Friday, April 13, 2018

Vodafone UK tests 3.4 GHz spectrum for 5G

Vodafone UK completed the first test of 3.4 Gigahertz (GHz) spectrum for 5G across an existing live network between Manchester and the company’s headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire.

The test used Massive MIMO combined with 3.4 GHz spectrum running over the core 4G network. Vodafone's site in Manchester was its contact centre, which houses around 1,000 customer service employees

The company described the test as a major milestone in UK telecommunications, as it is the first time that the 3.4 Gigahertz (GHz) radio frequency allocated for 5G has been used in the UK, and noted that is was carried out just a week after Vodafone secured the largest slice of 5G spectrum in Ofcom’s auction.

Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery said: “5G will improve the quality of our lives and transform how we work. This next generation technology will enable medical services that could save lives, from remote surgery to remote care for the elderly. It will enhance industrial applications, from automated systems to robotics, helping manufacturers across the UK boost their productivity. And it will enable families to share their experiences with loved ones wherever they are, thanks to innovations like augmented reality."

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.

Telefónica 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.

Former CEO of Alaska's Quintillion is accused of fraud

Elizabeth Ann Pierce, the former CEO of Quintillion, a telecommunications firm building a subsea and terrestrial fiber network in Alaska, has been arrested and charged with fraud by U.S. federal authorities.

The allegations accuse Pierce with a scheme to use forged guaranteed revenue contracts to fraudulently induce investors to invest more than $250 million in the fiber optic cable network in Alaska. The faked documents reportedly assured that Quintillion would collect hundreds of millions of dollars in future revenue, but proved to be worthless. The fraudulent activity is said to have occurred between 2015 and 2017.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: "To realize her plan to build a fiber optic system that would service Alaska and connect it to the lower 48 states, Elizabeth Ann Pierce allegedly convinced two investment companies that she had secured signed contracts that would supposedly generate hundreds of millions of dollars in guaranteed future revenue from the system.  As it turned out, those sales agreements were worthless because the customers had not signed them.  Instead, as alleged, Pierce had forged counterparty signatures on contract after contract.  As a result of Pierce’s deception, the investment companies were left with a system that is worth far less than Pierce had led them to believe."

In a statement, Quintillion says it "self-reported" last year to the U.S Department of Justice when it became aware of the alleged actions and that it is cooperating with authorities. The company says the ongoing investigation has not impacted its network operations. An interim CEO, George Tronsrue III, was appointed last August when Pierce abruptly resigned.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/manhattan-us-attorney-announces-arrest-former-ceo-alaska-based-fiber-optic-company

In December 2017, Quintillion announced the activation of commercial service on its new subsea fiber optic cable system serving five northern Alaska communities: Utqiaġvik, Wainwright, Point Hope, Nome, and Kotzebue.

Installation of the Alaska Arctic portion of the international Quintillion Subsea Cable System was completed in early October.

Quintillion’s subsea and terrestrial fiber optic network spans 1,400 miles, including a subsea trunk line from Prudhoe Bay to Nome with branching lines to the five communities.

Quintillion is aiming to extend its Arctic subsea cable system westwards to Asia (phase 2) and then eastwards to Europe (phase 3).

In July 2015, Quintillion Subsea Holdings awarded a turnkey contract to Alcatel-Lucent for the design and construction of a submarine cable system in Alaska from Prudhoe Bay to Nome.

Comcast and Netflix expand partnership

Comcast will begin offering Netflix subscriptions in its new and existing Xfinity packages.

Comcast first launched Netflix on its X1 platform in 2016, offering voice control and seamless access to the Netflix service through its platform. Since then Netflix has become one of the most popular voice searches and highly-viewed services on the platform.

“Netflix offers one of the most popular on demand services and is an important supplement to the content offering and value proposition of the X1 platform,” said Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer, Comcast Cable. “Netflix is a great partner, and we are excited to offer its services to our customers in new ways that provide them with more choice, value and flexibility. The seamless integration of Netflix with the vast Xfinity entertainment library on X1 present a unique and comprehensive experience for customers.”

Nokia and Telia look to combine 5G with Industry 4.0

Nokia and Telia conducted a 5G trial at the end of March to test its usefulness in real-world applications of 'Industry 4.0', the industrial trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.

Specifically, Nokia and Telia worked with Intel and Finnish software startup Finwe to provide a 5G radio access network operating in the 28 GHz frequency band for a "Conscious Factory" in Oulu, Finland.

The Nokia AirFrame data center solution, equipped with Intel Xeon Scalable processors, delivered network edge and core cloud flexibilities and capabilities.

Nokia said the use of Multi-access Edge Computing together with 5G allows data to be processed close to where it's needed, dramatically reducing latency. The Finwe video application was used to monitor and analyze a video feed of a process on one assembly line. The application leveraged machine learning to immediately alert the assembly line operator of any inconsistencies in the process so they could be corrected in real-time, ensuring high-performance, reliability and quality.

In a second trial, the Nokia AirFrame data center solution, Nokia's Multi-access Edge Computing platform and Finwe's video analytics application were installed at Telia's centralized data center in Helsinki, approximately 600 km from the Nokia Conscious Factory in Oulu.

Janne Koistinen, director of 5G Program at Telia Finland said: "Under our '5G Finland' initiative we are working with companies such as Nokia to accelerate the fourth industrial revolution in the country. In this trial, we could show how we can extend our service offering to new industry customers to enable efficiencies that will advance their production capabilities."

Marc Rouanne, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: "Nokia's 5G capabilities allow operators such as Telia to leverage machine learning and automation by opening up network data and intelligence. As we continue to deliver machine learning capabilities in Nokia's ReefShark chipsets and develop advanced algorithms we will further enhance our radio performance, allowing customers to take advantage of new business opportunities in the 5G and IoT world."

The LF Networking Fund adds iconectiv (Telcordia)

iconectiv (Telcordia Technologies)  has joined The LF Networking Fund (LFN), a new open source networking initiative created by The Linux Foundation. The focus of LFN is to increase collaboration and operational excellence across networking projects, including Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), to help deliver a new generation of services.

“The move to hybrid networks that combine physical assets with virtual functions promises enhanced operational efficiencies and speed-to-market for new kinds of services for customers globally,” said Alex Berry, Executive Vice President, Information Solutions, iconectiv. “The Linux Foundation understands the successful integration of these two worlds will require the collaboration of network architects and operators. We intend to offer our intimate knowledge of interconnection and network and operations management to help ensure the full rollout and adoption of hybrid networks.”

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Etisalat, Singtel, Softbank and Telefonica form Cyber Security Alliance

Four leading global carriers - Etisalat, Singtel, Softbank, and Telefónica -- agreed to create a Global Telco Security Alliance that will offer enterprises access to a comprehensive portfolio of cybersecurity services. The group will share network intelligence on cyber threats and leverage their joint global reach, assets and cybersecurity capabilities to serve customers worldwide. The partners will also develop a joint technology roadmap to create advanced cyber security applications for the Internet of Things as well as solutions that use predictive analytics and machine learning. The alliance will also consider joint investments in SOCs, cybersecurity platforms and innovative start-ups.

The four carriers and their subsidiaries have a combined customer base of more than 1.2 billion customers in over 60 countries. Between them, they operate 22 world-class Security Operation Centres (SOCs) and employ more than 6,000 cybersecurity experts.

Francisco Salcedo, Senior Vice President at Etisalat Digital said: “With digital technologies gaining widespread adoption and driving innovation across industry verticals, the security landscape has evolved. Organisations now face a new breed of threats and need to manage digital risks in their environments. Today’s strategic alliance will give us a unique opportunity to work hand in hand with our telecom counterparts and deliver innovative security services for digital risk management.”

ADTRAN enhances its Mosaic Subscriber Experience Suite

ADTRAN announced a significant expansion to its Mosaic Subscriber Experience Suite adding two new applications that give service providers network and subscriber intelligence, as well as remote in-home device management. The enhancements include:

  • Mosaic Subscriber Insight – personalizes the subscriber experience through a network intelligence tool that improves business operations, drives new service adoption and increases customer loyalty.
  • Mosaic Device Manager – streamlines the subscriber experience through a device management tool that empowers service providers to monitor and maintain in-home customer devices and Wi-Fi networks remotely.

“Our enhanced Mosaic portfolio enables service providers to meet the ever-increasing expectations of the ultra-connected customer, who expects a seamless experience whether at home, work or on vacation,” ADTRAN Subscriber Solutions & Experience Portfolio Management Director Jeremy Harris said. “These innovations help provide analytics, lower costs, gain visibility to subscriber behavior and build customer loyalty—everything needed to thrive in a competitive marketplace.”

These two Mosaic software applications join the previously announced:

  • Mosaic Activate – orchestrates one-click broadband service activation increasing revenue velocity, improving customer satisfaction and lowering the cost of subscriber adds.

ADTRAN Introduces Mosaic Software Tools

ADTRAN introduced its Mosaic Subscriber Solutions & Experience, described by the companyt as a new category of software products to help service providers transition their access infrastructure to a more open, programmable and scalable network.

Mosaic Activate, which has been shipping for several quarters, is the initial software product released under the Mosaic Subscriber Solutions & Experience umbrella. The software streamlines the pre-provisioning steps typically required before new customer service activation, allowing services to be configured from the edge of the network via a web interface. ADTRAN said service providers will realize a tenfold productivity increase leveraging the same number of network management resources to activate new services, accelerating new customer turn up by eliminating the swivel chair operations traditionally involved.

“The Mosaic Subscriber Solutions & Experience portfolio demonstrates our passion for staying hyper-focused on our customers to solve real world challenges,” said Jeremy Harris, director of Portfolio Management at ADTRAN. “We believe that software offers the possibility to orchestrate every task, data driven machines can securely manage the network, and end users deserve a blissful experience. This is the network that consumers want and that service providers desperately need, and we plan to make this a reality.”

http://www.adtran.com/index.php/mosaic-home


Watch the video

https://vimeo.com/250095184

Commscope and Ericsson collaborate on CBRS testing

CommScope and Ericsson have successfully completed interoperability testing of their equipment for use in  Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) deployments.

Specifically, the interoperability test confirmed that CommScope’s Spectrum Access System (SAS) and Ericsson’s radio infrastructure with CBRS spectrum support will work together as part of a CBRS network.

The companies said this SAS–Citizens Broadband Radio Service Device (CBSD) interoperability testing, which was the first using the Wireless Innovation Forum’s release 1.2 specifications, included a battery of scenarios to verify that both products meet governmental requirements and industry protocols, as well as CommScope’s and Ericsson’s respective quality standards.

“CommScope’s team of architects, developers and engineers have been building an industry-leading SAS for nearly two years,” said Tom Gravely, vice president of research and development, Network Solutions, CommScope. “Completion of interoperability testing with a major radio equipment provider such as Ericsson validates our SAS design and readies us for commercial deployment.”

“Ericsson offers a comprehensive portfolio of CBRS network solutions that will help operators of all sizes deploy in this spectrum quickly and successfully,” said Paul Challoner, vice president of Network Product Solutions, Ericsson. “Additional milestones need to be reached for CBRS to become a reality, but we are pleased to complete interoperability testing with CommScope as part of the developmental process.”

In a CBRS network, a SAS and CBSD work together to ensure that the appropriate wireless signals are transmitted and received between the core network and end-user devices, while managing interference. An Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) works with the SAS to identify the wireless signals of incumbent users to avoid interference from CBSDs. CommScope is one of four ESC operators conditionally approved by the FCC to provide SAS and ESC services.

Nutanix cites sales traction with U.S. federal government

Nutanix reported strong adoption of its AHV hypervisor by U.S. federal government customer, saying 74 percent of all Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS nodes sold to federal agencies in 2017 leveraged AHV, compared to 30 percent adoption by the Nutanix worldwide customer base, based on a rolling four-quarter average.

Some highlights:

  • added nearly 100 new customers in 2017, including component organizations within the U.S. Departments of Defense, Commerce, Interior, Energy, Health and Human Services, the U.S. Federal Court system and federal systems integrators
  • 20 new federal customers with total investments valued at more than $1 million each, an 82 percent increase from the number of customers in previous fiscal year
  • 320 unique federal customers at the end of 2017

“The demands on federal IT customers couldn’t be higher. They are facing increasing pressure to modernize systems and implement heightened security, all while reducing costs,” said Dheeraj Pandey, co-founder and CEO of Nutanix. “Nutanix’s momentum in the federal vertical demonstrates that customers are increasingly turning to Nutanix to meet these needs—pulling back from ‘one-size-fits-all’ public cloud strategies and placing a greater emphasis on hybrid ecosystems to modernize their legacy systems. We are eager to continue to partner with federal customers to achieve these goals.”

Zscaler implements FIPS 140-2 validated encryption

Zscaler is now offering FIPS 140-2 validated encryption within Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA) and Zscaler Private Access (ZPA), including the Zscaler application (Z-App).  Zscaler partnered with SafeLogic to provide FIPS compliant crypto libraries.

FIPS 140-2 is the U.S. government standard used to ensure that cryptographic modules meet the necessary security levels for confidentiality and integrity of Sensitive but Unclassified (SBU) information.

“FIPS 140-2 validation was the logical next step for us in the process of achieving our FedRAMP Certification,” says Stephen Kovac, Vice President of Global Government and Compliance at Zscaler. “It shows Zscaler’s continued commitment to build our security cloud to meet the stringent and evolving public sector security regulations.”

ZTE gains Chair of new IEEE Next Gen V2X Study Group

ZTE has been designated as the chair of newly formed IEEE 802.11 NGV SG (Next Generation V2X Study Group), which will look at the requirements for adopting recent 802.11 technologies for new V2X applications, specifically for higher throughput applications, better reliability/efficiency, and extended range as well.

The goal of the NGV SG is to define the scope and develop the PAR and CSD for an IEEE 802.11 standard on Next -Generation V2X while maintaining backward compatibility with 802.11p. Sun Bo, a ZTE standard expert, was designated as the chair of the IEEE 802.11 NGV SG.

ZTE noted that two of its researchers have also taken on key leadership roles in international standards developments. Zhou Jingyi was designated as the chair of the Numbering Adhoc under IEEE-SA NewCom. Sun Bo was elected as the chair of WPAN WG under China NIST recently.

ZTE also holds the vice chair of 3GPP RAN2, the vice chair of IEEE P1934 WG, rapporteurs of two important ETSI MEC ISG projects, and is a board member of OpenFog Consortium.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Intel ships FPGA-powered accelerator cards for Xeon servers

Intel's FPGA-powered accelerator cards are featured in a new range of Xeon processor-based servers coming from major OEM customers, including Dell EMC and Fujitsu.

Both Dell EMC and Fujitsu will incorporate a complete Intel hardware and software stack in their individual offerings, consisting of Intel Programmable Acceleration Cards with Arria 10 GX FPGA and the Intel Acceleration Stack for Intel Xeon Scalable processor with FPGAs.

“We are beginning our adoption of Intel Programmable Acceleration Card with Arria 10 GX FPGA with PRIMERGY server and engaging our priority customers. The FPGA acceleration benefits enable operators to tackle the opex constraints while still achieving scale, performance and adaptability,” said Kenichi Sakai, corporate executive officer and head of Data Center Platform Business Unit of Fujitsu.

Dell EMC PowerEdge R640, R740 and R740XD servers incorporating Intel FPGA acceleration are now available for volume deployment with more to come.

“We are at the horizon of a new era of data center computing as Dell EMC and Fujitsu put the power and flexibility of Intel FPGAs in mainstream server products,” said Reynette Au, vice president of marketing for the Intel Programmable Solutions Group. “We’re enabling our customers and partners to create a rich set of high-performance solutions at scale by delivering the benefits of hardware performance, all in a software development environment.”

Intel first announced sampling of the card in October 2017 with the promise to make it commercially available in 1H 2018.

AT&T and Crown Castle expand strategic relationship

AT&T and Crown Castle announced a new and expanded long-term leasing deal for wireless network infrastructure.

Under the new agreement, leasing management and operations are streamlined to improve the efficiency and flexibility under which AT&T can deploy new technologies and increase network capacity. In addition to macro sites, the new agreement covers small cell deployments. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The companies said the new agreement will enable AT&T to speed up the deployment of 5G technologies and the execution of our FirstNet build.

"This agreement marks a significant milestone in our relationship with Crown Castle," said Susan Johnson, executive vice president – Global Connections and Supply Chain, AT&T. "It establishes a market-based framework and simplifies the lease management and administration process. This will allow us to streamline network projects to better serve our customers."

"We are pleased to expand our longstanding strategic relationship with AT&T," said Mike Kavanagh, Chief Commercial Officer, Crown Castle. "We look forward to continuing to support AT&T's growth by providing our infrastructure assets to meet their network needs for years to come."

Xtera in conversation with Verizon - part 1



The evolution of optical transport technology in terrestrial and subsea networks as we approach Shannon's limit is the topic of discussion in this conversation with Glenn Wellbrock, Director, Backbone Network Design, Verizon, Stuart Barnes, Chairman and CSO, Xtera, and Vijay Rudravajjala, VP Engineering, Xtera.


See video:
https://youtu.be/H3zt-Nd-xQ8



Xtera in conversation with Verizon - part 2



In this segment, the conversation turns to network disaggregation trends. A key question that is raised by network operators is "what value am I going to get out of disaggregation if I am not interested in becoming an equipment manufacturer or system integrator?"  The value may be in standardizing APIs and driving network agility.

On the issue of standards, the topic of how to accurately quantify the capacity of open lines is raised, especially when spectral sharing is employed.

Glenn Wellbrock, Director, Backbone Network Design, Verizon
Stuart Barnes, Chairman and CSO, Xtera
Vijay Rudravajjala, VP Engineering, Xtera

See video: https://youtu.be/Bpvb7ACLxbk


Anova claims wireless network delivers lowest latency from Chicago to Wash DC at 3.4ms

Anova Technologies, which specializes in connectivity for the financial sectors, announced the activation of a long haul wireless network between Aurora, IL and 1275 K St., Washington D.C.

The Aurora facility is a data center for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Washington address is used by the Department of Labor and is where important macro-economic releases are delivered.

Anova's network has the capability to bi-directionally transmit 150Mbps, with client port-to-client port latencies measured at 3.4ms one-way from Aurora, IL to Washington D.C. The company says this path is the fastest commercial network between these locations.

“We have always been active in providing capacity out of Washington, D.C. for this type of data; our path from New Jersey to D.C. has been up for over four years. And when you add our recently acquired CME to NY4 route to this network – Anova now owns and operates a triangle of long haul wireless connectivity between all three major U.S. financial centers: the CME in Aurora, the New Jersey equities & FX exchanges and the news epicenter of Washington D.C. No other provider has this,” stated Mike Persico, founder and CEO of Anova Technologies.

Anova now has almost 3000 total kilometers of active RF network across long haul and metro regions.

  • Anovva is developing two proprietary networking platforms:
    The Relay - an FPGA-based endpoint termination device that optimizes layer 1 for latency while democratizes queuing & fail-over. The company claims zero queuing cross customers at the bit level. 
  •  Laser Transport System (LTS) - a data transmission platform that simulcasts across two frequencies (MMW and laser) and selects the best packet in real time using Dynamic Packet Resourcing (DPR) thus enabling fiber-like availability at wireless speed.

Keysight delivers 5G tester to NTT DOCOMO

Keysight Technologies has provided a 28 GHz Channel Sounding Solution to NTT DOCOMO to characterize the air interface.

5G channel sounding measures parameters such as path loss, power delay profile, reflection, and various fading profiles including Doppler shift. It is required to design efficient and robust 5G channel models.

Keysight said its 5G 28 GHz Channel Sounding Solution with wideband MIMO data capture techniques enables engineers to measure angular spread with fewer measurements and improve resolution of the multi-path parameters. Keysight and NTT DOCOMO recently cooperated on a similar project at a 60 GHz fixed use case.

“We knew that we needed a cooperative relationship with a test and measurement provider who specialized in high-frequency applications to develop and verify underlying technologies for 5G,” said Yukihiko Okumura, Group leader of 5G Radio Access Network Research Group, Research Laboratories of NTT DOCOMO. “The technical support and expertise from Keysight in 5G channel sounding techniques for mobility helped us understand the channel behavior at mmWave frequencies, especially travelling at high speeds.”

“Keysight is enabling the 5G industry by providing a combination of technical expertise and solutions in mmWave frequencies,” said Garret Lees, Director of Operator Solution Group, Keysight Technologies. “By partnering with NTT DOCOMO on 5G we’re able to accelerate key testing capabilities, allowing the wider mobile ecosystem to gain insights and innovate early.”

Zayo to provide dark fiber ring in the Montreal for cloud company

Zayo will build a high-capacity dark fiber ring in the Montreal metro area to a global cloud provider. The project involves the extension of Zayo's existing dense network in Montreal and building a 60-kilometer ring for the anchor tenant along the South Shore, the city’s growing technology and data center hub. The name of the anchor tenant was not disclosed.

“This project enables us to further expand our Canadian footprint and deliver the high-performance communications infrastructure that this long-standing customer merits,” said Jack Waters, CTO and president of Fiber Solutions at Zayo. “We expect to capture the benefits of scale leveraging our dense Montreal footprint and these new success-based routes.”

Telia Carrier connects Sabey Data Centers Seattle

Telia Carrier is now providing its 100G-enabled IP backbone and transmission network to Sabey Data Center Properties in Seattle.

Intergate.Seattle is Sabey Data Center’s flagship property and is the largest privately owned multi-tenant campus on the west coast. It is composed of two campuses, eight buildings and more than 1,373,000 square feet of data-center space.

“We are proud to partner with Sabey Data Center’s Intergate.Seattle campus. Our reliable network services enable Sabey to deliver the flexibility and capacity its customers need,” said Stephen Hartman, head of Telia Carrier’s North American Region.

Sabey Data Centers pulls in $675m in financing

Seattle-based Sabey Data Centers, which owns and operates data center campuses in Seattle, Ashburn (VA), Quincy (WA) and Wenatchee (WA), closed a $675 million financing package led by TD Securities, including a $425 million 5-year term loan and a $250 million 5-year revolver. 

The company said proceeds of the term loan will be used to refinance existing property-level debt into a corporate facility, while the revolver will be used to fund capital expenditures for data center development and strategic initiatives.  Sabey plans to expand its data center campuses in Northern Virginia as well as in Central Washington, which benefits from low power rates and a mild climate ideal for efficient cooling.

EXFO's quarterly sales rise 7.8% to US$64.7 million

EXFO reported sales of US$64.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2018, up 7.8% year-over-year. Sales were up 5.2% to US$128.1 million at the halfway mark of the company's fiscal year. 

In January 2018, EXFO assumed full control of Astellia, a global leader in the performance analysis of mobile networks and subscriber experience.

Sales, excluding the one-month contribution of Astellia, attained US$62.9 million in the second quarter of 2018 compared to US$60.0 million in the second quarter of 2017. Astellia contributed US$1.8 million in sales in the second quarter and first half of 2018. Astellia's sales were reduced by US$0.3 million to account for acquisition-related fair value adjustment of deferred revenue.

IFRS net loss attributable to the parent interest totaled US$4.7 million, or US$0.08 per share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2018 and US$2.0 million, or US$0.04 per share, at the halfway mark of the fiscal year. In comparison, net earnings attributable to the parent interest totaled US$1.0 million, or US$0.02 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2017 and US$4.3 million, or US$0.08 per diluted share, in the first half of 2017.

Adjusted EBITDA totaled US$2.5 million, or 3.9% of sales, in the second quarter of 2018 and US$8.6 million, or 6.7% of sales, in the first half of the fiscal year.

"I am thrilled with the closing of the Astellia acquisition as it positions EXFO among the top five providers worldwide of service assurance solutions," said Philippe Morin, EXFO's Chief Executive Officer. "Together, we have created a strong critical mass with solutions deployed at more than 250 network operators, while our global sales organizations have been merged to maximize cross-selling opportunities. Similarly, our unique portfolio of complementary technologies will be combined to deliver unmatched capabilities in high-growth markets like NFV/SDN, IoT and 5G. Although this transformative acquisition involves a short-term financial impact, we expect the additional sales volume, cross-selling opportunities, efficiencies as well as complementary technology and service offerings will contribute to earnings growth in fiscal 2019."

"In addition, I am pleased with the strong performance from our Physical-layer product line in the second quarter of 2018," Mr. Morin added.


EXFO to acquire Astellia for mobile subscriber awareness

EXFO has launched an all-cash voluntary tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Astellia, a provider of network and subscriber intelligence solutions for mobile operators. EXFO already holds 33.1% of Astellia's equity.

The offer is proposed at a price of EUR 10 per Astellia share, valuing the entirety of Astellia's equity (on a fully diluted basis) at approximately €25.9 million.

Astellia's real-time monitoring and troubleshooting solution optimizes networks end-to-end, from radio to core.  The company is based in France with significant operations in Spain and a strong presence in Canada, Lebanon, Morocco and South Africa.

"We aim to combine the two companies and create a global leader in the service assurance and analytics industry", said Germain Lamonde, EXFO's founder and Executive Chairman of the Board. "Combining our complementary base of customers, technologies and competencies, as well as our similar corporate cultures, will enable the development of game-changing solutions and services within a large market in rapid transition—all this in the best interests of our customers, employees and shareholders."