Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Verizon to bring 5G fixed wireless access to Houston

In a challenge to Comcast's Xfinity and AT&T's U-verse broadband and video residential services, Verizon will launch a 5G fixed wireless access service in Houston before the end of the year.

Verizon has previously announced Sacramento and Los Angeles as launch cities for its residential 5G broadband service.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, CTO and incoming CEO Hans Vestberg are hosting a news conference with Houston mayor Sylvester Turner.

“We expect 5G will be a game changer helping us usher in a new wave of progress and innovation,” said Mayor Turner. “We’re delighted to be one of the first cities to bring 5G to our local communities and look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with Verizon.”

“We will be the first to offer commercial 5G service and our work with Houston put us one step closer to delivering that promise,” said Verizon’s Vestberg. “With 5G we are ushering in a fourth industrial revolution that will help reshape cities and lead to unprecedented innovation, and Houston will be at the forefront of that innovation.”

Verizon readies 5G fixed residential service launch in 2018

Verizon's first 5G application will be a fixed residential broadband service.

The first commercial launch will occur in Sacramento, California during the second half of 2018. Additional markets are also expected to launch in 2018.

Verizon did not disclose the performance characteristics of its 5G residential service but said it will provide unprecedented wireless speeds for Internet access.

Verizon estimates the market opportunity for initial 5G residential broadband services to be approximately 30 million households nationwide. The company also noted that the 5G residential rollout will not have a material impact on Verizon’s consolidated capital expenditures in 2018. CAPEX is expected to be consistent with the past several years.

“This is a landmark announcement for customers and investors who have been waiting for the 5G future to become a reality,” said Hans Vestberg, Verizon president of Global Networks and Chief Technology Officer. “We appreciate our strong ecosystem partners for their passion and technological support in helping us drive forward with 5G industry standards, for both fixed and mobile applications. The targeted initial launches we are announcing today will provide a strong framework for accelerating 5G’s future deployment on the global standards.”

Verizon picks Samsung as a supplier for Fixed 5G

Verizon has selected Samsung Electronics America as a supplier of commercial 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network solutions. Verizon will begin by launching commercial 5G services in Sacramento, California in the second half of 2018. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Specifically, Samsung will provide Verizon with commercial 5G home routers (CPEs), 5G Radio Access Units (RAN) comprised of a compact radio base station and virtualized RAN elements, as well as 5G radio frequency planning services. Samsung said it has leveraged in-house technology and assets to develop the first commercial ASIC-based 5G modems and mmWave RFICs.

Samsung and Verizon began 5G customer trials across seven U.S. cities in early 2017, and have successfully tested and verified 5G performance using millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequency to provide FWA pre-commercial service. These trials were conducted in California, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, and Washington D.C.

The companies cited the following findings from their 5G testing:

  • A single 5G radio has been able to reach the 19th floor of a multi-dwelling unit (MDU).
  • Broadband service has been achieved in line of sight (LOS), partial LOS and Non-LOS connections.
  • Environmental factors, including rain and snow, have not interrupted services.

“The industry has been discussing 5G connectivity for years, and through our joint collaboration with partners like Samsung, we are beginning to make it a reality for our customers," said Ed Chan, Chief Technology Architect and Network Planning, Verizon. 

Verizon has 116.5 million retail wireless connections

Verizon reported consolidated operating revenues of $32.2 billion for Q2 2018, up 5.4 percent from second-quarter 2017. On a comparable basis excluding the impacts of Oath, divested businesses and the revenue recognition standard (non-GAAP), consolidated revenues were $30.2 billion, up approximately 2.6 percent.  Net income was $4.2 billion and EBITDA (non-GAAP) totaled approximately $11 billion. EPS was $1.00, compared with $1.07 in second-quarter 2017.

“Verizon is extremely well-positioned for the future,” said Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam. “Our financial and operating results for the first half of 2018 were strong, as evidenced by service revenue, earnings and operating cash flow growth delivered in a highly competitive marketplace.”

Highlights

Wireless

  • Total revenues were $22.4 billion, an increase of 5.5 percent year over year. 
  • Service revenues for the quarter on a reported basis grew 0.8 percent year over year. 
  • Approximately 82 percent of Verizon’s postpaid phone base were on unsubsidized plans, compared with 81 percent in first-quarter 2018 and 75 percent in the same period last year.
  • Net increase of 531,000 retail postpaid additions, consisting of net phone additions of 199,000, tablet losses of 37,000 and 369,000 other connected devices additions, primarily wearables. Postpaid smartphone net additions for the quarter were 398,000.
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 0.97 percent, slightly up year-over-year. Retail postpaid phone churn of 0.75 percent in second-quarter 2018 was the fifth consecutive quarter of retail postpaid phone churn of 0.80 percent or better.

Wireline

  • Total wireline revenues were $7.5 billion. Excluding the impact of the revenue recognition standard, total wirelines revenues decreased 3.4 percent year over year in second-quarter 2018.
  • Total Fios revenues were $3.0 billion, an increase of 2.0 percent year over year. 
  • Added a net of 43,000 Fios Internet connections, indicative of strong demand as customers value broadband connections more than ever. Verizon lost 37,000 Fios Video connections in second-quarter 2018 amid pressures from cord-cutting of video bundles.
  • Wireline operating loss was $19 million in second-quarter 2018, and segment operating loss margin was 0.3 percent.
  • CAPEX for 1H 2018 was $7.8 billion, compared to $7.0 billion for 1H 2017


https://www.verizon.com/about/investors/quarterly-reports/2q-2018-quarter-earnings-conference-call-webcast

AT&T posts declines in domestic video and legacy wireline

AT&T reported solid wireless results in the second quarter, including postpaid phone gains, continued strong prepaid phone growth and stable postpaid churn. On a GAAP basis, service revenue declined; however, on a comparable basis service revenue grew.  Consolidated revenue totaled $39.0 billion versus $39.8 billion in the year-ago.

Declines in domestic video and legacy wireline services were offset by adding approximately $1.1 billion from Time Warner net of eliminations and growth in wireless, strategic business services and advertising. On a comparative basis, revenues were $39.9 billion, an increase of 0.2% primarily due to the second-quarter close of the Time Warner acquisition.

U.S. wireless results:

  • Service revenue growth on a comparable basis
  • 46,000 postpaid phone net adds with continued strong year-over-year improvement
  • Continued prepaid growth with 356,000 phone net adds
  • Nearly 400,000 branded smartphones added to base
  • Second-quarter postpaid phone churn of 0.82%

Entertainment Group results:

  • 342,000 DIRECTV NOW net adds to reach more than 1.8 million subscribers
  • 80,000 total video net adds; total video customer base stable with DIRECTV NOW; AT&T WatchTV launched
  • 76,000 IP broadband net adds; 23,000 total broadband net adds; more than 9 million customer locations passed with fiber
  • AdWorks continues double-digit revenue growth
  • Time Warner acquisition closed on June 14; full second-quarter results include:
  • HBO and Turner year-over-year subscription revenue growth
  • Turner ad revenues up 3%
  • Record number of series in production at Warner Bros.
  • 166 Primetime Emmy Awards nominations

AT&T also issued the following updated 2018 guidance:

  • Raising adjusted EPS to high end of the $3.50 range
  • Raising free cash flow to high end of the $21 billion range; inclusive of all deal and integration costs
  • Capital Investment of approximately $25 billion; $22 billion net of expected FirstNet reimbursements and vendor financing

Openreach sets wholesale pricing for UK fibre broadband

Openreach announced a new, supplementary wholesale discount structure for fibre broadband in the UK in return for volume commitments.

Openreach said it would offer long-term discounts to all of its Communication Provider (CP) customers from 21 August. The discounts go beyond Ofcom’s pricing controls on its superfast broadband products.

BT believes that the new pricing structure will allow CPs to encourage more of their customers onto better services and ultimately to move the vast majority of Britain’s homes and businesses onto superfast and ultrafast platforms.

The Openreach pricing tiers are posted here:

https://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/products/super-fastfibreaccess/downloads/Openreach_Special_Offer_GEA_Volume_Agreement.pdf

UNH-IOL appoints Jeff Lapak as executive director

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) named Jeff Lapak as executive director of the UNH-IOL.

Michayla Newcombe has been promoted to associate director of UNH-IOL.

Before this appointment, Jeff has held the positions of associate director, industry lead, and senior manager at the UNH-IOL. As a leader, he’s helped oversee development for many physical layer testing technologies such as 10, 25, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet. Jeff began working at the UNH-IOL as a UNH electrical engineering undergraduate student in 1998 and continued on to earn his MBA from UNH in 2013.

Michayla started her career at the UNH-IOL in 2012 as a DHCPv6 test technician while she was an undergraduate at UNH. She graduated from UNH in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and continued to work full-time at the UNH-IOL as quality manager for ISO-17025 accreditation. As the manager for the IP industry, Michayla has recently helped drive the USGv6 and IPv6 Ready Logo Test Programs’ newest programs. With the lab’s recent switch to Agile Methodologies, Michayla leads several agile teams within the UNH-IOL including SDN, IOT and INTACT tool development.

https://www.iol.unh.edu/

Monday, July 23, 2018

Infinera to acquire Coriant for $430 million

Infinera agreed to acquire privately-held Coriant, creating one of the world’s largest optical network equipment providers. Infinera will pay approximately $150 million in cash at closing, and estimated additional amounts of $25 million in the two quarters post-closing and $55 million over a period of years. Infinera will issue approximately 21 million shares, which when combined with the cash consideration, results in total transaction consideration of approximately $430 million. Coriant’s majority owner, Oaktree Capital Management, will be compensated largely in stock. Post-transaction, Oaktree will own approximately 12 percent of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.

Infinera said the acquisition significantly scales the company as the next wave of global network spending begins as operators transform their networks from 4G to 5G, from Optical Transport Network (OTN) to packet and from closed to open network architectures. The company also says its vertically integrated business model delivers higher performance at lower cost for customers and higher profit margins for stockholders. The acquisition approximately doubles Infinera’s revenue and expands the company’s customer base to serve nine of the top 10 global network operators (five new to Infinera) and the top six global internet content providers (three new to Infinera).

“Acquiring Coriant is a fantastic opportunity, strengthening our ability to serve the world’s largest network operators, accelerating our ability to leverage vertical integration and reinforcing our commitment to our long-term business model,” said Tom Fallon, Infinera CEO. “This powerful combination immediately benefits our combined customers by delivering the innovative technology required for the next wave of network spending.”

“Joining forces with Infinera accelerates our vision of transforming next-generation networks with best-in-class innovation,” said Pat DiPietro, CEO and Vice Chairman of Coriant. “The combined company will benefit from Coriant’s significant investments in software automation and open, disaggregated solutions, which have gained significant traction and wide-scale adoption by customers around the world.”

The companies also noted:

  • Coriant invested nearly $1 billion in research and development over the last five years to significantly advance its portfolio to address the growing demand for software automation and open, disaggregated platforms. 
  • Approximately 70% of Coriant's product revenue in 2017 (~80% projected in 2018) came from solutions that are new or have been refreshed in the last three years. 
  • Coriant has over 80 trials in progress or have been completed to date in 2018 for Coriant’s suite of new products and automation tools. 
  • Coriant’s SDN orchestrator Maestro has been deployed operationally at one of the two largest Tier 1 service providers in North America. 
  • Coriant has added more than 20 new customers to date in 2018, seven of which are driving more than $1 million in annual revenue.
  • Infinera recently upgraded its portfolio based on its Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE4). 
  • The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions. 

Coriant was formed in 2013 by private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners, combining Nokia Siemens Networks, Tellabs and Sycamore Networks.

http://investors.infinera.com/home/default.aspx



Coriant announces CEO change

Coriant named Pat DiPietro as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, replacing CEO and Chairman Shaygan Kheradpir, who has stepped down from his role to pursue other opportunities.

DiPietro will continue to serve as Vice Chairman of the Board, a role he has held since the founding of Coriant in 2013. DiPietro previously held senior leadership roles at Nortel and Bell Northern Research. He also previously served as Managing Partner at Canada’s VG Partners, overseeing the company’s Technology Fund. As a venture capitalist, he managed large portfolios and teams and sat on numerous Boards, including Sandvine, SiGe, Continuous Computing, BTI Systems and BelAir Networks.

Coriant also announced that Reza Ghaffari has been promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO), a new position within Coriant. Ghaffari will continue to lead Coriant’s global service and support organization, while assuming responsibility for the company’s global IT, human resources, and facilities functions. Between 2000 and 2005, Ghaffari also worked at Verizon where he was responsible for innovation, product development, and strategic partnership programs.

Singtel plans 5G pilot for Q4

Singtel expects to kickoff its 5G trial by the fourth quarter of this year. The 5G pilot network, which will be conducted in partnership with Ericsson, will occr a0t one-north, the country’s science, business and IT hub. Singapore's Info-Communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) has allocated spectrum for the trial.

“5G has the potential to accelerate the digital transformation of industries, as well as empower consumers with innovative applications,” said Mr Mark Chong, Group Chief Technology Officer at Singtel. “We are pleased to take another bold step in our journey to 5G with our 5G pilot network at one-north and invite enterprises to start shaping their digital future with us.”

“This is an encouraging step towards commercialisation with live 5G trial networks made possible with the regulatory sandbox IMDA has in place,” said Ms Aileen Chia, Deputy Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecoms & Post) at IMDA.  “IMDA will continue to work closely with mobile service providers such as Singtel in their journey to build communication capabilities of the future and complement Singapore’s efforts towards a vibrant digital economy.”

At a “Bringing 5G to Life” event held at Singtel Comcentre this week, Singtel and Ericsson demonstrated c3D augmented reality (AR) streaming over a 5G network operating in the 28GHz millimetre wave spectrum. The event also showcased emerging technologies from partners – Garuda Robotics, Intel, Meta, Rohde & Schwarz and Sony.

Ericsson wins more Verizon LTE markets

Verizon has selected Ericsson to supply 4G equipment in additional markets across the U.S. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The installations include Ericsson Radio System 4G LTE equipment, which is a 5G-ready platform that will allow Verizon to rapidly transition sites to 5G when they deploy the service in those markets. Specifically, Ericsson said the new markets will be deployed using its latest baseband and dual band radios, an optimized solution for widescale high-capacity deployment. The solution will be software upgradeable to 5G and will deliver CAT-M and NB-IoT for Massive Internet of Things use cases, as well as industry-leading network capacity.

Verizon and Ericsson cited a number of recent joint milestones:

  • Achieved 953 Mbps by combining licensed and unlicensed bands with four-carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO and 256 QAM in a real-world network environment in Florida
  • Exceeded 1 Gbps speeds on the Verizon 4G LTE network using three-carrier aggregation
  • Verizon and Ericsson reached another milestone in 4G LTE-Advanced technologies that will serve as a stepping stone to 5G by completing their first deployment of FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) Massive MIMO (Multiple Input – Multiple Output) on Verizon’s wireless network in Irvine, CA.

Yossi Cohen, Head of Customer Unit Verizon, Ericsson North America, says: “We continue to work closely with Verizon to expand the strategic partnership between our companies, enabling Verizon to unleash the latest in 4G technology and simultaneously prepare to launch 5G in these new markets.”

Qualcomm delivers 5G NR mmWave antenna modules

Qualcomm Technologies has begun sampling fully-integrated 5G NR millimeter wave (mmWave) and sub-6 GHz RF modules for smartphones and other mobile devices.

The Qualcomm QTM052 mmWave antenna module family and the Qualcomm QPM56xx sub-6 GHz RF module family pair with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem to deliver modem-to-antenna capabilities across several spectrum bands, in a compact footprint that is suited for integration in mobile devices.

“Today’s announcement of the first commercial 5G NR mmWave antenna modules and sub-6 GHz RF modules for smartphones and other mobile devices represents a major milestone for the mobile industry. Qualcomm Technologies’ early investment in 5G has allowed us to deliver to the industry a working mobile mmWave solution that was previously thought unattainable, as well as a fully-integrated sub-6 GHz RF solution. Now, these type of modem-to-antenna solutions, spanning both mmWave and sub-6 spectrum bands, make mobile 5G networks and devices, especially smartphones, ready for large scale commercialization,” said Cristiano Amon, President, Qualcomm Incorporated. “With 5G, consumers can expect gigabit-class Internet speeds with unprecedented responsiveness in the palm of their hands, which stand to revolutionize the mobile experience.”

About the modules

  • The QTM052 mmWave antenna modules work with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem. They support advanced beam forming, beam steering, and beam tracking technologies to improve the range and reliability of mmWave signals. They feature an integrated 5G NR radio transceiver, power management IC, RF front-end components and phased antenna array. They support up to 800 MHz of bandwidth in the 26.5-29.5 GHz (n257), as well as the entire 27.5-28.35 GHz (n261) and 37-40 GHz (n260) mmWave bands.  Qualcomm says that up to QTM052 modules can be integrated in a smartphone, enabling OEMs to continue evolving the industrial design of their mobile devices, offering attractive form factors combined with the benefits of extremely high speeds from mmWave 5G NR, and making such devices available for launch as early as the first half of 2019. 
  • The QPM56xx RF module family (including the QPM5650, QPM5651, QDM5650, and QDM5652) is designed to allow smartphones based on the Snapdragon X50 5G modem to support 5G NR in sub-6 GHz RF bands. The QPM5650 and QPM5651 feature integrated 5G NR PA/LNA/Switch and filtering subsystem. The QDM5650 and QDM5652 feature integrated 5G NR LNA/switch and filtering subsystem for diversity and MIMO support. All four modules offer integrated SRS switching required for optimum massive MIMO applications and support for 3.3-4.2 GHz (n77), 3.3-3.8 GHz (n78) and 4.4-5.0 GHz (n79) sub-6 bands. These sub-6 GHz RF modules provide mobile device makers with a viable path to delivering on the promise of 5G NR massive MIMO technology in mobile devices.


Iron Mountain ties into Google Cloud as preferred provider

Iron Mountain, which specializes in secure corporate storage solutions, is working with Google to develop AI-powered SaaS solutions on Google Cloud Platform that help organizations analyze their vast physical and digital information and data repositories, to unlock insights, improve decision making and create new revenue streams.

Iron Mountain expects to deliver these new subscription services built on GCP this September.

In addition, Iron Mountain has selected Google Cloud as its preferred cloud provider for artificial intelligence and machine learning.

"As the trusted guardian of information for 95 percent of the FORTUNE 1000, we know firsthand the challenges of understanding and acting on data insights," said William Meaney, president & CEO, Iron Mountain. "Whether it's a global insurance company or an oil and gas conglomerate, our customers depend on us to help make their physical and digital information useful and accessible while keeping it safe. This partnership with Google Cloud brings two industry-leading players together to deliver a new category of solutions for organizations looking to utilize their data's value, while closely managing their security and privacy."

"We're delighted to partner with Iron Mountain to develop and bring new insight capabilities to market - particularly given their deep domain expertise and customer portfolio," said Tariq Shaukat, President, Partner and Industry Platforms at Google Cloud. "Customers in data-intensive industries like energy, financial services, healthcare and many others can create significant business value from the union of data with machine learning and content analytics."


Arista'a Any Cloud hybrid platform reaches Google Cloud Platform

Arista's Any Cloud hybrid cloud networking platform is now available on Google Cloud Platform. This includes the virtualized Arista vEOS Router combined with CloudVision with Cloud Tracer functionality.

Arista's vEOS Router leverages a cloud-grade routing stack and IPsec VPN tunnels to reliably and securely interconnect workloads across multi-cloud deployments. In addition, vEOS Router is integrated with Google Cloud provider APIs to enable easy deployment, automation, analytics, and end-to-end visibility. Arista CloudVision provides advanced visibility and automation, extending the cloud networking model of Arista on-premises cloud network platforms to Google Cloud Platform.

Arista said its hybrid cloud platform now offers cloud platform-specific images for Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure Cloud, Microsoft Azure Stack on-premise Cloud, and common on-premises hypervisor platforms. Support in each environment is coupled with validation and registration of these solutions in the cloud marketplace infrastructure provided by each cloud provider, thus making deployment simple for enterprise customers.

Arista's Any Cloud aims for universal cloud consistency

Arista Networks unveiled its strategy for extending its Extensible Operating System (EOS) across private cloud datacenters and public cloud providers.

The Arista Any Cloud software platform will support Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, Microsoft Azure Stack, Google Cloud Platform and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.  Arista will also be providing integration with the Equinix Cloud Exchange, which provides direct high-performance connections to 70+ cloud providers.

Key elements of the Arista Any Cloud solution include the Arista vEOS Router for hypervisors (KVM and VMware ESX) and for cloud platforms (AWS and Azure), and the Arista Cloud Tracer as a CloudVision-based application. Arista’s new Cloud Tracer assures that visibility and availability metrics are tracked consistently across the entire hybrid cloud environment, including public cloud direct connections, remote datacenter connections and cloud exchange points.

Arista said its Any Cloud solution will provide its enterprise customers with a common Universal Cloud Network experience.

“Arista’s Any Cloud platform transcends public and private clouds, radically changing the on-premises enterprise datacenter. We are helping customers realize their hybrid-cloud transformation by extending Arista EOS and CloudVision across network boundaries,” said Jayshree Ullal, President and CEO for Arista Networks.

Google posts another strong quarter with sales up 26%

Alphabet reported revenue of $32.657 billion for its Q2 ended 30-June-2018 up 26% versus the second quarter of 2017 and 23% on a constant currency basis.

"We delivered another quarter of very strong performance, with revenues of $32.7 billion, up 26% versus the second quarter of 2017 and 23% on a constant currency basis. Our investments are driving great experiences for users, strong results for advertisers, and new business opportunities for Google and Alphabet," said Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet and Google

Digital Realty establishes direct connect to IBM Cloud in 15 cities

Digital Realty announced dedicated, private access to the IBM Cloud in 15 major metropolitan areas around the world.  These

Direct access to IBM Cloud is now available through the Digital Realty Service Exchange and IBM Cloud Direct Link via more than 70 Digital Realty data centers in Amsterdam, Ashburn, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Miami, Phoenix, Portland, New York, Santa Clara, Seattle, Singapore, Sydney and Toronto.

"Businesses are turning to the cloud to extract new value from their data and deliver better customer experiences faster than ever before," said Kit Linton, Vice President of Network, IBM Cloud.  "The combination of Digital Realty's extensive global reach and highly resilient connectivity from IBM Cloud Direct Link can help businesses build the protected, hybrid cloud environment they need to innovate at scale."

"Providing enterprise connectivity to the extensive range of services available through IBM Cloud via Direct Link ensures customers not only have access to the compute and storage resources they need, but they are also able to leverage more advanced cloud applications like analytics, blockchain technology and the Internet of Things," said Digital Realty Chief Technology Officer Chris Sharp.  "We look forward to continuing to work closely with IBM to enable our mutual customers to access the cloud services they need to accelerate their own business growth, no matter where they may be located."

Toshiba ships NVMe SSDs based on 3D Flash

Toshiba Memory Corporation launched its first NVM Express SSDs utilizing 96-layer, fourth generation, 3D BiCS FLASH memory technology.

The new XG6 series client SSDs features a PCI Express (PCIe) Gen3 x 4Lane and NVM Express (NVMeTM) 1.3a interface. The XG6 series delivers sequential write performance of up to 2960 MB/s in client SSDs. Sequential read performance is up to 3180 MB/s, up to 355,000 random read and 365,000 random write IOPS. The power consumption is maximum 4.7W in active mode and 3mW during stand-by in the lowest power mode, which makes it suitable for power-sensitive mobile PCs.

The new SSDs will be available in three capacities, 256GB, 512GB and 1024GB, all on a single-sided M.2 2280-S2 form factor.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Stanford researchers train neural network using optical chip

Researchers at Stanford University have demonstrated the ability to train artificial neural networks directly on an optical chip.

Neural network processing currently relies on conventional computers.  The Optical Society's journal for high impact research, Stanford University researchers report a method for training these networks directly in the device by implementing an optical analogue of the ‘backpropagation’ algorithm, which is the standard way to train conventional neural networks.

“Using an optical chip to perform neural network computations more efficiently than is possible with digital computers could allow more complex problems to be solved,” said research team leader Shanhui Fan of Stanford University. “This would enhance the capability of artificial neural networks to perform tasks required for self-driving cars or to formulate an appropriate response to a spoken question, for example. It could also improve our lives in ways we can’t imagine now.”

https://www.osapublishing.org/optica/abstract.cfm?uri=optica-5-7-864




Hawaiki transpacific subsea cable enters service

The Hawaiki transpacific subsea cable is now ready for service.

Hawaiki is a 15,000 km fibre optic deep-sea cable linking Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and United States. The system uses TE SubCom's optical add/drop multiplexing (OADM) nodes allows for additional landings in the Pacific region to be added as needed. Hawaiki will provide 43 Tbps of new capacity in the Pacific region.

The system was built at a cost of US$300 million. Anchor customers on the new cable include Amazon Web Services, Vodafone, American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA) and Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand (REANNZ).

“This 25-year transoceanic infrastructure opens the door for unprecedented levels of economic, social and research collaboration right across the Pacific,” said Hawaiki Chief Executive Officer, Remi Galasso.

“Hawaiki is the fastest and largest cross-sectional capacity link between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand. It will significantly enhance our connectivity to the rest of the world and, ultimately, improve the everyday life of our communities.”

AT&T to expand its 5G rollout this year

AT&T will expand its rollout of 5G to three additional cities this year – Charlotte, Raleigh, and Oklahoma City – bringing its total number of cities with 5G launches in 2018 to 12.  The other previously announced cities are Atlanta, Dallas, and Waco.

AT&T also noted that its 5G Evolution technology is now live in more than 140 markets, and will reach at least 400+ markets this year.  5G Evolution enables peak theoretical wireless speeds of at least 400 Mbps on capable devices.

Also, AT&T has just launched LTE-LAA in parts of 8 new markets – Austin, Dallas, Houston, Little Rock, San Antonio, San Jose, Tampa, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, bringing the total number of LTE-LAA markets to 15. LTE-LAA offers peak theoretical wireless speeds reaching up to 1 Gbps on capable devices.

"We're on track to launch the first mobile 5G services and deliver the first device to customers this year. 5G will be more than just a better network. Especially after our trial learnings with large enterprises, small-and-medium sized businesses and residential locations the past two years, we believe 5G will ultimately create a world of new economic opportunity, greater mobility, and smarter connectivity for individuals, businesses and society as a whole," said Melissa Arnoldi, president, AT&T Technology & Operations.

AT&T hits gigabit speed with fixed 5G pilot service

AT&T is seeing peak wireless downlink speeds nearing 1 Gbps and latency rates less than 20 milliseconds in its field trials of fixed 5G service.

The results were achieved in AT&T's 5G pilot in South Bend, Indiana.


AT&T updates its 5G and FTT rollout plans

AT&T confirmed plans to roll out mobile 5G service in a dozen U.S. markets by late 2018, making it the first U.S. carrier to do so. The initial launch is aimed at consumers. Trials of 5G business applications are also planned this year.

The company also updated its plans in the following areas:

  • LTE-LAA - AT&T, which deployed its first commercial LTE-Licensed Assisted Access (LTE-LAA) site in downtown Indianapolis in November 2017, now says it intends to launch the technology in at least 2 dozen additional metros this year. LAA offers theoretical peak speeds of up to 1 Gbps. In previous field tests, AT&T observed actual peak wireless speeds of 979 Mbps. 
  • AT&T 5G Evolution - this series of upgrades based on LTE-Advanced technologies launched in 23 major metros in 2017. Further rollouts are underway. 
  • LTE-M - AT&T's nationwide, low-power, wide-area LTE-M network went live in 2017. LTE-M supports large-scale IoT applications, like smart city services, smart metering, asset tracking, supply chain management, security and alarm monitoring, and personal wearables. 
  • Fixed Wireless Internet - in 2017, AT& launched high-speed internet access to over 440,000 locations across 18 states in mostly rural areas through technologies like Fixed Wireless Internet, as part of the FCC Connect America Fund. In 2018, AT&T plans to reach over 660,000 total locations in 2018 and 1.1 million locations by the end of 2020 in those 18 states.
  • Fixed 5G and AirGig - AT&T has pre-standard 5G fixed wireless trials underway in Austin, Texas; Waco, Texas; Kalamazoo, Michigan and South Bend, Indiana with residential, small business, and education customers. The company has also announced 2 trials of its AirGig technology, which targets transport for ultra-fast low latency internet over power lines. 
  • Fiber for Consumers and Businesses - AT&T Fiber currently reaches more than 7 million locations across 67 metros nationwide. This year, AT&T plans to add 3 million more locations on. By mid-2019, AT&T Fiber should reach at least 12.5 million locations across at least 82 metro area/ 
  • G.fast - In 2017, AT&T launched G.fast service supporting Internet speeds up to 500 Mbps for multifamily properties across 8 metro areas outside of its 21-state traditional service area. AT&T now to extend G.fast to apartment communities.

Majority of TOP500 supercomputers connect with Infiniband

InfiniBand now powers four of the top five supercomputer systems, according to The InfinBand Trade Association and based on the latest TOP500 List. This includes Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Summit system, which currently holds the title of world's fastest supercomputer

IBTA said InfiniBand technology continues to dominate the HPC category of the TOP500 List, representing nearly 60% of all HPC systems listed, due to its network bandwidth, latency, scalability and efficiency metrics.

The trade association notes that almost half of the platforms in the latest results can be categorized as non-HPC, most of which are Ethernet-based. There is a growing number of RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) capable systems, which constitute over 30% of total Ethernet listings.

“As the makeup of the world’s fastest supercomputers evolve to include more non-HPC systems such as cloud and hyperscale, the IBTA remains confident in the InfiniBand Architecture’s flexibility to support the increasing variety of demanding deployments,” said Bill Lee, IBTA Marketing Working Group Co-Chair.

See also