Broadband Forum has released the industry’s first Wi-Fi performance test standard – Technical Report 398 Indoor Wi-Fi Performance Test Standard (TR-398).
TR-398 is the first standard that systematically and quantitatively evaluates home Wi-Fi device performance across six dimensions: receiver sensitivity, throughput, coverage, multiuser support, anti-interference, and stability. By defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as the Wi-Fi equivalent bandwidth (throughput), rate at different distances, and throughput for multiple online users, the standard helps telecom operators and end users select optimal Wi-Fi solutions.
According to Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh, Wi-Fi is the key infrastructure for broadband Internet access in the connected home and for a high-quality ultra HD video experience.
“Wi-Fi performance of single gateways must meet service requirements and comply with standards to accelerate industry development,” said Mersh. “The goal of TR-398 is to define carrier-class home Wi-Fi performance. We are delighted that a critical mass of key industry players has participated in crafting this standard and are excited for the role that this standard will play in enabling a superior broadband experience in the connected home of the future.”
Telefónica is deepening its relationship with Microsoft to expand the use of Microsoft Azure for Artificial Intelligence (AI) into customers’ homes.
The expanded partnership between Microsoft and Spain-based Telefónica will include a new AI-powered, in-home experience for customer engagement and work to help transform Telefónica’s network by using AI, blockchain, 5G, and edge computing.
Microsoft will work toward helping Telefónica improve its customer engagement and business processes by expanding the use of Azure Cognitive Services closer to the network edge.
“Telefónica is applying cutting-edge technology to its ongoing transformation, pioneering virtualization and softwarization to develop smart, liquid networks ready to be powered by AI,” said Telefónica CEO and Chairman José María Álvarez-Pallete.
Ericsson and VMware have signed a global alliance agreement that will simplify deploying and running a combination of Ericsson applications and VMware’s vCloud NFV platform for Communication Service Providers (CSPs). The alliance agreement solidifies the close cooperation between the two companies, ongoing since 2012, and enables CSPs to accelerate time to revenue for new telco-grade services.
The alliance includes technical collaboration and interoperability testing across Ericsson’s portfolio of Virtual Network Functions, Billing and Charging solutions, Automation and Orchestration, with VMware’s vCloud NFV platform to provide CSPs with faster, more cost effective and tested virtualized solutions. These solutions are increasingly critical as CSPs move to multi-cloud strategies to streamline costs and optimize resources.
Matt Beal, Head of Technology, Strategy and Architecture, Vodafone Group, said: “We have worked jointly with Ericsson and VMware for many years, and have implemented Ericsson’s EPC, PCRF, UDC, IMS and MSC Virtual Network Functions on VMware vCloudNFV. The combination of software from both companies, accelerates time to market for new services and enables our customers to fully embrace the opportunities of services like VoLTE and 4G/5G.”
NG-PON2 will give Verizon between 10 and 20 times the speed, latency and automation benefits of earlier passive optical networks, Chief Technology Officer Kyle Malady has told Verizon 2019 Investor Conference attendees.
“This is our natural evolution of the PON technology we used in Fios for years. Next Gen PON 2, we’ll be deploying nationwide, wherever we deploy fiber assets,” he said during the event. “It’s an evolution, but what it does is it gives us like 10-20 times more speed [and] latency benefits, as well as automation benefits that we’re going to bring to the table. And we can use this in our network to serve all our business units.”
Verizon will serve all customers from one network, dubbed the Intelligent Edge Network, that leverages NG-PON2’s ability to converge multiple networks – such as residential, mobile and enterprise – onto one. Obviously, that dramatically reduces expenses once implemented, a vision Verizon has doggedly pursued for the past several years. Wireline network Capital Expenditure (CapEx) fell 28% last year, versus 2017, and is expected to drop 17% this year and another 15% in 2020, according to Verizon. By comparison, 2017 CapEx fell only 7% from 2016 expenditures, the provider reported.
Huawei has launched the industry’s first premium broadband Predictive Operation and Maintenance (O&M) solution based on the Network Cloud Engine (NCE) platform.
The solution features a three-layer distributed edge computing architecture, Telemetry fast data collection technology, hardware data collection chips and industry-leading AI algorithms – a PON optical path characteristics algorithm, a WiFi channel optimization algorithm and an optical path failure prediction algorithm. In addition, to help operators build future-oriented network O&M, Huawei has proposed many methods such as WiFi quality optimization, intelligent ODN fault diagnosis, proactive rectification of weak light problems, network bottleneck prediction for proactive capacity expansion and identification of users with poor experience.
This will enable operators to visualize home network topologies and real-time connection status, allowing most home network faults, such as WiFi interference, insufficient coverage, connection failures, configuration errors and device faults, to be identified in minutes and remotely rectified by customer service agents. The solution has been launched to address traditional complaint-driven O&M – which Huawei describes as passive and inefficient – as new home broadband services grow in popularity, broadening users’ requirements for home broadband services from solely network speed to multiple dimensions.
It was all things 5G at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, including separate announcements by Verizon and AT&T in regard to gearing up their SD-WAN offerings for 5G.
Both AT&T and Verizon are well versed in deploying SD-WAN to their business customers. At the MEF18 conference in Los Angeles in December, AT&T’s Josh Goodell said that 5G was the next frontier for SD-WAN.
On Friday, AT&T announced it was working with VMware on blending SD-WAN capabilities into 5G through VMware’s VeloCloud offering. Businesses will eventually be able to tap into the low-latency, high-speed of 5G as their primary or secondary WAN connections in combination with other transport connections such as LTE, dedicated internet, broadband or Wi-Fi.
“Better intelligence means better outcomes for businesses. SD-WAN and 5G individually have the power to significantly transform a business,” said Roman Pacewicz, Chief Product Officer at AT&T Business.