What’s up with… Ericsson & Orange, Nokia, Ciena

  • Orange Business Services and Ericsson develop IoT security offering
  • Ericsson ramps up its private wireless networks push
  • Nokia tackles 5G security, lands PON and SON deals
  • Ciena’s still suffering, but Blue Planet gains further traction

An IoT tie-up, a private wireless network push and 5G security developments lead the way in today’s race for the news finishing line.

Ericsson and Orange Business Services (OBS) have collaborated on the development of an IoT security offering, Threat Monitoring and Mitigation, which adds a security component to cellular IoT connectivity services. OBS is offering the service to its enterprise customers as ‘IoT Services Controlled’ and as part of its IoT Managed Global Connectivity solution, which is based on Ericsson's IoT Accelerator platform. For further details, see this announcement.

Ericsson has ramped up its private wireless networks push with the launch of Ericsson Private 5G, which the vendor is targeting primarily at “the manufacturing, mining and process industry, offshore and power utilities, as well as ports and airports,” and which it says can be “installed within hours at any facility.” The vendor says it “already has a significant track record of operational 4G and 5G private network deployments with customers worldwide. Ericsson Private 5G builds on the success of that solution portfolio and deployment insights, as well as insights from projects such as 5G-Industry Campus Europe.” That may be, but it’s still playing catch-up, at least in this particular part of the market, with rival Nokia.

Speaking of the Finnish vendor… Nokia has launched its NetGuard XDR Security Operations platform and MDR (Managed Detection and Response) services to “provide communication service providers (CSPs) with stronger protection for their 5G networks, as well as new, revenue-enhancing security offerings… the platform modules come with new analytics, machine learning, and automation functions to better manage incidents and react faster to neutralize threats,” according to the vendor. For further details, see this announcement.

Nokia has also clocked up two new fixed access broadband deals – an XGS-PON deployment in Canada at Sasktel and a GPON deployment in Nepal with CG NET – and landed a SON (self-organizing networks) dealwith EE (BT’s mobile network division). 

Ciena reported a 6.7% year-on-year dip in fiscal second quarter revenues to $833.9 million, but that was in line with expectations set out when the vendor reported its tough Q1. As ever, CEO Gary Smith (who just celebrated 20 years in the role) sees a glass half full: “We continued to see encouraging signs in the market environment, including improvements in customer spending… These dynamics, combined with our business and financial performance in the first half of the year, give us strong visibility and confidence in our ability to achieve our financial targets as we move through the year.” The full details are available in this earnings announcement, but of note was that Ciena’s Blue Planet automation software unit ramped its revenues by more than 50% year-on-year to $23.9 million (so it’s still small, but it’s important and growing…).  

The RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) will be 5G RAN OS within 5 years, according to ABI Research, which claims the O-RAN Alliance’s RIC open reference design will upset telco applecarts. It says the reference design will create new opportunities for a wider ecosystem to join this segment of the market and it expects the trend of standard RIC deployment to dominate by around 2024 and 2025. ABI Research summarizes developments so far in this article.  According to Jiancao Hou, 5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure Senior Analyst at ABI Research, “The separation of RIC functionality according to different time scales (i.e., non-RT and near-RT) aims to facilitate a vast reduction in development and deployment costs, and to help drive standardization and expand the ecosystem in a timely manner.” Moreover, “Designing non-RT RIC functionality in a Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) platform, but not the RAN itself, is to secure access to contextual information and coordinated optimization of radio resources and network policies.”

How can businesses most effectively reach their target audiences? Instagram, which now has more than 1 billion users worldwide, is a prime medium, so Swedish communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) specialist Sinch, which recently raised $1.1 billion, has launched a worldwide API for business messaging through Instagram “to coincide with the availability of the Messenger API for Instagram announced by Messenger from Facebook during its F8 conference. The Messenger API for Instagram enables brands to have scalable conversations with their customers using Instagram DMs or Stories, facilitating engaging user interaction and enhanced customer support,” notes Sinch. Many businesses will be excited about this, no doubt, but will Instagram users? If you have an answer to that question, please don’t DM us…

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