Monday, April 27, 2020

China Unicom + China Telecom pick Huawei and ZTE for majority of 5G

China Unicom and China Telecom announced the winners of its 5G Stand Alone (SA) tenders, which were valued at a combined CNY183.5 billion. Vendor shares are as follows:

Huawei - 35.9%
ZTE - 35.9%
Ericsson - 17.9%
Datand Mobile Communications - 10.3%

Nokia did not win any share of the contracts.






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 Telecom and China Unicom reach 5G sharing deal in 15 cities

China Telecom and China Unicom announced a "co-build, co-share" framework agreement aimed at cutting costs and speeding deployment. The sharing is limited to the access network and 5G spectrum resources. Each company will build and operate their own 5G core network.

The agreement, which covers 15 cities, is based on network construction and operation responsibilities in specific geographies. In the northern cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Zhengzhou, Qingdao and Shijiazhuang, the ratio of construction districts handled by China Unicom to China Telecom will be 6:4. In Shanghai and 9 other southern cities (Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Suzhou, Changsha, Wuhan, and Chengdu), the ratio of construction districts handled by China Unicom to China Telecom will be 4:6.

China Unicom and China Telecom will maintain their separate ownership structures. The company will continue competing under their existing brands.

http://www.chinaunicom.com/news/201909/1568027178888010079.html

ADTRAN and Orange begin Software-Defined Access Network project

ADTRAN has signed a joint development project with Orange as part of its Access Renewal and Evolution Strategy (ARES) program.

The partnership is focused on the application of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technology to fixed fiber access networks. The companies will:

  • create a roadmap for Orange’s possible introduction of a Software-Defined management architecture
  • ensure network elements can integrate with Third Party management, control and/or orchestration platforms and with other network devices
  • secure conformity to Orange’s current and future engineering rules for GPON and XGS-PON architecture

“For Orange, the evolution of our Fixed Access Optical Network represents a challenge and opportunity as we look to extend the range and reach of our networks,” said Christian Gacon, Orange Vice President, Wireline Networks & Infrastructure. “We are delighted to begin this development with ADTRAN, based on the company’s leadership in developing Software-Defined Access Network architecture and our combined vision for how the fiber access network should evolve. This work will ensure that Orange can maximize the fiber broadband opportunity, create new business models and deliver an enriched service experience for our customers. This development program underscores our commitment to being a leader in each segment of the network.”

“Orange is committed to building a next-generation, software-defined access network that will serve as a foundation for the next wave of innovative residential and commercial business services,” said Dr. Eduard Scheiterer, ADTRAN Senior Vice President of Research and Development. “ADTRAN shares Orange’s commitment to innovation, service quality and building networks the way they should be built. We are helping operators across the world, like Orange, create the open, scalable and flexible network foundations that will support growth for the next several decades.”

NVIDIA acquires Mellanox - focus on Next Gen Data Centers

NVIDIA completed its $7 billion acquisition of Mellanox Technologies. The deal was originally announced on March 11, 2019.

NVIDIA says that by combining its computing expertise with Mellanox’s high-performance networking technology, data center customers will achieve higher performance, greater utilization of computing resources and lower operating costs.

“The expanding use of AI and data science is reshaping computing and data center architectures,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “With Mellanox, the new NVIDIA has end-to-end technologies from AI computing to networking, full-stack offerings from processors to software, and significant scale to advance next-generation data centers. Our combined expertise, supported by a rich ecosystem of partners, will meet the challenge of surging global demand for consumer internet services, and the application of AI and accelerated data science from cloud to edge to robotics.”

Eyal Waldman, founder and CEO of Mellanox, said: “This is a powerful, complementary combination of cultures, technology and ambitions. Our people are enormously enthusiastic about the many opportunities ahead. As Mellanox steps into the next exciting phase of its journey, we will continue to offer cutting-edge solutions and innovative products to our customers and partners. We look forward to bringing NVIDIA products and solutions into our markets, and to bringing Mellanox products and solutions into NVIDIA’s markets. Together, our technologies will provide leading solutions into compute and storage platforms wherever they are required.”

The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to NVIDIA’s non-GAAP gross margin, non-GAAP EPS and free cash flow, inclusive of incremental interest expense related to NVIDIA’s recent issuance of $5 billion of notes.

With Mellanox, NVIDIA targets full compute/network/storage stack

NVIDIA agreed to acquire Mellanox in a deal valued at approximately $6.9 billion.

The merger targets data centers in general and the high-performance computing (HPC) market in particular. Together, NVIDIA’s computing platform and Mellanox’s interconnects power over 250 of the world’s TOP500 supercomputers and have as customers every major cloud service provider and computer maker. Mellanox pioneered the InfiniBand interconnect technology, which along with its high-speed Ethernet products is now used in over half of the world’s fastest supercomputers and in many leading hyperscale datacenters.

NVIDIA said the acquired assets enables it to data center-scale workloads across the entire computing, networking and storage stack to achieve higher performance, greater utilization and lower operating cost for customers.

“The emergence of AI and data science, as well as billions of simultaneous computer users, is fueling skyrocketing demand on the world’s datacenters,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “Addressing this demand will require holistic architectures that connect vast numbers of fast computing nodes over intelligent networking fabrics to form a giant datacenter-scale compute engine.

“We share the same vision for accelerated computing as NVIDIA,” said Eyal Waldman, founder and CEO of Mellanox. “Combining our two companies comes as a natural extension of our longstanding partnership and is a great fit given our common performance-driven cultures. This combination will foster the creation of powerful technology and fantastic opportunities for our people.”

NVIDIA also promised to continue investing in Israel, where Mellanox is based.

The companies expect to close the deal by the end of 2019.



NVIDIA cites increasing GPUdemand from data centers and gaming

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

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

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

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

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


Mellanox hits revenue of $429 million, up 40% yoy

Mellanox Technologies reported Q1 2020 revenue of $428.7 million, an increase of 40.5%, compared to $305.2 million in the first quarter of 2019.
GAAP gross margins were 66.8%, compared to 64.6% in the first quarter of 2019.

“Mellanox delivered record revenue and operating income in the first quarter of 2020. All our major product lines continued to grow. We are pleased to be shipping end-to-end solutions at speeds of 200 gigabits per second (Gbps) for both InfiniBand and Ethernet. In addition, we are shipping 400 Gbps Ethernet switches,” said Eyal Waldman, President and CEO of Mellanox Technologies.

“Sales of Ethernet adapter products increased 112% year-over-year. We expect our new ConnectX-6 Dx adapters and Bluefield-2 I/O Processing Units (IPUs), the latest additions to our industry-leading family of Smart NICs, to bring unprecedented security and co-processing capabilities to enterprise and cloud data centers. These capabilities will be further strengthened by our recent acquisition of Titan IC, the leading developer of network intelligence and security technology to accelerate search and big data analytics across a broad range of applications in data centers worldwide. The product line revenue of our Spectrum ASIC based Ethernet switch business grew 66% year-over-year. We recently began shipping Spectrum-3 based switches, the world’s first 12.8 Tbps networking platforms optimized for cloud, storage, and artificial intelligence,” continued Waldman.

“We are experiencing very strong adoption of InfiniBand for hyperscale artificial intelligence and cloud environments, resulting in tens of thousands of compute nodes connected with InfiniBand, which demonstrates the superior performance and scalability of InfiniBand. We saw 27% year-over-year growth in InfiniBand, led by strong demand for our HDR 200 gigabit solutions. HDR InfiniBand has been selected to interconnect national Exascale programs, large scale artificial intelligence and cloud platforms, and enterprise compute and storage infrastructures. We are proud that our InfiniBand technology is being utilized by many of the supercomputers in the Covid-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium, which is helping to aggregate computing capabilities for researchers to execute complex computations to help fight the novel Corona virus,” continued Waldman. “We are excited to participate in such important global initiatives through the adoption of our industry-leading adapters, switches, cables, and software, while also delivering strong financial performance for the first quarter of 2020.”

Verizon extends COVID-19 policies for consumers

Verizon is extending its COVID-19 commitment to keep customers connected through June 30.

Under the policy, Verizon will neither terminate service nor charge late fees to postpaid wireless, residential, and small business customers who are unable to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Customers can notify us by visiting here.

Verizon is also increasing its capital investment guidance from $17 to $18 billion to $17.5 to $18.5 billion in 2020.

“Now more than ever, we need to ensure that our customers, their families and businesses have the ability to connect to the internet even if they’re facing financial hardship from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Hans Vestberg, Verizon Chairman and CEO. “We want to ensure that our customers can continue to use the internet to work, learn, and carry on with their lives as we all address this collective challenge. We’re confident this joint effort will help make that happen.”

Comcast extends COVID-19 policies for consumers

Comcast has extended its commitments for Xfinity customers through June 30 to help ensure students can finish out the school year from home and remain connected to the internet during the COVID-19 crisis. These include:

  • No Disconnects and Waiving Late Fees
  • Xfinity WiFi Free for Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots in business and outdoor locations across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free
  • Pausing Our Data Plan: giving all customers unlimited data for no additional charge.
  • Internet Essentials: 60 days of complimentary service for new customers through June 30. Internet Essentials is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. 

“These extended measures will continue to keep Americans safe and ensure that households are equipped for students to learn and stay informed at home as the nation copes with this unprecedented disruption to our daily lives,” said Dave Watson, Comcast Cable Chief Executive Officer. “Our services have never been more important, and we’re doing everything we can to keep people connected to the internet.”

F5 Networks posts revenue of $583 million, up 7% yoy

F5 Networks reported GAAP revenue of $583.4 million for its second quarter of fiscal year 2020, reflecting a 7% growth from $544.9 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019. GAAP net income for the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 was $61.4 million, or $1.00 per diluted share compared to second quarter fiscal year 2019 GAAP net income of $116.1 million, or $1.93 per diluted share.

Following its acquisition of Shape Security, to provide transparency to what F5 management believes reflects its ongoing business results, F5 is reporting both GAAP and non-GAAP revenue. Non-GAAP revenue excludes the impact of the purchase accounting write-down on Shape’s assumed deferred revenue.  Non-GAAP revenue for the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 was $585.6 million, reflecting 7% growth in total revenue and 96% growth in software revenue in the year ago period.

“During our second quarter, we saw continued rapid acceptance of our software and subscription-based offerings as enterprises and service provider customers worldwide look to F5 to ensure consistent application access, delivery and security,” said François Locoh-Donou, CEO and President of F5. “In the last month of the quarter, we also saw increased demand for capacity as customers looked to quickly and, in some cases, massively scale remote access capabilities to keep their employees safe and their businesses running.”

“As a result of transforming F5 to a more software-driven business, we have built greater resiliency into our business model,” continued Locoh-Donou. “With 65% recurring revenue, $182 million in cash flow from operations and cash and investments totaling $1 billion at the end of our second quarter, we can weather the economic uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and we are confident our multi-cloud vision, our investments, and our innovation are well aligned with both near- and longer-term customer demand.”

F5 completes its $1B acquisition of Shape Security

F5 completed its previously announced acquisition of Shape Security, a privately-held company supplying fraud and abuse prevention solutions, for approximately $1 billion in cash.

Shape provides protection from automated attacks, botnets, and targeted fraud. In particular, Shape defends against credential stuffing attacks, where cybercriminals use stolen passwords from third-party data breaches to take over other online accounts. Shape’s application protection platform evaluates the data flow from the user into the application and leverages highly sophisticated cloud-based analytics to discern good traffic from bad.

Shape was founded in 2011 and is based in Santa Clara, California.

“We welcome Shape to the team and look forward to the work we will do together to transform the application security landscape for customers,” said François Locoh-Donou, F5 President and CEO. “Shape’s advanced AI and analytics capabilities will help accelerate new ways of securing and enhancing the performance of every application, across any cloud.”

Thailand's True selects Ericsson 5G RAN

True Corporation Plc (True) of Thailand has selected Ericsson as a 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) vendor as part of its national 5G network.

The Ericsson Radio System will enable True to operate 5G on 700MHz (low-band), 2.6GHz (mid-band) and 26GHz (high-band) frequencies in the North, Central-West, and Upper South regions of Thailand. Network rollout got underway in March 2020 immediately following Ericsson’s selection as a 5G vendor.

Ericsson said the deployment includes active antenna products to support beam-forming functions that reduce wireless signal interference and improve 5G speed. In addition, True will benefit from increased system capacity and improved 5G user experience through 4G/5G dual connectivity and LTE-New Radio downlink data aggregation functions.

Nadine Allen, President of Ericsson Thailand, says: “With its higher reliability and speeds coupled with ultra-low latency, 5G technology will have a significant impact on both industries and consumers in Thailand. Ericsson is leading the way in terms of 5G deployments across the globe and we are delighted to make 5G experiences a reality for True’s customers soon.”


Telit lauches mPCIe module for CBRS

Telit released a new version of its PCI Express Mini Card (mPCIe) family supporting Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS).

Telit said its new CBRS-specific module will help accelerate the deployment of IoT devices on private LTE CBRS networks. The new cost-optimized module is specified for full industrial temperature range, making it is ideal for high data rate applications, including industrial gateways, enterprise routers and CPEs, high resolution video cameras and bandwidth intensive industrial sensors like infrared, x-ray and ultrasound imagers. It can operate in the CBRS band 48 for the U.S. market and in band 42 and 43 for international markets. The LM960A family of modules also offers a 5G evolution path to Telit's FN980m 5G Sub-6GHz and mmWave data card, enabling original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to quickly develop next-generation solutions for the CBRS market, which ABI Research predicts will be worth $16.3 billion by 2025.

The company claims its LM960A family of data cards remains the only 1Gbps-class LTE Advanced Category 18 mPCIe module in the industry, and the world's first mobile broadband card to support CBRS band 48 (3.55 GHz). Powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X20 LTE modem, the LM960A18 rivals wired broadband technologies, with up to 1.2 Gbps download  and 150 Mbps upload speeds This makes the LM960 ideal for bandwidth-intensive CBRS applications such as enterprise routers and gateways, HD and 4K video, and software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN). It is also the only product fully certified on major mobile network operators in North America as well as others worldwide.

"CBRS and private LTE networks are changing the way enterprises wirelessly connect their sites and campuses. With Telit's enterprise-grade technologies and experience, they are among the leaders in the industry, helping system integrators and OEMs get their OnGo certified products to market faster," said Alan Ewing, Executive Director, CBRS Alliance. "We look forward to Telit's continued work in advancing this exciting market."

"The LM960A9-P and our membership in the CBRS Alliance highlight Telit's commitment to providing OEMs and their customers with industry-first private LTE solutions," said Safi Khan, Regional Product Marketing Director, Telit. "The new, CBRS-only version, LM960A9-P provides LTE Advanced high performance today and previews what OEMs and customers can expect from our forthcoming 5G mobile broadband devices for CBRS applications."

China Unicom extends 5G coverage to Mt Everest base camp

China Unicom has extended 4G and 5G coverage to Mount Everest Observation Deck and Mount Everest Base Camp No. 1 on the Tibetan side of the mountain, altitudes of more than 5,000 and 5,200 meters respectively.

More than 10 construction personnel carried materials to the site, including optical cables, antennas, and auxiliary equipment. Solar panels are being used to power the sites.



Sunday, April 26, 2020

John Stankey to take over as AT&T's CEO on July 1

John Stankey will take over as CEO of AT&T effective July 1, 2020, replacing the retiring Randall Stephenson (60) who has served in the position for the past 13 years.

Stephenson will continue to serve as Executive Chairman of AT&T until January 2021.

John Stankey (57) has served as President and Chief Operating Officer of AT&T since October 2019. He joined AT&T in 1985 and has served in a variety of roles, including: CEO of WarnerMedia; CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group; Chief Strategy Officer; Chief Technology Officer; CEO of AT&T Operations; and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions. He holds a bachelor's degree in finance from Loyola Marymount University and an M.B.A. from UCLA.

“I’m honored to be elected the next CEO of AT&T, a company with a rich history and a bright future,” said Stankey. “My thanks go to Randall for his vision and outstanding leadership during a period of tremendous change and investment in the core capabilities needed to position AT&T well for the years ahead. And I appreciate the Board’s confidence in me leading the company during our next chapter of growth and innovation in keeping people connected, informed and entertained. We have a strong company, leading brands and a great employee team, which I’m privileged to lead. I couldn’t be more excited about the new opportunities we have to serve our customers and communities and create value for our shareholders.”

Stephenson said, “I congratulate John, and I look forward to partnering with him as the leadership team moves forward on our strategic initiatives while navigating the difficult economic and health challenges currently facing our country and the world. John has the right experiences and skills, and the unflinching determination every CEO needs to act on his convictions. He has a terrific leadership team onboard to ensure AT&T remains strong and continues to deliver for customers and shareholders for years to come.”

AT&T’s John Donovan steps down

John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications, will retire effective October 1. Donovan joined AT&T in 2008 as Chief Technology Officer, overseeing the company’s global technology direction and innovation road map. He was then promoted to AT&T’s Chief Strategy Officer and Group President—AT&T Technology and Operations, before being named CEO of AT&T Communications in July 2017.


“It’s been my honor to lead AT&T Communications during a period of unprecedented innovation and investment in new technology that is revolutionizing how people connect with their worlds,” said John Donovan. “All that we’ve accomplished is a credit to the talented women and men of AT&T, and their passion for serving our customers. I’m looking forward to the future – spending more time with my family and watching with pride as the AT&T team continues to set the pace for the industry.”


FCC prepares to revoke US operating authority of Chinese carriers

The Federal Communications Commission issued Show Cause Orders to China Telecom Americas, China Unicom Americas, Pacific Networks, and ComNet. The order provides a 30-day period for the carriers to explain why the FCC should not initiate proceedings to revoke their authority to operate in the U.S.

Commissioner Carr issued the following statement:

“Last year, when we blocked China Mobile from entering the U.S. market based on national security concerns, I said it was time for a top to bottom review of every telecom carrier with ties to the communist regime in China.  I am pleased with the progress we are making on that front, as evidenced by today’s Show Cause orders. Over the past few weeks, Americans have learned that they no longer need to page through dusty foreign policy magazines to understand the consequences that flow from communist China’s brutal crackdown on freedom and free speech.  The communist party’s silencing of critics and its disappearance of hero doctors and citizen journalists exacerbated the global spread of Covid-19.  Americans are now experiencing the consequences of those oppressive actions in their own lives—whether in the loss of their jobs or their kids not being able to attend school due to Covid-19.

“Since communist China is willing to disappear its own people to advance the regime’s geopolitical agenda, it is appropriate for the FCC to closely scrutinize telecom carriers with ties to that regime.  This is a prudent step to ensure the security of America’s telecom networks.  In the Show Cause orders issued today, we give carriers 30 days to explain why the FCC should not initiate proceedings to revoke their authority.  They now have the opportunity to provide evidence showing that they are not subject to the exploitation, influence, and control of the Chinese government such that we should not look to revoke their authority to operate in the U.S.  I look forward to reviewing the record that develops and reaching a final decision on those key issues.”


  • China Telecom Americas, which is the largest subsidiary of China Telecom Corporation, has its headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, and offices in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Jose, Toronto and São Paulo. 
  • It owns and operates three Tier 1 global networks: ChinaNet (AS 4134), CN2 (AS 4809) and CTG Net (AS 36778)
  • It is a partial owner of several trans-Pacific cable systems, including China-U.S., Japan-U.S., SEA-ME-WE3 in APCN2, SMW3, SMW5, FASTER, Flag, TAE, and others. 



Deutsche Telekom to extend 5G to 50% of Germany this year

Deutsche Telekom announced a commitment to bring 5G coverage to 50% of Germany's population this year. By year-end, customers in all German states will have broad access to Telekom's 5G
network.

"We have big plans for 5G and will bring the latest mobile communications standard to large parts of Germany before the end of the year," says Telekom Deutschland CEO Dirk Wössner. "I am delighted that the network will be even better for our customers. Preparations in the network are in full swing to ensure that as many people as possible get the new technology quickly. In the city and in the countryside."

https://www.telekom.com/en/media/media-information/archive/5g-for-germany-598886

Deutsche Telekom kicks off 5G rollout

Deutsche Telekom has kicked off its 5G rollout in Germany and expects to have 300 5G antennas in more than 100 locations online by the end of the year.

The first six German cities with 5G include Berlin, Bonn, Darmstadt, Hamburg, Leipzig, and Munich. In the upcoming 18 months, the 20 largest cities in Germany will all be connected with 5G.

"We punched our ticket for a 5G future with the spectrum auction. Our goal now is to get 5G to the streets, to our customers, as quickly as possible. Nearly three-quarters of our antenna locations in Germany are connected with optical fiber – we're now building on that," says Dirk Wössner, Member of the Board of Management, Deutsche Telekom, and Managing Director, Telekom Deutschland GmbH. "Our teams are working hard in every area. Whether we're talking about the network, rate plans, or devices and applications – we're speeding up to get 5G started this year. At the same time, we need a clear regulatory framework and pragmatism from the authorities – particularly when it comes to questions regarding regional spectrum, local roaming, allocation of the auction proceeds, and the approval procedures – which takes far too long in Germany."

In parallel, Deutsche Telekom is working on 5G campus networks, together with industrial users. In this approach, the network build-out follows the specific needs of business customers. "We're already working on the 5G network with Osram and automotive supplier ZF," says Claudia Nemat, Deutsche Telekom Board Member, Technology and Innovation. "Whether mobility concepts in cities, manufacturing in the industry of tomorrow, or virtual reality in the entertainment sector is involved: 5G is the key. And the industry can count on us as a partner in the 5G rollout."

AWS releases Augmented Artificial Intelligence service

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the general availability of Amazon Augmented Artificial Intelligence (A2I), a fully managed service that helps developers add human review for model predictions to new or existing applications using reviewers from Mechanical Turk, third party vendors, or their own employees.

Amazon A2I provides over 60 pre-built human review workflows for common machine learning tasks (e.g. object detection in images, transcription of speech, and content moderation, etc.) that allow machine learning predictions from Amazon Rekognition and Amazon Textract to be human-reviewed more easily. Developers who build custom machine learning models in Amazon SageMaker (or other on-premises or cloud tools) can set up human review for their specific use case in the Augmented AI console or via its Application Programming Interface (API). After setting a confidence threshold for model predictions, developers can choose to have predictions below that threshold reviewed by Amazon Mechanical Turk and its 500,000 global workforce of independent contractors, third-party organizations who specialize in business process outsourcing (e.g. iVision, CapeStart Inc., and iMerit), or their own private, in-house reviewers.

“We often hear from our customers that Amazon SageMaker helps speed training, tuning, and deploying custom machine learning models, while fully managed services like Amazon Rekognition and Amazon Textract make it easy to build applications that incorporate machine learning without requiring any machine learning expertise. But even with these advancements, our customers still say there are critical use cases where human judgment is required like in law enforcement investigations, or times when human review can be used to resolve the ambiguity in predictions when confidence levels fall below a given threshold for less sensitive use cases, and the current human review process involves a lot of custom effort and cost,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, Vice President, Amazon Machine Learning, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “Today, we’re excited to help our customers remove another obstacle to building machine learning applications with the launch of Amazon A2I, which makes it significantly easier and faster to incorporate human judgment into machine learning applications in order to ensure higher quality predictions over a sustained period of time.”

Amazon A2I is available today in US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Canada (Central), EU West (London), EU West (Ireland), EU (Frankfurt), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Seoul), and Asia Pacific (Mumbai).

Verizon reports Q1 revenue and COVID-19 related impacts

Verizon reported total consolidated operating revenues in first-quarter 2020 of $31.6 billion, down 1.6 percent from first-quarter 2019. This decline was primarily the result of growth in wireless service revenue in the Consumer and Business segments, more than offset by sharp reductions in equipment revenue, after social distancing measures were adopted in March, limiting in-store customer engagement. Verizon reported EPS of $1.00, compared with $1.22 in first-quarter 2019. The company estimates that first-quarter 2020 EPS and adjusted EPS included approximately negative 4 cents of COVID-19-related net impacts, primarily driven by an increase to its bad debt reserve.

"Verizon began 2020 with strong operational performance," said Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg. "In an unprecedented time, Verizon took decisive and balanced actions that will serve our stakeholders in the long term, including protecting our employees, maintaining our network quality and reliability, serving our customers, and supporting our communities. We will emerge from this crisis stronger, knowing we provided critical connectivity to our customers, and especially our first responders, while maintaining our commitment to investing in our 5G and Fiber strategies. We are particularly proud of our employees who continue to deliver essential services to our customers and those on the front lines so they can serve others."

Consumer highlights

  • Total Verizon Consumer revenues were $21.8 billion, a decrease of 1.7 percent year over year, driven by strong service revenue and other revenue growth, more than offset by a significant decrease in wireless equipment revenue due to low volume activity.
  • As a result of COVID-19, Verizon closed nearly 70 percent of its company-operated retail locations and reduced in-store service hours to promote social distancing. This resulted in a significant drop in customer activity and device volumes for the quarter. Consumer reported 525,000 wireless retail postpaid net losses in first-quarter 2020. This consisted of 307,000 phone net losses and 227,000 tablet net losses, offset by 9,000 other connected device net additions. Postpaid smartphone net losses were 167,000.
  • Consumer wireless service revenues were $13.5 billion in first-quarter 2020, a 0.9 percent increase year over year.
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 1.01 percent in first-quarter 2020, and retail postpaid phone churn was 0.77 percent.
  • Consumer reported 59,000 Fios Internet net additions as work-from-home, in-home schooling, and other related measures increased the demand for high-quality broadband offerings. Consumer reported 84,000 Fios Video net losses in first-quarter 2020, reflecting the ongoing shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings.
  • In first-quarter 2020, segment operating income was $7.3 billion, an increase of 0.4 percent year over year, and segment operating income margin was 33.5 percent, an increase from 32.7 percent in first-quarter 2019. Segment EBITDA (non-GAAP) totaled $10.1 billion in first-quarter 2020, a decrease of 0.4 percent year over year. Segment EBITDA margin (non-GAAP) was 46.4 percent in first-quarter 2020, up from 45.8 percent in first-quarter 2019.

Business highlights

  • Total Verizon Business revenues were $7.7 billion, down 0.5 percent year over year. Business trends were strong throughout first-quarter 2020. Starting in March, Business saw heightened demand for its products and services, specifically for mobility, jetpacks, VPN services and high speed circuit capacity, and experienced increased activity to support front line crisis responders, new work-from-home and home schooling arrangements, and other demands for critical connectivity services.
  • Business reported 475,000 wireless retail postpaid net additions in first-quarter 2020, compared with 264,000 in first-quarter 2019. This consisted of 239,000 phone net additions, 60,000 tablet net additions, and 176,000 other connected device additions.
  • Business' customer-centric approach led to an effective response to the needs of its business customers at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. In wireless, this led to a total retail postpaid churn of 1.30 percent in first-quarter 2020, and retail postpaid phone churn of 1.02 percent.
  • In first-quarter 2020, segment operating income was $954 million, a decrease of 9.0 percent year over year, and segment operating income margin was 12.4 percent, compared with 13.6 percent in first-quarter 2019. Segment EBITDA (non-GAAP) totaled $2.0 billion in first-quarter 2020, a decrease of 5.8 percent year over year. Segment EBITDA margin (non-GAAP) was 25.6 percent, down from 27.1 percent in first-quarter 2019.

FCC updates satellite orbital debris rules

The FCC updated its satellite rules on orbital debris mitigation for the first time since 2004.

Specifically, the new rules improve the specificity and clarity of rules that require disclosure of debris mitigation plans by satellite companies.  The changes include requiring that satellite applicants assign numerical values to collision risk, probability of successful post-mission disposal, and casualty risk associated with those satellites that will re-enter earth’s atmosphere.  Satellite applicants will also have new disclosure requirements related to protecting inhabitable spacecraft, maneuverability, use of deployment devices, release of persistent liquids, proximity operations, trackability and identification, and information sharing for situational awareness.  The new rules also update the process for geostationary orbit satellite license term extension requests.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated "Today, for the first time in 15 years, we are adopting new rules to mitigate the threat posed by orbital debris, including regulations involving satellite design, better disposal procedures, and active collision avoidance.  15 years is an eternity in this fast-moving sector, and the time has come to address this critical issue.  The rules that we adopt today take a balanced approach: mitigating the risk posed by orbital debris, while at the same time continuing to light a regulatory path for space-based innovation." 

ZTE reports Q1 sales and commits 15% to R&D

ZTE reported Q1 2020 operating revenue of RMB 21.484 billion (approximately US$3.03 billion), net profit attributable to holders of ordinary shares of the listed company of RMB 780 million, and net profit after extraordinary items attributable to holders of ordinary shares of the listed company amounted of RMB160 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 20.5%. Basic earnings per share was RMB0.18.

For the three months ended 31 March 2020, the research and development costs amounted to RMB3.241 billion, 15.1% of operating revenue, increased by 1.2 percentage point compared to the same period last year.

During Q1, ZTE collaborated with operators to guarantee the communication services of the front line against COVID-19. It has constructed 4G/5G networks and telemedicine diagnosis systems for hundreds of hospitals in China.  A part of the effort, ZTE released 5G remote diagnosis and mobile diagnosis services, as well as the smart video cloud solution for epidemic prevention and control. Moreover, the company launched a family "cloud classroom" services to support online education.

ADVA reported Q1 revenue of EUR 133 million

On April 22, ADVA reported Q1 2020 revenue of EUR 132.7 million, a decrease of 12.2% from EUR 151.1 million in Q4 2019 and an increase of 3.5% from EUR 128.2 million in the same year-ago period.

Pro forma operating income for Q1 2020 was negative EUR 1.7 million (-1.3% of revenues), substantially down from EUR 10.3 million (6.8% of revenues) in Q4 2019 and also down from EUR 2.7 million (2.1% of revenues) in the same year-ago period. Operating income for Q1 2020 of negative EUR 4.0 million significantly decreased from EUR 5.4 million reported for Q4 2019 and decreased from EUR 0.9 million in the same year-ago quarter. ADVA reported a net loss of EUR 7.2 million in Q1 2020 that decreased significantly from a net income of EUR 2.5 million in Q4 2019 and declined from a net income of EUR 1.0 million in Q1 2019.

The company attributed its decline in profitability mainly to the lockdown in Wuhan at the beginning of the first quarter and to significant project-related shifts in the product and customer mix in Q1 2020.

“We are currently experiencing a crisis that is unprecedented in the history of the modern, industrialized world. Covid-19 knows no national borders, affects all continents and creates severe challenges for all of us,” said Brian Protiva, CEO, ADVA. “As a network equipment supplier, we serve some of the world’s most critical communications infrastructures. As such, we’re doing everything humanly possible to remain fully operational, while protecting the safety and health of our employees, partners and customers. Order entry from a few large customers was strong in the first quarter, and our main focus is on maintaining our ability to deliver. We have developed a very agile and flexible supply chain, and our development and distribution centers have so far largely avoided the crisis. Apart from a few minor exceptions, our production and supply chains are intact. Clearly, this can worsen suddenly, and that’s why we have developed a strategy that enables us to compensate for production and delivery bottlenecks due to possible location closures.”

“Despite elevated levels of uncertainty on the demand and supply side, we operate in a framework of financial resilience,” commented Uli Dopfer, CFO, ADVA. “We were able to improve our operating cash flow compared to the year-ago quarter while our cash balance of EUR 52.8 million remained on a comfortable level. We have a strong order backlog and are confident that we will grow sequentially in Q2 2020. So far, we haven’t utilized any of the Covid-19-related government loans. However, we are reviewing all meaningful opportunities and actively manage our working capital to ensure balance sheet stability and financial flexibility.”

https://www.adva.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/20200423-adva-posts-quarterly-revenues-of-eur-132-7-million-for-q-1-2020

DISH to deploy Mavenir for Cloud-native Open RAN

Mavenir confirmed that it has been awarded a multi-year agreement by DISH Network to supply its cloud-native OpenRAN software. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“The open and intelligent architecture of our greenfield network will give us the ability to source a diverse technology ecosystem, including U.S.-based solution providers,” said Marc Rouanne, DISH’s Chief Network Officer. “Mavenir will help us lay the foundation for an innovative software-defined network with the flexibility, intelligence and scalability to deliver applications that will redefine the U.S. wireless industry.”

“We are honored to be partnering with DISH Network and being recognized for our innovation and leadership in developing and delivering innovative solutions,” said Pardeep Kohli, President and CEO of Mavenir. “Working with DISH, we will be supporting the deployment of the world’s largest cloud-native OpenRAN 5G network.”

Airtel India picks Ceragon to boost 4G capacity

Bharti Airtel has selected Ceragon Networks' wireless hauling products for additional 4G network expansions beginning first quarter of 2020. Ceragon is an existing supplier to Airtel. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Airtel is looking to increase 4G network capacity in urban areas and expand its coverage in rural regions as well as prepare for its future evolution to 5G. Ceragon said it is working closely with Airtel to pursue rapid deployment of its microwave radios, as best it can, considering India's recent temporary lockdown.

"As an established strategic partner of Airtel for over a decade, Ceragon delivers innovative technology, products and services that enable us to achieve quick and dynamic network deployments", said Randeep Sekhon, Chief Technology Officer of Airtel. "Ceragon's wireless hauling solutions and services allow us to quickly adapt to our customers' changing needs and deliver higher speeds with reliable, first-time-right rollouts." 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

FCC opens 6 GHz Band to Wi-Fi

The FCC voted to open 1,200 megahertz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band (5.925–7.125 GHz) available for Wi-Fi and other unlicensed uses.  The 6 GHz band is currently populated by, among others, microwave services that are used to support utilities, public safety, and wireless backhaul.  Unlicensed devices will share this spectrum with incumbent licensed services under rules crafted to protect those licensed services and enable both unlicensed and licensed operations to thrive throughout the band.

The new rules authorize indoor low-power operations over the full 1,200 megahertz and standard-power devices in 850 megahertz in the 6 GHz band.  An automated frequency coordination system will prevent standard power access points from operating where they could cause interference to incumbent services. 

The FCC expects its new rules to accelerate the adoption of Wi-Fi 6 and play a major role in the growth of the Internet of Things.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai states: "Ultimately, I expect that 6 GHz unlicensed devices will become a part of consumers’ everyday lives.  And I predict the rules we adopt today will play a major role in the growth of the Internet of Things, connecting appliances, machines, meters, wearables, smart televisions, and other consumer electronics, as well as industrial sensors for manufacturing.  At the same time, our approach will ensure that incumbents in the 6 GHz band are protected from harmful interference.  The microwave services that already use this band are critical to the operations of utilities, public safety, and wireless backhaul operations.  And we are ensuring that those incumbents are protected by requiring the use of automated frequency coordination systems, which will only allow new standard-power operations in areas that will not cause interference to incumbent services, and by placing conservative power limits on low-power indoor operations."

“By making 6 GHz available for unlicensed use, the FCC has secured the future of Wi-Fi. 6 GHz access is a seminal development for connectivity and provides Wi-Fi more capacity to deliver groundbreaking use cases and to unlock novel new Wi-Fi applications,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Today’s global climate highlights how important Wi-Fi is in connectivity and productivity, and new Wi-Fi 6E solutions will further increase Wi-Fi’s standing.”