Thursday, November 16, 2017

MEF 3.0 - a Generational Leap for the Industry



MEF 3.0 is a transformational milestone for the industry and for the MEF itself, says Kevin O’Toole, Senior Vice President of Product Management, Comcast Business.

“As a MEF board member, I am extremely proud that our organization has taken this critical first step in establishing the MEF 3.0 Transformational Global Services Framework. This move validates our belief that technologies such as LSO, SDN and NFV are moving into the mainstream of the networking world, as well as the universal need for standardized terminology, service components, reference architectures, and service definitions.”

See video: https://youtu.be/KoF4wRVnBBw

Digging deeper into MEF 3.0



MEF 3.0 is a really important framework because it allows operators across the world to undertake a transformational journey in step with the digital economy, says Pascal Menezes, MEF's CTO.

MEF 3.0 has four major pillars.  A summary is provided here.

See video: https://youtu.be/2-PZd3PyTzg


Intel outlines its 5G radio modem portfolio

Intel outlined its product roadmap for 5G silicon. First up is Intel XMM 8000 series, a family of 5G new radio (5G NR) multi-mode commercial modems, and the Intel XMM 7660 LTE modem.

Highlights of Intel’s wireless roadmap:

  • Intel XMM 8000 series: will operate in both sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave global spectrum bands. Intel is aiming to enable a range of devices to connect to 5G, including PC, phones, fixed wireless consumer premise equipment (CPE) and vehicles.
  • Intel XMM 8060: will offer multi-mode support for the full 5G non-standalone and standalone NR, as well as various 2G, 3G (including CDMA) and 4G legacy modes. It is expected to ship in commercial customer devices in mid-2019. Intel is targetting broad deployment of 5G networks in 2020.
  • Intel XMM 7660: Intel’s latest LTE modem delivers Cat-19 capabilities, supports speeds up to 1.6 Gbps, and features advanced multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO), carrier aggregation and a broad range of band support. It will ship in commercial devices in 2019.

Intel also announced it has successfully completed a full end-to-end 5G call based on its early 5G silicon over the 28GHz band. Intel says it is participating in dozens of 5G trials around the world.

“Intel is committed to delivering leading 5G multi-mode modem technology and making sure the transition to 5G is smooth,” said Dr. Cormac Conroy, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Communication and Devices Group. “Our investments in a full portfolio of modem technologies and products are critical to achieving the vision of seamless 5G connectivity.”

Telefónica works on plastic fibre and 60GHz Wi-Fi

Telefónica is testing plastic optical fibre (POF) and 60GHz Wi-Fi as solutions for home connectivity.

The advantages of POF, which is a fibre with an 1mm core and a total diameter of 2.2mm, are seen to be easy installation and up to 1 Gbps capacity for customers. Installation is simpler that glass fibre because POF can be sliced with a cutter and installed without connectors. The basic elements for the installation, in addition to the plastic fibre, are the media converter and the KDPOF chipset inside it. The media converter holds the plug, provides two Ethernet ports and permits the connection of two different POF branches.

The 60GHz Wi-Fi technology can offer theoretical connectivities of up to 4600 Mbps.

Telefónica has conducted a plastic optical fibre pilot scheme in about 30 homes, each with up to four fibre outlets, with the deployment of a hybrid POF network (wired backbone) + Wi-Fi, with a smart Wi-Fi amplifier as the access point to expand the coverage. KDPOF is Telefónica’s technological partner.

AT&T runs with LTE-LAA in Indianapolis

AT&T has deployed commercial LTE-Licensed Assisted Access (LTE-LAA) in downtown Indianapolis.

LAA offers theoretical peak speeds of up to 1 Gbps. In previous field tests, AT&T observed actual peak wireless speeds of 979 Mbps.

The Samsung Galaxy Note8 supports LTE-LAA.

AT&T describes LTE-LAA as a stepping stone to 5G, which it aims to commercialize as early as late 2018. The progression includes upgrading cell towers with 5G Evolution technologies like 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO and 3-way carrier aggregation.

China Unicom picks Nokia for small cells

China Unicom has selected Nokia to supply its Flexi Zone small cells and an AirScale low power radio head for deployment in 31 provinces in China. Nokia will leverage its global services expertise to optimize small cell deployments for China Unicom, including network planning and optimization, equipment commissioning and care in warranty services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia provides the ability to upgrade the small cell portfolio via software to deliver narrow-band IoT (NB-IoT), enabling support for sensors for the delivery of many smart city services, including smart transport and metering systems as well as the introduction of smart healthcare.

China Unicom has gained or migrated approximately 55 million subscribers to 4G this year for a total of 160 million.

DT opens European Smart Solutions Center in Budapest

Deutsche Telekom company has established a European Smart Solutions Center (ESC), based in Budapest with the goal of consolidating its smart city expertise and activities across the Deutsche Telekom Group.

DT is looking to promote smart city solutions to municipalities in Europe. The new center covers central functions such as marketing, partnering, pre-sales and delivery governance, and works closely with local smart city sales & delivery experts. The center also offers a unique competence in consulting cities to utilize funds for urban development, allocated by the European Union.

DT noted that the European Commission has allocated a budget of 120 million euro to promote free access to wireless connectivity in public places across Europe such as parks, squares public buildings, libraries, health centers and museums. DT is working with Cisco on a package for cities to implement a tailor-made, secure and user-friendly WiFi4EU solution.

Updates for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform for hybrid clouds

The latest release of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform (v3.7), which is the company's enterprise-grade Kubernetes container application platform, includes native integrations with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Service Brokers. These enable developers to bind services across AWS and on-premise resources to create modern applications while providing a consistent, open standards-based foundation to drive business evolution. AWS services are now accessible directly from Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

Red Hat said its OpenShift Container Platform provides a single platform to build, deploy, and manage applications consistently across hybrid cloud infrastructures.

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.7 features the OpenShift Service Catalog, which enables IT organizations to connect any application running on the OpenShift platform to a wide variety of services, regardless of where that service runs. This helps users search for, provision, and bind application services to OpenShift applications while providing a more secure and consistent way for administrators to provide new services to end users.

Also included with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.7 is OpenShift Ansible Broker for provisioning and managing services through the OpenShift Service Catalog by using Ansible to define OpenShift Services.

AWS services through Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.7 include:

  • Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS)
  • Amazon Relational Database Services (RDS)
  • Amazon Route 53
  • Amazon Simple Storage Services (S3)
  • Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS)
  • Amazon ElastiCache
  • Amazon Redshift
  • Amazon DynamoDB
  • Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR)

Movistar Argentina launches 5G trial with Ericsson

Movistar Argentina, which is a subsidiary of Telefónica, has conducted a 5G trial in conjunction with Ericsson.

The trial, which took place in Buenos Aires, used Ericsson’s mmWave 28GHz 5G Test Bed solution. The companies report a peak speed of 20Gbps.

Base stations and device prototypes were used to show advanced 5G technologies, including Massive MIMO, massive beamforming, Distributed MIMO, Multi-user MIMO, and beam tracking, which together offered multi-gigabit data rates and ultra-low latency that are key requirements for future consumer mobile broadband and industrial use cases.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cisco posts $12.1 billion in revenue, cash pile grows to $71.6 billion

Cisco reported total revenue of $12.1 billion for the first quarter of its fiscal 2018, down 2%, with product revenue down 3% and service revenue up 1%. Net income GAAP was $2.4 billion or $0.48 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $3.0 billion or $0.61 per share.

"Our results in Q1 demonstrate the continued progress we're making on our strategy," said Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco.

Some highlights for the quarter

  • 2% of total revenue was from recurring offers
  • Revenue by geographic segment was: Americas down 1% to $7.350 billion, EMEA down 3% to $2.909 billion,  and APJC down 1% to $1.877 billion. 
  • Product revenue performance was led by Security and Applications, which increased by 8% and 6%, respectively. 
  • Infrastructure Platforms revenue decreased by 4%.
  • The new Catalyst 9000 has been adopted by 1,100 customers in the first three months.
  • Product gross margins were 60.1%, down from 63.4% a year ago
  • Service gross margins were 64.5%, down from 65.1% a year ago
  • Cash and cash equivalents and investments at the end of the quarter were $71.6 billion, of which $2.5 billion was in the United States and the rest abroad.
This quarter, Cisco changed the way it categorizes product revenue. Here's how the classification matches up.


EE hits 2.8 Gbps downlink speeds in 5G tests with Huawei

EE, in partnership with Huawei, demonstrated peak downlink speeds of 2.8 Gbps in a test of an end-to-end 5G test network in its UK mobile lab.

The set-up tested an active antenna unit with 64x64 Massive multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) broadcasting 5G New Radio over 3.5GHz test spectrum. A proof-of-concept Huawei 5G baseband unit delivered consistent 2.8Gbps speeds and sub 5ms latency were delivered end-to-end, rather than just across the air interface.

The companies described the tests as a major step forward for network function virtualisation (NFV) with a fully virtualised 5G core network on commercial-off-the-shelf hardware.

EE is a division of BT, which has a strategic partnership with Huawei.

Facebook to triple the size of its Los Lunas data center

Roughly one year after it announced plans to build one of its hyperscale data centers in Los Lunas, New Mexico, Facebook announced plans to triple down on its project.

Currently, phase one of Facebook's data center is under construction. This includes two buildings and an admin space, totaling 970,000 square feet.

Facebook now plans to build an additional four buildings on the site, creating a six-building data center campus.The four additional buildings will add nearly 2 million square feet.  Facebook now estimates its investment in the Los Lunas Data Center at more than $1 billion into the site. Construction of these phases will continue through 2023.

Los Lunas is located about 40 km (25 miles) south of Albuquerque at an elevation of 1,480 meters (4,856 ft).

Cisco launches $1 billion City Infrastructure Financing Program.

Cisco is launching a $1 billion City Infrastructure Financing Acceleration Program to help municipalities around the world to adopt smart city technologies. The funding will be provided through Cisco Capital in partnership with private equity firm Digital Alpha Advisors and pension fund investors APG Asset Management (APG) and Whitehelm Capital. 

“Funding is a major stumbling block for municipalities beginning their smart city transformation,” said Anil Menon, Global President of Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities. “With our partners, Cisco will bring the capital and expertise it takes to make smart city projects a reality. Digital Alpha, APG, and Whitehelm Capital bring a fresh perspective on investment in an area that has previously been perceived as too new and, therefore, too difficult to finance.”

Cisco has recently renamed its connected digital platform as "Cisco Kinetic for Cities" and added features to support public safety. The platform now supports real-time notification of emergency information, drawing on IoT data sources and Cisco Spark Collaboration tools.

CenturyLink and Infinera deliver 2.8 Tbps to SC17

CenturyLink and Infinera partnered to deliver multi-terabit connectivity to this week's SC17, the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

Specifically, CenturyLink and Infinera are providing 2.8 terabits per second of capacity between SC17 and research networks around the world, leveraging the CenturyLink core network. CenturyLink operates a robust, global 450,000 route mile fiber network and a 360,000 route mile international transport network. CenturyLink utilizes Infinera for delivery of optical networking.

“As the continuous growth of the digital economy expands what is possible, CenturyLink is a trusted partner in an increasingly complex digital world,” said Aamir Hussain, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at CenturyLink. “CenturyLink’s goal is to be the world’s best networking provider and we are well-positioned to address the complex network requirements of research and education institutions. Working with Infinera to deliver 2.8 terabits per second of capacity to SC17 demonstrates our commitment to serving these customers and providing them with the highly secure network connectivity they need.”

Panama's Cable Onda deploys Coriant's packet optical

Cable Onda, a leading television service provider in Panama, is deploying Coriant's packet optical transport technology to upgrade its DWDM backbone infrastructure.

The deployment uses the Coriant 7100 Nano Packet Optical Transport Platform, which offers advanced networking features, including Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexing (ROADM) and dynamic photonic switching.

Coriant said its 7100 Nano enables Cable Onda to cost-efficiently address diverse traffic demands with a flexible system architecture that supports fabric-less switching for OTN, packet, and SONET/SDH, 10G and 100G transparent transport.

Grupo Comtel is the local partner.

"We are pleased to team with Comtel to deliver Cable Onda a truly best-in-class solution purpose-built for their evolving service needs," said Alberto Barriento, Managing Director, Caribbean and Latin America, Coriant. "The ability to cost-efficiently scale backbone capacity and adapt to unpredictable end-user traffic flows helps Cable MSOs like Cable Onda differentiate their services in a highly dynamic and competitive market environment."

HPE and Rackspace partner on OpenStack Private Cloud

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Rackspace have partnered to offer an OpenStack Private Cloud managed service.

The companies said their Private cloud will offer benefits of a public cloud - cloud-like utility pricing, elastic infrastructure and simplified IT – in the enterprises' own data center, a colocation facility or a datacenter managed by Rackspace.
                                           
“The launch of OpenStack Private Cloud with pay per use infrastructure delivered by Rackspace and HPE marks a pivotal moment in the private cloud market and in the industry at large,” said Antonio Neri, president of HPE. “This experience is the best of the cloud and on-premises worlds, and we fully expect this simple pay-per-use technology model to change the way enterprises make technology decisions.”

Versa's SD-WAN brings support for Unified Communications

Versa Networks, which specializes in software-based networking and security solutions, has expanded its Versa Cloud IP Platform with embedded voice and video codec support to provide native mean opinion score (MOS)-based traffic engineering and reporting for unified communications (UC) services (voice and video).

The problem with most SD-WAN solutions is that they can only identify voice or video packets and abide by a policy defined by loss, latency, jitter and delay requirements as well as by circuit priority to move traffic in an optimal fashion. What they cannot do is

Versa enables real-time assessment of the actual user experience of a voice/video session as captured by a MOS score. This is used to define policies.

The new capabilities enable managed-service providers to deliver high-quality, business-class voice and video services for unified communications as a service (UCaaS) by bundling Versa Secure SD-WAN with their UC solutions.

AT&T suffers outage

Some of AT&T's U.S. customers experience a network outage. Reported problems involved mobile and well as Internet service.

AT&T's customer care department advised users to restart their phones to resolve the problem.