What’s up with… Nokia, AT&T, TM Forum, FOKUS

via Flickr © Tjeerd (CC BY 2.0)

via Flickr © Tjeerd (CC BY 2.0)

  • Nokia and AT&T make open RAN progress
  • TM Forum attracts support for its Open Digital Architecture
  • Germany’s FOKUS connects its Open5GCore with Nokia, Huawei RAN gear

Nokia’s O-RAN progress with AT&T and support for the TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture sit atop a bumper pile of tasty news nuggets.

  • In further evidence that major operators and vendors are taking open networking developments very seriously, Nokia and AT&T have conducted a live trial of their co-developed RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) over the operator’s commercial 5G mmWave network in New York City using an Open Cloud Platform based on the LF Edge-developed Akraino open source software stack. The RIC has been developed to align with the O-RAN Alliance target architecture, with the software contributed as open source code at the O-RAN Software Community. Once deployed, the RIC will “enable increased network optimization capabilities through policy-guided, closed loop automation,” according to the partners, which announced their RIC collaboration in January 2019.
  • TM Forum’s digital transformation is apparently proceeding well. Pledges of Fealty have been extracted from another clutch of what we used to call OSS/BSS providers: Amdocs, Netcracker Technologies, Nokia and Oracle say they’re adopting the Forum’s Open Digital Architecture. On the telco side of the fence  BT, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Telenor have signed up to its Open API and Open Digital Architecture Manifesto. The Forum claims that its Open Digital Architecture can help operators cut the amount they spend on IT (about $90 billion in total each year) and the time and money spent on procurement processes (about $1 billion annually): It tackled that topic last year in a report called Time to Kill the RFP? 
  • Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) says its Open5GCore “works smoothly with the base stations of Huawei and Nokia. Thus, with the Open5GCore, end-to-end tests of 5G ‘standalone’ networks with market-ready base stations from different manufacturers can now be carried out for the first time. Interoperability tests with other manufacturers are already planned and will be conducted soon,” added FOKUS in this announcement. It says its Open5GCore “is already in use worldwide in more than 40 5G test environments in well-known network operators, manufacturers, companies, and research institutes.”
  • Keen not to have its technology choices dictated by a foreign government (please note – the irony of that phrase is not lost on us), Deutsche Telekom has cranked the drama knob to the max and described the prospect of having to rip and replace all its Huawei gear as a €3 billion “Armageddon.”   
  • As expected, Telia has struck a deal to sell its stake in Turkcell Holding for $530 million, or SEK5 billionto the state-owned Turkey Wealth Fund. The agreement includes “a full and global settlement of all shareholder disputes and litigations connected to Turkcell and Turkcell Holding.” But there’s just a little more pain to endure for Telia, as the stake was valued on its balance sheet at SEK8 billion, so the operator will take a SEK3 billion ($322 million) capital loss that will be recorded in the current (second) quarter. That hit had been anticipated and investors seem glad that the operator is now fully focused on its Nordic and Baltic markets following a few years of divestments, as Telia’s share price gained 1.3% to SEK33.99 in Thursday morning trading in Stockholm.
  • Data centre operator Digital Realty has started building Digital Seoul 1, which it it describes as the “first carrier-neutral facility in Korea.” "South Korea is one of the key digital hubs in the APAC region with a major focus on digital technology and solutions," noted Mark Smith, Managing Director APAC for Digital Realty.  "Applications such as big data, artificial intelligence, 5G mobile services and the internet of things are already gaining momentum.  South Korea is also one of the fasting growing data center markets in the region and a strategic market for us to enter as the first global provider to build from the ground up."
  • Back to AT&T... its CFO John Stephens provided an update on 5G during a presentation at the Credit Suisse Communications Conference. He noted its 5G service could now reach more than 160 million people and expects to attain nationwide coverage “this summer.” He also noted that AT&T has deployed more than 80% of FirstNet, the cellular network for US first responders being built through a public-private partnership. At the end of the first quarter, AT&T had 1.3 million FirstNet subscribers across more than 12,000 agencies.
  • Speaking of which… The First Responder Network Authority Board has approved the first set of investments for enhancing FirstNet, assigning $218 million of spending to multiple efforts, including a dedicated 5G core. 
  • In the Middle East, Nokia has announced that operator Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has used its PSE-3 chipset with Probabilistic Constellation Shaping (PCS) technology to conduct the region's “first 200G long-haul transmission and 300G regional reach field trial.”
  • Cisco has ramped up its activity in network automation and security with the integration of its SD-WAN tech (formerly Viptela) with cloud native security from its Cisco Umbrella division. “This convergence of security and networking is a crucial step for customers as they move towards a SASE [Secure Access Service Edge] architecture.
  • The historic UK town of Ipswich, just a hop and a skip from BT’s Adastral Park R&D facilities, is set for an economic boom fuelled by FTTH, if CityFibre’s crystal ball-gazers are in touch with reality. The alternative wholesale fiber network operator, which has become an increasing thorn in the side of BT’s quasi-autonomous access network unit Openreach, says it’s “already working with launch partner Vodafone to deliver next generation broadband services [in Ipswich] and TalkTalk is expected to join the network soon.” Will Ipswich be transformed by some strands of glass? Answers on a digital postcard, please…

- The staff, TelecomTV

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