Sunday, February 9, 2020

NFV for Rapid Service Activation



State of NFV Resource Site and Report: https://ngi.how/nfv-20

Spectrum Enterprise sees a great role for NFV for rapid turnup of services for enterprise customers across all sizes. Satya Parimi, Group Vice President, Enterprise Data and Smart City at Spectrum Enterprise, discusses how NFV opens the door to deliver new and innovative services to enterprises.

https://youtu.be/WMZDy0oOmdk

Ericsson pulls out of Mobile World Congress 2020

Citing concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus, Ericsson has decided to pull out of MWC Barcelona 2020.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, says: “The health and safety of our employees, customers and other stakeholders are our highest priority. This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We were looking forward to showcasing our latest innovations at MWC in Barcelona. It is very unfortunate, but we strongly believe the most responsible business decision is to withdraw our participation from this year’s event.”

MWC19 Barcelona attendance hits record 109,000

Attendance at MWC19 Barcelona was 109,000, up slightly from recent years:

2019 - 109,000
2018 - 107,000
2017 - 108,000
2016 - 101,000

Visitors came from 198 countries and territories, and more than 55 percent of this year’s MWC attendees held senior-level positions, including 7,900 CEOs.

More than 2,400 companies participated at MWC19 across more than 120,000 net square meters of exhibition and hospitality space at Fira Gran Via.

Amazon, NVIDIA, Viavi also withdraw from MWC

Amazon.com statement: ""Due to the outbreak and continued concerns about the new coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020."

NVIDIA's statement: "Given public health risks around the coronavirus, ensuring the safety of our colleagues, partners and customers is our highest concern. MWC Barcelona is one of the world’s most important technology conferences. We’ve been looking forward to sharing our work in AI, 5G and vRAN with the industry. We regret not attending, but believe this is the right decision."

Viavi Solutions's statement: "After reviewing all available data, VIAVI has chosen to cancel participation in this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona out of an abundance of caution and concern for our employees, customers and partners. VIAVI remains excited about its powerful suite of 5G solutions."

GSMA offers more safety assurances

Following news of additional exhibitor withdrawals from Mobile World Congress, GSMA confirmed that the event will occur as scheduled 24-27 February 2020.

The GSMA is seeking to reassure attendees and exhibitors that their health and safety are our paramount concern, by the following additional measures being put in place:
  • All travellers from the Hubei province will not be permitted access to the event*
  • All travellers who have been in China will need to demonstrate proof they have been outside of China 14 days prior to the event (passport stamp, health certificate)
  • Temperature screening will be implemented
  • Attendees will need to self-certify they have not been in contact with anyone infected.
  • While further planning is underway, we will continue to monitor the situation and will adapt our plans according to developments and advice we receive. We are contending with a constantly evolving situation, that will require fast adaptability.
  • Increased cleaning and disinfection programme across all high-volume touchpoints, e.g. catering areas, surfaces, handrails, WCs, entrances/exits, public touch-screens, etc. along with the use of correct cleaning/sanitising materials and products
  • Increased onsite medical support – doubled over last year
  • Awareness campaign via online and onsite info-share and signage
  • Availability of sanitising and disinfection materials for public use
  • Awareness and training to all staff on standard personal preventative measures, e.g. personal hygiene, frequency of use of sanitising/disinfection products, etc.
  • Advice to exhibitors on implementing effective cleaning and disinfection of stands, offices along with guidance on personal hygiene measures and common preventive behaviour 
  • Public health guidelines and advice communication to Barcelona hotels, public and private transport, restaurants and catering outlets, retail, etc. 
  • Installing new signage onsite reminding attendees of hygiene recommendations Implementing a microphone disinfecting and change protocol for all speakers 
  • Communicating advice to all attendees to adopt a ‘no-handshake policy’ 
  • A 24-hour telephone Security and Medical service for all attendees, operational from 12th to 29th February 2020. This number appears on the back of badge holders, in the event App and on signage around the venue.

Netskope raises a whopping $340M for its Secure Access Server Edge

Netskope, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, raised $340 million in a new funding for its secure access server edge (SASE) and cloud security solutions.

The funding round led by new investor Sequoia Capital Global Equities. New investors Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and PSP Investments participated, as well as all existing investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Accel, Base Partners, ICONIQ Capital, Sapphire Ventures, Geodesic Capital and Social Capital. Following this investment, the company has achieved a valuation of nearly $3 billion.

The Netskope Security Cloud Platform provides visibility and real-time data and threat protection when accessing cloud services, websites, and private apps from anywhere, on any device. The solution combines next-generation secure web gateway (SWG) capabilities, zero trust secure access, advanced machine learning to detect unauthorized data exfiltration, and advanced threat protection to prevent cloud-based attacks that often evade legacy defenses.

“When we started Netskope in 2012, it was clear that the cloud was changing everything, but few saw how it would disrupt security,” said Sanjay Beri, CEO of Netskope. “Since inception, we have always focused on architecting a true cloud platform that, over time, will secure and govern all of an enterprise’s traffic as the perimeter evolves into a new high-performance worldwide cloud edge. This latest investment from the top enterprise and security investors in the world is proof of not only our enormous success in establishing Netskope as the new gold standard for cloud-delivered security, but also that the astounding level of global demand we’re seeing today is just the tip of the iceberg.”

“Netskope has become the unrivaled leader driving innovation across cloud, data and network security, which makes up the largest part of today's security market,” said Patrick Fu, managing partner at Sequoia Capital Global Equities. “Netskope is raising the bar for game changers who are successfully pushing beyond the limitations of existing technology to reshape a market. Sanjay and the entire Netskope team are on an incredible trajectory, and we are thrilled to partner with this talented team for the long term.”

Netskope 2019 Momentum Highlights

  • 80 percent year-over-year growth in number of customers, which includes 25 percent of the Fortune 100
  • Nearly 50 percent growth in employee headcount, with significant investments in engineering and sales
  • Expanded executive bench to include CFO Drew Del Matto, Chief Development Officer David Wu, and SVP Platform Engineering Joe DePalo
  • Opened new worldwide offices in Paris, São Paulo, Seattle, New York, St. Louis, San Francisco, Tokyo and a new headquarters in Santa Clara
  • Expanded internationally in Australia, Singapore, Chile, Columbia, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Spain, and Germany
  • Named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) for the third year in a row
  • Ranked among the Forbes Cloud 100 for the third year in a row, rising 25 spots from last year’s placement to #64
  • Launched NewEdge, the globally distributed network that enables the Netskope cloud-native security platform to deliver real-time security without compromising performance
  • Released the industry’s only next-generation SWG solution that seamlessly consolidates inline cloud-native SWG, inline cloud-native CASB and Cloud DLP capabilities
  • Unveiled Netskope Private Access, a cloud-based service for secure access to private enterprise applications in both the public cloud and the data center
  • Opened 26 new data centers to allow Netskope to run on one of the world’s largest and fastest security networks NewEdge, enabling the Netskope cloud-native security platform to deliver real-time security without compromising performance


U.S. Cellular launches LTE-M

U.S. Cellular launched its LTE-M network on more than 90% of its cell sites nationwide. The carrier aims to have LTE-M running on 100% of its cell sites in the second quarter of 2020.

U.S. Cellular’s said its LTE-M network is ideal for IoT solutions such as fleet and asset management, tank monitoring, smart meters and other applications because of its low power wide area technology (LPWAN) that provides extended coverage at a lower cost. Low power or battery-limited LTE-M devices can be less complex, lower cost and built for mass adoption of IoT applications and deployment.

“Our LTE-M network brings our business and government customers capabilities and features that will enable an entirely new set of use cases to help them improve their operations and grow their business,” said Jim Anetsberger, vice president of business sales at U.S. Cellular. “We want to set our IoT customers up for future success with solutions that are designed to meet their specific needs. Working together with our vendors and customers, we can unleash the potential of our LTE-M network.”

U.S. Cellular currently supports several LTE-M modules, including the Telit ME910C1-WW and ME910C1-NA, Quectel BG96 and u-blox SARA-R410M, with additional vendors coming soon. As the company continues to build out and evolve its LTE-M network, new features and capabilities will be added.

https://business.uscellular.com

DOCOMO invests in Wiliot for Bluetooth sensors

NTT DOCOMO Ventures made an equity investment in Wiliot Ltd., a start-up based in Caesarea, Israel, that has developed sticker-sized, always-on Bluetooth sensor tags that can operate without battery and can be used for object tracking solutions.

Wiliot's cloud-connected sensor, which is the size of a postage stamp, offers Bluetooth and RFID. It can operate battery-free by capturing the electric power of radio waves from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. In addition to transmitting encrypted ID information, the product is able to detect temperature levels and product pickup movements without special sensor devices. Any Bluetooth Low Energy communication device such as a phone, smart speaker and many Wi-Fi access points can receive information from the product. Later this year Wiliot expects to announce mass production of its product.

Facebook activates data center in New Albany, Ohio

Facebook activated a new hyperscale data center in New Albany, Ohio. Facebook broke ground on this data center in August 2017.


Facebook also announced plans to expand the New Albany Data Center facility by adding two more buildings, makig this a nearly 2.5 million square foot campus. Once completed, this facility will represent an investment of more than $1 billion and support over 150 jobs.

https://www.facebook.com/NewAlbanyDataCenter/


New Albany is a town of about 8,500 people located in the geographic center of Ohio, about 20 miles to the northeast of Columbus, and at an elevation of 1,000 feet.

Like Facebook's other recent data center projects, this new facility will be powered 100% by renewable energy and it will used Open Compute Project architecture and principles, including direct evaporative cooling by outdoor air.

The New Albany data center will be 900,000 square feet in size and located on a 22 acre parcel.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

State of NFV: The Next Phase of Virtualization - Cisco



State of NFV Resource Site and Report: https://ngi.how/nfv-20

The key challenge for NFV is the operationalization, the automation, and the management that will be required for organizations to succeed. JL Valente, VP/GM Service Provider Solutions, Cloud Platform and Solutions Group at Cisco, takes a look at what’s coming to NFV in 2020 and beyond.

https://youtu.be/OS2f4PSrWKk

FCC Chairman proposes accelerated timeline for opening C-band

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai circulated draft rules with his fellow Commissioners that would reform the use of the C-band and make a large amount of spectrum available for 5G.

The C-band is a 500 megahertz segment of spectrum from 3.7 to 4.2 GHz, which is now mostly used by fixed satellite companies to beam content to video and audio broadcasters, cable systems, and other content distributors.

Under the proposed rules, the lower 280 megahertz of the C-band would be available for flexible use, including 5G, through a public auction.  Existing satellite operations would be repacked into the upper 200 megahertz of the band with relocation costs covered by the winning bidders of the auctioned spectrum.

Chairman Pai argues that his proposal would quickly free up a significant amount of spectrum for next-generation wireless services, and it would generate significant revenue for the U.S. Treasury. The plans calls for an accelerated timeline, with the auction occurring in December 2020. 5G deployments could happen in the lower 100 megahertz of the C-band in 46 of the nation’s top 50 Partial Economic Areas by September 2021 and in the remaining spectrum by September 2023.

https://www.fcc.gov/document/summary-chairman-pais-c-band-proposal

T-Mobile US posts its strongest quarterly and yearly financials to date

T-Mobile US reported 1.9 million total net customer additions for the fourth quarter of 2019, bringing its total customer count to 86.0 million, and marking the 27th straight quarter in which T-Mobile generated more than 1 million total net customer additions. For full-year 2019, total net customer additions were 7.0 million.

Total service revenues increased 6% to a record-high of $8.7 billion in Q4 2019 and 6% to a record-high of $34.0 billion in full-year 2019. These results represent the best quarterly and full-year performance for the company.

“T-Mobile continues to deliver incredible results quarter after quarter! In Q4 we set new financial records across the board and recorded our 27th consecutive quarter with over 1 million total net customer additions,” said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile. “We achieved these spectacular results all while launching the first and only nationwide 5G network, announcing Un-carrier 1.0 for New T-Mobile, and delivering a compelling and fact-based argument in court to support our pending merger. Our results continue to show that the Un-carrier strategy works, and it delivers for both customers and shareholders. I couldn’t be more confident and excited about our future and We Won’t Stop!”

Branded postpaid phone Average Revenue per User (ARPU) decreased 1.1% to $45.79 in Q4 2019 and decreased 0.8% to $46.04 in full-year 2019.
Branded prepaid ARPU was essentially flat at $38.54 in Q4 2019 and down 1.5% to $37.95 in full-year 2019.
 In December 2019, T-Mobile launched its nationwide 5G network, including prepaid 5G with Metro by T-Mobile, covering more than 200 million people and more than 5,000 cities and towns across the United States with 5G.
At the end of Q4 2019, T-Mobile owned a nationwide average of 31 MHz of 600 MHz low-band spectrum.
As of December 31, 2019, T-Mobile  had cleared 275 million POPs and the company expects to clear the remaining 600 MHz POPs in 2020.
T-Mobile continues its deployment of 4G LTE on 600 MHz spectrum, using 5G-ready equipment, with 1.5 million square miles already lit up, covering 248 million POPs in nearly 8,900 cities and towns in 49 states and Puerto Rico.

CoreSite data centers added 224,000 net rentable square feet in 2019

CoreSite reported operating revenues of $146.0 million for Q4 2019, an increase of 5.0% year over year and 0.8% sequentially. For the quarter, the company elivered net income of $0.51 per common diluted share, a decrease of $0.03 year over year and an increase of $0.04 sequentially.

Some operational highlights:

  • Commenced 130 new and expansion leases for 86,187 net rentable square feet (“NRSF”), representing $16.6 million of annualized GAAP rent, for an average rate of $193 per square foot
  • Signed 129 new and expansion leases for 30,770 NRSF and $6.6 million of annualized GAAP rent, for an average rate of $216 per square foot
  • Renewed 323 leases for 151,057 NRSF and $21.9 million of annualized GAAP rent, for an average rate of $145 per square foot, reflecting a decrease of 0.8% in cash rent, an increase of 0.1% in GAAP rent, and 2.9% churn
  • Placed into Service Data Center Expansions of approximately 74,000 square feet
  • Delivered into service SV8 Phase 2 for 54,000 NRSF with 100% occupancy, and BO for 20,000 NRSF
  • For 2019, CoreSite achieved an “eight 9’s” level of reliability, or 99.999999% uptime for power and cooling across its portfolio of data centers, which exceeded the Company’s target of “six 9s” and the industry standard of “five 9s”.
  • Also in 2019, the Company delivered an approximate 4.8% improvement in PUE on a same-store basis compared to 2018. 

Mavenir deploys cloud-native IMS for T-Mobile CZ and Slovak Telecom

Mavenir has deployed its cloud-native, converged IMS solution for both T-Mobile Czech Republic (TMCZ) and Slovak Telekom (ST).

T-Mobile CZ, which is an existing Mavenir customer, has moved its multi-million VoLTE subscribers (prepaid, postpaid, VoWiFi, fixed) to an NFV-based, software infrastructure solution, while continuing to support the same features and functions.

Slovak Telekom has moved to the same solution but is replacing a legacy vendor proprietary hardware 1st generation IMS implementation to an open NFV-based solution. Slovak Telekom started recently to migrate its current VoLTE subscribers from legacy IMS, add new VoLTE subscribers and migrate its fixed subscribers.

Mavenir said both operating companies intend to leverage shared data centers in 2 locations across two countries, and the common implementation to improve operational effectiveness and reduce complexity in the networks.

“We continue with the transformation of our leading networks for our Czech and Slovak customer base, where the convergent Mavenir IMS Voice solution perfectly fits our demand and serves our future technology and cost reduction strategy,” said Branimir Maric, CTIO at T-Mobile CZ and Slovak Telekom. “We selected Mavenir for their ability to solve and overcome IMS deployment challenges quickly, as well as their proven NFV and system integration expertise.”

GSMA's 3rd Coronavirus update: MWC remains on track

On Thursday, GSMA issued its 3rd bulletin in a week concerning the coronavirus, saying that it continues to monitor the situation and there remains minimal impact on MWC Barcelona 2020 thus far.

MWC Barcelona 24-27 February 2020, will proceed as planned, across all venues at Fira Gran Via Fira Montjuïc and La Farga L’Hospitalet, including YoMo and Four Years From Now (4YFN).


Clearfield's fiber-optimized outdoor cabinet adds air conditioning option

Clearfield has added an air conditioner option to its FieldSmart Fiber Active Cabinet (FAC) product line for outdoor enclosures.

The air conditioner option enables the deployment of routers, switches and other non-hardened devices in fiber-fed, outdoor cabinets closer to the end customer.

The FieldSmart FAC sizes that accommodate the air conditioner option also include the following elements:

  • FieldSmart FAC 3200 features two front and rear 16RU 23” frames that can accommodate up to 32RU of active electronics while providing up to 576 internal fiber distribution ports for deployments.
  • FieldSmart FAC 5400 features two swing frame front and rear 27RU 23” frames that can accommodate up to 54RU of active electronics and provides up to 1,152 internal fiber distribution ports for deployments.
  • FieldSmart Fiber Active Cabinets are designed to accommodate the variety of standard options expected in remote cabinets, such as the rectifier system, battery warmers and field upgradeable fiber bulkheads. 

“Customers are telling us they need to place non-hardened active equipment deeper in the network requiring climate-controlled air conditioners that maintain operating temperature inside the cabinet,” said Johnny Hill, Clearfield’s chief operating officer. “The challenge our customers face is that the development times to engineer these devices so that they can be deployed in the outside plant isn’t feasible if they want to take early advantage of market demand. By adding this feature to our FACs, we’re solving that problem for them, with the added benefit of having one partner that’s able to work with them on any deployment.”

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

State of NFV: Evolution of the NFV Market - Colt



2020 State of NFV Site: https://ngi.how/nfv-20

The NFV market is now moving to a maturity stage. Mirko Voltolini, Head of Network on Demand at Colt, discusses the evolution of the market and the significant NFV opportunities moving forward.

https://youtu.be/nbeiy5SrQWI

Vodafone to deactivate Huawei from its mobile core

Vodafone will remove Huawei equipment from the core of its mobile networks across Europe. Following the release of its quarterly financial report, Nick Read, Vodafone's Chief Executive, said the cost of deactivating the Huawei gear will amount to EUR 200 million over 5 years. The company's UK operations are already compliant with the government's recently imposed 35% cap of infrastructure sourced from "high-risk vendors."


For the quarter ended 31-December-2019, Vodafone Group revenue increased by €0.8 billion to €11.8 billion, reflecting the contribution from the acquired Liberty Global assets, partially offset by the disposal of Vodafone New Zealand and foreign exchange headwinds of €0.1 billion. Group organic service revenue increased by 0.8%* (Q2: 0.7%).



https://investors.vodafone.com/investor-relations?icmp=FooterLink

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.

NTT Ltd. builds massive data center campus in Oregon

NTT Ltd. will build a new Pacific Northwest data center campus on a 47-acre property in Hillsboro, Oregon. The Global Data Centers division in the Americas (formerly known as RagingWire Data Centers) is planning on offering a total of 144 megawatts of critical IT load on the new Hillsboro campus. There will be five buildings with a total of 1 million sq. ft. of space. The first six megawatts of critical IT load will be available in mid-2020.

NTT Ltd.’s global data center portfolio ranks as the third-largest data center platform in the world, with over 160 data centers spanning more than 20 countries and regions.

“We are excited to be taking the next step forward in our North American expansion plans by building a new data center campus in a prime location in the Hillsboro market,” said Ryuichi Matsuo, Executive Vice President for NTT Ltd.’s Global Data Centers division. “It’s a strategic decision to build a large data center campus in a network rich, business-friendly environment which also has renewable energy available.”

“Connectivity to Asia through subsea cables, significant tax advantages, and low operational costs, all make Hillsboro a strategic game-changer for companies looking for a data center location that will positively impact their bottom line,” said Doug Adams, President and CEO for the Global Data Centers division in the Americas.



NTT Ltd launched on the 1st of July to bring together 28 brands from around the world like Dimension Data, NTT Communications, NTT Security as well as other NTT acquisitions made in the last 10 years.

Jason Goodall, the newly appointed CEO, talks about this new “40,000 employee startup” that brings together the multitude of assets operating in 57 countries.

Qualcomm cites 5G momentum but warns of unknown coronavirus impact

Qualcomm reported revenue of $5.077 billion for its fiscal first quarter ended December 29, 2019, up 5% compared to a year ago. GAAP net income amounted to $925 million, down 13% yoy.

"Our strong fiscal first quarter financial performance reflects a significant inflection point for Qualcomm as we begin to realize the benefits from the ramp of 5G,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of QualcommIncorporated.

Qualcomm said over 275 5G devices have been announced or are in development, spanning multiple price tiers, based on its silicon. As of December, the three major Korean operators are serving a total of 4.7 million 5G subscribers. In China, over 13 million 5G handsets have been sold.

On an earnings conference call, company executives stressed that there is "significant uncertainty around the impact from the coronavirus on handset demand and supply chain."

FCC takes another look at TV whitespaces for broadband

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has circulated a proposal to his fellow commissioners that would provide new opportunities for unlicensed white space devices for wireless broadband services in rural areas.  Specifically, Chairman Pai is proposing to permit higher transmit power and higher antennas for fixed white space devices in rural areas.  If adopted, these changes would allow white space devices to reach users at greater distances, thus enabling improved broadband coverage.  Higher power would also enable signals to better penetrate foliage, buildings, and other obstacles.  Additionally, his proposal would permit higher power mobile operations within geo-fenced areas and proposes rule revisions to facilitate the development of new and innovative narrowband Internet of Things-based services.  The FCC will vote on the proposal on February 28th.

“TV white spaces can play a critical role in providing broadband services to rural and underserved areas,” said Chairman Pai.  “I saw the promise of this technology in South Boston, a town in rural Virginia, where I met a student who said getting Internet access in his home was a game-changer.  The FCC has taken steps to enable the use of white spaces over the years, and this new proposal would further help bridge the digital divide while protecting TV stations.”

https://www.fcc.gov/document/chairman-pai-proposes-updating-tv-white-space-rules