Events and Travel — The Saga Continues
It’s been wonderful to meet many of you in person at the numerous conferences this Fall, but we’re equally relieved that we’re down to a couple of shows left for the year. We’ve completed our rounds at WasmCon in Bellevue (Seattle), TMForum DTW (Copenhagen), TMT M&A Forum (New York), TIP Fyuz (Madrid), and OCP Global (San Jose).
Looking forward to KubeCon (Chicago) next week, AWS re:Invent (Nov 27-30, Las Vegas), and to wrap up the year, Upperside’s SD-WAN/SASE Summit (Dec 12-13, Paris). We might stop by the Network Automation Forum’s “AutoCon 0” in Denver Nov 13/14 but not confirmed yet. Nevertheless, if you’re into network automation, you should consider registering and attending,
And, if you’re in the Bay Area, check out Aira Technologies’ Role of Generative AI and AI in Wireless event coming up on Nov 3. If you’re not, register to get notification when the recordings are available. We’re moderating a panel on GenAI consisting of McKinsey & Company, Anthropic, AWS, VMware, Dell, Juniper, and, of course, Aira Technologies. Other speakers hail from Intel, Capgemini, Qualcomm, Tech Mahindra, Meta, Viavi, AT&T, DT, Mavenir, and Weaver Labs. Fellow moderators include Ina Fried of Axios, Chetan Sharma, and Leonard Lee of neXt Curve.
Quick Notes from the Road
- GenAI continues to dominate our lives — it’s impossible to have any conversations with vendors, enterprises, or telcos without it coming up. Nevertheless, the space changes so rapidly it probably warrants that ongoing conversation. At OCP Summit 2023, (BTW, congrats to the OCP on a record 4,401 attendees!) GenAI’s heavy demands on the data center were explained by thought leaders, along with proposed solutions. Check out our OCP Global Summit 2023 Showcase for the latest in data center networking technologies.
- NaaS is becoming another sustainable topic (meaning it continues to show up, not the other sustainable). Check out video interviews on our MEF Global NaaS Event 2023 Showcase as captured by our partner, Jim Carroll, Converge Digest. You’ve got to watch those walking chats that Jim’s now well-known for.
Private Wireless Resource Site: Soft Launch Imminent
Watch closely in the next few days as we soft launch our Private 5G site. Observant readers who’ve been digging around our site might get early sneak peeks — just saying.
Other NextGenInfra Sites and Reports
Check out content from recent NextGenInfra.io sites:
- SASE, SD-WAN, Enterprise Edge, and Cloud Networking Resource Site — The latest on SASE, SD-WAN, multi-cloud, ZTNA, and yes, NaaS, too!
- MWC 2023 Las Vegas Showcase — Videos feature leading execs from Dell’Oro, HPE Aruba, Marvell, Napatech, neXt Curve.
- Fiber Connect 2023 — Features companies like APB, Brightspeed, Clearfield, Corning, DCBlox, Dell’Oro, DZS, Nokia, ipInfusion, Infinera, STL, and more.
- New Middle Mile Report — Exploring the critical evolution of the complex yet vital middle section between networking’s last mile and first mile.
Missed recent events AvidThink was on? Here’s links to the recordings:
- Fyuz 2023 and 5G Americas Recap with NeXt Curve — Swapping of notes with Leonard Lee of neXt Curve about Telecom Infra Project’s Fyuz 2023 event and 5G Americas.
- Rakuten Optimism 2023 Edge Cloud Innovation — Fireside chat with Vijay Tewari of Google Cloud and Partha Seetala of Rakuten Symphony.
- MEF Podcast — The Shift to NaaS: Where Connectivity and Security Converge — Our chat with MEF CTO, Pascal Menezes, on the convergence of security and networking under the Network-as-a-Service umbrella.
On to October’s news!
6G Expectations Are Getting More Realistic
The NGMN Alliance released guidance on 6G, saying it will likely require software upgrades to legacy spectrum bands to run on existing radio hardware. 6G may use new hardware on new frequencies but that hardware will only be necessary for new bands, per analyst Joe Madden. Madden expects 6G preferences for COTS servers, open fronthaul, and RICs on baseband servers. Like 5G, 6G will take incremental steps.
Verizon: mmWave 5G Complements C-Band
Verizon EVP Joe Russo said its 40,000 mmWave nodes in urban areas complement C-band. mmWave serves dense populations at big events while C-band provides wider coverage. Russo said standalone 5G enables new use cases but more testing is needed to match 4G voice quality.
T-Mobile’s Mid-Band 5G Covers 300M People
T-Mobile’s 5G Ultra Capacity mid-band network reached 300M people two months early. Their complete 5G spectrum stack covers 330M at 98% of population. Their low-band 600 MHz spectrum aids rural and indoor coverage. Meanwhile, T-Mobile is trying to get more 600 MHz spectrum from Columbia Capital entities.
T-Mobile Adds 557K FWA Customers in Q3
T-Mobile gained 557K FWA subscribers in Q3, reaching 4.2M total. It aims for 7-8M by 2025. T-Mobile added 850K postpaid phone customers, increasing 2023 guidance to 5.7-5.9M from 5.6-5.9M. Still interested in fiber, but CEO Sievert shared that they are not the unnamed buyer teaming with Jana to pursue Frontier sale. They prefer pursuing “capital-light” fiber deals.
Ericsson Launches 5G SA Software
Ericsson released a software bundle to strengthen 5G SA capabilities like slicing, MIMO and low latency for gaming and public safety. Goal is to advance 5G apps and support differentiated connectivity.
5G Patent Portfolios Surging
LexisNexis says 5G patent families grew 10x from 2017-2023, almost 2.5x 4G growth. More complexity than earlier generations is leading to new concepts being patented.
Thailand and Kuwait Connect on 5G SA
Thailand’s AIS and STC Kuwait enabled 5G SA roaming through BICS hub, expanding beyond NSA roaming. BICS first completed a global 5G SA roaming connection last November between STC Kuwait and Belgian operator Proximus. This arrangement enables slicing and new use cases while roaming outside home network.
Orange: 5G SA Key for Private Networks
Orange CEO says 5G SA rollout this year will aid private networks like Barcelona port. Also, dynamic spectrum sharing shows them who’s using 4G vs 5G — only 24% of customers use 5G even though 70% have 5G devices.
Verizon Adds 384K FWA Subs in Q3
Verizon added 384K FWA subscribers in Q3, reaching 2.67M total. On track for 4-5M target by 2025 but building for more. Downplayed capacity concerns, citing optimizations. Added 100K postpaid phones despite 51K consumer loss.
Dish Improves Las Vegas 5G Performance
Signals Research testing showed Dish improved Las Vegas 5G over past year. Higher peak/average speeds from denser grid, and better downlink with carrier aggregation. Results showed 307 Mbps average download speeds, two times earlier results. VoNR is improved but still room for gains.
5G-Advanced May Launch in 2025
3GPP Release 18 sets 5G-Advanced (5.5G) to launch commercially in 2025. R18 will expand wireless AI, enable new apps, and cut power usage versus 5G.
NTIA Seeks O-RAN Specs
NTIA wants to establish Minimum Viable Profile (MVP) O-RAN specs to promote adoption. Microsoft, Dell, Intel, Mavenir are pushing the effort. MVP would accelerate commercial O-RAN adoption.
NTT Docomo To Sell Open RAN Software
NTT Docomo will market its multi-vendor service management and orchestration (SMO) platform beyond Japan. The platform can connect any vendor’s RAN.
Vodafone to Champion Open RAN
Vodafone will share open RAN experience and support deployments globally, assisting with strategy, testing, and design. They hope to help smaller operators who need assistance building labs and teams.
Open RAN Progress As Expected
Analysts say slow open RAN progress is expected. Operators want it but have committed to existing architectures, and will not rip and replace. Open RAN may get traction with new spectrum deployments. Dell’Oro estimates open RAN will have 5-10% RAN share in 2023.
First Customer Commits to CommScope vCMTS
CommScope secured first vCMTS commitment and trials after pausing project to focus elsewhere. Harmonic currently leads market with Comcast and Charter deals.
AT&T Private Wireless Exec Departs
AT&T’s Jason Inskeep left to join consulting firm Slalom. At AT&T, Inskeep led 5G, IoT, Wi-Fi, private wireless efforts.
Nokia Expands Private Wireless
Nokia launched 5G industrial/public safety phones and a compact version of its Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) offering for enterprises using CBRS spectrum and their Airscale small cells.
AT&T and Verizon Business Support MEF’s SASE Certification
MEF and CyberRatings.org started SASE certification program with beta participation from major vendors. AT&T and Verizon have stated support for the effort.
Fortinet Expands SASE Capabilities
Fortinet expanded its Universal SASE with new FortiOS version supporting 30+ functions from one console. It aims to eliminate multi-vendor complexity.
Versa Networks Enhances SASE
Versa’s new SD-LAN integrates security, switching, routing, networking, and AI-driven management for SASE edge.
AI and GenAI
Big AI Spending Growth Forecast
Consulting firm Altman Solon survey shows 45% of providers predicting 6x AI spending increase in 2 years. Customer chatbots top use case at 63% adoption. Others use cases include employee assistance, chat over documentation, knowledge management.
Q3 Cloud Spending Rise Led by AI
Synergy Research says Q3 cloud spending is up $10.5B YoY to $68B due to AI, overcoming economic slow down and political uncertainty. AWS leads at 32% share vs. Microsoft 23%, Google 11%.
Analysts See Cloud Growth Stalling
New Street Research says cloud growth has flattened after 2 years above trend. Google Cloud is lower 22% YoY and Azure is down 29% YoY in 2023 Q3 as spending normalizes.
BT Promises Simplified Multicloud
BT’s new NaaS Global Fabric uses an AI-powered underlay to manage applications across clouds and users, aiming to ease multicloud complexity and enable pay-as-you-go model for enterprises.
AWS Invested $109B in U.S. Infrastructure
AWS says it invested $108.9B in U.S. cloud infrastructure from 2011-2022, including $92B in construction of facilities. It estimated $37.7B contribution to GDP during this period.
Broadcom’s VMware Deal Still Pending
Broadcom is awaiting China approval for its $62B VMware deal. It hopes to close by the Nov. 26 deadline before $1.5B termination fee applies. Analysts cite geopolitical issues as driving the delays.
And it’s a wrap! See you back here in early December. In the meantime, we wish our US readers an early Happy Thanksgiving!
The AvidThink team