Monday, September 9, 2019

Elliott calls for strategic refocus at AT&T: Bet big on 5G

Elliott Associates, which now holds a $3.2 billion equity stake in AT&T, published an open letter to the AT&T Board of Directors urging that now is the time for a serious restructuring of the company.

Elliot argues that shareholder returns for AT&T have underperformed for a long period of time. Over the past decade, AT&T’s Total Shareholder Return (stock price plus dividends) has lagged the S&P 500’s TSR by well over 100 percentage points.

Elliot attributes much of the poor performance to a misguided merger & acquisition strategy, pointing to the failed T-Mobile bid, the $67 billion acquisition of DirecTV at the peak of the linear TV business, and the $109 billion acquisition of Time Warner. The letter criticizes the Time Warner deal as having failed to deliver any strategic benefit to the company so far.

On the positive side, the letter recognizes that AT&T "still possesses a world-class collection of leading assets, priced today at historically discounted levels," offering the potential to unlock significant value for shareholders.

Elliot also argues that 5G represents a renewed opportunity for AT&T to reset the wireless narrative because of its premier spectrum positioning, early LTE-Advanced work, the First-Net build, and early market advantage.

Elliot's Activating AT&T Plan calls for: divesting non-core assets; reducing operational inefficiency; instituting capital discipline and aggressively de-levering; and enhancing leadership and oversight. Key to the plan is improved strategic focus, with no more material mergers/acquisitions. Increasing the operational efficiency of the wireless network has to be a priority.

The bottom line: Elliot states that "AT&T can achieve $60+ per share of value by the end of 2021, prior to any strategic actions regarding the portfolio."

https://activatingatt.com/letter/

For its part, AT&T said it looks forward to engaging with Elliott Management and issued the following statement: "AT&T’s Board and management team firmly believe that the focused and successful execution of our strategy is the best path forward to create value for shareholders. This strategy is driven by the unique portfolio of valuable businesses we’ve assembled across communications networks and media and entertainment, and as Elliott points out, is the foundation for significant value creation. We believe growing and investing in these businesses is the best path forward for our company and our shareholders."

China Telecom and China Unicom reach 5G sharing deal in 15 cities

China Telecom and China Unicom announced a "co-build, co-share" framework agreement aimed at cutting costs and speeding deployment. The sharing is limited to the access network and 5G spectrum resources. Each company will build and operate their own 5G core network.

The agreement, which covers 15 cities, is based on network construction and operation responsibilities in specific geographies. In the northern cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Zhengzhou, Qingdao and Shijiazhuang, the ratio of construction districts handled by China Unicom to China Telecom will be 6:4. In Shanghai and 9 other southern cities (Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Suzhou, Changsha, Wuhan, and Chengdu), the ratio of construction districts handled by China Unicom to China Telecom will be 4:6.

China Unicom and China Telecom will maintain their separate ownership structures. The company will continue competing under their existing brands.

http://www.chinaunicom.com/news/201909/1568027178888010079.html

OIF readies 400ZR, CEI-112G and IC-TROSA demos

Twelve OIF member companies will stage a multi-vendor interoperability demonstration of 400ZR, Common Electrical I/O (CEI)-112G and IC-TROSA at the upcoming ECOC 2019 trade show in Dublin, Ireland later this month.

Participating companies include ADVA, Amphenol, Cadence Design System, Credo, Finisar, Inphi, Keysight Technologies, Marvell, Molex, MultiLane, TE Connectivity and YAMAICHI ELECTRONICS will participate in the demonstration in OIF’s booth, # 441.

400ZR & IC-TROSA Demo

OIF’s 400ZR project aims to reduce cost and complexity reduction for 400GbE over 80 km DWDM networks. The IC-TROSA features all of the optical building blocks for a coherent module in a single package. The demonstrations will highlight important aspects of IC-TROSA integration as well as real-time EVM measurements with the updated script for 400ZR. In addition, a hardware-based 400ZR installation will show a typical application case.

CEI-112G Demo

OIF is taking a lead role in moving the industry to the next generation with its development of electrical interface specifications for 112 Gbps per differential pair. Multiple live demonstrations featuring interoperability clearly prove the key role OIF provides. The CEI-112G demonstrations in the OIF booth will feature multi-party silicon supplier interoperability over mated compliance board channels, a full host to module channel and direct attach copper cable channels, all demonstrating the technical viability of 112 Gbps operation, along with multiple industry form factors including OSFP and QSFP-DD.

“Understanding and seeing first-hand how key technologies – 400ZR, CEI-112G and IC-TROSA – are each specified to enable interoperable deployment across the ecosystem is critically important to building market confidence and accelerating adoption,” said Steve Sekel, OIF Physical and Link Layer Interoperability Working Group Chair. “This showcase of 12 companies and key technologies is a clear representation of OIF’s leadership in driving electrical, optical and control interoperability.”

https://www.oiforum.com/

Australia's NBN Co adopts Infinera Transcend network automation

NBN Co, Australia’s wholesale open-access broadband provider, is deploying Infinera’s Transcend software-defined networking (SDN) solution to implement self-healing capabilities across its 60,000-kilometer fiber optic transit network.

Infinera’s SDN-based dynamic service rerouting capabilities for DWDM-based networks allow network operators to restore customer services by automatically rerouting traffic when faults occur.

NBN Co’s network enhancements are based on Infinera’s 7300 multi-haul DWDM platform with Infinera’s Transcend SDN solution spanning several transport layer technologies – such as optical DWDM layers and electrical Optical Data Unit (ODU) switching layers – to provide end-to-end service control and enable SDN-based service control for Infinera’s optical and packet-optical transport portfolio. It also offers open and standards-based RESTful northbound interfaces to provide real-time, programmable multi-layer control to higher-layer controllers and provides a foundation to introduce programmable networking and automation in the NBN Co environment.

NBN Co’s transit network is a backbone network of fiber optic cables that links hubs across Australia to the wider nbn broadband access network that connects homes and businesses. This network moves large aggregate volumes of data between locations, delivering capacity to homes and businesses. The network connects to NBN Co’s 121 points of interconnection (POIs) – typically located at telephone exchanges – which are where phone and internet providers plug their own networks into the NBN Co access network. The reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM) technology enhancements introduced on the Infinera 7300 Series Multi-Haul Transport Platform will allow NBN Co to increase its network resiliency and reliability by introducing automatic service restoration capabilities across its transit network.

“The Transcend SDN solution was deployed and integrated with our systems, giving us the capability to increase service availability to some of the most remote locations across Australia,” said NBN Co’s Chief Network Deployment Officer, Kathrine Dyer. “This will give our network increased resiliency and help ensure that our customers get the best possible experience when migrating to NBN Co’s broadband access network.”

“We are delighted to work with NBN Co by providing innovative software and automation solutions that help them overcome the challenges of operating a large nationwide network,” said Bob Jandro, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales at Infinera.

https://www.infinera.com/press-release/NBN-Co-Adopts-Infinera-Transcend-Network-Automation-Solution

Samsung and Amdocs partner on 5G Open Cloud networking

Samsung Electronics  and Amdocs are collaborating on multiple joint initiatives around open cloud 5G networks.

Specifically, Amdocs and Samsung Networks will collaborate to onboard and integrate Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) so that service provider can better take advantage of Samsung’s 5G network solutions with Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP). The collaboration will start with Samsung’s Virtualized Central Unit (vCU) function and will expand to cover additional areas through execution of a comprehensive program, including components of the 5G core, to help CSPs realize a full end-to-end 5G cloud network.

The two companies will also explore the possibility of delivering relevant network services, such as vRAN rollout and integration, and related Network Function Virtualization (NFV) enablement solutions. Virtualized network functions that are managed by a comprehensive automation and orchestration platform will provide CSPs with a rich set of innovative new services that can be deployed, discovered and scaled on demand, providing new ways to monetize the network.

“This partnership with Amdocs on ONAP enablement helps us accelerate an important shift towards a dynamic software-driven architecture that will empower networks to adjust themselves to meet ever-changing user demands and network conditions,” said Jaeho Jeon, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “As we move 5G business forward, we continue to drive the adoption of ONAP and 5G network deployment to enrich the 5G ecosystem.”

“As the deployment of 5G networks accelerates, CSPs are taking the opportunity to rearchitect their network to be open, virtualized, cloud-based and AI-infused,” said Anthony Goonetilleke, group president of Media, Network and Technology, Amdocs. “By teaming with Samsung, Amdocs combines its expertise in enterprise-grade ONAP and software-defined systems with Samsung’s advanced 5G network solutions portfolio to better enable CSPs to launch innovative new services at speed.”

ONF partners with Edgecore on SEBA,ODTN and Trellis projects

ONF reached an agreement with Edgecore Networks to dedicate significant engineering resources to accelerate and ensure the success of the ONF projects SEBA, ODTN and Trellis. 

Specifically, ONF and Edgecore have jointly created the new Onsite Immersion Engineering program (ONF-OIE) to embed engineers within the ONF lab team. Edgecore engineers will work closely with the ONF and its community of developers to help mature the functionality, robustness, scalability, and reliability of these platforms so they are ready for production deployments. Edgecore is the first ONF Partner Member to be making use of the new ONF-OIE program, building a dedicated team of engineers to work at ONF’s facilities under ONF’s direction.

“Edgecore Networks and the ONF are now harnessing a significant opportunity with operators that have fully embraced open source to power their edge networks,” said George Tchaparian, president and CEO for Edgecore. “Edgecore Networks is committed to the vision of open platforms, and is ensuring that a SEBA, VOLTHA and Trellis run seamlessly on our Edgecore hardware.”

“We are very pleased to strengthen our collaboration with Edgecore Networks with the launch of the ONF-OIE program, especially as our exemplar platforms based on open source and white box hardware are gaining significant traction worldwide,” said Guru Parulkar, executive director for the ONF.  “This group of developers will play an important role maturing SEBA, VOLTHA and Trellisand readying these platforms for production; first on Edgecore Networks hardware, followed by others, and with deployment by operators around the globe.

https://www.opennetworking.org/news-and-events/press-releases/onf-and-edgecore-networks-enter-key-agreement-to-invest-in-success-of-open-source-deployments/

Anritsu to show 116-Gbps PAM4 error detector

At the upcoming ECOC 2019 in Ireland later this month, Anritsu will host demonstrations of its new 64,2GBaud NRZ / 58,2GBaud PAM4 Error Detector for the MP1900A Signal Quality Analyzer-R. The analyzer is a high-performance Bit Error Rate Tester (BERT) that accurately measures communications equipment, next-generation high-speed electronic and optical devices, including those for M2M and IoT applications, and optical transceivers used in high-end servers.

The new 64,2GBaud NRZ / 58,2GBaud PAM4 ED card for the MP1900A Signal Quality Analyzer-R is an R&D, high-performance Error Detector supporting signal integrity evaluation on high-speed interfaces. The new ED pluggable card offers switchable NRZ and PAM4 signal analysis, high-accuracy Bit and Symbol Error Ratio measurement, world-beating PAM4 Rx Sensitivity, Clock Recovery and Equalizer.

The  first demonstration will show the new PAM4 Error Detector card combined with the existing high quality PAM4 Pulse Pattern Generator, to prove key capabilities for signal integrity and compliancy testing towards the latest standards in 200G, 400G and 800G transmission, such as MSB/LSB Bit Error Ratio and PAM4 Symbol Error Ratio, up to 58,2G Clock Recovery, 58,2GBaud PAM4 Receiver Sensitivity down to 36mV, Received Signal Equalization to compensate the impact of losses from PCBs and cables.

As an additional unique value in the market, MP1900A multichannel signal generation, combined with 25/50/100/200/400G FEC patterns emulation and jitter tolerance testing, enables accurate evaluation of the true performance of optical transceiver modules in real life working conditions.

In a second joint demonstration with Teledyne-LeCroy, the MP1900A SQA-R Platform, ready for PCIe Gen3, Gen4 and Gen5, will be shown in full automatic calibration, Rx/Tx PCIe Device testing, Link Training verification and Jitter Tolerance validation. The stressed signal calibration will be performed on a Teledyne-LeCroy LabMaster oscilloscope with a single SW tool controlling the whole test system.
https://www.anritsu.com/en-US/test-measurement/news/news-releases/2019/2019-08-28-us02

SES picks SpaceX for MEO constellation launch

SES selected SpaceX to launch its next-generation Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite constellation.

The global O3b mPOWER system comprises an initial constellation of seven high-throughput, low-latency MEO satellites, each capable of generating thousands of electronically-steered beams that can be dynamically adjusted to serve customers in various markets including telecom and cloud, communications-on-the-move and government. O3b mPOWER also will include a variety of intelligent, application-specific Customer Edge Terminals integrated with SES’s terrestrial network and dynamically optimised using the recently announced Adaptive Resource Control (ARC) software system.

“Momentum in the O3b mPOWER ecosystem is accelerating quickly as we continue to build the right partnerships to bring this massively innovative communications system to market,” said Steve Collar, CEO of SES. “Working with SpaceX as our launch provider is fitting because in the last seven years we have already jointly made multiple revolutionary industry advancements that make access to space innovation more cost-efficient and unlock new opportunities in critical markets. We are delighted to have SpaceX as partners for our historic O3b mPOWER launch, and together, we will extend high-performance connectivity to all who have limited access to it today.”

“We are pleased that SES has once again selected Falcon 9 to launch their powerful, groundbreaking communications system,” said Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer at SpaceX. “SES has been an important partner for SpaceX – fully supporting our efforts to make rocket reusability a reality. We are proud to play a part in SES bringing revolutionary connectivity solutions to the market.”

https://o3bmpower.ses/

See also