Displaying items by tag: Data

China Telecom and Huawei complete world’s first 400GE test

Written on Thursday, 19 October 2017 07:14

China Telecom Guangzhou Research Institute and Huawei said results of the world's first 400GE test indicate next-generation large-capacity port technology 400GE possesses the qualities required for commercial deployment.

With the rapid development of HD video, cloud computing, and other services, backbone network traffic has experienced average annual growth of over 45 percent, according to Huawei, creating challenges for backbone network bandwidth. As the next-generation port technology, 400GE can significantly increase backbone network bandwidth to help carriers cope with the explosive growth of data traffic.

Currently, international standards organizations are accelerating development work on 400GE standards, which are expected to be released by year-end 2017. In 2016, China Telecom Guangzhou Research Institute and Huawei established a 400GE joint innovation R&D team to develop live-network service requirements, application scenarios, standards formulation, and technology R&D, driving the standardization and commercial use of medium-and-long distance 400GE port technology.

Test results verified 400GE port functions such as line-speed forwarding, multi-service stacking, and fault reporting. The test was performed in China Telecom's network and terminal key laboratory using test cases based on actual network applications. The expert team at the Guangzhou Research Institute was responsible for sorting out network requirements, test-case design, and the process of the all-round test.

Huawei backbone routers were used in the test, and 400GE port networking was used between devices and the tester. Under real-world network traffic conditions, at full bandwidth, 400GE ports experienced zero packet loss in line-speed forwarding. Multi-service stack tests showed that protocol-based forwarding was normal; bundled 400GE and 100GE ports could implement precise load balancing; the transmission distance was as far as 10 km; and loopback and fault reporting functions were normal.

"High-speed traffic growth has contributed to the rapid development of high-speed port technology," said Zhu Yongqing, IP technology research owner at China Telecom Guangzhou’s Research Institute. "In the final release of the 400GE technology standard, China Telecom Guangzhou Research Institute and Huawei performed the world’s first 400GE port tests based on requirements of the live network, realizing a combination of network requirements and technical R&D.

Yongqing added, “The test results reached expectations. In the future, we will cooperate with Huawei and other partners to promote development of the 400GE industry and maturation of the supply chain, ultimately driving the development of China Telecom’s network and the national broadband infrastructure."

"This joint venture with China Telecom Guangzhou Research Institute has officially opened up the possibility of commercial use for 400GE single ports," said Chen Jinzhu, General Manager of Huawei’s Backbone Router Domain. "Moving forward, we will focus on customer requirements and spare no effort in core technologies. Our innovative solutions can assist carriers in seizing development opportunities as we enter the cloud era."

Published in Telecom Vendors

The average monthly cost of mobile services in Central and South American countries dropped approximately 20 percent between 2014 and 2017, according to Strategy Analytics Latin America Emerging Markets report. In addition, the level of data included in mobile plans in Latin America has doubled to an average of 3.4GB.

The report takes into account SIM only, prepaid and postpaid plans for individuals and businesses among more than 55 suppliers in 19 countries. A summary of the report says, “The implementation of 4G LTE technology in South and Central America has resulted in easier and better access to mobile telephony and internet services throughout the region. We have seen a strong shift from voice and SMS based services to data-based services.”

The report highlights that the number of free minutes included in monthly services was 26 percent higher in 2017 compared to 2014 in Latin America. Also, the average published maximum download speed increased from 12Mbps in 2014 to almost 40Mbps in 2017.

“We have seen a strong change in terms of minutes, SMS and free data included, with a big increase especially in the amount of data included in the plans during the period from 2016 to 2017,” said Strategy Analytics analyst, Pawel Kmiec. “They linked in the reduction of cost by surplus for all types of calls and data.”

Published in Government

Data fuels growth in Thailand’s mobile industry

Written on Sunday, 03 September 2017 11:30

Increased data usage fueled growth in Thailand’s mobile industry in the first half of 2017, according to the National Economic and Social Development Board. Pricing competition in the sector dropped, and overall Thailand’s economy increased by the fastest rate in four years.

Thailand’s GDP rose 3.7 percent year-on-year in Q2 2017 after annual growth of 3.3 percent reported in Q1.

The country’s three leading mobile operators – AIS, True Move and Telenor-owned dtac – saw service revenue increase 8 percent year-on-year in the first half of the year, according to a report by Bangkok Post. In addition, non-voice revenue generated around 68 percent of the operators’ service revenue in Q2.

“It seems the telecoms business is on the up-and-up after reaching bottom last year,” CIMB analyst told Bangkok Post, reflecting on how Thai telecom operators have pulled back their aggressive marketing campaigns.

AIS’ second quarter revenue increased 21 percent year-on-year to THB 18.7 billion ($562 million), the Bangkok Post report said, representing 63 percent of its total revenue. True’s data revenue increased 25 percent to THB 10.4 billion, while dtac’s data revenue grew the most at 27 percent to THB 11 billion, representing 66 percent and 74 percent of total revenue, respectively.

The operators all posted increases in service revenue in Q1 this year, Bangkok Post said. In the lead was True with 17 percent growth, ahead of AIS with 6.6 percent and dtac with 2.3 percent. In terms of voice revenue, dtac and AIS both experienced year-on-year declines, while True posted a 2.6 percent increase.

Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited, commonly referred to as AIS, is Thailand's largest GSM mobile phone operator with 39.87 million customers as of Q3 2016. For a long time True ranked third behind dtac, but in the opening quarter of 2017, True boosted its market share to 26.5 percent, placing it just ahead of dtac’s 26.2 percent share. True maintained its lead over dtac in Q2, according to GSMA Intelligence.

Published in Telecom Operators

Three of China’s state-run mobile operators have posted positive financial results for the first-half of 2017, after enduring a difficult 2016. China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile all made solid gains on their bottom line, largely due to the continued rapid demand for data and 4G uptake.

All three entities suffered a decline in earnings during 2016 - but in the first-half of this year they’ve made a combined profit of CYN 77.6 billion ($11.6 billion) compared with a combined profit of CYN127.6 billion for all of 2016.

Analysts have attributed the success of the state-owned mobile operators to significant 4G subscriber gains from January-June. The trio took its LTE user base to 885 million. In addition to this, it was further disclosed that both China Telecom and China Mobile are increasingly close to reaching the 70% 4G penetration mark, with China Unicom lagging behind by a reported 14%.

China Mobile remains the market incumbent with a 64% share of total subscribers, 67% of which are 4G users. The Chinese operators ended June with 3.47 million 4G base stations, the breakdown of which consisted of China Mobile (1.65M) China Telecom (1.05M) and China Unicom (770,000). It was also disclosed that China Mobile has announced its intentions to construct an additional 120,000 4G sites in the second-half of next year, whilst China Telecom has said it will deploy another 110,000 by the end of this year.

Mobile voice revenue continues to decline sharply due to the dominance of OTT’s, but all three operators still managed to grow mobile service revenue by 5%. It’s the universal demand for data which has contributed to the operator’s success so far this year. China Telecom has enjoyed a healthy increase of 24% in mobile data, accumulating CYN55.3 billion in the process. China Mobile reported a 34% increase in mobile data accumulating CYN185 billion, whilst China Unicom’s data growth increased by 21%, accumulating CYN43.5 billion.

The state-run operators have signed up 23.7 million 4G subscribers in July, which takes the country’s total to 908M. However, China Mobile has announced its plans to end 2017 by amassing 630M 4G subs, which analysts suggest is a target they should easily surpass. At this extraordinary pace, China will likely end the year with well over 1 billion 4G customers, which would also subsequently mean that China would have 40% of the 2.45 billion global LTE connections by the end of the year.

Published in Telecom Operators

Telecommunication operators Three and Vodafone are closing the gap on UK incumbent EE according to analysis conducted by Root-Metrics. The company carried out 646,230 tests across all of the United Kingdom. It assessed the operators in six categories, which ranged from reliability, speed, data, calls, texts and overall performance.

Whilst EE still came out on top as the strongest performer, it was highlighted that both Vodafone and Three had closed the gap considerably. EE was given four awards by Root-Score, while both Three and Vodafone received two awards each.

EE won the best overall category, and also emerged as frontrunners in speed and data. In addition to this, it shared joint-first with Vodafone for text messaging. Three won outright across the UK for its reliability, and shared joint-first with Vodafone for call performance. O2 came last in all categories apart from text quality, where it finished third.

However, this represents a significant and telling change across the telecommunications landscape, last year EE won all the awards on offer by Root-Score. The latest findings declared that whilst EE is the best-performing telco overall in the UK, Vodafone was No.1 in Northern Ireland, whilst Three dominated in Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland was the only region were 02 performed well.

General Manager of Europe for Root-Metrics, Scott Stonham, suggests that “the report only serves to reiterate just how competitive the UK telecommunications sector is,” he said.

“These latest results have really shaken things up and show the increasing competitiveness in the UK, particularly over the last six months. EE continues to lead the way, but Three and Vodafone are close behind. What is clear is that each operator showed strong performance in at least one particular country, while nobody was able to sweep the board at the four nation’s level. UK consumers have strong mobile options depending on how and where they use their devices most.”

A Senior Research Director on telecoms at HIS Markit said it was imperative that operators needed to invest in radio spectrum in order to succeed. “To succeed, mobile operators must secure sufficient radio spectrum and invest in the necessary equipment, sites and operational teams to ensure consumers enjoy fast reliable mobile broadband. With new UK spectrum allocations soon to be auctioned in the run up to 5G, these performance results provide a snapshot on the competitive balance between the UK mobile operators now, and highlight which operators most need to acquire new spectrum capacity if they are to be a future mobile performance winner.”

Fogg also stressed that the results which come ahead of a spectrum auction in September, could radically alter the balance of spectrum holdings, which would allow operators with smaller holdings such as Three and O2 to compete in a more efficient manner. 02 CEO Mark Evans, has already declared that he wants to see the auction commence soon and that it was compete ‘fiercely’ for spectrum allocation.

Published in Telecom Operators

Social networking colossus Facebook is challenging a gag order from a US court that is currently preventing the organization from talking about three government search warrants. However, Facebook is claiming that the preventative measures implemented by the US court pose a threat to freedom of speech.

According to reports and court documents, Facebook wants to notify three of its users about the search warrants that are seeking their communications and information, and to provide those users with the opportunity to object to the warrants.

Facebook released a statement on the gag order and expressed its concern over a breach of the First Amendment concerns with this particular case. Facebook said: "We believe there are important First Amendment concerns with this case, including the government's refusal to let us notify three people of broad requests for their account information in connection with public events.”

The First Amendment to the US constitution guarantees certain rights including freedom of speech; however, William Miller, a spokesman for US prosecutors declined to comment on Facebook’s decision to challenge the gag order. In an undated court document it said that Facebook decided to challenge the gag order around the three warrants on the basis that free speech was at stake – and that the events underlying the government’s investigation were generally known to the public.

It has not yet been disclosed what the precise nature of the government’s investigation is; however, there have been suggestions that the timing of the proceedings coincide with charges against people who protested at Donald Trump’s inauguration in January. On the day, Donald Trump was sworn in as president - over 200 people were arrested in Washington as masked activists threw rocks at police, whilst multiple vehicles were set on fire.

Technology firms have consistently complied with thousands of requests for user data made on an annual basis by the government around the world, but in extraordinary circumstances, leading tech entities such as Microsoft and Twitter have defied and challenged government secrecy orders. Facebook fought a secrecy order in April, in relation to a disability fraud investigation, but it lost the case in New York highest state court.

Facebook says about half of U.S. requests are accompanied by a non-disclosure order prohibiting it from notifying affected users. In April, a local judge in Washington denied Facebook's request to remove the gag order there, according to the document. Facebook is appealing and has preserved the relevant records pending the outcome, the document said.

"The government can only insulate its actions from public scrutiny in this way in the rarest circumstances, which likely do not apply here," said Andrew Crocker, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit group that advocates for digital rights.

Published in Apps

South Korean conglomerate Samsung Electronics has announced its plans to invest 21.4 trillion won ($18.6 billion) into South Korea in an effort to strengthen and extend its lead in memory chips and next-generation displays for smartphones. Samsung has claimed that the investment could create up to 440,000 new jobs from now until 2021 – which would significantly boost the South Korean economy.

Samsung is the world’s largest chip maker by revenue and has indicated it intends to invest 14.4 trillion won by 2021 in its new NAND factory in Pyeongtaek. In addition to this, it disclosed that it plans to invest 6 trillion won in a new semiconductor production facility in Hwaseong, but declined to elaborate further on the timing or product.

Samsung will also develop a new production line to its NAND plant in Xi’an, China, which investment analysts have suggested is in response to booming demand for long-term data storage chips. However, it has thus far not set an investment amount or time frame.

Industry experts have predicted that Samsung and other leading memory makers will post record profit in 2017 - caused primarily due to a persistent shortage and demand for more capability in smartphones and servers increase prices. Industry sources and analysts said the shortage is more acute for NAND chips due to increasing adoption of high-end storage products.

Analysts have also claimed that Samsung’s production technologies are much more mature and are at least a year ahead of its rivals such as Toshiba and SK Hynix. Samsung invests more than $10 billion in semiconductors on an annual basis, which has provided the foundations for Samsung to take the lead, and according to analysts this latest investment strategy will only widen the gap even further.

Samsung and its rivals Toshiba and SK Hynix has committed tens of billions of dollars to boost NAND output in recent years, yet analysts and industry sources have said that they believe shortages will persist through 2017 and new facilities created will not make any meaningful supply contributions until next year. However, some have suggested that additional capacity could lead to oversupply in early 2018, but that price crashes are unlikely as smartphone makers opt for greater internal storage.

"I believe NAND market conditions will continue to favor suppliers until 2020," said HMC Investment analyst Greg Roh. Any oversupply issues will be temporary and limited to seasonally weaker periods, he said.

Samsung's investment plan comes on the back of South Korean President Moon Jae-in plea for local businesses to create more jobs and help reinvigorate the economy. In China, some South Korean firms have suffered from sales decline or have been forced to scale down operations due to retaliatory measures from Beijing over the deployment of a US anti-missile defense system outside Seoul. However, China smartphone makers remain one of Samsung’s biggest customers and are among its biggest buyers of memory chips and displays.

Published in Telecom Vendors

The CEO of Australia’s leading telecommunications firm Telstra has warned operators that consumer data prices will soon be a thing of the past. Andrew Penn issued the stark statement when delivering his keynote address at Mobile World Congress Shanghai. (MWCS 2017)

According to Penn operators need to prepare for already declining consumer data prices to reach zero within the next 5-10 years. Telstra’s CEO insisted that it was critical that operators diversified away from being just ‘connectivity providers’ - and that they must focus on providing other services for consumers on top of connectivity.

Penn said: “There is a real possibility that the price for data to the consumer will go to zero in the next 5-10 years. Operators must ensure that they can offer customers wider, consumer-friendly services in order to ensure relevance, sustainability and new revenue streams which will help them avoid falling further down the value chain.”

In addition to this, Penn warned of the dangers of spending too much time focusing on ‘cool technology’ being displayed at MWC Shanghai – and not enough on how innovations would be delivered for the good of the customer. Penn added: “We need to ensure that new products that are designed are intuitive and customer friendly.” Telstra’s CEO highlighted Netflix as a successful example of this.

Telstra have introduced a series of new initiatives specifically designed to improve the user interface of new services after conducting an investigation of its customer service calls. Penn revealed that a staggering 90% of queries which were made to Telstra’s customer help center could’ve been avoided if improvements in technology or customer care had been implemented with new technologies.

Telstra have come under scathing criticism in recent weeks in Australia, following the organization’s decision to axe over 1,500 members of its workforce, citing increased competition as the main factor in its decision to reduce staff.

Published in Telecom Operators

Zain, Kuwait’s leading telecommunications company, today announced their collaboration to launch a new cloud disaster recovery service that will provide IBM and Zain’s enterprise customers with cloud-based business continuity capabilities and faster disaster recovery of their critical IT systems, without incurring the infrastructure expense of a second physical site. Through the new service, customers will benefit from the added flexibility of keeping their data in-country on IBM Cloud.

The disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) market size in the Middle East is $100.64 million and is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 44.8 percent through 2021. The Middle East region is experiencing a significant increase in DRaaS adoption due to the increasing number of cyberattacks and other data threats like security breaches, software and hardware failures, and power outages, according to MarketsandMarkets.

The new cloud disaster recovery service will help protect IBM and Zain customers against data loss from their own servers or from other cloud services, and can maintain readiness without the need to invest in additional physical space or stand-by hardware. The service will provide replication of critical applications, infrastructure, data and systems to IBM Cloud so customers can recover from an IT outage within minutes.

Amr Refaat, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan, commented: “Unplanned downtime or data loss is a risk any business can face. Not only can this lead to business loss but present a threat to a company’s reputation amongst its customers, stakeholders, and the wider public. Having a resiliency plan in place should play an integral part in every business. Through the new cloud disaster recovery service, IBM and Zain customers can run their operations at ease, while we provide around-the-clock monitoring of the recovery environments.”

“Today’s announcement comes as part of our vision to transform Zain into a digital lifestyle provider," said Zain Kuwait’s Chief Executive Officer Eaman Al Roudhan. “The business needs of our corporate customers are continuously changing, and offering them innovative solutions to help maintain resiliency is a top priority for us.”

The cloud disaster recovery team will monitor developing disaster events 24/7 and help ensure that the infrastructure of IBM and Zain customers is equipped to handle the latest threats to keep data, applications and transactions secure. The new service will also enable customers to adjust and customize their resiliency strategies to their own requirements to optimize recovery time.

The new service underscores IBM’s expanding business continuity and resiliency services portfolio. In today’s “always-on” world, IBM offerings like DRaaS and Cloud Resiliency Orchestration are built to simplify and automate the disaster recovery process, increase workflow efficiency, and reduce risk, cost, and system testing time for clients around the world. With more than 50 years of business continuity and disaster recovery experience, today IBM has over 300 resiliency centers across 68 countries.

Zain’s strategy of being a sustainable digital communications company has long focused on the customer experience and using technology to create more value for the customer. The launch of this service is one of the major steps in the company’s strategic plan to introduce more distinctive digital services dedicated to corporate and enterprise customers.

Corporate data is becoming what oil is to Saudi Arabia, says Clear Peak analyst Brad Cowdrey – outrageously profitable. There is so much valuable data available to corporations today, he says, and its potential uses are “proliferating so rapidly” that not using it would be “negligent”. But the dominance of tech giants that rule the data world has prompted calls for them to be broken up, the same way Standard Oil was in the early 20th century, over antitrust concerns.

Data in the digital era has spawned the dominance of renowned technology giants. Today, the world’s most valuable listed firms all deal in big data: Alphabet (parent company of Google), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. These tech titans have seen their profits surge in recent years, collectively racking up over $25 billion in net profit in the first quarter of 2017. Alphabet is estimated to be worth a staggering US$498 billion compared to Apple's market cap of around US$495 billion.

Google’s 21st century data-driven mindset treats information “as a principal asset – like oil – that must be actively managed and leveraged,” says Cowdrey. But the value of firms like Google that profit from handling the data of billions of people has prompted calls for antitrust regulators to restrain those who control its flow – but some reports suggest that traditional watchdog methods are outdated.

The success of the dominant tech giants has undoubtedly benefited customers worldwide. For instance, Google’s search engine and Google Maps app has fundamentally simplified the lives of people around the world, the same way Amazon’s one-day delivery services have, and also Facebook’s revolutionary social media platform. Many of the services provided by these tech giants are free-of-charge, but customers end up paying in a less traditional way: handing over valuable data.

The cause for concern, a report by The Economist suggests, is that having so much knowledge about consumers gives internet giants “enormous power”. As of the first quarter of 2017, Facebook had 1.94 billion monthly active users feeding valuable information into the platform for the company to monetize into advertizing ventures. In the third quarter of 2012, the number of active Facebook users had surpassed 1 billion, making it the first social network ever to do so.

Regulators are entrusted to make sure that huge companies, like Facebook, don’t obtain too much power. But it has been suggested that the old way of approaching anti-competition concerns, such as in the era of oil dominance, is now “outdated”. New approaches are needed to tackle anti-competition in the modern tech industry.

Antitrust regulators came down hard on the oil industry in May 1911, when the US Supreme Court called for the dissolution of the Standard Oil Company, ruling it was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The court’s decision forced Standard to break into 34 independent firms spread across the US. Many of these companies have since split, folded or merged; today, the primary descendents of Standard include ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

Antitrust concerns soon affected the tech industry as the influence of American tech giants burgeoned. In April 2012, the US Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and a group of book publishers alleging they colluded to fix e-book prices. The plan was put in place by Apple and the publishers because the companies feared Amazon, which was selling e-books below cost and was monopolizing the market.

Apple also faced a lawsuit filed in 2011 seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for monopoly abuse regarding its App Store. Apple was accused of creating a monopoly by making its App Store the only place to purchase iPhone applications. Lack of competition thus pushed App Store prices higher.

Meanwhile, Google has been fighting multiple claims by the European Commission which has accused the company of blocking rivals in the lucrative online search advertising market. Google also rejected allegations that it abused the market dominance of its Android mobile phone operating system.

“Google has come up with many innovative products that have made a difference to our lives. But that doesn’t give Google the right to deny other companies the chance to compete and innovate,” said Margrethe Vestager, European Competition Commissioner, at a news conference in Brussels, Belgium, in July 2016.

The Economist report claims the traditional antitrust methods of the past are no long useful and need to adapt to the 21st century. For example, antitrust regulators watch out for how large companies have grown to determine when they should intervene. But in today’s digital era, antitrust regulators need to take into account the extent of firms’ data assets when assessing the impact of major deals, rather than the size of the company itself.

Another key trigger for regulators to monitor today is the amount of money which firms are willing to fork out to acquire another company. If the amount is unusually high, it could indicate that the company is attempting to eliminate a “nascent threat”.

For instance, Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp, which had no revenue to speak of before it was acquired, should have raised flags when the instant messaging app was purchased for $19 billion. Facebook even attempted to acquire another rival, Snapchat, which rejected the offer.

Antitrust regulators need to become more “data-savvy” when analyzing the market today, the report says, such as using simulations to “hunt algorithms colluding over prices” or finding ways to boost promotion of competition.

Another solution could be to force online services to hand over data and give more control to those who supply it. In that respect, consumers would have more knowledge about exactly what information companies have about them and companies could be forced to reveal how much money they make from consumer data.

Governments could play a role by encouraging the emergence of new services in the industry by opening up more of their own data, the report suggests, or “managing crucial parts of the economy as public infrastructure” similar to India’s digital identity system, Aadhaar.

A further suggestion is for governments to “mandate the sharing of certain kinds of data” with the consent of users. This approach has been picked up in Europe by financial services requiring banks to make customers’ data accessible to third parties.

However, not all data is intended to be made public, and therein lies the problem with the information sharing era. Governments face a difficult time ahead, attempting to regulate the data economy which, for now, is dominated by a few giants – similar to the oil industry in its infancy.

The Economist report suggests that governments should share more data to equal out the competition and allow more businesses to thrive in the area of data and technology, but too much data sharing could threaten the privacy citizens and national security. While there is no simple solution, the need for effective regulation of the data economy is dire.

Published in Reports
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