Thursday, July 20, 2017

MEF launches initiative to define and orchestrate SD-WAN services

The MEF announced it is extending its work to standardise SD-WAN managed services, and is defining SD-WAN service terminology, components and implementations in the context of its LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) Reference Architecture and Framework (MEF 55).

The MEF initiative is intended to ensure the consistency of performance, policy and security of SD-WAN services orchestrated across multiple provider networks leveraging open LSO APIs.

Key MEF SD-WAN initiatives and deliverables

SD-WAN service implementations

  • MEF's established OpenCS (Open Connectivity Services) SD-WAN Project is currently focused on delivering use cases and business requirements to ensure that open standard LSO APIs can enable orchestration of SD-WAN managed services across multi-provider, multi-vendor implementations. The MEF community has agreed on the first six SD-WAN managed services use cases.
  • The OpenCS SD-WAN project will also deliver a set of LSO APIs designed to enable consistent SD-WAN assurance, application performance and security policies, to include telemetry data feeding back into LSO analytic platforms for various AI automated use cases.
  • The OpenCS SD-WAN project is led by Riverbed and VeloCloud Networks, with contributions from Amartus, Cox, Fujitsu Network Communications, GBI, Huawei, and Nokia/Nuage. Silver Peak and Versa Networks have joined as MEF members to contribute to the SD-WAN work.
SD-WAN market education

  • MEF recently created the SD-WAN Market Education Project to explain its position on SD-WAN and how it aligns with other initiatives related to orchestrated Layer 1-7 services enabled by LSO APIs. As part of this program, it has released the white paper 'Understanding SD-WAN Managed Services: Service Components, MEF LSO Reference Architecture, and Use Cases'.


A critical launch for Intelsat's EPIC NG satellites – Part 1

After two scrubbed launch attempts, SpaceX successfully launched the heavy Intelsat 35e EPIC Next Generation satellite to geosynchronous orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX, which did not attempt to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket onto a drone ship due to the mission requirements, has now completed ten launches this year and three in the past 13 days.

For Intelsat, the successful launch is especially good news. With over $14 billion in debt and a market capitalisation of under $400 million (its shares are currently trading in the $3 range) Intelsat is racing to migrate customers off an aging fleet of legacy satellites and onto its EPIC NG satellites. After the launch, Stephen Spengler, CEO of Intelsat, stated that the successful launch of Intelsat 35e was a major milestone in its business plan for 2017, furthering the footprint and resilience of Intelsat's EPIC NG infrastructure.

These new satellites are the future of Intelsat, at least that is the plan now that a previously announced plan to merge with OneWeb, a hot new venture backed by Softbank, the Virgin Group, Airbus, Cocacola, Qualcomm and others, was unexpectedly dropped last month. OneWeb aims to transform space communications with hundreds of low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites. Merging with Intelsat would bring the possibility of combining LEO and GEO satellite constellations. The deal was also expected to bring in much needed cash to Intelsat, which for now really needs its EPIC NG satellites to meet or exceed its technical and economic expectations.

Intelsat EPIC Next Generation

The newly-launched Intelsat 35e satellite is the fourth of seven planned EPIC NG high throughput satellites. Intelsat 29e, launched in January 2016 from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle, brings high throughput capacity in both C- and Ku-band over the Americas and North Atlantic Ocean region.

Intelsat 32e

Intelsat 32e, launched February 2017 from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle, while part of the EPIC fleet, is operated by Intelsat on behalf of SKY Brasil.

Intelsat 33e

Intelsat 33e, launched in August 2016 from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle, brings high throughput capacity in both C- and Ku-band to the Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia regions from 60°E. Customers include maritime broadband providers GEE, Speedcast and Marlink; in-flight providers Gogo and Panasonic Avionics, a Pakistan ISP called SuperNet, Telkom South Africa, Orange Cameroon, IP Planet, Vodacom, Djibouti Telecom and Africell RDC SPRL, Russian network service providers Romantis and RuSat and several TV and radio broadcasting companies, including Television and Radio Broadcasting of Armenia and MultiChoice of South Africa.

Intelsat 35e

Intelsat 35e will cover the Americas, Europe and sub-Sahara Africa from the 34.5° west longitude. It carries a unique payload of C-band wide- and spot-beams for applications including wireless backhaul, enterprise and mobility services. A customised high power wide beam will be used for DTH service delivery by Canal+, with additional confirmed customers including Orange, INWI, Tele Greenland, Sonatel, Marlink, Speedcast, ETECSA and eProcess.

Intelsat 37e

Intelsat 37e is scheduled for launch in August 2017 from French Guuiana aboard an Arianne 5 launch vehicle. Its orbital location has not yet been listed.

Two additional satellites in the EPIC NG line have been mentioned but so far the company has not reported a production contract, a launch partner contract or even a timeline for when these might enter service.

Intelsat first unveiled its EpicNG platform in 2012. It is based on a new approach to satellite and network architecture utilising multiple frequency bands, wide beams, spot beams and frequency reuse technology. Epic NG is the company's next generation of satellites, promising higher throughputs and lower cost per bit. It will be a complementary overlay to the company's existing constellation of satellites and global IntelsatONE terrestrial network.

Intelsat’s Epic NG satellites were designed and manufactured by Boeing on the Boeing 702MP satellite bus, a platform that weighs up to 6,100 kg (13,400 lb) and supports power outputs from 3 to 18 kW. Compatible launch rockets for the Boeing 702MP include the Atlas V, Ariane 5, Delta IV, Falcon 9, Proton and Sea Launch systems, although for the EPIC program Intelsat has contracted with Ariane Space and SpaceX. The EPIC satellites have a design life of 15 years, so the current generation of Intelsat satellites could remain in commercial service until the early 2030s if they have not been superseded by other platforms.

Company profile and its legacy fleet

Intelsat was founded in 1964 as an inter-government organisation for managing the new field of space communications. Its first satellite went into service over the north Atlantic a year later. In July 2001, Intelsat became a private company. In 2005, it was acquired for $3.1 billion by four private equity firms: Madison Dearborn Partners, Apax Partners, Permira and Apollo Global Management. In 2006, Intelsat acquired PanAmSat, then the largest satellite carrier of TV channels, in a deal valued at $4.3 billion. In 2013, Intelsat was relisted as a public company and its shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol 'I'. Intelsat maintains its headquarters in Luxembourg and an administrative office in Tysons Corner, Virginia.

Intelsat currently has a fleet of approximately 50 in-service satellites, 8 teleports and the IntelsatOne terrestrial network. The in-service satellites cover 99% of the world's populated regions, including market access in approximately 200 countries and territories.

How much traffic is carried over this network?

At an investor event at the end of April 2017, Intelsat disclosed that its fleet is currently carrying over 5,600 video channels, including approximately 900 high definition channels. System utilization is listed at 78% of total available capacity of approximately 2,050 station-kept units (36 MHz). (NB: this station-kept transponder count does not include Intelsat EPIC NG capacity).

Financial profile

For Q1 2017, Intelsat reported total revenue of $538.5 million and net loss of $34.6 million. EBITDA amounted to $398.1 million and adjusted EBITDA was $409.8 million, or 76% of revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2017. The Q1 revenue total represented a 3% decline compared to $553 million in the first quarter of 2016. Net loss attributable to Intelsat was $35 million for the three months ended March 31, 2017, compared to net income of $15 million in the prior year period. Intelsat said the net loss reflects lower revenues, an increase in interest expense and greater depreciation related to the satellites placed into service over the course of 2016.

At the same investor event on April 27, 2017, Intelsat affirmed its full-year 2017 guidance, saying its revenue is projected to be in a range of $2.180 to $2.225 billion. Full-year 2017 adjusted EBITDA is expected in a range of $1.655 to $1.700 billion. Recently, Intelsat disclosed that the U.S. government has contracted capacity on both Intelsat 29e and 33e, representing a total capacity of approximately 180 MHz.

In April 2017, Liquid Telecom signed a new, multi-year agreement for dedicated services on Intelsat 33e including a ground networking solution based upon technology developed under the European Space Agency-funded Project Indigo. The new Intelsat Epic NG services will expand Liquid Telecom's coverage and network capabilities across the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, where demand has grown for VSAT technology to deliver connectivity to underserved remote or rural areas.


(Part 2 will discuss the abandoned OneWeb transaction and other key trends in satellite networking.)

ZTE expects H1 revenue of RMB 54.01bn, up 13.1% YoY

ZTE has announced preliminary financial results for the first half ended June 30, 2017, as follows:

1.  Operating revenue for the first half of 2017 of RMB 54.01 billion (approximately $8.00 billion), up 13.1% compared with RMB 47.76 billion in first half of 2016.

2.  Operating profit for the first half of RMB 3.29 billion, up 564.8% compared with RMB 495 million in first half of 2016.

3.  Net profit attributable to shareholders of RMB 2.29 billion (approximately $339 million), up 29.8% compared with profit of RMB 1.77 billion in first half of 2016.

ZTE noted that in carrier networks it experienced growth in both operating revenue and gross profit for wireless communications and fixed-line and bearer systems as domestic carriers in China continued to invest in transmission and access systems for 4G projects. In the consumer business, it achieved growth in operating revenue and gross profit for handset products supported by overseas market development.

Dell'Oro forecasts microwave transmission market of $3.8bn by '21

According to the latest Microwave Transmission & Mobile Backhaul 5-year Forecast Report from Dell'Oro Group, the microwave transmission and mobile backhaul markets will continue to contract for another two years before returning to growth in 2019.

Dell'Oro expects that from 2019 market growth will be driven by the increasing use of outdoor small cells and the ramp of large-scale 5G mobile radio deployments.

Further highlights from Dell'Oro's microwave transmission and mobile backhaul forecast report include:

1.  Due to the demands of small cell deployments and the capacity requirements of 5G mobile radios fibre and copper will account for a higher share of the market for backhaul links in the future.

2.  The overall market for small cell backhaul equipment utilising fibre, copper or wireless technologies is forecast to reach $1.6 billion by 2021.

3.  The microwave transmission market is projected to total $3.8 billion by 2021, with mobile backhaul constituting approximately 70% of this revenue.

Regarding the report, Jimmy Yu, VP at Dell'Oro Group, commented, "It will likely continue to be a difficult environment for mobile backhaul equipment sales for the next two years… however, I see light at the end of the tunnel, and if (this forecast is) correct and the mobile backhaul market resumes growth in 2019, I believe that market revenue can rise to at least $5.5 billion by 2021".

Microsemi integrates Ethernet MAC to deliver FPGA 10 GBE

Microsemi, a provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, and Tamba Networks, a developer of connectivity intellectual property (IP) cores, have announced a collaboration through which they will incorporate Tamba Networks' Ethernet media access controller (MAC) into Microsemi's latest cost-optimised, mid-range PolarFire FPGA to offer a low power FPGA-based 10 Gigabit Ethernet solution.

Tamba Networks' Ethernet MAC is claimed to occupy half the area and to deliver twice the speed of competing Ethernet MACs, and can therefore offer Microsemi customers a lower cost solution based on its compact size combined with the security and advanced capabilities of PolarFire FPGAs.

As part of the collaboration with Tamba Networks, Microsemi has adopted the company's Interlaken and 10/40 Gigabit Ethernet MAC soft cores as key building blocks to evaluate and enhance PolarFire FPGAs' fabric architecture, with 10 and 40 Gbit/s datapaths running at 160 MHz and 320 MHz.

The Tamba Networks cores are designed to offer low gate count and latency along with flexibility. When combined with Microsemi's low power fabric and transceiver, the 10 Gigabit Ethernet soft core enables a 10 Gbit/s datapath that is claimed to offer 50% lower power consumption. Microsemi noted that the device is also available as a direct core from its IP library.

Microsemi stated that Tamba Networks was involved in the development of the PolarFire transceiver physical coding sublayer (PCS), providing the 64b66b/64b67b encoding modules used for Ethernet and Interlaken, and also helped modify the 64b66b encoder to operate with deterministic latency, providing support for common public radio interface (CPRI) options 7b, 8 and 9.

Microsemi's PolarFire FPGAs also target applications in the communications market, including access network, network edge, metro (1 to 40 Gbit/s), mobile infrastructure, wireless backhaul, smart optical modules and video broadcasting.


Microsemi noted that its PolarFire FPGAs are particularly suited to the access network infrastructure applications, where OEMs wish to deliver more bandwidth to customers while reducing costs.

ADVA's Q2 Revenue Declines 8.3% YoY, Outlook is Trimmed

ADVA Optical Networking reported Q2 2017 revenue of  EUR 144.2 million, down 8.3% YoY compared to EUR 157.2 million for the same period last year. Pro forma operating income in Q2 2017 stood at EUR 9.2 million or 6.4% of revenues, up from EUR 6.6 million or 4.7% of revenues in Q1 2017. This number represents a EUR 5.0 million YoY increase (Q2 2016: EUR 4.2 million) and is also within previously announced guidance.

"These are exciting and turbulent times for our industry," said Brian Protiva, CEO, ADVA Optical Networking. "It's a time of incredible contrasts. On one side, cloud and mobility continue to be mega growth drivers driving demand for more bandwidth. On the other hand, our industry continues to face pricing pressure and fierce competition creating the need for further consolidation. Our bid to acquire MRV Communications will enable us to expand our customer footprint, expand our market leadership in Ethernet access devices and expand our portfolio of packet optical solutions. The combined product portfolio will be supported by our continued commitment to operational excellence providing our customers with response times that are unmatched in the industry. Our world-class engineering team, the agility of our organization and our customer focus give us a solid foundation for further growth and profitability."

"Our revenues are currently developing in a non-uniform way," commented Uli Dopfer, CFO, ADVA Optical Networking. "With the FSP 3000 CloudConnect(TM), we are attracting new customers from different regions and customer segments. However, the current demand from one of our top customers in the ICP segment is still weak and we have not yet been able to design in our FSP 3000 CloudConnect(TM). As a result, the revenue outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year is subdued. Only via a fast and efficient integration of MRV Communications will we be able to stabilize revenues close to last year's level. Owing to the weakened revenue development and the expected takeover of MRV Communications, we will be revising our cost structures and cut back on operating costs."

For Q3 2017, ADVA Optical Networking said it now expects revenues to range between EUR 120 million and EUR 130 million and anticipates a pro forma operating income of between 2% and 5% of revenues.


ADTRAN reports Q2 revenue of $184.67m, up 13.5% yr/yr

ADTRAN reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017 as follows:

1.  Revenue for the second quarter of 2017 of $184.67 million, up 8.4% compared to $170.28 million in the first quarter and up 13.5% from $162.70 million for the second quarter of 2016.

2.  Gross profit for the second quarter of $84.63 million, up 14.8% compared to $73.71 million in the first quarter and up 7.2% from $78.95 million for the second quarter of 2016.

3.  R&D expenditure for the second quarter of $33.50 million, up 4.9% compared to $31.92 million in the first quarter and up 7.1% from $31.28 million for the second quarter of 2016.

4.  SG&A expenditure for the second quarter of $34.68 million, down 0.3% compared to $34.77 million in the first quarter and up 1.8% from $32.87 million for the second quarter of 2016.

5.  Total operating expenditure for the second quarter of $68.18 million, up 2.2% compared to $66.68 million in the first quarter and up 6.3% from $64.14 million for the second quarter of 2016.

6.  Net income for the second quarter of 2016 of $12.40 million, compared to net income of $6.65 million in the first quarter and net income of $10.23 million for the second quarter of 2016.
7.  Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments as of June 30, 2017 of $136.13 million, versus $125.02 million as at March 31, 2017 and $123.08 million as at December 31, 2016.

Additional results and notes

ADTRAN reported Network Solutions revenue in the second quarter 2017 of $155.54 million, versus $143.60 million in the first quarter, and Services & Support revenue of $29.13 million, compared with $26.68 million in the first quarter. Access and Aggregation revenue totalled $138.64 million, versus $120.14 million in the first quarter.

For the second quarter, ADTRAN reported domestic revenue of $146.71 million, versus $119.26 million in the first quarter, with international revenue of $37.96 million, compared with $51.02 million in the first quarter.


Nuage Cites Momentum in SD-WAN Adoption

TELUS is using Nuage Networks' SD-WAN solution to power its newly launched Network as a Service (NaaS), which enables Canadian businesses to virtually build, manage and cloud-optimize their networks. TELUS NaaS enables cloud-optimization for business applications through improved network performance and customizable policies that ensure mission-critical traffic, like VoIP, is prioritized over other types of traffic. TELUS said its service can reduce network deployment time by up to 80 percent and that it provides full line of sight to network performance data.

Nuage said the deployment with TELUS is indicative of a larger trend worldwide as enterprises recognize that their WAN services and architectures require significant transformation to take advantage of multicloud services. Some of its recently announced SD-WAN wins include BT, China Telecom, Exponential, NTT Data, Telefonica, Telia Finland, AscoTLC and My Republic.

Nuage capabilities include:

  • Automated end-to-end enterprise service delivery between datacenters and branch offices while offering seamless connections to public cloud services.
  • Value-added services by deploying third-party Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) at enterprise branch locations on top of open, virtualized "branch-in-the box" platforms.
  • A network analytics and performance monitoring solution (Virtualized Service Assurance Platform, or VSAP ) and software-defined security (Virtualized Security Services, or VSS ) that provides industry-leading insight and remediation capabilities.


"Nuage Networks has become a leader in helping service providers deliver fully automated and self-service SD-WAN solutions to enterprise customers who are looking to connect their users quickly and securely to applications in private and public clouds. Our platform is present in the world's largest carrier-grade networks and is being deployed as a complete overlay that can serve as a natural extension of customers' existing L2 and L3 MPLS VPN and other WAN service offerings to remote sites. We are the only vendor that offers a single SDN automation platform for the datacenter, WAN and public cloud - providing operational simplification, agility and significant cost savings across the multiple cloud-based services currently offered by these providers," stated Sunil Khandekar, Nuage Networks CEO and founder.

http://www.nuagenetworks.net

SDN Market Update: Sunil Khandekar, Nuage Networks



What is resonating in the market today for software-defined networking (SDN) and SD-WAN technologies? Sunil Khandekar, founder and CEO of Nuage Networks, says it is the ability to connect users everywhere with applications anywhere, whether they are in public or private clouds. Real deployments are becoming the new normal.

See video: https://youtu.be/-lPYVzja530

i3 Broadband selects Huawei for residential broadband in Illinois

Huawei announced that i3 Broadband, a regional provider of fibre-based Internet services, has selected the company to enhance its deployment of services to residential homes and multi-dwelling units (MDUs) in the Champaign-Urbana and the greater Peoria areas of Illinois.

Huawei's scalable, end-to-end broadband solutions will enable i3 Broadband to expand its service offering to existing users, as well as help it to save time and reduce costs when installing connections to new MDU customers.

i3 Broadband noted that, driven by an increase in multifamily residential building construction, as well as growing customer demand for faster broadband speeds, it is experiencing increasing demand from MDU customers. To address this need, i3 Broadband has partnered with Huawei for the supply of GPON, NG-PON and D-CCAP technologies that can support gigabit services to MDUs.

Huawei stated that a key factor in its selection by i3 Broadband was its ability to offer cost-effective, future-proof solutions, which are designed to support software upgrades and eliminate the need to install new equipment.


* Recently, i3 Broadband announced plans to commence network construction in multiple neighbourhoods as part of a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment to extend the fibre network throughout Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. i3 Broadband is deploying FTTH infrastructure to deliver gigabit broadband, video and voice services to customers in the area.


* i3 Broadband is the local commercial partner that is working with the UC2B not-for-profit board to extend fibre connectivity to homes and businesses. The network expansion was to extend the initial UC2B fibre backbone build carried out from 2010 to 2013 that was supported by $26 million in federal and state grants and in-kind contributions from the cities of Champaign and Urbana and the University of Illinois.

See also