Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Reuters: Huawei linked to companies in Iran, Syria

A new report from Reuters alleges that corporate filings and documents from Iran and Syria suggest that Huawei is linked to Skycom Tech Co Ltd and shell company Canicula Holdings Ltd.

The report suggests that high-level Huawei executives controlled both companies, undermining the claim that Huawei was not directly involved in business transactions in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Reuters reports that the findings could bear on the pending legal case involving Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.


Australia-Japan Cable upgrades with Infinera for 60% capacity boost

Infinera completed of a major upgrade to Australia-Japan Cable’s (AJC) submarine cable system connecting Australia, Guam and Japan, tripling the lit capacity on the 12,700-kilometer subsea cable system.

AJC upgraded their Infinera DTN-X network with Infinera’s fourth generation optical engine – ICE4 (Infinite Capacity Engine). The network upgrade also delivers a 60 percent end-of-life capacity increase to AJC’s trans-Pacific cable system. AJC first deployed Infinera’s subsea solution in 2014.

Infinera noted the recent capacity upgrade with ICE4 was achieved without service interruption. AJC is now able to rapidly activate new capacity for customers with Infinera Instant Bandwidth.

“Infinera’s newest optical engine – ICE4 – enabled AJC to easily add more capacity per fiber pair,” said David Crofts, CEO, Australia-Japan Cable. “The ICE4 upgrade to our DTN-X network from Infinera is performing better than advertised, allowing AJC to easily deliver multi-terabit capacity with low power consumption and the reliability required for subsea networks.”

“We are delighted to partner with AJC as they expand their network capacity through the deployment of Infinera’s high-performance ICE4 optical engines,” said Andrew Bond-Webster, Vice President, Sales, Infinera. “Infinera’s subsea solution delivers on short lead times, offering customers like AJC the ability to quickly activate new capacity and reliably restore customer services should a subsea cable fault occur.”

  • Investors in AJC include Telstra, AT&T, NTT, Verizon and Softbank.

AWS, Molex, Accenture to co-develop edge computing for vehicles

Molex is working with Accenture and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to bring edge computing and voice assistant capabilities to the Molex Automotive Ethernet Network Platform for autonomous vehicles.

The Molex platform is an Ethernet-based vehicle connectivity system with a multi-zone architecture across hardware, software and interconnect cabling systems, with the flexibility to incorporate legacy automotive protocols and scalability for future upgrades. It utilizes AWS IoT Greengrass machine learning functionality to enhance capabilities such as diagnostics, security and enhanced end-user experience. The future-ready, automotive-grade gateways act as central hubs, providing secure and reliable interconnects and processing data across the vehicle network to functional domains such as ADAS or Autonomous Driving.

“In combination with the groundbreaking features of our Automotive Ethernet Network Platform, AWS and Accenture’s contribution can profoundly help our customers innovate faster, drive down costs and build some of the most advanced vehicles in the automotive industry,” said Joseph Stenger, global product manager for connected mobility solutions, Molex. “We look forward to working together in the development of industry-leading technology solutions that help automotive OEMs design for the cars of tomorrow.”

“Accenture is excited to work with Molex to change the future of human mobility through new network and infrastructure capabilities for autonomous vehicles,” said Mark Pintar, a managing director in Accenture’s Technology Consulting practice. “Our collaboration has resulted in a solution that delivers an engaging customer experience that can adapt to meet the changing needs of users. We look forward to continuing to work together to enhance and expand these automotive solutions.”

Verizon notes 1.2 million net wireless postpaid additions in 4Q 2018

Verizon Communications reported a strong finish in fourth-quarter 2018, noting 1.2 million retail postpaid net additions in fourth-quarter 2018, of which approximately 650,000 were phone net additions. Retail postpaid phone churn was 0.82 percent in the fourth quarter, indicating continued strong customer loyalty.

The full earnings report is expected on January 29th.

Verizon issues $1 million "Built on 5G Challenge"

Verizon is offering up to $1 million in total grant funding as part of a  “Built on 5G Challenge”.

The funding will be provided to winning innovators to develop their concepts on live 5G networks located at Verizon’s 5G New York Lab, 5G Waltham Lab, 5G Cambridge Lab, and new locations being developed in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and Washington, D.C. In addition, Verizon 5G Labs technical advisors will provide training and support to winning innovators.

“When we launched 4G, we couldn’t have imagined that it would enable applications like Uber and Netflix,” said Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer at Verizon. “5G’s unique speed, bandwidth and latency is about to usher in a new era of connectivity and innovation that many are already saying will herald a fourth industrial revolution. Now, as 5G becomes a reality for more consumers this year, we want to give innovators access to this game-changing technology to allow them to create use cases that no one has been able to dream up until now.”


EXFO posts sales of $69.2 million, up 9.2%

EXFO reported quarterly sales of US$69.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 up 9.2% from US$63.4 million in the first quarter of 2018. First-quarter sales for 2019 included a $7.5 million contribution from Astellia, reduced by US$0.9 million to account for acquisition-related fair value adjustment of deferred revenue.

Bookings, which included a US$7.8 million contribution from Astellia, improved 23.3% year-over-year to US$81.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 from US$65.9 million in the same period of 2018. The company's book-to-bill ratio was 1.17 in the first quarter of 2019.

Gross margin before depreciation and amortization* amounted to 58.2% of sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 compared to 63.3% in the first quarter of 2018.

IFRS net loss in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 totaled US$7.5 million, or US$0.14 per share, compared to net earnings of US$2.7 million, or US$0.05 per share, in the first quarter of 2018. IFRS net loss in the first quarter of 2019 included net expenses totaling US$6.3 million: US$2.5 million in after-tax amortization of intangible assets, US$0.4 million in stock-based compensation costs, US$2.7 million in after-tax restructuring charges, US$0.9 million for acquisition-related fair value adjustment of deferred revenue and a foreign exchange gain of US$0.2 million.

"EXFO delivered solid results in the first quarter of 2019 with revenue above the midpoint of our guidance range, while benefitting from robust calendar year-end spending for our T&M solutions to achieve the second-highest bookings level in company history," said EXFO's CEO Philippe Morin. "Our announced strategic transformation, focused on heightened efficiency and profitability, is progressing according to plan and should be completed by the end of the second quarter. This new structure is starting to pay off internally, but also externally with a better value proposition and more relevant engagement with SASS customers as reflected by a US$4.9 million contract win for real-time active topology software with a tier-1 service provider after the quarter-end."

Corning and WaveOptics demo augmented reality wearables

At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Corning and WaveOptics are privately demonstrating augmented reality (AR) wearables. WaveOptics’ wearable AR displays feature Corning’s high-refractive index glass, which is specially designed for AR waveguides.  The companies recently signed a long-term supply agreement in which Corning provides high-index glass wafers for WaveOptics’ waveguides.

“We have been working hard to lower the bill of materials for high-quality AR devices. Working with WaveOptics to assemble a global supply chain that will dramatically simplify access to high-quality augmented reality is a major part of that effort,” said David Velasquez, division vice president and general manager of Corning Precision Glass Solutions. “Corning is excited to work with WaveOptics and our joint partners to help enable the growth of such a young, dynamic industry.”

Akamai to acquire Janrain for identity access management at the edge

Akamai Technologies agreed to acquire Janrain, a privately-held company based in Portland, Oregon. Akamai did not disclose the amount of the all-cash transaction but said the Janrain acquisition would be slightly dilutive to its non-GAAP net income per share for 2019, in the range of $0.05 to $0.06, and to become accretive in 2020.

Janrain specializes in customer identity access management (CIAM), which helps enterprises to enhance digital trust by offloading login and registration workloads.

Akamai said the integration of Janrain's Identity Cloud with the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform is expected to provide enhanced security, regulatory compliance and massive scale to online engagements. The company cited security benefits to CIAM customers in two critical areas: bot management and threat intelligence. Akamai Bot Manager mitigates the risks associated with credential abuse by detecting and managing bot activity at login and registration time and reducing fraud without negatively impacting the user experience. By leveraging Akamai threat intelligence, customers can make smart decisions about which users should be allowed to access registration and login pages based on reputation built on past online behavior.

"It is challenging to conduct business online without an inherent and expected level of digital trust," said Rick McConnell, president of Akamai Technologies and general manager of Akamai’s web division. "Janrain’s Identity Cloud, working together with Akamai’s Intelligent Edge Platform, will provide an added layer of security to allow our customers to know more about their end users and potentially drive additional revenues from that deepened relationship."

Monday, January 7, 2019

Cable industry outlines vision for 10G services

NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, CableLabs and Cable Europe outiline a vision for delivering 10G consumer broadband services in the United States and across the globe in the coming years.

Cable operators in the U.S., whose networks currently pass 85 percent of U.S. homes, including Comcast, Charter, Cox, Mediacom, Midco and others – plus international operators, including Rogers, Shaw Communications, Vodafone, Taiwan Broadband Communications, Telecom Argentina, Liberty Global and more, are implementing the new 10G initiative, with lab trials already underway, and field trials beginning in 2020. 1 gigabit service is currently available across 80% of the cable footprint in the U.S., up from 5% in 2016.

Intel promises 10G-ready technology from the network infrastructure to home gateways.

“With groundbreaking, scalable capacity and speeds, the 10G platform is the wired network of the future that will power the digital experiences and imaginations of consumers for years to come,” said NCTA President and CEO Michael Powell. “As an industry, we are dedicated to delivering an exceptional national infrastructure that will power digital advancement and propel our innovation economy into the future.”

“CableLabs creates the technology that supports the deployment of high-capacity broadband networks and gigabit services at scale for the industry,” said CableLabs President and CEO Phil McKinney. “With the 10G platform, CableLabs will help ensure the broadband infrastructure will be in place globally with the capacity and performance needed in the future to fuel new innovations and emerging technologies that will transform and enhance the way we live.”


Intel previews Snow Ridge for 5G base stations

by James E. Carroll

At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Intel announced a new SoC family codenamed "Snow Ridge" that is targeted at 5G base stations. Compared to existing base station silicon, which conventionally has been fixed function and proprietary, Intel said it will deliver a solution that leverages all of the technology it has developed for the server market. Snow Ridge will be delivered in 10nm.

At a CES keynote, Intel demonstrated how a Snow Ridge-powered base station could prioritize traffic based on the application. The company also reiterated that its first 5G modem on track for the second half of the year.

Also announced at the event was Intel Project Athena, which is new set of industry specifications for building a new class of advanced laptops designed for 5G connectivity and artificial intelligence. Intel says instant-on connectivity will enable new user experiences.

Project Athena Project specifics:
  • An annual spec outlining platform requirements
  • New user experience and benchmarking targets defined by real-world usage models
  • Extensive co-engineering support and innovation pathfinding
  • Ecosystem collaboration to accelerate key laptop component development and availability
  • Verification of Project Athena devices through a comprehensive certification process

Intel’s Project Athena partners include Acer, Asus, Dell, Google, HP, Innolux, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung and Sharp, among others.

Intel also showed a "Lakefield" sample motherboard based on 10nm hybrid CPU architecture and is 3D "Foveros" packaging technology. Lakefield has five cores, combining a 10nm high-performance Sunny Cove core with four Intel Atom processor-based cores into a tiny package that delivers low-power efficiency with graphics and other IPs, I/O and memory.

Intel also said it is on track to release its Nervana Neural Network Processor (NNP-I) later this year, promising industry-leading inference performance. Inference applications will include image recognition and image classification. Facebook is a development partner.

Qualcomm cites momentum with Wi-Fi 6

Qualcomm is gaining traction with its Wi-Fi 6 networking solution (based on the forthcoming 802.11ax standard with the announcement of a home mesh networking product from NETGEAR, along with enterprise and carrier networking products from Ruckus, Huawei, H3C, NEC, EnGenius, Charter Communications, Calix, and KT.

Defining Wi-Fi 6 features include improved individual throughput per device, extended range, improved battery life for Wi-Fi 6 connected devices, and the WPA3 advanced security protocols

Key features of Qualcomm's Wi-Fi 6 platform:

  • Highly integrated SoC offering significant flexibility built on a 14nm FinFET process, optimized for superior power
  • Up to 12 streams of dual-band Wi-Fi with up to eight spatial streams in the 5 GHz band and four in the 2.4 GHz band.
  • Peak aggregate speeds of up to 6 Gbps that can support more than 1000 simultaneously connected Wi-Fi clients.
  • Virtually simultaneous multi-user radio access enabling up to 8 simultaneous transmissions using upstream/ downstream MIMO or more than 32 simultaneous transmissions using OFDMA.  
  • A quad-core 2.2GHz ARM A53 64-bit CPU  

“Our world-class engineering capabilities in combination with proactive investments in R&D has delivered time to market advantages for our customers to capitalize on the significant performance upgrades Wi-Fi 6 has to offer,” said Rahul Patel, senior vice president and general manager, connectivity and networking, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “With today’s announcements, wireless networking customers across home networking, carrier and enterprise segments can experience the capacity and network efficiency benefits our Wi-Fi 6 platforms are delivering around the world.”

Support of the Wi-Fi Alliance’s third-generation of security protocol, Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA3), to provide robust protection of user passwords and stronger privacy across both public and private Wi-Fi networks.

Aquantia and Qualcomm target 802.11ax with 5GbE and 10 GbE ports

Aquantia is collaborating with Qualcomm to support the design and implementation of next generation Wi-Fi 6 routers, access points and gateways based on the forthcoming 802.11ax standard and which integrate Aquantia’s Ethernet connectivity technology.

Aquantia said this new breed of Wi-Fi devices in most cases will offer 5Gb and 10Gb Ethernet ports.

“Aquantia is very pleased to work with Qualcomm Technologies to deliver best-in-class Multi-Gig networking devices for this new 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard,” said LK Bhupathi, Vice President of Marketing at Aquantia. “We expect the combination of our Multi-Gig PHY expertise with Qualcomm Technologies’ industry leading Wi-Fi 6 networking platforms could drive a large upgrade cycle as businesses look to upgrade their networks.”

“Qualcomm Technologies is committed to delivering innovations that offer seamless connectivity in any environment,” said Gopi Sirineni, Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Working with Aquantia to deliver the Multi-Gig wired backhaul for the next generation of Wi-Fi 6 networking devices helps us deliver an increase in capacity and improved efficiency – thus delivering an excellent user experience.”

In order for new platforms to fully utilize the power of Wi-Fi 6, OEMs need to move beyond the bottleneck of gigabit Ethernet to Multi-Gig technology. The ever-growing number of Wi-Fi devices, fueled by the rapid expansion of

T-Mobile completes first 5G call on 600 MHz

T-Mobile US completed the first 5G data call and video call on 600 MHz (including successful uplink and downlink communication) over its commercial network. Ericsson and Intel were key technology partners.

T-Mobile said the test generated a 5G signal capable of covering more than a thousand square miles from a single tower. The carrier also tested a tri-band 5G video call with three users on different spectrum bands – 600 MHz, 28 GHz and 39 GHz.

“This is a huge accomplishment for Neville and his team, who had a vision for nationwide 5G and are building it out the right way – across multiple spectrum bands,” said John Legere, Chief Executive Officer of T-Mobile. “While the other guys focus on 5G millimeter wave on a handful of blocks in a handful of cities, we’re building 5G for everyone, everywhere! And together with Sprint, we’ll add much-needed spectrum depth, creating a truly transformative 5G network!”

T-Mobile tests 5G on 600 MHz spectrum

T-Mobile completed a test of 5G data transmission on low-band spectrum (600 MHz) over its live commercial network. Nokia supported the test, which was performed in Spokane, Washington.  T-Mobile said the test proves that low-band airwaves will provide 5G coverage across hundreds of square miles from a single tower.

T-Mobile notes that it is the only wireless provider building 5G on multiple spectrum bands, including low-band and millimeter wave. The company said it is on track for delivering nationwide 5G in 2020.

Equinix to build 4th data center in Singapore

Equinix will invest US$85 million to build its fourth International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Singapore, called SG4. The new seven-story data center is scheduled to open in Q4 2019, offering an initial capacity of more than 45,400 square feet (approximately 4,220 square meters) of colocation space and 1,400 cabinets in the first phase.

Equinix said the facility will accommodate more than 4,000 cabinets at full build out, with a total colocation space of more than 132,180 square feet (approximately 12,280 square meters). The new SG4 will be strategically situated at the East of Singapore in one of the country's five data center clusters — Tai Seng Industrial Estate — providing location diversity from the three existing Equinix IBX data centers in Singapore.

SG4 will also provide software-defined interconnection through Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric) to more than 1,300 businesses including some of the largest cloud service providers (CSP) among them Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud and Tencent Cloud.

Currently, the three Equinix IBX data centers in Singapore comprise more than 445,000 square feet (41,400 square meters) of colocation space. In Q3 2018, Equinix announced the completion of an expansion of the SG3 IBX data center in Singapore that nearly doubled the size of the facility.

NTT Com activates Global IP PoP in Toronto

NTT Communications (NTT Com) has expanded its tier-1 Global IP Network with a new Point-of-Presence (PoP) in Toronto, Canada.

NTT Com customers will be able to connect at numerous capacity levels including 100G ports with confirmed diversity and direct connections to multiple points in the Global IP Network to ensure the highest reliability and the lowest latency in the IP services.

New Continuum acquires flagship west Chicago data center

New Continuum Holdings has acquired its flagship, mission-critical data center located at 603 Discovery Drive in West Chicago, Illinois from Post Road Group'

New Continuum began leasing the property in the fall of 2013 when it commenced construction on a redevelopment project for the building. The company began operating a multi-tenant data center on the premises in 2015 when the initial construction was completed, and then added incremental cooling capacity in the summer of 2018.

“We are excited about providing New Continuum capital to finance the acquisition of this data center. We look forward to working with the New Continuum team as they continue to execute their business plan,” said Jason Carney, Managing Director, Post Road Group.

“This is a major milestone for New Continuum,” adds Eli D. Scher, founder, Chairman and CEO of New Continuum. “When we began this re-development project, it was always our objective to eventually own the underlying real estate asset as well. With this transaction completed, we can now begin the next chapter in New Continuum’s evolution as an owner and operator of this critical data center.”


Mellanox supplies 200 Gigabit HDR InfiniBand for supercomputing

Mellanox Technologies is supplying its 200 Gigabit HDR InfiniBand to accelerate a world-leading supercomputer at the High-Performance Computer Center of the University of Stuttgart (HLRS). The 5000-node supercomputer named “Hawk” will be built in 2019 and provide 24 petaFLOPs of compute performance.

The mission of the HLRS Hawk supercomputer is to advance engineering development and research in the fields of energy, climate, health and more, and if built today, the new system would be the world's fastest supercomputer for industrial production.

Mellanox said its Scalable Hierarchical Aggregation and Reduction Protocol (SHARP) technology enables the execution of data algorithms on the data as it is being transferred within the network, providing the highest application performance and scalability.

“HDR InfiniBand delivers the best performance and scalability for HPC and AI applications, providing our users with the capabilities to enhance research, discoveries and product development,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies.

Sprint's Magic Box home small cell adds Alexa

Sprint introduced TREBL with Magic Box, a smart home small cell solution providing enhanced LTE coverage, integrated Alexa voice assistant and Harman Kardon sound

The unit has three built-in far field microphones, Bluetooth, and noise and echo cancellation. It provides fully integrated personal voice assistant and control of Smart Home Devices using the Amazon Alexa eco-system.

"We're excited to provide our customers with an improved at-home wireless data experience along with the added benefits we've built in for voice assistance and great audio," Robert Kingsley, head of small cell development at Sprint. "It was great to work with the team at HARMAN Connected Services to deliver on our vision for a combined small cell and smart home solution that is stylish enough to fit in any home."

T-Mobile offers payment option for government shutdown workers

T-Mobile will offer flexible payment account support to customers directly affected by the U.S. government shutdown. T-Mobile says customers who are Federal government employees and need short-term account assistance can work with T-Mobile Customer Care representatives on solutions tailored to meet their needs, including flexible payment options that allow customers to spread their service payments over time. Payment deferral is also an option.

Toshiba announces 16TB HDDs for cloud data centers

Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage introduced a 16TB Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) HDD -- a new industry record, according to the company, and 14% more capacity than prior 14TB models. The drive is optimized for mixed random and sequential read and write workloads in both cloud and traditional data center environments.

The MG08 Series is Toshiba’s second-generation helium-sealed HDD family, and eighth-generation Enterprise Capacity HDD family. It uses a 9-disk helium design and features 7,200rpm performance, a 550TB per year workload rating, a 2.5 million-hour MTTF, a 512Mib cache buffer, and a choice of SATA and SAS interfaces—all in an industry-standard, 3.5-inch form factor.

“Toshiba’s new 16TB MG08 Series delivers new levels of storage capacity and density while delivering improved power efficiency for our cloud-scale and storage solutions customers. Only high-density HDD technology can achieve our customers’ critical TCO objectives at a cost of pennies per GB”