Thursday, April 26, 2018

Amazon Web Services rockets ahead at 49% yoy pace

Amazon.com reported stellar net sales of $51.0 billion for Q1 2018, up 43% over last year, including $1.6 billion from favorable foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter. Net income was $1.6 billion in the first quarter, or $3.27 per diluted share, compared with net income of $724 million, or $1.48 per diluted share, in first quarter 2017.

As usual, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was a major contributor to this growth. AWS sales for the quarter amounted to $5.442 billion, up 49% year over year

“AWS had the unusual advantage of a seven-year head start before facing like-minded competition, and the team has never slowed down,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “As a result, the AWS services are by far the most evolved and most functionality-rich. AWS lets developers do more and be nimbler, and it continues to get even better every day. That’s why you’re seeing this remarkable acceleration in AWS growth, now for two quarters in a row. A huge thank you to all our AWS customers, and you can be sure we’ll keep working hard for you.”

During Q1, AWS launched two Availability Zones and one Local Region in Osaka, Japan. It now operates 54 Availability Zones within 18 geographic Regions, and one Local Region, with announced plans for 12 more Availability Zones and four more regions in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, Sweden, and a second AWS GovCloud Region in the U.S. coming online between now and early 2019.

Nokia reports flat sales in Q1 but cites building 5G momentum

Nokia reported net sales in Q1 2018 were EUR 4.9 billion, down from EUR 5.4 bn in Q1 2017. On a constant currency basis, net sales would have been flat year-on-year. Non-IFRS diluted EPS in Q1 2018 was EUR 0.02.

  • Nokia’s Networks business net sales were EUR 4.3bn, with operating profit of EUR 43mn
  • Q1 net sales and profitability were impacted primarily by lower net sales in North America. However, order intake and backlog were excellent in Q1. Therefore, Nokia expects the net sales trajectory in North America, as well as profitability, to improve significantly in the second half of 2018.
  • Based on firm orders, Nokia sees customer demand for 5G accelerating further, particularly in North America, where we expect commercial 5G network deployments to begin near the end of 2018.

Rajeev Suri, Nokia's president and CEO, stated: "We also see a clear path to market share gains this year given our success in 4G expansion, 5G deals, IP routing in both the service provider segment and adjacent markets, and optical, driven by 5G and webscale customers. While our Networks gross margin in Q1 decreased on a year-on-year basis, the primary underlying reasons for that – regional and product mix – are largely temporary in nature and expected to improve in the second half
of 2018. It is also important to understand that we did not see significant degradation of margins at the overall product level. We remain on track to deliver on our EUR 1.2 billion cost savings commitment."



Facebook's reach continues to grow

Despite the well-publicized uproar about data privacy, Facebook continues to add users worldwide at a rapid pace.

  • Daily active users (DAUs) – DAUs were 1.45 billion on average for March 2018, an increase of 13% year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) – MAUs were 2.20 billion as of March 31, 2018, an increase of 13% year-over-year.
  • Mobile advertising revenue – Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 91% of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2018, up from approximately 85% of advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2017.
  • Capital expenditures – Capital expenditures for the first quarter of 2018 were $2.81 billion.

"Despite facing important challenges, our community and business are off to a strong start in 2018," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "We are taking a broader view of our responsibility and investing to make sure our services are used for good. But we also need to keep building new tools to help people connect, strengthen our communities, and bring the world closer together."

Microsoft Azure grows 89% yoy in Q1

Microsoft reported Q1 revenue of $26.8 billion, up 16% yoy, operating income of $8.3 billion, up 23%; net income of $7.4 billion, up 35% yoy; and diluted earnings per share of $0.95, up 36%.

Cloud revenue was a major factor in the performance, with Azure growing 89% yoy in constant currency.

Some highlights

Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was $9.0 billion and increased 17% (up 14% in constant currency)
  • Office commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 14% (up 12% in constant currency) driven by Office 365 commercial revenue growth of 42% (up 40% in constant currency)
  • Office consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 12% (up 9% in constant currency) and Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 30.6 million
  • LinkedIn revenue increased 37% (up 33% in constant currency) with continued acceleration in engagement highlighted by LinkedIn sessions growth of over 30%
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 17% (up 14% in constant currency) driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 65% (up 62% in constant currency)
Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $7.9 billion and increased 17% (up 15% in constant currency)
  • Server products and cloud services revenue increased 20% (up 17% in constant currency) driven by Azure revenue growth of 93% (up 89% in constant currency)
  • Enterprise Services revenue increased 8% (5% in constant currency)
Revenue in More Personal Computing was $9.9 billion and increased 13% (up 11% in constant currency)
  • Windows OEM revenue increased 4% (up 4% in constant currency) driven by OEM Pro revenue growth of 11%
  • Windows commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 21% (up 17% in constant currency) driven by an increased volume of multi-year agreements and the mix of products that carry higher in-quarter revenue recognition
  • Gaming revenue increased 18% (up 16% in constant currency) driven by Xbox software and services revenue growth of 24% (up 21% in constant currency) mainly from third party title strength
  • Surface revenue increased 32% (up 27% in constant currency) against a prior year comparable impacted by product end-of-life-cycle dynamics
  • Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs increased 16% (up 14% in constant currency) driven by higher revenue per search and search volume

Baidu's Q1 revenues rise 31%

Baidu reported Q1 2018 total revenues were RMB 20.9 billion ($3.33 billion), increasing 31% year over year. Mobile revenue represented 78% of total net revenues, compared to 70% for the first quarter of 2017. Total revenues of Baidu Core were RMB 16.1 billion ($2.57 billion), increasing 26% year over year. Operating income was RMB 4.6 billion ($728 million), increasing 128% year over year. Operating margin reached 22%, compared to 13% for the first quarter of 2017.

"We had a strong start in 2018, with our core business exhibiting robust growth, and we continue to execute on our strategy to strengthen Baidu's mobile foundation and lead in AI. Through innovation, search plus feed is powering strong monetization, DuerOS is showing accelerated momentum with hardware partners and Apollo has a great potential to become a world-class technology platform," said Robin Li, Chairman and CEO of Baidu. "I would also like to congratulate iQIYI on a successful IPO and hope to incubate more businesses with large market opportunities and strong synergies with Baidu."

Digital Realty's Q1 revenue of $744 million, up 35% yoy

Digital Realty, a leading global provider of data center, colocation and interconnection solutions, reported revenues for the first quarter of 2018 of $744 million, a 2% increase from the previous quarter and a 35% increase from the same quarter last year. Net income amounted to $110 million, and net income available to common stockholders of $86 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, compared to $0.26 per diluted share in the previous quarter and $0.41 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.

"In the first quarter, we signed total bookings expected to generate $61 million of annualized GAAP rental revenue, including a $7 million contribution from interconnection," said Chief Executive Officer A. William Stein.  "As we look toward the remainder of 2018, we are confident in our ability to deliver sustainable growth for stakeholders, driven by broad-based demand across regions, verticals and product lines, along with growing local origination in key growth metros around the world."

Interoute connects the Vatican to its fibre backbonev

Interoute's fibre network is supporting the launch of The Vatican Communications Secretariat’s new online portal www.vaticannews.va, which combines radio, TV and publishing into a single interface.

Interoute owns and operates a global private network encompassing 72,000 route kilometres of fibre across Europe.

Francesco Masci, Head of the Technology Department of the Secretariat for Communication of the Holy See, said, "The rethinking of the Holy See's communication system meant an important technological shift as the worlds of web, broadcasting and publishing merge. Alongside the portal we will launch other services, and we are also considering further projects to distribute quality multimedia content directly to users, such as documentaries or other important productions. Interoute's new fibre network is the infrastructure basis for enabling this cutting-edge project.”

Gareth Williams, CEO of Interoute, commented, "We are honoured to support the Secretariat for Communication of the Holy See with our decades of experience. Interoute has built the pan-European backbone infrastructure which powers the digital transformation of global organisations. From our experience building and managing one of Europe’s largest networks, Interoute has gained the knowledge and competence to support this unique project, respecting delivery times and the constraints imposed by the cultural and artistic heritage of this important site."

Intel hires ex-Tesla exec to lead silicon engineering

Intel announced the appointment of Jim Keller to lead the company’s silicon engineering, which encompasses system-on-chip (SoC) development and integration.

Keller, 59, joins Intel from Tesla, where he most recently served as vice president of Autopilot and Low Voltage Hardware. Prior to Tesla, he served as corporate vice president and chief cores architect at AMD, where he led the development of the Zen* architecture. Previously, Keller was vice president of Engineering and chief architect at P.A. Semi, which was acquired by Apple Inc. in 2008.

“Jim is one of the most respected microarchitecture design visionaries in the industry, and the latest example of top technical talent to join Intel,” said Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, Intel’s chief engineering officer and group president of the Technology, Systems Architecture & Client Group (TSCG). “We have embarked on exciting initiatives to fundamentally change the way we build the silicon as we enter the world of heterogeneous process and architectures. Jim joining us will help accelerate this transformation.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Nokia launches AirFrame Open Edge Server for Cloud RAN and based on OCP principles

Nokia introduced an Edge Cloud data center server for low-latency data processing demands of Cloud RANs, content caching and next-gen mobile application.

The Nokia AirFrame open edge cloud server is designed for deployment alongside base stations in 5G networks. It supports acceleration modules powered by the Nokia ReefShark chipset for 4G and 5G functions and applications, including Cloud RAN and content delivery, crypto and other applications. The server uses the latest Intel Xeon processors. Nokia said the design is inspired by Open Compute Project principles.

The AirFrame chassis supports up to five servers, each with a single Xeon processor.

Nokia is also providing a real-time, Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV)-compatible, OpenStack-distribution built to run in small data centers while providing the performance and low latency required by the edge environment. Commercial shipments are expected in Q3.

"The edge cloud will play an essential role in delivering the compute power required for 5G. By expanding our AirFrame and 5G Future X portfolio we can provide a network architecture that meets the needs of any operator and their customers. Used with the Nokia ReefShark chipset and our real-time cloud infrastructure software, the Nokia AirFrame open edge server will deliver the right decentralization of 4G and 5G networks. We can work with operators to ensure that data center capabilities are deployed exactly where they are needed to manage demands as they expand their service offering," stated Marc Rouanne, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia.

In January 2018, Nokia unveiled its ReefShark 5G chipsets for radio frequency (RF) units such as the radio used in antennas. The chipsets, which were developed in-house, significantly improve radio performance resulting in halving the size of massive MIMO antennas. Nokia says its ReefShark chipsets also reduce power consumption in baseband units by 64%, compared to current technology.

The ReefShark chipsets comprise:

  • ReefShark Digital Front End for LTE and 5G radio systems supporting massive MIMO
  • ReefShark RFIC front-end module and transceiver: massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna solution
  • ReefShark Baseband Processor: All-in-one compute heavy design, capable of supporting the massive scale requirements of 5G. This is the brain power of baseband processing.

The ReefShark chipsets for compute capacity are delivered as plug-in units for the commercially available Nokia AirScale baseband module. The new plug-in units triple throughput from 28 Gbps today to up to 84 Gbps per module. Additionally, AirScale baseband module chaining supports base station throughputs of up to 6 terabits per second. Nokia said this level of performance will allow operators to meet the huge growing densification demands and support the massive enhanced mobile broadband needs of people and devices in megacities.

Nokia also announced that it is working with 30 operators using ReefShark and will ramp up field deployments during the third quarter of 2018.

Chairman of ZTE says U.S. export ban is "unfair and unreasonable"

The Chairman of ZTE, Mr. Yin Yimin, issued a public statement acknowledging that the company is "in a very difficult situation," stating that his team is doing its utmost to solve this situation through active communication, and imploring the company's 80,000 employees to "be stable-minded and perform their respective duties."

The public statement comes nine days after the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has imposed a denial of export privileges order against ZTE for false statements in the case of shipping restricted technologies to Iran and North Korea during a period of international sanctions. The order prohibits the export of any item from the United States to ZTE.

In his statement, Mr. Yin Yimin describes the decision made by the U.S. Department of Commerce as "unfair and unreasonable punishment" and that the U.S. side is making a trade issue into a political one.

ZTE also noted that it owns over 69,000 global patents and that it has been a major contributor to global 5G standardization.

"Certainly, we shall strengthen our technological investment to make us more competitive,” said Mr. Yin Yimin. ZTE has been insisting in the independent innovation of key technologies and extending its R&D investment. The company’s R&D expenditure was RMB 12.96 billion in 2017, covering 11.9 % of its revenue.  ZTE has been continuously extending its investment in 5G R&D and related fields. To date, ZTE has formed a 5G R&D team with more than 4,500 professionals and annually invested around RMB 3 billion in 5G wireless R&D."

http://www.zte.com.cn/global/about/press-center/press-clipping/201804/201804232355

WSJ: Huawei under criminal investigation by U.S. authorities

The FBI is investigating Huawei over possible exports of prohibited technologies to Iran in violation of international sanctions. The case could lead to a ban on the export of products from the U.S. to Huawei, as happened earlier this month with ZTE. 

There has been no official confirmation of an investigation. Huawei has not commented on the reports.

The news sent share prices down for many suppliers of silicon and optical components.

AT&T's Q1 revenue dips 1% yoy, but net income rises - FirstNet rollout underway

AT&T reported a slight dip in overall sales in Q1 but higher net income even as CAPEX rises for network upgrades, fiber upgrades, and FirstNet rollouts. The company said it is on track to launch 5G mobile services in a dozen U.S. cities this year.

“We’re off to a good start in 2018, both in growing our customer base and in building the world’s premier gigabit network,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO. “Our investment in customer growth and our integrated service offerings helped drive solid first-quarter subscriber gains across our wireless, video and broadband businesses. We also moved quickly to deploy FirstNet, and we expect the buildout to accelerate as we go forward. Our fiber deployments for business and residential customers now pass more than 16 million customer locations. And we’re set to launch our next-generation DIRECTV NOW platform, which will offer cloud DVR and an additional video stream.”

Revenues for the first quarter totaled $38.0 billion versus $39.4 billion in the year-ago quarter, primarily due to the impact of new accounting rules for revenue recognition (ASC 606) which included netting of USF with operating expenses. On a comparative basis, declines in legacy wireline services, domestic video, and wireless service revenues, were partially offset by growth in wireless equipment and strategic business services. On a comparative basis, revenues were $38.9 billion, a decrease of 1.1%. Operating expenses were $31.8 billion versus $33.0 billion primarily due to the netting of USF and other regulatory fee revenues and the deferral of commissions under ASC 606. Excluding those impacts, operating expenses were $33.4 billion, an increase of about $350 million due to higher wireless equipment costs.

Net income attributable to AT&T was $4.7 billion, or $0.75 per diluted share, versus $3.5 billion, or $0.56 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Cash from operating activities was $8.9 billion, and capital expenditures were $6.1 billion. Capital expenditures included about $140 million in FirstNet capital costs and no FirstNet reimbursements.

Wireless highlights

  • Strong year-over-year improvement in postpaid phone net adds
  • Continued prepaid growth with 192,000 phone net adds
  • Nearly 500,000 branded smartphones added to base
  • Q1 postpaid phone churn of 0.84%
  • 3.2 million total wireless net adds, including 2.6 million in U.S., driven by connected devices and prepaid, and 543,000 in Mexico

Entertainment Group highlights

  • 312,000 DIRECTV NOW net adds to reach nearly 1.5 million subscribers
  • 125,000 total video net adds with DIRECTV NOW stabilizing total video customer base since DIRECTV acquisition
  • 154,000 IP broadband net adds; 82,000 total broadband net adds; more than 8 million customer locations passed with fiber

Belgium’s Proximus picks Skylane Optics for FTTH rollout

Skylane Optics, a privately-held company based in Belgium that supplies a wide range of optical transceivers and other photonic devices, announced a collaborative agreement with Proximus, a telecommunication & ICT company operating in Belgium and other international markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“We work with two-thirds of the major European telecommunications operators.  Being able to supply fiber optics to all Belgian homes is a first and we’re over the moon about it”, stated Quentin Bolle, Marketing & Communication Manager.

Earlier this year, Proximus announced a plan to invest EUR 3 billion to accelerate the rollout of fibre across Belgium.

Innovium raises $77M in Series D for its Switching Silicon

Innovium, a start-up based in San Jose, California, announced $77 Million in Series D funding for its high-performance switching silicon for data centers.

The new funding round included investment from Greylock Partners, Walden Everbright, Walden Riverwood Ventures, Paxion Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, Redline Capital, S-Cubed Capital and Qualcomm Ventures. This brings total funding in the company to over $160 million.

“Data center networks are experiencing dramatic traffic growth and face new requirements, driven by public and hybrid cloud, machine learning, analytics, storage and video. Innovium’s grounds-up innovations have enabled a revolutionary platform for a family of products, delivering the industry’s next generation of performance, programmability, cost/bit and robust features. We are excited to significantly increase our investment in Innovium, to help the company accelerate its production, roadmap, and go-to-market efforts,” said Asheem Chandna, Partner at Greylock Partners.

Innovium Unveils 12.8Tbps Data Center Switching Silicon

Innovium, a start-up based in San Jose, California, introduced its TERALYNX scalable Ethernet silicon for data centers switches.

Innovium said its TERALYNX will be the first single switching chip to break the 10 Tbps performance barrier, along with telemetry, line-rate programmability, the largest on-chip buffers and best-in-class low-latency. The chip is expected to sample in Q3 2017.

TERALYNX includes broad support for 10/25/40/50/100/200/400GbE Ethernet standards. It will deliver 128 ports of 100GbE, 64 ports of 200GbE or 32 ports of 400GbE in a single device. The TERALYNX switch family includes software compatible options at 12.8Tbps, 9.6Tbps, 6.4Tbps and 3.2Tbps performance points, each delivering compelling benefits for switch system vendors and data center operators.

Some highlights:

  • 12.8Tbps, 9.6Tbps, 6.4Tbps and 3.2Tbps single chip performance options at packet sizes of 300B or smaller 
  • Single flow performance of 400Gbps at 64B minimum packet size, 4x vs alternatives
  • 70MB of on-chip buffer for superior network quality, fewer packet drops and substantially lower latency compared to off-chip buffering options
  • Up to 128 ports of 100GbE, 64 ports of 200GbE or 32 ports of 400GbE, which enable flatter networks for lower Capex and fewer hops
  • Support for cut-through with best-in-class low latency of less than 350ns
  • Programmable, feature-rich INNOFLEX forwarding pipeline
  • Comprehensive layer 2/3 forwarding and flexible tunneling including MPLS
  • Large table resources with flexible allocation across L2, IPv4 and IPv6
  • Line-rate, standards-based programmability to add new/custom features and protocols
  • FLASHLIGHT telemetry and analytics to enable autonomous data center networks
  • Extensive visibility and telemetry capabilities such as sFlow, FlexMirroring along with highly customizable extra-wide counters
  • P4-INT in-band telemetry and extensions to dramatically simplify end to end analysis
  • Advanced analytics enable optimal resource monitoring, utilization and congestion control allowing predictive capabilities and network automation
  • SERDES I/Os for existing and upcoming networks
  • Industry-leading, proven SerDes supports 10G and 25G NRZ, as well as 50G PAM4, to provide customers a variety of connectivity choices, ranging from widely deployed 10/25/40/50/100G Ethernet to upcoming 200/400GbE
  • Up to 258 lanes of long-reach SerDes, each of which can be configured dynamically
  • Integrated GHz ARM CPU core along with PCIe Gen 3 host connectivity
  • ARM core enables development of differentiated real-time automation features
  • High speed host connectivity and DMA enhancements enable high performance packet, table and telemetry data transfers while minimizing CPU overhead
  • Two high-speed Ethernet ports for management or telemetry dat

F5's revenue rises 2.9% yoy to $533.3M

F5 Networks posted revenue of $533.3 million for the second quarter of its fiscal 2018, up 2.9% from $518.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017.

GAAP net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2018 was $109.6 million, or $1.77 per diluted share, compared to $93.1 million, or $1.43 per diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal 2017.

“We had solid execution across the organization during the second quarter,” said François Locoh-Donou, F5 President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our software business had another quarter of outstanding growth, driven by deployments in the public cloud, and our Services organization continues to deliver tremendous value to our customers and strong financial performance.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Megaport's SDN now extends to Google Cloud's global network

Megaport has added support for Google Cloud's Partner Interconnect, a service from Google Cloud that allows customers to privately connect to Google Cloud Platform.

Google Cloud's Partner Interconnect is a new product in the Google Cloud Interconnect family. Last September, Google announced Dedicated Interconnect, which provides higher-speed and lower-cost connectivity than VPN, and has become the go-to solution to connect on-premises data centres with the cloud.

Megaport said it is now providing connectivity to the nearest Google edge Point of Presence at a variety of sub-rate interface speeds varying from 50 Mbps to 10 Gbps.

"Partner Interconnect gives Google Cloud customers even more connectivity choices for hybrid environments," said, John Veizades, Product Manager, Google Cloud. "Together with Megaport, we are making it easier for customers to extend their on-prem infrastructure to the Google Cloud Platform."

"Scalable connectivity to Google Cloud Platform ensures that cloud-enabled applications perform to meet mission-critical business requirements," said Vincent English, CEO of Megaport. "Google Cloud brings tremendous value to the Megaport Ecosystem and empowers our customers to address a wide variety of business needs. We have been working with Google Cloud since our inception and we are excited to grow and evolve our integration to ensure the next generation of business growth."

Verizon cites positive momentum and higher earnings

Verizon added 260,000 net retail postpaid connections in Q1 2018, including 220,000 postpaid smartphone nets, along with 66,000 new Fios Internet connections, giving the company positive momentum as it entered the year. Verizon said it is on track to launch a 5G residential broadband service this year.

For first-quarter 2018, Verizon reported EPS of $1.11, compared with 84 cents in first-quarter 2017. On an adjusted basis (non-GAAP), first-quarter 2018 EPS was $1.17, compared with 95 cents in first-quarter 2017. Verizon’s first-quarter 2018 EPS included approximately 21 cents due to tax reform and accounting changes for revenue recognition.

“We began 2018 with strong momentum, and we expect it to continue throughout the year,” said Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam. “We are positioning Verizon for long-term growth while executing our strategy today and leading the way for the next cycle of growth for the industry.”

Some highlights

Wireless results

  • Total revenues, excluding the impact of the revenue recognition standard, were $21.9 billion in first-quarter 2018, an increase of 4.7 percent compared with first-quarter 2017.
  • Service revenues for the quarter on a reported basis were down 2.4 percent. Excluding the impact from the revenue recognition standard, service revenues were flat. Service revenues improved year over year throughout the quarter, with results turning positive in the month of March when excluding the impact from the revenue recognition standard.
  • Verizon now has 81 percent of its postpaid phone base on unsubsidized plans, compared with 72 percent for the same period last year.
  • Verizon reported a net increase of 260,000 retail postpaid connections in first-quarter 2018, consisting of net phone losses of 24,000 and tablet losses of 75,000, offset by 359,000 other connected devices gains, primarily wearables. Postpaid smartphone net additions for the quarter were 220,000.
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 1.04 percent in first-quarter 2018, a year-over-year improvement. Retail postpaid phone churn of 0.80 percent was the fourth consecutive quarter of retail postpaid phone churn of 0.80 percent or better.


Wireline results

  • Total wireline revenues, excluding the impact of the revenue recognition standard, decreased 1.8 percent year over year in first-quarter 2018. Total Fios revenues, excluding the impact of the revenue recognition standard, grew 1.9 percent year over year, driven by growing demand for high-quality broadband service.
  • In first-quarter 2018, Verizon added a net of 66,000 Fios Internet connections and lost 22,000 Fios Video connections, indicative of the continued cord-cutting trend regarding traditional linear video bundles.


Nokia and NTT DOCOMO test 5G using 90 GHz

Nokia and NTT DOCOMO will undertake a joint study and trials on 5G using 90 GHz frequencies.

Nokia Bell Labs has already tested a first phased-array RF chip solution for the 90 GHz band to increase radio coverage in higher frequency bands and deliver multi-gigabit speeds at scale.

At this week's Brooklyn 5G Summit, Nokia, supported by NTT DOCOMO, will show two technology innovations being developed to address these demands:


  • The companies will apply a Nokia Bell Labs-developed compact mmWave phased-array antenna system scalable up to 256-elements using an integrated circuit (RFIC) solution in the 90 GHz frequency band to enable multi-gigabit per second speeds. The test will demonstrate how using 5G New Radio (5G NR) enhancements at higher mmWave frequency bands can manage radio complexity and a larger number of antenna beams, while enabling greater bandwidth. It will also show how using a larger number of antenna elements at higher frequency bands can minimize path loss to enable coverage similar to that found using lower mmWave bands.
  • A joint demonstration will also show how dynamic offloading relocation in a 5G core will enable the low-latency networks required to support time critical mobile broadband applications for future automation and augmented reality.

Marcus Weldon, President of Nokia Bell Labs, said: "At Bell Labs, we work with leading operators such as NTT DOCOMO to develop disruptive technologies that will redefine human existence. At the Brooklyn 5G Summit, we will show the world's first RF solution that addresses the challenge of delivering optimized coverage for future mmWave frequencies, using a pioneering RFIC design that can be scaled to any array dimension and deliver optimized connectivity to any set of devices."

Orange deploys Cisco NCS 5500 for its Open Transit Internet backbone

Orange is using the Cisco Network Convergence System (NCS 5500) to modernize and expand the Orange Open Transit Internet (OTI) service, which is a Tier 1 international Internet connectivity service offering direct access to the Internet networks in more than 100 countries through more than 50 points of presence (POPs). Orange's OTI targets both Internet service providers and content providers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The companies said this initiative expands Orange's OTI network in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, with reduced operational complexity and increased capacity using the new generation of routers on its OTI service.

“Our work with Cisco on OTI supports the further evolution of our network, allowing us to cope with huge traffic growth and improving the reach of our network,” said Jean-Luc Vuillemin, senior vice president, Orange International Networks Infrastructures and Services.


Cisco adds to its Service Provider routing portfolio

Cisco announced the addition of hardware, software and security options to its Service Provider routing portfolio. Highlights include:

Routing hardware 

Cisco NCS 500 Series: addressing converged wireline and wireless 5G-ready requirements for mobile x-haul and future evolutions of Carrier Ethernet networks, and various bandwidth needs ranging from 1 to 100 Gbps interfaces in small form factors.

Cisco ASR 9901: it supports applications such as distributed provider edge, Internet peering, metro aggregation and broadband network gateway (BNG) in a space-optimized platform; It delivers 456 Gbps of port capacity while also providing flexibility in terms of port speeds ranging from 1 to 100 Gbps with industry-leading MACsec encryption support across all ports.

Cisco NCS 5500 Series:

  • Two fixed chassis supporting 24 and 36 100GE ports 
  • A 36 100GE ports line card targeted at high-density core, mobile backhaul and data center interconnect use cases; Offers flexible port configuration supporting 10G/25G/40G and 100G per port with enhanced scale capabilities (external TCAM) 
  • A compact 2RU router targeted at high-density metro aggregation, mobile backhaul networks and long-haul connectivity use cases; Delivers maximum flexibility with the support of Modular Port Adapters (MPA) with options of different port types and MACsec encryption support.

Routing software additions

Segment Routing: Offers service providers more control over Internet traffic by delivering a unified transport fabric across aggregation, edge, core and data center network domains with unmatched simplicity, resiliency and scalability; With Segment Routing Flexible Algorithm, a new addition to the Cisco Segment Routing Traffic Engineering toolkit, service providers can:

  • Optimize the same physical network infrastructure along various dimensions such as low-latency, bandwidth or path disjointness. 
  • Custom fit 5G network slices to specific applications

Ethernet VPN (EVPN): Cisco is now offering seamless integration with Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS), helping service providers speed up migration from VPLS to EVPN as another method to provide Ethernet-based multipoint to multipoint communication over IP or MPLS networks; EVPN offers improved scalability, optimal forwarding and helps prevent traffic floods.

"Cisco continues to drive innovation in service provider routing to help our customers uplevel their architectures and be one step ahead in managing their network traffic demands,” said Jonathan Davidson, senior vice president and general manager, Service Provider Networking, Cisco.

ZenFi Networks and Cross River Fiber to merge

ZenFi Networks, which operates a high fiber count network across all five boroughs of the City of New York, will merge with Cross River Fiber, which operates high-capacity and latency-sensitive fiber optic backbone spans throughout New Jersey and New York. The deal will create a leading communications infrastructure provider in the New York and New Jersey metro areas with more than 700 route miles of fiber optic network, 130 on-net buildings, 49 colocation facilities and 1,700 outdoor wireless locations with more than 3,000 under contract.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

“The merger of ZenFi Networks and Cross River Fiber allows us to scale our communications infrastructure portfolio across the region, providing a robust fiber and colocation platform enabling the deployment of a wide range of digital services by mobile network operators, telecommunications service providers and large enterprises,” says Ray LaChance, CEO of ZenFi Networks. “The combination enhances our network reach, deepens our product portfolio, and delivers a next generation network infrastructure that is the foundation of tomorrow’s communications networks. In addition, our partnership with Ridgemont Equity Partners further strengthens ZenFi Network’s financial position by providing access to additional capital to continue to deliver on our vision of building the most pervasive and high capacity connectivity platform in the region.

“While both companies have achieved great success to date, as a combined business, our geographic footprint and product capabilities are greatly expanded,” says Vincenzo Clemente, CEO of Cross River Fiber. “We can now offer custom telecommunications solutions in New York, New Jersey and beyond to more wireless mobility, carrier and enterprise customers than ever before. Our teams are cut from the same cloth – we’re both builders and owners of purpose-built fiber optic networks and wireless infrastructure – and together we will provide that cutting-edge network architecture of both fiber and wireless services to an even bigger customer base.”


ACG: Network automation investments on the rise

Network automation investments are expected to grow by approximately 30 percent between now and 2021, according to an independent research report by ACG Research and sponsored by Ciena. The study, which surveyed 208 decision-makers from 200 different service providers and large enterprises across the globe, found that 75 percent of respondents expect to achieve full or significant network automation in the next five years.

“We all realize that network automation is happening, but we really wanted to delve deeper into service provider and large enterprise experiences, expectations and challenges with automation. One of the key survey findings that stood out to me was the need for trained, skilled personnel in the area of programmable networks and automation. Operators expect their vendor partners to be able to help them with not only products and services but also with bridging the skills gap between telecom and IT as they execute their automation journey,” stated Tim Doiron, Principal Analyst, Intelligent Networking, ACG Research.

Other Key Findings:

  • The top motivations cited for increasing automation include: faster service delivery, improved customer satisfaction, the ability to support more complex and innovative services, and increased business agility.
  • Respondents stated that the top concerns and gaps they must address to ensure the success of their network transformations are: security, intelligence/analytics, and a skilled workforce that not only understands traditional telecom networks but new IT and software innovations, as well.
  • All regions ranked analytics and security as top requirements when asked what elements are needed to increase automation, but there were some differences of opinion on other requirements. For example, 68 percent of operators in Central and Latin America named the ability to access network performance data as one of the top 3 important elements while 55 percent of respondents in the European region and 40 percent of respondents in the Asia-Pacific region pointed to open, programmable infrastructure as being in the top 3.
  • Overall, 60 percent of respondents across the globe indicate openness and interoperability as being “very important” for their automation solution and 82 percent plan to use open source software from vendors or a mix of sources.
  • When asked what superhero they want their future network to be associated with, respondents’ top three answers were: The Hulk, Spider-Man, and Black Widow. When asked why, the top responses included Strength, Speed and Intelligence.


“A new theme has started to emerge in our conversations with customers around the globe. Automation, programmability, and intelligence have become critical keystones of future networks. With the pace of growth in capacity, devices, and mobility moving exceedingly fast, adaptive networks, which combine these attributes, will allow organizations to not only survive, but thrive in the face of increasing complexity and unpredictable growth to support the services and applications of tomorrow,” stated – Joe Cumello, Vice President, Head of Global Marketing, Ciena.

Coriant achieves EcoVadis Gold for the 2nd consecutive year

Coriant has been awarded Gold level recognition in sustainability performance in a survey conducted by EcoVadis, an independent rating agency specialized in the evaluation of supply chain sustainability. This is the second consecutive year that Coriant has received a Gold Rating, placing it among the top 5% of all companies for sustainability performance and excellence.

"The consecutive Gold Award from EcoVadis reflects Coriant’s long-term commitment to conducting its business in an ethically, socially, and environmentally responsible manner,” said Homayoun Razavi, Chief Customer Officer and Executive Vice President of Global Sales & Digital Marketing, Coriant. “Our dedication to CSR drives continual improvement throughout our business and ensures that the value we offer our customers encompasses not only best-in-class technology and multi-sided solution innovation, but also the highest level of sustainability, which is critical today, and for future generations."

Monday, April 23, 2018

MIT: a new technique for assembling on-chip optics and electronics separately

A team of researchers led by groups at MIT, the University of California at Berkeley, and Boston University, have developed a technique for assembling on-chip optics and electronics separately using existing manufacturing processes.

The work, which is described in an article in the latest issue of Nature, allows the addition of optical communication components onto chips with modern transistors.

“The most promising thing about this work is that you can optimize your photonics independently from your electronics,” says Amir Atabaki, a research scientist at MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics and one of three first authors on the new paper. “We have different silicon electronic technologies, and if we can just add photonics to them, it’d be a great capability for future communications and computing chips. For example, now we could imagine a microprocessor manufacturer or a GPU manufacturer like Intel or Nvidia saying, ‘This is very nice. We can now have photonic input and output for our microprocessor or GPU.’ And they don’t have to change much in their process to get the performance boost of on-chip optics.”

http://news.mit.edu/2018/integrating-optical-components-existing-chip-designs-0419

NTT develops new QoE technique in video streaming

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) has demonstrated a video quality control technology based on Quality of Experience (QoE) in video streaming over mobile networks.

The QoE of video streaming to a mobile handset is evaluated by NTT's algorithm. Future communication quality is then predicted considering the user's environment. The algorithm optimally controls the bitrate in the midst of video streaming so as to achieve the preset QoE target.

NTT said its technology for video streaming enables maximum QoE, while reducing traffic over the network.

http://www.ntt.co.jp/news2018/1804e/180419a.html

China Unicom and Huawei collaborate on 5G slicing research

China Unicom and Huawei agreed to jointly carry out research, demonstration, and application of 5G network slicing, develop key technologies and solutions for China Unicom's 5G network slicing services and applications, jointly promote industry chain development, and apply slices to more vertical industry markets, such as VR/AR games, industrial control, Internet of Vehicles (IoV), and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Zhang Yong, President of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute, said: "Network slicing is a key native capability of 5G, which can maximize the efficiency of communications networks and reduce network construction and O&M costs. In the 5G era, the concepts of slice as a capability and slice as a product have become an industry consensus. China Unicom will demonstrate the multi-scenario slicing service in vertical industries and deepen the integration with the industry to facilitate digitalization in China.

“We hope that both parties can focus efforts on terminals, chips, networks, and vertical industries, accelerate the slice demonstration and application, and jointly build a new 5G slicing ecosystem in 2018 and 2019, for the purpose of formulating the 5G blueprint, creating completely new markets for 5G, and achieving a win-win through 5G network deployment," continued Zhang Yong.

Ericsson explores 5G use case with jet engine components

Ericsson and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology are exploring a 5G use case that concerns the production of jet engine components.

The components concerned, so-called blade integrated disks (blisk), are high-tech components where the disk and blades are produced as a single piece and serve the purpose of compressing the air inside jet engines. They are milled out of solid pieces of metal and have extremely high requirements towards accuracy and surface integrity.

5G's high-bandwidth and low latency are leveraged for controlling factory equipment. Ericsson's 5G trial system operating on 3.5 GHz is connected to an acceleration sensor mounted directly on the blisk in the production machinery. The vibration spectrum is transmitted in real time via 5G to the evaluation system. The very low latency helps correlate the vibration to the tool's position and enable prompt adjustment of the production process.

Thomas Dautl, Director of Manufacturing Technology, MTU Aero Engines, says: "A blade-integrated disk is a high-value component. The milling process takes 15-20 hours and the total lead time is around 3-4 months, including coating processes and quality checks. The new 5G-based production technology will help make our operations more efficient."

Corning in conversation with Verizon



Part 2



Will the new wave of wireless cannibalize fiber? At the end of the day, you cannot beat the bandwidth of fiber, says Glenn Wellbrock, Director, Backbone Network Design, Verizon. On the contrary, the new wave of wireless will drive significant deployments of fiber deep into the network.

In this conversation, Glenn and Bob Whitman, VP of Market Development, Corning, talk about Verizon's One Fiber program.

See video - part 1: https://youtu.be/Sq7F5OVflyA

See video - part 2: hhttps://youtu.be/pYeZjLkuytc




Data Center constructions booms in Des Moines, Iowa

Data center is booming in Iowa -- there are more than 6,150,000 square feet of data center space built or slated to be built in the Greater Des Moines (DSM) region. Some highlights:

  • There is an average of 800 construction workers on site at Facebook's Altoona data centers. 
  • To date, Facebook has constructed 1.5 million square feet of data center space and has 1 million square feet under construction. The total spend is expected to be around $1.5 billion.
  • Microsoft's data center buildings currently total a little under 1.5 million square feet with 1.7 million square feet planned for its third campus in West Des Moines.
  • LightEdge Solutions has two data centers totaling 78,000 square feet in Altoona and employs more than 100 people. 
  • In 2017, Apple announced 400,000 square feet of data center space will be a built in Waukee. Construction will begin this summer.

The data was provided by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, an economic and community development organization that serves the region.

"DSM has built a reputation as a tech hub offering affordable renewable energy and high skilled talent," said Jay Byers, Greater Des Moines Partnership CEO. "Data center activity means jobs for hundreds of tech and construction workers, revenue for local cities and increased national and international exposure for our region."

Brazil Tower raises $104M in debt financing for expansion

Brazil Tower Company (BTC), a privately-held, neutral host tower company with over 600 wireless towers currently in its portfolio, recently closed on US$79 million of a $104 million long-term senior secured debt financing with three international lenders led by Cordiant Capital of Montreal, Canada.  BTC expects to close on the remaining $25 million of financing during Q3 of this year. 

BTC, whose customers include the major wireless operators including Telefonica, TIM and Claro, plans to use the funds to add 600 more towers.

"We are very excited about the growth we are realizing in Brazil through new tower development and new collocations and amendments.  Our backlog of new towers and pipeline for growth is the strongest we have seen since 2015," said Tom Staz, BTC's Chief Financial Officer and a partner at 1848 Capital Partners in Miami, BTC's primary equity sponsor.  "With the support of our new debt facility and a large inventory of customer orders, we will continue to strategically rollout new tower sites over the next 18 - 24 months to double the size of our tower portfolio and triple the cash flows of the business."

Molex and Rosenberger sign dual-sourcing agreement for automotive coaxial connectors

Molex and Rosenberger have signed a dual-sourcing agreement allowing Molex to produce High-Speed FAKRA-Mini automotive coaxial connectors based on the Rosenberger HFM design, which support data rates up to 20 Gbps. Rosenberger HFM FAKRA-Mini system is designed for a range of existing and future automotive applications, such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), navigation, infotainment and intelligent connected vehicles.

With the dual sourcing agreement, the companies provide a high-quality, high-speed, cost-optimized intermateable interface with identical mechanical and electrical performance and features. The solution delivers seamless backward compatibility for the automotive market.

“Molex is excited to collaborate with Rosenberger to launch the dual-sourced HFM solution that enables high-speed data transmission fundamental to connected vehicle technology,” said Ryan Price, networking segment director, Molex. “Our shared vision is to deliver a high value, cost effective solution that provides design flexibility and backward compatibility.”

“Ensuring safety is the ultimate priority of ADAS and autonomous driving systems, and HFM connectors play a key role in processing the high data volumes from cameras, sensors, navigation sources and other external objects in real time,” said Dr. Tosja Zywietz, CEO, Rosenberger. “We are pleased to collaborate with Molex on making this next-generation coax connector widely available to the automotive industry as a quasi standard.”

https://www.molex.com/automotive



Aquantia partnership - The Molex 10 Gbps Automotive Ethernet Network incorporates an Aquantia chip optimized for Multi-Gig 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ericsson sees better financial performance after cost cutting

Amidst a stabilizing mobile infrastructure market with initial 5G development work in North America, Ericsson reported Q1 2018 sales of SEK 43.4 billion (US$5.134 billion), down by -9% YoY. Sales, adjusted for currency, decreased by -2% YoY with lower revenues in market areas North East Asia as well as in South East Asia, Oceania and India. The other market areas showed growth. There was an operating income loss of SEK -0.3 billion (US$35.4 million), which is an improvement from the loss of SEK -11.3 billion for the same period last year. Gross margin was 34.2% (15.7%) 1). Gross margin excluding restructuring charges improved YoY, to 35.9% (18.7%) 1), supported by cost reductions and the continued ramp-up of Ericsson Radio System (ERS).

In North America, Ericsson benefitted from the First Net project underway at AT&T. LTE deployments in mainland China diminished. Ericsson also reports increasing traction for 5G – radio, core & IoT. An additional 500 R&D engineers have been recruited to help with 5G.

As of the end of Q1, Ericsson had 97,581 employees, down from 109,127  in Q2 2017.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson, stated: "Our efforts to improve efficiency in service delivery and common costs are starting to pay off. The gross margin improved to 36% (19%) in the quarter, tracking well towards our Group target of 37-39% by 2020. A cornerstone in our strategy is to invest in R&D for both technology leadership and cost leadership, which will allow us to generate higher gross margins. We continue to increase our R&D investments in Networks to lead in 5G. In Digital Services we continue to increase investments into our new cloud-native portfolio as well as changing our ways of working for better R&D efficiency. In Managed Services we continue to focus on machine intelligence, automation and analytics to further enhance user experience, improve efficiency and better manage the increasingly complex networks of tomorrow."

It may not be too late for cloud giants to enter the mobile market

It was over seven years ago, in December 2010, that NTT DOCOMO launched its 4G LTE network. Japan, of course, was already heavily saturated with 3G coverage and mobile penetration rates were among the highest in the world. DOCOMO’s 4G network was an instant success and very quickly itd subscribers upgraded their phones and moved onto mobile data plans. DOCOMO's network grew and grew, and so did those of its competitors – KDDI and Softbank Mobile. Since then, the Japanese population has not given up their mobile devices. Like everywhere, people are checking their phones all day long, from the moment they awake till late at night.

With their upcoming launch of commercial 5G services over the next 2 years, DOCOMO and KDDI are looking for history to repeat. They will be among the first operators worldwide to deploy the next generation of mobile technology and they hope the market will respond. But, there is a surprise twist. A new entrant, Rakuten, plans to launch a new 4G network by October 2019 – nearly nine years behind the market leaders, and in a market that seems oversaturated and with this little prospect of growth for the “old wave” technology.

This week, Rakuten received approval from Japan’s Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications to launch a new 4G network.based on its own mobile base stations.

Rakuten Mobile Network will operate over the 1.7 GHz frequency band with over 1,825 MHz of spectrum. The company aims to launch service in October 2019. The company plans to raise a maximum of JPY 600 billion to fund the rollout of the network. Of this, Rakuten Inc. (the parent company) plans to provide a maximum of JPY 200 billion - a hedge on its bet.

Rakuten – Japan’s e-commerce giant

Founded in 1999 by Hiroshi Mikitan, Rakuten is Japan’s e-commerce leader – the local equivalent of Amazon or Alibaba – but far from being a me-too follower, the company has consistently innovated and acquired to advance its vision. It now offers online merchandise for consumers and businesses, life insurance, fire insurance, travel insurance, digital content, an advertising network, and a growing list of communications services. Rakuten also operates the country’s biggest Internet bank and third-largest credit card company by transaction value.



Outside of Japan, Rakuten’s  major acquisitions include Buy.com (now Rakuten.com in the US), PriceMinister (France), Ikeda (now Rakuten Brasil), Tradoria (now Rakuten Deutschland), Play.com (now Rakuten.co.uk in the UK), Wuaki.tv (now Rakuten TV in Spain), Kobo Inc. (now Rakuten Kobo in Canada), Viber (now Rakuten Viber), Ebates, Viki (now Rakuten Viki), OverDrive, Inc. (now Rakuten OverDrive), Slice (now Rakuten Slice) and The Grommet.
Until now, Rakuten has experimented with being a mobile virtual network operator, claiming 1.5 million users. Going forward, Rakuten reckons that around JPY 600 billion is enough to build a nationwide network of 4G base stations. The company says it has poached key executives from the other three big mobile operators. It is also known to be seeking advice from network equipment suppliers about how to rollout a nationwide network as quickly and efficiently as possible.

A key metric for Rakuten is its global gross transaction value, which is the sum total of everything sold on its platform. For 2017, that figure was up 21%.

Strategic thinking

Given its current size and the deep pull from its consumer base, one might expect that it would be easier and faster for Rakuten to buy out one of the three existing mobile operators compared with the time and trouble of building a whole new 4G network.  Practically speaking, no such option exists in Japan for Rakuten. NTT Docomo obviously is out of reach. KDDI is doing well enough on its own as the main challenger to Docomo, so is unlikely to be interested. And Softbank Japan, with Masayoshi Son at its helm, has big ambitions of its own, making the prospects of a merger or buyout with Rakuten unlikely.

For Rakuten, the value of becoming a mobile operator is not to battle it out with Docomo in hopes of poaching subscribers and earning a thin margin on the sale of monthly 4G data plans. Rakuten’s strategic thoughts must centre on building direct access to its e-shopping consumers.  It might even be willing to accept losses in the first years of operating the forthcoming mobile network, in return for a building a better e-commerce experience for its consumers.

In India, Reliance Jio is another late-comer to the mobile market and it too has been willing to suffer deep losses to build its new nationwide network and to establish its subscriber base. However, in Jio case, there is not a thriving e-commerce business to justify the risk.
There are however other cloud giants who will be watching Rakuten’s entrance into the mobile business. Alibaba might be constrained in doing so in its home market, unless the government wants a fourth competitor. But conceivably Alibaba could try its luck as a mobile operator overseas. The other big player of course is Amazon, who might very well be studying Rakuten’s moves.

Video: Go!Foton in conversation with Verizon



The optical networking industry has always faced the challenge of how to achieve more at lower cost, says Simin Cai, CEO of Go!Foton.

This conversation with Glenn Wellbrock, Director, Backbone Network Design, Verizon, explores innovation in optical connectors, patch panels, rack flexibility, automated operations, and network design. Doing more and costing less.

See video: https://youtu.be/GSc1GKk0Crc



Alibaba Cloud expands to Turkey

Alibaba Cloud has established a partnership with Istanbul-based B2B services provider e-Glober to accelerate its entry into Turkey's cloud market.

e-Glober was already Turkey’s sole authorized agent and business partner of Alibaba's global wholesale platform. It will now deliver Alibaba Cloud’s suite of services to the exporters, small and medium-sized businesses and other local companies it Turkey.

“Alibaba Cloud has always been dedicated to making our future-proof technology inclusive within the markets in which we operate,” said Yeming Wang, deputy general manager of Alibaba Cloud Global. “We aim to become the preferred cloud service provider for all sizes of business in Turkey by providing a full range of cloud solutions and combining this with E-Glober’s local expertise.”

Alibaba acquires C-SKY Microsystems for embedded IoT CPUs

Alibaba has acquired Hangzhou Zhongtian Microsystem Co. (C-SKY Microsystems, a leading developer of embedded CPUs, for an undisclosed sum.

C-SKY, which was founded in 2001 and is based in Hangzhou's Hi-Tech Zone, offers a series of 32-bit "C-SKY" embedded CPU cores based on independent intellectual property rights. The chips are widely used in Internet of Things intelligent hardware, digital audio and video, information security, networking and communications, industrial control, and automotive electronics.


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Silicon Labs acquires Sigma Design's Z-Wave (G.9959) business for $240M

Silicon Labs has acquired Sigma Designs' Z-Wave business, including a team of approximately 100 employees, for $240 million in an all-cash transaction.

Z-Wave mesh networking technology based on the open, internationally recognized ITU standard (G.9959).0 More than 2,400 certified, interoperable Z-Wave devices are available from the thriving Z-Wave Alliance of more than 700 manufacturers and service providers worldwide.

Silicon Labs said the deal complements its wireless hardware and software portfolio for the smart home, which includes Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Thread, Bluetooth and proprietary protocols.

"Adding Z-Wave to Silicon Labs' extensive IoT connectivity portfolio allows us to deliver a unified vision for the wireless technologies underpinning the smart home market," said Tyson Tuttle, CEO of Silicon Labs. "A secure, interoperable customer experience is at the heart of how smart home products are designed, deployed and managed. Our smart home vision is one where multiple technologies work securely together, where any device using any of our connectivity options easily joins the home network, and where security updates and feature upgrades occur automatically."

"Together, Silicon Labs and the Z-Wave Alliance and its ecosystems will continue to advance the Z-Wave technology roadmap, delivering innovations that engage millions of smart home product users," said Raoul Wijgergangs, Vice President and General Manager of Z-Wave. "Z-Wave is a proven, broadly deployed technology that just reached the milestone of 100 million devices in the market. The acquisition will drive collaboration and expand access to a diverse ecosystem network of partners including Amazon, Alarm.com, ADT, Samsung SmartThings, Yale, Vivint, Google Home and Comcast."

Comcast and Charter form 50/50 partnership for mobile backend

Comcast and Charter announce a 50/50 operating platform partnership focused on the development and design of backend systems that support Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile and Charter’s Spectrum Mobile service. The partnership will be governed by a four-person board of directors, with two directors representing each of Comcast and Charter. The partnership will be based in Philadelphia and will utilize Comcast employees to support the development of the platform on behalf of both companies.

The companies said that while they will continue to develop their respective mobile brands, products, and services, there is an opportunity to work together to develop an efficient and scalable software platform, and related backend systems, which will power each company’s mobile-related customer sales and support platforms, device logistics and warehousing, and billing." The operating platform developed by the partnership will serve as the systems interface for current and any future MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) partners.

Danny Bowman, Chief Mobile Officer for Charter, said, “Our new partnership will enable us to drive faster and more cost-effective mobile product and service enhancements and provide innovative and affordable mobile service to our customers. We are excited about the launch of Spectrum Mobile in the coming months.”

“We have built a best-in-class mobile platform for Xfinity Mobile that is resonating with customers,” said Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer for Comcast. “By collaborating with Charter, we will help drive operational and cost efficiencies for both companies.”

Friday, April 20, 2018

Optelian offer 100G, temperature hardened muxponder

Optelian introduces a 100G hardened (OSP compliant) muxponder designed for 5G upgrades, remote business services access and fiber deep architectures.

Optelian said its new MPX-9103 100G muxponder does not require a temperature controlled shelter or facility. The device can aggregate up to ten 10G client side circuits onto a 100G line side interface.

The 1 RU “pizza box” can use commercially available 100G CFP transceivers for flexibility, including SR, LR and DCO variants from a number of suppliers. It provides full OTN capability.

“Demand is growing for high bit-rate edge devices, so we are excited to launch a best-in-class 100G OSP solution that achieves 100G transport capacity while utilizing the advances in 100G CFP technology,” said Scott Agnew, vice president of R&D, Optelian. “In addition, the MPX-9103 provides the reliability, extended operating temperature and much shallower depth expected for smaller OSP cabinets.”

The MPX-9103 has undergone NEBS qualification and is now commercially available.

Intel cuts water usage in semiconductor manufacturing

Intel is investing in a massive water recycling facility at its plant in Hillsboro, Oregon as part of a corporate goal to return 100 percent of water used in its global manufacturing to communities and watersheds for local use by 2025.

When complete, the huge water recycling plant in Hillsboro, will be able to recycle about 1 billion gallons of water every year – the equivalent of 90,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.

RSA Conference 2018 attracted 42,000

The 27th annual RSA Conference, held last week in San Francisco's Moscone Center, attracted over 42,000 attendees.

"The goal of RSA Conference is to bring the best content the cybersecurity industry has to offer across numerous platforms," said Linda Gray Martin, Director & General Manager of RSA Conference. "We succeeded, in a week filled with knowledge sharing, collaboration and the exchange of innovative ideas among the industry’s elite. In the process, we’re beginning the journey to reach and educate a new audience through RSAC onDemand. We thank everyone for making it such a special event once again and we’re excited to further these conversations in the year ahead.”

RSAC Unplugged London will take place on June 7, 2018.

RSA Conference 2018 Asia Pacific & Japan takes place July 25-27, 2018 in Singapore.

RSAC Unplugged Abu Dhabi is set for November 14, 2018.

RSA Conference 2019 takes place March 4-8, 2019 in San Francisco.

ADTRAN appoints John Neville as Senior VP of Sales

ADTRAN announced the appointment of John Neville as senior vice president of sales, replacing Charles Marsh who is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

Neville joined ADTRAN as head of business development, and his responsibilities expanded to include European and Asian sales organizations. In addition to serving in executive management at Ericsson, Neville has served in leadership roles at Nortel and Honeywell Bull, as well as Bell Atlantic, NYNEX and Cox Cable.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

AT&T expands 5G Evolution rollout to 141 markets

AT&T announced the launch of its 5G Evolution network service in 117 new markets, bringing its total to 141 launches so far.

AT&T's 5G Evolution offers wireless speeds up to 400 Mbps, which two times faster than standard LTE in many major markets, including in Atlanta, Chicago, Memphis, Nashville, San Diego and others.

The company  aims to have its 5G Evolution running in 500 U.S. markets by the end of this year,, including in parts of Baltimore; Charlotte, N.C.; Cleveland; Denver; Detroit; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City; Las Vegas; New York City; Philadelphia; Portland; Raleigh; Salt Lake City; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.

AT&T is also making LTE-LAA available in parts of 3 new markets, bringing the total number of markets served with that technology to 7. AT&T’s LTE-LAA technologies can deliver theoretical peak speeds for capable devices of up to 1 Gbps.

“We’re building a 5G network that will fundamentally change the way the world lives and works,” said Melissa Arnoldi, president of Technology & Operations. “5G will provide a wireless experience that is faster, more responsive and more secure for our customers.”

AT&T customers need the latest 5G Evolution and LTE-LAA capable devices can access the faster speeds. These devices include the Samsung Galaxy lineup – S8, S9, S8+, S9+, Note8 and S8 Active – as well as the LG V30 and Moto Z2 Force Edition.

See also