Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Keysight intros benchmarking solution for 5G devices and base stations

Keysight Technologies introduced a new performance test solution for benchmarking and evaluating the performance of 5G new radio (NR) devices and base stations in a laboratory environment.

Keysight’s Performance Benchmarking Solution for Lab Networks evaluates how 5G devices and 5G bases stations will perform in a live 5G NR network environment as new models, features and versions become available. The test solution combines Keysight’s Nemo Outdoor 5G NR Drive Test Solution, Nemo 5G Device Analytics software, and PathWave Test Automation, a test sequencer built on OpenTAP, an open source test automation engine, and complemented with a wide range of test cases to create an automated test environment.


Highlights:

  • Evaluate multiple devices in a single test campaign using live base stations
  • Evaluate a 5G base station (gNodeB) using a reference 5G device
  • Compile key performance indicators (KPIs) across multiple test cases to generate a single score, reinforcing objective comparisons between the different models or versions under test
  • Access a single user interface for test plan execution, analysis, report generation and access to historical records
  • Expand test campaigns and evaluate advanced scenarios such as mobility by using OpenTAP and attenuators

“We’re pleased to support mobile operators with an automated performance test solution that reduces time to market, while maintaining high quality standards, compared to manual processes,” said Petri Toljamo, vice president and general manager for Nemo wireless solutions at Keysight. “Frequent updates to devices and base stations, as well as the introduction of new models and versions, require a simple, workflow-connected solution that generates a single performance score for each device or base station under test.”

http://www.keysight.com

BT picks Ciena's Blue Planet for automation software


 BT has selected Ciena's Blue Planet automation software as part of its drive to deliver market-leading user experience for its multinational enterprise customers. Blue Planet software automates the design and activation of end-to-end network connectivity, helping BT to offer superior digital experience for its customers. Deployed in BT’s cloud, Blue Planet eliminates the need for manual processes to help optimize operations, reduce costs and ensure the network meets emerging digital demands.

“Service providers today need automation to realize the full potential of new services. With Blue Planet, BT is executing its digital-first vision and contributing to a more connected world,” said Rick Hamilton, Senior Vice President, Blue Planet, a division of Ciena.


Monday, November 16, 2020

AT&T deploys dis-aggregated IP edge routing platform

AT&T deployed a next-gen open disaggregated IP edge routing platform into its production environment with support from Broadcom, Cisco, and UfiSpace. 

The hardware platform being used for this edge application is identical to that previously announced for AT&T’s IP/MPLS core, demonstrating the true openness of the hardware. AT&T said common hardware enables consistent maintenance processes and sparing. The Broadcom Jericho2-based hardware designs have been accepted by OCP, and compatible products are available from other ODMs. The UfiSpace portfolio consists of three components: a 40x100G line card system, 10x400G line card system, and a 48x400G fabric system. These building blocks are deployed using the highly flexible Distributed Dis-Aggregated Chassis (DDC) design in various configurations to build routers with capacity anywhere between 4 Tbps to 192 Tbps. 

Cisco’s IOS-XR Network Operating System provides the management and control functions for the solution. Some of the key features for the peering use case are BGP Flowspec, unicast Reverse Path Forwarding (uRPF), and port mirroring which collectively will allow AT&T fine granular monitoring and mitigation actions for security threats such as Directed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. 

“The first IP edge use case is peering – the system that connects AT&T’s IP network with that of other Internet Service Providers (ISPs)”, said Andre Fuetsch, AT&T’s CTO for Network Services. “But this is just the tip of the iceberg; we are working with Cisco on developing additional edge use cases that will include broadband, IP content, Ethernet, mobility, and VPN services. We have started the journey to converge the disparate edge implementations we have today onto common software and hardware driving uniformity, simplification, and agility.” 

“Jericho2's scalability allows the hardware platform to be used from the core to the edge of the AT&T network, while enabling a thriving ecosystem that supports their vision of a disaggregated, flexible, and simplified network infrastructure, said Ram Velaga, senior vice president and general manager, Core Switching Group, Broadcom. “Broadcom is pleased to work with AT&T to enable merchant silicon solutions for end-to-end deployments,”   

“The internet of the future is supported by an automated, software-defined network that can easily support the cloud-and-app-powered world we live in,” said Jonathan Davidson, SVP and GM , Mass Scale Infrastructure Group, Cisco. “Cisco’s broad portfolio of industry -leading silicon, systems and software disaggregation is making the internet better and stronger. Together with AT&T we are marking a milestone in the industry with the convergence of the IP edge using open, dis-aggregated hardware and software-only models designed to fit a broad spectrum of commercial arrangements.” 

“This is a really big development in the networking eco-system,” Fuetsch said. “This model gives us options and flexibility in our supply chain and enables us to use best-in-breed products whether they come from established or disruptive suppliers. And this is well past lab experiments; the technologies and eco-system have matured, and we are now into the production deployment phase.”

AT&T deploys open disaggregated core router

AT&T has deployed its open disaggregated core routing platform on its 400G transport network. The router leverages technology from Broadcom, DriveNets, and UfiSpace. 

The white box hardware, which was designed and manufactured by UfiSpace, is based on Broadcom’s Jericho2 switching silicon and Distributed, Dis-aggregated Chassis (DDC) design. It consists of three components: a 40x100G line card system, 10x400G line card system, and a 48x400G fabric system. These building blocks can be deployed in various configurations to build routers with capacity anywhere between 4 Tbps to 192 Tbps.

DriveNets Network Cloud solution and its  Network Operating System (NOS) software provides the management and control of the white box hardware. This enables MPLS transport across AT&T's global, multi-service core backbone. The software then connects into AT&T’s centralized SDN controller that optimizes the routing of traffic across the core.

AT&T notes that the deployment of this dis-aggregated core routing platform is coupled with the deployment of the company’s next gen long haul 400G optical transport platform.

“I’m proud to announce today that we have now deployed a next gen IP/MPLS core routing platform into our production network based on the open hardware designs we submitted to OCP last fall,” said Andre Fuetsch, AT&T’s CTO of Network Services, in his keynote speech at the Open Networking and Edge Summit (ONES). “We chose DriveNets, a disruptive supplier, to provide the Network Operating System (NOS) software for this core use case.”

“We are thrilled about this opportunity to work with AT&T on the development of their next gen, software-based core network,” said Ido Susan, CEO of DriveNets. “AT&T has a rigorous certification process that challenged my engineers to their limits, and we are delighted to take the project to the next level with deployment into the production network.”

AT&T contributes Distributed Disaggregated Chassis white box to OCP

AT&T has contributed its specifications for a Distributed Disaggregated Chassis (DDC) white box architecture to the Open Compute Project (OCP). The contributed design aims to define a standard set of configurable building blocks to construct service provider-class routers, ranging from single line card systems, a.k.a. “pizza boxes,” to large, disaggregated chassis clusters.  AT&T said it plans to apply the design to the provider edge (PE) and core routers that comprise its global IP Common Backbone (CBB).

“The release of our DDC specifications to the OCP takes our white box strategy to the next level,” said Chris Rice, SVP of Network Infrastructure and Cloud at AT&T. “We’re entering an era where 100G simply can’t handle all of the new demands on our network. Designing a class of routers that can operate at 400G is critical to supporting the massive bandwidth demands that will come with 5G and fiber-based broadband services. We’re confident these specifications will set an industry standard for DDC white box architecture that other service providers will adopt and embrace.”

AT&T’s DDC white box design, which is based on Broadcom’s Jericho2 chipset, calls for three key building blocks:

  • A line card system that supports 40 x 100G client ports, plus 13 400G fabric-facing ports.
  • A line card system that support 10 x 400G client ports, plus 13 400G fabric-facing ports.
  • A fabric system that supports 48 x 400G ports. A smaller, 24 x 400G fabric systems is also included.

DISH signs tower lease with Crown Castle

DISH signed a multi-year agreement with Crown Castle to lease space on up to 20,000 communication towers. As part of the agreement, DISH will receive certain fiber transport services and also have the option to utilize Crown Castle for pre-construction services. The agreement encompasses leases on towers located nationwide, helping DISH facilitate its buildout of the first open, standalone and virtualized 5G network in the U.S. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Crown Castle is the first infrastructure partnership DISH has announced. 


“The announcement of Crown Castle as our first tower partner marks an important milestone for DISH as we set our sights on building a first of its kind 5G network in the U.S.,” said Dave Mayo, DISH Executive Vice President of Network Development. “Crown Castle brings the experience and broad tower portfolio we need, from major markets to more rural areas, to help DISH bring to life the promise of our standalone, nationwide 5G network.”

“We are excited to establish this long-term strategic relationship with DISH, and we look forward to supporting their nationwide 5G network deployment for years to come,” stated Jay Brown, Crown Castle’s Chief Executive Officer. “DISH’s 5G network buildout marks an important development for the industry, and we believe our ability to offer towers, small cells and fiber solutions at scale provides us the best opportunity to deliver value as we support their wireless infrastructure needs.” 


NTT Com to deploy 800G DCI with Ciena

NTT Communications (NTT Com) will deploy a single-wave 800G solution from Ciena for Data Center Interconnect (DCI) in Japan. 

The upgraded network will use Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 Extreme optical platform to support up to 33.6Tbps between data centers in a metro area. 

“Since its inception, NTT Com has continued to take on the challenges of the Internet, delivering value in terms of convenience, efficiency and security through connectivity. By upgrading to a high-quality, reliable 800G ultra high-capacity DCI network, we aim to enable our customers to achieve an even more dynamic digital experience and robust business results," said Junichi Iimuro, Vice President of Infrastructure Design Department, Platform Services Division, NTT Com.

Earlier this year, Ciena joined the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network Global Forum (IOWN GF) co-founded by NTT, Intel Corporation and Sony Corporation to define the next generation communications infrastructure in Japan and help create a smarter world for people around the globe.

Infinera joins Innovative Optical and Wireless Network Forum

Infinera has joined the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) Global Forum, a consortium formed by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), Intel Corporation, and Sony Corporation to collaborate on innovations to enable next-generation networks in key areas such as photonics, computation, and network infrastructure. 

Infinera’s XR optics, the industry’s first point-to-multipoint coherent optical subcarrier aggregation technology, will be the first of Infinera’s innovations to contribute to IOWN Global Forum’s development.

“Optical technologies are at the heart of cost-effective, low-power, scalable solutions for next-generation communication networks,” said Dave Welch, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, at Infinera. “The ability to help transform optical networks is a tremendous opportunity. We look forward to introducing XR optics and other innovations to the IOWN community and collaborating on how next-generation technologies can pave the way to an advanced optical architecture for the 21st century.”

http://www.iowngf.org

Masergy adds SASE to SD-WAN

Masergy is strengthening its SD-WAN Secure solution to offer Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) capabilities, including:

Cloud Firewalls Expanding to All Global POPs: Fortinet’s FortiGate Next-Generation Firewalls integrate NGFW and SD-WAN capabilities on a single platform and are deployed in all of Masergy’s SD-network points of presence (POPs) as well as integrated into its SD-WAN and security policies. This not only allows for consistent security policies across all SD-WAN devices and security alert metrics all within one portal, but the expanded global infrastructure also enables fully managed firewall services across the globe.

Cloud firewalls have the distinct advantage of fast deployment and agility, but clients with larger offices may still prefer on-premise firewall appliances when performance, user experience, and total cost of ownership are key goals. For this reason, Masergy provides hybrid options with the ability to put firewalls in the cloud and at the network edge. While the SASE market is still rapidly evolving, this flexibility is unique and purposely designed to serve the enterprise.

CASB from Bitglass: Masergy has tightly integrated the Bitglass CASB solution into its software-defined network and cloud platform.

Secure Web Gateway from Fortinet: Masergy has standardized its cloud platform around Fortinet's best-in-class secure web gateway (SWG) solution. Fortinet firewalls protect network traffic at a packet level, and the FortiGate SWG protects IP traffic at an application level—both in the cloud and on-premise.

In addition to SWG, cloud-based application control and content filters include granular per-app and per-user visibility with Masergy’s Identity-Based WAN Analytics. And as a managed security services provider, Masergy also offers a full complement of cybersecurity solutions—from threat monitoring and endpoint detection and response, all the way up to full 24/7 management.

High-Performance SD-WAN Built on 20 Years of Experience: Centralized management features make SD-networks the standard operating system used to converge SASE technologies, and Masergy began pioneering SD-networking platforms 20 years ago. SASE services also depend on cloud infrastructure and performance, so it is only logical that network stability is crucial for success. With the industry’s most competitive service level agreements, Masergy’s network and cloud platform consistently delivers less than 1 millisecond of jitter.

Zero Trust Network Access: Masergy continues to build out Zero Trust Network Access capabilities with a near-term roadmap that includes single sign on (SSO), authentication, and authorization based on user, device, and location, which enforces highly granular access controls on a need-to-have basis.

Additionally, the company is integrating its AIOps solution so that it seamlessly interoperates across its SASE capabilities. Masergy AIOps acts as a virtual network engineer, automatically evaluating the network and making recommendations to optimize performance. Masergy aims to deliver AI-driven SASE solutions and autonomous networking.

https://www.masergy.com/press-releases

EKINOPS launches SD-WAN Home Office Connect

EKINOPS introduced an SD-WAN Home Office Connect, a compact networking solution tailored to support enterprises in overcoming the performance, security and legal challenges of managing remote working.

Utilizing Ekinops' SD-WAN Xpress embedded in an employee-dedicated Ekinops router, enterprises can establish a secure remote VPN connection from the employee's location to the branch office. Combining broadband LTE and WiFi connectivity, the solution maximizes the power of the existing enterprise infrastructure to deliver the same connectivity speed, security and efficiency as onsite. 

EKINOPS says its programmable solution isolates business traffic from personal traffic, enabling corporate rules and applications to be applied to remote connections, without affecting worker privacy. This also allows enterprises to consider a more permanent move to a remote working model and benefit from the cost savings of not managing a physical office space.

"In recent months, companies across the globe have faced the sudden challenge of remotely connecting their employees quickly and securely. But since flexible working has been a rising trend for well over a decade now, service providers and enterprises alike need a robust, cost-effective and simple solution to support remote connectivity long term," comments Marc Bouteyre, Head of Virtualization at Ekinops.  

"Many remote workers have experienced performance challenges due to their low-grade WiFi at home and the continuous mix of personal and business traffic. Equally, many enterprises have been feeling the increased business security risks, left at the mercy of their employees' network security at home. Our new solution caters to these needs and ensures that connectivity issues are ironed out for remote workers and enterprises alike," adds Bouteyre.

https://www.ekinops.com/

BT establishes procurement company in Ireland

BT Group has announced plans to set up a new procurement company (or a ‘ProcureCo’) which will operate as a standalone entity from the rest of the organization. The new company will be based in Dublin, Ireland and headed by Cyril Pourrat.


https://newsroom.bt.com/our-intention-to-establish-a-procureco/

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Smartoptics introduces new ROADMs for flexible open line systems

Smartoptics introduced its DCP-R family of DWDM ROADMs for flexible open line systems. The ROADMs are designed for use of the new PAM4 and 400ZR traffic formats mixed with legacy protocols, such as Ethernet and Fibre Channel.

The first members of the DCP-R family are the 9-degree DCP-R-9D-MS and the DCP-R-9D-CS where the MS model supports mixed traffic formats and the CS model is optimized for coherent traffic formats. These products will be followed by higher degree ROADMs optimized for regional applications.

The DCP-R-9D is a dedicated 1U per degree ROADM with Flexgrid, directionless, contentionless and colorless capabilities for 9 degrees The ROADM, with integrated mux/demux for local add/drop, is designed for use with PAM4 and 400ZR transceivers mixed with 100G QPSK, 200G 16QAM, Ethernet and Fibre Channel traffic formats.

Magnus Grenfeldt, CEO Smartoptics, commented: “With our DCP-R ROADMs Smartoptics takes yet another step in serving operators wanting to take advantage of disaggregated, open line systems in their optical infrastructure. Thanks to our unique design it is now possible to combine new traffic formats such as PAM4 and 400ZR for extremely high data rates with Ethernet, Fibre Channel and other legacy formats in the same flexible ROADM-based open line system all the way to the edge of the network.”

https://www.smartoptics.com/press-release/smartoptics-announces-the-dcp-r-family-of-roadms-for-flexible-open-line-systems/

NTT researchers streamline quantum calculations with ZX-Calculus

Researchers at NTT are pursuing a novel method to reduce the resources associated with large-scale fault-tolerant quantum circuits by employing ZX-calculus.

Currently, a fault-tolerant quantum circuit for a given computation requires a huge amount of resources, both in terms of qubits and computational time. The researchers at NTT have found an efficient method to compress such circuits with the purpose of decreasing their hardware demands. They use ZX-Calculus as an intermediate language to reduce both the number of qubits and time required to perform such computation in many different circuits. 

A paper on the topic discusses an improvement of a 40% compression rate with respect to previous reductions, yielding compression rates higher than 70% compared to the initial circuit. The methodology proposed in this work promises to open new venues of research in large-scale quantum computing and bring quantum computation closer to reality by relaxing its hardware demands.

https://www.ntt.co.jp/news2020/2011e/201112a.html


Oregon's NWAX deploys Fujitxu 1FINITY for DCI

Northwest Access Exchange (NWAX), a vendor neutral Internet exchange serving hyperscalers, data center operators, ISPs, mobile and fixed broadband service providers, has deployed the Fujitsu 1FINITY T100 Transport blade with smart pluggable optics to provide coherent optical links between its Portland and Hillsboro data center locations.


“Internet traffic worldwide continues to grow unabated, so high-capacity networks are important in avoiding bottlenecks,” said Annie Bogue, head of sales and marketing at Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. “Customers migrating to the open, modular 1FINITY T-Series transport platform can take a simple, scalable approach to improving their network with support for up to 800G capacity in a 4x200G point-to-point configuration. Together with NWAX, we are delighted to be a part of this transformation for Oregon residents.”

“In addition to the speed and latency improvements, we also have fiber route diversity between sites to ensure high network availability and reliability,” said Eric Rosenberry, vice president, NWAX. “Installation of the Fujitsu transponders was intuitive and incredibly easy – it took a single member of our team just a few hours from unpacking the box to activating the high-speed services.”


NTT builds data center in Madrid


NTT Ltd. has commenced construction of its first data center in Spain.

The new Madrid 1 Data Center is being constructed on NTT’s 12,516 sqm site at Európolis Business and Technology Park, in the municipality of Las Rozas, one of the largest townships in Madrid, located 20 km northwest of the city of Madrid itself, on the A-6 freeway to A Coruña. Completion is expected in Q3 2021.

Madrid 1 Data Center will have 3,600 sqm and 6 MW of capacity for its clients. The new build will follow NTT’s successful business model and will offer colocation services for wholesale and retail clients, supporting hybrid IT solutions. The site will offer the best physical and technical data center infrastructure, supported by 2N UPS systems and highly redundant cooling systems to always meet our clients' requirements. This site will provide access to multiple carriers and cloud providers though NTT’s Multi Service Interconnection Platform, which provides market leading connectivity to our clients across EMEA and globally.

“Madrid is the largest data center hub in Spain and a European gateway to the world. Three new submarine cables connecting USA, Latin America and North Africa, make Spain a very important communications hub on global connectivity landscape. Connectivity, paired with local and global demand from clients mean Madrid is an important location for NTT to invest and launch a major interconnected data center in Madrid”, said Florian Winkler, CEO of the Global Data Centers EMEA division of NTT Ltd.  


Vecima completes acquisition of Nokia’s cable access portfolio

Vecima completed its previously announced acquisition of Nokia’s cable access portfolio of DAA and EPON/DPoE solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Vecima says it is now positioned offer the industry’s most comprehensive next generation access ecosystem and significantly accelerating its 10G technology timeline.

The acquired portfolio includes market-deployed Remote MAC-PHY, access controller and 10G EPON products, and has positioned Vecima as the industry’s leading provider of DAA technologies. Today, Vecima’s Entra offers the broadest full complement of access network solutions in the industry, spanning the varied needs of cable operators globally. In addition to a suite of platforms and technology, the transaction brought Vecima new facilities in the US and China, and a team of over 80 employees that have joined the company.


Nokia offloads its Gainspeed EPON/DPoE portfolios to Vecima Networks

Nokia has sold its Gainspeed EPON/DPoE business to Vecima Networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia said it plans to maintain an ongoing business relationship with Vecima that includes key, enabling technologies to address unified cable access opportunities. 

Nokia will retain its cable-related products and solutions including mobile, routing, transport, fiber, and fixed wireless access technology, along with network operations and customer experience-related solutions. 

Vecima Networks, which is based in Victoria, BC, Canada, provides integrated hardware and scalable software solutions for broadband access, content delivery and telematics.

The companies said Nokia’s Gainspeed cable access portfolio is well-aligned with Vecima’s Entra family, both of which address the migration to cable’s 10G platform, including DAA (Distributed Access Architecture) and 10G-EPON.

The Nokia Unified Cable Access solution, featuring the Gainspeed portfolio of products, includes a centrally controlled Distributed Access Architecture solution with unified support for Flexible MAC DAA nodes for Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial (HFC) networks and DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE) nodes for fiber-to-the-home and business. The portfolio also includes a DAA video engine and a chassis-based EPON/DPoE solution for non-HFC network implementations.

“Our cable access solutions have played a very important role in helping to redefine next generation cable solutions and our customers' strategies for addressing evolving network demands using distributed architectures,” said Sandra Motley, President of Fixed Networks at Nokia. “However, the industry continues to go through significant shifts, and we believe the timing is right to transition our cable access business to Vecima Networks. Vecima has the focus, resources and complementary product portfolio needed to support these changes and help operators move toward a Distributed Access Architecture.”

https://vecima.com/


Nokia intros virtualized Distributed Access Architecture

Nokia introduced the next generation of its Unified Cable Access solution based on a Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) that gives cable operators the flexibility to deploy both R-PHY and R-MACPHY devices within the same network and easily switch from one to the other based on their network requirements and strategic direction.

The basic idea with DAA is to move cable access layer functions that are traditionally placed in the headend and hub sites to the access nodes. To date, cable operators have had to choose between two DAA approaches: R-PHY, which moves only the DOCSIS signal generation (PHY) to the access node; and R-MACPHY, which moves both the PHY and DOCSIS processing (MAC) to the access node.

Features of Nokia's new vDAA include:

  • vCMTS Anywhere - Nokia has virtualized a cable modem termination system (CMTS), which includes the DOCSIS MAC, as a virtual network function (VNF). This provides the flexibility to run the vCMTS anywhere in the network: on the node, or on an off-the-shelf server in the outside plant, hub, headend or data center. 
  •  Universal Node - Cable operators can convert a Gainspeed cable access node from R-PHY to R-MACHPHY, or vice versa, on the fly. This capability lets operators choose the best approach to a node for a given use case. It also enables an operator to seamlessly evolve from an R-PHY to R-MACPHY deployment.
  •  Unified Control - The Gainspeed access controller can simultaneously support both R-PHY and R-MACPHY nodes, expanding its current cable and fiber unified control capabilities. This helps operators reduce costs and simplify network design by using the same controller to manage all types of Nokia access nodes deployed across HFC and fiber networks 
  • Interoperability - Nokia is committed to full solution interoperability and will support any R-PHY or R-MACPHY node as part of its solution.
In 2016, Nokia acquired Gainspeed, a start-up specializing in DAA (Distributed Access Architecture) solutions for the cable industry via its Virtual CCAP (Converged Cable Access Platform) product line. Financial terms were not disclosed. Gainspeed's Virtual CCAP enables cable operators to increase the capacity of their existing HFC (Hybrid Fiber Coax) infrastructure and rapidly deploy new services, while simultaneously reducing space and power requirements in the headend. The solution also enables cable operators to migrate their networks to a software-driven, all-IP architecture. Gainspeed's design eliminates the physical CCAP by leveraging SDN and NFV to distribute the CCAP’s functions to other devices and locations in the network. This centralizes routing, control and management in the data center or cloud and pushes
the physical layer, DOCSIS processing and RF modulation into the node, deep within

Nokia partners with A1 for LTE and 5G campus networks in Austria

Nokia announced a 3-year services contract with A1 Austria to provide its industrial-grade private wireless technology for all existing and new A1 Austria LTE and 5G enterprise campus network deployments.

As part of the deal, Nokia will provide operational support and care for all existing campus networks, ensuring adherence to even the most challenging service level agreements (SLAs) and quality of services (QoS) requirements. With the support of Nokia, A1 Austria will accelerate the digital transformation of its enterprise customers. A1 and Nokia have already successfully deployed a number of private wireless campus networks in Austria, including installations at Magna Steyr, Vienna Airport and 5G Playground Carinthia.

Alexander Stock, CTO at A1 Austria, said: “This deal reinforces the long-standing collaboration between A1 and Nokia, including an agreement to expand next-generation 5G mobile communications in Austria. A1 is now a clear leader in enterprise in Austria and, together with Nokia as its technology partner, we are looking forward to quickly rolling out new deployments.”


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Cellnex to acquire 24,600 European towers from CK Hutchinson

Cellnex Telecom will acquire c.24,600 telecommunications towers and sites across Europe from CK Hutchison for EUR 10 billion. The transactions include the roll-out of up to 5,250 sites over the next eight years with an investment of c. EUR 1.4 billion including further initiatives.

Cellnex Telecom is already Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures with a portfolio of 61,000 sites including forecast roll-outs up to 2027. Cellnex operates in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Portugal.

The acquisitions are structured as six separate transactions – one for each country. Cellnex to pay cash at closing  of the acquisitions of Sweden, Austria, Italy, Ireland and Denmark, and with cash and new Cellnex shares at closing of the UK transaction.

Cellnex Chairman Franco Bernabè highlighted “the transformational nature of the agreements, which strengthens Cellnex’s position as one of the main Europe-wide telecommunications infrastructures operator, with a portfolio of c. 103,000 sites once the transactions and rollouts are complete. We will now be present in three new significant markets –  Sweden, Austria and Denmark – and will further build upon our role as a key operator in three of our core markets, namely Italy, the UK and Ireland.”

https://www.cellnextelecom.com/

Telstra's 3-way restructuring: InfraCo Fixed, InfraCo Towers, ServeCo

Telstra is proposing a major restructuring that would to create three separate legal entities within the Telstra Group:

  • InfraCo Fixed, which would own and operate Telstra’s passive or physical infrastructure assets: the ducts, fibre, data centres, subsea cables and exchanges that underpin Telstra’s fixed telecommunications network.
  • InfraCo Towers, which would own and operate Telstra’s passive or physical mobile tower assets, which Telstra will look to monetise over time given the strong demand and compelling valuations for this type of high-quality infrastructure.
  • ServeCo, which would continue to focus on creating innovative products and services, supporting customers and delivering the best possible customer experience. ServeCo would own the active parts of the network, including the radio access network and spectrum assets.
Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said the plan is driven by monetisation opportunities for its infrastructure assets where this might create additional value for shareholders.

“The proposed restructure is one of the most significant in Telstra’s history and the largest corporate change since privatisation. It will unlock value in the company, improve the returns from the company’s assets and create further optionality for the future,” Mr Penn said.

“The challenges and disruptions of the last 6-12 months have reinforced the increasing value of infrastructure assets globally; the importance of the digital economy, not only to business but to the whole of Australia and its economic recovery; and the dependence of the digital economy on telecommunications as its platform. Our proposed new corporate structure reflects this new world and will help us support the foundation for it – one that is in the interests of our shareholders, our employees, our customers, and ultimately one that benefits the country overall.”

Cisco reports dip in hardware sales as security and services trend up

Cisco reported revenue of $11.9 billion for its first fiscal quarter ended October 24, 2020, down 9% compared to a year earlier. GAAP net income was $2.2 billion or $0.51 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $3.2 billion or $0.76 per share. The results were ahead of market expectations.

"Our Q1 results reflect good execution with strong margins in a challenging environment," said Kelly Kramer, CFO of Cisco.  "We continued to transform our business through more software offerings and subscriptions, driving 10% year over year growth in remaining performance obligations. We delivered strong growth in operating cash flow and returned $2.3 billion to shareholders."

Highlights:

  • Product revenue was down 13% and service revenue up 2%. 
  • Revenue by geographic segment was: Americas down 10%, EMEA down 10%, and APJC down 7%. 
  • Product revenue was led by growth in Security, up 6%.  
  • Infrastructure Platforms was down 16% and Applications was down 8%.
  • On a GAAP basis, total gross margin, product gross margin, and service gross margin were 63.6%, 62.7%, and 65.8%, respectively, as compared with 64.3% for each in the first quarter of fiscal 2020.

https://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=2109819

UK researchers develop all-silicon optical transmitter at 100Gbps

Researchers from the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have demonstrated the first all-silicon optical transmitter at 100Gbps and beyond without the use of digital signal processing.

The new research was advanced within Southampton’s Silicon Photonics Group as part of the £6 million Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Programme Grant Silicon Photonics for Future Systems. The research team, led by Professor Graham Reed within the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics, have published their findings in the Optical Society's prestigious journal Optica. 

The silicon modulator was fabricated through Southampton's CORNERSTONE research fabrication foundry service, and integrated with bespoke modulator drivers that are designed in-house and fabricated at the TSMC electronics foundry in Taiwan. Fabrication and integration work is carried out at the University of Southampton's Mountbatten cleanroom complex.

Professor Reed, Deputy Director of the ORC, says: "Our results are based upon a fully integrated electronic-photonic system, not a laboratory probed stand-alone silicon modulator. In all other work to date that does not rely on digital signal processing to recover signal integrity, integration of the electronics and photonics has resulted in an inferior system performance as compared to the performance of the individual components, resulting in a maximum data rate of approximately 56Gbps.

https://zepler.soton.ac.uk/news/6835

Deutsche Telekom raises guidance, limited impact from pandemic

Deutsche Telekom reported Q3 revenue of 26.4 billion euros, up 2.0 percent in organic terms and up 31% when considering the acquisition of Sprint. 

On the back of the strong performance in the first nine months and a positive outlook for the rest of the year, the Group raised its guidance for the current financial year. Deutsche Telekom now expects to report adjusted EBITDA AL of at least 35 billion euros and free cash flow AL of at least 6.0 billion euros. 

“Deutsche Telekom is showing its strengths,” said CEO Tim Höttges. “We are raising our guidance thanks to strong business on both sides of the Atlantic. And we are able to do this despite feeling the effects of the pandemic in some areas.”

Highlights

  • In Germany, Telekom grew much faster between July and September than in the previous quarters, with 97,000 net broadband additions. Around 15.5 million lines in Telekom’s network are now fiber-optic-based (FTTH and FTTC/vectoring), 1.6 million more than a year ago. Almost 3.8 million customers use the television service MagentaTV, with 63,000 new users in the quarter and growth of 6.9 percent year-on-year. In the third quarter, Telekom won 192,000 new branded mobile contract customers. The company recorded a slight year-on-year decline of 0.5 percent in mobile service revenues, mainly due to lower roaming and visitor revenues on account of the reduction in travel as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Without this factor, mobile service revenues would have risen by around 2 percent.
  • In the United States, DT is well on course following the merger with Sprint. In the third quarter of 2020, T-Mobile US passed the 100-million customer mark. 2.0 million net additions between July and September brought the total number of customers of the number two on the U.S. mobile market to 100.4 million. The key financials increased substantially on the back of the Sprint takeover. Revenue grew by 74.2 percent to 19.4 billion U.S. dollars. Adjusted EBITDA AL increased 119.3 percent to 7.0 billion U.S. dollars. Adjusted for the Sprint transaction, in organic terms, revenue grew by 4.0 percent and adjusted EBITDA AL by 14.6 percent. The integration of Sprint is ahead of plan. Just a few short months after the transaction was closed, 15 percent of the voice and data traffic of Sprint contract customers is already being processed on the network of the new T Mobile. The company expects to realize synergies of 1.2 billion dollars in the current year, primarily from the integration of networks and sales.
  • In Europe, DT's European national companies remain on course for growth. In organic terms, adjusted EBITDA AL increased by 2.1 percent year-on-year in the third quarter to 1.1 billion euros. This means that the segment posted organic earnings growth for the eleventh quarter in a row, despite the headwind from coronavirus-induced declines in roaming revenues. Revenue remained stable at the prior-year level, rising 0.2 percent to 2.9 billion euros. The number of mobile contract customers grew by 171,000 in the quarter. Broadband net additions totaled 60,000, with the companies in Greece and Hungary being primarily responsible for this growth. Fixed-mobile convergence product bundles won 258,000 new users. The percentage of broadband households using such products passed the 50-percent mark.
  • T-Systems is feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Order entry in the third quarter declined by 24.9 percent to 0.7 billion euros. Adjusted for the restructuring within the Group, revenue decreased by 11.6 percent to 1.0 billion euros. Adjusted EBITDA AL fell by 16.3 percent year-on-year to 67 million euros.