Friday, September 22, 2017

FCC: 95% of cell sites in Puerto Rico still offline

Almost two days after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, over 95% of cell sites remain offline, according to data from the FCC.

As of September 22, 2017 at 11:00 AM EDT, FCC data showed that 95% of cell sites in Puerto Rico are out of service. Critically, 47 out of the 78 counties in Puerto Rico have 100% of their cell sites out of service even nearly 24 hours after the storm passed. The FCC database shows that there are 1,789 base stations in Puerto Rico and 1,707 are down. Four additional cell sites lost connectivity in the past 24 hours.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, 73% of cell sites are out of service - a 4% improvement in the last 24 hours.

With the widespread power outages in Puerto Rico it is assumed that cable Internet services are also offline for most customers, but the FCC had not received any data on the status of the networks.

NTT Group seeks growth through diversification – part 3

Preamble – The first part of this article presented an organizational look at the NTT Group, which consists of five main groups and an astounding number of subsidiary companies: 944 at last count with interests as diverse as IT outsourcing, mobile apps, real estate, data centers, finance, construction, and even electrical power. The second part of the article looked at NTT’s Global Cloud Business Promotion, which aims to provide full-stack, full-lifecycle integration from the data center, to the managed ICT layer, to the applications.

From its annual report, we know that the NTT Group currently generates about US$16.9 billion in overseas revenues, of which 65% is for IT infrastructure and 35% is for application services.  This breaks down as follows:

Americas         $5.9b, including 55% for IT infrastructure and 45% for applications
EMEA             $6.6b, including 60% for IT infrastructure and 40% for applications
APAC              $4.4b, including 90% for IT infrastructure and 10% for applications




NTT Communications

The network resides between the data center layer and the managed ICT solutions and it is here that NTT perhaps has its greatest strength. Inside Japan, NTT’s fiber infrastructure, through its various subsidiaries, is unrivaled for wholesale operations and FTTH residential connections. The global enterprise networking segment is addressed by NTT Communications.  The second part of this article covered the NTT Comm’s recent Global SD-WAN launch. The company is also well-known for its Global IP Network, which is IPv4/IPv6 backbone network connected through a single AS 2914 and offering high-speed, high-capacity IP communications to all major countries in Europe, North America, Oceania, and Asia. Alongside this IP backbone, NTT Comm operates a global MPLS service that delivers Layer 3 IP-based MPLS and Layer 2 Ethernet-based VPLS in 190 countries/regions.

More recently, NTT Com has developed a Multi-Cloud Connect service that is directly connected to public clouds hosted in key markets across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Multi-Cloud Connect currently connects to Oracle Cloud and other third-party cloud services including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online, as well as NTT Com's private cloud service, via a security-enhanced, private Layer 3 connection, avoiding the public Internet.

NTT Comm is an active participant in the subsea space. One project it has led is the recently-completed, consortium-backed Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) optical submarine cable network, which spans a total length of 10,400 km and leverages 100 Gbps optical transmission and digital coherent technology to deliver a capacity of more than 54 Tbps, the highest of any network in Asia. NTT Com has established two diverse landing points, one in the East and the other in the West of Japan for the APG and Pacific Crossing-1 (PC-1) submarine cable which connects between Japan and the U.S. having diverse route such as north and south routes. The company has also implemented diverse landing points in Hong Kong and Singapore for the APG and for the Asia Submarine-Cable Express (ASE), which was launched in August 2012.

It should also be noted that NTT Comm, like other companies in the group, sometimes deploys proprietary technologies developed in-house. Earlier this year, NTT Communications began deploying a 400 Gbps optical transmission system in its data centers. The system raises the transmission capacity of NTT Com's core network above 19Tbps per optical fiber, or more than double existing capacity. The company said the 400G rate is achieved by using advanced digital-signal processing technology developed in house.

Connecting the pieces - Dimension Data

Dimension Data, which was founded in 1983, is probably the best-known technology firm from South Africa having built a global reputation for excellence in networking integration, IT management and data centers. Over the years, Dimension Data expanded into markets worldwide, sometimes acquiring local integration companies, including Australia's ComTech. Dimension Data has also served as Cisco Systems exclusive distributor in South Africa. The company reports an annual turnover of US$7.5 billion. It now has offices in 52 countries and 30,000 employees, 

In 2010, the NTT Group acquired Dimension Data for £2.1 billion ($3.2 billion). Since then, NTT has preserved Dimension Data as an independent subsidiary. Dimension Data still maintains its headquarters in Johannesburg with mostly local management. Jeremy Ord, who served as Managing Director since its inception, continues on as Executive Chairman. In 2016, Dimension Data appointed Jason Goodall as Group Chief Executive Officer. Goodall previously served as Dimension Data's Group COO, where he has been responsible for the regions and several global functions including sales, marketing, Group Information Services (GIS), HR and commercial finance. Goodall is a veteran of Dimension Data having served many roles during his 18-year career with the company. 
Even while under the NTT umbrella, Dimension Data has persevered in its strategy of acquiring other integration companies to add to its team and customer base.

NTT Data

The NTT Group has another global IT integration and management company.  NTT Data, which was founded in 1967 and is based in Tokyo, maintains business operations in 42 countries. For 2016, NTT Data posted annual revenue of US$14.6 billion. It currently has about 120,000 employees. Unlike Dimension Data, which is a fully-owned subsidiary, the NTT Group holds a 54% equity stake in NTT Data. 

(NTT Comware is another IT integration subsidiary, although its operations are focused on the physical assets of the NTT Group itself rather than outside customers)

Overseas acquisitions are also a key element of NTT Data's strategy in Europe, the United States and APAC. In 2016, NTT DATA acquired Dell Services, an IT services provider recognized for its depth in vertical industries and for its offerings around infrastructure services, cloud services, application services, and business process outsourcing. The purchase price was reported at $3.05 billion. This deal significantly increased NTT DATA’s presence in North America particularly in healthcare and insurance industries. Prior to 2009, the Dell Services groups was known as Perot Systems, a business consultancy founded by H. Ross Perot.

Both NTT Group and Dimension Data identify digital transformation as a key business opportunity. Enterprise companies are under pressure to evolve their IT infrastructure or be crushed by more agile competitors. A big part of this revolves around process automation and finding cloud-optimised software that streamlines operations. Hybrid public/private infrastructure is required as is expertise in rapidly evolving open source technologies, such as blockchain. It is here that theses sister companies provide overlapping services and both have access to NTT Group's vast resources.

For example, earlier this year, Dimension Data and NTT Com agreed to explore how to deliver a unified cloud experience to clients through greater collaboration within NTT, initially via closer integration of the Dimension Data and NTT Com cloud IaaS platforms.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

FCC: 95% of Cell Sites down in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria delivered a devastating blow to the mobile networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

As of September 21, 2017 at 11:00 AM EDT, FCC data showed that 95% of cell sites in Puerto Rico are out of service. Critically, 48 out of the 78 counties in Puerto Rico have 100% of their cell sites out of service even nearly 24 hours after the storm passed. The FCC database shows that there are 1,789 base stations in Puerto Rico and 1,703 are down.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, 77% of cell sites are out of service.

With the widespread power outages in Puerto Rico it is assumed that cable Internet services are also offline for most customers, but the FCC had not received any data on the status of the networks.

Lumentum showcases 400G at ECOC

At this week's ECOC 2017 in Sweden, Lumentum showcased several 400G transceivers including QSFP-DD FR4, DR4, and OSFP FR4. The QSFP-DD and OSFP transceivers comply with the QSFP-DD Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) and OSFP MSA respectively.

Lumentum showed several advanced modulators supporting 100G, 200G, and 400G applications. The company is actively engaged with both the OIF and customers to define next generation modulators utilizing both Indium Phosphide (InP) and Silicon Photonics (SiP) technologies.

Lumentum also displayed an OFM whitebox, or "greybox", that combines the northbound interface for integration with existing geographic information system (GIS) and operations support system (OSS) solutions.  The whitebox can be used for online optical cable monitoring, alarming, fault analysis and positioning which can alleviate the need to send personnel to test and evaluate systems in the field.

Another highlight at the Lumentum booth was its wide portfolio of 100G Transceivers, including:

  • CFP2/CFP4 LR4: transceiver supports links of up to 10 km on duplex, single-mode fiber.
  • QSFP28 SR4: compact 100G transceiver supporting links of up to 100m on parallel multi-mode fiber.
  • QSFP28 SWDM4: compact 100G transceiver supporting links of up to 150m on duplex multi-mode fiber.
  • QSFP28 LR4: compact 100G transceiver supporting links of up to 10 km on duplex single-mode fiber supporting both Ethernet and OTN rates. 
  • QSFP28 CWDM4: compact 100G transceiver supporting links of up to 2km on duplex single-mode fiber.
  • 4WDM-10, 20: compact 100G transceivers supporting links of up to 10km and 20km on duplex single-mode fiber extending the reach of CWDM4 and LR4 platforms through the use of FEC on the host card. Supporting both Ethernet and OTN rates with a maximum power dissipation of 3.5W.

Former CEO of AFOP charged with insider trading in sale to Corning

Peter C. Chang, the founder and chairman of the board at Alliance Fiber Optic Products (AFOP), was charged with insider trading by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the sale of AFOP to Corning in 2016 for $305 million. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California is also bringing criminal charges against Chang.

The SEC charges that Chang generated more than $2 million in illicit profits and losses avoided by trading on nonpublic information and tipping his brother ahead of two negative earnings announcements and the company’s merger. 

AFOP, which was based in Sunnyvale, California designed and manufactured high-performance passive optical components used by cloud data-center operators and leading datacom and telecom OEMs. Prior to the acquisition, Corning used AFOP products in a number of its existing connectivity solutions. AFOP was founded in 1995 and has manufacturing and product development capabilities in the U.S., Taiwan and China.

Telia agrees to pay US$965 million to settle Uzbek bribery case

Telia Company AB agreed to pay US$965 million in a global settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, and Dutch and Swedish law enforcement.

The case, which dates back to 2007, involved Telia's entrance into the Uzbek telecommunications market. Telia paid at least $330 million in bribes to a shell company under the guise of payments for lobbying and consulting services that never actually occurred. The person receiving the bribes is believed to be a daughter of the President of Uzbekistan.

The SEC said Telia has consented to the order to pay $457 million in disgorgement. Telia has also agreed to pay a criminal fine of more than $508 million imposed by the Department of Justice, although portions of each amount could be offset by payments made in overseas settlements or proceedings brought by the Dutch Openbaar Ministerie or the Swedish Åklagarmyndigheten.

Statement from Telia

“Today’s settlement brings an end to an unfortunate chapter in Telia Company’s history. Since 2013 the new board and management have worked diligently and responsibly to understand what went wrong, to remedy what has been broken and to regain trust from all our stakeholders. We have come a long way to establish a more sustainable company with a strong focus on governance and compliance but it is a never-ending journey as we aspire to embed this into our culture making sure that all employees understand the importance of doing the right thing all the time. The resolution and related financial sanction that we announce today is a painful reminder of what happens if we don't”, says Telia Company’s President and CEO Johan Dennelind.

Statement from SEC

Corporate bribery is not just unfair and illegal, it has terribly corrosive effects on business, government, and society,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division.  “As this global settlement demonstrates, the SEC continues to work closely with our counterparts at home and abroad to expose and pursue such corruption.”

ColorChip ramps up production of 100G QSFP28

ColorChip showcased its 100G QSFP28 transceiver products at this week's ECOC 2017 in Sweden.

ColorChip's 100G product family is now in volume production. The company has invested $80M, secured over the past 2 years, to expand the throughput of its industrialized-optics TOSA/ROSA assembly lines in the Israel based facility and to double the optical module integration and testing floor space to 7,000 square feet in Fabrinet.  The devices are based on ColorChip's SystemOnGlass (SOG) TOSA/ROSA platform. 

ColorChip said its SystemOnGlassTOSA/ROSA platform can be used for both DML and EML based PAM4 optical engines, providing the pathway to compact, QSFPx-based PAM4 transceivers at data rates of 200G and 400G. 

The demo featured a 100G 500m CWDM-Lite datacenter transceiver, accepted by the Open Compute Project (OCP), as well as the MSA compliant 2km CWDM4 and 10km 4WDM-10 offerings.  The 100G transceivers are based on uncooled DML's on the CWDM grid and characterized by typical power consumption of 2.6W, highly compact QSFP28 packaging and a standard Duplex LC optical interconnect.

Cignal AI forecasts 400G Coherent WDM shipments in 2020

Shipments of 400G coherent WDM volume starts to ramp this year, led by Ciena deployments and then followed by other suppliers six to nine months later, according to a newly-published, bi-annual Optical Applications Report report from Cignal AI, an independent research firm based in Boston. The introduction of small form factor 100G and 400G pluggable models will be a major catalyst.

“Cignal AI has close relationships with equipment and component manufacturers, as well as end users, and these relationships give us a unique insight into the optical equipment market.  From this vantage point, we can forecast emerging technologies such as coherent 400G WDM usage,” states Andrew Schmitt, lead analyst for Cignal AI. “Pluggable 400G ZR modules should enter the market by 2019, and they will be the final nail in the coffin for 10G WDM networks.”

Some key findings:

  • Both 100G and 400G coherent will be widely adopted at the edge of the network by the end of 2021.
  • Cisco is growing 100G port deployments faster than all other vendors in the market.
  • Equipment originally designed for DCI applications is rapidly evolving into applications outside the datacenter. Cignal AI is now using "Compact Modular for this class of products.
  • Spending on compact modular equipment more than tripled in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period last year. Ciena, Cisco, and Infinera are the market share and technology leaders for this sector.
  • Revenue for packet-OTN systems grew in the double digits in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period last year.


https://cignal.ai/


TE SubCom launches global network operations center for subsea cables

TE SubCom launched a new global network operations center (NOC) to provide cable operators with a single source for fault, configuration, alarm, performance, security and maintenance network management.

SubCom said it is able to provide global 24x7x365 monitoring coverage and both high-level and regional visibility into a status of subsea systems on behalf of cable operators. The NOC has already been selected for the Monet Submarine Cable, a 10,556km cable consisting of six fibre pairs that is owned and operated by Algar Telecom (a Brazilian telecom company and ISP), Angola Cables (a multinational telecom company operating in the wholesale market), ANTEL (the Uruguayan telecom company) and Google.

“With the ongoing surge in undersea cable investment, more operators are searching for reliable network operations services. They’re finding they need providers that truly understand undersea networks and how to optimize their life cycles,” said Don Rotunno, managing director, sales operations, TE SubCom. “Undersea communications is SubCom’s business and the expertise we’ve amassed over decades in the industry will immediately benefit users of our new NOC solution.”

OFS improves special fibre for aircraft

OFS introduced a new FlightLinx PLUS Fiber Optic Cable designed for in-flight entertainment, Internet access, networking and display systems used in commercial aircraft.

OFS has been offering its original FlightLinx Fiber Optic Cable since 2012. The new product features a cable design that allows for reliable pull-proof termination during harsh aircraft installations.

FlightLinx PLUS Fiber Optic Cable is a 1.8 mm ruggedized single jacket cable design that meets ARINC 802 performance requirements without the need for a double jacket. This lightweight cable design also helps address the demand for lighter aircraft and improved fuel efficiency.

NTT Com's Cloud GPUs powers supercomputer in Japan

Preferred Networks (PFN) has launched of a private supercomputer designed to facilitate research and development of deep learning, including autonomous driving and cancer diagnosis.

The new supercomputer, which is one of the most powerful to be developed by the private sector in Japan, uses NTT Com's cloud-based Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) platform. The deployment uses 1,024 of NVIDIA's Tesla multi-node P100 GPUs. Theoretically, the processing speed of the new supercomputer can reach 4.7 PetaFLOPS — a massive 4,700 trillion floating point operations per second.

Eoptolink samples 200G 2×CWDM4 QSFP-DD

Eoptolink, a supplier of optical components based in Chengdu, China, has begun sampling a 200G CWDM4 QSFP-DD optical module.

QSFP-DD doubles the density of QSFP28.

The new device is based on 8x25G NRZ DML technology and fully complies with QSFP-DD and CWDM4 MSA. The company will offer 2km and 10km versions.

Eoptolink is also developing 400G transceivers.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Infinera and Seaborn set spectral efficiency record for ULH subsea cable

Infinera and Seaborn Networks (Seaborn) reported a new record for highest spectral efficiency on an ultra-long-haul subsea cable.

Seaborn owns and operates the new Seabras-1 submarine cable, which spans 10,600-km and offers a direct connection between São Paulo, Brazil and New York City. Seabras-1, which recently entered commercial service, is the longest uncompensated cable connecting North and South America. It has multiple branching units and is designed to provide additional route diversity to Virginia Beach, Miami, St. Croix, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, southern Brazil and Cape Town. The system is powered by Infinera’s new XTS-3300 meshponders.

To achieve the new benchmark for highest spectral efficiency, Infinera and Seaborn conducted an 8QAM trial at 4.5 bits per second per hertz on the Seabras-1 cable. Infinera and Seaborn validated the performance of the Infinera XTS-3300 meshponder featuring the Advanced Coherent Toolkit (ACT) on the Seabras-1 submarine cable, helping Seaborn to maximize the return on its cable assets.

The XTS-3300 is based on Infinera’s Infinite Capacity Engine 4 (ICE4) and is optimized for long-haul subsea applications. Infinera said its ICE4 technology incorporates unique technologies to boost capacity-reach performance including digitally synthesized Nyquist subcarriers, enhanced pre- and post-dispersion compensation, improved non-linear tolerance and SD-FEC gain sharing which is only possible with dual-channel DSPs. These capabilities collectively support up to 18.2 terabits per second per fiber for distances over 10,000 km, powered by ICE4’s leadership in spectral efficiency.

“This is an impressive achievement that far surpasses what we expected. Infinera has distinguished itself as an industry leader in delivering outstanding subsea optical performance,” said Larry W. Schwartz, Chairman and CEO, Seaborn Networks. “The Infinera XTS-3300 meshponders deliver industry-leading performance over Seabras-1 and validate Infinera’s technology leadership in subsea transmission. The capacity upgrade maximizes our return on investment and further underscores the uniqueness of Seaborn’s capacity on Seabras-1.”

“We are delighted with the performance of the XTS-3300 and the Infinite Capacity Engine 4 for subsea applications. The XTS-3300 delivers industry leading capacity-reach performance for our subsea customers where spectral efficiency is paramount and bandwidth demand is growing at more than 45 percent per year,” said Dave Welch, President and Co-Founder, Infinera.


EFFECT Photonics and Skylane Optics to supply narrow-tunable optical transceivers

Skylane Optics, a privately-held company that supplies a wide range of optical transceivers and other photonic, reached an agreement with EFFECT Photonics to supply narrow-tunable optical transceivers to telecom operators in Europe, North and South America.

EFFECT Photonics, which is based in Eindhoven, Netherlands, develops highly integrated optical products based on InP (Indium Phosphide). The company has recently begun sampling of a narrow-band tunable DWDM optical transceiver designed for next-gen mobile networks. The new product leverages EFFECT's optical System-on-Chip technology with advanced photonic integration and low-cost packaging. The design combines many optical functions within its PIC platform including, tunable lasers, MZI modulators, waveguides, SOAs, photodetectors, along with integrated wavelength lockers.

Skylane Optics said the costs associated with using EFFECT Photonics narrow-band tunable optical transceiver enables a reduction in sparing and provisioning costs by over 90%.

Skylane Optics is based in Belgium.

https://www.skylaneoptics.com/
http://effectphotonics.nl/

Aruba builds analytics-driven security framework for multivendor networks

Aruba, the wireless networking division of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, is launching an analytics-driven attack detection and response framework to bolster enterprise security from the edge, to the core, to the cloud for multivendor networks.

Aruba 360 Secure Fabric is a security framework that builds on User and Entity Behavioral Analytics (UEBA) to detect and respond to advanced cyberattacks from pre-authorization to post-authorization across multivendor networks, not just its own wireless LAN gear. Aruba already offers an IntroSpect UEBA product line that leverages machine learning security to detect anomalous user and traffic patterns across multiple data sources. Aruba Introspect can ingest common data sources including Microsoft Active Directory or other LDAP authentication records and identity information, and firewall logs from sources such as Checkpoint, Palo Alto Networks, or Aruba monitoring (AMON) logs from Aruba infrastructure.

Key components of the Aruba 360 Secure Fabric include:

  • Aruba IntroSpect UEBA solution : A new network-agnostic family of continuous monitoring and advanced attack detection software. Includes a new entry-level edition and uses machine learning to detect changes in user and device behavior that can indicate attacks that have evaded traditional security defenses. Machine-learning algorithms generate a Risk Score based on the severity of an attack to speed up incident investigations for security teams.
  • Aruba ClearPass : A network access control (NAC) and policy management security solution that can profile BYOD and IoT users and devices, enabling automated attack response, is now integrated with Aruba IntroSpect. ClearPass can also be deployed on any vendor’s network.
  • Aruba Secure Core : Essential security capabilities embedded in the foundation across all of Aruba’s Wi-Fi access points, wireless controllers, and switches, including the recently introduced Aruba 8400 campus core and aggregation switch.

Aruba said its new framework delivers betters and complementary attack detection with leading third-party security solutions. An emphasis is places on rapid response for breach investigations based on forensic traffic analysis.

Acacia develops 2 x 600 Gbps Coherent Module

Acacia Communications introduced a coherent optical module that pairs two wavelengths at up to 600 Gbps capacity each to support transmission speeds of up to 1.2 Tbps. The module could be used in systems for DCI, metro, long-haul and submarine networks.

Acacia's AC1200 Coherent Module is based on its Pico digital signal processor (DSP) ASIC. The module's footprint which is 40% less than the size of a 5” x 7” module supporting 400 Gbps today.  Acacia will support security encryption with this new product.

Key features of Acacia’s AC1200 modules:

  • Tunable Baud Rate – enables continuous baud rate adjustment for optimal utilization of the available spectrum
  • Patented Fractional QAM Modulation – provides users with the ability to select very fine resolution of QAM constellations for optimal capacity
  • Enhanced Turbo Product Code SD-FEC – offers ultra-high net coding gain (NCG) and enables maximum reach, while maintaining low power dissipation.

Acacia anticipates sampling in the first half of 2018.

Google acquires HTC's hardware team

Google will hire a team of hardware engineers from HTC, the Taiwan-based mobile and consumer electronics firm.

The HTC team has been working closely with Google on its Pixel smartphone line.

The deal, reportedly worth US$1.1 billion, also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.

Google is planning to unveil its latest line of hardware products on October 4th.

  • In 2012, Google acquired Motorola ia deal valued at US$12.5 billion. The acquisition included an extensive intellectual property portfolio. Google later sold the Motorola handset business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion.

Arista's Any Cloud aims for universal cloud consistency

Arista Networks unveiled its strategy for extending its Extensible Operating System (EOS) across private cloud datacenters and public cloud providers.

The Arista Any Cloud software platform will support Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, Microsoft Azure Stack, Google Cloud Platform and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.  Arista will also be providing integration with the Equinix Cloud Exchange, which provides direct high-performance connections to 70+ cloud providers.

Key elements of the Arista Any Cloud solution include the Arista vEOS Router for hypervisors (KVM and VMware ESX) and for cloud platforms (AWS and Azure), and the Arista Cloud Tracer as a CloudVision-based application. Arista’s new Cloud Tracer assures that visibility and availability metrics are tracked consistently across the entire hybrid cloud environment, including public cloud direct connections, remote datacenter connections and cloud exchange points.

Arista said its Any Cloud solution will provide its enterprise customers with a common Universal Cloud Network experience.

“Arista’s Any Cloud platform transcends public and private clouds, radically changing the on-premises enterprise datacenter. We are helping customers realize their hybrid-cloud transformation by extending Arista EOS and CloudVision across network boundaries,” said Jayshree Ullal, President and CEO for Arista Networks.

See also