Zain Kuwait | December 24, 2021
Zain Kuwait's 5G traffic currently accounts for more than 40% of its total wireless traffic, ranking the operator as number one in GCC countries in terms of 5G offload ratio. Zain Kuwait is one of the leading telecom operators in MENA and has been at the forefront of innovation for years as the first operator to launch commercial 5G services in the Middle East.
From the 5G service development and business achievements of Zain Kuwait, it is clear that the focus on 5G development brings business success to operators. Zain Kuwait started deployment of 5G networks in 2018. After two years of continuous development, 5G services have entered a period of high growth. Users are continuing to develop rapidly, and the proportion of 5G traffic has also been increasing continuously. This has resulted in positive revenue and profit growth for the operator.
Zain Kuwait has achieved the 5G subscriber penetration ratio of 23%, and the average DOU of its 5G subscribers is five times higher than that of its 4G subscribers. Zain Kuwait's mobile network also recorded revenue and profit growth of 4% and 13% year-over-year in Q2 2021. This is an outstanding achievement especially when there is no population dividend and the expatriate population in country has been continuously decreasing. Zain's 5G development leads the Kuwait telecom market, and its business success has been a result of its overall strategic objective to provide first-class 5G services for users in Kuwait.
Zain Kuwait has firmly invested in 5G for the fastest network construction with the widest coverage, building a foundation for user experience
Network coverage is the basis for user experience. Zain started 5G C-band construction in 2018. In Q3 2019, it completed coverage of major urban areas. By early 2020, it achieved 1:1 construction ratio with its LTE network.
Focusing on fast and value-based network construction, Zain Kuwait was able to quickly exploit the benefits of enhanced 5G network coverage. Leading the network construction lays the foundation for creating 5G business advantages. For instance, Zain was the first operator to commercialize 5G networks in Kuwait. In the commercial release phase, Zain provided the most extensive 5G coverage and best services owing to its focus on network construction. Within six months of the commercial launch, Zain reached 100% coverage, forming the first-mover advantage of 5G networks for itself.
User experience is the key In leading 5G experience targets to drive network experience leadership
With the goal of providing a first-class 5G network experience, Zain insists on higher standards of 5G network construction to ensure high-speed and reliable services for all the users. As a result, the investment in network planning and network construction was increased, which enabled Zain Kuwait to win Ookla's Fastest Fixed Wireless Network Provider Award in 2020 and to lead the Open signal Global Experience Test reports as well. A great network experience enhanced Zain's brand and helped it achieve greater commercial competitiveness.
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.
Accenture | December 20, 2021
Accenture has announced its intent to acquire AFD.TECH, an independent network services company specializing in network engineering, operations and business services. Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
This acquisition would add more than 1,600 highly skilled professionals to Accenture globally, along with multidisciplinary capabilities across engineering, design, deployment, and operation of next generation networks, such as 5G and fiber.
“The combination of latest technologies such as 5G, cloud and next generation IoT is transforming the way businesses are operating across all the industries by creating opportunities for innovative services and new sources of growth,” said Olivier Girard, market unit lead for Accenture in France & Benelux. “To succeed in their digital transformation and take advantage of its full potential, companies must act now to adopt the right strategy and build new business solutions enabled by network investments. This acquisition would give us a significant footprint in advanced mobile and enterprise networks.”
The newly acquired expertise when combined with Accenture’s Cloud First capabilities would provide a broad spectrum of proven practices, operational excellence and human ingenuity to help clients drive comprehensive transformation across their disparate networks.
Karthik Narain, global lead, Accenture Cloud First, said: “Most networks were not built for today’s highly distributed world of cloud, edge devices and remote work. Increasingly, companies will need to invest in modern networks that seamlessly connect across the dynamic capabilities of the cloud continuum from public through edge and everything in between. AFD.TECH’s network operations and IT capabilities, as well as its deep industry knowledge, would complement Accenture’s cloud, edge computing, security, and network capabilities to help clients shape, build and operate cloud-first networks.”
Founded in 1998, AFD.TECH serves leading telecom brands and clients across various other industries, including energy, industrial, infrastructure and life sciences sectors. The company is based in France with additional offices in Belgium and Morocco.
“Combining our strengths with Accenture would allow us to leverage the potential offered by the latest technologies and to allow an even-broader client base, both existing and future, to grasp the full potential of the range of new services that will be generated by the deep transformation across nearly every industry and market in the next five years. The opportunity to join Accenture would allow us to scale capabilities and enable tremendous opportunity for our clients, our company and our people. Together, we would help clients adapt their operating model, expand the skills of their people and drive innovation to unlock the full potential of 5G.”
Jérôme Picard, co-founder and CEO of AFD.TECH
The acquisition of AFD.TECH would strengthen Accenture’s network operations capabilities in Europe and follows Accenture’s acquisition of Arca last November and of umlaut in October 2021.
The acquisition requires prior consultation with the relevant works councils and would be subject to customary closing conditions.
Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services—all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 624,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities.
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.