Monday, July 29, 2019

Sparkle unveils Genome for automation, programmability, virtualization

Sparkle announced the availability of Genome, its new integrated set of platforms and tools for Network Automation, Programmability and Virtualization -- a major step toward its vision of the autonomous network of the future. Last month, Sparkle announced "Nibble," a new ultra-long-haul photonic backbone connecting Sicily with major points of presence and data centers in Europe. I

Genome.NFV will progressively evolve Sparkle’s traditional Physical Network Functions (PNF) into dynamic, cloud-native, highly resilient Virtual Network Functions (VNF). It is initially deployed at Sparkle’s core data centers in Catania (Italy) and Athens (Greece), as well as in Miami (Florida, USA), Secaucus (New Jersey, USA), with Milan (Italy) to follow later this year

The initial set of VNFs will be available to all new customers of Sparkle’s Global Signalling and LTE Diameter Signalling for international roaming services.

Existing customers will be progressively migrated to the new virtualized platforms, benefitting from increased resiliency and reduced latency, thanks to proximity interconnections. The progressive cloudification of Voice & Mobile Network Functions will continue throughout 2020 with the introduction of virtual IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and virtual Session Border Controllers (SBC).

Genome.SDN is a modular, vendor agnostic, scalable and feature-rich network automation solution for physical and virtual networks. Featuring an Automation Workflow Manager, it will assist network engineers to automate complex Method of Procedure (MOP) and Operations repetitive tasks, creating, visualizing, and executing automation workflows across the whole Seabone IP/MPLS backbone through a single interface. The solution is complemented by a Planning Tool allowing abstraction and modelling of the IP/MPLS network, supporting engineers to simulate availability and failover scenarios, automating traffic balancing and link optimization and building comprehensive forecast needs based on traffic trends, regional growth and other inputs. Genome.SDN will progressively extend to all Sparkle network domains, starting with the integration of Nibble Optical Transport Network, currently planned in early 2020.

“The relentless process of Hyper Automation of Industries requires service providers to deliver global network services at lightspeed satisfying extreme reliability requirements.” said Daniele Mancuso, Sparkle’s VP ICT Engineering. “The introduction of Genome sets the path towards the Autonomous Network of the future, confirming Sparkle leadership in technological innovation.”

https://www.tisparkle.com/PR_Genome

Sparkle to build new ULH photonic backbone with Infinera

Sparkle, the first international service provider in Italy and among the top 10 global operators, announced plans for a new ultra-long-haul photonic backbone connecting Sicily with major points of presence and data centers in Europe.

Infinera confirmed that its XT-3600 platform will power Sparkle's new "Nibble" network.

Nibble is expected to provide market-leading speeds and low-latency, high-performance, scalable, and guaranteed connectivity services between top European locations. Infinera's XT-3600 enables Sparkle to deliver 100 Gigabit Ethernet cloud-scale services in a compact form factor while automating service activation through Instant Bandwidth.



Sparkle said its new backbone will implement a "Software-defined Bandwidth" model using capacity License to disaggregate the underlying hardware installation from the capacity activation.

Nibble's ultra-performant photonic layer will progressively be integrated with its existing Mediterranean and Balkans networks and with BlueMed, the new multifiber submarine cable linking Palermo and Milan via Genoa, creating a seamless Pan Mediterranean Optical Transport Network.

The first link - planned to go live in summer 2019 - will connect Sparkle’s Sicily Hub in Palermo with Milan Caldera open datacenter; Nibble construction is planned to continue in several phases until the end of 2020 to fully deploy the entire Italian and European footprint and to integrate with the Mediterranean and Balkans networks.

“Sparkle confirms its strong leadership in the European telecom market with a solution that ensures top quality and efficiency standards,” said Mario Di Mauro, Sparkle’s Chief Executive Officer. “The Gigabit Society is demanding faster and more sophisticated capacity services and with the Infinera Instant Network solution we can expand our geographical footprint and satisfy customers’ needs at light speed, investing only in the capacity we need to deploy, where and when we need it.” 

US Department of Justice awards $984M migration contract to AT&T

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded a 15-year contract value at $984 million to AT&T to help improve its mission performance with modernized technology.

The work – awarded via Task Order through the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) technology procurement program – will provide for DOJ's transition to a next-generation communications platform supporting more than 120,000 employees across more than 2,100 locations. The fully managed solution includes a breadth of networking capabilities, including IP voice, data, security, cloud access and professional services. This will serve as a catalyst for the DOJ’s long-term technology priorities.

“The DOJ and its component organizations do the hard work of protecting the freedoms, rights and safety of all Americans,” said Stacy Schwartz, vice president, AT&T – Public Safety and FirstNet. “We are honored to provide a modern communications platform and capabilities to support the DOJ’s work for the next 15 years.”

EIS is a federal technology procurement that allows government agencies to cost-effectively modernize and expand mission support. The AT&T solution will provide DOJ the flexibility and protections to meet their requirements as they aim to strike the right balance between needs to access cloud services from multiple providers and ensuring the access is highly secure. The new solution will help simplify cloud adoption across 43 component organizations and support the Department’s Joint Cloud Optimized Trusted Internet Connection Service (JCOTS), which will accelerate the path for DOJ to access multiple cloud environments with improved security, reliability and speed.

Additionally, the DOJ solution includes access to the AT&T mobility network and FirstNet, the nationwide, dedicated communications platform purpose-built for public safety.

Vodafone's quarterly revenue dips, Liberty Global merger ready to close

Vodafone reported group revenue of €10.7 billion, down by €0.2 billion due to foreign exchange rate effects, as Q1 organic service revenue declined 0.2%, improving compared to Q4 (-0.7%).

Vodafone said customer growth slowed compared to previous quarters, primarily reflecting increased competitor promotions in Spain and Germany, as well as slower broadband market growth in Italy. However, Voda Consumer mobile commercial performance in Spain stabilised in June.

Vodafone's acquisition of Liberty Global is expected to close in the coming days.

Nick Read, Group Chief Executive, commented: “Our service revenue growth improved during the first quarter, led by Italy, and mobile churn fell to another record low. Following a significant quarter of commercial activity, we expect the gradual recovery in our service revenues to continue, underpinning our financial outlook for the year. With the completion of the Liberty Global acquisitions, Vodafone will become Europe’sleading converged operator, with growing fixed and converged services contributing around half of our European service revenues. We have developed a detailed plan to deliver the customer benefits and capture the substantial synergiesfrom the deal, which we will start to execute immediately

https://www.vodafone.com

Some highlights

  • Vodafone is actively implementing simplified pricing plans with speed-tiered unlimited data launched in 5 markets. 
  • The company said it is on track to meet the Group’s €400 million FY20 net operating expenses reduction target in Europe.
  • In mobile, the company reported a 0.5 percentage point year-on-year reduction in Europe contract churn during Q1, reaching a new record low level of 14.6%. 
  • Data usage growth remained strong at 49%, with average smartphone usage increasing to 3.9 GB per month in Europe.
  • Vodafone has now launched 5G in five European markets, with services available in Spain, Italy and Romania since June, and the UK and Germany since July. 
  • 5G roaming is now live for Vodafone 5G customers roaming on Vodafone networks in Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain. 
  • Vodafone's 5G network will be live across more than 50 cities and available in nine European markets by the end of the current financial year.
  • Including VodafoneZiggo, Vodafone had 18.8 million fixed broadband customers, 14.6 million NGN customers, 6.7 million converged customers and 13.6 million TV customers in Europe at the end of the period. 
  • Excluding VodafoneZiggo, Vodafone added 54,000 broadband customers, 237,000 NGN customers and 115,000 converged customers during the quarter. 


FCC certifies CBRS Environmental Sensing Capability

The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) and the Office of Engineering and Technology certified CommScope, Federated Wireless, and Google to operate their Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) sensors consistent with the information they provided, including sensor locations, configuration, and DPA coverage.

DPAs are pre-defined protection areas that extend beyond the coastline or that enclose a protected terrestrial radar facility, which may be activated or deactivated as necessary to protect DoD radar systems.

The ESCs will be used to detect the presence of federal incumbent radar transmissions in the 3.5 GHz band and communicate that information to one or more certified Spectrum Access Systems (SASs).

In April, the companies earned FCC approval for their sensor hardware.

WInnForum, which supports the development and advancement of spectrum sharing technologies based on the three-tier architecture detailed in 3.5 GHz CBRS band rules defined by the FCC, congratulated member organizations CommScope, Federated Wireless, and Google for final FCC certification of their Environmental Sensing Capability systems in the 3.5 GHz band.

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-718A1.pdf

Microsoft to acquire BlueTalon for cloud data governance

Microsoft has acquired BlueTalon, a start-up based in Redwood City, California, for its cloud data governance technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

BlueTalon, which is now part of Microsoft’s Azure Data Governance group, has architected its data control solution to provide a unified approach to policy management that brings the right level of control and consistency across the enterprise, including Hadoop, RDBMS and big data environments. The company was founded by Pratik Verma.

https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2019/07/29/microsoft-acquires-bluetalon-simplifying-data-privacy-and-governance-across-modern-data-estates

CommScope debuts 10G remote PHY for distributed access architecture

CommScope introduced its RD1322 2x2 Remote PHY Device (RPD) for cable operators deploying Distributed Access Architecture (DAA).

The RD1322 is the newest addition to CommScope's portfolio of Outside Plant (OSP) DAA solutions that enable operators to build upon their installed base of nodes to advance their plans for Extended Spectrum DOCSIS (ESD), Full Duplex DOCSIS (FDX), DAA, Remote PON, Wireless Backhaul, DOCSIS 3.1, and more. This is especially valuable in the labor-intensive OSP domain.

“As global operators continue to invest in tomorrow’s 10G networks, the outside plant will represent a primary budget focus,” said Kevin Keefe, senior vice president and segment leader, Network & Cloud, CommScope. “Our RD1322 2x2 RPD is the answer for operators looking to maximize their existing infrastructure to deliver tomorrow’s networks and services as quickly as possible. We have an unmatched portfolio and breadth of experience in helping global operators deliver next-generation networks reliably and at scale. As they evolve their networks, we’ll continue to deliver the innovation to facilitate their progress.”

CommScope’s DAA portfolio includes its RPD, Remote PON, R-PHY Shelf, Video Unified Edge (VUE), ICX Switch family, and hybrid E6000 I-CCAP/CCAP Core products. It also features a full suite of virtualized products, including the E6000 Virtual Core (vCore) and vManager framework of tools, including industry-leading monitoring, management, and traffic engineering functions.

See also