Nokia released three new products in two days, with all focused on addressing pain points operators and end customers have brought to the vendor's attention: Of note, Nokia brought network slicing to fixed access networks, a capability previously available only to wireless providers, and took the wraps off a solution designed to ultimately guarantee multi-vendor PON interoperability.
Today, Nokia turned its attention from virtualization to visualization; by reducing the size and increasing the potency of new members of its fixed wireless access (FWA) antennas, it hopes to make this technology more attractive and usable to residential customers deterred by earlier, bulkier models found across the industry. If homeowners do not want large, ugly antennas to power their home networks, then the antennas must be smaller and less obtrusive to a home's décor, is the thinking.
Here's a closer look at what Nokia unveiled this week:
Fixed network slicing solution:
A longtime advocate of network slicing, Nokia worked closely with the Broadband Forum on the publication of TR-370 on Fixed Access Network Sharing (FANS), Stefaan Vanhastel, who heads global marketing for Nokia Fixed Networks, told Broadband World News. Using network functions virtualization (NFV), operators can use existing infrastructure to "slice" off an almost unlimited number of pieces to serve separate, self-contained virtual networks, he said.
"Within each virtual network you have complete control over the nodes or the line cards or the ports or the systems that are part of your slice of the network and there are two benefits for a single operator. It means you can use a single network infrastructure to run and deliver different services," said Vanhastel. "If you have a fixed-access network or a fiber access network, for example, you can use the same network to deliver residential broadband services and also, for example, do 5G transport, 5G fronthaul. That's getting more and more important as operators start to realize that deploying a 5G network will mean they are building a fiber-access network with a little bit of 5G at the end. You can obviously choose to build a second network to do that or just reuse the network that's already there. And not surprisingly, you can save about 50% each year if you reuse the existing network. That’s something you can do today, using collaborative VLAN approaches but with slicing you get more control over the network, over the quality of services, over the SLAs…"
Nokia's fixed network slicing solution uses open interfaces and YANG data models to replicate the look, feel and operation of a physical network, according to the vendor. Providers operate their own dedicated controller with a dedicated view of their network slice so they have control over all their differentiated broadband services in their multi-vendor network environment, Nokia said. Products from multiple vendors can sit next to each other on the same or different network slices, and the solution lets operators automate processes like rules, multi-vendor integration tasks and regulations, it noted.
Nokia, Vodafone and research consultancy Diffraction Analysis will discuss fixed access network slicing on Oct. 24, during Broadband World Forum. Vodafone Ireland originally tested network slicing for fixed networks in early 2018, partnering with Huawei Technologies on a field trial that partitioned a physical FTTH network into a number of separate, virtual consumer and enterprise networks. The consumer networks carried Internet and TV; the business slice conducted OneNet business services, including voice, wrote Light Reading's Paul Rainford. (See Eurobites: Vodafone Slices the Fixed Network With Huawei.)
More than a half-million Irish residents expected to have fiber broadband by 2020. But Ireland's National Broadband Plan has not even begun — and government officials today postponed any agreement again.
In a new report and searchable database, Broadband Now discovered fiber is the is the least expensive technology powering subscribers' connections. But the poorest, most rural residents pay the most for connectivity, regardless of underlying infrastructure.
As Vice President of Global Healthcare at AT&T, Maria Lensing oversees the telecommunications operator's technology and professional services offerings across the spectrum of medical providers, from solo practitioners and walk-in clinics to giant hospital chains, medical-device vendors and consulting firms. Lensing also sees more interest from traditional service providers -- cable and telecom operators looking to expand or build relationships with their own medical communities, perhaps as an adjunct to smart-home successes or standalone.
Lensing, who took on this role almost a year ago in May 2018, oversees both the sales and technical teams responsible for developing growth initiatives for AT&T's Global Healthcare business -- including products, services and industry-specific solutions. She also very actively promotes business minority inclusion, education and female empowerment programs and has been recognized both within and outside AT&T. Some awards she's received include "Top 40 Under 40" and "Super Woman in Business" from the Memphis Business Journal.
Join Maria Lensing, VP of Global Healthcare at AT&T, on Tuesday, April 23 at 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 p.m. PT, when she's the guest on BBWN Radio, hosted by Broadband World News Editor Alison Diana. Register now!
So far, the agenda includes a discussion of technologies such as fiber and 5G; defining the needs and solutions for a widely diverse range of customers; partnering for success in a typically slow-moving, budget-constrained market; learning and dispersing best practices from other verticals and within other business groups; promoting diversity and female empowerment when so many say they're doing so but so little has changed; and what she hopes to accomplish in another year in this role.
Register and post your questions for Maria on BBWN Radio's easy-to-use chat board. We will get to as many questions as possible. Please post questions before and during the broadcast. Once you've registered, you will be led to the chat board page. Talk to you on April 23!
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on February 14 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT / 4 p.m. UK when John Isch, Practice Director of the Network and Voice Center of Excellence at Orange Business Services, discusses use cases, ROI and misconceptions of software-defined wide-area networks, virtualization and cloud.
Just when you thought the answer to your next technology direction question was clear, the noise around multiple new technology options fills the Internet and airwaves. Multiple 5Gs are being deployed; there's CableLabs' 10G initiative; the ITU and IEEE are toiling around 50G PON – and we haven’t even talked about Wi-Fi6 yet! Is any of this real, do you have to pay attention or can you just let the dust settle and then decide?
Since waiting is often not the best option, let’s demystify technology options, their impact on your business, and how to prepare for whatever the future brings.
In this webinar, Service Providers will learn:
Current state of 5G and how it affects everyone, not only mobile network providers.
Latest technologies being developed and how they will benefit their networks and subscribers.
How to prepare their networks for the future – whatever it may hold.