Monday, November 12, 2018

II-VI to acquire Finisar in $3.2 billion deal

II-VI agreed to acquire Finisar in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $3.2 billion, creating one of the largest photonics and compound semiconductor companies.

The deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, brings together two optical networking industry leaders serving the broad set of fast-growing markets of communications, consumer electronics, military, industrial processing lasers, automotive semiconductor equipment and life sciences. The combined company's portfolio will span high-performance datacom transceivers, products based on coherent transmission technology and ROADM solutions for next-generation undersea, long-haul and metro networks, hyperscale datacenters and 5G optical infrastructure.

The companies said their combined optoelectronics technology leadership based on GaAs and InP compound semiconductor laser design platforms, together with one of the world’s largest 6-inch vertically integrated epitaxial growth and device fabrication manufacturing platforms, will enable faster time to market for a greater number of opportunities in 3D sensing and LiDAR.

“Disruptive megatrends driven by innovative uses of lasers and other engineered materials present huge growth opportunities for both of our companies,” said Dr. Vincent D. Mattera, Jr., President and CEO, II-VI Incorporated. “In communications, materials processing, consumer electronics and automotive, we expect that the combination with Finisar will allow us to leverage our combined technology and intellectual property in InP, GaAs, SiC, GaN, SiP and diamond to achieve faster time to market, cost and scale. Together, we believe that we will be better strategically positioned to play a strong leadership role in the emerging markets of 5G, 3D sensing, cloud computing, electric and autonomous vehicles, and advanced microelectronics manufacturing.”

“The combination of our state-of-the-art technology platforms, deep customer relationships, great assets and amazing talent will enhance our ability to hit market windows that won’t stay open for long,” said Michael Hurlston, Finisar’s CEO. “This combination will accelerate our collective growth and will take advantage of the technology, products and manufacturing expertise that Finisar has uniquely developed over the course of its 30 year history.”

Highlights of the deal:
  • Finisar’s stockholders will receive, on a pro-rated basis, $15.60 per share in cash and 0.2218x shares of II-VI common stock, valued at $10.40 per share based on the closing price of II-VI’s common stock of $46.88 on November 8, 2018. 
  • The transaction values Finisar at $26.00 per share, or approximately $3.2 billion in equity value and represents a premium of 37.7% to Finisar’s closing price on November 8, 2018. 
  • Finisar shareholders would own approximately 31% of the combined company. 
  • Together, II-VI and Finisar will have 24,000 employees in 70 locations.
  • The combined company will hold over 2,700 patents
  • The combined company had approximately $2.5 billion of annual revenue. 
  • The combined company expects to realize $150 million of run-rate cost synergies within 36 months of closing. Synergies are expected to be achieved from procurement savings, internal supply of materials and components, efficient research and development, consolidation of overlapping costs and sales and marketing efficiencies.
  • The transaction is expected to drive accretion in Non-GAAP earnings per share for the first full year post close of approximately 10% and more than double that thereafter.
  • II-VI intends to fund the cash consideration with a combination of cash on hand from the combined companies’ balance sheets and $2 billion in funded debt financing.
  • The transaction is expected to close in the middle of calendar year 2019.

IDC: Worldwide telecom service revenue is flat -- 0.6% growth for 2018

Worldwide spending on Telecom Services and Pay TV Services will increase by 0.6% in 2018 (in constant dollar terms) to $1.65 trillion, according to the IDC Worldwide Telecom Services Database, a notable decrease compared to the rate recorded in 2017 (1.2%).

IDC says the dip is mostly the consequence of new accounting rules introduced since the start of this year: mobile operators are now obliged to completely exclude their handset sales revenues from service revenues, which has had a negative impact on service revenues although the overall effect is neutral as handset sales would have gone up.


"This is, of course, just a momentary effect," said Kresimir Alic, senior program manager, IDC Worldwide Telecom Services Database. "We believe that the growth rate will recover as soon as next year." Over of the 2017-2022 forecast period, the market is expected to remain in a positive mood, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.8%.

Additional highlights from IDC:

  • Mobile will remain the largest market segment for telecom revenues and its share is expected to reach 52% of the total market in 2018. 
  • The mobile market is set to grow at five-year CAGR of 1.2%
  • Increased mobile data usage and expanding M2M applications is offsetting declines in spending on mobile voice and messaging services. 
  • Fixed data services are expected to represent 22% of total spending in 2018 and is set to grow at a 4% CAGR through 2022.
  • Spending on fixed voice services will decline at a -5% CAGR over the forecast period and will represent less than 9% of the total market by 2022.
  • The Americas will remain the largest services market with revenues of $624 billion in 2018. 
  • Asia/Pacific will follow in second place with $541 billion in revenues.
  • EMEA is third with revenues $483 billion.


"Developed and mature markets will only show marginal gains now, driven by technology migration and bandwidth needs," said Eric Owen, group vice president, EMEA Telecommunications & Networking. "Most operators are now looking to invest in 5G and are struggling with the return on investment given the mature nature of the markets. Success will demand innovative and agile thinking from the operators coupled with some help from regulators in highly competitive markets such as Europe."

AWS launches 2nd GovCloud Region (US-East)

Amazon Web Services announced the launch of the AWS GovCloud (US-East) Region, its second GovCloud infrastructure region in the United States.

The AWS GovCloud is an isolated infrastructure region designed to meet the stringent requirements of the public sector and highly regulated industries, including being operated on US soil by US citizens, and are accessible only to vetted US entities and root account holders who must confirm they are US persons.

The first AWS GovCloud (US-West) Region opened in 2011. Like AWS GovCloud (US-West), AWS GovCloud (US-East) offers three Availability Zones. AWS Regions are comprised of multiple Availability Zones, which refer to technology infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting business continuity, yet near enough to provide low-latency for high availability applications. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, physical security, and is connected via redundant, ultra-low-latency networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can design their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even greater fault tolerance.

AWS now provides 57 Availability Zones across 19 geographic regions globally with another 12 Availability Zones and four regions coming online in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, South Africa, and Sweden between the end of 2018 and the first half of 2020.

“For more than seven years, government customers and those in highly regulated industries have been using AWS GovCloud (US-West) to run workloads that must meet the most stringent security and compliance requirements,” said Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector at AWS. “Based on the growth of GovCloud (US-West) and high customer demand for a second region in the eastern part of the US, we’ve opened a second GovCloud Region so that AWS customers can support their mission-critical programs with even lower latency to the East Coast and have the ability to implement cross-region disaster recovery.”

https://aws.amazon.com/govcloud-us/

Intel confirms 5G modem for second half of 2019

Intel confirmed that its upcoming 5G modem chip will ship in the second half of 2019, meaning that 5G phones, PCs and broadband access gateways incorporating the device should hit the market in the first half of 2020. The updated timeline is more than a half-year earlier than previous guidance.

The Intel XMM 8160 5G modem will support the new 5G New Radio (NR) standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) modes as well as 4G, 3G and 2G legacy radios in a single chipset. It will support peak speeds up to 6 Gbps, making it three to six times faster than the latest LTE modems available today.

Intel said its 5G modem is designed for worldwide carrier support.It will support new millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum as well as sub 6 GHz 5G NR support (including FDD and TDD bands from 600 MHz to 6 GHz).

“Intel’s new XMM 8160 5G modem provides the ideal solution to support large volumes for scaling across multiple device categories to coincide with broad 5G deployments. We are seeing great demand for the advanced feature set of the XMM 8160, such that we made a strategic decision to pull in the launch of this modem by half a year to deliver a leading 5G solution,” stated Dr. Cormac Conroy, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Communication and Devices Group.



SC18: CenturyLink and Infinera deliver capacity to SCinet

CenturyLink and Infinera are collaborating to deliver multi-terabit capacity for connecting SCinet, the dedicated high-capacity network at the SC18 conference at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, with wide area networks in several cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, Sunnyvale and Washington, D.C.

The installation demonstrates CenturyLink’s rapid provisioning of 100 gigabit services. CenturyLink operates a robust, global 450,000-route-mile fiber network and utilizes Infinera’s automated, high-capacity transport solutions in its backbone network.

Specifically, this year’s SCinet leverages the CenturyLink core optical transport network and the Infinera XT-3600 platform, powered by the fourth-generation Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE4), to deliver super-channel-based terabit capacity to the conference site. At the Infinera booth during SC18, Infinera and CenturyLink are also using the XT Series platform and Infinera’s Xceed Multi-layer SDN Platform to demonstrate a software-defined networking (SDN) solution featuring real-time telemetry performance monitoring data streaming to automatically detect and dynamically respond to network issues using predefined network policies.

“A scalable, agile and low-latency infrastructure plays a critical role in addressing the demanding and ever-increasing connectivity requirements of high-performance computing and the global research and education community,” said Andrew Dugan, Chief Technology Officer at CenturyLink. “We are pleased to work closely with Infinera to deliver terabit-scale capacity for SCinet, underscoring our commitment to serving the needs of these customers.”

“Our collaboration with CenturyLink at SC18 highlights our leadership role in delivering the most advanced optical transport networking solutions capable of pushing the boundaries of innovation in network speed, efficiency and automation,” said Bob Jandro, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales at Infinera.

SC18: Mellanox connects 53% of overall TOP500 systems

Mellanox Technologies' InfiniBand and Ethernet solutions connect 53% of overall TOP500 platforms or 265 systems, demonstrating 38% growth within 12 months (Nov’17-Nov’18). Furthermore, InfiniBand accelerates the top three supercomputers on the TOP500 list: the fastest High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) supercomputer in the world deployed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the second fastest supercomputer in the US deployed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the fastest supercomputer in China (ranked third).

“Mellanox InfiniBand and Ethernet solutions now connect the majority of systems on the TOP500 list, an increase of 38 percent over the last twelve-month period. InfiniBand In-Network Computing acceleration engines provide the highest performance and scalability for HPC and AI applications, and accelerate the top three supercomputers in the world. InfiniBand enables record performance in HPC and AI, enabling the advancement of academic and scientific research which is reshaping our world. We continue to win new opportunities and are proud to have deployed the first HDR InfiniBand supercomputer at the University of Michigan. We expect to see more HDR InfiniBand connected platforms this year,” said Eyal Waldman, president and CEO of Mellanox Technologies.

The TOP500 List has evolved in the recent years to include more hyperscale, cloud, and enterprise platforms, in addition to the high-performance computing and machine learning systems. Nearly half of the systems on the November 2018 list can be categorized as non-HPC application platforms, with a vast part of these systems representing US, Chinese and other hyperscale infrastructures, and are interconnected with Ethernet. Mellanox Ethernet solutions connect 130 systems or 51% of the Ethernet systems on the list.

Lumentum trims guidance after customer cuts order for laser diodes

Lumentum trimmed its guidance for its fiscal second quarter 2019 after a large customer cut its order for laser diodes for 3D sensing.

"We recently received a request from one of our largest Industrial and Consumer customers for laser diodes for 3D sensing to materially reduce shipments to them during our fiscal second quarter for previously placed orders that were originally scheduled for delivery during the quarter," said Alan Lowe, President and CEO. "With our proven ability to deliver high volumes, years of experience, hundreds of millions of devices in the field, and new product and customer funnel, we remain confident in our leadership position in the nascent market for laser diodes for 3D sensing."

Revised Net revenue, non-GAAP operating margin, and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share expectations along with the prior guidance range provided in the Company's fiscal first quarter earnings release and earnings conference call on November 1, 2018 are provided in the table below.

Orange's Stéphane Richard elected Chair of GSMA

The GSMA elected Stéphane Richard to serve as Chairman of its Board for the two-year period from January 2019 through December 2020. As GSMA Chair, Richard will oversee the strategic direction of the organisation, which represents more than 750 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as over 350 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem. Richard is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orange Group. He replaces Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises and current GSMA Chair, who will step down from the Board at the end of 2018.

The GSMA Board has also elected  Chua Sock Koong, Group Chief Executive Officer of Singtel Group, as Deputy Chair.

“I am honoured to be elected to serve as Chair of the GSMA and look forward to working closely with the rest of the Board, the GSMA leadership team and our entire membership to address the critical issues facing our industry and our customers,” said Stéphane Richard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orange. “Mobile operators and our wider industry have a key role to play in promoting a safer and more inclusive digital world, while building the infrastructure and services that will carry us forward as we enter this new era of intelligent connectivity.”

GSMA Board Members for the 2019-2020 Term

  • Juan Carlos Archila, Executive Vice President of International Relationships, América Móvil
  • Susan Johnson, Executive Vice President, Global Connections and Supply Chain, AT&T
  • Jamaludin bin Ibrahim, Managing Director/President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Axiata Group Berhad
  • Gopal Vittal, Chief Executive Officer, Bharti Airtel
  • Dr. Li Zhengmao, Executive Vice President, China Mobile
  • Liu Guiqing, Executive Vice President, China Telecom
  • Dr. Shao Guanglu, Executive Vice President, China Unicom
  • Srini Gopalan, Member of the Board of Management, Deutsche Telekom
  • Hatem Dowidar, Chief Executive Officer, International, Etisalat Group
  • Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA
  • Christian Salbaing, Deputy Chairman, Europe, Hutchison
  • Rob Shuter, Group President and Chief Executive Officer, MTN Group
  • Alexey Kornya, President and Chief Executive Officer, MTS
  • Kazuhiro Yoshizawa, President and Chief Executive Officer, NTT DOCOMO
  • Stéphane Richard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Orange Group
  • Mathew Oommen, President and Member of the Board of Directors, Reliance Jio
  • Chua Sock Koong, Group Chief Executive Officer, Singtel Group
  • Jung Ho Park, President and Chief Executive Officer, SK Telecom
  • Marcelo Claure, Chief Operating Officer, SoftBank Group
  • Eng. Nasser S Al Nasser, Chief Executive Officer, STC Group
  • Julio Linares López, Member of the Board of Telefónica Companies, Telefónica
  • Sigve Brekke, President and Chief Executive Officer, Telenor Group
  • Andrew Penn, Chief Executive Officer, Telstra
  • Kaan Terzioğlu, Chief Executive Officer, Turkcell
  • Rima Qureshi, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Verizon
  • Vivek Badrinath, Chief Executive for the Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific Region, Vodafone Group

EE activates nine 5G trial sites in London

EE, the UK’s number one mobile network and part of BT Group, activated nine 5G trial sites are now live across East London. The company also has a live 5G trial site in Canary Wharf, and new device functionality is being tested in its state-of-the-art Borehamwood test lab.

EE said its preliminary 5G work has so far encompassed every element of building a new 5G network, from obtaining planning permission and access agreements, through to managing power outputs. The trial will go on to assess the customer experience of new 5G spectrum.


Some lessons:

  • Rooftop sites often need significant strengthening to carry the new 50kg 5G antennas – and some sites house three of these
  • The level of upgrade work required can cause delays in obtaining planning permission, and can necessitate repeat visits, which means multiple access requests to landlords
  • Location for 5G antennas can be dictated by the need to stay below regulated power output levels

Howard Watson, BT CTIO, said: “Deploying this brand new layer of our EE mobile network is far from straightforward, and this trial has helped us to understand – and learn how to overcome – the significant challenges that we’ll face in the coming years. We’re also learning about the coverage we can achieve with 5G New Radio on our new 3.4GHz spectrum, both indoors and in densely cluttered streets.”

Keysight validates Over-the-Air test method for 5G Base Stations

Keysight Technologies announced the validation of an Over-the-Air (OTA) test method for evaluating the radio frequency (RF) performance of 5G base stations in collaboration with the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) and Tsinghua University.

The collaboration between Keysight, CAICT and Tsinghua University was established to accelerate the development and deployment of 5G networks in support of the Phase I Step 3 5G trials led by China’s IMT-2020 Promotion Group1. The test combined Keysight’s 5G signal generation and analysis solutions with a compact antenna test range (CATR) chamber to create the appropriate OTA test environment for 5G base station performance evaluation.

“Keysight is contributing to 5G OTA test research, development, and deployment, by collaborating with leading wireless research facilities and market leaders in China and around the world,” said Roger Nichols, 5G Program Office, at Keysight Technologies. “As a dominant contributor to 5G OTA test method development in the 3GPP standard organization, Keysight is offering early access to OTA solutions for both 5G base station and mobile device testing.”

Keysight seamlessly integrates measurement science with hardware and software tools that support the latest 3GPP release 15 (Rel-15) standard to provide the entire mobile wireless ecosystem with end-to-end OTA test capability. Its integrated OTA test solutions for R&D characterization and RF test of 5G base stations enable users to test a wide range of equipment and its sub-systems in a repeatable way.

https://www.keysight.com/go/news

Cable ONE to acquire Clearwave Communications, a fiber operator in southern Illinois

Cable One agreed to acquire Clearwave Communications, a facilities-based service provider that owns and operates a high-capacity fiber network offering dense regional coverage in southern Illinois, in an all-cash transaction. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Clearwave has more than 2,400 route miles of dense metro fiber infrastructure connecting approximately 2,700 on-net businesses, towers and data centers. Clearwave is headquartered in Harrisburg, Illinois, and is majority-owned by funds affiliated with Stephens Capital Partners LLC if Little Rock, Arkansas.

Cable ONE (NYSE: CABO) is among the 10 largest cable companies in the United States and a leading broadband communications provider with operations in 21 states.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

ThousandEyes: AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud

ThousandEyes, which leverages a cloud platform to offer visibility throughout the global Internet, published its 2018 Public Cloud Performance Benchmark Report, comparing the global network performance of the three major public cloud providers—Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure.

The company says its results should be examined through the lens of the individual business planning or evaluating their cloud architectural choices as regional performance differences can make a significant impact in terms of performance gains or losses. The results are based on data gathered from periodically monitoring bi- directional network performance such as latency, packet loss and jitter to, within and between multiple global regions of the three public cloud providers over a four-week period.

Key findings of the 2018 ThousandEyes Public Cloud Performance Benchmark Report:

  • Architectural differences between providers impacts service delivery: AWS sends traffic over the Internet for the majority of the service delivery path, whereas GCP and Azure do not, instead using their own backbone networks. Increased exposure to the Internet means there is greater operational risk and impact on performance predictability.
  • Performance variations by region: geographical performance variations exist across the three cloud providers, most noticeably in the LATAM and Asia regions. Decision-makers should consult the detailed findings to choose the best cloud provider on a per-region basis to ensure optimal performance globally.
  • Multi-cloud network performance is strong: despite being competitors, the three providers peer directly with one another, eliminating the dependence on third-party ISPs. Plus, traffic almost never leaves the provider backbone networks, meaning there is very little loss and jitter in end-to-end communication. Decision-makers need not worry about performance in multi-cloud architectures.
  • When connecting Europe to India, GCP exhibited three times the network latency compared to AWS and Azure.
  • In Asia, GCP and Azure exhibited more network performance stability than AWS, which demonstrated 35% less network performance stability than GCP and 56% less than Azure.
  • When connecting Europe to Singapore, AWS and GCP were 1.5 times slower than Azure.
"Multi-national organizations that are embracing digital transformation and venturing into the cloud need to be aware of the geographical performance differences between the major public clouds when making global multi-cloud decisions," said Archana Kesevan, report author and senior product marketing manager at ThousandEyes. "To help global businesses with this assessment, ThousandEyes is providing an unbiased, third-party perspective on public cloud performance as it relates to end-user experience—and at the same time, breaking the mold of survey-based research and vendor-led reporting."

The 28-page report can be downloaded here:
https://www.thousandeyes.com/research/public-cloud



CommScope to acquire ARRIS for $7.4 billion

CommScope agreed to acquire ARRIS International (NASDAQ: ARRS) in an all-cash transaction for $31.75 per share, or a total purchase price of approximately $7.4 billion, including the repayment of debt. In addition, The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager, has reestablished an ownership position in CommScope through a $1 billion minority equity investment as part of CommScope’s financing of the transaction.

ARRIS, an innovator in broadband, video and wireless technology, combines hardware, software and services to enable advanced video experiences and constant connectivity across a variety of environments – for service providers, commercial verticals, small enterprises and the people they serve. ARRIS has strong leadership positions in the three segments in which it operates:

  • Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), featuring access devices such as broadband modems, gateways and routers and video set-tops and gateways;
  • Network & Cloud (N&C), combining broadband and video infrastructure with cloud-based software solutions; and
  • Enterprise Networks, incorporating the recently acquired Ruckus Wireless and ICX Switch businesses, and focusing on wireless and wired connectivity, including Citizens Broadband Radio Service solutions.
  • For the 12 months ended September 30, 2018, ARRIS generated revenues of approximately $6.7 billion, consisting of $3.9 billion from CPE, $2.2 billion from N&C and $568 million from Enterprise Networks (reflecting only a partial year of Ruckus since its acquisition in December 2017). 
The combination of CommScope and ARRIS, on a pro forma basis, would create a company with approximately $11.3 billion in revenue and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of approximately $1.8 billion, based on results for the two companies for the 12 months ended September 30, 2018.

CommScope said the combined company will drive profitable growth in new markets, shape the future of wired and wireless communications, and position the new company to benefit from key industry trends, including network convergence, fiber and mobility everywhere, 5G, Internet of Things and rapidly changing network and technology architectures.



“After a comprehensive evaluation of our business and the evolving industry we operate in, we are confident that combining with ARRIS is the best path forward for CommScope to grow and provide the greatest returns for shareholders,” said Eddie Edwards, president and chief executive officer, CommScope. “CommScope and ARRIS will bring together a unique set of complementary assets and capabilities that enable end-to-end wired and wireless communications infrastructure solutions that neither company could otherwise achieve on its own. With ARRIS, we will access new and growing markets, and have greater technology, solutions and employee talent that will provide additional value and benefit to our customers and partners.

Separately, CommScope reported 3Q18 sales of $1.15 billion, up 2% year over year. GAAP operating income was $132 million and non-GAAP adjusted operating income (excluding special items) was $219 million.

Sales increased 2 percent year over year as growth in the North America and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions more than offset lower sales in the Asia-Pacific region. Double-digit Outdoor Network Solutions growth, was partially offset by a decline in Indoor Copper. Foreign exchange rate changes unfavorably impacted net sales by approximately 2 percent.

“During the quarter, we took action to ensure CommScope successfully navigates a dynamic and challenging market environment,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Eddie Edwards. “While we expect headwinds to continue as certain North American service providers spend more conservatively over the near term, we are confident that with ARRIS we will be better positioned for the advent of 5G and fixed wireless access.”

ARRIS completes acquisition of Ruckus Wireless

ARRIS completed its previously-announced acquisition of the Ruckus Wireless and ICX Switch business from Broadcom.

When the deal was first announced in February 2017 the announced price was $800 million in cash, plus the additional cost of unvested employee stock awards, following the closing of Broadcom's acquisition of Brocade.

Ruckus Networks will operate as a dedicated business under Enterprise Networks. Its target vertical markets span hospitality, education, government, service providers, multi-dwelling / tenant units, sports / entertainment venues, and transportation centers. ARRIS said another opportunity for Ruckus is the small-cell CBRS LTE market.

Dan Rabinovitsj—previously COO of Ruckus Wireless—will lead a new ARRIS Enterprise Networks business segment.

The business will focus on the delivery of innovative, high-performance wireless and wired network infrastructure, with a robust channel-led sales strategy.

Orange Launches LTE-M Network in France

Orange Business Services officially launched LTE-M service throughout metropolitan France. The service is available to all companies that have subscribed to its 4G IoT offer. LTE-M compatible devices will be available by the end of the year on Datavenue Market, the Orange Business Services marketplace dedicated to IoT objects and connectivity.

The launch in France follows the opening of Orange’s first LTE-M network in Belgium in May 2018. Orange will launch further LTE-M networks in Spain and Romania by the end of 2018.

Orange said it is committed to deploying both LTE-M and LoRa across its European footprint.

The carrier will select the appropriate technology on a country by country basis. LTE-M, which is a technology specifically dedicated to connected objects and deployed on Orange’s 4G networks will address objects that are on the move, in buildings or underground places. It is, therefore, suitable for logistical monitoring, telemonitoring, remote assistance and fleet management. Furthermore, LTE-M technology benefits from all the features of 4G including security, real-time connectivity and international roaming, thanks to broad support of the technology from other operators worldwide and already integrates with future 5G standards.

LoRa technology addresses very low battery power consumption use-cases with (inexpensive) modules and with a large and growing ecosystem from sensors to applications. Orange has been a long-standing proponent of LoRa technology deploying a national network in France which some 250 corporate customers already using it.

Cisco intros Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS

Cisco introduced a Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS for making it easier to run containerized application across on-premise and the AWS cloud. The solution configures on-premises Kubernetes environments to be consistent with Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS) while leveraging Cisco's networking, security, management and monitoring software.

Cisco said its implementation reduces complexity and costs for IT operations teams. The management of on-premises Kubernetes infrastructure is simplified with a common set of tools on-premises and on AWS. Cisco's enterprise support covers all parts of the solution.

"Today, most customers are forced to choose between developing applications on-premises or in the cloud. This can create a complex mix of environments, technologies, teams and vendors. But they shouldn't have to make a choice," said Kip Compton, senior vice president, Cloud Platform and Solutions at Cisco. "Now, developers can use existing investments to build new cloud-scale applications that fuel business innovation. This makes it easier to deploy and manage hybrid applications, no matter where they run. This allows customers to get the best out of both cloud and their on-premises environments with a single solution."

"More customers run containers on AWS and Kubernetes on AWS than anywhere else," said Terry Wise, Global Vice President of Channels & Alliances, Amazon Web Services, Inc. "Our customers want solutions that are designed for the cloud and Cisco's integration with Amazon EKS will make it easier for them to rapidly deploy and run containerized applications across both Cisco-based on-premises environments and the AWS cloud."

The Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS will be provided as both a software-only solution requiring only the Cisco Container Platform, or a hardware/software solution with the Cisco Container Platform running on Cisco HyperFlex.  The software is licensed in one-, three- and five-year subscriptions. Pricing for software-only subscriptions will start at approximately $65,000 per year for a typical entry-level configuration.  On AWS, customers pay $0.20 per hour for each Amazon EKS cluster that they create in addition to the AWS resources (e.g. Amazon EC2 instances or Amazon Elastic Block Store volumes) they create to run Kubernetes worker nodes.

Cisco and Google Partner on New Hybrid Cloud Solution

Cisco and Google Cloud have formed a partnership to deliver a hybrid cloud solutions that enables applications and services to be deployed, managed and secured across on-premises environments and Google Cloud Platform. The pilot implementations are expected to be launched early next year, with commercial rollout later in 2018.

The main idea is to deliver a consistent Kubernetes environment for both on-premises Cisco Private Cloud Infrastructure and Google’s managed Kubernetes service, Google Container Engine.

The companies said their open hybrid cloud offering will provide enterprises with a way to run, secure and monitor workloads, thus enabling them to optimize their existing investments, plan their cloud migration at their own pace and avoid vendor lock in.

Cisco and Google Cloud hybrid solution highlights:


  • Orchestration and Management – Policy-based Kubernetes orchestration and lifecycle management of resources, applications and services across hybrid environments
  • Networking – Extend network policy and configurations to multiple on-premises and cloud environments
  • Security – Extend Security policy and monitor applications behavior
  • Visibility and Control – Real-time network and application performance monitoring and automation
  • Cloud-ready Infrastructure – Hyperconverged platform supporting existing application and cloud-native Kubernetes environments
  • Service Management with Istio – Open-source solution provides a uniform way to connect, secure, manage and monitor microservices
  • API Management – Google's Apigee enterprise-class API management enables legacy workloads running on premises to connect to the cloud through APIs
  • Developer Ready – Cisco's DevNet Developer Center provides tools and resources for cloud and enterprise developers to code in hybrid environments
  • Support – Joint coordinated technical support for the solution

"Our partnership with Google gives our customers the very best cloud has to offer— agility and scale, coupled with enterprise-class security and support," said Chuck Robbins, chief executive officer, Cisco. "We share a common vision of a hybrid cloud world that delivers the speed of innovation in an open and secure environment to bring the right solutions to our customers."

VMware to acquire Heptio for Kubernetes

VMware agreed to acquire Heptio, a start-up developing Kubernetes solutions for bridging on-premise and multicloud integration. Financial erms were not disclosed.

Heptio was founded in 2016 by Joe Beda and Craig McLuckie, two of the creators of Kubernetes. The company offers a growing set of products, open source projects and contributions to upstream Kubernetes. This is complemented by Heptio’s work with organizations through training, support and professional services that speed integration of Kubernetes and related technologies into the fabric of enterprise IT.

VMware and Pivotal have delivered PKS, a Kubernetes portfolio covering customer use cases for on-premises deployment and as a cloud service. The offerings enable organizations to operate Kubernetes and run their modern applications in a cloud-agnostic fashion. Upon completion of the acquisition, Heptio’s Kubernetes solution, expertise and community leadership will enhance the VMware portfolio and further accelerate enterprise adoption of Kubernetes.

“Kubernetes is emerging as an open framework for multi-cloud infrastructure that enables enterprise organizations to run modern applications,” said Paul Fazzone, senior vice president and general manager, Cloud Native Apps Business Unit, VMware. “Heptio products and services will reinforce and extend VMware’s efforts with PKS to establish Kubernetes as the de facto standard for infrastructure across clouds upon closing. We are thrilled that the Heptio team led by Craig and Joe will be joining VMware to help us guide customers as they move to a multi-cloud world.”

“The team at Heptio has been focused on Kubernetes, creating products that make it easier to manage multiple clusters across multiple clouds,” said Craig McLuckie, CEO and co-founder of Heptio. “And now we will be tapping into VMware’s cloud native resources and proven ability to execute, amplifying our impact. VMware’s interest in Heptio is a recognition that there is so much innovation happening in open source. We are jointly committed to contribute even more to the community—resources, ideas and support.”

Robyn Denholm leaves Telstra to join Tesla as Chair

Tesla has appointed Robyn Denholm as Chair of the Tesla Board, effective immediately, replacing Elon Musk who steps aside as part of a settlement with the SEC.

Denholm currently serves as CFO and Head of Strategy at Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunications firm. She will be leaving Telstra to take on the Chairmanship of Tesla on a full-time basis.

Denholm has served on the Tesla Board as an independent director since 2014. Her global experience in both Australia and Silicon Valley encompasses leadership roles across a range of technology companies, including Telstra, Juniper Networks, and Sun Microsystems. She is widely credited with leading a team that drove significant increases in Juniper’s revenues, overseeing Juniper’s corporate transformation during her nine-year tenure as Chief Financial and Operations Officer. Her experience also includes numerous finance management roles in the automotive industry while at Toyota.

SCinet anticipates peak loads of 4 Tbps next week

SCinet, the temporary network serving the SC18 conference in Dallas, anticipates peak load of 4.02 terabits per second as participants in this year's top supercomputing event from academia, government and industry demonstrate their capabilities. Last year’s peak load was a record 3.6 Tbps.

Forty organizations have collaborated to build SCInet at an estimated cost of $51 million. The network has taken one year to plan and one month to build. It will operate for one week and then be torn down in less than 24 hours.

“SCinet can only flourish due to the incredible generosity of our contributing partners,” said Jason Zurawski, SCinet chair and science engagement engineer at the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet). “CenturyLink, Cisco, and Juniper have all gone above and beyond to ensure the success of SCinet this year through the donation of hardware, software, services, and the most important of resources: time.”

https://sc18.supercomputing.org/

Sierra Wireless posts Q3 revenue of $203 million, up 18%

Sierra Wireless reported Q3 2018 revenue of $203.4 million, an increase of 17.9%, compared to $172.6 million in the third quarter of 2017. Gross margin was $67.3 million, or 33.1% of revenue, in the third quarter of 2018 compared to $57.3 million, or 33.2% of revenue, in the third quarter of 2017. Non-GAAP net earnings were $10.5 million, or $0.29 per diluted share.

“We had strong growth in revenue and adjusted EBITDA on a year-over-year basis in the Third Quarter,” said Kent Thexton, President and CEO. “We continued to strengthen our position as the leader in Device-to-Cloud IoT solutions and our two highest margin businesses - namely Enterprise Solutions and IoT Services - increased to 27% of total revenue in Q3.”

Highlights:

  • Product revenue was $179.4 million, up 11.1% year-over-year
  • Services and Other revenue was $24.0 million, up 117.8% compared to the third quarter of 2017. 
  • Quarterly revenue for the three business segments was as follows: (i) Revenue from OEM Solutions was 148.3 million in the third quarter of 2018, up 7.6% compared to $137.9 million in the third quarter of 2017; (ii) Revenue from Enterprise Solutions was $32.1 million in the third quarter of 2018, up 22.0% compared to $26.3 million in the third quarter of 2017; and (iii) Revenue from IoT Services was $23.0 million in the third quarter of 2018, up 172.8%, compared to $8.4 million in the third quarter of 2017 driven by the contribution from Numerex and organic subscriber growth.

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.”