Thursday, April 21, 2016

Google Expects its Cloud vEPC to Scale for Billions of Users

Google is now delivering Wi-Fi access in Indian railway stations using a virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) running in its cloud infrastructure, said Geng Lin, Head of Global Engineering, Global Markets, at Google, in a keynote address at Layer123 NFV World Congress in San Jose, California.

The Google Access project is striving to bring reliable Internet options to the estimated 4 billion unconnected users in developing markets. Wi-Fi is one of the access technologies it will use, but there will be others. Google is looking to partner with other carriers, governments and organizations to bring down the cost of serving large populations.

This project, which was undertaken last year with India's RailTel, aims to offer reliable, super-fast Wi-Fi to as many as 10 million daily users when it is fully rolled out in hundreds of railway stations across the country.

Lin said Google chose to implement a cloud-based, EPC control plane and service operations center to offer an extensible service across the country that can scale to millions of users. RailTel provides a fiber backhaul to each station. Google integrates the Wi-Fi RAN with the vEPC running on its Google Compute Engine infrastructure. Google's cloud-based service operations is also delivering advanced analytics and service level monitoring to improve the customer experience.

The service went live in January in the first railway stations. So far, the network is delivering 99.94% weekly, end-to-end availability for users, proving the vEPC running on the Google cloud is stable and scaling well. The number of active users is now on a sharp uptick as more stations are added to the network. Currently, the vEPC is serving nearly 200,000 active, registered users. Average usage per user per day is over 50 minutes, equating to 366MB of data per user per day.

Lin said Google's vEPC will scale to tens of millions of users for this Railtel project, but the architecture is extensible to reach hundreds of millions and ultimately billions of users by leveraging the global Google Compute Engine. The vEPC could also be offered as a wholesale service on the Google Compute Engine to partner carriers.

Video: Source Photonics Demos PAM4 - 2x50G QSFP28

Pulse Amplitude Modulation encodes information in the amplitude of a series of signal pulses.

In this video, Dr. Manish Mehta, EVP of Product Line Management at Source Photonics, introduces the fundamentals of PAM4 encoding, which is expected to play a major role in enabling lower cost, 100Gbps data center connections.

Source Photonics conducted a live demonstration of PAM4 2x50Gbps QSFP28 transceivers at #OFC2016. These will add to the company's portfolio of small form factor 100G optical transceivers.

The PAM4 demonstration comes on the heels of Source Photonics’ industry leading release of the 100G QSFP28 LR4 platform of products. Source Photonics announced first in industry sampling of the LR4 and LR4 Lite in March 2014 and mass production in March 2015. In January 2016, Source Photonics announced the shipment of its 10,000th QSFP28 module to customers.

The 2x50G-PAM4 QSFP28 will operate at a worst case power consumption of 3.5W at 70C case temperature and support KR4 FEC in the host IC. The company is also in development to support a KP4 FEC implementation similar to the FR8 requirements for 8-channel 400G standards.

“Cloud scale and Web 2.0 datacenters are demanding increased volume and lower cost 100G small form factor products and reducing component count is a critical long term solution”, says Sheng Zhang, Chief Scientist at Source Photonics. “We are demonstrating a major step towards the productization of PAM4 technology that will be instrumental in the cost reduction of 100G QSFP28 products and the release of initial 400G products.”

Anomali Raises $30 Million for Early Threat Detection

Anomali, a start-up based in Redwood City, California, raised $30 million in series C funding for its ThreatStream threat intelligence and Anomali Enterprise platforms.

The company, which was previously known as ThreatStream, delivers early detection and identification of adversaries in a network. The company says this makes it possible to correlate tens of millions of threat indicators against real time network activity logs and up to a year or more of forensic log data.

The new funding, led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), includes significant investments from General Catalyst Partners, GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Paladin Capital Group. The round raises Anomali’s total funding to more than $56 million since launching in 2013.

"Anomali is entering a very exciting era of cybersecurity, and we couldn’t be happier to have the support and backing of our customers and partners. Our rebrand, new product suite and this latest round of funding validates our vision for reducing business risk for large enterprises and small to medium sized businesses," said Hugh Njemanze, CEO of Anomali. "We are truly in a unique position as the only security vendor who can scale to meet the challenge of making ever increasing amounts of threat intelligence useful for the entire security team while detecting and preventing attacks enabled by long adversary network dwell times.”

Verizon Posts Q1 Revenue of $32.2 billion

Verizon reported Q1 sales of $32.2 billion, a 0.6 percent increase compared with first-quarter 2015, and $1.06 in earnings per share (EPS), compared with $1.02 per share in 1Q 2015.

“Verizon’s strong first-quarter results demonstrate our capacity to compete effectively, while executing on our plan of continued network leadership and seeding new growth markets in mobile video and the Internet of Things,” said Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam.

New IoT revenue streams reached approximately $195 million in first-quarter 2016, a year-over-year increase of about 25 percent.

Some highlights:


  • 640,000 retail postpaid net additions in first-quarter 2016
  • At the end of first-quarter 2016, Verizon had 112.6 million retail connections, a 3.7 percent year-over-year increase, and 107.2 million retail postpaid connections, a 4.4 percent year-over-year increase.
  • Total revenues were $22.0 billion in first-quarter 2016, a decline of 1.5 percent compared with first-quarter 2015 as more customers continued to choose unsubsidized device payment plans. Service revenues plus installment billings increased 1.6 percent, comparing first-quarter 2016 with first-quarter 2015.
  • Verizon ended first-quarter 2016 with a total of 73.8 million smartphones. This is 85 percent of the total phone base, with 4G devices more than 81 percent of the retail postpaid connections base.
  • Approximately 92 percent of Verizon’s total data traffic is on the LTE network. Overall data traffic on LTE has increased by approximately 50 percent year over year.
  • Wireless capital expenditures totaled $2.2 billion in first-quarter 2016 and are expected to ramp up throughout the year.
  • Fios remains the growth driver in wireline segment

Wireline highlights

  • Verizon added 98,000 net new Fios internet connections and 36,000 net new Fios video connections in first-quarter 2016. 
  • Total Fios revenues grew 5.0 percent, to $3.5 billion, comparing first-quarter 2016 with first-quarter 2015, including consumer Fios revenue growth of 4.7 percent.
  • In first-quarter 2016, consumer revenues were $4.0 billion, an increase of 0.8 percent compared with first-quarter 2015.

Ericsson Q1 Sales Drop 2% YoY, Profitability Rises

Ericsson reported Q1 sales of SEK 52.2 billion (US$6.42 billion), down 2% compared to the same period last year. Net income amounted to SEK 2.1 billion, up 45% from SEK 1.5 billion in Q1 2015. Gross margin declined despite higher IPR licensing revenues. The main reasons were lower margins in Global Services, a higher share of mobile broadband coverage projects in parts of Asia and lower software sales in IP and core networks.

Some highlights:

  • Segment Networks sales declined slightly YoY. A continued weak macro-economic environment impacted sales negatively in some emerging markets in the Middle East and Latin America. In addition, sales in Europe were down primarily driven by completion of mobile broadband projects in 2015. Mobile broadband sales in North America and South East Asia grew and the fast pace of 4G deployments in Mainland China continued. IPR licensing revenues grew YoY, mainly driven by recently signed contracts which included certain one-time items. Software sales in IP and core networks declined.
  • Sales in segment Global Services declined YoY. This was mainly due to lower Network Rollout activities in Europe and Latin America. Professional Services sales were stable with growth in Consulting and Systems Integration driven by transformation projects and stable Managed Services sales with 21 contracts signed in the quarter.
  • Sales in Support Solutions increased YoY due to higher IPR licensing revenues. The underlying demand remains strong in OSS and BSS as data growth and increased focus on customer experience drives operators to transform their OSS and BSS solutions.
"We are not satisfied with our overall growth and profitability development over the past years and I am convinced this will make us more competitive and enable us to grow both our company and our earnings," stated Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson.

ADVA Hits Sales of EUR 122.0 Million in Q1 2016

ADVA Optical Networking reported Q1 2016 revenues of EUR 122.0 million, up 27.6% year-on-year (YoY) and in line with the company's guidance.

Pro forma operating income in Q1 2016 stood at EUR 2.0 million or 1.6% of revenues, which represents a EUR 1.7 million YoY decrease (Q1 2015: EUR 3.7 million) and is in line with the previously announced guidance. The operating income came to EUR 1.0 million (Q1 2015: EUR 3.3 million).

“We were absolutely right with the assessments we communicated in 2015,” commented Brian Protiva, CEO, ADVA Optical Networking. “The demand for data center interconnect (DCI) technology continues to grow, and 100G solutions in metro networks are gaining momentum.”