Thursday, January 23, 2020

DISH readies Transport RFI/RFP for 5G SA

DISH will release a Request for Information and Request for Proposal (RFI/RFP) for Telecom Transport Services in the coming weeks in support of its plans to deploy a virtualized 5G Stand-Alone network across the United States. DISH has committed to building a standalone 5G broadband network available to at least 70 percent of the U.S. population by June 2023.

The Telecom Transport Services RFI/RFP, the fifth in a series of RFPs for different elements of the national network, will include requests for telecom transport service companies to facilitate lit and dark fiber connectivity to cell towers, buildings and data centers.

The RFPs issued to date include:


  • July 2019: 5G Network RFI/RFP seeking input for the network elements
  • September 2019: System RFP seeking responses from vendors to provide a software solution for project management, workflows, reporting and other utilities that aid in deploying the national network
  • October 2019: Deployment Services RFP seeking input for end-to-end deployment services including pre-construction and construction services
  • January 2020: 5G Component RFP seeking input from vendors regarding physical assets of the network such as mounts, cabinets and hybrid cables
  • January 2020: Telecom Transport Services RFI/RFP

"We're building a 5G network from the ground up, with the opportunity to apply fresh ideas and new partners. We're seeking input from local and regional telecom transport partners, as well as the national providers that have supported our existing video business for decades. We see an opportunity to learn from nontraditional partners as well, like utilities and municipalities that may be deploying fiber in their communities. We are exploring varying transport infrastructures to support our aggressive buildout," stated DISH Executive Vice President of Wireless Operations, Jeff McSchooler.


New T-Mobile and DISH Agreements that become effective upon completion of the T-Mobile+Sprint merger, as per conditions imposed by the Department of Justice.

Agreement to Divest Sprint’s Prepaid Businesses
The New T-Mobile will be committed to divest Sprint’s entire prepaid businesses including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Sprint-branded prepaid customers (excluding the Assurance brand Lifeline customers and the prepaid wireless customers of Shenandoah Telecommunications Company and Swiftel Communications, Inc.), to DISH for approximately $1.4 billion. These brands serve approximately 9.3 million customers in total.

Agreements Upon Closing of Prepaid Divestiture 

Master Services Agreement for Network Access
Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint-branded prepaid customers, as well as new DISH wireless customers, will have full access to the legacy Sprint network and the New T-Mobile network in a phased approach. Access to the New T-Mobile network will be through an MVNO arrangement, as well as through an Infrastructure MNO arrangement enabling roaming in certain areas until DISH’s 5G network is built out.

Transition Services Agreement to Support Prepaid Customers
The New T-Mobile will offer standard transition services arrangements to DISH for up to three years following the close of the divestiture transaction. The transition services provided by the New T-Mobile will result in the orderly transfer of prepaid customers to DISH and will also ensure the continued and seamless operation of Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint-branded prepaid businesses following transition to DISH's ownership.

Agreement to Divest Sprint’s 800 MHz Spectrum Licenses to DISH
DISH has agreed to acquire Sprint’s portfolio of nationwide 800 MHz spectrum for a total value of approximately $3.6 billion in a transaction to be completed, subject to certain additional closing conditions, following an application for FCC approval to be filed three years following the closing of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint. This will permit the New T-Mobile to continue to serve legacy Sprint customers during network integration, pending later FCC approval of the license transfer. The companies have also entered into an agreement providing the New T-Mobile the option to lease back a portion of the spectrum sold to DISH for an additional two years following closing of the spectrum sale.

Option for DISH to Take Over Decommissioned Cell Sites and Retail Locations
Following the closing of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint and subsequent integration into the New T-Mobile, DISH will have the option to take on leases for certain cell sites and retail locations that are decommissioned by the New T-Mobile for five years following the closing of the divestiture transaction, subject to any assignment restrictions.

Agreement to Engage in Negotiations Regarding T-Mobile Leasing DISH's 600 MHz Spectrum
The companies have also committed to engage in good faith negotiations regarding the leasing of some or all of DISH’s 600 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile.

NTT DOCOMO aims for 6G in 2030

NTT DOCOMO published a white paper outlining its ambition to launch 6G commercial services by 2030.



The white paper summarizes the related technical concepts and the expected diverse use cases of evolving 5G and new 6G communication technologies, as well as the technology components and performance targets. DOCOMO has 6G research and development programs underway. In 2018, the company conducted successful radio wave propagation experiments at frequencies of up to 150 GHz, levels which are expected to enable the much faster and larger-capacity communications that 6G will require.

DOCOMO said it will continue to enhance the ultra-high-speed, large-capacity, ultra-reliable, low-latency and massive device-connectivity capabilities of 5G technology. It will continue its research into and development of 5G evolution and 6G technology, aiming to realize technological advances including:
  • the achievement of a combination of advances in connectivity, including ultra-high speed, large capacity and low latency
  • the pioneering of new frequency bands, including terahertz frequencies
  • the expansion of communication coverage in the sky, at sea and in space
  • the provision of ultra-low-energy and ultra-low-cost communications
  • the ensuring of highly reliable communications
  • the capability of massive device-connectivity and sensing



Ericsson: flat sales, improving margins, impact from Sprint/T-Mobile

Ericsson reported 4Q2019 sales of SEK 66.4 billion (US$6.96 billion), up 1% adjusted for comparable units and currency. Revenue dipped in North America but was compensated by growth in other markets, primarily in the Middle East and North East Asia. Reported sales grew by 4%. Gross margin was 37.1% (32.0%) excluding restructuring charges.

Full-year 2019 sales increased by 4%, adjusted for comparable units and currency, with Networks growing by 6%. Reported sales increased by 8%.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson, states:

"Our performance during 2019 puts us on track to reach our targets for 2020 and 2022. Our focused strategy with increased investments in R&D combined with operational efficiency is paying off. We have regained technology leadership, recovered previously lost ground in several markets and improved the financial results. Today, we are a leader in 5G with 78 commercial 5G agreements with unique operators and 24 live 5G networks on four continents. Operating margin[1] excluding costs related to the resolution of the US SEC and DOJ investigations and restructuring charges was 9.7% for full-year 2019, almost reaching the target of more than 10% one year early..."

"Due to the uncertainty related to an announced operator merger, we saw a slowdown in our North American business in Q4, resulting in North America having the lowest share of total sales for some time. However, the underlying business fundamentals in North America remain strong. The negative growth in North America was more than offset by growth in Asia and the Middle East. It is still too early to assess possible volumes and price levels for the expected deployment of 5G in China, and we expect that the initial challenging margins will shift to positive margins over the lifespan of the contracts."

https://www.ericsson.com/en/press-releases/2020/1/ericsson-reports-fourth-quarter-and-full-year-results-2019

Intel posts strong Q4 as revenue rises 8%

Intel reported record fourth-quarter revenue of $20.2 billion, up 8 percent year-over-year. Full-year revenue was a record $72.0 billion, up 2 percent YoY.  Fourth-quarter earnings per share (EPS) was $1.58 ($1.52 on a non-GAAP basis).


“In 2019, we gained share in an expanded addressable market that demands more performance to process, move and store data,” said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. “One year into our long-term financial plan, we have outperformed our revenue and EPS expectations. Looking ahead, we are investing to win the technology inflections of the future, play a bigger role in the success of our customers and increase shareholder returns."

Some highlights:

  • Data Center Group (DCG) revenue grew 19 percent YoY in the fourth quarter, driven by robust demand from cloud service provider customers and a continued strong mix of high-performance 2nd-Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Intel acquired Habana Labs in the fourth quarter, strengthening its artificial intelligence portfolio for the data center. 
  • Internet of Things Group (IOTG) revenue was up 13 percent on strength in retail and transportation. 
  • Mobileye achieved record revenue, up 31 percent YoY on increasing ADAS adoption. 
  • Intel's memory business (NSG) was up 10 percent YoY on continued NAND and Intel Optane™ bit growth. 
  • PSG fourth-quarter revenue was down 17 percent YoY.
  • PC-centric business (CCG) was up 2 percent on higher modem sales and desktop platform volumes. Major PC manufacturers have introduced 44 systems featuring the new, 10nm-based 10th Gen Intel Core processors (previously referred to as "Ice Lake"), and momentum continues to build for Project Athena. 


https://www.intc.com/investor-relations/financials-and-filings/earnings-results/default.aspx

Comcast cites Q4 gains in broadband and wireless

Comcast reported consolidated revenue for the fourth quarter of 2019 of $28.4 billion, up 2.0%. Consolidated net income attributable to Comcast increased 25.9% to $3.2 billion. Consolidated adjusted EBITDA increased 3.0% to $8.4 billion.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2019, Comcast's consolidated revenue increased 15.3% to $109 billion compared to 2018. Consolidated net income attributable to Comcast increased 11.3% to $13.1 billion. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA increased 13.6% to $34.3 billion.
Capital Expenditures decreased 2.5% to $3.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Cable Communications’ capital expenditures decreased 7.8% to $2.1 billion. NBCUniversal’s capital expenditures increased 7.6% to $641 million. Sky had capital expenditures of $228 million.
Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation, said,

"We delivered strong operational and financial results in the fourth quarter, capping another great year for Comcast, including double-digit growth in full-year adjusted EPS, record free cash flow and 1.4 million broadband net additions in the U.S. Our teams at Cable, NBCUniversal and Sky continued to execute at a high level, strengthening our leadership position in our markets. Looking ahead, in 2020 we are leaning into exciting opportunities, including: further differentiating our broadband product in the U.S. through innovations like Flex and xFi Advanced Security; accelerating the deployment of Sky Q; launching a new broadband service in Italy; debuting Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan; and introducing a world-class streaming service - Peacock - which leverages capabilities from across Comcast. Underscoring our confidence in the continued success of our company, we are pleased to announce a 10% increase in our dividend, our 12th consecutive annual increase."

  • Revenue for Cable Communications increased 2.6% to $14.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019, driven primarily by increases in high-speed internet, business services and wireless revenue, partially offset by a decrease in advertising revenue.
  • High-speed internet revenue increased 8.8%, driven by an increase in the number of residential high-speed internet customers and rate adjustments.
  • Business services revenue increased 8.8%, due to an increase in the number of customers receiving our services and an increase in average rates.
  • Wireless revenue increased 39.4%, primarily reflecting an increase in the number of customer lines.
  • Advertising revenue decreased 19.1%, reflecting a decrease in political advertising revenue.
  • Excluding political advertising revenue, advertising revenue was consistent with the prior year period.
  • Video revenue decreased 1.2%, reflecting a decrease in the number of residential video customers, partially offset by rate adjustments.
  • Voice revenue decreased 3.6%, primarily due to a decrease in the number of residential voice customers.

CloudKnox raises $12M for identity authorization for cloud

CloudKnox Security, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, raised $12 million for its work in identity authorization for hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

CloudKnox recently added new privilege-on-demand, auto remediation and anomaly detection capabilities, integration with AWS IAM Access Analyzer and support for VMware Cloud on AWS. The company was also recently awarded two patents: the first for activity-based access control in heterogeneous environments; and the second for a method and system to detect discrepancy in infrastructure security configurations.

The funding round was led by Sorenson Ventures with participation from early investors, including ClearSky Security, Dell Technologies Capital and Foundation Capital. This brings total funding raised to date to $22.75M.

CloudKnox also announced several key additions to the company’s board and executive team. Stephen Ward, CISO at The Home Depot; Ken Elefant, managing partner at Sorenson Ventures and Suresh Batchu, co-founder and CTO at MobileIron, joined the company’s Board of Directors. The company also appointed John Donnelly as vice president of sales. John has more than 30 years of experience as a sales leader, including roles as VP of sales for MobileIron, Vontu and, most recently, as a sales advisor for ClearSky Security and Wing Venture Capital.

“We’ve seen exceptional growth from customers and prospects looking to address the number one risk in their cloud infrastructure,” said Balaji Parimi, CEO and founder at CloudKnox Security. “This positioned us to pre-emptively secure another round of funding to leverage strong market adoption and accelerate our customer expansion. We’re delighted to have Sorenson Ventures join our current investors, who continue to show their commitment to our success, welcome John to our team, and Stephen and Suresh to our board.”

Deutsche Telekom certifies Sequans' LTE-M

Sequans Communications' dual-mode LTE-M/NB-IoT Monarch chip and its Monarch-based module have been certified for LTE-M by Deutsche Telekom.

“Being certified by Deutsche Telekom is very important to our customers building LTE-M devices for Europe, and we are pleased to have the stamp of approval from Deutsche Telekom for our Monarch platform,” said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. “Monarch is now certified by many carriers worldwide and our customers will benefit from this proven maturity as they build low power IoT devices for global use. Also the certification of our Monarch GM01Q module, which includes an LTE-optimized transceiver and a Single-SKU™ RF front end, further accelerates the time to market for new IoT devices.”

See also