Thursday, January 15, 2015

Virgin Aims to Build Largest Satellite Constellation

Virgin outlined audacious plans to build, launch and operate the world’s largest satellite network.

OneWeb Ltd. (previously WorldVu), a new venture backed by the Virgin Group and Qualcomm, will use Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne space plane to put 648 small satellites into low-Earth orbit. OneWeb Ltd. is headed by Greg Wyler, who founded O3b Networks in 2007.

The company is believed to have acquired the satellite spectrum that was formerly owned by SkyBridge.

Richard Branson announced the new venture.

In December, Arianespace successfully launched four Ka-band satellites for O3b Networks aboard a medium-lift Soyuz rocket from the Spaceport in French Guiana. This marked Arianespace’s tenth Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center and the third launch for O3b Networks, following the successful launch of the first eight satellites in the O3b constellation in June 2013 and July 2014.

The four Ka-band satellites are being directed into an equatorial orbit at an altitude of about 8,000 km, where they will join the first eight satellites. With this latest launch, the O3b constellation is now fully deployed and operational. O3b Networks started commercial service on September 1, 2014.

Infinera and Telstra Demo Submarine Super-Channel Transmission

Infinera and Telstra successfully demonstrated next generation super-channel technology across a submarine fiber cable.

The test, which was conducted across 2,200 kilometers of Segment F of the Reach North Asia Loop (RNAL), included Polarization Multiplexed 8 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (PM-8QAM), and a range of advanced FlexCoherent modulation formats, along with transmitter and receiver-based signal processing technologies. Segment F runs between Wada in Japan and Pusan in South Korea.

Infinera said PM-8QAM is capable of delivering a 50% increase in capacity compared to the most common coherent modulation technique, PM-QPSK, in a typical installation under the same conditions.

The RNAL trial also included demonstrations of advanced coherent transmitter-based Nyquist DWDM pulse shaping, and both transmitter and receiver-based non-linear compensation technologies.

“This trial demonstrates the potential of a full suite of FlexCoherent modulation formats on a single line card and the ability to precisely trade capacity for reach and margin. It also highlights the emergence of next generation coherent processing that works with existing coherent 100 Gigabit per second technologies, which are now firmly entrenched in modern submarine terminating line equipment, such as the Infinera DTN-X platform,”  stated Steve Grubb, Infinera Fellow and the architect behind the RNAL demonstrations.  “When regeneration within the submerged cable is simply not an option, the ability to trade margin for additional capacity can be crucial in submarine networks. Having the full suite of modulation formats on a single card can also dramatically lower inventory costs, while allowing the service provider to maximize cable capacity.”

As part of a larger showcase of submarine super-channel capabilities between Telstra and Infinera, one of the world’s first demonstrations of PM-3QAM modulation on a 4,250 km link between California and Hawaii was also completed.

Axiom Fiber Networks Pulls 864-Strands through Manhattan

Axiom Fiber Networks, a new telecom infrastructure services provider, officially launched in New York City.

Axiom will offer dark fiber to enterprise and carrier customers from its newly constructed network.  The company says it will be able to supply single pair to high fiber-counts along routes that link the key traffic exchanges in New York City. Axiom’s core network operates "within striking distance of every building in Midtown and Lower Manhattan."

The network uses 864 strands of the latest generation fiber.  Construction began in late 2014 and the first stage, connecting multiple carrier hotels, is scheduled to be complete in the first quarter of 2015 with the remaining stages finalized in the second quarter.

Axiom Fiber Networks is led by telecom industry veteran Felipe J. Alvarez, who has more than 25 years of telecommunications experience gained from companies such as Sidera Networks (formerly RCN Metro), Con Edison Communications, Inc., Hibernia Networks, and Verizon.

“I am thrilled to be back at building a service provider business that not only addresses continued market demand for fiber connectivity but also gaps in the marketplace in areas such as customer service, deal flexibility, and speed of delivery” comments Mr. Alvarez “We have assembled a proven leadership team that offers a deep understanding of the complexities of deploying and operating a successful telecommunications network infrastructure, and that shares a common passion for customer focus and customer service.”

Zayo Lays New Fiber from Salt Lake to Sacramento

Zayo has kicked off construction of a new fiber route from Salt Lake City to Sacramento, California.

The network expansion will add more than 800 route miles to Zayo’s owned long haul network which spans more than 16,000 route miles across the United States and Europe.

“This new, unique route is diverse from many other existing long haul networks and is driven by the ever-growing need to transport many terabytes of data across the US,” said Matt Erickson, president of Physical Infrastructure at Zayo Group.

Bell Labs Tunes its G.W.A.T.T. Energy Consumption Tool

Bell Labs released an updated version of its G.W.A.T.T. application, which helps operators plan for the energy consumption and efficiency of their networks.

Version 2.0 of G.W.A.T.T. (Global ‘What if’ Analyzer of NeTwork Energy ConsumpTion) offers greater flexibility in the way operators model their network evolution.  It will also allow them to better understand the impact on network energy consumption, cost and carbon footprint from greater use of new technologies, such as SDN and NFV, as well as high-bandwidth video and gaming applications.

Updates to the application include:

  • New methods of modelling the energy impact of introducing SDN and NFV virtualization technologies.
  • A way to model specific high-bandwidth apps such as video and gaming.
  • The ability to change traffic growth assumptions based on changing market conditions and an operator’s own network intelligence.
  • The ability to model phased network upgrades, selecting parts of the network to see the impact of a phased upgrade where before operators could only select 100% technology replacement.

Hibernia Upgrades Terrestrial Network with Ciena 6500

Hibernia Networks has activated service on six new long haul fiber routes in the Northeast United States. The new routes, which use Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, represent a multi-year effort to reduce latency and increase diversity of the largest capacity terrestrial component of Hibernia’s global network.

Some highlights:

  • Two completely diverse paths from Ashburn to Hibernia’s landings in Boston and Halifax with comparable latency
  • More direct routing between New York and Toronto and Chicago and New York
  • Additional diversity through Albany avoiding existing critical infrastructure along the I-95 corridor and adjacent markets

“This is part of our overall evolution to introduce diversity and better latency performance throughout our entire network. We have had support from our customers and our partners like Ciena throughout this project and it was made possible through continuous and increasing demand for capacity in the region,” states David Smith, SVP Global Network Operations of Hibernia Networks. “The resulting technology refresh across our Northeast network assets reflects our long term commitment to bringing the most advanced and highest capacity technologies to the market aggressively.”

Vodafone Hires Ericsson Exec to Serve as CTO

Vodafone announced the appointment for Johan Wibergh as CTO, replacing Steve Pusey, who is retiring.

Wibergh currently serves as Executive Vice President and Head of the Networks segment at Ericsson. In this role, Johan Wibergh has led all aspects of business strategy, R&D, product management and sales for the segment, a business with €13 billion of annual revenues in 2013 and around 27,000 employees worldwide.  He joined Ericsson in 1996 and gained international experience in leadership roles in Brazil and the United States. He will report to Vodafone Group Chief Executive Vittorio Colao and will join the Group in May 2015 to enable a period of transition prior to Steve Pusey’s retirement.

Vodafone Group Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said: "Steve has been an outstanding colleague who has made an immense contribution to Vodafone, and I would like to thank him for his wisdom, focus and commitment. He will leave as his legacy a business strongly placed for success as a result of his efforts, including most recently his leadership of Project Spring which is well on track and already delivering significant benefits for our customers.
I would also like to welcome Johan to Vodafone: his background and skills are strongly complementary as we continue our transition to a global data company and I look forward to working with him closely."