Monday, October 27, 2014

Microsoft Removes Storage Limits for Office 365 Users

Microsoft will begin offering unlimited OneDrive cloud storage at no additional cost to all Office 365 paid subscribers. The offer is being rolled out incrementally starting with Office 365 Home, Personal, and University customers.

In a blog posting, Microsoft's Chris Jones said that while the move to unlimited storage is an important milestone for cloud services,  he believes "the true value of cloud storage is only realized when it is tightly integrated with the tools people use to communicate, create, and collaborate, both personally and professionally."

T-Mobile US Posts Biggest Quarter So Far

T-Mobile US reported its biggest growth quarter to date -- 2.3 million total net customer additions with 1.8 million total branded net customer additions for the quarter, including branded postpaid net additions of 1.4 million and branded prepaid net additions of 411,000. The strong branded postpaid net addition performance resulted from continued momentum in phone gross additions, which were up 46% year-over-year.

“Despite our competitors’ best efforts, the Un-carrier revolution made huge advances in the third quarter with record net new customers,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “More proof of the resurgent strength of our brand and the massive momentum behind the Un-carrier consumer movement.”

Some additional highlights:

  • 52.9 million total customers
  • 10 million total customers added over the last 6 quarters – 2.3 million in the third quarter alone
  • Service revenues grew 10.6% year-over-year to $5.7 billion
  • Best ever Average Billings Per User (ABPU) of $61.59, up 4.2% year-over-year
  • In the third quarter of 2014, cash capital expenditures were $1.1 billion, up from $0.9 billion in the second quarter of 2014 and up from $1.0 billion in the third quarter of 2013.

T-Mobile Continues Wideband LTE Rollout

T-Mobile activated its Wideband LTE spectrum throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, bringing up to a 50% increase in speed to customers.  The carrier said its customers in the region are now averaging 21 Mbps, with observed peak rates of up to 90 Mbps. Customers are using about 2.5 GB of data per month.

“We know Bay Area T-Mobile customers are going to notice and take advantage of the faster LTE speeds Wideband LTE provides,” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer, T-Mobile. “Just because we’ve made an upgrade to the network in these areas, don’t think we are done yet. We are continually working to enhance and expand LTE coverage for our customers every day.”

  • T-Mobile has defined Wideband LTE as at least 15+15MHz.  The carrier has deployed Wideband LTE in over 17 metro areas already and expects at least 26 total metro areas will be up with Wideband LTE by the end of the year. The carrier is also starting to roll out its new low-band 700 MHz A-Block spectrum. 

Sweden's Chalmers University Develops 140 GHz Transmitter at 40G

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have developed a 140 GHz transmitter chip capable of a transmission rate of 40 Gbps.

The transmitter device is implemented in indium phosphide and contains an I-Q modulator, a 3-stage amplifier, and a x3 frequency multiplier for the local oscillator.

“We have designed circuits for signals at 140 Gigahertz, where we have a large bandwidth. In laboratory testing, we have achieved a transmission rate of 40 Gigabit data per second, which is twice as fast as the previous world record at a comparable frequency,” says Herbert Zirath, who is a professor in high speed electronics at Chalmers. He is also employed by Ericsson Research on a part-time basis.

PMC Posts Q3 Revenue of $135.5M, up 7%

PMC-Sierra reported net revenues in the third quarter of 2014 of $135.5 million, an increase of 7 percent from $126.8 million in the second quarter of 2014 and an increase of 6 percent, compared to $128.4 million in the third quarter of 2013. GAAP net income in the third quarter of 2014 totaled $5.5 million or $0.03 per diluted share, compared to a GAAP net loss in the second quarter of 2014 of $3.5 million or a $0.02 loss per share.

“Our Storage business performed exceedingly well this past quarter with double-digit growth across all of its product lines,” said PMC president and chief executive officer, Greg Lang. “PMC remains well-positioned for continued growth into FY2015, as we expect to see increasing demand for our 12Gb/s SAS I/O controllers and expanders, advanced DIGI OTN processors, Flashtec™ NVMe controllers and our new RF Remote Radio Head products.”

Mavenir Posts Q3 Sales of $34M Up 31% YoY

Mavenir Systems reported Q3 revenues of $34.1 million, an increase of 31% year-over-year and 2% quarter-over-quarter. GAAP net loss for the third quarter of 2014 was $5.8 million, compared to $4.5 million in the third quarter of 2013 and $3.9 million for the second quarter of 2014.

“We are pleased with our achievement of continued growth and that we exceeded key financial milestones this quarter. The company is well positioned to take advantage of the dynamic mobile service provider market,” said Pardeep Kohli, president and chief executive officer, Mavenir Systems. “With Apple's announcement in June that iOS 8 supports Wi-Fi calling using the operator's voice and text messaging services, we believe Apple will serve as a catalyst for mobile operators to accelerate their IMS vendor selection decisions and/or deployment plans; coupled with the transition to NFV, we are seeing greater opportunities for our software-based IMS and EPC solution.”

“Although we saw some launches in the U.S. along with capacity expansions in the U.S. and EMEA, the majority of our worldwide customers continue to be in the network build-out phase as they work towards VoLTE and RCS launches, and we anticipate several more launches planned for late 2014 and/or early 2015,” said Terry Hungle, chief financial officer, Mavenir Systems.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Soft Machines Pioneers Virtualized Microprocessing Architecture

Soft Machines, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California with development offices in India and Russia, unveiled a new processing architecture based on the concept of “virtual cores” and “virtual hardware threads.”

Unlike conventional microprocessors based on CISC and RISC architectures that make use of “physical cores” and “software threads,” the Soft Machines' VISC architecture enables dynamic allocation and sharing of resources across cores. The company claims its design achieves 3-4 times more instructions per cycle (IPC), resulting in 2-4 times higher performance per watt on single- and multi-threaded applications. The architecture also leverages a light-weight “virtual software layer”, something the company believes will can give it the flexibility to adapt to new software ecosystems.

“We founded Soft Machines with the mission of reviving microprocessor performance-per-watt scaling. We have done just that with the VISC architecture, marking the start of a new era of CPU designs,” said Soft Machines co-founder, president and CTO Mohammad Abdallah. “CPU scaling was declared dead when the power wall forced CISC- and RISC-based designs into multi-core implementations that require unrealistically complex multi-threading of sequential applications. The VISC architecture solves this problem ‘under the hood’ by running virtual hardware threads on virtual cores that far exceed the efficiency of software multi-threading.”

The company has raised over $125 million in venture funding to date.  So far, it has filed for over 75 U.S. patents. Soft Machines now has working silicon, proving out its design.

  • Soft Machines was founded seven years ago by Mohammad Abdallah and Mahesh Lingareddy. Prior to founding Soft Machines, Mr. Abdallah worked from 1995 to 2005 as a computer architect at Intel, where he held a series of positions, most recently as a Senior Architect in Intel’s Microprocessor Architecture Group.  Mr. Lingareddy also previously worked at Intel, where he was a Design Manager in Intel’s Microprocessor Product Group. 

FCC Clears Level 3's Bid for tw telecom

The FCC cleared Level 3's pending acquisition of tw telecom.

In June 2014 Level 3 Communications agreed to acquire tw telecom in a deal that will combine its global fiber network and international data centers with tw telecom's extensive metro footprint in major U.S. markets. The stock-and-cash transaction was valued at $40.86 per TWTC share, or $5.7 billion in aggregate, based on market close as of June 13, 2014. tw telecom stockholders will receive $10 cash and 0.7 shares of Level 3 common stock for each share of tw telecom common stock that is owned at closing.

Level 3 has already lined up $3 billion of committed financing for the acquisition.

Some highlights:
  • Level 3 is based in Broomfield, Colorado and has 10,200 employees.
  • Active in 60 countries and 170 markets
  • Intercity fiber route miles: 110,000
  • Metro fiber route miles: 36,000
  • Subsea fiber route miles: 33,000

  • tw telecom is based in Littleton, Colorado and has 3,407 employees.
  • U.S. markets served: 36
  • Intercity fiber route miles: 8,700
  • Metro fiber route miles: 24,000

Rogers Activates LTE-Advanced with 700 MHz + AWS

Rogers Communications activated LTE-Advanced in 12 cities across Canada: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Windsor, London, Hamilton, Toronto, Kingston, Moncton, Fredericton, Halifax and Saint John.

Rogers' LTE-Advanced combines its 700MHz and AWS spectrum.

Rogers was the only carrier to secure two blocks of contiguous 700MHz spectrum across the country's major geographic markets.

"This new network technology allows us to combine our 700MHz beachfront spectrum with AWS, the backbone of our LTE network, to give our customers an even better and faster video experience.  It's like putting the highways in a major city together to make a superhighway, allowing more traffic at faster speeds," said Guy Laurence, President and Chief Executive Officer.

  • As of 30-Sept-2014, Rogers' LTE network reached approximately 79% of Canada’s population.

  • In March 2014, Rogers Communications secured approximately $2.1 billion in funding for paying for 20 year licenses for two contiguous, paired blocks of lower band spectrum - acquired in the recent 700 MHz spectrum auction.  Combined with cash on hand, Rogers will pay $3.29 billion for the spectrum covering both rural and urban areas across Canada. 

  • "We went after and won this spectrum because we know it will pay off for our customers for the next 20 years and likely beyond. Not only did we get the spectrum we wanted for our customers, but we have financed it with $2.1 billion of long term funding for up to 30 years at some of our lowest rates ever, with an average interest rate of just 3.9%. In addition, we have made this long term investment for our customers while maintaining our Baa1/BBB+/BBB+ senior credit ratings, which have been affirmed by each of Moody's, Standard and Poor's and Fitch, reflecting their confidence in the investment and in Rogers," said Anthony Staffieri, Chief Financial Officer, Rogers Communications.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Huawei Signs with the Washington Redskins

The Washington Redskins have signed Huawei Enterprise USA as a multi-year team sponsor and “Official Technology Partner.” The two organizations will jointly participate in marketing and also explore additional technology solutions to enhance the game day experience for Redskins fans. This represents the first major sports sponsorship for Huawei in the U.S.

As part of the deal, Huawei Enterprise will be providing a Wi-Fi network for the Suite Level at the 85,000-seater FedExField, one of the largest stadiums in the National Football League.

The marketing opportunities for Huawei Enterprise includes online, broadcast and in-stadium branding, such as LED signage, promotion on Redskins social media channels, radio spots and in-show features on Redskins television shows.

Huawei's experience in providing networking and infrastructure solutions to major sports franchises and venues includes Germany’s Signal Iduna Park, home of soccer team Borussia Dortmund, and the Amersterdam ArenA, where the Dutch soccer team Ajax plays.

“We are proud to welcome Huawei as a sponsor and technology partner of the Washington Redskins,” said Mitch Gershman, CMO for the Washington Redskins. “Huawei is a global brand and an ideal technology partner with leadership positions in networking, broadband, telecom and consumer devices.”  Gershman added, “Making Wi-Fi available in FedExField is our latest way to enhance the Redskins fan’s experience. Huawei is the ideal technology partner, because Huawei has wired some the world’s largest stadiums and works with many of the world’s biggest telecom carriers.”

RagingWire to Double its Ashburn Data Center Campus

RagingWire Data Centers will begin construction on a 140,000 sq. ft. data center facility with 14MW of highly available power as part of its Ashburn, Virginia campus.

The addition is a two-story building that nearly doubles the size of RagingWire’s Ashburn, Virginia campus to 290,000 sq. ft..

RagingWire opened its first data center in Ashburn, Virginia in July 2012, a 150,000 sq. ft. facility called VA1, and has purchased 78 acres of land in Ashburn with designs to build upwards of 2 million sq. ft. of data center space. VA2 will be fully integrated with VA1 and networked with RagingWire’s 680,000 sq. ft. data center campus in Sacramento, California, the largest commercial multi-tenant data center in the state.

RagingWire is an NTT Communications group company.

Ericsson Sees Q3 Sales Growth from LTE in Asia

Ericsson reported Q3 2014 sales of SEK 57.6 billion (US$7.94 billion), a growth of 9% YoY and 5% QoQ. Sales for comparable units, adjusted for currency, grew by 3% YoY and 2% QoQ.

The company said sales growth was mainly driven by the Middle East, China, India and Russia, but was partly offset by lower sales in North America.

Some highlights:

  • Gross margin increased YoY to 35.2% (32.0%), driven by improved business mix, higher IPR revenues and lower restructuring charges
  • Ericsson delivered on 4G/LTE contracts in Mainland China and Taiwan and saw improving sales in Japan. 
  • The investment climate in India continues to improve. 
  • Sales in parts of Europe, mainly UK and Germany, showed growth year-over-year while the development in southern Europe continued to be weak.
  • Sales in North America continued to be driven by operator investments in capacity and quality enhancements. However, business activity slowed down during the quarter as operators currently focus on cash flow optimization.
  • The momentum for Professional Services continued and generated organic growth in the quarter driven by managed services sales and systems integration. 
  • During Q3, Ericsson signed 14 new contracts for its SSR 8000 multi-application IP router, of which 6 were for fixed networks.  This brings the number of SSR contracts to 134 since the platform launched in December 2011.
  • Global Services operating margin declined slightly YoY negatively impacted by revaluation of hedge contracts.

Equinix Activates AWS Direct Connect from German Data Centers

Equinix began offering Amazon Web Services(AWS) Direct Connect cloud service from its International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers in Germany.

Equinix operates data centers in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich, for a total of 51,000+ square meters (548,760+ square feet) of colocation space in country.

The Equinix Frankfurt campus includes five Equinix IBX data centers, which are linked via Metro Connect fiber to enable the AWS Direct Connect service from any one of these five facilities. The Equinix Frankfurt campus is home to more than 400 national and international network operators, including one of the highest concentrations of networks servicing Eastern European countries.

Equinix said that by using AWS Direct Connect within its Frankfurt data center (FR5), from the Equinix data centers in Frankfurt, Munich and Dusseldorf via Metro Connect or from other data centers in Germany or abroad via third-party carriers, customers can have a consistent, dedicated network connection to the cloud for higher performance at a lower cost.

“Our goal at Equinix is to help our enterprise customers realize the full benefits of the cloud – without worrying about application latency or cost issues. By providing access to AWS via the Direct Connect service, we are empowering our mutual customers to achieve improved performance of cloud-based applications,” stated Eric Schwartz, president, EMEA, Equinix.

Amazon Web Services launched its new AWS EU (Frankfurt) region, its 11th technology infrastructure region globally for AWS and the second region in the European Union (EU).  AWS also operates in Ireland.

AWS said all its data centers are designed, built, and regularly audited to meet rigorous compliance standards, including ISO 27001, SOC 1 (Formerly SAS 70), PCI DSS Level 1, and many more, providing high levels of security for all AWS customers. The new AWS EU (Frankfurt) region consists of two separate Availability Zones at launch. Availability Zones refer to data centers in separate, distinct locations within a single region that are engineered to be operationally independent of other Availability Zones, with independent power, cooling, and physical security, and are connected via a low latency network.

The AWS EU region in Frankfurt operates on carbon neutral electricity.  It also conforms with EU data protection laws, ensuring that data remains within Germany.

Frontier Completes $2B Acquisition of AT&T's Wireline Net in CT

Frontier Communications completed its previously announced $2 billion acquisition of AT&T’s wireline business, statewide fiber network, and U-verse operations in Connecticut.

 As part of the acquisition, Frontier also acquired AT&T’s DISH satellite TV customers in Connecticut.

 “Frontier is excited to offer our products and services to customers in our home state,” said Maggie Wilderotter, Frontier’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to bringing our local engagement management model to Connecticut and empowering all Frontier employees to provide high-quality service to their friends and neighbors and to become active contributors to their communities.”

The deal was first announced last December.

IBM to Open SoftLayer Cloud Center in Paris

IBM is preparing to open a new SoftLayer cloud center in Paris, France, before the end of this year. IBM Cloud will also provide cloud infrastructure services for customers and companies in France that require in-country data residency.

SoftLayer cloud centers are already operational in London and Amsterdam. The new facility in Paris is part of a new 15 cloud center expansion and a $1.2 billion investment by IBM Cloud to grow its cloud presence around the world. It has capacity for thousands of physical servers and offers the full range of SoftLayer cloud infrastructure services, including bare metal servers, virtual servers, storage, and networking. It seamlessly integrates via the company’s leading private network with all SoftLayer cloud centers and network PoPs around the world. With services deployed on demand and full remote access and control, customers can create their ideal public, private, or hybrid cloud environments.

“We’re addressing clients’ and countries’ growing desire for data sovereignty head on,” said Lance Crosby, CEO of SoftLayer. “With each new cloud center we’re bringing our complete cloud services portfolio to the doorsteps of local customers. The Paris cloud center allows us to support workloads and applications from French customers who want their data to stay in the country and secure in the cloud, and provides our global clients with an opportunity to get even closer to their end user customers in the region.”

T-Mobile Netherlands Picks Mavenir for IMS Core

T-Mobile Netherlands has selected Mavenir Systems' IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) core networking solution.

“Mavenir’s solution simplifies IMS network deployments by providing a complete end to end suite of IMS applications and functions on a single, common platform. We provide the flexibility and innovation to accelerate time to market and lower total cost of ownership by minimizing network impacts, reducing complexity and harmonizing the architecture,” said Pardeep Kohli, President and CEO of Mavenir Systems.

Juniper Disappointed in Q3 Results

Juniper Networks' net revenues for the third quarter of 2014 decreased 5% year-over-year and decreased 8% sequentially to $1,126 million.

Juniper's operating margin for the third quarter of 2014 increased to 15.3% on a GAAP basis, including a $15 million benefit from restructuring and other charges, from 9.4% in the second quarter of 2014, and increased from 12.2% in the third quarter of 2013. Juniper posted GAAP net income of $103.6 million, or $0.23 per diluted share for the third quarter of 2014.

"We are disappointed in our third quarter revenue results, which reflect a lower-than-anticipated demand from service providers, particularly in the U.S.," said Shaygan Kheradpir, chief executive officer of Juniper Networks. "However, the underlying long-term demand trends in networking remain intact. While we navigate these dynamics, we are relentlessly focused on managing operating expenses while providing the innovation that matters most to our customers. We continue to have confidence in our business and see substantial opportunities to drive profitable growth and increase the value of our shareholders' investment over the long-term."

"Despite a weaker spending environment impacting third quarter revenue growth, we have been able to manage costs effectively to deliver good margins," said Robyn Denholm, chief financial and operations officer of Juniper Networks. "We enhanced efficiencies across the Company and exceeded our targeted cost reductions ahead of schedule. We have also continued our aggressive capital return plan to return immediate value to our shareholders while investing for the future growth of our business."

Juniper's Board Approves $1.1B Increase to Capital Return Plan

Juniper Networks' Board of Directors approved an increase to the share repurchase authorization by $1.1 billion.

For the first nine months of 2014, $1.75 billion of share repurchases have been already executed. The company intends to repurchase an additional $1.5 billion in aggregate share repurchases before end of Q2 2015. The Company is on track to return a total of $4.1 billion to shareholders over a 3-year period (2014 - 2016). The new capital return plan is an increase of $1.1 billion above the prior commitment to return $3.0 billion to shareholders over the same period.

Juniper also declared a fourth quarter cash dividend of $0.10 per share, to be paid on December 23, 2014 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 2, 2014.

"Our expanded capital return commitment reflects our ongoing focus on delivering value to shareholders over the near- and long-term," said Shaygan Kheradpir, chief executive officer of Juniper Networks. "We are confident in Juniper's future and believe current market conditions are providing us with a compelling opportunity to aggressively reduce share count while continuing to invest in the future growth of our business."

In January 2014, Juniper Networks announced a corporate restructuring aimed at "enhancing its operational efficiency, returning capital to shareholders, refocusing on strategic opportunities and reinvigorating its culture."  The plan gained the support of Elliot Management, an outside investment firm that had been lobbying for changes at Juniper.

Juniper said it plans to refocus on "innovation that matters most to service providers and enterprises where demand for High-IQ Networks and best-in-class cloud environments are driving growth.  The plan included share repurchases, stock dividends and a renewed focus on routing, switching, security, control and network management.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Freescale Debuts 64-bit ARM-based Processor for SDN/NFV

Freescale introduced a power-efficient, 64-bit ARM-based processor designed for highly virtualized, software-defined networks.

The new QorIQ LS1043A quad-core processor delivers 1.5 GHz of performance and requires power as low as just 6 W to operate. The device integrates four 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 cores, delivering 10+ Gbps and an estimated 16,000+ CoreMarks of CPU performance.

It features advanced virtualization hardware, supports flexible, secure cloud application updates with Freescale’s trust architecture, and offloads latency sensitive applications for optimized local performance with proven classification and traffic management hardware.

Freescale said its design target with this processor includes affordable vCPE products and other next-generation edge networking equipment, such as branch routers, security appliances and SDN/NFV edge platforms.

Freescale's QorIQ LS1043A includes a wide range of high-speed I/O for wired and wireless systems including 10 GbE plus 5x 1GbE, 3x PCI Express, 3x USB 3.0 with PHYs and SATA 3.0. Freescale’s multi-protocol QUICC Engine module is also incorporated for integrated support of legacy wide area and industrial interfaces.

“Freescale is driving affordable virtualized services by delivering outstanding performance, efficiency and intelligence to the network’s edge,” said Tareq Bustami, vice president and general manager of product management for Freescale’s Digital Networking group. “This new QorIQ LS1043A processor reinforces Freescale’s leadership in providing the world’s top equipment OEMs with optimized platforms for broadly deployed, secure and flexible edge services.”

Zayo Signs O2 for Nationwide UK Network

O2 has awarded a 15-year contract to Zayo to provide and manage a fully resilient core fibre network throughout the UK. The nationwide fibre network, which uses the acquired Geo Networks infrastructure, spans from Glasgow to Salisbury, comprises more than 4,500 route km and incorporates 19 connectivity points around the UK.

Under the agreement, O2's underlying infrastructure will shift from SDH and Ethernet-based managed services infrastructure to a dedicated fibre optic network which connects mobile switching sites across the network. The new infrastructure will provide O2 with flexible capacity to accommodate increasing demand for mobile data driven by its 4G rollout and increasingly digital customer base. The national network will incorporate towns and cities around the UK including Slough, Croydon, Newcastle and London.

"With the O2 4G network now covering over 260 towns and cities and half of the UK population, there has been unprecedented growth in the amount of data traffic transmitted across the network,” said Adrian Di Meo, Chief Technology Officer for O2. “A year after the launch of our 4G network, it has already carried a total of 5,400 Terabytes of 4G data, which is the equivalent of eight million hours of HD video.”

  • Earlier this year, Zayo Group acquired Geo Networks, a London-based dark fiber provider, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition added over 2,100 route miles to Zayo’s European network, and connectivity to 587 on-net buildings. Geo owned and operated a high capacity fiber network in the UK, providing managed networks, dark fiber and co-location services to a variety of high-bandwidth sectors including media companies, service providers, financial services, data centers and gaming organizations.
    Geo’s 100-route mile London network is housed in the London sewer system, which minimizes the threat of physical faults, boosting reliability and security, and enabling rapid deployment with minimum disruption.  The network reaches 130 data centers across the UK. Geo also operates a diverse optical fiber subsea system, East-West Ring, providing diverse connectivity to Dublin, a strategic hub for data centers and cloud service providers.