The current RAN technology is provided as a hardware and software integrated platform. Open RAN standards enable creating a multi-vendor RAN solution that utilizes open interfaces between hardware and software & hosting software that controls and updates networks in the cloud. The architecture promises a host of benefits for network operators and infrastructure providers, including supply chain diversity, solution elasticity, new capabilities leading to increased competition within the market, and facilitation of innovative use cases.
The covid-19 pandemic has been a proven catalyst in the adoption and innovation of new technologies, ramping up the speed through which none of the industry experts could have anticipated. Organizations, while adapting to the new normal, have accelerated their digital transformation journey at least by three to four years. It has been reported that at least 77% of the CEOs stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated their digital transformation plans. This has resulted in businesses implementing cutting-edge technologies to transform their business processes to stay competitive and generate new revenue streams.
Irrespective of the size of the company and the quantum of the work they do, cloud computing has become a business imperative as it provides cost benefits, agility, and reliable IT resources. Instead of bothering about the maintenance of their own private data centers storing information, companies can depend upon the scalability of cloud storage provided by cloud service providers to build out storage as and when it is required thereby increasing their adaptability and reducing the total cost of ownership.
OpenRAN is about openness and intelligence. It is about opening RAN from a closed vendor environment to a standardized multi-vendor, AI-powered hierarchical controller structure giving third-party vendor access to what used to be closed RAN data. It introduces many advantages to the enterprise telecom market, including infrastructure reconfigurability & flexibility, scalability, frequent and early deployments, higher network sustainability, and CAPEX/OPEX efficiency.
RAN Slicing offers a way of realizing a versatile radio access network through customized virtual subnetworks satisfying heterogeneity of the requirements- high reliability, low latency, high data rates, and low energy consumption. It is emerging as a key enabler to customize and manage virtualized base stations while sharing the radio resources among them, with the objective of accommodating operators, service providers, OTT providers, and meeting their requirements.
Today, enterprises seek a lean setup for a new branch/office. The SD-WAN solutions available today are easy to deploy and have the ability to grow gradually based on need. SD-WAN is a technology that has evolved as a solution to address the numerous challenges related to architectures and routers. Software-defined networking is a centralized approach to network management. In SD-WAN, the Data Plane forwarding, and Control Plane are segregated to centralize the intelligence of the network. This architecture allows for centralized provisioning, monitoring, and troubleshooting, better network automation, and operations-simplification.
Enterprises like Hotels, Retail Malls, Restaurants, Cafes, etc. that have built their Guest Wi-Fi networks with MAC addresses as unique user identity will now struggle to provide a seamless experience to their guests. Using MAC reauthorization such enterprises identify and provide seamless wi-fi connections to their returning guests or even allow them to roam between multiple venues. With this new update, guests will now be forced to re-authenticate their devices via captive portal every 24 hours as their device MAC address will change. This will not only disrupt the connections of guests every day during their stay at any hotel but also returning customers will not be recognized automatically and would need to verify themselves every time they visit the venue.
The Global Database of the WBA OpenRoaming participants is also in progress to facilitate the validation of the participant organizations during the authorization of users. The framework has the potential to fill the gaps of Wi-Fi roaming challenges concerning the interconnections, security, and service assurance in visited networks and avoid the connection requests from unwanted users. By addressing the major issues in existing roaming frameworks and promoting Passpoint to steer the network selection policies, the OpenRoaming ecosystem would prove to be a pathbreaking solution in the near future.
The hype around open source solutions in the networking world is probably a decade old but the open-source history dates back to as the 1970s. This blog article details out some of the challenges that the industry foresees in accepting open-source solutions in building big/complex systems and how the consulting/services industry, offering system integration services, is helping out in product evaluation, integration/augmentation of open-source solutions as per the business use cases of their customers and curation/maintenance of the customer solutions as these open-source solutions move towards maturity.
ITIL is the acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, which is a framework that encompasses a set of best practices for delivering IT services. ITIL provides a standardized approach to build and manage stable IT Infrastructure that offers lesser risks, higher efficiency, and scalability for growth. As one of the most popular and widely accepted framework for IT service management today, organizations use the best practices laid down by ITIL for increasing operational efficiency and IT service improvement.
IT infrastructure has become a significant backbone for the digital transformation framework in the industry today. Irrespective of the nature of the business, be it Financial Services, Software, Hospitality, Shipping, Logistics, etc. the only way to gain a strategic edge over the competition is through transformation and optimization. Automation and Innovation in IT infrastructure are the keys to achieve success and competitive advantage. To achieve higher efficiency in business, organizations automate their IT networks to deploy existing or new innovative applications. All new deployments and incorporation of the latest networking technologies inadvertently contribute towards growing network complexity.
Technological advances have been instrumental in driving change in human lives and in steering the digital transformation journey of several industries. The hospitality industry is one such industry that has been reaping rich dividends by the application of technology. Right from enhancing the customer experience to streamlining front-end and back-end operations, technology is helping hospitality service providers conduct efficient resource utilization, optimize costs and improve customer experience. The introduction of over-the-top content has transformed the hospitality television landscape. Guests prefer the interactive and content-based OTT services to the linear content that was once the norm. Guestroom TVs have evolved from mere devices that help watch movies and shows to comprehensive interactive systems that entertain, inform and control guests thereby elevating the customer experience.
Mobile Edge Computing is an evolution in computer architecture, whereby computing power can be moved to the ‘edge’ of the system, to where the ‘eyes and ears’ of the system are active (Hu, 2015). Primarily used in the context of mobile cellular networks, it portends a network of mobiles, supported by a network of computing nodes, tethered close to the mobile and equipped with the ability to off-load computation needs from the mobile over high-bandwidth, low-latency wireless links (Mao, 2017). It has been argued that MEC is a natural corollary of the ‘cloudification’ of software development; the tendency of software developers to expect the scalability and on-demand resource deployment of the cloud as part of the platform (Dinh, 2013) (Othman, 2013). MEC extends this to the mobile application development arena, by providing an equivalent ‘mobile cloud’.
The hospitality industry must deal with ever-evolving customers’ tastes every single day. Major advances owing to digital innovation has enabled the market entry of brand new segments which are also performing wonderfully. What were once fledgling private accommodation and ride-hailing brands in 2009 are already at par with the Goliaths of travel.
Quite obviously, technology has brought in an unprecedented revolution as guests now demand and judge the premises based on the level of personalized experiences they get. It is no mean feat, therefore, to satisfy the trifecta of expectations that the modern customer has. This includes hyper-personalized services, seamless user experience and availability of technology that helps bridge the gap.
In the last few decades, there has been a humongous growth in the number of Internet users, devices, and connectivity-everywhere. All these factors, coupled with digital transformation across all industries globally & growing consumption of bandwidth-demanding applications, have contributed to the requirement for faster and ubiquitous wireless connectivity. To address these, the Wi-Fi Alliance- the organization responsible for conceptualizing, developing, & certifying Wi-Fi standards- announced the next generation of Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6. This next generation of wireless networks based on 802.11ax is a development over the current fifth generation of Wi-Fi, known as Wi-Fi 802.11ac (standardized in 2014).
Growing adoption and evolution of smartphones has had a significant impact on the sports and entertainment industries. A recent study by Cisco revealed that 57% of the fans prefer to watch sporting events at home as opposed to the real venues. At a time when millennials are leaning towards mobile and digital technology as their preferred channel for almost everything little and big, stadiums still offer something stimulating and non-replicable that can be leveraged for good – “A total fan experience”.
IT infrastructure requirements for trending applications are significantly different from those needed to support traditional applications. Application developers are re-architecting their solutions to move from monolithic architectures to microservices-based architecture. These applications, also known as Cloud-native applications, require a complete redesign of provisioning, deploying and managing strategies. This article focusses on leveraging micro-services architecture for upcoming applications, challenging requirements they pose in their provisioning/deployment/management and how latest trends in virtualization and cloud-computing space can help in resolving these requirements.
The latest next generation of wireless technologies, 5G networks, promise an era of ubiquitous, secure, and high-capacity radio networks. With extremely low latency levels, high energy efficiency, and a comprehensive Gbps capacity, the applications of 5G technology extend to a plethora of industries and fields beyond traditional telecom. Some of the exciting 5G applications include self-driving vehicles, VR/AR, smart manufacturing, telehealth services, smart cities, and many more.
The primary beneficiaries of Wi-Fi offload are the MNOs and subscribers. Carriers can optimize available MNO network resources and increase overall capacity by offloading mobile data traffic from an MNO network to a WiFi hotspot network whereas the customers enjoy a better quality of service from the carriers.
In today’s connected world, access to Wi-Fi is a necessity. Players in the hospitality industry are expected to offer Wi-Fi access to their guests during their stay at their facilities for a connected experience. There are several technology companies across the globe that are enabling digital transformation in the travel and hospitality sector with numerous offerings that help design, develop and deploy an effective WiFi services management solution.
In today’s world, guest Wi-Fi is ranked among the top desired amenity across the globe and therefore it is a critical component of the digital experience for many companies. A frictionless Wi-Fi experience is defined by various factors which play an important role in the end-user experience such as accessibility, speed, coverage, and security of the network. Though much has been done for improving the speed and coverage part, however when it comes to providing seamless guest access to Wi-Fi there is still a long way to go.
5G has an ambitious goal to increase the network capacity by 1000x, reduce network latency for URLL (ultra-reliable and low latency) applications and support ultra-dense deployments to meet IMT-2020 vision. Although it meets many of such requirements, in order to comply with all the requirements, it will still have to exploit the opportunities in the unlicensed spectrum, especially Wi-Fi.
One of the most effective ways to reach the consumer with targeted messages is to deliver it to their mobile devices. And being able to deliver it at the right time increases the effectiveness manifold. After all, would you remember to use a pharmacy discount coupon for 20% mailed to you 2 weeks ago, or would you remember to use if that coupon magically popped up when you are at CVS Pharmacy shopping?
That is the power of proximity marketing!
The Internet of Things is based on a centralized system of interrelated devices that are equipped with computing abilities. These devices have inbuilt UIDs, a set of unique identifiers that can transfer data through a network without requiring human interaction. The sensors in devices and appliances will collect different types of data and communicate, analyze or even act on it. With IoT, businesses can develop new ways to connect and increase value by building new businesses and channels of revenue. It is no secret that implementing solutions that involve the use of the IoT would provide seamless connectivity across all platforms, but at the same time, there’s a raging security issue that risks shutting down the entire set up.
The world has come to a point where automation is not a fancy word anymore. Often, automation can bring visuals of robots in your mind. However, look around, and you will find plenty of automatic devices that you use every single day. In fact, many of the things your smartphone does are automatic as well. For example, once you have the Wi-Fi option on, it connects to an available network automatically. A simple example like this shows how beneficial automation can be. Apply the same concept to buildings, and the benefits increase by manifolds.
Software defined networking (SDN) is one of the key technologies driving the transformation of the next generation networks. To begin with, SDN was just a mechanism to “separate out control from data”. The logic to control the network was moved to a centralized controller. This allowed the operators to program the network on demand, from one point of control. Further, it allowed them to set rules/configurations across devices, from different vendors in a unified way, without manual intervention. These flexibilities proved to be a huge improvement over traditional networking where provisioning/configuration was done on individual basis and a single failure in the network could lead to huge downtimes. The notion and scope of SDN applicability in networks has considerably transformed since then. Traditional networking using distributed routing protocols are focussed on the needs of the basic network; route discovery, link failure recovery, etc. However, these services by themselves don’t fulfil the requirements of emerging technologies like IoT and MEC – handling multi-vendor devices, heterogenous networks (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, LTE), huge amount of data, faster deployments, management of services etc. SDN promises to deliver an agile and flexible network infrastructure, to handle varying user-demands and diverse network scenarios.
Communication technology has been evolving at a fast pace for past two decades. During this time, wireless technology has also gone through many changes. From 3G and 4G, now we have companies expecting and preparing for 5G wireless technology. It’s the fifth-generation technology that might not have arrived yet, but OEMs have already started to make 5G enabled equipment.
There is a dire need for quality Wi-Fi services, all over the world. As wireless technology continues to escalate, an estimated 200 billion wireless devices will be operational by 2020. In addition to that, carrier Wi-Fi hotspots are likely to reach 13.3 million by the same year. Both businesses and individuals are searching for secure and reliable wireless internet access. The quality of Wi-Fi service will have to conquer many challenges as the major focus shift towards of Internet of Things.
Network slicing is a type of virtual network architecture that allows various networks to be created on top of a mutually shared physical infrastructure. These virtual networks are then personalized to meet the particular needs and demands of devices, applications, services, operators or customers. It uses the same principles as those behind network functions virtualization (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN). The greater flexibility brought out by network slicing will help address the efficiency, cost, and versatility requirements levied by the future.
An inclusive and constantly evolving cloud computing platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), is another milestone achieved by the retail giant. Web services, popularly termed as cloud computing services, are facilitating millions of users across the globe. The first AWS offerings surfaced in 2006 and offered online services for client-side applications and websites. Amazon Web Service was initially nothing but the company’s backend technology.
Cloud computing will soon be a norm for hosting software applications catering to a variety of use-cases in different verticals. Cloud Computing refers to Internet-based services that provide access to managed IT resources; these resources are managed by experts and are available on-demand on a pay-per-use model. This enables the application developers to focus on the use-case and come up with an MVP (minimum viable product) in a shorter period.
An infrastructure where processing and data storage takes place outside mobile devices can be referred to as a ‘mobile cloud’. By utilizing the computing and storage capabilities of the mobile cloud, computer applications can run on low resource mobile devices.
Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) lets you turn network functions into virtualized functions, thereby allowing you to run them on less-expensive server hardware rather than on high-cost network hardware … read more
The progress from initial 2G and 3G networks to mobile broadband technology has changed the entire dynamics of our society and the business industry. If 5G becomes a reality, you can expect even greater levels of transformation. A good number of engineering R&D services companies have made considerable inroads into 5G application development.
As the virtualization technologies (related to compute and networking resources) are gaining wider acceptance, the telco operators are becoming even more open to adopt architecture based on read more
Big data technologies have made it possible to manage and process data-volumes and data-velocity of the order that was considered impossible earlier. Big data technologies have been used in several domains like social-media, retail, advertising and finance. Here we will discuss about its application in telecom segment.
Network Function Virtualization (NFV) is being keenly followed by the telecom industry and proof of concept implementations are already in process. NFV is an engineering approach of building telecom systems (Network Entities or Network Functions) by making effective use of commodity … read more
Data connectivity in mobile terminals has taken asset tracking to a different level. Now, asset tracking is not limited to inventory management, rather we can have online location tracking of moving assets based on their GPS fix. All we need to do is to install a mobile terminal on the asset … read more
As expected, the major groups handling the inner-workings of the internet had announced on Thursday, 3 Feb 2011, that the final unassigned IPv4 address blocks have been handed over to the five regional internet registries (RIR) [ARIN]. This marks the official, albeit symbolic, end of IPv4 and the … read more
Broadband IP is a great leveling ground when it comes to converged services being offered by multiple providers. For example, with the availability of Broadband, companies such as Vonage could offer IP based phone replacement solutions threatening the turf of established phone operators. … read more
The traditional OSS/BSS (Operational and Business Support Systems) enterprise systems and architectures currently deployed with most of the telecom service providers(TSP’s) are unable to satisfy the TSP’s need to introduce new value-added services or bundles of services at a fast pace to fight churn and ensure higher average revenue per user (ARPU).
In general terms, VoIP (Voice over IP) refers to a technology domain that specifies protocols which enable users to utilize an IP network for transmission and reception of voice. Specifically, it was originally conceived as a cheaper alternative to dedicated circuit switched lines between calling … read more
TCP is transmission Control Protocol, the Layer4 protocol for communication over both wireline as well as wireless links. It is one of the most widespread of protocols in usage today. All key applications defining the web today, http, email transfer, file transfer, etc. use TCP as the backbone … read more
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