If you are not attending the show this week, you can catch up with all the breaking news from the show floor right here…

Vodafone and Nokia to offer 4G coverage… ON THE MOON! 

Vodafone and Nokia have revealed that they intend to create a 4G network to be deployed on the surface of the moon. The experiment will take place during a planned mission to the moon by PTScientists in 2019. 

Vodafone Germany has appointed Nokia as its technology partner to help devise a portable 4G network which weighs less than a bag of sugar. 

“This project involves a radically innovative approach to the development of mobile network infrastructure. It is also a great example of an independent, multi-skilled team achieving an objective of immense significance through their courage, pioneering spirit and inventiveness,” said Vodafone Germany CEO, Dr Hannes Ametsreiter. 

The 4G network will allow the first live streaming of HD video from the moon’s surface. 

"We are very pleased to have been selected by Vodafone to be their technology partner. This important mission is supporting, among other things, the development of new space-grade technologies for future data networking, processing and storage, and will help advance the communications infrastructure required for academics, industry and educational institutions in conducting lunar research. These aims have potentially wide-ranging implications for many stakeholders and humanity as a whole, and we look forward to working closely with Vodafone and the other partners in the coming months, prior to the launch in 2019,” said Nokia’s chief technology officer and Bell Labs president, Marcus Weldon.


Industry key players launch ORAN Alliance

Orange, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, China Mobile and NTT DOCOMO have announced the formation of the ORAN Alliance. The organisation will be a world-wide, carrier-led effort to drive new levels of openness in the radio access network of next generation wireless systems. ORAN will consolidate the existing C-RAN Alliance and the xRAN Forum into a single operator led effort.

“In order to respond to the growth of demanding business capabilities and affordable systems, 5G radio sub-networks need to evolve towards more flexible, open and smarter solutions,” said Emmanuel Lugagne, SVP Orange Labs Networks. 

“The work of the ORAN alliance will be a perfect driver for the industry to help achieve these promises,” he added. 

With the relentless increase of data traffic, mobile networks and the equipment that runs them must become more energy efficient (green), software-driven (soft), virtualised, flexible, and intelligent. 

"The ORAN (Open Radio Access Network) Alliance is committed to evolving radio access networks— making them more open and smarter than previous generations. Real-time analytics that drive embedded machine learning systems and artificial intelligence back end modules will empower network intelligence.  Additional virtualized network elements with open, standardised interfaces will be key aspects of the reference designs developed by the ORAN Alliance. Technologies from open source and open whitebox network elements will be important software and hardware components of these reference designs," read a statement from the newly formed organisation. 


TIM and Ericsson begin virtualisation of radio access networks in preparation for 5G

Italian telco TIM has joined forces with Ericsson to begin to digitalise TIM’s radio access network across Italy. The duo have successfully deployed the first advanced LTE virtual radio access network in Turin.

The partnership with Ericsson will enhance TIM’s digitalisation programme, DigiTIM, which is charged with developing TIM’s digital offering. 

The pair hailed the deployment as a major milestone in the road towards the roll out of 5G services. 

“Our vRAN partnership with TIM shows that the evolution towards 5G through the virtualization, automation and digitalization of radio access networks is not just a talking point but an action point, as seen by the successful deployment in Turin. We are working closely with TIM to turn this city deployment into a nationwide deployment,” said Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president Ericsson.