Monday, February 17, 2020

OFC 2020's COVID-19 Action Plan

Organizers of the upcoming OFC 2020 conference and exhibition, which will be held 8 – 12 March in San Diego, California, issued the following statement.

“Due to the COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus) outbreak, OFC Management is closely monitoring the ongoing potential impact for our attendees, exhibitors, and vendors”, said Ryan Strowger, head of OFC Management. “We are following the guidance from worldwide health organizations and experts. We are fully committed to taking appropriate precautions to provide a safe and healthy environment for attendees.”

Some additional points:

  • OFC Management understands that individuals who have been in China (originating or visiting) within 14 calendar days, will be unable to participate in-person at OFC 2020 due to travel restrictions barring access to the U.S. 
  • Some Chinese exhibiting companies have determined that they will be unable to exhibit, while other Chinese exhibiting companies may utilize non-China based staff, or sales representatives/distributors with knowledge of their products and services to represent them. 
  • OFC Management will continue to support OFC companies based in China on their final decisions, and we thank them for their continued engagement.
  • OFC Management will follow recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the policies of the local government and city officials

The full statement is here:

Amdocs intros 5G Slice Manager

Amdocs introduced its 5G Slice Manager solution for helping service providers to monetize 5G network slices from design to creation, launch and on-going closed-loop operations.

Amdocs 5G Slice Manager, which is currently being tested by a leading operator in North America, can be used to instantiate 5G core components, dynamically select and allocate underlying cloud resources, and view the live status data and event-driven updates via the inventory capability. Amdocs 5G Slice Manager enables service providers to automate network slice life cycle management in whatever stage of the journey they are at in their 5G slicing deployment, whether network operations focused, IT/monetization systems-driven, or new business enablement.

“As we look to the monetization of 5G, managing the design, orchestration and delivery of services within a network slice is of paramount importance to our connected society. Being able to differentiate an offering by providing the appropriate network resources required for a service will become vital to meeting customer expectations for these premium experiences,” said Anthony Goonetilleke, group president of Media, Network and Technology at Amdocs. “Combined with Amdocs CES20’s offer creation, converged charging and real-time billing capabilities, we believe that the slice manager becomes a core component of delivering enhanced experiences for users and creates a monetization opportunity for CSPs.”

Amdocs 5G Slice Manager includes functionality for slice design, instantiation and performance management:

  • Slice Design: Supports network slice modeling by chaining various network functions, links and connection points to create specific network slice services. This includes specifying slice parameters, policy and resources dependencies (e.g., throughput, latency, mobility, reliability, isolation, volume and number of users) across all the resources that support the slice and detailing other parameters for the end-to-end instantiation of network slices.
  • Slice Automation & Orchestration: Instantiates network slice instances and the associated network functions by interacting with the different domain controllers to configure all the resources necessary to create network slices and ensure a link between instantiated slice resources and the end-to-end designed slice.
  • Slice Operation: Monitors and assures the behavior and performance of the various slices through collecting network function and infrastructure data, analyzing the performance data and events, and triggering the appropriate actions for resource scaling, elasticity and automatic healing to meet slice requirements. The solution’s closed-loop service automation approach ensures the slice will scale on demand to accommodate changes in service and performance requirements.

Apple warns manufacturing constrained by coronavirus crisis

Apple warned that it will not be able able to meet the financial guidance it issued on January 28, 2020, for two reasons associated with the COVID-19 crisis in China:

  • Worldwide iPhone supply will be temporarily constrained. Apple confirmed that its iPhone manufacturing partner sites are located outside the Hubei province and that all of these facilities have reopened. However, manufacturing is ramping up more slowly than anticipated.  The company said iPhone supply shortages will temporarily affect its revenues worldwide.
  • The demand for Apple products within China has been affected. All Apple stores in China and many partner stores have been closed. The company said it will gradually reopen retail stores as safety permits. 

Apple also noted that customer demand for its products outside of China remains strong and in line with expectations.

SpaceX deploys 60 more Starlink satellites, booster misses landing

SpaceX successfully launched another 60 Starlink satellites, bringing in orbit to 240.

The launch used a Falcon 9 first stage that had previously flown the CRS-17 mission in May 2019, the CRS-18 mission in July 2019, and the JCSAT-18/Kacific1 mission in December 2019.

However, this time the Falcon 9 booster missed the drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

IIiad Group picks Nokia for 5G in France and Italy

IIiad Group has selected Nokia to roll out 5G networks across France and Italy. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Iliad has 17 million subscribers across both countries. Nokia has worked closely with IIiad Group in France since 2012 and in Italy since 2018 on the rollout of both 3G and 4G, now adding 5G networks to its portfolio.

Specifically, Iliad Group will install Nokia’s newest radio access technology, AirScale, to capitalize on early 5G networks whilst supporting 4G/LTE and 5G in the same radio access system.

Thomas Reynaud, IIiad Group’s CEO, said: “We want to offer our customers the best possible 5G experience and that is why we have chosen to strengthen and accelerate our relationship with Nokia as we enter the 5G era. Nokia’s innovative 5G technologies and solutions will enable us to launch quickly and efficiently, delivering a superior network performance whilst also securing us against future challenges.”

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, commented: “We are delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with IIiad to roll out 5G networks across France and Italy and build out a world-class network for businesses and consumers alike. The radio technologies will give Iliad the flexibility to quickly and smoothly launch a future-proof 5G network."

Ciena upgrades Europe India Gateway subsea cable

Ciena supplied its GeoMesh solution to upgrade the Europe India Gateway (EIG) submarine cable system, which spans 15,000km linking the United Kingdom with Gibraltar, Portugal, Monaco, France, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Oman, United Arab Emirates and India.

The upgrade allows EIG to utilize flexible, express wavelengths, also known as optical bypass, to reduce operational costs as well as space and power requirements while improving reliability.

Ciena’s GeoMesh solution is powered by its WaveLogic Ai coherent optics. The upgrade adds 24.3 Tbps of capacity to the EIG cable, with a spectral efficiency increase of 52 percent, in comparison to previous technology. The WaveLogic Ai coherent optics also enable EIG to transport up to 400 Gbps per wavelength.

“The nature of global business today demands instant and reliable access to partners, customers and employees anywhere and at any time. Across Europe, India and the Middle East, this connectivity is reliant on technology like the WaveLogic-powered GeoMesh submarine network solution that is scalable, flexible, and able to adapt to the intense requirements of a bandwidth-hungry environment,” stated Ian Clarke, Vice President of Global Submarine Sales, Ciena.

3M goes all-in with AWS

3M is moving its enterprise IT infrastructure to AWS.

As part of a company-wide enterprise IT transformation initiative, 3M is migrating its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, including accounting, supply chain management, manufacturing, product lifecycle management, and e-commerce, along with business-critical enterprise IT applications, to AWS.

Currently, 3M, which has 96,000 employees globally, operates 51 technology platforms. With this initiative 3M plans to leverage AWS’s portfolio of services, including machine learning, analytics, storage, security, and databases to optimize and automate operational, manufacturing, and business processes, as well as product solutions.

“AWS is integral to our enterprise IT transformation as we look for better ways to serve our customers, streamline the way we work, and compete globally,” said John Turner, Vice President, IT Systems and Chief Information Officer at 3M. “AWS, with its proven experience and highly performant global infrastructure, will deliver the agility, speed, and scalability 3M needs to launch new business processes and service models. We look forward to expanding our use of AWS’s portfolio of services, including analytics and machine learning, to gain greater insights and become an even more agile company in the cloud.”

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Huawei rebuts U.S. criminal charges

In response to criminal charges filed last week against Huawei by the U.S. Department of Justice, Huawei posted a lengthy statement rebutting the accusations as politically-motivated and arguing that many of the allegations are decades old and have previously been litigated.

"None of our products or technologies have been developed through the theft of trade secrets. Huawei's development is the result of our huge investment in R&D and the hard work of our employees over the past three decades. We rely on the trust and support that our customers, suppliers, and partners place in us."

Friday, February 14, 2020

Jury awards Motorola Solutions $764.6m in case against Hytera

A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois awarded $746.6 million to Motorola Solutions in its trade secret theft and copyright infringement case against Hytera Communications of Shenzhen, China and its U.S.-based subsidiaries.  Motorola is now seeking a worldwide injunction preventing Hytera from further misappropriating its stolen trade secrets and infringing its copyrights.

“Today’s verdict is a tremendous victory for our company,” said Greg Brown, chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions. “Motorola Solutions has always invested significantly in research and development to bring pioneering and beneficial technology to our customers around the world. In contrast, Hytera was simply profiting off of the hard work and innovation of our world-class engineers. The jury’s verdict validates our global litigation against Hytera by definitively affirming that stealing trade secrets and source code will not be tolerated.”

Astranis raises $90 million for its micro-GEO satellite ambitions

Astranis Space Technologies Corp., a start-up based in San Francisco, raised $90 million in new debt and equity funding for its micro-geostationary satellite plans.

Astranis plans to manufacture and operate small geostationary satellites. Its first mission is to bring widespread broadband internet access to the people of Alaska, where 39% of the population still has unreliable internet access.

The Astranis satellites are expected to weigh approximately 350kg and will leverage software-defined radio capabilities.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Ericsson hits 4.3 Gbps downlink with 5G mmWave

Ericsson set a new 5G downlink performance record of 4.3 Gbps.

The landmark was achieved using the commercially-released Ericsson Radio System Street Macro 6701 and a 5G smartphone form factor test device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System.  A new combination of Ericsson Radio System solutions and 8CC software aggregating 800MHz of millimeter wave spectrum band extended the capabilities of 5G.

Ericsson said this set-up will be market-ready this year.

Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “This is a fantastic achievement. To put 4.3Gbps in context, that is the equivalent of downloading one hour of ultra-high-definition, or 4K, content from a streaming service in just 14 seconds. Ericsson is taking the next steps in ensuring service providers can deliver the best capacity and data rates over millimeter wave 5G. The 8CC aggregation solution we have successfully tested will enable not only higher speeds but also large-scale 5G deployments and new business opportunities.”

Broadcom intros first Wi-Fi 6E chip for mobiles

Broadcom introduced a Wi-Fi 6E client chip that delivers over 2 Gbps performance with support for the soon-to-be-operational 6 GHz band.

Broadcom's BCM4389 device leverages wider 160 MHz channel bandwidths that double Wi-Fi speeds and cut latency in half compared to Wi-Fi 5. Broadcom said its design builds on the rich feature set of Wi-Fi 6, which includes improved performance in crowded environments, advanced roaming capabilities and increased security.

The chip also utilizes Broadcom’s new tri-band simultaneous (TBS) connectivity architecture to mobile devices. In addition to two main Wi-Fi radios and a MIMO Bluetooth radio, the BCM4389 incorporates a third ultra-low-power independent radio for optimizing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth performance. The three-radio architecture:

Enables always-on Bluetooth discovery for faster pairing with accessories and interference mitigation. Phones and headsets can now pair faster.
Quickly scans for interference-free Wi-Fi networks to connect to while main Wi-Fi radios provide data, voice and video services. Phones seamlessly switch to networks with better Quality-of-Service (QoS).
Improves indoor location accuracy with always-on scanning and little impact on battery life.
Enables the BCM4389 to deliver up to five times better battery utilization than current flagship connectivity solutions.

“At Broadcom, we pride ourselves in delivering technology that defines the market. The BCM4389, the world’s first Wi-Fi 6E mobile chip, is no exception since it paves the way for our wirelessly connected AR/VR future,” said Vijay Nagarajan, vice president of marketing for the Wireless Communications and Connectivity Division at Broadcom. “The BCM4389 delivers on the core advantages of the 6 GHz band, multi-gigabit wireless speeds and very low latency. It also represents a paradigm shift in wireless design thinking with technology that brings glitch-free audio experience with Bluetooth headsets, fast pairing with wireless accessories, accurate indoor location, high battery efficiency and other everyday consumer experiences.”

The BCM4389 key features:

  • Support for 2 streams of Wi-Fi 6E
  • Multi-Radio Bluetooth 5 with antenna beamforming
  • Tri-Band Simultaneous (TBS) architecture including a dedicated background scan radio
  • Simultaneous dual-band operation
  • 2.63 Gbps PHY rate
  • Operation in 2.4 GHz and 5.1-7.125 GHz unlicensed band
  • 160 MHz channel bandwidth
  • 1024-QAM modulation

A10 pushes virtualized DDoS protection performance for 5G networks

A10 Networks is ready to begin shipping a software version of its Thunder Threat Protection System (TPS) solution, vThunder TPS, that provides 100 Gbps throughput in a single virtual appliance and can be expanded to 800 Gbps with eight-way clustering.

The virtualized solution can be used by operators to scale their DDoS defense when peak capacity is required. vThunder TPS is compact and efficient, allowing it to be deployed in next-generation mobile edge compute (MEC) environments, conserving space and power while providing powerful DDoS protection.

A10 Networks said the transition to 5G makes this even more critical as operators need to be able to ensure the availability of business services against the potential for large DDoS attacks, particularly during high-visibility times like global sporting events and seasonal shopping spikes. DDoS attacks will only increase in severity as operators expand services to support IoT-driven energy, agriculture, transportation, healthcare and manufacturing.

Key capabilities of vThunder TPS

  • Cloud-ready DDoS Defense: Customers are able to gain deployment and operational flexibility with DDoS defenses that support major private cloud platforms including KVM, VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V. A high-performance 100 Gbps virtual appliance can scale to 800 Gbps with eight-way clustering to meet the performance needs of 5G mobile operators and cloud providers.
  • Agility and Scalability: With A10’s FlexPool licensing, capacity can be scaled up in hours via license allocation rather than in weeks or months required for hardware purchasing, delivery and installation. Capacity can be scaled back down by reallocating licenses to other points of presence when intermittent demand subsides. A10’s subscription price model also provides lower start-up and upgrade costs.
  • Comprehensive Protection: When combined with the Orion 5G Security Suite, vThunder TPS provides high-performance DDoS detection and mitigation and protection against other threats across mobile and cloud network infrastructures.

Telefónica ‘O2’ UK picks Mavenir Virtualized IMS

Telefónica UK is deploying Mavenir’s virtualized IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) solution (vIMS) for VoLTE and VoWiFi in their nationwide Data Centers Infrastructure, which is based on the Telefónica Group blueprint for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) architecture.

Mavenir said the rollout will support mobile services for more than 8 million customer connections. The NFV environment will include automation, life cycle Management and Orchestration capabilities from the Telefónica UNICA platform. The Mavenir advanced vIMS solution will enable automation from day one and will support existing voice digital services as well as the launch of new services.

“Telefónica’s UNICA NFV initiative will leverage the benefits of cloud-native software applications and enhanced automation paving the way to future Next Generation architecture,” said Jorge Ribeiro, Head of Core and IT Infrastructure at Telefónica UK. “It is an important step for our Core transformation, and we are looking forward to going through this journey with Mavenir, a partner chosen for their advanced technology and innovation in NFV.”

U.S. Department of Justice charges Huawei under RICO act

The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI are charging Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and two U.S. subsidiaries with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

A 16-count superseding indictment in federal court in Brooklyn, New York cites a long-running practice of using fraud and deception to misappropriate sophisticated technology from U.S. counterparts. The Department of Justice alleges that Huawei, and several of its subsidiaries, both in the U.S. and in the People’s Republic of China, misappropriated intellectual property, including from six U.S. technology companies, including intellectual property, trade secrets and copyrighted works, such as source code and user manuals for internet routers, antenna technology and robot testing technology.

The indictment states that as a result of this campaign to steal this technology and intellectual property, "Huawei was able to drastically cut its research and development costs and associated delays, giving the company a significant and unfair competitive advantage."

Department of Commerce issues 45-day extension for Huawei

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce extended a Temporary General License (TGL) for Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and its non-U.S. affiliates on the Entity List for an additional 45 days.

The Department of Commerce said the 45-day extension will prevent interruption of existing network communication systems in rural U.S. regions and permit global network security measures.  The TGL is intended to allow time for companies and persons to shift to alternative sources of equipment, software and technology (i.e., those not produced by Huawei or one of its listed affiliates). 

  •  In May 2019, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, first added Huawei and its affiliates to the Bureau’s Entity List. The reason given is that "Huawei is engaged in activities that are contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interest." For companies on the Entity List, a license must be issued by BIS for the sale or transfer of U.S. technology. A license may be denied if the sale or transfer would harm U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.

Arista's Q4 revenue dips to $552.5M, down 7% yoy

Arista Networks reported Q4 2019 revenue of $552.5 million, a decrease of 15.6% compared to the third quarter of 2019, and a decrease of 7.2% from the fourth quarter of 2018.

GAAP gross margin was 64.5%, compared to GAAP gross margin of 63.8% in the third quarter of 2019 and 62.9% in the fourth quarter of 2018. GAAP net income amounted to $260.7 million, or $3.25 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $170.3 million, or $2.10 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2018. Non-GAAP net income was $183.4 million, or $2.29 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $182.2 million, or $2.25 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“Despite the volatility of cloud spend, 2019 marked the entry of Arista in the campus and mainstream enterprise. Our cloud networking technology is being accepted in thousands of diverse enterprise customers. We are excited by our prospects in 2020 and committed to a multi-year foundation of growth, innovation and profitability,” stated Jayshree Ullal, Arista’s President and CEO.

On a conference call, Arista executives disclosed:
  • Cloud titans remain the largest vertical with Microsoft at 23% of total revenue and Facebook at 16.6%.
  • 2019 international contribution was 24% with the Americas at 76%. 
  • the acquisition of Big Switch added approximately 300 customers and 75 employees, mostly in engineering. Arista and Dell will continue to partner to deliver cloud fabric and observability capabilities. The acquisition price was not disclosed but Arista said the figure was not material.

NVIDIA cites increasing GPUdemand from data centers and gaming

NVIDIA reported quarterly revenue of $3.11 billion, up 41 percent from $2.21 billion a year earlier, and up 3 percent from $3.01 billion in the previous quarter.

GAAP earnings per diluted share for the quarter were $1.53, up 66 percent from $0.92 a year ago, and up 6 percent from $1.45 in the previous quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $1.89, up 136 percent from $0.80 a year earlier, and up 6 percent from $1.78 in the previous quarter.

For fiscal 2020, revenue was $10.92 billion, down 7 percent from $11.72 billion a year earlier. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $4.52, down 32 percent from $6.63 a year earlier. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $5.79, down 13 percent from $6.64 a year earlier.

“Adoption of NVIDIA accelerated computing drove excellent results, with record data center revenue,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “Our initiatives are achieving great success.

“NVIDIA RTX ray tracing is reinventing computer graphics, driving powerful adoption across gaming, VR and design markets, while opening new opportunities in rendering and cloud gaming. NVIDIA AI is enabling breakthroughs in language understanding, conversational AI and recommendation engines ― the core algorithms that power the internet today. And new NVIDIA computing applications in 5G, genomics, robotics and autonomous vehicles enable us to continue important work that has great impact."

Sierra Wireless posts revenue of $174 million, down 13.5%

Sierra Wireless reported Q4 2019 revenue of $174.3 million, down 13.5% year-over-year, a GAAP loss of $0.30 per share, and a Non-GAAP loss of $0.08 per share.

Recurring and other services revenue was 15.2% of quarterly revenue compared to 11.6% in 2018. Revenue from IoT Solutions was $90.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, a decrease of 5.0%, compared to $95.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 due primarily to lower Integrated IoT solutions module revenue, partially offset by stronger recurring and other services revenue.

“We announced just over a year ago our strategy to transform from a hardware-focused IoT company to delivering full IoT solutions with recurring revenue attached to our market leading IoT devices. In 2019, we made tremendous progress and delivered on our plan with $99.1 million in recurring and other services revenue,” said Kent Thexton, President and CEO. “And more importantly, we achieved record design win success with over $90 million of future recurring revenue from hundreds of new accounts. We launched market leading IoT solutions like our Octave product, increased our IoT connections by more than 400,000 and ended 2019 with 3.6 million global connections. We are seeing strong customer demand for our bundled solutions and increasing design wins in the growing IoT market.”

Photonics West conference in SF attracted 20K attendees

The Photonics West conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center from 1 February through 6 February attracted over 20,000 attendees, more than 1,300 exhibitors, 5,300 presentations, nearly 60 technical courses, and multiple industry-related special events.

Highlights included the SPIE Photonics West symposium, its BiOS, LASE, and OPTO symposia, and the inaugural AR/VR/MR conference.

“The robustness and resiliency of the global photonics community shone through at Photonics West,” said SPIE Senior Director of Global Business Development Andrew Brown. “We experienced an extremely vibrant gathering of the international community in San Francisco: the packed plenary sessions and conferences, dynamic networking and industry events, and hustle of business being conducted during the exhibition brought a sense of normality to a period of global uncertainty. This was also a time when the values of our community around diversity, inclusion and compassion were reinforced. We truly are a global family in the photonics industry, and Photonics West continues to be the welcoming venue for its annual reunion.”

Photonics West 2021 will take place 23-28 January at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The call for papers for the 2021 event will open in early April, with abstracts due 15 July.