May provided a welcome respite from earlier months of traveling. However, we’re anticipating another busy Fall with three upcoming committed trips to Europe, not to mention multiple trips to Las Vegas and other US venues.
Upcoming events are the RSA Conference in San Francisco, followed by a panel interview at Credit Suisse’s Annual Communications Conference (originally NYC but now virtual), panels at Carrier-Community Enterprise in Berlin (though we’ll be speaking virtually), and a webinar with A10 Networks on Protecting the Unconnected (you can sign up on the link) on June 28.
Credit Suisse 24th Annual Communications Conference – Telco Cloud Transformation and 5G’s Enterprise Future Panel
If you want to join our live streamed panel at the Credit Suisse’s event on June 15 at 13:45 Eastern, where we’ll discuss telco, 5G, edge, and the role of hyperscalers, register here. We can also provide a recording if you can’t make it event – just drop firstname.lastname@example.org a note.
Interview with Rakuten Group CEO – Mickey Mikitani
In May, we had a special opportunity to interview Mickey Mikitani, Rakuten Group Chairman & CEO, as part of Rakuten’s Q1 FY 2022 financial results announcement. We discussed the importance of Rakuten Mobile to their overall strategy and growth and the synergies between Rakuten’s other businesses and their mobile platform. Check out the video interview and associated blog post on Rakuten’s site. We’d like to express our thanks to Rakuten’s AR, PR, and IR groups for their support in making this happen.
Cisco Live! Preview
Other events we participated in last month include a fun and informational webinar with networking gurus on NetOps and automation, as well as upcoming content at Cisco Live! from June 12-16 in Las Vegas. Take a listen to On the Road to Cisco Live, which featured Jason Gooley, Technical Evangelist at Cisco, Girard Kavelines, Cisco Champion and Systems Analyst, and Ryan Hogg, Senior Product Manager of Opengear.
Fierce Wireless Private Networks Summit
We were also at Fierce Wireless’ Private Wireless Networks Summit, where AvidThink moderated the panel on securing and foolproofing private wireless networks.
See Soni Jiandani (AMD/Pensando) on SmartNICs and Infrastructure Acceleration Site
If you haven’t had a chance yet, visit the 2022 SmartNICs and Infrastructure Acceleration Showcase created in partnership with our partner, Converge! Digest. We’ve recently uploaded new thought-leadership videos. It’s one of the few places on the Internet where you can find highlights of our in-depth discussion with Soni Jiandani, co-founder and Chief Business Officer of Pensado Systems (now part of AMD).
In the meantime, contact us at email@example.com 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 May 2022 — the biggest news, cutting across 5G, cloud, SD-WAN/SASE and more, must certainly be Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware.
Broadcom buys VMware in $61B deal
The rumors became a reality as semiconductor heavyweight Broadcom agreed to acquire cloud computing software company VMware for $61 billion in cash and stock. Under the terms of the deal, VMware shareholders will either receive $142.50 in cash or 0.2520 shares of Broadcom common stock for each VMware share. In addition, Broadcom agreed to assume $8 billion in VMware debt. However, the deal is far from final because it includes a “go-shop” provision that allows VMware to spend the next 40 days seeking alternative offers. If VMware doesn’t decide to go with another proposal, the Broadcom acquisition is expected to close sometime during Broadcom’s fiscal year 2023, which begins in November of this year.
VMware’s Velocloud/SASE product is used by several telecom companies, including Verizon and AT&T. And VMware’s platform is used by global telcos for backoffice operations and used to power RAN infrastructure (e.g., Dish networks and Deutsche Telekom).
Broadcom revealed that Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, who together hold 50.2% of VMware shares, support the acquisition. But there are concerns about what this acquisition will mean for VMware customers and whether Broadcom’s purchase of VMware will impact the company’s history of innovation or its commitment to its customers. Customers are concerned that Broadcom will milk off the cash from VMware’s operations instead of cultivating and nurturing more innovation — an ironic twist to the container and cloud-native movement’s “cattle not pets” analogy.
Key technologies that will define 6G become a little clearer
Key technologies such as sensing (which is key for autonomous driving and robotics), deep learning, and new-and-improved massive MIMO will likely be instrumental to 6G, the next-generation of wireless technology that is currently under development. During a Samsung-hosted event earlier this month, Jeffrey Andrews, director of 6G at the University of Texas at Austin, said that he expects 6G to have dense and tower-mounted base stations and the network will offer sensing-as-a-service in addition to communication. Andrews also said that to control the costs that will be necessary to build the 6G network, he expects that there will be a lot of network sharing and reuse of infrastructure, and artificial intelligence will be used to manage all the network sharing.
5G Open Innovation Lab allows enterprises to explore 5G
The 5G Open Innovation Lab —established by Intel, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Dell Technologies, Amdocs, VMware, Accenture, Avanade, F5, Spirent, Ericsson, CNH Industries, Nokia, and Palo Alto Networks — is working directly with startups and enterprises to explore and develop 5G enterprise use cases. According to Jim Bisimitzis, founder and general partner of the 5G Open Innovation Lab, the lab is working on use cases around smart farming, augmented reality for healthcare, millimeter wave (mmWave), and private networks and manufacturing. All the use cases being developed at the lab have a connectivity component, and the lab plans to add new partners in September.
UScellular will use Ericsson and Nokia gear for 5G mid-band build
UScellular will be using 5G equipment from Ericsson and Nokia to expand its 5G network using the C-band and 3.45 GHz mid-band spectrum. The Ericsson and Nokia contracts come as little surprise as UScellular has used both of these network vendors in the past. UScellular will use Ericsson’s Intelligent Antenna Integrated Radio, its Uplink Booster and the company’s RAN Compute platform. The operator will be using Nokia’s Massive MIMO radios, macro remote radio heads and AirScale baseband equipment.
BT will sell Ericsson’s private networking technology
BT will work with Ericsson to deliver a 5G private network solution for enterprises in Britain. BT will offer the private networking solution as a managed service and will act as a systems integrator. The two companies said they signed a multi-year contract and that BT will sell the private networking solution to vertical sectors such as manufacturing, defense, education, retail, healthcare, transport and logistics.
AWS exec says enterprises need more than Wi-Fi for their private networks
Amazon Web Services (AWS) decided it needed to get into the private networks business earlier this year because the company recognized that enterprise customers needed a stronger technology than Wi-Fi to connect all their devices. AWS Director and General Manager of EC2 Core Product Management George Elissaios told FierceWireless that the company was seeing an “exponential increase in wireless connectivity” and that there is a need high bandwidth and low latency connectivity for emerging applications. While Wi-Fi is easy to use, Elissaios said that as the number of devices grow, Wi-Fi reaches its limitations in terms of quality of service, range and coverage.
Verizon Business sees lots of opportunity in private networks
A Verizon Business executive told the audience at a FierceWireless Private Networking virtual event that the company has a “triple-digit funnel of opportunities” when it comes to private networks. Three vertical industries are particularly hot for private networks —manufacturing, financial services and hubs like seaports and sports venues. Massimo Peselli, SVP of Global Enterprise for Verizon Business said that each use case is different and when Verizon sets up a private wireless network, typically about 80% of the configuration is very similar to other private networks, while about 20% requires customization.
Precision ag private wireless networks will cost farmers $50K to deploy
A new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division estimates that deploying such a wireless private network to support precision agriculture will cost about $50,000 per farm if deployed through one of the nation’s farm supply cooperatives. In addition, the report says the annual recurring cost of that network per farm would be about $6,000. The report assumes that a typical agricultural cooperative has about 50 farms that share the network core costs of about $225,000. The CoBank report said there are two main drivers for the use of private wireless networks for precision agriculture: the availability of Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) spectrum, some of which is unlicensed and the availability of carrier-grade equipment that can be deployed for use by a single entity.
T-Mobile makes a play for enterprises with ANS
T-Mobile is trying to make inroads in the enterprise market by introducing Advanced Network Solutions (ANS), a suite of public and private networking tools intended to make it easier for enterprises to use private networks and edge computing. The company is working closely with Dell Technologies, Ericsson and Nokia on these solutions. T-Mobile is using Ericsson’s radio access network and core equipment to power 5G ANS. Nokia is providing the expertise in 5G private and hybrid mobile networks and Dell is delivering edge computing technologies, including the Dell VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure.
AT&T is working with large businesses on private networks
AT&T is using its expertise in wireless networking and spectrum to help large enterprise and government customers develop private wireless networks. However, AT&T CEO John Stankey said that he isn’t sure whether the private wireless network opportunity will result in recurring revenue for the telecom operator. Speaking at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications conference, Stankey said that it’s not “intuitive” to him that there is going to be recurring revenue from deploying private networks. However, he did say that it may be more of a services model in which AT&T operates like a network-as-a-service (NaaS). This is similar to what Verizon has said it is doing with private networks.
MxD Institute launches second private wirelesss network
Chicago’s Digital Manufacturing and Cybersecurity Institute (MxD) launched its second private wireless network, this time using Citizens Broadband Radio Spectrum (CBRS) and in conjunction with telecom construction firm Betacom. The consortium’s members include Siemens, Intel, John Deere and the U.S. Department of Defense, and they are using the private wireless network to demonstrate what can be done with such a deployment. The CBRS private wireless network uses both 4G and 5G technology. This is the second private wireless network built for MxD. The institute also operates a private wireless network that was created by AT&T.
Verizon adds more AWS Zones
Verizon added more Amazon Web Services (AWS) Wavelength zones to the company’s 5G mobile edge computing initiative, called 5G Edge. The additional AWS zones include Nashville, Tennessee, and Tampa, Florida and bring Verizon’s total number of 5G Edge zones to 19. Verizon said that 75% of the U.S. population now resides within 150 miles of one of these zones. Verizon and AWS have tightly integrated the 5G network with AWS Wavelength, the company’s cloud computing platform that is optimized for the network edge, and embedded compute resources in these 5G Edge zones. The end result is that Verizon and AWS can guarantee low latency to support many enterprise applications.
Lumen’s edge powers blockchain company Flux
Lumen Technologies said that its edge network is now enabling Flux, a company that describes itself as a “blockchain ecosystem” because it hosts blockchain-focused projects. Flux operates an open-source, decentralized Web3 cloud infrastructure made up of user-operated, globally distributed computational nodes. Lumen said Flux is an example of how the company’s edge network is helping emerging tech companies grow and gain a global presence. Lumen executives said during the company’s Q1 earnings call with investors that blockchain companies were an appealing new market because they need the type of capacity Lumen’s edge network provides, along with the low latency.
Google acquires edge software provider MobiledgeX (this news missed our April newsletter cut-off date)
Edge computing software company MobiledgeX, which was founded by Deutsche Telekom AG in 2018, has been acquired by Google Cloud. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Most of the MobiledgeX did not move to Google, taking a package instead. Insiders indicate that the last round of investors, especially Deutsche Telekom, received a decent return on their investments, and employees had a favorable outcome. Google intends to open source the MobiledgeX code, which is deployed across 25 mobile operators worldwide but has not expressed any desire in commercially supporting these deployments.
AT&T’s managed wireless WAN service will connect branch locations
AT&T Business is offering a managed wireless WAN product to businesses so they can connect thousands of endpoints using cellular as the primary WAN link. The company said its managed wireless WAN product can be used where wired connections are not reliable or available or too expensive. In addition, the wireless WAN product can be deployed much more quickly than a wired link. Enterprises can use the cellular link for an SD-WAN deployment or just to achieve quick LTE or 5G connectivity. AT&T uses Cradlepoint’s wireless edge device and its NetCloud service and the company’s network team manages the WAN connectivity.
Great Plains Will Offer VMware’s Managed SD-WAN
Great Plains Communications (GPC) will offer managed SD-WAN services powered by VMware. Enterprises will be able to use GPC’s SD-WAN to securely connect branch offices to data centers and the cloud. GPC will configure, monitor and manage the SD-WAN. The company said that it will be able to maximize application performance as well as enable packet steering, which means it can determine the best path for improved response time and uptime. It also can provide cloud network control with a 99.99% guaranteed service level.
MEF creates advisory board to help craft strategic vision
MEF created a Technology Advisory Board (TAB) that is comprised of representatives from the vendor community that will provide input on the organization’s strategic vision around cybersecurity, business automation, SD-WAN connectivity and edge computing. Currently, MEF’s board consists of service provider representatives from Verizon, Comcast Business, PCCW Global, Lumen and others. The only vendor members are Microsoft and the president of MEF, Nan Chen, who is also the head of the One Network for Ericsson. TAB, meanwhile, will have senior executives from Blue Planet, Cisco, Fortinet, Netcracker, Salesforce, and more. The TAB members represent cloud, network and technology providers in addition to SD-WAN and SASE suppliers that share the goal of “helping the ecosystem more quickly develop and bring to market leading-edge services and solutions,” says MEF.
Dish Network will use other cloud providers besides AWS
A Dish Network executive told attendees at Informa’s Big 5G event earlier this month that although the company inked a deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) a year ago to use AWS Outposts and AWS Local Zones for its cloud-native standalone 5G network, the company is free to work with other cloud providers as well. “We are hybrid multicloud,” said Sidd Chenumolu, Dish’s VP of technology development, during an on-stage interview with Light Reading’s Mike Dano. Dish’s insistence on having a multi-cloud strategy complements the company’s overall philosophy that applications should be loosely coupled with the underlying infrastructure so they can run on multiple clouds.
Google Cloud releases open source security code for customers
Google Cloud is sharing some of its open-source security code that it says has been proven effective against cyberattacks. The code has been tested and vetted by Google and the company is already using it for its own security. Google Cloud said this code release is part of the company’s pledge to spend $10 billion to improve cybersecurity across the Internet. The initiative is called Assured Open Source, and the goal is to help both small and large enterprises improve their security.
IBM will make its SaaS catalog available on AWS
IBM said it would make its software-as-a-service (SaaS) catalog available on Amazon Web Services (AWS), as part of a multi-year agreement between the two cloud vendors. Clients with IBM will be able to purchase IBM SaaS products via Amazon Marketplace and from there they can set up and integrate the software with AWS. IBM and AWS are also committing a series of joint investments so clients can better consume IBM software on AWS and are planning to launch integrated go-to-market activities across sales and marketing, channel incentives, developer enablement and training, and more.
Benu Networks says it can reach speeds of 100Tbps with its vBNG
Benu Networks is working with Intel to improve the performance of its virtual broadband network gateway (vBNG). The company said that it can now reach up to 100 terabits per second (Tbps) of throughput. The vBNG tested used Intel’s third-generation Xeon scalable processors and the company’s Ethernet 800 series controller. By being able to reach the 100-terabit benchmark, Benu said that broadband providers now have more confidence in adopting a cloud-native BNC architecture.
Ericsson, Intel pool R&D for cloud RAN
Ericsson and Intel launched a tech hub in Santa Clara, California, where the two companies will combine their research and development efforts around cloud RAN. Called the Ericsson-Intel Tech Hub, the center will focus on power management and performance. It also will work on containerized network function (CNF) applications for upcoming generations of processing platforms.
AT&T exec says cloud RAN is not mature yet
AT&T will not use cloud RAN architecture when it uses its mid-band spectrum to expand and enhance the coverage of its 5G network. AT&T’s VP of Mobility and Access Architecture Gordon Mansfield, told Light Reading that the evolution to the cloud is not mature yet so it will build its 5G network using mid-band spectrum in the “traditional fashion.” Nevertheless, AT&T does hope to use cloud RAN in its next upgrade cycle but didn’t say when that would occur.
TIP Academy will train tech workers on Open RAN and more
The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) has launched the TIP Academy, an online training forum that was developed with the help of Accenture. TIP Academy will train telecom workers in new technologies such as Open RAN networking and disaggregated networks that use generic hardware and software from different vendors. Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Accenture are the first clients of TIP Academy.
And that about wraps it up! 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 July with our June wrap-up or at one of the upcoming events in person. Stay safe!