Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Column: The promises of NFV within reach

by Daniel Proch, vice president of Product Management, Napatech

With so many new technologies vying for attention, it can be difficult for CISOs to know which ones merit attention. Will this solution save time? Will it make our organization more productive, or enable us to do things we couldn’t otherwise do? These questions need to be considered before adopting Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

What makes these technologies appealing is their ability to separate software from hardware, which eschews the vendor lock-in that has been the norm. So then, the main question is not about budget but about an organization’s ability to overcome the challenges of these methods so organizations can realize their full value.

At the time enterprises, mobile operators and data centers began building their own network infrastructure, they used the typical customized hardware and software offered on the market. Example applications include network gateways, switches, routers, network load balancers, varied mobile applications in the mobile core; radio access network such as vEPC (virtual evolved packet core), vCPE (virtual customer premise equipment) and vRAN (virtual Radio Access Network); and security applications like firewalls, NGFW, IDS/IPS, SSL/IPsec offload appliances, DLP and antivirus applications, to name just a few.

Instead of needing to purchase proprietary appliances to run each networking application, it is much more cost-efficient to support these functions as software applications, called virtualized network functions (VNFs), running on virtual machines or in containers on standard servers. That’s the idea behind NFV. Moving away from discrete, cus¬tomized architectures to a more consolidated “x86-only architecture” promises to reduce costs, simplify deployment and management of net¬working infrastructure, widen supplier choice and, ultimately, enable horizontal scale-out in the networking and security market.

It’s not a sure bet that the throughput and latency demands that today’s applications require can be handled by applications in software on standard platforms without allotting significant CPU resources to address the issue. Operators are realizing that the cost savings that NFV promises are offset by the need to deploy entire racks of compute resources at a problem that a single appliance could previously support. The CPU and server costs, rack space and power required to meet the same performance footprint of a dedicated solution end up being as expensive as or more than custom-designed alternatives. The vision of operational simplicity and dramatically lower total cost of ownership are still a dream on the horizon.

Aaaand…Along Comes 5G

As if the performance and scaling problems that operators face with generic NFV infrastructure (NFVi) weren’t enough to worry about, the presence of 5G networks will make these concerns worse. The move to 5G brings new requirements to mobile networks, creating its own version of hyperscale networking that is needed to meet the performance goals for the technology, but at the right economy of scale. Numerous factors are fundamentally unique to 5G networks when compared to previous 3G/4G instantiations of mobile protocols. The shorter the distance, the higher the frequency – thus, the more bandwidth that can be driven over the wireless network.

But wait – it gets worse. 5G will also mean a huge increase in the number of users/devices (both human and IoT), which fundamentally affects the number of unique flows in the network and necessitates very low latency requirements. 5G also promises lower energy and cost than previous mobile technologies. These 5G goals, when realized, will drive the application of wireless communications to completely new areas never seen before.

Rapid Scaling

If they are going to meet performance goals, network operators now see that they will need data plane acceleration based on FPGA-based SmartNICs in order to scale virtualized networking functions (VNFs). This technique offloads the x86 processors that are hosting the varied VNFs to support the breadth of services promised.

When SmartNIC acceleration supports virtual switching, this set-up has been shown to be the highest-performing and most secure method of deploying VNFs. Virtual machines (VMs) can use accelerated packet I/O and guaranteed traffic isolation via hardware while maintaining vSwitch functionality. FPGA-based SmartNICs specialize in the match/action processing required for vSwitches and can offload critical security processing, freeing up CPU resources for VNF applications.

Functions like filtering, intelligent load balancing, virtual switching, flow classification and encryption/decryption can all be performed in the SmartNIC and offloaded from the x86 processor housing the VNFs while, through technologies like VirtIO, be transparent to the VNF, providing a common management and orchestration layer to the network fabric.

A Novel Configuration

Network infrastructure has changed so dramatically and so much more is being asked of it that
organizations cannot operate with networking and security solutions that are expensive, hardened and fixed-function. The technique to overcome the challenges that are facing NFV deployments requires reconfigurable computing platforms based on standard servers capable of offloading and accelerating compute-intensive workloads, either in an inline or look-aside model to appropriately distribute workloads between x86 general-purpose processors and software-reconfigurable, FPGA-based SmartNICs optimized for virtualized environments.

The environment that results from combining low-cost server platforms and FPGA-based SmartNICs is one that enables huge throughput and support for many millions of simultaneous flows. CISOs that have struggled to implement NFV now have the option to use this novel framework, with the capabilities and the speed they need.

About the author

Daniel Proch is VP of product management at Napatech and has over 20 years’ experience in the IT and networking industry. Prior to joining Napatech in 2017, Daniel was Sr. director of product management and solutions architecture at Netronome. Prior to that he was manager of network solutions and principal engineer, office of the CTO at Ericsson. He has an MS in Information Science/Telecommunications from the University of Pittsburgh and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Next Gen Central Office - a panel discussion

Next Generation Central Office (NGCO) is a new reference architecture for fixed and mobile networks that applies hyperscale principles to servers, switches, storage and rack systems.

The panel is moderated by Roy Chua, Founder and Principal of AvidThink, formerly SDXCentral. Participants include Mike Yang, President of QCT; Paul Schultz, VP of Network Services Strategy and Solutions at KPG Co; and Dan Rodriguez, VP of Network Platforms Group, Intel.

Ericsson intros AI-based managed services

Ericsson launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based managed services offering for communications service providers.

The Ericsson Operations Engine is an end-to-end managed services operating model that reimagines network and IT operations, network design and optimization, and applications development and maintenance. It has three building blocks:

  • Service-centric business model based on business outcomes: Using AI, automation and data insights, the Ericsson Operations Engine addresses targeted business outcomes for service providers such as enhanced customer experience, revenue growth and efficiency.
  • End-to-end capabilities: delivering on business outcomes through AI-based design, planning and optimization, data-driven operations, dynamic deployment, applications development, and collaborative innovation.
  • Components: Best-in-class tools and processes that leverage data, AI and automation as well as expertise and investments in the service provider domain.

Peter Laurin, Senior Vice President, Head of Managed Services, Ericsson, says: “Networks are quickly becoming significantly more complex to operate as we introduce IoT and 5G at scale, and virtualize core networks, while aiming to enhance user experience at the same time. The Ericsson Operations Engine enables us to create sustainable differentiation for our managed services customers as it evolves operations from being network-centric to user experience-centric.  It fundamentally changes our way of operating networks from reactive to proactive, leveraging data, automation and artificial intelligence."

https://www.ericsson.com/en/press-releases/2019/1/new-ai-based-ericsson-operations-engine-makes-managed-services-simple

AT&T's Q4 wireless revenue dips 2.1% yoy

AT&T reported Q4 revenue of $48.0 billion versus $41.7 billion in the year-ago quarter, up 15.2%, primarily due to the Time Warner acquisition and partially offset by declines in legacy wireline services, wireless equipment, domestic video and Vrio.

"Our top priority for 2018 and 2019 is reducing our debt and I couldn’t be more pleased with how we closed the year. In 2018, we generated record free cash flow while investing at near-record levels. Our dividend payout as a percent of free cash flow was 46% for the quarter and 60% for the year, allowing us to increase the dividend for the 35th consecutive year,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “This momentum will carry us into 2019 allowing us to continue reducing our debt while investing in the business and continuing our strong record for paying dividends."

Some highlights:

  • Total wireless revenues were $18.8 billion, down 2.1% year over year. On a comparable basis, revenues were down 0.6% due to a decline in equipment revenues, which was mostly offset by an increase in service revenues. 
  • Wireless service revenues of $13.9 billion were down 3.0% year over year due to accounting changes, or up 2.9% on a comparable basis, due to subscriber gains and pricing actions. 
  • Wireless equipment revenues increased 0.5% to $4.9 billion. On a comparable basis, equipment revenues were down 10.9% due to lower postpaid smartphone sales. 
  • Postpaid phone-only ARPU decreased 4.1% versus the year-earlier quarter. On a comparable basis, phone-only ARPU was up 3.0%.
  • In the fourth quarter, AT&T posted a net increase in total wireless subscribers 
  • Postpaid churn was 1.24%, up from 1.11% in the yearago quarter largely due to limited promotional activity. Postpaid phone churn was 1.00%, compared to 0.89% in the year-ago quarter. Branded churn was 1.82%, compared to 1.75% in the year-ago quarter.

  • Entertainment Group revenues were $12.0 billion, down 4.8% versus the year-earlier quarter, reflecting the impact of ASC 606 revenue recognition and declines in TV subscribers and legacy services. On a comparative
  • basis, excluding the impact of revenue recognition, revenues were down 3.0%.
  • Total video revenues were down mostly due to declines in linear TV subscribers partly offset by higher advertising sales.
  • Broadband revenues were up 6.4% due to an allocation adjustment for bundled discounts and higher revenue from fiber customers which was partially offset by legacy declines and simplified pricing.
  • Total video subscribers declined by 658,000 in the quarter. The Entertainment Group ended the quarter with 24.5 million total video subscribers 
  • The Entertainment Group lost 32,000 broadband subscribers in the fourth quarter.
  • The Entertainment Group had net adds of 6,000 IP broadband subscribers in the fourth quarter with DSL losses of 38,000. IP broadband subscribers benefited from the expansion of the fiber network and simplified pricing and,
  • at the end of the quarter, totaled 13.7 million. 
  • AT&T now markets its 100% fiber network to more than 11 million customer locations in parts of 84 metro areas. Broadband penetration in the fiber footprint continues to be significantly higher than in AT&T’s non-fiber footprint and is nearly 50% in locations marketed to for more than 30 months.

  • In Business Wireline, declines in legacy products were partially offset by growth in strategic business services. Total business wireline revenues were $6.7 billion, down 8.9% year over year, or down 4.2% on a comparable basis.
  • Strategic business services, the wireline capabilities that lead AT&T’s most advanced business solutions, continued to grow. Revenues grew by about $75 million on a comparable basis, versus the year-earlier quarter. On a comparable basis, these services represent 44% of total business wireline revenues and are an annualized revenue stream of more than $12 billion.

Farice plans new submarine cable from Iceland to Europe

Farice ehf, which operates two submarine cables to Iceland, is planning a new submarine cable to Europe with a likely landing site in the UK or Ireland. A new study involves selecting landing sites for the new submarine cable as well as project management for a seabed survey expected to take place in the year 2019.

Farice's existing submarine cables include FARICE-1 to UK and DANICE to Denmark. A third submarine cable Greenland-Connect connects Iceland to Canada and US.  The future cable would be the fourth cable connecting Iceland and increases further the security and resiliency of Iceland´s international telecommunications that are already of a high standard. 

Infinera expands its metro packet-optical portfolio

Infinera introduced a compact, high-density 1 rack unit (1RU) metro packet-optical platform for access and aggregation of diverse metro traffic types, including high-speed Ethernet and 10 Gbps and 100 Gbps WDM.

The new Infinera 7100 PSX-3S solution:

  • Minimizes footprint with 376 Gbps of packet switching capacity in a compact 1RU platform with 250-millimeter depth
  • Reduces space and power costs by eliminating 10 Gbps transponders for WDM transport over long distances
  • Accelerates service provisioning with zero-touch provisioning and built-in support for Ethernet service activation testing
  • Currently in customer trials and available for commercial deployment.


As part of the 7100 Series of packet-optical transport platforms, the 7100 PSX-3S leverages packet switching software capabilities deployed in leading Tier 1 carrier networks. The compact 7100 PSX-3S can be deployed as a standalone solution or as part of an integrated offering with the 7100 and mTera metro transport platforms, with end-to-end management and software-defined networking control enabled by the Infinera Transcend Software Suite.

“Traffic growth at the network edge continues to drive demand for more efficient and flexible metro transport solutions,” said Uwe Fischer, Senior Vice President, System Solutions Business Group, Infinera. “The 7100 PSX-3S is the latest addition to our comprehensive portfolio that spans the edge to the core of the metro network.”

https://www.infinera.com/products/7100-packet-optical-transport-solutions/


T-Mobile and Sprint promise Customer Experience Centers

Once their merger is complete, T-Mobile and Sprint will open five, new, state-of-the-art Customer Experience Centers around the United States. The facilities will offer T-Mobile’s Team of Experts (TEX) service, which provides customers with personalized support. The companies estimate each of these facilities will create an average of 1,000 new jobs.

The first of the five new facilities will be built in Overland Park, Kansas.

“The heroes who work in our Customer Experience Centers show customers every day why they chose the Un-carrier – and that will not change with the New T-Mobile. With these five new Centers, we’re going to give even more customers across the U.S. the rock star treatment they deserve!” said T-Mobile US Chief Executive Officer John Legere, who will lead New T-Mobile as CEO. “Choosing Overland Park as our first new Center site was a total no-brainer."

Geoffrey Starks sworn in as FCC Commissioner

Geoffrey Starks was sworn in as FCC Commissioner.

Starks previously served as assistant bureau chief for the FCC's Enforcement division. Before that, 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.

Commissioner Starks issued the following statement: “I am deeply honored to serve as a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, and I thank the President and the United States Senate for this exceptional privilege.  As the last few weeks have affirmed, being a public servant is a calling to serve a mission bigger than yourself.  Throughout my career, I have focused on protecting the most vulnerable and holding wrongdoers accountable."

ADVA's compact cell site gateway gains MEF 3.0 CE certification

ADVA's FSP 150-GO102Pro Series is among the first technologies to receive MEF 3.0 CE certification. Compliance with the new specification demonstrates that ADVA’s Carrier Ethernet (CE) and IP service demarcation solution supports the transformation to automated networking and can be used to build 5G-ready architectures.

ADVA's compact cell site gateway device, which was introduced in December, provides Carrier Ethernet and IP service demarcation for small cells deployed outdoors in locations such as walls or lampposts. The FSP 150-GO102Pro, which is billed as the world’s smallest cell site gateway device, delivers precise time and frequency synchronization. It features automated testing and in-service monitoring and is available in two sizes. A hardened housing is sealed against water, moisture, and dust.

“Congratulations to ADVA on the landmark achievement of MEF 3.0 CE certification, which specifies the highest industry standards for performance and assurance. Attaining this certification demonstrates not only that ADVA’s compact network edge technology complies with MEF 3.0 CE E-Line and Access E-Line standards but also that it’s optimized for automation, virtualization and interoperability,” said Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. “With our MEF 3.0 program, we’re certifying a new class of technology designed to support dynamic services across automated networks and to pave the way for application-aware, self-organizing networks.”

“Today’s service providers need to adapt and keep pace with the rapidly evolving digital economy. They must be free from the constraints of time-consuming manual processes and static connectivity. Our MEF 3.0 CE-certified FSP 150-GO102Pro Series, opens the door to a new world of dynamic, programmable networking,” commented Zeev Draer, VP, global business development, edge solutions, ADVA. “MEF 3.0’s holistic approach to lifecycle service orchestration exactly matches our vision for turning networks into open service production factories. What’s more, MEF 3.0 is about minimizing proprietary, vertically integrated solutions and enabling operators to embrace the benefits of open API initiatives. We’re also committed to openness and flexibility and have engineered our edge solutions for maximum interope

Fujitsu Expands IoT platform for utilities with ClearWorld and GreenStar

Fujitsu Network Communications has expanded its Internet of Things (IoT) technology platform for smart utility applications by adding ClearWorld and GreenStar as ecosystem partners.

Fujitsu is empowering utilities and communities with utility solutions including GreenStar world-class LED-based luminaires and ClearWorld solar energy systems in a complete IoT platform.

“Digital transformation, renewable energy and carbon reduction offer both challenges and opportunities for tomorrow’s energy sector. Fujitsu and our partners deliver the expertise, support and efficiencies to enable utilities to be at the forefront of these trends for maximum advantage,” said Robert Worden, North America practice leader, Smart Cities/IoT at Fujitsu Network Communications. “Utilities and other network operators rely on Fujitsu as their full-service integration partner to understand their needs and co-create a complete, cost-effective solution that makes every step the right step, from beginning to end, and beyond.”

“We have the ability to provide the foundation for every smart city with resilient and renewable solar power and battery storage, mounted on existing or new light poles,” said Larry Tittle, founder and chief executive officer at ClearWorld. “Our off-grid application can save up to 70 percent in energy costs, offering long-distance back-up power for critical infrastructure and municipalities.”

“We are proud to be an American manufacturer of high-quality LED luminaires,” said James McVey, director of sales and marketing at GreenStar. “With over one million luminaires installed around the globe, GreenStar has become a brand that is recognized for its quality and durability.”

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Verizon looks to 5G transformational change

Verizon posted flat overall sales for the last quarter of 2018, continued growth in retail postpaid net mobile customer lines, continued growth in FiOS services, and a steeper loss in its media business. For 2019, the big hope is on 5G. The company's guidance is for overall revenue (GAAP) to remain a low single digit.

"Verizon finished 2018 by delivering solid financial and operational performance, as evidenced by our strong wireless service revenue and earnings growth," said CEO Hans Vestberg. "2018 was a remarkable year full of 5G firsts, including being first in the world to commercially deploy 5G with our 5G Home product. As we head into 2019 and the 5G era, we're beginning a period of transformational change. We are laser focused on delivering customers a best-in-class and game-changing experience on our networks."

Verizon reported Q4 2018 revenue $34.3 billion, up 1.0 percent from fourth-quarter 2017.  EPS for the quarter was 47 cents, compared with $4.56 in fourth-quarter 2017.

Some highlights:



Wireless results

  • Verizon reported 1.2 million retail postpaid net additions in fourth-quarter 2018, consisting of 653,000 phone net additions, 11,000 tablet additions and 556,000 other connected devices, primarily wearables. Postpaid smartphone net additions were 873,000, compared with 647,000 in fourth-quarter 2017, a 34.9 percent increase.
  • Verizon reported full-year 2018 postpaid net additions of 2.5 million, consisting of phone net additions of 1.1 million, tablet losses of 181,000 and 1.6 million other connected device additions. Postpaid smartphone net additions for full-year 2018 were 2 million, up 13 percent year over year.
  • Total revenues were $24.4 billion, an increase of 2.7 percent year over year. For full-year 2018, operating revenues totaled $91.7 billion, an increase of 4.8 percent year over year. Excluding the impact of the revenue recognition standard, total revenues grew 2.1 percent year over year in fourth-quarter 2018 and 4.4 percent for the full year, compared with 2017, to $24.3 billion and $91.3 billion, respectively.
  • Service revenues increased 0.1 percent in fourth-quarter 2018, driven by ongoing customer growth, step-ups to unlimited plans and the benefits of customers customizing their experience through mix-and-match plans. Full-year service revenues decreased 0.2 percent year over year. Excluding the impact of the revenue recognition standard, service revenues increased 1.9 percent in fourth-quarter 2018 and 1.7 percent for the full year, on a year over year basis.
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 1.08 percent in fourth-quarter 2018, and retail postpaid phone churn was 0.82 percent.
  • Segment EBITDA (non-GAAP) totaled $10.4 billion in fourth-quarter 2018, an increase of 9.7 percent year over year. Excluding the impact of the revenue recognition standard, segment EBITDA totaled $9.8 billion in fourth-quarter 2018. Segment EBITDA margin on total revenues (non-GAAP) was 42.5 percent. Excluding the impact of the revenue recognition standard, segment EBITDA margin was 40.5 percent. For the full year, segment EBITDA margin was 46.4 percent in 2018, compared with 44.1 percent in 2017.

Wireline results

  • Total wireline revenues decreased 3.2 percent year over year in fourth-quarter 2018 and 3.0 percent for the full year, compared with 2017, to $7.4 billion and $29.8 billion, respectively.
  • Total Fios revenues grew 2.5 percent year over year, excluding the impact of the revenue recognition standard. In fourth-quarter 2018, Verizon added a net of 54,000 Fios Internet connections and lost a net of 46,000 Fios Video connections, continuing to reflect the shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings. At year-end 2018, Verizon had 6.1 million Fios Internet connections and 4.5 million Fios Video connections.
  • Wireline operating loss was $273 million in fourth-quarter 2018, and segment operating loss margin was 3.7 percent. Full-year 2018 segment operating loss was $273 million, and segment operating loss margin was 0.9 percent.
  • Segment EBITDA (non-GAAP) was $1.3 billion in fourth-quarter 2018. Excluding the impact of the revenue recognition standard, segment EBITDA was $1.2 billion. Segment EBITDA margin (non-GAAP) was 17.6 percent in fourth-quarter 2018, compared with 20.9 percent in fourth-quarter 2017. Excluding the impact of the revenue recognition standard, segment EBITDA margin was 16.9 percent. For the full year, segment EBITDA margin was 19.9 percent in 2018, compared with 21.1 percent in 2017.


Juniper posts Q4 sales of $1.18B, down 5%, weakness in cloud & SP

Juniper Networks reported Q4 2018 preliminary net revenues of $1,181.0 million, a decrease of 5% year-over-year, and flat sequentially. GAAP operating margin was 16.7% and non-GAAP operating margin was 21.1%. GAAP net income was $192.2 million, compared to a net loss of $148.1 million in the fourth quarter in 2017, and a decrease of 14% sequentially, resulting in diluted earnings per share of $0.55. The year-over-year change in GAAP net income was primarily due to a lower effective tax rate. Non-GAAP net income was $205.7 million, an increase of 3% year-over-year and an increase of 8% sequentially, resulting in non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.59.

“We are disappointed by our Q4 sales, as continued weakness with several of our cloud and service provider customers more than offset solid momentum in our enterprise business,” said Rami Rahim, chief executive officer, Juniper Networks. “We are taking actions to drive improved sales execution and capitalize on the attractive end market opportunities that we expect to emerge in 2019. We remain confident in our strategy and believe we have the products needed to win in the market.”

Some highlights:

  • In security, Juniper experienced 34% quarter over quarter and 18% year over year growth, and surpassed $100 million in quarterly revenue for the first time in several years. The company is confident that its security business will grow in 2019.
  • Juniper’s enterprise business grew 13% quarter over quarter and 14% year over year due to broad based strength across products and geographies. Juniper is optimistic this business will continue to see healthy trends in the coming quarters and remain a growth driver for the company in 2019.
  • The company’s software business grew 32% year over year and accounted for more than 10% of total revenue during Q4 ’18.
  • While the company continued to experience weakness within the cloud and service provider verticals, the 400G transition will present opportunities for Juniper to take share later this year. Additionally, Juniper’s MX5G product refresh, Contrail solutions and partnership with Ericsson position the company to capitalize on carrier 5G deployments.

Regarding its Q1 revenue outlook, Juniper said it sees continued weakness with cloud customers. The outlook also factors in changes to its go-to-market organization, the partial US federal government shutdown and geopolitical uncertainty. Juniper expects to return to year-over-year growth at some point in the second half of the year.

Guidance for the quarter ending March 31, 2019 is as follows:

  • Revenue will be approximately $980 million, plus or minus $30 million.
  • Non-GAAP gross margin will be approximately 58.5%, plus or minus 1%.
  • Non-GAAP operating expenses will be approximately $485 million, plus or minus $5 million.
  • Non-GAAP operating margin will be approximately 9% at the midpoint of revenue guidance.
  • Non-GAAP net income per share will be approximately $0.20, plus or minus $0.03. This assumes a share count of approximately 349 million.


NEC selected for 96 Tbps SxS cable from Guam to California

NEC has been awarded a turnkey contract to be the system supplier for the SxS Cable System (SxS), a 10,500-kilometer subsea cable system that will directly connect Guam and California. The SxS cable has an initial design capacity of more than 96 terabits per second (Tbps).

The project is commissioned by RTI Connectivity Pte. Ltd. (RTI-C).

Russ Matulich, RTI-C’s CEO, acknowledged this important milestone stating, “The addition of SxS complements our more than $500 million of investments towards ensuring the fastest connectivity between essential neutral POPs in Asia, Australia and the United States. SxS will seamlessly interconnect with our HK-G, JGA North, JGA South and SEA-US cable systems in a new purpose-built, RTI-owned facility in Guam. SxS strongly positions RTI to provide large-scale connectivity for our customers for years to come.”

RTI-C is headquartered in Singapore, and RTI is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

http://www.rticable.com

Spectra7 and FIT demo SFP-DD Active Copper Cable

Spectra7 Microsystems and Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT) are demonstrating Active Copper Cable (ACC) interconnects supporting the new SFP-DD standard for higher speed and higher density server connections at this week's DesignCon 2019 expo in Santa Clara, California.

The cables use Spectra7’s low-power analog GaugeChanger chips to enable 4X increase in bandwidth over currently deployed SFP28 interconnects in hyperscale and enterprise data centers.

Currently deployed SFP interconnects operate at 25-28 Gbps but will soon move to 56 Gbps PAM4 signaling. The new SFP-DD electrical interfaces are designed to support 2 lanes that operate up to 25 Gbps NRZ or 56 Gbps PAM4 per lane, providing solutions up to 50 Gbps or 112 Gbps PAM4 aggregate. By doubling the lane density and data speed of SFP transceivers, the SFP-DD specification addresses increased port density and scalability in next-generation applications.

“FIT is a leader in the data center interconnect market,” said Spectra7 CEO Raouf Halim. “This joint demonstration at 112 Gbps of SFP-DD is another major milestone as we continue to leverage our technology in the latest data center standards.”

Cignal AI: Coherent Port Pricing Trends

The cost of coherent optical ports continues to drop steeply, according to a newly published report from Cignal AI using data from 3Q18. Trend analysis is provided based on past performance and future expectations as the industry migrates to fourth-generation solutions (400ZR).

Vendors included in the report are ADVA, Ciena, Cisco, Coriant, Fujitsu, Huawei, Infinera, Nokia, and ZTE. All vendors tracked in the report shipped 200G-capable optics last year.


Other findings in the 3Q18 Coherent Port Pricing Trends Report include:

  • Prices for 100G equivalent coherent optical ports have dropped exponentially.
  • The cost of deploying new coherent bandwidth has been CapEx neutral.
  • The trend toward lower prices and converging component costs benefits vertically integrated vendors long term.
https://cignal.ai/2019/01/coherent-port-pricing-trends-report-3q18

Australia's TPG Telecom halts network rollout after Huawei ban

TPG Telecom will cease the rollout its mobile network following the decision of the Australian federal government to ban the use of Huawei equipment in 5G networks due to national security concerns.

TPG Telecom made the announcement in a regulatory filing to the Australian Securities Exchange.

TPG said it had selected Huawei as its principal supplier of 5G equipment because of the clear upgrade path for its current infrastructure, which also uses Huawei. Because the upgrade path is now blocked, TPG said it does not make economic sense for the company to continue investing in its current network either. TPG stated that it has not found any solutions to address the Huawei ban.

Furthermore, TPG noted that has spent A$100 million in CAPEX. Prior to when the Huawei ban was announced in August 2018, is had purchased Huawei equipment for 1,500 sites. So far, it has completed the rollout to 900 small cell sites.

TPG Executive Chairman David Teoh stated "It is extremely disappointing that the clear strategy the Company had to become a mobile network operator at the forefront of 5G has been undone by factors outside of TPG's control. Over the past two years a huge amount of time and resource have been invested in creating and delivering on a strategy that would have positioned TPG very favourably to exploit the opportunities that the advent of 5G will present."

TPG does not expect the decision to bear on its FY19 guidance, nor does it expect to write-down the mobile network investment capitalised to date.


Australia concludes 5G auction in 3.6 GHz band

The Australian Communication and Media Authority completed its 5G auction in the 3.6 GHz band.

All 350 lots available in the auction were sold, realising total revenue of approximately AUS $853 million, equivalent to almost $0.29/MHz/pop.

The four auction winners are:Dense Air Australia Pty Ltd won 29 lots for $18,492,000.

  • Mobile JV Pty Limited (a joint venture arrangement between subsidiaries of TPG Telecom Limited and Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Limited) won 131 lots for $263,283,800.
  • Optus Mobile Pty Ltd won 47 lots for $185,069,100.
  • Telstra Corporation Limited won 143 lots for $386,008,400.

"This spectrum is re

BT receives IP-VPN and ISP licenses in China

BT has received nationwide licences from the China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Specifically, the two ‘value added licences’, China nationwide Domestic IP-VPN licence and China nationwide Internet Service Provider (ISP) licence, enable BT China Communications Limited to contract directly with its customers in the country and bill them in local currency.

BT said the licences represent a major step for its business in China, where many of its multinational customers require secure and reliable connectivity to expand within the country.

Bas Burger, CEO of Global Services, BT, said: “We are delighted with this major benefit for our customers. Thanks to cooperation between the governments of the PRC and the UK, we are now able to offer a nationwide service in China that can be scaled up to match the ambitions and needs of our customers. Being able to service and bill locally significantly simplifies the process of delivering connectivity and other communication services. It is what our customers expect from us and we are very grateful for the opportunity to do this as of today.”

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP said: "I am very pleased that close cooperation between the UK and Chinese governments has resulted in BT securing these licences which will enable it to operate across the country. This major milestone exemplifies the vital work of my international economic department to open up markets and ensure that UK firms are represented on the global stage."

Nepal's Vianet picks Ciena's 6500 Packet-Optical Platform

Vianet Communications, one of the largest fixed broadband operators in Nepal, has chosen Ciena’s  6500 Packet-Optical Platform and 5160 Service Aggregation Switch. The deployment is expected to improve intracity connectivity in Kathmandu and provide international connectivity between Nepal and other countries. Additionally, Ciena’s network management software will enable a greater level of control over Vianet’s network, providing end-to-end visibility of its services across all transport, switching and packet elements.

“Operators around the world are looking for adaptive networking solutions to help meet the low latency and highly reliable connectivity rates required to support streaming services, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and other advanced services. Ciena’s collaboration with Vianet, our first customer in Nepal, gives them the network it needs to meet consumer demands and remain competitive,” stated Ryan Perera, Vice President and General Manager, Ciena India.

See also