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Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Visualization (NFV) for 5G

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By Andrew Aroh

5G will lead to a paradigm shift towards a landscape dominated by wireless connectivity. Major architectural changes are already taking place to accompany this shift:

  • Network Function Virtualization (NFV) will be pivotal
  • Software Defined Networking (SDN) both at the core and edge of the network will be deployed.
  • The architectural changes will provide:
  • Increased computing power
  • Scalability
  • Reduced operational costs
  • Creative business models to enable differentiation
  • 3GPP has defined a service-based architecture where flexibility and dynamic adjustments are the key drivers to meet performance and cost requirements. This architecture defines network functions which can be triggered by other services leveraging Virtualization and Network Slicing.
  • As a reference, Newtec, early in 2019, announced that it would be collaborating with Wind River to utilize its Titanium cloud Virtualization Platform to develop a Newtec Dialog.
  • Wind River’s complete Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Software Platform Infrastructure will help Newtec leapfrog these 5G requirements.
  • The Titanium Cloud Platform delivers the features needed to successfully build and deploys a virtualized network running multiple Virtual Machines. It also promises lower-cost, highly flexible, and scalable infrastructure and will provide customers with the ability to get better service access anywhere in the world.
  • With SND and NFV Customers and service providers will be able to scale their services to quickly address changing requirements.
  • Introduction To SND:
  • SDN is a Radio Access Network for 5G wireless standards
  • Software Defined Networking is based on Software Radio (also called Software Defined Radio – SDR)
  • SDR is a device in which the supported air interface can be changed through a software only upgrade.
  • SRD techniques has been used in a variety of military and high-end commercial radio devices to date, especially in spectrum monitoring.
  • A conventional SDR design exploits specialized processors such as digital signal processors (DSPs) or Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) on a specialized hardware board with embedded codes specific to the application. This technology might be termed “FIRMWARE RADIO” to reflect its lack of portability and dependence on specific hardware devices.
  • In contrast, a general standard SDR design is implemented as portable software (high-lever codes) running on industry- standard equipment. This is termed “SOFTWARE RADIO”.
  • Typically, all of the software is written in C and C++ running on the Linux operating system.
  • The entire system, including the signal processing for the air-interface, is simply a collection of software applications that can run on any general purpose processor (e.g Pentium, Xeon, PowerPc, ARM).
  • The software is designed to allow multiple processors to run on same CPU or board, enabling a single server or blade to support multiple different air-interfaces at the same time, with capacity dynamically shared among all operating air-interfaces.
  • The applied station subsystem brings together a suite of technologies that together provide flexibility, scalability and cost-effectiveness to network operators.
  • The core Software Radio technology enables true multi-standard operation and takes advantage of industry-standard COTs servers, reducing both CAPEX and OPEX and significantly reducing requirements for on-site maintenance
  • The use of advanced multi-carrier RF heads supports multi-standard operation and dynamic capacity reallocation.
  • A switched-fabric standard networking protocol in the front haul makes distributed antenna system (DAS) solutions economical
  • IP everywhere in the backhaul and switch connection enables the use of commodity equipment and multiplex network links.
  • These benefits are the direct consequences of software-centric approach to the radio access network (RAN).
  • The multi-standard software can turn on any of a wide range of server platforms and exploit any of a range of backhaul, fronthaul and RF head equipment, all based around industry-standard, commercially available platforms and networking protocols.
  • The applied subsystem enables carriers to allocate valuable spectrum and backhaul resources to broadband data capacity only in those cells where the customers using the broadband service are active at any given time.
  • Consequently, with the subsystems, network operators can focus infrastructure investments on system configurations that not only meet their specific requirements for features and scalability at minimal cost, but also significantly enhance business model flexibility through enabling software-only upgrades and on-demand spectrum and capacity allocation.
  • In fact the SDR applied subsystem networks in both microcell and innovative vehicle picocell, enterprise in-building, and home deployments can enjoy significant cost and flexibility advantages over conventional alternatives.

 Reducing the cost and complexity of managing wireless-based networks for 5G

  • This involves :
  • Remotely access, monitor and control hybrid networks of terrestrial and satellite broadband network equipment including:
  • Routers
  • Switches
  • Servers
  • Hubs/ Gateways
  • Fire walls
  • Wireless Access Points
  • VSAT MODEMS
  • Antenna Controllers
  • RF Amplifiers
  • GPS devices
  • Power Controllers
  • Reduce the time and resources spent on wireless network maintenance, support and recovery using SDR
  • Increase business availability by providing always-up network monitoring and management.
  • Enforce management security and enable compliance even during outages
  • Centralize and standardize control of core and remote network infrastructure.
  • SATCOM NFV:
  • Satellite Network Function Visualization tool is a three-dimensional analysis and visualization environment that displays all scenario information from the software suite.
  • The Visualization Provides an intuitive view of complex mission and orbit geometries by displaying realistic 3-D views of land, sea, air and space assets, sensor projections; Orbit trajectories and assorted visual cues and analysis aids.
  • The tool takes advantage of today’s readily available Windows and Unix workstations to provide state-of-the-art interactive graphics performance. Its graphics are driven by precise, validated and verified numerical data drived from experts.
  • How can NFV tool benefit your SATCOM NETWORK needs?
  • One software tool for 3D-Visualization of integrated Land, Sea, Air and Space Assets.
  • Ideal situational awareness tool for all phase of complex SATCOM NETWORK FUNCTIONS, and intelligent programs with real-time data interfacing
  • 3-D Visualization with heads-up data display to support operations
  • Professional-quality images, animations, and videos for executive briefings and presentations
  • High-Fidelity (HiFi) Visualization of specialized design, analyses, and operations pertaining to collision avoidance, network coverage assessment and planning, Orbit determination, real-time Visualization, communication, Link analysis, and interference masking systems.
  • Rapid anomaly resolution of satellite operations
  • 3-D Visualization of Sophisticate Networks Integrations
  • Visual design tools for specialized system engineering tasks
  • Advanced Visualization Options provides advanced visualization and output Optimization such as terrain Visualization; a “Flying-camera” capability for sophisticated animation and video production, High-fidelity scence Modeling, Visual design tools for solar-array sizing and sensor Obscuration analysis, and highly realistic scence creation with day-light modeling and anti-aliasing.

Andrew Aroh is President of SSPI Nigeria


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WhatsApp to Deactivate Support for Certain Phone Models over Incompatibility

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WhatsApp has announced that it will no longer be supported on a variety of phone models starting from the summer of 2024.


WhatsApp to Deactivate Support for Certain Phone Models over Incompatibility

This decision affects a significant number of devices from popular brands such as Samsung, Motorola, Huawei, Apple, Sony, and LG.

Users are advised to check the list of incompatible devices to determine whether their phones are affected and whether they need to upgrade to continue using WhatsApp securely.

Surprisingly, some of the models on the list are quite old, but due to their decent hardware or lack of upgrade options, some users have been clinging onto WhatsApp for dear life.

At present, WhatsApp is recommending that users only use the app if they have a device running on Android 5.0 or later, or an iPhone with iOS 12 or newer.

The affected models include popular devices like Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus, Motorola Moto G, and various iPhone models like 5, 6, and SE.

This development highlights the rapid evolution of technology and the need for users to stay current with their devices to access essential services like WhatsApp.

As we move towards a more advanced digital age, it becomes increasingly crucial for users to regularly check for updates and ensure compatibility with the latest software and applications.

In light of WhatsApp’s decision to discontinue support for certain phone models, there are several key points that users should be aware of regarding this future incompatibility issue.

One of the main challenges associated with WhatsApp ceasing support for older phone models is the potential security risks involved.

Unsupported devices may become more vulnerable to security threats as they will no longer receive essential updates and patches from WhatsApp.

Additionally, users who are unable or unwilling to upgrade their devices may face difficulties in communicating with friends and family who continue to use WhatsApp.

On the controversial side, some users argue that tech companies should provide support for older devices to ensure inclusivity and accessibility for all users, regardless of their device’s age or specifications.

However, from WhatsApp’s perspective, maintaining support for outdated models may hinder the app’s ability to innovate and introduce new features that require more advanced hardware.


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Glo Deploys AI Services for Customers to Earn Millions while Learning

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Digital solutions services provider, Globacom, has unveiled three innovative AI-focused services that aim to improve customer satisfaction and provide users the chance to profit from AI and win rewards on the network at the same time.

In addition to offering users the possibility to win thrilling rewards through lottery draws, Globacom disclosed in a press statement that the services would offer priceless insights into utilizing AI for everyday requirements.

One of the services, called “Glo Awoof Win EverWage,” is a gaming platform that gives users the chance to either win a lifetime wage or take part in a monthly draw that offers a N12 million prize.

Subscribers will also get regular payments from this service, thus having a steady source of income free from the limitations of a conventional job. Globacom stated that Glo EverWage “promises peace of mind in today’s dynamic economic environment, whether you seek supplementary income or financial stability.”

Subscribers can participate in the drawings for EverWage by calling *20791# and following the instructions to be eligible for a chance to win N12 million per month and daily cash prizes.

In a similar vein, “Glo Awoof Win SMS-to-Ai” uses artificial intelligence (AI) to give users rapid, precise information on any subject without requiring an internet connection.

The “Ask AI by Glo” service is an SMS-based platform that provides users with access to a variety of informational resources, including news, sports scores, weather predictions, traffic updates, educational advice, and celebrity information. By dialing *20791# on their handsets, subscribers can also take part in the network’s jackpot draws for a chance to win thrilling prizes.

Subscribers can also use Glo SMS-to-AI to ask queries even in the absence of internet access, by texting their inquiries to 20791 and the AI platform will respond to them right away. Regular questioners will be informed through their Glo lines and have a chance to win interesting rewards.

The third one, “Glo Awoof Win Ai Fortune”, is an educational service designed to empower users by teaching them how to leverage Ai for generating income and improving business processes.

“From foundational Ai concepts to advanced business strategies, our comprehensive curriculum equips you with the skills to harness Ai for income generation and business enhancement. Subscribers can engage in interactive learning modules, earn certifications, and showcase their expertise in monthly competitions”, the company disclosed.

Subscribers to AI Fortune can obtain study packets to read and enter to win prizes by dialling *20791# and following the instructions.

According to Globacom, users who want to take advantage of the three AI-powered services should dial *20791# on their mobile devices in order to choose among the available options. Daily one-time or auto subscriptions to the services cost N100, weekly one-time or auto subscriptions cost N200, and monthly one-time or auto subscriptions cost N500.


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Y’ello Care since ‘07: 17 Years of Unwavering Commitment to Community Development

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For nearly two decades, MTN has demonstrated a steadfast dedication to community development through its flagship corporate social responsibility initiative, Y’ello Care.

The annual program with the theme “Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow”, now celebrating its 17th year, exemplifies the telco’s commitment to making a positive impact across the various communities it serves.

Launched in 2007, Y’ello Care has evolved into one of the most significant corporate volunteer programs in the telecommunications sector. Each year, employees take time off from their daily tasks to give back to the community and participate in meaningful charitable initiatives, reflecting the company’s fundamental principles of innovation, leadership, and integrity.

The heart of Y’ello Care lies in its volunteers. MTN employees from different departments and regions come together to contribute their time, skills, and resources. This culture of volunteerism not only benefits the communities but also fosters a sense of purpose and camaraderie among its staff.

Since its inception, the Y’ello Care initiative has tackled various social challenges, from education and health to environmental sustainability and economic empowerment. The program’s success is measured by the number of projects completed and the lasting positive changes it brings to the lives of individuals and communities.

Speaking about this year’s edition, Tobe Okigbo, Chief Corporate Services & Sustainability Officer, MTN Nigeria, said “Y’ello Care is about the MTN ecosystem giving back and contributing their time, money, and resources to make a positive impact. This year, we’re focusing on education in remote areas, supporting three projects that will provide access to quality education for young Nigerians,” said

One of the cornerstones of Y’ello Care this year is its focus on education and this year the initiative is supporting the KNOSK charity education initiative (Study Better Packs),building and refurbishing Iwerekun Community High school, providing learning materials, and organizing vocational skills workshops. These efforts aim at bridging the educational gap and equipping students with the skills needed for the future.

Also, Y’ello Care has made significant contributions to improving healthcare services. Through medical outreach programs, health awareness campaigns, and the provision of essential medical equipment, it has helped enhance the quality of healthcare in underserved areas.

Beyond everything,

As Y’ello Care completesits 17th year, the company further proves its committment to deepening its impact on its community. MTN Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to community development through the Y’ello Care initiative is a testament to the power of corporate social responsibility.

The 17-year journey of Y’ello Care tells a remarkable story of dedication, impact, and hope. It serves as an inspiration for other organizations to engage in meaningful community service and underscores the importance of giving back to the society in which they operate.

 

 

 


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