Longer newsletter this month — it’s our year-end bumper issue, so bear with us!
Events continued in November for us, virtual and in-person. First, the OCP Summit in San Jose, which was well-attended despite concerns that not many would show up. We enjoyed catching up with clients and the OCP team. Vendors on the floor seemed pleased with engagement despite the smaller crowd. If you want to know where the OCP is going in the next ten years, check out our video with Rebecca Weekly (Intel, OCP Board Chair).
Next, Layer 123 World Congress 2021, where we gave the opening talk covering industry trends and moderated a session on Enabling a Dynamic Network from Radio to Edge to Core, with panelists from Netcracker, Amdocs, Azure, SES, and Verizon. We also appreciate the opportunity to be on the judging panel of the Layer 123 Network Transformation Awards 2021 — a hearty congratulations to the winners!
We then emceed TIP Insights 2021, which provided the community with key updates on TIP’s efforts across transport, WiFi, and RAN. We also hosted an Open RAN panel at the TIP event with BT, Orange, and Rakuten Mobile.
NOTE: The embedded links above will take you to on-demand versions of the events if you missed them.
The rest of the month was filled by OpenInfra Live and analyst days from Mavenir, Nokia, Red Hat, and more, as vendors scrambled to grab the remaining workdays before we hit the holiday season.
Last week, we headed to AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas for an in-person bash with 20,000+ technologists and were reminded what events were really like before the pandemic. Trudging through smokey Vegas casinos, I couldn’t tell we were in a pandemic aside from masks on the few not eating, drinking, or smoking. Notable announcements from that show are covered below, though the one that triggered many inbound inquiries was AWS Private 5G.
To wrap up the year, we’re still planning on heading over to Paris for the in-person Upperside SD-WAN and SASE 2021 (Dec14-16), where we’re opening, chairing, and moderating. If you’re going, I hope we’ll catch up there. Otherwise, this will be our last newsletter before the new year — we’ll send our December newsletter in the first week of January.
With our partner, Converge! Network Digest, we launched our Open RAN resource site in early November! Some notable videos on the site are Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Symphony —exclusive footage from MWC LA. We also feature Marc Rouanne of Dish, Cristina Rodriguez of Intel, Shamik Mishra of Capgemini, Charlie Vogt of DZS, Rob Soni of VMware, Ignacio García-Carrillo of HPE, Marisa Viveros of IBM, Heather Kirksey of LFN, Amar Kapadia of Aarna, Santiago Rodriguez of Ericsson, and Stephen Douglas of Spirent. And we have more videos that we’ll be rotating through the site — numerous perspectives from industry thought leaders. You don’t want to miss checking out the site and downloading our free Open RAN report! While you’re there, check out other sites:
- Service Assurance — Featuring unique content from AT&T, Comcast Business, Ribbon, Emblasoft, Juniper Networks, Cisco/ThousandEyes, Amartus, and Prosimo.
- Private Mobile Networks — Featuring exclusive content from Boingo, Orange Business Services, Qualcomm, Linux Foundation, Accedian, Celona, Aarna Networks, Aruba/HPE, Fortinet, EdgeQ.
- SD-WAN and SASE (Updated for 2021) — Recently refreshed, so check it out!
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating or sponsoring those. On to our news summary for November!
5G News and Updates
re:Invent – Dish’s Rouanne telegraphs enterprise plans in keynote
In his re:Invent keynote, Marc Rouanne, Dish’s Chief Network Officer, discussed the versatility of their network, built on AWS cloud platform. He describes their network as a “network of networks” suited to consumers and enterprise businesses and describes Dish as the “AWS of wireless.”
Telia rolls out a 5G standalone network in Finland
Telia deployed a commercial 5G standalone network in Finland. The company said that the 5G standalone network would initially be available for select users in 20 geographic areas across Finland, but it plans to expand its footprint. Nokia supplied the 5G standalone gear, and Telia is also launching standalone in Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden.
Dish Network will use Rakuten Symphony for its cloud-native 5G network
Dish Network will use Rakuten Symphony as its OSS vendor for its cloud-native standalone 5G network. Dish said it would use Rakuten Symphony’s observability framework to collect telemetry data from network functions that enable the company to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize the 5G network. The observability framework is intended to give more visibility into the performance of cloud-native functions and other operations.
Ericsson and Nokia have new tech leaders in the U.S.
Ericsson and Nokia have both named new CTOs to head up their North American territories. It’s worth noting that Ericsson poached its new North American CTO from Nokia. Michael Murphy, who has worked at Nokia since 2006 and has been the company’s North American CTO since 2014, is now Ericsson’s new North American CTO. David Eckard, who previously was VP of strategy and technology for North America at Nokia, will replace Murphy as Nokia’s CTO of North America. These leadership changes come at a critical time in the U.S. market as operators like Verizon and AT&T are expanding their 5G networks in the C-band spectrum they were awarded earlier this year.
Rakuten creates a “Beyond 5G” research initiative
Rakuten is collaborating with Nagoya University and Oki Electric Industry to explore and develop technologies for next-gen autonomous networks. The project, called Beyond 5G, isn’t using the term 6G, although it is talking about the next generation of communications standards that come after 5G, with deployment planned in roughly ten years. Rakuten said that the project will run until the end of March 2025 and will involve autonomous networks that respond to communications service requests without human intervention.
Dish picks Cisco for its 5G enterprise services
Dish will use Cisco to help it deliver cloud-based enterprise services via its 5G network. As part of the agreement, Cisco will provide cloud networking and automation software as well as a number of customer experience-focused lifecycle services. The networking company will also provide intelligent network transport, virtual routing, and DevOps. And the two companies will work jointly on a go-to-market strategy for private 5G in the enterprise.
TIP launches a fixed broadband project
The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) created a fixed broadband project group named FiBr, which is intended to help operators build and operate their fixed-line networks. The focus of the group will be to develop broadband network gateways and other technologies for fiber-to-the-home access networks. Eventually, the group hopes to evolve existing fiber assets for new use cases such as small cell densification and rural broadband. Representatives from Vodafone and Telefonica are chairing the new group.
BT executive says Open RAN isn’t going to save operators money
BT’s Chief Architect Neil McRae told reporters during a press event earlier this month that one of the biggest myths of Open RAN is that it is going to save telecom firms money. However, he does believe Open RAN will spur innovation and produce alternative suppliers, which is good for the industry. BT is currently working with Mavenir on a trial of Open RAN and small cells. McRae also believes that Open RAN may play a role in a neutral host network that multiple operators would share when serving an enterprise customer.
Ericsson says Open RAN is more expensive than regular RAN
Ericsson is claiming that Open RAN equipment is ultimately more expensive than traditional RAN equipment. The networking equipment vendor told the FCC that Open RAN performance does not compare to integrated RAN and that even if the cost-saving estimates were true on a per-unit basis, Open RAN and regular RAN are not delivering the same level of performance. Ericsson also said that based upon its estimates, open RAN is more expensive because it needs more equipment to accomplish what purpose-built solutions can deliver, and it also requires increased system integration costs.
European operators ask EU to make Open RAN a priority
Five European operators joined forces to ask the EU to make Open RAN technology an urgent priority. Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, and Vodafone all recommended to the European Commission that a European Alliance on next-generation communications infrastructure be created, similar to how alliances have been formed for the cloud and semiconductors. And the operators also said that they want Europe to be part of the global standardization efforts around Open RAN.
re:Invent – AWS surprises with a direct-to-enterprise and carrier-partner private 5G offering
AWS has made available an easy-to-procure starter kit for a fully-managed, pay-as-you-go, private cellular service. This service lays the groundwork for future expanded offerings, both direct-to-enterprise and through AWS’s communication service provider (CSP) partners. Available initially in the U.S. with CBRS spectrum support, AWS intends to expand the service in more regions, with the ability to use licensed spectrum. Check out our video interview with Converge! Digest on this.
Manufacturing vertical is the biggest for private 5G, says Verizon’s Erwin
In an interview with FierceWireless, Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business, said that she believes the biggest vertical for 5G private wireless right now is manufacturing, where many companies are experiencing the benefits of edge computing. She also said that Verizon worked with Nokia as its partner to deploy a 5G private network for British ports in the U.K. She added that the expectation is that the ports will build edge compute use cases once they have their private network capability in place.
Systems integrators see opportunity in private wireless
Systems integrators are starting to specialize in private networks for corporate customers. These system integrators realize that as enterprises become aware of using the CBRS spectrum to create private networks, they also are looking for partners to help them build these networks. The OnGo Alliance has created a certification program for equipment to help enterprises set up their private networks, but most enterprise IT departments are looking for additional assistance from integrators.
SD-WAN and SASE
IDC: Cisco, Fortinet, HPE-Aruba, and VMware are leaders in SD-WAN
IDC’s MarketScape report evaluated a dozen SD-WAN infrastructure vendors and ranked them based upon their core set of features such as WAN routing, WAN link management, application-based policy control, and more. Cisco, Fortinet, HPE-Aruba, and VMware topped the list, according to IDC. The research firm also said that the SD-WAN market grew 18.5% in 2020 and predicted it will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.9% through 2025.
AT&T adds Cisco’s SASE to its SD-WAN portfolio
AT&T partnered with Cisco to add its Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) to the company’s portfolio of SD-WAN products. Earlier this year, AT&T launched a managed SASE service in collaboration with Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. AT&T already offers Cisco’s SD-WAN service. AT&T said that Cisco’s SASE would provide customers with access to SD-WAN and also offer a number of security measures, including a firewall, DNS security, secure web gateway, and access to Cisco’s Umbrella and Duo security services.
GTT will use Palo Alto Networks to power its SASE
GTT Communications will use Palo Alto Networks technology to power the company’s Secured Access Service Edge (SASE) platform. GTT said its new SASE platform would provide enterprise customers with a new set of security features in a single, cloud-delivered platform. The momentum around SASE offerings continues to grow. Gartner estimates that at least 60% of enterprises will have strategies and timelines for adopting SASE by 2025, which is an increase from 10% of enterprises in 2020.
re:Invent – AWS launches Cloud WAN to unify disparate WAN, connect SD-WAN partners
AWS Cloud WAN is a new offering that provides a single console to manage connectivity across enterprise virtual private clouds (VPCs) in AWS. Both are offered as direct-to-enterprises and in concert with CSPs.
DOD says Google and Oracle can bid on Jedi replacement contract
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) determined that Google and Oracle are qualified to bid on the DoD’s multi-billion-dollar Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) contract that is a replacement for the agency’s scrapped Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract. The DoD initially named Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft as the only qualified bidders for JWCC but said the agency said it would assess other U.S. companies to determine whether they could meet the DoD’s standards. That assessment is now complete.
Dell Technologies completes VMware spinoff
Dell Technologies finally completed its spinoff of VMware. The spinoff was first announced in June 2020 and is intended to give VMware the ability to better execute on its multi-cloud strategy as well as provide a simpler capital structure and governance model as well as operational and financial flexibility. As part of the spinoff, Dell had to unload its 81% stake in VMware.
VMware’s fiscal 3Q revenue jumped 11% year-over-year
VMware reported fiscal third-quarter 2022 revenue of $3.19 billion, an 11% increase year-over-year. The company attributed the gains to strong growth in subscription and software-as-a-service (SaaS) sales. Subscription and SaaS revenue for 3Q was $820 million, a 21% increase compared to the same quarter in the previous year. VMware also said that it has recurring annual revenue from subscriptions of sales of $3.31 billion, a 25% increase year-over-year. This was the first time VMware reported its earnings since Dell spun off its 81% stake in the company.
Report: Huawei may sell server division
Huawei Technologies is considering selling its x86 server business to an unidentified consortium that includes at least one government-backed buyer, according to a report from Bloomberg, citing unidentified sources. The equipment maker is in advanced talks with the potential buyer and is said to be selling the server division after the U.S. made it difficult for Huawei to get processors from Intel Corp. Huawei has had to overhaul much of its business after the Trump administration back in 2018 first started restricting U.S. companies from buying Huawei equipment or selling their products to the Chinese firm.
Cisco reports $12.9B in fiscal 1Q but warns of supply chain issues
Cisco Systems saw revenue jump to $12.9 billion in its fiscal first quarter, an increase of $1 billion from the same quarter the previous year. But like many other tech firms, the company is warning that it might face near-term supply chain issues due to shortages of chips and other materials. Much of Cisco’s growth in the quarter was attributed to the company’s networking and security groups. However, revenue in Cisco’s hybrid work unit, which includes Webex, dropped by 7% year-over-year, and sales in other services-related areas achieved only about 1% growth in revenue compared to last year.
Microsoft and Kyndryl partner to develop cloud products
Kyndryl, which earlier this month completed its spinoff from IBM, formed a strategic partnership with Microsoft to target enterprises with new co-developed cloud products. This is the first major deal for Kyndryl after separating from IBM. The two companies will work on products related to cybersecurity, resiliency, and data modernization. They also plan to collaborate on products that can be used to move mission-critical workloads to the cloud.
Edge and Edge Cloud
AT&T, Microsoft launch Azure Edge Zone in Atlanta
AT&T and Microsoft Azure launched an Azure Edge Zone in Atlanta. The companies announced in April 2020 that they would be working together to bring ultra-low-latency edge to compute to joint customers by creating Azure Edge Zones around the U.S. Azure Edge Zones are local extensions of the Microsoft Azure cloud that brings compute, storage, and networking closer to end-users. In Atlanta, AT&T said it is working with JamKazam to help musicians collaborate online by delivering low-latency audio and video streaming services.
re:Invent – NASDAQ will migrate matching engine to AWS Private Local Zones
At re:Invent, Adena Friedman, CEO of NASDAQ, shared during the keynote that they will be tapping the first-ever Private AWS Local Zone for capital markets as NASDAQ works to shift operations to the cloud. NASDAQ will begin by transitioning its U.S. options market to AWS in 2022, following with other North American and global markets in a multi-phase migration. We have a video interview with Converge! Network Digest on this.
re:Invent – AWS 1RU and 2RU Outposts now generally available
Previously mentioned as part of their collaboration with DISH, AWS is starting to ship 1RU and 2RU versions of AWS Outposts, which previously had been available only as a 42RU full rack. AWS intends to expand its on-premises (and in private data center) footprint with these units. The 2RU solution is also targeted as part of the on-prem option for AWS Private 5G, hosting the mobile core.
Juniper adds AI-driven support across Junos
Juniper Networks is adding artificial intelligence-based support services, called Juniper Support Insights, across its portfolio of Junos products. Juniper entered the AI-based networking world when it acquired Mist Systems in 2019. Juniper Support Insights is intended to give customers the ability to glean information from different devices, such as line card status, configurations, and operating system info, and then compare that with the data it has in the Juniper cloud. This data is then put into a dashboard, giving customers the ability to analyze it and prevent issues with their network devices.
Infovista uses AI to help operators with their 5G network planning
Infovista is crowdsourcing geolocated data to create heat maps that enable operators to more precisely expand and refine their 5G networks. The crowdsourced data is collected from more than 250 million mobile devices that Infovista says are continuously delivering multiple voice and data-related measurements. The data is automatically collected from 10,000 Android apps running in the background whenever customers use their smartphones.
And that’s it for the year. If you have some time during the holidays, and find yourself yearning for some infrastructure technology education, check out our new Open RAN site, along with Private Mobile Networks, Service Assurance, and our SD-WAN and SASE Refresh resource sites.
The team at AvidThink would like to thank you for your support and readership in 2021 and wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year! May 2022 bring you much joy and success. Stay healthy and stay safe!