Monday, August 10, 2020

U.S. to open 3.45-3.55 GHz mid-band spectrum for 5G

The Trump administration announced that 100 megahertz of contiguous, coast-to-coast mid-band spectrum will be made available for commercial 5G deployment.

The action, which will be taken by the FCC in collaboration with the Department of Defense, targets the 3.45-3.55 GHz band.

“I commend the President and Department of Defense for today’s announcement that the 3.45-3.55 GHz band will be made available for commercial 5G deployment.  This is a key milestone in securing United States leadership in 5G.  I also would like to thank FCC staff for their work to help create a framework that will promote 5G service in this important band.  Together with the spectrum being made available for 5G in the C-band as well as the 3.5 GHz band, we are now on track to have a 530-megahertz swath of mid-band spectrum available for 5G from 3.45 to 3.98 GHz.  The FCC looks forward to moving quickly to adopt service rules for the 3.45 GHz band and then hold an auction to bring this prime mid-band spectrum to market.”

Equinix to acquire Mumbai data centers from GPX India

Equinix agreed to acquire the India operations of GPX Global Systems for US$161 million in cash, representing a multiple of approximately 15x the projected EBITDA at full utilization.

GPX India's assets include a fiber-connected campus in Mumbai with two data centers, adding more than 1,350 cabinets, with an additional 500 cabinets at full buildout. The facilities will add more than 90,000 square feet of colocation space to Platform Equinix when fully built. GPX India offers a cloud dense environment and access to major cloud services, including Amazon Direct Connect, Google Cloud Dedicated Interconnect and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect. GPX India operates its own cloud interconnection solution.

Equinix notes that GPX India facilities also host key internet exchanges such as Mumbai IX-DECIX, AMS-IX India, Extreme IX and Bharat IX, allowing ISPs, carriers, CDNs and large enterprises to exchange internet traffic.

"India represents the second largest internet user base in the world, with consumption expected to grow with the continued advancement of internet infrastructure, smartphone ownership and the penetration of 4G and 5G. Extending Platform Equinix to India has long been a strategic objective for Equinix and we are excited that the GPX transaction will allow us to capitalize on this market opportunity and meet the needs of our customers as they seek to expand their digital businesses," states Charles Meyers, President and CEO, Equinix.

Equinix markets


Ciena selected for Windstream's Next-Gen Converged Optical Network

Windstream will deploy Ciena’s Waveserver 5 compact modular platform, powered by its WaveLogic 5 Extreme technology, in its National Converged Optical Network (NCON). Additionally, Windstream will be leveraging Ciena’s 6500 Reconfigurable Line System (RLS), the first reconfigurable, fully programmable and integrated C&L-band line system to access double the optical spectrum capacity. Deployment and activiation are expected to begin in Q3. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Windstream’s NCON will connect cities across its Tier 1, 2, and 3 markets to major U.S. data centers, cable landing stations, and cross-border gateways.

Ciena said its 800G platform will enable Windstream’s NCON to efficiently scale and dynamically adjust for optimal capacity on any path and avoid potential faults by automatically re-routing traffic based on available network resources. Another key capability of Windstream’s NCON will be enabled by Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller, which will utilize automation features and operational diagnostics to proactively identify and prevent potential connectivity issues. NCON will also take advantage of Ciena’s Liquid Spectrum predictive analytics, which will act as the brains of the network to provide real-time visibility into network efficiency.

"Windstream’s decision to partner with us again and build a world-class network that will span its entire U.S. footprint using our high-performance coherent optics and leading automation software not only demonstrates their industry leadership, but will help them deliver differentiated and innovative services while adapting to the disruptions and demands created by the digital economy," stated Jason Phipps, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Ciena.

"Our increasingly digital world requires a differentiated network that pushes the boundaries of technology to take the connectivity experience to the next level. After extensive review in our quest to innovate and meet growing customer demands, it was clear that Ciena was the best partner to support our nationwide network transformation and ability to adapt to digital disruption. With NCON, Windstream will build an ultra-high capacity, intelligent network that will interoperate with our existing multi-vendor topology," stated Buddy Bayer, Chief Network Officer, Windstream.

https://news.windstream.com/news/news-details/2020/Windstream-Selects-Ciena-for-Next-Generation-National-Converged-Optical-Network/default.aspx

India activates subsea cable connecting Chennai and Andaman Islands

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a subsea cable system connecting Chennai and Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The cable also extends Port Blair to Swaraj Dweep (Havelock), Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, Great Nicobar, Long Island, and Rangat.

Initial capacity is 2 x 200 Gbps between Chennai and Port Blair, and 2 x 100 Gbps between Port Blair and the other islands.

About 2300 Kms of Submarine OFC cable has been laid at a cost of about Rs 1224 Crore, and the project has been completed in time.

https://www.narendramodi.in/prime-minister-shri-narendra-modi-to-inaugurate-submarine-cable-connectivity-to-andaman-nicobar-islands-a-ni-on-monday-10th-august-550856

SFP-DD MSA updates spec for 100G

The Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density (SFP-DD) Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) Group released an updated (v4.1) hardware specification for 100+ Gbps, high-density networking equipment. The SFP-DD form factor uses 2-lane pluggable modules, is backward compatible with SFP+ and offers improved host to module management communication based on a Two-Wire-Interface (TWI).

SFP-DD revision 4.1 hardware specification includes added features to support ResetL, dual function IntL/TXFaultDD and ePPS. Newly added timing tables will also allow for low speeds signals, soft control and module status. The former chapter 7 Management Interface is now part of chapter 4, Electrical Specification. The updated hardware specification includes port mapping, optical connectors and module color coding moved out of Mechanical and Board Definition chapter 5 and into a new chapter 5. Lastly, TS-1000 Normative Module and Connector performance requirements were added as Appendix A.

Targeting support of optical modules up to 3.5 W, the SFP-DD form factor addresses the technical challenges of achieving a double-density interface and ensuring mechanical interoperability for module components produced by different manufacturers while still enabling the use of legacy SFP modules. This updated specification supersedes previous versions and has updated mechanical connector dimensions. Users should note that the connector dimensions specified in the 4.1 supersede all previous versions.

SFP-DD MSA promoters include Alibaba, Broadcom, Cisco, Dell EMC, HPE, Huawei, II-VI Incorporated, Intel, Juniper Networks, Lumentum, Molex, Nvidia and TE Connectivity. Contributors include Accelink, Amphenol, AOI, Eoptolink, FIT, Fourte, Genesis, Hisense, Infinera, Innolight, Maxim Integrated, Multilane, Nokia, Oclaro, Senko, Source Photonics, US Conec and ZTE.

http://sfp-dd.com/2020/08/sfp-dd-msa-releases-updated-4-1-hardware-specification/


CommScope sues Rosenberger for antenna patent infringement

CommScope filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against Rosenberger Site Solutions LLC and two related Chinese companies, Rosenberger Asia Pacific Electronic Co., Ltd. and Rosenberger Technology (Kunshan) Co. Ltd.

The complaint asserts that certain cellular base station antennas manufactured in China by Rosenberger and sold in the United States, infringe seven of CommScope’s patents associated with CommScope’s base station antenna innovations. These CommScope patents relate to critical building blocks and enhanced methods used to design a wide array of base station antennas for bands ranging from 600MHz to over 2000MHz. These key technologies enable CommScope’s customers to buildout high performance multi-band cellular networks.

CommScope notes that this is the second lawsuit CommScope has filed against Rosenberger relating to its use of CommScope’s base station antenna technology.

“CommScope innovates, designs, manufactures, and sells best-in-class products and solutions around the world,” said Farid Firouzbakht, senior vice president and segment leader of Outdoor Wireless Networks for CommScope. “CommScope has taken this action to protect the company’s significant investments in developing innovative products that help our customers unlock the potential of their network infrastructure.”

Sunday, August 9, 2020

California Research and Education Network upgrades to 400G

The California Research and Education Network (CalREN) is now able to provide high-capacity services, from 100G to 400G and beyond, on its coastal path between Los Angeles and Sunnyvale. The 460-mile upgraded optical route includes nodes in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Soledad.

The upgrades leverages flex-grid spectrum Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexers (ROADMs). Flex grid optimizes the amount of spectrum used per wavelength, enabling more data capacity to be provisioned over fiber spans.

CalREN, which is operated by CENIC, serves the vast majority of K-20 students, educators, researchers, and individuals at other vital public-serving institutions. CalREN operates over 8,000 miles of fiber optic cable and serves more than 20 million users.

In 2019, CENIC upgraded the southern path of its network between Los Angeles and Riverside, including nodes in Tustin, Oceanside, San Diego, Escondido, and Sun City. Work will start in the fall on upgrades to the final inland path, which completes the network ring from Sunnyvale back to Los Angeles and includes nodes in Oakland, Sacramento, Fergus, Fresno, and Bakersfield.

“Next-generation infrastructure ensures CENIC can easily meet today’s networking demands while remaining flexible to meet the needs of tomorrow,” said CENIC President and CEO Louis Fox. “These upgrades provide CENIC’s members a more robust and efficient network on which to conduct data-intensive research, support teaching and learning, provide cutting-edge medical care, and enhance community engagement.”

CENIC is also supporting the Pacific Research Platform (PRP), a partnership of more than 50 institutions, led by researchers at UC San Diego and UC Berkeley, with support from the National Science Foundation. PRP builds on the optical backbone of Pacific Wave, a project of CENIC and Pacific Northwest Gigapop, to create a high-speed freeway for large scientific data sets by connecting campus networks and supercomputing centers on a regional scale, with Science DMZs at each site.

Developed by the US Department of Energy’s Energy Science Network (ESnet) engineers, the Science DMZ model addresses common network performance bottlenecks encountered at research institutions by creating an environment that is tailored to the needs of high-performance science applications, including high-volume bulk data transfer, remote experiment control, and data visualization. PRP’s design supports university researcher data analysis for projects such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the NSF’s South Pole Neutrino Detector (IceCube), and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).

CENIC deploys first 400G circuit in Los Angeles

CENIC, the organization that provides global connectivity for education and research institutions in California, has deployed a 400 Gbps single-carrier optical circuit between Los Angeles and Riverside. This marks one of the first-ever 400G superchannels to be deployed by a US regional research and education network. Construction included upgrading nodes in Los Angeles, Tustin, Oceanside, San Diego (home to the San Diego Supercomputer Center), Escondido, Sun City, and Riverside to 400G capabilities.

CENIC upgraded network infrastructure to flex spectrum Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexers (ROADMs) and the NCS 1004 transponder platform. CENIC used Cisco-loaned equipment for the validation in production and is now implementing the permanent infrastructure.

“This is an important networking milestone for CENIC,” said President and CEO Louis Fox. “With increasing demands for 100G services among our community, from research scientists working with big data sets to educators leveraging technology to transform the classroom, network capacity should not limit the work or ambitions of our researchers, teachers, or students.”

CENIC plans to expand its 400G provisioning capabilities along its coastal fiber path from Los Angeles to Sunnyvale by mid-2020.

CENIC’s network traffic continues to grow by roughly 60% each year. Between May 2018 and May 2019, the network moved an exabyte of data.

http://www.cenic.org

Huawei expects production of its Kirin 5G silicon to end by Sept 15

Huawei has confirmed that the production of its 5G Kirin chipset by TSMC will end in the coming weeks. Speaking at an industry event in Shenzhen, Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Unit, said: “Unfortunately, in the second round of U.S. sanctions, our chip producers only accepted orders until May 15. Production will close on Sept. 15,” Yu said at a conference August 7th. “This year may be the last generation of Huawei Kirin high-end chips.”

Huawei’s HiSilicon division will also not be able to produce its AI chipsets developed or fabricated using U.S. sanctioned technology, including design tools and libraries from Cadence or Synopsys.


Precision OT debuts QSFP-DD 400G transceivers

Precision OT introduced its new line of QSFP-DD 400G optical transceivers supporting distances between 100m and 10km.

Precision OT is offering 4 different transceiver variants for this form factor to ensure that network operators' varying needs can be fully met. Precision's QSFP-DD transceivers support the continued growth of network traffic while being backwards compatible with existing QSFP optics.

"Optical transceivers, especially 400G-capable ones, are the key component in enabling more traffic to flow across today's networks," says Chris Page, CTO of Precision OT. "Single lambda 100G will be one of the most cost-effective ways for MSOs and data centers to deal with future bandwidth demands, because a single 100G line can reduce the costs of a typical 4x25G architecture by at least 40%. In this way, the use of four lines of 100G and PAM4 modulation can enable the 400G data rates our customers need to ensure they are ready for the future. For us, at Precision OT, it is about creating networking solutions that grow over time and accommodate increased demand cost-effectively, with both flexibility and agility."

http://www.precisionot.com

Australia's Macquarie Telecom picks Juniper

Macquarie Telecom, which focuses on Australia’s mid-to-large enterprise and government customers, has selected Juniper Networks for the refresh of its nationwide network from the core to the edge. The nationwide network upgrade by Juniper Networks is slated to be completed by the end of 2020

Specifically, Macquarie is using Juniper's MX10003, MX480 and MX204 Universal Routing Platforms for a variety of core, aggregation and edge functions. Segment routing is utilized to route traffic across the production network - a first by an Australian Juniper Networks customer on the MX10K platform.

“For over twenty years, both companies have built our respective businesses by being disruptors that offer our customers innovation, differentiation and value. Juniper is delighted to be able to help grow Macquarie Telecom’s business further through this network refresh which includes a next-generation segment routing deployment driven by our automation and AI-driven capabilities. Together, we are confident that we can improve time-to-market while increasing the end customer’s experience, all while providing Macquarie Telecom with an ultra-reliable and highly-agile network for years to come,” says Bruce Bennie, VP & GM, ANZ, Juniper Networks.

CommScope intros cabinet optimized for RF-over-Glass (RFoG)

CommScope introduced its FDH3000 AgileMax Cabinet for RF-over-Glass (RFoG) deployments.

The new field combines CommScope’s AgileMax active optical distribution technology which prevents Optical Beat Interference (OBI) in RFoG deployments with its FDH3000 fiber distribution hub and integrated splitter cabinet. Together, they enable HFC network operators to install the AgileMax platform into an existing Fiber Distribution Hub (FDH) location to improve their networks’ upstream and downstream capacity and data speeds. The cabinet supports standard 19-inch rack mounted equipment using a patented swing frame design that houses the AgileMax product as well as additional passive products for maximum flexibility.

CommScope said its active-splitter technology enables operators to deploy high-capacity OBI-free, FTTH networks leveraging existing DOCSIS infrastructure.

“The FDH3000 AgileMax Cabinet is a turn-key solution for our HFC customers looking to eliminate OBI from their RFoG existing installations and improve network capacity and data speeds,” said Kevin Keefe, Senior Vice President and Segment Leader, Broadband Networks at CommScope. “It’s a showcase for the efficiencies and strengths of our combined company—integrating components of our legacy businesses to enable better cost savings for our customers as they build out their fiber networks of the future.”

Intelsat: 75% average fill rate for its satellite transponders

Intelsat reported revenue of $482.0 million and net loss of $405.4 million for the three months ended June 30, 2020.

Intelsat’s Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Spengler, said, “Our business demonstrated resiliency in a challenging operating environment, highlighted by a sequential quarterly increase in revenue and Adjusted EBITDA largely from the successful execution of a new agreement with Speedcast in our network services business. Financial results, when compared to the same period last year, reflect the ongoing challenges in our network services business due to the impacts of COVID-19 in the cruise maritime and aeronautical mobility, despite booking new business in merchant maritime and enterprise network applications. The decline in the media business was driven by ongoing secular headwinds that we have experienced over several quarters. Finally, the government services business delivered year-over-year growth in revenues resulting from strong uptake of third-party services and growth in our new FlexGround managed services."

Spengler concluded, “During the period we filed our initial C-band transition plan with the FCC, detailing our roadmap to meet their accelerated spectrum clearing deadlines. The final transition plans are due to be filed with the FCC on August 14, 2020. We will consult with the FCC and continue to refine our plan as that date approaches. Ongoing engagement with our supply chain, vendors, and customers gives us a high degree of confidence that we can execute our transition plan and ensure that the U.S. maintains its 5G leadership position."

Some highlights:

  • Network services revenue was $176.7 million (or 37 percent of Intelsat’s total revenue) for the three months ended June 30, 2020, a decrease of 5 percent compared to the three months ended June 30, 2019
  • Media revenue was $202.6 million (or 42 percent of Intelsat’s total revenue) for the three months ended June 30, 2020, a decrease of 9 percent compared to the three months ended June 30, 2019.
  • Government revenue was $96.1 million (or 20 percent of Intelsat’s total revenue) for the three months ended June 30, 2020, an increase of 3 percent compared to the three months ended June 30, 2019.
  • Intelsat’s average fill rate at June 30, 2020 on our approximately 1,675 36 MHz station-kept wide-beam transponders was 75.1 percent, as compared to an average fill rate at March 31, 2020 of 78.5 percent on the company's approximately 1,675 transponders. 
  • As of June 30, 2020, the Intelsat fleet included approximately 1,225 36 MHz equivalent transponders of high-throughput Intelsat Epic capacity, reflecting no change from the prior quarter.



I

Thursday, August 6, 2020

OSA Quantum 2.0 Keynotes - 14 – 17 September

Distinguished keynote speakers from academia and industry will present latest developments in quantum systems and quantum computing at the inaugural OSA Quantum 2.0 conference to be co-located as an all-virtual event with OSA Frontiers in Optics and Laser Science APS/DLS (FiO + LS) conference 14 – 17 September. The meetings are available at no cost to registrants.

Ignacio Cirac, director of the Theory Division at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and Honorary Professor at the Technical University of Munich, will introduce two quantum algorithms to determine finite energy and temperature properties of many-body quantum systems. In his talk, Cirac will explain how both can be used with Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) and analog quantum simulators.

While the demonstration of a universal, fault-tolerant, quantum computer remains a goal, it has informed the design of a prototype. Marissa Giustina, senior research scientist and quantum electronics engineer in the Google AI Quantum, USA, will introduce Google’s quantum computing effort from both hardware and quantum-information perspectives in her plenary talk titled “Building Google’s Quantum Computer.”

In his talk titled “Quantum Technologies for Long-Term Data Security,” Gregoire Ribordy, co-founder and CEO of ID Quantique, Switzerland, will describe solutions to the threat of quantum computing to our information security infrastructure. He will review the current state of the art of practical quantum key distribution and quantum random number generators. Ribordy will also discuss current areas of research and present examples of applications and use cases.

Plenary speaker Mikhail Lukin, co-director of the Harvard Quantum Initiative in Science and Engineering and co-director of the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms, USA, will describe the recent advances involving programmable, coherent manipulation of quantum many-body systems using atom arrays excited into Rydberg states. In his talk, Lukin will also discuss progress towards realization of quantum repeaters for long-distance quantum communication. 

Technical sessions will be presented live from the Eastern Daylight Time Zone (EDT) with a recorded archive available later for on-demand viewing. The keynote talks are scheduled for 10:00 – 10:45 EDT, 14 – 17 September.

Industry and academic leaders will discuss new approaches for training current and future quantum engineers in a panel titled “Workforce Development in Quantum Science and Technology” to be held Tuesday, 15 September, 15:45 – 16:45 EDT.

The all-virtual Quantum 2.0 conference will bring together scientists, engineers and others working to advance quantum science and the technical innovations needed to introduce practical quantum technologies and ultimately commercializable products based on Quantum 2.0 to market. Academic, government and industry researchers will have the opportunity to interact and discover common ground, and potentially build collaborations leading to new concepts or development opportunities.

Key topic areas include Quantum Computing & Simulation; Quantum Communication Systems; Quantum Metrology & Sensors; Hybrid Systems; Quantum Interconnects; Quantum Photonic Sources & Detectors; Integrated-optics Quantum Platforms & Devices; Optical & Laser Technology for QIST Systems. Conference registration is now open.

https://www.osa.org/en-us/meetings/topical_meetings/quantum/registration/

U.S. State Department pushes Clean Network program

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reasserted his call for a Clean Network program aimed at thwarting aggressive cyber intrusions by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on public and private U.S. telecommunications and technology infrastructure. Specifically, Pompeo announced the following five new lines of effort in the Clean Network program:


  • Clean Carrier: "To ensure untrusted People’s Republic of China (PRC) carriers are not connected with U.S. telecommunications networks. Such companies pose a danger to U.S. national security and should not provide international telecommunications services to and from the United States."
  • Clean Store: "To remove untrusted applications from U.S. mobile app stores. PRC apps threaten our privacy, proliferate viruses, and spread propaganda and disinformation. American’s most sensitive personal and business information must be protected on their mobile phones from exploitation and theft for the CCP’s benefit."
  • Clean Apps: "To prevent untrusted PRC smartphone manufacturers from pre-installing –or otherwise making available for download – trusted apps on their apps store. Huawei, an arm of the PRC surveillance state, is trading on the innovations and reputations of leading U.S. and foreign companies. These companies should remove their apps from Huawei’s app store to ensure they are not partnering with a human rights abuser."
  • Clean Cloud: "To prevent U.S. citizens’ most sensitive personal information and our businesses’ most valuable intellectual property, including COVID-19 vaccine research, from being stored and processed on cloud-based systems accessible to our foreign adversaries through companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent."
  • Clean Cable: "To ensure the undersea cables connecting our country to the global internet are not subverted for intelligence gathering by the PRC at hyper scale. We will also work with foreign partners to ensure that undersea cables around the world aren’t similarly subject to compromise."

The U.S. State Department is also building a coalition of "5G Clean Countries and Carriers." The website currently lists the following.




https://www.state.gov/announcing-the-expansion-of-the-clean-network-to-safeguard-americas-assets/

https://www.state.gov/5g-clean-network/





Trump issues executive order to block Tencent's WeChat

President Trump issued an executive order to restrict transactions in the United States with Tencent Holdings Ltd., the Chinese company that owns WeChat.

The order, which takes effect in 45 days, bans any transaction with Tencent that is related to WeChat by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Trump said the order was necessary because WeChat automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, allowing the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information, and even keeping tabs on Chinese citizens visiting the United States who may be enjoying the benefits of a free society for the first time in their lives.

AWS Wavelength Zones open in Boston & San Francisco

Amazon announced that the first two AWS Wavelength Zones are now open, one in Boston and the other in San Francisco. The new zones will allow developers who want to build apps to service Verizon Wireless customers in those metropolitan areas.

AWS Wavelength Zones, which were first announced at AWS re:Invent 2019,  allow 5G operators to embed AWS hardware and software in their datacenters. The goal is to allow developers to build and deliver applications that can benefit from ultra-low latency.

Each WZ is associated with a specific AWS region known as the parent region. This is US East (N. Virginia) for the Wavelength Zone in Boston, and US West (N. California) for the AZ in San Francisco.

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-wavelength-zones-are-now-open-in-boston-san-francisco/

Verizon to offer 5G network edge computing with AWS Wavelength

Verizon will be the first carrier to offer the new AWS Wavelength service to provide developers the ability to deploy applications that require ultra-low latency to mobile devices using 5G.  The service targets latency-sensitive use cases like machine learning inference at the edge, autonomous industrial equipment, smart cars and cities, Internet of Things (IoT), and augmented and virtual reality. The idea is to position AWS compute and storage services at the edge of Verizon’s 5G network.

The companies are currently piloting AWS Wavelength on Verizon’s edge compute platform, 5G Edge, in Chicago for a select group of customers, including video game publisher Bethesda Softworks and the National Football League (NFL). Additional deployments are planned in other locations across the U.S. in 2020.

Verizon 5G Edge provides mobile edge computing and an efficient high-volume connection between users, devices, and applications. AWS Wavelength lets customers deploy the parts of an application that require ultra-low latency to the edge of the network and then seamlessly connect back to the full range of cloud services running in AWS.

AWS also listed Vodafone Business, KDDI, and SK Telecom as partners.



“We are first in the world to launch Mobile Edge Compute -- deeply integrating Verizon’s 5G Edge platform with Wavelength to allow developers to build new categories of applications and network cloud experiences built in ways we can’t even imagine yet,” said Hans Vestberg, CEO and Chairman of Verizon. “Bringing together the full capabilities of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband and AWS, the world's leading cloud with the broadest and deepest services portfolio, we unlock the full potential of our 5G services for customers to create applications and solutions with the fastest speeds, improved security, and ultra-low latency.”

Vodafone activates first OpenRAN site in UK

Vodafone activated an Open Radio Access Network (OpenRAN) 4G site Powys, Wales - the first OpenRAN site to enter commercial service in the UK.

OpenRAN provides mobile network operators with greater flexibility in choosing infrastructure equipment providers.

Mavenir is supporting Vodafone with this deployment at the Royal Welsh Showground in Powys.

Scott Petty, CTO, Vodafone UK, said: “This is our first live OpenRAN site in the UK, and that’s an important milestone. This new approach has the ability to make us less dependent on current larger technology suppliers, and find ways to reduce the cost of rolling out mobile coverage. OpenRAN can also help close the digital divide between urban and rural Britain.”

Matt Warman, Digital Infrastructure Minister, said: “OpenRAN gives mobile companies the flexibility to use multiple suppliers in their 4G and 5G networks. This is vital to help the market grow, build resilience and give people fast, reliable and secure internet connections wherever they live and work.

Facebook switches on Henrico Data Center in Virginia

Facebook’s Henrico Data Center in Virginia is now serving traffic.

Construction of the new 2.5 million-square-foot campus first began in 2017. Once fully built-out, the campus will represent an investment of $1 billion. The facility is supported by 100% solar energy from projects in Virginia.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/henrico-data-center/henrico-county-we-are-online/10106657488671209/


FCC sets bidding rules for December's auction of C-band spectrum

The FCC established final application and bidding procedures for the auction of 280 megahertz of mid-band spectrum for 5G and other advanced wireless services.

December's C-band auction will offer 5,684 new flexible-use overlay licenses based on Partial Economic Areas (PEAs) for spectrum in the 3.7–3.98 GHz band.  This spectrum holds the potential to be prime spectrum for 5G services, and the procedures adopted today will ensure the assignment to auction winners of contiguous spectrum blocks allowing wide channel bandwidths that support 5G deployment. 

In February, the FCC adopted rules for the C-band (3.7-4.2 GHz), which allocated the lower 280 megahertz (3.7-3.98 GHz band) for flexible terrestrial wireless services (with a 20-megahertz guard band (3.98-4.0 GHz)) and required existing satellite operators to repack their operations from the band’s entire 500 megahertz into the upper 200 megahertz (4.0-4.2 GHz).  Bidding in the auction, which is designated as Auction 107, will begin on December 8, 2020.

FCC approves C-Band spectrum rules

The Federal Communications Commission voted to approve new rules to accelerate the auction and transfer of a wide swath of 3.5 GHz spectrum from the satellite industry for new uses, including 5G.

The 280 megahertz of mid-band spectrum will be made available via a public auction.

Within the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, the FCC has is allocating the 3.7-4.0 GHz portion of the band for mobile use and 280 megahertz (3.7-3.98 GHz band) will be auctioned by the FCC for wireless services in the contiguous United States.  Another 20 megahertz (3.98-4.0 GHz) will serve as a guard band while existing satellite operations will be repacked into the upper 200 megahertz of the band (4.0-4.2 GHz).

Satellite operators will be able to receive accelerated relocation payments of $9.7 billion if they meet accelerated clearing milestones.

FCC expects to conduct an auction beginning on December 8, 2020.

In a statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai writes: "With respect to this principle of revenue for the federal government, it’s important to make a couple of points about accelerated relocation payments.  First, they will be made by wireless carriers, not the FCC and not the American taxpayer.  And second, to the extent they impact the proceeds of the auction at all, they are likely to increase those proceeds.  That’s because without a strong incentive for satellite operators to cooperate, it will take years longer to clear this spectrum, dramatically reducing the value of this spectrum opportunity to wireless bidders.  It’s like repainting your house before you sell it; yes, there are costs to doing that, but the costs are more than offset by the higher sales price.  And our conservative approach here means the costs of accelerated relocation are easily outweighed by the benefits to the Treasury (not to mention the public at large)..."

T-Mobile now has 98.3 million customers, topping AT&T

The new T-Mobile US added 1,245,000 net lines in Q2, giving it a total of 98.3 million total customers, 2nd most in the United States, behind Verizon, and ahead of AT&T. The merger with Sprint was completed on April 1, 2020. T-Mobile said it has continued to gain momentum despite the pandemic and social and economic climate.

“Surpassing AT&T to become #2 was a huge milestone to kick off Q2, but that was only the beginning! In our first quarter as a combined company, T-Mobile led the industry in total branded customer adds – even in a challenging environment – and there is no doubt that we are THE leading growth company in wireless,” said Mike Sievert, T-Mobile CEO. “Now we’re setting our sights on #1 – in customer choice and customers’ hearts – and we’ll get there by doing ONLY what the Un-carrier can do: offering customers the most advanced 5G network AND the best value while continuing to make big moves that fix customer pain points and disrupt this industry."

Some Q2 highlights:

  • Total revenues increased year-over-year to $17.7 billion in Q2 2020, driven by the Sprint merger and continued customer growth at T-Mobile. Total revenues exclude approximately $1.3 billion of Boost revenues that are reflected in discontinued operations.
  • Net income decreased year-over-year to $110 million and EPS decreased year-over-year to $0.09 in Q2 2020, primarily due to the Sprint merger and merger-related costs, impacts of COVID-19, and non-cash impairments.
  • Net customer additions were 1,245,000 in Q2 2020, the 22nd consecutive quarter of industry-leading performance in this category. The total customer count increased to 98.3 million(2), overtaking AT&T in total branded customers across both postpaid and prepaid.
  • Postpaid net customer additions were 1,112,000 in Q2 2020, the 10th consecutive quarter of industry-leading performance in this category.
  • Postpaid phone net customer additions were 253,000 in Q2 2020, the 26th consecutive quarter of leading the national carriers, and postpaid phone churn was 0.80%. The total postpaid phone customer count increased to 65.1 million(3), overtaking AT&T in total postpaid phone customers.
  • Postpaid other net customer additions were 859,000 in Q2 2020, leading the industry as new opportunities in T-Mobile for Business developed primarily due to COVID-19.
  • Prepaid net customer additions were 133,000 in Q2 2020 and prepaid churn was 2.81%.


Network highlights

  • T-Mobile already has mid-band 5G service using 2.5 GHz spectrum live in eight major markets including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. The performance of mid-band 5G is incredible, delivering average download speeds in the 300 Mbps range and peak speeds hitting one Gbps for customers with compatible 5G devices.
  • T-Mobile recently became the first operator in the world to launch a commercial nationwide standalone 5G network, allowing the Un-carrier to massively expand its 5G footprint, bring next-gen connectivity to more places and pave the way for future groundbreaking applications.
  • T-Mobile controls an average of 319 MHz of combined low and mid-band spectrum on average nationwide. This spectrum position is nearly double that of AT&T and nearly three times that of Verizon. In addition, T-Mobile controls 1,160 MHz of mmWave spectrum nationwide, more than AT&T.
  • More than 10 percent of Sprint postpaid customer traffic has already been moved over to the T-Mobile network and site decommissioning has begun
  • Approximately 75 percent of Sprint postpaid customers are enabled on VoLTE and enjoying a better voice experience, including simultaneous voice and data services