Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Verizon Award $1.05B Contract to Corning for Fiber and Related Hardware

Verizon Communications has announced a three-year minimum purchase agreement with Corning for the provision of fibre optic cable and associated hardware equipment to Verizon to ensure coverage and capacity for its nationwide wireless broadband network.

Under the new agreement, Verizon will purchase from Corning up to 20 million km (12.4 million miles) of optical fibre each of the three years from 2018 through to 2020, with a minimum purchase commitment of $1.05 billion.

It was noted that in recent months, Corning has announced plans to expand capacity and to invest more than $250 million in its optical fibre, cable and solutions manufacturing facilities to help address demand from carrier and enterprise customers worldwide. Corning expects that these capacity expansions will begin to come online during 2017 and become fully operational in 2018.

Verizon noted that it is engaged in revamping its network architecture based on a next-generation fibre platform designed to support all of the company's businesses. The new architecture is designed to improve Verizon's 4G LTE coverage, speed the deployment of a 5G network and enable the delivery of high-speed broadband to homes and businesses.

In an initial deployment, Verizon launched its One Fiber approach in Boston last year and plans to invest $300 million over six years to deploy it throughout the city. Verizon announced plans in April 2016 to build a new fibre network to support services including Fios in Boston, and invited expressions of interest from residents and small businesses in eight neighbourhoods in the city, which it calls 'fibre zones'.

In January of this year the company announced the launch for customers in parts of Boston, as well as Norfolk, Virginia, of the Fios Instant Internet service offering symmetrical 750 Mbit/s bandwidth.

Verizon also announced the launch of Fios Instant Internet in greater New York City and northern New Jersey, Philadelphia and Richmond, providing a total of over 7 million customers on the East Coast with access to its instant bandwidth offering.

Regarding the agreement, Viju Menon, Verizon chief supply chain officer, commented, "Verizon identified a shortfall in fibre supply and has been working with business teams to forecast demand and fill supply gaps with existing suppliers... securing the required volume of optical fibre and hardware solutions with Corning will ensure it can meet its planned rollout schedules".

Huawei presents Symmetric 25G PON, Calls for Unified Standards

At the recent Huawei Analyst Summit in Shenzhen, the company presented on the key symmetric 25 Gbit/s PON technologies that can enable multiple wavelengths to deliver N x 25 Gbit/s bandwidths over a single fibre and called on industry partners to support the creation of unified next-generation PON standards.

Huawei noted that single-wavelength 25 Gbit/s PON adapts fixed wavelengths that can be easily implemented. In addition, the established chain of single-wavelength 25 Gbit/s optical components are able to share the resources of data centre and Ethernet sectors, allowing further cost reductions and enhanced reliability for optical components.

As part of its strategy for 25 Gbit/s PON, Huawei is promoting the delivery of 25 Gbit/s upstream wavelengths based on reusing the existing 10 Gbit/s PON standards to allow compatibility with existing 10 Gbit/s PON terminals.

Huawei stated that it has developed a symmetric 25 Gbit/s PON prototype based on its MA5800 high-capacity OLT featuring a distributed architecture, which is in large-scale commercial use. Through the use of multi-wavelength binding, the prototype is able to support N x 25 Gbit/s bandwidth. In addition, optical distribution network (ODN) infrastructure can be reused and both GPON and 10 Gbit/s PON technologies can be deployed on the same network to provide investment protection.

For future PON standards and research, Huawei is promoting unified next-generation PON standards. Meanwhile, to expand the PON market, allow sharing of industry resources, reduce deployment costs and speed time to market, Huawei noted that standardisation organisations such as the ITU-T, IEEE and BBF, as well as major operators including China Telecom, are calling for unified next-generation PON standards.

Digital transformation brings about critical development opportunities. Network construction once driven by technologies is becoming business values driven. Technology evolution will gradually come back to the essence of business. The core of Huawei's All-Cloud Network solutions is to realize commercial values. By building agile, intelligent, efficient, and open All-Cloud Networks, Huawei is committed to facilitating customers’ commercial successes

Huawei unveiled what it claimed was the first commercial symmetric 10 Gbit/s GPON (also termed XGS-PON) solution in September 2016. The XGS-PON solution targets enterprise private line applications and is based on OLT and optical network unit (ONU) products.

At the central office (CO), the solution features Huawei's distributed smart OLT MA5800 equipped with XGS-PON boards to provide 10 Gbit/s symmetric bandwidth per port. It is also compatible with asymmetric 10 Gbit/s GPON terminals. At the user end, Huawei provides box-style and board-mountable ONU with upstream XGS-PON ports.

In addition, for demanding home users, Huawei provides a special ONT incorporating XGS-PON, Gigabit Ethernet and POTS ports, plus support for dual-band WiFi to enable gigabit bandwidth in FTTH scenarios.

ABI: Cloud Deployments to take off after 2020, driven by roll-out of 5G

ABI Research predicts in its Telco Cloud Framework and Deployment Roadmaps study that large-scale telco cloud deployments will attain critical mass after 2020, in parallel with the deployment for 5G networks.

ABI expects that the fifth network generation will require a new core network to support advanced concepts such as network slicing and services geared towards a variety of business verticals. However, the research firm believes that early 5G deployments will focus on delivering enhanced mobile broadband, which will mean there will be no immediate requirement for a new telco core network.

ABI notes that AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Verizon are currently refining their strategies for 5G and planning their networks as shared platforms, rather than a mix of individual network appliances. As a result, network resources will be virtualised, distributed and software controlled with the aim of creating a far more agile network. In turn, this model will allow the implementation of what it terms an 'untelco' strategy, involving the sale of tailored network resources to different verticals.

However, ABI finds there are signs that the deployment of end-to-end systems remains the end goal for operators. For example, Telefonica O2 UK has awarded Nokia an end-to-end contract for a cloud-native packet core. It notes that implementing a true vendor-agnostic, common-off-the-shelf (COTS)-based network in-house would present the operator with a considerable challenge. ABI anticipates the award of many more end-to-end telco cloud vendor contracts in the future.

Commenting on the report, Dimitris Mavrakis, research director at ABI Research, said:

-           "Although telcos are transforming their technology and business platforms to become more agile and to evolve past monolithic access-based business models, they are finding it much more challenging than anticipated… software, cloud computing and open source are promising and will simplify operations, but in the short term, telcos are preferring to rely on their trusted vendors".

-           "… open source projects are contributing valuable inputs toward the evolution of telco networks, (but) there is also competition among open source projects and the concept is misunderstood and in some cases misused… the golden ratio is somewhere between end-to-end systems and open source components, if vendors provide open interfaces and flexibility to integrate third-party and smaller vendors".

Riverbed to Acquire Xirrus for Wi-Fi Expertise

Riverbed Technology agreed to acquire Xirrus, a leading supplier of Wi-Fi networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The companies said the deal will expand Riverbed’s market leading SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) and cloud networking solution Riverbed SteelConnect with the integration of a robust and proven suite of advanced, high density and cloud-managed Wi-Fi solutions, offering Riverbed customers and partners the power of unified connectivity and policy-based orchestration that spans the entire distributed network – WAN, LAN/WLAN, data center and the cloud. Riverbed will also continue to offer Xirrus as a stand-alone enterprise WLAN solution.

“Xirrus is a strategic acquisition for Riverbed, providing us with a leading enterprise-grade Wi-Fi solution, and enhancing SteelConnect to deliver an unmatched SD-WAN offering that will help further fuel our growth in this hot market,” said Jerry M. Kennelly, Riverbed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “In today’s digital, cloud, and mobile world, enterprise networks are more complex and unpredictable than ever before and IT is struggling to manage all of this. A fundamental rethink to networking is required and with this acquisition, Riverbed and our partners are uniquely positioned to provide CIOs and businesses with a software-defined networking approach that delivers unified connectivity and orchestration across the entire network.”

“Legacy approaches to network management have become completely untenable. IT must move beyond the days of managing individual network devices using arcane CLI commands and scripts and instead move to software-defined approaches that are based on global policies, automation and orchestration,” said Paul O’Farrell, Senior Vice President of the Riverbed SteelConnect, SteelHead and SteelFusion Business Unit. “The SteelConnect offering is unique in that it is the first SD-WAN solution that has extended the power of policy-based orchestration out to the broader reaches of the distributed network. By combining the advanced Wi-Fi capabilities of Xirrus and SteelConnect’s intuitive and powerful orchestration, we’re taking a bold step to bring the power of policy-based network management out to the wireless edge.”

Telefonica Teams with Huawei on Operation Centers

Telefónica announced that, utilising the Huawei Smartcare SOC solution, it has deployed three dedicated Service Operations Centres (SOC), located in Argentina, Chile and Germany, designed to enable the intelligent management of its network.

The three service centres are already operating and represent the initial application of AI (artificial intelligence) to Telefonica's operations. The operator plans to launch such centres for all of the countries where it operates. Telefonica has a significant presence in 21 countries and serves around 350 million accesses worldwide.

The deployment marks a first step in a key project intended to enable the company to capture, in real time, the actual quality of customer service experience, initially for mobile services. Telefonica's aim is to be able to guarantee high quality connectivity and performance for customers. Through the project, Telefonica is seeking the ability to understand, manage and assure the end customer experience.

The SOCs use anonymous, aggregated information on the networks used by customers and are designed to enable the company to anticipate potential incidents and identify network black spots. This will allow the operator to proactively address identified issues to help enable better use of services, predictive maintenance and network optimisation, as well as respond faster and more effectively to customers with technical issues.

Leveraging the data-driven operational model enabled by the SOCs, Telefonica will be able to take decisions based on homogeneous criteria and calculations, in real time, and with accurate and comparable data, and so transform network maintenance from a scheduled to a proactive and predictive process.

As part of the strategy, Telefónica has selected Huawei's Smartcare SOC solution for its service operation centres, with the first deployments in Argentina, Chile and Germany. The Huawei SmartCare SOC serves as the bridge between network resource assets management and customer assets management, and is designed to provide a customer- and service-centric operations approach enabling enhanced customer experience and operational efficiency.

Huawei SOC solution specifically provides per-service, per-user (PSPU) visibility of the customer experience to identify and resolve faults before they become a problem for the customer. For the project, Huawei is supporting Telefónica with both the deployment of its Smartcare CEM platform and with the launch of the operational transformational program, encompassing process definition and the first year of operation.

BTC Broadband Deploys MRV for Oklahoma WDM network

MRV Communications, a provider of packet and optical solutions for service providers, data centres and enterprises, announced that fibre-based regional broadband service provider BTC Broadband based in Bixby, Oklahoma has selected it to deploy a WDM network within the state of Oklahoma.

With the deployment of MRV's custom WDM solution into its network, BTC Broadband will gain capabilities including scalable bandwidth capacity to meet its internal requirements, as well as growing demand from business and residential customers.

MRV noted that BTC Broadband has invested in rolling out fibre infrastructure in key residential and business areas of Oklahoma, including the city of Tulsa. The resulting regional fibre backbone network enables the service provider to launch service points in all business districts along its network route.

More specifically, BTC Broadband will be able to expand its fibre-based service offerings and enhance the quality of services for end-users leveraging MRV's OptiDriver optical transport solution, which will enable both increased capacity and greater coverage for the fibre network.

In addition, to facilitate deployment of the solution MRV also supplied its Pro-Vision life cycle service orchestration (LSO) software, which is designed to simplify network operations via a suite of automated tools covering functions from planning and provisioning to visualising and optimising packet and optical networks and services.

Earlier in April, MRV announced that Syndeo Network of Illinois, a fibre broadband communications service provider had selected MRV to upgrade its WDM network to address the growing traffic demands of its customers.

Syndeo provides telecom services across northern Illinois, and also owns a fibre installation subsidiary, DeKalb Fiber Optics, which serves education, enterprise and government institutions. For the network upgrade Syndeo selected MRVs 100 Gbit/s-capable OptiDriver metro optical transport solution and Pro-Vision service management and orchestration platform.

Mitsubishi Electric Unveils 28 GHz Massive-element antenna

Mitsubishi Electric announced the development of a compact massive-element antenna and RF module that deliver 800 MHz bandwidth and wide-angle beamforming and target 28 GHz communications in 5G radio base stations.

Mitsubishi Electric intends to verify the module's performance for applications in high-speed, large-capacity communication systems prior to commercialisation of the technology. The company will present the solution at the Brooklyn 5G Summit organised by Nokia and NYU Wireless in New York City.

Mitsubishi Electric cited key features of the solution including:

1. Wideband, high-frequency circuitry designed to support communication over a wide 800 MHz bandwidth.

2. Beam control technology combined with a proprietary massive 256-element antenna and RF device, enabling wide-angle beam forming at ±45 degrees horizontally to aid expanded area coverage.

3. Efficient integration of RF device to enable a compact solution.

The company noted that 5G is expected to deliver transmission at up to 20 Gbit/s, compared with 3 Gbit/s for 4G, leveraging key technologies including MIMO, which uses high frequency bands to enable wide bandwidth and spatially multiplexes multiple signals at the same time within the same frequency while also compensating for large propagation loss in higher frequencies employing multi-element antennas. The new antenna and RF module for 5G base stations is designed for massive MIMO applications.

Development of the Mitsubishi Electric solution was supported by 'The research and development project for realisation of the fifth generation mobile communications system', commissioned by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

AT&T Enhances Partner Exchange with Ethernet Features and APIs

AT&T has announced enhancements to its Partner Exchange including new API capabilities, Ethernet features and self-service support tools designed to help businesses extend reach and improve operational efficiency.

Switched Ethernet enhancements

AT&T Partner Exchange is expanding its switched Ethernet offering to include higher speeds for point-to-point, any-to-any and hub and spoke implementations. It will also offer solution providers near-instant site qualification and quotes via the Partner Exchange portal. The new capabilities are designed to help businesses extend their reach and enhance operations.


As part of the upgrade, AT&T Partner Exchange is developing an API designed to help solution providers verify service availability and generate quotes in near real-time for the AT&T Internet Access service. Solution providers will be able to embed the forthcoming API with their own sales tools.

Support tools

AT&T Support Center is designed to enable solution providers to more easily connect with the AT&T Partner Exchange Service Management team for enhanced management of services. Solution providers can also access support centre tools and resources to help resolve issues.

GTT Launches Managed SD-WAN Service

GTT Communications announced today the launch of its Managed SD-WAN service, powered by VeloCloud.

The service offers dynamic bandwidth management, optimized application performance and the ability to integrate cost-effective network technologies into the corporate WAN. The service will also simplify network control, especially for branch locations, driving greater efficiencies in enterprise WAN management.

“As enterprise traffic continues to grow rapidly, GTT is committed to delivering cloud networking services that are application-aware and responsive to ever-increasing bandwidth demands,” stated Rick Calder, GTT president and CEO. “We are pleased to partner with VeloCloud for our Managed SD-WAN initiative, providing our clients with optimized performance and cost-effective network expansion.”

“A global footprint, cloud expertise and advanced managed services, combined with simplicity, speed and agility, make GTT an ideal partner for VeloCloud,” said Sanjay Uppal, VeloCloud CEO and co-founder. “The true multitenant VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN architecture, service model and capabilities align seamlessly with GTT’s global network services, to deliver a scalable, high-performance, secure global Managed SD-WAN offering to multinational businesses for cloud-based and on-premises applications.”

Huawei's Target of $150bn revenue by 2020 - Part 2

2016 financial results (continued)

Breakdown of Huawei 2016 and 2015 revenue by business group (RMB/$ millions), with RMB growth rate and share of corporate sales:

2016 2016 $  2015 Growth %  % of total
Carrier Business  290,561 41,841 235,113 23.60% 55.70%
Enterprise  40,666 5,856 27,610 47.30% 7.83%
Consumer  179,808 25,892 125,914 43.60% 34.47%
Other  10,439 1,518 7,092 48.60% 2.00%
Total  521,574 75,107 395,009 32.00% 100.00%


It is worth noting that while the two numbers may not be exactly comparable Huawei's $41.8 billion for its Carrier Business in 2016 is about 60% larger than Ericsson's $26 billion for the same period. If Ericsson shrinks a further 6% in 2017 and Huawei grows by 17% Huawei will end up in nine months time about twice the size of its nearest competitor, and this scenario is not too unlikely.

Ericsson is now going through the kind of heavy restructuring from which companies almost never recover (since, to frame a medical analogy, surgery, or cost cutting, applied under panic conditions can often result in as much serious damage to healthy tissue as to those parts that are its main target). It is certainly a remarkable transformation in a relationship which only a couple of years ago was that of two strong but equal peers.

It should also cause some concern at U.S. majors such as AT&T and Verizon (forced by pressures from various sources in the U.S., including some elements of the security services, from doing any business with Huawei), who may see the possibility in a projected future scenario that they could start to fall behind technically and commercially because they were not allowed to do business with the world's largest communications equipment producer.

Looking at Huawei's Enterprise Business it also becomes clear why Cisco, despite its heavy year on year investment in reputedly market-leading fast growing acquisitions, is having difficulty even maintaining zero growth. The Huawei business was only founded a few years ago and is already one of the largest companies in its field globally, adding over $2 billion of new business every year. Whilst possibly half of Huawei's $2 billion annual addition may well come from new opportunities it has created through technology development and custom engineering the other $1 billion is probably being filched from existing business at traditional competitors, of which Cisco is the largest.

This level of competition is likely to accelerate. In September 2014 Eric Xu, Huawei's acting chief executive, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that Huawei was aiming by 2019 to build a $10 billion sales level for its information-technology infrastructure business, consisting mainly of computer servers, storage and data centre management; two years later in September 2016 rotating CEO Guo Ping confirmed that Huawei was dedicating $1 billion annually, or about 10% of its R&D budget, to that particular initiative.

Breakdown of 2016 and 2015 revenue by gross geographical region (RMB/$ millions), with RMB growth rate and share of corporate sales:

2016 RMB  2016 $  2015 RMB  Growth %  % of total
China  236,512 34,057 167,690 41.00% 45.35%
EMEA  156,509 22,537 127,719 22.50% 30.01%
Asia Pacific  67,500 9,721 49,403 36.60% 12.94%
Americas  44,082 6,348 38,910 13.30% 8.45%
Other  16,971 2,444 11,287 50.40% 3.25%
Total  521,574 75,107 395,009 32.00% 100.00%


A geographical breakdown of revenue by companies are often the least useful sets of information because they are so broad and include very often such a disparate set of economies. In EMEA, for instance, is it useful to include Saudi Arabia with Zimbabwe or the Central Africa Republic, or within the Americas Haiti with Canada? However, some relevant observations can be made on the above. The first and most obvious one is that contrary to the idea of Huawei diversifying rapidly across the globe and away from its home market, in practice in 2016 Huawei's Chinese business grew considerably faster than its business in the rest of the world. More specifically, Huawei's business outside China grew at around 25.4% from RMB 227,319 in 2015 to RMB 285,062, not much above half the 41% growth in China. However, this is more consistent with at least part of reality than one might think.

China's growth in GDP in 2016 according to the IMF was 6.6%, compared to global growth of 3.1%, and is currently predicated to grow at 6.5% in 2017 and 6.0% in 2018. Obviously that ratio of 2 to 1 between China and the world as a whole is even better comparing China with the rest of the world. So that 41% compared to 25.4% starts to look quite logical. Also, Huawei is spending a great deal of money on R&D and it is obviously fairly practical for the company to test this innovation at various levels in its home market first. However, the counterargument is that looking at the ratio of Huawei's business to GDP for the various geographies for which it provides revenue data those ratios vary dramatically.

Roughly speaking, the global nominal GDP of just over $75 billion is split as far as the Huawei regions are concerned $11 billion for China, $25 billion for EMEA, $27 billion for the Americas, and $12 billion for Asia Pacific, plus other. Therefore Huawei does about five times as much business in China compared to China's GDP as it does compared to the rest of the world, and in particular for the Americas the disparity in the ratios is in the region of 15 to 1. That probably means both that Huawei has an excessive share of its home market and could be at risk as other Chinese companies develop an interest, often through partnerships with western companies, and also that Huawei is still very underrepresented outside China.

Ekinops and OneAccess Plan Merger

Ekinops based in Lannion, France, a global supplier of next-generation optical networking equipment, and the major shareholders of OneAccess, a provider of network access solutions, announced that they have entered into exclusive discussions for a combination of their operations, with the proposed transaction to involve the acquisition of OneAccess by Ekinops.

The combination of the two companies would create a major player in transport solutions, Ethernet services and business routing sectors with combined annul revenue of over Euro 76 million (based on data for 2016).

As an initial step, Ekinops and OneAccess will consult with their employee representative organisations, with a view to finalising negotiations once the opinions of those organisations have been received.

Under the terms of the proposed acquisition, OneAccess' enterprise value is estimated at Euro 60 million, or approximately 1x revenue, representing an equity value of Euro 58 million. Ekinops plans to fund acquisition through a combination of cash and shares, as a part of which it would implement a capital increase for the equivalent of approximately 50% of OneAccess' equity capital, with this transaction subject to approval by its shareholders.

Subject to shareholder approval, on completion of capital increase transaction, OneAccess' shareholders would contribute all of their shares in exchange for 50% of the value in cash and 50% in Ekinops shares. The new Ekinops shares would be priced at the average share price, weighted by volume, of Ekinops shares on Euronext between 30 March and 15 April 2017, but within the range Euro 7.25 and Euro 8.21. On completion of the transaction, OneAccess shareholders would own 20%-25% of the new company.
In addition, an earn-out payment based on revenue generated of not more than Euro 6 million would be paid to OneAccess shareholders for the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years.

France-based OneAccess, founded in 2001 and with around 350 staff, is a supplier of software and hardware platforms to telecom carriers and service providers serving large corporate and SME customers. The company claims nearly 130 telecom carriers as clients, including 29 in the global Top 100, and has four R&D centres, located in Velizy and Sophia Antipolis, France, Louvain, Belgium and Bangalore, India. In 2016, OneAccess generated revenue of Euro 58 million and EBITDA margin of 9.1%.

Through combining their operations, Ekinops and OneAccess would establish a major global supplier of optical transport and telecom network virtualisation solutions. The new company would have a total workforce of over 400 employees and combined revenue of Euro 76 million, with around 55% sales generated outside of France.

The transaction is currently expected to be completed during the summer of 2017.

Huawei launches 8-slot compact backbone router for NE9000 Series platform

Huawei announced the release of the eight-slot NE9000-8, the latest product in its series of backbone routers and based on the same platform as the previously released, larger capacity 20-slot NE9000 solution.

Huawei's new NE9000-8 platform provides high forwarding capacity together with a range of service features and is designed to serve as an interconnect node for small or medium-sized data centre or metro core nodes. The NE9000 series products are designed to address carrier requirements for backbone network service development and help to prepare carrier networks for the transition to the cloud.

The NE9000-8 backbone router offers high capacity and integration and, via eight service slots, enables support for what is claimed to be the first 4 Tbit/s routing line card, delivering total capacity of up to 32 Tbit/s. The solution also enables an evolution to 8 Tbit/s per slot to support the future service requirements of interconnect nodes for small/medium-sized data centres and metro core nodes.

Delivered in half the height of a 2.2-metre standard cabinet, the NE9000-8 offers a more compact and cost-effective solution while providing the same capacity and consuming half the power compared with similar products.

Huawei noted that leveraging operating system virtualisation, a single NE9000 platform can be virtualised to provide multiple logical devices, allowing control, management and physical resource isolation for services. This capability allows converged bearing of multiple services, thereby helping to reduce the number of network nodes required, as well as lowering network costs.

The NE9000 is a key element of Huawei's CloudBackbone solution, which is designed to help carriers adjust network configurations and enhance overall network efficiency utilising real-time monitoring of network traffic and centralised control and management.

ZTE reports Q1 revenue of RMB 25.74b, up 17.8% YoY

ZTE has announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017, as follows:

1. Operating revenue for the first quarter of RMB 25.74 billion (approximately $3.74 billion), up 17.8% compared with RMB 21.86 billion in first quarter of 2016.

2. Operating profit for the first quarter of RMB 764.1 million, up 143.2% compared with RMB 314.2 million in first quarter of 2016.

3. R&D expenditure for the first quarter of RMB 3.33 billion, up 9.2% versus RMB 3.05 billion in first quarter of 2016.

4.  SG&A expenditure for the first quarter of RMB 3.47 billion, up 4.2% compared with RMB 3.33 billion in first quarter of 2016.

5.  Profit attributable to shareholders of RMB 1.21 billion (approximately $175.7 million), up 27.5% compared with profit of RMB 949.5 million in first quarter of 2016.

6.  Cash as of March 31, 2017 RMB 29.25 billion, versus RMB 32.35 billion as at December 31, 2016.

Additional results and notes

ZTE reported negative net cash flows from operating activities for the first quarter of 2017 of RMB 971.2 million, compared with positive net cash flow from operation of RMB 3.94 billion in the first quarter of 2016.

The company noted that the higher first quarter profit derived from sales growth for carrier network solutions and smartphones. More specifically, ZTE stated that in the first quarter it achieved over 25% growth in shipments of set-top-boxes as part of its Big Video business, while shipments of in-house developed chipsets rose 70% year on year during the quarter.

ZTE integrates Quantenna WiFi chipset with GPON residential gateway

ZTE and Quantenna Communications, a provider of high performance WiFi solutions, announced the development of a new high-end GPON product that integrates Quantenna's advanced 4 x 4 802.11ac Wave 2 QSR1000 chipset and targets the service provider market.

The new product from ZTE and Quantenna is designed to offer greater bandwidth to support full-service access and multi-scenario requirements, and also provides carrier-class QoS.

Quantenna's QSR1000 chipset, introduced in 2103, was claimed to be the first 802.11ac chipset with 4 x 4 MIMO technology, enabling gigabit throughput over WiFi and designed for access points in the home or office.

Earlier this year, Quantenna announced its latest 802.11ax product, the QSR5G-AX, offering support for dual-band, dual concurrent 4 x 4 + 4 x 4 operation. The product complements the QSR10G-AX dual-band, dual concurrent 8 x 8 + 4 x 4 802.11ax 12-stream access point solution announced in October 2016.

IDT and Epson Introduce Timing Solution

Integrated Device Technology (IDT) and Seiko Epson, a leading supplier of quartz crystal technology, have introduced an ultra-high performance timing solution designed to address phase noise challenges in telecommunication and data centre applications.

For the solution, IDT's new 8V19N474 jitter attenuator and frequency synthesiser is coupled with Epson's VG-4513 voltage-controlled crystal oscillator (VCXO) to provide leading phase noise performance for demanding applications such as 40/100/400 Gigabit Ethernet timing.

The new 8V19N474 jitter attenuator and frequency synthesiser features RMS phase noise of 75 femtoseconds, with the ultra-low performance designed to provide system designers with the clocking requirement to transition from 28 Gbit/s to Ethernet interfaces utilising 56 Gbit/s PAM4 (TX) PHYs and other high-performance SerDes applications with sufficient timing margin.

IDT's 8V19N474 device can generate up to 12 reference clock signals and outputs multiple synchronised clocks, together with an output frequency range from 25 to 2500 MHz, including 125 and 156.25 MHz and LVDS and LVPECL outputs with adjustable amplitudes. The device targets Ethernet and OTN (OTU3, OTU4) in complex applications, as well as for driving ADC/DAC converters, cable TV head-end and DOCSIS 3.1 applications.

For wired communications, the IDT solution enables compliance with physical layer specifications of phase noise, bit error rate and signal-to-noise ratio without the need for external filtering. Additionally, the product's integrated low drop out regulator enables cost savings through enabling the use of an inexpensive DC/DC voltage supply.

Epson's VG-4513 VCXO device constitutes a proven component in the joint solution. Employing an HFF (high-frequency fundamental) crystal, the VG-4513 VCXO delivers very low close-in phase noise which, combined with the integrated VCO within IDT's 8V19N474, enables low phase noise at higher offset frequencies.

IDT's 8V19N474 product, which is available immediately, is supplied in an 8 x 8 mm 81-CABGA package; the Epson VG-4513 is also available now, provided in a 7 x 5 x 1.6 mm or a 5 x 3.2 x 1.3 mm ceramic package.

Cloudways Launches Auto-scalable Cloud Hosting on Bare-metal containers

Cloudways based in Malta, a provider of managed Container-as-a-Service for web apps, has unveiled managed, auto-scalable cloud hosting on Kyup bare-metal containers designed to scale up and down without human intervention and with virtually no downtime.

The company noted that auto-scalability is a key requirement for web app deployment, and websites deployed on managed Kyup containers from Cloudways able to provide auto-scaling in response to fluctuating traffic volumes. As a website registers high traffic levels, the server (RAM and CPU) scales to prevent downtime, before reverting to normal when traffic declines to allow improved resource utilisation.

Leveraging Cloudways Cloud Platform, users can quickly launch Kyup containers, while developers can select from a range of provided installers to create web apps. Users can also launch a simple PHP stack for deploying custom PHP-based applications.

In addition, Cloudways ThunderStack, a formula developed based on the latest web-server and caching technologies, is claimed to enable apps to run up to 300% faster compared with other cloud platforms.

Cloudways also features the CloudwaysBot, a bot that generates notifications to website owners within the platform and via email, Slack, or HipChat when the server scales up and down. The bot can also provide users with server and app related insights.

Together with Kyup, Cloudways claims to offer the first managed Container-as-a-Service for web apps. With Cloudways, developers and designers can use managed, auto-scalable Kyup containers to efficiently deploy PHP-based apps. The platform features over 50 one-click features, including browser-based SSH, free SSL, Git and staging areas.

Monday, April 17, 2017

FCC Auction Draws $19.8B for 70MHz of Repurposed Spectrum

The FCC's broadcast incentive auction, which concluded last week, attracted bids totalling $19.8 billion (gross revenue) for 70MHz of spectrum for nationwide mobile use.  This is among the highest grossing auctions ever conducted by the FCC.  More than $10 billion of this total will go to 175 broadcasters whose previously licensed spectrum was selected for the incentive
auction. Remaining funds go to the U.S. Treasury.

A total of 50 winning bidders won 70 MHz of licensed spectrum nationwide. A total of 14 MHz of spectrum is available for unlicensed use and wireless microphones. On a nationwide basis, 70 MHz is the most mobile broadband ever auctioned below 1GHz by the FCC. Among the largest winners were T-Mobile, Dish, Comcast, and US Cellular.

The Commission now commences a 39-month transition period to move broadcast stations to new channel assignments.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said, “The conclusion of the world’s first incentive auction is a major milestone in the FCC’s long history as steward of the nation’s airwaves. Consumers are the real beneficiaries, as broadcasters invest new resources in programming and service, and additional wireless spectrum opens the way to greater competition and innovation in the mobile broadband marketplace.”

Huawei's Target of $150bn Revenue by 2020 - Part 1

Preamble - Huawei little recognised or understood in western circles of power

Huawei is not very well-known in the U.S. for many historical and political reasons and yet it is already a major, and sometimes the leading, player in most geographical and sectoral electronics equipments markets outside of the U.S. Moreover, if it meets the targets it has set itself (and it has a very good record in that respect) it could be close to becoming the world's largest electronics company within the next five years. There are several reasons for this possibly rather dangerous state of ignorance or denial in the U.S. including the following.

Very low level of business in the U.S.

In its latest 2016 report published March 31st Huawei says that geographical sales last year for a region described as The Americas were just over RMB 44 billion, which is roughly $6.35 billion and only about 8% of its global total. Given that all the countries involved in the Americas, other than the U.S., i.e. Canada, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, contribute almost 14% of global GDP it is easy to see that the figure is quite low even for those countries and sales in the U.S. must indeed be very small, probably just a few hundreds of millions of dollars.

Preamble - Huawei little recognised or understood in western circles of power

Huawei is not very well-known in the U.S. for many historical and political reasons and yet it is already a major, and sometimes the leading, player in most geographical and sectoral electronics equipments markets outside of the U.S. Moreover, if it meets the targets it has set itself (and it has a very good record in that respect) it could be close to becoming the world's largest electronics company within the next five years. There are several reasons for this possibly rather dangerous state of ignorance or denial in the U.S. including the following.

Very low level of business in the U.S.

In its latest 2016 report published March 31st Huawei says that geographical sales last year for a region described as The Americas were just over RMB 44 billion, which is roughly $6.35 billion and only about 8% of its global total. Given that all the countries involved in the Americas, other than the U.S., i.e. Canada, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, contribute almost 14% of global GDP it is easy to see that the figure is quite low even for those countries and sales in the U.S. must indeed be very small, probably just a few hundreds of millions of dollars.

2016 financial results

Core numbers from the Huawei 2016 report (RMB millions) except first column in US$ millions:

2016 ($m)  2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Revenue  75,103 521,574 395,009 288,197 239,025 220,198
Operating Profit  6,842 47,515 45,786 34,205 29,128 20,658
Net profit  5,335 37,052 36,910 27,866 21,003 15,624
Cash flow from ops  7,087 49,218 52,300 41,755 22,554 24,969
Cash/short term inv  20,973 145,653 125,208 106,036 81,944 71,649
Working capital  16,736 116,231 89,019 78,566 75,180 63,837
Total assets  63,880 443,634 372,155 309,733 244,091 223,348
Total borrowings  6,451 44,799 28,986 28,108 23,033 20,754
Owner's equity  20,178 140,133 119,069 99,985 86,266 75,024
Liability ratio  68.40% 68.40% 68.00% 67.70% 64.70% 66.40%

(NB: it is worth noting that while the Huawei 2016 accounting results use the standard practice of converting from local currency to dollars at the average rate on December 31, 2016 (defined as RMB 6.9448 to the dollar), the average monthly exchange rate for all of 2016 was actually about RMB 6.643 to the dollar and at that rate Huawei's sales for the year in dollars would have been $78.51 billion, only slightly behind IBM's revenue for the year of $79.9 billion.)

See also