Thursday, January 3, 2019

U.S. Senate confirms Geoffrey Starks and Brendan Carr for FCC

The U.S. Senate confirmed Geoffrey Starks as an FCC Commissioner and Commissioner Brendan Carr for a full term.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement:

“I congratulate Geoffrey on his Senate confirmation.  He brings a wealth of experience and expertise, including having served most recently as Assistant Chief in the Enforcement Bureau.  During his confirmation hearing, I was excited to hear him highlight the need to expand rural broadband and the power of telemedicine.  I look forward to working with him and having a fellow Kansan on the Commission.

“I also congratulate Brendan on his confirmation to a full term.  Brendan has done tremendous work on a number of issues, including his leadership on wireless infrastructure modernization.  He has also been a staunch advocate for rural broadband deployment, particularly for precision agriculture and advancements in telemedicine.”

Trump nominates Geoffrey Starks as FCC Commissioner

President Trump nominated Geoffrey Adam Starks, of Kansas, to be a Member of the Federal Communications Commission for a term of five years from July 1, 2017. If approved by the Senate, he would replace Democrat Mignon L. Clyburn, whose term expired.

Starks currently serves as assistant bureau chief for the FCC's Enforcement division. Previously, he served at the Department of Justice as a senior counsel to Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole. He has a JD from Yale Law School.

Arm intros image signal processors

Arm introduced two image signal processors (ISPs) designed for everyday devices including drones, smart home assistants and security, and internet protocol (IP) cameras.

The Mali-C52 and Mali-C32 devices, which leverage Arm’s Iridix technology and other industry-leading algorithms for noise and color management, apply over twenty-five processing steps to each pixel, of which three critical ones deliver key differentiation in terms of image output quality. These include high-dynamic range (HDR), noise reduction and color management. Arms said its Mali-C52 and Mali-C32 ISPs efficiently deliver all three at high resolution and in real-time (e.g. 4k resolution at 60fps).

The Mali-C52 can be configured for two different optimizations - image quality or area. This flexibility allows our silicon partners to use the same IP and software across a range of products and use cases. The Mali-C32 is optimized specifically for area in lower-power, cost-sensitive embedded vision devices such as entry-level access control or hobby drones.


Kaiam goes into financial administration and lays off staff in Scotland

Kaiam, a manufacturer of advanced data center optical transceivers with manufacturing in Livingston, Scotland, entered into financial administration on December 24. The company gave redundancy notices to 312 staff on Christmas Eve.

Kaiam, which was founded in 2009, use silicon micro-mechanical techniques to solve the challenging transceiver manufacturing step of single-mode alignment and attachment. The company supplies multi-wavelength single-mode products, such as its 100G-CWDM4 QSFP28 transceivers. Kaiam has previously announced 400G products on its roadmap.

The Daily Record reports that government officials were made aware of the company's precarious financial situation more than a month earlier.

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/government-officials-aware-financial-difficulties-13806800



Kaiam builds optical transceiver reserve as a hedge against US-China trade war

Kaiam, a leading manufacturer of advanced data center optical transceivers, has initiated a strategic transceiver reserve program to protect U.S. and European data centers from the effects of the incipient US-China trade war.

The company said the need for a reserve supply of optical transceivers arises because of the broad tariffs recently enacted by the Trump administration, which could impede the importation of Chinese-made optical transceivers into the United States. Kaiam notes that U.S. cloud data centers are largely dependent on this supply of Chinese-made transceivers, making them vulnerable to collateral damage from the increasingly turbulent US-Chinese relationship.

Kaiam is a vertically-integrated manufacturer based in Newark, California with large-scale manufacturing in Livingston, Scotland.


Nokia sells IP video business to Volaris

Nokia completed the sale of the majority of its IP Video business to Volaris Group, a Toronto-based software company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia's Veloxic video product portfolio includes caching and streaming products, origin and storage technology, and stream personalization software.

Nokia will remain a minority shareholder in the new pure play streaming technology company, Velocix, operating as an independent business within Volaris Group's Communications & Media portfolio.

Vantage Data Centers to acquire 4Degrees Colocation from Videotron

Vantage Data Centers agreed to acquire Canadian-based 4Degrees Colocation from Videotron for approximately US$200 million (C$259 million).

4Degrees operates two facilities in Montreal and Quebec City. The two data centers are Tier III Design and Construction certified, which highlights the facilities’ exceptional quality and reliability, by the Uptime Institute, an independent organization.

Vantage plans significant expansion projects in both markets to accelerate 4Degrees’ original plans to bring total capacity up to 31MW.

“Based on extensive dialog with our customers, Vantage identified Montreal and Quebec City as highly attractive markets due to low power costs, tax incentives and excellent fiber connectivity,” said Sureel Choksi, president and CEO, Vantage Data Centers. “The 4Degrees acquisition will accelerate our expansion into these markets, enabling Vantage to better serve hyperscale, cloud and enterprise customers across five strategic geographies. We are thrilled to welcome the 4Degrees team, which shares our commitment to operational excellence, high-quality facilities and sustainable building practices.”

Audi picks Samsung’s Exynos Auto V9 for In-vehicle Infotainment System

Audi has selected Samsung's automotive-branded processor, Exynos Auto V9, to power its next-generation in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system, which is expected to make its debut by 2021.

The Exynos Auto V9 automotive processor is designed for advanced IVI systems that display content on multiple displays, providing information that assists drivers and passengers for a safer and more enjoyable in-vehicle experience. The 8-nanometer (nm) device packs ARM’s latest Cortex-A76 CPU cores, ARM Mali G76 GPU, premium HiFi 4 audio digital signal processor (DSP), intelligent neural processing unit (NPU), and a safety island core that supports Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL)-B standards. The processor also supports fast and power-efficient LPDDR4 and LPDDR5 DRAM.

“Audi thrives to bring the most exciting, yet the safest automobiles when we vision the drive of tomorrow,” said Alfons Pfaller, head of Architecture & Platform Development E/E at Audi. “Samsung has been a valued technology partner over the past few years and we are extremely pleased to have the Exynos Auto V9 power our next-generation platform that will shape the future in-vehicle infotainment experiences.”

Accedo raises $17 million for its cloud video platform

Accedo, a start-up based in Stockholm, announced US$17 million in venture funding for its cloud-based video platform for its vision of providing the future of Internet distributed video services.

Accedo was founded in 2004 by Michael Lantz and Fredrik Andersson. The company's Accedo One cloud platform is "dedicated to providing operators, broadcasters and brands with the freedom to build, manage and deploy high-quality, engaging video experiences."

The funding round was led by SEB Private Equity, a Stockholm based private equity team and already a substantial investor in Accedo.

“The industry is undergoing tremendous change at the moment. We see rapid innovation happening and existing business models and technologies are being challenged. As an innovator in the market, we have great opportunities to set and drive the agenda during a dynamic transformation. I’m thrilled to be able to continue to lead the market in new areas over the coming years,” says Michael Lantz, CEO, Accedo.

“Accedo has built a leading position in a very dynamic and rapidly changing industry. The market trends are moving in the right directions and we expect to see continued rapid industry evolution over the coming years. We’re looking forward to supporting Accedo as we embark on the next step on this exciting journey”, commented Magnus Ramström, Investment Director , SEB Private Equity.

https://www.accedo.tv

Baraja raises $32 million for Spectrum-Scan LiDAR

Baraja, a start-up based in Sydney, with offices in San Francisco and China, announced $32 million in Series A funding for its Spectrum-Scan LiDAR for autonomous vehicles.

In July, Baraja launched a novel LiDAR system that uses prism-like optics and shifting wavelengths of light. By changing the wavelength of the laser, the system can scan different angles instantaneously. The design eliminates the need for spinning lasers.

The funding was provided by Sequoia China, Blackbird Ventures, and the CSIRO Innovation Fund managed by Main Sequence Ventures.

“As Baraja ramps up manufacturing capabilities, we are well-positioned to capitalize on growing demand for scalable, high-performance LiDAR that can realistically be integrated into vehicles,” said Rod Lopez, Baraja COO. “We are very proud of the depth of talent and maturity in our manufacturing capabilities, and our recent attainment of ISO 9001 certification.”

Qualcomm posts EUR 1.34B in bonds to enforce Injunction against Apple in Germany

Qualcomm posted security bonds totaling EUR 1.34 billion, which were required for Qualcomm to be able to enforce the remedies ordered by the Court on December 20, 2018, after the Court found that Apple is infringing Qualcomm’s patented power savings technology used in smartphones. Apple was ordered to cease the sale, offer for sale and importation for sale of all infringing iPhones in Germany. The Court also ordered Apple to recall infringing iPhones from third party resellers in Germany.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Telstra acquires capacity and 25% stake in Southern Cross Cable

Telstra will acquire a 25 percent stake in Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) and substantial capacity on both its existing network and the new Southern Cross NEXT subsea cable.

Existing stakeholders in SCCN include Spark NZ (50%), Singtel-Optus (40%) and Verizon Business (10%).

SCCN owns and operates the trans-Pacific Southern Cross Cable and has initiated work on the Southern Cross NEXT cable, which will be a high capacity express route, providing data-centre connectivity between Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles and is scheduled for completion by end-2020. Southern Cross NEXT is expected to cost around US$300 million and is designed to carry 72 Terabits of traffic.

Southern Cross Cables President and CEO Mr Anthony Briscoe said: “Southern Cross has always been a provider of high-quality customer focused and resilient international capacity solutions, and the addition of the new Southern Cross NEXT route to the existing platform will provide existing and future customers with further resiliency and connectivity options between Australia/New Zealand and to the US via Los Angeles. We are delighted that Telstra has committed to the cable as an anchor customer, and more so that Telstra sees the value in our capability long-term and is set to take a stake in the company.”

Telstra Group Executive for Enterprise Mr Michael Ebeid said: “Telstra has long been a key customer of Southern Cross and this investment will mean Telstra has an immediate ownership interest in the existing Southern Cross network, as well as in Southern Cross NEXT. This route is extremely important to our business as US to Australia traffic accounts for more than 80 percent of all the internet traffic to Australia. Southern Cross builds on Telstra’s existing footprint in Asia Pacific and creates a critical new path for ‘Australia In’ and ‘Australia Out’ connectivity.”

https://www.southerncrosscables.com

Southern Cross Cables to deploy Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme

Southern Cross Cables is deploying Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai tunable coherent optics and the 6500 T-series to enhance the scale, programmability and intelligence of its network.

Ciena said Southern Cross Cables is the first subsea deployment its WaveLogic Ai over compensated cable and includes the first deployment of 200Gbps wavelengths between Sydney and Auckland. Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai allows Southern Cross to monitor links in real-time, so it can determine the ideal capacity for each channel across any path. WaveLogic Ai also provides massive scalability by allowing Southern Cross to add an additional 6.4Tbps of wavelength expansion across its subsea and terrestrial networks.

Southern Cross’ existing programmable infrastructure is further enhanced with the introduction of the Ciena 6500 T-Series platform that scales to 24Tbps OTN switching capacity for efficient traffic grooming and includes Ciena’s advanced multi-layer control plane software to maximize network resiliency.

In addition, Southern Cross’ utilisation of Ciena’s Blue Planet Manage, Control, and Plan (MCP) software for improved network visibility through real-time software control, along with big data analytics and advanced network functionality through the Blue Planet Network Health Predictor, Performance Portal and Blue Planet V-WAN services underpin its position as one of the most flexible, and customer responsive submarine cable providers in the world.

“Our customers’ needs are changing almost daily as they move towards the cloud and larger web-scale data flows, particularly between continents,” said Southern Cross Cable Network Director of Marketing and Sales, Craige Sloots.

“Southern Cross Cables is setting a new industry benchmark by creating a more intelligent and programmable network that can adapt and quickly respond to dynamic customer demands,” said Rick Seeto, Ciena’s Vice President and General Manager, Asia/Pacific and Japan, Ciena.


AT&T sells 31 data centers to Brookfield Infrastructure for $1.1 billion

AT&T completed the sale of its data center colocation operations and assets to Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners for $1.1 billion. This includes 18 Internet Data Centers (IDC) in the United States and 13 outside the United States. The colocation data center operations serve a diversified customer base of more than 1,000 companies.

Brookfield has established a wholly owned company, Evoque Data Center Solutions ("Evoque"), to own and operate the assets. Customer contracts, employees supporting the colocation operations, fixed assets, leases, and specified owned facilities have been transferred to Brookfield.

Evoque joins AT&T's global colocation ecosystem program where AT&T will offer Evoque's colocation services to business customers. The ecosystem program offers business customers access to 350+ data centers around the world.

AT&T said it will use the $1.1 billion to advance its goal of reducing its net-debt-to-EBITDA-ratio to the 2.5x range by the end of 2019.

China Telecom tops 300 million mobile users

China Telecom ended 2018 on track to top 300 million mobile subscriber lines, up from 255 million at the beginning of the year.


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

SK Telecom carries first live TV broadcast over 5G

SK Telecom aired Korea’s largest New Year’s event - which included a countdown and bell-ringing ceremony, over its commercial 5G network.

The eleven-minute program was carried using the carrier's "T Live Caster," a live broadcasting platform.

The video of the event - which was taken by smartphone cameras installed with the ‘T Live Caster’ app and connected to a 5G mobile routers - was transmitted through 5G base stations and XtvN’s transmission system to reach cable and IPTV viewers of XtvN. The video was transmitted at a latency of less than one second – which is similar to that of the existing wired broadcasting system – despite the extremely congested data environment.

“With today’s successful live TV broadcasting over commercial 5G network, SK Telecom ushers in a new era of 5G-based media services,” said Choi Nak-hoon, Senior Vice President and Head of 5GX IoT/Data Group of SK Telecom. “In this new era, individual creators will be able to provide high-quality live broadcast anytime, anywhere, via 5G smartphones.”

Monday, December 31, 2018

RIP: Larry Roberts, Pioneer of Packet Switching, 1937-2018

Dr. Lawrence Roberts, who pioneered the use of packet switching in the ARPANET and the X.25 protocol, passed away on December 26 at his home in Redwood City, California, of a heart attack. He was 81.

Roberts received his bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and later worked at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. In 1967, he became program manager for the ARPANET. Roberts is credited with applying concepts of decentralized control, Interface Message Processors, and packet switching, developed by Wesley Clark, Donald Davies, Paul Baran, Leonard Kleinrock and others, in building the first wide area packet-switching network.

In later years, Roberts led a number of business ventures including Telenet (packet switching, sold to GTE), DHL Corporation (global delivery and logistics), NetExpress (Asynchronous Transfer Mode equipment), ATM Systems, Caspian Networks (switch routers), Anagran (IP flow management), and Netmax.

Obituaries:

Computer History Museum: http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/2017-chm-fellow-lawrence-g-roberts/

The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/30/obituaries/lawrence-g-roberts-dies-at-81.html

BBC:  https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-46721427

Sandra D. Motley to head Nokia's Fixed Networks Business

Sandra D. Motley as President of Nokia's Fixed Networks Business Group effective January 1, 2019. She replaces Federico Guillén, who as previously announced has been named President of Customer Operations, EMEA & APAC. Motley will report to Nokia President and CEO Rajeev Suri.

Motley started her career at AT&T Bell Laboratories, held a range of R&D and sales leadership positions at Alcatel-Lucent in both fixed and wireless businesses, and then joined Nokia in 2016.  At Alcatel-Lucent, her roles included leading sales for U.S. wireless accounts and serving as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for that company's wireless business, where she was responsible for R&D, Quality and Operational functions. After becoming part of Nokia, Motley oversaw end-to-end solutions for the North America market, and most recently, she has held the role of COO for the Fixed Networks business group.

Nokia forms Access Networks business

Nokia is forming an Access Networks Division that will consist of its current Mobile Networks and Fixed Networks Business Groups.

The company said it is making this move to fully exploit opportunities of 5G.

"Nokia has a unique advantage in the 5G era with its end-to-end portfolio," said Nokia President and Chief Executive Officer, Rajeev Suri. "By creating a single Access Networks organization that includes both fixed and mobile, we can improve our customer focus, simplify our management structure, and more efficiently leverage our full portfolio."

Also, Nokia appointed Tommi Uitto as President of Mobile Networks, replacing Marc Rouanne, who is leaving the company. Uitto is a 23-year Nokia veteran and an expert in radio technologies. His most recent role has been leading Mobile Networks Product Sales since the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.

Nokia plans to announce a President of Fixed Networks in due course.

Nokia's Group Leadership Team now consists of the following members: Rajeev Suri, Basil Alwan, Hans-Juergen Bill, Kathrin Buvac, Ashish Chowdary, Joerg Erlemeier, Barry French, Sanjay Goel, Bhaskar Gorti, Federico Guillén, Kristian Pullola, Sri Reddy, Maria Varsellona and Marcus Weldon. As announced earlier, Chowdary will step down and Ricky Corker will join as of January 1, 2019. The President of Access Networks will be appointed in due course and will also join the Nokia Group Leadership Team.

NETGEAR completes divestiture of its Arlo division

NETGEAR completed its previously announced distribution of 62,500,000 shares of Arlo common stock (NYSE: ARLO) owned by NETGEAR, representing approximately 84.2% of the outstanding shares of Arlo common stock. After the completion of the distribution, NETGEAR no longer owns any shares of Arlo common stock. In addition,  Patrick C.S. Lo resigned as a director of Arlo, and the Board of Directors of Arlo reduced the size of the board from seven to six.

Zayo signs global SaaS provider

Zayo signed a global Software as a Service (SaaS) for data center colocation at one of its Midwestern data centers. The deal doubles the customer’s data center footprint with Zayo.

“This expansion is a testament to the customer’s impressive growth and success,” said Bruce Garrison, senior vice president of Zayo’s zColo business segment. “Our ability to scale to meet their continued demand, coupled with our high-quality data center footprint, is well aligned with the needs of this important customer.”

Friday, December 28, 2018

CenturyLink hit by widespread outage

Beginning on December 27 at around 10am MST CenturyLink was hit by a widespread outage impacting consumer and businesses across the United States. Numerous communities reported a loss of 911 service. Businesses reported a loss of mission-critical cloud services. Residential customers complained about the loss of broadband connectivity.

CenturyLink's network status page posted the following brief message: "We are investigating an incident affecting the CA1, CA2, IL1, NY1, UC1, VA1, VA2 and WA1 data centers." Status updates via the company's Twitter pointed to a faulty "network element" but did not elaborate.

On Friday evening, more than 24 hours after the outage began, CenturyLink reported via Twitter that all consumer services impacted by the event, including voice and 911, were restored as of December 28 at 7:30pm Mountain Standard Time.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai described the outage as unacceptable and called for a formal investigation into the matter: "“When an emergency strikes, it’s critical that Americans are able to use 911 to reach those who can help.  The CenturyLink service outage is therefore completely unacceptable, and its breadth and duration are particularly troubling.  I’ve directed the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to immediately launch an investigation into the cause and impact of this outage.  This inquiry will include an examination of the effect that CenturyLink’s outage appears to have had on other providers’ 911 services.  I have also spoken with CenturyLink to underscore the urgency of restoring service immediately.  We will continue to monitor this situation closely to ensure that consumers’ access to 911 is restored as quickly as possible.”


See also