Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Need for SD-WAN Service Definitions and Open APIs



SD-WAN is one of the biggest transformations in telecom in the last 20 years, says Nav Chander, Senior Director of Service Provider Marketing at Silver Peak.  There is a significant role for the MEF in SD-WAN because the industry is in need of service definitions. The MEF has proven itself very adept at building such consensus.

Recorded at the MEF Annual Members' Meeting in Toronto.

See video:  https://youtu.be/Qe5ZS4dND4Q



Telefónica announces restructuring

As part of the company's ongoing transformation program, Telefonica executive chairman José María Álvarez-Pallete has unveiled a new organisational structure designed to support business growth and facilitate the implementation and delivery of corporate objectives.

As part of this initiative, Telefonic's nominating, compensation and corporate governance committee has approved the appointment of Ángel Vilá Boix, formerly chief strategy and finance officer, as its new chief operating officer (COO). Therefore, at a meeting of Telefonica's board of directors. Ángel Vilá will be proposed as a member of the board and executive director, taking up the vacancy created by the departure of Julio Linares from the board.

Julio Linares has been proposed as a member of the board of directors of Telefónica Brasil and Telefónica Deutschland, and will continue to represent the company institutionally in several organisations.

The appointment of Ángel Vilá Boix as COO will consolidate the operational model introduced in 2014. With the appointment, Telefonica's five operating businesses - Spain, Brazil, Hispanoamérica, Germany and the UK - as well as the chief commercial digital officer and the chief global resources officer, will report directly to the COO.

Under the new structure, Laura Abasolo will become chief finance and control officer, reporting directly to the executive chairman, José María Alvarez-Pallete. Laura Abasolo is currently director of planning, accounting and control, and has been a member of the executive committee since March 2014.

In addition, the current director of corporate development and Fonditel, Enrique Lloves, will become head of a new strategy and corporate development area, and will also join the executive committee.

As a result of these changes, the following personnel will report directly to Telefónica's executive chairman: COO Angel Vilá; group general counsel Ramiro Sánchez de Lerín; chief data officer Jose María Alonso; chief finance and control officer Laura Abasolo; head of corporate communication and institutional marketing Jose Luis Gómez-Navarro; head of public affairs and regulation Carlos López Blanco; head of strategy and corporate development Enrique Lloves; chief of staff María García-Legaz; and chairman public affairs Francisco de Bergia.

Additionally, the committee will propose that global CTO Enrique Blanco should take responsibility for the systems area, currently led by Phil Jordan as global chief information officer, who is to leave the company. The committee will also propose that Telefónica Open Future be integrated into the innovation area, led by Gonzalo Martín-Villa.

Ángel Vilá Boix

Ángel Vilá has served in a number of executive roles with Telefonica Group since the late 1990, and executed key corporate transactions including those relating to O2 plc, Brasilcel/Vivo, EPlus, GVT and the Telefonica Germany IPO.


Ángel Vilá currently serves as a board member of Telefónica Germany and as a trustee in the Telefónica Foundation. He has previously served on the boards of Telco SpA (Italy), BBVA, Digital Plus, Atento, Telefónica Contenidos, Telefónica Czech Republic, Endemol, CTC Chile, Indra SSI and on the advisory panel of Macquarie MEIF funds.

Alaska Communications deploys Ciena

Ciena announced that Alaska Communications has upgraded its terrestrial and AKORN submarine networks using its solutions to improve Internet access and enable secure, reliable connectivity in Alaska.

The network upgrades are also designed to support demand for mobile broadband services, provide a cloud enablement platform for businesses and allow Alaska Communications to continue delivering unlimited Internet to residents. The additional network capacity will help customers such as hospitals and the education sector utilise critical applications and improve their services.

Alaska Communications serves businesses, schools, health care providers, state and local governments and other carriers via its terrestrial and subsea networks. The operator's AKORN undersea optical cable network links Alaska and Oregon and traverses a geographically-diverse secondary path to help reduce the potential for service disruption.
Ciena stated that the network upgrade will increase network capacity from the Lower 48 to Alaska four-fold leveraging its GeoMesh solution. Leveraging the traffic grooming and aggregation capabilities of the new scalable, OTN-switched Ciena network, Alaska Communications is able to more quickly turn up new services and deliver low-latency, high-capacity connectivity, and thereby provide an improved customer experience.


* In January, Anchorage-based Quintillion announced the deployment of Ciena's 8700 Packetwave Platform to support the first phase of its planned 15,000-km intercontinental subsea system that will connect Europe and Asia via the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic. Quintillion's Phase 1 network build in Alaska will connect Nome and Prudhoe Bay, with branches into four rural coastal communities: Barrow, Point Hope, Wainwright and Kotzebue.

* The company also stated it was building a new terrestrial fibre system between Prudhoe Bay and Fairbanks that will also provide a link between the continental U.S. and the Arctic.


* In March, Alaska Communications announced an agreement with Quintillion to provide corporations, government agencies, healthcare services and schools in northwest Alaska with access to high-speed broadband and managed IT services.

Huawei expands D-CCAP portfolio with FTTB Giga Coax access

Huawei announced at the Cable Tech Show 2017 in Tokyo the launch of the MA5633-XB10, claimed to be the first Giga Coax access product enabling the delivery of gigabit bandwidth for MSOs that is designed for installation in corridors.

Huawei noted that the new product addresses the trend of moving fibre closer to end users on hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) networks, and expands its existing distributed-converged cable access platform (D-CCAP) solution portfolio.

Huawei's D-CCAP solution is a gigabit coaxial access solution specifically designed for MSOs. The solution allows video and data modulation to be supported at remote optical sites and thereby enables platform sharing with FTTH networks. The new MA5633-XB10 offers high capacity, compact size and low power consumption together with a distributed architecture, and is designed to deliver up to 1,000 Mbit/s bandwidth over coaxial cables to support a full range of data and video services.
Capabilities of the new MA5633-XB10 solution include:

1.         Support for 32 x 10 DOCSIS 3.0 channels, delivering a downstream rate of 1.6 Gbit/s and an upstream rate of 300 Mbit/s, sufficient to support 4K and 8K HD video.

2.         A compact, 'pizza box' package, with streamlined fins for heat dissipation and a fan-free design to reduce power consumption and allow for installation in narrow indoor cabinets.

3.         Capacity to support up to 256 households from a single platform, plus support for on-demand frequency configuration to allows operators to flexibly expand device capacities.


4.         Distributed, modular architecture that enables the future transition to FTTH, offering the ability to work with the MA5800 distributed smart OLT deployed at a central office and therefore support evolution to CloudFAN.

Japan's JPIX extends Internet exchange to Equinix Osaka

Equinix and Japan Internet Exchange (JPIX), a major Internet exchange (IX) service provider in Japan, announced that JPIX has extended its peering fabric to the Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centre in Osaka, OS1, to meet increasing data centre and IX demands from international and domestic network operators in the OS1 IBX data centre.

With the addition of IX points of JPIX in OS1, Equinix customers will be able to interconnect and peer directly with JPIX's diverse aggregation of ISPs, cable TV service providers and content providers, enabling traffic exchange with greater reliability, improved performance and lower cost.

As a leading IX service provider in Japan, JPIX provides traffic exchange for 160-plus customers, including ISPs, cable operators and contents providers.

Equinix noted that JPIX established an IX switch at the Equinix TY2 IBX data centre in Tokyo in 2008, subsequently extending its services to all Equinix facilities in Tokyo (TY1 to 10) via Equinix Metro Connect, a dark fibre network that connects all of Equinix's Tokyo data centres.


* As part of its expansion in the Asia Pacific region, Equinix has recently announced plans to expand its SY4 IBX data centre in Sydney, Australia to meet demand for capacity and interconnection services, and the eighth phased expansion of its SG2 IBX facility in Singapore to address market demand for direct connectivity to cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services, Oracle Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.


* Equinix also recently launched dedicated, private access to Oracle Cloud at its Sydney IBX data centre leveraging Oracle Cloud Network Service - FastConnect and the Equinix Cloud Exchange.

Wave2Wave launches ROME 250 optical switching

Wave2Wave Solution based in Milpitas, California, a supplier of solutions enabling automated data centre connectivity, announced its ROME 250 Robotic Optical Switching platform, extending the ROME portfolio with a smaller, lower cost platform designed to allow telecom and data centre operators to migrate to software defined networking (SDN) down to the physical connectivity layer.

Wave2Wave stated that building on the success of the ROME 500 solution and the scalability of ROME fabric, the new ROME 250 offers increased granularity that is compatible with network architecture and software interfaces. As processing of data moves towards the network edge, ROME 250 is claimed to offer significant capex savings via support for 100's or 1,000's of network cross connect points, while also helping reduce opex to near zero.

The ROME 250 platform offers 256 fibre end points in a 19 inch 10 RU chassis, with te ability to support either single mode or multi-mode OM4 fibre connections. As with ROME 500, ROME 250 is integrated with a range of third party orchestration software platforms.
Describing the new solution, David Wang, founder and CEO of Wave2Wave, said, "ROME closes the last gap for a fully automated and software defined network in data centres and telecom infrastructure… ROME… (enables) a dynamic architecture and automated provisioning process".


* In October 2016, Wave2Wave introduced the EVO Switch+ connectivity solution, designed for spine-and-leaf networks with mixed data rates. EVO Switch+ is deployed alongside high density switches to simplify 100 to 25 Gbit/s or 40 to 10 Gbit/s network configurations to help IT managers implement projects.

Key features of the EVO Switch+ include: support for QSFP28 to SFP28 or QSFP+ to SFP+ optical interfaces; 1 U or 2 U form factors; and plug-and-play capability via MTP/MPO cables in either single mode or multi-mode.

EVO Switch+ serves as an add-on to Layer-2 switches from vendors including Arista, Brocade, Cisco, Dell and Juniper

Brazil's Algar Telecom selects Sonus cloud-native SBC

Sonus Networks, a global provider of solutions for securing cloud and real-time communications, announced that Brazil's Algar Telecom has selected the Sonus Session Border Controller Software Edition (SBC SWe) to support the nationwide expansion of its SIP peering and SIP trunking services.

Algar is a private communications service provider in Brazil that offers voice, video, data and IT services to businesses and residential customers. Leveraging the Sonus cloud-native solution, Algar will gain network-wide sharing of SBC session licenses and the ability to dynamically allocate SBC capacity where it is need across the country. With Sonus' SBC SWe, Algar will be able to quickly expand its SIP services footprint without the need to deploy new hardware.

The Sonus SBC SWe and its associated Sonus Insight Element Management System (EMS) will be deployed as virtual network functions (VNFs) across Algar's network. This approach aligns with the company's push towards implementing an advanced network functions virtualisation (NFV) architecture.

Sonus noted that as service providers migrate real-time communications to NFV and cloud environments, the Sonus SBC SWe provides a cloud-native approach for SIP session management, interworking, security and resiliency while offering the reliability and features of hardware-based SBCs. The Sonus SBC SWe has been deployed in more than 100 networks to date.

Algar Telecom, a part of the Algar group, provides high-speed Internet access, mobile services, cable TV, voice, data, IT and infrastructure and outsourcing services. Algar Telecom has a presence in all of the main regions of Brazil and operates a network with 19,000 miles of optical fibre serving 1.4 million customers in the states of Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, as well as the federal district.

Hammer Fiber teams with Go Long Wireless

Hammer Fiber Optic Investments, a New Jersey-based wireless and fibre network operator and a wholly owned subsidiary of Hammer Fiber Optic Holdings, announced it has partnered with Go Long Wireless (GLW) based in Sarasota, Florida, which holds 12 GHz multi-channel video distribution and data service (MVDDS) spectrum in 49 U.S. markets and covering more than 29 million people.

Through the partnership, Hammer Fiber will be able to expand its business model of delivering a bundle of high speed broadband, TV and VoIP service to the additional 49 markets, with a focus on addressing underserved rural communities.

Hammer Fiber noted that its business model has been proven in Atlantic City, New Jersey where a pre-5G 'wireless fibre' network is delivering a triple play bundle of high speed broadband, 4K UHD capable TV and VoIP service. Utilising off the shelf DOCSIS 3.0/3.1 modems, the Hammer technology platform is designed to leverage the cable-ready architecture and to be scalable by enabling low cost and ease of installation.

Go Long Wireless is a member of the MVDDS 5G Coalition Partnership, which is awaiting the outcome of a pending FCC ruling that is expected to add MVDDS spectrum to the 5G spectrum band. The addition of MVDDS spectrum to the 5G band would help to meet future demand for bandwidth.

Hammer Fiber's 5G Carrier Wireless Fiber Technology, which is provided by the company's wireless division under the AIR name, is designed to be compliant with future 5G standards, which are expected to be published over the next year. Hammer Fibre stated that its AIR technology is capable of carrying LTE-compatible service over 500 MHz wide broadband channels to fixed LTE subscriber modems and small cells utilising mmWave, or KA/KU band, spectrum.


Hammer Fiber offers internet, voice, video and data services to residential and small business customers in New Jersey, as well as carrier services in Philadelphia and New York. The company delivers high capacity broadband, voice and video both via direct fibre and the Hammer Wireless AIR wireless fibre platform.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

MEF aims to define the future of Lifecycle Service Orchestration – Part 2

link to part 1 of this article

by Bartosz Michalik of Amartus

OpenCS Packet WAN project advances development of LSO

Together with Donald Hunter from Cisco, I have the privilege of co-leading the OpenCS Packet WAN project, which is one of the seven initiatives started in OpenCS ecosystem. The aim of the project is to deliver a reference implementation of an SDN controller that manages multi-vendor networks. The northbound API was released as a part of Presto SDK, which, in its current version, focuses on Presto network resources provisioning (NRP) models. Packet WAN is an open source module of the OpenDaylight controller called Unimgr. But, before I delve into the project details, let me take you on a journey through how we got to this stage of the development.

LSO hackathons throwback

The LSO development effort started in Dallas, in November 2015, during the first LSO Hackathon that was co-located with MEF’s GEN15 conference. At the time, I joined one of the Hackathon teams as a regular participant, and together with 40+ other colleagues from various vendor and provider companies, we were experimenting with the first ideas around Presto API. This experience had a great influence upon me, and it turned out to be extremely productive in terms of the LSO development. As I already mentioned at the beginning of this article, soon after the Hackathon I summarized the work of our team and presented it in this guest blog post at SDxCentral.

Since that first Hackathon, MEF organised three successful meetings in Rome, Baltimore and Frankfurt that saw developers, engineers and networking experts from MEF member and non-member companies invest their exceptional skills in LSO evolution. For a recap of the last Frankfurt Euro17 Hackathon, please go to this blog post by Charles Eckel, an Open Source Developer Evangelist at Cisco. At the consecutive Hackathons, we were crowded in a confined space and turning coffee, sweets and brainpower into Presto, Legato and Sonata LSO building blocks code. In parallel, on the official level, OpenCS and OpenLSO were launched, and the Hackathon teams could start remote collaboration on a daily basis.

To facilitate continuous development, MEF has built MEFnet, a compute-storage-networking platform, which delivers technical facilities for the Third Network reference implementations, OpenLSO and OpenCS projects, and gives interested parties an ability to evaluate APIs using reference implementations deployed to the MEFnet cloud.

Recently, we have implemented agile methodologies with the aim to iteratively deliver APIs, their reference implementations, and other artifacts that, when they are combined, will become LSO IRP SDK. And only a few months ago MEF initiated yet another program to welcome contributions from academia – namely MEF Software Developer Community. The idea is to give researchers and students an opportunity to participate in the development of Lifecycle Service Orchestration. The next edition of the LSO Hackathon is coming this fall to Orlando, co-located with MEF17. Check out this MEF17 link for more details and information on participation. All hands on deck!

What Is OpenDaylight Unimgr plug-in?

So, to return to 'my' Hackathon project. OpenCS Packet WAN is a project that delivers orchestration of MEF CE 2.0 services with SDN OpenDaylight controllers in combination with CE 2.0 networking devices. It has been developed as an OpenDaylight Unimgr module. For the current implementation, we use the ODL controller similarly as we did at the first Hackathon when we were experimenting with some ad-hoc Presto NRP ideas: https://wiki.opendaylight.org/view/Unimgr:Main.

However, the model itself has evolved a great deal - from the prototype, via the ONF Core model-based data model to ONF Transport API (T-API). We have also been working on improving the architecture of the solution and adjusting it to the model changes.

Unimgr is a platform that focuses on the Presto NRP-compliant network resource activation API and is a good starting point to making a network LSO-compliant. The most important concept in our Presto implementation is a driver that encapsulates protocol- and vendor-specific logic to make a sub-segment activation possible. What it means is that networks built using Cisco and/or Juniper devices, can be using two different drivers to manage these types of devices. In addition, a driver is required to contribute an abstract representation of managed devices to the Unimgr topology. Why? Because an NBI client (e.g. Service Orchestration Functionality – SOF) needs to know the current state of the network to be able to trigger resource activation requests.

To support other network vendors, there are three drivers being maintain – Cisco XR driver for MPLS, OVSDB driver for SDN-like networks, and a dummy driver, which can act as a template and requires a minimal amount of code to meet a Unimgr driver contract. Once the driver is installed, then Unimgr middleware will begin handling the RPC requests, decomposing them and triggering requests to the registered drivers if needed.

The Unimgr development plan is aligned with MEF SDK effort and OpenCS planning. In fact, the second iteration of OpenCS is about to be delivered as a part of the ODL Nitrogen release. Some of the new features include:

•   The implementation of the latest Presto NRP.

•   Support for P2P connection over multiple drivers.

•   Support for dynamic bandwidth changes in the drivers that we host in the project.

In addition, a simple implementation of MEF LSO Legato will also be delivered for the scenarios in which a fully-featured SOF (e.g. for a lab/experimental network) is not needed.

The future for the LSO ecosystem

The LSO ecosystem is dynamic and fast growing which means the future of LSO is very bright. However, it is important to continually grow this ecosystems, which means encouraging engineers and coders from more companies to join the upcoming meetings and hackathons. The next big LSO hackathon is in Orlando, FL, 13-16th November during the MEF17 show.

About the Author

Bartosz Michalik is a Software Architect at Amartus, a Certified MEF Engineer, and a holder of the MEF Recognition Award for LSO Hackathon blogging and facilitation. He leads the LSO Presto Hackathon project, and co-leads the OpenCS Packet WAN project together with Donald Hunter from Cisco. He is also a contributor to the Open Daylight UniMgr project. E-mail me at a Bartosz.Michalik@amartus.com with any questions or queries.

(More information about MEF’s Third Network Vision and Lifecycle Service Orchestration is available here: https://www.mef.net/third-network/lifecycle-service-orchestration)

SD-WAN Interaction and the Importance of Interoperability



Verizon is rapidly expanding its portfolio of virtual services, including SD-WAN. Interoperability is increasingly important as these are rolled out across the globe. The ability to link SD-WAN into other services is critical, says Shawn Hakl, VP, Product and New Business Innovation, @VZEnterprise.

See video: https://youtu.be/2EysfBTwidc

Recorded at MEF Annual Member's Meeting in Toronto.


Intent-based Networking and MEF



Intent-based networking is an important part of MEF's work on Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO).

Intent-based networking makes use of next generation network policy frameworks and will enable top-level business and application developers to express the goals of their organization without having to define algorithmically how those goals are accomplished, says Dr. John Strassner, MEF Orchestration Area Co-Director; CTO, Software Lab, Huawei Technologies.

Recorded at the MEF Annual Members' Meeting in Toronto.

See video:  https://youtu.be/LuwEaFPy5wc




Introducing MEF.net



Daniel Bar-Level, Director, Office of the CTO, MEF provides an overview of MEFnet – a new compute-storage-networking platform that enables development, testing, integration, and showcasing of Third Network service reference implementations based on open source and commercial closed source products.

MEF members currently are working on three 3 reference implementation projects on MEFnet:  (1) orchestration of Carrier Ethernet and IP services across 3 service providers using open LSO APIs; (2) an ONAP-to-ONAP use case involving LSO-enabled automation of inter-carrier processes like serviceability and ordering; and (3) a project focused on enabling SD-WAN managed service providers to extend their service reach in an automated way to locations served by broadband access partners.

See video: https://youtu.be/Y4tLKyccjUM



Crown Castle to acquire Lightower for $7.1bn

Crown Castle International announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire LTS Group Holdings (Lightower) from Berkshire Partners, Pamlico Capital and other investors for approximately $7.1 billion in cash, representing an approximately 13.5x expected adjusted EBITDA over Crown Castle's first full year of ownership.

Lightower owns or holds the rights to approximately 32,000 route miles of fibre located primarily in key metro markets across the northeast, including in Boston, New York and Philadelphia, and following completion of the transaction Crown Castle noted that it will own or have rights to a total of approximately 60,000 route miles of fibre in the U.S.

The acquisition will expand Crown Castle's extensive, dense metro network, almost doubling its fibre footprint and making the company one of the largest owners of metro fibre in the U.S. The company's expanded fibre footprint after the transaction will cover 23 of the top 25 largest U.S. markets and is intended to position Crown Castle to address the growing demand for mobile connectivity and higher bandwidth.

The agreement is also designed to provide scale for small cell deployments. By combining Lightower's dense metro fibre footprint with Crown Castle's small cells platform, as well as its real estate and network engineering capabilities, the transaction will better enable Crown Castle to meet the small cell deployment needs of wireless carrier customers.

Crown Castle expects that the transaction will be immediately accretive to its adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) per share and will increase its previous 6% to 7% long-term annual dividend growth target to 7% to 8%. In the first full year of ownership, Crown Castle anticipates that Lightower will contribute $850 to $870 million in site rental revenues, $510 to $530 million in adjusted EBITDA and $465 to $485 million in AFFO, before financing costs.


The company noted that Lightower serves a mix of customers including large enterprises, government agencies, healthcare providers, educational institutions and carriers. Crown Castle provides wireless carriers with infrastructure to support their operations, specifically operating approximately 40,000 towers and 60,000 route miles of fibre supporting small cells once the Lightower acquisition is completed.


Juniper reports Q2 revenue of $1,308.9m, up 7.2% Q/Q

Juniper Networks reported preliminary financial results for the three months ended June 30, 2017, as follows:

1.  Revenue for the second quarter of 2017 of $1,308.9 million, up 7.2% compared with $1,221.0 million in the first quarter and up 7.2% from $1,221.3 million in the second quarter of 2016.

2.  Gross profit for the second quarter of $801.9 million, up 7.4% compared with $746.6 million in the first quarter and up 6.0% from $756.4 million in the second quarter of 2016.

3.  R&D expenditure for the second quarter of $240.2 million, down 13.0% compared with $276.2 million in the first quarter and down 3.1% from $247.9 million in the second quarter of 2016.

4.  SG&A expenditure for the second quarter of $295.5 million, up 0.4% compared with $294.2 million in the first quarter and down 2.2% from $302.3 million in the second quarter of 2016.

5.  Total operating expenditure for the second quarter of $543.7 million, down 8.1% compared with $590.3 million in the first quarter and down 1.6% from $552.6 million in the second quarter of 2016.

6.  On a GAAP basis, net income for the second quarter of 2017 of $179.8 million, compared with net income of $108.8 million in the second quarter and net income of $140.0 million in the second quarter of 2016.

On a non-GAAP basis, net income for the second quarter of 2017 of $220.5 million, compared with net income of $178.0 million in the second quarter and net income of $191.6 million in the second quarter of 2016.

7.  Cash, cash equivalents and short and long-term investments as of June 30, 2017 of $4,214.6 million, compared with $4,043.7 million as at March 31, 2017,

Additional results and notes

For the second quarter of 2017, Juniper reported product revenue of $917.2 million, including routing sales of $572.5 million, down 0.4% year on year, and service revenue of $391.7 million, up 9.0% year on year.

On a geographic basis, second quarter revenue was split as follows: Americas sales of $800.8 million, up 11.2% year on year; EMEA sales of $288.2 million, down 3.9% year on year; Asia Pacific sales of $219.9 million, up 9.3% year on year.

Net cash flow from operations for the second quarter of 2017 was $299 million, compared to $545 million in the first quarter and $360 million in the second quarter of 2016.

Outlook


For the third quarter ending September 30, 2017, Juniper expects revenue of approximately $1,320 million, plus or minus $30 million, representing a sequential increase of 0.8% at the midpoint.

CenturyLink introduces Managed Hybrid SD-WAN solutions

CenturyLink has announced the availability of CenturyLink Managed Hybrid SD-WAN solutions, offering complete WAN packages that leverage software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology to integrate traffic flows across both broadband Internet connections and private MPLS networks.

CenturyLink's new solutions employ application-aware routing to automatically identify the best end-to-end path based on application requirements and network  latency, and thereby provide optimal performance between users and applications regardless of where applications reside, whether on-premises or in the cloud.

CenturyLink Managed Hybrid SD-WAN solutions are designed to allow businesses to accelerate their transformation to next-generation networks by reducing the complexities associated with integration, operations and performance management when creating a hybrid WAN environment. As part of the offering, CenturyLink provides core infrastructure, design and implementation, security, transport and provider management, along with centralised monitoring and management.

The managed SD-WAN solution also features encryption, segmentation and security policy control via a central portal that secures traffic at all business locations, including branches. Additionally, CenturyLink's range of managed security services that include security log monitoring and incident management and response can also be integrated into the solution.

CenturyLink Managed Hybrid SD-WAN solutions are also available to CenturyLink Alliance program partners.

Regarding the new offering, Troy Trenchard, VP, product management at CenturyLink, said, "the Managed Hybrid SD-WAN solutions enable businesses to leverage their existing investments in MPLS while adding next-generation network capabilities… by using these new offerings, businesses can deliver high application performance and security across the WAN, especially for cloud-hosted apps".


* CenturyLink launched its SD-WAN service providing business customers with centralised control over a variety of private network access technologies in June last year. The managed SD-WAN service bundles site connectivity, equipment, software licensing, configuration, performance tuning and monitoring with a management and analytics portal, while offering the customer the option of managing their own policies or having CenturyLink manage their policies.

Clearfield to expand manufacturing capacity at facility in Mexico

Clearfield based in Minneapolis, a specialist provider of fibre management solutions for communication service providers, announced the expansion of manufacturing capacity at its facility in Tijuana, Mexico.

Through the addition of space and employees at its Tijuana site, Clearfield plans to quadruple its manufacturing presence in Mexico. The initiative is intended to help Clearfield lower its product manufacturing costs, as well as enable the company to meet short lead times and achieve on-time deliveries.

Clearfield stated that the Mexico facility is modelled on its U.S. manufacturing facilities in Minneapolis, and as with its U.S. location is fully equipped with passive optical LAN technology providing fibre-to-the-desktop and fibre-to-the-workstation functionality.

The company noted that, as an established supplier of scalable solutions for the FTTx market, the expansion is an indicator of growing market demand for its line of fibre management and fibre delivery solutions.

Clearfield designs, manufactures and distributes fibre optic management, protection and delivery products for communications networks. The company's 'fibre to the anywhere' platform is designed to address the specific requirements of incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECS), competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs), wireless operators and MSO/cable TV companies, as well as to meet the broadband needs of the utility/municipality, enterprise, data centre and military markets.


* Earlier this year, Clearfield announced that as part of its commitment to delivering carrier-class network reliability for operators it had been awarded independent NEBS Level 3 certification for products in its FieldSmart fibre management platform.


* Clearfield also announced the appointment of Kevin Craddock as national account manager for AT&T. Mr. Craddock had previously held positions ranging from sales engineer to senior director of sales with AT&T. He has also served in sales roles at Charles Industries, Corning Cable Systems, Emerson Network Power, RELTEC/Marconi and Suttle.


Fujitsu develops high output W-band GaN HEMT power amplifier

Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories announced the development of a gallium-nitride (GaN) high-electron mobility transistor (HEMT) power amplifier for use in W-band (75-110 GHz) transmission systems.

Fujitsu noted for long-distance, high-capacity wireless communications, one approach is to utilise the W-band and other high frequency bands that encompass a range of usable frequencies, with increased output using a transmission power amplifier. In addition, there is demand for improved efficiency in power amplifiers to mitigate the increased power consumption of communication systems.

To address these requirements, Fujitsu has developed a power amplifier for W-band transmission that offers both high output power and efficiency, improving transistor performance through the reduction of electrical current leakage and internal GaN-HEMT resistance. Fujitsu has achieved output density of 4.5 W per millimetre of gate width and has confirmed a 26% reduction in energy consumption compared to conventional technology.

Fujitsu anticipates that siting this new power amplifier between wireless communication systems in two locations can achieve high-bandwidth communications at 10 Gbit/s over a distance of up to 10 km.

In order to increase the distance and capacity of wireless communications and decrease energy consumption with indium-aluminium-GaN (InAlGaN) HEMTs, Fujitsu has developed two technologies that reduce internal resistance and current leakage.

Fujitsu has developed technology that can reduce resistance to one tenth that of previous technology when current flows between the source or drain electrodes and the GaN-HEMT device. The technology involves a manufacturing process that embeds GaN plugs directly below the source and drain electrodes to generate electrons at high densities.

In addition, to address current leakage and the resulting reduced operational performance for the power amplifier due to reduced drain current the new technology maintains drain current by distributing InGaN to create a barrier layer below the channel layer. This reduces electron detours during operation and current leakage.

Fujitsu noted that the previous record for power amplifier output density in the W-band for transmitters was 3.6 W/mm of gate width with technology developed by Fujitsu Laboratories. The newly developed technology delivers output of 4.5 W/mm of gate width for a power amplifier designed to operate at 94 GHz.

Fujitsu stated that it plans to apply the new technology to the development of power amplifiers for wireless communications with long range and higher capacity, while also enabling easier installation than with fibre. It aims to commercialise the technology by 2020.


Fujitsu noted that the research was supported by Innovative Science and Technology Initiative for Security, established by the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) of the Japan Ministry of Defense.


Altice USA launches Suddenlink gigabit in 4 new markets

Altice USA announced the launch of Suddenlink Internet service offering up to 1 Gbit/s download speed in four new Gig Cities, namely Batesville and El
Dorado in Arkansas, Maryville, Missouri and Conroe in Texas, and has also increased the speeds of certain other Suddenlink residential Internet services for existing customers in these regions.

Altice noted that local businesses in the four markets will also have access to the new gigabit service, as well as additional Suddenlink customised services for business that provide multi-gigabit bandwidth.

In addition to the new 1 Gbit/s internet service, residential Internet customers with current download speeds of up to 75 and 100 Mbit/s have been automatically moved to services offering download speeds of up to 100 and 200 Mbit/s, respectively. The standard Suddenlink residential Internet download speeds in each region are now as follows: up to 50, 100, 200 and 400 Mbit/s, plus the new up to 1 Gbit/s service.
* In February, Altice USA announced that it was offering its Suddenlink gigabit Internet service in the Kinston area of North Carolina, including the City of Kinston, Lenoir and Wayne Counties, as well as Lagrange and Walnut Creek. At the same time it also increased speeds for certain existing Suddenlink residential Internet customers.

* Altice USA, describing itself as the fourth largest U.S. cable operator, is a major broadband communications and video services providers, delivering broadband, pay TV, telephony services, WiFi hotspot access, content and advertising services to approximately 4.9 million residential and business customers across 21 states via the Optimum and Suddenlink brands.\

See also