Monday, June 26, 2017

GTT to Acquire Global Capacity, Building its SD-WAN

GTT Communications agreed to acquire Global Capacity, a provider of enterprise network connectivity solutions, for $100 million in cash and 1.85 million shares of GTT common stock, to be issued to the sellers at closing.

Global Capacity, which is based in Waltham, Mass., addresses a range of enterprise network issues including difficulty in load sharing traffic across a mix of access connections, complex, static and manual network configurations that inhibit mapping to business requirements and lack of application visibility and control over connections. Global Capacity has a partnership with VeloCloud. that unifies network management across disparate network technologies, including Ethernet, MPLS, broadband and LTE, whether these are on the Global Capacity network, a competing network or a combination of the two. This is designed to enable a more agile and responsive hybrid WAN solution and to offer a simplified path for migration from an existing network architecture.

In January, Global Capacity launched the Ethernet Multi-Cloud Connect service, a virtual network service based on its One Marketplace software-defined network platform that allows enterprises to build multiple cloud services from a single port to access hybrid and multi-cloud solutions across multiple locations. The Ethernet Multi-Cloud Connect service employs an interconnection architecture with software orchestration to simplify multi-cloud connectivity and improve service performance. The solution enables businesses to connect to cloud locations or select from a list of interconnected One Marketplace Cloud destinations, including AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and twenty cloud providers on the Equinix Cloud Exchange.

GTT said the acquisition will add marquee clients in the healthcare, application service provider, retail and carrier markets, adding highly complementary recurring revenue streams. GTT also operates an SD-WAN service based on Velocloud.

Global Capacity also operates an extensive on-net Ethernet over Copper infrastructure that reaches over 9.6 million U.S. commercial addresses, from 41 data centers and 1,750 Central Office points of presence. Global Capacity acquired Megapath's wholesale business and national colocation aggregation network in 2015.

“The acquisition of Global Capacity accelerates GTT’s growth strategy and underscores our commitment to connecting people across organizations and around the world,” said Rick Calder, GTT president and CEO. “GTT gains new marquee clients, enhanced network reach and scale, and a great team of employees to drive outstanding client experience, through our core values of simplicity, speed and agility. After integration, we expect to achieve our previously announced, next financial objectives of $1 billion in revenue and $250 million in Adjusted EBITDA.”

“This transaction further advances the breadth, depth and ease of deploying connectivity services for our customers,” commented Jack Lodge, president of Global Capacity. “GTT’s global network reach and extensive portfolio of managed services are a compelling complement to our connectivity platform, resulting in substantial benefits for our carrier and enterprise customers. Together, we anticipate growth and success for our customers, employees, and partners.”

http://www.globalcapacity.com

GTT acquires Perseus for $37.5m


GTT Communications based in McLean, Virginia, a global cloud networking provider to multinational clients, announced the acquisition of Perseus, a provider of high-speed network connectivity that serves major financial and e-commerce companies worldwide.GTT stated that the purchase price for Perseus was $37.5 million, plus the assumption of approximately $3 million in capital leases. GTT anticipates that the purchase price will represent a multiple...

GTT establishes Enterprise, Carrier, EMEA Divisions


GTT Communications, a global cloud networking provider to multinational clients, which in January completed the acquisition of Hibernia Networks, announced it has established three new divisions - Enterprise, Carrier and EMEA - intended to accelerate sales growth and enhance services for customers. Each of the new divisions is responsible for the primary customer experience functions, including sales, quoting, ordering, service delivery and collections. In...

Video: Connecting Everywhere - GTT at #ITW2017


It's been a very big year for GTT.  In January, GTT completed the aquisition of Hibernia Networks, which brings substantial assets, including a Layer 1 optical transport networrk and three subsea cable routes. GTT Express is now the fastest transatlantic cable. In this video, Rick Calder, GTT/s CEO, provides a company update. See video: https://youtu.be/qiU9aG07W8w ...



ZTE claims 75% share of True's beyond-100G backbone

ZTE announced that it has won the bid for three networks as part of True's beyond-100 Gbit/s backbone WDM network project in Thailand, representing an approximately 75% share of the project.
The new backbone transmission networks is designed to enable True to support functions such as ultra-high capacity OTN cross-connection, intelligent scheduling of optical networks and ultra-long-distance transmission. The project will also help True to address future service development and further develop its network in the future.

ZTE noted that the DWDM network will enable 100/400 Gbit/s backbone transmission speeds and will significantly improve True's network capacity and support service growth across its 3G/LTE, fixed and broadband networks.

For the project, ZTE is deploying its 100 Gbit/s and beyond-100 Gbit/s WASON solution featuring advanced PM-QPSK/PM-16QAM modulation and coherent reception technology. The solution also includes its digital signal processing (DSP) algorithm and third-generation soft decision forward error correction (SD-FEC) to enable transmission without the need for electronic relays across the network, thereby reducing the cost.

ZTE noted that the software-defined optical networking (SDON) technology is designed to make optical network transmission more intelligent and speed service deployment time, as well as enhancing the efficiency of network scheduling. In addition, the solution features embedded OTDR technology that allows real-time monitoring of the fibre and fault points of the existing network to enhance network maintenance and troubleshooting.


The project also includes colourless directionless contationless flexgrid ROADM (CDCF ROADM) functionality, designed to address True's requirements for transparent transmission, flexible scheduling, aggregation, management and monitoring of data services.

CenturyLink details new organisation

CenturyLink has announced further details of its organisational structure and new executive appointments who will report to Jeff Storey, recently named as president and chief operating officer (COO) of the company upon the completion of its pending acquisition of Level 3 Communications, which is expected to occur by the end of third quarter of 2017.

The new appointments are as follows:

1.         Strategic enterprise, federal government and state government - Edward Morche, who is to rejoin Level 3 on July 5, will serve as president, with responsibility for large accounts, federal and state government, and large educational institutions and research networks.

2.         Global accounts management (GAM) and international – Laurinda Pang will be president, with responsibility for top global accounts and international teams.

3.         Small and midsize business (SMB), local government and education – Vernon Irvin to serve as president.

4.         Wholesale and indirect – Lisa Miller as president.

5.         Consumer – Maxine Moreau to serve as president, responsible for the company's local market consumer business in 37 states.

Additionally, these business units and ongoing integration activities will be supported by the following functional groups:

1.         Technology, product development and security operations - Aamir Hussain as EVP, responsible for IT, testing and integration, architecture, infrastructure, security, as well as overall business enablement.

2.         Transformation and integration – Clay Bailey, SVP, will lead the integration of CenturyLink and Level 3.

3.         North America operations - Richard Batelaan as EVP, with responsibility for North America service delivery, service assurance, access management and field operations.


  • CenturyLink recently announced that on closing of the Level 3 transaction Jeff Storey, current president and CEO of Level 3, would become CenturyLink president and COO. Previously, CenturyLink named the senior leadership team following completion of the acquisition of Level 3.


Global webscale company selects Zayo for wavelengths

Zayo Group announced that a global web-scale company has selected it to implement a network to connect data centres in Dublin and Amsterdam, with the wavelength solution to be deployed on a direct, diverse route bypassing the traffic clusters of London.

The solution provided by Zayo leverages acquired assets from Geo Networks and Viatel and connects Dublin and continental Europe via a strategic fibre route. Zayo noted that it experiencing continuing demand in Europe for dedicated, high-capacity connectivity, both dark fibre and wavelengths, from global companies across multiple sectors.

Commenting on the latest contract, Andrew Crouch, president and COO at Zayo, said, "This long-standing customer needs multiple terabytes of throughput on a direct route… illustrating the leveraging of Zayo's embedded network to provide a solution that meets its capacity needs… the new network will provide the anchor customer with high-capacity bandwidth along a highly strategic route…".


* Zayo recently announced it had been selected by a major data centre provider for a dark fibre solution to connect its East Coast facilities. The solution included primary and diverse routes in New York and New Jersey providing low-latency infrastructure, with more than 30 dark fibre pairs along diverse routes.

* The company also recently announced that a U.S.-based multinational bank had selected it for long haul and metro dark fibre. The dark fibre was to connect the bank's new data centres with its existing fibre network and leveraged a popular long haul route and metro fibre in the U.S. Zayo noted that solution would utilise approximately 1,100 route-miles from Zayo across four states.

* Zayo Group is a major provider of communications infrastructure services, including fibre and bandwidth connectivity, colocation and cloud infrastructure to customers such as wireless and wireline carriers, media and content companies, the finance and healthcare sectors and other large enterprises. The company's 122,000-mile network in North America and Europe includes metro connectivity to thousands of buildings and data centres.

Huawei and TELUS Collaborate on 5G

Huawei and telco TELUS of Canada announced they have successfully completed a 5G wireless connection using the global 3GPP technology standards platform as the industry moves towards the deployment of 5G.

TELUS noted that the pilot not only demonstrates the faster wireless speeds and lower latency that will be available to customers using 5G technology, but also showcases the potential for 5G technology to deliver wireless-to-the-premise (WTTx) connectivity with speeds and reliability required for smart homes and businesses.

The pilot network created with Huawei was designed to reflect a real-world point-to-multi-point connection over commercial central office equipment and transport networks. The network featured equipment based on 3GPP 5G foundational technologies over 28 GHz spectrum, although 5G standards are not expected to be finalised until early in 2018.
The pilot forms part of TELUS and Huawei’s joint 5G Living Lab facility in Vancouver, where the companies have been trialling next-generation technologies since 2015 in a live real-world environment. TELUS noted that last year the Living Lab demonstrated speeds of 30 Gbit/s in a controlled environment and implemented a heterogeneous network (HetNet) in downtown Vancouver.

While 5G wireless technology is expected to become commercially available in 2020, TELUS stated that customers living in the Vancouver area will have early access to the latest wireless technologies leveraging advances achieved at the 5G Living Lab.



  • Previously, in October last year TELUS and Huawei announced they had achieved wireless speeds of up to 29.3 Gbit/s at the 5G Living Lab in Vancouver. The companies also equipped a 4G LTE wireless site in Vancouver with the latest LTE-Advanced Pro technologies, enabling speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s, and planned to upgrade a further 5 sites.


IBM launches new microservices tools

IBM announced it is expanding its portfolio of developer tools with the new Microservice Builder, designed to make it easier for developers and organisations to create, deploy and manage apps built with microservices and part of its effort to simplify how developers manage their data and build applications.

IBM's Microservice Builder offering is designed to provide developers with the flexibility to deploy microservices onto on-premises systems or in any cloud environment.

IBM noted that microservices are being adopters as they allow developers to work on multiple parts of an app simultaneously without disrupting operations. The new set of capabilities offers developers an end-to-end solution so that they can quickly create these services and better integrate common functions for faster app deployment.

Microservice Builder helps developers with each stage of the development process from writing and testing code, to deploying and updating new features, and helps create and standardise common functions such as runtimes, resiliency testing, configuration and security, so developers do not have to handle these tasks separately. Teams can also build with specific policies and protocols to ensure all services work together as a complete solution.

Microservice Builder works in conjunction with existing tools available via IBM Cloud that are designed to support microservices development and deployment. It uses a Kubernetes-based container management platform to simplify deployment, running and management of applications in public or hybrid cloud environments.

Microservice Builder also works with Istio, an open platform IBM has built in conjunction with Google and Lyft to connect, manage and secure microservices. IBM plans to extend the integration between Microservice Builder and Istio as the Istio fabric develops.


IBM Microservice Builder uses programming languages and protocols including MicroProile and Java EE programming models, Maven, Jenkins and Docker and offers functions including: MicroProfile programming model, which extends Java EE; integrated devops pipeline; security features via OpenID Connect and JSON Web Token; production-ready runtime environment for cloud or on-premises systems through WebSphere Liberty.


Sandvine enhances its business intelligence

Sandvine, a provider of intelligent broadband network solutions for fixed and mobile operators, announced enhancements to its business intelligence solutions designed to enable faster, more flexible and intuitive reporting across an expanded range of key metrics.

The enhancements to Sandvine's business intelligence solutions include:

1.         A new columnar data warehouse that supports faster read and write and increased storage, enabling improved performance and functionality across the business intelligence portfolio, including network demographics and analytics and record generator for the export of data to service provider's existing big data solutions.

2.         A faster, simpler version of Network Demographics reporting product that notifies operations and engineering teams of network activity and performance via an intuitive, customisable interface.

3.         Native integration to big data systems and technologies, enabling service providers to integrate real-time measurements and observations into telemetry message buses such as Kafka, Flume and Apache NiFi without the need for offline data mediation processes.

Sandvine noted that service providers can use data from network-based business intelligence solutions for use cases including:

  • Real-time monitoring of the network to identify issues and opportunities in real-time, create new measurements and apply policies on the fly, such as for security, fraud or downtime events.

  • Ongoing, long-term analysis of key KPIs such as application and device usage trends and subscriber quality of experience metrics for video and web surfing.

  • In-depth views of developing network trends, such as adoption of connected home devices on the network, encrypted traffic levels or emerging fraud events, such as fully-loaded Kodi boxes and unlicensed IPTV, zero-rating fraud and OTT voice bypass.

Additionally, Sandvine's FlexPanels feature allows Network Analytics users to engage in free-form exploration of network data to analyse anomalous or interesting results. Network Analytics offers multiple fixed views of data, while FlexPanels enables analysis beyond these views to help users address key issues.

Calix's Gfast node and GigaPoint earn certification

Calix announced that the AXOS E5-16F Gfast Node and the 801F GigaPoint products have become amongst the first end-to-end solution to receive certification as part of the inaugural Gfast certification program from the Broadband Forum (BBF) and the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL).

Additionally, for multi-vendor Gfast interoperability the AXOS E5-16F has been certified when paired with CPE from Arris.

Calix stated that the certification marks a key milestone, demonstrating market readiness for certified end-to-end and multi-vendor deployment, and underpins the ability of service providers to leverage their existing copper infrastructure to deliver gigabit services to subscribers.

Calix noted that it has been involved in the development of the certification program at the BBF from inception, helping to establish the interoperability between Gfast vendors. Leveraging this base, Calix's AXOS-enabled anyPHY capabilities will help the company to adopt future enhancements to Gfast technology and quickly complete the certification process.

Calix stated that it has been experiencing significant service provider interest in Gfast. Calix is a leading vendor for Gfast deployments, currently counting over 60 service providers that are delivering AXOS Gfast services to subscribers, as well as what is believed to be North America's largest Gfast deployment with CenturyLink.



  • The Broadband Forum (BBF) launched the Gfast Council earlier in June with the goal of centralising and disseminating expertise and experience relating to the Gfast market and to support the deployment of Gfast technology.
  • The Gfast council also promotes the Gfast certification program, which announced the first certified, interoperable products, to help accelerate the availability of interoperable solutions and aid integration into service provider networks. The forum also announced the first six products to have completed the certification at the UNH-IOL in accordance with its IR-337 test specification. Initial products certified under the program were from ARRIS, Calix, Huawei, Metanoia, Nokia and Technicolor.

Friday, June 23, 2017

SK Telecom – setting the pace in the 5G race

SK Telecom, South Korea's leading mobile operator by market share, is one of the big players to watch on the global stage for early 5G commercialisation. In fact, a race is on with local rivals KT and LG Uplus to have the first 5G service running in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will be hosted in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February 2018 - only seven months away. Of course, 5G standards are not complete and won't be in time for the Winter Olympics, which means that network planners will be rushing to show off systems that have barely been tested. Sceptics will say that 5G demos at Pyeongchang are likely to be very limited in their footprint and perhaps only 4.5G rather than truly next gen. However, SK Telecom has a track record of being first with many networking technologies, extending back to its earliest days in CDMA.

Background

South Korea's mobile market is one of the most mature in the world. There are three dominant mobile operators: SK Telecom (approximately 49% share), KT and LG Uplus. Mobile penetration has exceeded 110% for years. The majority of users are on subscription-based plans, rather than prepaid, and churn is relatively light compared to other countries.

SK Telecom, part of the SK Group conglomerate (chaebol), was founded in 1984 and has a CDMA network architecture heritage. For its most recently reported fiscal quarter, SK Telecom posted revenue of KRW 4.234 trillion, operating income of KRW 410.5 billion, basically flat from a year earlier, and net income of KRW 583.5 billion, up 2.1 %YoY. As of the end of March 2017, SK Telecom had 21.65 million LTE subscribers, representing a 10.9% YoY growth, and taking up 72.6% of the company's total mobile subscriber base of 29.83 million. ARPU was KRW 34,927 ($31.04), down 2.9% YoY. SK Telecom also operates the Cyworld social network and virtual reality service as well as the Nate-on messaging application.

First in Carrier Aggregation

This week, SK Telecom announced the launch of LTE-A Pro service, which it described as the last stage of LTE evolution. The service footprint covers the main areas of six major cities: Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon and Ulsan. The initial LTE-A Pro service uses three-band/four-band carrier aggregation (CA) to deliver rates of up to 700 Mbit/s. When 4 x 4 MIMO is added, the service accelerates to 900 Mbit/s. SK Telecom plans to scale up LTE-A Pro further using five-band CA with 4 x 4 MIMO to achieve 1.2 Gbit/s peak rates. The first mobile device to support the LTE-A Pro service is Samsung’s Galaxy S8. An over-the-air firmware update will be needed to support the additional CA bands.

SK Telecom's spectrum resources include 10 MHz bandwidth in the 800 MHz band, 20 MHz bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz band, 10 MHz bandwidth in the 2.1 GHz band, 10 MHz + 20 MHz bandwidths in the 2.6 Ghz band.

Peak speeds of 700 Mbit/s and up on a mobile phone are certainly impressive. Actually, SK Telecom has been delivering a 500 Mbit/s mobile service since June 2016 using 256QAM combined with tri-band CA. Four years ago, in June 2013, SK Telecom launched the  first LTE-A service, which boasted download speeds of up to 150 Mbit/s, which is two times faster than its regular LTE service and 10 times faster than its 3G network. This was achieved using CA across two 10 MHz channels, along with the first Coordinated Multi Point (CoMP) implementation. Samsung's Galaxy S4 handset, which was the latest and greatest model in the summer of 2013, was the starring device for this milestone service launch as well.

Many world capitals today have yet to attain the 150 Mbit/s performance peaks offered in Seoul four years ago. But surprisingly, SK Telecom's LTE adoption rate amongst is 29.8 million mobile subscribers was only 72%, or 21.6 million users, as of March 2017. This means that even for a mobile operator with the most advanced network in the world, a significant percentage of users are laggards when it comes to updating to the latest service.

Recently, SK Telecom gained recognition for two other technology innovations: 5G mmWave Handover and a Green Scheduler with Lean Carrier algorithm. Both advances won Global Telecoms Business (GTB) Innovation Awards last month. The 5G mmWave handover technology, developed with Samsung, supports Gbit/s-level performance using multiple mmWave 5G base stations. The companies used the Ray Tracing method to calculate the optimal location of mmWave base stations. SK Telecom and Samsung also cited their work in 3D beamforming to resolve attenuation of radio signals in mmWave frequencies. The Green Scheduler with Lean Carrier technology, which was developed in partnership with Ericsson, enhances network energy efficiency while reducing signal interference.

With Ericsson, SK Telecom is also known to be working on a 5G connected car program. Earlier this year, SK Telecom, Ericsson and BMW Korea achieved a peak rate of 3.6 Gbit/s for a connected vehicle travelling at a speed of 170 km per hour. To pull this off, the three companies deployed the world largest mmWave 5G trial network using the 28 GHz band. Beamforming and beam tracking technologies were used to optimise the connection to the speeding car.

Leaping ahead in quantum technologies

To further illustrate its interest in pushing technological boundaries, SK Telecom signed separate research partnerships earlier this year with Nokia and Deutsche Telecom focused on quantum cryptography. The first partnership will match SK Telecom's Quantum Key Distribution System (QKD) with Nokia’s next-generation optical transport system. The first prototype was shown at Mobile World Congress in February.

Nokia and SK Telecom are also collaborating on a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG), which is seen a key technology for applying quantum cryptography technologies to IoT devices. SK Telecom has developed what it claims to be the world’s smallest 5 x 5 mm CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) based all-in-one, single silicon (ASIC) for providing non-deterministic true random numbers on demand from quantum-shot noise. The plan is to commercialise the technology to enable secure IoT.

SK Telecom's Quantum Alliance with Deutsche Telekom is more open. At this stage, the agreement aims to the channels of communications open between carriers and vendors when it comes to quantum technologies. The official statement from the company, by, Cha In-hyok, EVP and head of IoT business division, states:

    “Committed to building a quantum-safe future, SK Telecom has been actively developing quantum cryptography technologies since 2011. SK Telecom believes that the co-establishment of the Quantum Alliance with Deutsche Telekom will bring us closer to realizing this goal, while also creating new valuable business opportunities in areas including quantum-safe communications, the Internet of Things and big data. It will work together to accelerate the growth of quantum-based cybersecurity technologies and its ecosystem".


Profile of Orange, a global operation with big ambitions - part 5

Preamble

Orange SA is perhaps the global carrier with operations in the most diverse geographies and cultures. From its headquarters in Paris, Orange (formerly France Telecom) now serves 265.162,000 subscribers worldwide with mobile, broadband, fixed telephony, TV and a range of advanced enterprise services. Part 1 covered the company's recent performance indicators, Part 2 discussed two growth segments for Orange: Africa and mobile money, Part 3 discussed the spirit of innovation and its growth in Spain, Part 4 covered Orange Business Services and the company's efforts in SDN and NFV. Part 5 of the series will look at the mobile operations, especially as Orange readies for 5G.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Quarterly and annual financial reports from Orange S.A. paint the picture of a mature mobile market, where ARPU remains flat despite increases in data traffic and continual capital expenditures. While this article has focused on areas of new investment, there has also been a very significant divestiture - the sale of its 50% stake in Everything Everywhere (EE) in the UK. In 2015, BT acquired EE from Orange and Deutsche Telekom for GBP 12.5 billion, giving it the leading mobile network in the UK with 31 million customers (including 24.5m direct mobile customers and 834,000 are fixed broadband customers). EE had previously operated the Orange and T-Mobile networks in the UK. At the time of the deal, EE was regarded by many as the UK's most advanced 4G network.

The joint venture was established in 2009 as a cost-sharing project of France Telecom (now Orange) and Deutsche Telekom. The operation also scored several notable MVNOs, including Virgin Mobile UK, The Co-operative Mobile and Asda Mobile. The sale its 50% stake in EE provided Orange with GBP 4.5 billion in cash and a 4% equity stake in BT. There has been speculation that Orange will use these proceeds to consolidate its position in Europe. Last year, Orange negotiated to buy Bouygues Telecom, the number three mobile operator in France, but these plans were scuttled.

The 5G rollout may be slower than in the U.S., Nordics, Japan and Korea

Unlike some other mobile network operators who are rushing to claim bragging rights as the first carrier to deploy 5G, Orange appears to be holding fast to previously published timelines to commercialise the next generation of mobile technology in 2020. This news emerged at Mobile World Congress earlier this year when major mobile operators and leading equipment vendors issued a call to accelerate the 5G New Radio (NR) standardisation schedule to enable commercial deployments based on the standard in 2019, one year ahead of schedule. The list of supporters notably did not include Orange.

Currently, Orange is conducting 5G demos and is planning large-scale field trials during 2018 and 2019. However, Orange was not an early mover for 4G, and here again the carrier has stated that it will no rush ahead with a pre-standard implementation that has not been fully vetted. In a press event following publication of its Q1 2017 results, company officials stated that capex plans for a 5G rollouts have not yet been budgeted as the standards are still evolving. 3GPP Release 15 is tentatively scheduled for phase 1 release in mid-2018; Release 16 specs should be out by the end of 2019. So far, Orange has announced 5G partnerships with Ericsson, Nokia and Huawei.

Related items

In January 2017, Ericsson and Orange exceeded 10 Gbit/s peak rates in 5G lab testing using beam tracking in France. In November 2015, Orange obtained two 5 MHz frequency blocks (10 MHz in total) in France at the end of an auction process for 700 MHz frequencies for a total sum of Euro 954 million. This will enable Orange to offer better quality of service, particularly inside buildings and in rural areas, and to prepare for the introduction of 5G technology, making Orange the only French operator to own 30 MHz in low frequencies.

In Poland, Orange Polska has also won auctions to acquire two frequency blocks on the 800 MHz band and three others on the 2,600 MHz band for the total amount of around Euro 700 million. In addition, the deployment of 4G+, which provides speeds which are twice as fast as 4G, is continuing in Europe.

Orange continues to deploy the 4G/4G+ networks in the European countries where it operates. For example, in Autumn 2015, Orange Spain commercially launched LTE-Advanced, which supports speeds of up to 336 Mbit/s. In Romania, where Orange is rolling out 4G+, the agreement signed with Telekom Romania in late 2015 for use of its fibre network in urban areas provides access to 20 million connectible homes, enabling the launch of convergent offers.

Nokia and Infracapital to deploy fibre broadband in Poland

Nokia and Infracapital, the infrastructure arm of M&G Investments, announced they have been awarded a tender by the government of Poland for the design, construction and operation of advanced fibre networks to deliver broadband services to residents and schools in 12 currently under-served regions, mainly in the northern and central parts of the country.

The companies noted that they additionally expect to sign a further agreement covering a 13th region next month.

Under the agreement, Nokia will deploy networks based on GPON technology designed to deliver speeds of 100 Mbit/s to more than 400,000 homes and approximately 2,500 schools in the largely rural voivodships (provinces) of Lodzkie, Swietokrzyskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie and Warminsko-Mazurskie. Capital expenditure for the project is expected to be approximately Euro€300 million.

The networks deployed will be operated as wholesale, open access networks, with services to be marketed and delivered by retail service providers. The initiative was launched by Poland's Ministry of Digitalisation and is subsidised by grants from the EU under its EU Digital Agenda 2020 program, which has a goal of expanding fast broadband services with download speeds of at least 30 Mbit/s to all EU citizens, and at least 100 Mbit/s to 50% of citizens, by 2020.

The agreement specifies that from 2018 the under-served regions of Poland covered by the project will have access to a high-speed, resilient fibre network capable of supporting ultra-broadband services for schools, e-health and other digital services, as well as residential triple-play services.

The project will specifically feature Nokia's fibre access platform, the 7360 Intelligent Service Access Manager (ISAM) FX, the new Nokia 7362 ISAM DF small form factor fibre access platform and its 7368 ISAM ONT. Nokia will also provide the 5520 Access Management System for network management, and its Network Analyzer - Fiber operational support platform.

In addition to the broadband network infrastructure, Nokia will also provide professional and maintenance services. Nokia is responsible for the project management, planning, design and deployment of both the broadband and passive fibre network.


Infracapital is a major European infrastructure investor that is managed by M&G Investment Management, the European investment management arm of Prudential plc. Infracapital has to date raised over GBP 2.6 billion via four European infrastructure funds.

France-based Kalray raises $26m for Manycore Silicon

France-based Kalray, a fabless developer of high-performance, low-power 'manycore' microprocessors:

1.         Founded as a spin-off by technology investment firm CEA Investissement in 2008 and developer of the patented massively parallel manycore architecture, MPPA (massively parallel processor array).

2.         Offering manycore processors designed to enable high performance computing with low power consumption and low latency targeting embedded applications including autonomous vehicles and acceleration in data centres.
Has announced the completion of a new round of funding totalling $26 million that was led by new investor Safran, with participation from Asian investor, Pengpai, also a new investor, ACE Management, CEA Investissement, EUREKAP! Héléa Financière and INOCAP Gestion. Kalray has raised a total of over $65 million in capital and public funding from investors including Bpifrance.

Kalray stated that the new funding round will be used to accelerate the commercial exploitation of its existing solutions and to begin the development of the MPPA Coolidge, its 3rd generation of microprocessors, which is scheduled to be released in 2018. It also plans to expand its team, in particular its engineering team in Grenoble, and to strengthen its commercial network internationally. Leveraging a fabless model, Kalray has partnered with major chip company TSMC for production of its solution.

The company noted that since its spin-off from CEA in 2008 it has developed the massively parallel manycore architecture for its microprocessors that is protected by over 20 international patents. The MPPA technology is designed to increase processors' real-time processing abilities while maintaining low power consumption.

Kalray's microprocessors are utilised in two key markets - critical embedded applications (such as aeronautics/defence and autonomous vehicles), and data centres, for storage acceleration and high-speed networking).


The company stated that it is expanding its international presence, and now has 65 employees, distributed across its home base in Grenoble, France and its North American operation in Los Altos, California. Kalray also has an office in Tokyo, Japan.


Level 3 introduces SD-WAN for enterprise customers

Level 3 Communications, which is in the process of being acquired by CenturyLink, announced that, with rising demand for agile, efficient network solutions due to the growth in connected devices and applications in the cloud, it is launching a new SD-WAN offering, which applies software-defined networking (SDN) technology to the network edge.

Level 3's SD-WAN provides customers with the ability to create secure private networks over a mix of public and private infrastructure, with site-to-site encryption, regardless of access or backbone method, including DSL, cable, LTE, Internet and MPLS. The SD-WAN solution also provides enterprises with centralised management and control, enabling traffic steering on an application-by-application basis or by access type and the connection of disparate sites across different backbone connections.

Level 3's new SD-WAN offering is designed to enable enterprise customers to:

1.         Respond to changing business demands via rapid site deployment through zero-touch configuration.

2.         Optimise application performance and bandwidth utilisation utilising performance-based routing and traffic steering by application.

3.         Implement centralised policy management, allowing increased governance and control of their network operations.

4.         Leverage direct Internet connectivity for access to public clouds and SaaS applications to enhance the local user experience.

5.         Simplify network operations and reduce administrative overhead via a single point of contact for broadband aggregation and billing.


6.         Dashboard views using Level 3's 24 x 7 self-service portal, providing greater visibility and control with application monitoring and analytics.


Orange reduces stake in BT

France-based global telco Orange announced that it is reducing its stake in UK operator to BT Group through an agreement whereby it will sell one third of its current interest in BT via a private placement of approximately 133 million shares.

As part of the transaction, BT will place an order for GBP 200 million in the placement of BT shares, at the placement price, part of which will go to its employee share ownership trust. This order will be fully allocated by Orange.

The private placement will involve the approximately 133 million shares in BT held by Orange subsidiary Atlas Services Belgium, which represent around 1.33% of the share capital of BT.

In addition, there will be a simultaneous issue of approximately GBP 520 million of bonds due 2021, exchangeable into BT shares for a further one third of Orange's participation.

Following completion of the transactions, Orange will initially retain a 2.66% stake in BT. In the case of exercise in full of the exchange rights underlying the bonds, Orange would then retain a 1.33% stake in the company.

The exchangeable bonds, with a maturity of 4 years (unless subject to early redemption), are issued in GBP and will bear a coupon between 0% and 0.375% and will have negative interest rate after hedging in euros. The bonds will be offered at an issue price of between 100.5 and 100% of the principal amount, corresponding to an annual yield to maturity of between -0.125 % and 0.375 %.

The exchangeable bonds are expected to be issued in principal amounts of GBP 100,000 per bond and due to be redeemed at par at maturity. Holders of the exchangeable bonds may exercise their exchange right at any time from August 7, 2017 until the 55th calendar day before the maturity date of the bonds. Orange will be able to settle in cash, provide ordinary shares of BT, or a combination thereof.

Under the terms of the transaction, Orange will agree to a 90-day lock up for its remaining shareholding in BT, subject to waiver from the joint bookrunners and certain exceptions, notably the option to sell the BT shares to a strategic investor, where that investor agrees to be bound by a similar lock-up commitment.

Orange noted that the proceeds of these transactions will be used for the general corporate purposes.




  • Orange acquired the interest in BT in 2016 through BT's acquisition of UK operator EE, a 50/50 joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and Orange, through a transaction valued at approximately GBP 12.5 billion. Under the agreement, Orange received approximately GBP 3.4 billion in cash and a 4% stake in the combined BT-EE entity; Deutsche Telekom received a stake of 12% in BT, with a representative of Deutsche Telekom to be appointed to the BT board.

IT solutions company Ideal Integrations selects Ciena

Ciena announced that Pittsburgh-based Ideal Integrations, a regional IT consulting company, has deployed its packet networking solutions to provide access to affordable Internet connectivity, as well as private connections between client sites, its cloud environment for hosting services and other public clouds.

In addition, local businesses can now access Ideal Integrations' new solution offering, IdealConnect, to transfer data and enable cost-effective and efficient collaboration.

Ideal Integrations focuses on delivering technology solutions tailored to each customer's requirements and budget. Utilising IdealConnect, local businesses are able to leverage a complete connectivity solution to the Internet, link customer locations and access the growing number of data centres in the Pittsburgh metro region.
For the project, Ideal Integrations has selected Ciena's 5142 and 5160 Service Aggregation Switches, which are designed to provide flexible, reliable and cost-effective metro-Ethernet connectivity. The Ciena solutions allow Ideal Integrations to provide customers with more reliable and higher speed Internet bandwidth and Ethernet connectivity. Specifically, customers now have access to 1 or 10 Gbit/s connectivity to efficiently support cloud-based applications for enterprises of any size.


Ideal Integrations is a computer network integration company that seeks to deliver solutions tailored to the requirements of individual customers. The company offers solutions including custom storage, virtualisation, network design, fibre connectivity, network maintenance and monitoring, disaster recovery, managed services and cloud services.


Benu Networks awarded U.S. patents for SDN

Benu Networks based in Billerica, Massachusetts, a provider of virtual network solutions designed to enable service providers to create and deliver next generation IP services, announced it has been issued two technology patents by the U.S. Patent Office.

The newly awarded patents relate to a method for creating scalable, centrally-managed WiFi using software defined networking (SDN) and a system and method of providing advanced services within a virtual CPE (vCPE) deployment. Both patents leverage SDN/NFV principles and are designed to help service providers reduce capex and opex, accelerate the launch of new services and enhance quality of experience (QoE) for customers.

The patents awarded to Benu Networks, both of which are based on the SDN approach of decoupling the control plane from the data plane to leverage cloud computing technology and to realise a large-scale, cloud networking deployment, are as follows:

1.         U.S. patent No. 9,686,808, entitled Centrally Managed WiFi, pertains to WiFi aggregation using a flat Layer 2 architecture and enhanced fast mobility for WiFi devices between the radio nodes.

2.         U.S. patent No. 9,585,186, entitled System and Method of Providing Advanced Services in a Virtual CPE Deployment, covers the provision of a centralised cloud based WiFi service.

The company noted that the new patents extend its intellectual property portfolio and, combined with its other awarded and pending patents, protect the attributes and capabilities of its Virtual Service Edge platform.

Benu Networks' Virtual Service Edge (VSE) platform is designed to integrate with service providers' operations and business systems to facilitate a comprehensive network solution that is fully virtualised and provides security, scalability and service agility. VSE enables cloud-based service deployment, dynamic service control and enhanced customer care.


* In April, Benu Networks announced the issuance by the U.S. Patent Office of a patent covering virtualised network cloud functionality within its VSE platform. The patent addresses the challenge for subscribers of a fragmented service experience that is dependent upon how devices connect to a service provider's network.


The patent enables a new virtualised network approach that includes single sign-on (SSO) capability, multi-access across WiFi and cellular technologies, and carrier aggregation across WiFi and cellular.

Enablence announces financing

Enablence Technologies of Ottawa and Fremont, California, a supplier of optical components and subsystems for access, metro and long-haul markets, announced that under the previously announced private placement of common shares it has received commitments to purchase 8,542,857 common shares of the company, representing additional gross proceeds of approximately C$600,000, with the transaction expected to close by the end of June 2017.

Enablence stated that it also intends to complete its previously announced private placement financing of up to C$6 million principal amount of unsecured convertible debentures on or about June 30, 2017, subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange. The company noted it has received indication of interest for approximately C$6 million principal amount of debentures.

The debentures will bear interest at a rate of 10% per annum, payable quarterly commencing September 30, 2017. The debentures will be convertible, at the option of the holder, into shares at a price of 8c per share representing a conversion rate of approximately 12,500 shares per C$1,000 principal amount of debentures.

Under the same terms as the financings, certain investors have advised that they will enter into debt settlement agreements with Enablence to settle outstanding cash advances totalling C$2 million through the issuance of 7,142,857 shares for an aggregate value of C$500,000, and the issuance of C$1.5 million principal amount of debentures, subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.

Enablence intends to use the proceeds from the financings as growth capital for current and future products and general corporate purposes. A portion of the funds will be used to fund a capex program to expand the production of the company's planar lightwave circuit (PLC) chips to satisfy both existing purchase orders and anticipated future demand for its metro market-focused 100 Gbit/s TxRx products.

In addition, some of the funding will be used to complete the development of the 100 Gbit/s TxRx product for the data centre market and for R&D activities relating to its next generation 200/400 Gbit/s products. Remaining funding will be used for general corporate purposes and working capital.



* Enablence announced in April that it expected to complete new financing of approximately C$6 million. The company also reported that it expected complete the execution of a LoI as announced December 2016 to raise funds of C$10 million to support growth via a non-brokered private placement of common shares at 7c per share for gross proceeds of approximately C$4 million, plus a non-brokered private placement of C$1,000 principal amount of unsecured convertible debentures for gross proceeds of up to C$2 million.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Juniper unveils Cloud-Grade Networking

Juniper Networks has announced new developments with Cloud-Grade Networking, designed to offer service providers and enterprises a simplified way of building cloud networks that allow faster provision of services.

Juniper's Cloud-Grade Networking establishes a new set of principles for the way applications and services are architected, delivered and secured and combines telemetry, automation and machine learning capabilities to support the transition to the cloud.

Cloud-Grade Networking is based on four principles: a platform-first approach, disaggregation, a Self-Driving Network, and software-defined security. This foundation is designed to bring cloud agility and scale to network operators, speed innovation and streamline operations. Leveraging new orchestration and automation capabilities, this approach combines carrier-grade reach and reliability with enterprise-grade control and usability.
Juniper's Cloud-Grade Networking approach specifically features:

1.         Junos Node Slicing, based on the ability of Junos OS to support the convergence of multiple concurrent network functions on the same physical routing infrastructure by decoupling the network software from the underlying infrastructure.

2.         Universal Chassis, a cloud-grade chassis supported on the new PTX10008, PTX10016, QFX10008 and QFX10016, and in the future the MX series line cards, which allows customers to standardise on a hardware platform across the data centre, core and network edge; by decoupling line cards from the physical chassis, users can reduce the operational complexity of sourcing, procuring and deploying disparate routing platforms across different use cases.

3.         Professional services (PS), including two new automation PS engagements, with a PS that provides continuous network infrastructure integration to automate design, test, deployment and audit network environments, enabling evaluation of new network changes within hours.

4.         NorthStar controller enhancements, with Juniper's wide-area network SDN offering extended support for Source Packet Routing in Networking (SPRING) for more precise traffic engineering control and programmability across the network, plus support for real-time stream telemetry via the Junos Telemetry Interface (JTI).


Junos Node Slicing, PTX10008 and QFX Universal Chassis, the NorthStar controller enhancements and new professional services engagements are available immediately.


See also