Telecom Industry News

By: Scott St. John, Pipeline

The telecom industry has been buzzing as new network technology rolls out around the world and in the heavens above. Advancements in 5G show that the new mobile technology is becoming a reality, and satellite is becoming a more integral component of next-gen services. There were also indications that IoT, security, cloud, and CEM are still hotbeds of activity. The FCC announced the reversal of Net Neutrality in the US, B/OSS deployments appear to be picking up momentum, and there were notable developments surrounding video, digital transformation, and enterprise offerings. The top stories from the month are summarized below. To view all the news as it breaks, check out Pipeline's News Center.

Network News

Orange Business Services announced they have joined the Airbus Consortium to provide cloud-based ICT services to support the European Space Agency's (ESA) data and information access service (DIAS) for the European Union's Copernicus program. The project is aimed to collect data from a family of dedicated satellites and in-situ observations, to make it available to scientists, businesses, and entrepreneurs. However, the press release also underscores the importance of this data, calling it "key" for global security and environmental concerns.

Gilat Satellite Networks announced that KDDI has chosen its unique satellite based LTE cellular backhaul solution to extend reach and resilience with high speed data and high-quality voice over LTE (VoLTE) throughout Japan. 

In Australia, Ericsson announced NBN Co has extended its partnership to support its SkyMusterTM satellite and fixed wireless operations. The combined operations connected nearly 1 million homes in rural and remote areas.

IHS Markit released its Router & Switch Vendor Leadership report earlier this month, ranking Juniper Networks No. 1 in four out of the five top selection criteria when service providers choose network vendors, and No. 2 in the fifth. In a press release, Juniper announced it ranked No. 1 in technology innovation, product reliability, service and support, and security; notably beating out Nokia and Cisco.  It ranked just behind Huawei in terms of price-to-performance ratio in the final criterion.

In a hotly contested topic in the US, the FCC announced that it has rolled back "Net Neutrality" to better foster innovation, support the internet ecosystem, and increase transparency. Pundits on the topic argue both sides, suggesting that Net Neutrality wasn't really all that neutral and that the classification of broadband services should have been categorized as an information service, under Title I of the Communications Act. Proponents of Net Neutrality argue that it's bad for consumer as it may increase prices, as providers will be able to prioritize data for those whom can afford to pay for it. The move has spawned litigation with several states joining the movement to reverse the action.

The FCC also announced this month that it has increased its focus to expand broadband access to rural America.  The FCC identified nearly 1 million homes and small businesses in 48 states that are eligible for $2B in support for broadband deployment over the next decade. This announcement sets the stage for $2B in support that is planned to be distributed to companies that successfully compete in an innovation auction scheduled to take place in 2018.

In other network news, Ericsson also announced this month that it has exceeded 1 Gbps speeds in two unlicensed spectrum trails with Singtel in Asia and T-Mobile in the United States. The demonstrations leverage a unique 12-layer configuration of Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology combining several LTE technologies including 256 QAM and 4x4 MIMO, aggregating two licensed carriers and three unlicensed carriers.

In Saudi Arabia, Nokia's EdenNet SON solution was deployed to help Zain contend with the surge in network traffic during Ramadan and the Hajj. The network optimization solution was used to maximize network performance to allow pilgrims to stay connected and share their experiences using their connected devices. 


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