We’ve just returned from MWC Americas 2022 in Las Vegas. With about 8,200 in attendance (double that of Los Angeles last year) and 300 exhibitors, GSMA likely heaved a sigh of relief as the event appears to be on the road to recovery. More importantly, many of the exhibitors and attendees that our partner Jim Carroll (of Converge Digest) and we spoke with indicated they were pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of the show despite the lower turnout.
2022 MWC Americas Showcase
We’ve been busy editing and publishing the videos collected at MWC Americas, featuring telco thought leaders like Tareq Amin of Rakuten Symphony and Rakuten Mobile talking both about telco and hybrid cloud, and about their decision to make their Symworld telco management suite available on AWS, Iyad Tarazi of Federated Wireless discussing how CBRS has unlocked the private wireless market for them, Sandro Tavares of Dell Technologies on the telco cloud and much more.
You don’t want to miss checking out our 2022 MWC Americas Showcase on NextGenInfra.io, filmed onsite in the new West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). You’ll find a short executive summary of our show notes available for download.
Events Coming up
The next two months will see Jim and Roy at Topio’s Edge Computing World (Santa Clara), OCP Summit (San Jose), FutureNet Asia (Singapore), Fyuz Event (Madrid), Upperside SD-WAN/SASE (Paris), and Linux Foundation ONE Summit (Seattle).
And for those who want to attend the Fyuz event but are looking for a discounted (or complimentary ticket), drop us a note and we can put you in touch with the powers-that-be.
Finally, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating or sponsoring upcoming sites: telco and edge infrastructure (launching shortly – yes, delayed due to MWC Americas), the new middle mile (in progress), SD-WAN/SASE, private mobile networks, data center networking, and infrastructure security.
On with the news! (Remember our MWC viewpoints are found on that showcase site)
DoD is Collaborating with Northeastern University on 6G
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is working with Northeastern University on 6G and related technologies such as spectrum sharing, Open RAN, digital twins and using artificial intelligence (AI) for interference mitigation. The initiative, called Open6G, is funded with $1.77 million from Innovate Beyond 5G and the project is managed by Northeastern University’s Kosta Research Institute through an agreement with the Army Research Laboratory. Northeastern, which has a software-defined radio testbed called Colosseum, is providing the testbed capabilities and is developing an Open6G reference software stack. Colosseum will be co-located with a new Open6G facility at Northeastern’s Innovation Campus in Burlingame, MA.
T-Mobile Cuts Engineering, Networking and Field Operations Staff
T-Mobile is cutting some positions in its engineering, networking and field operations teams. The company says this is part of an “organizational shift.” The number of jobs impacted hasn’t been revealed, however, there are several posts on LinkedIn and on sites like TheLayoff from systems engineers, technical project managers, network engineers and others that are now looking for new roles. In 2019, prior to the close of their merger with Sprint, T-Mobile counted 52,000 employees and Sprint counted 28,500 employees, for a combined count of 80,500. Earlier this year that number had declined by about 5,500 jobs.
Appalachian Wireless Will Deploy a Cloud-Native 5G SA Network
Rural wireless operator Appalachian Wireless will use Ericsson equipment to deploy a cloud-native dual-mode standalone 5G (SA) network that also supports 4G. Appalachian Wireless will use Ericsson’s container-based dual-mode 5G core and its 5G RAN for the SA network. In addition, the company will replace its existing 4G network equipment with Ericsson’s gear and build a dual-mode core network for 4G and 5G. The goal, the company said, is to be able to future-proof its network and deliver advanced services to its customers, many of which reside in rural eastern Kentucky. Mike Johnson, Assistant CEO of Appalachian Wireless, said that the first phase of the company’s 5G deployment will be in its low-band 600 MHz spectrum. However, the company is also looking at other options such as repurposing its 800 MHz spectrum and also deploying 5G in its mid-band spectrum.
T-Mobile Spent $304M on 2.5GHz Spectrum Licenses in Auction 108
As expected, T-Mobile won the majority of the 2.5GHz spectrum licenses in Auction 108, which ended in late August. The FCC revealed on September 2 that T-Mobile won 7,156 of the 7,872 total licenses that received winning bids. The auction made 8,017 licenses available but not all of those licenses received winning bids. The entire auction generated just $428 million in total bids. T-Mobile accounted for about 71% of all the money spent in the auction. The mobile operator said that these new 2.5GHz licenses will accelerate its 5G network coverage and it plans to build out that spectrum as soon as the licenses are available. Other big bidders included PTI Pacifica ($18 million), TeleGuam Holding ($17 million); and Evergy Kansas Central ($13 million).
Verizon Business CEO Says Enterprises Are Flocking to FWA
Verizon Business CEO Sampath Sowmyanarayan said that Verizon’s FWA product is a big hit with enterprises. “I’ve been doing this for a pretty long time, and I have never seen a product fly off the shelf this fast,” he told FierceWirelss on the sidelines of the Mobile Future Forward event early in September. “We’ve seen almost year-on-year 30X jump in sales.” Verizon started offering its 5G Home service, based on FWA, around 2018 in select markets. It also offers 5G Business Internet and LTE Business Internet plans at various speed and price tiers. As of the end of the second quarter 2022, Verizon’s FWA business customers totaled 316,000 and its consumer FWA customers totaled 384,000. Sowmyanarayan said that enterprises like Verizon’s FWA product because cable broadband is inconsistent and when it goes down, it takes too long to fix it
T-Mobile Will Use 5G-Connected Cameras to Help with Wildfires
T-Mobile is working with Pano AI, a San Francisco-based disaster preparedness firm, to deploy 5G-connected cameras to detect wildfires. Pano AI worked with Portland General Electric (PGE) to test the technology in 2021. During that test, PGE identified high risk areas and utility assets it wanted to protect and the 5G-connected cameras were used to monitor those assets and risk areas. PGE said it was able to detect potential wildfires faster and more reliably than other solutions. T-Mobile said the 5G-enabled cameras use the company’s 600 MHz spectrum but will be able to use 2.5 GHz spectrum once the company expands its 2.5 GHz network to more rural areas. T-Mobile just spent $304 million in the FCC’s latest auction, acquiring more than 7,000 county-based licenses primarily in rural areas, which will enable Pano AI to get into more remote locations.
Verizon CEO Says Private Networks Are Hottest Area in Enterprise
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg told investors at a Goldman Sachs conference earlier this month that enterprises are adopting private 5G in offices and factories because they want secure, faster and reliable connectivity for their employees. He noted that some enterprises are adding the cloud component to their private 5G networks and using mobile edge compute (MEC). Verizon has existing partnerships with cloud providers Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud to support this type of deployment. However, Vestberg said that MEC adoption is slower because typically an enterprise wants to conduct a proof of concept first.
Federated Wireless Partners with JBG Smith for 5G Private Wireless Networks
Federated Wireless is collaborating with infrastructure developer JBG Smith to deploy 5G private wireless networks in National Landing, an area in Northern Virginia that includes Crystal City and Pentagon City. National Landing includes 6.8 million square feet of existing office space, 4,439 residential units including those under-construction, plus 6.5 million square feet of additional commercial, multi-family and retail development space. Federated is headquartered in Arlington, VA, but is moving its office space to National Landing to be closer to the project. The National Landing development was prompted largely by Amazon’s decision to build its second national headquarters in this area.
NextWave Deploys Private Wireless Network in 2.5 GHz Spectrum in NYC
NextWave Wireless is using its 2.5 GHz spectrum to launch a 4G/5G private wireless network in New York City. The network has about 138 cell sites and uses Airspan radios. The company said its wide-area cellular network will be devoted to private network applications. These 138 cell sites comprise the first phase of NextWave’s 2.5 GHz network in NYC. By early 2023, the company said it will expand the network to cover 15 million people using nearly all of its 50MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum that it owns in the market. In addition, the company plans to build similar networks using its 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. It also holds licenses in other markets, including Las Vegas.
GSA: 889 Organizations Have Deployed LTE or 5G Private Networks
At least 889 organizations have deployed LTE or 5G private networks in one or more locations, according to a new report from the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). The report said that the majority of private network deployments are using LTE but about 354 of the deployments are using 5G new radio and 37 deployments are using standalone 5G. The report said that demand for private 5G networks is being driven by increasing data, security, digitization and enterprise mobility requirements. In addition, the GSA reported noted that organizations of all types are combining connected systems with big data and analytics, plus many are using automation to increase efficiency and deliver new services.
Verizon Wins $11.5M DOD Private 5G Contract
Verizon received a $11.5 million contract from the Department of Defense to build a private 5G network inside an aircraft maintenance hangar at a military base in Hawaii. The contract is part of program from the federal government to test different 5G use cases in military installations. The hanger is at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, which supports both the Air Force and Navy missions. The pilot program will focus on helping airplane maintenance staff find new ways to implement foreign object detection as well as perform airplane maintenance using different types of user equipment and maintenance applications. Ericsson is a partner in the project and will deploy its private 5G equipment including a 5G core and RAN network gear.
Tierpoint Collaborates with Dell on Private Cloud
Tierpoint partnered with Dell Technologies to create a managed private cloud service. Called Private Cloud Powered by VxRail, the new offering is intended for enterprises that want to run workloads in a private cloud environment because they require super low-latency or have other regulatory requirements that makes them incompatible with a public cloud or a multi-cloud environment. Tierpoint said that Private Cloud Powered by VxRail offers a flexible subscription model as well as service and support.
VMware Adds New Features to its Telco Cloud Platform
VMware added some key new features to reduce the some of the complexity of its Telco Cloud Platform. Specifically, the company said that it is adding more automation to make it easier for operators to disaggregate the RAN and efficiently deploy, manage, monitor and optimize multi-cloud 5G networks. To do that, VMware’s Telco Cloud Automation, which is part of its Telco Cloud Platform RAN, will provide dynamic infrastructure policies so operators can automatically configure underlying infrastructure resources and meet the requirements of cloud native network functions (CNF) being deployed. It will also provide multi-cloud support for easy use of Amazon Web Services. In addition, VMware’s Telco Cloud Automation will provide templating tools so operators can rapidly deploy new RAN sites and decrease CNF instantiation time.
VMware Settles SEC Dispute
VMware paid $8 million to settle accusations from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it manipulated its backlog reporting to hide lackluster financial results from investors. The SEC accused VMware of delaying some of its sales orders until just after the end of its fiscal quarters in order to recognize revenue from those sales in the following periods. According to the SEC, VMware pushed “tens of millions of dollars” in revenue to future quarters by doing this. VMware neither confirmed or denied the allegations but said that SEC investigation didn’t find the company failed to comply with generally accepted accounting standards. “VMware believes this settlement is the right course of action for the Company and continues to be committed to operating at the highest level of integrity, including with respect to its public filings and communications with investors,” VMware stated.
Former Viptela Founder Launches Edge Services Company
Founded in 2020, Startup Graphiant emerged from stealth mode earlier this month with $33.5 million in funding from former Viptela investor Sequoia Capital, as well as private equity firms Two Bear Capital and Atlantic Bridge. The company launched Graphiant Network Edge, an edge services product that provides connectivity between the enterprise WAN, hybrid cloud and network edge. Graphiant Founder and CEO Khalid Raza also founded SD-WAN company Viptela which Cisco acquired for $610 million in 2017. The Graphiant Network Edge allows users to optimize the internet and maintain control of their data. All the routing is handled by the Graphiant core, which is programmable to allow for service level agreements for applications.
Kaloom Receives Another $21M in Funding
Montreal-based Kaloom announced that it received another $21 million in funding, bringing its total amount of funding to $71 million. The company said it now has 100 employees and will use the funding to expand its sales and increase its product portfolio. Broadly, the company focuses on software, virtualization, containers and edge computing. Kaloom’s software will reduce the number of platforms that operators run inside the edge computing data centers and can help operators cut their computing needs in half in these locations. The company’s initial customers range from Telus to Telenor to Telstra. It considers companies like Pluribus and DriveNets to be its competitors.
AWS Improves Reliability on Outposts
Amazon Web Services (AWS) added local clusters to its Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) on the Outpost platform. Amazon EKS is a managed Kubernetes service that makes it easy for users to run Kubernetes on AWS and on premises. AWS Outposts is a managed solution that delivers AWS infrastructure and services to any on-premise or edge location. This change is intended to bolster the reliability of applications running in edge environments. In the past, users had to set up the EKS clusters and control plane in a centralized AWS cloud environment and then instantiate nodes in Outposts or other edge environments. Now users can fully deploy EKS-managed clusters on the Outposts platform with both the Kubernetes control plane and the nodes. AWS said in a blog post that the company made this change because customers told it that the main challenge they were having was managing site disconnections.
SD-WAN Security Market Will Top $2.4B by Year-end, Says Analyst
A new report from Future Market Insights predicts that the software-defined wide area (SD-WAN) market will be valued at about $2.4 billion by year-end, up from $2 billion in 2021. The report noted that the increase in spending is due to the growing importance of SD-WAN security, which currently represents about 25% of the total network security market. The company considers SD-WAN security to include IP security, next-generation firewalls, VPN tunnels and the micro-segmentation of applications traffic.
Enterprises Will Spend More than $6B on SASE in 2022, Report Says
Enterprises have a strong appetite for network security products. According to the latest Dell’Oro Group report, the overall market for secure access service edge (SASE) will exceed $6 billion this year. Mauricio Sanchez, research director for Dell’Oro said that the increase in investment in SASE is due to enterprises wanting to secure and improve connectivity for cloud-based apps and hybrid work. During the second quarter, Sanchez said both SASE components —SSE and SD-WAN —saw more than 30% growth. He added that the secure services edge (SSE) use cases that saw the most growth were zero trust network access and firewall-as-a-service. In addition, Dell’Oro noted that SD-WAN hardware demand continues to outstrip supply. The firm said that the SASE market remains saturated with more than 35 vendors and as of Q2, the top 11 suppliers were responsible for 80% of the market by revenue.
Six SD-WAN Vendors Tagged as “Leaders” in Gartner’s SD-WAN Study
Gartner released its powerful SD-WAN Magic Quadrant study and named six vendors in its “Leaders” category. VMware, Fortinet, Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Versa Networks and HPE all received “Leaders” designations. Juniper Networks was categorized as a Visionary and Huawei as a Challenger. The same six Leaders companies were also designated as leaders in 2021 and 2020. Gartner’s study also predicted that half of SD-WAN deals will occur as part of a secure access service edge (SASE) platform by 2025. SASE combines networking technologies like SD-WAN with next-gen security technologies into a unified platform. As of 2022, only 10% of SD-WAN purchases are part of a SASE offering, according to Gartner.
Qualcomm Is Sampling Open RAN-compliant 5G Platforms
Qualcomm Technologies has started making the Qualcomm X1005G RAN Accelerator Card and Qualcomm QRU100 5G RAN Platform available to global customers and partners for verification and integration in 5G mobile infrastructure products. According to Qualcomm, this is a significant step for the company as the industry moves toward commercializing open and virtualized 5G networks. The company announced two years ago that it would begin sampling its Open RAN-compliant 5G platforms in mid-2022 and this announcement is intended to let the industry know that it is on schedule. The company added that these 5G platforms are expected to lower the total cost of ownership of 5G deployments.
Rakuten Symphony CEO Says DU Problem is Resolved
Rakuten Symphony CEO Tareq Amin says that Symphony has resolved the problem with the distributed unit (DU) appliance in wireless networks by developing a new device, called the Symware next-generation DU. Amin said that the new DU integrates some functions that previously required separate boxes, such as the cell-site routing function and the function to covert from CPRI to eCPRI. Symphony has been working with Intel over the past year to create the new DU, which is now being manufactured by Foxconn. Amin also said the new DU can run software from any vendor, including Ericsson, Nokia, Mavenir or Symphony.
DT Deployed Mavenir’s Cloud-native 5G Core
Deutsche Telekom (DT) in Germany said it has successful deploye Mavenir’s cloud-native 5G core. The operator said that it selected Mavenir as its software supplier for its Kubernetes-based platform. The move is not surprising as Mavenir has been working with DT on open RAN technology but this was the first deployment completed in Germany since Mavenir was selected as one of the company’s preferred vendors for its converged packet core. The German operator is also using Mavenir’s IMS solution in its network. DT has a new 5G SA core as well as an existing 4G/5G core and the operator plans the converge those two cores in the future. For now, DT is using Ericsson equipment for its 4G/5G core network.
Mavenir, NEC Deploy Advanced Tech in Orange’s 5G SA Experimental Network
Mavenir and NEC Corp. deployed their advanced technology in Orange’s 5G standalone (SA) experimental network. Specifically, Mavenir deployed its open, virtualized RAN software on Orange’s cloud infrastructure and NEC deployed its 32T32R massive MIMO active antenna unit. The two technologies are being used at the Orange Gardens campus in Chatillon near Paris and are part of project Pikeo, Orange’s cloud-based fully automated 5G SA experimental network. The company said that its Open RAN Integration Center is open to all of its partners and is intended to help develop a strong open RAN ecosystem in Europe. NEC said that this deployment is a milestone for open RAN because it shows the technology can deliver in a multi-vendor environment.
Dell, Fujitsu Collaborate on Open RAN
Dell Technologies and Fujitsu are collaborating to accelerate the adoption of open RAN. The two companies said that they will work to integrate Fujitsu’s carrier-grade O-RAN compliant radio units with the Dell O-RAN Accelerator Card. Operators will also be able to deploy multi-band radio units, virtualized RAN and lifecycle management software from Fujitsu and virtualize RAN and O-RAN accelerator cards from Dell. In addition, as part of that collaboration, Fujitsu’s 5G O-RAN Interoperability Lab in Richardson, TX, will be connected to the Dell Open Telecom Ecosystem Lab in Round Rock, TX.
That’s it, go check out our 2022 MWC Americas Showcase on NextGenInfra.io, and download the show notes! We hope to see you at one of the upcoming events: Edge Computing World in Santa Clara, FutureNetAsia in Singapore, or perhaps the FYUZ (O-RAN Alliance Summit, TIP Summit, Meta Connectivity Summit – all-in-one) event, or at Upperside’s SD-WAN and SASE in Paris, or the Linux Foundation’s ONE Summit in Seattle!