Wednesday, February 26, 2020

OFC 2020 is still on

The organizers of the upcoming OFC 2020 conference and exhibition confirmed that the event is still on.

“We are excited to confirm that OFC 2020 is still on and going strong. The conference will be held as planned 8 – 12 March in San Diego, California USA with a high-quality technical program and exhibition. OFC Management is fully committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all OFC attendees. We have heard from many exhibitors that they are committed to attend OFC and we thank them for their continued engagement. OFC Management respects the decision of exhibitors who decided to cancel their participation and look forward to partnering with them in the future.”

https://www.ofcconference.org/en-us/home/

OFC 2020's COVID-19 Action Plan

Organizers of the upcoming OFC 2020 conference and exhibition, which will be held 8 – 12 March in San Diego, California, issued the following statement.

“Due to the COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus) outbreak, OFC Management is closely monitoring the ongoing potential impact for our attendees, exhibitors, and vendors”, said Ryan Strowger, head of OFC Management. “We are following the guidance from worldwide health organizations and experts. We are fully committed to taking appropriate precautions to provide a safe and healthy environment for attendees.”

Some additional points:

  • OFC Management understands that individuals who have been in China (originating or visiting) within 14 calendar days, will be unable to participate in-person at OFC 2020 due to travel restrictions barring access to the U.S. 
  • Some Chinese exhibiting companies have determined that they will be unable to exhibit, while other Chinese exhibiting companies may utilize non-China based staff, or sales representatives/distributors with knowledge of their products and services to represent them. 
  • OFC Management will continue to support OFC companies based in China on their final decisions, and we thank them for their continued engagement.
  • OFC Management will follow recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the policies of the local government and city officials


The full statement is here:
https://www.ofcconference.org/en-us/home/about/update-on-coronavirus/

Broadband Forum completes two new 5G standards

The Broadband Forum announced the completion of two standards for supporting 5G networks:

  • 5G Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) Architecture (TR-470) - describes the 5G FMC architecture to provide a high-level guide for network architects and planners
  • Access Gateway Function (AGF) Functional Requirements (TR-456)  - describes the functional requirements of the AGF. The AGF resides between fixed access networks and the 5G core network to support 5G and wireline Residential Gateways, creating a truly converged deployment.

The specifications are completing the approvals process and will be published as Broadband Forum’s other 5G initiatives continue. These include ongoing work to standardize and enhance the transport network to ensure it can meet the demands of 5G, and normative work is also beginning on Broadband Forum’s joint FMC project with 3GPP.

“When it comes to deploying 5G, all operators will have different starting points which means any transformation steps need to be independent and not require co-ordination,” said Gavin Young, Head of Fixed Access Centre of Excellence at Vodafone Group Technology. “Deployment flexibility is also needed – and it is these challenges, and more, that TR-470 and TR-456 address.”

The Broadband Forum also announced that specifications for carrier grade Wi-Fi are in progress:

  • Device:2 root data model (TR-181), which is used by User Services Platform (USP), is being extended to address 5G Residential Gateways. 
  • Open Broadband – Broadband Access Abstraction (OB-BAA) and virtualization of the ONU management and control interface (OMCI) are also smoothing the way to software-driven cloud-based access networks, ensuring fixed networks can scale with the unprecedented amounts of data that 5G will bring.

“Broadband Forum’s latest specifications are key pieces of the very big jigsaw that must be created and completed to deliver on 5G – and we are working with operators to define those pieces quickly, efficiently, and, most importantly, together as an open collaborative effort, preventing fragmentation and misalignments between stakeholders,” said Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh. “The breadth of our ongoing work and how much of that has 5G at its core is significant and the holistic approach we can take is unique to the broadband industry and critical to the ongoing development of 5G.”

https://www.broadband-forum.org/projects/5g

Nokia trials 4G/5G slicing capabilities with customers

Nokia introduced new end-to-end slicing network functionality for 4G and 5G New Radio (NR).

The slicing capability can be deployed via a software upgrade into existing LTE and 5G non-standalone (NSA) networks and subsequently 5G standalone (SA) networks. The slicing continuity between LTE and 5G NR allows operators to maximize their network coverage for new mobile connectivity services.

Nokia said the solution provides sliced mobile broadband connectivity from device to radio, transport, core, all the way to applications in private and public networks and the cloud. The user and service-aware slicing functionality has been introduced to Nokia radio access products for the first time and is also supported in Nokia transport and core products with control, management and assurance systems. Solution supports all 4G and 5G devices and works in a multi-vendor
environment.

The company is already trialing live 4G/5G slicing use cases with customers powered by a unique Software Defined Network (SDN) radio slice controller as well as a transport slice controller. The trial includes a Nokia cloud packet core slice orchestrator to support network deployment automation as well as an SD-WAN software solution providing a managed 4G/5G network slice to private and public cloud services. Nokia assurance systems are used to verify per slice KPIs as a part of Nokia’s E2E service orchestration.

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks, Nokia, said: “Working closely with our customers to develop new technologies and business opportunities is hugely important to Nokia. 4G/5G slicing enables multiple new use cases which operators can start building now to create new revenue streams.”

Cisco builds Cloud Services Stack for 5G

Cisco announced new mobility solutions for integrating multi-vendor “telco stacks” of hardware, software and services capabilities as the foundation for 5G.

The new Cisco Cloud Services Stack for Mobility is a cloud-based mobile packet core solution that accelerates implementation of 4G and 5G mobility services. It offers a carrier-grade NFVI platform that is pre-integrated, pre-validated, and embedded with security, automation and assurance capabilities, running on Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus fabric. It is deployed and supported through Cisco Customer Experience. 

“A critical element for accelerating 5G deployments is the need for the right skills and experience to address complex solution integrations,” said Dave Malik, Cisco Fellow and Chief Architect, Cisco Customer Experience. “The current climate of diverse technology stacks requires engineering expertise across multiple domains to drive seamless interoperability at scale. The Cisco Customer Experience team has the knowledge gained from working with global service providers to accelerate lifecycle management and large mobility deployments, helping customers speed time-to-value and capture market share.”

The company is also introducing a Cloud Services Stack for Content Delivery and a Cloud Services Stack for Residential.

This week, Cisco made several other product announcements, including:

  • new line cards for its Aggregation Services Routers (ASR) 9000 series, more than tripling the performance with high-density 400GbE interfaces. The new cards are aimed at edge routing use-cases across service providers, data center, and enterprise private backbones. 
  • a new Network Convergence System (NCS) 5700 router featuring four times higher performance with high-density 400GbE interfaces. 
  • new models of the Cisco NCS 540 5G fronthaul router, providing seamless, packet-based transport of Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) streams. It offers 300Gbps system scale and the operational simplicity within a single Cisco IOS XR software environment from the core to the access network. 
  • a new software capability that enables the creation of trusted routing paths that can be offered as a premium service. Cisco Crosswork Trust Insights collects evidence to identify more trustworthy routing paths. Cisco’s Crosswork Optimization Engine then automates and optimizes routing paths based on trust metrics using segment routing

https://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=2056576

Microsoft cites OEM supply chain stress from China

Microsoft issued updated financial guidance saying its Personal Computing segmen, which includes guidance as Windows OEM and Surface, will be more negatively impacted than expected due the COVID-19 health situation. The company said its supply chain in China is returning to normal operations at a slower pace than anticipated.

All other components of the company's Q3 guidance remain unchanged.

https://news.microsoft.com/2020/02/26/microsoft-update-on-q3-fy20-guidance/

Mavenir builds 5G cloud with VMware & Dell

Mavenir has announced the integration of its 5G cloud-native telecom network functions (CNFs) with VMware’s container-ready Telco Cloud running on Dell Technologies’ edge computing solutions 5G deployments.

The pre-integrated and tested Mavenir solution on Dell and VMware infrastructure integrates open source Container as a Service (CaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) with Mavenir’s microservices-based packet core and 4G/5G vRAN network functions.

The joint solution allows Mobile Network Operators and Enterprises to quickly and easily deploy telco workloads on private or hybrid cloud environments by extending on-premises VMware vSphere-based environments to the AWS Cloud via VMware Cloud on AWS.

“The Mavenir/Dell/VMware solution utilizes end-to-end orchestration, closed loop automation mechanisms and harmonizing network slicing. Mavenir’s solution is designed to support applications and use cases that require millisecond latencies and responsive networks,” said Pardeep Kohli, Mavenir’s President and CEO.

“Mavenir is committed to lowering the TCO for operators through innovative solutions. Simplifying deployments with pre-integrated and tested solutions and aligned roadmaps is a key step towards that goal. The responsiveness and reliability expected from network clouds can now be realized from this solution,” said Bejoy Pankajakshan, Mavenir’s EVP and Chief Strategy Officer.


https://mavenir.com/press-releases/mavenir-simplifies-deployment-of-5g-cloud-solutions-with-business-partners/


Google to invest $10G in U.S. facilities in 2020

Google will invest $10 billion in offices and data centers across the United States in 2020. The investments will be focused in 11 states: Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and California.

During 2019, Google invested $13 billion in facilities across the country.

When these figures are combined with its other R&D spending, Google says it is the largest investor in the U.S.

https://www.blog.google/inside-google/company-announcements/continuing-grow-invest-across-america-2020

South Pacific Manatua subsea cable deployment complete

Cable laying operations have been completed for the new "Manatua" South Pacific submarine cable system, which will provide connections from Apia, Samoa to Toahotu, Tahiti, with branching units for landings to Niue; Aitutaki, Cook Island; Raratonga, Cook Island; and Vaitape, Bora Bora.

The Manatua Cable IW a new two/three fiber pair trunk that connects Apia and Toahotu with a two-fiber pair branch to Avatele, a three-fiber pair branch to Raratonga and one-fiber pair branches to both Aitutaki and Vaitape. The cable will cover more than 3166 kilometers in total.

SubCom is the lead contractor for the project. The cable is expected to enter service in June.

The Manatua Consortium is composed of: The Office des Postes et Télécommunications (OPT), the telecoms operator of French Polynesia; Avaroa Cables Limited (ACL), the cable operator of Cook Islands, Telecom Niue Limited (TNL), the telecoms operator of Niue; and Samoa Submarine Cable Company (SSCC), the cable operator of the Independent State of Samoa.

Nutanix posts quarterly sales of $347M, subscription model grows

Nutanix reported revenue of $346.8 million for the second quarter of its fiscal 2020 ended January 31, 2020, up from $335.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2019. There was a GAAP net loss of $217.6 million, compared to a GAAP net loss of $122.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2019; Non-GAAP net loss was $116.3 million, compared to a non-GAAP net loss of $40.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2019. Billings were $428.1 million, up from $413.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2019.

“Our solutions-based approach to our go-to-market strategy is helping customers realize the benefits and power of our new products in conjunction with our core software. As a result, we increased the attach rate of our new products to 31%, up from 21% as of Q2 fiscal 2019,” said Dheeraj Pandey, Chairman, Co-founder and CEO of Nutanix. “We were also pleased with several other key drivers of growth for our business in the quarter, including our partnership with HPE and traction in the U.S. commercial segment.”

“We saw strong momentum in the shift of our business towards subscription. In the second quarter, 79% of billings came from subscription, surpassing our stated goal of 75% by the end of the fiscal year and well ahead of our internal plan, while still delivering on our guidance for top line growth,” said Duston Williams, CFO of Nutanix. “Looking forward, the change in our fiscal 2020 TCV guidance is driven by two factors – first, a much faster than expected shift to subscription, coupled with a more cautious view on business activities in the greater APJ region due to the anticipated impact of the coronavirus.”


Samsung intros Secure Element chip with with CC EAL 5+ for mobiles

Samsung Electronics introduced a Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (CC EAL) 5+ certified Secure Element (SE) chip for mobile devices.

The new Secure Element solution consists of a security chip and optimized software for protecting private data on an isolated data storage.

“Strong security measures have become a crucial feature in today’s smart devices as they evolve into essential tools that hold the key to our personal data connected to various services such as the cloud and financial transactions,” said Dongho Shin, senior vice president of System LSI marketing at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung has a long and proven history in security solutions such as smart card ICs, IoT processors and other semiconductor products that require robust security. Our new turnkey SE solution for mobile devices will not only keep user data safer on the go but also enable new mobile applications that will broaden and enrich our everyday lives.”

Samsung’s new SE solution is currently in mass production and is featured in Samsung’s recently-announced Galaxy S20 series smartphones.

See also