Displaying items by tag: Operators

Huawei blasts US decision to issue executive order

Written on Friday, 17 May 2019 05:53

Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei has blasted the United States for issuing an executive order that effectively bans them from operating in the US.

Published in Telecom Vendors

UK telecommunication operators are pooling together in an effort to try and tackle the coverage issues afflicting rural areas.

Published in Telecom Operators

Dutch operator signs 5G agreement with Huawei

Written on Monday, 29 April 2019 13:45

Dutch telecommunications operator KPN has formally announced that it has penned an agreement with Huawei to build its 5G Radio Network. However, it has also been disclosed that it will only select a Western vendor for its 5G core and Huawei will not be considered for that role.

It is essentially the same terms and conditions that the UK has agreed with Huawei in their approach to 5G. KPN has said that it will modernise its mobile network towards 5G, but countered that it had adopted a tightened security policy in relation to vendor selection.

The company is of the belief that the mobile core network from a security perspective is much more sensitive. The Dutch operator has entered into a preliminary agreement with Huawei to provide the radio access part of the 5G network.

The agreement has been drafted in a way that enables it to be adjustable and reversible in order for it to align with future Dutch government policy.

Jan Kees de Jager, KPN’s CFO, told the media separately that the upgrade will also involve swapping out Huawei equipment from its current core network. In contrast to what his counterparts in Germany and the UK have claimed, de Jager did not believe switching from Huawei for other vendors would lead to addition cost. Equipment from Nokia, Ericsson and other suppliers would be as affordable as Huawei for the 5G infrastructure.

Huawei expressed their delight that the Dutch operator had selected the Chinese ICT vendor to help them on their journey towards 5G modernization. 

“We appreciate KPN’s trust and are honoured by their decision to partner with us for the mobile radio access network modernisation,” said a Huawei spokesperson. “We are committed to support KPN in their ambition to maintain and strengthen their lead in the global telecoms industry. In general, Huawei believes that excluding parties based on geographical origin does not provide a higher level of security. Cyber security can be improved by establishing standards that apply to all parties in the sector. Today, the IT supply chain is highly globalised. Cyber security must therefore be addressed jointly at a global level and suppliers must not be treated differently based on the country of origin.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

Radiation concerns temporarily halt 5G activity in Brussels

Written on Thursday, 18 April 2019 08:46

5G plans in Brussels have been put on hold until radiation levels as a consequence of the new technology are measured accurately.

Brussels has the strictest telecom radiation regulations globally. The Belgian government is concerned that 5G technology is unable to measure radiation from 5G antennas.

The Belgian Institute of Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) recommended last year that the country should loosen their grip on the limits they have set in order to allow the region to capitalize on 5G technology. As a result, ministers approved of this and increased the indoor limit to 9 volts per meter (v/m) and the outdoor limit to 14.5 v/m.

Orange has unveiled its plan to rollout 5G in Brussels this year and to make it commercial by next year.

The Minister for Housing, Quality of Life, Environment and Energy in the Government of the Brussels Capital Region, Celine Fremault, has decided to halt any further activity with regards to 5G deployment. Fremault is worried that the MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) antennas needed for 5G technology are unable to accurately measure the level of radiation emitted which would mean that there is a risk of the technology not being within legal limits.

She said that while she recognizes the benefits that come with 5G technology, “The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt.”

She added, “I cannot welcome such technology if the radiation standards, which must protect the citizen, are not respected, 5G or not.”

Additionally, Belgian operators are currently facing more challenges pertaining to the 5G rollout as the government has decided to delay the spectrum auction. It has been speculated that while it has been postponed to 2020, it may be postponed even further as ministers have not been able to reach an agreement on 5G licenses and how they should proceed with the auction.

Switzerland on the other hand, has begun its 5G rollout. Swisscom recently published a ‘fact check’ on 5G technology in order to avoid “misinformation”.

Christian Neuhaus, a Swisscom spokesman commented on the issue by stating that, “The frequencies are the same as what we’ve been using for years. They’ve been analyzed in thousands of studies and not one has managed to prove scientifically that there’s a serious risk to health.”

Published in Telecom Operators

UK operator expresses scepticism over Ofcom’s rural plan

Written on Thursday, 18 April 2019 06:41

3 UK has expressed their scepticism over Ofcom’s plans to address poor rural coverage in the United Kingdom, highlighting that the costs of the proposal were too excessive and overall the initiative lacked ambition.

3 UK’s Chief Operating Officer, Graham Baxter has called for the regulator to ditch their plans and work collectively with all UK operators in an effort to find a lasting solution to the ongoing problems experienced by users in rural parts of the UK.

Baxter blasted their plans to remove partial hot-spots in the UK’s countryside, areas which are not covered by any of the country’s four major operators.

As a way to incentivise investment, Ofcom in 2018 said it planned to offer mobile operators a discount in a spectrum auction planned for 2020, if they make binding coverage commitments.

Ofcom said two operators could receive discounts of up to £400 million on the cost of spectrum licences by committing to meet three targets within four years; providing good outdoor data coverage to at least 90 per cent of the UK’s land mass; improve mobile coverage for 140,000 buildings; and install 500 new masts in rural areas.

However, Baxter has criticized the plan for lacking ambition, while also hitting out at the expense incurred by the operator to execute the program.

Instead, he said the regulator should push an initiative for a single rural network, which would see the country’s operators jointly invest in a shared infrastructure.

In addition, he urged authorities to relax planning permission rules for taller mobile masts in rural areas of the country.

In addition to this, Baxter also argued that Ofcom’s plan would only benefit two mobile operators, but conceded that a single network would be beneficial for all four of the country’s operators with regards to coverage.

Published in Telecom Operators

Germany to hold 5G frequency auction

Written on Tuesday, 19 March 2019 06:18

Germany’s attempt to catch up with the digital era starts this week when the auction for airwaves to build ultra fast 5G wireless networks will begin.

This technology is crucial at the moment since Europe’s biggest economy seeks to transition from old-school engineering to catch up with the new digital age.

The country seems to be behind in the race of mobile network speeds compared to Qatar, Albania and Moldova.

Rubin Ritter, co-chief executive officer of Europe’s biggest online fashion retailer Zalando said, “Updating Germany’s digital infrastructure is very important. There are moments when customers have difficulties accessing our app.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government have promised to create new and advanced digital infrastructure. It expects an income worth around 5 billion Euros however the actual amount of the bill is difficult to predict at this moment in time.

They aim to allow family-owned manufacturers and corporate behemoths to digitize production processes and create data services.

The bidders comprise of current network operators such as Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica.

The auction starts on Tuesday and it comes with legal issues over the terms and conditions as well as pressure on the country’s government to Huawei equipment due to growing global security concerns.

On Friday, Huawei’s Western European chief told Business Daily Handelsblatt that they “would never build back doors into our devices or pass on data illegally.” He continued, “We would also be ready to sign a no-spy-agreement with the German government.”

5G technology guarantees super fast internet speed which is said to be able to download a full-length film in a matter of seconds.

The telecommunications industry, after experiencing a steady decline in share prices over the past few years, is hoping that this new technology will bring up new opportunities of communication such as holographic chats and potentially some fresh revenue streams into the industry.

Deutsche Telekom plans to invest 20 billion Euros in Germany over the next few years aiming to introduce high speed internet and 5G services. This investment levels caused many bidders to file lawsuits against the government’s conditions for the auction some of which included providing download speeds of 100 megabits per second to 98% of German homes, all highways and federal roads by the end of 2022.

A court eliminated the lawsuits so the auction can now carry on as planned.

“Driving with a car through Germany you lose your cellular connection every 5km. The network infrastructure we have right now in Germany is a big weakness,” said Stefan Brandl, chief executive officer of EBM-Papst.

Published in Telecom Operators

In advance of Mobile World Congress, Nokia today announces a raft of enhancements to its Anyhaul transport portfolio that help operators prepare their networks for 5G by delivering throughput speeds of up to 25 Gbps to base stations.

The launches span microwave, optical, IP and broadband technologies within a carrier Software Defined Networking (SDN) transport architecture. This simplifies the integration of transport with cloud-based radio access and core networks, thereby enabling an automated end-to-end 5G network slicing and service provisioning system.

Nokia Anyhaul is the industry's most extensive range of transport solutions. These solutions can be rapidly and dynamically provisioned to support the massive connectivity, extreme low latency and very high throughput demands of 5G services.

Programmability and automation dynamically create transport network slices to quickly and cost-effectively match diverse application and user needs with end-to-end service delivery guarantees.

The Nokia Anyhaul portfolio enables operators to deploy the optimal mix of transport technologies to create a flexible fabric that matches their unique network and business needs.

The new Nokia 1830 Versatile WDM Module (VWM) Translation Line Unit (TLU)-200 provides high density wavelength translation at 10 Gbps and 25 Gbps speeds. Purpose-built for Cloud RAN and Edge Cloud requirements, it simplifies operations and improves reliability of fronthaul connectivity for 4G Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI)/Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI) and 5G eCPRI data.

A new, compact interconnect router, the Nokia 7250 IXR-e, is purpose-built to support 5G and edge cloud requirements at or near base stations with 1/10/25/100 GE interfaces. The 7250 IXR-e features a compact architecture with efficient cooling and optimized space efficiency for minimal installation costs. It complements the previously released 7250 IXR-R6, which also supports 5G requirements and 1/10/25/100 GE interfaces.

A proof of concept of Nokia Broadband Anyhaul 25G Passive Optical Network (PON) demonstrates the viability of building on existing fiber infrastructure to offer 25 Gbps speeds. Co-existing with 2.5G and 10G PON technologies, 25G PON enables more radio access sites to be connected on the same fiber to reduce costs.

Nokia has successfully trialed 25G PON proof of concept with T-1 operators in North America and Japan in January 2019.

Jimmy Yu, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group, said: "Mobile backhaul has always been done with a variety of transport technologies to balance the needs of performance, time, and economics. This will continue with 5G, and for this reason, operators will need an assortment of transport technologies-microwave, optical, IP and PON-that suit their unique requirements in 5G fronthaul and backhaul. The rollout of 5G has just started this year and if our predictions are correct, demand for 5G backhaul transport systems (not including fiber) will begin ramping in a year's time and surpass $1 billion of annual sales in the following two years."

Phil Twist, VP of Networks Marketing and Communications, at Nokia said: "Our Anyhaul portfolio is a key element of the Nokia 5G Future X architecture, which equips our customers to take advantage of the promise of this next generation of network technology. Nokia Anyhaul has been deployed globally and is now being selected in countries such as the US, Japan, China, and South Korea where we are helping the fast-movers transform to 5G. The expertise and invaluable best practices we gain will further simplify and reduce risk for other operators as they move to 5G."

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

In advance of Mobile World Congress, Nokia today launched off-the-shelf Internet of Things (IoT) packages to help operators win new business in vertical IoT markets.

In addition to enabling operators to achieve a fast time to market, the packages simplify the set-up and operations of enterprise IoT services.

Built on the Nokia Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) infrastructure that provides the necessary global IoT connectivity and services support, the applications include IoT sensors, user applications and business models suited to specific sectors. Nokia WING's managed service approach also offers a pay-as-you-grow business model, giving operators the flexibility to quickly scale up IoT services as required.

The new market-ready solutions for WING eliminate the challenges facing operators developing their own IoT services.

These include the need for specialized expertise, the complexities of combining fragmented IoT connectivity infrastructure and the risk and effort of setting up and working with multiple service providers globally. Nokia works with best-in-class partners on Nokia WING vertical applications portfolio and continues to develop the IoT ecosystem.

The four new solutions announced today by Nokia include:

  • Smart Agriculture as-a-Service: Sensors capture environmental, soil and crop data that is then analyzed to provide insights that help farmers manage crops more effectively, potentially saving costs on irrigation, pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Livestock Management as-a-Service: Tracking devices and biosensors monitor animal health and welfare to provide ranchers with early alerts if abnormalities are detected, protecting valuable livestock and improving yields.
  • Logistics as-a-Service: IoT sensors enable tracking of the global movement and condition of goods through the complete supply chain to help enterprises instantly identify incidents and even predict future events to optimize delivery and logistics process efficiency.
  • Asset Management as-a-Service: Connecting products anywhere in the world enables their status and performance to be monitored centrally, helping enterprises provide a better service to their business and consumer customers.

Nokia is trialing Agriculture as-a-Service with an African operator and working with a leading services and consulting firm on Asset Management as-a-Service to help them offer more advanced services.

Brian Partridge, Vice President, 451 Research, said: "Nokia addresses a wide spectrum of challenges through its WING IoT infrastructure-as-a-service so its early traction with customers isn't a surprise. Most telecom operators desire a more prominent role in the IoT value chain that builds upon secure and reliable domestic or global connectivity. Nokia's announced plans to offer end-to-end vertical applications on top of the WING global infrastructure is a logical next step. We believe that this approach benefits Nokia's WING telecom customers and the enterprises they serve in addition to vertical application partners who can benefit from WING's market scale and go-to market channels."

Ankur Bhan, Global Head of WING Business at Nokia, said: "The IoT is a growing opportunity for operators to win new enterprise customers and significant additional revenue in a diverse range of vertical markets. With minimal upfront investment, an operator can now quickly get a service to market and generate IoT revenues. We expect these vertical solutions to encourage more operators to connect to Nokia WING, expanding its global footprint and broadening the range of capabilities and services that will become available. We already have several more vertically-focused as-a-Service packages in the development pipeline."

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
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