Telecom Industry News

To guard against hacking, the platform will include the first blockchain-powered Internet-of-Things (IoT) security system

In other global news, Vodafone and Tunisie Telecom have embarked on a new Partner Market agreement for Tunisia—a first for Vodafone in North Africa. To more easily address soaring demand for internet exchange services in such growing markets as New York City, Frankfurt, and Dallas, DE-CIX—the world’s leading internet exchange operator—has selected Infinera’s Cloud Xpress2 for its unmatched combination of capacity and simplicity in a compact, easy-to-install optical networking platform.

Domestic news centered on expansions came from both coasts. Crown Castle unveiled details of a multimillion dollar investment over the next year in Southern California. The investment will enhance and supplement its existing fiber in the Los Angeles metropolitan area as well as surrounding areas of Southern California. California ranks ninth overall in connectedness among the fifty states, and this investment will continue to enhance its position. Over on the East Coast, RTO and Microsoft will collaborate to deliver broadband internet to more than 290,000 people living in unserved rural areas of upstate New York and Maine. The partnership is part of the MicrosoftAirband Initiative, which aims to extend broadband access to 2 million people in unserved portions of rural America by July 4, 2022—now less than four years away.

July included a bevy of new agreements, accords, collaborations, expansions, and new use cases in the pursuit of progress toward to 5G. 

Advancement towards 5G in China got a boost with the signing of new agreements. Nokia and China Mobile have agreed to launch an AI lab to investigate the potential for artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize future networks and enable the delivery of new Edge Cloud and 5G services. In other news involving Nokia, it has signed an MoU with Tencent, one of China's leading providers of Internet services, to carry out joint research and development work exploring the potential of 5G for the provision of new applications for a variety of vertical markets. The accord was signed during Mobile World Congress Shanghai. Additionally, Ericsson and Intel, together with China Mobile Research Institute and China Mobile Jiangsu Company, announced they have successfully demonstrated the first 3GPP-compliant, multi-vendor Standalone (SA) 5G New Radio (NR) call. The demonstration contributes to accelerating commercial deployment of standard-based 5G networks. 

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore should see its first 5G pilot network go live by Q4 of 2018. Behind the initiative is a partnership between Singtel and Ericsson—the 5G Centre of Excellence Programme. Although the partnership isn’t brand new, the planned Q4 initiative is. And, operators looking to quickly and cost-effectively deliver new 5G services are now a step closer to the reality of doing so, thanks to the announcement at The Broadband Forum’s meeting in Osaka, Japan this month. The Broadband Forum and NTT demonstrated the disaggregation of time-critical PON functions for 5G networks.

European 5G news this month included the release of a new report from Analysys Mason, intended to assist the UK government in 5G leadership by identifying and proposing solutions to current and potential barriers to network deployment. The report, Lowering Barriers to 5G Deployment, discusses the barriers to 5G deployment from industry and local UK perspectives and notes key challenges faced during the deployment process. The 5G PPP Initiative launched Phase 3 at the EuCNC conference, announcing three new projects that began July 1. The projects are funded by a European Commission investment topping 50 million euros in addition to a commitment several times larger by the ICT industry.

An extended partnership between Verizon and Ericsson expands collaboration on 4G and 5G in the US. The partnership includes the extension of Ericsson Radio System 4G LTE equipment to new markets—which will enable the latest in 4G LTE capabilities. Additionally, this expansion will provide a 5G-ready platform for Verizon to rapidly transition sites to 5G as service is deployed in these markets.

Four July developments take 5G out of the lab and into the real world. In Australia, Ericsson, Telstra and Intel have successfully completed the first end-to-end 5G non-standalone (NSA) 3GPP data call on a commercial mobile network in a multivendor setup. The demonstration took place at Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre on the country’s Gold Coast. Stateside, Sprint—together with Adaptive Motion Group (AMG)—debuted the Mobi self-driving robot. Designed to charge electric buses, cars, and industrial vehicles, Mobi  units  are  solar  charged  and  will  move to  where  they are


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