Wednesday, March 18, 2020

European operators cite spike in network traffic

Leading European operators, including Movistar, Orange, Vodafone, Grupo Masmovil and Grupo Euskaltel, are asking the public to adopt a rational and responsible approach to the use of telecommunication networks due to the massive spike in traffic during the COVID-19 crisis.

Telefónica said traffic through IP networks has experienced increases of nearly 40% while mobile use has increased by about 50% in voice and 25% in data. Likewise, traffic from instant messaging tools such as Whatsapp has increased fivefold in recent days.

The operators issued the following public requests:

  • Only download the documents or files that you really need, and if they can wait, do it at night or in the "off-peak hours" with less traffic (between two and four in the afternoon and between eight in the evening and eight in the morning).
  • Whenever possible, do not send heavy files -videos, presentations...-. Send links or routes to where they are stored. And, if it is essential to send them, compress them first or give them a format that weighs less (from ppt to pdf, for example). 
  • Use collaboration tools like Teams or Slack, and if you can, don't always do it with video.
  • Avoid massive e-mails.
  • Use your landline phone instead of your mobile phone to make calls when possible.
  • And, above all, optimise the traffic for what you really need: email, remote work, conferences, school and education applications, access to information... reserve leisure tools, video games, streaming, live video playback for the off-peak hours. 

https://www.telefonica.com/en/web/press-office/-/operators-advise-a-rational-and-responsible-use-of-telecommunication-networks-to-cope-with-traffic-increases

Telefónica and partners develop Open RAN

Telefónica is planning 4G and 5G Open RAN trials in UK, Germany, Spain and Brazil this year. The carrier has announced an agreement to develop Open RAN solutions with Altiostar, Gigatera Communications, Intel, Supermicro and Xilinx.

The companies are collaborating on the design, development, optimization, testing and industrialization of Open RAN technologies across its footprint this year. Open RAN represents a paradigm change in network technology where radio baseband hardware is based on standard servers, interfaces between network equipment are open and standardized by the O-RAN Alliance, and the baseband software runs in the Telco Cloud by adopting the Automation and Zero-Touch capabilities that the NFV/SDN paradigm can bring.

The collaboration focuses on the appropriate Distributed Units (DUs) that implement part of the baseband radio functions using the FlexRAN software reference platform and Intel® Xeon® processor based servers, appropriate Remote Radio Units (RRUs) connected through open interfaces based on O-RAN fronthaul specification, and suitable Software that manages the connectivity in an open Cloud RAN architecture.

"Telefónica is known for its leading-edge network and has been championing open vRAN implementations to bring greater network service agility and flexibility,” said Pierre Kahhale, Altiostar Vice President of Field Operations. “By bringing together the best-of-breed innovation, Telefonica is looking to achieve this vision into their network. We look forward to supporting this transformation of Telefonica’s network.”

“Gigatera Communications and Telefonica has been actively working to ensure state of the art technologies are being deployed.  We truly value our partnership as we engage and revolutionize the industry.”, Daniel Kim, President.

“Open RAN offers a way for service providers to enhance customer experiences and enable new revenue-generating applications,” said Dan Rodriguez, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Network Platforms Group.  “We are collaborating closely with Telefonica and the broader ecosystem, and also participating in initiatives like the O-RAN Alliance, to help accelerate innovation in the industry.”

MEF certifies SD-WAN from Comcast, PCCW, Spectrum, Telia

Comcast Business, PCCW Global, Spectrum Enterprise, and Telia Company are the first service providers certified for MEF 3.0 SD-WAN services.

Spirent, MEF’s SD-WAN Authorized Certified Test Partner, certified the SD-WAN managed services to validate their conformance to the industry-leading SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services (MEF 70) global standard.

MEF said end users who purchase certified MEF 3.0 SD-WAN services can have confidence that they align to well-developed standards created by MEF. Specifically, MEF 3.0 SD-WAN certification involves rigorous tests of the service attributes and requirements defined in MEF 70 and described in detail in MEF’s draft SD-WAN Certification Test Requirements ( MEF 90 ) standard.

“MEF congratulates Comcast Business, PCCW Global, Spectrum Enterprise, and Telia Company for achieving MEF 3.0 SD-WAN certification, which is an important innovation milestone not only for each company but also for the industry at large,” said Nan Chen, President, MEF. “We expect broad adoption of certified MEF 3.0 SD-WAN services and technologies will help fuel market growth and enable creation of powerful new hybrid networking solutions optimized for digital transformation.”

“Spirent joins MEF in congratulating Comcast Business, PCCW Global, Spectrum Enterprise, and Telia Company in attaining the first MEF SD-WAN service certifications. By participating in the pilot, the four leading SD-WAN MSPs validated and enhanced the industry’s first SD-WAN Certification Program, building upon the three initial pilot SD-WAN product certifications announced in January. We are proud to contribute as the neutral SD-WAN testing/validation/assurance authority,” said Marc Cohn, Head of Virtualization, Spirent.

“These first MEF 3.0 SD-WAN certifications achieved by Comcast Business, PCCW Global, Spectrum Enterprise, and Telia Company are very important. This signifies that MEF 3.0 certification is a new competitive differentiator for SD-WAN service providers, as well as the benchmark for assuring compliance with globally recognized SD-WAN specifications. Our research shows a direct relationship between a commitment to MEF certification and the business success of market leading companies. We anticipate similar results for MEF 3.0 SD-WAN certification,” Rosemary Cochran, Principal and Co-Founder, Vertical Systems Group.

https://www.mef.net/Press-Releases/First-Certified-MEF-3-0-SD-WAN-Service-Providers-Announced


Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom picks Ericsson and Nokia for 5G

Chunghwa Telecom, the incumbent operator in Taiwan, has selected Ericsson and Nokia for its5G network.

Ericsson's 5G platform for CHT will include Ericsson Radio System base stations that will operate on 3.5GHz for the mid-band and 28GHz for the high band. The 5G solution will also include active antenna products while supporting beam-forming functions that reduce wireless signal interference and improve 5G speed. Ericsson will also supply the 5G core.

Nokia said it is responsible for 5G radio network deployment in the Central and Southern Region of Taiwan. Nokia will leverage Chunghwa Telecom’s existing LTE base stations and rich spectrum resources to launch 5G non-standalone (NSA) involving multiple bands, paving the way to 5G standalone (SA) in the near future.

The rollout is already underway, as Chunghwa Telecom targets July for the launch of its 5G services, including 4K and VR.

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: “Our technology will assist  Chunghwa Telecom in its early launch of 5G services in Taiwan, while also allowing it to explore new revenue generators across consumer and enterprise markets. As one of the pioneering members of Chunghwa Telecom’s Taiwan 5G Alliance, we will jointly promote the digital transformation for public and private sectors to accelerate 5G momentum in Taiwan.”

China Telecom tests 400G OTN cluster with ZTE

The Shenzhen Branch of China Telecom is testing a 400G OTN cluster system from ZTE.

The 400G OTN cluster solution has been deployed at multiple super-core nodes in the China Telecom network.  Each site supports 128 service slots and 64T cross-connect capacity.

ZTE said its solution satisfies the non-blocking scheduling requirements of a large number of small-granularity services brought by the phase out of SDH equipment.

In addition, the project is also deployed with a 32-degree ROADM optical-layer architecture, in a bid to further improve transport efficiency. The architecture allows MAN flatness and full-Mesh multi-directional connections, and supports one-hop transmission, thus decreasing OTN service transport latency, improving user experience and alleviating bandwidth pressure on MAN core nodes.

https://www.zte.com.cn/global/about/news/20200319e1.html

Intel readies Pohoiki Springs neuromorphic research chip

Intel announced the readiness of Pohoiki Springs, its latest and most powerful neuromorphic research system providing the computational capacity of 100 million neurons. Pohoiki Springs is a data center rack-mounted system. It integrates 768 Loihi neuromorphic research chips inside a chassis the size of five standard servers. Neuromorphic systems are not intended to replace conventional computing systems. Instead, they provide a tool for researchers to develop and characterize new neuro-inspired algorithms for real-time processing, problem solving, adaptation and learning.

The cloud-based system will be made available to members of the Intel Neuromorphic Research Community (INRC), extending their neuromorphic work to solve larger, more complex problems.

“Pohoiki Springs scales up our Loihi neuromorphic research chip by more than 750 times, while operating at a power level of under 500 watts. The system enables our research partners to explore ways to accelerate workloads that run slowly today on conventional architectures, including high-performance computing (HPC) systems,” stated Mike Davies, director of Intel’s Neuromorphic Computing Lab

Intel says its Loihi processors take inspiration from the human brain, processing certain workloads up to 1,000 times faster and 10,000 times more efficiently than conventional processors.


Intel releases Loihi research chip for neuromorphic processing

Intel introduced an 8 million-neuron neuromorphic system comprising 64 Loihi research chips — codenamed Pohoiki Beach.

Intel says the highly specialized processor applies principles found in biological brains to computer architectures. The Loihi devices aime to process information up to 1,000 times faster and 10,000 times more efficiently than CPUs for specialized applications like sparse coding, graph search and constraint-satisfaction problems.

“We are impressed with the early results demonstrated as we scale Loihi to create more powerful neuromorphic systems. Pohoiki Beach will now be available to more than 60 ecosystem partners, who will use this specialized system to solve complex, compute-intensive problems,” stated Rich Uhlig, managing director of Intel Labs.



https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intels-pohoiki-beach-64-chip-neuromorphic-system-delivers-breakthrough-results-research-tests/#gs.pyxrlk

Dell'Oro: Anemic growth in data center switch market during 4Q19

The worldwide Data Center Switch market revenue grew only one percent year-over-year (Y/Y) in 4Q 2019, according to a recent report by Dell'Oro Group. This is the slowest growth recorded in six years. Revenue from North America and Europe was down but, surprisingly, China grew at a strong double-digit Y/Y rate during the quarter.

“In line with our expectations, the Top 4 U.S. Cloud Service Providers (SPs) posted mixed performance. Google and Amazon’s strong growth was partially offset by weakness from Facebook and Microsoft,” said Sameh Boujelbene, Senior Director at Dell’Oro Group. “Additionally, ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties in North America and Europe continued to weigh on network spending from Tier 2/3 Cloud SPs and large enterprises. However, what’s intriguing this quarter is the growth witnessed in China despite macroeconomic headwinds in the region. We believe part of this growth could reflect inventory buildup as well as some government projects to stimulate the economy,” added Boujelbene.

Additional highlights from the Ethernet Switch – Data Center Quarterly Report:

  • Market softness is expected to persist through 1H 2020.
  • Macroeconomic headwinds are expected to deteriorate due to the potential impact from Coronavirus (COVID-19) on demand as well as supply.
  • Arista, Cisco, Juniper, and Dell initiated early 400 Gbps shipments.

IDC: The impact of COVID-19 on the semiconductor sector

International Data Corporation (IDC) has published a report that analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global semiconductor market and presents several possible outcomes.

"The emergence of COVID-19 has brought with it travel bans and quarantines; massive slowing of the supply chain; uncertainty in the stock market; falling business confidence, and growing panic among the population," said Mario Morales, program vice president, Semiconductors and Enabling Technologies at IDC. "Despite the growing uncertainty and panic, technology suppliers must continue to focus on their long-term investments, maintain engagement with partners and prospects, and look to specific markets for stability. Emerging technologies like 5G, the Internet of Things, high-performance computing, and intelligent edge will be fundamental to an overall recovery by the technology sector."

The report provides a framework to evaluate the market impact through four scenarios that assess the range of possible outcomes. Each scenario is based on varying assumptions and severity of the impact to business for technology suppliers. For each scenario, a range of critical factors are assessed with a resulting updated forecast, presented with leading indicators to help clients navigate this emergency.

Some highlights:

  • There is nearly an 80% chance for significant contraction in worldwide semiconductor revenues in 2020, instead of a previously expected minor overall growth of 2%.
  • There is still a one-in-five chance that a fast, strong bounce back from COVID-19 in 2020 is possible.
  • On a global level, the COVID-19 crisis is just beginning, with too many variables to immediately craft a single forecast in response.
  • The impact to technology supply chains in China are significant, but the timing of the recovery is uncertain.



SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites

SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites on Wednesday, 18-March-2020, bringing its constellation to 300 satellites in orbit.

Elon Must confirmed that one of the Falcon 9’s nine first-stage engines shut down prematurely. However, the remaining engines were able to boost their thrust to keep the rocket on track. The first stage rocket then missed its landing attempt on the drone ship in the Atlantic.



Keysight closes locations and withdraws guidance due to Coronavirus

Keysight Technologies has temporarily closed many of its locations globally until at least the end of March in order to limit the spread of coronavirus, mitigate the risks to employees, customers and suppliers, and in response to local government directives.

The temporary closures impact both the company headquarters in Santa Rosa, California and principal order fulfillment and manufacturing operations in Malaysia.

Keysight said these actions may impact the company’s ability to meet the fiscal second quarter 2020 financial guidance provided on February 24, 2020. This guidance reflected the best information available as of that time. Due to the disruption and uncertainties resulting from this situation, the company is currently unable to quantify the full coronavirus impact and will provide additional information during the next earnings call.

See also