Thursday, February 27, 2020

An update from the Telecom Infra Project (TIP)

To mark its fourth anniversary, the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) provided the following update on its activities:

1. Global expansion of TIP activities, progressing solutions such as OpenRAN, Disaggregated Cell Site Gateways (DCSG) and Cassini into a growing number of deployments and field trials. Specifically, Vodafone has now launched trials in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as anticipated, and is progressing with trials in the UK and Ireland. In Indonesia, Indosat Ooredoo and Smartfren will conduct the first OpenRAN field trials in the APAC region. Smartfren has also conducted and completed the first OpenRAN lab trial in the region.

2. Growing the number of technology solutions and project groups within TIP, addressing a wide range of deployment environments – including Core and Wi-Fi. For instance, Dell EMC continues to work on a configuration with SONiC, an open source network operating system, on DCSG including Zero Touch Provisioning. Alongside DCSG, the expanding OOPT product portfolio landed commitments from Edgecore and Wistron to develop the hardware for Phoenix (formerly known as Apollo), a 400G optical transponder. The Phoenix spec is now fully approved and available. Also in the OOPT family, IP Infusion is now announcing the general availability of their Cassini Operating System. Whitestack led a trial of the Cassini technology in Telef├│nica del Per├║, and is implementing some of the first projects (combining optics and Layer2/3) in Latin American operators.

The OOPT Project Group launched an initiative focused on the development of Disaggregated Open Routers (DOR). The initiative will be led by KDDI and Vodafone. Several OOPT technology providers including ADVA, Delta, Drivenets, Edgecore, Exaware and Ufispace have committed to support the activity. I



3. Deeper alignment with adjacent industry consortia such as O-RAN Alliance, GSMA, OpenStack Foundation (OSF) and OpenAirInterface Software Alliance (OSA). First, O-RAN Alliance and TIP are announcing a liaison agreement for the development of open and intelligent RAN architecture and specifications. The liaison agreement enables TIP requirements to reference O-RAN specifications. The TIP OpenRAN 5G NR Project Group will be releasing their OpenRAN 5G NR Base Station Platform requirements document with normative references to the O-RAN specifications.

TIP and the GSMA have signed an understanding that will help drive share service provider requirements from the GSMA into TIP Project Group work streams – ultimately giving operators wider solutions in the areas of operator platforms and open networks.

TIP has reached agreements with the OpenStack Foundation (OSF), and the OpenAirInterface Software Alliance (OSA) to jointly explore collaboration areas on the newly formed Open Core Network Project Group and leverage each organization’s expertise and resources to accelerate progress towards a converged open core network implementation.

4. Integration and hardening of disaggregated technology solutions through TIP Community Labs and PlugFests. As part of the alignment with O-RAN, Deutsche Telekom is expanding its current TIP Community Lab and launching a European Open Test and Integration Center. Deutsche Telekom will transform its current Berlin lab to focus on interop validation of O-RAN compliant RU-DU solutions leading to an upcoming Open FrontHaul (RU-DU) TIP PlugFest, as well as supporting Open Optical Packet Transport (OOPT) technology trials. Multiple operators, most notably Orange, are collaborating across several streams in the lab for integration, testing and also for upcoming Plugfest activities. In addition, KDDI will be opening up the first TIP Community Lab in Japan, supporting DCSG solutions and the OOPT Project Group initially, and expanding to other technologies in the future. China Unicom has announced that it has joined the OpenRAN 5G NR Project Group, and is preparing to launch the first TIP Community Lab in China to support the project.

The full TIP update is posted here: https://telecominfraproject.com/tip-community-momentum-driven-by-new-operator-demand-technology-solutions-and-industry-alliances/

U.S. Senate passes "rip and replace" bill

The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to approve a "rip and replace" bill to drive the rapid replacement of telecom gear deemed to be a national security threat, namely Huawei and ZTE. The House already passed similar legislation in December. Up to $1 billion would be made available through the FCC to help smaller telecom operators comply with the new requirements. President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.


GSMA leads Telco Edge Cloud initiative

GSMA is leading an industry effort to develop Telco Edge Cloud capabilities. The platform to be developed in 2020, will make local operator assets and capabilities, such as latency, compute and storage available to application developers and software vendors enabling them to fulfill the needs of enterprise clients.

China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, EE, KDDI, Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Telefonica and TIM are backing the initiative.

Objectives of the Edge Compute architectural framework and reference platform:

  • Be open and inclusive
  • Provide data protection and sovereignty mechanisms
  • Offer carrier-grade reliability, security, trustworthiness
  • Leverage existing technology solutions; as appropriate, including, but not limited to, aggregation platform solutions such as MobiledgeX, or the interconnection mechanisms developed as part of the GSMA MultiOperator MEC experience.


“Operators are very well placed to provide capabilities such as low latency through their network assets,” said Alex Sinclair, CTO at GSMA. “It is essential for enterprises to be able to reach all of their customers from the edge of any network. Based on the GSMA Operator Platform Specification, Telco Edge Cloud will provide enterprise developers and aggregators with a consistent way to reach connected customers.”

“Edge cloud will build a unified network edge ecosystem, providing diversified and customised products and services, and multiple platform capabilities. It will also realise more extensive boundary-crossing cooperation to meet the requirements of digital transformation of various vertical industries,” said Xiongyan Tang, the Chief Scientist of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute and the Chief Architect of China Unicom Intelligent Network Center, China Unicom.

“Edge Cloud has an exciting potential to enable and enhance many innovative experiences for our customers. I welcome this operator initiative to take ownership of the edge opportunity by joining forces to deliver our capabilities in a federated edge service,” said Claudia Nemat, Board Member Technology & Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. “Leveraging MobiledgeX as platform partner and aggregator in the federation puts operators on the best track to create scale, bring in the developer community and make a market impact.”

Company withdrawal notices for OFC

Acacia Communications, Infinera, OFS, and Viavi Solutions all confirmed their withdrawals from OFC 2020 due to the coronavirus situation.

Previously, Ciena and Lumentum announced cancellations from the event.

"We have made the difficult decision to cancel our participation in OFC," said Raj Shanmugaraj, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are disappointed we cannot participate as we were looking forward to showcasing our 400ZR, OpenZR+ and 400G Open ROADM product portfolio. However, our highest priority is the health and safety of our employees and business partners.  Based on the information available, we believe this is the best decision at this time."

“While we were looking forward to attending OFC 2020, the premier optical networking conference, and showcasing our latest innovations, our top priority is the health and safety of our employees, and our concern extends to the welfare and well-being of our customers, partners and others in our community,” said Tom Fallon, Infinera CEO. “

"We value OFC as a venue for sharing our latest research and innovation each year. However, with the continued spread and growing concern of COVID-19 and the prioritization of health and safety not only in our manufacturing environment, but in the travel and exposure potentially impacting our employees, customers and stakeholders, we have decided to cancel our participation in OFC. We will work to share our intended demonstrations and research with customers and industry partners over the coming months in local forums," stated Pierre Marty, Senior Vice President, Fiber & Cable North America, OFS.

NeoPhotonics posts revenue of $103.4 million, up 13%

NeoPhotonics reported Q4 2019 revenue of $103.4 million, up 12% quarter-over-quarter and 13% year-over-year. Gross margin was 30.2%, up from 28.4% in the prior quarter.

Revenue in 2019 was $356.8 million, compared to $322.5 million in 2018

“Our strong revenue and gross margin expansion throughout the year was a result of our leadership in high speed products, serving the largest players in the industry in DCI and the transition of Cloud and hyper-scale data center networks to coherent technologies,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics.

VMware revenues rise 11% yoy

VMware reported revenue of $3.07 billion for the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2020, an increase of 11% from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019. GAAP net income for the fourth quarter was $321 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, compared to $496 million, or $1.17 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019. Non-GAAP net income for the fourth quarter was $868 million, or $2.05 per diluted share, up 9%.

The combination of subscription and SaaS and license revenue was $1.59 billion, an increase of 14% from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019.

“VMware delivered over $10 billion in revenue for the first time in company history in fiscal 2020, along with continued double-digit topline growth,” commented Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware. “Our results demonstrate the power of our broad-based portfolio and a strategy that continues to resonate with our customers.”

“We signed a record number of enterprise agreements above $10 million in Q4, including a significant increase in the value of subscription and SaaS offerings in the top ten agreements,” said Zane Rowe, executive vice president and CFO, VMware. “Subscription and SaaS revenue grew 52% year-over-year in the fourth quarter to $556 million and is expected to continue strong growth in fiscal 2021.”

Lufthansa Technik deploys private 5G with Nokia

Lufthansa Technik, the leading provider of technical aircraft services, deployed a 5G industrial-grade private wireless network to accelerate a project that enables remote engine parts inspection for its civil aviation customers. The "Virtual Table Inspection" proof of concept project leverages the 5G netork to remove the need for customers to physically attend servicing by providing seamless video access to the engine overhaul shop floor. Nokia is the supplier.

Soeren Stark, Lufthansa Technik Executive Board Member, responsible for Technical Operations, Logistics and IT said: "Continuous innovation is part of our corporate DNA, and this is what drives us to constantly try out new approaches. The first application cases already impressively demonstrate the valuable contribution 5G technology can make to the aviation industry. It will also pave the way for numerous new innovations at Lufthansa Technik that will benefit our company, our employees and also our customers.”

Kathrin Buvac, President of Nokia Enterprise said: "This application captures the essential value of fast, secure 5G private wireless networking to help improve operational efficiency, productivity and service. It highlights the potential for new ways of working that benefit not only our customers, but also the markets they serve."

Applied Optoelectronics delivers revenue of $49 million

Applied Optoelectronics reported Q4 2019 revenue of $48.7 million, compared with $58.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 and $46.1 million in the third quarter of 2019.

GAAP gross margin was 23.3%, compared with 18.2% in the fourth quarter of 2018. GAAP net loss was $35.4 million, or $1.76 per basic share, compared with net loss of $8.6 million, or $0.43 per basic share in the fourth quarter of 2018, and a net loss of $8.8 million, or $0.44 per basic share in the third quarter of 2019. Non-GAAP net loss was $3.6 million, or $0.18 per basic share

“We are encouraged with our financial performance in the fourth quarter, which reflects another quarter of sequential revenue growth,” said Dr. Thompson Lin, Applied Optoelectronics Inc. Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are pleased by the customer interest we are seeing for our 400G products and are delighted to announce that we recently secured our first 400G design win with a Tier 1 network equipment manufacturer. Looking ahead, while we expect a continued soft cable TV environment, coupled with typical seasonal patterns and the effects of the coronavirus, to impact our near-term results, we expect this to be partially offset by growth in our datacenter and telecom segments driven by datacenter upgrades and 5G related sales.”