Voyager - A Space Exploration Mission like no other

IEEE CTN Issue: August 2017

Usually I come up with a (I like to think) cute title for the email announcement for the CTN article, but this time I’m afraid I am too in awe of the topic to do so. So I will stick with what our author, Leland gave to me. It is with a certain amount of childhood excitement that I’d like to present a comms engineering slant on the now 40 year old and still going Voyager mission, told by one of the engineers who was there. For me Voyager is one of those moments in time that any self-respecting engineer would sell their back teeth to have been part of. The sheer challenge of communication over such distances using, what now is, such primitive technology, to achieve one hell of a phone call at some quite decent data rates would make the bravest of us quiver. Before the mission launch all the engineers got their names engraved on a plaque on the probe and it is now leaving the solar system. I don’t think 5G will ever provide that level of satisfaction unfortunately! And by the way, when this article talks about free space loss, it really means free space….. Maybe there are some other Voyager engineers out there who will want to add their comments?

Tell me what you want, what you really, really want: Intent-Based Networks and the rise of Domain Specific Languages in Networking

IEEE CTN Issue: July 2017

This month we take a quick look at the role of domain specific languages in future telecoms networks, prodded into this topic by Cisco's recent promotion of intent based networks, which we argue are just another example of DSL.

Is the future of network management as simple as high-level policy statements? Where else do we see domain specific languages popping up in telecoms? We take a crack at answering these questions but your insights are always welcome in the comments section.

Where is 5G now?

IEEE CTN Issue: June 2017

We thought it was about time for an update on the 5G standard progress. 5G is getting close to prime time which will occur perhaps as early as 2019 with the US leading the charge with fixed wireless to the home being a big initial application for 5G. In this article we give a brief summary of the features that have settled in to the 5G standard and also present a few demo and trial results. All the 5G nerds out there are welcome to write in and tell us what we missed.