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.