Sunday, March 4, 2018

2018 Mobile World Congress nets 107,000 visitors just below last year's record

Attendance at the 2018 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was 107,000 visitors, down slightly from 108,000 attendees in 2017 and compared with 101,000 attendees in 2016.

Some stats for #MWC2018:

  • attendees came from 205 countries and territories
  • there were 2,400 exhibitors, up from 2,300 last year
  • over 55 percent of attendees held senior-level positions, including more than 7,700 CEOs, up from more than 6,100 CEOs in 2017. 
  • approximately 24 percent of attendees were female, an increase from 23 percent last year.
  • 28 percent of speakers in the conference programme were female, compared with 21 percent in 2017
  • there were over 3,500 journalists and analysts in attendance
  • preliminary independent economic analysis indicates that the 2018 Mobile World Congress will have contributed approximately €471 million and over 13,000 part-time jobs to the local economy.


“We had another highly successful Mobile World Congress, across so many fronts,” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd. “We are gratified with the number of senior-level attendees, particularly the number of CEOs, as well as the continued strong attendance of government ministers and regulators. However, we are not focused on necessarily having the biggest event – we continually strive to convene the right audience and deliver a high-quality experience across all aspects of the event, the conference, the exhibition, and the many other programmes and events at Mobile World Congress.”

Mobile World Congress 2019 will be held 25-28 February, 2019 in Barcelona.

Coriant advances its Hyperscale Carrier Architecture

Coriant has announced several advancements to its Hyperscale Carrier Architecture (HCA), which is its open, agile, automated, and software-driven approach to network service innovation and which is aligned to CORD and optimized for Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC). The latest advancements include:

Coriant Transcend Network Control and Orchestration Software enhancements - (1) the addition of an NFV MANO for managing Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) in the highly distributed compute environment. This was developed using the Aricent MANO framework (2) the introduction of an advanced Virtual POD Controller (vPC) for helping network operators to seamlessly scale disaggregated solutions by effective end-to-end network control including service stitching.

Coriant IP/MPLS Network Operating System (C-NOS) – an open, disaggregated approach to packet-based networking. The Coriant NOS is designed to operate on industry-standard COTS whiteboxes as well as application-optimized carrier-grade whiteboxes such as the new Coriant Vibe series.

Coriant Vibe Series of Programmable Packet Platforms – this series of application-optimized, carrier-class whiteboxes boasts important networking features such as hardware acceleration, advanced timing capabilities to enable a variety of MEC services and applications, and support for seamless horizontal scalability. Coriant said its Vibe series can provide the foundation for a disaggregated open networking solution or can be added to a COTS whitebox-based disaggregated networking solution to enable/enhance specific network applications

“In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive services market, network operators need to evolve their multi-layer infrastructure networks to maximize the value of faster innovation cycles in hardware and software components and best-in-class functions and solutions,” said Uwe Fischer, Executive Vice President, R&D and PLM, and CTO, Coriant. “One of the key challenges that operators face is the limitations imposed by proprietary approaches that result in vendor lock-in, especially in the IP routing domain. Our Hyperscale Carrier Architecture breaks that stranglehold and accelerates new service deployment by leveraging an open hardware and software ecosystem that unlocks the barriers to seamless automation and the virtualization of network functions across network layers.”

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Nutanix to acquire Minjar for multicloud capabilities

Nutanix agreed to acquire Minjar, a start-up with development offices in Bengaluru, India that offers cost control and visibility services for workloads in public clouds. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Minjar' Botmetric service SmartAssist Assurance and SmartAssist Managed Cloud services help enterprises embrace the cloud effectively and optimize their multi-cloud environments for performance and cost.

Nutanix also plans to use Minjar’s technology to bolster its Nutanix Calm automation and lifecycle management product, as well as Xi Cloud Services, a native extension to the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS software.

“As companies increasingly rely on the public cloud as part of their critical infrastructure, it’s imperative that they have full visibility into the cost, reliability and security of that infrastructure so that they can effectively manage and automate which workloads run where to maximize performance and ROI,” said Vijay Rayapati, Co-Founder and CEO of Minjar. “We’re so pleased to be joining the Nutanix family to add our technology to the leading edge Nutanix software stack so customers have a simple and elegant experience for managing their multi-cloud environments.”

Viasat boasts 100 Mbps of home Internet downlinks in U.S. with its new satellite

Viasat introduced its fastest satellite-based home Internet service for the U.S. market to date, boasting nation—with downlink speeds up to 100 Mbps. The new Viasat service also offers unlimited data plans.

The new service is powered by the ViaSat-2 satellite system, which was launched on June 1, 2017 by Arianespace.  The Ka-band satellite was built by Boeing.

"We've upped the game for satellite internet by delivering a new service that gives consumers what they want: more data, faster speeds and better entertainment experiences across all device types," said Mark Dankberg, Viasat's chairman and CEO. "Today's service launch is an important step forward in Viasat's mission to deliver faster internet anywhere. The innovations we're making across our satellite system allow us to do extraordinary things, from moving the satellite industry up-market by delivering premium services, speeds and plans that give consumers new choices in their internet service provider, to helping bridge the digital divide in the U.S. today."

Viasat also confirmed that it is already building its next-generation high-capacity satellite system—ViaSat-3—which is expected to enable high-quality, high-speed internet access for billions of people and emerging markets worldwide. The ViaSat-3 system will offer global coverage with only three satellites, each designed to support over 1-Terabit per second (Tbps) of network capacity, further expanding the reach of 100+ Mbps broadband access. The first ViaSat-3 class satellite is expected to go into service in 2020 for the Americas, with the second satellite for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) expected to launch approximately 6-months later. A third ViaSat-3 class satellite is planned for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.

TE Connectivity targets higher density switches with zQSFP+ Stacked Belly-to-Belly Cages

TE Connectivity (TE) introduced its zQSFP+ stacked belly-to-belly cages designed for high-density switches with 48 or 64 silicon ports. The cage supports a single printed circuit board (PCB) architecture (versus two PCBs) in each line card.

The company said this new design addresses the requirements for higher density switches, including Open Compute Project (OCP) reference designs. The cages support up to 28G NRZ and 56G PAM-4 data rates to achieve faster speeds in these high-density switches. TE's zQSFP+ stacked belly-to-belly cages are dual-sourced with Molex and are drop-in replacements.

"These new zQSFP+ cages allow us to design denser switches while reducing costs by using just one PCB per line card," said Melody Chiang, product manager at Accton. "TE continually supports our efforts to design faster, denser switches, and this belly-to-belly configuration is just the latest example."

Huawei sets up ICT academy in Singapore

As part of its global initiative to support ICT skills development, Huawei announced a partnership with Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) to set up the first ICT Academy in Singapore. The not-for-profit academy, titled Huawei Authorised Information Network Academy (HAINA), allows NYP to deliver Huawei Certification training to their students.

The program is expected to benefit about 300 students at NYP's School of Engineering and School of Information Technology in the initial term of two years.

Huawei noted that it is currently cooperating with over 350 universities to open Huawei ICT academies around the world, with about 200 in China.

Dell'Oro: Chinese cloud giant to overtake U.S. providers in server growth by 2022

The top three Chinese Cloud service providers – Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu – are forecast to outpace the top four U.S. Cloud providers – Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook – in server growth by 2022, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

Over the same period, Small/Medium Businesses (SMB) are accelerating their migration to Public Cloud, while large Enterprises – i.e., Fortune 1000 companies, which includes the Private Cloud – will revert to on-premises data centers.

Additional highlights from the Server 5-Year Forecast Report:

  • Server revenue is forecast to grow at a two percent five-year compound annual growth rate while server shipments are forecast to grow at four percent.
  • The top four U.S. Cloud providers are expected to continue to comprise approximately half of the server shipments over the forecast period. However, the growth rate declines as data centers increase in scale and efficiency.
  • The top three Chinese Cloud providers compose about 10 percent of the U.S. top four server shipments and we expect that portion to double by 2022.

“The Cloud providers have been rolling out new data centers at a pronounced rate, driving Cloud server shipments,” said Baron Fung, Senior Business Analysis Manager at Dell’Oro Group. “Furthermore, given the weakness in server shipments to Enterprises/Premises data center, we believe we are well on track to hit our projected crossover point as server shipments to the Cloud eclipse those to the Enterprise by the end of 2017. We expect server shipments to SMB to lead the decline as this sector embraces the Public Cloud. On the other hand, we expect shipments to large Enterprises to stabilize, and begin to grow modestly by the latter half of our forecast period,” Fung explained.

Nutanix hits revenue of $286.7 million, shifts to software sales

Nutanix reported revenue of $286.7 million for its second quarter of fiscal 2018, up 44% year-over-year from $199.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, and reflecting the elimination of approximately $14 million in hardware revenue in the quarter as the company executes its shift toward increasing software revenue.

Billings for the quarter amounted to $355.9 million, growing 57% year-over-year from $227.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017.

There was a GAAP gross profit of $178.2 million, up 46% year-over-year from $122.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, and a non-GAAP gross profit of $182.2 million, up 45% year-over-year from $126.0 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017.

“We had an outstanding quarter that demonstrated our strong execution across many business initiatives. Our shift toward a software-centric strategy is on track and we aligned our sales compensation in February to support this transition,” said Dheeraj Pandey, Chairman, Founder and CEO of Nutanix. “Our continued success with Global 2000 customers, the strength of our large deal execution and record number of new customers prove that we are reducing friction for our customers and providing them with a consumer-grade experience that is unmatched.”

“We are proud of our performance in Q2. During the quarter, we saw record results across all geographies, with particularly strong performances from our EMEA and APJ regions. Our 57% billings growth year-over-year and our 45% increase in non-GAAP gross profit year-over-year drove a better than expected bottom line,” said Duston Williams, CFO of Nutanix. “Our software and support billings also rose significantly during the quarter, demonstrating our progress as we transition to a software-centric business model. Our strong execution on our strategic initiatives, together with our successful convertible debt offering, put us in a strong position for the future.”

Highlights

  • Nutanix ended the second quarter of fiscal 2018 with 8,870 end-customers, adding a record 1,057 new end-customers during the quarter. 
  • Second quarter customer wins included Arca Continental, DB Systel, JetBlue Airways, Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited (MCX), Nexen (a CNOOC Limited Company), and Schroders
  • Accelerated Number of $1 Million+ Deals: 57 customers with deals over $1 million in the quarter, up 104% year-over-year
  • Signed 5 Software and Support Deals Greater than $3 Million: Nutanix signed five software and support deals worth more than $3 million, of which three were worth more than $5 million during the quarter, all with Global 2000 customers.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Canadian insurance company chooses Google Cloud

La Capitale Insurance and Financial Services signed an agreement with Google Cloud to accelerate its digital transformation.

"The rapid development of financial technology and the challenges associated with the digital revolution force insurers to make an important choice in relation to their competitors: Will we follow the others or lead the way? We are choosing to commit to innovation in order to offer our clients a singular experience and distinctive products and services," said Mr. Jean St-Gelais, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of La Capitale.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Huawei is first with 5G CPE based on its own silicon

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Huawei introduced the world’s first commercial terminal device supporting 3GPP 5G NR. The device uses Huawei’s internally-developed Balong 5G01 chipset, which is compatible with all 5G frequency bands, including sub-6GHz and millimeter wave (MMW).


“At Huawei, we’re guided by a vision of an all-connected world, and to achieve that goal, we invest significantly in research and development to understand the ways in which people interact and connect with technology,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei CBG.

“We’ve made it our mission to push the boundaries of what technology and innovation are capable of. With the introduction of the new HUAWEI MateBook X Pro, HUAWEI MediaPad M5 Series and the world’s first 3GPP 5G CPE, we are delivering on the promise to provide breakthrough devices that redefine every part of the mobile computing experience.”

Huawei Consumer Business Group also unveiled new laptops and tablets: the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro and the HUAWEI MediaPad M5 Series.

GSMA: 690 million Mobile Money accounts worldwide

Mobile money has evolved into the leading payment platform for the digital economy in many emerging markets, according to GSMA.

There are now more than 690 million mobile money accounts worldwide, many of which are held by individuals who previously had no access to the traditional banking system.

The GSMA's newly published, seventh annual ‘State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money’ the mobile money industry processed transactions worth a billion dollars a day, generating direct revenues of over $2.4 billion.

Additional highlights:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa has long been the epicenter of mobile money and growth in this region shows no sign of slowing
  • In 2017, for the first time, the growth of the industry was led by South Asia, which had 47% YOY growth and now represents 34% of registered accounts globally.
  • Mobile money is evolving into a sustainable industry and represents an important driver of economic growth in developing markets, particularly through formalizing payments, increasing transparency and boosting GDP.
  • A growing number of mobile money services are seeing the proportion of their customer base regularly using their service increase to over 50%
  • More funds are entering and leaving the mobile money ecosystem in digital form; bulk disbursements, bill payments and bank-to-wallet transactions have been the main drivers. In 2017, nearly 25% of incoming funds were digital, compared to nearly 12% in 2012.


“As the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) enter their third year, mobile technology is proving to be an essential tool for delivering these global goals with increased connectivity and innovative services enabling more inclusive communities,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “Mobile money remains a central part of this story, contributing to 13 of the 17 SDGs, enabling access to essential services like health and education, empowering women with employment opportunities and reducing poverty by offering life-enhancing financial services, often for the first time.”

Alibaba Cloud launches services in Europe

Alibaba Cloud launched eight cloud services for European markets.

The services, which were introduced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, range from big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to infrastructure, security and private cloud solutions.

“Alibaba Cloud wants to be an enabler for technology innovation in Europe helping enterprises do business. The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is a great opportunity for us refresh our European strategy and consider how we can make an increasing contribution to the digital transformation of enterprises in this market from different sectors with our offerings and expertise,” said Yeming Wang, General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Europe.

Alibaba Cloud said it is committed to investing in cloud computing services and digital infrastructure in Europe. It opened its first availability zone in Frankfurt Germany in November 2016 and recently commenced operation of the second availability zone in the same region. To better serve its customers in Europe, Alibaba Cloud is establishing a technology ecosystem with European partners, such as Vodafone in Germany, the Met Office which is the national meteorological service for the UK, and Station F, an innovation hub in France.

CommScope and Nokia develop Massive MIMO Integrated Antenna

CommScope and Nokia have collaborated to develop a Massive MIMO (multiple input/multiple output) integrated antenna solution that enables network densification in support of mobile data traffic growth and the evolution to 5G.

The Massive MIMO beamforming antenna solution consists of a CommScope dual-band, FDD-LTE antenna integrated with two Nokia AirScale radios to deliver 16T16R Massive MIMO in two bands simultaneously. This integrated antenna solution will add capacity in both uplink and downlink and provide coverage enhancement for 4.9G networks.

“The path to 5G includes evolving the current 4G network through densification, virtualization and optimization to deliver an enhanced mobile broadband experience,” said Ben Cardwell, senior vice president, CommScope Mobility Solutions. “The new Massive MIMO solution showcases the synergies of combining Nokia’s radio expertise with CommScope’s advanced antenna technology.”

Commercial availability is expected by mid-year.

Cisco appoints new president for Asia Pacific & Japan

Cisco announced the appointment of Miyuki Suzuki as president for Asia Pacific & Japan. Previously, Suzuki served as president of Cisco Japan. Her new responsibilities include regional revenue growth across 18 markets. She will report to Chris Dedicoat, executive vice president of Worldwide Sales and Field Operations.

Suzuki assumes the leadership from Irving Tan, who last month took on the newly created role of senior vice president of Operations and Digital.

Cisco said recruitment is underway for her successor for President of Cisco Japan and will be announced in due course.

AT&T delivers LTE-M for CallPass Tech - vehicle tracking for car dealers

AT&T is delivering LTE-M connectivity to CallPass Tech, which provides location services to car dealers to track or find financed or leased vehicles.

Financial companies and car dealers can now use CallPass Tech’s iGotcha GPS Platform on the AT&T LTE-M network to track, find and manage financed or leased vehicles on the road and in challenging areas such as parking garages.

“We can’t overstate the value of GPS tracking technology across the vehicle finance industry,” said Jason Ashton, president of CallPass Tech and CallPass M2M Solutions. “There’s such an inherent risk in the industry. And there’s limited protection through insurance against losing collateral to theft or lack of payment. We know it doesn’t have to be like this. Working with AT&T to bring the latest, most intelligent network built for IoT is a natural next step and gives our customers the confidence they need to run their business.”

CallPass Tech noted that it currently supports more than 600,000 connected devices via the 4,800 finance companies and car dealers who are customers.

SES boosts Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) connectivity for Palau

Palau Telecoms will be extending and augmenting a contract with SES Networks for satellite broadband connectivity.

Since 2014, Palau Telecoms has been using SES' medium earth orbit (MEO) connectivity. The contract extension runs until 2020 and increases the amount of medium earth orbit (MEO) connectivity by 150%.

“Since we first initiated service with SES Networks, we have seen a tremendous uptick in demand for fast, reliable internet,” said Sam Masang, President of Palau Telecoms. “Now more than ever people expect to be able to access online services such as ecommerce sites and video calling applications at any time. We’ve been extremely impressed by the O3b fleet capabilities, and look forward to providing services for even more Palau residents in the coming years.”

“At SES Networks, our top priority is working with our customers to create unique and cost-effective solutions that help bridge the digital divide in areas that lie beyond the reach of traditional connectivity options,” said Imran Malik, Vice President, Fixed Data, Asia-Pacific at SES Networks. “We are incredibly proud that through our continued partnership, and ongoing efforts, we are making an impact on social and economic development in Palau.”

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Vodafone plans 4G on the moon for rover mission

PTScientists, a privately-held venture based in Berlin, Germany is aiming for a historic lunar landing next year.

The plan calls for delivering two rovers, or up to 100 kg of payload, to the lunar surface using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The mission will be to approach and study NASA's Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle that was used by the last astronauts to walk on the Moon (Commander Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt) to explore the Taurus-Littrow valley in December 1972.

Nokia Bell Labs is developing a space-grade, 4G Ultra Compact Network that will use the 1800 MHz frequency band to communicate from the landing site to the remote rovers. Streaming HD video will be captured by the rovers and retransmitted back to Mission Control in Berlin. The networking gear will weigh less than one kilo.

Audi will supply the rovers.

Vodafone said it is thrilled to deploy a 4G mobile network on the moon.

Vodafone Germany CEO, Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, commented: "This project involves a radically innovative approach to the development of mobile network infrastructure. It is also a great example of an independent, multi-skilled team achieving an objective of immense significance through their courage, pioneering spirit and inventiveness."

Nokia Chief Technology Officer and Bell Labs President, Marcus Weldon, said: "We are very pleased to have been selected by Vodafone to be their technology partner. This important mission is supporting, among other things, the development of new space-grade technologies for future data networking, processing and storage, and will help advance the communications infrastructure required for academics, industry and educational institutions in conducting lunar research. These aims have potentially wide-ranging implications for many stakeholders and humanity as a whole, and we look forward to working closely with Vodafone and the other partners in the coming months, prior to the launch in 2019."

http://ptscientists.com

Sprint deploys 64T64R Massive MIMO antennas

Sprint is deploying Massive MIMO antennas as it prepares for a 5G rollout in the first half of 2019. Sprint expects to deploy thousands of Massive MIMO radios in 2018 and 2019, significantly increasing network capacity for millions of customers across the country.

Specifically, Sprint will deploy 64T64R (64 transmit, 64 receive) Massive MIMO radios using 128 antennas from Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung Electronics. The Massive MIMO radios from all three suppliers are software-upgradable to 5G without additional tower climbs. The Massive MIMO radios support split-mode service, enabling Sprint to offer both 4G LTE and 5G on the same radio.

Sprint customers using a 2.5 GHz (band 41) device in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles will begin seeing a significant bandwidth boost on the existing network in April thanks to the new equipment.

Massive MIMO deployments in additional markets including Atlanta, Houston and Washington, D.C. are planned for later this year.

“Massive MIMO is a game-changer for TDD-LTE networks that’s being used by leading operators around the world to deploy Gigabit LTE and 5G,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint Chief Technology Officer. “For more than a year we’ve been testing this new technology, and in a few short weeks we’ll be bringing the power of Massive MIMO to Sprint customers beginning with some of the largest markets in the country.”

Sprint noted that it has 204 MHz of spectrum and more than 160 MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum in the top 100 markets, giving it enough capacity to operate LTE and 5G simultaneously over 100-200 MHz on the same Massive MIMO radios.

Vodafone and China Mobile enter IoT resale partnership

Vodafone and China Mobile agreed to resell each other’s IoT services.

Under the agreement, each company will share new IoT project opportunities. Vodafone customers will be given access to China Mobile IoT SIMS for deployments in China, and China Mobile customers wanting to offer IoT-enabled products outside of China will use Vodafone’s Global IoT SIM and management platform. Vodafone will manage all elements of the operational model for its customers including on-boarding, SIM and logistics as well as billing and support. The company will effectively act as a single point of contact for its enterprise IoT customers wanting to move into China.

Huawei develops FDD bull-band 4x4 MIMO compact antenna for TIM

At Mobile World Congress 2018, Huawei is showcasing the first FDD full-band 4x4 MIMO antenna - a designed developed for TIM, the Italian mobile operator.

The antenna uses Huawei's patented AirType Dipole and AirMax Feeding Network technologies to support 4x4 MIMO on all of TIM's sub-3 GHz frequency bands in a single sector and a single antenna, including 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1400 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2600 MHz, while leaving room for one new active antenna in C band and mmWave. Its compact size - a 6-array, side-by-side design, only 469 mm wide - and excellent wind load allow for a 15% increase in efficiency and rapid deployment of best-experience networks.

Huawei said this innovation will help TIM to maximize site value while also favoring site sharing.

Giovanni Ferigo, Chief Technology Officer at TIM, comments: "TIM is dedicated to technological innovation for better network capacity and user experience. We worked together with Huawei to develop this FDD full-band 4x4 MIMO antenna, which helps us better address antenna deployment issues and paves the way for 5G."

Mr. Joyee Zhang, President of Huawei Wireless Network Antenna Business Unit, says: "We propose a 1+1 Antenna Modernization, Ready for 5G concept. This concept uses one passive antenna for 4x4 MIMO on all sub-3 GHz frequency bands and one antenna for C band and mmWave. The FDD full-band 4x4 MIMO antenna jointly developed with TIM will help TIM as well as other operators rapidly deploy 5G-oriented networks."