Tuesday, January 14, 2020

NEC targets subsea cables to 24 fiber pairs and beyond

NEC and its subsidiary OCC Corporation completed full qualification of subsea repeaters and optical cable containing up to 20 fiber pairs (40 fibers). This represents a 25% improvement in fiber count over 16 fiber pair systems previously built by NEC.

NEC said it achieved this milestone with only minor modifications to its proven repeater and cable designs. This was done by optimizing key repeater components, and by proving that its existing cable design could easily accommodate more fibers. The 20 fiber pair repeaters continue to use quadruple pump sharing technology, first introduced by NEC in 2010, for high optical and electrical efficiency.

OCC’s 20 fiber pair cable can be manufactured using a wide range of existing optical fibers, according to the needs of each new cable system. Furthermore, OCC has demonstrated to its customers that they can visually identify individual fibers using a combination of ring marking and conventional fiber coloring. This allows the potential number of fibers in a cable to be greatly expanded. Significantly, in OCC cable, the fiber’s transmission performance is completely unaffected, either by the fiber coloring or cabling processes.

“As global capacity demand continues to soar, NEC is committed to helping our customers scale up their networks in a cost-effective way,” said Takaaki Ogata, Executive Technical Manager of NEC’s Submarine Network Division. “Further significant increases in the fiber pair count of NEC’s wet plant are coming soon,” he added.

Mass production of the newly-qualified subsea repeaters and optical cable has already started.

Equinix acquires Packet for bare metal automation platform

Equinix agreed to acquire Packet, a start-up based in NYC offering a bare metal automation platform for developers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition will accelerate Equinix's strategy to help enterprises more seamlessly deploy hybrid multicloud architectures on Platform Equinix® and extract greater value from the platform's rich ecosystems and global interconnection fabric. By leveraging bare metal services at Equinix to deploy digital infrastructure on demand, customers will be better equipped to reach everywhere, interconnect everyone and integrate everything that matters to their business.

Equinix said intends to leverage the Packet offering to accelerate the development and delivery of its interconnected edge services. The idea is to offer an enterprise-grade bare metal offering across Platform Equinix that allows customers to rapidly deploy digital infrastructure, within minutes, at global scale.

Platform Equinix is a dynamic data center and interconnection platform that leverages the company's global footprint of more than 200 data centers.

Bare metal is a key foundational element allowing customers to deploy distributed, hybrid multicloud infrastructure on demand. A proven leader in bare metal automation, Packet's proprietary technology automates physical servers and networks without the use of virtualization or multitenancy.

"We started Packet in 2014 with a vision to redefine the next wave of cloud with a focus on the distribution and automation of fundamental infrastructure. This dovetails perfectly with Equinix's strategy for helping enterprises implement new digital architectures in a growing number of edge locations. The incorporation of Packet into Equinix will accelerate the delivery of enhanced edge services to Equinix's growing customer base, while continuing to serve the developer community that has come to rely on Packet's unique offering," states Zachary Smith, CEO, Packet.

Senators propose $1 billion funding to bolster U.S. competitors in 5G

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mark Warner (D-VA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and John Cornyn (R-TX) are proposing a $1 billion government to bolster Western-based alternative to Huawei and ZTE.

The Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act would "reassert U.S. and allied leadership by encouraging competition with Huawei. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Require the FCC to direct at least $750 million, or up to 5 percent of annual auction proceeds, from new auctioned spectrum licenses to create an O-RAN R&D Fund to spur movement towards open-architecture, software-based wireless technologies, funding innovative, ‘leap-ahead’ technologies in the U.S. mobile broadband market. The fund would be managed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), with input from the FCC, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), among others;
  • Create a $500 million Multilateral Telecommunications Security Fund, working with our foreign partners, available for 10 years to accelerate the adoption of trusted and secure equipment globally and to encourage multilateral participation, and require reports for Congress on use of proceeds and progress against goals to ensure ample oversight;
  • Create a transition plan for the purchase of new equipment by carriers that will be forward-compatible with forthcoming O-RAN equipment so small and rural carriers are not left behind;
  • Increase U.S. leadership in International Standards Setting Bodies (ISSBs) by encouraging greater U.S. participation in global and regional telecommunications standards forums and requiring the FCC write a report to Congress with specific recommendations;
  • Expand market opportunities for suppliers and promote economies of scale for equipment and devices by encouraging the FCC to harmonize new commercial spectrum allocations with partners where possible, thus promoting greater alignment with allies and driving down the cost of Huawei alternatives. 

“We are at a critical point in history for defining the future of the U.S.-China relationship in the 21st century, and we cannot allow Chinese state-directed telecommunications companies to surpass American competitors,” Senator Rubio said. “It is not only in our national security interests to support American competition in the 5G market, but it is also in our economic interests to continue to build and support an economy that leverages American strengths and creates American jobs in the industries of the future without relying on malign Chinese state-directed actors like Huawei and ZTE.”

“Every month that the U.S. does nothing, Huawei stands poised to become the cheapest, fastest, most ubiquitous global provider of 5G, while U.S. and Western companies and workers lose out on market share and jobs. Widespread adoption of 5G technology has the potential to unleash sweeping effects for the future of internet-connected devices, individual data security, and national security. It is imperative that Congress address the complex security and competitiveness challenges that Chinese-directed telecommunication companies pose,” Warner said. “We need to move beyond observing the problem to providing alternatives for U.S. and foreign network operators.” 

https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=80D299D0-F416-484F-B685-82FE1BAF3A89

Colt adds Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute at Interxion AMS8

Colt Technology Services has added support for Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute connectivity capabilities to the ‘Amsterdam2’ Point of Presence (PoP), located at the Interxion data centre in The Netherlands.

The expansion of Colt’s Azure ExpressRoute footprint benefits both SAP customers migrating their on-premises environments to the cloud and customers who require higher resiliency into Azure.

SAP has announced that by 2025 it will no longer support on-premises database platforms, with customers needing to migrate to a SAP S/4HANA environment. This represents a significant challenge for existing customers, as up to 93% of these are still operating from an on-premises data centre environment.

"Colt has been a Microsoft Azure partner for five years now, which demonstrates just how strong the relationship between Microsoft and Colt is. At Colt, we understand the significant business challenges that enterprises are facing; such as SAP migrations, and we are well-positioned to help organisations as they navigate the shifting technological landscape.”

Colt’s DCA On Demand service offers a consumption-based, highly available and resilient end-to-end solution. The solution is delivered over the Colt IQ Network and is supported by a single SLA agreement. The proposition allows customers to flex their bandwidth requirements via a consumption-based pricing model, which represents a significant opportunity for cost optimisation versus traditional network solutions," states Peter Coppens, Vice President for Product for Colt.

Google Cloud launches IBM Power Systems as a service

Google Cloud is now offering IBM Power Systems as part of our cloud solutions.  Customers can run IBM Power Systems as a service on Google Cloud whether using AIX, IBM i, or Linux on IBM Power.

Google Cloud said its service helps organizations implement a hybrid cloud strategy, especially where IBM Power Systems are used for mission-critical workloads such as SAP applications and Oracle databases.

Key benefits for IBM Power Systems on Google Cloud:

  • Integrated billing: available through the Google Cloud Marketplace
  • Private API access: Google Cloud’s Private API Access technology provides access to Google Cloud resources privately, while enabling all IBM Power Systems resources (LPARs) to use private IP spaces. 
  • Integrated customer support: Google Cloud manages customer support with one point of contact for any issues.
  • Rapid deployment: An intuitive new management console enables quick ramp and rapid deployment of the solution.


Gartner: Worldwide semiconductor revenue drops 11.9% in '19

Worldwide semiconductor revenue totaled $418.3 billion in 2019, down 11.9% from 2018, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. The report cites the drop in the memory market as the top reason for the decline. Sales analog products’ declined 5.4% while optoelectronics grew 2.4%.

“The memory market, which accounted for 26.7% of semiconductor sales in 2019, experienced a 31.5% decline in revenue in 2019,” said Andrew Norwood, research vice president at Gartner. “Within memory, DRAM revenue declined 37.5% due to an oversupply that started at the end of 2018 and lasted throughout 2019. The oversupply was caused by a sudden fall in demand from the hyperscale market. This revealed excessive OEM inventory levels that took the first half of the year to correct. Excessive inventory at DRAM vendors in the second half of 2019 pushed pricing lower and resulted in an average selling price (ASP) decline of 47.4% in 2019.”

“In 2020, we expect to see semiconductor market revenue increase after the high inventory clearance to drive up the chip ASP, especially in the memory sector,” said Mr. Norwood. “The U.S.-China trade war seems to be easing as we move into 2020. However, during 2019 the U.S. added several Chinese companies, including Huawei, to the Entity List restricting the sale of U.S. components. The immediate impact was to push Huawei into looking outside the U.S. for alternative silicon suppliers, with wholly owned HiSilicon at the top of the list as well as alternative suppliers based in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and China. This will be an area to watch in 2020.”

GTT adds Fortinet to SD-WAN portfolio

GTT Communications has expanded its SD-WAN service offering by adding Fortinet Secure SD-WAN as a technology option over any last-mile access. It includes Fortinet's integrated next generation firewall and unified threat management functionality combined with an SD-WAN edge device and router.

“Clients rely on GTT to securely connect their locations across the world and to every application in the cloud,” stated Rick Calder, GTT president and CEO. “Our broad portfolio of SD-WAN service options, that now includes Fortinet, ensures that clients can run their applications with superior security, performance and reliability to support their business goals.”

Telkomsel deploys Metaswitch Unified Communications platform

by Benedict Chua, Assitant Editor

Telkomsel, the largest wireless carrier in Indonesia with more than 178 million subscribers, has selected Metaswitch’s MaX UC portfolio to enable it to offer Unified Communications and Collaboration services.

The new services will be underpinned by Telkomsel’s Advance Communication Enterprise Suite, its new virtual PBX  solution also based on Metaswitch, ensuring rapid deployment of its cloud-based telephony applications.

The deployment uses full-stack solution from Metaswitch, including Clearwater Core IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem), Perimeta SBC (Session Border Controller) and MTAS (Mobile Telephony Application Server), while also connecting to an existing Metaswitch Rhino TAS  deployed at full scale in Telkomsel’s mobile network.


“Telkomsel required a differentiated mobile solution that can help ensure long-term customer loyalty and offer a sustainable competitive advantage in the fast-growing Indonesian business market,” said Metaswitch CMO Ian Maclean. “Teaming up with Lintas Teknologi, Metaswitch is helping to meet the needs of Telkomsel customers by delivering innovative business solutions that provide users with a market-leading experience with the quality and reliability demanded by the increasingly mobile enterprise.”

Recently, Metaswitch demonstrated its microservices-based, high-performance Packet Core as part of Microsoft Azure capabilities for private LTE during Microsoft Ignite. Metaswitch's Fusion Core is tightly integrated with Microsoft’s networking and edge connectivity solutions for a seamless configuration and provisioning experience. It can be integrated with the Ruckus CBRS-based RAN solution, and the Attabotics 3D robotic goods-to-person storage, retrieval and real-time order fulfillment system. It offers a programmable User Plane Function (UPF) that delivers very high bandwidth capacity in edge deployments while conserving space and power requirements.

Keysight and CAICT collaborate on 5G base station test plan

Keysight Technologies is collaborating with CAICT (China Academy of Information and Communications Technology) to accelerate the 5G new radio (NR) base station performance test plan endorsed by the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotional Group, the principal platform that brings together leading operators, vendors, universities, and research institutes in China.

The collaboration will help base station manufacturers to validate the massive MIMO1 performance of their designs in accordance with the IMT-2020 test plan.

Keysight’s PROPSIM F64 5G channel emulation solution, which emulates real-life radio conditions, supports the test plan to speed performance validation of new 5G mobile devices and base stations for deployment in China. Keysight’s PROPSIM F64 is a versatile channel emulation and modeling tool for verifying end-to-end performance of 5G NR massive MIMO base stations and mobile devices using uncompromised and coherent complex 3D propagation channel models.

CAICT, a scientific research institute directly under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of China, is involved in defining 5G tests that form part of the IMT-2020 test plan. Massive MIMO technology uses antenna arrays with a large number of steerable ports to create reliable connections, which results in superior end-user performance. PROPSIM F64 supports up to 64 radio frequency (RF) ports to address these ultra-high fading capacity needs. Keysight’s 5G channel emulator creates a repeatable and reliable test method for validating end-to-end data throughput, beam handling, mobility, and handover scenarios.

AT&T to deploy 5G at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada

AT&T will provide 5G and services to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The carrier will also deliver FirstNet to eligible public safety personnel across Nellis.

The AT&T 5G infrastructure will serve the base’s more than 40,000 Air Force personnel, their families, and retirees. It will provide wireless high-speed external and in-building connectivity across Nellis’ flight line, facilities, dormitories, and the Mike O'Callaghan Military Medical Center.

See also