Friday, September 2, 2016

Verizon Confirms Cat M1 Rollout

Verizon confirmed plans to deploy Category M1 connectivity solutions on its 4G LTE network to support IoT. Verizon expects to launch Cat M1 connectivity by the end of this year.

Category M1 (or Cat M1) refers to sensors and devices requiring lower throughput, extended battery life (for some use cases) and better power efficiency than current IoT solutions.

Verizon said it is working closely with industry-leading chipset, modules and device partners to drive the ecosystem towards the next-generation of IoT use cases. Partners include Altair, Sequans, U-Blox, Telit, Sierra Wireless, Gemalto, Nokia, Ericsson and others.

“Up until now, the cost to connect devices to a wide-area network has been a barrier to widespread IoT,” said Rosemary McNally, vice president Mobile Devices & OS Technology at Verizon. “By evolving our device ecosystem to include Cat M1, we’re aligning Verizon’s 4G LTE network to the needs of future IoT deployments. We are also taking direct aim at emerging low power wireless access (LPWA) solutions, which have entered the U.S. market, but do not offer the same level of scale, coverage and security as LTE.”

Verizon's ThingSpace Ties IoT with Data Analytics and Cloud

Verizon launched ThingSpace, a new IoT platform allowing developers to create applications, customers to manage devices, partners to market their services, and Verizon to launch integrated vertical solutions in an open environment.

Thingspace, which will leverage an existing ecosystem of more than 1,000 channel partners and revenue from the company's IoT and telematics business, promises to accelerate innovation and adoption of IoT devices.  At a press event in San Francisco, Verizon's executives said the industry is poised to move from millions to billions of connected devices and sensors in the coming years. To achieve this, Verizon is creating a new dedicated network core and new connectivity options for the next-generation of IoT use cases in verticals such as agriculture, healthcare, the consumer electronics evolution and the sharing economy.

Verizon has created a core IoT network within its LTE architecture optimized for Cat1 devices.  The company is also working with partners to embed LTE chipsets in a wide-range of connected machines to automate the provisioning process and make it faster to deploy IoT devices on its wide-area network

Significantly, Verizon will offer a big data analytics engine tied into its IoT deployments. ThingSpace will provide end-to-end management of IoT environments and related data, from device to network to application. The goal is to offer hundreds of APIs via the Thingspace environment. The data and analytics engine is being developed at the Verizon labs in Palo Alto, California.

Zayo Lands Layer 2 Networking Contract

Zayo announced a contract to supply a Layer 2 network connecting more than 20 locations in North America, South America and Europe for a leading location intelligence company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The network leverages existing Zayo network, including recently acquired assets from Allstream and Viatel. Zayo is providing a Layer 2 solution that enables the customer to connect key office locations with core data centers, integrating into its multi-vendor network.

“Zayo’s rich assets in the North America and Europe, in addition to our expansive Global Reach partnerships, made this the ideal combination of capabilities for this customer,” said Tyler Coates, senior director, Ethernet at Zayo. “We look forward to building this relationship as we continue to leverage our technology and the power of our global assets.”

Is the Axiata Group of Malaysia just a smaller version of Singtel? - Part 2

 Foreword: -- Is the Axiata Group of Malaysia just a smaller version of Singtel? --Part 2 ------Some further data from the Axiata 2015 AR shows the distribution of revenue by country or group 

In thousands of Malaysian ringgits 

------------------>                    REVENUE.            EBITDA.          PROFIT 
MALAYSIA.                        7,330,177               2,719,163.          1,301,311 
INDONESIA                        6,619,966               2,512,587              (10,932) 
BANGLADESH.                 2,622,844                   944,179.            200,438 
SRI LANKA                        2,081,835.                 684,315.               98,581 
OTHERS.                             1,756,355.                452,831.           1,075,272 
ELIMINATIONS. (527,717). (29,021). (28,602) 
TOTAL 19,883,460. 7,284,054. 2,636,068 

As can be seen Malaysia provides just under 37% of total revenue but almost half total profit; Others are amazingly profitable 
The rest appear in poor shape profit wise. 

Recent news 
--------------------News just in on Axiata merger in Bangladesh 
On September 1st 2016, Axiata Group Bhd and Bharti Airtel Ltd received the approval of Bangladesh's High Court to merge their operations in the country. 

On completion of the merger, Axiata would hold a controlling 68.7% stake in the combined entity, while Bharti would own 25%. The remaining 6.3% would be held by existing shareholder NTT DoCoMo of Japan. Bharti Airtel Bangladesh is reported to have around 17 million mobile customers compared to Axiata Bangladesh's existing 50 million 

However, the merger fee and spectrum charge will come to almost RM320mil in total. Previously the possibility of very high charges had threatened to derail the merger. 

In its statement to the stock exchange on Thursday, Axiata did not say whether it would appeal, or consider to appeal, for a lower amount. 

Axiata had originally targeted to complete the merger transaction in the first half of 2016. In the latest announcement to Bursa Malaysia, it gave the fourth quarter of 2016 as the new deadline. The court in Bangladesh also ruled that spectrums assigned to Robi Axiata and to Airtel Bangladesh respectively prior to the proposed merger would continue to be used by the amalgamated company for the time period stipulated in the letter of assignment or license. 

-------------------Axiata could get control of M1 in Singapore 

In late January 2016, Bloomberg reported that, according to some of its private sources, Temasek Singapore's sovereign wealth fund was considering possible adjustments in their stock holdings by two of Temasek's portfolio companies namely Keppel and Sembcorp Marine, the world's No. 1 and No. 2 maker of oil rigs, of which Temasek owned 21.0% and. 49.5% respectively. 
Orders at Keppel and Sembcorp Marine, had dropped in 2015 to their weakest level in six years as falling crude prices crimped demand for drilling equipment and the two companies also faced cancellation risks from a major client in Brazil. Temasek also did not believe the demand for oil rigs would recover for at least three years. 

According to Bloomberg's informants, Temasek was considering the possibility of Keppel selling its 19.1 percent stake in wireless operator M1 Ltd. and paring its 44.6 percent interest in office landlord Keppel REIT. 
In early March 2016 a report by BMI Research suggested that if Keppel Corporation decided to sell off its 19.08% stake in mobile operator M1, then Temasek and, the Axiata Group which currently held a 28.32%* in M1 would be the most obvious buyers of Keppel’s stake. In Axiata's case acquiring Keppel’s stake would enable Axiata to own a controlling stake in M1, which in turn would give it better control over the telco's business direction and assets. 

Meanwhile, Keppel’s divestment would mean that the Singapore government, which holds stakes in all three operators, would be losing a major stake in the country's smallest operator. 

NB* Shown as 29.12% in Part 1 


Axiata's subsidiary Idea Cellular has been doing very well in India generally gaining share every month and is definitively the country's third largest operator The company now has a clear 17 % mobile market share only 2.2 pp behind Vodafone 

In early June 2016, Axiata Digital invested $16 million in four years old StoreKing of India which uses modern low-cost technology kiosks equipped with low-cost TV monitors and Android tablets to provide a simple self-service shopping experience to small-town shoppers. 
With presence in over 1,200 towns, StoreKing’s model enables rural retailers to sell over 50,000 products to walk-in customers via the digital kiosks. The retail shop owner helps customers use the mobile kiosk, select products and make cash payment to the retailer. In return, a receipt is given and StoreKing ships the products to the retail store within 24-48 hours. Users then can collect their order from these retail stores. 
Currently, StoreKing operates 16,000 mobile kiosks with a network of local stores across south India. It claims to deliver over 150,000 orders every month from a base of over 1 million. 

--------------------Need to reduce debt in Indonesia 

At the end of March 2016, PT XL Axiata Tbk, signed an agreement to sell 2,500 of its broadcast towers to tower provider PT Professional Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Protelindo) for Rp 3.5 trillion (US$267.2 million) in an effort to pay off some of the company’s debt. 
XL Axiata finance director Mohamed Adlan bin Ahmad Tajudin explained that the sale of the towers was part of the company'€™s strategy to reduce its total debt, which stands at Rp 26.9 trillion and is due in 2020. 

Axiata and Singtel do appear to be rather closely competitive in Indonesia, India, Bangladesh and Singapore. Both companies seem to have similar strategies but Axiata does not seem quite big enough to execute well 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Australia's nbn Looks to Complete Network by 2020

Australia's nbn is on track to complete its network build by 2020 by which time it should have 8 million premises connected, according to nbn's newly released its Corporate Plan 2017.

“We’ve had a terrific 2016 financial year, exceeding the company’s key targets set by the Board," stated nbn CEO Bill Morrow. “During the year we completed the Multi-Technology Mix (MTM) by introducing three new products to market: Fibre-to-the-Node, the Sky Muster™ satellite service and HFC. We have strengthened our relationships with our partners; finalised contracts to the end of the build; and, improved data quality. These factors have enabled nbn to minimise many of the uncertainties and cost assumptions in the business. This has led to a projected decrease in the top end of the peak funding range, now $46-54 billion, down from $46-56 billion in the 2016 Corporate Plan."

Some key points:

  • Currently, nearly two thirds of all Australian premises are either in design, construction or able to order an nbn service. 
  • Increased annual revenue for FY2020 to an estimated $5bn, with ARPU forecast to $52;
  • Remains on track to complete network build with peak funding of $49bn;
  • Decreased top end of peak funding range by $2bn to $46-54bn; and,
  • Increased IRR to 3.2 - 3.7 per cent.

Nokia 4.5G Pro Promises Gigabit Downlink Speed

Nokia has defined a "4.5G Pro" step as an intermediary point on the path to 5G.

Nokia 4.5G Pro, will be powered by the Nokia AirScale radio portfolio, promises major increases in LTE capacity, coverage and speed, including ten times the speeds of initial 4G networks.

Nokia said this new LTE performance tier will make it possible for operators to offer gigabit peak data rates.

Nokia 4.5G Pro will leverage extended carrier aggregation techniques across up to five frequency bands. Operators will be able to leverage their diverse paired (FDD) and unpaired (TDD) licensed spectrum as well as unlicensed spectrum, in line with local national regulations, supported by the upcoming generation of user devices.

Nokia 4.5G technology leverages techniques such as aggregation of up to four carriers, advanced radio modulations techniques and network based IoT connectivity to boost LTE capabilities and help operators address these challenges.  While 4.5G Pro focuses on the 2017 user device ecosystem and 5G-readiness of the network, deployment in the future of Nokia 4.9G will bring significant capacity and data rate enhancements and network latency reductions to let users maintain a continuous 5G service experience complementing 5G radio coverage.

Nokia is also planning for "4.9G", which will further increase capacity and speeds to several gigabits per second, including allowing additional numbers of carriers to be aggregated, opening the door to additional licensed and unlicensed spectrum, and advancing the radio systems to allow highly directional antennas to be used and to allow signals sent via multiple transmit / receive paths to be added together. Furthermore, it will utilize cloud-based networks with intelligence added to the edge in order to reduce latencies to less than 10msec.

"While the ever-connected world of people and IoT drives huge data demands, the speeds enabled by 5G will be a colossal step in operators' network evolution. However, with our 4.5G, 4.5G Pro and 4.9G technologies, we will provide a smooth evolution path that will allow them to increase capacity and improve the user experience while creating new revenue opportunities," stated Samih Elhage, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia.

Is the Axiata Group of Malaysia just a smaller version of Singtel? --Part 1

--------- Preamble

Malaysia-based Axiata is an intriguing telecommunications company very similar in its structure and focus to Singtel but about half the size and which seems to fly below the radar in terms of international interest in the company. 

Axiata operates in about ten Asian countries and specifically has controlling interests in mobile operators in Malaysia (Celcom, 100%) , Indonesia (XL, 66.55%), Sri Lanka (Dialog, 83.32%) , Bangladesh (Robi,92.0%), Cambodia, (Smart,100%) and Nepal (60.4%) with significant strategic stakes in India (Idea,19.96%) Singapore (M1,29.12%) and Iran (NB Operating brand and percentage ownership are shown in each case). 

The Group also has stakes in non-mobile telecommunication operations in Thailand and Pakistan (Multinet,89.0%). It employs around 25,000 people and claims to serve around 290 million customers. In 2015, the company reported revenue of about $5.7 billion. The Axiata Group includes “edotco" an infrastructure company which operates in six countries i.e. Malaysia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Myanmar and has amassed a portfolio of over 16,000 towers and 12,000 km of fibre. edotco claims to be the 12th largest tower company in the world. 

Axiata also has a digital services company, Axiata Digital which owns a portfolio of about 24 digital brands, operating in mobile money, mobile adverting, e-commerce, entertainment and education. From a strategic point of view Axiata looks rather more like an investment company than Singtel. On the other hand, Axiata gets a higher percentage of its total revenue from non - domestic sources than Singtel. 

------------------------Recent acquisitions 

------------Axiata enters Nepal market 

On April 12th 2016, Axiata acquired a controlling interest in Ncell Nepal's largest mobile operator by completing the acquisition from TeliaSonera UTA Holdings B.V. and SEA Telecom Investments B.V. of Reynolds Holdings Limited. The acquisition of Reynolds for the purchase price of $1.365 billion plus customary adjustments at closing, effectively secured Axiata an 80% equity interest and controlling stake in Ncell. 

Axiata enters the Nepal market with its local partner, Sunivera Capital Ventures Pte Ltd, holding 20% direct local shareholding in Ncell, as required under local law. Local partner transaction completion was a condition precedent to Axiata’s acquisition of Ncell. 
One special aspect of the acquisition is that there are apparently one million Nepalese workers in Malaysia which means the group gains whichever way calls are made. 

------------------Myanmar Tower business 

On December 4th 2015, it was announced that: Axiata Group Bhd’s telecommunication infrastructure services arm edotco had completed the acquisition of a 75% stake in Digicel Myanmar Tower Company Ltd (MTC) for $221million via MTC’s parent company, Digicel Asian Holdings Pte Ltd. 
Axiata also confirmed that Yoma Strategic Holding Ltd had signed a definitive agreement to retain its 25% effective interest in MTC. 

On January 15th 2016 edotco laid out a $200-million investment roadmap for its operations in Myanmar. The investment, to spread over five years, will include building and owning up to 5,000 towers in the country in partnership with Singapore listed Yoma Strategic. 
Speaking at the time, Suresh Sidhu, CEO of edotco Group Sdn BN said " We believe MTC is fantastic investment opportunity for edotco. We anticipate that by 2024, there could be up to 30,000 towers required in the country,” 

-------------------Other diversification 

In the half year of 2016, Axiata Digital further grew its portfolio with both investments, joint ventures and partnerships bringing the total to 26 digital brands under its management. Axiata Digital made its first investment into India through assisted e-commerce player, StoreKing in April 2016. In the mobile music space, Yonder Music is now live in three markets with over 400,000 users. Recently, WSO2.Telco, an Axiata Digital joint venture, announced that India’s six leading mobile network operators were using the WSO2.Telco digital enablement hub to deliver mobile authentication services for over 800 million consumers.  

In November 2014, Axiata set up the Axiata Digital Innovation Fund for startups and in early December 201 Intres Capital Partners, the manager of the MYR100 million ($23.38 million) Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (ADIF), committed MYR12.5 million ($2.92 million) in its first batch of investments in six digital startups. The venture firm, set up this year to manage ADIF, announced it would be disbursing that first round of investments into six technology companies domiciled in Malaysia, namely Tripfez, Maideasy, Easyparcel, Easyuni, SPOT News and Supahands. The investees were from a variety of sectors like travel, domestic cleaning services, delivery, education, media and virtual assistant services 

---------------------Last five year results (millions of ringgits) 

------------------->.    2015.         2014.          2013.            2012.           2011 
Revenue: -----        19.883         18.712.        18.371.        17,652         16,290 
EBITDA:------         7,284           6,999.          7,271.          7,424.          7,177 
PAT:--------------       2,636.          2,369.          2,739.          2,880.         2,712 
Subscribers mill :---    275.             266.              244.             205.           199 

Eutelsat/Facebook AMOS-6 Satellite Destroyed on Launch Pad

SpaceX suffered a launch pad anomaly during a pre-launch test at Cape Canaveral, Florida, leading to the explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket and the destruction of its payload, Eutelsat's AMOS-6 satellite.

AMOS-6 was a Ka-band geostationary satellite configured with high gain spot beams for covering large parts of West, EAast and Southern Africa. The satellite was designed for community and Direct-to-User Internet access using affordable, off-the-shelf customer equipment.

Eutelsat Signs Facebook for AMOS-6 Satellite over Africa

Eutelsat Communications and Facebook announced a plan to leverage satellite technologies to get more Africans online.

Under a multi-year agreement with Spacecom, the two companies will utilize the entire broadband payload on the upcoming AMOS-6 satellite and will build a dedicated system comprising satellite capacity, gateways and terminals. In providing reach to large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, Eutelsat and Facebook will each be equipped to pursue their ambition to accelerate data connectivity for the many users deprived of the economic and social benefits of the Internet.

AMOS-6, which is scheduled for launch in the second half of 2016. is a Ka-band geostationary satellite configured with high gain spot beams for covering large parts of West, East and Southern Africa. The capacity is optimised for community and Direct-to-User Internet access using affordable, off-the-shelf customer equipment. According to the terms of the agreement, the capacity will be shared between Eutelsat and Facebook.

“Facebook’s mission is to connect the world and we believe that satellites will play an important role in addressing the significant barriers that exist in connecting the people of Africa,” said Chris Daniels, VP of  “We are looking forward to partnering with Eutelsat on this project and investigating new ways to use satellites to connect people in the most remote areas of the world more efficiently.”

Ciena Posts Revenue of $670.6 Million

Ciena reported revenue of $670.6 million for its fiscal third quarter ended July 31, 2016, compared to $602.9 million for the fiscal third quarter 2015. GAAP net income for the fiscal third quarter 2016 was $33.5 million, or $0.23 per diluted common share, which compares to a GAAP net income of $23.6 million, or $0.19 per diluted common share, for the fiscal third quarter 2015.

“We posted strong results on all financial operating metrics in our fiscal third quarter, continuing a trend of consistently improving financial performance and demonstrating the value of having a diversified business to manage through market dynamics,” said Gary B. Smith, president and CEO, Ciena. “Through strategic investments to broaden our portfolio, market application and customer and geographic base, we have positioned Ciena to deliver sustainable long-term growth and increased profitability.”

Head of Nokia Technologies Steps Down

Ramzi Haidamus, President of Nokia Technologies and a member of the company's Group Leadership Team, has resigned.

Nokia Group Leadership Team now consists of the following members: Rajeev Suri, Timo Ihamuotila, Samih Elhage, Federico Guillén, Basil Alwan, Bhaskar Gorti, Hans-Jürgen Bill, Kathrin Buvac, Ashish Chowdhary, Barry French, Marc Rouanne and Maria Varsellona.

Brad Rodrigues, currently head of strategy and business development in Nokia Technologies, will assume the role of acting president of Nokia Technologies, and the company has started the search for a permanent successor with the requisite technology, product and commercial skills.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Infinera Unveils Xceed Software for Multi-layer SDN Automation

Infinera unveiled a portfolio of integrated, open and modular software components for software defined networking (SDN) automation of Infinera programmable multi-layer transport networks.

The new Xceed Software Suite (Xceed), which includes the Xceed Multi-layer SDN Platform and Xceed Applications, allows service providers to extend SDN automation to Infinera’s end-to-end Intelligent Transport Network portfolio, spanning long-haul, metro and data center interconnect applications.

Highlights from the release

Purpose-built Platform: The Xceed Multi-layer SDN Platform is built on the OpenDaylight open source SDN controller, incorporates Infinera-developed advanced microservices, such as the Xceed Multi-layer Path Computation Element (PCE) and a rich network abstraction layer incorporating Infinera’s proven Open Transport Switch (OTS) software. With a diverse range of open application programming interfaces (APIs), standards-based information models and open source components, the Xceed Multi-layer SDN Platform sets a new benchmark of openness to enable rapid application development and deployment.

Revenue-ready Applications:
Xceed Applications unleash the scalability, flexibility and programmability of Infinera packet-optical transport networks to improve service delivery and facilitate service providers’ goals of protecting and growing revenue while increasing network efficiency. Xceed Applications available in the initial release include:
  • Xceed Dynamic Bandwidth provides on-demand provisioning of Optical Transport Network (OTN), including ODUFlex and Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) compliant Ethernet services. Xceed Dynamic Bandwidth enables programmable on-demand capacity activation creating an elastic environment that is designed to enable faster service provisioning, more efficient use of resources across packet, digital and optical layers, and improved network utilization.
  • Xceed Instant Virtual Networks facilitates network virtualization to enable service providers to define virtual transport network topologies on a shared physical network infrastructure. With Layer 1 (OTN) Instant Virtual Network (IVN), multiple virtual transport networks can be established, each operating as a standalone transport network with integrated OTN switching, optical routing and protection capabilities tailored to the end-user’s applications.

“As a leading national provider of high-bandwidth wavelength services, Windstream recognizes that our enterprise and wholesale customers demand streamlined service provisioning and more flexible, on-demand connectivity,” said Art Nichols, Windstream’s Vice President of Network Architecture and Technology. “As a strategic vendor, Infinera partners with us to develop pragmatic solutions to meet our customers’ needs. We are actively testing and plan to deploy the Xceed Multi-layer SDN Platform with Dynamic Bandwidth to further our efforts in providing an exceptional customer experience.”

“GÉANT is working in close partnership with Infinera to deploy SDN, most recently validating Open Transport Switch and the Packet Switching Module to pilot multi-layer programmability between our optical and packet networks,” said Mark Johnston, Chief Operations Officer at GÉANT. “By closely collaborating with the SDN development team, led by Afrodite Sevasti, we plan to leverage the power of the Xceed Software Suite to implement multi-layer control and to facilitate multi-domain interoperation to increase network efficiency and deliver on-demand services. This will also ultimately increase the capability and value of the GÉANT network.”

“The introduction of the Xceed Software Suite marks an important milestone in Infinera’s ability to help our customers realize the promise of an infinite pool of intelligent bandwidth,” said David Welch, President and Co-Founder, Infinera. “Now with Xceed, our customers have the automation, multi-layer intelligence and programmability to rapidly deliver new, differentiated SDN applications with an open approach. Service providers can now activate and control pre-deployed terabit scale capacity quickly and easily with minimal operational expense.”

Ericsson Announces 5G New Radio for Massive MIMO

Ericsson announced shipment of the world's first 5G NR radio for massive MIMO (commercial deployment in not expected until next year).

Ericsson said it now has all the products its portfolio to deliver a 5G access network.  This includes the 5G Plug-Ins announced in June and Ericsson's already commercially available Radio System Baseband 5216, which currently powers Ericsson's Radio Test Bed.

Some highlights of the portfolio:

  • Three new radios support Gigabit speeds for LTE and provide further flexibility in design: Radio 4407 and Radio 4412 enable 4x4 MIMO in one radio unit for FDD and TDD mode respectively, and Radio 8808 for advanced TDD beamforming applications
  • Addressing both the need for unlicensed spectrum options and the growing emphasis on small cells is the Radio 2205, a micro solution on unlicensed spectrum that is fully integrated in Ericsson Radio System, using the same baseband and network management
  • Two new baseband units support the growing need for densification: the outdoor micro Baseband 6502 and macro Baseband 6303 with Ericsson Rail System mounting for flexible site builds
  • Addressing interference issues in dense builds, Baseband P614 enables new band activation on challenging sites by mitigating Passive Inter Modulation, referred to as PIM mitigation, from static and dynamic sources both inside and outside the antenna system
  • Spectrum optimization is a growing need and Uplink Spectrum Analyzer is an Ericsson-unique software solution to remotely identify external interference without the need for costly measurement equipment and site visits
  • Exclusive to Ericsson is instant power sharing, used in the wideband Radio 2242. This capability allows power to be instantly shared between carriers, standards and bands, optimizing the use of radio resources
  • Cloud RAN will be an important 5G network architecture and Baseband C608 provides high-performance switching in Elastic RAN deployments

Arun Bansal, Head of Business Unit Network Products, Ericsson, says: "Ericsson has driven innovation in every generation of mobile technology and now we are set to over-deliver on an aggressive promise. We are introducing the new hardware that 5G Plug-Ins, announced in June, will run on, so that the first operators can start to deploy 5G infrastructure.  And, we are also launching innovations that improve both the performance and efficiency of today's networks using concepts that will evolve into 5G."

Ericsson's 5G Software Plug-ins Extend LTE

Ericsson announced a number of 5G Plug-Ins, software-driven innovations that bring essential 5G technology concepts to existing LTE networks. Ericsson said LTE will continue to expand and evolve, addressing both an increased number of subscribers and their growing demands for extreme app coverage for data and video, as well as new low power wide area (LPWA) applications for the Internet of Things (IoT).  These include: Massive MIMO Plug-In:...

"5G for Switzerland" Backed by Swisscom and Ericsson

Swisscom, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and Ericsson are launching a "5G for Switzerland" program that aims to understand to how 5G can play a transformative role in areas such as smart transportation, autonomous driving, automated traffic control systems, smart grid, IoT, and virtual reality. Heinz Herren, CTO and CIO Swisscom said: “5G is still in the early stages of development. For Swisscom it is essential to be in on the...

Sprint Shows Three-Channel Carrier Aggregation LTE Plus in Kansas City

Sprint and Nokia kicked-off the launch of three-channel carrier aggregation in Kansas City’s LTE Plus Network with a live demonstration at Kauffman Stadium just prior to the Royals vs Yankees game.

Sprint is hitting peak speeds as high of 230 Mbps using its 2.5Ghz spectrum with three-channel carrier aggregation inside the stadium using the Samsung Note7, Galaxy S7, S7 edge, HTC 10 and LG G5. Nokia supplied its Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station for LTE TDD, including TD-LTE-Advanced 8-pipe radio (8T8R) that can deliver all three carriers from a single unit on 8T8R configuration for better performance and coverage.

“Kansas City is our hometown and it’s also one of the most tech savvy cities in the country, so it’s fitting that it would be one of our first markets to receive this advanced capability,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. “4K streaming and powerful virtual reality systems are on the rise and we’re excited to take our LTE Plus network to the next level increasing our speed and capacity 50% more with three-channel carrier aggregation.”

Australia's nbn Satellite Readied for Launch

The second high performance satellite designed and built by SSL for Australia's national broadband network (nbn) has arrived at the European Spaceport in Kourou,French Guiana, where it will be launched aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle by Arianespace.

The Ka-band satellite, called Sky Muster II, will be used in conjunction with the first Sky Muster satellite, to provide high-speed broadband service to more than 200,000 Australians.

"It has been very gratifying to work together with our colleagues in Australia to help establish a satellite service that brings high speed internet to underserved users anywhere in Australia," said John Celli, president of SSL. "SSL is a leader in building broadband satellites that are used for services that improve people's lives and open new opportunities for education, healthcare and economic development, and we commend the government ofAustralia for assuring that all of its citizens have this type of access."

Red Hat Revs OpenStack Platform 9

Red Hat announced its OpenStack Platform 9 release, its open Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform designed to deploy, scale and manage private cloud, public cloud, and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) environments.

Red Hat OpenStack Platform 9 is based on the OpenStack cCommunity "Mitaka" release. Key additions include:

• Automated updates and upgrades with Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director - Red Hat enables users to upgrade their OpenStack deployments through the automation and validation mechanisms of the Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director, based on the upstream community project TripleO (OpenStack on OpenStack). This in-place upgrade tool offers a simplified means to take advantage of the latest OpenStack advancements, while preventing downtime for production environments.

• Live migration improvements and selectable CPU pinning from OpenStack Compute (Nova) -- The Compute component now offers a faster and enhanced instance of the live migration process, helping system administrators to observe its progress and even pause and resume the migration task. A new CPU pinning feature can dynamically change the hypervisor behavior with latency-sensitive workloads such as NFV, enabling more fine-grained performance control.

• Tech Preview of Google Cloud Storage backup driver in OpenStack Block Storage (Cinder) -- As part of Red Hat’s continued collaboration with Google, new disaster recovery policies in Red Hat OpenStack Platform 9 now extend to the public cloud using integrated drivers created for Google Cloud Storage. This new feature enables more secure backups of critical data across the hybrid cloud.
Management for OpenStack

“The adoption of OpenStack in production environments has grown and with that, comes increased requirements for enhanced management and seamlessly integrated enterprise capabilities. Dell and Red Hat’s continued close collaboration and joint engineering has both advanced and integrated these capabilities to automate OpenStack updates and upgrades with Red Hat OpenStack Platform 9 and Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director to help our customers achieve their business goals more quickly and easily on their OpenStack powered clouds,” stated Jonathan Donaldson, vice president, Software Defined Infrastructure, Intel.

Box Posts Q2 Revenue of $95.7 Million, Up 30% Year-Over-Year

Box posted Q2 2017 revenue of $95.7 million, an increase of 30% from the second quarter of fiscal 2016. GAAP operating loss in the second quarter of fiscal 2017 was $37.9 million, or 40% of revenue. This compares to GAAP operating loss of $49.8 million, or 68% of revenue, in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.

"Our strong second quarter results, with revenue growth of 30 percent and billings growth of 34 percent year-over-year, reflect our clear differentiation as the leading enterprise content platform," said Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box. "Our excellent sales execution and traction with new products drove deals with 4,000 new customers and expanded deployments with leaders such as Pfizer, Electronic Arts and Uber.”

During Q2, Box added over 4,000 paying new customers, and added or significantly expanded deployments with leading enterprises like Pfizer, Autodesk, Electronic Arts, the Federal Communications Commission, London Met University, Perkins+Will Global, Telegraaf Media Groep, Western Union, Uber, and more.  

Box grew its paying customer base to 66,000 businesses.

Equinix Completes London Data Center Expansion

Equinix completed the second phase expansion of its LD6 International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Slough, London.

The $42M of capital investment adds 1,385 cabinets, bringing the total operational capacity of the data center to 2,770 cabinets. Following this latest investment, Equinix's LD6 London Slough campus will provide more than 408,000 square feet (38,000 square meters) of net premium colocation space interconnected by more than 1,000 diverse dark fiber links, increasing scale and resilience.

Equinix said LD6 is one of the busiest network nodes in the UK,

LD6 hosts more than 90 network service providers and provides access to a range of transatlantic sub-sea cables.

It offers latency in the region of 30 milliseconds to New York and 4 milliseconds to Frankfurt.

The facility also houses LINX, one of the world's largest Internet Exchanges, and serves as a virtual financial center for more than 170 financial services companies. A quarter of European equities trades flow through Equinix data centers.

Sequans Delivers LTE Cat 1 for IoT for T-Mobile

Sequans Communications will deliver LTE Cat 1 technology and products to T-Mobile’s (NASDAQ: TMUS) machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) customers.

Sequans’ Calliope LTE Cat 1 chipset platform, which uniquely supports VoLTE and enables a wide range of industrial and consumer IoT applications, including asset tracking, alarm systems, telematics devices, retail applications, smart utility meters and more, is now certified and available for use on T-Mobile’s network.

“We are very happy to support T-Mobile’s IoT network strategy as an LTE Cat 1 technology provider,” said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. “LTE Cat 1 enables 4G solutions to rival 2G/3G in cost while providing much greater longevity. This means T-Mobile’s customers have access to a leading wireless network that is scalable and secure with broad coverage, along with affordable, long-lived connectivity solutions for successful IoT and M2M business models.”

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ericsson and Cisco Win IP/MPLS Project with Cable & Wireless

Ericsson and Cisco announced a joint service provider customer.  Cable & Wireless Communications has selected Ericsson to deliver an IP/MPLS network in three markets: the Bahamas, Jamaica and Barbados. The project includes an upgrade to the IP backbone network in the Bahamas to improve performance and support an increase of traffic, and a new business-to-business IP/MPLS network in Jamaica and Barbados. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal includes Cisco routers and switches (ASR9000, ASR900 and WR4500 families), supply and installation of NMS system (EPN-M), overall project management, and customer support.

"Our teams complemented each other with the right approach, from network analysis and planning to systems integration and customer support from Ericsson, to selecting the right routers and switches from Cisco, and finally ensuring the right flow along every step with Ericsson services," says Clayton Cruz, Vice President Ericsson Latin America and Caribbean. "The partnership has delivered real value to Cable & Wireless in terms of accelerating their IP transformation by combining end-to-end business transformation competence and experience with deep product and domain expertise."

"Cisco and Ericsson working together have the combined breadth, depth and lifecycle engagement required to help operators like Cable & Wireless succeed in their transformation to an IP-centric network," says Jordi Botifoll, Cisco President Latin America & Senior Vice President in the Americas. "Working together on this project will lead Cable & Wireless to a standardized approach across other markets, so that all their business-to-business and IP fixed networks will be supported by IP/MPLS, helping them do things better and faster."

The companies said that they currently have over 200 active customer engagement, some of which have now started to turn into won deals. Previously, the companies announced deals with 3 Italy, Vodafone Portugal and Aster Dominican Republic earlier this year.

In November 2015, Ericsson and Cisco formed a global business and technology partnership. The first product from the partnership, Ericsson Dynamic Service Manager, was announced in February 2016.

OIF Launches 100G Serial Electrical Links

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) has begun work on a 100G Serial Electrical Link project.

The very short reach (VSR) CEI-112G chip-to-module interface project will support a nominal lane rate of 112 Gb/s, enabling narrower interfaces to optical modules and is expected to be more energy efficient than previous interfaces. The CEI-112G-VSR specification doubles data rates over the current generation CEI-56G-VSR interfaces.

The OIF said this work will be followed by both shorter and longer reach projects.

“As bandwidth increases, electrical interfaces need to reflect that trend. Given the lead times, development of standards for the next generation of electrical links needs to start now,” said David Stauffer of Kandou Bus and the OIF’s Physical and Link Layer Working Group Chair and board member. “The OIF is continuing its roadmap for 100 Gb/s thru 400 Gb/s and beyond applications, addressing multiple reaches for chip-to-chip and chip-to module interfaces.”

A10: Malware Hidden in SSL Traffic Poses Growing Threat

Nearly half of cyber attacks used malware hidden in encrypted traffic to evade detection, according to a new report from A10 Networks based on a survey conducted in partnership with Ponemon Institute of 1,023 IT and IT security practitioners in North America and Europe. A full 80% of organizations were victims of cyber attacks during the past year.

The problem of malware hidden in SSL traffic poses a serious threat to organization who are increasingly relying on encrypted traffic to protect their workflows. SSL hides data from both potential attackers and from common security tools.

A10 Networks said many network managers mistakenly believe that there will be a performance penalty for inspecting inbound and outbound SSL traffic.

“IT decision makers need to think more strategically,” said Dr. Chase Cunningham, director of cyber operations at A10 Networks. “The bad guys are looking for ROI just like the good guys, and they don’t want to work too hard to get it. Instead of focusing on doing everything right 100 percent of the time, IT leaders can be more effective by doing a few things very strategically with the best technology available. It’s the cyber security equivalent of the zombie marathon — as long as you can avoid being the slowest in outrunning the zombies, you minimize risk.”

Some highlights of the survey:

  • Almost half of respondents (47 percent) cited a lack of enabling security tools as the primary reason for not inspecting decrypted web traffic—closely followed by insufficient resources and degradation of network performance (both 45 percent). 
  • 80 percent of survey respondents say their organizations have been victims of a cyber attack or malicious insider during the past year. And nearly half say that the attackers used encryption to evade detection.
  • Although 75 percent of survey respondents say their networks are at risk from malware hidden inside encrypted traffic, roughly two-thirds admit that their company is unprepared to detect malicious SSL traffic.

“The Hidden Threats in Encrypted Traffic study sheds light on important facts about the malicious threats lurking in today’s corporate networks,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. “Our goal is to help organizations better understand the risks to help them better address vulnerabilities in their networks.”