Displaying items by tag: Three UK

MYCOM OSI, an independent provider of assurance, automation and analytics solutions to the world’s largest Communications Service Providers (CSPs), announced that telecom provider Three UK has selected MYCOM OSI to assure its next generation core network which deploys NFV (Network Functions Virtualization), SDN (Software Defined Networks) and will be part of the world’s first Telco Cloud.

“MYCOM OSI was the best fit for our strategy of delivering a quality and reliable network experience for all of our customers,” said Bryn Jones, Chief Technical Officer of Three UK.

Three UK is deploying the world’s first fully integrated cloud native core network that will enable massive scalability, elasticity, and better reliability, so as to provide the highest quality and service experience possible for Three’s customers, as demand for VoLTE, high definition video and other digital services continue to grow. In addition, it will provide improved agility to rapidly respond to customers’ dynamic service demands while preparing for IoT and 5G.

MYCOM OSI’s Experience Assurance and Analytics™ (EAA) product suite will be deployed to monitor Three UK’s all-new Telco Cloud which is based on the ETSI NFV MANO framework, incorporates open-source technologies, such as Red Hat® OpenStack Platform, and spans several new state-of-the-art datacentres architected for full geo-redundant high-availability.

EAA will assure both new virtualized and existing physical networks, and provide closed-loop assurance-driven orchestration based on end-to-end network and service quality. Three UK selected MYCOM OSI’s Experience Assurance and Analytics™ (EAA) after a detailed investigation of the market and ranked MYCOM OSI’s capabilities and roadmap as the best solution to meet their requirements.

The MYCOM OSI Experience Assurance and Analytics™ solution provides Three UK with:

  • Single, integrated assurance suite that manages end-to-end network and service quality across all hybrid (virtual and physical) Telco (3G/4G RAN, Backhaul/transmission, Core, Messaging) and IT (Cloud/Datacenter/Application) network domains
  • Proactive and real-time surveillance with automated bottom-up service impact and top-down root cause analyses
  • Dynamic on-boarding and lifecycle management through catalog-driven service modeling with automated discovery, monitoring, visualization, alerting and analysis for virtual and physical infrastructure components
  • Closed-loop assurance, with policy- and analytics-driven auto-recovery and self-healing support integrating to Orchestration engines (Service and Domain), Inventory/Configuration Management and IT Service Management
  • Ecosystem and framework-agnostic interoperability to NFV, SDN, virtualization and Telco Cloud vendors and open source technologies through industry standard open APIs (such as TMF Open APIs)
  • Cloud-native and self-orchestrated assurance suite that is based on micro-services architecture principles, containerization, big data storage, elastic auto-scaling and agile DevOps development / deployment

 “We are excited and privileged to be selected by Three UK for the world’s foremost network virtualization project. While others are debating various approaches and standards, Three has designed a leading architecture, selected leading partners and is now leading its peer group in deploying Telco Cloud,” commented MYCOM OSI President and CTO, Mounir Ladki. 
“MYCOM OSI’s Assurance suite will enable Three to deliver market-leading customer experience, agility, scale and reliability whilst embracing exciting new opportunities with digital services, IoT and 5G,” Ladki added.

Published in Telecom Vendors

The UK’s telecom regulator Ofcom announced that later this year it will auction licenses to use 190 MHz of spectrum in two frequency bands, to increase the airwaves available for mobile devices by almost one third. Ofcom said it is helping meet strong demand by releasing extra spectrum, allowing mobile operators to increase their networks’ capacity.

However, UK operator Three publicly disapproved of Ofcom’s announcement in a statement, saying Ofcom’s proposal is “a kick in the teeth for all consumers and in particular for the near-200,000 people who signed up to the ‘Make the Air Fair’ campaign.”

Three launched the campaign in late 2016 calling on consumers to help it fight for a 30 percent spectrum cap before the spectrum auction. The campaign aimed to tackle rival operator BT/EE’s alleged “spectrum dominance”. BT/EE own more than 40 percent of the UK’s available spectrum, and Three has expressed concern that the upcoming auction will enable the two operators to gain more spectrum, thus increasing their dominance.

“By making decisions that increase the dominance of the largest operators, Ofcom is damaging competition, restricting choice and pushing prices up for the very consumers that it is meant to protect,” said Three’s statement. “The mobile market is imbalanced and failing customers. Ofcom has shown little interest in tackling the problem. We will consider our response as a matter of urgency.”

40 MHz of spectrum will be auctioned in the 2.3GHz band by Ofcom. This band is already supported by mobile devices from manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung. These airwaves could be used immediately after release to provide extra capacity, meaning faster downloads and internet browsing for mobile users, according to Ofcom.

In addition, 150 MHz of spectrum will be auctioned in the 3.4GHz band. These airwaves are not compatible with most current mobile devices, but are expected to be usable by future phones and tablets. The 3.4GHz band has been identified as central to the rollout of 5G mobile across Europe.

Ofcom has expressed its intention to reduce BT/EE’s overall share of mobile spectrum by imposing two different restrictions on bidders: “These will limit the amount of spectrum operators can win in the 2.3GHz band; and place overall limits on the spectrum an operator can win across the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands in aggregate,” said the regulator in a statement.

Ofcom said it will place a cap of 255 MHz on the “immediately useable” spectrum that any one operator can hold as a result of the auction. This cap means BT/EE will not be able to bid for spectrum in the 2.3GHz band. In addition, Ofcom will place a new, additional cap of 340 MHz on the overallamount of mobile spectrum a single operator can hold as a result of the auction. This cap amounts to 37 percent of all mobile spectrum expected to be useable in 2020, which includes not only the spectrum available in this auction but also the 700MHz band.

“Taken together, the effect of the caps will be to reduce BT/EE’s overall share of mobile spectrum; the company can win a maximum 85 MHz of new spectrum in the 3.4GHz band,” said Ofcom. “The overall cap also means that Vodafone could gain a maximum 160 MHz of spectrum across both the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands.”

Philip Marnick, Ofcom’s Spectrum Group Director, said: “Spectrum is a vital resource that fuels the UK’s economy. We’ve designed this auction to ensure that people and businesses continue to benefit from strong competition for mobile services.”

Marnick added: “We want to see this spectrum in use as soon as possible. With smartphones and tablets using even more data, people need a choice of fast and reliable mobile networks. These new airwaves will support better services for mobile users, and allow operators to innovate and build for the future.”

Published in Telecom Operators

UK regulator Ofcom on June 16 fined mobile phone provider Three £1,890,000, after uncovering a weakness in the mobile operator’s emergency call network. An Ofcom investigation found that Three broke an important rule designed to ensure everyone can contact the emergency services at all times.

Three fired back at Ofcom saying it acknowledged Ofcom’s decision to fine the company for a single point of vulnerability on Three’s network, but claims the vulnerability “has not had any impact on our customers and only relates to a potential point of failure in Three’s network,” the operator said.

On 6 October 2016, Three notified Ofcom of a temporary loss of service affecting customers in Kent, Hampshire and parts of London. Ofcom’s investigation found that emergency calls from customers in the affected area had to pass through a particular data centre in order to reach the emergency services. This meant that Three’s emergency call service was vulnerable to a single point of failure.

Three’s network “should have been able to automatically divert emergency calls via back-up routes in the event of a local outage,” Ofcom said. But these back-up routes would also have failed because they were all directed through this one point. To resolve the incident and address the underlying network weakness, Three added an additional back-up route to carry emergency call traffic.

Following Ofcom’s investigation, the regulator found Three had “breached the requirement to ensure uninterrupted access to the emergency services.” The breach of the rules was not the incident itself, but rather the weakness identified in Three’s network.

Ofcom’s investigation acknowledged that Three did not act deliberately or recklessly. However, the fine “reflects the seriousness of the breach, given the potential impact on public health and safety,” it said. Ofcom also acknowledged the steps Three took to ensure ongoing compliance with its emergency call service rules.

“Ofcom identified this vulnerability when investigating a separate, unprecedented and unforeseeable October 2016 fibre break outage on Three’s network,” said Three in a statement. “This resulted in a temporary loss of emergency call services affecting some customers. Three took immediate action and the issue was quickly resolved.”

Three highlighted that Ofcom recognized that the circumstances surrounding the October 2016 fibre break outage were exceptional and outside of Three’s control.  Therefore, Three claims the incident itself was “not a breach of Ofcom’s rules.”

As a result of the investigation, Ofcom said it expects all providers to “satisfy themselves that their networks do not have any single points of failure in the routing of their emergency call traffic, which could reasonably be avoided.”

Gaucho Rasmussen, Ofcom’s Enforcement and Investigations Director, said: “Telephone access to the emergency services is extremely important, because failures can have serious consequences for people’s safety and wellbeing.” Rasmussen added that the fine “serves as a clear warning to the wider telecoms industry. Providers must take all necessary steps to ensure uninterrupted access to emergency services.”

Published in Telecom Operators

UK telecom operator Three recently announced that its customers will be able to use their phones abroad at no extra cost in a further two worldwide destinations – Singapore and Brazil - from June 15, bringing its total destinations to 60.

As the network continues its assault on “unfair roaming charges”, specifically in destinations outside the EU, these new destinations keep Three positioned as the global leader in mobile roaming.

Other networks are playing catch-up as EU regulations force them into freeing travelers from unfair roaming charges in Europe from June 15. Roaming charges are a “rip off” and Three continues to tackle the issue head on by opening up further global destinations to phone users at no extra cost and now covers 82% of total trips abroad worldwide.

Dave Dyson, Chief Executive at Three, said: “We are committed to unlocking unfair roaming charges for British travelers, not just in the EU but across the world. Our announcement today is testament to this, as we extend our popular “Feel At Home” service with two additional worldwide destinations, taking our total to 60 with 17 of those being outside of Europe.”

Three was the first network to scrap roaming charges back in 2013, allowing customers to use their allowances at no extra cost. Over time it’s continued to add more destinations to the list, not just across Europe, but also popular rest-of-world places, including the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.

Dave Dyson continues: “We are doing this proactively for the benefit of our customers and not because regulators are forcing us to do it.  That’s what sets us apart and this approach means we will always be ahead of our competitors when it comes to fair overseas roaming.  I am proud that our customers can now use their phones as if they were in the UK in more than 80% of the destinations they travel to.  Our ambition is greater and we are moving quickly towards a goal of 100% of overseas travel, so our customers can stay connected and enjoy the freedom of using their phones whilst they’re abroad.”

The addition of Brazil and Singapore are in response to emerging and growing travel trends. Currently 450,000 Brits visit Singapore each year and, since the Olympics, more travelers are making the trip to Brazil, with nearly 200,000 visits in the last year alone. 

Three has also significantly overhauled its latest international calling offering for Pay As You Go customers by making it just 3p a minute to call directly to both landline and mobile numbers in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China. By June, a further 16 countries will be added to this list.

In a further move to simplify things for customers, this new PAYG international calling service is available without the complexity of having to remember the country pre-fix dialing codes. So you can now simply phone the number abroad without any prefix whatsoever.

Published in Telecom Operators

Nokiaand Three UK, part of CK Hutchison, are to deploy the world's first fully integrated cloud native core network. The UK network will enable massive scalability, allowing Three to rapidly respond to customers' dynamic service demands while preparing for IoT and 5G.

Published in Telecom Operators