Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Cisco: 1.4 billion 5G connections in 3 years



Cisco is predicting 1.4 billion 5G connections by 2023.

Thomas Barnett introduces some key findings of the Cisco Annual Internet Report. One interesting finding - average data rates for 5G smartphones are expected to soar to 575 Mbps over the next few years.

The full Cisco report is posted here.

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/executive-perspectives/annual-internet-report/index.html


Nokia to acquire Elenion for silicon photonics

Nokia agreed to acquire Elenion a start-up developing silicon photonics-based System-on-Chip solutions that can be produced in a CMOS foundry. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Elenion, which was founded in 2014 and is based in New York City, develops highly integrated, low-cost silicon photonics technologies for short-reach and high-performance optical interfaces and has pioneered a design toolset which enables a greatly simplified, low cost, scalable manufacturing process. The Elenion platform simplifies integration with optical chipsets, lowers power consumption, improves port density and helps to lower the overall cost per bit for network operators.

Nokia said Elenion's state-of-the-art silicon photonics design platform improves product costs by bringing simplification and scale to the optical supply chain. It is expected to bring time-to-market and cost advantages to Nokia’s broad portfolio of networking solutions.

Sam Bucci, Head of Optical Networking at Nokia, said: “As a world-class provider of silicon photonics solutions, advanced packaging and custom design services, Elenion provides a strong strategic fit for Nokia. Its solutions can be readily integrated into Nokia’s product offerings and address multiple high growth segments including 5G, cloud and data center networking. When combined with Nokia, Elenion technologies will accelerate the growth and scale of Nokia’s optical networking business, while enabling us to cost-effectively address new markets.”

Larry Schwerin, CEO of Elenion Technologies, said: “Nokia is an industry leader in networking systems, including advanced coherent optical interfaces and hyperscale datacenter solutions. Elenion benefits by having its technology incorporated into an industry-leading portfolio and with a company offering solutions across a wide array of networking applications. Nokia’s strong optical industry leadership, size, scale, global reach, and ongoing commitment to investment in key technologies vastly accelerates the adoption of Elenion silicon photonics technology.”


Elenion debuts Silicon Photonic BGA Packaged Coherent Optical Sub-Assembly

Elenion Technologies, a start-up developing silicon photonics-based System-on-Chip solutions, announced its next-generation Coherent Silicon Transmitter and Receiver CSTAR optical BGA platform for transmission of up to 600G on a single wavelength, as well as new small form factors for compact pluggable modules such as OIF 400G ZR QSFP-DD.

The CSTAR-200 is a DSP agnostic, coherent optical engine that enables pluggables such as CFP2-DCO and on-board applications, from data center interconnect to long haul in 100/200G coherent optical communication links.

“We are excited to be partnering with Elenion on our award winning CFP2-DCO. Elenion’s CSTAR platform allows us to offer differentiated coherent solutions to our customers,” said Siraj ElAhmadi, President & General Manager, Menara Networks.

The CSTAR platform comprises a multi-chip-module (MCM) and integrates Elenion’s advanced Silicon Photonics and RFICs. Integrated into a non-hermetic BGA package, CSTAR offers the next generation coherent optical engine for todays and future 100 to 600Gb/s Network applications.

“From the beginning at Elenion, we’ve built our silicon photonic chips in a production CMOS fab, which enables us to build complex optical devices. Having leveraged on-chip complexity to eliminate all of the isolators, lenses, and other free space optics from our package, Elenion is taking these chips and having them assembled in a production electronics-attach environment, reusing the infrastructure investment from the ASIC industry. We believe that this is a milestone for the silicon photonics industry, and represents an inflection point with regard to the cost of packaging for silicon photonics and integrated photonic components in general,” said Michael Hochberg, CTO, Elenion.

Ciena adds to its 5G portfolio

Ciena added several new products and capabilities in its 5G Network Solutions portfolio including the introduction of new, open and programmable routers that enable soft and hard slicing with Segment Routing and FlexE switching for converged 4G and 5G xHaul over a common wireline infrastructure.

Highlights of the rollout include:

  • 5168 Router: an xHaul network slicing router enabling Cloud RAN architectures with support for CPRI/eCPRI/RoE/ORAN, Adaptive IPTM and high-density 10/25GbE to 100/200GbE aggregation
  • 5166 Router: a cost-effective network slicing router implementing Ciena’s Adaptive IP and optimized for 10/25GbE to 100/200/400GbE aggregation
  • 5164 Router: a cost-effective network slicing router implementing Ciena’s Adaptive IP and optimized for 10/25GbE to 100/200GbE aggregation

In addition, the Blue Planet Intelligent Automation software portfolio has been enhanced for 5G automation, including these new solutions and capabilities:

  • Vendor-agnostic network slicing features, which allow operators to automate end-to-end creation of dynamic, SLA-based virtual networks that are optimized to meet specific needs of users to derive new revenue from 5G networks
  • Dynamic Planning capabilities, powered by federation and advanced software automation, to deliver an accurate, real-time view of an operators’ network and service inventory, which simplifies network planning to support small cell deployments, speeding the delivery of 5G

“Ciena has been at the forefront of creating some of the industry’s most advanced wireline networks and our open 5G Network Solutions build on that heritage, giving operators the ability to choose the right solutions for their needs and to create a more adaptive network. Operators can now move to 5G with minimal risk and the ability to rapidly generate a greater return on their investments,” stated Steve Alexander, Chief Technology Officer, Ciena.

Intel outlines "Horse Ridge" cryogenic quantum control chip

Intel Labs, in collaboration with QuTech ‑ a partnership between TU Delft and TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) ‑ outlined key technical features of its new cryogenic quantum control chip codenamed "Horse Ridge". The research is aimed at integrating silicon spin qubit devices and cryogenic controls in a streamlined package.

Some highlights:

Scalability: The integrated SoC design, implemented using Intel’s 22nm FFL (FinFET Low Power) CMOS technology, integrates four radio frequency (RF) channels into a single device. Each channel is able to control up to 32 qubits leveraging “frequency multiplexing” – a technique that divides the total bandwidth available into a series of non-overlapping frequency bands, each of which is used to carry a separate signal. Leveraging these four channels, Horse Ridge can potentially control up to 128 qubits with a single device, substantially reducing the number of cables and rack instrumentations previously required.
Fidelity: Increases in qubit count trigger other issues that challenge the capacity and operation of the quantum system. One such potential impact is a decline in qubit fidelity and performance. In developing Horse Ridge, Intel optimized the multiplexing technology that enables the system to scale and reduce errors from “phase shift” – a phenomenon that can occur when controlling many qubits at different frequencies, resulting in crosstalk among qubits.

Intel outlined these details in a research paper released at the 2020 International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco. The paper unveils key technical capabilities of Horse Ridge that address fundamental challenges in building a quantum system powerful enough to demonstrate quantum practicality: scalability, flexibility and fidelity.

“Today, quantum researchers work with just a small number of qubits, using smaller, custom-designed systems surrounded by complex control and interconnect mechanisms. Intel’s Horse Ridge greatly minimizes this complexity. By systematically working to scale to thousands of qubits required for quantum practicality, we’re continuing to make steady progress toward making commercially viable quantum computing a reality in our future,” stated Jim Clarke, director of quantum hardware, Intel Labs.

CommScope adds Open Interfaces and Virtualization for 5G Small Cells

CommScope announced open interfaces, virtualized RAN functions, and new radio points for its OneCell small cell for operators to deploy 5G networks in enterprises and venues.

Key enhancements

  • 5G mmWave and sub-6 GHz bands support: The addition of these bands to the OneCell RP5000 Series of radio points enables operators to address 5G in-building needs. This includes 28 GHz and 39 GHz mmWave bands, CBRS and C-band in the US, and 3.5 GHz bands in Europe and the rest of the world.
  • Virtualized 5G NR baseband functions: this allows baseband functions to run on x86-based server platforms anywhere in the network to support 5G network slicing – virtual end-to-end networks customized for each application requirement. For example, capacity-related functions can be centralized for efficient pooling, while data and media delivery can be pushed to the edge for low latency.
  • O-RAN 7.2x fronthaul interface: This allows fronthaul over Ethernet. CommScope implements further innovations such as single cell operation across multiple radio points to maximize user QoE, and cell virtualization to increase spectral efficiency. These are critical to meeting the requirements of enhanced mobile broadband and ultra-reliable low latency communication 5G use cases.
  • Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) framework support: This enables native management of OneCell under the O-RAN Alliance’s O1 Operations and Maintenance (OAM) interface specification. ONAP simplifies on-boarding, provisioning, orchestration and management for operators by providing a common framework across all network elements and services.

“CommScope fully supports open interfaces to stimulate innovation,” said Upendra Pingle, vice president of Distributed Coverage and Capacity Solutions for CommScope’s Venues and Campus Networks segment. “We are delivering solutions for in-building cellular coverage that enable operators to realize the potential of their 5G networks for all types of subscribers and use cases.”

Cradlepoint debuts 5G wireless edge solutions for business

Cradlepoint introduced a portfolio of 5G solutions for enterprise wireless services.

The new products combine Cradlepoint's NetCloud platform with a clean-sheet-of-paper design for its new 5G modems and antenna systems. Enterprise-class capabilities focus on network availability, security, and manageability. Specific capabilities include: combining LTE, Gigabit-Class LTE and 5G in a single wireless WAN; support for all variants of 5G – low-band and mid-band (Sub-6Ghz) and high-band (millimeter wave) – across major wireless operators; interoperability with existing customer SD-WAN and router infrastructures; and delivering the entire network management lifecycle – from ease of deployment to simplified operations and troubleshooting.

Telstra is the launch partner for the first Cradlepoint 5G solution, the W2000-Series 5G Wideband Adapter, which is the 5G wireless edge solution for Telstra’s Enterprise Wireless service. Customer trials are scheduled to begin in April 2020.

“Our new NetCloud-powered portfolio of 5G wireless edge solutions represents another industry first for Cradlepoint,” explained George Mulhern, chairman and CEO of Cradlepoint. “We are excited to have Telstra – Australia’s leading mobile operator – as our worldwide launch partner for our new W2000-Series 5G Wideband Adapter. They share our strong belief that business customers are looking to embrace 5G to enable new and disruptive business applications and capabilities, but not at the cost of impaired network availability, security, and manageability.”

Creadlepoint's forthcoming W-Series 5G Wideband Adapters are controlled and managed by the Cradlepoint NetCloud Service and are based on the company’s software-defined modem technology. Specific models include:

  • W2000-Series 5G Wideband Adapter for low-band and mid-band (Sub-6Ghz) deployments comes in both an indoor unit (IDU) and a rugged outdoor unit (ODU). Telstra customer trials of this model are scheduled to begin from April 2020 and on other wireless operators starting in mid-2020. 
  • W4000-Series 5G Wideband Adapter is designed for millimeter-wave cellular networks with a rugged outdoor unit (ODU) design that can be directionally mounted on exterior walls, poles, and rooftops. The W4000-Series is slated for Q3 2020 availability.
  • 5G Modular Modem (Sub-6Ghz) provides a field-upgradable pathway to 5G for Cradlepoint 5G Ready dual modem routers. 
Availability is planned for later in 2020.

ADVA reports one of its best quarters with revenue rising 15% yoy

ADVA reported Q4 2019 revenues of EUR 151.1 million, up by 4.7% from EUR 144.3 million in Q3 2019 and up by 14.9% from EUR 131.5 million in the same year-ago period. Revenues for Q4 2019 were at the upper end of the guidance corridor the company provided on October 24, 2019, of between EUR 142 million and EUR 152 million.

Pro forma operating income for Q4 2019 was EUR 10.3 million (6.8% of revenues), up from EUR 7.4 million (5.1% of revenues) in Q3 2019 and above EUR 8.1 million (6.2% of revenues) in the same year-ago period. Pro forma operating income for Q4 2019 was also at the upper end of the company’s guidance range of between 5% and 7% of revenues. At quarter-end, the company’s cash and cash equivalents totaled EUR 54.3 million, representing a substantial increase of 41.3% compared to EUR 38.4 million at the end of Q3 2019.

“Today, we report one of the best results in our 25-year company history,” commented Uli Dopfer, CFO, ADVA. “Both of our two key metrics were at the upper end of our guidance range, and year-over-year we increased revenues significantly by 14.9%. On an annualized basis our revenue grew by more than 10% – an excellent result that even exceeded our self-imposed goals and was supported by satisfactory profitability. We are finalizing our restructuring and preparing for the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. It is currently difficult for us to assess what impact the crisis in China will have on our 2020 results. The city of Wuhan is an important center for photonic components and subsystems, and the isolation of the region will lead to delays in the global supply chain. We expect that despite the healthy order backlog, some of the order fulfillment and revenue recognition will shift from Q1 2020 to later quarters. However, in light of the positive order entry and strong demand, we are very confident of further increasing annual revenues and profitability compared to 2019.”

“Numerous factors that caused market uncertainty and tension in the past year will continue to be relevant in 2020. However, we adjusted very well to the new boundary conditions and once again showed that the DNA of our company guarantees stable and reliable results even in difficult times,” said Brian Protiva, CEO, ADVA. “Despite the trade tensions, we held our course and developed our business with great discipline. Throughout the year we were able to sequentially increase our revenues and gain market share in certain segments. ADVA is in an excellent position for the coming years. We have created a solid basis in all three technology areas and see interesting growth scenarios as a result of transformational change disrupting our markets.”

KDDI tests Nokia's 5G core standalone

Japan's KDDI Corporation completed a 5G core standalone (SA) network trial using Nokia’s 5G AirGile cloud-native core solution. The test was conducted independently of previous generations’ mobile network architecture.

Nokia said its 5G AirGile cloud-native core can be rolled out in a traditional network environment or a cloud environment and is fully compliant with 3GPP Release 15 5G core functions.

In this trial, Nokia applied a service-based architecture to the 5G control plane, moving control functions completely into a cloud-based environment which provides operators with improved scalability, velocity and flexibility.  A full 5G SA core will support enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), enhanced Machine Type Communication (eMTC) and Ultra Reliable Low Latency Connectivity (URLLC).

Ribbon names Bruce McClelland as CEO (formerly ARRIS)

Ribbon Communications announced the appointment of Bruce McClelland as its President, Chief Executive Officer and a director. McClelland previously served as CEO of ARRIS International plc, where he most recently led the sale of ARRIS to CommScope for $7.4 billion in April 2019.  While at ARRIS, Mr. McClelland managed the successful acquisition and integration of the Ruckus Wireless and Brocade ICX Campus switching businesses from Broadcom Inc., a major step in diversifying the ARRIS business beyond the service provider market into the broader enterprise market, while strengthening the company’s wireless technology capabilities. 

Mr. McClelland said, “I am honored to lead the Ribbon team during this exciting time in the Company’s history with the transformational merger with ECI on the near-term horizon. I look forward to bringing my knowledge and expertise to the combined company, working closely with the Ribbon Board and executive management team to create a premier workplace and winning culture for our employees while driving long-term value for our customers and stockholders.”

Ribbon also announced the appointment of Stewart Ewing and Krish Prabhu to its Board of Directors. Ewing most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of CenturyLink, Inc.  He joined CenturyLink as its Vice President of Finance in 1983 and assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer in 1989.   During his 28 years as CFO, he played a significant role in CenturyLink’s acquisition strategy, negotiating all stages of purchase agreements, legal and regulatory matters and integrating the acquired companies into CenturyLink’s corporate structure and philosophy.

Prabhu most recently was Chief Technology Officer and President of AT&T Labs.  During his tenure, he was responsible for the company's global technology direction, including network innovation, product development and research, intellectual property organization and global supply chain organization.  Prior to this, Mr. Prabhu served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Tellabs. Earlier in his career, he held various leadership positions at Alcatel.

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.

See also