Ericsson: U.K. Telecom Rules May Hinder Country’s 5G Opportunity

Bloomberg reports that the U.K. risks missing the benefits of fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks, because of policies that could lead to an expensive and inefficient roll-out, according to Swedish telecommunications equipment giant Ericsson AB.

“Decisive action is needed — uncertainty is not good for business and it could delay the roll-out of the U.K.’s 5G network, putting the country’s long-term competitiveness at risk. The U.K. was late in adopting 4G and largely missed the economic opportunity that came with it. There is a real possibility of history repeating itself.” said Arun Bansal, head of the wireless equipment supplier’s European and Latin American operations.

Bansal identified several concerns with U.K. policy. He said there’s a risk the airwaves (frequency spectrum) owned by different carriers could be fragmented and inefficient. International cooperation is required so the same frequency bands are used within the country.

NOTE:  It is the job of ITU-R WP5D to update ITU-R M.1036 Frequency arrangements for implementation of the terrestrial component of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) in the bands identified for IMT in the Radio Regulations.   WP 5D gets spectrum recommendations inputs from WRC 19 meeting outputs from last Fall.  A new version of M.1036 must be completed before IMT 2020 (5G) RIT/SRIT specs are approved.

The telecom regulator in each country is then responsible for assigning frequencies to each IMT service, e.g. 4G and 5G within their country.  The U.K. telecom regulator is OFCOM.  In the U.S. it’s the FCC.

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Bansal also noted the country’s required planning approvals are slowing engineers’ work and making it more expensive, Bloomberg reported  He urged the government could do a better job at supporting 5G as a potential replacement for landline broadband, the report said.

Britain’s government rejected the criticisms and said reforms have made network deployment cheaper and easier.

In a statement, the U.K. Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport told Bloomberg that the country’s campaign to roll out gigabit-capable broadband nationwide “is technology neutral, and we would be happy to meet with the supplier to discuss the role of 5G.”

Ericsson has been positioning itself to supply British carriers with billions of pounds’ worth of 5G equipment. With U.K. officials now looking to curtail the role of its Chinese rival Huawei Technologies Co. amid growing tensions with Beijing, that potential opportunity has grown — as long as Ericsson can show it’s able to match Huawei’s technological edge.

Bansal didn’t mention Huawei by name. However, he denied claims that Ericsson was technologically behind any other player, and said it’s ready for whatever approach Britain chooses.  “We ship enough 5G-ready radios to cover the greater London area every single day,” he said.

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Bansal’s allegations comes one week after O2, the London-based telecommunications services provider owned by Telefónica, selected Ericsson to deploy its 5G across the UK and upgrade the existing 2G/3G/4G sites as part of a major network modernization program.

In April, BT said it would use Ericsson equipment for the core of its 5G network.  Ericsson would provide a “cloud native, containerized” core for 4G, non-standalone 5G, and eventually 5G standalone services, which will become a converged IP network.

NOTE that there are no standards or specifications for such a core network.  The only 5G core spec we know of is 3GPP Release 16 specification TS.23501 5G Systems Architecture-V16.4.0 (27 March, 2020) which does not specify how to build a cloud native containerized core network.

“The containerization of core network functions will enable BT to benefit from greater industry innovation in many areas, including automation, orchestration, network resilience, security, and faster upgrade techniques,” Ericsson said at that time.  “This means increasing overall network availability for customers and services while being cost-effective.”

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Last month, PYMTS reported COVID-19 has prompted Ericsson to update its forecast for worldwide 5G subscriptions to 2.8 billion by 2025 from 2.6 billion, the company said in a webinar.

“We’re witnessing transformative changes just in the last two months,” Patrik Cerwall, Ericsson’s head of strategic marketing, said in the “Unboxed Office” event that was broadcast live on Periscope.

Amy McCune, Ericsson North America’s vice president and chief operations officer, told PYMNTS in May that shifts in lifestyle, work and healthcare are accelerating the demand for the next generation of wireless communications technologies.

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References:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-19/ericsson-says-u-k-telecom-rules-risk-undermining-5g-opportunity?srnd=technology-vp&sref=zNmRQ0gk

https://www.ericsson.com/en/press-releases/2020/4/bt-and-ericsson-join-up-to-deliver-cloud-native-dual-mode-5g-core

 

Ericsson Says UK Telecom Rules Are Slowing 5G Installs And Driving Up Costs

Frequency arrangements for implementation of the terrestrial component of International Mobile Telecommunications in the bands identified for IMT in the Radio Regulations

U.S. Commerce Dept NO-OP rule allows U.S. companies to work with Huawei on 5G & other standards

by Karen Freifeld (Reuters) with Opinion by Alan J Weissberger

The U.S. Department of Commerce on Tuesday posted a new rule that allows U.S. companies to work with China’s Huawei to develop standards for 5G and other cutting-edge technologies, despite restrictions on doing business with the world’s top telecommunications equipment maker.

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Opinion: 

This new rule accomplishes NOTHING and may even backfire according to some analysts. First and foremost, the U.S. government has no authority to dictate whether or not U.S. companies are permitted to attend and contribute to international standards committee meetings that are attended by non-U.S. companies deemed to be a threat.  It is up to each individual standards body to grant or deny membership to a company. Once that company becomes a member of the committee then NO GOVERNMENT ENTITY can block other companies from working with it on various standards.

Today (June 16th), a joint ITU-R WP5D contribution from Nokia Corporation, Telefon AB – LM Ericsson, Qualcomm, Inc., Samsung Electronics contribution asks WP5D to delete China and Korea IMT 2020 RIT submissions as they are technically identical to 3GPP’s IMT 2020 RIT submission.

Did the Korea government prevent Samsung (#1 company in Korea by far) from co-authoring that contribution, even though it is NOT in the best interest of Korea to have their national 5G (IMT 2020 RIT) standard withdrawn/deleted?  Of course not, because they don’t have the authority to do that!

Separately, the U.S. government is dogmatic in destroying Huawei to end that company’s dominance of global telecom equipment, especially 5G where the U.S. wants to encourage (now non-existent) 5G equipment companies.  The only U.S. 5G technology company we know of is Qualcomm.  The others just do software for so called “Open RAN” (which can’t really be open if two companies have to spec out the radio and radio interface to the digital baseband unit).

“The United States will not cede leadership in global innovation,” said Wilbur Ross, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, in his statement about the decision. “The Department is committed to protecting U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by encouraging US industry to fully engage and advocate for U.S. technologies to become international standards.”

Light Reading also take a negative view of the U.S. announcement.  Iain Morris wrote in a blog post today (Bold font added for emphasis):

If the US is to remain a part of the global standards community, as it inevitably decided it would this week, the only way it can become less dependent on Chinese knowhow is to make the Chinese firms less influential in the standards groups. That could mean imitating China’s strategy of trying to shape the international standard and essentially crowd out the other players.

How successful that strategy has been is up for debate. Huawei undoubtedly plays a more prominent role in the 5G standard than it ever did in 3G or 4G. Yet critics believe the company’s influence has been overstated in the media. Its vast array of patents, they say, includes relatively few that are genuinely “standard-essential,” despite the findings of several studies that tout Huawei’s significance.

Richard Windsor, an analyst with Radio Free Mobile, thinks US semiconductor giant Qualcomm has “a much stronger position in 5G” than one high-profile study gives it credit for. The 3GPP, for its part, remains tight-lipped on this entire subject. Revelations could be awkward.

Whatever transpires in the world of standards, no one should seriously expect a rapprochement between the US and Huawei after all that has already happened. Meng Wanzhou, the Chinese firm’s chief financial officer (and daughter of its founder), remains under house arrest in Canada, awaiting possible extradition to the US to face charges of fraud. Countries including the UK are still under US pressure to ban Huawei from their 5G networks. And trade sanctions have not been eased.

Quite the opposite, in fact. A recent tightening-up of Commerce Department rules will stop Huawei from buying any components made with US technology. Previous restrictions covered only US components made on US soil, inflicting limited damage on Huawei and disappointing its US antagonists. Unable to procure equipment from important suppliers like Taiwan’s TSMC, Huawei could be finished within a year as a result of the latest measures, according to some analysts. If that happens, any concern about US firms working alongside their Chinese counterparts in standards groups would be largely academic.

U.S. posts rule allowing U.S. companies to work with Huawei on standards

People walk past a Huawei shop, amid an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Beijing, China, May 18, 2020. Photo Credit: REUTERS/Thomas Peter                  …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Reuters reported on Monday that the rule had been approved and sent to the Federal Register, the official U.S. publication for rules. It was posted for public inspection on the Federal Register’s website on Tuesday and is scheduled to be formally published on Thursday.

The rule amends the Huawei “entity listing,” which restricts sales of U.S. goods and technology to the company. The United States placed Huawei on the list in May 2019, citing national security concerns.

The amendment authorizes the release of certain technology to Huawei and its affiliates if it contributes “to the revision or development of a ‘standard’ in a ‘standards organization.’”

Industry and government officials have said the entity listing backfired in standards settings. With U.S. companies uncertain what technology they could share, some U.S. engineers did not engage, and Huawei gained a stronger voice, they said.

Huawei and 114 of its foreign affiliates on the Entity List “continue to participate in many important international standards organizations in which U.S. companies also participate,” the new rule says.

“As international standards serve as the building blocks for product development and help ensure functionality, interoperability and safety of the products, it is important to U.S. technological leadership that U.S. companies be able to work in these bodies in order to ensure that U.S. standards proposals are fully considered.”

Naomi Wilson of the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents tech companies, said the rule was a “long-awaited step to clarify that U.S. companies can participate in international standards bodies – even where certain listed entities are present.”

Boston lawyer Andy Updegrove, who has represented over 150 standards organizations, said he found one catch: Not all standards consortiums may meet the requirements in the rule.

To do so, he said, some may change the way they work, but other foreign ones may not. “Overall, it’s a big improvement, but it’s not going to help U.S. companies in every case,” Updegrove said.

Huawei said in a statement it wants to continue standards discussions with counterparts, including those in the United States, and that “inclusiveness and productive dialogue will better promote” their formulation and encourage development.

References:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-huawei-tech/us-posts-rule-allowing-us-companies-to-work-with-huawei-on-5g-and-other-standards-idUSKBN23N2JP

https://www.lightreading.com/5g/huawei-is-in-even-bigger-trouble-after-us-standards-move/a/d-id/761730?

Nokia and Broadcom collaborate on new 5G ReefShark SoC’s

Nokia and Broadcom said today that they are cooperating to develop advanced system-on-chip (SoC) processors, for integration with Nokia’s 5G Powered by ReefShark portfolio. The new SoC products use Nokia wireless technology and Broadcom expertise in application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technologies.

The added performance brought by custom silicon solutions is crucial in realizing the capabilities and benefits of 5G and delivering on its requirements. This new alliance extends the range of Nokia ReefShark chipsets available for 5G networks and improves the performance and energy footprint of 5G networks. While collaborating with Broadcom, Nokia continues to expand its silicon capabilities and improve the penetration of Reef Shark products in its AirScale radio access network (RAN) portfolio.

Nokia, Broadcom Collaborate to Develop New Custom SoC Processors

ReefShark is based on 3GPP (Release 15) 5G New Radio specifications, which help offset deployment costs and TCO, while fulfilling architecture-driven network requirements.

ReefShark reduces size, cost and energy consumption at each cell site, while simultaneously boosting the intelligence and performance of massive MIMO antennas.

ReefShark boosts baseband compute capacity through plug-in units fitted into the commercially available Nokia AirScale system module. AirScale is software upgradeable to full 5G functionality, and these plug-in units triple throughput from Nokia’s already market-leading 28 Gbps today, to up to 85 Gbps per module.

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The new chipsets are designed for deployment in several building blocks of Nokia’s AirScale radio access system. Reef Shark-based items enable operators to benefit from a smaller size and power consumption but a boost in capacity and overall performance, with a lower total cost of ownership.

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks, Nokia:

“This important collaboration highlights our continued commitment to developing our “5G Powered by ReefShark” chipset portfolio and ensures that our 5G solutions deliver a best-in-class performance to our customers.”

Frank Ostojic, SVP and GM, ASIC Products Division, Broadcom:

“Nokia and Broadcom’s collaboration accelerates silicon innovation and enables operators and end users to realize the unprecedented benefits of 5G.”

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About Broadcom
Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO) is a global technology leader that designs, develops and supplies a broad range of semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions. Broadcom’s category-leading product portfolio serves critical markets including data center, networking, enterprise software, broadband, wireless, storage and industrial. Our solutions include data center networking and storage, enterprise, mainframe and cyber security software focused on automation, monitoring and security, smartphone components, telecoms and factory automation. For more information, go to www.broadcom.com

About Nokia
We create the technology to connect the world. Only Nokia offers a comprehensive portfolio of network equipment, software, services and licensing opportunities across the globe. With our commitment to innovation, driven by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs, we are a leader in the development and deployment of 5G networks.

Our communications service provider customers support more than 6.4 billion subscriptions with our radio networks, and our enterprise customers have deployed over 1,300 industrial networks worldwide. Adhering to the highest ethical standards, we transform how people live, work and communicate. For our latest updates, please visit us online www.nokia.com and follow us on Twitter @nokia.

Media Inquiries:
Nokia
Communications
Phone: +358 10 448 4900
Email: press.services@nokia.com

References:

https://www.nokia.com/about-us/news/releases/2020/06/15/nokia-expands-5g-reefshark-chipset-portfolio-with-broadcom-collaboration/

https://www.nokia.com/networks/technologies/reefshark/

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/nokia-ties-up-with-broadcom-to-develop-custom-socs-for-reefshark-portfolio–1342469

 

Mavenir and Altiostar Collaborate to Deliver OpenRAN Radios for U.S. Market; Parallel Wireless CEO Opinion

Mavenir and Altiostar are among a number of networking software start-ups focusing on delivering Open RAN solutions to wireless network operators .  Both companies specialize in cloud telecoms software – so one would expect them to be competing with each other. However, they have decided to collaborate to deliver a wide portfolio of radios based on OpenRAN principles for the US market.

Both companies will be supporting the development of radios through third party OEM’s that will be based on O-RAN open interfaces and will address the frequencies of Tier-1 and Regional/Rural operators in the US.

Analysis:

The two companies will NOT design or build the radios themselves, which is not within the scope of  networking software startups.  In essence, they will be using O-RAN compliant radios built by (mostly Asian) OEMs/ODMs- many of which are members of the O-RAN Alliance.  One has to wonder, however, why such an agreement is necessary?  Why aren’t O-RAN compliant interface specifications complete and well enough accepted to ensure multi-vendor interoperability?

The joint press release answers those questions:

“Very few companies are participating in the current (OpenRAN) supply chain and mostly offering proprietary radio solutions lacking open interfaces that are not interoperable with other network elements. In addition, the requirement to procure products from trusted vendors in the US market is also causing operators to reconsider supplier options. OpenRAN radios provide new possibilities for operators to implement a secure, cost effective and best of breed solution as networks move to 5G and beyond.”

Parallel Wireless CEO Steve Papa commented to Light Reading that Open RAN (aka O-RAN) “will only be as good as the radios that are available,” he said.  “If Ericsson and Nokia are struggling to be competitive with Huawei’s radios, we should not expect O-RAN to magically solve this problem by using the same semiconductors available to Ericsson and Nokia at present.”

Papa blames a lack of U.S. semiconductor innovation for Huawei’s lead in radios. He has repeatedly urged U.S. authorities to pump an extra $1 billion into radio semiconductor research. He has even suggested using the $1 billion the US recently fined Ericsson for corruption, a remark that is unlikely to win him many friends in Stockholm.

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As part of this effort, it is also planned to have these radios available to support the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act that was signed into law on March 12, 2020.

Public Law No: 116-124 (03/12/2020)

Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019

This bill establishes (1) a mechanism to prevent communications equipment or services that pose a national security risk from entering U.S. networks, and (2) a program to remove any such equipment or services currently used in U.S. networks.

Specifically, the bill prohibits the use of certain federal funds to obtain communications equipment or services from a company that poses a national security risk to U.S. communications networks. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must publish and maintain a list of such equipment or services.

Each communications provider must submit an annual report to the FCC regarding whether it has purchased, rented, leased, or otherwise obtained any prohibited equipment and, if so, provide a detailed justification for such action.

The bill also establishes the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program to supply small communications providers (i.e., providers with 2 million or fewer customers) with funds to offset the cost of removing prohibited equipment or services from their networks and replacing it with more secure communications equipment or services.

In addition, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration must establish a program to share information regarding supply chain security risks with trusted communications providers and suppliers.

For a short video describing O-RAN’s progress, see www.o-ran.org/videos

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“Altiostar has been at the forefront of the OpenRAN movement that is now being embraced by mobile operators around the world,” said Ashraf Dahod, CEO of Altiostar Networks. “Our collaboration with Mavenir on OpenRAN radios will ensure operators in the US have a truly open end-to-end infrastructure that will be cost effective and allows them to grow their business.”

“We are collaborating with Altiostar to realize the full promise of OpenRAN. Our Radios will have O-RAN compliant interfaces and will interwork with other vendors’ solutions,” said Pardeep Kohli, President and CEO of Mavenir. “I encourage other companies in the OpenRAN Policy Coalition to open their radios and ensure a broad supply of radios with open interfaces that are interoperable with third party equipment.”

Mavenir and Altiostar have committed to work together to develop a full set of FCC banded radios to be available starting June 2020, with a complete set of radios in the market by Q1 2021. The parties are also committed to making these OpenRAN radios available to be sourced by all OpenRAN vendors and system integrators, widening the OpenRAN supply chain in the US market to meet the frequency band needs of Tier-1 and Regional/Rural operators.

Mavenir and Altiostar have been pioneers of OpenRAN, including founding board members of the Open RAN Policy Coalition, as well as part of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and O-RAN Alliance.

Members of the Open RAN Policy Coalition include Airspan, Altiostar, AT&T, AWS, Cisco, CommScope, Dell, DISH Network, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Intel, Juniper Networks, Mavenir, Microsoft, NEC Corporation, NewEdge Signal Solutions, Nokia, NTT, Oracle, Parallel Wireless, Qualcomm, Rakuten Mobile, Samsung Electronics America, Telefónica, US Cellular, US Ignite, Verizon, VMWare, Vodafone, World Wide Technology, and XCOM-Labs.

Other software start-ups that are pursuing Open RAN include Parallel Wireless,  Robin io., WiSig Networks, and several others.  This author has talked with principals of Robin.io and WiSig who have been invited to write guest articles about their work for the IEEE Techblog.

Below is the O-RAN reference architecture model:

O-RAN Architecture 190122.png

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About Mavenir:
Mavenir is the industry’s only end-to-end, cloud-native Network Software and Solutions/Systems Integration Provider for 4G and 5G, focused on accelerating software network transformation for Communications Service Providers (CSPs). Mavenir offers a comprehensive end-to-end product portfolio across every layer of the network infrastructure stack. From 5G application/service layers to packet core and RAN, Mavenir leads the way in evolved, cloud-native networking solutions enabling innovative and secure experiences for end users. Leveraging innovations in IMS (VoLTE, VoWiFi, Advanced Messaging (RCS)), Private Networks as well as vEPC, 5G Core and OpenRAN vRAN, Mavenir accelerates network transformation for more than 250+ CSP customers in over 140 countries, which serve over 50% of the world’s subscribers.

Mavenir embraces disruptive, innovative technology architectures and business models that drive service agility, flexibility, and velocity. With solutions that propel NFV evolution to achieve web-scale economics, Mavenir offers solutions to help CSPs with cost reduction, revenue generation, and revenue protection. www.mavenir.com

About Altiostar:
Altiostar provides a 4G and 5G open virtualized RAN software solution that supports open interfaces and disaggregates the hardware from the software to build a multi-vendor web-scale network. This solution supports indoor and outdoor massive MIMO, as well as macro and small cells, enabling interference management, carrier aggregation and dual connectivity to improve the efficiency of the network. It also enhances the Quality of Experience for the end user, while providing broadband speeds. Operators can add intelligence, quickly adapt the software for different services and automate operations to rapidly scale the network and reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The Altiostar open vRAN solution has been deployed globally, including the world’s first cloud native-mobile network with Rakuten in Japanwww.altiostar.com

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References:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/altiostar-and-mavenir-to-deliver-openran-radios-for-us-market-301074220.html

https://www.o-ran.org/

Ultra Oxymoron: GSMA teams up with O-RAN Alliance without liaison with 3GPP or ITU

https://techblog.comsoc.org/category/o-ran/#:~:text=Open%20RAN%20Policy%20Coalition%20founding,Qualcomm%2C%20Rakuten%20Mobile%2C%20Samsung%20Electronics

Bell Canada Announces Largest 5G Network in Canada

Bell Canada has announced the launch of what it says is Canada’s largest 5G mobile network. Bell’s 5G services have launched in Montreal, the Greater Toronto area, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver and will expand to more cities in the future.

Bell Canada is selling a number of compatible 5G devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G series, the LG V60 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen and the Motorola Edge+, all from CAD 0 upfront with Bell SmartPay. 5G access is CAD 10 a month on any Bell Mobility postpaid plan and will be free as a bonus until the end of March 2021.

“Bell has built the country’s best networks since 1880 with a goal to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world, and we’re proud to take the next step forward with the country’s largest 5G network,” said Mirko Bibic, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. “As the world rapidly embraces the Fifth Generation of wireless, Bell is ready to ensure Canada remains at the forefront of 5G innovation and accessibility. The COVID-19 crisis has clearly underscored the critical importance of high-quality networks to keeping consumers, businesses and governments connected and informed, and Bell remains committed to building the best as we take wireless into the next generation.”

“With 5G coverage that is 6 times greater than the next largest network, the biggest selection of 5G-capable devices available and faster data speeds than even our award-winning Advanced LTE network, Bell Mobility has once again raised the bar in Canadian wireless,” said Claire Gillies, President of Bell Mobility. “As the scale, speed and capabilities of our next-generation network continue to grow, Bell Mobility will champion the 5G customer experience in every part of our business.”

The first company to trial mobile 5G technology in Canada, Bell is working with a range of leading global and domestic 5G partners, including Ericsson and Nokia, to accelerate Canada’s 5G innovation ecosystem. This includes continued funding of R&D at Canadian institutions, such as the partnership announced today between Western University and Bell to create a new academic centre for research into 5G applications across health, agriculture, transportation, manufacturing and other sectors. On the international stage, Bell is a leader in the setting of global 5G standards with our participation in the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) consortium and Third Generation Partnership Program (3GPP).

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Bell also announced a partnership with Western University, to create an advanced 5G research centre, including the deployment of a campus-wide 5G network. The Canadian carrier will invest CAD 2.7 million into the centre but also help fund research and development initiatives with the university, including training opportunities and tech innovations.

Specifically, the centre will study 5G applications, including virtual and augmented reality use, smart vehicle and city applications, autonomous vehicles, industrial IoT applications, multi-access edge computing, batter and small cell research, machine learning, artificial intelligence and other system for use in fields such as medicine, agriculture, transportation and communications.

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Bell Canada is the largest communications company in Canada.  With more than 22 million consumer and business connections, Bell provides advanced broadband wireless, TV, Internet and business communication services throughout the country.

Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out of home and digital media.

References:

https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/bell-launches-canadas-largest-5g-wireless-network-2020-06-11

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/bell-canada-launches-5g-network-partnership-for-5g-research-centre–1342198

 

Nokia study of consumer & enterprise users: FWA and Video are top 5G services

In a study of wireless consumer users conducted with Parks Associates, Nokia found that fixed wireless access (FWA) services as the top-ranked use case by global consumers (76% of all respondents), although with the caveat that mobile network operators must prove that 5G can perform as well as fixed broadband.

We find that quite interesting, as FWA is NOT a use case for IMT 2020– the global 5G standard (yet to be completed).

The study of enterprise users found that businesses identify video as the most attractive 5G WAN and LAN applications, with 83% finding it appealing and 48% citing 5G-enhanced video monitoring as a near-term opportunity.  90 percent of consumers said that uninterrupted video calls will be a “very valuable” part of 5G connectivity. 83 percent of businesses said that video calls are a “compelling” use case for 5G.

Two-thirds of the enterprises surveyed in the study (65%) said they are familiar with 5G, and one-third (34%) report they are already using 5G and are highly satisfied with the service. The report also noted that while nearly half (47%) of IT decision-makers say their organizations have already started planning for 5G, others are waiting for more widespread 5G availability (54%), and nearly one-third (30%) reported they would also like to better understand the value of 5G before developing a strategy to use it in their organization.

Nokia noted that the research was carried out before the COVID-19 pandemic, but claimed the results were still valid, “perhaps more so in this new environment,” said Josh Aroner, vice president of communication service provider marketing at Nokia. “While current networks are performing well, consumers are newly appreciating the value of quality networking.”

The consumer study surveyed 3,000 people in the UK, US and South Korea, while the enterprise study surveyed over 1,000 IT decision-makers in segments including energy, manufacturing, government/ public safety and automotive/transportation.

Josh Aroner, Vice President of Communication Service Provider Marketing, commented: “Nokia commissioned this research prior to the current global coronavirus pandemic but its insights are still valid and applicable, perhaps moreso in this new environment. While current networks are performing well, consumers are newly appreciating the value of quality networking.

“Video has been a bedrock of social interaction and 5G can greatly improve this capability, while social isolation and remote work likely increase appeal for immersive experience applications. FWA is an attractive early use case for 5G, especially with remote install, but operators must make an informed decision about how to invest in it and in which geographic location.”

Additional report findings:

  • Nearly half of those who work remotely indicate a strong willingness to switch providers for 5G service and more likely to intend to purchase a 5G phone. Greatly expanded remote work experience may drive plan and phone upgrades.
  • Nearly two-thirds of early 5G users are highly satisfied with the speeds they experience on 5G networks, compared with less than half of 4G users.
  • 45 percent of all consumers find connected car concepts appealing with navigation and safety capabilities seen as most valuable, but this jumps to 73 percent amongst vehicle owners. 53 percent of vehicle owners said they would be interested in bundling car connectivity with a 5G data plan.
  • Two-thirds of consumers find 5G-enabled Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality services appealing and 56 percent were drawn to cloud gaming. Mandatory physical distancing may be the inflection point for these use cases.
  • 77 percent of companies using connected equipment find 5G-enabled remote control machinery appealing. 82 percent of respondents with existing cloud robotics deployments find the idea of 5G-enabled cloud robotics “highly appealing”

Network operators will no doubt be pleased to learn that there is demand among consumers for 5G, although they should note that customers would be prepared to switch operator if their current provider is slow to launch 5G services.

Methodology:

This survey fielded 3,000 smartphone owners across the US, UK, and Korea. Demographic quotas set for age, gender, and household income ensure the sample is representative of the population of each market surveyed. Respondent Characteristics: Adults, ages 18 and older; Smartphone owners; Broadband internet users; Primary decision makers.

Resources:

About Nokia
We create the technology to connect the world. Only Nokia offers a comprehensive portfolio of network equipment, software, services and licensing opportunities across the globe. With our commitment to innovation, driven by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs, we are a leader in the development and deployment of 5G networks.

Our communications service provider customers support more than 6.4 billion subscriptions with our radio networks, and our enterprise customers have deployed over 1,300 industrial networks worldwide. Adhering to the highest ethical standards, we transform how people live, work and communicate. For our latest updates, please visit us online www.nokia.com and follow us on Twitter @nokia.

Media Inquiries:
Nokia
Communications
Phone: +358 10 448 4900
Email: press.services@nokia.com

References:

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/06/10/2045998/0/en/Nokia-new-research-highlights-5G-Fixed-Wireless-Access-opportunity-for-mobile-operators.html

https://www.lightreading.com/5g/nokia-pins-down-fwa-and-video-apps-as-biggest-5g-drivers/d/d-id/761588?

Nokia: Video is still the 5G ‘killer app’ for both consumers and enterprises

 

 

Telcos need to fill in gaps to be Edge Computing (5G, IIoT) leaders

The rapidly expanding edge computing space represents a $17 billion opportunity for telecom service providers over the next three years, but those companies are being overlooked by enterprises when it comes to deployments, according to a recent study by World Wide Technology done in conjuction with Analysys Mason.

The Edge Disconnect report found that service providers’ deep connectivity expertise and investments in 5G infrastructure are advantages, but that they need to fill gaps in their offerings to become a one-stop shop for enterprises looking to expand to the edge with connectivity, infrastructure, and applications.

“Service providers are under immense pressure to monetize 5G infrastructure investments and create cost-reducing efficiencies,” said Dan Graham, global product leader for edge computing at WWT. “Edge computing provides services as close to the end user or device as possible and is essential to the value proposition of 5G. Next-gen applications, including self-driving vehicles, remote surgery, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), will all hinge on the edge.”

The report found that IT companies and tech companies, rather than telecoms service providers, are invariably seen as the “edge experts.”  In particular, the report authors wrote:

“Connectivity is the cornerstone of an enterprise edge strategy, yet enterprises don’t see connectivity providers as the partner they need to make their strategy a success.”

How can carriers better show off their edge muscles in front of enterprises? WWT makes a number of suggestions based on the research, which, it insisted, “reflected the market’s view and was in no way influenced by WWT’s own perspective on edge.”

By developing a “pre-packaged edge solution” composed of connectivity and system integration capabilities, as well as an application platform (which WWT thinks will generate nearly 60% of the resulting revenue) “telecoms service providers can cement their place in the new era of enterprise data management.”

“Cloud service providers and systems integrators may talk up to their ability to satisfy customers’ connectivity needs, but telecoms service providers have been delivering these services for decades,” reassured the authors. “They have an innate understanding of the intricacies involved, and how these can be optimized.”

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Industries covered by the research include transport, public sector, manufacturing, retail, financial services and healthcare. In each of these sectors, distributing computing through Edge implementations presents an opportunity to transform data management in line with the realities of an increasingly connected digital economy, as well as introducing new cost efficiencies and improvements to data security and compliance.

The report also identifies the 30 industry-specific Edge use cases likely to deliver the greatest revenue potential, all of which benefit from Edge’s suitability for transformative, data-intensive applications.

Key findings in the report:

  • Options: Only 6% of enterprise decision-makers would choose service providers for their edge implementations. Instead, 41% would primarily opt for a technology company, while 31% would go with a public cloud provider.
  • Demand: 59% of the $17 billion opportunity is at the level of user-facing application and service platforms, far more than connectivity-focused roles telecom service providers play. Telecom service providers need to expand what they offer beyond connectivity to capture more of the opportunity.
  • Edge drivers: Across multiple industries, the top reasons organizers are embracing the edge are newer or enhanced customer experiences, data security and privacy, and cost efficiencies.
  • Data management: Enterprises see the edge as a way of reducing data management costs by up to 20%.

The edge continues to be a promising opportunity for telecom service providers, cloud service providers, and channel partners. The report says that service providers’ deep understanding of connectivity is a key advantage. With the assistance of a partner who can bridge any gaps in their knowledge of vertical-specific use cases, they can develop pre-packaged solutions covering all three of the above requirements.  Achieve this, and service providers will be on the road to changing enterprise perceptions, increasingly cementing themselves as the de facto partners for enterprise Edge deployments.

Grand View Research analysts predict that the global market for edge computing will grow 37.4% a year through 2027, when it will grow to $43.4 billion. A key catalyst for that growth will be 5G technology, which promises significantly faster speeds and more bandwidth and capacity than current 4G LTE networks.

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References:

https://www.wwt.com/white-paper/the-edge-disconnect-how-service-providers-can-change-perceptions-to-become-the-authority-in-enterprise-edge-computing

https://channelnomics.com/2020/06/09/ingram-micro-cloud-simplifies-complex-aws-world/

https://www.lightreading.com/the-edge/telcos-need-to-up-their-edge-game—report/d/d-id/761562?

 

OMDIA: South Korea is 5G market leader amongst 22 countries

Market research firm  OMDIA – formerly known as Ovum (including IHS-Markit IT acquisition) – has released the first version of its 5G Market Progress Assessment (end-2019) report, showing that South Korea is the undisputed leading country for 5G deployment in the twenty two leading 5G countries analyzed for their deployment of 5G technology.

The OMDIA research assessed the deployment progress of 5G based on operator launches, network coverage, subscriber take-up as well as 5G spectrum availability and regulatory ecosystem.

Based on these factors OMDIA’s research concluded that South Korea – as it did in the 4G era – has established itself as the early market-leader for 5G technology deployment.  South Korea, Kuwait, and Switzerland are among a small group of markets notable for 5G coverage exceeding 50% of their subscriber base.

According to the report, South Korea is leading the way with adoption reaching 4.67 million subscribers at the end of December, which equates to about seven per cent of wireless services in the market.  That number is now over 6 million as we reported in this article.

The rankings used a relative assessment, effectively assigning South Korea a score of 100% for the September quarter due to its global leadership across all five of the assessment criteria:

  • Spectrum – 2,680 MHz across the 3.5 and 28 GHz bands
  • Service launches – all three Korean service providers have commercial offerings available to the mass market, and MVNO services have been launched
  • Network coverage – approximately 90% population coverage
  • 5G take-up – 4.67 million 5G subscribers, or 7% of the mobile market
  • Ecosystem – Strong government support and leading local vendor ecosystem

South Korea has exceeded expectations in each of the above criteria, a trend which should continue over the next few years in light of the government’s intention to make a further 2,640 MHz of bandwidth available for 5G networks by 2026.

Editor’s Note:  South Korea’s IMT 2020 RIT submission (see Document IMT-2020/25) is being progressed by ITU-R WP5D, even though an ATIS sponsored evaluation group [ATIS WTSC IMT-2020 Independent Evaluation Group (IEG)] found that it is technically identical to the 3GPP submission.

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“Limited coverage, device availability and cautious launches has limited take-up in other global markets,” said Stephen Myers, OMDIA Principal Analyst. “However, expansive coverage rolled out by Sunrise and Swisscom in Switzerland, Ooredoo and Vodafone in Qatar and Kuwait’s three service providers has rivalled Korea for breadth of market coverage.”

The report is based on data relating to the end-December period and was originally due for publication in mid-March but was delayed because of the impact of COVID-19.

Omdia Principal Analyst Stephen Myers said:

The global market is steadily gearing up for 5G deployment but right now South Korea is leading the way – although markets like Switzerland have also made steady progress.

Across the world we are seeing governments and regulators fine-tuning their 5G spectrum allocations and operators get ready for their 5G launches and expand network coverage in those countries where 5G has already launched.

We can expect to see a much larger number of commercial 5G launches in major global markets in the next 12-18 months as more spectrum is released across the world.

The full 5G Market Progress Assessment, end-2019 report can be purchased from OMDIA by contacting Karthik.Jayakumar@omdia.com.

 

References:

https://www.realwire.com/releases/OMDIA-ranks-South-Korea-as-top-global-5G-market

https://www.omdia.com/resources/product-content/5g-market-progress-assessment-end2019-glb007-000395

South Korea 5G subscribers top 6 million at end of April 2020

Posted in 5G

Rakuten Mobile, Inc. and NEC to jointly develop the containerized standalone (SA) 5G core network + Dell’Oro report

Japanese upstart carrier Rakuten Mobile, Inc. and NEC Corporation today announced that they have reached an agreement to jointly develop the containerized standalone (SA) 5G core network (5GC) to be utilized in Rakuten Mobile’s fully virtualized cloud native 5G network.

Based on the agreement, Rakuten Mobile and NEC will jointly develop the containerized SA 5G mobile core to be made available on the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), Rakuten Mobile’s fully virtualized and containerized cloud-native mobile network platform. The two companies will collaborate to build a Japan-made, highly reliable 5GC, based on the 5GC software source code developed by NEC. Subsequent to the launch of its non-standalone (NSA) 5G service in 2020, Rakuten Mobile aims to provide its SA 5G service in Japan in 2021.

The containerized 5GC will also play a key role in the global expansion of RCP, a platform aimed at offering solutions and services for the deployment of virtualized networks at speed and low cost by telecom companies and enterprises around the world, tailored for their unique needs. The 5GC will be offered as an application on the RCP Marketplace, allowing customers to quickly and easily “click, purchase and deploy” a fully virtualized SA 5G core network solution.

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Editor’s Note:  The two companies don’t state what spec they’re using for their container based SA 5G Core Network.   Please see Tareq Amin’s Comment below.

The only standards work we know of related to SA 5G Core Network is in 3GPP (5GCN), but it’s based on a NFV enabled network cloud and a service based architecturerather than containers.

We suggest that NEC contribute this spec to both 3GPP and ITU-T (for IMT 2020 non-radio aspects).  However, neither ITU-R or ITU-T has any serious ongoing work related to the 5G Core Network at this point in time.

The 3GPP specified 5G core network covers both wire-line and wireless access.  Key characteristics:

 Control plane is separated from the data plane and implemented in a virtualized environment
 Fully distributed network architecture with single level of hierarchy

 GW to GW interface to support seamless mobility between 5G-GW
 Traffic of the same flow can be delivered over multiple RITs

From the latest 3GPP Release 16 – TS.23501 5G Systems Architecture-V16.4.0 (2020-03):

The 5G System architecture is defined to support data connectivity and services enabling deployments to use techniques such as e.g. Network Function Virtualization and Software Defined Networking. The 5G System architecture shall leverage service-based interactions between Control Plane (CP) Network Functions where identified. Some key principles and concept are to:

– Separate the User Plane (UP) functions from the Control Plane (CP) functions, allowing independent scalability, evolution and flexible deployments e.g. centralized location or distributed (remote) location.

– Modularize the function design, e.g. to enable flexible and efficient network slicing.

– Wherever applicable, define procedures (i.e. the set of interactions between network functions) as services, so that their re-use is possible.

– Enable each Network Function and its Network Function Services to interact with other NF and its Network Function Services directly or indirectly via a Service Communication Proxy if required. The architecture does not preclude the use of another intermediate function to help route Control Plane messages (e.g. like a DRA).

– Minimize dependencies between the Access Network (AN) and the Core Network (CN). The architecture is defined with a converged core network with a common AN – CN interface which integrates different Access Types e.g. 3GPP access and non-3GPP access.

– Support a unified authentication framework.

– Support “stateless” NFs, where the “compute” resource is decoupled from the “storage” resource.

– Support capability exposure.

– Support concurrent access to local and centralized services. To support low latency services and access to local data networks, UP functions can be deployed close to the Access Network.

ITU-T SG13 is working on IMT 2020 non-radio aspects, but are heavily dependent on 3GPP documents to be liased inorder to drive their future standards work in that area.

Please see Comment in box underneath this article for GSMA Feb 2020 document on SA 5G Core option 2 guidelines for implementation.

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“We are very excited to collaborate with NEC on the development of our standalone 5G core network,” commented Tareq Amin, Representative Director, Executive Vice President and CTO of Rakuten Mobile. “Our partnership with NEC represents a joint collaboration to build an open, secure and highly scalable 4G and 5G cloud native converged core, that will also become a key feature of the highly competitive services we will offer to global customers through the Rakuten Communications Platform.”

“NEC is proud to be the 5GC development partner for Rakuten Mobile’s advanced, fully virtualized, cloud-native network. Following the BSS/OSS for the 4G network and 5G radio equipment that we have already begun offering, we look forward to providing a high-quality, highly reliable 5GC and contributing to Rakuten Mobile’s 5G services,” said Atsuo Kawamura, Executive Vice President and President of the Network Services Business Unit, NEC.

Through the joint development of the SA 5GC, Rakuten Mobile and NEC aim to drive innovation in global mobile technology and provide high quality 5G network technology to customers both in Japan and around the world.

Rakuten Mobile CTO Tareq Amin clarification comments; via edited email to this author:

NEC/Rakuten 5GC is 3GPP standardized software for network service and a de facto standard container basis infrastructure (infrastructure agnostic).  It is a forward looking approach, but not proprietary.

1.  3GPP standardized software for network service:

NEC/Rakuten 5GC openness are realized by implementation of Open Interface defined in 3GPP specifications  (TS 23.501, 502, 503 and related stage 3 specifications).

2.   Containerization/Cloud native:

3GPP 5GC specification requires cloud native architecture as the general concept.  It should be distributed, stateless, and scalable.  However, an explicit reference model is out of scope for the 3GPP specification. Therefore NEC 5GC cloud native architecture is based on above mentioned 3GPP concept as well as ETSI NFV treats container and cloud native, which NEC is also actively investigating to apply its product.

3.  Reference To Open RAN in the press release:

This has no relationship to 5G Core, but only an indication that our Radio Access Network (RAN) architecture is O-RAN Compliant.

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Press Release:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200602005999/en/Rakuten-Mobile-NEC-Agree-Jointly-Develop-Containerized

About Rakuten Mobile

Rakuten Mobile, Inc. is a Rakuten Group company responsible for mobile communications, including mobile network operator (MNO) and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) businesses, as well as ICT and energy. Through continuous innovation and the deployment of advanced technology, Rakuten Mobile aims to redefine expectations in the mobile communications industry in order to provide appealing and convenient services that respond to diverse customer needs.

About NEC Corporation

NEC Corporation has established itself as a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies while promoting the brand statement of “Orchestrating a brighter world.” NEC enables businesses and communities to adapt to rapid changes taking place in both society and the market as it provides for the social values of safety, security, fairness and efficiency to promote a more sustainable world where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential. For more information, visit NEC at http://www.nec.com.

Contacts:

Rakuten, Inc.
Corporate Communications Department
global-pr@mail.rakuten.com

NEC Corporation
Corporate Communications Division
press@news.jp.nec.com

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Addendum from Dell’Oro Group:

Mobile Core Network Growth to Accelerate with 5G Core Deployments

The Mobile Core Network market grew 10 percent year-over-year to nearly $8 Billion for the trailing four quarters ending in 1Q20. Growth is expected to accelerate over the next four quarters due to 5G Core deployments.

“There are other factors influencing the uptake. The COVID-19 pandemic is now seen mostly as a positive for the wireless infrastructure sector with more demand for voice and data. Plus the T-Mobile/Sprint merger has completed, and the new T-Mobile is moving ahead with an aggressive 5G build,” Bolan continued.

Additional highlights from the Mobile Core Network 1Q20 report:

  • Revenue market share for Huawei and Ericsson combined for over half of the market, while Nokia, ZTE, and Cisco totaled over 25 percent, for the trailing four quarters ending in 1Q2020.
  • We forecast the Network Function Virtualization penetration (vs Containers) will approach 70 percent in 1Q2021 due to the revenue growth in 5G Core deployments.

About the Report

The Dell’Oro Group Mobile Core Network Quarterly Report offers complete, in-depth coverage of the market with tables covering manufacturers’ revenue, shipments, and average selling prices for Evolved Packet Core, 5G Core, IMS Core, Policy, Subscriber Management, licenses by Non-NFV and NFV, and by geographic regions.  To purchase this report, please contact us at dgsales@delloro.com.

About Dell’Oro Group

Dell’Oro Group is a market research firm that specializes in strategic competitive analysis in the telecommunications, networks, and data center IT markets.  Our firm provides in-depth quantitative data and qualitative analysis to facilitate critical, fact-based business decisions.  For more information, contact Dell’Oro Group at +1.650.622.9400 or visit www.delloro.com.

South Korea 5G subscribers top 6 million at end of April 2020

More than 6 million South Koreans were subscribed to 5G mobile networks as of April, a year after the country adopted the service, according to government data reported Monday, June  1st.  The number of 5G users in the nation reached 6.34 million as of the end of April, up 7.8 percent from a month earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Science and ICT.

South Korea’s three carriers — SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. — rolled out the commercial 5G network last April and have aggressively promoted their new service for premium smartphones.

5G subscribers in S. Korea top 6 million: data - 1

SK Telecom’s 5G customers accounted for 45 percent as of April, trailed by KT with 30.3 percent and LG Uplus with 24.7 percent, the ministry said.

The number of mobile subscribers between 2G and 5G came to 69.35 million as of the end of April, the ministry said.

In May, South Korean operator KT added 360,000 5G subscribers in the first quarter of the year, the telco said in its earnings statement.  KT, which launched commercial 5G services in April 2019, ended Q1 with a total of 1.78 million 5G customers.

“Since the launch of KT’s 5G services, we are currently maintaining a much higher market share in 5G compared to the market share we have for the LTE handsets,” Kyung-Keun Yoon, KT’s CFO, said during a conference call with investors.

It’s important to note that Korea has its own version of IMT 2020 RIT/SRIT being progressed by ITU-R WP 5D.  The country’s IMT 2020 submission is based on 3GPP Release 15 “5G NR.”  It is not clear if there are any technical differences between Korea and 3GPP IMT 2020 submissions and if so, what they are.

References:

https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20200601006000320

Korea’s KT adds 360,000 5G subscribers in Q1

 

 

Posted in 5G

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