Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Facebook bets $5.6 billion on India's Jio

Facebook will invest ₹ 43,574 crore (approximately US$5.6 billion) in Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries that includes digital apps, digital ecosystems and India’s leading mobile operator.  The investment will give Facebook a 9.99% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis.

Jio, which currently serves over 388 million subscribers, said its vision is to enable a Digital India for 1.3 billion Indians and Indian businesses, especially small merchants, micro-businesses and farmers.

India is home to some of Facebook’s most thriving communities on WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram.

The companies note that this is the largest investment for a minority stake by a technology company anywhere in the world and the largest FDI in the technology sector in India. The investment values Jio Platforms amongst the top 5 listed companies in India by market capitalization, within just three and a half years of launch of commercial services, validating Reliance Industries’ capability in incubating and building disruptive next-generation businesses, while delivering market-defining shareholder value.

Concurrent with the investment, Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail Limited ( and WhatsApp have also entered into a commercial partnership agreement to further accelerate Reliance Retail’s New Commerce business on the JioMart platform using WhatsApp and to support small businesses on WhatsApp.

Equinix forms $1.0 billion JV with GIC for data centers in Japan

Equinix and GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, announced a US$1.0 billion initial joint venture to develop and operate xScale data centers in Japan. GIC will own an 80% equity interest in the joint venture and Equinix will own the remaining 20% equity interest. GIC is expected to have contributed cash to fund its 80% equity interest in the joint venture. Equinix is expected to have transferred its Tokyo TY12 and Osaka OS2 development assets, along with development rights and the land for an additional data center in Tokyo, to the joint venture in return for a 20% equity interest in the joint venture and net cash proceeds in excess of US$100 million. Financing for the joint venture is expected to close in 2H 2020.

The three initial facilities in the joint venture – one in Osaka and two in Tokyo -- will serve the unique core workload deployment needs of a targeted group of hyperscale companies, including the world's largest cloud service providers.

Highlights:

  • The initial three facilities included in the joint venture will provide approximately 138 megawatts (MW) of power capacity to the Osaka and Tokyo markets when fully built-out.
  • xScale data centers offer access to Equinix's comprehensive suite of interconnection and edge services. These services will tie into the hyperscale companies' existing access points at Equinix, thereby increasing the speed of connectivity to their existing and future enterprise customers.
  • xScale data centers are engineered to meet the technical and operational requirements and price points of core hyperscale workload deployments. This enables hyperscale companies to consolidate core and access point deployments into one global provider to streamline and simplify their rapid growth.
  • Platform Equinix offers the most access points—the "on- and off-ramps to the cloud"—to the top global cloud service providers. As hyperscale companies scale their operations at Equinix, the ecosystem of nearly 10,000 enterprises and other companies currently operating at Equinix benefit from increased opportunities to directly connect and operate in proximity to the largest global cloud operators.

Charles Meyers, President and CEO, Equinix, states: "Hybrid and multicloud have emerged as the clear IT architecture of choice, and Equinix is continuing its efforts to satisfy both the interconnection and core workload needs of the top hyperscale and cloud companies powering this infrastructure. Following our successful partnership with GIC on the initial xScale data center joint venture in Europe announced last year, we are now continuing our partnership with the formation of a new joint venture in Japan. The new facilities under this JV will allow our hyperscale customers to streamline their continued growth, while strengthening Equinix's leadership position in the cloud ecosystem."

Equinix partners with Singapore's GIC on xScale Data Centers in Europe

Equinix has formed a joint venture with GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, to develop and operate xScaleTM data centers in Europe. The joint venture is initially valued at over $1 billion.

Equinix said initial facilities in the joint venture will serve the unique core workload deployment needs of a targeted group of hyperscale companies, including the world's largest cloud service providers. The facilities will be located on or proximate to some of Equinix's existing IBX campuses.xScale data centers will be managed and staffed by Equinix while ensuring seamless connectivity to the Equinix global platform, providing a consistent experience for the hyperscale companies.

Equinix cites two ways in which the new xScale data centers will provide hyperscale companies a differentiated value proposition from existing wholesale data center operators in two key areas:
xScale data centers will offer access to Equinix's comprehensive suite of interconnection and edge services. These services will tie into the hyperscale companies' existing access points at Equinix, thereby increasing the speed of connectivity to their existing and future enterprise customers.
xScale data centers will be engineered to meet the technical and operational requirements and price points of core hyperscale workload deployments. This enables hyperscale companies to consolidate core and access point deployments into one global provider to streamline and simplify their rapid growth.

Equinix has been working for years with hyperscale operators, including Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Google Cloud. Currently, global deployments from the top hyperscale companies exceed $500 million in annual revenue at Equinix, with interconnection-rich retail deployments representing the most rapid growth segment of their deployments.

Under the deal, GIC will own an 80% equity interest in the joint venture and Equinix will own the remaining 20% equity interest. Equinix will sell both its London LD10 (retaining part of that business under a lease back) and Paris PA8 IBX data centers and the associated leases, as well as certain other development interests, to the joint venture. A significant portion of London LD10 and Paris PA8 are already leased.

The cmpanies envision additional new xScale data centers in Amsterdam, Frankfurt (two sites) and London. These initial six facilities, when fully built out, will provide approximately 155 megawatts (MW) of power capacity.

PacketFabric appoints Dave Ward as CTO

PacketFabric, which operates a Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform for providing data center interconnects, named Dave Ward as its new CEO.

Ward joins PacketFabric from Cisco, where he was the company’s Chief Technology Officer of Engineering, Chief Architect and a Senior Vice President at Cisco’s Networking and Security Business.

While at Cisco, Ward and his engineering teams built numerous hardware and software products, including networking orchestration and automation, virtualized and cloud-native services, cloud networking and security products, 5G Networking and system architectures, and IoT-based solutions for smart cities, healthcare, conservation, media and entertainment.  He joined Cisco in 1999 when the company acquired the Internet Engineering Group.

Ward is also one of two individuals to be both Cisco and Juniper Fellows working on the operating system and next-generation routing systems, including ASICS, Optics, and network APIs and SDN.

“I could not be more excited to join PacketFabric at this critical juncture in the company’s trajectory. During a career spanning over two decades in the telecommunications and networking sectors, I’ve been privileged to drive innovation for Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks. PacketFabric is fundamentally rethinking enterprise and service communications in a way that others have not. I’ve been very impressed with PacketFabric’s technology, go-to- market and business models, strong customer feedback and unique talent. I believe PacketFabric can lead and positively disrupt the next phase of transformation for the networking industry. I’m honored excited to lead the company at this critical time in Internet history,” stated Ward.

http://www.packetfabric.com

Interxion plans major data center campus in Paris

Interxion, which is now part of Digital Realty, has begun the construction of a major expansion project in Paris.

Interxion Paris Digital Park has access to up to 85 megawatts of customer available power and will accommodate four data centers spanning a total of approximately 40,000 square meters of equipped space.

The first data center on the site will be Interxion’s eighth data center in Paris (PAR8) and will be constructed in three phases, delivering, in aggregate, 9,600 square meters of equipped space and 19 MW of customer available power when fully built out. The first phase of PAR8, which is expected to provide approximately 3,200 square meters, is scheduled to open in late 2021. The capital expenditure associated with PAR8, excluding land and other shared costs for the site, is expected to be approximately €207 million.

“We continue to experience solid demand across our pan-European footprint, with the cloud and content platform providers, in particular, continuing to expand their presence in the key European cities,” said David Ruberg, Chief Executive Officer of Interxion, a Digital Realty company. “Interxion Paris Digital Park meets the key requirements of local and international customers with access to dense network connectivity, available power and line of sight to substantial expansion capacity and will keep us at the forefront of the Paris market opportunity.”

Digital Realty + Interxion merger brings scale and interconnectivity

Digital Realty and Interxion agreed to a merger that would create a global provider of data center, colocation and interconnection solutions.  Under the deal, Interxion shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 0.7067 Digital Realty shares per Interxion share.  The transaction values Interxion at approximately $93.48 per ordinary share or approximately $8.4 billion of total enterprise value, including assumed net debt.

Interxion's European business currently consists of 53 carrier- and cloud-neutral facilities in 11 European countries and 13 metro areas including Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris and Interxion's Internet Gateway in Marseille. Its network reaches 700 connectivity providers, 21 European Internet exchanges, and most leading cloud and digital media platforms. Interxion has a robust pipeline of data center development projects currently under construction, with over $400 million invested to date and a total expected investment of approximately $1 billion. These projects represent roughly a 40% expansion of Interxion's standalone critical load capacity, are significantly pre-leased and are expected to be delivered over the next 24 months, representing a solid pipeline of potential future growth for the combined company.

The companies said their combination will build upon Digital Realty's successful track record of hyperscale development and will represent an extension of the connected campus strategy that empowers enterprise customers to leverage the right products – from colocation to hyperscale footprints – to create value by efficiently deploying

In Europe, Digital Realty has an established presence in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London and Dublin. On a global basis, Digital Realty has 220 data centers in 35 top metropolitan areas.
 

IDC predicts drop in IT spending in nearly every industry in 2020

IDC is predicting that worldwide IT spending to decline 2.7% this year due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with certain industry segments such as hospitality and tourism-heavy industries, like transportation and personal and consumer services, expected to be the most negatively impacted markets. IT spending in such segments are expected to decline by 5% or more.

However, IDC is forecasting that more "recession resistant" segments, like government, will fare a bit better. IT spending in the healthcare and telecommunications segments are also forecast to grow slightly as they respond to new demands presented by the pandemic. Professional services will see the strongest growth in IT spending this year with an expected year-over-year increase of 1.7%.

"While industries that offer digitally-enabled or critical services offer some bright spots, those industries that rely on physical products, an in-person presence, or provide luxury services are struggling," said Jessica Goepfert, program vice president, Customer Insights & Analysis. "Once the near-term reprioritization is underway, the next step is to understand the path to recovery. For instance, industries which have suffered major shutdowns and layoffs will be slower to invest in technology than those that have been able to maintain somewhat normal operations. In order to mitigate risk and exposure to the economic downturn, technology suppliers must reprioritize and refocus their efforts toward the more resilient segments."

Some additional predictions:

  • Small offices (less than 10 employees) and small businesses (10-99 employees) will see the biggest percentage reduction in IT spending this year at 4.9% and 2.7% respectively. 
  • Large businesses (500-999 employees) and very large businesses (more than 1,000 employees) represent a much larger market opportunity. 
  • Both segments are forecast to see IT spending fall by more than 1% this year representing a drop of $17 billion.
  • Hardware will see the largest decline with spending expected to decline more than 5% this year as companies pull back on most near-term infrastructure investments. 
  • IT services and business services will see a more moderate reduction in spending as companies focus on keeping their existing operations and mission-critical projects going. 
  • Software will be the bright spot in technology spending, with growth of nearly 2% led by purchases of collaborative applications and content workflow and management applications.


"As a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak, market conditions are changing fast, driven by daily developments in the pandemic and the response that governments are putting into place," said Serena Da Rold, program manager, Customer Insights & Analysis. "IDC is supporting clients with more frequent updates to our forecasts across technologies, geographies, industries, and segments. In the April (V1 2020) release, we have provided our first assessment of COVID-19 impact by industry and company size across 120 technologies in 53 countries. The next special release of IDC's Worldwide ICT Spending Guide: Industry and Company Size is planned for the first week of May."

https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS46228020


T-Mobile US begins activating Sprint's 2.5 GHz spectrum for 5G

T-Mobile US has begun activating Sprint's 2.5 GHz spectrum in its nationwide 5G network, increasing capacity and boosting speeds for customers. The first activation is for 2.5 GHz 5G in Philadelphia, boosting speeds for customers with some of the latest smartphones to peaks nearing 600 Mbps.

T-Mobile said the next 2.5 GHz 5G activation will be New York City.

Sprint customers with the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G will have access to T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network starting later this month, which covers more than 200 million people, more than 5,000 cities and towns, and more than one million square miles across the country … much of which is in rural America. In addition, Sprint customers with compatible LTE phones can now roam on T-Mobile’s LTE network, giving them access to more than double the number of LTE sites than Sprint’s network alone.

“Connectivity is more important than ever today, and the challenging time we’re all facing shows just how critical 5G for All is,” said Neville Ray, T-Mobile President of Technology. “While our amazing team safely works to keep people across the country connected to work, school and family, we aren’t slowing down on building out the broad and deep network that only this combined company can deliver. We won’t stop because this network can do so much GOOD across the country!”

Federated Wireless raises $13.7 million for CBRS

Federated Wireless secured $13.7 million in additional Series C funding for its private wireless Connectivity-as-a-Service (Caas) based on CBRS shared spectrum.

The new funding came from existing investors Allied Minds (LSE: ALM) and Pennant Investors.

Federated Wireless said it will use the funding accelerate expansion and adoption of its Caas in partnership with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. It will also provide a new path to 1,000 MHz of spectrum for private wireless networks by expansion into the 6 GHz band for 5G services. The offering will leverage both Wi-Fi 6 and 5G in the 6 GHz band to enable data transfers of up to 10 Gbps. The FCC is expected to finalize the rules for 6 GHz shared operation later this month, with a number of countries in the European Union and in Asia expected to follow suit by 2022.

“The rapid adoption and general enthusiasm that we have seen since FCC approval for commercial deployment of CBRS is even greater than we anticipated, and is driving both Federated Wireless and the wireless industry as a whole to new heights,” said Iyad Tarazi, President and CEO of Federated Wireless. “Our newest developments, CaaS and extending the Spectrum Controller to 6 GHz, have greatly expanded our footprint and our opportunities, and I would like to thank our investors for continuing to support us as we continue to grow.”

Federated Wireless offers CBRS via AWS Marketplace, Azure

Federated Wireless, which offers Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum management services, introduced a Connectivity-as-a-Service offering that lets U.S. enterprises buy and deploy private 4G and 5G networks with a single click in AWS Marketplace.

Federated Wireless said its new private wireless Connectivity-as-a-Service reduces the complexity of enterprise adoption of 5G private networks with one-click provisioning in AWS Marketplace and seamless integration with Internet of Things (IoT) applications provided by the AWS Partner Network (APN). AWS-enabled private networks are an ideal secure solution for industrial and manufacturing IoT environments in which device types, locations and densities are widely varied and wireless interference using legacy Wi-Fi networks is both extremely common and highly detrimental to business performance.

Separately, Federated Wireless announced a Connectivity-as-a-Service offering with Microsoft Azure Marketplace. This end-to-end managed service provided by Federated Wireless includes discovery, planning, design, build, operation and support, enabling enterprises to reap the benefits of 5G with minimum risk and capital expenditure.

Federated Wireless cites the following benefits for its Connectivity-as-a-Service:

  • Simplicity – Enterprises can order with one click the business connectivity services they need, with Federated Wireless delivering and managing the network and facilitating endpoint management
  • Flexibility – Enhanced ecosystem of solutions and partners to enable choice
  • Reliability – Proven five 9s service level agreement for unsurpassed network reliability and performance
  • Cloud Scale – Consistent, automated applications and streamlined processes for improved efficiency with infinite scalability
  • Control – Comprehensive visibility into network performance and usage allows IT management to set granular network policies while maintaining secure control of networks and data
  • Low Cost – High performance and reliability of 4G/5G technology delivered at enterprise Wi-Fi costs

“This announcement builds on our long history of collaboration with AWS, with which we launched joint solutions in November 2017 and 2018,” said Iyad Tarazi, CEO of Federated Wireless. “AWS has been a critical strategic collaborator in development and delivery of this industry-first new service, which will fundamentally change the way that U.S. enterprises procure, deploy and manage private wireless networks. We look forward to continuing to work closely with AWS to accelerate this revolution in private networking.”

Juniper supplies managed SD-WAN platform to T-Systems

Juniper Networks has partnered with T-Systems to create and deliver a managed SD-WAN infrastructure as part of an end-to-end service overlay solution for companies with complex network and connectivity requirements.

T-Systems is offering a secure, managed platform for the delivery of multicloud hosted applications, as well as delivering standardized services as managed SD-WAN overlay services, called Smart SD-WAN, which is powered by Juniper.

To create this new offering, T-Systems has integrated a range of Juniper products including:

  • Contrail Service Orchestration – a scalable and multitenant software platform that offers automated branch connectivity management and enables T-Systems to improve network service delivery, providing reliability and agility while extending visibility across its multicloud network.
  • SRX Series Security Gateways – a range of SD-WAN customer premises devices delivering a comprehensive suite of layered security services that enable advanced defense against known and unknown threats.
  • NFX Series Network Services Platform – secure, standards-compliant CPE devices that allows T-Systems to easily create and deliver network services to its customers.
  • vSRX Virtual Firewalls - offering the same features as Juniper's physical SRX Series firewalls but in a virtualized form factor for delivering security services that scale to allow T-Systems to add cloud sites in an end-to-end multi-cloud SD-WAN service.
  • Junos OS - All Juniper infrastructure runs on the Junos OS with the one Junos experience optimized for the modularity, openness and programmability required of the new cloud era in networking. 
  • A comprehensive Connected Security package, including Firewall User Authentication, Application Security, Unified Threat Management as well as Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems, to strengthen network defenses. 

"As a long-standing Juniper partner, T-Systems' choice to offer its new SD-WAN solution based on our technology deepens our relationship and also enables them to provide a host of secure services and capabilities to enterprises and simplify the deployment, operation and maintenance of the underlying network. The combination of cloud services and software-defined networking creates a strategic opportunity for providers like T-Systems to differentiate themselves in the marketplace by addressing the infrastructural complexity that their customers face, and Juniper is there to help them achieve that goal," stated Rami Rahim, Chief Executive Officer, Juniper Networks.

Ciena appoints Jürgen Hatheier as CTO for EMEA

Ciena has appointed Jürgen Hatheier as Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Strategic Sales for the EMEA region.

Prior to joining Ciena, Jürgen held leadership positions at Pacific Broadband Networks, ARRIS Group and Technetix, where he served tier-1 network operators across the globe.

“We pride ourselves on attracting and retaining the best talent in the industry. At a time of uncertainty and unprecedented network demands, Jürgen’s experience, drive and industry knowledge make him a great fit for this vitally important role for our customers in the EMEA region,” said Jamie Jefferies, VP and General Manager, EMEA, Ciena.

Huawei reports Q1 sales of CNY182.2 billion, up 1.8%

Huawei reported first quarter 2020 revenue of CNY182.2 billion (approx US$25.74 billion), an increase of 1.4% year-on-year. The company's net profit margin in Q1 2020 was 7.3%.

Despite COVID-19, Huawei said its business is continuing as usual and its overall business results in Q1 2020 are in line with expectations.

"A seed that survives the storm will sprout and then blossom. Even though it is impossible to know when the tides of this pandemic will turn, we at Huawei believe that this challenge will be overcome by standing together."

Microchip updates its Timing Grandmaster with 5G phase protection

Microchip Technology released software version 2.1 for its TimeProviderÒ 4100 precision timing grandmaster.

TimeProvider 4100 is a 1588 grandmaster including support for the latest ITU-T G.8275.1 and G.8275.2 1588 phase profiles, complemented by extensive port fan-out for PTP, Network Time Protocol (NTP), SyncE, and E1/T1.

Software release 2.1 builds on earlier versions by adding key software enhancements providing a virtual Primary Reference Time Clock (vPRTC). Virtual PRTC provides the ability to design a redundant precise time distribution architecture for phase protection over an optical network.

The following are key features of the new vPRTC functionality:

  • Leverages the existing optical network, avoiding high-cost dark fiber expenses
  • Uses a dedicated lambda to transport time precisely and securely
  • Provides a high-performance, redundant source of time through enhanced PRTC (ITU-T G.8272.1)
  • Allows bidirectional, precise time flows (east and west)
  • Chains together high-precision, multi-domain, high-performance boundary clocks that meet today's standards (T-BC Class D, as defined by ITU-T G.8273.2)


In addition, Release 2.1 introduces Network Time Protocol daemon (NTPd) with Message Digest (MD5) security algorithm. TimeProvider4100 2.1 meets PRTC-B performance standards (per ITU-T G.8272) and supports 1G and 10G, NTP and PTP in a single form-factor system. TimeProvider 4100 2.1 is available now for both new and already deployed systems.

https://www.microsemi.com/product-directory/carrier-grade-ntp-ptp-ieee-1588-grand-masters/4422-timeprovider-4100


Saguna names Ido Gur as CEO

Saguna, which is developing a multi-access edge cloud (MEC) computing solution, named Ido Gur as its new CEO.

Gur previously served as CEO of GASNGO, CEO and President of VocalTec, and EVP Global Sales & Marketing of ECI Telecom.

"I am delighted to join the Saguna team," said Gur. "Its highly dedicated employees and its committed share-holders made outstanding progress over the years building state-of-the art products. Saguna is uniquely positioned to address the opportunities in the growing edge cloud market."

Saguna is based on Yokneam, Israel.

Siklu powers EtherHaul radios with MaxLinear

MaxLinear is supplying its MxL85110 baseband system-on-chip (SoC) for the Siklu EtherHaul product family.

Siklu’s EtherHaul products offer throughput of up to 20Gbps and support V-Band (60GHz), E-Band (70/80GHz), point-to-point, and point-to-multipoint applications.

MxL85110 technical details

  • Glueless connectivity to the RF/IF analog circuitry via integrated AFE DACs and ADCs
  • Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE)
  • 1588v2, transparent clock (TC) mode
  • Full-duplex, single carrier, FDD modem
  • XPIC
  • Bit rates up to 10Gbps
  • Modulation from BPSK to 1024 QAM
  • Channels spacing of 50MHz to 2GHz
  • Baud rate up to 1600 Mbaud
  • Configurable LDPC or RS FEC channel codes
  • High phase noise immunity
  • Ethernet and GPI interfaces
  • In-band management link

http://www.maxlinear.com/MxL85110

See also