Friday, August 18, 2017

AT&T preps for its mega-merger with Time Warner – Part 1

The next couple of months will be pivotal for AT&T and a real test of the management skills of company CEO Randall Stephenson, who has now been at the helm of the iconic communications company for 10 years. In that time, Stephenson has guided a remarkable transformation of AT&T into a multidimensional mobile powerhouse with a deep LTE network extending from the U.S. to Mexico. The company has plotted a post-DSL future in fibre-based residential broadband - a space where Verizon has capped its ambitions and Google has pretty much given up. AT&T has also transformed into a leading home entertainment provider through its DirecTV satellite venture and U-verse TV services. It even has a promising over-the-top TV offering to lure cord-cutting millennials.

On the horizon, however, are several major events that either could set AT&T on a differentiated growth trajectory or reshuffle the leader board of American communications providers to its detriment. These big events include the $109 billion merger with Time Warner, the iPhone 8 super cycle, and costly 5G network build out that will be necessary to compete in the 2020s. Within a few years, AT&T surely will be a very different company.




Q2 results show flat or declining revenue in many categories

Earlier this week, AT&T reported Q2 consolidated revenue of $39.8 billion, a decline from $40.5 billion in the year-ago quarter. AT&T attributed the shrinkage to legacy wireline services, which after all these years continue to be a drag on sales, but operating metrics also showed a loss of DirecTV and U-verse TV subscribers in the quarter.

There was some weakness in its prime consumer mobility revenue category but the biggest headline for the company was that it achieved its lowest ever postpaid churn of just 0.79% (the figure is a bit higher if counting consumers who drop cellular connectivity for their tablets from their monthly subscription plans).

One explanation for the high retention rate in the quarter is that consumers have finally stopped fleeing from AT&T in large numbers to T-Mobile and Sprint to lower pricing. Both competitors conducted fierce marketing campaigns in June and July offering cheaper and unlimited voice/text/data plans, including T-Mobile’s 2-for-1 offer on the new flagship Samsung Galaxy S8.

However, another explanation is that the legions of iPhone users across the U.S. are reluctant to jump to a new carrier in the months before Apple’s iPhone 8 launch. Many market analysts are predicting an 'iPhone super cycle' with this new model due to the tens of millions of U.S. mobile users carrying the iPhone 5 or 6 - many 3+ years old and likely with cracked screens and diminished battery life. If the new Apple device is a hit, or at least not a dud, one can expect churn among all the mobile operators as consumers shop for the best deal.

Trimming expenses and boosting margins

During Q2 operating expenses were cut to $32.5 billion versus $34.0 billion a year earlier. As a result, operating income was $7.3 billion versus $6.6 billion a year earlier; and operating income margin was 18.4% versus 16.2%. Second-quarter net income attributable to AT&T totalled $3.9 billion, or $0.63 per diluted share, compared with $3.4 billion, or $0.55 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Capital expenditures were $5.2 billion in the quarter, down from $5.5 billion in the same period last year. Capex for 2017 now stands at $11.2 billion. Free cash flow - cash from operating activities minus capex - was $3.7 billion for the quarter and $6.9 billion year to date. Free cash flow was $4.8 billion in Q2 2016.

Q2 highlights and operating metrics listed on AT&T investor relations website include:

·         Growing U.S. wireless operating income margin of 30.4% with record-high EBITDA margins including best-ever wireless service margin of 50.4%.

·         2.8 million wireless net adds, including 2.3 million U.S., driven by connected devices, prepaid and postpaid, and 476,000 Mexico net adds.

·         At the end of Q2, the total number of wireless connections (post and pre-paid) was 51.706 million, down from 54.260 million a year earlier.

·         In Mexico, AT&T now has 13.082 million wireless connections, up from 9.95 million a year earlier. There are now more than 88 million LTE POPs, covering 74% of the Mexican population.

·         112,000 IP broadband net adds; 8,000 total broadband net adds.

·         More than 5.5 million AT&T Fiber customer locations passed.

·         At the end of the Q2, satellite TV subscriptions were 20.856 million, up from 20.454 million a year earlier, but down by 199,000 from the preceding quarter.

·         AT&T now has 491,000 DIRECTV NOW subscribers – an OTT service. The company says its DIRECTV NOW service is helping offset traditional TV subscriber decline.

·         SKY Brazil now has 5.519 million subscribers, up from 5.348 million a year earlier.

·         Total wired voice connections stood at 10.696 million at the end of Q2, down from 11.815 a year earlier.

·         International revenues up 10.8% with favourable operating trends.

·         Total employee count of 260,480, down from 277,200 a year ago.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Flash Memory Summit – big changes in non-volatile memory - part 1

Can you imagine a 128 TB SAS SSD? It is coming soon from Samsung in the familiar 2.5” disk drive package and destined for the next generation of cloud data centres. Leading companies and start-ups from across the storage industry met at this week's Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, California. A key takeaway from the event is that solid state storage continues to improve at a rate much faster than networking technologies. Solid state drives surpassed spinning disks in total capacity some time ago - Samsung announced a 16 TB SDD in August 2015 and currently offers a 32 TB SSD, but prices remain high.



The market is driven by unrelenting demand for flash drives in laptops, desktops and servers, especially in cloud data centres where there has been an uptick in spending over the last few quarters. NAND prices on a $/GB are significantly higher than they were 12 months. According to data from Objective Analysis, contract prices for NAND averaged $0.30 per gigabyte on July 2nd, compared to $0.20 per gigabyte a year ago. Looking at Amazon.com, the street price of a 500 GB SSD is about the same in mid-2017 as last summer. Meanwhile, with higher prices and relentless demand in the current market, the leading manufacturers of 3D NAND are doing quite well. For Samsung Electronics, this translated into very strong revenue and earnings for its June financial report, which predicted that a tight market for DRAM and 3D NAND will continue for the rest of the calendar year.

In a presentation at Flash Memory Summit, Jim Handy of Objective Analysis predicted that NAND prices will remain stable at these rates through mid-2018, but will then suddenly collapse due to a saturation of new supply entering the market. His argument goes that all vendors have begun to ship 3D NAND but only in limited volume due to the complexity of mastering 3D NAND manufacturing. Over time, these complexities are being ironed out, manufacturers will move to add additional layers of stacking and the cost per GB will become cheaper for 3D NAND than for 2D planar NAND. Objective Analysis expects a steep oversupply of 3D NAND by late 2018, even before significant new manufacturing facilities in China come online.

Disruption at Flash Memory Summit

This year’s Flash Memory Summit was disrupted on opening day by a fire in the exhibition area, apparently an electrical issue at one of the vendor stands. Thankfully no one was hurt, but the exhibits were cancelled for the remainder of the event. Conferences and keynotes were the forum for technological disruptions, of which there are plenty in this rapidly evolving segment.

Firstly, Samsung made several important announcements and previewed that massive 128 TB SSD. At a fundamental level, Samsung said its 3D NAND roadmap is progressing on schedule. Last year, Samsung introduced its 4th generation, 64-layer triple-level-cell V-NAND flash memory. This has now gone into production and is being used for products such as the 32TB SSD. Drive capacity and performance are expected to scale up with the upcoming v5 generation of 3D NAND. Samsung has already started work on v6 and v7, with an assumed 18-month interval between each generation. Samsung executives seemed confident they will be able to squeeze at least ten generations out of 3D NAND technology, which provide another decade of continuous improvement if Flash SSD. Beyond that, other non-volatile memory technologies will need to be developed.
Samsung's 1 TB V-NAND chip

Samsung also announced a 1 TB V-NAND chip, slated for commercial production next year, that will enable 2 TB of memory in a single V-NAND package. This is achieved by stacking 16 x 1 TB dies – an advancement the company considers 'one of the most important memory advances of the past decade'.

Samsung is introducing a 16 TB NGSFF (next generation small form factor) SSD that is designed for use in 1U rack servers. Measuring 30.5 x 110 x 4.38 mm, the Samsung NGSFF SSD aims for improved space utilisation and scaling. The company showcased a 1U sample design, codenamed Mission Peak, that pack 36 of the units for a total capacity of 576 TB in the 1 RU appliance. Samsung is looking for partners on this new drive form factor.

In addition, for extreme SSD read/write performance, Samsung introduced its first Z-SSD product, boasting 15 microseconds of read latency time, which is approximately a seventh of the read latency of an NVMe SSD. At the application level, the company estimates its Z-SSDs can reduce system response time by up to 12 fold compared to using NVMe SSDs.

Samsung is also introducing a technology it calls Key Value SSD. Whereas today's SSDs convert object data of widely ranging sizes into data fragments of a specific size called 'blocks', the new Key Value SSD technology allows SSDs to process data without converting it into blocks. Samsung said its Key Value instead assigns a ‘key’, or specific location, to each value, or piece of object data, regardless of its size. The key enables direct addressing of a data location, which in turn enables the storage to be scaled.

Orange is growing in France again, competition is fierce

After a long dry spell, Orange is growing in its home market of France once again. It has been eight years of steady revenue declines under its new name for the once mighty France Telecom, but finally the Q2 2017 financial reports shows overall growth in France once again. More specifically, the never-ending decline in legacy PSTN services, along with a slight dip in mobile revenues, has finally been offset by growth in FTTH residential broadband services.

However, it is too early to say that a corner has been turned and the company's Essentiels2020 strategic plan will be a success. There is fierce competition in the French market in both mobile and broadband services. The company's much touted Orange Money, which has proven to be a successful in the African markets served by the company, has yet to catch hold in Europe. Also, Orange has 95,000 employees in France and substantial social obligations reflecting its long history, giving it the power and burdens of incumbency. Still, the return to growth in Q2 breaks the long chain of down quarters for the company.

Some positive results for the first half of 2017

Overall, Orange reported group revenue of Euro 20.276 billion in the first half of 2017, an increase of 1.1% (Euro 222 million) following an increase of 0.9% in the 2nd half of 2016 (Euro 188 million). Revenue growth accelerated in the 2nd quarter of 2017, rising 1.4% (Euro 138 million) after rising 0.8% in the 1st quarter (Euro 85 million). Orange recorded group operating income of Euro 2.434 billion in the 1st half of 2017, an increase of Euro 293 million compared with the 1st half of 2016.

Group highlights

Orange group's capex was Euro 3.276 billion in the 1st half of 2017, up 3.0% on a comparable basis, with capex on the telecom activities (Euro 3.251 billion) up 2.2% while the ratio of capex to revenue for the telecom activities was 16.0% (up 0.2 percentage points compared with the 1st half of 2016). Investments in fibre and very high-speed mobile (4G and 4G+) rose 16.5% compared with the 1st half of 2016, in line with the objectives of the Essentiels2020 strategic plan.

The group's fixed broadband base had 19.1 million customers at June 30, 2017 (up 5.4% year on year on a comparable basis). Mobile contracts customers in France and Europe segment had 350,000 net additions in the 2nd quarter of 2017, with the customer base up 3.3% as at June 30, 2017 year on year. 4G in France and in the Europe segment continued its rapid development, rising 39% year on year with 31.6 million customers at June 30, 2017.

Return to growth in France:

•   Total Q2 revenue in France amounted to Euro 4,452, up 0.5% compared to the same period last year.

•   Broadband ARPU amounted to euro 33.8, up 1.4%.

•   Mobile ARPU was euro 21.7, down 0.5%.

•   Mobile contract net adds amounted to 111,000; churn rate was 11.4%, unchanged from a year ago.

•   FTTH net adds amounted to 111,000, bringing the installed base to 1.7 million.

•   ADSL subscriptions dropped by 38,000.

•   In France, Orange invests more capex (18.1% of revenue) than elsewhere (16.0% overall).

SFR growing faster in FTTH across France

In comparison, rival SFR recently reported that it added 330,000 new connections to its fibre network (FTTB/FTTH) in France during Q2. SFR continued to hold the leading position in terms of FTTH subscriptions too with 10 million connections in 1,500 municipalities.

On July 12th, Altice-SFR announced an ambitious program in order to accelerate the fibre coverage across the country, aiming to cover 80% of the territory with FTTB/H by 2022 and 100% by 2025. The initiative will rely on private investment without direct public subsidy. Under the plan, Altice-SFR will have its own infrastructure for both very high speed fixed and mobile broadband, reducing its dependence on third parties.

Orange sees faster growth in Spain, lower mobile ARPU

In Spain, Orange added 148,000 net mobile contracts, but suffered a churn rate of 18%. The number of 4G customers reached 8.7 million, up 35% over the same period last year. Mobile ARPU stands at Euro 14.2, up 5.9% over last year, but below the European average. Orange had 141,000 net FTTH adds for Q2, but there were 133,000 ADSL deactivations. Orange has more homes within its FTTH footprint in Spain than in France: 10.7 million FTTH connectable homes in Spain (up 28% yr/yr), versus 7.9 million FTTH connectable homes in France (up 34% yr/yr). Orange's momentum in Spain traces back to its 2015 acquisition of Jazztel.

Orange is moving into content partnerships

A final area worth watching at Orange for the second half of the year is its moves to become a content aggregator. In March, the company announced the formation of Orange Content. It has already signed a number of agreements with prestigious partners, including Canal+, a historic partner, and HBO. Under the first partnership, Orange will distribute a new CANAL+ ESSENTIEL offer to its fibre customers, without commitment and at a competitive price.

At present, it appears that Orange will rely on content partnerships rather than acquiring content rights directly, even for football rights or sponsorships with other professional sports. This differs with rival Altice-SFR, which is pursuing sports rights directly and recently acquired exclusive distribution rights for the Champions League and Europa League for the 2018 to 21 seasons. SFR Sport is now also available on Android TV and on connected TVs in its OTT version. As with other telecom operators, exclusive content is now seen as the key to market differentiation and the best chance of reducing customer churn.

SD-WAN Managed Services update with FNC's Ralph Santitoro



Fujitsu Network Communications delivers SD-WAN-as-a-Service, a subscription-based SD-WAN managed service, that enables service providers to quickly get to market with an SD-WAN service offering.

“Fujitsu’s SD-WAN-as-a-Service uses the MEF’s work defining SD-WAN terminology, fundamental SD-WAN service capabilities and LSO reference architecture.  The MEF’s new SD-WAN service work has been quite beneficial in discussions with service & technology providers and end users, says. Ralph Santitoro, Head of SDN/NFV/SD-WAN Services at Fujitsu Network Communications.

See video: https://youtu.be/iTWO-2NakVY





BT evaluates Dell EMC's disaggregated switches

BT is evaluating the performance of Dell EMC disaggregated switches against traditional integrated switching hardware to test the performance, economics and programmability of this new, virtualized approach, which is important as customers increasingly require more flexible, agile networks.  The proof-of-concept is running at BT Labs in Adastral Park, Suffolk.

Dell EMC said disaggregated switches have several potential advantages over traditional network switches, as they can be managed flexibly using Netconf protocol and YANG models. This makes the entire system inherently programmable and allows the switches to be operated in concert to spin up new network services or make configuration changes rapidly.

BT and Dell EMC are evaluating a number of potential use cases as part of the trial, including instant activation of Ethernet circuits from a third party (such as an enterprise), and the ability of the system to deliver real-time network operational data. The platform also has the potential to deliver other programmable use cases such as bandwidth calendaring – flexing the bandwidth of an Ethernet circuit according to customer need via a predetermined calendar – and delivering network telemetry data to third parties automatically.

Neil J. McRae, chief architect for BT said, “This proof-of-concept trial with Dell EMC will enable us to evaluate the performance of disaggregated switches against traditional integrated network switches, and make informed decisions about the role this kind of solution will play in the dynamic network services of the future. We’re determined to ensure that BT’s network continues to be world-class and able to deliver the services our customers need, when and how they need them. Agility and programmability, maximizing the benefits of SDN, are therefore key to our future network evolution.”

http://www.btplc.com
https://www.emc.com/about/news/press/2017/20170816-01.htm

Equinix to install 37 MW of Bloom Energy fuel cells

Equinix will deploy Bloom Energy fuel cells at 12 International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers in the U.S.  The installation is provided under a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between a subsidiary of Southern Company and Equinix.

The project will provide a total capacity of more than 37 megawatts of power with a phased installation that begins in late 2017 through 2019. Equinix said the new fuel cells will be installed at seven of its data centers in the Silicon Valley (SV1, SV2, SV3, SV4, SV5, SV6, SV10), three in the New York area (NY2, NY4, NY5) and two in the Los Angeles area (LA3, LA4).  It builds on the pilot program at Equinix's Silicon Valley SV5 IBX data center that began in 2015.

"As Equinix data centers, and the interconnection they facilitate, become increasingly critical to the infrastructure of our digital world, this fuel cell expansion is one step in lessening the overall impact of the digital economy on the planet. It enables us to serve our customers with the highest levels of performance while assisting their efforts to make their supply chain clean and efficient," stated Karl Strohmeyer, President, Americas, Equinix.

http://www.equinix.com/

Comcast rolls out Xfinity Mobile

Comcast completed its nationwide rollout of Xfinity Mobile across all of its sales channels in all of its markets.

Xfinity Mobile is a new wireless service that combines its partner's (Verizon) 4g LTE network with its own Wi-Fi network of more than 18 million hotspots. Comcast estimates that nearly 70% of customers will connect to the Wi-Fi hotspots when they are on the go.

"We created a unique mobile experience that’s simple and saves customers money by connecting to our nationwide Wi-Fi network, and allows them to only pay for the data they use," said Greg Butz, president of Xfinity Mobile. "Now that we’re available across all of our distribution platforms, including our retail locations in all of our markets, we look forward to introducing even more customers to Xfinity Mobile."

Two pricing options are offered:

  • Unlimited – $45 per month, per line on up to five lines with no usage limits.
  • By the Gig – $12 per GB of shared cellular data across all lines on an account each month. The majority of customers are choosing this option.

http://XfinityMobile.com

Consolidated Smart Systems Picks Zayo for Dark Fiber in SoCal

Consolidated Smart Systems, one of the largest private broadband providers in California, has selected Zayo for a dark fiber solution to enhance and expand their broadband service capabilities to multiple dwelling unit (MDU) communities in Southern California. The deal will expand Zayo’s existing fiber footprint in the Los Angeles metro area. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Zayo will provide approximately 190 miles of dark fiber, which includes existing network and new build. Zayo will manage the infrastructure, providing a private dedicated network (PDN) that will start with 10G Ethernet services to each location.

http://www.consolidatedsmart.com
http://www.zayo.com

Trend Micro Enters AWS GovCloud

Trend Micro is now offering its Deep Security agent in the recently launched Amazon Web Services (AWS) GovCloud Marketplace.

Trend Micro said its Deep Security provides cloud protection from a single agent that scales seamlessly, helping government organizations maintain continuous compliance. .

https://www.trendmicro.com/aws/

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Facebook picks Ohio for its latest data center

Facebook has selected New Albany, Ohio as the location for its 10th major data center. New Albany is a town of about 8,500 people located in the geographic center of Ohio, about 20 miles to the northeast of Columbus, and at an elevation of 1,000 feet.

Like Facebook's other recent data center projects, this new facility will be powered 100% by renewable energy and it will used Open Compute Project architecture and principles, including direct evaporative cooling by outdoor air.

The New Albany data center will be 900,000 square feet in size and located on a 22 acre parcel. Media reports stated that Facebook plans to invest $750 million in the project. The New Albany data center is expected to go online in 2019.

https://www.facebook.com/NewAlbanyDataCenter/?fref=mentions

Locations of Facebook data centers:

  • Prineville, Oregon
  • Forest City, North Carolina
  • LuleĆ„, Sweden
  • Altoona, Iowa
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Clonee, Ireland
  • Los Lunas, (New Mexico
  • Odense, Denmark (announced Jan 2017)


T-Mobile lights up first 600 MHz LTE network

T-Mobile U.S. has begun lighting up its new 600 MHz LTE network — making it the first operator worldwide to activate commercial LTE services on this band. T-Mobile’s first 600 MHz LTE network sites were just switched on in Cheyenne, Wyoming using Nokia equipment.

The announcement comes only two months after T-Mobile received its spectrum licenses from the FCC.

T-Mobile said it is activating 600 MHz sites in rural locations first, where the spectrum is clear of broadcasting today, and will follow rapidly in other locations. The 600 MHz band propagates twice as far and is four times better in buildings than mid-band.

This year, additional 600 MHz sites are slated for locations including Wyoming, Northwest Oregon, West Texas, Southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, Western North Dakota, Maine, Coastal North Carolina, Central Pennsylvania, Central Virginia and Eastern Washington. These deployments will broaden T-Mobile's LTE coverage from 315 million Americans today to 321 million by year’s end.

“Earlier this month, wireless customers coast to coast proved T-Mobile already delivers America’s best unlimited network. We swept the competition in OpenSignal’s report on all counts—a global industry first. And that was before we started lighting up the world’s first 600 MHz LTE network,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “Buckle up, carriers. Because the Un-carrier’s 600 MHz network just got real.”

T-Mobile also noted that it has been coordinating closely with the infrastructure providers, chipset makers and device manufacturers to bring 600 MHz LTE to market. Nokia and Qualcomm have launched new technology, and both Samsung and LG plan to launch phones that tap into this new spectrum in the fourth quarter of this year.

“To work with T-Mobile in lighting up the world’s first 600 MHz LTE network is a momentous achievement,” said Rajeev Suri, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nokia. “We knew this spectrum would be key for covering wide areas, providing bandwidth in hard-to-reach places, augmenting capacity and improving data speeds, so we began testing and readying 600 MHz network infrastructure equipment and software long before the incentive auction was over.”

http://www.t-mobile.com/coverage

  • In the FCC's broadcast incentive auction earlier this year, T-Mobile US acquired 45% of all low-band spectrum auctioned, covering all of the U.S. and Puerto Rico. T-Mobile acquired 31 MHz of spectrum nationwide on average, quadrupling its low-band holdings, for a total of $7.99 billion. With the purchase, T-Mobile claims to hold more low-band spectrum per customer than any other major provider, and nearly 3x the low-band spectrum per customer held by Verizon.

Cisco posts quarterly revenue of $12.1 billion, down 4% yoy

Cisco reported fourth quarter revenue of $12.1 billion, down 4% from $12.6 billion from the same time last year. Net income (GAAP) was $2.4 billion or $0.48 per share, down 14% from $2.8 billion a year ago.

For FY 2017, Cisco's total revenue amounted to $48.0 billion, a decrease of 2%. On a GAAP basis, net income was $9.6 billion and EPS was $1.90.

"We had another strong quarter and a transformative year. We made tremendous progress transitioning our business to more software and recurring revenue and delivered on our commitment to accelerate innovation in our core and across the portfolio," said Chuck Robbins, CEO, Cisco. "The network has never been more critical to business success and we are building the network of the future."

Some highlights


  • Product revenue was down 5% and service revenue up 1%. 
  • 31% of total revenue was from recurring offers, up 4 percentage points from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. 
  • Revenue by geographic segment was: Americas down 6%, EMEA down 6%, and APJC up 6%. 
  • Product revenue performance was led by Wireless and Security which increased 5% and 3%, respectively. NGN Routing and Switching revenue each decreased 9%. Service Provider Video, Data Center, and Collaboration revenue decreased 10%, 4%, and 3%, respectively.
  • On a GAAP basis, total gross margin and product gross margin were 62.2% and 60.3%, respectively. 

https://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1873317

Cisco's intent-based, intuitive networking launch – Part 2


An interesting aspect of Cisco's new strategic direction with its Intent-based enterprise networking is that the company has made a major bet on developing proprietary ASICs rather than relying on merchant Ethernet switching silicon from Broadcom, Cavium, Barefoot, Innovium or other merchant semiconductor suppliers. There are a number of reasons why the company may have chosen this approach. First, with Broadcom dominating the market for Ethernet...

Cisco's intent-based, intuitive networking launch – Part 1


This week Cisco outlined its vision for Intent-based Networking. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins described the unveiling as the most significant announcement from the company in perhaps the last five years and as the 'foundation for networking' for the next 30 years. So, what exactly is it? Simply put, it is a vision. It is not a technology nor a network architecture, it is a vision of machine learning that will be applied to make networks more agile,...


Interconnection Bandwidth Growing Faster than the Internet



Interconnection bandwidth is growing at a 45% compound annual growth rate, significantly faster than the expansion of Internet bandwidth (24% CAGR) or MPLS (4% CAGR), accounding to a newly released Global Interconnection Index from Equinix.

In this video, Tony Bishop, VP of Global Enterprise Vertical Strategy & Marketing at Equinix, introduces the Index, predicting that by 2020 interconnection bandwidth will have reached more than 5,000 Tbps of installed capacity.

Download the Equinix Global Interconnection Index at:

http://www.equinix.com/interconnection-enables-the-digital-economy/


ADTRAN's NG-PON2 hits latency requirements for 5G

ADTRAN has demonstrated non-service impacting wavelength agility and ultra-low latency with its NG-PON2 solution, which the company is positioning as an SD-Access strategy for mobile networks.

While PON technologies have not previously addressed the low latency requirements for 5G backhaul, crosshaul, and fronthaul applications, ADTRAN has demonstrated non-service impacting wavelength switching in less than 50 milliseconds on its NG-PON2 OLTs. ADTRAN has also demonstrated sub-20 microsecond network latency through NG-PON2, enabling it to support 5G fronthaul applications .

The company also says its NG-PON2 wavelength agility delivers the reliability required to support Service Level Agreements (SLA) for mission critical applications. Non-service impacting wavelength agility also provides increased network resiliency and real-time elastic capacity, and delivers a mechanism to optimize utilization of available optical wavelengths in the access network.

“Network operators are looking for a more cost-effective, scalable and highly available network architecture to ensure that 5G services can be delivered anywhere, to anyone, at home, work or play,” said Ryan McCowan, Director of Portfolio Management for Fiber Access & Aggregation at ADTRAN.

https://www.adtran.com/index.php/adtran-upgrades-ng-pon2-to-support-5g-and-mission-critical-services

Plexxi teams with Decision Lab for real-time analytics

Plexxi and Decision Lab announced a strategic partnership combining Plexxi's Hyperconverged Networking (HCN) software and Decision Lab's real-time analytics for the Plexxi network fabric. The companies will co-develop an integrated set of software tools that collect fabric data path and control path statistics and provide users with analytics dashboards that will present customers with critical insights into their Plexxi datacenter network.

“We are very excited to work with Decision Lab to bring real-time analytics to the Plexxi HCN fabric,” said Rich Napolitano, Plexxi CEO. “Their unique expertise in scale-out architectures, large scale data collection and visualization, and machine learning will enable Plexxi to offer real-time insights to our customers at any scale. We welcome Decision Lab into the next-generation data center ecosystem that will enable users to realize reduced operational complexity and cost.”

http://www.decisionlab.io
http://www.plexxi.com/

ADTRAN Launches Gigabit Accelerator Program

ADTRAN launched a Gigabit Accelerator Program to help service providers to accelerate their delivery of gigabit services, especially in rural areas.

ADTRAN's Gigabit Accelerator Program includes a gigabit FTTH starter kit, installation services, training, marketing support and access to gigabit community partners.

ADTRAN notes that smaller carriers often face barriers to rolling out gigabit services, in addition to the cost of new access equipment, such as:

  • the cost of installing, testing and commissioning this equipment and the technical resources to do so;
  • the lack of quality marketing resources to help acquire new customers more rapidly, thus affecting their return on investment; and,
  • the lack of access to broadband use-cases and industry resources that would streamline community outreach, accelerate community buy-in, lead to higher service take-rates, and reduce barriers to construction.

http://www.adtran.com


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Microsoft acquires Cycle Computing for cloud HPC

Microsoft has acquired Cycle Computing, a start-up specializing int cloud orchestration of High-Performance Computing (HPC) resources. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cycle Computing describes its CycleCloud software suite as a cloud orchestration, provisioning, and data management platform for Big Compute, Big Data, and large technical computing applications running on any public, private, or internal environment. The tool suite helps manage cloud workflows.

Cycle Computing said it is joining Microsoft because Azure has a massive global footprint, powerful infrastructure, InfiniBand support for fast networking and state-of-the-art GPU capabilities.

Microsoft Azure's Jason Stowe writes: "We’ve already seen explosive growth on Azure in the areas of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and deep learning. As customers continue to look for faster, more efficient ways to run their workloads, Cycle Computing’s depth and expertise around massively scalable applications make them a great fit to join our Microsoft team. Their technology will further enhance our support of Linux HPC workloads and make it easier to extend on-premise workloads to the cloud."

https://cyclecomputing.com/cycle-computing-joining-microsoft/

Ericsson: commercial gigabit services within reach with LAA

Ericsson provided a quick update on its activities with Licensed Assisted Access (LAA), a technology which it says will enable commercial gigabit services in the near future.

LAA allows operators to use unlicensed spectrum in combination with their licensed spectrum. The technology is designed to co-exist with other unlicensed spectrum technologies such as WiFi via a feature termed 'listen before talk', which allows fair coexistence between LTE-LAA and WiFi.

Recently, Telstra, in partnership with Ericsson and Qualcomm, became the first carrier to launch a commercial Gigabit LTE network. The gigabit downlink performance is enabled by LTE Advanced features including 4x4 MIMO, 3CA (Three Carrier Aggregation) and higher order modulation (256QAM). On the uplink, Telstra's new network capability uses 64QAM and 2CA (Two Carrier Aggregation) for a peak upload speed of up to 150 Mbps. NETGEAR's Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router (MR1100) leverages 4x4 MIMO and is equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon(TM)  X16 LTE modem.

In June, AT&T and Ericsson conducted a live LTE-LAA technology field trial, during which initial wireless data rates of more than 650 Mbps were achieved in downtown San Francisco.

Also in June, T-Mobile completed the nation’s first mobile broadband data session live in the field using License Assisted Access (LAA) on its commercial network.

Italian operator TIM has achieved speeds of nearly 1Gbps on its live advanced 4G network in Milan using Ericsson’s LAA technology.

Ericsson, Verizon and Qualcomm achieved a speed of 953 Mbps in a joint commercial network deployment in Boca Raton, Florida. This is the fastest announced speed leveraging LAA technology achieved in a real-world, dynamic network environment in the US.

South Korean operator SK Telecom  and MTS, the largest mobile network operator in Russia, have all recently completed their own LAA trials.

Ericsson introduced its micro Radio 2205 for LAA. Designed for unlicensed spectrum use, Ericsson’s micro solution provides small dimensions, flexible mounting and superior performance. Qualcomm Technologies provided a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile platform device, with Gigabit LTE capability thanks to the integrated Snapdragon X16 LTE modem.

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2017/8/reaching-gigabit-milestones-with-ericsson

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