Sunday, April 5, 2020

Microsoft Azure Edge Zones previews with carriers

Microsoft has begun previewing Azure Edge Zones, which are 5G customer scenarios that can leverage its cloud capabilities.


Microsoft said Azure Edge Zones and Azure Private Edge Zones will enable:

  • Development of distributed applications across cloud, on-premises, and edge using the same Azure Portal, APIs, development, and security tools.
  • Local data processing for latency critical industrial IoT and media services workloads.
  • Acceleration of IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and real-time analytics by optimizing, building, and innovating for robotics, automation, and mixed reality.
  • New frontiers for developers working with high-density graphics and real-time operations in industries such as gaming.
  • An evolving platform built with customers, carriers, and industry partners to allow seamless integration and operation of a wide selection of Virtual Network Functions, including 5G software and SD-WAN and firewalls from technology partners such as Affirmed, Mavenir, Nuage Networks from Nokia, Metaswitch, Palo Alto Networks, and VeloCloud By VMware.

Microsoft, which has already announced an Azure Edge Zone partnership with AT&T, is now expanding the program to the following carriers: Etisalat, NTT Communications, Proximus, Rogers, SK Telecom, Telefonica, Telstra, SK Telecom, and Vodafone Business.

By connecting Azure services directly to 5G networks inside the carrier's data centers, applications will benefit from significantly reduced latency,

“This is a uniquely challenging time across the globe as we rethink how to help organizations serve their customers and stakeholders,” said Anne Chow, chief executive officer, AT&T Business. “Fast and intelligent mobile networks will be increasingly central to all of our lives. Combining our network knowledge and experience with Microsoft’s cloud expertise will give businesses a critical head start.”

In addition, Microsoft announced the preview of Azure Private Edge Zones, a private 5G/LTE network combined with Azure Stack Edge on-premises delivering an ultra-low latency, secure, and high bandwidth solution for organizations to enable scenarios, like with Attabotics, accelerating e-commerce delivery times by using 3D robotic goods-to-person storage, retrieval, and real-time order fulfillment solutions. This solution leverages Azure Edge Zones and IoT technologies such as Azure IoT Central and Azure Sphere.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/microsoft-partners-with-the-industry-to-unlock-new-5g-scenarios-with-azure-edge-zones/

Microsoft and AT&T preview Network Edge Compute

Microsoft and AT&T announced select preview availability for Network Edge Compute (NEC) technology, which weaves Microsoft Azure cloud services into AT&T network edge locations closer to customers. NEC will initially be available for a limited set of select customers in Dallas. Next year, Los Angeles and Atlanta are targeted for select customer availability.

NEC is enabled by AT&T’s software-defined and virtualized 5G core, which the company calls the Network Cloud.  This means the Network Cloud is now capable of delivering Azure services.

“The first smartphones on 3G networks introduced the idea of mobile apps over a decade ago. A few years later, 4G LTE made it feasible to connect those devices faster to cloud applications to stream videos, hail rides, and broadcast content to the world,” said Mo Katibeh, EVP and chief marketing officer, AT&T Business. “With our 5G and edge computing, AT&T is collaborating uniquely with Microsoft to marry their cloud capabilities with our network to create lower latency between the device and the cloud that will unlock new, future scenarios for consumers and businesses. We’ve said all year developers and businesses will be the early 5G adopters, and this puts both at the forefront of this revolution.”

“We are helping AT&T light up a wide range of unique solutions powered by Microsoft’s cloud, both for its business and our mutual customers in a secure and trusted way,” said Corey Sanders, corporate vice president, Microsoft Solutions. “The collaboration reaches across AT&T, bringing the hyperscale of Microsoft Azure together with AT&T’s network to innovate with 5G and edge computing across every industry.”


AT&T to move most non-network workloads to public cloud by 2024

Microsoft and AT&T announced an extensive, multiyear alliance under which Microsoft will be the preferred cloud provider for non-network applications. Specifically, AT&T will provide much of its workforce with Microsoft 365, and plans to migrate non-network infrastructure applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

AT&T said the alliance is part of its broader public cloud first strategy to consolidate data center infrastructure and operations. AT&T is becoming a “public cloud first” company by migrating most non-network workloads to the public cloud by 2024.

“AT&T and Microsoft are among the most committed companies to fostering technology that serves people,” said John Donovan, CEO, AT&T Communications. “By working together on common efforts around 5G, the cloud, and AI, we will accelerate the speed of innovation and impact for our customers and our communities.”

“AT&T is at the forefront of defining how advances in technology, including 5G and edge computing, will transform every aspect of work and life,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “The world’s leading companies run on our cloud, and we are delighted that AT&T chose Microsoft to accelerate its innovation. Together, we will apply the power of Azure and Microsoft 365 to transform the way AT&T’s workforce collaborates and to shape the future of media and communications for people everywhere.”

In addition, Microsoft will tap into the innovation AT&T is offering on its 5G network, including to design, test, and build edge-computing capabilities. With edge computing and a lower-latency 5G connection enabled through AT&T’s geographically dispersed network infrastructure, devices can process data closer to where decisions are made. Recently, Microsoft and AT&T worked together to test an edge computing-based tracking and detection system for drones. With more connected devices and the growing demand for streaming content from movies to games, businesses and consumers require ever-increasing network capabilities.

GSA predicts 5G to reach 19.3% of global market by end of 2024

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) is predicting that 5G will account for 19.3% of the worldwide market by the end of 2024, with LTE still dominant at 59.4% of all global mobile subscriptions. 5G subscriptions more than quadrupled in the last quarter to reach at least 17.73 million globally by the end of 2019.

Some highlights:

  • By the end of 2019 there were 5.27 billion LTE subscriptions worldwide, with over one billion LTE subscriptions (1.032 bn) added in the preceding 12 months representing a 24.4% year-on-year growth. 
  • LTE subscriptions now account for 57.7% of all global mobile subscriptions. 
  • LTE is expected to account for 64.8% global market share by the end of 2022, at which point it will reach its peak point in terms of subscriber numbers and technology market share.

The subscriber data and forecasts were collated by Omdia, the new global technology research firm established in 2019 with the combination of the Informa Tech’s research brands (Ovum, Heavy Reading, and Tractica) and the acquired IHS Markit technology research portfolio.

The LTE and 5G Market Growth and Forecasts summary data, including a regional breakdown of LTE subscribers, is available for free download for registered users from https://gsacom.com/paper/lte-and-5g-subscriber-growth-and-forecast-april-2020


TIM and Infratel Italia to accelerate fiber rollout

TIM and Infratel Italia, the in-house company of Italy's Ministry of Economic Development, are accelerating the rollout of ultra broadband in Italy to address the COVID-19 emergency.

TIM will acquire a significant amount of dark-fibre infrastructure built by Infratel as part of the initiative, which is a major example of a virtuous synergy between the public and private sectors to bridge the digital divide in Italy, in keeping with the country's strategy to spread ultrabroadband. TIM is using this infrastructure to bring ultrabroadband to the municipalities served by the project, delivering networks using FTTC (a total of 653) and FTTH (15) technology.

The goal is to "switch on" of all the infrastructure to access the public fibre-optic network installed by Infratel in eight regions: Abruzzo, Sardinia, Tuscany, Puglia, Calabria, Lazio, Lombardy and Marche. All of the “white areas” are subject to direct intervention by Infratel Italia and not under concession. Work has already been carried out in 241 municipalities, rising to 310 by May with the switch-on of over 1,600 cabinets.

The initiative, which follows on from the agreement signed last July, concerns the municipalities covered by the "direct model", which aims to build ultrabroadband networks in so-called "white areas" not previously put out to tender. About 1 million citizens, businesses and public administrations in the municipalities involved will benefit from the programme.

GSMA condemns attacks against mobile masts in the UK

The GSMA issued a statement condemning recent arson attacks in the UK on mobile masts. UK media reported fires in Birmingham, Belfast and Merseyside, and 5G cited conspiracy theories circulating on social media.

“The telecoms industry is working around the clock to keep vital health, education and emergency services online, businesses running, and friends and families connected,” said Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, the global communications industry body. “It is deplorable that critical communications infrastructure is being attacked based on outright mistruths. We urge everyone to trust health authorities and rest assured communications technology is safe. There is no link between 5G and COVID-19.”

Nokia delivers Optical LAN in Bahrain

Nokia will provide its Optical LAN solution to Infonas W.L.L. Bahrain to serve enterprise customers in downtown Manama.

The fiber network is based on Nokia's GPON technology. The deployment includes Nokia’s 7360 Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) FX, which serves as a high-capacity access node, and Nokia’s 7368 Intelligent Service Access Manager (ISAM) Optical Network Terminals (ONTs).

Mohamed Salama, Head of Fixed Networks, Middle East and Africa, said: “Adoption of this technology continues to increase globally as enterprises in all industry segments look at this alternative LAN architecture to help lower capital and operating costs. This project demonstrates the benefits of Nokia Optical LAN and how it can deliver a high-capacity, resilient and scalable network that simplifies operations and ultimately helps to reduce costs for enterprises.”

Thursday, April 2, 2020

OpenDaylight releases Magnesium, its 12th gen SDN controller

The OpenDaylight Project released Magnesium, the 12th version of its open source SDN controller platform.

Highlights of OpenDaylight Magnesium

  • New projects: The Magnesium release includes two new projects—DetNet and Plastic. The new projects deal with deterministic networking for performance sensitive traffic and model-to-model translations, respectively. 
  • New Features for Service Provider Use Cases: The community contributed several new features to the TransportPCE and BGPCEP projects, making OpenDaylight even better suited to service provider use cases. TransportPCE took a step forward in the control of open optical infrastructure domains while the BGPCEP project added support for missing features from RFC 5440 and a BGP-LS topology provider for segment routing. In addition to these two major areas of enhancements, the Genius project, that provides generic network interfaces, utilities, and services, added support for Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) for OpenFlow tunnels. This makes it easier to detect if the tunnel is bidirectional or not.
  • ONAP Integration: the OpenDaylight community provided an optimized distribution of the Magnesium release to the ONAP project so that OpenDaylight can be consumed efficiently by a number of ONAP controllers. Distribution is being integrated successfully by the ONAP Common Controller Software Development Kit (CCSDK) project and will be available in the upcoming ONAP Frankfurt release.
  • Improved Functionality, Scalability, and Stability: The Magnesium release continued to make progress around S3P. For example, the OpenFlow plugin and the Netvirt project improved cluster stability, scale, and performance. The projects also include updated documentation, upgrade process description, and numerous bug fixes. The Daexim (data export/import) project has improved scalability and supports processing of very large data sets. Projects such as Genius, OVSDB, NETCONF, and AAA include a variety of improvements in the areas of scalability, performance, and bug fixes. Moreover, the Magnesium release includes Java Developer Kit (JDK) 11 that brings with it a number of security features such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.3, newer ciphers, key agreement improvements, and root certificate additions. In total, Magnesium includes 70+ improvements and bug fixes!

Lumina Networks contributed to the Plastic and BGPCEP projects and also released updates to the  Lumina SDN Controller 11.2.0 to align to theOpenDaylight Sodium release.
An early version of the Magnesium release TransportPCE project was used in a live demo at the Optical Fiber Communications Conference to show interoperability of OpenROADM equipment from six suppliers and to control a low latency optical layer build from ROADMs and OTN flexponders. Orange played a central role in moving the project forward.
PANTHEON.tech continued their contributions to the core OpenDaylight platform as well as individual plugins; specific contributions covered JDK 11, YANG Parser, In-memory data tree, OVSDB, and distributed datastore efforts.

https://www.lfnetworking.org/blog/2020/03/31/odl-magnesium-new-projects-new-service-provider-features-and-loads-of-performance-improvements/

uSenlight employs MaxLinear's PAM4 DSPs for 400G modules

uSenlight Corporation, a key OEM developing high speed, high performance, reliable integrated optical modules for datacenter, FTTx, optical networking and CPRI/LTE applications, has selected MaxLinear’s MxL93542, Telluride PAM4 DSP, to develop its next-generation 400G-DR4 and FR4 optical modules.

The new optical modules build upon the success of uSenlight’s current product offerings of 100G QSFP28 PSM4 and 100G QSFP28 CWDM4 modules for data center connectivity. uSenlight’s experience in data center transceiver design and its manufacturing capabilities enable them to meet the growing demands of hyperscale data center customers.

MaxLinear’s MxL935xx Telluride PAM4 DSPs are key components in the development of high-speed, mega-scale data centers based on 100Gbps single lambda optical interconnects. MaxLinear’s SOCs offer integrated electro-absorption modulated laser (EA-EML) drivers for 100/400Gbps optical interconnects and breakout mode clocking support for 400Gbps DR4 optical modules. The MxL93542 400G PAM4 DSP allows companies like uSenlight to develop a 400Gbps optical interconnect module in a compact form factor for intra-datacenter applications with a transmission distance up to 2 kilometers.

“Telluride DSPs offer industry leading integration, power consumption, and link-margin performance,” said Will Torgerson, Vice President and General Manager of MaxLinear’s High-Speed Interconnect Group. "We are pleased to see that these features will enable uSenlight to develop next-generation 400G-DR4 and FR4 optical modules to address the massive demand to deploy higher speed networks in next-generation hyperscale data centers.”

“MaxLinear’s MxL93542 PAM4 DSP with integrated EML driver offers the highest level of integration compared with other DSPs on the market,” said Dr. Charles Wu, President of uSenlight Corporation. “The integration and performance of the MxL93542 PAM4 DSP is enabling us to expand our portfolio by developing 400Gbps optical interconnects for hyperscale datacenters.”

http://www.maxlinear.com/MxL93542

EANTC validates interoperability of ADVA's NOS

The European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC) has validated the interoperability of ADVA's carrier-grade network operating system (NOS) with routers and network management systems from a wide range of vendors while supporting segment routing and MPLS Layer 3 services. The testing was conducted at the EANTC’s facility in Berlin.

ADVA said its Ensemble Activator NOS successfully demonstrated interoperability in a series of tests showing how disaggregated packet devices can significantly enhance the scale and functionality of networks. ADVA’s NOS is designed for white box switching and features zero-touch provisioning using the Open Networking Install Environment (ONIE) framework.

“Putting our Ensemble Activator through EANTC’s rigorous tests emphasizes the commitment to openness and interoperability that underpins all ADVA innovation. But we’re also showing the industry how we can bring something special to Layer 3. Our years of experience with lower layer solutions give us a unique understanding of the operational aspects of networks,” said Eli Angel, VP, product line management, ADVA. “Our Ensemble Activator is proven to enable high-value disaggregated cell site gateway solutions, bringing the agility of software-based feature development to mobile networks. Now, we’re going even further and extending our unique MEF 3.0-certified solution with higher layer networking capabilities. These tests highlight how our Ensemble Activator supports segment routing and MPLS. What more, our disaggregated packet solution releases communication service providers from vendor lock-in and delivers total agility.”

“Our evaluation confirms that Ensemble Activator successfully interworked with third-party routers and network management systems. In environments featuring technology from other major vendors, ADVA’s disaggregated software NOS was verified in tests focused on Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPNs, segment routing, and control and data plane capabilities,” commented Carsten Rossenhövel, managing director, EANTC. “This latest interoperability event was a major success with more than 100 attendees from 16 vendors, including many participating remotely. Its program reflected a shift across the industry to software-defined networking with many testing scenarios involving programmability and manageability. ADVA’s Ensemble Activator easily integrated and successfully interoperated in several of these tests, such as those focused on vendor-neutral Layer 3 segment routing and telemetry streaming.”

https://adva.li/eantc-2020

IDC: Cloud infrastructure spending rose 12% in 4Q19

Total end-user spending on IT infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud environments, including public and private cloud, recovered in the fourth quarter of 2019 (4Q19) after two consecutive quarters of decline, growing 12.4% year over year in Q4 2019 to $19.4 billion, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker.

"While the beginning of 2020 was marked by supply chain issues that should be resolved before the end of the second quarter, the negative economic impact will hit enterprise customers' CAPEX spending," said Kuba Stolarski, research director, Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies at IDC. "As enterprise IT budgets tighten through the year, public cloud will see an increase in demand for services. This increase will come in part from the surge of work-from-home employees using online collaboration tools, but also from workload migration to public cloud as enterprises seek ways to save money for the current year. Once the coast is clear of coronavirus, IDC expects some of this new cloud service demand to remain sticky going forward."



IDC's new five-year forecast predicts cloud IT infrastructure spending* will reach $100.1 billion in 2024 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4%. Non-cloud IT infrastructure spending will decline slightly to $65.3 billion with a -0.7% CAGR. Total IT infrastructure is forecast to grow at a 4.2% CAGR and produce $165.4 billion in spending in 2024.

Some highlights from IDC

The overall IT infrastructure market continued to struggle after its strong performance in 2018, up 3.3% to $38.1 billion in 4Q19 but declining 1.1% to $134.4 billion for the full year. Non-cloud IT infrastructure fell 4.6% to $18.7 billion for the quarter and declined 4.1% to $67.7 billion for the year.
Spending on cloud IT infrastructure in 4Q19 was driven by the public cloud segment, which grew 14.5% year over year to $13.3 billion; private cloud grew 8.2% to $6.1 billion.
IDC expects cloud IT infrastructure will stay above 50% of the IT Infrastructure market at both the quarterly and annual levels, reaching 60.5% annually in 2024.
Across the three IT infrastructure technology domains, storage platforms saw the fastest year-over-year growth in 4Q19 at 15.1% with spending reaching $6.6 billion. Compute platforms grew 14.5% year over year with $10.8 billion in spending while Ethernet switches declined 3.9% to $2.0 billion.
For the full year 2019, Ethernet switches led with year-over-year growth of 5.0% and $8.2 billion in spending, followed by storage platforms with 1.9% growth and spending of $23.1 billion, and compute platforms with growth of 1.5% and spending of $35.5 billion.
IDC's forecast for 2020, after taking into consideration the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing economic crisis, is for $69.2 billion in cloud IT infrastructure spending*, a 3.6% predicted annual increase over 2019. Non-cloud IT infrastructure spending is expected to decline 9.2% to $61.4 billion in 2020. Together, overall IT infrastructure spending is expected to decline 2.9% to $130.6 billion.

IDC cuts worldwide IT spending forecast by 2.7% due to COVID-19

Worldwide IT spending is now expected to decline 2.7% in constant currency terms this year as COVID-19 impacts the global economy and forces many organizations around the world to respond with contingency planning and spending cuts in the short term, according to IDC. In line with previous economic recessions, IT spending on hardware, software, and IT services is likely to decline by more than real GDP overall, as commercial IT buyers and consumers implement rapid cuts to capital spending in line with declining revenues, profits, market valuations, and employee headcounts.

"Overall IT spending will decline in 2020, despite increased demand and usage for some technologies and services by individual companies and consumers," said Stephen Minton, program vice president in IDC's Customer Insights & Analysis group. "Businesses in sectors of the economy that are hardest hit during the first half of the year will react by delaying some purchases and projects, and the lack of visibility related to medical factors will ensure that many organizations take an extremely cautious approach when it comes to budget contingency planning in the near term."

Spending on server/storage and network hardware will also decline overall despite strong demand for cloud services as enterprise customers delay purchases during the initial rapid response phase of the current crisis. Total infrastructure spending (including cloud) will increase by 5.3%, but all of this growth will come from enterprise spending on infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and cloud provider spending on servers. Meanwhile, overall server/storage hardware spending will be down by 3.3% and enterprise network equipment spending will decline by 1.7%.

"Hardware spending in general is always identified for rapid spending cuts during any economic crisis, as a means for enterprises to quickly protect short-term profitability," said Minton. "In previous economic crashes, IT hardware has tended to overshoot the economic cycle on both the downside and in the recovery phase. That's because underlying demand drivers don't change overnight, but the timing of purchases is shifted and delayed, and this can now be done even more quickly than in the past. What's different now is that cloud is a bigger factor than it was in any previous global recession, and this should mean that overall spending is less volatile than in the last two major IT spending downturns."

More: https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS46186120

Renesas and Microsoft develop chip-to-cloud IoT solution

Renesas is teaming up with Microsoft to offer seamless device-to-cloud experience for IoT developers.

The companies to deliver a complete chip-to-cloud IoT solution based on Renesas’ microcontroller (MCU) and microprocessor (MPU) devices and Microsoft Azure IoT building blocks, including Azure RTOS, Azure IoT device SDK for C, IoT Plug and Play, IoT Central and IoT Hub.

“Our Synergy and RX cloud kits combined with Azure RTOS and other Azure IoT building blocks offer MCU customers a quick and secure end-to-end solution for cloud connectivity,” said Sailesh Chittipeddi, Executive Vice President, General Manager IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit at Renesas. “We are excited to expand our collaboration with Microsoft and look forward to bringing Microsoft Azure to our MCU and MPU customers, including solutions that will support Azure IoT Edge Runtime for Linux on our RZ MPUs.”

“Integrating our industry-leading Azure IoT services with Renesas’ Synergy and RX microcontroller cloud kits makes it easier for customers to build and bring new enterprise-grade IoT solutions to market quickly,” said Sam George, Corporate Vice President, Azure IoT, Microsoft. “As a result of our collaboration with Renesas, customers will soon be able to seamlessly connect their devices to Microsoft Azure, and we look forward to delivering additional intelligent capabilities in the future.”

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

FCC Chair Ajit Pai proposes 1,200 Megahertz for Unlicensed Use

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing to make 1,200 megahertz of spectrum available for unlicensed use in the 6 GHz band. 

If adopted, the draft Report and Order would authorize two different types of unlicensed operations: standard-power in 850-megahertz of the band and indoor low-power operations over the full 1,200-megahertz available in the 6 GHz band.  An automated frequency coordination system would prevent standard power access points from operating where they could cause interference to incumbent services. 

“From Wi-Fi routers to home appliances, Americans’ everyday use of devices that connect to the Internet over unlicensed spectrum has exploded,” said Chairman Pai.  “That trend will only continue.  Cisco projects that nearly 60% of global mobile data traffic will be off-loaded to Wi-Fi by 2022.  To accommodate that increase in Wi-Fi demand, the FCC is aiming to increase the supply of Wi-Fi spectrum with our boldest initiative yet: making the entire 6 GHz band available for unlicensed use.  By doing this, we would effectively increase the amount of spectrum available for Wi-Fi almost by a factor of five.  This would be a huge benefit to consumers and innovators across the nation.  It would be another step toward increasing the capacity of our country’s networks.  And it would help advance even further our leadership in next generation wireless technologies, including 5G.”

The Chairman’s draft rules will be voted on by the Commission at the FCC’s Open Meeting on April 23.

Some industry reaction:

Aruba's Keerti Melkote: "The runaway success of Wi-Fi in the last couple decades represents the power of unlicensed spectrum, open standards and unfettered innovation. The FCC’s forward-looking action to allocate the largest block of mid-band spectrum for unlicensed use builds on its success in creating the Wi-Fi industry and promises to usher in the next era of unconstrained American innovation for the global markets."

Boingo's Dr. Derek Peterson: “The expansion of Wi-Fi into the 6 GHz band provides exciting new real estate that lays the foundation for continued wireless innovation. The significant swath of contiguous spectrum is well suited to facilitate Wi-Fi’s skyrocketing growth, and will enable Boingo to maximize the benefits of neutral host Wi-Fi 6 deployments at major airports, stadiums, military bases and multifamily communities.”

Broadcom's Henry Samueli: “Today’s announcement by Chairman Ajit Pai that the Commission will vote to open 1,200 MHz of unlicensed spectrum in the 6 GHz band positions the U.S. to lead the world in next-generation 5G services. All Americans could soon have Wi-Fi in a pristine, wireless superhighway to deliver digitally immersive experiences including in education and telemedicine."

Cisco's Chuck Robbins: “All of us at Cisco congratulate FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for his leadership in moving forward with a 6 GHz spectrum plan that will be the backbone of American jobs and the economy. Across the country, Wi-Fi networks on unlicensed spectrum are supporting first responders, hospitals, telehealth, remote learning, and remote work at unprecedented levels. Chairman Pai’s decision to unleash the full potential of Wi-Fi alongside 5G could not come at a more important time. We’re excited to help build an internet for the future and look forward to the FCC’s vote.”

CTIA's Brad Gillen: “We support the FCC’s efforts to make the lower half of the 6 GHz band available for unlicensed use and will continue to work closely with the commission to ensure rigorous protections for licensed services already existing in the band. While the FCC has done a remarkable job freeing up critical licensed spectrum for 5G, the United States faces a growing mid-band deficit. It is essential that the FCC and the administration develop a roadmap to close this deficit before moving forward with plans to give away the full 1200 MHz in the 6 GHz band and further limit our few remaining options.”

Qualcomm’s Steve Mollenkopf: "Qualcomm fully supports the FCC’s plan to allocate the 6 GHz band for advanced unlicensed operations at its April 23rd meeting.  We applaud FCC Chairman Pai and his fellow FCC Commissioners for this initiative, which will provide American consumers with better, faster broadband for so many uses, including telemedicine, remote learning and working, fully immersive augmented and virtual reality, & the Internet of Things.  In February, we demonstrated a full suite of Wi Fi 6E products ready to start using this large new swath of spectrum.  We are also optimizing other exciting new technologies for this large swath of spectrum, including the next version of 5G and next generation Wi-Fi.  Today’s announcement is another important step taken by the FCC to ensuring American leadership in the key 21st Century enabling technologies."

Infinera evolves its Groove optical transport with 2 x 800G transponder sled

Infinera announced the expansion of its Groove (GX) Series of open, compact, and modular transport solutions with the adoption of a sled-based architecture and support for its sixth-generation Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE6) technology. The platform's evolution includes carrier-grade features, high-density chassis, and a wide variety of advanced sled capabilities.

“These advances represent the continuation of Infinera’s vision to bring open, modular, cost-effective solutions to our customers,” said Glenn Laxdal, Infinera Senior Vice President, Product Management. “Infinera pioneered the compact modular transport platform with the Cloud Xpress for internet content providers, significantly advanced its compact modular portfolio with the industry’s first sled-based architecture with the GX G30, and is now leading the market once again with this evolution of the GX Series.”

The expanded GX Series of compact modular solutions adds improved scalability and carrier-grade features to modern data center-style networking approaches with chassis options that streamline and accelerate large-scale deployments in a wide variety of data center and traditional service provider networks. These features include NEBS Level 3 compliance, field-replaceable redundant controllers, both A/C and D/C power supplies, enhanced security, 300-millimeter (mm) and 600-mm ETSI-compliant shelf variants, and multi-chassis single-element configurations. Additionally, the expansion adds a variety of new sled-based options:

The ICE6-powered CHM6 sled – an industry-leading 2 x 800G transponder sled
Flexible aggregation sleds – a suite of metro-optimized sleds for multi-service aggregation
Advanced open line system sleds – including low- and high-degree ROADMs with colorless/directionless/contentionless add/drop architectures and low-cost FOADMs, enabling support for most networks

https://www.infinera.com/press-release/Infinera-Unveils-the-Next-Phase-in-the-Evolution-of-Compact-Modular-Optical-Transport-Solutions?

Napatech accelerates virtualization with FPGA-based SmartNICs

Napatech released new Link-Virtualization software that delivers high-performance virtual switching capabilities for its family of FPGA-based SmartNICs. The solution delivers a massive increase in network performance and simultaneous reduction in server CPU utilization, allowing data center operators to fulfill their vision for SDN and NFV.

The company said its Link-Virtualization software and FPGA-SmartNIC solution delivers the high throughput and virtual switching programmability needed for use cases such as VM demultiplexing, full and partial vSwitch offload for application acceleration, VM-to-VM network and application performance monitoring, network telemetry, and custom workload integration.

Highlights:


  • Network Performance: More than 60X gain compared to basic NICs with line-rate forwarding up to 100Gbps switching and 60 million packets per second to virtual machines, for millions of simultaneous flows, with sub-10 uS latency.
  • Server Scalability: More than 90% reduction in server utilization, removing burdensome network and security processing from valuable and expensive CPU cores, returning them to the applications, services and tenants for which they were intended.
  • Feature Velocity: Reconfigurable and programmable processing to retain hardware performance and the speed of software innovation, to keep pace with the rapid evolution in networking standards and increasing threat landscape in cybersecurity.
  • Data Center Sustainability: The combination of performance and programmability provides up to 5X lifetime cost savings by requiring fewer servers, rack space, power and cooling, while also reducing costly upgrade cycles when basic NICs fall behind in functionality.
  • Rich Functionality: Napatech’s Link-Virtualization is supported on Napatech’s family of FPGA-based SmartNICs that include 10, 25, 40 and 100 gigabit Ethernet. It is fully compliant with industry standards including DPDK, OVS, and PCIe, and features the industry’s most programmable application interface for sophisticated match-action policies, VirtIO with live migration support, QoS, load balancing, overlay encapsulations, and much more.

“As the market shifts towards virtualized cloud, telco 5G, edge and enterprise networks, Napatech’s programmable NICs and software are leading the way,” said Jarrod Siket, Chief Marketing Officer at Napatech. “No vendor has shipped more FPGA-based SmartNICs and ports than Napatech, and our Link-Virtualization software makes us well positioned in this high growth market.”

The software is in trials with global server and appliances OEMs.

https://www.napatech.com/products/link-virtualization-software/

FCC proposes $9B 5G Fund for Rural America

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing to establish a $9 billion 5G Fund for Rural America.

The 5G Fund would specifically target rural areas that would not see timely deployment of 5G service absent support and are not likely to be covered by the T-Mobile transaction commitments.  The FCC will vote on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at its April 23 Open Meeting.

“5G promises to be the next leap in broadband technology, offering significantly increased speeds and reduced latency,” said Chairman Pai.  “The 5G Fund for Rural America focuses on building out 5G networks in areas that likely would otherwise go unserved.  It’s critical that Americans living in rural communities have the same opportunities as everybody else.”

As part of its recently approved transaction, T-Mobile has committed to deploying 5G service to 99% of Americans within six years, including covering 90% of those living in rural America.  Some rural areas, however, will not see the technological and economic benefits of 5G if there are insufficient financial incentives for mobile wireless carriers to invest in 5G-capable networks throughout rural America.  The FCC is proposing to use Universal Service Fund support to make sure that rural Americans are not left behind.  Building on the success of the Connect America Fund Phase II auction and the upcoming Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction, the FCC is proposing to award funding for 5G services through a reverse auction. 

The FCC is seeking comment on two options for identifying areas that would be eligible for 5G Fund support:


  • Under one approach for Phase I, the Commission would hold an auction in 2021 by defining eligible areas based on current data sources that identify areas as particularly rural and thus in the greatest need of universal service support.  In recognition of the challenges of ensuring that 5G service is deployed to areas that lack any mobile broadband service, the proposal would prioritize areas that have historically lacked 4G LTE or 3G service.  
  • The second approach would delay the 5G Fund Phase I auction until at least 2023, after collecting and processing improved mobile broadband coverage data through the Commission’s new Digital Opportunity Data Collection.  


Phase II of the 5G Fund would target support to bring wireless connectivity to harder to serve and higher cost areas, such as farms and ranches, and make at least $1 billion available for deployments that would facilitate precision agriculture.

https://www.fcc.gov/document/chairman-pai-moves-forward-establish-5g-fund-rural-america

The new T-Mobile is underway

T-Mobile US officially completed its merger with Sprint.

The New T-Mobile, whose shares of common stock continue to trade on NASDAQ under the symbol “TMUS”, promises the following:
  • The network will have 14 times more capacity in the next six years than T-Mobile alone has today, enabling the New T-Mobile to leapfrog the competition in network capability and experience.
  • Customers will have access to average 5G speeds up to eight times faster than current LTE in just a few years and 15 times faster over the next six years.
  • Within six years, the New T-Mobile will provide 5G to 99% of the U.S. population and average 5G speeds in excess of 100 Mbps to 90% of the U.S. population.
  • New T-Mobile’s business plan is built on covering 90% of rural Americans with average 5G speeds of 50 Mbps, up to two times faster than broadband on average.

The New T-Mobile’s fixed wireless in-home broadband service will deliver 100+ Mbps speeds for wireless broadband to 90% of the population and offer in-home service to millions of the country’s households in the next six years.

“During this extraordinary time, it has become abundantly clear how vital a strong and reliable network is to the world we live in. The New T-Mobile’s commitment to delivering a transformative broad and deep nationwide 5G network is more important and more needed than ever and what we are building is mission-critical for consumers,” said Mike Sievert, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “With this powerful network, the New T-Mobile will deliver real choice and value to wireless and home broadband customers and double down on all the things customers have always loved about the Un-carrier. T-Mobile has been changing wireless for good — and now we are going to do it on a whole new level!”

“The network is at the core of everything we do as a business, and it’s critically important for keeping customers connected to each other, their communities and the world,” said Neville Ray, president of Technology at T-Mobile. “The supercharged 5G network that we’ll build as a combined company will be a huge step forward, transforming wireless, fueling innovation and delivering new experiences for customers all across the country that we can’t even imagine today.”

China Mobile picks Huawei and ZTE for 5G base stations

China Mobile has selected Huawei and ZTE as the primary suppliers in the latest tender for its nationwide 5G rollout. This phase of the rollout calls for 232,143 5G base stations to be deployed in 28 provincial-level regions.

Huawei Technologies will build 57.2% of the base stations,
ZTE Corp. will build 28.7% of the base stations
Ericsson will build 11.4% of the base stations
China Information Communication Technologies (FiberHome + Datang) will build 2.6%.

Nokia was not selected for the contract, although it has played a role in previous parts of the 5G rollout.

China Mobile officially launched its 5G commercial service in 50 cities across the country.

China Mobile has deployed 40,000 5G base stations in the first batch of 50 key cities.  5G network construction is underway in more than 300 cities across the country.

The carrier is offering a number of 5G subscriptions starting with a Personal Plan priced at RMB 128 per month (~US$18). Family plans and business plans are also available. Downlink speed caps and data caps apply.

China Mobile initially has ten 5G smartphones available, along with 3 hotspot devices.

Cities with 5G coverage include: Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Shijiazhuang, Xiong'an, Taiyuan, Jincheng, Hohhot, Shenyang, Dalian, Changchun, Harbin, Nanjing, Wuxi, Suzhou, Hangzhou , Ningbo, Wenzhou, Jiaxing, Hefei, Wuhu, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou, Nanchang, Yingtan, Jinan, Qingdao, Zhengzhou, Nanyang, Wuhan, Changsha, Zhuzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan, Dongguan, Liuzhou, Nanning, Haikou, Qiong, Hai, Chengdu, Guiyang, Kunming, Xi'an, Lanzhou, Xining, Yinchuan and Urumqi.

http://www.10086.cn/aboutus/news/groupnews/index_detail_34938.html

China Mobile launches 5G in Hong Kong

China Mobile launched 5G service in Hong Kong.

The company said its new 5G infrastructure is delivering latency of under 10ms, and peak download speeds exceeding 1Gbps with upload speeds exceeding 130Mbps. 5G roaming is available for mainland China and South Korea.

The first phase of the Hong Kong network deployment includes the activation of 500 5G base stations providing coverage in major regions (such as Central and Western District, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay) and reaching more than 90% of the population.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Huawei reports robust 2019, revenue up 19.1%, profit up 5.6%

Despite pressure from the U.S. government and growing international restrictions, Huawei reported very robust financial performance for 2019:  global sales revenue in 2019 lept to CNY858.8 billion, up 19.1% year-on-year; net profit reached CNY62.7 billion; and cash flow from operating activities topped CNY91.4 billion, up 22.4% year-on-year.

"2019 was an extraordinary year for Huawei," said Eric Xu, Huawei's Rotating Chairman. "Despite enormous outside pressure, our team forged ahead with a singular focus on creating value for our customers. We worked hard to earn their respect and trust, as well as that of our partners around the globe. Business remains solid."

Some highlights from Huawei's 2019 annual report:
  • Carrier business revenue reached CNY296.7 billion, up 3.8% year-on-year.
  • Enterprise business revenue reached CNY89.7 billion, up 8.6% year-on-year.
  • Consumer business revenue reached CNY467.3 billion, up 34% year-on-year.
  • Overall revenue in China was CNY506.7 billion, up 36.2%
  • Overall revenue in EMEA was CNY206 billion, up 0.7%
  • Overall revenue in Asia PAC was CNY70.5 billion, down 13.9%
  • Overall revenue in the Americas was CNY52.5 billion, up 9.6%
  • R&D expenditures amounted to CNY131.7 billion
  • In 2019, Huawei shipped 240 million smartphones
"The external environment will only get more complicated going forward," Xu cautioned. "We need to keep enhancing the competitiveness of our products and services, promoting open innovation, and creating greater value for our customers and society at large. This is the only way we can seize the historic opportunities presented by the digital and intelligent transformation of industries, and maintain robust growth in the long run."

At the press conference, in response to a question regarding a possible tightening of restrictions of U.S.-based technology used by TSMC to produce 5G chipsets, Xu was quoted as saying "

"The Chinese government will not just stand by and watch Huawei be slaughtered on the chopping board... Why wouldn't the Chinese government ban the use of 5G chips or 5G chip-powered base stations, smartphones and other smart devices provided by American companies, for cybersecurity reasons?"

Palo Alto Networks to acquire CloudGenix for $420M

Palo Alto Networks agreed to acquire CloudGenix, an SD-WAN start-up based in San Jose, California, for approximately $420 million in cash.

CloudGenix is known for its AppFabric SD-WAN technology, which ensures application-specific, service-level agreements (SLAs). The CloudGenix SD-WAN platform serves approximately 250 customers, many of which are in the Fortune 1000 and include companies in healthcare, retail, manufacturing, finance, banking, tech and hospitality. CloudGenix co-founders, Kumar Ramachandran, Mani Ramasamy and Venkataraman Anand, have agreed to join Palo Alto Networks.

Palo Alto Networks offers its own Prisma secure access service edge (SASE) platform, delivering a global cloud network with cloud-delivered security for users. The company plans to integrate CloudGenix's cloud-managed SD-WAN products to accelerate the intelligent onboarding of remote branches and retail stores into Prisma Access.  This combination will extend the breadth of the Prisma Access SASE platform, address network and security transformation requirements, and accelerate the shift from SD-WAN to SASE.

"As the enterprise becomes more distributed, customers want agile solutions that just work, and that applies to both security and networking. Upon the close of the transaction, the combined platform will provide customers with a complete SASE offering that is best-in-class, easy to deploy, cloud-managed, and delivered as a service," states Nikesh Arora, chairman and CEO, Palo Alto Networks.

"CloudGenix's vision has been to revolutionize branch offices through cloud-delivered Autonomous WANs. With CloudGenix, enterprises gain cloud-scale economics for the branch office with the freedom to use any WAN, any cloud, and best-of-breed infrastructure services. We thank our customers for making us an industry leader in enterprise SD-WAN. By joining forces with Palo Alto Networks, we will accelerate our ability to serve customers and partners in their network and security transformation," said Kumar Ramachandran, co-founder and CEO, CloudGenix

  • CloudGenix raised over $100 million in funding. Investors included Bain Capital Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Mayfield Fund, Intel Capital, and ClearSky. 

CloudGenix enhances SD-WAN with CloudBlades software


CloudGenix announced a major upgrade to its SD-WAN platform with the launch of new "CloudBlade" cloud-delivered software.

CloudBlades enable additional SD-WAN capabilities, such as security, voice, multi-cloud access, and operational tools, to be delivered to a branch office without additional hardware or software.

CloudGenix said its approach differs from traditional enterprise branch office routers which require the installation of additional hardware blades or software. The cloud-delivered software approach brings cloud-scale economics and agility.  CloudBlades enables one-click, high-performance delivery of the above infrastructure services from the cloud, using best-of-breed providers in each category.

“As businesses take advantage of the tremendous opportunity at the branch, they need a new model for the delivery of infrastructure services,” said Kumar Ramachandran, founder and CEO at CloudGenix. “Our CloudBlades platform allows enterprises to reimagine what’s possible. Not only do customers get the agility and freedom to choose best-of-breed, they also get to take advantage of cloud-scale economics. The days of the multi-function hardware router are officially at an end.”

CloudBlades includes the following components:

  • The CloudGenix Instant-On-Network (ION) is Intel x86-based, lightweight CPE at the branch, this serves as the branch enforcement point for CloudBlades, and can simultaneously host CloudGenix’s SD-WAN products.
  • The CloudBlades Platform enables API based integration of the branch CPE directly with various cloud infrastructure services. It provides secure, authenticated API access to CloudGenix CPE and systems; a centralized API for programming the app-flow engine at the CPE; integration with the CloudGenix UI without any code; access to CloudGenix telemetry; and the hosting of approved CloudBlades.
  • Individual CloudBlades are created by CloudGenix as well as by partners, customers and other developers. The company is currently supporting more than twenty CloudBlades across various infrastructure services, including with Palo Alto Networks, Zscaler, CheckPoint, Symantec, Microsoft, Google, Equinix, Amazon, RingCentral, ServiceNow, PagerDuty, Slack, Fuse, Zoom etc. 
  • To enable proactive IT, CloudGenix is supporting CloudBlade solutions with ServiceNow, PagerDuty, CloudGenix Clarity and Slack.