Displaying items by tag: Russia

Ericsson and Russian service provider MTS have teamed up to provide a superior mobile broadband experience for hundreds of thousands of football fans attending the upcoming global soccer tournament in Russia, through Europe’s largest deployment of Massive MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) to date.

Whether in the stadiums, in fan zones, selected transportation hot spots, or at some of Russia’s most famous landmarks, fans will be able to enjoy higher data speeds in seven of the 11 tournament cities.

In Moscow alone, the deployment covers two stadiums and fan zones, Sheremetyevo airport, Red Square, Tverskaya Street and Gorky Central Park.

Saint Petersburg coverage includes stadium and fan zones, Dvortsovaya Square, and Moskovsky railway station. The other covered cities are Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Niznny Novgorod, Samara and Rostov-on-Don. Ericsson installed AIR 6468 for MTS at more than 40 sites across the seven cities.

Ericsson AIR 6468 is the industry’s first New Radio (NR)-capable radio designed for compatibility with the 5G New Radio standard while also supporting LTE. It features 64 transmit and 64 receive antennas enabling it to support our 5G plug-ins for both Massive MIMO and Multi-User MIMO.

Through the intelligent reuse of system resources, Massive MIMO improves capacity by transmitting data to multiple user devices using the same time and frequency resources with coordinated beam forming and beam steering.

Massive MIMO is making it easier for operators to evolve their networks for a 5G future. This includes Ericsson’s 5G Plug-ins, which are based on many of the breakthrough capabilities in our award-winning 5G Radio Test Bed and 5G Radio Prototypes, currently deployed in operator field trials.

Andrei Ushatsky, Vice President, Technology and IT, MTS, says: "This launch is one of Europe's largest Massive MIMO deployments, covering seven Russian cities, and is a major contribution by MTS in the preparation of the country's infrastructure for the global sporting event of the year. Our Massive MIMO technology, using Ericsson equipment, significantly increases network capacity, allowing tens of thousands of fans together in one place to enjoy high-speed mobile internet without any loss in speed or quality.”

Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President, Head of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson, says: “Hundreds of thousands of football-loving fans are about to experience ultra-high data speeds thanks to our Massive MIMO deployment for MTS across seven tournament cities. Data-demanding mobile connectivity is going to play a huge part in their tournament experiences, so we are delighted to team up with MTS to ensure they enjoy a mobile experience like never before, whether they are at the game, in a fan zone, or at other selected areas.”

More than 1.5 million international fans are expected in Russia across the month-long tournament, which gets underway on June 14 and ends on July 15.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Russia’s MTS upgrading network to prepare for 5G and IoT

Written on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 10:37

MTS, the largest telecommunications operator in Russia, and Ericsson, have agreed to upgrade the network of MTS. Ericsson will deliver the newest software features that will be continuously developed during the next three years.

The scope of the agreement also includes 5G-ready radio hardware, Ericsson Radio Systems and core network with the latest Ericsson Mobile Softswitch Solution (MSS), as well as User Data Consolidation (UDC), providing consolidation of user data for all network functions.

These solutions will upgrade the mobile networks for 2G, 3G and 4G. In addition, MTS will prepare the network for 5G with Ericsson software for Massive IoT solutions, including NB-IoT and Cat-M1 technologies. This enables a wide range of IoT use-cases including metering and sensor applications.

The agreement supports MTS’s strategy of preparing the network with 5G and IoT-ready hardware to enable a fast commercialization of these technologies. The deployment starts Q4 2017 and total value of the contract is expected to exceed EUR 400 million.  

“In April 2017, in Moscow our company demonstrated 5G technology with peak data rates up to 25 Gbit/sec,” said Andrey Ushatsky, MTS Chief Technology Officer. “Now we have reached an agreement with Ericsson, which will supply MTS with new equipment enabling our network to deploy first solutions based on 5G technologies starting 2020.”

Andrey added, “After upgrade, MTS network will provide higher data rates, increased capacity and low latency. These characteristics are critical for IoT and digital services that we are starting to implement today.”

According to the latest edition of Ericsson Mobility Report, many operators will deploy 5G commercially from 2020, in line with the time plan for 5G standardization. In 2022, the number of 5G subscriptions is forecasted to reach more than 500 million.

The adoption rate of 5G mobile broadband is expected to be similar to that of LTE, and rollout will commence in major metropolitan areas, reaching around 15 percent population coverage by 2022. 5G will enable a wide range of use cases for massive IoT and critical IoT.

“Early deployment of IoT and 5G technologies positions Russia as an early adopter of the most advanced ICT solutions,” said Arun Bansal, Head of Ericsson in Europe and Latin America. “Ericsson supports MTS in the company’s goals to meet growing capacity needs and be ready for huge opportunities that will come with 5G and IoT.

Bansal added, “5G will be a major technology in booming industrial digitalization, creating and enhancing industry digitalization use cases such as immersive gaming, autonomous driving, remote robotic surgery, and augmented-reality support in maintenance and repair situations.”  

The announcement represents a milestone in the large-scale commercialization of IoT and 5G technologies in Russia. It follows the agreement of an extensive 5G Memorandum of Understanding signed by MTS and Ericsson in December 2015.

To further demonstrate the capabilities of 5G and IoT technologies, the two companies will roll out 5G demo zones during FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Published in Internet of Things

Russia’s MegaFon shows strength and denies CEO rumors

Written on Wednesday, 13 September 2017 06:37

MegaFon, one of Russia’s leading telecom providers, posted positive results for Q2 2017, with revenue up 13.9 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) to reach RUB 89,689 million. OIBDA increased by 15.8 percent y-o-y to reach RUB 34,236 million. The company has denied recent press speculation regarding the possible resignation of its CEO Sergey Soldatenkov.

In an effort to reassure its shareholders, MegaFon said recent reports and media speculation published in Russian business daily Vedomosti on the possible resignation of the company’s CEO are inaccurate. Sergey Soldatenkov has the “full support” of the board of directors, the company said in a press release, who have been “encouraged by a number of improvements in performance.”

“Shareholders are satisfied with the company’s development and support the management and specifically Mr. Sergey Soldatenkov,” said Mr. Streshinsky, Chairman of the Board of Directors at MegaFon. “Competent implementation by the company’s management of the new strategy made it possible to turn around negative sector trends in 2Q 2017, and the situation in the company’s business and on the market has shown the first signs of improvement.”

According to the press release, the Board of Directors is looking forward to Mr. Soldatenkov “leading the company forward in implementation of its 2020 development strategy.” In May, MegaFon announced a new strategy for its development over the next three years, to transform from a traditional telecom operator into an integrated digital services provider.

In terms of financials, Mr. Soldatenkov said the company has “reached a turning point where we see signs of recovery in our overall mobile revenue which has been declining during the previous quarters.” Mobile data and VAS services were the strongest revenue drivers, he said, as customers “continue to recognize the high quality of our 4G/LTE network.” MegaFon is also focused on increasing efficiency and improving margins, he added.  

In August, MegaFon became one of the first operators in Europe to launch a commercial Gigabit LTE network in partnership with Nokia. The peak data download speed reached 979 Mbps using Nokia Air Scale. The test was conducted using Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium smartphone, using the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, which was the first commercial mobile device in Europe which supports Gigabit LTE.

Nokia Flexi Multiradio modules were used as the base station, which are equipped in most of the sites of the Moscow MegaFon branches, and the Nokia AirScale system module is already in place in order to support the path to 5G.

The demonstration, according to Nokia’s vice president, Eastern Europe, Demetrio Russo, was “another important step towards the launch of MegaFon’s 5G network.”

Russo noted that Nokia was “excited by the cooperation involved in this project, the successful implementation of which will make it possible for MegaFon to offer its subscribers a unique experience of using modern broadband services during the transition to 5G.”

In June, during the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum, together with Huawei, MegaFon demonstrated the operation of a 5G network at 35Gbps, achieving what was then the absolute record in Russia for mobile internet speed.  

Published in Telecom Operators

Russia’s MTS trials live Licensed Assisted Access

Written on Sunday, 23 July 2017 07:28

Together with MTS, the largest mobile network operator in Russia, and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, Ericsson has conducted the first successful live trial with a commercial small cell product of Rel-13 Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology in Russia.

The demonstration was conducted in an MTS test lab over a live network and used Ericsson’s Pico RBS 6402 small cell and a Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE mobile test device. With LAA, data speeds are boosted using unlicensed spectrum together with licensed spectrum.

The amount of licensed spectrum is limited, and the need for spectrum is huge. The latest Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts that smartphones will be using 11 Gigabytes of data a month by 2022. This puts enormous strain on operators to meet the demands for performance in mobile connectivity for their subscribers.

“Delivering the level of mobile connectivity our subscribers expect, across a wide variety of environments, is a primary focus of MTS,” said Andrei Ushatskiy, MTS Vice President, Technology and IT. “This successful demonstration is the first of its kind in Russia, and shows our commitment to exceeding our customers’ expectations with enhanced experiences.”

Yulia Klebanova, vice president, business development, Qualcomm Europe Inc., said: “LAA enables more operators globally to offer Gigabit LTE, which is an essential foundation when introducing the 5G mobile experience, and we look forward to working with infrastructure vendors, OEMs, and network operators to advance mobile connectivity for subscribers across the world.”

Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President, Europe & Latin America, Ericsson, added: “LAA uses unlicensed spectrum to boost data speeds, offering subscribers the chance to enjoy enhanced LTE experiences on their devices. This technology allows LTE and Wi-Fi users superior performance in both indoor and outdoor environments by sharing the spectrum in unlicensed bands.”

Ericsson’s RBS 6402 is a high-performance indoor Pico Cell offering three standards (LTE, WCDMA and Wi-Fi), 10 frequency bands and up to 300 Mbps LTE carrier aggregation. The flexibility, cost-effectiveness and performance in a tablet-sized footprint make it optimal for smaller buildings.

Published in Telecom Operators

Thousands of institutions around the world were subject to a series of “WannaCry” ransom attacks over the weekend (starting Friday, May 12), causing data to be encrypted with a claim for payment. The virus was a malicious program that affects smartphones and computers, encrypts and locks their data so that it cannot be accessed until payment is made.

The virus swept across Europe and Asia, locking up critical systems like the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), Spain’s Telefónica telecommunications company, and other business and institutions around the world. Russia was hit particularly hard by the virus. Victim’s computers, once infected, displayed a message demanding the equivalent of around $300 in bitcoin, according to reports.

Telefónica faced an 85 percent computer shutdown after the hackers infiltrated its systems demanding $550,000 in bitcoin. The hack resulted in most staff reportedly abandoning their positions as nine out of ten company machines were infected. The hackers demanded a payment of $300 per machine, roughly equal to 300 bitcoins currently worth around 510,000 euros.

Russia’s Interior Ministry announced that its computers had been infected with the malware on Friday. Some 1,000 Windows-operated computers were affected, which is less than one percent of the total number of such computers in the ministry, said spokesperson Irina Volk in a statement. The servers of the ministry haven’t been affected, the spokesperson added, saying it’s operated by different systems for Russia-developed data processing machines.

Russian telecoms giant Megafon was also affected by the virus. The company’s spokesperson Pytor Lidov said Megafon’s internal network had been affected, adding that in terms of the company’s customer services, the work of the support team had been temporarily hindered, “as operators use computers” to provide their services. Lidov said the company took immediate appropriate measures, and said the virus didn’t affect subscribers’ devices or Megafon signal capabilities.

The attack was eventually thwarted by a malware analysis expert who calls himself MalwareTech who stumbled across a way to stop it by locking computers and slowing its spread. One of the first things that slowed the virus was a rare emergency patch released by Microsoft to help protect Windows XP devices from the virus’ reach (even though the company hasn’t officially supported XP since 2014).

The other strike of hope came from MalwareTech, who was working to reverse-engineer samples of the WannaCry virus on Friday, when he discovered that the ransonware’s programmers had built it to check whether a certain gibberish URL led to a live web page, WIRED reported. MalwareTech wondered why the ransomware would look for that domain, so he registered it himself. Luckily that $10.69 investment was enough to shut down the entire operation.

As long as the domain was unregistered and inactive, the query had no effect on the ransomware’s spread, the report explains. But once the ransomware checked the URL and found it active, it stopped. Analysts such as Darian Huss, senior security research engineer at the security intelligence firm Proofpoint, believe that the functionality was put in place as an intentional kill-switch, in case the hackers wanted to halt their virus spread.

“Based on the behavior implemented in the code, the kill-switch was most likely intentional,” he said. MalwareTech believes that the hackers might have included the feature to shield the ransomware from analysis by security professionals.

Published in Apps

A recent Bloomberg report suggests that authorities in the United States are planning to issue criminal indictments targeting four individuals connected to the massive hacks against Yahoo users' accounts. Three of the individuals are said to be Russian. The source cited by Bloomberg said one of the suspects is being tracked down in Canada and the others are in Russia.

Yahoo's current CEO Marissa Meyer lost out on her annual bonus after an investigation determined that Yahoo had mishandled a 2014 hack that resulted in the theft of personal data from more than 500 million Yahoo user accounts. Yahoo was criticized for not disclosing information about the hack publicly until September last year.

Yahoo was judged by an independent committee which determined that the company's security team knew about the attack when it happened, according to a regulatory filing. Late that year, senior executives and some legal staff were made aware that "a state-sponsored actor had accessed certain user accounts" by exploiting an account management tool.

In the filing Yahoo said: "While significant additional security measures were implemented in response to those incidents, it appears certain senior executives did not properly comprehend or investigate."

To make matters worse, Yahoo disclosed another cyber attack in December last year that occurred in 2013, this time affecting more than a billion users. The disclosure of the massive hacks has affected Yahoo's deal with US telecoms giant Verizon, which is purchasing Yahoo's core internet business. Verizon demanded a $350 million discount after the hacks became public.

Yahoo's run as an independent company will now come to an end after 20 years, now that Verizon has agreed to purchase its core internet business for $4.48 billion. Yahoo is selling its main operating business as a way to separate it from its more valuable stake in the Chinese internet giant Alibaba, which will become a new entity and act as an investment company.

Yahoo still faces probes and lawsuits related to the massive hacks against its users' accounts affecting more than 1.5 billion, and the timing of the disclosures. US law requires companies that fall victim to such hacks to disclose them as soon as they are deemed to affect stock prices.

Published in Government

Nokia and the Russian communications and technology company "VimpelCom" (brand "Beeline") have signed a five-year agreement under which Nokia will become the major supplier of managed services for VimpelCom's fixed, mobile and transport network operations.

"This agreement highlights the breadth of Nokia's global services and technology expertise across fixed, mobile and transport networks," said Igor Leprince, head of Global Services at Nokia.

"Working with VimpelCom we will manage network operations and field maintenance with a focus on driving the highest levels of quality and efficiency into operations to enhance network performance and availability. Our innovative service delivery draws from world-class capabilities and the power of extreme automation."

Nokia, which has been managing services for VimpelCom's network in central Russia, will extend this responsibility to manage VimpelCom's 2G, 3G and 4G networks, provided by a variety of equipment vendors, leveraging its innovative network management tools, processes, and software automation. Field maintenance work will be carried out by Nokia in the Southern, North Caucasian and Central regions of Russia, including Moscow.

By consolidating and transforming network operations, VimpelCom will benefit from reduced network and operational complexity, faster time to market and lower total cost of ownership in running multiple networks. In turn, VimpelCom will enhance service quality for more than 58 million mobile and 2.2 million fixed broadband customers in Russia.

"Today we are at a dynamic stage in our business transformation. The transition to a new operating model for "Beeline" network management is another step towards a new "VimpelCom" technological reality," said Martin Skop, Executive Vice President for Infrastructure Development PJSC "VimpelCom".

"The partnership with Nokia enables us to restructure business processes, improve financial performance, keep pace with global trends and drive technological innovations. In addition, smart managed services will help us improve our overall efficiency."

Nokia will also deliver full network planning and optimization services, network implementation, project management and ongoing network support from its global delivery hub in Voronezh, Russia. Nokia will draw on its extensive understanding and experience of end-to-end service delivery with multiple technologies and vendors to serve VimpelCom's specific network needs and provision of high quality network performance.

Published in Telecom Vendors

5G standard testing on the agenda for Russia’s MTS this year

Written on Tuesday, 14 February 2017 07:18

Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), the leading telecommunications provider in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and MGTS, one of the largest operators of local wire communications in Europe, recently presented a new strategy of technological development for 2017-2020 in the Moscow region, to prepare for 5G standard.

MTS and MGTS will strengthen joint cooperation in development of mobile and fixed internet access. MTS plans to increase the number of base stations connected to GPON from 25% to 40-45%. This decision will allow MTS to use the resources of mobile infrastructure on maximum and also will improve quality and stability of customer services.

MGTS intends to launch mass adoption of XG-PON (10GPON) in its network in 2017. This will allow MGTS to become a digital platform for mobile operators at transition to 5G. First 10GPON test zones will appear in 2017-2018 at the most loaded parts of the network. The 10GPON transition is planned to be completed by 2020.

The companies will continue to cooperate in testing of 5G standard. This year MTS will conduct testing of pilot zones of the "fifth generation" standard, which will be launched during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

In April this year, MGTS will test interoperability of Nokia's 10GPON and 5G-technologies. MTS and Nokia have already successfully tested 5G technologies during which the speed of mobile data transmission reached 4.5 Gbps, which is by times higher than the upper speed limits of existing mobile and fixed internet access standards.

"Our cooperation in the network development in the Moscow region gives us plenty of advantages in improving speed and quality of infrastructure as well as in optimizing capital expenditures the final beneficiaries of which are our customers who receive high speed internet," said Igor Egorov, Director of Moscow region, MTS.

"In relation to 5G technology development, MGTS's fixed channels of 10GPON standard can become a basis for rapid construction of a new generation mobile network in the Moscow region", added Igor Egorov.

"We are standing on the cusp of global fundamental changes. The 5G standard will give momentum to evolve robo mobiles and gadgets supporting AR and VR as well as to the whole IoT market and М2M decisions," said Andrey Ershov, CEO, MGTS.

"New technologies will lead to multiple increases in traffic that will become a new challenge for telecommunications operators and will require raising network capacity many fold. Today we are working on the decision that will provide MGTS with an opportunity to retain a position of the technological leader for decades and to lay basis for the soonest adoption of innovative services in the Moscow region."

GPON and XG-PON technologies interoperability tests were launched on Huawei equipment in MGTS suitability testing center. The testing has positive results: both GPON and XG-PON standards coexist on the same distribution network. Maximum downstream speed achieved during testing was 8.5 Gbps.

Published in Telecom Operators

Russia’s interior ministry recently said nine individuals has been detained who are alleged to be part of a cybercrime organization accused of stealing some $17 million from bank accounts.

A nationwide search was implemented to find the 50-strong hacker group in Russia. An operation was launched by the FSB security agency last year, to track down the hackers that pilfered more than one billion rubles ($16.8 million) since 2013, according to a statement.

“Nine individuals suspected of participating in hacking attacks were detained on January 25,” said ministry spokesperson Irina Volk. One of the individuals was reportedly placed under arrest. In total, 27 member and organizers are being investigated, with 19 of them now under arrest, said the ministry.

According to reports, the latest arrests are connected to a case against legendary hacking collective ‘Lurk’ that was targeted by law enforcement agencies last year. Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky said the group was reportedly suspected of stealing some three billion rubles from commercial organizations including banks.

Russian hacking is in the global spotlight following the country’s alleged involvement in cyber-attacks targeting the US presidential election campaign. However, experts say the vast majority of cybercrime is not politically motivated but financial.

What’s more, the FSB itself is currently involved in a scandal that has seen at least two of its cybersecurity experts arrested for treason linked to the United States, according to a lawyer involved in the case. The treason case saw the arrest of Ruslan Stoyanov – the head of Kaspersky’s cybersecurity unit that probed ‘Lurk’.

Published in Government

Russian authorities have ordered a popular video website to be blocked due to an allegation of a copyright infringement from a reality TV station.

A reality TV station called Piatnitsa has accused Dailymotion of copyright infringement and a Moscow court have granted the request that the website should be blocked until investigations into the alleged breach are explored further.

Users are reportedly still able to access Dailymotion, but it is expected that the site will be blocked by the end of the week. The reality TV channel which is owned by Gazprom Media expressed its satisfaction at the court ruling which blocks Dailymotion in ‘Russian territory’.

Dailymotion is a video sharing platform based in France and is one of the biggest video platforms in the world - but it stands accused of repeatedly featuring clips of the most-watched shows on Piatnitsa – which is a channel that specializes in reality programming. 

In addition to this, Gazprom Media also stated in its statement to the press that Dailymotion's French owner Vivendi did not appeal the ruling within the time limit to stop the shutdown going ahead.

Russia was until recently renowned for the scale of its online piracy, but the government has cracked down over the past few years on the illegal distribution of movies and music, considerably boosting its legislation in this area -- a key condition for joining the World Trade Organization in 2012.

Published in Government
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