Monday, June 12, 2017

Huawei demonstrates 6 Gbit/s downlink in China's 5G R&D testing

Huawei announced that it has completed China's second phase 5G radio technology test in Huairou District, Beijing organised by IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group, during which as part of C-Band testing it employed 5G New Radio, massive MIMO and other technologies utilising the entire 200 MHz bandwidth to enable over 6 Gbit/s of single-user downlink throughput and over 18 Gbit/s peak cell rate.

Huawei noted that its 5G test terminal was utilised for radio technology verification, enabling over 100 channels of on demand 4K UHD video in a single 5G base station. As part of the demonstration, 4K video was reliably delivered for vehicle-mounted mobile scenarios, illustrating the capabilities of 5G C-Band enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB).

Huawei stated that it is the first to complete testing of 5G network slicing technology for diverse service requirements in three typical scenarios. Network slices allow flexible configuration with a high degree of cooperation between the air interface and network to enable a secure user experience. As a result, a range of services are available on a single network with air interface latency of less than 0.5 ms and over 4 million single-cell connections, exceeding ITU 5G requirements.

Huawei has now completed large-scale service verification based on a live network and service environment ahead of schedule, marking a key milestone as part of China's 5G R&D test and representing a further advance for 5G industrialisation.


During the test procedures, Huawei noted that it implemented interoperability tests involving radio frequency and interworking functions working with upstream and downstream vendors. Specifically, Huawei partnered with instrument vendors Rohde & Schwarz, Keysight Technologies and DT Link Tester, chipset vendors Spreadtrum Communications and MediaTek, together with other companies.

MRV introduces 200 Gbit/s optical transport solutions

MRV Communications, a supplier of network solutions for data centre operators, service providers and enterprises, has introduced new 200 Gbit/s coherent digital muxponders for its OptiDriver WDM optical transport portfolio that are designed for data centre interconnect (DCI) and telecom applications.

Equipped with the new muxponders, OptiDriver can be deployed for a range of applications, from smaller access locations to large metro and regional WDM networks based on common modules and chassis. This approach helps to simplify network design, reduce stranded chassis space and sparing requirements and enable interoperability for data centre operators, service providers and enterprises.

The new products are based on digital coherent technology and enables a complete solution, ranging from 100 Gbit/s transponder module to the 200 Gbit/s muxponder modules, offered in a compact form factor. The 200 Gbit/s muxponders provide high-service granularity, thereby a failure of a module affects only the service on one port, while the high port-density 600 Gbit/s triple muxponder integrates three independent 200 Gbit/s muxponders in a 1 RU configuration.

MRV noted that the new solutions provide chassis-based modularity across the product line, together with advanced management options including Ethernet and OTN/FEC PM, OTN OAM&P, as well as remote management capabilities based on GCC-channels for high density optical transport applications.

Based on coherent digital CFP2-DCO optics, MRV's OptiDriver 100 Gbit/s transponder and 200 Gbit/s muxponders are designed to enable a cost-effective pay-as-you-grow strategy.

The new transponder and muxponders offer energy efficiency, delivering between 0.16 and 0.25 watts/Gbit/s, combined with high density when installed in OptiDriver stackable chassis from the OD-1, compact one-slot desktop unit to the OD-4-DCI, 1 RU modular pizza box, to the OD-48-HD 48 slot metro and regional WDM platform. The new modules provide up to 1.2 Tbit/s capacity in the 1 RU OD-4-DCI chassis and up to 18 Tbit/s in the OD-48-HD, 10 RU chassis.

MRV stated that the new modules can be used in combination with other modules in the OptiDriver portfolio including optical add/drop multiplexers (OADM), multi rate and multi-protocol transponders, dispersion compensation, ROADMs, optical multiplexers and amplifiers to address a range of DWDM network requirements.

The new modules, which can be  managed via the Pro-Vision life cycle service orchestration software, also offer support for Layer 1 wire-speed, hardware-ready encryption and open line system (OLS) architectures.


BT launches InfoVista application performance management

UK incumbent telco BT has announced the launch of BT Connect Intelligence InfoVista-as-a-Service, a new application performance management solution delivered from the cloud that offers a scalable as-a-service flexible pricing option to BT's applications performance management portfolio,

The new BT Connect Intelligence.It offering delivers InfoVista's Ipanema technology via the BT cloud infrastructure and is designed to combine the capabilities organisations require to orchestrate the performance of business applications running across the network. The solution provides enterprises with greater flexibility and cost control when managing critical applications across the corporate network, irrespective of the connection type or bandwidth used.

The software underpinning the new solution is delivered from BT's cloud infrastructure and can be managed by users over the Internet. This model helps to speed implementation and allows self-service and availability over any WAN infrastructure. The Ipanema software provides capabilities including application visibility and control, WAN optimisation and dynamic path selection functions.

BT noted that Connect Intelligence InfoVista-as-a-service is designed to support organisations' digital transformation initiatives as they increasingly rely on dynamic network services, and to allow them to gain the flexibility and cost benefits of software-defined networking (SDN) leveraging the existing network infrastructure. The new solution is available worldwide to existing customers and to organisations using other network providers.

The cloud is creating choices that never existed before. Through understanding those choices comes the confidence and the ability to harness change and do things that matter: get to market and innovate faster, keep costs down, and keep customers happy.

The new Connect Intelligence solution comprises part of BT's Cloud of Clouds portfolio strategy, designed to enable customers worldwide to connect securely to the applications and data required, regardless of where they are hosted and where they are based.


Microsemi upgrades TimeProvider 5000 PTP grandmaster clock

Microsemi, a major provider of high performance, low power semiconductor solutions, has updated the hardware on its TimeProvider 5000 IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) grandmaster clock to provide support for IPv6 and multi-Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) constellation, offering improved reception and higher security for a range of telecom network applications.

The company noted that global operators are increasingly seeking solutions such as its enhanced TimeProvider 5000 product to meet the requirement of directives in certain countries to support multiple constellations to remove the dependency on GPS. In addition, via support for both GLONASS and Galileo constellations systems can be made more robust and secure against certain GNSS vulnerabilities.

Microsemi stated that the TimeProvider product family has been installed in over 350 networks globally to support high performance, reliable network infrastructures. Combined with newly added support for IPv6 and multi-GNSS constellations, the TimeProvider 5000 also provides redundant hardware, user configurable PTP profiles and Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) support with optical small form-factor pluggable (SFP) modules.
TimeProvider 5000 is a carrier-grade, IEEE1588 PTP grandmaster clock with network time protocol (NTP) server option and expansion shelf capabilities including SyncE and advanced PTP profiles, designed to meet the timing and synchronisation requirements of current and future networks. The device specifically enables circuit-to-packet network migration for advanced data services and wireless backhaul, as well as delivery of 3G, 4G/LTE, LTE-A and 5G wireless services.

Microsemi's enhanced TimeProvider 5000 PTP grandmaster clock with support for IPv6 and multi-GNSS constellation is available immediately.

Microsemi also offers a comprehensive range of IEEE 1588 and SyncE network synchronisation silicon solutions providing time stamping, ultra-low jitter suitable for up to 100 Gbit/s PHYs, IEEE 1588 protocol support (including the ITU-T telecom profile for frequency and phase), designed for wireless and wireline applications.


Huawei and Vodafone Turkey enterMoU for TechCity 2.0 project

Huawei and Vodafone Turkey have announced the launch of the TechCity 2.0 Project in Istanbul, Turkey, designed to expand cooperation between the two companies to deliver a range of new technologies and solutions.

The companies noted that Istanbul was named as one of 14 leading Tech Cities worldwide in May last year, and the new TechCity project is intended to provide solutions that will help address mega-city issues in Istanbul.

Over the past year, the TechCity project has delivered advanced technology in Turkey, including for the 'smart stadium', the Besiktas ground which Vodafone Turkey sponsors, where 4 x 4 MIMO and CRAN technologies have been implemented. The solution provides enhanced capacity and higher data speeds to people in the stadium, enabling speeds of up to 400 Mbit/s utilising commercial licensed and unlicensed bands via LAA 3CC technology on the Huawei Lampsite base station.

In addition, the deployment of Huawei DRAN and Easy Macro solutions is intended to enhance Internet service in high traffic areas such as universities, hotels, concert venues and crowded roads by increasing coverage and capacity.

It was noted that recently, Vodafone Turkey and Huawei completed what is believe to be the first verification of the GL spectrum sharing solution on Vodafone's commercial networks in Istanbul. The solution enables spectrum sharing between GSM and LTE, which increases both LTE data rate and cell capacity. Huawei stated that compared to LTE 5M, the LTE peak data rate can be increased by nearly 80%.

TechCity 2.0 offers a commercial test environment for new technology and services and is designed to help operators verify end-to-end business models. By providing enhanced coverage and connectivity for MBB (mobile broadband) networks and enabling information sharing, it can help to improve the efficiency of connections between people and things.


Dalkom partners with Intelsat to expand broadband in Africa and Middle East

Intelsat, operator of what it describes as the Globalized Network and provider of integrated satellite communications, announced that Dalkom Somalia has signed an agreement covering satellite services that will allow it to expand its broadband enterprise and direct-to-home (DTH) services in East and Central Africa and the Middle East region.

Under the multi-year agreement, Dalkom, a privately-owned operator based in Somalia, will incorporate Ku-band satellite services provided by Intelsat 17 to extend the availability of services currently delivered over its fibre network. This will allow the operator to expand its broadband enterprise networks into countries such as South Sudan and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as well as to the Middle East. Dalkom will also add DTH services to its service offering in Somalia.

Dalkom Somalia is a major Somalia-based telecom provider established in 2003 that currently offers a range of next-generation solutions for broadband, connectivity, cloud computing, managed services, satellite and Internet services to the business, wholesale and consumer market segments.

Dalkom holdss submarine cable, international gateway, application service provider (ASP) and content service provider (CSP) licenses and independent infrastructure that includes international landing stations in Mogadishu, Somalia connecting to the rest of the world, and gateways that connect to key cities in Somalia via metro and backbone infrastructure. It also serves cities in Kenya and Uganda via EASSy through partnerships and operates data centres in Mogadishu, Nairobi and Mombasa.

Registered in Somalia and United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dalkom Somalia is privately owned and funded by Somalian individuals and investment companies. The company holds 10% equity in EASSY and 9.13% in WIOCC, through which it holds equity in the EIG and WACs submarine cables.

In April., pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet Global, and Intelsat announced an agreement to introduce Intelsat EpicNG satellite services into the Liquid Telecom network. As part of the multi-year agreement, Liquid Telecom committed to dedicated services on the Intelsat 33e satellite, including ground networking equipment based upon Newtec Dialog VSAT platform with technology developed under the ESA-funded Project Indigo.


The Intelsat EpicNG services expanded Liquid Telecom's coverage and network across the DRC, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe for connectivity to underserved remote or rural areas.

nbn appoints new team to support transition from build to operation

Bill Morrow, chief executive of nbn, the company engaged in deploying a national broadband network across Australia, has announced a number of changes, effective July 1st, to the company's executive committee as it transitions from building to operating its nbn infrastructure.

The company stated that the changes are driven by a number of factors, including the nbn access network approaching halfway completion, with deployment due to be finished by 2020, the growth in active end-users, the potential one billion dollar annual revenue run rate, the increasing rate of network and IT technology convergence, and the need to focus on network operation and optimisation and serving customers, both service providers and subscribers.

The new executive team, effective July 1st, includes:

1.         John Simon as chief customer officer - business, to lead business sales and marketing until his retirement in 2018.

2.         Brad Whitcomb, chief customer officer - residential, to lead the residential sales and marketing after three years leading strategy, transformation, regulatory and technology.

3.         Kathrine Dyer, chief network deployment officer, promoted to the executive committee to lead the construction of the remaining portion of the network with the newly formed Network Deployment and Planning team.
4.         Peter Ryan, chief network engineering officer, to lead the newly formed Network Engineering and Operations team, comprising the Network Service Operations department and Network Performance Engineering team.

5.         John McInerney, chief systems engineering officer, to lead the newly formed Systems Engineering and Operations team, comprising the existing IT team and the network engineering team with a focus on the delivery of new network functionality.

6.         JB Rousselot, chief strategy officer to lead strategy, transformation, regulatory and technology after two years establishing and leading Network Service Operations.


7.         Stephen Rue, chief financial officer, to continue to lead finance, procurement and supply.

The pieces are coming together at Dell Technologies - part 2

The 13,500 people gathered at the Dell EMC World conference in Las Vegas this week came from 122 countries, basically reflecting the global reach of the tech industry. About 50% of Dell Technologies' annual revenue of $62 billion came from outside the U.S. Whereas Hewlett-Packard famously split its PC and printing operations (now HP Inc.) from its enterprise solutions business (now HPE) in November 2015, Dell has kept the family together while massively adding new market segments to its portfolio.

The company has a stated mission of becoming its customers' essential infrastructure provider and insists that the 'death of the PC' has been greatly exaggerated. While consumers now rely mostly on smartphones, tablets and laptops, enterprise customers are still buying PCs in significant numbers because they know that PCs are the primary tool for accomplishing most office tasks. Dell sees the PC as an essential link in its overall value chain. Dell supplies nearly all the Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. to some extent, and its brand is especially strong with retail companies, the hospitality industry, transportation and others. As described in Part 1, Dell Technologies is emerging as an IT superpower. Its nearest competitors are HPE, Huawei, IBM and Lenovo, but the comparisons are rough. Unlike the American rivals, Dell remains in the low margin consumer PC business, and unlike the Chinese vendors it has stayed out of the massive mobile handset business.

The integration of two major corporations - Dell Inc. and EMC - is admittedly an enormous project that will take years to fully accomplish and not everything has found a place under the big umbrella. There have been three divestitures amounting to $7 billion. The most notable of these was the decision in March 2016 to sell Dell IT Services (the old Perot Systems) to Japan's NTT Data for $3.05 billion. In June 2016, Dell agreed to sell its software division to Francisco Partners and Elliott Management for a reported $2 billion. The deal involved Dell’s Quest Software and SonicWALL division. Dell paid $2.4 billion for Quest in 2012. Despite the paper loss, these divestures enabled Dell to pay down its significant debt before completing the acquisition of EMC.

Quick update on Dell’s financial picture

For its most recently completed fiscal 2017, Dell Technologies posted consolidated revenue $61.6 billion and non-GAAP revenue from continuing operations of $62.8 billion. The company generated an operating loss of $3.3 billion, with a non-GAAP operating income of $5.1 billion. The company ended the year with a cash and investments balance of $15.3 billion, an increase of $287 million from the third quarter.

Dell Technologies' overall sales mix is approximately:

•   60% from Dell Client Solutions Group (desktop PCs, virtual desktops, notebooks, tablets, and peripherals, such as monitors, printers, and projectors under the Dell brand name).

•   35% from Dell EMC (storage solutions, servers, converged infrastructure, switching, security, cloud services).

•   5% from VMware.

Highlight from Q4 2017 results:

•   Gross margin for the quarter of 32.0%.

•   Since closing the EMC transaction, Dell Technologies paid down approximately $7 billion in debt and repurchased $824 million of Class V common stock.

•   The Client Solutions Group generated revenue of $9.8 billion, up 11% versus the fourth quarter of last year; revenue for the full year was $36.8 billion, up 2% year over fiscal year 2016.

•   PC shipments reached 11 million, representing the largest volume of products shipped since the fourth quarter of 2011.

•   16 consecutive quarters of gaining yr/yr PC share and grew fastest of the top 5 in yr/yr unit shipment growth in Q4 and for full year.

•   Dell attained the No.1 share position worldwide for displays, gaining unit share yr/yr for the 16th consecutive quarter.

•   The Infrastructure Solutions Group generated $8.4 billion of revenue, including $3.6 billion in servers and networking and $4.8 billion in storage, and an operating income of $1 billion.

•   Dell regained the No.1 worldwide server unit share position driven by strength in the mainstream PowerEdge business.

•   Attained the No.1 market share position in all-flash arrays4, which exited 2016 at a more than $4 billion demand run rate.

•   No.1 in Converged Infrastructure, accelerating in Hyper-converged.

•   No.1 in x86 server unit share.

•   VMware revenue for the quarter of $1.9 billion, with operating income of $565 million, or 29.2% of revenue.

The essential argument

Applications increasingly run on clouds. Private clouds are more secure, have better performance characteristics, and are less expensive that public clouds. Clouds run on data centre infrastructure (servers, storage and switches). Dell is the leading supplier of IT infrastructure, therefore Dell benefits from cloud migration. For the past decade, CIOs have sought to optimise IT for their businesses. With the digital transformation underway, CIOs now know that IT is their business. The corporate vision sees: (1) cloud-native apps driving the public clouds; (2) traditional apps moving to hybrid clouds; and (3) hybrid clouds being built on converged infrastructure. If Dell can capture these app migrations with software frameworks, then sales at the hardware layer could follow.

For mission-critical apps, Dell now has Virtustream, a hot start-up based in Bethesda, Maryland, that EMC acquired in 2015. Virtustream’s cloud management software provides the ability to run SAP, Oracle and other complex enterprise software in a cloud environment using micro VMs. The system measures and allocates the precise amount of compute, networking and storage resources needed for a given task. Virtustream also provides cloud archiving and restoration services.

For traditional apps, VMware is the king of virtualisation. Its vSphere is widely used in enterprise data centres. The NSX software defined networking (SDN) delivers virtualisation and programmability for network resources. The hottest application for NSX to date has been micro-segmentation of the network for security purposes. VMware is run as an independent business unit. While it is early to say if the VMware franchise will provide a long term competitive to Dell EMC over other networking and storage vendors, it is a prized asset that is good to have in house.

For cloud-native applications, Dell Technologies has Pivotal Software, a San Francisco-based cloud foundry company that was formed in 2012 after spinning out of EMC and VMware (investors in Pivotal include Dell EMC, Ford, GE, Microsoft and VMware). The Pivotal framework for software gives developers the ability to build micro-services-based dynamic data pipelines. By deep understanding the app development process, the infrastructure can be optimised and ready to respond to cloud native requirements.

Dell’s strategy acknowledges that we live in multi-cloud world. The company is also a big advocate of open software and disaggregated networking hardware. It further sees software developers building cloud native apps. Yet it knows that its revenues depend heavily on the sale of x86 laptops, desktops, servers and flash storage. It now has a vision as well as business teams in place to differentiate from commodity hardware suppliers. The race is on to see if management can execute on this vision by integrating these component companies.


(Parts 3 and 4 will look at Dell's networking business and Dell Financial Services.)

See also