Thursday, July 18, 2019

NGCO - Service agility in the 5G core

With a cloud-native core, the network is able to respond faster to deliver capacity exactly where it is needed, explains Sandro Tavares,  Head of Campaign Strategy, Nokia.

The new core architecture is really about complementing 5G possibilities.

A "2019 Next-Generation Central Office Report" from AvidThink is available for download. It covers the evolution in NGCO, recent trends, and key projects like CORD and VCO, as well as the role of the NGCO in new applications in edge computing and SD-WAN/vCPE.

https://nginfrastructure.com/


Top 5 Clouds account for 65% of optical transceivers for data centers

Alibaba, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft accounted for more than 65% of all Ethernet transceivers sold for applications in mega data centers in 2018, according to a new report from LightCounting.



This market segment grew by more than 50% in 2016 and more than 70% in 2017. However, the demand for optics from some of these key cloud customers started to slow down in the second half of 2018. The report cites several factors contributing to the slowing demand for optics from the cloud companies in 2019, including:

  • Excess inventory of 100GbE accumulated by the end of last year.
  • Transition to new switches based on Tomahawk 3 ASICs and some constraints in the supply chain related to it.
  • Uncertainty in continuing economic growth and escalating trade war between the US and China.
  • New regulations and penalties faced by the leading Cloud companies in the US and Europe related to data privacy and monopolistic practices of these very large vendors.

LightCounting says the first two issues in the list above are temporary and these may be resolved in the second half of 2019, but the third and especially the fourth one may limit growth of the largest cloud companies in the years to come.

Nevertheless, LightCounting expects that demand for optics from the cloud companies will return to growth in 2020-2024. Sales of new products including 100GbE DR1, 200GbE, 2x200GbE and 400GbE DR4 (including 4x100GbE) modules will lead this growth. Several new DWDM and AOC products will contribute to this trend.

https://www.lightcounting.com/News_071819.cfm


SK Telecom surpasses 1 million 5G subscriptions

SK Telecom has surpassed 1 million 5G subscriptions. The carrier launched its commercial 5G service in April.

SK Telecom also highlighted its "5G Cluster" - an advanced 5G environment for AR, VR, and AI. The company plans to build ‘5G Cluster’ in business districts, parks, factories, and etc. to provide differentiated 5G service and benefits in both of B2C and B2B sectors. Plans include:

  • a "5G League of Legends (LoL) Park" at Jonggak, Seoul, starting from July 25. At ‘5G LoL Park’, customers can view messages from supporting fans nationwide with Augmented Reality (AR) by facing their smartphones toward a certain location. Customers can also enjoy VR live broadcasting and VR playback during the games.
  • a service that allows customers to meet a variety of animals, including giant cats and wyverns, using AR in Olympic Park and Yeouido Park, Seoul. For example, if customers hold their smartphones toward ‘The Lone Tree’ in Olympic Park, a giant cat will appear on smartphone screen in AR.
  • the transformation of Jamsil Students' Gymnasium into a 5G Stadium. SK Telecom will further expand 5G experience spaces with immersive media by the end of this year.
  • integration of the 5G network and ‘Mobile Edge Computing’ (MEC) solution to create a ‘5G Smart Factory’. T
  • SK Telecom plans to build a total of 12 ‘Mobile Edge Computing’ (MEC) in 5G networks located at key regions nationwide. In particular, the company will provide dedicated 5G edge cloud service for enterprises that are in need of security and ultra-low latency communications, including manufacturing, media, finance, and game industry.

“With ‘5G Cluster’ as our key focus, SK Telecom will provide customers with outstanding service and pleasure that are beyond the imagination,” said Yoo Young-sang, Executive Vice President and Head of MNO Business of SK Telecom. “We will strive to create added values to different industries and regions.”

SK Telecom's 5G network is live with 34,000 base stations deployed

SK Telecom has activated a total of 34,000 5G base stations across Korea.

In a press conference at its headquarters in Seoul, SK Telecom marked "the beginning of the age of Hyper-Innovation with 5G".

The company's 5G network initially targets the nation's most data traffic-concentrated areas, including main areas of 85 cities nationwide (Seoul, six metropolitan cities, etc.), university districts, KTX, sports stadiums, expressways, subway lines (Seoul and Seoul Metropolitan Area) and beaches. SK Telecom is also expanding in-building coverage centered around 120 department stores, shopping malls and airports. In the second half of 2019, SK Telecom will expand 5G network coverage to subway systems nationwide, national parks and festival sites.

SK Telecom’s 5G network supports downlinks up to 2.7 Gbps.

New 5GX price plans go into effect on April 5, 2019. Four plans are offered.

  • Slim offers 8GB of data (1Mbps speed after data cap) at KRW 55,000 month 
  • 5GX Standard comes with 150GB of data (5Mbps after data cap) at KRW 75,000 per month.
  • 5GX Prime comes with 200GB of data at KRW 95,000 per month
  • 5GX Platinum comes with 300 GB of data at KRW 125,000 per month

SK Telecom said its 5G pricing structure offers the same amount of data at lower prices compared to its LTE service.

https://www.sktinsight.com/111031

TE intros QSFP-DD connectors, cages and cable assemblies for 400G

TE Connectivity (TE) introduced its new Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density (QSFP-DD) connectors, cages and cable assemblies, which address next-generation data center needs by increasing density through an existing QSFP form factor to reach speeds up to 400 Gbps. This 8 lane solution is designed for both 28G NRZ and 56G PAM-4 protocols, with a roadmap to 112G PAM-4 for future system upgrades.

“As the world marches toward next generation connectivity in data center equipment, designers need new connector and cable assembly solutions to support this change,” said Zach Galbraith, product manager at TE Connectivity.  “We are excited to be one of the premier suppliers bringing QSFP-DD products to our customers, enabling 400 Gbps data rates through a single port. These products can provide much-needed flexibility to the industry’s end users, platform designers and system integrators.”

TE notes that its -DD products are backward-compatible. The new QSFP-DD products leverage proprietary zipper fin heatsink technology allowing them to work cost-effectively in 15-18W applications.

TE offers a broad QSFP-DD portfolio which includes 1x1 through 1x6 cages and surface mount (SMT) connectors on a 0.8mm pitch, along with various lengths and wire sizes of straight and breakout passive copper cable assemblies. Customer specific designs with different lightpipes, heatsinks and cable assemblies are also available, supported by TE signal integrity experts.

https://www.te.com/usa-en/products/connectors/pluggable-connectors-cages/qsfp-dd.html?tab=pgp-story

Video: The Road to On-Board Optics w Nathan Tracy of TE Connectivity



One minute video: Nathan Tracy at TE Connectivity discusses how COBO utilizes TE's high-speed connector and how the two companies form an industry partnership to enable new aggregate bandwidth rates for next-generation optical data centers.

https://youtu.be/_QNJqZY_RGg

Microsoft's cloud revenue up 39% yoy, Azure up 64% yoy

Microsoft reported revenue of $33.7 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2019, up 12% compared to a year earlier. Net income was $13.2 billion GAAP and $10.6 billion non-GAAP, and increased 49% and 21%, respectively.

Azure revenue grew 64% yoy.

"Q4 commercial cloud revenue increased 39% year-over-year to $11.0 billion, driving our strongest commercial quarter ever,” said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Microsoft.

Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was $11.0 billion and increased 14% (up 17% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Office Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 14% (up 16% in constant currency) driven by Office 365 Commercial revenue growth of 31% (up 34% in constant currency)
  • Office Consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 6% (up 8% in constant currency) and Office 365 Consumer subscribers increased to 34.8 million
  • LinkedIn revenue increased 25% (up 28% in constant currency) with record levels of engagement highlighted by LinkedIn sessions growth of 22%
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 12% (up 15% in constant currency) driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 45% (up 48% in constant currency)

Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $11.4 billion and increased 19% (up 21% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Server products and cloud services revenue increased 22% (up 24% in constant currency) driven by Azure revenue growth of 64% (up 68% in constant currency)
  • Enterprise Services revenue increased 4% (up 6% in constant currency)

Revenue in More Personal Computing was $11.3 billion and increased 4% (up 6% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Windows OEM revenue increased 9% (up 9% in constant currency)
  • Windows Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 13% (up 16% in constant currency)
  • Surface revenue increased 14% (up 17% in constant currency)
  • Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs increased 9% (up 10% in constant currency)
  • Gaming revenue declined 10% (down 8% in constant currency) with Xbox software and services revenue down 3% (down 1% in constant currency)


BT to sell London head office for £210M

BT has agreed to sell its London head office building to a private real estate developer for £210 million. BT will lease back the facility for a number of years. The company is expected to announce the location for a new headquarters in the coming months.

BT to consolidate 300 offices to 30

BT Group will consolidate its footprint of more than 300 locations across the UK to around 30. The first eight of these locations are
Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Ipswich (Adastral Park), London and Manchester.

BT previously announced plans to exit its St Paul’s headquarters in London and is currently identifying a new home for the business in the capital.

“The Better Workplace Programme is about bringing our people together in brilliant spaces, and transforming the way we work,” BT Group chief executive Philip Jansen said. “Revealing these eight locations is just the first step; we have dedicated teams working on identifying the best buildings to move into and which ones to redesign for the future. As a result of this programme, BT people will be housed in inspiring offices that are better for our business and better for our customers.”



Celllnex acquires BT high towers across UK

Celllnex has acquired the marketing and operation rights for 220 high towers from BT for the next 20 years. The deal was valued at £100 million.

Cellnex operates 45,000 wireless communications towers and sites in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland and now the UK. The company closed the 2018 financial year with revenues of € 901 million (up 14%) and EBITDA of € 591 million (up 18%). Cellnex is based in Barcelona.

Support for 5G NR in 3.5 GHz CBRS Band

The Wireless Innovation Forum (WInnForum) has approved support for the 5G NR air interface in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band. This approval is a key step in providing a solid foundation for 5G NR in the 3.5 GHz band and sets the stage for the first mid-band 5G deployments in the U.S.

The CBRS Alliance previously announced its plans to support 5G NR in its Release 3 specifications, slated for completion in Q4 2019. 5G-based OnGo deployments in the 3.5 GHz band could begin as early as the first half of 2020. Environments that benefit from ultra-low latency, such as precision Industrial IoT (IIoT), will be ideal for extension into 5G services powered by OnGo.

“WInnForum is pleased to support new air interfaces such as 5G NR, along with all of the planned uses of CBRS,” said WInnForum CEO Lee Pucker. “Allowing broad participation in the CBRS ecosystem and supporting the future of spectrum sharing is important to WInnForum members, and to the public who will benefit from such technology.”

http://www.cbrsalliance.org
http://www.WirelessInnovation.org

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Next Gen Central Office (NGCO) puts x86 servers at the core

In this episode of our NGCO series, Alex Quach, Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Wireline and Core Networks Division, talks about how telcos are reinventing the central office architecture to take advantage of server economics.

A "2019 Next-Generation Central Office Report" from AvidThink is available for download. It covers the evolution in NGCO, recent trends, and key projects like CORD and VCO, as well as the role of the NGCO in new applications in edge computing and SD-WAN/vCPE.

https://nginfrastructure.com/


AT&T to move most non-network workloads to public cloud by 2024

Microsoft and AT&T announced an extensive, multiyear alliance under which Microsoft will be the preferred cloud provider for non-network applications. Specifically, AT&T will provide much of its workforce with Microsoft 365, and plans to migrate non-network infrastructure applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

AT&T said the alliance is part of its broader public cloud first strategy to consolidate data center infrastructure and operations. AT&T is becoming a “public cloud first” company by migrating most non-network workloads to the public cloud by 2024.

“AT&T and Microsoft are among the most committed companies to fostering technology that serves people,” said John Donovan, CEO, AT&T Communications. “By working together on common efforts around 5G, the cloud, and AI, we will accelerate the speed of innovation and impact for our customers and our communities.”

“AT&T is at the forefront of defining how advances in technology, including 5G and edge computing, will transform every aspect of work and life,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “The world’s leading companies run on our cloud, and we are delighted that AT&T chose Microsoft to accelerate its innovation. Together, we will apply the power of Azure and Microsoft 365 to transform the way AT&T’s workforce collaborates and to shape the future of media and communications for people everywhere.”

In addition, Microsoft will tap into the innovation AT&T is offering on its 5G network, including to design, test, and build edge-computing capabilities. With edge computing and a lower-latency 5G connection enabled through AT&T’s geographically dispersed network infrastructure, devices can process data closer to where decisions are made. Recently, Microsoft and AT&T worked together to test an edge computing-based tracking and detection system for drones. With more connected devices and the growing demand for streaming content from movies to games, businesses and consumers require ever-increasing network capabilities.

Dell'Oro: Coherent DWDM market to hit $16B by 2023

Driven by 200+ Gbps wavelength shipments, the coherent DWDM revenue is forecast to reach $16 billion by 2023, according to Dell’Oro Group.

“The 100 Gbps growth cycle is behind us,” said Jimmy Yu, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “This doesn’t mean that coherent 100 Gbps wavelengths are no longer needed. It is just that with new 60 Gbaud and soon to be released 90 Gbaud based line cards, the reach of 200 Gbps and 400 Gbps coherent signals can reach much further and help service providers lower their cost-per-bit. Which we consider excellent reasons to choose 200+ Gbps wavelengths. So, we are predicting 100 Gbps wavelength shipments to decline during the next five years while 200+ Gbps wavelength shipments grow at a 50 percent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR),” continued Yu.

Additional highlights from the Optical Transport 5-Year Forecast Report:

  • The total WDM market comprising metro and long haul systems is forecast to grow at a 5 percent CAGR. WDM Metro will slightly outpace DWDM Long Haul growth during the forecast period.
  • Disaggregated WDM systems are projected to exceed $3 billion in revenue by 2023.
  • 200 Gbps wavelengths are forecast to comprise the highest share of shipments in three years.
  • 800 Gbps wavelength shipments are projected to begin ramping in 2020.

https://www.delloro.com/news/coherent-dwdm-revenue-forecast-to-reach-16-billion-by-2023/

Ericsson gets a boost from 5G in North America and NE Asia

Driven by 5G growth in Networks in North America and North-East Asia, Ericsson reported Q2 sales of SEK 54.8 billion, up 10% from the same period in 2018 and up 7% YoY when adjusted for comparable units and currency.  GAAP net income for the quarter was SEK 1,705 million ($180.4 million) or SEK 0.51 (5 cents) per share against net loss of SEK 1,885 million or loss of SEK 0.58 per share in the prior-year quarter. Gross margin improved to 36.6% compared to 34.8% a year earlier.

The company reported strong uptake for its 5G Radio and Core solutions and said it is confident in reaching its 2020 and 2022 financial projections.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson, stated " 5G momentum is increasing. Initially, 5G will be a capacity enhancer in metropolitan areas. However, over time, new exciting innovations for 5G will come with IoT use cases, leveraging the speed, latency and security 5G can provide. This provides opportunities for our customers to capture new revenues as they provide additional benefits to consumers and businesses."


Some additional highlights:


  • Networks recorded organic sales growth of 11% YoY. This was driven by 4G and 5G investments in North America and North East Asia as well as increased volumes related to strategic contracts. 
  • Ericsson recently announced plans to open a 5G production site in the US to ensure that it will meet customer requirements for fast and agile deliveries.
  • In Digital Services, the company continues to execute on the plan to reach low single-digit margins for 2020. Organic sales in Digital Services were down by -3% YoY as a result of rapid decline in legacy products. Gross margin was 37.1% (42.6%). The decline in gross margin was mainly driven by a change in sales mix. The mix may vary between quarters. Our 5G and Cloud native portfolio is gaining customer traction and we are increasing related R&D investments to ensure portfolio readiness. The reshaped BSS strategy is gaining momentum and contracts were signed with several new customers in the quarter. The share of recurrent business is increasing and the company is tracking towards having 75% of the 45 critical and non-strategic contracts addressed by year-end and we have cost efficiency programs in place throughout Digital Services. 
  • In Managed Services the strategy is to enhance the customer offering by relying more on automation, machine learning and AI, which will longer-term change and improve the margin profile of the business. Near-term margins are negatively impacted by the increase in R&D investments. Organic sales declined by -6%, mainly explained by the negative effect from the customer contract reviews. Gross margin declined to 12.3% (14.0%) YoY, negatively impacted by timing of costs. 
https://www.ericsson.com/4a0768/assets/local/investors/documents/financial-reports-and-filings/interim-reports-archive/2019/6month19-ceo-slides-rev-b.pdf

Deutsche Telekom kicks off 5G rollout

Deutsche Telekom has kicked off its 5G rollout in Germany and expects to have 300 5G antennas in more than 100 locations online by the end of the year.

The first six German cities with 5G include Berlin, Bonn, Darmstadt, Hamburg, Leipzig, and Munich. In the upcoming 18 months, the 20 largest cities in Germany will all be connected with 5G.

"We punched our ticket for a 5G future with the spectrum auction. Our goal now is to get 5G to the streets, to our customers, as quickly as possible. Nearly three-quarters of our antenna locations in Germany are connected with optical fiber – we're now building on that," says Dirk Wössner, Member of the Board of Management, Deutsche Telekom, and Managing Director, Telekom Deutschland GmbH. "Our teams are working hard in every area. Whether we're talking about the network, rate plans, or devices and applications – we're speeding up to get 5G started this year. At the same time, we need a clear regulatory framework and pragmatism from the authorities – particularly when it comes to questions regarding regional spectrum, local roaming, allocation of the auction proceeds, and the approval procedures – which takes far too long in Germany."

In parallel, Deutsche Telekom is working on 5G campus networks, together with industrial users. In this approach, the network build-out follows the specific needs of business customers. "We're already working on the 5G network with Osram and automotive supplier ZF," says Claudia Nemat, Deutsche Telekom Board Member, Technology and Innovation. "Whether mobility concepts in cities, manufacturing in the industry of tomorrow, or virtual reality in the entertainment sector is involved: 5G is the key. And the industry can count on us as a partner in the 5G rollout."

Deutsche Telekom begins pilot 5G rollout in Berlin

Deutsche Telekom has activated its first six cells with commercial 5G antennas in the heart of Berlin and thereby achieved the first 5G data connection in a live network in Europe.

The Deutsche Telekom 5G cluster covers an area of up to five kilometers wide in Berlin's Mitte and Schöneberg districts for test operations. The antennas, in three cells located in Leipziger Straße and three in Winterfeldtstraße, are based on the 5G New Radio (5G NR) specs. The antennas are using frequencies in the 3.7 GHz spectrum band under a testing license. The 5G equipment is integrated into the live network infrastructure, meaning it is interacting with Deutsche Telekom's 4G spectrum in Germany.

DT's plan is to install an additional 70 cells by the summer across a total of more than 20 sites.

DT is using commercial 5G equipment from Huawei, as well as software and terminals, based on the 3rd-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standard for 5G New Radio (in the non-standalone version).

"We're continuing on our strong preparation course for the rollout of 5G in 2020," noted Claudia Nemat, Deutsche Telekom Board member for Technology and Innovation. "Today, right in the heart of Berlin, we're taking the next decisive step – with the successful integration of commercial 5G technology into our network. We want to ensure that 5G is going to deliver on its promise of enhanced mobility, high speed and low latency."

Crown Castle raises its financial outlook

Crown Castle reported Q2 site rental revenues of $1,238 billion, up 6% from $1,169 billion for the same period a year earlier.

Crown Castle owns, operates and leases more than 40,000 cell towers and approximately 75,000 route miles of fiber supporting small cells and fiber solutions across every major U.S. market.

"We delivered terrific results in the second quarter that exceeded our expectations and reflect the strong demand for our unmatched portfolio of towers, small cells and fiber assets," stated Jay Brown, Crown Castle’s Chief Executive Officer.  "We believe our ability to offer towers, small cells and fiber solutions, which are all integral components of communications networks and are shared among multiple tenants, provides us the best opportunity to generate significant growth while delivering high returns for our shareholders.  We remain excited about our ability to continue to generate attractive growth and returns for our shareholders as we remain focused on delivering dividend per share growth of 7% to 8% per year.

"We entered 2019 with momentum building on the tower side of the business, and I am excited that we are experiencing even higher levels of tower activity than we expected, which is driving an increase to our full year 2019 Outlook.  Our current tower leasing activity is our highest in more than a decade, and we believe this level of activity will carry into next year.  Additionally, we are constructing small cells for our customers as they invest in their current networks while beginning 5G deployments.  The significant increase in small cell deployments is straining the response time of municipalities and utilities, resulting in longer construction timelines than we previously experienced.  These pressures are most acute in several top markets where we are seeing the highest volume of activity.  Due to the elongated construction timelines, we now expect to deploy approximately 10,000 small cells in 2019, which is at the low end of our prior expected range of 10,000 to 15,000, but approximately 30% more than what we delivered last year.  We expect the increase in tower activity, offset by longer small cell timelines, to generate higher expected AFFO per share growth of 8% for 2019, up from our prior Outlook of 7% growth and at the high end of our long-term growth target."

ADTRAN reports Q2 sales of $156.4 million, up 22% yoy

ADTRAN reported preliminary revenue of $156.4 million for Q2 2019, compared to $128.0 million for the second quarter of 2018. Net income is estimated to be $5.1 million compared to a net loss of $7.7 million for the second quarter of 2018. Earnings per share, assuming dilution, is estimated to be $0.11 compared to a loss per share of $0.16 for the second quarter of 2018. Non-GAAP net income is estimated to be $6.9 million compared to a net loss of $4.6 million for the second quarter of 2018. Non-GAAP earnings per share, assuming dilution, is estimated to be $0.14 compared to a loss per share of $0.10 for the second quarter of 2018.

ADTRAN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Stanton stated, “We are pleased with our continued progress and solid performance for the second quarter of 2019. Revenue for the quarter grew 22% year-over-year and 9% over the previous quarter. Our execution continues to be strong across North America, LATAM, EMEA, and the Pacific Rim with diverse and well-balanced material revenue contributions from each of these regions. This sustained progress underscores the Company’s global impact as we help our customers build their best networks.”

ADTRAN's Board of Directors also declared a cash dividend for the second quarter of 2019 of $0.09 per common share to be paid to holders of record at the close of business on August 1, 2019.

8x8 acquires Singapore's Wavecell for CPaaS

8x8, which now claims over 1 million users for its cloud-based voice, video, chat and contact center solutions, has acquired privately-held Wavecell Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based global Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) provider. The purchase price was approximately USD $125 million in cash and stock.

Founded in 2010, Wavecell offers a CPaaS solution including a cloud-first API platform with SMS, chat apps, video interaction and voice APIs that enable mission-critical enterprise applications such as Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging, omnichannel customer journeys and multi-factor authentication at scale.

8x8 said the acquisition provides it with an established technology platform and high-growth revenue business to pursue CPaaS globally and represents a natural expansion of 8x8’s cloud business from Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS), Contact Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS), and Video into the CPaaS market.

“We are delighted to become part of 8x8, one of the world’s leading cloud communications platforms. Now is the right time to leverage the global expansion of UCaaS, CCaaS and CPaaS services to better serve our customers’ growing demand for communication services and to continually drive greater innovation”

Now Available: 2019 Next-Gen Central Office Resource Site and Report

Now Available: 2019 Next-Gen Central Office Resource Site and Report

NGCO-Next-Generation Central Office Report 2019_800x400_V2
In conjunction with our partner Converge! Network Digest, AvidThink is pleased to announce our new Next-Generation Infrastructure coverage series. To kick off this series, we’ve launched the Next-Generation Central Office (NGCO) resource site, which includes our most recent research report on this hot topic.
With the assistance of Converge!, a respected industry newsletter that has an illustrious 20-year history in technology infrastructure, we are providing technology readers with perspectives and insights from industry leaders like IntelRed HatNokiaEricssonBroadcomNTT Limited, open-source bodies such as the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (Linux Foundation) and innovative companies such as Ethernity Networks. We’ll be rotating in new content periodically from thought leaders, as well as our sponsors and partners, so keep your eye on the site as we bring you the latest insights into NGCO.
The Next-Generation Central Office is a key element of next-generation infrastructure, playing a key role in roll-outs of 5G, and hosting key virtualized resources for initiatives like SD-WAN and vCPE. These NGCOs that also include cable MSO headends, are brains of a service provider’s (SP) nervous system and they are evolving into something resembling small cloud data centers (sometimes terms as micro-data centers). In each of these NGCOs, legacy fixed-function hardware devices that previously dominated telco infrastructure are replaced by virtual servers, software-defined networks (SDN), and network function virtualization (NFV)-enabled services. As SPs prepare for an onslaught of high-speed devices and bandwidth-hogging content, they face the limits of inflexible, hardware-based centralization and the need to redistribute workloads to be near the demand. The NGCO is a unique location that paves the way.
Our new report covers the following aspects of the NGCO:
  • Market Overview: The Move to Edge Computing
  • The Edge Computing Renaissance with a Halo of Cloud Computing
  • The Changing Carrier Infrastructure Landscape
  • NGCO Characteristics and Technologies
  • Hardware Components and Design including Network Acceleration
  • NGCO Software Foundations, including OPNFV/VCO and CORD
  • Benefits of NGCOs
  • Recommendations and Next Steps for Providers and Enterprises
As well, you can expect coverage of other key trends in next-generation infrastructure over the course of the next few months. In the meantime, we invite you to download our latest report on NGCO from the site and learn about our views on NGCO.
NGCO-Next-Generation-Central-Office-2019-Download Report-Button

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Ericsson: The Next Gen Central Office Foundation for 5G

When we look at how the industry evolves toward cloudification, virtualization and containers, we see that this is really there to support 5G, says Anders Rosengren, Head of Architecture and Technology, Digital Services, Ericsson.

Apart from the cloud infrastructure, carriers must also consider how their network functions will evolve to virtualized and then to cloud-native.

A "2019 Next-Generation Central Office Report" from AvidThink is available for download. It covers the evolution in NGCO, recent trends, and key projects like CORD and VCO, as well as the role of the NGCO in new applications in edge computing and SD-WAN/vCPE.

https://nginfrastructure.com/


Verizon tests Ericsson's cloud-native, containerized EPC

Verizon and Ericsson introduced a cloud-native, container-based technology on the core of Verizon’s active network.

The proof-of-concept trial deployment is described as the first container- based wireless EPC (Evolved Packet Core) technology deployment in a live network in the world.

The trial, which was conducted on Verizon's commercial network in Hillsboro, Oregon, used Ericsson Packet Core Controller deployed as a cloud-native and microservice-based Mobility Management Entity (MME) in an existing pool. The software used leverages docker images and helm charts, with expected updates on the software from Ericsson every two weeks.

Nils Viklund, Head of Solution Area Packet Core at Ericsson says: "The industry’s evolution to cloud native means big changes ahead. Ericsson is leading the industry when it comes to driving cloud-native design in order to bring the agility needed to manage workloads dynamically at the edge required for many new 5G use cases. Now together with Verizon, we are demonstrating how cloud native EPC can be an important step in increasing efficiency and utilization of the cloud infrastructure."

“The pace of technological advancement is rapid and is exponentially increasing. By evolving our core network past simply using virtualized machines and instead changing our underlying software architecture to run on cloud- native technology, we are able to achieve new levels of operational automation, flexibility and adaptability,” said Bill Stone, Vice President of Technology Development and Planning for Verizon.

Cignal AI: Compact modular optical sales exceed $275M

Compact modular optical hardware is being used in more network applications than ever before, according to the latest Optical Applications Report from market research firm Cignal AI. The report finds that almost 30% of North American optical hardware shipments are mow in compact modular format, which was first used by cloud operators for data center interconnect applications but now includes many other operators and applications.

Market share leaders include the Ciena Waveserver, Infinera CX and Groove, and Cisco 1000 series.

“Network applications for the compact modular form factor have expanded well beyond the original data center interconnect deployments,” said Scott Wilkinson, Lead Analyst for Optical Hardware at Cignal AI. “Applications now include traditional telco networks, metro and long haul deployments, and even some early trials for subsea deployment. We expect this spending trend to increase in 2019 as new compact modular products come to market from a variety of vendors.”



Some highlights from Cignal AI:

  • Compact modular hardware sales exceeded $275 million in Q1 and are tracking to exceed $1 billion in revenue this year. 
  • Growth was most pronounced in North America this quarter, where it accounted for almost 30% of the entire optical market and is expected to continue advancing through 2023.
  • Ciena expanded its dominance in compact modular with over 50% market share in Q1. The combined Infinera/Coriant held on to second place despite declining sales.
  • Acacia AC1200-based platforms are expected to have an impact starting next quarter. Cisco compact modular sales paused in Q1 in anticipation of the NCS1004 platform.
  • Almost 500k physical coherent ports have shipped in the last 12 months. Currently, over 70% of coherent ports are shipped by the top five vendors in the market.
  • After a 2018 recovery year, long haul port shipments are starting to pick up. Metro growth is advancing at a similar pace, as next-generation coherent enables an upgrade from 100Gbps.
  • Packet OTN growth is slowing. New deployments are limited to China and parts of APAC as networks in other regions evolve away from the packet OTN architecture.

https://cignal.ai/2019/07/compact-modular-sales-expand-reaching-over-275m/?utm_source=mailpoet&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=PR

IBM and AT&T enter strategic alliance

IBM and AT&T announced a multi-year strategic alliance with the following major points:
  • AT&T will use IBM's expertise to modernize AT&T Business Solutions' internal software applications, enabling migrations to the IBM Cloud. 
  • IBM will provide infrastructure to support AT&T Business's applications. 
  • AT&T Business will utilize Red Hat's open source platform to manage workloads and applications. 
  • IBM will make AT&T Business its primary provider of software defined networking. 
  • AT&T Business will help transform IBM's networking solutions with their latest technologies including 5G, Edge Compute, and IOT as well as multi-cloud capabilities using Red Hat. 
  • The two companies will also collaborate on edge computing platforms.


AT&T Business has previously been designated as IBM's strategic global networking provider.

"In AT&T Business, we're constantly evolving to better serve business customers around the globe by securely connecting them to the digital capabilities they need," said Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Business. "This includes optimizing our core operations and modernizing our internal business applications to accelerate innovation. Through our collaboration with IBM, we're adopting open, flexible, cloud technologies, that will ultimately help accelerate our business leadership."

"Building on IBM's 20-year relationship with AT&T, today's agreement is another major step forward in delivering flexibility to AT&T Business so it can provide IBM and its customers with innovative services at a faster pace than ever before," said Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, Cloud and Cognitive Software, IBM. "We are proud to collaborate with AT&T Business, provide the scale and performance of our global footprint of cloud data centers, and deliver a common environment on which they can build once and deploy in any one of the appropriate footprints to be faster and more agile."

SK Telecom begins first 5G roaming with Swisscom

SK Telecom launched the world’s first 5G roaming service in partnership with Swisscom., the largest telecommunications provider in Switzerland.

SK Telecom launched its "baro" roaming service on December 17, 2018. As of June 2019, baro has attracted 2.2 million users and 38 million cumulative calls (total of 800,000 hours of voice calls).

Swisscom, which boasts over 6 million mobile subscriptions, started to roll out its 5G network on April 17.

SK Telecom’s customers using Samsung Galaxy S10 5G will be able to use 5G roaming service through Swisscom when visiting Switzerland after upgrading their devices with the latest software update. In the future, SK Telecom plans to provide software upgrades to LG V50 users and further expand 5G roaming service to other countries around the globe.

“SK Telecom once again proved its leadership in advanced roaming technology with the launch of world’s first 5G roaming service” said Han Myung-jin, Vice President and Head of MNO Business Supporting Group of SK Telecom. “We will continuously expand our 5G roaming service to enhance customer experience and benefits.”

SK Telecom's 5G network is live with 34,000 base stations deployed

SK Telecom has activated a total of 34,000 5G base stations across Korea.

In a press conference at its headquarters in Seoul, SK Telecom marked "the beginning of the age of Hyper-Innovation with 5G".

The company's 5G network initially targets the nation's most data traffic-concentrated areas, including main areas of 85 cities nationwide (Seoul, six metropolitan cities, etc.), university districts, KTX, sports stadiums, expressways, subway lines (Seoul and Seoul Metropolitan Area) and beaches. SK Telecom is also expanding in-building coverage centered around 120 department stores, shopping malls and airports. In the second half of 2019, SK Telecom will expand 5G network coverage to subway systems nationwide, national parks and festival sites.

SK Telecom’s 5G network supports downlinks up to 2.7 Gbps.

New 5GX price plans go into effect on April 5, 2019. Four plans are offered.

  • Slim offers 8GB of data (1Mbps speed after data cap) at KRW 55,000 month 
  • 5GX Standard comes with 150GB of data (5Mbps after data cap) at KRW 75,000 per month.
  • 5GX Prime comes with 200GB of data at KRW 95,000 per month
  • 5GX Platinum comes with 300 GB of data at KRW 125,000 per month

ADVA debuts monitoring for satellite-based timing

ADVA introduced an AI-powered analytics service for monitoring the quality of GNSS-based timing.

ADVA SatAware provides network operators with real-time insight into signal quality at a GNSS satellite receiver. It can help identify any physical objects blocking GNSS signals and resolve issues before they impact the synchronization network.

“Changes in the environment, such as newly built or modified buildings or trees growing, can have a serious impact on GNSS-based timing. Yet the specific physical causes of interference can often be difficult to detect and even harder to predict. With SatAware, maintenance teams can instantly react to these issues – or even preempt them – well before they affect network performance,” said Nir Laufer, senior director, product line management, Oscilloquartz, ADVA.

The ADVA SatAware service features a lightweight data collection engine deployed at GNSS receiver sites that securely shares information on all standard satellite receivers with the SatAware data pool. Using intelligent algorithms, the ADVA-hosted AI engine continuously analyzes the condition of each antenna. It provides up-to-the-minute information on sky-view plots, carrier-to-noise ratios and all trouble indicators. With SatAware™, network operators can easily visualize and evaluate GNSS reception by building a complete picture of signal strength for each individual satellite without the need for dedicated hardware or software at the GNSS receiver site.

https://www.advaoptical.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/20190715-adva-launches-industry-first-ai-powered-service-for-monitoring-of-satellite-based-timing

Boingo cites DAS traction with tier 1 carriers

Boingo Wireless reports that Q2 was its biggest quarter ever for new DAS venue launches. In the second quarter of 2019, Boingo deployed 10 new DAS networks in partnership with Tier 1 carriers at high traffic venues throughout the U.S., increasing the company’s total live DAS venues to 69.

“Our strong DAS momentum continues with significant traction in venue deployments and strategic partnerships with carriers to densify networks and enhance cellular coverage,” said Mike Finley, CEO, Boingo. “This new record fuels growth for our neutral host DAS portfolio, a key driver for Boingo’s business, and helps our venue partners solve skyrocketing connectivity demands.”

In the first half of 2019, Boingo launched a total of 11 new DAS networks at large venues that include three major airports, seven amphitheaters and a commercial real estate property. The cellular solution boosts signal strength and increases network capacity for voice and data applications. As carrier networks migrate to 5G, densification with solutions like DAS will be key for facilitating increased capacity, faster speeds, lower latency and higher throughput.

Boingo neutral host DAS networks are designed to provide a high performance wireless experience to all venue customers and staff, regardless of which carrier they use.

Alphawave intros PCIe Gen1 – Gen5 PHY

Alphawave IP introduced its PipeCORE PCIe Gen1-5 PHY, an advanced DSP based 7nm PCIe Gen1-5 PHY that is available on TSMC’s 7nm process technology.

The company says its PipeCORE can also demonstrate 64Gbps PAM4 rates for early PCI-Express Gen6 adopters.

The PipeCORE PHY leverages the same advanced high-speed ADC architecture utilized by Alphawave’s AlphaCORE Multi-Standard Serdes (MSS) IP that has been delivered to customers in 7nm since earlier in 2019.

“I am really proud that the Alphawave team has delivered working PCIe Gen1-5 silicon the first time!” said Tony Pialis, President and CEO of Alphawave.

https://awaveip.com/products/pipecore-gen1-5-phy/

Monday, July 15, 2019

Qwilt: Next Gen Central Office must leverage webscale architecture

The Next Generation Central Office (NGCO) must take the best practices of the web-scale companies and put them into action in service provider networks, says Mark Fisher, VP of Marketing & Business Development, Qwilt.

Qwilt takes these principles and enables a new content and application delivery layer at the true edge of service provider networks.

A "2019 Next-Generation Central Office Report" from AvidThink is available for download. It covers the evolution in NGCO, recent trends, and key projects like CORD and VCO, as well as the role of the NGCO in new applications in edge computing and SD-WAN/vCPE.

https://nginfrastructure.com/


Microsoft intros Azure Networking Managed Services Provider program

Microsoft introduced a new Azure Networking Managed Services Provider (MSP) Program to enable partners such as networking focused MSPs, network carriers, and systems integrators (SIs) to offer cloud and hybrid networking services around Azure’s growing portfolio of Azure Networking products and services.

New Azure Networking services include Virtual WAN, ExpressRoute, Azure Firewall, and Azure Front Door (SSL offload, application acceleration and global HTTP load balancing at the edge close to end users).

A newly launched Azure Lighthouse service provides a single control plane to view and manage Azure at scale for service providers. Azure Lighthouse enables the Azure Networking MSPs to onboard customers via managed services offers on the Azure marketplace or natively via ARM templates.

To do so, Azure Networking partners will deliver Virtual WAN CPEs and hybrid networking services such as ExpressRoute to enterprises that are building cloud infrastructures.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/enhancing-the-customer-experience-with-the-azure-networking-msp-partner-program/


Galileo cites ground infrastructure for ongoing outage

Galileo, the EU's satellite navigation system, cited a technical incident related to its ground infrastructure as a primary cause of an outage that has persisted since Friday, 11 July 2019.

A service recovery time/date has not yet been forecasted.

Galileo is convening an Anomaly Review Board to analyse the exact root cause and to implement recovery actions.

https://www.gsc-europa.eu/news/update-on-the-availability-of-some-galileo-initial-services



T-Mobile US launches Roambee Tracking over NB-IOT

T-Mobile US launched a commercial asset tracking solution, Roambee BeeAware, on its Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network across the United States.

Roambee’s BeeAware asset tracker easily attaches to shipments, pallets, or individual assets to provide item-level location and temperature monitoring indoors, in-transit, and outdoors—leveraging T-Mobile’s NB-IoT network.

The T-Mobile BeeAware solution is priced at $10 per device per month, which includes portal access and NB-IoT data.

“We’re enabling mass market adoption of enterprise asset tracking!” said Sanjay Sharma, CEO of Roambee. “Powered by Roambee’s purposefully built, capex-free sensor technology and asset tracking platform, this solution eliminates the four biggest barriers to enterprise IoT adoption: high cost, cumbersome setup, constant maintenance, and complex data security. Together with T-Mobile’s NB-IoT network and Roambee’s proven solutions that global companies have come to rely on, we’re here to make IoT asset tracking universally deployable on a large scale.”

“We’ve hit a sweet spot of value and security with Narrowband IoT that we think will really kickstart the growth of the asset tracking segment,” said Mike Katz, Executive Vice President of T-Mobile for Business. “This is great news for companies that need an asset tracking platform but it also marks a new era for T-Mobile for Business. We’re combining the Un-carrier approach, the strength of our sales team and the reach of our nationwide network to deliver unique solutions. Much more to come!”

T-Mobile discusses its Connect IoT program with Ovum's Mike Sapien



 A discussion of T-Mobile's CONNECT IoT Program, featuring Ovum's Mike Sapien, T-Mobile's Shelby Noakes and Lawrence Garcia.

T-Mobile US launches nationwide NB-IoT

T-Mobile launched its Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) service across the United States -- the first carrier to do so.

NB-IoT operates on spectrum guard bands, which T-Mobile describes as the network equivalent of driving down the shoulders on the highway. It is a low power, wide area network (LPWAN) LTE-Advanced technology boasting low power usage, long battery life and low device cost. T-Mobile was also first to trial NB-IoT in the U.S. last year.


Significantly, T-Mobile’s NB-IoT plan costs just $6 a year – one tenth of Verizon’s Cat-M plans – for up to 12 MB per connected device. Several NB-IoT modules based on Qualcomm MDM9206 LTE IoT modem are certified for use on T-Mobile’s network.

T-Mobile worked with Ericsson, Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies to deploy nationwide NB-IoT.

T-mobile also announced its new partner program, T-Mobile CONNECT, to help IoT solution providers collaborate and bring their products and services to market on T-Mobile’s network -- and into the hands of customers -- more quickly.

Intel releases Loihi research chip for neuromorphic processing

Intel introduced an 8 million-neuron neuromorphic system comprising 64 Loihi research chips — codenamed Pohoiki Beach.

Intel says the highly specialized processor applies principles found in biological brains to computer architectures. The Loihi devices aime to process information up to 1,000 times faster and 10,000 times more efficiently than CPUs for specialized applications like sparse coding, graph search and constraint-satisfaction problems.

“We are impressed with the early results demonstrated as we scale Loihi to create more powerful neuromorphic systems. Pohoiki Beach will now be available to more than 60 ecosystem partners, who will use this specialized system to solve complex, compute-intensive problems,” stated Rich Uhlig, managing director of Intel Labs.



https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intels-pohoiki-beach-64-chip-neuromorphic-system-delivers-breakthrough-results-research-tests/#gs.pyxrlk

Reuters Exclusive: Canada set to postpone Huawei 5G decision

The Canadian government will put off a decision of whether to permit Huawei to participate in 5G rollouts by Telus and BCE, according to an exclusive report from Reuters.

The article cites unnamed sources in the Trudeau administration who said the situation is complicated by the arrest of two Canadians in China, as well as the upcoming federal election in October.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-huawei-tech/exclusive-canada-set-to-postpone-huawei-5g-decision-to-after-vote-given-sour-ties-with-china-sources-idUSKCN1UA20R


Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Next-Gen Central Office (NGCO) builds on cloud architecture

The Next Generation Central Office (NGCO) is now a reality in the production networks of leading carriers. NGCO adopts cloud principles of virtualization, containerization, and open standards to achieve the scalability, service agility and network resilience required for 5G.

Converge! Network Digest and AvidThink are pleased to present a miniseries of videos and whitepapers from top thought leaders across the industry, including  Qwilt, Intel, Ericsson, the Linux Foundation, Ethernity Networks, Google, the Cloud Native Foundation, Nokia and Red Hat.

A "2019 Next-Generation Central Office Report" from AvidThink is available for download. It covers the evolution in NGCO, recent trends, and key projects like CORD and VCO, as well as the role of the NGCO in new applications in edge computing and SD-WAN/vCPE.




https://nginfrastructure.com/

NTT Ltd: Jason Goodall on creating the world's largest ICT provider



NTT Ltd launched on the 1st of July to bring together 28 brands from around the world like Dimension Data, NTT Communications, NTT Security as well as other NTT acquisitions made in the last 10 years.

Jason Goodall, the newly appointed CEO, talks about this new “40,000 employee startup” that brings together the multitude of assets operating in 57 countries.


NTT restructures as a new global technology services provider

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT Corporation) is restructuring and integrating 28 of its subsidiary companies, including NTT Communications, Dimension Data and NTT Security, into one US $11 billion business to be called NTT Ltd.

NTT Ltd., which is headquartered in London, will be a global technology services provider employing around 40,000 people in offices across 70+ countries and regions. The new company's portfolio and mission include:

  • Clients access to a more comprehensive range and greater depth of skills across multiple technologies and capabilities
  • Global technology and managed services that are world leading in scale and depth
  • Improved ability to deliver more in-depth industry solutions
  • World-class managed services platforms with the ability to deliver local customizations to meet clients’ needs in each market.
  • Increased investment in innovation and R&D.

President and CEO for NTT Corporation, Jun Sawada said, “I’m delighted to announce that we launched NTT Ltd. today. When we combine the new capabilities of NTT Ltd. along with NTT DATA, we create a top five global technology and business solutions provider with US$20 billion revenues outside of Japan. Going forward, we will accelerate our execution as one NTT in order to contribute to a smarter and better world through digital transformation.

“We are also excited to confirm that our global headquarters for NTT Ltd will be in London and that our commitment to the UK remains extremely strong. We considered several locations as the headquarters for NTT Ltd and made a deliberate decision to choose London. It has many benefits, including a stable economy, wealth of skills and talent, diversity in population and thinking, strong infrastructure, schools and housing for global talent moving to the city. In short, it’s a great city to live and work in, and we’re excited that we are making it the home for our new business”.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said, “Britain has a long standing and proud reputation as a global tech leader and it’s fantastic that NTT Ltd. has chosen London for its global headquarters. A key part of our modern Industrial Strategy is to put the UK at the forefront of the tech and data revolution, and they will join many other world-leading companies who call Britain home”.

https://hello.global.ntt/en-us

See also