Telefónica and partners pursue development of 4G/5G Open RAN technology

Telefónica has announced an agreement to develop 4G and 5G Open RAN technology with partner companies Altiostar, Gigatera Communications, Intel, Supermicro and Xilinx. The Spain based pan European network operator also said it intends to launch vendor-neutral 4G and 5G Open RAN trials in UK, Germany, Spain and Brazil this year.

Telefonica said this latest collaboration comprises the necessary design and developments, integration efforts, operational procedures and testing activities required to deploy Open RAN in its networks.  The Spanish network operator says this is part of its continuing efforts to lead network transformation towards 5G and that the collaboration would progress the design, development, optimisation, testing and industrialisation of Open RAN technologies across its footprint this year.

The collaboration focuses on the distributed units (DUs) and remote radio units (RRUs).  The DUs implement part of the baseband radio functions using the FlexRAN software reference platform and servers based on the Intel Xeon processor. The RRUs connect through open interfaces, based on O-RAN Alliance’s fronthaul specification, and software that manages the connectivity in an open cloud RAN architecture.

Telefonica said DUs and RRUs will be designed with 5G-ready capabilities, meaning they can work in either 4G or 5G mode by means of a remote software upgrade. It will be testing the 4G and 5G hardware and software components in the lab and in the field this year, integrating an Open RAN model as part of its UNICA Next virtualization program.

Telefónica logo

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The premise is that Open RAN will be cheaper as it encourages more suppliers into the market, especially in terms of the baseband hardware where economies of scale from using standard IT can be deployed.

A cloudified open radio access architecture can also enable faster software innovation and advanced features like network automation, self-optimization of radio resources and coordination of radio access nodes.

The main goal of the trial is to define precisely the hardware and software components in 4G and 5G to guarantee seamless interoperability. This includes:
• Testing the complete solution in the lab and in the field,
• Integrating the Open RAN model as part of the end-to-end virtualisation program (UNICA Next),
• Maturing the operational model, and
• Demonstrating new services and automation capabilities as offered by the Open RAN model.

The DUs and RRUs are designed with 5G-ready capabilities and so can work in 4G or 5G mode by means of a remote software upgrade.

Illustration of OpenRAN:

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The OpenRAN trial also supports exposure to third-party, multi-access edge computing (MEC) applications through open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and integration with the virtualisation activities in the core and transport networks. Open interfaces also mean that operators can upgrade specific parts of the network without impacting others.

Telefónica describes this openness to third-party MEC applications as “the cornerstone” to bringing added-value to the customers by enabling a variety of rich 5G services, like virtual and augmented reality, online gaming, connected car, the industrial internet of things (IoT) and more.

Edge-computing applications running in the telco cloud can benefit from the strong capillarity of the access network, so services can be tailored instantly to match the users’ needs and the status of the live network.

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Quotes:

Enrique Blanco, Telefónica’s CTIO:  “Once again, Telefónica is leading the transformation towards having the best-in-class networks in our Operations with our customers as key pillars. Open RAN is a fundamental piece for that purpose while widening the ecosystem.”

“Telefónica is known for its leading-edge network and has been championing open vRAN implementations to bring greater network service agility and flexibility,” said Pierre Kahhale, Altiostar Vice President of Field Operations. “By bringing together the best-of-breed innovation, Telefonica is looking to achieve this vision into their network. We look forward to supporting this transformation of Telefonica’s network.”

Heavy Reading principal analyst Gabriel Brown: “Up to now, the open RAN action has been all about 4G. In 5G, the major integrated systems vendors [Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung, ZTE] have been supplying their state-of-the-art systems to the market for about 18 months,” creating a big gap between what is available from them and what can be sourced from the open RAN community, says the analyst. “This move by Telefónica could help to stop that gap getting too much wider.”

“Gigatera Communications and Telefonica has been actively working to ensure state of the art technologies are being deployed.  We truly value our partnership as we engage and revolutionize the industry.”, Daniel Kim, President.

“Open RAN offers a way for service providers to enhance customer experiences and enable new revenue-generating applications,” said Dan Rodriguez, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Network Platforms Group.  “We are collaborating closely with Telefonica and the broader ecosystem, and also participating in initiatives like the O-RAN Alliance, to help accelerate innovation in the industry.”

“Supermicro is excited to partner with Telefónica, a premier telecommunications provider, to deliver server-class 5G solutions based on Open RAN architecture,”, Charles Liang, president and CEO of Supermicro. “Working closely with Telefónica on the deployment of 5G in the significant EMEA region, Supermicro’s history of rapid time-to-market for advanced, high-performance, resource-saving solutions is a key component for the successful implementation of next-generation applications, especially as x86 compute designs migrate to the telco market.”

“Xilinx is excited to collaborate with the disruptive mobile operator Telefónica as it leads the move to O-RAN” said Liam Madden, executive vice president and general manager, Wired and Wireless Group, Xilinx. “Our adaptable technology supports multiple standards, multiple bands and multiple sub-networks, providing Telefónica with a unique and flexible platform for radio, fronthaul, and acceleration for 4G and 5G networks.”

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References:

https://www.telefonica.com/en/web/press-office/-/telefonica-joins-forces-with-altiostar-gigatera-communications-intel-supermicro-and-xilinx-for-the-development-and-deployment-of-open-ran-in-4g-and-5g

https://www.mobileeurope.co.uk/press-wire/telefonica-partners-to-launch-4g-and-5g-open-ran-trials

https://www.totaltele.com/505252/Telefonica-rallies-a-posse-of-Open-RAN-vendors-to-take-on-5G

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2020/03/14/o-ran-alliance-telecom-infra-project-tip-ocp-telco-may-open-up-telecom-equipment-market-to-new-entrants/

https://telecominfraproject.com/openran/

https://www.lightreading.com/4g-3g-wifi/telefonica-takes-open-ran-into-5g-territory/d/d-id/758293?

Strategy Analytics: Huawei 1st among top 5 contributors to 3GPP 5G specs

Even though there are more than 600 member companies participating in 3GPP, their 5G specification process is actually led by only a few leading telecom companies. New research from Strategy Analytics analyzes the contributions to 3GPP 5G  specifications (Release 15 and Release 16) and finds that 13 companies contributed more than 78% 5G related papers and led 77% of the 5G related Work Items and Study Items.

The Strategy Analytics report “Who Are the Leading Players in 5G Standardization? An Assessment for 3GPP 5G Activities” is available to clients and registered guests here . The report assesses the 13 leading companies’ contributions to 3GPP 5G standards for the period of Releases 15 and 16 so far, based on the following criteria:

  • Volume of 5G related papers, including submitted papers, approved/agreed papers and the ratio of approved/agreed papers to total submissions in all Technical Specification Groups (TSGs) and Working Groups (WGs)
  • Chairmanship positions, i.e. Chairman and Vice Chairmen for all TSGs and WGs
  • Rapporteurs of 5G related Work Items (WIs) / Study Items (SIs) in all TSGs and WGs

The results indicate that the top 5 companies in 3GPP 5G specification activities are Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and China Mobile.

Guang Yang , Director at Strategy Analytics, noted, “3GPP plays the central role in the ecosystem of global 5G standardization.  By analyzing the contributions of industry players to 3GPP 5G standards, we can get an idea of different companies’ positions in 5G innovation as well as their influence in the global mobile industry. So we looked at 3GPP organization and work procedures to assess each company’s influence from multiple aspects.”

Sue Rudd , Director Networks and Service Platforms service, added, “According to our assessment, leading infrastructure vendors – Huawei , Ericsson and Nokia – made more significant contributions to 5G standards than other studied companies. Huawei leads in terms of overall contributions to the end-to-end 5G standards, while Ericsson leads in TSG/WG chairmanship and Nokia in approved/agreed ratio of 5G contribution papers .”

Phil Kendall , Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “It is important to remember that the true nature of the standardization process is actually one of industry collaboration rather than competition. 3GPP standardization continues to be a dynamic process. It is expected that emerging players and new market requirements will increasingly impact priorities for 3GPP Release 17 standards.”

3GPP Timeline:

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Mike Dano of Lightreading says “Huawei being the biggest contributor to the 3GPP’s 5G specs will undoubtedly worry U.S. lawmakers and regulators, who for years have argued the company poses a security threat to the nation. Huawei denies those allegations.”

“We must have a vocal presence at the standards bodies that are defining the rules for 5G. We have been woefully absent and need to make participation a priority,” wrote Mike Rogers in a recent opinion column. Rogers is a former US representative who co-authored the 2012 US government report initially outlining the security threats posed by Chinese equipment vendors like Huawei and ZTE.

“We need to work with our allies to staunch the spread of Huawei and other Chinese companies owned by the state. We need to better communicate what Chinese dominance of 5G means. This is something we have not successfully done, as shown by Britain deciding to allow Huawei into certain elements of the 5G network,” Rogers added.

Rogers now chairs the “5G Action Now” 501(c)4 advocacy organization, which has been working with the now-disbanded C-Band Alliance to speed up the C-Band spectrum auction in the US for 5G.

Indeed, legislation introduced early this year would require the Trump administration to develop a strategy to “promote United States leadership at international standards-setting bodies for equipment, systems, software, and virtually-defined networks relevant to 5th and future generation mobile telecommunications systems and infrastructure, taking into account the different processes followed by the various international standard-setting bodies.”  That legislation passed the House and is now headed to the Senate.

Companies’ 3GPP contributions to the 5G specs [1.] don’t necessarily translate into revenues. For that, companies must patent their inventions.

Note 1.  3GPP specs vs 5G standards:

3GPP 5G specs in Release 15 and 16 have and will continue to be input to ITU-R WP 5D, but only some of those contributions will be in IMT 2020 which is currently restricted to the Radio Interface Technologies (RITs) or sets of RITs (SRITs).  Other essential 5G specs like signaling, 5G packet core, 5G network management, etc will be standardized by SDOs (like ETSI) but the real work is done in 3GPP.  Also note that IMT 2020 will have several NON 3GPP RITs from ETSI/DECT Forum and India (TSDSI).

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According to one study, Huawei leads in that respect also. IPlytics recently reported that the Chinese firm has far and away the most “declared 5G families” of patents, and the most filed since 2012.

However, it’s worth noting that UK law firm Bird & Bird argues that the reliance on such patent calculations isn’t very insightful, and that different methodologies yield different results.

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References:

https://news.strategyanalytics.com/press-releases/press-release-details/2020/Strategy-Analytics-Infrastructure-Giants-Lead-5G-Standardization/default.aspx

https://www.lightreading.com/5g/study-huawei-was-the-biggest-contributor-to-5g-standards/d/d-id/758279?

 

Telenor deploys first commercial 5G network in Norway

On March 13th, Telenor Norway announced the commercial launch of a 5G network in nine towns and cities in Norway, following a 5G trial that began in Kongsberg in November 2018.  Ericsson is Telenor’s 5G base station supplier.

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“We are happy to announce that we have chosen Ericsson to start building the future 5G radio network in Norway, and I am confident we now are perfectly positioned to be in the forefront of the country’s network modernisation. As the first mobile operator on 5G in Scandinavia, Telenor will ramp up the roll out of 5G to our customers in Norway in 2020. The full modernisation of the mobile network in Norway is an ambitious undertaking, and something we are excited to get started on,” says Petter-Børre Furberg, CEO of Telenor Norway.

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There are 38 5G base stations in Trondheim- Norway’s tech capital. The other 5G locations are Elverum, Askvoll, Svalbard, Kvitfjell, Heroya, Froya, and limited developments in the centres of Bodo and of Oslo, with Fornebu airport also served. Telenor will extend 5G in Oslo and open 5G networks in Bergen, Stavanger and Sandnes during 2020. In 2021, the operator will upgrade almost 2,000 base stations, rising to 8,500 over the next four to five years (see below for details).

“Telenor is proud to be the first mobile operator to launch a commercial 5G network in Norway, as we have worked tirelessly to stay at the forefront of the 5G development,” said Sigve Brekke, President and CEO of Telenor Group. “By bringing Norway into a new technological age, today’s opening marks another milestone in Telenor’s 165-year-long history. We expect 5G to be the key driver of transformation in this decade, and we are very much looking forward to continuing the roll-out of 5G to our customers.”

“Norway has some of the world’s fastest mobile networks, and with 5G, they become faster and even more reliable,” said Linda Hofstad Helleland, Norway’s Minister of Regional Development and Digitalisation. “Given the current situation in Norway, we see how important the digital infrastructure is for those quarantined and those working from home. The new 5G network will provide better mobile coverage and gradually better access to broadband across the country, which will reduce the vulnerability of an increasingly digitised society.”

“This is a day we have been looking forward to for a long time,” said Petter-Børre Furberg, CEO of Telenor Norway. “We launched our first 5G pilot as early as 2018, and since then we have been experimenting and exploring, trying to learn as much as we possibly can. Today, we are not only opening our 5G network in the city of Trondheim, we are also opening the very first commercial 5G network in Norway. In addition, we are making 5G commercially available in all locations where we, until now, have been running tests. As of today, Telenor customers with a 5G device will at these locations be able to connect to the mobile network of the future.”

Telenor said it will upgrade 8,500 base stations over the next few years.  It remains to be seen how much of that work will be able to be done over the next few months, due to the coranavirus clamp downs.

“We have worked hard to become the first mobile operator in Norway to open the 5G network, and are now fully focused on our continued plans. During 2021, we will upgrade close to 2,000 base stations, while a total of 8,500 base stations will be upgraded within the next four to five years,” Furberg concluded.

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Telenor Norway and 5G:

  • Telenor opened Scandinavia’s first 5G pilot in Kongsberg on 8 November 2018.
  • Telenor launched Scandinavia’s largest 5G pilot in Elverum on September 26, 2019. In addition, Telenor announced pilots in nine further locations across the country and conducted Norway’s first video call over 5G.
  • Telenor launched the world’s northernmost 5G pilot on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.
  • Telenor’s 5G network was commercially launched on 13 March 2020. Telenor customers with a 5G device can now connect to the next generation mobile network in nine different locations in Norway.
  • Telenor will start development of 5G in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Sandnes. The new mobile network will open in these cities during 2020.
  • Telenor builds 5G in Trondheim in collaboration with Ericsson.

References:

Telenor opens first commercial 5G network in Norway

Norway gets with the 5G programme

Telenor completes 5G vendor selection for Norway

 

Posted in 5G

Analysis: Nokia and Marvell partnership to develop 5G RAN silicon technology + other Nokia moves

Nokia  has teamed up with semiconductor company Marvell Technology Group Ltd  to develop customized 5G radio access system-on-chip leveraging its ReefShark technology. The alliance underscores Nokia’s commitment to deliver cost-effective and automated 5G network operations, especially at a time when it is aiming to walk the extra mile to revive its faltering 5G business.

As part of the agreement, Marvell Technology’s multi-core Radio Access Technology applications will be incorporated in Nokia’s AirScale RAN product line with its 5G-backed ReefShark portfolio. Equipped with customized ARM-architecture-based processor chips, this potential breakthrough innovation aims to deliver a best-in-class customer experience with reduced power consumption and enhanced performance and capacity.

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Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said:

“This important announcement highlights our continued commitment to expanding the variety and utilization of ReefShark chipsets in our portfolio. This ensures that our 5G solutions are equipped to deliver best-in-class performance to our customers. As service providers continue to evolve their 5G plans and support growing traffic and new vertical services, the infrastructure and components must evolve rapidly. Adopting the latest advancements in silicon technology is a critical step to better serve our customers’ needs.”

“5G networks need to support billions of devices and machines, and this massive increase in volume and scale means that existing infrastructure and components must evolve rapidly, adopting technologies and techniques to enable to deploy 5G networks quickly, added Uitto.”

 

 

 

(Image credit: Nokia)

 

 

 

 

Other Nokia Initiatives:

  • Nokia also agreed to a partnership with Intel on programs to accelerate its 5G development.  Intel’s new Atom chip is targeted at base stations. Nokia will ship Intel Atom-powered variants of its 5G AirScale radio access technology. The company will also use Intel’s second generation Xeon scalable processor in its AirFrame data center kit, allowing for common architecture from the cloud to the edge of 5G networks.
  • Nokia said it needed several partnerships to enable it support and achieve its goals for 5G.
  • Nokia will acquire optical networking technology provider Elenion. Nokia said that adding Elenion will broaden its addressable market and unlock some cost benefits.
  • Nokia took a $561 million R&D loan which was signed with the European Investment Bank (EIB) in August 2018, but was only disbursed last month. The loan has an average maturity of about five years after disbursement according to Reuters. A Nokia representative said the company would use the loan to further accelerate its research and development of 5G technology

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Analysis by Zacks Equity Research:

Nokia has long struggled to undertake additional investments related to its 5G powered ReefShark SoCs. These SoCs are best known to leverage a single computer chip to operate an entire system. Unfortunately, its inability to develop ReefShark portfolio has hindered its cost-efficiency feature, compromising its profitability to rivals like Ericsson ERIC, which spends hefty amounts on R&D. Dearth of resources and geared up 5G spending cycle have also put Nokia at the risk of losing out on upcoming commercial launches.

The latest collaboration comes as a savior for the Finnish company to cater new vertical markets especially in the face of burgeoning network traffic and dynamic 5G plans. Dubbed as a key partnership, it is expected to reduce Nokia’s technical disparities and address the complex requirements of 5G NSA, SA, NR specifications for future 5G network deployments.

Nokia’s gross margin was negatively impacted by a high cost level associated with its first generation 5G products, product mix and profitability challenges in China. Despite a 4.2% rise in revenues in third-quarter 2019, the performance was marred by pricing pressure in early 5G deals and temporary capital expenditure constraints in North America related to the proposed merger of            T-Mobile US and Sprint. This was followed by its decision to suspend dividend payments and slash guidance for 2020. The company has also decided to retrench about 180 employees in order to trim operating costs.

It remains to be seen whether Nokia will be able to script a turnaround amid a challenging macroeconomic environment and geopolitical uncertainties.

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About Marvell:

Marvell first revolutionized the digital storage industry by moving information at speeds never thought possible. Today, that same breakthrough innovation remains at the heart of the company’s storage, processing, networking, security and connectivity solutions. With leading intellectual property and deep system-level knowledge, Marvell’s infrastructure semiconductor solutions continue to transform the enterprise, cloud, automotive, industrial, and consumer markets. To learn more, visit: https://www.marvell.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 6.1 billion subscriptions with our radio networks, and our enterprise customers have deployed over 1,000 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

Marvell Communications
Phone: +1 408 222 8966
Email: pr@marvell.com

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References:

https://www.nokia.com/about-us/news/releases/2020/03/04/nokia-and-marvell-enter-into-partnership-on-silicon-technology-for-5g/

Web page: Nokia ReefShark

https://www.zacks.com/stock/news/797965/can-nokia-revive-its-5g-business-with-marvell-partnership

https://www.techradar.com/news/nokia-secures-5g-chip-partnerships-with-intel-and-marvell

GSA: Over 250 5G devices announced with 67 commercially available

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) today reported that the number of announced 5G devices has broken the 250 barrier, spurred by a surge in 5G phone announcements. In January 2020, the number of announced 5G devices exceeded 200 for the first time; by early March[1] over 250 devices had been announced with GSA identifying 253 announced devices, of which at least 67 are commercially available today.

‘‘We are at a fascinating turning point in the industry where the whole ecosystem is embracing, pushing and delivering new 5G spectrum, networks and devices,” commented Joe Barrett, President of GSA. ‘‘The rate at which new 5G devices are being announced and the diversity of form factors points to continued rapid deployment and uptake of new 5G services. Based on vendors’ statements, we can expect more than 50 additional announced devices to become commercially available before the end of June 2020, and at GSA we’ll will be tracking and reporting regularly on these 5G device launch announcements for the industry as we continue to take the temperature of the 5G ecosystem.”

As more devices become commercially available, GSA is tracking vendor data on spectrum support. The latest market data reveals that just over two-thirds (68.0%) of all announced 5G devices are identified as supporting sub-6 GHz spectrum bands and just under one-third (30.8%) are understood to support mmWave spectrum. Just under 25% of all announced devices are known to support both mmWave and sub-6 GHz spectrum bands. The bands known to be most supported by announced 5G devices are n78, n41, n79 and n77.

Part of the GSA Analyser for Mobile Broadband Devices (GAMBoD) database, the GSA’s 5G device tracking reports global device launches across the 5G ecosystem and contains key details about device form factors, features and support for spectrum bands. Access to the GAMBoD database is only available to GSA Members and to GSA Associates subscribing to the service.

 

The March 2020 5G Ecosystem Report containing summary statistics can be downloaded for free from GSA’s website:

https://gsacom.com/paper/5g-devices-ecosystem-executive-summary-march-2020/?utm=devicereports5g

By mid-March 2020, GSA had identified:

  • 16 announced form factors
  • 81 vendors that had announced available or forthcoming 5G devices
  • 253 announced devices (including regional variants, and phones that can be upgraded using a separate adapter, but excluding prototypes not expected to be commercialised and operator-branded devices that are essentially rebadged versions of other phones), including at least 67 that are commercially available:

o       87 phones, (up 25 from end January), at least 40 of which are now commercially available (up from 35 at end January). Includes three phones that are upgraded to offer 5G using an adapter.

o       76 CPE devices (indoor and outdoor, including two Verizon-spec compliant devices not meeting 3GPP 5G standards), at least 13 of which are now believed to be commercially available

o       43 modules

o       17 hotspots (including regional variants), at least nine of which are now commercially available

o       5 laptops (notebooks)

o       5 industrial grade CPE/routers/gateways

o       3 robots

o       3 televisions

o       3 tablets

o       3 USB terminals/dongles/modems

o       2 snap-on dongles/adapters

o       2 drones

o       2 head-mounted displays

o       1 switch

o       1 vending machine.

GAMBoD is a unique search and analysis tool that has been developed by GSA to enable searches of mobile broadband devices and new global data on Mobile Broadband Networks, Technologies and Spectrum (NTS). The 5G devices database contains details about device form factors, features, and support for spectrum bands. Results are presented as a list or in charts. Charts may be inserted into documents or presentations, subject to accreditation of GSA as the source.

GAMBoD is a resource dedicated to promoting the success and growth of the Mobile Broadband (MBB) industry and ecosystem and is fully available to all employees of GSA Executive and Ordinary Member companies and GSA Associates who subscribe to the service.

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Availability of information about spectrum support is improving as a greater number become commercially available.

  • Just over two-thirds (68.0%) of all announced 5G devices are identified as supporting sub-6 GHz spectrum bands and just under one third (30.8%) are understood to support mmWave spectrum. Just under 25% of all announced devices are known to support both mmWave and sub-6 GHz spectrum bands.
  • Only 17 of the commercially available devices (25.4% of them) are known to support services operating in mmWave spectrum.
  • 83.6% of the commercially available devices are known to support sub-6 GHz spectrum.

The bands known to be most supported by announced 5G devices are n78, n41, n79 and n77. We can expect the device ecosystem to continue to grow quickly and for more data to become available about announced devices as they reach the market. Based on vendors’ statements, we can expect more than 50 additional announced devices to become commercially available before the end of June 2020. GSA will be tracking and reporting regularly on these 5G device launch announcements. Its GAMBoD database contains key details about device form factors, features and support for spectrum bands. Summary statistics are released in this regular monthly publication.

About GSA
GSA is the voice of the mobile vendor ecosystem representing companies engaged in the supply of infrastructure, semiconductors, test equipment, devices, applications and mobile support services. GSA actively promotes the 3GPP technology road-map – 3G, 4G, 5G – and is a single source of information resource for industry reports and market intelligence. The GSA Executive board comprises of Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Samsung.

GSA Membership is open to all companies participating in the mobile ecosystem and operators, companies and government bodies can get access to GAMBoD by subscribing as an Associate.  More details can be found at https://gsacom.com/gsa-membership

https://gsacom.com/technology/5g/

Posted in 5G Tagged

Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband service at DoE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Verizon Business and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are working together on ways that 5G technology can improve national security, boost energy efficiency and aid scientific research. The #1 U.S. wireless carrier notes that the work is related to its overriding strategy of developing use cases for 5G that apply to universities, startups, large companies and consumers.   The use of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband at the PNNL’s Richland WA location will help educate the lab’s federal sponsors on the impact and potential of 5G.
Verizon
Verizon recently installed its 5G Ultra Wideband service in Corning’s fiber optic cable manufacturing factory. (FierceWireless)
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“With Verizon, we plan to explore how cybersecurity will underpin 5G for critical infrastructure and how 5G will drive transformation in the protection of endpoint devices, advancement of artificial intelligence, the science behind autonomous systems and related internet of things applications,” Scott Godwin, PNNL’s general manager of Corporate Partnerships & Alliances, said in a press release. “This partnership fits squarely with PNNL’s commitment to explore the capability of new science and technology to further safety and security worldwide.”

“Our 5G Ultra Wideband network is built to support transformational innovations and solutions across all industries,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “There’s no doubt 5G’s increased data bandwidth and super-low lag will help play a critical role in evolving response connectivity and mission operations for first responders.  We’ve seen exciting use cases come out of our 5G First Responder Lab and are thrilled to see the new applications that will arise from our work with PNNL.”

This engagement is part of Verizon Business’ broader strategy to partner with customers, startups, universities and large enterprises to explore how 5G can disrupt and transform nearly every industry. Verizon operates five 5G Labs in the U.S. and one in London that specialize in developing uses cases in industries ranging from health care to public safety to entertainment. In addition, Verizon is setting up 5G labs on-premise for several customers as part of an ongoing initiative to partner on 5G-related use cases to help customers transform their industries.

Verizon 5G Labs and Dignitas are also using the 5G network to enhance e-sports. The goals are to improve participants’ performance and recovery and to enable innovative fan/participant interactions. The first e-sports training facility is at Verizon’s 5G lab. It will serve as Dignitas’ west coast headquarters and home to its league of champions.

References:

https://www.verizon.com/about/news/verizon-business-national-lab

https://www.verizon.com/about/our-company/5g-labs

Verizon Explores 5G Use Cases for National Security, Energy Efficiency at DOE Lab

South Korean operators to invest $3.365B (4T W) in 5G network infrastructure-1st half 2020

South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT announced on Friday that the country’s three main network operators SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus have agreed to invest KRW 4 trillion in their 5G networks in the first half of 2020, The Korea Times reports.

Investments will cover the cost of the installation of additional equipment to enhance 5G service coverage. The agreement was reached on 5 March, during a video conference call between Minister of Science and ICT Choi Ki-young, and SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho, KT CEO Koo Hyun-mo, and LG Uplus CEO Ha Hyun-hwoi.

LG Uplus worker installs a 5G base station in Seoul in this Feb. 12 photo. Korea Times file

LG Uplus worker installs a 5G base station in Seoul in this Feb. 12 photo. Korea Times file

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The initial investment had been set at KRW 2.7 trillion, but has now been expanded to KRW 4 trillion. The additional investment will be used to deploy 5G infrastructure in subways, railroads, department stores and universities.

South Korea ended January with 92,000 5G base stations installed nationwide.

“For every one LTE base station, there needs to be around four 5G base stations for there to be similar coverage. Coverage also depends on the environment and location,” said an unnamed representative of one of the three South Korean mobile operators.

Many industry experts say the 5G market will continue to grow in the coming months and at its current pace could reach over 11 million subscribers this year, although there were only around 4.95 million as of the end of January.

Market watchers believe diverse services such as cloud gaming and augmented reality will be launched in the first half of the year alongside new 5G-enabled smartphones throughout the year. They say this will contribute to the growth in the industry.

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South Korea ended 2019 with 5 million 5G subscribers. SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus commercially launched fully-fledged 5G mobile networks on 3 April 2019. In August last year, SK Telecom led South Korea’s 5G market with 84 million subscribers, followed by KT with 630,000 and LG Uplus with 540,000. KT passed 1 million 5G customers on 21 September 2019, less than six months since launching the service.

In January, SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus collaborated to provide 5G services on subways in major South Korean cities. The three operators completed the deployment of 5G infrastructure on the subway system in Gwangju, 330 kilometers southwest of Seoul. The operators plan to install 5G networks for subways and metro stations in major cities, including Daegu, Daejeon and Busan, in the first quarter of this year.

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From a GSMA report2020 Mobile Economy

In general, consumers in South Korea and China – having witnessed some of the earliest launches – appear to be the most excited by the prospect of upgrading to 5G, while those in the US, Europe and Japan seem more content with 4G for the time being,” the GSMA adds, before striking an upbeat note: “5G is still in its infancy though; as more tangible use cases are deployed, more consumers will appreciate the benefits of 5G.

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References:

https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2020/03/133_285715.html

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/south-korean-operators-to-invest-krw-4-trillion-in-5g-networks-in-h1–1329465

https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/05/5g-is-now-live-in-24-markets-gsma-predicts-itll-be-20-of-global-connections-by-2025-and-eyes-a-big-tech-break-up/

 

Posted in 5G

SoftBank to be 1st to launch 5G network service in Japan

SoftBank has announced it will launch 5G services on March 27th in Japan – the first network operator to launch 5G services, according to Japan Times.

SoftBank plans to charge an additional monthly fee of JPY 1,000 (approximately USD 9) for access to its 5G service. However, as a service launch promotion, customers will have free access to SoftBank’s 5G service for the first 2 years, under a sales campaign that runs until August.

SoftBank plans to initially provide its 5G service in Tokyo, Osaka, Chiba, Aichi, Hiroshima, Ishikawa and Fukuoka prefectures, starting 31 March. The operator intends to deploy more than 10,000 base stations by end-March 2023.

SoftBank will start selling two 5G-enabled smartphone models on March 27th and add two more later this year.  Sharp and Sony recently unveiled their first 5G smartphone models. SoftBank plans to provide 5G smartphones from Sharp, China’s ZTE, Oppo and LG. Sharp unveiled its first 5G smartphone model, the Aquos R5G, on 17 February. The Android phone will be available in Japan this spring and its price will be similar to existing high-end smartphones, Sharp said.

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Rivals NTT Docomo Inc. and KDDI Corp. are expected to reveal their own 5G plans soon.

While the launch of 5G in Japan will ramp up domestic competition, Rakuten Inc.’s foray into the market as the nation’s fourth big carrier will stir things up further.

Earlier this week, Rakuten announced it would undercut its rivals with a 4G service on April 8 that only costs ¥2,980 a month for unlimited data usage.

The plan is about half the price charged by the top three mobile phone carriers, but Rakuten’s coverage is limited by comparison. Rakuten also said the first year of its 4G service would be free for the first 3 million subscribers.

SoftBank’s 4G plan costs ¥6,500 a month for up to 50GB of data, with a ¥1,000 discount for the first year. SoftBank, however, has recently lowered prices — ostensibly to head off Rakuten’s aggressive charge — and is laying the groundwork for getting customers to shift to 5G without any added financial catches.

Rakuten will reportedly launch a 5G network in June.  This new age carrier had previously announced plans to launch 4G services starting April, and then upgrade to 5G in summer as it gradually expands the network. It aims to have nationwide Japan coverage by March 2021.

Pre-standard 5G networks have already been deployed in the United States, South Korea, China and parts of Europe.

References:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/03/05/business/tech/softbank-5g-japan-first/

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/softbank-to-launch-5g-service-in-japan-on-27-march–1329354

Posted in 5G

5G Technology and It’s Future in Mobile Communications

by Jacob Wolinski.  Excerpts of article posted at: https://www.valuewalk.com/2020/03/5g-tech-market/

Introduction:

It is evident that 3G and 4G network mobile phones have been an immense driver in the steep surge of internet use on mobile phones, across the world, and the continuing growth of the network.

The next generation of a telecom network is 5G, which operates at higher radio frequencies. This also offers the chance for much quicker internet speeds: –

Golden Age of the Internet

In this table, it clearly claims the uprising about 5G is that it will change the world. This is because the capability and capacity of the 5G technology have the tendency to transform existing technologies in incredible ways.

Various Studies on 5G Technology:

Here is the list of various studies over 5G technology that came up when the revolution was going to happen. They are as follows:

Impact on Various Industries:

5G will employ an enormous influence mainly in the automotive, healthcare, and IoT sectors in the near future, and will dramatically change lives. 5G technology will, however, take time to have an analogous effect on other industries.

5G will Generate New Revenue Streams:

It has been observed that the 5G network has the possibility to unlock up to $12.3 trillion of revenue, crosswise a broad range of telecom industries.

5G Technology Will Create New Growth and Jobs:

It is predictable that by the year 2035, the output from the global value chain of 5G (network operators) will be superior to what the entire mobile value chain is at present. In terms of contribution to global GDP, research predicts that contribution of 5G between the years of 2020 and 2035 will equal the size of India’s economy in recent times and will also see 5G supporting 22 million jobs globally.

5G will Drive Innovation of New Genres of Products and Services

5G technology has the potential to give rise to new industries, along with having an impact on existing businesses in terms of the products and services. Research indicates positive outlooks on 5G’s technology towards ensuring security and reliability.

In fact, while 5G evolves into a more tangible network, there will be much happening depending on investments that are being made in 5G infrastructure, related applications, products as well as services.

In the new term, a broad agreement is that initial deployments of 5G will be driven by enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB). However, eMBB alone will not be able to create substantial revenue from 5G for network operators. Yet, past migrations from one generation of mobile technology to the next invariably meant consumers might pay almost similar amounts while data speeds increased, and call-data payments grew due to falling unit network cost.

For wide-spread and transformative impact along with tangible business benefits, the 5th generation of wireless network technologies will need to expand its scope. Thus, the possibilities of 5G technology are immense in the coming years.

Features of 5G Technology:

In the essential aspect, 5G technology caters to a lot of possibilities to explore new ways to manage networks. In this, a term referred to as network slicing comes up, which empowers a single physical network that supports many virtual networks with assorted performance and features. Picking an instance, one network slice can deliver high-speed mobile broadband on the same infrastructure, above which another slice might result in lower consumption of network over the speed of the connection, which is in 5G.

In fact, 5G technology also makes it possible to use the same infrastructure in offering various services to different users and industry-sectors. After seeing such tremendous outcome, it is evident that 5G technology will, therefore, open lucrative scopes for more new business models in the future than the current environment where network providers offer the same services, yet the only variation is in regards to pricing and the bill plans.

Enhancements for Future Mobile Broadband:

The established reliable 5G technology continues to work on multiple fronts to improve its performance and efficiency further, counting improved coverage, capacity, potential, mobility, power, and more. These enhancements will further benefit not only core mobile broadband services and smartphone connectivity, but also the prolonged use cases that 5G NR is bringing with Release 16 and more.

Another critical area of research is continued towards advancements in multiple antenna MIMO technology. There has been a proper working on enhancements that can deliver more optimized downlink and uplink massive MIMO operations, along with reduced signaling, lower latency, and expanded support for multiple transmission points.

Besides, there has also been a proper focusing on further reduction of device power consumption with features like enhanced C-DRX, which is known as connected mode discontinuous reception and 2-step RACH (simplified random-access procedure). With this, improving mobility is another core research area for multi-network access systems with enhancements for minimizing network interruptions, thus allowing for quicker activation of proper connection, and supporting more seamless dual connectivity.

2020 – Is the Year of Real 5G?

At present, 5G is leading in the telecom industry. A lot of operators all over the world are preparing or already commercially launching new services for the customers to connect to next-generation mobile networks with 5G technology.

Most of the early deployments in 5G technology are based on especially RAT (Radio Access Technology) upgrades, that uses the existing frequency spectrum and legacy core network. This results in delivering a fraction of the technology’s potential. Though 5G expectations were set very high where the data rates grew up to 1 Gb/s downlink, the end-users often get surprised when they experience better improvement in comparison to existing 4G technology.

Upgrades of these core networks, which include edge computing, virtualization (VNF and SDN technologies), and network slicing, will let them forming new platforms for 5G tech market growth. While some mobile operators in the line are still analyzing potential deployment strategies, and others are already advanced in upgrading their infrastructure of networks using 5G.

In the case of point, Verizon introduced CAPEX efficiencies since implementing its Intelligent Edge Network with unified transport and the single network core. It has completed 60% of a unified framework for various networks by Q4 20191. Another major market player in the US telecom industry, AT&T, in collaboration with Microsoft’s Azure Cloud, has virtualized 75% of its primary network functions with software by the end of the year, consenting them to cut $1.5 billion in costs in the year 2020.

Potential of 5G Technology:

The potential use of 5G technology has been subjected to the assumption for moderately some time. It is supposed that 5G has the potential to change many industries and can take further in smart cities, autonomous vehicles, smart industry 4.0, and more. It is a great thanks to the new features and enhancements found in 5G technology in the present year, where mobile operators can potentially see more returns on their significant investments. The improvements in mobile broadband that includes power consumption can thus allow device vendors to produce cheaper handsets, thereby raising the number of users and helping mobile operators spend less on device subsidies.

The Expanding 5G Tech Market Snapshot:

As per a study conducted by Market Research Future, the global level market of 5G technology is expanding year by year. The real growth period is detected to be between 2020 to 2025, in which the 5G tech market will be developing more than present at a compound annual growth rate of 70.83%. Even the market can achieve a valuation of USD 700 Bn by 2025-end, by examining massive opportunities knocking the door in the present time.

The final report of the 5G tech market is picked from https://www.marketresearchfuture.com/reports/5g-technology-market-2988.

The market, as per the study, is gaining a quick mileage. A developing solution to the network, along with cost-effective and feasible options, is making the market vulnerable to attain more worth than before in the future. When looking at regional prospects, North America is becoming the ruler and is at the forefront in the adoption of 5G technology at a rapid pace. This region is commanding more than two-thirds of the global market share. The reasons depicting such a rise in the 5G tech market here is attributed to the swelling popularity of consumer electronic devices with applications that depend on a high-speed network. Thus, the statistics presented that North America’s regional market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 71.0% throughout the growth period.

Followed by North America, the Asia-Pacific region is also likely to emerge as the second-largest market for 5G technology by the year 2025. The region shows the potential of reaching a valuation of USD 17.55 at 74.60% CAGR.

Posted in 5G

Telstra’s 5G network expands to 32 Australian cities; CEO Andrew Penn: “mmW to supercharge 5G”

Telstra has rolled out 5G network coverage to selected areas in 32 major and regional cities. It aims to deliver 5G into 35 cities by mid-year. “More than 4 million people pass through our 5G footprint,” said Telstra CEO Andrew Penn.

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We’re busy rolling out 5G, and our coverage is growing day-by-day. Right now, we’re in 32 cities and regional centres across Australia – more than any other network. If you’re in an area without 5G Coverage, your device automatically swaps to 4G or 3G depending on the available signal.

This map shows where we have 5G coverage at 13 February 2020.

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Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said internal testing of the 5G mmWave technology had begun and work was underway to roll out trial mobile sites in selected areas ahead of an expected auction of mmWave spectrum in 2021.  26 GHz will be the first mmWave band to be used for mobile services in Australia.

mmWave will supercharge 5G. Its higher capacity and the potential to deliver even faster speeds as well as lower latency will help power the next generation of devices and innovations,” Penn said.

Telstra customers’ early access to its mmWave 5G network will initially be in selected areas. It will be made possible through ACMA 26 GHz scientific licenses that can be used for trials ahead of the spectrum auction early next year.  26GHz is set to become one of the most prevalent spectrum bands for mmWave 5G in the world, including Europe and Asia.

Telstra and technology partners Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies recently tested live mobile base station in a commercial network using the 26GHz band.

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Telstra earlier said its mobile footprint is more than 2.5 million square kilometers, at least 1 million square kilometers more than any other mobile network in Australia. Telstra has built more than 237 new mobile sites and upgraded 267 in the second half of 2019.

Average download speeds have increased from 200 megabits to 304 megabits per second now. Telstra also recorded about 1.9 gigabit in the live network. Data usage on 5G network has increased more than 28x in the first half of the year.

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Telstra has expanded narrowband (NB-) IoT coverage (included in the not yet completed IMT 2020 specs) to nearly 4 million square kilometers from over 3.5 million.  LTE CatM1 IoT coverage is around 3 million square kilometers.

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References:

Telstra achieves 28x growth in data usage on 5G network

https://www.telstra.com.au/5g

 

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