PR Newswire | January 12, 2024
Iridium Communications Inc., a leading provider of global voice and data satellite communications, today announced Project Stardust, the evolution of its direct-to-device (D2D) strategy with 3GPP 5G standards-based Narrowband-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) Non-Terrestrial Network (NB-NTN) service development. As a new standards-based solution, it will be deployed on Iridium's existing satellite network giving the company a unique ability to offer both high-quality proprietary and standardized D2D and IoT services to its customers.
The early stages of programming Iridium's low-Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites offers a special opportunity to smartphone companies, OEMs, chipmakers, mobile network operators (MNO) and related IoT developers to have their requirements woven into the fabric of the Iridium® network. Iridium is already collaborating directly with several of these companies.
"This is an exciting moment for Iridium and is a testament to the flexibility and capability built into our satellite constellation," said Iridium CEO Matt Desch. "The industry is moving quickly towards a more standards-based approach, and after surveying the field, we found that we're the best positioned to lead the way using our own network, particularly given our true global coverage."
Iridium is designing its initial NB-IoT offering to support 5G NTN messaging and SOS capabilities for smartphones, tablets, cars, and related consumer applications. Adopting the service will enable device manufacturers to add a satellite connection to standardized devices, take advantage of existing, globally allocated and coordinated Iridium spectrum, and provide a superior low-latency LEO user experience. The Iridium network supports approximately 1,300 SOS and emergency (911 or equivalent) incidents per year, around the world and has readily available systems, processes, and partners to implement this capability for new devices.
Iridium understands the market need for its customers to develop and certify products quickly. Applying our established onboarding processes, chipmakers and NB-IoT developers can join Iridium's ecosystem of about 500 partners, and choose a proprietary, standards-based, or dual-solution integration approach for added network redundancy. MNOs will have the opportunity to be a one-stop shop for ubiquitous coverage and off-grid use cases, with unmatched industry reliability. Iridium partners are supported by a 24/7 customer support, back office, billing, and provisioning system, all ready to support the new service upon launch.
The Iridium satellite constellation's fully crosslinked, LEO architecture and global L-band spectrum provides a competitive service advantage versus other LEO and geostationary satellite networks. Certified to provide safety of life services by international regulatory bodies, the Iridium network has become the gold standard of reliability and continues to be the only network that provides connectivity everywhere on Earth. Operating in LEO, the Iridium constellation does not suffer from the same line-of-sight limitations, significant power requirements or outages that can affect entire regions from a single satellite as faced by geostationary systems.
The recognized leader in satellite IoT and personal communications, Iridium has more than two decades of experience and an unmatched partner ecosystem supporting more than 2.2 million users around the world. As of the third quarter of 2023, Iridium subscribers have grown at a 15% CAGR over the last five years, and the company serves approximately 1.7 million IoT customers today, including about 900,000 personal trackers and satellite messengers for consumer, enterprise, and government applications. Known for its reliability, coverage, and low power requirements, the Iridium network is an ideal fit for NB-IoT NTN service.
The company is currently working with several D2D and IoT-focused companies to understand and incorporate their use cases, requirements, and end-user needs into its planned service. The company anticipates testing to begin in 2025, with service in 2026.
About Iridium Communications Inc.
Iridium® is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. In 2019, the company completed a generational upgrade of its satellite network and launched its specialty broadband service, Iridium Certus®. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM.
PR Newswire | January 16, 2024
DISH Wireless, a subsidiary of EchoStar, was awarded a historic $50 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to establish the Open RAN Center for Integration & Deployment (ORCID). ORCID will allow participants to test and validate their hardware and software solutions (RU, DU and CU) against a complete commercial-grade Open RAN network deployed by DISH.
"The Open RAN Center for Integration and Deployment (ORCID) will serve a critical role in strengthening the global Open RAN ecosystem and building the next generation of wireless networks," said Charlie Ergen, co-founder and chairman, EchoStar. "By leveraging DISH's experience deploying the world's first standalone Open RAN 5G network, ORCID will be uniquely positioned to test and evaluate Open RAN interoperability, performance and security from domestic and international vendors. We appreciate NTIA's recognition of DISH and ORCID's role in driving Open RAN innovation and the Administration's ongoing commitment to U.S. leadership in wireless connectivity."
To date, this grant represents NTIA's largest award under the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund (Innovation Fund). ORCID will be housed in DISH's secure Cheyenne, Wyoming campus and will be supported by consortium partners Fujitsu, Mavenir and VMware by Broadcom and technology partners Analog Devices, ARM, Cisco, Dell Technologies, Intel, JMA Wireless, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Samsung.
NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson and Innovation Fund Director Amanda Toman will join EchoStar Co-Founder and Chairman Charlie Ergen, EchoStar CEO Hamid Akhavan, EVP and Chief Network Officer Marc Rouanne and other stakeholders to announce the grant and tour a DISH 5G Open RAN cell site later today in Las Vegas.
During this event, DISH will outline ORCID's unique advantages, including that it will leverage DISH's experience as the only operator in the United States to commercially deploy a standalone Open RAN 5G network. DISH and its industry partners have validated Open RAN technology at scale across the country; today DISH's network covers over 246 million Americans nationwide.
At ORCID, participants will be able to test and evaluate individual or multiple network elements to ensure Open RAN interoperability, performance and security, and contribute to the development, deployment and adoption of open and interoperable standards-based radio access networks. ORCID's "living laboratory" will drive the Open RAN ecosystem — from lab testing to commercial deployment.
Below are highlights of ORCID:
ORCID will combine both lab and field testing and evaluation activities. ORCID will be able to test elements brought by any qualified vendor against DISH's live, complete and commercial-grade Open RAN stack.
ORCID will use DISH's spectrum holdings, a combination of low-, mid- and high-band frequencies, enabling field testing and evaluation.
ORCID will evaluate Open RAN elements through mixing and matching with those of other vendors, rather than validating a single vendor's stack. DISH's experience in a multi-vendor environment will give ORCID unique insights about the integration of Open RAN into brownfield networks.
ORCID's multi-tenant lab and field testing will occur in DISH's secure Cheyenne, Wyoming facility, which is already compliant with stringent security protocols in light of its satellite functions.
About DISH Wireless
DISH Wireless, a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS), is changing the way the world communicates with the Boost Wireless Network. In 2020, the company became a nationwide U.S. wireless carrier through the acquisition of Boost Mobile. The company continues to innovate in wireless, building the nation's first virtualized, Open RAN 5G broadband network, and is inclusive of the Boost Infinite, Boost Mobile and Gen Mobile wireless brands.
PR Newswire | January 15, 2024
DriveNets – a leader in innovative networking solutions – and Acacia today announced the completion of integrating multiple Acacia 400G ZR/ZR+ optical modules with DriveNets' Network Cloud platform. The combined DriveNets-Acacia solution will ensure quick adoption of this innovative disaggregated networking solution and accelerate large-scale network rollouts. DriveNets and Acacia have joint Tier-1 operator customers who will deploy the joint solution.
Last September, DriveNets announced that Network Cloud was the first Disaggregated Distributed Chassis/Backbone Router (DDC/DDBR) to support ZR/ZR+ optics as native transceivers that can be inserted into any Network Cloud-supported white boxes. The combined Acacia-DriveNets solution announced today adds the initial collaboration between the companies, offering several benefits:
The joint solution will deliver significant simplicity and cost savings by collapsing Layer-1 to Layer-3 communications into a single platform.
The use of 400ZR/ZR+ eliminates the need for standalone optical transponders, lowering the number of boxes in the solution, and reducing operational-overhead, floor-space, and power.
DriveNets and Acacia worked together to ensure that the DriveNets NOS (DNOS) supports the 400ZR/ZR+ modules beyond simply plugging them into the box. The collaboration ensures the 400ZR/ZR+ modules can be tunable, configurable, and manageable by DriveNets Network Cloud software.
This integration also goes beyond interoperability validation. DriveNets Network Cloud offers full software support for the Acacia modules, including configuration (channel and power), monitoring, and troubleshooting for Acacia Bright 400ZR+ transceivers with transmit power greater than +1dBm.
"Today's announcement is further proof of the growth of disaggregated networking solutions and demonstrates that more operators are looking for open solutions that will allow them to mix elements from multiple vendors and avoid being locked to a specific end-to-end vendor solution," said Nir Gasko, Vice President, Global Strategic Alliances for DriveNets. "By collaborating with Acacia, we enable our joint customers to quickly adopt cutting-edge technologies and evolve their networks faster."
"Partnering with DriveNets on this joint solution will allow network operators to deploy Acacia's high-volume standard-based coherent pluggable portfolio in open disaggregated networks with less effort," said Fenghai Liu, Senior Director of Product Line Management for Acacia. "Through this collaboration customers can achieve significant capex and opex savings with router-based coherent optics."
DriveNets Network Cloud is being adopted by more Tier-1 operators around the world. By partnering with world-class providers like Acacia, the company continues to expand its ecosystem to support its customers' desire to mix-and-match hardware and software from multiple vendors.
Learn more about DriveNets here.
DriveNets is a leader in high-scale disaggregated networking solutions. Founded in 2015, DriveNets modernizes the way service providers, cloud providers and hyperscalers build networks, streamlining network operations, increasing network performance at scale, and improving their economic model. DriveNets' solutions – Network Cloud and Network Cloud-AI – adapt the architectural model of hyperscale cloud to telco-grade networking and support any network use case – from core-to-edge to AI networking – over a shared physical infrastructure of standard white-boxes, radically simplifying the network's operations and offering telco-scale performance and reliability with hyperscale elasticity. DriveNets' solutions are currently deployed in the world's largest networks.