Thursday, February 8, 2018

Qualcomm builds up 5G momentum with design wins, trials

The major pieces are falling into place for the wide-scale rollout of 5G networks beginning in 2019. according to Qualcomm executives at a media event in San Diego ahead of the upcoming Mobile World Congress.

For the 5G launch to be successful, all of the following would have to be commercially ready: we standards, silicon, network infrastructure deployment, available spectrum, a choice of consumer devices, and viable use cases sustained by business models.

Qualcomm said the industry has made progress in each of these areas, setting the stage for what should be a strong rollout of 5G by a number of mobile operators. This week Qualcomm is announcing:

5G design wins with device manufacturers -- there is a growing list of leading global OEMs choosing the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem family for standard-compliant 5G NR mobile device product launches starting in 2019. These 5G mobile devices will be for the sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum bands. Brands committing to the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem include: Asus, Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Connected Technologies Limited, HMD Global – the home of Nokia phones, HTC, Inseego/Novatel Wireless, LG, NetComm Wireless, NETGEAR, OPPO, Sharp, Sierra Wireless, Sony Mobile, Telit, vivo, Wingtech, WNC, Xiaomi and ZTE.

5G NR Trials with mobile operators --  Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X50 5G modem has been selected for use in live, over-the-air mobile 5G NR trials with multiple global wireless network operators in both the sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum bands. AT&T, British Telecom, China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, KT Corporation, LG Uplus, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Sprint, Telstra, TIM, Verizon and Vodafone Group will conduct the trials, which will be based on the 3GPP Release 15 5G NR standard.

Use cases -- 5G use cases include enhanced mobile broadband to smartphones; Always Connected PCs; head-mounted displays (HMD) for virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and extended reality (XR); and Mobile Broadband, all of which require constant and consistent cloud connectivity.

"2018 will be a big year for Qualcomm Technologies and the mobile industry overall as we work to execute on the agreed upon 5G NR specification,” said Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated.

Qualcomm rejects Broadcom's latest offer

The Board of Directors of Qualcomm unanimously rejected the latest bid from Broadcom posted -5-February-2018, saying the offer of $82.00 per share ($60.00 in cash and $22.00 in Broadcom stock) significantly undervalues the company and poses regulatory risks.

In an open letter to Mr. Hock Tan, Broadcom's CEO, the directors of Qualcomm point out that the offer "ascribes no value to our accretive NXP acquisition, no value for the expected resolution of our current licensing disputes and no value for the significant opportunity in 5G."

AT&T commits to 520 MW of wind power

AT&T announced one of the largest corporate purchases of renewal energy in the U.S. to date.  The carrier agreed to purchase 520 megawatts (MW) of wind power through 2 agreements with subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources:


  • 220 MW of power will come from the Minco V Wind Farm located in Caddo County, Oklahoma. 
  • 300 MW will come from a wind farm in Webb and Duval Counties in Texas. 


AT&T also announced its commitment to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles. The group is led by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and is made up of large energy buyers working to spur progress on renewable energy and fulfill their increased demand for it. AT&T is also a member of the Business Renewables Center, an initiative that, along with the Buyers’ Principles, forms part of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance.

“As one of the world’s largest companies, we know how we source our energy is important,” said Scott Mair, President, AT&T Operations. “Many companies are focused on their own carbon footprint but we believe our industry can do more. We’ve been working for a long time to ensure our wind projects deliver for both our business and the environment. We will continue to explore renewable energy solutions to help create a better, more sustainable world.”

T-Mobile U.S. revenues up 8.3% to $30.2 billion in 2017

T-Mobile U.S. revenues in Q4 2017 rose 5.1% to $10.8 billion. For full year 2017, revenues were up 8.3% to $40.6 billion. Net income was $2.7 billion and $4.5 billion in Q4 2017 and 2017, respectively
Diluted earnings per share ("EPS") of $3.11 and $5.20 in Q4 2017 and 2017, respectively.

Some key metrics:

  • 1.9 million total net additions in Q4 2017 - 5.7 million in 2017
  • 1.1 million total branded postpaid net additions in Q4 2017 - 3.6 million in 2017
  • 891,000 branded postpaid phone net additions in Q4 2017 - 2.8 million in 2017
  • 149,000 branded prepaid net additions in Q4 2017 - 855,000 in 2017
  • 1.18% postpaid phone churn in Q4 2017, down 10 bps year-over-year - 1.18% in 2017, down 12 bps from 2016
  • T-Mobile covered 322 million people with 4G LTE at the end of 2017 - targeting 325 million people across 2.5 million square miles by the end of 2018
  • first U.S. carrier to exceed 30 Mbps average download speed
  • Aggressive deployment activity of 600 MHz in 2017, accelerated pace anticipated for 2018
  • 2,800 new stores opened in 2017, including nearly 1,500 new T-Mobile and over 1,300 net new MetroPCS


"Wow - what a way to cap off 2017! Record financial results across the board and over 5 million customers added for the fourth year in a row," said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. "We made incredible progress in 2017 building out our network and retail footprint to set ourselves up for future growth. Our business is clearly firing on all cylinders and our strong guidance for 2018 shows that we have no plans of letting up!"


CoreSite's data center business continues to grow, up 14% in Q4

CoreSite Realty reported Q4 2017 revenue of $125.9 million, representing a 14.0% increase year over year. Reported fourth-quarter net income per diluted share of $0.44, consistent with the prior-year level.

During Q4, CoreSite executed 128 new and expansion data center leases comprising 41,521 net rentable square feet (NRSF), representing $7.2 million of annualized GAAP rent at an average rate of $174 per square foot. The company also commenced 52,221 NRSF of new and expansion leases representing $8.2 million of annualized GAAP rent at an average rate of $157 per square foot.

“We finished out the year with solid results, highlighted by fourth-quarter revenue, adjusted EBITDA and FFO growth, before the one-time Preferred Stock redemption charge, of 14%, 13%, and 11%, year over year, respectively,” said Paul Szurek, CoreSite’s Chief Executive Officer. “Organic growth was driven primarily by the continued expansion of existing customers across the portfolio and also by new logo growth as we continue to attract valuable deployments to our facilities, driving interactions and interconnections among our customers. When looking at 2017 in its entirety, we executed well on our strategic priorities and took important steps to grow our differentiated scalable and flexible campus strategy in key markets, including Santa Clara, Northern Virginia, Los Angeles, and most recently, Chicago.”

Interoute delivers SD-WAN for Thule

Thule Group, a leading sports and outdoor goods company, has selected Interoute to deliver an SD-WAN connecting 30 of its sites in 14 countries.  Thule is implementing an Enterprise Digital Platform to support its growth and digital evolution.

By prioritising and optimising essential data traffic at the edge of the network and actively directing it along the most efficient lowest latency routes, Interoute Edge SD-WAN will optimise data flows to and from applications hosted in the cloud, improving performance for users.

“As we’ve moved to use more cloud and SaaS based applications, we’ve seen increased bandwidth demand and heavy over-utilisation of our network. We needed an underlying network that would allow us to achieve greater flexibility, scalability and control over our IT estate,” said Anders Olsson, Director of IT at Thule Group. “Interoute owns an advanced world-class network that offers us a platform unlike any other. With Interoute, we now have a software defined network foundation that offers us the flexibility we need to expand our business, enabling us to grow and evolve without technology limitations.”

Former Time Warner Cable exec to head Google Fiber

Dinesh (Dinni) Jain has been appointed CEO of Access, the new name for the Google Fiber and Webpass business.

Jain most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Time Warner Cable.

Sierra Wireless posts Q4 revenue of $183.5 million up 13%

Sierra Wireless reported Q4 2017 revenue of $183.5 million, an increase of 12.6% compared to $163.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Revenue from OEM Solutions was $139.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 3.4% compared to $135.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Revenue from Enterprise Solutions was $31.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 52.0% compared to $21.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Revenue from IoT Services was $11.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 73.5% compared to $6.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

GAAP net loss for the quarter was $3.5 million, or $0.11 per diluted share. Non-GAAP net earnings were $9.2 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to net earnings of $8.8 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

“In the fourth quarter of 2017, we delivered year-over-year revenue increases in each of our three segments, with particularly strong growth in our high margin Enterprise and IoT Services lines of business,” said Jason Cohenour, President and CEO. “We also significantly strengthened our IoT Services business with the addition of Numerex, and are now better positioned than ever before to expand our IoT services and scale our subscription-based recurring revenue.”

New market highs for semiconductor sales

The first financial reports of 2018 from semiconductor conductor companies have started to arrive. Intel reported very strong results for the fourth quarter of 2017, as did Microsemi (see below). The figures are encouraging for the networking and telecommunications businesses as well given that nearly every system-on-chip solution ends up in a device that is network connected. The more end-user devices, the more nodes on the network, and the data tsunami continues to grow.

Last week, Gartner updated its forecast of worldwide semiconductor revenue, predicting a total $451 billion in 2018, an increase of 7.5 percent from $419 billion in 2017, The new figure is nearly double the 4 percent growth rate that the firm had predicted earlier. The reason for the increased optimism are “more favourable market conditions”, especially for DRAM and NAND memory. Gartner sees the possibility of price increases for some semiconductor categories during 2018, which in turn would put pressure on margins for system vendors and smartphone manufacturers.

Gartner is predicting other categories will grow at a 4.6% clip in 2018, including field-programmable gate array (FPGA), optoelectronics, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), nonoptical sensors and application-specific standard products (ASSPs). This analysis comes from Gartner’s newly published  "Forecast Analysis: Electronics and Semiconductors, Worldwide, 4Q17 Update.

"Favorable market conditions for memory sectors that gained momentum in the second half of 2016 prevailed through 2017 and look set to continue in 2018, providing a significant boost to semiconductor revenue," said Ben Lee, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Gartner has increased the outlook for 2018 by $23.6 billion compared with the previous forecast, of which the memory market accounts for $19.5 billion. Price increases for both DRAM and NAND flash memory are raising the outlook for the overall semiconductor market."

This momentum has also been reported by The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) which found that worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $37.1 billion for the month of October 2017, an increase of 21.9 percent from the October 2016 total of $30.4 billion and 3.2 percent more than September’s total of $36.0 billion.  Simply put, October was global semiconductor industry’s largest-ever monthly sales total.
“The global semiconductor market continued to grow impressively in October, with sales surpassing the industry’s highest-ever monthly total and moving closer to topping $400 billion for 2017,” said John Neuffer, president and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association. “Market growth continues to be driven in part by high demand for memory products, but combined sales of all other semiconductor products were up substantially as well, showing the breadth of the market’s strength this year.”

Intel builds on its data centre strength

Despite the PC market continuing its long-term decline due to consumers not replacing traditional home PCs, Intel is telling the financial community that 2018 will be another record year. Its earnings report highlights its Data Center Group as the leading growth driver for Q4 2017.
DCG's revenue was up 20%. This breaks down as follows: cloud segment was up 35%, communications service provider revenues were up 16%, enterprise was up 11%, and adjacency revenue was up 35%. Overall unit volume was up 10%. The new Xeon Scalable server processors, which were launched in July,  are ramping well.

With all of the new data centre construction underway pretty much in every major metro, it is easy to see how Intel’s cloud sales were up so strongly. Many are wondering if the recently disclosed security vulnerabilities in Intel CPUs will hurt its business.  With the (buggy) firmware patches seen as only a temporary fix, there is a distinct possibility that the operators of cloud data centres will choose to retire the current crop of processors earlier than expected once redesigned silicon hits the market. In that case, the refresh cycle for CPUs in cloud data centres could be brought forward. Intel will still be the leading supplier, even if customers are annoyed or infuriated by the silicon bug, and this would benefit Intel financially rather than hurt it. It’s too early to say this will play out, and industry forecasts have no data at this point.

Growing prospects for semiconductors in 2018 forward
Data centres
Smartphones
5G infrastructure
IoT
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
Automotive segment
Ethernet ICs
AI, machine learning, and machine vision
Memory

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Telefónica and Huawei test 5G-V2X Radio for uRLLC Assisted Driving

Telefónica and Huawei are running a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) testbed for 5G based vehicle communication networks (known as 5G-V2X) in their 5G Joint Innovation Lab at Madrid.

The 5G-V2X test is based on the latest 5G NR specs and includes advanced services such as vehicles platooning, extended sensors, advanced driving and remote driving, among others.

The so-called Ultra-Reliable and Low-Latency Communication (URLLC) mode for 5G NR offers the flexible design to support services with low latency and high-reliability requirements.

Huawei said the PoC demonstrates that URLLC can effectively support V2X with higher system capacity and better coverage. The exercise achieved 99.999% reliability with a low latency of 1ms required for autonomous driving in a typical macro cellular outdoor environment, such as dense urban, suburban and rural areas.  In the 5G-V2X PoC, a novel self-contained frame structure for radio transmission was used, both from the base station to the vehicle and from the vehicle to another vehicle. This allows much faster transmission feedback, enabling very low-latency communications. The great flexibility of the NR system framework allows the support of some advanced features, like Polar coding for small V2X packet error correction, an optimized HARQ (Hybrid Automatic Repeat Request) procedure for increased transmission reliability, or an ‘Inactive State’ for instantly sending short packets to control the car maneuver. To further enhance performance, another key technology, ‘SCMA-based (Sparse Coded Multiple Access) Grant Free Access, was tested.

Mr. Enrique Blanco, Telefónica Global CTIO, said: “This PoC between Telefónica and Huawei is another step towards 5G commercialization and a fully connected society. We will strengthen our collaboration by verifying 5G key technologies. Multiple novel use cases will be developed and provided to our customers.”

Dr. Wen Tong, Huawei Fellow and Huawei Wireless CTO, said: “We are pleased with our further collaboration with Telefónica in 5G technologies. The 5G-V2X PoC is another joint effort to pave the way for commercialization of 5G and lay a solid foundation to realize the 5G vision of enabling cooperative autonomous driving.”

Nokia and Qualcomm conduct 5G NR testing

Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies completed 5GNR interoperability testing in the 3.5Ghz and 28Ghz spectrum compliant with the global 3GPP 5G NR Release 15 standard.

The testing, which was complete at Nokia's 5G center of excellence in Oulu, Finland and using the commercially available Nokia AirScale base station and device prototypes from Qualcomm, will provide the basis for 5G NR field trials with operators in 2018.

Marc Rouanne, President of Mobile Networks, Nokia said: "These tests by Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies are important to the progress of 5G. Importantly, they demonstrate how we have quickly applied the 3GPP Release 15 specifications that were set in December, using our AirScale base station - which has been shipped to more than 100 customers - together with a prototype Qualcomm Technologies UE. Now, we can look forward to commencing standards-based, over-the-air 5G NR trials with operators."

Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm Incorporated, said: "The successful completion of an end-to-end interoperable connection based on the global 5G NR standard is a significant step on the path to launching 5G NR commercial networks and devices starting in 2019. We look forward to further collaboration on standard-compliant field trials with Nokia and global operators on the path to commercialization."

Zayo to open dark fiber route via Prineville, OR

Zayo announced plans for a new long haul dark fiber network between Reno, Nevada and Umatilla, Oregon -- a distance of 600 miles (1,000 km).

Zayo said the project is anchored by a webscale customer.

The route, which will be fully underground, connects the two cities via Prineville, Oregon.

“The new route completes a piece of the puzzle that the western U.S. needs to connect the dots between content companies’ core data center locations in a way no other carriers can provide,” said Jack Waters, CTO and president of Fiber Solutions at Zayo. “As more companies add data centers in Oregon and Nevada, Zayo is well positioned to provide them with high-capacity fiber infrastructure.”

SiTime reaches big milestone: 1 billion timing devices shipped

SiTime Corporation, which specializes in MEMS timing devices, announced a big milestone - the cumulative shipment of over 1 billion timing devices.

SiTime's MEMS timing devices are used in a wide range of applications such as mobile phones, tablets, fitness trackers, cameras, automobile, autonomous vehicles, rockets, earthquake detection systems, etc.

The company estimates the market for all timing devices is $6 billion, and SiTime supplies 90% of the MEMS timing components sold.

"SiTime is redefining timing technology, and we've only just begun our journey," said Rajesh Vashist, CEO of SiTime. "SiTime is uniquely focused on solving the most difficult timing problems for the electronics industry. That is why customers are using our timing products in self-driving cars, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence systems, and 5G infrastructure. We believe that our timing components will be the device of choice for the next few decades."

Intel intros Xeon D-2100 for edge

Intel introduced a system-on-chip processor in its Xeon line that is architected to address the needs of edge applications and other data center or network applications.

The new Intel Xeon D-2100 processors include up to 18 “Skylake-server” generation Intel Xeon processor cores and integrated Intel QuickAssist Technology with up to 100 Gbps of built-in cryptography, decryption and encryption acceleration.

Intel said this processor will be supported by system software updates to protect against the Spectre and Meltdown security exploits.

In addition to edge deployments in communications service provider networks, other use cases for the Intel Xeon D-2100 processor include:
  • Storage: The Intel Xeon D-2100 processor is an option for density-optimized, lightweight hyperscale cloud workloads such as dynamic web serving, memory caching, dedicated hosting and warm storage.
  • Content Delivery Networks (CDNs): The processors can bring higher performance to content delivery at the network edge, which is critical to keep latency low for streaming media to viewers and those working in media fields with massive files.
  • Enterprise networks: The processor family also targets entry enterprise SAN and NAS storage, midrange routers, network appliances, security appliances, wireless base stations and embedded midrange IoT usages, among others.
“To seize 5G and new cloud and network opportunities, service providers need to optimize their data center and edge infrastructures to meet the growing demands of bandwidth-hungry end users and their smart and connected devices,” said Sandra Rivera, senior vice president and general manager of the Network Platforms Group at Intel. “The Intel Xeon D-2100 processor allows service providers and enterprises to deliver the maximum amount of compute intelligence at the edge or web tier while expending the least power.”

Infinera posts quarterly sales of $196 million

Infinera reported GAAP revenue for the quarter was $195.8 million for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 30, 2017. This compares with $192.6 million in the third quarter of 2017 and $181.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

GAAP net loss for the quarter was $(74.0) million, or $(0.50) per share, compared to $(37.2) million, or $(0.25) per share, in the third quarter of 2017 and $(36.3) million, or $(0.25) per share, in the fourth quarter of 2016. Non-GAAP net loss for the quarter was $(18.6) million, or $(0.12) per share, compared to $(17.0) million, or $(0.11) per share, in the third quarter of 2017, and $(17.0) million, or $(0.12) per share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Non-GAAP gross margin for the year was 39.3% compared to 48.3% in 2016.

“In Q4 we made some difficult but necessary decisions to reposition the company for crisper execution and increased focus on our go to market strategy,” said Tom Fallon, Infinera’s Chief Executive Officer. “With our full product refresh nearing completion, positive sales momentum ending the year, and a significant pipeline of opportunities, we enter 2018 with confidence that our recent positive revenue trajectory will continue.”

Rubrik to acquire Datos IO

Rubrik, agreed to acquire Datos IO, a market leader in backup and recovery for NoSQL databases and big data file systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition of Datos IO will extend Rubrik’s reach into mission-critical cloud applications and databases increasingly adopted by application and DevOps teams at Fortune 500 companies.

The companies said they share a common vision for building a control plane that can automate, orchestrate, and secure data in the cloud.

Datos IO’s flagship platform RecoverX pioneers a radically new approach to comprehensive data management for modern cloud applications built on modern NoSQL databases (MongoDB, Cassandra, Couchbase, Amazon DynamoDB) and big data file systems (Cloudera, Hortonworks). Datos IO has filed 22 patents in application-aware data management for enterprise use cases of backup and recovery, test/dev refresh, in-place analytics, and cloud mobility. Fortune 100 companies have chosen Datos IO to protect and manage their cloud applications enabling digital transformation, including three of the top Fortune 15 companies and the world’s largest home improvement retailer.

“As enterprises adopt NoSQL cloud databases to undertake digital transformation and AI initiatives, the need to manage and recover applications and data is becoming top of mind. We are excited to have Datos IO join the Rubrik family to accelerate innovation in how enterprises manage and recover this modern application stack,” said Bipul Sinha, Co-Founder and CEO, Rubrik.

Rubrik Raises $180M for Cloud Data Management

Rubrik, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, closed $180 million in Series D funding for its cloud data management solutions.

Rubrik's platform delivers automated cloud data backup, instant recovery, offsite replication and data archival capability. One Intel-powered appliance manages all data in the cloud, at the edge, or on-prem for backup, DR, archival, compliance, analytics, and copy data management. The company said it is on an annual run rate approaching $100 million.

The latest investment round was led by IVP with strong participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Greylock Partners, bringing total equity raised to $292 million. 

Market Update for India

We think of India as having one of the fast growing mobile market in the world. There is a huge population of unconnected or under connected citizens with a strong desire to join the online economy. Most likely, that connection will be mobile broadband.

While India does indeed have the faster growing mobile operator—Reliance Jio, which zoomed from zero to 160 million in only 16 month (for comparison, Verizon has 116.3 million retail connections) – the nation is shrinking month by month in terms of total mobile lines in operation.

How can this be? One aspect of the Indian market is that SIM cards are relatively cheap, and monthly service plans are also inexpensive.  Even for high-flying Reliance Jio, the average revenue per user (ARPU) per month is only 154 rupees (approximately $2.41).  On top of this, most users are enrolled in pre-paid plans. There is also the aggressive promotions whereby operators make great offers just to more SIM cards activated. As a result, many people with financial means will pick up multiple mobile phones and SIM cards, never bothering to cancel them is the ongoing maintenance cost is low enough.

This tends to distort the reported figures for market growth and gives us an unreliable picture of the relative strengths of each operator.

A consolidation is certainly underway. Of India’s twelve mobile operators, only five gained subscribers while seven operators experience declines. The winners are Bharti, Vodafone, Idea, Reliance Jio and BSNL. The losers are Aircel, Reliance, Tata, Telenor, MTNL, Sistema, and Quadrant.

The total number of wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & LTE) in India dipped for a second quarter in a row in Q3 2017 to 1,183.04 million, down from from 1,186.79 million at the end of Jul-17, according to the latest figures compiled by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) . Urban subscribers numbered 684.77 million compared to 498.28 million rural subscribers. Wireless teledensity declined from 92.12 at the end of Jun-17 to 91.56 at the end of Sep-17.

Some metrics:

  • Monthly ARPU GSM Full Mobility Service including LTE – 84 rupees
  • Monthly ARPU CDMA Full Mobility Service – 125 rupees
  • Minutes of Usage (MOU) per subscriber per month - GSM Full Mobility Service including LTE - 437
  • Total Outgoing Minutes of Usage for Internet Telephony – 283 million
  • Average Data Usage per subscriber per month – GSM (2G+3G+4G) - 1,610 MB
  • Average outgo per GB data for GSM including LTE (2G+3G+4G) – 21.22 rupees
  • Gross revenue for telecom operators in India (mobile and fixed) rose by 2.27%. The government statistics show that monthly Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) for Access Services was 88.09 rupees (US$1.37) as of 30-September-2017.
  • Not surprisingly, the number of wireline subscribers declined from 24.00 million at the end of Jun-17 to 23.67 million at the end of Sep-17 with quarterly decline rate of 1.37%.  However, it is strange that the number of Internet subscribers declined from 431.21 million at the end of Jun-17 to 429.23 million at the end of Sep-17, registering a quarterly growth rate of -0.46%.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Orange Business and Cisco team on SD-WAN

Orange Business Services has expanded the capability of its global SD-WAN with the first onboarding of a Cisco SD-WAN virtual network function (VNF) on the Cisco Enterprise Network Compute System (ENCS). This platform, which delivers a fully functional virtualized solution for network services, is part of the Orange universal customer premise equipment (uCPE) offer.

Orange said that thanks to uCPE central orchestration, it can provide automated Cisco SD-WAN deployment, based on Viptela technology, in minutes on all enterprise sites, wherever they are located. The uCPE can run multiple additional functions, such as security, which can be orchestrated centrally and chained as required. This means that enterprises can dynamically adapt the branch office configuration to optimize user experience.

“This work strengthens our long-standing partnership with Cisco. Together we are bringing innovations in SD-WAN and the wider network to our customers worldwide. These developments will help realize the promise of intent-based networking, which will use artificial intelligence to automatically orchestrate networks based on predicted user demand. This will help improve application performance, security and business continuity,” said Pierre-Louis Biaggi, vice president, Connectivity, Orange Business Services.

“SD-WAN provides the essential foundation for Service Providers to transform their network services,” said Sachin Gupta, senior vice president, product management for Cisco Enterprise Networking. “One of the truly global providers, we are excited Orange is accelerating the adoption of SD-WAN technology leveraging Cisco’s ENCS platform. Our partnership will accelerate customers’ transformation to cloud and digital while delivering new-age capability for simplified operations, application visibility and performance."

QCT showcases Central Office 2.0

  • Quanta Cloud Technology (QCT) has opened a demonstration lab in San Jose, California to showcase its “Central Office 2.0” solutions, including:
  • QxStack NFV Infrastructure with Red Hat OpenStack Platform - with data plane calibration and Enhanced Platform Awareness (EPA) enabled for optimized network performance
    QCT Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) Ready POD for central office and edge computing – the world’s first fully integrated open source infrastructure ready for customer validation
    QCT Rackgo R Vertical Integration with OpenStack – an Intel RSD-based full-featured rack level solution with easy deployment and scalability
QCT said “Central Office 2.0” represents its vision for the next-generation Central Office to advance edge computing for high-performance and low-latency 5G applications, such as IoT, autonomous vehicles and virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR).

“QCT’s long-term collaboration with Intel and Red Hat now extends to the Telco space,” said Mike Yang, President of QCT. “With our partners, we directly address emerging requirements in the Telco market with an optimized NFVI Platform that supports carrier-grade infrastructures and delivers a practical software-defined networking solution for disaggregating the control and data plane and providing performance consistency on IA-based systems. Through these strategic partnerships with industry-leading hardware and software providers in the 5G infrastructure space, we’ve developed high-performance open platforms that are aimed at lowering Telco CAPEX and provide a competitive OPEX advantage for increased margins over the long-term.

Pensa releases automation software for NFV

Pensa, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, released software for intelligent automation of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) services.

The company said its Maestro NFV uses intelligent automation and advanced modeling to help CSPs design, validate and deliver NFV network services. The software ensures that network designs are correct and that they will work as intended, reducing the risk of human error. The key benefits of Pensa Maestro NFV include:
  • Enabling CSPs to simplify and accelerate the deployment of NFV solutions
    Enabling CSPs to bring new revenue-generating services to market faster
    Enabling CSPs to intelligently automate NFV solution design, build and test processes to reduce manual errors, lower costs, and increase business velocity

"The digital services revolution has begun, but communication service providers are stuck with legacy infrastructure and processes that hold them back," said Pensa CEO Tom Joyce. "There are huge opportunities on the horizon for telcos and CSPs, but to participate they must use NFV. Before now, it has been very hard to make this technology simple, reliable, and fast. Pensa's mission is to help our customers transition to NFV faster."

"We began development of this solution for NFV back in 2014, before many people were thinking about the complexity of designing these networks," said Ujwal Setlur, co-founder and CTO of Pensa. "Today we have years of experience engineering customer solutions for NFV. Early customer deals and the introduction of Pensa Lab last years allowed us to harden our technology to the point where we are proud to call Maestro NFV carrier-class."