Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ericsson Announces Reorganization and New Executive Team

Ericsson announced a corporate reorganization that involves the elimination of its existing two-tiered leadership structure, Executive Leadership Team and Global Leadership Team, and replacement by a single Executive Team. The current structure of ten geographic regions will be simplified into five regions, and the current structure of five market areas will be reduced to three.

Ericsson's President and CEO, Börje Ekholm, said the company has been spreading itself too thin and needs to focus on its core businesses, and that includes Networks, the radio and radio related services, and Digital Services. Ericsson plans to separate out Managed Services and focus on turning its fortunes around by employing more automation. The company will examine low-performing operations and contracts.

Ericsson is also looking for strategic opportunities for its Media business and for its IT cloud infrastructure hardware business

Börje Ekholm, Ericsson President and CEO, says: "For some time Ericsson has been challenged on both technology and market leadership and the group strategy has not yielded expected returns. In our strategy review we have listened carefully to customers around the world and made an in-depth analysis of our portfolio and performance. To enable us to immediately take action and move with speed in execution we are today outlining our path to restoring profitability and to lead with innovation and best in class solutions in areas we have decided to focus on."

The following Business Area and Market Area structure will apply to the Ericsson Group as of April 1, 2017:

Business Area Networks; Business Area Digital Services; Business Area Managed Services

Market Area North America; Market Area Europe & Latin America; Market Area Middle East & Africa; Market Area North East Asia; Market Area South East Asia, Oceania & India

Effective April 1, 2017, Ericsson's Executive Team members will be:

President and CEO - Börje Ekholm
Business Area Networks - Fredrik Jejdling, Senior Vice President, currently head of Business Unit Network Services
Business Area Managed Services - Peter Laurin, Senior Vice President, currently head of Region Northern Europe and Central Asia
Business Area Digital Services - Ulf Ewaldsson, Senior Vice President, currently head of Group Function Strategy & Technology
Market Area North America - Rima Qureshi, Senior Vice President, currently head of Region North America
Market Area Europe & Latin America - Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President, currently head of Business Unit Network Products
Market Area Middle East & Africa - Rafiah Ibrahim, Senior Vice President, currently head of Region Middle East
Market Area North East Asia - Chris Houghton, Senior Vice President, currently head of Region North East Asia
South East Asia, Oceania & India - Nunzio Mirtillo, Senior Vice President, currently head of Region Mediterranean
Technology & Emerging Business - Niklas Heuveldop, Senior Vice President, currently head of Group Function Sales
Finance & Common Functions - Carl Mellander, Senior Vice President, currently acting Head of Group Function Finance & Common Functions
Human Resources - MajBritt Arfert, Senior Vice President, currently acting Head of Group Function Human Resources
Marketing & Communications - Helena Norrman, Senior Vice President, currently in same role
Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility - Elaine Weidman Grunewald, Senior Vice President, currently in same role
Legal Affairs - Nina Macpherson, Senior Vice President, currently in same role
Advisor to the CEO - Jan Frykhammar, Executive Vice President currently in same role
Advisor to the CEO - Magnus Mandersson, Executive Vice President, currently in same role

Rigetti Computing Targets Quantum Computing in the Cloud

Rigetti Computing, a start-up based in Berkeley, California, announced $64 million in Series A and B funding for its efforts in quantum computing.

Rigetti, which was founded by Chad Rigetti in 2013, is building a cloud quantum computing platform for artificial intelligence and computational chemistry. It recently opened up private beta testing of its API for quantum computing in the cloud.

The Series A round of $24 million was led by Andreessen Horowitz. The Series B round of $40 million was led by Vy Capital, followed by Andreessen Horowitz. Major investors in both rounds include Y Combinator's Continuity Fund, Data Collective, FF Science, AME Cloud Ventures, Morado Ventures, and WTI.

"Quantum computing will enable people to tackle a whole new set of problems that were previously unsolvable," said Chad Rigetti, founder and chief executive officer of Rigetti Computing. "This is the next generation of advanced computing technology. The potential to make a positive impact on humanity is enormous."


Samsung and eSilicon tape-out 14 nm network processor

Samsung Electronics announced a successful network processor tape-out based on its 14LPP (low-power plus) process technology that was implemented in collaboration with eSilicon and Rambus.

The network processor tape-out was based on Samsung's advanced foundry process and design infra for network applications, eSilicon's complex ASIC and 2.5D design capability with its IP solutions and a high-speed 28 Gbit/s SerDes solution from Rambus.

Samsung noted that its 14LPP process technology, based on 3D FinFET structure, has been proven for performance and manufacturability through mass production The next generation process for network application is 10LPP process, based on 10LPE (low-power early), for which production commenced last year, with mass production scheduled to begin by the end of 2017.

Samsung has also named its newly developed 2.5D turnkey solution, which serves to connect a logic chip and HBM2 memory via an interposer, as I-Cube (Interposer-Cube). The 14LPP network process chip is the first product to feature its I-Cube solution and HBM2 memory and is designed to support key network applications for high-speed signalling, and potentially further applications such as computing, server and AI in the future.

Commenting on the achievement, Patrick Soheili, VP of product management and corporate development at eSilicon, said, "eSilicon brings its FinFET ASIC and interposer design skills, along with 2.5D integration skills to the project… its HBM Gen2 PHY, custom flip-chip package design and custom memory designs also helped to optimise the power, performance and area for the project".

While Rambus' Luc Seraphin, SVP and GM, memory and interfaces division, noted, "Networking OEMs are looking for quality… IP suppliers that can bring 28 Gbit/s backplane SerDes in advanced FinFET process nodes to market… the success with Samsung and eSilicon is a testament that these leading solutions are attainable…".


Packet Design and NEC/Netcracker Form Alliance

Packet Design, a provider of route analytics designed to enhance network availability and performance, and NEC/Netcracker announced they have partnered to help service providers implement software-defined networking (SDN) applications to improve service quality and reduce costs.

Citing the growing number of SDN use cases, ranging from rapid services activation to automated path restoration, Packet Design stated that its real-time analytics technology, combined with NEC/Netcracker's Transport SDN solution that includes transport SDN controller and service orchestration solutions, can help to enable these processes in operators' commercial networks.

Packet Design's real-time analytics provide a foundation for emerging WAN-SDN (also termed carrier or service provider SDN) applications by correlating control plane, traffic and performance analytics data. This information helps operators to understand how routing events and failures affect the path and performance of services.

The real-time and historical intelligence provided by the company's solution also allows predictive analytics to accurately assess application requests for network resources and the best means of provisioning them.

Combined with NEC/Netcracker's Transport SDN solution, this analytics data can enable intelligent automation and help operators to manage both planned and unexpected changes, as well as ensure network service delivery. Additionally, Packet Design's RESTful APIs support programmatic access to microservices for the creation of custom SDN applications.

Under the new agreement, Packet Design is joining NEC/Netcracker's Ecosystem 2.0 program. Packet Design and NEC/Netcracker are currently certifying the interoperability of their products and preparing joint go-to-market programs and will jointly market and sell the combined SDN solutions.

Previously, in November 2016 Packet Design announced it had joined Ciena's Blue Orbit program, designed to facilitate multi-vendor SDN and NFV deployments, to support the delivery of multi-layer SDN management and orchestration capabilities. Through the partnership the two companies planned to integrate Packet Design's IP/MPLS analytics and WAN-SDN management and orchestration (MANO) platform with the Ciena Blue Planet software for multi-domain orchestration and provisioning.


6WIND Introduces Security Gateway for 4G/5G

6WIND, a high-performance networking software company, announced its next generation security gateway solution based on its Turbo IPsec software and designed for 4G and 5G mobile infrastructure applications.

6WIND's new solution leverages the company's Turbo IPsec software, which is widely deployed in mobile and fixed telecom infrastructure for 4G/LTE to cost-effectively enable IPsec VPNs on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) servers. 6WIND Turbo IPsec can be deployed as a bare metal solution or in a virtual machine, providing the same functionality and performance, and is designed to facilitate the transition to virtualisation and NFV.

6WIND noted that as 4G/5G data and voice converge to common IP-based networks, new security and performance challenges arise and mobile infrastructure, specifically mobile backhaul, must be able to cost-effectively meet both the performance requirements and protect against threats associated with untrusted IP networks. In addition, operators are transitioning to virtualisation to reduce costs and enhance service flexibility.

6WIND's next generation security gateway (SeGW) solution is designed to address these challenges via features including:

1.Enabling linear scalability of performance, regardless of deployment configuration - bare metal or virtualised.

2. Support for 12 Gbit/s of encrypted IPsec traffic per core, or more than 100 Gbit/s on a single Intel processor.

3.Capacity for up to 100,000 IKE tunnels, with the ability to establish up to 1,000 tunnels per second.

4. Provides a virtualised SeGW appliance offering support for Linux KVM, VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors.

5. High availability via link failure detection and failover mechanisms, combined with IPsec session synchronisation, enabling local and geo-redundancy without service interruption.

6. Allows OSS and management and orchestration (MANO) integration for network management and monitoring.


MaxLinear partners with ZTE on Ethernet over Coax

MaxLinear, a supplier of RF and mixed-signal integrated circuits for the connected home and wired and wireless infrastructure markets, announced it is partnering with ZTE Cable to develop Ethernet-over-Coax (EoC) equipment for Chinese MSOs and that its customer Guangda has been awarded contracts by multiple cable MSOs in China for broadband CPE.

ZTE Cable

MaxLinear noted that China's MSOs are currently transforming from pay TV providers to MSOs offering data and voice services, and that with over 200 million subscribers the Chinese cable TV market is the largest addressable market for c.LINK and MoCA Access equipment. ZTE Cable is now entering the EoC market utilising MaxLinear-based technology and products.

MaxLinear is an established supplier to MSOs offering broadband data services in China and is currently shipping its third generation EoC technology, c.LINK 1.1+, which can deliver up to 800 Mbit/s of usable MAC throughput to up to 128 subscribers.

Based on the EN3681 network coordinator (NC) chip and EN3690 CPE chip, MaxLinear's c.LINK 1.1+ solution is designed to enable MSOs to cost-effectively overlay support for broadband data service without affecting existing TV services or the need to install new cabling.

MoCA Access is a new MoCA initiative designed to extend the performance and reliability of its home networking products to applications targeting FTTB deployments. As with c.LINK, MoCA Access will use an MDU's existing coax cabling to deliver broadband to each residential unit from an optical terminal. MoCA Access is designed to deliver aggregate MAC throughput of up to 2.5 Gbit/s for up to 128 subscribers.

Guangda MSO contracts

MaxLinear also announced that its customer in China Guangda has won contracts with cable MSOs to supply broadband CPE based on its EN3681 and EN3690 c.LINK 1.1+ EoC access technology.

Already supplying MaxLinear's c.LINK 1.0 and 1.1 EoC systems to MSOs in China, Guangda will now begin deploying the third-generation c.LINK 1.1+ EoC system to MSOs serving Chengdu, Ningxia, ZheJiang Rui’An, YueQing and CangNan to meet growing demand for higher broadband speeds.

MaxLinear noted that a c.LINK 1.1+ based network can support 4 x 50 MHz channels, each controlled by its EN3681 network coordinator (NC) SoC, providing up to 800 Mbit/s of usable throughput to 128 CPE modems. The Ethernet modem comprises a single EN3690 CPE SoC plus Ethernet PHY, or the EN3690 can be embedded into a wireless modem to provide in-home WiFi connectivity.

Tektronix enhances DSA8300 oscilloscope

Tektronix, s global provider of measurement solutions, has introduced new optical modules for its DSA8300 sampling oscilloscope that provide high mask test sensitivity and low noise, together with new features designed to increase production capacity and improve yield for current 100 Gbit/s designs that are entering production.

Tektronix also unveiled enhancements for its 400 Gbit/s test solution, including IEEE Ethernet standard-driven Transmitter and Dispersion Eye Closure (TDECQ) PAM4 and related support measurements for optical testing.

The Tektronix DSA8300 sampling oscilloscopes equipped with the new 80C17 and 80C18 optical modules provide mask test sensitivity of -14 dBm, exceeding requirements for the 28 Gbaud PAM4 standards, while also delivering noise performance at 3.9 µW with wide wavelength support. The company noted that the two-channel 80C18 allows optical manufacturing test engineers to double throughput and capacity.

In addition, in the event of device failure, Tektronix offers analysis tools to decompose the signal content for both noise and jitter to help engineers address the issue.

The DSA8300 sampling oscilloscope features an 80 GHz optical sampling module enabling support for IEEE 802.3bs-based 400 Gbit/s optical testing for TDECQ, including high-sensitivity single-mode/multi-mode optical measurements for NRZ and PAM4 up to 28 Gbaud.

The new 80C17 and 80C18 optical modules and 400 Gbit/s test software enhancements are scheduled to be available from late April 2017.

As well as the new solutions and capabilities, Tektronix demonstrated existing products at the OFC including:

1 The DPO70000SX 70 GHz ATI performance oscilloscope, shown analysing single shot PAM4 signals with live triggering and post-equalised error detection for 400 Gbit/s standards.

2. An end-to-end demonstration of optical modulation analysis software supporting multi-OMA systems, featuring the AWG70000 Series arbitrary waveform generator and DPO70000SX oscilloscope for applications such as spatial division multiplexing.

Kaloom Raises $10.7 Million for Data Center Networking

Kaloom, a Montréal, Canada and Silicon Valley based software start up that is developing a next generation networking solution for the data centre, which:

a. Was founded by technology veterans with experience in delivering large scale networking solutions via roles at companies including Ericsson, Redback Networks, 3Com, Nortel and Apple.

b. Is developing a solution designed to address the networking transformation and to enable customers to leverage new opportunities in networking using a high performance, low cost platform.

c. Announced that it has closed a $10.7 million committed Series A equity funding round led by the Quebec-based Fonds de solidarité FTQ, with the participation of Somel Investments, MBUZZ Investments, Griffin Fund II and other current investors and the company's officers. The transaction closed in December, 2016.

Kaloom is developing the Kaloom Flow Fabric, a software networking solution designed to transform the data centre. In particular, the Kaloom Flow Fabric will allow virtual network functions (VNFs) to run at scale utilising commodity hardware, merchant silicon and the existing data centre architecture. The software is intended to deliver benefits including a significant reduction in cost together with increased data centre performance, specifically lower latency and greater scalability.

The Kaloom Flow Fabric is designed to align with technology trends including open networking and the use of container based virtualisation, and is being built with a focus on providing carrier grade performance through enabling a lossless environment able to support reliable connectivity and high availability.

The company noted that the majority of its R&D operations are in Montréal, close to a number of technical universities and providing access to technical expertise and university data centre facilities, labs and other relevant R&D projects. Kaloom stated that it is presently expanding its team in Montréal and Silicon Valley and plans to release further product information and to hold demonstrations during 2017.


Update on the telecommunications market in Poland, the EU's sixth largest economy - Part 1

Preamble – Poland, a major beneficiary of EU membership, is booming

With a nominal GDP of $467.350 billion in 2016 and a population of around 38 million, Poland is the EUs sixth largest and the world's 25th largest economy. According to the latest IMF forecast Poland's GDP, after an increase of 3.1% in 2016, will grow 3.4% in 2017 more than twice the EU's predicated growth of 1.4% and almost exactly the same as the global growth rate for those two years. By comparison with the rest of Europe Poland, whose GDP per capita is only about 70% of the EU average, is booming, assisted both by net transfers from the EU budget of about Euro 12 billion per annum and also by substantial remittances worth, according to the World Bank, $7.2 billion in 2015 from an excess labour force working  in richer European countries, including notably 2 million citizens of Polish descent living in Germany (many historical remnants of boundary shifts) and about 800,000 working in the UK. The country has a liberalised and diversified economy including a strong net-exporting agricultural sector of about two million farms, which also supports a strong food-manufacturing sector. Poland currently has a female Prime Minister, 53 year old Beata Maria Szydło, vice-chairman of Poland's Law and Justice Party, and is the leading member of the Visegrad Group of central European countries, working on common interests and that also includes Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Although Poland joined the EU in 2004 and is nominally committed to joining the Euro currency group, it has not done so yet and has no specific target date for that accession. Of the four Visegrad countries only Slovakia uses the Euro.

Overview of Poland's telecoms market structure

Poland's main regulator of the communications and postal sector is UKE (Urząd Komunikacji Elektronicznej, or Office of Electronic Communications), and this agency publishes an annual review of the industry which is typically available at the end of June the following year, hence the 2016 numbers will not be published until June/July 2017. However, the Polish market is relatively mature and the following data for the year 2015 published June 2016 allow reasonable estimates for 2016 and 2017, providing major regulatory decisions and other important changes in the marketplace are factored in.

Broadbrush overview of size and structure of communications sector in 2015

Total Polish telecoms market value in 2015 of $10.5bn

The total size of the sector was estimated by UKE at PLN 39.5 billion ($10.477 billion) in 2015, or about 2.24% of GDP, which is rather low compared to OND's typical estimated range of 2.5%-3.5% for most countries (many factors can affect this ratio, including the state of the technology cycle in mobile communications and a fast secular decline in costs for equivalent communications services due to technical maturity and strong level of competition compared typically to an increase in costs in the general economy). The UKE report noted that this was the first growth in revenue in the whole sector in the last couple of years. The Polish communications sector can be described as strongly regulated, quite liberalised and competitive, but extremely fragmented compared to most European countries. In part this may be due to the fact that the regulator has often intervened to oppose consolidation.

14 million Internet users in 2015

Internet penetration percentage per person over the last six half years 2013 to 2015 was as follows: 27.3%, 29.4%, 30.2%, 31.6%, 34.4% and 35.7%, with penetration per household of: 77.7%, 83.6%, 86.1%, 90.0%, 98.0% and 101.6%. In 2015, there were in total 14 million Internet users in Poland - 7.1 million fixed-line and 6.67 million mobile. For mobile access significant growth of 0.9 million in the number of users was observed compared to 2014.

The largest market share, amounting to 30% in terms of the number of users in 2015, was reported by Orange. This is due to the fact that the company provides its services both in the fixed-line and mobile networks. Polkomtel was second with a 9.2% share.

Mobile services penetration in terms of subscribers down in 2015

The penetration of mobile services in 2015 shrank by 3 percentage points compared to 2014 and amounted to 147.2%. The operators had 56.6 million active SIM cards in their databases and the decline was caused by adjusting subscriber databases to the reality by the telecommunications undertakings. In 2015, the revenue from mobile telephony accounted for 43.7% of the total market value and totalled approximately PLN 17.2 billion.

Mobile operators in order of importance include: PTK Centertel/Orange, Polkomtel/Plus GSM, T-Mobile Poland, CenterNet, Mobyland, plus a number of MVNOs, including P4/Play and Mobile Vikings.

According to UKE, the market leader in 2015 in the Polish mobile market was Orange Polska with a market share of 27.7%, followed by P4 with 25.8%, then Polkomtel with 22.6% and T-Mobile Polska with 20.8%, leaving about 3.1% for other operators.

Fixed line market value declining for 5 years

The value of fixed line telephony in Poland declined steadily from PLN 5.2 billion in 2011 to PLN 3.3 billion, i.e. down 12.8% in 2012, down 13.5% in 2013, down 4.8% in 2014 and down 12.7% to PLN 3.3 billion in 2015. The 2015 value was just 8.35% of the total telecommunications market value, with 5.7 million fixed line connections, split by type of access as follows: POTS - 57%; ISDN - 13.0%; WLR - 14.0%; CATV - 14.1%; and xDSL - 1.9%.

Fixed operators include Orange Polska, Netia, Telefonia Dialog, Telekomunikacja Kolejowa (TK Telekom), T-Mobile Poland and Exatel.

Other markets

Cable TV operators include, in order of importance, UPC Poland, Vectra, Multimedia Polska, Toya and Inea, which serve around 75% of the country's 4.6 million CATV subscribers, with another 400 operators serving the remaining 20%. According to the Polish Chamber for Electronic Communication (PIKE, or Polska Izba Komunikacji Elektronicznej), a trade association that represents about 110 companies including broadband electronic communications operators and the associated manufacturers and distributors of equipment and services, its members serve about 75% of the Polish cable TV market, which makes up about 37% of a total digital TV market of over 12.145 million.

Poland has one of the lowest levels of FTTH penetrations in Europe, with only 140,000 users in 2014 and 170,000 in 2015. This is also, according to UKE, a very fragmented market with the top three service providers in 2015 - Inea, Telefon Dialog and Orange Polska - collectively serving less than 25% of the user base.

Synopsys Upgrades RSoft Photonic Component Suite

Synopsys, a global developer of software, IP and services for the development of chips and electronic systems, announced the latest release of its RSoft Photonic Component Design Suite software for the design of photonic devices and components used in optical communications, optoelectronics and semiconductor manufacturing.

The latest version 2017.03 of the RSoft design suite is intended to speed optoelectronic device analysis via an updated interface to Synopsys' Sentaurus TCAD products and new general monitor objects within the RSoft BeamPROP tool that help speed simulations of waveguide photodetectors by up to a claimed 100x compared to finite-difference-time-domain (FDTD) methods.

The release also expands the RSoft tools' capabilities for modelling nanoscale optical structures with an improved bi-directional scattering distribution function (BSDF) calculation for mixed-level LED/OLED simulations.

Further enhancement include new discrete multi-tone (DMT) modulation format functions in the OptSim tool for modelling and simulating DMT-based data links, including access networks and 100/400 Gigabit Ethernet-based data centre links, and a ModeSYS tool update for the design and analysis of large-core multimode fibre systems.

The enhanced Sentaurus TCAD interface is designed to enable integration of the RSoft optical tools in Sentaurus Workbench for in-depth, multidisciplinary simulations of optoelectronic devices. Additional improvements include support for systems with dispersive materials and dynamic updates of materials and the common simulation area.

Native bi-directional data interchange between RSoft tools and Sentaurus Workbench has been expanded to include the BeamPROP tool for waveguide detector simulation to speed designs. Specifically, new general monitor objects of BeamPROP perform efficient optical power absorption calculations to speed photodetector simulations by up to 100x versus FDTD-based methods, enabling faster device characterisation and optimisation.

The new release also enhances Synopsys' LightTools and the RSoft mixed-level co-simulation method, which combines ray- and wave-based techniques to enable efficient incorporation of polarised diffraction effects in LightTools' ray-tracing simulator. The co-simulation method employs the RSoft BSDF capability, which now performs improved scattering calculations of polarisation-dependent effects in nanoscale optical structures for the design of LEDs and OLEDs.