Tuesday, November 3, 2020

O-RAN Alliance update and virtual demos

The O-RAN ALLIANCE, which was formed two years ago with a mission is to re-shape the industry towards more intelligent, open, virtualized and fully interoperable mobile networks, elected a new Board of Directors including the addition of 3 new operators: KDDI, Rakuten Mobile and Vodafone

The O-RAN ALLIANCE now represents 27 major carriers along with the support of over 200 additional vendors and academic contributors.

“In its first two years the O-RAN ALLIANCE has driven a tremendous pace in delivering new standards for open and intelligent RAN, and has helped facilitate implementations by releasing open software and supporting the integration and testing of concrete O-RAN implementations,” said Andre Fuetsch, Chairman of the O-RAN ALLIANCE and Chief Technology Officer of AT&T. “We welcome the new members of the O-RAN Board, and look forward to the continuing contributions from all O-RAN participants that will drive a global mobile network ecosystem based on openness, interoperability and intelligence.”

The O-RAN Alliance provided this update on its technical progress:

  • 20 O-RAN specifications released since June 2020, bringing its total number of specifications to 40 in 73 versions.
  • O-RAN specifications published in 2nd half of 2020 introduce the initial version of O2 interface general aspects and principles, the HW reference design for the indoor picocells in 7.2 and 8.0 split, as well as an end to end system testing framework.
  • Publishing the Criteria and Guidelines for the Open Testing and Integration Centres (OTIC) initiates the global platform for testing and integration of O-RAN based network equipment.
  • O-RAN has created a Security Task Group (STG) to investigate and address the security considerations of the O-RAN architecture. In its recent blog post, the STG tackles the security challenges on all O-RAN interfaces and components.

O-RAN Virtual Exhibition Provides Insights on Companies Progressing with their O-RAN Implementations -- https://www.virtualexhibition.o-ran.org/index.html

To substitute the canceled MWC Los Angeles 2020, O-RAN member companies present their recent demonstrations of O-RAN based equipment at the O-RAN Virtual Exhibition. 23 new demonstrations of O-RAN Open and Intelligent solutions have been added:

IPLOOK demonstrates an End-to-end 5G SA/NSA open mobile core network. This demo showcases the highly scalable End-to-end 3G/4G/5G converged mobile core solution based on COTS and Cloud for MNOs, MVNOs, WISPs and Private Networks in order to reduce TCO and grow revenue.

Airspan demonstrates its 5G virtual end-to-end massive MIMO Open RAN based solution OpenRANGE. It includes: O-RAN Open Fronthaul based Massive MIMO O-RU, cloud native containerized vDU and vCU x86 based protocol stack and Airspan’s Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) framework.

Juniper Networks demonstrates 5G Network Slicing across Telco Cloud and Transport Network domains, which can be used for O-RAN xHaul slicing. The demo showcases network slices created by domain specific Juniper controllers – Contrail and Northstar – and explains how Network Slicing works to deliver service guarantees for 5G applications.

ArrayComm presents two demonstrations:

  1. an end to end 5G solution based on NXP BonnyRigg, which proves the possibility of small cell solution on new platform.
  2. an end to end 5G solution based on NXP LX2160A + Xilinx FPGA ZU21DR. It provides higher throughput performance and is ready for commercial deployment.

Comba Telecom demonstrates Open RAN Multi-band Remote Radio Unit with advanced technology that maintains low level of power consumption and better receiver sensitivity. The small form factor and improved Mean Time Before Failure performance contributes to installation and maintenance cost saving. These features facilitate fronthaul integration with O-DU partners.

Xilinx presents two demonstrations:

  1. Virtual BBU, O-DU and O-CU FPGA-based HW acceleration in the Edge Cloud based on Xilinx T1 Telco Accelerator cards, which transform a standard server into a virtual baseband unit (O-DU) with the performance, low latency, and power efficiency required for O-RAN 5G deployments. Xilinx T1 cards further implement O-RAN MCUS planes protocols for the Open Front Haul interface.
  2. O-RAN massive MIMO radio unit reference design based on Xilinx RFSoC devices incorporating GSPS integrated ADC/DACs (direct RF sampling transceiver architecture), 32TRX and 64TRX configurations, DFE, high EIRP and high TRP aligned with the requirements stated in OMAC HAR.

Calnex demonstrates precision timing and sync is a key technical challenge and standards bodies have been working on specifications. This demo showcases the methodology for conformance testing of timing for Fronthaul and O-RAN that will enable successful deployment of the new standards and technologies.

NTT DOCOMO, Fujitsu, NEC and Samsung present multi-vendor IOT with O-RAN’s Open Fronthaul and X2. It includes 5G NSA by multi-vendor RAN with NR on sub 6GHz and mmWave, which is already live in NTT DOCOMO’s commercial network. It also includes a pre-commercial realization of Fronthaul Multiplexer (FHM) and NR sub 6GHz inter-band Carrier Aggregation.

Baicells, QCT and Wind River demonstrate the E2E outdoor micro cell solution based on Open Fronthaul and Open Cloud platform. In addition, the co-platform for both O-CU/O-DU and 5GC are tested with commercial UEs to showcase the MU-MIMO peak throughput with Outdoor micro AAU.

VIAVI presents 3 demonstrations:

(1) the TM500 O-RU tester, which covers a wide range of test capabilities, addressing the conformance, interoperability and performance test needs for NEMs and Service providers.

(2) its TM500 O-RU Emulator to test the interoperability and interworking of the O-RAN O-DU. Including full bandwidth testing of CU plane with multi-UE traffic while monitoring signal quality for different bandwidth.

(3) end-to-end 5G NSA performance system testing across multiple O-RAN components from multiple vendors. Providing performance and interoperability validation with integrated test automation across a full O-RAN multi-vendor network with the TM500 Network Tester.

Keysight presents 7 demonstrations:

  1. a virtualized RU Simulator that runs on commercial hardware to test O-DUs/O-CUs. This helps accelerate the development/manufacturing, Operator, and OTIC Labs to accelerate O-RAN development and testing.
  2. a RIC tester that is built as a microservice and can be deployed on private/public cloud environments. This verifies the E2 interface as well as the ability for RIC to respond to KPM reports from simulated O-DUs and O-CUs.
  3. 5G SA O-RAN network end-to-end performance verification. MNOs can now evaluate the performance of a multi-vendor RAN.
  4. automated O-RAN Test Solution for O-RUs. This test suite enables NEM development/manufacturing, Operator, and OTIC Labs to accelerate O-RU conformance testing.
  5. xhaul transport Network validation solution using IxNetwork. It enables transport device vendors and operators to benchmark forwarding performance and total delay budget of time sensitive fronthaul network
  6. IxNetwork TSN test solution for time sensitive fronthaul network. This test enables transport devices vendors and operators to validate frame preemption capability of transport devices, ensuring end-to-end latency of the express radio traffic.
  7. IxNetwork Segment Routing test solution for xHaul transport. This test enables transport devices vendors and operator to validate transport network slicing infrastructure supporting differentiated 5G services.

AT&T, VIAVI, Samsung and Nokia demonstrate an end-to-end traffic steering use case based on a number of open source components namely, near-RT RIC platform, Traffic steering xApp, KPI monitoring xApp and a RAN Simulator.

NEC demonstrates its 5G base station equipment with open fronthaul interfaces, ie, Open Radio Units (O-RU) for macrocells that support the 3.7GHz and 4.5GHz bands, as well as Open Fronthaul Multiplexers (FHM) for 5G.

Ericsson demonstrates how the SMO performs automated management of RAN xNFs (any Network Function) through O1 interface. It also demonstrates how OSC (O-RAN Software Community) A1 Controller function supports QoE (Quality of Experience) refinement in RAN through the use of A1 policies.

https://www.o-ran.org/

Celona raises $30 million for private LTE/5G

Celona recently closed a $30 million Series B round of funding backing its LTE/5G enterprise networking solutions.

Celona is developing its solution that fully automates the deployment and operations of private LTE/5G wireless networks within the enterprise. Celona said its AI-ops based architecture enables the integration of cellular wireless functions with existing enterprise IT and cloud infrastructure as an overlay. 

The round was led by NTTVC and Qualcomm Ventures LLC with participation from Celona’s initial investors: Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Cervin Ventures. The company has raised $40 million to date.

“Our goal at Celona is to usher in a new era of enterprise services and applications leveraging 5G and give enterprises their own private mobile networks,” said Rajeev Shah, CEO and co-founder, Celona. “Our collaboration with NTTVC and Qualcomm Ventures validates our view that making 5G technology fully accessible to the enterprise will have a transformational impact on the future of networking.”

“As new cellular spectrum for private mobile networks is being made available around the world, we are excited to partner with Celona’s founding team to accelerate adoption of 5G for enterprises and operators,” said Vab Goel, founding partner at NTTVC. “With Celona, enterprises can deploy a mobile-first network, enabling new, real-time applications powering the future of enterprise connectivity.”  

https://www.celona.io/

Alaska Comm. Sys to be acquired for $300m

Alaska Communications Systems Group (NASDAQ: ALSK) will be acquired by an affiliate of Macquarie and GCM Grosvenor (through its Labor Impact Fund) in an all cash transaction valued at approximately $300 million, including debt. 

Under the deal, all the outstanding shares of Alaska Communications common stock will be acquired for $3.00 per share in cash, representing a premium of approximately 57% over the closing per share price of $1.91 on November 2, 2020, the last trading day prior to the date the merger agreement was executed.

David W. Karp, Chairman of the Alaska Communications Board of Directors, said, "After carefully evaluating Macquarie Capital’s and GCM’s offer, we are confident that this transaction is in the best interest of Alaska Communications and its stockholders. Macquarie Capital has a proven track record of delivering large and complex transactions globally on accelerated timelines, and GCM’s Labor Impact Fund provides strategy driven capital that we expect will generate real value for our customers and the Alaska Communications workforce."

Bill Bishop, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alaska Communications, stated, "GCM’s Labor Impact Fund provides strategic value to our business both through its experience in the telecommunications sector and in fostering partnerships with a unionized workforce. We firmly believe this transaction will allow us to enhance our expanded fiber network services and drive long-term value for our customers in Alaska and the Lower 48."


StackPath picks CommScope to expand edge cloud capacity

StackPath has selected CommScope to support the expansion of its cloud capacity across twelve global sites. 

StackPath, which is based in Dallas, offers an edge computing platform. 

CommScope’s Professional Services team will manage the upgrade of StackPath’s data centers—including the installation of new switches, power distribution units and network cabling, as well as the decommissioning of equipment, asset tagging and recovery, bespoke packaging, logistics, and warehousing in preparation for future redeployment.  The initial projects are scheduled for completion in Q4 2020, with further growth planned into 2021.

“StackPath is experiencing tremendous demand for our edge computing platform, and we tapped CommScope to lead the build out of our data centers around the world to stay ahead of that demand,” said Paul Drew, vice president, Infrastructure & IT, StackPath. “CommScope offers unique, global expertise in large-scale data center deployments, and we’ll be working hand-in-hand with them in a number of key areas to prepare our network for tomorrow’s hyperscale opportunities.”

“CommScope’s Professional Services team offers leading cloud operators like StackPath the complete set of tools and expertise to expand cloud capacity on a global scale,” said Rich Soucie, vice president, Hyperscale and Cloud Services, CommScope. “We act as an extension of their network, allowing them to scale capacity quickly and simultaneously across multiple markets all over the globe.”

Monday, November 2, 2020

DISH adds Intel as a 5G infrastructure partner

 DISH will integrate Intel 5G infrastructure technology into its forthcoming virtualized, open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) 5G network deployment. Specifically, DISH has selected the Intel Xeon Scalable Processor, the Intel Ethernet 800 Series network adapter, the Intel vRAN Dedicated Accelerator ACC100 and Intel's FlexRAN software reference architecture for its deployments.

The companies are collaborating on the fully virtualized RAN, including radio reference designs, fronthaul optimization, hardware-based security, and blueprints for servers. The two companies are also collaborating to enable edge applications for enterprises and driving O-RAN standards, and are cooperating in the areas of data optimization and Machine Learning for future phases of the network buildout. 

"Intel has been a trusted advisor throughout the design of our O-RAN network, working in concert with our software vendors Mavenir, Altiostar, and many OEM hardware providers. We have tested several commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) designs from a large number of server vendors using Intel's O-RAN compliant FlexRAN architecture and are pleased by the maturity and power of the solutions, together with the cost benefits of COTS solutions," said Marc Rouanne, executive vice president and chief network officer, DISH. "We are using the power of the VMware abstraction solution and the ubiquity of Intel-based servers to load and mix different types of cloud-native workloads like distributed unit (DU), centralized unit (CU), virtual routers, mobile edge computing applications, and 5G Core containerized network functions."

"Fully-virtualized, cloud-native networks like the one DISH is building bring the same server economics that transformed the data center," said Dan Rodriguez, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Network Platforms Group. "We are excited to partner with DISH to lay the foundation for a truly agile network and have already begun working with our OEM partners who have designed FlexRAN-based servers to enable a variety of new innovative use cases and services."

http://www.newsroom.intel.com

ISH selects Blue Planet automation software for its 5G network

 DISH selected inventory and service order management software from Ciena's Blue Planet division to automate its 5G network.Blue Planet's software automation delivers real-time management of all inventory, enabling on-demand provisioning and faster rollout of customer network slices. “Blue Planet is a key component within our 5G platform, allowing us to dynamically manage all of our network inventory and service orders in real-time,” said...

DISH picks Nokia for cloud-native, 5G standalone core

DISH Network selected Nokia’s cloud-native, standalone Core software products to help it build the most advanced, disruptive, fully-automated, cloud-native 5G network in the U.S..The deal, which follows months of joint testing, includes subscriber data management, device management, packet core, voice and data core, as well as integration services. Nokia will also deliver additional cloud-native products that will provide 4G, 5G standalone and Voice...

VMware introduced its 5G Telco Cloud Platform, featuring Tanzu Kubernetes Grid - an embedded Kubernetes distribution - that will allow Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to reliably build, manage and run containerized workloads across private, telco, edge and public clouds. VMware said its new solution provides a cloud-first network architecture to accelerate 5G and edge innovation while delivering service agility, operational consistency and...

DISH selected VMware's Telco Cloud solution for its 5G, cloud-native Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN). VMware said its Telco Cloud will enable DISH to utilize software from leading vendors to optimize and accelerate its 5G network deployment. Additionally, it will provide DISH with enhanced automation, resiliency, security and flexibility. The VMware Telco Cloud provides an abstraction layer across multiple network domains and enables DISH to leverage...

DISH takes over Boost Mobile and its 9.3 million subscribers

T-Mobile US completed its previously announced divestiture of Sprint’s prepaid wireless business to DISH Network Corporation, fulfilling a commitment that T-Mobile and Sprint made to the Department of Justice and to the Federal Communications Commission as part of their merger process.' DISH paid $1.4 billion for the acquisition of Boost Mobile and its 9.3 million customers. DISH said it will continue to invest in the Boost Mobile brand. John Swieringa,...

DISH picks Fujitsu for 5G radio units and Altiostar for virtualized RAN

DISH confirmed a large purchase of 5G radio units (RUs) from Fujitsu and a multi-year agreement with Altiostar to deliver a cloud-native Open vRAN software solution. DISH, which is committed to use O-RAN architecture in its 5G network, will be utilizing Fujitsu's Low Band Tri-Band RU and Mid Band Dual-Band RU, both industry firsts for O-RAN radios, across the company's spectrum portfolio. In addition to radio units, Fujitsu will provide support...


Vantage Data Centers opens data center campus near Frankfurt

Vantage Data Centers inaugurated its first 15MW data center in Germany along with partners Energieversorgung Offenbach (EVO) and DataCenter-Group (DCG). 

The campus, located in Offenbach, will house three multi-story data centers totaling 55MW of critical IT capacity and 650,000 square feet (60,000 square meters) when fully developed. The opening of the Frankfurt campus is a key milestone in Vantage’s strategy to expand across Europe.

"The development of this campus in one of the most sought-after markets in Europe is the first milestone in our USD $2 billion European expansion strategy,” said Antoine Boniface, president, Vantage Europe. “Many of our customers need to be in Europe for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to reduce latency or to comply with local privacy laws. Offenbach is an ideal location, located within one kilometer of the main peering points and just 15 minutes from Frankfurt’s international airport."

The Frankfurt campus was part of the acquisition of Etix Everywhere in February 2020, which Vantage announced along with greenfield developments in Berlin, Milan, Warsaw and Zurich.

Vantage Data Centers gains strategic backing from Colony Capital

Vantage Data Centers announced a strategic partnership valued at $3.5 billion to accelerate the expansion of its wholesale data centers throughout North America and Europe.

Specifically, the Colony-led investor group will invest $1.2 billion in Vantage’s diversified portfolio, including 12 stabilized North American data centers, which span more than 1.4 million gross square feet and 150MW of IT capacity across key strategic markets in Santa Clara, California; Quincy, Washington; Montreal and Quebec City, Canada.

Vantage’s management team, led by Sureel Choksi, president and CEO, will continue to manage and operate these assets as part of its global data center footprint. Vantage will maintain the same level of superior service to its valued customers in each market, while simultaneously developing and operating additional data centers throughout North America and Europe. The capital provided by this transaction will support Vantage’s strategy to expand and enhance its global footprint.

http://www.vantage-dc.com


Vantage Data Centers to acquire data center campus in Wales

Vantage Data Centers  signed a definitive agreement with InfraVia Capital Partners, along with the two founders of the business, to acquire Next Generation Data (NGD), which operates a data center campus located on 50-acres in the Cardiff Capital Region in South Wales, UK.

The existing NGD data center campus is a Tier III 180MW facility, including an existing 72MW capacity and 108MW of expansion capacity. It uses 100% renewable energy and is rich in fiber delivered by many Tier 1 service providers. Latency between Wales and London is less than 1.5 milliseconds. In addition, NGD Cloud Gateway provides multiple access services, including Express Route and Connect, and NGD recently became a new hosting facility for LINX Wales. The highly secure site meets the U.K. government’s highest standards, and is one of many reasons that multiple blue-chip, high growth companies currently house their IT infrastructure within NGD’s 750,000 square foot facility.

Upon closing, Wales will mark Vantage’s sixth strategic market in Europe following its entrance into five markets (Berlin, Frankfurt, Milan, Warsaw and Zurich) announced in February 2020, including the acquisition of Etix Everywhere.

The transaction will be funded with equity commitments from Digital Colony Partners and other investors in Vantage, as well as acquisition debt financing.

Vantage Data Centers launch $2 billion European expansion strategy

Vantage Data Centers has launched a $2 billion expansion into Europe with the aim of establishing itself in the hyperscale market.

As part of its expansion strategy, Vantage has acquired Etix Everywhere, which has 50MW of built data center capacity across its footprint and is building a 55MW hyperscale data center campus in Frankfurt, Germany. Financial terms were not disclosed. In conjunction with the Etix acquisition, Antoine Boniface, former CEO of Etix, has joined the Vantage executive team to serve as president, Europe.

In addition, Vantage Europe has secured land and is planning to develop hyperscale data center campuses in Berlin, Milan, Warsaw and Zurich. The facilities, which are currently underway, are in the following European markets:

  • Berlin: 64MW campus on 13 acres (5 hectares)
  • Milan: 32MW campus on 17 acres (7 hectares)
  • Warsaw: 64MW campus 12 acres (5 hectares)
  • Zurich: 40MW campus on 7 acres (3 hectares)
Vantage said intends to invest USD $2 billion in its planned European expansion, including more than USD $800 million in new equity capital provided by Vantage’s current investors and a new commitment from Digital Colony Partners.

Arista debuts 750 Series campus switches

Arista Networks announced its 750 Series systems within its Cognitive Campus portfolio, the first 100G ready. The introduction includes high-density 1G to 10G modular PoE (Power over Ethernet) switches, built for security, modern IoT and real-time telemetry and the 720 Series 96 port.

The Arista 750 Series and 720 Series 96 port switches are shipping in Q4 2020.

CCS 750 Series Highlights

  • First modular campus systems with 100G uplinks for a total of 400G of capacity
  • High-density 1G to 10G and 90W PoE
  • 5-slot system supports up to 240 ports with 5 line cards in 7 rack units
  • 8-slot model allows up to 384 ports with 8 line cards in 10 RU

CCS 720 Series 96 port Highlights

  • Delivers higher capacity than fixed 1U systems
  • 96 mGig ports with 60W PoE
  • 25G and 100G uplinks for simpler deployments in modern campuses


NeoPhotonics: 400G and up sales rise 91% yoy excluding Huawei

NeoPhotonics reported Q3 revenue was $102.4 million, down 1% sequentially and up 11% year-over-year. Gross margin was 23.8%, down from 32.5% in the prior quarter and from 28.4% in the prior year. Non-GAAP diluted net income per share was $0.11, in comparison to $0.16 in the prior quarter and to $0.11 in the same period last year.

“We are pleased to report another strong, non-GAAP profitable quarter, driven by our highest speed products. We took decisive actions to better align our capacity and production infrastructure with expected demand levels without relying on future revenue contributions from Huawei, resulting in a restructuring charge of approximately $9.4 million in this quarter. Excluding Huawei, our products for 400G and above applications grew 91% year to date, and were 44% of Q3 revenue,” said Tim Jenks, NeoPhotonics CEO. “Going forward we believe we will rapidly grow the business excluding Huawei by supporting the highest speed over distance solutions at 400G and above for telecom equipment providers, and expand our business by ramping our 400ZR and 400ZR+ coherent modules to Cloud and hyper-scale customers starting in 2021,” concluded Mr. Jenks.

http://www.neophotonics.com



Arista posts Q3 revenue of $605 million, down 7.5% yoy

Arista Networks reported Q3 revenue of $605.4 million, an increase of 12.0% compared to the second quarter of 2020, and a decrease of 7.5% from the third quarter of 2019. GAAP gross margin was 63.6%, compared to GAAP gross margin of 63.7% in the second quarter of 2020 and 63.8% in the third quarter of 2019. Non-GAAP net income was $192.0 million, or $2.42 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $217.1 million, or $2.69 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2019.

“Our customers are validating our traction as we migrate from legacy to cognitive client to cloud deployments with a cumulative of 40 million cloud networking ports shipped by Q3 2020. Despite some COVID-19 turbulence, we believe Arista will only emerge stronger,” stated Jayshree Ullal, President and CEO of Arista Networks.

Commenting on the company’s financial results, Ita Brennan, Arista’s CFO said, “We saw continued improvement in underlying business trends in the quarter, with the Arista team working diligently with customers, supply chain and other partners to navigate the new COVID-19 operating environment.”




Ericsson completes Cradlepoint acquisition

Ericsson completed its previously-announced acquisition of Cradlepoint for approximately US$1 billion.

Cradlepoint will operate as a stand-alone subsidiary within Ericsson and continue to build on the current market momentum as 5G is speeding up digital transformation and increasing the need for advanced connectivity services for enterprises. Cradlepoint will be part of Ericsson’s Business Area Technologies & New Businesses.


Ericsson acquires Cradlepoint for $1.1 billion

Ericsson has acquired privately-held Cradlepoint, a provider of Wireless Edge WAN 4G and 5G Enterprise solutions, for US$1.1 billion.

Cradlepoint operates a subscription-based cloud platform that uses wireless edge routers designed to connect fixed and mobile sites, vehicles, field forces, and loT devices over LTE and 5G. The service hepls enterprises connect branch, mobile and IoT endpoints on one WAN. Cradlepoint, which is based in Boise, Idaho, will become a fully owned subsidiary of Ericsson while continuing to operate under its existing brand and be part of Ericsson’s Business Area Technologies & New Businesses. Cradlepoint currently has more than 650 employees. The company was founded in 2006.  In addition to its headquarters in Boise, the company operates a research and development center in Silicon Valley, California, and new market offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Ericsson said the acquisition advances its ongoing mission to capture market share in the rapidly expanding 5G Enterprise space. Cradlepoint complements Ericsson’s existing 5G Enterprise portfolio which includes Dedicated Networks and a global IoT platform.

Cradlepoint’s sales for 2019 were SEK 1.2 b. with a gross margin of 61%. Ericsson’s operating margins are expected to be negatively impacted by approximately 1% in 2021 and 2022 - where half is related to amortization of intangible assets which arise from the acquisition. Cradlepoint is expected to contribute to operating cash-flow starting in 2022. Ericsson’s 2022 group financial targets remain unchanged. 

Oracle debuts cloud-based customer experience management

Oracle introduced a cloud-based customer experience (CX) management solution for the communications industry. 

Oracle Digital Experience for Communications, which runs on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, is a suite of industry-specific applications that capture and analyze customer-interaction data from front and back-office operations. 

"While every industry is unique, there is a common challenge facing all organizations: the need to unify data to address rapidly changing customer expectations," said Rob Tarkoff, executive vice president and general manager, Oracle Cloud CX and Data Cloud. "To help the communications industry solve its toughest customer challenges, we have brought together our CX and industry expertise to develop Digital Experience for Communications. This isn't a wrapper on CRM; this is a new solution that has been developed based on extensive customer feedback."

Key functions:

  • Launch: gives service providers a 360-degree customer dashboard and simple business user tools to quickly create and launch more relevant products and promotions without IT assistance. 
  • Care: offers natural language processing and digital engagement tools, as a smart agent desktop and guided workflows. With these features, customers can find answers faster on their own and service agents have the intelligence and context needed to resolve issues faster.  
  • Buying: delivers data-driven recommendations so service providers can provide more personalized omnichannel commerce experiences. For example, if a customer does not take advantage of their land (home) line but continually go over their mobile minute limits, the module can suggest that sales agents offer the option of dropping the home line, increasing mobile minutes, and trying a new entertainment package free for three months. 

The Launch and Care modules are available today, with the Buying application available within the next 12 months.

https://www.oracle.com/news/announcement/oracle-helps-communications-industry-110220.html

 

ADTRAN posts Q3 revenue of $133.1 million, up 16.7% yoy

ADTRAN reported Q3 revenue of $133.1 million, up 16.7% from the same period a year ago. Non-GAAP net income was $7.9 million and non-GAAP earnings per share, assuming dilution, was $0.16 per share. 

ADTRAN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Stanton stated, “We had a solid quarter with outstanding customer traction, securing 38 new service provider customers, ranging from global Tier-1 operators to electric co-operatives and utilities, municipalities, cable MSOs and regional broadband providers. We are also making great progress with the Tier 1 fiber access projects we announced earlier this year and we continue to have very strong momentum on new customer acquisition across a broad base of market segments. We continue to introduce new fiber access and software innovations that have been well timed as we enter the early stages of a generational communications infrastructure network upgrade cycle driven by confluence of favorable government, regulatory, technology and competitive factors.”

ADTRAN also announced that its Board of Directors declared a cash dividend for the third quarter of 2020. The quarterly cash dividend of $0.09 per common share is to be paid to the company’s stockholders of record as of the close of business on November 17, 2020. 

AT&T sells Puerto Rico operations to Liberty Latin America


AT&T completed the sale of its wireless and wireline operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Liberty Latin America for $1.95 billion in cash. The transaction includes employees; network assets and spectrum; real estate and leases; customers, including more than 1 million wireless subscribers; and contracts.

AT&T will retain DIRECTV and certain global business customer relationships and FirstNet responsibilities and relationships.

AT&T said it continues to pursue additional non-core asset monetization opportunities.




Sunday, November 1, 2020

China completes C-V2X Cross-industry & Large-scale Pilot Plugfest

Over 40 automakers, 40+ terminal manufacturers, 10+ chipset solution vendors, 20+ information security vendors, 5 map providers and 5 position vendors took part in China’s 2020 C-V2X Cross-industry & Large-scale Pilot Plugfest, testing and demonstrating performance and reliability of C-V2X in large-scale communication scenarios. 

This year's C-V2X interoperability demonstration across chip modules, terminals, vehicles, security platforms and map providers used new digital certificate formats, added high-definition maps and positioning, and deployed continuous scenarios closer to reality and commercially oriented applications.

The serviceability of C-V2X products and systems in deployments at scale was validated in the C-V2X Large-scale Capacity Test based on the interoperability and security mechanism validation already achieved in the previous C-V2X interoperability work. With this, the industry has taken important steps to C-V2X commercialization at scale. A total of 180 C-V2X onboard units (OBUs) and roadside units (RSUs) were used as a test background to emulate complex conditions such as rush hour in urban areas and congested roads. In this test, the C-V2X communication performance and application function tests on chip modules, terminals and vehicles in various application scenarios validated the large-scale serviceability of the C-V2X system.

Qualcomm, which was among the participants, said most of tested vehicles and OBUs were equipped with the Qualcomm® 9150 C-V2X chipset solution. The tests are also featured with the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Automotive 4G Platform, supporting stable connectivity. Through the direct vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications, 4G or 5G wireless wide area network (WWAN) vehicle-to-network (V2N) connectivity, the Snapdragon Automotive 4G/5G Platforms with integrated C-V2X technology and high-definition positioning help improve road safety and traffic efficiency to ease congestion and increase capacity, supporting C-V2X commercialization at scale.

“Today, 5G is empowering the automotive industry, expanding the set of application, and driving the C-V2X industry ecosystem to scale in China. Meanwhile, the solid foundation of the information and communication industry has also paved the way for C-V2X commercialization and implementation in China,” said Jim Misener, senior director, product management and global V2X ecosystem lead, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Qualcomm Technologies is excited to participate in China’s C-V2X application demonstration for three consecutive years, team up with a broad range of Chinese automotive ecosystem vendors to accelerate commercial C-V2X rollouts with our breakthrough product portfolio, and usher in a new era of intelligent connected vehicles for road safety and traffic efficiency.”





 

Intel to acquire SigOpt for AI model optimization software

Intel agreed to acquire SigOpt, a start-up based in San Francisco that is focusing on the optimization of artificial intelligence (AI) software models at scale. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SigOpt is a standardized, scalable, enterprise-grade optimization platform and API. The company was founded by Patrick Hayes and Scott Clark, who is credited with building an open source the Metric Optimization Engine at Yelp.

Intel plans to use SigOpt’s software technologies across Intel’s AI hardware products to help accelerate, amplify and scale Intel’s AI software solution offerings to developers.

https://sigopt.com/ 

Google Cloud hits Q3 revenue of $3.4 billion, up 45%


Google Cloud generated Q3 revenue of $3.444 billion, up 44.7% from $2.379 for the same period a year earlier.

On the quarterly investor call, Sundar Pichai, CEO Alphabet and Google, stated:  "Three trends are driving the continued momentum of our Cloud business. First, asthe shift to digital accelerates, Google Cloud continues to provide a foundation for data processing and analytics, one of the fastest-growing segments of the market. BigQuery, which provides real-time and predictive analytics, is winning retailers like Best Buy, helping them create better experiences for shoppers. Customers value our differentiated AI/ML-based industry specific solutions. This is leading to significant wins with brands like Unilever, Amwell and Reckitt Benckiser. Additionally, we’re working with government agencies like the U.S. Navy to modernize maintenance operations for vessels and facilities. We’re also partnering with the Defense Innovation Unit, part of the U.S. Department of Defense, to help military doctors with cancer detection research. And recently, we signed an enterprise agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy to help scale research efforts and innovate across national labs and field sites."

"Second, customers are increasingly moving to the cloud to drive efficiencies and lower IT costs. Our strength in multi-cloud is an advantage here. This is helping us win large data center and IT transformation deals, like Nokia, which recently announced it’s migrating and modernizing approximately 30 data centers across 12 countries onto Google Cloud."

"And third, the future of work is creating a more collaborative world. Customers are looking to support hybrid work environments, and we’re seeing significant growth in demand. Earlier this month, we announced Google Workspace, which brings together all of our communication and collaboration apps and ensures they work better together. This is helping organizations like the State of West Virginia and shipping company, Ocean Network Express, improve collaboration and productivity for their employees. Google Workspace continues to grow. For example, Google Meet saw a peak in Q3 of 235 million daily meeting participants and more than 7.5 billion daily video call minutes."


SKT tests microwave links from Ericsson for 5G fronthaul


SKT is testing microwave links based on the Ericsson MINI-LINK 6352 platform as a 5G fronthaul solution.

Fronthaul is the radio to baseband connection usually provided via optical fiber. Microwave links are usually used in the backhaul segment, connecting the basebands to the core network.

In this PoC, which was carried out in October, SKT tested the compact and lightweight wireless solution to enable 5G network in areas where it is challenging to lay underground optical cables. The MINI-LINK 6352 adopts eCPRI, a standard 5G fronthaul interface that can considerably increase traffic capacity compared to the previous alternative (CPRI), thus maximizing network operation efficiency. Following its successful verification in an end-to-end 5G network, Ericsson is pressing ahead with plans to add the solution to the commercial portfolio.


Hans Mähler, Head of Microwave Systems, Business Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “We continue to support our partner SKT in their 5G journey, now progressing from initial rollouts in cities to wider coverage in suburban and remote areas. This latest collaboration shows the versatility of our products. We don’t always have to reinvent the wheel to support our customers. MINI-LINK 6352, typically used for backhaul, is now proven to be equally effective as a fronthaul solution. The solution has already attracted interest from customers around the world who are facing similar rollout challenges. We are looking forward to helping customers globally with this solution in the near future.”


Singapore's Research and Education Network deploys Ciena

Singapore Advanced Research and Education Network (SingAREN) has deployed Ciena's  6500 packet-optical platform to support dynamic re-routing of wavelengths as needed, along with Layer 0 control plane for self-healing capabilities. 

Ciena says the WaveLogicAi coherent optics in the 6500 platform doubles throughput speeds versus previous technology generations, and its programmability offers optimal capacity for any path across the network from 100G to 400G through 50G increments. SingAREN is also leveraging Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller to improve network visibility and expedite optical management and operations.

Together with Terrabit Networks, which designed and implemented the network, Ciena has transformed SingAREN’s architecture to a mesh network that can more easily recover from fiber failures and provide uninterrupted services for research and education initiatives. 

“Singapore is a regional hub that pushes the frontier of data-driven science and technology. It is mission critical that our network provides sufficient bandwidth and seamless connectivity to the research and education community. Ciena’s industry-leading optical technology equips SingAREN with a network that can withstand connectivity demands as they emerge,” states Lawrence Wong, President, SingAREN.

General Atomics acquires Guidestar Optical Systems

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems has acquired Guidestar Optical Systems, a privately-held company based in Longmont, Colorado, focused on the design and development of innovative optical solutions for uses in directed energy, free space laser communications, and sensing and imaging through optical turbulence.

“We are excited to bring the Guidestar team on board to further enhance our diverse portfolio of laser technologies,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “Guidestar’s expertise in adaptive optics has led to significant advancements in laser communications, high-energy laser technologies, ISR (Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance), and atmospheric measurement and forecasting. This acquisition expands our ability to design, build, test, and deliver an extensive set of optical technologies to our customers.”

https://www.ga.com/

R.I.P Dan Kohn, Open Source Pioneer

Dan Kohn, the driving force behind the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, has died of complications from colon cancer in NYC. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

As Executive Director of CNCF for 4 years, Dan grew the foundation from 28 to 560 members, making it one of the most successful open source projects in the world. Most recently, Dan was General Manager of Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH), which is using open source software to help public health authorities (PHAs) around the world combat COVID-19 and future epidemics. 

Earlier in his career, Dan was a co-founder of NetMarket, an online marketplace that is credited with conducting the first secure commercial transaction on the web in 1994.

https://www.dankohn.com/