March was our recovery month from MWC 2022 before April when we are at both Upperside Conferences’ MPLS SD & AI Net World 2022 in Paris, France this first week of April and Layer 123 Reunion in Madrid, Spain the last week of April. We’ll be busy with the opening talks, moderating panels, and chairing sessions. In fact, this was drafted on a flight to Paris — it’s travel galore for us at AvidThink again and we have mixed feelings about that. Great to see people in person, but we’re still cognizant that there’s risk, and physical conferences take a lot more time from us. So far, it’s been absolutely worthwhile.
Before we go on, we’d like to remind everyone that Ukrainians still need humanitarian help, and neighboring countries need support for the refugee crisis. Resources online to how to best provide ongoing support include NPR and CBS News.
Check out our 2022 MWC Showcase
Don’t miss it! If you haven’t yet had a chance to check out our showcase with exclusive videos from thought leaders, check out the NextGenInfra.io MWC 2022 Showcase — created by AvidThink in partnership with our partner, Converge! Digest.
ONUG and SmartNICs Summit
As a reminder, we’re an analyst partner for ONUG for their events. Sign up at Spring 2022 | ONUG for an excellent enterprise-focused event from 27-28 April in New Jersey covering the key trends in security, networking, automation, and AIOps.
Likewise, we’re on the organizing committee for SmartNICs Summit and would encourage you to check it out. It runs April 26-28 in San Jose and features keynotes from hot companies like Fungible (CEO Pradeep Sindhu, formerly founder/CEO of Juniper Networks), Nvidia, Linux Foundation, and Pensando (the super-hot company just acquired by AMD for $1.9B!). Plenty of rich content at the conference, so join if you can.
In the meantime, contact us at email@example.com if you are interested in participating or sponsoring our sites: SD-WAN/SASE, telco and edge infrastructure, service assurance, SmartNICs, private mobile networks, data center networking, infrastructure security, and other new ones coming this year.
On to our news summary for March 2022. While we normally just include news articles from the previous month, we’re shoving in one from April at the top because of its significance and timeliness (given our support of the SmartNIC conference).
AMD to Buy Pensando for $1.9B
AMD announced Monday April 4 it reached a deal to acquire five-year-old Pensando for $1.9 billion to round out AMD’s data center product offerings. Pensando is helmed by legendary Prem Jain and Soni Jiandani of Cisco fame, and their board is chaired by former Cisco CEO John Chambers. Partners include HPE and customers include Goldman Sachs, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud.
Vodafone, BT say 6G won’t have a new air interface
While it’s very early in the development of the 6G standard, telco executives at two prominent European operators — Vodafone and BT — told attendees at a press conference earlier this month that they are confident that 6G will not have a new air interface. Andrea Dona, chief network officer of Vodafone UK, and Howard Watson, CTO of BT, said that they believe 6G will use the same orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) technology that 5G uses. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is expected to outline its vision for 6G by the end of the year.
5G infrastructure will likely provide the building blocks for 6G
Wireless experts believe that 6G will likely build upon existing 5G infrastructure. Monisha Ghosh, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Notre Dame and the former CTO for the FCC, said that all the work that operators are doing on 5G infrastructure such as network densification, small cells and fiber transport will serve as the foundation for 6G. Ghosh also said that she believes that open RAN concepts will mature and be a part of 6G.
Verizon’s C-band 5G deployment is boosting speeds
Verizon’s C-band 5G deployment is boosting the company’s 5G network speeds and closing the gap between Verizon and speed leader T-Mobile. Opensignal studied Verizon’s C-band deployment and said that T-Mobile still has the fastest 5G network thanks to its head-start deploying mid-band 2.5 GHz spectrum. But when the firm looked only lat connections on the mid-band spectrum, it found that Verizon is closing the speed gap with T-Mobile where it’s C-band connectivity is available.
FCC will launch the 2.5 GHz spectrum auction on July 29
The FCC announced it will begin the 2.5 GHz band spectrum auction for 5G services on July 29, 2022. Called Auction 108, the FCC will offer about 8,000 new, flexible-use, county-based overlay licenses in the 2.5GHz band (2496MHz-2690MHz). These licenses are in areas with unassigned 2.5GHz spectrum and primarily cover rural parts of the country, the FCC said. The auction will use an ascending clock format.
Vodafone, Ericsson completed the first 5G network slicing trial in the UK
Vodafone and Ericsson said that they’ve successfully completed the UK’s first 5G standalone (SA) network slicing trial. The two companies created an on-demand 5G network slice using a radio access network (RAN) slicing function. The goal of the trial was to provide the low latency and high bandwidth services that are required for a virtual reality use case in a retail store. According to Vodafone, the slicing trial delivered a download speed of 260 Mbps and latency of 12.4 milliseconds.
AWS reveals details of its Dish Network deployment
In a blog post on its web site, Amazon Web Services (AWS) revealed some technical details about its work with Dish Network. Dish previously revealed that it is working with AWS on its cloud-native 5G network. In the post, AWS said it plans to operate 16 Local Zones across the country where it will host Dish’s software inside its cloud computing network. Dish’s Local Data Center and individual cell sites will send the network traffic into Passthrough Edge Data Centers, which will then connect to Breakout Edge Data Centers that sit in a suitable AWS Local Zone. Breakout Edge Data Centers will run Dish’s Centralized Unit and User Plane Functions.
3GPP says Release 17 is now complete
The Third Generation Partnership Program (3GPP) standards body completed Release 17, which was previously expected to be finished by the second half of 2021 but was delayed because the Covid-19 pandemic forced the organization to forgo in-person meetings and instead conduct its business virtually. Technologies covered in the release include enhancements to massive MIMO, enhanced integrated access and backhaul (IAB) and RF repeaters. Also, part of Release 17 is the scaling of existing 5G New Radio (NR) design to expand millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum from the 24.25 – 52.6 GHz range up to 71 GHz.
The FCC talked to Dish Network about its Open RAN plans
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requested a meeting with top executives from Dish Network to discuss the company’s plans to launch a nationwide network using open RAN technology. Dish filed a document with the FCC about the meeting in which it said that the FCC and other federal regulators wanted to learn about Dish’s experience with the technology. So far, the agency has voiced support for Open RAN but hasn’t pushed the technology.
Rakuten’s Symphony hopes to win 25% of the RAN market
Rakuten’s technology venture Symphony says it hopes to capture 25% of the RAN market. The company, which has an open RAN product, is competing with much bigger vendors but told Light Reading that it has $3 billion in orders. “We are in the early days in our organization, but in the open RAN, as this technology evolves, I think it is a different world we need to compete in, and I think we are one of the leading suppliers in this area,” said Symphony CEO Tareq Amin.
AT&T keeps its top slot in the SD-WAN leaderboard
AT&T once again was awarded the No. 1 spot in Vertical Systems Group’s annual SD-WAN leaderboard. This is the fourth consecutive year the company has won the award. Comcast Business rose to the No. 2 slot, followed by Hughes and Verizon in third and fourth place. Comcast moved up in ranking from its previous fourth place slot because of “organic growth” and its August 2021 acquisition of Masergy. Lumen Technologies, Windstream and Aryaka ranked fifth through seventh in Vertical Systems’ annual ranking.
Dell‘Oro Group: Global SD-WAN market grew 35% in 2021
The global SD-WAN market increased by 35% last year and reported revenues of more than $2 billion, according to the Dell‘Oro Group. The company said that eight vendors accounted for more than 80% of the SD-WAN market revenue and Cisco earned the top spot for the year, followed by Fortinet, VMware, Versa and HPE. The research firm said that SD-WAN demand increased as enterprises continued to optimize their branch network architectures. In addition, more companies evaluated and adopted SD-WAN in 2021 because of demand from the pandemic for hybrid work environments.
Windstream, Cato are joining forces to deliver managed SASE
Windstream Enterprise and Cato Networks will work together on a managed secure access service edge (SASE) service that provides cloud-based security and networking services to a distributed workforce. Windstream said the managed SASE service consists of five components: SD-WAN, firewall-as-a-service, secure web gateways, zero trust network access, and cloud access security broker. These components work together to provide features such as traffic inspection, network routing, visibility to cloud-based resources, remote access to business applications and more.
Enterprises are relying on systems integrators, not service providers for SD-WAN
Analyst firm GlobalData said that the adoption of SD-WAN by enterprises has caused many companies to turn to systems integrators for help managing their IT systems and deploying SD-WAN, instead of relying upon their service provider partners. GlobalData said that in a relatively short amount of time, overlay networking has become the de facto WAN technology for enterprises and that has undermined service providers. Because of this, some service providers are creating their own network service departments to compete with the system integrators.
Orange Business teams with Fortinet on a managed SASE service
Orange Business Services in conjunction with Fortinet launched a new managed secure access service edge (SASE) service within Orange’s Telco Cloud Platform. This partnership builds upon their previous work together on SD-WAN, which will be part of the SASE. Orange Business said that the SASE service is cloud-based and can be used with both SD-WAN or MPLS. Dell‘Oro Group recently released a report on SASE and noted that the combination of SD-WAN and network security technologies like SASE allows vendors to differentiate their services. Orange also said that it expects to partner with other SASE vendors besides Fortinet.
Charter’s Spectrum launches an edge product to simplify SD-WAN management
Charter Communications’ Spectrum brand launched an edge product, called the Enterprise Network Edge, to help its enterprise customers deliver a secure SD-WAN and LAN switch service without creating more complexity in the network. The Enterprise Network Edge gives customers a cloud-based portal to access the security and SD-WAN capabilities via Fortinet’s secure SD-WAN. The edge platform also supports hybrid WAN configurations across various locations in case customers are using a mix of legacy WAN and new SD-WAN infrastructure.
Celona closes on $60M in funding
Private wireless company Celona closed on a $60 million funding round led by DigitalBridge. Other investors include Qualcomm Ventures, Lightspeed and Norwest Venture Partners. The funds will be used for the company’s global expansion as well as research and development for its private 5G networks. Celona has a fully integrated 5G LAN platform that it introduced in November 2020. The platform uses Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum to help companies deploy and operate 5G infrastructure.
Hughes wins $18M private 5G contract with U.S. Navy
Hughes Network Systems was awarded an $18 million contract from the Department of Defense to deploy a standalone 5G network at the Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island in Washington. Hughes will be the main contractor and the 5G network will be used on the base to support operations, maintenance and flight traffic management. The network will use Dish Wireless’ spectrum and Dish will also provide engineering services and support as well as access to its spectrum.
NTT Group and Celona will build a private network for Schneider Electric
NTT Group is partnering with private wireless startup Celona to build on-premise private networks for Schneider Electric, which will use its own edge infrastructure to process data captured from the factory floors in Lexington, Kentucky and Lincoln, Nebraska. Schneider has developed a ruggedized edge data center that will process factory data and cut Schneider’s carbon footprint by consuming less power than the manufacturer would use in a traditional data center.
HTC launches an open RAN-based private network
HTC introduced a private wireless solution through its G Reign subsidiary. The solution, called Reign Core, is a network-in-a-box solution that includes a 5G core, remote radio unit and baseband, and an L3 switch. The company said it can all fit into a suitcase and it includes an open RAN solution that is compatible with the O-RAN Alliance’s open RAN specification.
SK Telecom, Dell launch Petatus 5G MEC platform
SK Telecom teamed with Dell Technologies to launch an enterprise 5G mobile edge computing (MEC) platform named Petasus. The platform combines SK Telecom’s 5G MEC software stack, developed with VMware, with Dell’s PowerEdge servers. The two companies plan to offer end-to-end services including consulting, infrastructure deployment and maintenance with the MEC platform. The platform can be customized, allowing enterprises to deploy MEC quickly and is suitable for any institutions looking to deploy a private 5G network.
CSPs say integration is the biggest challenge with MEC
Communications service providers (CSPs) say they are having challenges when it comes to deploying MEC. Analyst firm Heavy Reading, in collaboration with Accedian, Kontron, and Red Hat, surveyed 82 CSPs that have launched edge computing solutions or are planning to do so within the next 24 months. The survey found that 75% of respondents that had deployed MEC said that system integration was the most significant challenge and 60% of CSPs that are planning to deploy MEC in the next 24 months also said they expected systems integration to be a challenge.
Juniper extends intent-based network to the edge
Juniper Networks is taking its intent-based networking (IBN) to the edge data center by updating its Apstra software. Juniper Networks said that IBN provides a vendor-agnostic approach to data center management by abstracting the intent of networking changes. With this latest software, Juniper said that it takes the Apstra software and applies it to the edge data center rather than larger centralized data centers.
GCP, VMware expand partnership
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and VMware expanded their existing partnership to make it easier for enterprise customers to move their on-premises applications to the cloud. In a blog post, GCP said that the companies have added Google Cloud VMware Engine to VMware Cloud Universal making it possible for enterprises to migrate workloads and applications to Google Cloud by making purchases through VMware Cloud Universal.
HPE expands GreenLake
HPE is expanding its GreenLake cloud platform to new areas such as networking, storage, and compute operations management. HPE CTO Fidelma Russo said that over the past 12 to 18 months the company has been bringing every service within HPE onto a single platform and that platform is based on the GreenLake cloud architecture. Once users enter GreenLake, they have a single experience and single identity, she said. In addition, the company also is bundling in Aruba’s portfolio of services and calling it GreenLake for Aruba Networking. This is intended to make it easier for enterprises to deploy networking-as-a-service (NaaS) and ensure both cost efficiency and an always-on network.
Cisco’s Intersight hybrid cloud supports Kubernetes clusters
Cisco Systems upgraded its Intersight hybrid cloud platform so it includes the management of Kubernetes clusters and virtual machines (VMs) running in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform as well as in on-prem container clusters. The company also integrated Intersight with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Cisco said that these Intersight upgrades make it possible for enterprises to connect their on-prem Kubernetes clusters to new or existing Kubernetes clusters in the public cloud, while also having a common portal to observe, manage and configure containers across on-prem and multiple public cloud environments.
And that wraps it up for March, even as we start off with what promises to be an exciting April. Again, Don’t forget to check out the MWC 2022 Showcase, Predictions 2022, Open RAN, Private Mobile Networks, Service Assurance, and SD-WAN and SASE Refresh resource sites.
We’ll check in with you in May, where we’ll bring you the latest news and updates. Until then, stay safe and healthy!