Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Corning Q2 optical sales reach $1.07 billion, up 7% yoy

Corning reported cores Q2 2019 sales of $3 billion, up 8% from the same period last year.

Optical Communications second-quarter sales were $1.09 billion, up 7% year over year. Net income for the second quarter was up 5% year over year. Sales growth was led by hyperscale data center and optical fiber demand as well as sales from the 3M Communication Markets Division acquisition.

For full-year 2019, Optical Communications year-over-year sales growth is now expected to be up by a low- to mid-single digit percentage. The lower growth expectations are driven primarily by weakness in the carrier market. Optical Communications growth remains significantly above passive optical market growth.

https://investor.corning.com/investor-relations/default.aspx


Welcome Italia selects ADVA FSP 3000 fiber monitoring

Welcome Italia has selected ADVA's FSP 3000 and ALM fiber monitoring solution to enable assured high-capacity enterprise services throughout Italy.

The new network, which connects Welcome Italia’s two main data centers, features ADVA’s colorless, directionless and flexgrid multi-degree ROADMs, enabling automatic traffic rerouting for enhanced availability. The solution has also been primed for the comprehensive, low-latency security of ADVA’s ConnectGuard™ Optical encryption technology. ADVA’s partner Sirti is installing the network and will also provide ongoing maintenance and support.

Welcome Italia’s new backbone network serves enterprise clients throughout Italy with points of presence spread across the country. Built on the ADVA FSP 3000, it simplifies network operations and helps to reduce capital and operational expenditure. With its modular architecture, the FSP 3000 gives Welcome Italia the freedom to expand its network as soon as it’s required. The solution is also monitored by the ADVA ALM, which gives real-time insight into the integrity and performance of Welcome Italia’s fiber infrastructure, significantly improving robustness and efficiency. What’s more, the complete network is managed by Ensemble Controller, which combines efficiency in manual operations with programmatic control. This advanced management and domain control solution supports users while also enabling intelligent algorithms to gather data and take autonomous action.

Ciena's Packet Optical selected for UK’s Janet

Jisc, which is the UK’s expert member organization for digital technology and digital resources in higher education, further education, skills and research, is deploying Ciena’s Packet Networking platforms to enhance its Janet Network and provide high-speed connectivity across the UK.

Specifically, Jisc recently selected Ciena’s 8700 and 5170 Packet Networking platforms to address growing needs for high-bandwidth services delivering up to 100GbE.

“Scientific research and education hinges on high-speed, reliable connectivity,” said Rod Wilson, Chief Technologist for Research Networks at Ciena. “Rapid growth in data intensive research such as high-energy physics and genome engineering means that researchers need agile networks to support a range of services from massive flows for computational science to distributed services for individual researchers and educators.”

A10's Q2 sales dip to $49m, company considers alternatives, CEO to step down

A10 Networks reported Q2 revenue of $49.2 million, compared with $60.7 million in second-quarter 2018. There was a GAAP net loss of $5.8 million, or $0.08 per basic and diluted share.

“Second quarter revenue came in below our guidance as a number of large deals in our pipeline pushed into future quarters or were downsized. These deals were primarily in North America and within the service provider and web giant verticals where opportunities can be large but the timing is difficult to predict,” said Lee Chen, president and chief executive officer of A10 Networks. “Outside of North America, all of our major geographies met or exceeded our Q2 expectations, and we continued to make progress on our strategic initiatives in security, 5G and multi-cloud.”

A10 also confirmed that it has retained Bank of America Merrill Lynch to advise about a potential sale or change of control transaction. The company has appointed Eric Singer, Founder and Managing Member of VIEX Capital Advisors, to its Board and formed a Strategic Committee to consider strategic options.

In addition, Lee Chen, president and chief executive officer of A10 Networks, announced his intention to step down once a new CEO has been selected.

Confluera raises $9m for cybersecurity

Confluera, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, announced $9 million in Series A funding for its cybersecurity solutions.

Confluera aims to turn security analysts into cyber defenders by enabling them to stop breaches in real time. Confluera is Co-Founded by Abhijit Ghosh, Niloy Mukherjee, and Bipul Sinha. Ghosh has a background in networking, sec

The funding round was led by Lightspeed’s Founder & Managing Partner Ravi Mhatre with significant participation by John W. Thompson, former CEO of Symantec and Chairman of Microsoft; Frank Slootman, former CEO of ServiceNow; and Lane Bess, former CEO of Palo Alto Networks.

Confluera's founding team includes:

  • Abhijit Ghosh, Co-founder and CEO – Engineering Leader Juniper Networks, Azanda Networks, and Siemens;
  • Niloy Mukherjee, Co-founder and Chief Architect – Lead Architect Oracle In-Memory Database and LinkedIn Distributed Data Systems;
  • Bipul Sinha, Co-founder and Chairman – Co-Founder & CEO Rubrik, Founding investor/Board Member Nutanix, and engineering at Oracle.


https://www.confluera.com/


Monday, July 29, 2019

Sparkle unveils Genome for automation, programmability, virtualization

Sparkle announced the availability of Genome, its new integrated set of platforms and tools for Network Automation, Programmability and Virtualization -- a major step toward its vision of the autonomous network of the future. Last month, Sparkle announced "Nibble," a new ultra-long-haul photonic backbone connecting Sicily with major points of presence and data centers in Europe. I

Genome.NFV will progressively evolve Sparkle’s traditional Physical Network Functions (PNF) into dynamic, cloud-native, highly resilient Virtual Network Functions (VNF). It is initially deployed at Sparkle’s core data centers in Catania (Italy) and Athens (Greece), as well as in Miami (Florida, USA), Secaucus (New Jersey, USA), with Milan (Italy) to follow later this year

The initial set of VNFs will be available to all new customers of Sparkle’s Global Signalling and LTE Diameter Signalling for international roaming services.

Existing customers will be progressively migrated to the new virtualized platforms, benefitting from increased resiliency and reduced latency, thanks to proximity interconnections. The progressive cloudification of Voice & Mobile Network Functions will continue throughout 2020 with the introduction of virtual IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and virtual Session Border Controllers (SBC).

Genome.SDN is a modular, vendor agnostic, scalable and feature-rich network automation solution for physical and virtual networks. Featuring an Automation Workflow Manager, it will assist network engineers to automate complex Method of Procedure (MOP) and Operations repetitive tasks, creating, visualizing, and executing automation workflows across the whole Seabone IP/MPLS backbone through a single interface. The solution is complemented by a Planning Tool allowing abstraction and modelling of the IP/MPLS network, supporting engineers to simulate availability and failover scenarios, automating traffic balancing and link optimization and building comprehensive forecast needs based on traffic trends, regional growth and other inputs. Genome.SDN will progressively extend to all Sparkle network domains, starting with the integration of Nibble Optical Transport Network, currently planned in early 2020.

“The relentless process of Hyper Automation of Industries requires service providers to deliver global network services at lightspeed satisfying extreme reliability requirements.” said Daniele Mancuso, Sparkle’s VP ICT Engineering. “The introduction of Genome sets the path towards the Autonomous Network of the future, confirming Sparkle leadership in technological innovation.”

https://www.tisparkle.com/PR_Genome

Sparkle to build new ULH photonic backbone with Infinera

Sparkle, the first international service provider in Italy and among the top 10 global operators, announced plans for a new ultra-long-haul photonic backbone connecting Sicily with major points of presence and data centers in Europe.

Infinera confirmed that its XT-3600 platform will power Sparkle's new "Nibble" network.

Nibble is expected to provide market-leading speeds and low-latency, high-performance, scalable, and guaranteed connectivity services between top European locations. Infinera's XT-3600 enables Sparkle to deliver 100 Gigabit Ethernet cloud-scale services in a compact form factor while automating service activation through Instant Bandwidth.



Sparkle said its new backbone will implement a "Software-defined Bandwidth" model using capacity License to disaggregate the underlying hardware installation from the capacity activation.

Nibble's ultra-performant photonic layer will progressively be integrated with its existing Mediterranean and Balkans networks and with BlueMed, the new multifiber submarine cable linking Palermo and Milan via Genoa, creating a seamless Pan Mediterranean Optical Transport Network.

The first link - planned to go live in summer 2019 - will connect Sparkle’s Sicily Hub in Palermo with Milan Caldera open datacenter; Nibble construction is planned to continue in several phases until the end of 2020 to fully deploy the entire Italian and European footprint and to integrate with the Mediterranean and Balkans networks.

“Sparkle confirms its strong leadership in the European telecom market with a solution that ensures top quality and efficiency standards,” said Mario Di Mauro, Sparkle’s Chief Executive Officer. “The Gigabit Society is demanding faster and more sophisticated capacity services and with the Infinera Instant Network solution we can expand our geographical footprint and satisfy customers’ needs at light speed, investing only in the capacity we need to deploy, where and when we need it.” 

US Department of Justice awards $984M migration contract to AT&T

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded a 15-year contract value at $984 million to AT&T to help improve its mission performance with modernized technology.

The work – awarded via Task Order through the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) technology procurement program – will provide for DOJ's transition to a next-generation communications platform supporting more than 120,000 employees across more than 2,100 locations. The fully managed solution includes a breadth of networking capabilities, including IP voice, data, security, cloud access and professional services. This will serve as a catalyst for the DOJ’s long-term technology priorities.

“The DOJ and its component organizations do the hard work of protecting the freedoms, rights and safety of all Americans,” said Stacy Schwartz, vice president, AT&T – Public Safety and FirstNet. “We are honored to provide a modern communications platform and capabilities to support the DOJ’s work for the next 15 years.”

EIS is a federal technology procurement that allows government agencies to cost-effectively modernize and expand mission support. The AT&T solution will provide DOJ the flexibility and protections to meet their requirements as they aim to strike the right balance between needs to access cloud services from multiple providers and ensuring the access is highly secure. The new solution will help simplify cloud adoption across 43 component organizations and support the Department’s Joint Cloud Optimized Trusted Internet Connection Service (JCOTS), which will accelerate the path for DOJ to access multiple cloud environments with improved security, reliability and speed.

Additionally, the DOJ solution includes access to the AT&T mobility network and FirstNet, the nationwide, dedicated communications platform purpose-built for public safety.

Vodafone's quarterly revenue dips, Liberty Global merger ready to close

Vodafone reported group revenue of €10.7 billion, down by €0.2 billion due to foreign exchange rate effects, as Q1 organic service revenue declined 0.2%, improving compared to Q4 (-0.7%).

Vodafone said customer growth slowed compared to previous quarters, primarily reflecting increased competitor promotions in Spain and Germany, as well as slower broadband market growth in Italy. However, Voda Consumer mobile commercial performance in Spain stabilised in June.

Vodafone's acquisition of Liberty Global is expected to close in the coming days.

Nick Read, Group Chief Executive, commented: “Our service revenue growth improved during the first quarter, led by Italy, and mobile churn fell to another record low. Following a significant quarter of commercial activity, we expect the gradual recovery in our service revenues to continue, underpinning our financial outlook for the year. With the completion of the Liberty Global acquisitions, Vodafone will become Europe’sleading converged operator, with growing fixed and converged services contributing around half of our European service revenues. We have developed a detailed plan to deliver the customer benefits and capture the substantial synergiesfrom the deal, which we will start to execute immediately

https://www.vodafone.com

Some highlights

  • Vodafone is actively implementing simplified pricing plans with speed-tiered unlimited data launched in 5 markets. 
  • The company said it is on track to meet the Group’s €400 million FY20 net operating expenses reduction target in Europe.
  • In mobile, the company reported a 0.5 percentage point year-on-year reduction in Europe contract churn during Q1, reaching a new record low level of 14.6%. 
  • Data usage growth remained strong at 49%, with average smartphone usage increasing to 3.9 GB per month in Europe.
  • Vodafone has now launched 5G in five European markets, with services available in Spain, Italy and Romania since June, and the UK and Germany since July. 
  • 5G roaming is now live for Vodafone 5G customers roaming on Vodafone networks in Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain. 
  • Vodafone's 5G network will be live across more than 50 cities and available in nine European markets by the end of the current financial year.
  • Including VodafoneZiggo, Vodafone had 18.8 million fixed broadband customers, 14.6 million NGN customers, 6.7 million converged customers and 13.6 million TV customers in Europe at the end of the period. 
  • Excluding VodafoneZiggo, Vodafone added 54,000 broadband customers, 237,000 NGN customers and 115,000 converged customers during the quarter. 


FCC certifies CBRS Environmental Sensing Capability

The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) and the Office of Engineering and Technology certified CommScope, Federated Wireless, and Google to operate their Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) sensors consistent with the information they provided, including sensor locations, configuration, and DPA coverage.

DPAs are pre-defined protection areas that extend beyond the coastline or that enclose a protected terrestrial radar facility, which may be activated or deactivated as necessary to protect DoD radar systems.

The ESCs will be used to detect the presence of federal incumbent radar transmissions in the 3.5 GHz band and communicate that information to one or more certified Spectrum Access Systems (SASs).

In April, the companies earned FCC approval for their sensor hardware.

WInnForum, which supports the development and advancement of spectrum sharing technologies based on the three-tier architecture detailed in 3.5 GHz CBRS band rules defined by the FCC, congratulated member organizations CommScope, Federated Wireless, and Google for final FCC certification of their Environmental Sensing Capability systems in the 3.5 GHz band.

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-718A1.pdf

Microsoft to acquire BlueTalon for cloud data governance

Microsoft has acquired BlueTalon, a start-up based in Redwood City, California, for its cloud data governance technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

BlueTalon, which is now part of Microsoft’s Azure Data Governance group, has architected its data control solution to provide a unified approach to policy management that brings the right level of control and consistency across the enterprise, including Hadoop, RDBMS and big data environments. The company was founded by Pratik Verma.

https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2019/07/29/microsoft-acquires-bluetalon-simplifying-data-privacy-and-governance-across-modern-data-estates

CommScope debuts 10G remote PHY for distributed access architecture

CommScope introduced its RD1322 2x2 Remote PHY Device (RPD) for cable operators deploying Distributed Access Architecture (DAA).

The RD1322 is the newest addition to CommScope's portfolio of Outside Plant (OSP) DAA solutions that enable operators to build upon their installed base of nodes to advance their plans for Extended Spectrum DOCSIS (ESD), Full Duplex DOCSIS (FDX), DAA, Remote PON, Wireless Backhaul, DOCSIS 3.1, and more. This is especially valuable in the labor-intensive OSP domain.

“As global operators continue to invest in tomorrow’s 10G networks, the outside plant will represent a primary budget focus,” said Kevin Keefe, senior vice president and segment leader, Network & Cloud, CommScope. “Our RD1322 2x2 RPD is the answer for operators looking to maximize their existing infrastructure to deliver tomorrow’s networks and services as quickly as possible. We have an unmatched portfolio and breadth of experience in helping global operators deliver next-generation networks reliably and at scale. As they evolve their networks, we’ll continue to deliver the innovation to facilitate their progress.”

CommScope’s DAA portfolio includes its RPD, Remote PON, R-PHY Shelf, Video Unified Edge (VUE), ICX Switch family, and hybrid E6000 I-CCAP/CCAP Core products. It also features a full suite of virtualized products, including the E6000 Virtual Core (vCore) and vManager framework of tools, including industry-leading monitoring, management, and traffic engineering functions.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Vodafone to create Europe's largest TowerCo

Vodafone Group Plc will spin off most of its European tower infrastructure into a new, fully independent "TowerCo" company.

TowerCo, which will be operational by May 2020, will comprise 61,700 towers in 10 markets with potential proportionate EBITDA of around  EUR 900 million.

Vodafone has recently announced active and passive network sharing agreements in Italy, Spain and the UK.

Vodafone said it believes that there is significant scope to generate operational efficiencies and increase tenancy ratios across the portfolio by creating an independent company. Based on market benchmarks for anchor tenant lease rates, existing third party revenues and the attributable cost base, TowerCo could generate proportionate annual revenue and EBITDA of around €1,700 million and €900 million, respectively. TowerCo’s attributable annual maintenance and expansion capex could be up to €200 million.

A future IPO for the new organization is a possibility.

Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone, said “Building on our position as Europe’s largest converged operator, we are now creating Europe’s largest tower company. Given the scale and quality of our infrastructure, we believe there is a substantial opportunity to unlock value for shareholders while capturing the significant industrial benefits of network sharing for the digital society. We are focussed on executing this strategic priority over the next 18 months."

Separately, Vodafone and Telecom Italia Group (TIM) agreed to an active network sharing partnership for 4G and 5G and the expansion of their existing passive sharing agreement. Specifically, Vodafone will merge its passive tower infrastructure in Italy ("Vodafone Italy Towers”) into INWIT SpA. As part of the combination, Vodafone will receive a cash consideration of EUR 2,140 million and a 37.5% shareholding in the combined entity, which will remain listed on the Milan Stock Exchange. Based on the 30-day VWAP of the INWIT share price prior to this announcement, Vodafone's shareholding would be valued at EUR 3,130 million, which implies an enterprise value for Vodafone Italy Towers of EUR 5,270 million.

Orange and Vodafone extend network sharing in Spain for 5G

Vodafone and Orange agreed to extend their current active mobile network sharing arrangement in Spain to include 5G. The original network sharing agreement signed in 2006 covered passive infrastructure nationwide and active infrastructure in smaller towns. The agreement was subsequently renewed in 2012 and in 2016.

Under the new agreement, Vodafone will be able to offer its customers broadband access and other fixed services on Orange’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network. Both companies have also agreed to explore potential co-investment opportunities to expand their fibre footprint in the future. The partnership is also expanded to include 5G. The terms of the new agreement allow active network sharing (including both the radio access network and high-speed backhaul) in cities with populations of up to 175,000 people, whereas the previous arrangement only enabled sharing in towns of between 1,000 and 25,000 people. Two thirds of the Spanish population will now be covered by Vodafone and Orange’s shared network agreement, with 14,800 sites expected to be shared vs. 5,600 shared today. The new agreement is expected to deliver cumulative opex and capex savings to Vodafone of at least €600 million over the next ten years.

Vodafone and Orange will continue to operate independent infrastructure in the biggest cities.

Friday, July 26, 2019

New T-Mobile to provide network access to DISH for 7 years

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the merger of T-Mobile US and Sprint with the following conditions: Sprint’s prepaid businesses and Sprint’s 800 MHz spectrum assets be divested to DISH. Sprint and T-Mobile must also provide DISH wireless customers access to the New T-Mobile network for seven years and offer standard transition services arrangements to DISH during a transition period of up to three years. DISH will also have an option to take on leases for certain cell sites and retail locations that are decommissioned by the New T-Mobile, subject to any assignment restrictions.

The T-Mobile + Sprint deal was first announced on 29-April-2019. Deutsche Telekom holds approximately 62% stake in T-Mobile US. Softbank holds an 83% stake in Sprint.

"The T-Mobile and Sprint merger we announced last April will create a bigger and bolder competitor than ever before – one that will deliver the most transformative 5G network in the country, lower prices, better quality, unmatched value and thousands of jobs, while unlocking an unprecedented $43B net present value in synergies. We are pleased that our previously announced target synergies, profitability and long-term cash generation have not changed," said T-Mobile CEO and New T-Mobile CEO John Legere.

“This is an important day for our country and, most important, American consumers and businesses,” said Sprint Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure. “Today’s clearance from the DOJ, along with our anticipated approval from the FCC, will allow the U.S. to fiercely compete for 5G leadership. We plan to build one of the world’s most advanced 5G networks, which will massively revolutionize the way consumers and businesses use their connected devices to enhance their daily lives. The powerful combination of 5G, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will unleash endless possibilities.”

https://www.t-mobile.com/news/t-mobile-sprint-merger-doj-clearance

New T-Mobile and DISH Agreements that become effective upon completion of the T-Mobile+Sprint merger

Agreement to Divest Sprint’s Prepaid Businesses
The New T-Mobile will be committed to divest Sprint’s entire prepaid businesses including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Sprint-branded prepaid customers (excluding the Assurance brand Lifeline customers and the prepaid wireless customers of Shenandoah Telecommunications Company and Swiftel Communications, Inc.), to DISH for approximately $1.4 billion. These brands serve approximately 9.3 million customers in total.

Agreements Upon Closing of Prepaid Divestiture 

Master Services Agreement for Network Access
Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint-branded prepaid customers, as well as new DISH wireless customers, will have full access to the legacy Sprint network and the New T-Mobile network in a phased approach. Access to the New T-Mobile network will be through an MVNO arrangement, as well as through an Infrastructure MNO arrangement enabling roaming in certain areas until DISH’s 5G network is built out.

Transition Services Agreement to Support Prepaid Customers
The New T-Mobile will offer standard transition services arrangements to DISH for up to three years following the close of the divestiture transaction. The transition services provided by the New T-Mobile will result in the orderly transfer of prepaid customers to DISH and will also ensure the continued and seamless operation of Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint-branded prepaid businesses following transition to DISH's ownership.

Agreement to Divest Sprint’s 800 MHz Spectrum Licenses to DISH
DISH has agreed to acquire Sprint’s portfolio of nationwide 800 MHz spectrum for a total value of approximately $3.6 billion in a transaction to be completed, subject to certain additional closing conditions, following an application for FCC approval to be filed three years following the closing of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint. This will permit the New T-Mobile to continue to serve legacy Sprint customers during network integration, pending later FCC approval of the license transfer. The companies have also entered into an agreement providing the New T-Mobile the option to lease back a portion of the spectrum sold to DISH for an additional two years following closing of the spectrum sale.

Option for DISH to Take Over Decommissioned Cell Sites and Retail Locations
Following the closing of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint and subsequent integration into the New T-Mobile, DISH will have the option to take on leases for certain cell sites and retail locations that are decommissioned by the New T-Mobile for five years following the closing of the divestiture transaction, subject to any assignment restrictions.

Agreement to Engage in Negotiations Regarding T-Mobile Leasing DISH's 600 MHz Spectrum
The companies have also committed to engage in good faith negotiations regarding the leasing of some or all of DISH’s 600 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile.

Zayo shareholders approve acquisition by Digital Colony Partners

Shareholders of Zayo Group Holdings approved all proposals related to the definitive merger agreement to be acquired by affiliates of Digital Colony Partners and the EQT Infrastructure IV fund.

“Today’s favorable shareholder vote supports our view that this transaction is a very good outcome for shareholders and will enable Zayo to accelerate its growth and strengthen its industry leadership,” said Dan Caruso, chairman and CEO at Zayo. “The entire Zayo team is excited to work with EQT and Digital Colony to leverage our fiber assets to continue to fuel global innovation.”

The closing of the deal is expected to close in the first half of calendar 2020.

Private investors to acquire Zayo for $14.3 billion in cash

Affiliates of Digital Colony Partners and the EQT Infrastructure IV fund will acquire Zayo Group Holdings for $35.00 in cash per share of Zayo's common stock in a transaction valued at $14.3 billion, including the assumption of $5.9 billion of Zayo’s net debt obligations. The offer price represents a 32% premium to the volume-weighted price average of the last six months of $26.44.

The Zayo Board of Directors said the sale of the company to Digital Colony and EQT Infrastructure is in the best interest of Zayo and all its stakeholders, as it delivers immediate and substantial value to shareholders, will strengthen Zayo’s financial flexibility, enabling the company to increase investments and better position itself for long-term growth and profitability.

The companies hope to conclude the deal by the first half of 2020.

Marc Ganzi, Managing Partner of Digital Colony, said, “Zayo has a world-class digital infrastructure portfolio, including a highly-dense fiber network in some of the world’s most important metro markets. We believe the company has a unique opportunity to meet the growing demand for data associated with the connectivity and backhaul requirements of a range of customers. We are excited to work alongside the management team and EQT to grow the business and expand its presence in the global market."

Dan Caruso, Zayo’s Chairman and CEO, said, “Digital Colony and EQT share our vision that Zayo’s Fiber Fuels Global Innovation. Both are experienced global investors in the communications infrastructure space, and they appreciate our extraordinary fiber infrastructure assets, our highly talented team and our strong customer base. I am confident this partnership with EQT and Digital Colony will empower Zayo to accelerate its growth and strengthen its industry leadership.”

Separately, Zayo reported consolidated revenue of $647.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019, including $555.2 million from the Communications Infrastructure segments and $92.0 million from the Allstream segment. Net income was $34.7 million, including $39.2 million from the Communications Infrastructure segments and a net loss of $4.5 million from the Allstream segment.

https://investors.zayo.com/home/default.aspx

VMware to acquire UHANA for telco AI

VMware agreed to acquire Uhana, a start-up focused on deep learning and real-time AI in carrier networks and applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

VMware said it intends to add Uhana’s technology to its own Telco Cloud and Edge Cloud portfolio.

Uhana, which is based in Palo Alto, California, is developing a highly-scalable, low-latency, real-time stream processing and AI platform, deployable in the operator’s private cloud or public cloud infrastructure. It includes a high-performance stream processing engine that ingests subscriber-level network telemetry from a variety of data sources: the radio access network, the core network and optionally even the over-the-top (OTT) application directly, and processes the telemetry to provide real-time, per-subscriber visibility. It also includes an AI engine that discovers and predicts anomalies in the network and/or application, prioritizes them by their estimated impact, infers their likely root causes and automatically recommends optimization strategies for the best subscriber experience.

In a blog posting, Uhana co-founder Sachin Katti writes: "After the deal closes, with the addition of Uhana’s technology to VMware’s Telco and Edge Cloud portfolio, Uhana will further support VMware’s ability to serve the telecom industry and deepen intelligence in the journey to 5G. Uhana’s technology will empower intelligence and analytics for the VMware Smart Assurance and VMware Smart Experience products."

http://www.uhana.io/about
https://blogs.vmware.com/telco/vmware-to-add-uhana-to-telecommunications-portfolio-harnessing-the-power-of-ai-for-mobile-networks/

VMware to acquire Bitfusion for virtualized hard acceleration

VMware has agreed to acquire Bitfusion, a pioneer in virtualization of accelerated compute with a strong focus on GPU technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bitfusion offers a software platform that decouples specific physical resources from the servers they are attached to in the environment. This enables better sharing of GPU resources among isolated GPU compute workloads, even allowing sharing to happen across the network.

For example, the platform can share GPUs in a virtualized infrastructure, as a pool of network-accessible resources, rather than isolated resources per server. Additionally, the platform can be extended to support other accelerators like FPGAs and ASICs. In many ways, Bitfusion offers for hardware acceleration what VMware offered to the compute landscape several years ago. Bitfusion also aligns well with VMware’s “Any Cloud, Any App, Any Device” vision with its ability to work across AI frameworks, clouds, networks, and formats such as virtual machines and containers.

VMware said the acquisition of Bitfusion will bolster its strategy of supporting AI- and ML-based workloads by virtualizing hardware accelerators. VMware plans to integrate Bitfusion into the vSphere platform.

Bitfusion is based in Sunnyvale, California and Austin, Texas.

https://bitfusion.io/

VMware to acquire Avi Networks for cloud load balancing

VMware agreed to acquire Avi Networks, start-up offering multi-cloud application delivery services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Avi Networks, which is based in Santa Clara, California, delivers multi-cloud application services including a Software Load Balancer, Intelligent Web Application Firewall (iWAF) and Elastic Service Mesh. Avi’s central control plane and distributed data plane deliver application services as a dynamic, multi-cloud fabric which intelligently automates decisions and provides unprecedented application analytics and on-demand elasticity. Avi customers can dispatch services such as load balancing and web application firewall to any application using one centralized interface. Avi technology runs across private and public clouds, and supports applications running on VMs, containers and bare metal. The company claims hundreds of global enterprise deployments, including Fortune 500 companies representing the world’s largest financial services, media, and technology companies.

VMware said it will offer both built-in load balancing capabilities as part of VMware NSX Data Center, and an advanced, standalone ADC. Avi Networks will further enable VMware to bring the public cloud experience to the entire data center—automated, highly scalable, and intrinsically more secure with the ability to deploy applications with a single click.

Cignal AI: Optical spending shifts from telcos to cloud operators

Cloud and colo spending increased over 50% in North America, offsetting declines in other regions, with Ciena continuing to lead all sales to cloud operators, according to the most recent Optical Customer Markets Report from research firm Cignal AI.

In EMEA, traditional telco (incumbent and wholesale network operators) optical spending recovered and will grow by double digits during 2019. Spending growth by these operators is slowing in APAC as total spending reaches record highs. Huawei continues to lead this market in APAC, EMEA, and CALA, while Ciena leads in North America.

“Optical spending in North America continues to shift from traditional telco providers to the cloud and colo operators,” said Scott Wilkinson, Lead Analyst for Optical Hardware at Cignal AI. “Despite traditional telco operators accounting for most spending, the rapid growth in cloud spending combined with traditional operators now adopting cloud architectures has permanently changed supplier R&D priorities.”

Additional findings in the 1Q19 Optical Customer Markets Report include:

  • Ciena Waveserver Ai market share continues to increase as cloud & colo spending grows. New compact modular platforms targeted at this market are entering the market in 2Q19 with Cisco, Infinera, and Nokia among those expecting stronger sales in the next quarter.
  • North American cable/MSO spending declined in the first quarter. However, moderate growth is still expected in 2019.
  • Enterprise and Government spending shows pressure from consolidation and Cloud and Colo encroachment and isn’t expected to recover in the next two years.


https://cignal.ai/2019/07/cloud-and-colo-optical-hardware-spending-increases-by-50-in-north-america/


Japan's Synspective targets Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites.

Synspective, a start-up based in Tokyo, announced US$100 million in funding for its efforts to deliver satellite data solutions using small sized SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellites.

SAR satellites actively observe and acquire earth surface information by transmitting and receiving reflected microwaves. Compared to optical satellites, which depend on sunlight reflection, SAR can capture images of the ground surface in all-weather conditions and any time of the day or night.

Synspective's core technology was developed by the ImPACT program* led by The Cabinet Office, Government of Japan. The company plans to orbit a constellation of small SAR satellites, allowing frequent observation of areas of interest. Clients for Synspective's geospatial data will include governments and private companies.

Synspective’s Co-founder and CEO, Motoyuki Arai, commented that “Synspective's first demonstration satellite is to be launched in 2020 and is steadily being developed. Customized solutions services have already been contracted by several companies, prior to launch. By providing objective satellite data, Synspective will contribute to the progress of the advancing world by supporting people's decision-making and impactful actions”.

Strategic Wireless Infrastructure Funds buys cell towers in Iowa

Strategic Wireless Infrastructure Funds Management has acquired a portfolio of cell towers located in various counties throughout Iowa.

“We believe this acquisition highlights our expertise and commitment to creating strategic partnerships not only with tower owners and developers but with the wireless operators as well. This was a complex and challenging acquisition that served to accentuate the unique experience and robust capabilities of our management team.”

The towers are at approximately 50% capacity, which management believes provides significant upside and value creation upon lease-up. Management expects to pursue additional wireless carriers, governmental agencies, radio stations, wireless internet service providers and others to help maximize occupancy on the towers.

Jerry Sullivan, CEO of Strategic Wireless, stated, “We believe this acquisition highlights our expertise and commitment to creating strategic partnerships not only with tower owners and developers but with the wireless operators as well. This was a complex and challenging acquisition that served to accentuate the unique experience and robust capabilities of our management team.”

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