Thursday, April 23, 2020

FCC opens 6 GHz Band to Wi-Fi

The FCC voted to open 1,200 megahertz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band (5.925–7.125 GHz) available for Wi-Fi and other unlicensed uses.  The 6 GHz band is currently populated by, among others, microwave services that are used to support utilities, public safety, and wireless backhaul.  Unlicensed devices will share this spectrum with incumbent licensed services under rules crafted to protect those licensed services and enable both unlicensed and licensed operations to thrive throughout the band.

The new rules authorize indoor low-power operations over the full 1,200 megahertz and standard-power devices in 850 megahertz in the 6 GHz band.  An automated frequency coordination system will prevent standard power access points from operating where they could cause interference to incumbent services. 

The FCC expects its new rules to accelerate the adoption of Wi-Fi 6 and play a major role in the growth of the Internet of Things.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai states: "Ultimately, I expect that 6 GHz unlicensed devices will become a part of consumers’ everyday lives.  And I predict the rules we adopt today will play a major role in the growth of the Internet of Things, connecting appliances, machines, meters, wearables, smart televisions, and other consumer electronics, as well as industrial sensors for manufacturing.  At the same time, our approach will ensure that incumbents in the 6 GHz band are protected from harmful interference.  The microwave services that already use this band are critical to the operations of utilities, public safety, and wireless backhaul operations.  And we are ensuring that those incumbents are protected by requiring the use of automated frequency coordination systems, which will only allow new standard-power operations in areas that will not cause interference to incumbent services, and by placing conservative power limits on low-power indoor operations."

“By making 6 GHz available for unlicensed use, the FCC has secured the future of Wi-Fi. 6 GHz access is a seminal development for connectivity and provides Wi-Fi more capacity to deliver groundbreaking use cases and to unlock novel new Wi-Fi applications,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Today’s global climate highlights how important Wi-Fi is in connectivity and productivity, and new Wi-Fi 6E solutions will further increase Wi-Fi’s standing.”

Vertical Systems Group's U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN LEADERBOARD

AT&T tops Vertical Systems Group's newly 2019 U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN Services LEADERBOARD. The following companies achieved a position on the benchmark (in rank order based on site share): AT&T, Hughes, Verizon, CenturyLink, Windstream, Aryaka and Comcast. These seven service providers each have two percent (2%) or more of installed and billable Carrier Managed SD-WAN customer sites in the U.S. as of year-end 2019.

“The U.S. managed SD-WAN market expanded rapidly in 2019 as backlogged orders from the prior year were fulfilled by key service providers,” said Rick Malone, principal of Vertical Systems Group. “While the duration and depth of the coronavirus economic collapse is unknown, we expect resiliency across bandwidth intensive VPN markets, but acute vulnerability for the SD-WAN networks supporting the retail and travel verticals.”

Five companies attained a Challenge Tier citation for 2019 (in alphabetical order): Fusion, GTT, Masergy, Meriplex and TPx. The Challenge Tier includes service providers with between one percent (1%) and two percent (2%) share of U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN sites.

Some highlights:

  • Billable U.S. installations of Carrier Managed SD-WAN Services increased 89% in 2019. As projected in our prior research, large businesses and enterprises are increasingly relying on service providers to help configure, implement and manage their SD-WAN deployments.
  • AT&T, Hughes and Verizon retained the top three LEADERBOARD positions for the second consecutive year.
  • There were several significant share shifts compared to the prior year results. CenturyLink advanced to fourth position, which dropped Windstream from fourth to fifth position. Comcast moved up to seventh position from eighth in 2018. Fusion dropped off the LEADERBOARD into the Challenge Tier for 2019.
  • Bigleaf and Sprint, which were both cited in the 2018 Challenge Tier, dropped into the 2019 Market Player tier.
  • Comcast is the only service provider on the U.S. LEADERBOARD that has attained MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Services certification. This market differentiator assures compliance with the MEF 70 global standard for SD-WAN managed services.
  • Five leading technologies enable the SD-WAN services offered by the 2019 U.S. Carrier Managed LEADERBOARD plus Challenge Tier providers – VMware by VeloCloud, Cisco vEdge (Viptela), Cisco Meraki MX, Fortinet and Versa. Additionally, several SD-WAN providers utilize their own internally developed technologies.
  • Versa is the only one of these suppliers that has achieved MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Technology certification to date.
  • Market Players include providers selling Carrier Managed SD-WAN services in the U.S. with site share below one percent (1%), including global network providers that manage U.S. customer sites. For 2019, the Market Player tier included the following companies (in alphabetical order): AireSpring, Bigleaf, BT, CBTS, Cincinnati Bell, Cogent, Colt, Consolidated Communications, Cox, DQE Communications, FirstLight, Frontier, Intelsat, MetTel, Neutrona, NTT, Orange Business, PCCW Global, PS Lightwave, RCN Business, SES, SDN Communications, Segra, SingTel, Spectrum Enterprise, Sprint, Syringa, T-Systems, Tata, Telefonica, Telia Carrier, Veracity Networks, Virgin Media Business, Vodafone, Zayo and others.

Vertical Systems Group defines a Carrier Managed SD-WAN Service as a carrier-grade offering for business customers that is managed by a network operator, utilizes an SDN architecture, enables dynamic customer edge site connectivity, and provides centralized network control and visibility end-to-end.

https://www.verticalsystems.com/2020/04/21/2019-us-sd-wan-leaderboard/

MEF SD-WAN Update - April 2020

MEF's newly launched SD-WAN certification program is bringing clarity to the market by specifying the requirements for an application-aware, over-the-top WAN connectivity service that uses policies to determine how application flows are directed over multiple underlay networks.

In this video, Roy Chua, founder & principal of AvidThink, interviews Dan Pitt, SVP of MEF and Principal of Palo Alto Innovation Advisors, to discuss how certification is impacting the market.


https://youtu.be/F_7HsWl-aos


Intel's Data Center Group revenues leapt 43% in Q1

Intel posted Q1 2020 revenue of $19.8 billion, up 23% YoY. The company generated approximately $6.2 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.4 billion and used $4.2 billion to repurchase 71 million shares of stock.

Intel achieved 34 percent data-centric revenue growth and 14 percent PC-centric revenue growth YoY.

First-quarter data-centric results were led by strength in the Data Center Group (DCG) with revenue up 43 percent YoY driven by broad strength including 53 percent YoY growth in cloud service provider revenue.

Intel's memory business (NSG) and Mobileye both set new revenue records in the first quarter. Also, Intel introduced a broad, datacentric portfolio for 5G network infrastructure, including the new Intel Atom P5900, a 10nm system-on-chip (SoC) for wireless base stations; a next-generation structured ASIC for 5G network acceleration (code-named “Diamond Mesa”); and new 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors.

Intel confirmed that it has maintained essential factory operations with greater than 90 percent on-time delivery while supporting employees, customers and communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our first-quarter performance is a testament to our team's focus on safeguarding employees, supporting our supply chain partners and delivering for our customers during this unprecedented challenge,” said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. “The role technology plays in the world is more essential now than it has ever been, and our opportunity to enrich lives and enable our customers' success has never been more vital. Guided by our cultural values, competitive advantages and financial strength, I am confident we will emerge from this situation an even stronger company."

On March 24, 2020, Intel announced the suspension of share buybacks in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The dividend remains unchanged.

FCC advances planning for $9 billion 5G Fund for Rural America

The FCC is proposing to distribute up to $9 billion through the Universal Service Fund across rural America for 5G wireless broadband connectivity.  The 5G Fund would help ensure that rural Americans enjoy the same benefits from our increasingly digital economy as their urban counterparts—more than 200 million of whom already have access to major providers’ 5G networks—and would include a special focus on deployments that support precision agriculture.

The newly adopted Notice proposes to make available up to $8 billion in Phase I to support deployment of 5G networks in rural areas that are unlikely to see timely deployment without this support or as part of the T-Mobile transaction deployment commitments.  The second phase would target at least $1 billion in support to bring wireless connectivity to harder to serve and higher cost areas, including farms and ranches, to help facilitate adoption of connected precision agriculture technologies.

The 5G Fund for Rural America would use a competitive reverse auction format to award funding for wireless broadband services, building on the success of the FCC’s recent Connect America Fund Phase II auction and the design for the upcoming Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction.  The Notice seeks comment on two different approaches to identifying eligible areas for the Phase I reverse auction:  One approach would hold an auction in 2021 by defining eligible areas based on current data sources that identify areas as particularly rural and thus in the greatest need of universal service support and prioritize funding to areas that have historically lacked 4G LTE or even 3G service.  An alternative option would delay the 5G Fund Phase I auction until at least 2023, after collecting and processing improved mobile broadband coverage data through the Commission’s new Digital Opportunity Data Collection.   The proposed 5G Fund budget also includes $680 million reserved to support 5G networks serving Tribal lands as part of Phase I.

https://www.fcc.gov/5G

ADTRAN and Plume collaborate on Smart Home solutions

ADTRAN announced a collaboration with Plume to improve, personalize and secure the home network and streamline connectivity within the rapidly developing Smart Home market.

As part of the collaboration, ADTRAN will integrate Plume’s Customer Experience Management Platform via its Mosaic Subscriber Suite, offering ISPs a comprehensive single pane view of their access and smart home network. OpenSync, a key component in delivering Plume’s services, provides an open-source interface between ADTRAN’s Mosaic and the customer CPE, permitting cloud-based applications to access data and management control of the CPE. OpenSync serves as a true differentiator due to its open approach that delivers a path to accelerated deployment of services without reliance on CPE silicon or integration partners.

“The ADTRAN and Plume collaboration will vastly improve the consumer broadband experience while helping operators achieve faster time-to-market and time-to-revenue, improved analytics and performance capabilities, and fostering the creation of new and expanded high-value services,” said Dan Whalen, Chief Product Officer at ADTRAN. “Service providers now have a best-in-class, complete, integrated customer experience solution that will dramatically reduce OpEx and customer churn while increasing customer satisfaction and average revenue per user.”

“Plume is excited to partner with ADTRAN. Together, our global reach will bring new opportunities for market expansion through our combined ISP relationships, technical know-how and ADTRAN’s extensive distribution network,” said Tyson Marian, Chief Commercial Officer at Plume. “At a time when there is increased impetus to provide consumers with flawless and secure smart home experiences through self-install solutions, our services will complement ADTRAN’s product portfolio and also expand their service offering to their customers.”

http://www.adtran.com/plume

Mellanox hits revenue of $429 million, up 40% yoy

Mellanox Technologies reported Q1 2020 revenue of $428.7 million, an increase of 40.5%, compared to $305.2 million in the first quarter of 2019.
GAAP gross margins were 66.8%, compared to 64.6% in the first quarter of 2019.

“Mellanox delivered record revenue and operating income in the first quarter of 2020. All our major product lines continued to grow. We are pleased to be shipping end-to-end solutions at speeds of 200 gigabits per second (Gbps) for both InfiniBand and Ethernet. In addition, we are shipping 400 Gbps Ethernet switches,” said Eyal Waldman, President and CEO of Mellanox Technologies.

“Sales of Ethernet adapter products increased 112% year-over-year. We expect our new ConnectX-6 Dx adapters and Bluefield-2 I/O Processing Units (IPUs), the latest additions to our industry-leading family of Smart NICs, to bring unprecedented security and co-processing capabilities to enterprise and cloud data centers. These capabilities will be further strengthened by our recent acquisition of Titan IC, the leading developer of network intelligence and security technology to accelerate search and big data analytics across a broad range of applications in data centers worldwide. The product line revenue of our Spectrum ASIC based Ethernet switch business grew 66% year-over-year. We recently began shipping Spectrum-3 based switches, the world’s first 12.8 Tbps networking platforms optimized for cloud, storage, and artificial intelligence,” continued Waldman.

“We are experiencing very strong adoption of InfiniBand for hyperscale artificial intelligence and cloud environments, resulting in tens of thousands of compute nodes connected with InfiniBand, which demonstrates the superior performance and scalability of InfiniBand. We saw 27% year-over-year growth in InfiniBand, led by strong demand for our HDR 200 gigabit solutions. HDR InfiniBand has been selected to interconnect national Exascale programs, large scale artificial intelligence and cloud platforms, and enterprise compute and storage infrastructures. We are proud that our InfiniBand technology is being utilized by many of the supercomputers in the Covid-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium, which is helping to aggregate computing capabilities for researchers to execute complex computations to help fight the novel Corona virus,” continued Waldman. “We are excited to participate in such important global initiatives through the adoption of our industry-leading adapters, switches, cables, and software, while also delivering strong financial performance for the first quarter of 2020.”

AFL intros fiber ribbonizing tool

AFL has introduced a ribbonizing tool that features a glue-less process for ribbonizing and splicing 12-fiber ribbons.

The RT-02 ribbonizer is suitable for ribbonizing 200 µm and 250 µm loose fibers, 200 µm and 250 µm MPO termination, and mass fusion splicing loose fiber cables. Loading in order of the color code sequence is not required as with traditional ribbonizing tools. Fibers can be inserted at will and load directly into the fiber holder after inserting all 12 fibers.

AFL said its new tool saves time and money by eliminating inefficiencies such as glue cure time and contamination of splicing equipment.AFL RT-02 Glueless Ribbonizing Tool

“Fujikura has implemented detailed ease-of-use features that must be seen to be appreciated,” explained Greg Pickeral, fusion splicer product manager for AFL. “Those who have ribbonized with traditional methods will really see and feel the difference.”

AFL, which is a subsidiary of Fujikura, is based in Spartansville, South Carolina.

https://learn.aflglobal.com/news/afl-introduces-glueless-ribbonizing-tool

See also