Thursday, March 12, 2020

Verizon ready for data surge from COVID-19 crisis, increases CAPEX

Verizon asserted that its networks "stand ready to serve customers at work, at home and remotely—including first responders and those protecting the public—when critical connectivity is needed most."

Verizon reports that it has not seen a measurable increase in data usage—despite some businesses, schools and other organizations now asking employees to work remotely and students to take classes online.  The company says its networks are ready to absorb a data surge should demand increase or usage patterns change significantly due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Nevertheless, Verizon is announcing an increase in its capital guidance range from $17 - $18 billion to $17.5 - $18.5 billion in 2020. The increase is intended to accelerate Verizon's transition to 5G and help support the economy during this period of disruption.

“We’re looking towards the future and increasing our investments so that we’re poised to offer even more robust networks, to meet future demands, in the years to come,” said Hans Vestberg, Verizon Chairman and CEO. “We are very confident in our company’s ability to meet current demands in providing a great network experience.”

Vestberg added: “Our customers—including critical government and public safety agencies—rely on us for proven reliability. I want to thank our dedicated Verizon employees who continue to work tirelessly, day in and day out, to ensure our essential communications services are available to our customers so they can stay connected where and when they need it most.”

Full statement:
https://www.verizon.com/about/news/verizons-networks-stand-ready-increases-data-traffic

ADVA announces optical Spectrum-as-a-Service

ADVA introduced Optical Spectrum-as-a-Service, a new approach that lets communication service providers (CSPs) sell fully-assured and differentiated optical spectrum services from their already deployed fiber networks.

The concept leverages ADVA's FSP 3000 open line system (OLS) with its coherent optics, programmable flexgrid technology and intelligent network control to create frequency blocks that can be assigned to different customers.

“Today we’re introducing a new way for CSPs to tackle skyrocketing data demand and diminishing margins. Optical spectrum in fiber networks can now be sliced and offered as differentiated services to multiple end users. This gives CSPs a completely fresh business case and a brand new area for revenue growth,” said Stephan Rettenberger, SVP, marketing and investor relations, ADVA. “Our unique open line system is the key to realizing the full benefits of the spectrum-as-a-service approach. Its spectrum gateway functionality and advanced optical layer control empower CSPs to elastically allocate optical spectrum to services and deliver virtually unlimited capacity. What’s more, with optical spectrum services, CSPs can put their end customers in control like never before.”

“Up until now, CSPs have been unable to monetize the vast amounts of unused spectrum in their networks. But thanks to advances in coherent optics, programmable flexgrid technology and intelligent network control, spectrum as a service is now a real and affordable option. CSPs can use the approach to unleash the full value of their fiber assets,” commented Jörg-Peter Elbers, SVP, advanced technology, ADVA. “Following multiple spectrum-as-a-service proof-of-concepts involving several partners and spanning different network domains, we're now removing the limits on fiber capacity for CSPs across the world. With this launch, we're unlocking the potential of today's fiber infrastructure and ushering in a new age of flexible, future-proof growth.”

https://www.adva.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/20200312-adva-unlocks-network-potential-with-spectrum-as-a-service

Mellanox ships its 12.8 Tbps Ethernet switch

Mellanox Technologies announced the first customer shipments of its new 12.8 Tbps Ethernet switch platform, which is optimized for Cloud, Ethernet Storage Fabric, and AI interconnect applications.

The Mellanox SN4000 family, which is powered by its Spectrum-3 ASIC, supports a combination of up to 32 ports of 400GbE, 64 ports of 200GbE and 128 ports of 100/50/25/10GbE. The SN4000 platforms complement the 200/400GbE SN3000 leaf switches to form an efficient and high bandwidth leaf/spine network.

Mellanox  said its Spectrum-3 boasts tunneling, and network virtualization capabilities with its advanced FlexFlow packet processing technology, and WJH (What Just Happened)™ based real-time telemetry.

Highlights

  • Up to 128 ports of 100GbE, 64 ports of 200GbE or 32 ports of 400GbE
  • Up to 200,000 NAT entries, and 1 Million on-chip routes
  • Fully shared packet buffer to maximize burst absorption and deliver fair bandwidth sharing
  • RoCE-Ready one-click configuration with hardware-accelerated, end-to-end congestion management to simplify networking for storage, AI, and big data workloads
  • FlexFlow™ programmable pipeline which delivers rich network processing capabilities at an unprecedented scale
  • WJH™ based granular telemetry to simplify network operations and dramatically reduce mean time to issue resolution
  • Simultaneous NRZ and PAM4 port speeds allowing flexible configurations
  • Dual stack IPV4 and IPV6 protocol operation
  • Support for overlay protocols including EVPN, VXLAN-GPE, MPLS-over-GRE/UDP, NSH, NVGRE, MPLS/IPv6 based Segment routing and more
  • Flowlet-based adaptive routing maximizes performance and network utilization for layer-3 fabrics with high cross-sectional bandwidth
  • Support for customer-defined, on-switch, containerized microservices with complete SDK access to host management, orchestration, and telemetry applications.


“Mellanox Spectrum-3 offers better performance, more advanced features, and easier management than any other 12.8 terabit switch,” said Amit Katz, vice president of Ethernet switches at Mellanox. “Our VXLAN support features single-pass routing for more than 500,000 tunnels, making Mellanox Spectrum-3 the best switch not only for cloud data centers, but for any networking deployment supporting virtualization, containers, or microservices.”

Ranovus, IBM, TE Connectivity and Senko team on Co-Packaged Optics

Ranovus has formed a strategic collaboration with IBM, TE Connectivity, and Senko Advanced Components to create an ecosystem to design and manufacture multi-vendor solutions for Co-Packaged Optics applications in data center.

RANOVUS will provide its Odin silicon photonics engine, which incorporates the company’s multi-wavelength Quantum Dot Laser (QDL), 100Gbps Silicon Photonics based Micro Ring Resonator modulators and photodetectors, 100Gbps Driver, 100Gbps TIA and control Integrated Circuits in a power efficient and cost-effective EPIC in a single chip.

IBM will provide optical interconnect technologies that enable automated and scalable assembly for co-packaged optics. IBM’s fiber V-groove interconnect packaging technology is a robust and reliable assembly technique to interface optical fibers to silicon photonics devices. This process makes use of passive alignment techniques and achieves low insertion loss across a wide spectral range in both the O-band and C-band regimes. The solution is scalable in physical channel count and the automated process provides a path to high-volume manufacturing of co-packaged optics.

TE will demonstrate its CP fine pitch socket technology combined with thermal management using Thermal Bridge technology to illustrate integrated co-packaging solutions. TE’s co-packaged (CP) fine pitch socket interposer technology enables integration of small chipset and optical engine component technologies into high-value co-package assemblies with reworkable and interoperable interfaces.  The signal integrity performance of the CP fine pitch socket interposer technology can be critical to 100 Gbps high density electrical packaging requirements.  The integration of TE’s thermal bridge technology completes the assembly by providing an innovative solution for thermal management of the switch, serializer/deserializer (SerDes), and optics necessary for high reliability and long operating life.

SENKO will demonstrate its fiber optic connectivity solutions for optical coupling, on-board/mid-board, and faceplate. SENKO’s fiber optic connectivity solutions for optical coupling, on-board/mid-board, and faceplate support 100Gbps/lane and beyond Co-Packaged Optics equipment designs. These include low profile and precision Fiber coupler assemblies, micro sized on-/mid-board connectors, reflow compatible connector assemblies, and space saving connector options for faceplate. These will provide more efficiency, scalability, and flexibility in designs for Co-Packaged Optics equipment.

The companies said the co-packaging of optics and Ethernet switch ICs is a natural next step to reduce the power consumption burden of the electrical I/Os in the data center networking equipment.  The transition of the Ethernet switch IC SER/DES from 50Gbps to 100Gbps, in 25.6Tbps and 51.2Tbps switch configurations, presents a unique inflection point in the architecture of the Ethernet switch systems.

Federated Wireless extends spectrum controller to the 6 GHz Band

Federated Wireless extended its Spectrum Controller platform to enable spectrum sharing in the 6 GHz band.

The new Spectrum Controller functionality is currently deployed in trials and is expected to be available for commercial use by the end of 2020.

Federated Wireless said the new capabilities represent a significant leap forward for the wireless industry and for U.S. operators and enterprises that will soon be able to take advantage of unlicensed use of 1,200 MHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band. The 6 GHz band currently is set aside for licensed users, including carriers and MVNOs, who have deployed thousands of point-to-point microwave links to backhaul network traffic.

“6 GHz is the next frontier for shared spectrum services and equitable access to it, enabled and ensured by our Spectrum Controller, promises to greatly advance the deployment of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G in the U.S.,” said Federated Wireless CEO Iyad Tarazi. “This new technology builds on our long-standing leadership in managing shared spectrum in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band and on the extensive partner ecosystem we have developed to deliver shared spectrum services.”

Federated Wireless is working closely with its partners in development and deployment of the AFC and associated technologies to enable Wi-Fi 6 and 5G deployment in 6 GHz. These include carriers, MVNOs, Wi-Fi vendors and systems integrators who are collaborating to enhance wireless connectivity for businesses and consumers across the U.S.


Broadcom hits its Q1 target but withdraws guidance due to COVID-19

Broadcom reported revenue of $5.858 billion, up 1% yoy, for its first quarter of fiscal year 2020, ended February 2, 2020, but withdrew financial guidance for the rest of the year due to uncertainty about the COVID-19 crisis.

GAAP net income for the quarter was $385 million, with diluted EPS of $0.74, and non-GAAP diluted EPS of $5.25.

"Our first fiscal quarter results were in line with our expectations, with our networking, storage and broadband businesses together growing nicely year over year," said Hock Tan, President and CEO of Broadcom Inc. "The fundamental semiconductor backdrop has been improving, and we did not see any material impact on our businesses due to COVID-19 in our first quarter. However, visibility in our global markets is lacking and demand uncertainty is intensifying. As a result, we believe it prudent to withdraw our annual guidance until visibility returns to pre COVID-19 levels."

"We generated over $2.2 billion in free cash flow in the quarter, which represented 9% growth on a year on year basis," said Tom Krause, CFO of Broadcom Inc. "We ended the first quarter with over $6.4 billion of cash on hand and our cash flow outlook remains healthy. As a result, we are well positioned to continue to support our dividends to stockholders despite the challenging market backdrop."

https://investors.broadcom.com/events/event-details/q1-2020-broadcom-earnings-conference-call


Sparkle buys more capacity on FA-1 transatlantic cable

Sparkle, the first international service provider in Italy and among the top ten global operators, will add more spectrum capacity over the Flag Atlantic (FA-1) transatlantic system connecting Paris and London to New York.

Under the agreement, Global Cloud Xchange (GCX) will provide additional terabit of capacity on the current transatlantic connectivity, thus enabling Sparkle to offer even faster and more reliable City2City connectivity and Seabone IP Transit services over one of the world’s most growing corridors.

“By partnering with GCX we significantly enhanced our connectivity offer between Europe and the Americas,” said Daniele Mancuso, Chief Marketing Solutions & Business Development Officer at Sparkle. “GCX’s network gives us  unparalleled access to secure and stable bandwidth.”


U.S. enacts Secure Trusted Telecommunications Network Act

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) applauded the President's signing of the Secure Trusted Telecommunications Network Act.

The legislation prohibits federal subsidies from being used to purchase communications equipment or services posing national security risks, and provides for the establishment of a reimbursement program for the replacement of communications equipment or services posing such risks.

David Stehlin, TIA’s Chief Executive Officer, issued the following statement:

“As 5G deployment continues to advance, ensuring trusted and secure communications networks is critical for our economic and national security. The Secure Trusted Telecommunications Network Act is an important step forward in the United States’ efforts to safeguard the integrity of our communications networks by supporting efforts to replace at-risk equipment with equipment from trusted suppliers. TIA applauds President Trump for taking swift action to sign this important bill into law, and we look forward to continuing to be a resource for Congress, the Administration, and all policymakers on this critical issue.

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.

See also