Friday, June 23, 2017

Level 3 introduces SD-WAN for enterprise customers

Level 3 Communications, which is in the process of being acquired by CenturyLink, announced that, with rising demand for agile, efficient network solutions due to the growth in connected devices and applications in the cloud, it is launching a new SD-WAN offering, which applies software-defined networking (SDN) technology to the network edge.

Level 3's SD-WAN provides customers with the ability to create secure private networks over a mix of public and private infrastructure, with site-to-site encryption, regardless of access or backbone method, including DSL, cable, LTE, Internet and MPLS. The SD-WAN solution also provides enterprises with centralised management and control, enabling traffic steering on an application-by-application basis or by access type and the connection of disparate sites across different backbone connections.

Level 3's new SD-WAN offering is designed to enable enterprise customers to:

1.         Respond to changing business demands via rapid site deployment through zero-touch configuration.

2.         Optimise application performance and bandwidth utilisation utilising performance-based routing and traffic steering by application.

3.         Implement centralised policy management, allowing increased governance and control of their network operations.

4.         Leverage direct Internet connectivity for access to public clouds and SaaS applications to enhance the local user experience.

5.         Simplify network operations and reduce administrative overhead via a single point of contact for broadband aggregation and billing.


6.         Dashboard views using Level 3's 24 x 7 self-service portal, providing greater visibility and control with application monitoring and analytics.


Orange reduces stake in BT

France-based global telco Orange announced that it is reducing its stake in UK operator to BT Group through an agreement whereby it will sell one third of its current interest in BT via a private placement of approximately 133 million shares.

As part of the transaction, BT will place an order for GBP 200 million in the placement of BT shares, at the placement price, part of which will go to its employee share ownership trust. This order will be fully allocated by Orange.

The private placement will involve the approximately 133 million shares in BT held by Orange subsidiary Atlas Services Belgium, which represent around 1.33% of the share capital of BT.

In addition, there will be a simultaneous issue of approximately GBP 520 million of bonds due 2021, exchangeable into BT shares for a further one third of Orange's participation.

Following completion of the transactions, Orange will initially retain a 2.66% stake in BT. In the case of exercise in full of the exchange rights underlying the bonds, Orange would then retain a 1.33% stake in the company.

The exchangeable bonds, with a maturity of 4 years (unless subject to early redemption), are issued in GBP and will bear a coupon between 0% and 0.375% and will have negative interest rate after hedging in euros. The bonds will be offered at an issue price of between 100.5 and 100% of the principal amount, corresponding to an annual yield to maturity of between -0.125 % and 0.375 %.

The exchangeable bonds are expected to be issued in principal amounts of GBP 100,000 per bond and due to be redeemed at par at maturity. Holders of the exchangeable bonds may exercise their exchange right at any time from August 7, 2017 until the 55th calendar day before the maturity date of the bonds. Orange will be able to settle in cash, provide ordinary shares of BT, or a combination thereof.

Under the terms of the transaction, Orange will agree to a 90-day lock up for its remaining shareholding in BT, subject to waiver from the joint bookrunners and certain exceptions, notably the option to sell the BT shares to a strategic investor, where that investor agrees to be bound by a similar lock-up commitment.

Orange noted that the proceeds of these transactions will be used for the general corporate purposes.




  • Orange acquired the interest in BT in 2016 through BT's acquisition of UK operator EE, a 50/50 joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and Orange, through a transaction valued at approximately GBP 12.5 billion. Under the agreement, Orange received approximately GBP 3.4 billion in cash and a 4% stake in the combined BT-EE entity; Deutsche Telekom received a stake of 12% in BT, with a representative of Deutsche Telekom to be appointed to the BT board.

IT solutions company Ideal Integrations selects Ciena

Ciena announced that Pittsburgh-based Ideal Integrations, a regional IT consulting company, has deployed its packet networking solutions to provide access to affordable Internet connectivity, as well as private connections between client sites, its cloud environment for hosting services and other public clouds.

In addition, local businesses can now access Ideal Integrations' new solution offering, IdealConnect, to transfer data and enable cost-effective and efficient collaboration.

Ideal Integrations focuses on delivering technology solutions tailored to each customer's requirements and budget. Utilising IdealConnect, local businesses are able to leverage a complete connectivity solution to the Internet, link customer locations and access the growing number of data centres in the Pittsburgh metro region.
For the project, Ideal Integrations has selected Ciena's 5142 and 5160 Service Aggregation Switches, which are designed to provide flexible, reliable and cost-effective metro-Ethernet connectivity. The Ciena solutions allow Ideal Integrations to provide customers with more reliable and higher speed Internet bandwidth and Ethernet connectivity. Specifically, customers now have access to 1 or 10 Gbit/s connectivity to efficiently support cloud-based applications for enterprises of any size.


Ideal Integrations is a computer network integration company that seeks to deliver solutions tailored to the requirements of individual customers. The company offers solutions including custom storage, virtualisation, network design, fibre connectivity, network maintenance and monitoring, disaster recovery, managed services and cloud services.


Benu Networks awarded U.S. patents for SDN

Benu Networks based in Billerica, Massachusetts, a provider of virtual network solutions designed to enable service providers to create and deliver next generation IP services, announced it has been issued two technology patents by the U.S. Patent Office.

The newly awarded patents relate to a method for creating scalable, centrally-managed WiFi using software defined networking (SDN) and a system and method of providing advanced services within a virtual CPE (vCPE) deployment. Both patents leverage SDN/NFV principles and are designed to help service providers reduce capex and opex, accelerate the launch of new services and enhance quality of experience (QoE) for customers.

The patents awarded to Benu Networks, both of which are based on the SDN approach of decoupling the control plane from the data plane to leverage cloud computing technology and to realise a large-scale, cloud networking deployment, are as follows:

1.         U.S. patent No. 9,686,808, entitled Centrally Managed WiFi, pertains to WiFi aggregation using a flat Layer 2 architecture and enhanced fast mobility for WiFi devices between the radio nodes.

2.         U.S. patent No. 9,585,186, entitled System and Method of Providing Advanced Services in a Virtual CPE Deployment, covers the provision of a centralised cloud based WiFi service.

The company noted that the new patents extend its intellectual property portfolio and, combined with its other awarded and pending patents, protect the attributes and capabilities of its Virtual Service Edge platform.

Benu Networks' Virtual Service Edge (VSE) platform is designed to integrate with service providers' operations and business systems to facilitate a comprehensive network solution that is fully virtualised and provides security, scalability and service agility. VSE enables cloud-based service deployment, dynamic service control and enhanced customer care.


* In April, Benu Networks announced the issuance by the U.S. Patent Office of a patent covering virtualised network cloud functionality within its VSE platform. The patent addresses the challenge for subscribers of a fragmented service experience that is dependent upon how devices connect to a service provider's network.


The patent enables a new virtualised network approach that includes single sign-on (SSO) capability, multi-access across WiFi and cellular technologies, and carrier aggregation across WiFi and cellular.

Enablence announces financing

Enablence Technologies of Ottawa and Fremont, California, a supplier of optical components and subsystems for access, metro and long-haul markets, announced that under the previously announced private placement of common shares it has received commitments to purchase 8,542,857 common shares of the company, representing additional gross proceeds of approximately C$600,000, with the transaction expected to close by the end of June 2017.

Enablence stated that it also intends to complete its previously announced private placement financing of up to C$6 million principal amount of unsecured convertible debentures on or about June 30, 2017, subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange. The company noted it has received indication of interest for approximately C$6 million principal amount of debentures.

The debentures will bear interest at a rate of 10% per annum, payable quarterly commencing September 30, 2017. The debentures will be convertible, at the option of the holder, into shares at a price of 8c per share representing a conversion rate of approximately 12,500 shares per C$1,000 principal amount of debentures.

Under the same terms as the financings, certain investors have advised that they will enter into debt settlement agreements with Enablence to settle outstanding cash advances totalling C$2 million through the issuance of 7,142,857 shares for an aggregate value of C$500,000, and the issuance of C$1.5 million principal amount of debentures, subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.

Enablence intends to use the proceeds from the financings as growth capital for current and future products and general corporate purposes. A portion of the funds will be used to fund a capex program to expand the production of the company's planar lightwave circuit (PLC) chips to satisfy both existing purchase orders and anticipated future demand for its metro market-focused 100 Gbit/s TxRx products.

In addition, some of the funding will be used to complete the development of the 100 Gbit/s TxRx product for the data centre market and for R&D activities relating to its next generation 200/400 Gbit/s products. Remaining funding will be used for general corporate purposes and working capital.



* Enablence announced in April that it expected to complete new financing of approximately C$6 million. The company also reported that it expected complete the execution of a LoI as announced December 2016 to raise funds of C$10 million to support growth via a non-brokered private placement of common shares at 7c per share for gross proceeds of approximately C$4 million, plus a non-brokered private placement of C$1,000 principal amount of unsecured convertible debentures for gross proceeds of up to C$2 million.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Juniper unveils Cloud-Grade Networking

Juniper Networks has announced new developments with Cloud-Grade Networking, designed to offer service providers and enterprises a simplified way of building cloud networks that allow faster provision of services.

Juniper's Cloud-Grade Networking establishes a new set of principles for the way applications and services are architected, delivered and secured and combines telemetry, automation and machine learning capabilities to support the transition to the cloud.

Cloud-Grade Networking is based on four principles: a platform-first approach, disaggregation, a Self-Driving Network, and software-defined security. This foundation is designed to bring cloud agility and scale to network operators, speed innovation and streamline operations. Leveraging new orchestration and automation capabilities, this approach combines carrier-grade reach and reliability with enterprise-grade control and usability.
Juniper's Cloud-Grade Networking approach specifically features:

1.         Junos Node Slicing, based on the ability of Junos OS to support the convergence of multiple concurrent network functions on the same physical routing infrastructure by decoupling the network software from the underlying infrastructure.

2.         Universal Chassis, a cloud-grade chassis supported on the new PTX10008, PTX10016, QFX10008 and QFX10016, and in the future the MX series line cards, which allows customers to standardise on a hardware platform across the data centre, core and network edge; by decoupling line cards from the physical chassis, users can reduce the operational complexity of sourcing, procuring and deploying disparate routing platforms across different use cases.

3.         Professional services (PS), including two new automation PS engagements, with a PS that provides continuous network infrastructure integration to automate design, test, deployment and audit network environments, enabling evaluation of new network changes within hours.

4.         NorthStar controller enhancements, with Juniper's wide-area network SDN offering extended support for Source Packet Routing in Networking (SPRING) for more precise traffic engineering control and programmability across the network, plus support for real-time stream telemetry via the Junos Telemetry Interface (JTI).


Junos Node Slicing, PTX10008 and QFX Universal Chassis, the NorthStar controller enhancements and new professional services engagements are available immediately.


Huawei launches multi-service metro OTN platform

Huawei unveiled a new metro multi-service optical transport (MS-OTN) solution, the OSN 9800 M24, designed to enable increased capacity, efficiency and flexibility in metro networks.

Huawei noted that in the digital era, as operators face the need to meet increasing demand for high bandwidth services while ensuring zero congestion and packet loss and low latency, and with emerging services that require greater bandwidth across various locations the central office (CO), which serves as the integrated service access point, is becoming increasingly important in metro networks.

To address these demands, operators therefore need to improve their CO capabilities to prevent metro networks from becoming a bottleneck for integrated service bearing. However, legacy CO equipment rooms typically need to be rebuilt to meet power supply, space, and bearing structure requirements.

Huawei stated that operators are applying OTN technology in metro networks to enhance capacity, efficiency and flexibility, and to meet projected capacity needs an OTN to CO solution is the next stage in the development of metro networks. The new OSN 9800 M24 metro MS-OTN product is designed to address service bearing requirements on CO nodes.

The new Huawei MS-OTN platform is designed to provide the following benefits:

1.         Support for existing services on metro networks, including home and mobile broadband and leased line services, while enabling a reduction in equipment and simplified network design.

2.         Ability to support VR/AR, 5G and other future services, providing single-subrack cross-connect capacity of over 2.4 Tbit/s, expandable to meet operators' future high-bandwidth requirements.

3.         Delivers an optical-electrical integrated solution with the facility to share parts with the Huawei OSN 9800 and OSN 1800 products for simplified O&M.

4.         Compact, low power platform designed for space-constrained CO equipment rooms.


Regarding the new solution, Richard Jin, president of Huawei transport network product line, said, "Huawei’s all-service bearing OSN 9800 M24 offers a compact structure, flexible deployment and O&M, enabling an OTN-to-CO simplified optical network to be implemented in operators metro networks… Huawei will continue to work with global operators to help build future-oriented cloudified transport networks…".


Packet Design adds SDN path provisioning app

Packet Design, a provider of route analytics designed to enhance network availability and performance, has launched a new application, Explorer SDN Path Provisioning, designed to enable network operators to quickly build and activate the services demanded by customers.

Packet Design's new Explorer SDN Path Provisioning application automates service path computation leveraging a set of real-time, historical and predictive analytics from its Explorer SDN Platform.

As examples, Packet Design stated that a customer could request a low-latency link from New York to Los Angeles to support voice or video service, or request a geographically constrained service that excludes routers in a certain city, region or country, or an operator may wish to offer a diverse path service for customers requiring a route with no single point of failure.

The Explorer SDN Path Provisioning application enables operators to initiate these services automatically and with the confidence that the best paths are selected for each service. Using the application's web interface, network providers are able to create a catalogue of transport services offering the characteristics and constraints to meet product management requirements. Operators can then fulfil customer requests using a wizard to define the different services required.

Packet Design stated that the path constraints operators can define include the transport service priority, the optimisation algorithm required, whether RSVP-TE or segment routing traffic engineering should be used, the type of protection, including node, link, shared risk link group (SRLG) or provider edge router diversity, and options to include or exclude nodes, interfaces and SRLG.

The Explorer SDN Path Provisioning application can create policies that specify the devices and links the service traffic can traverse, as well as recovery options. At the click of a button, it can establish the path(s) by passing the configuration data via APIs to an SDN controller or service orchestrator.

The new Explorer SDN Path Provisioning application is included with the currently available Packet Design Explorer Suite version 17.1. Additional new capabilities in this version include customisable dashboards and workflows designed for network engineers and operations teams. Explorer Suite also now features the ability to view the current and previous path for specific service traffic in a single view to aid troubleshooting of network routing issues.


NTT Com launches global SD-WAN

NTT Communications (NTT Com) announced the launch of the NTT SD-WAN Service Portfolio, offering coverage spanning over 190 countries, and also the deployment of a fully software defined network that provides the framework for the delivery of a suite of overlay SD-WAN services for global and regional enterprises.

The global software defined network is designed to provide NTT Com with enhanced flexibility and speed to support new services that can help enterprises transform their operations.

The NTT SD-WAN platform is based on a new architecture that is locally distributed at sites worldwide via over 75 local cloud centres (LCCs) that are optimised for network, mobility and security. In addition, NTT SD-WAN real-time streaming network analytics offers CIOs and IT staff insight into application performance, network security and the end-user experience. The platform can also support the delivery of services from CPE located at branch offices.

Key features of NTT SD-WAN platform include:

1.         Real-time streaming network analytics based on NTT Com's application visibility reporting and analytics tool to help enterprise customers manage network workload and performance.

2.         Enterprise connectivity flexibility, with support for connectivity options such as local ISP, Internet, broadband, wireless, MPLS and LTE, plus cloud connectivity to major SaaS and cloud service providers.

3.         CPE flexibility, with the ability to select NTT provided or customer provided SD-WAN devices at branch offices.

4.         Optimised local ISP selection and routing, offering optimised connectivity to 1,000+ local network providers that connect customer locations in over 190 countries.

5.         Enhanced QoS, enabling the application and enforcement of QoS policies.

6.         Secure web gateways and application acceleration, with security via NTT Com's secure web gateways at LCCs and application acceleration via its LCCs.

NTT Com's software defined network also enables malware detection reporting to help enterprises deal with botnets and malware without the need for on-premises hardware or software.

NTT Com noted that the new solution leverages the software defined technology and platform acquired via the Virtela acquisition in 2014.


ZTE launches DCI-oriented 100 GBE + OTN platform

ZTE has announced the launch of its data centre interconnect (DCI)-dedicated stackable 100 Gigabit Ethernet + optical transport network (OTN) product, the ZXONE 7000, designed to support short-distance transmission within metro area networks (MANs) and long-distance transmission within backbone networks.

A single ZXONE 7000 subrack delivers a capacity of 1.6 Tbit/s, and can be upgraded to 4.8 Tbit/s capacity. The compact, low power ZXONE 7000 supports access for 10 Gigabit Ethernet/STM-64 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet/OTU4 services. Offering high levels of integration, a stackable design and flexible deployment options, the solution is designed to make full use of equipment room space and to meet the requirements for power consumption and management in expansion projects.

ZTE noted that the ventilation design of the system includes the air intake at the front and air outlet at the back to make it suitable for data centre (DC) equipment rooms and to improve heat dissipation efficiency.
The solution features a software-defined optical network (SDON) function that allows the construction of an intelligent and open network architecture. Subracks can be managed utilising a range of methods, including ZTE NetNumen U31, Web-LCT and northbound interfaces to simplify operation and maintenance processes.

Separately, ZTE introduced its metro-edge, elastic and enhanced optical transport network (E-OTN) product, the ZXMP M721 CX66A, which features high levels of integration with large capacity, intelligence and energy efficiency. The platform is designed to support service transmission in the convergence and access network layers with the move towards high bandwidth 5G and 'big video' services.

ZTE's ZXMP M721 CX66A platform is a compact E-OTN product that features optical-electrical integration and support for ROADM and centralised electrical cross-connect technologies and implements non-blocking cross-scheduling of optical channel data unit (ODUks), packets (PKTs) and virtual containers (VCs).


The ZXMP M721 CX66A solution is designed to meet the requirements of the 'big bandwidth' era across areas including service access, service transmission, operations and maintenance management and energy efficiency. It also provides software-defined optical networking (SDON) technology.


FirstNet and AT&T detail progress

FirstNet and AT&T, which in April announced a partnership for the deployment of a national high-speed data and voice network for first responders, have detailed State Plans for U.S. states and territories to support the roll-out of the FirstNet network.

The companies noted that the State Plans are being delivered three months ahead of the original schedule and represent a milestone in the deployment of the FirstNet network. The State Plans are being released via an online portal, while states and territories will have up to 45 days to review the plans. States and territories will be able to exchange feedback with FirstNet prior to an official 90-day period for governors to make an 'opt-in/opt-out' decision on their state plans.

A decision by a state/territory to opt-in will allow FirstNet and AT&T to immediately begin delivering services to the state or territory's public safety community, as well as enabling infrastructure investments for the network.

The partners stated that when a governor opts-in, FirstNet and AT&T will launch the network build process, thereby prompting:

1. Transfer of the financial, operational and technical risks of building, maintaining and upgrading the FirstNet network in that state/territory to AT&T for a period of 25 years.

2.         The launch of key network features, including priority access to voice and data across the existing nationwide AT&T LTE network.

3. The provision of pre-emption over the AT&T LTE network, which is due to be enabled by year-end, meaning that fire, police and EMS will have dedicated access to the network when necessary.

4. The delivery of new feature-rich services at competitive rates.


  • AT&T announced in April that it had been selected by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to build and manage the first broadband network dedicated to U.S. police, firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) across 50 states, 5 U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

  • Under the terms of the 25-year agreement, FirstNet was to provide 20 MHz of telecoms spectrum and payments of $6.5 billion over the next five years to support the network build-out, while AT&T was to invest approximately $40 billion over the term of the contract to build, deploy, operate and maintain the network.

Sprint and Samsung test massive MIMO on 2.5 GHz

U.S. operator Sprint, a Softbank company, and Samsung Electronics announced that on the streets of the city of Suwon in South Korea they recently tested massive MIMO on 2.5 GHz spectrum in a real-world environment to support Sprint's efforts to increase LTE Plus wireless capacity and coverage and offer gigabit service to its customers.

During the field testing in Suwon, massive MIMO Samsung radios, equipped with vertical and horizontal beamforming technology, achieved peak speeds of 330 Mbit/s per channel using a 20 MHz channel of 2.5 GHz spectrum. The companies stated that capacity per channel increased approximately four-fold, cell edge performance increased three times and the overall coverage area expanded compared with current radios.

Sprint has deployed 8T8R (8 transmit, 8 receive) radios across its U.S. network, and the test with Samsung was designed to compare the performance of massive MIMO radios with 8T8R radios. The test cases and requirements were jointly developed by Sprint and Samsung and included a variety of performance scenarios involving multi-user and non-stationary testing.

For the tests, Samsung provided the massive MIMO network infrastructure as well as test network design, operation, data collection and processing. Both companies plan to use the results of the testing to prepare for the commercial deployment of massive MIMO in the U.S. and in other markets globally.

Samsung noted that massive MIMO radios involve the use of more antenna elements, for example, 64T64R uses 128 antenna elements, whereas 2T2R/4T4R/8T8R configurations are used in a typical 4G LTE network. The massive MIMO antennas also use advanced horizontal and vertical beamforming technology to focus and transmit cellular signals into targeted locations. This enables more efficient use of spectrum to deliver faster speeds and higher data capacity in high-traffic locations.

Sprint plans to deploy massive MIMO radios with 128 antenna elements (64T64R) using its 2.5 GHz spectrum in cities across the U.S. to increase capacity by up to eight-fold. In March, Sprint became the first U.S. carrier to introduce gigabit-class LTE on a live commercial network with a launch in New Orleans.


In New Orleans, Sprint implemented three-channel carrier aggregation and 60 MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum, combined with 4 x 4 MIMO and 256QAM higher order modulation to achieve Category 16 LTE download data speeds over a TDD network. With massive MIMO radios using 64T64R, Sprint expects to be able to deliver capacity beyond 1 Gbit/s and reach between 3 and 6 Gbit/s bandwidth per sector.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Switch enters rapid growth phase for its SuperNAP data centres

Switch is the operation behind the massive SuperNAP in Las Vegas, also known by superlatives such as 'world’s densest data centre' or the first 'elite' data centre capable of exceeding Tier IV classification by the Uptime Institute. Switch currently has about 1.8 million sq feet of colocation data centre space powered up in Las Vegas, with plans to add a further 854,000 sq feet of space in this same market. Switch has also kicked off construction of a multi-billion dollar data centre campus in Reno, Nevada, as well as another marquee data centre in Grand Rapids, Michigan. An international expansion is also underway with its first data centre in Europe (Siziano, Italy) and Asia (Chonburi, Thailand). Last week, Switch unveiled its latest ambition - a data centre campus spanning more than one million sq feet in Atlanta.

Switch is privately-held company founded in 2000 by Rob Roy, a young entrepreneur who seized upon the idea that the world's leading corporations and telecom operators would benefit from highly-secure, scalable and energy-efficient colocation space where their systems could be in close physical proximity to many other like-minded carriers and corporations. Many others had this same idea at the turn of the millennium and thus we had the birth of top data centre operators whose names are still recognised today (Equinix CoreSite, Telecity), along with others that have since disappeared.

The company really got started by acquiring an Enron Broadband Services building located on Las Vegas' east Sahara Boulevard that provided access to long-haul fibre routes from the national network operators. This facility was originally intended to be the operational centre of Enron's bandwidth arbitrage business. Following Enron's spectacular collapse, the property was acquired in a bankruptcy auction by Rob Roy, reportedly only for $930,000.

Rob Roy, who remains CEO and chairman of the business, had the counter-intuitive insight to build the world’s largest data centre in the desert city of Las Vegas. There are several reasons why Las Vegas could have been a bad choice. First, the geographic location is far away from the financial centres of North America - there are relatively few Fortune 500 headquarters in Las Vegas. Second, Las Vegas is unmistakably situated in a desert. During July, the average daytime high temperature is 40.1C (104F). It is commonly understood that air conditioning is one of the greatest costs in running a data centre, and for this reason hyperscale data centres have been built near the Arctic Circle. Why build one in the desert? Third, Las Vegas is known for gambling and entertainment, but not particularly for high-tech.  If you are looking for hotspots for tech talent, you might think of Silicon Valley, Seattle, Boston, Austin, Ann Arbor or many other locations before picking Las Vegas.

However, each of these objections turned out to be an advantage for Switch thanks to the persistence or innovation of its founder. Regarding its location, the Nevada desert is geographically isolated from other potential geographic disasters.  It is spared from the earthquakes of California, Oregon or Washington. It is not in tornado alley nor is it in the path of any potential hurricane.  The location has no possibility of suffering through a debilitating blizzard, flood or tsunami. The biggest enterprises with the tightest requirements will want to have at least one major data facility out of any potential danger zone. By scaling its data centre campus to an enormous size, the Switch SuperNAP becomes its own gravity centre for attracting clients to the campus. According to the company's website, there are over 1,000 clients now, including big names such as Boeing, eBay, Dell EMC, Intel, JP Morgan Chase and many others.

As for the desert heat, Switch innovations enabling it to nail the energy efficiency challenge. The company's proprietary Thermal Separate Compartment in Facility (T-SCIF) design, which enables an unusually high-density of power load per rack, does not use water cooling. Nor does it use conventional computer room air conditioning units. Key ingredients include a slab concrete floor, hot air containment chambers, high ceilings and a heat exchange system mounted above. HVAC cooling units are outside the building. The company cites a PUE of 1.18 for its data centres in Las Vegas and an estimated 1.20 for its new facility in Reno, Nevada.

Regarding technology innovation, Rob Roy now has 256 patents and patent-pending claims with many focused on his Wattage Density Modular Design (WDMW) data centre design. Talent attracts talent. Whereas some data centre operators describe themselves primarily as real estate investments trusts, Switch positions itself as a technology leader.  One example is its proprietary building management system, which uses more than 10,000 sensors to gather millions of daily data points for dynamically optimising operations.

The Nevada desert enjoys abundant sunshine and since January 2016 all its data centres have operated on 100% renewal energy thanks to two nearby solar power stations operated by the company. These solar farms use PV panels to generate 180 MW of capacity. The focus on renewable power has earned the company an “A” listing on Greenpeace's Clean Company Scorecard, ahead of Apple, Facebook, Google, Salesforce, Microsoft, Equinix and all the others with large-scale data centre operations.

Below is an overview of major facilities and developments (data from the company website and other public sources):


In March 2017, Switch officially opened the first phase of the 1.8 million-square-foot data centre campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The iconic building, which is an adaptive reuse of the Steelcase Pyramid, is the centre piece of what is intended to become the largest, most advanced data centre campus in the eastern U.S. The entire campus is powered by green energy.

In February 2017, Switch inaugurated its Citadel Campus in Reno, Nevada (near Tesla’s Gigafactory). The Citadel Campus, located on 2,000 acres of land, aims to be the largest colocation facility in the world when it is fully built. The first building has 1.3 million sq feet of space. It is connected to the Switch SUPERLOOP, a 500-mile fibre backbone built by the company to provide low-latency connectivity to its campus in Las Vegas as well as to the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles.

In December 2016, SUPERNAP International officially opened the 'largest, most advanced' data centre in southern Europe. The new facility is built to the specifications of the company's flagship, Tier IV Gold-rated Switch Las Vegas multi-tenant/colocation data centre. The new facility is located near Milan and includes 42,000 sq meters of data centre space with four data halls.

In January 2016, construction began on a new $300 million SUPERNAP data centre in Thailand’s eastern province of Chonburi. The new SUPERNAP Thailand data centre, which is in the Hemmaraj Industrial Estate, will cover an area of nearly 12 hectares and will be strategically built outside the flood zone, 110-metres above sea level and only 27 km away from an international submarine cable landing station.

Australia's nbn selects Coriant CloudWave

nbn, the company building and operating Australia’s national broadband network, has selected the Coriant CloudWave Optics solution for its existing nationwide optical transport backbone network.

The nbn transcontinental optical transport backbone (known as the Transit Network) spans over 60,000 kilometers of fiber and is built upon the Coriant hiT 7300 Packet Optical Transport Platform. The Transit Network allows nbn to connect the different nbn Multi Technology Mix access nodes to points where the traffic is transferred to service providers, known as Point of Interconnect (POI). The access nodes are the modern equivalent of a local telephone exchange and can be located many thousands of kilometers from their corresponding POI, of which there are 121.

Coriant said the introduction of its CloudWave Optics technology within the existing hiT 7300 network will provide nbn the ability to leverage the industry’s latest advances in high-speed, low latency optical networking, including per-wavelength transmission at speeds of 200G and beyond.

“Coriant’s CloudWave solution will help us in scaling the nbn and connecting 8 million happy homes by 2020. Maximizing the performance of our fiber optic infrastructure is critical as we expand the capacity of the nbn network throughout Australia and enable residential and business customers to take full advantage of fast and reliable broadband,” said Peter Ryan, Chief Network Engineering Officer at nbn.
Deployment of the Coriant flexi-rate solution, which is scheduled to begin in 2017, will target high-traffic routes within the nationwide nbn backbone network.

“Keeping pace with end-user traffic demands while lower operating costs is a challenge shared by network operators and cloud providers around the world,” said Petri Markkanen, Managing
Director, Asia Pacific, Coriant. “Our CloudWave Optics solution provides these operators a powerful toolkit to seamlessly scale to higher speeds while delivering proven ROI through lower power, reduced space, and improved reach performance.”

Coriant intros low power 400 Gbit/s muxponder for Groove G30

Coriant announced the introduction of a new 400 Gbit/s muxponder for its Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform that delivers benchmark power consumption of 0.20 watts per gigabit of bandwidth, which is claimed to be 50% less than comparable solutions.

The new Coriant solution also delivers features designed to further improve spectral efficiency and data integrity of high-capacity coherent optical networks, as well as to help operators significantly reduce operating expenses.

Based on 16 nm CMOS technology, the Coriant 400 Gbit/s muxponder, equipped with Coriant's silicon photonics CFP2-ACO and client-side transceivers, is claimed to consume 0.20 watts per Gigabit. The new solution is compatible with deployed Coriant Groove G30 systems, so eliminating the need for forklift upgrades and simplifying pay-as-you-grow scalability for customers.

In addition to low power consumption, the new Groove G30 muxponder improves optical reach and spectral efficiency via support for 200 Gbit/s/8QAM programmable modulation. Leveraging the low power and high density of the system, network operators can deploy a full DWDM transport system with muxponding, optical multiplexing and amplification functionality within a single rack unit delivering up to 1.6 Tbit/s of capacity.

Coriant's new 400 Gbit/s muxponder is designed to remove the need for a separate optical line system, thereby reducing space and power requirements, while the compact and flexible 1 RU configuration makes it suitable for deployments at networking sites with space and power constraints.



  • Earlier this year, Coriant introduced a Short Reach CFP2-ACO pluggable unit for the Groove G30 platform, based on silicon photonics technology from Elenion Technologies. The CFP2-ACO solution enables power-efficient 200 Gbit/s connectivity for carrier transport and data centre interconnect applications.
  • Coriant also introduced the 7300 Open Line System (OLS) solution optimised for deployment with open DCI transponder solutions such as the Groove G30 platform for long haul and data centre interconnect (DCI) applications.

ADVA expands FSP 3000 with cross-connect, sync for metro networks

ADVA Optical Networking announced it has expanded its FSP 3000 platform to address the requirements of metro networks via the introduction of three new technologies.

The expanded ADVA FSP 3000 is designed to bring features to metro network environments that were previously uneconomic. The new solution provides a flexible, automated optical layer that does not utilise traditional ROADM technology, features a new cross-connect that allows scaling of optical transport networks (OTNs) without capacity lock-in, and provides precise synchronisation for 5G without the suffering the limitations of current OTN technology.

ADVA's enhanced FSP 3000 platform leverages three key elements, as follows:

1.         FSP 3000 MicroConnect, a ROADM-based photonic layer that has been cost-optimised for metro networks; the solution consolidates key functions and is designed to minimise footprint, configuration and cabling requirements.

2.         FSP 3000 OpenFabric, a new OTN cross-connect designed to eliminate slot capacity assignments and the proprietary fabric adapters of a closed system, and thereby allow network operators to utilise any mix of optical services and scale as and when necessary.

3.         FSP 3000 TrueTime, which offers a new model for synchronising transport over optical networks to meet the synchronisation requirements of 5G services by implementing time-sensitive technologies that enable optimum performance and the ability to automatically compensate for delay asymmetries.



  • Earlier this year, ADVA enhanced its FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform with the TeraFlex terminal solution, supporting transport at 600 Gbit/s rates over a single wavelength for total duplex capacity of 3.6 Tbit/s in a single rack unit. ADVA claims the TeraFlex terminal enables 50% greater density than competing technology to address the demands of Internet content providers (ICPs) and carrier-neutral providers (CNPs) seeking to scale their DCI networks.
  • ADVA also enhanced the FSP 3000 CloudConnect with direct detect open optical layer functionality, offering an alternative to using traditional coherent solutions. The direct detect technology is available either as an open line system (OLS) in a disaggregated form or as a solution incorporating the terminal and line system.

Nokia Bell Labs demos ultra low latency 10G PON for fronthaul

Nokia has announced that as part of its work to better support mobile fronthaul and latency-sensitive services, Nokia Bell Labs has demonstrated a commercial next generation PON (NG-PON) transporting ultra-low latency CPRI streams over a single fibre connecting the baseband unit (BBU) and remote radio head (RRH).

The proof of concept demonstration was conducted in accordance with the latency budget requirements for the fronthaul of commercial radio equipment, showing that existing fibre networks can be used to transport mobile traffic and help accelerate the roll-out 5G.

Nokia noted that fronthaul comprises a key element of the C-RAN (centralised RAN) architecture in mobile networks, where the processing power is centralised away from cell sites. This model helps operators reduce the cost and power consumption of on-site installations, as well as simplifying cell cooperation schemes that help enhance network capacity and coverage.

In a C-RAN architecture, the legacy common public radio interfaces (CPRI) and certain next generation fronthaul interfaces require ultra-low latency transport, often in the sub-millisecond range, to meet the timing and synchronisation requirements of 4G and 5G technologies.

In the latest demonstration, Nokia Bell Labs validated that next generation PON technology, XGS-PON (10 Gbit/s symmetrical PON), can meet the strict timing constraints and deliver the capacity required, while also reducing the cost of mobile cell site transport. XGS-PON runs over existing fibre access networks and allows operators to use GPON platforms and technology to deliver high capacity services.

Nokia stated that this is a key capability for operators as they seek to address the challenge of supporting 'anyhaul' applications. By removing the need for a separate network, operators can use existing PON infrastructure in FTTH/B deployments to cost-effectively achieve the performance and coverage they require to handle the mobile transport demands resulting from densifying cell sites.

Nokia added that in addition to mobile transport applications, PONs are increasingly seen as an attractive option by operators seeking to support latency sensitive services and IoT applications such as manufacturing control and connected vehicles.

Nokia Bell Labs latest technology breakthrough will help mobile service providers as they move towards implementing 5G, and expands Nokia's Anyhaul mobile transport solutions as well as strengthening its portfolio of converged access networks for the delivery of fixed and mobile services. The company claims that to date it is involved in nine trials or commercial deployments of XGS-PON.

Huawei releases TDM PON combo to support transition to 10G PON

Huawei, which introduced a WDM PON combo solution last year, has announced a new TDM PON combo solution for FTTH deployments designed to facilitate the evolution of GPON to 10 Gbit/s GPON.

The new TDM PON combo solution is designed to enable operators to align upgrades of EPON and GPON solutions, as well as reduce power attenuation introduced by combiners. The solution can also simplify network upgrades and enable the evolution of current networks to support gigabit broadband speeds.

Huawei noted that implementing GPON upgrades requires the deployment of WDM1r combiners to combine GPON and 10 Gbit/s GPON ports, which then result in added attenuation of optical signals.

To enable GPON upgrades via the replacement of boards, Huawei released its WDM PON combo solution in 2016. Using this solution, a PON port integrates three components - GPON, 10 Gbit/s GPON and WDM1r - offering the same upgrade process as for 10 Gbit/s EPON in terms of board replacement. The PON solution is designed to be easy to deploy and does not require additional space or WDM1r devices.

Huawei's new TDM PON combo solution, which is based on the WDM PON combo solution, works by changing the upstream receiving mode of the WDM PON combo optical module into TDM receiving, allowing GPON and 10 Gbit/s PON optical signals to be transmitted in turn. This model helps to simplify the combiner design and the implementation process for PON combo optical modules, as well as providing higher power budgets.

Huawei stated that use of the TDM PON solution is designed to enable equipment vendors to achieve mass production, implement small encapsulation and more easily integrate high-density port solutions.

Huawei noted that the new solution forms part of its UBB strategy, which also includes its next-generation distributed smart OLT and 10 Gbit/s PON ONT products that are in large-scale commercial use with 50+ operators. The company also offers the CloudFAN solution, which supports multi-service bearing over a single fibre.


ZTE unveils compact metro-edge E-OTN

ZTE announced the launch of its metro-edge, elastic and enhanced optical transport network (E-OTN) product, the ZXMP M721 CX66A, during the 2017 Next Generation Optical Networking and Optical Data Centre Interconnect (NGON and Optical DCI) Forum.

The new ZXMP M721 CX66A solution combines high levels of integration with large capacity, intelligence and an energy efficient design and is intended to be simple and quick to deploy. The platform is designed to support service transmission in the convergence and access network layers.

ZTE noted that with the move towards 5G and growth of 'big video' services, demand for bandwidth is increasing rapidly, requiring transport networks delivering very high capacity. The ZXMP M721 CX66A solution is designed to meet the requirements of the 'big bandwidth' era across areas including service access, service transmission, operations and maintenance management and energy efficiency.

ZTE's new ZXMP M721 CX66A platform is a compact E-OTN product that features optical-electrical integration and support for ROADM and centralised electrical cross-connect technologies. The solution implements non-blocking cross-scheduling of optical channel data unit (ODUks), packets (PKTs) and virtual containers (VCs).

In addition, a range of high-order modulation methods are supported, and the board speed on the line side supports rates of up to 200 Gbit/s. The solution also incorporates OTN-lite and low delay technologies to provide support for future 5G network deployments demanding very low latency.


The platform additionally features software-defined optical networking (SDON) technology to enable the creation of an intelligent and open network architecture.


GTT acquires Perseus for $37.5m

GTT Communications based in McLean, Virginia, a global cloud networking provider to multinational clients, announced the acquisition of Perseus, a provider of high-speed network connectivity that serves major financial and e-commerce companies worldwide.

GTT stated that the purchase price for Perseus was $37.5 million, plus the assumption of approximately $3 million in capital leases. GTT anticipates that the purchase price will represent a multiple of post-synergy adjusted EBITDA of 5.0x or lower, with integration and cost synergies to be achieved within two quarters.
GTT noted that the strategic combination with Perseus is intended to deliver benefits including:

1.         Extending the reach of its global, Tier 1 IP backbone via new PoPs and routes connecting key markets across Latin America, Asia Pacific, India and South Africa, including Pacific Express, the new low latency route between Chicago and Tokyo.

2.         Increasing its customer base, bringing clients in the financial service and e-commerce segments.

3.         Expanding its position as a provider of ultra-low latency services, as well as augmenting its cloud networking portfolio with financial market data services.

Perseus operates a global multipoint Ethernet network and 75 PoPs sited in 18 countries and provides connectivity to over 200 exchanges. It maintains a network operations centre in Galway, Ireland. Perseus offers solutions including LiquidPath trading services, PrecisionSync timing services, private managed services and wireless, microwave-based connectivity.


  • In January of this year, GTT completed its acquisition of Hibernia Networks, operator of a global network, including extensive subsea cable systems. Under the terms of an agreement announced in November 2016, GTT was to acquire Hibernia for $590 million, including $515 million in cash and approximately 3.3 million shares of GTT common stock valued at around $75 million.