Thursday, July 18, 2019

Next Gen Central Office (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

See also