Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Apple to invest $390 million in Finisar for VCSELs

Apple will invest $390 million in Finisar to support the high-volume production of Finisar's vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), which are used power Apple’s TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X as well as the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods.  The iPhone X's TrueDepth camera enables Face ID, Animoji and Portrait mode selfie capabilities.

The $390 million investment comes from Apple's $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund supporting innovation and job creation by American manufacturers.

Finisar plans to reopen its 700,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Sherman, Texas. Volume production should be underway in the second half of 2018. The companies estimate this will create more than 500 jobs at the facility. Finisar operates another plant in nearby Allen, Texas. With both plants in full operation, Finisar's payroll in northern Texas is expected to be $65 million.


Bell Canada deploys open source ONAP

Bell, Canada’s largest communications company, is deploying the open source version of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) in its production network -- the first carrier to do so. The installation is part of the Bell's Network 3.0 transformation initiative.

The open source ONAP platform initially is being used by Bell to automate its data center tenant network provisioning. There are plans to use ONAP as a common platform across Bell’s networks on its journey towards a multi-partner DevOps model.

“Bell has been engaged in the ONAP journey from day one and committed to get it to production to demonstrate its value,” said Tamer Shenouda, Director of Network Transformation for Bell. “This demonstration will encourage other partners to take a similar incremental approach in delivery and operations of the platform, and we look forward to other telecoms launching ONAP to production.”

“We’re very proud to be the first member of the ONAP Project to demonstrate the viability of the platform live on our network,” said Petri Lyytikainen, Bell’s Vice President, Network Strategy, Services and Management. “The evolution of our advanced software-defined networks will enable us to respond even faster to the unique needs of our customers.”

Bell is a founding Platinum Member of ONAP. Platinum members include: Amdocs, AT&T, China Mobile, China Telecom, Cisco, Cloudify, Ericsson, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Jio, Nokia, Orange, Tech Mahindra, Türk Telekom, Vmware, Vodafone, and ZTE.




What is ONAP?

The Open Network Automation Platform is a project hosted by The Linux Foundation that aims to automate the entire network.

Facebook plans big expansion of Oregon data center

Facebook announced plans to add 900,000 square feet to its data center campus in Prineville, Oregon.

The expansion comes in the form of two new buildings expected to enter service in 2020 and 2021.

The Prineville site is where Facebook opened its first owned data center eight years ago. Since then, the site has expanded to three buildings encompassing 1.25 million square feet of space.

Google opens AI Research Center in Beijing

Google is opening an AI China Center to focus on basic research. Ms. Fei-Gei Li, who is Chief Scientist AI/ML at Google, notes that many of the world's top experts in AI are Chinese.

Google also has AI research groups located in New York, Toronto, London and Zurich.

China Mobile to enter UK as MVNO

China Mobile is entering the UK telephony market as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) with leased capacity on the EE network.

The new service -- called CMLink -- will provide mobile voice and data services for Chinese immigrants, students and professionals living in and traveling to the UK. The company estimates the size of the Chinese community in the UK at 433,000. A further 82,000 Chinese nationals are studying in the UK on student visas. During the first half of 2017, there were 115,000 Chinese tourists visiting the UK, up 47% over last year.

Two key features of the service:

  • CMLink promises no extra fees on data, minutes and texts across the UK, selected destinations in the EU, mainland China and Hong Kong SAR.
  • CMLink subscribers can  make free calls to 880 million China Mobile users in China.

“China Mobile’s ‘Big Connectivity’ strategy affirms its vision of becoming a leading global operator with innovative digital services.” said Dr. Li Feng, Chairman and CEO at CMI. “While China Mobile serves 880 million domestic mobile subscribers, CMI – its operating subsidiary responsible for international business – is breaking new ground in overseas markets. With the growing business and cultural exchanges between China and the UK, the launch of CMI’s CMLink MVNO, enables Chinese communities to stay connected with family, friends and business partners anytime, anywhere. We expect the UK launch to be a new chapter in CMI delivering compelling digital services that break down barriers of communication for global consumers while fostering open exchange between Belt and Road companies.”

T-Mobile US to enter pay TV business

T-Mobile US' CEO John Legere announced the company's entrance into the pay-TV business.

T-Mobile has agreed to acquire Layer3 TV, a provider of IP-based video service that was founded in 2013 by cable veterans Dave Fellows and Jeff Binder. Layer3 TV, which is based in Denver, streams its service to a custom set-top box with 4K decoders and 1 TB of local storage.

T-Mobile has stated that is LTE network is at the heart of its mobile video strategy. It's unclear if the upcoming T-Mobile home video service will be delivered wirelessly or streamed over any wireline broadband connection that is also ready in the home.

AT&T cites progress with Project AirGig

AT&T has launched more field trials of its Project AirGig, which aims to deploy low-cost plastic antennas along medium-voltage power lines as a means of propagating millimeter wave (mmWave) signals that can be used for 4G LTE and 5G multi-gigabit mobile and fixed deployments.

One of the new field trials is in the U.S. with Georgia Power, while the second trial is with an electricity provider located overseas.

AT&T says AirGig could one day deliver internet speeds well over 1 gigabit per second via a mmWave signal guided by power lines.

Project AirGig is part of our ongoing effort to accelerate internet connections to a gig or more through both wired and wireless solutions,” said Andre Fuetsch, president, AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer. “But it also stands alone as a radically innovative solution to bridge the global digital divide. If these trials and our continued research and development turn out the way we intend, we’ll take a big step toward bringing hyper-fast connectivity to people everywhere.”

Rivada offers $25M for Los Angeles' public safety LTE assets

Rivada Networks is bidding $25 million to acquire the LTE assets of the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS)

The company said its bid is more than double the $12 million offered by AT&T.

“Yet again, AT&T is shortchanging public safety with a low-ball offer for LA-RICS’s assets,” Chairman and CEO Declan Ganley said. “Rivada’s bid to build a truly statewide public-safety broadband network for all of California went in last week, and it included a far more generous offer for the LA-RICS network.” Rivada will ask the LA-RICS board to consider the two offers side-by-side, rather than rush to accept a low-ball bid without competition. This $12 million offer to LA-RICS is just the latest demonstration that without competition, public safety gets taken to the cleaners,” Ganley said. “Los Angeles deserves better, and California deserves better.”

Tintri posts quarterly revenue drop for its enterprise cloud platform

Tintri, which offers an enterprise cloud platform and which completed its IPO on 30-June-2017, reported quarterly revenue of $31.8 million, down 6% year-over-year There was a quarterly net loss per share of ($1.21) per share GAAP, and ($0.79) per share non-GAAP.

"We made progress in the quarter by expanding our differentiated technology portfolio with two new all-flash product lines and software that integrates our products with leading public cloud storage solutions. These innovations helped us to increase our footprint with existing customers. However, we are disappointed with Q3 revenue. The company was impacted by delayed and reduced purchases by some accounts, but some of the delayed transactions closed in November,” said Ken Klein, Chairman and CEO at Tintri.

The company also disclosed that it is exploring strategic options "to deliver value to our stockholders, including retaining investment bank advisors."

Warburg Pincus buys 20% stake in Bhartin Telemedia

Warburg Pincus will acquire a 20% equity stake in Bharti Telemedia, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel that offers Direct To Home (DTH) satellite service under the Airtel TV brand, for US$350 million. The business unit has approximately 14 million subscribers according to financial filings.

Viraj Sawhney, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus India, is expected to join the Board of Bharti Telemedia.

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