/3gpp-news/1898-webinar_ran_sep_2017

Cignal AI’s Forecast for 100G & 400G Coherent WDM Shipments

Ciena and Cisco rank as the predominant vendors of 100G and 400G Coherent WDM optical network equipment for 2017, respectively according to Cignal AI in their Optical Applications Report. The networking component and equipment market research firm notes that 400G coherent WDM system shipments are ramping up this year. The market research firm estimates that 400G technology will account for nearly one-quarter of all deployed WDM bandwidth in 2020.

The report also predicts that revenue for equipment originally designed for the data center interconnect (DCI) market will reach $1 billion by 2019, as these systems become widely adopted outside of traditional DCI applications.

Editor’s Note:

The lead author is the very well respected Andrew Schmitt, formerly with Infonetics (now IHS-Markit).  Both 100G and 400G coherent will be widely adopted at the edge of the network by the end of 2021, according to the market research firm.

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Cignal Al said that Cisco is growing 100G port deployments faster than all other vendors in the market. Meanwhile, Chinese coherent 100G port deployments grew at a healthy pace in the first half of 2017.

Cignal Al

Complementing the 400G and 100G growth are two other key innovations—compact modular equipment and packet-OTN switching.

While modular equipment was initially designed to accommodate data center deployments, a host of traditional incumbent, wholesale, and cable MSOs will use these systems incorporated with open software to build disaggregated optical networks.

Cignal Al noted that compact modular equipment spending more than tripled in the first half of 2017 over the same period last year. Ciena, Cisco, and Infinera are the dominant suppliers for this sector.  At the same time, traditional service providers such as Verizon are expanding advanced packet-OTN deployments. Packet-OTN systems revenue grew in the double digits in the first half of 2017, up from the same period in 2016.  Cignal Al said Verizon’s deployment of these systems is rising and will affect vendor market share more materially in the second half of 2017.

“Cignal AI has close relationships with equipment and component manufacturers, as well as end users, and these relationships give us a unique insight into the optical equipment market.  From this vantage point, we can forecast emerging technologies such as coherent 400G WDM usage,” states Andrew Schmitt, lead analyst for Cignal AI. “Pluggable 400G ZR modules should enter the market by 2019, and they will be the final nail in the coffin for 10G WDM networks.”

100G+ Coherent WDM:

  • 400G coherent WDM volume starts to ramp this year, led by Ciena deployments and then followed by other suppliers six to nine months later.
  • The introduction of small form factor 100G and 400G pluggable models will spur the largest optical market transformation since the “Optical Reboot” of 2012-2015 by virtually eliminating most 10G WDM deployments from the world’s optical infrastructure.
  • Both 100G and 400G coherent will be widely adopted at the edge of the network by the end of 2021.
  • Cisco is growing 100G port deployments faster than all other vendors in the market.
  • Despite widespread expectations to the contrary, Chinese coherent 100G port deployments grew at a healthy pace in the first half of 2017.

About the Report:

This report tracks optical equipment spending and port shipments for specific types of equipment designed to meet the needs of a specific application. Cignal AI collects shipment information and guidance from equipment companies as well as the supply chain each quarter, and estimate each companies shipments in each of the defined categories. Forecasts are based on expected spending and shipment trends for given applications on a regional basis.

The report features revenue-based market size and share for the hardware categories and detailed port-based market size and vendor market share for 100G+ shipments. Vendors examined include Acacia, Adtran, ADVA Optical Networking, Ciena, Cisco, Coriant, ECI Telecom, Fujitsu, Huawei, Infinera, Inphi, NTT Electronics (NEL), Nokia and ZTE.

The report contains details on the following areas:

  • Compact Modular hardware market share and forecasts
  • 100G+ Coherent port shipments vendor market share
  • 100G, 200G, and 400G+ Coherent and Direct Detect port shipments and forecast
  • Advanced Packet-OTN Switching market share and forecasts

References:

https://cignal.ai/2017/09/cignal-ai-issues-industrys-first-forecast-for-400g-coherent-wdm-shipments/

https://cignal.ai/2017/09/1h17-optical-applications-report/

https://cignal.ai/marketresearch/opteq_ap/

http://www.ciena.com/insights/what-is/What-Is-Coherent-Optics.html

http://www.gazettabyte.com/home/2017/9/15/has-coherent-optical-transmission-run-its-course.html

https://www.nextplatform.com/2017/09/14/rare-peek-inside-400g-cisco-network-chip/amp/

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/service-provider/100-gigabit-solution/index.html

http://www.ciena.com/insights/articles/Move-Over-200G-400G-is-the-New-Sexy.html

Addendum:

Vodafone New Zealand just announced the world’s first live deployment of a 400G per wavelength optical system to carry core IP traffic between its Auckland data centers, using Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai coherent optics.   AT&T’s recent trial of 400GbE also used Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai chipset

These two factors, illustrated above, enable the transport of 400Gb/s per wavelength and 30.4Tb/s of capacity per fiber, higher capacity than any other solutions available on the market, according to Ciena.

 

 

Broadband Forum’s vBG network spec targeted at SD-WANs; led by ONUG

The Broadband Forum has published TR-328, the Virtual Business Gateway, a network specification meant to facilitate the adoption of Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology. The Forum says that  Virtual Business Gateway (vBG) (TR-328) “enables SD-WAN spearheaded by The Open Networking User Group (ONUG).”

–>We’ll try to unpack that quote later in this post, by examining SD-WAN projects in the ONUG.

“As operators look to transform their networks with greater use of software and virtualization, demand for solutions, such as the vBG and CloudCO, with these associated reference implementations and API’s is growing – the market is now ready for standards-based software deliverables for Open Broadband,” Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum, said in a press release.

The Forum said that “vBG accelerates the delivery of new-generation
standardized, carrier-class, interoperable business services such as enterprise class firewall and Wide Area Network optimization. SD-WAN, spearheaded by the Open Networking User Group (ONUG), is enabled by the vBG, which connects to other Broadband Forum initiatives such as CloudCO and the Network Enhanced Residential Gateway. The completion of the landmark specification
comes at the same time as the Forum begins work on two major software projects for Open Broadband and makes significant progress on its CloudCO project.”

The Broadband Forum said that the vBG system enables greater efficiency in service provider networks by virtualizing some of the functionality of a Business Gateway into a flexible hosting environment, which may be located at the customer premises, in the operator’s network, such as a CloudCO, or using a combination of the two approaches.

By using the vBG, a service provider could simplify customer-located and customer self-provisioning through a web portal, enabling it to enhance new service delivery times, shutting down unsuccessful services and up-selling value-added services. All of this can be done without the need to deploy specialized hardware devices to remote enterprise sites.  Here are several illustrations of vBG in action:

Illustrations above courtesy of Broadband Forum

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TR-328 Summary:

  • TR-328 specifies the virtual Business Gateway (vBG) system architecture. The vBG system virtualizes some of the functionality of a Business Gateway into a flexible hosting environment which may be located at the customer premises, in the operator’s network, such as a CloudCO or using a combination of the two
  • With the vBG system architecture, the functions provided traditionally by the BG are now distributed between a simplified on-site physical device called the pBG (physical Business Gateway) and a virtualized component – the virtual Business Gateway. The vBG hosting environment can benefit both from network equipment and recent network virtualization technology
  • TR-328 describes the motivations to deploy the vBG System architecture, based on the use cases that it enables. In particular, it facilitates simplification of the customer located equipment, customer self-provision through a portal, rapid introduction of new services, decommissioning of unsuccessful ones, and upselling value-added services. All without the need to deploy specialized hardware devices to remote enterprise sites. Examples of value-added services include: enterprise class firewall and Wide Area Network optimization.

The vBG was published and the Open Broadband projects were launched during the Broadband Forum’s Q3 meeting, which took place in Helsinki Finland. The Open Broadband projects will be managed under the Broadband Forum’s “agile Open Broadband software” initiative, allowing for member and non-member participation to create a fast feedback loop between the specifications and the source code reference implementation that supports them. These new software projects are the first open source initiatives undertaken by the Broadband Forum.

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Related BB Forum specs Title
TR-359 A Framework for Virtualization
TR-345 Broadband Network Gateway and Network Function Virtualization
TR-328 Virtual Business Gateway
TR-317 Network Enhanced Residential Gateway

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Editor’s Note:

Up till now there have been no specifications for an internal SD-WAN or anything resembling an NNI to interconnect SD-WANs from different service providers.  The new spec is not a standard as neither the Broadband Forum or Open Network User Group (ONUG) is an official standards organization – like ITU or IEEE.

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ONUG SD-WAN Activity:

As far as we can tell, the closest to a realizable SD-WAN specification is the ONUG’s Open SD-WAN Exchange (OSE) project. It’s said to be an open framework to enable inter-operability between SD-WANs and cloud providers. 

ONUG says their OSE use cases address marketplace M&A, business partner connectivity, cloud/service provider network connectivity, technology transition, and vendor lock-in mitigation.

For more info on ONUG SD-WAN specification efforts, please see this presentation  from ONUG’s Spring 2017 meeting. Related content:

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SD-WAN Market Update:

Last week, China Telecom Global announced global SD-WAN service with integrated security provided by Versa Networks (one of many SD-WAN software start-ups). Separately, Windstream said at a Goldman Sachs conference that the advent of SD-WAN and Office Suite will enable it to breathe much-needed life into its SMB ILEC and SMB CLEC units, which have seen revenue struggles in recent years.

IDC estimates that worldwide SD-WAN infrastructure and services revenues will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.6% and reach $8.05 billion in 2021. That forecast seems incredibly optimistic without agreed upon specs/standards for multi-vendor inter-operability and SD WAN inter network connectivity.

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References:

https://www.broadband-forum.org/standards-and-software/major-projects/virtual-business-gateway

https://www.broadband-forum.org/news/download/pressreleeases/2017/PR11_BBF_Q3Helsinki_FINAL.pdf

http://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/broadband-forum-targets-sd-wan-trend-vbg-network-specification

https://www.onug.net/open-sd-wan-exchange-ose/

http://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/windstream-says-sd-wan-office-suite-combo-will-enhance-smb-ilec-smb-clec-business-revenues

http://www.zdnet.com/article/china-telecom-announces-global-sd-wan-service/

 

 

IHS Markit: Top 5 Trends in Telecom Infrastructure Sharing in Emerging Markets

By Stéphane Téral, executive director of research and analysis, mobile infrastructure and carrier economics, IHS Markit

Editor’s Note:   Two Charts from GSMA are inserted into Stephane’s post below.

Overview:

As service providers operate in saturated markets everywhere in the world, they increasingly focus on customer satisfaction and retention and on business and network transformation, which require increasing dedicated resources. However, significant revenue growth may no longer be achievable, so it is necessary to de-emphasize network operations through outsourcing and managed services as well as network sharing to preserve margins and sustain cash flow.

GSMA says annual mobile revenue growth will be 1 to 2% annually till 2020 (when 5G first starts to be deployed). \

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Below are five trends IHS Markit Technology is seeing in telecom infrastructure sharing in emerging markets:

Trend #1: Nigeria is the most successful network sharing country.  Africa, India, and Latin America are three geographies where network sharing has been working well. Although India pioneered network outsourcing back in 2005 and since has moved fast to network sharing and managed services, it is EMEA that is leading this area now with network sharing deals all across Eastern Europe and Africa. We can’t really pick a particular country because consolidation among service providers led to pan-African shared networks. However, in Africa I think Nigeria, the most populous African country, is the most successful and innovative telecom infrastructure country.

Trend #2: IHS Towers is the largest tower company in emerging countries
EMEA-based IHS Towers has become the largest of its kind (www.ihstowers.com) and is contributing to the success of Nigeria. The IHS Towers business model consists of buying the cell towers from the service providers, and leasing and managing those towers for the service providers. This allows the company to minimize operational expenditures (opex costs), and service providers can better focus on the customer experience.

Trend #3: We’ll see more HIS Towers-like companies in the future
Mobile subscriptions are at saturation everywhere in the world, putting pressure on revenue growth. Therefore, more and more service providers will sell their towers to companies like IHS Towers, which is in a strong position to keep growing. There is also the opportunity for others to create competition in the tower business.

Trend #4: The tower business is moving from emerging to developed countries
This is already happening in Italy. Given the revenue crunch across Western Europe, it is only a matter of time before we see more and more service providers selling their towers to a towerco specialist.

Trend #5: Network function virtualization (NFV) will provide the next wave of operational efficiencies in network sharing
By moving more network functions from hardware to software, using off-the-shelf IT components and platforms, the cost of network nodes decreases and new services can be turned up and down at a power of a click. Overall, with the concept of network slicing, it will become easier to share networks among several service providers.

GSMA says regions where mobile subscriber penetration is lower will experience higher revenue growth through 2020.

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Many of the themes discussed in this research note are explored in greater depth in IHS Markit’s recent Mobile Infrastructure Market Tracker report.
For information on purchasing this report, contact the sales department at IHS Markit in the Americas at (844) 301-7334 or technology_us@ihsmarkit.com; in EMEA at +44 1344 328 300 or technology_emea@ihsmarkit.com; or APAC at +604 291 3600 or technology_apac@ihsmarkit.com

References:

http://www.telecomlead.com/telecom-equipment/trends-telecom-infrastructure-sharing-emerging-markets-79286

https://www.gsma.com/

 

Global Data: 5G subs to outnumber 3G subs in South Korea by 2020

Is it possible for South Korea to have more 5G then 3G subscribers BEFORE the official “5G” = ITU-R WP5D – IMT 2020 standards are completed?

Indeed, South Korean mobile network operators plan to take an early lead in the deployment of 5G (perhaps because of the February 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang).  That would help them overcome stagnating traditional wireless service revenues, according to market research firm GlobalData.

The South Korean market’s 5G subscriber base is forecast to outnumber the 3G base by 2020, two years after the world’s first commercial 5G deployment during next year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, GlobalData said in its report.

That will occur at a time when mobile voice service revenues are expected to decline at an average rate of 7% per year through to 2021, GlobalData telecom market analyst Malcolm Rogers stated.

“Operators around the globe faced with the same challenge, evolve to something more than a pipe provider or offer services that come with more utility. However, the Korean operators have been among the most proactive in growing business outside the core of communication,” he said.

“Whereas operators in some markets have been slow to react to the digital disruption caused by OTTs and internet giants like Google and Amazon, the players in South Korea have been investing in new digital business for years.”

The main South Korea wireless network operators – SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ – are focusing on a range of non-core segments including industrial IoT, payment platforms, media and commerce, Rogers added.

From the report description (see Reference below):

SK Telecom and LG U+ now offer cellular based wireless payment platforms that allow small retailers, traders and vendors to conduct business from anywhere.  All three major telecom providers have also invested in B2C and B2B e-commerce operations, venturing into an entirely new industry. 5G networks will enable operators to provide new services for industry, government and consumers.  Korea Telecom (KT) has already completed trial to offer 5G enabled entertainment services such as high definition virtual reality and 8K mobile video while SKT and KT are developing driverless car solutions and security platforms based on 5G technologies.

……………………………………………………………………………………..

South Korea plans to complete the deployment of a commercial 5G mobile network in the second half of 2019, Heo Won-seok, director of ICT and Broadcasting Technology Policy at South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, said during a keynote presentation at the Global 5G Event, May 25, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan.

KT recently launched an AI-based home assistant service while both SK Teleom and LG U+ are offering cellular based wireless payment platforms. All three carriers are investing in business-to-consumer and business-to-business e-commerce offerings, which is an entirely new industry for those network operators.

Against this backdrop, 5G networks are expected to allow the network operators to introduce new services targeting industry, government and consumer markets, according to GlobalData.

For example, KT is already exploring offering 5G-enabled entertainment services including 8k mobile video streaming, while SK Telecom and KT are developing driverless car solutions and security platforms based on 5G technologies.

References:

https://www.globaldata.com/south-korean-telcos-bank-5g-digital-traditional-business-stagnate/

https://www.telecomasia.net/content/5g-subs-overtake-3g-korea-2020

http://communicationstoday.co.in/daily-news/15285-south-korean-telcos-bank-on-5g-and-digital-as-traditional-business-stagnate

https://phys.org/news/2017-02-south-korea-olympics-5g-year.html

https://www.rcrwireless.com/20170525/5g/south-korea-launch-first-commercial-5g-network-2019

BSNL & Coriant to cooperate on 5G, IoT, SDN/NFV, MEC in India

Indian state-owned telecom operator BSNL has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with U.S. and German based Coriant to chart the path to 5G and IoT in the country.

In a statement, Coriant said it will help BSNL to lay foundation for innovation in network architectures and services leveraging 5GIoTSDN/NFV and mobile edge computing (MEC) technologies.

“5G represents an enormous leap forward in capacity and throughput speeds, and we are pleased to team with our long-term technology partner Coriant to tap into these capabilities and explore real-world use cases for next-generation services and applications,” BSNL CMD Shri Anupam Shrivastava said.

Under the terms of MoU, BSNL and Coriant will cooperate to develop 5G and IoT use cases, such as rural connectivity, connected healthcare, industrial automation, public safety, video surveillance, energy and agriculture.

The agreement also includes research programs, knowledge sharing, and workshops focused on the latest networking trends and hyper-scale architectures designed to support the delivery of commercial 5G services and applications.

“BSNL’s vision aligns nicely with our strategy of driving innovation in purpose-built 5G solutions and architectures,” said Shaygan Kheradpir, CEO and Chairman, Coriant. “We look forward to our joint work and the opportunity to help BSNL fast track development toward a 5G and IoT future and bring the value of these technologies to India and its citizens.”

The partnership with Coriant indicates BSNL’s latest push in 5G. Earlier this year BSNL formed a partnership with Nokia to build a 5G-ready network.

BSNL has recently been offering 4G mobile data plans like this week’s Plan 429, which provides 1 GB/day of free data and unlimited local and STD calls [1] for 90 days (except Kerala center). This move is among the many data and call offers posted by top telcos in the post-Reliance Jio era. BSNL has also maintained its mobile subscriber base over the last year, which would look forward to these plans.

Note 1.  STD calls refers to any calls outside one’s home state in India

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About BSNL:

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (abbreviated BSNL) is an Indian state-owned telecommunications company headquartered in New Delhi. It was incorporated on 15 September 2000 and took over the business of providing of telecom services and network management from the erstwhile Central Government Departments of Telecom Services (DTS) and Telecom Operations (DTO), with effect from 1 October 2000 on a going concern basis.

About Coriant:

Coriant delivers innovative and dynamic networking solutions for a fast-changing and cloud-centric business world. The Coriant portfolio of SDN-enabled, edge-to-core packet optical networking and DCI solutions enables network operators to cost-efficiently scale network capacity, reduce operational complexity, and create the resilient foundation for a new generation of mobile, video, and cloud services. Coriant serves leading network operators around the world, including mobile and fixed line service providers, cloud and data center operators, Web 2.0 content providers, cable MSOs, government agencies, and large enterprises. With a distinguished heritage of technology innovation and service excellence, Coriant is helping its global customers maximize the value of their network infrastructure as demand for bandwidth explodes and the communications needs of businesses and consumers continue to evolve. Learn more at www.coriant.com and follow us on Twitter for the latest @Coriant news and information.

References:

 

http://www.coriant.com/company/press-releases/BSNL-And-Coriant-Enter-Into-Agreement.asp

https://www.telecomasia.net/content/bsnl-coriant-team-5g-push-india

http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/bsnl-coriant-tie-up-to-chart-5g-iot-path-4832784/

IMT-2020 standardization activity roadmap from ITU-T

ITU-T Joint Coordination Activity for IMT2020 (JCA‑IMT2020) is starting a new project called the IMT-2020 standardization activity roadmap. It will be based on the information provided by ITU-T SGs and activities outside of ITU-T. It is available from the JCA-IMT2020 website.

Editor’s Note:  As we’ve noted many times in these techblog posts, ITU-R WP5D has overall responsibility for the IMT 2020 standards, to be completed in late 2020.

IMT 2020 (standardized 5G) will not just be an extension of 4G.  In addition to offering increased bandwidth and capacity, as was the focus in previous wireless generations, 5G will provide very low latency, high density and high reliability. These capabilities will enable a variety of use cases, facilitating the creation of new, predominantly business focused services.

………………………………………………………………………………

The objective of the roadmap is to support IMT-2020 standardization coordination. IMT-2020 is an important topic for the telecommunications industry, and many standardization-related activities are held in various entities.

The JCA is progressing this work in a form of roadmap of IMT2020 standardization.

JCA-IMT2020 will keep updating this roadmap, and therefore we solicit your information about updates. If you send us the latest information of your activity related to 5G as well as Network Function Virtualization (NFV), programmable networks, self-managed networks, slicing (including orchestration and capability exposure), fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) and Information-Centric Networking (ICN) and elaborations that are strongly related to IMT‑2020, we will reflect it in the next version, which will be published after the next JCA‑IMT2020 meeting.

ITU-T member organizations may submit updates using the template to be found in Appendix below.

In addition, we invite the representatives of the ITU-T Study Groups, SDOs, fora to nominate a representative to this group.

JCA-IMT2020 will meet next time in Geneva on 10 November 2017, 16:00 -17:30 during the next ITU-T SG13 meeting.

Contact:

Scott Mansfield

Ericsson

Canada

Tel: +1 613724 931 93169636171

Email: scott.mansfield@ericsson.com

Contact:

Ying Cheng
China Unicom
P.R.China

Tel: +86-10-66259394

Fax: +86-10-66259154

Email: chengying10@chinaunicom.cn

Editor’s Note:

The Focus Group on network aspects of IMT-2020 was established in May 2015 to analyse how emerging 5G technologies will interact in future networks as a preliminary study into the networking innovations required to support the development of 5G systems. The group took an ecosystem view of 5G research of development and published the analysis in a Report to its parent group, ITU-T Study Group 13​.

The FG was terminated in December 2016 having completed it’s work.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

Appendixtemplate to provide information on IMT-2020-related activities

Activity domain

Stage (topic)

Area

Entity

Title of deliverable

Scope of deliverable

Current status

Starting date

Target date

IMT-2020

5G

Network Slicing

ICN

FMC

Use cases Framework Requirements Architecture Protocol

e.g.

SDO, and WG if possible

Name | acronym | Reference

This document aims to …

Draft ITU-T Recommendation | International Standard | Specification

yyyy.mm

yyyy.mm

SoftBank, Ericsson plan 5G Japan trial in 4.5GHz band

Japan’s SoftBank plans to work with Ericsson to conduct a joint trial of “5G” in the 4.5-GHz band in dense urban areas of Japan.  The end-to-end trial will involve two 5G new radios, a virtual RAN and EPC, beamforming, Massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO) functionality and test support services.

The trial is set to commence once Softbank obtains an experimental 5G license, Ericsson said.

Editors Note: Of course, no one knows what the “5G” air interface/RAN will be for this trial, because it’s not even been considered by ITU-R WP 5D which is standardizing IMT 2020. That 5G standardization work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.

The key question is where will the “5G” endpoints/handsets come from?  Ericsson doesn’t make ’em any more!  Neither does Nokia which is involved in several other “5G” trials.  Huawei and ZTE “5G” trials are in better shape, because both vendors make handsets/smartphones as well as base stations.

3GPP Progress on 5G can be found in this presentation. It’s crucial to note that 3GPP Release 15 (to be completed March 2018) will aim at a first phase of expected “5G” deployments in 2020 and is dependent on LTE.  3GPP Release 16 (true 5G) will target a submission to the ITU WP5D IMT-2020 standards committee.

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In March 2017, SoftBank was granted an experimental licence to conduct tests in the 28GHz millimeter wave band and teamed up with Ericsson for trials that were to be conducted in indoor and outdoor environments covering both mobile and stationary tests. That followed more basic tests in the 4.5-GHz and 15-GHz bands in Tokyo in 2016.

The operator also recently announced plans to deploy Ericsson’s Radio Dot system across Japan to improve indoor coverage in high-density urban areas. Softbank has been testing the technology since 2015.

SoftBank announced in June it was working with ZTE to run trials on the 4.5GHz band in areas of metropolitan Tokyo.

SoftBank also is planning tests on the 4GHz and 15GHz bands and began conducting pre-standard 5G field trials with Ericsson in August 2016.  It deployed Massive MIMO on its 4G network in the second half of 2016.

The wireless network operator, with a 19 per cent market share in Japan, aims to be one of the first in the world to launch commercial 5G services in 2020 or soon thereafter.  SoftBank wants to be one of the first global network operators to deploy 5G services once the standardization process is complete and seeks to position itself as a pioneer of 5G.

References:

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2017/8/ericsson-and-softbank-trial-5g-in-4.5ghz-band

https://www.telecomasia.net/content/softbank-ericsson-trial-5g-45-ghz

https://www.telegeography.com/products/commsupdate/articles/2017/08/31/softbank-ericsson-to-trial-5g-using-4-5ghz-band/

ftp://www.3gpp.org/Information/presentations/presentations_2016/3GPP%20RAN%20Progress%20on%205G%20-%20NetFutures.pdf

Windstream’s Enhanced Cloud Connect Service vs Zayo’s/Others (Google Comment)

Backgrounder:

During the early years of public cloud computing/storage, users had few good options to securely connect to the cloud service provider(s) of their choice- unless that same cloud service provider (CSP) offered an IP-MPLS VPN that terminated at its cloud point of presence (PoP).  Both Century Link (via Savvis acquisition) and AT&T offered that access solution for customers of its cloud computing services.

Equinix’s Cloud Exchange and AT&T’s Netbond made it much easier by offering an intermediate network/switching center to connect to any one of several CSPs, which provide good quality, secure cloud connections with the flexibility to change CSPs without re-configuring the customer’s cloud access network.

However, there’s no industry standard API or common set of processes these cloud interconnect service providers follow.  That’s not really a problem as long as they provide secure and reliable connectivity to multiple CSPs.

We examine a few Cloud Connection services in this blog post, including Windstream’s just announce offering.

Windstream Cloud Connect Service:

The Windstream Cloud Connect service now offers software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and wavelength connectivity. It provides connectivity to Amazon Web Services, Oracle Fast Connect, Salesforce, Google Cloud, IBM Bluemix and Microsoft Azure cloud services.

Windstream Cloud Connect service was launched just over a year ago, with cloud connectivity via: switched Ethernet, MPLS, VPN and point-to-point services to AWS and Azure ExpressRoute.

Speeds currently available for Windstream Cloud Connect range from 50 Mbps to 10 Gbps, the company said in today’s press release. The offering is supported by technical assistance engineers who are available 24/7, the company said.

The company intends to compete, at least in part, based on cost with its Cloud Connect offering. “We are confident that Windstream Cloud Connect will deliver a better and more cost-effective experience for large and mid-sized enterprises than any of our competitors,” said a Windstream executive in today’s previously reference press release.

windstream fiber network
Windstream’s Cloud Connect offered over their national network (Source: Windstream)
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The addition of SD-WAN is seen as a means of reducing costs, while also enhancing network performance by using software to allocate traffic over multiple network connections – typically MPLS and direct Internet access — depending on pre-established parameters and the state of each connection at any point in time.  As many times noted in these IEEE ComSoc techblog posts, there are no standards for SD-WANs and hence no interoperability between them.  They are (by default) single vendor solutions within any telco’s SD-WAN offering.
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Joseph Harding, Windstream’s executive vice president and enterprise chief marketing officer, told Channel partners the offering creates new opportunities for medium and large enterprises across all verticals that are looking to move their traffic to hyperscale providers to enable their cloud initiatives.

“By offering customers this connectivity, we give our partners the ability to meet the growing service and bandwidth needs of their customers,” he said. “With the expectation for cloud services in the United States to double in the next five years, it’s a trend we believe our partners will be interested in.”

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Zayo’s CloudLink Service:

Zayo Group is one of several other network providers offering public cloud connect services.  The company’s CloudLink delivers “the Fast Lane to the cloud that you require – addressing your public internet network connectivity issues. And is delivered on a global network by a trusted, consultative, and flexible partner – Zayo.”

CloudLink provides direct network connectivity to over 50 cloud service providers and over 150 cloud on-ramps globally. Whether you need multiple cloud connections or just one, we utilize our industry-leading fiber communications infrastructure across Dark FiberWavelengthsEthernet and IP Services, including pre-provisioned network connections up to 10Gbps, to deliver cloud connectivity solutions more flexibly, cost effectively, and with greater performance than traditional network service providers and cloud exchanges.

CloudLink as a subnetwork connecting enterprise customers to CSPs via Zayo’s global network  (Source:  Zayo Group)

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CloudLink provides enterprises and data centers with an on-ramp to Zayo’s secure network, supporting high-performance bandwidth options across dark fiber, layer-1, -2, and -3 configurations, and scalable connectivity directly to all major cloud providers. API integration enables efficient provisioning, and as demand increases to actively manage network topologies, software-defined network (SDN) technology will support full automation and dynamic network configurations.

Other Cloud Connect Network Providers:

Many more cloud connect offerings have been announced over the past few years.
For example, Lightower Cloud Connect offers all-fiber networking between a business organization and the industry’s largest cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. From 50 Mbps to 10 Gbps, Lightower can connect customers to CSPs using IP, Ethernet, or Wavelengths, with or without redundancy, to maximize cloud performance.
“Connectivity as a Service”  is available from firms such as Global Capacity.
Mary Stanhope, Global Capacity’s VP of Marketing said in an interview:
“Our business is to provide access network connectivity.  By putting our POPs in key data centers and central offices and then interconnecting over 250 suppliers, we connect anywhere — cable to ILECS, Fiber Providers to CLECs, etc.  We basically manage a network of networks.

Now it’s not a pure resale model.  We will go in very opportunistically and source managed and dark fiber to connect where there is demand.  In fact last year we lit seven metro rings that connected many of the carrier hotels, data centers and ILEC LSOs that we were getting demand to and from.

And then on top of it all we built a Marketplace application that allows our customers to type in an address and we’ll push back to them all the products we have at that address.  And it could be Ethernet, fiber, internet, broadband, cable — you name it.

The final and fastest growing segment is our business services group focused on application, over the top, and cloud service providers.  What we do there is jointly sell the circuit that delivers the application — because the customer really needs both.  So we have customers like 8×8, Mindshift and Thinking Phones.

They bring opportunities to us.  Today most of those guys, particularly the cloud service providers like Google and AWS, aren’t interested in buying the circuit and bundling it.  So it’s a joint sale.  We become the carrier of record for that service.

The Future of Cloud Connect Services:
It’s clear that these Cloud Connect providers will continue to improve their offerings, by providing more connectivity options and choices.  They will enable their enterprise customers to know the status of their networks (including outages and performance monitoring) and manage their service.  That will come as network management systems and software defined networks mature.  Another driver will be greater interoperability between network and back office systems.  Hybrid networks or a “network of networks” need to work as one as far as the end customer is concerned.
References:

China’s 5G network trials announced; commercial service in 2020

China’s three main telecommunications providers are proceeding smoothly with a 5G pilot in major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, the state-owned Economic Information Daily reported, citing unspecified sources close to the telcos and the communications ministry.

During the later half of this year, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom will start the 5G pilot in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Nanjing, Suzhou and Ningbo, the report said. Around 10 cities from provinces such as Jiangxi, Hainan, Shanxi, Shandong, Hebei will also be selected for the pilot.

–>That will position China for the commercial implementation of a 5G network as early as 2020, the report stated.   China Telecom said it expects to launch commercial 5G services in 2020.

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Editor’s Note:  Again, the ITU-R standards for 5G (IMT – 2020) won’t be completed till the end of 2020.

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Separately, China Telecom plans to trial 5G networks in six cities across the country. China Telecom will carry out field trials in six cities, as well as develop R&D applications and services in cooperation with partners from various industries.

“We are deeply devoted to engaging in 5G standard formulation and technology trial runs while proactively exploring and researching the networking plan for the evolution from 4G,” the company said.

According to China Telecom’s chairman and CEO Yan Jie, the business model for commercial 5G service “will not be like 4G, 3G and 2G, where you have universal, comprehensive, seamless network coverage”. The executive believes that LTE and next-generation technologies will certainly coexist for a long time. He also announced that China Telecom is open to cooperation with market competitors China Mobile and China Unicom on future infrastructure deployments.

China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile telephony operator in terms of subscribers, will wait until 5G technologies and business models are more mature to determine the capex of its future 5G network infrastructure, China Mobile chairman Shang Bing recently said during the telco’s earnings call presentation.

The executive said China Mobile is currently focusing on 5G tests and that is key for the telco to consider the return of investments of its future 5G networks. China Mobile plans to conduct 5G field tests over the next two years, with large-scale pre-commercial trials planned in 2019 and commercial deployments in 2020.

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This past May, China completed planning of a 30-site 5G test field in Huairou district. The trial has been planned by the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group. Operators participating in the IMT-2020 Promotion Group include China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom and Japanese telecoms operator NTT DoCoMo. Vendors which are part of the initiative include Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, Nokia, Datang and Samsung. Chipset and test measurement vendors Qualcomm, Intel, Mediatek, Ctec, Keysight Technologies and Rohde & Schwartz are also part of the initiative.

During the pilots, the carriers will construct base stations and carry out application and technological tests. “Once commercial use of 5G becomes a reality, it will lay a network basis for the development of industries, including the Internet of Things, Big Data, artificial intelligence and cloud computing,” said Huang Yuhong, vice director of China Mobile Research Institute.

The increase in speed from 4G to 5G will bring about increases in connectivity to other sectors such as big data, drones and home appliances, according to analysts interviewed by Economic Information Daily.

The communication industry will step into a new development stage after the 5G network is commercialized. As well as the aforementioned sectors, such industries as chips, electronic components and smart hardware will also be upgraded and enjoy huge development potential, the report added.

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This past June, a report from China’s Acadaemy of Information and Communications Technology, as detailed by the South China Morning Post, predicts China’s three carriers–China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom–will spend $411 billion on deploying 5G networks in the decade ending in 2030.

According to reports, the government agency expects peak spending to hit in 2023, as well as that the as-yet un-standardized network standard will have broader implications for the Chinese economy, accounting for 3.2% of GDP in 2025.

Reporting on the key takeaways of the report in Business Insider, Rayna Hollander wrote, “Legacy and emerging mobile services and technologies alike will see more adoption due to 5G speeds…[which]will power nascent tech like augmented and virtual reality (VR), connected homes, M2M communications, and large-scale operations of IoT devices.”

Jefferies analyst Edison Lee told the South China Morning Post, “We believe this paper represents the government’s official position on 5G, and its analysis largely explains why China will aggressively support 5G roll-out.”

Telecom industry watcher Xiang Ligang told the China Daily:

“The report underestimates the impact of 5G on social economy. It isn’t yet more than five years since 4G was launched, but it has had a huge influence in boosting the development and popularization of mobile payments.”

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References:

http://www.atimes.com/article/chinas-advanced-5g-network-set-adoption-2020/

https://www.yicaiglobal.com/news/china%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98big-three%E2%80%99-telecoms-providers-expand-5g-pilots-expect-commercialization-2020

http://en.ce.cn/main/latest/201707/06/t20170706_24050396.shtml

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/china-telecom-to-launch-5g-trial-networks-in-6-cities–1209462

http://www.scmp.com/tech/china-tech/article/2098948/china-plans-28-trillion-yuan-capital-expenditure-create-worlds

Report: China will spend $411 billion on 5G from 2020 to 2030

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