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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Digi International | December 28, 2021
Digi International a leading global provider of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity products and services, today announced it will showcase new innovations and share expertise at CES 2022, booth number 10239.
Recently named a CES 2022 Innovation Awards honoree in the Smart Cities category, Digi will unveil the new Digi EX50 5G cellular router and demonstrate the capabilities of its interactive Digi XBee Earth Rover robot along with its technologies developed to advance precision agriculture. Harald Remmert, Digi’s CTO, Cellular Solutions, will be part of the IMC Smart Cities panel on Jan. 6 at 12 p.m. in the CES IoT Infrastructure Pavilion.
“Connectivity has become the foundation of exciting new consumer products and industrial IoT applications that change the way we work, live and communicate,” says Remmert. “For over 35 years, Digi has been at the forefront of this evolution, developing connectivity and remote management solutions, including medical, retail, energy, transportation, agriculture and manufacturing. With CES expanding into new IoT and automation-driven categories, this is the perfect stage to present our innovative solutions and share our expertise and insights.”
Digi’s CES 2022 lineup includes:
Digi EX50 5G - Digi EX50 is the 5G go-to solution with 5G/4G dual connectivity and Wi-Fi 6 for organizations requiring fast, reliable, and secure primary or backup enterprise branch office connectivity. Integrating with Digi Remote Manager and Digi TrustFence, Digi EX50 5G with the power of 5G future-proofs the network and allows IT staff to easily deploy, monitor, and manage it.
Digi TX64 5G - Digi TX64 is a high performance 5G router with dual redundant communications for complex transit, transportation and rail systems. This router combines dual 5G and 4G LTE-Advanced Pro cellular technology and dual Wi-Fi radios with enterprise-class routing, security, firewall, and integrated VPN. It also offers flexible connectivity to other onboard systems through USB, serial, Ethernet, dead reckoning GNSS and Bluetooth .
Digi XBee Earth Rover - CES attendees will have an opportunity to control Digi’s robot via their smartphones. Through the Digi XBee cellular smart module, users can connect to the robot from anywhere in the world through 4G LTE-M cellular networks. Simple text commands move the robot, and sensors on the robot provide data for remote monitoring. In 2022, the Digi XBee Earth Rover will power STEM workshops for middle and high schools, simulating the challenge of communicating and collecting information from NASA’s Mars Rover, and challenging students to explore the tools and find innovative solutions.
Precision Agriculture Demonstration - Increasingly, automation and IoT is entering the agriculture market, providing better information, improving crop yields and reducing the amount of farm labor required. Digi’s demonstration simulates a complete IoT ecosystem for precision agriculture powered by Digi wireless products. This end-to-end solution provides crop managers with real-time weather conditions, which they can use to provide the precise amount of water required for optimal yields, controlling many farms from a central location.
New and innovative technologies to support IoT applications have redefined how, where and when businesses, machines, and people connect, transmit data, and perform processes, and complete transactions. These technologies are only as valuable as the networks they rely on, which is why Digi continues to develop the networking software and hardware that intelligent networks require.
“This is an exciting time for Digi considering the tremendous growth we experienced in 2021,” Remmert adds. “In addition to Haxiot and Ctek, Digi acquired Ventus Holdings, a leader in Managed Network-as-a-Service (MNaaS) solutions that simplify the complexity of enterprise wide area network (WAN) connectivity. The acquisition the largest in Digi’s history enables us to provide software and subscription service plans and award-winning hardware to supply complete, high-value networking solutions. We envision 2022 to be even more exciting as we grow and expand into new markets.”
About Digi International
Digi International (NASDAQ: DGII) is a leading global provider of IoT connectivity products, services, and solutions. It helps companies create next-generation connected products and deploy and manage critical communications infrastructures in demanding environments with high levels of security and reliability. Founded in 1985, Digi has helped customers connect more than 100 million things and counting.
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.
BBT.live | December 29, 2021
BBT.live, which developed a market leading SD-WAN-based SASE solution, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Cellcom, one of Israel's leading telecommunications service providers. Cellcom will launch a SD-WAN cloud-based secured connectivity service designated to the growing SMB/SME market in Israel.
BBT.live's solution, built for service providers and optimized to meet SMB/SME needs, enable the delivery of enterprise-grade secured connectivity service based on the underlay of public mobile and broadband networks. BBT.live's software disaggregation technology allows network operators to mix and match diverse hardware under a single operating system, reducing the time and effort required to plan, deploy and operate the SD-WAN-based SASE cloud infrastructure. By creating a flexible consumption model for xSPs and network operations, operational efficiency is thus streamlined across the entire infrastructure on any hardware (cloud and edge units) ensuring an open and reliable experience for faster innovation in the cloud. BBT.live's unique SD-Flat network technology flattens the customer WAN and LAN networks providing a single pane of glass and user-friendly centralized network orchestration.
"We are excited to cooperate with Cellcom in order to launch a secured connectivity service in the highly competitive Israeli market. Cellcom plans to address the big and growing SMB/SME market and support their clients in the digital transformation journey. BBT.live's cloud first solution fits the market shift from on-premises to cloud infrastructure"
Moshe Levinson, BBT.live founder & CEO
About Cellcom Israel Ltd.
Cellcom Israel Ltd., established in 1994, is a leading Israeli communications group, providing a wide range of communications services. Cellcom Israel is the largest Israeli cellular provider, providing its cellular subscribers with a broad range of services including cellular telephony, roaming services, text and multimedia messaging, advanced cellular and data services and other value-added services in the areas of mobile office, data protection etc. And for the business sector Cellcom also provides transmission infrastructure and internet services, cloud managed services, telephony for business, data centers and cyber security, networking and system turnkey solutions based on Cellcom Israel's technologically advanced infrastructure. The company operates advanced networks enabling high speed broadband and advanced multimedia services. Cellcom Israel offers nationwide customer service including telephone customer service, retail stores, and service and sale centers. Cellcom Israel further provides OTT TV services, internet infrastructure and connectivity services and international calling services, as well as landline telephone services in Israel.
BBT.live, founded in 2020, provides a cloud-native SD-WAN-based SASE solution that combines enterprise-grade networking with network security and visibility into a single solution. BBT.live's offering is specifically designed for service providers, allowing them to provide their SME clients with a cost-effective holistic solution that is easily deployed and managed.