Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Telstra to spin-off fixed infrastructure, focus on 5G

Almost exactly 8 years after signing a historic agreement with nbn Co Limited (NBN Co), the consortium established to design, build and operate Australia's wholesale-only national broadband network (nbn), Telstra has just announced plans to spin-off its remaining fixed network infrastructure, including long-haul fibre, data centres, and subsea cables, into a separate company.

The nbn Co agreement reached in 2010 ensured that Telstra provides access to its facilities, which has remained a steady source of income over the years. Nevertheless, Telstra is embarking on a major reorganization and radical transformation of its customer plans and pricing. The company says it is looking ahead to a "post-nbn rollout" world in which very fast access speeds are ubiquitous across the country and multiple competitors run over the same fixed infrastructure.

The strategy, named Telstra2022, has four key pillars:

  • Radically simplify product offerings, eliminate customer pain points and create all digital experiences
  • Establish a standalone infrastructure business to drive performance and set up optionality post the nbn rollout
  • Greatly simplify the corporate structure and ways of working to empower our people and serve our customers
  • Cost reduction programme and portfolio management

Andrew Penn, who has now been CEO of Telstra for three years, says "The rate and pace of change in our industry is increasingly driven by technological innovation and competition. In this environment, traditional companies that do not respond are most at risk. We have worked hard preparing Telstra for this market dynamic while ensuring we did not act precipitously. However, we are now at a tipping point where we must act more boldly if we are to continue to be the nation’s leading telecommunications company.”

The corporate restructuring will result in a net reduction of 8,000 employees and contractors, and the elimination of 2-4 layers of management.

The infrastructure spin-off, tentatively called Telstra InfraCo, will begin as a wholly-owned subsidiary on 1 July, although over time, Telstra may seek a strategic investor or separate listing. Its assets will include Telstra’s fixed network infrastructure including data centres, non-mobiles related domestic fibre, copper, HFC, international subsea cables, exchanges, poles, ducts and pipes. Its services will be sold to Telstra, wholesale customers and nbn co.

Telstra InfraCo will also comprise Telstra’s nbn co commercial works activities and Telstra Wholesale, with a total workforce of approximately 3,000. It is expected this new Business Unit will control assets with a book value of about $11 billion and have annual revenues and EBITDA of about $5.5 billion and $3 billion respectively.

The new business unit will not include the mobile network assets including spectrum, radio access equipment, towers and some elements of backhaul fibre, which will remain integrated with Telstra’s core customer segment.  Telstra itself will seek to be a premium brand with its future tied to mobile connectivity and the upcoming 5G launch.




AT&T targets NarrowBand IoT in early 2019, adding to its LTE-M service

AT&T will launch NarrowBand Internet of Things (NB-IoT) across the U.S. in early 2019 and across Mexico later in the year. AT&T, which launched its LTE-M network in Q2 2017, said NB-IoT will complement its existing service. Both NB-IoT and LTE-M are supported in licensed spectrum and with carrier-grade security.

"We've seen global momentum for LPWA since launching our North American LTE-M network last year," said Chris Penrose, President, IoT Solutions, AT&T. "Adding NB-IoT to our portfolio will expand our LPWA capabilities, help drive investment in our evolution to 5G and support our customers as they deploy IoT solutions across the U.S. and Mexico."

NB-IoT and LTE-M offer longer battery life, coverage extension, and lower costs than traditional cellular LTE connectivity. NB-IoT is ideally suited to meet basic data requirements, while LTE-M provides more robust capabilities including bandwidth for firmware and software updates, mobility and VoLTE (Voice over LTE) services.

Like LTE-M, NB-IoT technology will be deployed through software upgrades at cell sites across the U.S. and Mexico. Both will operate alongside the carrier's 4G LTE network and within its mobile 5G network.

AT&T plans to launch its 5G network in parts of Dallas, Atlanta and Waco, Texas, by the end of this year.


GÉANT scales pan-European backbone with Coriant Groove G30

GÉANT, which operates the backbone network that interconnects the national research and education networks in Europe, has selected the Coriant Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform and Coriant Transcend Chorus transport network management solution to scale its European backbone network.

Coriant's DCI solution enables GÉANT to boost network capacity across core PoP sites, including London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Paris, Geneva, and Marseilles.

“The research and education communities that GÉANT and its National Research and Education Network (NREN) partners serve have always been at the forefront of requirements on network capabilities,” said Bram Peeters, Chief Network Operations Officer, GÉANT. “Bandwidth demands continue to grow dramatically across many scientific disciplines, and with Coriant’s cost-optimized Groove G30 solution we expect to be able to bring the right levels of capacity and resiliency to keep in step with this evolution.”

Coriant said GÉANT selected its Groove G30 platform for its ultra-compact 1RU form factor, low power consumption, and the ability to support pay-as-you-grow scalability with its highly modular SLED-based system design.

Initial deployment of the Groove G30, which supports resilient high-capacity router interconnect between core data center facilities, leverages programmable 100G, 150G, and 200G coherent line-side transmission enabled by Coriant CloudWave Optics technology. The Coriant solution for GÉANT includes the Coriant Transcend Chorus transport network management system.

“GÉANT and its NREN partners play a critical role in Europe by providing the robust infrastructure that allows the best and brightest minds to collaborate virtually and drive innovation by accelerating research,” said Ronald Van der Kraan, Managing Director, Europe, Coriant. "We are excited to advance our technology collaboration with GÉANT and help them continue to deliver the service performance and scale that more than 50 million research and education users rely on.”

Vodafone to launch 5G trial in UK cities this year

Vodafone UK confirmed plans to launch a 5G trial network in seven cities across the UK starting between October and December this year.

Specifically, Vodafone engineers are already laying the groundwork for 5G at more than 40 sites in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

The 5G rollout will be part of Vodafone's "Gigabit UK" vision, which also includes fixed broadband using gigabit-capable ‘full fibre’ connections all the way to people’s homes and offices. Vodafone plans to bring its Gigabit UK service to seven cities by then of this year, including Aberdeen, Coventry, Edinburgh, Huddersfield, Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Stirling.

Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery said: “We want to make 5G and new fibre broadband services available to consumers and business throughout the UK, delivering a Gigabit society for all. We will also be bringing ultra-fast 4G to several hundred sites in hard to reach rural areas this year, building on our position as the network that offers the best voice coverage in the UK.”

HPE launches cloud-based memory-driven computing sandbox

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is launching a cloud-based sandbox that allows clients to explore memory-driven computing applications and deliver proof-of-concepts at scale.

HPE Labs has been a pioneer of Memory-Driven Computing -- a new computing architecture that puts memory, not processing, at the center of the computing platform -- through its research project known as The Machine.

“We believe that all data is valuable. Our vision for Memory-Driven Computing is to enable customers to capture, keep and refine every last bit of their data, up to 10,000 times faster than yesterday’s solutions,” said Beena Ammanath, global vice president, Artificial Intelligence, Data and Innovation, HPE. “The introduction of HPE Pointnext capabilities for Memory-Driven Computing will accelerate our ability to bring Memory-Driven Computing technologies to our customers and help them solve some of their most complex problems and more quickly than ever before.”

The Memory-Driven Computing Sandbox will feature HPE Superdome Flex with Software-Defined Scalable Memory, a new system enhancement under development and key technology output of The Machine research project. Software-Defined Scalable Memory includes new software and firmware advances that enable Superdome Flex’s industry-leading memory fabric to address significantly larger pools of shared memory than previously possible. The technology provides the ability to compose memory on the fabric and offers the ability to scale to 96 terabytes, all while offering faster and more resilient performance.

Samsung intros 8TB SSD in NF1 form factor - highest capacity NVMe

-Samsung Electronics launched the industry’s highest capacity NVMe solid state drive (SSD) based on Next-generation Small Form Factor – an eight-terabyte (TB) NF1 SSD.

The new 8TB NVMe NF1 SSD has been optimized for data-intensive analytics and virtualization applications in next-generation data centers and enterprise server systems.

"By introducing the first NF1 NVMe SSD, Samsung is taking the investment efficiency in data centers to new heights," said Sewon Chun, senior vice president of Memory Marketing at Samsung Electronics. “We will continue to lead the trend toward enabling ultra-high density data centers and enterprise systems by delivering storage solutions with unparalleled performance and density levels.”

Samsung said its new SSD is built with 16 of Samsung’s 512-gigabyte (GB) NAND packages, each stacked in 16 layers of 256 gigabit (Gb) 3-bit V-NAND chips, achieving an 8TB density in an ultra-small footprint of 11cm x 3.05cm.  This is twice the capacity offered by the M.2 NVMe SSD (11cm x 2.2cm) commonly used in hyper-scale server designs and ultra-slim laptops.

The NF1 SSD features a brand new, high-performance controller that supports the NVMe 1.3 protocol and PCIe 4.0 interface, delivering sequential read speeds of 3,100 megabytes per second (MB/s) and write speeds of 2,000MB/s. These speeds are more than five times and three times that of a typical SATA SSD, respectively. Random speeds come in at 500,000 IOPS for read operations and 50,000 IOPS for writes. Utilizing the new NF1 storage solution, an enterprise server system can perform over one million IOPS in a 2U rack space, significantly enhancing the return on investment for next-generation large-scale data centers. The SSD also includes a 12GB LPDDR4 DRAM to enable faster and more energy-efficient data processing.

To ensure long-term data reliability, the NF1 NVMe SSD has been designed with an endurance level of 1.3 drive write per day (DWPD), which guarantees writing an entire 8TB of data 1.3 times a day over its three-year warranty period.

Instagram crosses 1 billion user milestone, launches video platform

Instagram now has over 1 billion users, a major milestone for the service, which was launched in 2010.

Instagram also introduced IGTV, a new app for long-form, vertical video from Instagram creators. Videos can be up to one hour in length and will be sorted by channels. The service will be rolled out gradually over the next few weeks.

https://www.facebook.com/InstagramEnglish/videos/2021766097857435/


Microsoft Azure hit by multiple disruptions

Microsoft Azure was impacted by multiple disruptions and failures on 20-June-2018.

Azure Data Factory, Data Factory V2, Data Movement, SSIS Integration Runtime, and Data Movement & Dispatch experienced errors, including but not limited to pipeline execution errors, in regions across North America, North Europe, West Europe, the UK, Brazil, Australia, Southeast Asia, and eastern Japan.

Media reports indicate the problem was acute for some users in the North Europe region.

The @AzureSupport Twitter feed indicated the services were recovered 11 hours after the disruption was first acknowledged.

Azure Government services were not impacted.

6WIND supplies vRouters to Minorisa, an ISP in Spain

Minorisa de Sistemas Informáticos y de Gestión, an Internet Service Provider based in Spain, has migrated its infrastructure and adopted 6WIND's vRouters as core routers for its network.

After running out of throughput capacity for its legacy hardware routers, Minorisa evaluated

6WIND's 40G Turbo Router software appliances replaced legacy Cisco hardware routers that ran out of capacity. 6WIND said its vRouters also helped Minorisa's broader architecture transition to white box networking by replacing its legacy Cisco and MikroTik hardware with software.

6WIND's vRouter delivers performance up to 12 Mpps per core of IP Forwarding, 18 Gbps per core of IPsec, up to 1 million routes and 100,000 IPsec tunnels. Performance scales with the numbers of cores and hardware advancements, allowing Minorisa to move from 40G to 100G without redesigning its network.

"6WIND's vRouters exist to give growing ISPs such as Minorisa the highest performance in a full featured software router to replace hardware," said Eric Carmès, Founder and CEO of 6WIND. "We are proud to announce Minorisa's successful migration to 6WIND vRouters as part of its broader initiative for a full transition to white box networking."

SES delivers connectivity for French Polynesian islands

SES Networks announced a deal with the Office des Postes et Telecommunications of French Polynesia (OPT) to deliver enhanced mobile broadband and Internet services to residents across the vast French Polynesian territory.

Under the new agreement, OPT will access the NSS-9 satellite’s wide C-band coverage to reach the sprawling Polynesian archipelago of 118 islands in the South Pacific.

OPT has been using SES satellite capacity to provide connectivity services since 2007.

“OPT and SES Networks have been partners for the last decade. It was thanks to SES satellites that we brought French Polynesia into the Internet age. Today, mobile broadband and Internet connectivity demands from residents and businesses are growing faster than ever. NSS-9 offers reliable coverage and a wide footprint spanning the Pacific Ocean – a perfect complement to our terrestrial infrastructure, as we expand our network to provide new and enhanced services that people need,” said Tehina Thuret, Telecommunications Chief Executive at OPT.

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