Thursday, October 7, 2021

NEC to build 24-fiber-pair transatlantic cable for Facebook

NEC has been contracted by Facebook to build an ultra-high performance transatlantic subsea fiber-optic cable connecting the USA and Europe. The project will use NEC’s newly developed 24 fiber pair cable and repeater, enabling the system to deliver a maximum transmission capacity of a half Petabit per second, the highest to date for a long-distance repeatered optical subsea cable system.


Facebook confirmed its first-ever transatlantic, 24-fiber-pair subsea cable system will connect Europe to the United States, buiding on its recent news about 2Africa Pearls, the subsea cable connecting Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Facebook also announced a second generation of its Bombyx robot, which climbs and then install fiber over medium-voltage power lines. The updated design is lighter, faster, and more agile. 

In addition, Facebook's Terragraph radios are now being used to deliver high-speed internet to more than 6,500 homes in Anchorage, Alaska, and deployment has started in Perth, Australia. Facebook licenses Terragraph for free to OEMs who have collectively shipped more than 30,000 Terragraph units to more than 100 service providers and system integrators around the world. 


NEC targets subsea cables to 24 fiber pairs and beyond

NEC and its subsidiary OCC Corporation completed full qualification of subsea repeaters and optical cable containing up to 20 fiber pairs (40 fibers). This represents a 25% improvement in fiber count over 16 fiber pair systems previously built by NEC.

NEC said it achieved this milestone with only minor modifications to its proven repeater and cable designs. This was done by optimizing key repeater components, and by proving that its existing cable design could easily accommodate more fibers. The 20 fiber pair repeaters continue to use quadruple pump sharing technology, first introduced by NEC in 2010, for high optical and electrical efficiency.


OCC’s 20 fiber pair cable can be manufactured using a wide range of existing optical fibers, according to the needs of each new cable system. Furthermore, OCC has demonstrated to its customers that they can visually identify individual fibers using a combination of ring marking and conventional fiber coloring. This allows the potential number of fibers in a cable to be greatly expanded. Significantly, in OCC cable, the fiber’s transmission performance is completely unaffected, either by the fiber coloring or cabling processes.

“As global capacity demand continues to soar, NEC is committed to helping our customers scale up their networks in a cost-effective way,” said Takaaki Ogata, Executive Technical Manager of NEC’s Submarine Network Division. “Further significant increases in the fiber pair count of NEC’s wet plant are coming soon,” he added.

Mass production of the newly-qualified subsea repeaters and optical cable has already started.

2Africa will be longest subsea cable system in the world

The 2Africa cable system will add an extension to the Arabian Gulf, India, and Pakistan, bringing its total length to over 45,000 kilometers, making it the longest subsea cable system ever deployed.  

The 2Africa consortium includes China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC.

Now connecting three continents, Africa, Europe and Asia terrestrially through Egypt, 2Africa creates unique connectivity by adding vital landing locations in Oman (Barka), UAE (Abu Dhabi and Kalba), Qatar (Doha), Bahrain (Manama), Kuwait (Kuwait), Iraq (Al-Faw), Pakistan (Karachi), India (Mumbai), and a fourth landing in Saudi Arabia (Al Khobar). The new 2Africa branch joins recently announced extensions to the Canary Islands, the Seychelles, Comoros Islands, Angola, and a new landing to south-east Nigeria.

As with other 2Africa cable landings, capacity will be available in PEARLS landings at carrier-neutral facilities or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis, encouraging and supporting the development of a healthy internet ecosystem. 

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) will deploy the new system utilizing new technologies such as SDM that allow the deployment of up to 16 fiber pairs.



2Africa subsea cable boasts design capacity up to 180 Tbps

2Africa, a new subsea cable to serve the African continent and Middle East region, promises to deliver more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbps on key parts of the system.

Consortium partners include China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC.

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has been selected to build the fully-funded cable. The project will leverage SDM1 (space division multiplexing) technology from ASN, allowing deployment of up to 16 fiber pairs instead of the eight fiber pairs supported by older technologies. The cable will incorporate optical switching technology to enable flexible management of bandwidth. Cable burial depth has also been increased by 50% compared to older systems, and cable routing will avoid locations of known subsea disturbance, all helping to ensure the highest levels of availability.

The 2Africa subsea cable will span 37,000km long, interconnect Europe (eastward via Egypt), the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia), and 21 landings in 16 countries in Africa. The system is expected to go live in 2023/4. Each of the cable landing sites will offer carrier-neutral data centers or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis.

In addition, the 2Africa parties and Airtel have signed an agreement with Telecom Egypt to provide a completely new crossing linking the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, the first in over a decade. This includes new cable landing stations and deployment of next-generation fiber on two new, diverse terrestrial routes parallel to the Suez Canal from Ras Ghareb to Port Said, and a new subsea link that will provide a third path between Ras Ghareb and Suez. 

BT and Toshiba to build quantum-secured metro network across London

BT and Toshiba are to build a quantum-secured metro network linking sites in London’s Docklands, the City and the M4 Corridor.  The two companies’ initial focus will be to provide trials for enterprise customers who are carrying sensitive traffic (such as database backups) between sites, and to explore potential future offerings such as encrypted links and “quantum keys-as-a-service."  A timeline has not been disclosed.

BT will provide data services secured using Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) over Openreach’s Optical Spectrum Access Filter Connect (OSA FC) solution for private fibre networks. The QKD links will be provided using a quantum network that includes both core and access components, and will be integrated into BT’s existing network management operations. 

Toshiba will provide quantum key distribution hardware and key management software. The company launched commercial products for QKD, manufactured at its Cambridge site, in the latter half of 2020. Toshiba says it has achieved the highest key rates (1,000’s of keys per second) and longest range of any commercially available fibre QKD system.

While BT and Toshiba have previously installed a point-to-point quantum-secure link between two commercial sites, deploying a full quantum-secured metro network environment with multiple endpoints requires new approaches to integration and management. 

Building on the BT and Toshiba point-to-point solution for the Bristol-based NCC (National Composites Centre) and Centre for Modelling and Simulation (CFMS), this new network will extend the solution to serve multiple customers across the London metropolitan area.  

Howard Watson, CTO of BT, said: “BT and Toshiba have established a global lead in the development of quantum-secure networks. We’re excited to be taking this collaboration to the next level by building the world’s first commercially operational quantum-secured metro network in London. Secure, robust and trusted data transfer is increasingly crucial to our customers across the globe, so we’re proud of the role our Quantum R&D programme is playing in making the world’s networks safer as we enter the dawn of a new age of quantum computing.”

Taro Shimada, Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at Toshiba Corporation, said: “Our partnership with BT will allow us to offer organisations quantum-secured network services which protect their data from retrospective attacks with a quantum computer. We are delighted to work with BT, with its long heritage of delivering secure, trusted networks. This network paves the way for commercial QKD services in the UK and eventually beyond.”


ADVA FSP 3000 powers UK’s first quantum network

ADVA's FSP 3000 platform is powering a metro transport system in the city of Cambridge that is being used for the UK's first quantum network. The project, which is conducted by the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, super-encrypts data using quantum key distribution (QKD) for complete and long-term cryptographic data security. ADVA said the openness of its ADVA FSP 3000 platform, which can accept keys from third-party systems utilizing...

Toshiba Research, BT and ADVA Test ‘Quantum Leap’ Encryption

Toshiba Research Europe, BT, ADVA Optical Networking and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK’s National Measurement Institute, have tested Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology over a live fibre network. BT said the idea behind the trial is to leverage the principles of quantum mechanics in transmitting encryption key information. Any attempt to intercept the key can be identified, as it introduces anomalies which can be detected....


Nokia supplies DCI for the ESpanix Internet Exchange in Madrid

ESpanix, the largest neutral internet exchange provider in Spain, has deployed a modular optical data center interconnect (DCI) solution from Nokiato connect three data centers in the Madrid metro area.

The DCI uses dual optical links between data centers for redundancy and offers an initial capacity of 4 Tbps between data centers. The solution is based on the Nokia 1830 Photonic Service Interconnect – Modular (PSI-M), a compact, modular DCI-optimized platform with pay-as-you grow scalability. The 1830 PSI-M uses Nokia’s programmable PSE-3 coherent DSP modules to maximize capacity and performance for increasing video and cloud traffic demands. 

ESpanix has deployed the Nokia 1830 PSI-M units to support multiple client-side interfaces at speeds up to 400G to meet growing traffic needs, with each unit supporting dual line-side interfaces and multiple 400G wavelengths to provide high-capacity connectivity between the data centers that host its internet peering platforms. 

Cristobal Lopez CaƱas, Managing Director of the Association of ESpanix Carrier Networks Providers, said: “Our strategy is to anticipate internet traffic growth and maximize the performance of our network to meet our members’ expectations for reliable and affordable internet exchange services – today and into the future.”

Manuel Ortiz Fernandez, Senior Vice President of EMEA Webscale business at Nokia, said: “During the pandemic, ESpanix experienced a significant increase in traffic, which tripled in a few months to over 1.2 Tbps. With demand for gaming, teleworking, cloud services and online entertainment set to continue, Nokia is pleased to have helped ESpanix rapidly increase its network capacity 10 times to meet the current needs of its customers."

http://www.nokia.com

Equinix builds 5G edge-to-cloud sandbox with Nokia

Equinix has established a 5G and Edge Technology Development Center at its Infomart facility in Dallas to provide a production-ready interconnection sandbox environment from the radio network to the cloud. The facility includes a fully operational, non-standalone 5G network from Nokia to test and validate various 5G services and use cases. Equinix says its new 5G and Edge Technology Development Center will bring together mobile network operators...


Nokia's first deployment of Digital Operations software on AWS globally

Lightstorm, India’s first carrier-neutral network infrastructure platform, will deploy Nokia's Digital Operations software to automate service fulfilment and service assurance processes, enabling the company to create new revenue streams by offering Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) solutions to their enterprise customers.

The deployment represents the first publically-announced implementation of Nokia's Digital Operations software on Amazon Web Services (AWS) globally. Specifically, Nokia’s Digital Operations software is being deployed on AWS by Cloud Kinetics, a Singapore-based AWS Premier Consulting Partner and AWS Managed Service provider for AWS globally. 

Amajit Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, at Lightstorm, said: "Lightstorm is building a resilient and future-ready telecom network designed to support the ever-growing demand for data and low-latency applications in India. We are confident that Nokia's Digital Operations software on AWS will help us realize our vision of building a software-defined programmable and automated network. We look forward to working with Nokia in our journey to provide a world-class digital experience through our platform."

Vinish Bawa, Head of Emerging Markets, India at Nokia, said: “This deployment builds on Nokia’s relationship with AWS, which supports the development and deployment of telecom-specific cloud-native solutions for communication service providers. With Nokia’s Digital Operations software and the reliability and scalability of AWS, Lightstorm is positioning itself as a next-generation service provider capable of delivering NaaS services rapidly and efficiently.”

https://www.nokia.com/about-us/news/releases/2021/10/07/lightstorm-opts-for-nokias-digital-operations-software-for-faster-service-rollout/

 

FCC ready to fund $164 million to RDOF winners


The FCC is ready to authorize $163,895,636 to 42 providers in the second round of funding for new broadband deployments through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.  In this funding wave, 42 broadband providers will bring fiber-to-the-home gigabit broadband to approximately 65,000 locations in 21 states over the next 10 years. 

The FCC also announced that 85 winning bidders have chosen not to pursue buildout in 5,089 census blocks in response to letters the FCC sent asking applicants to review their bids in areas where there was evidence of existing service or questions of potential waste. 

“More help is on the way to households without broadband,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.  “This is an important program for getting more Americans connected to high-speed internet, and we are continuing careful oversight of this process to ensure that providers meet their obligations to deploy in areas that need it.”

In July, the Commission sent letters to 197 winning bidders offering providers an opportunity to withdraw their funding requests from places where there was evidence of service or where questions of waste have been raised.  In response to these letters, numerous winning bidders have conducted new due diligence on the areas in question, and many have decided not to pursue support in the identified areas.


Pluribus nets $20 million to advance its distributed cloud networking

Pluribus Networks announced $20 million in new funding for its solutions for distributed cloud networking and SDN automation.

Pluribus said it will use the financing to bolster R&D for multiple new product initiatives along with sales and marketing resources that will further accelerate the company’s penetration into the distributed cloud market, while supporting expansion into adjacent sectors.

“With such pronounced momentum of cloud infrastructure towards distributed data center architectures, Pluribus is uniquely positioned to address a number of multi-site data centers, edge computing and metro use cases by providing networks that are highly distributed and perform at scale. The recent thorough due diligence and investment from Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, along with the strong support of our existing investors, is an affirmation of our technology, vision and market position,” said Kumar Srikantan, Pluribus Networks, president and chief executive officer.

The new funding round was led by investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital. This adds to Pluribus’ existing portfolio of top-tier investors, including Ericsson, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Temasek, Menlo Ventures, Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, Data Collective Venture Capital and Mohr Davidow. Prior to this financing round, Pluribus had previously raised $125 million in funding

https://www.pluribusnetworks.com/

Lightwave Logic announces $33M for electro-optic polymers

Lightwave Logic announced that Lincoln Park Capital Fund purchased $3 million of common stock at closing, which was sold at $9.16/share. Under the purchase agreement, Lightwave Logic will have the right, but not the obligation, to sell up to an additional $30.0 million of its common stock to Lincoln Park over a 36-month period.  Lightwave Logic will control the timing and amount of any sales to Lincoln Park with no upper limits to the price Lincoln Park may pay to purchase such common stock. The purchase agreement may be terminated by Lightwave Logic at any time, in its sole discretion, without any additional cost or penalty.

Jim Marcelli, President and Chief Operating Officer of Lightwave Logic, commented, "While we are comfortable with our current cash position of approximately $15 million and burn rate, this financing provides additional flexibility for us as we move forward toward commercialization of our products.

Lightwave Logic is developing a platform leveraging its proprietary engineered electro-optic (EO) polymers to transmit data at higher speeds with less power. 

http://www.lightwavelogic.com

Lightwave Logic and Polariton announce record polymer modulator

Lightwave Logic has achieved world-record performance for a polymer modulator, as demonstrated in an optical transmission experiment by ETH Zurich, using its proprietary, advanced "Perkinamine" chromophores and Polariton Technologies' newest plasmonic EO modulator, a silicon-photonics-based plasmonic racetrack modulator offering energy-efficient, low-loss, and high-speed modulation in a compact footprint.

Polariton's plasmonic modulator transmitted 220 Gbps OOK and 408 Gbps 8PAM. Transmission of an optical signal was conducted over 100 m using a low-voltage electrical drive of 0.6Vp, an on-chip loss of 1 dB, and an optical 3 dB bandwidth of beyond 110 GHz. 

The groundbreaking results were presented as a post-deadline paper at the prestigious European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC).

"Our mission at Lightwave Logic is to continually push the frontiers of high-speed performance for electro-optic polymers, shaping the 'impossible' into reality and a new normal for the industry," said Dr. Michael Lebby, Chief Executive Officer of Lightwave Logic. "Through our collaboration with Polariton, we have achieved a new world-record for a racetrack plasmonic modulator device structure. The acceptance of a post-deadline peer reviewed paper at ECOC 2021 provides third party validation of this incredible result.