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Edge computing and 5G to pave the way for future technologies

Inside Telecom Staff

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Edge computing

As more countries commence their respective 5G rollouts, businesses and customers alike are at the edge of their seats as they wait to get their hands on the latest devices that enable advanced 5G-powered services.

While 5G’s long reach will touch almost every industry far and wide, the biggest beneficiary from it will be edge computing.

Let’s jump right in.

Edge computing to grow under 5G

Experts across the board consider that the arrival of the fifth generation of networks will take edge computing from the optional and make it into a necessary technology.

With the increased speeds of 5G being ten times faster than what 4G has to offer, it will instantaneously allow for the improvement for Internet of Things (IoT)-powered sensors in devices to pick up signals and data from longer distances.

That increase in real-time processing will require new equipment with enhanced capabilities.

A report from Allied Market Research sees the global edge computing market registering a combined annual growth rate of 32.8 percent from 2018-2025. The report cited the emerging 5G network as a major factor presenting growth opportunities for the sector’s major players.

Edge to become more complex & specialized

Naturally, 5G networks will become much more intricate and complicated to handle, which demands investments to back up the networks, which in turn would solidify edge networks in the future of tech for years to come.

Experts across the aisle have argued that these edge networks will depend on device functionality, thus matching network characteristics to the gadgets that require them.

A simple example can be drawn through autonomous vehicles, that require lightning fast edge networks to adapt to the ever-changing car’s environment that could succumb to change by a mere second.

Thus, due to 5G, very high speeds and lower latencies while processing data at the edge, will save energy and costly infrastructure.

“network ownership would change per application, as well as latency and the location of the edge network. Those insights mean that the ways people typically define edge networks now may be different in the near future,” Iain Gillott, the President, and Founder of research company iGR, was quoted as saying during a panel discussion.

Edge will increase 5G performance

Beamforming technology allows a signal to position itself in the direction of the device that receives it. This advantage gives stronger, faster signals.

This was brought to the test when Deutsche Telekom launched an edge computing lab to research the impact of user-tracing beamforming antennas with the 5G network back in 2018.

“Software electronically directs the 5G signal towards a user’s handset to increase efficiency and signal quality. The accompanying edge computing platform is a fully virtualized, end-to-end solution that supports using this kind of 5G beamforming technology for the first time in a live environment,” the study said.

Edge network & cybersecurity

One of the main conundrums troubling cybersecurity experts is the high number of devices present on the edge network that are actively gathering data.

An edge device that is gathering data in a remote location will not have the same level of secure monitoring for weak spots and updates as one directly next to the network.

While edge networks will play a vital role in 5G security, that would only prove true and worthy if companies add an extra layer of precaution to ensure edge network security, thus, a security by design approach is called into action.

This has been the case for a large number of tech manufacturers, especially in the IoT field, who are adding and integrating more refined cybersecurity measures within their devices from the get-go.

5G needs edge computing to drive demand for its services, while edge can provide developers an environment to create 5G applications that will push the technology into the mainstream, thus, making the pair a match made in heaven.

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Huawei, China Unicom install 5G Indoor Ubiquitous Gigabit in National Stadium

Karim Husami

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5G indoor ubiquitous Gigabit

As such, China Unicom Beijing and Huawei unveiled a 5G indoor ubiquitous Gigabit network in the National Stadium, as a part of the joint 5G Capital initiative between them. This announcement came during the commemoration of the 2021 World Telecommunication & Information Society Day (WTISD).

The Massive MIMO technology of Huawei is the widely improved gigabit network technology that delivers enhanced signal quality, assures high-speed transmission, and a high-quality experience in dense areas covered with 5G. It allows indoor networks to grasp the multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO).

Combining the 5G LampSite digital indoor network products that support an ultra-wide bandwidth of 300 MHz and the innovative distributed Massive MIMO technology, the network delivers a perceived data rate of above 1 Gbps in 90 percent of the grandstand area.

Both the firm used the combined techniques of a 5G LampSite digital indoor network with an ultra-wide bandwidth of 300 MHz and the innovative distributed Massive MIMO technology.

Benefits of MIMO

Distributed Massive MIMO is vital to greatly improve 5G performance and support 5G indoor ubiquitous Gigabit networks. Incorporating the leading technologies of outdoor 5G Massive MIMO into indoor networks, distributed Massive MIMO provides indoor networks with joint beamforming and multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) to enhance both the 5G network capacity and user experience.

Also, it improves signal quality by eliminating the co-channel interference on multi-cell networks to provide a high-speed and high-quality experience in most areas with 5G coverage. The field results showed an improvement of over 30 percent in user-perceived speed and consistent Gigabit experience for users on the move.

Many fellow companies of Huawei are benefited by this high-performance network technology and the company is still expanding its reaching areas.

Yang Peng, Deputy General Manager of China Unicom Beijing’s Network Division, said: “By jointly initiating the 5G Capital initiative with Huawei, we aim to build ubiquitous high-quality 5G networks. With the deployment of the 300-MHz LampSite pRRUs and distributed Massive MIMO in the National Stadium, China Unicom Beijing can now provide the ultra-large network capacity required to provide the audience with immersive experience while preparing networks for smart applications such as AR with ubiquitous Gigabit connections.”

This stadium is spread over 258,000 m2 with that 91,000-sitting capacity. It is also famous as Bird’s Nest and indeed of ubiquitous high-speed experience for the high density of mobile users present during the events.

Marvin Chen, President of Huawei DIS Product Line, said: “Distributed Massive MIMO introduces Massive MIMO to the digital headends of indoor networks. Due to this innovative application, up to 64T64R transmission is now possible in indoor networks, adding to new tools carriers can leverage to provide ubiquitous Gigabit experience in indoor areas. Huawei will continue to innovate network solutions to help carriers achieve ToB and ToC success.”

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STC Kuwait deploys Stand Alone 5G infrastructure

Inside Telecom Staff

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5G infrastructure

Kuwait telecoms giant STC announced earlier last week the successful commercialization step of implementing 5G Stand Alone (5G SA). The milestone is considered to be the second and most disruptive development of the comprehensive 3GPP 5th generation compliant network.

STC also successfully accomplished the widest scale of 5G deployment coverage on Sub-3GHz and 2.1GHz amongst other mobile service providers in the MENA region. Alongside these two achievements, the company enhanced its infrastructure with the deployment of an advanced automated Business Support System.

In a statement released by the company, STC indicated that it has been progressing with major 5G SA developments to advance its 5G network architecture, enabling the radical transformation of the telecom industry into an as-a-Service model in line with Kuwait’s 2035 vision.

5G SA technology will enable STC’s subscribers to enjoy higher uplink bandwidth, especially catering to specialized use scenarios, such as enterprise applications where uplink throughput is equally important as downlink.

Additionally, the technology will lower user-traffic latency to address key issues related to interruptions in gaming experience, while kicking off market interest in new rich forms of gaming technology like Virtual Reality (VR). 5G SA will also feature higher levels of security that utilize the best industry know-how to provide robustness to telecom networks.

Further empowering Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) deployment, 5G SA will enable STC to become not only Cloud Native, but Edge Native as well. This transition will allow service aggregation near subscriber premises.

From massive data processing in enterprise campus scenarios, real-time data processing in industrial control, and autonomous driving, to massive IoT use cases requiring analytics localization and better user experience for AR/VR/cloud.

5G SA enables different verticals to gain advantage from STC’s infrastructure by creating end-to-end isolated logical networks that share resources in a secured, isolated, and efficient way, also known as Network Slicing.

This allows public and private corporations increase their levels of efficiency and increase revenue when building their private networks, without the hassle of investing in new infrastructure, acquiring new spectrums, developing coverage, and getting capital assets.

STC will also be able to offer diversified digital services to verticals, such as guaranteed voice over 5G applications (VoNR), dedicated data access, dedicated internet access, as well as on-demand services such as, cloud CCTV capabilities to empower enhanced smart city services to citizens and assist businesses in innovating and generating new revenue streams in untapped markets.

Focusing on the user experience and enhanced 5G coverage, especially indoors and in weak coverage spots, STC started delivering Sub-3GHz 2.1GHz 5G NR with national wide implementation since mid-2020. 

Currently, 2.1GHz 5G NR sites have been strategically installed in dense districts. To further boost its infrastructure coverage, STC plans to deploy more sites in 2021.

The new deployment will play an important role for a number of years to come, providing enhanced Quality of Experience (QoE) for multiple 5G use cases, such as HD voice, 4K video streaming, online gaming, telemedicine and collaborative applications.

The services are offered over the most popular 2.1 GHz 5G NR supported smartphones and other 5G devices including Apple, Samsung, and Huawei devices. This will enable smoother access to 5G Carrier Aggregation (CA) Services and mass deployment for Internet of Thing (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) over STC’s 5G infrastructure offering enhanced smart city services to users, while assisting businesses in launching new-to-market solutions. 

In parallel, STC has been systematically working on monetizing its 5G infrastructure with advanced Business Support Systems toward native cloud Network architecture. The systems aim to introduce innovative Network-as-a-Service models capable of integrating 3rd party APIs and utilizing DevOps Tools to suit wide-ranges of industry transformations.

“STC positions itself to provide state-of-the-art 5G intelligent connectivity and agile 5G SA cloud native infrastructure to ensure mapping of business and government transformations,” Fahad Abdulrahman Al Ali, Chief Technology Officer at STC, noted in the statement.

The company’s strategic plans tie in new opportunities by utilizing new generation 5G infrastructure with rich multidimensional designs and a native cloud architecture to offer enterprises with guaranteed Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

After the large-scale deployment of Sub-3GHz 5G, STC projects high levels of improved in-depth coverage and user experience of STC’s 5G network, laying a solid foundation for the sound development of 5G MBB services. 

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Polish Telco Play partners up with Samsung to conduct 5G trials

Inside Telecom Staff

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5G trials

South Korean tech giant Samsung announced on Wednesday a partnership with Polish telco Play to conduct 4G and 5G trials in Warsaw.

According to a joint statement, Samsung and Play will verify the capability and performance of Samsung’s 4G and 5G network solutions in the trial, which will be carried out in Play’s labs and commercial networks, beginning in Q2 of this year.

The trial will also test the interoperability between Play’s 2G/3G legacy networks and Samsung’s latest solutions, which will see Samsung R&D Institute Poland taking part as well.

The Polish telco provides mobile voice, messaging, data and video services for both consumers and businesses – Play boasts over 15 million subscribers across the nation, covering 99 percent of the country’s population.

“At Play we are open to the innovative technologies offered by our partners. The partnership with Samsung is another initiative that allows us to choose the best solutions for the rollout of our network. It is its extension and modernization that have a direct impact on the comfort of our customers,” said Michał Ziółkowski, Management Board Member and Chief Technology Officer at Play.

For the trial, Samsung will provide its latest 4G and 5G solutions—including 4G radios, 5G Massive MIMO radios and baseband units—on low and mid-band spectrums. Samsung’s 5G Massive MIMO radios have been commercially deployed since 2019 and are currently in operation across the globe.

Slim and lightweight, Samsung’s Massive MIMO radios ensure easy installation and quick deployment for mobile operators and increase coverage, boost data speeds to enrich 5G experience for users.

The company’s baseband unit offers improved performance with enhanced capacity and throughput, while supporting both 4G and 5G frequencies in a single unit. With this solution, operators can increase flexibility in network management and achieve cost efficiency.

“This trial will serve as a meaningful milestone for the two companies’ collaborative efforts in Poland,” said Thomas Riedel, Head of Europe, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “Leveraging our advanced 5G solutions and technical leadership, we will continue to expand our global and European presence with leading operators like Play to take 5G user experience to new heights.”

Samsung Currently, Samsung operates its R&D centers in Warsaw and Cracow, Poland, where the tech giant’s highest-quality software is created, as well as 5G trials. The company is currently providing network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users around the world.

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