Category Archives: Telecom industry

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.



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>


Updates from ITU

G20: Call to action on international standards
ITU – Organizers of the Riyadh International Standards Summit held on 4 November 2020 issued a call to action for the recognition, support and adoption of international standards. This is the first ever summit on standardization held within G20-related activities.

The Riyadh International Standards Summit was initiated by Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) and was organized with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Saudi Communications & Information Technology Commission (CITC), and Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA). The event was hosted by SASO and the G20 Saudi Secretariat as part of the International Conferences Programme honouring the G20 Saudi presidency year, 2020. It forms part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s efforts, during its presidency, to enhance cooperation between countries of the world in various fields.

Originally intended to take place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which currently holds the G20 Presidency, in light of the global pandemic, the Summit instead took place virtually and welcomed participants from all over the world.

The Riyadh International Standards Summit concluded with the call to action for “each country to recognize, support, and adopt international standards to accelerate digital transformation in all sectors of the economy to help overcome global crises, such as COVID-19, and contribute towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”. more>


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>


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>


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>


Updates from ITU

World Space Week: How ITU improves life on Earth by supporting satellites
By Mario Maniewicz – The theme of this year’s World Space Week, ‘satellites improve life,’ reminds us that satellite applications are ubiquitous in our daily lives, even if we barely notice them.

Watching your favorite TV series, finding your way to the restaurant you booked tonight, having access to broadband Internet while at home, work or on the move, consulting the weather forecast when planning tomorrow’s picnic… all of these activities rely on the use of satellite systems. They also take care of your safety when you are traveling by air, sea or land, and they have been saving human lives by providing communication services to assist in disaster response and relief efforts for decades. And the technologies and applications that power satellites depend on the same physical phenomenon: radio waves.

But did you know that the radio-frequency spectrum is a finite natural resource? This is where the pivotal role of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) comes into play.

Since no national sovereignty exists in outer space, the international regulations adopted within ITU directly shape most legal and regulatory frameworks for space systems.

One of these international treaties governs the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and associated satellite orbits, both geostationary and non-geostationary: the Radio Regulations. Together with numerous standards, ITU uses the Radio Regulations to ensure that the use of radio frequencies on Earth and in outer space are managed in a way that allows for the harmonious coexistence of the various radio systems we use every day.

A long tradition of supporting space applications

In 1963, just six years after the historic launch of the first-ever satellite, Sputnik, ITU organized a conference to allocate frequency bands for space radiocommunication purposes. At the Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference, more than 400 delegates from 70 ITU Member States gathered in Geneva to allocate radio frequencies to outer space activities for the first time in history. more>


Updates from ITU

Leveraging regulations and technology to safeguard maritime communication and navigation
By Mario Maniewicz – Maritime transport is the backbone of international trade. The safety of shipping and protection of the maritime environment are therefore critical to promoting a sustainable maritime transport sector. Moreover, the safe and efficient movement of goods and people at sea is vital to attaining the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and especially SDG 14: Life Below Water.

As the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), ITU works to support and improve safety and security in the maritime field through the allocation and protection of frequency spectrum for maritime communications and by developing standards for maritime radio systems.

In addition, ITU updates and makes available its maritime service publications containing information on coast and ship stations used worldwide, as well as the rules for establishing communications at sea. Technical and service information concerning coast and ship stations is also accessible through the ITU Maritime mobile Access and Retrieval System (MARS), which is available 24/7 online.

At the last World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, ITU Member states took important decisions concerning the enhancement of safety at sea through the introduction of new maritime communication systems and increasing efficiency of spectrum utilization. more>


Updates from ITU

Reducing harmful interference to satellites near Earth, the Moon and beyond
ITU News – A month ago, you were watching a football match using your new satellite dish when suddenly the image went fuzzy – only to return after a game-winning goal that you had just missed. Last week, while paying for groceries your card transaction didn’t go through – even though you had just received your monthly salary. And today, while working from home your internet connection was abruptly cut – with social media services down and no mobile service reception, there was simply no way to deliver that project on deadline!

These common frustrations we have all experienced on the ground could very well be chalked up to the increasing demands being placed on satellite systems orbiting high above our heads. Not only can the obstruction of these systems affect our daily lives, but it can also prevent the collection of accurate scientific measurements, distort navigation by air and sea, and interrupt many other space services, from satellite broadcasting to deep space research.

During the first in a series of three ITU Satellite webinars, over 600 participants from around the world examined how harmful interference impacts the space ecosystem, focusing on how ITU and stakeholders can prevent and reduce interference so that space services can operate unimpeded. “Space services play a key role in achieving the SDGs,” said ITU Radiocommunication Bureau Director Mario Maniewicz in his opening remarks. “But these services need to be protected from harmful interference to do so.”

One of the main mandates of ITU, according to its Constitution and through its Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), is to enable radiocommunication services to operate without receiving or causing harmful radio-frequency interference (RFI). According to the ITU Radio Regulations, interference is defined as harmful if it endangers the functioning of a radio navigation or of other safety services, or if it degrades, obstructs, or interrupts a radiocommunication service that is operating in accordance with the Radio Regulations. more>


Updates from McKinsey

The present-focused, future-ready R&D organization
There’s no one right way to organize R&D. But a set of core design principles can provide the flexibility R&D organizations need to outpace competitors.
By Anne Hidma, Sebastian Küchler, and Vendla Sandström – Across engineered industries, the explosion in software has increased product complexity by an order of magnitude. Along with rapidly evolving technologies, fast-changing consumer preferences, accelerated product cycles, and the practical realities of globalized operations and markets, R&D departments are under unprecedented strain. As product variation grows and product portfolios expand, updating existing products compounds the already heavy load R&D organizations bear.

Yet amid these 21st-century challenges, R&D units are still following 20th-century models of organization—models not designed for today’s need for speed and the expanding web of interdependencies among all of the moving parts. The traditional component-based approach to R&D is no longer sensible in an era when digital and electronic systems are so thoroughly integrated with hardware. Still many companies struggle to shift toward an approach that focuses more on the function the customer wants, rather than the components that make the desired function work.

There is no one right way to organize R&D. But there are certain fundamentals that can help R&D organizations, regardless of industry, act more responsively and meet the burgeoning challenges they face today. From our work with clients and our extensive research, we’ve distilled a set of core design principles for R&D organizations and identified the important ones. By following these principles, companies can help their R&D organization serve as engines of innovation for outpacing competitors. And they can foster the agility organizations need in supporting collaboration among remote, distributed teams—as has become more important than ever in response to unpredictable external events.

Determining the right structure for the R&D organization has never been easy. The division of responsibility is a balancing act between the project-management organization and the R&D line organization, with inevitable trade–offs. Today’s R&D teams don’t have the luxury of following a sequential, piece-by-piece approach in which finished, designed components are handed off to testing at the end. Moreover, the teams need to be insulated from the external and internal the disruptions that the broader organization experiences, which today come with greater frequency.

As they’ve grown organically, many R&D organizations continue to operate with the same structures and processes they’ve used for years. Despite (or perhaps because of) the increasing inadequacy of those structures and processes, organizations don’t follow them consistently. Pet projects are often hard to kill, even long after their diminished promise becomes apparent. And because research effectiveness is hard to measure—and companies often don’t understand R&D costs or ways of working—the black-box image persists without challenge. more>