One of the few non-Apple employees who knew about the iPhone before its public debut is retiring, marking the end of an era at AT&T. But that means new opportunities for other executives at the tier one service provider. And, of course, the network infrastructure powering the next generations of iOS and Android phones, as well as billions of tablets, sensors, driverless cars and smart devices seem to have a limitless future.
Catching up on news of the week from New IP Agency members, it's apparent that momentum is growing for NFV, SDN, virtualization and cloud among operators and their vendor partners. Working together, they continue to digitally transform organizations -- even using network infrastructure as the foundation for new communities.
In partnership with technology and Internet service provider Frog, networking vendor Adtran is laying the foundation to build and connect smart cities and IoT-filled micro-communities across the United States, including a newly announced planned community in Fort Worth, Texas. The 7,200-acre Walsh neighborhood will use Adtran's Gigabit broadband to power 10Gig Internet for Fort Worth, according to property developer Republic Property Group. Once completed, Walsh is expected to include more than 15,000 homes. Businesses and residents will immediately have access to 10Gig service plans; residential customers' 2Gig services will be included in homeowner association dues, Republic Property says.
"From connected homes and autonomous cars to advanced healthcare parks and education initiatives, we are seeing a shift from providers simply delivering high-speed Internet to homes, businesses, hospitals and schools. Providers are now looking to offer a more holistic connection that goes beyond providing connectivity within the four walls of an establishment, but connecting these establishments to each other," said Mitch Fleming, vice president of carrier sales at Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN), in a press release. "Service providers are recognizing that scalability is key when building a connectivity infrastructure of the future enabling communities, like Walsh, to take traditional neighborhoods to the next level."
Welcome to IoT Town
The community of Walsh, Texas, was designed from the ground-up to feature Internet of Things conveniences throughout homes, streets and public places. (Source: Republic Property Group)
Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) subsidiary Motionlogic and traffic-software developer the PTV Group have teamed up to help cities and municipalities map traffic flows, enabling them to proactively simulate and brainstorm alternate scenarios for public and private transportation. Previously, insight into commuters' destinations was modeled using survey data collected from commuters -- a time-consuming, manual and costly process that was not always accurate. This new approach protects commuters' privacy yet can track traffic flows on an hourly basis for more precision, according to the partners.
"By integrating [traffic] swarm data from Deutsche Telekom’s mobile network into our specialized software, we can optimize urban traffic flows," says Frédéric Reutenauer, vice president at PTV.
Deutsche Telekom subsidiary Motionlogic partnered with PTV Group to map traffic flows -- and help commuters cut their travel time.
Cisco will play a large role in Colt Technology Services' ambitious network upgrade plan. The CSP chose Cisco as its partner on a system-wide 100-Gigabit-per-second upgrade to Colt's pan-European and Asian network, one designed to meet customers' digital business needs such as the automated provisioning of services, future-proofed connectivity and speed, says Rajiv Datta, CTO of
Colt Technology Services Group Ltd (London: COLT) in a statement. (See Talking Network Disruption With Colt's Nico Fischbach.)
Adds Cedrik Neike, senior vice president of Global Service Provider at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO): "We are bringing key cloud-scale networking technologies and platforms we developed with the web providers to the whole service provider industry. We are changing the cost model and delivery paradigm for digital services and applications. In selecting Cisco's Cloud Scale Networking technologies such as the Cisco NCS 5500 and segment routing, Colt is making a market-defining move to deliver the high bandwidth and customer experience that defines the network of the future."
Total worldwide sales of software-defined networking solutions will reach $134.51 billion by 2022, up 43.2% from $10.88 billion in 2015, according to Stratistics MRC. Drivers include increasing adoption of SDN across enterprise data centers, growing use of big data analytics, the complexity of today's network traffic patterns, cloud computing and the need for "competent infrastructure," the research firm says.
As predicted last week, Orange on Thursday launched the Orange brand in Morocco, where it replaces the Méditel company. Orange's Moroccan subsidiary had 14.2 million customers at the end of September, creating the second largest number of customers within Orange's Middle East and African unit after Orange Egypt, contributing almost one tenth of revenue in the region, according to Orange (NYSE: FTE). (See Virtual Newsbites: VNF in the Keystone State.)
BT and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. are conducting joint research into 5G, looking into how faster mobile communications may be applied and the commercial and technical feasibility of deploying them. The partners hope this research will further drive development and standardization of 5G throughout telecommunications. Areas of focus include network architecture, a new air interface between base stations and devices, network slicing, security and machine-to-machine communications in Internet of Things applications, according to Huawei.
Nokia on Thursday published a
templating system for VNF lifecycle management, which is designed to help service providers streamline and automate VNF onboarding, integration and lifecycle management. The open templating system replaces today's methods such as instantiating, monitoring, repairing, scaling, updating and backing up, according to Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) The system, which leverages the capabilities of Nokia's CloudBand Application Manager, builds on the ETSI NFV specifications (IFA011 and IFA014), Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA) specifications and OpenStack tools and supports both Nokia and third-party VNFs.
"Vendors are coming together to facilitate the integration, deployment and management of NFV, which is having a profound impact on service providers. Virtual security functions are critical to these efforts and must be fully integrated and managed within these environments," said John Maddison, senior vice president of Products and Solutions at Fortinet. "Nokia's open templating system facilitates this for Fortinet's VNFs."
The Nokia CloudBand Application Manager templating system is a standards-based system built upon common scripting and description languages including TOSCA, Ansible, OpenStack HOT and Mistral. It includes automated VNF lifecycle management to eliminate error-prone manual processes and costly custom development, and minimizes the potential for human error, while multi-vendor support ensures interoperability and facilitates the proliferation of new, high-value NFV commercial services, Nokia says. The new templating system is available now.
Brocade added new switches to its Brocade SLX family and added Brocade Workflow Composer Automation Suites for turnkey automation, creating a data center networking portfolio designed to provide service providers and other enterprises with both agility across all layers of the data center stack and choice, according to the vendor. The new Brocade SLX 9140, SLX 9240 and SLX 9540 data center switches deliver flexible leaf, spine and edge connectivity and leverage Brocade SLX Insight Architecture through embedded network visibility on all routers and switches. This enables enterprises to rapidly identify problems, accelerate mean-time-to-remediation and enhance service levels. A programmable ASIC provides Visibility Services from the physical wire to virtual networks and workloads within the Brocade SLX 9140 and 9240.
"Organizations that are going through digital transformation need networks that are extremely agile, extensively automated and highly visible," said Jason Nolet, senior vice president of Switching, Routing and Analytics Products Group at Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD)
Ixia this week expanded the capabilities of CloudLens, its integrated cloud visibility platform, by the addition of CloudLens Virtual Packet Broker (vPB), software designed to give visibility into virtual data center traffic for organizations sing private cloud deployments to support and expand their business. CloudLens vPB can be deployed in a virtual infrastructure to aggregate, dedupe, filter and distribute virtual traffic to security and performance monitoring tools, eliminating the need for a physical network packet broker appliance, according to Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA).
Arrow Systems Integration, a division of distributor Arrow Electronics Inc. (NYSE: ARW), this week joined Procera Networks' Premier Partner program as the vendor's exclusive partner for North America. Under the contract, Arrow will offer Procera's PacketLogic/V products as bundled or standalone solutions. PacketLogic/V and eVolution Virtual Network Function (VNF) software will be integrated into Arrow Systems Integration’s analytics and network management and monitoring solutions, targeting service providers, MVNOs and enterprise clients, according to Procera Networks The vendor selected Arrow due to its expertise in analytics and network management, its large customer base of multi-national organizations and service providers, and its turnkey hardware-software solutions, says Jon Grady, director of Business Development at Procera Networks, in a statement.
To the Golf Course?
After 42 years at AT&T, Vice Chairman Ralph de la Vega is retiring from the service provider.
AT&T Vice Chairman Ralph de la Vega, who played a big role in bringing the Apple iPhone into the market, will retire at the end of this year. AT&T Mexico CEO Thaddeus Arroyo will take over de la Vega's previous business operations and international responsibilities. And Kelly King, senior vice president of AT&T's business group, now will head the operator's Mexico business. Over his 42 years at AT&T -- including its multiple manifestations -- de la Vega's career included many highlights such as being one of the first people to see the first iPhone (and being sworn to secrecy) and integrating Cingular Wireless with AT&T Wireless, CNET reports. (See AT&T to Offer iPhone June 24.)
Rob Roy this week joined Sprint as chief digital officer where he'll focus on multi-touch personalization and marketing automation. Roy will report to Kevin Crull, president of Omnichannel Sales at
Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) Prior to joining Sprint, Roy was senior vice president of Digital Revenue for Comcast.
The worldwide telecom analytics market is predicted to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 32.75% between 2015 and 2020, reaching $5.4 billion in 2020 versus $1.31 billion last year, according to ResearchandMarkets. Professionals use telecom analytics to identify new business opportunities, manage fraud to cut costs and boost profits. Within networks, analytics provide insight into performance, bottlenecks, potential security risks and prospective enhancements. Like all industries, operators want more usable data from across their organizations and the ever-increasing information they're amassing from users' phones and tablets.