Thursday, January 4, 2018

Barracuda acquires Phishline for security awareness

Barracuda Networks has acquired PhishLine, a start-up offering a SaaS platform for social engineering simulation and training that delivers security awareness for better phishing protection. Financial terms were not disclosed.

PhishLine, which is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, offers data analytics and reporting to allow customers to measure and report on risks at macro and micro levels across the human and process layers. The company has three issued and eight pending patents for its SaaS platform, which includes multivariable attack simulations across email, text message, voice, and USB/mobile media; best-in-class data capture, analytics and reporting; and continual, complex analysis of employee performance. PhishLine was launched in 2011.

With this transaction, Barracuda said now delivers gateway security, data protection, AI-based targeted threat protection, and user awareness training for comprehensive protection against email-borne threats.

"Security awareness training is an important and quickly evolving area, particularly with increasingly targeted attacks making the human element a critical link in the security value chain," said BJ Jenkins, president and CEO at Barracuda. "PhishLine has a culture of developing innovative email protection solutions, including social engineering and data analysis offerings. Combining the power of the Barracuda security technologies with PhishLine's capabilities gives us the opportunity to deliver integrated, adaptive security training aimed at preventing email security threats."

Terahertz multiplexer achieves 50 Gbps wireless transmission

An international research team from Brown University and the Institut d'Electronique de Microélectronique et de Nanotechnologie (IEMN), CNRS/University of Lille, in France, has reported the first transmission of two real-time video signals through a terahertz multiplexer at an aggregate data rate of 50 Gbps.

The breakthrough, which was reported in the journal Nature Communications, combined radio transmission techniques with photonic-based THz circuits to achieve high-data rates. Tektronix played a key role in the demonstration, supplying its DPO70000SX 70 GHz Oscilloscope and its AWG70000 arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs).

The researchers used a waveguide system involving two metal plates in parallel to encode two high-definition television broadcasts onto terahertz waves of two different frequencies: 264.7 GHz and 322.5 GHz. QPSK modulation was used.

"The bridging of fiber optics and radio technologies using photonic-based THz circuits to achieve high-data rates is an area of continuous innovation and this is another example of how test and measurement enables innovation. Advanced test tools are needed today to generate and characterize signals at 100G, 400G and beyond and Tektronix offers a wide portfolio of optical communication test solutions, including those used on this ground-breaking research effort," stated Dean Miles, market development manager in Europe, Middle East and Africa for Tektronix.

Sercomm debuts LTE-M IoT button with 3-year battery life

Sercomm, which is a global manufacturer and supplier of telecom equipment and devices, introduced an LTE IoT button device,

The button connects to the cloud via LTE Cat M1 (any carrier frequency worldwide), and is designed to sustain up to two thousand clicks. It measures 65 x 65 x 25 mm.

As a "one-click button" the device could be programmed for a range of IoT applications, such as mobile ordering of products or supplies, triggering of automatic alerts, or provisioning of logistical services or maintenance tasks that occur at irregular intervals.

The button was designed and manufactured by Sercomm and based on Sequans’ Monarch LTE Cat M1/NB1 Platform, which provides support for power saving mode (PSM) and extended discontinuous reception (eDRX) to enable the long battery life needed by many IoT use cases. Battery life is estimated 3 years. Sequans’ Monarch is already certified by Verizon and AT&T and in the certification process with many other carriers.

Xilinx names Victor Peng as its new CEO

Xilinx named Victor Peng as its next president and chief executive officer, replacing Moshe Gavrielov, who will step down as CEO and from the board of directors on January 28th.

Since joining the company in 2008, Peng has spearheaded industry-leading strategy and technical shifts across the company’s portfolio of products and services, resulting in three consecutive generations of core product leadership and significant technology breakthroughs in integration and programming.  Most recently,

Peng joined Xilinx in 2009 and currently serves as Chief Operating Officer. He was appointed as a member of the board of directors in October 2017. Before joining Xilinx, Peng served as corporate vice president of the graphics products group (GPG) silicon engineering at AMD.

Swarm64 raises $12.5M for FPGA acceleration for databases

Swarm64, a Norwegian company with operations in Berlin, Germany secured a Series B funding round of US$12.5 million for its scalable data accelerator (SDA) for relational databases.

Swarm64 leverages an FPGA-based accelerator and real-time database software to perform analytics for high velocity and big data applications in PostgreSQL, MariaDB, and MySQL .


The funding round was led by Intel Capital and Investinor. Also participating in the round were Alliance Venture and Target Partners.

"We are very glad to welcome Intel Capital as a new investor. The cooperation with Intel will help us serve a global market with the most advanced technology.” says Karsten Rönner, CEO of Swarm64. “Many industries face an explosion in their data processing needs, be it from growing numbers of connected ‘things’, expanding business models that include data analytics or staying competitive in markets with ever higher data processing needs. The Swarm64SDA enables anyone with basic skills in relational databases to gain deep new business insights in less time.”

Mavenir acquires Aquto for mobile sponsored-data platform

Mavenir has acquired Aquto, a start-up based in Boston that offers a cloud-based sponsored data platform that helps mobile operators to increase marketing and advertising revenue. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sponsored data enables users to gain cellular data connectivity through 3rd party sponsorships. Aquto said operators can use data sponsorships as a form of currency to improve mobile engagement across any type of mobile campaign (app downloads, in-app engagement, media, etc.).

Aquto's SaaS Platform Distribution is available either as a white-label Sponsored Data platform to enable single MNO or group of MNOs or as Global Sponsored Data Platform connected to all MNOs.

“What’s critical to the subscriber is mobile data connectivity and what’s important to carriers is monetization and loyalty,” said Pardeep Kohli. “In this marketplace, operators can monetize sponsors through the value exchange model - where mobile data is the primary currency. Enterprises can attach data rewards to a specific call to action (CTA). Users/consumers, when provided with sponsored data services, engage more with the operator and ultimately buy more data from the operator (i.e. reduced churn by 5% and increased ARPU by 15% for prepaid subscribers).”

Aquto was co-founded and led by Susie Kim Riley. Investors in Aquto included Matrix Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, Iris Capital, and STC Ventures.

Nokia and Huawei sign patent license agreement

Nokia signed a multi-year patent license agreement with Huawei. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Nokia said it would begin seeing revenue in Q4 2017, including an element of non-recurring catch-up revenue.

"Huawei is one of China's largest companies and is among the world's leading smartphone manufacturers and we are delighted to welcome them to our family of patent licensees," said Maria Varsellona, chief legal officer at Nokia.


Sprint names Michel Combes as president and CFO

Michel Combes has been appointed President & Chief Financial Officer of Sprint, reporting to company CEO Marcelo Claure. Combes will also be appointed to Sprint's Board of Directors at a later date.

Combes previously served as CEO of Altice N.V., a convergent global leader in telecom, content, media, entertainment, and advertising, and as chairman and CEO of SFR Group, a leading French telecommunications and media company.  Earlier in this career, Combes served as CEO of Vodafone Europe and chairman and CEO of TDF, a French tower company. Combes also served as an advisor to Brightstar, the company founded by Claure, to support its global expansion. He is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and Telecom ParisTech.

"Michel is an extremely capable and accomplished global telecom and cable industry leader and I know bringing him on board will help to accelerate our progress as Sprint begins the next chapter of our transformation," said Claure. "He is a visionary executive with a proven track record of successfully transforming leading telecom and media companies and will help us to execute our strategic plan and strengthen our team."

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Ericsson hosts 5G NR interoperability demo with leading carriers

Leading global carriers participated in a live demo of sub-6 GHz and mmWave end-to-end 5G NR systems based on the recently ratified 5G New Radio (NR) global 3GPP standard, Ericsson’s 5G NR pre-commercial base stations and Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G NR UE prototypes.

Mobile operators participating in the demo included AT&T, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, SK Telecom, Sprint, Telstra, T-Mobile US, Verizon, and Vodafone.

The demo was held at both the Ericsson Lab in Kista, Sweden and the Qualcomm Research lab in New Jersey.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson, says: “This milestone builds on years of researching and developing 5G technology as well as on leading and contributing to the standardization work. By working closely with our key partners in early trials and fine-tuning our global portfolio, we ensure that we can bring the standard-compliant technology to the benefits of our customers and their customers.”

“Achieving multi-vendor interoperability based on the global 5G NR standard is a true testament to our continued 5G leadership, delivering fundamental contributions to the 3GPP standard and driving toward the launch of standard-compliant commercial networks and devices starting in 2019,” says Cristiano Amon, Executive Vice President, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “As we did in both 3G and 4G, we are excited to collaborate with Ericsson as an industry leader to accelerate the path to 5G globally.”

Sprint confirms its 2.5 GHz spectrum is included in 5G NR spec

Sprint confirmed that its  2.5 GHz spectrum band is included in the Non-Standalone 3GPP 5G NR specification (initial part of Release 15), which was ratified at the 3GPP TSG RAN plenary meeting in Lisbon in late December.

The specification includes bandwidths up to 100 MHz for an n41 (2.5 GHz) single component carrier vs. today’s 20 MHz per component carrier for 4G LTE. With more than 160 MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum available in the top 100 U.S. markets, this gives Sprint the largest nationwide block of sub-6 GHz 5G spectrum available for wide-scale use in the U.S.

“This is an important milestone and we’re making great progress accelerating the development and commercialization of 5G NR in the 2.5 GHz band,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. “5G will spur dramatic innovation and progress around the world, and we see great opportunity in mobile 5G, massive machine type communications, and ultra-reliable and low-latency communications.”

Sprint also confirmed that it aims to provide commercial 5G services and devices in late 2019 and that it is working with Qualcomm and Softbank in this regard. In addition, Sprint is working with its RAN (Radio Access Network) suppliers – Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung – for end-to-end availability of 5G NR in Sprint’s 2.5 GHz (n41) spectrum.

Sprint’s initial path to market for 5G will be through the deployment of 2.5 GHz Massive MIMO radios slated for commercial use in 2018. These 64T64R (64 transmitters, 64 receivers) radios will be software-upgradable to 5G NR.

CyrusOne to acquire Zenium Data Centers for $442M

CyrusOne agreed to acquire Zenium Data Centers, a leading hyperscale data center provider in Europe with four properties in London and Frankfurt, the continent’s two largest data center markets, for $442 million, reflecting a multiple of 18 times expected annualized Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $25 million from both commenced and signed but not yet billing leases. CyrusOne will also reimburse Zenium for capital expenditures between signing and closing. The two facilities in Frankfurt will be owned by CyrusOne, while the two facilities in London are leased with a remaining weighted average lease term of approximately 40 years, inclusive of renewal options.

Zenium has approximately $40 million in annualized contracted GAAP revenue, taking into account leases that are signed but not yet billing, excluding estimates for pass-through power, representing approximately $25 million in expected annualized Adjusted EBITDA. All signed contracts will have commenced by year-end 2018. Upon full buildout, the four properties will consist of more than 260,000 colocation square feet and 49.3 MW of power capacity. Approximately 54% of this power capacity, or 26.8 MW, is currently leased.

MW                                                  London     Frankfurt     Total

Total power capacity(1)                     22.6       26.7              49.3
Total power capacity leased                9.4        17.4               26.8
% leased                                             42%       65%              54%
Power capacity available for lease      13.2      9.3                22.5

(1)Represents critical load power capacity available for lease upon full buildout

“This transaction establishes a significant presence for us in Europe’s two largest data center markets and provides a platform to scale to meet the strong demand across the continent,” said Gary Wojtaszek, president and chief executive officer of CyrusOne. “The Zenium team is experienced and well-respected with particular expertise leasing to hyperscale companies, and they have built an outstanding, fast-growing company. The capacity for further growth at their existing locations remains substantial, allowing us to nearly double the size of their business, and we will be able to leverage the European infrastructure to expand within London and Frankfurt and into new markets in an efficient, cost-effective manner.”

All 50 U.S. States opt in to FirstNet

All 50 U.S. states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia have now opted in to the FirstNet spectrum build-out.

FirstNet, in partnership with AT&T, is building the nationwide public safety broadband network. The effort to create a separate, dedicated network for first responders can be traced back to the communication challenges public safety experienced during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"With every state saying 'yes' to the FirstNet plan, America's first responders now have a nationwide interoperable network they can rely on 24/7/365 – like their mission," said First Responder Network Authority Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth. "I applaud these governors for their decision and congratulate public safety for its advocacy and partnership throughout the process. With more than 50 states and territories participating in FirstNet, public safety is assured of an enduring, self-sufficient network to serve them for years to come."

AT&T and FirstNet announced the following goals for 2018:

  • Increased coverage and capacity from AT&T's FirstNet build. Plus, access to mobile dedicated network assets that can be deployed for additional coverage and support when needed.
  • Launch of the AT&T-built FirstNet nationwide, dedicated evolved packet core network with end-to-end encryption. All FirstNet traffic will be routed through this multi-million-dollar core to give first responders the separate, highly secure, non-commercial network they deserve.
  • Access to a dedicated Security Operations Center, offering 24/7/365 support.
  • Roll out of a range of next-generation public safety tools. This includes mission-critical push-to-talk and device offerings, like BYOD, to bring value to urban and rural first responders.
  • Continued innovation with the FirstNet app ecosystem. This will be supported by FirstNet-focused hackathons in the new year to help fuel development.

Gigamon's $1.6B privatization deal has been completed

Gigamon confirmed the completion of its acquisition by Elliott Management, a leading multi-strategy private investment firm, and the Qatar Investment Authority.

The acquisition, valued at approximately $1.6 billion, was approved by Gigamon shareholders on December 22, 2017. As a result of the completion of the transaction, shareholders will receive $38.50 per share in cash and Gigamon common stock will no longer be listed for trading on the NYSE.

"This is a pivotal day for Gigamon employees, customers and partners around the world. With the acquisition complete, our team will continue to execute strategic initiatives that will both empower our customers with new, rich functionality and drive Gigamon to the next level of growth," said Paul Hooper, Chief Executive Officer of Gigamon. "As a private company, we will continue to build upon our leading technology foundation and transform the market we created and lead. With our Security Delivery Platform, we are in a unique position to enable NetOps and SecOps teams to work together addressing the common goal of securing their enterprise while containing costs and minimizing complexity. Working closely with Evergreen, we are entering a new and exciting era."

Elliott Management to privatize Gigamon in $1.6 billion deal

Elliott Management, a private investment firm known for shareholder activism, will acquire Gigamon for $38.50 per share in cash, for a total value of approximately $1.6 billion, making Gigamon a privately-held company. Elliott Management and its affiliates currently hold a 7.0% equity voting stake in Gigamon.

Gigamon's recent revenue trends
         2017                        2016
Q3    $79.2 million          $83.5 million
Q2    $69.1 million          $75.1 million
Q1    $69.6 million          $66.9 million

Serverfarm acquires data center in Atlanta

Serverfarm, a privately-owned data center developer and operator, has acquired the 305 Satellite Blvd data center complex in Suwanee, Georgia. The data center encompasses 153,000 square feet and has significant fiber and network access. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Serverfarm now has over 1 million square feet of data center space in seven North American markets (Moses Lake, WA; Santa Clara, CA; Chicago, IL; Charlotte, NC; Oak Brook, IL; and Toronto, ON).


Vodafone: IoT Trends for 2018

by Ludovico Fassati, Head of IoT for Vodafone Americas

IoT will drive business transformation

Companies that have adopted IoT see the technology as mission critical to their business. These companies are leading the way when it comes to digital transformation initiatives. According to Vodafone’s 2017/18 IoT Barometer, 74% of companies that have adopted IoT agree that digital transformation is impossible without it. The businesses that implement IoT solutions in the next year will have a clear advantage over competitors when it comes to evolving their digital capabilities.

LP-WAN solutions will open up the IoT market

IoT adopters have great expectations for the future of the technology, and new connectivity options like Low-Power Wide Area Networks (LP-WAN) are making innovation possible. LP-WAN technologies, like Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) allow for increased network coverage over a wide area at a low cost, making them an ideal solution for adding connectivity in hard-to-reach places. According to the analyst firm Analysys Mason, once there is greater awareness and understanding of LP-WAN, there will be new wave of growth in this area. LP-WAN technologies will begin to open the IoT market to applications that have not previously benefitted from connectivity.

IoT will become central to enterprise IT functions

Today, most major enterprises have already integrated IoT into their core systems and initiatives to drive digital businesses. We will continue to see connectivity become part of the enterprise IT fabric – in fact, within five years, IoT will be core to millions of business processes. In the future, companies may even take for granted that devices and appliances like vehicles and HVAC systems can be controlled and monitored remotely, thanks to IoT connectivity.

Companies will be increasingly confident in IoT security solutions

As with any new technology, security remains a top concern when it comes to IoT. However, businesses with large IoT implementations are becoming more confident, given that they have the expertise and resources necessary to tackle security concerns. These organizations will begin to see these security measures as enablers that give them the confidence to push business forward. As the technology matures, trust in IoT-enabled applications and devices will only continue to grow.

Businesses will see unexpected benefits from IoT adoption

Companies that integrate IoT solutions will see a number of benefits from the technology. The benefits go way beyond just enabling better data collection and business insights. IoT will be seen as a driver of improvements across businesses – organizations are already using IoT to reduce risk, cut costs, create new revenue streams, improve employee productivity, enhance customer experience and more. Businesses are likely to see even more benefits as they implement the technology across operations.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Reliance Jio to acquire infrastructure of Reliance Comm

Reliance Jio Infocomm, the fastest growing mobile operator in the world and which is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, agreed to acquire specified assets of Reliance Communications Limited and its affiliates.

The sale includes assets under four categories – Towers, Optic Fiber Cable Network, Spectrum and Media Convergence Nodes, specifically:

  • 122.4 MHz of 4G Spectrum in the 800/900/1800/2100 MHz bands 
  • Over 43,000 towers, amongst the top 3 independent tower holdings in India 
  • ~ 1,78,000 RKM of fiber with pan India footprint 
  • 248 Media Convergence Nodes, covering ~5 Million sqft used for hosting telecom infrastructure

The deal was valued at US$$3.77 billion, according to media reports. Reliance Communications said it will use the proceeds for debt repayment and that it retains its other businesses including its enterprise networking practice, its data centers, and its subsea cable network.
Reliance Jio said the assets are strategic in nature and are expected to contribute significantly to the largescale roll-out of wireless and Fiber to Home and Enterprise services in India.

Reliance Jio was the winning bidder in a sale mandated by the lenders of Reliance Communications. The sale was managed by SBI Capital Markets Limited. The acquisition is subject to receipt of requisite approvals from Governmental and regulatory authorities, consents from all lenders, release of all encumbrances on the said assets and other conditions precedent.

Huawei remains strong and steady as 2017 growth rate slows to 15%

Huawei expects its revenue for 2017 to show a 15% year-over-year increase, its slowest rate of growth since 2013, according to a New Year's message to staff posted by Huawei rotating CEO Ken Hu. Hu cited fluctuations in telco investment cycles but said the overall business remains strong.

Huawei's final revenue figure for 2017 should be in the range of 600 billion yuan (US$91 billion).

In the enterprise sector, Huawei is focused on opportunities in cloud, campus networks, data centers, and IoT. Hu said 197 companies in the Fortune Global 500 have selected Huawei as their digital transformation partner.
On the consumer side, Huawei sold a record 153 million smartphones during 2017, representing 10% global market share.

The past year also saw the formation of a Cloud Business Unit, whose portfolio has already grown to include 97 different services across 14 major categories.

A final note - in 2018, Huawei will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its founding. Hu said the vision remains to "bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world."

http://www.huawei.com/en/special-release/new-year-message-2018?utm_medium=sm&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=MBBF


Huawei Forecasts 2017 Sales will Continue to Rise Dramatically


Huawei expects its 2017 sales revenue to reach 520 billion yuan (US$74.8 billion), up 32% year-on-year. In a New Year's message, Huawei Rotating CEO Eric Xu said the company made significant progress in 2016 in improving its efficiency and quality. "Fear not the drifting clouds that block your eyes: beneath shifting sands bright gold still lies. The year 2016 has seen a flock of black swans – both political and economic – sweep across the globe....


CenturyLink appoints EVP Marketing and EVP Product Management

CenturyLink announced the appointments of Gaurav Chand as executive vice president – marketing and of Shaun Andrews as executive vice president - product management. Both report to Chief Operating Officer Jeff Storey.

Previously, Chand served as the global senior vice president, marketing – infrastructure solutions group for Dell EMC.

Andrews was previously the senior vice president, IP and real-time communications for Level 3, and has nearly 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. Prior to Level 3, Andrews held a number of senior-level roles in product development, product management, sales and business development at IntelePeer, WilTel and SBC Communications. Andrews focuses on the company's go-to market strategy, pricing, product management and product marketing.

See also