Thursday, May 10, 2018

NEC announces agreement to supply 5G base stations to NTT DOCOMO

NEC announced an agreement to supply 5G base station equipment to NTT DOCOMO. Financial terms were not disclosed. Docomo aims to launch 5G in 2020.

Under this new agreement, NEC will achieve 5G compatibility through software upgrades and a minimal replacement of hardware to maximize the use of existing high-density base station equipment.  NEC said it will provide updates that enable existing high-density base stations to be fully compatible with 5G while continuing to deliver LTE/LTE-Advanced services.

This includes base station equipment that NEC has been supply to DOCOMO since February 2015. This equipment is already compatible with the advanced Centralized Radio Access Network (C-RAN) architecture advocated by
DOCOMO, and is now being utilized as a base station control unit.

"DOCOMO aims to deploy and expand our commercial 5G services efficiently by maximizing the use of existing communications equipment," said, Hiroshi Nakamura, Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, NTT DOCOMO. " This agreement with NEC is in line with that policy and we expect it to make a significant contribution to our 5G services. Going forward, DOCOMO accelerates co-creation of new services and businesses with vertical industry partners."

NTT Docomo and NEC test 5G to race car traveling at 300 km/h

NTT DOCOMO and NEC conducted a test of 5G connectivity to a race car moving at 305 km/h (190 mph)

The test, which used 28 GHz spectrum, sustained a downlink of 1.1 Gbps between the 5G base station and the 5G modem in the car moving at 293 km/h and a fast handover during communication between 5G base stations and a 5G mobile station moving at 290 km/h. In addition, the trial succeeded in a wireless live relay of 4K high-frame-rate video via uplink from a 5G mobile station moving at 200 km/h. Both the 5G base station and 5G mobile station in the car were equipped for beamforming, which concentrated radio power in a specific direction, and beam tracking, which switched the direction of the beams to follow the 5G mobile station as it moved at high speed.

The trials were conducted last month at the Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI).

The 4K video transmission operated at 120-frames-per-second and used NTT's real-time 4K high-frame-rate HEVC codec.

Other companies involved in the trials included DOCOMO 5G Open Partner Program participants, Sony Business Solutions Corporation, and DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION RACING manager Dandelion Limited.

TE SubCom debuts SDN-powered Ocean Control Suite

TE SubCom introduced its software-defined Ocean Control suite for enabling automated control and extensive remote programmability over an entire communications network, both terrestrial and undersea.

TE SubCom said its Ocean Control Suite substantially increases the capabilities, efficiencies and options available to an external orchestrator.  The suite uses RESTful application programming interfaces (APIs) with read and write functionality to interface with undersea network elements like Wavelength Selective Switch Reconfigurable Optical Add Drop Multiplexer (WSS ROADMs). SubCom partner Ciena is among the first to take advantage of the new API capabilities, which will be demonstrated to a select audience in Ciena’s Ottawa labs throughout May.

The first release of Ocean Control, available now, supports of SubCom’s enhanced Line Monitoring System (eLMS). Two additional releases are anticipated later this year that will further expand and enhance the Ocean Control suite’s functionality to cover all major wet and dry network elements.

Mark Enright, vice president, customer solutions of TE SubCom said, “The Ocean Control suite enables us to further strengthen SubCom’s commitment to customers, through our partnership with Ciena. With this new technology, we’re building the API platform that will underpin the future of an optimized network control interface.”

“We look forward to the opportunity to put the SubCom APIs to good use. They will provide a seamless integration into our Blue Planet Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller to enable the automated delivery of services across Ciena packet-optical networks, and more programmable management,” said Ian Clarke, vice president, global submarine systems of Ciena.

Orange offers terrestrial link between Marseille and Atlantic subsea cable stations

Orange International Carrier is launching a high-capacity, direct terrestrial fiber connection between Marseille and Penmarch, linking the landing stations for Mediterranean and Atlantic subsea cables.

Orange said this new terrestrial service bridges existing submarine cable routes from Asia/Middle East and West Africa, including CHLS SMW4 Saint-Mauront, CHLS IMEWE Bonneveine and Interxion’s Data Center MRS1, at Marseille with the CHLS SMW3 and ACE submarine cables at Penmarch.

“This unique service is being added to the range of Orange solutions already available in Marseille to facilitate connections in regions where data growth is increasing significantly,” said Pierre-Louis de Guillebon, CEO of Orange International Carriers. “This is a fully Orange
owned route, which will soon be automated, and it means that Orange can now offer a secure ‘all-inclusive’ solution by way of configuration, housing and operations.”

https://wholesalesolutions.orange.com

DLR and ADVA hit 13.16T in test of free space laser for satellite comm

The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt – DLR), working in conjunction with ADVA, set a new data transmission record of 13.16 Tbps for free-space laser communications.

The trial, which emulated a ground to a geostationary satellite link, succeeded in transmitting 13.16 Tbps of data over a distance of 10.45km – nearly eight times the DLR’s previous record. The setup involved a laser at a ground station in Weilheim, Germany, and a mock satellite more than 10km away on the mountain Hohenpeißenberg.

DLR developed the free-space terminal technology. ADVA supplied its FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform including its QuadFlex line cards. These support high-order coherent modulation schemes and enabled each wavelength to carry 200 Gbps payload data using dual-polarization 16QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) and strong soft-decision forward error correction. Atmospheric turbulence in the terrestrial link was equivalent to that experienced in a worst-case scenario between ground and geostationary satellites.

“This trial is a significant milestone in the evolution of stable, high-speed communication via satellite. It’s showing the industry that multi-Terabits of data can be transported every second via satellites using free-space laser communications,” said Christoph Günther, director, DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation. “One of our core aims is helping to achieve global connectivity and this test is a big part of realizing that goal. Through a lot of close collaboration between the DLR and ADVA teams, we’ve been able to demonstrate that this approach is not only feasible but that it’s ready to be used to transmit the enormous amounts of data needed for tomorrow’s users. Setting this benchmark brings high-speed broadband for everyone a step closer to reality.”

“Together with the DLR team, we’re helping shape the future of connectivity. This trial shows the full potential of free-space laser links to transform communications across the globe. We’re proud that our FSP 3000 CloudConnect is making it possible,” commented Jörg-Peter Elbers, SVP, advanced technology, ADVA. “Throughout the tests, the stability of the connection was vital. Even short interruptions of only milliseconds mean Gigabits of lost data. Thankfully, our FSP 3000 CloudConnect™ is one of the most resilient platforms on the market. This trial is about delivering the transformative power of the internet to communities and countries that need it most. By enabling affordable, reliable broadband via satellite at speeds that make a difference, we really are helping to close the digital divide.”

http://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-10081/151_read-27323/year-all/#/gallery/30516

https://www.advaoptical.com/

BT outlines strategic initiative, including increased infrastructure spending and job cuts

BT outlined a series of strategic priorities as it seeks to transform into a leader in converged connectivity and services.

Highlights include:

  • Launching new converged product offerings to deliver differentiated customer experiences, support customer loyalty and improve economic returns;
  • Increasing FTTP and mobile infrastructure investment within an annual CAPEX allocation of around £3.7bn;
  • Accelerating the restructuring and transformation of Global Services by introducing new digital products with a greater focus on our top global customers, reducing capital intensity, and significantly lowering costs;
  • Focusing on around 30 modern, strategic sites to create a more collaborative, open and customer-focused working culture, including plans to exit BT’s headquarters in Central London;
  • A three-year reduction of c.13,000 mainly back office and middle management roles;
  • A year 3 cash cost reduction of £1.5 billion with costs to achieve of £800 million and 2-year payback;
  • Cost reductions to help offset near-term cost and revenue pressures, provide capacity to invest in value-enhancing projects and drive longer-term profit growth;
  • Hiring c.6,000 new employees to support network deployment and customer service.

“BT is uniquely positioned to be a leader in converged connectivity and services. We are a clear market leader in terms of the scale of our customer relationships. We have the UK’s leading fixed and mobile access networks, a portfolio of strong and well-segmented brands, and close strategic partnerships. We provide products and services that are essential to both consumers and businesses, delivered through multiple channels to suit their needs. This position of strength will enable us to build on the disciplined delivery and risk reduction of the last financial year, a period during which we delivered overall in-line with our financial and operational commitments whilst addressing many uncertainties,” stated Gavin Patterson, BT Chief Executive.

Separately, BT reported revenue of £5,967 billion for its fourth fiscal quarter ending 31-March-2018, down 1% for the year and 3% for the quarter.

Some operational highlights


  • Gfast premises of 1m and FTTP premises of 560,000 passed in Q4; over 1.5m premises able to connect to ultrafast service
  • Openreach fibre connections at 555,000 in Q4 with superfast fibre broadband passing nearly 27.6m UK premises
  • 4G coverage reaches 90% of the country as we deploy in hard to reach areas
  • Mobile postpaid net additions of 95,000, with low churn of 1.2%; monthly mobile postpaid ARPU down 1% to £26.0
  • BT Sport rights packages secured; includes Premier League matches for a further three years from 2019/20
  • Average BT Sport viewing increased 19% year on year; second best quarterly performance since launch
  • BT Consumer revenue generating units per customer increased 3% to 2.03, with ARPU up 5% to £41.7

Interoute adds UK fibre routes to Europe

Interoute has added new 100G routes between the UK and Europe, enabling service providers and large enterprises to transport traffic from the UK Midlands to Europe without going through the London area. Interoute cites improved diversity and resilience for the expansion.

Jonathan Wright, VP of Commercial Operations at Interoute, commented: "Offering unparalleled cross border capacity and connectivity has always been a cornerstone of Interoute’s strategy. With this, we will continue to provide highly strategic, robust routes to meet the multitude of demands made by our valued customers.”

Earlier, Interoute announced that it has been selected by a global social media networking company to provide over 4,000 kilometres of dark fibre in Europe, specifically in long-haul dark fibre routes in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

FWD: The death of ZTE

Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment Corporation (ZTE), one of the world's largest suppliers of network infrastructure products, informed the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that "the major operating activities of the Company have ceased". 

If the notice means what we think it means, then ZTE is dead.


It took only 3 weeks from the day that the U.S. Commerce Department' Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued its order prohibiting companies or individuals from participating in any way in an export transaction with ZTE for this multinational giant based in Shenzhen to collapse. I'm not sure there has been any other corporate collapse in the networking sector of this magnitude and in this accelerated time frame. The nearest comparison would be the collapse of Nortel in 2009, but that took years to occur rather than just weeks.

ZTE's website has already started to disappear. Many product, technology and news archive pages are now gone.

The most proximate reason for the death of the company is that without new deliveries of chipsets and optical components from U.S. vendors, the manufacturing lines for ZTE must have already come to a halt, leaving the company unable to ship products. Just-in-time manufacturing probably means that the company has insufficient inventory to sustain operations during a protracted appeal or legal fight with the U.S. Department of Commerce. More importantly, if the market has lost confidence, the sharks smell blood, and normal operations become impossible.

There will be a scramble amongst investors, creditors, employees, competitors, suppliers, and customers to secure whatever value remains in the organisation. There should be plenty.

Salvaging the good bits

First, there is a huge installed base of ZTE equipment worldwide in carrier networks, in data centres, in enterprise IT centres, and in home networks. The value of this equipment could be in the tens of billions if we take a cumulative count of sales over the last four years. These networks, which belong to the customers and their lenders, will need to be supported.  There is ongoing business here for someone.

ZTE holds the No.1 or No. 2 markets share position on many of the core infrastructure projects of the big three carriers in China -- China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom.

All of ZTE's product segments were growing. Here are the 2017 annual growth rates:

  • Carrier networks 8.3%
  • Gov't and corporate 10.4%
  • Consumer 5.2%


Outside of China, ZTE has many current sales contracts and open purchase orders for new equipment, with good prospects of upcoming fibre broadband, 4G, 4G, and core network projects. 

ZTE has a very extensive telecom equipment portfolio, covering every sector of wireless networks, core networks, access & bearer networks, services and terminals. 

ZTE has been listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange since 1997 and on the Hong Kong Exchange since 2004. Trading has been suspended since April 16 and so there is no way to know quite yet if the shares are now worthless. The company's balance sheet at the end of 2017 showed RMB 31.647 billion in current assets, and the company's most recent statement said it was conserving cash.

ZTE has abundant in-house and contracted production facilities capable of manufacturing large volume of smartphones, customer premise equipment, and carrier infrastructure products. 

ZTE has many current and next-generation product designs using the latest silicon from U.S., Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese and other international suppliers. The product designs could be sold to other equipment suppliers.

ZTE has a considerable patent portfolio. ZTE claims to amongst the most prolific corporate patent filers in recent years. As of 30-June-2017, ZTE Group 68,000 patents, including 29,000 granted global patents.

As of mid-2017, the company was operating 20 R&D centres in China, the United States, Sweden, France, Japan and Canada, as well as more than 10 joint innovation centres established in association with leading carriers.

There is a talented pool of 74,773 employees (including 58,940 as employees of the parent company), with an average age of 33. Many of these employees have deep subject matter expertise, the vast majority of whom had nothing to do with the business decisions that got ZTE into trouble. 

ZTE was gearing up for a big play in 5G

At this year's  Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ZTE captured the “Best Technology Innovation for 5G" award for its end-to-end vision encompassing the radio access network, the core network, bearer platforms, custom 5G silicon and CPE terminals. As with other suppliers, many of these are “works in progress” rather than commercially deployable solutions right now.

ZTE's has pushed hard on Massive MIMO, the antenna technology which has been shown to improve spectral efficiency up to 8 times.

It has been pioneering a multi-user shared access (MUSA) technology to effectively increase the number of connections served, and thereby enable support for scenarios involving mass connectivity with low power consumption. This could be extremely useful in very crowded areas, such as subway systems, when everyone is using their smartphone. The MUSA technology works by allowing high overload and eliminating scheduling operations, thereby increasing the number of connections by between 3- and 6-fold. It uses advanced spread spectrum sequence and SIC technology to simplify terminal implementation and help reduce energy consumption.

In the network core, ZTE is ready to commercialize end-to-end 5G network slicing. Its Cloud ServCore platform implements lightweight micro-service components to enable the network slices to operate independently and with easy scalability. This will allow IoT applications, for instance, to scale smoothly and without impacting other network slices.

ZTE is also readying a 5G Flexhaul bearer solution based on next-gen FlexE technology. Part of this vision to achieve a unified bearer network for 3G / 4G / 5G traffic. ZTE says its 5G Flexhaul achieves end-to-end protection switching time of less than 1ms, as well as single node forwarding latency of less than 0.5μs.




ZTE was a $20 billion company on the rise

Prior to receiving the death sentence for sanctions violations and lying to the U.S. government during a probationary period, ZTE was profitable and on a $20 billion per year sales run rate.

For Q1 2018, the company reported revenue of RMB 28.879 billion (US$5.548 billion), up 12% over the same period in 2017. Net profit after extraordinary items attributable to holders of ordinary shares of the listed company amounted to RMB 1.368 billion (US$216 million). For the full year 2017, ZTE reported operating revenue of RMB 108.82 billion, 7.49% higher than a year earlier,  

Net profit for 2017 was reported at RMB 4.55 billion, an increase of 293%. Net cash flow from operating activities for 2017 was approximately RMB 6.78 billion, about 28.88% year-on-year growth. This was a quite a recovery from 2016, when revenues grew just 4% and profits were lower. With booming handset sales in China, India and other developing markets, along with good prospects for 5G, things were looking pretty good for ZTE, until its troubles with the long-running exports violation case came to a head.

Big fine in 2017

ZTE's 2017 results were impacted by troubles with the U.S. government. In March 2017, ZTE made penalty payments of over US$1.19 billion to the U.S. government-- this too for the case involving the shipment of U.S.-origin technology to Iran during the period of economic sanctions. ZTE plead guilty in the case and paid the fine. It also agreed to a number of other conditions, which were not fulfilled, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, or which ZTE subsequently lied about. 

Huawei as the beneficiary? 

ZTE generates about 40% of its revenue abroad. 

We can surmise that many of the large carrier projects that ZTE currently has underway internationally will have been funded by the Bank of China,  the China Development Bank (CDB), or other government-backed, export/import financial institutions. These carrier customers are facing the prospect of suspended or canceled projects. This presents an opportunity for other network vendors to step in and capture the business. 


However, the customer would need to secure another funding source. Huawei is the most likely to be the ZTE replacement, especially if the Bank of China or CDB were to transfer project loans on their behalf. Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and others also have an opening to entice these ZTE carrier customers with their offerings.

But what if Huawei is next?

However,  it is conceivable that the Trump administration will ratchet up the pressure on Huawei, for instance by extending all of parts of the ZTE export ban to them, or by persuading other governments to block Huawei as has been done in the U.S.. Many analysts expected that the ZTE ban was a bargaining chip in the recent, first round of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. There was, and perhaps continues to be, hope that the order would be rescinded after the trade talks. This did not happen. Perhaps the trade tensions will get worse, with Huawei coming under pressure next.

With this possibility at hand, some large carriers in countries such as Japan, Germany or Singapore, may rethink their future plans with Chinese equipment vendors in general on critical projects so as not to face supply disruptions like we now see with ZTE. In Germany, Deutsche Telekom recently announced a 5G pilot deployment in Berlin using Huawei equipment. In the U.S., T-Mobile is prohibited from using Huawei as a supplier. With T-Mobile now seeking to merge with Sprint, U.S. regulators conceivably could require the German parent company to remove all Huawei gear from all of its networks as a condition for approving the merger. 

In other countries, there will be other geopolitical considerations. In Russia, ZTE has just clinched a 70% share of the first stage of  Rostelecom's the access network modernization project. ZTE's Multi-Service Access Network (MSAN) product delivers VDSL. Rostelcom is currently testing G.vectoring and G.fast for deployment in a second stage of its upgrade project. Rostelecom, of course, is Russia's leading broadband and pay-TV provider with over 12.7 million fixed-line broadband subscribers and over 9.7 million pay-TV subscribers, over 4.7 million of which are subscribed to its IPTV service. Given the need for Rostelcom to complete this network upgrade successfully, on-time and on budget, they will look for other suppliers.. but probably not from the U.S.

In India, ZTE is now a major supplier of low-cost smartphones and optical transmission gear. In October 2017, ZTE announced a 100G WDM Backbone Network Project and metro area network (MAN) construction contract with Idea Cellular, the third largest mobile operator in India with 189 million subscribers. With this deal, ZTE’s OTN optical transport platform captured a 95% share in the metro optical backbones that carry Idea Cellular’s traffic. ZTE has previously disclosed major contracts with Bharti Airtel as well. This success comes despite some protectionist voices in India warning against Chinese suppliers for critical network infrastructure.

Other recent contract wins include the Ooredoo Group, which serves 164 million customers across the Middle East, and South Africa based MTN. For Ooredoo Group, ZTE was expected to supply end-to-end networks, applications, and terminals in preparation for a 5G launch. MTN was also looking at deploying ZTE’s 5G NR radio access, 5G virtualized network slicing, carrier DevOps and container-based vEPC, and 5G Flexhaul bearer network.

The ZTE effect on suppliers

For those companies who were supplying chipsets, optical components, memories, display technologies, protocol stacks, etc. to ZTE, there will be a waiting game to see who takes up the slack. We can presume that the size and growth of the market will remain the same before and after this incident. If ZTE doesn't supply that core router, someone else will. 

What comes next?

The ZTE statement about ceasing normal activities holds out a glimmer of hope that the U.S. government might hear an appeal and grant a reprieve. Last week, U.S. trade negotiators visited China. Obviously, no deal occurred or ZTE would not have made its statement. 

Whatever comes next, it better happen quickly because sales contracts and talented employees will not stick around to what eventually emerges. The best people and ideas will move on to competitors or new ventures.

The most likely outcome is that ZTE individual business units are sold off, spun out, or otherwise reorganised into new corporate entities. In other words, the same cast of characters with the same products but operating under a new name.

ZTE: Major operating activities have ceased

ZTE stated that "the major operating activities of the Company have ceased" due to the export ban imposed on it by the U.S. Commerce Department' Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).

The announcement was made in a regulatory filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Trading of the company's shares have been suspended since April 16th.

ZTE also said that it is actively communicating with the U.S. government in order to secure a reversal of the ban.

http://res.www.zte.com.cn/mediares/zte/Investor/20180509/E1.pdf


Vodafone to acquire Liberty Global operations for $22.7 billion

Vodafone agreed to acquire Liberty Global's operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic in a deal valued at approximately €19.0 billion ($22.7 billion). The combination is also notable for bringing together mobile infrastructure with cable operations.

Vodafone said the acquisition accelerates its convergence story and strengthens its position as a leading next generation infrastructure owner in Europe. After the merger is complete, Vodafone will have 54 million cable/fibre homes ‘on-net’ and a total NGN reach of 110 million homes and businesses, including wholesale arrangements.

In Germany, the combination of Vodafone and Unitymedia’s non-overlapping regional operations will establish a strong second national provider of digital infrastructure in the German market. The ambition is to bring Gigabit connections to around 25 million German homes (62% of total German households) by 2022.

In eastern Europe, the Liberty Global properties will complement Vodafone’s existing mobile operations in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. In these markets, the combined businesses will reach over 6.4 million homes (39% of total households) and will serve 15.8 million
mobile, 1.8 million broadband, and 2.1 million TV customers.

Liberty Global said these four businesses represent approximately 28% of its consolidated 2017 operating cash flow (OCF), not including its 50% share of OCF from the VodafoneZiggo joint venture in the Netherlands. After completion of the transaction, Liberty Global will continue to be Europe’s leading cable television and broadband provider, with consolidated operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland
and Slovakia. Together, these country operations reach 24 million homes, account for 26 million video, broadband and fixed-line telephony subscribers

The sale price represents a total enterprise value for all four businesses combined of 11.5 times 2017 adjusted Segment OCF, or approximately 24.0 times 2017 operating free cash flow (“OFCF”), with an implied adjusted Segment OCF multiple for Liberty Global’s German operation of 12.0 times.

"This transaction will create the first truly converged pan-European champion of competition. It represents a step change in Europe’s transition to a Gigabit Society and a transformative combination for Vodafone that will generate significant value for shareholders. We are committed to accelerating and deepening investment in next generation mobile and fixed networks, building on Vodafone’s track record of ensuring that customers benefit from the choice of a strong and sustainable challenger to dominant incumbent operators. Vodafone will become Europe’s leading next generation network owner, serving the largest number of mobile customers and households across the EU.”

Equinix and Telxius collaborate on cable landing station architecture

Equinix and Telxius, Telefónica's infrastructure subsidiary, are collaborating on U.S. facilities and services for the next-generation cable landing station architecture for the MAREA and BRUSA cable systems, both of which terminate at a cable landing station in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The next-generation cable landing station architecture will extend the backhaul capacity into Equinix DC2 International Business Exchange (IBX) data center, simplifying network design and providing access to a dense, rich ecosystem of networks, clouds and IT service providers. Equinix customers will have direct access to the MAREA and BRUSA cable systems via a simple cross connect from any IBX data center.

The 6,600 km MAREA subsea cable, which was jointly funded by Microsoft and Facebook, is the highest capacity subsea cable system built across the Atlantic, consisting of eight fiber pairs with an initial estimated design capacity of 160 Tbps. Telxius is responsible for the operation of the cable and leverages its IP, capacity, colocation and security services through it.

Telxius is also building BRUSA, a new subsea cable spanning 10,900 km linking Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza, Brazil, with San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Virginia Beach, VA. BRUSA, which is slated for completion by mid-2018, also features eight fiber pairs. 

Telxius has points of presence (PoPs) in more than 20 Equinix IBX data centers around the globe to support the Telxius network, including DC2 and DC6; MI1 and MI2; SP1, SP2, SP3 and SP4; RJ1 and RJ2 at which the MAREA and BRUSA cable systems terminate.

"We're partnering on new cable landing station projects that give our customers improved access to the expanding global subsea cable network. With this next-generation cable landing station design, the cables extend directly to an Equinix IBX data center. That means any user of a subsea cable system that lands inside one of our Equinix global data center termination points has instant, low-latency access to a host of vibrant industry ecosystems inside Equinix, and that's a huge advantage," stated Jim Poole, Vice President, Business Development, Equinix.

"This new cable landing station design effectively connects the data center and submarine communications worlds and opens the door to faster growth in bandwidth rates for our customers. This cutting-edge architecture leverages the ultra-high capacity of BRUSA and MAREA, two of the highest capacity cables ever built. It has been developed to fully address the needs of our customers in terms of both capacity and efficiency," stated Rafael Arranz, Chief Operations Officer, Telxius Cable Business

Telefónica's Telxius infrastructure arm expands its global reach


Telxius, Telefónica's infrastructure arm, was established in February 2016. It owns and operates a portfolio comprising nearly 16,300 telecom towers in five countries and manages an international network with around 65,000 km of submarine optical cable, including around 31,000 km owned by Telxius. The Telxius-owned network includes SAM-1 linking the U.S., Central and South America, PCCS (Pacific Caribbean Cable System) and Unisur, which connects...


EU's Metro-Haul Project aims for smarter optical infrastructure supporting 5G

The Metro-Haul Project, a Horizon 2020 European Union research and innovation program, held its third plenary meeting last month at Coriant's R&D facility in Lisbon, Portugal to discuss the practical points of convergence for access and metro networks, and the establishment of suitable architecture and fundamental structure of future metro networks. Discussions also included the critical role of storage, compute, and virtual function capabilities; underpinned with flexible and elastic optical nodes in support of the demands of the 5G network.

The aim of the €7.7 million Metro-Haul project is to design and build a smart optical metro infrastructure able to support traffic originating from heterogeneous 5G access networks, addressing the anticipated capacity increase and its specific characteristics, including mobility, low latency, and low jitter. This infrastructure will also support a wide variety of services and use cases with special emphasis on services from various industries vertical to the ICT.

“The Metro-Haul project targets are ambitious but realistic for the demands of 5G,” said Emilio Riccardi from TIM, the Italian telecommunications company. “We aim to enable optical metro networks with 100 times the capacity, 10 times less energy consumption, support for latency-sensitive services, and end-to-end SDN-based management that enables fast configuration leading to a 20% reduction in OPEX. The cooperation between equipment manufacturers and network operators within Metro-Haul offers the possibility of achieving these targets and making a huge difference to the industry.”

“With active support from industry leaders and European academic institutions, Metro-Haul is making important contributions to the understanding of the demands that emerging 5G use cases will place on metro network infrastructure,” said Carlos Ferreira, Country Manager for Coriant Portugal. “We were pleased to host the third plenary session and help facilitate driving this important work forward. The implications of bandwidth growth on metro networks represent a pressing issue for our customers, and the research Metro-Haul provides is an invaluable source of architecture, technology, and use case information that will help maximize the value of 5G-optimized networks.”

https://metro-haul.eu

CenturyLink sees rise in business, dip in consumer sales

CenturyLink reported revenues of $5.95 billion for first quarter 2018, compared to $4.21 billion for first quarter 2017. Diluted earnings per share was $0.11 for first quarter 2018, compared to diluted earnings per share of $0.30 for first quarter 2017.

"CenturyLink achieved solid results for first quarter 2018, the first full quarter of operations following the acquisition of Level 3," said Glen F. Post, III, CenturyLink chief executive officer. "Now positioned as one of the world's leading network providers, we believe we have significant opportunities to grow our business and drive long-term shareholder value," Post concluded.

"We are focused on our sales force integration and driving profitable revenue growth while improving our customer experience," said Jeff Storey, CenturyLink president and chief operating officer. "Our integration efforts to date are leading to the synergies we expected and helping us move toward sustainable improved profitability and cash flow generation."



Infinera posts Q1 revenue of $203 million

Infinera reported GAAP revenue for its first quarter ended March 31, 2018 of $202.7 million compared to $195.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 and $175.5 million in the first quarter of 2017.

GAAP gross margin for the quarter was 40.5% compared to 24.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 36.5% in the first quarter of 2017. GAAP net loss for the quarter was $(26.3) million, or $(0.17) per share, compared to a net loss of $(40.5) million, or $(0.28) per share, in the first quarter of 2017. Non-GAAP net loss for the quarter was $(7.2) million, or $(0.05) per share, compared to a net loss of $(18.6) million, or $(0.12) per share, in the fourth quarter of 2017, and net loss of $(21.7) million, or $(0.15) per share, in the first quarter of 2017.

“Our financial performance in Q1 reflects continued strong growth from our next-generation products that offset typical seasonal weakness,” said Tom Fallon, Infinera’s Chief Executive Officer. “In 2018, we remain focused on winning new customers that will diversify our revenue base, drive multi-year growth and leverage our unique vertically-integrated operating model. We also remain committed to returning to profitability during the second half of 2018.”

Ryanair goes all-in on AWS

Ryanair is going "all-in" in moving its infrastructure to AWS.

Ryanair, which is the leading budget airline in Europe, now plans to close the vast majority of its data centers over the next three years. The airline already runs several core production workloads on AWS, such as Ryanair Rooms and Ryanair.com, and is building a company-wide data lake on Amazon S3, leveraging Amazon Kinesis to gain deeper insights from customer and business data.

“We’ve chosen to work with the world’s leading cloud to develop and deliver services that will transform our customers’ travel experiences. By rebuilding core applications, converting data into actionable insights, and creating intelligent applications, we are putting the solutions in place to continue our leadership in the travel industry,” said John Hurley, Chief Technology Officer at Ryanair.

Google Cloud intros managed in-memory data store for Redis

Google launched a public beta of a fully-managed in-memory data store service for Redis,

The company says its Cloud Memorystore provides a scalable, more secure and highly available Redis service that is fully compatible with open source Redis, letting you migrate your applications to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with zero code changes.

Redis is an open-source in-memory database project implementing a distributed, in-memory key-value store. It supports data structures and features like persistence, replication and pub-sub.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

IBM to adopt Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform for all its software

IBM will extend its private cloud platforms (IBM Cloud Private and IBM Cloud Private for Data) and its middleware offerings to Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform as Red Hat Certified Containers.
The agreement builds on IBM’s recent move to re-engineer its entire software portfolio with containers, including WebSphere, MQ Series and Db2.

The companies said there is growing consensus that container technologies are the best way to move applications across multiple IT footprints, from existing data centers to the public cloud and vice versa.

Under their agreement, enterprise customers will be able to more easily adopt a hybrid cloud strategy with IBM Cloud Private and Red Hat OpenShift serving as the common foundation. This will enable the IBM Cloud Private container platform to provide a single view of all enterprise data.


“With IBM’s recent move to containerize its middleware, today’s landmark partnership between IBM and Red Hat provides customers with more choice and flexibility. Our common vision for hybrid cloud using container architectures allows millions of enterprises – from banks, to airlines, to government organizations - to access leading technology from both companies without having to choose between public and private cloud,” stated Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice president, IBM Hybrid Cloud.

“Today’s enterprises need a succinct roadmap for digital transformation as well as confidence in deployment consistency across every IT footprint. By extending our long-standing collaboration with IBM, we’re bringing together two leading enterprise application platforms in Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and IBM Cloud Private and adding the power of IBM’s software and cloud solutions. Together, we’re providing customers with a supported, consistent offering across their computing environments,” said Paul Cormier, President, Products and Technologies, Red Hat.


Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes to extend across Azure and on-prem

Microsoft and Red Hat announced an expanded alliance to enable enterprises to run container-based applications across Microsoft Azure and on-premises using the Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes platform.

Red Hat OpenShift on Azure is a fully-managed service that provides the flexibility to reely move applications between on-premises environments and Azure with a consistent platform.

The companies said they can enable applications to connect faster, and with enhanced security, between Azure and on-premises OpenShift clusters with hybrid networking. From the containers, enterprises will be able to access other Microsoft Azure services like Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Machine Learning, and Azure SQL DB.

A preview of Red Hat OpenShift on Azure is expected in the coming months. Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Azure and Azure Stack are currently available.

“Microsoft and Red Hat are aligned in our vision to deliver simplicity, choice and flexibility to enterprise developers building cloud-native applications. Today, we’re combining both companies’ leadership in Kubernetes, hybrid cloud and enterprise operating systems to simplify the complex process of container management, with an industry-first solution on Azure,” stated Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft.

See also