Monday, April 9, 2018

Cisco adds to its Service Provider routing portfolio

Cisco announced the addition of hardware, software and security options to its Service Provider routing portfolio. Highlights include:

Routing hardware 

Cisco NCS 500 Series: addressing converged wireline and wireless 5G-ready requirements for mobile x-haul and future evolutions of Carrier Ethernet networks, and various bandwidth needs ranging from 1 to 100 Gbps interfaces in small form factors.

Cisco ASR 9901: it supports applications such as distributed provider edge, Internet peering, metro aggregation and broadband network gateway (BNG) in a space-optimized platform; It delivers 456 Gbps of port capacity while also providing flexibility in terms of port speeds ranging from 1 to 100 Gbps with industry-leading MACsec encryption support across all ports.

Cisco NCS 5500 Series:

  • Two fixed chassis supporting 24 and 36 100GE ports 
  • A 36 100GE ports line card targeted at high-density core, mobile backhaul and data center interconnect use cases; Offers flexible port configuration supporting 10G/25G/40G and 100G per port with enhanced scale capabilities (external TCAM) 
  • A compact 2RU router targeted at high-density metro aggregation, mobile backhaul networks and long-haul connectivity use cases; Delivers maximum flexibility with the support of Modular Port Adapters (MPA) with options of different port types and MACsec encryption support.

Routing software additions

Segment Routing: Offers service providers more control over Internet traffic by delivering a unified transport fabric across aggregation, edge, core and data center network domains with unmatched simplicity, resiliency and scalability; With Segment Routing Flexible Algorithm, a new addition to the Cisco Segment Routing Traffic Engineering toolkit, service providers can:

  • Optimize the same physical network infrastructure along various dimensions such as low-latency, bandwidth or path disjointness. 
  • Custom fit 5G network slices to specific applications

Ethernet VPN (EVPN): Cisco is now offering seamless integration with Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS), helping service providers speed up migration from VPLS to EVPN as another method to provide Ethernet-based multipoint to multipoint communication over IP or MPLS networks; EVPN offers improved scalability, optimal forwarding and helps prevent traffic floods.

"Cisco continues to drive innovation in service provider routing to help our customers uplevel their architectures and be one step ahead in managing their network traffic demands,” said Jonathan Davidson, senior vice president and general manager, Service Provider Networking, Cisco.

The news was announced at this week's MPLS+SDN+NFV World Congress in Paris.

Nokia wins key role in China Mobile's regional optical transport network

Nokia has secured the #1 vendor role in a central bid to supply equipment for China Mobile's regional optical transport network.

Specifically, China Mobile has chosen Nokia to provide an integrated IP/optical solution for 13 city metro and two provincial backbone networks. The network includes Nokia 1830 PSS-24x platform, a highly scalable packet/OTN multilayer switching platform. Deployments are underway. Financial terms were not disclosed.

China Mobile's new optical transport network will support its next-generation of network services, especially 5G.

Yu Xiaohan, head of the China Mobile customer team at Nokia Shanghai Bell, said: "We are very pleased to work closely with China Mobile to provide the optical technology for its most advanced networks today and in the future. We'll continue to fulfill our mission by making people's life easier as we create the technologies that connect the world."

Apple hits its 100% renewable power target

Apple's global facilities, including retail stores, offices, data centers and co-located facilities in 43 countries, are now powered with 100 percent clean energy. This achievement includes — including the United States, the United Kingdom, China and India.

Some highlights:

  • Apple's data centers have been powered by renewable energy since 2014.
  • Apple currently has 25 operational renewable energy projects around the world, totaling 626 megawatts of generation capacity
  • 286 megawatts of solar PV generation came online in 2017
  • Apple has 15 more projects in construction, which will bring its total to over 1.4 gigawatts renewable energy generation.
  • Apple Park, Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, is now the largest LEED Platinum-certified office building in North America. It has a 17-megawatt onsite rooftop solar installation, four megawatts of biogas fuel cells, and battery storage.
  • Apple has commissioned over 485 megawatts of wind and solar projects across six provinces of China to address upstream manufacturing emissions.
  • In Prineville, Oregon, the company signed a 200-megawatt power purchase agreement for an Oregon wind farm, the Montague Wind Power Project, set to come online by the end of 2019.
  • In Reno, Nevada, Apple created a partnership with the local utility, NV Energy, and over the last four years developed four new projects totaling 320 megawatts of solar PV generation.
  • In Japan, Apple is partnering with local solar company Daini Denryoku to install over 300 rooftop solar systems that will generate 18,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy every year.

“We're committed to leaving the world better than we found it. After years of hard work we're proud to have reached this significant milestone,” said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. “We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it.”

MediaTek announces 56G PAM4 SerDes

MediaTek announced a new 56G SerDes ASIC with PAM4 signaling and based on its 7nm FinFET process technology. The company said its high-performance DSP-based design demonstrates best-in-class power efficiency, performance and die-area. The first partner products adopting MediaTek's 56G PAM4 SerDes IP are already in development and will be available during the second-half of 2018.

MediaTek's SerDes portfolio now ranges from 10G, 28G, 56G through to 112G available for ASIC designs.

"The ASIC business has changed over time and we see new opportunities with IoT, communications and other consumer spaces that are demanding unique ASIC solutions. We have longstanding expertise in the ASIC side of the industry that goes along with our breadth of chipset portfolios in mobile, home and auto," said Jerry Yu, MediaTek Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Intelligent Devices Business Group. "Our newest ASIC solution with silicon-proven IP available on 7nm and 16nm can be seamlessly integrated into these cutting edge ASIC products."

Armis raises $30M for enterprise IoT

Armis, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California with offices in Tel Aviv,  raised $30 million in Series B funding for its enterprise IoT security solutions.

Armis offers an agentless security solution that provides visibility of every device in the enterprise environment. It analyzes and classifies devices and their behavior in order to identify risks or attacks, and protects critical information and systems. Armis does not require any hardware and integrates seamlessly into any environment or existing infrastructure.

The company said its technology was responsible for the discovery of the BlueBorne compromise last September, which was the largest exposure of devices to date.

The funding round was led by Red Dot Capital Partners, a Temasek-backed Venture Capital fund based in Israel and focused on growth-stage tech companies, with Bain Capital Ventures joining. Sequoia Capital and Tenaya Capital also participated as return investors. This brings the company's total funding to $47 million.

"Last year, IoT played a role in driving enterprise cyber threats up by 600 percent. Organizations now recognize that connected device security is no longer a 'nice to have,' but is a top priority for every boardroom and C-suite," said Yevgeny Dibrov, CEO and co-founder of Armis. "Our agentless software provides visibility and control over every device, we've allowed security teams to achieve goals without disrupting their businesses' digital transformation journeys."

Rakuten to launch new 4G network in Japan

Rakuten, the leading e-commerce company in Japan, received approval from the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications to launch the nation's 4th 4G network.

Rakuten Mobile Network will operate over the 1.7 GHz frequency band with over 1,825 MHz of spectrum. The company aims to launch service in October 2019.

Rakuten Mobile Network plans to raise a maximum of JPY 600 billion to fund the rollout of the network. Of this, Rakuten Inc. (the parent company) plans to provide a maximum of JPY 200 billion.

NTT Com and Dimension Data continue integration

NTT Com and Dimension Data are making progress in unifying their cloud IaaS capabilities

Dimension Data, which is also a business unit of the NTT Group and is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, focuses on services including network integration, security and data centers. In addition,  NTT Com will expand its service portfolio by combining with Dimension Data’s private cloud and dedicated SAP platforms.

“Many of our clients have complex hybrid IT challenges and need services that are end-to-end and scale as per their specific requirements. It is clear that we can better serve our clients and offer them solutions that address their evolving challenges by combining our strengths. We are now equipped to deliver a more compelling value proposition and greater level of innovation in hybrid IT to the market and our clients,” stated Jason Goodall, Dimension Data Group Chief Executive Officer.


Pivotal to offer 37 million shares with IPO range of $14-$16

Pivotal Software, a division of Dell that offers a cloud-native platform for enterprises that delivers "any app to every major private and public cloud", announced the launch of its initial public offering of 37,000,000 shares of its Class A common stock. Pivotal says its foundry platform helps improve software developer productivity, operational efficiency, security and availability for enterprise apps. High availability. Ops tea Pivotal is offering 33,117,000 shares of its Class A common stock and General Electric, the selling stockholder, is offering 3,883,000 shares of Class A common stock (which represents approximately 20% of General Electric’s position in Pivotal). The initial public offering price is expected to be between $14.00 and $16.00 per share.

This would raise up to $592 million.

Pivotal is seeking a listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "PVTL".

Pivotal Software was formed as an independent company in 2012 after spinning out of EMC Corp. and VMware (which was majority-owned by EMC). In 2013, GE invested $105 million for a 10% stake.

Telefonica deploys ASSIA's CloudCheck Wi-Fi

Telefonica has deployed ASSIA's CloudCheck software solution across its Latin American networks.

ASSIA's cloud-based product manages Wi-Fi at customer premises with diagnostics and optimization for improved performance and service delivery to Telefonica's growing base of broadband subscribers.

The CloudCheck platform enables Telefonica call-center agents and field technicians proactively to detect and resolve subscriber Wi-Fi issues while automatically optimizing Wi-Fi performance for their subscribers.


MACOM powers 4K Waveform Monitor from Leader

MACOM’s 12G-SDI solutions, including its MAEQ-23644 Equalizer, M23145 Reclocker and M21024 Crosspoint switch, are powering Leader Electronic's LV5600 2nd Generation 4K Waveform Monitor.

Leader’s LV5600 Waveform Monitor can perform measurement and quality control of various SDI signals including signal waveform display, vector display, picture display and eye pattern display. MACOM’s components enable these measurements to be made with a higher degree of accuracy and quality, supporting the various SDI signals up to 12G-SDI.

“We have been focused on developing the industry’s best and broadest portfolio of 12G-SDI semiconductor solutions,” said Gary Shah, Vice President, High-Performance Analog, at MACOM. “Having our components selected by Leader is a testament to our industry-leading performance in broadcast video.”


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Australia's NBN Co launches Fibre-to-the-Curb

NBN Co announced the launch of Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) access service in its first locations.

NBN Co has provided a limited release of FTTC services to more than 1,000 homes and businesses in Coburg, North Melbourne in Victoria and Miranda, South Sydney in New South Wales. A larger rollout is planned for later this year. The service supports speeds up to 100/40Mbps. Faster speeds will be possible when G.fast becomes available over the copper link into the home. NBC Co expects to launch G.fast later this year too.

“As with the introduction of any new technology, we will continue to gain insights as we navigate the complexity of the build as well as potential issues which can arise when people connect to the network. We are committed to working with internet providers to optimise the customer experience of people who connect the network using nbn™ services over the FTTC network before we make services available to a larger footprint," stated Brad Whitcomb, NBN Co’s Chief Customer Officer – Residential.

Vertical Systems Group: U.S. Business Fiber Availability Reaches 54.8%

The availability of optical fiber connectivity to large and medium size commercial buildings in the U.S. jumped to 54.8% in 2017, based on latest research from Vertical Systems Group. As a result, the U.S. Fiber Gap has dropped to less than fifty percent (45.2%) for the first time. This annual benchmark quantifies the scope of fiber lit buildings in the U.S. with twenty or more employees. Encompassing more than two million individual business establishments, this base of commercial buildings maps directly to the addressable market for higher speed Carrier Ethernet, Cloud, Data Center, Hybrid VPN and emerging SDN-enabled services. The count does not include standalone cell towers, small cells not located in fiber lit buildings, near net buildings, buildings classified as coiled at curb or coiled in building, HFC-connected buildings, carrier central offices, residential buildings, and private or dark fiber installations.

“More commercial U.S. buildings were newly lit with fiber during 2017 than in any other year since we initiated this research in 2004. The number of net new fiber lit buildings increased across every building size segment, and most substantially for medium size sites,” said Rosemary Cochran, principal of Vertical Systems Group. “Deployments will continue to accelerate because fiber is both a strategic asset for delivery of wireline business services, as well as a necessity for enabling 5G.”

https://www.verticalsystems.com/2018/04/05/u-s-business-fiber-availability-reaches-fifty/

ADTRAN in conversation with Verizon



Unlike FiOS, Verizon's "One Fiber" program is deploying is a higher-count cable deep in the network that can be used for all services, whether enterprise, residential, wireless or internal, says Glenn Wellbrock, Director, Backbone Network Design, Verizon.

In this video, Glenn and Robert Conger, AVP Cloud and Portfolio Strategy for ADTRAN, discuss next-gen network architecture.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Epsilon deploys EKINOPS FlexRate in greenfield NYC metro network

Epsilon, a privately owned global communications service provider that operates a cloud-centric interconnect fabric, has deployed Ekinops' new FlexRate line module in a greenfield network.

Specifically, the deployment by Epsilon uses EKINOPS PM 200FRS02 FlexRate line modules to provide up to 200G of bandwidth for connectivity of 100GbE services to any of its 18 New York metro area Points of Presence (PoPs).

Ekinops said it was selected for its performance, flexibility, and scalability. Up to six modules can be deployed in a single shelf providing 1.2 Tbps of capacity in just 2RU and with ultra-low power consumption. EKINOPS was also the only vendor capable of meeting Epsilon’s accelerated four-week delivery schedule that was requested to meet specific customer demands.

The EKINOPS PM 200FRS02 employs dual QSFP28 client ports with software-selectable line side modulation that can be provisioned as either DP-QPSK or 16QAM to create 100G or 200G transport links.

Ekinops also confirmed that Epsilon will use its solution to upgrade its network in three major European cities — Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. The upgrades will use Ekinops ROADM solutions as well as its passive filter solutions.

“Networks today are all about speed, not just bit rates, but speed to market and speed of delivery and Epsilon is a perfect example of this approach” said Mark Burton, Vice President of Sales EMEA of Ekinops. “The EKINOPS 360 platform with the PM 200FRS02 helps them in each of these areas today with 200G, while also providing the pathway to 400G when they need it.”

Qualcomm continues to extend cash tender for NXP shares

Qualcomm once again extended the offering period of its previously announced cash tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding common shares of NXP Semiconductors N.V.

With the extension, the tender offer is now scheduled to expire at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on April 13, 2018, unless extended or earlier terminated, in either case pursuant to the terms of the Purchase Agreement.

The original purchase agreement was announced on October 27, 2016.

SPIE appoints Dr. Kent Rochrod as CEO

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, announced Kent Rochford as its new CEO, replacing Eugene Arthurs, who will retire from SPIE on June 2.

Dr. Rochford, a longtime SPIE member, was associate director for Laboratory Programs at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), providing direction and operational guidance for NIST's scientific and technical laboratory programs with 2,800 staff and an $800M budget. In this role, he represented the full breadth of laboratory activity to domestic and international constituencies, collaborators, stakeholders, the U.S. Congress, and advisory boards.

"I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization during such an exciting time for optics and photonics," said Rochford. "I look forward to working with the SPIE Board, leadership, staff, and volunteers to build on their remarkable accomplishments. I've always felt privileged to work in photonics, and I'm thrilled to be part of SPIE's efforts to advance this extraordinary field."

Thursday, April 5, 2018

UK completes spectrum auction - EE and Vodafone gain 5G bands

Ofcom, the official telecoms regulator in the U.K., completed the auction of 190 MHz of spectrum across two frequency bands: 40 MHz in the 2.3 GHz band, which will be used to increase 4G mobile broadband capacity; and 150 MHz in 3.4GHz, which has been earmarked for 5G.

Here are the results:

EE won 40 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £302,592,000.

Hutchison 3G UK won 20 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £151,296,000.

Telef√≥nica UK won all 40 MHz of 2.3 GHz spectrum available, at a cost of £205,896,000; and 40 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £317,720,000.

Vodafone won 50 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £378,240,000.

Airspan Spectrum Holdings, which would have been a new entrant to the UK mobile market, failed to win spectrum in either band.

The total value of the winning bids amounts to £1,355,744,000.

Philip Marnick, Spectrum Group Director at Ofcom: "This is good news for everyone who uses their mobile phone to access the internet. As a nation, we’re using ever more mobile data on smartphones and mobile devices. Releasing these airwaves will make it quicker and easier to get online on the move. It will also allow companies to prepare for 5G mobile, paving the way for a range of smart, connected devices."

Verizon and partners drive advancements on CBRS spectrum

Verizon is collaborating with Corning, Ericsson, Federated Wireless, Google, Nokia and Qualcomm on end-to-end system testing of solutions for CBRS (Citizen Band Radio Spectrum) spectrum.

Testing is being done at Verizon’s facility in Irving, Texas. The end-to-end system tests are designed to accomplish several goals on the path to widespread commercial deployment:

To test and verify the Spectrum Access System algorithms from Google and Federated Wireless are consistently providing the best channel match from the SAS database.
To test data rates, modulations and the customer experience using CBRS spectrum.
To test interoperability between infrastructure providers to ensure seamless handoffs between CBRS spectrum and licensed spectrum for customers.
To test mobility handoffs on the CBRS spectrum.
To evaluate performance and data from LTE over CBRS spectrum.

Federated Wireless and Google are providing prioritization through the Spectrum Access System (SAS) that dynamically prioritizes traffic within the FCC’s spectrum sharing framework for this band.

Qualcomm is providing its Snapdragon LTE modem, which is needed to access LTE on CBRS on mobile devices.

Corning, Ericsson and Nokia have provided indoor and outdoor radio solutions which can run on the CBRS Spectrum.

Corning provided a SpiderCloud Enterprise RAN composed of a Services Node and SCRN-330 Radio Nodes.

Ericsson’s Radio System solution is comprised of 4x4 MIMO, 4x20MHz Carrier Aggregation, including CBRS spectrum delivered over infrastructure aggregating Ericsson’s outdoor micro base station (Radio 2208 units) with the indoor B48 Radio Dot System in the same baseband (5216 units).

Nokia provided FlexiZone Multiband Indoor (MBI) BTS, FlexiZone Multiband Outdoor (MBO) BTS and FlexiZone Controller (FZC).

Cisco delivers Segment Routing and Ethernet VPN for Colt

Cisco has delivered a major upgrade to Colt's pan-European, U.S. and Asian packet network.

The Colt IQ Network is using Cisco's segment routing and Ethernet VPN (EVPN) technologies to deliver further differentiated, high-bandwidth connectivity solutions.  The companies have also been working on a system-wide, multiple 100Gbps upgrade to Colt's IQ Network.

EVPN provides a unified control plane protocol (Border Gateway Protocol - BGP) for all services types, including both Layer 2 VPN and Layer 3 VPN services. It also provides faster convergence times. Cisco said its segment routing also:

  • improves network availability with 50ms protection mechanism, covering 100% of the possible network topologies using TI-LFA SR;
  • enables better utilization of the network with simple and scalable MPLS segment routing traffic engineering for the data plane;
  • makes possible the delivery of innovative network services possible, offering on-demand real-time delivery capabilities.

The Cisco Network Convergence System (NCS) 5500 series and the Cisco Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 9000 platforms will form the main components of a unified fabric powered by IOS XR and its market-leading software innovations -- segment routing and EVPN.

“Colt is focused on providing best-in-class, high-bandwidth connectivity solutions to meet our customers’ ever-growing business needs,” said Peter Coppens, vice president, Product, Colt. “Aligning with these overarching goals, we worked closely with Cisco to design a network architecture that is simple to operate, highly available and capable of delivering innovative network services. This also enables Colt to benefit from faster time-to-market. Segment routing significantly decreased complexity in the IQ Network and helped us start offering differentiated network services such as disjoint path. EVPN further contributed to operational simplification and made the delivery of services much more efficient.”

“We have been working on this initiative with Colt for more than a year, and we are proud to bring additional benefits to its network, as well as lay the groundwork for new opportunities,” said Jonathan Davidson, senior vice president and general manager, Service Provider Networking, Cisco."

Eutelsat plans next gen sat for European fixed broadband and in-flight

Eutelsat Communications unveiled plans for a next-generation VHTS satellite system named KONNECT VHTS for its European fixed broadband and in-flight connectivity businesses.

The KONNECT VHTS satellite is due to enter into service in 2021. Thales Alenia Space will build the satellite along with the ground segment solution. The satellite will have Ka-band capacity of 500 Gbps, making it the most powerful on-board digital processor ever put in orbit.

Eutelsat also announced that it has secured firm multi-year distribution commitments from Orange and Thales, two key European players and leaders in their businesses. A retail partnership was signed with Orange to address the fixed broadband market in European countries where the Group has a retail presence, and a distribution partnership was inked with Thales to serve the government connectivity services market.

Commenting on the contract, Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with global partners, Orange and Thales, which confirms the place of satellite-based solutions in the drive for enhanced high-speed internet coverage. As a core complement to terrestrial broadband networks, high-speed broadband will be a critical driver of Eutelsat’s growth from 2020 onwards. Over the next decade, VHTS satellites will bring enough capacity to serve high speed internet and in-flight connectivity markets at scale, offering fiber-like services both in terms of price and speed.”

The investment in KONNECT VHTS replaces the project of a joint investment with ViaSat in a ViaSat 3 satellite for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and is covered by Eutelsat’s capex objective of an average of 420 million euros per annum.

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...