June saw us at the RSA Conference in San Francisco and participating virtually in Credit Suisse’s 24th Annual Communications Conference. We also remotely joined early morning (6:30am and 2am Pacific!) panels at Carrier-Community Enterprise in Berlin to chat about network as a platform and cybersecurity in public and private 5G.
If you missed our livestream at Credit Suisse’s event on June 15, you can listen to the recording in which AvidThink answers questions about the telco/hyperscaler landscape, open RAN, disaggregation, edge computing, private 5G and more hot carrier topics.
In our news summary, you’ll see a mention of deep cuts in headcount at Parallel Wireless, a prominent up-and-comer in the O-RAN market, active in the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and the O-RAN Alliance. Steve Papa, CEO, and the management team were still bullish on their prospects at the end of last year. Whether indicative of a slower-than-expected uptake in the open RAN market, or a proactive move to preserve financial sustainability through a potential recession, the surprise move generated reverberations through the carrier community — perhaps a bellwether of looming belt-tightening in technology.
Check out our most recent report on Enabling Successful Edge Services Deployment, sponsored by WindRiver and Intel (thank you!), where we explore edge versus central cloud differences, and look at virtual RAN as a key edge workload.
Other recent notable content (in case you missed them):
- Exclusive content from Soni Jiandani (Pensando/AMD) on the SmartNICs and Infrastructure Acceleration Site
- Our video interview with Mickey Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten Group, Inc. (parent company of Rakuten Symphony and Rakuten Mobile) and the associated blog post on Rakuten’s site.
We’ll be traveling quite a bit this fall. If you want to meet, check out the AvidThink Events page. These are places that we (or partners like Converge! Digest) will be headed in the next few months (subject to change). If you’re interested in a face-to-face meeting, you can request a meeting by clicking the appropriate buttons on the page. A particularly promising event we just added is the Fÿuz event in Madrid (25th-27th October). A 3-in-1 event organized by O-RAN Alliance, Telecom Infra Project, and Meta, Fÿuz includes the Open RAN Summit, Telecom Infra Project Summit and the Metaverse Connectivity Summit. Hope to see you there!
Finally, contact us at email@example.com if you are interested in participating or
sponsoring upcoming sites: telco and edge infrastructure, the new middle mile, SD-WAN/SASE, private mobile networks, data center networking, infrastructure security. On to the news!
NTT Docomo will trial 6G in 2023 with Nokia, NEC and Fujitsu
Japanese operator NTT Docomo announced that it will start testing 6G in 2023 and will be working with vendors Nokia, NEC and Fujitsu on the trials. The operator said its 6G indoor trials will begin before March 2023 and outdoor trials will start over the following 12 months. It’s likely that NTT Docomo won’t be the only operator trialing 6G in 2023. South Korea and China have also talked about their 6G ambitions and South Korea has even said it believes it will launch commercial 6G services as early as 2028. Nokia has said that it is working on an artificial intelligence-based air interface and sub-THz radio.
China Broadnet becomes fourth Chinese operator to launch 5G
China Broadcast Network, now known as China Broadnet, launched 4G and 5G earlier this month making it the fourth operator to launch 5G in China. The company will likely face an uphill battle to secure more customers as China already has 1.66 billion wireless customers, including 410 million 5G users. China Mobile leads the market with 59% market share, according to Light Reading. China Telecom and China Unicom have 23% and 18% respectively.
T-Mobile adds 5M More Homes to 5G Home Internet Footprint
T-Mobile today said it has added 5 states and 5 million more homes to its 5G Home fixed wireless access (FWA) footprint, bringing its total available homes to more than 40 million nationwide. Cities across Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma were added to the company’s FWA coverage area. T-Mobile also used this announcement as an opportunity to tout its FWA service as a solution to the digital divide. The company said there are more than 1.1 million households in those five states without access to home broadband.
AT&T Says FWA Is a Stopgap Measure
AT&T COO Jeff McElfresh told investors at a Bank of America C-Suite TMT Conference this week that the company doesn’t intend to increase its fixed wireless access (FWA) buildout in response to pressures from competitors T-Mobile and Verizon. Instead, McElfresh said that the AT&T views FWA as a stopgap measure that it will use in areas where it doesn’t plan to deploy fiber. “Is fixed wireless a tool to be used for a particular segment that doesn’t have access to fiber? Yes,” McElfresh said.” But it is not the majority of our growth agenda.” But he added that AT&T does plan to experiment more with FWA. Earlier this year, Chris Sambar, AT&T Executive Vice President of Technology Operations, told FierceWireless that the carrier has over 500,000 fixed wireless subscribers
FWA Is Gaining Traction with Small/Medium Businesses and Consumers
Fixed wireless access is becoming an appealing broadband option for small and medium businesses, as well as consumers. According to the June 2022 Ericsson Mobility Report, more than 75% of service providers surveyed in over 100 countries are offering FWA. North America saw the biggest increase in FWA providers in 2021 with 60% of all service providers surveyed offering 5G FWA. Ericsson estimates that there were close to 90 million FWA connections globally at the end of 2021 and it expects the number of connections to double by 2027, reaching almost 230 million. Of the 230 million FWA connections in 2027, Ericsson estimates that about 110 million will be 5G FWA.
Verizon, AT&T Will Continue to Curtail C-band 5G Around Airports
AT&T and Verizon have agreed to mitigate their C-band 5G deployments around certain airports until July 2023. The deal is part of a new agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). AT&T said in a statement that it is controlling its 5G signal strength around runways and that it will use precautions around deploying its C-band spectrum so airlines have more time to retrofit their equipment. Verizon issued a similar statement saying that it is also using a staged approach with its C-band 5G and is closely collaborating with the FAA, the FCC and the aviation industry. The concerns about 5G operations in the C-band spectrum arose after the airline industry said that 5G deployment in the C-band might affect some aircraft altimeters at certain airports. AT&T and Verizon agreed to curtail their C-band operations around airports until July 2022 but that has now been extended to July 2023.
IBM Exec Says Dish Network Will Offer Network Slicing Later this Year
A couple of IBM executives told FierceWireless that Dish Network is using IBM’s orchestration engine to set up, manage and configure its standalone (SA) 5G network for enterprises, making it possible for Dish to offer network slicing in the second half of 2022. IBM’s Global Telecom Industry VP Craig Wilson and Senior Partner Eric Riddleberger said IBM plays a critical role in the systems integration and that its platform will allow Dish’s enterprise customers to order 5G service, use it and pay for it. Although Dish only just launched its 5G SA network called Project Genesis 5G last week covering 20% of the country’s population, the IBM executives believe that soon enterprises will want to take advantage of network slicing on Dish’s network to either provide wireless service to their employees around the country, or use it for a specific type of implementation, such as augmented reality.
Verizon Says 5G Data Usage Increased 249% Since January 2021
Verizon is touting the growing use of its 5G network by enterprises and consumers, noting that data usage has soared 249% since January 2021. The operator said that in some areas customers are seeing speeds of up to 4 Gbps on its 5G network. Verizon noted that enterprises are increasingly using the 5G network for services such as tracking inventory, managing operations and engaging with their workforce. Verizon’s 5G network will cover 175 million people by year-end and 250 million people by the end of 2024.
Dish, AT&T and CableLabs are prominent players in O-RAN Alliance
AT&T, Dish Network and CableLabs are some of the most active members of the O-RAN Alliance in North America. The Alliance highlighted some of its activities so far this year and those companies all played a prominent role. For example, AT&T and Dish hosted proof of concept testing efforts at four locations this year. In addition, The O-RAN Alliance formed its first Open Test and Integration Centers in the Americas at the Kyrio O-RAN Test and Integration Lab operated by CableLabs. Interestingly, the group also revealed that it has formed a next generation research group to focus on 6G.
Open RAN vendor Parallel Wireless hit with layoffs
Open RAN vendor Parallel Wireless has laid off a significant number of employees. According to Light Reading, Parallel Wireless CEO Steve Papa said that the company was forced to make adjustments to its headcount because of the global economic realities and the pace of adoption of open RAN. Papa declined to say how many employees were affected. However, a source close to the company suggested as many as half of Parallel Wireless’ employees have been let go. Late last year, FierceWireless reported the company had around 700 employees and planned to double that number this year. Although open RAN has been gaining traction globally, Dell ‘Oro Group recently reported that it will only account for 15% of the overall RAN market by 2026. And many large operators, including most of the U.S. operators, have been slow to adopt open RAN.
Alium wants to eliminate uncertainty around Open RAN patent licensing
A new patent pool is being created to eliminate some of the uncertainty around patent licensing in the open RAN infrastructure area. Called Alium, the patent pool was created by current patent pool MPEG LA and Unified Patents, a member-based group with a mission of reducing patent trolls. The goal of Alium is to make it easier for companies to build open RAN equipment. Eleven patent owners have joined Alium’s open RAN licensing group including Acer, AT&T Intellectual Property, CableLabs, Comcast, Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1, Koninklijke Philips, Meta, Mitsubishi Electric, Pantech, SK Telecom and Verizon Patent and Licensing. Larry Horn, Alium’s manager said that he knows Alium needs more companies to get involved, including key open RAN patent holders such as NTT DoCoMO, LG, Apple and more. However, he added that MPEG 2, which is one of the most prominent patent pools in the tech world, started with just eight patent holders and now represents close to 100% of the market.
What Google’s private wireless moves mean for edge cloud
The key distinction between the emerging private wireless market and public wireless services such as 5G is that private wireless services are based on unlicensed spectrum, such as the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) used in the U.S. At 3.5 GHz to 3.7 GHz, CBRS is considered “mid-band,” so it competes directly with some of the mid-band 5G being deployed by the major service providers, who paid billions of dollars in licenses to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). There is a free portion of the CBRS spectrum released for use by the general public. That means that enterprises can use it for high-bandwidth wireless applications.
Colt is partnering with Versa on SASE
Colt Technology Services is coupling its SD-WAN services with a new secure access service edge (SASE) solution from Versa. The Colt SASE Gateway is built on Versa’s SASE platform, which includes the Versa Secure Web Gateway. Colt said that the company’s SD-WAN customers are shifting from more traditional network security solutions to a SASE approach and that’s why it was important for the two companies to form this partnership. The SASE solution can be deployed via the cloud and/or on-premises.
Comcast Business Will Outfit Oakland Pharmacy with SD-WAN
Comcast Business is working with Oakland Pharmacy, a group of community pharmacies and clinics in the Oakland, California area to outfit with them software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) and provide dedicated Ethernet connectivity for all the sites. In addition, Comcast will provide unified communications via the company’s Business VoiceEdge product with an LTE backup connection. The goal is to improve the operating procedures for the pharmacies and provide better service.
Cisco Adds SASE and Zero Trust to its Security Platform
Cisco introduced a new security platform with features that make it more amenable to multi-cloud environments. Called Cisco Security Cloud, the platform includes new Zero Trust and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) features that are key to enterprise security strategies. The company also said that the Security Cloud platform will have open APIs to enable third party solutions. Cisco said that Security Cloud makes SASE capabilities easier to manage and consume, which is important because customers want to quickly deploy SASE.
Intelsat will provide managed SD-WAN from Versa Networks
Intelsat is adding software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) to its FlexEnterprise connectivity layer to provide enterprises with more connectivity options. The company will use Versa Networks’ SD-WAN solution, which is part of Versa’s secure access service edge (SASE).
Intelsat said that by incorporating Versa’s SD-WAN into its product portfolio, it hopes to simplify the user experience and add an extra layer of security. “SD-WAN can prioritize traffic and ease congestion,” said Brian Jakins, general manager and VP of Intelsat’s Networks business unit. Jakins said that the company selected Versa as its SD-WAN partner after conducting a lot of testing and liked that Versa offers an end-to-end service.
VMware Selects Rackspace as Deployment Partner for SASE Platform
VMware named Rackspace Technology as its strategic deployment partner for VMware’s secure access service edge (SASE) platform. VMware SASE will initially be deployed in 15 Rackspace data centers with another five data centers planned for additional phases. The 20 data center locations include North America (Mexico City, Miami), South America (Bogota, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo), Europe (Amsterdam, Warsaw), Asia Pacific (Auckland, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Osaka, Seoul, Tokyo), Middle East (Dubai, Mumbai, Tel-Aviv), and Africa (Johannesburg
CIO Study Hints at Accelerated SASE Investment
A new study from CIO Research and sponsored by Masergy and Fortinet, found that enterprises are accelerating their investments in Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions because of the need for more security for remote work connectivity. According to the study, 4% of respondents say their adoption of SASE has accelerated because of the need to make digital services and/or remote/hybrid work sustainable for the long term. The top challenges faced by enterprises that make SASE solutions important are: cloud security, including visibility and control into cloud environments (52%); innovation, including cloud application migration and artificial intelligence (44%); security strategy, including implementing Zero Trust (41%); and network security, including removing connectivity barriers without jeopardizing security (36%).
Lumen CFO Sees Enterprise Opportunity in SD-WAN, SASE and Edge
Lumen Technologies CFO Chris Stansbury told investors at a Cowen conference that he believes the company is readying for a big growth spurt. That growth, Stansbury said, will come from its enterprise business and its fiber-to-the-home expansion. On the enterprise side, Stansbury said that enterprises are looking for offerings such as software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), secure access service edge (SASE), unified communications and edge. He added that Lumen is already winning “bigger, more complex deals” in the enterprise space but added that it can sometimes take two or three years for these types of deals to yield run rate revenue. He also said that many enterprises are reaching out to Lumen because they want data center and network security upgrades that were previously put on hold due to the pandemic. On the fiber-to-the home side of the business, Stansbury said Lumen is preparing for a big ramp in fiber deployments in the second half of the year.
Cisco Partners with Kyndryl to Deliver Enterprise Services
Cisco is teaming with Kyndryl to offer software-defined networking (SDN) and wide-area networking (WAN) technology to enterprises. Kyndryl and Cisco will work together to help enterprises simplify their IT management and deliver everything from private 5G services and edge computing to data center gear and edge devices to companies. Kyndyl formerly was IBM’s Managed Infrastructure Services unit, but was spun off into an independent company last year. It’s customer base includes 75% of the Fortune 100.
Google Cloud Expands to Two New Regions in the U.S.
Google Cloud expanded its U.S. footprint by adding two new regions — Dallas, Texas and Columbus, Ohio. With the addition of these two new regions, Google Cloud now operates 34 cloud regions around the world. Other recent additions include Milan, Italy; Paris, France; and Madrid, Spain. The company said that it added these two new regions at the request of enterprise customers that wanted additional capacity and flexibility to distribute their workloads around the U.S. Google Cloud is trying to take market share away from competitors Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure but it has a long way to go to do that. At the end of Q1, Synergy Research Group said that AWS led the cloud market with 33% market share followed by Microsoft with 22% share. Google Cloud is the smallest of the three with only 10% market share.
U.S. is the Leader in Cloud Services Revenue, Says Synergy Report
The U.S. accounts for 44% of all the cloud services revenues and just over half (51%) of all the hyperscale data center capacity as of Q1 2022, according to Synergy Research Group. By comparison, China only accounted for 8% of all the Q1 cloud service revenue and 15% of hyperscale data center capacity. According to the report, revenue from the overall public cloud service and infrastructure market jumped 26% year on year in Q1 for a total of $126 billion. Not surprisingly, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google were the top players in this space.
Tele2 broadens its partnership with AWS
Sweden-based Tele2 has expanded its partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and joined the AWS Partner Network. Tele2 said that it will combine its own connectivity, security and managed services with AWS’ capabilities and create bespoke solutions for enterprise customers. The company will target the public sector as well as different industry verticals for these solutions. Tele2 says its cloud developer community will work with AWS to create these new customer offerings.
Cisco will exit Russian market
Although Cisco had already suspended activities in Russia, the company announced that it now plans to completely withdraw from the market. “We have now made the decision to begin an orderly wind-down of our business in Russia and Belarus,” said the company in an official statement earlier this month. The company does stand to lose money from this withdrawal. In its last fiscal year (ending in July 2021), Cisco reported that it made about $500 million in revenues from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. However, this equates to only about 1% of Cisco’s total revenue for that year.
Walmart is building a hybrid cloud strategy that 5G operators could mimic
Walmart is building a hybrid cloud strategy and providing an example of how 5G network operators could compete with cloud computing companies while still using the public cloud for their own operations. Walmart uses cloud services from Microsoft and Google but the company has moved away from Amazon because of its battle with Amazon’s retail business. At the same time, Walmart is installing computer servers inside its retail stores making it possible to run its computers on its own internal cloud. That internal cloud now spans more than 10,000 edge nodes. Like Walmart, 5G network operators are working closely with the cloud providers. Some, like AT&T and Dish Network, are putting their core networking services in the cloud. But at the same time, these operators are transforming their legacy telecom networks into cloud-like networks that can span hundreds or thousands of locations around the country. As a result, 5G operators could offer public cloud edge computing networks. Verizon has roughly two dozen public edge computing location.
AT&T Offers Enterprise-grade Security with Check Point Software
AT&T introduced a new enterprise-grade security software, called AT&T Secure Workforce with Check Point, that is designed to help organizations provide better security for their employees through a cloud-based solution from Check Point. The solution is particularly well suited for the remote workforce that is vulnerable to cyberattacks. Secure Workforce with Check Point helps businesses strengthen security at their email mailboxes by deflecting phishing attacks and blocking malicious attachments. It also provides a secure web gateway to protect users as they browse websites and web apps by inspecting traffic across all ports and protocols. The software provides secure remote access when users connect directly to company resources that are needed for their job and it also provides protected browsing by inspecting all SSL traffic in the browser.
Lumen Finds Malware Targeted at Remote Workers
Lumen Technologies said its Black Lotus Labs threat intelligence division discovered a new malware called ZuoRAT that targets remote workers through their small office/home office devices. Black Lotus said that the attack likely started in October 2020 and leveraged vulnerabilities in routers to collect data in transit and hijack home users’ DNS/HTTP internet traffic. The malware was able to remain undetected by living on devices rarely monitored and by hijacking DNS and HTTP traffic. It could also pivot from the router to workstations in the network. Black Lotus believes that this attack is part of a campaign initiated by a nation-state threat actor.
Sampath Will Replace Erwin as CEO of Verizon Business
Sowmyanarayan Sampath will replace Tami Erwin as the EVP and CEO of Verizon Business, effective July 1. Sampath will report to Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg and Erwin will be a strategic advisor to Vestberg until the end of the year. Last month Erwin announced she was leaving her job as CEO of Verizon Business after having spent 35 years with the company. Sampath joined Verizon in 2014 and currently is chief revenue officer for Verizon Business. Along with Sampath’s appointment, Verizon Business also appointed Debika Bhattacharya as its chief product officer and Iris Meijer as SVP of business marketing and revenue operations.
Nokia veteran joins IBM to head up telco biz
Stephen Rose, a longtime Nokia executive, joined IBM as the company’s new general manager for global telecom. Rose replaces Steve Canepa who is now general manager of IBM Global Industries. Rose will report to Canepa. Most recently Rose worked for Nokia’s Bell Labs research division. Prior to that he was global head of sales and global head of services, strategy and innovation.
And that about wraps it up! Again, don’t forget to check out our latest NextGenInfra.io 2022 SmartNICs and Infrastructure Acceleration Showcase! We’ll see you back here at the beginning of August. Stay safe and enjoy the summer (Northern Hemisphere people, anyhow)!