Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Nokia Outlines its Priorities for Growth, Standalone Software Business

At the company's Capital Markets Day event in Barcelona, Nokia outlined its vision and strategic priorities for ensuring sustainable growth.

The company cited four key priority areas:

  • Lead in high-performance, end-to-end networks with communication service providers: Use our unparalleled, end-to-end portfolio to sustain our market and profitability leadership.
  • Expand network sales to select vertical markets needing high-performing, secure networks: Broaden our footprint in five select verticals: energy, transportation, public sector, technological extra-large enterprises and webscale.
  • Build a strong, standalone software business: Move beyond our current product-attached software model and create a software business with the margin profile of large software companies, focused on areas including enterprise software and IoT platforms.
  • Create new business and licensing opportunities in the consumer ecosystem: Expand successful patent licensing efforts into areas like automotive, consumer electronics and IoT. Create new revenue streams from technology and brand licensing, and establish new businesses in digital media and digital health.

"Nokia is extremely well-positioned to win in its primary market with communication service providers, and we aim to target superior returns through focused growth into more attractive adjacent markets where high-performance, end-to-end networks are increasingly in demand," stated President and CEO Rajeev Suri. "We also see opportunities to renew current patent licensing agreements at favorable terms, add new licensees in the mobile phone area and expand licensing further into new areas such as consumer electronics and the automotive sector. Given the appeal to others of our innovations in Networks, virtual reality and digital health, we are confident that we can continue to build our patent and technology licensing business further in the coming years," he continued.

Some highlights from the release:

  • Nokia's Networks business aims to grow net sales faster over the long-term than its primary addressable market.
  • Nokia's primary addressable market size is approximately EUR 113 billion in 2016, and is expected to have a 5-year compound annual growth rate of approximately 1%.
  • Nokia's adjacent addressable market size is approximately EUR 18 billion in 2016, and is expected to have a 5-year compound annual growth rate of approximately 13%.
  • Nokia targets the long-term operating margin range for Nokia's Networks business to be 10% to 15%, with all Networks business groups expected to contribute double-digit long-term operating margin. If the market environment and Nokia's execution are both in-line with Nokia's expectations, Nokia expects operating margin to be around the midpoint of this range.
  • For 2017, net sales for Nokia's Networks business to decline in line with its primary addressable market in full year 2017.
  • Nokia expects operating margin for Nokia's Networks business in full year 2017 to be in the range of 8% to 10%.
  • Nokia targets approximately EUR 1.2 billion of total annual cost savings in full year 2018 compared to the combined non-IFRS operating costs of Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent for full year 2015, excluding Nokia Technologies.

See Rajeev Suri’s review at the Annual General Meeting in June 2016:  https://youtu.be/YheSCoZMY6k

Microsoft Azure Announces Cloud Bot-as-a-Service

Microsoft announced a new Azure Bot service powered by the Microsoft Bot Framework and serverless compute in Microsoft Azure.

The new Azure Bot Service helps developers to build, connect, deploy and manage intelligent bots that interact naturally via app or website to text/sms, Slack, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Teams, Kik, Office 365 mail and other popular services. Bots run on Azure Functions, a serverless environment. The service scales based on demand and the developer pays only for the resources the bots consume.

Microsoft is providing out-of-the-box templates such as the basic bot, Language Understanding Intelligent Service bot, form bot, and proactive bot. Developers can build bots in C# or Node.js directly in the browser and try it out with the companion Web Chat control.

The Azure Bot Service includes built-in configurable channels to improve your customer interactions and increase your reach to more customers. You can easily build bots that work from your apps or websites and across popular channels such as Slack, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Teams, Web chat, Email, GroupMe, Kik, Telegram and Twilio. Through the Direct Line support you can interact with Microsoft Bot Framework features through a REST API, so you can bring the conversation experience to your app or website, provide control over your branded experience and reach  the many channels Bot Framework supports.


NYT: Secret Backdoor in Some U.S. Phones Sent Data to China, Analysts Say

Certain low-cost Android phones in the U.S. equipped with a certain Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) update software system were found to be sending data to a server in China without the owners' consent, according to The New York Times.

The case involves firmware developed by Shanghai Adups Technology Company, which claims its code runs on more than 700 million devices worldwide. The phones in question were sold under the BLU brand name in the U.S., although the article also cites other prominent Chinese mobile phone vendors as customers of Adups.

The discovery of the backdoor is credited to Kryptowire, a start-up based in Virginia that provides mobile application security analysis tools, anti-piracy technologies, mobile app marketplace security analytics, and Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions.

Kryptowire said the firmware that shipped with the mobile devices and subsequent updates "allowed for the remote installation of applications without the users' consent and, in some versions of the software, the transmission of fine-grained device location information."



Intel Cites Gains with its Omni-Path Architecture Systems

Intel cited growing momentum in the nine months since Intel Omni-Path Architecture (Intel OPA) began shipping, The company said OPA is becoming the standard fabric for 100 gigabit (Gb) systems, as it is now featured in 28 of the top 500 most powerfulsupercomputers in the world announced at Supercomputing 2016.  Intel believes OPA now has 66 percent of the 100Gb market. This acceptance is twice the number of InfiniBand EDR systems.

Top500 designs include Oakforest-PACS, MIT Lincoln Lab and CINECA. The Intel OPA systems on the list add up to total floating-point operations per second (FLOPS) of 43.7 petaflops (Rmax), or 2.5 times the FLOPS of all InfiniBand* EDR systems.

Intel OPA is an end-to-end fabric solution that improves HPC workloads for clusters of all sizes, achieving up to 9 percent higher application performance and up to 37 percent lower fabric costs on average compared to InfiniBand EDR.


CenturyLink Delivers 2.5 Tbps Super-channel Capacity at SC16 with Infinera

CenturyLink is delivering 2.5 terabits per second (Tbps) of super-channel transmission capacity to support SCinet at this week's International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC16) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The 2.5 Tbps of line-side capacity will connect the Salt Lake City Convention Center to CenturyLink’s global fiber optic network, utilizing the Infinera DTN-X Family. The multi-terabit deployment demonstrates CenturyLink’s rapid provisioning of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) services from the conference to CenturyLink’s point of presence in Salt Lake City and across its national backbone.

“Since 2014, CenturyLink has provided increasing amounts of super-channel transmission capacity to support real-time high-performance computing at this conference,” said Pieter Poll, Senior Vice President of Network Planning at CenturyLink. “Providing SCinet with 2.5 terabits of transmission capacity demonstrates the scalability and efficiency of CenturyLink’s network and complements the work we are doing with Infinera as we increase capacity on our core network to accommodate all customers. This includes providing the connectivity businesses need to operate efficiently as well as satisfying the communication and entertainment needs of families.”


MEF16 - Highlights from this Year's Event with Pascal Menezes

Pascal Menezes, MEF's CTO, provides some highlights of MEF16 in Baltimore.

One of the big themes was machine-driven, inter-provider communications based on APIs, which could be used to improve services across network boundaries in an automated. Another theme is automated analytics and machine learning for self-healing networks.

MEF has just published a white paper on the idea of the Third Network that was written in coordination with other standards bodies.

Looking ahead to 2017, the MEF plans to build more resources for the developer community.

See video: https://youtu.be/L8IoQje0kAo

MEF16 - Fujitsu's Jeff Babbitt on Open Architecture

Openness and Disaggregated are big themes at #MEF 16, says Fujitsu's Jeff Babbitt.

But when you ask what openness really means, different vendors and different service providers will offer different interpretations.  To a large extend, it is a question of degree for both open software and open hardware.

See video: https://youtu.be/L3S7rkKh8dM

MEF16 - Fujitsu's Ralph Santitoro on LSO Becoming Real

Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO), SDN and NFV are becoming real, says Fujitsu's Ralph Santitoro, speaking at #MEF16 in Baltimore.

 There is a lot of complexity with SDN and LSO. This requires the integration of many types of products and VNFs. The need for open environments adds to this integration challenge.

At this year's MEF16, Fujitsu's SDN/NFV Solutions Practice won the award for "Best Consulting Practice".

 See video: https://youtu.be/8X1jkWLbHjQ

MEF16 - Netcracker's Ari Banerjee on How Virtualization Requires Strategic Partnership

Enterprise services are the most profitable segment for operators, says Netcracker's Ari Banerjee.

NFV offers great market potential for value-added services.  Implementing this technology is not just about orchestration. The relationship between the network operator and the vendor needs to change to a strategic partnership.

See video: https://youtu.be/lqkA19moy58

AT&T Fiber Launches in 20 More Metros This Month

AT&T is launching fiber Internet service in nearly 85 cities across 20 major metros in November, offering connection speed of up to 1 Gbps.

The first four major metros launching this week are Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Charleston and Reno. AT&T is also expanding its 100% fiber network in 16 metros where it has already launched:

Los Angeles (Los Angeles County and Orange County)
San Antonio
San Francisco
St. Louis
West Palm Beach


MACOM's 25Gbps Laser Enters Mass Production

MACOM Technology Solutions announced volume production of its family of 25Gbps lasers for data center, mobile infrastructure and Fiber to the home (FTTH) applications.

MACOM leverages Etched Facet Technology (EFT), which, when combined with its in-house wafer scale Indium Phosphide manufacturing, are expected to provide a cost and capacity advantage previously unachievable by incumbent laser suppliers.

The 127/129/131/133D-25G-LCT11 and 1295/1300/1304/1309-25B-LCT11-S families of 25Gbps lasers serve the CWDM and LAN-WDM Data Center applications respectively.
The 131D-25I-LT5TC family of TO packaged 25Gbps laser products service the 5G-LTE and 100G PON applications. MACOM’s TO package is a robust, high-speed package design that enables the full utilization of laser bandwidth with efficient heat dissipation.

“With this industry leading family of lasers, MACOM continues to expand its leadership footprint beyond just RF & microwave and into photonics, and we believe key OEMs have taken notice, viewing us a key strategic supplier providing them all the critical technology and products at the necessary cost and capacity to enable their Cloud Data Center, Mobile and FTTH applications,” said Dr. Alex Behfar, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist, Photonic Solutions at MACOM. “In markets where EFT can bring disruptive economics to bear, we believe it will play a pivotal role in achieving the cost thresholds to enable mainstream deployment. We have already proven our ability to service high volume cost competitive markets such as PON, and with our 25Gbps laser family we believe we are well positioned to become a preeminent supplier of lasers into these high volume markets.”