Basketball Player Julius Erving Joins GTT Board Of Directors


Legendary basketball player Julius Erving has been elected to the board of directors of GTT, a global cloud solutions provider. Erving is founder and managing member of Dr. J Enterprises, which owns and manages the merchandising, media and philanthropic aspects of the Julius “Dr. J” Erving brand.

Julius Erving brings close to 40 years of experience as a sports leader, business executive and entrepreneur to his role on the GTT board. Dating back to 1979, Erving’s business affiliations have generated close to $2.5 billion in revenue and brand value for his partners and clients. In 2016, through Erving’s direct leadership, Dr. J Enterprises formed a strategic partnership with the multibillion-dollar brand management company Authentic Brands Group, to expand his brand’s global presence.

“Julius brings significant board experience, including telecom and media, to GTT,” stated H. Brian Thompson, executive chairman and founder of GTT. “He has a distinguished career as an executive in brand management, media personality, and community leader. His insights will be invaluable as we continue to grow the business and raise GTT’s brand profile in the market.”

Julius Erving has served on various boards of directors including: LCI International, Williams Communications, Saks Fifth Avenue, Meridian Bank, Converse, Darden Group, Sports Authority, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commission, University of Massachusetts and Widener University.

“I am pleased to join the GTT board of directors and help to expand the company’s market presence,” stated Mr. Julius Erving. “GTT’s rapid growth and recent distinction as a Fortune Future 50 company position it favorably for continued expansion and business success.”

Erving holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and an honorary doctorate from University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as honorary degrees from Temple University and Philadelphia University.

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Telia To Deploys Nokia Cloud Packet Core Solution


Telia Company has chosen Nokia’s cloud packet core solution to profitably deliver enhanced mobile broadband, and to provide the massively scalable platform required as part of Telia’s Next Generation Core. Nokia’s AirGile cloud-native design enables the Swedish operator to benefit from a full cloud architecture, allowing it to streamline engineering and operations to run on a common infrastructure across all six countries in which it operates.

This will contribute to Telia’s ambition for competitive operations, lowering the cost of introducing and operating data services, substantially accelerating time-to-market for differentiated services and expanding business productivity.

As a next step towards harmonization for a more efficient packet core network, Telia Company will evolve their physical common multi-country evolved packet core to a common cloud native solution on a shared cloud infrastructure. Nokia’s industry leading and field-proven cloud-native packet core, including its Cloud Mobility Manager and Cloud Mobile Gateway is a key enabler in this transformation. Nokia will begin the deployment of Telia’s new core network in multiple data center locations across the company’s operations.

As part of its AirGile cloud-native core portfolio, Nokia’s packet core design provides the reliability, scalability, flexibility and performance Telia needs to meet the networking requirements and economics for a diverse and demanding range of digital services and applications for consumers and enterprises. The Nokia solution anchors multi-technology access across wireless licensed, shared, unlicensed spectrum and fixed network technologies, and delivers automated cloud networking with dynamic lifecycle management capabilities. These capabilities will help Telia improve service delivery, agility and operational efficiency for its mobile customers.

Sri Reddy, senior vice-president of Nokia’s IP and Optical business, said: “There is tremendous potential with the continued growth of mobile broadband, and with new services and 5G in the near future. To take advantage of these opportunities, Telia must deploy a new generation cloud-native packet core that is able to connect to a greater variety of devices and deliver a broader range of services over multiple access technologies. Nokia uniquely combines field-proven cloud-native software, cloud technologies and mobile and IP routing expertise to help Telia speed up service delivery, deliver greater scale and capacity and operate its network more efficiently. Plus, because our cloud packet core is built on our robust, field proven router software (SROS), it provides Telia with a solid foundational framework for the evolution of its 4G and the path forward to 5G.”

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Jaguar Land Rover Deploys Qualcomm Automotive Solutions


Qualcomm has announced premier automotive company Jaguar Land Rover has decided to use former’s Snapdragon automotive platforms for its next generation smart cars. The Qualcomm automotive solutions will power highly advanced telematics, infotainment and digital cluster with integrated connectivity, and rear seat entertainment, helping to meet the demand for rich, immersive and seamless connected in-vehicle experiences to future Jaguar Land Rover vehicles.

For telematics units, Jaguar Land Rover will use the Snapdragon 820Am Automotive platform to provide customers with ultra-quick and efficient connectivity throughout the vehicle by integrating 4G LTE Advanced, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies.

Using the automotive platform’s integrated global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and automotive dead reckoning, future vehicles are expected to have the increased capability to effectively be aware of its surroundings. As the automotive industry advances toward 5G, highly advanced connectivity solutions are needed to support road safety, mission critical applications, as well as advanced capabilities, such as autonomy.

Infotainment and digital cluster systems featured in future Jaguar Land Rover vehicles will be integrated into one complete system using an additional Snapdragon 820Am Automotive platform. With the Snapdragon 820Am Automotive platform, which features 4G LTE capabilities to support connected applications, Jaguar Land Rover will be able to produce a scalable platform to serve different domains, and rapidly connect software and services, within the vehicle.

Optional rear seat entertainment systems are also designed using Snapdragon 820A Automotive platforms for unmatched connected in-car experiences.

The Qualcomm Automotive solutions feature a custom-built 64-bit Qualcomm Kryo CPU, custom-built Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU for virtualization advantages, and Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP Vector eXtension to stream high-definition videos seamlessly onto multiple displays. The platform also features the Snapdragon X12 LTE modem to support Category 12 speeds up to 600 Mbps download, as well as vehicle sensor integration and computer vision to support driver assistance using the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine.

“As the automotive industry moves towards 5G, premium automotive solutions like the Snapdragon 820Am automotive platform will help us bring ultra-fast connectivity and high performance computing to our Jaguar Land Rover line-up,” said Nick Rogers, Executive Director, Product Engineering for Jaguar Land Rover. “We are excited to be working with a global technology partner like Qualcomm Technologies, to bring new innovation to our customers”.

“Jaguar Land Rover customers demand some of the most premium experiences the automotive industry can offer, and using our most advanced automotive platform available will help meet such high expectations,” said Nakul Duggal, vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “As computing and connectivity innovations continue to be critical components to next generation vehicles, we look forward to working with Jaguar Land Rover in delivering premium in-vehicle experiences for their customers.”

Qualcomm automotive solutions continue to bring together a multitude of leading technologies, scale and experience to support the creation of advanced automotive infotainment systems. Qualcomm Technologies has been embedding its automotive solutions with leading automakers such as Jaguar Land Rover for more than 15 years, working closely with all major car OEMs globally on connectivity, infotainment, navigation, and driver safety technologies, as well as Qualcomm Halo™ wireless electric vehicle charging.

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Verizon Selects Samsung for 5G Commercial Launch


Samsung has announced that it has been selected by Verizon to supply telecom solutions for its upcoming 5G commercial launch. The Korean major would supply commercial 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network solutions to the US telecom operator.

“The industry has been discussing 5G connectivity for years, and through our joint collaboration with partners like Samsung, we are beginning to make it a reality for our customers,” said Ed Chan, Chief Technology Architect and Network Planning, Verizon. “Sacramento is an ideal place to begin deploying 5G broadband services, providing a progressive environment for creating future use cases.”

Samsung will provide Verizon with commercial 5G home routers (CPEs), 5G Radio Access Units (RAN) comprised of a compact radio base station and virtualized RAN elements, as well as 5G radio frequency planning services. To provide these services, Samsung has leveraged in-house technology and assets to develop the first commercial ASIC-based 5G modems and mmWave RFICs.

The two companies said the 5G commercial launch will commence in Sacramento, California in the second half of 2018.

Both the companies said they will continue to develop the use cases and applications of Samsung’s 5G technology.

“Together with Verizon, we have explored the vast potential of 5G through market trials across the U.S.,” said Mark Louison, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Networks Division, Samsung Electronics America. “At the same time, Samsung applied lessons learned from these real-world trials to ensure that our complete end-to-end 5G portfolio is ready for commercial service. We are delighted to work with Verizon on this journey to create unprecedented user experiences powered by 5G.”

Last year, Samsung and Verizon began 5G customer trials across seven U.S. cities in early 2017, and have successfully tested and verified 5G performance using millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequency to provide FWA pre-commercial service. These trials were conducted in California, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, and Washington D.C.

After conducting trials in key markets across the U.S., Samsung and Verizon have collected results that will help in calibrating a 5G future. Some key findings of their 5G trial include:

A single 5G radio has been able to reach the 19th floor of a multi-dwelling unit (MDU).
Broadband service has been achieved in line of sight (LOS), partial LOS and Non-LOS connections.
Environmental factors, including rain and snow, have not interrupted services.

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Hutchison 3 Indonesia Deploys Nokia Cloud Packet Core Solution


Hutchison 3 Indonesia (H3I) has chosen the Nokia Cloud Packet Core solution to help meet rapid data growth in the Indonesian market. Nokia’s solution enables H3I to provide a highly scalable platform to profitably deliver enhanced mobile broadband and move towards future innovative services.

A leader in providing data services, especially to the all-important millennial market, H3I has chosen Nokia to evolve its mobile packet core to a cloud-based architecture. This move is part of H3I’s digital transformation for superior customer experience and preparations to deliver future services. Part of Nokia’s AirGile portfolio, the cloud-native design allows H3I to lower costs and substantially accelerate time-to-market for innovative new services.

Nokia’s industry-leading and field-proven Cloud Packet Core solution includes its Cloud Mobility Manager and Cloud Mobile Gateway . Providing reliability, scalability, flexibility and performance, the Nokia Cloud Packet Core anchors multi-technology access across wireless licensed, shared, unlicensed spectrum and fixed network technologies, enabling H3I to support a greater variety of devices and deliver a broader range of services over multiple access technologies.

Randeep Singh Sekhon, President Director, Hutchison 3 Indonesia, said: “We are satisfied cooperating with Nokia on our roadmap to transform our network core to the state-of-the-art cloud-native architecture. It provides us the foundation to uplift customer experience and accelerate new innovative services.”

Robert Cattanach, head of Indonesia for Nokia, said: “This is an exciting step into the future both for us and our colleagues at H3I. The first cloud-native packet core implementation will play a key role in the transformation of H3I to an agile digital service provider, enabling it to capture the crucial youth market with compelling new services and offers, while lowering operational costs and increasing reliability, performance and security.”

Elements of Nokia’s Cloud Packet Core solution, including the Cloud Mobile Gateway, the company claims, were assessed  by the European Advanced Networking Test Center AG (EANTC)   and put through the industry’s most stringent performance and scale test scenarios.

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Juniper Launches Self Driving Network Using Juniper Bots


In order to bring service providers, enterprises and cloud providers closer Juniper Networks has launched the Self-Driving Network using Juniper Bots, a series of new applications that simplify network operations by translating intent into automated workflows, as well as updates to the Juniper Extension Toolkit.

Juniper Bots comprise a growing ecosystem of new software applications focused on intent and analytics that automate workflows and break the cycle of complex machine-focused automation tools. The bots, which leverage both the Contrail and AppFormix platforms, incorporate real-time analytics that are designed to translate higher-level business requirements (the “what”) into automatic configuration changes across the network (the “how”).

Networks have become more complex with the rise of diverse operating conditions that must serve a multitude of applications that often reside across multi-cloud environments. As network operators invest in scaling infrastructure cost-effectively to meet consumer and enterprise demands, complex programming languages that require highly skilled developers have been the only way to automate. Additionally, the underlying technology has only made small strides in simplifying human-to-machine interaction. Because of this, network automation adoption has slowed.

In fact, in a recent study Juniper asked customers and partners to select the biggest barriers to automation. 43 percent noted that the lack of internal education and skillsets prevents the adoption of network automation. 33 percent of respondents also cited the lack of an integrated end-to-end solution as a barrier to network automation efforts.

Compounding the issue, network operators have traditionally only been able to analyze a small portion of all the network data available due to technology shortfalls, and for decades, networking has largely been an exercise in precisely specifying behavior, one configuration knob at a time, device by device. To solve for all of this, Juniper has unveiled Contrail Intent Bots and AppFormix Analytics Bots, both of which change the way network operators interact with the network.

The newly launched Juniper Bots include:
Contrail PeerBot that automates the traditionally cumbersome process of network peering – managing multiple Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing and complex policy enforcement – to simplify policy enforcement and on-demand scaling.

Contrail TestBot, an application that’s part of Juniper’s broad effort to help network operators embrace a DevOps approach for Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment, automates the continuous auditing of design, provisioning, and deployment changes in the network.

AppFormix HealthBot which is a machine learning fitness and health tracker for the network that leverages AppFormix to collect real-time network data and glean insight, HealthBot translates troubleshooting, maintenance, and real-time analytics into an intuitive user experience to give network operators actionable insights into the health of the overall network.

Juniper Extension Toolkit (JET) enhancements: Juniper has extended the current management and control API framework of JET to the data plane, enabling developers to create applications with direct data plane access on Juniper’s vMX and MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers. Developers using JET now have access to advanced network programmability with Junos OS, giving them increased control over the silicon that powers the most programmable edge routers in the industry.

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Kansas City Powers And Light Selects Nokia For Power Grid Solution


Nokia has been selected by Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) to enhance the microwave communications network that supports a range of mission-critical services for the utility’s power transmission and distribution grid. The new network, based on packet microwave technology, is intended to support power delivery and reliability for KCP&L’s more than 800,000 customers in and around Kansas City, Missouri as well as parts of neighboring state of Kansas.

Kansas City Power and Light is reinforcing its network using Nokia’s Wavence microwave packet radio family of technologies (formerly known as the 9500 Microwave Packet Radio), which will enable the utility to support all of its grid control applications alongside its legacy data services using a single, converged network. This will simplify the management and operation of KCP&L’s network today, while laying the groundwork for the introduction of emerging grid applications in the future.

The contract is for 10 years that includes KCP&L’s network expansions and upgrades.

The current deployment, covering 40 sites, is already underway and is to be completed before the end of 2017. A second phase consisting of 29 additional sites will follow shortly after.

Nokia’s Wavence portfolio incorporates features specifically designed to address the unique needs of utilities, smoothing their transition from time division multiplexing (TDM) technology to Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks. For the project, Nokia is introducing the latest microwave packet radio technology as an overlay to existing equipment. This approach will enable KCP&L to expand their bandwidth to support new IP-based applications without the need for new antenna infrastructure and without forcing a disruption of existing communications, reducing costs and facilitating a seamless, incremental migration from TDM to IP.

The Nokia Wavence microwave portfolio is the leading ‘pure packet’ product portfolio on the market, and was developed with utilities’ stringent requirements for security, reliability, latency and resiliency in mind. The network is managed by Nokia’s Network Services Platform.

This agreement builds on Nokia’s strong track-record providing mission-critical networks to utilities, having served more than 200 power utilities worldwide. It also highlights the progress of Nokia’s strategy of expanding its customer base outside of the traditional telecommunications sphere, a key focus of the company’s diversification efforts.

“Nokia’s microwave packet radio technology delivers the reliability and performance needed to support our current operations, while providing the scalability and flexibility to introduce new services in the future,” said Melvin Sam Charuvilayil, Supervisor Network Planning & Engineering, Kansas City Power & Light.

Kamal Ballout, head of the Global Energy Segment at Nokia, said: “Nokia understands the needs of power utilities like KCP&L, and has dedicated a great deal of effort to ensuring that our packet microwave technology can meet the requirements today, while preparing networks for the introduction of even more advanced technologies in the future.”

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BlackBerry, Qualcomm Join Hands On Connected Cars


BlackBerry and Qualcomm have announced a strategic collaboration to develop and produce automotive platforms for the next generation of connected vehicles. As a part of the non-exclusive relationship, the companies have agreed to optimize select Qualcomm Technologies’ hardware platforms with BlackBerry’s QNX software for use in virtual cockpit controllers (VCC), telematics, including eCall and Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology, electronic control gateways, digital instrument clusters and infotainment systems.

Additionally, both the companies have agreed to optimize BlackBerry over-the-air (OTA) software and BlackBerry Secure Credential Management (SCM) Services for use with select Qualcomm Snapdragon modems, supporting both companies’ commitment to offer high performance automotive platforms quickly and cost-effectively.

“BlackBerry and Qualcomm Technologies have had a long-standing relationship for over a decade, collaborating on technologies that have revolutionized the way people live and work,” said Sandeep Chennakeshu, president, BlackBerry Technology Solutions. “Today’s announcement elevates our relationship as we aim to accelerate the delivery of the next generation platforms that connected vehicles will rely upon.”

“As innovation in the automotive industry accelerates it becomes necessary for industry leaders to work together to deliver leading-edge technology platforms that help to make vehicles safer, more connected, and increasingly autonomous,” said Patrick Little, senior vice president and general manager, Automotive, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Today we’re building on our longstanding relationship with BlackBerry to develop automotive platforms that will accelerate the industry toward a more connected future.”

Both the companies have said they will extend their existing partnership and would come up with similar industry leading solution in coming times. In May this year BlackBerry and Qualcomm had reached an agreement to settle their earlier dispute and Qualcomm agreed to pay $940 million to the Ontario, Canada based firm on amount of royalties, interests and attorney fees.

BlackBerry will demonstrate its vision for connected cars and autonomous vehicles at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 9-12.

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DataWind expands to Indonesia With MeraNet Browser


DataWind, the makers of Aakash and UbiSlate tablets, has forayed into the Indonesian market by launching its patented browser Meranet in Jakarta. The launch will bring affordable web browsing to many millions of subscribers in a market where affordability remains the number one barrier to bridging the digital divide, DataWind said. The Meranet browsing app costs Rp. 99,000 only (INR 471; $7.32), and get unlimited browsing privilege, for a period of one year.

DataWind is partnering with Datami, the leading provider of brand sponsored data solutions, to provide unlimited data-free browsing on its app through mobile networks Telkomsel and Hutchison 3. Customers can use the Meranet browser on these networks data-free, without using up their data plans. The launch marks the first time that full scale brand sponsored data — a highly effective consumer engagement mechanism has been made available from a brand wishing to engage Indonesian mobile users via Datami’s platform.

The technology used in Meranet accelerates the delivery of web-content across wireless networks and reduces data consumption, DataWind claims. The company said that its web-delivery platform reduces bandwidth consumption by creating a parallel processing environment, which shifts the burden of memory and processing power to back-end servers. This feature allows users to access the web at lower data costs, which will be very advantageous for those who are cautious of billing, such as students, excessive Internet users, low-cost devices users, or people who live in rural areas.

“Internet access has now become a very vital part of our lives but the rising data cost is limiting us from this vital resource,” said Mr. Rupinder Singh, Head – Asia Pacific, DataWind during the unveiling of the product. “Our aim is to break that affordability barrier. Partnering with Datami, Telkomsel, and Hutchison 3 to sponsor the data of our innovative Meranet app will allow us to offer our services to around 210 million users helping us achieve that aim and provide unprecedented access to the Internet for many Indonesians”, he added.

“We are excited to partner with DataWind to offer brand-sponsored browsing on the Meranet app to our customers,” said Harris Wijaya, VP (Digital Advertising and Analytics) at Telkomsel. “We are committed to delivering high-quality connectivity to our customers and see brand sponsored data as an impactful means to help even more consumers access information on our networks. ”

Covered by 18 U.S. and international patents, Meranet browser works well on all 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

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Apple Pay Cash Launched; Its Easy As Sending a Message


Apple on Tuesday launched Apple Pay Cash, one of the simplest digital payment methods, in the US market and this can be used by iPhone , iPad ad Apple Watch users. Using Apple Pay Cash users can send an receive money, make person to person payments, make payments of purchases and even transact with their banks.

The payment method is touted as the simplest digital payment solution as the transaction can be done by just sending a message just like normal text messages. The Apple users can even ask Siri to make a payment.

They can use the debit and credit cards they already have added to Apple Pay, so there’s no need to install an app or create yet another account. However, Apple Pay cash works only with iOS 11.2 and the users who do not have the latest OS can upgrade to it as it comes free.

Customers who have already updated to iOS 11.2 can simply restart their devices to begin sending and receiving money with friends and family and using Apple Pay Cash. watchOS 4.2 will be available as a free update and is required to send and receive money and use Apple Pay Cash on any Apple Watch model.

In a transaction, when users get paid, the money they receive is added to their new Apple Pay Cash card that lives in the Wallet app. They can use the money instantly to pay someone or make purchases using Apple Pay in stores, apps and on the web. They can also choose to transfer it from Apple Pay Cash to their bank account.

Apple customers who don’t already have Apple Pay set up on their supported device can still receive money from friends and family without needing to install a new app or add a card to Wallet. When new users receive money for the first time, it’s simply added to their new Apple Pay Cash card once they accept the terms.

Users can also view their transaction history, including person to person payments as well as purchases they’ve made in stores, apps and on the web with Apple Pay Cash, right in Wallet.

Security and privacy is fundamental to the design of all Apple hardware, software and services. Sending and receiving money from friends and family is now secure, faster and more convenient than ever with Apple Pay. Each person to person payment and purchase made with Apple Pay Cash is authenticated with Face ID on iPhone X, Touch ID on other iPhone and iPad models or a secure passcode on Apple Watch.

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