Tuesday, August 4, 2020

T-Mobile US activates standalone 5G

T-Mobile US activated standalone architecture (SA) in its 5G network across the United States.

“Since Sprint became part of T-Mobile, we’ve been rapidly combining networks for a supercharged Un-carrier while expanding our nationwide 5G footprint, and today we take a massive step into the future with standalone 5G architecture,” said Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile. “This is where it gets interesting, opening the door for massive innovation in this country — and while the other guys continue to play catch up, we’ll keep growing the world’s most advanced 5G network.”

In SA areas, T-Mobile engineers have already seen up to a 40% improvement in latency during testing.

In the near-term, SA allows T-Mobile to unleash its entire 600 MHz footprint for 5G. With non-standalone network architecture (NSA), 600 MHz 5G is combined with mid-band LTE to access the core network, but without SA the 5G signal only goes as far as mid-band LTE. With today’s launch, 600 MHz 5G can go beyond the mid-band signal, covering hundreds of square miles from a single tower and going deeper into buildings than before.

By flipping the switch to activate SA, T-Mobile increased its 5G footprint by 30 percent — now covering 1.3 million square miles in more than 7,500 cities and towns across the country.

T-Mobile partnered closely with Cisco and Nokia to build its 5G core, and Ericsson and Nokia for 5G radio infrastructure. OnePlus, Qualcomm Technologies and Samsung have helped T-Mobile ensure existing devices can access SA 5G with a software update, based on compatibility.

http://www.t-mobile.com/5g

SiTime builds MEMS Clock-System-on-a-Chip

SiTime is entering the $1 billion per year silicon clocks market with the introduction of a Clock-System-on-a-Chip powered by its third generation MEMS resonator technology.

The new SiTime "Cascade" family of MEMS clock ICs is targeted at 5G, wireline telecom and data center equipment. The first product, the SiT9514x, consists of clock generators, jitter cleaners, and network synchronizers that deliver multiple clock signals in a system. SiTime’s MEMS resonator is integrated inside the silicon package.

SiTime's MEMS devices, which have shipped over 1.5 billion units in over 200 commercial products, deliver higher performance, lower power, and better resiliency than other timing solutions.

SiTime says its Cascade clock-system-on-a-chip delivers up to 10 times higher reliability and resilience, enabling superior resiliency for 5G infrastructure. Either standalone or together with SiTime’s MEMS TCXOs and OCXOs, the SiT9514x delivers a complete timing solution for applications such as 5G RRUs, small cells, edge computers, switches, and routers.

Samling is underway and volume production is expected in Q4.

“SiTime continues to expand our focus on the communications-enterprise market for many reasons. Our MEMS technology is well suited to solve the difficult timing challenges of emerging 5G infrastructure. This represents a large growth opportunity for SiTime that is complemented by production usage for many years,” said Rajesh Vashist, CEO of SiTime. “Today, our Elite Platform™ Super-TCXOs™ and Emerald™ OCXOs have multiple design wins in this market. We are expanding our strong foothold with the introduction of the Cascade family. Not only is this a natural next step for our timing business, but it also brings us closer to the customer as we work together to define their clock tree. In fact, Cascade devices offer a complete clock-system-on-a-chip, which allows our customers to simplify their designs and reduce time to market. As the only provider of MEMS resonators, oscillators, and clock ICs, and delivering system-level benefits to customers, SiTime continues to transform the $8 billion timing market.”

PacketFabric launches Cloudflare Network Interconnect

PacketFabric has begun offering Cloudflare Network Interconnect through its Network as a Service (NaaS) Marketplace. This provides a private pathway to Cloudflare DDoS Protection and Cloudflare Magic Transit; a dedicated on-ramp to Internet acceleration and optimization via Cloudflare Argo; private access to corporate applications; and a secure origin for Cloudflare’s CDN.

PacketFabric’s SDN platform is a private Layer 2 NaaS that delivers instant and secure connectivity at speeds from 50Mbps to multi-100Gbps.

At launch, PacketFabric will interconnect with the Cloudflare Network Interconnect in 15 North American and APAC markets. Additional North American and international markets are planned to be launched throughout 2020 and 2021.

"Our customers can now connect to Cloudflare via a private, secure, and dedicated connection through the PacketFabric Marketplace," said Dave Ward, PacketFabric CEO. "PacketFabric is proud to be a launch partner of Cloudflare Network Interconnect. Our large U.S. footprint provides the reach and density to further benefit Cloudflare’s enterprise customers."

“At Cloudflare, we are constantly looking for ways to improve the security, performance, and reliability of our customers' networks and teams. By partnering with PacketFabric, we are providing an additional path for our customers to access our services in the location of their choice using the method they prefer. Secure, private, reliable, and efficient software-defined network connectivity between Cloudflare's edge and our customers is another way we are helping to build a better Internet,” said John Graham-Cumming, Chief Technology Officer of Cloudflare.

Taiwan's APT picks Nokia as sole 5G (NSA/SA) vendor

Taiwanese mobile operator Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) has selected Nokia as its single vendor for 5G New Radio (NR). APT will deploy high-band 28 GHz mmWave in Taiwan.

The deal also encompasses 5G core (non-standalone and standalone), security and monetization. Financial terms were not disclosed.

As part of the deal, APT will also deploy Nokia software spanning Core Network, monetization and security. The cloud-native Cloud Mobile Gateway (CMG) and Cloud Mobility Manager (CMM) appliance solutions, from Nokia’s Cloud Packet Core (CPC) portfolio, will deliver a highly scalable and flexible Control/User Plane Separation (CUPS) architecture.

Nokia said its CPC cloud-native design also gives APT the capability to rapidly launch 5G services to its customers without making significant changes to the network. Additional virtual network functions and applications to be deployed on Nokia CloudBand and NetAct will manage these along with the physical network elements. This will allow APT to shift its network and operations to cloud-native automated efficiency and to rapidly launch and monetize new 5G experiences and enterprise services. NetGuard Certificate Manager will, in turn, ensure efficient and secured management of digital entities.

Nokia will also provide its Nokia AirFrame data center solution to support cloud-based applications necessary for future telco and IT networking and service delivery, and digital design and deployment for a faster time to market, as well as optimization and technical support services.

Arista posts Q2 sales of $541M, down 11% yoy

Arista Networks reported Q2 revenue of $540.6 million, an increase of 3.4% compared to the first quarter of 2020, and a decrease of 11.1% from the second quarter of 2019.

GAAP gross margin of 63.7%, compared to GAAP gross margin of 64.7% in the first quarter of 2020 and 64.1% in the second quarter of 2019. Non-GAAP net income was $167.0 million, or $2.11 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $198.6 million, or $2.44 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2019.

"I am definitely pleased with our quarterly performance and proud of the tenacity shown by the Arista team in the face of the challenging pandemic era we live in," stated Jayshree Ullal, President & CEO of Arista Networks. "Arista's market position has been reinforced as we were placed in the leader’s category by two renowned market analyst firms."

In a conference call, Arista said it has won 50 customers for 400G so far, in various stages of deployment.



NeoPhotonics posts strong Q2, revenue of $103M, up 26% yoy

NeoPhotonics reported Q2 revenue of $103.2 million, up 6% quarter-over-quarter and up 26% year-over-year. Gross margin was 32.5%, up from 30.5% in the prior quarter and from 19.2% in the prior year. Diluted net income per share was $0.11, in comparison to $0.12 in the prior quarter and to a net loss per share of $0.16 in the same period last year.

“The second quarter was another strong quarter, with revenue up 26% compared to last year and continued gross margin expansion to 32.5%. This was our fourth straight quarter of profitability. Non-GAAP EPS was 16 cents and GAAP EPS was 11 cents per share,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. “With increasing momentum in 400G and above product design wins across almost all of the major network equipment manufacturers globally, and with increasing momentum in 400ZR opportunities, we remain optimistic about the growth prospects for NeoPhotonics,” concluded Mr. Jenks.

https://ir.neophotonics.com/static-files/6ce8797b-88ee-46f6-b8ee-7be80c30f65f


Inphi reports record Q2 revenue of $175M, strong data center sales

Inphi reported Q2 rvenue of $175.3 million, up 103.2% year-over-year, compared with $86.3 million in the second quarter of 2019. The increase was due to higher demand for Cloud and Telecommunications products as well as the inclusion of eSilicon revenues as a result of the acquisition that closed on January 10, 2020.

Gross margin under GAAP in the second quarter of 2020 was 53.0%, compared with 56.9% in the second quarter of 2019. GAAP operating loss in the second quarter of 2020 was $4.3 million or (2.4%) of revenue, compared to GAAP operating loss in the second quarter of 2019 of $14.2 million or (16.5%) of revenue. Non-GAAP net income in the second quarter of 2020 was $50.9 million, or $0.95 per diluted common share. This includes the one-time tax benefit referred to above which represents approximately $0.10 per diluted share as part of the $0.95 per diluted common share for the second quarter of 2020. 

“In Q2 our product offerings were firing on all cylinders.  On a year-over-year basis, our Cloud revenue grew 92% driven by our PAM4 products inside data centers and our COLORZ solution between data centers.  Our Telecom revenue grew 119% driven by both our new ASIC and PAM4 for 5G and our coherent solutions for long haul and metro,”  said Ford Tamer, President and CEO of Inphi Corporation. “We continue to invest in resources both organically and through strategic acquisitions that can scale Inphi to larger opportunities ahead. Although we are cautious with regard to the macro uncertainties, we believe our continued success and breadth of product cycles will drive sequential growth in the third quarter.”

Inphi acquires assets in Vietnam from Arrive Technologies

Inphi has acquired certain assets from Arrive Technologies, located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Arrive Technologies, founded in 2001, has 112 employees with strong design capabilities in embedded software, digital ASIC, post silicon validation and FPGA emulation. The team has designed highly complex transport framers and products including pseudowire and circuit emulation functions with domain expertise including, but not limited to, OTN/SONET, FEC, PTP, and Security (IPsec). Arrive had been engaged with many of Inphi’s system OEM customers in the cloud, telecom and 5G markets. 

Inphi said the addition of these resources will provide Inphi with front-end design, verification, validation and firmware skills that complement Inphi’s existing design teams in Singapore and Vietnam.

“Resource allocation for new projects is an industry challenge. With the acquisition of resources from Arrive, we are now able to dedicate a world-class engineering team to projects targeting our cloud and telecom customers,” said Ford Tamer, President and CEO of Inphi Corporation. “We welcome the team from Arrive to the Inphi family and are excited to advance our shared commitments in driving successful customer engagement, industry-leading innovation and best of class execution.”

Rackspace IPO to raise over $700 million

Rackspace Technology announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 33,500,000 shares of its common stock at an initial public offering price of $21.00 per share. In addition, Rackspace Technology granted to the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 5,025,000 shares of common stock at the initial public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions.

The shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol "RXT" on August 5, 2020.

Rackspace Technology expects to receive gross proceeds of approximately $703.5 million from the offering, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering expenses, or approximately $809.0 million if the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full.

Keysight tests O-RAN with China's Cambridge Industries Group

Keysight Technologies announced inter-operability development testing (IODT) of O-RAN radio units (O-RUs) in collaboration with Cambridge Industries Group (CIG), a leading original design manufacturer (ODM), headquartered in Shanghai, China.

The testing was accomplished using CIG’s O-RU and Keysight’s Open RAN Studio, signal source and analyzer solutions to create an environment for 5G new radio (NR) modulation analysis. As a result, CIG and other vendors of O-RUs can accelerate design verification of products based on specifications set by the O-RAN Alliance. CIG is part of a network infrastructure ecosystem that is using O-RAN fronthaul interfaces to unlock the full potential of an open RAN architecture.

“We rely on partners such as Keysight to effectively develop and validate open RAN standards-based network elements, including small cells and O-RAN compliant radio and distributed units,” said Haibo Zhao, founder, chief technology officer (CTO) at CIG. “Working with Keysight, with cross-domain expertise, enables CIG to derive insights critical in the design and manufacturing of a flexible infrastructure that serves diverse use cases for consumers and vertical industries.”

“Together with key partners such as CIG, we are advancing the development of a disaggregated, virtualized network architecture based on O-RAN specifications,” said Giampaolo Tardioli, vice president of Keysight and general manager of Keysight's Network Access Group. “The future of pervasive wireless connectivity requires end-to-end performance verification of 5G network elements across multiple domains including, radio frequency (RF), mmWave and O-RAN protocol.”

Monday, August 3, 2020

Airtel picks Ribbon's Neptune for Packet Transport

Bharti Airtel will deploy Ribbon Communications' 5G-Native Neptune platform to enhance its mobile backhaul transport capabilities. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ribbon's 5G-native Neptune solution will be deployed throughout Bharti Airtel's India network, providing high capacity, low latency and real time programmability. The Neptune platform enables a powerful, efficient multi-layer next-generation network solution for a seamless evolution to future 5G services. The platform will be controlled, managed and automated by Ribbon's cloud-native Muse system, which provides Airtel with an integrated machine-to-machine ecosystem for end-to-end automated service fulfillment and assurance as well as automated migration from the existing network to the modernized one. 

"Ribbon has been a trusted partner since 2004, and their proven track record gives us confidence that they will successfully manage this upgrade. This compact, robust IP/MPLS-Access solution from Ribbon will both serve our current needs and make the Airtel network 5G ready," said Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel.

"5G will unleash a significant array of new applications and services that users around the world will benefit from," said Bruce McClelland, CEO of Ribbon Communications. "We are honored to have been selected by Bharti Airtel for this critical upgrade and look forward to further expanding our relationship while supporting their pioneering vision for the future."  

Analog Devices and Intel collaborate on 5G O-RAN platform

Analog Devices (ADI) is working with Intel to create a 5G O-RAN compliant radio platform.  

The new radio platform combines ADI’s radio frequency (RF) transceivers with the high performance and low power of Intel Arria 10 Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). ADI’s software defined transceiver includes an innovative DFE capability.

“This new radio platform reduces the overall cost of design and quickens our customers’ time to market without sacrificing system-level performance,” said Joe Barry, Vice President of the Wireless Communications Business Unit at ADI. “By coupling ADI’s transceivers featuring advanced digital frontend (DFE) functionality with Intel’s leading FPGA technology, our customers’ solutions can achieve the high level of performance they require while increasing their flexibility to more efficiently resolve emerging network issues.”

“This collaboration between ADI and Intel enables the development of new radio solutions for 5G networks,” said CC Chong, Senior Director, Head of Wireless & Access, Programmable Solution Group at Intel. “We look forward to working with ADI to expedite hardware development by offering FPGA platforms that are flexible to meet changing requirements, are easy to use, and remove many of the complex barriers of RF and digital product development.”

Subsea cable planned for Chile-NZ-Australia route

Chile's Ministry of Transport & Telecommunications selected a subsea cable route across the South Pacific directly linking to New Zealand and Australia.

The proposed 13,180-km route, which was supported by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Japan ICT Fund, would offer onward connections to Japan via existing subsea cables. It would also support the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) initiative.

A rival trans-Pacific cable proposal backed by Huawei and the government of China did not gain the support of the Chilean government.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Telecommunication/Chile-picks-Japan-s-trans-Pacific-cable-route-in-snub-to-China

UK spectrum auction set for January 2021

Ofcom confirmed plans to auction 5G spectrum in January 2021. The auction will increase the total amount of spectrum available for mobile in the UK by nearly a fifth (18%).

Some mobile operators had argued for the spectrum to be allocated through an administrative process, instead of an open auction, in light of the coronavirus. However, Ofcom concludes that an open auction will be a more efficient means to make the spectrum available to mobile users without unnecessary delay.

Philip Marnick, Ofcom’s Spectrum Group Director, said: “Demand for getting online on the move is soaring, and the pandemic has only increased the importance of mobile services to people and businesses. Releasing these airwaves promptly will bring a much-needed capacity boost, helping mobile customers get a better service.”

Dell'Oro: Network equipment services market returning to growth

Following five consecutive years of market contraction, the network equipment services market is returning to growth, growing slightly in 2019 due to positive developments with Network Rollout Services and Consulting Service, according to the latest Dell'Oro Network Equipment Service Market advanced research report. This growth is offset by declines in Managed Services this year.

Some highlights:

  • Managed Services is expected to weigh on the market in the near term as vendors continue to exit contracts that are unprofitable and non-strategic.
  • Network Equipment Services are becoming more complex.
  • Following five years of dynamic share shifts, the top three vendors—Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia—have held their market share for the past three years. Together these three vendors accounted for about 75 percent of the NE Services market in 2019.

http://www.delloro.com

Pekka Lundmark takes the helm at Nokia

Pekka Lundmark took over as Nokia’s President and CEO, replacing Rajeev Suri who served as CEO since 2014 and as CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks since 2009. Suri joined the company in 1995.

Lundmark previously was President and CEO of Fortum, a leading energy company based in Espoo, Finland,. Previously, he served as President and CEO of Konecranes, a global material-handling technology company, and from 1990-2000 held multiple executive positions at Nokia, including Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Nokia Networks. Lundmark holds a Master of Science degree from Helsinki University of Technology. He will be based in Espoo, Finland.

Lundmark shared the following blog post: https://www.nokia.com/blog/the-nokia-i-want-to-lead/

MaxLinear completes acquisition of Intel's home gateway division

MaxLinear completed its previously announced acquisition of Intel’s Home Gateway Platform Division for $150 million in cash. MaxLinear funded the acquisition with proceeds from a $175 million term loan A facility, which was upsized from $140 million initially announced.

The Home Gateway Platform Division comprises Wi-Fi Access Points, Ethernet and Home Gateway SoC products deployed across operator and retail markets.

As an update to the original expectation, based on the improving strength in the business, MaxLinear now expects to initially add approximately $80 million to $90 million in quarterly revenue from the acquisition, in the first full quarter post close. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to MaxLinear’s non-GAAP earnings.

“First and foremost, we are excited to welcome a world-class engineering team which complements MaxLinear’s significant analog/RF mixed-signal capabilities with large scale SoC product, software, and comprehensive networking and signal-processing competencies spanning all our target markets. With the acquisition now complete, and the addition of WiFi, Ethernet, and Broadband Gateway Processor SoC technology assets to our portfolio, we will execute rapidly to expand our value proposition to our existing customers. These assets will not only drive scale, but also create tremendous new growth opportunities in broadband access, connectivity, power, and infrastructure markets,” said Kishore Seendripu, CEO of MaxLinear. “We are also encouraged by the strength in the broadband access business driven by the transformative work-from-home market dynamics, as well as the early adoption of the WiFi product.”

Indonesia's XL Axiata to deploy Ericsson Cloud Packet Core and NFVI

XL Axiata will deploy Ericsson's 5G-ready cloud core technology solutions in East Indonesia.

The deployment includes Ericsson Cloud Packet Core and Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI) solution.

Ericsson Cloud Packet Core, which includes applications such as Evolved Packet Gateway, allows for a distributed core network architecture to boost network performance in preparation for 5G.

Yessie D. Yosetya, Chief Technology Officer, XL Axiata, says: “Data consumption in Indonesia is growing rapidly and users are constantly looking out for cutting-edge technologies every day. By investing in advanced Cloud Packet Core solutions, we will be able to remain at the technology forefront and address the increasingly high demands of our tech-savvy customers. Ericsson is one of our key network partners and we are confident that this deployment will further enhance the quality of our network performance.”

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Perspective: Get your core (network) in shape during COVID-19

by Zoltan Varnai
Cloud Core Marketing Manager, Nokia

Some of you reading this blog may be doing so under lockdown, while working from home. Whether or not you are working is another matter, but regardless, you will be using data. In this current time, when so many people are staying indoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual ones, going online to keep up-to-date with education, and to use streaming services for entertainment – is a common occurrence.

To stay sane and to normalize life as best as we can, it is more important than ever to remain connected with friends, family and colleagues. It is also important that we have access to strong and reliable connective networks, especially for essential workers who are bravely on the ‘front line’ of this health emergency. For instance, the heroic doctors, nurses and social workers that are actively fighting the virus need information promptly; they need to be ready for any situation. Information needs to be at their fingertips while they help a record influx of patients – I know because my sister is a doctor, and is often too busy to even take my phone calls. I proudly salute them all for the work they are doing every day.

This need for networks to meet growing demand is a challenge that operators are stepping up to. Around the world, they are ensuring that society can stay connected, companies can continue to work, and families can keep in touch. To address capacity and meet customer needs, many operators have suspended data caps, upgraded broadband speeds, changed call center opening hours, provided additional services for free and created new virtual services.

With so many changes in place designed to support the needs of our world today, there has been a drastic shift in network traffic profiles. As demonstrated by AT&T, demand is growing. The telecommunications giant reported up to 31% higher daily loading on its core network than the previous month, as well as a shift from urban to suburban and rural areas.

Focus on Maintaining Quality Services

As workload demands and needs grow and shift, maintaining uninterrupted, high-quality voice and data services is crucial. These specific factors have become the underpinning for most of the effort faced by network operators during this time.

Although there are several important components for an operator to address, it is crucial to focus on the mobile core network, which stands out in this instance as it quietly runs in the background to secure, authenticate and drive services delivered over networks. Meeting network demand means that the core network must be flexible and adaptable enough to accommodate where the demand is.
In a situation where the core is distributed across multiple regions, the connection between mobile core network elements must be adjusted to account for geographically-related demand. In modern day installations, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a great tool for operators looking to enable their optimization and monitoring needs, seamlessly. With AI-powered operations, it doesn’t matter whether operators have implemented traditional core networks or have already invested in flexible and scalable cloud-native core network architecture to adapt to the influx of network traffic.

Ensure a Strong Core

These unprecedented times have made operators adapt their core networks to accommodate an increase in network traffic much faster than most were expecting. Yet, as always, efficiency remains top-of-mind when determining new ways to use available core resources and support expansion. Once the core network is optimized and scaled, its health can be maintained through key initiatives set in place by network operators to measure network KPIs and provide insights into the network’s behavior to predict potential incidents.

Operators shouldn’t spend time worrying about the scalability, performance and reliability of their mobile core networks. Instead, they should focus on keeping their services functioning to the best of their ability to help their users and customers cope during this global crisis. It is more important than ever that connections – both personal and network-related – remain strong.

Zoltan Varnai works in the Nokia Software Core marketing team. His professional passion is marketing of the core network with a special focus on 5G core programming capabilities. His personal passion is drumming – giving bands clock-like pace.

MIT advances quantum information sharing between processors

Researchers at MIT are developing an on-off system that leverages "giant atoms" to enable high-fidelity operations and interconnection between processors.

A key challenge in quantum computing has been to communicate quantum information between distant parts of a processor.

In a paper published in the journal Nature, the MIT researchers constructed “giant artificial atoms” from superconducting quantum bits, or qubits, connected in a tunable configuration to a microwave transmission line, or waveguide.

“Coupling a qubit to a waveguide is usually quite bad for qubit operations, since doing so can significantly reduce the lifetime of the qubit,” says Bharath Kannan, MIT graduate fellow and first author of the paper. “However, the waveguide is necessary in order to release and route quantum information throughout the processor. Here, we’ve shown that it’s possible to preserve the coherence of the qubit even though it’s strongly coupled to a waveguide. We then have the ability to determine when we want to release the information stored in the qubit. We have shown how giant atoms can be used to turn the interaction with the waveguide on and off.”

http://news.mit.edu/2020/giant-atoms-quantum-processing-communication-0729