Home » FYUZ wrap: Open RAN in denial and a dose of metaverse envy

FYUZ wrap: Open RAN in denial and a dose of metaverse envy

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Omantel employs a senior technology strategist called Sherif Sherif. This is similar to his Magnus Magnusson nomenclature in Scandinavia, but if he worked in law enforcement, he would entertain westerners. He may be known as Sheriff Sherif Sherif. In “Catch 22”. The madness of Joseph Heller’s novel came to a head when Sheriff Sheriff was speaking at his FYUZ panel in Madrid this week. This shows that they are good co-pilots and are not working on the controls of the plane as was likely previously.

This year’s event had a celebratory and festive feel, with more food from around the world circling the exhibition stands than you’ll find at London’s Portobello Road Market on the weekend. Unlike most fairs, these stands were all made out of the same cheap wood (see photo). Point out the organizer marketing metaphor. You can basically have as many different flavor combinations as you like. All consumed in the same general purpose hardware environment.

Commodity will be exhibiting at the FYUZ event in Madrid this week.
(Source: Yin Morris/Light Reading)

But what were you there to celebrate? Despite the hype about Dish Network in the US and his Rakuten in Japan, and some degree of backslap like an Oscar on stage at FYUZ, open RAN has made little impact in the space. TIP’s various other initiatives have also failed to deliver the promised revolution.

The major equipment vendors are still Ericsson, Nokia and, like it or not, Huawei. AT&T and NTT Docomo are still the major US and Japanese phone companies. Two-and-a-half years after its launch, Rakuten hasn’t even amassed more than his 5 million customers (Docomo surpasses his 80 million).Deutsche Telekom, Europe’s largest telecom operator, operates absolutely zero I recently pointed out to Light Reading about the networking capabilities of the public cloud.

Ericsson aspirant

initial? Six years have passed since TIP was introduced, and four years have passed since the O-RAN Alliance was established. In technology, empires rise and fall in short order. Facebook he reported annual revenue of $17.9 billion in early 2016. Last year he was $118 billion. Open RAN definitely does not address what it is trying to achieve. So far, its main winners have been other tech giants, not the small-to-midsize specialists Samsung, Intel, Dell, or even vendor trumpet-blowing Rakuten were supposed to foster.

And now everyone seems to want an ‘end-to-end’ portfolio, like Ericsson. Open interfaces may allow operators to replace parts of the network more easily. But it’s unclear how the market will support many Ericsson aspirants at a time when some of the big kit vendors are struggling with profitability in an increasingly competitive era.

System integration has emerged as the most intractable problem. According to Yago Tenorio, director of network architecture at Vodafone and chairman of TIP, in the time it takes for a carrier to change a light bulb, the carrier will pull out the Huawei radio and replace the Samsung one. The idea of ​​an open RAN interface that allows plugging is ‘unrealistic’.

Both organizations to which he belongs are looking to help with the material mixing work through a partnership between Vodafone and NTT DoCoMo. But for smaller operators, the temptation is certainly to leave him to one vendor for most of the product. After all, that’s what Vodafone appears to be doing with Samsung in the UK, while Tenorio worries that systems his integrator could be another source of “lock-in.” increase. However, I believe that NTT DOCOMO is playing exactly this role.

chip war

The most promising area is probably chips. It’s not a ketchup (or mayonnaise if you’re Dutch) drizzle on it, it’s like powering your network. US merchant silicon seems to be flooding the industry (check out the glut currently being developed in the wider market) and it’s going from strength to strength. In some ways this is not surprising. Some of Nokia’s silicon expertise comes from US semiconductor companies such as Broadcom, Intel and Marvell. Its secret sauce is sprinkled with intellectual property.

However, telco suspicions are known that Nokia will add much more than baseband software and system integration expertise. Ericsson, which spends a significant portion of its $3.8 billion annual R&D budget on its silicon division, but is tight-lipped about its suppliers, is that much different?

“We believe that the performance of the resulting x86 and accelerated system will match or exceed the performance of traditional architectures within two years from now,” Tenorio said on stage at FYUZ. For good or bad, this would tip the semiconductor power balance further from Europe towards the US, undermining Ericsson and Nokia as chip developers.

For Europeans concerned about the muscle atrophy in the tech sector, there is another reason. One of the outcomes of Open RAN is likely to strengthen the US company with a combined market cap of ~$878 billion (see chart) at the expense of two European companies worth ~$43 billion. .

Market capitalization of US chip companies and European network vendors ($ billions)

(Source: Yahoo Finance)

(Source: Yahoo Finance)

Envy of the Metaverse

FYUZ showed the colors of Facebook and ended with a day dedicated to the metaverse. But it’s a good metaphor for the telecommunications industry’s distance from reality. Uber is another application that requires support in carrier networks, but does not enrich carriers.

Telecom companies don’t seem to realize that not a single metaverse imagining in fiction is positive. This also applies to the anarchic world depicted by Neil Stevenson, who invented the term Metaverse in his novels. snow crashto the equally dystopian vision of William Gibson Peripheral (Currently an interesting series on Amazon Prime).

With Facebook’s appropriation of this concept (renamed Meta), the telecom industry’s envy of the Metaverse becomes even more perplexing, like someone being jealous of something ugly. Not only is Facebook now the tech giant most likely to go bankrupt, but it’s also having a runoff with Elon Musk (Twitter’s new owner) for the title of the world’s most sinister tech mogul. It’s headed by Mark Zuckerberg, who’s on board with Facebook. Except for telecoms, who will have to pay, said Dan Rabinowitz, vice president of Facebook Connectivity.

After complaining in a blog earlier this year that the metaverse required “significant increases in network latency, symmetric bandwidth, and overall network speed,” he spoke at a panel session held at FYUZ late Wednesday. participated in and emphasized the message. The backing appears to come from Tareq Amin, who is well-known CEO of Rakuten’s telecom ventures (Mobile and Symphony). For the majority, the Metaverse is like the father of the bride branching out for an expensive wedding where no one leaves the cake.

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— Iin Morris, International Editor, light reading

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