Monday, February 18, 2019

SubCom completes repair of Tonga Cable System

The cable ship SubCom Reliance successfully completed the repair of two Tongan submarine cables within eight days of arrival on repair ground. The Tonga Cable and the Tonga Domestic Cable were damaged on January 20, 2019. The ship was on standby in the South Pacific at a port in Apia, Samoa.

The Tonga Cable System is an international cable in the Pacific Ocean that spans 827 kilometers with landing points in Nuku’alofa, Tonga and Suva, Fiji. The Tonga Domestic Cable Extension is a 406-kilometer cable with three landing points in Tonga: Neiafu, Nukualofa and Pangai.

SubCom maintains these two cables in addition to 31 other systems as part of the South Pacific Marine Maintenance Agreement (SPMMA), which was signed in 2017 and covers the area from Singapore in the west to Tahiti in the east and from the southernmost point of New Zealand to Hawaii. This covers over 69,000 km of cable consisting of 33 data and power cable systems in the Pacific Ocean.

Viavi: Forty-two 5G network launches anticipated in 2019

Viavi Solutions estimates that there will be 55 commercial 5G networks in operation before the start of 2020.

A total of 13 commercial 5G networks were launched during 2018, including both mobile and fixed wireless deployments, and 42 more are expected to launch this calendar year. A large proportion of these deployments will be located in Europe and the Middle East (21 and 14, respectively), followed by 10 in Asia, 8 in the Americas and 2 in the Australasia region.

Viavi notes that at this time last year, only 28 service providers had reported that they were in field trials with 5G architecture. This rapid escalation of deployment plans comes in spite of the fact that 3GPP standards for 5G are not expected to be final until 2020.

"5G represents a paradigm shift in the way that networks are designed, deployed and managed, introducing inherent complexities in the architecture as well as exacting demands on performance and latency," said Sameh Yamany, Chief Technology Officer, VIAVI. "The anticipated improvements that 5G offers will depend on precise operation of multiple elements throughout the network. As service providers worldwide deploy and activate their commercial networks, they are relying on VIAVI 5G test solutions, from the lab to the field, to ensure optimal customer experience and quality."

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, VIAVI will showcase the Lab To Field™ 5G testing portfolio in Hall 6, Stand 6G40, February 25-28, 2019.


Tokyo Tech's 28 GHz transceiver with dual-polarized MIMO hits 15 Gbps

Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a 28 GHz transceiver that integrates beamforming with dual-polarized multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technology.

Preliminary testing showed that the maximum data rate achieved was 15 Gbps using 64-QAM.

The transceiver measures just 3 mm by 4 mm and could help improve performances of 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

"Compared with the conventional switch-based bi-directional approach, our bi-directional amplifier completely shares the inter-stage matching networks between the transceiver and the receiver. Thus, the required on-chip area is further minimized," states Kenichi Okada at Tokyo Tech's Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Tokyo Tech develops atomic clock for small satellites

Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ricoh co. and Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology have developed an ultra-low-power atomic clock (ULPAC) for small satellites.

The fully functional atomic clock consumes an order of magnitude less power than that of previously reported devices. It also excels in two other critical aspects: volume occupied and Allan deviation, which is a measure of the stability of the frequency of a clock.

https://www.titech.ac.jp/english/news/research/


NTT DOCOMO sets pace for 5G patents amongst mobile operators

NTT DOCOMO is claiming the No.1 spot amongst leading mobile operators in terms of applications for candidate standard-essential patents (SEPs) for 5G and also No.1 in terms of 5G technical proposals (contributions). DOCOMO ranks sixth in 5G SEP applications among all companies in all fields. The rankings are based on a study conducted by Cyber Creative Institute Co., Ltd., a Japanese firm that researches information and communication technology regarding intellectual property rights.

DOCOMO has applied for some 1,400 candidate 5G SEPs and submitted some 3,700 5G-related contributions to the 3GPP. One of its contributions to the 5G effort covers the issuance of early warnings of imminent natural disasters. The Earthquake and Tsunami Warning System (ETWS) is used extensively for services that provide citizens with disaster and evacuation-related emergency information, such as DOCOMO's Area Mail service and the emergency messaging services of counterpart mobile operators in Japan. Similar systems have also been introduced in the United States, South Korea and Europe.

BT appoints Allison Kirkby to Board

BT Group has appointed Allison Kirkby to its Board as a non-executive director.

Kirby has been President & Group CEO of TDC Group since December 2018. TDC Group is the largest telecommunications company in Denmark. She was previously Group CFO and then President & Group CEO of Tele2 AB, the Swedish based challenger mobile operator. Allison has also held roles within 21st Century Fox, Virgin Media, Procter & Gamble and Guinness. She has been a non-executive director of Greggs (the UK’s leading bakery food-on-the-go retailer) since 2013 and is chair of its audit committee and a member of its nomination and remuneration committees. She is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Windstream postpones financial results

Windstream postponed the release of its Q4 and full-year 2018 financial results, which were expected on Feb 21, following a court ruling last week against the company regarding the 2015 spinoff of certain telecommunications network assets into a real estate investment trust (REIT) and its agreements with bondholders.

Windstream said it is evaluating its options, including post-trial motions and an appeal.

NoviFlow and netElastic team on Virtual BNG

NoviFlow, which develops SDN network operating software (NOS), cybersecurity middleware and programmable network solutions, has partnered with netElastic to launch a Virtual BNG (vBNG) solution.

The disaggregated vBNG solution combines NoviFlow’s high-performance SDN switches and netElastics’s highly scalable NFV software.

Some highlights

  • The vBNG can scale from 10 Gbps x86 hardware-only to 400 Gbps with NoviFlow SDN switches. 
  • The single control plane can operate seamlessly across DPDK and SDN switches enabling service providers to scale services
  • The solution is compatible with existing installed switches and routers
  • The vBNG supports up to 256,000 subscribers
  • The vBNG offers full support of NETCONF & YANG for maximum programmability and easy integration with existing infrastructure
  • Port Density – Up to 100 ports in a 2U format; Support for 10G, 40G, and 100G ports


“Our partnership with NoviFlow gives carriers the very best of SDN and NFV – greater scalability, performance, and flexibility, along with lower costs,” said Weixiao Liu, CEO of netElastic. “This joint solution enables carriers to realize the true benefits of SDN and NFV technologies while still leveraging existing investments. That’s what we’re hearing carriers ask for.”

Dominique Jodoin, president and CEO of NoviFlow, explained, “NoviFlow’s NoviWare forwarding planes and the netElastic Virtual BNG were made for each other. The alliance between netElastic and NoviFlow provides a compelling new disaggregated vBNG solution with unprecedented price performance and scalability, and extends the radical CAPEX and OPEX benefits of SDN-based programmable forwarding planes to the BNG segment.”

L-com's Active Optical USB 3.0 cables offer 20m reach

L-com Global Connectivity introduced a series of active optical USB 3.0 cable assemblies which can extend USB signals up to 20 meters. 

The cables were developed to extend USB 3.0 beyond the five meter limit while supporting transmission speeds up to 5 Gbps. These new active optical assemblies also feature high-flex construction supporting greater than five million cycles, Type A to Micro-B connectors and gold-plated contacts to support repeated mating cycles.

"Many of our customers' USB 3.0 applications require device connectivity over longer distances where standard, passive USB 3.0 cables won't work due to their five meter limitation. Our single cable solution eliminates the need for bulky USB repeaters and offers our customers streamlined USB 3.0 connectivity up to twenty meters," said Brian Gates, Product Manager.

http://www.l-com.com


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Kinetic Edge Alliance targets major U.S. metros

Vapor IO, a start-up developing an infrastructure edge computing platform, is leading a new Kinetic Edge Alliance (KEA) to bring together the technology, assets and deployment partners to bring edge capabilities to major U.S. metro markets.

The key idea is to leverage Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge, an infrastructure architecture that uses software and high-speed connectivity to combine three or more micro data centers that ring a metro area into a single logical data center.

The plan calls for tower-connected infrastructure for edge computing reaching nearly 50% of the nation’s population by the end of 2020. The Alliance will focus on the first six Kinetic Edge markets: Chicago, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and Seattle. Chicago, the first Kinetic Edge city, has two Kinetic Edge sites online today with a third coming online later in Q1.

KEA includes Deployment Partners — Federated Wireless, Linode, MobiledgeX, Packet and StackPath — and Technical Partners — Alef Mobitech, Detecon International, Hitachi Vantara, New Continuum Data Centers, Pluribus Networks, and Seagate Technology.



ONF launches Converged Multi-Access and Core Initiative

The ONF has launched a Converged Multi-Access and Core (COMAC) initiative for delivering next-generation services over both mobile and broadband networks.

The new COMAC Reference Design, which leverages the ONF’s Strategic Plan and ONF’s Reference Design working model, will enable Service Providers to program network slices combining various access and core technologies.

Carriers supporting the COMAC initiative include AT&T, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Google, and Türk Telekom.


The COMAC Reference Design will specify the common requirements agreed to collaboratively by the ONF operators, and will provide a blueprint for an open source approach to address the space.

Highlights

Converged Access: COMAC access architecture is built on disaggregated RAN (leveraging the O-RAN RU/DU/CU architecture), disaggregated mobile core, and disaggregated Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) components.  Elements from each are then redistributed and aggregated into a unified access layer, creating a SDN powered control plane and P4 powered user plane that each contain elements of the RAN CU, Mobile Core and BNG.  This reformulated and highly optimized stack can thus manage high-speed subscriber traffic regardless of a user’s access link.  COMAC will offer different implementation choices for 4G & 5G RAN as well as PON, WiFi, DOCSIS and fixed wireless broadband connectivity.
Converged Core: COMAC integrates unified subscriber management, blending Mobile MME, HSS and BNG-Authentication and billing functions into a common platform that will enable operators to manage their user base as a unified whole rather than as distinct and isolated service offerings.

The COMAC Open Source Project is crafting an Exemplar Platform (EP)with the support of operators AT&T, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Google Cloud, Sprint and Türk Telekom and a supply chain ecosystem including Adtran, Intel, Radisys, GSLab and HCL.

https://www.opennetworking.org

ONF begins Open Evolved Mobile Core Project

ONF is also launching an Open Mobile Evolved Core (OMEC) project, leveraging its earlier work for its Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD) initiative, and serving as an ‘upstream project’ to the newly launched COMAC project.



The OMEC project, which is being developed in collaboration with Sprint, is built using an NFV (Network Function Virtualization) architecture that is optimized for Intel platforms and tested for scale. OMEC is compliant with the 3GPP architecture, includes the following EPC and Charging components:

  • SGW-C, PGW-C (Includes embedded PCEF), SGW-U, PGW-U, MME, HSS, HSS Database, Diameter Capability, PCRF, Forwarding Policy Control SDN Controller, CTF, CDF, SGX Billing Router
  • Operational tools, including CLI, Logging and Statistics Interface APIs to VNFs
  • DPDK based traffic generator for testing S1u and Sgi user planes
  • CI/CD tools for deployment automation for bringing up core network VNFs, associated networking, package installation, provisioning, and configuration.

"Sprint is excited to be co-launching the OMEC project addressing the need for an open mobile core.  Sprint’s Clean CUPS Core for Packet Optimization (C3PO) project along with other elements are being contributed as seed code for the launch of OMEC.  We plan to conduct field trials using OMEC for edge applications this year, and we’re thrilled to be working with the ONF to build a broader community to leverage and build upon OMEC,” stated Ron Marquardt, Vice President of Technology, Sprint.

https://www.opennetworking.org

Update on ONF's SDN Enabled Broadband Access


Here's an update on the SDN Enabled Broadband Access reference design developed by Open Networking Foundation (ONF), presented by ADTRAN's Kurt Raaflaub. https://youtu.be/psvPvGUT_W4 SEBA is a lightweight platform based on a variant of R-CORD. It supports a multitude of virtualized access technologies at the edge of the carrier network, including PON, G.Fast, and eventually DOCSIS and more. SEBA supports both residential access and wireless...



eir to invest EUR 500 million in FTTH across Ireland

eir announced plans to invest EUR 500 million in its FTTH network with the goal of passing an additional 1.4 million premises across Ireland.  The fixed network upgrade programme also aims to push top speeds to 10 Gbps.

"Ireland's Fibre Network", the next step in the evolution of eir's network and the expansion of the telecoms infrastructure of Ireland, will pass 180 towns and cities, including every town in the country with more than 1,000 premises.

The investment will follow the completion in June this year of eir's FTTH roll-out to 335,000 rural premises, at a cost of €250 million to eir and with no public subsidy. By June this year, eir will have invested more than €600m in fibre broadband, delivering high-speed fibre broadband to more than 80% of the premises in Ireland or 1.9 million homes and businesses across the country.

CEO of eir, Carolan Lennon said: "I am delighted to announce this substantial investment of more than half a billion euro, which is a key step in the evolution of eir’s network, and indeed of the entire telecoms infrastructure in Ireland. This ambitious project will see 180 towns and cities passed, including every town in the country with more than 1,000 premises. We will deliver not just the fastest and most extensive fibre network in Ireland, but also one of the most extensive in the whole world. We are also investing to improve eir’s customer care by bringing these services back in-house and provided by 750 new eir employees at three new regional hubs in Sligo, Cork and Limerick. Ultimately this investment will mean that eir customers will enjoy the fastest broadband speeds and the best mobile network supported by best in class customer care."

Carolan also said: "eir is by far the largest investor in telecoms in Ireland and over the past five years we have spent €1.5bn on our network. In June we will complete our €250 million rollout of broadband to 335,000 rural premises. While there is still more to be done to deliver high-speed broadband to everyone in rural Ireland, we are proud that our significant investments in rural Ireland to date has helped bring high-speed broadband to more than 90% of the population according to European Commission data, and Ireland is now in the top 25% of EU countries for rural high-speed broadband coverage. Our €1 billion capital investment programme over the next five years will deliver the very best fixed and mobile experience for all our customers across Ireland."

https://www.eir.ie/pressroom/eir-launches-0.5-billion-fixed-network-investment-programme/


  • As of 30-September-2018, eir reported a broadband base of 925,000 customers, growing by 22,000 or 2% year on year, driven by growth in both retail and wholesale divisions. 651,000 customers were using the fibre-based high-speed broadband service, representing an increase of 77,000 customers year on year. 70% of broadband customers are connected to the fibre network, which represents a 36% penetration of fibre premises passed.

    eir's mobile base stood at 1,046,000 customers, decreasing by 11,000 year on year. The postpay subscriber base increased by 34,000 customers or 6% year on year. Postpay customers represent 52% of the total mobile base, an increase of 3 percentage points year on year.

Vertical Systems: 2018 U.S. Carrier Ethernet LEADERBOARD

CenturyLink retains top position in Vertical Systems Group's 2018 U.S. Carrier Ethernet LEADERBOARD.

Six companies achieved a position on the 2018 U.S. Carrier Ethernet LEADERBOARD as follows (in rank order based on year-end 2018 retail port share): CenturyLink, AT&T, Verizon, Spectrum Enterprise, Comcast and Windstream.

To qualify for a rank on this LEADERBOARD, network providers must have four percent (4%) or more of the U.S. Ethernet services market. Shares are measured based on the number of billable retail customer ports in service as tracked by Vertical Systems Group.

“Despite its relative maturity, the Ethernet market continues to expand at a healthy pace. U.S. port installations grew more than twelve percent in 2018, in line with our forecasts,” said Rick Malone, principal of Vertical Systems Group. “However, revenue growth is not keeping pace with port growth due to falling prices and changing service mixes. One notable catalyst is the deployment of SD-WAN, which is resulting in customers shifting from switched Ethernet services to dedicated Internet access.”

Highlights of Vertical’s year-end 2018 U.S. Ethernet market share analysis:

  • U.S. retail Ethernet customer installations grew to more than 1.1 million ports, up 12 percent from year-end 2017.
  • Six Ethernet providers qualify for the 2018 LEADERBOARD, as compared to seven in 2017 and nine in 2016.
  • Cox dropped out of the LEADERBOARD and into the Challenge Tier on slower than market port growth.
  • Four Incumbent Carriers (CenturyLink, AT&T, Verizon, Windstream) and two Cable MSOs (Spectrum Enterprise, Comcast) are represented on the latest LEADERBOARD.
  • The two Cable MSOs (Spectrum Enterprise and Comcast) had the highest port growth in the second half of 2018.
  • Ethernet pricing declined in 2018 across all port speeds for the six service types tracked by Vertical (i.e., EPL, EVPL, DIA, Access to VPN, Switched Metro and VPLS).
  • Each of the 2018 U.S. LEADERBOARD companies has received MEF CE 2.0 certification.
  • In addition to the LEADERBOARD providers, all other companies selling Ethernet services in the U.S. are segmented into two tiers as measured by port share.


More: https://www.verticalsystems.com/2019/02/14/2018-us-ethernet-leaderboard/

Lumos lights up 10G PON in rural Virginia with ADTRAN

Lumos Networks is deploying ADTRAN's 10G fiber access portfolio to deliver network-wide 10Gbps or 10G fiber services for small business customers in rural Virginia.

Lumos Networks, which has been an ADTRAN customer for nearly a decade, is using the ADTRAN Total Access 5000 fiber broadband platform as the cornerstone of its access network. The carrier is now using the ADTRAN software-defined access (SD-Access) architecture.

“The number of applications that require more robust broadband services continues to grow for both residential and small business customers, especially with emerging technologies accelerating network demands,” said Lumos Networks SVP and General Manager Diego Anderson. “Our partnership with ADTRAN positions us to create reliable connections with our customers while delivering a level of distinguishing service and support over a fiber-based infrastructure. The initial product offering will include tiered symmetrical speed profiles of two, four and eight gigabits per second for delivering higher-speed solutions to meet evolving customer requirements. We also anticipate increasing speed profiles in the future based on the flexibility provided within this platform.”

“Lumos Networks is committed to serve as the leading provider of fiber broadband services in each of its markets so that its customers can reap the benefits that next-generation 10G services bring to communities and individual customers,” stated ADTRAN’s Vice President and Head of Sales for the Americas Harris Razak.

Conterra deploys Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform

Conterra Networks, which provides services to enterprise, government and wholesale carriers in 22 states across the United States, has selected Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform as its core switch.

Additionally, Conterra is expanding its deployment of Ciena’s 5170 Service Aggregation Switch, which enables Conterra to expand its offerings of MEF-compatible services such as E-Line and E-LAN services. Conterra is using Ciena’s network management software, providing end-to-end visibility of its services across all transport, switching, and packet network elements.

“Today’s unpredictable data traffic patterns make it difficult to scale and grow in a secure way, something Conterra prioritizes to benefit its customers. Ciena’s packet-optical networking platforms will facilitate Conterra’s efforts to deliver new levels of capacity, flexibility and resiliency,” stated Eric Danielson, Vice President of Regional Sales, Ciena.

Vantage Data Centers raises $675M in debt and equity financing

Vantage Data Centers, which operates wholesale data centers in six strategic markets (Silicon Valley; Northern Virginia; Phoenix; Quincy, Washington; Montreal and Quebec City, Canada), raised more than $180 million in equity capital from existing investors and approximately $495 million in debt financing.

Vantage plans to use the funds for various growth initiatives, including the 4Degrees Colocation acquisition that closed in January and the build-out of the first data center on the company’s second campus in Santa Clara.

“The capital we raised over the last 90 days will help fund the explosive growth we’re experiencing and anticipate seeing throughout 2019 and beyond,” said Sharif Metwalli, CFO, Vantage Data Centers. “We have been executing on our growth and development and are well prepared to continue our current trajectory. This capital accelerates the funding of our long-term strategic plan.”

Arista posts Q4 sales of $596 million, up 27% YoY

Arista Networks reported fevenue of $595.7 million for Q4 2018, an increase of 5.8% compared to the third quarter of 2018, and an increase of 27.3% from the fourth quarter of 2017. GAAP gross margin was 62.9%, compared to GAAP gross margin of 64.2% in the third quarter of 2018 and 65.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017. GAAP net income was $170.3 million, or $2.10 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $103.8 million, or $1.29 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2017. Non-GAAP net income was $182.2 million, or $2.25 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $137.3 million, or $1.71 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2017.

"We are pleased with our solid 2018 financial performance and continued momentum across cloud titan and enterprise verticals. Arista is earning a strategic role with customers deploying transformative cloud networking,” stated Jayshree Ullal, Arista President and CEO.

NVIDIA expects return to sustained growth

NVIDIA reported revenue of $2.21 billion for its fourth quarter ended Jan. 27, 2019, down 24 percent from $2.91 billion a year earlier, and down 31 percent from $3.18 billion in the previous quarter. GAAP earnings per diluted share for the quarter were $0.92, down 48 percent from $1.78 a year ago and down 53 percent from $1.97 in the previous quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.80, down 53 percent from $1.72 a year earlier and down 57 percent from $1.84 in the previous quarter.

For fiscal 2019, revenue was $11.72 billion, up 21 percent from $9.71 billion a year earlier. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $6.63, up 38 percent from $4.82 a year earlier. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $6.64, up 35 percent from $4.92 a year earlier.

“This was a turbulent close to what had been a great year,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “The combination of post-crypto excess channel inventory and recent deteriorating end-market conditions drove a disappointing quarter."

“Despite this setback, NVIDIA’s fundamental position and the markets we serve are strong. The accelerated computing platform we pioneered is central to some of world’s most important and fastest growing industries – from artificial intelligence to autonomous vehicles to robotics. We fully expect to return to sustained growth."

Supermicro sales exceed guidance

Super Micro Computer, which supplies server and storage solutions, expects to report the following financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2018:


  • Net sales in a range of $915 million to $925 million compared to its previous guidance range of $830 million to $890 million
  • GAAP and non-GAAP gross margin in the range of 13.9% to 14.1%
  • GAAP fully diluted earnings per share in the range of $0.25 to $0.30; non-GAAP fully diluted earnings per share in the range of $0.57 to $0.61
  • Cash flow from operations of $42 million and capital expenditures of $4 million
  • GAAP gross margin for the fiscal second quarter of 2019 that the Xompany expects to report is in the range of 13.9% to 14.1% and GAAP fully diluted earnings per share is in the range of $0.25 to $0.30.