Increased enterprise agility and a dramatic boost to user productivity are promised by the latest wave of dynamic CE services now coming to market – a market set to grow by several percentage points in size to over $50bn globally in the next five years. Research and analysis firms Frost & Sullivan, Vertical Systems andInfoneticsare all predicting an Ethernet services market worth approximately $50 billion by 2015, several percentage points ahead of the present market position. The MEF (MetroEthernet Forum) is the catalyst behind today’s $45B global Carrier Ethernet services market. At the MEF’s inception in 2001, the “metro Ethernet” market was fragmented into a number of services – e.g. Optical Ethernet, Switched Ethernet, and Metro Ethernet – with vastly different capabilities, often without carrier class capabilities or service level agreements (SLAs) and limited to “best effort” performance. The MEF created a collaborative environment, including service providers and network solution providers, to jointly define and standardize “Carrier Ethernet” towards today’s high quality service. By creating technical specifications, implementation agreements and certifying services, equipment and people, the MEF has enabled a holistic ecosystem responsible for Carrier Ethernet’s subsequent market growth. What now, and what is needed Packet-centric applications now dominate circuit-based applications and voice, video and data all share a common network infrastructure with the risk of conflict and service degradation. Voice communications is decoupled from the underlying infrastructure of telephones and PSTNs and runs as an “app” on devices connected to the Internet. No longer is the service either up or down, with the presence or absence of a dial tone: VoIP can suffer impairments such as echo or voice distortion, through dropped or delayed delivery of voice packets. A better service can be assured using private networks, but at the cost of reduced flexibility in terms of activation times and purchase models where the service providers require long-term leases to commit to the service assurances required. We are, however, moving rapidly towards an even more dynamically connected future. Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications will push connectivity way beyond the number of connected humans, with connected cars, smartwatches and devices, tablets, intelligent control systems and sensorscoming on line and communicating to automate our lives. Each of these applications will demand their own service levels, and degradation will be unacceptable in many cases. This will only be possible if the network infrastructure transforms to enable cloudand mobile services that connect people and machines in real-time, on-demand, with assured QoS and quality of experience (QoE). As a practical example, consider mobile workers connecting over the Internet via IP VPN to their office network. This is fine for checking e-mail, swapping documents etc, but critical communications such as a videoconference can suffer degradation from other users sharing access or from congestion in the ISP’s network. It should be possible to request (and be billed for) a higher performance connection to the office just for the duration of the connection. For the second example, an enterprise subscriber wants a network service to interconnect locations to their virtual machines (VMs) or Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) in a remote data center. This is only possible by using a number of transit service provider networks between the data center and the locations. So each of these network operators needs to orchestrate the setup of an appropriateinternal networks and each of these operator-specific orchestrations need to be reconciled together to ensure the full end-to-end service required. Orchestration between the service provider and the cloud provider is required to automate the service ordering, provisioning, and management (OAM) of the virtual connections across each respective network and to setup the physical and virtual endpoints. This is a complex job that can take months, but should be delivered promptly on demand to meet real business needs. To support agile business we need connectivity between physical or virtual endpoints with dynamic attributes to suit on-demand cloud services. Real-time applications that monitor performance should evolve to automatically request, or prompt the user to request, different classes of service as needed – eg reduced packet loss for the duration of a videoconference. The customer need only input basic information to order the service – e.g. service endpoint locations and service bandwidth in addition to billing information – in a manner similar to ordering cloud services, where components are ordered, fixed and recurring costs totalled, then the order is submitted. Progress to date The challenge of deploying networks across third party access vendors is already being addressed by a combination of existing technologies – Carrier Ethernet’s ubiquity and standardized connectivity; Software-defined networking (SDN); Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and real time Big Data analytics to correlate data from the many network elements and OSS, and continuously analyse it. Whereas barely 20% of Carrier Ethernet services succeed first time, and it can take over a hundred days to turn up a circuit, these principles have improved inventory integrity to over 90% accuracy, significantly reducing fall-out and improved time to market – while on-going automation of auditing and inventory updates is cutting OpEx. The solution began with a data audit extracted and mapped to a structured format – including OSS sources, activation notices, SLA agreements with AVs, excel spreadsheets and inter-carrier agreements. Automated continuous audit could now identify bad data and even assign a quality indicator to simplify integrity assessment. Continuous correlation plus big data analytics identify risky changes, and check consistency and value ranges, and warnings are transmitted to the data owner. The system also provides a graphical overview of the topology, revealing actual circuit inventory details, simplifying ordering, provisioning and service assurance. In a second example, workflow automation is cutting costs and accelerating service turn-up, leading to rapid growth of the provider’s footprint and capacity. An Additional Services Request (ASR) – eg Move, Add, Change or Delete network functions – is transmitted to the access vendor by web form, and changes are automatically broadcast to all network elements, without delay or risk of human error. This includes populating test equipment with updated test configurations so SOAM tests run automatically, and results are collated and reported. In a third example real-time feeds are taken from existing monitorsand summarized in a single customizable dashboard – registering alarms and correlatingthem to circuit segment states. Thresholds are set for each access vendor and used to benchmark SLA performance so reports can indicate exception events and leverage historical data to determine trends. Without manual work, the provider now benefits from lower MTTR, faster triage and root cause analysis – thanks to rapid, accurate isolation of degradation and better SLA penalty capture with authoritative proof and reporting. Conclusion The Carrier Ethernet market has reached a turning point. The victim of its own success, it has given business a taste of global networking benefits, and is now struggling to deliver those advantages as seamlessly and fast as agile business requires. The MEF is aware of the need and the challenges, and is laying the framework to enable new types of network connectivity, better aligned with cloud services and opening up new revenue opportunities for service providers and the ecosystem of network solution providers. This is good news for the enterprise and, ultimately, for the global economy. By Kevin Vachon, CEO of the MEF

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India’s federal auditor has suggested telecommunications licenses held by Reliance Industries Ltd. 500325.BY +1.25% be canceled because of irregularities in the way the company acquired them.India’s Comptroller and Auditor General in an initial report said Reliance should be forced to pay a fine and give up the wireless broadband bandwidth rights it acquired when it bought another company. The auditor said Reliance, which purchased Infotel Broadband Services in 2010 just hours after Infotel won the bidding in an auction of bandwidth in more than 20 markets across India, was bending the rules by acquiring the bandwidth through another company. Source

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The Department of Telecommunications is likely to accept the advice of top institutions to adopt the Chinese development model to unlock some Rs 17,000 crore of central funds that have been proposed for encouraging innovation and boosting telecom product manufacturing. In an internal note, DoT has termed India’s contribution to global telecom intellectual property rights (IPRs) as “practically nil”. The faculty members of the Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad have highlighted that “China has helped its local telecom companies generate a majority of the IPRs in new-gen technologies through proactive support to R&D and innovations since telecom technologies are IPR-driven”, it said in the note seen by ET. Source

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India’s telecom industry added 2.81 million subscribers in April, taking the total number to 935.81 million on the back of growing number of urban and rural mobile connections, latest data from telecom regulator Trai shows. “The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 933 million at the end of March, 2014 to 935.81 million at the end of April, 2014, thereby showing a monthly growth of 0.30 percent,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said in its report on subscription data for April 2014.Subscribers in urban areas rose from 555.26 million in March, 2014 to 556.29 million in April, 2014, whereas those in rural areas increased from 377.73 million to 379.52 million during the same period. Source

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India’s telecom companies are hoping for clarity in regulatory matters and rationalization of taxes as the new government at the Centre settles down. The telecom industry has often complained about time-consuming procedures and delayed approvals by the department of telecommunications (DoT). New communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has promised to address these issues. DoT officials became overcautious after the procedures that led to the telecom spectrum scandal prompted criticism from the Comptroller and Auditor General and the courts, culminating in a 2 February 2012 Supreme Court verdict that cancelled 122 telecom licences issued in 2008. The court order said procedures followed in allotting licences and spectrum to nine companies were flawed. Source

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Here’s some good news for those concerned about radiations from telecom towers. The Centre has fixed the Electro-Magnetic Radiation (EMR) emission levels below 0.45w/m2, which is one-tenth of the norms (4.5w/m2) fixed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This way India ranks among the countries with lowest emission levels. This was disclosed at a press conference by Rajan S Mathews, director of Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), in the City on Monday.The conference was held to allay fears about EMR causing harm to public health.He said the government adopted the lowest norm considering the fact that Indian urban settings are not zone-wise and installations like schools and hospitals are spread across the geographies. Source

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US-based Syniverse Technologies helps telecom companies around the world to quickly react to market changes and demands, enabling the delivery of everything from voice calls to sophisticated data and video services wherever and whenever subscribers need them. In India, the company is at the back of the system that runs Mobile Number Portability and is looking to offer location-based services to telcos. Joe DiFonzo, Chief Technology Officer, Syniverse, was recently in India to inaugurate the company’s new office in Bangalore. Business Line met him to understand the global trends in the mobile segment and what Indian telcos can do to keep pace with the changing demands. How important is the Indian market for you? India is strategically very important. It’s the second largest mobile market in the world. And I think that overall, we have very good hopes that we will be able to develop a lot of business here. We already have a lot of business here — both with operator customers and with enterprise customers. and we will see both of those growing by leaps and bounds in the next few years in India. Source

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Telecom operators are likely to get enough spectrum across bands through auctions that the Government will conduct in 2014-15, according to the roadmap for future auctions, prepared by the Wireless Planning and Coordination wing of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). There will be 184MHz of spectrum in 900MHz band available for auction as 29 licences will be due for renewal in 18 telecom zones in 2015-16 and 104MHz airwaves will be available for auction in 2015-16. Source

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India is yet to realise the potential of mobile banking and digital financial services even as only 47 per cent of the people have bank accounts, half of which lie dormant due to heavy reliance on cash transactions, says a report. The Financial Inclusion Insights programme, operated by research consultancy InterMedia and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is based on interviews with 45,024 Indians aged 15 years and above. Source

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Watching a FIFA World Cup match on a 3G wireless connection can be hugely frustrating with freezes and reloads frequently interrupting the viewing experience. The answer to the painfully slow 2G/3G connections we have in India is to quickly leap frog to the new, cutting-edge fourth-generation (4G) mobile technology. It’s not about voice any longer but data, and the cry for high-speed mobile data services has been ringing around the globe for some years. In response, many countries have begun embracing 4G, specifically Long Term Evolution (LTE) which is a successor to 3G and offers data download speeds of 300 Mbps on mobile handsets and 1Mbps on fixed terminals. Source

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