Displaying items by tag: networks
What happened to Google and Facebook’s subsea cable plans?
Following security concerns from US officials, it has been announced that Google and Facebook have scrapped plans for a giant subsea cable from Los Angeles to Hong Kong.
The Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) was first announced in 2016, with backing from Google, Facebook and other companies including Pacific Light Data Communication and TE SubCom.
The PLCN is a high-capacity fiber-optic undersea cable running for approximately 12,800km under the Pacific Ocean between Hong Kong and Los Angeles. In 2016, Google said that the PLCN would have an estimated capacity of 120TB per second, making it the highest capacity trans-Pacific route.
“In other words, PLCN will provide enough capacity for Hong Kong to have 80m concurrent HD video conference calls with Los Angeles,” the company said at the time.
The 12,800 km long cable has already been laid, costing hundreds of millions of dollars. However it needs permission from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in order to operate.
Breakdown of plans
A US government committee, known as Team Telecom, raised concerns about Dr. Peng Telecom and Media Group’s involvement, citing its "relationship with Chinese intelligence and security services".
While Google and Facebook can be considered the most high-profile stakeholders, much of the cable’s fiber optics belong to Pacific Light Data Communication, which is owned by Dr. Peng Telecom.
In light of these concerns and the delays they were causing, Google sought permission from the FCC to activate only the self-owned portions of the subsea cable network in February 2020, effectively cutting Pacific Light Data Communication from the project.
In April of this year, Google were awarded temporary authority for construction and testing. The FCC said it would allow the company to operate the segment of cable between the US and Taiwan – but not Hong Kong – for six months, pending a final disposition of the license application.
However, as tensions between the US and China continue to grow, it became increasingly likely that US officials would reject the use of the cable on the grounds of national security.
What’s happening now?
While the special temporary authority wasn’t due to expire until the end of September, Bloomberg reported a few weeks ago that Google and Facebook have dumped their original plans for a subsea cable between the US and Hong Kong.
Instead, the companies submitted a revised proposal that incorporates the links to Taiwan and the Philippines, but crucially leaves out Hong Kong-based Pacific Light Data Communication.
A spokesperson for Google told the BBC: “We can confirm that the original application for the PLCN cable system has been withdrawn, and a revised application for the US-Taiwan and US-Philippines portions of the system has been submitted.
“We continue to work through established channels to obtain cable landing licenses for our undersea cables.”
While the fight to use the PLCN drags on, Google also announced in July of this year that it is building another subsea cable, named the ‘Grace Hopper’ cable, connecting the UK, US and Spain.
The cable marks Google’s first investment in a private subsea cable route to the UK and its first ever route to Spain. Today, 98pc of international internet traffic is carried around the world by subsea cables.
Huawei’s European figurehead accuses US of ‘bullying’
Huawei’s European figurehead has blasted the US over its treatment of the Chinese vendor has described their behavior as ‘bullying’.
China issues warning to US following Huawei ban
The decision taken by the Trump administration to effectively ban Huawei from the US market has drastically deteriorated already soured diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing as the rest of the world anxiously looks on.
Swisscom partners with Ericsson to launch Europe’s first large scale 5G networks
Swiss telecommunications operator Swisscom has launched the continent’s first large scale 5G networks in partnership with Swedish vendor Ericsson.
In a statement released by the Swedish telecommunications behemoth it confirmed that the 5G network was launched in 54 cities across Switzerland after the operator secured a license to operate a 5G network in the country.
Ericsson has seen its financial coffers significantly boosted by its success in the North American market following the publication of its Q1 results.
Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm expressed his delight at the launch of the 5G networks in Switzerland and predicted that the company would up the ante in relation to 5G in the large parts of Asia by the end of this year.
Ekholm said, “To date we have publicly announced commercial 5G deals with 18 named operator customers, which, at the moment, is more than any other vendor. The company would continue to incur costs for field trials and we’re expecting large-scale deployments of 5G to begin in parts of Asia by the end of 2019. Combined, this will gradually impact short-term margins but strengthen our position in the long term.”
Shares of Ericsson rocketed on the Stockholm stock exchange with the company reporting an increase of 3% which represented a four-year high for the vendor.
Ericsson, one of Chinese telecom giant Huawei's main rivals in the 5G market, said earlier this year it hadn't felt any effects from US pressure on countries to ban Huawei's equipment amid fears that it could compromise the security of the mobile phone networks.
Orange launches 4G network in Sierra Leone
Ericsson and Orange have partnered to launch 4G networks in Sierra Leone in the nation’s capital of Freetown which will be providing its residents with fast and reliable 4G access.
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.
Nokia to expand its transport portfolio in effort to support operators 5G investment
In advance of Mobile World Congress, Nokia today announces a raft of enhancements to its Anyhaul transport portfolio that help operators prepare their networks for 5G by delivering throughput speeds of up to 25 Gbps to base stations.
The launches span microwave, optical, IP and broadband technologies within a carrier Software Defined Networking (SDN) transport architecture. This simplifies the integration of transport with cloud-based radio access and core networks, thereby enabling an automated end-to-end 5G network slicing and service provisioning system.
Nokia Anyhaul is the industry's most extensive range of transport solutions. These solutions can be rapidly and dynamically provisioned to support the massive connectivity, extreme low latency and very high throughput demands of 5G services.
Programmability and automation dynamically create transport network slices to quickly and cost-effectively match diverse application and user needs with end-to-end service delivery guarantees.
The Nokia Anyhaul portfolio enables operators to deploy the optimal mix of transport technologies to create a flexible fabric that matches their unique network and business needs.
The new Nokia 1830 Versatile WDM Module (VWM) Translation Line Unit (TLU)-200 provides high density wavelength translation at 10 Gbps and 25 Gbps speeds. Purpose-built for Cloud RAN and Edge Cloud requirements, it simplifies operations and improves reliability of fronthaul connectivity for 4G Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI)/Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI) and 5G eCPRI data.
A new, compact interconnect router, the Nokia 7250 IXR-e, is purpose-built to support 5G and edge cloud requirements at or near base stations with 1/10/25/100 GE interfaces. The 7250 IXR-e features a compact architecture with efficient cooling and optimized space efficiency for minimal installation costs. It complements the previously released 7250 IXR-R6, which also supports 5G requirements and 1/10/25/100 GE interfaces.
A proof of concept of Nokia Broadband Anyhaul 25G Passive Optical Network (PON) demonstrates the viability of building on existing fiber infrastructure to offer 25 Gbps speeds. Co-existing with 2.5G and 10G PON technologies, 25G PON enables more radio access sites to be connected on the same fiber to reduce costs.
Nokia has successfully trialed 25G PON proof of concept with T-1 operators in North America and Japan in January 2019.
Jimmy Yu, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group, said: "Mobile backhaul has always been done with a variety of transport technologies to balance the needs of performance, time, and economics. This will continue with 5G, and for this reason, operators will need an assortment of transport technologies-microwave, optical, IP and PON-that suit their unique requirements in 5G fronthaul and backhaul. The rollout of 5G has just started this year and if our predictions are correct, demand for 5G backhaul transport systems (not including fiber) will begin ramping in a year's time and surpass $1 billion of annual sales in the following two years."
Phil Twist, VP of Networks Marketing and Communications, at Nokia said: "Our Anyhaul portfolio is a key element of the Nokia 5G Future X architecture, which equips our customers to take advantage of the promise of this next generation of network technology. Nokia Anyhaul has been deployed globally and is now being selected in countries such as the US, Japan, China, and South Korea where we are helping the fast-movers transform to 5G. The expertise and invaluable best practices we gain will further simplify and reduce risk for other operators as they move to 5G."
US campaign against Huawei faces resistance from European operators
The US-led campaign against Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei is now facing resistance from a number of major European operators.
Washington has been engaged in a sustained offensive attack on China’s major telecommunication vendors Huawei and ZTE over the last number of years.
However, that has heightened in recent months, with the United States labelling Huawei and ZTE as a severe threat to national security. US President Donald Trump is expected to issue an executive order later this week which would prohibit both Chinese vendors from being involved in wireless networks in the US.
In addition to this, lobbyists on behalf of the US convinced its allies Australia and New Zealand to prevent either company from participating in the rollout of their respective 5G networks. The US is now pressuring Europe to follow suit. Earlier this week, comments by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added further fuel to the ongoing saga when he said that countries that use Huawei technology could hurt their relationship with the United States.
However, that has been met with resistance from major European operators who have discovered that they will have to fork out more to replace equipment from Huawei and ZTE, and that a blanket ban on both companies would significantly impact its ability to launch 5G services in the next twelve months, as Huawei is the global leader on 5G equipment.
A number of prominent executives from Europe’s top operators told The Wall Street Journal that Huawei hardware was much better than the rest on offer and often cost less; not using it could well mean that Europe would lag Asia and countries in other regions that use gear from Huawei for their 5G rollouts.
In addition to this, Nick Read, chief executive of Vodafone Group, was quoted as saying in January that a total ban on the carrier's use of Huawei equipment “would have significant financial cost, would have significant customer disruption and would delay 5G rollout in several countries”. The UK's four major wireless operators — Vodafone, BT Group, Telefonica and CK Hutchison Holdings' Three — were all against a ban.
But it is not only big carriers who prefer Huawei equipment, with Jersey Telecom, a publicly-owned company operating in the Isle of Jersey, also expressing a preference for Chinese equipment.
The company sought bids from both Chinese and Western companies in 2014 for its wireless network and while Huawei's bid 20% below the lowest Western offer, ZTE was 40% cheaper. Jersey Telecom chief executive Graeme Millar went with ZTE, and commented: "I have a genuinely high-class, low-cost supplier with ZTE, who haven’t let me down yet.”
The US stands accused of using Huawei and ZTE as political pawns in the ongoing trade war standoff between Washington and Beijing.
Google set to spend $13bn in US data centre expansion
US technology behemoth Google has announced that it will spend $13bn in expanding its US data centre network.