Category Archives: Broadband

Updates from ITU

10 things you didn’t know rely on the ITU Radio Regulations
ITU – Earlier this year, the 2020 edition of the ITU Radio Regulations was published.

When it comes to allocating radio frequencies, the Radio Regulations are the ultimate tool. They ensure the use of the radiofrequency spectrum is rational, equitable, efficient, and economical – all while aiming to prevent harmful interference between different radio services.

But did you know just how many technologies rely on spectrum, and by extension, the Radio Regulations – some of which we use every day? Read on to discover some of the most important tools and activities that rely on a well-regulated radiofrequency spectrum:

1. Television

Whether terrestrial (analogue or digital) or satellite-based, broadcast television is among the most popular means of informing and entertaining the public. Even if the end user’s TV is connected via terrestrial broadcast TV or cable, a substantial amount of TV content has been distributed by satellite, which relies on the use of the radiofrequency spectrum.

2. Broadcast (FM or AM) radio

Despite the rise of digital radio, broadcast radio remains one of the most vital means of distributing information and entertainment. This is especially true across the African continent, where it has been argued that ‘FM radio reigns king of the media industry.

3. Mobile and smartphones

Cellular communications have been transformative since the mid-1980s to the present, and are expected to continue connecting people, things, data, applications, transport systems and cities in smart networked communication environments. Advances in cellular technology are expected to transport huge amounts of data much faster, reliably connect an extremely large number of devices and process very high volumes of data with minimal delay.

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Do social media algorithms erode our ability to make decisions freely?

Social media algorithms, artificial intelligence, and our own genetics are among the factors influencing us beyond our awareness. This raises an ancient question: do we have control over our own lives? This article is part of The Conversation’s series on the science of free will.
By Lewis Mitchell and James Bagrow – Have you ever watched a video or movie because YouTube or Netflix recommended it to you? Or added a friend on Facebook from the list of “people you may know”?

And how does Twitter decide which tweets to show you at the top of your feed?

These platforms are driven by algorithms, which rank and recommend content for us based on our data.

As Woodrow Hartzog, a professor of law and computer science at Northeastern University, Boston, explains:

If you want to know when social media companies are trying to manipulate you into disclosing information or engaging more, the answer is always.

So if we are making decisions based on what’s shown to us by these algorithms, what does that mean for our ability to make decisions freely?

An algorithm is a digital recipe: a list of rules for achieving an outcome, using a set of ingredients. Usually, for tech companies, that outcome is to make money by convincing us to buy something or keeping us scrolling in order to show us more advertisements.

The ingredients used are the data we provide through our actions online – knowingly or otherwise. Every time you like a post, watch a video, or buy something, you provide data that can be used to make predictions about your next move.

These algorithms can influence us, even if we’re not aware of it. As the New York Times’ Rabbit Hole podcast explores, YouTube’s recommendation algorithms can drive viewers to increasingly extreme content, potentially leading to online radicalization.

Facebook’s News Feed algorithm ranks content to keep us engaged on the platform. It can produce a phenomenon called “emotional contagion”, in which seeing positive posts leads us to write positive posts ourselves, and seeing negative posts means we’re more likely to craft negative posts — though this study was controversial partially because the effect sizes were small.

Also, so-called “dark patterns” are designed to trick us into sharing more, or spending more on websites like Amazon. These are tricks of website design such as hiding the unsubscribe button, or showing how many people are buying the product you’re looking at right now. They subconsciously nudge you towards actions the site would like you to take. more>

Updates from McKinsey

Unlocking value: Four lessons in cloud sourcing and consumption
Companies that are successful in sourcing and managing the consumption of cloud adopt a more dynamic, analytical, and demand-driven mindset.
By Abhi Bhatnagar, Will Forrest, Naufal Khan, and Abdallah Salami – Cloud adoption is no longer a question of “if” but of “how fast” and “to what extent.” Between 2015 and 2020, the revenue of the big-three public cloud providers (AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform) has quintupled, and they have more than tripled their capital-expenditures investment to meet increasing demand. And enterprises are ever more open to cloud platforms: more than 90 percent of enterprises reported using cloud technology in some way.

These trends reflect a world where enterprises increasingly “consume” infrastructure rather than own it. The benefits of this model are plentiful. Cloud adopters are attracted by the promise of flexible infrastructure capacity, rapid capacity deployment, and faster time to market for digital products. The COVID-19 crisis has accentuated the need for speed and agility, making these benefits even more important. From an infrastructure-economics perspective, perhaps the most attractive innovation of cloud is the ability to tailor the consumption of infrastructure to the needs of the organization. This promises greater economic flexibility by transforming underutilized capital expenditures into optimally allocated operations expenditures.

While this concept is attractive in theory, many enterprises are facing challenges in capturing the value in reality. Enterprises estimate that around 30 percent of their cloud spend is wasted. Furthermore, around 80 percent of enterprises consider managing cloud spend a challenge. Thus, even though more than 70 percent of enterprises cite optimizing cloud spend as a major goal, realizing value remains elusive.

In our experience, a major driver of value capture is transforming the approach to sourcing and consuming cloud. Enterprises that approach this task with a traditional sourcing and infrastructure-consumption mindset are likely to be surprised by the bill. The flexibility to consume cloud as needed and cost effectively places responsibility on enterprises to maintain a real-time view of their needs and continuously make deliberate decisions on how best to adjust consumption. more>

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Updates from Ciena

What are the current challenges and opportunities for today’s submarine networks? What’s next? Find out what will be covered in our upcoming webinar with TeleGeography.
Current state of the global submarine network
By Brian Lavallée – Internet traffic patterns have shifted, and volumes have surged, as the telecom industry addresses the “new normal” where people are increasingly working, learning, and playing from home. Although the global network infrastructure has bent in certain parts of the network, it hasn’t broken. This is a testament to how reliability and availability is in the DNA of our industry and is more important than ever before.

According to TeleGeography, global Internet bandwidth rose last year by 35%, which was a major increase over the previous year’s 26% growth. This increase was driven largely in response to the global pandemic and represents the largest single-year increase since 2013. It also raised the most recent four-year CAGR to 29%. Being able to connect with each other, and to machines, has consistently increased in importance, but in 2020, this took on a whole new level of importance related to our social and economic well-being.

The pace of technology innovation in the telecom industry has accelerated over the past decade in response to growing demands related to our increasing affinity for always-on broadband connectivity. Even the once closed and proprietary world of submarine networks has evolved with the advent of Open Cables, programmable coherent modems, ROADMs, active branching units, C+L band, and more recently, open APIs, intelligent data-driven automation, and analytics. Together, these amazing technologies address challenges related to network scalability, availability, and flexibility during “normal” times. They’re even more important today as we’re mandated to increasingly work and play remotely. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Guarantee end-to-end 5G performance
Ciena – 5G makes a new world of applications and services possible for both consumers and enterprises, humans and machines. But this comes with challenges to address. Service providers are asking themselves how they will differentiate and grow profitability in the face of new 5G use-cases with such diverse requirements. Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) devours huge chunks of bandwidth, ultra-reliable Low-Latency Communications (urLLC) require a lightning-fast response time for mission-critical applications, and massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC) stress the number of simultaneous mobile connections. To stand out from the crowd and differentiate their 5G services, mobile and wholesale network operators alike must optimize their transport infrastructure to provide guaranteed end-to-end 5G service performance. 5G network slicing not only allows them to meet the requirements of different applications but also to grow revenues by offering tiered performance and SLA-based pricing, all while constantly optimizing network resources.

5G Network Slicing empowers operators, mobile and wholesalers alike, to dynamically support multiple 5G use-cases and applications to unlock new revenue streams. It brings flexibility to offer private 5G services over a public RAN infrastructure, creating new market opportunities. It enables the delivery of customizable and guaranteed end-to-end performance across multiple physical and virtual domains in the wireless and wireline network segments, creating new possibilities for eMBB, urLLC, and mMTC use-cases with tiered pricing while continually optimizing shared network infrastructure. more>

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Updates from ITU

On World Standards Day, let’s renew our resolve to protect the planet with standards
By Houlin Zhao – Today, ITU, together with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) celebrate World Standards Day 2020, this year dedicated to international standards’ contribution to environmental sustainability.

Under the theme ‘Protecting the Planet with Standards’, today ITU, ISO and IEC pay tribute to the experts worldwide who contribute to the development of international standards.

This year’s theme demands global action. We reinforce that action by developing international standards.

Standards development is a fundamental pillar of ITU’s mission as the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs).

ITU standardization is driven by contributions from ITU members and consequent decisions are made by consensus. The ITU standardization process ensures that all voices are heard, that standards efforts do not favor particular commercial interests, and that resulting standards have the consensus-derived support of the diverse, globally representative ITU membership.

They help us to share in the ICT advances changing our world, advances that are key to addressing humanity’s most pressing challenges and accelerating progress towards all 17 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. more>

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Updates from Ciena

When it comes to 5G, the only path that matters is yours
The closed and proprietary mobile networks of the past aren’t welcome any longer. Find out how Ciena is helping customers benefit from a more open, automated, and adaptable 5G wireline network.
By Joe Marsella -After years of hype, I think it’s fair to say that 5G is here. Initial deployments are underway around the world. There’s genuine excitement for a new generation of applications that exploit the massive end-to-end performance gains that 5G will provide across the mobile network. From AR/VR to IoT to gaming to streaming, our industry will push 5G technology to its limits to give consumers and businesses rich and rewarding digital experiences.

But here’s the problem. I’ve travelled the world and spoken to network operators of every size, mobile and wholesale operators alike. They all say the same thing. If the full promise of 5G is to be commercially realized, this time it must be different. We’ll need to challenge the traditional, closed way of building end-to-end mobile networks.

The world is changing. Digital disruption, virtualization, and openness are all driving a change in how networks are built. Look, we don’t shop the way we used to 30 years ago. We order transportation services with the push of a button, and many kids don’t know what it feels like to wait until 8:00 pm for their favorite show to be on (or even worse, wait through commercials!) – because of digital disruption.

It’s time for that change to come to wireless networks. For the past 30 years, successive generations of wireless networks were built a certain way: closed. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and wholesale operators alike had to rely on very few vendors and their proprietary architectures, interfaces, and protocols. What if your locked-in vendor wasn’t innovating at the pace you needed to successfully compete? Well – you were stuck until the next generation network was upon us and hoped this time for open, standards-based solutions. more>

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The ‘circular economy’—neither safe nor sustainable

The circular economy holds out the hope of living within the planet’s resources. Turning aspiration into action is another matter.

By Vera Weghmann – A little over a year ago, schoolchildren across the globe embarked on huge strikes over the climate emergency. Our global economic system is unsustainable: continuous economic growth and endless consumption mean ever-increasing waste. Waste which is buried, dumped at sea or turned into ash pollutes the environment and creates the need to extract further raw materials.

The European Union’s ambition to move towards a circular economy, and in particular its Circular Economy Action Plan, should therefore be welcomed. The circular economy implies radical change to how production and consumption are organized—away from a linear model of growth (extract, make, dispose) to a sustainable alternative (recycle, reuse, remake, share). Waste then becomes a resource.

In a report commissioned by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), I showed however that the circular economy does not operate of itself. Especially, waste management—central to the circular economy—is an essential public service. Unfortunately, the pay of workers in waste management is often low, working conditions hard and unpleasant and, on top of that, health and safety is often disregarded. The report highlighted that very little attention has been paid to workers operating essential waste services to keep society running and maintain a sustainable environment. In the EU action plan the workers—formal and informal—relied upon are not even mentioned. more>

Updates from ITU

Here’s how we can meet the global need for digital skills development
More than ever, COVID-19 has thrown the need for digital skills and capacities into stark relief around the world. The newly published Digital Skills Insights 2020 report is a carefully curated collection of the best strategies to strengthen the capacities and skills needed to help everyone benefit fully from digital transformation, no matter where they live and no matter what their level of digital skill development. Below is my foreword to this timely new edition of the report.
By Doreen Bogdan-Martin – In the wake of the global pandemic, the importance of digital skills has never been so evident, nor so urgent. As those lucky enough to enjoy fast connectivity took refuge from the global health emergency by moving to a virtual environment to support economic continuity, education and interpersonal contact, those lacking access to digital networks and skills have been left even further behind.

As the world struggles to fashion a ‘new normal’ for the post-pandemic era, it is more apparent than ever that the ability to leverage digital technologies will be vital to the future resilience and prosperity of nations, communities and individuals. This timely new edition of Digital Skills Insights focuses on pertinent topics related to this pressing global need for digital capacity building and skills development.

Now in its fourth year, Digital Skill Insights aims to provide new perspectives and enhance knowledge among the ITU stakeholder community on issues impacting digital learning and skills development, featuring eight new articles from leading international experts, divided into two broad areas. The first set provides a broad overview of the discussion on digital skills demand and supply, new skills requirements in emerging job markets, and challenges related to future digital skills requirements. Issues covered include digital skills shortages in global labor markets, and how skills needs evolve in line with new technologies. They emphasize the need for accurate forecasts of digital skills requirements, and flexible digital skills acquisition approaches. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Ciena and TELUS bring 800G to Canada, break worldwide transmission record
Ciena’s Helen Xenos had a front row seat as TELUS and Ciena turned up the first single-wavelength 800G in Canada across TELUS’s network, and at a record-breaking distance. Pictured above: Jean Gregoire, Network Integrity Sr Design Specialist at TELUS, standing in front of the WL5e equipment being tested in Quebec City.
By Helen Xenos – What do Canadians do for fun when their favourite hockey team is out of the playoffs? Some of us – members of the TELUS and Ciena teams in particular – push the limits of what can be achieved in optical networking and realize new milestones for the industry along the way. I was lucky enough to have a front row seat to the action when the team turned up an 800G wavelength from Toronto to Quebec City across a world record-breaking 970km distance. And, I can attest that the excitement and pride was just as strong as watching my home team win the Stanley Cup.

As I have described previously, with Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 Extreme (WL5e) being the only 800G product available in the market (since April of this year), the optical industry is in the early adoption phase of 800G deployments. Here, we are describing the state of the art coherent optical technology available in the market that is capable of offering higher capacities per wavelength than previously possible for any link in the network through variable line rate transponders, and that can support line rates up to 800Gb/s. The technology allows for high quality, high speed connectivity to end users using fewer wavelengths, resulting in reduction in space, energy consumption and cost per bit.

TELUS is one of the early 800G technology adopters who is in the process of augmenting their network with Ciena’s WL5e. A world-leading communications and information technology company, TELUS supports 15.3 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video and security. Their longstanding commitment to putting their customers first fuels every aspect of their business, making them a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. It’s no surprise then that TELUS has repeatedly earned accolades over the years in respect to their world-leading wireless networks. This year alone, TELUS was recognized by several independent industry-leading experts, including UK-based OpenSignal, US-based J.D. Power, Seattle-based Ookla, Victoria-based Tutela, and New York-based PCMag, for their network excellence, for both urban and rural coverage. more>

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