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Tag Archives: 5G

Evolving 5G as we Pave a Path Toward 6G 

In my last blog, I talked about VMware’s participation in the newly formed ATIS NextG Alliance. If you follow the research community around wireless technologies, you’ll note that this is just one of several industry organizations focused on upcoming wireless generations—commonly referred to as “Beyond 5G” (B5G). Already, we see B5G/6G initiatives launching from 3GPP, IEEE, ITU, the 6G Flagship Program in Europe, China’s new 6G satellite program, and several others. All of which raises the question: If we’re still in early days of deploying 5G, why is there already so much activity around what comes next? Let’s take a closer look.


Evolution of the Next Big G

Let’s start by looking at it from a pure wireless generation evolution perspective. Tradition holds that every generation introduces a new service concept. To support the new concepts, groundwork is laid for aligned evolution of radio and other essential elements. It isn’t until the next generation comes along that the work needed for full-scale adoption is completed. This pattern can be traced all the way back — cellular telephony introduced in 1G saw mass adoption in 2G, packet data was introduced in 3G, but full benefits weren’t reaped until Long Term Evolution of the architecture with 4G.

Another notable observation here is that mass adoption of almost every new wireless service introduced by 3GPP in the past has been led by an over the top phenomenon. Apple App Store being the 3G surprise, and the rise of the hyper scale cloud in early 2000s created a demand side pull for massive broadband. In turn, this enabled mass dissemination of compute which gave rise to services like uber – unthinkable without this powerful duo at play.

5G is no different – only a bit broader in its original ambition. The previous generations have been focused on evolution of wireless systems for higher performance and bandwidth, improving the quality of experience for human centric communications and content consumption and entertainment. 5G is the first generation of wireless designed for highly interactive collaboration amongst ‘smart things’, be it humans, machines, cyber-physical systems or any combination of the above. Antiquated technologies underpinning currently prevalent Packet Data Networks (including the wireless networks) designed and optimized for remote human consumption are seriously challenged with the new service characteristics vectors being shaped with machine centric communication and collaboration.

Hence, a new plan, design and operations paradigm was envisaged for 5G with a few key elements deemed essential to a solid foundation for the unprecedented applications ecosystem anticipated with 5G. We’ve come a long way with implementation of these essential elements, thanks to the leadership from 3GPP global community and telecommunications service provider led efforts (e.g. massive broadband, cloud native 5G and pervasive connectivity) but much remains to be completed for some of the broader elements that sit at the cross section of wireless, networking and cloud.

Below is a rough score card of our progress on these essential 5G elements, in the order of maturity from left to right:

As service providers prepare for their initial 5G deployments, mainly targeting broadband access and New Radio capacity augmentation of LTE for network densification, the research community continues to unravel the more complex challenges. These challenges include areas around network programmability and autonomics which must be addressed before we are able to take a crack at Time Sensitive Communications – the most interesting element of the 5G foundation.

At VMware, we think it’s critical that someone like us—a company that has one foot in the world of service provider networks and the other foot in the cloud—help lead this new chapter of 5G evolution.

 

How VMW is shaping the new chapter of 5G evolution toward NextG

A 5G connected world is anticipated to be an ecosystem of interconnected intelligence components, systems and fabrics enabled with fusion of technologies that sit at the intersection of wireless, networking and cloud industries. VMware aims to bridge these somewhat disparate industries for unification of cross-sectional technologies that maximizes the interoperability while maintaining individual differentiation of each for a sustainable win-win for all.

We analyze below, foundational imperatives of this unification for 5G era, paving a path toward 6G:

  1. Virtualize the data center: We need the ability to adapt, federate, and optimize heterogeneous resources that span multiple physical data centers managed by disparate providers, across multiple geographies, as a unified pool of adaptive compute capabilities. 
  2. Virtualize the network: Next, we need to be able to adapt, federate, and optimize heterogeneous networks to enable distributed applications that span multiple providers, across multiple geographies such that the underlying networks become invisible to the application.
  3. Virtualize the edge: We need the ability to adapt, federate, and optimize heterogeneous platforms spanning multiple providers, across multiple geographies to enable a fungible edge that continuously optimizes itself to maintain QOE across vastly interactive, highly mobile, distributed applications.
  4. Virtualize the control: Finally, we need to be able to adapt, federate, and optimize heterogeneous entities contributing to collaborative controls applications that are distributed across multiple intelligence agents that span multiple providers and geographies, ultimately leading to universal autonomy with complete virtualization of control.

We realize that this is a significant undertaking that can only be successful with a strong collaborative effort bringing together best and brightest of all the relevant industries. We are developing a world-class ecosystem to help unravel these challenges in a real-world setting. With the unique combination of our long-standing leadership in virtualization and our deep expertise in service provider and data center networks, VMware is perfectly positioned to drive harmonization across wireless, cloud and networking industries. And, we are already doing it through our participation in cross-functional industry groups like 5G Americas, ATIS NextG Alliance, 5G Open Innovation Lab and many others.

These NextG imperatives align closely with the major initiatives VMware is pursuing right now. Today, we’re partnering with our key customers to enable edge-to-cloud virtualization underpinned with our multi-cloud 5G edge platform. We’re also building a new generation of network controls and intelligence to lay a solid foundation for the most ambitious goal of tomorrow’s networks: universal autonomy. When the industry comes together to realize universal autonomy, VMware will be right in the thick of it.

Join us in our journey toward 6G by leaving comments on this blog and following us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

Want to know more about what we’re doing in 5G? Watch this video.

Telco Bits & Bytes – 22 December 2020

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

Welcome to the last edition of our ‘Telco Bits & Bytes’ news blog for 2020. Here we share news and insights from across VMware and the technology industry that caught our attention, so you don’t miss a beat. Happy Holidays Everyone!

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Join our Telecom Services and Operations Group VMUG

Telco Bits & Bytes – 26 November 2020

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

Welcome to the next edition of our ‘Telco Bits & Bytes’ news blog. Here we share news and insights from across VMware and the technology industry that caught our attention, so you don’t miss a beat. Let us know in the comments below how we can improve this service and enjoy!

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Telco Bits & Bytes – 12 November 2020

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

Welcome to the next edition of our ‘Telco Bits & Bytes’ news blog. Here we share news and insights from across VMware and the technology industry that caught our attention, so you don’t miss a beat. Let us know in the comments below how we can improve this service and enjoy!

VMware Bits

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Launching next week!

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With the Next G Alliance, VMware Prepares for 6G: Multi-disciplinary systems call for multi-industry alliances

It’s only been months since the first 5G-enabled consumer devices hit the market, but the industry is already preparing for what comes next. Here, you’ll find the first of a two-part blog series discussing where the telecom industry is headed and how VMware is helping to shape the next big evolution to 6G and beyond.

After living and breathing 5G nonstop over the last couple years, you’re probably still trying to catch your breath. Thinking about yet another generation of wireless networks may be the last thing you want to do. But here’s something to consider: Wouldn’t it be great if your transition to 6G wasn’t the same kind of massive, all-encompassing transformation effort as the move to 5G?

That’s exactly what a new North American industry group, the ATIS  Next G Alliance, will study – among other objectives in establishing North American 6G leadership.

As a founding member of the ATIS Next G Alliance, VMware is joining  some of the leading network operators and equipment suppliers in the world to set the agenda for next gen wireless. And, we have some good news: many of the things you should be doing to prepare for 6G have already begun as you scale out your systems with 5G.

 

Planning Ahead

Historically, when we’ve gone from one wireless generation to the next (2G to 3G, 3G to 4G), it meant significant infrastructure investments considering bespoke systems that had to swapped out. You can understand why it happens; you can’t just move all your customers to a new network generation overnight. So, you add the new technology as an overlay, continue running the old, and hope that eventually you can switch everything over. In the interim though, you spend a ton of time (and effort, and resources) running multiple siloed architectures at once.

The first few times we went through this process, you could excuse it. By the time 4G rolled around though, we knew all about the costs and hassles of building yet another silo. We knew we’d be better off making more fundamental changes to our processes and organizations. Specifically, we knew that by embracing software-first models from the world of IT and web-scale data centers, we’d be able to evolve our networks much more easily and cost-effectively.

But we didn’t. Instead, we kicked the can down the road. We left the most profound changes for the next major network evolution: breaking down legacy network siloes, moving to cloud-native infrastructure, implementing continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, retraining network teams in agile development process and DevOps.

How much easier would implementing 5G have been if you already had all that in place? Well, we’re finally in position to build a more flexible, capable foundation for future network evolutions. By embracing agile software models and cloud-native applications as we expand 5G, we can make the next transition a lot simpler.

 

Entering the Next G

Preparing for the next big telecom evolution years in advance is nothing new. Several other regions have already announced plans for 6G research initiatives. If North American industry wants to lead in this space, we need to start laying the groundwork now. VMware and other companies participating in the Next G Alliance aim to do it.

It’s still early days for this effort, and plenty of details remain to be worked out. But we already know some of the things that need to be in place for 6G and beyond. Things like:

  • Openness: We need to move beyond vertical ecosystems to horizontal platforms that enable full separation of ‘function’ from the underlying hardware and software, with multiple industries, multiple providers and multiple vendors contributing to the end to end system compositions.
  • Cloud-native applications and infrastructure: We need to eliminate a reliance on monolithic network functions and systems. Instead, we need to embrace containerized microservices from the world of IT, which will let us treat the network as a flexible pool of resources that can be assembled and reassembled at will.
  • Automation: We need to lay the foundation for use of Machine Intelligence in all aspects of plan, design and operations enabling self-organizing, self-healing and self-optimizing systems.

If those principles sound familiar, they should, because they’re the foundation of the offerings VMware is bringing to 5G networks and services right now. And, that’s the best part: whether you’re thinking about 6G today or not, you’re likely already taking many of the steps that will make future evolutions easier.

 

Envisioning Tomorrow’s Network

Stay tuned to industry efforts like the ATIS Next G Alliance—and expect to see VMware leading the way in many of them. In addition to our own Ready for Telco Cloud certification and partner program, we’ve been longtime contributors to industry groups like the O-RAN Alliance, TM Forum, and GSMA.

Recently, we became a founding member of the 5G Open Innovation Lab (5GOILab), where we’re helping startups develop groundbreaking 5G applications and services. Leading into 5G, we recently joined the Board of Governors for 5G Americas to help bridge the wireless and cloud industries. And, we’re working with the Open Infrastructure Foundation (OIF) to support the open-source communities developing tomorrow’s open infrastructure software.

Through efforts like these, we’re working to help service providers capitalize on the most innovative 5G capabilities today, while smoothing the transition to the networks of tomorrow.

Learn more about how the VMware telco cloud portfolio supports the transformation for future-ready networks by reading Telco Cloud for Dummies. And, stay tuned for the next blog in this series, where we’ll explore previous network evolutions and discuss why the next one will look very different.

Telco 5G Takes Center Stage: News, Customer Commentary, and Analyst Remarks from VMworld 2020

The Telco industry has seen a tremendous amount of progress over the last few years, and this year has been no exception. From releasing the Telco Cloud Platform, to bringing cloud agility to the RAN, VMware is enabling the digital transformation of communications service providers (CSPs) around the world. The Telco/5G track at VMworld 2020 explored the important themes that are impacting CSPs the most. Together with our customers, we discussed software defined IT datacenters, unified multi-cloud networks, and monetization of enterprise services.

In a recent report, 451 Research outlined how VMware is positioned to become a leader in 5G. The report reviews the strengths and opportunities showcased at VMworld and what CSPs can utilize in their digital transformation with VMware moving forward:

  • “VMware’s core cloudification and go-to- market assets line up well with the complex market forces facing telecom operators as they move to disaggregated networks, edge computing and 5G. The company has parlayed incumbency in IT to penetrate core networks in many accounts.”
  • “VMware is smart to introduce the idea of packaging its core SD-WAN and security assets into its telco cloud proposition. Monetization is perhaps the most important challenge that must be overcome for ROI of 5G/edge platforms in B2B.”

Beyond 451 Research, other analysts have commented on VMware solutions:

  • IDC: “VMware is positioned as one of the leading go-to partners for service providers and enterprise virtualization needs. The company is well positioned in the emerging market for telco cloud operations (private and public cloud), both from an infrastructure and orchestration/automation standpoint.” (source)
  • Analysys Mason: “CSPs need a new digital operations model powered by a network and service automation platform, to abstract complexity and automate the lifecycle of multi-cloud networks and digital services in the 5G era. The VMware Telco Cloud Platform solution is positioned to take advantage of this fast-growing market.” (source)

It goes without saying that 5G remains a priority for service providers and hence was a key theme at VMworld. VMware’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger, noted at VMworld that VMware Telco Cloud Platform is becoming the operating system of 5G. With a horizontal automated platform, service providers have the opportunity to monetize 5G – the flexible foundation enables agile service innovation across and end-to-end network with intrinsic security. In addition to the multi-cloud expertise required to build this foundation, VMware has deep enterprise roots which can help drive 5G success through monetization. Going beyond carrier grade performance and 5G speeds, VMware enables personalization through context-aware services and dedicated network slices.

The VMware Telco Cloud Platform released leading into the show was created to support 5G deployments which will be more distributed, more decoupled, with more technology vendors.

Progressing through their digital transformations, service providers are moving to cloud native architectures to fully embrace a cloud-first approach. At the show, results were shared for data plane pod performance – single side-by-side comparison showed CNF on VMware Telco Cloud Platform performs as well as a VM. ACG reviewed the economics for VMware Telco Cloud Platform which automates cloud-native application onboarding, provisioning and life cycle management – models yields include 18% increased services revenues, 33% OPEX avoidance, and 19% CAPEX avoidance.

Another hot-button topic at VMworld 2020 was O-RAN. Several VMware customers took the stage to highlight their projects to open up the RAN – bringing cloud agility to their RAN networks is helping them make 5G a reality. Because 5G pulls applications closer to the customer, it will require more RAN sites that will be mostly virtualized. By transitioning from a traditional, purpose-built RAN to vRAN and ultimately O-RAN, CSPs will be able to create programmable, open interfaces which allow the RAN to be unified with the rest of the network. Intel took the stage on this topic where they announced a collaboration on an integrated software platform for vRAN to accelerate the rollout of both existing LTE and future 5G networks.

Other topics in the show included unified network intelligence and management where a case study was shared that explained that a customer with 1M+ devices under management leveraged VMware Telco Cloud Operations saved $12M in development costs. Several partners from VMware’s robust partner ecosystem also took the stage including Accenture to announce a new pre-integrated solution including Accenture’s Cloud Native Box and VMware’s Telco Cloud Platform. This solution will accelerate end-to-end brownfield and green field cloud-native deployments.

We weren’t the only ones who noticed all the valuable conversations at VMworld. Here is just a sample of some of the amazing feedback we received from the press:

  • Protocol: “What I’d say is generally most customers are running some [cloud workloads], most customers plan to run more going forward, and I’ve said I expect this to get to 50/50, or a little bit more than 50% of the workloads running in the cloud. I’ve called it the three laws of the hybrid cloud: the laws of physics, the laws of economics and laws of the land…. The third is what I call the laws of physics, where we expect … 5G and edge computing to bring a burst of infrastructure at the edge.”
  • Light Reading: “Rouanne made his comments at the virtual VMworld trade show, hosted by VMware. Dish announced recently that its 5G network functions will run inside of the VMware Telco Cloud via a new multi-year agreement between the two companies. Dish officials explained that the move will allow the company to shift its computing needs across public and private clouds, as necessary, while maintaining a cohesive and unified software operation running on top of VMware’s platform. VMware will also act as Dish’s software gatekeeper, approving the software from other vendors that will run inside of Dish’s network.”
  • SDxCentral: “VMware recently repackaged various technologies for mobile network operators as the 5G Telco Cloud Platform. This included updated versions and more integrated support for VMware’s cloud-native software stack and network automation services. ‘VMware is providing us a very large set of software capabilities — all the way from the low-level capabilities to hypervisor, networking, and storage capabilities — but all the way to the automation and Kubernetes orchestration and the network function orchestration, so it’s a full stack that we are going to consume based on our requirements,’ Rouanne said.”

As the industry advances, VMware will continue to partner with our customers and telco ecosystem to help shape the future of communications.

To see how VMware enabling successful digital transformations for our service provider customers read this case study e-book 

Telco Bits & Bytes – 29 October 2020

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

Welcome to the next edition of our ‘Telco Bits & Bytes’ news blog. Here we share news and insights from across VMware and the technology industry that caught our attention, so you don’t miss a beat. Let us know in the comments below how we can improve this service and enjoy!

VMware Bits

Technology Bytes

For daily updates, follow us on LinkedIn and our website

Join our Telecom Services and Operations Group VMUG

Telco Bits & Bytes – 15 October 2020

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

Welcome to the next edition of our ‘Telco Bits & Bytes’ news blog. Here we share news and insights from across VMware and the technology industry that caught our attention, so you don’t miss a beat. Let us know in the comments below how we can improve this service and enjoy!

VMware Bits

Upcoming Events

Watch all the Telco 5G sessions from VMworld 2020 on demand

 

Technology Bytes

For daily updates, follow us on LinkedIn and our website

Join our Telecom Services and Operations Group VMUG

 

Streamlining Operations and Automating Lifecycle Management with Telco Cloud Platform: Insights from Analysys Mason

Communications service providers are working at a rapid clip to establish the digital foundation to roll out 5G networks. If you’re part of a 5G effort, you’re likely harboring a multi-cloud vision of modern infrastructure that will empower your organization to quickly turn your 5G efforts into innovative services and viable business models.

At the same time, however, you’re probably faced with a conundrum: How can you deploy 5G services and network functions on infrastructure that has the consistency to enable you to simplify network operations, not make the task more complex. Since large 5G investments will increase the pressure to extract profit from 5G capabilities like low latency and high density, it is imperative that you can streamline operations and automate lifecycle management to keep OpEx low.

A digital operations model that abstracts the complexity of operating 5G networks and automates the management of network functions across multiple clouds helps elevate the promise of 5G to a sustainable reality. When you combine consistent infrastructure with an operations model that emphasizes this kind of cloud-first automation, you’ve obtained a critical mass for not only deploying but operating and optimizing 5G networks with ease.

To help you innovate quickly while managing functions and services efficiently, a modern telco cloud platform should contain these elements:

* Cloud-native technology such as containers and Kubernetes that lets you run and manage containerized network functions (CNFs).

* Hybrid infrastructure supporting both virtualized network functions (VNFs) and CNFs that spans multiple clouds and sites, from the core to the edge.

* Multi-layer, cloud-first automation that unites your infrastructure and multi-cloud resources in a centralized orchestration system.

VMware Telco Cloud Platform combines these elements into a consistent, horizontal platform that simplifies operations and automates lifecycle management so you can deploy and manage 5G networks and services while keeping OpEx low. Cloud-first automation cost-effectively lights up the path to digital transformation.

Analysys Mason has just published a paper that corroborates the efficient operational model embodied in VMware Telco Cloud Platform.

 

To find out more, read the full paper.
Network and service automation is key to operationalise 5G multi-cloud networks and digital services at scale, by Analysys Mason, October 2020.

 

 

Understanding the Power of Cloud in Service Provider Networks: Telco Cloud for Dummies

It’s no secret that service providers have long identified the need to leverage the power of the cloud. That said, we’re still seeing a struggle in the market to discover the right ways and places to leverage these technologies. To support that discovery, we worked with Wiley Publishing to produce this Telco Cloud for Dummies book.

In this book, we walk through the transformation of service providers to digital service providers. Brought about by increasing customer expectations, a lack of business and service agility, and rising network costs, service providers know that this next generation of networks architectures will be the key to reimagining customer relationships and thriving in the digital marketplace. You will learn how the telco cloud is the foundation of the transformation toward software-driven, cloud-enabled network architectures, flexible DevOps-driven operations, and the ability to leverage new revenue-generating business models.

VMware Telco Cloud lets you run your telco network like a cloud with software-driven telecom infrastructure built to run virtual and cloud native network functions, and enable agile operations. The telco cloud is an essential platform to build and deliver new consumer and enterprise applications and compete with agile over-the-top vendors who have been operating digital, cloud-enabled networks for years.

You learn how the telco cloud can help you succeed on your digital transformation journey in the new cloud economy:

  1. What it takes to become a digital service provider in a multi-cloud world
  2. How to build a foundation for the telco cloud
  3. The requirements for the telco cloud
  4. Which VMware technologies power the telco cloud
  5. Key benefits of the telco cloud

Download the book, today.