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Samsung has signed an MoU with the Korea Transportation Safety Authority (KOTSA) to collaborate on next-generation telecommunication technology which will enable autonomous driving innovation across the country.

Through the partnership, both entities will build 4G LTE, 5G and Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) telecommunication networks and related IT infrastructures at K-City, a test bed for autonomous driving technology in Korea.

K-City consists of five real-life simulated cases, urban and rural areas, local communities, highways and parking lots, spread across a 360,000m2 field. Using advanced vehicle communication technologies, the test bed will create an environment for autonomous vehicles and connected cars to experience real-life road conditions, crossings and tunnels. It will also enable the testing of accident risk situations that can be recreated and repeated, contributing to enhanced safety for both drivers and pedestrians.

Alongside the implementation of network equipment, Samsung will begin building key IT infrastructures to guarantee minimal latency and information security at K-City. Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) near base stations is critical in supporting instant communication between fast-moving vehicles, and enables cars to react to unanticipated events.

Designed as a multi-purpose open innovation lab to serve various industries, the network solution in K-City supported by Samsung and KOTSA will be available to professionals and businesses of all sizes. The site will eventually become the center of research for autonomous driving and connected cars, which will spearhead the future growth of 5G industries.

Byung Yoon Kwon, Director of KOTSA
By building various telecommunication networks including 5G, 4G and V2X in one place, K-City will provide real-world experiences of autonomous driving for people and businesses across the industry. 

Jaeho Jeon, EVP and Head of Global Technology Service, Network Business, Samsung
With our technical expertise in 5G technologies, we are uniquely positioned to establish the foundation of a new industrial ecosystem that will allow the autonomous driving industry to flourish.

Vodafone UK and Andersen Press have launched #Goldilocks, a new book to help parents and children talk about social media and how to use it responsibly.

The book marks the launch of Vodafone’s new Digital Parenting website, a go-to-guide for parents on the latest digital safety and wellbeing issues. #Goldilocks, written by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Tony Ross, is available to download for free at www.vodafone.co.uk/digitalparenting.

New YouGov research released today shows that many children are both aware of and using social media from a young age. This is often before parents have had conversations with them about how to use social media safely and responsibly. The findings show that 48% of children are aware of social media by the age of seven.

Parents are the first port of call for the majority of children for advice on their digital lives. 93% of children aged six to ten say they would speak to their parents if someone said or did something to upset them online.

In light of the findings, Digital Parenting, which is funded by the Vodafone Foundation, is encouraging parents to discuss how to use social media safely and responsibly with children from the age of seven. The printed guide and website offers support to parents who want to understand their children’s online world.

Helen Lamprell, General Counsel & External Affairs Director, Vodafone UK
Social media can be a great way for young people to communicate, be creative and develop their digital skills. We know parents want to talk to their children about how to use social media safely and responsibly, but often aren’t sure how. #Goldilocks offers a fun, accessible way to start the conversation with younger children, who we know are increasingly aware of, and using, social media.

SD-WAN: the promise of explosive growth

Rohit Mehra, Vice President, Network Infrastructure, IDC, recently commented that "the emergence of SD-WAN technology has been one of the fastest industry transformations we have seen in years. Organizations of all sizes are modernizing their Wide Area Networks to provide improved user experience for a range of cloud-enabled applications1." He was commenting on figures released in an IDC report stating that Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) infrastructure revenues had increased 83.3% in 2017 to reach $833 million and forecasting that the market would reach $4.5 billion in 2022, a 40.4% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2017 to 20221. Another report from the Dell’Oro Group, while more reserved, none-the-less stated that sales of SD-WAN technology would reach $2.2 billion by 2022, representing a 35% percent CAGR2.

Driving forces behind SD-WAN adoption

The recent acquisition of SD-WAN specialists Viptela by Cisco and Velocloud by VMWare seems to confirm the acceptance of SD-WAN among enterprise users and the growing demand for solutions and services. Rohit Mehra and his IDC colleague, Brad Casemore, are not surprised by the growing interest in the technology, stating that it offers “compelling value for its ability to defray MPLS costs, simplify and automate WAN operations, improve application traffic management, and dynamically deliver on the cost and efficiency benefits associated with intelligent path selection3”.

A study published by Cato Networks in March 20184, based on the results of a survey among 700 network professionals, confirms these trends. Over half the respondents saw the main driver for SD-WAN adoption as the need to simplify network or security architectures. Other factors included the need to provide secure internet access from any location, to integrate cloud datacenter(s) into the WAN, to replace MPLS with a more affordable alternative and to improve visibility into and control over mobile access to cloud applications.

Solution provider strategies: gaining a competitive advantage

In response to these requirements, solution providers have taken advantage of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technologies to develop value-added features that can easily be delivered on top of basic WAN connectivity. These features are not necessarily new, but by bundling them into wider SD-WAN offerings, they can create solutions that are much richer than their traditional counterparts and allow a higher level of differentiation. Examples of these features include:

Performance and cost-based traffic management

Policy control and enforcement

Security functions such as firewall and intrusion detection/prevention

Centralized, web-based, detailed reporting

Support for Service Function Chaining (SFC)

Traffic visibility: the key enabler

In order to support these features and deliver on the promises of SD-WAN, solutions need a detailed understanding of network traffic, with application-level and user-level visibility. The only technology capable of delivering such a granular view is Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). By providing detailed information about IP flows and their content in real-time, a DPI engine creates visibility that is essential to deliver more responsive and precise SD-WAN functions:

Traffic can be managed between various link types or locations depending on the application performance in order to optimize user experience

Security can be bolstered by detecting anomalous traffic or application behavior

Reporting can be enhanced by showing performance per application, per session, per site, per link, per user, etc.

Application-level visibility is required for SFC, which can bring significant operational benefits to enterprises and managed service providers

To find out more, download the whitepaper “Adding Value to SD-WAN with DPI”. 

This is Part 1 of the full article on "Gaining a Competitive Advantage in SD-WAN - The Role of DPI". Read Part 2: "How to Choose DPI Technology that Will Raise the Performance of Your SD-WAN Solution" here.

About Qosmos Technology

Qosmos is the DPI Division of Enea and is totally focused on Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology, continuously monitoring protocols, reverse engineering new protocols and regularly delivering updates to ensure the highest possible traffic visibility for customer solutions. Enea’s leading DPI-based classification and metadata engine, Qosmos ixEngine®, recognizes over 3100 protocols, more than any other DPI library on the market. Delivered as a software component, it is used by development teams at equipment manufacturers, solution vendors, and systems integrators to integrate DPI capabilities into their solutions. It can be used in all environments: physical, virtualized and SDN architectures. For more information on Enea’s Qosmos DPI technology: www.qosmos.com

About Enea

Enea develops the software foundation for the connected society. We provide solutions for mobile traffic optimization, subscriber data management, network virtualization, traffic classification, embedded operating systems, and professional services. Solution vendors, systems integrators, and service providers use Enea to create new world-leading networking products and services. More than 3 billion people around the globe already rely on Enea technologies in their daily lives. For more information: www.enea.com.

Published in Expert Opinion

Deutsche Telekom said it has been increasing connection speeds to up to 250 Mbps over the last four weeks for some two-and-a-half million lines. 

The number of lines with speeds of up to 250 Mbps alone has grown by 2.4 million, reaching a total of nearly 14 million. The number of lines with up to 100 Mbps has been increased by more than 110,000 lines by retrofitting VDSL areas with vectoring technology. 25.4 million households on the Deutsche Telekom network can purchase rate plans with speeds of up to 100 Mbps or higher.

The task of maintaining and developing the network is a central part of our intelligent network management. This network management effort is guided both by the technological opportunities available and by customer wishes. It forms part of Deutsche Telekom’s core competencies. The ultimate goal is to make the network ready for the gigabit society. The ground work to reach this goal is provided by Deutsche Telekom’s own constantly growing fiber-optic network. After all, the nodes that link the customer to the core network need to be connected using optical fiber. Then data will travel smoothly at very high speeds.

Published in Technology & Solutions

Swiss Post and Swisscom have partnered to launch the first so-called 'private blockchain' infrastructure in Switzerland.

It offers a solution that differs from other private blockchains in Switzerland in some key areas: The data will remain completely in Switzerland and the infrastructure meets the high security requirements of banks.

This is being made possible thanks to close cooperation: Swiss Post and Swisscom are connecting their existing private infrastructures for blockchain applications.

On the basis of distributed ledger technology, the two instances check each other and thus help to establish trust. In contrast to "public blockchains" (e.g. Bitcoin and Ethereum), this private blockchain infrastructure requires much less energy, since it can only be used by identified users who have a contractual relationship with the providers of an application. This enables more efficient agreement procedures as well as significantly higher security and performance. This is an important prerequisite for many companies to launch their own applications based on blockchain technology. Swiss Post and Swisscom are thus creating attractive advantages for companies in all sectors and therefore also for Switzerland as a business location.

The two companies will use the common infrastructure, which is based on the "Hyperledger Fabric2 software, for their own applications and will also make it available to other companies for their applications. The market launch for the first pilot applications is planned for the second quarter of 2019. The offer is geared towards companies and public authorities, which want to handle sensitive digital business processes securely and verifiably. In order to support the operation of the infrastructure for blockchain applications even more broadly, Swiss Post and Swisscom are open to accepting other partners who would like to participate in the infrastructure.

The basic technology for all types of blockchain applications is the Distributed-Ledger-Technology (DLT). DLT works like a digital journal: The partners involved in a transaction store the transaction data in a block chain. This means that they can be viewed and checked by all partners in real time while maintaining confidentiality. The data cannot be changed retrospectively. Mutual control and the immutability of the data establish trust and ensure traceability. Because all partners access the same data in real time, blockchains simplify collaboration and enable greater automation of administrative processes.

Vodafone Ireland has launched Ireland’s first live 5G network cell site open for trials in Dublin’s Docklands.

To showcase the site’s capabilities, the first Irish international holographic call was carried out between Ireland and Vodafone’s Innovation Centre in Germany using fully standardised 5G technology. Hosted by Vodafone Ireland’s CEO, Anne O’Leary, the holographic call involved a Q&A session with Max Gasparroni, Vodafone Ireland’s Interim CTO, who was in Germany.

The network consists of fully standardised Ericsson 5G new radio cell site being deployed over Vodafone Ireland’s recently acquired 5G spectrum. Vodafone Ireland will use this site to trial the latest 5G hardware, software and services as they become available in advance of 5G products hitting the market, and will continue to expand coverage in the area over the coming months.

Anne O'Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland
Our event today highlights our ongoing commitment to this. Making Ireland’s first ever live holographic call over 5G was a demonstration of how this new technology could eventually transform how we interact with each other across borders and time zones.

John Griffin, Head of Ericsson Ireland
With the speed and efficiency now offered, we can experiment with new and innovative IoT devices that will ultimately have the power to transform how we deliver products and services. Using our testbed in the Docklands, companies can now experiment and work to improve life changing technology, such as medical devices.

Published in Technology & Solutions

Vodafone and Sony Pictures have announced a global collaboration, which sees them uniting to help millions of young people in 20 countries identify their skills and find digital jobs that match them.

They will use December’s hotly anticipated movie release 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' to introduce young people to Vodafone’s free Future Jobs Finder, a gamified digital platform to help them understand their skills and future career opportunities. The initiative was developed as part of Vodafone’s global programme, What will you be?, which has committed to support 10 million young people to access digital skills, learning and employment opportunities by 2022.

A global digital campaign to support the Sony Pictures and Vodafone collaboration - leading people to Future Jobs Finder - will draw on the movie’s central theme: that anyone can achieve their full potential with the right skills and support.

Since launching in March this year, more than 300,000 young people have completed Vodafone’s Future Jobs Finder tool, introducing them to over a million digital job types. The online platform takes people through a series of short tests, developed with psychologists, careers experts and training providers, to identify their skills and interests. By responding to these questions, young people can understand where their potential lies and find live local job opportunities in multiple digital industries which are matched to their skills, as well as access relevant, free digital skills training.

Andre Seddoh, VP International Marketing Partnerships, Sony Pictures
By teaming up with Vodafone we can engage with audiences using the inspirational power of this game-changing movie while also helping Vodafone to connect young people with digital jobs and free digital skills training.

Joakim Reiter, Directir of External Affairs, Vodafone Group
Our ambition is to help 10 million young people to access digital skills, learning and employment opportunities and our partnership with Sony Pictures will help us accelerate our progress towards this goal by bringing our digital platform, Future Jobs Finder, to more young people who are thinking about their future career.

#1: 5G - investment will breathe life back into the industry

2019 will be a year of industry resuscitation. I’m going to take a wild guess here, but I’d say that 5G messaging will be on just about every stand at Mobile World Congress 2019. And rightly so. The telecoms market has taken a bit of a beating in the last couple of years and many operators and vendors alike will be pinning their hopes on 5G.

The early motivators for operators to make these substantial investments in rolling out 5G are numerous. These include, but are not limited to, the need to keep up with the competition and extending to rolling out use cases like enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) to fixed-wireless access (FWA), and providing the foundation for enterprise and consumer IoT. From a Digital BSS view point the main opportunities here will include enabling management and monetisation of the new services enabled by 5G, which can include new pricing options based on QoS and/or latency.

#2: 5G will mean operators get serious about the enterprise IoT market - but they’ll need partnerships for scale

The enterprise market has been woefully underserved by operators for years. However, the arrival of 5G will open a gigantic new market opportunity in 2019. Our recent industry survey revealed that IoT services (from enterprise, smart home and consumer) enabled by digital transformation and 5G will make up the top three revenue earners for future providers. New digital services will be key to unlocking these new sources of revenue and turning “basic” operators into true digital service providers (DSPs). Over time, digital services revenue will replace traditional telecoms revenues, with current estimations that service providers will generate $294 billion from digital services in 2019. This will increase to $462 billion in 2022.

Most service providers have started their digital transformation projects for this very reason - but there is still a long way to go and a lot to play for. Delivering on the business case for any new product or service needs a monetisation solution that can incorporate it easily and with much less cost than the revenue the product or service will provide. If operators are to be able to access this slice of the pie in 2019, they must be ready to partner to build the scale that this market will need.

Martin Morgan,
VP of Marketing,
Openet

Partnering as part of IoT eco-systems in 2019 will require a very different mindset related to how partners are integrated. It will require standard and open APIs, to on-board partners and their catalogue of products - along with the ability to settle and share revenue across a partner eco-system; with elements of service assurance and the ability to identify and counter fraud thrown in for good measure.

#3: Open Source and Dev-Ops will drive the emergence of partnership models in Digital BSS

Operator and vendor co-development will move up a gear next year, as network transformation driven by open source, DevOps & Microservices continues apace. In 2019, this open approach to developing functions will provide the environment to turn traditional telecoms software development models on their head, working themselves towards the OSS/BSS layer.

Some large operators will develop their own bespoke solutions in-house using open source, employing agile development methodologies, which will see them increasing their developer headcount. However, many will not then benefit from the economies of scale afforded by working with vendors and will have to content with a high level of failure. Smart vendors will start to partner with operators instead, working with their developer teams to provide solutions that take advantage of open source, DevOps & Microservices through cloud native, Open Digital Architecture and digital APIs. This will give service providers the freedom from being constrained by a vendor’s rigid roadmap and release dates, and offer smaller providers cost effective, best of breed digital OSS/ BSS platforms.

LATEST FREE WHITEPAPER - DOWNLOAD NOW

#4: Digital assistants become mainstream - accelerating the use of AI for voice activated customer care and service management

IDC predicts that by 2020, 40% of commerce transactions will be enabled by conversational AI solutions. But we’d be even more bullish than that. In 2019 demand for voice activated virtual assistant systems will continue apace, driven by rising applications in sectors such as banking (especially useful for fraud and security) and automotive. Consumers will become even more comfortable digital assistants like Telefónica Aura, in turn accelerating the use of AI for voice activated customer care and service management in telecoms.

We’ll increasingly start to see AI tools that connect directly to the core of the network and BSS systems. These will allow customers to engage directly with the operator without other human interaction, and without the need for the customer to contact customer care or find the information in an app or on the website. We expect this to lead to significant cost savings for the service provider through a reduction in reliance on call centres and play a hugely important role in improving NPS/customer experience.

#5: As consumers become more aware about mis-use of personal data and security concerns, trust becomes an increasingly important attribute for operators - not just in selling digital services, but also in The consumer IOT/smart home market

Consumer trust is becoming more fragile by the day. The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal took a surprising toll on consumer trust around the globe earlier this year and thrust digital companies and their use of personal data firmly into the limelight. This is going to have lasting effects on trust in OTT players and digital services in 2019.

Operators have traditionally protected subscriber data, while also collecting vast amounts of information - safely guarded - to understand the behaviors of each individual customer. This faltering consumer trust has created a window of opportunity for mobile operators around the world, as a direct result of their traditional role as the gatekeeper to their customer’s data - all the while OTTs have been intent on its monetisation.

This will throw up important considerations for mobile operators in offering their own digital services, as they must keep the protection of individuals’ personal data as a top priority. One area of paramount importance will be the Smart Home. Revenues currently make up a small portion of telecom operator revenue, but it is predicted that revenues will increase by 21.6% in 2019. Higher smart home device purchases will be the main driver of this and will lead to better engagement with operator services. Operators that offer compelling services while also staying true to their role as the gatekeeper will have the most success in this area.

Published in Technology & Solutions

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