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Ericsson Showcases the Future of Mobile Networks in India

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Ericsson showcased innovative new technologies – from concept ‘radios access network’ products called Radio Stripes, to new AI and ML based solutions ready to be introduced in the networks today – at its flagship technology showcase, ‘Barcelona Unboxed’, held in Gurgaon today.

Ericsson Radio Stripes come with a nearly invisible form factor but enable truly ubiquitous high capacity radio everywhere. Ericsson Radio stripe is a visionary mobile network design that is super-distributed and has the potential to deliver better quality and robust radio performance while enabling easy and flexible deployment of mobile networks. The Company also showcased a host of other demonstrations and use cases across 5G and IoT, including Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, Intelligent Managed Services and Communication on Smart Devices.  Ericsson ‘Made for India’ radio solutions including Massive MIMO and indoor solutions comprising of  small cells and micro cells were also showcased at the event .

According to Nitin Bansal, Head of Ericsson India and Head of Network Solutions, South East Asia, Oceania and India. “From contributing towards 5G standards to product development as well as 5G commercialization, Ericsson is leading the way across the world. Ericsson now has 18 publicly announced 5G deals with customer names globally and we have already shipped 3 million 5G hardware ready radios till now.”

Ericsson´s just launched 5G platform plays an instrumental role, as the most complete portfolio set out to deliver on the promises of 5G. With the Ericsson 5G platform, service providers can evolve their network from 4G to 5G in a smart and dynamic way and build performance with precision; maximize automation in operations and leverage AI to cope with complexity and monetize both evolving existing use cases as well as develop new ones, across Mobile Broadband, Fixed Wireless Access and IoT.

Enhanced mobile broadband will be the first commercial application of 5G. In the near future, 5G will provide capacity to handle growing data traffic, as well as present opportunities for operators to grow top-line and improve their consumer business. As networks evolve and technologies like Massive MIMO and 5G New Radio are introduced, cost per gigabyte will decrease. This cost efficiency will grow stepwise with the continued capacity improvements in 4G. An Ericsson Study reveals that the evolution to 5G can enable 10 times lower cost per gigabyte than current 4G networks.

“Research carried out by Ericsson Consumer Lab in India indicates that consumers are waiting for 5G and one in three smartphone users in India will change either immediately or within six months to a service provider that switches on 5G”, states Nitin Bansal.

Ericsson also demonstrated its just launched Ericsson Operations Engine at the event. Ericsson and Bharti Airtel had announced their collaboration in the first quarter of this year for building intelligent and predictive network operations. Leveraging on its developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation, Ericsson will support Airtel to proactively address network complexity and boost user experience.

The Ericsson Operations Engine uses AI and automation to dynamically allocate resources, ensuring consistent quality across the network. It uses a data-driven approach to provide coverage, performance, and reliability for customers, relying on service KPIs rather than network KPIs – so that service providers can better analyse, understand, and optimize the network to deliver a superior customer experience.

More About Technology Showcase at Barcelona Unboxed

Ericsson Radio Stripes

It is a visionary concept where Ericsson has done a rethink of antennas and base stations.  This revolutionary new mobile network design is super-distributed.  It has the potential to deliver better quality, easier deployment at a nearly invisible form factor, enabling truly ubiquitous high capacity radio everywhere. In technical terms this is a truly ubiquitous massive MIMO system. It will be an ideal deployment solution for challenging outdoor as well as indoor areas such as dense city squares, malls/offices, stadiums, train stations, factories and warehouses.   It is simply speaking, a base station that is distributed on a flexible tape – and can be deployed at “tailormade” size with a scissor.

Communicate on Smart Devices

The human need for real-time communication is more relevant than ever. This is true, both for how we communicate with each other, and how we communicate with businesses. Service providers could offer their mobile voice services, enabled via their VoLTE enabled network, to consumers on a palette of new devices such as smart watches, smart speakers, smart TVs, smart mirrors and much more. This proof point we will demonstrate how voice services for the multi-device experience improves the consumer experience.

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing is a key network function that will allow a smooth introduction of 5G on existing 4G frequencies in a service provider’s network, securing the best possible use of their spectrum assets and installed base. With a simple software installation, operators will be able to activate 5G on their existing Ericsson Radio System infrastructure (radios and RAN Compute equipment), that we already started to deliver in 2015. This demo will show how simple it is to move from single mode to mixed mode configurations, while also covering Ericsson Spectrum Sharing.

Future of Mixed Reality

This demonstration showcases a “live” augmented reality visualization of the digital twin of an actual city, including animated weather, transportation, and so on. The miniature city highlights several future buildings within the existing cityscape, and you can zoom to street-level at certain locations for a 360° mixed reality experience from the real city.

This will be made possible through ultra-realistic and largescale mixed reality, which is enabled by an emerging multi-industry ecosystem around 5G, edge computing, autonomous vehicles, advanced visual computing (AI) and mobile devices.

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Bharti Airtel Announces 5G Ready Network

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In a major landmark, Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) announced that it has become the country’s first telco to successfully demonstrate & orchestrate LIVE 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad city.

Airtel did this over its existing liberalised spectrum in the 1800 MHz band through the NSA (Non Stand Alone) network technology. Using a first of its kind, dynamic spectrum sharing, Airtel seamlessly operated 5G and 4G concurrently within the same spectrum block. This demonstration has emphatically validated the 5G readiness of Airtel’s network across all domains – Radio, Core and Transport. 

Airtel 5G is capable of delivering 10x speeds, 10x latency and 100x concurrency when compared to existing technologies. Specifically, in Hyderabad, users were able to download a full length movie in a matter of seconds on a 5G phone. This demonstration has underlined the company’s technology capabilities. The full impact of the 5G experience, however, will be available to our customers, when adequate spectrum is available and government approvals received.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel said: “I am very proud of our engineers who have worked tirelessly to showcase this incredible capability in Tech City, Hyderabad today. Every one of our investments is future proofed as this game changing test in Hyderabad proves. With Airtel being the first operator to demonstrate this capability, we have shown again that we have always been the first in India to pioneer new technologies in our quest for empowering Indians everywhere.” 

“We believe India has the potential to become a global hub for 5G innovation. To make that happen we need the eco system to come together – applications, devices and network innovation. We are more than ready to do our bit.” added Gopal Vittal.                  

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Airtel Xstream Fiber Rolls Out Gigabit Wi-Fi Experience

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Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) has kicked off the New Year with some exciting news for customers with the launch of hyper-fast Wi-Fi experience. 

Airtel Xstream Fiber customers can now enjoy 1 Gbps data speeds over Wi-Fi and no longer have to be constrained by a dedicated LAN cable. The Airtel Xstream Fiber Rs 3999 plan now comes with a complimentary 1 Gbps Wi-Fi router to go with unlimited data quota and massive bundled content.  

The highly advanced 4×4 Wi-Fi router, will enable seamless 1 Gbps Wi-Fi coverage across Homes and Small Offices. This will unlock a great experience for online gaming and animation and for work or study from home with large number of concurrently connected devices. Small Offices will be able to deploy multiple high speed connections for applications such as stock trading and online collaboration that requires reliable high speed connectivity with zero downtime.      

Says Vir Inder Nath, CEO – Homes, Bharti Airtel: “Reliable high speed connectivity is a lifeline in today’s digital first world and Airtel is proud to be at the forefront of India’s broadband revolution. A key ask from our customers was liberation from the LAN cable to enjoy the 1Gbps experience and we are delighted to make that happen.”        

Airtel Xstream Fiber’s 1 Gbps broadband plan at Rs 3999 also comes with a complimentary Airtel Xstream Box that offers 550 TV channels and OTT content from the Airtel Xstream app library that includes over 10,000 movies & shows aggregated across 7 OTT apps and 5 studios. It offers subscription to premier video streaming apps such as Amazon Prime Video and ZEE5, all accessible through the Airtel Xstream Box.

Airtel is India’s largest private sector broadband service provider with presence in over 150 cities. 

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Networking

5 Things to Check for a Secure Home Wi-Fi Network

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Many people think that “no hacker would be interested in my home network.” But everyone has something that’s valuable to attackers: personal information, bank details, financial data, perhaps even a webcam that could let criminals know when you aren’t at home, or that might let creeps spy on you when you are.

And if you’re working from home, it’s worth remembering that for a skilled attacker it’s just a hop, skip and jump across the network from your personal computer or connected device to your work laptop, and possibly from there to the whole company network.

Tip 1. Apply those updates

“Patch early, patch often” is a regular mantra on Naked Security, and it applies to all access points, modems and routers you use for your home network, as well as all the devices that can connect to it.

Take a moment to check when your firmware was last updated. If it’s not up to date, patch without delay.

Set your devices to automatically install updates where possible. If you discover that you are unable to update (for instance, if the manufacturer is no longer providing support), consider migrating to a device that is properly supported.

Tip 2. Check your encryption settings

We recommend using at least WPA2-PSK (AES) encryption, also known as WPA2-CCMP. (PSK stands for Pre-Shared Key, which is the password you need to connect to the network in the first place.)

WPA2 was first ratified by the Wi-Fi Alliance in 2004. If the router you’re using doesn’t support WPA2, upgrade to a newer model that does.

Never use WEP, short for Wired Equivalent Privacy, because the encryption system it uses was cracked completely many years ago – it gives nothing but a false sense of security.

Tip 3. Pick a proper password

Pick a proper password for your Wi-Fi network.

It’s tempting to use a short and obvious password so it’s easy to type in on devices such as phones, or to read out for friends who want to join your network while they’re visiting.

But an obvious password makes it easy for people you haven’t invited onto your network to connect up as well. You only need to enter it once, so a little bit of extra hassle putting in the password in the first place is worth it to make it harder for outsiders to guess the password in future.

Remember also that if you have allowed a guest to access your network but then decide that you don’t want them connecting any more, you will need to change the password to keep them out.

Tip 4. Check who’s on your network

It’s worth taking a moment to see which devices have accessed your Wi-Fi network recently. Many routers have an option in their management pages, usually accessed via your browser, that will show you which devices have connected recently.

Are there any rogue computers online? Perhaps the teenager next door is still connected from their last babysitting session? Are there any home devices such as webcams or baby monitors that you’d forgotten about or thought you’d turned off?

If there are devices accessing your network that shouldn’t be, disconnect them. Changing the Wi-Fi password will stop any unwanted devices getting back online automatically.

Tip 5. Review your IoT devices

IoT is short for Internet of Things, and it refers to devices that didn’t used to be computers in their own right, such as webcams, smart speakers and doorbells, but that now connect to your Wi-Fi network by themselves, and operate independently.

Paul Ducklin’s recent article on 8 tips to tighten your work-from-home network included some great advice for securing IoT devices such as webcams and smart speakers. The main takeaways are:

  • Only connect devices that you really need to have online. Power down devices when you’re not using them.
  • Make sure you know how to update your devices.
  • Configure your devices correctly,
  • Change any risky settings, such as default passwords.
  • Check how much data you are sharing.
  • Put IoT devices on a ‘guest’ network if you can.
  • Turn on ‘client isolation’ if available.
  • Make sure you know who to turn to if you have a problem.

That said, we must take a deeper look at our security and check that everything is as it should be.

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