Vodafone and Telecom Italia Reveal 5G network plans for Italy

1.    Vodafone Italy, which competes with Telecom Italia (TIM), has acquired spectrum to enable the deployment of 5G technology for €2.4 billion during the 5G spectrum auction that fetched $7.6 billion for the Government.

The Italian Government will collect 1,250 million euros from all mobile operators during the current year, 50 million in 2019, 300 million in 2020, 150 million in 2021, and the remaining in 2022 from the 5G auction.

Though telecom operators will be releasing the spectrum auction money in the next five years, it will pose challenges to the telecom industry in Italy. Bloomberg reports that 5G spectrum auction in Italy was a record as compared with the auction in South Korea.

“Spectrum auctions should be designed to balance fiscal requirements with the need for investment to enable economic development. It is critical that European governments avoid  artificial auction constructs which fail to strike a healthy balance for the industry,” Nick Read said in a statement.

Vodafone Italy, the second largest telecom operator, posted €1.231 billion revenue registering 6.5 percent drop in the first quarter ended 30 June 2018 against 0.7 percent increase in Q4 of previous fiscal.

Vodafone Italy and other operators are facing competition following the launch of a new entrant in late May. Vodafone Italy launched a new secondary brand to specifically address the needs of customers in the value segment of the market.

Vodafone Italy said the 5G spectrum will deliver network operating cost efficiency to meet the expected future growth in data traffic.

Vodafone Italy is buying 3700 MHz – 80 MHz for €1,685 million, 700 MHz – 2 x 10 MHz FDD for €683 million and 26 GHz – 200 MHz for €33 million.

Vodafone Italy will be using the 3700 MHz spectrum to enhance coverage, improve capacity, and for rapid development of 5G services. Vodafone Italy did not reveal the timing of its planned 5G launch in Italy.

Vodafone Italy will also utilize the 700 MHz spectrum, when it is available from 2022, to deploy 5G services, providing nationwide coverage at very high speed and very low latency for including IoT, virtual and augmented reality, connected vehicles and robotics. This indicates that Vodafone Italy will be playing in both the business and consumer markets of 5G to improve ARPU.

Vodafone Italy said it can also use the 26 GHz spectrum to deliver high capacity services in densely populated locations such as city centres, sports stadiums or industrial plants.

Vodafone said it is leading 5G trials promoted by the Ministry for Economic Development in Milan and its metropolitan area. Vodafone 5G network has already achieved coverage of 80 percent of Milan and targeting 80 percent 5G coverage in its metropolitan area by December 2018.

https://www.telecomlead.com/5g/vodafone-ceo-nick-read-on-5g-network-plans-in-italy-86682

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2.  Telecom Italia (TIM) has obtained 5G frequencies for an 80MHz block of 3700 MHz for 1,694 million euros and a 200MHz block of 26 GHz for 33 million euros.

In addition to the two blocks of 700 MHz, TIM’s total investment in the 5G spectrum auction will be 2,407 million euros.

“The switch on of the antenna in Bari certifies TIM’s technological primacy in 5G space in Italy,” Amos Genish said.

Investment in 5G network is an important part of the TIM strategy for sprucing up revenue in Italy. TIM’s telecom business in Italy has posted 7.454 billion euros in revenue in the first half of 2018 against 7.494 billion euros in the same period 2017.

TIM 5G will be focusing on both consumer and business customers. Consumer business of TIM’s telecom business in Italy has reported 3.753 billion euros in revenue, while 2.333 billion euros came from business customers and 860 million euros from wholesale business in Italy.

TIM will use 3700 MHz and 26 GHz to leverage the testing already underway in Turin, Bari and Matera and in the Republic of San Marino.

TIM has started to implement services for the Smart City targeting public security, transport, environmental monitoring, healthcare, tourism and culture, in San Marino.

The 3700 MHz band, already used for the tests launched at the start of the year, is available immediately.

TIM will use 26 GHz millimetre wave band, which will be available from 2019, to conduct road test for the first 5G services.  TIM will use the 700 MHz frequencies, available from 2022, to strengthen UBB coverage, including in indoor areas, with the implementation of 5G technology.

TIM said its 4G mobile broadband coverage reached over 98 percent of the population in Italy and fixed broadband reached 80 percent of homes via FTTC and FTTH technology.

https://www.telecomlead.com/5g/tim-ceo-amos-genish-reveals-5g-network-plans-in-italy-86680

 

SVIEF Kai-Fu Lee Keynote: Era of AI, Rise of China, U.S. vs China, etc & All Star Panel Session (?)

Well respected technologist, entrepreneur, writer and AI researcher Kai-Fu Lee, PhD presented a powerful and very incisive keynote speech on September 29th at the SVIEF conference in Santa Clara, CA.  The title of his talk was all encompassing and compelling:  “Era of AI, the Rise of China, and the Future of Work.”

Author’s Note: I was so impressed with Kai-Fu’s talk, I’ve ordered his latest book, AI Superpowers, which is already on Amazon’s best selling book list.

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Here are several important highlights of Dr. Lee’s SVIEF keynote:

1.    Deep Learning (DL) is the biggest technological improvement in the 60+ year history of artificial intelligence (AI).  DL is a network of highly connected neurons in thousands of layers that can, in a single domain, take a huge amount of data and train to recognize, predict and decide and synthesize at a much higher accuracy than humans.

2.    DL is not human intelligence, it cannot think or cross domainsIt has no strategic or creative thinking capabilities. But in a single domain, with a huge amount of data, it is beating humans in almost every task imaginable. For example, AlphaGo (a computer program that plays the board game Go) has beaten Go champions. In addition, we’ve seen DL used effectively for speech recognition (e.g. Amazon Alexa, Google voice search, Microsoft Cortana, etc.) and facial recognition. There are new beginnings  of DL diagnosis of how to read  MRIs and doing a better job of that than radiologists. 

3.   This amount of improvement is leading to what are four waves of artificial intelligence:

  • Wave 1: Internet AI started in 1998. The Internet has more data than any other domain. With so much data, it enables Amazon to predict what you might want to buy. It powers Facebook to predict what you might want to read on-line.   Similarly, all the American and Chinese companies (Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, etc) , all the great AI companies of today are all Internet companies, because they have the most labeled data.
  • Wave 2: Business AI started in 2004. Take banks, insurance companies, hospitals –they have amassed a lot of data in the past, they viewed data as a call center, as a legal requirement to archive. But now data has become a goldmine for them in various ways.
  • Wave 3: Perception AI started in 2011- the ability to see and hear.  Examples include: computer vision, speech recognition, speech synthesis, understanding all combined together. It also can be viewed as digitizing the physical world.
  • Wave 4: Autonomous AI (self driving cars, autonomous robots, etc) started in 2015.  In this wave 4, AI becomes autonomous in its ability to move around and manipulate sort of like having hands and feet. That will usher in an era of autonomous vehicles and robotics. Autonomous vehicles will bring about a huge transformation, especially the dis-incentive to own a car.  With safer autonomous vehicles, the natural next step is humans won’t be allowed to drive anymore.

4.    To make AI work, we need the following things:  a lot of data that is tagged within a single domain, a lot of compute power, and some AI experts to work on it.

AI is not perfect you can’t make it do perfectly unsupervised learning. You can’t make it learn on very little data. You can’t do AI with very little compute power.  

But once you have those in place, AI can be effectively applied.  

5.   U.S. Leads China in Top Researchers, Patents, and AI Talent (and will likely continue to lead in AI research in the near future).

6.    Chinese Miracle of Last 10 Years with fast product/service iteration, intense competition, user acquisition, accelerated growth, high return on investment in a huge market.

7.   In 2018: U.S. and China Have Become Parallel Universes:

US Model: Breakthrough Technologies, Vision-driven, Light, Globalized.

China Model: Fusion + speed, Applications, Result-driven, Heavy, Localized.

8.  Investment in China:   A lot of money and capital investment went into China with smart VCs helping smart entrepreneurs build products and companies. And those products actually are so attractive they brought more Chinese users on the internet. And this loop kept going and going for the last 10 years taking China from 150 million users to about 800 million users by far the largest user base in the world. And this loop has created something that we never thought possible — a system that parallels the Silicon Valley.

9. The only way to succeed in China is to find a business model that is impregnable. In other words, build a business that’s uncomfortable.  Chinese companies kept improving going from copying from the U.S. to inspired by us and then leapfrogging the U.S.  For example, WeChat (messaging app) is better than WhatsApp and way better than Twitter.  But even more exciting is the third ladder where Chinese companies are brand new innovation, this Chinese model of building impregnable businesses have reached new heights, so that these brand new companies are being built.

10.   China Advantages over U.S. in AI:

Advantage 1: Chinese Product Innovation has Caught up with U.S.  Pure Chinese Innovations Have Arrived

Advantage 2: Tough Market Begets Tough Entrepreneurs

Advantage 3: China’s AI Capital Leads the World.  48% of global AI investments were made in China; 38% in U.S., 13% other countries. SOURCE: CB Insights 2017 Global Artificial Intelligence Investment

Advantage 4: AI Moves into Era of Implementation

Advantage 5: China is the world leader in amount of Data  (like Saudi Arabia is the country with the most oil for export).  Massive Data is Critical for AI Product Success– even more important than algorithms.  AI algorithms are generally shared, and it is up to the speed, execution, and size of the data that determines how companies will benefit from AI implementations.

11.  U.S.  Advantage over China in AI:  Early Adopters, Expert is King  (vs China which is Application Driven and Data is King)

12.  Who’s ahead in AI, mobile and Internet:  Dr. Lee thinks that generally U.S. is a little bit ahead today. But China will probably be ahead in four or five years. This is not about research. This is about implementation. 

U.S. will continue to be ahead in research for the next 10 or 15 years, because that lead is very difficult to overcome.

But this is not a zero sum game. U.S. VCs fund U.S. companies that develop products for us customers, whereas Chinese VCs fund Chinese companies who develop products for Chinese customers (domestic market).  The two countries are not going after the same market.  

“When a Chinese company wins, a  U.S. company does not lose.  When a U.S. company wins, a Chinese company does not lose. So I think the sentiment behind the current some of the current rhetoric is not correct. This is truly not a zero sum game. This is merely a keeping score of how far ahead each technology might get. So with China and us both pushing forward AI, I think AI will make a lot more progress than internet and mobile because those only had one engine the U.S. pushing forward. And there are a bunch of other reasons such as the seven cloud giants (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Alibaba, Baidu, Tenent) hiring people, and training people with large amounts of data VCs being devoted to AI.”

 

Concluding take-aways:

  1.  Embrace AI – it saves us from repetitive work and pushes us to do what human is called for.
  2.  AI cannot create ideas or thoughts. We are the masters and should be responsible of how to use AI.
  3.  (via Twitter) How U.S. can stay ahead in AI: 1) double AI funding, 2) increase AI professors pay, 3)offer green cards to all AI PhD’s.

Closing Quotes:

“So going forward, I think AI is electricity in the next 20 years, there will be huge opportunities and challenges. But I want to take us a moment into (the next) 50 years. When we look back ignore for the moment all these job displacement opportunities, I like to leave you with two thoughts. The first thought is that AI is serendipity. It is here to take away the routine jobs so we can really spend time on what we love and what human beings are on this earth for. And secondly, for those worry about AI causing problems. Just keep in mind AI is just a tool.  It possesses no creativity. We (humans) are the Masters.  We are the ones that have free will. And it’s going to be up to us humans to write the ending to the story of artificial intelligence. Thank you.”

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In a post SVIEF conference email exchange related to AI’s use in telecommunications applications, Kai-Fu wrote this author:

“Thanks — this is not my major area of expertise.  But clearly communications in autonomous vehicles, IoT, and 5G, when combined with AI, will be a great combination.”

“On China catching up, it will be in technology related to the Internet, Mobile, and AI.”

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SVIEF All Star Panel:

Kai-Fu Lee: “I feel a sense of social responsibility to tell people that as AI advances, job displacement is a serious issue. And I think I thought very hard about various solutions. I looked at universal basic income, I don’t think that’s going to work. I don’t really know what will work. But I do think generally, it’s in the direction of creating more empathetic jobs, because there should be a large enough pool of them, if only we would care about them, pay more for them. And that can hopefully lead us to a good ending.”

SVIEF All-star panel with VC Tim Draper, AI Rock Star Kai-Fu Lee, and Stanford Physics Prof. Shoucheng Zhang

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Author’s Note:

Due to time and space constraints the above panel session may be summarized in a follow on article, provided there is sufficient reader interest.

Please email me at: alan.weissberger@ieee.org if you’d like me to write such an article.

References:

Transcript of Kai Fu Lee’s keynote (via speech recognition):

https://otter.ai/shared/conversation/5342b3f76e67477c958742982795ffec

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/22/opinion/sunday/ai-china-united-states.html

 

 

“America-first, 5G-first”- U.S. 5G leadership is a national imperative

After a meeting with key telecom executives, the Trump administration said it wants to help the wireless industry deploy “5G” quickly.  National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said that 5G support aligns with lower-tax and deregulation policies that encourage private sector growth, adding the U.S. supports an “America-first, 5G-first” approach.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai called the development of 5G technology “a national imperative for economic growth and competitiveness.”

Pai said 5G networks could effectively remove speed and capacity as meaningful constraints on wireless innovation and could be 100 times faster than current networks.

“The lag time between a device’s request for data and the network’s response will be less than one-tenth of what it is today,” he said. “Wireless networks that today support 1,000 connected devices per square kilometer could instead support 1 million” and could eventually lead to capabilities such as remote surgical procedures, he said.

Administration officials said they have high hopes for the technology that has the potential to help create 3 million new jobs, $275 billion in private investment, and $500 billion in new economic growth.

Although other U.S. government agencies like the FCC and the NTIA have long dealt in spectrum and network deployment issues, the White House summit last Friday was the first major signal by the Trump administration that it also wants to play an active role in smoothing regulations for 5G rollouts. The summit collected executives from the wireless industry with officials from the Trump administration—including Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, and Michael Kratsios, deputy U.S. CTO and deputy assistant to the President at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the agency that held the event—along with top House and Senate lawmakers and officials from the FCC and the NTIA.

Officials described the event as an opportunity for White House representatives to listen to wireless industry executives and to learn ways the Trump administration can play a role in 5G.

5G networks will rely on denser arrays of small antennas and the cloud to offer data speeds up to 50 or 100 times faster than current 4G networks and serve as critical infrastructure for a range of industries.

Congress and regulators are also working to free up more wireless spectrum for use by 5G networks and improve other regulations to make it easier to deploy fiber lines, which are critical for 5G traffic from small cells.

In addition to providing vastly greater speed, 5G will allow transportation networks to link connected and self-driving cars, while new wireless sensors will provide real-time health monitoring and other advanced applications.

White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said on Friday the 5G race will be won “principally through the free enterprise, free market economy.”

CTIA, a wireless industry trade group representing Sprint Corp, AT&T Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Intel Corp, said in a statement after the summit, “We completely agree with the administration, the FCC … and congressional leaders that free market American leadership in 5G is vital for our economy, private investment and future innovation.”

The FCC on Wednesday voted to eliminate regulatory barriers to 5G deployment. Pai said the measure would cap fees that cities could charge to install small cells and requires local governments to promptly review applications.    According to Pai, 5G networks will need 800,000 cell sites, mostly small cells no bigger than a backpack, or about four times the existing number of sites.

Kudlow said federal law allows the FCC to override localities on this issue. “We’re not here to be completely heavy-handed but sometimes you have to do what you got to do,” he said at the summit.

Rep. Walden noted that the U.S. needs to protect and encourage the supply chain for 5G. Although he did not discuss any specific policies or positions, he did say that “there are some who think we can simply ban vendors from American markets, but the marketplace for hardware and software is global.”

Those comments are particularly noteworthy given that the FCCembarked on a proposal to tacitly block any network operator—big and small—from using Universal Service Funds to purchase equipment from companies that pose a security threat. That proceeding at the FCC is widely seen as an attempt by the U.S. government to block Chinese network equipment vendors Huawei from competing in the market.

Walden did not name Huawei and also did not go into specifics of his position on the topic. No other speakers at the event discussed supply chain issues in their public remarks.

Separately, mid-band spectrum received a notable amount of attention from the likes of Rep. Walden and NTIA’s Redl. Speakers generally argued that a robust 5G marketplace will use a wide range of spectrum, from low-band spectrum to high-band spectrum. Officials and lawmakers acknowledged that the FCC is working to auction high-band spectrum starting in November, but several speakers called on regulators to release more mid-band spectrum for wireless network operators and others.

And Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., also noted that both licensed and unlicensed spectrum should be made available in the marketplace.

After the meeting, CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker said in a statement that “it was especially noteworthy that today’s event focused so much on the need to free up more mid-band spectrum for commercial wireless use to help meet this goal and to keep up with skyrocketing consumer demand for mobile data. We look forward to continuing this important dialogue with the Administration and policymakers to make 5G a reality.”

However, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, sounded a note of caution on Friday. “As a result of our escalating trade war with China, by the end of this year we will have a 25 percent duty on antennas, switches, and routers – the essential network facilities needed for 5G deployment,” she said.

References:
Posted in 5G

Highlights and Quotes from India’s 5G Congress 2018

India’s 5G Congress 2018, held September 19th and 20th in New Delhi, witnessed top policy makers, industry leaders, experts and observers deliberating on the future roadmap for the 5G rollout in India. The theme of the conference was ‘Developing a Roadmap for the Next Wireless Revolution.’ The first edition of the conference was held in 2017.

According to the 2018 conference brochure:

5G will be the key driver for Digital India initiatives. 5G is set to overtake 4G in India by 2020, and the backhaul equipment makers and network carriers are already developing the next-generation of mobile communication. The increase in the number of smart phone subscribers in India has led to a huge demand for data traffic, prompting network operators to upgrade their infrastructure. Currently, several 5G trials are being conducted in India by network operators and equipment providers in collaboration. The 5G-enabled digitization revenue is likely to be around $25.9 billion by 2026 while the 5G-enabled industry revenue is expected to add around $13 billion to operator revenue.

As per the industry predictions, India will be 5G enable by 2020 and this will further push the government’s digital delivery of services through the Digital India. 5G will not only improve the internet speed and QoS in the country but will also enable the digital transformation of services such as healthcare, education, entertainment, agriculture and manufacturing. The Make in India initiative will help in providing low-cost and high quality 5G mobile devices and telecom equipment in the market.

5G India Congress aims to become India’s best platform for all stakeholders including network operators, Government & technology providers to come together to discuss about the 5G development for next generation communications in India.

–>You can watch video highlights of the 5G Congress here.

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Manoj Sinha, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Communications and Minister of State for Railways, Government of India, was the chief speaker at the conference. Addressing the delegates he said, “We cannot afford to miss the 5G bus for India. The significance of 5G for India cannot be overlooked. 5G will help us leapfrog infrastructure challenges and bridge the digital divide.” The India minister added, “5G is not an incremental technology but an integration of systems. Its economic impact alone will have about $1 trillion by 2035.”

Gopal Vittal, CEO, Bharti Airtel, said, “5G is going to be a game changer and will have massive impact but to get this happen we will have to come together.” He further said that the Indian government needs to get the spectrum price right for investments to continue.  The government must relook at the prices set for the upcoming 5G spectrum auction. Vittal added that the return on capital in the industry is lower than 1%, while the price is significantly high.

Gopal continued, “We need at least 100 MHz of contiguous blocks of spectrum per operator and the pricing needs to be relooked. The government should further empower 5G high-level forum and allocate E and V bands. The fifth-generation, or 5G technology, will fulfill India’s larger socio-economic aspirations and create new job opportunities.”

Balesh Sharma, CEO of Vodafone-Idea, added, “5G is going to be an evolution but not a revolution.” He further said, “Smart City and Digital India will ride on 5G.”   “5G, which is going to impact all industries, will need massive amount of spectrum at low cost and massive amount of fibre at site level,” said Mr. Vittal.

R S Sharma, Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, said, “We need to promote huge investment to ensure there is required infrastructure in place to make 5G a success.” He added, “Regulations need to be there not to throttle 5G but to facilitate it.”

The experts speaking at the conference generally felt that the country may see the initial rollout of 5G in late 2019 or early 2020. Nitin Bansal, Managing Director, Ericsson India, said, “We are looking at 2020 as the timeline for 5G deployment in India.” “India will keep its date with 5G in 2020,” added Sanjay Malik, Head of India Market, Nokia.

Speaking about the union government’s efforts to drive 5G, Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, Govt of India, said, “We are working with states to remove constraints from ‘right of way’ to fibre optics.”

Marie Hogan, Head of Broadband & IoT, Business Area Networks, Ericsson, said, “5G will generate additional revenue opportunities of about $13 billion for India.”

Smart City and Digital India initiatives will ride on 5G, said Balesh Sharma. He added, “Enhanced mobile broadband, mission critical communication and Massive IoT are prime use cases of 5G.”

Speaking about the current broadband penetration in India and the future potential, Ryan Perera, Country Manager, Ciena, said, “Twenty-seven percent is the current broadband penetration in India.

References:

Israel Seeks 5G Investment from U.S. Telcos via Incentives/Rebates; Intel’s 5G Role

Israel Ministry of Communications director general Netanel (Nati) Cohen will try to interest overseas telecommunications companies in taking part in fifth generation cellular trials in Israel. Cohen will also try to introduce American investors into the Israeli telecommunications market. Cohen is accompanying Minister of Communications Ayoob Kara, who is part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s entourage for his visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

The ministry’s idea is to try to restore interest in the Israeli telecommunications market on the part of international companies, which have refrained from investment in Israel in recent years.  The plan is to provide incentives in the form of rebates in exchange for acquiring frequencies and rolling out the network.

Cellular antenna
Many small cell antennas, shown mounted on a pole above, will be needed for 5G frequency re-use within a given geographical area.
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During his visit to New York, Mr. Cohen will reportedly meet with representatives of US telecoms giant Verizon and propose that the company should participate in 5G trials to be held at Bar Ilan University in conjunction with Israeli mobile carriers. Meetings will also be held with representatives of Lockheed Martin, with the aim of persuading the company to expand its investment in Israel.

The idea is also to conduct trials in IoT (Internet of Things), and to take advantage of the fact that there are many technology companies in Israel in areas of interest to the US companies, and to bring them into the initiative as well.

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Mobile carriers throughout the world have been cutting back on investment in new wireless infrastructure, because of the fierce competition in the industry and the erosion of revenue. At the same time, no solution has been found for the high fees that the carriers pay the state for frequencies, which result in them foregoing frequency allocations simply because they cannot meet the fee payments.

Israel government ministries have hired the services of InfoSight Consulting, which is working together with Beta Finance to formulate for the state a new frequency fee structure, as the high payments that the companies make for frequencies, around New Israeli Shekel (currency in Israel) 300 million annually, diminish their incentive to invest and represent a heavy tax on them.

The state will probably try to find a formula whereby carriers will pay more for “quality” frequencies, and much less for lower-quality high frequencies. In any event, the model will be determined before the fifth generation auction slated to take place this December. The new generation of networks will allow considerably faster data transfer.

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Intel Israel and 5G:

Elkana Ben Sinai, VP, Intel Israel said: “Intel wants to serve this market. Its vision is to be a data-centric company, dealing best with data through all its stages: collection, transmission, processing storage. It wants to make use of huge computing, storage, and its artificial intelligence and communication capabilities – very few companies have these combinations. And 5G is the leading technology to implement the ‘transmission’ part of this vision.”

For Intel, this means that its innovative products, already ubiquitous, will be even more so.

“New hardware will basically be in all aspects: data collection by new sensors (e.g. Mobileye), communication (e.g 5G), computing (e.g artificial intelligence),” Ben Sinai says. An ambitious move into the mobile phone market is also in the offing, as it is “certainly an ingredient” in Intel’s wider vision.

And Intel Israel, he says, is a “very important design center of Intel Corporation, leading some of its strategic developments in the area of computing, communication, security and more.”

Automotive and cybersecurity 

Intel also has another edge. Last year, the company acquired the Jerusalem-based Mobileye, a developer of cutting-edge autonomous driving technologies, for a whopping $15.3 billion. Mobileye is considered a leader in advanced driver assistance systems – including pedestrian detection, collision warning – aimed to prevent road collisions.

The acquisition marked Intel’s entry into the vibrant automotive market, and the industry plays a central role in Intel’s vision for the future.

References:

https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-israel-courts-5g-investment-from-us-telcos-1001254633

https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-israeli-govt-to-offer-incentives-for-5g-mobile-networks-1001249031

http://nocamels.com/2018/07/intel-israel-5g-tech/

Video clip: 5G Technology Being Born In Israel – Jul. 12, 2018

 

Huawei, Intel complete stand alone call in China’s 3rd-phase 5G R&D test as per China’s IMT-2020 promotion group

Huawei and Intel announced they have completed a standalone 5G call test based on 3GPP Release 15 spec for the third phase of China’s 5G technology R&D trials.

The trial, organized by China’s IMT-2020 promotion group, was conducted at the group’s laboratory using a Huawei 5G base station and core network and Intel’s 3rd generation “5G Mobile Trial Platform.”  (It’s astonishing that it’s the 3rd generation of 5G when the IMT 2020 5G standard won’t be completed for over two years!)

Utilizing the 3.5-GHz frequency band, Huawei and Intel tested full stack initial access, registration and radio bearer establishment with the 5G new radio resource control (NR RCC) and non-access stratum (NR NAS) protocol stack.

Intel and Huawei completed non-standalone 5G interoperability and development testing in June in collaboration with China Mobile, and the two vendors commenced field trials for China’s third-phase 5G R&D test in August.

“Huawei will continue focus on system commercialization in the Third-Phase 5G R&D test, and together with industry partners will promote 5G business success,”  Yang added.

“The completion of the SA (stand alone) test, based on the R15 protocol, is another important milestone for Huawei in China’s third-phase 5G R&D test. Huawei will continue focus on system commercialization in the 5G R&D test, and together with industry partners will promote 5G business success,” said Yang Chaobin, president of Huawei’s 5G product line.

Intel’s 5G Mobile Trial Platform has been a key technology in enabling global 5G testing and will help to define the future use cases for 5G. Now that the interoperability test for the Standalone architecture in the third-phase 5G R&D test has been completed, we are a step closer to the commercialization of 5G and to delivering the powerful user experiences that it will bring,” said Asha Keddy, VP and GM of next generation and standards at Intel.

China’s national 5G tests:

China’s 5G R&D tests, which are being carried out by the IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group, started in 2016 and are expected to be concluded by the end of this year. These tests involve three phases: key technologies testing, the verification of technology and solution and 5G system verification.

The IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group was jointly established in 2013 by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Science and Technology, based on the original IMT-Advanced Promotion Group. In China, it is the primary platform through which 5G research and international exchange and cooperation is conducted.

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 are Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, Nokia, Datang and Samsung. A number of chipset and test measurement vendors, including Qualcomm, Intel, Mediatek, Ctec, Keysight Technologies and Rohde & Schwartz are also part of the initiative.

The IMT-2020 Promotion Group completed the initial phase of its trial program in 2016. That phase included testing wireless technologies including massive multiple-input-multiple-output, novel multiple access, new waveforms, advance coding, ultra-dense network implementations and high-frequency communications. The trial phase also included network slicing, edge computing and network function reconstruction. The second phase of the national 5G tests were fully completed during last year.

Earlier this year, the Chinese government had authorized carriers to test 5G technology in major cities across the country. Under this initiative, state-run telcos are the process of deploying 5G networks in 16 cities to trial the technology.

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Intel and Ericsson meanwhile completed the first end-to-end nonstandalone 5G data call in July during a trial at Ericsson’s lab in Sweden.

References:

Huawei, Intel complete SA first call in China’s third-phase 5G R&D test

 

 

Telstra and Ericsson demo long range NB-IoT with only a software upgrade

Editor’s Note: Caveat Emptor!

A demo or test is NOT equivalent to performance in a production network!

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Telstra and Swedish telecom equipment and managed services vendor Ericsson have set a new record for NB-IoT range.  Ericsson’s breakthrough distance extends the 3GPP NB-IoT spec based limit from around 40km out to 100km.  Ericsson says the increased distance was obtained without any changes to physical NB-IoT hardware (only a software upgrade was required).

Emilio Romeo, Ericsson’s MD of Australia and New Zealand, says:

“This game-changing capability builds on Ericsson’s long history of delivering extended range cellular solutions.  We’re partnering with Telstra to deliver its customers a world-leading capability in NB-IoT extended range cells and demonstrating the huge opportunity that IoT represents in rural and regional areas for both Australia and globally, particularly for logistics and agriculture.”

The upgrade builds upon Telstra’s existing leadership in Australia in NB-IoT as the only provider in the country, and one of the first globally, to offer both NB-IoT and LTE Cat M1 technologies.  LTE Cat M1 was launched by Telstra last year and covered approximately three million square kilometres. This was followed by the launch of NB-IoT in January 2018.

With this latest innovation, Telstra’s NB-IoT network covers around three and a half million square kilometres; providing enhanced accessibility and reliability.

Channa Seneviratne, Telstra’s Executive Director of Network Engineering, comments:

“Telstra already had Australia’s largest IoT coverage with LTE Cat M1 across our 4G metro, regional and rural coverage footprint. With this NB-IoT extended range feature, we have now extended our coverage to more than three and a half million square kilometres, delivering our customers the best IoT coverage and capability in the country.

Once again Telstra, working closely in partnership with Ericsson, has delivered innovation that ensures the benefits of IoT technology can be enjoyed by the largest number of Australians, not just those in the cities and towns.”

Telstra and Ericsson first demonstrated the extended range NB-IoT network capabilities during the Telstra Vantage Conference held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on September 19-20, 2018.

“Whether it’s leakage prevention with smart water meters or environmental monitoring to keep our oceans clean and estuaries safe from contaminants, water utilities across the country are using IoT technology to better track, monitor, and conserve water,” the company said during the conference.

A Captis NB-IoT temperature sensor was used for the demo, located 94km from the Telstra base station on Mount Cenn Cruaich in New South Wales, Australia.

The performance of the network in reaching difficult areas was demonstrated with a sensor placed three floors below ground level in an underground parking lot in central Sydney that was beyond the reach of regular LTE signals.

Telstra and Ericsson have set a new record for NB-IoT range with nothing more than software upgrades according to the companies.

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In July, Ericsson, Telstra and Intel made the first end to end 5G non-standalone 3GPP data call over a commercial mobile network.  That data call, completed at Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast of Australia, was the first of its kind made over the 3.5GHz spectrum.

References:

https://www.telecomstechnews.com/news/2018/sep/27/telstra-ericsson-nb-iot-range/

 

Global Data: APAC telcos to have 477M 5G subs by 2023 vs F &S 5G Landscape in Asia

Asia-Pacific’s mobile operators are expected to have a combined 477 million 5G subscriptions by 2023, according to a new report “Mobile Broadband Trends in Asia-Pacific” by GlobalData.  The market research firm said that it expects the first 5G service launches by operators in the region next year.

Total mobile users in Asia-Pacific are meanwhile on track to reach 2.87 billion by the end of the year, growing to 3.3 billion by the end of 2023, for a CAGR of 2.8%.  Subscription growth will be driven by the expansion of wireless networks in underserved markets, GlobalData predicted.

4G-LTE will become the dominant mobile technology by share of subscriptions this year, outnumbering 2G for the first time.  The total LTE market share is on track to nearly double by the end of the forecast period in 2023 driven by continuous expansion of LTE networks by operators in the region.

Data services revenue is meanwhile predicted to account for 60.3% of total mobile service revenue generated by operators in the region between 2018 and 2023.

GlobalData has also estimated that MVNOs in Asia-Pacific have around 194 million subscribers, accounting for 4% of the total market.

The “Mobile Broadband Trends in Asia-Pacific” report provides in-depth analysis of the following:

– Section 1: Asia-Pacific in global context; the section provides comparison of Asia-Pacific mobile telecom market size and trends with other regions.

– Section 2: Competitive dynamics; this section provides competitive analysis of various MNOs and MVNOs in Asia-Pacific’s mobile market.

– Section 3: Mobile broadband subscription trends in Asia-Pacific; a demand profile and analysis as well as historical figures and forecasts of service revenue from the mobile voice and mobile data markets.

– Section 4: Mobile broadband revenue trends in Asia-Pacific; examines changes in the breakdown of overall revenue and ARPU over 2018-2023. –

– Section 5: Key findings and recommendations; it consists of a summary of the key findings for Asia-Pacific mobile broadband market.

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An earlier related whitepaper by Frost and Sullivan stated the following:

The 5G landscape in Asia

Within Asia, South Korea and Japan are likely to be the first nations in the region to commercialize 5G. Both are attempting to capitalize on the upcoming Olympic Games in 2018 and 2020, respectively, where 5G will be showcased as an enabler of new forms of content delivery. However, one notable aspect of 5G in Asia is that, unlike in other regions, initial network uptake will not be limited to developed countries. Rapidly developing countries, such as India and China, will be important market leaders as well because of the massive size of their populations and growing middle classes. Even if a small portion of consumers and businesses in these countries adopt 5G at first, the likelihood of reaching profitability earlier is high. Further, ambitious digital initiatives in both countries have spurred strong government support of 5G rollout.

Indicators that Asia will set the global benchmark in 5G are evident. Piloting of 5G technology has already taken place, and small  commercial launches are expected in South Korea by 2019, with larger rollouts unfolding in China and Japan by 2020. Rollout in India is not expected until after 2020 due to financial and infrastructure-related challenges, but mobile network operators are already strategizing ways to leapfrog to 5G. Despite delays compared with countries like South Korea and China, once commercialized, uptake should be relatively swift in India given strong backing from the Indian government, spectrum availability, and a large, addressable, market driving scale.

Device compliance is another indicator of Asia’s market readiness for 5G. Device manufacturers in Asia, such as ZTE, have already unveiled 5G-ready smartphones, further underscoring Asia’s commitment to 5G development.

As a whole, Asia is likely to account for just under half of all 5G subscriptions globally through 2022. By 2022, we expect regional revenue from 5G subscriptions to reach $4.5 billion and subscriptions to grow to over 280 million (or 49% of global totals). While this will represent only a fraction of all mobile subscriptions, growth for such a short period will be healthy.

 

 

Posted in 5G

Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers: How 5G will boost Nordic and Baltic Economies

Mr Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, recently shared his views with ITU News on the importance of the development of 5G systems in the region.   

                            Dagfinn Høybråten is the Secretary-General of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

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Mr. Høybråten’s comments come ahead of the 5G Techritory conference, 27-28 September, Riga, Latvia.

Here’s the Q & A with ITU News:

What are the challenges and opportunities of 5G deployment in the Nordic region?

Technology drives development, and 5G technologies will set new standards for life quality and regional competitiveness in the Nordic and Baltic region — and in Europe as a whole.  The Nordic region is one of the most innovative regions in the world, and in combination with its Baltic neighbors, it can provide the necessary counterbalance at the European level to technology developments in Asia and Silicon Valley.

–>Regions that are successful in utilizing and realizing the benefits of 5G, while managing risks, will have advantages in international competition and in developing more efficient and relevant public sector activities.

5G offers significant potential for the Nordic and Baltic economies and can strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of our businesses and industries, for instance, in intelligent traffic systems and connected vehicles, smart and sustainable energy grids and connected health services facilitating healthcare innovation.

Regions that are successful in utilizing and realizing the benefits of 5G, while managing risks, will have advantages in international competition and in developing more efficient and relevant public sector activities.

With the high digital maturity of the Nordic and Baltic countries, the Nordic countries have the potential to be at the forefront of that development to become world leaders in using 5G technology for the development and digitalization of all sectors of society.

How will Nordic cooperation help the Baltic countries in their 5G deployments?

The Baltic countries are leaders in various areas when it comes to digitalization: For instance, Estonia is famous for its e-governance while Latvia is a gigabyte society, being one of the largest consumers of 4G globally and the frontrunner within the European Union. By engaging the Baltic countries in the setup of the most innovative regional 5G platform, the Nordic cooperation will contribute to realize the potentials of the gigabit society and thereby strengthen the European competitiveness.

What are the future actions of Nordic cooperation in terms of 5G and in information and communication technologies (ICTs)?

The Nordic and Baltic countries share the goal of taking a leading role in the “next leap” for wireless communication, by building on the 2017 Nordic-Baltic Digital North Declaration with a common vision of being the first and most-integrated 5G region in the world.

However, legal barriers, deployment issues and the uncertain investment in very costly infrastructure represent some serious obstacles for the widespread, seamless and cross-border roll-out of 5G.

The Nordic Council of Ministers is in close cooperation with Nordic and Baltic countries preparing a comprehensive action plan for the 5G collaboration.  We need to reduce the uncertainty for the governments and IT and telecom industries by articulating the value of 5G and utilizing the possibilities of 5G across the region

Among the key actions supporting the roll-out and use of 5G technology in the Nordic region are (1) to ensure availability of spectrum for 5G testing (licenses), (2) the coordination of 5G frequency bands and (3) identifying and utilizing synergies between Nordic and Baltic 5G test beds/test environments.

Equally, it is important to address the ethical and legal implications of the rapid digital transformation of our societies and to find the right balance between data innovation and data security.

Based on core values such as transparency, trust and openness, the Nordic and Baltic cooperation will contribute to the development of ethical and transparent guidelines and standards to guide how AI applications should be used. They will be our common contribution to the European discussion on this important issue.

Could cooperation with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) be of interest?

To support the widespread use of technologies based on 5G across different sectors and industries, close involvement of the IT and Telecom industries is of utmost importance.  As a global platform and network with more than 500 leading ICT companies worldwide, ITU is an important organization and partner in the roll-out and testing of 5G in our region, strengthening the link between vertical industries, standardization and research as diverse requirements emerge from different vertical industry use cases.

We are glad to start the dialogue with ITU at the Nordic-Baltic high-level meeting in Riga on September 26th and look forward to a fruitful discussion on 5G with ITU and other important ICT stakeholders in the future.

How 5G can boost Nordic and Baltic economies

Cignal AI: Compact Modular Optical Equipment Market to hit $1 Billion in 2018

Cignal AI Raises 200G and 400G Coherent Forecasts in Latest Quarterly Optical Applications Report

Editor’s Introduction:

Compact Modular Equipment is designed to address the growing interest in optical hardware disaggregation.  There’s a desire to build networks from modular components, which are not coupled to a particular vendor’s hardware or software.  The ability to run an optical network operating system (NOS) on any vendor’s hardware makes a tremendous difference in many ways.  Customers can now select network equipment from different sources and be assured that a shared, portable, open source, modular operating environment would allow this equipment to work together. The ultimate goal is to completely divorce the network operating system from all underlying hardware (line cards, chassis, etc.) as well as to separate applications from the operating system. The major benefit is greater flexibility and faster time to market. In traditional systems, a service provider is relegated to the vendor’s software update cycles, meaning that it can take a long time to introduce new service offerings. Disaggregation provides the agility to enable new offerings that roll out in days or weeks rather than months, and this is critical to establishing new revenue streams for major service providers.
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Compact modular equipment vendors reported record revenues in the second quarter of 2018, according to the latest Optical Applications Report from networking component and equipment market research firm Cignal AI. This category measures hardware designed specifically for use in DCI, open & disaggregated hardware applications and is on track to top $1 billion in revenue this year. Cignal AI has raised its CY18 forecast for 200G and 400G coherent port shipments and cut its 100G coherent forecast.

“Operators are rapidly adopting second and third generation coherent technology as they seek to lower their cost per bit and achieve better performance. This has resulted in higher than expected demand for 200G and 400G speeds this year, at the expense of first-generation coherent,” said Andrew Schmitt, lead analyst for Cignal AI. “Compounding this trend is the growing adoption of 200G CFP2 DCO modules, which allows coherent technology to integrate with switches and routers more easily than earlier solutions.”

Further analysis is detailed in Cignal AI’s Optical Applications Report, which is released quarterly. The latest 2Q18 issue updates market share for the second quarter of 2018 and provides forecasts in three key markets: compact modular equipment, advanced packet-OTN switching hardware, and 100G+ coherent WDM port shipments.

Other key findings in the 2Q18 report include:

  • Ciena and Huawei Top Compact Modular Market Growth – In this record quarter, Ciena and Huawei were the fastest-growing vendors in the compact modular segment. Ciena benefits from its third-generation coherent technology, while Huawei was lifted by greater adoption from Chinese cloud operators. New entrant Nokia also grew share in its second quarter of serving this market.
  • Packet-OTN Market Grows with Incumbent Adoption – More incumbent network operators are using packet-OTN switching hardware to upgrade their transport networks. In North America, this segment grew 30 percent year-over-year as result of more deployments by Verizon and other large incumbents. Growth was also significant in EMEA and India, where Nokia has taken significant market share.
  • Third Generation Coherent Gaining Momentum – Even though the overall market slowed in 2Q18 as a result of ZTE’s shutdown, other vendors experienced healthy sales growth. Third generation coherent solutions are picking up steam with Ciena’s 400G offering doing well. Acacia, Huawei, Nokia, and NTT Electronics based solutions will reach the market within the next two quarters to challenge Ciena’s lead.

About the Optical Applications Report
The Cignal AI Optical Applications Report includes market share and forecasts for revenue and port shipments for optical equipment designed to meet the needs of specific applications: 100G+ coherent, and compact modular and advanced packet-OTN switching hardware. Deliverables include Excel file with complete data set, PowerPoint summary and Optical Equipment Active Insight.

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, Ciena, Cisco, Coriant, Cyan, ECI, Ekinops, Fiberhome, Fujitsu, Huawei, Infinera, Inphi, Juniper Networks, NEC, Nokia, NTT Electronics (NEL), Padtec, TE Conn, Transmode, Xtera and ZTE.

Full report details, as well as articles and presentations, are available to clients who register an account on the Cignal AI website.

About Cignal AI

Cignal AI provides active and insightful market research for the networking component and equipment market and the market’s end customers. Our work blends expertise from a variety of disciplines to create a uniquely informed perspective on the evolution of networking communications.

Contact Us/Purchase Report

Sales: sales@cignal.ai

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