Friday, August 4, 2017

T-Mobile US continues market disruption

T-Mobile US delivered record service revenues, in Q2, along with strong net income, 1.3 million customer net additions and a record low churn. T-Mobile, which is the third largest wireless carrier in the United States, is clearly gaining post-paid customers at the expense of AT&T and Verizon. Moreover, T-Mobile takes credit for having pushed its two larger competitors into offering unlimited data plans. Deutsche Telekom (DT), the majority shareholder in TMUS, should be pleased. DT's financial report is due August 3rd.

Customer acquisition trends at T-Mobile US

Although T-Mobile boasts about adding more than a million mobile subscribers for 17 consecutive quarters, and more than its rivals, the absolute number of mobile subscribers in the U.S. is quite steady. It is a mature and fully saturated market. Customers jump from one carrier to the next when there is a major promotion, such as T-Mobile's 2-for-1 offer for Samsung's new Galaxy S8 during June. There are also people moving from pre-paid to post-paid plans, and vice versa. T-Mobile's total number of customers decreased slightly from Q1 and was 2.178 million more than a year earlier. Here are the figures:

6 months ended
June 30th
(in thousands, except churn)
Q2 2017

Q1 2017

Q2 2016

Total net customer additions
Branded postpaid net customer additions
Branded postpaid phone net customer additions
Branded prepaid net customer additions
Total customers, end of period (1)
Branded postpaid phone churn

•   Another factor contributing to the strong customer additions for T-Mobile is its physical retail push. The company opened 1,000 T-Mobile and 1,100 MetroPCS stores during the first half of the year. T-Mobile says it now aims to open 3,000 stores during 2017.

Financial trends for Q2

Overall revenue for T-Mobile reached $10.2 billion, up 10% year over year. Service revenue increased 8% in Q2 to a quarterly record-high of $7.4 billion, while many other telecom sectors, especially in mature markets, are flat or experiencing revenue growth in the 1-3% range. The T-Mobile figures look strong in that comparison. T-Mobile believes that its revenue growth performance will outpace its rivals.

Branded postpaid phone ARPU was $47.01 in Q2, essentially flat from Q2 2016. The company says that branded post-paid phone ARPU in full-year 2017 will be generally stable compared to full-year 2016, with some quarterly variations driven by the actual migrations to T-Mobile ONE rate plans. As the biggest promoter of unlimited voice/text/data plans, T-Mobile is largely responsible for this environment of flat ARPU and rising data traffic. With everything included on one bill, it is likely the fixed ARPU number will become a constant for the U.S. market.

Branded prepaid ARPU was a record-high $38.65 in Q2 2017, up 2.1% from Q2 2016, primarily due to the continued growth of MetroPCS customers. T-Mobile usually plays the role of the aggressor in pricing wars. In the pre-paid space, however, the company seems to have found its bottom line, saying it has made a deliberate decision not to respond to irrational offers in the marketplace from some of our competitors.

T-Mobile continues to generate higher net income and earnings per share. Net income increased 158% year-over-year in Q2 2017 to a strong $581 million, while net income as a percentage of service revenue was 8% in Q2 2017, up from 3% in Q2 2016. Meanwhile, diluted earnings per share (EPS) increased 168% year-over-year in Q2 2017 to $0.67.

John Legere, T-Mobile’s outspoken president and CEO, commented:

-    "We just delivered a quarter with record service revenue, record-low churn, strong net income and record Adjusted EBITDA - all while leading the industry in post-paid phone growth. On top of that, our network just keeps getting better and faster while the Duopoly's networks seem to be choking after we forced them to go unlimited".

Network update

T-Mobile's 700 MHz deployment is now essentially complete, with live coverage in 575 market areas covering 271 million people. The next big project is the 600 MHz rollout.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

IBM sees optimism for cloud and AI despite its weaker financials

IBM recently reported that its cloud revenues continue to rise, however not at the rate of its larger public cloud competitors and not at the pace that investors have come to expect. The company's Q2 financial report posted in late July revealed that that cloud revenues grew 17% in the quarter, led by as-a-service offerings, which were up 32% year-to-year.

Total cloud revenue was $15.1 billion for the last 12 months and XaaS revenue was $8.8 billion at an annual exit run rate in the quarter, up 30% year to year (up 32% adjusting for currency). Revenue from analytics increased 4% (up 6% adjusting for currency), revenue from mobile increased 27% (up 29% adjusting for currency) and revenue from security increased 4% (up 5% adjusting for currency).

These growth areas were offset by continued declines in legacy revenue, leading to an overall decline in revenue for the company compared to the same period a year earlier and marking the 21st consecutive quarter of decline for the company. Overall, Q2 revenue was down 4.7% to $19.3 billion compared to a year ago.

Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO, said:

-    "In the second quarter, we strengthened our position as the enterprise cloud leader and added more of the world's leading companies to the IBM Cloud… it continues to innovate, adding regtech capabilities to its portfolio of Watson offerings; developing solutions based on emerging technologies such as Blockchain; and reinventing the IBM mainframe by enabling clients to encrypt all data, all the time".

Progress in cloud services

IBM's optimism, despite the sliding sales and slower than expect growth in cloud services, perhaps can be traced to its early and strategic entrance into the nascent market for artificial intelligence, a string of recent high-profile wins for cloud services, and a vast pace of innovation in new services. Some of IBM's major new customer engagements for Q2 included:

·         Lloyds Banking Group, which signed a 10-year cloud services agreement with IBM. Under the contract, IBM will transform Lloyd’s from branch structures to digital channels, embracing the API economy without compromising their existing systems and focusing on end-to-end cost reductions.

·         American Airlines, which has agreed to use IBM Cloud as the foundation for a massive cloud transformation. The IBM Cloud will host the airline’s website,, its customer-facing application, airport kiosks and critical enterprise workloads.

·         BMW - IBM became a pilot partner of BMW Car Data - which will leverage IBM Cloud and IBM Watson IoT - using cognitive and data analytics services to enable third parties, such as automotive repair shops or insurance companies, to develop entirely new customer experiences.

·         Bombardier, which announced it is extending its long-term partnership with IBM through a new six-year deal valued at approximately $700 million. The contract includes IBM Services and IBM Cloud management of Bombardier’s worldwide IT infrastructure and operations. The services management agreement spans 47 countries and represents one of IBM’s largest cloud partnerships in Canada.

·         Blockchain on the IBM Cloud - a consortium of seven large European banks selected IBM to build and host a new trade finance platform that will be based on IBM Blockchain and run on the IBM Cloud.

·         Danske Bank, which recently selected IBM for new 10-year IT infrastructure service transformation project. The IBM Services Platform with Watson provides artificial intelligence capabilities. IBM said its platform enables other automation tools to do more than execute simple instructions, they can now run diagnostics and execute actions to address the root causes of issues. Unstructured e-mails and chats can be read in natural language and resulting insights used to resolve problems without manual intervention.

Expanding the fleet of IBM Cloud Data Centers

IBM has announced the opening of four new Cloud Data Centers, two in the UK (London), one is in Australia (Sydney) and one in the U.S. (San Jose). This brings the total number of IBM Cloud Data Centers to 60 across 19 countries. One notable difference from Google’s hyperscale data centre strategy is that IBM operates smaller facilities but has many more. This helps address data sovereignty requirements in many countries as well as network latency issues.

Offering NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs as-a-service

NVIDIA and IBM announced that IBM it is the first major global cloud provider to make the NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPU accelerator available on the cloud, geared towards speeding AI workloads. IBM also achieved new performance benchmarks with the P100 GPU accelerator on the IBM cloud, reducing deep learning training time by up to 65% compared to NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPU.

Direct Cloud Connectivity

In April, Comcast Business announced that it was providing its customers with direct, dedicated links to IBM Cloud’s global network of data centres.

Progress with IBM Watson

Ever since the launch of Watson in 2011, it has been clear that IBM was on the path to artificial intelligence. Watson is its crown jewel and its key point for differentiation. IBM now offers many examples of how Watson can be a transformative decision maker for many industry verticals. IBM's television commercials, which have been heavily promoted in U.S. over the past several months, depict Watson in many industries, from wine vineyards to telemedicine. In the entertainment space, 20th Century Fox is now working with IBM Watson to better understand what is happening in videos. Automatic scene detection lets the cognitive platform analyse how the plot of a film progresses in comparison to other works of the same genre which have measured outcomes with real audiences. This lets Watson predict how a movie will be received, as well to automatically create a trailer.

Dan Pitt, MEF: Perspective on Open Source

The industry is looking very closely at open source software and open source hardware for a number of reasons, says Dan Pitt, MEF, Senior Vice President. Open source shares the development costs in a way that provides everyone with access to the same code base. MEF builds a larger framework that incorporates components that could be built with open source or closed source software elements, shows how you can create end-to-end services with them, and defines LSO APIs that MEF members can instantiate with open source software. MEF currently is developing Software Development Kits (SDKs) for the LSO APIs.

See video:

Arista's Q2 Revenue Jumps to $405mn, up 51% YoY

Arista Networks reports stronger than expected results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2017.

Revenue rose to $405.2 million, an increase of 20.8% compared to the first quarter of 2017, and an increase of 50.8% from the second quarter of 2016. GAAP gross margin was 64.1%, compared to GAAP gross margin of 63.9% in the first quarter of 2017 and 63.8% in the second quarter of 2016. GAAP net income was $102.7 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $38.9 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2016.

"As we complete our third anniversary of becoming a public company, I am pleased with our record results in Q2 2017,” stated Jayshree Ullal, Arista President and CEO. “Our substantial financial performance, customer success and industry recognition has accelerated the migration to mainstream cloud networking.”

Full House Again at the FCC

The U.S. Senate approved the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr to serve as FCC Commissioners. This restores the FCC as a five-person body.

Jessica Rosenworcel previously served as FCC Commissioner under the Obama administration since 2011 and was renominated in 2015 but the Senate failed to renew her posting during the 2016 election cycle. Rosenworcel replaced long-term FCC Commissioner Michael Copps when his term ended in December 2011. She previously was the Senior Communications Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Before that, she worked for Senator Jay Rockefeller IV, and at the FCC from 1999 to 2007, serving as Legal Advisor and then Senior Legal Advisor to Commissioner Michael J. Copps (2003-2007), Legal Counsel to the Bureau Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau (2002-2003), and as an Attorney-Advisor in the Policy Division of the Common Carrier Bureau (1999-2002). She holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Brendan Carr is currently the General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, where he serves as the chief legal advisor to the Commission and FCC staff. Previously, he was lead advisor to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai on wireless, public safety, and international issues.  Carr has also worked as an attorney at Wiley Rein LLP. He hold an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and a J.D. from Catholic University.

Infinera Posts Q2 Revenue of $177mn

Infinera reported Q2 revenue of $176.8 million compared to $175.5 million in the first quarter of 2017 and $258.8 million in the second quarter of 2016. GAAP gross margin for the quarter was 36.7% compared to 36.5% in the first quarter of 2017 and 47.8% in the second quarter of 2016. GAAP operating margin for the quarter was (22.9)% compared to (21.6)% in the first quarter of 2017 and 6.2% in the second quarter of 2016.

GAAP net loss for the quarter was $(42.8) million, or $(0.29) per share, compared to a net loss of $(40.5) million, or $(0.28) per share, in the first quarter of 2017, and net income of $11.5 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2016.

“Highlighted by delivery of ICE4 products to market, I was pleased with our performance in the second quarter,” said Tom Fallon, Infinera's Chief Executive Officer. “We delivered the Cloud Xpress 2 to three customers and had early deployments of the XT-3300. As we continue to deliver on a suite of new products over the upcoming quarters, I believe we are well positioned to grow market share and to gradually improve our financial performance.”

Oclaro reports Q4 revenue of $149.38m, up 19.3% yr/yr

Oclaro reported financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2017, ended July 1, 2017, as follows:

1.  Revenue for the fourth quarter of $149.38 million, down 7.9% compared with $162.18 million for the third quarter and up 19.3% from $125.18 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.

2.  Gross income for the fourth quarter of $61.33 million, down 8.2% compared with $66.79 million for the third quarter and up 52.6% from $40.18 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.

3.  R&D expenditure for the fourth quarter of $15.75 million, up 8.8% compared with $14.48 million for the third quarter and up 24.3% from $12.67 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.

4.  SG&A expenditure for the fourth quarter of $15.58 million, up 5.7% compared with $14.74 million for the third quarter and up 8.2% from $14.40 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.

5.  Total operating expenditure for the fourth quarter of $31.44 million, up 8.2% compared with $29.05 million for the third quarter and up 14.9% from $27.37 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.

6.  On a GAAP basis, a net income for the fourth quarter of $56.03 million, compared with a net income of $38.21 million for the third quarter and a net income of $11.84 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.

On a non-GAAP basis, a net income for the fourth quarter of $33.93 million, compared with a net income of $39.89 million for the third quarter and a net income of $14.41 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.

7.  Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash as of July 1, 2017 $219.99 million, versus $214.78 million as at April 1, 2017 and $96.64 million as at July 2, 2016.

Additional results and notes

For the full year 2017 Oclaro reported revenue of $600.97 million, compared with $407.91 million in 2016, and a net income of $127.86 million, versus net income of $8.58 million for the prior year.

Oclaro stated that, as expected, QSFP28 sales in the fourth quarter doubled sequentially, while QSFP28 and ACO products accounted for over 40% of total sales, with demand expected to be strong in fiscal year 2018 driven by growth in the metro and data centre markets. 100 Gbit/s and beyond sales were $121 million in the fourth quarter and represented 81% of total sales. Sales of client-side CFP products declined by 25% and 40 Gbit/s and below product sales decreased by over 20%.
In the fourth quarter, Oclaro's top four customers represented 55% of total revenue, versus 68% in the second quarter. The top four customers contributed 17%, 13% and 12% of sales.. For fiscal year 2017 the top customers were Cisco with 18%, ZTE 18%, Huawei with 15% and Nokia 12%.

Oclaro also announced the appointment of Ian Small, most recently chief data officer at Telefónica, to its board of directors, effective September 1, 2017. On July 27th, Oclaro increased the size of the board from seven to eight members.


For the first quarter, Oclaro expects revenue of between $151 and $159 million, representing a sequential increase of 3.8% at the midpoint.

Verizon to acquire WOW! for $225m for Chicago Fiber Network

WideOpenWest (WOW!), a provider of Internet, cable TV and voice services based in Englewood, Colorado, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell a portion of its fibre network in its Chicago market to a subsidiary of Verizon for $225 million in cash.

In addition, WOW! and Verizon will enter into a new agreement pursuant to which WOW! will complete the build-out of the network in exchange for a payment of approximately $50 million (WOW!'s estimated cost for completion of the network build-out), payable as the remaining network elements are completed. The network, expected to be completed in the second half of 2018, will provide backhaul services to over 500 macro-cell wireless sites and more than 500 small-cell sites.

Through the agreement, Verizon will gain a high-capacity fibre network designed to support multi-use services. The company noted that the network already connects Verizon Wireless macro towers and small cells, and will reduce its leasing costs via fibre connectivity to more than 500 macro-cell wireless sites and 500 small-cell wireless sites.

WOW! noted that the transaction is subject to receipt of various consents and approvals, as well as other customary closing conditions, and is expected to close early in the first quarter of next year. WOW! stated that it plans to use a portion of the proceeds from the transaction to pay-down existing debt balances.

Commenting on the transaction, Hans Vestberg, Verizon president of Network and Technology, said, "Following recent agreements with Corning, Prysmian and Straight Path, this is another example of Verizon's commitment to invest in multi-use fibre to provide customers with next-generation broadband services, such as smart cities and 5G… this acquisition will also help create comprehensive digital solutions for small- and medium-business and enterprise customers".

MRV reports Q2 revenue of $19.72m, down 6.8% Q/Q

MRV Communications reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017 as follows:

1.         Revenue for the second quarter of 2017 of $19.72 million, down 6.8% compared with $21.17 million in the preceding first quarter and down 8.6% versus $21.58 million in the prior year second quarter.

2.         Gross profit for the second quarter of $10.16 million, down 5.0% compared with $10.70 million in the preceding first quarter and up 1.2% versus $10.04 million in the prior year second quarter.

3.         R&D expenditure for the second quarter of $4.61 million, down 2.5% compared with $4.73 million in the preceding first quarter and down 10.0% versus $5.12 million in the prior year second quarter.

4.         SG&A expenditure for the second quarter of $7.45 million, up 10.0% compared with $6,77 million in the preceding first quarter and up 6.3% versus $7.01 million in the prior year second quarter.

5.         Total operating expenditure for the second quarter of $12.06 million, up 4.9% compared with $11.50 million in the preceding first quarter and down 0.6% versus $12.13 million in the prior year second quarter.

6.         On a GAAP basis, net loss for the second quarter of $2.10 million, compared with a net loss of $1.04 million in the preceding first quarter and a net loss of $2.02 million in the prior year second quarter.

On a non-GAAP basis, net loss for the second quarter of $0.44 million, compared with a net loss of $0.52 million in the preceding first quarter and a net loss of $1.31 million in the prior year second quarter.

7.         Cash and cash equivalents as of June 30, 2017 of $24.33 million, compared with $21.41 million as at March 31, 2017 and compared with $25.12 million as at December 31, 2016.

Additional results and notes

MRV noted that on July 2, 2017 it entered into a merger agreement with ADVA NA Holdings and its subsidiary Golden Acquisition (Merger Sub). Under the merger agreement Merger Sub was to commence a cash tender offer to purchase all issued and outstanding shares of MRV for $10.00 per share. On completion of the offer Merger Sub will merge with and into the company, with MRV continuing as the surviving corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of ADVA.

On July 17th, the offer commenced as per the agreement and is currently scheduled to expire at midnight, August 11, 2017.

CESNET of Czech Republic deploys Coriant Groove

Coriant announced that the CESNET, provider of network infrastructure for the R&E sector in the Czech Republic, has tested the Coriant Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform combined with the CESNET-developed Czech Light family of advanced optical devices for a trial of high-capacity coherent optical transmission in its nationwide e-infrastructure.

As part of CESNET's planned deployment and ongoing exploration of new technologies, Coriant and CESNET are collaborating to demonstrate bi-directional single lambda 200 Gbit/s transmission in a multi-site data centre interconnect (DCI) application.

CESNET develops and operates the Czech Republic's national e-infrastructure that is designed to support the science, research and education communities. The nationwide broadband network connects universities and research institutions located in all of the country's major cities and is designed to provide a reliable foundation for high-performance computer networks, computational grids, data storage and transfer and collaborative working environments.

The Coriant Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform is an advanced 1 RU modular, open transport solution for cloud and data centre networks that can be configured both as a muxponder terminal solution and as an open line system (OLS) optical layer solution. Targeting interconnectivity applications, the disaggregated Groove G30 is designed to deliver high density and flexibility with low power consumption.

The CESNET Association, founded by Czech universities and the Academy of Sciences, engages in research and development in ICT and is responsible for building and developing the CESNET national e-infrastructure for research and education. CESNET also represents the Czech Republic in international projects, notably the pan-European GÉANT network project and grid projects (

  • In June, CESNET announced it had been awarded a U.S. patent for a device in the Czech Light family of advanced photonic solutions for transmission and processing of optical signals.
  • The U.S, Patent and Trademark Office has registered patent No. 9,654,215, 'Spectrally flexible device for bidirectional transmissions of optical signals sensitive to timing'. The patented device enables long-distance transmission of accurate and stable optical signals over hundreds or thousands of kilometres utilising spectral bands that are not currently in use in telecommunications fibres.
  • CESNET noted that it is seeking entities interested in manufacturing and deploying the Czech Light family of devices.

Zayo provides Peak 10 customers with CloudLink service

Zayo Group announced that it is to begin providing customers of Peak 10, a provider of hybrid IT infrastructure, with access to its CloudLink services under a new agreement.

CloudLink services provide an on-ramp to Zayo's extensive fibre network, which connects thousands of on-net facilities including data centres and public cloud providers, enabling global connectivity to major cloud services providers.

Under the agreement, Zayo will initially offer CloudLink in seven Peak 10 data centres, and will work with Peak 10 to expand further across the company's expanding portfolio. The cloud connectivity service provides dedicated bandwidth options and enables secure connectivity directly to major public cloud providers. Customers can opt to use traditional, aggregated bandwidth or FlexConnect, Zayo's usage-based Ethernet solution.

Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Peak 10 operates 16 data centres in key U.S. markets and serves a range of customers in the U.S. and internationally. With an operational footprint of more than 890,000 sq feet, Peak 10 connects multiple data centres to an ecosystem of solutions, delivering IT business communications and enabling customers to connect globally.

* Separately, Zayo recently announced that a global cloud service provider had selected it to provide a wavelength solution to enable full diversity for a portion of its backbone network. Zayo will provide three 100 Gbit/s wavelengths on four routes connecting the cloud providers' data centres in four key markets across the U.S. The route leverages Zayo's existing network, including infrastructure acquired from Electric Lightwave, with capital expenditure required only for equipment.

CloudVelox enhances One Hybrid Cloud

CloudVelox, a provider of cloud automation and orchestration software, announced release 5.0 of its One Hybrid Cloud software with new capabilities to enable automated mass migrations to data centres with VMware virtualised environments.

With the new release, One Hybrid Cloud enables three new use cases for enterprise customers with the flexibility to migrate workloads from any source to data centre environments including between data centres (DC to DC), rack to rack (intra-data centre) and migrate or repatriate workloads from the cloud to the data centre (cloud to DC).

Previously, CloudVelox offered capabilities including automated Application Blueprinting and automated network customisation to enable automated migration and recovery from the data centre to the cloud. The company noted that the new use cases deliver on its vision of enabling IT executives and partners manage a boundary-less data centre by enabling a dynamic pool of resources without boundaries and without lock-in.

CloudVelox noted that enterprise IT executives have concerns relating to their applications, including which applications run where, moving a workload to the correct operating environment/destination, and avoiding lock-in. To help address these issues, CloudVelox offers a software solution providing the flexibility to shift any workload in and out of data centres and clouds to help enable the most efficient running of a workload without re-factoring or re-engineering the application.

Using CloudVelox's One Hybrid Cloud 5.0 software, a single solution can automate the migration of workloads/applications from multiple sources (physical, virtual, public, private or hybrid cloud) to any destination (virtual, public, private or hybrid cloud), enabling new use cases utilising its patented Automated Application Blueprinting technology.

NeoPhotonics Posts Q2 Revenue of $73 Million

NeoPhotonics reported Q2 revenue of $73.2 million, up $1.5 million, or 2%, from the prior quarter, but down from $99 million for the same period last year. Gross margin was 22.9%, down from 25.8% in the prior quarter
Non-GAAP Gross margin was 23.9%, down from 26.3% in the prior quarter. The was a net loss of $9.3 million, an improvement from a net loss of $11.5 million in the prior quarter.

"We are pleased to report revenue of $73.2 million at the upper end of our previously-announced outlook range and representing sequential growth from the first quarter, including modest sequential growth in China despite an inventory overhang,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. “While the near term outlook in China isn’t certain, we see positive indicators there for the longer-term and we see strong current demand in North America. We anticipate robust growth in the medium and long term driven by metro, data center interconnect, a normalized China market and the emergence of 400G and above,” concluded Mr. Jenks.

Evolve IP acquires Mtel, a Dutch cloud company

Evolve IP, describing itself as the Cloud Strategy Company, announced that it has acquired Mtel, a European cloud communications solutions provider based in the Netherlands, as part of the company's ongoing growth strategy and to provide an increased presence in Europe.

Evolve IP noted that it shares a core market differentiator with Mtel in terms of delivering tailored contact centre solutions and custom integration designed to meet the specific needs of a customer's business. Mtel also offers a physical presence and data centres in Europe, complementing Evolve IP's existing facilities in the UK, Israel and Australia. In addition, Mtel has significant local technical, support, development and sales and marketing resources in the region.

Evolve IP provides cloud solutions to more than 1,500 enterprises and over 210,000 end users in sectors including healthcare, finance, legal, insurance, construction, technology and retail. Evolve IP's OneCloud strategy enables companies to migrate multiple integrated cloud computing and cloud communications services onto a single, unified platform that encompasses disaster recovery, contact centre, IP phone systems/unified communications, virtual desktops and IaaS.

Mtel offers a portfolio of cloud-hosted ICT/telephone services for managing and monitoring customer contact centres. Its solutions are delivered via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model designed to integrate with existing ICT infrastructure. Mtel's technology is based on multi-tenant software from major suppliers that allows customised configurations to address specific business needs.

  • In May, Evolve IP announced that it had acquired Azzaron, a workspace-a- a-service provider located in Mesa, Arizona, marking its 10th acquisition. The purchase was part of the company's ongoing growth strategy, providing an increased presence in the American southwest region and the veterinary, construction and legal vertical markets. Azzaron provides cloud computing solutions including desktop-as-a-service (DaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and a secure file sharing and collaboration service.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Google picks up the pace in cloud computing

When it comes to the cloud, Google certainly isn't taking a summer holiday. Over the past weeks there have been a string of cloud related developments from Google showing that is very focused, delivering innovative services and perhaps narrowing the considerable market share gap between itself and rivals IBM, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. There is a new Google cloud data centre in London, a new data transfer service, a new transfer appliance and a new offering for computational drug discovery. And this week came word from Bloomberg that Google is gearing up to launch its first quantum computing cloud services. While the company declined to comment directly about the Bloomberg story it is understood that quantum computing is an area of keen interest for Google.

New London data centre

Customers of Google Cloud Platform (GCP) can use the new region in London (europe-west2) to run applications. Google noted that London is its tenth region, joining the existing European region in Belgium. Future European regions include Frankfurt, the Netherlands and Finland. Google also stated that it is working diligently to address EU data protection requirements. Most recently, Google announced a commitment to GDPR compliance across GCP.

Introducing Google Transfer Appliance

This is a pre-configured solution that offers up to 480TB in 4U or 100TB in 2U of raw data capacity in a single rackmount device. Essentially, it is high-capacity storage server that a customer can install in a corporate data centre. Once the server is full, the customer simply ships the appliance back to Google for transferring the data to Google Cloud Storage. It offers a capacity of up to one-petabyte compressed.

The Google Transfer Appliance is a very practical solution even when massive bandwidth connections are available at both ends. For instance, for customers fortunate enough to possess a 10 Gbit/s connection, a 100TB data store would still take 30 hours to transfer electronically. A 1PB data library would take over 12 days using the same10 Gbit/s connection, and that is assuming no drops in connectivity performance. Google is now offering a 100TB model priced at $300, plus shipping via FedEx (approximately $500) and a 480TB model is priced at $1800, plus shipping (approximately $900). Amazon offers a similar Snowball Edge data migration appliance for migrating large volumes of data to its cloud the old-fashioned way.

Partnership for computational medicine

Under a partnership with Boston -based Silicon Therapeutics, Google recently deployed its INSITE Screening platform on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to analyse over 10 million commercially available molecular compounds as potential starting materials for next-generation medicines. In one week, it performed over 500 million docking computations to evaluate how a protein responds to a given molecule. Each computation involved a docking program that predicted the preferred orientation of a small molecule to a protein and the associated energetics so it could assess whether it will bind and alter the function of the target protein.

With a combination of Google Compute Engine standard and Preemptible VMs, the partners used up to 16,000 cores, for a total of 3 million core-hours and a cost of about $30,000. Google noted that a final stage of the calculations delivered all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on the top 1,000 molecules to determine which ones to purchase and experimentally assay for activity.

Pushing ahead with Kubernetes

The recent open source release of Kubernetes 1.7 is now available on Container Engine, Google Cloud Platform’s (GCP) managed container service. The end result is better workload isolation within a cluster, which is a frequently requested security feature in Kubernetes. Google also announced that its Container Engine, which saw more than 10x growth last year, is now available from the following GCP regions:

•   Sydney (australia-southeast1).

•   Singapore (asia-southeast1).

•   Oregon (us-west1).

•   London (europe-west2).

Container engine clusters are already up and running at locations from Iowa to Belgium and Taiwan.

New strategic partnership with Nutanix

Google has formed a strategic partnership with Nutanix to help remove friction from hybrid cloud deployments for enterprises.

Reimagining virtual public clouds at global scale

Integrating cloud resources from different areas of the world no longer requires negotiating and installing a VPN solution from one or more service providers. Google can do it for you using its own global backbone. VPC is private, and with Google VPC customers can get private access to Google services such as storage, big data, analytics or machine learning, without having to give the service a public IP address. Global VPCs are divided into regional subnets that use Google’s private backbone to communicate as needed.

VPC, formerly known as GCP Virtual Networks, offers a privately administered space within Google Cloud Platform (GCP). This means global connectivity across locations and regions, and the elimination of silos across projects and teams.

Further information on Google Cloud Platform is available at the blog here:

AT&T Tops U.S. Fiber Lit Buildings LEADERBOARD

AT&T topped the newly released U.S. Fiber Lit Buildings LEADERBOARD from  Vertical Systems Group based on results for year-end 2016.

Eleven companies attained a position on the 2016 U.S. Fiber Lit Buildings LEADERBOARD as follows (in rank order by number of fiber lit buildings): AT&T, Verizon, Spectrum Enterprise, CenturyLink, Comcast, Level 3, Cox, Lightower, Zayo, Altice USA and Frontier.

Retail and wholesale fiber providers with 10,000 or more on-net fiber lit commercial buildings in the U.S. qualify for this new benchmark.

“On-net fiber lit buildings are valued strategic assets that give retail and wholesale providers a competitive edge in profitably delivering services to business customers. A major benefit of a fiber lit building is ready connectivity with provisioning through service orchestration, without the construction cost and extensive lead time required to light a building,” said Rosemary Cochran, principal at Vertical Systems Group. “These dynamics are driving this year’s acquisitions among fiber providers that will significantly impact the U.S. fiber landscape. Eighteen of the twenty-eight Fiber LEADERBOARD and Challenge Tier companies have fiber-related transactions just completed or pending.”

The Challenge Tier of providers includes companies with lit fiber connections to between 2,000 and 9,999 U.S. commercial buildings. Seventeen companies qualified for the 2016 Fiber Lit Buildings Challenge Tier as follows (in alphabetical order): Cincinnati Bell, Cleareon, Cogent, Consolidated Communications, Electric Lightwave, Fairpoint, FiberLight, FiberNet Direct, FirstLight, IFN, Lumos, Southern Light, Sunesys, Unite Private Networks, Uniti Fiber, Windstream and XO.

MEF Drives SD-WAN Managed Services

MEF is expanding from Carrier Ethernet to many new types of services, including SD-WAN managed services.  Ralph Santitoro, Distinguished Fellow, MEF, discusses a new white paper from MEF that introduces SD-WAN functions, terminology, and service components; explains how the components fit within the LSO Reference Architecture; and provides SD-WAN managed services use cases.  Ralph says that many of MEF’s successful programs related to Carrier Ethernet will be replicated with SD-WAN.

Recorded at the MEF Annual Members' Meeting in Toronto.

See video:

Nokia to expand development of 5G FIRST

Nokia announced that it is broadening its focus into multiple areas of early 5G mobility use cases, including enhanced mobile broadband and ultra-reliable, ultra-low latency communications.

As part of this initiative, Nokia will seek to accelerate 3GPP industry standardisation while also building on early customer experiences through its Nokia 5G FIRST end-to-end solution, which was launched in February this year at Mobile World Congress.

Nokia noted that with interest in 5G mobility applications already building at operators, notably in markets including the U.S., China, Japan and South Korea, it will implement early 5G specifications by enhancing 5G FIRST with the 3GPP 5G Phase I protocol. This 5G NR (new radio) air interface standard, which is due to be released in early 2018, is designed to enable support for a variety of 5G devices and services.

Nokia will continue to develop and expand 5G FIRST as an end-to-end solution, designed to encourage the broader market adoption of 5G, for both mobility and fixed applications, as well as testing of multiple 5G use cases. Nokia stated that it will build on field experience already gained with its 5G FIRST solution, which has provided insights in areas including:

  • The use of radio propagation in higher frequencies.
  • Massive MIMO and beamforming.
  • Integration with existing networks versus standalone implementations.
  • The use of small cells in 5G deployments.
  • The importance of cloud native core and cloud RAN technologies.
The company noted that, along with other key elements of 3GPP-based 5G implementation, these features will enable it to extend the scope of interoperability testing with a range of devices. Nokia will also continue to apply advanced technologies such as chipset and radio frequency innovations as part of its end-to-end 5G strategy.

The 5G FIRST solution incorporates technology including the multi-access Nokia Cloud Packet Core and Shared Data Layer as part of a cloud-native core architecture designed to deliver the flexibility, scalability and performance operators require to quickly and cost-effectively deliver 5G services.

In addition, a comprehensive 'anyhaul' mobile transport portfolio from Nokia incorporates microwave, IP, optical and fixed access technologies designed to address the capacity, reliability and latency requirements of 5G networks.

Exaring deploys Juniper for delivery of IPTV

Juniper Networks announced that Exaring, a digital service provider based in Germany, has deployed its solutions to create a scalable and fully-automated infrastructure to support delivery of next generation, IP-based TV services.

Exaring's platform offers German households broadcast TV services in the cloud via a smart device. The company operates an extensive fibre infrastructure that is used exclusively for the transmission of IP entertainment services, combining high-definition TV content with intuitive apps and the flexibility of the web. Exaring has also created its own TV platform,

The flexible and automated network architecture created by Juniper's technology is designed to enable Exaring to integrate and deploy new services faster and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), as well as meet increasing demand for its IP TV playout platform. The automated solution also allows the company to monitor and dynamically adjust network performance based on data analysis.

For the deployment, Juniper supplied its QFX Series switching technology to support the automated delivery of TV services, including HD and 4K (ultra HD) video, to end-users utilising customers' existing Internet connections and without the need for additional installations.

Exaring's services run in a cloud environment created by the QFX switches, high capacity, high-density switching platforms featuring an open architecture that are designed to serve as universal building blocks for automated, programmable fabric architectures.

Specifically Exaring has deployed the Juniper QFX10000 at its data centre edge, which offers IPv4 and IPv6 peering functionality and enables low latency transport, together with Juniper's ASIC functionality, including Virtual output Queueing (VoQ) technology. The new network infrastructure runs on the Junos OS operating system, allowing centralised management to help streamline and simplify network operations, and integration into Exaring's existing orchestration and automation infrastructure.

  • * Earlier this year, ADVA Optical Networking announced that Exaring had deployed its technology to cerate what was claimed to be Germany's first integrated platform for the delivery of IP entertainment services. Based on the ADVA FSP 3000 solution, Exaring's upgraded national 100 Gbit/s backbone was designed to transmit on-demand TV and gaming services to approximately 23 million households across the country.

Hyperoptic secures GBP 100m to accelerate fibre rollout

Hyperoptic, a major residential gigabit broadband provider in the UK, announced that it has secured an additional GBP 100 million in funding to accelerate the build of its full-fibre network.

The new funding is being provided by a consortium of four major European banks, BNP Paribas, ING, RBS and Dutch investment bank NIBC, with LionTree Advisors acting as exclusive financial advisor to Hyperoptic.

Hyperoptic stated that its fibre-based broadband service is currently available across 28 cities and towns in the UK, and over the past six years it has expanded its network five-fold to pass approximately 350,000 homes and business units. The new funding will support Hyperoptic's plan to expand its infrastructure a further six-fold with the aim of making its hyperfast broadband service available to two million homes by 2022 and five million by 2025.

In conjunction with the new funding, Hyperoptic is also evolving its business model to deliver its services to sites with as few as 25 units and based upon the demand for its services and the proximity of its fibre network to serve smaller sites.

Hyperoptic operates its own dedicated FTTP network that enables it to offer symmetrical gigabit broadband services. It has expanded its network reach by over 100% in each of the last three years and has installed more than 20,000 km of dedicated cable.

Hyperoptic noted that it has previously received funding of over GBP 75 million, and that in 2016 the European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed to provide GBP 21 million to support its rollout and addressable market expansion. Previously, in 2013 Hyperoptic received an equity investment led by Quantum Strategic Partners, a private investment vehicle managed by Soros Fund Management.