Thursday, November 8, 2018

Amdocs wins 5 year Digital Transformation Project with US Cellular

U.S. Cellular selected Amdocs for a turnkey project to transform customer digital care and commerce experiences over its Web and mobile channels. Financial terms were not disclosed.

This partnership supports U.S. Cellular’s commitment to deliver world-class digital experiences to its customers, unified across care, commerce and Web and mobile channels, while simplifying operations and reducing costs.

Under the 5-year contract, Amdocs will deliver the project in an agile approach, enabling U.S. Cellular to quickly add new capabilities in short iterative cycles. In addition to back-end capabilities, Amdocs will provide front-end portal design, leveraging Amdocs’ customer-centric and design-led thinking best practices. Amdocs will also deliver all associated third-party components, including content management and personalization capabilities from Adobe, as well as ongoing operation and third-party management services, all under a five-year managed services agreement.

“We have been relying on Amdocs’ business support systems since 1995 and later expanded this relationship to include systems operation and overall responsibility for our entire order-to-activation process,” said Michael Irizarry, executive vice president and chief technology officer at U.S. Cellular. “Our selection of Amdocs for this new strategic project builds on our history and on Amdocs’ continued strong delivery. This state-of-the-art solution will make it easier and simpler for our customers to interact with us and will differentiate the U.S. Cellular brand experience for today’s digital-savvy consumers.”

GTT posts Q3 revenue of $448.6 million

GTT reported revenue of $448.6 million and a net loss was $23.4 million. Capital expenditures were $28.9 million (6.4% of revenue)

When assuming constant currency and the inclusion of  Interoute’s and Global Capacity's historical results, GTT's 3Q18 revenue and adjusted EBITDA grew 1.4% and 2.3%, respectively, over 3Q17.

In addition, GTT established its next financial objectives of $3 billion in annualized revenue, $900 million in annualized Adjusted EBITDA and a minimum of $5 per share of annualized Adjusted Free Cash Flow, to be achieved within the next three years.

The company said it is making good progress with the integration of Interoute.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

MEF18: PCCW Global on proving out intercarrier service orchestration



At MEF18, PCCW Global presented a proof-of-concept demonstration that involved Sonata API functionality to enable service quoting, ordering, mocked-up service delivery, and billing.

This PoC proves that is possible to deliver orchestrated services across a chain of carriers, says Shahar Steiff, AVP, New Technology, PCCW Global. It also highlights the importance of having a unified information model and process amongst operators.

https://youtu.be/lrLvPHsusAQ

MEF18: SD-WAN merges IT and network transformation



Silver Peak, which has been actively participating in MEF to help develop the first SD-WAN specifications, sees a dramatic shift in the market, says Nav Chander, Senior Director, Service and Cloud Provider Marketing, Silver Peak.

SD-WAN will become a platform for advanced wired and wireline services, merging IT transformation with network transformation.

https://youtu.be/eKpmgwCTEIQ

Zayo to split in two: Infrastructure and Enterprise Services

Zayo Group announced it plans to separate into two publicly traded companies: one to focus on providing core communications infrastructure and another to leverage infrastructure to provide solutions for a broad set of enterprise customers.

Zayo Infrastructure, “InfraCo,” will be comprised of the current Fiber Solutions and zColo business segments, along with the Wavelength and IP Transit businesses of Zayo’s current Transport segment. It will own and operate Zayo’s Tier One IP backbone as well as the Media Networks platform that serves its strategic video customers. Zayo’s 130,000-mile network in North America and Europe includes extensive metro connectivity to thousands of buildings and data centers. Dan Caruso, Zayo’s chairman and chief executive officer, will lead InfraCo.

Zayo expects InfraCo to be the leading North American and European communications infrastructure asset, with an international fiber footprint and unparalleled metro and regional density. The company also said InfraCo will have a clearer and more compelling path to REIT conversion given strong industry precedents. InfraCo will continue to be led by

EnterpriseCo will be comprised of the current Enterprise Networks and Allstream segments, along with the SONET and Ethernet businesses of Zayo’s current Transport segment. A long-term relationship with InfraCo will provide certainty on network access and cost. EnterpriseCo will consist of two business units, an Enterprise Division and a Carrier Division. The Enterprise Division will focus on the direct-to-enterprise business and will include solutions centered on SD-WAN, IP VPN, and Unified Communications. This division will provide high-bandwidth solutions to a large, well-diversified customer base that includes over 50,000 enterprises. The Carrier Division will focus on wholesale services to carriers which enable them to serve their enterprise customers, including Carrier Ethernet, Wholesale Voice, and SONET. EnterpriseCo will be led by newly named COO Mike Strople, current president of Zayo’s Allstream Segment, and Tyler Coates, SVP of Zayo’s existing Enterprise Segment.

“Today’s announcement is the logical next step in the evolution of Zayo,” said Dan Caruso, chairman and CEO of Zayo. “While Zayo’s business today is organized as five autonomous segments, the complexities of these businesses have made it more difficult to achieve our growth objectives. By completely separating the infrastructure and enterprise businesses, we will enable more focused execution within each business, leading to enhanced growth and unlocking value.”

Separately, Zayo reported consolidated revenue of $641.1 million for its first quarter of 2019, ended 30-September-2018, including $536.1 million from the Communications Infrastructure segments and $105.0 million from the Allstream segment. Net income was $22.1 million, including $25.5 million from the Communications Infrastructure segments and a net loss of $3.4 million from the Allstream segment.

Interxion Data Centres now support Oracle Cloud Connect

Interxion’s Frankfurt data centre is now an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect location. This provides dedicated and private access to Oracle Cloud.

Interxion customers colocating their network and private IT environments in any of Interxion’s 48 data centres across 11 countries in Europe can now access this service through Cloud Connect.

"Customers require seamless connectivity from their data centres and networks to Oracle Cloud for their most demanding workloads and applications,” said Don Johnson, Senior Vice President Product Development, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. “With the FastConnect Service from Interxion in Frankfurt, customers can provision the dedicated and private connections they need today and easily scale with their growing business demands.”

Calient's 320x320 optical circuit switch connects SCinet 2018

CALIENT Technologies' S320 optical circuit switch (OCS) will play a key connectivity role in SCinet, the “world’s fastest network" at next week's SC18 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking and Storage in Dallas.

The 320-port S320 OCS will be used to create an optical overlay network connecting core routers from Juniper and Cisco with optical transport systems from Juniper, Ciena and Infinera, using 100GbE connections.

Any connection from the core routers can be switched to any port on the optical transport systems without re-fibering. With support for up to 400GbE and less than 30ns of latency per port, the use of the S320 adds significant connectivity flexibility without impacting network throughput or latency.

Network test equipment from Spirent, Ixia, Viavi, and Exfo was also connected to the S320 to create a fiber-once test infrastructure, allowing network operators to remotely and dynamically switch a test set to any router or optical transport system port when needed. Network engineers made use of this flexibility to configure and test network connections during set up and it will also be used to assist with troubleshooting equipment and optical links while the network is operational.

“Working with SCinet puts CALIENT front and center with the biggest vendors in the industry in one of the highest-bandwidth data center and wide area networks in the industry,” said David Altstaetter, CALIENT Vice President of Product Marketing. “By adopting the S320 for remote network testing and configuration, SCinet is demonstrating a best practice that many service providers and data centers are advocating.”

http://www.calient.net

Calient doubles capacity of its MEMS-base fiber-optic cross connect

CALIENT Technologies introduced its Edge|640 Optical Circuit Switch (OCS) with 640 fiber-optic cross connections – up to twice the capacity of its current S320 OCS product.

CALIENT uses 3D microelectrical machine (MEMS) optical mirror technology to create protocol agnostic optical connections between ports at speeds up to 400 Gbps. The all-optical nature of the switch results in very low latency connections. The switch features built-in optical signal power monitoring on each link and features low power consumption of 90 Watts typical.

CALIENT said its new Edge|640 is organized into two switching groups of 320 ports each. Devices connected to a switch port on one of the switch groups can be connected to a device on any of the ports in the other switch group. This connectivity is ideal for “wire-once” network applications or for testing applications where devices under test need access to a range of test systems.

“Network virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN) are driving demand for fully automated networks on a massive scale, and the Edge|640 supports this trend through its high port density and very low latency connectivity,” said David Altstaetter, CALIENT Vice President of Product Line Management. “Some of the largest networks in the world trust CALIENT Optical Circuit Switch technology. The proven nature of technology sets the stage for the Edge|640 to be used in very high-density mission-critical applications.”

Three UK to invest over £2 bilion in 5G

Three UK has completed a number of key steps in its network improvement programme, as part of a wider £2bn+ infrastructure investment, in preparation for the advent of 5G.

Three UK announced its commitment to invest over £2 billion in network infrastructure as it rolls out 5G.

As part of its network upgrade the telecoms operator has:

  • acquired the UK’s leading 5G spectrum portfolio
  • signed an agreement for the rollout of new cell site technology to prepare major urban areas for the rollout of 5G devices, as well as enhance the 4G experience
  • built a high-capacity dark fibre network, which connects 20 new, energy efficient and highly secure data centres
  • deployed a 5G-ready, fully integrated cloud-native core network in the new data centres, which at launch will have an initial capacity of 1.2Tbps, a three-fold increase from today’s capacity
  • rolled out carrier aggregation technology on 2,500 sites in busiest areas, improving speeds for customers

Three said its mobile customers are particularly data-hungry, already using 3.5x more data per month than the industry average.

“We have always led on mobile data and 5G is another game-changer.  Also described as wireless fibre, 5G delivers a huge increase in capacity together with ultra-low latency.  It opens up new possibilities in home broadband and industrial applications, as well as being able to support the rapid growth in mobile data usage. “This is a major investment into the UK’s digital infrastructure. UK consumers have an insatiable appetite for data and 5G unlocks significant capability to meet that demand," stated Dave Dyson, Three's CEO.

Three UK posts 2% revenue growth in 1H18, signs Huawei for 5G

Three UK reported revenue of £1.19 billion for the first half of 2018, up 2% from 1H17.

Customer service margin was £729 million, up 1%, and EBITDA was £364 million, up 7%.

Operational highlights:

  • 6% growth of the active contract customer base; total customer base now 10.1 million
  • Contract handset churn at lowest ever level of 1%, a 9% improvement
  • Usage per customer of 7.6GB per month, up 10% from 6.9GB
  • 84% of customer base using 4G and 75% of data usage on 4G network
  • The company secured 20MHz at auction to add to its 5G spectrum portfolio
  • The company signed an agreement with SSE to unbundle BT local telephone exchanges to facilitate fibre optic connections of masts to datacentres.
  • Three UK is the first UK network to stop selling 3G-only handsets
Ofcom, the official telecoms regulator in the U.K., completed the auction of 190 MHz of spectrum across two frequency bands: 40 MHz in the 2.3 GHz band, which will be used to increase 4G mobile broadband capacity; and 150 MHz in 3.4GHz, which has been earmarked for 5G.

Here are the results:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Qualcomm posts Q4 revenue of $5.8 billion, 2019 outlook

Qualcomm reported Q4 revenue of $5.8 billion, down 2% from the same period last year. Net income amounted to $1.3 billion, down 7% from  $1.4 billion for its fiscal Q4 2017.

“We delivered a strong quarter, with Non-GAAP earnings per share above the high end of our prior expectations, on greater than expected chipset demand in QCT and lower operating expenses,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “We are executing well on our strategic objectives, including driving the commercialization of 5G globally in 2019 and returning significant capital to our
stockholders.”

As for its Q1 2019 outlook, Qualcomm said it now expects revenue in the range of $4.5 billion to $5.3 billion, down 13% - 26% from Q1 2018.  The financial guidance excludes revenues for royalties due on sales of Apple’s products by Apple’s contract manufacturers, as well as sales of products by the other licensee in dispute.





Nokia and China Unicom build private LTE for BMW China

Nokia and China Unicom deployed a private LTE network for a BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd plant being built in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China.

A Nokia virtualized Multi-access Edge Computing (vMEC) solution integrated with China Unicom's 4G network will provide low-latency support for smart manufacturing activities at the plant. By deploying the Nokia MEC platform on site, the secure LTE network is able to process data closer to where it is being used, delivering an ultra-responsive experience for business-critical applications. Once integration with the enterprise network is complete, the private LTE network will support secure voice and data communication between staff at the plant as well as machine-to-machine communication including wireless video monitoring, production line maintenance inspection, indoor navigation, industrial robots and indoor navigation.

Vodafone New Zealand implements adaptive networking with Ciena

Vodafone New Zealand is unveiling an adaptable and agile network that can respond in real time to its customers’ changing demands.

The adaptive network provides business customers with a digital user-interface for requesting additional network capacity. Vodafone can also set customer-defined service policies and program its network to suggest the ideal capacity, hardware configuration and spectral placement for any channel, across any network path.

Vodafone New Zealand is using technology from Ciena, including its Blue Planet Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) Domain Controller and Liquid Spectrum, which is a software-defined optical application.

Ciena said its solutions create a more adaptive network that can predict and address connectivity and capacity challenges by offering real-time, accurate planning data for both existing and new planned services. Additionally, with Ciena’s Liquid Restoration capability, the operator can significantly improve service availability with flexible adjustment of deployed coherent optical capacity and route affected services across any available path in the network.

“To respond to changes in end-user consumption and explosion in data usage, leading operators like Vodafone New Zealand must both automate and scale their networks,” said Rick Seeto, Vice President and General Manager, Ciena Asia Pacific & Japan. “They need a network that can adapt and respond, in real time, to their customers’ ever-changing demands while transforming from a necessary capability to a strategic asset – that’s the basis of the adaptive network.”

https://news.vodafone.co.nz/

Japan's QTnet picks Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical

QTnet, a communications service provider in Kyushu, Japan, has selected Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform to support growing demand for telecommunications services. QTnet offers fiber optic cable, internet, video and broadband telecommunications services to hundreds of thousands of households and enterprises and local governments.

Ciena said its 6500 Packet-Optical Platform powered by WaveLogic Ai programmable coherent optics will enable QTnet to increase capacity up to 400 Gbps per wavelength across its upgraded flexible grid network. In addition, the 6500’s flexible grid with a colorless, directionless, contentionless (CDC) photonic layer and Layer 0 control plane for self-healing capabilities will future-proof the network for new technologies.

“This deployment is yet another example of our continued success in the Asia-Pacific region. With an adaptive and resilient optical network powered by our WaveLogic Ai, QTnet can increase its network capacity and assess the demands being placed on its network in real time. With this additional network insight, QTnet will also be able to dynamically adjust capacity to meet customer demands,” stated Hiroyuki Kume, President, Ciena Communications Japan.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

MEF18: SD-WAN as a driver for digital transformation



MEF18 featured a lot of hot topics, especially network automation, SDN, NFV, and SD-WAN, says Roopa Honnachari, Industry Director, Business Communication Services & Cloud Services, Frost & Sullivan.

MEF's work in standardizing SD-WAN service specification, as well as its MEF 3.0 framework for orchestrated services, is helping to drive the digital transformation of enterprise customers.

https://youtu.be/N97TmHzcPjo

IDC: 5G network infrastructure market to grow at 118% CAGR

The worldwide 5G network infrastructure market is expected to grow from approximately $528 million in 2018 to $26 billion in 2022, according to IDC's inaugural forecast for this market segment, and representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 118%.

The 5G network infrastructure market includes 5G RAN, 5G NG core, NFVI, routing and optical backhaul.

IDC expects 5G RAN to be the largest market sub-segment through the forecast period, in line with prior mobile generations.

In addition to 5G NR and 5G NG core, procurement patterns indicate communications service providers (SPs) will need to invest in adjacent domains, including backhaul and NFVI, to support the continued push to cloud-native, software-led architectures.

"Early 5G adopters are laying the groundwork for long-term success by investing in 5G RAN, NFVI, optical underlays, and next-generation routers and switches. Many are also in the process of experimenting with the 5G NG core. The long-term benefit of making these investments now will be when the standards-compliant SA 5G core is combined with a fully virtualized, cloud-ready RAN in the early 2020s. This development will enable many communications SPs to expand their value proposition and offer customized services across a diverse set of enterprise verticals through the use of network slicing," says Patrick Filkins, senior research analyst, IoT and Mobile Network Infrastructure.

The report, Worldwide 5G Network Infrastructure Forecast, 2018-2022 (IDC #US44392218), presents IDC's inaugural forecast for the 5G network infrastructure market. Revenue is forecast for both the 5G RAN and 5G NG Core segments and each of the three related sub-segments (NFVI, Routing Backhaul, and Optical Backhaul). The report also provides a market overview, including drivers and challenges for communications service providers and advice for technology suppliers.

AWS launches AMD EPYC cloud instances at lower cost

Amazon Web Services (AWS) began offering cloud instances based on AMD EPYC processors.

The new general purpose (M5 and T3) and memory-optimized (R5) instance types with AMD EPYC processors that are 10% less expensive than the current M5, T3, and R5 instances.

AWS said the AMD-based instances provide additional options for customers who are looking to achieve cost savings on their Amazon EC2 compute environment for a variety of workloads, such as microservices, low-latency interactive applications, small and medium databases, virtual desktops, development and test environments, code repositories, and business applications.

https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/

NTT Com looks to data center construction and management

NTT Communications will establish a new NTT Global Data Centers Preparatory Corporation as the first step in creating a wholly owned subsidiary to comprehensively handle data center construction, asset management and wholesale services for NTT Group companies on a global basis.

NTT Global Data Centers Preparatory Corporation will respond to rapidly growing demands for data centers across countries worldwide and further strengthen data center-related business within the group. NTT Com will launch the preparatory company by the end of this December. Going forward, the envisioned data center “investment company” is expected to begin constructing data centers from April 2019. In particular, the preparatory company will integrate the NTT Group’s special expertise in data center-related real estate and finance, creating a new data center business structure for faster decision-making and more efficient investment in data center construction.

NTT Com also stated that it plans to accelerate its investment in data center business, especially in the U.S., Europe and APAC including Japan.

Eurofiber deploys ADVA FSP 150 for flexible business services

Eurofiber, which operates an extensive fiber network across The Netherlands and Belgium, is deploying the ADVA FSP 150 as the customer premise equipment of its new flexible business services.

The ADVA FSP 150 provides a single platform for MEF-certified Layer 2 and 3 services and easily scales from 1GbE to 10GbE. With zero touch provisioning, the device is simple to deploy and its comprehensive assurance services offer unparalleled support for SLA management.

ADVA said its intelligent, multi-layer demarcation and aggregation technology enables Eurofiber to respond to rapidly growing demand from enterprises across the Netherlands and Belgium for high-bandwidth, cost-effective SLA-based Carrier Ethernet connectivity.

“Our FSP 150 enables Eurofiber to meet ever-increasing demand for cloud services while also optimizing its infrastructure to support diverse network technologies. Now it can instantly increase bandwidth as soon as customers require it and address the emerging need for multi-layer networking,” commented Ed Zalmstra, sales director, Netherlands, ADVA. "Our FSP 150 delivers the flexibility to quickly transition from 1Gbit/s to 10Gbit/s Ethernet services without requiring extra space and power consumption. Having all that functionality in one compact platform is a real advantage. We’re proud that Eurofiber selected us for this project. It highlights the value not only of our innovation but also our people. To be chosen once again to take Eurofiber’s business services to the next stage shows their continuing faith in our experience and commitment to quality, as well as the strength of the relationship between our teams.”

ADVA’s partner Netways Europe also provided valuable support with the new solution.

http://www.advaoptical.com/

Broadcom completes acquisition of CA Technologies

Broadcom completed its previously announced acquisition of CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA).

CA will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Broadcom.

"Today, we are pleased to complete this transaction, which strengthens Broadcom's position as a leading provider of semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions and enables us to better serve our customers," said Hock Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom. "Broadcom has a track record of successfully integrating and growing the businesses we acquire. We believe this transaction will enable us to offer customers a leading portfolio of best-in-class solutions across a diverse set of technologies. We intend to invest in and grow the CA business to further enhance its capabilities in mission-critical infrastructure software solutions."


Broadcom to acquire CA Technologies for $18.9 billion

Broadcom agreed to acquire CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) for $44.50 per share in cash, representing an enterprise value of $18.9 billion -- a premium of approximately 20% to the closing price of CA common stock on July 11, 2018.

CA, which was founded by Charles Wang and Russell Artzt in 1976 and formerly known as Computer Associates,  is one of the world's leading providers of information technology (IT) management software and solutions. The company is based in New York City and is primarily known for its B2B mainframe, distributed computing, and enterprise software.

Broadcom notes that CA benefits from predictable and recurring revenues with the average duration of bookings exceeding three years.

Hock Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom, said, "This transaction represents an important building block as we create one of the world's leading infrastructure technology companies. With its sizeable installed base of customers, CA is uniquely positioned across the growing and fragmented infrastructure software market, and its mainframe and enterprise software franchises will add to our portfolio of mission critical technology businesses. We intend to continue to strengthen these franchises to meet the growing demand for infrastructure software solutions."

"We are excited to have reached this definitive agreement with Broadcom," said Mike Gregoire, CA Technologies Chief Executive Officer. "This combination aligns our expertise in software with Broadcom's leadership in the semiconductor industry. The benefits of this agreement extend to our shareholders who will receive a significant and immediate premium for their shares, as well as our employees who will join an organization that shares our values of innovation, collaboration and engineering excellence. We look forward to completing the transaction and ensuring a smooth transition."


See also