Sunday, August 19, 2018

AirTrunk raises AUD$850M for hyperscale data centers in Australia

AirTrunk, a colocation data center operator based in Singapore, announced AUD $850 million (US$621 million) in new financing for a major expansion of its Australian data centers in Sydney and Melbourne, and across key Asia-Pacific markets.

AirTrunk said it is seeing strong customer demand for its hyperscale data center solutions.

The funding was led by Deutsche Bank, with investments from AirTrunk founder and CEO, Robin Khuda, as well as Goldman Sachs and TSSP.

Khuda commented, “We saw a substantial amount of global interest in AirTrunk throughout the process, and are delighted to complete this financing arrangement with Deutsche Bank. Together with the new capital recently contributed by our shareholders, the new funds put us in a strong position to meet the growing demand from large cloud, content and enterprise customers in the Asia-Pacific region.

AirTrunk Melbourne, which opened in November 2017, is designed for large cloud, content and enterprise customers. When fully completed, the data center will have a total capacity in excess of 50 megawatts of IT load across 20 data halls, making it the largest carrier neutral data center in Victoria.

AirTrunk Sydney, which opened in September 2017, promises a total capacity in excess of 80 megawatts of IT load when fully completed, covering 64,000 square metres of floor space.

BT backs Telecom Infra Project's start-up accelerator programme

For the second year in a row, BT will host a start-up competition at the TIP Ecosystem Acceleration Centre (TEAC) at the BT Innovation Labs in Martlesham, Suffolk and in London’s Tech City.

The competition seeks start-ups in the Intent-Based Networking and Mobile fields.  Entries will be judged by a panel of senior network and technology leaders from BT, Facebook, and TIP.Shortlisted companies will be invited to a final pitch event at BT Tower on Friday 12th October, where the winners will be chosen.

Last year's winners included Unmanned Life, Zeetta Networks and KETS Quantum Security.

Howard Watson, CTIO of BT, and a member of the TIP Board, said: “TIP was created to help tackle some of the big challenges in Telecoms, boosting global connectivity by supporting big ideas. We’re particularly interested in start-ups with innovative ideas on how to deploy mobile networks cost-effectively in rural areas, as we look ahead to the roll-out of 5G services.

The Telecom Infra Project is a global community that includes more than 500 member companies, including operators, infrastructure providers, system integrators, and other technology companies working together to transform the traditional approach to building and deploying telecom network infrastructure.

Interested companies should apply by 24th September 2018 via the TEAC UK website: https://www.btplc.com/Innovation/TEAC/index.htm

Verizon and Nokia complete 5G NR mobility call

Verizon and Nokia announced a5G milestone: the first successful transmission of a 3GPP New Radio (NR) 5G signal to a receiver situated in a moving vehicle, seamlessly handing off the signal from one radio sector to another.

The test, which took place at Nokia’s campus in Murray Hill, NJ, used two 5G NR radios on a Nokia building and a third radio/receiver in a vehicle outfitted with equipment to measure transmission statistics. The transmission used 28 GHz spectrum. Seamless 5G NR Layer 3 3GPP-compliant mobility handoffs were achieved between the two sectors (intra-gNB and inter-DU).

“Unlike some of the incremental 5G technology announcements we’ve seen lately, tests like the one we conducted are significant advancements in the development of 5G technology,” said Bill Stone, vice president, Technology Development and Planning for Verizon. “By taking these tests out of the lab and into the field, we’re replicating the experience users will ultimately have in a 5G mobility environment.”

“We are pleased to showcase the acceleration of the mobile capabilities in 5G,” said Marc Rouanne, president, Mobile Networks, Nokia. “Enhanced mobile broadband is one of the first services being delivered on Nokia's end-to-end 5G Future X portfolio. As a result, we can help our customers meet their early 5G deployment schedules and initial coverage demands.”

Verizon is preparing to launch a fixed 5G service in four U.S. markets to deliver broadband and video service. The company has not announced a launch date for a mobile 5G solution.

China Unicom sees growth following mixed ownership reform

China Unicom reported 1H2018 service revenue of to RMB134.4 billion, representing an 8.3% year-on-year growth, topping rivals China Mobile and China Telecom.

EBITDA amounted to RMB45.7 billion, up by 4.9% year-on-year. The profit before income tax reached RMB7.8 billion and the profit attributable to equity shareholders of the company increased by 145% year-on-year to RMB5.9 billion.

China Unicom attributed its improving condition to the mixed ownership reforms undertaken one year ago at the behest of the central government. China Unicom has been increasing its level of collaboration with Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, JD.com and DiDi, especially in outreach areas for the youth market.

Mr. Wang Xiaochu, Chairman and CEO of China Unicom said, “Looking ahead, by unleashing
the unique edges, the Company will persevere in the implementation of the Internet-oriented
operation, creating differentiated competitive advantages. Centred on return and efficiency, and
riding on Internet-oriented operation transformation, the Company strived to enhance total-factor
development efficiency. The Company will enhance its key capability in network, IT and
management on all fronts to provide a solid foundation for the healthy and sustainable
development of various businesses. We will step up investments appropriately for nurturing the
future growth engines. Seizing opportunities afforded by the mixed-ownership reform, we will
deepen strategic cooperation and further advance the system and mechanism reform, accelerating
the delivery of benefits from the reform and comprehensively enhancing the Company’s overall
competitive strengths with a view to creating greater value for shareholders.”

Some highlights:

  • Mobile service revenue reached RMB84.3 billion, representing a year-on-year growth of 9.7% 
  • Mobile billing subscribers achieved a net increase of 17.86 million, reaching a total number of 302 million mobile billing subscribers. 
  • Mobile ARPU amounted to RMB47.9, which was largely stable compared to the full year of 2017. 
  • The 4G subscriber base saw a net increase of 28.23 million in 1H2018 to a total of 203 million. 
  • The 4G subscriber market share was up by 3 percentage points year-on-year. 
  • The proportion of 4G subscribers in total mobile billing subscribers increased by 16 percentage points year-on-year to
  • over 67%. 
  • Fixed-line broadband access revenue amounted to RMB21.5 billion, which was largely stable compared to the same period last year.
  • The number of fixed-line broadband subscribers increased by 2.38 million on a net basis to 78.92 million. 
  • Video service subscribers accounted for over 43% of the fixed-line broadband subscribers, up by 10 percentage points year-on-year.
  •  4G BTS: 910K (up by 60K), focus on capacity expansion & experience enhancement
  • Actively deploy 10G PON & other new technologies in Northern China to progressively achieve 1,000Mbps access capability


China Unicom's US$11.7B strategic investment brings advantages


China United Network Communications Group (China Unicom or 中国联通), the fourth largest mobile operator with over 270 million subscribers, recently closed a deal that will bring in US$11.68 billion in cash from top Chinese tech companies. Under the deal, the Shanghai-based holding company of China Unicom, will sell a 35.2% stake worth RMB 78 billion to 14 strategic investors, including the following. The deal is backed by the Chinese government, which...


Ericsson to build IP transport network for 5G in Denmark

Hi3G, which operates under the "3" brand in Denmark, has selected Ericsson to modernize its transport network with 5G-ready routers over the next three years. Deployment begins this autumn.

The new IP Mobile Backhaul transformation project will use Ericsson's Router 6000 platform. Hi3G is already using Ericsson’s MINI-LINK product portfolio, which shares a common management system with Router 6000 series.

Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Ericsson in Europe & Latin America, says: “Hi3G is establishing itself as one of the 5G leaders in the region and we are committed to helping them on this journey by building the highest quality network that provides an outstanding user experience. The network is at the heart of 5G and our portfolio – the most complete in the industry – will enable service providers today to evolve smoothly to the next generation of networks.”

Ericsson introduced its Router 6000 platform at Mobile World Congress 2015, but has rarely mentioned it in press briefing since that time.

Ericsson Debuts Next Gen Radio System, Backhaul Routers

Ericsson introduced its next generation Radio System modular architecture, aiming to provide greater flexibility in how mobile networks are built and operated.
Ericsson Radio System features multi-standard, multi-band and multi-layer technology. It delivers three times the capacity density with 50 percent improvement in energy efficiency compared to current systems.

Ericsson also took the wraps off its new Router 6000 series advanced radio integrated transport for high-performance backhaul with precise synchronization required LTE Advanced, 5G and M2M.

The new Router 6000 series is a key element in Ericsson's next-generation portfolio, a comprehensive suite of platforms running one network operating system (IPOS), spanning from cell-site routers to edge, mobile core and data centers. The architecture will integrate SDN capabilities and, when matched with the new Ericsson Virtual Router, will enable distributed cloud applications. New Ericsson Network Manager capabilities will bring application aware traffic engineering with plug-and-play installation.

"The Ericsson Router 6000 series is a game changer since it responds directly to operators' challenges of  dramatic increase in the number of connected devices, and the video explosion driving the demand for traffic scale and higher quality of experience," said Anders Lindblad, Senior Vice President, Head of Business Unit Cloud and IP at Ericsson.

Some highlights of the Ericsson Router 6000 series:

  • Integrated into the new Ericsson Radio System that supports a multi-standard, multi-band, multi-layer architecture
  • Series consists of the Router 6672 for access, the Router 6675 for pre-aggregation and the Router 6274 for metro aggregation.
  • First access router with 100GE interfaces in a single Rack Unit (RU) -- more capacity and higher density of 10GE/100GE interfaces in a compact form factor.
  • Support for Segment Routing provides an evolutionary migration from IP/MPLS to SDN, offering user-defined policy routing, faster roll out of revenue generating services and optimal usage of network resources.

MIT: Lincoln Lab looks to narrow-beam lasers for underwater comms

Researchers at Lincoln Laboratory are investigating laser technology for underwater communications. The work builds on the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) project conducted with NASA, which successfully transmitted data from a satellite orbiting the moon to Earth at 622 Mbps.

Researchers are using narrow-beam optics to help overcome the significant absorption and scattering effects of water.

This technique contrasts with the more common undersea communication approach that sends the transmit beam over a wide angle but reduces the achievable range and data rate. “By demonstrating that we can successfully acquire and track narrow optical beams between two mobile vehicles, we have taken an important step toward proving the feasibility of the laboratory’s approach to achieving undersea communication that is 10,000 times more efficient than other modern approaches,” says Scott Hamilton, leader of the Optical Communications Technology Group, which is directing this R&D into undersea communication.



Ericsson demos 5G at mall in Saudi Arabia with Mobily

Ericsson and Saudi telecom operator Mobily and Ericsson are showcasing 5G at the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The demo features a standalone end-to-end 5G system, including a prototype 3.5GHz radio, baseband, and prototype UE device for the 5G demo, which showcased 5G throughput, targeting speeds of up to 1Gbps.

Mazid Al Harbi, CTO of Mobily, says: “We are wholly supportive of Saudi Vision 2030 and the push towards enhancing our digital economy. Our investment in 5G is demonstrative of our commitment to improving network performance and enhancing the customer experience across Saudi Arabia. Our partnership with Ericsson enables us to provide a state-of-the art scalable network to serve consumers and industries across Saudi Arabia now and in the 5G future.”

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