Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Telstra activates 50th 5G site

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn signed a 5G strategic partnership agreement President and CEO Ericsson Börje Ekholm.

The signing ceremony coincided with Telstra activating its 50th 5G site in Australia. Canberra, Adelaide and Perth are among the first locations in Australia to be upgraded with 5G technology.

Adelaide’s first mobile base station to be upgraded to 5G is located in Flinders St, with Perth’s first going live at Narrows Bridge in the Perth CBD. Canberra’s first 5G base station upgrade is at Pialligo, with other sites coming online at Phillip, Lyons and two sites at Fyshwick. The base station upgrades in these three cities means that Telstra has now upgraded 50 base stations to 5G technology across the country. Other locations include Brisbane, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson said: “Telstra and Ericsson have continued to demonstrate industry leadership through ongoing innovation and collaboration with best in class partners needed to build an end-to-end 5G ecosystem. Together we have put in place the fundamentals that will enable Telstra to succeed in 5G. Through our extensive collaborative efforts, we will ensure Australia is at the cutting edge of mobile technology.”

Andrew Penn said 5G was a key element of Telstra’s T22 strategy and the decision to appoint Ericsson as its 5G technology partner was a critical one.

“Telstra has a history of investing ahead of the technology curve to ensure we have the latest capabilities in place to serve our customers. We're proud to partner with Ericsson to pioneer 5G technology in this country and to ensure that together we continue to deliver market leading innovation in networks,” said Penn.

Qualcomm and Ericsson complete 5G NR Sub-6 GHz call

Qualcomm and Ericsson ompleted the first 3GPP Rel-15 spec compliant 5G NR over-the-air (OTA) call over sub-6 GHz bands on a smartphone form factor mobile test device.

The OTA call was conducted in the Ericsson Lab in Stockholm, Sweden on the 3.5 GHz band and Ericsson’s commercial 5G NR radio AIR 6488 and baseband products and a mobile test device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem and RF subsystem.

In September, the companies completed the first OTA calls using millimeter wave (mmWave) in both 28 and 39 GHz spectrum bands.

Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, says, “Achieving interoperability on different spectrums shows the strength of the 5G ecosystem. Together with Qualcomm Technologies, we’ve successfully tested 5G NR on 39, 28 and now, 3.5 GHz band. These milestones add to the commercial readiness of 5G. They also assure operators of broader capacity options to cater for diverse use cases."

“Today’s call marks a significant milestone as we have now successfully made 3GPP-compliant calls in the sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum bands, which will facilitate mobile operators’ deployment of their 5G NR networks,” says Durga Malladi, senior vice president, engineering and general manager, 4G/5G, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Sub-6 GHz spectrum is instrumental to the global 5G NR rollout as it will provide wide area, high performance connectivity and has been allocated and auctioned in numerous regions around the world, including the US, Korea and Europe, with others to follow shortly. We look forward to continue working with Ericsson in making 5G a commercial reality for the mobile ecosystem.”

Azure adds Availability Zones, promises 99.99 uptime SLA

Microsoft Azure announced the expansion of Availability Zones into two additional regions, North Europe and West US 2.

The company also announced an expanded list of zone-redundant services including Azure SQL Database, Service Bus, Event Hubs, Application Gateway, VPN Gateway, and ExpressRoute.

AWS Regions are comprised of Availability Zones, which refer to technology infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting availability, yet near enough for business continuity applications that require a rapid failover. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security, and is connected to national backbone networks via local telecom carriers’ high-speed fiber-optic networks

Azure offers a 99.99 percent uptime SLA when virtual machines are running in two or more Availability Zones in the same region.

Microsoft said this expanded coverage enables customers operating in the Europe and Western United States to build and run applications that require low-latency synchronous replication with protection from datacenter-level failures. With the combination of Availability Zones and region pairs, customers can create a comprehensive business continuity strategy with data residency in their geography of choice.

Azure’s global footprint consists of 54 regions with more than 100 datacenters serving customers in over 140 countries. Microsoft’s overall strategy is to ensure that customers have broad options for ensuring business continuity. Availability Zones offer additional resiliency capabilities for customers to build and run highly available applications. Azure, with more global regions than any other cloud provider, has been designed to provide first-class resiliency.

Microsoft pegs Azure revenue growth at 76%

Citing continued demand for cloud services, Microsoft reported record quarterly revenue of $29.1 billion, up 19%, while diluted earnings per share were $1.14, up increased 36%.

"Our record results for Q1 reflect our commitment to long-term strategic investments and consistent execution to drive revenue growth and operating margin expansion,” said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Microsoft.

Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was $9.8 billion and increased 19% (up 18% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Office commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 17% (up 16% in constant currency) driven by Office 365 commercial revenue growth of 36% (up 35% in constant currency)
  • Office consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 16% (up 17% in constant currency) with continued growth in Office 365 consumer subscribers to 32.5 million
  • LinkedIn revenue increased 33% (up 33% in constant currency) with record levels of engagement highlighted by LinkedIn sessions growth of 34%
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 20% (up 20% in constant currency) driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 51% (up 49% in constant currency)

Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $8.6 billion and increased 24% (up 24% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Server products and cloud services revenue increased 28% (up 28% in constant currency) driven by Azure revenue growth of 76% (up 76% in constant currency)
  • Enterprise Services revenue increased 6% (up 6% in constant currency)

Revenue in More Personal Computing was $10.7 billion and increased 15% (up 15% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Windows OEM revenue increased 3% (up 3% in constant currency) driven by OEM Pro revenue growth of 8%
  • Windows commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 12% (up 12% in constant currency) driven by an increased volume of multi-year agreements
  • Gaming revenue increased 44% (up 45% in constant currency) with Xbox software and services revenue growth of 36% (up 36% in constant currency) mainly from third-party title strength
  • Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs increased 17% (up 17% in constant currency)
  • Surface revenue increased 14% (up 14% in constant currency)



AT&T: wireless business continues to grow

AT&T reported consolidated Q3 revenues of $45.7 billion versus $39.7 billion in the year-ago quarter, up 15.3%, primarily due to the Time Warner acquisition. The company recorded a positive 4.3 million mobile net adds along with a 2.3% increase in mobile service revenues. (On a GAAP basis, service revenues declined 3.4%). However, there were declines in domestic video, legacy wireline services.

Third-quarter net income attributable to AT&T was $4.7 billion, or $0.65 per diluted share, versus $3.0 billion, or $0.49 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusting for $0.25 of costs for amortization, merger- and integration-related expenses and other items, earnings per diluted share was $0.90 compared to an adjusted $0.74 in the year-ago quarter, a 21.6% increase.

“I’m pleased with the progress we made on a number of fronts in the third quarter,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “Our U.S. wireless business is growing and it’s the single biggest contributor to our earnings and cash flow. WarnerMedia was immediately accretive in its first full quarter, contributing 5 cents to EPS, and our free cash flow grew by double digits. We’ve accomplished all this while staying focused on managing our debt portfolio. We’re on track to get to the 2.5x debt-to-EBITDA range by year-end 2019. And as we’re nearing completion of our fiber build and making pricing moves on video, we’re laying the foundation for stabilizing our Entertainment Group profitability in 2019. Across the business, I like our momentum and feel confident that we’re on track to deliver on our plans.” 

Communications

  • At the end of Q3, AT&T served 150.3 million wireless connections, including 77 million postpaid mobiles, 16.9 million prepaid mobiles, 8.2 million mobils via MVNO resellers, and 48.2 million connected devices.
  • 4.3 million total wireless net adds: 4 million in U.S., driven by connected devices and prepaid and 907,000 in Mexico
  • Mobility service revenues were up 2.3% on a comparable basis.
  • 550,000 phone net adds in the U.S.
  • 69,000 postpaid phone net adds
  • 481,000 prepaid phone net adds
  • Nearly 750,000 branded smartphones added to the base
  • Third-quarter postpaid phone churn of 0.93%
  • Postpaid phone-only ARPU decreased 5.1%
  • versus the year-earlier quarter. On a comparable basis, phone-only ARPU was up 1.8%. 



Entertainment Group

  • 49,000 DIRECTV NOW net adds with 346,000 net losses in traditional video as company focuses on improving profitability and begins beta test of new streaming video device
  • More than 10 million customer locations passed with fiber 

WarnerMedia Highlights

  • Revenues up with gains in all business units
  • Turner and Home Box Office year-over-year subscription revenue growth
  • Strong Warner Bros. television licensing revenue growth; box office releases included the hit films Crazy Rich Asians, The Meg and The Nun
  • 37 Primetime Emmy Awards; 12 News and Documentary Emmy Awards

Xandr Highlights

  • Advertising revenues grew 34%; up 22% excluding the AppNexus acquisition
  • AppNexus enhances addressable advertising technology
  • Consolidated Financial Results2

MantisNet unveils P4 Reconfigurable Frame Processor for monitoring

MantisNet, a start-up based in Reston, Virginia, introduced its next-generation Reconfigurable Frame Processor (RFP) for real-time monitoring, managing and securing network traffic at speeds up to 100G and beyond.

The MantisNet RFP-NG consists of MantisNet software applications running on a P4-programmable SDN platform to provide next-generation packet broker (NGPB), flow-aware load balancing, advanced telemetry and more. It takes advantage of the advanced capabilities of the Barefoot Tofino chipset that provides 3.2 Tbps (32 x 100G) or 6.4 Tbps (64 x 100G) of bandwidth at network speeds of – 10G, 25G, 40G, 50G or 100G.

MantisNet said its RFP-NG supersedes purpose-built packet brokers, load balancers, and firewalls by introducing a flexible approach to data-plane programming, advanced instrumentation and packet processing. The RFP-NG offers an open, “vendor agnostic” approach to management and monitoring that simplifies deployment with third-party applications and analytic workflows.

The P4 programmable match-action pipeline architecture enables the RFP-NG to support a wide variety of functions including service chaining, streaming telemetry, filtering, de-encapsulation, load balancing and per-packet visibility with nanosecond precision Barefoot Smart Programmable Real-time In-band Network Telemetry – Barefoot SPRINT as well as Yang model-driven management.

“The explosion in volume and velocity of data that businesses depend on for-day-to-day operations, go to market and cyber defense has resulted in a critical need for solutions that can keep up with those demands as well as increase productivity while reducing risks. With the RFP-NG, MantisNet empowers organizations with the information and tools they need to successfully address those challenges and adapt to the future,” says Peter Dougherty, CEO MantisNet.

“Barefoot Tofino with its P4-programmable pipeline and the Barefoot SPRINT unique set of telemetry features are enabling our partners and customers to build the next-generation networking systems which are solving critical limitations faced by today’s high-speed networks,” stated Roberto Mari, Director, Product Management, Advanced Applications at Barefoot Networks. “Network operators, as well as data center and cloud service providers, are deploying 100G, soon 400G, to keep up with the exponentially increasing data traffic and need platforms to provide per-packet, nanosecond scale visibility, and control. MantisNet has built their next-generation packet broker using our technology enabling them to deliver per-packet and real-time insights into customers' infrastructure.”

https://www.MantisNet.com

Huawei intros its Flex-PON 2.0 for XGS-PON migration

At Broadband World Forum 2018 in Berlin, Huawei introduced a Flex-PON 2.0 tool that for replacing PON modules in live networks. Huawei will offer 6 possible OLT replacement service boards to help operators using its large-capacity, MA5800 OLT platform evolve from GPON to XG(S)-PON.

Currently, two reconstruction solutions are available for the upgrade of OLT devices from GPON to XG(S)-PON.

The first solution is to add XG(S)-PON service boards and WDM multiplexer devices. This requires a large amount of equipment room space, brings optical line insertion loss, and involves a heavy engineering reconstruction workload.

The second solution is to replace GPON service boards with GPON/XG(S)-PON Combo service boards which built-in GPON, XG(S)-PON, and WDM. This solution is preferred because it only requires the replacement of service boards. However, it still wastes existing GPON service boards, and there is still significant workload involved in replacing the boards and engineering reconstruction.

Huawei says its Flex-PON 2.0 enables smooth evolution from GPON to XG(S)-PON by replacing the optical module, and provides high-power modules to achieve super-long-distance coverage that is 10 km higher than the current maximum coverage distance in the industry. By fully reusing OLT service boards without changing the ODN network, Flex-PON 2.0 simplifies engineering reconstruction and saves equipment room space. It can achieve GPON and XG(S)-PON access on a single optical fiber, resolving difficulties in network technology selection, and facilitating the fast deployment of gigabit networks.

CityFibre plans £2.5 billion full fibre network in UK

CityFibre announced a new £2.5 billion full fibre investment plan to extend its network in 37 towns and cities across the UK. The plan is underpinned by significant existing network assets and operations in these municipalities.

CityFibre was acquired in June 2018 by Antin Infrastructure Partners and West Street Infrastructure Partners, a fund managed by Goldman Sachs.

CityFibre said its expanded rollout plan will deliver fibre connectivity to five million homes and corresponds to one third of the Government’s 2025 target of 15 million homes.

Vodafone was named as the first consumer ISP customer for the new network.

CityFibre’s fibre-to-the-home builds are currently underway in Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Aberdeen, with construction due to start in Edinburgh, Stirling, Coventry and Huddersfield before the end of this year and Cambridge, Leeds and Southend-on-Sea shortly afterwards.

Fortinet acquires ZoneFox for ML threat detection

Fortinet has acquired ZoneFox Limited, a privately-held cloud-based insider threat detection and response company headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ZoneFox uses machine learning to automatically detect when a user’s behavior changes, rapidly spot compromised user accounts being used to harvest valuable IP and confidential data, and identify users who present a security threat.

Fortinet said the acquisition enhances its Security Fabric and strengthens its existing endpoint and SIEM security business by providing customers with:

  • Deeper visibility into endpoints and associated data flow and user behavior, both on and off the network
  • Machine learning capabilities able to distill billions of events per day into high-quality threat leads to uncover blind spots and alert users of suspicious activities
  • A unique cloud-based architecture that captures essential data around five core factors - user, device, resource, process, and behavior - to analyze and configure policies easily
  • Full forensics timeline recording of information, combined with a simple search interface that helps analysts quickly determine the actions needed to boost an enterprise’s security posture
  • A zero-configuration agent that is easy and fast to deploy; the solution can scale up to support over 10,000 agents without performance loss
  • Out-of-the-box support for GDPR, ISO 27001, HIPAA and PCI DSS, with “ready-to-go” policies

Dr. Jamie Graves, chief executive officer and founder, ZoneFox said “We’re pleased to join the Fortinet team and bring together our shared vision of alleviating CISO concerns about insider threats. Integrating our solution with the Fortinet Security Fabric will allow us to extend our reach to a broad spectrum of Fortinet and third-party solutions to solve customers’ most difficult challenges in network security.”
https://www.zonefox.com/

See also