Telenor Norway says it aims to convert all customers on its copper network to fiber before 2023.

The Operator wants do start the network transformation from copper to fibre optic  by converting around 30,000 customers on its copper network to fiber this year. Every year, Telenor invests NOK 4.5 billion in more mobile coverage and fibre networks across Norway. 

As part of the modernisation process, old telephone poles will be taken down, copper lines will be removed and technical buildings will either be reused or removed.

Bjorn Moen, Acting CEO, Telenor Norway
We are in the midst of a phase of modernisation that will ensure that Norway has a network that is fast, reliable and built for the future. Access to the Internet and digital services is a basic requirements for Norwegians, regardless of age or location. In order to succeed, we need permission to build new base stations and to excavate streets to allow us to roll out new fibre and mobile coverage.

Published in Technology & Solutions

Leading SD-WAN solution provider, Cato Networks announced an investment of $55 million, bringing its total funding raised to date to $125 million.

The new funding caps an incredible 2018 that saw bookings grow by 352% year-over-year with business from the channel increasing fivefold. Over 300 enterprises worldwide with thousands of branch locations across all verticals now rely on Cato to connect and secure their corporate networks.

The new funding demonstrates the investors’ confidence in Cato’s vision of a global, cloud-native carrier, connecting and protecting all enterprise locations, mobile users, and cloud resources.

Cato said it is seeing stellar growth in customer adoption. During 2018, Cato expanded its customer base to over 300 enterprises, signed up its first 1000-site organization, and added several enterprises with more than 30,000 employees. 

Shlomo Kramer, CEO and Co-founder, Cato Networks
Cato goes beyond edge SD-WAN, MPLS, and network security point solutions, to offer a full WAN transformation platform. Cato closes the huge gap between the needs of the digital business, and the rigid, slow, and expensive networks provided by legacy telcos, using a groundbreaking cloud-native carrier architecture.

Magyar Telekom has launched its first standard 5G station at downtown Zalaegerszeg using the 3.7 GHz test spectrum.

The test gigabit network operating under real-life conditions runs on a standardized 5G system and uses 5G components ready for commercial launch. The purpose of the test operation is to enable Telekom to learn more about the compatibility challenges associated with running the new technology and the existing networks together, and to prepare for its future integration at the same time.

Magyar Telekom and its subsidiary, T-Systems Hungary concluded a cooperation agreement with the Government, the Zalaegerszeg Municipality and Automotive Test Track Zala at the beginning of June 2017. It is in that framework that Magyar Telekom started the rollout of a 5G mobile communications test network at the automotive test track. It is also in the context of the test track being built at Zalaegerszeg that T-Systems assumed an active role in establishing the Zala Autonomous Vehicle Cluster consisting of IT, electronics and automotive firms. The 5G test operation launched as the next step in the series of developments at downtown Zalaegerszeg is to help Telekom experience as soon as possible the compatibility challenges associated with running the new technology along with the existing network, thus supporting its future 5G network rollout, which will provide the customers gigabit speeds, very low latency (i.e. delays) and numerous new optional functions.

Telekom has completed several successful tests with 5G technology:

• In October 2017, it established the first 5G connection in Hungary, under laboratory circumstances, with Ericsson, which reached a download speed of 22 Gbps. The demo ran on the 15 GHz frequency band and used 800 MHz bandwidth.

• In July 2018, Telekom was the first in Hungary to demonstrate a 5G network running under real-life conditions in its former headquarters building at Krisztina körút. The test network ran on 5G equipment not yet standardized or launched commercially at the time, and used the 3.7 GHz frequency band. 

Laszlo Palkovics, Innovation and Technology Minister
The experimental 5G network will soon be rolled out to cover the test track, too, which thus will be equipped, uniquely in Europe, to develop and test autonomous vehicles, along with traditional ones.

Tibor Rekasi, CEO, Magyar Telekom
Together with our partners, we continuously explore the different possible ways to apply the new, fifth-generation mobile technology. The first 5G station at Zalaegerszeg is another milestone on the way towards Telekom launching its 5G services as soon as possible.

Published in Technology & Solutions

Ethernity Networks announced the introduction of its ENET vRouter network appliance, enabling 100Gbps routing functionality in inexpensive commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers.

It is ideal for communications service providers, internet service providers, and enterprise data center administrators designing next-generation programmable networks, says Ethernity Networks.

The ENET vRouter combines Ethernity’s comprehensive embedded vRouter software with its ACE-NIC100 FPGA SmartNIC and cost-efficient COTS servers to deliver a carrier-grade switch/router appliance, thereby utilizing existing investment in data center hardware. By simply plugging Ethernity’s solution into COTS servers, operators and network administrators can avoid heavy investment in purchasing rigid proprietary router equipment and gain an all-programmable switch/router platform.

Moreover, Ethernity’s FPGA-based data plane acceleration within the ENET vRouter appliance fully offloads networking and security functions from the server CPUs, which are better appropriated to the control plane. This not only offers enhanced networking performance, but also optimizes CPU utilization by freeing the server CPUs to handle user applications.

The ENET vRouter network appliance is available in two convenient ordering options: Ethernity vRouter software and a pluggable ACE-NIC100 SmartNIC, for installation in third-party COTS servers, and a ready-to-use turnkey appliance that includes a server with the vRouter software and ACE-NIC100 SmartNIC installed. The ENET vRouter is currently under evaluation by multiple potential Asian customers.

Eugene Zetserov, VP of Product Marketing, Ethernity Networks
Ethernity’s vRouter network appliance is the first product that integrates server-based carrier-grade switch-router functionality with FPGA acceleration into a COTS x86 platform. It reflects Ethernity’s strategy to integrate comprehensive network software with FPGA hardware acceleration in a single solution.

Published in Technology & Solutions

The SCSK Corporation, one of the largest system integrators in Japan, has chosen Comarch as a partner to enrich its portfolio with IoT device management and monetization capabilities.

Comarch will deliver elements of its IoT ecosystem offer, and related solutions, in order to accelerate SCSK’s Internet of Things’ business in Japan.

SCSK insisted on obtaining an end-to-end, open IoT platform to facilitate a variety of future use cases in the different market segments addressed by the company. Comarch is going to deploy a number of solutions as well as its IoT devices, including:

 - Comarch IoT Enablement Platform – a scalable, modular and flexible, device-management platform supporting all major connectivity standards (Wifi, BLE, Thread, RFID, NB-IoT, LoRa and Sigfox). The solution’s main function will be the management of devices enabling asset tracking and other location-based services (LBS) – Comarch IoT Hub, Comarch Beacon, and Comarch NB-IoT Button.

 - Comarch IoT Solution Management – a set of functionalities to support the overall sales process in the IoT area. The solution boosts automation from the point of onboarding existing and prospective customers to the final purchase.

The solution is expected to facilitate sales support, design, quoting, and the creation of IoT-related service agreements. With the support of Comarch IoT devices, the platform will enable scenarios such as asset tracking, indoor navigation and presence detection.

The project commenced in October 2018.

Atsushi Watanabe, Managing Executive Officer and GM, Distribution and Media Systems Business Group, SCSK Corporation
SCSK looks forward to exploring market possibilities offered by the IoT ecosystem, and intends to evaluate possible synergies related to cooperation with Comarch in other product areas.

Pawel Kleczek, MD, Comarch, Japan
This is an important step in expanding Comarch’s presence in Japan. Not only have we teamed up with a leading IT technology player there, but the cooperation also pertains to one of the hottest topics on the IT landscape – the enterprise Internet of Things. 

Published in Technology & Solutions

The ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) on Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) ended 2018 on a bright note, with the publication of the first version of ETSI GS NFV-SOL 001, the specification of NFV descriptors based on the Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA). 

This was a highly-anticipated document in the industry, considering the prominent role VNF deployment templates play in an NFV system. Together with ETSI GS NFV-SOL 004, the specification of the structure and format of a VNF package, this new specification provides the foundations of an open ecosystem.

Conformance to these specifications is a key enabler to foster a truly open ecosystem, where Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) can be on-boarded and managed by independently developed management and orchestration systems. Encouraging interoperability within an open ecosystem was a key objective for ETSI NFV when it was launched in 2012 by global carriers.

ETSI GS NFV-SOL 001 specifies rules for structuring and filling NFV descriptors according to the TOSCA Simple Profile in YAML specification. It is applicable to Virtualized Network Function Descriptors (VNFD), Network Service Descriptors (NSD) and Physical Network Function Descriptors (PNFD). The TOSCA type definitions to be imported in ETSI-compliant NFV descriptors can be directly accessed from the ETSI Forge, here:

Published in Technology & Solutions

AirTies, a managed in-home Wi-Fi solutions provider announced plans to acquire Technicolor's in-home Wi-Fi Management software portfolio, related intellectual property, approximately thirty (30) employees from Technicolor.

Previously known as Wi-Fi Doctor and Conductor, the portfolio is a suite of cloud-based performance management software, embedded decision logic, and apps used by service providers to support field technicians, network engineers, customer care agents, marketing personnel, and data analysts to improve the in-home Wi-Fi experience of their subscribers.

AirTies' Smart Wi-Fi software is designed to help operators upgrade in-home Wi-Fi performance and coverage, proactively fix and monitor Wi-Fi issues, and improve overall customer satisfaction. The software intelligently directs consumers' devices to the best available channel and band (2.4GHz and 5GHz), based on real-time home network conditions to improve performance. It also enables gateways to serve as the Wi-Fi Mesh controller, lowering equipment investments for operators by reducing the number of extenders required.

The acquisition will be used to complement and integrate with AirTies' Remote Manager, a cloud-based optimization suite that provides real-time visibility and historical performance analysis to manage the consumer Wi-Fi experience. AirTies' Remote Manager and Wireless Doctor, individually and collectively, actively manage millions of homes around the globe today.

The Wireless Doctor team is currently based in Belgium and will remain so after deal closure. In addition, AirTies today also announced the opening of a new product innovation and operations office located in Paris, France, to support increased demand for its products and services. 

Moving forward, the two companies also plan to partner across technology and sales to offer Smart Wi-Fi solutions to service providers globally.

Philippe Alcaras, CEO, AirTies
We have been tremendously impressed by Technicolor's software, intellectual property and personnel, and look forward to strengthening our position as the leader in Smart Wi-Fi solutions for service providers. 

Luis Martinez-Amago, President and GM, Connected Home Division, Technicolor
The resulting new business agreement between AirTies and Technicolor will provide service providers with 'ready-to-go' solutions that integrate the best products from two leading players in this space.

Published in Solution Vendors M&A

Several years ago, it was recognized that there are three broad factors that when combined drive exponential bandwidth growth:

Bandwidth Explosion = Increased number of users * Increased access rates and methods * Increased services

This simple equation highlights three separate trends that must be continuously monitored in order to ensure that Ethernet continues to evolve at a pace to meet the demands of a given application space. Many are familiar with Ethernet’s dominance in the enterprise/campus and data center spaces. The reality, however, is that many application spaces are seeking to leverage Ethernet, and Ethernet is evolving to provide these target application spaces with specific solutions. Therefore, it is important to apply this equation to a target application space to understand its trajectory and subsequent networking needs.

One of these application spaces is mobile networks, where Ethernet-based solutions are being leveraged throughout the mobile network for front, middle, and backhaul of mobile traffic. The bandwidth demands of the mobile network application space, in particular China, was used as justification for the start of the IEEE 802.3 Beyond 10km Optical PHY Study Group. As shown in Figure 1, China is forecasted to experience a bandwidth explosion in its mobile networks that by 2020 will result in it having nearly 40% more data per month than the nearest compared global region.

Figure 1 - Mobile Network Bandwidth Trends (2017)

A recent presentation into the IEEE 802.3 New Ethernet Applications Bandwidth Assessment Project provided data that enabled further insight into the challenge for China’s mobile networks and provides a real-world example of the noted bandwidth explosion equation.

#1: Number of 4G Users

Today, China has 1.1 billion 4G users. In 2011, the penetration was only at approximately 10%, but by June of 2018 had grown to 73.5%.

#2: Increased access rates

From Q4 2016 to Q2 2018, the average download rate of 4G users has grown by 70%, growing from 11.93 Mb/s to 20.22 Mb/s.

#3: Traffic consumption per household

Monthly data mobile traffic per month grew from 0.2 GB to 4.2 GB.

The data provided by these three trends helps to explain the mobile network traffic growth highlighted in Figure 1. It should also provide clear direction to the implication of deployment of 5G throughout mobile networks, which are already being stressed by 4G deployment.

John D' Ambrosia,
Ethernet Alliance

Networked cars could provide additional stress onto mobile networks. In 2019 it is forecasted that there will be 117 million cars produced globally. Over the past decade there has been significant investment by the Ethernet community in developing a family of solutions over a single-twisted pair for use in automobiles. Standards for 100 Mb/s Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet have already been completed - with new standards for 10 Mb/s, 2.5 Gb/s, 5 Gb/s, and 10 Gb/s Ethernet underway as we speak.

As these vehicles become increasingly networked and connected to the cloud with their own growth in access rates - they will present yet another significant pressure that mobile networks will be called upon to service. As an emerging space, it is unclear yet what applications will be introduced, and as a result, the potential bandwidth demand of connected cars, especially for autonomous driving, could be staggering, especially in a highly congested metro area.

Such trends can only mean one thing to the Ethernet community - it too will need to continue to evolve - providing new solutions that will support the future bandwidth demands of mobile networks. There are a number of efforts underway already within the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet working group that are directly applicable to them:


IEEE P802.3cn 50 Gb/s, 200 Gb/s, and 400 Gb/s over Single-Mode Fiber - this fast-tracked project will leverage the PAM4 technology developed to support links at these rates currently up to 10km and build upon them to expand their reach to 40km.

IEEE P802.3cp Bidirectional 10 Gb/s, 25 Gb/s, and 50 Gb/s Optical Access PHYs - this effort will develop bidirectional optical access PHYs for 10GbE, 25GbE, and 50GbE for point-to-point applications where the availability of fibers is limited. Wireless infrastructure is one of the key application spaces that this effort targets.

IEEE P802.3ct 100 Gb/s and 400 Gb/s over DWDM Systems - this effort will see Ethernet evolve to support reaches up to 80km over a DWDM system. While the main drivers for this effort have been Multi-Service Operators (MSO) and Data Center Interconnect (DCI), it is easy to see how these solutions could be utilized for future mobile network aggregation and core backhaul.

It should be clear to all that the overall trend in all of this is that there is a growing diversity of applications that are calling upon the Ethernet community to provide them with their solutions for today and tomorrow. It has never been truer when one says “Ethernet Everywhere!”.

Published in Technology & Solutions
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