How NSPs Prepare to Thrive in the 5G Era

Jim Poole | November 23, 2021 | 158 views

NSPs_Prepare
In my last blog in this series, we looked at the present state of 5G. Although it’s still early and it’s impossible to fully comprehend the potential impact of 5G use cases that haven’t been built yet, opportunities to monetize 5G with little additional investment are out there for network service providers (NSPs) who know where to look.

Now, it’s time to look toward the future. Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that 5G technology will be revolutionary across many industry use cases, but I’m not sure everyone understands just how revolutionary, and how quickly it will go down. According to Gartner®, “While 10% of CSPs in 2020 provided commercializable 5G services, which could achieve multiregional availability, this number will increase to 60% by 2024”.[i]

With so many recognizing the value of 5G and acting to capitalize on it, NSPs that fail to prepare for future 5G opportunities today are doing themselves and their enterprise customers a serious disservice. Preparing for a 5G future may seem daunting but working with a trusted interconnection partner like Equinix can help make it easier.

5G is so challenging for NSPs and their customers because it is so revolutionary. Mobile radio networks were built with consumer use cases in mind, which means the traffic from those networks is generally dumped straight to the internet. 5G is the first generation of wireless technology capable of supporting enterprise-class business applications, which means it’s also forcing many NSPs to consider alternatives to the public internet to support those applications.

User plane function breakout helps put traffic near the app

In my last article, I mentioned that one of the key steps mobile network operators (MNOs) could take to enable 5G monetization in the short term would be to bypass the public internet by enabling user traffic functions in the data center. This is certainly a step in the right direction, but to prepare themselves for future 5G and multicloud opportunities, they must go further by enabling user plane function (UPF) breakout.

The 5G opportunities of tomorrow will rely on wireless traffic residing as close as possible to business applications, to reduce the distance data must travel and keep latency as low as possible. This is a similar challenge to the one NSPs faced in the past with their wireline networks. To address that challenge, they typically deployed virtual network functions (VNFs) on their own equipment. This helped them get the network capabilities they needed, when and where they needed them, but it also required them to buy colocation capacity and figure out how to interconnect their VNFs with the rest of their digital infrastructure.


Instead, Equinix customers have the option to do UPF breakout with Equinix Metal®, our automated bare-metal-as-a-service offering, or Network Edge virtual network services on Platform Equinix®. Both options provide a simple, cost-effective way to get the edge infrastructure needed to support 5G business applications. Since both offerings are integrated with Equinix Fabric™, they allow NSPs to create secure software-defined interconnection with a rich ecosystem of partners. This streamlines the process of setting up hybrid deployments.

Working with Equinix can help make UPF breakout less daunting. Instead of investing massive amounts of money to create 5G-ready infrastructure everywhere they need it, they can take advantage of more than 235 Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers spread across 65 metros in 27 countries on five continents. This allows them to shift from a potentially debilitating up-front CAPEX investment to an OPEX investment spread over time, making the economics around 5G infrastructure much more manageable.

Support MEC with a wide array of partners

Multiaccess edge compute (MEC) will play a key role in enabling advanced 5G use cases, but first enterprises need a digital infrastructure capable of supporting it. This gets more complicated when they need to modernize their infrastructure while maintaining existing application-level partnerships. To put it simply, NSPs and their enterprise customers need an infrastructure provider that can not only partner with them, but also partner with their partners.

With Equinix Metal, organizations can deploy the physical infrastructure they need to support MEC at software speed, while also supporting capabilities from a diverse array of partners. For instance, Equinix Metal provides support for Google Anthos, Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) Anywhere and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) Anywhere. These are just a few examples of how Equinix interconnection offerings make it easier to collaborate with leading cloud providers to deploy MEC-driven applications.

Provision reliable network slicing in a matter of minutes

Network slicing is another important 5G capability that can help NSPs differentiate their offerings and unlock new business opportunities. On the surface, it sounds simple: slicing up network traffic into different classes of service, so that the most important traffic is optimized for factors such as high throughput, low latency and security. However, NSPs won’t always know exactly what slices their customers will want to send or where they’ll want to send them, making network slice mapping a serious challenge.

Preparing for a 5G future may seem daunting but working with a trusted interconnection partner like Equinix can help make it easier.”
Equinix Fabric offers a quicker, more cost-effective way to map network slices, with no need for cross connects to be set on the fly. With software-defined interconnection, the counterparty that receives the network slice essentially becomes an automated function that NSPs can easily control. This means NSPs can provision network slicing in a matter of minutes, not days, even when they don’t know who the counterparty is going to be. Service automation enabled by Equinix Fabric can be a critical element of an NSP’s multidomain orchestration architecture.

5G use case: Reimagining the live event experience

As part of the MEF 3.0 Proof of Concept showcase, Equinix partnered with Spectrum Enterprise, Adva, and Juniper Networks to create a proof of concept (PoC) for a differentiated live event experience. The PoC showed how event promoters such as minor league sports teams could ingest multiple video feeds into an AI/ML-driven GPU farm that lives in an Equinix facility, and then process those feeds to present fans with custom content on demand.

With the help of network slicing and high-performance MEC, fans can build their own unique experience of the event, looking at different camera angles or following a particular player throughout the game. Event promoters can offer this personalized experience even without access to the on-site data centers that are more common in major league sports venues.

DISH taps Equinix for digital infrastructure services in support of 5G rollout

As DISH looks to build out the first nationwide 5G network in the U.S., they will partner with Equinix to gain access to critical digital infrastructure services in our IBX data centers. This is a great example of how Equinix is equipped to help its NSP partners access the modern digital infrastructure needed to capitalize on 5G—today and into the future.

DISH is taking the lead in delivering on the promise of 5G in the U.S., and our partnership with Equinix will enable us to secure critical interconnections for a nationwide 5G network. With proximity to large population centers, as well as network and cloud density, Equinix is the right partner to connect our cloud-native 5G network.”

- Jeff McSchooler, DISH executive vice president of wireless network operations

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Otava | November 29, 2022

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Amazon Web Services | November 28, 2022

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The AWS Asia Pacific (Hyderabad) Region consists of three Availability Zones and joins the existing AWS Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Region, which opened in June 2016. Availability Zones are located far enough from each other to support customers’ business continuity, and near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications that use multiple Availability Zones. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security and is connected through redundant, ultra-low latency networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can design their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even greater fault tolerance. The launch of the AWS Asia Pacific (Hyderabad) Region will enable local customers with data residency preferences to store data securely in India, while providing customers with even lower latency across the country. AWS is planning to invest an estimated $4.4 billion (approx. INR 36,300 crores) in India by 2030 through the new AWS Asia Pacific (Hyderabad) Region, which includes capital expenditures on the construction of data centers, operational expenses related to ongoing utilities and facility costs, and purchases of goods and services from regional businesses. The investment is also estimated to support an average of more than 48,000 full-time jobs annually at external businesses during this time. These jobs will be part of the AWS supply chain in India, including construction, facility maintenance, engineering, telecommunications, and jobs within the country’s broader economy. The construction and operation of the AWS Asia Pacific (Hyderabad) Region is also estimated to add approximately $7.6 billion (approx. INR 63,600 crores) to India’s gross domestic product by 2030. Customers welcome the AWS Asia Pacific (Hyderabad) Region Hundreds of thousands of customers in India join millions of active customers using AWS in more than 190 countries around the world. Enterprises in India that choose AWS to speed time to market and innovate include Angel One Limited, Ashok Leyland, Axis Bank, Bajaj Capital, Broadridge, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Edelweiss, HDFC Bank, HDFC Life, RBL Bank, Tata Elxsi, and Titan. Indian public sector customers use AWS to lower costs, become more agile, innovate faster, and better serve the citizens of the region. These customers include 21K School, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Common Service Centers, CropIn, Digital India Corporation (MeitY), EnglishHelper, Government of Telangana, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited, NITI Aayog, PhysicsWallah, Prasar Bharati News Services, TraceX, University of Delhi, upGrad, and Whrrl. Indian startups, including Acko General Insurance, Chingari, epiFi, Fibe, INDMoney, Jupiter, Lendingkart, and Loco, are building their businesses on AWS to scale rapidly and expand around the world. Acko is considered India's first built-for-the-cloud general insurance company. "Since our inception in 2016, we have run our entire platform on AWS, which enables us to scale quickly to serve more than 50 million customers seeking seamless insurance experiences,” said Vishwanath Ramarao, chief technology and product officer at Acko. “We are obsessed with making insurance effortless. The launch of the new AWS Asia Pacific (Hyderabad) Region will enable us to run our applications across multiple highly available data centers in India to provide a seamless experience for customers while supporting our growth ambitions.” Axis Bank, currently India’s third-largest private sector bank, offers an entire spectrum of financial services to customer segments covering large and mid-size corporations, small and medium enterprises, agriculture, and retail businesses. “With AWS as our primary cloud provider, we have successfully migrated more than 70 applications to the cloud, including digital offerings such as virtual debit card and credit card engagement platforms. We plan to migrate 70% of our on-premises workloads to the cloud in the next two years,” said Avinash Raghavendra, president and chief information officer at Axis Bank. “We welcome the launch of the second AWS Region in India, which will enable us to further expand the availability of our banking applications to customers, while ensuring that their data remains onshore.” PhysicsWallah is an educational platform in India that provides affordable and comprehensive curricula to middle and high school students, and for national degree entrance exams. “We have collaborated with AWS since 2020 and use services such as Amazon CloudFront, AWS Elemental, and Amazon Redshift to seamlessly and securely deliver our live video classes to more than 6 million students across India,” said Prateek Maheshwari, co-founder at PhysicsWallah. “As user engagement across our app, website, and YouTube channel continues to grow across the country, a second AWS Region in India will enable us to continue to scale and provide even lower latency for students accessing our platform.” Tata Elxsi is a world-leading provider of design and technology services across several industries, including the automotive, broadcast, and healthcare sectors. Part of the Tata Group, Tata Elxsi has over 12,000 designers, engineers, and technologists working in more than 36 offices worldwide. "At Tata Elxsi, we support our customers in reimagining their products and services by applying design thinking and using innovative technologies. Previously, our on-premises infrastructure curtailed our capabilities to deliver high-performing differentiated consumer experiences and services continuously. We embarked on our digitization journey with AWS and migrated several business-critical processes to the cloud, including our own industry-specific software products, platforms, and R&D projects,” said Nitin Pai, chief strategy officer and chief marketing officer at Tata Elxsi. “AWS's robust cloud infrastructure and affordable services enable us to launch new and innovative solutions, scale based on our clients’ needs, and enable compliance across different jurisdictions. The launch of the second AWS Region in India offers a welcome boost for us to foster greater business resilience.” India-based AWS Partners also welcome the AWS Asia Pacific (Hyderabad) Region The AWS Partner Network (APN) includes tens of thousands of independent software vendors (ISVs) and systems integrators (SIs) around the world. AWS Partners build innovative solutions and services on AWS, and the APN helps by providing business, technical, marketing, and go-to-market support to customers. AWS SIs, consulting partners, and ISVs help enterprise and public sector customers migrate to AWS, deploy mission-critical applications, and provide a full range of monitoring, automation, and management services for customers' cloud environments. Examples of India-based AWS Partners include Biz2credit, BlazeClan, BluePi, Capillary, Cloud Kinetics, Darwinbox, Dataevolve Solutions, Deloitte, Gupshup, Hostin, Infosys, Manthan, Minfy Technologies, Powerupcloud, Progressive Infotech, Redington, Tata Consultancy Services, Trigyn Technologies, Umbrella Infocare, and Wipro. For the full list of AWS Partners, visit aws.amazon.com/partners. Built-in-the-cloud systems integrator Minfy is an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner headquartered in India with offices in Southeast Asia, United States, and Australia. Since 2016, Minfy has helped more than 320 commercial and public sector customers innovate and digitally transform in the cloud. “Minfy works with many companies, state governments, and large public sector organizations in India, including National Skill Development Corporation, Dalmia Bharat, Exidelife, BookMyShow, MapmyIndia, and Tata Trusts, that build and run their service offerings at scale,” said Vikram Manchanda, CEO at Minfy. “As many of our customers manage highly confidential citizen data, we need to meet strict data security and governance requirements when we migrate their workloads to the cloud. The AWS Asia Pacific (Hyderabad) Region will help us confidently meet these requirements while we deliver highly reliable and available solutions that help customers improve the quality of their service delivery for citizens with our deep tech capabilities in healthcare, life sciences, financial services, energy, and sustainability.” Commitment to sustainability As part of The Climate Pledge, Amazon is committed to reaching net-zero carbon across its business by 2040 and is on a path to powering its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of the original 2030 target. Amazon is the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, and as of the end of 2021, reached 85% renewable energy across its business. In September, Amazon announced its first utility-scale renewable energy projects in India—420 megawatts (MW) of combined capacity across three solar farms located in the state of Rajasthan. Once fully operational, these solar projects will have the combined capacity to generate 1,076,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy per year, enough to power more than 360,000 average-sized households in New Delhi annually (based on the average energy consumption per Indian household of 250 kilowatt hours from Statista). Amazon now has 57 renewable energy projects across Asia Pacific. About Amazon Web Services For over 15 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud offering. AWS has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any cloud workload, and it now has more than 200 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 96 Availability Zones within 30 geographic regions, with announced plans for 15 more Availability Zones and five more AWS Regions in Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, and Thailand. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit aws.amazon.com. About Amazon Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon.

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APPLICATION INFRASTRUCTURE,APPLICATION STORAGE,DATA STORAGE

OTAVA Doubles Capacity in Indianapolis Data Center

Otava | November 29, 2022

OTAVA® a global leader in custom and compliant multi-cloud solutions, today announced it has doubled its Indianapolis data center capacity and is now expanding to include advanced interconnection services, including Internet Exchange access, to meet growing demand for colocation and hosting services. "Since the pandemic we continue to see an increasing flow of businesses downsizing and eliminating office space and moving their IT infrastructure to secure and compliant off-site hosting facilities. "We are thrilled to be able to expand our space and welcome new customers to our state-of-the-art data center in Indianapolis. Our fully compliant facility features a diverse power supply and a growing list of fiber interconnection partners. Our customers can count on us for reliable, secure, and compliant service." TJ Houske, SVP of Technology, Operations and Engineering, OTAVA Located in downtown Indianapolis since 2014, OTAVA's data center is strategically located to support companies in the metropolitan area, across the region, and throughout the world. The carrier neutral facility is geographically separated from the company's three other locations to create redundancies that are ideal for data protection and production solutions. It provides secure, compliant, scalable enterprise-class cloud computing, colocation, offsite backup, and disaster recovery solutions. With the expansion, OTAVA has built out an additional 4,000 feet of raised floor space to meet rising demand. "The larger footprint creates greater capacity for area businesses across all industries looking to move their workloads off-site and accelerate their digital transformation journeys. We've also added new upgrades to our Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) including moving to sustainable lithium ion batteries which create a greener footprint. We are thrilled to be able to serve more customers in Indianapolis and we plan to make even more space available in the future," concluded Houske. All OTAVA data centers are independently certified compliant with industry standards including SOC (SSAE 16/SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3), HIPAA, PCI DSS, ISO 27001. About Otava OTAVA® is a global, recognized leader in delivering secure multi-cloud solutions with a personal touch. Its extensive portfolio is powered by world-class technology partners, backed with expert intelligence, and tailored to help businesses and service providers achieve their individual goals while protecting mission-critical data. With its flexible solutions, fortified security, colocation offerings, and professional services, OTAVA empowers its clients with everything they need to thrive in the cloud and stay focused on what they do best.

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HYPER-CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE,APPLICATION INFRASTRUCTURE,STORAGE MANAGEMENT

ExteNet Systems Announces Exclusive, Expanded Partnership with T-Mobile

ExteNet Systems, LLC | November 29, 2022

ExteNet Systems, a leading privately held owner of LTE/5G wireless and fiber neutral-host communications infrastructure, today announced it has entered an exclusive agreement with T-Mobile to deploy digital wireless infrastructure in large sports, entertainment, hospitality and transportation venues, as well as to rationalize and decommission T-Mobile's overlapping network assets inherited from its merger with Sprint. The agreement, which expands ExteNet's existing relationship with T-Mobile as a primary wireless carrier in its contracted venues, is expected to deliver best-in-class wireless communications in commercial sites, creating unparalleled experiences for guests and users. Under the terms of the agreement, ExteNet will deploy, own and operate the digital wireless infrastructure for large venues, and every venue contract couples ExteNet's infrastructure deployment with T-Mobile, as the first committed carrier. This represents an industry first in enabling the extension of 5G wireless capabilities and state-of-the-art technology to fans and guests, with deployment timeframes up to two times faster. "We are thrilled to continue building our relationship with T-Mobile to bring high-quality and cost-effective infrastructure operations to our clients and venue partners. "This collaboration enables a turnkey, win-win road map for T-Mobile's consumer and business clients alike as we bring a revolutionary Un-carrier approach to venue contracting." Rich Coyle, ExteNet Systems Chief Executive Officer As part of the expanded partnership, ExteNet will rationalize T-Mobile's small cell framework and upgrade existing infrastructure, implementing a high-quality and cost-effective solution to deliver streamlined, faster and more efficient 5G wireless networks. These enhancements, which will be done without any service interruptions, are expected to provide a superior end-user experience and a competitive advantage for T-Mobile, as well as further elevate ExteNet's reputation for innovative and customer-centric Un-carrier approach to venue contracting. The rollout of the expanded agreement between ExteNet and T-Mobile, which took effect on October 1, 2022, is already underway. As part of the agreement, T-Mobile will be the first carrier to join the new wireless network ExteNet is deploying in each MGM Resorts property nationwide. In September 2022, ExteNet announced a groundbreaking partnership with MGM Resorts International to bring state-of-the-art distributed wireless networks to 25 MGM properties, consisting of 54 million square feet, more than 43,000 guest rooms, and serving more than 70 million visitors annually. About ExteNet Systems, LLC Lisle, IL-based, soon to be Frisco, TX-based, ExteNet Systems, LLC is the leading national provider of converged communications infrastructure and services addressing outdoor, real estate, communities, and enterprise advanced connectivity needs. ExteNet's strategy is customer-centered, and its mission is to provide best-in-class connectivity solutions, including fiber and mobility, for its customers. Major investors in ExteNet Systems include Digital Bridge (NYSE: BDRG), John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners. "ExteNet®" is a registered trademark of ExteNet Systems, LLC.

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