Showing posts with label COVID-19. Show all posts
Showing posts with label COVID-19. Show all posts

Monday, April 13, 2020

EXFO posts quarterly sales of US$55.3 million, citing drop from COVID-19

EXFO reported total sales of US$55.3 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2020 compared to US$50.4 million for the same period a year earlier. The company attributed the drop mainly to the negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak that forced EXFO to temporarily shut down its manufacturing operations in China.

Test and Measurement (T&M) sales accounted for 68% of revenue in the second quarter of 2020, while Service Assurance, Systems and Services (SASS) sales represented 32%. Revenue distribution among the three main selling regions amounted to 48% in the Americas, 31% in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and 21% in Asia-Pacific.

EXFO’s top customer accounted for 8.2% of sales, while the top three totaled 19.5%.

Profitability. IFRS net loss amounted to US$9.0 million, or -US$0.16 per share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2020, while adjusted EBITDA totaled -US$4.9 million, or -8.9% of sales. The company generated US$7.1 million in cash flows from operations.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, EXFO has suspended issuing quarterly and annual guidance.

“Despite the temporary shutdown of our manufacturing operations in China, which negatively impacted our revenues, EXFO delivered solid bookings in the second quarter of 2020 with double-digit growth for our Test and Measurement business,” said EXFO’s CEO Philippe Morin. “Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the safety of our employees, communities and customers remains at the center of all our actions. All EXFO sites are fully operational and committed to helping global network operators and webscale companies thrive during this challenging period. More than ever, the telecom industry is mission-critical in which network capacity, reliability, and scalability will play a growing role in creating real opportunities for EXFO’s innovative solutions.”

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Fastly measures traffic spikes vs download performance

Fastly published traffic analysis that delves into regional trends for key U.S. states, as well as the countries of France, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the UK, that are some of the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (as of the end of March 2020). The overall conclusion is that the Internet is holding up to the surging traffic volumes resulting from home quarantines.

“Overall, the internet is in good health,” said Fastly’s Chief Architect and Founder, Artur Bergman. “This is partly due to the regionality of these trends, but modern websites and applications are also better able to adapt to changing internet conditions. We are seeing the internet bring people together, whether for work, entertainment, or to get in touch with family and friends. And while there’s more traffic than in previous months, the internet is resilient.”

For analysis of regional traffic, Fastly used the following metrics, which were gathered from sampled TCP connection stats (tcp_info) at connection close time as part of Fastly’s fleet-wide performance monitoring infrastructure:

Traffic represents the average number of data bytes per day that were delivered to various geographies from all of our servers (acked_bytes field in tcp_info).
Download speed represents the delivery rate reported by TCP over all connections from a region, averaged over a day (delivery_rate field in tcp_info). While the reported values are averages, various percentiles for download speeds all show similar trends and ratios to the average.
For global analysis of verticals, Fastly measured average requests per second (RPS) recorded at all our servers. RPS is a count of requests received at our serves from end users every second.

Some highlights


  • One-month traffic trends: Over one month, from respective traffic baselines, all regions analyzed reported increases in traffic with decreases in download speed, with the exceptions of Japan and California.
  • Most notably, Italy saw a 109.3% increase in traffic, with a 35.4% decrease in download speed.
  • Japan observed a 31.5% increase in traffic, but, markedly differentiated from other analyzed countries experiencing the impacts of COVID-19’s pandemic in their communities, it saw a 9.7% increase in download speed. Japan’s internet infrastructure seems to have absorbed this increased traffic.
  • In the U.S., New York and New Jersey saw a 44.6% increase in traffic, but were able to weather it with a relatively modest 5.5% decrease in download speed.
  • California saw a 46.5% increase in traffic, with a 1.2% increase in download speed. Similar to Japan, California’s internet infrastructure appears to have absorbed this increased traffic.
  • School closures and regional stay-at-home orders: In France, Fastly observed a 45.4% increase in traffic shortly after its government announced school closures on March 12. This increase in traffic did not show a noticeable reduction in download speed, but on March 17, when schools closed and the national lockdown went into effect, download speed decreased by 20.6%. In Italy, traffic increased by 47% around February 19, after public information about lockdowns of various parts of Northern Italy began. After school closures go into effect on February 24, download speeds fall by about 9.2% between February 18 and February 24. In Japan, traffic jumps by 38% and speed decreases by 9.2% between February 25 and February 29, when school closure announcements began. School closures in Spain on March 12 mark the beginning of traffic increases of 26.2%, while there is no speed reduction.
  • User experience: Across European nations, major streaming and VOD providers announced they would reduce the default bitrates of their video streams around March 19 in order to prevent the internet from acute strain. When analyzing traffic and download speed in France, Italy, and Spain, the reductions do not seem to have led to significant improvements in internet quality, but they may have helped keep it from deteriorating further. Additionally, beyond Europe, people who have had lower speed internet connections before coronavirus-related developments may currently be suffering from greater degradation than those who had higher speed broadband connections. Someone with a high-quality, 100Mbps internet connection might not even notice a download speed reduction of 35% — a typical 1080P video stream requires just 6Mbps and fits well within the resulting 65Mbps download speed. However someone with a lower-quality connection to the internet, such as 10Mbps, is likely to notice this quality degradation: their typical 1080P movie might now automatically adjust down to 720P to fit within the resulting 6.5Mbps.
  • From these findings, we learn that speed decreases may be more aligned with population shifts toward more internet use from homes, rather than with a traffic increase alone. In general, most regions saw their download speeds stabilize once school closures and lockdowns were fully enacted, when most of the population became homebound. For most regions, this happened mid-to-late March.


Fastly also analyzed industry-specific internet activity by comparing average requests per second (RPS), week-over-week, between two sets of dates: January 6, 2020, and February 16, 2020; and February 16, 2020, to March 29, 2020. The first set of dates represent what Fastly considers to be activity attributed to organic growth, as mainstream attention on the pandemic had not yet picked up to its current pace. The second set of dates occur during a much more dynamic era of coronavirus-related developments, and was instructive in helping understand how human behavior may be shifting in response to COVID-19.

During those time frames for each of the below verticals, Fastly observed the following traffic patterns:

Streaming: From February 16 to March 29, streaming observed an increase in average RPS week-over-week by 29.6%. Similarly to gaming, this notable increase could reflect increased interest in streaming media content during lockdowns and social distancing.
News and digital publishing: Of all verticals analyzed, these brands saw the biggest increase in average RPS week-over-week from February 16 to March 29 at 70.16%. The elevated activity may correlate to increasing newsroom attention on COVID-19-related content as the first quarter of the year progressed.
Social Media: Social media platforms saw a 40.88% increase in average RPS week-over-week from February 16 to March 29. The greater increases in activity might represent a window into one way people are remaining connected with each other on various social media platforms.
GIFs/memes: Brands that help end users create and share things like memes and GIFs observed a 30.28% increase in average RPS week-over-week from February 16 to March 29. The unusually high increase in activity may indicate that, in reaction to disruptions to daily life, some consumers have turned to humor to get through difficult times and connect with others.
Gaming: From February 16 to March 29, gaming observed an increase in average RPS week-over-week by 28.54%. This could indicate that people are playing more virtual and online games as many communities look for ways to stay engaged while sheltering in place.
EdTech: From February 16 to March 29, edtech observed a noticeably sharp increase in average RPS week-over-week by 34.55%. This could indicate that edtech platforms are indeed growing their usage as more school-age children are educated from home.

https://www.fastly.com/blog/how-covid-19-is-affecting-internet-performance

Monday, April 6, 2020

BT confirms no layoffs or furloughs due to coronavirus

BT reported that its fixed broadband network – the UK's communications backbone, and EE – its number one mobile network, are both performing strongly.

  • BT announced a raft of measures in response to the COVID-19 emergency. These include:
  • Prioritising support for critical services, specifically the NHS, from connecting the new Nightingale Hospitals, to innovating to allow isolated patients to speak with their loved ones. 
  • A commitment that, whilst ongoing transformation programmes will continue, no employee will lose their job in the foreseeable future – at least the next three months – as a direct result of changing trading conditions brought about by coronavirus. 
  • Throughout the same period, BT will continue to pay all employees’ salaries in full and – in line with its commitment to maximise support to the UK’s national effort – will not put any staff on publicly-funded ‘furlough’. 
  • BT will offer an annual pay increase of 1.5% effective from 1 July 2020 to its team members (non-managerial staff) in the UK.
  • BT has decided not to make an annual pay increase to its managers in 2020/21.
  • BT also reconfirms its previous commitment to make an award of £500 worth of BT of shares to all employees in June. The ‘yourshare’ scheme amounts to around a £50m investment this year in making all BT Group colleagues shareholders in the company.
  • BT Chief Executive Philip Jansen has decided that, for at least the next six months, whilst the business works through the crisis, he will donate his salary to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 appeal and to affected small businesses in his local community.

Philip Jansen said: “BT is stepping up, standing by the country in this time of need and standing by our people who are working tirelessly to keep everyone connected, safe and working. I have been extremely proud of the commitment shown by BT colleagues to support our customers in the last few weeks and want to recognise that. This is an unprecedented situation and I want to give our people some certainty about the months ahead. This period requires sacrifices from us all, and I want our people to know we are all in this together.”

https://newsroom.bt.com/bt---standing-by-the-country-standing-by-our-people/

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Nokia: Unprecedented spike in global internet traffic

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, networks are experiencing unprecedented growth (in a very short time) in global internet traffic and so far networks appear to be meeting demand, according to analysis from Nokia. In particular, there is a surge in traffic from latency-sensitive applications during business hours.

Data from several networks in Western Europe from the week of March 9th seems to indicate that the edge and peering links of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) have enough headroom, but the aggregation networks and service edge router may be reaching capacity maximums.

Here are some highlights of the Nokia findings:

  • During the first day of the period, the overall traffic rose anywhere between 30% (5 p.m.) and 80% (9 a.m.), with boosts between 50% and 70% for most of the day. 
  • WhatsApp, exhibited an increase of 117–217% during the first day of the period, with apparent spikes in the morning hours on the first day of the school lockdown.
  • Netflix traffic showed that people started streaming earlier in the day (morning hours and early afternoon hours). While the evening traffic volumes remained within a +20% range compared to typical values, the overall increase of traffic during the day ranged from 97% (morning) to 27%–42% (early afternoon), significantly contributing to the total network traffic.
  • In the U.S., there has been a 300% growth in teleconferencing apps (e.g., Zoom, Skype), and a 400% growth in gaming (with kids being at home!)

https://www.nokia.com/blog/early-effects-covid-19-lockdowns-service-provider-networks-networks-soldier/

Cisco donates cash and products to support COVID-19 responders

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins announced plans to donate $8 million in cash and $210 million in product to the global coronavirus response, including to the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, supporting the World Health Organization. In addition, the Cisco Foundation has launched a campaign allocating up to $5 million in grants and matching funds to non-profits assisting in the response.

https://blogs.cisco.com/news/committing-225-million-to-global-covid-19-response


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

European operators cite spike in network traffic

Leading European operators, including Movistar, Orange, Vodafone, Grupo Masmovil and Grupo Euskaltel, are asking the public to adopt a rational and responsible approach to the use of telecommunication networks due to the massive spike in traffic during the COVID-19 crisis.

Telefónica said traffic through IP networks has experienced increases of nearly 40% while mobile use has increased by about 50% in voice and 25% in data. Likewise, traffic from instant messaging tools such as Whatsapp has increased fivefold in recent days.

The operators issued the following public requests:

  • Only download the documents or files that you really need, and if they can wait, do it at night or in the "off-peak hours" with less traffic (between two and four in the afternoon and between eight in the evening and eight in the morning).
  • Whenever possible, do not send heavy files -videos, presentations...-. Send links or routes to where they are stored. And, if it is essential to send them, compress them first or give them a format that weighs less (from ppt to pdf, for example). 
  • Use collaboration tools like Teams or Slack, and if you can, don't always do it with video.
  • Avoid massive e-mails.
  • Use your landline phone instead of your mobile phone to make calls when possible.
  • And, above all, optimise the traffic for what you really need: email, remote work, conferences, school and education applications, access to information... reserve leisure tools, video games, streaming, live video playback for the off-peak hours. 

https://www.telefonica.com/en/web/press-office/-/operators-advise-a-rational-and-responsible-use-of-telecommunication-networks-to-cope-with-traffic-increases

Monday, March 16, 2020

Telefónica's José María Álvarez-Pallete on COVID-19 emergency

José María Álvarez-Pallete, CEO of Telefónica, issued the following statement to share steps being taken in response to the COVID-19 crisis: 

"A global health emergency makes connectivity absolutely essential. It is key that public administrations are able to coordinate properly and inform citizens in real time; that health centres and hospitals have their communications systems available and can make use of remote diagnostics for patients; that educational centres can keep in permanent contact with families and students and make use of e-learning tools; that small and medium-sized enterprises remain connected to their clients and with their teams; and that people can work from home."

"And on a personal level, keeping in touch with family and friends 24/7 is also crucial to mitigating separation and coping with uncertainty."

Spain has an ultra-broadband communication infrastructure of extremely high capacity and quality and we will make every effort to ensure that the telecommunications network works at full capacity, in a reliable, stable and secure way. We will do the same in all the countries where we operate, working to provide our networks with sufficient capacity to absorb the most demanding peaks. "

https://www.telefonica.com/en/web/press-office/-/telefonica-announces-measures-related-to-covid-19

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Ajit Pai's Keep Americans Connected Pledge endorsed by carriers

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai solicited pledges from the U.S. network operators to ensure availability of network services during the COVID-19 national emergency

The Keep Americans Connected Pledge reads as follows:

Given the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on American society, [[Company Name]] pledges for the next 60 days to:

  1. not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
  2. waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
  3. open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

The following companies immediately agree to the Keep Americans Connected Pledge: ACIRA – Powered by Farmers Mutual Telephone Company & Federated Telephone, Allstream Business US, AlticeUSA, Antietam Broadband, Atlantic Broadband, AT&T, BBT, BOYCOM Vision, Burlington Telecom, Cable One, Central Arkansas Telephone Cooperative, CenturyLink, Charter, Cincinnati Bell, Citizens Connected, Comcast, Consolidated Communications, Cox Communications, Digital West, East Ascension Telephone Company, Education Networks of America, Emery Telecom, Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative, FirstLight, Frontier, Google Fiber, Grande Communications, Granite Telecommunications, Great Plains Communications, GWI, Hiawatha Broadband, Hill Country, IdeaTek Telcom, Inteliquent, Lafourche Telephone Company, Lakeland Communications, Long Lines Broadband, Mammoth Networks/Visionary Broadband, Mediacom, MetTel, Nex-Tech, Ninestar Connect, Northwest Fiber, Orbitel Communications, Pioneer Communications, Premier Communications, Range Telephone Cooperative, RCN, Reserve Telephone Company, Sacred Wind Communications, Shawnee Communications, Socket Telecom, Sonic, Sprint, Starry, TDS Telecom, TelNet Worldwide, T-Mobile, TracFone Wireless, Uniti Fiber, US Cellular, Vast Broadband, Verizon, Vyve Broadband Investments, Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom, Wave Broadband, West Telecom Services, Windstream, and ZenFi Networks.

“As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and causes a series of disruptions to the economic, educational, medical, and civic life of our country, it is imperative that Americans stay connected.  Broadband will enable them to communicate with their loved ones and doctors, telework, ensure their children can engage in remote learning, and—importantly—take part in the ‘social distancing’ that will be so critical to limiting the spread of this novel coronavirus,” said Chairman Pai.  “That’s why I’m asking all broadband and telephone service providers to take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge.  I don’t want any American consumers experiencing hardships because of the pandemic to lose connectivity.

BT's CEO tests positive for COVID-19

Philip Jansen, Chief Executive, BT Group confirmed that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Philip Jansen said: “Having felt slightly unwell I decided as a precaution to be tested. As soon as the test results were known I isolated myself at home. I’ve met several industry partners this week so felt it was the responsible thing to do to alert them to this fact as soon as I could. Given my symptoms seem relatively mild, I will continue to lead BT but work with my team remotely over the coming week. There will be no disruption to the business.”

BT said it is now working closely with Public Health England to undertake a full deep clean of relevant parts of its Group headquarters and will ensure those employees who have had contact with Philip are appropriately advised.


See also