Displaying items by tag: Deployment

Two leading vendors are behind Vodafone’s 5G launch

Written on Friday, 05 July 2019 06:40

Vodafone announced switching on 5G in seven UK cities, including London, in partnership with Ericsson. This step puts the UK among the first to launch the fifth generation technology and sheds light on how Europe is lagging behind because of regulations.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Swiss telecommunications operator Swisscom has launched the continent’s first large scale 5G networks in partnership with Swedish vendor Ericsson.

In a statement released by the Swedish telecommunications behemoth it confirmed that the 5G network was launched in 54 cities across Switzerland after the operator secured a license to operate a 5G network in the country.

Ericsson has seen its financial coffers significantly boosted by its success in the North American market following the publication of its Q1 results.

Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm expressed his delight at the launch of the 5G networks in Switzerland and predicted that the company would up the ante in relation to 5G in the large parts of Asia by the end of this year.

Ekholm said, “To date we have publicly announced commercial 5G deals with 18 named operator customers, which, at the moment, is more than any other vendor. The company would continue to incur costs for field trials and we’re expecting large-scale deployments of 5G to begin in parts of Asia by the end of 2019. Combined, this will gradually impact short-term margins but strengthen our position in the long term.”

Shares of Ericsson rocketed on the Stockholm stock exchange with the company reporting an increase of 3% which represented a four-year high for the vendor.  

Ericsson, one of Chinese telecom giant Huawei's main rivals in the 5G market, said earlier this year it hadn't felt any effects from US pressure on countries to ban Huawei's equipment amid fears that it could compromise the security of the mobile phone networks.

Published in Telecom Vendors

The US-led campaign against Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei is now facing resistance from a number of major European operators.

Washington has been engaged in a sustained offensive attack on China’s major telecommunication vendors Huawei and ZTE over the last number of years.

However, that has heightened in recent months, with the United States labelling Huawei and ZTE as a severe threat to national security. US President Donald Trump is expected to issue an executive order later this week which would prohibit both Chinese vendors from being involved in wireless networks in the US.

In addition to this, lobbyists on behalf of the US convinced its allies Australia and New Zealand to prevent either company from participating in the rollout of their respective 5G networks. The US is now pressuring Europe to follow suit.  Earlier this week, comments by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added further fuel to the ongoing saga when he said that countries that use Huawei technology could hurt their relationship with the United States.

However, that has been met with resistance from major European operators who have discovered that they will have to fork out more to replace equipment from Huawei and ZTE, and that a blanket ban on both companies would significantly impact its ability to launch 5G services in the next twelve months, as Huawei is the global leader on 5G equipment.

A number of prominent executives from Europe’s top operators told The Wall Street Journal that Huawei hardware was much better than the rest on offer and often cost less; not using it could well mean that Europe would lag Asia and countries in other regions that use gear from Huawei for their 5G rollouts.

In addition to this, Nick Read, chief executive of Vodafone Group, was quoted as saying in January that a total ban on the carrier's use of Huawei equipment “would have significant financial cost, would have significant customer disruption and would delay 5G rollout in several countries”. The UK's four major wireless operators — Vodafone, BT Group, Telefonica and CK Hutchison Holdings' Three — were all against a ban.

But it is not only big carriers who prefer Huawei equipment, with Jersey Telecom, a publicly-owned company operating in the Isle of Jersey, also expressing a preference for Chinese equipment.

The company sought bids from both Chinese and Western companies in 2014 for its wireless network and while Huawei's bid 20% below the lowest Western offer, ZTE was 40% cheaper. Jersey Telecom chief executive Graeme Millar went with ZTE, and commented: "I have a genuinely high-class, low-cost supplier with ZTE, who haven’t let me down yet.”

The US stands accused of using Huawei and ZTE as political pawns in the ongoing trade war standoff between Washington and Beijing.

Published in Telecom Operators

Ericsson has launched its critical communications broadband portfolio for service providers. This will enable service providers to meet the business-critical and mission-critical needs of industries and public safety agencies as digitalization and modernization of land mobile radio communications increases.

When communication is disrupted by minutes, seconds, or even milliseconds, it can have huge consequences for business operations, or serious implications for public safety. The need for fast and reliable communication is therefore paramount.

Such critical communications are used in many areas: from first responders and nationwide emergency services to workforce safety in enterprises. There is a growing demand for business and mission-critical broadband for such use cases. Service providers need to deliver the highest level of availability, reliability and security to meet this demand.

To meet critical communications users’ needs, Ericsson has developed a new portfolio comprising three offerings: critical network capabilities; critical broadband applications;\ and flexible deployments for both local private networks, and nationwide mission-critical LTE networks.

Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “We see growth opportunities for service providers and government operators by addressing new segments with LTE/5G networks. Our critical broadband portfolio will enable our customers to effectively secure the critical communication needs of sectors such as public safety, energy and utilities, transportation, and manufacturing.”

Critical network capabilities

This offering includes advanced features for critical network performance and covers the following: high network availability; multi-network operation with spectrum sharing techniques; and coverage and capacity for critical applications. It also includes network security capabilities that ensure network services are maintained even when the infrastructure is under attack. Finally, quality of service, priority and preemption all guarantee latency performance and capacity requirements during high load and congestion. 

The critical network capabilities include new features that simplify the rollout of broadcasting services across nationwide areas. Another new feature enables radio access sites to operate in fallback mode, should the network connection fail. This offering also includes deployable systems that allow temporary coverage for disaster recovery and operations in rural areas without existing coverage.

Critical broadband applications 

This offering covers Ericsson Group-Radio that provides mission-critical push-to-talk, data and video services. This will enable, for example, blue light personnel such as the police to be more effective in performing community services that require advanced mobile broadband.

Flexible deployments for private networks

New business models are emerging for industries. From owning and operating their own networks, critical industries are now procuring private networks and services that leverage service providers’ existing network assets and operations – without compromising required local control. 

Ericsson’s flexible deployments for private networks range from network slicing to fully dedicated networks, enabling service providers to offer scalable, critical broadband network solutions and services for critical industries.

Ericsson also offers managed services for private networks, with solutions based on AI and automation that predict and prevent events while reducing OPEX. These solutions enable service providers to reduce time-to-market and onboard new industries, while securing critical service level agreements.

Critical broadband will enable industries to increase efficiency through the following: enhancing workforce productivity and safety; massive onboarding of devices and sensors; real-time location of assets and equipment; and data collection to boost equipment and personnel performance and avoid downtime.

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

GSMA expected to discuss Huawei issue at MWC

Written on Tuesday, 05 February 2019 08:27

The governing body that represents the world’s mobile operators is expected to discuss the ongoing issue of Chinese telecommunications vendor Huawei at this month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The GSMA has proposed to its members that they hold a discussion regarding the possibility of a blanket ban on Huawei from the majority of developed markets within the ICT ecosystem.  A number of leading operators have expressed their disapproval at the tactics being used against Huawei, with many feeling it is a politically motivated campaign being led by the United States.

There is also a general consensus amongst ICT stakeholders and major players that any ban on Huawei will significantly impact the rollout of 5G networks. Vodafone CEO Nick Read has already publicly stated that a ban could delay the commercial deployment of 5G in Europe by up to two years.

It has been reported that the GSMA Director-General Mats Granryd has written to its members about Huawei and has said the current situation involving the Chinese vendor should be part of its agenda on its next board meeting in Barcelona later this month.

The GSMA represents mobile operators globally, and united more than 750 operators with over 350 companies as part of a broader mobile ecosystem, which includes the handset and device manufacturers, equipment providers and internet companies.

Huawei has found itself at the centre of intense scrutiny from the US in recent months, and was just like week charged with a number of indictments related to intellectual property theft and fraud. Huawei has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has accused the US of participating in an ‘immoral political campaign’.

Diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Washington are strained and officials from both countries are set to meet again later this week to resume trade talks.

However, this isn’t the first time the US has went after a high-profile Chinese telecommunications company. Huawei’s domestic rival ZTE was pushed to the brink of bankruptcy after draconian measures were imposed against them by the US Department of Commerce.

Huawei has been banned from any role in the rollout of 5G networks in Australia and New Zealand. The European Union has said it will look at the issues that have been alleged by the US.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Verizon’s 5G aspirations put on hold

Written on Sunday, 03 February 2019 09:20

US telecommunications operator Verizon has said its proposed deployment of 5G services remains on track, but its CEO Hans Vestberg conceded that its plans to expand 5G services to the home has encountered issues.

Verizon has planned to invest significantly in its 5G home internet product portfolio, but that has been derailed because of the delay in the release of standards-based equipment.

The US telecommunications behemoth launched its residential 5G product to much fanfare in four US cities in October last year using a proprietary standard – and at the time it had indicated that it planned to transition to 3GPP New Radio standard for its mobile launch and subsequent fixed expansion.

However, Verizon’s CEO informed investors and shareholders during an earnings call that it may now take to longer than originally expected for 5G NR home equipment to become available as smartphone launches take precedence.

The CEO said, “As the industry is evolving, the first focus for the industry is actually to do chipsets for smartphones and then secondary the next generation of chipsets comes on the CPE side.”

In addition to this, Vestberg said he projects standards-based 5G equipment to become available in the second-half of 2019, with handsets due to appear on the market in Q1.

The US operators’ major competitors such as AT&T and T-Mobile US have all outlined their 5G plans - but Verizon’s CEO declined to unveil their 5G plans for competitive reasons.

The latest announcement from Verizon in relation 5G comes on the back of disappointing financial results for Q4 in 2018, with consolidated revenue up 1 per cent year-on-year to $34.3 billion. Full year 2018 revenue of $130.9 billion increased nearly 4 per cent from $126 billion in 2017.

In addition to this, it was disclosed that net income attributable to Verizon plummeted to $1.9 billion in Q4 from $18.7 billion in Q4 2017, though it should be noted the latter figure included a one-time tax perk of $16.8 billion.

Verizon’s 5G progress isn’t expected to have a significant impact on its financials in 2019: it projected only low single-digit percentage revenue growth for the full year. That guidance reiterated previous statements given by CFO Matt Ellis which indicated that 5G wouldn’t have a substantial impact on results until at least 2020.

Published in Telecom Operators

US completes its first 5G auction

Written on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 12:20

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has completed its first 5G auction, with a sale of 28GHz spectrum licensing which raised a cool $702 million.

The chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai expressed his delight at the successful completion of the first auction and said that it represented a significant step towards positioning the United States as a leader in 5G.

In addition to this, he declared that it was the objective of the commission to continue to pursue its strategy of pushing more spectrum licenses into the commercial marketplace. It was also confirmed that a 24GHz auction will take place in the next few months, and that will be followed by three more spectrum bands later in 2019.

The chairman of the FCC said that by that spectrum auctions were critical in helping it execute on its goal which enables US consumers to benefit from the benefits provided by 5G.

He said, “By making more spectrum licenses available, promoting the deployment of wireless infrastructure, and modernising our regulations – the three components of the FCC’s 5G FAST plan – we’ll ensure that American consumers reap the substantial benefits that will come from the next generation of wireless connectivity.

A total of 3,072 licences offered in 425MHz blocks were up for grabs in the 28GHz auction. Of these, only 107 received no acceptable bids. However, the identities of the winning bidders will remain private and anonymous until the close of the 24GHz auction.

Earlier in the month the FCC had reiterated its desire to continue to work on scheduled spectrum auctions, as it prepared to temporarily close down most of its other operations.

In November 2018, the agency had said it set strict performance requirements for the licences to encourage the swift rollout of 5G services - and will take dim view on any attempt to seek a waiver of the requirements ahead of construction deadlines.

Published in Telecom Operators

The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance - which drives and guides the development of all future mobile broadband technology with a focus on 5G - has published its three deliverables on 5G Extreme Requirements entitled “Operators’ views on fundamental trade-offs”, “RAN Solutions”, and “End-to-End considerations”, respectively.

Compiled by the Alliance’s 5G Extreme Requirements task force, the papers aim to highlight what implications and trade-offs related to the delivery of new 5G services are relevant for mobile network operators.

Ilaria Thibault, task force lead and Principal Researcher at Vodafone commented: “We are very excited to reveal the findings of the outcome of the Extreme Requirements task force, which was to really strike at the heart of what needs to be assessed before the world embarks on advanced 5G services.

This work quantifies and analyses the coverage impact of delivering new extreme 5G services (Ultra-reliable and Low-latency – URLLC) for the radio access network with a theoretical analysis, system-level simulations, and field trials. End-to-end deployment guidelines for meeting extreme requirements at a service level are also provided. Among these guidelines, techniques such as path redundancy and new transport-layer protocols are discussed to improve end-to-end latency and reliability.

For latency-critical services, interworking between the Non-3GPP processing delays and 3GPP processing delays has been assessed.”

CEO of the NGMN Alliance Peter Meissner added: “Our task force has highlighted several key challenges that are crucial to the future of 5G’s connectivity path - and how the industry needs to adequately deal with these. Consequently, this year’s NGMN Conference & Exhibition will see us run a special session where operators are set to share results from their 5G tests, trials and first user experience. Our aim is to uncover the new use cases of 5G and how they will be leveraged in the next few years.”

Published in Infrastructure

US telecommunications incumbent AT&T has announced that it will expand its 5G trials to three additional US cities by the end of the year. The operator has already adopted an aggressive approach to developing the next-generation technology - but its latest statement is indicative of its desire to ramp up operations in its attempts to be in a position to deploy 5G technology by the end of 2018.

In a statement released to the press, the US telecommunications colossus said it would conduct fixed wireless 5G trials in Waco, Texas, Kalamazoo, Michigan and South Bend, Indiana in latter half of this year. It made the announcement following the successful launch of its fixed wireless trial in Austin, Texas with a host of local businesses.

AT&T has claimed that it has garnered a lot of useful information and gained new insights into (mmWave) performance and propagation since commencing the tests in Austin, and has disclosed seeing speeds of up to 1GBps and latency rates well below 10 milliseconds.

The US operator now aims to user the additional trials in the US cities mentioned above to increase the number of participants and expand the physical footprint for 5G technology. It has been further disclosed that AT&T strategic plan with the next wave of testing is to reach universities, hospitals, restaurants and other small medium enterprises with the next-generation technology.

The trials in the Waco, Michigan and Indiana will be very similar to those conducted in Texas - as participants will be allowed to stream premium live TV via DirecTV Now - as well as gain access to faster broadband services thanks to the 5G connection.

SVP of AT&T’s wireless network architecture, Marachel Knight said moving the testing program away from the lab and into the physical environment is able to convey to them key information and insights into the technology. He said, “Taking our fixed wireless 5G trials out of the lab and into the real world helps us learn important factors about mmWave and 5G.

In addition to these tests, AT&T is collaboration with Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia and Intel on other 5G-related projects. A representative of AT&T said it would continue to invest aggressively in equipment - spectrum and technology, which will lay the foundation for 5G, standards for 5G have still not yet been finalized.

Despite the uncertainty in relation to the standardization of 5G, AT&T has claimed it is targeting a commercial deployment date of 2018, with the deployment likely to happen closer to the end of the year.

Its major competitor Verizon is also aiming for a 2018 launch, and is currently conducting pre-commercial trials for fixed wireless 5G in 11 cities.

Published in Telecom Operators
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