5G Netz in Deutschland

5G Netz in Deutschland (2022)

5G will fundamentally change the speed at which we communicate. The network operators will respond by introducing new network technologies that will enable lower latency in data transmission and the supporting devices. In Germany, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone plan to launch the world’s first 5G mobile networks in 2022. While these operators are the most advanced, they are not the only ones leading the race to achieve 5G standards, since most other European countries are at various stages of defining and implementing 5G.

Riding a wave of smart, connected devices in the Internet of Things (IoT), a 5G-based data network could provide real benefits for businesses and consumers. One of the main benefits, if enabled, could be a higher data capacity on the network, particularly for IoT traffic. For example, the use of billions of devices connected to 5G infrastructure could achieve a terabit-per-second (Tbps) network capacity, enabling full transmission times for many high-definition video streams, real-time gaming, augmented reality systems, and more.

The goal for mobile operators is to deliver 5G by 2025, and for the IT industry, and other industries, their role is now to ensure that the technology is implemented in a way that is attractive to these markets. As the operators compete for customers, this process will ultimately be a test of their business acumen as well as their technology leadership and ability to manage and coordinate their networks and device ecosystem.

The Biggest Challenge for Vendors

The biggest challenge for vendors such as ARM is to ensure that vendors can support a 5G baseband system that is highly competitive and within the overall framework that the operators are implementing. If vendors aren’t able to deliver solutions that meet the needs of these players in a cost-effective and timely manner, the operators will be tempted to look elsewhere.

A good example of how these operators manage different parts of their network is Deutsche Telekom’s (DT’s) “virtualized” network and mobile virtualization service. As DT uses more and more software in its network, an important trend is that it will need more virtualized network functions to more effectively manage its existing and future network. To be sure, the service used by DT isn’t used in its rivals’ networks, however, its status as the largest mobile operator in Europe and the company’s current readiness to take on more software-based network functions are important for the vendors.

Deutsche Telekom’s Virtualized Network and Mobile Virtualization (VSM)

To improve its network function virtualization (NFV) and containerization capabilities, Deutsche Telekom partnered with Orange and Nokia Siemens Networks. The aim was to offer services that could be used by partners and resellers. The two partners have a full-fledged solution in place that integrates this high-performance virtualized network and mobile virtualization solution in a virtualized network to meet network operators’ needs. This service was launched in October 2015.

Nokia Siemens Networks has been working closely with Deutsche Telekom to demonstrate the performance of their 5G virtualized network and bring these innovations to the market. For example, the 5G virtualized platform has been running at speeds of up to 6.5Gbps on test equipment, using bandwidths of up to 15Gbps. This is the fastest system to achieve such speeds to date on a VDSL2 connection. In the process of developing this solution, Nokia Siemens Networks has also released an open-source reference architecture that provides the entry points into this solution.

The platform offers the ability to create new, innovative products for the operator, such as high-performance VDSL2 routers, NB-IoT, and small cells. As we move towards the time when operators will provide 5G services, and potential new entrants enter the market, the need to integrate more software is becoming apparent. Just as Deutsche Telekom’s work in the virtualization of its networks is not confined to VDSL2 access, what needs to be taken into account is that this is something that will be a necessity as 5G becomes a reality.

Several startups are already emerging with solutions in these areas, such as networks and NextgENx. Deutsche Telekom’s “virtualized” network solution is not only an example of how these startup’s products will work. However, it also highlights the challenges that will be faced when building these types of services for operators. Deutsche Telekom’s service delivery schedule will need to align with the operators’ VDSL2 developments. For example, the initial deployment of the VSM solution is planned for the next 24 months, so some operators may need to wait longer for their customers to have access to the service.

A New Approach

Operators need to invest in new network functions to handle new requirements. However, the success of this new approach will depend heavily on service-level agreements between the telco and its partners. IT and network functions can be delivered in several ways. However, the options are usually two-fold: either using third-party vendors, building the services internally, or a mix of both.

Some vendors may produce both types of solutions, which may allow operators to run services more efficiently, reduce costs, and, in the case of enterprises, still have the power to update and manage their service applications. Some serious issues need to be addressed by the service providers so that the services offered by third parties will be of a similar quality to what is offered internally. Here is a shortlist of the critical issues to consider when delivering services as virtualized network functions, as I have already written about previously:

  1. Avoid vendor lock-in: Companies that produce virtualized network functions may offer tools that will help telcos automate certain operations, and these will be based on these vendors’ solutions. However, all of the other virtualized network functions that use these vendors’ technologies will need to be controlled by the telco.
  2. The success of a service-level agreement is critical: The provisioning, the lifecycle management, and the operations of a virtualized network function are all dependent on a service-level agreement (SLA) that defines the requirements of the telco. A bad SLA can result in the complete failure of the virtualized network function, and the inability to offer a service to a customer. The same goes for operator errors, and there is no shortage of cases where vendors have gone into bankruptcy before services were delivered.
  3. The technical capabilities and maturity of telcos: Telcos that are well-versed in IT and software architecture, and that can produce customized solutions for their virtualized network functions, have an advantage over those that are offering telco-produced solutions.
  4. Service delivery: Operators are required to deliver services in a time-bound way, which requires a toolchain to support the telco’s work on provisioning, management, and the business logic that is applied to the virtualized network functions.
  5. Supply chain management: There will be many individual vendors involved in delivering the various components of the service-level agreement, and this will require effective supply chain management. This will mean ensuring that the right services are delivered at the right time, and to the right customers, at the right price.
  6. Data analytics and intelligence: To make the most out of a service-level agreement, operators will need to leverage data analytics and intelligence, so that the required service response times can be defined and incorporated into the operations.

This is going to be an exciting era for telcos. The ability to deploy virtualized network functions, and the associated services, gives telcos the ability to build their ecosystems of service providers, deliver their services to the public (and also their internal network services), manage these services at a granular level, and monitor them in real-time. What this means is that the distinction between a telco and a virtualized network function service provider will disappear and that the two will start to work together to the benefit of both parties.

New 5G network at 1&1 Drillisch

Service virtualization is the latest innovation in 5G deployments that are taking place at 1&1 Drillisch, which is owned by United Internet. 5G network virtualization allows 1&1 to quickly and flexibly test and roll out different service concepts, to see how they affect the performance and overall customer experience in different environments. Operators are building 5G networks from scratch, using radio frequencies that are completely different from what they’ve ever used before. 3GPP approved an interim standard for 5G network virtualization in June 2017. This allows for the rapid testing of different service concepts without requiring substantial changes to existing networks or antennas.

Airtel raises ARPU by up to 10% with network virtualization

The world’s second-largest mobile operator, India’s Bharti Airtel, deployed network virtualization and managed services solutions in 2016, and now has seen an ARPU uplift of 10%, according to a report by industry analysts firm Catalyst Consulting Group. Airtel says that the average revenue per user (ARPU) has risen from INR11.76 ($0.18) in March 2016 to INR14.33 ($0.20) in March 2017. The Airtel network virtualization solution delivers a simplified business model for new virtualized services, network performance, and business intelligence across 4G and 3G networks.

Telstra PSS and Telstra Workload Services play key roles in hybrid cloud

With the emergence of the cloud and the increasing need for a flexible, agile, and elastic IT infrastructure, Telstra has developed a hybrid cloud (hC) model that allows it to easily deploy, consume and decommission cloud services to meet operational needs. The HC model is based on a “constellation” of managed services, that can be purchased on a per-user, per-petabyte, or per-server/task basis, or hosted directly by the telco. Some of Telstra’s solutions in the hC model are its PSS (Preferred Solution Provider), Telstra Workload Services (TWS), Telstra Big Data Centre (TBC), Telstra Big Data Centre Storage (TBC Storage), Telstra Asset & Infrastructure Management (TAM) and Telstra Workload Services Health & Performance (TWS-H&P).

Telstra’s PSS and TWS solutions enable telco businesses to buy all services, including the elements necessary to run the virtualization stack, from the same vendor and are designed to manage the cloud from the telco’s perspective. To enable rapid deployment of services and migration from virtual appliances, the PSS offers the self-service capability and virtual appliances in the form of a Docker container. TWS offers a fully managed, consistent data-center environment, as well as a range of services that can be triggered and de-activated with a simple command.

5G Netz Technology in Smart Homes

Smart homes are also embedding 3G Netz in 2022. Telecoms looking to partner with service providers that understand the needs of the consumer are an important part of the big data picture. Telstra Business Solutions Head of Technology, Neville Hanley, said that Telstra Business Solutions is already working with partners such as Chime Communications, who are incorporating the use of 5G Netz services into their smart home systems.

“These solutions are often given to residents in the home, and are a high-value proposition for their owners,” said Hanley.

“Our collaboration with Chime Communications is enabling them to integrate our 5G services into their smart home system,” Hanley said.

Airtel is also adopting 5G Netz and mobile edge computing (MEC) for 5G. To address the end-user experience and add extra user privacy, Airtel is building a service that removes the mobile operator from the smart home, leaving a centralized management interface that works independently of any MEC app.

Telstra’s push into MEC involves devices equipped with the Smart Insulation Service (SIS), which works to “shrink the overall size of data connections and improve the user experience in the home”. The SIS connection, manufactured by Broadcom, is a copper-based cable that operates at a 60Gb/s maximum and can support MEC. The SIS can transmit data at up to 300Mbps using QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), which improves the user experience while improving the cost-effectiveness of the cable.

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