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Sep 17, 2021

Guess who is going to cover the 5G Core for you

 Hey Team, Guys, Everyone,

I has been way to much time since last time I wrote something meaningful here, apologies for that.

Many things have changed in my life since 2013 when this website was still working. I got a new job with end of 2013. I was creating the history by virtualizing Telecom industry. The same thing that you all are probably doing now.

Then even bigger player showed up on my horizon and after changing a job last year I started working with the 5G Core, and this is exactly why I'm here announcing what I'm announcing. ;-)

It took me way longer than it should to start addressing the 5G topic here with us, for me and for you all here. Now I'm here to fix it!

There is new G in town and this makes us go back to the learning board to know him better.
For that I recommend you to put your ship course to https://5gcoreandbeyond.com/ where we are going to cover the 5G Core and beyond - exactly as we had done it in the future.

Except the 5G Core I hope to also cover there bits of Cloud specifically Azure, but also K8s and AKS. As last time - I'm not an expert on all of those, but I'm happy for the journey of becoming one. I have a feeling it is going to be a blast comparing to which the LTE and beyond was a child's play.

Onwards and Upwards! Simply Onwards and Upwards!

To close this entry few more information that are related more to how it will be organized now:

  • This website will be kept online and will be used to share links to my new blog
  • New blog is not live yet, but soon will be, so please stay tuned!
  • There are few other domains pointing to new place, I have not decided yet how it will be called officially. The 5G Core and beyond sounds bit long to me personally...
    • Will share more domains when I'll be ready with them
  • In case you want to reach out to me directly please find me on the LinkedIn

Thanks and hope all is fine on your ends,

Oct 29, 2020

The 5G and Network Slicing

 While browsing LinkedIn I stumbled on the video by Mohamed Radwan and Karim Rabie about the 5G and Network slicing.

I'm going to share it embedding it here below

It's clear to me that Mohamed is into IT technology and I'm sure you are going to find other interesting topics on his YouTube channel.


Long time no see - let us try to change it!

 Hey Team,

It is a very long time since we seen each other on those pages.

At end of 2013, I've joined a company that was on the edge of the change in telecoms and it was terribly hard to keep up with the work there. Luckily currently things are changing and the environment is becoming more organized. I hope my life will get stabilized because of it.

During those years I moved towards IT more than I ever wanted. I believe we all either experienced it or we see where the telecom is heading.

If you would ask me that 2-3 years ago I would point Openstack as a future, but currently I personally see Openstack as a bloated solution that had an opportunity to just merge in telecoms but this didn't happen.
Saying it simply: This ship has sailed away.

Microservices, do you speak it?

On the other note, telecom has also changed, and it's not the 4G/LTE anymore, it's all about the 5G, and with 5G huge changes are coming, because of which I personally think solutions like Openstack will not be adopted.
The architecture of the solutions has changed, and if it has not with the Vendors you are working with then I have bad news - you are working with a solution that is not really state of the art for 2020.

Microservices are the new cool kids and every want (or at least they should) to play with them. 

I've moved many of my skills towards Cloud and I advise you to do the same. Currently, I'm preparing for the Azure Architect certifications in the other spare time I have left I polish my Kubernetes.

So what are we going to do now?

Due to all of the above, I think the future of this blog will change and we are going to be more focused on the IT side of things like PaaS components.
Another point to this is that I will not be creating as much content as it was in the past. I grew old and I'm tired - joking, I'm only 34 when posting this. Although there are better people in the Cloud or Microservices field than I am or will ever be. Therefore I'm going to link more items to interesting publications than create them myself.

This includes courses I do on Udemy, articles I read on the Internet or YouTube videos that I find worth watching. All will be focused on the 5G and Microservice.

You can still find me on the LinkedIn.

Have a great day and God bless!


Dec 29, 2016

Juniper QFX running on ESXi

Because of my day to day job I'm spinning around networking more and more. Which is not that bad if you ask me. Up until some time ago I was, and I think it's not only me, taking routing/switching for granted - yet another transport layer.
The more I'm getting into it.. it stays as boring as it always was. (joke, but it's boring)

No matter how your views on R/S are recently I found something worth sharing. To be honest, almost each day I'm seeing something from Juniper worth sharing, therefore there will be more resources/links posted here.

Now, in case you haven't noticed, Telecom market is turning towards virtualized solutions. Currently I'm a happy guy as I'm part of the Affirmed Networks, leader in virtaulizing telecoms.
This is also a reason more and more resources will be about boring IT, because virtualization is an IT thing for what 10-15 years by now probably, rather than virtual telecom.

Today I want to share post where David is showing how to run Juniper QFX on ESXi.
This might be useful if you dont have enough to spend on physical appliance of QFX to start fooling around.


Mar 22, 2016

LTE EPC Technology Essentials - Workshop

Few days ago one of my colleagues, Hussien Mahmoud, made slide deck. He shared this slide deck with everyone, I'm here just re-sharing it with you, it's really worth it. All 157 (sic!) packed with knowledge slides, with quality graphics that shows the most important.

Has anyone of you ever tried chicken consomme? It's a soup, like chicken broth but clear and reduced, where flavor is so intense it gives your taste buds a meltdown (..if only this would be possible).
Hussien's slide deck is like that, it's a piece of gold if you ask me. If I only had resource like that back in 2010/11.. oooh boy!

I met Hussien in Cairo/Egypt in 2012, since then he's my good friend but for most he is a great Mobile Packet Core Eng, who also recently joined Affirmed Networks - company I currently sweat blood for.

Have a look, follow him on SlideShare. His slides avail here http://www.slideshare.net/HussienMahmoud2/lte-epc-technology-essentials


Aug 19, 2015

Affirmed Networks - Happy to be part of the future

Some of you know, some of you may know that I work for Affirmed Networks from end of 2013.
All this time to now was a fast joy ride. We got coverage in Feb/2014 because of the AT&T.

 In addition, Affirmed Networks, Inc., has been chosen to work with AT&T on a virtualized Evolved Packet Core (EPC). [...]
Source: http://www.att.com/
I was dead busy, so blog went on side track. Now I can see I left something to gain something.

Happy and proud to be part of 1bilion USD worth team. We have so many live Customers I lost track who is officially shared to public and who is not - best way to know is to google about it, at least this is what I say.

Yesterday Forbes published
Cisco Systems and Ericsson are among the big companies losing market share to a fast-growing startup — Acton, Mass.-based Affirmed Networks.
Full text below
This startup from Acton, Mass is Affirmed Networks.
Happy to be part of the change in Telecoms, part of its future.

Full Forbes text here

Jul 8, 2015

Cable operators becoming MVNO

Wanted to share good article. It's some promotional thing for their product, but it's decent piece of information.

Wanted to share good article. It's some promotional thing for their product, but it's decent piece of information. I cannot say if advertised products are good or bad, but article itself is a decent one. This is where the Telecom walks now.

Cable operators becoming MVNO: a win-win scenario

[...] As a 2014 report from Adobe already showed, more than 50% of browsing on smartphones and 93% of browsing on tablet comes from WiFi.

Even as they expand their offer, cable providers still see usage limited to home or office hours. On their side, mobile operators continue to upgrade their networks to 4G (and future 5G) technology to deliver more high-quality media content; this makes them competitive in terms of service quality but also results in rising infrastructure investment.
In this post we’ll see how cable companies and MNO can start providing data services using a shared infrastructure, with YateHSS/HLR and the YateUCN unified core.
Mobile data offloading can be an opportunity for both operators and cable companies to provide data access to more users without incurring large expenses. Offloading enables operators to reduce the traffic load on their networks and reallocate bandwidth to other users in case of congestion, by assigning part of the traffic to a WiFi network. For cable companies, it becomes possible to serve subscribers in-between existing hotspots, making them rely primarily on the WiFi network, rather than on the cellular one.

This can be done through MVNO agreements between cable operators and one or multiple MNO, so that the cable provider would share the network assets of the operator to provide carrier-class WiFi access.
As MVNO, a cable company will provide its own SIMs, and its customers will register to and receive data traffic from the MNO’s network. Though some MVNO may choose to also operate their own core network, they are usually likely to hold control over billing, subscriber management and policy control functions, in which case they will only deploy an HLR and/or HSS. In fact, reportsx suggest that it is preferable for MVNO who offer triple or quad-play operating to deploy their own HSS/HLR (to which they can integrate policy control and AAA), because they need to provide a ‘consistent treatment of the user’ across terminals and technologies.

Once the device is known to the core network, YateUCN communicates with the AuC in the YateHSS/HLR using the SS7 or Diameter protocol, depending on the type of services the user has access to. As soon as the SIM is authenticated, the HSS/HLR takes over and manages the SIM and its services. [...]

follow the link to get more - resource.


Mar 20, 2014

Bootstrapping server function (BSF) in LTE

Recently I faced question about role of Bootstrapping Server Function (BSF) function in the LTE network, this made me thinking and digging. On the end I decided to share this woit you in case anyone has ever wondered about that. So what is the role of BSF in LTE?

The BSF queries the Subscriber Locator Function (SLF) over Dz interface, which is Diameter based,  to get the name of the HSS containing the required subscriber specific data.

It's similar to Zh or Zh' (Z-h-prim), dont remember it right now, interface used by BSF to connect to HLR to fetch authentication information.

Check the 3GPP 33.220 for more details http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/specs/archive/33_series/33.220/

Jan 15, 2014

Resource: SIM Card Forensics - Introduction

Just few moments ago I have found quite interesting article that covers in details how the SIM card is build and works. Maybe for Terminal-side guys this is obvious but myself I found few new things for myself.
As the title says this is just introduction, more information could be coming.

SIM Structure and File Systems

A SIM card contains a processor and operating system with between 16 and 256 KB of persistent, electronically erasable, programmable read-only memory (EEPROM). It also contains RAM (random access memory) and ROM (read-only memory). RAM controls the program execution flow and the ROM controls the operating system work flow, user authentication, data encryption algorithm, and other applications. The hierarchically organized file system of a SIM resides in persistent memory and stores data as names and phone number entries, text messages, and network service settings. Depending on the phone used, some information on the SIM may coexist in the memory of the phone. Alternatively, information may reside entirely in the memory of the phone instead of available memory on the SIM.
Fig. 1. SIM Card File System

follow the link to get more - resource.


Jan 14, 2014

Combined Attach in LTE/4G

Some time ago I'v covere the Attach Procedure, from then many times I saw questions about the Combined Attach.
So here it is, the Combined Attach himself.

First it has to be addressed what is the Combined Attach and why it's so different from Attach procedure already covered.

What Combined Attach is?

It's attach for both EPS and non-EPS services, or both EPS services and "SMS only".
The combined attach procedure is also used by a UE in CS/PS to attach for EPS services if it is already IMSI attached for non-EPS services.

How Combined Attach is triggered?

When the UE initiates a combined attach procedure, the UE shall indicate "combined EPS/IMSI attach" in the EPS attach type IE.

If the UE is in EMM state EMM-DEREGISTERED, the UE initiates the combined attach procedure by sending an ATTACH REQUEST message to the network, starting timer T3410 (More about EMM timers? Check the EMM timers or ESM timers article) and entering state EMM-REGISTERED-INITIATED.

If timer T3402 is currently running, the UE shall stop timer T3402. If timer T3411 is currently running, the UE shall stop timer T3411.