Sunday, April 14, 2019

KT officially launches its 5G network

On April 11, KT officially launched its nationwide commercial 5G network in South Korea. The nationwide service primarily covers the country's most populated areas, including the capital Seoul and its surrounding metropolitan area, six other metropolitan cities, most of all 85 major cities, 70 large shopping malls and discount stores and 464 college campuses.

Ericsson provided the 5G new Radio (NR) hardware and software to cover KT's 3.5 GHz Non-Standalone (NAA) network.

"KT has been the top global leader in 5G commercialization, not to mention it successfully showcased the world's FIRST trial 5G services at the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in February last year," Chairman Hwang said in a note to employers. "We will become the number one operator of the next-generation intelligent platform, delivering the first and best 5G network services throughout South Korea."

KT is offering unlimited data plans without a speed cap. KT's 5G Super Plans come in three packages: Basic (80,000 won per month) with 5GB of tethering, Special (100,000 won per month) with 50 GB of tethering, and Premium (130,000 won per month) with 100GB of tethering. Each plan offers unlimited roaming services in 185 countries. Customers can receive a 25 percent discount to join any of these Super Plans on a 2-year contract and an extra 25 percent off by signing up with a family member. Light data users can subscribe to 5G slim, which caps speed at 1Mbps after 8GB of data for 55,000 won per month.

https://corp.kt.com/eng/html/promote/news/report_detail.html?rows=10&page=1&datNo=14719

China Mobile, Huawei, and Baidu demo 5G Stand-Alone

China Mobile, Huawei, and Baidu showcased a 5G stand-alone technology delivering 8K video conferencing. At an event in Beijing, 8K live videos were collected, processed, and broadcast through the 5G SA architecture. These videos were also recorded with 8K cameras in real time and sent back to the 5G SA core network through 5G gNodeBs established by China Mobile in Beijing. After being quickly encoded and decoded by Baidu servers on the same network segment, the videos were sent back to the conference hotel for the 8K live video broadcast. The 5G network uses the 5G Vertical LAN technology to build a dedicated LAN where cameras, networks, and Baidu cloud servers are co-deployed.

For this showcase, Huawei implemented the 5G Vertical LAN technology through the 3GPP-defined 5G SA network and core network function upgrades. Baidu applies this technology for flexible configuration and remote management of 8K cameras within a 5G vertical LAN.

Huawei describes 5G Vertical LAN technology as one of the most promising technologies defined in 3GPP R16.

Construction on track for Japan-Guam-Australia South Cable System

RTI Connectivity Pte. Ltd. (RTI)  reported that construction of the Japan-Guam-Australia South Cable System (JGA South) is on schedule and will be commercially available by the end of the year.

JGA South has an initial design capacity of 36 terabits per second (Tbps), enabling carrier-neutral data centres in Sydney to connect to RTI’s combined cable landing station / neutral data centre in Piti, Guam. From Guam, JGA South connects seamlessly to key cities with neutral data centres including Los Angeles, California, USA, Tokyo, Japan, and Hong Kong, SAR, over the Southeast Asia-United States Cable System (SEA-US), JGA North and the Hong Kong Guam Cable System (HK-G), respectively.

JGA South will also connect to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, making it the first new cable ever to land on the east coast of Australia, outside of Sydney.

http://www.rticable.com/others/JGA-S%20Ready%20for%20Subsea%20Installation%208%20Apr%202019.pdf


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Ekinops: Talks over Alcatel Submarine Networks discontinued

EKINOPS confirmed that discussions with Nokia regarding its possible acquisition of Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) did not reach an agreement. The discussion have now been discontinued.

Ekinops, which is based in France, supplies optical transport solutions for metro, regional, and long-haul applications. The company also supplies physical and virtualized deployment options for layer 2 and layer 3 network functions under its OneAccess brand.

Friday, April 12, 2019

SpaceX successfully launches Arabsat 6A

SpaceX's Falcon-Heavy rocket successfully launched Arabsat 6A satellite, a high-capacity telecommunications satellite that will deliver television, radio, Internet, and mobile communications to customers in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

Arabsat 6A is the largest and most powerful commercial satellite Lockheed Martin has ever produced. Arabsat 6A provides advanced Ka-spot beam communications services and Ku and Ka-band coverages in addition to other frequency bands. It will be located at Arabsat exclusive orbital position 30.5, supporting Arabsat competitiveness, as the first satellite operator in the region, in respect to its capabilities and satellite broadcasting services.

 Arabsat-6A is part of the two-satellite Arabsat-6G program for Arabsat and is the second of Lockheed Martin's modernized LM 2100 series satellites to complete assembly. The other satellite in the Arabsat 6G program, Hellas Sat 4/SaudiGeoSat-1, recently completed assembly and was also shipped to Sunnyvale in November of 2017 for testing.

"Arabsat-6A and its companion satellite, Hellas Sat 4/SaudiGeoSat-1 are the most advanced commercial communications satellites we've ever built," said Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager of Commercial Civil Space for Lockheed Martin. "The modernized LM 2100 that these satellites are built on is packed with new innovations, including solar arrays that are 30 percent lighter and 50 percent more powerful, upgraded flight software and more efficient propulsion capabilities resulting in longer maneuver life. Those improvements will deliver greater precision, performance and value in orbit."

President Trump's comments on 5G

At a press event at the White House on Friday, President Trump made the following remarks regarding 5G:

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much, everybody.  Big day.  Very important day.  We have a lot of important days at our White House.  And this is, to me, the future.

I want to thank you all for being here to discuss a critical issue for our country’s future: winning the race to be the world’s leading provider of 5G cellular communications networks.  It’s all about 5G now.  We were at 4G, and everybody was saying, “We have to get 4G.”  And then they said, before that, “We have to get 3G.”  And now we have to get 5G, and 5G is a big deal.  And that’s going to be there for a while.  And I guess, at some point, we’ll be talking to you about number 6.  What do you think?  (Laughter.)  Do you think that’s true, Ajit?

But, right now, we want to be the leader in this.  We’re the leader in almost everything else. (continues)

Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman, comments (in part): 

Today, 5G is a success story — an American success story.  Well, how are we getting the job done?  As the lead agency on 5G, the FCC is pursuing a three-part strategy called the 5G FAST Plan.  First, we’re freeing up spectrum, the invisible airwaves that carry wireless traffic.  We finished our first 5G spectrum auction in January, and we’re holding a second, right now, that has already generated almost $2 billion in bids.

Second, we’re making it easier to install wireless infrastructure.  5G will rely heavily on a web of small antennas.  But when I came into office, regulations designed for tall towers threatened to strangle our 5G future in red tape.  We have eliminated these rules, because infrastructure the size of a pizza box shouldn’t have to jump through the same regulatory hoops as a 200-foot cell tower.

And third, we’ve taken action to encourage the deployment of optical fiber.  That is because 5G isn’t just about wireless.  We’ll also need strong fiber networks to carry 5G traffic once it goes from the air to the ground.  And we’ve done a lot to make that happen, including ending heavy-handed regulations imposed by the prior administration.  (continues)

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-united-states-5g-deployment/

CyrusOne raises $200M through sale of GDS shares

CyrusOne sold approximately 5.7 million American depository shares of GDS Holdings Limited for a total purchase price of approximately $200 million.

CyrusOne will continue to hold approximately 2.3 million ADSs, valued at approximately $90 million based on the GDS closing price on April 11, with the remaining shares being subject to a six-month lock up.

“GDS has created substantial value for its shareholders over the last 18 months, in turn allowing us to recycle capital and generate significant cash proceeds from the sale of shares, while maintaining a position that approximates our original investment,” said Wojtaszek. “This transaction replaces a meaningful portion of our equity capital requirements for the year, with the proceeds being deployed to fund attractive, profitable growth opportunities. William and his team have been fantastic partners, and the nearly 20 megawatts of leases we signed last year with Chinese hyperscale companies was a direct result of our relationship with GDS. As two of the fastest-growing data center companies, we look forward to continuing to work together to capitalize on the strong underlying secular demand trends and meet the needs of our customers in the two biggest economies in the world.”

NTT Com opens first data center in the Netherlands

NTT Communications inaugurated its “Amsterdam 1 Data Center” (AMS1), its first in the Netherlands. The facility is managed trough e-shelter, a subsidiary of NTT Com and one of the leading data center providers in Europe.
Rupprecht Rittweger commented, “As a market leader in Europe we are continuously expanding our business with our market entry in Amsterdam and ongoing developments such as London and Madrid. Our customers are integral to our continued growth and we have successfully secured anchor customers for our AMS1 facility.”

AMS1 offers flexible and secure premium colocation services with scalable, carrier- neutral capacity of up to 16,000 sqm IT space and 40 MW IT load once fully developed.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The P4 project is now under the ONF

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is now hosting the P4 Language Consortium, which the organization dedicated to the use and improvement of the P4 language.

P4 was designed to be target-independent (i.e. a program written in P4 could be compiled, without modification, to run on a variety of targets, such as ASICs, FPGAs, CPUs, NPUs, and GPUs), and protocol-independent (i.e. a P4 program can describe existing standard protocols, or be used to specify innovative, new, customized forwarding behaviors). P4 can be used for both programmable and fixed-function devices alike. For example, it is used to accurately capture the switch pipeline behavior under the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) APIs, used by the SONiC open-source switch OS. P4 is also used by the ONF Stratum project to describe forwarding behavior across a variety of fixed and programmable devices.

ONF will now host all P4 activities and working groups moving forward. The ONF will bring the P4 work under its umbrella of operator-led open source SDN projects, and, as with all ONF projects, the ONF will aim to strategically align P4 activities with the Linux Foundation to advance our shared mission of promoting open source as a tool for transformation and innovation.  The P4 project will continue to operate as before with minimal disruption while benefiting from strategic alignment with ONF and from ONF’s operational infrastructure and expertise.

“The entire ONF team is extremely pleased to be joining with the P4 community to grow our combined ecosystem.  We see great synergy between all the ONF projects and P4, and our Stratum and COMAC projects are already making use of P4 in innovative ways.  More closely aligning our activities will be of benefit to both communities, and we expect P4 to play a pivotal role as we continue to pursue the broader Next-Generation SDN agenda,” said Guru Parulkar, executive director and board member for the Open Networking Foundation.

“P4.org helped grow the fledgling P4 language into the de-facto industry standard way to describe how switches, routers and NICs process packets. The synergies with ONF are clear: Both organizations develop community-owned open-source software for networking. It’s time for P4.org to be part of a larger, more established organization that can keep it open, independent and steadily growing for many more years to come,” said Nick McKeown, Stanford Professor and co-founder and board member of the ONF and P4.org.

http://www.opennetworking.org

Deutsche Telekom reaches 20 million broadband lines at up to 250 Mbps

Deutsche Telekom is now serving 20 million residential and business broadband lines at up to 250 Mbps. Lines to over 1.5 million households and business locations have been added in the past 4 weeks alone. Some 75,000 street cabinets have been fitted with super vectoring technology.

“20 million households and businesses are now able to #takepart and benefit from our super vectoring build-out," says Timotheus Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom. “To achieve that figure we have fitted at least one line card into over 75,000 street cabinets within 15 months. We’re building broadband for millions.”

Using other technologies, Deutsche Telekom has sped up lines of a further 105,000 households to up to 100 Mbps. The total number of households equipped to order a speed of 100 Mbps or faster has now reached 28 million.

Bell Canada declines to buy spectrum in 600 MHz auction

The Government of Canada completed its auction of 600 MHz spectrum.

In total, 104 licences were awarded to nine Canadian companies, including 40 licences to regional providers, covering the entire country. Regional providers more than doubled their share of low-band spectrum, strengthening their ability to offer competitive services to all Canadians. In addition to improving competition, the results of this auction will improve our country's robust networks and support the deployment of current and next-generation technologies.

Bell Canada did not acquire any licenses in the auction. The company noted that it already has spectrum assets in the low, mid and high frequency bands in both urban and rural locations. Specifically, Bell holds spectrum in the 700, 850, 1900, AWS-1, AWS-3, 2500, 3500 MHz and 24 GHz bands. The previously announced shutdown of its CDMA network on April 30 also enables Bell to "re-farm" additional low band spectrum in the 850 MHz band for 5G services.


"We know that Canadians want more choice, lower prices and better service. Through this process, we have strengthened wireless competition, which will drive prices down and improve coverage. It is clear that the big winners in this auction will be Canadians in both urban and rural areas," stated Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Highlights:

  • 600 MHz spectrum carries signals over long distances and penetrates structures better than higher-frequency bands, making it well-suited to deliver services in both urban and rural settings.
  • The auction started March 12, 2019, with 12 Canadian bidders qualified to participate.
  • 70 MHz of spectrum divided in blocks of 10 MHz was available in each service area, including 30 MHz set aside for regional providers in each area.
  • The 600 MHz auction raised $3.47 billion, which will be remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, administered by the Receiver General of Canada.
  • As with the previous 700 MHz and 2500 MHz spectrum auctions, the Government of Canada successfully employed a comprehensive multistep bidding process that included rigorous security protocols to ensure the integrity of the auction.

Proximus boosts mobile core with 7750 Nokia Service Router-14s

Belgium-based Proximus is one of the first operators in the world to carry customers' traffic on the Nokia 7750 Service Router-14s (SR-14s). The deployment increases capacity in the network core by 10x.  The multi-terabit router, Nokia 7750 SR-14s, featuring the new Nokia FP4 network processor.

The carrier's new IP backbone will support innovative new broadband and mobile services with improved capacity, scalability and programmability.

Proximus previously announced its TITAN (Terabit IP Transport and Aggregation Network) backbone network upgrade with 165 out of 600 buildings connected and 30% of 50,000 optical fibres migrated after only seven months.

Patrick Delcoigne, Director Network Engineering & Operations at Proximus, said: "Titan is laying the foundations of a hyper scale network, propelling Proximus into the terabit era. The track record of Nokia and Proximus in IP network innovation is extending today with our tandem becoming among the world's pioneers in activating the biggest equipment ever deployed in a telecom operator network and so defining the new capacity reference standards. I'm really proud of the R&D crews and of the project teams of both companies, who did a fantastic job to create the future standards."

Sri Reddy, President of IP/Optical Networks at Nokia, said: "We have a long and proud history of partnering with the team at Proximus and so are especially pleased to be working closely with them to help ensure the TITAN network upgrade project continues flawlessly. With the Nokia 7750 SR-14s as the foundational technology of this smart, dynamic network fabric, Proximus is laying the groundwork to meet the future digital demands of their consumer, enterprise and mobile customers.




Ceragon installs a 240km microwave backhaul link -- longest to date

Ceragon Networks has deployed what is believed to be the longest known microwave backhaul link to connect an island in Equatorial Guinea back to its capital. The link spans 240km over the Gulf of Guinea. Ceragon has also been selected to upgrade the network of MUNI S.A., the mobile operator.

The project is valued at $3.4 Million, with shipments commencing in Q1 2019. Ceragon expects this project to be completed within 2019. Ceragon noted that difficult environmental conditions in tropical Africa make it difficult for microwave signals to travel this distance over water.

"We are delighted to have partnered with Ceragon Networks to transition our 2G/3G services to 4G," said Oumar Bonkoungou, CEO at MUNI S.A. "Ceragon has successfully met our challenge in order to provide high speed 4G wireless backbone between our country's island capital and the mainland. With this remarkable achievement, we can also increase our subscriber base and improve our 4G services to our customers in the 2 largest cities of the country."

"Ceragon is proud to have been selected to help light up a 4G mobile broadband network for the people of Equatorial Guinea," said Ira Palti, President and CEO of Ceragon. We are happy to be part of the initiative to bridge the digital divide to a significant part of the population that has been waiting for mobile broadband services in the country's island capital. This accomplishment is a testament to the quality of our professional services and deployment teams, and of course our leading wireless backhaul technology. With a current mobile penetration rate of only 60%, Equatorial Guinea has great growth potential, and Ceragon is pleased to enable MUNI S.A to provide nationwide connectivity and expand its customer base."

Penn State researchers develop new germanosilicate glass

Researchers at Penn State have developed a new composition of germanosilicate glass by adding zinc oxide has properties good for lens applications.

The researchers invented a new family of zinc germanosilicate glass that has a high refractive index comparable to that of pure germania glass. The samples also showed high transparency, good ultra-violet-shielding properties, and good glass forming ability, making them suitable for lens applications.

Germanosilicate glass is essential in the manufacture of optical amplifiers, waveguides, and solid-state lasers.

The researchers published their results in a recent issue of the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids.

https://news.psu.edu/story/567138/2019/04/03/research/new-family-glass-good-lenses

Telekom Srbija picks Ericsson for Core network virtualized functions

Telekom Srbija has virtualized some of its Core Network functions.

Under the terms of the Network Functions Virtualization contract, Ericsson’s full portfolio of network function solutions and related services have been harnessed to deploy Ericsson Cloud Core solutions.  This includes the Serbia’s first live Ericsson virtual Home Location Register (vHLR) based on virtual User Data Consolidation (vUDC). Added to the existing virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) and virtual Home Subscriber Server (vHSS), this means Telekom Srbija are able to optimize their network depending on present and future needs, making it a very cost-effective solution.

In a Customer-Centric Network, the virtual UDC solution eliminates the complexity of managing subscription by consolidating subscriber information from the different network silos into one common repository, creating a Unified Profile. This allows for a simpler and more scalable network topology, more efficiency on managing the network database resources and it also gives more flexibility to introduce new services.

Filip Bankovic, Chief Technology Officer, Telekom Srbija says: “Ericsson’s portfolio of VNF enables us to become more agile where efficiency, reliability and scalability are of top priority. This project is an important step in our transformation journey towards 5G, future-proofing our core network. It provides us with state-of-the-art virtual core applications that serve mobile and fixed access and extend the lifecycle of our legacy network.”

Antonio Passarella, Head of Ericsson Serbia says: “Ericsson is a long-term partner to Telekom Srbija and this achievement strengthens that partnership by evolving their existing network to the cloud, ensuring continued exceptional services to their customers. Telekom Srbija subscribers will benefit from best-in-class applications with full-service continuity of current high-quality communication services.”

TSMC gets ready for the arrival of 5 nanometer

TSMC has delivered a complete version of its 5 nanometer (nm) design infrastructure to design partners.

TSMC said its kit enables 5nm systems-on-chip (SoC) designs in next-generation advanced mobile and high-performance computing (HPC) applications, especially for 5G and AI.

“TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology offers our customers the industry’s most advanced logic process to address the exponentially growing demand for computing power driven by AI and 5G,” said Cliff Hou, Vice President of Research & Development/Technology Development at TSMC. “5-nanometer technology requires deeper design-technology co-optimization. Therefore, we collaborate seamlessly with our ecosystem partners to ensure we deliver silicon-validated IP blocks and EDA tools ready for customer use. As always, we are committed to helping customers achieve first-time silicon success and faster time-to-market.”

TSMC’s 5nm process is already in risk production and offers IC designers a new level of performance and power optimization targeted at the next generation of high-end mobile and HPC applications.

http://www.tsmc.com

T-Mobile US to launch video service

T-Mobile US is preparing to launch TVision Home service featuring a set-top box that is an upgraded version of Layer3 TV. The service will offer content from Amazon Prime, Netflix and other providers.

“5G will transform entertainment, and the New T-Mobile will transform 5G if our merger with Sprint is approved,” said Mike Sievert, President and COO of T-Mobile. “Having Prime Video on board with TVision speaks volumes about 5G’s potential to disrupt entertainment and give customers better ways to get the content they care about.”

Vision Home is launching in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. metro areas, as well as Longmont, CO, with other markets coming later this year.

T-Mobile also announced that Netflix and other streaming apps will be available on TVision Home, and the Un-carrier shared plans for TVision to run on popular third-party TV platforms in the future.

Following on its deal with Viacom last week, T-Mobile also announced they will launch nationwide streaming services later in 2019 “We love giving our customers more ways to conveniently access Prime Video and are thrilled to work with T-Mobile,” said Andrew Bennett, Director of Worldwide Business Development for Prime Video. “The launch will give Prime members easy access to new favorites like Hanna and upcoming seasons of Bosch, Good Omens and Sneaky Pete.”

http://www.tvision.com

Silicon Line releases new ICs for Active Optical Cables

Silicon Line GmbH introduced a new line of integrated circuits (ICs) with transmission speeds of 16 to 18 gigabytes per seconds (Gb/s).

The new chips will be produced in single-channel and four-channel versions, enabling the production of active optical cables with speeds up 72 Gigabytes per Second.

Likely applications for the ICs include active optical cables for HDMI- and DisplayPort-enabled devices, as well as customized cable solutions for virtual reality headsets, 4K and 8K TV and commercial products. Silicon Line is the global leader in developing and providing innovative optical link technology for consumer, commercial and industrial electronics.

Ruud van der Linden, CEO, also announced Silicon Line sales had doubled for the second consecutive year in 2018 and that the company, which recently completed an expansion of its production capacity at its Hasselt, Belgium facility, will add another shift to the plant's production schedule this fall. The Hasselt factory manufactures Silicon Line's patented optical components which are combined with the company's ICs to fabricate modules used inside the housings at either end of active optical cables.

"Module sales to existing customers continue to grow, as do the number of customers we serve," van der Linden said. "With bandwidth specifications for connectivity standards only increasing, we see a very bright future for active optical technology and our company."

Earlier this year, Silicon Line demonstrated the first active optical cables with the company's embedded proprietary technology supporting all features of the recently released HDMI 2.1 specification.


Silicon Line GmbH announced the first active optical cables with embedded t

See also