Thursday, March 26, 2020

CableLabs releases DOCSIS 4.0 spec for 10G downlinks

CableLabs released the DOCSIS 4.0 specification, which incorporates both full-duplex and extended spectrum capabilities enabling a downstream speed of up to 10 Gbps (doubling the maximum download speed available with DOCSIS 3.1 technology) and an upstream speed of up to 6 Gbps - quadrupling what DOCSIS 3.1

Work on DOCSIS 4.0 has been underway since August 2016.

In a blog post, Doug Jones, Principal Architect, says the DOCSIS 4.0 specification reflects the four pillars of the 10G platform initiative: speed, lower latency, increased security, and higher reliability.

https://www.cablelabs.com/on-the-path-to-10g-cablelabs-publishes-docsis-4-0-specification

Microsoft to acquire Affirmed Networks for telco cloud vEPC

Microsoft agreed to acquire Affirmed Networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Affirmed Networks, which is based in Acton, Massachusetts, supplies virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) solutions for mobile operators. Affirmed’s virtualized evolved packet solution capabilities include CUPS, 5G NSA, network slicing, integrated virtual probe, virtualized DPI, GiLAN, analytics and security services, virtualized Wi-Fi, and service automation platform. The company claims 76 deployments, including announced projects with AT&T, Etisalat, and Vodafone.

Microsoft said the acquisition will boost its efforts "to work with the telecommunications industry, building on our secure and trusted cloud platform for operators. With Affirmed Networks, we will be able to offer new and innovative solutions tailored to the unique needs of operators, including managing their network workloads in the cloud."

https://www.affirmednetworks.com/





Affirmed Networks unveils cloud-native UnityCloud

Affirmed Networks introduced a cloud-native 5G solution that allows mobile operators to seamlessly converge multiple networks, including 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, and wireline core, on to one unified core.

The Affirmed UnityCloud, which is an evolution of Affirmed’s Mobile Content Cloud (MCC), is built on four key pillars:

  • Innovation platform that enables operators to easily create and deploy new services with fine-grained network slicing for customized enterprise services
  • Automatic networks that instantiate, orchestrate and scale the network up or down with no human involvement, including closed-loop automation
  • Self-assured networks with observability to ensure minimal latency and maximum performance so Service Level Agreements are met
  • Non-stop networks that provide 6-nines of availability with no service interruptions, even when adding new features or performing software upgrades

Affirmed said its UnityCloud embraces open source technologies including Kubernetes, Istio, Envoy, Jaeger and others. The company has several trials underway with tier one operators globally that are building 5G Standalone (SA) networks.

Affirmed UnityCloud significantly improves network economics by converging ‘Any G’,   This eliminates the need for operators to maintain parallel legacy networks dedicated to just one service.

“A telecom transformation is underway. A new generation of networks is being built to connect 50+ billion devices, creating a multi-trillion dollar market opportunity,” said Hassan Ahmed, Chairman, and CEO, Affirmed Networks.

https://www.affirmednetworks.com/products-solutions/5g-core-unitycloud/

Russia's MTS extends contract with Ericsson

MTS, Russia’s largest communications service provider, has extended its long-standing partnership with Ericsson to include a large-scale network modernization of its 2G/3G/4G infrastructure over large parts of central Russia. Specifically, Ericsson will supply MTS with Ericsson Radio System products and solutions for modernization of several thousand sites across 16 districts in central Russia. The project will continue until 2026.

Ericsson is now the single largest supplier of mobile network infrastructure to MTS.

Viktor Belov, Chief Technology Officer, MTS, states: "The new agreement on the supply of equipment is another important step in the cooperation of both companies aimed at building the physical infrastructure of the digital economy in Russia.  With the signing of the contract MTS accelerates the modernization of the radio network in the regions of the Central Federal District to meet the growing needs of our subscribers in IoT services, speed and amount of data traffic. The implementation of this major project will also give us the opportunity in the future in a relatively short time and due to balanced investments to provide 5G coverage on the existing LTE network."

Slack's latest collaboration metrics

Slack shared the following metrics for its enterprise collaboration platform:

  • Simultaneously connected users increased from 10 million on March 10, 2020 to 12.5 million on March 25, 2020 
  • Returning teams, an internal metric that measures the growth and progression of newly-created work teams, had, by around March 10, 2020, increased by more than 120% in Italy, 34% in Japan, and 33% in Korea 
  • The creation rate of new Slack workspaces (which the company believed to be created by businesses) increased by hundreds of percent from March 12, 2020 to March 25, 2020 
  • From February 1, 2020 to March 25, 2020 (approximately 60% of the way through the first fiscal quarter1), Slack added 9,000 new paid customers, an 80% increase over the full quarterly total for the preceding two quarters. 
  • Over the same period the number of messages sent per user per day increased approximately 20%. 
  • During weekdays, the cumulative number of minutes of active use of Slack by all users globally now exceeds one billion.

https://slackhq.com/march-2020-update

Telia expects negative financial impact from COVID-19

Telia expects the COVID-19 pandemic will have a negative financial impact on its TV & Media unit due to declining advertising revenue.

The company states that at present the effects on the rest of Telia Company’s business are limited but the impact on TV & Media means that the 2020 outlook for the Group on EBITDA and operational free cash flow will not be reached.

”The effects from the pandemic will have a material negative financial impact primarily on the TV & Media unit. Despite an increased TV consumption, which has resulted in an increase in the reach for our already popular TV channels, Telia Company has witnessed a rapid decline in the advertising revenues. In addition, the global cancellation of sporting events has had a negative impact on our pay-TV revenues. Given the present circumstances the full impact for 2020 is difficult to estimate but our current assumptions suggests an EBITDA for the TV & Media unit in the range SEK 0-0.5 billion (2019 SEK 1.5 billion). This implies that the ambition of an operational free cash flow of around SEK 0.5 billion from TV & Media in 2020 will not be met but we cannot give a new level at this point,” says Christian Luiga, acting President and CEO of Telia Company.

FCC grants AWS-4 spectrum access to AT&T in Puerto Rico

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau granted Special Temporary Authority to AT&T to use AWS-4 spectrum, currently licensed to DISH, for 60 days to expand its network capacity in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Staying connected while staying apart is the reality right now across America during this pandemic, and that is no less true for those living in Puerto Rico and U.S Virgin Islands,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  “We have put a special emphasis on helping those on the islands stay connected following the terrible storms that hit them in recent years.  And we continue that work today in a new kind of emergency.  I thank DISH for consenting to this use of its spectrum and to the U.S. Department of Justice for its cooperation.  I’m grateful to AT&T for requesting this STA and I’m pleased we can grant it.”

A10 reaffirms Q1 guidance

A10 Networks reaffirmed its financial guidance for Q1:

  • Revenue in the range of $51 million to $53 million
  • Non-GAAP gross margin in the range of 76% to 78%
  • Non-GAAP operating expenses in the range of $37.5 million to $38.5 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $3.7 million to $5 million
  • Non-GAAP earnings per share in the range of $0.01 to $0.03 using approximately 81 million diluted shares


Dhrupad Trivedi, President and Chief Executive Officer of A10 Networks, commented, “As an organization, protecting the health and safety of our employees and our global community is our top priority, and we are committed to take the necessary actions to do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Thankfully, to date, we have not experienced any meaningful negative impact to our business or our supply chain, and we anticipate our first quarter financial results to be in line with the guidance provided in our fourth quarter earnings release. Our team is productively working, with the vast majority of employees doing so remotely. Amidst the global quarantine and shelter in place orders, networks across the globe are being stressed with unprecedented usage and increasing demand for bandwidth, underscoring the need for the critical communications infrastructure solutions we provide. We are taking the necessary steps to mitigate any potential disruption given the macro uncertainty and unprecedented nature of the current environment, while remaining focused on the significant opportunity in front of us.”

“We are reaffirming our first quarter outlook and remaining focused on internal initiatives to improve operational efficiency while executing on our key objectives,” Trivedi added.

Keysight and NVIDIA partner on virtualized RAN

Keysight Technologies and NVIDIA are collaborating on the development of dynamic virtualized radio access network (vRAN) architecture and open RAN (O-RAN) technology.

Keysight offers solutions that enable mobile operators and network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) to validate 5G and legacy radio access networks as well as core networks that are critical to ensuring the end-user experience of applications using vRAN architecture. Keysight’s suite of UE emulation (UEE) solutions address specifications set by both 3GPP and O-RAN standards organizations, enabling NVIDIA to test the NVIDIA Aerial software development kit (SDK) via enhanced Common Public Radio Interfaces (eCPRI). The Aerial SDK enables telcos to build and deploy the most programmable and scalable software-defined 5G virtual radio access networks (RANs) to deliver new AI and IoT services at the edge.

“Our collaboration with NVIDIA, using Keysight’s automated and scalable 5G UE emulation solutions, helps the mobile industry create and deliver high-value 5G use cases,” said Giampaolo Tardioli, vice president and general manager of Keysight's network access group. “Keysight’s 5G solutions enable an ecosystem of network infrastructure providers and mobile operators to thoroughly validate the performance of virtualized 5G radio access and core network functionalities across different radio and optical interfaces.”

Keysight's UEE solutions enable users to accelerate the verification of a RAN, both over the air and via O-RAN interfaces. Integrated sophisticated channel emulation capabilities allow users to verify the performance of a RAN deployed in a complex radio environment. Users can access a comprehensive range of real-world scenarios in any 3GPP-specified frequency band for both protocol and load testing.

See also