Sunday, December 17, 2017

NTT Comm partners with Vantis in Hong Kong

Vantis Consulting Group (Vantis) has become the first partner in Hong Kong to join NTT Communications' Global Management One (GMOne) Managed Services Partner Program. Vantis will resell NTT Com GMOne managed services, cloud and hosting solutions, and further integrates with their service offerings to meet enterprises’ growing hybrid ICT needs.

GMOne managed services leverage NTT Com’s global resources for managing entire hybrid ICT ecosystems, from infrastructure, business applications to smart outsourcing.

Vantis also participates in NTT Com's Enterprise Cloud Marketplace, which was launched last year.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

FCC votes 3-2 to end Net Neutrality rules

The FCC voted 3-2 along partisan lines to adopt the "Restoring Internet Freedom Order" proposed by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to rollback Obama-era Net Neutrality rules. Voting in favor of the order were Republicans Ajit Pai, who argued that measure will usher in a new era of investment for Internet infrastructure. Also voting in favor were Republicans Michael O'Rielly and Brendan Carr. Voting against the measure were Democrats Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel.

FCC Chairman said that by returning to the classification of Internet services as an “information service”— removing the current Title II regulatory regime that gives the FCC say over the delivery of Internet content — the new order returns the industry to the status quo prior to 2015.

The vote proceeded despite an urgent request from the Attorney Generals of 18 states urging a delay to the vote due to a criminal investigation into possible fraudulent manipulation of the FCC's public comment process for this issue.  In a public letter to FCC Commissioners, the Attorney Generals said their ongoing review of the public comments process has revealed a large number of fake comment submissions using the names and identities of real people. The initial assessment is that there were over 1 million fake comments indicating a deliberate effort to skew the public comment process on an issue of national importance. The Attorney Generals are also requesting the help of the FCC in their investigation of "massive identity theft."

President Trump Picks Pai for FCC Chairman



President Donald J. Trump designated Ajit Pai as his choice to be Chair of the FCC. Ajit Varadaraj Pai was nominated for FCC Commissioner by President Obama in 2011. Pai took over the seat abandoned by Meredith Baker who left the FCC to take a job as a lobbyist for Comcast. Pai was previously a Partner in the Litigation Department of Jenner & Block LLP. Previously, Pai worked in the Office of the General Counsel at the Federal Communications...







FCC Votes 3-2 to Adopt Open Internet Rules

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to adopt a new set of Open Internet rules proposed by Commissioner Wheeler and backed by the Obama Administration. All of the new rules, which are based on the FCC's authority under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, would apply to fixed and mobile broadband alike, while leaving room for reasonable network management and its specific application to mobile and unlicensed WiFi networks.

Here are the key provisions and rules of the Open Internet Order as outlined by the FCC:

Bright Line Rules:  The first three rules ban practices that are known to harm the Open Internet.

  • No Blocking: broadband providers may not block access to legal content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
  • No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
  • No Paid Prioritization: broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind—in other words, no “fast lanes.”   This rule also bans ISPs from prioritizing content and services of their affiliates. It also prohibits practices that target specific applications or classes of applications.  

The FCC's  Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has ended its investi

Molex launches venture funding initiative

Molex Electronic Technologies has formed a subsidiary dedicated to investing in emerging technologies and companies.

Molex Ventures specializes in investments and collaborations with startup companies that can leverage Molex design and manufacturing capabilities across a range of industry sectors, including Medical and Pharmaceutical sensors, connected health and point of care diagnostics; Automotive connected mobility, electrification and autonomous driving; Industry 4.0 sensors, robotics and data analytics platforms; and Electronics Packaging Technologies.

The Molex Ventures portfolio includes recent investments and collaborations with:

  • NuCurrent – Embedding innovative antenna technologies into mobile device platforms
  • Ossia – Expanding market access to the Cota Real Wireless Power Platform
  • Excelfore – Creating integrated in-vehicle connected platforms

“Fostering the cross-pollination of ideas and capabilities can serve as a catalyst for transformational innovation. As a technology leader, Molex welcomes opportunities to forge strategic relationships with startups at key stages in their development,” said Lily Yeung, vice president, Molex Ventures. “We are proactively seeking collaborations with startups that have developed a successful solution or concept and are ready to take their innovation and commercial growth to the next level.”

Juniper moves OpenContrail's codebase to the Linux Foundation

Juniper Networks will move the codebase for OpenContrail, an open-source network virtualization platform for the cloud, to the Linux Foundation.

OpenContrail is a scalable network virtualization control plane that provides feature-rich software-defined networking (SDN) and strong security.

Juniper first released its Juniper Contrail products as open sourced in 2013. It has been deployed by various organizations, including cloud providers, telecom operators and enterprises. The company said that by adding OpenContrail's codebase to the Linux Foundation's networking projects will further its objective to grow the use of open source platforms in cloud ecosystems.

"Juniper's focus on cloud-grade networking means delivering on the promises of open and scalable multicloud networking options. OpenContrail is a key part of that strategy. Our goal of placing OpenContrail's codebase with the Linux Foundation shows Juniper's commitment to open networking and open source overall. Over the past year, we have been working closely with the community to transition the governance for OpenContrail's codebase because we believe it has the unique opportunity to be a ubiquitous cloud-grade network fabric used everywhere. We look forward to continuing our close participation with the community once this project takes on new life under the Linux Foundation,"stated Randy Bias, vice president of technology - cloud software at Juniper Networks.

Verizon acquires Chicago fiber network from WOW

Verizon Communications completed its previously announced acquisition of fiber network assets in Chicago from WideOpenWest (WOW).  The price was $225 million.

Verizon said the transaction secures fiber to more than 500 macro-cell wireless sites and more than 500 small-cell wireless sites in the Chicago area.

"The addition of these fiber assets is an important part of our strategy to reinforce our current network capabilities and prepare for the future. The completion of this acquisition will help expedite our network densification with fiber and small cells, enhancing our industry-leading 4G LTE network and laying the groundwork for 5G," said Nicola Palmer, Chief Engineer and Head of Wireless Networks, Verizon.

Rebecca Jacoby to step down as Cisco's SVP of Operations

After a distinguished 22-year career at Cisco, Rebecca Jacoby announced plans to retire. She currently serves as senior vice president of Operations.

Cisco has appointed Irving Tan to take on the newly created role of senior vice president of Operations and Digital, responsible for leading Cisco's digital transformation across the company in partnership with Sales, Engineering and other functions. Tan currently serves as Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific and Japan.

Cisco also announced that Chris Dedicoat, executive vice president of Worldwide Sales and Field Operations, has decided to leave his role at the end of Cisco's current fiscal year on July 28, 2018, and will transition to a senior advisory role to Chairman and CEO, Chuck Robbins.

Gremlin raises $7.5m for "Chaos Engineering" test tool

Gremlin, a start-up based in San Jose, California, announced $7.5 million in series A funding for its tool for deliberately injecting failure into software systems in order to proactively identify and fix unknown faults.

Gremlin, which was founded by a former engineer at Amazon and Netflix, said it helps customers build more resilient system through a new engineering philosophy called chaos engineering. The new tool simulates how a system would react when encountering challenges, such as network latency, data center outages, etc. With nearly a dozen attacks and more launching soon, Gremlin recreates the most common failures across three categories: Resource, Network, and State. The Gremlin tool is delivered as a subscription-based service, with pricing based on per instance or service.

The Series A funding came from Index Ventures and Amplify Partners.

“Having been an engineer at Amazon and Netflix for the past decade and on the front lines of system outages, this was a tool I built out of necessity. I was tired of the burnout from being paged at all hours of the night - there had to be a better way,” said Kolton Andrus, CEO of Gremlin. “Chaos engineering is a new principle that is just starting to take hold, and I believe it is one of the most effective ways to make the internet more reliable. We have to empower engineers to safely experiment to build knowledge and more resilient systems.”

Oracle cites overall cloud revenue growth of 44%

Oracle reported total revenues of $9.6 billion for Q2 of its fiscal 2018, up 6% compared to Q2 last year.

The company posted GAAP operating income of $3.1 billion, up 1% yoy, and GAAP operating margin of 32%. Non-GAAP operating income was up 10% to $4.2 billion and non-GAAP operating margin was 44%.

"Overall cloud revenue growth of 44% drove our quarterly revenue and earnings higher," said Oracle CEO, Safra Catz. "With non-GAAP Cloud SaaS Applications growth of 49% leading the way, Oracle delivered 14% non-GAAP earnings per share growth and 6% overall revenue growth. Our success in the quarter was based on the increasing scale and the gathering momentum in our cloud business. I expect the business to continue to grow and strengthen over the coming quarters."


  • Cloud plus On-Premise Software Revenues were up 9% to $7.8 billion. 
  • Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) revenues were up 55% to $1.1 billion. 
  • Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) plus Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) revenues were up 21% to $396 million. 
  • Total Cloud Revenues were up 44% to $1.5 billion.


In addition, Oracle's Board of Directors increased the authorization for share repurchases by $12 billion. The Board of Directors also declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.19 per share of outstanding common stock.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Apple to invest $390 million in Finisar for VCSELs

Apple will invest $390 million in Finisar to support the high-volume production of Finisar's vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), which are used power Apple’s TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X as well as the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods.  The iPhone X's TrueDepth camera enables Face ID, Animoji and Portrait mode selfie capabilities.

The $390 million investment comes from Apple's $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund supporting innovation and job creation by American manufacturers.

Finisar plans to reopen its 700,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Sherman, Texas. Volume production should be underway in the second half of 2018. The companies estimate this will create more than 500 jobs at the facility. Finisar operates another plant in nearby Allen, Texas. With both plants in full operation, Finisar's payroll in northern Texas is expected to be $65 million.


Bell Canada deploys open source ONAP

Bell, Canada’s largest communications company, is deploying the open source version of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) in its production network -- the first carrier to do so. The installation is part of the Bell's Network 3.0 transformation initiative.

The open source ONAP platform initially is being used by Bell to automate its data center tenant network provisioning. There are plans to use ONAP as a common platform across Bell’s networks on its journey towards a multi-partner DevOps model.

“Bell has been engaged in the ONAP journey from day one and committed to get it to production to demonstrate its value,” said Tamer Shenouda, Director of Network Transformation for Bell. “This demonstration will encourage other partners to take a similar incremental approach in delivery and operations of the platform, and we look forward to other telecoms launching ONAP to production.”

“We’re very proud to be the first member of the ONAP Project to demonstrate the viability of the platform live on our network,” said Petri Lyytikainen, Bell’s Vice President, Network Strategy, Services and Management. “The evolution of our advanced software-defined networks will enable us to respond even faster to the unique needs of our customers.”

Bell is a founding Platinum Member of ONAP. Platinum members include: Amdocs, AT&T, China Mobile, China Telecom, Cisco, Cloudify, Ericsson, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Jio, Nokia, Orange, Tech Mahindra, Türk Telekom, Vmware, Vodafone, and ZTE.




What is ONAP?

The Open Network Automation Platform is a project hosted by The Linux Foundation that aims to automate the entire network.

Facebook plans big expansion of Oregon data center

Facebook announced plans to add 900,000 square feet to its data center campus in Prineville, Oregon.

The expansion comes in the form of two new buildings expected to enter service in 2020 and 2021.

The Prineville site is where Facebook opened its first owned data center eight years ago. Since then, the site has expanded to three buildings encompassing 1.25 million square feet of space.

Google opens AI Research Center in Beijing

Google is opening an AI China Center to focus on basic research. Ms. Fei-Gei Li, who is Chief Scientist AI/ML at Google, notes that many of the world's top experts in AI are Chinese.

Google also has AI research groups located in New York, Toronto, London and Zurich.

China Mobile to enter UK as MVNO

China Mobile is entering the UK telephony market as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) with leased capacity on the EE network.

The new service -- called CMLink -- will provide mobile voice and data services for Chinese immigrants, students and professionals living in and traveling to the UK. The company estimates the size of the Chinese community in the UK at 433,000. A further 82,000 Chinese nationals are studying in the UK on student visas. During the first half of 2017, there were 115,000 Chinese tourists visiting the UK, up 47% over last year.

Two key features of the service:

  • CMLink promises no extra fees on data, minutes and texts across the UK, selected destinations in the EU, mainland China and Hong Kong SAR.
  • CMLink subscribers can  make free calls to 880 million China Mobile users in China.

“China Mobile’s ‘Big Connectivity’ strategy affirms its vision of becoming a leading global operator with innovative digital services.” said Dr. Li Feng, Chairman and CEO at CMI. “While China Mobile serves 880 million domestic mobile subscribers, CMI – its operating subsidiary responsible for international business – is breaking new ground in overseas markets. With the growing business and cultural exchanges between China and the UK, the launch of CMI’s CMLink MVNO, enables Chinese communities to stay connected with family, friends and business partners anytime, anywhere. We expect the UK launch to be a new chapter in CMI delivering compelling digital services that break down barriers of communication for global consumers while fostering open exchange between Belt and Road companies.”

T-Mobile US to enter pay TV business

T-Mobile US' CEO John Legere announced the company's entrance into the pay-TV business.

T-Mobile has agreed to acquire Layer3 TV, a provider of IP-based video service that was founded in 2013 by cable veterans Dave Fellows and Jeff Binder. Layer3 TV, which is based in Denver, streams its service to a custom set-top box with 4K decoders and 1 TB of local storage.

T-Mobile has stated that is LTE network is at the heart of its mobile video strategy. It's unclear if the upcoming T-Mobile home video service will be delivered wirelessly or streamed over any wireline broadband connection that is also ready in the home.

AT&T cites progress with Project AirGig

AT&T has launched more field trials of its Project AirGig, which aims to deploy low-cost plastic antennas along medium-voltage power lines as a means of propagating millimeter wave (mmWave) signals that can be used for 4G LTE and 5G multi-gigabit mobile and fixed deployments.

One of the new field trials is in the U.S. with Georgia Power, while the second trial is with an electricity provider located overseas.

AT&T says AirGig could one day deliver internet speeds well over 1 gigabit per second via a mmWave signal guided by power lines.

Project AirGig is part of our ongoing effort to accelerate internet connections to a gig or more through both wired and wireless solutions,” said Andre Fuetsch, president, AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer. “But it also stands alone as a radically innovative solution to bridge the global digital divide. If these trials and our continued research and development turn out the way we intend, we’ll take a big step toward bringing hyper-fast connectivity to people everywhere.”

Rivada offers $25M for Los Angeles' public safety LTE assets

Rivada Networks is bidding $25 million to acquire the LTE assets of the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS)

The company said its bid is more than double the $12 million offered by AT&T.

“Yet again, AT&T is shortchanging public safety with a low-ball offer for LA-RICS’s assets,” Chairman and CEO Declan Ganley said. “Rivada’s bid to build a truly statewide public-safety broadband network for all of California went in last week, and it included a far more generous offer for the LA-RICS network.” Rivada will ask the LA-RICS board to consider the two offers side-by-side, rather than rush to accept a low-ball bid without competition. This $12 million offer to LA-RICS is just the latest demonstration that without competition, public safety gets taken to the cleaners,” Ganley said. “Los Angeles deserves better, and California deserves better.”

Tintri posts quarterly revenue drop for its enterprise cloud platform

Tintri, which offers an enterprise cloud platform and which completed its IPO on 30-June-2017, reported quarterly revenue of $31.8 million, down 6% year-over-year There was a quarterly net loss per share of ($1.21) per share GAAP, and ($0.79) per share non-GAAP.

"We made progress in the quarter by expanding our differentiated technology portfolio with two new all-flash product lines and software that integrates our products with leading public cloud storage solutions. These innovations helped us to increase our footprint with existing customers. However, we are disappointed with Q3 revenue. The company was impacted by delayed and reduced purchases by some accounts, but some of the delayed transactions closed in November,” said Ken Klein, Chairman and CEO at Tintri.

The company also disclosed that it is exploring strategic options "to deliver value to our stockholders, including retaining investment bank advisors."

Warburg Pincus buys 20% stake in Bhartin Telemedia

Warburg Pincus will acquire a 20% equity stake in Bharti Telemedia, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel that offers Direct To Home (DTH) satellite service under the Airtel TV brand, for US$350 million. The business unit has approximately 14 million subscribers according to financial filings.

Viraj Sawhney, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus India, is expected to join the Board of Bharti Telemedia.

See also