IoT for Smart Cities: LoRa with Semtech Silicon as a leading LPWAN

Various wireless LANs and WANs are necessary to linking all the Internet of Things (IoT) devices that will give rise to smart cities.  Some of those wireless networks include: Bluetooth Low Energy, ZigBee, Wi‑Fi and cellular technologies are all established, but low power wide area (LPWA) networking technologies, such as Sigfox, LoRa, LTE-M and NB-IoT are emerging as IoT disruptors.

According to analyst ON World, there could be as many as 2.6 billion connected, wireless IoT devices for smart cities, with LPWA networks suitable for 60% of those connections.

 

 

LPWA networks are increasingly used outdoors in parking, utilities, pollution monitoring and other applications that require wireless communication via always-on nodes in a network.

“Different wireless protocols have different benefits, but where the use case is moving sensor data or small amounts of data, LoRa is designed specifically for that,” says Dave Armour, strategic marketing manager for wireless products at Semtech. The company licenses the proprietary LoRa technology and is a founder member of the LoRa Alliance.

LoRa is based on a transceiver design and uses an unlicensed spectrum, allowing users the option to deploy their own gateways or have their own devices communicate with third party networks, explains Samir Hennaoui, product manager, LPWA at Murata Europe. “Some cities have deployed networks based on LoRa that are free to access and service providers have appeared that rent access to their gateways,” he says.

A spread-spectrum modulation scheme supports data rates from 300bit/s to 50kbit/s to overcome the problem of interference in the shared RF band.

Sigfox, a low-cost, wide area M2M technology developed in 2010 by a French company of the same name, probably has the largest market share for LPWA networks today.  Data rates for this technology are 10bit/s to 1kbit/s.

The main differences between the two are range – Sigfox uses narrowband transmission to achieve up to 50km and LoRa has a range of up to 30km – and that LoRa is bi-directional, whereas Sigfox is not.

“Range depends on a number of things,” concedes Armour. With gateways on top of buildings, the range is more than with a gateway inside the building. “In big open areas we are getting tens of kilometres range typically,” he says, “for sending messages from the sensor back to the gateway in the cloud and also getting updates from the cloud back down to the sensor.

“Most technology allows you to send messages back to the network, but LoRa also enables you to receive messages from the network,” says Armour. This, he adds, is a key characteristic, as LoRa will be deployed in devices that are expected to be in long term use, for example parking sensors or occupancy sensors that can be updated over the air (OTA) rather than needing to be physically removed for updates.

The same OTA functionality can be used for security, which Armour describes as a moving target. A multi‑level AES encryption is the default in the protocol. “Encrypted data is sent from the sensor and goes on to the network encrypted. It is only when its gets to the end-user, who has registered the device, that they can unlock the data and decrypt it,” he explains.

“LoRa is designed specifically for moving sensor data, or small amounts of data,” says Armour. “It can do that over a very long range and at exceptionally low power. The consumption depends on the use case, but some of the sensors can run on coin cell batteries for over 10 years,” he says. “The great thing with sensors is that we can install a large number on a gateway in a building and all the data goes easily back into the cloud where you can start to make use of it,” says Armour.

Sensors can be used to adjust heating and lighting according to the number of tenants in a building, or to adjust the billing in multi-occupancy buildings. LoRa is also used for location services, to track goods, using the two-way communications capability.

“LoRa allows you to locate devices reasonably accurately at low power. If your data starts coming from a location that makes no sense to you, that may be because someone is spoofing, or the device has been stolen or moved,” Armour added.

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LoRa Silicon and IP from Semtech (licensed to other companies, e.g. Microchip):

Semtech, the only supplier of LoRa silicon intellectual property, has announced its next generation of LoRa chipsets, with reduced receiver current and high power option to extend the sensors’ battery life.  The SX1262 (the +22dBm option), the SX1261 (+15dBm) and the SX1268 (+22dBm, China frequency bands) are claimed to extend the battery life of LoRa-based sensors by up to 30%.

The chipsets have a footprint of 4x4mm, which is 45% less than the earlier device and they can be configured to meet application requirements using the LoRaWAN open standard.  Frequency coverage is 150MHz to 960MHz and a spreading factor of SF5 supports dense networks. The chipsets also support FSK modulation, making them compatible with legacy protocols.

https://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/iot-smart-cities-the-long-range-forecast-for-wireless-connectivity-2018-08/

 

 

 

IHS Markit & Cignal AI: Global Optical Equipment Market Down but EMEA Up

By Heidi Adams, senior research director, transport networks, IHS Markit

Highlights

  • In the second quarter of 2018 (Q2 2018), global optical network hardware revenue totaled $3.5 billion, decreasing 7 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • The global Q2 2018 optical equipment market net of China was down 3 percent year over year. China itself declined 17 percent year over year.
  • Wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) revenue totaled $3.3 billion in Q2 2018, up 9 percent quarter over quarter, but down 6 percent from a year ago.
  • Huawei remained the overall optical equipment market leader in Q2 2018, increasing its market share to a new high of 36 percent. Ciena moved into the number-two position, and Nokia dropped to third.

Our analysis

The optical equipment market continued to struggle in Q2 2018 due to the following factors:

  • Lower spending in China; ZTE shuttered major operations for most of the quarter
  • A big drop in submarine line terminal equipment (SLTE) spending
  • A slowdown in long-haul spending by tier-1 operators in North America

Even a healthy internet content provider (ICP) segment has not been enough to offset the spending declines of the major operators in North America. Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) remained flat year over year. The Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) saw sequential growth, but the region continued its overall year-over-year downward trend of diminishing network infrastructure investment. Meanwhile, in Asia Pacific, India remains very strong for optical spending and Japan is emerging as an area of renewed investment.

The WDM equipment segment increased sequentially but declined on a year-over-year basis – as did the metro and long-haul WDM sub segments. IHS Markit continues to view the metro WDM sub segment as the main growth vector for the market through at least 2022. Subsea-related optical equipment investment continues to be project driven and highly variable, with second quarter SLTE at half the level seen in the same period last year.

Looking ahead, IHS Markit forecasts a positive optical equipment market compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4 percent from 2017 through 2022.

Optical Network Hardware Market Tracker – Q2 2018

This report tracks the global market for metro and long-haul WDM and SONET/SDH equipment and SONET/SDH and WDM ports. It provides market size, market share, forecasts through 2022, analysis and trends.

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Cignal AI Reports 2Q18 EMEA Optical Spending Offset Weakness in North America

by Andrew Schmitt, Founder – Cignal AI

Research firm Cignal AI released its second quarter 2018 (2Q18) optical hardware report, which identified sustained spending growth in the EMEA region despite the absence of major supplier ZTE. EMEA operators increased optical hardware spending 6 percent year-over-year (YoY), but a soft market persisted in North America, where slow spending by incumbent operators has not been offset by the spending of cloud operators, which remains flat.

“Spending on optical hardware in North America declined again in 2Q18, but the trend of big vendors performing relatively better continued,” said Andrew Schmitt, lead analyst for Cignal AI. “During the past two years, the top 3 optical equipment vendors in the region consolidated 10 percent of the market at the expense of smaller competitors. It’s becoming a much tougher fight for smaller optical equipment vendors in North America.”

Cignal AI’s Optical Hardware Report is issued each quarter and examines optical equipment revenue across all regions and equipment types. Shipment information and guidance from individual equipment companies are included, and forecasts are based on spending trends in each region and the equipment types within those regions.

Key Findings In 2Q18 Optical Hardware Report:

  • EMEA spending rose as almost all vendors reported growth in the region. Vendors continue to be optimistic on large incumbent operator spending. Ciena reached record high revenue in EMEA during the quarter, while Nokia also notably increased revenue, excluding SLTE equipment.
  • There was no return to growth for North America, as optical hardware spending continued its decline. Weakness is deeply concentrated among the smaller vendors, who experienced double-digit YoY revenue declines, while the largest vendors all grew revenue.
  • With the absence of ZTE in the market this quarter, China had a sharp drop in revenue. Yet Huawei reported all-time record high revenue in China. Carriers did not curb market activity until ZTE’s return contrary to our assumptions.
  • Japanese spending was very strong. Ciena and Nokia both performed well in Japan and offset revenue declines experienced by traditional Japanese equipment vendors Fujitsu and NEC.
  • Excluding ZTE, revenue in RoAPAC grew, though both Ciena and Nokia saw their revenue decline YoY for the first time in two years. Huawei reported strong growth in the market.

Optical Hardware Report Enhancements

Last quarter, Cignal AI launched its Optical Hardware Market Share Tracker. The Tracker captured this quarter’s most up to date market data, providing real-time visibility on individual vendors’ results as soon as they are reported to enable well-informed market analysis.

All Cignal AI reports use Excel-based pivot tables which enable clients to quickly and easily view specific market segments. These features are particularly useful this quarter as it allows YoY results for regions to be viewed with ZTE excluded from the calculation. The reports now include rolling 4 quarter analysis and allow clients to see vendor results in this format as well.

About the Optical Hardware Report

The Cignal AI Optical Hardware Report includes market share and forecasts for optical transport hardware used in optical networks worldwide. Analysis includes an Excel database and PowerPoint summaries, plus Cignal AI’s real-time news briefs on current market events, Active Insight.

The report examines revenue for metro WDM, long-haul WDM and submarine (SLTE) equipment in six global regions and includes detailed port shipments by speed. Vendors in the report include Adtran, ADVA, Ciena, Cisco, Coriant, Cyan, ECI, Ekinops, Fiberhome, Fujitsu, Huawei, Infinera, Juniper Networks, Mitsubishi Electric, MRV, NEC, Nokia, 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.

AT&T Fiber Now Reaches 2 Million Business Customer Locations; $120M invested in Iowa networks

AT&T Increases Lead as the Largest U.S.-Based Provider of Fiber for Business Services:

AT&T continues to invest in aggressively expanding our national fiber footprint. There are more than 450,000 U.S. business buildings lit with AT&T fiber, and we’re adding thousands more each month.

Within those buildings, AT&T now enables high-speed fiber connections to more than 2 million U.S. business customer locations. And if you count businesses near our fiber network, that number quadruples. Nationwide, more than 8 million business customer locations are on or within 1,000 feet of our fiber.1

“As the largest provider of fiber for business services in the U.S., we have unparalleled ability to help businesses transform. Our growing fiber network is the foundation for the future,” said Roman Pacewicz, chief product officer, AT&T Business. “With companies using more data, applications and services in the cloud than ever before, high-speed, ever-present connectivity has never been more paramount.”

AT&T  offers business customers of all sizes – from small businesses to the largest enterprises –high-speed connectivity solutions on our fiber network:

  • AT&T Business Fiber provides businesses speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps). It has the bandwidth needed to support data-intensive services like video conferencing, collaboration, cloud services and more.
  • AT&T Dedicated Internet customers have an internet connection that provides dedicated throughput and consistent performance. It allows for symmetrical speeds of up to 1 terabit per second (Tbps).
  • AT&T Switched Ethernet Service provides multi-site companies a simple, scalable and affordable Ethernet Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution. AT&T Switched Ethernet Services with Network on Demand is software-defined and allows enterprises to scale bandwidth up and down in near real time through a portal.
  • AT&T Dedicated Ethernet provides customers with a low latency, dedicated connection to move critical information at speeds up to 100Gbps. Ideal for quickly moving data to backup facilities or data centers.

These services and more are all possible with fiber – the key differentiator in a high-speed world and a necessary building block for 5G.

What Customers Are Saying

“Fiber has been a godsend. Before AT&T fiber, the office and retail center I own lacked reliable and fast internet connectivity. It was impacting my ability to attract new tenants and keep quality existing tenants,” said Shane Glass, property owner and manager, Three Flags Center. “AT&T was able to get fiber into all 6 of our buildings. In the 8 months since, we have been 100% leased. More importantly, my tenants are very satisfied with both the reliability and blazing speeds AT&T fiber provides.”

“Blooming Potential works with children with Autism and other developmental and behavioral concerns. Due to the nature of our applied behavior analysis and speech therapy services, each therapist documents their sessions using an app on a tablet,” said Tiffany Rigal, owner, Blooming Potential. “With so much of our record-keeping being digital, we need fast and dependable technology. And that’s what we get with AT&T Dedicated Internet on AT&T fiber. We can worry less about our technology and remain focused on helping each child succeed.”

AT&T Partner Solutions

We make it easy for business customers to sign up for fiber on their terms. In addition to our direct sales channels, customers can purchase through solution providers in the AT&T Alliance Channel™, AT&T Partner Exchange® and ACC Business.

We strive to make it virtually seamless for solution providers to sell fiber services to businesses. We now share data with online resources like FiberLocator, a network planning and connectivity tool. These resources show which buildings are fiber lit through a quick address search, and they offer an API solution that providers can integrate into their platforms.

For more information on AT&T Business Fiber, please go to att.com/businessfiber.

1The 2 million U.S. business customer locations, which AT&T provides high-speed fiber connections, is included within the 8 million U.S. business customer locations on or within 1,000 feet of our fiber.

About AT&T Communications
We help family, friends and neighbors connect in meaningful ways every day. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to mobile video streaming, we innovate to improve lives. We have the nation’s largest and most reliable network and the nation’s best network for video streaming.** We’re building FirstNetjust for first responders and creating next-generation mobile 5G. With DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW, we deliver entertainment people love to talk about. Our smart, highly secure solutions serve over 3 million global businesses – nearly all of the Fortune 1000. And worldwide, our spirit of service drives employees to give back to their communities.

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AT&T Invests Nearly $120 Million Over 3-Year Period to Boost Local Networks in Iowa:

Separately,  AT&T has invested nearly $120 million in our Iowa wireless and wired networks during 2015-2017. These investments boost reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for residents and businesses. They also improve critical services that support public safety and first responders.

In 2017 we made more than 365 network enhancements across Iowa, including new cell sites, the addition of network capacity and network upgrades.

“Whether it’s streamlined rules to simplify and speed the deployment of wireless facilities or being one of the first states in the nation to opt-in to the FirstNet broadband network for first responders, Iowahas aggressively embraced policy to encourage continuous investment in mobile broadband infrastructure across the state,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds. “Today’s policies will pave the way for 5G mobile services in the years ahead and position Iowa for a prosperous economic future.”

Since the formation of the FirstNet public-private partnership a little over a year ago, governors from all 50 states, 5 territories and D.C. recognized the value of FirstNet, joining in its mission to strengthen and modernize public safety’s communications capabilities.

FirstNet is a new nationwide communications platform dedicated to America’s public safety community. As we build, deploy and evolve FirstNet, we will build upon our current and planned investments in Iowa to help ensure public safety’s network delivers the coverage and cutting-edge capabilities first responders expect – today and for decades to come.

For the 4th year in a row, AT&T earned the top spot in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE’s Most Admired Companies list in 2018. We also placed No. 49 among the 50 most admired companies across all industries.

We were ranked first or second in all 9 attributes used to compile the list, including innovation, people management, quality of management, long-term investment value, quality of products/services and global competitiveness.

To learn more about AT&T coverage in Iowa, or anywhere in the U.S., visit the AT&T Coverage Viewer. For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit the AT&T network news page.

1 AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

Allied Telesis Introduces Single & Multi-Channel Blanket Hybrid WiFi Solution

Channel Blanket hybrid wireless solution delivers multi-channel and single-channel WLAN capabilities simultaneously using a single access point design, simplifying network deployments, improving performance and reducing costs.
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On Friday August 23rd, Allied Telesis announced the launch of the world’s first hybrid WLAN solution for optimized wireless networking across the Enterprise. By allowing simultaneous multi-channel and single-channel WLAN operations using a single access point (AP) design, network administrators can combine the performance attributes of the two architectures to best suit their specific deployment requirements.
“Today’s Wi-Fi isn’t perfect so we have learned to tolerate the occasional drop-outs, downloads that hang, and lengthy waits for available connections to busy public networks,” said Graham Walker, product marketing director at Allied Telesis. “But many wireless networks, such as those in hospitals, are mission critical and poor performance is simply not acceptable. Our new hybrid wireless solution helps deliver a better wireless experience and simplifies management too.”
Most Wi-Fi networks today operate on a multi-channel architecture, where each wireless AP connects to a mobile client using one of several radio channels. Wireless networks that are built this way generally have good data throughput but must be well planned, as radio interference from adjacent APs on the same channel can adversely affect network connectivity and performance.
Note:  This author has long had a 5GHz and 2.4GHz WiFi served by AT&T U-verse Residential Gateway which has an integrated multi-channel WiFi AP/Router. As the 2.4 GHz band becomes more crowded, many users are opting to use the 5 GHz ISM band. This not only provides more spectrum, but it is not as widely used by Wi-Fi as well as many other appliances including items such as microwave ovens, etc.
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Single-channel is an alternate Wi-Fi architecture that allows all access points to use the same radio channel so that interference and performance degradation is not an issue. This type of wireless network solves the radio interference problem, is easy to deploy and enables seamless roaming between access points.
The Allied Telesis Channel Blanket hybrid wireless solution offers the simultaneous use of both multi-channel and single-channel capabilities and performance allowing customers to configure both architectures simultaneously on the same hardware to best suit their specific application.
The key hardware element to the hybrid WLAN solution is the TQ5403 Enterprise class Wave 2 wireless AP. Capable of up to 2133Mbps raw wireless throughput from its single 2.4GHz radio and dual 5GHz IEEE 802.11ac radios, the TQ5403 supports Multi-User Multiple Input and Multiple Output (MU-MIMO), allowing multiple clients to send and receive data at the same time, substantially increasing throughput for a better user experience.
The TQ5403 may operate standalone, in AP-cluster mode or can be controlled by Allied Telesis Autonomous Wave Control (AWC), an advanced network management tool that utilizes artificial intelligence to deliver significant improvements in wireless network connectivity and performance while reducing deployment and operating costs.
TQ5403 is the world’s first hybrid WLAN solution for optimized wireless networking across the Enterprise, according to Allied Telesis.
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AWC is available as a plugin for Allied Telesis Vista Manager EX™, a state-of-the-art network monitoring and management tool that includes various visualization modes that allow IT administrators to easily monitor their networks, with AWC profiles to simplify the management of multiple wireless APs.
“Until now, network operators have been forced to select the WLAN architecture that best meets their overall requirements which means compromising performance in some areas,” adds Walker. “Both architectures can be deployed separately, but this means managing two different networks with different tools, adding to increased management complexity and cost. What operators really want is a cost-effective Wi-Fi solution that combines the best features of both architectures using a single access point design and management system. This is the essence of our new Channel Blanket hybrid wireless solution.”
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About Allied Telesis:
With a portfolio of products and technologies providing IoT and SDN-enabled solutions for enterprise, government, education and critical infrastructure customers, Allied Telesis is the smarter choice. Its Envigilant™ managed services division delivers customized, state-of-the-art IoT solutions at the edge, empowering innovation, improving process agility and helping build a competitive advantage for customers globally.

Century Link tops Mid-Year 2018 U.S. Carrier Ethernet LEADERBOARD

CenturyLink maintains the top spot in Vertical Systems Group’s (VSG) mid-year 2018 U.S. Carrier Ethernet Services Leaderboard.  AT&T, #1 in 2017, claimed the #2 spot, followed by Verizon, Spectrum Enterprise, Comcast, Windstream and Cox. All of the companies maintained their year-end positions.  The leaderboard ranks incumbent telcos in order based on U.S. retail Ethernet port share. VSG calls this an industry benchmark for measuring Ethernet market presence.

CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3 Communications, along with continued growth in Ethernet ports for both companies, allowed it to power its way to the top of the year-end ranking.

VSG Mid-Year 2018 Ethernet Leaderboard

“After a flurry of M&A activity duing the past two years, the Ethernet marketplace stabilized during the first half of 2018,” said Rick Malone, VSG principal. “U.S. port growth was more than 6 percent for the period, with accelerating deployments of multi-gigabit speed services. Most providers experienced acute price compression across all data rates, partially offsetting the revenue typically generated from higher-speed services. All providers are grappling with longer sales cycles due to SD-WAN, however the impact on the U.S. Ethernet base has been negligible to date.”

Other providers selling Ethernet services in the U.S. are segmented into two tiers as measured by port share. The first, or challenge tier, includes Altice USA, Cogent, Frontier Communications, GTT, Sprint – which is attempting to merge with T-Mobile – and Zayo.

The second or Market Player tier includes all providers with port share below 1%. Companies in the Market Player tier include the following providers (in alphabetical order): Alaska Communications, American Telesis, BT Global Services, Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated Communications, Crown Castle Fiber, DQE Communications, Expedient, FiberLight, FirstLight, Fusion, Global Cloud Xchange, Great Plains Communications, Hawaiian Telecom, Logix Fiber Networks, LS Networks, Lumos Networks, Masergy, MegaPath, Midco, NTT America, Orange Business, RCN Business, Tata, TDS Telecom, Telstra, TPx Communications, Unite Private Networks, US Signal, Vodafone, WOW!Business and other companies selling retail Ethernet services in the U.S. market.

Huawei and ZTE Banned from Australian 5G Deployments

Continuing a trend in the English speaking world, Huawei and ZTE have been banned from providing wireless network technology for Australia’s 5G rollouts.  In a tweet, Huawei said it has been informed of the ban by the Australian government.  The Trump administration. recently banned U.S. government agencies or contractors from using most equipment provided by Huawei and ZTE and also banned the sale of mobile phones from those Chinese companies.

“This is an extremely disappointing result for consumers. Huawei is a world leader in 5G. Has safely and securely delivered wireless technology in Australia for close to 15 years,” Huawei wrote in its tweet.

The confirmation of the ban came after Australian minister for communications Mitch Fifield and treasurer and acting minister for home affairs Scott Morrison revealed in a joint statement that the government has provided “5G security guidance to Australian carriers.”   The Australian ministers have invoked the Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms (TSSR) obligations that among other things empower the government to compel operators to protect their networks against threats to national security.

While their statement did not mention any vendors by name, the ministers said that “the government considers that the involvement of vendors who are likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government that conflict with Australian law, may risk failure by the carrier to adequately protect a 5G network from unauthorized access or interference.”

To justify banning Huawei and ZTE from their involvement in 5G rollouts despite their prominent roles in the deployments of 3G and 4G networks, the ministers said that 5G will require a network architecture that is significantly different from previous mobile generations.

“Where previous mobile networks featured clear functional divisions between the core and the edge, 5G is designed so that sensitive functions currently performed in the physically and logically separated core will gradually move closer to the edge of the network,” they said.

“This new architecture provides a way to circumvent traditional security controls by exploiting equipment in the edge of the network – exploitation which may affect overall network integrity and availability, as well as the confidentiality of customer data… Government has found no combination of technical security controls that sufficiently mitigate the risks.”

The Australian government has been rumored for some time to be considering banning Huawei 5G rollouts.  However, due in part to the absence of evidence of any national security threat, some experts believe the ban is more motivated by politics than national security.

Huawei was also previously banned from providing equipment for the rollout of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN).  Meanwhile, the U.S. has warned Canada about purchasing network equipment from Huawei and ZTE.

 

Verizon’s Network Roadmap includes NG-PON2 and Open Daylight

Lee Hicks, Vice President of network planning  at Verizon said the carrier is focused on a single core MPLS network supporting wireless, residential and business services that will use NG-PON2 as an access method for all three.  Mr. Hicks made those remarks at ADTRAN Connect 2018 in Huntsville, Alabama.  Hicks said that an important goal is to reduce the cost per bit by 45% while also providing low latency to support services such as augmented and virtual reality and telemedicine, he said.  Speaking about the company’s fiber investment, Hicks said: “This has become the base for what we do in the industry. We are big believers in taking fiber all the way.”

In comparison with other 10 Gbps PON options, Hicks said, “It’s not the easiest to go from GPON to NG-PON2, but it’s the best long-term step.”  NG-PON2 initially will have four wavelengths, each operating at 10 Gbps.   “In the future, we have a roadmap to be able to bond these wavelengths,” Hicks said. “We have a built-in ability to go beyond a 10-Gig to 20-Gig, 30-Gig, even 40-Gig down the road. Today with 1-Gig service becoming common place, it’s only a matter of time before 10-Gig and beyond become important. You need to be thinking about that. We are and we’re trying to pick a platform that could help us do that. Having multiple wavelengths available is important.”

Hicks said that tunable optics for NG-PON2 will allow operators to assign different subscriber types to different wavelengths. Using dynamic load balancing, a service provider could move a data hog to a separate wavelength via a provisioning command to the optical network tuners.  He touted the enhanced reliability that multiple wavelengths and tunable optics will support.  Verizon has demonstrated pulling a fiber off of a PON and having the optical line terminal automatically switch to a backup wavelength within a few seconds. “Having multiple wavelengths available helps when you have to take a PON card out of service,” he said.

NG-PON2 also will enable network operators to load balance traffic, Hicks noted. If one customer on a PON is a wavelength hog, other customers could be moved to a different wavelength.  NG-PON2 equipment currently uses a separate broadband network gateway and gateway router but Verizon is working with Adtran to incorporate BNG functions into the optical line terminal.

“Broadband is no longer a want to service; it’s a have to service.  We’re at 40%, 50% per customer growth in consumption every year. But what’s coming on top of that now is the demand for low latency. Whether it’s augmented reality, virtual reality, or telemedicine, all these things require very low latency. We’re looking for solutions that continue to help with that.

What can we do is simplify our network by driving the costs per bit down,” Hicks said. “We’re very focused on that. We have an internal goal to every year to reduce the cost per bit by 40%. That’s what I charge my team with figuring out how to do, that’s what I charge Adtran and all of our suppliers to do. Our goal is to continue to develop a roadmap on how to reduce the cost per bit so that we can give good value to our customers.  That’s our vision. And so now how do we think about meeting that, especially on a fiber network? We believe that NG-PON2 is the right platform to do that.”

 

Verizon’s Lee Hicks talks about some of the telco’s networking goals at Adtran Connect. (Photo by FierceTelecom)

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Other elements of the Verizon network roadmap:

  • The company will consolidate real estate across its wireless, residential and business networks into what Hicks called “shared hub sites” for the “aggregation and service edge.” These could be central offices, points of presence or C-RAN huts, he said.
  • Verizon currently has more than 40 platforms and 200,000 network elements, including some that are up to 30 years old, that will be decommissioned.
  • The company’s platform “allows us to do circuit emulation” to support customers currently using DS-1 or Sonet services, which will be converted to Ethernet at the central office
  • Services such as FiOS, virtual private networks and others will share an uplink
  • The company will manage the network using a base network controller (BNC) that will use standard interfaces to an orchestration and abstraction network in place of traditional vendor-specific element management systems

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On Network Automation, Telemetry and Control, Hicks said Verizon is using OpenDaylight for its Base Network Controller (BNC), which is the focal point for gathering streaming telemetry from network elements.

“The model there is we’re going to create standard interfaces to our orchestration and extract the network,” Hicks said. “Southbound from the BNC, we will use industry standards, things like NETCONF and YANG models for provisioning, and then we’ll use OpenFlow to do network control. We’re going to be using this to do telemetry.”

In the past, Hicks said every Verizon service had its own set of network probes to gather data, which was then put into separate data lakes with their own set of analysis tools.

“We’re not going to be buying probes anymore,” Hicks said. “We’re going to be using the intelligence that’s in the network elements themselves and using streaming telemetry to gather all that. We’re going to be bringing it to a single data lake and then doing analytic engines on top of that with closed-loop automation.

“Our vision is on this new network where I have a single data lake, without probes, that I can then do closed-loop automation,” Hicks concluded.

5G Patent Licensing Wars Begin: Nokia undercuts Ericsson and Qualcomm on royalties for 5G smartphones

On August 21st Nokia announced its patent-licensing rate for 5G smartphones at €3 (~$3.47) per smartphone. That rate appears to be less than what Qualcomm and Ericsson are charging for their own 5G patents.

“Nokia innovation combined with our commitment to open standardization has helped build the networks of today and lay the foundations for 5G/NR,” said Ilkka Rahnasto, head of patent business at Nokia. “This announcement is an important step in helping companies plan for the introduction of 5G/NR capable mobile phones, with the first commercial launches expected in 2019.”

For other categories of devices, Nokia said it will determine its licensing rates separately “and seeks to engage in constructive dialogue with relevant industry participants to define the licensing models best suited for those industries.”

Nokia’s announcement underscores what will be a major element in the growth of the 5G industry.  The companies that have contributed to the 3GPP relase 15 New Radio (NR) spec are all likely looking to cash in on patent-licensing agreements.  That’s even though 3GPP won’t submit it’s IMT 2020 RIT proposal to ITU-R WP 5D till July 2019!

Image result for pic of 5G patents illustration

Already some of the global wireless industry’s biggest players have outlined their patent-licensing positions on 5G, even though there won’t be a standard (ITU-R’s IMT 2020) for more than two years.

Qualcomm late last year said that it could charge smartphone manufacturers up to $16.25 in royalties for every 5G phone they sell. However, $16.25 per 5G phone is not necessarily the exact price that 5G handset makers would pay; the company said its rates would vary depending on exactly what kinds of technologies were included in the license, as well as what types of devices manufacturers would sell.  Furthermore, Qualcomm indicated in April the company will adjust its patent-licensing terms, which some analysts said could result in a reduction in licensing fees paid by some of Qualcomm’s bigger customers, like Samsung.  Last November, Qualcomm announced it would charge up to $16.25 in royalties for 5G smart phones.

Similarly, in March of last year, Ericsson said it would charge $5 per 5G phone, though Ericsson said it might reduce that rate to $2.50 per phone under “exceptional circumstances.”  The company states on its website:

5G standardization is supported by the patent and licensing process, and will boost performance between networks, devices and operators, creating new revenue streams with radical new business models and use cases. Progress on the 5G standardization front will also bring enormous opportunities to the way we use our devices to communicate with our surroundings, revolutionizing key industries globally, including: TV and media; manufacturing; healthcare; telecommunications; and transportation and infrastructure.

Monica Magnusson,  VP of IPR Policy at Ericsson recently wrote:  “5G will offer a $619 billion revenue opportunity by 2026 globally. The new possibilities and innovations that 5G will enable seem exciting but harnessing the potential business value and societal benefits from technological breakthroughs will require a commitment to making this technology accessible. That’s why consensus-based standards and fair patent licensing must be prioritised.”

Nokia, Qualcomm and Ericsson are all working to increase the revenues that they derive from patent licensing. During the Nokia’s second-quarter earnings conference call with analysts, Nokia’s CEO Rajeev Suri said that “We expect our current portfolio strength both to continue for many years to come and to give us considerable monetization opportunities. … We’ve always had clear and ambitious targets for new patent creation and we are constantly adding new patents to our portfolio while still maintaining a high-quality threshold.”

Posted in 5G

IHS Markit: 82% of the world’s largest cellcos are testing “5G” – 2 years before IMT 2020 standard is complete

IHS Markit says that 82% of mobile operators participating in its recent 5G study are busy trialing and testing the technology, mainly in North America and Asia.  “Get ready, 5G is around the corner,” said Stéphane Téral, executive research director, mobile infrastructure and carrier economics, IHS Markit.

–>That’s despite the IGNORED REALITY that the true and only 5G standard- IMT 2020- is over 2 years from completion!

“5G is going live in North America by the end of 2018, and then in South Korea in 2019. Most operators in Europe, however, aren’t planning to deploy 5G until 2021 or later,” Teral added.

Eighty-two percent of operators polled for the study, entitled “Evolution from 4G to 5G: Service Provider Survey,” rated ultra-low latency (ULL) the chief technical driver for 5G, followed by decreased cost per bit (76%) and increased network capacity (71%). The participants were 17 of the world’s largest mobile operators with a combined 43% of the world’s 6 billion subscribers.

“Every technical aspect that’s related to substantial improvement in network performance — lower latency, higher capacity, higher bandwidth, higher throughput — while decreasing the cost per bit continues to receive high ratings in our survey,” Téral said. “This is logical because it’s the foundation of the 5G definition.”

Radio remains the most challenging network development item on the 5G agenda with 53% of operator respondents noting that radio is the area of the network that will require the biggest development effort to make 5G happen, followed by transport (24%) and management (14%).

Extreme mobile broadband (eMBB) was the highest-rated 5G use case driver among survey respondents, followed by real-time gaming. As real-time gaming requires a super-fast network with low latency, it cannot occur in the absence of eMBB; the same applies to high-definition (HD) and ultra-high-definition (UHD) video services and tactile low-latency touch and steer.

Even so, respondents expect fixed-wireless access (FWA) to be ready for commercial deployment first.

“The bottom line is early 5G will be an extension of what we know best: broadband, whether in FWA or eMBB form,” Téral said. “Don’t expect factory automation, tactile low-latency touch and steer, or autonomous driving to be ready on 5G any time soon despite being touted as the chief 5G use cases.”

5G readiness

About the survey

The “Evolution from 4G to 5G: Service Provider Survey” assesses 5G technologies,  market trends and mobile operator plans for deploying 5G networks. For the study, IHS Markit interviewed 17 of the world’s largest service providers, who together have 43 percent of the 6 billion mobile subscribers worldwide. Respondents to the survey have detailed knowledge of the mobile network infrastructure and technologies operated by their companies, and they are influential in planning and making purchase decisions for mobile network equipment.

References:

https://news.ihsmarkit.com/press-release/technology/5g-trials-full-swing-12-percent-operators-moving-commercial-deployment-year

https://ihsmarkit.com/topic/technology-critical-insights-5g.html

https://technology.ihs.com/605082/evolution-from-4g-to-5g-service-provider-survey-2018

Super fast broadband boosts UK business; Calls to break up BT & sell Openreach

The roll out of super fast broadband in the UK has increased revenues for businesses and created jobs, says a report by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sporttitled: “The Evaluation of the Economic Impact and Public Value of the Super fast Broadband Programme, covering 2012 to 2016.”

“We’ve also recently introduced a raft of lower wholesale prices to help drive higher take-up of faster fiber services which will help to further fuel the boost to the UK economy,” Openreach chief Clive Selley said.

“Our roll-out of superfast broadband across the UK has been the most challenging infrastructure project in a generation, but is one of our greatest successes,” said digital minister Margot James. “We are reaching thousands more homes and businesses every week that can now reap the clear and tangible benefits that superfast broadband provides. We are helping to ensure the downfall of the digital divide.”
Superfast broadband can be defined either as a service capable of delivering speeds above 24Mbps (the threshold used by DCMS) or 30Mbps (the threshold used by Ofcom). However, it should not be confused with full-fibre – also known as fibre-to-the-premises – broadband, which can generally deliver ultrafast speeds of over 100Mbps.
Superfast broadband is almost always delivered using fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, which uses fibre backhaul to street cabinets and copper cables to bridge the last mile between the cabinet and the premises.
About five million homes and businesses can now access a superfast service through BDUK, with take-up running at 45%, double the expected rate, which, as previously reported, has seen millions returned by Openreach to advance the programme further still.
Openreach CEO Clive Selley said: “It is great to see businesses across the UK reaping the benefits of faster broadband speeds and I am proud of the leading role that Openreach has played in helping to deliver the government’s roll-out of superfast broadband – one of Britain’s great engineering achievements.
“We have also recently introduced a raft of lower wholesale prices to help drive higher take-up of faster fibre services, which will help to further fuel the boost to the UK economy.”
References:

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45238452

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/need-for-speed-drives-superfast-broadband-boost-for-wales

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From the FT (see reference below):

Several large shareholders are pushing for a spin off of BT’s Openreach, the regulated part of the former UK incumbent that owns and manages the national broadband infrastructure.  BT said: “Openreach is an important part of BT and there are no active plans to sell the business.”
Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator, looked as part of a long-running market review at whether the broadband market would be better served if Openreach were fully independent. BT agreed to a series of measures to improve the independence of Openreach, including establishing the business as a legally separate company, to appease its critics while maintaining ownership of the network.