MWC REMAINDERS: ORAN, carrier blockchain, IoT rollouts, more

Image credit: GSMA

For obvious reasons MWC 2018 last week commanded most of our attention and jammed up our inboxes with press releases.

Here’s a quick collection of other noteworthy announcements from last week that were either unrelated to MWC or slipped through the cracks.


AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo, and Orange jointly announced the creation of the ORAN (Open Radio Access Network) Alliance, a global carrier-led effort to drive new levels of openness in the radio access network of next generation wireless systems.

ORAN will combine and extend the efforts of the C-RAN Alliance and the xRAN Forum into a single operator led effort to make mobile network equipment more energy efficient, software-driven (soft), virtualized, flexible, and intelligent via technologies like real-time analytics, embedded machine learning systems and artificial intelligence back end modules.

Additional virtualized network elements with open, standardized interfaces will be key aspects of the reference designs developed by the ORAN Alliance. Technologies from open source and open whitebox network elements will be important software and hardware components of these reference designs.

LG Uplus, Etisalat, KT, Telefónica and PLDT join Carrier Blockchain Study Group

The Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG), the global blockchain consortium of telecom carriers, announced that LG Uplus, Etisalat, KT Corp, Telefónica and PLDT agreed to jointly explore how to collaborate on building a next-generation global cross-carrier blockchain platform and ecosystem.

CBSG was launched in September 2017 to enable the joint development of an innovative blockchain platform designed specifically for telecom carriers, led by SoftBank and blockchain technology company TBCASoft, Sprint and Far EasTone. CBSG aims to provide telecom members and their customers various services such as secured clearing and settlement, personal authentication, IoT applications and other services using blockchain technology in the future.

Ericsson powers Singtel’s CAT-M1/NB-IoT rollout …

Singtel has commercially launched its nationwide cellular IoT network supporting CAT-M1 and NB-IoT in partnership with Ericsson.

Singtel and Ericsson recently signed an agreement to establish the Singtel IoT Innovation Lab to facilitate IoT deployments and the development of a local IoT ecosystem for enterprises and consumers. Singtel claims it’s the first such network to be launched commercially nationwide. Rival operators M1 and StarHub launched NB-IoT networks last year.

… And also Dialog Axiata’s Cat-M1/NB-IoT rollout

Dialog Axiata and Ericsson have rolled out what they say is the first commercial IoT network in South Asia supporting both Cat-M1 and NB-IoT technologies.

Dialog Axiata says the Cat-M1/NB-IoT network will amplify opportunities for solutions such as smart metering for utilities, smart parking, smart bins, smart environmental sensors for smart cities, logistic solutions as well as other applications in agriculture and farming.

South Africa’s Rain taps CSG to enable digital services  

CSG announced that Rain – a new South African CSP – is using CSG’s monetization and activation solutions as the foundation for delivering products and services to its digital-savvy consumers. CSG’s product and service delivery enabled the two organizations to deploy the solutions in just 90 days.

Rain will provide digital services while relying on CSG’s solutions to enable fast time to market, and on its managed services to run the solutions over a three-year term.

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