Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Coriant Introduces SDN Hierarchical Controller

Coriant introduced its Transcend Hierarchical Controller designed for enhanced orchestration of multi-layer, multi-domain, and multi-vendor transport networks.

The Coriant Transcend Hierarchical Controller, which builds on the company's existing Transcend Software Suite, leverages SDN automation and programmability to accelerate service activation, optimize Layer 0-3 resource allocation and resiliency, and improve multi-vendor interoperability and end-to-end control in open, disaggregated network environments.
Key features and benefits of the Coriant Transcend™ SDN Hierarchical Controller include:

  • Orchestration of multi-layer transport resources to bring SDN-enabled efficiencies, optimization, and control to Layer 0-3 access, aggregation, and core networks
  • Open standard interfaces for flexible integration into diverse workflow orchestration and OSS environments, including multi-vendor integration through open southbound RESTful interfaces to third-party controllers
  • Context Optimized Routing Engine (CORE) that provides path computation for multi-layer performance-aware services
  • Shared Risk Link Group (SRLG) awareness of transport services that supports optimized resource assignment and multi-layer service status aware routing

“As more and more IP and optical elements become virtualized and distributed, network operators need a more efficient and flexible way to manage and orchestrate a diverse ecosystem of service-dependent transport resources,” said Uwe Fischer, Executive Vice President, R&D and PLM, and Chief Technology Officer, Coriant. “Our new SDN Hierarchical Controller significantly enhances efficiencies in integrated IP-Optical networks with advanced automation and programmability. These field-proven capabilities represent key enablers of Coriant’s visionary Hyperscale Carrier Architecture, which provides operators a pragmatic means to transform multi-layer infrastructure for a new generation of end-user services, including 5G, IoT, and virtual reality.”

NEC/Netcracker partners with Infinera and Juniper on Transport SDN

NEC and its subsidiary Netcracker Technology, a provider of OSS/BSS and service orchestration solutions, announced that, in partnership with Infinera and Juniper Networks, they have released a new Transport SDN solution designed to transform how networks are managed and controlled.

Combining Infinera's expertise in building Intelligent Transport Networks, Juniper's capabilities in IP/MPLS, physical/virtual network functionality and domain orchestration, and NEC/Netcracker's multi-layer control and service orchestration expertise, including NEC's advanced network transport products, the partnership is intended to deliver a compelling new Transport SDN solution.

The integrated solution provides functionality spanning visibility across all IP, optical and microwave domains, including SDN and traditional network environments, optimises network utilisation and automates service provisioning and path restoration.

The solution is designed to equip service providers to implement network transformations that can intelligently adapt to the dynamic requirements of end users, with the ability to provide network slices for specific services end-to-end cross the network. This capability allows providers to accommodate changing traffic patterns and on-demand customer requests and improve quality of services for customers, as well as enabling cost savings by optimising capacity usage.

The solution additionally allows service providers to automate the network service infrastructure, thereby enabling them to focus resources on addressing new revenue opportunities and optimising service costs.

NEC/Netcracker, Infinera and Juniper Networks noted that they joined to demonstrate the combined solution as part of the Optical Interworking Forum (OIF)/Open Networking Foundation (ONF) Transport API project earlier this year. Participants in the project executed a multi-domain path selection and recovery test plan with intra-lab and inter-lab testing across multiple global carrier labs, including those of Verizon and Telefónica.

During the demonstration, NEC/Netcracker's Multilayer SDN Controller used the new Transport API defined by the ONF to communicate with Juniper's NorthStar Controller at Verizon's lab and the Infinera Xceed optical SDN domain controllers at Telefónica's lab. As part of the event, NEC/Netcracker's Service Orchestration solution successfully created and managed Ethernet point-to-point private services across multiple vendor and multiple operator domains.

Qualcomm unveils Mesh Networking Platform for the connected home

Qualcomm, through its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, announced the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform, combining technologies designed to enable OEMs and broadband carriers to deliver next-generation connected home services.

Devices based on the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform can deliver connectivity to smart home devices throughout the home, as well as supporting voice control capabilities, centralised management and security and a range of mesh system features required for carrier-grade networks. Qualcomm is also offering the Mesh Networking reference design to help OEMs in the development of next-generation networking products.

The Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform is based upon the Qualcomm IPQ40x8/9 network system-on-chip, which the company claims is used in the majority of mesh networking products currently available, and offers features including:

1.         Qualcomm WiFi self-organising (SON) suite, designed to ensure comprehensive WiFi coverage, simplified set-up, automated management and traffic optimisation, plus security features.

2.         Carrier-Grade features designed to help carriers enhance broadband services via WiFi SON, with APIs available for easier porting of SON to other silicon platforms and cloud-based diagnostics to enable remote monitoring, diagnostics and analytics for troubleshooting.

3.         Integrated voice capabilities that allow consumers to control and interact with devices on their network using voice commands, as well as support for APIs for popular cloud-based assistant applications.

4.         Backhaul flexibility that allows a variety of backhaul options to help maximise the performance of mesh networks, including 802.11ac, 802.11ad, 802.11ax or Powerline technologies.

5.         Qualcomm IoT Connectivity Feature Suite, designed to help ensure compatible and simultaneous use of WiFi, Bluetooth, CSRmesh connectivity and 802.15.4-based technologies across a network, while also supporting communication protocols, cloud services and software frameworks.

ADTRAN introduces RFoG solution with OBI mitigation technology

ADTRAN, a supplier of next-generation open networking solutions, announced the introduction of its new Radio Frequency over Glass (RFoG) solution featuring Optical Beat Interference (OBI) mitigation technology.

ADTRAN's new RFoG solution is designed to accelerate MSO FTTH initiatives by allowing the reuse of existing CATV assets within both the headend and home. The solution can help to extend the return on investment cycle while supporting the transition from hybrid fibre coax and CATV-based triple play to gigabit FTTH and IPTV-ready deployment models.

ADTRAN noted that as RFoG deployments increase in density, the likelihood of OBI affecting performance greatly increases. OBI is caused by simultaneous upstream optical transmissions by multiple cable modems, resulting in impaired reception at all upstream frequencies impacting key applications such as voice, live video streaming and social media interaction.

ADTRAN offers a portfolio of RFoG solutions that feature an OBI mitigation MicroNode that does not require new centralised cabinet construction, which can be delayed by right of way and power sourcing issues. The scalable ADTRAN RFoG OBI solution offers a distributed approach to OBI mitigation designed to facilitate the transition to FTTH networks and IPTV-based triple play services for cable operators.

ADTRAN's RFoG products are designed to allow cable operators to retain the headend and CPE when upgrading to fibre-based networks. With this model, RF signals generated by the headend and CPE are converted at each end of the link into the optical domain for transmission over fibre, with conversion at the customer premises carried out by an RFoG micronode. ADTRAN offers both standard RFoG micronodes and OBI mitigating versions.

Regarding the new solution, Hossam Salib, VP of cable and wireless strategy at ADTRAN, said, "By deploying the MicroNodes, cable MSO customers (gain) a simplified approach to OBI mitigation and FTTH expansion… that is compatible with both 1 and 10 Gbit/s EPON and transparent to the existing CATV assets like in-home set top boxes".

ADTRAN Acquires Commscope's Fiber Access Portfolio

ADTRAN has acquired CommScope's key fiber access products, technologies and service relationships. Financial terms were not disclosed. The key components of the acquisition include: Active EPON and 10G-EPON product platforms, which include infrastructure and customer premises equipment that deliver CableLabs DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE) certification – ADTRAN will now sell, support, and develop these product lines for new and existing MSO...

Huawei releases CloudFAN prototype for cable MSO market

Huawei has introduced at ANGA COM 2017 its CloudFAN prototype for MSOs and demonstrated service provisioning capabilities and smart home applications based on the cloud leveraging cooperation between open protocols and network controllers.

Huawei noted that bandwidth demand is increasing with the adoption of new services such as HD video, over the top (OTT), bring your own device (BYOD), cloud services and Internet of things (IoT), so that operators need to increase the bandwidth of their networks to enable the Gigaband era while also coping with issues such as the time and cost relating to network construction and declining return on investment (ROI).

To address these issues, operators need to explore how to deliver new services efficiently, as well as revamp their business models. Huawei believes that agile, intelligent and open cloud-based networks will be key for operators seeking to transform their businesses.

Huawei is releasing the CloundFAN prototype for the MSO market as part of its All-Cloud Network solution. Based on the distributed converged cable access platform (D-CCAP) solution, the CloudFAN prototype is designed to enable the evolution to the cloud. Via capabilities including support for agile services, converged architectures and intelligent O&M, the CloudFAN prototype is intended to help MSOs to transform their networks.

For home users, the cloud platform of CloudFAN, combined with intelligent terminals, is designed to enable the delivery and flexible configuration of advanced features such as one-touch bandwidth acceleration, intelligent WiFi, home safeguard, security surveillance and parental control.

For enterprise customers, the CloudFAN prototype offers cloud management, which enables automated E2E configuration of business services over DOCSIS (BSoD) and Layer 2 VPN leased lines. Leveraging this platform, enterprises are able to self-deploy new services, adjust bandwidths flexibly, improve new service provisioning efficiency and enhance network security.

Huawei noted that the cloud platform underlying CloudFAN provides support for product integration and interoperability via NetConf and Yang interfaces. This enables the platform to bridge the different requirements of CMTS, I-CCAP, R-MacPHY, R-PHY and DPoE architectures to facilitate network integration.

In particular, next-generation optical line terminals (OLTs) offer support for both FTTH and D-CCAP solutions, as well as providing for interconnection with the CloudFAN cloud platform and network controllers, thereby meeting cloud architecture requirements for the transition to all-optical access in the future.

In addition, the cloud platform of CloudFAN supports intelligent O&M for HFC networks. The O&M functionality includes proactive detection of network-wide faults, automatic identification and demarcation of typical faults, lightweight and visualised web pages and smartphone apps, removing the need for handhold testers and helping to improve network reliability and O&M efficiency.

Huawei noted that its HFC network–based D-CCAP solution has been commercially deployed by MSOs in 30 countries, including Denmark, New Zealand, Spain, Mexico, France, Japan and Brazil, and serving over 50 million home broadband users.

Cisco launches Infinite Broadband Remote PHY for cable access networks

Cisco announced the availability of its Infinite Broadband Remote PHY solution (RPHY) for cable access networks, part of its distributed access architecture strategy, targeting cable operators seeking to address the broadband needs of customers via support for new applications such as OTT streaming video and 5G mobile backhaul as HFC plant is transformed into a wireline aggregation network for all types of access.

Cisco noted that Remote PHY and DOCSIS 3.1, two CableLabs standards, can be combined to expand capacity of the cable HFC plant. Building on the Cisco cBR-8 converged broadband router and GS7000 node platforms, RPHY is designed to enable reduced power, cooling and hub site space requirements to offer significant cost of ownership benefits. The technology provides the foundation for Cisco's virtualisation and full duplex DOCSIS strategy.

Cisco's new RPHY solution is based on open, standard software that was contributed to Cable Labs OpenRPD forum in 2016. The open source initiative provides an ecosystem of remote PHY device (RPD) vendors and allows operators to select the RPD vendor that best meets their specific requirements without becoming locked into a single vendor's proprietary technology.

Cisco stated that it is planning to conduct interoperability testing between OpenRPD vendors at a third-party testing facility. Among the companies cited as planning to participate in the testing are VECTOR Technologies, BKtel networks and Teleste.

Cisco noted that the RPHY solution has been shipping to customers in multiple countries since April this year and cited comments from companies evaluating or deploying the technology including Cox Communications, Liberty Global and Comcast Cable.

In conjunction with the launch, Cisco has also introduced its RPHY deployment automation software, based on model-driven network configuration protocol (NetConf) and Yang technology. The cable automation software is designed to ensure that the new RPHY devices can be automatically provisioned, delivering savings in terms of time and cost compared with manual provisioning.

LightCounting reports optical component supplier profitability up to 9% in '16

In its latest State of the Optical Communications Industry report, market research firm LightCounting finds that in 2016 profitability for optical component and module suppliers rose substantially to 9%, compared with around 2% in 2015 and 0% in 2014, having previously dropped from 5% in 2010 to negative 2% in 2012, recovering to 2% in 2013.

LightCounting reports that the sales-weighted average profitability of publicly-traded optical component and module suppliers reached 9% in 2016, exceeding the average net profitability of communication service providers (CSPs) and suppliers of networking equipment, their main customers. Meanwhile, profit margins reported by Internet content providers (ICPs) and semiconductor IC vendors remained higher in 2016 at around 17% and 13% respectively.

The research firm notes that many ICPs have recently become customers of optical component and module vendors, which contributed to the financial improvement for the segment.

In monetary terms, aggregate net income for the publicly-traded optical component and module vendors tracked by LightCounting progressed from a $22 million loss in 2014 to a $72 million gain in 2015 and positive $422 million in 2016, driven by large increases at vendors Acacia, Finisar, Lumentum and Oclaro.

LightCounting states that of the ten companies that were operating independently in 2016, nine reported positive net income for the calendar year, while NeoPhotonics essentially achieved breakeven. In addition, Applied Optoelectronics and Innolight reported significant profits, with most of their business conducted with the cloud companies.

Meanwhile, profitability for the network equipment vendors declined by 26% in 2016 to around 9% from 12% in 2015, having risen steadily from 5% in 2012. Lower mobile network spending with the completion of major LTE deployments in China and North America in 2015 was the main factor affecting revenue growth.

More specifically, LightCounting reports that the largest changes in net income by vendor were reported by Nokia (with a $2.4 billion change) and Ericsson ($1.4 billion change), both of which are heavily dependent on mobile RAN equipment sales. Cisco and Brocade also reported significant declines in net profits of $500 million and $232 million, respectively, while Arista and Ciena bucked the trend and reported higher net income in 2016.

The research firm notes that demand for 100 Gigabit Ethernet optics exceeded supply in 2016, limiting price reductions and competition and helping optics suppliers to reach record profitability, with a number of vendors also reporting record revenue for multiple quarters in 2016.

However, LightCounting forecasts that weak demand for optics in China will lead to slower market growth in 2017, negatively affecting supplier's profitability, although demand from cloud companies is expected to remain strong, helping to keep profits significantly above breakeven in 2017. It also expects profitability to improve further in 2018 with the return of demand in China.

Update on the Irish Telecoms Market - part 1

Preamble - Ireland in great shape though economic statistics confusing and Brexit impact uncertain 

Ireland remains an ambiguous term, sometimes referring to the whole island but also to the politically separate southern majority part of the island, often referred to by its Celtic name of Eire and more generally as the Republic of Ireland. Ireland/Eire/RoI is a small but strategically situated and relatively rich country but its actual size and growth-rates have been bedevilled by its role as an international tax haven with a corporate tax rate of only 12.5%, which has resulted in many manoeuvres by large international companies such as Apple and Tyco and plane-leasing groups that have nominally moved their HQs or significant groups of assets to Eire for tax purposes. 

For example, the Irish economy was originally predicated by the IMF to grow by 7.8% in 2015 but ended up at a disconcerting, difficult-tounderstand 26.3% after foreign companies that had switched their base to Ireland were included in the value of its corporate sector, pushing up the value of the state’s balance sheet (which then had to be justified by an on-paper increase in the country's GDP). The RoI's official actual or predicated growth-rates in 2014, 2016 and 2017 (all probably also including at least some similar artificial asset-increase components due to this factor) are 4.8%, 4.9% and 3.2%, respectively. As a result Eire's nominal GDP in 2016 is quoted by the IMF as over $317.917 billion, which would rank it the 37th richest nation in the world in absolute dollars and giving its average 4.68 million population in 2016 a GDP per capita of about $68,000, ranking it with the world's wealthiest populations such as Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Kuwait, Singapore, Oman, UAE, Brunei, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland. 

On the other hand, the World Bank estimates its GDP to have been only around $238.020 billion, which would still make it the 43rd richest nation in absolute terms, but reduces its GDP per capita to around $50,000. However this would still rank its citizens at around the 12th richest in those terms out of 34 OECD countries. 

According to the European Commission's Europa website, the Republic of Ireland has probably been the European country which has benefited the most of the 28 members since its accession to the EU in 1973, at which time it was a rather poor, largely agriculturally-dependent country. Apart from the more general benefits to the Irish economy and people such as free movement of people and preferential access to a huge market, these benefits have included an increase in Foreign Direct Investment into Ireland from just Euro 16 million in 1972 to more than Euro 30 billion, as well as the fact that between 1973 and 2014, it received over Euro 72.5 billion from the EU but contributed only about Euro 30 billion to the EU budget. 

The decision by the UK, Ireland's largest trading partner, as a result of its national referendum on June 23, 2016, to leave the EU looked on the face of it likely to be a huge disaster for the country. However, an article of January 17th in the Financial Times (entitled Ireland could yet benefit from Britain's Euro-divorce) pointed out that once Britain left the EU Ireland would be the only English-speaking EU member still sharing many legal and institutional structures with the UK, as well as the same time zone, and noted that since the Brexit vote the head of Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency had reported more than 100 inquiries from potential 'Brexit refugees', and had also received the first visit for 25 years from the Foreign Minister of Japan, whose companies employ 140,000 workers in the UK, some of whom might be interested in moving next door. 

Irish regulatory and government issues 

ComReg is the statutory body responsible in the Republic of Ireland for the regulation of the electronic communications sector (telecommunications, radio communications and broadcasting transmission) and the postal sector. Although ComReg works closely with Ireland's Department of Communications, Climate Action, and Environment (DCCAE) it operates autonomously in terms of its decisions. 

In June 2016, as required by law, ComReg Commissioner Gerry Fahy published the agency's Radio Spectrum Strategy for 2016 to 2018. In a summary statement Fahy commented that Ireland’s radio spectrum was a highly valuable national resource, the use of which based on 2014 data, was estimated to make a contribution of Euro 4.7 billion to Ireland's GDP and supported almost 29,000 jobs. More specifically, Fahy said that the challenging strategy could see the radio spectrum available for wireless broadband delivery increasing by almost 200% by 2019. Indeed, the upcoming release of the 3.6 GHz band, plus the planned release of further spectrum bands (700 MHz, 1.4 GHz, 2.3 GHz and 2.6 GHz) could go a significant way to meeting the increasing demands for mobile data, including supporting broadband availability for all users and in as many locations as possible. 

In late August 2016, ComReg announced that following an earlier consultation an auction of spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band was expected to take place by the end of Q2 2017. A total of 350 MHz of spectrum will be offered using a TDD band plan in two blocks, separated by a frequency block currently allocated to state services: 325 MHz (3475 – 3800 MHz) above state services, and 25 MHz (3410 – 3435 MHz) below. The frequencies will be allocated on a regional basis, with a total of nine distinct regions (one for each of the five largest urban centres - Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway), with the rest of the country split into another four regional areas. Each bidder is allowed to bid for up to a maximum of 150 MHz of spectrum in any given region. 

In early October 2016, Irish Communications Minister Denis Naughten announced that the government had allocated a further Euro 5 million for the National Broadband Plan in 2017, bringing the plan's total allocation in 2017 to Euro 15 million. 

In late December 2016, the Irish government announced that following the formation in late July 2016 of a national Mobile and Broadband Task Force, whose mandate was to consider how the development of Ireland's national communications infrastructure required to support specific customer-facing programs such as the National Broadband Plan could be accelerated, the Ministry now had a list of 40 specific measures which would be implemented for that purpose. 

On January 31st, in reply to a couple of parliamentary questions in the Dail on the issue of when 700 MHz frequencies would be available for use in mobile broadband, and particularly for use in rural areas, Minister Denis Naughten noted first that the European Commission had brought forward proposals to co-ordinate the release of the 694 – 790 MHz (700 MHz) spectrum band in all member States to June 30, 2020, and these proposals would allow mobile broadband services to use this part of the spectrum band. However, he confirmed that In Ireland the 700 MHz band was currently used by digital terrestrial television services (DTT) and the migration of these broadcasting services had not yet happened, and that the move to the lower part of the UHF band by the DTT services that currently used the 700 MHz band would require a significant amount of work on the transmission network. He added that In consultation with ComReg and 2RN (formerly known as RTÉ Networks), the aim was to achieve the release of this spectrum in advance of the June 2020 date, in coordination with the UK. 

Ireland's National Broadband plan 

Fibre coverage of Ireland is being primarily implemented by an organisation operating as Open Eir, which plans to cover 80% of the country with an open wholesale fibre network available to any supplier. In June 2015, the company announced that it was committed to enabling 1.9 million premises by the end of 2020, as well as supporting the Department of Communications, Climate Action, and Environment (DCCAE) in its implementation of the National Broadband Plan in underserved rural areas. 

(NB: in early February 2017 it was announced that the Irish government planned to set up a new regulator, the Digital Safety Commission, which would have the power to require any social media organisation such as Twitter or Facebook to remove content which it deemed distasteful or abusive.) 

Telekom Austria and Nokia demonstrate 850 Mbit/s LTE data rate in Slovenia

Telekom Austria Group has announced further progress towards its goal of implementing 5G mobile technology by 2020 via a demonstration by its subsidiary A1 Slovenija in Slovenia, Central Europe, which has demonstrated data transfer rates of up to 850 Mbit/s over what it believes is the fastest live LTE network currently operating in Europe.

The latest test was conducted in partnership with Nokia at the premises of A1 Slovenija in Ljubljana, where a maximum speed of 877.5 Mbit/s was achieved over the Slovenian A1 LTE network. The data rate was enabled through the implementation of multi-component downlink carrier aggregation functionality in the downlink.

To achieve the downlink throughput in a live network, rather than in a lab setting, a total of 55 MHz of the Slovenian A1 frequency spectrum was used, with 35 MHz on band 7 (2,600 MHz) and 20 MHz on band 3 (1,800 MHz). The frequency band 7 was additionally supported with 4 x 4 MIMO in the downlink, while 256QAM modulation coding was implemented on both frequencies, increasing the maximum peak data rate by an further 30%.

Telekom Austria stated that the enhanced utilisation of frequency spectrum in the A1 LTE network was achieved in cooperation with Nokia, its technology partner. As the next step toward delivering 5G, Telekom Austria Group has stated that it is aiming to increase the peak data rates at its subsidiaries by implementing further technical innovations such as massive MIMO, beam forming and beam steering.

Commenting on the latest test, Peter Wukowits, country senior officer and head of Central Europe at Nokia, said, "With this 4.5G Pro demonstration, utilizing Nokia's 5G-ready AirScale platform, Nokia and A1 Slovenija reached a milestone towards 5G... speeds above 850 Mbit/s are approaching a gigabit society, where mobile networks will provide fibre-like speeds close to 1 Gbit/s".

  • In December 2016, A1 and Nokia announced that as part of the move towards 5G they had achieved a data rate of 513 Mbit/s over the A1 live network on a mobile router and 463 Mbit/s on a smartphone at Austria's University of Klagenfurt. The trial involved 3 carrier aggregation with frequencies in the 2,600 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 800 MHz ranges, plus 256QAM modulation.
  • Recently, also working with Nokia, Telekom Austria Group subsidiary A1, which serves the Austrian market, announced a demonstration carried out in the city of Vienna during which transmission rates of more than 10 Gbit/s were achieved over installed copper cable in its fixed line network.
  • The fixed network transmission speed achieved with Nokia leveraged an advance in the existing copper-based technology, XG-FAST. The test specifically involved 30 metres of copper cable and test equipment supplied by Nokia Bell Labs, and demonstrated that the existing copper cables between the street or basement of a building to houses or apartments can potentially support speeds in excess of 10 Gbit/s.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Private Equity Firm to Acquire Sandvine

Vector Capital, a leading global private equity firm, agreed to acquire Sandvine (TSX: SVC) for CAD $3.80 in cash per share, representing an equity value of approximately CAD $483 million.

"The Sandvine Team has built the clear leader in network policy control and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished to date," said Dave Caputo, Sandvine's President and Chief Executive Officer. "There are a number of long-term growth opportunities that Vector, as a specialist technology investor, is enthusiastic about and can help us pursue more aggressively. We see this as an excellent opportunity to better serve our 300-plus customers, to enhance our strategic position over the longer term, and to do it The Sandvine Way."

"We are excited to partner with Dave and this deeply talented management team to take Sandvine to the next level," said Rob Amen, a Managing Director at Vector Capital. "We are confident that, together with the founding team, Vector can enhance Sandvine's proud track record of growth, innovation and independent operations.  Vector was specifically formed to collaborate with market leading technology companies to accelerate their growth and redefine their markets in new and disruptive ways. We believe that Sandvine's emerging product opportunities and transition to fully virtualized solutions represent an opportunity for such a disruption.  Our partnership with this deeply talented Team couldn't be stronger."

DXC to offer security VNF based on AT&T FlexWave under expanded partnership

Expanding a long-standing strategic alliance, DXC Technology and AT&T announced a new initiative designed to help global customers improve efficiency, productivity and security when migrating, orchestrating and managing cloud-based networks across the enterprise.

Under the agreement, DXC will become the first IT services company to launch a third-party virtual network function (VNF) based on AT&T FlexWare. The initiative is intended to align the two companies to support businesses through technology-driven digital transformations.

DXC's on-demand security VNF, inclusive of firewall and intrusion protection services, enhances the virtual edge service functionality in its next generation portfolio. This capability is designed to help DXC clients leverage their investments, reduce capex and enhance operational scale and consistency for cloud platforms, whether hybrid, public or private.

The latest joint initiative expands the AT&T FlexWare platform ecosystem to support innovation and provide expanded choice for business customers. As well as adding a new VNF to the AT&T FlexWare platform and reselling AT&T FlexWare to its customers, DXC will also utilise FlexWare for its internal operations.

The new virtual edge service will provide DXC customers with advanced security for small- and mid-sized office locations alongside AT&T's catalogue of VNFs, which are supported through the marketplace. Utilising an opex model, the new offering will allow DXC's enterprise security policies to be extended to remote office locations, delivered as-a-service.

Additionally, the AT&T FlexWare platform will enable DXC to efficiently deliver services to clients while helping reduce capital requirements. DXC is continuing to explore additional opportunities to virtualise the technology supporting its services that are available to clients.

  • AT&T recently announced new network connectivity options and security applications for its FlexWare offering, and that it was expanding availability to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
  • The AT&T FlexWare platform is designed to simplify the delivery and deployment of software-based network functions for businesses and allow users to flexibly manage their networks, reduce total cost of ownership and avoid the need to use proprietary hardware-based solutions.
  • The latest FlexWare enhancements enable network function virtualisation (NFV) over a broader range of connection types. Specifically, FlexWare features an expanded range of connectivity options via both AT&T and third party service providers, with options including Ethernet, VPN (MPLS), dedicated Internet and broadband, as well as three new virtual security options.

Sonus enhances policy and management offering

Sonus Networks, a provider of solutions that enable secure and intelligent cloud communications, announced that its latest policy and management release is now generally available, offering a consolidated framework supporting management, session control, billing mediation and analytics functions across legacy and next-generation communication networks.

Key features of Sonus' policy and management offering include:

1. Cloud: enabling deployment of the Sonus DataStream Integrator (DSI) and NetScore products in OpenStack-based cloud environments, complementing the existing cloud-native portfolio that includes of the Sonus SBC, PSX centralised policy and routing engine (PSX), Diameter signalling controller (DSC) and element management system (EMS).

2. Intelligent session control: allowing customers to use the Sonus PSX to intelligently route traffic based on the attributes of a session, for example, routing audio-only calls differently from high bandwidth video calls.

3. Network analytics: providing enhanced insight into network capacity, bandwidth utilisation and traffic patterns, with NetScore able to access peak traffic statistics in the GSX and provide new analytics for average and peak trunk utilisation, as well as trunk group bandwidth utilisation.

4.   Gateway: leveraging installed GSX solutions, customers are able to optimise the media path for SIP-SIP backhaul, helping to reduce network costs by freeing up media ports on the intermediate gateway.

  • Recently, Sonus announced that its cloud-native SBC Software edition (SBC SWe) had completed testing and validation for the Wind River Titanium Cloud ecosystem program. As a result, in collaboration with Wind River Sonus is able to offer a carrier-grade virtual SBC designed to meet service provider requirements for performance, reliability and availability.
  • The Titanium Cloud ecosystem enables interoperable standard products optimised for NFV deployment with Titanium Cloud. The combination of Titanium Cloud and Sonus' cloud native SBC is designed to allow service providers to deliver carrier-class real-time communications in the cloud.

Melita and Vodafone Malta to merge to create fixed and mobile service provider

Vodafone Group, together with Apax Partners Midmarket and Fortino Capital, announced an agreement to combine broadband, cable and pay TV company Melita and Vodafone Malta.

Under the terms of the transaction, Vodafone Malta, the country's largest mobile operator, operating a 4G mobile network covering 99% of the Maltese population, will be combined with Melita, the largest provider of cable, broadband and pay TV services with a network covering 99% of Maltese households. Melita offers a range of content and high speed broadband with download speeds of up to 250 Mbit/s.

The transaction values Vodafone Malta at an enterprise value of Euro 208 million, and values Melita at an enterprise value of Euro 298 million. At completion, the shareholders of Melita will own 51% of the combined company and Vodafone Europe, the current shareholder of Vodafone Malta, the remaining 49%2. The combined entity will have net debt of approximately Euro 345 million and Vodafone will receive an estimated cash payment of Euro 120 million, with Melita shareholders receiving an estimated cash payment of Euro 33 million.

On closing, the combined company's mobile and enterprise business will operate under the Vodafone brand and will offer a range of solutions, including Vodafone's portfolio of products and services, as well as having access to Vodafone's expertise and capabilities in mobile and fixed operations.

The combination will establish a new integrated communications company with the scale and resources to deliver quad play bundled mobile, fixed broadband, fixed telephony and TV services to consumers and a range of enterprise services for businesses and the public sector in Malta. Vodafone noted that the new company will be better positioned to compete with the integrated incumbent Maltese operator GO.

The combined company expects to realise cost synergies through the rationalisation of duplicated activities and improved network investment efficiency as the company begins to introduce 4.5G, and in the future 5G, mobile networks and gigabit-capable fixed networks.

For the year ended December 31, 2016, Vodafone Malta generated Euro 30 million of underlying EBITDA and Euro 14 million of underlying operating free cash flow; for the financial year ended March 31, 2016 Vodafone Malta generated a pre-tax profit of Euro 11 million. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2016, Melita generated Euro 33 million of underlying EBITDA and Euro 20 million of underlying operating free cash flow.

The Melita shareholders intend to appoint the current CEO of Melita, Harald Rösch, as CEO of the combined company and Vodafone intends to appoint the current CFO of Vodafone Malta, Caroline Farrugia, as CFO.

The transaction, which requires approval from the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority, is currently expected to close in the second half of 2017.

SES Networks launches hybrid resiliency service, Palau Telecoms first customer

Global satellite operator SES has announced a new hybrid resiliency platform designed to serve the requirements of telcos, mobile network operators, enterprises and maritime connectivity providers.

The new SES solution delivers fully-managed, bandwidth-on-demand connectivity featuring intelligent routing and resiliency functionality. SES explained that its multi-orbit approach, which leverages the wide coverage capabilities of geostationary earth orbit (GEO) satellites combined with the high throughput capabilities of medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites, is designed to ensure 100% availability for services.

The new managed solution is currently available in the Asia Pacific region, and leverages a platform designed to enable highly reliable, high performance networks across orbit-diverse connections. SES plans to rollout the service across additional regions, complementing the site diversity intelligent routing capability already deployed for SES networks customers.

In conjunction with the new service launch, SES announced that long-standing partner Palau Telecoms and its customers would become the first to utilise the new hybrid MEO-GEO broadband platform

SES recently launched a new go-to-market organisation based on customer-focused business units. Under the new model, data-centric market segments are served by SES Networks, while SES focuses on delivering differentiated satellite-enabled solutions for fixed data, mobility and government applications. SES noted that the hybrid resiliency platform leverages the infrastructure, networks and operations available via the SES Networks business unit.

SES' combined GEO-MEO offering leverages over 50 satellites in GEO and 12 in MEO. The company operates through two business units - SES Video and SES Networks – that provide satellite communications services to broadcasters, content providers and ISPs, mobile and fixed operators, governments and institutions. SES includes O3b Networks, a global managed data communications service provider, and MX1, a media service provider. SES announced it would acquire a 100% stake in O3b in June 2016.

Synopsys unveils DesignWare multi-protocol 25 Gbit/s PHY IP

Synopsys, describing itself as the Silicon to Software partner for companies developing electronic products and software applications, announced its new DesignWare Multi-Protocol 25 Gbit/s PHY IP targeting high-performance computing applications including machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Synopsys' new PHY IP allows designers to integrate multiple protocols including PCI Express 4.0, 25 Gigabit Ethernet, SATA and CCIX into system-on-chips (SoCs) targeting the 7 nm and 16 nm FinFET processes. The multi-protocol 25 Gbit/s PHY is claimed to reduce power and area requirements by over 35% compared to the 16 Gbit/s PHY solution via optional power management features such as I/O supply under drive and decision feedback equalisation (DFE) bypass.

In addition, the solutions features programmable continuous calibration and adoption (CCA), which is designed to optimise performance across voltage and temperature variations, which is key for applications in harsh data centre environments.

Designers are able to integrate the multi-protocol 25 Gbit/s PHY with Synopsys' digital controllers and verification IP to provide a complete, low latency IP solution that is compliant with the industry-standard protocol specifications.

The new DesignWare multi-protocol 25 Gbit/s PHY IP offers designers key features including:

1.         Flexible clock multiplier unit (CMU) with dual PLLs and dividers to support flexible multi-protocol configurations while transmitting data across lossy channels.

2.         Analogue front-end that incorporates adaptive continuous time linear equaliser (CTLE), decision feedback equalisation (DFE) and feed forward equalisation (FFE) for enhanced signal integrity and jitter performance.

3.         Embedded bit error rate (BER) circuitry for evaluating channel quality and on-die test features for testability and visibility into system performance without the need for external test equipment.

Synopsys noted that the silicon design kit for DesignWare multi-protocol 25 Gbit/s PHY IP for TSMC 7 nm FinFET process is currently available; the silicon design kit for TSMC's 16 nm FinFET process is scheduled to be available in October.

The Synopsys DesignWare IP portfolio includes logic libraries, embedded memories, embedded test, analogue IP, wired and wireless interface IP, security IP, embedded processors and subsystems.

Vecima launches Entra access switch and Terrace DVB commercial video gateway

Canada-based Vecima Networks, a designer and manufacturer of advanced technology for the broadband market, announced the launch of new products with the Entra Access Switch and the Terrace DVB commercial video gateway at ANGA COM 2017.

Entra access switch

Vecima's new Entra access switch is designed to extend the capacity of networks with insufficient fibre capacity while minimising the use of costly digital optics. Entra can help to reduce capex for short run fibre extensions, deep fibre deployments and DOCSIS 3.1 node aggregations utilising existing short and long range fibre infrastructure.

Entra is an outdoor, centrally managed 8 port x 10 Gigabit Ethernet weatherproof network switch that is designed to support Carrier Ethernet services in most deployment scenarios. Vecima noted that a key feature of the Entra access switch is its versatility through being strand mountable, allowing for placement at the edge of a broadband access network to support business services, mobile network backhaul and DOCSIS 3.1 distributed access architecture (DAA) aggregation.

Terrace video gateway

Vecima also announced the launch of its Terrace DVB commercial video gateway, extending the Terrace QAM platform. The Terrace DVB features commercial-grade HD programming for business-to-business commercial video applications in hospitality, MDU and other commercial environments, and is designed to enable DVB cable operators to cost effectively serve commercial accounts via the provision of bulk digital services.

By offering support for SD and HD programming in the same chassis, the new Terrace DVB is designed to provide the flexibility to adapt to emerging technologies as well as supporting legacy formats. The Terrace DVB allows cable operators to implement analogue reclamation while enhancing their commercial video businesses and freeing up network capacity to enable delivery of additional services.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Frontier to deploy Nokia's in Conn.

Frontier Communications will deploy Nokia's technology to increase in-building broadband speeds for customers living in apartment and multi-dwelling units (MDU) across Connecticut. The project is described as a state-wide network expansion initiative. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia said its solution will allow Frontier to use the last few hundred meters of existing copper located in buildings to deliver ultra-broadband access to customers. The solution leverages SDN and is compliant with NetConf and Yang models.

Steve Gable, Frontier EVP and Chief Technology Officer said: "Nokia's field-proven solution will help Frontier quickly bring ultra-broadband access to customers by using the existing copper twisted pair wiring that is often found in apartment buildings. Without it, we'd have to drill holes and pull fiber into each apartment unit we serve, a time consuming and challenging process that can be frustrating for customers. Nokia's solution allows us to deliver new enhanced services without ever having to enter the place of residence."

WD Delivers Solid State Drives with 64-Layer 3D NAND Tech

Western Digital introduced its first client solid state drives built with its 64-layer 3D NAND technology.

“Delivering 64-layer 3D NAND-based SSDs into the PC segment marks a critical step in our ongoing conversion to this new technology, as well as offers long-term benefits for our customers,” said Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer, Western Digital. “Between our two, strong brands in SanDisk and WD, and their respective loyal customer bases and distribution channels, these advanced SSDs will appeal to a very broad footprint of the computing population that are seeking the benefits of today’s newest technologies.”

The WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSDs boast an industry-leading 1.75M hours MTTF, as well as the quality backing of WD Functional Integrity Testing Lab (F.I.T. Lab™) certification.  The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are ideal as a drop-in upgrade for existing systems.

The WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSDs will be available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities in both a traditional 2.5-inch/7mm cased drive as well as a single-sided M.2 2280 form factor. SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs will be available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities in a traditional 2.5-inch/7mm cased drive form factor.

Batelco's Bahrain Tests 5G with Ericsson

Batelco, Bahrain’s leading digital solutions provider, is working with Ericsson on a 5G field trial.

The trial was conducted at Batelco’s Headquarters during a their 5G Forum event. The companies reported 5G capabilities in a real world environment over a live network, including tests on speed, latency and beam steering, reaching a record speed of 25 Gbps.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Designing propulsion power for the world’s first Hyperloop

Sandhya Jetti is changing the world as a Senior Electrical Engineering at Hyperloop One where they are creating the world’s first operational Hyperloop, an on-demand, energy-efficient, and safe mode of transportation at unprecedented speed.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Google to Rearchitect its Data Centres as it Shifts to AI First Strategy

AI is driving Google to rethink all its products and services, said Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, at the company's Google IO event in Mountain View, California. Big strides have recently pushed AI to surpass human vision in terms of real world image recognition, while speech recognition is now widely deployed in many smartphone applications to provide a better input interface for users. However, it is one thing for AI to win at chess or a game of Go, but it is a significantly greater task to get AI to work at scale. Everything at Google is big, and here are some recent numbers:

  • Seven services, now with over a billion monthly users: Search, Android, Chrome, YouTube, Maps, Play, Gmail
  • Users on YouTube watch over a billion hours of video per day.
  • Every day, Google Maps helps users navigate 1 billion km.
  • Google Drive now has over 800 million active users; every week 3 billion objects are uploaded to Google Drive.
  • Google Photos has over 500 million active users, with over 1.2 billion photos are uploaded.
  • Android is now running on over 2 billion active devices.

Google is already pushing AI into many of these applications. Examples of this include Google Maps, which is now using machine learning to identify street signs and storefronts. YouTube is applying AI for generating better suggestions on what to watch next. Google Photos is using machine learning to deliver better search results and Android has smarter predictive typing.

Another way that AI is entering the user experience is by using voice as an input for many products. Pichai said the improvement in voice recognition over the past year have been amazing. For instance, its Google Home speaker uses only two onboard microphones to assess the direction and to identify the use in order to better serve customers. The company also claims that its image recognition algorithms have now surpassed humans (although it is not clear what the metrics are). Another one of the big announcements at this year's Google IO event concerned Google Lens, a new in-app capability to layer augmented reality on top of images and videos. The company demo'ed taking a photo of a flower and then asking Google to identify it.

Data centres will have to support the enormous processing challenges of an AI-first world and the network will have to deliver the I/O bandwidth for users to the data centres and for connecting specialised AI servers within and between Google data centres. Pichai said this involves nothing less than rearchitecting the data centre for AI.

Google's AI-first data centres will be packed with Tensor processing units (TPUs) for machine learning. TPUs, which Google launched last year, are custom ASICs that are about 30-50 times faster and more power efficient than general purpose CPUs or GPUs for certain machine learning functions. TPUs are tailored for TensorFlow, an open source software library for machine learning that was developed at Google. TensorFlow was originally developed by the Google Brain team and released under the Apache 2.0 open source license in November 2015. At the time, Google said TensorFlow would be able to run on multiple CPUs and GPUs. Parenthetically, it should also be noted that in November 2016 Intel and Google announced a strategic alliance to help enterprise IT deliver an open, flexible and secure multi-cloud infrastructure for their businesses. One area of focus is the optimisation of the open source TensorFlowOpens in a new window library to benefit from the performance of Intel architecture. The companies said their joint work will provide software developers an optimised machine learning library to drive the next wave of AI innovation across a range of models including convolutional and recurrent neural networks.

A quick note about the technology: Google describes TensorFlow as an open source software library for numerical computation using data flow graphs. Nodes in the graph represent mathematical operations, while the graph edges represent the multidimensional data arrays (tensors) communicated between them.

Here come TPUs on the Google Compute Engine

At its recent I/O event, Google introduced the next generation of Cloud TPUs, which are optimised for both neural network training and inference on large data sets. TPUs are stacked onto boards, and each board has four TPUs, each of which is capable of 180 trillion floating point operations per second. Boards are then stacked into pods, each capable of 11.5 petaflops. This is an important advance for data centre infrastructure design for the AI era, said Pichai, and it is already being used within the Google Compute Engine service. This means that the same racks of TPU hardware can now be purchased online like any of the other Google cloud services.

There is an interesting photo that Sundar Pinchai shared with the audience, taken inside a Google data centre, which shows four racks of equipment packed with TensorFlow TPU pods. Bundles of fibre pair linking between the four racks can be seen. Apparently, there is no top-of-rack switch, but that is not certain. It will be interesting to know whether these new designs will soon fill a meaningful portion of the data centre floor.

Video: IEEE is making big strides in AI, IoT, SmartCities, and much more

IEEE President and CEO, Karen Bartleson, discusses IEEE’s Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems, IoT, smart cities, and robotics and how IEEE is working to advance technologies for the benefit of humanity.

Video recorded at the IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference #WIELead

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Video: The Huge Potential for Disaster Robotics

Dr. Robin Murphy, Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, talks about how disaster robotics can have a huge potential to save lives and how young women and girls can engage in STEM.

Video recorded at the IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference #WIELead

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Video: Highlights of IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference

Nita Patel gives a recap of the engaging speakers, workshops and sessions at the IEEE WIE ILC, which was held May 22-23 in San Jose, California.

The IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference was a success! Nita Patel, Founder and Chair of WIE ILC, gives a recap of the engaging speakers, workshops and sessions at the 2017 conference.

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Nutanix Posts Q1 Revenue of $192 Million Up 67% YOY

Nutanix reported Q1 2017 revenue of $191.8 million, up 67% year-over-year from $114.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2016. Billings reached $234.1 million, growing 47% year-over-year from $159.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2016. There was a net loss (GAAP) of $112.0 million, compared to a GAAP net loss of $46.8 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2016.

“We continue to execute on our strategy of building a cloud operating system that provides our customers maximum choice of hardware platforms. We recently established a partnership with IBM to bring to market the industry’s first hyperconverged solution on Power Systems, and introduced support for HPE ProLiant and Cisco UCS blade servers,” said Dheeraj Pandey, CEO, Nutanix. “Our third quarter results reflect our continue focus on the Global 2000 as well as a measurable improvement in the number of larger deals in the quarter, particularly in North America.”

Some highlights:

  • Nutanix ended the third quarter of fiscal 2017 with 6,172 end-customers, adding approximately 790 new end-customers during the quarter. Third quarter customer wins included Caterpillar Inc., KYOCERA Communication Systems Co., Ltd., MobileIron, SAIC Volkswagen, Société Générale, and Sprint.
  • Added Support for New Hardware Platforms: The company announced plans to expand the supported hardware platforms for its enterprise cloud OS Software to include Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) ProLiant rackmount servers and Cisco UCS B-Series blade servers, allowing customers greater choice of hardware.
  • Partnered with IBM for New HCI Solution: New partnership between Nutanix and IBM® will bring a turnkey hyperconverged solution combining Nutanix’s software and IBM Power Systems targeting high-performance workloads and one-click private clouds for large enterprises.
  • Expanded Economic Consumption Model with Nutanix Go: Nutanix Go offers qualified U.S. customers a new pricing model that enables enterprises to build their cloud, from hardware to software, using operating budgets. This innovative economic model allows customers to break free of long-term capital budget commitments and align with the purchasing experience of the public cloud.
  • Increased Number of $1 Million+ Deals: 34 customers with over $1 million in the quarter as a result of an increased focus on large deals.

T-Mobile Intros Digits to Virtualize Phone Numbers

T-Mobile introduced DIGITS, a technology that breaks down the limitation of one number per phone and one phone per number.

T-Mobile, which plans to introduce the technology to all of its customer phone numbers on May 31. Additional DIGITS line will cost $10 a month with AutoPay.

“Phone numbers are so yesterday—DIGITS are now,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “Starting next week, T-Mobile doesn’t have phone numbers anymore—we have DIGITS. They’re your REAL T-Mobile phone number but with none of the old limits. DIGITS is another industry-shaking Un-carrier innovation aimed at changing wireless for good.”

AT&T to Deliver IoT for Red Bull

AT&T announced that its IoT solution has been selected to connect up to 1 million Red Bull branded beverage coolers around the world. The solution will deliver data on the cooler status, including temperature stats and door activity, via an AT&T Global SIM.

"Our end-to-end solutions support the near real-time monitoring and analyzing of the global beverage market," said Thaddeus Arroyo, Chief Executive Officer, Business Solutions & International, AT&T Inc. "This is another great example of collaboration and innovation to create real value for our customers. It streamlines the processes, creates visibility and improves operations, helping drive significant cost savings and return on investment."

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sonus and GENBAND to merge to create company with $680m annual revenue

Sonus Networks, a provider of solutions that enable secure and intelligent cloud communications, and GENBAND, a supplier of carrier and enterprise network transformation and real-time communications solutions, announced a definitive agreement under which the two companies will combine to create a major next-generation communications networking company.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sonus and GENBAND shareholders will each own approximately 50% of the combined entity. Based on the closing price of Sonus' common stock on May 22nd of $7.79 and estimated net cash at the time of closing, the transaction values the combined company at an enterprise value of approximately $745 million.

On closing, Sonus and GENBAND will combine into a newly formed holding company. Each Sonus shareholder will receive one share of common stock in the combined company for each existing Sonus share held; the new company will issue approximately 50 million shares to GENBAND's equity owners, plus $22.5 million in the form of an unsecured note. The combined company will have an estimated net cash position of $40 to $45 million.

The transaction will combine Sonus' established software-based real-time communication virtualisation, cloud-based SIP and 4G/VoLTE and security solutions with GENBAND's network modernisation, unified communications and mobility and embedded communications solutions. Together, Sonus and GENBAND will be better positioned to enable the transformation to IP and cloud-based networks for service providers and enterprise customers.

The combined company will have a global sales footprint in 27 countries, a customer base that includes may Tier 1 carriers, with 67% of combined 2016 revenue for the two companies generated in the U.S. and Canada, 18% in EMEA, 11% in APAC and 4% in CALA.

The two companies' combined revenue and EBITDA in 2016 would have been approximately $680 million and $50 million, respectively, excluding synergies. The transaction is expected to be significantly accretive to Sonus' earnings per share in 2018. The combined company expects to realise annual cost synergies of $40 to $50 million by the end of 2018.

The CEO of the combined company will be Raymond Dolan, current president and CEO of Sonus; David Walsh, current CEO and chairman of GENBAND, will oversee the Kandy business, GENBAND's cloud communications platform as a service (CPaaS). Daryl Raiford, current CFO of GENBAND, will serve as CFO of the combined company. The board of directors of the combined company will comprise five representatives designated by GENBAND and four representatives designated by Sonus.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, and is expected to close in the second half of 2017, subject to Sonus and GENBAND shareholder approval, listing of the combined company's common stock on Nasdaq and other customary closing conditions.

Calix demos 40G with NG-PON2 channel bonding

Calix announced what it claims is a fibre access technology first leveraging its AXOS software-defined access (SDA) platform with the demonstration of bonding of multiple channels or wavelengths of NG-PON2 technology over fibre.

Employing technology compatible with ITU standards, Calix has demonstrated the ability of the AXOS E9-2 Intelligent Edge System to leverage NG-PON2 channel bonding to deliver bandwidth of up to 40 Gbit/s, or 80 Gbit/s aggregate bandwidth, over a single fibre.

This capability can enable service providers that are deploying channel-bonded Calix AXOS NG-PON2 solutions with greater flexibility to address, over a single fibre with adjustable capacity, the emerging bandwidth requirements of demanding service types including: 5G mobile backhaul; high-end business services; high-density residential services, including in MDU environments; and transport and middle mile requirements.

Calix noted that the multi-wavelength capability offered by NG-PON2 technology allows service providers to accelerate network convergence and significantly increase the available bandwidth capacity. However, the ability to bond NG-PON2 wavelengths takes this capability to a new level and can enable service providers to upgrade their networks more quickly and efficiently.

Developed leveraging the Calix AXOS platform, Calix stated that the NG-PON2 channel bonding functionality emerged from a Verizon request that resulted in a live demonstration within 12 days. The speed of the development utilised the hardware abstracted Calix AXOS platform that is designed to enable rapid development of new capabilities, such as channel bonding. The AXOS platform also provides support for anyPHY and anyPON technologies, such as NG-PON2, as they emerge.

Regarding the demonstration, Vincent O’Byrne, director of access technology at Verizon, said, "… Verizon has championed channel bonding within the standards as an option to support higher capacities… I believe channel bonding holds the potential to more than double the bandwidth to individual subscribers or network locations and anticipate it could be a means of moving from 10 to 20 Gbit/s and beyond without deploying new technologies".