May is here, and we’re in the heart of the Spring conference season. Fresh off RSA Conference where SASE/SSE/ZTNA and XDR showed up in every corner of Moscone Center in San Francisco, Roy is heading to FutureNet World 2023 in London (May 3-4). He’ll be chairing and moderating the opening CxO Panel on Redefining Telcos with Enrique Blanco (CTIO,Telefónica), Scott Petty (CTO, Vodafone Group), Greg McCall (Chief Networks Officer, BT), and Joe Cumello (SVP, GM, Blue Planet | Ciena). Then it’s off to Big 5G in Austin, followed by ONUG Spring in Dallas. In June, we’ll be at OpenInfra Summit in Vancouver and the SmartNICs Summit in San Jose.
In case you missed it:
New Middle Mile Site and Report Launched
We launched our New Middle Mile resource site and report with Converge Network Digest at Upperside Conference’s MPLS World Congress 2023. Check it out and enjoy the videos from sponsors and telco execs. If you want a copy of Roy’s opening talk slides, download them here (un-gated). Please don’t distribute them until Upperside Conferences opens access to the conference slides. We’d love feedback on the report; drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catch up on our recent webinars and panels:
- Intent-based Assurance with Accedian and Cisco
- Cloud Infrastructure with Silverlinings (AWS, Uber, Ciena)
- Private Wireless Networks onsite at Barcelona with NMG (Comcast, IBM, Samsung)
- Edge Field Day series on YouTube (Scale Computing, Avassa, Mako Networks, OpenGear)
Roy participated in the IEEE Communication Society webinar (May 1) on Open Source vs Proprietary Software Running on Disaggregated Hardware with IEEE, Linux Foundation, and DRIVENETS. We’ll link to the recording in our next newsletter (if available).
It might not be too late to join the May 2 session with Stefan Pongratz of Dell’Oro Group, Small Cell Forum, T-Mobile, EXFO, and Roy during the Fierce Wireless Private Wireless Network Summit.
ONUG Spring 2023
For ONUG Spring 2023, Jim Carroll and Roy will be capturing executive viewpoints on video. If you’re a sponsor, sign up for a complimentary slot or purchase a premium package. We also have limited free tickets available; contact us at email@example.com.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for collaboration opportunities on upcoming topics like SD-WAN/SASE/ZTNA/multi-cloud, private wireless networks, disaggregated/cloud-native networks, and infrastructure security.
Now, let’s dive into the news!
ETSI Warns a Single 6G Standard May Be Hard to Achieve
Geopolitical tensions may make it difficult for the wireless industry to align on a single 6G standard, warned Adrian Scrase, CTO of ETSI at a recent 6G Symposium in London. Scrase said that due to tension in the world right now, it will likely be difficult for countries to come together and focus on creating single 6G standard. Instead, Scrase said, it is likely that certain companies, countries or regions of the world will “break away” and work alone, which could lead to global fragmentation. However, Scrase acknowledged that creating a global 6G standard is the most economical solution and urged participants at the event to push that message.
AT&T Completes 5G SA Uplink 2-Carrier Aggregation
AT&T made what it believes is the first 5G standalone (SA) uplink 2-carrier aggregation data connection in the U.S. This feat occurred in a Redmond, Washington, lab using Nokia’s 5G AirScale product line and MediaTek’s 5G mobile test platform. Carrier aggregation occurs when different frequency bands are combined to achieve more bandwidth and capacity. Although carrier aggregation has been used for many years, AT&T believes this is the first time this combination of spectrum has been aggregated. The operator aggregated 10 MHz of its 850 MHz low-band spectrum with both 40 MHz and 70 MHz of mid-band 3.7 GHz spectrum. As a result of this 2-carrier aggregation, AT&T experienced a 100% increase in uplink throughput. When AT&T aggregated 100 MHz of the mid-band spectrum with the 850 MHz spectrum, the company saw a 250% increase in throughput. AT&T is in the process of rolling out its 5G SA network and hasn’t said whether it will use this new carrier aggregation technique throughout the network.
China’s 5G base station count tops 2.3M
China’s 5G base station count now represents about 60% of the total number of 5G base stations globally, according to mobile research firm Future Mobile Communications Forum, which is based in China. Future Mobile Communications Forum chairman Wu Hequan said that China’s base station count surpassed 2.3 million at the end of February. Wu also said that China’s fastest 5G network speeds are in Shanghai where mobile broadband speeds hit 158.5 Mbps.
Ericsson, Far EasTone uses 5G network slicing to broadcast marathon
Taiwanese TV and multimedia company TVBS, Ericsson and mobile operator Far EasTone joined forces to use 5G network slicing to live stream the 21st New Taipei City Wan Jin Shi Marathon in Taiwan. Far EasTone used Ericsson’s network slicing technology to allocate bandwidth for the marathon. Plus, the operator also improved its network capacity by optimizing the existing base stations and incorporating cell on wheels (COW) on site so TVBS could capture the entire event. Ericsson has long been a proponent of 5G network slicing and the company recently said that it believes the first commercial launches of network slicing will occur this year.
UK government plans to blanket country with 5G SA by 2030
The UK government released a wireless infrastructure strategy policy paper that revealed that it plans to move from what it calls “basic 5G” – the non-standalone version (NSA) of the standard – to the 5G standalone version (SA) that incorporates a 5G core by 2030. The government also has pledged $186.3 million to boost its 5G coverage and will spend another $124 million on 6G research. Currently the country has deployed NSA and Vodafone UK is the only mobile operator that has launched a trial of SA. Vodafone has said it will commercially launch SA next year. The UK government said that it wants to move to full SA by the end of the decade because it believes that it will drive growth in other sectors such as artificial intelligence.
Australia’s Telstra is making network slicing a reality
Australian mobile operator Telstra has started rolling out network slicing on a cloud native standalone 5G network. The operator said it is using network slicing to provide a committed upload link for its CCTV cameras so it can protect construction sites in rural Australia. The sites needed a 20 Mbps committed upload link for the CCTV cameras and also required a committed 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload link for a regular data connection, Telstra said. The operator added that without SA and network slicing it would not have been possible to reserve a slice of the network for the construction site’s devices.
Verizon expects to deploy network slicing by year-end
A Verizon executive announced the company’s plan to deploy network slicing by year-end at a recent trade show. Verizon is currently moving customer traffic to its new 5G standalone (SA) core, which will support network slicing. Public safety is a prime area for network slicing, with drone communications requiring low-latency and encrypted connections. The company has no firm timeline for the rollout but is already marketing its capabilities to public safety customers.
Open RAN advocate Mavenir overhauls marketing group
Mavenir is revamping its marketing department, shifting from a centralized approach to a regional model. Mavenir’s marketing chief Maryvonne Tubb is leaving the company. Light Reading reported that the company is reducing personnel at its headquarters and hiring in regions important to its open RAN and packet core business. Tubb confirmed her departure and stated she’s been overseeing the marketing strategy shift for several months, and will look forward to a new challenge once complete.
Virgin Media O2 picks Mavenir for O-RAN
Virgin Media O2 selected Mavenir as its open RAN vendor and prime integrator to help transition to a cloud-native virtualized RAN architecture. Mavenir’s software supports O-RAN Split 7.2x and Split 2, further disaggregating into distributed unit (DU) and centralized unit (CU). The DU and CU function as containerized network elements running on commercial off-the-shelf hardware. Jeanie York, CTO of Virgin Media O2, praised the deal, emphasizing the benefits of digitalizing networks and integrating infrastructure.
U.S. launches innovation fund to invest in open RAN
The U.S. Secretary of Commerce launched the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund, investing $1.5 billion in open and interoperable networks. The fund’s first Notice of Funding Opportunity focuses on open RAN technology, with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) expecting to award up to $140.5 million in the first round of grants. The awards will support R&D and testing activities related to 5G RAN technology’s interoperability, performance, and security. Applications are due June 2, and the NTIA will begin awarding the first grants in August.
O-RAN growth will initially come from rural and private networks
James Kirby, analyst with Analysys Mason, told SilverLinings that O-RAN is progressing in technology, system certification, and testing. He added that rural and private networks will initially provide the biggest opportunities for the technology, followed by initiatives from large mobile network operators. Analysys Mason predicts O-RAN networks will become prevalent in 2025.
Ericsson’s Cradlepoint Purchases Cloud Security Firm Ericom
Ericsson subsidiary Cradlepoint acquired Israel-based cloud security firm Ericom Software. The acquisition aims to enhance Cradlepoint’s Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) portfolio. Ericom’s zero trust security capabilities are intended to bolster Cradlepoint’s security offerings and capitalize on 5G deployments.
DTG Recycle will use Comcast Business’ SD-WAN platform
Comcast Business will provide DTG Recycle with its ActiveCore SDN platform, enabling SD-WAN support for cloud-based operations, including digital documentation and electronic payments. Comcast expanded its SD-WAN platform with managed services such as intelligent traffic steering and direct cloud connections. DTG Recycle, covering the Pacific Northwest, was recently acquired by a Macquarie Asset Management-managed fund.
Netskope’s Endpoint SD-WAN helps enterprises deal with hybrid workforce
Netskope’s Endpoint SD-WAN, a unified SASE client, combines SD-WAN and Security Service Edge (SSE) to assist enterprises with remote workforce transitions. The solution offers a unified architecture, zero trust policy, and context-aware policy. It aims to provide a consistent application experience for hybrid workers. Endpoint SD-WAN will be available later this year.
Viavi Solutions offers performance testing for SASE
Viavi Solutions launched TeraVM SASE Test, a virtualized platform for performance testing SASE networks. The platform simulates large-scale traffic and measures performance to identify and resolve issues, helping companies meet service level agreements. TeraVM SASE Test operates on any cloud environment and tests various technologies and protocols including SD-WAN, zero trust network access, secure web gateway, data loss prevention, and firewall-as-a-service with additional support for secure VPN services.
Versa delivers security to the corporate campus
Versa Networks expanded its SASE product line with Versa Zero Trust Everywhere, providing security and optimized performance for remote and on-premise users — notably campus networks with network switch integration. Versa aims to simplify security with a consistent framework for protecting users, devices, and sites.
Lumen expands SASE Suite with Versa
Lumen added Versa Networks to its SASE vendor portfolio. Lumen launched its SASE initiative in 2022 with Fortinet and VMware products, later adding Versa Networks. Lumen has seen increased demand for unified SASE solutions due to flexible work models.
Former BT Executive joins Juniper Networks
Neil McRae, former chief architect and managing director at BT, joined Juniper Networks as chief network strategist. McRae will assist Juniper’s customers, including service providers, cloud providers, and enterprises, in developing next-gen architectures using Juniper products. McRae has extensive experience with Juniper products from his time at BT.
Oracle’s underdog cloud status may be changing
Oracle, trailing behind Amazon, Microsoft, and Google in cloud services, received praise from Guggenheim analysts for its price-performance advantage. Oracle offers cloud services at half the price with twice the performance of competitors. Guggenheim highlighted Oracle’s “4th mover advantage,” building on predecessors’ successes and shortfalls while incorporating its own technology innovation.
Layoffs hit Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is affected by Amazon’s workforce cuts, including 9,000 job eliminations and 18,000 job cuts announced in January. AWS faces challenges as customers seek to optimize cloud spending in a tight economy. AWS is experiencing “short-term headwinds” due to cautious spending amid current macroeconomic conditions, according to Amazon CEO Andrew Jassy.
Prosimo’s latest tools attempt to streamline multi-cloud complexity
Start-up Prosimo launched its Cloud-Native Networking Suite to simplify multi-cloud networking. The suite extends Prosimo’s Full Stack Cloud Transit Platform, enabling enterprises to deploy new applications and adopt native cloud services more easily. Prosimo addresses the challenges of onboarding applications in a multi-cloud environment.
Google Cloud posts first-ever profit
Google Cloud posted its first-ever profit in Q1, driven by interest in generative artificial intelligence (AI). Alphabet’s consolidated revenues rose 3% to $69.8 billion, with cloud revenue increasing 28% to $7.5 billion. The cloud unit reported an operating profit of $191 million, a significant improvement from the $706 million loss in the previous year. Google Cloud now serves 60% of the world’s largest companies, with cloud deals over $250 million increasing by over 300% in three years.
AT&T, Dell, VMware launch a MEC platform
AT&T, Dell, and VMware collaborated to create a multi-edge access compute (MEC) solution for large enterprises. The AT&T MEC with Dell APEX platform leverages cellular technology and MEC functionality. It combines Dell’s APEX platform with VMware software to deliver an edge cloud as-a-service, with AT&T providing MEC private network and 5G connectivity. The platform is available through AT&T’s North and South American footprint.
AWS enters generative AI space with Bedrock
AWS launched Bedrock, a cloud-based service for building generative AI apps. Bedrock provides access to foundational models (FMs) from startups A121 Labs, Anthropic, Stability AI, and Amazon accessible via API. It includes Amazon’s Titan FMs, large language models capable of tasks like summarization, text generation, classification, and open-ended Q&A. Bedrock is available for limited preview.
AI expected to increase cloud computing spending
Alphabet and Microsoft executives anticipate increased spending on cloud computing data centers to support AI technologies. Companies are also moving more IT operations and network functions to cloud data centers. TD Cowen analysts observed increased hyperscale data center leasing, benefiting companies like Equinix, DigitalBridge, Nokia, and Juniper Networks. Investments in data center upgrades, such as liquid cooling, are expected.
Betacom partners with Google Cloud, Intel to jumpstart private networks
Private networking company Betacom is partnering with 15 technology companies, including Google Cloud, Intel, Ingram Micro, and Qualcomm, to collaborate on 5G private network design and deployment. The Betacom Private 5G Ecosystem aims to create an end-to-end platform for enterprises to accommodate various use cases and vertical markets. Betacom’s technology uses CBRS spectrum and is independent of public mobile networks.
Cleveland Clinic deploys a private 5G network in Ohio
Cleveland Clinic deployed a 5G private wireless network at its Mentor, Ohio facility in collaboration with Verizon. The network serves as a testbed for 5G-enabled use cases at other clinic facilities. Provisioned smartphones can connect to the private network, and patients and visitors with Verizon or its partners can connect inside the hospital. The Mentor hospital, set to open in July, will have 34 beds and serve ambulatory outpatients.
And we’re done with April. See you back here in early June — or meet us in London, Austin, Dallas, maybe?
The AvidThink team