Wednesday, February 24, 2021

C-band auction: Verizon $45B; AT&T $23B; T-Mobile $9B

Verizon was the top bidder with a commitment of over $45 billion in the FCC's recent C-band auction.

Auction 107 net winning bids totaled $81,114,481,921 and gross winning bids totaled $81,168,677,645.  Twenty-one bidders won all of the available 5,684 licenses.

“It is essential to America’s economic recovery that we deliver on the promise of next-generation wireless services for everyone, everywhere,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.  “This auction reflects a shift in our nation’s approach to 5G toward mid-band spectrum that can support fast, reliable, and ubiquitous service that is competitive with our global peers.  Now we have to work fast to put this spectrum to use in service of the American people.  Special thanks go to our great FCC auctions team, and their colleagues in the Wireless Telecommunications and International Bureaus, among others, for this success.”

The five bidders with the largest total gross winning bid amounts from both the clock and assignments phases were as follows:


Full results are here:

Juniper integrates Mist AI with SD-WAN and Secure Branch Gateway

Less than 2 months after completing its acquisition of 128 Technology, Juniper announced several new products integrate 128 Technology and further its vision of end-to-end AI-driven automation, insights and actions from client-to-cloud. The releases combine Mist AI with 128 Technology’s Session Smart SD-WAN technology to deliver integrated AIOps, security and troubleshooting across the WLAN, LAN and WAN. 

  • The latest additions to Juniper’s AI-driven enterprise include:

    • WAN Assurance and Marvis™ Virtual Network Assistant (VNA) for Session Smart SD-WAN. Ingesting telemetry data from Session Smart Routers into the Mist AI engine enables customers to set, monitor and enforce service levels across the WAN, proactively detect anomalies and gain enhanced insight into WAN conditions to assure optimal user experiences.

    • Enhanced SRX operations driven by Mist AI. The SRX Series of secure branch gateways can now be onboarded and configured using Mist AI and the cloud. With zero touch provisioning (ZTP) and automated workflows, Juniper simplifies deployment of these devices.
    • New EX4400 secure access switch. The latest addition to the EX Series portfolio is optimized for the cloud with best-in-class security and AIOps.

    “Juniper is consistently recognized for our experience-first approach to networking, where AI-driven automation, insight and actions simplify operator experiences and optimize end-user experiences from client-to-cloud,” said Jeff Aaron, VP Enterprise Product Marketing. “These latest product enhancements underscore our sustained commitment to executing on this vision, as well as our unique ability to rapidly deliver new solutions that drive real value to both customers and partners.”

    https://newsroom.juniper.net/news/news-details/2021/Juniper-Networks-Combines-Mist-AI-with-Session-Smart-SD-WAN-and-SRX-Secure-Branch-Gateway-for-Optimal-User-Experiences-from-Client-to-Cloud/default.asp

     Juniper to Acquire 128 Technology - focus on AI-driven WANs

    Juniper Networks agreed to acquire 128 Technology, a software-based networking company based in Burlington, Mass., for $450 million in cash and the assumption of outstanding equity awards. Juniper has also coordinated for 128 Technology to issue retention focused restricted stock units, which will be assumed by Juniper.

    128 Technology’s session-smart networking enables enterprise customers and service providers to create a user experience-centric fabric for WAN connectivity. Routing decisions are based on real-time user sessions and agile business policies instead of static network policies configured on a per tunnel basis. The company, which was founded in 2014 and launched in 2016,  is headed by Andy Orly, co-founder and CEO.

     Juniper said the deal will enhance its AI-driven enterprise network portfolio by uniting 128 Technology’s Session Smart networking with Juniper’s campus and branch solutions driven by Mist AI. 128 Technology will be integrated with Juniper’s AI-Driven Enterprise business unit, which includes wired and wireless access and SD-WAN, all driven by Mist AI. The combined portfolio will give customers a unified platform for optimized user experiences from client-to-cloud.

    “The acquisition of 128 Technology will enable Juniper to accelerate in a key area where we are seeing enormous success – the AI-driven enterprise,” said Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks. “Both companies share a common vision of putting user experiences above all else and leveraging automation with proactive actions to simplify IT operations. With 128 Technology, we are adding a highly differentiated technology into our award-winning arsenal of campus and branch solutions driven by Mist AI to deliver even more customer value while further accelerating Juniper’s continued growth in the enterprise.”

    “128 Technology has brought to market a groundbreaking session-based routing solution that gives rise to experience-based networking. This allows our customers to realign their network with the requirements of a digital future that includes cloud, mobility and virtualization,” said Andy Ory, Co-Founder and CEO of 128 Technology. “The combination of our Session Smart Router with Juniper’s AI-driven enterprise portfolio, expansive channel and world-class support will dramatically accelerate our vision to transform networking and make a big impact on a very large, yet still highly under-served, WAN-Edge market.”

    NTT opens data center campuses in Oregon and Illinois

    NTT Ltd. inaugurated two new 36 megawatt (MW) data centers in Chicago, IL, and Hillsboro, OR. 

    The 36MW Chicago data center sits on a 19-acre campus just 25 minutes from the O’Hare International Airport. When finished, the campus will feature two data centers providing 72MW of critical IT load. For national enterprises, hyperscale cloud, and IT services firms seeking to add centralized data center capacity to power recent, latency-sensitive workloads, Chicago is a prime location for their demanding requirements.

    The 36 MW Hillsboro data center is situated on a 47-acre campus at the heart of the Pacific Northwest technology hub and offers organizations the ability to meet sustainability goals with optional carbon-neutral IT and 100% renewable energy options. When the entire campus build is completed, it will deliver 126MW of capacity with more than one million square feet of data center space. Check out the full build plan here.

    The Hillsboro campus also earned a Level 3 certification from the Cleaner Air Oregon program, the highest level of certification for a data center in the area. The facility is built for superior reliability from N+1 electrical and mechanical redundancy. A variety of cables deliver low-latency connections between the U.S. and high-growth Asian markets, giving organizations the low latency they need to serve market expansion initiatives as well as the latest services that need next-level responsiveness.

    NTT plans to open two more data centers in North America this year: a completely new Silicon Valley campus and a planned expansion in Ashburn, VA.

    https://hello.global.ntt/ja-jp/newsroom/ntt-opens-two-new-data-centers-in-illinois-and-oregon


    Windstream carries 400G wavelength over 1,027 km with Acacia

    Windstream Wholesale successfully carried a 400 Gbps single-wavelength transmission over 1,027 kilometers across its long-haul network between Phoenix and Los Angeles. 

    The live network trial used Acacia Communications’ digital coherent optics technology. 


    “This record-setting accomplishment by Windstream Wholesale is a gamechanger for optical networks going forward,” said Buddy Bayer, chief network officer at Windstream. “Windstream is executing a well-crafted architectural strategy that embraces fundamental design principles of disaggregation, openness and flexibility. Windstream continues as an early adopter of coherent optical technologies to drive efficient growth and scale of our network and services for our customers. We expect to begin deploying ZR+ coherent pluggable modules in the second half of 2021, a technology that has applicability in as many as 80% of our existing links.”

    “Windstream has demonstrated that 400G pluggable coherent modules can support not only metro, but also regional and long-haul network applications,” said Benny Mikkelsen, founder and chief technology officer of Acacia Communications. “Built on highly scalable technology that offers benefits in cost, size and power, we are excited about the opportunities for these pluggables in service provider networks.”

    https://news.windstream.com/news/news-details/2021/Windstream-Wholesale-Sets-400G-ZR-Record-with-Acacia-Coherent-Pluggable-Module-Reaching-over-1000-km-in-Live-Network/default.aspx

    ADVA posts Q4 revenues of EUR 141 million, increased profits

    ADVA reported revenues in Q4 2020 of EUR 140.6 million, down by 4.2% from EUR 146.7 million in Q3 2020 and down by 7.0% compared to EUR 151.1 million in the same year-ago period. Pro forma gross profit in Q4 2020 increased by 5.2%, reaching EUR 54.6 million (38.9% of revenues) compared to EUR 51.9 million (35.4% of revenues) in Q3 2020. Compared to EUR 54.6 million reported in the year-ago quarter, pro forma gross profit remained stable in absolute terms. Net income reached EUR 13.2 million in Q4 2020, substantially up by 98.6% from EUR 6.7 million in Q3 2020 and significantly up by 425.3% from EUR 2.5 million in Q4 2019.

    The company said its decrease in revenues is primarily due to the devaluation of the US dollar compared to the euro. In addition, due to lockdown tightening again, some orders had to be postponed to the following quarter.

    “Today’s communication infrastructure is critical to solving some of the biggest challenges facing our global society. And we are a key part of this process. We are the only remaining optical networking and synchronization specialist in Europe. Growing safety concerns, specifically around the major Chinese equipment suppliers, create new opportunities and unique selling points for us that further strengthen our market position,” said Brian Protiva, CEO, ADVA. “Technologically, our solutions are perfectly aligned with the network transformation that’s taking place, including a focus on cloud, mobility, 5G, network automation and security. With our investments, we’ve created a foundation for transforming our business model towards higher margins. This transformation includes growing revenue contributions from software and services, expansion into new industries and further verticalization of our business.”

    Financial results and analyst presentation are available here:

    https://www.adva.com/en/about-us/investors/financial-results/conference-calls

    AWS begins offering computer vision service

    Amazon Web Services announced the general availability of Amazon Lookout for Vision, a new service that analyzes images using computer vision and machine learning capabilities to spot product or process defects and anomalies in manufactured products. Early customers include GE Healthcare, Amazon, and Basler.


    “Whether a customer is placing toppings on a frozen pizza or manufacturing finely-calibrated parts for an airplane, what we’ve heard unequivocally is that guaranteeing only high-quality products reach end-users is fundamental to their business. While this may seem obvious, ensuring such quality control in industrial pipelines can in fact be very challenging,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, Vice President of Amazon Machine Learning for AWS. “We’re excited to deliver Amazon Lookout for Vision to customers of all sizes and across all industries to help them quickly and cost effectively detect defects at scale to save time and money while maintaining the quality their consumers rely on – with no machine learning experience required.”

    Lookout for Vision is available directly via the AWS console as well through supporting partners to help customers embed computer vision into existing operating systems within their facilities. The service is also compatible with AWS CloudFormation. Lookout for Vision is available today in US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), EU (Frankfort), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), and Asia Pacific (Seoul), with availability in additional regions in the coming months.

    Vodafone advances plan to spin-off tower business

    Vodafone took another step toward spinning off its tower business as an independent business by completing its nomination of directors to a Supervisory Board.

    The Supervisory Board of Vantage Towers will comprise nine members, led by independent Chairman Dr. RĂ¼diger Grube. The Supervisory Board will bring deep expertise in the towers sector and across the telecommunications industry, strong operational and M&A experience, together with high standards of financial and technical expertise.

    In addition to Dr. RĂ¼diger Grube, who brings over 30 years’ experience including as a senior executive at Daimler, CEO of Deutsche Bahn and Chairman and non-executive director of Airbus, the nominated independent members of the Supervisory Board of Vantage Towers are:

    Katja van Doren, who currently serves as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer at RWE Generation SE. Prior to her current role, Ms. van Doren held a number of senior finance positions at RWE and Innogy. Ms. van Doren is also expected to take the role of the Chair of the Vantage Towers Remuneration and Nomination Committee following her election

    Charles C. Green III,a co-founder and previously the Executive Chairman of Helios Towers, a leading independent tower company in Africa, operating over 7,000 sites across 5 markets. Mr Green was previously CFO at communications infrastructure business, Crown Castle International, including at the time of its IPO. He is currently a non-executive director and advisor on the Board of edotco Group, a leading infrastructure company in South Asia with a regional portfolio of over 31,500 towers. 

    Terry Rhodes, a co-founder and previously the CEO of Eaton Towers, a high growth pan-African tower company which operated approximately 5,700 sites at the time of its acquisition by American Tower Corporation in early 2020. Eaton Towers was built through a combination of M&A transactions and greenfield investments. Earlier in his career, Mr Rhodes was a co-founder of Celtel, the African mobile telecommunications company, where he served as Deputy CEO. 

    https://www.vodafone.com/news/press-release/vantage-towers-announces-remaining-supervisory-board-nominations

    Dell'Oro: Microwave transmission equipment market dipped 6% in 2020

    The market for Microwave Transmission equipment declined 6 percent in 2020 but is positioned for growth in 2021, according to new report from Dell'Oro Group.

    “It was a difficult market environment for Microwave Transmission sales in 2020,” said Jimmy Yu, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “The pandemic, of course, was the main cause for the market decline, especially in regions of the world that placed strict rules on travel. But throughout the year, following a sharp decline in the first quarter, the market steadily strengthened, resulting in quarter-over-quarter revenue growth in each quarter following 1Q20,” added Yu.


    Some highlights:

    • Huawei continued to hold the highest market share in each quarter of the year, and ultimately gained share against some of its competitors by the year’s end. 
    • Huawei achieved its highest market share level in 2020, surpassing its record level set back in 2016. 
    • The vendors with the next highest shares were Ericsson and Nokia, both of which benefited from the strengthening European market.
    • Only two regions—North America and Europe—grew year-over-year in the fourth quarter and full-year 2020. 

    “We believe the North American market improvement was driven by growing demand in the Verticals market for public safety and Internet services, and that the European market grew due to an increasing demand for mobile backhaul,” stated Yu.

    https://www.delloro.com/news/microwave-transmission-equipment-market-declined-6-percent-in-2020/

    Inmarsat appoints Rajeev Suri as its new CEO

    Inmarsat appointed Rajeev Suri as CEO and a director of Connect Bidco Limited, the holding company for Inmarsat, replacing Rupert Pearce who will step down as CEO from 28 February 2021.

    Suri is the former President and CEO of Nokia, a position he held for six years. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks for five years, a joint venture company that merged Nokia’s and Siemens’ networks businesses. Since stepping down in August 2020, Rajeev has worked in senior advisory roles with private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Apollo Global Management.

    Andrew Sukawaty Inmarsat’s Chairman, said: “The Board is delighted to welcome Rajeev to Inmarsat and we look forward to working closely with him and with the existing Executive team. Rajeev’s experience will support Inmarsat’s future growth and we look forward to the business transitioning successfully to another capable leader.”

    Rajeev Suri said: “I am very excited to join Inmarsat, and to work closely with such skilled people, at such an important moment for the company and the satellite communications industry as a whole. I have been very impressed by the capabilities and ambitions of the company and its partner community and wish to pay tribute to their ethos, drive and ingenuity. Together, they have established technology leadership in satellite mobility, underpinned by a unique understanding of the customer.”