Thursday, June 14, 2018

3GPP's Release 15 5G specifications approved

Marking another essential step in standardization of 5G, the 3GPP officially approved the completion of the standalone (SA) Release 15 5G specifications.

The completion of 5G SA (standalone) follows the release of the 5G NR specifications for non-standalone (NSA) operation in December 2017. This not only gives 5G NR the ability of independent deployment, but also brings a brand new end-to-end network architecture.

Balázs Bertényi, Chairman of 3GPP TSG RAN, said: “The freeze of Standalone 5G NR radio specifications represents a major milestone in the quest of the wireless industry towards realizing the holistic 5G vision. 5G NR Standalone systems not only dramatically increase the mobile broadband speeds and capacity, but also open the door for new industries beyond telecommunications that are looking to revolutionize their ecosystem through 5G.”

Erik Guttman, Chairman of 3GPP TSG SA, stated: “The agreed completion of the stage 3 freeze milestone for the 5G standalone system has great significance. The 5G System specification has now reached its official stage of completion, thanks to the intense efforts of hundreds of engineers over the past three years. A special acknowledgment is due to those who led this remarkable effort in diverse committees. 5G promises a broad expansion of telecommunications, as an ever more central component of our economies, societies and individual activities. The 5G System opens the way for commercialization of services based on the New Radio and 5G Core Network and their advanced extensible capabilities. The new system provides the foundation for ongoing specialization for support of new business sectors, for unlike 4G and past generations, 5G supports the very specific requirements and individual service characteristics of diverse communications. Already, 3GPP activities have begun to leverage the 5G system to realize opportunities in areas such as industrial automation. This activity will intensify in the months and years to come, in increasingly many sectors, all on the foundation of the work that has been achieved on this occasion.”


AT&T completes its historic merger with Time Warner

AT&T completed its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc., bringing together global media and entertainment leaders Warner Bros., HBO and Turner with AT&T’s video, mobile and broadband networks.

“The content and creative talent at Warner Bros., HBO and Turner are first-rate. Combine all that with AT&T’s strengths in direct-to-consumer distribution, and we offer customers a differentiated, high-quality, mobile-first entertainment experience,” said Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc. “We’re going to bring a fresh approach to how the media and entertainment industry works for consumers, content creators, distributors and advertisers.”

Under the terms of the merger, Time Warner Inc. shareholders received 1.4 shares of AT&T common stock, in addition to $53.75 in cash, per share of Time Warner Inc. As a result, AT&T issued 1,185M shares of common stock and paid $42.5B in cash.

Including net debt from Time Warner, AT&T now has $180.4B in net debt.

AT&T's new corporate structure is as follows:

AT&T Communications provides mobile, broadband, video and other communications services to U.S.-based consumers and nearly 3.5 million companies – from the smallest business to nearly all the Fortune 1000 – with highly secure, smart solutions. Revenues from these services totaled more than $150 billion in 2017. John Donovan serves as CEO of AT&T Communications.

AT&T’s media business consists of HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. Together, these businesses had revenues of more than $31 billion in 2017. A new name for this business will be announced later. John Stankey serves as CEO of AT&T’s media business.

AT&T International provides mobile services in Mexico to consumers and businesses, plus pay-TV service across 11 countries in South America and the Caribbean. It had revenues of more than $8 billion in 2017.  Lori Lee serves as CEO of AT&T International and Global Marketing Officer of AT&T Inc.

AT&T’s advertising and analytics business provides marketers with advanced advertising solutions using valuable customer insights from AT&T’s TV, mobile and broadband services, combined with extensive ad inventory from Turner and AT&T’s pay-TV services. A name for this company will be announced in the future. Brian Lesser is CEO of AT&T’s ad and analytics business.

LINX adopts disaggregated network architecture using EVPN on open hardware

The London Internet Exchange (LINX) migrated its LON2 platform to a new disaggregated network model that uses EVPN technology. The new architecture became fully operational on 5th June following an extensive testing, proof of concept, and migration process lasting nearly two years.

LINX is believed to be the first IXP globally to implement EVPN in its production fabric.

LINX said its new LON2 architecture employs EVPN over VXLAN, leaf-spine topology, full automation and is 100G ready.

LON2 is using IP Infusion’s OcNOS network operating system in concert with switch hardware from Edgecore Networks.

LINX is one of the world’s largest Internet Exchange Point (IXP) operators connecting over 820 networks from over 75 countries. It operates a dual-LAN infrastructure in London with regional exchanges in Manchester, Cardiff and central Scotland. It also operates an exchange in Northern Virginia, USA.

“By introducing a disaggregated platform, LINX members will benefit from increased flexibility plus continued value from their investment,” said Richard Petrie, LINX CTO. “The EVPN technology allows LINX to deliver long-term innovative technology to our members, a commitment to ever-greater levels of service quality and to allow us to provide services at a greatly reduced cost base.”

LINX Lead Architect, Flemming Heino, added, “With EVPN everything is programmed. Switches talk to one another, they are synchronised and ultimately more predictable and stable. The system offers many benefits and the flexibility for more features to be added such as multi-homing.”

George Tchaparian, CEO, Edgecore Networks, said, “There are many operational and cost benefits of the new architecture model and Edgecore are extremely proud to have worked with LINX on this ground-breaking project. We’ve clearly demonstrated that open network systems are ready outside of data centre applications and are viable solutions for mainstream telecom service providers."

https://www.linx.net/contact/linx-news/

Facebook to build its next hyperscale data center in Alabama

Facebook has chosen Huntsville, Alabama for its next hyperscale data center location.

Facebook estimates it will invest $750 million in the 970,000 square foot facility.

As with its other data centers, Facebook committed to 100% renewable energy and is looking at new solar projects in the area. The company says it is working with the Tennessee Valley Authority to establish a renewable energy tariff that will let other qualifying customers buy new renewable resources as well.

The Huntsville Data Center could be operational in 2020.

Facebook plans next data center in Utah

Facebook will build one of its hyperscale data centers in Eagle Mountain, Utah.

The 970,000 square foot Eagle Mountain Data Center will be powered by 100% renewable energy.

Facebook said the Eagle Moutain project represents an investment of more than $750 million.

The data center will use outside air to cool its servers.

Azure Kubernetes Service enters general availability

Microsoft announced that its Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is now generally available in ten regions across three continents. Microsoft expects to add ten more regions in the coming months.

The new Kubernetes service features an Azure-hosted control plane, automated upgrades, self-healing, easy scaling, and a simple user experience for both developers and cluster operators. Users are able to control access to their Kubernetes cluster with Azure Active Directory accounts and user groups. A key attribute of AKS is operational visibility into the managed Kubernetes environment. Control plane telemetry, log aggregation, and container health are monitored via the Azure portal.

Microsoft also announced five new regions including Australia East, UK South, West US, West US 2, and North Europe.

Digital Realty opens 46 Megawatt Data Center in Toronto

Digital Realty had opened its third data center in Toronto at the site of the former Toronto Star printing plant.

The facility will provide up to 46 megawatts of critical power capacity. It spans over 66,000 square meters (711,000 square feet).

Some highlights
  • The new facility is engineered to deliver a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.25 annualized at full capacity and will be one of Canada's most efficient and reliable data centers.
  • With 23 computer rooms ranging from 800 to 1,200 square meters (approximately 8,600 to 13,000 square feet), it can accommodate power capacities from one to three megawatts per room.
  • Resiliencies range from n to 2n with a power density range of 1,000 to more than 4,000 watts per square meter (approximately 100 to 300 watts per square foot).
  • The facility is adjacent to a utility sub-station, providing direct access to low-cost power.
  • Proximity to downtown Toronto, major highways, and an international airport makes for easy accessibility.
"Toronto is home to a booming financial services industry and a burgeoning roster of large technology companies and emerging tech startups for whom digital transformation is driving enterprise initiatives," said Digital Realty Chief Executive Officer A. William Stein. "We are very excited to be converting the iconic Toronto Star building into a revolutionary new data center, ideal for cloud providers, financial services companies and enterprises of all sizes. The grand opening is another important milestone in achieving our strategic goal of building an unparalleled global network of top-tier data centers in major cities and interconnection hubs around the world."

MapR adds Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes

The MapR Data Platform now supports Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS), making it easier organizations to adopt and manage their data seamlessly on-premises and on AWS.

MapR previously announced persistent storage for containers to enable the deployment of stateful containerized applications.

Amazon EKS automatically manages the availability, scalability, and scheduling of containers. With MapR, organizations can retain the disaggregation of scaling compute independent of their storage, without having to worry about over subscription. MapR also secures containers from data access vulnerabilities through wire-level encryption and a full end-to-end set of access, authorization, and authentication features.

"Data agility is essential for next-gen analytics and advanced applications,” said Jack Norris, senior vice president, data and applications at MapR. “The robustness of MapR combined with the agility of Amazon EKS enables enterprises to quickly build a flexible and secure production environment for large scale AI and machine learning."

Speedlink shows 24GHz to 43GHz transceiver for 5G millimeter-wave

Speedlink Technology announced a 24GHz to 43GHz wideband transceiver module for 5G millimeter-wave connectivity.

Engineering samples are expected later this year.

"Speedlink's Extreme Mobile Broadband (EMB) transceiver is a revolutionary development for the mobile industry," said Mr. Thomas Chen, President and CEO of Speedlink Technology. "The 24Ghz to 43GHz band is necessary to realize the promise of 5G technology – fiber replacement speeds over wireless. However, the patchwork of frequency allocations around the world require multiple front-end transceivers. Only Speedlink offers one module that covers all the 5G bands between 24GHz and 43GHz."

Zayo lands data center contract with a webscale provider

Zayo announed a major contract with a global webscale provider for colocation in Zayo’s data center in McLean, Virginia.

Zayo acquired the McLean data center in April. The facility is located close to downtown Washington, D.C. and measures 62,000 total square feet. Zayo plans to upgrade the critical power at the site to three megawatts (MW) and enhance systems resiliency, security, audit certifications, and network connectivity. The data center tethers directly to Zayo’s data center in Ashburn, Virginia and to Zayo’s network point of presence (PoP) on M Street.

“This Northern Virginia location is especially attractive to webscale companies, government agencies, cloud providers and other large enterprises,” said Phil Mottram, Chief Customer Officer. “We are achieving rapid monetization of this asset, and have strong interest from other organizations in multiple sectors, including a financial services provider and an R&D lab.”

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