Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Verizon reports flat trends, continue buildout of 5G Ultra Wideband

Verizon reported total 4Q 2020 revenue of $23.9 billion, a decrease of 1.2 percent year over year. Earnings per share (EPS) amounted to $1.11, compared with $1.23 in 4Q 2019. Net income was $4.7 billion, a decline of 9.6 percent from fourth-quarter 2019, and adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP) of  $11.7 billion, an increase of 5.3 percent from fourth-quarter 2019.

"Verizon finished the fourth quarter with strong financial performance," said Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg. "2020 was marked by transformational change, including the launch of our 5G nationwide network. We witnessed a mass shift toward virtual collaboration, touchless retail and delivery, remote work, distance learning, and telemedicine. We continued to execute our multi-use network strategy; we were recognized by RootMetrics as the best overall wireless provider, undefeated in all categories; and we continue to be the partner of choice for the world’s most innovative brands. 

Some highlights

  • Full-year 2020 capital expenditures were $18.2 billion. Capital expenditures continue to support the growth in traffic on the company's 4G LTE network and the continued build-out of the company's 5G Ultra Wideband and nationwide networks. 
  • For 2021, capital spending is expected to be in the range of $17.5 billion to $18.5 billion, including the further expansion of 5G Ultra Wideband in new and existing markets, the densification of the wireless network to manage future traffic demands, and the continued deployment of the company's fiber infrastructure. 

Consumer

  • Total Verizon Consumer revenues were $23.9 billion, a decrease of 1.2 percent year over year, primarily driven by a decline in wireless equipment revenue due to softer volumes in the quarter. For full-year 2020, total Consumer revenues were $88.5 billion, a decrease of 2.8 percent from full-year 2019, driven by a decline in wireless equipment revenue.
  • In fourth-quarter 2020, Consumer reported 357,000 wireless retail postpaid net additions.This consisted of 163,000 phone net additions and 81,000 tablet net losses, offset by 275,000 other connected device net additions. Postpaid smartphone net additions were 284,000.
  • Consumer wireless service revenues were $13.6 billion in fourth-quarter 2020, a 1.2 percent increase year over year. Full-year 2020 Consumer wireless service revenues were $53.6 billion, a 0.3 percent decrease from full-year 2019.
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 0.96 percent in fourth-quarter 2020, and retail postpaid phone churn was 0.76 percent. 
  • Consumer reported 92,000 Fios Internet net additions in fourth-quarter 2020, an increase from 35,000 Fios Internet net additions in fourth-quarter 2019. Consumer and Business reported 95,000 total Fios Internet net additions in fourth-quarter 2020, the most fourth-quarter total Fios Internet net additions since 2014. Consumer reported 72,000 Fios Video net losses in fourth-quarter 2020, reflecting the ongoing shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings. 

Business results

  • Total Verizon Business revenues were $8.1 billion, down 0.3 percent year over year. Wireless service revenue growth was offset by reductions in wireless equipment volumes and secular pressure on legacy wireline products. For full-year 2020, total Verizon Business revenues were $31.0 billion, a decrease of 1.5 percent from full-year 2019. 
  • Business reported 346,000 wireless retail postpaid net additions in fourth-quarter 2020. This consisted of 116,000 phone net additions, 116,000 tablet net additions, and 114,000 other connected device additions.
  • Business wireless service revenues were $3.1 billion in fourth-quarter 2020, a 7.1 percent increase year over year. Full-year 2020 Business wireless service revenues were $11.8 billion, a 5.5 percent increase from full-year 2019.
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 1.19 percent in fourth-quarter 2020, and retail postpaid phone churn was 0.98 percent.  



FCC moves to 5G auction assignment phase, Rosenworcel appoints staff

The FCC released final guidance on the upcoming assignment phase of the 5G auction of C-band spectrum which has already generated gross proceeds exceeding $80.9 billion.  Bidders that won generic spectrum blocks in the recently concluded clock phase will have the opportunity to bid for their preferred combinations of frequency-specific license assignments, consistent with their clock phase winnings.

Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stated “This auction has exceeded expectations, and, at this point, we are pushing forward to get this critical piece of mid-band spectrum to market quickly, where it will help American consumers tap into next generation wireless services,” said Rosenworcel.  “I thank the FCC staff who work so hard to ensure the success of our spectrum auctions.  Few things we do have as great an impact on the day-to-day lives of the American people as our work to ensure spectrum is available for wireless connectivity.”

Rosenworcel also announced the following appointments:

  • P. Michele Ellison, Acting General Counsel
  • Joel Taubenblatt, Acting Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau  
  • Travis Litman, Acting Chief of Staff
  • Kate Black, Acting Chief Policy Advisor
  • Umair Javed, Acting Chief Counsel
  • D’wana Terry, Acting Special Advisor to the Chairwoman and Acting Director of the Office of Workplace Diversity
  • Sanford Williams, Acting Special Advisor to the Chairwoman and Director, Office of Business Communications Opportunities
  • Trent Harkrader, Acting Special Advisor to the Chairwoman and Deputy Bureau Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau
  • Holly Saurer, Acting Legal Advisor, Media:  Holly joins the office from the Media Bureau
  • David Strickland, Acting Legal Advisor, Consumer, Enforcement, and International
  • Ethan Lucarelli, Acting Legal Advisor, Wireless and Public Safety
  • Aurelle Porter, Acting Staff Assistant
  • Andi Roane, Acting Confidential Assistant
http://www.fcc.gov

Verizon suffers fiber cut in Brooklyn

 Following widespread outages on the East Coast, Verizon confirmed a fiber cut in Brooklyn.





Monday, January 25, 2021

ONF releases SD-RAN v1.0 for Open RAN

The ONF released SD-RAN v1.0, the first software release for its cloud-native exemplar platform for software-defined RAN that is consistent with the O-RAN architecture.  

The ONF’s first release of the SD-RAN project implements a minimal O-RAN consistent end-to-end mobile RAN stack intended as a development environment for building xApps for the emerging Open RAN ecosystem. It includes µONOS-RIC (ONF’s nRT-RIC based on µONOS) which interacts with RAN hardware (RU/DU/CU) via O-RAN consistent interfaces (E2AP), encodings (ASN.1), transport-protocols (SCTP) and Service Models (SMs). The release also includes a white-box based RU/DU/CU solution, leveraging OAI software, that has been enhanced to expose O-RAN consistent interfaces and protocols. To integrate with µONOS-RIC, the CU-CP RAN component has been enhanced with an E2 Agent that exposes the KPM-SM information-elements to xApps that connect to the nRT-RIC and subscribe to the KPM service. image png

Secondly, an end-to-end solution is provided. The RAN components interact with Samsung Android handsets as well as OAI User Element (UE) emulation software. For mobile core (EPC) integration, the RAN components interact with ONF’s OMEC mobile core. 

This release also includes the beginnings of an app-SDK which can ease the process of creating xApps that are portable across different nRT-RIC platforms.  As part of ONF’s commitment to supporting the O-RAN Alliance, this SDK is being shared with the O-RAN Software Community to support and promote availability of interoperable xApps and rApps that can work with a selection of nRT-RIC implementations. 

Finally, the solution can be instantiated in two distinct forms to create nimble development environments.  SD-RAN can run on reference white-box hardware, and it can also be instantiated entirely in a virtualized form (in a VM or server) in a distribution package called RiaB (sdRan-in-a-Box). The entire distribution including xApp, µONOS-RIC components, CU/DU, UE and OMEC can be instantiated within RiaB with just a few simple commands.

https://opennetworking.org/news-and-events/press-releases/onf-announces-first-release-of-sd-ran-v1-0-software-platform-for-open-ran/

ONF launches 5G SD-RAN Project

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has launched an SD-RAN project with the aim of building an open source Near Real-Time RAN Intelligent Controller (nRT-RIC) compatible with the O-RAN architecture as well ONF’s existing base cloud-native solutions leveraging disaggregation and whitebox hardware.

ONF said its goal is to foster open source software platforms and multi-vendor solutions for mobile 4G and 5G RAN deployments.

Central to the project is the development of an open source near-real time RIC called µONOS-RIC (pronounced “micro-ONOS-RIC”).

µONOS is a microservices-based SDN controller created by the refactoring and enhancement of ONOS, the leading SDN controller for operators in production tier-1 networks worldwide.  µONOS-RIC is built on µONOS, and hence features a cloud-native design supporting active-active clustering for scalability, performance and high availability along with the real-time capabilities needed for intelligent RAN control. The O-RAN ALLIANCE E2 interface is used to interface between µONOS-RIC and vendor supplied RAN RU/DU/CU RAN components.

Carriers would be able to run new "xApps" on top of the µONOS-RIC.  These open xApps could provide functionality that traditionally has been implemented in vendor-proprietary implementations, including providing visibility and control over the RAN.

Significantly, the ONF's SD-RAN project is backed by AT&T, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Intel, NTT, Radisys and Sercomm.

A working skeleton prototype of the µONOS-RIC controller is already running above a RAN emulation platform through the E2 interface.  ONF has demonstrated handover and load balancing at scale, supporting over 100 base stations and 100,000 user devices with less than 50ms handover latency (less than 10ms latency for 99% of all handovers). Field trials are expected by early 2021.

South Korea's LG U+ deploys 600G on a single wavelength with Ciena


LG U+ has deployed a newly constructed and dedicated nationwide ROADM backbone network leveraging Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 Extreme and WaveLogic Ai coherent optical solutions and becoming the first carrier in Korea to deploy 600G on a single wavelength for long haul distances.

LG U+ is applying OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer) technology to all sections of the backbone network for real-time line condition monitoring. In addition, Ciena’s 6500 ROADM equipment will provide disaster recovery line services to public government, financial institutions and compute centers of large enterprises through third party interworking certification. LG U+ can also provide a dedicated line service with enhanced security through optical transport encryption.

LGU+ will be using Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) SDN controller to be able to automate service delivery via next-generation OPEN APIs to improve customer experience and increase operational efficiencies.

Sung-cheol Koo who’s in charge of LG U+’s wired business said, “Amid the expansion of cloud services such as telecommuting, video conferencing and remote classes, we are building a new backbone network that can accommodate the needs of various corporate customers. With a flexible and stable transmission network, we expect that companies can provide a higher level of service."


NEC delivers submarine cable seismic and tsunami observation system

NEC has delivered a submarine cable seismic and tsunami observation system to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau (CWB) under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. The new system is mainly intended for observation of earthquakes and tsunami in the area ranging from the offshore coast of Yilan in eastern Taiwan to Fangshan in Pingtung County. 

The submarine cable measures 620 kilometers and reaches a depth of 5,800 meters. All products, including optical submarine cables, submarine observation units, and optical submarine repeaters, which constitute the system, were manufactured and assembled at NEC factories in Japan.

According to the CWB, when an earthquake occurs in the eastern sea area of Taiwan this new system can provide an emergency warning more than 10 seconds before the actual tremor is felt on land. Moreover, a warning can be issued 20 to 30 minutes before a tsunami reaches the coastal area. As a result, this system will contribute to the enhancement of disaster prevention and mitigation capabilities. For example, public transportation systems, including MRTs (Mass Rapid Transit) and HSRs (High Speed Rail) can quickly decelerate in the event of an earthquake.

Atsushi Kuwahara, General Manager, Submarine Network Division, NEC Corporation, said, "It is a great honor that the NEC Group can use its many years of experience in optical submarine cable communication technology and submarine observation technology to help prevent disasters and ensure safety for the residents and government of Taiwan. Going forward, we will continue to provide technology and solutions that contribute to the well-being of our communities."

https://www.nec.com/en/press/202101/global_20210126_01.html

NASA's Psyche spacecraft to test Deep Space laser communications

 NASA's upcoming Psyche mission, which will explore the origin of planetary cores by studying the metallic asteroid 16 Psyche, will use a Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) package that is designed to transmit data in photon packets from the asteroid belt back to earth, a distance of nearly 200 million miles. The Psyche mission is scheduled to launch in August 2022.

The laser communications will be able to transmit data over long distances at rates up to 100 times faster than traditional radio frequency systems. 

In November 2020, CACI delivered an engineering model of the laser communication transmitter to JPL, having passed space qualification testing. To pass space qualification testing, CACI engineers demonstrated the transmitter could withstand both space launch and flight.

CACI said is currently designing laser communications systems for five space hardware programs, including NASA’s Orion EM-2 Optical Communications (O2O) project, which will enable broadband data communications to and from the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle designed to take humans into lunar orbit, and the NASA Integrated LCRD Low-Earth Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal (ILLUMA-T) program, which will deploy laser communications technology on the International Space Station.

John Mengucci, CACI President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The successful operation by NASA of a CACI-developed laser communications transmitter demonstrates the advanced mission technology this company designs for our country. CACI is excited to support this NASA deep space mission with fast and reliable communications, and is ready to deliver advanced laser-based technologies to other space, aerial and terrestrial missions to come.”

www.caci.com

NTT Research and Caltech to develop coherent ising machine


NTT Research has signed a collaboration agreement with Caltech to develop a high-speed Coherent Ising Machine (CIM). 

A CIM is a network of optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) programmed to solve problems that have been mapped to an Ising model, which is a mathematical abstraction of magnetic systems composed of competitively interacting spins, or angular momentums of fundamental particles. The CIM is particularly suited to combinatorial optimization problems that are beyond the capabilities of current computer processors to solve. NTT Research and Caltech will jointly develop a high-speed, miniature CIM, consisting of an on-chip 100 GHz pulsed pump laser source and on-chip parametric oscillator device.

The principal investigator at Caltech for this four-and-a-half-year joint project is Kerry Vahala, the Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Applied Physics and Executive Officer for the department of Applied Physics and Materials Science. Professor Vahala has pioneered the use of nonlinear optics in high-Q optical micro-resonators. Leading this effort at NTT Research is PHI Lab Research Scientist, Dr. Myoung-Gyun Suh, an expert in on-chip optical sources and their application to precision measurements.

“We are delighted at the prospect of working with Professor Vahala to develop an extremely small and high-speed CIM,” said NTT Research PHI Lab Director, Yoshihisa Yamamoto. “This work will advance our understanding of the CIM’s capabilities, map well with ongoing and related work with other institutions, provide new demonstrations of this awesomely powerful new information system and, we hope, set standards for the CIM’s speed and size.”

To date, the NTT Research PHI Lab has established ten joint research projects as part of its long-range goal to radically redesign artificial computers, both classical and quantum. To advance that goal, the PHI Lab has established joint research agreements with seven universities, one government agency and quantum computing software company. This is the second joint research agreement with Caltech. The other institutions of higher education are Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, Swinburne University of Technology, the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame. 

NTT Tackles Artificial Spin for Photonic Computation

Researchers at NTT and and Osaka University announced an important step toward photonic computation by developing a large-scale artificial spin network based on photonics technologies. The development targets a fundamental component for the coherent Ising machine (CIM), which utilizes interacting artificial spins realized with optical parametric oscillators (OPO) for computation of combinatorial optimization problems.

The researchers generated more than 10,000 time-multiplexed OPOs using an optical fiber cavity as long as 1 km.

The OPOs can be used as artificial spins for a large-scale CIM to solve combinatorial optimization problems in the real world. The research was published in the UK science journal “Nature Photonics” on April 18, 2006.

http://www.ntt.co.jp/news2016/1604e/160418a.html

Oranges brings in investors to back rural fiber rollout

Orange will establish a new ownership structure and funding vehicle supporting its rollout of fiber connection in rural France.

Orange has entered into an exclusivity agreement with La Banque des Territoires (Caisse des Dépôts), CNP Assurances, and EDF Invest for the sale of a 50% equity interest and co-control of Orange Concessions, which will be France’s leading fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) operator of networks rolled out and operated on behalf of 23, local public authorities representing over 4.5 million built or to-be-built plugs.

This transaction values Orange Concessions at 2.675 billion euros, which highlights the value and the relevance of Orange’s investments in fibre.


The networks operated by Orange Concessions on behalf of local public authorities are open to all operators. Fibre roll-out and maintenance will continue to be performed by Orange who holds an efficient and proven industrial tool. On a local level, the teams working in partnership with local authorities with maintain the same level of mobilisation and commitment.

Commenting on this partnership, Stéphane Richard, Chairman & CEO of Orange stated: “I am delighted that Orange, Europe’s leader in fibre roll-out, is now set to establish this partnership in its domestic market with recognized investors who share our vision of digital communication infrastructure development.

Through this partnership, Orange holds the means to pursue the development of fibre in rural areas, by winning new public initiative networks or by participating in market consolidation. This is a key milestone in the delivery of our Engage 2025 strategic plan.

As to its financial merits, the achieved valuation reveals the value of Orange’s investments in fibre as well as the relevance of such strategic move.”

MACOM inks GaN-on-SiC pact with U.S. Air Force Research Lab


MACOM signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (“AFRL”) regarding Gallium Nitride-on-Silicon Carbide (GaN-on-SiC) technology. Specifically, AFRL and MACOM will work together to transfer AFRL’s production ready 0.14 micron GaN-on-SiC semiconductor process to MACOM’s Massachusetts-based U.S. Trusted Foundry. Semiconductor experts from both parties will collaborate to support a rapid process transfer to MACOM.

MACOM said the AFRL GaN-on-SiC process is suitable for monolithic microwave integrated circuit (“MMIC”) products and is capable of achieving industry leading frequency and power density performance. Once the process is transferred, MACOM anticipates that it will expand its standard and custom MMIC product offerings.

“This semiconductor process will enable us to enter the microwave and millimeter wave GaN MMIC market with high-performance products,” said Stephen G. Daly, MACOM’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our wafer fabrication facility is already well equipped to support GaN, including installed electron beam lithography capability, so we can bring the process online with minimal capital investment. We intend to service a wide range of commercial and U.S. defense opportunities, including satellite communication systems, as well as land-, air- and sea-based radar systems.”

“We look forward to MACOM supporting critical U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense requirements with an industrialized and best in class GaN semiconductor process,” said Dr. Robert Fitch of AFRL Sensors Directorate. “Expanding domestic advanced semiconductor manufacturing is a national priority.”

F5 completes acquisition of Volterra

 F5 Networks completed its previously announced acquisition of Volterra, which offers a universal edge-as-a-service platform. 

“I am incredibly excited to welcome Volterra to the F5 family and get to work bringing Edge 2.0—a key part of our Adaptive Applications vision—to customers,” said François Locoh-Donou, F5 President and CEO. “Joining forces, we will deliver the enterprise-grade features, including world-class security and scale, that have been missing from the edge until now.”

“Current edge approaches were not designed with enterprises in mind,” said Ankur Singla, founder of Volterra. “When Harshad and I started Volterra, we knew the edge would need to be delivered with the scale of public clouds, but with management and security integrated with the data centers where so many enterprise apps still live. Given F5’s leadership in Adaptive Applications and their vast enterprise customer base, I could not imagine a better partner to empower customers’ business transformation through modern apps.”

F5 to acquire Volterra for its open edge platform

 F5 Networks agreed to acquire Volterra, a start-up developing a universal edge-as-a-service platform, for approximately $440 million in cash and approximately $60 million in deferred consideration and assumed unvested incentive compensation to founders and employees. 

F5 said the addition of Volterra will give it an edge platform built for enterprises and service providers that will be security-first and app-driven with unlimited scale.

Volterra, which is based in Santa Clara, California, offers a distributed cloud service for deploying and managing applications at the edge. The cloud-native environment can be deployed across multiple public clouds and edge sites.


  • Volterra is headed by Ankur Singla, Founder & CEO, who previously was the founder and CEO of Contrail Systems, a pioneer in telco NFV and SDN technologies that was acquired by Juniper Networks in 2012. Prior to Contrail, Ankur was the CTO and VP Engineering at Aruba Networks, a global leader in wireless solutions. 

Volterra unveils distributed cloud platform for apps

Volterra​, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, emerged from stealth to unveil its distributed cloud platform for deploying and managing applications. The SaaS-based offering integrates a broad range of services that have normally been siloed across many point products and network or cloud providers.

Volterra has raised over $50 million in funding to date from Khosla Ventures, Mayfield and M12 (Microsoft’s venture fund), as well as a growing set of strategic investors/partners including Itochu Technology Ventures and Samsung NEXT. Volterra said it now has 100+ engineers and 30+ global customers.

The cloud-native environment can be deployed across multiple public clouds and edge sites. Key capabilities include:

  • Fleet-wide management of distributed applications and data across heterogeneous infrastructure
  • Globally distributed control plane with Kubernetes APIs for application orchestration and multi-layer security for workloads and data
  • Comprehensive compute, storage, networking and security for distributed edge locations
  • Secure, high-performance global connectivity across edge sites, private clouds and multi-cloud
Key elements of the offering are:
  • VoltStack deploys and manages distributed applications across multiple clouds or edge sites using industry standard Kubernetes APIs
  • VoltMesh delivers high performance networking and zero-trust security between multiple clouds and edge sites
  • Volterra Console​ is a management console for deploying and operating distributed applications at a global scale with centralized control and observability
http://www.volterra.io​

Sunday, January 24, 2021

NEC triples number of connections in distributed-MIMO

NEC demonstrated multiple highly stable simultaneous terminal connections and transmission capacity through distributed-MIMO in the 28 GHz millimeter-wave frequency band. 

The company says its demonstration, which was conducted in a real world office environment, achieved approximately 3 times the number of simultaneous connections and transmission

capacity compared to cases without distributed-MIMO in the 28 GHzfrequency band. Moreover, transmission deterioration from obstacles was also reduced.

Earlier this year, Japan began to commercially deploy 5G in the sub 6 frequency band and millimeter-wave frequency band, with the expectation of enhancing network performance to support 10 times more capacity than 4G, as well as higher throughput, lower latency, and multiple connections.

NEC has been a pioneer in digital beamforming technology and has commercialized Massive-MIMO in the sub 6 frequency band. Moreover, NEC has developed digital coordination technology among antenna elements distributed in the millimeter-wave frequency band and conducted verification activities to solve the problems of indoor mobile communications, such as shadowing and diffraction of propagation paths.

https://www.nec.com/en/press/202101/global_20210125_01.html

Cignal AI: Strong demand for 400ZR pluggables

Global compact modular revenue grew 24 percent in the third quarter of 2020 (3Q20) over the prior year, versus just 7 percent growth for the total optical market, according to the latest Transport Applications Report from market research firm Cignal AI. Cignal AI defines “compact modular” as small form factor optical hardware that is designed for use in open and disaggregated networks.

“Compact modular is gaining popularity with a wider set of network applications and operators due to the continued adoption of disaggregation outside cloud and colocation,” said Scott Wilkinson, lead analyst at Cignal AI. “The market saw extraordinary growth in Asia Pacific over the last two quarters, with sales in the region now approaching those of EMEA.”




Meanwhile, the 400ZR market is getting underway, with several hundred modules shipped for testing and evaluation in 3Q20. “The demand pipeline for 400ZR remains strong and operators are pleased with the prototypes under evaluation,” said Andrew Schmitt, directing analyst at Cignal AI. “Acacia had a huge quarter thanks to a large buildout at Amazon AWS.”

More Key Findings from the 3Q20 Applications Report

  • Although Ciena reported a flat quarter overall for optical sales, its compact modular sales were up 18 percent year over year, and the company maintained its market leadership by a wide margin
  • Compact modular sales in APAC grew by more than 75 percent in the quarter; Huawei (mostly in China), Fujitsu (in Japan) and Nokia all more than doubled their sales in the region
  • Year-over-year sales of packet-OTN equipment grew only in APAC this quarter, and sales in North America declined by more than 25 percent
  • Overall compact modular sales growth is forecast to decelerate to low single digits in 4Q20 as capex budgets evaporate, especially in North America
  • Pluggable coherent optics are projected to account for 40 percent of the high-performance optical market by 2024
  • Shipments of fixed 400 Gbps+ coherent ports jumped 65 percent sequentially, to over 35,000 ports in the quarter
https://cignal.ai/2021/01/compact-modular-grows-faster-than-overall-optical-market-in-3q20/

Oman Australia Cable ready for installation

 The Oman Australia Cable (OAC), which will span 9,800 km between Muscat and Perth, hit another significant milestone in its construction with SUB.Co confirming that the fiber has now been fully manufactured. Load #1 of 2 is now being loaded onto a freighter to transfer to the main-lay ship for installation beginning in March 2021.

Final splice for the OAC is on target for December 2021. Once completed, OAC will be the only submarine cable directly connecting continental Australia and EMEA, providing the first secure, diverse, express and lowest latency route between the two continents.

OAC is designed with 4 fiber pairs and a total system capacity of 54 Tbps.

Bevan Slattery, founder of SUB.CO said, “2020 has been an extraordinarily challenging year to commit to building a cable of this scale, but I am delighted that we have achieved 100% of cable production and completed the first load system assembly testing within the original product schedule. This could not have been done without the assistance of our fantastic partners: SubCom.”

David Coughlan, CEO of SubCom  noted, "We knew that this was going to be a task when we committed to the program back in February 2020, but we also knew we would be up for the challenge. Despite everything that has been thrown at us, our team has done an exceptional job to keep this project going, on time, on budget and most importantly, safely.”

www.subcom.com

ZTE's 2020 revenue rose 12% YoY

ZTE reported FY 2020 revenue of RMB 101,379,340 (US$15.6 billion), up 11.73% from RMB 90,736,582 for 2019. Total profit was RMB 5,133,797, down 28.32% from RMB 7,161,670 in 2019.

ZTE said its year-on-year growth was achieved in operating revenue from both domestic and international markets and from its three principal business segments (carriers’ networks, consumer business and government and corporate business). 

In its domestic market, ZTE reported growth in both market pattern and market share as it seized opportunities arising from the development of 5G and new infrastructure; in the international market, the company reported ongoing improvements in profitability "on the back of persistent sound operations and meticulous effort to explore high-value market segments."



Friday, January 22, 2021

Google cancels Project Loon

Google is saying goodbye to Project Loon, its long-running effort to bring broadband connectivity to rural areas via free-floating balloons. The moonshot project launched in 2013 with a mission to deliver Internet access to "all the world's people" including remote locations on every continent." 

In a blog posting, Alastair Westgarth, CEO of Loon, said the company simply did not find a way "to get the costs low enough to build a long-term, sustainable business."

Among the Loon team's achievements was discovering a way to fly a lighter-than-air vehicle for hundreds of days in the stratosphere. The team built systems to launch its balloons and developed a communications system capable of delivering mobile internet coverage over an 11,000 square kilometer area — 200x that of an average cell tower.


HAPSMobile completes first stratospheric flight with Loon payload

 HAPSMobile, a start-up backed by SoftBank with minority investment by AeroVironment, reached an altitude of 62,500 feet (approximately 19 kilometers) during the fifth test flight for “Sunglider,” a solar-powered unmanned aircraft system (“UAS”) designed for stratospheric telecommunications platform systems. The test flight, which took place on September 21, 2020 (MT) at Spaceport America in New Mexico, lasted a total 20 hours and 16 minutes,...

Loon enters commercial service in Kenya

Alphabet's Loon division began providing broadband service via balloon to subscribers of Telkom Kenya. The service footprint spans nearly 50,000 square kilometers across western and central parts of Kenya, including the areas of Iten, Eldoret, Baringo, Nakuru, Kakamega, Kisumu, Kisii, Bomet, Kericho, and Narok. Loon is using a fleet of around 35 or more separate balloons circulating in the stratosphere. The company is aiming to add balloons over...

Google's Loon balloons working with AT&T

Google's Loon balloon initiative, which has undergone limited field deployments in Puerto Rico and Peru, is working with AT&T and its global partners to extend its reach to new markets. Specifically, Loon is looking to leverage the AT&T network to expands the number of operators around the world that Loon can work with without having to complete time-intensive network integration for each one. The collaboration is expected to save valuable...

Google Loon to fly over the Peruvian Amazon

Peru is likely to be the first country in Latin America in which the "Loon" Internet-via-balloon service will operate Specifically, Loon and Internet para Todos Perú (IpT) have reached an agreement to use high-altitude balloons to expand mobile internet access to parts of the Peruvian Amazonia. The companies aim to provide service to Telefónica customers in Peru in 2020. Loon, which is a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, uses...

SoftBank looks to solar-powered aircraft, partnership with Google Loon

SoftBank is launching a High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) business through HAPSMobile, a joint venture between SoftBank and US-based company AeroVironment. HAPSMobile has developed an unmanned aircraft called “HAWK30 that will serve as a telecommunications platform at altitudes of approximately 20 kilometers. The aircraft will function like telecommunication base stations to deliver connectivity across wide areas. The “HAWK30” unmanned aircraft...


Citrix to acquire Wrike for $2.25 billion - SaaS work management software

Citrix Systems agreed to acquire Wrike, a start-up offering SaaS-based collaborative work management tools, for $2.25 billion in cash. 

Wrike, which is based in San Jose, California, helps teams and distributed workers to plan, manage and efficiently complete work tasks at scale. The company claims 18,000 customers globally. Wrike is expected to have approximately 30 percent stand-alone growth to between $180 million and $190 million in unaudited SaaS annualized recurring revenue (ARR1) in 2021. Wrike has over 1,000 employees.

Citrix said the combined company will offer customers an enhanced value proposition through complementary solutions, unlocking new revenue opportunities both within existing installed customer bases and new lines of business buying centers, including marketing, professional services, and HR. Together, Citrix and Wrike will serve over 400,000 customers across 140 countries. In addition, upon closing, Wrike will gain access to Citrix’s robust ecosystem of partners, creating new opportunities within the ecosystem to drive additional value for customers.

“Work today is happening everywhere – at home, in the office and on the road. We believe that in the future, success will go to those companies that can support flexible and hybrid work models and provide a consistent, secure and efficient experience that removes the complexity and noise from work so employees can focus and perform at their best, wherever they happen to be,” said David Henshall, President and CEO, Citrix. “Together, Citrix and Wrike will deliver the solutions needed to power a cloud-delivered digital workspace experience that enables teams to securely access the resources and tools they need to collaborate and get work done in the most efficient and effective way possible across any channel, device or location.”

“When it comes to the future of work, Citrix and Wrike share a common vision and mission: to reduce the complexity and chaos of work and empower every person, team, and organization to achieve their very best. Together, we will unlock the workspace of the future, truly transforming the work experience and equipping people with an innovative set of solutions they can use to exceed goals and keep business moving forward,” said Andrew Filev, Founder and CEO, Wrike.

Citrix expects to fund the transaction with a combination of new debt and existing cash and investments.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Deutsche Telekom activates its Access 4.0 FTTH/B platform

Deutsche Telekom confirmed the commercial activation of its new Access 4.0 platform, a network service activation and management system based on open, disaggregated, and microservices technologies.

The first customer started using an FTTH line in Stuttgart via the new 4.0 platform just before Christmas. 

"Deutsche Telekom is reaching an important milestone in its transformation into a software-based telecommunications provider," explains Walter Goldenits, CTO Telekom Deutschland, adding, "We are thus consistently shaping the path taken by the industry toward solutions based on open and disaggregated components in the fixed network area as well."

Deutsche Telekom said its Access 4.0 is primarily tailored to Internet access for FTTH/B, but that the A4 platform should in future be able to support other applications at the network edge, especially in the 5G and Open RAN environment. The next step will see the project team focus on honing the platform for rollout in other regions.

Deutsche Telekom said its A4 team holds key roles in international collaborative projects such as the Broadband Forum (BBF), the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), the Open Compute Project (OC), and the Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP). A strong team at Deutsche Telekom together with their partners, RtBrick, Reply, Broadcom, Adtran, Siticom, BISDN, Radisys, OneIT, Fibre Industries, and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), are driving the philosophy of disaggregation and softwarization. The combination of open interfaces and innovative microservices creates more flexibility allowing Deutsche Telekom to roll out services faster on their customers’ premises.

https://www.telekom.com/en/media/media-information/archive/deutsche-telekom-s-access-4-0-platform-goes-live-615974

Deutsche Telekom selects ADTRAN's OLT for Access 4.0 network

Deutsche Telekom has selected ADTRAN’s SDX OLT solutions for deployment as part of its new Access 4.0 network, as well as to be deployed in its existing architectures along with ADTRAN’s SDN-enabled management system, Mosaic Cloud Platform.

As part of this partnership, Deutsche Telekom and ADTRAN have aligned joint developments for the Access 4.0 project, based on principles defined by the Open Networking Foundation’s SDN-Enabled Broadband Access (SEBA) reference architecture.

DT's Access 4.0 network is integrating SDN, disaggregated hardware components and network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies in an open ecosystem to gain flexibility while lowering overall deployment costs. In the first phase, Access 4.0 will focus on DT’s fiber access network that can scale to support a mix of residential, enterprise and backhaul services.


ADTRAN’s SDX OLT solutions integrate into Access 4.0’s SEBA-based architecture to provide carrier-grade GPON and XGS-PON service delivery in an open ecosystem.

ONF publishes SEBA, Trellis and ODTN reference designs

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) released its first three Reference Designs (RD’s): SEBA, Trellis and ODTN. Each of these reference designs are backed by network operators and supported by supply chain partners. The reference designs are paired with an open source Exemplar Platform (EP).  Both the RD and EP proceed in parallel, and RDs are not released unless a paired EP is available to prove out the architecture and accelerate adoption.  Virtualized...

Deutsche Telekom's Access 4.0 rethinks broadband access

Deutsche Telekom's Access 4.0 program rethinks broadband access in the context of the ONF's SEBA project, edge clouds, and FTTH/B. Presented by Robert Soukup, Program Manager. The project aims to lower OPEX by reaping the benefits of automation, breaking vendor lock-in, and accelerating time to market. 2019 will be decisive for Access 4.0, as the company plans limited field trials. https://youtu.be/9HpWuPg_...


Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica / o2 to share infrastucture

 Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica / o2 agreed to share certain active network infrastructure to overcome "gray spots" in 4G coverage in Germany. The companies expect this sharing to cover  several hundred antenna sites in Germany before the end of the year.

Unlike previous joint projects, such as site sharing, no second separate wireless technology or additional antennas must be installed with this approach.

“Joint projects like this are becoming increasingly important to network build-out – in both broadband and mobile communication. Together with Telefónica / o2 we can make an important contribution to providing better, uninterrupted LTE coverage in Germany,” said Srini Gopalan, Managing Director of Telekom Deutschland. “We're teaming up with our competition to ensure that even more people in Germany can use a better network. This agreement further attests to our conviction that digitalizing Germany works best through cooperation.”

German carriers collaborate on 6,000 new cell sites

Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica Deutschland, and Vodafone are joining forces to set-up and operate up to 6,000 new cell sites. 1&1 Drillisch AG has been invited to participate in this network expansion collaboration.

Following a total investment of around 6.5 billion euros for the auction of the new spectrum licenses in summer 2019, the agreed cooperation serves to largely close white spots in sparsely populated regions and along traffic routes in an economically viable way. 

"The planned collaboration is a milestone for network expansion in Germany”, states Telekom Deutschland’s Managing Director Dirk Wössner and adds,  “Our common goal is to eliminate coverage gaps in the mobile network as soon as possible. Sharing infrastructure is nothing new for us. Sharing it at this scale, however, is a major step in the right direction. After all, high-speed internet and excellent voice quality on road, rail and water are vital for an industrial country like Germany that relies on mobile communications”.

“Mobile communications will be the most important technology in the coming decade. And we are pooling our resources to put Germany in an ideal position”, says Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Deutschland, and elaborates, “This collaboration is an outstanding example of intelligent cooperation towards taking the next logical step. We must join forces if we are to consolidate Germany’s position as a leading business location that is ready to take on future challenges. Together, we will take digital transformation in Germany to the next level”.

“Today, we are forging an alliance to combat dead spots and increase mobile communications coverage even in areas where it is not profitable”, explains Vodafone Deutschland CEO Hannes Ametsreiter, adding, “In future, hundreds of thousands will benefit from this – people in small rural communities, people on roads, people traveling by train. Together, we operators will construct and share a common infrastructure in dead spots – and of course continue to be rivals in a competitive infrastructure market in the rest of the country. This is good for the network, good for customers and good for Germany’s digital future”.

Deutsche Telekom and Cellnex to combine Dutch tower portfolios

 Deutsche Telekom and Cellnex Telecom will merge their respective Dutch mobile communications infrastructure companies into Cellnex Netherlands BV (Cellnex NL). Both companies will also become anchor investors in the newly established and independently managed Digital Infrastructure Vehicle (DIV), an investment fund focused on European digital infrastructure.

  • Deutsche Telekom operates its Dutch telecommunications tower business in T-Mobile Infra BV, with ca. 3,150 towers and rooftop sites. 
  • The business of Cellnex NL, a subsidiary of Cellnex, comprises 984 cell sites. 

The enlarged company, with ca. 4,310 sites including planned new build of 180 sites, will be the largest independent cell mobile tower company in the Netherlands.

T-Mobile Netherlands will continue to have full access to the contributed infrastructure through a long-term service agreement at arm’s length.

In a first step Deutsche Telekom is transferring T-Mobile Infra to the newly established and independently managed fund Digital Infrastructure Vehicle (DIV). 

Deutsche Telekom will receive a EUR 250 million cash payment out of the transaction and a shareholding in DIV in exchange for the T-Mobile Infra business. This translates into a capital commitment of Deutsche Telekom of ca. EUR 400 million to the fund. Cellnex has also agreed, as part of the transaction, to commit EUR 200 million of capital to DIV.

In a second step, DIV will contribute the received T-Mobile Infra business to Cellnex NL. In return, DIV receives approximately 38 percent economic interest in Cellnex NL.

In addition to the anchor investors Deutsche Telekom and Cellnex, DIV will be open to institutional investors. Deutsche Telekom intends to hold a limited partner stake of around 25 percent in the fund after the envisaged third-party investments.

"DIV is a newly established and independently managed fund that will identify and promote exceptional digital infrastructure projects in partnership with Europe's leading telecommunications group and the leading tower company”, said Vicente Vento. “We have an exciting pipeline of projects. Our focus will be on investments that offer attractive risk adjusted returns to investors by bringing together a lean and disciplined investment approach with the strengths of our corporate partners.”