Displaying items by tag: Operator

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

Indian operator Reliance Communications has made a partial payment of $18.6m to Ericsson in an effort to defuse their ongoing dispute after the Swedish vendor had called for the imprisonment of its chairman Anil Ambani after the company’s failure to pay the entirety of the services charges owed.

In a statement released by RCom, it confirmed that it had deposited a payment of $18.6 with the Supreme Court registry from operational funds it had at its disposal. In addition to this, it said it was taking all required steps towards enabling a settlement.

The Indian conglomerate also stressed in the statement that it remained fully committed to making the outstanding payment to Ericsson, and said it would be able to do so with the proceeds of a spectrum asset sale to Reliance Jio.

Ericsson is owed $78.5m in unpaid service charges, but the dispute between the pair escalated when RCom failed to settle the service charge on the date it was instructed to by the Supreme Court. In response to this, Ericsson increased the pressure on the Indian firm by filing a second contempt of court case against Anil Ambani, and said he should be detained in civil prison until the outstanding amount is settled.

RCom, which has all but exited the Indian mobile market, missed the original 30 September deadline to make the payment, but was then granted a reprieve until 15 December, a deadline which it also missed.

The company argued it was unable to make the payment in time because of delays by regulator Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in approving its spectrum sale to Reliance Jio, a deal first struck in December 2017. RCom reached a deal to sell off the majority of its mobile assets to Reliance Jio after creditors, including Ericsson, took action against the company over huge debts.

Published in Telecom Vendors

European vendor completes 5G New Radio pilot in Singapore

Written on Tuesday, 27 November 2018 09:21

European telecommunications vendor Nokia has announced that it has completed the first outdoor pilot of 5G New Radion on 3.5GHz frequency with Singaporean operator StarHub.

Published in Telecom Vendors

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

A recently released Analysis Mason study in collaboration with Huawei entitled, ‘Digitalization reshaping operations: a new digital operational model for the future’ has illustrated how digitalization is fundamentally reshaping the way businesses are being operated, and how in order to remain competitive a new operational model for the future operational environment is necessary.

As such, communications service providers (CSPs) are embarking on their own digital transformation journey to increase service agility and operational efficiency through infrastructure evolution and operations transformation.

In developing the study, Analysys Mason worked with Huawei to provide insights into how software is changing the world. The study exemplifies how the success of CSPs operations transformation hinges on a new software-driven operations model that is already driving the success of digital businesses across different industries.

The new operational model must support high levels of process automation to the point where predictive autonomous operations becomes a reality, enabling CSPs to automatically pre-empt and tackle service quality issues before they occur.

This study explains several key areas that cover the radical overhaul of the operations model; why CSPs must adopt a multi-pronged transformative approach; the need for continuous innovation, ecosystems and lean operations; and the strategic journey to achieve digital operation transformation.

Based on extensive research across diverse industries, the paper explains how the current operations model severely constrains CSPs’ abilities to achieve the benefits of digital transformation and that to remain relevant in the digital era, the telecoms industry must adopt a software-driven operations approach that has been instrumental in the success of major digital companies such as Uber, Google and GE. 

Anil Rao, Principal Analyst at Analysys Mason and the author of the study, said, “The telecommunications industry is at a major tipping point; as operators embark on important digital transformation initiatives, with NFV/SDN, IoT and 5G still to come, the prevalent operational model and economics severely constrains them to achieve the benefits of these strategic transformation initiatives. CSPs need a future proof software driven operations model that can not only support today’s physical networks but also adapt as the infrastructure transitions to hybrid and virtual networks.

“The new operations model must be underpinned by highly automated operational processes, enabled by analytics powered operations software platform and supported by an operations workforce with the software skills to continuously enhance operational efficiency by developing automation as part of their daily duties,” continued Anil Rao.

The study also illustrates innovative ways for the CSPs to transform, whether they embark on the journey alone through a ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) approach or establish a partnership depending on the level of maturity of the vendor offer and the level of control and ownership that the CSP wants to retain in-house.

The paper includes a description of the various engagement options such as consultative led operations-as-a-service which relies on the partner to deliver the operations, based on agreed service level agreements using the partners’ operations platform, supplemented with advisory and implementation services to transition to software driven operations. 

Analysys Mason concludes the study with key recommendations for CSPs including how they should learn from other industries; implement automated operations, and the best partnership model for the transformation journey. The study also provides insightful recommendations for vendors on developing solutions for software-driven operations, offering innovative engagement models and how to demonstrate a robust vision of software-driven operations. 

Published in Telecom Vendors

Telcos and OTTs shouldn’t be subject to same rules

Written on Tuesday, 26 September 2017 12:26

It’s no secret that telecom operators have struggled against the popularity of over-the-top (OTT) applications like WhatsApp and Skype, who have challenged traditional voice and SMS revenue streams. Some operators have called for regulators to subject OTTs to legacy telecommunications regulations in order to even the playing field. But such suggestions are misguided, according to the ITU.

Telecom operators are stuck in a predicament regarding OTT services who utilize their networks. They have little control over the growth of OTTs because users should be free to use the internet as they please. The network carrier only carries the IP packets from source to destination. They might be aware of the packets and their contents, but cannot do much about it. Carriers have had to roll with the punches and figure out how to adapt.

Ultimately, using VoIP (voice-over-IP) is a cheaper alternative to making expensive phone calls because the user doesn’t have to pay to use the dedicated phone line and instead utilizes an internet connection without any extra costs. As is the case with most VoIP services, calls made using the internet are often free while calls made to a cellular network require a payment. The advanced communication functions of modern smartphones have played a role in the rapid growth of OTT services.

The question is: what can network carriers do about it? Telecom carriers have lost hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue to VoIP services, statistics show. Some network carriers reacted, of course, by imposing restrictions on VoIP services. AT&T did this when Apple released its iPhone and the US telecom operator didn’t want its network being used for VoIP calling. AT&T lifted the block in 2009 after pressure from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

AT&T had an agreement with Apple to ban apps that would enable iPhone users to make phone calls using a wireless data connection. The scandal was revealed when the FCC requested that the companies explain why Google’s Voice app was rejected for the iPhone app store. The FCC was led to investigate if AT&T and Apple were colluding to prevent competition, sparking the beginning of a sour relationship between telecom providers and OTTs.

Can telcos come out on top?

For decades, telecom operators had free reign to charge rates for voice, data and SMS largely in excess of their marginal cost, which created a market ripe with innovation. The International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) recent report ‘The State of Broadband 2017’ highlights the struggle telecom operators have faced since that period began to wane, as online applications became increasingly popular with consumers around the world who wished to interact in ways not possible through traditional communications channels.

Communication has been transformed by the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Skype, WeChat, Google, WhatsApp and Viber. These OTT services have “transformed the way people build communities and search for information, and made valuable contributions to health, education, finance and entertainment,” ITU claims in the report. “Online applications now generate a significant proportion of the socioeconomic impact of digitization and utilization of the internet itself.”

The demand for OTT services has driven the telecom industry to a new era, and some telecom operators – in defense of their traditional revenues – have sought to “handicap” the growth of OTT players, the report suggests. It’s important to note, however, that these OTT services, however disruptive they may be, are driving demand for telecom operators’ broadband services. Without the content and services that OTTs provide, consumers would be less willing to pay operators for internet access, ITU claims.

“The operators’ complaints make as much sense as cable operators that sell access to cable channels complaining that people are watching too much TV, driving up the demand for their own services,” the report says, “Or a restaurant complaining that too many people want to eat its food driving up food costs. Operators sell access – not content – but people only want that access to use online content.”

Telecom operators, according to the report, claim they cannot invest in their networks because online OTT services have limited their ability to generate revenue. The ITU says this is “inaccurate” and “misguided”.

Some telecom operators have called upon regulators to apply the “same rules for the same service” by encouraging authorities to subject all online OTT services to legacy telecommunications regulations. ITU rejects this, emphasizing that OTTs don’t offer the “same service” as telecom operators, and that subjecting them to the same rules would be “entirely inappropriate”.

OTT services like Facebook and Google, for example, don’t provide equivalent services as telecom operators, the report points out. Operators provide access to the internet and some vertically integrated services that take advantage of, and are bundled with, general access. Online OTTs, on the other hand, provide interactive experiences for internet users that go beyond traditional voice and SMS, including payment services, chat services and photo/video sharing.

The fundamental differences between the telecom sector and online OTT services has led to the establishment of different rules, the report highlights. For instance, telecom regulations are intended to ensure that established operators – who own network infrastructure with high barriers to entry and face limited competition – do not use these privileges to the disadvantage of consumers. OTT services, by contrast, don’t control network infrastructure and must compete fiercely to retain customers who could easily be swayed.

There’s also the perception that OTT payers get a “free ride” on telecom network infrastructure which is financed by operators. But in truth, OTT players invest billions of dollars annually in a combination of physical facilities, according to the ITU, including data centers, fiber networks, servers and routers, which form an “essential part of the physical fabric of the internet”. In fact, according to the report, online OTT players invested an average of US$33 billion per year in infrastructure from 2011-2013.

ITU argues that telecom operators should recognize how much online OTT players drive consumers’ willingness to pay for internet access, which then provides more opportunities to generate revenue and finance new infrastructure. According to the report, consumers who demand the most data tend to spend more money on mobile contracts that feature high-speed data – revenue that goes directly to the telecom operators.

“Regulatory authorities do not have to choose directly between the interests of online application providers and telecom operators,” the ITU report concludes with. The most important aspects of internet usage that regulatory authorities should focus on, the report suggests, are adhering to customer needs, ensuring that the internet is widely available, and prioritizing connectivity, competition and innovation.

Published in Featured

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

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

Turkish telecommunications operator Turkcell has announced that it will rollout Narrow-Band-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) in order to support ‘smart city’ applications and innovations which will be introduced in different sectors all across the country.

The new technology will be used to transform industries such energy, healthcare and education. The ‘smart city’ applications powered by NB-IoT will enable machines to communicate with each other via Turkcell’s LTE-A - infrastructure.

Analysts have suggested that this is the first clear strategy towards 5G in Turkey, and Turkcell’s Executive Vice President, Gediz Sezgin claimed that the economic benefits which will be created by the development of innovative ‘smart city’ applications would be ‘staggering’.

He said, “We became the first operator in Turkey to support NB-IoT required for new-gen innovative applications. So we open the door to 5G. NB-IoT will extend smart city applications and many innovative solutions will be developed. It has been projected that the economy created by this technology as of 2025 will exceed $3 trillion. Offering a technology which will create such a volume requires a very strong LTE-A infrastructure. We will continue to research and invest to introduce the most contemporary technologies.”

The operator has identified solutions in smart parking, smart waste management and remote monitoring as applications that can now be used with the rollout of the NB-IoT network. It has also claimed that new applications will now become available for ‘smart agriculture’ which Sezgin says will transform the livestock industry.

Turkcell’s EVP claimed that the network would allow the application to facilitate automatic irrigation of cultivated areas based on measurement of humidity in order to improve the crop yield - whilst also tracking applications for livestock, the ability to conduct these tasks through automation will ensure the process is more efficient, effective and ultimately easier.

Sezgin says, “This new technology helps organisations by ‘changing their way of doing business.’ While living spaces become more and more connected every day, Turkcell’s mobile infrastructure is now ready for a world where billions of devices connect.

Published in Telecom Operators

Ericsson’s financial uncertainty shows no sign of abating following reports in the Swedish media that the telecommunications firm is set to cut 25,000 jobs. Reports circulating from the Nordic region claim that management at Ericsson intend to lay off around 25,000 employees as part of its new savings program that has been devised in an effort to counteract its financial plight. 

In July, Ericsson formally announced that it planned to accelerate measures to meet a target of doubling its 2016 underlying operating margin of 6%. In addition to this, it also outlined its aim to reach an annual cost reduction run rate of at least $1.2 billion by the end of the second quarter of next year.

Ericsson stressed that any actions taken would primarily affect service delivery and common costs, and claimed that research and development would remain largely unaffected. However, the Swedish telecommunications colossus is facing increasing pressure from competitors such as China’s Huawei and Finland’s Nokia.

Other contributory factors to its financial woes is that of weak emerging markets and falling spend by operators with the demand for next-generation 5G technology still years away. Swedish media outlet Svenska Dagbladet claimed that a source within Ericsson leaked the information to them, but said it was unsure as to whether or not the planned culling of staff included employees within its media operations.

It has been claimed that these positions are up for strategic review, and many analysts have predicted that it is likely to be sold by the group. In a statement which was released on Ericsson’s website, a spokesman said it was too early to talk about ‘specific measures’ in relation to the latest jobs cuts at the organization. The statement read, “Ericsson has not communicated which specific units or countries could be affected. It is too early to talk about specific measures or exclude any country.”

This is just the latest in a long line of job cuts which have been made by Ericsson over the last number of years. Multiple job losses have been made in both Italy and Sweden. However, these reports if true would represent the largest reduction in staff by the company. Theres was hope that the appointment of a new CEO, and a number of board changes would reinvigorate the Swedish telecommunications giant, but that has thus far failed to materialize. Currently, Ericsson has around 109,000 employees.

Published in Telecom Operators
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