Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Huawei and Colt DCS partner on Hyper-scale Cloud

Huawei has announced at CeBIT 2017 a collaboration with Colt Data Center Services (Colt DCS), a unit of Colt Technology Services, under which the two companies will work together to address the market for hyper-scale cloud-based data centre solutions, with the aim of meeting industry requirements for dynamic, cost-effective and customer-oriented data centre infrastructure in the cloud era.

As a major hosting service provider, Colt DCS builds and operates data centres designed to reduce operating costs for carriers while ensuring high quality, reliable connectivity and security. Huawei's data centre solutions are designed to allow flexible deployment to enable tailored, cost-efficient solutions for a range of client requirements.

The new partnership between Huawei and Colt DCS is intended to leverage the experience, technology and resources of both parties to support development in the cloud era and advance the capabilities of data centre infrastructure.

Colt DCS, a unit of UK-based Colt, provides colocation and IT infrastructure solutions for enterprise customers. The company operates 29 data centres across Europe and Asia Pacific, with connectivity to a further 530-plus third party data centres across its network and private links into the major public cloud providers.

Recently, Colt DCS announced it had added private connectivity into public cloud providers Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure at its three London, UK and at three German data centres in Frankfurt, Berlin, and Hamburg. The service allows customers to consume connectivity services on-demand and in real-time via an intuitive online customer portal.


At the time, Colt DCS also announced that German Internet exchanges DE-CIX and BCIX would become available at its Frankfurt and Berlin data centres, respectively.

China Telco Data and Market Update - Part 3

China telco subscription data for February, other China market news updates and operator results for 2016 - Part 3

Alibaba maintains explosive momentum with a 53% revenue growth

Alibaba results for the 5 years 2012 to 16 ended March 31st 
(RMB millions):


Latest financial Q3 and YTD 2017 results

On January 24th Alibaba stock was up 3% following Q3 FY2017 results that beat market expectations on both revenue and earnings. Specifically, Alibaba reported:

1.  Revenue up 54% to RMB 53.25 billion ($7.67 billion), ahead of analyst calls by about $375 million (5%). CFO Maggie Wu said that with three quarters already ahead of expectations Alibaba was raising its growth-rate forecast for the full year from 48% to 53%, versus 33% growth for FY 2015/16.

2.  Net earnings of RMB 17.12 billion ($2.57 billion) and adjusted EPS of $1.30, 17 `cents, or 15 % more than the markets were expecting; free cash flow during the quarter was RMB 31 billion ($4.9 billion).

3.  Core e-commerce revenue for Q3 generated by its Taobao and Tmall business systems was RMB 46.58 billion ($6.71 billion), up 45% YoY. Alibaba claims it now has over 493 million users, of which 443 million are classified as active buyers, a significant proportion of China's estimated 731 million Internet users, of whom 95% do their business via mobile phones.

4.  Although still quite a small percentage of its total business Alibaba's cloud computing revenue grew 115% from Q3 2016 to RMB 1.76 billion ($254 million) and was up nearly 50% sequentially. Apart from the encouraging growth rate the cloud business loss in Q3 was $49 million, a significant improvement on its Q2 loss of $66 million, suggesting it could become profitable within the next three quarters. The cloud computing unit added 114,000 paying customers during the quarter to a total of 755,000 customers. At the same time Alibaba launched data centres internationally, following its Chinese customers to new markets as well as acquiring new customers outside China.

5.  Mobile MAUs were up 43 million to a total of 493 million.

6.  Revenue per annual active buyer continued to increase reaching $35 in the December quarter; on the mobile front, revenue per mobile user, which had also been increasing for several quarters, reached $24 in the quarter.

7.  Digital media and entertainment business rose 273% to RMB 4.1 billion ($585 million) as Alibaba continued to integrate its Youku Toudou multi-screen entertainment and media company and other investments in film, music and sports.

8.  Other activities accounted for RMB 845 million ($122 million), up 61%.

Other Alibaba strategic developments

In its January 24th releases Alibaba noted that Koubei , a 12 years old Alibaba affiliate focused on enabling local commerce, had closed a $1.1 billion financing round in January. A major part of Alibaba's e-commerce strategy is now being devoted to its so called 'online-to-offline' initiative, or O2O,which attempts to blur the line between physical and electronic retail.

On January 9th Alibaba announced that, together with the founder of the target company, Shen Guo Jun, it was leading an offer of $2.6. billion to delist from the Hong Kong stock exchange and privatise the Intime Retail Group, a company registered in the Cayman Islands that operates 29 department stores and 17 shopping malls across urban China, mainly in Zhejiang province. Alibaba already owned 28%, acquired in 2014 for $692 million In the official announcement Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang commented:

-    "China’s total retail sector is a US$4.5 trillion economy and is growing at 10.7% a year. Alibaba is working with offline retailers to transform conventional approach, create new consumer shopping experience and use actions to embrace future opportunities under the new retail model".

-    "We don’t divide the world into real or virtual economies, only the old and the new. Those who cling on to the old ways of retailing will be disrupted, and brick and mortar businesses will be able to create value for consumers if they are integrated with the power of mobile reach, real-time consumer insights, and technology capability to improve operating efficiency".

On February 21st it was announced that Alibaba had agreed for its delivery affiliate, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, to work with the 4,700-store Shanghai Bailian Group, one of China's largest supermarket and department store chains, to employ its various e-commerce technologies to improve the traditional physically-based retail sector in areas such as customer relations, payment and logistics. This is similar to its tie-ups with other players such as electronics chain Suning Commerce Group and the Sanjiang Shopping Club (in November 2016 Alibaba invested around $300 million to acquire 30% of Sanjiang SC).


Alibaba is now beginning also to accelerate its international expansion. In April 2016 the company invested $1 billion to acquire a majority share of Lazada.com a privately owned German e-commerce company with sites in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. In early February 2017 sources claimed that Alibaba and its affiliate company ANT Financial were leading an additional investment of up to $200 million in Indian e-commerce and digital payment platform Paytm (a company in which they had already invested $680 million and owned 42%). The deal that would essentially give them a majority stake in the company. Paytm competes in the emerging Indian e-commerce market with companies such as Amazon India, Flipkart and Snapdeal.

Nokia and University of Technology Sydney enter MoU

Nokia and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under which Nokia will join the university's UTS: Rapido, a new technology development unit, and support the development of IoT-based business applications leveraging high-speed, ultra-low latency technologies such as 5G.

Through the technology partnership with UTS: Rapido, which is intended to help businesses realise the potential of IoT, Nokia will work on engineering projects to support the development of future network services designed to address the technological requirements of service providers and enterprises. Nokia and UTS will also explore the expansion of engineering work into additional areas and poof of concept development.

The MoU encompasses the creation of a collaborative innovation and training facility at UTS, for which Nokia will provide IP routing, optical, fixed and 4G and 5G mobile network components, as well as applications and analytics platforms to support project work and training. Nokia will also participate on the UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology advisory board.

As part of an early UTS: Rapido project, researchers at the university are integrating video downloads filmed at locations worldwide using the Nokia OZO virtual reality camera into the UTS 3D data arena. This is designed to show how operators could combine 3D content with real time data and graphics to support development of new services and address new business opportunities.

Nokia noted that it has been working with UTS for more than 15 years and that UTS is a key member of its Australian graduate program.

Recently, the UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT and Vietnam's National University launched a joint research centre and announced the joint delivery of the first research workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam. The new Joint Technology and Innovation Research Centre (JTIRC) is intended to facilitate research collaboration and transfer through PhD training, industry engagement and expert training packages.

UTS also recently announced it had established the Centre for Artificial Intelligence (UTS: CAI), which will focus on the theoretical foundations and advanced technologies that will create intelligent machines with enhanced capacity for perception, learning and reasoning.


UTS: Rapido has more than 200 researchers at the university's Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (FEIT), who are engaged in research across a range of technology areas including data analytics, cyber security, 5G and IoT.

Vocus deploys ADTRAN XGS-PON in Aus and NZ

ADTRAN, a provider of next-generation open networking solutions, announced that Vocus Communications, a service provider serving Australia and New Zealand, is deploying a range of its next generation access technologies including ADTRAN's XGS-PON solutions and Mosaic architecture.

Vocus has built an advanced infrastructure platform across Australia designed to support business and backhaul services and residential applications. The deployment with Vocus, which is nearing completion, is designed to enable increased utilisation of the company's metro fibre network and enable the delivery of 10 Gbit/s symmetrical business grade services.

For the project, Vocus is utilising ADTRAN's MSAN, 10 Gbit/s optical line termination (OLT) equipment and 10 Gbit/s optical network termination (ONT) units for the 10 Gbit/s PON deployment. Vocus is also using the ADTRAN Mosaic Cloud Platform, which separates control and management functions from underlying network elements, to provide an open microservices architecture supporting network management and SDN control for the 10 Gbit/s services access network.

Vocus Group is a vertically integrated telecoms provider operating in Australia and New Zealand leveraging a national network of metro and backhaul fibre connecting capital cities and the bulk of regional centres across Australia and New Zealand. Vocus infrastructure connects to 5,500-plus buildings. Vocus addresses the corporate, small business, government and residential, as well as the wholesale market sectors.

In December 2016, Vocus announced an agreement with Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) for the construction of the Australia Singapore Cable (ASC), a 4,600 km submarine cable linking Australia with Singapore and Indonesia. The system has a design capacity of 40 Tbit/s of capacity. The ASC cable system, which has an estimated cost of approximately $170 million, is due to be completed by August 2018.


Vocus noted that following the completion of its acquisition of Nextgen Networks, it had secured Singapore IDA approval and renewed landing rights with MoCIT in Indonesia, which together with agreement with ASN fulfilled the necessary requirements for the launch of the project.

http://www.adtran.com

Enablence to raise C$6m for PLCs

Enablence Technologies of Ottawa and Fremont, California, a supplier of optical components and subsystems for access, metro and long-haul markets, announced its intention to complete additional financing for approximately C$6 million.

Enablence also announced the termination, by mutual agreement, of the non-binding letter of intent (LoI) with Esrey Energy as announced on December 8, 2016, under which the two companies proposed to implement a business combination. Esrey is a Canadian exploration and development company focused on developing oil and gas reserves in Papua New Guinea and Bulgaria.

However, Enablence stated that it expects to meet its stated goal as announced at the same time for the execution of a LoI to raise funds of C$10 million to support growth. The company plans to achieve this via a combination of the exercise of outstanding warrants, the private placements completed in December 2016 and January 2017, which totalled approximately C$4 million, cash advances of C$2 million and with the closing of financings.

As previously announced, Enablence intends to use the funds as growth capital for current and future products and for general corporate purposes. Part of the funding will be used for a capex program to expand the production of its planar lightwave circuit (PLC) chips to meet demand resulting from both existing purchase orders and anticipated demand for its metro market-focused 100 Gbit/s TxRx products.

In addition, a portion of the funds will be allocated to complete the development of a new 100 Gbit/s TxRx product targeting the data centre market and for R&D activities relating to next generation 200/400 Gbit/s products.

To raise the C$10 million funding, Enablence intends to complete a non-brokered private placement financing of common shares at 7c per share for gross proceeds of approximately C$4 million and to conduct a non-brokered private placement of C$1,000 principal amount of unsecured convertible debentures for gross proceeds of up to C$2 million.


As part of the financing, certain investors propose to enter into debt settlement agreements with Enablence to settle outstanding non-interest bearing cash advances totalling C$2 million through issuing 7.14 million shares for an aggregate C$500,000 and the issue of C$1.5 million principal amount of debentures, subject to approval by the TSX venture exchange.

Monday, April 10, 2017

AT&T Buys 39 GHz and 28 GHz Licenses for $1.6 Billion

AT&T agreed to acquire Straight Path Communications, which holds a nationwide portfolio of millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, including 39 GHz and 28 GHz licenses.

Specifically, AT&T will acquire 735 mmWave licenses in the 39 GHz band and 133 licenses in the 28 GHz band. These licenses cover the entire United States, including all of the top 40 markets.

The deal was valued at $1.6 billion, which includes liabilities and amounts to be remitted to the FCC per the terms of Straight Path’s January 2017 consent decree.  Straight Path shareholders will receive $1.25 billion, or $95.63 per share, which will be paid using AT&T stock.

AT&T said the purchase completment its January acquisition of FiberTower and augments the company’s holdings of mmWave spectrum.

The transaction is subject to FCC review, and the two companies expect to close within 12 months.

http://www.att.com




Megaport Launches Exchange Marketplace

Megaport, which provides SDN-based Elastic Interconnect Services, announced the launch of Megaport Exchange, a marketplace hosted on the Megaport Portal .

The service is intended to function as a data centre and service provider neutral, self-serve marketplace enabling enterprises to access business critical services on demand.

Key features:

  • Neutral, inclusive marketplace: Megaport is data centre agnostic, meaning that customers can access Megaport Exchange and tap into services by some of the world’s leading technology providers without being locked to a single data centre provider.
  • Rapid and agile connectivity: Enterprise customers can find and connect to providers around the world in as little as 59 seconds.
  • Self-serve: Putting the control back in the hands of Enterprise customers, they can connect with who they want when they want, to meet their specific business needs, in an easy to use manner.

“Megaport Exchange is an example of the commitment by Megaport to continue evolving and adding value for our customers,” said Vincent English, CEO of Megaport. “We’ve added Megaport Exchange to our product suite to enhance the customer experience, enabling them to connect to each other and to partners across our Ecosystem. We are proud to showcase our providers to the market and continue to be the leader in the networking space. Finding a way to match our powerful Ecosystem with our wide customer base was the logical next step for the company and this marketplace aligns perfectly with our vision to make connectivity easy.”

http://www.megaport.com

Australia's nbn Connects 2m Broadband Customers

Australia's nbn, which is building a national broadband network, announced that subscribers are being signed up to its network at an accelerated rate, with two million homes and businesses now connected and more than 4.5 million premises able to order a retail service on the nbn network.

The company stated that retailers are connecting more than 28,000 end users to high speed Internet services on the nbn each week, compared with 12,000 per week a year ago. As a result, with two million premises activated on the network, nbn is now one quarter of the way towards its goal of connecting eight million homes and businesses to broadband services over the nbn by 2020.

nbn noted that the speed of implementing connections enabled by the use of FTTN technology as a part of its multi-technology mix strategy has helped increase activation rates, with more than 670,000 premises connected to services over its FTTN and fibre-to-the-basement network within 18 months of launch.

In addition, the deployment of the nbn network is continuing to increase, with retailers currently able to offer services to more than 4.5 million premises, up by 1.3 million premises compared with March 2016.

nbn currently expects to reach the halfway point of the network roll-out around the middle of this year, and by mid-2018 expects to have the network deployment three quarters completed towards the 2020 goal of having 8 million premises connected.

As part of its multi-technology mix model, nbn recently announced plans to launch fixed wireless broadband services offering 100/40 Mbit/s wholesale speed tiers, primarily for customers in rural areas. The service is scheduled to be available from in early 2018. It noted that the fixed wireless network offers wholesale speeds of up to 50/20Mbit/s to nearly 500,000 premises across regional Australia, with around 170,000 premises are already connected.


For the six-month period ended December 31, 2016, nbn reported it had reached 3.8 million premises passed by the nbn, with 1.6 million premises connected to services. The company stated that as of December 2016 the weekly run rate for customer connections had reached approximately 20,000.

Zayo provides multiple 100G wavelengths for U.S. colocation provider

Zayo Group announced that it has been selected by a major colocation provider for a wavelength solution to connect facilities in the U.S., specifically a 100 Gbit/s wavelength solution linking data centres that will serve as the company's backbone.

Zayo stated that the solution will leverage its existing fibre infrastructure, including the recently acquired network of Electric Lightwave.

The solution being delivered to the colocation provider includes more than 20 diverse routes and will enable the customer to consolidate infrastructure providers, thereby helping to reduce complexity and improve efficiency. The long haul wavelength solution will provide a significant upgrade of the customers existing network to support both current workloads and address future growth.

Zayo announced in March that it had closed its $1.42 billion acquisition of Electric Lightwave (formerly Integra Telecom), an infrastructure and telecom services provider serving 35 markets in the western U.S., adding 8,100 route miles of long haul fibre and 4,000 miles of dense metro fibre across Denver, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Spokane and Boise.

Recently, Zayo announced it had been selected by a multinational retailer for a global WAN solution to support the company's expanding presence in the APAC region. The Zayo solution specifically included a trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific ring that supports connectivity across four continents. The solution featured wavelengths and Ethernet connectivity and linked locations between the U.S. and London, the U.S. and Singapore, and London and Singapore, and included dedicated capacity on the new SEA-ME-WE-5 cable system.
Earlier this year, Zayo announced that a global webscale cloud provider had selected it to provide metro dark fibre in Chicago, including connecting six data centre locations with 20 diverse segments totalling 280 strands across all segments and with up to 26 strands per segment.

Microsemi integrates Athena Cryptographic Processor into FPGAs

Microsemi and The Athena Group, a supplier of security, cryptography, anti-tamper and signal processing IP cores, announced that Athena's TeraFire cryptographic microprocessor has been integrated into Microsemi's recently introduced PolarFire FPGA 'S class' family.

Athena's TeraFire cryptographic microprocessor technology is designed to address cybersecurity requirements for a range of industries via support for the most commonly used cryptographic algorithms, including those certified for military/government use by the U.S. NIST's Suite B, as well as those recommended in the U.S. Commercial National Security Algorithm (CNSA) suite. TeraFire also supports algorithms and key sizes commonly used in Internet communications protocols, such as TLS, IPSec, MACSec and KeySec.

Microsemi's secure, cost-optimised PolarFire FPGAs offer low power consumption at mid-range densities with 12.7 Gbit/s SerDes transceivers, as well as high reliability, and target applications including wireline access networks and cellular infrastructure, smart connected factory, functional safety and secure communications.

PolarFire FPGAs' transceivers also offer support for multiple serial protocols, making them suitable for communications applications with 10 Gigabit Ethernet, CPRI, JESD204B, Interlaken and PCIe. In addition, the ability to implement serial gigabit Ethernet (SGMII) on general purpose input/output (GPIO) enables multiple 1 Gigabit Ethernet links to be supported.

Microsemi noted that the TeraFire cryptographic microprocessor enables a significant improvement in built-in cryptographic capabilities compared to SRAM-based FPGAs and has been adopted by both defence and commercial customers as a result of its flexibility and efficiency.

Athena's TeraFire cryptographic microprocessors can operation at up to 200 MHz. The TeraFire core provides advanced countermeasures against side-channel analysis (SCA) techniques such as DPA and differential electro-magnetic analysis (DEMA) that could otherwise be used to extract secret keys from the device, with supported algorithms that use a secret or private key offered with countermeasures against SCA.

Microsemi's PolarFire 'S class' FPGAs equipped with Athena TeraFire cryptographic microprocessor are scheduled to be available by the end of the second quarter of 2017.

https://www.microsemi.com/

ZTE Unveils Elastic SD-WAN

ZTE announced at the Open Networking Summit (ONS) the introduction of its elastic software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solution, designed to allow enterprise customers to make more effective use of their network and data centre resources by providing an end-to-end (E2E) ICT solution.

Integrating SDN and NFV technology, ZTE's Elastic SD-WAN is designed to enable users to implement the entire networking and service delivery process, including E2E connectivity, service purchase and launch and maintenance. With the solution, users can purchase plug-and-play equipment to enable one-touch configuration and purchase 'buy-and-play' services.

The SD-WAN solution integrates ICT and networking functionality and features service virtualisation to help reduce capex and operation and maintenance (O&M) costs and includes locally deployed virtual value-added services (vVAS). The unified service orchestration and one-key automated deployment capabilities are designed to speed implementation and allow faster service launch, as well as an enhanced user experience.

Leveraging the open cloud platform and application platform provided by ZTE Elastic SD-WAN, application service providers can create value-added services and distribute them to users through the ZTE cloud application. This is intended to offer a complete ecosystem and product chain spanning platform, application and distribution channels. ZTE noted that it has cooperated with over 20 application service providers addressing the retailing, manufacturing and transportation verticals.

http://www.zte.com.cn

China Telco Data and Market Update - Part 2

Preamble - Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu dominate China's Internet

According to a Wikipedia analysis of the world's largest Internet companies based on 2015 revenue and 2013 capitalisation, Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu ranked 4th, 5th and 6th, respectively, after Amazon, Google and Facebook. Their collective capitalisations stated in the review added to about the same as No. 2 Google, although their collective revenue was only just over half of Google's and they collectively employed about 50% more people. For the moment, the comparison lacks point since the Chinese and U.S. companies hardly meet commercially. Amazon, for instance, over more than a decade has struggled to compete with Alibaba's Taobao and Tmall online e-commerce shopping sites, and according to analysts still has no more than a 1-3% market share in China and is now much more interested in India.

Since 2009 Facebook has been mainly banned in China, although an article of November 2016 in the New York Times ('Facebook said to develop censorship tool to get back into China') described energetic efforts by Mark Zuckerberg to solve that problem, including several visits to China, learning some Mandarin and more crucially developing internal censorship software that would block certain sites in certain regions. Facebook still retains an office in Beijing and apparently continues to provide some business-side services.

Google also quit the Chinese retail market in 2010 (but still has offices in Beijing and Shanghai housing a mix of engineers and support staff that help Chinese companies sell ads that reach foreign Google users, and is said to be continuing to work with Chinese banks to enable the use of its apps overseas), but equally has been searching for ways to effectively and honourably return. In early October 2016 at a press conference in Beijing, a Bloomberg reporter asked Ren Xianliang, deputy director of the Cyberspace Administration of China (which oversees Internet governance), if the government would permit the two companies to re-enter the market, and was told they could do so providing they obeyed Chinese laws (hardly a surprising reply and one Chinese companies would equally expect to receive in the U.S.).

For the moment these three Chinese Internet companies, and several other smaller ones such as JD Com (with a market cap of more than $36 billion and recently acquired Walmart's e-commerce business in China), Sohu, Qihoo 360 Technology, Netease, CTrip, VIpshop Holdings and Suning (which a mid-2016 China Daily report said made up China's Top 10 in this sector), all compete with each other. Given the Chinese economy's ferocious GDP growth-rate of 6.5% a year (which if maintained implies a doubling of an already huge economy within 12 years), that competition is proportionately ferocious and made even more so due to the fact that in a social structure that lacks many retail facilities taken for granted in the west, such as high-street banks and nationwide bricks and mortar retail outlets, e-commerce is proportionately much more important in China than in most developed countries. In addition, China is a very technically ambitious country which has clear targets of becoming a world leader in most modern technologies within a decade or so. Consequently, these companies are in a remarkable business frenzy, growing fast, diversifying widely and innovating as fast as they can manage. Diversification directions include news portals, movies, online books, banking and AI.

Recent news about Chinese Internet companies

Tencent, having passed Alibaba in capitalisation, now the 4th largest Internet company

On March 22nd Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings of Shenzhen, the world's fourth largest Internet and world's largest gaming company founded in 1998 by its current CEO and chairman Ma Huateng (or Pony Ma), and which overtook Alibaba in capitalisation in 2015, reported:

·         Revenue up 48% YoY to RMB 151.9 billion ($21.9 billion) in 2016, with Q4 revenue up 44%.

·         Net profit up 43% to RMB 41 billion$5.9 billion), with Q4 profit of RMB 10.5 billion ($1.5 billion), but below an expected RMB 11 billion projected average by analysts.

·         Monthly users for its WeChat free mobile communications voice and text service (known in China as Weixin) up to 889 million.

·         That it was recently ranked as the top mobile publisher of 2016 based on revenue, ahead of Supercell of Helsinki at No.2 (in June 2016 Tencent announced it had agreed to pay $8.6 billion, mostly to Softbank, which owns 72.7% of the company, to acquire 84% of Supercell, with revenue in 2015 of Eurs 2.11 billion).

·         Online games revenue in Q4 2016 of RMB 18.5 billion, including smartphone games revenue of RMB 10.7 billion ($1.55 billion).


·         Online advertising sales of RMB 8.3 billion.

·         That Weixin Pay, a payment option integrated into WeChat, had reached 600 million monthly users and reported a peak 760,000 'red packets' (e-gifts) per second (and a total of 46 billion overall) during the recent Chinese New Year period. WeChat's payment network with an estimated 33% market share domestically is beginning to become a serious threat to the Alipay service, currently China’s dominant digital payment system owned by Yahoo, SoftBank and Alibaba, with an estimated 55% share.

·         The introduction in January 2017 of a WeChat feature called Mini Apps, which are lite versions of certain apps such as for buying tickets or shopping or hiring a Mobike, that users can access by scanning a QR code without having to download and install the full version of the app.

On March 24th Nvidia of Santa Clara, California reported that Tencent Cloud would integrate its GPU computing and deep learning platform, including its P100 and P40 accelerators, into its public cloud computing platform.

To get an idea of the speed of development, one only has to look at Tencent's announcements in March 2017, as follows:

·         On March 3rd Ma Huateng, China's fourth richest man, speaking at a press conference before the National People’s Congress was due to set its agenda, proposed the setting up of a world-class technology zone in southern China that would include the financial centre of Hong Kong and gambling city of Macau, allied to the manufacturing skills of Shenzhen, to preside over the global tech revolution of the future.

·         On March 23rd Tencent said it was planning an IPO of up to $500 million in Hong Kong of its China Reading e-book business to enable it to increase spending on payments and content to enhance its WeChat service.

·         Also on March 23rd, Zhang Tong, the newly appointed director of Tencent's 250-strong AI unit, gave a press conference in which he outlined the unit's strategy and objectives. The group will work initially on speech recognition to enable machines to converse with human beings and on datamining of commercial information and insight available in the WeChat and QQ instant messaging archives; the team also works on content generation, including creating automated news stories, photos and music. Ma Huateng said the company may also explore AI technology for driverless cars and online health care in the future.

·         On March 23rd it was also announced that Kuaishou, a Chinese video streaming service popular with rural communities and migrant workers, and which claims 50 million daily active users, had raised $350 million in a funding round led by Tencent supported by Baidu.


Japan's EneCom selects Nokia for 100G

Nokia announced it has been selected to deploy a 100 Gbit/s network in the Chogoku area of Japan for Energia Communications (EneCom), the main utility and telecommunications company in the area.

With the deployment of an advanced optical transport system integrated with 100/200 Gbit/s coherent technology, the Nokia solution is designed to transform EneCom's transport network and enable more flexible and reliable services. The network is being deployed in the Chugoku area on Japan's main island, Honshu, encompassing the major cities of Okayama and Hiroshima.

Under the agreement, Nokia will deploy its 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) to provide integrated, ultra-wideband wavelength routing and switching to optimise EneCom's networks to support fluctuating traffic demand. The solution is based on Nokia's advanced super coherent digital signal processor, the Photonic Service Engine 2 (PSE-2), and also features GMPLS and CDC-F ROADM functionality.

The upgrade is designed to enable EneCom to meet increasing traffic demands, as well as offer protection during natural disasters. The network features real-time optical fibre supervision, which provides monitoring and allows fibre breaks to be located, for improved operations and maintenance efficiency and increased reliability.

Previously, in early 2016 Nokia and EneCom announced the commercial deployment of G.fast technology in Japan to allow the ICT service provider to utilise existing copper networks to deliver up to 1 Gbit/s broadband access to residential subscribers. It was noted the deployment followed a G.fast technology trial conducted in 2015. EneCom was to initially deploy G.fast in the Chugokua region of Japan starting June 2016.


EneCom specifically selected Nokia's 7367 Intelligent Service Access Manager (ISAM) SX-16 to enable G.fast connectivity for multiple, and the 7368 ISAM CPE F-010G-P for home devices. It was also to install the 5520 Access Management System. EneCom had also previously announced trials of Nokia's TWDM-PON technology.

http://www.nokia.com

Huawei introduces CloudEngine modules for Ansible automation framework

Huawei announced the release of CloudEngine switch networking modules, core components of its CloudFabric data centre network solution, for Ansible, an agentless open source IT automation framework.

Huawei's CloudEngine networking modules can be deployed in production environments to help provide more secure, efficient and reliable automated network operation and maintenance (O&M).

Huawei noted that as enterprises focus on adopting a devops model, the upstream Ansible project is a popular open source automation project on GitHub that helps developers and IT operators to quickly deploy IT applications and environments. Ansible enables users to reduce barriers between IT teams by automating routine activities such as network configuration, cloud deployments and the creation of development environments.

Ansible's modular code base, combined with a simplified contribution process and a community of contributors in GitHub, enables the IT automation platform to both manage modern infrastructure and adapt to changing new IT needs and devops workflows.

The CloudFabric Open Ecosystem is a project designed to eliminate barriers between vendors of cloud platforms, management tools, network devices and network services, and to combine the capabilities to improve the functionality of data centre network solution integration and support solution development. The CloudFabric ecosystem is enhanced via open source Ansible networking modules developed and maintained by Huawei, designed to allow automated deployment and configuration and to enhance network O&M.

The new CloudEngine switch networking modules for Ansible offer support for automated configuration and query for a range of network features, including basic features AAA and SNMP and Layer 2-4 features such as VLAN, VXLAN, BGP, EVPN and ACL to help improve the efficiency of feature deployment and reduce configuration error rates.

Regarding the integration, Greg DeKoenigsberg, director, Ansible community, commented, "The community introduced network automation support in the Ansible open source project to enable network infrastructure to be managed in the simple… agentless manner that systems and applications already use… this can help network teams take advantage of new deployment paradigms, including configuration automation, test-driven network deployment and continuous compliance".

http://www.huawei.com

Saturday, April 8, 2017

NTT Com to Deploy 400G in Data Centers

NTT Communications will begin deploying a 400 Gbps optical transmission system in its data centers beginning this month.

The system will raise the transmission capacity of NTT Com's core network above 19Tbps per optical fiber, or more than double existing capacity.

The company said the 400G rate is achieved by using advanced digital-signal processing technology developed in house.

The main features and advantages of the 400G system are as follows:

  • Top-level energy and space savings
  • The new system reduces energy consumption per bps by 75% and space requirements by 80% compared to the existing system. The savings were achieved through a synergistic combination of advanced digital-signal processing technology and 16nm complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology. Energy-saving integrated circuits can be constructed rapidly, enabling transmitters to be quickly deployed even in confined spaces at data centers.
  • More than double existing transmission capacity
  • The new system achieves more than double the transmission capacity per optical fiber compared to its predecessor system. To generate 400G signals, the system utilizes NTT's 16 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) for both phase and amplitude, and sub-carrier multiple transmission.
  • New OTN and 400GbE interfaces

In connection with the deployment, NTT Com will offer new optional network services for enterprises, including the sequential launch of OTN interfaces (OTU2, OTU2e and OTU4) mainly for wholesalers and data center users, and a 400GbE interface incorporating framing technology compatible with OTUCn which is the result from NTT's R&D.

To deliver new services and functions with even greater speed and flexibility, NTT Com will combine SDN technologies and dis-aggregation architecture, which can be redeployed as required according to function or module, replacing existing high-function, all-in-one dedicated equipment.

http://www.ntt.com/en/about-us/press-releases/news/article/2017/0407.html

NTT i3 teams with Dimension Data and Intel to deliver CloudWAN

NTT Innovation Institute (NTT i3), the Silicon Valley innovation centre for the NTT Group, and Internet Solutions (IS), a pan-African telecoms service provider to public and private sector organisations announced that they are collaborating with Intel for the delivery of CloudWAN.

CloudWAN is designed to enable the rapid responsiveness and efficiency required by enterprise customers as they expand operations worldwide, including their IT infrastructure. CloudWAN helps organisations to efficiently scale and evolve to address business changes across the technology stack, encompassing SD-WAN and NFV technology into a common environment designed to provide enhanced visibility and control across the entire network.

By combining NTT i3's CloudWAN SD-WAN controller and ecosystem with Intel's next-generation server chips on the new Purley platform, CloudWAN is intended to provide businesses with an efficient path to the flexible deployment and management of software at the edge of their network. With CloudWAN, Intel provides the silicon for the high performance boxes required for software defined networks.

CloudWAN's single console unifies the management of network infrastructure, function and applications, enabling IT departments to proactively plan for changing network requirements while also managing the existing infrastructure. In addition, enterprise cloud operators offering a range of enterprise applications from multiple vendors or cloud-native workloads are able to consolidate application silos into a common data infrastructure.

CloudWAN delivers capabilities including:

1. A unified virtual network for linking public and private clouds and bare metal infrastructure.

2. Management of infrastructure, network functions and applications from a single cloud-based console.

3. Extensible network functions enabled via software that interoperates with the core virtual network.

4. Integration of business applications and services from the cloud to the edge of the network.

5. A micro-service architecture for connected devices.

6.An ecosystem of network function providers that allow CloudWAN to be implemented in existing enterprise IT environments.

CloudWAN is also designed to enable cost-efficiency via reduced set-up and service costs and lower bandwidth expenses through the use of alternate transport networks, as well as simplified device management with network functions delivered as-a-service on a single appliance and simplified network monitoring, debugging and troubleshooting processes.


Israel's Neptune Consortium Demos vCPE

Neptune, the Israeli consortium for network programming, announced that it has performed a general demonstration of its technologies as part of its mission to build on the software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) technologies that are currently under development.

Neptune is seeking to significantly reduce the time required to deploy new services and new service types, enable more efficient use of network and computational resources, and facilitate faster and more intelligent response to network events.

The latest demonstration by Neptune included four industry firsts, as follows:

1. A multi-vendor vCPE demonstration, in which a single service provider OpenStack controller established end-to-end services terminating on virtual CPE (vCPE) from three vendors, ADVA, Telco Systems and RAD, all running on top of a Mellanox switch and HCA adaptor.

2. Satellite network vendor Gilat demonstrated vCPE capabilities in a satellite ground segment gateway, including integration of tactical mobile ad-hoc network (MANET) UHF radio networks into an SDN and NFV-based multi-vendor heterogeneous virtual RAN (vRAN) based on technology developed by Elbit Systems Land and C4i.

3. The above demonstration also featured Open Mobile Edge Cloud (OMEC) with the first fully virtual cellular base station (from modem to management) developed by ASOCS and accelerated by a pool of network attached programmable hardware accelerators.

4.Transport of the common public radio interface (CPRI) standard over microwave by Ceragon Networks.

In addition, ECI Telecom demonstrated how its multi-layer service app is able to perform fast recovery from optical-layer faults employing an ONOS controller combined with OpenFlow optical extensions, and ADVA presented MEC for the delivery of enterprise services.

The demonstration was conducted at a Bezeq International facility, supported by equipment located at four other sites, and attended by outgoing chief scientist of the Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry, Avi Hasson, the head of the chief scientist's technological infrastructure division, Ilan Peled, Neptune chair Dr. Yaakov Stein, and representatives of the consortium members.

Neptune was founded in 2014 to develop methods to automate and programmatically manage service provider networks, irrespective of underlying network technologies leveraging SDN and NFV. Backed by the Israel Innovations Authority (formerly the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Economy and Industry), consortium members include: ADVA (Israel), ASOCS, Bezeq International, Ceragon Networks, ECI Telecom, Elbit Systems, Gilat Satellite Networks, Mellanox Technologies, RAD and Telco Systems (BATM Group).

The consortium also includes research institutions Ariel University, Ben-Gurion University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Holon Technological Institute, the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, the Lev Academic Center in Jerusalem, the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and Tel Aviv University.

NTT Carriers One Petabit per Second over Single Fiber over 200 km

NTT has demonstrated a record inline optical amplified transmission of 1 petabit (1000 terabit) per second over a 205.6 km single strand of 32-core (light paths) optical fiber.

The experimental system used 32-core fiber with a new arrangement of cores to reduce inter-core light leakage, a fan-in/fan-out (FI/FO) device to couple light into the multi-core fiber, along with new digital coherent optical transmission technology. The result aws 31.3 Tbit/s capacity per core (680 Gbit/s per wavelength x 46 wavelength channels).  Multiplied by 32 cores, adn the total transmission capacity exceeded the petabit milestone.

The test was conducted in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark, Fujikura Ltd., Hokkaido University, the University of Southampton and Coriant.

The transmission occurred within a single optical amplifier bandwidth (C-band), which is half the bandwidth used in a previous experiment the used C-band + L-band. NTT said its research indicates that it is potentially possible to carry 1 petabit per second over 1000 km, which is approximately the distance between major cities both in Japan and in Europe.


http://www.ntt.co.jp/news2017/1703e/170323a.html#b2



See also