Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Video: Microsoft builds Azure for Operators

 In this video, Shawn Hakl, VP 5G Strategy at Microsoft Azure, talks about how Microsoft Azure helps network operators adopt cloud technologies for their network workloads and the important changes Azure made to build a carrier-grade cloud.



Download the 2021 Telco Infrastructure Report here: http://ngi.how/telco-2021

Telefónica and CDPQ create a neutral fiber wholesale operator in Brazil

Telefónica Group and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a global investment group, announced plans to create a neutral and independent optical fibre wholesale network in Brazil.

FiBrasil Infraestrutura e Fibra Ótica SA ("FiBrasil") will be a 50-50 joint venture with the Telefónica Group's 50% participation held through Telefônica Brazil ("Vivo") and Telefónica Infra, the infrastructure arm of Telefónica Group 

Operating as a neutral wholesale company, FiBrasil is set to deploy and operate fibre-optic networks in selected mid-sized cities across Brazil outside the state of Sao Paulo, and to offer FTTH wholesale access to all telecommunications service providers, enabling them to offer these services to their end customers. Starting with a portfolio of 1.6 million Homes Passed ("HPs") contributed by Telefônica Brasil, FiBrasil aims to expand its network to reach around 5.5 million HPs within 4 years, accelerating the transition to fibre and contributing to the country's technological deployment. Telefônica Brasil will also be the anchor tenant for FiBrasil.

CDPQ is investing a total of up to R$1.8 billion (CA$408 million) in this joint venture, comprising both primary and secondary payments. CDPQ's projected capital contributions and the expected leverage to be raised by FiBrasil provide a fully funded business plan to accomplish the company's deployment targets. FiBrasil is set to become a leading operator in the Brazilian fibre space, with the backing of a strong set of shareholders.

Ángel Vilá, Chief Operating Officer at Telefónica Group, commented, "We are very excited about this opportunity to partner with CDPQ, with whom we share the ambition to accelerate fibre roll-out in Brazil, contributing to Vivo's growth plans and to the country's digital development. We are delighted to put our FTTH expertise and commercial capabilities behind this partnership, joining forces with CDPQ as a key element for success, strengthening our value proposition and reinforcing our growth strategy."

"Vivo will be FiBrasil's anchor tenant, consolidating itself as the leading convergent operator in the country. The transaction is framed within our strategic pillars, allowing Vivo to improve time-to-market, while at the same time enabling a more efficient use of funds," said Christian Gebara, Telefônica Brasil's CEO. Gebara also mentioned that "fibre will be a key driver for Vivo's future top-line growth aiming at reaching at least 24 million HPs by the end of 2024, and FiBrasil will be Vivo's platform for expanding coverage to greenfield cities."




Comcasts posts 2020 network metrics - traffic up 32% over 2019

Comcast posted the following 2020 network data:

  • Peak Internet traffic rose 32 percent over pre-pandemic levels, and over 50 percent in some markets in March.
  • Peak downstream traffic in 2020 increased approximately 38 percent over 2019 levels and peak upstream traffic increased approximately 56 percent over 2019 levels.
  • Despite the growth in upstream traffic, traffic patterns remained highly asymmetrical, as downstream traffic volumes were 14x higher than upstream traffic volumes throughout 2020.
  • In the span of 4 months in the wake of pandemic lockdowns, Comcast’s network experienced almost 2 years-worth of traffic growth.
  • Surprisingly, despite increases in videoconferencing activity, entertainment activities continued to dominate network traffic, with video streaming accounting for 71 percent of all downstream traffic, and growing by 70 percent over 2019 levels.
  • Other key drivers of downstream traffic in 2020 were online gaming and the accompanying software downloads (10 percent), and web browsing (8 percent).
  • Despite growth in videoconferencing traffic, it still only accounted for less than 5 percent of overall network usage.
  • For the first time ever, as Comcast customers surfed, streamed and emailed more than ever before, they generated more than a trillion Internet requests (DNS lookups) each day.


Throughout this increase in demand, Comcast continued to deliver above-advertised speeds to customers across the country, including in areas most affected by COVID-19. The remarkable performance of the network during this time can be attributed both to outstanding work by technical and care teams throughout the pandemic and to key innovations and billions of dollars in strategic investment for many years before the pandemic began:

In addition, the company highlighted its recent network investments:

  • From 2017 through 2020, Comcast invested more than $15 billion to expand, strengthen and evolve its network.
  • From 2017 through 2020, the company built an additional 39,153 route miles of fiber into the network, and made thousands of capacity augments from the core of our network all the way down to individual neighborhoods.
  • Comcast engineers built multiple new smart software platforms – powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning – that can detect and fix problems before they affect customers.
  • One of those software platforms, Comcast Octave – the completion of which was dramatically accelerated by Comcast engineers in response to the pandemic – enabled Comcast to increase upstream capacity by up to 36 percent, right at the time when traffic levels began to surge.

“The Internet was a bright spot during the darkest hours of 2020, keeping hundreds of millions of people connected to work, school, entertainment, and most importantly, each other,” said Tony Werner, President of Technology, Product, Xperience at Comcast Cable. “We’re proud of the years of strategic investment and innovation that enabled us to build the foundation of a high-speed, intelligent network designed to scale to the needs of our most demanding users, and also adapt to unexpected events.”

OFS improves geometry specs for multimode fibers

OFS has improved important geometry specifications for its family of LaserWave multimode fibers, thereby reducing connector loss and improving link system performance. The enhancements can provide extra margin, or "headroom," in 40, 100 and 400 Gbps applications, enabling greater network design flexibility and reliability. The improvements were achieved through the use of OFS' patented Modified Chemical Vapor Deposition (MCVD) fiber manufacturing process. 

The improved specifications are supported by OFS' LaserWave WideBand (OM5), LaserWave FLEX 550 (OM4) and LaserWave FLEX 300 (OM3) fibers. OFS said these improvements include:

  • Clad diameter tolerance has been tightened from 125.0 ± 0.8 μm to 125.0 ± 0.7 μm
  • core non-circularity has been improved from ≤5.0% to ≤2.5%. 
  • Core/clad concentricity  has been tightened from ≤1.0 μm to ≤0.7 μm

Modeling of simulated connections conducted by OFS indicates that the tighter specifications can result in average insertion loss improvement of 0.07 dB per connection compared to industry standard fiber.  The model distribution also shows that 97% of insertion losses would be below 0.25 dB using LaserWave fiber, but 0.40dB using standards compliant fiber.  As loss budgets drop below 2 dB for 40, 100, and 400 Gb/s network, this improved insertion loss performance is critical for links containing multiple connections.




Aruba ties its Edge Services Platform to Microsoft Azure

Aruba introduced a service that enables IoT devices connected to Aruba access points (APs) and controllers to bi-directionally communicate with Microsoft's Azure IoT Hub. 

The Aruba IoT Transport for Azure service seamlessly enables the secure, bi-directional movement of data from IoT devices connected to Aruba APs and controllers, eliminating the need for an intermediate gateway, server, or application, thus reducing processing latency.


“Edge networking and IoT have had a profoundly positive impact on businesses, however, their recent convergence has surfaced interoperability challenges across platforms, applications, and systems,” said Michael Tennefoss, vice president of IoT and Strategic Partnerships at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. “Simplifying the integration of edge IoT and cloud services using the advanced cloud capabilities of Aruba ESP with the extensibility and power of Microsoft Azure overcomes these challenges. And it does so without sacrificing security, manageability, or reliability. The ubiquity of Azure, and its 99.99 percent regional availability, makes the solution attractive to customers worldwide that want better informed decisions and continuous process improvements.”

In addition, Aruba announced the introduction of the Aruba Central cloud management platform hosted on Azure, bringing Aruba’s enterprise-grade cloud networking solution, with more than 1 million devices already under management, to Azure.


https://news.arubanetworks.com/news-release-details/2021/Aruba-Accelerates-Digital-Transformation-from-Edge-to-Cloud-on-Microsoft-Azure/default.aspx

OFS intros behind-the-wall fiber spool

OFS introduced an InvisiLight EZ-Hide Behind-the-Wall Module for fiber installation inside homes and multiple dwelling units, or for passive optical LAN applications. 

OFS says its new module can further reduce the footprint of InvisiLight ILU installations by up to 50% by hiding the spool behind the wall and using the InvisiLight 600µm buffered fiber.

The original InvisiLight ILU Solution, launched in 2012, offered an innovative yet simple process to reach indoor ONTs by adhering a 0.9 mm diameter optical fiber into the crevices along ceilings and walls or moldings and walls. The InvisiLight EZ-Hide Behind-the-Wall Module uses an even smaller 0.6 mm optical fiber and installs with the same simple installation process and tools as the original. The compact EZ-Hide spool can dispense up to 40 meters of fiber as it is moved along the deployment path to the ONT location yet still fit inside a common behind the wall gang box.

http://www.ofsoptics.com

Dell'Oro: SD-WAN market Surged 50% in 4Q2020

The worldwide SD-WAN market grew 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the prior year, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. The top five vendors in revenue share for the full-year 2020 were led by Cisco, followed by VMware, Fortinet, Versa, and HPE/Silver Peak.



“The combination of pent-up demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and an acceleration away from legacy technologies created a surge in SD-WAN adoption during the fourth quarter,” said Shin Umeda, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “On a full-year basis, the market grew 32 percent in 2020, which was about half the rate of the prior year, but very impressive given the challenging macroeconomic environment that we faced throughout the year,” added Umeda.

Additional highlights from the 4Q 2020 SD-WAN Report:

  • Dell’Oro Group’s quarterly tracking of the SD-WAN market is now available as a separate research report.
  • SD-WAN market share for 2020 saw increasing concentration in a small number of vendors. The top five vendors accounted for almost two-thirds of revenue share.
  • Vendors are increasingly leveraging security functionality to differentiate their SD-WAN solution and driving growth.
https://www.delloro.com/news/sd-wan-market-surged-50-percent-in-the-fourth-quarter-of-2020/

Ayar Labs hires Dr. Ken Chang, former VP of Wired Engineering at Xilinx

Ayar Labs appointed Dr. Ken Chang as Senior Vice President of Engineering.

Dr. Chang is the former VP of Wired Engineering at Xilinx, where he led its SerDes technology group which delivered industry first 28G KR/CR compliant transceivers for FPGAs and 56G PAM4 and 112G PAM4 transceivers capable of long reach transmission. Prior to that, he was at Rambus for 11 years where he led the development of numerous products and advanced technology development projects, all in the high-speed links domain.

Dr. Chang, an IEEE fellow since 2018, brings a wealth of industry and research experience to Ayar Labs. He has authored or co-authored over 50 technical papers in ISSCC, VLSI, A-SSCC, and JSSC in the area of chip-to-chip interfaces and chip-to-memory. He is also active in the IEEE community and recently served as the technical program chair and co-chair of the VLSI Circuit Symposium in 2018 and 2017, respectively, and served on the Technical Program Committee since 2009. He also served on the Technical Program Committee of ISSCC from 2011-2016 and CICC from 2008-2010.

“We’re excited to have Dr. Ken Chang join Ayar Labs to lead our growing engineering organization,” said Charles Wuischpard, CEO of Ayar Labs. “Ken has decades of experience in bringing high speed I/O products to market as well as leading and growing world class engineering organizations. He joins Ayar Labs at a seminal moment as the industry prepares to transition to in-package optical I/O to meet growing workload demands and maintain Moore’s Law scaling.”

“I believe that silicon photonics is critical for the advancement of high-performance interconnects,” said Dr. Chang. “Ayar Labs has pioneered much of the technology for in-package optical I/O through its development of micro-ring resonator-based electro-optical chiplets that deliver the bandwidth density and energy efficiency in cost effective 2.5/3D packaging solutions to make this future a reality. I am excited to join this very talented and energetic team to bring these transformative innovations to market.”

yar Labs hits key milestone for chip-to-chip optical connectivity

 Ayar Labs demonstrated its patented monolithic electronic/photonic solution on Globalfoundries' next-gen photonics solution based on its 45nm platform. 

The companies said this industry-first demonstration is a key milestone in providing chip-to-chip optical connectivity at scale. The two companies began working together in 2015 with a commitment to collaborate and commercialize differentiated silicon photonics solutions for greenfield applications that would require extreme bandwidth density (high data throughput in a small physical package) at low latency and high energy efficiency.

“Ayar Labs has been perfecting our micro-ring based monolithic electronic/photonic solution for nearly a decade. But the true commercial potential is realized when coupled with a 300mm semiconductor fabrication process that delivers the performance, reliability, and cost advantages that we and our customers require,” says Charles Wuischpard, CEO, Ayar Labs. “This is yet another industry-first result that solidifies our leadership for this market opportunity.”

“Ayar Labs is an important partner of GLOBALFOUNDRIES,” says Anthony Yu, Vice President of Silicon Photonics at GF. “As collaborators, we’ve incorporated their requirements for PDK and process optimizations while providing early access to our next-generation process. Together, we will unlock a larger market opportunity and realize chip-to-chip optical I/O solutions that will enable higher bandwidth and faster connection for high performance compute applications.”

Over the last 18 months, Ayar Labs has been working with select semiconductor manufacturers, systems builders, and end users on co-design partnerships. The company is now announcing an expanded sampling program of its next-generation chiplet developed on GF’s latest silicon photonics manufacturing process that will be available to a broader group by request at ayarlabs.com/starterkit/

Dr. Mark Wade, President and CTO of Ayar Labs, will be sharing details of this industry first demonstration at ECOC 2020 as part of his presentation on ‘Silicon photonic chiplets for chip-to-chip communications’ on Tuesday, December 8, from 16:20 – 16:40 (CET). A video of the demonstration will also be made available at this time.

http://www.ayarlabs.com

Lockheed Martin Ventures invests in Ayar Labs

Lockheed Martin Ventures has made a strategic investment in Ayar Labs, a start-up that is developing  monolithic in-package optical I/O (MIPO) solution for applications that require high bandwidth, low latency and power efficient short reach interconnects. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ayar Labs publicly demonstrated its monolithic electronic photonic TeraPHY chiplet at the Supercomputing 2019 conference and is now working with select semiconductor manufacturers, OEM systems builders, and end users on sampling and co-design partnerships in 2020. The company is based in Santa Clara, California.

“We are excited to welcome Lockheed Martin Ventures as a strategic investor,” said Charles Wuischpard, CEO of Ayar Labs. “Working with key system integrators like Lockheed Martin, who really understand the value of our solution and how to design it into future complex systems, is incredibly important. In that sense, we view this relationship as more than funding alone, but as an important long-term working relationship as well.”

Ayar Labs selected for Intel’s DARPA PIPES Project

Ayar Labs has been selected as Intel’s optical I/O solution partner for their recently awarded DARPA PIPES (Photonics in Package for Extreme Scalability) project.

The PIPES project aims to develop integrated optical I/O solutions co-packaged with next generation FPGA/CPU/GPU and accelerators in Multi-Chip Packages (MCP) to provide extreme data rates (input/output) at ultra-low power over much longer distances than supported by current technology. In the first phase of the project, the Ayar Labs TeraPHY chiplet will be co-packaged with an Intel FPGA using the AIB (Advanced Interconnect Bus) interface and Intel’s EMIB silicon-bridge packaging. “We’re seeing an explosion of Datacenter workloads that have an insatiable demand for bandwidth and the need to connect devices at rack-scale distances,” said Vince Hu, VP of Strategy and Innovation for Intel’s FPGA products. “The best way to do that is with optical interconnect and by using an Ayar Labs chiplet(s), we can achieve very high bandwidth at low latency and low power consumption.”

Telxius launches fast resolution DNS for Europe and Latin America

Telxius, the neutral telecommunications infrastructure operator with an extensive tower and submarine cable portfolio, launched a new DNS service that is integrated with its Internet Transit and Global Carrier Ethernet services and provides extensive coverage, with communication hubs in Europe and Latin America. 

Telxius DNS offers different levels of security and content filtering that adapt to the customers’ needs. It improves security for both service platforms and users, blocking access to malicious sites or those limited by the regulations of a given country.

“Telxius DNS offers extensive coverage in both Europe and Latin America, allowing it to provide high-speed resolution of DNS queries with the minimum latency. It also includes security and content filtering functionalities that can be customized for each customer”, states Carlos Dasi, Telxius Cable CTO.

“Telxius DNS helps us to complete our offer, with a customizable service adapted to the needs of each customer. Thanks to this, our customers will be able to offer end users a faster and more secure web browsing experience”, says Monica Martinez, Telxius Cable Marketing Director.



https://telxius.com/en/telxius-enhances-the-users-web-browsing-experience-with-its-new-dns-service/

Openreach employs Viavi's Optical Network Monitoring

Openreach is using the VIAVI Optical Network Monitoring System (ONMSi) to accelerate its Full Fibre broadband deployment across the U.K. 

The ONMSi platform is being used for validating new construction, performing preactivation checks, and monitoring ongoing service remotely. Full Fibre build monitoring processes are fully centralized and automated with Openreach OSS and Field App requirements. 


Peter Bell, Director, Network Technology, Openreach, states "This year, our nationwide build programme has been gathering pace – passing 42,000 premises every week – and we're determined to match that speed of deployment with the highest quality of build standards. We want to maintain our position as the U.K.'s leading Full Fibre network by working with world class partners, and VIAVI's innovations in remote fibre testing will help us monitor and accelerate our network build whilst making sure we continue to deliver great experience for customers."

Manuel Mato, Vice President, EMEA, VIAVI: "VIAVI has a longstanding relationship with Openreach, whose deployment and maintenance teams are utilizing our test solutions for their existing broadband networks. Over the last two years, we are pleased to have extended our partnership with Openreach to include the ONMSi platform, which proved to deliver significant improvements in scale, speed, and quality of FTTx networks. Moving forward, the ONMSi platform has been trusted to continue to drive further efficiencies and support Openreach's Full Fibre programme."

HPE reports strong financial quarter driven by intelligent edge

 Hewlett Packard Enterprise reported Q1 FY2021 net revenue of $6.8 billion, down 2% from the prior-year period or 3% when adjusted for currency, marked by stronger than normal sequential seasonality. Non-GAAP diluted net EPS was $0.52, compared to $0.50 in the prior-year period and above the previously provided outlook of $0.40 to $0.44 per share. 


“We delivered a strong Q1 performance,” said Antonio Neri, president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “Our revenue exceeded our outlook and we significantly expanded our gross and operating margins to drive strong profitability across most of our businesses. Our non-GAAP EPS exceeded the high-end of our guidance and free cash flow was a record Q1 performance. These results give us confidence to raise our FY21 outlook. The global pandemic has brought a renewed focus on digital transformation as businesses are rethinking everything from remote work and collaboration to business continuity and data insight,“ he continued. 

Segment Results

  • Intelligent Edge revenue was $806 million, up 12% year over year or 11% when adjusted for currency, with 18.9% operating profit margin, compared to 12.1% from the prior-year period. Rich software capabilities combined with greater operational productivity helped accelerate revenue and profits. Based on the solid performance, the Company expects to continue to take share in both campus switching and WLAN.
  • High Performance Compute & Mission Critical Systems (HPC & MCS) revenue was $762 million, down 9% year over year, with 5.6% operating profit margin, compared to 7.5% from the prior-year period. Despite inherent uneven nature of the business, the Company remains confident in the near-term and longer-term outlook for this business.
  • Compute revenue was $3.0 billion, down 1% year over year or down 2% when adjusted for currency, with 11.5% operating profit margin, compared to 10.7% from the prior-year period.
  • Storage revenue was $1.2 billion, down 5% year over year or down 6% when adjusted for currency, with 19.7% operating profit margin, compared to 20.0% from the prior-year period. Notable strength in software-defined solutions, including Nimble, up 31% from the prior-year period when adjusted for currency and All Flash Array Storage, up 5% from the prior-year period, driven by increased adoption of Primera All Flash.
  • Financial Services revenue was $860 million, flat year over year or down 1% when adjusted for currency, with 9.8% operating profit margin, compared to 8.7% from the prior-year period. Net portfolio assets were up 3% year over year or flat when adjusted for currency. The business delivered return on equity of 16.5%, up 1.3 points from the prior-year period.

Chris Rice to head STL's Access Solutions Business

Sterlite Technologies Ltd (STL) has appointed Chris Rice as Chief Executive Officer for its Access Solutions Business. 

Rice previously was SVP, AT&T Labs, where he led the company's pivot to SDN and automation. 

STL is an industry-leading integrator of digital networks. The company provides integrated 5G ready end-to-end solutions ranging from wired to wireless, design to deployment, and connectivity to compute.  Core capabilities include Optical Interconnect, Virtualised Access Solutions, Network Software, and System Integration. 

https://www.stl.tech/

Monday, March 1, 2021

IBM Cloud Satellite brings edge capabilities built on Red Hat OpenShift

IBM announced the general availability of its hybrid cloud services - IBM Cloud Satellite.

IBM Cloud Satellite promises a secured, unifying layer of cloud services for clients across environments, whether on-premise or in the public cloud.  IBM said its architecture addresses critical data privacy and data sovereignty requirements for industries including telecommunications, financial services, healthcare and government.

In addition, Lumen Technologies and IBM have integrated IBM Cloud Satellite with the Lumen edge platform to enable clients to harness hybrid cloud services in near real-time and build innovative solutions at the edge.  Applications can be hosted on Red Hat OpenShift via IBM Cloud Satellite from the close proximity of a Lumen edge location. 

Customers using the Lumen platform and IBM Cloud Satellite can deploy data-intensive applications like video analytics across highly distributed environments such as offices and retail spaces, and take advantage of infrastructure designed for single digit millisecond latency. 

"With the Lumen platform's broad reach, we are giving our enterprise customers access to IBM Cloud Satellite to help them drive innovation more rapidly at the edge," said Paul Savill, SVP Enterprise Product Management and Services at Lumen. "Our enterprise customers can now extend IBM Cloud services across Lumen's robust global network, enabling them to deploy data-heavy edge applications that demand high security and ultra-low latency. By bringing secure and open hybrid cloud capabilities to the edge, our customers can propel their businesses forward and take advantage of the emerging applications of the 4th Industrial Revolution."

IBM also noted that it is collaborating with more than 65 ecosystem partners, including Cisco, Dell Technologies and Intel to build secure cloud services helping clients run workloads in any environment via IBM Cloud Satellite. 

https://newsroom.ibm.com/2021-03-01-IBM-Cloud-Satellite-Enables-Clients-to-Deliver-Cloud-Securely-in-Any-Environment-Including-at-the-Edge

IBM: Are Telcos Embracing Public Cloud or Hybrid Cloud Models?

Will telecom operators embrace the public cloud for their operational workloads? Or is a hybrid model a better fit? Bill Lambertson introduces IBM Cloud Satellite and talks about building a distributed cloud for network and edge workloads based on Red Hat OpenShift.


https://youtu.be/GAZNfOU7kCg

Download the 2021 Telco Infrastructure Report here: http://ngi.how/telco-2021

Cisco completes acquisition of Acacia

Cisco completed its acquisition of Acacia Communications (NASDAQ: ACIA) following approval by a majority of Acacia’s shareholders. Cisco paid $115.00 per share in cash, or approximately $4.5 billion on a fully diluted basis, net of cash and marketable securities. Acacia employees join Cisco’s Optics business as part of the Mass-Scale Infrastructure Group.

Acacia offers a complete portfolio of long-distance data transmission solutions that address the full range of applications in the Data Center Interconnect and Wide Area Network segments for Metro, Regional, Long Haul and Subsea links.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Acacia team to Cisco,” said Chuck Robbins, Cisco chairman and CEO. “Our Internet for the Future strategy puts Acacia’s high-speed coherent optics technologies front and center as we work to empower webscale companies, service providers and data center operators to meet today’s fast-growing demands for data.”

In a blog post, Acacia's Raj Shanmugaraj writes "With the explosion of bandwidth in the multi-cloud era, optical interconnect technology is becoming an increasingly strategic part of the network. Coherent technology has been a game-changer for optical networking and continues to evolve with the deployment of pluggable coherent optics. Bringing the innovative talent of our two companies together will help expand Cisco’s optical systems offerings for customers and drive Cisco’s Internet for the Future strategy."

https://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=2144825

https://acacia-inc.com/blog/our-next-chapter-with-cisco/

Marvell to supply OpenRAN Distributed Unit design for Facebook's Evenstar

 Marvell  will join the Evenstar program and work with Facebook Connectivity to provide a 4G/5G OpenRAN Distributed Unit (DU) design for Evenstar based on its OCTEON Fusion baseband processors and Arm-based OCTEON multi-core digital processing units (DPUs). 

The Evenstar program is a collaborative effort focused on building a general-purpose RAN reference architecture for 4G and 5G networks in the OpenRAN ecosystem. 

Specifically, Marvell will supply a fully integrated DU reference board featuring the OCTEON Fusion-O baseband, providing 4G and 5G PHY layer processing and an OCTEON DPU to run software functions. Facebook Connectivity will collaborate with Marvell to enable software operations on this solution and encourage multiple third parties to port protocol stack software as well. The DU supports up to 16 downlink layers at 100 MHz channelization with 10 Gbps downlink and 5Gbps uplink performance. The goal is to have Evenstar DU equipment ready for network operator trials next year.


“Marvell demonstrated its commitment to OpenRAN by introducing our O-RAN Platform in December 2020 based on our industry-leading OCTEON Fusion architecture,” said Raj Singh, executive vice president of the Processors Business Group at Marvell. “We also realize that the key to success – not just for our platform, but for the industry as a whole – involves collaboration such as this Evenstar DU engagement with Facebook Connectivity and other partners. We look forward to delivering a high performance, cost-optimized DU design that supports the capacity and interoperability requirements necessary to deploy versatile, next-generation networks by the operator community.”

Cignal AI: North American Transport Spending Plummets in Q4

North American network operator purchases of optical and packet transport hardware dropped sharply in the fourth quarter, according to the most recent Transport Hardware Report from research firm Cignal AI, while European spending trends improved in Q4 but were also down on an exchange rate adjusted basis.

“Despite the massive disruptions during 2020, overall spending declined only slightly in 2020,” said Scott Wilkinson, Transport Hardware lead analyst at Cignal AI. “But this quarter, almost all vendors felt the impact of capex pulled forward in the year due to operators scrambling to secure safety stock.”

Additional 4Q20 Transport Hardware Report Findings:

For the entire year of 2020, NA optical transport hardware spending was down slightly vs. 2019, with Ciena and Infinera reporting flat YoY sales and Cisco, Nokia, and Fujitsu reporting declines.

Optical sales growth in EMEA was steady for the quarter and for the year, while sales in China were flat. Huawei continued to lead market share in both regions despite political pressure and new design wins by competitors.

The pattern of NA packet switching and routing sales closely mirrored that of optical sales, producing a decline of almost -20% this quarter. Nokia sales grew for the quarter and the year, while Cisco market share declined. Nokia gained share in the region, and Ribbon led YoY growth as it secured a significant win in the region to boost sales by more than 10x.

https://cignal.ai/2021/03/north-american-transport-spending-plummets-in-q4/

AWS launches Osaka Local Region, its 2nd in Japan

Amazon Web Services launched its second full region in Japan, the AWS Asia Pacific (Osaka) Region. The region is an expansion of the existing AWS Osaka Local Region, which opened to select customers in February 2018. The new region consists of three Availability Zones (AZs) and joins the existing 25 Availability Zones in eight AWS Regions across Asia Pacific in Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Ningxia, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo. 


“We launched the AWS Osaka Local Region to help select customers run specific workloads in western Japan. Since then, customers have asked AWS to launch a second full region with multiple Availability Zones and broad service selection in the country, and today we're excited to deliver on those requests,” said Peter DeSantis, Senior Vice President of Global Infrastructure and Customer Support, AWS. “Together with the AWS Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region, the AWS Asia Pacific (Osaka) Region provides customers with even lower latency to end users in Japan, as well as the ability to architect workloads across multiple Availability Zones and multiple regions in Japan for even greater fault tolerance, resiliency, and availability.”

Globally, AWS has 80 Availability Zones across 25 geographic regions, with plans to launch 15 more Availability Zones and five more AWS Regions in Australia, India, Indonesia, Spain, and Switzerland. 

https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure/.


Boingo to be acquired by Digital Colony for $854 Million

Digital Colony Management, a private equity firm, agreed to acquire Boingo Wireless for $14.00 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $854 million, including the assumption of $199 million of Boingo’s net debt obligations. The acquisition price represents a 23% premium to Boingo’s closing price of $11.40 on February 26, 2021.


“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Digital Colony, which will deliver significant and immediate value to Boingo’s stockholders and concludes a robust strategic review process undertaken by Boingo over the past year,” said Mike Finley, Chief Executive Officer of Boingo Wireless. “We believe Digital Colony’s expertise owning and operating digital infrastructure businesses, combined with its relationships, resources and access to long-term, private capital markets, will provide greater flexibility for Boingo to continue advancing its business strategy.”

Warren Roll, Managing Director of Digital Colony, added, “Boingo is a leader in indoor wireless infrastructure, operating networks that serve a large and growing addressable market. We look forward to working with the experienced Boingo team as they continue to develop and deploy reliable networks serving their diverse set of high-quality customers.”


Twilio to invest up to $750 million in Syniverse

Twilio to invest up to $750 million cash in Syniverse and become a significant minority owner of the company. The Carlyle Group, Syniverse’s current majority owner, will maintain its majority interest in Syniverse.

Syniverse, which provides secure networking and connectivity solutions to mobile network operators and enterprises, is one of the largest private IP Packet Exchange (IPX) providers in the world. 

Twilio's customer engagement platform provides next-generation communications services for channels like voice, text, chat, video, and email to over 220,000 customer accounts globally. Twilio enables software developers and companies to programmatically make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, and perform other communication functions using its web service application programming interfaces (APIs).

In addition, Syniverse and Twilio will enter into a wholesale agreement whereby Syniverse will process, route and deliver application-to-person (A2P) messages originating and/or terminating between Twilio’s customers and mobile network operators.

James Attwood, Executive Chairman of Syniverse said, “We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with Twilio, which we believe will accelerate our next phase of growth as the world’s most connected company. The partnership will provide Syniverse access to Twilio’s extensive enterprise and API services expertise, creating opportunities to continue to build on Syniverse’s highly innovative product portfolio that helps mobile network operators and enterprises make communications better for their customers.”

“Twilio’s vision is to build the world’s leading customer engagement platform. As messaging becomes a preferred way for consumers to communicate with brands, Syniverse helps remove the complexity of the interconnected telecommunications ecosystem, so Twilio can provide best-in-class messaging services to its customers globally,” said Chee Chew, Chief Product Officer at Twilio.