Wednesday, December 20, 2017

5G New Radio (NR) Specs Approved

The 3GPP initiative officially approved the 5G New Radio (NR) specifications. Balazs Berenyi, 3GPP RAN Chair, described the approval as "an impressive achievement in a remarkably short time, with credit due particularly to the Working Groups."

At Mobile World Congress 2017 in February, major mobile network operators and vendors issued a call to accelerate the 5G New Radio (NR) standardization schedule to enable large-scale trials and deployments a year earlier than the previously expected timeline. Companies backing this accelerated schedule for 5G include AT&T, NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Vodafone, Ericsson, Qualcomm, British Telecom, Telstra, Korea Telecom, Intel, LG Uplus, KDDI, LG Electronics, Telia, Swisscom, TIM, Etisalat Group, Huawei, Sprint, Vivo, ZTE and Deutsche Telekom.

The first 3GPP 5G NR specification will be part of Release 15 - the global 5G standard that will make use of both sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum bands.

"We view both the Non-Standalone and Standalone modes of New Radio as equally important for the completeness of the 5G standard specification. This timely finalization of NSA is one important step on that journey and in the development of the 5G ecosystem," said Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO Deutsche Telekom. "It is crucial that the industry now redoubles its focus on the Standalone mode to achieve progress towards a full 5G system, so we can bring key 5G innovations such as network slicing to our customers."

"The first version of 5G NR not only provides a NSA solution for 5G deployment but also completes the common part of NSA and SA, which lay a solid foundation for a global unified 5G system with global market scale. We believe the next important milestone that is SA standard providing end to end 5G new capability could be completed by June of 2018, which is very crucial to enable the operators to explore the enterprise and vertical markets. China Mobile is actively working with industry partners for 5G commercialization in year of 2020 and providing various services to customer." said Zhengmao Li, EVP of China Mobile Group.

Erik Ekudden, CTO at Ericsson, said: "3GPP has done a tremendous job to complete the first 5G specifications according to industry demand and expectations. As a prime contributor to 5G standardization, Ericsson has worked with industry partners in the evolution of mobile technology to a global network platform for consumers and enterprises. Our research team has worked on 5G since 2010 including early 5G testbed efforts created together with these industry partners. The open contribution-driven specification work and the rapid completion of the first 5G standards for global deployment demonstrates the strength of the 5G eco-system."



In October 2016, Verizon, Qualcomm Technologies, and Novatel Wireless, confirmed plans to expedite the rollout of 5G New Radio (NR) millimeter wave (mmWave) technology.  The companies have agreed to collaborate on over-the-air field trials based on the 5G NR Release-15 specifications being developed by 3GPP, with hopes of moving the mobile ecosystem towards faster validation and commercialization of 5G NR mmWave technologies at scale before the end of the decade.

The expedited plan call for an initial focus on 5G NR operation in 28 GHz and 39 GHz mmWave spectrum bands. The goal is to achieve robust multi-gigabit per second data rates with mobility at significantly lower latencies than today’s networks. Over-the-air trials are expected starting in 2018, that will be compliant with the first 3GPP 5G NR specification that will be part of Release 15. The trials will utilize 5G NR mmWave mobile test platforms from Qualcomm and will employ advanced 5G NR Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques.

In September, Deutsche Telekom activated its first, pre-standard 5G connection over its commercial network in central Berlin using 3.7 GHz spectrum.The 5G connection is operating a over 2 Gbps with a low latency of three milliseconds.

Huawei supplied the user equipment based on 3GPP specifications for 5G New Radio (NR), the deployment on commercial sites is the first in Europe and marks an important advancement in the global development of 5G.  

France's Iliad to acquire Ireland's Eir for €3.5 billion

Iliad, the fully-integrated operator in France with nearly 20 million subscribers, has agreed to acquire eir, the Irish telecommunications and broadband carrier, for approximately €3.5 billion.

eir, which was formerly the state-owned telecom monopoly in Ireland until 1999 (Telecom Eireann), is currently owned by an investor group including Anchorage Capital Group, L.L.C, Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, GIC, and management.

The offer from Iliad is backed by NJJ Group, the private investment firm of telecoms investor and operator Xavier Niel, who is a prominent French businessman.  Niel is the founder of and owns 52% of Iliad where he serves as Deputy Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer. Under the deal, NJJ will own 32.9% of eir. Iliad SA will own 31.6% of eir. Shareholders Anchorage Capital Group and Davidson Kempner will retain a combined 35.5% share in the company, respectively 26.6% and 8.9%.

eir had revenue of €1.3 billion and earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of €520 million in the financial year to June 30, 2017. eir has about 32% share of the retail fixed broadband market in Ireland. Its share of the retail mobile market is about 18%.

Some additional notes about eir's operations in Ireland as of 30-September-2017:

  • 1,061,000 total mobile customers
  • 48.5% of customers are on postpay contracts
  • eir has approximately 96% LTE coverage
  • Strong momentum in FTTH connections - 12,000 connections, 72% of customers new to eir
  • 1,700,000 premises passed with fibre, including 80,000 of the 300,000 rural premises 
  • 551,000 fiber broadband connections, 61% of total broadband base
  • 896,000 total broadband connections, up 42,000 or 5% year on year 
  • 25% of customers now on triple or quad play bundles
  • eir Vision TV service has a customer base of 71,000 customers, up 17,000 year on year


Iliad, which operates under the "Free" brand, had nearly 13.4 million mobile and 6.5 million broadband subscribers as of 30-September-2017. Its market capitalisation is approximately €12 billion.

Xavier Niel, Iliad and NJJ Telecom Europe, said: "eir is an essential part of the Irish economy and we have closely followed its transformation over the last five years through the excellent work of its team. We are a long-term investor in the telecoms sector and bring global knowhow to eir. In our businesses in France, Monaco and Switzerland we have consistently delivered investment in infrastructure, while driving down prices for consumers.

Carl Leaver, Chairman of Eircom Holdings (Ireland) Limited, said: “Today marks an important milestone for eir, our customers and indeed for Ireland itself. Iliad and NJJ Telecom Europe bring a wealth of global telecommunications experience which will be of huge benefit to eir and its customers. Coupled with the continued involvement of our existing shareholders, Anchorage Capital and Davidson Kempner, the company is well positioned to continue its operational transformation, underpinned by sustained investment, innovative products and services and improved financial performance”.

The acquisition requires regulatory consent from the government of Ireland and the EU.

AT&T to boost CAPEX by $1 billion, issue $1,000 bonus to 200K employees

In recognition of the new tax reform legislation, AT&T announced plans to boost its 2018 CAPEX by $1 billion and to pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 of its U.S. employees — all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers.

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

Top 5 Container Predictions for 2018

by David Messina, CMO, Docker

Prediction #1: The next big security breach will be foiled by containers

As we witnessed with the Equifax breach in early September, data breaches can place personal data at risk and in doing so, erode consumer confidence. But what if you could prevent a major breach by simply placing the software in a container? The Equifax breach occurred when a piece of web software was vulnerable and exposed to hackers. Containers act to reduce the attack surface available for exploitation, and in doing so greatly increase the difficulty and minimize the possibility of many forms of compromise. In many cases, simple steps like using read-only containers will fully mitigate a broad range of attack vectors.
                                                                                                                                                                    From being ephemeral and isolated in nature to enabling frequent patching and scanning against the latest CVEs, containers are vital to securing the software supply chain. Containers will be more widely relied upon in the coming year to combat future threats.

Prediction #2: Complexity and time to market will thwart PaaS adoption

As calls for accelerated cloud strategies only get louder across the Global 10K, it's becoming increasingly clear that outdated Platform as a Service (PaaS) frameworks are not equipped to handle the demand of managing all of the applications that are part of today’s modern enterprise. For the past few years, utilizing PaaS has been considered a cutting-edge approach to migrating your apps to the cloud. What is often overlooked, is the time required to set up PaaS frameworks, retrain employees and re-code each application - efforts that can take a year to drive and complete. In 2018, we expect to see PaaS adoption stall as enterprises recognize the time to value is too prolonged for the current and future pace of business. This will give way to accelerated Container as a Service (CaaS) platform adoption as enterprises look to migrate more workloads to the cloud while achieving greater agility, innovation, and cost-efficiencies.

Prediction #3: Containers will break the 80/20 Rule for IT budgeting 

It’s widely understood that CIOs typically commit 80% of their budget towards maintenance with only 20% left for innovation - a major roadblock in the path to digital transformation. We expect this to change in 2018 as CIOs rewrite the 80/20 rule in favor of innovation by unlocking new methods for managing and modernizing their legacy apps. In the past, application modernization required refactoring apps, ripping/replacing existing infrastructure and implementing new processes. Instead, enterprises are now using containerization for meaningful application modernization results in days. Organizations will reap the benefits of cloud portability and security while using the significant cost-efficiencies to reinvest their savings in more strategic digitization efforts.

Prediction #4: Security, not orchestration, will write the next chapter of containerization

2016 and yes even some of 2017 might have been about the orchestration wars but now that companies like Docker offer a choice of orchestration, some might argue that orchestration has been largely commoditized. With container adoption expected to grow into a nearly $3 billion dollar market by 2020 according to 451 Research and Docker itself experiencing more than one billion downloads bi-weekly, security will be the next frontier that companies need to address. Ironically, the threats will come from the applications themselves, making “container boundaries” an imperative for segmenting and isolating threats. The container boundary can also make it more difficult for an attacker to get the data out, resulting in detection. Securing the software supply chain will be paramount to safeguarding the application journey.

Prediction #5: CIOs will accelerate plans for digital transformation with containers

Although “digital transformation” has become somewhat of a buzzword as of late,  enterprises certainly accept the idea behind it - and with a greater sense of urgency. According to Gartner, as many as two-thirds of business leaders are concerned that their companies aren’t moving fast enough on the digital transformation front, leading to potential competitive disadvantages. In 2018, CIOs will increasingly feel the pressure to speed up digitization efforts and will accelerate their journey through containers. As businesses build out and implement strategies around cloud migration, DevOps and microservices, containers will play an increasingly important role in achieving these initiatives. By Dockerizing their applications, our enterprise customers have experienced the immediate benefits of digital transformation: faster app delivery times, portability across environments, hardened security and more.

Comcast to Boost CAPEX, issue $1000 Holiday Bonuses

Following the passage of the tax reform legislation, Comcast announced plans to increase its capital expenditures and to issue $1,000 bonuses to more than one hundred thousand eligible frontline and non-executive employees.

Comcast said it now plans to spend "well in excess of $50 billion over the next five years investing in infrastructure to radically improve and extend our broadband plant and capacity, and our television, film, and theme park offerings.

Further details will be disclosed in the upcoming earnings report on January 24th.

Vodafone initiates 5G trial with Ericsson

Vodafone UK is conducting a trial of pre-standard 5G using 3.5 GHz spectrum in central London.

The testing is carried out in partnership with Ericsson and King’s College London. The trial includes both indoor and outdoor configurations using MIMO, beamforming, beam tracking, and other advanced technologies.

Vodafone UK Head of Networks Kye Prigg said: “We’re delighted to be the first provider to test standalone 5G in the field, however, building a 5G network will take time. Right now, we’re also modernising our network by making smarter use of our existing mobile technology to keep ahead of consumption demands and provide the mobile coverage our customers deserve.

“5G also needs fibre optic cables. Together with CityFibre, we will soon start work installing the advanced fibre networks providing high-capacity backhaul connections required for 5G mobile services.”

Fyusion raises $22M for computer vision

Fyusion, a start-up based in San Francisco, announced $22 million in Series B funding for its work in 3D computer vision and machine learning.

Fyusion's mission is "to pioneer real-time visual understanding of the physical world using any camera though with a focus on Android & iOS devices." The technology creates immersive, interactive 3D images called ‘fyuses’ by moving any camera around a person, object or scene. Fyusion says its 3D AI technology is capable of understanding these people, objects, and scenes, live in the camera, and with extreme precision. The company also claims to have the world’s largest database of digitized real-world 3D images, updated monthly by tens of millions of users across commercial OEM partnerships. Gionee, Huawei, TCL, and ZTE are Fyusion’s OEM partners.

New Enterprise Associates were a follow-on institutional investor alongside new investors Presence Capital and 2020, a fund partnered with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. New strategic investors include one of the top 3 global smartphone makers, NTT Group’s corporate venture capital firm NTT DOCOMO Ventures, publicly-traded Japanese gaming company Colopl, and Gionee – a Chinese smartphone company. Fyusion has raised a total of $38 million since its inception in 2014.


Radu B. Rusu, CEO of Fyusion said: “We’re delighted to have welcomed investors with such knowledge and connections in the very areas that Fyusion is focused on. These are incredible partners who understand how Fyusion’s 3D AI imaging will drive growth in many key global industries over the coming years.”

Anodot raises $23M for AI-driven analytics

Anodot, a start-up based in Ra'anana, Israel with offices in Sunnyvale, California announced $23 million in Series B funding for its AI-powered analytics.

Anodot's AI-powered analytics tracks and correlates massive volumes of business and technical data in real time to identify business incidents, such as e-commerce glitches. The company recently achieved Amazon Web Services' Machine Learning competency, a status held by only 17 companies globally.

Anodot cited several examples: it insights enabled a retailer to update its pricing to address competitor's bidding activity that was affecting product revenue; a mobile games company to resolve customer engagement drops resulting from its AB tests, and a fintech company to protect its revenue by reducing incident resolution time by 99%.

Over the past year, Anodot says it has more than tripled its revenues, with customers such as Foursquare, Lyft, Microsoft, Upwork and Waze (Google).

The most recent investment was led by Redline Capital Management together with existing investors Aleph Venture Capital and Disruptive Technologies Venture Capital.

Anodot is led by David Drai, co-founder and CEO who previously co-founded Cotendo (acquired by Akamai). Also on the Anodot founding team are Ira Cohen, formerly Chief Data Scientist at HP, and software R&D executive Shay Lang.

SendBird raises $16M for chat and messaging APIs

SendBird, a start-up based in Redwood City, California with R&D in Seoul, Korea, raised $16 million in Series A funding for its API and SDK for in-app chat and messaging.

SendBird said its API is now powering chat for over 6,500 applications in 153 countries globally. It can support over a million concurrent users for each application.

The funding round was led by Shasta Ventures and August Capital with participation from existing investors at Y Combinator and FundersClub.

"It's our mission to digitize human interactions for businesses," said John S. Kim, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, "With the new round of financing, we can accelerate our plan to help companies rapidly increase the engagement and retention of their users by enabling real-time conversation with our chat API."

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

AWS activates new region in Paris, its 18th globally

Amazon Web Services activated AWS EU (Paris) Region, its 18th infrastructure zone globally for a total of 49 availability zones, and its fourth region in Europe, joining existing regions in Germany, Ireland, and the UK. The new AWS EU (Paris) Region offers three Availability Zones.

AWS Regions are comprised of Availability Zones, which refer to technology infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting availability, yet near enough for business continuity applications that require a rapid failover. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security, and is connected to national backbone networks via local telecom carriers’ high-speed fiber-optic networks

For data sovereignty concerns, the new AWS EU (Paris) Region will ensure that corporate data is stored in France and will not move unless the customer moves it. AWS also operates three Edge Network Locations in Paris and one in Marseille.

By early 2019, AWS expects to activate another 12 Availability Zones and four regions in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, Sweden, and a second AWS GovCloud Region.

“For over a decade, AWS has been supporting French builders and entrepreneurs, in enterprises and startups, on their quest to reinvent and evolve their customer’s experiences,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, Inc. “We have tens of thousands of French customers using AWS from regions outside of France, but we’ve heard them loud and clear and are excited to deliver them an AWS Region in France, so they can easily operate their most latency-sensitive workloads or house any data that needs to reside on French soil.”

Broadcom delivers its 12.8 Tbps Tomahawk 3 switching silicon

Broadcom announced commercial shipments of its StrataXGS Tomahawk 3 Ethernet switch silicon boasting 12.8 Terabits/sec in a single device -- double that of any other switching chip currently in the market.

Tomahawk 3 paves the way for high-density, standards-based 400GbE, 200GbE, and 100GbE switching and routing for hyperscale cloud networks. The latest gen silicon is expected to be adopted by leading network equipment OEMs as well as by hyperscale cloud companies.

Third party companies cited in the product announcement included Microsoft, Alibaba, Arista Networks, Baidu, Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Tencent, Accton, Celestica, Delta Networks, Quanta, Applied Optoelectronics, Foxconn Interconnect Technologies, Intel Silicon Photonics, and Luxtera.

The new chip, which arrives 14 months after Broadcom introduced its 6.4Tbps product generation, offers 40% lower power consumption per 100GbE switch port and up to 75% lower cost per 100GbE switch port.

Key features of the StrataXGS Tomahawk 3 Series:

  • Supports 32 x 400GbE, 64 x 200GbE, or 128 x 100GbE line-rate switching and routing on a single chip
  • Delivers 40% reduction in power per 100Gbps, and up to 75% lower cost per 100Gbps, versus alternatives
  • New, state-of-the-art, integrated 12.8Tbps shared-buffer architecture offers 3X to 5X higher incast absorption and provides the highest performance and lowest end-to-end latency for RoCEv2 based workloads
  • Broadview Gen 3 integrated network instrumentation feature set and software suite provides full visibility to network operators into packet flow behavior, traffic management state, and switch internal performance
  • Supports all packet processing and traffic management requirements for next-gen hyperscale network use cases: >2X IP route forwarding scale, 2X ECMP scale, Dynamic Load Balancing and Group Multipathing, In-Band Network Telemetry, Elephant Flow detection and re-prioritization
  • Robust connectivity using 256 instances of the best performing and longest-reach 50G PAM-4 integrated SerDes core, enabling long-reach (LR) East-West optical links and Direct-Attached-Copper (DAC) in-rack cabling in the data center, fully compliant to new IEEE standards for 50/100/200/400GbE
  • Implemented on proven, high-volume 16nm process technology node, ensuring fastest time to CY2018 production network deployment for hyperscale customers 


“The Tomahawk franchise is the flagship for cutting-edge, single-chip performance and integration among Broadcom’s multi-vectored Ethernet switch silicon portfolio, tailored to the unique and rigorous demands of hyperscale data center operators,” said Ram Velaga, senior vice president and general manager, Switch Products at Broadcom. “I am proud of our world-class engineering team for innovating and delivering the 12.8Tbps Tomahawk 3 chip in a record 14 months after we released Tomahawk 2. We’ve applied great focus and diligence working with our hyperscale customers to ensure this product is the ideal fit for their upcoming high-radix 100/400GbE deployments and aggressive Terabit-per-dollar and Terabit-per-Watt targets. Broadcom is proving yet again that customers can rely on us to lead the industry on switch silicon performance and execution at every generation.”

Sabey Data Centers pulls in $675m in financing

Seattle-based Sabey Data Centers, which owns and operates data center campuses in Seattle, Ashburn (VA), Quincy (WA) and Wenatchee (WA), closed a $675 million financing package led by TD Securities, including a $425 million 5-year term loan and a $250 million 5-year revolver. 

The company said proceeds of the term loan will be used to refinance existing property-level debt into a corporate facility, while the revolver will be used to fund capital expenditures for data center development and strategic initiatives.  Sabey plans to expand its data center campuses in Northern Virginia as well as in Central Washington, which benefits from low power rates and a mild climate ideal for efficient cooling.

“From a strategic perspective, this transaction will provide the capital we need to stay ahead of market conditions. The data center development market is extremely active, especially with prospective tenants who are demanding large blocks of inventory as a condition for entering into a lease deal,” stated Rob Rockwood, President, Sabey Data Centers. “The leasing paradigm has changed. Up to the recent past, data center users would move onto a campus and then build out incrementally, on an ‘as needed’ basis. This is no longer the case.”

Bharti Airtel to acquire Tigo Rwanda

Bharti Airtel Limited agreed to acquire Millicom's Rwanda mobile network, which operates under the Tigo Rwanda brand. The companies said the price is approximately 6x 2017 adjusted EBITDA, payable over two years, consisting of a mix of cash, vendor loan note and earn out. Media sources put the price at about US$6 billion.

Tigo Rwanda has about 3.25 million customers. By integrating the assets with its own Airtel Rwanda, Bharti will hold approximately 40% of the market, behind MTN.

Airtel Africa also has operations in 15 other countries, including some acquired properties in Uganda (Warid), Congo B (Warid), Kenya (yu Mobile), and Ghana (Millicom).

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel stated: "Airtel has taken proactive steps in Africa to consolidate and realign the market structure in the last few remaining countries where its operations are lagging on account of lower market share and presence of too many operators. Airtel and Tigo have already merged their operations to create a strong viable entity in Ghana. Today, it has taken yet another important step to acquire Tigo Rwanda to become a profitable and a strong challenger in a two-player market."

Mauricio Ramos, CEO of Millicom, commented: "The sale of our business in Rwanda is in line with our strategy to focus on providing advanced fixed and mobile data services in Latin America. We are very grateful to the government of Rwanda for their support throughout the last eight years, which allowed us to extend digital inclusion to thousands of Rwandans."

CyrusOne builds a massive data center campus near Atlanta

CyrusOne unveiled plans to build a massive data center campus in Atlanta to serve its expanding customer base of hyperscale cloud providers and Fortune 1000 enterprise customers.

The new 44-acre campus is located in the Riverside West Industrial Park in the Atlanta suburb of Douglasville, Georgia. Upon full buildout, the site will include three data centers, with 440,000 square feet of data center space and 50 megawatts of critical power. CyrusOne expects to begin construction in Q1 2018 and complete the first data center building by summer. The data centers will have access to multiple cloud providers and will be linked to the CyrusOne National Internet Exchange (National IX), which delivers interconnection between other CyrusOne locations across the country. Customers will additionally have direct access to one of the largest fiber hubs in the United States.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal welcome the project, valuing the direct investment at $200 million. The campus is projected to generate an additional $600 million in investments over time.

“Leadership in technology, financial services, manufacturing, education, and connectivity make Atlanta an especially attractive market for our cloud and enterprise customers,” said Tesh Durvasula, chief commercial officer, CyrusOne. “Atlanta’s diverse economy moves fast and CyrusOne operates in the same manner. Our new Douglasville site is an ideal location for companies fueling Atlanta’s growth to leverage CyrusOne’s state-of-the-art data center solution in this dynamic region.”

CyrusOne operates 44 data center facilities across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Red Hat sales pop 22% yoy in latest quarter

Red Hat posted sales of $748 million for its fiscal quarter ended November 30, 2017, up 22% year-over-year, or 20% measured in constant currency. Subscription revenue for the quarter was $657 million, up 21% year-over-year, and now constituting 88% of total revenue.

Subscription revenue from Infrastructure-related offerings for the quarter was $495 million, an increase of 15% year-over-year
Subscription revenue from Application Development-related and other emerging technology offerings for the quarter was $162 million, an increase of 44%year-over-year

"We again delivered over 20% year-over-year growth in both subscription revenue and total revenue due to strong customer demand for hybrid cloud technologies, including our core technologies, container platforms, and solutions that enable and manage multiple clouds and private cloud environments," stated Jim Whitehurst, President and Chief Executive Officer of Red Hat.

GAAP operating income for the quarter was $118 million, up 47% year-over-year. Non-GAAP operating income for the third quarter was $179 million, up 25% year-over-year. For the third quarter, GAAP operating margin was 15.8% and the non-GAAP operating margin was 23.9%.

GAAP net income for the quarter was $101 million, or $0.54 per diluted share, compared with $68 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Elliptic Labs offers ultrasound sensor for Qualcomm's Neural Engine

Elliptic Labs, a start-up with headquarters in Oslo and offices in San Francisco, and Shanghai have demonstrated its touch-free ultrasound gesture technology running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform using the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE).

Elliptic Labs’ ultrasound virtual sensors can be implemented in electronic devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, to detect natural hand movements in the air above, in front of and to the side of the screen. The detected hand movement can trigger actions such as taking a selfie or group photo.

Elliptic Labs’ ultrasound virtual sensors can also now be used in conjunction with the Snapdragon
NPE’s machine learning and artificial intelligence optimization tools.

Elliptic Labs noted that its INNER BEAUTY proximity sensor technology is used in the hugely popular Mi Mix phone from Chinese powerhouse Xiaomi.

“Any OEM or developer using the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine from Qualcomm Technologies can now benefit from our expertise in machine learning and user experience design,” said Laila Danielsen, CEO of Elliptic Labs. “Whether people want to use our technology to take pictures, record videos or play music, it is clear that intuitive, touch-free gestures are important for the next generation of user experiences in the mobile, VR and IoT markets. Leveraging NPE, we are able to more rapidly deliver touch-free gestures that are natural extensions of human interaction.”

Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform

Qualcomm introduced its latest generation Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, promising the performance for eXtended reality (XR), on-device artificial intelligence (AI), lightning-fast connectivity, and featuring a new secure processing unit (SPU) for protecting mobile devices.

The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform includes an integrated Qualcomm Spectra 280 image signal processor (ISP) and Qualcomm Adreno 630 visual processing subsystem for cinematic video capture by flagship mobile devices. It is designed to deliver innovations for new XR experiences that span virtual, augmented and mixed reality. Snapdragon 845 is the first mobile platform to enable room-scale 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) with simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM)—for features such as wall-collision detection. Additionally, Snapdragon 845 introduces “Adreno foveation,” which substantially reduces power consumption, improves visual quality and boosts XR application performance, as compared to the previous generation.

“As leaders in mobile technology, we will transform the mobile experience with comprehensive advancements in visual processing, AI, security and connectivity,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform is the next horizon of innovation and is going to transform the way people use their mobile devices to make their lives better.”

The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform is currently sampling.

...


Zain extends IP/MPLS with Cisco segment routing

Zain Group is leveraging Cisco's advanced segment routing platforms and WAN automation to bring distributed intelligence and centralized control to its IP/MPLS network.

The deployment will enable simplification, scalability and open innovation for the network. Cisco said its technology will also help Zain Group optimize network operations and offer a richer suite of differentiated services.

“The capabilities of Cisco’s segment routing, automation and our best of breed routing engines enable Zain Group to implement a programmable network that allows them to rapidly adapt to future customer needs,” said Ali Amer, Managing Director, Global Service Provider Sales, Cisco Middle East and Africa. “By fast tracking their network automation, Zain Group are future-proofing their network with an agile, scalable and secure architecture that supports their growth strategy and enhances their competitiveness.”

Monday, December 18, 2017

Intel ships Stratix 10 MX FPGA with High Bandwidth Memory DRAM

Intel has begun commercial shipments of the industry's first field programmable gate array (FPGA) with integrated High Bandwidth Memory DRAM (HBM2). Several variants are now available including the Intel Stratix 10 GX FPGAs (with 28G transceivers) and the Intel Stratix 10 SX FPGAs (with embedded quad-core ARM processor).

The Intel Stratix 10 MX FPGAs offer up to 10 times the memory bandwidth when compared with standalone DDR memory solutions, according to the company, making them suitable as multi-function accelerators for high-performance computing (HPC), data centers, network functions virtualization (NFV), and broadcast applications. The new devices provide a maximum memory bandwidth of 512 gigabytes per second with the integrated HBM2.

The Intel Stratix 10 MX FPGAs are manufactured using the company's 14 nm FinFET process and state-of-the-art packaging technology, including Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) technology to integrate HBM2 with the monolithic FPGA fabric.

"To efficiently accelerate these workloads, memory bandwidth needs to keep pace with the explosion in data" said Reynette Au, vice president of marketing, Intel Programmable Solutions Group. "We designed the Intel Stratix 10 MX family to provide a new class of FPGA-based multi-function data accelerators for HPC and HPDA markets."

IDT intros IEEE 1588 timing for Cavium

Integrated Device Technology will offer integrated IEEE 1588 software and timing components for a variety of Cavium System on Chip (SoC) solutions.

IDT said the range of applications requiring precision synchronization over packet-switched networks using the IEEE 1588 protocol has expanded from mobile networks and industrial automation applications to increasing include data centers, broadcast video, high-speed trading and high-performance computing.

"IDT's advanced clock recovery algorithms and precision timing devices reconstruct accurate synchronization signals under challenging network conditions for the most demanding applications," said Kris Rausch, vice president of IDT's Timing Division.

"Cavium's network infrastructure solutions have a particular need for precision timing, whether base stations, remote radio heads or even Cloud-RAN," said Raj Singh, general manager of Cavium's Wireless Broadband Group. "As we begin the transition from 4G to 5G it will become even more critical. Giving our customers access to reference designs incorporating validated IDT timing technology is an important element in helping them quickly deliver end products to the market."

Avaya emerges from Chapter 11 after eliminating $3 billion in debt

Avaya Holdings Corp. emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The company is seeking to reestablish a listing on the NYSE with approximately 110 million shares outstanding.

Avaya said it remains focused on "mission-critical, real-time communication applications of the world’s most important operations." Its portfolio includes software and services for contact center and unified communications— offered on premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid.

“This is the beginning of an important new chapter for Avaya,” said Jim Chirico, Avaya’s president and CEO. “In less than a year since the commencement of our chapter 11 restructuring, Avaya has emerged as a publicly traded company with a significantly strengthened balance sheet. Overall, we reduced our prior debt load by approximately $3 billion, and we exit today with more than $300 million in cash on our balance sheet.  The reduction of our debt and certain other long-term obligations will also improve annual cash flow by approximately $300 million compared to fiscal 2016.”

“We have the flexibility we need to invest in the large and growing contact center and unified communications markets as we complete our transformation to a software, services and cloud solutions provider,” Chirico added. “With a new Board and leadership team firmly in place, Avaya is now well-positioned to execute on its growth plan and deliver the returns and value expected by our stakeholders.”

  • Avaya entered chapter 11 proceedings on 19-January-2017. 
  • In June, Extreme Networks announced a deal to acquire Avaya's networking business for approximately $100 million. 

ATP grows into largest tower company in the Andes

Andean Tower Partners (ATP) has acquired Torres Unidas from Berkshire Partners for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition adds 1,644 sites to ATP's portfolio of digital communication infrastructure assets to ATP, which now has over 2,150 sites, and manages more than 32,000 master leased sites and 13 small cell networks deployments in Colombia, Peru, and Chile.

The former CEO of Torres Unidas, Daniel Seiner, will become the CEO of the combined company and Estrella Zaharia will continue with her responsibilities as Chief Marketing Officer.

ATP said it is now the largest privately-owned tower company in the Andean Region.

"We are excited about the continued progress of ATP following our successful institutional capital raise earlier this year," said Marc Ganzi, Chairman of ATP, and Founder and CEO of Digital Bridge Holdings. "We see a significant tower deficit in the Andean Region, and this acquisition will enhance ATP's ability to meet an increasing need for telecom infrastructure as our wireless carrier partners continue to densify their networks to keep up with anticipated data consumption in the region. We are also equally excited about the combination of these two management teams to ensure execution of our business plan and most importantly meeting the coverage objectives of our customers in the region."

"The combined portfolio will give Andean Tower Partners an enhanced footprint in the region, and we are eager to continue to help operators densify their 4G networks and bring the dream of 5G to life in our region," said Seiner. "These are exceptionally high-quality assets and locations that will allow us to offer an even more compelling value proposition to carriers as they look for a preferred partner that can deliver a full suite of solutions to support their growth in the region."

Australia's NBN Co extends Ericsson fixed wireless contract to 2020

NBN Co has announced it will continue its fixed wireless and Sky Muster™ managed services partnership with Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) through to 2020.

Australia's NBN Co has extended a managed services contract with Ericsson through to 2020. Ericsson will continue to be responsible for nbn fixed wireless network operations, ground systems operations for Sky Muster – the operator's satellite service – as well as customer connections and assurance for both technologies.

NBN Co's fixed wireless and Sky Muster services cover more than 980,000 homes in regional and remote Australia with more than 290,000 homes connected to broadband services via NBN Co's retail service providers.

"As we extend our strategic partnership with NBNCo, we look forward to continuing the delivery of fixed wireless and satellite services to regional and rural Australia. The availability of ubiquitous broadband to homes and businesses across Australia will help to bridge the digital divide and support economic and community growth," stated Emilio Romeo, Managing Director of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand.

Ericsson has been NBN Co's managed services provider since 2011, when it was appointed to build and operate a fixed-wireless broadband network based on TD-LTE technology.

In 2014, the partnership was expanded to include operation of the ground component of NBN Co's long-term satellite solution and end user connections and assurance services.

Cisco and Digicel target digitization for the Caribbean

Digicel has signed a framework agreement with Cisco for accelerating the digital agenda and existing digitization policies for 26 countries in the Caribbean and Central America. 

The companies agreed to collaborate to develop a digitization vision for each country for both the immediate and the long term, defining areas for implementation and specific projects, such as Healthcare/Telemedicine, Smart Cities, and Connected Schools, as well as to develop an educational strategy based on Cisco Networking Academy. 

"Digitization is a key driver for economic development in any country. Through this partnership with Digicel, our goal is to grow GDP, create new jobs and invest in a sustainable innovation ecosystem across public and private sectors in the Caribbean and Central America," says Alison Gleeson, Senior Vice President of the Americas, Cisco. "The Cisco and Digicel collaboration will map pathways to growth for countries throughout the region, positioning them for long-term prosperity in the digital age."

The initial list of targeted countries includes: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, El Salvador, French West Indies, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Panama, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks & Caicos Islands.

Frontier says rural broadband deployment ahead of schedule

Frontier Communications reports that it is ahead of schedule in deploying rural broadband, exceeding 2017 milestone requirements of the Connect America Fund program (CAF) in eight additional states.

The carrier is now ahead of schedule in Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. This is in addition to Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia as having reached the 40 percent milestone.

Nationally, Frontier now provides broadband to over approximately 331,000 and small businesses in its CAF-eligible areas and has improved speeds to over approximately 875,000 additional homes and businesses.

“We are piling up broadband milestones as we make a strong broadband deployment push to close out 2017," said Mark D. Nielsen, Frontier Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer. "The combination of CAF and Frontier's investments have enabled new broadband connections that are vital to closing the digital divide. Every day we see our customers benefiting from the significant economic and educational benefits of broadband connectivity."

Meituan data centers deploy Mellanox Ethernet switches, adapters

Meituan.com will deploy Mellanox Spectrum Ethernet switches, ConnectX adapters and LinkX cables to accelerate its multi-thousand servers for their artificial intelligence, big data analytics and cloud data centers. The installation will use Mellanox 25 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit smart interconnect solutions and RDMA technology.
Financial terms were not disclosed.

Meituan.com is the world’s leading online and on-demand delivery platform, supporting 280 million mobile users and 5 million merchants across 2,180 cities in China, and processing up to 21 million orders a day during peak times.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Equinix acquires Australian data centers from Metronode for US$792M

Equinix agreed to acquire Metronode, an Australian data center operator, for A$1.035 billion (US$792 million) in cash.  Metronode has been fully owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan since December 2016.

Metronode operates two data centers in Melbourne, three in greater Sydney (including one in Illawarra), two in Perth, and one in each of Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane. The acquired Metronode sites add approximately 20,000 square meters of gross colocation space to the Equinix footprint. Metronode also brings more than 80,000 square meters of land, 90 percent of which is owned.

In Melbourne and in Sydney, the Metronode data centers will provide a diverse, second campus for Equinix's existing properties. Both of these Metronode campuses are described as "hyperscale ready".

In Perth, Metronode's data center will house the landing station for the new Vocus Australia Singapore Cable. Equinix's existing data center in Sydney also houses the landing station for subsea cables.

Metronode generated approximately A$60 million, or approximately US$46 million, of revenues in the 12 months ending September 30, 2017, with a margin profile accretive to the Equinix Asia-Pacific business.

Equinix said the deal expands its leadership position to connect some of Australia’s largest corporations, government agencies, telecommunication, high-growth global cloud service providers and IT service providers.

The acquisition also continues Equinix’s global expansion strategy, including recent acquisitions and new construction in Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley, Singapore, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, São Paulo, and other markets.

When the deal closes in mid-2018, Equinix will have 40 data centers in Asia-Pacific and 200 data centers worldwide.

Metronode claims 100% uptime across all its 10 data centers since it began operations in 2002.

Oracle acquires Aconex for $1.2B - cloud collaboration tools

Oracle agreed to acquire Aconex Limited, which offers a cloud-based, team collaboration scheduler for construction projects, for A$7.80 per share in cash. The deal is valued at approximately US$1.2 billion, net of Aconex cash.

The Aconex project collaboration solution, which is used by some 70,000 organizations worldwide for managing construction projects, connects owners, builders, and other teams. It provides visibility and management of data, documents, and costs across all stages of a construction project lifecycle. Aconex estimates that its software has been used in over $1 trillion in projects to date in over 70 countries.

Aconex was founded in 2000. The company is based in Melbourne, Australia.

Oracle also offers a Construction and Engineering Cloud to help customers in planning, scheduling and delivering large-scale projects.

"Delivering projects on time and on budget are the highest strategic imperatives for any construction and engineering organization," said Mike Sicilia, SVP and GM, Construction and Engineering Global Business Unit, Oracle. "With the addition of Aconex, we significantly advance our vision of offering the most comprehensive cloud-based project management solution for this $14 trillion industry."

"The Aconex and Oracle businesses are a great, natural fit and highly complementary in terms of vision, product, people, and geography," said Leigh Jasper, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Aconex. "As co-founders of Aconex, both Rob Phillpot and I remain committed to the business and are excited about the opportunity to advance our collective vision on a larger scale, and the benefits this combination will deliver to our customers."

Quintillion lights subsea cable for arctic Alaska

Quintillion has activated commercial service on its new subsea fiber optic cable system serving five northern Alaska communities: Utqiaġvik, Wainwright, Point Hope, Nome, and Kotzebue.

Installation of the Alaska Arctic portion of the international Quintillion Subsea Cable System was completed in early October.

Quintillion’s subsea and terrestrial fiber optic network spans 1,400 miles, including a subsea trunk line from Prudhoe Bay to Nome with branching lines to the five communities.

Quintillion is aiming to extend its Arctic subsea cable system westwards to Asia (phase 2) and then eastwards to Europe (phase 3).

AT&T and CWA reach labor deal covering 20K workers

AT&T and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) reached a tentative agreement covering 20,000 employees in 36 states and the District of Columbia -- AT&T's Mobility Orange unit, which encompasses CWA Districts 1, 2-13, 4, 7 and 9.

Highlights of the tentative agreement:

  • A contract length of four years
  • Retroactive wage increases back to Feb. 12, 2017, and a $1,000 lump sum, if the agreement is ratified by Jan. 12, 2018.
  • General wage increases of 2.25% effective Feb. 12, 2017; 3% effective Feb. 11, 2018; 2.25% effective Feb. 10, 2019; and 2.25% effective Feb. 9, 2020. Compounded wage increase over the four-year term of the offer will be over 10%, and employees in wage progression may see an even greater total increase over the term of the offer.
  • For retail sales consultants, $2,500 moved from commissions that are at-risk to base pay that is not.
  • Employment security for call center and retail sales employees. If a call center or retail store closing results in a job loss, or if a call center or retail title is eliminated, affected employees will be guaranteed a job offer in our Mobility business.
  •  AT&T Mobility retail workers will earn an average hourly wage of $19.20, about 74% more than the national average pay for retail workers.


AT&T said its offer ensures a robust health care plan, with the company paying over 70% of the total costs including 100% of preventive care costs.

CWA said the deal was reached after 11 months of mobilization, tough bargaining and a three-day strike.

"After joining together and going on strike, AT&T Mobility workers have won a historic contract that sets a bold precedent for workers in the telecom industry. The solidarity and persistence of our members pushed the company to agree to crucial protections like stronger job security for retail workers and greater fairness in evaluation and discipline procedures that put our members and their families on a path towards greater economic security," said Dennis Trainor, CWA District 1 Vice President. "Let this be a sign to all companies that put profits above workers: when we stand together, we win," he said.

AT&T boosts dividend by 2%

AT&T’s quarterly dividend will increase from $0.49 to $0.50 per share. The annual dividend will increase from $1.96 to $2.00 per share.

“Our strong cash flows and outlook for the business allow us to raise our dividend for the 34th consecutive year. We’re committed to returning value to our shareholders, and we’re pleased to deliver yet again,” said Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO, AT&T Inc.

The dividend is payable on Feb. 1, 2018, to stockholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 10, 2018.

EXFO to acquire Astellia for mobile subscriber awareness

EXFO has launched an all-cash voluntary tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Astellia, a provider of network and subscriber intelligence solutions for mobile operators. EXFO already holds 33.1% of Astellia's equity.

The offer is proposed at a price of EUR 10 per Astellia share, valuing the entirety of Astellia's equity (on a fully diluted basis) at approximately €25.9 million.

Astellia's real-time monitoring and troubleshooting solution optimizes networks end-to-end, from radio to core.  The company is based in France with significant operations in Spain and a strong presence in Canada, Lebanon, Morocco and South Africa.

"We aim to combine the two companies and create a global leader in the service assurance and analytics industry", said Germain Lamonde, EXFO's founder and Executive Chairman of the Board. "Combining our complementary base of customers, technologies and competencies, as well as our similar corporate cultures, will enable the development of game-changing solutions and services within a large market in rapid transition—all this in the best interests of our customers, employees and shareholders."

NTT develops a better optical connector cleaner

NTT Advanced Technology (NTT-AT) has developed a new cleaner for waterproof optical connectors (ODC connectors), which are used in outdoor applications such as Fiber to the Antenna (FTTA) deployments.

The problem to be addressed is the contamination that builds over time on the end face of an optical connector, degrading reliability and performance. Optical cleaning tools can mitigate this issue.

NTT-AT's new "NEOCLEAN series" uses specialized microfibers that won't scratch the end face of the optical connector. Cleaning is performed with a simple push operation. One unit can be used for more than 400 cleanings.


NTT and Chunghwa Telecom advance their white box trial

NTT and Taiwan-based  Chunghwa Telecom have successfully carried out a joint experiment to verify the service continuity and reliability of a virtual network control system.

This experiment was enabled by the combination of NTT’s Multi-Service Fabric (MSF) and Chunghwa Telecom’s orchestrator (NAPA).

The experiment was performed on a network of whitebox switches. Specifically, virtual network configuration and control technologies using white-box switches and white-box switch operating systems were verified by controlling MSF from NAPA.


Harris supplies navigation payloads for GPS III

Harris Corporation delivered two advanced navigation payloads in 2017 to Lockheed Martin for use on GPS III satellites. The company is on track to deliver four more in 2018, and a total of ten units under its contract with Lockheed Martin.

Harris’ navigation payload consists of a Mission Data Unit (MDU), featuring a unique 70-percent digital design that links atomic clocks, radiation-hardened computers and powerful transmitters – enabling signals three times more accurate than those on current GPS satellites. These payloads also boost satellite signal power, increase jamming resistance by eight times and help extend the satellite’s lifespan.

Harris said the first payload, which was delivered earlier this year, is now fully integrated on the U.S. Air Force’s first GPS III satellite, GPS III SV01, which was declared Available for Launch in September, with an expected launch in 2018.

In November, Harris announced that it had completed development of a fully digital MDU for Lockheed Martin’s GPS III satellites 11 and beyond. The new SV 11+ payload design will provide enhanced capabilities and increased performance for the Air Force.

NTT Comm partners with Vantis in Hong Kong

Vantis Consulting Group (Vantis) has become the first partner in Hong Kong to join NTT Communications' Global Management One (GMOne) Managed Services Partner Program. Vantis will resell NTT Com GMOne managed services, cloud and hosting solutions, and further integrates with their service offerings to meet enterprises’ growing hybrid ICT needs.

GMOne managed services leverage NTT Com’s global resources for managing entire hybrid ICT ecosystems, from infrastructure, business applications to smart outsourcing.

Vantis also participates in NTT Com's Enterprise Cloud Marketplace, which was launched last year.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

FCC votes 3-2 to end Net Neutrality rules

The FCC voted 3-2 along partisan lines to adopt the "Restoring Internet Freedom Order" proposed by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to rollback Obama-era Net Neutrality rules. Voting in favor of the order were Republicans Ajit Pai, who argued that measure will usher in a new era of investment for Internet infrastructure. Also voting in favor were Republicans Michael O'Rielly and Brendan Carr. Voting against the measure were Democrats Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel.

FCC Chairman said that by returning to the classification of Internet services as an “information service”— removing the current Title II regulatory regime that gives the FCC say over the delivery of Internet content — the new order returns the industry to the status quo prior to 2015.

The vote proceeded despite an urgent request from the Attorney Generals of 18 states urging a delay to the vote due to a criminal investigation into possible fraudulent manipulation of the FCC's public comment process for this issue.  In a public letter to FCC Commissioners, the Attorney Generals said their ongoing review of the public comments process has revealed a large number of fake comment submissions using the names and identities of real people. The initial assessment is that there were over 1 million fake comments indicating a deliberate effort to skew the public comment process on an issue of national importance. The Attorney Generals are also requesting the help of the FCC in their investigation of "massive identity theft."

President Trump Picks Pai for FCC Chairman



President Donald J. Trump designated Ajit Pai as his choice to be Chair of the FCC. Ajit Varadaraj Pai was nominated for FCC Commissioner by President Obama in 2011. Pai took over the seat abandoned by Meredith Baker who left the FCC to take a job as a lobbyist for Comcast. Pai was previously a Partner in the Litigation Department of Jenner & Block LLP. Previously, Pai worked in the Office of the General Counsel at the Federal Communications...







FCC Votes 3-2 to Adopt Open Internet Rules

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to adopt a new set of Open Internet rules proposed by Commissioner Wheeler and backed by the Obama Administration. All of the new rules, which are based on the FCC's authority under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, would apply to fixed and mobile broadband alike, while leaving room for reasonable network management and its specific application to mobile and unlicensed WiFi networks.

Here are the key provisions and rules of the Open Internet Order as outlined by the FCC:

Bright Line Rules:  The first three rules ban practices that are known to harm the Open Internet.

  • No Blocking: broadband providers may not block access to legal content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
  • No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
  • No Paid Prioritization: broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind—in other words, no “fast lanes.”   This rule also bans ISPs from prioritizing content and services of their affiliates. It also prohibits practices that target specific applications or classes of applications.  

The FCC's  Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has ended its investi

Molex launches venture funding initiative

Molex Electronic Technologies has formed a subsidiary dedicated to investing in emerging technologies and companies.

Molex Ventures specializes in investments and collaborations with startup companies that can leverage Molex design and manufacturing capabilities across a range of industry sectors, including Medical and Pharmaceutical sensors, connected health and point of care diagnostics; Automotive connected mobility, electrification and autonomous driving; Industry 4.0 sensors, robotics and data analytics platforms; and Electronics Packaging Technologies.

The Molex Ventures portfolio includes recent investments and collaborations with:

  • NuCurrent – Embedding innovative antenna technologies into mobile device platforms
  • Ossia – Expanding market access to the Cota Real Wireless Power Platform
  • Excelfore – Creating integrated in-vehicle connected platforms

“Fostering the cross-pollination of ideas and capabilities can serve as a catalyst for transformational innovation. As a technology leader, Molex welcomes opportunities to forge strategic relationships with startups at key stages in their development,” said Lily Yeung, vice president, Molex Ventures. “We are proactively seeking collaborations with startups that have developed a successful solution or concept and are ready to take their innovation and commercial growth to the next level.”

Juniper moves OpenContrail's codebase to the Linux Foundation

Juniper Networks will move the codebase for OpenContrail, an open-source network virtualization platform for the cloud, to the Linux Foundation.

OpenContrail is a scalable network virtualization control plane that provides feature-rich software-defined networking (SDN) and strong security.

Juniper first released its Juniper Contrail products as open sourced in 2013. It has been deployed by various organizations, including cloud providers, telecom operators and enterprises. The company said that by adding OpenContrail's codebase to the Linux Foundation's networking projects will further its objective to grow the use of open source platforms in cloud ecosystems.

"Juniper's focus on cloud-grade networking means delivering on the promises of open and scalable multicloud networking options. OpenContrail is a key part of that strategy. Our goal of placing OpenContrail's codebase with the Linux Foundation shows Juniper's commitment to open networking and open source overall. Over the past year, we have been working closely with the community to transition the governance for OpenContrail's codebase because we believe it has the unique opportunity to be a ubiquitous cloud-grade network fabric used everywhere. We look forward to continuing our close participation with the community once this project takes on new life under the Linux Foundation,"stated Randy Bias, vice president of technology - cloud software at Juniper Networks.

Verizon acquires Chicago fiber network from WOW

Verizon Communications completed its previously announced acquisition of fiber network assets in Chicago from WideOpenWest (WOW).  The price was $225 million.

Verizon said the transaction secures fiber to more than 500 macro-cell wireless sites and more than 500 small-cell wireless sites in the Chicago area.

"The addition of these fiber assets is an important part of our strategy to reinforce our current network capabilities and prepare for the future. The completion of this acquisition will help expedite our network densification with fiber and small cells, enhancing our industry-leading 4G LTE network and laying the groundwork for 5G," said Nicola Palmer, Chief Engineer and Head of Wireless Networks, Verizon.

Rebecca Jacoby to step down as Cisco's SVP of Operations

After a distinguished 22-year career at Cisco, Rebecca Jacoby announced plans to retire. She currently serves as senior vice president of Operations.

Cisco has appointed Irving Tan to take on the newly created role of senior vice president of Operations and Digital, responsible for leading Cisco's digital transformation across the company in partnership with Sales, Engineering and other functions. Tan currently serves as Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific and Japan.

Cisco also announced that Chris Dedicoat, executive vice president of Worldwide Sales and Field Operations, has decided to leave his role at the end of Cisco's current fiscal year on July 28, 2018, and will transition to a senior advisory role to Chairman and CEO, Chuck Robbins.

See also