Tuesday, May 23, 2017

ZTE claims 70% share of China Mobile's PTN procurement project

ZTE reports that it has been awarded a 70% share, making the company the largest supplier of equipment, for China Mobile's New Packet Transport Network (PTN) Procurement Project.

ZTE stated that this latest contract win follows previous awards under China Mobile's PTN Procurement program, consolidating its position as a supplier of PTN solutions. The company noted that with only two vendors on the shortlist, China Mobile awarded the vendor ranked top in the procurement with a more than 70% allocation for the project, with the second vendor awarded a share of not more than 30%.

ZTE noted that with software-defined networks (SDN) destined to become a key communications network technology in the future, as part of the procurement program China Mobile arranged SDN-based tests covering solutions including SPT controllers and centralised operation and management centres (OMC).

Based on its expertise and capabilities in the SDN field, ZTE's SPTN controller is designed to provide high performance and advanced functionality that can enable centralised intelligent control, together with high resource utilisation and flexible service scheduling, while facilitating the network evolution.

Based on the development of its transport network and technologies, China Mobile is engaged in research into 5G networks and implementing pilot trials. As part of its 5G development effort, ZTE launched its 5G Flexhaul solution at this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC), designed to enable operators to build advanced, flexible, efficient and unified 5G transport networks.

  • Recently, ZTE announced that, working with China Mobile, China Mobile Zhejiang and the China Mobile Jiaxing Branch, it has completed a commercial deployment and multi-scenario test verification of 3D-MIMO technology utilising its Pre5G Massive MIMO solution in Jiaxing.

Crehan: Early 25GbE Adoption Faster than 10GbE

The adoption of 25GbE gigabit Ethernet (GbE) is off to a much stronger start than either 10GbE or 40GbE, according to a new Server-Class Adapter & LAN on-Motherboard (LOM) Report from Crehan Research Inc.

In fact, 25GbE shipments have handily surpassed two hundred thousand ports in just a little over a year, a milestone that took 10GbE about six years to reach and 40GbE about four – see accompanying figure. Moreover, each of these successive Ethernet networking technologies has ramped faster than its predecessor in response to changing data center networking traffic demands.

“The ramp of 25GbE shipments is off to a stellar start, driven by compelling pricing and rapid, broad ecosystem alignment, as well as new data center application bandwidth requirements," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. “Looking at the broader high-speed networking adoption arcs, we are seeing an acceleration in adoption as customers move to stay ahead of numerous network traffic demands including big data and related analytics, a rapidly growing and changing mobile internet, Network Function Virtualization (NFV), machine learning, and augmented and virtual reality."

Crehan’s report also notes that in conjunction with the stellar performance of 25GbE, both 50GbE and 100GbE are also seeing rapid growth, with each already exceeding an annualized shipment run-rate of over one hundred thousand ports. “The simultaneous strong initial ramp in three new higher-speed Ethernet networking technologies suggests that we may be at an inflection point in data center networking bandwidth demand," Crehan said. "Furthermore, it reflects additional segmentation of the Ethernet market as this market shifts away from the one-size-fits-all deployment model that used to dominate.”


Centec selects 100 Gbit/s QSFP28 active copper cable from Credo and FIT

Credo Semiconductor, a developer of mixed-signal ICs and IP for data centre and enterprise networking applications, and interconnect solutions supplier Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT) announced that they will demonstrate robust and error-free 100 Gbit/s QSFP28 active copper cable (ACC) connectivity solutions with reach up to 10 metres during the Computex Show in Taipei.

The new cable assembly is designed to enable server designers to transition to higher bandwidths utilising cost-effective copper connectivity as an alternative to implementing higher cost optical technology.

The companies stated that to enable lower cost high bandwidth solutions, Centec, an established provider of Ethernet switching solutions, plans to adopt ACC technology for its data centre solutions to help speed the transition to the technology in 100 Gbit/s intra-rack and inter-rack applications within the data centre.

The companies noted that with growing demand for bandwidth, maintaining copper interconnects between servers and top-of-rack switches would save significant capex in the transition from 10 to 25 Gbit/s single lane data rates. The new jointly developed 100 Gbit/s QSFP28 ACCs provide connectivity between standard QSFP ports, with a QSFP28 ACC capable of supporting 4x full-duplex lanes, with each lane transmitting at up to 25 Gbit/s in each direction, delivering aggregate bandwidth of up to 100 Gbit/s.

The ACC solution utilises Credo's mixed-signal processing technology to provide cost-effective intermediate-reach data centre interconnects that cannot be achieved with traditional passive copper cable (PCC). In addition, Credo's low power technology means that the 100 Gbit/s ACC consumes significantly less power than competing AOCs (active optical cables).

  • Earlier this year, Credo Semiconductor announced demonstrations of its low power 112 Gbit/s PAM4, 56 Gbit/s PAM4 LR and 56 Gbit/s NRZ LR SerDes technologies at DesignCon 2017. Demonstrations with Keysight and Amphenol showcased Credo's 112 Gbit/s PAM4-SR and 56 Gbit/s PAM4-LR technology, with Molex demonstrating Credo's 56 Gbit/s PAM4-LR and NRZ LR SerDes IP over copper cables and backplanes. Credo also demonstrated long-reach 28 Gbit/s technology for data centre connectivity with Leoni.

Coloclue deploys Juniper vMX virtual router for next-generation network

Juniper Networks announced that Netherlands-based Coloclue, a non-profit, independent association of network specialists, has selected the Juniper Networks vMX Virtual Router for its next-generation production network.

Juniper's vMX, a virtualised MX Series 3D universal edge router, offers a full-featured, carrier-grade virtual router that will enable Coloclue to upgrade its network environment. For the project, Coloclue will deploy the vMX on the NFX250 Network Services Platform and leverage the automation features of Junos OS as part of an effort to create a Self-Driving Network, designed to reduce time required for testing, as well as reduce costs, and allow its staff to focus on higher-value activities.

Deployment of Juniper's vMX on the NFX250 network services platform is intended to enable a high-performance, automated and operationally-efficient network that will deliver an advanced production environment for Coloclue members. Members will also be able to leverage the production network to test and troubleshoot new applications before they are rolled out.

The vMX solution offers a suite of advanced routing functions on an open platform and is designed to support network automation to allow engineers to create a real-world network environment while gaining experience with a variety of automation tools that help to reduce the resources needed to operate the network. This can allow engineers to focus on higher value testing and troubleshooting activities.

Juniper noted that partner Infradata BV, a network integrator focused on designing, implementing and managing next-generation networks, is carrying out the deployment with Coloclue.

  • Juniper recently announced that Dutch Internet connectivity provider A2B Internet had selected its vMX Virtual Routers as the first virtual network function (VNF) for its next-generation network platform. A2B Internet selected the vMX to enable improved service agility for its customers and reduced costs through simplifying its network.

Orange launches brand in Liberia following acquisition of Cellcom

France-based global telco Orange announced the launch of its brand in Liberia in West Africa, so that effective immediately, Cellcom Liberia becomes Orange Liberia, expanding the group's presence in the region.

The re-branding follows the acquisition by Orange of the Liberian operator Cellcom, which was implemented through its subsidiary Orange Côte d’Ivoire and completed in early April 2016.

Orange noted that, in line with its Essentials2020 strategic program, it is focused on building up its presence in the West Africa region as a strategic priority for the group's development, based on the anticipated significant growth potential the region offers.

Following the re-branding, Orange Liberia becomes part of a major international telecoms group. Orange noted that it will provide marketing expertise and technical capabilities to help strengthen the operator's established network and enhance customer service in Liberia.

Orange Liberia served more than 1.6 million customers as of the end of February 2017, making it the leading mobile operator in the country in terms of subscribers. Founded in 2004, the mobile operator was the first in Liberia to launch 3G (HSPA+) services in 2012, followed by the launch of 4G LTE services in 2016. Orange plans to continue to invest in the development of its network to bolster the operator's position as market leader.

Orange noted that, with a population of 4.6 million and a relatively low mobile penetration rate of 70% of the population, Liberia offers growth potential. To support this development, the Orange intends to enhance the quality of access by investing in network expansion. Specifically, it added 39 sites in 2016 and plans to add a further 65 sites in 2017 as part of efforts to accelerate broadband deployment and expand 4G penetration across the country.

In addition, the company aims to enhance Internet quality in Liberia by providing access to Orange Group's submarine and international cable networks in the region. This will provide Orange Liberia with access to two additional connection points, in Abidjan and Paris, that are expected to increase network capacity four-fold.

Orange has a present in 21 countries across Africa and the Middle East, where it serves a total of over 120 million customers. Orange Money, the company's money transfer and mobile financial services offering, is available in 17 countries with more than 31 million customers.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Windstream Launches SDNow Waves for Multivendor Optical Layer

Windstream launched a new service called SDNow Waves for Data Center Cloud applications that leverages the company’s ongoing SDN deployment strategy. The company said its agile, DevOps-style approach to automation development enables it to abstract the complexity of service delivery and offers a simplified view of the multi-vendor optical layer.

The SDNow Waves introduces optical wave services based on multi-vendor service orchestration and automated provisioning across the Windstream long-haul core network.  It is initially available at five major third-party carrier neutral data centers in Chicago, Dallas, Ashburn, Miami and Atlanta. Windstream plans to expand the service to 50 additional locations this summer.

The service is aimed at hyperscale web content and application companies in need of high capacity long-haul transport services.

“We are investing in strategic technologies that enable us to deliver flexible, on-demand services across our multi-vendor network,” said Mike Shippey, president of Windstream Wholesale. “Providing SDNow services to our customers via multi-vendor service orchestration and automated provisioning truly differentiates Windstream in the marketplace. Consumers of SDN-provisioned services will see improvement in their customer experience through the removal of human touch-points in the service fulfillment process, and improved accuracy through automated standard configurations.”

Leveraging open orchestration capabilities, Windstream utilizes its optical network as a programmable resource to accelerate the delivery of optical wavelength services.  Windstream’s

In addition, Windstream Wholesale plans to introduce additional services in 2017, integrating additional  third-party SDN controllers and enabling true intent-based service orchestration across multiple layers of the Windstream network.


Windstream Launches SD-WAN Wholesale

Windstream launched an all-new Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solution for the reseller community. The company said its SD-WAN solution relieves the demanding pressures on today's networks by providing agility, visibility and control, as well as performance and operational efficiencies. "This significant addition of SD-WAN to the current available portfolio of Wholesale solutions - including MEF 2.0 Certified Carrier Ethernet, MPLS...

Windstream expands metro fibre network, launches fixed wireless service in Detroit

Windstream, a provider of communications services to consumer and business customers, announced a major expansion of its metro fibre network in Detroit to provide the business community with advanced fibre and fixed-wireless infrastructure that connects more local data centres and commercial buildings with the operator's national fibre network. Windstream's latest expansion of its local metro fibre network and the launch of fixed wireless service...

AT&T introduces national LTE-M network for IoT applications

AT&T announced it has completed the deployment of its nationwide LTE-M network ahead of schedule, providing a network designed to support a new generation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and applications.

AT&T's LTE-M network is now live across the U.S. on the operator's nationwide 4G LTE network following the completion of software upgrades, and marks a further move towards the provision of 5G and massive IoT. The new network leverages the global, 3GPP standard technology and uses licensed spectrum for carrier-grade security. AT&T stated that it plans to extend the LTE-M network across Mexico by the end of the year to create a North American footprint covering 400 million people.

LTE-M is designed to offer benefits over traditional IoT connectivity options including longer battery life (potentially up to 10 years), enhanced coverage for IoT devices underground and inside buildings, and smaller module size. LTE-M is intended to support large-scale IoT deployments such as smart city services, smart metering, asset tracking, supply chain management, security and personal wearables.

In conjunction with the launch, AT&T is introducing a new suite of rate plans for LTE-M, featuring monthly plans starting from $1.50 per month per device, with discounts available for yearly and multi-year plans and high volume commitments. LTE-M modules will be available from the supplier priced from $7.50 with the SIM card. AT&T noted that this price represents half the cost of the LTE Cat-1 module launched in 2016.

In addition, the company stated that current IoT starter kits with M14A2A modules will be software-upgradeable to LTE-M via a forthcoming firmware update.

  • In March this year, Verizon announced the commercial launch of its national 4G LTE Category M1 (or Cat M1) network covering an area of around 2.4 million square miles. At that time, Verizon stated it would offer multi-year plans for Cat M1 devices, with data plans starting from $2 per month per device.
  • Verizon noted the Cat M1 network was based on a virtualised cloud environment designed to enable rapid and agile IoT solution deployment and nationwide scaling.

Windstream Wholesale launches 5 new fibre routes

Windstream announced the launch of five new strategic fibre routes on its nationwide long-haul fibre transport network, expanding its ability to offer high bandwidth solutions for cloud connectivity between major interconnection points in Tier 1 cities, as well as Tier 2 and 3 markets, across the U.S.

Secured as part of Windstream's recent merger with EarthLink, the new routes offer customers access to greater network diversity options, improved reliability and higher bandwidth capacity for customers such as international carriers, content providers, data centre and cloud operators and ISPs.

Supporting Windstream Wholesale's portfolio of solutions that includes waves, MEF 2.0-certified Carrier Ethernet, MPLS and dedicated Internet access the newly-launched routes are as follows:

1.         Dallas to Atlanta: a low-latency, direct route linking the two markets and with add/drop capability in Birmingham, Jackson and Shreveport.

2.         Miami to Atlanta: running along the Gulf Coast via Tampa, the route complements the existing route traversing the Atlantic Coast via Jacksonville, while customers with traffic terminating in the U.S. at the Miami NAP landing station can gain diverse routing options.

3.         Raleigh to Savannah: termed the Beach Route, the route offers a further diverse, direct path along the eastern seaboard.

4.         Houston to Gulfport: referred to as the Gulf Coast Route, the route offers add/drop capability in Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

5.         Memphis to Charlotte: a route that utilises fibre-composite overhead ground wire, providing diverse routing over a reliable infrastructure.

In addition to the new routes, Windstream noted that the merger with EarthLink also provides wholesale and enterprise customers with access to more than 445 new point of presence (PoP) locations and multiple new data centres and carrier hotels.

  • Windstream announced it had completed its merger with EarthLink Holdings in February. Under the agreement, valued at approximately $1.1 billion, EarthLink shareholders received 0.818 shares of Windstream common stock for each EarthLink share owned, resulting Windstream shareholders holding approximately 51% and EarthLink shareholders approximately 49% of the combined company.

EXFO introduces tunable CWDM OTDR module

EXFO, the network test, monitoring and analytics company, announced the launch of the FTB-740C-CWDM product, a tunable optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) for testing all 18 ITU-defined CWDM channels using the compact FTB-1 platform and without the need to swap modules.

The new EXFO solution is designed to ensure that multiple-service operators (MSOs) and contractors have the CWDM wavelength required for characterising through multiplexers and demultiplexers (mux/demux) to provide end-to-end link characterisation and troubleshooting for commercial services, C-RAN networks and metro Ethernet deployments.

In addition, EXFO's latest OTDR is designed to scale in line with customer requirements and allows users to start with as few as eight wavelengths. From the base configuration, customers can add further CWDM wavelengths or other fibre characterisation features as required via software update in the field.

Key features of the new FTB-740C-CWDM tunable OTDR include:

1.         18 x CWDM channels covered on a single OTDR port.

2.         Support for in-service testing of active networks.

3.         Offers high-resolution and short dead zones.

4.         Facility to select favourite or imported channels list.

The OTDR is available in standard and Pro models, housed in the FTB-1v2 lightweight and compact test platform, enables field technicians to carry out dedicated optical, Ethernet and multi-service test applications.

Hi3G selects Ericsson to upgrade network to prepare for 5G in Scandinavia

Ericsson announced it has been selected by Hi3G Scandinavia, operating as 3 in Denmark and Sweden, for a project to upgrade parts of its radio and transmission network, expand 4G coverage and launch 5G technology.

Under the agreement, Ericsson will replace existing equipment with the advanced Ericsson Radio System solution, which is designed to enable Hi3G to implement higher order MIMO and massive MIMO technology to expand coverage and capacity in its network in Sweden.

Ericsson has also been selected to deploy its MINI-LINK microwave solutions, including the MINI-LINK 6363 and MINI-LINK 6352 for E-band platforms, into HiG3's microwave transmission network.

Ericsson's MINI-LINK 6600 portfolio is designed to deliver high capacity, low latency, support for large numbers of 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports and Layer 3 VPN in a compact platform. The deployment of MINI-LINK outdoor units and indoor units allows any network scenario to be supported, including multiband solutions, with high performance and low cost of ownership.

The combination of Ericsson Radio System and MINI-LINK microwave solutions will enable Hi3G to meet the demands of increasing traffic, as well as reduce latency and prepare its network for the move to 5G which is expected to result a massive increase in connected devices via the Internet of Things (IoT). Ericsson noted that the project marks a significant step towards expanding the capacity of the Hi3G network in Denmark and Sweden and it moves to 5G.

Mitsubishi Electric and Nokia Bell Labs develop GaN amplifier

Mitsubishi Electric, Nokia Bell Labs and the Center for Wireless Communications at UC San Diego have announced the joint development of what is claimed as the first ultra-fast gallium nitride (GaN) envelope-tracking power amplifier, offering support for modulation bandwidth up to 80 MHz and designed to reduce power consumption in next-generation wireless base stations.

To companies explained that to address demand for greater wireless capacity, mobile technologies are adopting systems that use complex modulated signals with high peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) and extra-wide modulation bandwidth. This requires power amplifiers to often operate at backed-off power levels below their saturation levels, while power amplifiers are typically efficient near to their saturation power level and not at backed off levels, as with 4G LTE signals (>6 dB PAPR).

As a result, envelope-tracking power amplifiers have been evaluated as a means to enhance power-amplifier efficiency, although to date the supply-modulator circuit has proved a bottleneck limiting modulation bandwidth for advanced wireless communications, such as LTE-Advanced.

The newly-developed ultra-fast GaN envelope-tracking power amplifier delivers high performance leveraging Mitsubishi Electric's high-frequency GaN transistor technology and its design for the GaN supply-modulator circuit. Utilising Nokia Bell Labs' real-time digital pre-distortion (DPD) system, the power amplifier has demonstrated efficient operation, including with 80 MHz modulated LTE signals.

The partners claim that this represents the widest modulation bandwidth achieved for this application to date, and is around four times higher than signals used in other envelope-tracking power amplifiers. In addition, the technology delivers a drain efficiency of 41.6% in this wide-bandwidth operation, helping to reduce base-station energy consumption as well as increase wireless communication speed and capacity.

Additionally, the Nokia Bell Labs' real-time DPD system enables pre-distortion for wideband signals to correct the output signal from the power amplifier, resulting in an adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR) of -45 dBc for LTE 80 MHz signals, which is compatible with wireless communication standards.

Specifications of the GaN envelope-tracking power amplifier include: support for carrier frequency of 0.9 to 2.15 GHz; output power of 30.0-30.7 dBm; drain efficiency of 36.5-41.6%; ACLR of -45 dBc; and modulation signal of 80 MHz LTE Advanced with 6.5 dB PAPR.

The University of California, San Diego, is a leading university for mixed-signal, microwave and mmWave RFICs, digital communications, applied electromagnetics, RF MEMS and nano-electronics research and hosts the Center for Wireless Communications (CWC), is a university-industry partnership that includes Mitsubishi Electric and Nokia.

NTT Com expands presence in Europe with new Munich 2 data centre

NTT Communications (NTT Com) announced the opening of its Germany Munich 2 data centre (Munich 2) located in Unterschleißheim, a suburb of Munich 16 km from the city centre, with the facility managed by e-shelter, a NTT Com company and data centre services provider in Europe.

The two-story Munich 2 data centre initially offers 2,800 sq metres of server space, equivalent to 1,100 racks, with plans to expand the facility to 5,600 sq metres. The facility is operating under NTT Com's Nexcenter brand, which encompasses more than 140 sites worldwide.

NTT Com noted that Munich 2, the latest facility launched as part of e-shelter's growth strategy, follows the mid-April launch of the e-shelter innovation lab in Frankfurt, Germany. Through this expansion, e-shelter expects to open additional data centres in Europe in 2017.

The Munich 2 facility provides circuits from more than 10 providers utilising diverse paths, while all circuits are duplicated in the meet-me-room for telecom provider interconnection, the server room and the network racks. Customers have access to up to 10 Gbit/s Internet circuits and multiple carrier-neutral networks. Customers can also build ICT environments combining NTT Com data centres and cloud services worldwide.

NTT Com company e-shelter is a major data centre operator in Europe, with a presence in key cities of the DACH-region. e-shelter customers inlcude financial services companies, telecoms operators, IT service and outsourcing providers and cloud service providers. In Germany, Arkadin, Dimension Data, itelligence, NTT DATA and NTT Security are also part of the NTT Group. In the Europe region, NTT Com offers data centre services in Austria, France, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, as well as Germany.

Huawei notes call for industry convergence to support next generation PON

Huawei announced that during the first PON industry development workshop held recently in Beijing, a consensus was reached to propose a PON industry development forum to the Broadband Forum (BBF) to support coordination and collaboration among PON standards development organisations including ITU-T/FSAN, IEEE and BBF and thereby enhance industry convergence.

Huawei noted that due to the cost sensitivity of the PON industry, which primarily addresses home broadband access, it was proposed during the workshop that the deployment of next generation PON systems enabling 10 Gbit/s and higher bandwidth will need to take into consideration the external ecosystem spanning transport, Ethernet and data centre networks, Additionally, next generation PON will need to reuse the cost-effective optical/electrical components and technologies deployed commercially at scale.

In addition, it was proposed that to help expand the PON ecosystem, the community should take measures relating to areas such as PON industry development coordination, standard requirement and roadmap management and standardisation coordination and cooperation. Finally, the workshop participants agreed to host future workshops as necessary to enable discussion regarding key technical issues in PON industry development.

Huawei noted that PON is currently the mainstream access technology used by operators for FTTH ultra-broadband deployments. To date, two competing standards have been adopted, the IEEE's EPON/10 Gbit/s EPON and ITU-T GPON/XG(S)-PON, leading to duplication in types of system and related equipment installed in operators' networks, resulting in higher network construction and maintenance costs.

In order to promote a converged PON ecosystem, a group of standards development organisations (SDO) has jointly issued a statement on PON convergence, To help expand PON market scale, share industry chain resources and reduce deployment costs and time to market (TTM), and thereby create a sustainable PON ecosystem, the operator and vendor representatives at the workshop called for the convergence of standards for next generation PON.

The recent workshop in Beijing was attended by representatives from standard organisations such as the Broadband Forum (BBF) and Institute of Communication Standards Research (ICSR), operators including China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, and system and optical module vendors including Huawei, Nokia Shanghai Bell, Accelink, FiberHome, Hisense, Source Photonics and ZTE.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Video: Hutchison Global Communications - Big Trends

Andrew Kwok, President of International and Carrier Business, Hutchison Global Communications, talks about the big trends in the market, including software defined networking (SDN), security, and the interconnection regime between carriers.

See video:  https://youtu.be/qVTMJ7SqbWk

Friday, May 19, 2017

Nokia and China Huaxin establish Nokia Shanghai Bell JV

Nokia and China Huaxin Post & Telecommunication Economy Development Center announced the signing of definitive agreements relating to the proposed integration of Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell (ASB) and Nokia's China business, with the new joint venture to be branded as Nokia Shanghai Bell (NSB).

Through the agreement, the joint venture will become Nokia's exclusive platform in China for the development of new technologies in spanning IP routing, optical, fixed and next-generation 5G, while with the support of Nokia, NSB will continue to seek opportunities in select overseas markets. Nokia noted that ASB and its China business have been operating as a single entity since January 2016, when an interim operational agreement was signed.

The closing of the agreement, which is expected to take effect in July 2017, is subject to customary administrative, legal, regulatory and other conditions. On completion of the agreement, Nokia will own 50% plus one share of NSB, with China Huaxin owning the remainder, and the new joint venture having one board of directors and one management team.

The new NSB will represent the major part of Nokia's overall Greater China business and will leverage the strengths of both parties, encompassing innovation, global scale, efficiency and an understanding of the local market, with the goal of expanding Nokia's market presence in China. The operation will also support Nokia's strategic goals of delivering high-performance networks for service providers and expanding into new vertical markets.

NSB R&D will constitute an integral part of Nokia's global R&D community, housing a total of around 16,000 personnel, including 10,000 researchers, distributed across six R&D sites in China.

China Huaxin is an industrial investment company that aims to address long-term commercial growth opportunities in the ICT sector leveraging global operations and international investment experience. China Huaxin is aiming to be a major global industry holding group through supporting and advancing technology development in the information industry.

Aqua Comms and Epsilon join NJFX landing station

NJFX, the first colocation and data centre campus to be situated at a cable landing station, announced the addition of Aqua Comms DAC, operator of Ireland's first dedicated subsea network interconnecting New York, Dublin and London, and Epsilon Telecommunications, a privately owned global communications provider, to its connectivity ecosystem.

With the addition of Aqua Comms, NJFX customers are able to diversify their connectivity options to key European hubs, bypassing legacy bandwidth restrictions within the U.S. Under the agreement, Aqua Comms has deployed a point of presence (PoP) within NJFX's colocation campus, allowing NJFX customers to directly access the carrier's suite of services without incurring cross connect fees.

In addition, Epsilon and Aqua Comms have partnered to deploy Infiny by Epsilon, an on-demand connectivity platform, within the NJFX facility. As part of the partnership Aqua Comms will use the Cloud Link eXchange (CloudLX) module of Infiny to interconnect new services arriving into and leaving the NJFX campus.

NJFX (New Jersey Fiber Exchange), claiming to be the only colocation campus sited at a cable landing station and offering carrier neutral data centre capabilities, provides direct access to multiple subsea cable systems that interconnect North America, Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

Epsilon is a cloud-centric network service provider, extending carrier grade connectivity services to communications and cloud ecosystems. The company offers networking capabilities that combine on-demand infrastructure, automation, web-based portals and APIs designed to enable global connectivity.

Aqua Comms DAC is the owner and operator of the trans-Atlantic cable AEConnect and the Irish Sea cable CeltixConnect-1, and has a strategy of building, acquiring or merging with subsea cable networks to provide networking solutions to the media, content provider and IT company sectors.

cable systems.  Mr. 

ZTE participates in second phase 5G testing led by China's MIIT

ZTE announced its participation in the second phase of 5G testing, carried out under the guidance of the Chinese government via the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), as well as advances through a number of technical verifications.

China's 5G testing is being led by China's MIIT and implemented by its IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group, with R&D activities divided into three phases: technology verification, technical solution verification and system verification. ZTE noted that the project entered the technical solution verification phase in 2017.

ZTE is participating in R&D work relating to a range of 5G new radio (NR) prototype products based on early key technology verification, and is now seeking to verify product functionality and performance in typical 5G scenarios in preparation for 5G commercial network deployments. For the latest phase of testing, ZTE is providing a series of 5G prototype products based on a new unified platform and is working with test equipment suppliers including Keysight and Rohde & Schwarz.

The technical solution verification centred on four key technologies, specifically: 5G NR operating at sub-6 GHz and mmWave bands, massive machine type communication (mMTC) and ultra-reliable low latency communications (uRLLC). The tests also included seven scenarios: continuous wide-coverage scenario; low-delay and high-reliability scenario; low-power and massive-connection scenario; hotspots at sub-6 GHz scenario; hotspots at mmWave scenario; and sub-6 GHz and mmWave hybrid networking scenario.

ZTE stated that as part of the process, in the prototype sub-6 GHz field it provided a new 3.5 GHz NR pre-commercial base station, with all entries passing the RF tests of the MIIT and the RF bandwidth of the base station reaching 200 MHz. In addition, the solution's volume, weight, power and other key features comply with requirements for pre-commercial networks.

Additionally, related field performance tests in Beijing have also commenced. In the mmWave field, ZTE launched a series of prototype products and claims that it has made significant progress in technical solutions, machine integration and other aspects pertaining to performance.

In a recent pre-test at the ZTE Shanghai Institute, ZTE showcased its latest 26 GHz base station at mmWave, where single-user peak rate of nearly 16 Gbit/s was achieved. In addition, ZTE conducted a 60 GHz prototype at mmWave comparison test. As well as developments in the fields of mMTC and uRLLC, ZTE has launched an improved enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) platform based on its previous technology verification platform.

Following the completion of the first phase of China's 5G technology testing, the second phase and testing ongoing 5G tests in Beijing have been implemented, providing 5G NR at sub-6 GHz, mmWave and mMTC and uRLLC test conditions designed to support progress towards the future large-scale commercial use of 5G.

Telia Carrier expands connectivity in EMEA via 2 new PoPs in Milan

Sweden-based wholesale carrier Telia Carrier announced it has expanded its presence in Italy with two new PoPs in Milan, designed to enable improved backbone services for major service, content and cloud providers requiring low latency and high speed connectivity.

As a key termination point for traffic entering Europe from the Middle Eastern and North African countries, together with traffic from Asia landing in nearby Marseille in France, Telia Carrier noted that Italy is becoming a key hub for connectivity in the region. Telia Carrier's expansion to serve this connection point is part of its strategy to meet the local needs of customers in Italy and in adjacent countries.

With the build-out into the Data4 and SuperNAP facilities in Milan, Telia Carrier is able to better support the increasing demands of service providers and their customers in the city and the region. In particular, as over-the-top (OTT) providers, 'mega cloud' providers and carriers expand their service offerings in Italy, Telia Carrier's IP backbone can provide a platform to reliably mission-critical IP services.

Additionally, Telia Carrier's expanded presence in Milan enables it to offer global wholesale customers lower latency, higher capacity routing options to Northern Italy, as well as to Switzerland and Germany in Europe and south to countries in North Africa.

Regarding the latest expansion, Davide Binaghi, MD of Telia Carrier Italy, said, "With subsea cables landing in Sicily and Bari, as well as Marseille, Milan is an ideal location for large content and cloud providers to connect to… as Italian service providers look to expand their services to both residential and business customers, Telia Carrier is… positioned to supply the high capacity backbone services needed to support such expansion".

  • Earlier this week, Telia Carrier announced a new high capacity route between Zurich, Switzerland and Strasbourg in France via Basel, enabling a shorter path and lower latency between Frankfurt in Germany and Zurich.
  • In April, Telia Carrier announced it had added a new PoP that enables connectivity services for a growing economic sector in Berlin, Germany via the Carrier-Colo data centre, owned by I/P/B/, located between Frankfurt and Warsaw in Poland. Telia Carrier previously launched the low latency Frankfurt - Warsaw Express route.
  • Additionally, in January Telia Carrier announced a new route extending 900 km from Stockholm, Sweden to St. Petersburg via Tallinn, Estonia, also noting it had upgraded multiple submarine cables across the Baltic Sea.

Avaya extends hyper-segmentation to OpenStack

Avaya announced that it has extended the hyper-segmentation capabilities of its fabric networking to OpenStack via integration between its Fabric Connect and the OpenStack networking subproject Neutron, providing a simple plugin designed to improve security and facilitate provisioning of virtual networks from the data centre to the desktop.

Avaya noted that OpenStack offers an open industry project for data centres that act as a cloud service for the enterprise. Enterprises are adopting the OpenStack software platform to help simplify orchestration of virtual compute, storage, and networking resources for best-of-breed implementations.

Meanwhile, as increasing demands at the edge of the network drive traditional enterprise data centres to transition into Everywhere Data Centers, the ability to extend virtual networks from the core to the desktop requires extensive configuration and greater complexity.

Avaya Fabric Connect is designed to simplify configuration through enabling automation from the core to the edge, and to provide increased security leveraging hyper-segmentation, which creates isolated, secure lanes for network traffic that mitigate the potential impact of cyberattacks and unauthorised access.

In collaboration with Mirantis, Inc., a company specializing in building and managing private cloud infrastructure using OpenStack, the new plugin -- called ML2 -- replaces complexity with automation available through Avaya Fabric Connect. As a result, the secure, hyper-segmentation capabilities of Fabric Connect can be extended through OpenStack, alleviating typical border issues including onboarding and cyberattacks.

Avaya noted that the new ML2 plugin is due to be released to the open source community in May and will immediately work on standard OpenStack implementations.

Celcom partners with Ericsson to trial 5G technology in Malaysia

Celcom Axiata Berhad, an Axiata Group company with around 12 million customers, and Ericsson announced what they claimed is Malaysia's first 5G trial, and the first 5G trial to be conducted on the 28 GHz band in South East Asia.

The trial in Malaysia featured 5G radio prototypes and achieved a peak throughput of up to 18 Gbit/s with latency as low as 3 ms (milliseconds). The trial also demonstrated advanced 5G use cases such as robotic control, connected environment, virtual reality, Internet of Things (IoT) applications and 4K video streaming.

Ericsson noted that the demonstration follows the signing of a 5G memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Celcom in February 2017, which provided for a joint partnership to evaluate opportunities for 5G and IoT in Malaysia. Through the MoU, Celcom and Ericsson will aim to support technology development in Malaysia and the government Digital Malaysia initiative for the creation of a digital economy by 2020.

Celcom's recently announced 'journey to 5G' strategy will involve the deployment of key technologies such as 4 x 4 MIMO and 256QAM and is intended to provide customers with data speeds up to 400 Mbit/s. Celcom also plans to deploy IoT technology.

Ericsson noted that the 5G lab trial demonstration was attended by Yang Berhormat Dato' Jailani Johari, Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia, and Yang Berbahagia Dato' Sri Dr. Halim Shafie, Chairman of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission at Menara Celcom in Kuala Lumpur.

Celcom is Malaysia's leading data network provider, with nearly 12 million customers, operating national 2G, 3G and 4G LTE networks that cover 98% of the population. Celcom is part of the Axiata Group, a major telecommunications group serving around 300 million customers in 10 Asian markets.