Monday, April 20, 2020

China Mobile: 31.7 million users now on 5G plans

China Mobile ended Q1 2020 with 946 million mobile users, down from 949 million at the beginning of the quarter, but up by 4 million customers in March.

Significantly, China Mobile ended the quarter with 31.7 million users with 5G plans.


The company's revenue from the sales of products and others went down by 34.9% year-on-year to RMB12.4 billion for the first quarter of the year. The decline was mainly caused by
contracted sales of handsets and IoT devices, amongst other products, due to COVID-19.

Some highlights:

  • Operating revenue was RMB181.3 billion, down by 2.0% over the same period last year; of which, revenue from telecommunications services was RMB168.9 billion, up
  • by 1.8% over the same period last year
  • EBITDA was RMB68.5 billion, down by 5.8% over the same period last year
  • Total Voice Usage (minutes) were 661.4 billion, compared to 794.1 billion in the previous quarter
  • Average Minutes of Usage per User per Month (minutes/user/month) were 234, compared to 278 in the previous quarter
  • Handset Data Traffic (GB) were 19.7 billion, compared to 17.5 billion in the previous quarter
  • Average Handset Data Traffic per User per Month (GB/user/month) were 8.3, compared to 7.1 in the previous quarter
  • SMS Usage (messages) were 241.6 billion, compared to 231.2 billion in the previous quarter
  • Average Revenue per User per Month (RMB/user/month) were 31.3, compared to 33.0 in the previous quarter

FCC approves Ligado for low-power L-band terrestrial network

The FCC voted unanimously to approve with conditions Ligado’s application to deploy a low-power terrestrial nationwide network in the L-Band that will primarily support 5G and Internet of Things services. 

“I thank my colleagues for coming together on a bipartisan basis to support Ligado’s application,” said Chairman Pai.  “The vote at the Commission reflects the broad, bipartisan support that this order has received, from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr on the one hand to Senator Mark Warner of Virginia and Congresswoman Doris Matsui of California on the other.  This vote is another step forward for American leadership in 5G and advanced wireless services.”

Among the conditions that Ligado must abide by:

  • Ligado must provide a significant (23 megahertz) guard-band using its own licensed spectrum to separate its terrestrial base station transmissions from neighboring operations in the Radionavigation-Satellite Service allocation. 
  • Ligado is required to limit the power levels of its base stations to 9.8 dBW, a reduction of 99.3% from the power levels proposed in Ligado’s 2015 application. 
  • Ligado must protect adjacent band incumbents by reporting its base station locations and technical operating parameters to potentially affected government and industry stakeholders prior to commencing operations, continuously monitoring the transmit power of its base station sites, and complying with procedures and actions for responding to credible reports of interference, including rapid shutdown of operations where warranted. 


  • Ligado Networks is a privately-backed company based in Reston, Virginia, with investors including Centerbridge Partners, Fortress Investment Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co. From the big hitting industry execs on the leadership team it is clear the company is serious. Ivan Seidenberg, a former chairman of Verizon Communications, serves as chairman. Also on the board of directors is Timothy Donahue, former executive chairman of Sprint Nextel and former president and CEO of Nextel Communications, and Reed Hundt, the former Federal Communications Commission. Doug Smith serves as Ligado's president and CEO; he is known for his work in engineering and launching nationwide networks for GTE, Nextel, Sprint Nextel and Clearwire.

Crehan: Server-class Ethernet networking doubles in past 2 years

Between the beginning of 2018 and the end of 2019, data center operators doubled their Ethernet server-class networking capacity, according to a recent report from Crehan Research.

This recent strong increase helped drive the market to a longer-term average annual growth of 30 percent – see accompanying figure. Crehan’s report further shows that the strong increase was a result of robust server-class Network Interface Card (NIC) port shipment growth, in conjunction with more bandwidth per port to handle increasingly demanding server and storage applications.

“Data center networking bandwidth deployments hit an inflection point with the arrival of 25, 50, and 100 gigabit Ethernet NICs and switches,” said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. “These technologies delivered much lower cost per gigabit of bandwidth, further accelerating network speed upgrades.”

The Crehan report also shows that customer adoption of newer Ethernet NIC speeds, especially 25 gigabit Ethernet, has been much faster than past adoption curves, with cloud service providers and early enterprise and telco adopters deploying about seven million of these connections in 2019, approximately three years after general market introduction.

“With the recent arrival of PAM-4 based NICs, we expect another strong cloud service provider server-networking upgrade centering around 100 gigabit Ethernet to start sometime next year,” Crehan said.

http://www.crehanresearch.com/

U.S. Cellular temporarily boosts spectrum capacity with Nokia

U.S. Cellular is working with Nokia to boost capacity in several markets, including the Northwest Region of the U.S., to help address surging traffic during the COVID-19 emergency.

The FCC has granted a 60-day temporary spectrum license to U.S. Cellular and other service providers across the country.

The temporary spectrum, which is licensed to Advantage Spectrum in the AWS-3 Band, was integrated remotely on Nokia Airscale Radio Access Network (RAN), bringing increased network capacity to 250 sites in parts of California, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.

In addition to keeping customers connected, U.S. Cellular is relying on Nokia's Endpoint Security solutions to detect new and established forms of malware related to COVID-19. Trojans and ransomware masquerading as popular virus outbreak location maps, as well as new apps pretending to locate medical masks, increasingly threaten to proliferate on end-user devices.

Scott Cohen, Head of U.S. Major Account Sales, Nokia, said: “Nokia greatly values our strong and trusted relationship with U.S. Cellular. During this global pandemic, Nokia understands now more than ever the importance of maintaining seamless network connectivity. Whether customers are at home working and streaming video or out in the field performing essential business functions, we are committed to helping U.S. Cellular keep their customers connected to the network from anywhere and at any time, as well as ensuring they can do so safely and securely with our Endpoint Security solutions.”

Mike Irizarry, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Cellular, said: “For more than 10 years, Nokia has served as a trusted partner in helping U.S. Cellular deploy, scale and modernize our networks while keeping our customers safe from new threats. Their latest assistance in helping us launch this additional spectrum enables us to continue delivering our customers a fast, rich and uninterrupted network experience throughout this critical time.”

LeapMind unveils ultra low-power AI inference accelerator

Tokyo-based LeapMind introduced its "Efficiera" ultra-low power AI inference accelerator IP for companies that design ASIC and FPGA circuits, and other related products.

"Efficiera" is an ultra-low power AI Inference Accelerator IP specialized for Convolutional Neural Network (CNN)(1) inference calculation processing; it functions as a circuit in an FPGA or ASIC device. Its "extreme low bit quantization" technology, which minimizes the number of quantized bits to 1–2 bits, does not require cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing processes or the use of specialized cell libraries to maximize the power and space efficiency associated with convolution operations, which account for a majority of inference processing.

LeapMind is simultaneously launching several related products and services: "Efficiera SDK," a software development tool providing a dedicated learning and development environment for Efficiera, the "Efficiera Deep Learning Model" for efficient training of deep learning models, and "Efficiera Professional Services," an application-specific semi-custom model building service based on LeapMind's expertise that enables customers to build extreme low bit quantized deep learning models applicable to their own unique requirements.

GCI activates first 5G cell sites in Anchorage

GCI activated the first 5G cell sites in Anchorage, Alaska. Ericsson is the network supplier.

“In June of 2019, we committed to launching 5G service in the spring of 2020. I am proud to announce today that we have delivered on that commitment,” said GCI CEO and Co-Founder Ron Duncan. “We have upgraded our wireless core, and we intend to upgrade the vast majority of cell sites in Anchorage, Eagle River and Girdwood to our 5-band 5G NR solution by the end of the year. At that point, we will have created essentially a brand-new wireless network in Anchorage, comparable in quality and performance to our industry-leading cable modem network.”

“We’re proud to partner with GCI to deploy 5G in Anchorage to give Alaskans the network quality and speed they want and need,” said Rob Johnson, Head of Customer Unit Regional Carriers for Ericsson North America. “Ericsson and GCI have had a long-standing partnership to connect customers in some of the most remote communities in Alaska, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with GCI to turn the Last Frontier into the First Frontier for 5G.”

Sunday, April 19, 2020

IDC: Flat projection for 2020 worldwide spending on telecom services due to COVID-19

International Data Corporation (IDC) expects telecommunication services spending to reach $1.6 billion in 2020 with nearly flat growth compared to 2019.

"COVID-19 is leading to a lot of uncertainty around the spending impact on various technology markets. We expect the telecom services market to weather the current conditions better than other elements of the ICT market," said Carrie MacGillivray, group vice president and general manager, Worldwide Telecom, Mobility, and IoT research at IDC. "The COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the importance of connectedness. Telecom services are the common thread keeping us united as we weather this crisis."

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the market in several ways. On the positive side, IDC has observed increased use of telecom services due either to nationwide lockdown or work-from-home policies that many companies have implemented for their employees to follow. However, this doesn't directly translate into a surge in telecom spending due to many households having unlimited voice calls and unlimited Internet services.

Commercially, the spend is inhibited due largely to the harsh economic impact that a number of industries are enduring. Businesses are either faced with temporary shutdowns or are closed altogether. The continued transition to IP and cloud services with lower ARPU as well as the reduction in GDP growth in the second half of 2020 are key factors that challenge the market. From a mobile perspective, there will be an additional negative impact including slower net adds, especially in the consumer segment, as retail outlets are closed during lockdowns making it difficult to activate net new devices and plans.

IDC will be releasing a comprehensive breakdown of the telecommunication services market next month in its newly launched product, Worldwide Semiannual Telecom Services Tracker.

https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS46222120

DT, Swisscom, Telia and Vodafone enable NB-IoT roaming

Deutsche Telekom, Swisscom, Telia, and Vodafone signed NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) roaming agreements.

NB-IoT roaming will shortly be available across 18 European countries. These include Deutsche Telekom’s networks in Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece, Poland and Croatia; Swisscom’s network in Switzerland and Liechtenstein; Telia Company’s networks in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden; as well as Vodafone’s networks in Spain, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

“Our customers need a sustainable roaming environment for their Mobile IoT deployments to deliver a consistent service across international borders. This allows them to benefit from economies of scale as they continue to expand their business,” says Rami Avidan, responsible for IoT at Deutsche Telekom. “We are working hard to help accelerate the adoption of NB-IoT roaming in Europe and beyond. It is great to see the interoperability of our and our first partners’ networks now in place.”

https://www.telekom.com/en/media/media-information/archive/mobile-iot-roaming-goes-live-across-europe-598700

NTT charts a roadmap to the future IOWN All-Photonics Network

NTT outlined a technology roadmap for its Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) vision, which was first announced in May 2019.

IOWN has three technical elements: All Photonics Network, Digital Twin Computing, and Cognitive Foundation. The roadmap calls for four technical directions:

(1) Full-Stack Communication Acceleration (Layer 4/Layer 3 Acceleration: CY2021, Technology for massive optical/wireless capacity: CY2023)

In order to take full advantage of the large capacity of IOWN All-Photonics Network, NTT will develop a new accelerated Layer 4/Layer 3 communication method that is less subject to the distance-related throughput degradation than TCP/IP. As the new communication method will lead to the explosive growth of data traffic, we will also develop a new network architecture and technology for massive optical and wireless capacity.

(2) Data-Centric Communication and Computing (CY2021)

NTT will develop Cognitive Foundation Data Hub (CF Data Hub), which enables nodes (sensor nodes or AI analysis nodes) to instantly exchange or share large data objects. By leveraging CF Data Hub as a central exchange point that faces multiple types of networks and computing infrastructures, IT infrastructures will shift from the conventional IP-centric paradigm to a new data-centric paradigm.

(3) Computing Scaling Across Device, Edge, and Center Cloud (CY2021)

NTT will develop a high-speed distributed computing technology that leverages ultra-broadband and low-latency communication on IOWN All-Photonics Network to realize a new cloud computing infrastructure that seamlessly spans multiple data centers.

(4) Sustainable Growth with Energy Efficiency (CY2023)

NTT will develop an architecture and technologies for photonic disaggregated computing, which significantly improves energy efficiency by replacing electronic data bus for inter-module data transfer with photonic data plane. After that, shift from electronic to photonic will also be applied to inter-package and inter-device interconnections on a step by step basis, which will eventually lead to a quantum leap improvement in energy efficiency.

https://www.ntt.co.jp/news2020/2004e/200416a.html

Ericsson, OPPO and Mediatek test 5G VoNR call

OPPO, in partnership with Ericsson and MediaTek, successfully conducted 5G VoNR (Voice/Video on New Radio) calls. The tests used a modified commercial smartphone from OPPO powered by MediaTek's Dimensity 1000 series SoC. Ericsson supplied the end-to-end 5G Standalone (SA) network at its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. After dialling, the two phones connected almost instantly and then seamlessly switched to a high-definition video call with a single keypress.

VoNR is a basic call service that entirely relies on SA architecture.

Ethan Xue, President of OPPO Middle East and Africa said, "As a leading global technology company, OPPO proactively works to accelerate large-scale commercialization of 5G. Our cooperation with Ericsson and MediaTek on VoNR is part of our in-depth collaborations in the 5G era. We aim to become the industry's ideal partner to deploy 5G around the world and at the same time, enhance 5G experience for the users."

Hannes Ekström, Head of Product Line 5G RAN, Ericsson says: "After spearheading 5G rollouts across the world, we are gearing up for the next step: 5G Standalone services. Using an Ericsson end-to-end 5G Standalone network based on commercial hardware and software, along with devices from our partners OPPO and MediaTek; we've shown that beyond the high-speed capabilities delivered by 5G. We are ready to deliver on the voice and video calls that will remain important to consumers. This achievement confirms our commitment to enabling service providers to offer a superior end-to-end 5G experience."

Marvell enables NVMe over Fabrics storage disaggregation for VMware

Marvell's QLogic Fibre Channel and FastLinQ Ethernet adapters are now supporting NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) technology in VMware vSphere 7.0.

This enables high-performance NVMe flash storage to be effectively shared, pooled and managed across a fabric.

Specifically, Marvell FastLinQ 41000 and 45000 Series Ethernet Adapters support NVMe/RDMA over both RoCEv2 and iWARP protocols. Starting with VMware vSphere 7.0, customers can leverage NVMe/RoCEv2 capabilities of FastLinQ NICs while future-proofing their data centers for potential use cases of NVMe/iWARP and NVMe/TCP. FastLinQ Universal RDMA capability, combined with future support for NVMe over TCP, provides IT managers with the broadest choice of options to scale out NVMe.

"NVMe over Fabric technologies are unlocking the value of NVMe flash by delivering a variety of low latency, scalable and trusted fabrics," said Vikram Karvat, vice president and general manager, Server Connectivity Business Unit at Marvell. "The introduction of Marvell's QLogic FC-NVMe and FastLinQ NVMe/RoCEv2 technologies into industry-leading virtualization platforms from VMware enables end users to leverage economies of scale when deploying NVMe without compromising the performance, reliability or manageability of their infrastructure."

"VMware and Marvell solutions have been an integral part of every wave of virtualization and storage innovation in the data center for several years," said Sudhanshu Jain, director of product management, Cloud Platform, VMware. "Marvell's QLogic FC and FastLinQ Ethernet technology with vSphere 7.0 enables customers to leverage existing SAN infrastructure and migrate to FC-NVMe to take advantage of performance and cost matrix."

Ofcom posts 5G EMF measurements to counter Covid 5G myth

Ofcom published test results showing that UK 5G continues to operate well within internationally-accepted safety levels.

The published results include electromagnetic field (EMF) measurements taken at 22 5G sites in 10 UK cities. The maximum measured at any mobile site was approximately 1.5% of the guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

The highest level from 5G signals specifically was 0.039% of the maximum set out in the international guidelines.

The UK telecoms regulatory authority reminds the public that there is no scientific evidence to support the conspiracy theories linking the coronavirus to 5G and putting lives at risk.

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/features-and-news/clearing-up-myths-5g-and-coronavirus

MWC Shanghai 2020 is cancelled

The GSMA decided to cancel MWC Shanghai 2020, which was originally scheduled for June 30 to July 2, due to the global pandemic.

The GSMA hopes to find a suitable date and venue to hold regional conferences in China in the latter half of 2020.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Verizon to acquire BlueJeans for video meetings

Verizon Business agreed to acquire BlueJeans Network, which offers an enterprise-grade video conferencing and event platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

BlueJeans’ cloud-based video service currently serves a wide variety of business segments from small organizations to some of the world’s largest multinational brands, and has played a significant part in continuing those companies’ operations during the ongoing work-from-home surge. BlueJeans, which was founded in 2009 and which launched its commercial service in 2011, is privately-held and based in San Jose, California.

Verizon Business will integrate BlueJeans’ simple, smart and trusted meeting platform with its own unified communications as a service business. Verizon also plans to integrate BlueJeans into its 5G product roadmap, providing secure and real-time engagement solutions for high growth areas such as telemedicine, distance learning and field service work.

“As the way we work continues to change, it is absolutely critical for businesses and public sector customers to have access to a comprehensive suite of offerings that are enterprise ready, secure, frictionless and that integrate with existing tools,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “Collaboration and communications have become top of the agenda for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors in recent months. We are excited to combine the power of BlueJeans’ video platform with Verizon Business’ connectivity networks, platforms and solutions to meet our customers’ needs.”

“The combination of BlueJeans’ world class enterprise video collaboration platform and trusted brand with Verizon Business’ next generation edge computing innovation will deliver highly differentiated and compelling solutions to our joint customers,” said Quentin Gallivan, CEO of BlueJeans Network. “We are very excited about joining the Verizon team and we truly believe the future of business communications starts today!”


Digitimes: Huawei shifts silicon sourcing away from TSMC to SMIC

Huawei's HiSilicon division has begun shifting some production away from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC), according to a report from DigiTimes. The shift reportedly concerns new orders based on SMIC's 14nm FinFET process, which recently began production.

By looking to domestic foundries, Huawei is believed to be bracing for possible U.S. government action to restrict Huawei's access to advanced fabrication at TSMC that leverages U.S.-origin technology.

SMIC, which is China's number one chip maker, has previously stated an intention to introduce 7nm technology as soon as possible. SMIC has a 300mm wafer fabrication facility (fab) , a 200mm fab and a majority-owned joint-venture 300mm fab for advanced nodes in Shanghai; a 300mm fab and a majority-owned 300mm fab for advanced nodes in Beijing; 200mm fabs in Tianjin and Shenzhen; and a majority-owned joint-venture 300mm bumping facility in Jiangyin. In 2019, SMIC's revenue from China-region customers grew to 59.5% of total revenue in 2019, compared to 57.0% of total revenue excluding technology licensing in 2018. Overall revenue was US$3,115.7 million in 2019.

https://www.digitimes.com/news/a20200414PD203.html
https://www.smics.com/

FCC Chairman favors Ligado's bid for low-power L-band terrestrial network

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai circulated  a draft order that would approve with conditions Ligado’s application to deploy a low-power terrestrial nationwide network in the L-Band that would primarily support 5G and Internet of Things services. 

“After many years of consideration, it is time for the FCC to make a decision and bring this proceeding to a close,” said Chairman Pai.  “We have compiled an extensive record, which confirms that it is in the public interest to grant Ligado’s application while imposing stringent conditions to prevent harmful interference.  The draft order that I have presented to my colleagues would make more efficient use of underused spectrum and promote the deployment of 5G and Internet of Things services.

In recent years, Ligado has amended its application to significantly reduce the power levels of its base stations from 32 dBW to 9.8 dBW (a reduction of 99.3%).  Ligado has also committed to providing a significant (23 megahertz) guard-band using its own licensed spectrum to further separate its terrestrial base station transmissions from neighboring operations in the Radionavigation-Satellite Service allocation.  As such, Ligado is now only seeking terrestrial use of the 1526-1536 MHz, 1627.5-1637.5 MHz, and 1646.5-1656.5 MHz bands.  The Order is conditioned to reflect these technical requirements.  It also requires Ligado to protect adjacent band incumbents by reporting its base station locations and technical operating parameters to potentially affected government and industry stakeholders prior to commencing operations, continuously monitoring the transmit power of its base station sites, and complying with procedures and actions for responding to credible reports of interference, including rapid shutdown of operations where warranted.

Doug Smith, President & Chief Executive Officer of Ligado, stated: "Since the very beginning of its long, comprehensive and collaborative analysis of the technical issues presented by Ligado's application, the FCC's dedicated staff has repeatedly shown its commitment to science-based, engineering-driven decision making, and Chairman's Pai's circulation of the Order regarding our license modification applications is the most recent example of this. The central importance of mid-band – especially our lower mid-band – to 5G is well-known. As Ericsson and Nokia technical studies on our proposed network deployment have shown, the superior propagation characteristics of our spectrum will improve mobile 5G coverage – both outdoor and indoor – and in doing so, accelerate the deployment of 5G networks. Ligado is committed to the twin goals of protecting GPS while delivering highly secure and ultra-reliable communications to accelerate next-generation technologies and the Industrial Internet of Things."


Ligado Networks is a privately-backed company based in Reston, Virginia, with investors including Centerbridge Partners, Fortress Investment Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co. From the big hitting industry execs on the leadership team it is clear the company is serious. Ivan Seidenberg, a former chairman of Verizon Communications, serves as chairman. Also on the board of directors is Timothy Donahue, former executive chairman of Sprint Nextel and former president and CEO of Nextel Communications, and Reed Hundt, the former Federal Communications Commission. Doug Smith serves as Ligado's president and CEO; he is known for his work in engineering and launching nationwide networks for GTE, Nextel, Sprint Nextel and Clearwire.

Picking up the pieces from LightSquared, SkyTerra and Mobile Satellite Ventures

Ligado Networks, previously known as LightSquared, emerged from bankruptcy reorganisation in 2016 with a new plan, or rather a new version of an old plan. The company controls 40 MHz of nationwide spectrum licenses in the L-Band (1500 to 1700 MHz), which it acquired in 2010 through its purchase of SkyTerra, another bold start-up that envisioned transforming the U.S. mobile scene with satellite communications.

Prior to 2008, SkyTerra was known as Mobile Satellite Ventures and had successfully operated the MSAT-1 and MSAT-2 satellites for over a decade. As 4G LTE technologies neared, the company set its sights and going big. The business plan evolved from pure mobile satellite to a hybrid design where the satellite connectivity would be used to augment terrestrial mobile communications. This would mean using the same spectrum bands from ground based base station as well as from the satellite. The company changed its name to SkyTerra and was acquired by Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners acquired SkyTerra in March 2010. Harbinger invested about $2.9 billion in assets and soon raised more than $2.3 billion in debt and equity financing.

SkyTerra soon became known for its massive SkyTerra 1 satellite, which weighed a record 6,910 kg. The satellite was built at Space Systems/Loral's Palo Alto, California facility. It operates in two 10 MHz blocks of contiguous MSS spectrum in the 2 GHz band throughout the U.S. and Canada. Notably, the satellite uniquely features an 18-metre reflector and an S-band feed array with 500 spot beams. In November 2010, SkyTerra 1 was successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

SkyTerra changed its name to LightSquared and in January 2011 was granted a conditional waiver by the FCC to test its network if it could be shown that the service would not interfere with GPS signals. This alarmed many GPS advocates, who argued that the L-band spectrum was simply too close to its own and that even a little interference could have serious consequences for the military, aviation, agriculture and other vertical sectors that rely on precise navigation.

In February 2012, the company received its greatest setback when the FCC withdrew its conditional approval for LightSquared network due to the potential interference concerns with GPS receivers. In June 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed securities fraud charges against Philip Falcone and Harbinger Capital Partners; the case was settled in June 2013. For LightSquared, the game was over and it was soon forced into the bankruptcy courts. In addition to the technical, legal and financial challenges, LighSquared also faced allegations of political favouritism. Nevertheless, it still had the spectrum licenses and a fully functional Skyterra1 satellite parked in geostationary orbit.

Ligado Network is the new entity that in December 2015 emerged from this decade-long mess. Significantly, the company reached a settlement with the GPS industry on a technical plan to avoid interference issues by reducing the transmission power. It is not clear why a similar compromise could not have been reached in 2012. Ligado is now awaiting clearance from the FCC.

Ligado looks for its market

So back to square one, and Ligado Networks is now moving ahead with the plan to combine Skyterra1 satellite coverage with a ground-based network should FCC approval come. The goal is a ubiquitous national network whose footprint requires far fewer ground-based towers than would otherwise be required for universal coverage. The company says its mid-band spectrum is well suited for things that move, such as planes, trains and automobiles.

In its original iteration, LightSquared aimed to either compete with or partner with 4G LTE mobile services. At least one mobile handset model was developed that incorporated specialised silicon for tuning in the L-band frequency in addition to standard cellular bands. It seemed that a distribution partnership with AT&T was also in the works. For consumers, this would have meant being able to use the AT&T LTE network where available and then seamlessly roam onto the SkyTerra1 satellite service when that signal was stronger. Unfortunately, this handset was based on an old Nokia design and was not an iPhone or Android device. Even without the legal and financial issues, this business plan was not going to work.

Movandi raises $27M for mmWave routers/repeaters

Movandi, a start-up based in Irvine, California, raised $27 million in Series C funding for its 5G mmWave CPE.

5G mmWave solutions include 5G BeamXR active routers/repeaters and BeamX RF front-end for fixed wireless CPE, mobile devices, small cells, and Open Radio Access Networks (ORAN) radio units (RU). These products accelerate deployments across the complete 5G ecosystem from consumer and enterprise market segments, and applications from IoT, mobile, artificial Intelligence (AI), software defined networks and automotive. Not only enabling 5G infrastructure, but Movandi’s 5G mmWave system is to ensure that 5G mmWave technology can be broadly deployed in real-world scenarios by operators building the “interface of the internet.”

“We’re at an exciting inflection point in 5G mmWave operator deployments, we’re both scaling our active router platform and RF front-end deployments,” said Maryam Rofougaran, CEO and co-founder, Movandi. “We are working closely with 5G operators and system OEMs solving these 5G coverage challenges, by unlocking the true benefits of 5G that are only achieved with mmWave – that makes Movandi truly unique.”

The funding was led by WRVI Capital along with Cota Capital and DNX Ventures.

http://www.movandi.com


ZTE and Red Hat collaborate on VNFs

ZTE is collaborating with Red Hat on a new reference architecture for virtual network functions (VNFs). The architecture uses Red Hat OpenStack Platform and ZTE’s hardware.

Specifically, ZTE has completed the VNF certification of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 and plans to begin the certification for Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16 this year.

ZTE also plans to provide the integrated environment for its VNF services with Red Hat OpenStack Platform in ZTE Cybersecurity Labs in Nanjing and Brussels, in order to showcase the new reference architecture. ZTE Cybersecurity Lab is a center for innovation, and a global resource for customers and partners who want  to build NFV/SDN applications and solutions. It offers fully transparent policy allowing customers, regulatory entities and other interested third parties to perform independent security assessments and audits in equipment. The independent source code reviews, document review, black box testing and penetration testing allow customers to verify the security of ZTE’s products, services and processes.

Red Hat and ZTE have worked with Vodafone Idea Limited, India’s leading telecom service provider, to deploy its VNF services on Red Hat OpenStack Platform to help deliver its Universal cloud platform.

“The next-generation of mobile networks begins with 5G services running on open source technologies and innovative hardware, and we are excited to be working with ZTE to help bring these solutions to service providers as fuel for network transformation,” said Joe Fernandes, vice president of Products, Cloud Platforms, Red Hat. “By deploying VNFs on top of Red Hat OpenStack Platform, ZTE is able to drive a more agile, user-friendly environment for operations teams, making it easier to deliver the future of mobile services. We look forward to continuing our work with ZTE in assisting service providers as they migrate to the open hybrid cloud.”

NETSCOUT updates financial guidance

NETSCOUT announced the following preliminary Fiscal Year 2020 guidance:

  • GAAP and Non-GAAP revenue in the range of $890 million to $892 million;
  • GAAP net income in the range of $1 million to $3 million, or $0.01 to $0.03 per share (diluted);
  • Non-GAAP net income in the range of $117 million to $119 million, or $1.54 to $1.56 per share (diluted), assuming an effective tax rate in the low 20% range;
  • Cash, cash equivalents and short-term marketable securities of approximately $385 million, which represents approximately six months of the Company’s normal working capital requirements; and
  • Debt of approximately $450 million outstanding on the Company’s $1 billion revolving credit facility, which matures in January 2023, and has no principal payments due until maturity.


Anil Singhal, NETSCOUT’s President and CEO, stated, “During this uncertain and unprecedented time, with communication and transparency being critical, we have chosen to provide an update on our business and financial performance. Our first priority is the health and safety of our people, partners, customers and the communities where we live and work. During this global COVID-19 pandemic, our purpose as 'Guardians of the Connected World' has never been more important. Our customers depend on NETSCOUT’s service assurance and security solutions to support and protect critical networks and infrastructure that connect people and support businesses around the globe. It is essential that these infrastructures continue to perform, even as they are stressed with unprecedented demand as we deal with global quarantines. For this reason, we continue to effectively operate our business and support our customers, with the majority of our employees working remotely.”

Stamus raises $1.5M for cybersecurity software

Stamus Networks, a start-up with offices in Indianapolis and Paris, France, announced $1.5 million in seed funding for its cybersecurity software.

The company said its approach clearly illuminates threats by correlating network traffic analysis and threat detection in real time.  The company was founded by the creators of the widely-deployed open source SELKS platform.

VisionTech Angels and Elevate Ventures, both Indianapolis-based investment groups, co-led the investment round. In addition, several independent angel investors participated.

“Stamus Networks addresses an important need in the marketplace for enterprise-scale cybersecurity and has created a unique enriched threat hunting solution,” said Vercie Lark, VIssionTech Angels investor and retired CIO. “Customers have told us the company’s Scirius platform allows them to replace several existing products and is very effective at proactively uncovering real threats. One of the most important factors we consider with any investment is the quality of the management team. Stamus Networks’ team brings a solid track record in the cybersecurity space with both commercial and technical successes.”

https://stamus-networks.com