Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ericsson and BT Conduct 5G Research

Ericsson, BT and King's College London are collaborating on the development of 5G projects in support of mission-critical services, commercial and consumer markets.

The multi-year collaboration agreement focuses on 5G testing and development.

BT has worked with Ericsson to build a 5G Proof of Concept Center at the BT Labs in Adastral Park, Ipswich. King's College contributes with low-latency use cases and specialized knowledge in communication technologies, robotics and haptic control.

Howard Watson, CEO, BT Technology, Service & Operations, and BT Group CIO, says: "The initial focus of the collaboration is on Proof of Concept solutions and trials of services needing both high availability and low latency - both key features of the forthcoming 5G technology."

In 2016, BT bought EE, the United Kingdom's leading 4G network provider.

http://www.btplc.com
http://www.ericsson.com

Monday, March 6, 2017

Video: 5G is Starting to Happen



5G was front and center at this year's Mobile World Congress, but for all of the talk about autonomous driving, connected living, etc,  the first real application of 5G is likely to be fixed wireless access, says Dan Warren, Hear of 5G Research for Samsung's R&D Institute. Much of the activity for 5G fixed wireless access is taking place in the 28 GHz band.

See video: https://youtu.be/84HQmhkfMQ0




IBM Plans Quantum Capability for the Cloud

IBM is launching an initiative to build commercially available universal quantum computing systems that would be be delivered via the IBM Cloud platform.

As a first step, the company is releasing an API for the IBM Quantum Experience that enables developers and programmers to begin building interfaces between its existing five quantum bit (qubit) cloud-based quantum computer and classical computers, without needing a deep background in quantum physics. Later this year, IBM plans to release a full SDK (Software Development Kit) on the IBM Quantum Experience for users to build simple quantum applications and software programs.

“Classical computers are extraordinarily powerful and will continue to advance and underpin everything we do in business and society. But there are many problems that will never be penetrated by a classical computer. To create knowledge from much greater depths of complexity, we need a quantum computer,” said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president of IBM Systems. “We envision IBM Q systems working in concert with our portfolio of classical high-performance systems to address problems that are currently unsolvable, but hold tremendous untapped value.”

https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/51740.wss


Crehan: Branded Data Center Ethernet Switch Revenue Tops $10B in '16

Branded data center Ethernet switch sales exceeded $10 billion in 2016, according to the latest report from Crehan Research Inc.  The report notes that this revenue level, a record, was accompanied by the strongest market growth rate since 2013.

“2016 was a strong year for data center Ethernet switching, with robust customer spending on public, private and hybrid clouds," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. “40GbE and 100GbE switches were the main market drivers, with a total of over one billion dollars in revenue growth. However, 40GbE data center switch spending softened in the second half of the year, while spending on 100GbE continued to increase throughout the year."

In addition to the strong top-level revenue performance, notable results from Crehan’s data center switch report include:

  • 25GbE shipments ramped exponentially during 2016, exceeding a one-and-a-half million annual port run-rate by 4Q16, driven mostly by Cisco’s Cloud Scale Nexus 9000 series 
  •  100GbE shipments increased dramatically throughout the year, also surpassing a one-and-a-half million annual port run-rate by 4Q16, with data center switches from Arista and Cisco accounting for most of the year’s volume 
  • 10GBASE-T data center switch shipments increased more than 60% for the full year 2016  Cisco accounted for over half of total branded data center Ethernet switch revenues in 2016 
  • Arista, Huawei and Juniper all saw data center switch revenue increases in excess of 30% in 2016, resulting in share gains  
  • The top-line 2016 average selling price per data center switch port was almost identical to that of 2015  

“The total market average selling price remained remarkably stable in 2016, despite factors such as intense data center switch competition and the price negotiating power of the large hyper-scale cloud customers," Crehan said. "Migration to higher speeds and strong adoption of modular switching were key factors in the stability.”

http://www.crehanresearch.com

Salesforce Signs Onto IBM Watson

IBM and Salesforce announced a global strategic partnership for leveraging artificial intelligence in business decisions.

Under the deal, IBM Watson, the leading AI platform for business, and Salesforce Ein
stein, AI that powers the world’s #1 CRM, will seamlessly connect to enable an entirely new level of intelligent customer engagement across sales, service, marketing, commerce and more.

IBM is also strategically investing in its Global Business Services capabilities for Salesforce with a new practice to help clients rapidly deploy the combined IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein capabilities.

“Within a few years, every major decision—personal or business—will be made with the help of AI and cognitive technologies,” said Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and chief executive officer, IBM. “This year we expect Watson will touch one billion people—through everything from oncology and retail to tax preparation and cars. Now, with today's announcement, the power of Watson will serve the millions of Salesforce and Einstein customers and developers to provide an unprecedented understanding of customers."

"The combination of Einstein and Watson will make businesses smarter and our customers more successful," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce. “I'm thrilled to form an alliance with IBM—no company’s core values are as close to Salesforce’s as IBM’s. It’s the best of both worlds.”

https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/51707.wss

Vodafone Selects Juniper Contrail SDN

Juniper Networks announced at MWC 2017 that it has been selected as a Vodafone Global Approved Vendor for its Contrail Networking software-defined networking (SDN) solution, which will help the operator to develop new, user-driven and flexible business services for customers.

Juniper noted that Contrail Networking is an open, flexible SDN solution designed to provide automation and orchestration for scalable virtual networks, which can help operators such as Vodafone to leverage the cloud to deliver services, enhance business agility and increase revenue.

During MWC, Juniper hosted a presentation of VPN+ as a showcase Vodafone's multi-vendor mobile VPN services portfolio, which constitutes a key part of the Vodafone Ocean Transformation program to virtualise its networks launched last year.

The demonstration featured VPN+ use cases including SD-WAN, service chaining, on-demand services, virtual cloud-hosted services and universal, virtualised CPE. VPN+ services are designed to leverage a customer portal that allows users to select, change and provision services.

Separately, Juniper announced at MWC the availability of a carrier-grade cloud solution designed to allow the rapid implementation of mobile subscriber service virtual networks functions (VNFs). The solution combines Affirmed Networks Mobile Content Cloud virtualised evolved packet core solution (vEPC) with Juniper's Contrail Networking solution and the Netronome Agilio SmartNICs.

The solution integrates the Juniper Contrail Networking SDN solution with Affirmed Networks MCC vEPC offering probe, analytics, WiFi gateways (TWAG, ePDG), Gi-LAN services, service orchestration and IoT services, and Netronome's Agilio SmartNIC 10/25/40 Gigabit Ethernet platforms that offloads virtual switch and router datapath processing for networking functions to reduce CPU load.

http://wwww.juniper.net

Angola Cables Deploys Ciena on MONET Subsea Cable

Ciena announced that Angola Cables, a wholesale carrier, has selected its GeoMesh and Blue Planet solutions to support the launch of a new service over the currently under construction MONET subsea cable.

Angola Cables is a multinational wholesale telcoms carrier that leverages cable systems across the South Atlantic and around Africa. Angola Cables manages the WACS (West Africa Cable System), providing services to operators in Angola and the sub-Saharan region of Africa; it also operates Angonix (Angolan IXP) in its data centre in Luanda, and is building a data centre and interconnection facility in Fortaleza, Brazil.

The 10,556 km route on the MONET cable system, which is scheduled to be operational in the second half of 2017, will provide over 25 Tbit/s of traffic capacity between the U.S. and Latin America via a hub in São Paulo, Brazil. Angola Cables wholesale customers will be able to utilise the additional connectivity to support bandwidth demands from on-demand applications such as over-the-top (OTT) video and cloud computing.

To meet demand for capacity between the U.S. and Latin America, the Ciena 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, equipped with the WaveLogic Ai coherent optical chipset, can provide wavelengths at capacities of 200 Gbit/s and higher between Angola Cables' point of presences without the need for regeneration along the route.

In addition, Ciena's GeoMesh spectrum sharing capability is designed to enable cost-effective connectivity while also allowing wholesale customers to manage traffic on the network without suffering disruption from other users on the open cable system.

Ciena's Blue Planet Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) software and cloud-based SLA portal will help Angola Cables to more effectively manage bandwidth and provide customers with a real-time view of network events that could affect service level agreements.

The 10,556 km MONET Submarine cable is owned by Algar Telecom of Brazil, Angola Cables, ANTEL of Uruguay and Google. The 100 Gbit/s-capable system will provide a low latency route between Brazil and North America and provide a minimum capacity of 60 Tbit/s. In October 2016, TE SubCom announced it had completed the U.S. landing for the submarine cable, which will connect Boca Raton, Florida to Fortaleza and Praia Grande in Brazil, where landings had been completed earlier in the year.

http://www.ciena.com

Eutelsat and ViaSat Enter European Broadband JV

Eutelsat Communications and ViaSat entered a partnering arrangement that combines Eutelsat’s established European broadband business with ViaSat’s broadband technology know-how and Internet Service Provider (ISP) business expertise.

The joint venture, which headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, expands Eutelsat’s current wholesale broadband business and launches a new consumer retail service in Europe. The company will consist of two businesses:

Wholesale Services will focus on providing wholesale broadband and mobility services in the European and Mediterranean regions to the newly established retail services business and existing Eutelsat distributors. Eutelsat is contributing its current European broadband business including the KA-SAT satellite to the newly formed entity, owned 51% by Eutelsat. ViaSat has acquired a 49% interest in the business for a consideration of €132.5 million.
Retail Services will focus on offering retail broadband services in the European and Mediterranean regions. Enhanced service plans are expected to be introduced in select European countries from 2017 onwards, setting a foundation for growth in the retail services business with the availability of future satellite capacity. This business is owned 51% by ViaSat and 49% by Eutelsat.

http://news.eutelsat.com/pressreleases/eutelsat-and-viasat-close-european-broadband-joint-venture-1839955

Aricent Enhances ANS for Automation in Virtualised Networks

Aricent, a global technology design and engineering company, has announced new capabilities within its Autonomous Network Solution (ANS), designed to provide intelligent automation for next-generation virtualised networks.

Aricent ANS, based on components complaint with standards including ETSI NFV, ETSI AFI GANA, MEF LSO and TM-Forum Zoom, is designed to apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support the network transformation. The company cited two applications for AI in networking: enhancing productivity in development, for example in DevOps for root cause analysis, and to enable the network to become an intelligent, as well as an automated, platform

Aricent's Autonomous Network Solution is designed to support functionality including:

1. Network management and orchestration, providing a platform to define and manage virtual network function (VNF) service chains, policies, resource consumption and performance metrics.

2. Lifecycle service orchestration (LSO), enabling an: intent-based management layer to control physical and virtual network resources utilising both physical network and NFV orchestrators.

3. A self-optimisation framework, based on a bespoke machine learning tool chain that can support multiple use cases, such as predictive defect detection, root cause analysis and low latency network services.

Aricent also announced the launch of Cognitive Services, designed to enhance customer engagement and loyalty leveraging AI. Aricent Cognitive Services span service development, design, strategy and software and hardware development and specifically include data-driven design services and capabilities from frog that support data exploration and machine learning techniques, and CognitiveDrive Train Platform (CDP), designed to enable the assembly and integration of AI services from platforms such as IBM Watson, Amazon, Microsoft and Google ML.

http://www.aricent.com

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Carriers Work with MEF and TM Forum on APIs for Inter Carrier Services

Major carriers are working with MEF and TM Forum to release the first set of standard application programming interfaces (APIs) for orchestrated Carrier Ethernet services later this year. This initiative uses MEF’s LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) framework and TM Forum’s Open API framework to enable SDN architectures from different network service providers to interoperate with each other.

Participating carriers include AT&T, Orange, Colt Technology Services, Comcast, Level 3, PCCW Global, Sparkle and Verizon. The effort also includes CableLabs and Kyrio. The projected release of the first round of APIs is at the end of 2017. This is a key step toward enabling orchestrated on-demand services over more automated and interconnected networks.

There are plans to standardize 8 API definitions. This builds on the industry-agreed Open APIs developed by TM Forum members. The first 3 APIs below will be defined in the first round of the project this year.

1. Address validation
2. Service availability
3. Ordering
4. Quoting
5. Billing
6. Assurance
7. Testing
8. Change management

“MEF is delighted to host pioneering inter-provider LSO API standardization work that will help unleash the power of on-demand services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of connected networks. Our collaboration with TM Forum and major service providers is a key step toward automating the $50+ billion Carrier Ethernet services market with LSO and will be foundational for orchestrating IP and wavelength services across many provider networks as well,” stated Nan Chen, President, MEF.

“Transformation of the Carrier Ethernet market is an essential building block in delivering TM Forum’s mission to ensure service providers thrive in the digital market. By leveraging our established Open API framework, digital business architecture, industry standard Information Framework and tools for end-to- end service management and orchestration, we are delighted to partner with MEF and the service provider community to accelerate the pace of industry change,” stated Nik Willetts, Deputy CEO, TM Forum.

“Our research shows that the number one issue impeding the delivery of on-demand services is the need for a standardized approach to orchestrating services across multiple provider networks,” said Rosemary Cochran, Principal, Vertical Systems Group.  “This initiative led by industry leaders to collaboratively standardize on APIs for Ethernet services is an essential step toward tackling this challenge”.

https://www.mef.net/

Video: Nan Chen Discusses Inter-Carrier APIs



Nan Chen, President of MEF, discusses how major carriers are working with MEF and TM Forum to release the first set of standard application programming interfaces (APIs) for orchestrated Carrier Ethernet services later this year. This initiative uses MEF’s LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) framework and TM Forum’s Open API framework to enable SDN architectures from different network service providers to interoperate with each other.

See video: https://youtu.be/rpI48DSbzf0




Vertical Systems: 2016 Global Provider Ethernet LEADERBOARD

Orange and Colt retained the top two positions on Vertical Systems Group's year-end 2016 Global Provider Ethernet LEADERBOARD.  The results are as follows (in rank order based on retail port share): Orange Business Services (France), Colt (U.K.), AT&T (U.S.), BT Global Services (U.K.), Level 3 (U.S.), Verizon (U.S.) and NTT (Japan). The Global Provider LEADERBOARD, the industry's benchmark for multinational Ethernet network market presence, ranks companies that hold a 4% or higher share of billable retail ports at sites outside of their respective home countries.

Based on year-end 2016 Global Provider port share, Orange and Colt retain the first and second LEADERBOARD positions, respectively. AT&T gains share to move into third position, ahead of BT Global Services.

The Challenge Tier of Global Providers includes companies with share between 2% and 4% of this defined market. Six companies qualify for the 2016 Challenge Tier (in alphabetical order): Cogent (U.S.), SingTel (Singapore), T-Systems (Germany), Tata Communications (India), Telefonica Worldwide (Spain) and Vodafone (U.K.).

"Global carriers are rolling out dynamic network services that provide enterprises with unprecedented levels of agility and reliability," said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "Ethernet is playing a critical role in emerging SDN-based architectures that will support the increasing demand for hybrid WANs, and high-speed data center and cloud connectivity."

The three leading Global Providers - Orange, Colt and AT&T - are working with MEF and TM Forum on the first standard application programming interfaces (APIs) for orchestrated Carrier Ethernet services over SDN architectures. These efforts are a significant advancement toward standardizing dynamic service connectivity between network providers throughout the world.

https://www.verticalsystems.com/new-2016-global-provider-ethernet-port-share-results/


ADTRAN to Develop SD-Access for 5G Networks

ADTRAN announced that to further its effort to deliver access networks that are open, programmable and cost-effective as carriers prepare to implement the foundations for 5G, it is focusing on developing its position in mobile access networks.

The company believes that realising the potential of 5G will require a number of steps. Firstly, service providers will need to deploy large numbers of radios closer to the network edge to support bandwidth-intensive applications; secondly, there will be a need for more transport-friendly Ethernet backhaul; and thirdly, it will be necessary to extend SDN/NFV to the 5G mobile network core via the access network leveraging software defined access (SD-Access).

ADTRAN stated that SD-Access for 5G, incorporating point-to-point (P2P) and point-to-multipoint (P2MP) next-generation PON, will constitute a key technology in providing the converged backhaul, fronthaul and 'crosshaul' networks needed to support high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity.

ADTRAN has pioneered the development of XGS-PON, 10 Gbit/s EPON and NGPON2 SD-Access solutions based on open reference architectures such as CORD, and is now focused on extending its position into mobile access networks leveraging the following technologies:

1. Multi-wavelength NG-PON2 as the infrastructure technology for delivering low latency, multi-Gigabit services for fronthaul, backhaul and crosshaul  networks.

2. The open and scalable SD-Access architecture, ADTRAN Mosaic, featuring disaggregated physical network access elements and an open source SDN controller.

3. Fixed Access Network Sharing (FANS) capability, designed to allow access to be shared between multiple operators.

ADTRAN has also announced that it is contributing to the CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) project, expanding its CORD-compliant portfolio and broadening the use cases to enable open principles to be applied over any network infrastructure and for any customer segment.

http://www.adtran.com

EXFO Acquires Ontology Systems for Network Topology Discovery

EXFO has acquired privately held Ontology Systems, which specializes in real-time network topology discovery and service-chain mapping, for US$7.6 million, net of cash.

UK-based Ontology Systems uses graph-data and semantic searches to build real-time views of network services and related network elements. Network functions virtualization (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN) technologies render communications infrastructures highly agile to deploy new services on the fly. This has created the need for an automated network inventory solution fully integrated with probing agents to accelerate fault discovery, root-cause analysis and eventually closed-loop automation in hybrid physical-virtual environments. The company generated approximately US$4.0 million in revenue during the last 12 months, including sales to tier-1 CSPs. The acquisition is expected to be neutral to EXFO's adjusted EBITDA in fiscal 2017 and accretive thereafter.

EXFO said the combination of Ontology Systems' expertise in mapping complex, cross-domain, multi-layer network topologies with its end-to-end service assurance and real-time 3D analytics solutions will deliver a truly comprehensive view across physical, virtual and hybrid networks.

"This strategic acquisition uniquely positions EXFO with agile, real-time visualization and troubleshooting solutions that enable communications service providers (CSPs) to manage their networks more efficiently and ensure heightened quality of experience and scalability for next-generation networks, which will be hybrid in nature for many years to come," said Germain Lamonde, EXFO's Founder, Chairman and CEO. "Combining EXFO's physical and virtual probes and real-time analytics solution, with Ontology Systems' unique mapping methodology, delivers an unmatched value proposition for monitoring and managing next-generation networks. Based on early discussions with CSPs, this new offering is resonating very strongly with them, since they are striving to improve customer experience while becoming more agile and cost-efficient."

http://www.exfo.com

China Unicom Launches "CUniq" MVNO in U.S.

China Unicom Global Limited launched its "CUniq" mobile virtual network operator ("MVNO") business in the U.S. market.

A similar "CUniq" MVNO was launched in Europe in December 2016.

"CUniq" is an overseas mobile communication service created for international business travelers. The service expands on the basis of "CUniq UK" one-card-multiple-number service that shares data in 45 countries and regions, "CUniq US" one-card-multiple-number card service raises the numbers to 47, providing 4G high speed network service among the main countries and regions of China, America, Asia and Europe. Customers are able to keep Mainland China, Hong Kong (China) and the US mobile numbers, which can be managed using a single account. Customers can use data, voice and SMS services in different countries, contact China Unicom's 24/7 trilingual customer service (Chinese, English, Cantonese), and enjoy a smooth, joyful global communication experience.

"CUniq" MVNO business launch ceremony was held in Los Angeles. Liu Haiyan, Economic and Commercial Counselor Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Los Angeles; Marissa Rivera, Representative of Economic Development, County of San Bernardino; Sherman Zhang, Chairman of CGCC-LA(CEC) & President of AVIC International USA; Richard Pelly, Vice President of sales and business operation of Plintron; Meng Shusen, President of CUG and Zhou Lisong, Executive Vice President of CUG jointly officiated the ceremony.

Lisong Zhou, Executive Vice President of CUG, said, the "CUniq" one-card-multiple-number service launched in America this time will have three plans including Share Plan, Local Plan and Visitor Plan, appealing to global businesspersons, American local users and tourists respectively. Besides, CUG supports electronic paying including WeChat paying, Alipay, Visa, MasterCard, UnionPay and other convenient paying methods. Customers can enquire for various plans and make purchase on CUniq website www.cuniq.com/us

Shusen Meng, President of CUG, said the cooperation between CUG and American leading telecommunications operators not only provides high-quality service for business enterprises, but also provides high-quality overseas MVNO business through "CUniq" for the public users. CUG will continue to drive innovations and improve services, expanding high-quality service to more countries and regions.

IBM and Maersk Develop Blockchain for Shipping Industry

IBM is working with Maersk to use blockchain technology to help manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers across the world by digitizing the supply chain process from end-to-end to enhance transparency and the highly secure sharing of information among trading partners.

The blockchain solution based on the Hyperledger Fabric and built by IBM and Maersk, the global leader in transport and logistics, will be made available to the shipping and logistics industry. Blockchain is an immutable, security rich and transparent shared network resource that provides each participant end-to-end visibility based on their level of permission. IBM hosts the solution on the IBM Cloud and the IBM high-security business network, delivered via IBM Bluemix.

Some highlights:

  • Each participant in a supply chain ecosystem can view the progress of goods through the supply chain, understanding where a container is in transit. They can also see the status of customs documents, or view bills of lading and other data.
  • Detailed visibility of the container's progress through the supply chain is enhanced with the real time exchange of original supply chain events and documents.
  • No one party can modify, delete or even append any record without the consensus from others on the network.
  • This level of transparency helps reduce fraud and errors, reduce the time products spend in the transit and shipping process, improve inventory management and ultimately reduce waste and cost.
  • The solution enables the real time exchange of original supply chain events and documents through a digital infrastructure, or data pipeline, that connects the participants in a supply chain ecosystem. This promotes sustainable transport by integrating shipping processes and partners, and establishing evaluation frameworks through increased transparency and trusted access. 

"As a global integrator of container logistics with the ambition to digitize global trade, we are excited about this cooperation and its potential to bring substantial efficiency and productivity gains to global supply chains, while decreasing fraud and increasing security," said Ibrahim Gokcen, chief digital officer, Maersk. "The projects we are doing with IBM aim at exploring a disruptive technology such as blockchain to solve real customer problems and create new innovative business models for the entire industry. We expect the solutions we are working on will not only reduce the cost of goods for consumers, but also make global trade more accessible to a much larger number of players from both emerging and developed countries."

"We believe that this new supply chain solution will be a transformative technology with the potential to completely disrupt and change the way global trade is done," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, Industry Platforms, IBM. "Working closely with Maersk for years, we've long understood the challenges facing the supply chain and logistics industry and quickly recognized the opportunity for blockchain to potentially provide massive savings when used broadly across the ocean shipping industry ecosystem. Bringing together our collective expertise, we created a new model the industry will be able to use to help improve the transparency and efficiency of delivering goods around the globe."

http://www.ibm.com

Saturday, March 4, 2017

ZTE Debuts E-OTN and Cloud Works Platform

ZTE announced at MWC 2017 the release of the E-OTN solution and demonstrated what it claims is the first commercially available Carrier DevOps platform.

E-OTN solution

ZTE's E-OTN solution is designed to address the demands of services such as 'big video', wireless, government and enterprise private line, data centre interconnect (DCI) by enabling operators to build high-capacity, lowlatency, secure multiservice transport OTN systems, as well as transition from OTN to all-optical networks.

The ZTE end-to-end E-OTN solution supports functionality including express pass in the optical layer, unified transport of optical channel data unit/packet/virtual container (ODUk/PKT/VC) and is designed to enable more elastic network architectures.

The E-OTN family comprises the ZXONE 9700 series, ZXONE 8000 series and ZXMP M721 series products, which feature intelligent control plane, optical cross-connection (OXC), packet processing and OTN technologies and offer support for 100 Gbit/s-plus transport and electrical cross capacity of 64 Tbit/s. The solution also provides colourless-directionless-contentionless Flexgrid (CDCF) and ROADM capabilities to allow transparent transport, flexible dispatching and convergence.

Cloud Works platform

ZTE has announced at MWC the launch of what it claims is the first commercially available Carrier DevOps platform and conducted a demonstration based on the DevOps workflow designed to showcase the capabilities of the DevOps operational environment and network slicing.

ZTE noted that it debuted the Cloud Works (carrier DevOps) solution at MWC last year and the solution is now ready for commercialisation. The Cloud Works solution is based on open virtual network function (VNF) micro-service components, DevOps tools and Docker technology and is designed to enable flexible development with continuous integration and delivery of services to support on-demand customisation and rapid service introduction.

ZTE network slicing, based on the carrier DevOps environment, integrates the features of second-class elasticity, minute-level deployment and wizard-based design, while also providing an end-to-end view of the slicing lifecycle, AI-based Ops deployment and maintenance environment. These capabilities are designed to improve the efficiency of both network deployments and operations and maintenance (O&M) processes.

http://www.zte.com/cn

Telecom Argentina Picks Huawei for All-Cloud Core network

Huawei announced that Telecom Argentina has launched a commercial all-cloud core network to support voice and data services for 2G/3G/4G mobile subscribers following the roll-out of ICT converged telecom services over a cloud infrastructure.

As the largest mobile operator in Argentina and Paraguay with more than 22 million mobile subscribers, Telecom Argentina developed an ICT network transformation strategy in 2015 designed to enhance network resource utilisation, reduce O&M costs and prepare for future demands. A core element of the strategy was to cloudify its networks utilising NFV.

In 2016, Telecom Argentina selected Huawei to construct an all-cloud core network as part of its network transformation strategy. Huawei stated that toll-out of the all-cloud core network started in March 2016 and in December Telecom Argentina was able to launch the network commercially and begin to transition from its traditional core network to the cloud core network. Currently, the network is running stably and reliably supporting voice and data services as traffic is migrated across to the new infrastructure.

The Huawei NFV-based CloudCore and CloudEdge co-deployment solution is designed to address Telecom Argentina's business and technology requirements and transform its operations as follows:

1. Support traditional core network functions, such as IMS, MSS, EPC and DRA, on Huawei's FusionServer and FusionSphere OpenStack, with resources dynamically shared by core network functions to improve resource utilisation.

2. Provide a distributed data centre (DC) network architecture, with cloud-based network functions on the control plane deployed in central DCs to enhance resource utilisation and functions on the media plane distributed in edge DCs for an improved user experience; Telecom Argentina can also deploy new all-cloud network functions over the unified, open architecture and gradually implement its full network cloud strategy.

3. O&M and big data analysis are integrated into the element management system (EMS) and NFV management and orchestration (MANO) to enhance intelligent network O&M via functions including KPIbased fault self-healing, cross-layer information collection and fault alarm management and help reduce O&M costs and improve O&M efficiency.

Earlier in February, Huawei and China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) announced they had migrated CMHK services to an NFV-based commercial cloud core network. CMHK deployed a 3GPP system designed to support ervices of more than 20 network systems, including IMS, evolved packet core (EPC), Diameter routing agent/mobile number portability (DRA/MNP), HSS/HLR and mobile switching centre-server (MSC-S).

Huawei noted that as of January 2017 it had gained more than 170 contracts worldwide for NFV-based core networks, and claims to be a leading partner for global operators with regards to cloudified telecom network projects.

http://www.huawei.com

Friday, March 3, 2017

Xtera Appoints Douglas Umbers as CEO

Xtera, a provider of subsea optical communications solutions, has announced that, following the acquisition of the company by private equity firm H.I.G. Capital earlier in February, it has appointed a new leadership team.

As part of the company's new organisation, Dr. Stuart Barnes, Xtera's chairman and chief strategy officer, has announced the following appointments to the leadership team:

Douglas Umbers as CEO

With experience across a range of industries, Mr. Umbers has a track record of reinvigorating businesses that spans over two decades. As CEO of Xtera, he will be responsible for leading the execution of the company's goal of becoming a major player in the subsea communications market.

Most recently, Mr. Umbers served in executive board level roles at VT Group (now Babcock International), where he ran the IT and communications division, and as COO at Arqiva, the UK telecoms and broadcast infrastructure group.

Jayesh Pankhania as CFO

Mr. Pankhania has more than 25 years experience in senior finance roles, and as CFO at Xtera will be responsible for overseeing the company's capital structure and maintaining its financial standing. He has previously served in multiple senior roles with public and private companies, including as CFO at HOC Group and with Asia Resource Minerals.

In addition, Keith Henderson, co-founder of Xtera, will serve as COO and Robert Richardson, co-founder of the company, will serve as chief sales officer.

Dr. Barnes, Mr. Umbers and Mr. Pankhania are based at Xtera's Harold Wood office near London in the UK; Mr. Henderson is based in Allen, Texas near Dallas and Mr. Richardson is based in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, near Atlanta.

The new executive team is supported by the company's experienced senior management team that includes its recently appointed CTO Tony Frisch and SVP of Turnkey Systems, Joerg Schwartz.


XTERA Communications Acquired by H.I.G. Capital

H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”), a leading global private equity investment firm with over €20 billion of equity capital under management, has acquired substantially all the assets of Xtera Communications, a supplier of sub-sea fiber optic solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

H.I.G. previously provided debtor-in-possession financing to the Xtera debtors in connection with the chapter 11 case.

Established in 1998 and based in the UK (Harold Wood, Essex) and the US (Allen, Texas), Xtera supplies un-repeatered and repeatered sub-sea systems, using high performance optical amplifiers to carry data. Under H.I.G.’s ownership, Xtera’s management and technical team will remain at the helm of the business, focused on successfully executing key existing customer contracts and expanding the business in the rapidly growing markets it serves with a clear roadmap of disruptive product launches.

Carl Harring, Managing Director at H.I.G. Capital commented: “We believe Xtera has considerable growth potential as an independent, well-funded business with a new ownership structure. Its world class IP protected technology is not only differentiated and superior to that of its competitors, but it is delivered to an impressive range of global clients at a cost-effective price point. We are excited to be working with this industry-leading team and our immediate focus will be to work with them to deliver and build on existing contracts and over the long-term, provide the financial support to enable the company to fully capitalise on its technology with a broader base of customers.”

Stuart Barnes, Founder of Xtera, added: “We are delighted to announce our new partnership with H.I.G. Capital, which has previously invested in the fiber-optics sector and has a proven understanding of how to grow specialist industrial suppliers into market-leading players. We share the same vision of strengthening Xtera’s footprint in the future.”

http://www.xtera.com/

Nutanix Hits Revenue of $182M, up 77% YoY

Nutanix reported revenue of $182.2 million for its second quarter of fiscal 2017, ended January 31, 2017, growing 77% year-over-year from $102.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. GAAP net loss was $93.2 million, compared to a GAAP net loss of $33.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016; or a GAAP net loss per share of $0.66, compared to a pro forma GAAP net loss per share of $0.28 in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.

“Our journey has taken us from an unknown upstart to a well-established enterprise IT brand approaching a $1 billion annualized billings run-rate in just five years of selling. We continue to evolve and refine our strategy, including product expansions, sales focus and alternate consumption models, as we seek to capture a growing share of the highly dynamic $100+ billion enterprise infrastructure market,” said Dheeraj Pandey, CEO, Nutanix.

“Our solid results were driven by notable strength in our international business. Further, I am pleased we were able to hold our non-GAAP gross margins essentially steady despite component price increases impacting our costs,” said Duston Williams, CFO, Nutanix.

http://www.nutanix.com