Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Bharti Airtel picks Nokia for 4G/5G

Bharti Airtel awarded a multi-year agreement to Nokia for the deployment of its SRAN solution across 9 circles1 in India. The deal includes approximately 300,000 radio units deployed across several spectrum bands, including 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz and 2300 Mhz.

The deployment will expand the capacity of Airtel's 4G network and lay the foundation for providing 5G connectivity in the future. Deployment is expected to be completed by 2022.

Nokia will be the sole provider of SRAN in these 9 circles. The deal will also include Nokia’s RAN equipment, including its AirScale Radio Access, AirScale BaseBand and NetAct OSS solution, which will help Airtel to monitor and manage its network effectively. Nokia Global Services will also play a crucial role in the installation, planning and deployment of the project, which will be executed via the cloud-based Nokia Delivery Platform.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India and South Asia) at Bharti Airtel, said: “Airtel has consistently topped network performance charts in studies conducted by multiple global experts. We are committed to continuously invest in emerging network technologies to provide a best-in-class experience to our customers. This initiative with Nokia is a major step in this direction. We have been working with Nokia for more than a decade now and are delighted to use Nokia’s SRAN products in further improving the capacity and coverage of our network as we prepare for the 5G era.”

Rajeev Suri, President and Chief Executive Officer at Nokia, commented: “This is an important agreement for the future of connectivity in one of the world’s largest telecoms markets and solidifies our position in India. We have worked closely with Bharti Airtel for many years and are delighted to extend this long-standing partnership further. This project will enhance their current networks and deliver best-in-class connectivity to Airtel customers but also lay the foundations for 5G services in the future.”

Huawei intros Cascade Lake storage server with up to 450 TB of storage

Huawei introduced its next-gen FusionServer Pro 2298 V5, a 2U 2-socket storage rack server that provides up to 450 TB storage capacity.

The Huawei next-generation FusionServer Pro 2298 V5 storage server is based on the Cascade Lake Refresh processor, the newest member of the Intel Xeon Scalable processor family. The server supports the Intel Optane DC persistent memory (DCPMM).

The FusionServer Pro 2298 V5 can house 24 3.5-inch and 4 2.5-inch drives, as well as 4 NVMe SSDs, in a 2U space, providing up to 450 TB storage capacity.

Highlights:

  • Ultra-large storage: Supports various drive configurations and provides elastic storage capacity, meeting upgrade requirements at different storage capacity levels. Supports SATA/SAS SSDs or PCIe NVMe SSDs as the cache, improving drive read/write performance.
  • High I/O expandability: Provides diverse network ports, such as four PCIe 3.0 slots, two 10GE and two GE LOM ports, as well as one OCP mezzanine card 2.0.
  • System acceleration: Supports two SATA M.2 SSDs for independent OS installation and high-speed startup. The two M.2 SSDs provide capacity options of 32, 64, 240, and 480 GB, and support hot swap and hardware RAID. All these features ensure the OS high reliability.



QTS reports on-going data center demand growth from hyperscalers

QTS Realty Trust, a leading colocation data center operator, reported consolidated revenues of $126.3 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2020, an increase of 12.1% compared to the same period in 2019.  EBITDA amounted to $66.8 million, up 13.5% yoy.

QTS said that leasing of new data center capacity in Q1 was driven by continued hyperscale strength combined with steady enterprise demand. Leasing was +15% above the prior four quarter average leasing.

QTS renewed leases with total annualized rent of $11.3 million at an average rent per square foot of $871, which was 5.0% higher than the annualized rent prior to their renewals. The increase in the renewal rate of 5.0% for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 was primarily attributable to a large number of hybrid colocation renewals with power and/or connectivity increases upon renewal.

However, QTS noted that since the beginning of the economic disruptions from COVID-19, it has experienced a "modest increase in customer requests for payment relief, primarily concentrated in the retail, oil and gas, hospitality and transportation customer verticals. As of March 31, 2020, less than 10% of the Company’s MRR balance was generated from these industries. The total revenue associated with customers requesting some form of payment relief represented less than 5% of the Company’s revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2020. Importantly, of the small number of customers requesting some form of payment relief, as of March 31, 2020, the large majority of these customers were current on their rental payments and while QTS has not reduced their future payments, it has in certain circumstances provided additional flexibility in the form of extended payment terms. In addition to these customer requests for payment relief, the company also has experienced modest delays in construction activity in a few of its markets primarily as a result of availability of contractors and slower permitting."

“In the midst of unprecedented disruption across the economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, QTS’ business has continued to execute well,” said Chad Williams, Chairman and CEO of QTS.
Williams added, “Following a year of record leasing performance in 2019, we are pleased to extend our momentum with another strong performance in the first quarter. Our strategic differentiators, record booked-not-billed backlog and strong balance sheet and liquidity position QTS well to continue to drive market share growth.”


Pluribus and Dell build SDN-enabled IoT Video Security Fabric

Pluribus Networks and Dell Technologies have developed an SDN-enabled networking solution to simplify the provisioning and operation of IoT video networks for security and surveillance.

Pluribus said its IoT Video Security Fabric creates a unified, automated multi-site network fabric with highly efficient multicast streaming that enables full visibility and one touch fabric-wide provisioning for efficient operations. The  SDN-enabled distributed multicast forwarding architecture delivers high performance and bandwidth efficiency over any existing transport network without the complexity of typical multicast networking technology. The IoT Video Security Fabric also incorporates secure traffic segmentation to ensure IoT video streams are isolated from other applications. Organizations deploying IoT video networks now have a powerful, flexible and secure solution that eliminates much of the complexity and expense of traditional IP networking infrastructure. The Pluribus Netvisor ONE operating system and Adaptive Cloud Fabric run on the Dell EMC PowerSwitch.

“The IoT Video Security Fabric is a powerful and innovative approach developed specifically to address customers’ IoT video networking pain points,” said Drew Schulke, vice president of Networking for Dell Technologies. “We see this as another option to provide our customers with a secure way of streaming video.”

“Organizations of virtually any size and scope can benefit from a network that delivers IoT video streams to multiple endpoints with on-demand network reconfiguration, but traditional IP networking architectures have been too expensive, inflexible and operationally complex to meet these requirements. That changes with the IoT Video Security Fabric we’ve introduced with Dell Technologies. Now IoT video security can be deployed and operated cost-effectively over any IP-capable network,” said Kumar Srikantan, CEO at Pluribus Networks.

Juniper posts Q1 revenue of $998 million, flat YoY

Juniper Networks reported Q1 2020 revenue of $998.0 million, flat year-over-year, and a decrease of 17% sequentially. GAAP net income was $20.4 million, a decrease of 34% year-over-year, and a decrease of 88% sequentially, resulting in diluted earnings per share of $0.06. Non-GAAP net income was $77.2 million, a decrease of 17% year-over-year, and a decrease of 61% sequentially, resulting in non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.23.

"Orders grew 10% on a year-over-year basis during the March quarter and improved across each of our core industry verticals. With our stronger than expected demand, we believe our financial results would have exceeded the mid-point of our guidance if not for supply challenges we faced resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic," said Juniper's CEO, Rami Rahim. “While we are starting to see some weakness in our enterprise pipeline, which is impacting visibility into the second half of the year, we believe the overall momentum we are seeing speaks to the strength of our solutions, our strong customer relationships and the efforts we undertook to diversify the business across verticals and customers over the past several years.”

"While we are seeing uncertainty in our business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect to see sequential revenue and non-GAAP earnings growth in Q2. Confidence in our forecast is driven by strong backlog and healthy momentum with our Service Provider and Cloud customers. We believe these factors should help offset increased uncertainty in certain segments of the Enterprise market. Due to the uncertain macroenvironment we have widened our revenue range for the second quarter.

The company posted the following guidance for the quarter ending June 30, 2020:

  • Revenue will be approximately $1,060 million, plus or minus $50 million.
  • Non-GAAP gross margin will be approximately 59.5%, plus or minus 1.0%.
  • Non-GAAP operating expenses will be approximately $480 million, plus or minus $5 million.
  • Non-GAAP operating margin will be approximately 14.0% at the mid-point of revenue guidance.
  • Non-GAAP tax rate will be approximately 19.5%.
  • Non-GAAP net income per share will be approximately $0.34, plus or minus $0.05. This assumes a share count of approximately 332 million.

FireEye sees Q1 sales rise to $225 million, up 7%

FireEye reported Q1 revenue of $225 million, up 7 percent from the first quarter of 2019. Q1 billings amounted to $170 million, down 7 percent from the first quarter of 2019.

GAAO income was $(0.35) compared to $(0.38) a year ago.

"While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought several segments of the global economy to a standstill, the cyber threat environment remains very active," said Frank Verdecanna, FireEye chief financial officer and chief accounting officer. "The fundamentals of our business remain strong, and with our liquidity and operational flexibility, we believe we are well positioned to manage through this crisis. However, given the uncertainty regarding the duration and impact of COVID-19, we are withdrawing our billings and operating cash flow guidance for the full year 2020. In addition, the guidance that we are providing for Q2 2020 and the full year 2020 comes with the caveat that there is significant uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that actual results could differ materially from our outlook."

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.