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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

Embattled Chinese telecommunication vendors Huawei and ZTE have received a welcome reprieve following the news that two Spanish operators are planning on using them for forthcoming 5G pilots.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Japanese government bans Huawei and ZTE products

Written on Monday, 10 December 2018 07:54

The Japanese government has announced that it will ban telecommunications equipment manufactured by Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE amidst fears about cybersecurity.

Published in Telecom Vendors

A leading telecommunications provider has introduced a number of cutting-edge products it has developed which will provide a smooth transition from 4G to 5G. Infinera Corporation, a multinational organization which is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, is a market leader in providing Intelligent Transport Networks.

The organization officially announced via a statement issued to the press that it has expanded its Mobile Fronthaul and Mobile Backhaul Solutions in an effort to support mobile operators as their networks prepare to evolve in order to become 5G ready.

Some of the new products introduced by Infinera include a range of Fronthaul Flexponders and a new addition to their Mobile Backhaul portfolio. However, Infinera also packaged existing equipment that they are able to use in a pre 5G testing environment. Jon Baldry, Marketing Director of Infinera’s Metro Business Unit, explained the benefits and value proposition of the new products developed by the company.

Baldry said: “The value proposition is built around three main attributes of these products - which are flexibility, high performance and openness. The underlying benefit for mobile or wholesale operators of these attributes is protection investment as they bid to enjoy a smooth evolution to 5G. This enables them to build 4G infrastructure today and enjoy a smooth evolution to 5G avoiding rip and replace 4G hardware when they make the move to 5G.”

Marketing Director of Infinera’s Metro Business unit, outlined some of the big changes that will occur when 5G is adopted, although conceded it was difficult to predict when 5G will be fully integrated across the board.

Baldry said: “One of the big things that will happen with 5G compared to 4G is a massive increase in bandwidth. Low Latency is always important in mobile networks and in 5G it is driven by new applications and things like mobile edge computing and similar trends. Fronthaul becomes more pervasive in 5G. Both 5G and 4G are open in the sense of being RAN vendor agnostic, but there will be a much bigger drive in openness in terms of SDN control.”

One of the really big changes is if you look at 2G to 3G – 3G to 4G – typically that kind of migration is simply replacing one network with another – the move to 5G will be using the current 4G infrastructure.

Baldry continued: “The move to 5G will see the continued use of the 4G infrastructure, so there will be new 5G infrastructure that will be put out in the field, the LTE specifications will continue to evolve - in fact the 3GPP is starting work on 5G and anticipates that LTE will continue to mature alongside the 5G standardization. 4G infrastructure needs to coexist with 5G infrastructure, and subsequently there will be a lot of new 5G infrastructure – but the 4G infrastructure will be a key part of how you build a 56 network.”

Principal Analyst, Mobile Networks and 5G at Heavy Reading, Gabriel Brown expects the new technology provided by Infinera to play a key in 5G – but he pointed out some of the challenges faced by operators, pointing to the uncertainty about the functional split in the 5G RAN. Brown said: “Among the challengers operators face are diverse implementation options and uncertainty about the functional split in the 5G RAN, making it critical that high performance fronthaul transport solutions are sufficiently flexible that they can be upgraded, in software, to meet future requirements.”

Jon Baldry said the next big step for Infinera in the transport space is the jump to 5G, but the key thing is while operators are looking at the options for a move to fronthaul now - they’re going to need that flexibility today in order to migrate to 5G without having to rip and replace that transport network.

CTO Metro Business Group at Infinera, Sten Nordell, stated that the radio network requires radical transformation to new 5G infrastructure. “The mobile industry is on the cusp of a step change to 5G, while the radio network needs to radically transform to the new 5G infrastructure and services, the underlying transport network requires a seamless evolution that protects operator investment now.”

He added the organization has begun working with key industry players in order to enable pre-5G networks to be tested against high-performance transport networks and will demonstrate this at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month.

To address these challenges, Infinera has introduced fully open and flexible solutions to extend mobile transport evolution to 5G and Baldry believes the new products launched by Infinera - offer a level of flexibility that none of their competition can compete with. He concluded by saying: “To the best of our knowledge from what we’ve seen in the market nobody else has this level of flexibility that we can offer.”

About the New Open Mobile Transport Solutions launched by Infinera

  • Infinera 5G-ready Mobile Fronthaul Solution 

Adding a new range of flexponders for mobile fronthaul provides mobile operators with deployment flexibility via rack-mounted unit, hardened access unit and hardened clamshell options. Mobile operators also benefit from functional flexibility in which all units are fully reconfigurable to operate as transponders, as muxponders, or in hybrid mode, a level of flexibility that Infinera believes is unique to the industry.

The flexponders enable service flexibility with support for Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) and Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI) mobile fronthaul protocols and Ethernet in both 4G and 5G environments. The flexponder features are coupled with the high-performance capabilities required for mobile fronthaul, such as low latency, superior synchronization and new fronthaul-specific capabilities including real-time delay compensation that enables better support for RAN in fiber protection scenarios.

  • Infinera Packet-Optical Mobile Backhaul Solution

Infinera’s Mobile Backhaul Solution now includes a new EMXP Access Unit that extends Infinera’s range of packet-optical transport switches to hardened environments such as street and cell site cabinets. The new unit supports a common software and feature set with the rest of the EMXP range, which includes Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) services, low latency, superior Synchronous Ethernet and 1588v2 synchronization and sophisticated network resilience options. 

  • Infinera Open Architecture

Infinera’s Mobile Fronthaul and Backhaul Solutions are designed to be fully open to support SDN control by any orchestrator and offer the ability to transport any radio vendor’s equipment. For mobile backhaul, the full range of Infinera’s EMXP units now also supports a direct Openflow interface, controlled by Infinera’s Xceed Software Suite. This provides a multi-layer SDN control platform and SDN applications.

 

The discovery of an Amazon patent has shown the company’s incredible plans for the future of drone technology after it successfully secured a patent to produce ‘flying warehouses’ that would deploy drones from high in the sky to deliver goods to homes below.

The patent was granted by the US patent office in April, but it was only recently uncovered by tech analyst Zoe Leavitt. The ‘airborne warehouses’ will fly over cities at 45,000 feet which would then subsequently release fleets of drones tasked to deliver products on demand to customers residences.  

It has also been disclosed that Amazon plans to save energy by performing this method of delivery -by dropping the drones using gravity before kicking in with their motors. Earlier this month Amazon announced it had made its first successful delivery by drone, when shipping a small parcel to a customer in Cambridge.

The patent describes a range of uses for the flying warehouses, including flying above a football game and loaded with sporting paraphernalia and food products that spectators at the game could order and get delivered instantly by drone. “Perishable items or even prepared meals can be delivered in a timely fashion to a user,” the patent says.

The abstract describes the system as having three components: the giant warehouses floating over the city; the fleet of delivery drones and smaller airships that are used to stock the warehouses and fly at a lower altitude to recover the drones.

Drone technology is becoming a key vertical for many tech businesses – and Amazon are continuing to invest a significant amount of time and money in their efforts to be a market leader in the sector. This was evidenced further following the announcement that another Amazon patent, revealed this week, describes a system for protecting delivery drones from hackers, lightning, and bows and arrows.

The existence of the patent does not mean the scheme will become a reality any time soon, but does indicate how Amazon is thinking of revolutionizing the delivery process.

Published in Gadget