Michael Tarabya, Orange’s chief technology and innovation officer (pictured above), believes the company is very close to meeting the requirements that will be required for its mobile and fixed networks to support metaverse-related applications, although it has not yet determined how to monetize it. Services like these and get a return on the investment needed to support such bandwidth-hungry and latency-sensitive offerings.
In a face-to-face interview with TelecomTV in Paris, Tarabya shared his recipe for the optimal communications network that, he said, would be needed if the uses of Hyper- and Extended Reality (XR) were to be widely available. The first and most important element, he says, is a high bandwidth guarantee — something the company claims to have in the form of 5G and fiber networks.
“You also need low latency, which 5G standalone (SA) and fiber can provide. Next, you need to have a comprehensive latency guarantee, which will also require advanced computing capabilities” to bring the features closer to the customer, according to Orange’s chief technical officer. .
Finally, according to Tarabya’s recipe, it is “of great importance” to maintain quality over time. “The really painful thing about QoS from a customer perspective is to make a big change, for example, in latency or in bandwidth, so we also need to ensure that we have a stable connection and bandwidth. [and] “Customer latency,” Tarabya noted.
He stressed that Orange is “very advanced” with its “high-quality 5G” and fiber access networks. “I think we already have very strong networks that are able to do this with 5G and fibre. We may need to go further, but it is also important that we can monetize these investments. This is also why we are in discussions with [Orange group] service providers to understand what their needs will be and how this can be monetized, because this also requires additional investment.”
From an infrastructure perspective, supporting such services will also require investments in edge computing and “we will need SA [standalone] The development that has not yet occurred,” he explained. Tarabya added that Orange will start deploying the capabilities of the standalone platform for 5G networks next year, which will provide “the required flexibility on the network to organize the different segments.”
It also envisions changes to the home connectivity field, as many metaverse-related use cases will be in users’ homes. “This is about the box, the gateway, to make sure that what is brought into the house is not lost with the connection to the house. Because if you have the advantage of high-bandwidth fiber to the home (FTTH) and [low] latency, but then you have a weak gateway and a weak Wi-Fi repeater, which leads to increased latency, and weak Wi-Fi cannot support it [such XR services]. “This will need to be addressed,” he said.
Networks of the future
Overall, the company is on a journey to change the ways it builds, operates and manages its networks.
“The main change will come from bringing agility to networking. We will bring what has been pushed on IT with the cloud, in a flexible way of working, to the world of networking. [Then] “We will be able to have more efficient networks,” Tarabya explained.
For example, he cited the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and explained that “much less field intervention” is needed by engineers to change network settings as this will be done by automatic network reconfiguration, depending on traffic needs.
He added that this AI functionality will be useful for major networking events, such as the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, for which Orange will be the only communication partner. “There will be a huge number of people coming – and the situation can change very quickly in the different locations that will host the Olympics. Today, what we are doing is providing additional capacity and it is a project that takes time. Now, we can take advantage because this is just going to be a software defined network so that we can Remotely and even automatically, at some point, redirecting resources and capacity to desired areas and uses,” explained Tarabya.
This change, according to the executive branch, will also allow the carrier to provide network services as a service and on demand to enterprises. He gave the example of network slicing capabilities, which will be unlocked through the implementation of 5G SA, allowing for dedicated capacity and guaranteed QoS for specific uses, such as gaming and other use cases.
“You have to be able to dynamically organize all of these slides in order to turn slides on and off in specific areas and just [when you need it]. So we need a completely resilient network that is really capable of doing it smoothly and automatically, just like when you order a new request to increase capacity… It’s just a click away and all networks adapt automatically,” he explained.
Quantum technology was one of the innovations It was shown at Orange Research and Innovation 2022 in Paris earlier this week. “It is important that I say that [quantum technology] It would be a breakthrough, but [one] This – at least in the first place, maybe in ten years – will come in handy for some very dedicated players… [Some] Tarabya said that security companies, governments, banks… are very concerned about this type of topic, adding, without naming any, that Orange is already seeing interest from certain customers.
BT is another major player increasingly focused on exploring opportunities and partnerships to deploy quantum-based networks – We see BT targets thousands of companies with its new quantum-secured network.
– Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor of TelecomTV
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