Wednesday, June 28, 2017

LuxNetwork picks Ciena

Ciena announced that LuxNetwork of Luxembourg has selected its 6500 Packet-Optical Platform with integrated WaveLogic Encryption for a new 100 Gbit/s network designed to increase network capacity to support the growing bandwidth and security demands of the major financial sector companies, large enterprises and international wholesale customers.

LuxNetwork, a subsidiary of the NomoTech Group, specialises in providing high-speed, secure optical WAN connectivity to connect businesses to data centres and interconnect data centres. The service provider also offers a suite of managed services for enterprise customers and international telecom operators.

Operating its upgraded network that provides ten times the capacity of its previous system, LuxNetwork can offer higher-capacity services including 10 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet, 8 and 16 Gbit/s Fibre Channel, as well as encryption for protection of in-flight data. Additionally, enterprise and carrier customers are able to leverage dedicated, secure, high-bandwidth and scalable connectivity without the need to own the infrastructure.

The network upgrade will also allow LuxNetwork to consolidate and modernise its infrastructure and to realise operational efficiencies following the acquisition and integration of Telecom Luxembourg.



  • Last week, Ciena announced that Bouygues Telecom of France had selected the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform to enhance the efficiency, scalability and reliability of its network backhaul and aggregation infrastructure, as well as provide the foundation for its new SuperCore network.
  • The deployment was designed to increase capacity to 400 Gbit/s to support growing capacity demand and new high-bandwidth services, as well as allow Bouygues Telecom to expand its mobile and ISP offerings support future 5G services.

CP-TEL rolls out FTTx using Champion GPON

Champion ONE, an open networking company and supplier of optical transceivers, announced it has partnered with CP-TEL, a communications service provider in Louisiana, to enable the deployment of cost effective FTTx services to its customers.

CP-TEL serves rural residents and businesses in Louisiana's Natchitoches, Sabine, and DeSoto parishes, offering high-speed Internet, digital TV and telephone services.

Champion ONE noted that with increasing demand for FTTP services across parishes in north central Louisiana, CP-TEL was faced with the challenge of turning up new services quickly. However, optical transceivers from its legacy provider proved prohibitively expensive, so the company was seeking a partner that was able to supply a cost-effective solution.

Champion ONE stated that it had previously helped CP-TEL double its fibre utilisation by providing 10 Gbit/s single-fibre, bi-directional SFP+ transceivers to support backhaul traffic. Therefore CP-TEL was confident that Champion ONE optics would be compatible with its OEM equipment.

For the new deployment, Champion ONE supplied high-performance SFP GPON OLT optics at lower cost than other solutions. In addition, due to the significantly lower cost CP-TEL was not only able to turn up new FTTx services quickly, but also stock additional optics as spares to help reduce future downtime.



  • In May, Champion ONE introduced a new line of low-cost open network Ethernet switches offering features including SDN and NFV functionality. The Broadcom-based optical and copper switches offer up to 54 ports, with full L2/L3 line-rate switching at data rates of 1, 10 and 40 Gbit/s initially.

  • Champion ONE noted it has partnered with software vendors including IP Infusion, Pica8 and Cumulus Networks to offer a diverse range of operating systems to meet the requirements of service provider and data centre environments and different network topologies.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ericsson: over half a billion 5G users in five years

A big question that must weigh on the minds of the directors at Ericsson is how soon 5G rollouts will begin. It has been a tough few years at Ericsson in particular, and for many other non-Chinese network equipment vendors in the mobile space as well. Many of the big mobile operators in the developed markets have already completed their 4G LTE network construction. Minor upgrades and fill-in projects continue, but for the most part the big spending campaigns have slowed to a trickle.  With mobile penetration rates exceeding 100% in many markets, the networks can only grow by poaching subscribers from local rivals. The good news is that traffic-per-user is surging and the networks gradually are filling up. On the horizon are many innovative apps that promise even heavier network loads, and when standards are fully-baked and new spectrum licenses secured, a healthy upgrade cycle to 5G should begin. In the meantime, there are LTE-A enhancements underway and Gigabit LTE deployments in progress. The big question for Ericsson is: when will 5G begin and how fast will the network upgrades occur?

The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report has just been released. The company has updated this report on an annual or semi-annual basis for the past five years, providing its mobile operator customers and the market at-large with valuable predictions concerning technology and usage trends.

5G is perhaps the starring topic again in this edition of the Mobility Report, with the big finding that by 2022 Ericsson predicts there will be more than half a billion 5G subscriptions, with a population coverage of 15%.

This figure is bolder than what Ericsson has published before. For instance, in June 2014, Ericsson was still expecting a slower uptake for LTE to persist, particularly in Europe. In that forecast from 3 years ago, Ericsson predicted that by the end of 2019, LTE would make up around 50% of the subscriptions base in Western Europe. Of course, in 2014 not everyone had to carry a smartphone. In fact, only 65% of all phones sold in Q1 2014 were smartphones. The 3G network in Europe was well developed, so the Ericsson Mobility Report expected these trends to linger. The current report finds that GSM/EDGE still constitutes the largest category of mobile subscriptions, but that LTE will become the dominant mobile access technology in 2018, and will likely reach 5 billion subscriptions by the end of 2022, or more than seven times the GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions. This will be the final sunset for 3G.

In this year's report, Ericsson calculates that the total traffic in mobile networks increased by 70% between the end of Q1 2016 and the end of Q1 2017 - a huge leap! Incidentally, a big part of the gain is linked to Reliance Jio Infocomm launching its LTE network in India and offering free mobile data on a trial basis. Within six months of launch, Jio reached 100 million broadband and VoLTE customers, making it the fastest growing operator in the world for 2016. But traffic is surging for many other reasons as well.

5G New Radio specs will incentivise early rollouts

Earlier planning anticipated the 5G upgrade cycle to begin in the new decade, sometime after the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. At this year’s Mobile World Congress in February, major mobile network operators and vendors issued a call to accelerate the 5G New Radio (NR) standardisation schedule to enable large-scale trials and deployments as early as 2019, a year earlier than the previous expected timeline. In March 2017, 3GPP complied with this request by approving the acceleration of the 5G NR standardisation schedule to include an intermediate milestone for an early variant called Non-Standalone 5G NR.

Key findings

To follow are some interesting highlights on network evolution from Ericsson Mobility Report:

Ericsson anticipates that by the end of 2022 there will be 9 billion mobile subscriptions. Mobile broadband subscriptions will reach 8.3 billion, thereby accounting for more than 90% of all mobile subscriptions. The number of unique mobile subscribers is estimated to reach 6.2 billion by the end of 2022.

There are more than 1 million new mobile broadband subscribers every day.

LTE subscriptions reached a total of 2.1 billion in Q1 2017, up by 250 million new subscriptions during the quarter.

Operators are evolving their existing LTE networks to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) networks with Category1, 4, 6, 9, 11 and 16 implementations, combining lower and higher frequency bands (both for FDD and TDD modes).

There are currently 591 commercial LTE networks deployed in 189 countries. Out of these, 194 have been upgraded to LTE-A networks.

Ericsson anticipates that the number of VoLTE subscriptions will reach 4.6 billion by the end of 2022, making up more than 90% of all LTE subscriptions globally.

The upgrade to LTE occurred significantly faster than the upgrade from 2G to 3G. In just 5 years, LTE was adopted by 2.5 billion users; it took eight years for 3G to reach this milestone.

Ericsson now expects some large-scale trials early commercial deployment of 5G in 2019 that will use the 5G NR specs.

The adoption rate of 5G mobile broadband is expected to be similar to that of LTE, with rollouts commencing in major metro areas.

Ericsson now expects North America to take a leading role in 5G rollouts as the major U.S. operators have each stated their intention to expand into pre-standard 5G. By 2022, Ericsson predicts that 25% of North American subscribers could be on 5G.

The first commercial use of 5G is expected to be for enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access (FWA).

5G radio access lowers round trip latency to under 4 ms, as seen in a 5G test bed conducted by Scania and Ericsson in Sweden.

Attributes of 5G, including network slicing and low latency, will make safe public transport using autonomous vehicles a reality.

The full 2017 Ericsson Mobility Report can be downloaded here.

https://www.ericsson.com/en/mobility-report

NEC deploys 128 Technology in Japan

128 Technology of Burlington, Massachusetts, a provider of session-oriented routing solutions, announced that Japan's NEC Networks and System Integration (NESIC) has deployed the 128T Networking Platform (128T) to interconnect four sites in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Osaka and Myanmar.

In addition to using the 128T platform for its own corporate requirements, NESIC will also offer 128T to its approximately 5,000 enterprise, telecommunication and government customers worldwide with the aim of improving the quality, security, and reliability of their WANs.

Headquartered in Tokyo with 62 offices worldwide, NESIC provides integrated ICT solutions and services, ranging from planning and consulting to system design and integration, construction and maintenance, operation, outsourcing and business process outsourcing.

The 128T solution is based on Secure Vector Routing (SVR) technology, which is claimed to offer a fundamentally new approach to networking that enables customers to build context-aware networks that can dynamically and securely extend across network boundaries without the need for complex tunnelling and overlay technologies.

128T can be implemented to address a range of routing applications from the branch office, across the WAN and within and between private and public clouds. The platform is software-based and can be deployed to either augment or replace existing network routing solutions. 128 Technology enables customers such as NESIC to both cost-effectively build and offer networks designed to provide greater agility, security and control between distributed locations.



  • Founded in 2014 and launched in 2016, 128 Technology announced in May 2017 that it had raised $21.5 million in Series C funding, bringing total funding to $57 million. Investors in the round included executive management and current employees of the company, individual investors, as well as G20 Ventures. 128 Technology stated that it would use the financing to expand its global presence and accelerate the expansion of the 128T Networking Platform

  • 128 Technology previously announced a seed funding round of $4 million in July 2014, a $12 million Series A round in December 2014 and a $20 million Series B funding round in December 2015.

Vodafone UK selects Ericsson technology for upgrade of 4G network in London

Ericsson announced that Vodafone UK has selected the company to evolve its 4G networks in London and southern England employing technologies including massive MIMO and carrier aggregation to help improve network capacity and end-user performance.

Ericsson noted that massive MIMO technology utilises advanced antenna arrays to improve the quality of radio signals and increase capacity, while carrier aggregation (CA) combines different cellular frequencies to increase capacity and data rates for end users.

Ericsson will also provide Vodafone UK with 5G radio technology as part of preparations for the introduction of 5G in London and the southern region of England.
The agreement between Vodafone UK and Ericsson encompasses technology trials, product validation and commercial deployment, as well as professional services. The two companies have also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) covering the following areas of collaboration:

1.         4G evolution, 5G radio non-standalone and standalone.

2.         5G site deployment scenarios.

3.         NR (new radio) simulations using the 3.5 GHz and mmWave bands.

4.         Development of 5G use-cases and proofs of concept for business services.

5.         Distributed cloud and network slicing proof of concept, including end-to-end latency and cloud-optimised network applications.

6.         Collaboration with King's College London.


7.         Implementing a 5G innovation technology incubation program.


ZTE and InfoVista certify interoperability of SD-WAN

ZTE and InfoVista, a major provider of network performance orchestration solutions, announced the completion of interoperability testing of their combined SD-WAN (software-defined WAN) solution based on integrating InfoVista's Application Performance Orchestration Solution, Ipanema, with ZTE's Micro Cloud Gateway (MCG) platform.

After successful verification testing, the combined SD-WAN solution provides a single box overlay networking solution for hybrid WAN connectivity that guarantees the performance of critical business applications while also supporting a secure overlay VPN, zero touch installation and one-button recovery. The joint product is designed to offer a cost effective solution for enterprises seeking to reduce IT networking costs.

In addition, Service providers can also utilise the new platform to deliver value-added SD-WAN services to enterprise customers as they implement hybrid WANs and seek to augment their enterprise networks.

The combined SD-WAN solution can replace a range of enterprise and communications equipment deployed in traditional WANs, enabling fast distribution, deployment, data backup, and disaster tolerance one-button recovery on a cloud-managed platform.

The joint solution provides enterprises with Application Performance Orchestration capabilities designed to protect and guarantee the end user experience for business-critical applications that form the basis for digital transformation strategies.


Recently, BT announced the launch of BT Connect Intelligence InfoVista-as-a-Service, a new application performance management solution delivered in the cloud that offers a scalable as-a-service pricing option for its applications performance management portfolio. The service provides InfoVista's Ipanema technology via the BT cloud and is designed to provide the capabilities organisations require to orchestrate the performance of business applications running across the network.

Earlier this year, InfoVista announced that BT business EE, the largest mobile network operator in the UK, had selected its Ipanema application-aware SD-WAN solution to protect the performance of in-store applications. EE was to deploy the Ipanema solution across all of its 553 stores via BT's managed service Connect Intelligence.


SFR and Huawei trial 4 x 4 MIMO enabling 628 Mbit/s

French telecom operator SFR and Huawei announced the completion of what is believed to be France's first pre-commercial field verification of 4 x 4 MIMO enabling a downlink throughput of 628.3 Mbit/s using a commercially available phone on SFR's 4.5G network.

Following the field verification, SFR plans to increase its investment in LTE technology as part of its objective of rolling out the fastest LTE network in France and provide customers an enhanced LTE experience.

Huawei noted that SFR began construction of its LTE network in 2012, and subsequently the increasing adoption of mobile video and real-time gaming services has led to mobile data traffic increasing at an average annual growth rate of up to 100% over the past two years. To address this rising demand, SFR launched a new unlimited data package in April this year and plans to focus investment on deploying a 4.5G network.

SFR is aiming to extend its 4.5G network coverage to 90% of its customers in France by the end of the year, and plans to increase this to 99% during 2018. Huawei noted that 4.5G technologies such as carrier aggregation (CA), MIMO and 256QAM can help increase network capacity, with MIMO, in particular enabling improved capacity and coverage, as well as an enhanced user experience, without the need for additional spectrum or base stations.

During the recent tests with SFR that involved a commercial phone operating on the live 4.5G network, the partners verified that the use of 4 x 4 MIMO, combined with 2 CC carrier aggregation and 256QAM modulation, can deliver throughput of up to 628.3 Mbit/s. Huawei noted that this data rate can allow mobile users to play HD video reliably and meet customer demand for smooth video viewing services.

Huawei stated that 4.5G Evolution technology enables operators to begin the introduction of 5G technologies into their existing 4G/LTE networks. This also allows operators to trial 5G-like services and develop new business models that 5G will be able to support in the future.


Regarding the trial, Michel Paulin, chairman and CEO of SFR Group, commented, "SFR's 4.5G network has achieved an average downlink throughput of 300 Mbit/s in over French 221 cities… and it (aims to) further increase the average downlink throughput to 500 Mbit/s by 2018… and will actively promote sophisticated 4 x 4 MIMO smartphones to offer users the best LTE experience".

Cisco and NetApp launch FlexPod SF

Cisco and NetApp have expanded their portfolio of integrated infrastructure and certified reference systems with a new FlexPod SF solution designed to address emerging business challenges by providing infrastructure for the data-intensive scale-out workloads key to digital transformation.

The new solution from Cisco and NetApp features NetApp's SolidFire all-flash, scale-out, cloud-connected storage and Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) B-Series servers and Nexus switching. The new solution is designed to support enterprise and emerging architectures with storage capacity and performance tailored to address the needs of individual tenants in multi-tenant environments.

The companies noted that the joint solution extends the FlexPod technology portfolio that has been deployed by around 8,400 global customers and 1,100 partners in 100 countries.

The new FlexPod SF solution is designed to provide capabilities including:

1.         Predictable performance, offering the ability to run hundreds of applications on a single platform with guaranteed SLAs to independently set capacity and quality of service (QoS) at minimum, maximum or burst performance levels across the infrastructure.

2.         Programmable agility to help address business demands with SolidFire software-defined architecture, simplified management and scale by automating provisioning, management and reporting via programmable SolidFire storage and UCS B-Series servers.

3.         Scale-out performance to help customers align business expenses with growth by reducing initial capex, allowing customers to purchase the compute and storage required and to consolidate infrastructure and increase automation.

FlexPod offers a portfolio of pre-validated, converged infrastructure solutions that combine the Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure, Cisco networking and NetApp storage components. FlexPod is designed to simplify and modernise IT and deliver enhanced application performance, support for a range of cloud strategies and improved efficiency to accelerate data centre transformation.


The FlexPod family includes FlexPod Datacenter for core enterprise data centres and service providers, Express for medium-sized businesses and branch offices, and Select for data-intensive workloads. The portfolio is validated with major hypervisors, operating systems, systems management tools, and cloud management platforms.

Vodafone selects Kaltura OTT TV in Italy

Kaltura of New York, a provider of video delivery technology, announced that its Kaltura OTT TV technology has been deployed by global telco Vodafone for the launch of Vodafone TV in Italy.

Kaltura noted that Vodafone is already utilising the same TV set-top box in Spain. The set-top enables a cross-device TV experience over the Vodafone 4G network leveraging a new set-top-box featuring cloud DVR and an intuitive user interface.

The new Kaltura-based OTT TV service provides subscribers with access to a catalogue of content from a range of TV and OTT sources, which are available through live, VoD, catch-up, start over, cloud DVR and apps. In Italy, the services offers content libraries from services such as Netflix and Sky Italia Now TV, together with the traditional TV channels.

With the Kaltura TV platform, subscribers are able to access a personalised live and on-demand TV service, including with content discovery, cross-device interaction and watch lists. Kaltura's solution also allows Vodafone to introduce new price plan services and to expand its service via regular software updates.

The Kaltura OTT TV platform is designed for operators, broadcasters, media companies and content owners seeking to to launch advanced TV services quickly and cost-effectively.


Earlier this year, Kaltura announced a partnership with Nokia designed to facilitate the delivery of a more personalised viewing experience leveraging its TV Platform for OTT TV service and Nokia's IP video delivery and storage platforms. The two companies noted that, based on multiple live deployments for Tier-1 operators and media companies, they are able to offer a modular solution that integrates Nokia's Velocix products with Kaltura's TV Platform.


Monday, June 26, 2017

GTT to Acquire Global Capacity, Building its SD-WAN

GTT Communications agreed to acquire Global Capacity, a provider of enterprise network connectivity solutions, for $100 million in cash and 1.85 million shares of GTT common stock, to be issued to the sellers at closing.

Global Capacity, which is based in Waltham, Mass., addresses a range of enterprise network issues including difficulty in load sharing traffic across a mix of access connections, complex, static and manual network configurations that inhibit mapping to business requirements and lack of application visibility and control over connections. Global Capacity has a partnership with VeloCloud. that unifies network management across disparate network technologies, including Ethernet, MPLS, broadband and LTE, whether these are on the Global Capacity network, a competing network or a combination of the two. This is designed to enable a more agile and responsive hybrid WAN solution and to offer a simplified path for migration from an existing network architecture.

In January, Global Capacity launched the Ethernet Multi-Cloud Connect service, a virtual network service based on its One Marketplace software-defined network platform that allows enterprises to build multiple cloud services from a single port to access hybrid and multi-cloud solutions across multiple locations. The Ethernet Multi-Cloud Connect service employs an interconnection architecture with software orchestration to simplify multi-cloud connectivity and improve service performance. The solution enables businesses to connect to cloud locations or select from a list of interconnected One Marketplace Cloud destinations, including AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and twenty cloud providers on the Equinix Cloud Exchange.

GTT said the acquisition will add marquee clients in the healthcare, application service provider, retail and carrier markets, adding highly complementary recurring revenue streams. GTT also operates an SD-WAN service based on Velocloud.

Global Capacity also operates an extensive on-net Ethernet over Copper infrastructure that reaches over 9.6 million U.S. commercial addresses, from 41 data centers and 1,750 Central Office points of presence. Global Capacity acquired Megapath's wholesale business and national colocation aggregation network in 2015.

“The acquisition of Global Capacity accelerates GTT’s growth strategy and underscores our commitment to connecting people across organizations and around the world,” said Rick Calder, GTT president and CEO. “GTT gains new marquee clients, enhanced network reach and scale, and a great team of employees to drive outstanding client experience, through our core values of simplicity, speed and agility. After integration, we expect to achieve our previously announced, next financial objectives of $1 billion in revenue and $250 million in Adjusted EBITDA.”

“This transaction further advances the breadth, depth and ease of deploying connectivity services for our customers,” commented Jack Lodge, president of Global Capacity. “GTT’s global network reach and extensive portfolio of managed services are a compelling complement to our connectivity platform, resulting in substantial benefits for our carrier and enterprise customers. Together, we anticipate growth and success for our customers, employees, and partners.”

http://www.globalcapacity.com

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...

GTT establishes Enterprise, Carrier, EMEA Divisions


GTT Communications, a global cloud networking provider to multinational clients, which in January completed the acquisition of Hibernia Networks, announced it has established three new divisions - Enterprise, Carrier and EMEA - intended to accelerate sales growth and enhance services for customers. Each of the new divisions is responsible for the primary customer experience functions, including sales, quoting, ordering, service delivery and collections. In...

Video: Connecting Everywhere - GTT at #ITW2017


It's been a very big year for GTT.  In January, GTT completed the aquisition of Hibernia Networks, which brings substantial assets, including a Layer 1 optical transport networrk and three subsea cable routes. GTT Express is now the fastest transatlantic cable. In this video, Rick Calder, GTT/s CEO, provides a company update. See video: https://youtu.be/qiU9aG07W8w ...



ZTE claims 75% share of True's beyond-100G backbone

ZTE announced that it has won the bid for three networks as part of True's beyond-100 Gbit/s backbone WDM network project in Thailand, representing an approximately 75% share of the project.
The new backbone transmission networks is designed to enable True to support functions such as ultra-high capacity OTN cross-connection, intelligent scheduling of optical networks and ultra-long-distance transmission. The project will also help True to address future service development and further develop its network in the future.

ZTE noted that the DWDM network will enable 100/400 Gbit/s backbone transmission speeds and will significantly improve True's network capacity and support service growth across its 3G/LTE, fixed and broadband networks.

For the project, ZTE is deploying its 100 Gbit/s and beyond-100 Gbit/s WASON solution featuring advanced PM-QPSK/PM-16QAM modulation and coherent reception technology. The solution also includes its digital signal processing (DSP) algorithm and third-generation soft decision forward error correction (SD-FEC) to enable transmission without the need for electronic relays across the network, thereby reducing the cost.

ZTE noted that the software-defined optical networking (SDON) technology is designed to make optical network transmission more intelligent and speed service deployment time, as well as enhancing the efficiency of network scheduling. In addition, the solution features embedded OTDR technology that allows real-time monitoring of the fibre and fault points of the existing network to enhance network maintenance and troubleshooting.


The project also includes colourless directionless contationless flexgrid ROADM (CDCF ROADM) functionality, designed to address True's requirements for transparent transmission, flexible scheduling, aggregation, management and monitoring of data services.

CenturyLink details new organisation

CenturyLink has announced further details of its organisational structure and new executive appointments who will report to Jeff Storey, recently named as president and chief operating officer (COO) of the company upon the completion of its pending acquisition of Level 3 Communications, which is expected to occur by the end of third quarter of 2017.

The new appointments are as follows:

1.         Strategic enterprise, federal government and state government - Edward Morche, who is to rejoin Level 3 on July 5, will serve as president, with responsibility for large accounts, federal and state government, and large educational institutions and research networks.

2.         Global accounts management (GAM) and international – Laurinda Pang will be president, with responsibility for top global accounts and international teams.

3.         Small and midsize business (SMB), local government and education – Vernon Irvin to serve as president.

4.         Wholesale and indirect – Lisa Miller as president.

5.         Consumer – Maxine Moreau to serve as president, responsible for the company's local market consumer business in 37 states.

Additionally, these business units and ongoing integration activities will be supported by the following functional groups:

1.         Technology, product development and security operations - Aamir Hussain as EVP, responsible for IT, testing and integration, architecture, infrastructure, security, as well as overall business enablement.

2.         Transformation and integration – Clay Bailey, SVP, will lead the integration of CenturyLink and Level 3.

3.         North America operations - Richard Batelaan as EVP, with responsibility for North America service delivery, service assurance, access management and field operations.


  • CenturyLink recently announced that on closing of the Level 3 transaction Jeff Storey, current president and CEO of Level 3, would become CenturyLink president and COO. Previously, CenturyLink named the senior leadership team following completion of the acquisition of Level 3.


Global webscale company selects Zayo for wavelengths

Zayo Group announced that a global web-scale company has selected it to implement a network to connect data centres in Dublin and Amsterdam, with the wavelength solution to be deployed on a direct, diverse route bypassing the traffic clusters of London.

The solution provided by Zayo leverages acquired assets from Geo Networks and Viatel and connects Dublin and continental Europe via a strategic fibre route. Zayo noted that it experiencing continuing demand in Europe for dedicated, high-capacity connectivity, both dark fibre and wavelengths, from global companies across multiple sectors.

Commenting on the latest contract, Andrew Crouch, president and COO at Zayo, said, "This long-standing customer needs multiple terabytes of throughput on a direct route… illustrating the leveraging of Zayo's embedded network to provide a solution that meets its capacity needs… the new network will provide the anchor customer with high-capacity bandwidth along a highly strategic route…".


* Zayo recently announced it had been selected by a major data centre provider for a dark fibre solution to connect its East Coast facilities. The solution included primary and diverse routes in New York and New Jersey providing low-latency infrastructure, with more than 30 dark fibre pairs along diverse routes.

* The company also recently announced that a U.S.-based multinational bank had selected it for long haul and metro dark fibre. The dark fibre was to connect the bank's new data centres with its existing fibre network and leveraged a popular long haul route and metro fibre in the U.S. Zayo noted that solution would utilise approximately 1,100 route-miles from Zayo across four states.

* Zayo Group is a major provider of communications infrastructure services, including fibre and bandwidth connectivity, colocation and cloud infrastructure to customers such as wireless and wireline carriers, media and content companies, the finance and healthcare sectors and other large enterprises. The company's 122,000-mile network in North America and Europe includes metro connectivity to thousands of buildings and data centres.

Huawei and TELUS Collaborate on 5G

Huawei and telco TELUS of Canada announced they have successfully completed a 5G wireless connection using the global 3GPP technology standards platform as the industry moves towards the deployment of 5G.

TELUS noted that the pilot not only demonstrates the faster wireless speeds and lower latency that will be available to customers using 5G technology, but also showcases the potential for 5G technology to deliver wireless-to-the-premise (WTTx) connectivity with speeds and reliability required for smart homes and businesses.

The pilot network created with Huawei was designed to reflect a real-world point-to-multi-point connection over commercial central office equipment and transport networks. The network featured equipment based on 3GPP 5G foundational technologies over 28 GHz spectrum, although 5G standards are not expected to be finalised until early in 2018.
The pilot forms part of TELUS and Huawei’s joint 5G Living Lab facility in Vancouver, where the companies have been trialling next-generation technologies since 2015 in a live real-world environment. TELUS noted that last year the Living Lab demonstrated speeds of 30 Gbit/s in a controlled environment and implemented a heterogeneous network (HetNet) in downtown Vancouver.

While 5G wireless technology is expected to become commercially available in 2020, TELUS stated that customers living in the Vancouver area will have early access to the latest wireless technologies leveraging advances achieved at the 5G Living Lab.



  • Previously, in October last year TELUS and Huawei announced they had achieved wireless speeds of up to 29.3 Gbit/s at the 5G Living Lab in Vancouver. The companies also equipped a 4G LTE wireless site in Vancouver with the latest LTE-Advanced Pro technologies, enabling speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s, and planned to upgrade a further 5 sites.


IBM launches new microservices tools

IBM announced it is expanding its portfolio of developer tools with the new Microservice Builder, designed to make it easier for developers and organisations to create, deploy and manage apps built with microservices and part of its effort to simplify how developers manage their data and build applications.

IBM's Microservice Builder offering is designed to provide developers with the flexibility to deploy microservices onto on-premises systems or in any cloud environment.

IBM noted that microservices are being adopters as they allow developers to work on multiple parts of an app simultaneously without disrupting operations. The new set of capabilities offers developers an end-to-end solution so that they can quickly create these services and better integrate common functions for faster app deployment.

Microservice Builder helps developers with each stage of the development process from writing and testing code, to deploying and updating new features, and helps create and standardise common functions such as runtimes, resiliency testing, configuration and security, so developers do not have to handle these tasks separately. Teams can also build with specific policies and protocols to ensure all services work together as a complete solution.

Microservice Builder works in conjunction with existing tools available via IBM Cloud that are designed to support microservices development and deployment. It uses a Kubernetes-based container management platform to simplify deployment, running and management of applications in public or hybrid cloud environments.

Microservice Builder also works with Istio, an open platform IBM has built in conjunction with Google and Lyft to connect, manage and secure microservices. IBM plans to extend the integration between Microservice Builder and Istio as the Istio fabric develops.


IBM Microservice Builder uses programming languages and protocols including MicroProile and Java EE programming models, Maven, Jenkins and Docker and offers functions including: MicroProfile programming model, which extends Java EE; integrated devops pipeline; security features via OpenID Connect and JSON Web Token; production-ready runtime environment for cloud or on-premises systems through WebSphere Liberty.


Sandvine enhances its business intelligence

Sandvine, a provider of intelligent broadband network solutions for fixed and mobile operators, announced enhancements to its business intelligence solutions designed to enable faster, more flexible and intuitive reporting across an expanded range of key metrics.

The enhancements to Sandvine's business intelligence solutions include:

1.         A new columnar data warehouse that supports faster read and write and increased storage, enabling improved performance and functionality across the business intelligence portfolio, including network demographics and analytics and record generator for the export of data to service provider's existing big data solutions.

2.         A faster, simpler version of Network Demographics reporting product that notifies operations and engineering teams of network activity and performance via an intuitive, customisable interface.

3.         Native integration to big data systems and technologies, enabling service providers to integrate real-time measurements and observations into telemetry message buses such as Kafka, Flume and Apache NiFi without the need for offline data mediation processes.

Sandvine noted that service providers can use data from network-based business intelligence solutions for use cases including:

  • Real-time monitoring of the network to identify issues and opportunities in real-time, create new measurements and apply policies on the fly, such as for security, fraud or downtime events.

  • Ongoing, long-term analysis of key KPIs such as application and device usage trends and subscriber quality of experience metrics for video and web surfing.

  • In-depth views of developing network trends, such as adoption of connected home devices on the network, encrypted traffic levels or emerging fraud events, such as fully-loaded Kodi boxes and unlicensed IPTV, zero-rating fraud and OTT voice bypass.

Additionally, Sandvine's FlexPanels feature allows Network Analytics users to engage in free-form exploration of network data to analyse anomalous or interesting results. Network Analytics offers multiple fixed views of data, while FlexPanels enables analysis beyond these views to help users address key issues.

Calix's Gfast node and GigaPoint earn certification

Calix announced that the AXOS E5-16F Gfast Node and the 801F GigaPoint products have become amongst the first end-to-end solution to receive certification as part of the inaugural Gfast certification program from the Broadband Forum (BBF) and the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL).

Additionally, for multi-vendor Gfast interoperability the AXOS E5-16F has been certified when paired with CPE from Arris.

Calix stated that the certification marks a key milestone, demonstrating market readiness for certified end-to-end and multi-vendor deployment, and underpins the ability of service providers to leverage their existing copper infrastructure to deliver gigabit services to subscribers.

Calix noted that it has been involved in the development of the certification program at the BBF from inception, helping to establish the interoperability between Gfast vendors. Leveraging this base, Calix's AXOS-enabled anyPHY capabilities will help the company to adopt future enhancements to Gfast technology and quickly complete the certification process.

Calix stated that it has been experiencing significant service provider interest in Gfast. Calix is a leading vendor for Gfast deployments, currently counting over 60 service providers that are delivering AXOS Gfast services to subscribers, as well as what is believed to be North America's largest Gfast deployment with CenturyLink.



  • The Broadband Forum (BBF) launched the Gfast Council earlier in June with the goal of centralising and disseminating expertise and experience relating to the Gfast market and to support the deployment of Gfast technology.
  • The Gfast council also promotes the Gfast certification program, which announced the first certified, interoperable products, to help accelerate the availability of interoperable solutions and aid integration into service provider networks. The forum also announced the first six products to have completed the certification at the UNH-IOL in accordance with its IR-337 test specification. Initial products certified under the program were from ARRIS, Calix, Huawei, Metanoia, Nokia and Technicolor.

Friday, June 23, 2017

SK Telecom – setting the pace in the 5G race

SK Telecom, South Korea's leading mobile operator by market share, is one of the big players to watch on the global stage for early 5G commercialisation. In fact, a race is on with local rivals KT and LG Uplus to have the first 5G service running in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will be hosted in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February 2018 - only seven months away. Of course, 5G standards are not complete and won't be in time for the Winter Olympics, which means that network planners will be rushing to show off systems that have barely been tested. Sceptics will say that 5G demos at Pyeongchang are likely to be very limited in their footprint and perhaps only 4.5G rather than truly next gen. However, SK Telecom has a track record of being first with many networking technologies, extending back to its earliest days in CDMA.

Background

South Korea's mobile market is one of the most mature in the world. There are three dominant mobile operators: SK Telecom (approximately 49% share), KT and LG Uplus. Mobile penetration has exceeded 110% for years. The majority of users are on subscription-based plans, rather than prepaid, and churn is relatively light compared to other countries.

SK Telecom, part of the SK Group conglomerate (chaebol), was founded in 1984 and has a CDMA network architecture heritage. For its most recently reported fiscal quarter, SK Telecom posted revenue of KRW 4.234 trillion, operating income of KRW 410.5 billion, basically flat from a year earlier, and net income of KRW 583.5 billion, up 2.1 %YoY. As of the end of March 2017, SK Telecom had 21.65 million LTE subscribers, representing a 10.9% YoY growth, and taking up 72.6% of the company's total mobile subscriber base of 29.83 million. ARPU was KRW 34,927 ($31.04), down 2.9% YoY. SK Telecom also operates the Cyworld social network and virtual reality service as well as the Nate-on messaging application.

First in Carrier Aggregation

This week, SK Telecom announced the launch of LTE-A Pro service, which it described as the last stage of LTE evolution. The service footprint covers the main areas of six major cities: Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon and Ulsan. The initial LTE-A Pro service uses three-band/four-band carrier aggregation (CA) to deliver rates of up to 700 Mbit/s. When 4 x 4 MIMO is added, the service accelerates to 900 Mbit/s. SK Telecom plans to scale up LTE-A Pro further using five-band CA with 4 x 4 MIMO to achieve 1.2 Gbit/s peak rates. The first mobile device to support the LTE-A Pro service is Samsung’s Galaxy S8. An over-the-air firmware update will be needed to support the additional CA bands.

SK Telecom's spectrum resources include 10 MHz bandwidth in the 800 MHz band, 20 MHz bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz band, 10 MHz bandwidth in the 2.1 GHz band, 10 MHz + 20 MHz bandwidths in the 2.6 Ghz band.

Peak speeds of 700 Mbit/s and up on a mobile phone are certainly impressive. Actually, SK Telecom has been delivering a 500 Mbit/s mobile service since June 2016 using 256QAM combined with tri-band CA. Four years ago, in June 2013, SK Telecom launched the  first LTE-A service, which boasted download speeds of up to 150 Mbit/s, which is two times faster than its regular LTE service and 10 times faster than its 3G network. This was achieved using CA across two 10 MHz channels, along with the first Coordinated Multi Point (CoMP) implementation. Samsung's Galaxy S4 handset, which was the latest and greatest model in the summer of 2013, was the starring device for this milestone service launch as well.

Many world capitals today have yet to attain the 150 Mbit/s performance peaks offered in Seoul four years ago. But surprisingly, SK Telecom's LTE adoption rate amongst is 29.8 million mobile subscribers was only 72%, or 21.6 million users, as of March 2017. This means that even for a mobile operator with the most advanced network in the world, a significant percentage of users are laggards when it comes to updating to the latest service.

Recently, SK Telecom gained recognition for two other technology innovations: 5G mmWave Handover and a Green Scheduler with Lean Carrier algorithm. Both advances won Global Telecoms Business (GTB) Innovation Awards last month. The 5G mmWave handover technology, developed with Samsung, supports Gbit/s-level performance using multiple mmWave 5G base stations. The companies used the Ray Tracing method to calculate the optimal location of mmWave base stations. SK Telecom and Samsung also cited their work in 3D beamforming to resolve attenuation of radio signals in mmWave frequencies. The Green Scheduler with Lean Carrier technology, which was developed in partnership with Ericsson, enhances network energy efficiency while reducing signal interference.

With Ericsson, SK Telecom is also known to be working on a 5G connected car program. Earlier this year, SK Telecom, Ericsson and BMW Korea achieved a peak rate of 3.6 Gbit/s for a connected vehicle travelling at a speed of 170 km per hour. To pull this off, the three companies deployed the world largest mmWave 5G trial network using the 28 GHz band. Beamforming and beam tracking technologies were used to optimise the connection to the speeding car.

Leaping ahead in quantum technologies

To further illustrate its interest in pushing technological boundaries, SK Telecom signed separate research partnerships earlier this year with Nokia and Deutsche Telecom focused on quantum cryptography. The first partnership will match SK Telecom's Quantum Key Distribution System (QKD) with Nokia’s next-generation optical transport system. The first prototype was shown at Mobile World Congress in February.

Nokia and SK Telecom are also collaborating on a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG), which is seen a key technology for applying quantum cryptography technologies to IoT devices. SK Telecom has developed what it claims to be the world’s smallest 5 x 5 mm CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) based all-in-one, single silicon (ASIC) for providing non-deterministic true random numbers on demand from quantum-shot noise. The plan is to commercialise the technology to enable secure IoT.

SK Telecom's Quantum Alliance with Deutsche Telekom is more open. At this stage, the agreement aims to the channels of communications open between carriers and vendors when it comes to quantum technologies. The official statement from the company, by, Cha In-hyok, EVP and head of IoT business division, states:

    “Committed to building a quantum-safe future, SK Telecom has been actively developing quantum cryptography technologies since 2011. SK Telecom believes that the co-establishment of the Quantum Alliance with Deutsche Telekom will bring us closer to realizing this goal, while also creating new valuable business opportunities in areas including quantum-safe communications, the Internet of Things and big data. It will work together to accelerate the growth of quantum-based cybersecurity technologies and its ecosystem".


See also