IDTechEx | December 17, 2021
As of mid-2021, 5G is a reality in at least 78 nations. 5G is now being used in consumer sectors such as 5G smartphones, 5G broadband (fixed wireless access), and augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) games. In the foreseeable future, IDTechEx anticipates seeing widespread use of 5G in corporate areas such as industry 4.0, autonomous cars, and so on. 5G is a collection of optimized and updated mobile communication technologies, as well as new characteristics resulting from frequency changes (4G: 3 GHz 5G: 3.5-7 GHz (also known as sub-6 GHz) or > 24 GHz (also known as mmWave)) and larger bandwidth, which are the reasons why 5G can tackle so many industries that previous generations could not.
The deployment of 5G infrastructure is critical to enabling widespread 5G adoption. South Korea launched the world's first 5G network in 2018, and nations such as China and the United States have since followed suit. According to IDTechEx's newly released market research analysis, "5G Technology, Market and Forecasts 2022-2032", legacy telecom system suppliers such as Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia control a sizable portion of the 5G infrastructure industry, with Huawei leading with 36.4 percent in 2020, followed by Ericsson with 26.7 percent.
To eliminate the proprietary nature of the radio access network (RAN) system, diversify the vendor supply chain in the telecom industry, foster more innovation, and reduce the upfront and operational cost of RAN deployment telecom operators are pushing Open RAN development. But wait...what is Open RAN?
Open RAN is one of the key topics when speaking of 5G network deployment. Open RAN is a network alternative to traditional legacy RAN that allows components (including hardware and software) with interoperable standards from various suppliers to work together smoothly. In Open RAN, there are two network architecture transformations: 1. Hardware decomposition (For example, a baseband unit is separated into three sections: the central unit, the distributed unit, and the radio unit). 2. Hardware and software separation. Overall, Open RAN allows telecom operators to choose from a variety of suppliers to get the equipment that best suits their needs.
IDTechEx believes that Open RAN is an unstoppable trend. It is not a question of whether it will really take off, but rather of when there will be a large-scale deployment of Open RAN.
As of 2021, there are already several small-scale Open RAN trials underway, showing that the initiative is gaining pace. Vodafone, for example, said in June 2021 that it will start to build 5G Open RAN development in the UK, focusing on rural areas first. This will be Europe's first Open RAN commercial deployment. Vodafone also mentioned that they will further expand the Open RAN networks to other Vodafone-operated countries, such as other European countries and South Africa.
Vodafone is not the only telecom provider undertaking 5G Open RAN development in Europe. Its competitors, including Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, and Orange, have all stated a strategic intention to deploy 5G Open RAN networks before 2025.
Japan is another important breeding ground for Open RAN; except for SoftBank, all the other Japanese telecom carriers are proactively embracing it. Rakuten, an early Open RAN pioneer, deployed their Open RAN 4G network in February 2019 and their Open RAN 5G networks in September 2020. NTT DOCOMO stated earlier this year that it will collaborate with Samsung on the development of 5G Open RAN networks.
In China, where the RAN infrastructure market is immense, telecom operators such as China Mobile and China Unicom are also trailing Open RAN equipment. In the U.S., Verizon stated that it will work with Samsung to deploy its mmWave and C-band (sub-6 GHz frequency range) holdings based on Open RAN from this year.
Nonetheless, there are several challenges with Open RAN networks that must be overcome before the bulk of telecom carriers adopt the technology. IDTechEx identifies 4 key challenges in their newly released "5G Technology, Market and Forecasts 2022-2032" report:
Real Open RAN: For operators, the key to enabling true Open RAN is the interfaces. This requires mass adoption of, and participation in, open RAN interfaces and elements. Otherwise, the result is poor interoperability with inconsistent integration of equipment and software from multiple vendors. From conversations with some 5G Open RAN players, IDTechEx learned that while many firms claim to provide Open RAN solutions, not every company is giving this enough consideration.
Efficient testing scheme: Providing efficient testing schemes for vendors to demonstrate the interoperability of their devices is important.
RAN intelligent controller (RIC) development: RIC is Open RAN's brain and the secret to Open RAN outperforming traditional RAN. Nevertheless, the RIC development is still slow. Only very few vendors have RIC now and the functions that their RIC provides are also very basic.
The value of Open RAN: Not every operator shows interest in the Open RAN. For example, T-Mobile U.S. shows some serious concerns towards Open RAN and is hesitant to move forward with it. One common concern among operators is the question of trust and liability: "Is the new equipment from this new provider dependable? Now that I have several suppliers supplying me with various pieces of equipment, who should I contact if an issue arises?"
Advocates for Open RAN are working to solve these issues. NTT DOCOMO and Rakuten, for example, are building their own 5G Open RAN ecosystem to not only serve as a model for other operators who are still reluctant but also as a new business model which they can offer their "Open RAN package" to other telecom operators.
Overall, Open RAN is still in its early stages, and it will take these pioneers years to demonstrate the reliability of their Open RAN networks. From IDTechEx's perspective, it will be at least 5 years before the Open RAN market begins to expand rapidly in the 5G infrastructure industry. In the "5G Technology, Market and Forecasts 2022-2032" report, IDTechEx examines more Open RAN disruption in the 5G infrastructure market, including the Open RAN business model, players, commoditization risk, Open RAN for private or commercial 5G networks, and legacy suppliers' (Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia) attitudes and strategies toward Open RAN.
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Kyndryl | March 24, 2022
Kyndryl , the world's largest IT infrastructure services provider, and Lenovo, an industry leader in PCs, storage and server performance and reliability, today announced an expansion of their global partnership to develop and deliver scalable hybrid cloud solutions and edge computing implementations.
Through their extended collaboration, Kyndryl and Lenovo will create joint solutions that employ automation, optimization and differentiated IT infrastructure services to help customers meet their mission-critical on-premises and cloud-based distributed application service needs.
Distributed computing architectures require deep management expertise coupled with operational and performance excellence. As 75% of data moves to the edge1, Kyndryl and Lenovo are expanding their relationship to meet customer goals by providing a premium technology and services experience that drives innovation to address changing business needs and requirements.
"Today's new IT capabilities are transforming nearly every industry, and Lenovo is committed to empowering customers' intelligent transformation. "Together, this partnership will deliver leadership in innovation for hybrid multi-cloud deployments and the edge. Kyndryl's industry leadership in managed infrastructure capabilities coupled with Lenovo's extensive portfolio of solutions from the device to the cloud uniquely positions us to meet customers' mission critical, distributed service applications through automation, optimization and differentiated management technologies."
Kirk Skaugen, Executive Vice President, Lenovo Group and President of Infrastructure Solutions Group
Lenovo will continue as Kyndryl's strategic partner for IT server projects for PCs, servers, storage and next generation edge compute technologies with a portfolio of joint solutions. Kyndryl's managed services skills and expertise will enable and support deployment of these joint solutions across customer infrastructure – from end user devices to the cloud.
Kyndryl and Lenovo also aim to provide integrated solutions for customers via an edge-to-cloud experience that leverages Lenovo's diverse portfolio of products – spanning edge computing, mobile, PCs and data center – with Kyndryl's customizable services for deployment, migration and optimization as a service or on prem.
"Our proven track record of delivering value to customers worldwide with Lenovo provides a solid foundation for expanding our relationship with new jointly architected solutions," said Stephen Leonard, Global Alliances and Partnerships Leader, Kyndryl. "We're confident that customers will be able to continue to rely on the combination of Kyndryl and Lenovo to deliver reliable, high-performance infrastructure and services from personal computers to servers and storage to advanced computing at the edge."
Lenovo's existing partnerships with other Kyndryl ecosystem alliance partners also will allow for deep collaboration to provide optimal solutions for customers across hybrid cloud, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) and edge computing applications with a complete portfolio of ready to roll, plug and play solutions.
Kyndryl's extensive global delivery network and top-tier customer service and satisfaction, combined with Lenovo's worldwide device and technology infrastructure can help serve the expanding multi-vendor needs of customers in countries and markets across the globe.
Providing a complete portfolio of edge servers, AI-ready storage and solutions, Lenovo offerings are also available as-a-Service through Lenovo TruScale™, which easily extends workloads from the edge to the cloud in a consumption-based model.
Kyndryl designs, runs, and manages modern, efficient, and reliable technology environments for the world's most important businesses and organizations, with the industry's most experienced services experts. For more information, visit www.kyndryl.com.
Lenovo is a US$60 billion revenue Fortune Global 500 company serving customers in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, we are developing world-changing technologies that power (through devices and infrastructure) and empower (through solutions, services and software) millions of customers every day and together create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society for everyone, everywhere. To find out more visit https://www.lenovo.com, and read about the latest news via our StoryHub.
Thayer Infrastructure Services, LLC. | June 01, 2022
Thayer Infrastructure Services, LLC (“TIS”), a premier infrastructure services provider in the power, fiber, and wireless communications construction industries, today announced the completed acquisition of J. Lee Associates, Inc. (“J. Lee”), a wireless communications construction company, that has been providing a range of services for the wireless industry in the New England area for almost twenty years. Terms of the J. Lee Associates, Inc. transaction were not disclosed.
J. Lee will operate as a part of American Cell Enterprises, LLC (“American Cell Enterprises”), one of three TIS operating companies. Beginning with its acquisition of LeCom Utility Contractors, this is the fourth such acquisition made by TIS in the last year and further builds out the TIS platform of operating companies. Tim Luden, CEO of American Cell Enterprises, and J. Lee President James Van Sicklin will continue to oversee the J. Lee operations.
“I am very excited to be working with Jim and his team. J. Lee brings new capabilities to ACE with a new geography. This will give us another great opportunity to expand the ACE footprint.,” said American Cell Enterprises CEO, Tim Luden.
James Van Sicklin, President of J. Lee added, “We are excited to be joining forces with the TIS Group family of companies as part of American Cell Enterprises. This presents us with a unique opportunity to grow, provide an opportunity for our employees, and expand our ability to service our customers.”
“As our fourth acquisition, J. Lee Associates, Inc. will serve as a key building block in the services we provide to our customers in the wireless communications industry. “Jim and his leadership team are a very welcome addition to our expanding capabilities. This partnership represents another strong piece of our ability to provide a breadth of power, fiber, and wireless communications services to customers across our growing service area.”
Rudy Esteves, CEO of TIS
J. Lee represents yet another key piece of growth for the TIS family of companies, as its team continues to entertain interest in acquiring new partners who support the power utility, fiber deployment, and wireless communications industries.
About J. Lee Associates, Inc.
Located in Marlborough, MA, J. Lee, a Veteran-owned company, was formed in 2003 to provide network development consulting and contracting services to the wireless industry. J. Lee’s proven and successful delivery of professional consulting services as well as general contracting services allows it the ability to provide a single service, or a comprehensive end-to-end solution, depending upon customer needs. J. Lee is staffed with local, experienced full-time professionals and are organized into two distinct service offerings, Professional Services and Field Operations.
About Thayer Infrastructure Services, LLC.
Thayer Infrastructure Services Group consists of Thayer Power & Communication, LLC; LeCom Utility Contractors, Inc.; and American Cell Enterprises, LLC. All three operating companies are leading providers of mission-critical infrastructure repair, maintenance, upgrade and construction services for the electrical utility, wireline and wireless communications industries. American Cell Enterprises is the TIS group operating company dedicated to providing the full range of turnkey wireless infrastructure solutions. The TIS family of companies has a deep understanding and strong track record of delivering exceptional day-to-day safety, quality, and service. Acquired by private equity firm Calera Capital in 2020, the Company is based in Warren, Michigan, and offers its services across a large regional area including the Central Midwestern, Northeastern, and the Southeastern United States.
IT SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT
Keysight Technologies | May 20, 2022
Keysight Technologies, Inc. , a leading technology company that delivers advanced design and validation solutions to help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, announced that Celona has selected Keysight’s Open RAN Architect (KORA) solution portfolio to validate the quality and reliability of 5G private network deployments for enterprises.
Keysight’s integrated test, validation and optimization tools enable Celona to accelerate the deployment of 5G local area network (LAN) solutions, including access points for indoor and outdoor wireless coverage and cloud-native software powered by artificial intelligence (AI). As a result, Celona can deliver solutions and services to the private mobile network sector with software and hardware components that speed private wireless network deployments and maximize available network capacity.
“Keysight is pleased to support Celona in delivering end-to-end networking solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing enterprise networks to simplify private cellular wireless operations and accelerate the adoption of business-critical applications requiring deterministic wireless connectivity. “Keysight’s test solutions speed industrial device and network validation and certification, network planning, deployment and site acceptance, as well as simplify network monitoring critical in smart manufacturing, energy, utilities, mining, transport and health care.”
Giampaolo Tardioli, vice president and general manager for Keysight's enterprise and service providers group
Celona serves a growing private network market with turnkey 5G LAN solutions that are purpose-built for enterprises. Celona delivers deterministic and reliable connectivity, security and wireless performance by integrating cellular wireless communications within existing enterprise-owned IT infrastructure.
“Our enterprise customers expect high quality and performance of deployed critical wireless infrastructure,” said Mehmet Yavuz, co-founder and chief technology officer at Celona. “Keysight’s test tools enable Celona to quickly verify the 5G radio operation and performance of Celona’s 5G LAN solutions, leading to significant reduction in time to market and improved performance.”
Celona is using several Keysight 5G radio access network (RAN) test tools, including:
Keysight’s user equipment emulation (UEE) test solution (UeSIM) to emulate real network traffic over radio and O-RAN fronthaul interfaces, enabling comprehensive base station performance validation across the protocol stack.
Keysight's S9130A 5G Performance Multi-Band Vector Transceiver (VXT), a non-signaling measurement system, to accelerate the validation of sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G base stations (gNodeBs) according to the latest 3GPP specifications.
About Keysight Technologies
Keysight delivers advanced design and validation solutions that help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight’s dedication to speed and precision extends to software-driven insights and analytics that bring tomorrow’s technology products to market faster across the development lifecycle, in design simulation, prototype validation, automated software testing, manufacturing analysis, and network performance optimization and visibility in enterprise, service provider and cloud environments. Our customers span the worldwide communications and industrial ecosystems, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, semiconductor and general electronics markets. Keysight generated revenues of $4.9B in fiscal year 2021.