Monday, March 16, 2020

Video: Telco Workloads in Public Clouds

Major telecom carriers are announcing strategic partnerships with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

In this 3-minute video,  Ron Haberman, CTO of Nokia Software, comments on the migration of telco workloads to public clouds. The first use cases  (1) public cloud as a back-up for critical functions (2) bursting into public clouds to handle traffic surges (3) better connections for business services when the customer already has their workloads deployed in the same public cloud.


See Ron's earlier 5-minute video on State of NFV: Containerizing the Telco Cloud - https://youtu.be/Pfn5RnNi-ok

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

Telenor launches its 5G network in Norway

Telenor launched its commercial 5G network in nine different cities and villages across Norway, its home market. Telenor is the first mobile operator in the country to offer 5G to customers.

“Telenor is proud to be the first mobile operator to launch a commercial 5G network in Norway, as we have worked tirelessly to stay at the forefront of the 5G development. By bringing Norway into a new technological age, today’s opening marks another milestone in Telenor’s 165-year-long history. We expect 5G to be the key driver of transformation in this decade, and we are very much looking forward to continuing the roll-out of 5G to our customers,” says Sigve Brekke, President and CEO of Telenor Group.

“We have worked hard to become the first mobile operator in Norway to open the 5G network, and are now fully focused on our continued plans. During 2021, we will upgrade close to 2,000 base stations, while a total of 8,500 base stations will be upgraded within the next four to five years,” Furberg concludes.

Telenor sticks with Ericsson, Nokia and Huawei for 5G

Telenor completed its vendor selection process for the future network in Norway. Ericsson will modernize and build the Telenor’s 5G radio access network (RAN). The core network is being upgraded by Nokia and Ericsson, as previously announced. Huawei, which is an existing RAN vendor for Telenor, was selected to maintain the 4G network and also upgrade to 5G coverage in selected areas of Norway.

Telenor is currently deploying 5G in the city of Trondheim.

Currently, the Telenor Group is testing 5G in ten locations in Norway as well as selected areas in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Thailand and Malaysia.

https://www.telenor.com/media/press-release/telenor-completes-5g-vendor-selection-for-norway

American Tower names new CEO, CFO

American Tower Corporation named Tom Bartlett as its new CEO, replacing Jim Taiclet as President and Chief Executive Officer.

Bartlett has served as American Tower’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for over ten years, joining the company from Verizon Communications in April 2009 after a career there of more than 25 years.

Taiclet joined American Tower in 2001 as President and Chief Operating Officer and became its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman in 2003, succeeding company founder Steven Dodge.  Taiclet will continue as executive Chairman until the Company’s 2020 annual meeting, after which point, Pamela Reeve, the company’s current lead independent director, will become non-executive Chair of the Board, subject to her re-election as a director at the annual meeting. Following his departure from American Tower, Mr. Taiclet, who currently serves on the Board of Lockheed Martin, will become its President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing Marillyn Hewson.

Tom Bartlett, American Tower’s new President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “It has been an incredible honor and privilege to work closely with Jim for more than ten years and I want to thank him for his tremendous leadership of our company. It’s an exciting time for American Tower. Not only are we well-positioned to capitalize on the continuing secular growth trends in mobile on a worldwide basis, but we also have a proven leadership team and dedicated employees throughout our markets to meet the needs of our diverse stakeholders. It’s an honor for me to lead a company that will play such an important role in the digital future.”

Rancher raises $40 million for Kubernetes management

Rancher Labs, a start-up based in Cupertino, California, closed a $40 million Series D funding round for its Kubernetes management platform.

Sheng Liang, CEO at Rancher Labs said, “In 2019, we experienced 169% year-on-year revenue growth, and this round of funding is the ultimate validation of the market and our unique technologies. Just as Linux became the standard computing platform for the data center, cloud, and devices in the 2000s, we fundamentally believe Kubernetes is fast becoming the ubiquitous enterprise computing platform for multi-cloud, heterogenous IT environments in the 2020s.”

Rancher Labs said it will use the funds to continue executing against their Run Kubernetes Everywhere strategy, specifically in three areas:

  • Accelerate Innovation – Leveraging Kubernetes as the common computing standard, the company will continue to innovate in key areas including heterogenous cluster federation, fleet management, and Kubernetes at the edge.
  • Go-To-Market Expansion – The company will expand sales coverage, marketing, finance, operations, customer success, and customer support. Additionally, the company has plans to expand geographic coverage within and beyond the fourteen countries where they currently operate.
  • Market Expansion – Leveraging their leadership in Kubernetes at the edge, the company will work with leading technology companies to develop innovative solutions in markets including 5G, digital factories, connected cars, video surveillance, and medical research.

The round was led by Telstra Ventures. One of its investors, Telstra Corporation, is a Rancher Labs customer and is Australia’s largest telecommunications company. The funding round also included participation from existing investors Mayfield, Nexus Venture Partners, GRC SinoGreen, and F&G Ventures, bringing total funding to date to $95 million.

http://www.rancher.com

Telefónica's José María Álvarez-Pallete on COVID-19 emergency

José María Álvarez-Pallete, CEO of Telefónica, issued the following statement to share steps being taken in response to the COVID-19 crisis: 

"A global health emergency makes connectivity absolutely essential. It is key that public administrations are able to coordinate properly and inform citizens in real time; that health centres and hospitals have their communications systems available and can make use of remote diagnostics for patients; that educational centres can keep in permanent contact with families and students and make use of e-learning tools; that small and medium-sized enterprises remain connected to their clients and with their teams; and that people can work from home."

"And on a personal level, keeping in touch with family and friends 24/7 is also crucial to mitigating separation and coping with uncertainty."

Spain has an ultra-broadband communication infrastructure of extremely high capacity and quality and we will make every effort to ensure that the telecommunications network works at full capacity, in a reliable, stable and secure way. We will do the same in all the countries where we operate, working to provide our networks with sufficient capacity to absorb the most demanding peaks. "

https://www.telefonica.com/en/web/press-office/-/telefonica-announces-measures-related-to-covid-19

Frontier Communications misses interest payment

Frontier Communications will not make an interest payments due on March 16, 2020 on certain of its senior unsecured notes and enter a 60-day grace period.

The company issued the following statement: "We remain actively engaged in constructive discussions with our bondholders as the Company continues to evaluate its capital structure with an eye to reducing debt and interest expense. As part of this process, Frontier has made the decision to take advantage of the 60-day grace period allowed under the indenture to facilitate ongoing discussions as we work to reach a comprehensive resolution. Importantly, we continue to provide quality service to our customers without interruption and work with our business partners as usual."

Samsung Electronics delivers 512 GB flash storage for smartphones

Samsung Electronics has begun mass producing the first 512-gigabyte (GB) eUFS (embedded Universal Flash Storage) 3.1 for use in flagship smartphones.

The Samsung 512GB eUFS 3.1 offers a sequential write speed of over 1,200MB/s, which is more than twice the speed of a SATA-based PC (540MB/s) and over ten times the speed of a UHS-I microSD card (90MB/s). This means consumers can enjoy the speed of an ultra-slim notebook when storing massive files like 8K videos or several hundred large-size photos in their smartphones, without any buffering. Transferring contents from an old phone to a new device will also require considerably less time. Phones with the new eUFS 3.1 will only take about 1.5 minutes to move 100GB of data whereas UFS 3.0-based phones require more than four minutes.

In terms of random performance, the 512GB eUFS 3.1 processes up to 60 percent faster than the widely used UFS 3.0 version, offering 100,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) for reads and 70,000 IOPS for writes.

Along with the 512GB option, Samsung will also have 256GB and 128GB capacities available for flagship smartphones that will be launched later this year.

UNH-IOL ramps up testing for USGv6 profile revision

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) announced its offering for expanded testing capabilities that meet the requirements outlined in the newly released update to the USGv6 profile. The revision of the profile delineates proof of compliance to IPv6 specifications outlined in current industry standards for common network products. Users of the current version of USGv6 are allotted a two-year window before use of the newly released USGv6 profile update becomes mandatory by agencies.

“UNH-IOL and the IPv6 Ready Logo program have been vital collaborators to the USGv6 Program since its inception in 2009,” said Doug Montgomery, manager of the USGv6 program at NIST. “The recent revisions to the USGv6 Profile and Test Program are focused on facilitating the transition to IPv6-only networks. The new requirements for products to support IPv6-only operation will highlight the continued need for the kind of open, transparent yet rigorous testing conducted by USGv6
accredited test labs.”

“As the only lab currently offering an accredited testing program to USGv6, UNH-IOL is uniquely positioned to demonstrate network devices and applications working in IPv6-only environments,” said Michayla Newcombe, associate director, UNH-IOL. “Drawing upon extensive USG testing experience, UNH-IOL has compiled a significant knowledge base from which to provide useful guidance and consultation on the procedures and requirements for the USG test program.”

The USGv6 profile includes a forward-looking set of RFCs published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), encompassing basic IPv6 functionality, as well as specific requirements and key capabilities for routing, security, multicast, mobility, network management, and quality of service. The profile also contains a NIST established set of capability requirements for IPv6 aware firewalls and intrusion detection systems. The revision to the USGv6 profile aligns with several global programs to aid in IPv6 deployments, including the IPv6 Ready Logo program.

http://www.iol.unh.edu

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Nokia hits record single carrier bit rate of 1.52 Tbps over 80 km

Researchers at Nokia Bell Labs achieved a world record for the highest single carrier bit rate at 1.52 Terabits per second (Tbps) over 80 km of standard single mode fiber.

Marcus Weldon, Nokia CTO and President of Nokia Bell Labs, said: “It has been fifty years since the inventions of the low-loss fiber and the associated optics. From the original 45 Megabit-per-second systems to more than 1 Terabit-per-second systems of today – a more than 20,000-fold increase in 40 years – to create the fundamental underpinning of the internet and the digital societies as we know it. The role of Nokia Bell Labs has always been to push the envelope and redefine the limits of what’s possible. Our latest world records in optical research are yet another proof point that we are inventing even faster and more robust networks that will underpin the next industrial revolution.”

The Nokia Bell Labs optical research team, which was led by Fred Buchali, employed a new 128 Gigasample/second converter enabling the generation of signals at 128 Gbaud symbol rate and information rates of the individual symbols beyond 6.0 bits/symbol/polarization.  This accomplishment breaks the team’s own record of 1.3 Tbit/s set in September 2019 while supporting Nokia’s record-breaking field trial with Etisalat.

Several of these achievements were presented as part of Nokia Bell Labs’ post deadline research papers at the Optical Fiber Communications Conference & Exhibition (OFC) in San Diego.

Additionally, Nokia Bell Labs researcher Di Che was awarded the OFC Tingye Li Innovation Prize.

Recently, Di Che and team also set a new data-rate world record for directly modulated lasers (DML) by transmitting a 400 Gbps signal up to 15 km.

Nokia Bell Labs also highlighted the following significant achievements in optical communications:

The first field trial using spatial-division-multiplexed (SDM) cable over a 2,000km span of 4-core coupled-core fiber was achieved by researchers Roland Ryf and the SDM team. The experiments clearly show that coupled-core fibers are technically viable, offer high transmission performance, while maintaining an industry standard 125-um cladding diameter.
A research team led by Rene-Jean Essiambre, Roland Ryf and Murali Kodialam introduced a novel new set of modulation formats that provide improved linear and nonlinear transmission performance at submarine distances of 10,000 km. The proposed transmission formats are generated by a neuronal network and can significantly outperform traditional formats (QPSK) used in today’s submarine systems.
Researcher Junho Cho and team experimentally demonstrated capacity gains of 23% for submarine cable systems that operate under electrical supply power constraints. The capacity gains were achieved by optimizing the gain shaping filters using neural networks.
The researchers that achieved the world record and research results are part of Nokia Bell Labs’ Smart Optical Fabric & Devices Research Lab, which designs and builds the future of optical communications systems, pushing the state-of-the-art in physics, materials science, math, software and optics to create new networks that adapt to changing conditions and go far beyond today’s limitations.

Google's Dunant transatlantic cable makes landfall in France

Google’s transatlantic Dunant cable has landed in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, in the Vendée region of France. The terrestrial stage of the laying of this cable is proceeding.

As the “Landing Party” and owner of the French part of the cable, Orange has completely refurbished the historic station in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, which was no longer in use, to house the terminal equipment for the Dunant system. This area is a strategic location, close to the main connectivity hubs on this side of the Atlantic. From this landing station, Orange is deploying terrestrial optical fibres in France between Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez and Paris to route its traffic on the Dunant cable to the capital's major Data Centres and will also provide service to the rest of Europe and major international Data Centres.

Orange will benefit from two pairs of optical fibres with a capacity of up to 30Tbps each.

"We are very pleased with the arrival of the Dunant cable in France. It is the concrete realization of a project in co-construction with Google that will enable us to respond to the explosion of Internet usage over the long term. This partnership strengthens Orange's role as a world leader in the investment, deployment, maintenance and operation of strategic infrastructures. The landing of Dunant on our shores once again places France at the heart of the global digital development," said Jean-Luc Vuillemin, Senior Vice President, International Networks and Services at Orange.

Orange and Telxius to backhaul Google's Dunant transatlantic cable

Orange and Telxius will provide terrestrial backhaul extensions in France and in the US for Google's Dunant submarine cable, which is expected to enter service in late 2020.

Under this agreement, Orange and Telxius offer co-location services at their respective Cable Landing Stations in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez (France) and Virginia Beach (US).

From its Saint- Hilaire-de-Riez (85) Cable Landing Station, Orange will enable terrestrial connection to Telxius up to Paris, while Telxius will connect Orange to Ashburn from Virginia Beach.

This collaboration represents a strong transatlantic bridge as both companies can effectively provide multi- terabit capacity on this Europe-US route. It also reinforces Orange and Telxius’ respective positions to support the development of new digital usages for their international customers in Europe and America and bolsters the international leadership position of both companies on the wholesale market to better address the needs of content-providers and third-party operators.

“We are pleased to announce this agreement with Telxius, which will allow us to provide our customers with very high capacity end-to-end services, as well as network redundancy, on the strategic transatlantic route. We will be operating two fiber pairs of over 30 terabits per second between France and the USA. It is a valuable extension to Orange’s global network joining our Atlantic and Mediterranean routes to Africa, the Middle East and Asia with guaranteed best in class quality of service,” said Jerome Barré, CEO of Orange Wholesale and International Networks.

https://telxius.com/en/orange-and-telxius-are-teaming-up/

Google's Dunant cable leverages SDM for 250 Tbps capacity

Google's Dunant submarine cable system, which will link the U.S. and France, will be the first subsea cable to leverage space-division multiplexing (SDM), enabling 250 terabits per second capacity.

In a blog posting, Vijay Vusirikala, Director of Network Architecture and Optical Engineering at Google, says SDM will increase cable capacity in a cost-effective manner.

Dunant's design uses twelve fiber pairs and power-optimized repeaters. Whereas traditional subsea cables are powered from the shore end and rely on a dedicated set of pump lasers to amplify the optical signal for each fiber pair, SDM allows pump lasers and associated optical components to be shared among multiple fiber pairs.

https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/infrastructure/a-quick-hop-across-the-pond-supercharging-the-dunant-subsea-cable-with-sdm-technology

Marvell samples dual 400GbE PHY

Marvell has begun sampling a dual 400GbE (Gigabit Ethernet) PHY transceiver with 100GbE serial electrical I/O capabilities. It enables interfacing between the current generation of switch ASICs with the next generation of optics and vice versa by supporting translation between 50G PAM4 and 100G PAM4 based implementations of 400GbE, 200GbE and 100GbE.

Marvell said its new dual 400GbE MACsec PHY (88X9121P) device with 100G serial I/Os enables the doubling of faceplate bandwidth on datacenter networks while reducing the total power consumption and cost per bit. The new device offers 256-bit MACsec encryption to ensure heightened point-to-point security, Class C compliant precision time protocol (PTP) timestamping for enhanced synchronization and Marvell’s  112G PAM4 SerDes technology for high-density 400GbE and 100GbE deployments.

The advent of 100G serial electrical signaling optical modules will allow 1:1 mapping between electrical and optical I/O speeds. This removes the additional circuitry inside 400GbE optical modules to convert from 50G electrical I/Os to 100G per lambda optical I/Os, reducing cost and power. As first to market with a PHY transceiver that has 100G serial I/Os, Marvell is placing itself at the forefront of this transitional process. The new PHY transceivers provide networking OEMs with the cutting-edge technology required for high-density dual 400G/octal 100G optical modules in QSFP-DD and OSFP form factors for cloud and data center applications.
The 88X9121P is both footprint- and software-compatible with the recently announced 88X7121P, providing a seamless upgrade path that facilitates migration to modules with 100GbE serial I/Os.

“We see the introduction of our feature-rich 100G serial I/O based, dual 400GbE PHYs playing a major role in the next evolutionary phase of the global data center and cloud sectors,” said Faraj Aalaei, executive vice president of the Networking Business Group at Marvell. “The transition to 100G serial signaling is critical for high-density optical interconnects required for next-generation switching solutions. Our newest PHY transceivers will help drive the industry transition to 100G serial I/O-based optics as data centers and cloud providers look to bring greater computing bandwidth and efficiency to their customers.”

https://www.marvell.com/company/newsroom/marvell-delivers-industry-s-first-dual-400gbe-phy-with-100g-serial-ios-and-macsec-security.html

OFC 2020: 90% of technical presentations delivered

Despite travel restriction arising from the COVID-19 crisis, the organizers of this year's OFC 2020 Conference and Exhibition, which was held last week in San Diego, said
more than 90 percent of the event's 700+ technical presentations were delivered either in-person or by virtual presence. Through live-streaming and two-way remote participation, technical registrants unable to travel to San Diego remained an integral part of the event.

The new technologies and advancements that fueled this year’s conference will set the stage for the industry’s next breakthroughs in 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, intra- and inter- data center equipment, disaggregation and more.

The OFC technical Program Chairs, Shinji Matsuo, NTT Device Technology Labs, NTT Corp., Japan; David Plant, McGill University, Canada; and Jun Shan Wey, ZTE TX, USA, worked tirelessly to ensure the OFC program remained accessible and collaborative for the broader community.

“OFC 2020 has demonstrated that large conferences can engage participants across the globe utilizing the optical fiber communications technologies developed by experts in the field,” said Wey, Plant and Matsuo. “The research and innovations enabled by the OFC community have made OFC 2020 the perfect opportunity to run a virtual conference experiment.”

“The travel restrictions that arose due to the Coronavirus created a new dynamic for this year’s event,” shared the Program Chairs. “But by partnering with OFC management, we were able to rise to the challenge and offer a way for continued global collaboration throughout the event.”

As in previous years, this year’s plenary session was live-streamed, providing important insights to the broader optical communications community from three respected technical and commercial leaders in the field. Professor Sir David Payne, director, Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton, UK explored the role of silica in the future of optical communications, emphasizing its potential and challenging the audience to think differently about ways to tackle technical hurdles.

“Let me get to answer my initial question, ‘Is there a future for silica?’ Silica is not all done by any means. It’s very hard to beat for optical components largely because it’s a very refractory material,” Payne concluded.

Dr. Qi Bi, president, China Telecom Technology Innovation Center, CTO, China Telecom Beijing Research Institute provided a lessons-learned overview of China Telecom’s 5G deployment. “The ever-growing data rate of 5G is expected to revolutionize the way that we live and do business,” Bi shared. “Vendors need to think how we can do an integrated approach instead of an independent approach so we can have a much better handle on system integration.”

A video of the plenary is posted here:
https://www.ofcconference.org/en-us/home/program-speakers/plenary-session/

Dr. Benno Willke, research group leader, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Germany, rounded out the session with a visionary talk that discussed plans for a third-generation of gravitational-wave detector.

A commemorative event, “Celebrating 50 Years of Light-speed Connections,” was held this year to recognize the importance of bringing low-loss optical fiber and room-temperature semiconductor lasers together in 1970 to transform global communications and enable light-speed connections across continents and oceans. Special programming featured a keynote address by Dr. David Welch, founder and chief innovation officer of Infinera Corporation, Sunnyvale, California, U.S.A, whose talk gave a glimpse into the near-term future, a show-floor exhibit on the history of fiber optics and a reception.

“Optical networks are central to global connectivity and global communication, and it has absolutely transformed our society and our world,” Welch remarked. “In the end, life is about human-to-human activity. We may elect to utilize machines to facilitate better human-to-human connectivity, and I think that is the greatest contribution of the optical network: the expanse of our human-to-human connectivity.”

A video of the 50-year Commemorative Event is posted here:
https://events7.mediasite.com/Mediasite/Play/747ae78e651e4380989bcef3ed42146e1d

New this year, the Special Chairs’ Session, Vision 2030: Taking Optical Communications through the Next Decade, featured visionary speakers who discussed past successes alongside forthcoming innovations. With this year as the marker of a new decade, the session outlined projections for the next ten years in areas such as photonic integrated circuits, silicon/nanophotonics, photonic integrated circuits, evolution of undersea cables, and 5G optical transport, among other topics.

OFC 2021 will continue to serve as the industry’s premier optical communications event, which is set to take place 28 March - 1 April in San Francisco.

http://www.ofcconference.org

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Expecting a surge, T-Mobile US increases network capacity

To address an expected surge in network usage during the COVID-19 national emergency, T-Mobile US is activating 600 MHz spectrum from multiple companies, including Bluewater, Channel 51, Comcast, DISH, Grain Management affiliate NewLevel, LLC, LB Holdings and Omega Wireless, LLC in the markets where it can be quickly deployed.

“In trying times like this, we understand how important it is for people to remain connected – to family and friends, to resources and information, to their jobs via teleworking or schools via virtual classrooms. And we take our responsibility to keep our customers connected incredibly seriously,” said Neville Ray, President of Technology for T-Mobile. “We can’t thank these partners and the FCC enough for coming together to provide people across the country with the critical connectivity they’re relying on right now.”

T-Mobile also expanded roaming access for Sprint customers to use the T-Mobile network.

The following additional measures have been put in place by T-Mobile:

  • All current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers who have plans with data will have unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days (excluding roaming).
  • Providing T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot / tethering service for the next 60 days – coming soon.
  • Increased the data allowance for free to schools and students using its digital learning programs to ensure each participant has access to at least 20GB of data per month for the next 60 days.
  • Offering free international calling for ALL current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers to Level 3 impacted countries.


https://www.t-mobile.com/news/tmobile-to-increase-network-capacity-and-expand-roaming-for-sprint-customers

DISH lends 600 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile US for 60 days

DISH is providing its entire portfolio of 600 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile at no cost for 60 days during the COVID-19 national emergency

"DISH is proud to support Americans' personal and professional connectivity needs during this challenging time," said Jeff Blum, DISH SVP of public policy and government affairs. "As we take this step, we'd like to thank the FCC for their leadership on the technological needs arising as a result of the virus, including the increased need for broadband access to help consumers respond to the impact of COVID-19 on daily life."

http://about.dish.com/2020-03-13-COVID-19-Response-DISH-Lends-Critical-Spectrum-to-T-Mobile-in-Effort-to-Bolster-Nationwide-Wireless-Capacity-to-Help-Consumers


Earlier this year, DISH announce plans to release a Request for Information and Request for Proposal (RFI/RFP) for Telecom Transport Services in support of its plans to deploy a virtualized 5G Stand-Alone network across the United States. DISH has committed to building a standalone 5G broadband network available to at least 70 percent of the U.S. population by June 2023.

The Telecom Transport Services RFI/RFP, the fifth in a series of RFPs for different elements of the national network, will include requests for telecom transport service companies to facilitate lit and dark fiber connectivity to cell towers, buildings and data centers.

As part of the T-Mobile US + Sprint deal, 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.


Ajit Pai's Keep Americans Connected Pledge endorsed by carriers

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai solicited pledges from the U.S. network operators to ensure availability of network services during the COVID-19 national emergency

The Keep Americans Connected Pledge reads as follows:

Given the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on American society, [[Company Name]] pledges for the next 60 days to:

  1. not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
  2. waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
  3. open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

The following companies immediately agree to the Keep Americans Connected Pledge: ACIRA – Powered by Farmers Mutual Telephone Company & Federated Telephone, Allstream Business US, AlticeUSA, Antietam Broadband, Atlantic Broadband, AT&T, BBT, BOYCOM Vision, Burlington Telecom, Cable One, Central Arkansas Telephone Cooperative, CenturyLink, Charter, Cincinnati Bell, Citizens Connected, Comcast, Consolidated Communications, Cox Communications, Digital West, East Ascension Telephone Company, Education Networks of America, Emery Telecom, Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative, FirstLight, Frontier, Google Fiber, Grande Communications, Granite Telecommunications, Great Plains Communications, GWI, Hiawatha Broadband, Hill Country, IdeaTek Telcom, Inteliquent, Lafourche Telephone Company, Lakeland Communications, Long Lines Broadband, Mammoth Networks/Visionary Broadband, Mediacom, MetTel, Nex-Tech, Ninestar Connect, Northwest Fiber, Orbitel Communications, Pioneer Communications, Premier Communications, Range Telephone Cooperative, RCN, Reserve Telephone Company, Sacred Wind Communications, Shawnee Communications, Socket Telecom, Sonic, Sprint, Starry, TDS Telecom, TelNet Worldwide, T-Mobile, TracFone Wireless, Uniti Fiber, US Cellular, Vast Broadband, Verizon, Vyve Broadband Investments, Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom, Wave Broadband, West Telecom Services, Windstream, and ZenFi Networks.

“As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and causes a series of disruptions to the economic, educational, medical, and civic life of our country, it is imperative that Americans stay connected.  Broadband will enable them to communicate with their loved ones and doctors, telework, ensure their children can engage in remote learning, and—importantly—take part in the ‘social distancing’ that will be so critical to limiting the spread of this novel coronavirus,” said Chairman Pai.  “That’s why I’m asking all broadband and telephone service providers to take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge.  I don’t want any American consumers experiencing hardships because of the pandemic to lose connectivity.

Comcast confident it can handle usage spikes during emergency

Comcast is opening its nationwide network of Wi-Fi hotspots to the public at no charge to help during the COVID-19 crisis.

In addition, Comcast is pausing data caps for its residential broadband customers. The move is expected to help people working from home and students studying online. All customers will have unlimited data for no additional charge for 60 days.

Comcast said remains confident that its network will be able to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns during this national emergency.

Furthermore, Comcast promised not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they inform the company that they can’t pay their bills during this period.

http://www.comcastcorporation.com/COVID-19

BT's CEO tests positive for COVID-19

Philip Jansen, Chief Executive, BT Group confirmed that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Philip Jansen said: “Having felt slightly unwell I decided as a precaution to be tested. As soon as the test results were known I isolated myself at home. I’ve met several industry partners this week so felt it was the responsible thing to do to alert them to this fact as soon as I could. Given my symptoms seem relatively mild, I will continue to lead BT but work with my team remotely over the coming week. There will be no disruption to the business.”

BT said it is now working closely with Public Health England to undertake a full deep clean of relevant parts of its Group headquarters and will ensure those employees who have had contact with Philip are appropriately advised.


IDC: Worldwide server market grew 7.5% in 4Q19

Vendor revenue in the worldwide server market grew 7.5% year over year to $25.4 billion during the fourth quarter of 2019 (4Q19), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker. Worldwide server shipments grew 14.0% year over year to just over 3.4 million units in 4Q19.

"While the server market recaptured growth during the fourth quarter, it was a bit of a mixed bag as robust hyperscaler demand benefited the ODM Direct vendor group, which combined with strong non-x86 server purchases to drive the broader market," said Sebastian Lagana, research manager, Infrastructure Platforms and Technologies at IDC. "While the OEM x86 market was tepid, it's worth noting that 4Q18 was one of the most challenging comparison periods in history, during which many OEMs generated double-digit growth and large revenue bases."



Some highlights:

  • The number one position in the worldwide server market in 4Q19 was shared by the combined HPE/New H3C Group and Dell Technologies with revenue shares of 16.3% and 15.7% respectively. 
  • HPE/New H3C Group revenues were down 3.4% year over year while Dell Technologies declined 9.9%. 
  • The third ranking server supplier during the quarter was IBM, generating 9.1% revenue share on growth of 17.6%. 
  • Inspur/Inspur Power Systems was fourth with 6.8% revenue share and year-over-year growth of 12.1%. 
  • Lenovo and Huawei were statistically tied* for the fifth position in the market with market shares of 5.6% and 5.1% respectively. 
  • Lenovo's revenues were down 2.6% year over year while Huawei grew its revenues 1.8% in 4Q19. 
  • The ODM Direct group of vendors accounted for 25.5% of total revenue and was up 37.9% year over year to $6.47 billion. 
  • Dell Technologies led the worldwide server market in terms of unit shipments, accounting for 16.1% of all units shipped during the quarter.

NBC: U.S, launches new investigation into ZTE

The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a new investigation of ZTE, according to NBC News. The investigation reportedly is looking into possible bribes paid by ZTE to foreign officials.

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/corporations/u-s-now-investigating-chinese-telecom-giant-zte-alleged-bribery-n1156696

In 2018, ZTE agreed to pay $1 billion to the U.S. Treasurey and place an additional $400 million in escrow to resolve a case concerning exports to Iran and North Korea. ZTE also agreed to certain provisions allowing monitoring of its compliance with U.S. export control laws.

GlobeNet's Malbec Subsea Cable links Rio and Buenos Aires

GlobeNet is in the final stages of the construction of its new Malbec subsea cable system, which will link the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo with Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The 2,500 km Malbec cable will be fully integrated into GlobeNet's regional network, offering seamless connectivity between the Southern Cone and the rest of the GlobeNet's network to Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Bermuda and the United States.

The Malbec system will use Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM) and the latest generation in repeaters and transponders.  The system is expected to be ready for service in July.