Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Qualcomm, Ericsson, SK Telecom Set 5G NR Trials

Ericsson, Qualcomm, and SK Telecom will conduct interoperability testing and over-the-air field trials in the second half of 2017 based on 3GPP's 5G New Radio (NR) standards, which utilize wide bandwidths available at higher frequency bands to increase network capacity and achieve multi-gigabit per second data rates.

The first 3GPP 5G NR specification that will be part of Release 15 - the global 5G standard that will make use of both sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum bands.

The companies said the upcoming trials will employ 3GPP 5G NR Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques, including non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments and device mobility. It will also make use of scalable OFDM-based waveforms and a new flexible framework design that are also part of the 5G NR specifications. The trials are expected to yield valuable insight into the unique challenges of integrating 5G NR technologies into mobile networks and devices.

"As we did in both 3G and 4G, we are excited about collaborating with leading operators and industry stakeholders such as Ericsson and SK Telecom to accelerate the path to 5G," said Matt Grob, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "The roadmap of 5G technologies is incredibly complex, and trials based on the global 3GPP 5G standard, such as this, are critical to continuing our long history of leadership integrating advanced wireless technologies in form-factor accurate devices to ensure timely deployment of 5G networks."

"As 5G rapidly gains momentum, a globally agreed and unified standard becomes imperative to achieve early commercialization of 5G and build an efficient ecosystem around it," said Alex Jinsung Choi, EVP, Chief Technology Officer, SK Telecom, "As 3GPP NR is a global 5G standard, we are delighted to announce early 3GPP NR trials with leading 5G players, Ericsson and Qualcomm, with which we have made remarkable world's first footprints in the past with previous generations of groundbreaking mobile technologies.."

http://www.ericsson.com
http://www.qualcomm.com

Vendors Back New NFV Interoperability Testing Initiative

Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia signed Memorandum of Understanding to create the NFV Interoperability Testing Initiative (NFV-ITI) whose main objective is to promote competition and create industry alignment on generic principles for NFV interoperability testing and support for specific customer situations.

NFV-ITI members agreed to cooperatively support the interoperability of NFV elements in specific customer situations to accelerate the commercial implementations, and to reduce the time-to-market for new applications and services.

The members said guiding principles of the initiative are openness, fairness, reasonableness and non-discriminatory treatment. All relevant NFV vendors are welcome to join this initiative by ratifying the NFV-ITI MoU.

http://www.cisco.com
http://www.ericsson.com
http://www.nokia.com
http://www.huawei.com

Enea Completes Acquisition of Qosmos

Enea completed its acquisition of Qosmos, a privately held company with leading positions in IP traffic classification and network intelligence, for approximately EUR 52.7 million. Qosmos is estimated to generate sales of approximately EUR 14.2 million in 2016.

Qosmos is a supplier of Network Intelligence software based on Deep Packet Inspection. Its software provides detailed real-time traffic visibility for applications such as mobile traffic management, cyber security, and network analytics.

“We will be able to help customers identify, classify, and analyze network traffic in real-time, and we will be able to serve and assist them in new areas such as traffic management and network security analytics”, said Anders Lidbeck, President and CEO, Enea. “Customers will also find a strong partner and supplier in us as a company, with increased resources, broadened expertise, and expanded geographical presence”.

http://www.enea.com/
http://www.qosmos.com

Zayo Supplies Metro Fiber and Wavelengths to Genomics Firm

Zayo was selected to deliver dark fiber and wavelength connectivity in a major West Coast metro market to a leading genomics firm.  The connectivity, which will use Zayo's existing fiber network, includes a dark fiber connection between the client’s headquarters and data center, along with secure, high-bandwidth wavelength connectivity among satellite offices, headquarters and the data center.

“Our dark fiber provided a significant competitive advantage in winning this business in an exciting and rapidly expanding market,” said Chris Morley, Zayo’s chief operating officer. “The customer required a solution that could scale to accommodate continued growth, and also wanted the flexibility to use and manage their own equipment. We’re well positioned to provide them both dark and lit services that meet their specific needs -- and, more broadly, to meet the growing communications infrastructure demand in this emerging sector.”

http://www.zayo.com

Telia Carrier Expands in Germany

Telia Carrier is expanding the availability of its IP, Wavelength and Ethernet services in Germany through new partnership with Savecall, Germany's top consultant and broker of ICT services with offices in Munich, Wiesbaden and Berlin. In addition to Savecall's consulting and brokering services, this partnership allows the company to act as a reseller of Telia Carrier's complete suite of IP, Wavelength and Ethernet services.

Savecall mediates provider-neutral expert solutions including point-to-point Ethernet, leased line and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) services for IT and telecommunications companies. The company offers customers risk and cost reduction through the standardization of basic IT services coupled with powerful virtualization solutions.

"At Savecall, one of our guiding principles is to rapidly deliver competitive and agile solutions to our customers," saidNikolaus von Johnston, General Manager, Savecall. "Leveraging Telia Carrier's expertise in this market and superior customer service, our customers will benefit from the inclusion of Telia Carrier's top-ranked network services in our portfolio."

http://www.teliacarrier.com/

SK Telecom Selects Coriant 100G for New Undersea Link

SK Telecom has selected a Coriant submarine solution to extend 100G connectivity to Ulleungdo Island, which lies off the east coast of Korea.

The deployment will use the Coriant hiT 7300 Multi-Haul Transport Platform and Coriant Transport Network Management System (TNMS).

"Uncompromising quality is critical in today’s transport networks as they scale to support ever-increasing amounts of customer traffic," said Petri Markkanen, General Manager and Vice President of Sales, Asia Pacific, Coriant. "Following rigorous testing for this submarine application, SK Telecom selected the Coriant hiT 7300 submarine solution for its superior 100G reach and performance, as well as proven features including flexible configuration, advanced optical link control, and integrated RAMAN amplification."

http://www.coriant.com

Monday, December 19, 2016

Predictions 2017: The Age of Collaboration and Interoperability

by Daniel Kurgan,
CEO, BICS

2016 proved to be a remarkable year for the telecoms industry. In its crudest form, mobile was previously synonymous with the core voice services provided by operators. And while voice remains one of the biggest revenue streams for MNOs, the digital revolution has sparked a new age for communication. New, branded digital experiences – messaging apps, chat bots and even the Internet of Things – have pervaded mobile devices globally, as consumers expect instant connectivity and seamless services, wherever they are in the world.

As operators and internet service providers make great headway in giving subscribers the ultimate user experience with faster, more qualitative and cost-effective voice and data services,  2017 – despite its imminent challenges – could prove to be a turning point for the industry as a whole, with new revenue opportunities and partnerships to be reaped for those who have readied themselves to take advantage.

The abolition of EU roaming charges will force significant change in the industry

June 2017 will mark a huge juncture in mobile history as EU regulators abolish roaming charges, allowing subscribers to use their mobile phones abroad as they would at home.
The abolition of roaming charges in Europe for consumers will have a knock on effect for wholesalers, who will be under increasing pressure to reduce their own fees. However, roaming traffic is expected to grow significantly as more subscribers will be inclined to switch on data roaming as they travel. This surge in usage of mobile voice and data services abroad should offset the impact of the changes in legislation.

The wholesale telecoms sector will experience a period of upheaval as the new measures come into place. However, the blow could be softened by the decision made by EU ministers in December 2016 to cap wholesale rates. Essentially, this will give mobile operators and wholesale carriers time to adjust. Either way, mobile operators will need to adapt if they want to reap the rewards of the industry’s digital transformation.

The Internet of Things will spark new services and revenue streams

In 2017, we will witness more convergence across the telecoms space as service providers develop cross-platform propositions to support content services, and also look to diversify in order to target vertical markets.

The IoT will be a key driver of this transformation, as an increasing number of industries become reliant on mobile to provide the connectivity and infrastructure needed to support IoT implementations. IoT has become integral to the growth of smart homes, smart factories, automated production lines and the emergence of driverless cars.

We have already seen several deployments of global IoT solutions, but in 2017 these are likely to gain traction as more and more equipment manufacturers and enterprises look to embed global connectivity into their devices. Wholesalers will play a key role in bringing disparate players from other markets together, helping to drive collaboration that will support innovation in telecoms.

Increased M&A activity will prompt collaboration to take advantage of industry opportunities

Wholesalers are set to play a crucial role in the development and transformation of the telecoms industry in 2017, acting as a facilitator of new partnerships across the sector.

In 2016, we saw a number of high-profile M&As as major operators looked to enhance their digital propositions to offer content and media services. This was evident in the U.S. with the Verizon- Yahoo M&A and the recent move by AT&T to acquire Time Warner. On the consolidation front, the UK incumbent BT acquired EE, the country’s largest mobile operator.

In 2017, we’ll see similar activity again, but on a micro-level, as mobile operators and pure-play telecoms businesses look to partner with digital service providers, cloud communications companies and even fintech companies to embed mobile and rich communications services into their core proposition. In order for these players to capitalise on the opportunities before them, they will need to look at partnering with wholesalers, retail service providers and vendors to help make the connections, share assets and intelligence in order to develop and roll out new services and to new markets in order to differentiate.

About the Author

Daniel Kurgan, Chief Executive Officer, BICS Daniel Kurgan was appointed CEO of BICS SA/NV on March 2nd 2007 after being COO from July 1st 2006 onwards. He started his career as Contracts Manager at SABCA (biggest Belgian aerospace company, subsidiary of French Group Dassault), where he negotiated and managed major industrial sales, subcontracting and purchase contracts with customers like Boeing, Airbus, Aerospatiale (EADS), Asian governments, and suppliers like GEC Marconi and Litton.

Daniel joined Belgacom’s Carrier Division at the start of the carrier's commercial operations in January 1997, where he held several positions including International Account Manager, Head of International Relations & Sales, Sales Director (domestic and international wholesale) and VP International Wholesale, in charge of Sales & Marketing, Buying & LCR, and Customer Service and Network. In 2005 Daniel was VP Commercial of BICS, and contributed to the spin-off of Belgacom’s international carrier business.

Daniel graduated from the Solvay Business School of the University of Brussels.

Fujitsu Demos Open ROADM Interoperability in AT&T Field Trial

Fujitsu completed an Open ROADM interoperability field trial on AT&T’s network using the Virtuora multivendor software-defined networking solution and 1FINITY open hardware platform.

The trial was an extension of the Open ROADM Multi-Source Agreement (MSA), which defines interoperability specifications for Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexers (ROADMs), including the ROADM switches, transponders and pluggable optics. The goal of the MSA is to move away from a traditionally closed ROADM optical transport network and toward a disaggregated open transport network, while allowing for centralized software control.

The multivendor field trial consisted of a 100 Gbps optical wavelength in the Dallas metro area carrying live customer traffic. Fujitsu provided transponders and ROADMs from their 1FINITY open hardware platform (1FINITY T300, 1FINITY L100/L110) connecting to high capacity IP/MPLS routers. The 100G wavelength was provisioned using the Virtuora SDN Network Controller, which was integrated into the AT&T ECOMP architecture via REST APIs.

“As an Open ROADM MSA member, Fujitsu shares our customers' vision for software-defined optical networks,” said Rod Naphan, chief technology officer at Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. “Our 1FINITY hardware and Virtuora multivendor software platforms were designed based on the principles of openness, scalability and interoperability – which translate to cost savings, faster services deployment and improved network performance for service providers. We will continue striving to help customers like AT&T achieve their network vision.”

http://www.fujitsu.com/us/products/network/

AT&T Activates First Open ROADMs with Ciena and Fujitsu

AT&T recently activated a 100 Gbps wavelength in its production network in the Dallas area that uses Open ROADM-compliant technology. Specifically, AT&T connected 2 high capacity IP/MPLS routers with transponders and ROADMs provided by Ciena and Fujitsu.

Open ROADM project is a project underway with the backing of AT&T and a goal of driving faster innovation and open software control for the Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexers (ROADMs) used in optical transport networks. An Open ROADM Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) defines interoperability specifications for Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexers (ROADM). Included are the ROADM switch as well as transponders and pluggable optics. Specifications consist of both Optical interoperability as well as YANG data models.

In a blog posting, Andre Fuetsch, President of AT&T Labs and CTO, said the newly installed ROADMs support full software control according to the published Open ROADM specification. NetConf/YANG APIs are used for controlling and managing the optical network. The 100G wavelength was provisioned using an SDN ROADM Controller developed by Fujitsu and integrated into the AT&T ECOMP architecture.

http://about.att.com/innovationblog/open_roadms
http://openroadm.org/home.html

VMware Acquires Plumgrid

PLUMgrid, a start-up offering an Open Networking Suite (ONS) for clouds based on OpenStack, confirmed that its technology, intellectual property, and many of its employees have been acquired. Media sources cited VMware as the buyer.  Neither company commented on financial terms or other highlights of the deal.

PLUMgrid,which was founded in 2011 and is based in Santa Clara, California, pioneered the concept of providing programmability and extensibility in the data plane by introducing the notion of an IO processor with the canonical operations of Parse, Lookup, Update, and Modify and distributing them in software defined data centers.  The company built and delivered a platform-based SDN architecture designed to provide network virtualization, network automation and security across any hypervisor, any container, any device, and any hardware.

http://www.plumgrid.com/plumgrid-blog/2016/12/an-update-on-plumgrid-for-customers-and-partners/


IEEE Kicks of 5G Initiative

IEEE is kicking off a 5G Initiative with the purpose of engaging professionals worldwide from industry, government, and academia to work to solve the challenges associated with 5G and lay the foundation to realize its many opportunities.

The IEEE 5G Initiative, which includes contributions from many IEEE societies, has several working groups for which it seeks volunteers from both industry and academia to participate.

IEEE 5G Initiative working groups are focused around activities like its 5G Roadmap project, which will identify short (~3 years), mid-term (~5 years), and long-term (~10 years) research, innovation, and technology trends in the communications ecosystem for the purpose of establishing a living document with a clear set of recommendations. Other working groups will develop standards, organize events and conferences such as the IEEE 5G Summits and IEEE 5G World Forum to convene professionals working on 5G, establish educational materials, conduct 5G training, and contribute to publications such as magazines and journals.

The co-chairs of the IEEE 5G Initiative are Ashutosh Dutta and Gerhard Fettweis. In the private sector, Dutta serves as Lead Member of Technical Staff at AT&T. Fettweis serves as Senior Research Scientist at the International Computer Science Institute and as Vodafone Chair Professor at TU Dresden. Both Dutta and Fettweis serve on the IEEE Communications Society’s Board of Governors and Dutta also serves as ComSoc’s Industry Outreach Director.

“5G is not only evolutionary, providing higher bandwidth and lower latency than current-generation technology; more importantly, 5G is revolutionary, in that it is expected to enable fundamentally new applications with much more stringent requirements in latency and bandwidth," said Dutta. “5G should help solve the last-mile/last-kilometer problem and provide broadband access to the next billion users on earth at much lower cost because of its use of new spectrum and its improvements in spectral efficiency.”

https://www.facebook.com/ieee5g/

Ixia Ships First 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Test Solution to Carrier

Ixia announced the first shipment of a 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) test solution to a major, worldwide carrier.

“Ixia continues to lead the market in developing validation solutions and our list of firsts continues to grow,” said Dennis Cox, Chief Product Officer at Ixia. “Over the past 15 years, Ixia has been first to develop test systems supporting 10GbE, 100GbE, 40GbE, 25GbE, and 50 GbE, and now 400 GbE.”

Ixia noted that it was the first vendor to successfully and publicly demonstrate leading edge, IEEE802.3bs draft compliant 400GbE technology at several industry events in 2016. These demonstrations, held in Japan and Germany, confirmed that 400GbE technology, including key elements such as field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) running Ixia intellectual property, CFP8 connectors, and optics, are available and ready to build the next generation of high speed networking products.

http://www.ixiacom.com

NeoPhotonics to Sell Low Speed Transceiver Business to APAT Optoelectronics

NeoPhotonics will sell its Access and Low Speed transceiver product lines to APAT Optoelectronics Components Co., of Shenzhen, China. The transaction is valued at approximately $26.4 million, inclusive of post-closing payments under a Transition Services Agreement.

In 2015, and for the first 9 months of 2016, the Low Speed Business generated $92.8 million and $50.7 million in revenue, respectively, and gross profit of $16.7 million and $9.7 million, respectively. Net assets for the business were approximately $18.0 million as of September 30, 2016.

Commenting on the transaction, Tim Jenks, NeoPhotonics Chief Executive Officer, stated, “After a comprehensive evaluation of the alternatives available for the Low Speed Business, we believe this transaction will best benefit our shareholders, customers, and employees. This transaction underscores our objective to focus our efforts on growing high speed optical networking products and solutions based on our advanced hybrid photonic integration technology platform to meet customer demand.” Jenks continued, “We believe the Low Speed Business will benefit from APAT OE's expertise in Access and PON products while continuing to provide quality products, support and services to customers.”

http://www.neophotonics.com

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Perspectives 2017: Financial Agility for Digital Transformation

by Andrew Blacklock, Senior Director, Strategy and Products, Cisco Capital

Ten years ago, companies like Uber and Airbnb were ideas waiting for technology to catch up. Now, these two brands represent a shift in the global economy in what’s known as digital transformation. This evolution towards digital-everything is constantly accelerating, leaving non-digital companies scrambling for a means to kickstart their digitization projects.

According to Gartner, there are 125,000 enterprises in the U.S. alone that are currently launching digital transformation projects. These companies are of all sizes, from nimble startups to global conglomerates. Despite the strong drive to a digital future, 40% of businesses will be unsuccessful in their digital transformation, according to Cisco’s Digital Vortex study.

Many attribute the difficulties associated with the digital transition to the significant costs of restructuring an organization’s technological backbone. Because of these challenges, many companies opt for an agile approach to financial restructuring.

Financial agility allows companies to evolve and meet the rapidly changing demands of digital business through liquid, scalable options that won’t break the bank. While it is not always possible to predict changes in the business environment, agile financing allows companies to acquire the proper technology and tools necessary to plan, work and expand their businesses.

Financial agility isn’t just another buzzword – it’s a characteristic that organizations of all sizes in all industries need to champion in order to drive efficiencies and competitive advantages. It’s a way that companies can acquire the technologies needed to shift their business without having to “go all in.” This allows companies to avoid large up-front capital investment, help with cash flow by spreading costs over time and preserve existing sources of capital to allocate to other areas of the transformation.

Organizations now need to decide how they can best adjust to the transformation and transition for the next stage of digital business. With financial options that enable organizations to acquire technology and scale quickly, companies can pivot with agility to meet the constantly-evolving demands of our digital age.

Looking at the bigger picture, financial agility is a crucial piece of an organization’s overall digital transformation puzzle. While the digital landscape might be constantly changing, flexible financing helps set an organization up for a successful transformation to the future of digital business.

About the Author

Andrew Blacklock is Senior Director, Strategy and Financial Product Development at Cisco Capital. As director of strategy & business operations, Andrew is responsible for strategy, program management and business operations. He has been with Cisco Capital for 17 years with more than 20 years of experience in captive financing. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

SUPERNAP Opens in Milano

SUPERNAP International officially opened "the largest, most advanced data center in Southern Europe." The new facility is built to the specifications of the company's flagship, Tier IV Gold-rated Switch LAS VEGAS multi-tenant/colocation data center.

The SUPERNAP ITALIA data center in Milano will include:

42,000 square meters of data center space with four data halls
40 mega volt amps of power distributed through two 132 kilovolt transmission paths
Proprietary tri-redundant UPS power system
Up to 40 kilowatts of power per cabinet
200 multi-carrier fiber couples with separate paths
Patented Switch SHIELD: dual independent roof decks rated to withstand 322 kph winds
24/7 on-site network operations center (NOC), fire, safety and security
On-site, on-net member resources including conference spaces

The company said 500 cabinets and more than 3.3 megawatts of power have already been sold.

"The lightning fast growth of the data that is running our planet has driven the demand from our clients who are global, industry-leading companies to be operating inside the most advanced, innovative and sustainable data center environment," according to SUPERNAP ITALIA Managing Director Luca Beltramino, a data center industry veteran who recently joined to lead the Italian operation. "They want their worldwide technology operations in the SUPERNAP International data centers."

Telia Carrier, the operator of one of the world's largest fiber-optic networks chose SUPERNAP ITALIA's data center in Milano as a key location for its expansion in Southern Europe. "Telia Carrier is expanding into the SUPERNAP ITALIA data center for many reasons, including its high standards of data center security, availability and scalability, in addition to its carrier-neutrality and key geographical position," said Davide Binaghi, managing director of Telia Carrier Italy.

http://www.supernap.com

Google Joins Cloud Foundry

The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is now part of Cloud Foundry.

Google noted that it has been very active this year with the Cloud Foundry community, including the delivery of the BOSH Google CPI release, enabling the deployment of Cloud Foundry on GCP, and the recent release of the Open Service Broker API. The efforts have led to custom service brokers for eight of GCP services:

  • Google BigQuery
  • Google Cloud Storage
  • Google Cloud SQL
  • Google Cloud Pub/Sub
  • Google Cloud Vision API
  • Google Cloud Speech API
  • Google Cloud Natural Language API
  • Google Translation API


https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/

DOCOMO Partners with China's CAICT on 5G

NTT DOCOMO and the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology (CAICT) agreed to jointly investigate the standardization of 5G technologies and available frequency bands.

CAICT, a national research organization directly under the Provincial Government of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, is in charge of policies and standardization strategies on information and communication in China.

Under the MOU, DOCOMO will participate in the 5G Trial launched by the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group to verify 5G technologies and systems. The group is driving research and development to help standardize 5G technologies in China as quickly as possible. During the trial, DOCOMO and CAICT will also study a possible frequency bands for 5G networks.

https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/info/media_center/pr/2016/1215_00.html

Violin Memory Enters Chapter 11, Seeks Auction in January

Violin Memory, which offers flash memory arrays, filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.  The company said its will streamline its operations and balance sheet, while simultaneously pursuing a sale of its business. The company is seeking to hold an auction in early January for the business.

Violin Memory, founded in 2005, said its assets include annual recurring service revenue, a portfolio of 58 US Patents/24 pending, a single O/S for public, private and hybrid cloud environments, integrated hardware and software solutions, and a customer base that includes some of the largest enterprises in the world.

Kevin A. DeNuccio, Violin Memory's President and CEO stated: "We are taking this action, which should conclude by the end of January 2017, to bolster Violin's ability to serve the needs of its customers. Violin intends to continue to sell solutions to customers and prospects as well as service and

http://www.violin-memory.com

Rob Sherwood leaves Big Switch for Facebook

Rob Sherwood is leaving Big Switch Networks to take up a research role at Facebook. Sherwood currently serves as Chief Technology Officer of Big Switch.


http://www.bigswitch.com/blog/2016/12/16/and-now-for-something-completely-different

See also