Displaying items by tag: Nokia

Nokia launches security software for cloud-native deployments

Written on Thursday, 09 November 2017 10:19

Nokia announced its next-generation “Session Border Controller” software, offering service providers dramatically higher levels of performance and security for their cloud-native deployments.

Nokia SBC acts as the gatekeeper at the edge of the network, preventing cyber-attacks, IP-bandwidth overload and unauthorized access attempts launched against communication interfaces from devices and other peer networks.

The new software provides enhanced capabilities to help customers better manage and protect media and signaling streams within and across their networks, ensuring high-quality, uninterrupted delivery of voice and video.

Extensive testing by Miercom, an independent organization specializing in networking and communications product testing, revealed that Nokia's newest cloud-native SBC delivers performance on par with hardware-based SBC solutions, and far surpasses that of other comparable cloud-based products the firm previously tested.

"Nokia's cloud-based SBC software demonstrated impressive levels of performance, security and scalability in our testing, delivering high signaling and media plane performance, powerful encryption/decryption capabilities, strong DoS and DDoS protection, and more,” said Rob Smithers, CEO of Miercom. “It offers service providers a safe, reliable and affordable way to migrate their session border controllers to a cloud environment."

Key findings from Miercom's testing report revealed that Nokia's new SBC software delivered carrier-grade performance for the most demanding signaling and media plane use cases when implemented as Virtual Network Functions (VNFs). The software also provided complete mitigation of DDoS attacks without any degradation in voice or video call handling and quality; and it also delivered high-density transcoding, encryption, decryption and other compute-intensive tasks, ensuring high-quality, private connections for voice and VoIP calls.

In addition, the software demonstrated high resiliency in failover tests under a high call load (800 calls per second with Transport Layer Security) with 100 percent successful handover of established calls. Is also supported the highest per-VNF capacity for software-based media and signaling compared to other pure-cloud SBC competitors.

"All service providers deploying IP-based communications services need session border control to protect the network at the boundaries. We're the only vendor to offer a cloud-native SBC solution that is field proven in large communication service provider networks with tens of millions of subscribers,” said Bhaskar Gorti, president of Applications & Analytics at Nokia. “The validation by Miercom underscores our ability to deliver world-class products that help customers ensure the safety, reliability and performance of their IP networks."

Nokia SBC enables communication service providers to cost-effectively control, secure and manage access, peering, IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), VoLTE and over-the-top (OTT) applications within a single software package, and helps deliver a high-quality voice and video experience for end users.

Designed for cloud deployments, Nokia's SBC software is fully virtualized and supports OpenStack and VMware telco-cloud environments, and is currently used by more than 90 service providers globally, including 12 of the top 25 mobile network providers.

Saudi Arabia’s Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), in collaboration with Nokia, has successfully conducted a trial of LTE to the Home (LTTH) and implemented it using FastMile technology to enable LTE technology on a 4G network and become available on 2G networks. This comes out of Mobily’s interest to provide the best speeds for its customers with high quality.

“We have a long and fruitful relationship with Nokia, and this successful trial starts a new chapter in our association, through applying FastMile Nokia technology that will enable Mobily to extend the reach of our network in new areas. At the same time, it will allow us to use the existing infrastructure thus helping us to control our expenditure,” said Alaa Malki – CNO, Mobily.

Such contributions from Mobily are due to it being a leading company in the field of telecom and IT in Saudi Arabia, and out of its pursuit to implement the latest technologies for the benefit of its customers to enjoy high quality services in line with current and future technological developments.

“We are pleased to work with Mobily on this trial and support their plans to provide best-in-class broadband services to their subscribers,” said Tony Awad, Head of Mobily Customer Team, Nokia. “With this deployment, Mobily will be able to attract new customers who are currently unable to enjoy broadband services. Nokia FastMile will also allow them to minimize the deployment cost by utilizing the existing mobile infrastructure.”

Published in Telecom Operators

Nokia and Zain Saudi Arabia are deploying Nokia's FastMile technology to provide a superior customer experience to Zain's customers. The deployment, the first for Nokia FastMile in the Middle East and Africa region, follows a successful trial of the technology which recorded speeds of 20 Mbps - significant considering the current demands on 4G networks - and provided seamless 4G macro network coverage to reach users located in a challenging environment.

Zain is deploying the technology in the western and southern region of the country and also in the cities of Jeddah and Makkah. Interestingly, the FastMile solution will not only be deployed in the typical rural environments, but more in suburban areas, where no fiber or copper network is available, using the 1800 MHz band.

"We are enthusiastic about the success of the Nokia FastMile trial and the subsequent deployment of the technology, which will help us address the problem of poor in-house coverage and provide a much-improved user experience,” said Eng. Sultan Abdulaziz AlDeghaither, Chief Technology Officer, Zain Saudi Arabia. “We are committed to providing the best-in-class quality of experience to our customers, and this project is a key step in that direction."

Service providers usually struggle with in-house coverage in a 4G network. Nokia FastMile allows them to improve in-house coverage and provide ultra-fast mobile broadband speeds to end-users by cost effectively re-using an existing macro network infrastructure. In this case, the increase in throughput will enable Zain to build additional revenue streams by launching new and innovative services, as well as help attract new subscribers.

"This deployment starts a new chapter in our longstanding relationship with Zain. We look forward to working with them to deliver a better broadband experience,” said Ali Al Jitawi, head of the Zain Saudi Arabia customer team at Nokia. “FastMile provides operators with an innovative way to re-use existing networks to meet growing broadband requirements. This deployment reinforces Zain's technology leadership, allowing it to use the latest technology solutions to meet the requirements of their customers."

Published in Telecom Operators

Nokia released its Q3 financial results for 2017 showing net sales of €5.5 billion for the quarter compared to €6 billion for the same period last year. The company reported a 7 percent year-on-year sales decrease in Q3. Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said the company’s patent licensing business was the “clear highlight” of the quarter.

“We reached a favorable arbitration outcome with LG and have since reached an agreement with them on a license for a longer term than what was set out in the arbitration,” Suri said. “With this fast and effective execution against our patent licensing strategy, we have approximately doubled our recurring licensing revenue from €578 million in 2014.”

Suri said he was pleased that in 2017, the growth in patent licensing helped to offset the sales decline on the Networks side. “We have excellent momentum and considerable opportunity to further develop the business in 2018 and beyond,” he said.

The company saw strength in parts of its Networks business in Q3. On the sales side, Nokia saw constant currency year-on-year growth in Global Services and IP Routing as well as in its Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific regions. Orders were up in many areas, according to Suri, including Applications & Analytics, which logged its fifth consecutive quarter of order growth in Q3, showing the progress being made to build a strong, stand-alone software business.

On the profitability side, the overall Networks gross margin of 38.6 percent was up compared to one year ago, a “remarkable achievement” Suri said, in the “context of a market that remains challenging”. In addition, Global Services and IP Networks and Applications delivered improvements for Nokia in operating margin compared to Q3 2016, at 8.1 percent and 10.7 percent, respectively.

Suri said the company continued to build momentum in its strategy to expand customer base beyond communication service providers. Across the adjacent segments that Nokia’s targeting, year-to-date orders were up by double-digit percentages and sales were up by 8 percent, excluding the former Alcatel-Lucent third-party integration business that the company is currently winding down.

“We also added more than 60 new customers in these adjacent segments so far this year, including China Pacific Insurance Company, the first large enterprise win for our Nuage business in China,” Suri said. “With cable operators, we won the first customer - WOW! in the United States - for our new products coming from the acquisition of Gainspeed, which we are also trialing with almost a dozen customers, including some of the industry's largest players.”

These results, he said, “reflect the power of our disciplined operating model and the advantages of our end-to-end portfolio.” In a market where competition remains robust, operational discipline is a must, he added, and it is a “core strength of Nokia.”

Furthermore, as the market transitions to 5G, Suri said he believes that the benefits of Nokia’s portfolio will become even more apparent given that 5G is about much more than Radio. It requires Cloud core, IP routing, transport of many kinds, fixed wireless access, Software-Defined Networking and more - and Nokia is one of the few companies that are able to meet all those needs.

Nokia experienced some challenges in its Mobile Networks business and saw a continued decline in its primary addressable market in 2018. That decline, which the company estimates to be in the range of 2 percent to 5 percent, is the result of the multiple technology transitions underway; robust competition in China; and near-term headwinds from potential operator consolidation in a handful of countries.

“In terms of the issues we are facing in Mobile Networks, I have noted in previous quarters that the R&D team in this business group has faced an extraordinarily high workload,” Suri said. “Given this situation, we have seen some issues with the time taken to merge some products that have, unfortunately, impacted a small number of customers. As a result, Mobile Networks has experienced both revenue pressure and an increase in expected network equipment swap costs.”

He said the company is “committed to getting these things back on track and we are already seeing meaningful improvements”. Field deployments of Nokia’s new AirScale products were ramping up in all the company’s geographies, including with key North American customers. These products help improve operator competitiveness, Suri said, not just by addressing cost challenges, but also by setting a new standard for performance and flexibility.

Suri also noted that despite some additional investment required in Mobile Networks to maintain product leadership, Nokia is committed to its €1.2 billion cost savings plan in full-year 2018. These savings come at a slightly higher cost than previously expected, and Nokia will continue to assess opportunities to deliver further savings in the area of cost-of-goods sold.

“Regarding our cash position, I am not satisfied with our performance in the third quarter and we are redoubling our efforts in this area. Maintaining our strong balance sheet is a clear priority,” said Suri. “In short, Q3 was a period in which we faced some challenges, but delivered good performance in many areas as well as momentum in the execution of our strategy.”

Published in Finance

Nokia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with St Luke's Eldercare (SLEC) to co-develop and conceptualize innovative solutions for the elderly. As part of the MoU, Nokia and SLEC are trialing Asia's first fall prediction video analytics application.

SLEC is an aged-care service provider with an extensive network of senior care centers around Singapore, providing center-based daycare, day rehabilitation and nursing services; and home-based medical, nursing and therapy services.

The solution leverages Nokia Bell Labs' proprietary video analytics technology to create an unobtrusive and continuous monitoring system to determine the likelihood of an elderly person falling. The personalized and predictive solution will analyze information about walking speed, gait width and step width, and predict and send an alert when there is an increased risk of the person falling.

This application will be integrated into Nokia's IMPACT IoT Platform in the next phase, to allow the caregiver to view and collect information from the solution and other sensors that the elder is using.

"Our partnership with Nokia aligns with our commitment to meeting the evolving needs of our patients, clients and caregivers, and our long term vision of transforming community care,” said Dr. Kenny Tan, Chief Executive Officer of SLEC. “We hope that by trialing this solution with Nokia, it will enable significant improvements on fall risk prediction, early intervention, and care provision before seniors suffer an injury." 

A joint study on eldercare IoT innovation, developed by Nokia and the Eden Strategy Institute, revealed that one-in-three elderly Singaporeans is likely to experience a fall once a year, with resulting injuries contributing at least S$1 billion to total healthcare costs.  

Being an experienced aged-care service provider with an extensive network of senior care centers around Singapore, SLEC's role is to provide guidance and feedback on the software development process.

"Nokia is committed to transforming digital healthcare and our innovative solutions aim to make a real difference in the lives of people,” said Danial Mausoof, head of Strategic Marketing, Asia Pacific & Japan for Nokia. “By empowering the elderly to live independently through personalized and predictive solutions, we are shaping the future of technology to transform the human experience, accelerating a digital future and reimagining healthcare in Asia."

Published in Internet of Things

Nokia is bringing several new products to its extensive FTTx portfolio so operators can accelerate ultra-broadband deployments and deliver more bandwidth to more people sooner. Nokia's enhanced FTTx portfolio includes fiber and high-speed DSL deployment options including a mini outdoor fiber node, a 212Mhz reverse-power G.fast solution and DSL backhaul remote nodes. 

"As customer demand for ultra-broadband access continues to increase, operators need a wide range of technology options to meet evolving requirements and effectively address different use cases,” said Federico Guillén, president of Nokia's Fixed Networks Business Group. “With the industry's most advanced and complete portfolio of solutions across fiber, DSL, cable and wireless, Nokia is uniquely equipped to help operators address any situation they may face today and in the future."

Operators are evolving their access networks to better meet consumer demands for higher speeds and deliver on the promise of ubiquitous coverage. However, with vastly different challenges across their networks, a "one size fits all" approach does not always make sense. Having the flexibility to choose the right technology and deployment practice allows operators to overcome these challenges, fill coverage gaps in the network and deliver on the promise of ultra-broadband for all.

Nokia is introducing a number of new micro-nodes that provide operators with the flexibility, speed and scale required to effectively deliver ultra-broadband access and services to more people sooner. The FTTx solutions introduce several fiber and DSL access nodes, covering a wide range of applications and use cases.

These include a weatherized fiber access micro-node that can be deployed in any outdoor location, eliminating the need to invest in the central office, cabinets or remote weather protected locations. Supporting GPON, XGS-PON and TWDM-PON, the new solution also simplifies and accelerates the operator's fiber network evolution. 

The solutions also include reverse-powered G.fast micro-nodes that can be used in areas where access to the power grid is challenging. The solution is supported by Nokia's cloud-native software platform, Altiplano, which allows for provisioning of the access node even when it’s powered down.

212Mhz G.fast micro-nodes, also part of Nokia’s solutions, is capable of supporting up to 1 symmetrical gigabit speeds aggregate over a single copper pair or Coax cable. With 212 MHz G.fast, operators can extend gigabit speeds into multiple dwelling units (MDU) without installing fiber cable.

The final solution is DSL nodes that provide operators with extensive copper networks with a CTTx (copper-to-the-x) option capable of delivering 200Mbps up to 1,000 meters away using bonded DSL pairs in the uplink, extending ultra-broadband access into areas where fiber may not be practical.

Operators can also leverage fiber and DSL remote nodes including the Lightspan SX-16F, DX-16F and CF-24 announced under Nokia's Lightspan portfolio which leverage software defined networking and network function virtualization (SDN/NFV) to automate network configuration management, accessibility, serviceability and turn-up time.

Roland Montagne, principal analyst at IDATE, said: "The ability to support a wide range of use cases in a cost-effective manner is key for operators seeking to bring ultra-broadband to more people sooner. Nokia already has an extensive portfolio of fixed access technologies and these new FTTx solutions will further enhance the toolkit, providing operators with the additional technology options they need to accelerate ultra-broadband access and meet objectives in a competitive manner."   

Published in Telecom Vendors

Nuage Networks, the Nokia venture focused on software-defined networking (SDN) solutions, announced a significant addition to its roster of global financial customers with its first SDN-based, large enterprise project win in China with China Pacific Insurance Company (CPIC), the country's second-largest property insurance company.

The private cloud SDN project, won via Nokia Shanghai Bell, will use Nuage Networks Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) in two CPIC data centers: one to integrate the dispersed IT systems of 82 branch offices into one unified private cloud platform, and the second to assist in building and testing the company cloud for R&D. As a result, CPIC can achieve improved flexibility, agility and security, all while simplifying network operations and lowering IT costs.

“Nuage Networks VSP has a clear momentum in the telecoms industry, and we’re excited to bring that same technology to large enterprises here in China, in this case helping CPIC deliver a unified cloud experience,” said Jin Jian, head of the Enterprise & Public Sector unit at Nokia Shanghai Bell.

“Working with a top insurer like CPIC serves as an excellent reference for the broader industry, and we see this as an opportunity to win more large enterprise projects in China, continuing Nokia’s push into vertical markets beyond the telecoms space,” Jian added.

Nuage Networks VSP will enhance CPIC's efficiency by increasing scale and reducing errors with a centralized policy manager. The solution gives CPIC and other financial institutions greater agility to automate the configuration, management and optimization of virtual networks, including security services for individual applications and workloads.

The contract builds on Nokia's track-record of helping financial services companies to digitally transform, a key focus of the company as it expands its customer base beyond the traditional telecommunications sphere. Deployment started in August 2017.

Nokia and Zain Saudi Arabia have successfully completed the Middle East's first trial of LTE-Unlicensed, combining unlicensed spectrum in the 5GHz frequency band with 1800 MHz spectrum to deliver a downlink speed of 223 megabits per second.

Following the trial, the Nokia technology will be deployed in hotspots, for example, in malls and cafes in Jeddah and around the Holy Mosque in Makkah. The project to develop the use of LTE-U in the Kingdom marks an important step for Zain to offer a superior subscriber experience using unlicensed spectrum.

“There has been exponential growth in the demand for high-speed mobile broadband services,” said Eng. Sultan Abdulaziz AlDeghaither, Chief Technology Officer, Zain Saudi Arabia. “This trial with the support of our longstanding and trusted partner, Nokia, is an important step in our commitment to adopt the latest technological solutions to provide innovative and best possible services to our subscribers. It will also give us a crucial competitive edge.”

Service providers like Zain are looking to technology innovation to serve the ever-increasing data needs of their customers. LTE-U is one such approach, combining traditional LTE with LTE in unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum to enable service providers deliver exceptional service quality without significantly increasing their spectrum expenses.

Small cells are integral to successfully utilizing unlicensed LTE, and Nokia's Flexi Zone multiband small cell technology will support Zain in significantly increasing downlink data rates for mobile devices while also enhancing mobility, security, and the reliability of 4G/LTE connections.

“The trial underlines Nokia's technological excellence and innovation, as well as its commitment to ensuring service providers can provide the best experience to their customers,” said Ali Al Jitawi, head of the Zain Saudi Arabia customer team at Nokia. “This deployment will enable Zain to enhance the in-building quality of its service without increasing expenditure.”

Published in Telecom Operators

Zain Iraq to modernize and expand radio networks

Written on Sunday, 15 October 2017 07:31

Nokia will modernize and expand Zain Iraq's radio networks with its most advanced technologies across Karbala, Najaf and Basra, with a special focus on the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, to support the expected increase in data and voice traffic during the annual Holy event Zeyara as millions of people converge on the region.

Once completed, the upgrade will allow users to enjoy improved indoor and outdoor coverage in both urban and rural areas as well as increased data throughput, leading to an overall superior customer experience.

“Nokia fully understands Zain Iraq's requirements and is committed to providing leading technologies to enable pioneering services for its subscribers,” said Bernard Najm, head of the Middle East Market Unit at Nokia. “Nokia's solutions cater to the unique connectivity requirements of mass events, and will help Zain Iraq address the expected surge in data and voice consumption during Zeyara.”

Nokia's project management and proven services expertise will be used to expand and modernize Zain Iraq's 2G and 3G network, providing ubiquitous coverage and faster mobile broadband.

Additionally, the Nokia Mass Event Handler will be deployed to address the surge in data and voice consumption expected during Zeyara. The network modernization will allow visitors to remain continuously connected with their loved ones through superior voice and data connectivity during Al Arba'een and beyond.

“Our top priority is to provide superior services for our subscribers,” said Ali Al-Zahid, Chief Executive Officer of Zain Iraq. This network modernization and expansion is only the beginning of providing the best possible service quality and coverage with the most advanced technologies across the overall Karbala and Najaf and rest of sourthern region.”

Al-Zahid said Zain Iraq selected Nokia, its longstanding technology partner, for the important project, as the company is “confident that [Nokia’s] advanced technologies will enable our network to provide such superior services. The current project will also enable a best-in-class mobile experience for visitors to Zeyara when we expect a high turnout this year."

Published in Infrastructure

Nokia and Zain Saudi Arabia have taken a significant step towards the creation of an IoT ecosystem in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the successful trial of NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) technology at a live site in Mina area of Makkah Province.

"This Saudi-first IoT trial in a live network again shows our strong commitment to bring new services to make people's lives more comfortable and productive,” said Eng. Sultan Abdulaziz AlDeghaither, Chief Technology Officer, Zain Saudi Arabia. “It has been a fruitful, decade-long journey with our longtime partner Nokia in transforming telecom services in Saudi Arabia, and now this successful joint trial accelerates our initiatives in building smart cities across the Kingdom including Riyadh and Jeddah."

In the trial - which used smart metering as a potential use case - NB-IoT was applied to communicate temperature, humidity and air pressure from a remote location via a Nokia LTE base station at 900 MHz, demonstrating the role NB-IoT could play in applications such as smart metering for electricity departments, smart parking and smart waste management. The trial follows the MoU signed by Nokia and Zain Saudi Arabia to collaborate on 5G and IoT development.

"This trial is the first step in utilizing Zain's country-wide LTE network assets to create a cost-efficient IoT ecosystem and introduce new services,” said Ali Al Jitawi, head of the Zain Saudi Arabia customer team at Nokia. “NB-IoT will help connect numerous devices, opening revenue opportunities in many verticals including transport, manufacturing, healthcare, energy, agriculture and home appliances."

 NB-IoT is a 3GPP Release 13 radio access technology designed to enable connectivity to IoT devices. The technology works in almost any environment, with its strong coverage capability connecting devices in hard-to-reach locations and its use of existing mobile networks allowing for the transfer of small data packets securely and reliably. In addition, with NB-IoT's very low power consumption, device battery life can last about 10 years.

In the NB-IoT trial, data was transferred using Nokia's LTE radio platform Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station and Nokia's professional services expertise, including system integration, network implementation, and care services.

Zain KSA and Nokia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in April 2016 to collaborate on a major initiative that will transform Jeddah into a model for smart cities in the country and worldwide by 2018.

Published in Telecom Operators
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