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Eurobites: ETSI & Linux Foundation Get Jiggy With IT

Ray Le Maistre
4/26/2019
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In today's regional roundup: ETSI gets closer to the Linux Foundation; Orange Spain tests Huawei 5G smartphone; KPN's numbers are heading south as it makes its 5G vendor decisions; and competitive device manufacturer Oppo is heading to Europe.

  • ETSI, Europe's network specifications powerhouse, and the Linux Foundation, home to all manner of open source developments, have agreed to tackle one of the biggest challenges facing the global communications networking industry -- "bring open source and standards closer and foster synergies between them." The agreement covers a lot of ground but, importantly, involves "potential common initiatives related to interoperability and conformance testing." The biggest challenge for the two organizations will be finding common ground in relation to the management of virtualized/cloudified networks, where they each have their own initiatives -- ETSI has Open Source MANO (OSM) and the Linux Foundation has Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP). The new buddies plan to "explore opportunities for interoperability over NFV APIs and OSM IM (information model)."

    James Crawshaw, senior analyst of Network Intelligence and Automation at Heavy Reading tells Eurobites that this "looks like a perfectly sensible development," and that "the only real tension between the two organizations was between ONAP and OSM." Of the interop plans, he notes that "API interoperability looks tricky because the reference points between ONAP components are quite different to the NFV-MANO reference points -- the architectures are not the same. Similarly, the Information Model of OSM is very different to the IM of ONAP. For example, the VNF Descriptor of ONAP uses completely different classes and terms than the VNFD [virtual network function descriptor] of OSM. Some sort of middleware would be needed to map between the two systems." Quite what the acronym for that middleware might be is anyone's guess at this point… (See Telefónica Wrestles With OSM, SDN as Unica Passes Halfway Point, ONAP's Casablanca Focuses on Deployability and Open Source MANO Needs a Reality Check.)

  • Orange Spain has tested mobile connectivity between its pre-commercial 5G network and a Mate 20X smartphone supplied by Huawei Technologies, the operator announced in this blog (in Spanish). That make of smartphone is set to become commercially available in Spain during the second half of this year.

  • In other Huawei news, the Chinese vendor has started work with KPN to upgrade the Dutch national operator's radio access network for 5G. That news, though, has been overshadowed by KPN's announcement that it will not be considering Huawei for its security-sensitive 5G core platform deployment. (See KPN Rules Out Huawei for 5G Core.)

  • KPN has also announced its first quarter financials and it's fair to say they look somewhat discouraging: Everything except capex is in decline compared with a year ago, with revenues down 2.9% to €1.36 billion (US$1.5 billion), and operating profit down by 12% to €189 million ($211 million). Capex is up by 11% to €261 million ($291 million). CEO Maximo Ibarra noted that the performance "reflects a mix of an ongoing competitive environment and the impact of the execution of our strategic actions." Further details can be found at the operator's investor relations website.

  • Emerging smartphone manufacturer Oppo is bringing its devices to Europe, including a 5G phone that will be made available in the UK via an exclusive agreement with BT's mobile brand, EE. What sort of price the device will command, or when it will be available, isn't yet clear, as our sister publication Telecoms.com reports. To find out more about Oppo, check out this announcement about its 2019 plans.

  • The paranoia levels in the UK just hit 11 as the apparent leak of information related to Huawei's involvement in UK 5G access networks has prompted some sort of witch hunt and references to the Official Secrets Act, reports The Guardian. And such hysteria is understandable because, as everyone knows, there isn't anything more pressing going on in the UK right now… (See Eurobites: UK Gives Huawei the Nod on 'Non-Core' 5G Network Elements.)

    — Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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