April brought back travel in a big way for us, opening, chairing, and moderating at both Upperside Conferences’ MPLS SD & AINet World 2022 the first week of April in Paris and Layer 123 Reunion in Madrid, Spain, the last week of April. Thankfully, no covid infection so far. It was great seeing people in person again and sharing meals in two of the nicest cities in the world.
Speaking of the world, the crisis in Ukraine continues. For those who’ve already shown support, we might want to consider re-upping our commitment to helping those in need: check out NPR and CBS News resources.
For those of us who think a person can’t be in two places simultaneously, you haven’t met our partner, Jim Carroll, of Converge! Digest. Jim represented our partnership at ONUG Spring 2022 for an excellent enterprise-focused event in New Jersey and endured two red-eye flights (out and back) to be present at the SmartNICs Summit capturing cool videos and interviews for our new resource site.
PREVIEW – SmartNICs and Infrastructure Acceleration Site
We are pleased to preview the launch of the NextGenInfra.io 2022 SmartNICs and Infrastructure Acceleration Showcase — created by AvidThink in partnership with our partner, Converge! Digest. We’re still uploading new content as we get approval from the organizations that provided us with insightful interviews, but please check it out and download the updated report. You do not want to miss our special interview with Soni Jiandani, co-founder and Chief Business Officer of Pensado Systems, on her thoughts on the market and their recent $1.98B acquisition by AMD. Feedback welcomed!
In the meantime, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating or sponsoring upcoming sites: SD-WAN/SASE, telco and edge infrastructure, service assurance, private mobile networks, data center networking, infrastructure security.
On to our news summary for April 2022!
Cellcom is dismantling its Open RAN network in Wisconsin
Cellcom is taking apart its open RAN network in Wisconsin because of a pricing dispute with its vendor, Parallel Wireless. According to Light Reading, Cellcom said it has to decommission portions of its Parallel Wireless network because it can’t get radios for some spectrum bands. Cellcom said that while it wanted to expand its trial with Parallel Wireless, the company had difficulty sourcing the radios because it couldn’t meet the minimum number required for the purchase order. The company also said that O-RAN is not a cost-effective approach for regional operators without economies of scale. Cellcom announced in 2018 that it would deploy Open RAN gear from Parallel Wireless.
Fujitsu will contribute its Massive MIMO radios to Meta’s Evenstar
Fujitsu Network Communications will supply its Massive MIMO radio units to Evenstar, a program created by Meta Connectivity to accelerate the adoption of open RAN technologies.
The radio units are compliant with 3GPP specifications and will be tested, validated, and listed on the TIP Exchange Marketplace in the second half of this year.
O-RAN Alliance wants to formalize its standards with ETSI
The O-RAN Alliance is working on getting its initial batch of standards made formal by working with ETSI. AT&T’s Paul Smith, one of the key executives with the O-RAN Alliance, said that the group is also planning to expand its testing and integration efforts to make interoperable networking components. The alliance currently has six Open Testing, and Integration Centers that provide open and impartial working environments for open RAN vendors and plans to open one more center in North America this year.
Parallel Wireless is working on an open RAN field trial in Brazil
Parallel Wireless is working on an open RAN trial in Brazil. The trial includes four operators—Vivo, Claro, TIM, and Brisanet — and the National Institute of Telecommunications in Brazil and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP). The trial is intended to enable 4G and 5G broadband communications throughout Brazil and other Latin American countries. Parallel is acting as the main system integrator and providing distributed unit (DU)/central unit (CU) and aggregator software.
Inland Cellular is testing Open RAN
Inland Cellular EVP Chip Damato told attendees at the CCA Mobile Carriers show this month that the regional carrier is successful with its early open RAN trials. The company is working with Parallel Wireless on its open RAN trials. As a smaller carrier, Damato said open RAN allows it to deploy its network more economically and more quickly. Inland is looking to support use cases in agriculture, forestry, and mining in rural areas.
Mavenir opened an Open RAN Center in Germany
Mavenir established an Open RAN Center for Excellence in Bonn, Germany. The center is located near the headquarters of Deutsche Telekom, an operator that Mavenir is working closely with on open RAN technology. The new center will support European mobile operators with open RAN engineering, planning, design, system integration, and deployment.
Dish asks permission to test carrier aggregation in Cheyenne
Dish Network obtained permission from the FCC to conduct carrier aggregation tests for 5G in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The company achieved a special temporary authorization from the FCC from April 1, 2022, to October 1, 2022, for tests in the 600 MHz band. A separate filing for Cheyenne showed that permissions were also granted to use the 1695-1710 MHz spectrum for testing through September 20, 2022. This isn’t the first permission Dish has received; it also has received grants to conduct 5G tests in Denver, Oklahoma City, San Diego, and Las Vegas.
C Spire will test standalone 5G sometime this year
C Spire launched a new marketing campaign called “Welcome to C Spire Country” that touts the company’s 5G and fiber offerings across Mississippi, Alabama, and elsewhere. The company’s non-standalone 5G network stretches across 250 cell sites its 700 MHz and 500 MHz spectrum bands. The operator is getting ready to test 5G standalone technology in its 28 GHz spectrum sometime this year.
Verana Networks gets $28M in funding for its 5G RAN technology
Verana Networks secured $28 million in Series B venture capital funding, bringing its total capital raised since its founding to $43 million. The company will use the funding to commercialize its 5G radio access network (RAN) technology for millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. Verana’s RAN technology is based upon a patent-pending network design that supports 5G New Radio specifications and Open RAN Alliance interfaces.
T-Mobile launches new, cheaper 5G rate plan
T-Mobile launched a new, cheaper unlimited 5G rate plan that is intended to compete directly with the unlimited rate plans offered by cable mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) such as Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile and Charter’s Spectrum Mobile. T-Mobile’s Bare Essentials plan costs $45 per month for one line of service and includes 20 GB of 5G data. After customers pass the 20 GB threshold for the month, their speeds will be throttled to 1.5 Mbps. T-Mobile’s plan looks very similar to AT&T’s $50-per-month “Value Plus Plan” introduced earlier this year. With Value Plus Plan, AT&T throttles data in times of network congestions and doesn’t include support for hotspot data, which it does with its higher-priced unlimited data plans.
Nephio open source project manages 5G networks across multiple edge sites
The Linux Foundation partnered with Google Cloud and others to create a new open source project called Nephio to create cloud-native automation and management of 5G networks across multiple edge locations. Nephio will not provide cloud infrastructure with network functions, but it will use Kubernetes container management as a uniform automation control plane in each site to configure all aspects of the distributed cloud and network functions. The project is supported by several service providers, including Bharti Airtel, Bell Canada, Jio, Orange, Rakuten Mobile, TIM, and Telus. However, no U.S. carriers are founding members.
Verizon invests $40M in Casa Systems to power its MEC
Verizon will invest $40 million in Casa Systems’ common stock, giving it a 9.9% ownership stake in the vendor. In a separate agreement, the wireless operator also signed a multi-year deal in which Casa will supply 5G core network software to power Verizon’s public multi-edge compute (MEC) service offering. The multi-year deal calls for Verizon to pay $20 million to Casa this year and a remaining $120 million that is subject to Casa executing on its agreement and Verizon accepting various deliverables. The deal is an important milestone for Casa and validates the company’s role in cloud-native wireless tech.
Are hyperscalers the winners in the edge?
Edge computing promises to be big business, particularly as enterprises look to the edge for applications that leverage large amounts of data. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the easiest way for mobile operators to play in the edge is if they partner with hyperscale companies. A recent survey by Heavy Reading found that 39% of service providers said that they have already deployed edge computing, and another 32% plan to deploy it in the next 12 months. The study also found that service providers are very interested in partnering with hyperscalers if they haven’t already.
Alef offers pay-as-you-go private 5G
Edge software firm Alef says tit can deliver its edge API platform to enterprises via a hardware kit that will enable corporate IT departments to install their own private networks within an hour using the publicly available CBRS spectrum. Alef’s toolkit features an access point, which customers can connect to their corporate LAN via Ethernet to access the Alef API. The kit also includes smartphones with embedded SIMs. The SIMs identify the devices to core network software developed by Microsoft’s Affirmed Networks. Through Alef’s partnership with Syniverse, the devices can also roam on public networks.
Geoverse loses its funding
ATN International has stopped funding its subsidiary Geoverse, which it acquired for an undisclosed sum in 2018. In 2020 ATN spent more than $20 million on CBRS licenses with the intention of using Geoverse to monetize those licenses through private networks. Geoverse has a network-as-a-service (NaaS) business model, which means that Geoverse provides the core network services, SIM cards, and operational support, and the customer builds the radio access network. However, in some cases, Geoverse provided the RAN gear as well. The GeoCore platform connects private networks with public cellular networks.
Nutanix hires former VMWare exec to lead engineering
Nutanix hired another former VMware executive for its leadership team. Shyam Desirazu will serve as the company’s head of engineering. Desirazu will report to CEO Rajiv Ramaswami and is charged with evolving the company’s technology and platform roadmap. He is also responsible for its innovation strategy and R&D investments across the company’s product portfolio.
Boeing will use AWS for its cloud strategy
Boeing selected Amazon Web Services as one of its cloud providers to help the aerospace company revamp its existing cloud operations. Boeing plans to use AWS to power its digital applications, and it will migrate applications out of its on-prem data centers to AWS. The company also plans to use Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform for some of its cloud services as well.
Prosimo wants to ease multi-cloud transit and management
Prosimo aims to make it easier for enterprises to manage their multi-cloud strategies. The company announced a Full Stack Cloud Transit concept that uses a single architecture to leverage machine learning and enable autonomous application-to-application networking. These application-aware insights will help enterprises bring together disparate infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service endpoints that use different technologies and make it difficult for enterprises to get the most value from their applications.
IDC says the US will spend the most on cloud in 2022
Analyst firm IDC is predicting that the U.S. will spend the most on cloud infrastructure in 2022. This is a change from 2021, when the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan and China) posted the highest year-on-year growth in cloud infrastructure spending with 43.7%, followed by Canada, Central, and Eastern Europe. In 2021 the U.S. only recorded a 1.5% increase in cloud infrastructure spending. Overall, cloud infrastructure spending rose 8.8% to $73.9 billion in 2021.
Gartner says SaaS spending may reach $176.6B in 2022
Software-as-a-service (Saas) will be big business this year. According to Gartner, SaaS end-user spending may reach $176.6 billion in 2022. The research firm expects steady growth from SaaS as enterprises take a different approach and break up larger, monolithic applications into composable parts for more efficient DevOps processes.
IBM benefits from strong hybrid cloud growth
IBM posted strong Q1 results thanks in large part to its hybrid cloud strategy. The company’s hybrid cloud revenue accounted for more than one-third of overall revenue, growing 14% year over year to $5 billion. The company revealed during its Q1 earnings call with investors that it added 200 hybrid cloud clients, bringing its total base to more than 4,000. The company also said that its Red Hat acquisition is core to this offering and said that the Red Hat revenue increased 18% year over year in the first quarter. Overall, IBM posted revenue of $14.2 billion for the quarter, up 8% year over year. Software revenue also increased 12.3% to $5.8 billion for the quarter.
AWS is a bright spot in Amazon’s earnings
Amazon Web Services (AWS) reported first-quarter 2022 revenues of $18.44 billion, a 37% increase year over year. AWS also accounted for 16% of the company’s total revenue for the quarter. AWS said it won a large number of customers in the quarter, many of which were from the telecom sector. For example, Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems selected AWS to provide encryption and residency controls for customers’ data. In addition, Verizon migrated its fleet management software platform, Verizon Connect, to AWS. Overall, Amazon reported a net loss of $3.8 billion for Q1 compared to a year ago when it reported a net profit of $8.1 billion.
Comcast Business will offer Cisco’s Viptela SD-WAN service
Comcast Business expanded its managed SD-WAN offerings to include Cisco’s Viptela SD-WAN service. Comcast will offer Viptela’s SD-WAN through its managed enterprise solutions team, which sells to Comcast’s largest accounts. Comcast also offers SD-WAN services from Versa Networks and Masergy. The company said that Cisco’s Viptela SD-WAN platform could be customized for enterprises, and having three different SD-WAN offerings allows Comcast to have a product that fits every customer’s needs.
SD-WAN revenue will reach $6.7B by 2026, says Omdia
Research firm Omdia said that SD-WAN revenue remained on track in 2021, reaching $3.6 billion, and the company expects it will top $6.7 billion in revenue by 2026. SD-WAN vendor VMware was the top SD-WAN provider with an 18% market share in Q4. VMware was closely followed by Versa Networks with 17% market share and Cisco with 13% market share. Omdia also said that use cases such as edge computing and the growth in IoT are increasing demand for SD-WAN services.
Aryaka is expanding with a new Paris Point of Presence
Managed secure access service edge (SASE) and SD-WAN provider Aryaka is expanding its reach in the EMEA region with a new point of presence (POP) in Paris. The addition of the Paris POP brings Aryaka’s total number of POPs to more than 40. The company said the new POP would handle first/last mile optimization, protocol acceleration, application optimization, peering to cloud services, and will support orchestration capabilities for intent-based networking.
MEF to release draft SD-WAN edge standard in the second half of 2022
The MEF is working on a universal SD-WAN edge standard that is expected to be ready in the second half of the year. The standard will focus on universal SD-WAN edge devices that can communicate with any vendor’s SD-WAN edge, provided that the vendor uses a control and data plane defined by the future standard MEF 119.
Orange completes SD-WAN deployment with Siemens
Orange Business Services said it had completed its 1,168-site SD-WAN deployment with Siemens across 94 countries. Orange said that this deployment is its largest SD-WAN network so far. The Siemens deployment was particularly challenging, Orange said, because the Siemens sites had different requirements — some handled manufacturing, others handled sales activities or retail tasks. Orange said the project was started in 2017 with lab testing, and by the end of 2020, the project was about 80% complete.
Finally, congratulations to the Ananki and Open Networking Foundation (ONF) team for a successful acquisition by Intel. Details were not disclosed, but from what we hear, it was a favorable outcome for the team members at ONF and Ananki and was a coming home of sorts for the team now under Nick McKeown, who is SVP and GM of the Network and Edge Group at Intel.
Again, don’t forget to check out our latest NextGenInfra.io 2022 SmartNICs and Infrastructure Acceleration Showcase and download a copy of our latest report! We’ll see you back here at the beginning of June with our May wrap-up. Stay safe!