Dotgo | December 23, 2021
Nigeria’s largest mobile network operator (MNO), MTN, is all set to launch RCS Business Messaging (RBM) Services in partnership with Google and Dotgo, a Gupshup company and a leading cloud communications provider of RBM Solutions.
RBM uses the rich and interactive features of Rich Communication Services (RCS)—the next generation SMS that allows sharing of audio, video, images, location, and a lot more—to enable branded business messaging. RCS messages are securely delivered to native messaging apps such as Google Messages and Samsung Messages on Android phones. Available on 3G and 4G networks, RCS is the default messaging standard for 5G networks. As of today, RCS is available globally with over 700M monthly active users.
Dotgo’s MaaP (Messaging-as-a-Platform) is integrated with the Google Jibe RCS platform for business messaging, the world’s most advanced RCS platform that provides a high degree of scalability. As a partner, MTN would leverage the services provided by Dotgo such as the RCS APIs, chatbot directory, billing, payments, reconciliation, and more, to drive monetization from RCS.
“As Nigeria’s largest carrier, MTN is all set to onboard brands that can reach out to a vast majority of Nigerian customers and delight them with a user experience like never before, to boost lead generation and conversion rates. This is a great opportunity for brands to connect with the end consumers of Nigeria for sales and support,” says Lynda Saint-Nwafor, Chief Enterprise Business Officer at MTN Nigeria.
Srinivas Rao, Chief Digital Officer of MTN Nigeria added, “We are proud of our technical collaboration with Google and Dotgo. The superior technology design, robust service operations, optimum business processes, and 24x7 support are key to delivering the Next Generation Business Messaging experiences to our Brands & Business Partners at the most affordable rates. With this generational shift we aim to further aid & accelerate Digital Transformation amongst the institutions, commerce & industry in Nigeria.”
“We are delighted to work with MTN to help bring RBM to their customers. With the highest number of subscribers in the region, RBM services on MTN will be a game changer. Dotgo has excelled once again as one of our top partners for monetising RBM with mobile operators,” says Juliet Ehimuan, Country Director, Google Nigeria.
“The launch of RBM by MTN, the largest operator in Nigeria, will accelerate adoption of RBM by brands in Nigeria. With the launch done, we will be working with MTN and Google to help CPaaS providers and brands in Nigeria to upgrade and incorporate RBM into their business applications,”
Dr. Inderpal Singh Mumick, CEO, Dotgo
About MTN Nigeria
MTN Nigeria is Africa’s largest provider of communications services, connecting over 68 million people in communities across the country with each other and the world. Guided by a vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world, MTN Nigeria’s leadership position in coverage, capacity and innovation has remained constant, since its launch in 2001. MTN Nigeria is part of the MTN Group – a leading emerging market operator, connecting more than 200 million subscribers in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Dotgo, a Gupshup company, is a global leader in RCS. Dotgo is the provider of the Bot Store®, world’s first and largest directory of RCS bots, Dotgo MaaP, RichOTP®, RichSMS™, and the RBM Hub. Dotgo is a Google partner and a member of the Mobile Ecosystem Forum. Visit www.dotgo.com. Gupshup enables better customer engagement through conversational messaging, powering over 6 billion messages per month. With Gupshup, businesses have made conversations an integral part of their customer engagement success.
DZS | December 22, 2021
DZS a global leader in broadband connectivity platforms and communications software solutions, today announced its participation in the third Global O-RAN ALLIANCE PlugFest at the European Open Test and Integration Center (OTIC) in Turin, Italy hosted and sponsored by TIM. This testing validated multi-vendor 5G interoperability and end-to-end functional tests of O-RAN ALLIANCE specifications for 5G and 4G Radio Access Network (RAN) elements, including fronthaul, midhaul and backhaul interfaces between Radio Access Network equipment provided by DZS, Mavenir, Dell, VMware, Microelectronics Technology (MTI), and Keysight Technologies.
“DZS is proud to have collaborated in the Turin OTIC lab with Mavenir and a strong complement of other O-RAN ALLIANCE members in defining the future of 4G and 5G O-RAN architectures in Europe and around the world,This highly successful PlugFest in Italy showcased DZS open fronthaul transport solutions and demonstrated how we, in combination with our industry partners, can enable a path forward for service providers seeking to modernize their networks with the flexibility and efficiencies of O-RAN architectures. The success of the Global O-RAN Plugfest 2021 clearly shows that O-RAN is emerging as a compelling solution for not only greenfield networks, but also for established service providers who are already pioneering large-scale 5G deployments.”
Charlie Vogt, President and CEO, DZS
Starting in Q3 2021, the third O-RAN ALLIANCE Global Plugfest was held in 7 venues across the world including 94 participating companies – demonstrating the commercial readiness of many O-RAN implementations. Vendors participating in the Turin OTIC lab multi-vendor interoperability test network included:
DZS C1216RO open fronthaul gateways featuring built-in GPS and network timing support
Mavenir 5G radio units (RUs) and MTI 4G RUs
Mavenir MAVair 4G and 5G virtualized RAN (VRAN) and MAVcore converged core network software
Dell EMC PowerEdge R-Series and XE carrier-grade servers
VMware Telco Cloud Platform software environment
AWS Outposts edge cloud infrastructure environment
Keysight Technologies test solutions
“Mavenir commends DZS for its expertise and leadership in bringing cutting-edge fronthaul transport technology to this highly successful O-RAN ALLIANCE Plugfest validating the open fronthaul use case for 5G and 4G solutions,” said B.G. Kumar, President of the Communications Services Business at Mavenir. “O-RAN and virtualization continues to gain momentum in Europe. As service providers look to cost effectively deliver advanced and differentiated services in their highly competitive markets, Mavenir and DZS will work together to enable carriers across the globe to move forward with this technology.”
With a forward-looking business strategy centered on empowering service providers and network operators through open standards, software-driven systems and freedom of choice, DZS solutions are at the core of groundbreaking, wide-scale open ecosystems like Rakuten Mobile’s fully virtualized, cloud-native O-RAN 5G mobile network and playing key roles in other parallel O-RAN ALLIANCE PlugFest activities in Asia (click here for more information). The DZS commitment to the O-RAN architectural model is but one example of how DZS is enabling service providers worldwide to enjoy the cost, manageability and service benefits of flexible, scalable and interoperable wireless and wireline broadband networks with no vendor lock-in.
DZS Inc.is a global leader in broadband connectivity platforms and communications software solutions with more than 20 million products in service with customers and alliance partners spanning more than 100 countries.
DZS, the DZS logo, and all DZS product names are trademarks of DZS Inc. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective holders. Specifications, products, and/or product names are all subject to change.
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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Sequans | December 16, 2021
Sequans Communications S.A. announced availability of a new series of Cat 1 IoT modules based on its second generation, LTE Cat 1bis chip, Calliope 2. The new Calliope 2 GC02S1 modules are low-cost, low-power, IoT-optimized solutions that support VoLTE and throughput higher than LTE-M for applications including wearables and hearables with music streaming; smart city/smart home IoT devices such as security cameras, alarm panels, and utility meters; and data aggregators that can require throughput up to several megabits per second. Calliope 2 GC02S1 modules are optimized to support three regional variants covering North America, Japan, and Europe.
Advancements in Sequans' Calliope 2 chip technology remove the cost and power consumption barriers that have thus far limited widespread adoption of Cat 1 for IoT. These advancements include 1) higher integration for lower cost, 2) lower power consumption in both active and power-saving modes, near the level of LTE-M, thus extending the battery life of Cat 1 devices significantly, and 3) advanced signal processing techniques that provide superior radio performance. LTE Cat 1 is available worldwide on all cellular networks, including those areas where LTE-M and NB-IoT are not, making it ideal for IoT companies wishing to deploy products globally.
"Cat 1 is a truly universal IoT solution," said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. "With our new Calliope 2 GC02S1 modules, we have made Cat 1 highly suitable for IoT so that it can now support a much wider variety of IoT use cases, including those that need voice. We've reduced the cost and lowered the power consumption by applying the power-saving techniques of LTE-M and NB-IoT, and we've embedded high-level, on-chip security with iSIM support---all of which combine to make our Calliope 2 modules truly future-proof and able to support the evolution from 4G to 5G for many years to come."
"We are proud of our partnership with Sequans that expands our cellular IoT module offering that includes RYZ014A alongside our MCUs with 4G cellular connectivity based on Sequans proven Monarch Cat-M1/NB-IoT LTE platform,Therefore, we are excited about Sequans's Calliope 2 Cat 1 platform that supports IoT use cases demanding higher bandwidth, greater mobility, and lower latency."
Roger Wendelken, SVP, head of MCU Business, IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit at Renesas
"There is an explosion in demand for Cat 1 technology around the world, and even more specifically for the new Cat 1bis technology, increasing the overall LTE Cat 1 market from 132 million units in 2021 to an estimated 200 million units in 2025," said Takeshi Niwa, marketing analyst, TSR. "The great success of Cat 1bis in China, notably in the utility segment, demonstrates the accelerated adoption and deployment of this IoT-focused LTE category, driven by its lower cost compared to first-generation Cat 1 and also by the shutdown of legacy 2G and 3G networks. The availability of platforms like Sequans' Calliope 2 that brings a newer generation of optimized Cat 1 technology into the market will extend this rapid growth to other countries including Japan and the United States."
Calliope 2 GC02S1 modules are 5G-ready and compliant with the 3GPP Release 15 massive IoT standard. User application software and interfaces are compatible with Sequans' Monarch 2 LTE-M/NB-IoT platform, allowing easy migration among Cat 1, LTE-M, and NB-IoT massive IoT technologies.
Calliope 2 GC02S1 Module Features
Supports 3GPP Release 14/15, including PSM and eDRX for ultra-low power consumption
Cost-effective support for Cat 1bis data rate: up to 10 Mbps DL and 5 Mbps UL
Ultra-small "S1" LGA package
Power supply supports 3.1V-5.5V
Supports VoLTE and high-quality voice
Supports external SIM and eSIM as well as integrated SIM and integrated eSIM
Common Criteria (CC) EAL5+ security for iSIM
Compatible with Sequans Monarch 2 LTE-M/NB-IoT platform for easy migration among Cat 1, LTE-M, Cat NB1/NB2
"Sequans pioneered Cat 1 technology for IoT and has always recognized its value," said Karam. "We are the only cellular IoT connectivity solutions provider with a strategic product roadmap for Cat 1. Our Calliope 2 chip platform and GC02S1 modules are designed with a clear eye on its particular value for IoT, especially now that 2G and 3G networks are being shut down and 5G is on the horizon."
Sequans Communications S.A. (NYSE: SQNS) is a leading developer and supplier of cellular IoT connectivity solutions, providing chips and modules for 5G/4G massive and broadband IoT. For 5G/4G massive IoT applications, Sequans provides a comprehensive product portfolio based on its flagship Monarch LTE-M/NB-IoT and Calliope Cat 1 chip platforms, featuring industry-leading low power consumption, a large set of integrated functionalities, and global deployment capability. For 5G/4G broadband IoT applications, Sequans offers a product portfolio based on its Cassiopeia Cat 4/Cat 6 4G and high-end Taurus 5G chip platforms, optimized for low-cost residential, enterprise, and industrial applications. Founded in 2003, Sequans is based in Paris, France with additional offices in the United States.