Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Blueprint column: End users are now demanding virtualized services

by Prayson Pate, CTO, Edge Cloud, ADVA

I used to ask the question: Why do customers of managed services care about NFV?

My answer was: They don’t. But they do care about the benefits of NFV, such as choice, services on demand, and new commercial models such as pay-as-you-go and try-before-you-buy.

But the situation has changed. Now, customers looking at managed services are asking for virtualized solutions. Our sources show that half of end-user tenders for managed services call for universal CPE (uCPE) by name. They want the benefits of a managed service, combined with the benefits of virtualization, without the headaches of doing it themselves.

And, in case you forgot, uCPE is the replacement of a stack of communications devices (e.g., router, firewall, SD-WAN endpoint, etc.) with software applications running on a standard server.

Why are end-users asking for uCPE? 

End-user reasons for virtualized services and uCPE

Here are some of the top reasons that end users are asking for virtualized solutions delivered using uCPE. These reasons apply whether the end-user is consuming a managed service or they are operating their own overlay network services.

Dynamic services delivered on-demand. This is probably the biggest reason. End-users want to be able to choose and change their services in real-time. They know if a service is delivered using a stack of dedicated appliances, then every service change means changing appliances – at every site. This is no longer acceptable, as it is costly, slow and it does not scale.

Usage-based services. End users can consume cloud resources on a pay-as-you-go basis, with no commitments. They want to be able to consume their managed communications services in the same way.

Try-before-you-buy services. Almost every paid service on the internet has a free trial period. End users expect the same with their communications services. Once a site is served by a uCPE hosting device, any service can be offered on a trial basis. This is great for end-users, but why would the service provider and VNF supplier support this model? Because their incremental cost is zero, and the acceptance rate is high. Try-before-you-buy is a win-win for all parties.

User-managed applications. Enterprises want to take advantage of multi-cloud hosting. That includes on-premises hosting to meet requirements for latency, security and bandwidth. They want those benefits, but without having to manage their own hardware. They see managed edge cloud hosting on uCPE as the answer.

Decouple hardware from software and break vendor lock-in. This one is standard for service providers, but it may surprise you to learn that it affects enterprises also. I recently talked to an enterprise that is operating their own SD-WAN network. Their favorite SD-WAN supplier was acquired by one of the big guys. As a result, their pricing went up, and the availability of the endpoint devices got much worse. To make a change meant ripping and replacing every endpoint. They do not want to be in this situation again. By moving to uCPE, they enable a future change of SD-WAN supplier – without changing the installed hardware.

Self-operated network versus managed services

Before we go on, I would like to comment on the eternal debate about whether to run your own network or use managed services. This topic has been well-hashed, but the advent of virtualized services on uCPE changes the equation. It provides more benefits than an appliance-based approach. But it introduces the complexity of a multi-vendor system. The complexity is going to be acceptable for some larger enterprises. But many others will find that a managed and virtualized service gives them all the advantages without the drawbacks (as described here).

Real-world example: before uCPE and with uCPE

Let’s take a look at how the advantages of a virtualized service delivered with uCPE can benefit an end-user. Assume that you are opening a new store or branch office, and you need internet connectivity, VPN, and managed security. Here is a step-by-step comparison of the end-user experience.


I don’t know about you, but I like the “with uCPE” model a lot better!

The cloud is spreading to telecom

End users are increasingly moving their applications to the cloud, and they understand the benefits of doing so. End users expect the same cloud benefits of flexibility, speed and software-centric development in their communications services. NFV and uCPE are how we bring the power of the cloud to communications services – and to end-users.

Celona tests performance edge with CBRS enterprise cellular

Celona, a start-up based in Cupertino, California, is reporting impressive performance results in beta testing of its cellular wireless network solution for enterprises which uses interference-free and clean spectrum offered by CBRS.

Celona's platform creates a dedicated, wireless “express lane” for mission-critical business applications over a private cellular network. The company says its solution is undergoing beta testing at eight new sites including logistics environments, industrial shipping yards, global retail locations and other challenging wireless environments.

Each of the beta sites is deploying Celona’s end-to-end solution. The company has not yet formally announced its products.

Celona said its solution was recently deployed at a music festival held in Las Vegas on December 5, 2019. Applications requiring uninterrupted connectivity at such an event could include Point of Sale (PoS) systems for food, drink and merchandise, RFID scanning, video security and more. Leveraging staff-operated iPhones for performance testing, there were several locations where data rates under 1Mbps were recorded for the public LTE network performance due to an increasing number of music fans in attendance at the event. Celona’s enterprise cellular network in the CBRS spectrum was able to deliver download speeds greater than 25Mbps for the same set of devices, with latency metrics also improving 200x.

“The FCC’s recent decision to allow full-scale commercial deployments in the CBRS band is very timely given the outstanding response Celona has seen to its own end-to-end offering,” said Dr. Mehmet Yavuz, CTO and co-founder at Celona. “Enterprise IT teams across industries want CBRS spectrum to enable a new express lane of communication for business-owned and staff-operated mobile and IoT infrastructure. Low latency and high-reliability operation for relevant applications with the use of private LTE is a key requirement, in addition to simplified deployment and operations.”

In addition to its beta program, Celona cites momentum in the burgeoning Citizen Broadband Radio Service (CBRS)  market by building new partnerships with Cradlepoint and working with global channel partners including World Wide Technology.

http://www.celona.io

Windstream Wholesale to deliver wave capacity to Sparkle

Windstream Wholesale will provide wave connectivity to Sparkle, the first international service provider in Italy and among the top ten global operators, connecting their U.S. IP network.

This connectivity from Sparkle’s PoP in El Paso will take place via the Equinix LA1 International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Los Angeles, which is directly connected to the three other Equinix IBX data centers (LA2, LA3, LA4) in the Los Angeles area via low-latency dark fiber links. The Equinix LA1 IBX offers access to Equinix IBX data centers in 38 major markets globally through Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric. It also offers access to one of the fastest sub-marine cables to Japan.

Windstream Wholesale’s long-haul routes, including a planned Los Angeles-to-Las Vegas route, offer 10 Gbps and 100 Gbps Wavelength services.

“Our customer-tailored routes coupled with our unique domestic network density in Tier 1, 2 and 3 cities make us an ideal provider for international carriers, content providers, fiber operators and others needing domestic diversity and redundancy,” said Joe Scattareggia, executive vice president for wholesale sales at Windstream. “We are delighted to enable Sparkle to grow its customer base through our newly established presence in the Equinix LA1 data center.”

https://www.windstreamenterprise.com/wholesale/interactive-map

IDC: 5G could boost 2020 IT spending

Worldwide IT spending is set to increase by 5% in constant currency this year as software and services investment remains stable while smartphone sales recover on the back of a 5G-driven upgrade cycle in the second half of the year, according to an update to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Black Books.

"Much of this year's growth is dependent on a positive smartphone cycle as the year progresses, but this is under threat from disruption caused by the Coronavirus crisis," said Stephen Minton, program vice president in IDC's Customer Insights & Analysis group. "Our current forecast is for broadly stable tech spending in 2020, but PC sales will be way down on last year, while server/storage investments will not recover to the levels of growth seen in 2018 when hyperscale service providers were deploying new datacenters at an aggressive pace."

Some highlights from IDC:

  • Excluding smartphones, IT spending will dip from 7% growth in 2019 to 4% in 2020. 
  • Software growth will decelerate slightly from last year's 10% to less than 9% and IT services growth will dip from 4% to 3%.
  • Most of the slowdown will be due to the PC market where the end of the recent buying cycle (partly driven by Windows 10 upgrades) will see PC sales decline by 6% this year compared to 7% growth in PC spending last year.
  • Hyperscale service provider IT spending will recover to 9% growth this year, up from just 3% in 2019, but this is short of the pace of two years ago. 
  • Cloud infrastructure and digital services providers will also continue to increase their IT budgets in order to meet strong end-user demand for cloud and digital services, which will continue to expand at a double-digit rate of growth as enterprise buyers increasingly shift their IT budgets to the as-a-service model.

Court approves T-Mobile US + Sprint merger

The U.S. Federal Court in New York approved the merger of T-Mobile US and Sprint. The companies said they are now taking final steps to complete their merger to create the New T-Mobile.

“Today was a huge victory for this merger … and now we are FINALLY able to focus on the last steps to get this merger done! We want to thank the Court for its thorough review of the facts we presented in our case. We’ve said it all along: the New T-Mobile will be a supercharged Un-carrier that is great for consumers and great for competition. The broad and deep 5G network that only our combined companies will be able to bring to life is going to change wireless … and beyond. Look out Dumb and Dumber and Big Cable – we are coming for you … and you haven’t seen anything yet!” said John Legere, Chief Executive Officer of T-Mobile.

“Judge Marrero’s decision validates our view that this merger is in the best interests of the U.S. economy and American consumers,” said Sprint Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure. “Today brings us a big step closer to creating a combined company that will provide nationwide 5G, lower costs, and a high-performing network that will invigorate competition to the benefit of all mobile wireless and in-home broadband consumers. With the support of federal regulators and now this Court, we will focus on quickly completing the few remaining necessary steps to close this transaction. I am proud of my Sprint team’s dedication, passion and resilience throughout the merger review process, and we are ready to make the vision of a New T-Mobile a reality.”

FCC approves T-Mobile + Sprint merger

The FCC voted to approve the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint with the following commitments from the new T-Mobile:

  • Within three years, the company will deploy 5G service to cover 97% of the American people, and within six years to reach 99% of all Americans. This commitment includes deploying 5G service to cover 85% of rural Americans within three years and 90% of rural Americans within six years.
  • Within six years, 90% of Americans would have access to mobile service with speeds of at least 100 Mbps and 99% of Americans would have access to speeds
  • of at least 50 Mbps. This includes two-thirds of rural Americans having access to mobile service with speeds of at least 100 Mbps, and 90% of rural Americans having access to speeds of at least 50 Mbps. 

The FCC ruled that the merger would not harm competition and that the transaction is in the public interest.

In connection with the merger, the FCC also proposed modifications to construction deadlines related to DISH licenses and the Department of Justice’s consent decree, where DISH pledged to become a new entrant into the wireless industry. DISH has committed to offering 5G to over two-thirds of Americans within four years.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai stated "New T-Mobile will be far better positioned to deploy Sprint’s extensive 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings than would Sprint standing alone, given that company’s financial situation. Indeed, New TMobile’s network will cover at least 88% of Americans with mid-band 5G within six years, a far wider deployment than either Sprint or T-Mobile would be able to accomplish on their own."

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.

DE-CIX opens PoP at NJFX Cable Landing Station

DE-CIX, which now operates the largest Internet Exchange (IX) in the New York market, has established a Point of Presence (PoP) in the NJFX Cable Landing Station (CLS).

The new PoP at NJFX will provide access for customers to exchange traffic so that their data can traverse directly from the U.S. East Coast to Europe and beyond, as well as up and down the East Coast U.S. corridor to the New York metro area, and to Ashburn, Virginia. Customers can also interexchange traffic across the multiple subsea cable systems available at NJFX, including TGN1, TGN2, and Seabras, in addition to HAVFRUE/AEC2 later this year.

“DE-CIX is establishing more than just a point of presence at NJFX,” comments Felix Seda, General Manager for NJFX. “With the deployment of a router to exchange traffic directly at NJFX, it decreases the hops and increases security while improving latency, and allows carriers and service providers to reach their destinations more directly.”

Currently, DE-CIX serves more than 1850 network operators, Internet service providers (ISPs), and content providers from 100+ countries with peering and interconnection services at its more than 20 locations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America. DE-CIX North America operates two IXs in Dallas and New York.

“For global enterprises, ISPs, CDNs and network operators, having access to diverse terrestrial and subsea options for connectivity is the coin of the realm, the foundation of their ability to reach new customers and penetrate new markets,” states Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX International. “By establishing a presence at the NJFX CLS colocation campus, customers are now able to leverage direct, low latency routes to major U.S. business hubs in New York and Ashburn that avoid legacy chokepoints.  In addition, customers can also gain access to multiple subsea cable systems for intercontinental data exchange, including critical transatlantic connectivity to Europe. We are also seeing the LATAM market as one of the focus regions for networks we want to connect in NJFX to DE-CIX New York.”

http://www.njfx.net

Further MWC cancellations: AT&T, Ciena, Cisco, Facebook, Intel

A10 Networks
AT&T
Ciena
Cisco
F5 Networks
Facebook
iconnectiv
Intel
McAfee
Mediatek
Open-Xchange
Royole (foldable screen technology)
Spirent
Sprint
Vivo

MWC20 cancellation updates

Accedian: “After careful consideration, we have taken the decision to withdraw from MWC 2020. This was not a decision taken lightly. We’ve been extensively following the development of the virus and the recommendations of the WHO, and we have come to the conclusion that we must take the necessary precautions to protect our most cherished and valued assets: our employees,” said Dion Joannou, CEO, Accedian.

Amdocs statement: "In the face of the public health concern from the novel coronavirus, we are placing the highest priority on protecting the health of our employees, customers and partners. While we appreciate the precautionary measures put into place by the GSMA, we believe the safest option is not to attend MWC 2020 in Barcelona," said Shuky Sheffer, president and chief executive officer, Amdocs.

CommScope statement: "This is not a decision our executive team took lightly, and although the likelihood of contracting the virus is low, we will not risk the health of our employees, nor the business impact that would result if a quarantine were ordered. The team is currently exploring virtual trade show and meeting options to showcase the new CommScope portfolio."

Dali Wireless: “This was not a decision we took lightly, but ultimately, it’s not worth us potentially exposing our employees to health and safety risks, or propagating the spread of the virus with international travel,” said Dr. Albert Lee, CEO. iconectiv

InterDigital: 
"“InterDigital has a very proud history at Mobile World Congress: over the years we’ve taken advantage of the event to unveil numerous world’s firsts in communications technology, and this year we were excited to show some groundbreaking demos including a working 6G platform. However, nothing is more important to us than the health and welfare of our employees. We’ll be reaching out to our various stakeholders to discuss better means of bringing our new technologies to them and engaging in the important discussions that always take place in Barcelona,” said William J. Merritt, President and CEO."

NTT

Sony

Previously announced cancellations: Amazon, EricssonLGNVIDIAViavi Solutions

A10 posts Q4 revenue of $60 million, up 14% sequentially

A10 Networks reported Q4 2019 revenue of $60.3 million, up 14 percent compared with $52.8 million in third quarter 2019. GAAP gross margin was 77.7 percent. GAAP net income was  $0.0 million, or $0.00 per basic and diluted share. Non-GAAP net income of $7.8 million, or $0.10 per basic and diluted share.

"I am thrilled to join A10 Networks at an exciting time for the business,” said Dhrupad Trivedi, president and chief executive officer of A10 Networks. “A10 occupies an attractive area within networking and security, as companies increasingly focus on delivering business outcomes while managing operational complexities from proliferation of IoT, shift to hybrid cloud environments, and ever-increasing complexity of the cybersecurity landscape. Service providers around the world also face the same challenges while getting ready for 5G technology to support many of these consumption trends."

Monday, February 10, 2020

NFV for Future-proofing the Enterprise



Customers want to put in place a platform that future-proofs their enterprise. In this video, Bob Victor, Head of Product at Comcast Business, shares the Comcast Business perspective on NFV.

https://youtu.be/hd52Wus2MBg

Vantage Data Centers launch $2 billion European expansion strategy

Vantage Data Centers has launched a $2 billion expansion into Europe with the aim of establishing itself in the hyperscale market.

As part of its expansion strategy, Vantage has acquired Etix Everywhere, which has 50MW of built data center capacity across its footprint and is building a 55MW hyperscale data center campus in Frankfurt, Germany. Financial terms were not disclosed. In conjunction with the Etix acquisition, Antoine Boniface, former CEO of Etix, has joined the Vantage executive team to serve as president, Europe.

In addition, Vantage Europe has secured land and is planning to develop hyperscale data center campuses in Berlin, Milan, Warsaw and Zurich. The facilities, which are currently underway, are in the following European markets:

  • Berlin: 64MW campus on 13 acres (5 hectares)
  • Milan: 32MW campus on 17 acres (7 hectares)
  • Warsaw: 64MW campus 12 acres (5 hectares)
  • Zurich: 40MW campus on 7 acres (3 hectares)

Vantage said intends to invest USD $2 billion in its planned European expansion, including more than USD $800 million in new equity capital provided by Vantage’s current investors and a new commitment from Digital Colony Partners.

“As data center demand from our customer base continues to rapidly increase worldwide, Vantage is embarking upon its largest expansion ever into Europe through the development of five strategic markets,” said Sureel Choksi, president and CEO of Vantage. “The acquisition of Etix accelerates our expansion to Frankfurt, Europe’s highest growth hyperscale market. We are very excited to welcome Antoine and his team to lead our European business.”

Inclusive of this European expansion, Vantage will operate hyperscale data center campuses in 11 markets globally.

Vantage Data Centers added 41MW capacity in 2019

In 2019, Vantage Data Centers added 41MW of capacity into operation across North America.

Vantage opened new facilities in Northern Virginia, Santa Clara, California, and Quebec City, in addition to its expansion in Montreal. The company also purchased land outside of Phoenix in Goodyear, Arizona, where it is developing the company’s largest campus to date.

“Our growth in 2019 was extraordinary, fulfilling the goals we set early in the year,” said Sureel Choksi, president and CEO, Vantage Data Centers. “Not only did we expand outside of the U.S. for the first time, we also opened three new facilities and entered four new markets. This tremendous growth has been fueled by demand from hyperscalers, cloud providers and large enterprises and powered by an innovative funding strategy.”

In addition, over the course of 2019, Vantage raised $1.6 billion in capital to support its expansion across North America. In addition, Vantage opened a second headquarters in Denver to facilitate the growth of its employee base.

Snowflake lands $479M for its cloud data platform

Snowflake, a start-up based in San Mateo, California, announced $479 million in new funding for its cloud data platform.

Snowflake’s cloud data platform supports a multi-cloud strategy, including availability on AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform. Snowflake offers a common and interchangeable code base that delivers advantages such as global data replication, which means you can move your data to any cloud in any region, without having to re-code your applications. 

Since its general release in mid-2015, Snowflake has gained 3,400 customers, including recent customers include Accor, Brex, CONA Services, ConAgra Foods, Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited, JetBlue, and Nationwide.

The new funding was co-led by new investors, Dragoneer Investment Group and Salesforce Ventures. Existing Snowflake investors, including Altimeter Capital, ICONIQ Capital, Madrona Venture Group, Redpoint Ventures, Sequoia, and Sutter Hill Ventures, are also participating in the round. This funding round raises Snowflake's post-money valuation to over $12.4 billion. T

“We look forward to Dragoneer’s experience and insights as we continue to serve our customers and grow our business,” Snowflake CEO, Frank Slootman said. “We also welcome our partnership with Salesforce and look forward to the positive impact our technologies and services will deliver to our customers and the broader market.”

Snowflake adds $450 million in funding for data warehousing

Snowflake Computing, a start-up based in San Mateo, California, closed $450 million in additional growth funding led by Sequoia Capital and including existing investors: Altimeter Capital, Capital One Growth Ventures, ICONIQ Capital, Madrona Venture Group, Redpoint Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and Wing Ventures. New investor Meritech Capital also joined this round, which raises Snowflake’s pre-money valuation to $3.5 billion.

Earlier this year, Snowflake announced $263 million new venture funding in a round led by ICONIQ Capital, Altimeter Capital and newcomer Sequoia Capital.

This second round brings Snowflake’s total amount raised to $923 million.

Snowflake is headed by Bob Muglia, who previously was president of Microsoft’s $16 billion Server and Tools Business, responsible for products such as Windows Server, SQL Server, System Center and Windows Azure. Snowflake recently announced its availability on Microsoft Azure and its continued support for Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Snowflake has offered data warehousing services since 2015. It claims 1,000 active customers, including Netflix, Office Depot, DoorDash, Netgear, Ebates and Yamaha.

“Learning to be data-driven is an imperative for every organization today, and a data-driven organization must be in control of its data,” Snowflake CEO Bob Muglia said. “Snowflake is the most powerful data warehouse in the world for analytics solutions. That power delivers the security, control and business answers needed to enable data-driven organizations. This is driving spectacular growth for our company, and this latest funding round will provide Snowflake with the resources we need to serve our rapidly growing set of new and existing customers around the world.”

PacketFabric to leverage Inphi's 100GbE QSFP28 DWDM optics

PacketFabric, which operates a Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform for providing data center interconnects, has selected Inphi's COLORZ 100GbE QSFP28 DWDM optics to increase network capacity between metro data center locations.

Inphi says its COLORZ 100GbE QSFP28 DWDM optics can deliver up to 4 Tbps of bandwidth over a single fiber, enabling PacketFabric to dramatically scale its private layer 2 networking platform. PacketFabric has modernized network services by applying cloud-based concepts to provisioning, delivery, and billing.

“Our ability to deliver a cost effective 100GbE metro Ethernet service hinges on quickly turning up underlying optical metro connectivity,” said Lew Maggio, Director of Network Operations, PacketFabric. “The DWDM infrastructure modernization offered by COLORZ reduces our deployment time by over 60% for in metro capacity, allowing us to add terabytes of capacity in response to customer demands.”

“We are delighted to support PacketFabric’s vision and ability to build a disruptive SDN networking architecture,” said Tomas Maj, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Optical Interconnect at Inphi. “Low power and cost effective pay as you grow 100G DWDM optics are a critical enabler for efficiently connecting metro data centers.”

Inphi samples first 400ZR QSFP-DD transceiver

Inphi has begun sampling its COLORZ II 400ZR QSFP-DD pluggable coherent transceiver for cloud data center interconnects (DCIs) to major cloud operators and OEMs.

Inphi cites several industry firsts for its COLORZ II 400ZR QSFP-DD:

  • 400G single-chip, coherent Silicon Photonics Integrated Circuit (PIC) that includes all transmit and receive functions 
  • Innovative, low cost, passive alignment of fiber to the PIC that eliminates the complicated active alignment, using traditional optics
  • Low power, high performance, 7nm CMOS-based coherent DSP enabling 400ZR as well as extended reach 100/200/300/400G ZR+ modes
  • Integrated industry standard firmware management interface that enables full performance monitoring previously only available in DCI or transport systems directly from the optical module

ZenFi expands its C-RAN in New Jersey with 600 small cell nodes

ZenFi Networks, which operates a dense fiber network in the NY-NJ metro region, has expanded its C-RAN network with the deployment of over 600 turnkey small cell nodes in Northern New Jersey. In addition to deploying fronthaul fiber to each of these nodes, ZenFi Networks was selected by a major mobile network operator (MNO) to provide wireless siting and network edge colocation in support of the 5G network build out.

ZenFi Networks has been deploying mobile network infrastructure throughout NYC for more than 5 years, leveraging its augmented capabilities from its 2018 merger with Cross River Fiber to deploy C-RAN-enabling infrastructure in Northern New Jersey.

“The regional demand for wireless network infrastructure continues to explode,” comments ZenFi Networks’ Co-Founder and CEO, Ray LaChance. “Our customers benefit from our extensive New York City and New Jersey metro network that allows them to deploy their 4G and 5G capabilities. Now, as a strategic byproduct of this explosive growth, this highly dense, highly accessible network can be leveraged by others to provide value-added services.”

http://www.zenfi.com

ZenFi + Cross River Fiber merger creates NJ-NYC powerhouse

ZenFi Networks, which operates a high fiber count network across all five boroughs of the City of New York, completed its previously announced merger with Cross River Fiber, which operates high-capacity and latency-sensitive fiber optic backbone spans throughout New Jersey and New York. The deal will create a leading communications infrastructure provider in the New York and New Jersey metro areas with more than 700 route miles of fiber optic network, 130 on-net buildings, 49 colocation facilities and 1,700 outdoor wireless locations with more than 3,000 under contract.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We celebrate a new milestone as we formally merge two of the region’s most highly regarded communication infrastructure providers into one agile, innovative organization dedicated to delivering solutions to clients more efficiently,” comments Ray LaChance, CEO of ZenFi Networks. “This transaction enhances our network reach, deepens our product portfolio, and delivers a premier regional communications network infrastructure that is the foundation for 5G network deployments and tomorrow’s evolving network technology needs.”

Arm debuts Neural Processing Unit and Cortex-M55

Arm introduced its first microNPU (Neural Processing Unit) for delivering machine learning for its Cortex-M processor line. The company also introduced its Cortex-M55, its most AI-capable Cortex-M processor to date and the first based on the Armv8.1-M architecture with Arm Helium vector processing technology for significantly enhanced, energy-efficient DSP and ML performance. Cortex-M55 delivers up to a 15x uplift in ML performance and a 5x uplift in DSP performance, with greater efficiency, compared to previous Cortex-M generations. Arm claims a combined 480x leap in ML performance to microcontrollers.

“Enabling AI everywhere requires device makers and developers to deliver machine learning locally on billions, and ultimately trillions of devices,” said Dipti Vachani, senior vice president and general manager, Automotive and IoT Line of Business, Arm.

“Google and Arm have been collaborating to fully optimize TensorFlow on Arm’s architecture, enabling machine learning on embedded devices for very power-constrained and cost-sensitive applications, often deployed without network connectivity. This new IP from Arm furthers our shared vision of billions of TensorFlow-enabled devices using ML at the endpoint. These devices can run neural network models on batteries for years, and deliver low-latency inference directly on the device,” states Ian Nappier, Product Manager, TensorFlow Lite for Microcontrollers, Google.

https://www.arm.com/company/news/2020/02/new-ai-technology-from-arm

Aqua Comms expands submarine system presence at 1025Connect

Aqua Comms, which operates subsea cable connecting the U.S. and Europe, is expanding its presence at 1025Connect, a 200,000-square-foot Technology Center and colocation facility located at 1025 Old Country Road in Westbury, New York. This provides 1025Connect customers with access to the North Atlantic Loop, a resilient dual-path network across the Atlantic.

1025Connect is a premier colocation interconnection facility on Long Island with more than 15 carriers and service providers available in the building, now including Aqua Comms’ North Atlantic Loop dual-path transAtlantic subsea cable system, along with Altice/Lightpath, CenturyLink, Crown Castle, DE-CIX Internet Exchange, Epsilon, OCG, RCN and Verizon. 1025Connect delivers direct access to multiple submarine cable systems connecting North America, Europe and Latin America, with the ability to bypass Manhattan fiber routes for greater network redundancy and diversity.

“Aqua Comms' expansion within 1025Connect is a boon for operators and businesses on Long Island who are looking for cost-effective, resilient and reliable infrastructure for their global communication requirements,” comments John Danko, Director of Business Development for 1025Connect. “Along with a number of other subsea cable systems, terrestrial networks and the world’s leading Internet exchange, having Aqua Comms now directly available at 1025Connect’s colocation facility, customers gain more control and access than ever before, offering a truly viable option for domestic and international companies seeking affordable and manageable connectivity solutions.”

Aqua Comm's AEC-2 subsea cable to tie into Interxion Copenhagen

Aqua Comms will interconnect its America Europe Connect-2 (AEC-2) subsea cable system at Interxion’s data center in Copenhagen.

AEC-2 is Aqua Comms’s portion of the Havfrue subsea cable project, connecting New Jersey, U.S.A., to Ireland, and Denmark. The America Europe Connect-2 cable is scheduled to land in Blaabjerg, near Esbjerg in September 2019 and will be the first new cable connecting Denmark to the U.S. in nearly two decades.

Aqua Comms supplies fiber pairs, spectrum and capacity networking solutions to the global media, content and carrier markets.

“The large number of networks and content platforms present at Interxion’s Copenhagen campus makes it an efficient location for AEC-2 to interconnect with our target customers,” said Nigel Bayliff, CEO of Aqua Comms. “The investment Interxion is making to develop its campus in Copenhagen aligns with the growth in demand we are seeing for highly resilient network capacity between northern Europe and the U.S”.

AEC-2 will complement Aqua Comms’ existing transatlantic cable, AEC-1, and deliver on its vision of creating a “North Atlantic Loop”, a resilient dual-path network across the Atlantic. This will be further enhanced by North Sea Connect (NSC) from Denmark to the UK and Celtix-Connect-2 (CC-2) as a second Irish Sea cable crossing from the UK to Ireland, both of which will follow shortly after AEC-2.

MWC20 cancellation updates

Accedian: “After careful consideration, we have taken the decision to withdraw from MWC 2020. This was not a decision taken lightly. We’ve been extensively following the development of the virus and the recommendations of the WHO, and we have come to the conclusion that we must take the necessary precautions to protect our most cherished and valued assets: our employees,” said Dion Joannou, CEO, Accedian.

Amdocs statement: "In the face of the public health concern from the novel coronavirus, we are placing the highest priority on protecting the health of our employees, customers and partners. While we appreciate the precautionary measures put into place by the GSMA, we believe the safest option is not to attend MWC 2020 in Barcelona," said Shuky Sheffer, president and chief executive officer, Amdocs.

CommScope statement: "This is not a decision our executive team took lightly, and although the likelihood of contracting the virus is low, we will not risk the health of our employees, nor the business impact that would result if a quarantine were ordered. The team is currently exploring virtual trade show and meeting options to showcase the new CommScope portfolio."

Dali Wireless: “This was not a decision we took lightly, but ultimately, it’s not worth us potentially exposing our employees to health and safety risks, or propagating the spread of the virus with international travel,” said Dr. Albert Lee, CEO. iconectiv

InterDigital:
"“InterDigital has a very proud history at Mobile World Congress: over the years we’ve taken advantage of the event to unveil numerous world’s firsts in communications technology, and this year we were excited to show some groundbreaking demos including a working 6G platform. However, nothing is more important to us than the health and welfare of our employees. We’ll be reaching out to our various stakeholders to discuss better means of bringing our new technologies to them and engaging in the important discussions that always take place in Barcelona,” said William J. Merritt, President and CEO."

NTT

Sony

Previously announced cancellations: Amazon, Ericsson, LG, NVIDIA, Viavi Solutions

Verizon opens 5G Lab & Studio in London

Verizon has opened a new 5G Lab and production studio in central London – the company’s first 5G-enabled facility outside the United States – to support its international business and media customers. Verizon already operates 5G Labs in New York, Washington D.C., Cambridge, MA, San Jose, CA and Los Angeles. The company also opened a 5G First Responder Lab within its Washington DC facility, and a 5G esports training facility within its Los Angeles facility.

The London Lab showcases a selection of 5G-enabled use cases across a number of different verticals, including advertising and entertainment, education, manufacturing, medical, retail, utilities and venues. These include a mobile command center, an augmented shopping experience and smart retail shelving, intelligent asset management and AR-enabled workspace reimagining.

In addition, Verizon will open a 5G-enabled production studio in London in April 2020 to complement the 5G Lab facility. The studio will offer a space where Verizon Media’s owned and operated brands, as well as its partners and customers, can produce premium quality, 3D content including virtual and augmented reality experiences using state-of-the-art facilities like volumetric capture, motion capture and AR broadcast. It is also 5G-enabled, providing an incubator space for innovative creative companies to test and learn about how they can build content in the future that benefits from its capabilities to transmit massive amounts of data almost instantaneously.

China warns regarding Ericsson and Nokia

The government of China has warned that France or other EU nations should not place restrictions or bans on Huawei equipment in 5G rollouts, as China has treated Ericsson and Nokia fairly in its domestic market.  The statement was posted online by the Embassy of China in France.

http://www.amb-chine.fr/chn/ttxw/t1742544.htm

Orange picks Nokia and Ericsson for 5G in mainland France

Orange officially named Nokia and Ericsson as its vendors for 5G in mainland France. The companies will provide a package of products and services that will enable the deployment of 5G across the country. The agreement includes antennas and associated professional services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The decision follows pressure from the U.S. government and contentious debate over the security of the critical infrastructure. Orange had taken the position that vendors should not be excluded without due cause. The EU then issued a set of 5G network security recommendations that stopped short of banning any vendors.

In a press statement, Orange said its decision follows a year-long RFP process and extensive testing. Both Ericsson and Nokia "demonstrated the quality of their products, their support and commitment to a high-quality customer experience on the mobile network for many years."

The partnership with Nokia is focused on the West and South-East regions of France, zones where Nokia already supplies 2G/3G/4G on the mobile network (RAN). Nokia will initially support Orange’s 5G commercial launch by enabling the rollout of its state-of-the-art SRAN network to 5G through software upgrades, streamlining the initial steps to build 5G. It will also introduce 5G New Radio (5G NR)-based AirScale hardware, and software for the new 5G frequency bands.

Ericsson confirmed that it was selected by Orange France to deploy 5G radio access network (RAN) in three major French regions, including the capital Paris, and modernize its existing 2G/3G/4G radio access network. Ericsson 5G RAN products and solutions from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio will be deployed in the Orange network in the North-East, South-West and Ile de France/Paris regions of France. The five-year deal will make Ericsson the major RAN provider to Orange France. The partnership also includes maintenance and deployment services. Deployment will begin as soon as possible so that the Orange France 5G network will be ready to launch 5G services when the frequencies are made available during 2020.

Fabienne Dulac, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and CEO of Orange France, stated: “For Orange, the deployment of 5G represents a huge challenge and is one of the main priorities of our Engage 2025 strategic plan. We are delighted to be pursuing our partnerships with both Nokia and Ericsson, two key long-term partners, in order to develop a powerful and innovative 5G network. 5G will enable the development of new use-cases and new services, and will provide an enriched experience for our customers - both in the consumer and business segments. Through these agreements, Orange reaffirms its ambition to being network leader.”

Ericsson notes that it now has 80 commercial 5G agreements and contracts with unique operators, of which 34 are publicly announced 5G deals, including 24 live 5G networks on four continents.

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.