Thursday, November 14, 2019

What's happening with 400G?



It's happening, but maybe not quite yet except for the hyperscale clouds. Bikash Koley, CTO of Juniper Networks, provides a quick update on 400G, including a mention of the upcoming in-house silicon photonics.



https://youtu.be/6fjR0ovin0Y

https://nginfrastructure.com/network-automation/


Liquid deploys fiber connecting East-to-West Africa via DRC

Liquid Telecom has launched a land-based fiber network connecting East to West Africa. The coast-to-coast digital corridor follows the completion of Liquid Telecom’s new high-capacity fiber link running 2,600-km across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The new backbone connects the company’s network on the Atlantic coast at Muanda in the DRC, via Liquid Telecom’s international subsea cable partners. It then runs directly East to Kinshasa and through the DRC onto Lubumbashi in the South, connecting with other cities in between, including Kikwit, Kananga and Kolwezi. The link then crosses the DRC border into Zambia, integrating there with Liquid Telecom’s existing and rapidly expanding pan-African terrestrial fibre network.

Liquid Telecom notes that until recently, no direct, land-based fibre network existed between East and West Africa. Network traffic between Kinshasa in the DRC and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, for example, was routed via London.

“Liquid Telecom has connected East to West Africa with the most direct digital corridor across the southern hemisphere. We have set a new benchmark and achieved a historic milestone in our vision to create a more connected Africa,” said Nic Rudnick, Group CEO, Liquid Telecom. “By linking the DRC to Liquid Telecom’s rapidly expanding pan-African fibre network and the rest of the world, this transformative infrastructure is creating a foundation for digital growth. Fast, reliable broadband connectivity will advance society, fuel innovation and help champion pan-Africa trade.”

“What Africa has been lacking until now was a direct east to west telecommunications backbone. Liquid Telecom has achieved what African states and organisations have been contemplating for years without success. It deployed a high-capacity fibre optic backbone connecting subsea cables on the East Coast of Africa with cables on the West Coast of Africa. By doing this, it not only considerably shortened the communications route between East and West Africa and contributed to keeping the traffic local, it also laid the groundwork for connecting millions of Africa’s citizens (especially in the DRC) to the internet and the world. This is a significant milestone in continued expansion of modern telecommunications infrastructure across the African continent, supporting governments’ policies aimed at closing the digital divide within their countries and ultimately ensuring ubiquitous connectivity.” Said Dobek Pater, Director at Africa Analysis.

Liquid Telecom to invest US$400 million in deal with Telecom Egypt

Liquid Telecom will invest 8 billion Egyptian Pounds (US$400 million) in Egypt over the next three years as part of its partnership with Telecom Egypt on network infrastructure and data centres.

Specifically, Liquid Telecom will make an initial investment of US$50 million in data centres and cloud services. Liquid Telecom plans to invest an additional US$350 million in broadband and financial inclusion initiatives, as well as high capacity data centres.

Liquid Telecom’s expanding network is almost 70,000km in length and is linked to more than 600 towns and cities in 13 countries across Africa.

The investment was announced at the Africa 2018 Forum. The historical agreement was signed by Ahmed El Beheiry, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Telecom Egypt, and Strive Masiyiwa - Group Executive Chairman of Liquid Telecom’s parent company Econet. It was witnessed by Her Excellency Dr. Sahar Nasr, Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation and His Excellency, Dr Amr Talaat, The Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

According to the Group Executive Chairman of Liquid Telecom’s parent company Econet, Mr Strive Masiyiwa, the next mission is to complete a link between Cairo and Dakar Senegal through Sudan, Chad, and Nigeria, as well as the rest of West Africa. “We have already crossed Africa from East to West through Sudan and Chad. We are at the Nigerian border and we expect to reach Abuja by the end of January in time for the AU Summit. We want to reach Dakar before President El-Sisi finishes his term,” he said.

Mr Masiyiwa also acknowledged the support of President Kagame, adding: “It would have been impossible to reach this far so quickly without his support. He adopted this initiative as a key project during his tenure and has been highly supportive throughout its development. We know President El-Sisi will help us take it to the next level because he understands the vision of Africa.” Mr Masiyiwa expressed his appreciation for leadership support across the continent. He said the ‘One Africa’ model could encourage other entrepreneurs to build projects in complementary sectors, such as rail and power. “We need to push the linkage of our continental power grids, and also rail and air transportation. Now is the time for bold initiatives to build intra African trade and investment.”



Telecom Egypt + Liquid Telecom link Cairo-to-Cape Town terrestrial fiber

Telecom Egypt and Liquid Telecom signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to complete the first terrestrial fibre network stretching all the way from Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt.

Under the MoU, Liquid Telecom will link its network from Sudan into Telecom Egypt’s network via a new cross border interconnection – bringing together a 60,000km network that runs from Cape Town, through all the Southern, Central, and Eastern African countries, and has now reached the border between Sudan and Egypt.

As part of the strategic partnership, Liquid Telecom and Telecom Egypt will share network infrastructure and explore further areas of collaboration, including joint network services, a peering arrangement and a voice interconnection agreement.

The Cape to Cairo network - often referred to as “the One Africa” broadband network - has been in the making for over ten years and serves some of the largest global companies with some of the fastest network speeds on the continent.

“Completing our vision of building a single network running on land, all the way from Cape to Cairo is a historic moment for the company and for a more connected Africa. This network not only represents a remarkable engineering achievement that has overcome some of the most challenging distances and terrains on the continent, but it is also supporting the rise of Africa’s digital economies,” said Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet.

Liquid Telecom acquires South Africa's Neotel

Liquid Telecom, a unit of South Africa–based Econet Global has announced that it has completed the acquisition of South African network operator Neotel for approximately ZAR 6.55 billion (approximately $491 million), further expanding its position as a pan-African telecoms company.

Liquid Telecom acquired Neotel from India's Tata Communications and minority shareholders led by Nexus Connexion. Liquid Telecom joined with 30% equity partner Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), a community-based South African investment group, for the acquisition, which received regulatory approval from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in December 2016. South Africa's Competition Commission approved the deal in October.

Established in 2006, Neotel has invested an estimated ZAR 7 billion in its network, deploying national backbone fibre connecting the top 40 cities and towns in South Africa and to over 5,000 businesses. Neotel operates a major, MEF-certified Ethernet network, while Liquid Telecom is a leading provider of Carrier Ethernet services with MEF Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) services certification.

Neotel also operates redundant backhaul fibre to landing stations with access to all five of the international subsea cables serving South Africa - SAT-3, SAFE, SEACOM, EASSy and WACS. It was noted that Liquid Telecom owns significant international subsea capacity, and is currently building a subsea cable linking the east coast of Africa, Liquid Sea

Orange to assemble West African backbone

Orange will assemble a new international backbone serving West Africa by building a terrestrial fiber optic network coupled with submarine cables.

Orange said its new network will provide large-scale international capacity to the rest of the world via connections with other submarine cables. The new network will link up all the main capital cities in the region: Dakar, Bamako, Abidjan, Accra, and Lagos. Commercial launch of the West African backbone is planned for the second quarter of 2020.

Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, said: “For Orange, this West African backbone network represents a major investment that will secure availability of international connectivity and will enable us to meet the demand for increased bandwidth necessary for the continued digital development of regions within the zone.”

Jérôme Barré, CEO of Orange Wholesale and International Networks, said: “Through this project, Orange is clearly demonstrating its leadership and expertise in the design, deployment and operation of international network infrastructure. We are delighted to be able to offer our West African customers’ reliable, secure and high-quality international connectivity that connects them to the rest of the world.”

Orange is an investor in the MainOne submarine cable connecting Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire to Europe.

https://www.orange.com/en/Press-Room/press-releases/press-releases-2019/Orange-accelerates-the-development-of-connectivity-in-Africa-with-a-new-secure-international-network-connecting-eight-countries-in-West-Africa

New branches to extend MainOne cable to Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal

Two additional branches are planned to extend MainOne’s subsea cable system to Dakar (Senegal) and Abidjan (Cote D’Ivoire). With this development, MainOne will have landing points in five markets – Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire and Portugal, in addition to Cameroon.

MainOne, which is a 7,000km cable system that spans from Portugal to Nigeria, entered service in 2010. Technology updates will boost potential capacity to 10 TBps of capacity. The upgrades are expected to become operational in November 2019.

TE SubCom is lead contractor on the project. MainOne has also selected SubCom’s WSS ROADM for the new branches. SubCom will light the new branches with Ciena’s transmission equipment.

Ribbon to acquire ECI , expanding from voice to optical, SDN, NFV

Ribbon Communications agreed to acquire ECI Telecom Group for 32.5 million shares of Ribbon common stock and $324 million of cash.   ECI stockholders will also receive approximately $31 million from ECI’s sale of real estate assets. This

ECI is a global provider of end-to-end packet-optical transport and SDN/NFV solutions for service providers, enterprises, and data center operators. The privately held company was founded in 1961, currently has approximately 1,700 employees, and is headquartered in Petah Tikva, Israel. ECI serves over 300 global customers with over 100 new customer wins in the last three years. ECI’s total revenue was $376 million and Adjusted EBITDA was $23 million for the twelve months ended September 30, 20193.

The companies said their merger will create a powerful, leading-edge solutions provider with anticipated combined annual revenue of over $900 million, serving customers in more than 140 countries, and 4,000 employees worldwide.  Ribbon expects the combination to position the company for growth by expanding its product portfolio beyond solutions primarily supporting voice applications to include data applications and optical networking.

Ribbon’s corporate headquarters is expected to remain in Westford, Massachusetts.

“The ECI acquisition will extend Ribbon’s reach into the networking market and propel us into the global 5G market,” said Daryl Raiford, Chief Financial Officer of Ribbon.  “ECI brings world class networking technology and a proven track record of success in winning top customers in direct competition with major industry players.  Ribbon has long-standing, deep customer relationships in North America and Japan, which will provide immediate access to ECI solutions into these substantial markets.  We believe this combination will create new revenue opportunities to drive growth, provide our customers and partners with a broader solutions portfolio, and generate significant long-term value for our stockholders.”

We are excited to join forces with Ribbon, bringing together Ribbon’s and ECI’s rich portfolios of communications solutions.  Both companies enjoy a distinguished operating history and are trusted suppliers to the world’s leading telecommunication service providers and enterprises,” said Darryl Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer of ECI.  “We aim to create a powerhouse company that offers world-class products for an enhanced customer experience, benefiting our combined global customer base.”


ECI debuts 5G cell site router

ECI introduced its "1022" cell site router, the first of the company’s end-to-end portfolio tailored for 5G.

The 1022 cell site router combines high capacity in a small form factor. It offers MPLS, network slicing, class C and D synch capabilities and open NetConf/Yang interfaces.

ECI said the 1022 represents the next evolution of its Neptune product line, inheriting its multiservice, Elastic MPLS capabilities that allow customers to support current, future and legacy services on a single platform. Its front access, extended temperature range make it equally at home at a cell site or operating as an access device for a substation.

ECI enhances its Apollo optical transport with 8x24CDCF ROADM

ECI has enhanced its Apollo optical transport portfolio with the addition of a high performance, contentionless 8x24CDCF ROADM based on wavelength switching technologies.

ECI said its programmable wavelength switching far surpasses the capabilities of contentionless ROADMs available today, which are based on multicast switches (MCS). The 8x24CDCF ROADM enables add/drop port scaling to support capacity growth while eliminating the need for additional amplification to overcome optical losses in multicast switches. As a result, the 8x24CDCF ROADM offers more density, reliability and power efficiency at a lower cost.

Key features of the 8x24CDCF ROADM include:

  • Reduced cost: Next generation CDC ROADM networks see cost savings due to improved scalability of add/drop ports and removal of superfluous EDFA arrays.
  • Improved performance: Delivers scalability and reliable performance regardless of port count and lessens strict filtering requirements on transmitters and receivers. It also eliminates the performance degradation from out-of-band noise accumulation.
  • Increased Flexibility: Works in conjunction with ECI’s Apollo product line, including the recently debuted TM1200 programmable 1.2T dual channel blade, providing customers with a wide set of ‘mix-n-match’ modules from which they can choose to design the optical network of their choice.

ECI intros 1.2T Dual Channel Blade for its Apollo DWDM transport

ECI introduced its TM1200, a 1.2T blade (dual 600G channel) for its Apollo DWDM transport systems, enabling programmable, adaptive optical networking.

ECI said its new TM1200 blade delivers unmatched spectral efficiency and elasticity through software controllable continuous modulation. Whereas traditional line-side modulation was only programmable in large increments – such as 100G, 200G or 400G – often relying on different line cards, the new TM1200 delivers software-controlled continuous modulation in 50 Gbps increments up to 600 Gbps line rate, rather than supporting specific modulation schemes. This maximizes capacity in a granular manner to best match client needs and variable channel conditions.

Additional benefits:

  • Optimal return on fiber investment: By operating at the edge of the Shannon limit, the TM1200 squeezes the maximum capacity from each channel on a fiber, delaying the need to add new fiber and optical networking infrastructure.
  • Enables a highly adaptive and flexible optical layer: Working in conjunction with ECI's colorless, directionless, contentionless, flexible spectrum ROADMs, and client services aware SDN control, the TM1200 can continuously optimize client traffic to fiber capacity.
  • Dynamic restoration: Excess capacity can be allocated dynamically to fully or partially restore client services that are disrupted by fiber or equipment failures elsewhere in the network.
  • Power efficiency: At a 600 Gbps line rate, the ECI TM1200 has a 10-fold improvement in power efficiency compared to other solutions, consuming less than 0.18W per Gbps, fully populated.

Ribbon announces sudden departure of CEO

Ribbon Communications announced the departure of its President and Chief Executive Officer, Franklin (Fritz) W. Hobbs, effective immediately. No reason was given.

Steven Bruny, Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Services, and Kevin Riley, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, have been appointed Interim Co-Presidents and Chief Executive Officers. 

The company said it has engaged a leading global executive search firm to recruit a new CEO.

MTN South Africa picks Ericsson for 5G core/radio

MTN South Africa has selected Ericsson as a 5G network modernization vendor.

Specifically, Ericsson will supply 5G products and solutions from its Radio Access Network (RAN), transport and Core portfolios, with commercial rollout expected to start in 2020.

MTN South Africa is upgrading its core network to support 3GPP-compliant 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) architecture. 5G commercialization is planned between 2020 and 2022, with a focus on use cases and applications relevant in the South African context.

MTN is using 5G New Radios (5G NR), basebands, and MINI-LINK microwave transmission products from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio to enhance network quality and user experiences for the company’s 30 million customers. Ericsson has also provided MTN with an Ericsson Cloud Core network, including 5G Evolved Packet Core (5G EPC) and User Data Management (UDM).

Mellanox extends Infiniband to 40km

Mellanox Technologies introduced its Quantum LongReach series of long-distance InfiniBand switches for connecting remote InfiniBand data centers together, or to provide high-speed and full RDMA (remote direct memory access) connectivity between remote compute and storage infrastructures.

Based on the 200 gigabit HDR Mellanox Quantum InfiniBand switch, the LongReach solution provides up to two long-reach InfiniBand ports and eight local InfiniBand ports. The long reach ports can deliver up to 100 Gbps data throughput for distances of 10 and 40 kilometers.

Key capabilities

  • Connect remote InfiniBand based data centers together to create a single virtual data center, effectively combining the compute power of multiple distributed data centers for higher overall performance and scalability. With LongReach, users can leverage the In-Network Computing capabilities such as the Scalable Hierarchical Aggregation and Reduction Protocol (SHARP)™, congestion control, enhanced telemetry and more between the multiple remote data centers.
  • Seamlessly migrate user applications from one data center to another to support different user demands, to provide load balancing between InfiniBand data centers, or to provide continuous compute services in cases of data-center failures.
  • Enable fast and efficient connectivity between remote compute and storage infrastructures, enabling fast disaster recovery and more.

“The Mellanox Quantum LongReach appliance enables native InfiniBand connectivity between remote InfiniBand-based data centers, or between data center and remote storage infrastructure, allowing users to enjoy native RDMA, In-Network Computing acceleration engines, congestion control and other InfiniBand technology advantages globally,” said Gilad Shainer, senior vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “Our existing and new customers, who wish to expand their clusters seamlessly over local and distributed InfiniBand networks that are kilometers apart, will find Mellanox Quantum LongReach to be the best cost-effective and easily managed solution.”

The products will be available in the first half of 2020.

https://www.mellanox.com/page/longreach/?ls=pr&lsd=191114-LongReach-1

Intel adds Sequoia Capital exec to board

Intel has added James (Jim) J. Goetz to its board of directors.

Goetz, 54, has served as a partner of Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm, since June 2004. Prior to joining Sequoia, Goetz co-founded VitalSigns Software, where he assembled and led the team that pioneered end-user performance management. Prior to VitalSigns, he was vice president of Network Management for Bay Networks. Goetz currently serves on the boards of several privately held companies, and, since April 2005, on the board of Palo Alto Networks Inc., a network security solution company. Goetz previously served on the boards of directors of Barracuda Networks Inc., a data security and storage company from 2009 to 2017; Nimble Storage Inc., a data storage company, from 2007 to 2017; Jive Software Inc., a provider of social business software, from 2007 to 2015; and Ruckus Wireless Inc., a manufacturer of wireless (Wi-Fi) networking equipment, from 2012 to 2015, among others.

This marks the sixth new independent director added to Intel’s board since the beginning of 2016.

Orange launches first commercial 5G in Romania

Orange launched its first commerical 5G newtork in Romania.

Coverage is initially provided in the main cities – Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Iasi – with other cities to follow throughout 2020 and beyond. The service boasts download speeds of up to 1.2Gbps and average download speeds of 600Mbps.

Orange Romania is also pioneering a number of exclusive services only available to customers of Orange. These include the Number Share Service, which allows users to use the same phone number on multiple devices without requiring a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection, and the first HD Voice Plus solution in Romania, which offers greatly improved quality of voice calls. Orange customers will also benefit from eSIM and technology, currently only being deployed by Orange Romania.

Orange Romania also noted its involvement in Europe’s Horizon 2020 research and development projects: MATILDA, SliceNet, 5G-EVE and 5G-VICTORI. Through this joint work with Orange Group research teams, Orange Romania has contributed significantly to the development and standardisation of 5G technology, being the only Romanian operator involved in standardising this technology at European level.

Ramon Fernandez, CEO Delegate of Orange in charge of Finance, Performance and Europe, commented: “I am delighted that Romania, one of the most dynamic telecoms markets in Europe, is the first country within our global footprint to have achieved this important milestone. Orange Romania is important for us, both in terms of investments and driving innovation, with more than 3.5 billion euros invested since we entered the market. Today’s 5G launch, alongside new innovations like eSIM and Number Sharing, will serve as key use cases for further development and underpins the Group’s ambitions to deliver an unmatched experience to our customers as we begin our migration towards the next generation of networks.”

See also