Wednesday, March 7, 2018

AT&T looks to IPO of minority stake in DIRECTV Latin America

AT&T filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a potential initial public offering (IPO) of a minority interest in the Class A common stock of Vrio Corp., a holding company for its Latin American digital entertainment services unit, DIRECTV Latin America.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Nokia's PSE-3 chipset leverages probabilistic constellation shaping

Nokia unveiled its Photonic Service Engine 3 chipset featuring probabilistic constellation shaping (PCS) that pushes fiber-optic performance close to the Shannon limit to fully exploit channel capacity.

PCS is a new modulation technique pioneered by Nokia Bell Labs that the company says enables maximum capacity over any distance and on any fiber - from metro to subsea - increasing capacity up to 65% over currently deployed networks while reducing power by 60%. This includes 200G rates over most terrestrial and subsea links, as 400G over most shorter distances.

The PSE-3 chipset, which is the first coherent digital signal processor to implement PCS, provides finely adjustable wavelength capacity from 100G to 600G with a single, uniform modulation format, baud rate, and channel size. This simplifies network operations and planning.

"This is a breakthrough in how we can maximize the performance of optical networks and, at the same time, vastly simplify operations. The Photonic Service Engine 3 is the culmination of a decade of research and first-hand experience building the largest, highest capacity optical networks in the world. By introducing this extreme and yet remarkably simple programmability, our customers can now maximize the capacity of every link in their network, whether that's 10 km, 10,000 km or beyond. They will be able to keep their costs under control while handling the huge bandwidth demands that video, cloud, and soon 5G will be throwing at them."

Nokia is planning to introduce the PSE-3 chipset across ist packet-optical portfolio, including a new version of the 1830 Photonic Service Interconnect, a compact modular WDM platform for data center interconnect. The 1830 PSI-M will use modular chassis architecture with high-performance modules based pm the PSE-3. Commercial availability is expected in Q3 2018.


In March 2016, Nokia announced significant enhancements to its 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) portfolio, including the introduction of a new Photonic Service Engine version 2 (PSE-2) chip that enables the platform to double wavelength capacities and wavelengths per fiber. The new electro-optic chipset PSE-2 is available in two versions:
  • the PSE-2 Super Coherent (PSE-2s) provides performance and flexibility for applications with very high traffic demands and potentially challenging distance requirements. It can be programmed with seven unique modulation formats to support optimized 100G to 500G transport wavelength capacities, and distances for applications ranging from metro to ultra-long haul - including the industry's first 400G single carrier, the first 200G long haul and the first 100G ultra-long haul. The PSE-2s lowers cost per bit per kilometer by maximizing capacity for every distance while using 50 percent less power.
  • the PSE-2 Compact (PSE-2c) is optimized for 100G DWDM applications where density, space, and low power are paramount, including metro access and aggregation networks. The PSE-2c design creates more compact line cards that support "pay as you grow" pluggable optics while consuming 66 percent less power.

NeoPhotonics shows 64 GBaud for 600G and 1.2T coherent transport

NeoPhotonics is currently shipping a suite of 64 GBaud optical components for coherent systems operating at 600G and 1.2T.  64 GBaud components double the symbol rate over standard 100G (32 GBaud) coherent systems.

The NeoPhotonics suite use three optical components to enable single channel 600G or dual channel 1.2T transmission:

  • 64 GBaud CDM -- NeoPhotonics 64 GBaud, polarization multiplexed, quadrature coherent driver modulator (CDM) is shipping in limited availability and features a co-packaged InP modulator with a linear, high bandwidth, differential driver in a compact package designed to be compliant with the anticipated OIF Implementation Agreement. Co-packaging the InP IQ modulator with the driver enables an 85% reduction in line card board space compared to equivalent lithium niobate solutions. Furthermore, this facilitates transceiver applications up to 600 Gbps on a single wavelength for next-generation transport modules..
  • 64 GBaud Micro-ICR -- NeoPhotonics Class 40 High Bandwidth Micro-Intradyne Coherent Receiver (Micro-ICR) is in volume production and is designed for 64 GBaud symbol rates, doubling the RF bandwidth of standard 100G ICRs. The 64 GBaud Micro-ICR supports higher order modulation such as 64 QAM. The compact package is designed to be compliant with the OIF Implementation Agreement OIF-DPC-MRX-02.0.
  • Low Profile Micro-TL -- NeoPhotonics ultra-narrow linewidth external cavity tunable laser has been proven in volume production and is now configured in a smaller, lower profile package, which is designed to meet the stringent requirements for packaging density in pluggable modules. The external cavity laser design has a significantly narrower linewidth than competing designs, which is especially advantageous for higher order modulation formats. The laser is available in a compact package Integrable Tunable Laser Assembly form factor designed to be compliant with the OIF Implementation Agreements OIF-MicroITLA-01.1 and OIF-ITLA-MSA-01.3.

NeoPhotonics said its solution supports transmission over data center interconnect (DCI) distances of up to 80 km. The components also support 400G over metro distances of 400-600 km using 64 GBaud and 16 QAM or 200G over long-haul distances of greater than 1000 km using 64 GBaud and QPSK.

“All three elements of our suite of optical components for 600G and 1.2T are now available and shipping to customers, allowing them to take advantage of the performance of all three elements to optimize their system performance,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. “We ensure that each element is designed to work seamlessly with the others and offer our customers a complete optical solution, both increasing performance and reducing development time” continued Mr. Jenks.

Oclaro ships 100G PAM4 EML laser chips

Oclaro announced general market availability of its 100G PAM4 EA-DFB EML chips for next-generation, transceiver applications, enabling 100G per wavelength and paving the way for 200 Gbps and 400 Gbps in data center networks.

The new 100G PAM4 EML laser chips operating at 53 Gbaud with up to 40Ghz bandwidth (@ 20°C) and 6dB extinction ratio (@70°C).

Oclaro also announced additional wafer fab capacity upgrades for DML and EML laser production, providing greater availability for its world-class components. This newly installed production capacity will enable Oclaro to satisfy the increasing demand for cost-effective high-speed transceivers.

"Oclaro's proven laser technology has been the benchmark for high-performance and reliability, and is ideally suited to support the PAM4 modulation formats used to deliver higher-speed networks affordably," said Yves LeMaitre, Chief Strategy Officer of Oclaro. "With the explosive growth of large scale data centers, the demand for these lasers has never been greater and by increasing our manufacturing capacity, Oclaro can ensure its customers have the supply they need to be successful."

Broadcom delivers 400G Reverse Gearbox

Broadcom announced commercial availability of a 400G gearbox device for hyperscale data center and cloud applications.

The new BCM81724 device, which is Broadcom’s 4th generation gearbox, is an 8x56-Gbps PAM-4 to 16x25-Gbps NRZ forward and reverse gearbox, designed to enable next-generation high-performance switches with PAM-4 I/Os to connect to the large existing ecosystem of switches and plug-in modules with NRZ interface.

It can also be configured as an 8x56-Gbps PAM-4 retimer to extend high-speed copper and optical links in modern networks.

Broadcom said the availability of new switch ASICs and ASSPs such as its Tomahawk 3, provides a bridge connecting the high-bandwidth 400G PAM-4 interface of the switch to the NRZ interface on existing 100G QSFP28 optical modules. Further, given the general availability of copper-based NRZ modules supporting 100 Gbps in existing systems, it is essential to have a reverse gearbox that enables next-generation switches to connect to these modules.

“With the introduction of switches such as the Tomahawk 3 with 56G I/Os that are critical to meeting the rapidly increasing bandwidth needs in today’s cloud computing and hyper-scale data center environments, the BCM81724 is essential to interface these next generation high density switches to the existing 100G optical module ecosystem,” said Lorenzo Longo, senior vice president and general manager of the Physical Layer Products Division at Broadcom. “Built with proven PAM-4 SerDes that are foundational to Broadcom’s state-of-the-art switch processor chips, both merchant silicon and ASICs, our 16nm PAM-4 Reverse Gearbox provides the most robust and essential bridge for the end-to-end solutions driving faster time to market for our customers and expanding bandwidth capacity of next generation networks.”

Broadcom delivers its 12.8 Tbps Tomahawk 3 switching silicon

Broadcom announced commercial shipments of its StrataXGS Tomahawk 3 Ethernet switch silicon boasting 12.8 Terabits/sec in a single device -- double that of any other switching chip currently in the market.

Tomahawk 3 paves the way for high-density, standards-based 400GbE, 200GbE, and 100GbE switching and routing for hyperscale cloud networks. The latest gen silicon is expected to be adopted by leading network equipment OEMs as well as by hyperscale cloud companies.

Third party companies cited in the product announcement included Microsoft, Alibaba, Arista Networks, Baidu, Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Tencent, Accton, Celestica, Delta Networks, Quanta, Applied Optoelectronics, Foxconn Interconnect Technologies, Intel Silicon Photonics, and Luxtera.

The new chip, which arrives 14 months after Broadcom introduced its 6.4Tbps product generation, offers 40% lower power consumption per 100GbE switch port and up to 75% lower cost per 100GbE switch port.

Key features of the StrataXGS Tomahawk 3 Series:

  • Supports 32 x 400GbE, 64 x 200GbE, or 128 x 100GbE line-rate switching and routing on a single chip
  • Delivers 40% reduction in power per 100Gbps, and up to 75% lower cost per 100Gbps, versus alternatives
  • New, state-of-the-art, integrated 12.8Tbps shared-buffer architecture offers 3X to 5X higher incast absorption and provides the highest performance and lowest end-to-end latency for RoCEv2 based workloads
  • Broadview Gen 3 integrated network instrumentation feature set and software suite provides full visibility to network operators into packet flow behavior, traffic management state, and switch internal performance
  • Supports all packet processing and traffic management requirements for next-gen hyperscale network use cases: >2X IP route forwarding scale, 2X ECMP scale, Dynamic Load Balancing and Group Multipathing, In-Band Network Telemetry, Elephant Flow detection and re-prioritization
  • Robust connectivity using 256 instances of the best performing and longest-reach 50G PAM-4 integrated SerDes core, enabling long-reach (LR) East-West optical links and Direct-Attached-Copper (DAC) in-rack cabling in the data center, fully compliant to new IEEE standards for 50/100/200/400GbE
  • Implemented on proven, high-volume 16nm process technology node, ensuring fastest time to CY2018 production network deployment for hyperscale customers 


Mellanox debuts its Onyx Ethernet Network Operating System

Mellanox Technologies released a next-generation Ethernet network operating system for its Mellanox Spectrum Open Ethernet switches.

Mellanox Onyx OS provides a rich Layer-3 feature set with built-in dynamic routing protocols such as BGP/OSFP. It features a robust control plane and 64-way ECMP support, which Mellanox says can be used to construct large, scale-out L3 fabrics for data centers.

Additional capabilities include:

  • support for standard DevOps tools like Ansible and Puppet
  • smart hooks to automate network provisioning for high-performance workloads such as storage and artificial intelligence
  • support to run containerized applications on the switch system itself
  • buffer and link monitoring that leverage Mellanox Spectrum’s unique silicon level capabilities.

The Mellanox Onyx OS is aimed at cloud, hyperscale, enterprise, media & entertainment, storage, and high-performance Ethernet-based interconnect applications.

“Mellanox Onyx brings leading management, provisioning, automation and network visibility to data centers and cloud infrastructures, to deliver the best scalability, performance and overall return on investment,” said Yael Shenhav, vice president of products at Mellanox Technologies. “Mellanox Onyx also offers a mature Layer-3 feature-set, with integrated support for standard Devops tools, allowing customers to run third party containerized applications with complete SDK access. By utilizing Mellanox Onyx’s leading capabilities, our customers can enjoy the benefits of an industry-standard Layer-2 and Layer3 feature-set along with the ability to customize and optimize the network to their specific needs.”

Ciena posts quarterly revenue of $646.1 million, up 4% yoy

Ciena reported revenue of $646.1 million for the first quarter of its fiscal 2018, up 4% as compared to $621.5 million for the fiscal first quarter 2017.

Ciena's fiscal first quarter 2018 GAAP results include a non-cash $476.9 million charge related to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. As a result, Ciena's GAAP net loss for the fiscal first quarter 2018 was $(473.4) million, or $(3.29) per diluted common share, which compares to a GAAP net income of $3.9 million, or $0.03 per diluted common share, for the fiscal first quarter 2017.

Ciena's adjusted (non-GAAP) net income for the fiscal first quarter 2018 was $21.9 million, or $0.15 per diluted common share, which compares to an adjusted (non-GAAP) net income of $24.6 million, or $0.17 per diluted common share, for the fiscal first quarter 2017.

“We demonstrated a strong start toward achieving our long-term financial goals with our fiscal first quarter results, including year-over-year top-line growth, continued cash generation and a strengthening balance sheet,” said Gary B. Smith, president and CEO, Ciena. “We also are confident in our ability to continue driving market share gains across key geographies and customer segments by intersecting the industry’s demand drivers with leading innovation.”

Some highlights:

Revenue by geography:
North America   62.4%
EMEA                15.1%
CALA                  5.4%
APAC                 17.1%


  • U.S. customers contributed 59.3% of total revenue
  • Two customers each accounted for greater than 10% of revenue and in aggregate represented 25% of total revenue
  • Cash and investments totaled $986.8 million
  • Total number of employees: 5,712

Oclaro samples 1310nm DFB-MZ PICs for 100G/400G PAM4

Oclaro announced sampling 1310nm photonic integrated circuits (PICs) that integrate a DFB laser with a Mach Zehnder modulator for intra-data center applications using CWDM wavelengths. 

The 1310nm DFB-MZ PIC, which leverages Oclaro's expertise in 1310 DFB lasers and its Indium-Phosphide high-bandwidth modulator technology, is aimed at shorter-reach applications such as higher-speed connectivity across data center campuses.

"The need for ever-increasing capacity within the data center is making it critical to develop higher-speed and more integrated component technology," said Beck Mason, President of Oclaro's Integrated Photonic Business. "Oclaro has a long history of delivering proven direct detect and coherent technology and we are pleased to be the first supplier to now offer a 1310nm DFB-MZ PIC capable of supporting the demanding 100 Gbps per wavelength PAM4 applications."

T-Mobile U.S. joins Green Power Partnership

T-Mobile has joined the Green Power Partnership – a collective of companies leading the way in renewable energy.

"Moving to renewable energy is the right thing to do, and it’s smart business. We’ll continue to be a brand that makes our customers proud,” said John Legere, president and CEO at T-Mobile. “Meanwhile, AT&T just scored a C– and Verizon flat-out FLUNKED OUT according to Green America’s clean energy scorecard. C’mon Backward Blue and Reluctant Red – there’s still time to take my #CleanUpWireless challenge and change this industry for good.”

Earlier this year, T-Mobile launched #CleanUpWireless to challenge AT&T and Verizon to clean up their act and join the Un-carrier in committing to 100 percent clean energy.

Eutelsat seeks new opportunities - part 2

In the first half of this article, we looked at the recent financial performance of Eutelsat, the Paris-based satellite operator known for its pioneering video distribution services and global reach. Currently, the Eutelsat fleet of satellites is carrying 6,810 TV channels, of which 1,275 channels are HD – a penetration rate of only 19%, which seems low in this era when 4K television screens are now widely available in many markets at declining prices.

As the video market continues to shift toward over-the-top services, and as fibre reaches many of the locations which were previously the exclusive domain of satellites, Eutelsat will seek new opportunities, such as in-flight mobile connectivity -- its only segment that is currently growing. Eutelsat also has interesting ventures underway in Africa, and recently in the "Belt and Road" countries in partnership with China Unicom.



Upcoming satellite launches

Unlike some of its industry rivals that have drawn up plans for dozens, hundreds or even thousands of new satellites in the coming decade, Eutelsat seems to be taking a conservative CAPEX approach with regards to the orders book. While current shareholders may appreciate keeping a healthy dividend, the space business is inherently a costly one. Eventually, satellites get old and must be replaced. Newer technology means that the current assets in orbit can depreciate quite quickly.

As in the case of current satellites not optimized for 100% HD or even 4K video. There will also be the need to defend against the ultra-aggressive business plans of SpaceX and others, who could conceivably push an established company such as Eutelsat into irrelevancy quite quickly. Here is a list of upcoming Eutelsat satellite launches:




A Vision for Africa

In September 2016, Eutelsat suffered a major setback in its vision to deliver broadband connectivity to Africa in partnership with Facebook when SpaceX experienced a launch pad anomaly during a pre-launch test at Cape Canaveral, Florida, leading to the explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket and the destruction of its payload, Eutelsat's AMOS-6 satellite.

AMOS-6 was a Ka-band geostationary satellite configured with high gain spot beams for covering large parts of West, EAast and Southern Africa. The satellite was designed for community and Direct-to-User Internet access using affordable, off-the-shelf customer equipment.
The partnership with Facebook was announced in October 2015 with a mission to reach large parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

Eutelsat’s upcoming African Broadband Satellite looks to be a replacement for this lost bird. The new satellite t has ordered from Thales Alenia Space for possible launch in 2019. The all-electric satellite will be the first to use Thales Alenia Space's new Spacebus Neo platform. And it will offer 75 Gbps of capacity across a network of 65 spotbeams, which together provide quasi-complete coverage of Sub-Saharan Africa. The satellite will address direct-to-user consumer and enterprise broadband services using dishes from approximately 75 cm.  Villages could use the satellite connectivity for Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile phone backhauling.  No word on whether Facebook will play a role in the renewed project.

There are two other past regional expansions for Eutelsat that should be noted. In October 2017, Eutelsat acquired Noorsat, one of the leading satellite service providers in the Middle East, from Bahrain’s Orbit Holding Group. In 2013, Eutelsat acquired Satélites Mexicanos, for $831 million in cash plus assumption of $311 million in Satmex debt. Satmex operates three satellites that cover 90% of the population of the Americas.

Finally, Eutelsat and China Unicom signed a memorandum of understanding to address satellite communications market in the framework of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. The agreement builds on in-flight connectivity deal formed between Eutelsat and UnicomAirNet (UAN), which was recently formed by China Unicom's broadband network unit and Hangmei, a Chinese Wi-Fi service and content provider for railways and buses, to provide IFC services to Chinese commercial airlines.

The Belt and Road Initiative is the development strategy proposed by the Chinese government that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries. The idea is to build a 21st century Silk Road linking more than 68 countries, equivalent to 65% of the world's population and 40% of the global GDP as of 2017. The Belt and Road Initiative has the support of President Xi and the highest levels of his administration, leading some analysts to call it the largest organised development in history.

China's leading IT players, including China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile, are being encouraged to pursue an overseas expansion strategy. As such, Eutelsat makes an interesting partner for China Unicom in that it already has the satellite coverage, and the local TV broadcast partners), in the regions that China Unicom wishes to expand. Likewise, if Eutelsat is looking for a partner with the financial resources, scale, and ambition to cover Asia, the Middle East and Africa, China Unicom presents many possibilities. Global politics, of course, would play a role, with government contracts and national security interests as top concerns if this partnership were to deepen.




Monday, March 5, 2018

Deutsche Telekom prices IoT at 10 Euros for Ten Years

Deutsche Telekom, in partnership with Cologne-based mobile communications provider 1NCE, introduced a very low cost, flat rate data plan for smart devices on the Internet of Things priced. Customers pay a ‘lifetime fee” of ten euros in the prepaid tariff and receive a data flat rate of up to 500 megabytes for the service life of each smart device of ten years.

The offer is initially valid within the European Union as well as in Switzerland and Norway.

“With this tariff, we will make it as easy as possible for our customers to quickly implement new IoT solutions. That means no monthly bills, no additional fees, no tariff jungle", says Alexander P. Sator, founder and CEO of 1NCE. “Deutsche Telekom, as a pioneer in NB-IoT, is effectively pushing ahead with the expansion of the network. We hope that this close cooperation will accelerate growth in the European IoT market.”

“Deutsche Telekom's own service-based NB-IoT offering is optimally complemented by 1NCE's simple, disruptive business model. Together, we are addressing a larger market and creating the best customer experience," says Hagen Rickmann, Managing Director Business Customers at Deutsche Telekom.

Marvell intros 16-Port 50GbE PHY transceiver

Marvell introduced new transceiver to address the transition in hyperscale data centers from 25GbE (Gigabit Ethernet) and 100GbE to 50GbE, 200GbE and 400GbE.

The new device, which is part of Marvell's Alaska C family of transceivers, addresses this I/O speed transition in hyperscale data centers with support of 16 ports of 50GbE, 4 ports of 200GbE and 2 ports of 400GbE, utilizing 50G PAM4 signaling.

Marvell said its transceivers are the first PHY devices on the market to be fully compliant with new IEEE 802.3cd standards that define PAM4-based 50GbE port types. The port density on the 88X7120 has been specifically optimized to enable QSFP-DD (Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable – Double Density) and OSFP (Octal Small Form Factor Pluggable) port types for 50GbE, 200GbE and 400GbE deployments.

The devices also provide gearboxing functionality for translating between PAM4 and NRZ port types to enable a smooth transition to the newer Ethernet speeds, while maintaining support for existing optics and ASIC I/Os. They have a fully symmetric architecture, with long reach SerDes on both system and line side interfaces, to enable system design flexibility and to support both optical and direct-attach copper interconnects. The 88X7120 is sampling to key customers today.

 “Increasing the throughput rate to 50Gb per lane is critical to meeting the rapidly growing bandwidth requirements in today’s hyperscale data center environments. Our next generation PHY transceivers provide the highest performance solution in the industry and will be essential to helping customers meet the ever expanding bandwidth needs of their next-generation networks,” stated Chris Koopmans, executive vice president, Networking & Connectivity, Marvell.

IDC: Enterprise WLAN market grows, consumer market declines

The enterprise wireless local area network (WLAN) market continues to see steady growth while consumer sales are softer, according to the most recent International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wireless LAN Tracker.

Enterprise WLAN growth for the full year 2017 was 5.7% with $5.7 billion in revenues. For Q4 2017, revenues grew 6.5% to $1.5 billion.

Consumer WLAN revenue for the full year 2017 decreased 7.3% compared to 2016 to reach $3.65 billion. For Q4, decreased 9.8% on a year-over-year basis in 4Q17, finishing at $916 million. In 4Q17, the 802.11ac standard accounted for 40% of shipments and 69% of revenue in the consumer category. IDC said the slower adoption of 802.11ac in the consumer segment along with price erosion in the 802.11n standard are contributing factors to declining revenues in the consumer-grade WLAN segment.

"Growth in the enterprise segment of the WLAN market continues, albeit at a steadier pace, while the consumer segment is seeing some challenging times," said Brandon Butler, senior research analyst, Network Infrastructure at IDC. "Organizations continue to realize the benefits and new business opportunities that can be realized by updating and improving their WLAN networks, which is providing opportunities for vendors and network solution providers around the globe."

IDC provided the following updates on key enterprise WLAN companies:


  • Cisco's worldwide enterprise WLAN revenues decreased 2.9% sequentially from the third to fourth quarters of 2017, but they were positive on a year-over-year basis, up 5.1% to $646.8 million. For the full year, revenues were up 4.8% in 2017 to $2.49 billion. Cisco saw positive momentum in its cloud-managed networking platform Meraki. The company remains the comfortable market share leader, finishing the year with 43.6% share, compared to 44.0% share in 2016.
  • HPE-Aruba (excluding its OEM business and excluding H3C as of 2Q16) saw its revenue decrease 5.3% quarter over quarter in 4Q17 to $193 million. That represents a 1.2% increase from the same quarter in 2016. For the full year, revenues were up 8.8% to $852 million, giving the company 14.9% market share.
  • ARRIS/Ruckus, despite being bought by Brocade in 2016 and then subsequently sold to ARRIS in 2017 – a deal that closed in December, the company remains the number three company in terms of market share and continues to be a significant player in the market. Revenues were up 3.0% sequentially in the fourth quarter to $90.5 million, and up 24.4% compared to 4Q16. For the year, revenues fell 5.3% to $334 million, giving the company 5.9% market share.
  • Ubiquiti recorded strong growth, with revenues increasing 7.3% sequentially and 16.8% year over year to $85.1 million. For the full year, revenues rose 30.9% to $318 million, representing 5.6% market share.
  • Huawei once again had a strong quarter with revenues in the fourth quarter of 2017 rising 28.6% from the third quarter and up 9.5% from the quarter a year earlier to $96 million. For the full year, revenues rose 45.0% in 2017 to $283 million, giving the company 5.0% market share to end 2017.



IDC: Modest growth for Ethernet switch and router market

The worldwide Ethernet switch market (Layer 2/3) recorded $6.9 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 (4Q17), an increase of 3.2% year over year, according to IDC's newly updated Worldwide Quarterly Ethernet Switch Tracker and Worldwide Quarterly Router Tracker, and reached more than $25.7 billion in revenue for the full year 2017, an increase of 5.4% over 2016.

IDC calculates that the worldwide total enterprise and service provider (SP) router market recorded just under $4.0 billion in revenue in 4Q17, increasing 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. For the full year 2017, the router market finished at $15.2 billion, an increase of 4.0% over 2016.

"The Ethernet switch market continues to exhibit healthy growth, driven by network refreshes and investments in the fast-growing campus and datacenter segments. In the combined service provider and enterprise router market, vendor dynamics are beginning to shift as end users look to capitalize on higher-speed cloud connectivity," said Petr Jirovsky, research manager, Worldwide Networking Trackers.

IDC notes that 100Gb Ethernet switch revenue continues to grow rapidly as adoption by hyperscale cloud providers and large enterprises accelerates.

Some highlights:

  • 100Gb shipments reached more than 1.3 million ports and $661 million in revenue in 4Q17. 
  • 100Gb now accounts for 9.6% of total market revenue, up from just 4.8% in the same quarter a year ago. 
  • 25Gb/50Gb Ethernet switch products continue to gain traction. Shipments exceeded 1 million ports with $124 million in revenue in 4Q17. 
  • Growth in 25Gb, 50Gb, 100Gb continue to negatively impact the 40Gb segment. 40Gb port shipments decreased 6.9% year over year and revenue was down 11.2% for all of 2017. 
  • The 10Gb market continues to see healthy growth but pricing pressure is holding back revenue increases. 
  • 10Gb shipments in 4Q17 grew 37.2% year over year while revenues decreased 2.7%. Meanwhile, 1Gb remains the primary connectivity technology for enterprise campus and branch deployments, driving 1Gb port shipments to 112.6 million in 4Q17, growing 5.4% year over year with market share remaining steady at 66.7% of all ports shipped. 


NeoPhotonics intros 53 GBaud Linear Optical Components

NeoPhotonics announced its 53 GBaud Linear Optical Component family, which includes  PAM4 capable optical components for 100G and 400G cloud data center and other client applications, including drivers and EML lasers in transmitters plus PIN photodetectors and TIAs in receivers.

The 53 GBaud Linear Optical Component family from NeoPhotonics includes:

  • 53 GBaud Open Drain Driver (ODD) for linear operation of EML lasers. With a typical 90mW of power consumption per channel and small size, this high speed driver is well suited for space and power efficiency in small form factor pluggable modules.
  • 53 GBaud MZM drivers for Silicon Photonics modulators. This quad driver has a high 3.5Vppd output per channel and a typical 2.2W low power consumption for all four channels designed for small form factor pluggable modules.
  • 53 GBaud CWDM4 EML, which includes the option for integration with NeoPhotonics’ open drain driver. Over the operating temperature range from 20 to 70C, this EML is a preferred transmitter solution for PAM4 for intra-datacenter applications.
  • 53 GBaud PIN photodetectors. The side illumination structure of the PIN PD enables a simple coplanar assembly with mux/demux chip and TIA well suited for compact modules.
  • 53 GBaud Transimpedance Amplifier (TIA). With low noise and a typical power consumption of 60mA over a 3.3V rail, this TIA is well suited for receiver signal amplification for up to 10km transmission. 

“Our complete 53 GBaud Linear Optical Component family, with a typical bandwidth of 35 GHz for all these optical components, provides all needed optical components for single lambda 100Gbps transmitters and receivers, scalable to 400 Gbps transceivers with CWDM4 wavelengths.” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics.  “NeoPhotonics is pleased to now also support the cloud data centers and the industry with a solid and growing portfolio of cost effective optical components based on NeoPhotonics’ high speed platforms of GaAs driver, InP EML/PIN PD, and SiGe TIA,” continued Mr. Jenks.

Qualcomm postpones shareholder meeting

Qualcomm will postpone its shareholders' annual meeting from 06-March-2018 until 05-April-2018.

Reportedly, Qualcomm secretly filed a voluntary request with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) asking for a preemptive investigation of Broadcom's proposed merger. This request has now resulted in an order to postpone the shareholder meeting which could have resulted in a new board of directors.

Broadcom described the postponement as "a blatant, desperate act by Qualcomm to entrench its incumbent board of directors and prevent its own stockholders from voting for Broadcom's independent director nominees."

NTT Docomo invests in Otonomo for car data sharing

NTT DOCOMO Ventures has made an equity investment in Otonomo Technologies Ltd., a start-up based in Herzeliya, Israel, that is developing a marketplace for connected car data. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Otonomo offers a centralized platform through which car-generated data parameters are packaged into data bundles and offered to service providers to create innovative new applications and services.

The Otonomo platform addresses functionality such as accounting, billing, security, market management, privacy protection, regulatory compliance, data anonymization and normalization, API linkage and more. The company says it is engaged with dozens of auto manufacturers and Telematics Service Providers, and has an ecosystem comprising many dozens of partners.

Oak Thorne takes the helm at Gogo

Oakleigh Thorne has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, replacing Michael J. Small, who has stepped down as President and Chief Executive Officer, and as a director of the company. Gogo said the decision for Small to leave the company was "mutual".

Mr. Thorne, a director of the company since 2003, has approximately 30 years of leadership experience with significant operational and financial expertise. He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Thorndale Farm LLC, the family office of the Thorne family, which is the largest Gogo shareholder, owning approximately 30 percent of the ompany's outstanding common stock. Mr. Thorne has served in numerous senior management positions, including as Chief Executive Officer of two public companies.

Coriant appoints Sandra Krief as Managing Director for N America

Coriant appointed Sandra Krief as Managing Director for North America, responsible for sales operations, business development, channel strategy, and customer support throughout the U.S. and Canada. She will report directly to the company’s Chief Customer Officer and EVP of Global Sales and Digital Marketing, Homayoun Razavi.

Previously, Krief served as Global VP at BroadSoft, a Cisco company, where she oversaw the company’s largest global customers including Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.

Eutelsat faces pressure in its traditional video business, seeks new opportunities

Eutelsat, originally known as the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization, is known for being the first satellite operator in Europe to broadcast television channels direct-to-home beginning in the 1980s with its first generation of Hot Bird satellites.

The company was founded in 1977, has its headquarters in Paris, and now operates ground stations in every region of the world.  Its business interests have diversified to include cable distribution, video conferencing services, IP backbone connectivity such as corporate VPNs, and mobile connectivity services. With approximately 40 operational satellites in orbit, Eutelsat’s reach now covers most of the world’s population. It’s major revenue markets are Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

While Eutelsat has enjoyed decades of growth and stability thanks to its cash cow of delivering television services in western Europe, questions have continued to count with the rising number of cord-cutting households who are adopting over-the-top (OTT) services. As discussed below, Eutelsat's primary revenue category is flat to declining. Moreover, the company is late to offer 4K video services that might appeal to the growing number of consumers who are now buying these screens in volume.

Despite these headwinds, Eutelsat has numerous opportunities ahead, especially in segments such as in-flight connectivity, which can only really be serviced by satellite on transcontinental routes. The mobile sector may also bring opportunities, especially as C-band satellite spectrum may overlap with 5G networks, bringing opportunities for operators to collaborate.


31-Dec-2017
30-June-2016
31-Dec-2016
Operational transponders

1416
1372
1326
Leased transponders

949
931
940
Fill rate
67%
67.9%
70.9%

 The current financial report - first half 2017-2018





 



6 months to Dec 2016

6 months to Dec 2017

Change vs. reported revenues

Like-for-like change
In € millions
Video Applications

455.4

449.2

-1.40%

-1.20%
Fixed Data

84.9

73.4

-13.50%

-10.60%
Government Services

86.1

80.7

-6.30%

-0.10%
Fixed Broadband

48.6

44.1

-9.30%

-8.10%
Mobile Connectivity

38.5

37.1

-3.60%

20.60%
Other revenues6

41.6

12.2

-70.70%

-70.20%
Total

755.1

696.6

-7.70%

-5.70%



Video remains the Eutelsat’s main source of revenue, accounting for 66% of sales. However, video revenues in the first half were down 1.2% like-for-like to €449.2 million. Broadcast revenues were up 0.3% excluding the carry-forward impact of the termination of the TV d’Orange contract last year, with growth coming predominantly from MENA.

Professional Video revenues, which include corporate video conferencing services,  continued to experience a mid-single digit decline. With the exception of maritime communications and remote field work for the oil and industries, or other such esoteric sectors, most enterprises now find an abundance of fibre-fed IP communications alternatives.

Currently, the Eutelsat fleet of satellites are carrying 6,810 TV channels, of which 1,275 channels are HD – a penetration rate of only 19%, which seems low in this era when 4K television screens are now widely available in many markets at declining prices. This implies that 1080 TV screens are already present in many the consumer homes ultimately served by Eutelsat’s partners, and yet 80% of content delivered is not yet at that resolution and while the consumer movement to 4K is well underway.

A year earlier, the HD penetration rate was about 16%, which is concerning given the pace at which the market has been evolving.

For comparison, rival Intelsat currently distributes over 5,400 video channels, including approximately 1,100 high definition channels – a penetration rate of 20%, as of 30-September-2017. Intelsat’s system utilisation rate currently is about 78% of total capacity., not including its next-gen EpiCNG platform.

On the commercial front, Eutelsat has recently announced contracts with Cyfrowy Polsat, Globecast, and SFR-Altice.  New DTH contracts were also signed in several emerging broadcast markets, including Fiji and the Caribbean.

Still, the video business is relatively flat to declining. This could be due to the limited HD penetration rate, as previously noted, or simply the growing availability of fibre to all corners of the continents, as well as the more populated islands. Of course, it takes years to plan, build, launch and commission a satellite, and even longer to sign broadcast partners to make it an economically viable business. Many of Eutelsat coverage zones in EMEA are rural locations that would not be considered tier-one global cities but whose population makes for a huge global audience.

There still are growth opportunities for satellite video distribution, even at standard definition or 1080 high definition. Recently, Elettronica Industriale, a subsidiary of the Italian group Mediaset, signed a multi-year capacity agreement with Eutelsat to transition to HD. The three flagship channels of the Mediaset Group (Canale 5, Italia 1 and Rete 4) will be broadcast simultaneously in SD and HD. This is progress, but cord cutters with 4K screens will know that they can get better quality through OTT services., such as Netflix Italia.

Fixed Data, which accounts for 11% of all revenues, is also declining. In the first half, Fixed Data revenues stood at €73.4 million, down 10.6% like-for-like. Second quarter revenues stood at €36.3 million, down 9.4% on a year-on-year basis, and by 2.9% quarter-on-quarter.

Eutelsat says its data delivery business continues to face ongoing pricing pressure in all geographies.
Wherever fiber reaches, satellite will be at a disadvantage. There is really no way to combat this, and so Eutelsat will continue to see declines wherever new fibre arrives.

Government Services, which constitute 12% of all revenues, €80.7 million for the first half. The performance is stable like-for-like, as most government contracts generally are.  Eutelsat reports solid levels of renewals with the US Department of Defence in the last 12 months. The company has also recently reported activity with the Colombian Ministry of Defence for capacity on the EUTELSAT 115 West B satellite.

Fixed Broadband, which now represents 6% of revenues, is in decline due to terrestrial and mobile competition. In the first half, Fixed Broadband revenues stood at €44.1 million, down 8.1%. However, Eutelsat says revenue trends are expected to improve in the second half now that the retail joint-venture with ViaSat is up and running. The first offers have been launched in Norway and Poland in December, and in Sweden and Finland in January.

Mobile Connectivity, which represents 5% of revenues, is perhaps the best opportunity going forward. While revenues in the first half only amounted to €37.1 million, they were up 20.6%.

Eutelsat has just signed a multi-year agreement to provide in-flight connectivity for UnicomAirNet (UAN), which was recently formed by China Unicom's broadband network unit and Hangmei, a Chinese Wi-Fi service and content provider for railways and buses, to provide IFC services to Chinese commercial airlines. As of 2019, UnicomAirNet will lease the remaining capacity on the High Throughput payload of EUTELSAT 172B, which is one of the company’s newest satellites having been launched in June 2017 by an Ariane 5 rocket. This satellite offer 11 spot beams, which can deliver dynamic power allocation on high-traffic air routes in the Asia Pacific region.

It should also be noted that Panasonic is previously announced customer to in-flight connectivity delivered by EUTELSAT 172B. With these two contracts in hand, EUTELSAT 172B’s HTS payload is now fully sold.

To be continued