TIP at MWC


Vodafonewatch
This release
: #173
March 2019: 70pp
Releases/year: 10+
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EXECUTIVE BRIEF

GROUP

Deals: Vodafone takes connected-car turning with AT&T [p.6]

  • Where will AT&T road trip lead?
  • Duo going Dutch, beyond automotive
  • Continental shift in road safety
  • Vodafone's connected-car convoy

Network: Vodafone's TIP push starts to shake up supply chain [p.12]

  • On the road, in the lab
  • OOPT, we did it again
  • DCSG decision time
  • Table: TIP goes 'end-to-end' with interop demo at MWC
  • Another MWC, another TIP project group
  • Table: Vodafone's TIP top-ups at a glance

Vodafone gets more NFV vim from VMware [p.19]

  • VMware onboards Kubernetes…
  • …and Ericsson
  • Keep it simple, lads

Sedona bags Group deal for SDN-based services [p.22]

  • On the road to automation
  • Vodafone vote of confidence

Partnerships: TDC links up with Vodafone on NB-IoT [p.24]

  • Vodafone growing Nordic roots

People [p.27]

  • Table: People movement highlights

Products and Services: Vodafone trumpets launch of Super WiFi [p.30]

  • OpCos in Greece and Portugal get a head start

Supply Chain: Infinera 'cracking into' Vodafone, post-Coriant buyout [p.32]

  • Two become one

EUROPE REGION

Albania: VfA opens door to 800MHz delivery [p.34]

Czech Republic: CTÚ makes moves towards 5G auction [p.35]

  • Been there, done that
  • Huawei matters

Germany: BNetzA ploughs on with 5G auction after failed blocker [p.37]

  • Read remains coy as Drillisch gets in the game

Greece: Fuzzy roaming rules [p.40]

  • Political cover-up
  • Table: Not playing by the BNetzA rulebook

Italy: Italian staff next in Read's firing line [p.42]

  • More top-down cuts on the way
  • Culture might need work, too

Spain: VfS cosies up to Huawei at MWC [p.44]

  • 5G muscle (and Huawei) on display at MWC
  • Huawei not the only 5G NR game in town
  • 5G moves in Europe

UK: Execs open up on 5G risk assessment, Huawei thoughts [p.48]

  • VfUK re-asserts Group line that RAN is low-risk
  • Core and transport layers ring-fenced, though
  • Group stresses testing and certification as key, but pressure still on for ban
  • Awkwardness to manage elsewhere, too

CityFibre reveals last two cities in FTTP rollout with VfUK [p.53]

  • Coventry sent
  • Phase Two now in focus
  • VfUK raises pressure on dark fibre

REST OF THE WORLD REGION

India - Vodafone Idea: Scandinavian big-two tout retention of VfI business… [p.57]

  • …but Chinese counterparts stay in the game, too

Vodacom Group: Vodacom Business Africa resets in bid for growth [p.60]

  • Partner Markets works another Angola
  • Table: Vodafone's African presence, March‑2019
  • Safaricom taps Allot for QoS and security enabler

Vodacom latest to adopt OneNumber service [p.63]

  • Low-key launch suggests OneNumber caution

FURTHER READING

INDEX

Symbols

3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 16, 25, 66

5G Automotive Association 7, 65

A

Aditya Birla Group

 - Idea Cellular 57

ADVA Optical Networking 15, 17

Affirmed Networks 11

Africa 6, 13, 18, 27, 29, 32, 59, 60, 61, 67

 - Angola 61, 67

  --  Burkina Faso 61

 - Congo 59, 61

 - Egypt 24

 - Ghana 27, 28, 59, 61

 - Guinea 61

 - Kenya 20, 28, 61, 62

  --  Lesotho 61

 - Malawi 61

 - Mozambique 61

 - Namibia 61

 - Nigeria 60, 61

 - Rwanda 61

 - South Africa 24, 28, 29, 46, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64

 - Sub-Sahara 61

 - Tanzania 59, 61

 - Uganda 61

 - Zambia 60, 61

Afrimax Group 61

Airspan Networks 16

Albtelecom 34

Alcatel-Lucent 64

Altran Technologies, SA 15

Americas

 - Argentina 13, 18

  --  Aruba 31

 - Canada 28, 41

 - Colombia 13

 - North America 6

 - Peru 13, 18

 - USA 7, 8, 36, 51

  --  States

   ---   Califormia 25

Antin Infrastructure Partners 54

Apple 63, 64

 - iPhone 63

Aricent Inc. 16, 18

Asia-Pacific 32, 58

 - Australia 24, 29

 - China 12, 14, 36, 44, 48, 50, 51, 58, 64, 67

  --  Government 51

  --  Hong Kong 64

 - India 13, 24, 29, 51, 57, 58, 67

  --  Government 51, 58

  --  Licence Circles

   ---   North East 43

 - Malaysia 61

 - Mauritius 61

 - New Zealand 29, 59, 67

 - Singapore 61

 - South Korea 10

AT&T 6, 7, 8, 10, 14, 65

Axiata Group Bhd (TM International)

 - India (Idea Cellular, see also Aditya Birla) 24, 29, 31, 51, 57, 67

B

Barclays plc 28

 - Barclays Bank 28

BCE Inc. 18

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) 58

Bharti Group 18

 - Airtel 18

BlackBerry 64

BMW Group 10

Bosch Group, The 10

Botswana Telecommunications Corp. 61

British Standards Institute (BSI) 51

BT Group 16, 17, 18, 28, 54

 - Openreach 54, 67

C

China Unicom 14

Ciena Corp. 17, 50

Cisco Systems 17, 31, 50

Citigroup 39, 43

CityFibre 53, 54, 67

Coriant 17, 32

D

Dell 20

Dell Technologies 20

 - Dell EMC 20

  --  VMware 19, 20, 21, 65

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu 18

Dennis Publishing 64

Deutsche Telekom 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 51, 66

 - Europe

  --  Croatia (Hrvatski Telekom) 59

  --  Czech Republic 35

  --  Hungary (see Magyar Telekom) 17

  --  UK (EE) 28, 29

 - Germany 37

 - Investments

  --  Magyar Telekom (see separate) 17

 - Systems Solutions

  --  T-Systems 15

 - USA 7, 51

DHL Worldwide Express 61

Drillisch AG 37, 38, 39, 40

E

EE (see DT, FT) 28, 29

Elisa 24

EMC 20

 - VMware 19, 20, 21, 65

Ericsson 10, 21, 25, 28, 44, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, 57, 58, 65, 67

Europe 6, 10, 28, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 41, 47, 51, 66

 - Albania 27, 34, 66

  --  Electronic & Postal Communications Authority (AKEP) 34, 66

 - Central Europe 28

 - Czech Republic 24, 27, 35, 36, 66

 - Denmark 24

 - Estonia 24

 - Finland 24, 46

 - France 25, 31, 41, 61

 - Germany 9, 10, 11, 24, 25, 29, 35, 37, 38, 40, 41, 47, 51, 64, 66, 67

  --  Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen (BNetzA, RegTP, FNA, or German Federal Network Agency) 37, 39, 40, 41, 51

  --  Länder

   ---   Bavaria (Munich) 10

   ---   Berlin 17

   ---   North Rhine-Westphalia (Düsseldorf) 25, 47

 - Greece 24, 31, 35, 39, 66

 - Hungary 24, 27, 35

 - Ireland 24, 25, 43, 47, 66

 - Italy 24, 27, 28, 38, 42, 46, 64, 66

 - Malta 27

 - Netherlands 8, 24, 27, 31, 35, 43, 66

 - Norway 24

 - Portugal 27, 31

 - Romania 24, 35, 47

 - Scandinavia 24, 36

 - Spain 13, 14, 17, 24, 35, 43, 44, 64, 66

 - Sweden 28, 46, 58

 - Turkey 12, 13, 18, 24, 29, 39, 43

 - United Kingdom (UK) 10, 17, 24, 25, 28, 29, 35, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 60, 61, 64, 66, 67

  --  British Standards Institute (BSI) 51

  --  Office of Communications (Ofcom) 52, 54, 67

European Automotive-Telecom Alliance 10

European Union 22, 35, 65

European Commission 10, 11, 35, 66

F

Facebook 13, 17, 18, 32

Fira de Barcelona 45

Ford Motor Company

 - Volvo 10

Fujitsu 14, 15

G

Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) 7

General Motors 7

 - OnStar Corp. 7

Globacom Ltd 61

Goldman Sachs 54

Google

 - Android 43

GSM Association (GSMA) 21

 - Mobile World Congress 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 25, 30, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 57, 65, 66

H

Hargreaves Lansdown 28

Helios Investment Partners 59

 - Helios Towers Africa, Ltd. 59

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise 16, 31

Huawei Technologies 10, 12, 25, 36, 44, 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 58, 66, 67

Hutchison Whampoa

 - Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (VHA, (see Vodafone) 29

Hyundai 10

I

IBM 7

Iliad 42

Intel 10, 13, 15, 16, 18

J

Juniper Networks 17, 20

K

Kia Motors Corp. 10

L

LG Electronics 45

Liberty Global 11, 43

 - UPC Germany GmbH

 - Unitymedia GmbH 11

Lime Micro 15, 16

LinkedIn Corp. 27

M

Magyar Telekom (see DT) 17

Mahindra Group

 - Tech Mahindra 16

Manchester United 47

Market segments

 - Mobile broadband 35

 - Mobile virtual network (MVNA/MVNE/MVNO) 38, 39

 - Network-sharing 39, 40

 - Value-added services (VAS) 19, 41, 53, 62

 - Voice 21, 25, 35

Marvell 15

Microsoft 29

Middle East 32

 - Egypt 24

 - Israel 25

Mirambo Ltd 61

MTN 18

N

Nokia 10, 17, 20, 25, 44, 46, 49, 50, 57, 58, 66, 67

NTT 14, 15, 16

O

Oger Telecom

 - Cell C 28, 29

Old Mutual plc 28

Orange

 - Orange 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 65

 - UK (see EE) 28, 29

P

Palm 64

Phluido 15, 18

Q

Qualcomm 10, 11, 16

Qwilt 15

R

Rogers Communications 28

S

Safaricom 28, 61, 62, 67

 - Executives

  --  Rerolle, Thibaud 62

Samsung 45, 63, 67

SK Telecom 10, 18

Sky Network Television 59

Sprint Nextel 12, 16, 18, 51, 65

T

TCL Communication 64

TDC 24, 65

Technology

 - 2G 12, 18, 24, 58, 65

  --  CDMA 36

  --  GSM 21

 - 3G 39, 58, 65

  --  Evolved HSPA (HSPA+/I-HSPA)

  --  MIMO 45, 46, 58

 - 4G 12, 16, 18, 19, 21, 24, 39, 45, 49, 50, 57, 58, 59, 65, 66

  --  Long Term Evolution (LTE) 8, 9, 17, 21, 63, 67

  --  VoLTE (Voice-over-LTE) 21

 - 5G 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 53, 57, 58, 65, 66, 67

 - AI 9, 22, 23, 25, 27

 - Cloud computing 7, 19, 20, 21, 24, 30, 45, 60, 65

 - CWDM 17

 - Ethernet 18

 - Fibre 28, 44, 50, 52, 53, 54, 67

 - FTTC 52

 - FTTP 53, 54

 - IoT 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 24, 25, 27, 39, 65

 - IP 13, 14, 15, 17, 22, 25, 65

 - M2M 10, 60

 - MPLS 61

 - Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) 8, 24, 25

 - OTA 45

 - PC 45

 - RAN 12, 13, 14, 18, 44, 46, 48, 49, 50, 58, 65

 - R&D 10, 44

 - RF 25, 46

 - SIM 24, 25, 39

 - SIP 25

 - Smartphone 9, 45, 47, 63, 64

 - SMS 35, 63

 - Spectrum 34, 35, 36, 38, 41, 57, 58

  --  700 MHz 35

  --  800 MHz 34

  --  900 MHz 12, 18, 34

  --  1800 MHz 34

  --  2100 MHz 34

  --  2600 MHz 34, 45

  --  Digital dividend 34

 - Submarine 32

 - Tablet 47

 - WAN 8

 - W-LAN 17, 18, 30, 31, 45, 65

Telecom Infra Project 13, 16, 32, 65

Telecom Italia 15, 17, 18

 - Telecom Italia Mobile 17

Telefónica Group 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 29, 32, 37, 39, 44, 51, 66

 - Europe

  --  UK 29, 51

Telenor ASA 24, 29

TeliaSonera 24

Telstra 18

TomTom 10

T-Systems 15

TUI AG 29

Tunisie Telecom 61

Twenty-First Century Fox

 - Sky

  --  Sky Deutschland 29

U

UniCredit Group 27

United Internet 39

Usaha Tegas Group Holdings Bhd

 - Maxis Communication, Malaysia 29

V

Vector Limited 29

Verizon Communications 7, 22, 64

 - Verizon Wireless 7

Vodacom Group 13, 18, 28, 29, 46, 59, 60, 61, 63, 67

 - Congo 59, 61

 - Gateway Communications 32, 61

 - Group 13, 18, 28, 46, 59, 60, 61, 67

 - Lesotho 61

 - Mozambique 61

 - South Africa 24, 28, 29, 46, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64

 - Tanzania 28, 59, 61

 - Vodacom Business 29, 60, 61, 67

Vodafone

 - Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific Region (AMAP)

  --  Africa 6, 13, 18, 27, 29, 32, 59, 60, 61, 67

  --  Asia 32, 58

  --  Australia 24

   ---   VHA Pty. Ltd (see Hutchison Whampoa) 29

  --  Egypt 24, 28, 61

  --  Ghana 27, 28, 59, 61

  --  India 13, 18, 24, 51, 57, 58, 67

  --  Kenya (see Safaricom) 20, 28, 61, 62, 67

  --  Middle East 32

  --  Mozambique 61

  --  New Zealand 8, 29, 42, 59, 67

 --  Pacific 32

  --  South Africa (see Vodacom) 13, 18, 24, 28, 29, 46, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64, 67

  --  Turkey 12, 13, 18, 24, 29, 39, 43

 - Board of Directors

  --  Jonah, Samuel Esson 27

 - Europe Region 33, 34, 66

  --  Albania 27, 34, 66

   ---   Cable & Wireless Worldwide 32

  --  Czech Republic 24, 27, 35, 36, 66

  --  Germany 9, 10, 11, 24, 25, 29, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 47, 51, 64, 66, 67

  --  Greece 24, 31, 35, 39, 66

  --  Hungary 24, 27, 28, 35

  --  Ireland 24, 25, 28, 39, 43, 47, 66

  --  Italy 24, 27, 28, 38, 39, 42, 46, 64, 66

  --  Malta 27

  --  Netherlands 8, 24, 27, 31, 35, 43, 66

   ---   VodafoneZiggo 8, 27, 43, 65

  --  Portugal 31, 39, 43

  --  Romania 24, 35, 47, 66

  --  Spain 14, 17, 24, 30, 35, 39, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 64, 66

  --  UK 10, 13, 17, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 35, 39, 42, 43, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 60, 61, 63, 64, 66, 67

   ---   Weve 29

 - Executives

  --  Bateson, Emma 27

  --  Beal, Matthew 21

  --  Bond, Mark 29

  --  Carton, Paul 28

  --  Casey, John 29

  --  Cuba, Yolanda 28

  --  Della Valle, Margherita 42

  --  Essam, Ahmed 30

  --  Gastaut, Stefano 6

  --  Heeran, Fran 20

  --  Novellone, Nicola 28

  --  Petty, Scott 48

  --  Pradel, Karsten 27, 39

  --  Read, Nick 7, 25, 36, 39, 42, 48

  --  Rossini, Andrea 28

  --  Tenorio, Santiago 13, 23, 45

  --  Vishant, Vora 51, 58, 67

  --  Wibergh, Johan 19

 - Ex-executives

  --  Amzallag, David 22

  --  Haase, Barbara 29

  --  Parker, Ross 29

  --  Rose, Cindy 29

 - Group 20, 27, 29, 30, 60, 66

  --  Headquarters 42

  --  Partner Markets 24, 61

   ---   Africa (Afrimax) 61

   ---   Estonia (Elisa) 24

   ---   Finland (Elisa) 24

   ---   Iceland (Vodafone Iceland) 24

   ---   Kenya (Safaricom) 28, 61, 62, 67

   ---   Scandinavia (TDC) 24, 65

  --  Vodafone Carrier Services 25, 32, 60

  --  Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) 27, 60, 61

  --  Vodafone Ventures 11

   ---   Affirmed Networks (see separate) 11

  --  Investments & Associates

   ---   Americas (see Verizon Wireless) 7

 - Products

  --  Business 6, 7, 8, 27, 28, 65

  --  Liberty (Malta) 11, 43

  --  marque 64

  --  Mobile Broadband 10, 28, 35

  --  Terminals

   ---   Smart 31

  --  V by Vodafone 27, 39

Vodafone Iceland 24

Volkswagen 10

W

WPP 29

X

Xiaomi Inc. 45

Z

ZTE Corp. 36, 51, 58, 67

  • Vodafone commitment to TIP sees a bit of commercial reality dawn at MWC.
  • Parallel Wireless makes Group breakthrough in OpenRAN.
  • White box progress in optical components with Cassini launch.
  • RFIs for DCSG complete; commercial launch slated for Q3 2019.
  • Extensive Group involvement in ‘end-to-end’ demo of TIP-led technologies.
  • Vodafone and Sprint co-chair new TIP project group: OpenRAN 5G NR.

Vodafone made further strides towards an ‘open‘ radio access network (RAN), in which software and hardware are ‘disaggregated’. Vodafone Turkey (VfT) announced it was carrying commercial traffic over 25 trial base stations, using US-based Parallel Wireless’ 2G+4G macro site software and 900MHz frequencies. More sites are slated to follow.

Vodafonewatch could not determine which supplier’s kit might have had to make way for Parallel, assuming trial sites were not new installations. The vendor’s solution combines its own software with general purpose processing (GPP) hardware – the so-called “white box”.

The project is interesting in light of VfT’s close ties with Huawei Technologies (see Vodafonewatch, #162 and #173). The Chinese supplier has so far proved reluctant to move away from vertically integrated RAN solutions, where hardware and software are provided by the same supplier and are inextricably linked (see Vodafone pushes TIP vendors to see end of ‘Huawei effect’).

TIP top

VfT’s collaboration with Parallel Wireless is the result of Vodafone’s prominent role within the OpenRAN project group, which falls under the auspices of the Facebook-led Telecom Infra Project (TIP), an open source engineering initiative that aims to upend traditional supply chains (see Vodafonewatch, #157 and #173).

In June 2018, Vodafone and fellow OpenRAN member Telefónica Group issued two separate requests for information (RFI) to the vendor community. TIP said the aim was to “better understand and explore the existing market opportunities for technologies based on OpenRAN principles” (see Vodafonewatch, #166).

Four months later, at the annual TIP Summit in London, Vodafone and Telefónica announced that Parallel, along with Altiostar and Mavenir, were selected as having the most compliant end-to-end RAN platforms, and most capable of providing interoperable kit in accordance with the “principles” laid out by the project group – namely to develop “fully programmable RAN solutions based on GPP hardware and disaggregated software” (see Vodafonewatch, #170). By using open north- and south-bound interfaces, the aim is to open up all RAN components, spur innovation, and circumvent vendor lock-ins.

Steve Papa, Chief Executive at Parallel, was naturally keen to emphasise that open RANs were business-case relevant for all generations of mobile network technologies, not just 5G. After all, Parallel champions “end-to-end”, “All G” software. This flexibility was one of the reasons it emerged victorious from the RFI process. “When you start separating software from hardware, the pace of innovation accelerates in both”, Papa told Light Reading at February 2019’s Mobile World Congress (MWC).

Openness of this sort chimes exactly with Vodafone thinking. The Group and Telefónica envisage OpenRAN could pave the way for a new supply chain model in wireless network infrastructure projects, breaking down reliance on a single partner as the sole interface on supply, build-out, maintenance, and support. Speaking at the TIP Summit held in October 2018, Santiago Tenorio, Head of Networks Strategy & Architecture at Vodafone, said he eventually envisages competition for project involvement between “20, 30, 50 different companies” that are “hungry for business” and want to innovate (see Vodafonewatch, #170). Proper implementation of the OpenRAN model could bring an immediate 30% saving on total cost of ownership, he claimed.

On the road, in the lab

Following on from OpenRAN trials in Turkey (and another recent runout of Parallel’s technology in India), Vodafone is selecting sites for a wave of similar pilots in Africa, via Vodacom Group. Vodacom is working with Mavenir and Parallel. Vodafone UK is also collaborating with Mavenir to extend OpenRAN testing to indoor base stations. Telefónica, too, is deploying sites in Argentina, Colombia, and Peru to put OpenRAN through its paces. The Spanish giant is working with Altiostar and Parallel.

In January 2019, Vodafone and Intel initiated two OpenRAN lab trials. Both are aimed at evaluating “efficient and optimised” RAN implementations for low-capacity rural areas and high-capacity macro sites – again, based on OpenRAN principles. The trials will examine software and use programmable offload mechanisms, such as field-programmable gate arrays. The lab trials, sponsored by Vodafone, will be carried out in a TIP Community Lab, facilities where TIP members can gather to test equipment.

OOPT, we did it again

Beyond the RAN, TIP’s Open Optical & Packet Transport (OOPT) project group, in which Vodafone is an active participant, announced further progress in unbundling what it calls “monolithic packet-optical network technologies.

Following on from commercial availability of Voyager – which is billed by the OOPT project group as the industry’s first white box transponder and routing solution, and has been trialled by Vodafone in Spain (see Vodafonewatch, #164 and #166) – OOPT’s backers declared at MWC that Cassini was now “generally available”. First submitted by Taiwanese vendor Edgecore Networks to the project group in November 2017, Cassini is an open packet-optical transponder hardware design. It integrates 100GbE switching with Layer-1 optical transport functions and offers eight slots for different line-card modules.

Edgecore believes Cassini offers the flexibility to tackle several different use-cases, from data centre interconnect to metro and access backhaul.

There was no mention of trials or deployment plans by OOPT members, although Edgecore showed off Cassini’s interoperability credentials by referencing a long list of optical partners that can plug their coherent digital signal processors (DSP) and optical transceivers into the product. These include Acacia Communications, Finisar Corporation, Fujitsu Optical Components, Lumentum, and NTT Electronics. Cassini also supports commercial software from IP Infusion.

Moreover, Cassini can apparently fit into the Open Disaggregated Transport Network reference platform developed by the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). ONF is another industry initiative aimed at broadening supply chain ecosystems, but does not count Vodafone as a member. AT&T, Deutsche Telekom (DT), China Unicom, and NTT Group are among the big-name operators signed up to the Foundation.

Cassini and Voyager are both aimed at spurring greater innovation at the optical component level. Transponder hardware includes DSPs and application-specific integrated circuit technologies, along with complex optoelectronic components, with the latter accounting for much of the system’s cost. Software is traditionally bundled in with the hardware, too. By encouraging supplier ecosystems that can unbundle optical networking equipment, the grouping believes faster paced innovation is possible without causing overall system prices to rocket.

DCSG decision time

MWC was also used by Vodafone, Telefónica, and Telecom Italia to announce RFI results for Disaggregated Cell Site Gateways (DCSG). Vodafone was involved in crafting DCSG technical specifications, which led to trials of the Odyssey DCSG prototype. The specifications came with vendor input from ADVA Optical, Edgecore, and IP Infusion, but, with the RFIs, the three operators looked for more detailed information from hardware and software suppliers around engineering assets, capabilities, and intention to adopt and build compatible solutions.

The chosen hardware suppliers were Alpha Networks, Delta Networks, and Edgecore. Software winners were ADVA, IP Infusion, and Volta Networks. All three operators have committed to DCSG lab trials that could pave the way for field deployments and, ultimately, installation within 5G networks. Edgecore thought a white box DCSG product will be available for evaluation in the three months to 30 June 2019, and then launched commercially in the following quarter.

At its MWC booth, Vodafone showcased a multi-vendor Odyssey DCSG demo, involving ADVA, Edgecore, and IP Infusion. The DCSG working group operates within the OOPT project group.

End-to-end ambition

Three years since its launch at MWC 2016, TIP is moving determinedly from the drawing board and into market. At MWC‘s 2019 edition, TIP showcased for the first time how its technologies can fit together across a telecoms network. Vodafone is actively involved in many of the TIP project groups that participated in the demonstration.

T-Systems’ Chief Technology Officer of Telecommunication Services (and TIP Chairman) Axel Clauberg lauded once again – with some justification – the advances made by TIP. Speaking at a press conference at MWC, Clauberg said the industry was seeing a shift from research to production of open source technologies.

Table: Vaulting ambition – TIP goes ‘end-to-end’ with interop demo at MWC

Network focus

Tech providers

OpenRAN

Bai Cells, Intel, Radisys.

vRAN Fronthaul

Altran, Benetel, Phluido.

OpenCellular

Marvell.

Edge Computing

Athonet, Bai Cells.

Edge Applications

MobiledgeX, Qwilt.

CrowdCell

Lime Microsystems.

DCSG

ADVA Networking, Edgecore Networks.

Cassini

Edgecore Networks, Fujitsu, IP Infusion, Lumentum, NTT.

Mobile Core

Athonet.

Source: TIP.

Another MWC, another TIP project group

Another MWC development was Vodafone putting its weight behind a new TIP project group that was launched at the event, dubbed OpenRAN 5G NR. The Group is co-chairing the project with US operator Sprint, and has support from several suppliers. These include Airspan, Altiostar, Aricent, Arm, Intel, Parallel, Qualcomm, and Tech Mahindra.

The initial focus of the project group is development of sub-6GHz 5G New Radio (5G NR) small cells for outdoor and indoor use-cases. Development of millimetre wave 5G NR small cells is to follow. In keeping with the TIP ethos, the group aims to create an open reference design that leverages GPP hardware, which would then allow operators to select best-of-breed hardware components, coupled with open source software. The ultimate aim is a “flexible, modular5G NR platform

The OpenRAN 5G NR project group will also coordinate with other organisations, including the 3rd Generation Partnership Project and the ORAN Alliance. There was some recent speculation that OpenRAN might partner with ORAN (see Vodafonewatch, #170). The alliance was unveiled at MWC‘s 2018 edition and counts DT as a member. Although open to all operators, not all industry big-hitters are on board. Vodafone is a notable ORAN absentee.

For more on this story, including a 3-page table outlining the latest progress and kay players from all of Vodafone’s TIP project groups, see the full March release of Vodafonewatch.

Image: Ericsson

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