Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
Cisco, Intel, Red Hat take aim at closed 5G radio systems
Monday, 26 February 2018 15:58

Cisco has used Mobile World Congress 2018 to tout a group of vendors working on open tech for the mobile radio access network.

“Virtual RAN” – Radio Access Network – refers to a shift in base station architecture away from proprietary functions running on vendor-specific base station hardware.

vRAN remakes the mobile network on the principles of the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU's) network function virtualisation (NFV) standards: the base station becomes a minimally-featured radio unit, with baseband, management, and subscriber functions on shared, virtualised, general-purpose computers in the carrier core.

An Open vRAN movement began stirring late in 2017, when

Facebook recruits Nokia to trial and standardise Terragraph wireless tech
Monday, 26 February 2018 14:55

Facebook hopes to get parts of its Terragraph wireless comms platform standardised by the IEEE, and has recruited Nokia to help.

Terragraph is a big part of Facebook's plan to connect the “next four billion” to Facebook the Internet using the 60 GHz band. First announced in April 2016 , the Terragraph team is helping inform the mmWave working group in its Telecom Infrastructure Project , which has been recruiting partners since May of the same year.

The tie-up gives Facebook access to backhaul technology: Nokia's WPON (Wireless Passive Optical Network), first launched in October 2017.

WPON is a different

UK's BT: Ofcom's wholesale superfast broadband price slash will hurt bottom line
Friday, 23 February 2018 23:34

Ofcom has slashed the price BT’s Openreach can charge operators for superfast broadband, in a package of measures BT said will hit its bottom line to the tune of £120m next year.

The proposals are part of broader measures intended to boost broadband investment in the UK, including plans to increase current full-fibre penetration in the country from 3 per cent to 20 per cent by 2020.

Ofcom is also forcing Openreach to introduce stiffer quality of service standards (installations and repairs), and open up its cable ducts to rival ISPs.

However, it decided not to regulate the prices of Openreach’s

802.11ax Wi-Fi standard isn't ready, Qualcomm bakes chips anyway
Friday, 23 February 2018 15:02

In November 2017, the next version of Wi-Fi, 802.11ax, stalled in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers's (IEEE's) standards process, but vendors want to push ahead with at least some of its features, according to Qualcomm Wi-Fi product marketing lead Prakash Sangam.

Speaking to The Register after the company announced its pre-standard 802.11ax client chip at Mobile World Congress, Sangam said Qualcomm and other vendors getting on the pre-standard train will be able to ensure their devices are compatible with whatever spec eventually emerges from the IEEE's process.

Qualcomm's position is that key 802.11ax features are already in demand,

Juniper sharpens knife for the carrier network and boxes white boxes
Friday, 23 February 2018 13:45

MWC Juniper's following Cisco's lead into carrier network automation.

The Gin Palace's Contrail automation environment will soon grow a Network SlicingBot, which is designed to give operators hands-off provisioning.

The aim, according to Juniper, is to let operators build just one network architecture (based on the MX Router with APIs to other vendors), and “slice” it (that is, create networks to serve particular requirements) with a single click.

Hence: the Network SlicingBot can grab nodes in an MX Router with Junos Node Slicing, across the network, while maintaining control and user plane separation (CUPS). Analytics let the bot validate the

Fun fact: US Customs slaps eyeglass taxes on optical networking gear
Friday, 23 February 2018 10:05

An American telecoms hardware shifter is fed up with US Customs officials slapping extra tariffs on its fiber-optic tech imports – all because the agents are classifying the IT gear as eyeglasses.

ADC Telecommunications, which is part of North-Carolina-based CommScope, has urged a US federal appeals court to issue a summary judgment that will officially change the classification of fibre networking kit, so that the biz will no longer have to pay telescope tariffs on components shipped into the States from factories in Mexico.

The problem, ADC argued, is that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is taking the

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