Displaying items by tag: ICT
PTC spearheads success of ICT industry in the Pacific
As the Chief Growth Officer at Bankai Group and member of the Pacific Telecommunications Council Organization (PTC), Nakul Rege is responsible for successfully expanding the Group's footprint globally across all segments – wholesale, retail and technology solutions. Telecom Review explores PTC’s vast influence on the ICT sector and what this means for the future of telecoms in the Pacific Rim.
For the benefit of our readers, could you please explain the organization’s role within the industry and how it has benefitted its subscribers?
The Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) is a global non-profit membership organization promoting the advancement of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the Pacific Rim, including Pacific islands, through collaboration, knowledge, and outreach. PTC is led by a Board of Governors and an Advisory Council, both comprising of global executives in the telecom, academia, and other ICT industries.
I first attended PTC’s annual conference in 1992. I found it gave all operators and carriers working with Pacific region operators an opportunity to meet and negotiate with senior executives in a less formal setting, to get to know them better and to set the course of action at the start of the business plan year.
You are always learning something new at each PTC annual conference, meeting new faces and it helps you keep in touch with developments and changes in the world, particularly in the Pacific area. A few years ago, I decided to serve on the Advisory Council and give back to PTC and share with newer members my experience and knowledge in this field.
Unlike other organizations, funds from PTC annual conferences and membership support research and projects to improve the quality of life in the Pacific Rim. One example is the PTC Academy where experts share their knowledge and experience with young executives from around the globe. Many ‘students’ welcome this opportunity to learn and improve their skills and are able to go back more motivated and it has a positive effect on their fellow colleagues and their organizations as a whole.
Another example is the PTC Young Scholar Program (YSP) and Research Awards that encourage young scholars to submit papers, which are independently reviewed and awards given, with the opportunity to present their research at PTC’s annual conference. This brings in new blood into the telecom and ICT industry.
In addition to its annual global conference, what other events or projects does the PTC get involved in to advance its role in the ecosystem?
Many people think of PTC as simply the January conference but it is a lot more than that. There are various chapters in Japan and India associated with the PTC. Apart from the Academy Young Scholar Program, and Research Awards mentioned earlier, PTC also funds projects that promote the use of telecommunications and ICT to improve the quality of life in the Pacific region.
Additionally, the PTC network continues to expand, as there are individuals involved with subsea cables, data centers, satellite technology as well as the major players these days like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. PTC’s Board of Governors and Advisory Council, with their knowledge and industry experience, work hand-in-hand to provide strategic direction of PTC’s involvement and work in the industry.
In your experience, what do you believe are the advantages of being a member of the PTC?
I have attended every PTC annual conference since 1992 and by being a PTC member, it has enabled me and my colleagues to develop long relationships with people. Knowing your subject matter is important but earning the respect and understanding of people takes a very long time – it is difficult to imagine this developing without my companies (over the years) being members of PTC.
Over time, as you understand the challenges that some of the Pacific Islands face in their day to day operations to communicate with their own people (some countries extend over 1 million square miles across the Pacific), you want to assist them to the best of your abilities. The academy and research studies that the PTC is involved with is only a small step but it is in the right direction.
The telecom and ICT community is very closely knit. Based on my personal experience, once you are in it, you are often associated with it for a long period of time. Your actions are seen by all and communicated by others in different parts of the world. People will also find the need to communicate with each other as long as life exists - there were days of Telex and Telegram, then voice (regulated and unregulated), Internet, now OTTs but more and more people are being brought together as part of the ecosystem.
Membership fees at PTC contribute to the overall growth of activities that the Council can run – it is a non-profit organization. The memberships have been tailored according to company size, university, and individual member capabilities. In addition, if there are specific topics or areas that members would like to be addressed, PTC welcomes the feedback and insights on new ideas and initiatives.
Do you have any future plans in the pipeline for the PTC?
Some of the steps that the council has recently taken is to expand the Board of Governors categories to Middle East and Africa regions and encourage global participation and not just restrict the area of coverage to the Pacific Rim/Asia regions.
The PTC Job Board is a recent PTC Member benefit that has been set up to allow members to post job vacancies that are available for the general public to view and apply. The PTC Academy was being held once or twice a year, and in 2020 is now expected to be held four times.
All these actions have been based on member feedback but the core mission and objectives of PTC remain. I am sure as the participation of the OTTs increases, it is expected that they will also make some changes based on their outlook. New contributing members and fresh ideas are therefore important for the long term success of PTC, their members and the Pacific region.
Merger deal between US operators receives support from FCC
The $26 billion merger deal between US telecommunication operators T-Mobile US and Sprint has received the backing of a key official at the US communications regulator FCC (Federal Communications Commission).
Huawei blasts US decision to issue executive order
Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei has blasted the United States for issuing an executive order that effectively bans them from operating in the US.
Telecom Egypt signs MoU with European vendor for 5G use-cases
Telecom Egypt announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nokia to introduce 5G network and test use cases This announcement took place during the GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. The MoU has been signed by Adel Hamed, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Telecom Egypt, and Amr K. El Leithy, head of the Middle East and Africa market, Nokia, in the presence of a number of dignitaries from the two companies.
Under this MoU, collaboration between the two sides will focus on 5G deployment as well as the evaluation of appropriate use cases of the 5G technology in the Egyptian market. As a matter of fact, this MoU represents a turning point for Telecom Egypt towards its digital transformation strategy, particularly because the company has already a set of state-of-the-art 5G-ready solutions and services from Nokia.
Adel Hamed, Managing Director & CEO of Telecom Egypt, said: “We are delighted to sign this MoU with our strategic partner Nokia which paves the way for the development of 5G use cases in Egypt. This MoU marks a new chapter of the partnership between the two companies as it will allow our company to support the realization of the digital transformation strategy in Egypt.
We are confident that Nokia with its global expertise will help us maintaining our leading position in providing the best and latest technological solutions to our customers. This is also an ideal opportunity for us to put a strategic roadmap to develop our network capabilities and make sure of its readiness to deploy 5G technologies.
Amr K. El Leithy, head of the Middle East & Africa market at Nokia, said: “This MoU is part of the long-term strategic partnership between the two companies. Nokia, as one of the global leading providers of network and communications technology, is keen to provide the latest communications technologies to the Egyptian market.
We are committed to innovating new and exciting 5G solutions to meet the business objectives of our operator customers. 5G solutions will allow Telecom Egypt to proactively address the increasing data traffic, create new revenue streams as well as continue working on the improvement of customer experience".
Nokia and Telecom Egypt are working together to deploy 5G network with Nokia’s end-to-end 5G solutions that provides ultra-fast connectivity with ultra-low latency. This will allow the operator to flexibly support various use case scenarios and many business models in addition to connecting billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices to enable smart cities and improve the quality of life for citizens.
Qualcomm partners with Chinese vendor on 5G end-to-end equipment
ZTE, a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, is demonstrating 5G network services based on an end-to-end sub-6GHz commercial system, in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
The live demonstration verifies ZTE and Qualcomm Technologies’ strong 5G technology capabilities to achieve end-to-end 5G commercialization.
The demonstration over 5G NR radio utilizes a real-world end-to-end 5G NR network built with ZTE’s commercial core network and radio base station equipment, as well as a ZTE 5G smartphone powered by the world’s first commercial 5G mobile platform—the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 855Mobile Platform paired with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem, as well as Qualcomm Technologies’ RF transceiver and RF front-end solutions. Fully compliant with 3GPP R15, the demonstration is based on NSA networking mode, the N78 5G band and harnesses the LTE B1 band as an access anchor.
For this demonstration, ZTE provides a comprehensive end-to-end solution, including the One for All base station platform solution at the wireless side to support 2G/3G/4G/5G on a single site as well as multimode baseband units (BBU) that provide the maximum 2G/3G/4G/5G processing capacity and is the largest number of interfaces in the industry.
Furthermore, the demonstration adopts ZTE’s “Common Core” core network with a full convergence of 2G/3G/4G/5G/fixed networks and UME, a converged network management solution for intelligent operation and maintenance.
"The collaboration between ZTE and Qualcomm Technologies at MWC 2019, on the demonstration of 5G services based on ZTE’s 5G mobile device and system, is a testament to our efforts for 5G commercialization,” said Xu Ziyang, CEO at ZTE. “It indicates a great step towards making 5G a commercial reality.”
“The 5G NSA live demo at MWC, based on the commercial infrastructure from ZTE using Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G modem and RF front-end, gives us a glance of 5G user experiences expected on commercial devices in 2019,” said Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China. “We look forward to continuing working with ZTE and other leading companies across the ecosystem in accelerating the rollout of 5G networks and devices.”
In the process of promoting 5G commercialization, ZTE has been actively working with industry partners on the verification of key technologies and solutions, as well as network deployments. ZTE is also leading in test progress and performance. Backed up with 5G tests and cooperation with more than 30 operators around the world, ZTE is ready for the upcoming 5G commercialization and rollouts.
Trump set to issue executive order banning Chinese vendors from 5G
US President Donal Trump is set to issue an executive order later this week which would prohibit Chinese companies from being involved in wireless networks in the United States.
The exclusion of Chinese telecommunications behemoths Huawei and ZTE has drawn bipartisan support in the US House of Representatives, which is notable considering the fractious and hostile political climate in Washington under the Trump administration.
Reports emerging from Washington which cite unnamed sources close to the administration are saying the objective is to issue the order just before the commencement of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of this month.
The executive order would effectively mean a ban on all telecoms equipment supplied by both Huawei and ZTE, which would significantly hurt the coffers of both companies.
The hostility towards both Chinese vendors stems from allegations made by US intelligence agencies that both companies pose a very real threat to national security. However, both Huawei and ZTE vehemently deny the claims and have robustly defended their security record across the world.
The report did highlight that there was no decision yet on how 5G networks would be built in the US without equipment from Huawei.
At the moment, however, no plan had been drawn to manage without equipment from Huawei, with the main push coming from smaller rural ISPs who had benefitted from the use of equipment from the Chinese vendor due to the prices and good service.
Irish operator rejects European concerns and vows to stick by Huawei
Ireland telecommunications incumbent Eir has rejected the growing skepticism surrounding the security practices of Huawei by vowing to stick with the embattled Chinese vendor.
The mobile network operator confirmed that it plans to continue to use radio access equipment supplied by Huawei in the rollout of its 4G and 5G networks.
The company’s CEO Carolan Lennon made the remarks regarding Hauwei at the launch of a new €500m FTTH rollout that aims to reach 1.4m premises with a network capable of speeds of up to 10Gbps.
Many European operators have warned of the risk of excluding Huawei from their 5G projects. Vodafone CEO Nick Read said a blanket ban on the Chinese telecommunications behemoth would significantly impact the deployment of 5G networks in Europe.
A number of leading experts from within the ICT ecosystem believe Huawei are the victim of a politically motivated campaign by the US and are being used as a pawn in a trade war between Washington and Beijing.
Last November Eir revealed a €150m plan to deliver 4G connectivity to 99pc geographic coverage. The two-year project will transform the entire Eir cellular network, expanding it by hundreds of additional sites. Huawei will provide the radio access network equipment while Swedish telecoms equipment player Ericsson will deploy the core network linked by fibre.
The CEO of Eir also confirmed that the first Irish cities will also start to see 5G deployed this year, with handsets likely to be in stores by the second half of 2019. In addition to this, she also confirmed that voice over LTE (VoLTE) services will be rolled out.
When asked if Eir had any plans to follow in the footsteps of BT or Vodafone in curbing the use the Chinese company’s equipment, Lennon said Eir will continue to work with the company.
Lennon said: “In our RFP [request for proposal] for the network, Ericsson was successful on the core network bid and Huawei was successful for the radio access part. We are confident in Huawei as a partner and we have no plans to change. Around 48% of telco’s in Europe have Huawei as a partner.
Nokia selected to build new mobile network in Japan
Nokia announced today it is working with Rakuten to build a new mobile network in Japan. Nokia will provide full turnkey services to plan, manage, deploy and integrate cloud RAN, AirGile cloud-native core network technology and several Nokia software functions.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the Rakuten Group offers more than 70 services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to more than 1.2 billion members across the globe. Rakuten will leverage its experience as an IT company and its membership base of more than 100 million users in Japan as it enters the market as a Greenfield mobile operator and digital service provider.
Rakuten's distributed cloud network, along with Nokia and Rakuten's work to automate the network build and deployment process, will help reduce network operation costs and enhance operational efficiencies.
Nokia will provide turnkey deployment and integration of the new radio network leveraging a 'zero footprint' site approach with remote radio heads connected to cloud RAN software on the edge cloud, to speed deployment and network scalability.
Nokia is working with Rakuten on several underlying core functions to maximize automation, AI and machine learning to reduce the cost of operations to a fraction of legacy networks.
The network will be deployed across Japan - including Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya - and use Nokia Cloud RAN, AirScale radios (remote radio heads) and the Nokia AirGile cloud-native core, incorporating technologies such as Nokia IP Multimedia Subsystem, Session Border Controller and Telco Application Server for the fast roll-out of services such as Voice over LTE.
Rakuten and Nokia are completely aligned on the Future X network vision and it is being implemented in Rakuten's brand new mobile network operation in Japan. The building of the network is underway and user trials in Tokyo have already begun.
Yoshihisa Yamada, Representative Director and President of Rakuten Mobile Network, Inc. said: "We are delighted to work with Nokia on co-creating and deploying an open virtualized radio access network. Together, we have managed to disaggregate the current RAN platform by separating hardware and software, and implementing the Radio software as a Virtual Network Function running on Rakuten Cloud Platform (RCP)."
John Harrington, head of Nokia Japan, said: "This is a groundbreaking deployment that is at the forefront of cloud native technology and digital transformation in Japan. By combining the latest technology in cloud and automation with Nokia's hardware, software and services, Rakuten will emerge as the first Japanese service provider to use a full cloud-based service model."
Nokia launches new IoT solutions aimed at helping operators win new business
In advance of Mobile World Congress, Nokia today launched off-the-shelf Internet of Things (IoT) packages to help operators win new business in vertical IoT markets.
In addition to enabling operators to achieve a fast time to market, the packages simplify the set-up and operations of enterprise IoT services.
Built on the Nokia Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) infrastructure that provides the necessary global IoT connectivity and services support, the applications include IoT sensors, user applications and business models suited to specific sectors. Nokia WING's managed service approach also offers a pay-as-you-grow business model, giving operators the flexibility to quickly scale up IoT services as required.
The new market-ready solutions for WING eliminate the challenges facing operators developing their own IoT services.
These include the need for specialized expertise, the complexities of combining fragmented IoT connectivity infrastructure and the risk and effort of setting up and working with multiple service providers globally. Nokia works with best-in-class partners on Nokia WING vertical applications portfolio and continues to develop the IoT ecosystem.
The four new solutions announced today by Nokia include:
- Smart Agriculture as-a-Service: Sensors capture environmental, soil and crop data that is then analyzed to provide insights that help farmers manage crops more effectively, potentially saving costs on irrigation, pesticides and fertilizers.
- Livestock Management as-a-Service: Tracking devices and biosensors monitor animal health and welfare to provide ranchers with early alerts if abnormalities are detected, protecting valuable livestock and improving yields.
- Logistics as-a-Service: IoT sensors enable tracking of the global movement and condition of goods through the complete supply chain to help enterprises instantly identify incidents and even predict future events to optimize delivery and logistics process efficiency.
- Asset Management as-a-Service: Connecting products anywhere in the world enables their status and performance to be monitored centrally, helping enterprises provide a better service to their business and consumer customers.
Nokia is trialing Agriculture as-a-Service with an African operator and working with a leading services and consulting firm on Asset Management as-a-Service to help them offer more advanced services.
Brian Partridge, Vice President, 451 Research, said: "Nokia addresses a wide spectrum of challenges through its WING IoT infrastructure-as-a-service so its early traction with customers isn't a surprise. Most telecom operators desire a more prominent role in the IoT value chain that builds upon secure and reliable domestic or global connectivity. Nokia's announced plans to offer end-to-end vertical applications on top of the WING global infrastructure is a logical next step. We believe that this approach benefits Nokia's WING telecom customers and the enterprises they serve in addition to vertical application partners who can benefit from WING's market scale and go-to market channels."
Ankur Bhan, Global Head of WING Business at Nokia, said: "The IoT is a growing opportunity for operators to win new enterprise customers and significant additional revenue in a diverse range of vertical markets. With minimal upfront investment, an operator can now quickly get a service to market and generate IoT revenues. We expect these vertical solutions to encourage more operators to connect to Nokia WING, expanding its global footprint and broadening the range of capabilities and services that will become available. We already have several more vertically-focused as-a-Service packages in the development pipeline."
Japanese operator deploys new ultra-broadband solution from Nokia
KDDI, a leading telecommunications operator in Japan, is deploying Nokia's G.fast solution to apartments and multi-dwelling units (MDU) buildings to deliver ultra-broadband services to customers.
Reducing the need to install new fiber, Nokia's technology will enable KDDI to use existing copper lines in MDU buildings to deliver 830Mbps combined uplink and downlink speeds to customers.
To support customers' ultra-broadband needs, Japanese operators are using fiber where possible along with new technologies like G.fast for a large number of MDU locations where copper is already installed.
Developed by Nokia Bell Labs, G.fast uses vectoring technology to effectively reduce cross-talk interference that typically impacts data speeds over copper networks.
Providing support for Japan's VDSL2 specifications, Nokia's G.fast solution will minimize the impact to existing VDSL systems and enable operators to quickly upgrade their high-speed internet service to gigabit class through a simple CPE (customer premises equipment) replacement.
KDDI has been deploying Nokia's G.fast solution and has started its rollout of 'au Hikari MDU Type G'.
Teresa Mastrangelo, principal analyst at Broadband Trends said: "G.fast continues to be a preferred choice for operators seeking to deliver gigabit broadband services to MDUs as it eliminates many of the issues found with FTTH deployments such as building types and access. However, in Japan, deploying G.fast can be just as challenging as fiber due to the unique VDSL ecosystem and standards in place.
As one of the few vendors capable of supporting both the global and local Japanese VDSL standard, Nokia has been able to help KDDI capitalize on the benefits of G.fast and seamlessly scale and migrate their network with minimal disruption. This win is another great example for how G.fast technology is being used to quickly address customers need for greater broadband speeds."
Shigenari Saito, Administrative Officer, General Manager, Network Technology Development Division, Technology Sector, at KDDI said:
"KDDI already provides 10Gbps service for our 'au Hikari' FTTH customers, but the speed we can provide has been limited to 100Mbps service for MDUs where fiber is difficult to deploy. Nokia's G.fast solution enables us to connect existing 100Mbps users and new G.fast users under the same DPU (distribution point unit). This gives us the flexibility and economical path to meet the customer's demands for higher speed. Our decision to deploy Nokia G.fast is based on our long-term relationship and Nokia continues to be our long-term partner for delivering technology innovations."
Sandra Motley, president of Nokia's Fixed Networks Business Group, said: "Operators looking to quickly roll out new ultra-broadband services are increasingly adopting multi-technology strategies that allow them to maximize the use of both fiber and copper technologies. This is particularly true in some cases like inside an apartment building, where more traditional Fiber-to-the-Home solutions can be very challenging to deploy. We are excited to be working with KDDI to deploy our G.fast solution to deliver fiber-like speeds that will enhance the way customers experience their broadband services."