Monday, April 3, 2017

The ONOS Project Makes its Next Advance

The ONOS Project, which is developing an open source software-defined networking (SDN) OS for service providers, announced that its latest release is now in operation in several new lab & field trials.

"ONOS delivers important performance and scalability advancements that are needed for service providers and enterprises to advance SDN, said Bill Snow, chief development officer, ON.Lab. “New demos and POCs at ONS this week will bring to life how ONOS enables next-generation disaggregated IP/Optical transport network solutions, and how the dynamic configuration capabilities make it easy to add innovative new services, like L3VPN.”

Major enhancements for ONOS include:

  • Whitebox Leaf-Spine Fabric – the flexible datacenter fabric solution offered by ONOS has been enhanced to support IPv6 routing, vLAN tagged external interfaces and AAA endpoint authentication.
  • GUI v2.0 – an enhanced Web user interface is now included, improving usability on large-scale networks by providing regional topology views with drill-down, context sensitive help, and global search

  • SDN-IP enhancements: VLAN support, VPLS support. IGMPv2
  • Southbound Enhancements: Lumentum WaveReady support (TL1), Pipeline support for Nokia OLT, RESTCONF
  • vRouter: IPv6 support
  • Framework: New distributed system support – consistent document tree, LISP, CI/CT improvements (build speed enhancements), High Availability (HA) enhancements
  • Northbound Intent Interface Enhancements:  IETF ACTN – enabling management of multiple TEs as one, Optional Guaranteed Bandwidth Allocation, Protection Intent Support, Shared resource modeling, Hashing support for ECMP traffic distribution, RESTCONF
  • Traffic Engineering: Policers and bandwidth monitoring
  • User Interface: Scalability improvements and regionalization support

Huawei Reports FY'16 Revenue of CNY 521.57bn, up 32.0%

Huawei announced financial results for the full year 2016 ended December 31, 2015, as follows:

1. Revenue for 2016 of CNY 521.57 billion (approximately $75.1 billion), up 32.0% compared with CNY 395.01 billion in 2015.

2. Gross profit of CNY 210.13 billion, up 27.6% versus CNY 164.70 billion in 2015.

3. R&D expenditure of CNY 76.39 billion, up 28.1% versus CNY 59.61 billion in 2015.

4. SG&A expenditure of CNY 86.44 billion, up 38.8% versus CNY 62.28 billion in 2015.

5. Total operating expenditure of CNY 162.83 billion, up 33.6% versus CNY 121.89 billion in 2015.

6. Net profit of CNY 37.07 billion ($5.34 billion), compared with CNY 36.91 billion in 2015.

7. Cash and cash equivalents of CNY 123.05 billion ($17.72 billion) as of December 31, 2016, compared with CNY 110.56 billion at the end of 2015.

Additional results and notes

Reporting by business group for 2016, Huawei's Carrier unit reported sales of CNY 290.6 billion, up 25.1% year on year, the Consumer unit reported sales of CNY 179.8 billion, up 39.2% year on year, and the Enterprise unit reported sales of CNY40.7 billion, up 47.5% versus 2015.

On a geographic basis, the company reported sales as follows: China - CNY 235.5 billion, up 29.1% year on year; EMEA - CNY 156.5 billion, up 22.5% year on year; Asia Pacific - CNY 67.5 billion, up 36.6% year on year; Americas - CNY 44.1 billion, up 13.4% year on year.

Huawei reported cash flow from operating activities in 2016 of CNY 49.22 billion ($7.09 billion), compared with CNY 52.3 billion in 2015.

Intel Security Relaunches as McAfee

Intel Security officially relaunched under its old name - McAfee - as a new standalone company.

McAfee is driven by more than 7,500 cybersecurity professionals.  The company's intellectual property includes some 1,200 security technology patents.

“Cybersecurity is the greatest challenge of the connected age, weighing heavily on the minds of parents, executives and world leaders alike,” said Christopher Young, CEO of McAfee. “As a standalone company with a clear purpose, McAfee gains the agility to unite people, technology and organizations against our common adversaries and ensure our technology-driven future is safe.”

“We offer Chris Young and the McAfee team our full support as they establish themselves as one of the largest pure-play cybersecurity companies in the industry,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. “Security remains important to Intel, and in addition to our equity position and ongoing collaboration with McAfee, Intel will continue to integrate industry-leading security and privacy capabilities in our products from the cloud to billions of smart, connected computing devices.”

Ericsson and Cisco to deploy ASR9010 IP routers for Nextel in Brazil

Ericsson and Cisco, which in late 2015 established a global business and technology alliance, announced they have been selected to deliver and install IP routers for Nextel Brazil, owned by NII Holdings, to support traffic growth and improve network performance, marking their first joint project in the country.

Under the agreement in Brazil, the two companies will work together to supply and install IP routers for Nextel Brazil, which serves around 3 million subscribers, with the combined solution including hardware from Cisco and services and support from Ericsson. The deal specifically includes the deployment of Cisco ASR9010 routers, plus project management and customer support.

Recently, Cisco and Ericsson announced that Korek Telecom, a major mobile operator in Iraq serving around 7 million customers, had selected the companies to transform its IP core network to expand coverage and enhance services. Under the agreement, Ericsson, Korek Telecom's longstanding network equipment provider, and Cisco will deploy new IP core network sites and optimise existing sites using the Cisco ASR 9000 router platform as part of the Ericsson Evolved IP network.

In January, Ericsson and Cisco announced they had been selected to transform and virtualise Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)'s networks to help VHA prepare for new emerging services and to evolve its core network to increase agility and programmability via the use of network slicing. The companies noted the project represented their first major collaboration for Telecom Cloud infrastructure.

The Ericsson-Cisco partnership is designed to enable delivery of solutions incorporating advanced routing, data centre, networking, cloud, mobility, management and control, as well as global services capabilities. To date, the companies state they have signed more than 300 active customer engagements, including over 100 deals covering IP routing and transport and services with customers such as 3 Italy, Vodafone Portugal, Aster Dominican Republic, Cable & Wireless and Telefonica Guatemala.

Update on the telecommunications market in Poland - Part 5

Profile of T-Mobile Polska, the 4th largest mobile operator

T-Mobile Polska is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telecom of Germany and the fourth largest mobile operator in Poland, serving over 10.6 million mobile customers. The company claims to provide a full range of telecommunications services to both private and business customers. In 2015 TMP acquired the fixed network and services of GTS Poland, thus enabling it to offer a full range of ICT services. T-Mobile customers also have access to a full range of financial services as part of its parent's banking services. Mobile Polska covers nearly 100% of Poland’s population with its 3G and 4G networks and currently employs around 4,400 people. For the calendar year 2016 it reported revenue of Euro 1,488 million and net profit of Euro 201 million, down from Euro 1,544 million and Euro 350 million, respectively, in 2015.

More specifically, in Q4 2016 T-Mobile Poland reported 10.634 million mobile customers, down 11.8% compared to 12.057 million at the end of 2015. This decline included the loss of 587,000 customers in Q4 2016 due mainly to the disconnection of unregistered prepaid users. Despite Q4 2016 revenue up 4.8% to PLN 1.723 billion; EBITDA margin fell by 1.8 points to 34.7%.

In mid-November 2016, T-Mobile Poland announced a limited commercial launch with the support of Samsung of VoLTE and VoWiFi but said that by the end of March 2017, it hoped to make the service available on a broader range of up to 500,000 terminal devices.  As previously reported, in early December 2016 T-Mobile Poland and Orange Poland extended their original cooperative agreement for radio access network sharing, originally signed in 2011, to include base station sharing for LTE services using the frequency blocks that they each separately obtained at auction in the 800 and 2600 MHz bands.

In early January 2017 Orange Poland announced that its LTE network, consisting of over 8,500 base stations using 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz band spectrum and at over 140 basestations 300 Mbit/s services using tri-carrier aggregation, had reached coverage of 99% of the population. In late January T-Mobile Poland announced changes in its business segment aimed at increasing the focus on customer care and its quality including strengthened management and making the Department of Business Customer Care the direct responsibility of a board member. In early February, the European Investment Bank published a request by T-Mobile Poland for Euro 250 million of co-financing investments in a mobile broadband infrastructure project in Poland expected to cost Euro 550 million.

Profile of UPC Poland the leading Polish cable operator

According to the $20 billion sales-level, 45,000 employee, 50 million homes-passed Liberty Global international TV and broadband group (with operations in over 12 European countries and the Caribbean and South America), UPC Poland is the largest of its operations in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of revenue, and the largest cable TV operator in Poland. UPC Poland, which as of the end of September 2016 projected revenue of $393.8 million for all of 2016, at that time passed 3.1 million Polish homes and provided video, broadband Internet and digital (VoIP) telephony services, including 2.9 million service subscriptions (RGUs) to 1.4 million customers split as follows: 1.2 million video RGUs; 1.1 million broadband RGUs; and 632,000 fixed telephony RGUs. According to the company, its network is 98% upgraded to two-way capacity, with almost all of its homes passed served by a network with a bandwidth of at least 860 MHz.

In late October 2016, UPC Poland agreed to acquire, for $760 million in cash, the cable operations of Multimedia Polska, the third-largest cable operator in Poland. However, that proposed merger is still the subject of a regulatory inquiry by Polish anti-monopoly authority UOKiK, whose analysis has so far shown that in many municipalities, the joint share of UPC and Multimedia Polska exceeds 40% for the pay TV and Internet market, a threshold which the competition law defines as a dominant and anticompetitive position.

According to Multimedia Polska's Q4 2016 financial report published in mid-March, its revenue were down 1.1% YoY to PLN 176.346 million compared to PLN 178.285 million in Q4 2015. Of the total, revenue from video services amounted to PLN 90.454 million, revenue from the Internet amounted to PLN 55.399 million, revenue from telephony amounted to PLN 22.073 million, and other revenue amounted to PLN 8.419 million. The total RGUs as of December 31, 2016 were 1.692 million, up 2% compared to the end of 2015. During Q4, the company increased video subscriptions by 20,300 to 868,000, and broadband customers rose by 7,100 to 537,400, while in telephony there were a total 266,600 customers.

The group had 783,200 customers at year-end, down from 790,000 at the end of Q3 2016.

Summary and commentary - economy strong, political stability in danger

Poland's economic situation for the moment looks extremely healthy, though much of it currently comes from external inputs such as foreign remittances and EU subsidies, which may not be sustainable beyond a medium-term horizon. However, Poland's political climate is blustery to say the least For the first time for many years Poland's rightwing Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc (PiS or Law and Justice Party), led by Jarosław Kaczyński, has an overall majority in Poland's Lower House, the Sejm, and is taking a strongly authoritarian approach to government, which has included the passing of a bill which seriously undermines the powers of Poland's Constitutional Court*. Together with attacks on the media, including the firing of about 60 politically suspect journalists from state television, the preparation of a bill which would limit the access of the media to the proceedings of the Sejm, and a remarkable episode in mid-December  in which opposition protests against the proposed restrictive media bill erupted into semi-violence in the Sejm, and as a result the government moved a planned session for the vote on the state budget for 2017 to another hall, with both journalists and opposition delegates banned from the session.

The EU has publicly raised questions about these anti-libertarian moves by the PiS. More recently, the Polish government has reacted with outrage to, and described as a deliberate humiliation of Poland by the EU, the re-election on March 9th as President of the European Council of Donald Tusk, a Polish politician still regarded as the de facto leader of Poland's main Opposition Party. Tusk led neo-liberal opposition party Civic Platform (PO, Platforma Obywatelska) from 2003 to 2014 and was the Polish prime minister from 2007 to 2014, and is detested by the PiS. Poland, as stated earlier, leads the four-nation Visegrad Group and has historically tended to ally itself with the UK and also look towards the U.S. politically rather than Germany. With Britain leaving the EU and Donald Trump looking to reduce the U.S.'s expensive overseas entanglements, and with a truculent and resentful Russia on its flank, Poland is beginning to feel dangerously isolated.

*   The changes introduced by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) require a two-thirds majority of the 15 judges to support a ruling for it to be valid, and also stipulate a quorum of 13 judges for rulings to be valid.

Mexico's ALTAN Redes Picks Nokia for national LTE wholesale Net

Nokia announced that it has been selected by the ALTÁN Redes consortium to design, build and operate a new national LTE and 5G-ready wholesale network in Mexico in what represents its largest contract to date in Latin America.

Called Red Compartida, the shared network project in Mexico is an innovative program designed to provide wireless broadband coverage nationwide to 92% of the population, and thereby reduce the digital divide and strengthen the country's digital services capabilities. The greenfield deployment will utilise the 700 MHz frequency band.

The contract with Nokia includes provision of the core of the network, including 100% of the fully virtualised core network and 40% of RAN, IP backhaul, OSS and NOC solutions. The Nokia equipment is to be deployed in five regions of Mexico, out of a total of nine, including Guadalajara and Monterrey, the second and third largest cities.

The project also encompasses a range of services that mean Nokia will deliver a turnkey project, including site acquisition, construction, deployment, network integration, network planning and optimisation, master system integration (core network), operation and maintenance and managed services.

Nokia will specifically supply solutions including a virtualised core network, VoLTE and EPC based on Air Frame, 4.5G Pro radio access based on AirScale, IP and optical backhaul systems, DWDM 100 Gbit/s and IP routing platforms for aggregation, and microwave transmission platforms.

The Red Compartida project is a public-private international partnership led by the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT) and the Office for the Promotion of Investments in Telecommunications (PROMTEL), in coordination with the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT). The project is expected to involve a total investment of over $7 billion over nine years, financed by international and local investors.

ALTÁN Redes is a new wholesale carrier supported by international investors and Mexican shareholders that won the tender process to build and operate the shared network which will support the delivery of mobile and Internet services for existing mobile operators and existing and new MVNOs.

Dobson selects ADVA fibre assurance solution for Oklahoma network

ADVA Optical Networking announced that Dobson Technologies, an Oklahoma-based telecom services, transport network and IT provider, has selected the ADVA ALM fibre assurance solution, launched last October, for its state-wide optical network.

ADVA's link monitoring technology is designed to deliver precise, real-time insight into key portions of Dobson Technologies' fibre plant, which spans over 3,000 miles across Oklahoma and the Texas pan-handle. The ALM solution provides continuous performance data and will help Dobson to improve service availability for its enterprise customers.

Leveraging the ALM solution's optical demarcation points, which are designed to provide full network visibility, Dobson Technologies will be able to rapidly respond to faults on the network and deliver enhanced service assurance for customers.

The ADVA ALM technology serves to non-intrusively monitor Dobson Technologies' network, which supports 100 Gbit/s services utilising the ADVA FSP 3000 platform. Designed to operate with low power consumption, ALM works independently and creates no interference as it proactively monitors the network. This allows both transparency and avoids any impact on applications provisioned over the fibre infrastructure.

ADVA noted that the solution enables fibre links to be monitored in-service without the need to install active equipment at endpoints. In the case that a failure is detected by ALM, maintenance teams can be immediately alerted to investigate and discover whether the problem is fibre-related or due to equipment failure on the client side, helping to reduce costs for the service provider.

ADVA unveiled its ALM link monitoring solution in October 2016. Designed to change the way operators monitor fibre networks, the plug-and-play device ALM solution was claimed at the time to be the most compact and cost-efficient fibre assurance product available. ALM enables operators to pinpoint faults and avoid unnecessary repair work.

Regarding the deployment, Adam Cavazos, VP, network systems and engineering at Dobson Technologies, said, "ADVA's fibre monitoring technology… (offers) total access-link visibility… Dobson can proactively monitor its entire network, remotely pinpoint areas of concern and quickly identify and locate faults… the ALM assurance solution supports a simpler, more sustainable process for operations and maintenance…".

Qualcomm Appoints CTO

Qualcomm appointed Dr. James H. Thompson to the additional position of chief technology officer (CTO), replacing Matt Grob, who will transition to the role of executive vice president of technology, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and continue to report to Steve Mollenkopf.  

Thompson currently servers as executive vice president of engineering, Qualcomm Technologies.  In addition to leading QCT engineering, as CTO, Thompson will align the companywide technical and product roadmaps across all business areas. He also will have oversight of Corporate R&D and Corporate Engineering, ensuring all research and development activities are coordinated across the company, and drive the development of next-generation wireless technologies.