Ericsson and Nokia demonstrate 5G Network Slicing on Google Pixel 6 Pro phones running Android 13 mobile OS

In separate announcements today, Ericsson and Nokia stated they had completed 5G Network Slicing trials with Google on Pixel 6 Pro smart phones running the Android 13 mobile OS [1.].

Network Slicing is perhaps the most highly touted benefits of 5G, but its commercial realization is taking much longer than most of the 5G cheerleaders expected.  That is because Network Slicing, like all 5G features, can only be realized on a 5G standalone (SA) network, very few of which have been deployed by wireless network operators.  Network slicing software must be resident in the 5G SA Core network and the 5G endpoint device, in this case the Google Pixel 6 Pro smartphone.

Note 1.  On August 15, 2022, Google released Android 13 -the latest version of its mobile OS. It comes with a number of new features and improvements, as well as offers better security and performance fixes.  However, it’s implementation on smartphones will be fragmented and slow according to this blog post.

For devices running Android 12 or higher, Android provides support for 5G Network Slicing, the use of network virtualization to divide single network connections into multiple distinct virtual connections that provide different amounts of resources to different types of traffic. 5G network slicing allows network operators to dedicate a portion of the network to providing specific features for a particular segment of customers. Android 12 introduces the following 5G enterprise network slicing capabilities, which network operators can provide to their enterprise clients.

Android 12 introduces support for 5G network slicing through additions to the telephony codebase in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and the Tethering module to incorporate existing connectivity APIs that are required for network slicing.

Here’s a functional block diagram depicting 5G network slicing architecture in AOSP:

5G network slicing architecture in AOSP

Image Credit: Android Open Source Project

1.  Ericsson and Google demonstrated support on Ericsson network infrastructure for multiple slices on a single device running Android 13, supporting both enterprise (work profile) and consumer applications. In addition, for the first time, a slice for carrier branded services will allow communications service providers (CSP) to provide extra flexibility for customized offerings and capabilities. A single device can make use of multiple slices, which are used according to the on-device user profiles and network policies defined at the CSP level.

The results were achieved in an Interoperability Device Testing (IODT) environment on Google Pixel 6 (Pro) devices using Android 13. The new release sees an expansion of the capabilities for enterprises assigning network slicing to applications through User Equipment Route Selection Policy (URSP ) rules, which is the feature that enables one device using Android to connect to multiple network slices simultaneously.  

Two different types of slices were made available on a device’s consumer profile, apart from the default mobile broadband (MBB) slice. App developers can now request what connectivity category (latency or bandwidth) their app will need and then an appropriate slice, whose characteristics are defined by the mobile network, will be selected. In this way either latency or bandwidth can be prioritized, according to the app’s requirements. For example, the app could use a low-latency slice that has been pre-defined by the mobile network for online gaming, or a pre-defined high-bandwidth slice to stream or take part in high-definition video calling. 

In an expansion of the network slicing support offered by Android 12, Android 13 will also allow for up to five enterprise-defined slices to be used by the device’s work profile. In situations where no USRP rules are available, carriers can configure their network so traffic from work profile apps can revert to a pre-configured enterprise APN (Access Point Name) connection – meaning the device will always keep a separate mobile data connection for enterprise- related traffic even if the network does not support URSP delivery. 

Monica Zethzon, Head of Solution Area Packet Core at Ericsson said: “As carriers and enterprises seek a return on their investment in 5G networks, the ability to provide for a wide and varied selection of use cases is of crucial importance. Communications Service Providers and enterprises who can offer customers the flexibility to take advantage of tailored network slices for both work and personal profiles on a single Android device are opening up a vast reserve of different uses of those devices. By confirming that the new network slicing capabilities offered by Android 13 will work fully with Ericsson network technology, we are marking a significant step forward in helping the full mobile ecosystem realize the true value of 5G.”  

Ericsson and partners have delivered multiple pioneering network slicing projects using the Android 12 device ecosystem. In July, Telefonica and Ericsson announced a breakthrough in end-to-end, automated network slicing in 5G Standalone mode.  

2.  Nokia and Google announced that they have successfully trialed innovative network slice selection functionality on 4G/5G networks using UE Route Selection Policy (URSP) [2.] technology and Google Pixel 6 (Pro) phones running Android 13. Once deployed, the solution will enable operators to provide new 5G network slicing services and enhance the customer application experience of devices with Android 13. Specifically, URSP capabilities enable a smartphone to connect to multiple network slices simultaneously via different enterprise and consumer applications depending on a subscriber’s specific requirements.  The trial, which took place at Nokia’s network slicing development center in Tampere, Finland, also included LTE-5G New Radio slice interworking functionality. This will enable operators to maximally utilize existing network assets such as spectrum and coverage.

Note 2. User Equipment Route Selection (URSP) is the feature that enables one device using Android to connect to multiple network slices simultaneously.  It’s a feature that both Nokia and Google are supporting.

URSP capabilities extend network slicing to new types of applications and use cases, allowing network slices to be tailored based on network performance, traffic routing, latency, and security. For example, an enterprise customer could send business-sensitive information using a secure and high-performing network slice while participating in a video call using another slice at the same time. Additionally, consumers could receive personalized network slicing services for example for cloud gaming or high-quality video streaming. The URSP-based network slicing solution is also compatible with Nokia’s new 5G radio resource allocation mechanisms as well as slice continuity capabilities over 4G and 5G networks.

The trial was conducted using Nokia’s end-to-end 4G/5G network slicing product portfolio across RAN-transport-core as well as related control and management systems. The trial included 5G network slice selection and connectivity based on enterprise and consumer application categories as well as 5G NR-LTE slice interworking functionalities.

Nokia is the industry leader in 4G/5G network slicing and was the first to demonstrate 4G/5G network slicing across RAN-Transport-Core with management and assurance. Nokia’s network slicing solution supports all LTE, 5G NSA, and 5G SA devices, enabling mobile operators to utilize a huge device ecosystem and provide slice continuity over 4G and 5G.

Nokia has carried out several live network deployments and trials with Nokia’s global customer base including deployments of new slicing capabilities such as Edge Slicing in Virtual Private Networks, LTE-NSA-SA end-to-end network slicing, Fixed Wireless Access slicing, Sliced Private Wireless as well as Slice Management Automation and Orchestration.

Ari Kynäslahti, Head of Strategy and Technology at Nokia Mobile Networks, said: “New application-based URSP slicing solutions widen operator’s 5G network business opportunities. We are excited to develop and test new standards-based URSP technologies with Android that will ensure that our customers can provide leading-edge enterprise and consumer services using Android devices and Nokia’s 4G/5G networks.”

Resources:

Nokia AirScale

Automated network slicing

5G Edge Slicing | Nokia

Network slicing explained

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Addendum:

  • Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, which run on Android 12, are the first two devices certified on Rogers 5G SA network in Canada, which was deployed in October 2021.  However, 5G network slicing hasn’t been announced yet.
  • Telia deployed a commercial 5G standalone network in Finland using gear from Nokia and the operator highlighted its ability to introduce network slicing now that it has a 5G SA core.
  • OPPO, a Chinese consumer electronics and mobile communications company headquartered in Dongguan, Guangdong, recently demonstrated the pre-commercial 5G enterprise network slicing product at its 5G Communications Lab in collaboration with Ericsson and Qualcomm.  OPPO has been conducting research and development in 5G network slicing together with network operators and other partners for a number of years now.
  • Earlier this month, Nokia and Safaricom completed Africa’s first Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) 5G network slicing trial.

References:

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2022/8/ericsson-and-google-show-how-multiple-network-slices-on-a-single-android-13-device-can-boost-consumer-and-enterprise-applications

https://www.nokia.com/about-us/news/releases/2022/08/25/nokia-and-google-trial-innovative-slicing-solution-for-android-devices-and-4g5g-networks/

https://source.android.com/docs/core/connect/5g-slicing

https://news.abplive.com/technology/android-13-release-roll-out-which-users-getting-it-fragmentation-issue-1549758

Network Slicing and 5G: Why it’s important, ITU-T SG 13 work, related IEEE ComSoc paper abstracts/overviews

Nokia and Safaricom complete Africa’s first Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) 5G network slicing trial

Nokia and Safaricom complete Africa’s first Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) 5G network slicing trial

Nokia today announced that it has successfully piloted its 4G and 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network slicing with mobile operator, Safaricom on its live commercial network. This is the first-time 4G/5G network slicing has been successfully achieved in Africa. The trial utilized a multi-vendor network environment and included RAN, transport and core as well as software upgrades to a range of Nokia’s products and services.

The successful trial demonstrates that Safaricom is now poised to support new types of enterprise network services, including fast lane internet access and application slicing. In addition, Nokia is enabling secured FWA slice connectivity to enterprise locations, as well as to private or public application clouds.

The multi-vendor pilot which took place in Kenya’s Western Region, strengthens the strategic partnership between the two companies, with Nokia already providing a wide variety of services and solutions. The pilot demonstrated a number of solutions including Nokia’s AirScale 4G/5G base stations, the NetAct network management and assurance system and Nokia’s FastMile 4G/5G CPE.

Network slicing (which requires a 5G SA Core Network) enables operators the ability to divide a network into multiple virtual slices, which can be optimized for a specific target application or service. The end user of each network slice can then be serviced with different priorities, routing, levels of network performance and security capabilities. Slices can be managed and deployed in minutes, and each one has key performance indicators used for service assurance.

Nokia’s 4G/5G network slicing solution (SORRY, no such thing as 4G network slicing), which received a prestigious award from GTI 2021 in the ‘Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology’ category, supports LTE, 5G NSA and 5G SA technologies with slice service continuity between the networks. This enables slicing services for all LTE and 5G devices.

James MaitaiNetwork DirectorSafaricomsaid“We are proud to have hosted Africa’s first successful pilot of 4G/5G FWA slicing on our network, and looking forward to tailoring our service offerings to individual customers and industries, to meet their needs for high-speed connectivity precisely and without unnecessary cost. Nokia’s expertise has been key to this success, and we anticipate many more strategic wins in this area as our business expands.”

Ramy Hashem, Head of Safaricom Customer Team at Nokia, said“It is great to have successfully completed this pilot with Safaricom, which is a huge step forward in providing Safaricom with state-of-the-art connectivity. Early experience of new slicing technology is invaluable in understanding the new business opportunities it enables. Nokia was the first vendor to offer a slicing solution and we are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Safaricom in providing world-class 4G and 5G network slicing services to its customers.”

Resources:

https://www.nokia.com/about-us/news/releases/2022/08/22/nokia-and-safaricom-complete-africas-first-fixed-wireless-access-5g-slicing-trial/

Webpage: Automated network slicing
Webpage: 5G Edge Slicing
Webpage: Nokia AirScale
Webpage: Nokia FastMile
Webpage: Nokia 5G RAN
Webpage: Nokia NetAct

BT tests 4CC Carrier Aggregation over a standalone 5G network using Nokia equipment

BT announced Monday that it has successfully tested four component-carrier (4CC) carrier aggregation on a 5G Standalone (SA) network in commercial frequencies. Using EE’s live network, BT said it and Nokia were able to combine four low-band and mid-band radio channels in and 2 GHz and 3 GHz range. BT claims to be the first operator in Europe to achieve this feat, calling this particular demonstration of advanced carrier aggregation “a major leap forward” for the evolution of 5G.  Carrier aggregation is seen as the key to achieving optimal data transmission speeds for 5G.  

“As we migrate to a 5G standalone core network, this technology milestone is vital to giving our customers the best experience” commented Greg McCall, Managing Director of Service Platforms at BT.

Working in collaboration with Nokia, BT’s Networks team have successfully combined four low-band and mid-band radio channels, (2.1, 2.6, 3.4, 3.6 GHz), using Nokia’s 5G Radio Access Network technology in EE’s live network spectrum.

The trial was conducted in two stages; it was first performed in BT’s Radio Lab in Bristol, and then moved outdoors, onto a radio mast at BT’s Adastral Park in Suffolk, where the team successfully achieved 4CC on 5G SA radiating in EE’s regular radio spectrum. Not only is it the first time in Europe that a network operator has achieved 4CC on 5G SA using commercial spectrum, but it is also the first time it has been achieved outside of a lab in Europe.

Most 5G networks today are Non-Standalone (“NSA”), meaning 5G is supported by existing 4G infrastructure. 5G Carrier Aggregation (“CA”) over a standalone 5G network represents a major leap forward in the evolution of 5G infrastructure, effectively combining several transmission bands into one connection. Every new carrier added allows for higher capacity and speed directly to customer devices.

Greg McCall, Managing Director Service Platforms BT, commented: “Our trial with Nokia is another demonstration of building the most advanced network for our customers. 5G Standalone, coupled with edge compute, will unlock new opportunities for customers looking to develop new services. Furthermore, this technology showcases what’s possible for devices in the future in terms of supporting carrier aggregation, which is an important part of customer experience.”

“Carrier Aggregation (CA) means combining or aggregating several carriers within or across available frequency bands – referred to as component carriers – for achieving higher data rates. Each additional component carrier increases the available bandwidth and, therefore, improves throughput. In the case of carrier aggregating Frequency-Division Duplex (FDD) and Time-Division Duplex (TDD) spectrum together, this also enables a value-adding solution that “stretches” the site coverage area that can offer those higher data rates,” said Nokia.

Mark Atkinson, SVP, Radio Access Networks PLM, Nokia, commented: “We are once again delighted to be deepening our partnership with BT, supporting them with our industry-leading Carrier Aggregation technology for this trial. Nokia and BT have a long history in investing in cutting-edge technologies and this trial is another example of what our companies can achieve together.”

 

Greg McCall, managing director of service platforms at BT, said the test showcases demonstrates his company’s commitment to building out the most advanced mobile network.

“5G Standalone, coupled with edge compute, will unlock new opportunities for customers looking to develop new services,” said McCall.

In May, Australian mobile operator Optus, Nokia, and Samsung Electronics Australia announced a successful test of three-component-carrier (3CC) CA technology over a 5G SA network. At the time, Nokia noted its commitment to prioritize the development of 5G carrier aggregation across the sub-6 GHz 5G spectrum. At the time, Nokia used its latest commercial AirScale Baseband and radio portfolio over Optus’ commercial network. The trial combined the FDD band (2.1 GHz) with the TDD band (2.2 GHz + 3.5 GHz) using CA technology.

References:

https://newsroom.bt.com/bt-and-nokia-claim-european-first-by-combining-four-channels-of-spectrum-on-a-5g-standalone-network/

Nokia and CityFibre sign 10 year agreement to build 10Gb/second UK broadband network

UK wholesale fiber network operator CityFibre [1.] is building an open access network which will connect up to 8 million premises in 285 cities, towns and villages, reaching a third of the country. Nokia’s Lightspan access nodes will be used by CityFibre to offer its wholesale customers multi-gigabit/sec residential broadband (up to 10Gb/s in both directions) and higher bandwidth services such as connecting enterprises and providing backhaul for mobile networks.

Note 1.  CityFibre operates the UK’s largest and finest independent Full Fibre platform. Their high quality digital infrastructure enables wholesale customers to serve ultra-reliable, gigabit speed and futureproof broadband, ethernet and 5G services to homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and GP surgeries – plus anything else that need a digital connection.

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Nokia recently announced a 10-year XGS-PON broadband equipment agreement with CityFibre including access nodes for its nationwide network of purpose-built Fibre Exchanges, fiber modems for customer homes and IP aggregation switches.

Using Nokia’s Quillion chipset, the same access nodes can be used for both XGS-PON and 25G PON (25Gb/s) on the same fiber, should CityFibre wish to do this in the future. Successful delivery of 25G PON for 5G transport using the same Lightspan access node has already been proven by CityFibre, Nokia and the University of Glasgow during a trial undertaken at the end of 2021.

John Franklin, Chief Technology and Information Officer at CityFibre said: “CityFibre is committed to building a Full Fibre network that is ”Better By Design”, providing our partners and their customers with the fastest and most reliable services at the best value. By partnering with Nokia we have enlisted a trusted and market-leading technology vendor to help support a nationwide 10Gbps XGS-PON technology deployment programme.”

Sandy Motley, President, Fixed Networks at Nokia, said: “The demand for ever-faster speeds continues and we’re delighted that our 25G ready solution has been chosen by CityFibre to enable their GPON to 10G XGS-PON national network upgrade program, supporting their mission to offer the highest capacity wholesale services into the UK market.”

John Franklin, Chief Technology and Information Officer at CityFibre said: “CityFibre is committed to building a Full Fibre network that is ”Better By Design”, providing our partners and their customers with the fastest and most reliable services at the best value. By partnering with Nokia we have enlisted a trusted and market-leading technology vendor to help support a nationwide 10Gbps XGS-PON technology deployment programme.”

Sandy Motley, President, Fixed Networks at Nokia, said“The demand for ever-faster speeds continues and we’re delighted that our 25G ready solution has been chosen by CityFibre to enable their GPON to 10G XGS-PON national network upgrade program, supporting their mission to offer the highest capacity wholesale services into the UK market.”

Usually located in fiber exchanges, Nokia’s high-capacity optical line terminals are deployed for massive scale fiber roll-outs. They connect thousands of users via optical fiber, aggregate their broadband traffic and send it deeper in the network. The fiber access nodes can support multiple fiber technologies including GPON, XGS-PON, 25G PON and Point-to-Point Ethernet to deliver a wide range of services with the best fit technology.

Nokia ONT (Optical Network Termination) devices, or fiber modems, are located at the user location. They terminate the optical fibre connection and delivers broadband services within the user premises or cell sites.

Included in the deal:

References:

https://www.nokia.com/about-us/news/releases/2022/07/25/nokia-and-cityfibre-sign-10-year-agreement-to-build-10gbsecond-uk-broadband-network/

Dish Network & Nokia: world’s first 5G SA core network deployed on public cloud (AWS)

Dish Network is just a month into the commercial launch of its  cloud native based 5G core network, but is already planning how it will expand that architecture to take advantage of multicloud and hybrid cloud environments.

During a Dish-Nokia fireside chat this Tuesday (sponsored by Nokia) on LinkedIn, Jitin Bhandari – CTO and VP, Cloud and Network Services, Nokia interviewed Sidd Chenumolu, VP of technology development and network services at Dish Wireless, provided some insight into the carrier’s current use of Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud resources.  

Chenumolu said Dish’s 5G core was currently using three of AWS’ four public regions, was deployed in “multiple availability zones and almost all the local zones, but most were deployed with Nokia applications across AWS around the country.”

[AWS Outposts GM Joshua Burgin had previously explained to SDxCentral that Dish would be using a mixture of AWS Regions, Local Zones, and Outposts, specifically the smaller form factor AWS Outposts servers, to power its network. This includes the deployment of single 1U Outpost servers, some with an accelerator card, to run network functions in single-digit milliseconds at cell sites, he said in a phone interview.]

AWS Local Zones, which are built on Outpost racks and span 15 locations around the U.S., some of which were deployed to meet Dish’s demands, run Dish’s less latency-sensitive functions, Burgin explained. Dish’s operations and business support systems will run on AWS Regions.

“How to we deploy 5G SA core network on multi-cloud,” Sidd asked but did not answer.  He then started to turn the tables and interview Jitin via a series of questions.

Chenumolu did not provide an update on Dish’s use of AWS’ Wavelength platform, which the cloud giant initially launched in partnership with Verizon to marry the network operators’ 5G networks with AWS’ edge compute service. Burgin had previously stated that support “could come down the line.”

The usual hype and back slapping/praise with glib expressions like “disintegrated disruptor, uncharted territory, automate learning with AI, cloud RAN,” etc. characterized the session.

References:

https://www.linkedin.com/video/event/urn:li:ugcPost:6945794807772438528/

https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/dish-eyes-5g-multicloud-hybrid-cloud-expansion/2022/07/

Virgin Media O2 deploys UK’s first 5G-connected hospital to transform healthcare

Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) and the NHS have collaborated to build the UK’s ‘first 5G connected hospital,’ which they say will transform healthcare. The Maudsley Smart Hospital and Maudsley Smart Pharmacy trials are funded by NHS digital with tech provided by VMO2 and Nokia, and are designed to explore the efficiency, safety and security benefits of using 5G-connected technologies in hospitals, across the usual catch-all 5G adjacent sectors of IoT, AR and AI.

Two wards at al Bethlem Royal Hospital in South London are now using dedicated, near-real-time connectivity to power e-Observations, where clinicians use handheld devices to update patient records, saving valuable time and improving accuracy. It seems to be implied interacting with the equipment over 5G will be more efficient than using the hospital’s WiFi network.

The 5G trials will also include an IoT innovation lab and platform, in partnership with Bruhati (South London and Maudsley has made Bruhati its partner for providing IoT technology to the Trust). This will look at smart, connected use cases – including remotely monitoring medicine fridges to ensure drugs are stored at the optimum temperature and thereby reducing expensive waste, tracking the air quality inside wards, and monitoring occupancy of desks and meeting rooms in the hospital.

An Augmented Reality (AR) tool called Remote Expert will allow maintenance workers in other hospitals to pop on a helmet and remotely help fix problems in some way, while an AI tool called Spatial Insights generates anonymised heat maps of crowd movement from CCTV footage, which will apparently help them to better plan layouts in the future. There is also talk of smart devices and monitoring to reduce medicine waste and track the air quality in wards, which sounds useful enough.

Mike Smith, Large Enterprise & Public Sector Director at Virgin Media O2 Business said: “The NHS has been a cornerstone of British society for nearly 75 years, and today, we’re proud to announce the switch-on of the UK’s first 5G-connected hospital – showing how next-generation technology can help create a smarter, modern healthcare service for everyone. Our aim is to map out the rollout of wireless and smart hospital connectivity across the NHS estate over the next three to five years. Trials like this are the embodiment of our mission to upgrade the UK, and a clear sign of the role we can play in helping to shape the NHS of the future.”

Stuart MacLellan, Acting Chief Information Officer at South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust said: “Exploring and using the latest technology supports our core strategic aim to deliver outstanding mental health care for people who use our services, their carers and families. We are proud to be partnering with Virgin Media O2 Business to create the UK’s first 5G-connected hospital, which enables us to use digital innovations to improve patient outcomes. This is a very exciting step forward.”

Kester Mann, technology analyst and Director, Consumer and Connectivity at CCS Insight, said: “This is a landmark moment for the UK telecoms and healthcare sectors. Dedicated 5G in hospitals can open the door to a range of new applications such as real-time tracking of patients’ conditions, remote support and round-the-clock monitoring of medicines and equipment. Its high throughput and low-latency characteristics can also improve the efficiency and security of existing operations, making healthcare services smarter, more accurate and more effective.”

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If the NHS trials can demonstrate how the implementation of AI heatmaps for planning layouts and AR headsets for maintenance workers can start taking chunks out of how long it takes to be treated for immediate and long term conditions, then everyone will surely be behind rolling it out elsewhere.

References:

Virgin Media O2 Business switches on the UK’s first 5G-connected hospital with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

VMO2 and Nokia help create UK’s ‘first 5G connected hospital’

 

 

Nokia and Antofagasta Minerals deploy private wireless network to accelerate digital transformation in Chile

Nokia and Antofagasta Minerals deploy private wireless network to accelerate digital transformation of Minera Centinela operations in Chile.

Nokia said it has won a contract to provide industrial-grade private wireless network capability in one of the four copper mines run by Antofagasta Minerals in Chile.

  • Nokia industrial-grade private wireless network to provide reliable, high-capacity and low latency connectivity for sensors and vehicles at the Centinela mine
  • Private 4.9G/LTE network, deployed within four months, will support operations, including an autonomous fleet of trucks, as part of a five-year digitalization plan
  • Antofagasta Minerals, one of the world’s leading copper miners, has four operations in Chile, Minera Centinela being one of them

The Minera Centinela facility mines sulphide and oxide deposits 1,350km north of Santiago in the Antofagasta region, one of Chile’s most important mining areas. Centinela produces copper concentrate (containing gold and silver) through a milling and flotation process, as well as molybdenum and gold. It also produces copper cathodes, using the solvent extraction and electrowinning (SX-EW) process.

In August 2021, Centinela obtained the Copper Mark, which certifies that the company operates under strict internationally recognised sustainable production standards.

The new 5G network is designed to not only support secure and reliable operations at the mine, but also to enable the mining group to accelerate its digital transformation.

A Nokia-sponsored IDC infobrief revealed that safety is a key consideration when identifying initiatives for transformation, and that sustainability tops miners’ strategic objectives. The report quotes IDC’s 2021 Worldwide mining decision maker survey, which highlighted the increasing adoption of digital transformation strategies in mining, with 86% of mining companies planning to invest in wireless infrastructure in the next 18 months.

Image Credit: Minera Centinela

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Gino Ivani, Technology Manager for Antofagasta Minerals, said: “We are transforming the way mining is done. We want to deliver excellence in everything we do, leveraging operational efficiencies to achieve the best results. We are committed to sustainable mining and to providing the safest and most efficient facilities. We are very pleased to leverage Nokia industrial-grade private wireless solutions and its experience in mining automation to support our efforts.”

Leonardo Serra, corporate head of IT projects at Antofagasta Minerals, said:  “Copper is critical for the delivery of clean energy and consequently to reduce emissions. As demand for copper increases, we are deploying technology innovations, such as Nokia private wireless connectivity, allowing us to enhance productivity in a smart and sustainable way.”

Marcelo Entreconti, Head of Enterprise for Latin America at Nokia, said: “We are witnessing the first wave of Industry 4.0 projects in Latin America and it is very exciting to watch them become a reality for mining companies like Antofagasta Minerals. Nokia industrial-grade private wireless delivers the robust, secure, predictable and deep wireless coverage that mines require for large outdoor areas or underground complexes. Deploying these networks is considered the first and most important step in the digitalization journey of mining companies, and lays the groundwork for an expansion beyond connectivity where Nokia is already proposing solutions to the global mining community.”

Nokia designed and deployed the industrial-grade network based on a private 4.9G/LTE solution, including Nokia AirScale radio equipment, mobile packet core, IP/MPLS service aggregation routers, and Wavence microwave transmission.

Antofagasta’s Centinela open pit mine is located approximately 1,350 kilometers north of Santiago at an important mining zone with sulfur and oxides. The mine produces copper concentrate and cathodes, as well as molybdenum and gold. In August 2021, Centinela obtained the Copper Mark, which certifies that the company operates under strict internationally recognized sustainable production standards.

Additional resources:

Webpage: Nokia solutions for the mining industry

Webpage: Nokia AirScale

Webpage: Nokia Wavence

White paper: Mining and mission-critical wireless connectivity

References:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/nokia-antofagasta-minerals-deploy-private-150600139.html

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252514632/Nokia-Antofagasta-Minerals-dig-deep-for-private-5G-wireless-network

Nokia and Mavenir to build 4G/5G public and private network for FSG in Australia

Australian rural carrier Field Solutions Holdings (FSG) has selected Nokia and Mavenir as its primary technology vendors to build Australia’s fourth mobile network.

As part of the deal, the technology partners will supply 4G and 5G radio access networks and the mobile core network.  Mavenir will provide 4G/5G Converged Packet core, as well as IMS voice and messaging services.

FSG plans to deliver 4G and 5G services in rural, regional and remote areas of the country. FSG will also be delivering private 4G LTE and 5G service offerings.  FSG, has secured 5G spectrum holdings to ensure that rural, regional and remote Australia is not left behind in the rollout of 5G services.


FSG CEO Andrew Roberts, said FSG’s 5G service will cover 85% of Australia’s landmass.

“FSG has run a comprehensive 6-month RFP process to select the most appropriate technology partners for the rollout of the Regional Australia Network.  FSG has selected these partners to ensure we have the cost-effective, future proof and globally proven technology platform needed to deliver Australia’s 4th mobile network.”

“The demand for private 4G and 5G networks is gaining momentum, FSG will be delivering cost-effective, carrier-grade private solutions for agri-business, mining and government. We expect to be announcing several private 4G and 5G private network deployments in the coming weeks,” said FSG CEO Andrew Roberts.

“Together with our new partners, Nokia and Mavenir, FSG is primed to deliver connectivity to regions, whilst offering capability for carriers to join the solution using Active Neutral host RAN, inbound roaming or ‘old school’ passive co-location on our purpose-built infrastructure,” Roberts added.

By embracing new models, the cost to deliver these solutions can be kept to a minimum, further supporting the committee’s desire to ensure that affordability is not forgotten. FSG are in the process of delivering 19 new place-based networks across Australia.  These networks, comprising over 100 sites, each of which will be 4G and 5G capable, Neutral Host and Roaming ready when delivered in FY 23/24. “The Regional Australia Network is a dedicated network supporting rural Australia.    Today, we operate Australia’s largest non-NBN fixed wireless network, which delivers fixed wireless broadband across rural, regional and remote Australia. The Regional Australia Network (RAN(TM)) will see these current and all new networks being enabled to delivery 4G and 5G data and voice services, fixed wireless broadband together with NB-IoT and CatM1 services”, Roberts stated.

FSG also said that the company is in the process of delivering 19 new “place-based” networks across Australia. These networks comprise more than 100 sites, each of which will be 4G and 5G capable, neutral host and roaming-ready when delivered in fiscal year 2023/24.

Anna Perrin, Nokia’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, said, “As a world-leading provider of mobile technology, we have championed the development of Neutral Host networks around the world and we’re excited to bring this global expertise to our partnership with FSG. Supporting the creation of new and innovative solutions and business models for rural and remote coverage across Australia.”

“Mavenir is excited to partner with FSG to deliver a cost-effective, future proof and globally proven 4G/5G Cloud-native Converged Packet Core, IMS and messaging services to enable Australia’s 4th mobile network,” said Dereck Quinlan, Mavenir regional VP.

“Mavenir continues to drive forward with advanced cloud-native solutions that our customers and the industry recognise. Our Cloud-native Converged Packet Core solution embraces a disruptive technology architecture and business model that drive network agility, deployment flexibility, and service velocity,” Quinlan added.

Over the next 18 months, FSG, in partnership with the Australian Federal Government and mobile operator Optus, will be trialing the deployment of what it says is Australia’s first “Active Neutral Host” network. The neutral-host model enables FSG to build and operate infrastructure and a single set of electronics that all mobile network operators in Australia can utilize and will be ready for PSMB services, the company says.

“The more carriers subscribe to the model, the more valuable and impactful it is for Australian Rural communities and Australia as a whole. We look forward to welcoming the other Australian Carriers to the program, to make the neutral host model a reality for rural, regional and remote Australia,” Roberts added.

References:

https://www.bloomberg.com/press-releases/2022-02-20/selects-nokia-and-mavenir-as-technology-partners

FSG selects Nokia, Mavenir to rollout Australia’s fourth mobile network

FSG making sure country people receive 5G service

Nokia survey finds CSPs are not monetizing 5G services- BSS must be improved

A Nokia-commissioned survey of 100 communication service providers (CSPs) around the world found only 11% have sufficient Business Support Systems (BSS) in place for effective 5G monetization.  Yet this author believes such BSS are not the key issue in monetizing 5G.  The IEEE Techblog which has repeatedly stated there are currently no compelling 5G use cases without URLLC in the RAN/core and cloud native 5G SA Core networks deployed.   Also, a cloud-native software architecture is key to achieving a 5G-ready monetization system, with many benefits that include limitless scalability, and an ideal platform for AI, analytics, and edge computing capabilities for ultra-low latency use cases.

An overwhelming number of survey respondents, at 98%, indicated they would have to alter their BSS in the coming years in order to put proper, up-to-date monetization tools in place.

The survey also found that nearly 70% of CSPs are now considering deploying cloud-based monetization solutions. In addition, two-thirds of respondents indicated they believe that real-time charging is essential for 5G monetization, in part because of its ability to help CSPs respond quickly to customer demands.

More details on the research can be found here.

John Abraham, Principal Analyst at Analysys Mason, said: “Most Service Providers are ill-prepared to effectively engage and monetize emerging 5G-enabled use cases and need to urgently transform their BSS. With Service Providers looking to get that ROI on 5G, now is the time for them to invest in flexible monetization systems especially as 5G brings to the forefront the importance of real-time charging capabilities. Given Nokia’s portfolio and expertise, they are well placed to support CSPs on this journey.”

Hamdy Farid, Senior Vice President, Business Applications at Nokia, said: “To unlock 5G revenues and move beyond the traditional data plan model, a major shift among CSPs is needed toward adaptable monetization systems that utilize cloud-native, scalable and flexible infrastructure and open APIs for easy integration and deployment; and I think this survey highlights the work still to be done.”

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Nokia’s Head of Digital Business within CNS Jonah Pransky shared with RCR Wireless News that moving to cloud-native BSS “is becoming increasingly important to ensure greater business agility.”

“This is particularly true when it comes to efficiently monetizing 5G and capturing new revenue streams that 5G makes possible, including differentiated pricing, network slicing, and flexible product offerings, such as IoT and B2B2X.  The 5G Standalone [SA] network is built on cloud-native network functions that provide the flexibility and agility to define, create and launch new services faster than ever before. 5G monetization systems, starting with the 5G charging function, need to be based on the same agile technology, or risk becoming a bottleneck in the release of new offers to the market, and ultimately slow the ROI that service providers must see sooner rather than later.”

Pransky also indicated that real-time charging is important for 5G-ready monetization systems, but provided a longer view of what capabilities are necessary, including support for open APIs, the enablement of new network-sliced based services easily and efficiently, meeting the CX demands of digital users for simple, transparent digital first commerce and finally, and being designed with no-code configurability.

While CSPs are still behind in their 5G monetization journeys, Pransky said that because the industry is moving away from large software monoliths and towards modular microservices-based applications, there is an opportunity for service providers to take a phased approach to transforming their monetization systems for 5G.

“That means they can begin with the most urgent need, which in this case is the 5G Converged Charging system,” he continued. “There is definitely still time with the roll out of 5G SA accelerating in some regions, but with many still only beginning to prepare for this. The advice [Nokia] would give would be to look for a monetization partner that has actual experience implementing 5G Charging in 5G SA networks in order to avoid potential pitfalls and hit the ground running, prepared for what will be necessary for effective monetization.”

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References:

https://www.nokia.com/about-us/news/releases/2022/02/17/nokia-research-finds-csps-have-catching-up-to-do-to-deliver-on-5g-monetization/

CSPs are behind in 5G monetization, according to Nokia survey

https://www.rajarshipathak.com/2020/01/requirements-for-5g-network-monetization-solution.html

 

 

Nokia delivers private 4G fixed-wireless access (FWA) network for underserved students living in rural California

Nokia completed the first of a two-phase deployment of 4G fixed-wireless access (FWA) network with partner AggreGateway, to provide broadband internet connectivity to underserved students in the Dos Palos Oro Lomo (DPOL) school district of California.

The district comprises five campuses and serves a population of 5,000 residents. The Nokia platform will provide internet access to the homes of 2,400 students using Nokia Private 4.9G/LTE Digital Automation Cloud (NDAC) operating in the CBRS/On-Go GAA spectrum, and customer premises equipment including Nokia FastMile 4G Gateways and WiFi Beacons.

The DPOL technology team will operate its new LTE network through the centrally secure Nokia DAC Cloud monitoring application. DPOL will also provision LTE / Wi-Fi hotspots to students to be used with any standard laptop or tablet to access broadband internet.

The project’s first phase was completed in November 2021. Nokia and AggreGateway will complete the second phase in 2022.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reported nearly 17 million school children in the USA lack internet access at home, creating a nationwide ‘homework gap’ (Federal Communications Commission). This became even more pronounced during the pandemic as schools closed and distance learning became the new normal.

Image Credit: Nokia

Paoze Lee, Technology Systems Director of the Dos Palos-Oro Loma school districtsaid: “As we put a plan in place for distance learning during the pandemic we found we could only provide coverage for approximately 50% of DPOL students via commercial wireless network providers. Working with Nokia and AggreGateway, we are taking the next steps to level the field and ensure every student has the same access to our learning facilities.”

Octavio Navarro, President of AggreGateway, said: “Growing up in a rural small town like Dos Palos-Oro Loma, I experienced the digital divide firsthand. Being able to implement a Nokia private wireless solution for the students has been beyond rewarding. The IT staff from DPOL, AggreGateway, and Nokia worked seamlessly together to achieve this goal. We are excited, proud, and look forward to the continued success.”

Matt Young, Head of Enterprise for North America at Nokia, said: “We are pleased to help close the digital divide in the Dos Palos-Oro Loma school district. For many rural areas of the US it’s not commercially viable to build out networks, and often families on the lowest income suffer. Leveraging our DAC and FastMile FWA technologies we can enable the delivery of much needed internet connectivity to students in the area.”

The project’s first phase was completed in November 2021. Nokia and AggreGateway will complete the second phase in 2022.

About Nokia:

As a trusted partner for critical networks, we are committed to innovation and technology leadership across mobile, fixed and cloud networks. We create value with intellectual property and long-term research, led by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs.

Adhering to the highest standards of integrity and security, we help build the capabilities needed for a more productive, sustainable and inclusive world.

About AggreGateway:

Based in San Diego, California, AggreGateway is a unique group of network and wireless engineers that are experienced in designing networks within the private, public safety, transportation, utilities, government, and educational verticals. AggreGateway provides network consulting services, wireless solutions, LAN/WAN design and implementation, network security, systems integration, and managed services. Our goal is to provide a range of robust and flexible network solutions that are customized to each individual network.

References:

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2022/02/08/2380783/0/en/Nokia-delivers-private-wireless-to-bridge-the-digital-divide-for-students-homes-in-rural-California.html

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/nokiadelivers-private-wireless-network-for-studenthomes-in-rural-california–1413379