Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Top Reasons to Attend MEF17 - November 13-16, Orlando



Kevin Vachon, COO, MEF shares top reasons why industry professionals will want to attend the MEF17 (MEF17.com) global networking event to be held on 13-16 November 2017 in Orlando, Florida.

Highlights include:

More than 1,000 attendees from 275+ companies and 35 countries
Leading service and technology executive speakers
15+ live Proof of Concept demonstrations
5th LSO Hackathon
Onsite professional training courses & certification exams for MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professionals & MEF Third Network Foundations
Global Media Hub with 50+ press & analysts

See video: https://youtu.be/SnmbIJgQ3JQ



NTT demos 118 Tbit/s transmission on multi-core fibre

NTT, together with six partners, KDDI Research, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Fujikura, Furukawa Electric, NEC and Chiba Institute of Technology (CIT), announced a demonstration of what is claimed as the highest transmission capacity of 118.5 Tbit/s using a multi-core fibre with four optical paths within the same diameter as currently used fibre.

NTT noted that a conventional glass diameter of 125 µm in accordance with the international standard enables the use of existing fibre fabrication and optical connector technologies. The demonstration is designed to validate the concept of multi-core fibre-based long-haul and high capacity transmission system comprising multiple vendor technologies and advance the application of multi-core fibre technology.

In the new fibre, 4-5 cores can be arranged within a 125 µm diameter while maintaining the same transmission quality as current optical fibre, with a 316 km multi-core transmission line realised with a 0.21 dB/km average loss, concatenating standard diameter multi-core fibre with 4 cores fabricated by multiple vendors.

As part of the new design, Sumitomo Electric, Fujikura and Furukawa each fabricated a multi-core fibre with 4 cores and more than 100 km length. All multi-core fibres can be used in the 1260 to 1625 nm wavelength region and provide similar transmission properties to current SMF with mode filed diameter at 1550 nm of 9-10 µm).

The fabricated multi-core fibres were divided into a 20-40 km sections and three transmission spans with a length of 104-107 km were re-constructed by splicing the multi-core fibres provided by different vendors. A satisfactory low loss comparable to conventional SMF was achieved, with average loss of four cores in each span 0.22 dB/km or less, including splicing losses.

In addition, three multi-core optical amplifiers fabricated by NEC, KDDI Research, NTT and Furukawa were inserted at each end of three spans to compensate the signal attenuation. Cladding pumping type multi-core optical amplifiers designed to reduce power consumption were used, enabling a 16% improvement in power usage.

To confirm the performance of the constructed multi-core transmission line to beyond 100 Tbit/s transmission, 16QAM-based 116-wavelength signals were prepared and the output signal quality over 316 km transmission was examined.

Additionally, Fan-In/Fan-Out devices developed by NTT and Furukawa were used to input/output signals to and from each core of the multi-core fibre. Pluggable optical connectors with existing MU-type or SC-type interfaces from CIT and NTT were used to connect the input/output end of the multi-core transmission lines and Fan-In/Fan-Out devices.

The work was partially based on work commissioned by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), and the companies stated that they aim to introduce the standard diameter multi-core fibre by the early 2020s. The achievement was reported in early August as a post deadline paper at the Opto Electronics and Communications Conference (OECC 2017) in Singapore.


GSMA report evaluates wholesale open access networks

The GSMA, which represents mobile operators worldwide, has announced the results of its new report, Wholesale Open Access Networks, which explores the performance of the wholesale open access network (WOAN) model (also termed single wholesale network, or SWN) in five markets worldwide, namely: Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Rwanda and South Africa.

The new report, which follows a previous 2014 study that assessed the potential economic case for the wholesale network model, found that in the five countries examined only one network was rolled out, in Rwanda, with deployments in the other markets hindered by slow progress and delayed or cancelled network launches.

The GSMA believes that the projects in these five countries can serve as examples for other countries considering this network rollout model, and highlight the challenges of implementing SWN/WOANs for regulators that view this as an alternative to traditional approaches to network deployment.

The association believes that a more effective path to delivering comprehensive network coverage is for governments, regulators and mobile operators to collaborate on long-term solutions, with the basic building blocks for enabling this as follows:

  • Cost effective access to low frequency spectrum.
  • Support for spectrum re-farming.
  • Support for all forms of voluntary infrastructure sharing.
  • The elimination of sector-specific taxation on operators, vendors and consumers.
  • Non-discriminatory access to public infrastructure.
  • Streamlined planning and administrative processes.
  • The relaxation of quality of service requirements.
  • A context-appropriate competition policy, particularly relating to market structure.
  • Support for multi-sided business models, such as zero rating and sponsored data.
The GSMA notes that for several decades, policymakers have favoured a competitive network structure with licensing of network usage to a limited number of competing mobile network operators, usually under private ownership. Through this approach, there has been rapid growth and development in mobile services, with more than 5 billion people currently connected globally, including 3.8 billion in developing countries, and providing access to tools and applications that can potentially help to address a range of socioeconomic challenges.

To continue to expand network coverage, mobile operators are now evaluating ways to balance competition with cooperation in terms of infrastructure investment by entering voluntarily into infrastructure sharing agreements. Operators are also exploring new business models with third parties that will enable sharing of the cost and risk of investment in networks in rural and remote locations.

The GSMA believes that the benefits of network competition go beyond coverage, with innovation a key factor in delivering consumer value at the national level, and noted that this occurs where there is competition amongst networks, as well as in the delivery of services and the launch of devices in a market.

The full GSMA report, Wholesale Open Access Networks, is available for downloaded here: https://www.gsma.com/spectrum/woan-report/.


Germany's 1&1 Versatel selects Coriant mTera for national backbone

Coriant announced that 1&1 Versatel, a major provider of data, Internet and voice services in Germany, has deployed the Coriant mTera universal switching and transport solution to increase the capacity and enhance the bandwidth management capabilities of its nationwide high-speed optical backbone network.

The Coriant solution, which includes advanced OTN switching and end-to-end network management functionality, is designed to enable 1&1 Versatel to cost-effectively meet increasing customer demand for network bandwidth while enhancing service delivery across the country.

The 1&1 Versatel high-capacity national fibre backbone network extends over more than 42,000 km, the second largest network in Germany, and supports a range of business and residential communications services via support for high-speed data transfer at speeds of up to 100 Gbit/s, upgradeable to 200 Gbit/s.

To maximise utilisation of its fibre assets and enhance the resiliency, scalability and flexibility of its broadband services, 1&1 Versatel has deployed Coriant's mTera platform in major backbone sites across Germany, and is currently extending the deployment to its regional fibre networks.

Designed to enable network modernisation, the Coriant mTera solution will enable 1&1 Versatel to aggregate, groom and transport diverse traffic types, while supporting the cost-effective migration of legacy traffic, including SDH. mTera is a flexible multi-service transport solution that offers support for software-defined universal switching, including OTN, Carrier Ethernet, MPLS-TP and SONET/SDH in a single system architecture.

The mTera platform supports 7 Tbit/s of universal switching capacity per shelf, with up to 12 Tbit/s of total switching capacity per rack.

In addition, provisioning and management of service capacity in 1&1 Versatel's backbone will be provided by the Coriant Transport Network Management System (TNMS), which helps to reduce operating expenses and improve service resiliency leveraging end-to-end network control, automated provisioning features and advanced planning capabilities.

Imagine to deploy Huawei WTTx broadband in rural Ireland

Huawei and Imagine Communications Group, a service provider based in Dublin, Ireland, have announced the formation of a strategic partnership under which Ireland will become the first country to see the deployment of a national wireless-to the-x (WTTx) network.

Utilising the latest released LTE technologies optimised to provide a fixed access network, Imagine will use Huawei's WTTx solution to deliver superfast broadband offering speeds of 200 Mbit/s and higher across Ireland to help address the digital divide between urban and rural areas.

Leveraging the latest 4.5G technologies including massive MIMO and massive Carrier Aggregation (CA), the solution is capable of delivering a downlink speed of over 1 Gbit/s, as well as providing a roadmap to 5G, using advanced CPE to connect premises to a fibre link at a mobile mast is faster.

Huawei noted that deployment of the technology has significantly lower cost compared to conventional fibre access solutions, with WTTx emerging as a strategic alternative to FTTx infrastructure for quickly extending high speed broadband availability.

Huawei added that Ireland is a country where there is a significant difference between urban and rural areas in term of network infrastructure. While in urban areas cable availability offers an alternative to limited FTTx networks, it often fails to meet the advertised speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s, and cannot meet demand for above 100 Mbit/s services. In addition, around 61% of the market in regional and rural areas is served with xDSL services delivering speeds as low as 3 Mbit/s.

Ireland initiated a national broadband plan in 2012 designed to make 30 Mbit/s broadband services available to every home by 2020. With FTTP as the only alternative and the difficulties and high cost of deploying FTTP, to date only an estimated 12,000 premises have been connected.

Huawei stated that in a limited commercial trial of the Imagine LTE fixed wireless access network in selected rural areas which offers 70 Mbit/s service, 16,000 customers have been connected, while over 100,000 customers have applied for the service. With the 3.6 GHz 5G licenses secured in the recent spectrum award, Imagine aims to be the first operator to provide 100 Mbit/s-plus services in rural areas.


Imagine plans to commence the rollout of its WTTx network in October this year, with the objective of achieving 85% market coverage by 2019.

California's CENIC extends fibre lease with Level 3 to 2040

CENIC (Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California), the organisation that provides global connectivity for education and research institutions in California, announced an agreement to extend its fibre leases, called indefeasible rights of use (IRUs), with Level 3 Communications on more than 8,000 miles of dark fibre until 2040.
Through the collaboration, Level 3 provides CENIC with access to its extensive fibre network to serve the organisation's 11,000-member institutions, including universities, schools, libraries and other cultural, scientific and arts organisations across California.

Regarding the renewed lease agreement, Louis Fox, president and CEO of CENIC, noted, "CENIC's next generation terabit network, CENIC 2.0, will have even greater user control and visibility, automation and software capacities for security, computation, and storage".



  • In December 2016, the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (UC ANR) and CENIC announced they had connected key UC ANR facilities to CENIC's 100 Gbit/s research and education network, extending ultra-broadband capacity to UC researchers in rural sites across California.
  • UC ANR operates nine Research and Extension Centers (RECS), plus 57 local UC Cooperative Extension offices, in locations ranging from the Oregon border in the north, through the Sierra foothills and Central Valley, along the Pacific Coast and south to the Mexican border.
  • CENIC is a non-profit organisation that operates the California Research and Education Network (CalREN) high-capacity network that connects over 20 million users, including most K-20 students, with educators, researchers and other public institutions. It also provides connectivity to leading institutions and industry research organisations worldwide.

Ireland's ESB Telecoms teams with Silver Spring on IoT

Silver Spring Networks, a provider of connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced that it is working with ESB Telecoms, a subsidiary of electric utility ESB and operator of a national open access wholesale network, to develop a national IoT network across Ireland.

The planned network is designed to serve as a catalyst for municipal, commercial and industrial customers to connect IoT and smart city applications and devices. Once the IoT network is deployed, Silver Spring's Starfish platform-as-a-service (PaaS) will augment ESB Telecoms' infrastructure and services nationwide. Starfish PaaS offers service level agreements and is based on Silver Spring's proven, secure Wi-SUN standards-based mesh technology that complies with the IEEE 802.15.4g specification.

As mesh-connected devices communicate with neighbouring devices, these networks are designed to deliver the robust and reliable connectivity that IoT networks require. With more than 26.7 million enabled devices delivered, Silver Spring noted that it has deployed its technology in Bristol, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dubai, Glasgow, Kolkata, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, Paris, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Washington DC.

ESB Telecoms owns and operates Ireland's National Telecommunications Fibre Optic Network as well as 450 telecommunication towers and sites on which all major Irish telcos have substantial installations. Customers of ESB Telecoms include all mobile operators, Irish government bodies, licensed FM operators and wireless Internet services providers.



  • Separately, Silver Spring announced that it will deploy its Starfish PaaS across the City of London and the London borough of Barking and Dagenham, expanding the previously announced London deployment in the City of Westminster. Through urbancontrol, Starfish is expected to connect around 12,000 smart street lights in the City of London and 15,500 smart street lights in Barking and Dagenham.

Dell'Oro forecasts G.fast revenue growth of 600% in '19

According to its latest Broadband Access 5-year Forecast Report from Dell’Oro Group, G.fast revenue growth is set to increase by almost 600% in 2019 as operators complete testing and trials of G.fast amendment 3 chipsets and systems.

While the market for G.fast has been slow to develop initially, Dell'Oro predicts that 2019 will be the year when G.fast sees significant adoption, which will then have a knock-on effect on the future development of broadband access markets worldwide, including based on PON, DSL and cable/coax technology.

Dell'oro expects that momentum in the G.fast market will continue through the 5-year forecast period, and anticipates that G.fast revenue will account for more than a third of the overall DSL market by 2021.


Commenting on the report, Alam Tamboli, senior analyst at Dell’Oro, said, "Operators are holding off on massive deployments throughout their networks until they have more hands-on time with amendment 3 chipsets and systems, which will be available in early 2018… furthermore, many operators that wish to deploy G.fast into larger buildings via FTTB architectures are waiting for 32 or higher port-count units to be tested more thoroughly".

BlueJeans Network Names Quentin Gallivan as CEO

BlueJeans Network announced the appointment of Quentin Gallivan as its new CEO, replacing Krish Ramakrishnan, who continues on at the company as Innovation and Strategy and Executive Chairman.

Gallivan is a four-time CEO with deep experience guiding numerous industry-leading enterprise platform and cloud companies.
He was a founding executive at Verisign, and helped grow the company from a $20M revenue cloud security company serving the mid-market to a $1.5B revenue global cloud infrastructure player. He served as CEO of Postini, which grew to more than 35,000 customers and over 10 million users in 25 countries before its acquisition by Google. More recently, he was CEO of Pentaho, an open source business intelligence (BI) platform company which was acquired by Hitachi in 2015.

"BlueJeans is leading a once-in-a-generation transformation of the collaboration, meetings, and enterprise application spaces by building a world-class enterprise video platform delivered in the cloud," said Gallivan. "Krish and his team have done a phenomenal job in creating this new and exciting space while simultaneously building a company of significant scale with an impressive roster of large global enterprises. I'm excited to join this special company, helping to lead the organization in its next phase of expansion and growth. I look forward to partnering with Krish as he continues to drive innovation and strategic market development for BlueJeans."

https://www.bluejeans.com/


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Singtel to rollout nationwide Cat-M1 + NB-IoT

Singtel of Singapore announced that it plans to roll out its nationwide cellular IoT network by the end of September this year with the aim of helping enterprises achieve operational and cost efficiencies through the use of low-power IoT devices.

The Singtel network will support Cat-M1 and NB-IoT technologies and will provide businesses with access to a network offering low-power consumption, extensive coverage and multiple connections. Singtel will also leverage its cyber security expertise to support businesses in implementing secure and reliable IoT solutions, and so address security concerns when deploying remote sensors and IoT devices.

Singtel noted that cellular IoT network can support devices with a battery life of up to 10 years through the use of both low-band and mid-band frequencies. A key feature of the operator's cellular IoT-over-Cat-M1 network is that it will enable businesses to make VoLTE calls in future using small, power-efficient portable devices such as wearables and trackers with voice capability.

Singtel stated that it has been exploring the use of IoT with local companies and large corporations across a diverse range of applications since 2016. Potential applications include environmental sensing, asset tracking, waste management and monitoring of medicine consumption.

In tandem with the deployment, Singtel will be inviting businesses and technology partners to try out and develop IoT solutions at the IoT Innovation Lab. Set up in collaboration with Ericsson, the Iab allows businesses to experience new IoT applications first-hand and develop business models.
* At Mobile World Congress 2017, Singtel and Ericsson presented their Assured+ Consumer Connected Device Solution (Assured+) IoT technology and showcased an IoT ecosystem for operators, networks and devices.

Jointly developed by Singtel and Ericsson, Assured+ is an integrated IoT solution designed to support connected cars and other emerging IoT applications for consumers.

Assured+ enables devices to connect across existing 3G/4G networks, NB-IoT and LTE Cat-M and is designed to support the adoption of such networks while speeding time-to-market for the launch of new services.

* Earlier in the year, Singtel and Ericsson announced a pilot of massive MIMO and cloud RAN technology on Singtel's 4G LTE network as part of the evolution towards 5G.

FCC plans $2bn auction to support rural broadband

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the next step toward launching an auction that will provide nearly $2 billion over ten years to support the expansion of high-speed Internet access to consumers and businesses in rural areas that are currently unserved by fixed broadband service.

FCC noted that the process represents the first time it has held an auction to allocate ongoing Connect America Fund (CAF) support for fixed broadband and voice services in rural areas. The use of a market-based reverse auction mechanism is designed to enable the FCC to expand and support the provision of quality rural fixed broadband and voice services at a lower cost and to maximise its investment.

The auction is scheduled to commence in 2018. With the public announcement, the FCC is seeking comment on the proposed application and bidding procedures for the auction, including: how interested parties can qualify to participate in the auction; how bidders will submit their bids; and how the FCC will process bids to determine the winners and support amounts.

This first-of-its-kind auction of support for fixed broadband and voice service is expected to attract parties that have not previously participated in an FCC auction. Therefore, the FCC's Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force, together with the Wireline Competition Bureau and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, plan to provide detailed educational materials and hands-on practice opportunities in advance of the auction.

Has Mexico’s telecommunications reform of 2013 been a success?

In September 2013, as part of the Pacto por México initiated by the then newly elected President Enrique Peña Nieto, the Federal Commission of Telecommunications (Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones, or CoFeTel) was replaced by the Federal Telecommunications Institute (Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones or IFT). This new, autonomous federal agency, which is headed by a board of seven commissioners, set out to undo the longstanding monopoly of América Móvil and its Telmex (fixed line) and Telcel (mobile) business units. At the time, América Móvil controlled 71% of the landline business and 82% of the mobile market. Its owner, Carlos Slim Helú, was ranked as the richest person in the world, but in terms of operational metrics Mexico's telecom market was nowhere near that of a developed country. A key objective of the telecom reform was to split América Móvil's fixed line and mobile business units.

It has been three and a half years since the reforms began (or at least three years since they were officially ratified by Mexico's legislature) and the break up of América Móvil has yet to be finalised. Despite losing market share, revenue at the company have grown and the company is now more of a leader for all Latin America. Rather than suffering a financial setback, the Carlos Slim family seems to have prospered since the reforms. So, what has changed?

Mexico's Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT) argues that its reforms have made measurable improvements, including:

•   The price of telecommunication services in Mexico dropped by 29% between June 2013 and December 2016, even though the rate of inflation over that period was 12.8%.

•   The concept of national long-distance phone calls became obsolete.

•   The cost of international long-distance phone calls dropped by 40%.

•   The average mobile phone bill dropped by 43%.

•   The ability to easily switch mobile operators with number portability became widely implemented.

•   Since June 2013, the number of paid TV subscriptions (cable or satellite) has risen by 33%; currently, 60% of Mexican homes have a paid TV subscription.

•   Fixed residential broadband access grew 19% between Q4 2013 and December 2016. currently, 48% of Mexican homes have broadband Internet service. As recently as 2011, when efforts to pass the telecom reform were gathering strength, only 11% of the population had broadband access in their homes, with multiple family members in each home, it is now estimated that 61% of the population has broadband access.

•   More than 80% of Mexican homes with broadband service currently enjoy download speeds of 10 Mbit/s or better; in 2015, most home were receiving download service in the 2~9 Mbit/s range.

•   Broadband via coaxial cable is quickly gaining in popularity and now accounts for 35% of the market; DSL service continues to account for the largest share of the market but is dropping in popularity, while FTTH is rising at a 150% annual growth rate.

•   In 2013, América Móvil (Telmex) controlled 71% of the fixed broadband access market, followed by Grupo Televisa at 12%, Megacable-MCM at 6%, and a number of other providers; by 2016, Telmex had lost 14.5 market share percentage points to its rivals and now controls under 57% of the fixed broadband access market.

•   In mobile broadband, América Móvil (Telcel) has also seen its share drop from 82% in 2013 to 72% in 2016; leaders in Mexico mobile broadband include: América Móvil (Telcel) at 72%, Telefonica at 14%, AT&T at 12%, and a handful of other players capturing the rest.

•   The amount of licensed spectrum has risen, before 2013, a total of 222 MHz was available for licensing; currently, 404 MHz is available for commercial use with the addition of 190 MHz of 2.5 GHz bands, Mexico will soon have 594 MHz of spectrum for commercial services.

•   Mexico became the first country in Latin America to end analogue TV service.

•   Private investment in telecommunications in Mexico rose 76% between 2014 and 2016, including many direct foreign investments.

IFT also noted that telecommunication service providers have also benefited directly from the reforms, as the total revenue collected by these companies rose from MXP 399 million in 2013 to MXP 456 million in 2016. Mobile revenue now accounts for 55% of the market, while fixed line accounts for 45%.

The Red Compartida project has selected its vendors

There has been limited public information about the Red Compartida (shared network) project since the selection of ALTÁN Redes as the principal contractor late last year. Red Compartida is sometimes described as the largest construction of a new public access network in the world, although it is eclipsed by the FirstNet emergency response project in the U.S.

Key facts of the initiative include:

•   Red Compartida will only offer wholesale mobile services.

•   Red Compartida will build a new national network covering at least 92.2% of the population.

•   The commercial launch date will be March 31st, 2018, an aggressive target!

•   Red Compartida's largest investor at 33% is Marapendi Holding BV, an indirect subsidiary of North Haven Infrastructure Partners II, an infrastructure fund with a value-add strategy to invest in OECD countries around the world, managed by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure; Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec(CDPQ), one of North America's largest pension fund manager holds a 12.68% share; Mr. Miguel S. Escobedo holds a 9.35% share; and Mr. Eugenio Galdón, Chairman of Multitel, holds a 3.34% share.

•   Axtel and Megacable also hold a stake in ALTÁN Redes through a series of non-voting shares and without involvement in management; each have a participation of 4.01%.

•   In March, ALTÁN Redes selected Huawei and Nokia as turn-key technology providers for Red Compartida, a pure IP + LTE network.

•   Huawei technology will be used for central and southern Mexico (telecommunications regions 6 to 9), as well as providing the backbone.

•   Nokia's technology will be rolled out in the northern part of the country (regions 1 to 5). Nokia will also supply the network Core, which includes the Network Operation Center (NOC) and Security Operation Center (SOC).

AT&T continues to invest in Mexico

Finally, it should be noted that AT&T continues to invest heavily in Mexico, even though it may or may not be allowed to participate in the wholesale Red Compartida mobile infrastructure program when it comes online. AT&T's LTE network now covers 88 million people in Mexico and it expects to reach 100 million PoPs by the end of 2018. For Q2 2017, AT&T reported that wireless revenues from Mexico were $665 million, up 9.7% versus the year-earlier quarter, largely due to subscriber growth, which was partially offset by competitive pressures and foreign exchange.  AT&T added 92,000 post-paid subscribers and 402,000 prepaid subscribers in Q2. It now has 13.1 million total wireless subscribers in Mexico, a 31% increase from a year ago.

T-Mobile Austria selects Huawei OTN for metro and backbone

Huawei announced that T-Mobile Austria, a Deutsche Telekom (DT) company, has selected its OTN solution for its planned WDM metro and backbone network deployment projects.

Huawei noted that rapid growth in traffic driven by new services such as LTE/LTE-A, IoT, big data, cloud computing and 4K video mean that T-Mobile Austria's metro network needs to be able to provide higher bandwidth and lower latency. T-Mobile Austria, with around 1,300 employees, serves 4.6 million customers, as well as offering IT services worldwide in cooperation with DT unit T-Systems.

The T-Mobile Austria projects will create a next-generation, high-capacity WDM transport network designed to support the growth in network traffic and new services for the operator over the next five years.

For the project, T-Mobile Austria has selected Huawei's simplified OTN solution to increase bandwidth across its network to 200 Gbit/s per wavelength while efficiently utilising fibre resources leveraging the latest WDM technologies. The operator is also deploying OTN devices at CO sites to consolidate network layers and eliminate intermediate aggregation and forwarding to enable direct optical connections between sites for reduced network latency.

Huawei stated that T-Mobile Austria's existing backbone network supports 40 x 100 Gbit/s wavelengths, which is insufficient to handle increasing traffic loads, while in addition 10/100 Gbit/s hybrid transmission in many locations further limits transmission performance. Moreover, a complex dispersion compensation configuration presents challenges for network planning and O&M and means the existing network cannot support a data centre-centric network architecture.

To address these challenges, Huawei is providing a complete all-optical, coherent backbone network solution providing support for increased bandwidth, flexible traffic grooming and allowing the evolution of the cloud data centre interconnect (DCI) network architecture to enable future service cloudification.

The network-wide CDCG-ROADM configuration delivered by Huawei can support on-demand service grooming, 80 x 100/200/400 Gbit/s channels per fibre and will allow the evolution to the 1 Tbit/s ultra-high-speed transmission.


Huawei is also providing its intelligent optical-layer OSNR monitoring fibre self-test system, which combined with the simplified OTN architecture, is designed to simplify network planning and O&M to meet the demands of inter-data centre traffic.

Transition Networks introduces SFP Ethernet extender

Transition Networks, a provider of data network integration solutions, announced a new small form-factor pluggable (SFP)-based Ethernet extender (TN-EOT-xx) designed to connect distant workstations, devices or workgroups to a corporate network using legacy copper cabling at up to 300 Mbit/s.

Transition Networks' Ethernet Extender enables users to leverage existing 2-wire or coax cable infrastructure to extend Ethernet service with up to 300 Mbit/s bandwidth. The new TN-EOT-xx device can extend Ethernet service on 2-wire cabling over distances of up to 400 metres at 200 Mbit/s bi-directional data rate, or over coax cabling to distances of up to 500 metres at 300 Mbit/s bi-directional data rate.

The TN-EOT-xx SFP device is plug-and-play, requiring no configuration or set up on the host device, and features an RJ-45 connector for 2-wire applications or an RJ-45-to-BNC adapter for coax applications. The extender complies with MSA standards and is compatible with networking devices with a Gigabit SFP slot. The extender has an operational temperature range of -40 to 75 degrees C.


Transition Networks' new TN-EOT-CO (for the server site) and TN-EOT-RT (for the remote site) are designed to be installed in pairs and are available immediately. Transition Networks offers a range of Ethernet Extenders that deliver power along with data over Ethernet or coax cabling.

Avaya appoints Jim Chirico as CEO, enters debt reduction agreement

Avaya announced the appointment of Jim Chirico, currently its chief operating officer and global sales leader, as chief executive officer, effective October 1, 2017, while the current president and CEO Kevin Kennedy is to retire as CEO and a member of the board, but will remain as an advisor to the company.

Avaya noted that Mr. Chirico joined the company in 2008 and has since held a number of positions with the company. As COO and global sales leader, he is responsible for operations, global sales, sales operations, HR and quality.

Prior to Avaya, Jim Chirico served as EVP, global operations, development and manufacturing at Seagate Technology; previously, Mr. Chirico served as an executive with IBM, including in a leadership role for the Networking Division.

Avaya stated that under Mr. Kennedy's leadership, the company transitioned into a software and services company, with for the second fiscal quarter of 2017 software and services accounting for approximately 79% of Avaya's total revenue. Mr. Kennedy also played a key role in positioning the company for its emergence from Chapter 11 proceedings following the divestiture of the Networking business.

Separately, Avaya announced preliminary financial results for its most recent third quarter, ended June 30, 2017, including revenue of between $802 and 804 million, flat sequentially and down 9% year on year, with adjusted EBITDA of $202 to 206 million.

Avaya also announced that it has entered into a plan support agreement (PSA) with holders of over 50% of its first lien debt, including certain members of the Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Creditors, and that it had reached agreement with U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) to provide for the termination of the company's obligations under the Avaya pension plan for salaried employees (APPSE) and the related transfer of those obligations to PBGC, with the support of the Ad Hoc First Lien Group.

Key terms of the amended plan include: the reduction of debt by more than $3 billion from pre-filing levels; the settlement and transfer to PBGC of Avaya's obligations under the APPSE; and initiation of steps to enable the company to emerge from chapter 11 as a public company.


Extreme to acquire Avaya networking for $100m with winning bid



Extreme Networks announced that, having entered into an asset purchase agreement under which it would serve as primary bidder in a sale under the bankruptcy code to acquire Avaya's networking business for approximately $100 million, it has been approved as the winning bidder to acquire the Avaya business.Under the bidding process, the assets of Avaya's networking business unit will be sold to Extreme f





Intel sees rapid shift from enterprise to cloud, increased NFV spending

Intel beat financial expectations when it released its Q2 2017 financial results in late July.  The company cited strong growth in its client computing (up 12 percent) and data-centric businesses (up 16%). The good earning report builds on the marketing momentum it established in the quarter with the launch of its Intel Core X-Series family of processors, which are designed for advanced gaming, AR and VR client applications, as well as its Intel Xeon Scalable processors for data centres, artificial intelligence (AI) and other data-intensive workloads. The recent Xeon launch was covered here previously.

Because Intel holds such a dominant and strategic position in the IT ecosystem, its quarterly report is often an excellent measure of the industry’s overall health and an early indicator of significant trends that will impact global network traffic.

The Q2 review

For Q2 2017, Intel reported revenue of $14.8 billion, up 9% year-over-year. After adjusting for the Intel Security Group (ISecG) transaction, which was spun out as an independent company on April 3rd and now known by its original name of McAffee, Intel’s Q2 revenue growth was even better – up 14% from a year ago. Operating income was $3.8 billion, up 190% year-over-year, and non-GAAP operating income was $4.2 billion, up 30%. EPS was $0.58, up 115% year-over-year and non-GAAP EPS was $0.72, up 22%. For Q2, Intel generated approximately $4.7 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.3 billion, and used $1.3 billion to repurchase 36 million shares of stock.

To top off the good news, Intel raised its full-year revenue outlook by $1.3 billion to $61.3 billion and raised its EPS outlook to $2.66 (GAAP) and $3.00 (non-GAAP), a 15 cent increase over the previous guidance.

Key Business Unit Revenue and Trends
Quarterly Year-Over-Year
Q2 2017
vs. Q2 2016
Client Computing Group
$8.2 billion
up
12%
Data Center Group
$4.4 billion
up
9%
Internet of Things Group
$720 million
up
26%
Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group
$874 million
up
58%
Programmable Solutions Group
$440 million
down
5%
*Data-centric businesses include DCG, IOTG, NSG, PSG, and all other

Clearly a lot of hot areas and promising technologies at Intel

For the Data Center Group, Intel said its current 9% annual growth rate in Q2 probably can be sustained for the whole year – a fantastic result considering that service provider spending overall, including for mobile infrastructure in developed markets, appears to have stalled. Capex budgets may not be restored to normal levels as a percentage of carrier revenue until the 5G upgrade cycle gets under way.

On its Q2 investor conference call, company execs commented that by 2021 the silicon opportunity for data centres could be worth $65 billion per year and that Intel is currently less than 40% of the total available segment today. Beyond its Xeon processors for cloud servers, Intel is chasing adjacent product categories, including Ethernet, Silicon Photonics and its 3D XPoint memory. Its goal is to rule the full data centre rack, and not just the server motherboard.

Cloud and communications service providers

For Intel's DCG, sales for public cloud zoomed up 35% year over year. On the other hand, enterprise data centre spending declined 11%. The two figures are clearly related, with a rapid shift of workloads to the public cloud underway. One can presume many of these to be new workloads. At the time of deployment, companies are signing up for public cloud capacity instead of buying new servers for their enterprise data centre. Or simply, when servers are ready to be retired, enterprises are moving their workloads to the public cloud rather than buying new servers.

Intel cited communication service providers as another growth vector for DCG. Revenues here rose 17% year over year. For Intel, this is good news as it would seem to indicate that network functions virtualisation (NFV) is finally taking hold. Previously, there have been statements from AT&T and Orange revealing an accelerated schedule to migrate large percentages of their network function workloads onto virtualised infrastructure, i.e. x86 platforms.

Leading deployments with the top-tier communications service providers have been underway for the past year. Intel’s 17% growth rate for CSPs seems to indicate a broader adoption base for NFV. If this growth can be sustained, one should expect other companies in the NFV ecosystem to start showing results as well, such as companies offering virtual network functions (VNFs) such as firewalls and load balancers. The NFV movement has had a very long incubation cycle, and now the real spending by CSPs for Intel gear will be a boost for many players.

Together, the cloud and CSP segments make up nearly 60% of Intel’s total DCG revenue. The other segments include the IoT Group, where Q2 revenues were up 26% to $720 million; the non-volatile memory solutions group (NSG), where sales were up 58% to a record $874 million; and the programmable solutions group (PSG), formerly Altera, where revenue declined 5% to $440 million. Intel completed its $16.7 billion acquisition of Altera in January 2016, so it now has a track record of over one full fiscal year in managing the group’s business. The group specialises in field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology.

A further note regarding Intel and CSPs

On its Q2 investor conference call, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said the company is making inroads with its 5G strategy as there are now five ongoing trials underway with global service providers and 15 more in the pipeline. We know from earlier announcement that Intel’s office in Austin, Texas became the first customer site for AT&T’s pilot 5G network in December 2016. The 5G fixed wireless pilot in Austin is delivering and ultra-fast Internet connection and DIRECTTV NOW using Ericsson's 5G RAN and the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform.

Mobileye acquisition approaches completion

As Intel makes its transition from a PC-oriented company into a data-centric company it is seeking adjacent opportunities either through internal development or acquisitions. One topic on everyone's mind in Silicon Valley is autonomous driving. In this area, it looked like NVIDIA was moving faster to capture the huge opportunity in next gen transport systems. For instance, the newly unveiled Tesla Model 3 is powered by the NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2 AI computing platform. To counter this, in March Intel announced plans to acquire Mobileye, a developer of machine vision systems for automated driving, in a deal valued at $14.7 billion.  Mobileye, based in Israel, claims to be the leading market position in computer vision for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Its portfolio includes surround vision, sensor fusion, mapping, and driving policy products. Mobileye's EyeQ chips are already installed in 16 million vehicles as of 2016. Mobileye currently has OEM relationships with GM, VW, Honda, BMW, PSA, Audi, Kia, Nissan, Volvo, Ford, Renault, Chrysler, SAIC and Hyundai. Mobileye reported 2016 revenue of $358 million and gross margin of 76%. For2017, it should bring in more than $1.6 billion in revenue. Intel said its Mobileye acquisition will be completed by the end of the year.

MeriTalk: federal agencies planning to adopt converged infrastructure

MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT, has announced the results of its latest report, Converged: At the Core of IT All, which examines federal agencies' plans for implementing converged infrastructure solutions to address data centre demands.

The MeriTalk study, underwritten by Cisco and NetApp, finds that 59% of federal agencies are adopting to converged infrastructure solutions as part of their current data centre strategies, while 23% have multiple converged solutions in place. Based on a five-year outlook, the study finds that the average federal agency has a target of transforming 55% of data centres to converged infrastructure solutions by 2022.

MeriTalk notes that modern mission demands are changing the way the government delivers data centre solutions, which is prompting the shift to converged infrastructure. Currently, the study reveals that 72% of federal IT managers believe converged infrastructures will become the central housing mechanism for their data centre needs.

In terms of drivers for the move to invest in converged infrastructures, the study finds that while cost savings are a significant factor, current users of converged systems also cite improved data protection, increased scalability and optimising mission-critical apps as key motivators for the deployment of the new technology.

In addition, MeriTalk notes that converged infrastructures align with the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI), as 60% of agencies leverage converged infrastructure to replace working data centres.

However, the study shows that although 57% of current converged users experience growth in operational efficiency, issues remain relating to security, budget and interoperability concerns. In particular, 44% of federal IT managers cite security concerns as the main disincentive to the adoption of a converged infrastructure solution.

The full report, Converged: At the Core of IT All, can be downloaded here: https://www.meritalk.com/study/converged-at-the-core-of-it-all/(registration required).

Regarding the study, Rob Stein, VP, U.S. public sector, at NetApp, said, "The road to an integrated IT system should not be a daunting one… most (existing) data centres and related systems cannot keep up with the growing amount of data within federal agencies… integrating all the pieces of the data centre together radically simplifies data management, especially in the new hybrid cloud world".


Monday, August 7, 2017

Brocade Sells its SDN Controller to Lumina, a start-up

Lumina Networks, a start-up based in San Jose, California, has acquired Brocade Communications' OpenDaylight-powered SDN Controller product family.

Lumina also brings along with key technical team members from Brocade and existing customer engagements with some of the world’s largest service providers.

Lumina said its OpenDaylight solution will enable service providers to directly control their SDN implementations while providing the flexibility to develop their own solutions through their choice of vendors thus eliminating lock-in.  Lumina also offers NetDev Services to help organizations transform their network engineering and operations team.


“Our job is to be the catalyst to help service providers bring open software networking out of the lab and into their live network,” said Andrew Coward, chief executive officer, Lumina Networks. “We started Lumina Networks to ensure providers can use open source in critical use cases. But just delivering technology is not enough. Our customers are doing the implementation with us, so they can learn and acquire the skills, tools and practices needed to develop and manage the platforms we jointly deploy.”

Lumina’s product portfolio includes:
  • Lumina SDN Controller: A fully tested, documented and quality-assured edition of OpenDaylight, that provides a common open platform to control the network and manage its nodes.
  • Lumina Flow Manager: A controller-based application that enables more simplified and sophisticated traffic engineering of the network with advanced algorithms such as path-computation for efficient traffic flows.
  • Lumina Zero Touch Installer: A controller-based application that provides initialization of devices, such as virtual CPE, with the correct software image and configuration automatically.


https://www.luminanetworks.com

Microsoft advances its cloud initiative

Following publication of its better-than-expected quarterly results on July 20th, the headlines could not have been more positive for Satya Nadella and his efforts to restructure Microsoft around the cloud, as shown by the following:

Bloomberg - Microsoft Regains Turnaround Momentum on Strong Cloud Growth

MarketWatchMicrosoft is challenging Amazon for cloud throne

New York Times - Microsoft Is Rewarded for Turning to the Cloud

Wall Street Journal - Microsoft Profit Jumps, Fueled by Cloud Computing

The numbers were good, with revenue for fourth fiscal quarter of 2017, ended June 30th, of $23.317 billion, up from $20.614 billion a year earlier. Net income (GAAP) amounted to $6.515 billion, up from $3.122 billion a year earlier.

Highlights include:

•   Office commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 5% (up 6% in constant currency) driven by Office 365 commercial revenue growth of 43% (up 44% in constant currency).

•   Office consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 13% (up 13% in constant currency) and Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 27.0 million.

•   Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 7% (up 9% in constant currency) driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 74% (up 75% in constant currency).

•   LinkedIn contributed revenue of $1.1 billion during the quarter.

•   Server products and cloud services revenue increased 15% (up 16% in constant currency) driven by Azure revenue growth of 97% (up 98% in constant currency).

•   Enterprise Services revenue decreased 3% (down 1% in constant currency) with declines in custom support agreements offset by growth in Premier Support Services.

Azure growth is hot

Azure's 97% year-over-year growth comes in contrast to IBM, often ranked as the No.4 public cloud service provider, which last week reported that its cloud revenue grew 17% YoY in Q2 2017, led by as-a-service offerings, which were up 32% year-to-year. IBM's 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).

Amazon is expected to release its Q2 financial report on July 27th, perhaps giving insight into how fast the leading public cloud vendor continues to grow now that we have passed the mid-year market. As of the end of Q1 2017, Alibaba’s Aliyun cloud division reported a 103% annualised growth rate.

However, it is difficult to make any direct comparisons between Microsoft's cloud growth rate, or Azure growth, to competitors due the various products that are rolled in. However, one can observe some of the announced metrics that illustrate the development of the overall public cloud market.

Microsoft states:

•   It is on-track to meet a $20 million annual run rate for cloud service in FY 18.

•   It is gaining early 120,000 new Microsoft Azure subscriptions a month.

•   40% of Azure revenue comes from start-ups and independent software vendors.

•   80% of Fortune 500 now on Microsoft Cloud (although the utilisation rate is not specified so in some cases this could mean a Office 365 subscription rather a full-scale enterprise installation).

•   1.2 billion people are using Microsoft Office.

•   Facebook recently deployed Office 365 for its more than 13,000 employees globally.

•   Nearly 1 in 3 Azure virtual machines are Linux.

•   400 million active users for Outlook.com.

•   More than 400 million devices running Windows 10, citing security as the primary upgrade reason to Windows 10, with the recent WannaCry ransomeware incidents impacting earlier versions of Windows.

Building up its reseller channel for the cloud

Microsoft has long relied on partners and independent value added reseller to drive a substantial amount of its business. Over the years, this has included local resellers installing Office, Windows and Exchange solutions on behalf of small and medium-sized businesses worldwide.

Microsoft's Inspire partnership conference in Washington, DC, which ran from July 9th to 13th, attracted about 17,000 people. At the event, Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO, vowed that this partnership strategy will continue in the cloud era. With its Azure public cloud, Microsoft sales reps are paid up to 10% of the partner's annual contract value when they co-sell qualified Azure-based partner solutions. Microsoft says it is unique among public cloud vendors in providing this level of opportunity, providing powerful go-to-market differentiator. Microsoft said it now has more than 64,000 cloud partners, more than AWS, Google and Salesforce combined. CSPs can sell the full stack of services and subscriptions, including Windows 10, Office 365, Microsoft Azure and CRM subscriptions through a single partner with one user account, one point of contact for support and one simplified bill.

Now Microsoft is testing a new Azure co-sell program for partners. In its first six months, Microsoft claims that this program helped close more than $1 billion in annual contract value for Azure partners, created $6 billion in Azure partner pipeline opportunity and generated more than 4,500 partner deals.

Gearing up for the new offers

The company is now gearing up to launch Microsoft 365, a new set of commercial offerings that brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. It promises to be a 'complete, intelligent and secure solution' to empower companies and workers, recognising that people are at the heart of digital transformation.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise is the evolution of the company's Secure Productive Enterprise offering, and includes Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. This is targeted at large organisations.

In enterprise private cloud infrastructure, Microsoft Azure Stack is now available to order from launch partners Dell EMC, Lenovo, and HPE. Cisco has also announced integrated Azure Stack for its UCS platform. Azure Stack is an extension of Microsoft's public cloud that enables enterprises to run the same software environment in their private data centres. Azure Resource Manager ensures that the same application model, self-service portal, and APIs are operative across either the private, public or hybrid cloud.

Microsoft is also encouraging partners to capitalise on opportunities leveraging Azure data centres and the 'edge of the cloud'. Azure Stack partners cited include Rackspace, Tieto and Resello.

Microsoft 365 Business, which will also be available in public preview from August 2nd, is targeted at small- to medium-sized businesses with up to 300 users and integrates Office 365 Business Premium with tailored security and management features from Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. It also includes a centralised console for deploying and securing devices and users in one location.

Microsoft has also launched a new Skype Operations Framework, an end-to-end deployment methodology for partners to deliver Skype for Business Online to their customers. The company describes this as a blueprint for a new practice area. Recently added capabilities include Skype for Business meetings and voice services in Office 365, adding PSTN Calling in the UK, and expanded PSTN Conferencing to additional countries. Microsoft is also refining automatic transcription and translation for Skype Meeting Broadcast to Office 365 customers.

Bringing the Cloudyn acquisition on board

This week, Microsoft also completed its previously-announced acquisition of Cloudyn, a start-up based in Israel that developed hybrid, multi-cloud monitoring and optimisation solutions. Cloudyn's automated monitoring, analytics and cost allocation tools help customers maximize the efficiency of public cloud operations. Microsoft plans to make Cloudyn available to all Azure customers. The company also said that its new Cloudyn business unit will continue to invest in supporting multi-cloud environments including Azure, AWS and GCP.

Video: Extending MEF's LSO Architecture


Stéphan Pelletier, MEF Orchestration Area Co-Director and Director of Product Management, Oracle, discusses how LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs will enable end-to-end service orchestration across multiple service provider networks and multiple technology domains. LSO will help overcome the biggest OSS-related obstacles that have impeded delivery of on-demand services across providers. Stéphan explains why Oracle has embraced LSO and is playing a lead role in contributing to LSO development within MEF.

See video: https://youtu.be/yHxa7Y2_GEk