Displaying items by tag: services

Nokia selected to build new mobile network in Japan

Written on Wednesday, 13 February 2019 12:33

Nokia announced today it is working with Rakuten to build a new mobile network in Japan. Nokia will provide full turnkey services to plan, manage, deploy and integrate cloud RAN, AirGile cloud-native core network technology and several Nokia software functions.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the Rakuten Group offers more than 70 services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to more than 1.2 billion members across the globe. Rakuten will leverage its experience as an IT company and its membership base of more than 100 million users in Japan as it enters the market as a Greenfield mobile operator and digital service provider.

Rakuten's distributed cloud network, along with Nokia and Rakuten's work to automate the network build and deployment process, will help reduce network operation costs and enhance operational efficiencies.

Nokia will provide turnkey deployment and integration of the new radio network leveraging a 'zero footprint' site approach with remote radio heads connected to cloud RAN software on the edge cloud, to speed deployment and network scalability.

Nokia is working with Rakuten on several underlying core functions to maximize automation, AI and machine learning to reduce the cost of operations to a fraction of legacy networks.

The network will be deployed across Japan - including Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya - and use Nokia Cloud RAN, AirScale radios (remote radio heads) and the Nokia AirGile cloud-native core, incorporating technologies such as Nokia IP Multimedia Subsystem, Session Border Controller and Telco Application Server for the fast roll-out of services such as Voice over LTE.

Rakuten and Nokia are completely aligned on the Future X network vision and it is being implemented in Rakuten's brand new mobile network operation in Japan. The building of the network is underway and user trials in Tokyo have already begun.

Yoshihisa Yamada, Representative Director and President of Rakuten Mobile Network, Inc. said: "We are delighted to work with Nokia on co-creating and deploying an open virtualized radio access network. Together, we have managed to disaggregate the current RAN platform by separating hardware and software, and implementing the Radio software as a Virtual Network Function running on Rakuten Cloud Platform (RCP)."

John Harrington, head of Nokia Japan, said: "This is a groundbreaking deployment that is at the forefront of cloud native technology and digital transformation in Japan. By combining the latest technology in cloud and automation with Nokia's hardware, software and services, Rakuten will emerge as the first Japanese service provider to use a full cloud-based service model."

Published in Telecom Vendors

KDDI, a leading telecommunications operator in Japan, is deploying Nokia's G.fast solution to apartments and multi-dwelling units (MDU) buildings to deliver ultra-broadband services to customers.

Reducing the need to install new fiber, Nokia's technology will enable KDDI to use existing copper lines in MDU buildings to deliver 830Mbps combined uplink and downlink speeds to customers.

To support customers' ultra-broadband needs, Japanese operators are using fiber where possible along with new technologies like G.fast for a large number of MDU locations where copper is already installed.

Developed by Nokia Bell Labs, G.fast uses vectoring technology to effectively reduce cross-talk interference that typically impacts data speeds over copper networks. 

Providing support for Japan's VDSL2 specifications, Nokia's G.fast solution will minimize the impact to existing VDSL systems and enable operators to quickly upgrade their high-speed internet service to gigabit class through a simple CPE (customer premises equipment) replacement.  

KDDI has been deploying Nokia's G.fast solution and has started its rollout of 'au Hikari MDU Type G'.

Teresa Mastrangelo, principal analyst at Broadband Trends said: "G.fast continues to be a preferred choice for operators seeking to deliver gigabit broadband services to MDUs as it eliminates many of the issues found with FTTH deployments such as building types and access.  However, in Japan, deploying G.fast can be just as challenging as fiber due to the unique VDSL ecosystem and standards in place. 

As one of the few vendors capable of supporting both the global and local Japanese VDSL standard, Nokia has been able to help KDDI capitalize on the benefits of G.fast and seamlessly scale and migrate their network with minimal disruption.  This win is another great example for how G.fast technology is being used to quickly address customers need for greater broadband speeds."    

Shigenari Saito, Administrative Officer, General Manager, Network Technology Development Division, Technology Sector, at KDDI said:

"KDDI already provides 10Gbps service for our 'au Hikari' FTTH customers, but the speed we can provide has been limited to 100Mbps service for MDUs where fiber is difficult to deploy.  Nokia's G.fast solution enables us to connect existing 100Mbps users and new G.fast users under the same DPU (distribution point unit).  This gives us the flexibility and economical path to meet the customer's demands for higher speed.  Our decision to deploy Nokia G.fast is based on our long-term relationship and Nokia continues to be our long-term partner for delivering technology innovations."

Sandra Motley, president of Nokia's Fixed Networks Business Group, said: "Operators looking to quickly roll out new ultra-broadband services are increasingly adopting multi-technology strategies that allow them to maximize the use of both fiber and copper technologies. This is particularly true in some cases like inside an apartment building, where more traditional Fiber-to-the-Home solutions can be very challenging to deploy. We are excited to be working with KDDI to deploy our G.fast solution to deliver fiber-like speeds that will enhance the way customers experience their broadband services."

Published in Telecom Vendors

Hélène Auriol Potier has been appointed Executive Vice President, International at Orange Business Services. She joins Orange from Microsoft where she spent 10 years, most recently as General Manager, Artificial Intelligence, Western Europe.

“Hélène’s deep knowledge of B2B customer needs, as well as her expertise in digital technologies will help our customers shape their innovation and is a perfect match with our ambition to become a leader in a new global, data-driven ecosystem where people, objects and business processes are all connected both inside and outside the company. This is what we envision as the “Internet of Enterprises,” said Helmut Reisinger, CEO, Orange Business Services.

Bringing information technology industry expertise gained in the US, Europe, Africa and Asia, Auriol Potier will help drive forward the company’s growth in areas that are key to support multinational companies in their data journey, including IoT, SD-WAN, cloud, analytics, big data and cyberdefense.

This strategy has already delivered significant results for Orange Business Services, with over 100 new major international customers signed up in 2018.

In cloud services and cybersecurity for example, Orange Business Services has posted seven consecutive years of double-digit growth globally, putting it well on the way to meeting its ambition for 50 percent of cloud revenues to come from outside France by 2022. This has also been driven by key acquisitions in the industry, including Basefarm and the opening of new data centers in Amsterdam and Atlanta.  

With 60 percent of the world’s data expected to come from enterprises in 2025 (vs 30 percent today)[1], Orange Business Services continues to transform its core service portfolio, including network services with the development of its software defined network (SDN)-based offerings, including Flexible SD-WAN. That solution was recognized as Best Enterprise Service in the 2018 World Communications Awards and attracted many new customers, including Siemens, one of the biggest SD-WAN deals ever signed.

Thanks to the Orange international focus on innovation, the company has pioneered a co-innovation approach that facilitates collaboration among the customer, Orange experts and partners to deliver new ideas, test them and bring them to market.

Successes include a project where Orange and its partner Foxtrot Systems are developing a proof of concept to optimize logistics using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for one of its largest European manufacturing customers. With a collaborative open ecosystem of internal talent and partners, Orange Business Services is poised to continue developing innovative solutions to benefit its customers.

Sparke, the International Services arm of the TIM Group and among the top ten global operators, announces the expansion of its South American backbone with a new Point of Presence in Cartagena, Colombia.

The new PoP responds to the fast growing demand for capacity services in Colombia, providing local and international network providers, ISPs, Content Players and OTTs with transport solutions up to 100 GB through Sparkle’s City2City service 

Thanks to the interconnection with the PCCS and SAm-1 cables, Sparkle will provide its customers with advanced connectivity solutions from Colombia and other Latin American countries up to the United States.

The combination of Sparkle’s terrestrial and submarine networks in the Americas, enriched by the new generation Seabras-1 cable, ensures complete redundancy and a top quality data experience.

In the next few months Sparkle will further expand its presence in Colombia, with the opening of a new PoP in Bogotá that will enhance the performance of Sparkle’s global Tier-1 IP transit service Seabone with lower latency and improved traffic routing capabilities.

The new PoPs in Cartagena and Bogotá confirm Sparkle’s positioning as one of the main providers in the Americas and as first Tier-1 backbone in Latam.

Published in Telecom Operators

US operator achieves 5G milestone in San Diego

Written on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 07:00

US telecommunications operator Sprint has achieved a 5G milestone following a pilot trial in the sun-kissed city of San Diego.

Sprint, which is owned by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank announced that it had completed a successful 5G OTA data transmission on its live network. Sprint CTO John Saw has expressed his delight at the success of the 5G project, and claims that it will provide a huge step forward in relation to the operators’ overall plans to launch next-generation services in the forthcoming months.

Sprint disclosed the details of the field test and revealed that it was conducted using 2.5GHz spectrum on the operators’ commercial network with radio equipment from Finnish vendor Nokia and a mobile test device from Qualcomm.

In addition to this, Sprint also disclosed that the trial demonstrated a successful handoff between 4G and 5G connectivity while streaming video, conducting Skype audio and video calls, and sending instant messages. Its test follows the completion of a 5G data transmission in a lab during December 2018. The operator earlier this week announced plans to release a Samsung 5G handset in 2019.

“Sprint 5G is now out of the lab and in the field as we prepare for our commercial launch in the first half of this year,” Saw said in a statement.

Nokia North America CTO Mike Murphy noted Sprint’s use of 2.5GHz spectrum for 5G will allow it to reuse existing 4G sites to provide both indoor and outdoor coverage: “This first standards-based call is thus a critical step towards Sprint’s offering of a 5G service to its customers.”

T-Mobile US recently claimed a similar milestone with what it said was the world’s first 5G data call and video call using 600MHz spectrum.

Published in Telecom Operators

US tech giant signs content agreement with Samsung

Written on Tuesday, 08 January 2019 09:22

US technology behemoth Apple has signed a new agreement with Samsung in relation to its streaming and content services in an effort to offset a decline in iPhone sales. The deal brokered between Apple and the South Korean conglomerate will enable the use of iTunes streaming services on Samsung smart TVs.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Irish telecommunications incumbent Eir has announced that it will ‘retire’ its mobile phone brand Meteor in September. Meteor has been a huge success since its inception in 2001, and has been particularly popular with the young generation of mobile phone users.

However, the mobile phone network will now be rebranded as ‘Eir’, which will see it join an existing mobile phone service provided by the company under the Eir name. Meteor has over 750,000 customers but the new merger will see Eir now have around 1.1 million mobile customers.

A spokesman for the Dublin-based telecommunications firm said that customers would benefit significantly from the rebranding, and assured customers that the transition from Meteor to Eir will be ‘seamless’. Eir, CEO, Richard Moat declared that the new merger decision would enable customers to explore a ‘world of possibilities’.

In a statement, the CEO said, "Meteor customers will continue using their mobiles exactly as before - with the added benefit of a world of possibilities. By focusing on a single mobile brand and reducing the duplication of supporting two brands, we can offer better value and increased innovation."

In addition to this, Meteor customers have received assurances that there will be no change to their current contract and data plans during the transition and rebranding process, whilst the current customer care lines will also remain intact.

Eir formerly known as Eircom acquired Meteor in 2005. It adopted an aggressive approach to marketing and advertising and a significant investment into both areas was subsequently made. Meteor sponsored a number of commercial events, including the Meteor Choice Awards.

The company is reported to be spending around €3m and €4m on its 'Let's make it possible' campaign and believes that the mobile phone business would be better served by benefiting from the lift provided by this campaign than separate marketing investment in Meteor.

It has also been claimed that Eir will begin to communicate the change to customers from this week onwards. The group has 84 retail units nationwide which is comprised of Eir, Meteor and dual branded stores that will all become part of the Eir franchise in the forthcoming months ahead.

Spokesman for Eir, Paul Bradley, said the decision to merge services clearly highlights and indicates the organization’s confidence in Eir. He said, "We have adopted a single brand strategy. You can get your bundle from Eir, your broadband from Eir, your TV from Eir and mobile from Eir. What it reflects is our growing confidence in the Eir brand. We are almost two years in from when the company launched the brand and there has been work to evolve the Meteor brand over the last couple of years because initially it was a youth brand and a pre-pay focused brand. But now it is a much healthier mix of prepay and bill pay."

Published in Telecom Operators

Italian operator Telecom Italia has announced that the Republic of San Marino will become the first country in Europe to have a 5G mobile network. Telecom Italia made the prediction following the disclosure of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with government officials from San Marino.

In a statement issued to the press, Telecom Italia indicated that it plans to update mobile sites of its network with 4.5G in order to enable it to conduct trials on some features of 5G technology, such as evolved mast towers and carrier integration. The interim 3GPP standards for the revolutionary next-generation technology will be released in March 2018.

The Italian operator which is headquartered in Rome also disclosed its intentions to double the amount of existing mobile sites in San Marino, it also plans to install several dozen small cells in the innovative project which would make the microstate the first in Europe to have a 5G mobile network.

In a joint-statement in relation to the MOU between Telecom Italia and government representatives of San Marino, it said, “The particular geographical shape of this territory - and the distribution of its industries favor the use and development of innovative technologies. Thanks to this work, it will be possible to start the first testing of 5G technology on a national scale within the next year.”

San Marino is one of smallest countries in the world with a population of around 30,000 people. Some of the objectives of the project include a new mobile infrastructure with considerable transmission capacity that would be ten times that of 4G. The infrastructure would also be able to connect to large objects ahead of the 2020 deadline set by the EU.

According to Telecom Italia Mobile’s head of technology the scale of the project would see San Marino being established as the first 5G state in the world, which would place it ahead of technological superpowers such as South Korea and Japan. The race to deploy 5G continues to intensify between government bodies and operators.

Reports emerging from Italy suggest that the leading Italian operator has already begun installing 100 small cells in Turin as part of 5G network trials being led by the Italian government. However, it’s being suggested that it has more freedom to experiment in San Marino because there are fewer restrictions on the use of airwaves.

Earlier this month, a consortium of European operators including Telecom Italia expressed its desire to launch 5G services quickly. Industry analysts have predicted that the work currently underway in San Marino will be crucial to 5G in Europe.

Published in Telecom Operators

The Austrian government is set to introduce controversial legislation which would grant police authorities in the country the ability to access encrypted messaging services such as WhatsApp and Skype. The government has claimed that the legislation has been drafted in an effort to ‘crackdown’ on criminals who are increasingly avoiding the use of communication via telephone.

Austria’s Justice Ministry said that government officials has consulted with political, technology, civil rights and legal experts to review its draft legislation - that would ultimately enable authorities to access and monitor real-time conversations on messaging service application.

However, it has transpired that such surveillance would only be permitted with a court order into investigations in relation to potential terrorist activities, or other crimes punishable by at least five years imprisonment. Other EU countries such as France, Italy, Poland and Spain has adopted similar policy changes and introduced new laws.

It remains unclear how Austria would conduct such a surveillance program, although it has been suggested that one approach would involve the installation of software on the computers and mobile devices of suspects using messaging tools with end-to-end encryption. That would prevent the government from accessing information by means of traditional, remote eavesdropping techniques.

It’s been further disclosed that such tools are sold by a handful of Austrian firms who specialize in selling off the shelf surveillance to governments. "Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are gravitating toward this type of spyware to overcome the challenge of end-to-end encryption," said Ronald Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs in Toronto.

Deibert’s institute investigates the abuse of such surveillance tools, and he stressed the importance for governments to make sure they have proper oversight and public accountability when granting police authorities the right to use these particular surveillance technologies. It has been reported that the Austrian Judicial system has already sentenced several individuals to prison for their links to terrorist organizations. Prosecutions were made in a number of cases due to the influence of data from devices that had been seized by law enforcement officials. The government plans to submit the bill to parliament after an Aug. 21 deadline for submission of opinions.

Published in Government

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
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