Wednesday, May 13, 2020

FCC opens some 900 MHz spectrum

The FCC will make six megahertz of 900 MHz band spectrum available for wireless broadband technologies and services.  The 900 MHz band is currently designated for narrowband land mobile radio communications and primarily used by land transportation, utility, manufacturing, and petrochemical companies. 

The six megahertz will be available for broadband licenses on a county-by-county basis while reserving the remaining four megahertz of spectrum for continued narrowband operations.
provide crucial services to the American public.

Specifically, the Commission approved a Report and Order, an Order of Proposed Modification, and two Orders that realign the band and establish a transition mechanism based primarily on negotiations between prospective broadband licensees and existing narrowband incumbent licensees.  The item also establishes rules to prevent broadband applicants from receiving windfalls and includes application requirements and operating and technical rules applicable to the new 900 MHz broadband licenses.

In addition, the item would modify the Association of American Railroads’ existing nationwide ribbon license in the 900 MHz band to facilitate the transition of the band without disruptions to railroads’ operations, and to enable significant railroad safety upgrades.

As part of today’s action, the Commission also announces a partial lifting of the 900 MHz application freeze to permit existing licensees to file applications to relocate their narrowband operations as part of a transition plan.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai writes: "900 MHz users are enthusiastic about the possibilities that reliable broadband will open for them.  Broadband access will enable industries to leverage technologies for applications like private LTE networks—next-generation networks that can enable Voice over LTE, grid resiliency and monitoring, wildfire mitigation, enhanced cybersecurity, and more.  Utilities are eager to use broadband to modernize the electric grid.  Southern California Edison, a utility in a state hard-hit by fires in recent years, predicts that broadband will enable innovative monitoring technologies that will help utilities detect and extinguish fires caused by downed power lines." 

Trump extends export restrictions on Huawei

President Trump extended for 1 year the national emergency declared in May 2019 (Executive Order 13873) with respect to securing the information and communications technology and services supply chain.

The order pertains to the export of U.S. technology to Huawei.

The White House statement reads: "The unrestricted acquisition or use in the United States of information and communications technology or services designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of foreign adversaries augments the ability of these foreign adversaries to create and exploit vulnerabilities in information and communications technology or services, with potentially catastrophic effects. This threat continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States."

https://www.whitehouse.gov/

Department of Commerce extends export license to Huawei

The U.S. Department of Commerce has extended export licenses to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and its non-United States affiliates (Huawei) for U.S. suppliers through May 15, 2020.

At the same time, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced it is seeking public comments on the continuing need for, and scope of, possible future extensions of the Temporary General License (TGL) for Huawei.  The Department notes that its initial TGL from May 2019 and the three extensions that followed were intended to allow time for companies and persons to shift to alternative sources of equipment, software, and technology (e.g. those not produced by Huawei or one of its listed affiliates).


U.S. Dept of Commerce: Huawei restrictions 

Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, announced that restrictions on the export of U.S. technology to Huawei begin on Friday.

Earlier, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, confirmed that Huawei and its affiliates have been added to the Bureau’s Entity List. The reason given is that "Huawei is engaged in activities that are contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interest."

For companies on the Entity List, a license must be issued by BIS for the sale or transfer of U.S. technology. A license may be denied if the sale or transfer would harm U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.

“This action by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, with the support of the President of the United States, places Huawei, a Chinese owned company that is the largest telecommunications equipment producer in the world, on the Entity List. This will prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “President Trump has directed the Commerce Department to be vigilant in its protection of national security activities. Since the beginning of the Administration, the Department has added 190 persons or organizations to the Entity List, as well as instituted five investigations of the effect of imports on national security under Section 232 of the Trade Act of 1962.”

Cisco posts revenue of $12.0 billion, down 8% YoY

Cisco reported revenue of $12.0 billion for its third fiscal quarter ended April 25, 2020, down 8% compared to a year earlier.  Net income (GAAP) was $2.8 billion or $0.65 per share, down 9% compared to a year earlier, and non-GAAP net income was $3.4 billion or $0.79 per share.

"During this extraordinary time, our priority has been supporting our employees, customers, partners and communities, while positioning Cisco for the future," said Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO of Cisco.  "The pandemic has driven organizations across the globe to digitize their operations and support remote workforces at a faster speed and greater scale than ever before.  We remain focused on providing the technology and solutions our customers need to accelerate their digital organizations."

"We executed well in Q3 in a very challenging environment, delivering strong margins and non-GAAP EPS growth," said Kelly Kramer, CFO of Cisco.  "The resiliency that we have been building into our business model is paying off, with software subscriptions now at 74% of our software revenue, up 9 points year over year.  We are focused on driving long-term profitable growth while delivering shareholder value."

Highlights:

  • Product revenue down 12% and service revenue up 5%, compared to a year earlier.
  • Revenue by geographic segment was: Americas down 8%, EMEA down 7%, and APJC down 9%. 
  • Product revenue was led by growth in Security, up 6%.  Infrastructure Platforms was down 15% and Applications was down 5%.
  • On a GAAP basis, total gross margin, product gross margin, and service gross margin were 64.9%, 63.7%, and 67.7%, respectively, as compared with 63.1%, 62.0%, and 66.3%, respectively, in the third quarter of fiscal 2019.


Colt trims latencies on key financial routes with Arista switches

Colt Technology Services has reduced latency on critical routes of its PrizmNet infrastructure in Europe. PrizmNet serves the high-frequency trading (HFT) sector and the Capital Markets community, including financial brokers, investment funds and banks, and FX-related applications.

Colt PrizmNet is underpinned by the Colt IQ Network, a 100Gbps optimised intelligent network that’s distributed to more than 29,000 on net buildings, 900 data centres and hundreds of data network connection points around the world.

Following recent investment in its ultra-low latency PrizmNet infrastructure in Asia, Colt has now implemented next-generation Arista 7130 Layer 1 switches (also known as Metamako Metamux) within the PrizmNet European core to provide even lower latency connectivity between the following key liquidity hubs and exchanges:

Equinix London (LD4) and London Stock Exchange (LSE)
Equinix London (LD4) and Interxion London (IXL)
Equinix London (LD4) and Equinix Frankfurt (FR2)
Interxion London (IXL) and Equinix Frankfurt (FR2)
Interxion London (IXL) and Equinix Zurich (ZH4)
Interxion London (IXL) and Bolsa de Madrid Colocation (BME)

Colt said customers connected to these hubs and exchanges via PrizmNet, and service providers using PrizmNet to connect to away markets or to execute to brokers or market data services, will automatically benefit from the latency reductions and performance enhancements on these routes.

“We know that every microsecond counts for Capital Markets participants. The latency reductions on these important European routes will help our PrizmNet customers improve their trading performance and execution success rates,” says Matthew Reinholds, Colt’s Head of Capital Markets for the US and Europe. “Colt will continue to monitor the market and make infrastructure investments to ensure we keep delivering the best possible latencies and performance for the Capital Markets community.”

Ekinops confirms major OTN switch customer

EKINOPS announced its first OTN switch customer, finalizing a deal with a major provider of telecommunication and digital solutions in EMEA. The customer was not disclosed.

Specifically, the EKINOPS Transport Switch (ETS) is being used to upgrade an existing optical transport network from 10G to 100G using a two-phase approach by first optimizing and simplifying the operations of existing 10G services before migrating the network to 100G. EKINOPS said its customer’s existing fiber optic network is used to transport sub-1Gbps to 10Gbps services between Europe and Asia primarily connecting global financial centers.  Extending from the Chinese border to Russia and Europe and using diverse routes across its service territory, the network provides highly reliable and resilient connectivity between the two continents.  High demand across this network has made the providers current operational model, largely dependent on manual reconfiguration of circuits and fiber connections, obsolete and has resulted in large amounts of stranded capacity. During the first phase of the project, the service provider will create a mesh architecture that will interconnect all of its 10G interfaces to support traffic without any physical change in the core network.  Phase two will entail deploying the 100G interfaces already available on the same line cards giving the service provider the control to upgrade on an as-needed basis and avoid having to make a full capital commitment upfront.

“This is a significant win and represents a major milestone in the evolution of EKINOPS as a company,” said Francois Xavier Ollivier, Ekinops’ co-founder and Chief Operating Officer for optical transport. “It demonstrates our ability to bring new technologies to market quickly as well as the value we add for our customers through acquisitions.”

https://www.ekinops.com/products/ekinops360-portfolio/otn-line-of-products/ets-chassis-products

Ekinops acquires OTN tech fom Padtec

Ekinops agreed to acquire an OTN switching platform developed by Padtec, an optical communications system manufacturer based in Brazil, for €10 million in cash. The deal brings an experienced R&D team comprised of 25 engineers based in Campinas, near Sao Paulo (Brazil). Brazilian operations will be overseen by Jean-Luc Pamart, co-founder of Ekinops and VP of R&D for optical transport.

With this acquisition, Ekinops expects to be able to offer a complete OTN/DWDM solution for optical networks from early 2020, enabling flexible data traffic and support for the evolution of data speeds and protocols transmitted over 200-400G modulated optical wavelengths, eventually reaching 1 Tbps.

Ekinops plans to carry out a capital increase by private placement over the coming weeks, for an amount capped at 10% of the capital stock.

Padtec CEO Manuel Andrade said:

"The acquisition of the OTN-Switch Platform by a globally recognized company such as Ekinops is a validation of the capability of Padtec's engineers to develop state-of-the-art technologies deployable worldwide. Additionally, we are happy to enter into commercial agreements with Ekinops that will enable Padtec to offer the OTN-Switch on an OEM basis to our customer base in Latin America. This is a clear win-win agreement for both companies."

Didier Br├ędy, Chairman & CEO of Ekinops, made the following comments:

"The OTN technology developed by Padtec is particularly innovative and will enable Ekinops to take a major technological and commercial leap forward in order to advance its position with leading telecom operators. The agreements with Padtec, the leading Latin American manufacturer and supplier of optical networking equipment, will also allow Padtec to source the OTN products it needs from Ekinops. This major strategic acquisition means that Ekinops can target to triple its sales of optical transport products within 5 years."

http://www.padtec.com.br/en/
https://www.ekinops.com/

Rakuten to acquire Innoeye for cloud-native expertise

Rakuten Mobile agreed to acquire Innoeye, a privately-held company specializing in cloud technologies. The company has offices in Herndon, Virginia and Indore (MP), India. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Rakuten Mobile has already deployed Innoeye’s converged OSS, an end-to-end platform process automation solution, to support the 4G/5G cloud platform for its network launch in Japan. Plans are also underway to rollout this technology and expertise as part of the new Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP) offering to be made available to telecom companies and other enterprise customers around the world.

Rakuten Mobile has pursued a cloud-native architecture. The Rakuten Communications Platform contains all the elements of the Rakuten Mobile network, including telco applications and software from multiple vendors, OSS and BSS systems handling customer billing and activation systems, in addition to edge computing and virtual network management functions. Rakuten Communications Platform will be made available with an app-store-like interface where customers can tailor the platform to their local requirements.

“Since we first envisioned the launch of Rakuten Mobile two years ago, we have also planned to bring to market our own expertise and technology stack as a unique service that will enable operators around the world to deploy fully cloud-native telco networks of the future,” said Tareq Amin, Representative Director, Executive Vice President and CTO of Rakuten Mobile. “With the planned acquisition of Innoeye, we are one step closer to closing the circle in bringing to market a carrier grade telco cloud product that is as simple as click, purchase and deploy.”

“Innoeye is delighted by the opportunity to become part of the Rakuten Mobile family,” said Rajeev Gupta, CEO of Innoeye. “Joining hands with Rakuten Mobile will provide us with unique ability to contribute towards this large industry movement and create a highly innovative cloud-based communication platform that is open, scalable and highly secure. Rakuten Communications Platform will disrupt the industry and pave the way for the next level of innovation. We look forward to being a part of this journey.”

II-VI posts revenue of $627 million

Earlier this week,  II-VI reported revenue of $627 million for its fiscal 2020 third quarter ended March 31, 2020. Quarterly GAAP Operating Income was $69.0 million.

"In this second full quarter of II-VI operations with Finisar included, we successfully continued our integration activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. Vincent D. (Chuck) Mattera, Jr., Chief Executive Officer. "Our mandate and priorities during the pandemic have been clear with respect to our response to this crisis:

Ensure the safety of the II-VI workforce;
Ensure the hygiene and security of our worldwide facilities; and
Maintain full compliance with all government laws, orders and policies that apply to us."

"Our focus on these priorities mitigated the impact of COVID-19 and delivered a great quarter. Despite significant operating challenges, the extraordinary commitment of our employees allowed us to address the steep ramps requested by our customers, and to exceed the high end of our revenue and EPS guidance with record bookings at 22% above our forecast."

"Our global business continuity team supported our operations to deliver these results, and they are a testament to the professionalism and dedication of our global workforce of over 22,000 employees. Our substantial progress at integrating the Finisar acquisition after only two quarters is a result of our experience in assessing markets and acquiring complementary companies with great technology and potential."

Dr. Mattera continued, "Demand in the communications market accelerated considerably throughout the quarter. It was strong across all aspects of our telecom and datacom offerings driven by the acceleration of the build out of the 5G deployments and network infrastructure upgrades. This was most evident in our Transceiver business where bookings far exceeded our expectations during the quarter and customer enthusiasm remained high. We had a second consecutive quarter of record 3D sensing shipments from our Warren, NJ and Easton, PA, operations. We also successfully completed the qualification of our Sherman, TX facility as planned, and we have begun to ship production units as we continue our manufacturing ramp. We look forward to completing the year on a strong note."

CommScope names Jeff White as Chief Commercial Officer

CommScope has appointed Jeff White as Chief Commercial Officer. He will be responsible for the development and growth of CommScope’s sales and marketing operations to meet strategic business initiatives.

White joins CommScope from Here Technologies, a location services platform company, where he served as chief customer officer in Amsterdam and oversaw a complete go-to-market transformation. Previously, he was chief revenue officer for Syniverse and Extreme Networks and held several leadership roles with Cisco Systems including senior vice president/president of India - Bangalore. Mr. White has nearly 30 years of experience in network technology industries, the majority in sales leadership roles of increasing responsibility.