Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Huawei UK appoints former Chairman of BT to its board

Huawei Technologies UK has appointed Sir Michael Rake, former President of the Confederation of British Industry and former Chairman of BT group, to its board. Rake has been an adviser to the company since 1 January 2019.

Victor Zhang, Huawei Vice-President said: “Sir Michael brings a wealth of relevant experience to our boardroom and I look forward to working with him as we enter the next phase of our partnership with Britain. We’re working round the clock to keep the UK connected through the current crisis and bring affordable, reliable 5G to every corner of the country – so millions more can benefit from fast digital connections. I am delighted Sir Michael has agreed to join the board and help us continue this important journey.”

https://www.huawei.com/uk/press-events/news/uk/2020/huawei-technologies-uk-appoints-sir-michael-rake-to-its-board


NTT forms partnership with Taiwanese smart device manufacturer

NTT Ltd. announced a partnership with a leading smart device manufacturer in Taiwan to support a client's digital transformation journey and enhance business performance with hybrid cloud adoption.

Over the next six years, NTT Ltd. will act as a single point of contact between a local cloud provider and a SAP managed service provider, to simplify IT operations for the client as it optimizes operations in a hybrid cloud environment. As a result, the client will be able to move and manage data, services and workflows across multiple clouds with increased flexibility and speed, strengthening the organisation’s competitiveness in today’s fast-paced digital economy.

Monday, April 13, 2020

ZTE to supply 5G Stand-alone Core for China Mobile in 12 provinces

ZTE was selected in China Mobile’s 2020 centralized procurement of new 5G SA core network equipment. Financial terms were not disclosed.

For the public-oriented network, ZTE has won the bid of 12 provinces in six regions, and secured the bid for 35% shares in 31 provinces in China for the industry-oriented network.  The project is expected to become the world's largest 5G SA network.

ZTE said China Mobile’s 5G SA core network project will use its Common Core solution, which features SBA, microservice components, stateless design and network slicing to implement flexible and agile service innovation, deployment and O&M. ZTE’s Common Core solution supports 2G/3G/4G/5G/fixed simultaneously.

In addition, to meet automatic and intelligent requirements of the 5G network, ZTE also brings its CloudStudio intelligent O&M solution to support one-click service provisioning and deployment through automatic tools, so that new services can be launched quickly.  Meanwhile, AI, machine learning, and root cause analysis (RCA) are introduced to implement real-time network monitoring, real-time analysis, automatic optimization, and fault self-healing so as to improve the O&M efficiency.

To date, ZTE has obtained 46 commercial 5G contracts in major markets, such as Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (MEA).

Vertical Systems: Fiber connections to commercial buildings in the U.S.

Availability of direct optical fiber connections to commercial sites is expanding across the U.S. and now more than one million commercial buildings and data centers now have on-net access to fiber-based network services, according to latest ENS @Fiber Plus research from Vertical Systems Group.

The Fiber 20+ segment, which includes buildings with twenty or more employees, has a 64.5% fiber lit availability rate. This compares to 12.1% availability for the Fiber <20 2019="" accounting="" availability="" buildings="" despite="" employees.="" fewer="" fiber="" for="" gap="" growth="" in="" includes="" lit="" more="" new="" of="" p="" propelled="" segment="" sites.="" small="" than="" the="" this="" twenty="" two-thirds="" which="" with="">
Fiber lit buildings are strategic assets that provide competitive advantages such as faster and more profitable delivery of network services. Vertical Systems Group measures business fiber market leadership with annual Fiber LEADERBOARD benchmarks. Thirteen retail and wholesale providers attained a rank position on the 2019 U.S. Fiber Lit Buildings LEADERBOARD based on 10,000 or more on-net fiber lit commercial sites. Another twelve companies qualified for a citation on the 2019 Challenge Tier with between 2,000 and 9,999 lit buildings.

More...

https://www.verticalsystems.com/2020/04/07/statflash-fiber-2019/

Serverius deploys ADVA's FSP 3000 TeraFlex

Serverius, one of the Netherlands’ largest data center service suppliers, has deployed ADVA's FSP 3000 TeraFlex terminal to massively increase its network capacity.

ADVA said its TeraFlex with its ultra-flexible bandwidth modulation enables Serverius to harness previously unused spectrum, unlocking new value in its existing fiber network. By enabling super-channels of up to 1200Gbit/s and a total capacity of 7.2Tbit/s, TeraFlex empowers Serverius to provide Dutch and international enterprises with a new level of capacity and throughput.

“Serverius has a clear vision of what businesses need and a bold strategy for delivering it. By leveraging our most advanced technologies to massively increase the capacity of its fiber plant, the Netherlands’ fastest-growing cloud connectivity provider is offering its customers a vital competitive edge. With our TeraFlex™, Serverius has the power to flexibly respond to soaring data requirements and help businesses achieve their full potential,” commented Hartmut Müller-Leitloff, SVP, sales, EMEA, ADVA.

Ericsson supplies 5G EPC and RAN in Kansas

Nex-Tech Wireless, a Kansas-based wireless carrier, will deploy Ericsson's 5G Evolved Packet Core and Radio Access Network (RAN) supporting 5G NR Non-standalone (NSA). Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson said its 5G EPC and RAN enhancements will future proof existing customer core assets via software updates in order to enable support for new use cases that require improved latency and data throughput guarantees. In addition, Nex-Tech Wireless will be implementing Ericsson Spectrum Sharing technology, which will allow the carrier to allocate spectrum assets efficiently based on traffic demand using existing infrastructure – enabling a smoother transition to 5G.

Rob Johnson, Head of Customer Unit Regional Carriers for Ericsson North America, said: "Through our partnership, Nex-Tech Wireless is able to deliver 5G capabilities including Core and RAN to its subscribers as they transition from 4G to 5G. We are excited to work with Nex-Tech Wireless to bring them the best network possible as they make this transition."

Jon Lightle, President and CEO of Nex-Tech Wireless, said: "As we make the move to 5G, it is critical that we have a seamless experience. Nex-Tech Wireless is excited to work with Ericsson to deliver that experience and to bring 5G capabilities to our customers in Kansas."

Nex-Tech Wireless and Ericsson also signed a deal in September 2019 to roll out 600 MHz 5G capabilities in key markets. The previous deal allowed Nex-Tech Wireless to provide Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Wi-Fi calling services utilizing Ericsson's cloud-based IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) solution.

Open Networking Summit rescheduled for September 28-29 in LA

The Linux Foundation, along with co-hosts LF Networking and LF Edge, announced the rescheduled event dates for Open Networking & Edge Summit North America (ONES, formerly Open Networking Summit): September 28-29 at the JW Marriott LA Live in Los Angeles, California. The summit line-up features prominent speakers from AT&T, eBay, Ericsson, Huawei Technologies, Rancher Labs, Red Hat, Toyota Motor Corporation, Verizon, VMware, Wells Fargo, Yelp, and more. The full event agenda is available here.

"We have an impressive roster of experts lined up to present at Open Networking & Edge Summit North America," said Arpit Joshipura, General Manager, Networking, Edge & IoT, The Linux Foundation. "With expanded content focused on open source Edge, this year's event is the place to be for the latest in open innovation and knowledge-sharing across adjacent technologies such as 5G, cloud native, AI/ML, IoT, and more."


Andre Fuetsch, Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, AT&T Services, Inc.
Dan Kohn, Executive Director, Cloud Native Computing Foundation
Alex Choi, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom AG
Farah Papaioannou, Co-Founder and President, Edgeworx, Inc.
Anders Rosengren, Head of Architecture & Technology, Ericsson
Justin Dustzadeh, Chief Technology Officer, Equinix
Aparna Sinha, Director of Product Management, Google Cloud
Bill Ren, Chief Open Source Liaison Officer, ICT Infrastructure Open Source GM, Huawei
Marisa S. Viveros, Vice President of Strategy and Offerings, IBM
Arpit Joshipura, General Manager, Networking, Edge & IoT, The Linux Foundation
Heather Kirksey, Vice President, Community and Ecosystem Development, The Linux Foundation


3 Hong Kong launches 5G service

Earlier this month, 3 Hong Kong, the mobile arm of Hutchison Telecommunications, launched commercial 5G. Coverage is expected to expand across the entire territory within the year.  service.

3 Hong Kong’s 5G base stations are served by a 10Gbps optical-fibre backhaul network.

Phase-one will see outdoor coverage initially serving Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mongkok, Sham Shui Po, Shatin and Tai Po. Indoor coverage will include the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, as well as Hongkong Land’s Grade-A shopping malls such as the Landmark Atrium, One and Two Exchange Square, Chater House, Alexandra House and Prince’s Building. Also covered will be key CK Asset shopping malls such as the OP Mall, plus Hong Kong International Airport and certain 3Shops.

Phrase-two will extend outdoor coverage to Island South, Island East, Central and Western District, Yau Tsim Mong, Kowloon City, Wong Tai Sin, Kwun Tong, Kwai Tsing, Tsuen Wan, Tuen
Mun, Yuen Long, North District, Sai Kung and Islands District. Users in 5G restriction zones – including Ma On Shan, Tai Po and Stanley – will be provided with 5G service by re-farming the
2100MHz spectrum band.

HTHKH Executive Director and CEO Kenny Koo said: “Launch of our 5G service marks an important milestone in the telecoms industry. We have unveiled a supreme 5G network, complete with ultra-fast speed and super-low latency, in accordance with our ‘5G One World’ theme. What’s more, our 5G service is served by a powerful 10Gbps optical-fibre backhaul network and benefits
from our relationships and synergies with other members of the 3 Group.”

EXFO posts quarterly sales of US$55.3 million, citing drop from COVID-19

EXFO reported total sales of US$55.3 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2020 compared to US$50.4 million for the same period a year earlier. The company attributed the drop mainly to the negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak that forced EXFO to temporarily shut down its manufacturing operations in China.

Test and Measurement (T&M) sales accounted for 68% of revenue in the second quarter of 2020, while Service Assurance, Systems and Services (SASS) sales represented 32%. Revenue distribution among the three main selling regions amounted to 48% in the Americas, 31% in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and 21% in Asia-Pacific.

EXFO’s top customer accounted for 8.2% of sales, while the top three totaled 19.5%.

Profitability. IFRS net loss amounted to US$9.0 million, or -US$0.16 per share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2020, while adjusted EBITDA totaled -US$4.9 million, or -8.9% of sales. The company generated US$7.1 million in cash flows from operations.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, EXFO has suspended issuing quarterly and annual guidance.

“Despite the temporary shutdown of our manufacturing operations in China, which negatively impacted our revenues, EXFO delivered solid bookings in the second quarter of 2020 with double-digit growth for our Test and Measurement business,” said EXFO’s CEO Philippe Morin. “Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the safety of our employees, communities and customers remains at the center of all our actions. All EXFO sites are fully operational and committed to helping global network operators and webscale companies thrive during this challenging period. More than ever, the telecom industry is mission-critical in which network capacity, reliability, and scalability will play a growing role in creating real opportunities for EXFO’s innovative solutions.”

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Nokia debuts AirScale All-in-Cloud base station

Nokia rolled out a series of enhancements to its AirScale portfolio including a Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) software upgrade for existing Nokia AirScale base stations and introduction of a Nokia AirScale All-in-Cloud base station.

Nokia’s DSS solution, delivered as a software upgrade to existing Nokia AirScale base stations, enables dynamic sharing between 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G technologies. The 4G–5G DSS feature, which has been the subject of interest from operators in leading 5G markets, automatically co-ordinates the spectrum usage between 4G and 5G, helping them reuse existing 4G radio networks and speed up 5G rollouts. Typically, 5G is launched in higher mmWave or cmWave spectrum, while existing 4G is deployed in the lower spectrum range. By reusing the lower-frequency 4G spectrum, 5G coverage can be achieved faster and at a lower cost. Initial deliveries of Nokia’s DSS solution are planned to start in April 2020, with volume shipments expected by July, in line with the availability of DSS-capable mobile devices.

The new Nokia AirScale All-in-Cloud base station virtualizes real-time baseband and puts the baseband processing power at the edge of the network to meet extremely low-latency requirements, boosting the efficiency of the network. Nokia Bell Labs is developing an AirScale Cloud-native RAN.

The rollout also includes compact dual and triple-band remote radio heads to support cell site deployment requirements, as well as several new high-performance massive MIMO adaptive antennas to deliver 5G coverage and high capacity.

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, commented: “All of these upgrades are designed to support mobile operators in their efforts to deliver compelling 5G experiences to their customers faster and at a lower cost. They will also support with increased demand for capacity, which is critical in the current environment. Our latest portfolio innovations will help operators to take advantage of the 5G world by delivering new use cases and business models and add new revenue streams.”

Google gains partial clearance for Pacific Light subsea cable

Google was granted clearance by the FCC to operate the segment of the Pacific Light Cable Network System connecting the United States to Taiwan for the next six months, pending a final disposition of the license application. The temporary authorization does not authorize any commercial traffic on the subsea cable segments to/from the Philippines or Hong Kong.

The U.S. Department of Justice, along with the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense, advised the FCC that those agencies do not oppose Google's request carry traffic over the cable between the U.S. and Taiwan.

In its application for Special Temporary Authority, Google emphasized “an immediate need to meet internal demand for capacity between the U.S. and Taiwan” and that without the sought temporary authority Google would likely have to seek alternative capacity at “significantly higher prices.”

Under the terms of the Provisional National Security Agreement, Google has agreed to a range of operational requirements, notice obligations, access and security guarantees, as well as auditing and reporting duties, among others. The Provisional National Security Agreement also includes a commitment by Google to “pursue diversification of interconnection points in Asia,” as well as to establish network facilities that deliver traffic “as close as practicable” to its ultimate destination.  This term reflects the views of the Executive Branch that a direct cable connection between the United States and Hong Kong would pose an unacceptable risk to the national security and law enforcement interests of the United States.

https://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/ib/forms/reports/related_filing.hts?f_key=2252704&f_number=SCLSTA2020040200015


Google and Facebook Team Up for Pacific Light Cable Network

Facebook and Google are teaming up to build the highest capacity, trans-Pacific cable system to date.

The Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), which will stretch 12,800 km between Los Angeles and Hong Kong, will have an estimated cable capacity of 120 Tbps.  The cable is expected to enter service in the summer of 2018. The project is organized by Pacific Light Data Communication Co. Ltd., a new company based in Hong Kong.

TE SubCom has been appointed lead contractor. The cable will use TE SubCom’s C+L technology, a major step forward in available cable transmission capacity that effectively doubles the available bandwidth and capacity per fiber pair over a traditional C-band-only designed system.

Google noted that it has now taken an ownership stake in six submarine cables: PLCN, Unity, SJC, FASTER, MONET and Tannat.

http://www.te.com/usa-en/about-te/news-center/subcom-facebook-google-pldc-co-build-plcn-101216.html
https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/2016/10/new-undersea-cable-expands-capacity-for-Google-APAC-customers-and-users.html

US Department of Justice recommends banning China Telecom

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a recommendation to the FCC to revoke and terminate China Telecom (Americas) Corp.’s authorizations to provide international telecommunications services to and from the United States. 

The Department of Justice said its recommendation was based on:

  • the evolving national security environment since 2007 and increased knowledge of the PRC’s role in malicious cyber activity targeting the United States;
  • concerns that China Telecom is vulnerable to exploitation, influence, and control by the PRC government;
  • inaccurate statements by China Telecom to U.S. government authorities about where China Telecom stored its U.S. records, raising questions about who has access to those records;
  • inaccurate public representations by China Telecom concerning its cybersecurity practices, which raise questions about China Telecom’s compliance with federal and state cybersecurity and privacy laws; and
  • the nature of China Telecom’s U.S. operations, which provide opportunities for PRC state-actors to engage in malicious cyber activity enabling economic espionage and disruption and misrouting of U.S. communications. 

“Today, more than ever, the life of the nation and its people runs on our telecommunications networks,” said John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.  “The security of our government and professional communications, as well as of our most private data, depends on our use of trusted partners from nations that share our values and our aspirations for humanity.  Today’s action is but our next step in ensuring the integrity of America’s telecommunications systems.”

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/executive-branch-agencies-recommend-fcc-revoke-and-terminate-china-telecom-s-authorizations

Cohesity raises $250 million for its web-scale data management

Cohesity, which offers a web-scale platform for data management, announced $250 million in Series E funding. The San Jose, California-based start-up is now valued at $2.5 billion, more than double the valuation from the company’s Series D round less than two years ago. With the new funding, Cohesity’s total funding since inception exceeds $650 million.

Cohesity specializes in hyperconverged secondary storage. Its hyperconverged appliance consolidates all secondary data and associated management functions on one unified solution, including backups, files, objects, test/dev copies, and analytics.
The company cited the following recent milestones:

  • 150 percent increase in recurring revenue, emphasizing the success of the company’s subscription-based software model.
  • 100 percent increase in customers as well as data under management.
  • 135 percent increase in the number of Cohesity’s new and existing customers that have licensed the company’s cloud capabilities.

“Closing a major funding round during these times of economic uncertainty is testament to the promise that our investors see in Cohesity,” said Mohit Aron, CEO and founder, Cohesity. “More enterprises globally are abandoning legacy offerings in favor of our modern, software-defined approach to data management that is incredibly simple to use -- critical during these challenging times as customers are looking to reduce total cost of ownership while enabling remote IT teams.”

The new funding was led by DFJ Growth, Foundation Capital, Greenspring Associates, and Wing Venture Capital. DFJ Growth and Greenspring Associates are new investors as are Baillie Gifford and Sozo Ventures. The round also includes broad support from existing investors, including Sequoia Capital and SoftBank Vision Fund 1, as well as strategic investors Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Cisco Investments.

Corning announces corporate restructuring

Corning announces a corporate restructuring round five Market-Access Platforms (MAPs): Mobile Consumer Electronics, Optical Communications, Automotive, Life Sciences, and Display.

Additionally, Corning has established a new leadership position that will drive operational excellence. Eric S. Musser, a 34-year Corning veteran, has been named to the expanded role of president and chief operating officer (COO), effective immediately.

Each of the Market-Access Platform organizations will report to Musser in his role as COO. Musser’s newly appointed direct reports are:

John P. Bayne Jr., senior vice president and general manager, Mobile Consumer Electronics
Michael A. Bell, senior vice president and general manager, Optical Communication
Avery (Hal) Nelson III, senior vice president and general manager, Automotive
Ronald L. Verkleeren, senior vice president and general manager, Life Sciences
John Z. Zhang, senior vice president and general manager, Display

“By organizing around the MAPs, we’re positioning Corning to capture more customer insights, further leverage our distribution channels, and open up new opportunities for innovation with industry leaders,” said Wendell P. Weeks, chairman and chief executive officer. “The new structure allows us to drive growth by activating the full power of our cohesive portfolio.”

“A next generation of distinguished leaders is stepping up to deliver a well-defined set of inventions and business initiatives,” Weeks said. “I am excited about driving Corning’s future together as we continue to solve tough problems, deepen relationships with customers, and make a positive difference in the world.” 

Hungary's Magyar Telekom launches 5G with Ericsson

Magyar Telekom officially launched initial 5G commercial services in parts of Budapest and at the company's headquarters in Könyves Kálmán körút.

Magyar Telekom 5G commercial launch is based on 5G-ready products and solutions from Ericsson Radio System.

The live 5G network launch comes just two weeks after Magyar Telekom secured the related 3.5GHz spectrum in Hungary’s spectrum auction on March 26.

Tibor Rékasi, CEO, Magyar Telekom, says: “Magyar Telekom has been preparing to launch 5G for a long time after exploring the business opportunities and 5G technology and operating a test network for six months with Ericsson. This enables us to launch commercial service quickly after receiving the frequency license. 5G provides our customers with higher data rates and low latency, as well as connection of many new devices, and 5G will become a platform for new applications and opportunities for both industries and individuals.”

Arun Bansal, President Europe and Latin America, Ericsson, says: “I am incredibly pleased to build on the strong and fruitful partnership we have with Magyar Telekom, who are just as committed to innovation and digitalization as us. As leaders in 5G, we at Ericsson have seen the massive impact it has on innovation, and I’m excited to see what opportunities it will bring to Hungary.”

Huawei develops 5G Indoor Distributed Massive MIMO for China Unicom

Huawei has developed a 5G Indoor Distributed Massive MIMO solution for China Unicom Beijing's "5G Capital" initiative.

The 5G Indoor Distributed Massive MIMO solution is based on Huawei's 5G LampSite Digital Indoor System (DIS). It introduces the Massive MIMO technology to LampSite to form distributed Massive MIMO antenna arrays supporting up to 64T64R ability. Through dynamic coordination among multiple digital indoor headends, the capacity on indoor networks becomes scalable, self-adapting to changes in data traffic. In addition, compared with the cell splitting approach, both interference and manual commissioning costs are significantly reduced, while also effectively increasing 5G indoor spectral efficiency.

In the first year of 5G commercial deployment, China Unicom has successfully deployed 5G digital indoor systems in key scenarios across China's major cities.

Ritchie Peng, CMO of Huawei's Wireless Network Product Line, said: "Based on our long-term investment in indoor digitalization region, we released the full-scenario 5G DIS product and solutions in February 2020 to enable better indoor coverage and superior 5G networks. Faced with growing scalability demand for uplink and downlink capacity, we successfully introduced Massive MIMO technology to indoor networks in close collaboration with China Unicom. This technological breakthrough will substantially increase 5G capacity. We will continue to make technological innovations and develop leading solutions that address the exact requirements of customers."

China Unicom Beijing and Huawei to build "5G Capital"

China Unicom Beijing and Huawei are collaborating on a "5G Capital" joint innovation project that aims to promote 5G smart services and explore business modes, contributing to the quick development of “New Infrastructure” to keep high-quality sustained economic development.

The companies will conduct six pilot programs, explore value monetization of four 5G smart services, and implement two major showcase projects in 2020.

In the first year of 5G commercial adoption, China Unicom Beijing has successfully brought high-quality 5G services to a number of landmark buildings in Beijing. These include the 2019 International Horticultural Exhibition parks, China Media Group's headquarters towers, and the National Stadium, better known as Bird's Nest.

The companies are also collaborating on 5G macro, pole, and indoor solutions. This will offer extra advantages for China Unicom Beijing to construct dual Gigabit networks in both indoor and outdoor scenarios and provide users with faster and better 5G services of greater diversity.

https://www.huawei.com/en/press-events/news/2020/4/5g-capital-mou-beijing-unicom

Intel and Georgia Tech to lead DARPA project

Intel and the Georgia Institute of Technology have been selected to lead a Guaranteeing Artificial Intelligence (AI) Robustness against Deception (GARD) program team for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The goal of the GARD program is to establish theoretical ML system foundations that will not only identify system vulnerabilities and characterize properties to enhance system robustness, but also promote the creation of effective defenses. Through these program elements, GARD aims to create deception-resistant ML technologies with stringent criteria for evaluating their effectiveness.

The first phase of GARD will focus on enhancing object detection technologies through spatial, temporal and semantic coherence for both still images and videos.

Intel is the prime contractor in this four-year, multimillion-dollar joint effort to improve cybersecurity defenses against deception attacks on machine learning (ML) models.

“Intel and Georgia Tech are working together to advance the ecosystem’s collective understanding of and ability to mitigate against AI and ML vulnerabilities. Through innovative research in coherence techniques, we are collaborating on an approach to enhance object detection and to improve the ability for AI and ML to respond to adversarial attacks,” states Jason Martin, principal engineer at Intel Labs and principal investigator for the DARPA GARD program from Intel.

Xilinx appoints Brice Hill as CFO

Xilinx appointed Brice Hill to the position of executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), effective immediately. He joins Xilinx from a 25-year tenure at Intel Corporation, where he most recently served as the CFO and COO, Technology, Systems and Core Engineering Group, managing all financial aspects of the company’s manufacturing, research and development, and product engineering operations.

Prior to that, Hill was Corporate Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Business Unit finance, including the Data Center, PC, and IoT business units. Hill had also previously held senior finance roles in capacity strategy, PC desktop and chipsets, and the data center at Intel.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Fastly measures traffic spikes vs download performance

Fastly published traffic analysis that delves into regional trends for key U.S. states, as well as the countries of France, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the UK, that are some of the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (as of the end of March 2020). The overall conclusion is that the Internet is holding up to the surging traffic volumes resulting from home quarantines.

“Overall, the internet is in good health,” said Fastly’s Chief Architect and Founder, Artur Bergman. “This is partly due to the regionality of these trends, but modern websites and applications are also better able to adapt to changing internet conditions. We are seeing the internet bring people together, whether for work, entertainment, or to get in touch with family and friends. And while there’s more traffic than in previous months, the internet is resilient.”

For analysis of regional traffic, Fastly used the following metrics, which were gathered from sampled TCP connection stats (tcp_info) at connection close time as part of Fastly’s fleet-wide performance monitoring infrastructure:

Traffic represents the average number of data bytes per day that were delivered to various geographies from all of our servers (acked_bytes field in tcp_info).
Download speed represents the delivery rate reported by TCP over all connections from a region, averaged over a day (delivery_rate field in tcp_info). While the reported values are averages, various percentiles for download speeds all show similar trends and ratios to the average.
For global analysis of verticals, Fastly measured average requests per second (RPS) recorded at all our servers. RPS is a count of requests received at our serves from end users every second.

Some highlights


  • One-month traffic trends: Over one month, from respective traffic baselines, all regions analyzed reported increases in traffic with decreases in download speed, with the exceptions of Japan and California.
  • Most notably, Italy saw a 109.3% increase in traffic, with a 35.4% decrease in download speed.
  • Japan observed a 31.5% increase in traffic, but, markedly differentiated from other analyzed countries experiencing the impacts of COVID-19’s pandemic in their communities, it saw a 9.7% increase in download speed. Japan’s internet infrastructure seems to have absorbed this increased traffic.
  • In the U.S., New York and New Jersey saw a 44.6% increase in traffic, but were able to weather it with a relatively modest 5.5% decrease in download speed.
  • California saw a 46.5% increase in traffic, with a 1.2% increase in download speed. Similar to Japan, California’s internet infrastructure appears to have absorbed this increased traffic.
  • School closures and regional stay-at-home orders: In France, Fastly observed a 45.4% increase in traffic shortly after its government announced school closures on March 12. This increase in traffic did not show a noticeable reduction in download speed, but on March 17, when schools closed and the national lockdown went into effect, download speed decreased by 20.6%. In Italy, traffic increased by 47% around February 19, after public information about lockdowns of various parts of Northern Italy began. After school closures go into effect on February 24, download speeds fall by about 9.2% between February 18 and February 24. In Japan, traffic jumps by 38% and speed decreases by 9.2% between February 25 and February 29, when school closure announcements began. School closures in Spain on March 12 mark the beginning of traffic increases of 26.2%, while there is no speed reduction.
  • User experience: Across European nations, major streaming and VOD providers announced they would reduce the default bitrates of their video streams around March 19 in order to prevent the internet from acute strain. When analyzing traffic and download speed in France, Italy, and Spain, the reductions do not seem to have led to significant improvements in internet quality, but they may have helped keep it from deteriorating further. Additionally, beyond Europe, people who have had lower speed internet connections before coronavirus-related developments may currently be suffering from greater degradation than those who had higher speed broadband connections. Someone with a high-quality, 100Mbps internet connection might not even notice a download speed reduction of 35% — a typical 1080P video stream requires just 6Mbps and fits well within the resulting 65Mbps download speed. However someone with a lower-quality connection to the internet, such as 10Mbps, is likely to notice this quality degradation: their typical 1080P movie might now automatically adjust down to 720P to fit within the resulting 6.5Mbps.
  • From these findings, we learn that speed decreases may be more aligned with population shifts toward more internet use from homes, rather than with a traffic increase alone. In general, most regions saw their download speeds stabilize once school closures and lockdowns were fully enacted, when most of the population became homebound. For most regions, this happened mid-to-late March.


Fastly also analyzed industry-specific internet activity by comparing average requests per second (RPS), week-over-week, between two sets of dates: January 6, 2020, and February 16, 2020; and February 16, 2020, to March 29, 2020. The first set of dates represent what Fastly considers to be activity attributed to organic growth, as mainstream attention on the pandemic had not yet picked up to its current pace. The second set of dates occur during a much more dynamic era of coronavirus-related developments, and was instructive in helping understand how human behavior may be shifting in response to COVID-19.

During those time frames for each of the below verticals, Fastly observed the following traffic patterns:

Streaming: From February 16 to March 29, streaming observed an increase in average RPS week-over-week by 29.6%. Similarly to gaming, this notable increase could reflect increased interest in streaming media content during lockdowns and social distancing.
News and digital publishing: Of all verticals analyzed, these brands saw the biggest increase in average RPS week-over-week from February 16 to March 29 at 70.16%. The elevated activity may correlate to increasing newsroom attention on COVID-19-related content as the first quarter of the year progressed.
Social Media: Social media platforms saw a 40.88% increase in average RPS week-over-week from February 16 to March 29. The greater increases in activity might represent a window into one way people are remaining connected with each other on various social media platforms.
GIFs/memes: Brands that help end users create and share things like memes and GIFs observed a 30.28% increase in average RPS week-over-week from February 16 to March 29. The unusually high increase in activity may indicate that, in reaction to disruptions to daily life, some consumers have turned to humor to get through difficult times and connect with others.
Gaming: From February 16 to March 29, gaming observed an increase in average RPS week-over-week by 28.54%. This could indicate that people are playing more virtual and online games as many communities look for ways to stay engaged while sheltering in place.
EdTech: From February 16 to March 29, edtech observed a noticeably sharp increase in average RPS week-over-week by 34.55%. This could indicate that edtech platforms are indeed growing their usage as more school-age children are educated from home.

https://www.fastly.com/blog/how-covid-19-is-affecting-internet-performance