Displaying items by tag: technology

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

AT&T and Nokia are teaming up to provide virtually seamless Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity around the world. The companies are using Nokia’s Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) to offer AT&T’s enterprise customers the benefits of Nokia’s global IoT ecosystem. These include core network, dedicated IoT operations, billing, security, data analytics, and more.

AT&T and Nokia will develop, test and launch the next generation of IoT services. They’ll cover a wide range of industries including transportation, health, manufacturing, retail, agriculture, utilities, consumer electronics and smart cities.

Commercial deployment starts later this year. WING’s core network assets are expected to be available in more than 20 countries across Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and the Middle East by the first quarter of 2020. The collaboration will help set the stage for the evolution to global 5G.

Together the companies can help enterprise customers:

  • Bring more capabilities to more places with increased performance and flexibility, lower latency, and enhanced platform capabilities.
  • Address specific business requirements through capabilities like 5G network slicing that allows a single network to be partitioned into multiple networks.
  • Meet local regulatory requirements for IoT devices.

“Our work with Nokia WING will help clear away the complexity of large-scale IoT adoption so that our customers can unlock the potential of IoT worldwide,” said Chris Penrose, President, Internet of Things Solutions, AT&T. “Boosted by Nokia’s globally deployed ‘one-stop shop’ network technology, we can be more nimble and responsive to our customers’ needs.”

“This collaboration proves our commitment to the global IoT market, providing seamless connectivity across geographical borders and technologies,” said Sanjay Goel, President of Global Services at Nokia. “With AT&T’s leading position in IoT and proven experience meeting real customer needs, we have a winning combination to bolster our global IoT capabilities.”

AT&T offers global IoT solutions through a combination of owned and third party-provided capabilities that enable superior network performance in more than 200 countries and territories. Connected devices are deployed and controlled easily and quickly in multiple countries using a single, global SIM.

AT&T’s cloud-based Multi-Network Connect platform will simplify connectivity and platform capabilities for AT&T’s use of Nokia WING. Multi-Network Connect lets businesses manage IoT devices across multiple cellular and satellite networks, operators and regions through a single portal.

Nokia WING offers a fully integrated, global managed service for IoT connectivity enablement for mobile network operators, providing innovative features, optimizing investments and reducing time to market. Working with WING, AT&T will speed the delivery of IoT services on a global scale and drive emerging IoT applications.

Published in Telecom Operators

Chinese telecommunications conglomerate Huawei has launched a demo ‘smart city’ in Weifang, China. It’s part of an overall objective by the company to showcase and highlight its narrowband Internet of Things ‘smart city’ applications and Ocean-Connect IoT platform.

The Chinese smartphone maker made the announcement in relation to its new demo ‘smart city’ at the Huawei Connect conference which was held in Shanghai. It conveyed to those in attendance that Weifang will utilize Huawei’s city-level IoT platform to access, manage and collect data from sensory equipment that will be spread across the entire city in real-time.

Huawei has also publicly stated that it has enabled smart lighting applications across Weifang for a series of different objectives which range from monitoring the status of the street lights, its brightness and the applications can also detect faults. It has been claimed that the system has been specifically designed to save around 80% of traditional electricity usage and 90% of previous maintenance costs.

In addition to this, it has also been disclosed that Huawei has integrated eight services with its NB-IoT network which includes a remote-control system, Wi-Fi hotspots, video surveillance, environment monitoring and statistics. Huawei has outlined that its primary objective is to develop a ‘nervous system’ of smart cities with the Chinese multinational corporation already deploying its smart city solutions in over 100 cities across the globe.

Zheng Zhibin, Huawei Enterprise Business Group GM of Global Smart City Solution Department declared that Huawei’s vision is to improve connectivity services in urban areas all over the world – which is imperative in order to continue to drive the growth of the ‘digital economy’.

He said, “ICT advancement is accelerating the growth of the digital economy, which is a driving force of global economic development and transforming cities across many areas including governance, transport, living, social interactions, and employment, promoting the sustainable development of cities. The underlying connectivity in these smart cities will be critical to unlock the potential of the digital economy. Huawei is focused on improving connectivity capabilities within cities, and is creating the nervous system of better-connected cities through an IoT platform, achieving better awareness [and] connectivity among smart devices."

At Huawei Connect in Shanghai it was also formally announced that the telecommunications colossus and the Government of Weifang City had formed an Internet of Things Innovation R&D Centre and an IoT Industry Alliance.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Social networking colossus Facebook has announced that it is attempting to make a ‘technical ‘breakthrough in relation to developing and manufacturing futuristic ‘smart glasses’ specifically designed to allow you see to see virtual objects in the real world.

It has emerged that Facebook published a patent application for a ‘waveguide display with two-dimensional scanner’ which was compiled by three members of its advanced research division of Facebook’s VR subsidiary Oculus.

It has been reported that the display may augment views of a physical, real-world environment with computer generated elements. In addition to this, the patent filing also suggested that the display being developed may be included in an eye-wear comprising a frame and a display assembly yhat presents media to a user’s eyes.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously expressed his belief that virtual and augmented reality - represents the next major computing platform which is capable of replacing smartphones and traditional PCs. Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion and has announced its intentions to continue to invest billions on developing more revolutionary technology.

The ‘smart glasses’ currently being developed by Oculus will use a waveguide display in order to project light onto the wearer’s eyes instead of a more traditional display. However, it has also been claimed that the ‘smart glasses’ would be able to display images, video and be compatible with connected speakers or headphones to play audio when worn.

Facebook has thus far declined to comment on the patent application, but analysts have suggested that the social networking firm have adopted a similar approach to Microsoft, when they launched its HoloLens AR headset. Oculus’s ‘smart glasses’ have also drawn comparisons with glasses being developed by Google start-up Magic Leap.

Interestingly, one of the lead authors of Facebook’s patent application is optical scientist Pasi Saarikko who joined Facebook two years ago, after he spearheaded the optical design of HoloLens at Microsoft. However, despite the announcement being made in relation to work commencing on Facebook’s ‘smart glasses’, analysts have claimed don’t expect to see the device anytime soon.

Chief scientist of Oculus, Michael Abrash said AR glasses won’t start replacing smartphones until 2022. He said, “20 or 30 years from now, I predict that instead of carrying stylish smartphones everywhere, we’ll wear stylish glasses. Those glasses will offer VR, AR and everything in between, and we’ll use them all day.”

Published in Gadget

 Ericsson has endured a difficult number of years in the telecommunications market, but newly-appointed CTO Erik Ekudden has expressed his optimism moving forward – vowing that the Swedish vendor will focus on key trends they’ve identified such as ‘automation’. The CTO disclosed that the key trends were identified following intense discussions with Ericsson’s customers and its leadership team since his appointment on July 1st.

Ekudden believes that Ericsson is well-placed to deliver on some of the technology trends which have been established. However, he did concede that it must develop new skills and capabilities in conjunction with other key industry players in order to be in a position to capitalize on the remainder.

One of the key trends identified is providing an adaptable technology base by combining software and hardware. According to the executive Ericsson’s experience and nous ensures that it can improve the efficiency of networks and ultimately ‘lower costs’.

Other keys trends identified by Ericsson which were disclosed by Ekudden include the need to establish an advanced machine intelligence system - he claimed that the ecosystem for machine learning and AI platforms were maturing and that the Swedish telecommunications colossus was enhancing its operations in relation to the development of such network platforms.

However, it was in the area of ‘automation’ and IoT  which represents a great opportunity for Ericsson to assist its customer base in their ‘automation journey’ by offering better infrastructure and ultimately delivering an interaction between operations and networks which is much more intuitive and smooth.

Ekudden said, “Automation is a big theme among our customers. Ericsson is taking a leading role here, and we’ve got great experience in managed services and broader optimization capabilities. In addition to this, end-to-end security in IoT systems is crucial, and our goal is to establish what we call “hardware routes of trust” in every IoT device.”

However, the newly-appointed CTO stressed the importance of security and said it was imperative that it is considered when developing every new IoT device. He added, “It’s an architectural question, and it’s also about designing every node at a certain security level. This is something we take as a very important part of the products that we build on the network side.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

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

South Korean multinational conglomerate Samsung and Chinese vendor ZTE have both adopted aggressive strategies in relation to investment for 5G infrastructure – and many analysts are predicting that this approach will both disrupt and threaten the traditional trio of networks players which include Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei.

ZTE has focused largely on the development of 5G specifications in the last twelve months, which is much more than any of it previous forays in relation to mobile technology. The Chinese telecommunications equipment and systems colossus has doubled its R&D spending on 5G in 2016 to $400m – and has assigned 1,600 employees to work on the technology at four dedicated research facilities located in China, the US and Europe.

Director of Wireless Standardization, Wang Xinhui has claimed that ZTE’s inactivity with 2G, 3G and 4G was down to the fact that it lacked maturity, and declared it was now much better equipped for the forthcoming era of 5G. At a 5G Summit in Tokyo in May, he told Mobile World Live: “In the past we were simply less mature. With 2G and 3G, and even with 4G, we weren’t that big. But in the era of 5G, we were well prepared. We’ve spent a huge amount of money and devoted so much human resources, particularly towards the New Radio specifications.”

Chief analyst at Global Data Technology, Peter Jarich said it made perfect sense for an entity like ZTE to attempt to penetrate the 5G market, as the technology will require new expertise and infrastructure. He feels it’s a natural and logical progression from ZTE to invest heavily in 5G, as they recognize it as a phenomenal opportunity.

South Korean smartphone giants Samsung have also adopted a similar approach, and have been working on 5G since 2012, when it started its first mmWave research and development. It has previously stated that it firmly believes that strong 5G infrastructure will help ensure Samsung executes its mission which is to ‘connect everything’.

Samsung has boldly set its sights on becoming a top-three player in the 5G infrastructure market, and it has estimated that network equipment sales will treble to $8.6 billion in 2022. It has been disclosed that Samsung, which is the world’s largest smartphone maker plans to accumulate market share by moving swiftly and targeting the US market.

The reason behind its strategic targeting of the US market is that its Asian competitors such as Huawei and ZTE may face a ban on selling networking gear due to security concerns which have been raised by the government. In May, Samsung publicly announced that it had conducted the world’s first field trial of a multi-vendor, pre-standard 5G network with US telecommunications firm Verizon. In addition to this, more recently Samsung and UK communications firm Arqiva announced it had conducted the first field trial of 5G Fixed Wireless Access Technology in Europe that went live in Central London.

VP of next-generation business and products at Samsung Networks, Woojune Kim, has expressed his confidence they can become a top tier network player in 5G, citing the fact that its Finnish and Swedish competitors are currently struggling. This stark assessment of its rivals was evidenced by the CEO of Nokia, Rajeev Suri conceded that the fact 5G was accelerating much faster than originally expected, would almost inevitable create some near term risks for his company, with the timing and completion of certain projects now uncertain. 

Published in Telecom Vendors

Some of the most prominent figures in the US technology sector have publicly expressed their dismay and anger following the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia last week. Microsoft, Apple and Facebook have all announced they will implement measures in a bid to fightback against the rise of white supremacists in the US.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook criticized President Trump’s response to the events last week - and in a letter to his employees said counter-protesters were standing up for human rights. Cook said, “I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”

Cook revealed that Apple would contribute $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, who are both human right groups. In addition to this, he said it was suspending its Apple Pay support on websites that sell white supremacy clothing and accessories. E-commerce platform PayPal has also implemented similar measures.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella also voiced her concern at the violence in Virginia, and said there was absolutely unequivocally no place for such racist rhetoric in the US. In a letter to employees, Nadella said, “There is no place in our society for the bias, bigotry and senseless violence we witnessed this weekend in Virginia provoked by white nationalists.”

Cloud security and performance firm Cloud-flare also publicly announced that it has now terminated its account with neo-Nazi outlet ‘The Daily Stormer. The publication drew widespread criticism following the publication of a hate-filled feature on the victims of the Charlottesville violence.

Social media colossus Facebook has also moved swiftly to take action and suspended the account of infamous white supremacist Christopher Cantwell’s accounts on both Facebook and Instagram. Twitter has also removed the online account of The Daily Stormer from its platform.

President Trump drew criticism from technology leaders following his appointment to The White House in November. His controversial policies on immigration were widely condemned in Silicon Valley, and while President Trump has taken steps to build relationships with technology firms in Silicon Valley since taking office – there scathing criticism of his response to Charlottesville will not be well received by either Trump or his republican administration in Washington DC.

Published in Government

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

US technology firm Cisco Systems has announced that its technologies will be used to help roll-out free public Wi-Fi in London. Last week, London Mayor, Sadiq Khan vowed to make London the ‘smartest city’ in the world - and one way of ensuring that vision is to enhance ‘connectivity’.

In a statement released by the US conglomerate which is headquartered in San Jose, California, it said Cisco hardware is set to underpin O2 and Vodafone in an effort to implement free public Wi-Fi across the city. It was further disclosed that the new network will use Cisco’s outdoor access point, the Aironet 1560 series, to provide high bandwidth connectivity points in the square mile area.

In addition to this, Cisco’s technology will sit in passive physical infrastructure provided by O2’s joint-venture with Vodafone, Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure, while 02 will provide the network core. The new network will replace the existing service entitled ‘The Cloud’ which is provided by Sky. The new roll-out is expected to be complete by autumn - and users will be able to access the network for free after completing a one-time registration process.

Chief Operating Officer for O2, Derek McManus emphasized the importance of continuous investment in new infrastructure and digital technologies. McManus said, “Continued investment in infrastructure is essential to maintain the UK’s reputation as a digital leader and we needed a partner that would be able to provide cutting-edge technology to help us realize this." McManus also expressed his delight that they were able to broker an agreement with Cisco, and said the organization’s technology was robust, fast and seamless.

According to Cisco SVP, Global Service provider, Peter Karlstromer access to free Wi-Fi and enhanced connectivity is now a basic requirement for any city looking to drive ‘innovation’. He said, “Free Wi-Fi connectivity is now a pre-requisite for any city looking to drive innovation and compete on a globe scale."

The multi-million pound contract with the City of London was announced in April, and it aims to improve the city’s ‘smart infrastructure’. 4G connected cells will be implemented in street furniture such as street signs, lamp posts and buildings in an attempt to make London ‘connected’. It’s also been reported that Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited will offer all ‘smart infrastructure’ on a wholesale basis to all UK operators, as part of a collective effort to enhance mobile coverage in the area.

In May, O2 said it would invest £80m to install 1,400 small cells in London in a collaboration agreement with Cisco in order to improve mobile coverage for its own subscribers.

Published in Telecom Operators
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