Tag Archives: Broadband

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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An Open Letter from the Digital Interface Standards Working Group to the SATCOM Industry

An Open Letter from the Digital Interface Standards Working Group to the SATCOM Industry urging the development of an open standard to replace L-band IF, paving the way for interoperability, improved performance and costs.

Twenty years ago, our industry undertook a major transition from 70MHz IF to L-Band IF to improve earth station reliability and reduce complexity. Today, we are embarking on the next radical transition from L-band to a fully digitalized interface. The development of an open standard will enable us to deliver the most advantages at the lowest cost, allowing all manufacturers to build interoperable technologies that work in both open and closed network topologies. The Digital Interface Standards Working Group (DIS) is pleased to announce the work that has been completed to date and our desire to open the Working Group to participation by a larger portion of the SATCOM industry.

Along with increased demand for higher throughputs and the availability of more satellite bandwidth comes the need to deploy and manage networks on a much larger scale. We aim to utilize the available bandwidth more flexibly and enable the use of higher-order modulations to improve bandwidth efficiency. The currently available technologies in the SATCOM industry have reached a point at which the traditional analog L-Band modem to RF interface is impeding realization of these goals.

Leveraging the latest virtualization, cloud computing and network function virtualization technologies, we can improve the performance and scale of satellite hub, gateway and modem equipment with this open standard. Digital signal processing techniques and hardware have advanced to levels at which amplifier impairments such as distortion and gain ripple can be substantially mitigated. Coupling a digital signal representation of the modem Transmit (TX) output and Receive (RX) input to modern frequency conversion techniques will allow flexible mapping of signals onto a multi-GHz RF spectrum allocation without requiring a multi-octave analog IF signal or an arbitrary segmentation of the RF bandwidth. All of these potential improvements to operation and performance can be enabled by a digital modem-to-RF equipment interface. more>

Updates from ITU

The basis for safer digital finance
By Bilel Jamoussi – The transformations we are seeing in numerous fields – from energy and mobility to health care, agriculture, and financial services – all hinge on digital technologies, along with an array of associated business ecosystems. All these technologies and systems must be reliable, secure and deserving of our trust.

The Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI) is an open framework for collaboration led by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Bank Group, and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI).

Our partnership brings together the expertise to accelerate digital financial inclusion. With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we have brought together the full range of stakeholders set to benefit from this expertise.

The World Bank Group and CPMI have helped to build a strong understanding of the policy considerations surrounding digital identity and incentivizing the use of electronic of payments.

ITU’s work has focused on security, infrastructure and trust – secure financial applications and services, reliable digital infrastructure, and the resulting consumer trust that our money and digital identities are safe. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Enabling Africa’s digital economy
Africa leads the globe in international bandwidth growth. With the fastest growth rate over the last four years and eight new cables in the works over the next few years, this is an emerging market with key network infrastructure projects to watch.
By Brian Lavallée – After Asia, the world’s 2nd largest continent is Africa, which covers 20% of our planet’s landmass. How big is Africa? Well, it’s bigger than China, India, the contiguous U.S., and most of Europe – combined. Africa is the home to almost 1.4 billion people, speaking over 2000 languages, making it the 2nd most populous continent. This population is also the youngest, with a median age of just 19.7 years in 2020.The next youngest continent is Latin America and the Caribbean (31.0) followed by Asia (32.0), Oceania (33.4), North America (38.6), and Europe (42.5).

A large, young, and populous continent means networks play an extremely important socioeconomic role to help increase critical connectivity options to close the Digital Divide and connecting Africa to the rest of the digitized world. The direct link between higher broadband and a higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) further increases the importance of a fast, reliable, and inexpensive digital ecosystem of submarine and terrestrial networks, both wired and wireless.

From 2016 to 2020, Africa experienced the highest used international bandwidth growth by region, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of over 50%, shown in Figure 1. However, Africa is still the world’s least connected continent, but it’s changing because of steady investments by African network operators. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Simplifying Open Submarine Cable Link Engineering
How can a new and better way to perform submarine cable link budgeting address challenges associated with the open submarine cable model? Brian Lavallée explains why the submarine network industry is moving towards these new metrics and how you can learn more in our new handbook.
By Brian Lavallée – Terrestrial networks leverage many optical line amplifiers and Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) nodes to construct end-to-end networks. Fortunately, terrestrial amplifier and ROADM nodes are relatively simple to monitor to determine how each section contributes to end-to-end service performance, as each of these network elements provides a rich set of measured data.

Submarine cable systems are far more challenging because submerged repeaters (historical misnomer referring to optical amplifiers) and branching units provide only basic health status information. This design philosophy reduces the component count of undersea optoelectronics providing a higher overall reliability, which is a fundamental design goal of wet plants, because once deployed, they’re extremely expensive and time-consuming to repair. Given the limited information provided by most wet plants, end-to-end service performance must be determined from information provided by Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLTE) coherent optical modems connected at each end of a submarine cable.

The Open Submarine Cable business model

The industry is operating in a “quasi-open” submarine cable environment in that operators can and typically do select their wet plant from one vendor and their SLTE from another vendor, often much later, as wet plants take years to go from the designed to deployed stage. This quasi-open model allows operators to choose the latest and greatest SLTE, when and where needed, over the entire lifecycle of their wet plant allowing them to design and deploy a best-in-breed network tailored to their unique business requirements. 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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EU cybersecurity agency says hackers target supplier’s code

Europe Online/KG – Mapping on emerging supply chain attacks, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity warned on July 29 that 66% of attacks focus on the supplier’s code.

Supply chain attacks have been a concern for cybersecurity experts for many years because the chain reaction triggered by one attack on a single supplier can compromise a network of providers. Malware is the attack technique that attackers resort to in 62% of attacks.

According to the new ENISA report – Threat Landscape for Supply Chain Attacks, which analyzed 24 recent attacks, strong security protection is no longer enough for organizations when attackers have already shifted their attention to suppliers.

This is evidenced by the increasing impact of these attacks such as downtime of systems, monetary loss and reputational damage.

“Due to the cascading effect of supply chain attacks, threat actors can cause widespread damage affecting businesses and their customers all at once,” EU Agency for Cybersecurity Executive Director Juhan Lepassaar said. “With good practices and coordinated actions at (the) EU level, (the) Member States will be able to reach a similar level of capabilities raising the common level of cybersecurity in the EU,” he added.

Supply chain attacks are now expected to multiply by 4 in 2021, compared to last year. This new trend stresses the need for policymakers and the cybersecurity community to act now. This is why novel protective measures to prevent and respond to potential supply chain attacks in the future while mitigating their impact need to be introduced urgently. more>

Updates from Ciena

A new age of IP/Optical network visibility and automation applications
Heightened performance demands on IP and optical networks are ushering in a new age of network management, visibility and automation. Omdia’s Ian Redpath describes the foundational capabilities that enable data-driven automated operations, such as those offered by Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) Applications.
By Ian Redpath – It is no secret there are increasing performance demands on IP/Optical networks. Two immediate drivers are cloud services and 5G. The impacts to network operations go beyond scaling capacity – Communications Service Providers (CSPs) need a generational upgrade in network management, visibility, and automation.

Cloud services have gained mainstream enterprise acceptance and have strong potential for additional growth including more cloud service endpoints and additional bandwidth per service. Cloud services are being accessed from anywhere – home office, enterprise site, or on the go. By shifting mission critical services to a cloud model, the performance requirements of the bandwidth underlay have been raised. Now, CSPs require enhanced visibility of service and network performance to be able to adhere to more stringent latency requirements.

5G is also catalyzing the network visibility need. It is driving the need for a huge volume of high bandwidth IP/Optical endpoints. Stringent latency specifications and enhanced network visibility are sharpened in the 5G era. 5G necessitates multi-layer 0-3 visibility to the cell site. more>

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EU to counter cyber threats

By Kostis Geropoulos – Europe needs to be the driving force in securing infrastructure of core services against hybrid attacks, including ransomware, and work with NATO to build a resilient cyber defense, European Parliament Vice President Marcel Kolaja, a Czech software engineer, told New Europe in an exclusive interview.

“The cyber strategy of the European Commission also underlines the importance of international cooperation and the Commission plans to work with partners around the world. But, of course, we need to focus on those who share our values of democracy and rule of law and human rights because even though this is a global issue, of course, cooperation with corrupt regimes does not really bring you much,” Kolaja said in an interview, following the Prague European Summit. “So, I think in that sense our natural partner of the European Union is basically NATO where there is already a cooperation ongoing through a technical arrangement on cyber defense,” the Czech MEP added.

Kolaja, who engages in the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) of the European Parliament, reminded that currently the Network Information Security Directive is being updated. “I’m a shadow rapporteur of an opinion in the IMCO committee for that and this Directive basically lays down rules for member states to adopt national cybersecurity strategies, to designate competent national authorities so that the critical infrastructure can be resilient against all sorts of attacks. Of course, ransomware is one of them. It foresees cybersecurity risk management and reporting obligations for critical infrastructure and for critical entities,” Kolaja told New Europe, adding that the legislative proposal strengthens security requirements for the companies by imposing a risk management approach and providing a minimum list of basic security elements that have to be applied. more>

Updates from Ciena

No network left behind: How network as a sensor delivers full network visibility
The mission must continue – and that means networks must be up and secure, no matter what. Now more than ever before, networks can provide visibility at every layer, so agencies can identify and respond to service interruptions immediately. Network-as-a-sensor capabilities enable this deep awareness.
By Steve Alexander and George Holland – When we talk about network as a sensor, it’s really about using the network as a mechanism to pull information about the customer experience. It’s a way to provide deep insights about the current and future performance of the network without needing a set of external devices to gather that data. In the past, this would have required bolting lots of sensors and firewalls and other products onto the network. Now agencies can gain insights with the network elements themselves.

Networks continue to rapidly grow in capacity, complexity, and flexibility, and the historical approach of bolting sensors on doesn’t really scale in terms of cost or manpower to operate the network. And it’s hard for bolted-on equipment to evolve with the network. Having sensor capabilities built-in means, the network itself can grow and provide the visibility necessary to support future mission capabilities in government.

Network as a sensor helps agencies address several priorities. First, they want to converge the layers of the network for better visibility, all the way down to the fiber.

Second, agencies are taking cybersecurity much, much more seriously. To Steve’s point, they’re just not looking to strap on some firewalls or intrusion detection prevention systems. They want the network to actually become a sensor and eventually an enforcer that is capable of protecting itself. more>

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