Thursday, August 6, 2020

OSA Quantum 2.0 Keynotes - 14 – 17 September

Distinguished keynote speakers from academia and industry will present latest developments in quantum systems and quantum computing at the inaugural OSA Quantum 2.0 conference to be co-located as an all-virtual event with OSA Frontiers in Optics and Laser Science APS/DLS (FiO + LS) conference 14 – 17 September. The meetings are available at no cost to registrants.

Ignacio Cirac, director of the Theory Division at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and Honorary Professor at the Technical University of Munich, will introduce two quantum algorithms to determine finite energy and temperature properties of many-body quantum systems. In his talk, Cirac will explain how both can be used with Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) and analog quantum simulators.

While the demonstration of a universal, fault-tolerant, quantum computer remains a goal, it has informed the design of a prototype. Marissa Giustina, senior research scientist and quantum electronics engineer in the Google AI Quantum, USA, will introduce Google’s quantum computing effort from both hardware and quantum-information perspectives in her plenary talk titled “Building Google’s Quantum Computer.”

In his talk titled “Quantum Technologies for Long-Term Data Security,” Gregoire Ribordy, co-founder and CEO of ID Quantique, Switzerland, will describe solutions to the threat of quantum computing to our information security infrastructure. He will review the current state of the art of practical quantum key distribution and quantum random number generators. Ribordy will also discuss current areas of research and present examples of applications and use cases.

Plenary speaker Mikhail Lukin, co-director of the Harvard Quantum Initiative in Science and Engineering and co-director of the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms, USA, will describe the recent advances involving programmable, coherent manipulation of quantum many-body systems using atom arrays excited into Rydberg states. In his talk, Lukin will also discuss progress towards realization of quantum repeaters for long-distance quantum communication. 

Technical sessions will be presented live from the Eastern Daylight Time Zone (EDT) with a recorded archive available later for on-demand viewing. The keynote talks are scheduled for 10:00 – 10:45 EDT, 14 – 17 September.

Industry and academic leaders will discuss new approaches for training current and future quantum engineers in a panel titled “Workforce Development in Quantum Science and Technology” to be held Tuesday, 15 September, 15:45 – 16:45 EDT.

The all-virtual Quantum 2.0 conference will bring together scientists, engineers and others working to advance quantum science and the technical innovations needed to introduce practical quantum technologies and ultimately commercializable products based on Quantum 2.0 to market. Academic, government and industry researchers will have the opportunity to interact and discover common ground, and potentially build collaborations leading to new concepts or development opportunities.

Key topic areas include Quantum Computing & Simulation; Quantum Communication Systems; Quantum Metrology & Sensors; Hybrid Systems; Quantum Interconnects; Quantum Photonic Sources & Detectors; Integrated-optics Quantum Platforms & Devices; Optical & Laser Technology for QIST Systems. Conference registration is now open.

https://www.osa.org/en-us/meetings/topical_meetings/quantum/registration/

U.S. State Department pushes Clean Network program

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reasserted his call for a Clean Network program aimed at thwarting aggressive cyber intrusions by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on public and private U.S. telecommunications and technology infrastructure. Specifically, Pompeo announced the following five new lines of effort in the Clean Network program:


  • Clean Carrier: "To ensure untrusted People’s Republic of China (PRC) carriers are not connected with U.S. telecommunications networks. Such companies pose a danger to U.S. national security and should not provide international telecommunications services to and from the United States."
  • Clean Store: "To remove untrusted applications from U.S. mobile app stores. PRC apps threaten our privacy, proliferate viruses, and spread propaganda and disinformation. American’s most sensitive personal and business information must be protected on their mobile phones from exploitation and theft for the CCP’s benefit."
  • Clean Apps: "To prevent untrusted PRC smartphone manufacturers from pre-installing –or otherwise making available for download – trusted apps on their apps store. Huawei, an arm of the PRC surveillance state, is trading on the innovations and reputations of leading U.S. and foreign companies. These companies should remove their apps from Huawei’s app store to ensure they are not partnering with a human rights abuser."
  • Clean Cloud: "To prevent U.S. citizens’ most sensitive personal information and our businesses’ most valuable intellectual property, including COVID-19 vaccine research, from being stored and processed on cloud-based systems accessible to our foreign adversaries through companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent."
  • Clean Cable: "To ensure the undersea cables connecting our country to the global internet are not subverted for intelligence gathering by the PRC at hyper scale. We will also work with foreign partners to ensure that undersea cables around the world aren’t similarly subject to compromise."

The U.S. State Department is also building a coalition of "5G Clean Countries and Carriers." The website currently lists the following.




https://www.state.gov/announcing-the-expansion-of-the-clean-network-to-safeguard-americas-assets/

https://www.state.gov/5g-clean-network/





Trump issues executive order to block Tencent's WeChat

President Trump issued an executive order to restrict transactions in the United States with Tencent Holdings Ltd., the Chinese company that owns WeChat.

The order, which takes effect in 45 days, bans any transaction with Tencent that is related to WeChat by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Trump said the order was necessary because WeChat automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, allowing the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information, and even keeping tabs on Chinese citizens visiting the United States who may be enjoying the benefits of a free society for the first time in their lives.

AWS Wavelength Zones open in Boston & San Francisco

Amazon announced that the first two AWS Wavelength Zones are now open, one in Boston and the other in San Francisco. The new zones will allow developers who want to build apps to service Verizon Wireless customers in those metropolitan areas.

AWS Wavelength Zones, which were first announced at AWS re:Invent 2019,  allow 5G operators to embed AWS hardware and software in their datacenters. The goal is to allow developers to build and deliver applications that can benefit from ultra-low latency.

Each WZ is associated with a specific AWS region known as the parent region. This is US East (N. Virginia) for the Wavelength Zone in Boston, and US West (N. California) for the AZ in San Francisco.

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-wavelength-zones-are-now-open-in-boston-san-francisco/

Verizon to offer 5G network edge computing with AWS Wavelength

Verizon will be the first carrier to offer the new AWS Wavelength service to provide developers the ability to deploy applications that require ultra-low latency to mobile devices using 5G.  The service targets latency-sensitive use cases like machine learning inference at the edge, autonomous industrial equipment, smart cars and cities, Internet of Things (IoT), and augmented and virtual reality. The idea is to position AWS compute and storage services at the edge of Verizon’s 5G network.

The companies are currently piloting AWS Wavelength on Verizon’s edge compute platform, 5G Edge, in Chicago for a select group of customers, including video game publisher Bethesda Softworks and the National Football League (NFL). Additional deployments are planned in other locations across the U.S. in 2020.

Verizon 5G Edge provides mobile edge computing and an efficient high-volume connection between users, devices, and applications. AWS Wavelength lets customers deploy the parts of an application that require ultra-low latency to the edge of the network and then seamlessly connect back to the full range of cloud services running in AWS.

AWS also listed Vodafone Business, KDDI, and SK Telecom as partners.



“We are first in the world to launch Mobile Edge Compute -- deeply integrating Verizon’s 5G Edge platform with Wavelength to allow developers to build new categories of applications and network cloud experiences built in ways we can’t even imagine yet,” said Hans Vestberg, CEO and Chairman of Verizon. “Bringing together the full capabilities of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband and AWS, the world's leading cloud with the broadest and deepest services portfolio, we unlock the full potential of our 5G services for customers to create applications and solutions with the fastest speeds, improved security, and ultra-low latency.”

Vodafone activates first OpenRAN site in UK

Vodafone activated an Open Radio Access Network (OpenRAN) 4G site Powys, Wales - the first OpenRAN site to enter commercial service in the UK.

OpenRAN provides mobile network operators with greater flexibility in choosing infrastructure equipment providers.

Mavenir is supporting Vodafone with this deployment at the Royal Welsh Showground in Powys.

Scott Petty, CTO, Vodafone UK, said: “This is our first live OpenRAN site in the UK, and that’s an important milestone. This new approach has the ability to make us less dependent on current larger technology suppliers, and find ways to reduce the cost of rolling out mobile coverage. OpenRAN can also help close the digital divide between urban and rural Britain.”

Matt Warman, Digital Infrastructure Minister, said: “OpenRAN gives mobile companies the flexibility to use multiple suppliers in their 4G and 5G networks. This is vital to help the market grow, build resilience and give people fast, reliable and secure internet connections wherever they live and work.

Facebook switches on Henrico Data Center in Virginia

Facebook’s Henrico Data Center in Virginia is now serving traffic.

Construction of the new 2.5 million-square-foot campus first began in 2017. Once fully built-out, the campus will represent an investment of $1 billion. The facility is supported by 100% solar energy from projects in Virginia.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/henrico-data-center/henrico-county-we-are-online/10106657488671209/


FCC sets bidding rules for December's auction of C-band spectrum

The FCC established final application and bidding procedures for the auction of 280 megahertz of mid-band spectrum for 5G and other advanced wireless services.

December's C-band auction will offer 5,684 new flexible-use overlay licenses based on Partial Economic Areas (PEAs) for spectrum in the 3.7–3.98 GHz band.  This spectrum holds the potential to be prime spectrum for 5G services, and the procedures adopted today will ensure the assignment to auction winners of contiguous spectrum blocks allowing wide channel bandwidths that support 5G deployment. 

In February, the FCC adopted rules for the C-band (3.7-4.2 GHz), which allocated the lower 280 megahertz (3.7-3.98 GHz band) for flexible terrestrial wireless services (with a 20-megahertz guard band (3.98-4.0 GHz)) and required existing satellite operators to repack their operations from the band’s entire 500 megahertz into the upper 200 megahertz (4.0-4.2 GHz).  Bidding in the auction, which is designated as Auction 107, will begin on December 8, 2020.

FCC approves C-Band spectrum rules

The Federal Communications Commission voted to approve new rules to accelerate the auction and transfer of a wide swath of 3.5 GHz spectrum from the satellite industry for new uses, including 5G.

The 280 megahertz of mid-band spectrum will be made available via a public auction.

Within the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, the FCC has is allocating the 3.7-4.0 GHz portion of the band for mobile use and 280 megahertz (3.7-3.98 GHz band) will be auctioned by the FCC for wireless services in the contiguous United States.  Another 20 megahertz (3.98-4.0 GHz) will serve as a guard band while existing satellite operations will be repacked into the upper 200 megahertz of the band (4.0-4.2 GHz).

Satellite operators will be able to receive accelerated relocation payments of $9.7 billion if they meet accelerated clearing milestones.

FCC expects to conduct an auction beginning on December 8, 2020.

In a statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai writes: "With respect to this principle of revenue for the federal government, it’s important to make a couple of points about accelerated relocation payments.  First, they will be made by wireless carriers, not the FCC and not the American taxpayer.  And second, to the extent they impact the proceeds of the auction at all, they are likely to increase those proceeds.  That’s because without a strong incentive for satellite operators to cooperate, it will take years longer to clear this spectrum, dramatically reducing the value of this spectrum opportunity to wireless bidders.  It’s like repainting your house before you sell it; yes, there are costs to doing that, but the costs are more than offset by the higher sales price.  And our conservative approach here means the costs of accelerated relocation are easily outweighed by the benefits to the Treasury (not to mention the public at large)..."

T-Mobile now has 98.3 million customers, topping AT&T

The new T-Mobile US added 1,245,000 net lines in Q2, giving it a total of 98.3 million total customers, 2nd most in the United States, behind Verizon, and ahead of AT&T. The merger with Sprint was completed on April 1, 2020. T-Mobile said it has continued to gain momentum despite the pandemic and social and economic climate.

“Surpassing AT&T to become #2 was a huge milestone to kick off Q2, but that was only the beginning! In our first quarter as a combined company, T-Mobile led the industry in total branded customer adds – even in a challenging environment – and there is no doubt that we are THE leading growth company in wireless,” said Mike Sievert, T-Mobile CEO. “Now we’re setting our sights on #1 – in customer choice and customers’ hearts – and we’ll get there by doing ONLY what the Un-carrier can do: offering customers the most advanced 5G network AND the best value while continuing to make big moves that fix customer pain points and disrupt this industry."

Some Q2 highlights:

  • Total revenues increased year-over-year to $17.7 billion in Q2 2020, driven by the Sprint merger and continued customer growth at T-Mobile. Total revenues exclude approximately $1.3 billion of Boost revenues that are reflected in discontinued operations.
  • Net income decreased year-over-year to $110 million and EPS decreased year-over-year to $0.09 in Q2 2020, primarily due to the Sprint merger and merger-related costs, impacts of COVID-19, and non-cash impairments.
  • Net customer additions were 1,245,000 in Q2 2020, the 22nd consecutive quarter of industry-leading performance in this category. The total customer count increased to 98.3 million(2), overtaking AT&T in total branded customers across both postpaid and prepaid.
  • Postpaid net customer additions were 1,112,000 in Q2 2020, the 10th consecutive quarter of industry-leading performance in this category.
  • Postpaid phone net customer additions were 253,000 in Q2 2020, the 26th consecutive quarter of leading the national carriers, and postpaid phone churn was 0.80%. The total postpaid phone customer count increased to 65.1 million(3), overtaking AT&T in total postpaid phone customers.
  • Postpaid other net customer additions were 859,000 in Q2 2020, leading the industry as new opportunities in T-Mobile for Business developed primarily due to COVID-19.
  • Prepaid net customer additions were 133,000 in Q2 2020 and prepaid churn was 2.81%.


Network highlights

  • T-Mobile already has mid-band 5G service using 2.5 GHz spectrum live in eight major markets including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. The performance of mid-band 5G is incredible, delivering average download speeds in the 300 Mbps range and peak speeds hitting one Gbps for customers with compatible 5G devices.
  • T-Mobile recently became the first operator in the world to launch a commercial nationwide standalone 5G network, allowing the Un-carrier to massively expand its 5G footprint, bring next-gen connectivity to more places and pave the way for future groundbreaking applications.
  • T-Mobile controls an average of 319 MHz of combined low and mid-band spectrum on average nationwide. This spectrum position is nearly double that of AT&T and nearly three times that of Verizon. In addition, T-Mobile controls 1,160 MHz of mmWave spectrum nationwide, more than AT&T.
  • More than 10 percent of Sprint postpaid customer traffic has already been moved over to the T-Mobile network and site decommissioning has begun
  • Approximately 75 percent of Sprint postpaid customers are enabled on VoLTE and enjoying a better voice experience, including simultaneous voice and data services

TI Sparkle appoints Elisabetta Romano as CEO

Telecom Italia Sparkle appointed Elisabetta Romano as its new Chief Executive Officer following the resignation of Mario Di Mauro, who held the position since March 2019.

Romano has served as Chief Technology Officer at TIM since 2018. Previously she was VP and Head of TV & Media at Ericsson.


Cloudflare hits revenue of $99.7 million, up 48% year-over-year

Cloudflare reported Q2 revenue of $99.7 million, up 48% year-over-year. GAAP gross margin was 75.8%.  GAAP net loss was $26.1 million, compared to $19.7 million in the second quarter of 2019. Non-GAAP net loss was $9.6 million, compared to $18.6 million in the second quarter of 2019.

Cloudflare now covers 27 million Internet properties. The company has 2.8 million customers.

"We delivered a strong second quarter, with revenue growth up 48% year-over-year, and added a record number of both large and paying customers," said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO, Cloudflare. "It has been incredible to see the rate of innovation that has continued, and even accelerated, as we work remotely. We hired more new team members than any other quarter in our history, attracting more than 47,000 applicants in just three months. As others pull back, we're investing in our future, and the services our customers depend on for a fast, reliable, and secure Internet during these challenging times."


Moderna’s digital biotech migrates to AWS

Moderna, a biotechnology company pioneering a new class of messenger RNA (mRNA) medicines, has selected AWS as its preferred cloud provider, as well as its standard for analytics and machine learning workloads. The company is already using AWS for its accelerated COVID-19 vaccine development program.

“The science behind mRNA medicines is advancing at a rapid pace, and building Moderna’s technology platform on AWS gives our scientists the insights, agility, and security they need to continue to lead in the industry,” said St├ęphane Bancel, Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer. “With AWS, our researchers have the ability to quickly design and execute research experiments and rapidly uncover new insights to get potentially life-saving treatments into production faster. AWS’s breadth and depth of services are supporting our mission to create a new generation of medicines for patients and are instrumental in our quest to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 and other life-threatening diseases.”

“Running on AWS, Moderna has the agility to continuously refine its research, development, and manufacturing,” said Matt Garman, Vice President, Sales and Marketing at AWS. “Moderna is relying on the proven performance and scale of the world’s leading cloud to innovate and develop drug and vaccine candidates on timelines that may have been impossible even just a few years ago.”