AT&T: Virtualization Ahead of Schedule

    AT&T says that it is further along in its drive to virtualize its network than it thought it would be at this point.

    Chief Financial Officer John Stephens told analysts during its fourth quarter call that 34 percent of the AT&T network was virtualized as of the end of last year, a significant increase from the end of 2015, when only 5.7 percent had attained that status. Stephens said that the carrier is on pace to be 75 percent virtualized by the end of the year, according to the report at RCR Wireless.

    The story said that AT&T’s conversations with analysts were “a bit light” on 5G trial details, another major concern of AT&T and other carriers. The company claimed to be active despite not releasing too much information:

    Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson did highlight the company’s ongoing investment in spectrum and infrastructure to support its current LTE-based operations, claiming the carrier has invested $27 billion in spectrum over the past five years and was currently working to integrate 40 megahertz of new capacity into its operations.

    Is It Quantum? Well, Yes and No

    D-Wave Systems, which claims to have the only quantum computer on the market, has introduced the 2000Q.

    The 2000Q offers that number of qubits, the replacements of the ones and zeros of traditional computing. Through a process that essentially nobody understands, qubits can represent both at once and, thereby, can compute at speeds unattainable by today’s systems.

    The 2000Q is being tested by Lockheed Martin, Google and NASA and has been bought by Temporal Defense Systems, a cybersecurity firm. The Computerworld article goes in depth about an argument among engineers about whether the D-Wave System really is a quantum computer or just a step in the evolution toward that goal. There is nothing fuzzy or quantum about the price tag of the 2000Q, however: The system costs $15 million.

    SIP Forum Updates SIPconnect

    The SIP Forum has approved the second version of its SIPconnect Technical Recommendation, according to the organization.

    The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a set of signaling protocols for multimedia widely used on Internet Protocol (IP) networks. The forum’s SIPconnect Task Group updated version 1.1, which was developed in 2011.

    Version 2, according to the press release, increases and standardizes guidelines for seamless, end-to-end interoperability between SIP-enabled IP-PBXes and service provider networks. The new version extends Version 1.0 and 1.1 to security, emergency calling location, early media and IPv6.

    More simply, the new version strengthens elements that are already in place and brings SIP up to date on developments of the past half-decade.

    Comcast Closing in on Cellular Service

    The cable industry has long tried to compensate for its lack of a meaningful wireless service offering. Those days may be coming to an end: Comcast is closing in on entering the wireless business, an intention it initially made public in the fall. The move will make a big splash, even in the fractious wireless sector:

    Comcast Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts said Thursday his company’s planned wireless service will support the most popular smartphones. That makes it likely that Comcast subscribers will be able to make calls and surf the web using an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy, a perk that would give the largest U.S. cable company an advantage over other newer entrants in the wireless market.

    The Bloomberg story mentioned the landscape, which includes rumors of Verizon either merging with or acquiring Charter, another cable company. The story says that 150 Comcast employees are working on the wireless project.

    Cisco Patching WebEx Vulnerability

    Cisco yesterday began distributing a patch for WebEx, a key tool for many mobile workers. PCWorld says that the move was a reaction to what is considered to be a critical vulnerability.

    The vulnerability focuses on the exposure of functionality if certain code is contained in a URL or iframe. It is possible that the pathway could be used to enable execution of arbitrary code, the story said. The vulnerability exists only for the Google Chrome browser.

    Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.



    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk is a long-time IT and telecom journalist. His coverage areas include the IoT, artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence, drones, 3D printing LTE and 5G, SDN, NFV, net neutrality, municipal broadband, unified communications and business continuity/disaster recovery. Weinschenk has written about wireless and phone companies, cable operators and their vendor ecosystems. He also has written about alternative energy and runs a website, The Daily Music Break, as a hobby.

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