Category Archives: Telecom industry

Updates from ITU

By Houlin Zhao – The opening of ITU Digital World 2021 a few days ago represents a special moment for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

This latest in our Telecom conference and exhibition series had us take stock of the incredible journey of information and communication technologies (ICTs) over the last 50 years. It was also a moment to turn to the future and commit to building the digital world, together.

My message to attendees– and the world – was to seize this moment to create a better digital future for all.

A special milestone

Fifty years ago, government and industry leaders from around the world met in Geneva for the first-ever ITU Telecom.

Over the last half-century, Telecom events have provided a window into an innovative industry at the heart of life-changing advances – from the Internet to the rise of wireless networks and emerging technologies like 5G, AI and others.

As the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the ICT ecosystem grew, Telecom events gave them a voice in the global debate and a platform to showcase their creativity. SMEs have become an integral part of these events since 2015. more>

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Updates from Ciena

3 unique network provider perspectives on IP/Optical convergence
What are network providers thinking about IP/Optical Convergence? Representatives from Microsoft, Telia Carrier and Cox Communications recently participated in a panel “Evolution to Coherent WDM Integration in Routers” moderated by Ciena’s Helen Xenos to discuss this very topic. Helen shares some of the interesting insights she learned during the session.
By Helen Xenos – According to a recent Heavy Reading global service provider survey, 87 percent of providers view IP/Optical convergence as important for their next-generation networks.* This is consistent with what we are hearing from customers.  There is a lot of excitement in the industry to build networks differently and offer a richer quality of experience to end users by leveraging a combination of new technology innovations – coherent pluggable optics, modern IP protocols, programmable open interfaces, and centralized multi-layer, multi-vendor software control.

What are the advantages and opportunities tied to IP/Optical convergence?  What are the networking considerations and challenges yet to overcome? I was fortunate to moderate a panel at the recent OFC Conference on this topic, where important –and entertaining—insights were shared through three unique perspectives: cloud provider (Microsoft), service provider (Telia Carrier), and multi-service operator (Cox Communications).  Here are some of the key insights I took away from the sessions. more>

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Updates from ITU

Up to 8 Gbit/s broadband with new ITU standard MGfast
ITU – ITU standards experts have achieved another leap forward in broadband access over telephone wires and coaxial cable with MGfast, a new access technology capable of transmission at an aggregate bit rate up to 8 Gbit/s if in Full Duplex (FDX) mode, and up to 4 Gbit/s if in Time Division Duplexing (TDD) mode.

The MGfast standard, ITU G.9711, not only promises higher bit rates than ever, but also ultra-low latency for highly interactive applications, the capability to optimize Quality of Service (QoS) in line with the needs of different applications, and point-to-multipoint operation enabling better coverage within the premises.

This work is led by the Q4/15 working group (Broadband access over metallic conductors) of ITU-T Study Group 15 (Transport, access and home). See the graphic below for an overview of the bit rate and reach capabilities of ITU-standardized access solutions from the Q4/15 working group, and more on key application features of MGfast in an MGfast technical flyer. more>

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Updates from Ciena

The future of 5G: How services will evolve
How enterprises understand, interact with, and derive value from their networks is being redefined. 5G, IoT, and the edge are working together to position CSPs, enterprises, and consumers to benefit, says Blue Planet’s Kailem Anderson.
By Kailem Anderson – Telcos should be both excited and cautious about the future of 5G networks. The technology has unprecedented game-changing potential for mobile network operators (MNOs) and communication service providers (CSPs), but it will require new business models and an agile, automated infrastructure to monetize it effectively. The question is, what kinds of services will recoup infrastructure investment? And how can that new infrastructure be used to build powerful revenue streams that will propel future business?

One thing is certain: Innovation can’t stop at the network layer. Even with 5G, connectivity will become a commodity when broadly deployed worldwide, just as 4G/LTE is today. Instead, CSPs must integrate services that use communication as a platform for connected experiences rather than simply offering the communication capability alone. They must not let themselves be relegated to mere connectivity partners, shouldering the infrastructure investment while over-the-top (OTT) providers use it to scoop up higher-margin revenues.

Network Slicing Is Key to Monetizing 5G

Network slicing is key to this transformation. This 5G technology enables operators to logically partition network resources for different applications, use-cases, or customers. In doing so, it creates opportunities to cut bottom-line costs and increase top-line revenues through new services. more>

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Updates from Ciena

How Network as a Service is transforming the customer experience
Communication service providers must upgrade their infrastructures to cope with accelerating technology development and customer demand. Networks as a Service (NaaS) is the key to redefining network infrastructure to be more agile and responsive, giving network customers the same level of service that they have come to expect from cloud infrastructure companies.
By Kailem Anderson -For decades, communication service providers (CSPs) have excelled at delivering connectivity to customers, but times are changing. Cloud operators are grabbing revenue by offering high-margin services using telco networks. Connectivity alone is not enough.

Telcos must compete by building services that match cloud service providers’ responsiveness. They must maintain their performance to satisfy customers. For this, telcos need powerful new platforms to compete with a new generation of nimble, innovative challengers. Network as a service (NaaS) can support those efforts.

They must manage these services and simultaneously appease customers who expect more personalized services than ever before—and who often want it online, with no human contact.

What’s Holding Communication Service Providers Back

Providing those services takes flexible, agile infrastructure. The problem for many telcos is that their existing operational support systems (OSSs) aren’t up to the job. These systems have evolved over decades, and usually without an overarching strategy. Each separate component typically connects with others bilaterally on an ad hoc basis, often using custom integrations. more>

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Updates from Ciena

What is ZR+?
You may be familiar with 400ZR, but thanks to continued innovation in coherent optical technology, network operators can also look forward to a new generation of longer-reach, multi-rate pluggable coherent solutions – “ZR+”. The generic term ZR+ means different things to different people, so learn about the wide range of different solutions it encompasses, the industry standards and MSAs driving their development, and additional coherent pluggable capabilities addressing even higher performance.

By Patricia Bower – Global optical networks continue to evolve, necessitating new and innovative solutions to meet the requirements of network operators to maximize fiber utilization and reduce the cost of data transport. Coherent optical transmission has been the key technology supporting both requirements over the last decade— and this will continue for the next stages of network evolution.

In early 2020, 800G-capable performance-optimized transport systems were introduced and have since been deployed around the world allowing customers to benefit from new network efficiencies and cost savings from this latest generation of coherent technology. What’s next?

In 2021, coherent pluggables supporting data rates from 100G to 400G and optimized for low power and small space requirements for high-density modular systems will start to be deployed in networks. This latest generation of products extend the economic benefits of coherent innovation into new application areas.

400ZR is an example of one of the first 400G solutions in this new class of pluggable coherent products to hit the market and will initially be used by hyperscale data center operators for single-span connectivity between data centers.  Implemented predominantly in QSFP-DD form factors, 400ZR will serve the specific requirement for large-scale switch fabric extension by plugging directly into router faceplates for massive parallel data center interconnect of 400GbE for distances of 80 – 120km. more>

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Updates from ITU

The technology sector’s environmental duty
By Malcolm Johnson – Many enterprises are turning to technology to increase efficiency and ‘green’ their own operations.

But the ICT sector itself is currently one of the fastest growing greenhouse gas-emitting and energy-consuming sectors.

What more can be done to reduce our own carbon footprint?

Whether monitoring natural disasters or energy consumption or innovating the exciting new world of smart cities— the technology sector has already proven that it has the ‘smarts’ to make a positive difference. Post-pandemic, the ambition is to ‘build back better’ but the window for action is closing fast and we can’t fantasize about the future without also putting our own house in order.

We need to collaborate internationally, regionally and nationally to turn intention into action.

The interplay between climate change and digital transformation is fundamental. ICT can have transformative impact on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) if developed and deployed with environmental impact in mind.

In the area of e-waste, for example, it can be challenging to determine who is responsible for the end-of-life management of equipment. The obligations for companies that produce equipment and put it on the market are not always clear, and the energy efficiency of products is not yet tied to the regulation of waste management. more>

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Reinventing the Internet for a society of change

By Francisco Jaime Quesado – The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the world to an unexpected opportunity wherein it can redesign the context and concept of the Internet for society.

The world is facing new and unprecedented strategic challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and the reinvention of the Internet is one strategic tool that could facilitate a new agenda for the future. This strategic process demands an effective push towards a more cooperative agenda, one that focuses on a prosperous and competitive economy, sustainable environment, and a more democratic, open, healthy society.

This reinvention process should be seen as a key and positive element that empowers both citizens and growing businesses to help build an innovative, secure and sustainable post-pandemic world.

More than ever, the society of change that we need demands a clear and balanced repositioning of the Internet, one that is fundamentally based on a full understanding of policy issues and the context to which they belong. Furthermore, a pragmatic strategy is needed for sustainable growth and prosperity so that the majority of society can respond to the following challenges that the world is now facing:

  • Transforming society into a high skill/high employment economy for a globalized environment;
  • Tackling the effects of an ageing population, while improving major public services;
  • This must be done in a way that takes into account foreseeable expenditures and environmental constraints;

It is absolutely critical that the world’s different social actors come to understand the extreme importance of these issues when it comes to promoting a real and effective process of reinventing the internet, particularly by the private citizens and various institutions who are decisive enablers of change. more>

Updates from Ciena

Updated: 800G – nothing but the facts
If you have been following Ciena, you know 800G adoption is underway. With that comes a lot of interest and questions. Ciena’s Helen Xenos sat down to share insights from 800G customer deployments to help you understand the facts.
By Helen Xenos – 800G is a hot topic of discussion in the optical industry today – it’s everywhere! And as is customary when a new technology emerges, there are various opinions and speculation as to the value and expected rate of adoption, especially these days when lab access and live trials pose a unique challenge. Who has real product? Is anyone going to deploy 800G in the near term? Are there technological and operational barriers that still need to be overcome?

As the only vendor with commercially available 800G product shipping today (since April 2020), we are in the unique and fortunate position here at Ciena where we don’t need to speculate.

Curious to know the facts around 800G deployments?

In just over nine months of commercial availability of WaveLogic 5 Extreme, Ciena has shipped more than 6,000 coherent modems to over 75 customers around the globe, all of whom are actively deploying the technology in their networks.  The rate of early technology adoption is impressive – more than twice as fast as the ramp of competitive 600G solutions, as can be seen from the Cignal AI graph below (source: Transport Applications Report).

In this blog, I’ll share details of these deployments, and insights behind the strong ramp, so you can cut through the hype and get to the facts about 800G. more>

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Updates from ITU

Wireless carriers face FOMO vs. FOBFA test
By Roger Lanctot – Something peculiar is unfolding in the wireless industry. While wireless carriers enthusiastically report new fibre and smartphone connections to their networks along with correspondingly robust revenue streams, there is little or no mention of automotive connectivity.

Even Verizon, in the United States, with its budding commercial fleet portfolio comprised of the vehicle connectivity assets of Telogis and Fleetmatics, acquired years ago and combined, merits nary a mention on the earnings call with analysts. AT&T, too, the big dog in embedded vehicle connections in the United States, relegates its automotive activities to the shadows – presumably immaterial to the broader financial prospects of the organization.

The same phenomenon is playing out in Europe, where the likes of Orange, Vodafone, and Deutsche Telekom are operating 5G test sites for connected cars but barely making a peep regarding long-term plans in their public statements. In Asia, as well, Docomo, SK Telecom, KDDI and others are heavily engaged with car makers, but with little revenue yet to show from years of connecting cars.

What is behind the great hush that has descended over car connectivity?

Where is the excitement?

The great hush

Ten years ago, wireless carriers were thrilled about connecting cars because the focus was increasingly on so-called value-added services such as vehicle diagnostics and service scheduling. Usage-based insurance also contributed to the rising interest and awareness. more>

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