Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Southern Cross NEXT submarine cable lands in Los Angeles

 


The trans-Pacific Southern Cross NEXT submarine cable has landed in Los Angeles. The 15,857.8 km (9,854 mile), which connects to Sydney and Auckland with branches linking Fiji, Tokelau, and Kiribati, is expected to be completed in early 2022. 


The $350 million Southern Cross NEXT cable will provide 72 Tbps of capacity and will be the largest and lowest-latency submarine cable system ever built between Sydney and Los Angeles. The new route will add to the existing Southern Cross network ecosystem, which includes 12 cable stations and eight major datacenter hubs in Australia and the US. The Southern Cross network spans six countries and eight time zones, connected by over 45,000 km (28,000 mile) of cable - greater than the Earth’s circumference.

Southern Cross CEO Laurie Miller states " The completion of NEXT will interconnect Oceania to the key content centers in the USA and is a significant technical achievement marking arguably the longest single span submarine cable segment ever achieved to date,” Miller said. “This enhancement of the Southern Cross network will allow us to continue to evolve and provide resilient high-capacity connectivity solutions to key markets in the USA.”

Pioneer Consulting served as shipboard representatives on the project, supervising cable loading, freighter transfer, laying operations, post-lay inspection and burial, and shore-end landings. Pioneer Consulting also supports Southern Cross in a comprehensive senior consulting capacity, which has included a range of responsibilities such as market analysis, survey oversight, route engineering, turn-key procurement and contract review, contractor coordination, COVID-19 risk analysis, project management, manufacturing audits, and quality assurance.

“We’re proud to bring a full suite of Pioneer’s services to this project, to reach this tremendous milestone, and to have collaborated with Southern Cross to achieve unprecedented connectivity across the Pacific,” said Gavin Tully, Managing Partner at Pioneer Consulting. "Multiple countries along the route will benefit from the fastest, most reliable broadband access ever to be available to them. Southern Cross NEXT paves the way for wider utilization of 5G and IoT, and Pioneer is honored to have played a role in this pivotal project.”


Masergy Performance Edge boosts SD-WAN + SASE

Masergy introduced a new SD-WAN and SASE capability designed to minimize packet loss over public broadband connections, making them perform more like a private Ethernet circuit.

Masergy Performance Edge is available with Masergy’s Managed SD-WAN Secure and SASE offerings and uses proprietary network architecture along with industry standard and compatible routing algorithms. The company says it is able to minimize packet loss over public broadband connections for more predictable application experiences.

“Masergy is working to ensure our clients’ new need for broadband doesn’t impact their business continuity. Remote work success shouldn’t hinge on network connectivity types, and we’ve created Masergy Performance Edge™ to make sure it doesn’t,” said Chris MacFarland, CEO, Masergy. “Masergy pioneered software-defined networking 20 years ago. We were the first to market with AIOps integrated in our SD-WAN and SASE solutions, and we’re already on the path to autonomous networking — so there’s no better company to revolutionize broadband, making it the high-performance, predictable service everyone wants it to be.”

https://www.masergy.com/sd-wan/performance-edge

Nokia and Vodafone run Anomaly Detection Service on Google Cloud

An Anomaly Detection Service is being rolled out across Vodafone’s pan-European network to quickly detect and remediate network anomalies before they impact Vodafone customers.

The machine learning based application is running on Google Cloud. It is based on Nokia Bell Labs technology and was developed after a Nokia-Vodafone agreement signed in 2020. The product quickly detects and troubleshoots irregularities, such as mobile site congestion and interference, and unexpected latency, that can impact customer service quality.

Following an initial deployment in Italy on more than 60,000 4G cells, Vodafone will extend the service to all its European markets by early 2022. 

Anomaly detection is offered “as-a-service,” an important dimension to Nokia’s Cloud and Network Services’ business group strategy, and there are plans to eventually apply Anomaly Detection Service to Vodafone’s 5G and core networks.

Vodafone expects that around 80 percent of all its anomalous mobile network issues and capacity demands will be automatically detected and addressed using Anomaly Detection Service.

Johan Wibergh, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone, said: “We are building an automated and programmable network that can respond quickly to our customers’ needs. As we extend 5G across Europe, it is important to match the speed and responsiveness of this new technology with a great service. With machine learning, we can ensure a consistently high-quality performance that is as smart as the technology behind it.”

Amol Phadke, Managing Director, Telecom Industry Solutions, Google Cloud, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Nokia and Vodafone to deliver a data- and AI-driven solution that scales quickly and leverages automation to increase cost efficiency and ensures seamless customer experiences across Europe. As behaviors change and the data needed for analysis increases in velocity, volume, and complexity, automation and a cloud-based data platform are now key in making fast and informed decisions.”

Vodafone tests single 1T clear channel with Nokia

Vodafone Turkey has tested a 1T (terabit) clear-channel IP connection using Nokia's 7950 XRS routers with terabit interfaces powered by Nokia’s FP4 chipset. Nokia’s FP4 terabit linecard offers two 1T ports and demonstrated deployment readiness by carrying test traffic on Vodafone Turkey’s network. Nokia said the trial is part of an ongoing modernization effort to transform Vodafone Turkey’s IP network. Nokia is delivering a multi-access mobile...

Vodafone completed a trial of a new Passive Optical Network (PON) technology capable of delivering speeds up to 100 Gbs on a single wavelength - the first application of flexible rate transmission in a PON network. The test was conducted in Vodafone’s Eschborn lab in Germany.The Nokia Bell Labs 100G PON prototype leveraged 25G optics in combination with digital signal processing (DSP) techniques. 25G class optics are based on mature eco-system and...


Dell'Oro: RAN revenues on track for a quarter trillion by 2025


Cumulative worldwide radio access network (RAN) revenues are projected to approach a quarter trillion USD over the 2020 to 2025 forecast period to accommodate the surging demand for 5G, according to a newly published forecast report by Dell'Oro Group.

"The global upswing that began in the second half of 2018 has become deeper and stronger, propelling the overall RAN market to continue to surprise on the upside," said Stefan Pongratz, Vice President and analyst with the Dell’Oro Group. "Even with the market surprising on the upside, we believe that there is room for expansion over the near term as the early adopters continue to roll out 5G at an extraordinary pace, resulting in a more upbeat 5-year outlook relative to our last forecast," continued Pongratz.

Other highlights from the Mobile RAN 5-Year Forecast Report:

  • The unexpected RAN surge is primarily driven by 5G NR. LTE is roughly on target but 5G NR revenues have accelerated.
  • 5G NR RAN revenues to approach $150 Billion to $200 Billion.
  • Cumulative 2020-2025 base station shipments remain on track to surpass 30 M.
  • Global macro and small cell transceiver shipments to approach 0.8 Billion.

Untether AI raises $125 million for high-performance silicon

Untether AI, a start-up based in Toronto, announced an oversubscribed $125 million funding round for its at-memory computation and AI inference acceleration silicon.

The latest funding was led by an affiliate of Tracker Capital Management and by Intel Capital, with participation from new investor Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (“CPP Investments”) and existing investor Radical Ventures.

As part of the funding round, Tracker Capital Senior Advisor Dr. Shaygan Kheradpir will join Untether AI’s Board of Directors. Previously, Dr. Kheradpir served as Verizon’s Group CIO, Barclays Bank Group COO, and CEO of Coriant and Juniper Networks.

“I am pleased to add Tracker Capital to our prestigious group of investors and welcome Shaygan to our Board,” said Arun Iyengar, CEO, Untether AI. “Tracker Capital’s unmatched experience and relationships across sectors will help speed our engagements in multiple high-value markets, including telecom, technology, financial services, retail, and defense. I am also thrilled to welcome CPP Investments to the Untether AI family. With the new funding round and partnerships, we will be able to expand our current product reach and accelerate the development of our next generation products."

Saf Yeboah-Amankwah, Intel Chief Strategy Officer added: “We have been an investor in Untether AI since the seed round. During that time Untether AI has assembled a world-class management team, developed and launched an exceptional product, and is now poised for growth in the burgeoning AI inference acceleration space.”



The dramatic increase in the usage of AI, along with its heavy computational requirements, is overwhelming traditional compute architectures, and drastically increasing power consumption in datacenters. 


Untether AI said its at-memory compute architecture and tsunAImi accelerator cards can achieve record-breaking energy efficiency and compute density for inference acceleration. 


www.untether.ai

Viavi bids again for EXFO and Germain Lamonde rejects

Viavi Solutions announced a fourth, unsolicited bid to acquire EXFO, which is undertaking a Go Private transaction. Viavi's new offer raises the bid from US$7.50 to US$8.00 in cash per share. 

Viavi said its higher offer reflects EXFO's recently announced fiscal third quarter 2021 financial results in which bookings increased 47.2% year-on-year to US$87 million with a book-to-bill ratio at 1.20.  EXFO's business strength reflects both a macroeconomic recovery and secular industry growth demand driven by 5G wireless and fiber network deployment.  EXFO's strong results and future prospects further underpin the inadequate US$6.00 consideration of the Going Private Transaction.

Mr. Germain Lamonde, founder of EXFO, issued the following statement:


"Viavi Solutions Inc. (Viavi) made a fourth unsolicited, non-binding proposal to acquire EXFO Inc. (EXFO), and, for the fourth time, I make it crystal clear to Viavi and to my board of directors at EXFO that as controlling shareholder of EXFO, I would not consider any transaction with Viavi, or any other change of control transaction. Viavi knew full well I would reject any new non-binding, non-executable tentative proposal, which in my view is only intended to create distortion in the current go-private process and is simply aimed at eliminating Viavi’s main competitor – it is clearly not in the best interest of Viavi and EXFO customers as they would end up paying much higher prices for the products we sell, having less services and no longer benefit from EXFO’s incredible innovation engine."


EXFO acquires InOpticals for 400G/800G testing

EXFO completed its previously-announced acquisition of InOpticals Inc. of Taiwan. InOpticals' solutions will be integrated into EXFO's  test and measurement (T&M) product family. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed."EXFO has made strategic investments in recent years, both internally and through acquisitions, to increase its footprint in the rapidly growing lab and manufacturing test segments," said Germain Lamonde, EXFO's...

CoreSite adds Google Cloud interconnect at Silicon Valley data center

CoreSite Realty announced support for Google Cloud’s Partner Interconnect on its Silicon Valley data center campus.

The service from Google Cloud allows customers to connect to Google Cloud globally, along with direct internet peering. This additional option provides CoreSite with the ability to offer low-latency fiber connectivity to Google Cloud using Dedicated Interconnect to support the Silicon Valley region’s most demanding data and application requirements. Dedicated Interconnect at CoreSite enables secure 10G and 100G connectivity at a lower cost than carriers or data centers providing Type 2 access. Google Cloud Interconnect has become the “go-to” solution to connect on-premises data centers to Google Cloud.


“We are dedicated to helping our customers solve increasing bandwidth and performance challenges. CoreSite’s interconnection platforms enable them to transfer and process large datasets with ultra-low latency, architect hybrid and multi-cloud solutions, and boost cloud access resiliency via diverse points of connectivity,” said Juan Font, CoreSite’s SVP of General Management. “Google Cloud Dedicated Interconnect high-speed fiber connectivity is a value-adding enhancement to our interconnection capabilities in Silicon Valley.”


QCT and DZS partner on virtualization, edge cloud, Open RAN

Quanta Cloud Technology (QCT) and DZS announced a strategic partnership to jointly accelerate virtualization and containerized Open RAN-based infrastructures for telco operators.

The partnership leverages DZS mobile transport, telco edge, and converged network expertise and QCT’s server and NFV infrastructure integration capabilities, to address carrier and operator business opportunities 5G, edge cloud and network virtualization.


“The collaboration between QCT and DZS brings tremendous synergies,” said Mike Yang, President of QCT. “QCT’s profound infrastructure experiences coupled with DZS’s solid cloud-native, software-defined networking expertise promises a converged system blueprint for edge cloud and better 5G service experiences for telco customers.”

“We are excited to work with QCT and their portfolio of infrastructure solutions to enable open software-defined network virtualization and cloud-native automation solutions,” said Charlie Vogt, President and CEO of DZS. “Our partnership reflects a shared commitment to the realization of network-aware cloud technologies, open networks, and support customer choice, enabling operators to monetize their 5G investments with DZS Cloud and QCT platforms.”


Analog Devices supplies beamforming chip for Metawave's 5G repeater

Analog Devices has supplied its ADMV4828 beamforming chipset for Metawave's new TURBO 5G repeater.

Metawave is now licensing TURBO steerable beamforming front-end modules, enabling 5G companies to immediately and affordably expand their offerings to include fully-calibrated and integrated dual-polarized antenna arrays.

“5GmmW is an exciting and necessary next step in the evolution of the communications market,” said Kerem Ok, RF Product Line Director at Analog Devices. “We are encouraged to see continuous development from Metawave in offering a versatile platform with most notably very high range leveraging our ADMV4828 beamforming chipset.”

Metawave offers its passive KLONE reflectors, for indoor and outdoor use, which provide a license-free, no power solution to extend 5G. Metawave’s TURBO repeater is for outdoor use, and offers a low power, lightweight, small footprint, and affordable alternative to installing high volumes of radios. Even more attractive, Metawave’s TURBO all-analog repeater delivers unmatched range extension and data throughput increase with its 100+ dB overall gain and near-zero signal distortion to accommodate higher modulations.

“We’ve demonstrated extremely high range gains with our advanced TURBO repeater since integrating with the Analog Devices ADMV4828 chipset,” said Metawave’s CEO and co-founder Maha Achour. “Our KLONE platforms are currently being tested globally and our partners and customers are experiencing great results with our specifically-designed passive reflectors. TURBO, purpose-built for easy installation and outdoor usage, boosts 5G signals much further and even through glass, solving many of the issues organizations face as they deploy 5G in cities, stadiums, and challenging areas.”

Monday, July 19, 2021

U.S., EU, UK and Nato blame China for cyberattacks

The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and NATO are blaming the People’s Republic of China and its Ministry of State Security (MSS) for malicious cyberattacks, including ransomware attacks, cyber-enabled extortion, crypto-jacking, and rank theft from victims around the world. 

The U.S. Department of Justice announced criminal charges against four MSS hackers addressing activities concerning a multi-year campaign targeting foreign governments and entities in key sectors.


The White House said it has a high degree of confidence that malicious cyber actors affiliated with PRC’s MSS conducted cyber-espionage operations utilizing the zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server disclosed in early March 2021. 

The FBI and National Security Agency also published a joint cybersecurity advisory detailing various Chinese state-sponsored cyber techniques used to target U.S. and allied networks, warning that Chinese state-sponsored cyber actors consistently scan target networks for critical and high vulnerabilities within days of a vulnerability’s public disclosure.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/07/19/the-united-states-joined-by-allies-and-partners-attributes-malicious-cyber-activity-and-irresponsible-state-behavior-to-the-peoples-republic-of-china/


Biden's cybersecurity order mandates zero-trust for federal networks

In the wake of recent cybersecurity incidents, notably SolarWinds, Microsoft Exchange, and Colonial Pipeline, President Biden signed an executive order aimed at improving the nation's cybersecurity posture. Here are the highlights:Remove Barriers to Threat Information Sharing Between Government and the Private Sector. The Executive Order ensures that IT Service Providers are able to share information with the government and requires them to...


AT&T to serve as primary network services partner for DISH MVNO

DISH has reached a long-term strategic Network Services Agreement (NSA) under which AT&T will serve as the primary network services partner for DISH MVNO customers. 

Through this agreement, DISH will provide current and future customers of its retail wireless brands, including Boost Mobile, Ting Mobile and Republic Wireless, access to coverage and connectivity on AT&T's wireless network, in addition to the new DISH 5G network. 

AT&T is also providing transport and roaming services as part of the agreement, to support DISH's 5G network. 


DISH said the agreement accelerates its expansion of retail wireless distribution to rural markets where DISH provides satellite TV services. 

"Teaming with AT&T on this long-term partnership will allow us to better compete in the retail wireless market and quickly respond to changes in our customers' evolving connectivity needs as we build our own first-of-its kind 5G network," said John Swieringa, DISH COO and Group President of Retail Wireless. "The agreement provides enhanced coverage and service for our Boost, Ting and Republic customers, giving them access to the best connectivity on the market today via voice, messaging, data and nationwide roaming on AT&T's vast network, as well as DISH's 5G network." 

"Teaming with DISH on this agreement is not only a testament to the strength of our network, but it further validates the investments we've made in our fiber and wireless infrastructure," said Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO, AT&T Consumer. "We welcome DISH wireless and its customers to the nation's largest and best wireless network for all of their streaming, data and roaming needs."  

Telefónica Colombia and KKR target FTTH

Telefónica Colombia and KKR, a global investment firm, will form a joint venture company for the deployment of FTTH in Colombia.

The new company aims to cover 4.3 million Passed Property Units (PDUs), including all the relevant markets in the country over the next three years.

Under the agreement, 60% of the joint venture will be owned by KKR and 40% by Telefónica Colombia. Telefónica will contribute its current FTTH infrastructure, which already reaches 50 cities and municipalities and which -at the end of the first quarter of 2021- covered 1.2 million homes.

The deal values the new company at US$ 0.5 billion (approximately 20 times proforma OIBDA and US$ 410 Enterprise Value per PDU), Telefónica Colombia will receive a payment of US $0.2 billion and will be eligible for a performance-based consideration of up to US $0.1 billion.

Telefónica Movistar Colombia currently has more than 380,000 customers using its fiber service with symmetrical speeds of up to 500 Mbps.

 

Alfonso Gómez Palacio, CEO of Telefónica Spanish-speaking Latin America, explained that "the agreement with KKR will accelerate the deployment of fiber optic in Colombia at an unprecedented rate, in a market that has shown enormous potential in the last year. In addition, fiber will create opportunities for thousands of homes and businesses that see digitalization as an opportunity for development. This is one more step by our company to lead FTTH services in Latin America".


Ericsson disappointed by 2% share of China Mobile's 700MHz tender

Ericsson has been awarded 2% market share of China Mobile MP's 700MHz radio tender. The share is lower than the market share previously awarded to the company in the 2.6GHz CP2 (11%).

China Mobile is the first operator to award under the latest round of CP’s for 5G radio. 


Ericsson stated that given the context and based on the bidding rules, it expects that it will be awarded business in China Unicom and China Telecom in a similar range as with the China Mobile award. 

Ericsson notes that its disappointing selection follows the decision by the Post and Telecommunication Authority (PTS) to exclude Chinese vendors’ products from the 5G auction in Sweden. 

https://www.ericsson.com/en/press-releases/2021/7/ericsson-tilldelad-reducerad-marknadsandel-av-china-mobile

Australia's NetSG picks Ekinops' OneAccess enterprise routers


Network Solutions Group (NetSG), a partner-led Service Provider with a network spanning Australia and New Zealand, has selected Ekinops to provide OneAccess branded enterprise routers to grow their managed services, which include data and voice, data center and cloud connectivity, network design and engineering, and network management..

NetSG will center its offering around the ONE421, the "all-in-one box" branch office solution for services up to 200 Mbps powered by the next-gen operating system OneOS6. The ONE421 combines fiber, A/VDSL and LTE for hybrid access and service continuity enabling the ultra-connected branch office. Thanks to OneOS6, NetSG will be able to offer SD-WAN (Software-defined WAN), SBC (Session Border Controller) or firewall built-in functions to their customers at a time of their choosing.

Commenting on the partnership, Laura Veness, co-founding director at Network Solutions Group, said: "NetSG and Ekinops ethos match perfectly as both companies focus on reducing the complexity of network solutions. We are very excited to represent the Ekinops access portfolio in Australia and New Zealand."


"Ekinops offers advanced edge technologies solutions built on years of enterprise access expertise to support a channel that is looking to grasp new opportunities in the market. We are extremely pleased to welcome NetSG on board," comments Jason Beaumont, Regional Sales Director Asia Pacific, at Ekinops. "We look forward to working with Network Solutions Group to promote open and flexible managed solutions in the region."

https://www.ekinops.com

Zoom to acquire Five9 for cloud contact center as a service

 Zoom Video Communications agreed to acquire Five9, an intelligent cloud contact center provider, in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $14.7 billion based on the closing price of Zoom common stock on July 16, 2021. Five9 stockholders will receive 0.5533 shares of Class A common stock of Zoom Video Communications, Inc. for each share of Five9.

The deal combines Five9’s Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solution with Zoom’s broad communications platform. Five9, which is based in San Ramon, California, reports $478 million in LTM revenue and 796 upmarket/enterprise customers.

Zooms says the acquisition will broaden its total addressable opportunities to include the $24 billion contact center market. Revenue for the first quarter of 2021 increased 45% to a record $137.9 million, compared to $95.1 million for the first quarter of 2020. GAAP gross margin was 56.6% for the first quarter of 2021, compared to 57.9% for the first quarter of 2020. 

Five9's cloud contact center offers a suite of applications that allows management and optimization of customer interactions across many different channels.

“We are continuously looking for ways to enhance our platform, and the addition of Five9 is a natural fit that will deliver even more happiness and value to our customers,” said Eric S. Yuan, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Zoom. “Zoom is built on a core belief that robust and reliable communications technology enables interactions that build greater empathy and trust, and we believe that holds particularly true for customer engagement. Enterprises communicate with their customers primarily through the contact center, and we believe this acquisition creates a leading customer engagement platform that will help redefine how companies of all sizes connect with their customers. We are thrilled to join forces with the Five9 team, and I look forward to welcoming them to the Zoom family.”

“Businesses spend significant resources annually on their contact centers, but still struggle to deliver a seamless experience for their customers,” said Rowan Trollope, Chief Executive Officer of Five9. “It has always been Five9’s mission to make it easy for businesses to fix that problem and engage with their customers in a more meaningful and efficient way. Joining forces with Zoom will provide Five9’s business customers access to best-of-breed solutions, particularly Zoom Phone, that will enable them to realize more value and deliver real results for their business. ”

Following the close of the transaction, Five9 will be an operating unit of Zoom and Rowan Trollope will become a President of Zoom and continue as CEO of Five9, reporting to Eric Yuan.

  • Rowan Trollope joined Five9 as CEO in May 2018. Previously, he was SVP and General Manager of Cisco’s Applications Group and a member of the executive leadership team. Prior to Cisco, at Symantec Rowan was Group President Sales, Marketing, and Product Development, responsible for cloud security and the SMB market. 


IBM sees Q2 strength in hybrid cloud

 IBM reported revenues for the six-month period ended June 30, 2021 totaled $36.5 billion, an increase of 2 percent year to year (down 1 percent adjusting for divested businesses and currency) compared with $35.7 billion for the first six months of 2020. Net income was $2.3 billion, down 10 percent year to year. Diluted earnings per share was $2.52 compared with $2.83 per diluted share for the 2020 period, a decrease of 11 percent. Q2 revenue amounted to $18.7 billion, up 3 percent (flat adjusting for divested businesses and currency)

“In the second quarter client adoption of our hybrid cloud platform contributed to strong performance in Global Business Services and software and drove improved overall revenue growth. At the same time, we continued to help clients infuse our AI-based technology offerings into their core business workflows," said Arvind Krishna, IBM chairman and chief executive officer. "We are pleased with our progress and we remain on track to deliver full-year revenue growth and meet our cash flow objective.”

Some highlights for Q2:

  • Cloud & Cognitive Software (includes Cloud & Data Platforms, Cognitive Applications and Transaction Processing Platforms) —revenues of $6.1 billion, up 6.1 percent (up 2.5 percent adjusting for currency). Cloud & Data Platforms grew 12 percent (up 8 percent adjusting for currency), led by the company’s hybrid cloud platform and Cloud Pak growth. Cognitive Applications grew 12 percent (up 8 percent adjusting for currency), led by growth in Security and AI applications. Transaction Processing Platforms declined 7 percent (down 11 percent adjusting for currency). Cloud revenue up 29 percent (up 25 percent adjusting for currency).
  • Global Business Services (includes Consulting, Application Management and Global Process Services) — revenues of $4.3 billion, up 11.6 percent (up 7.3 percent adjusting for currency), with growth in Consulting, up 16 percent (up 11 percent adjusting for currency), Application Management up 5 percent (up 1 percent adjusting for currency) and Global Process Services up 28 percent (up 25 percent adjusting for currency). Cloud revenue up 35 percent (up 30 percent adjusting for currency). Gross profit margin declined 60 basis points.
  • Global Technology Services (includes Infrastructure & Cloud Services and Technology Support Services) — revenues of $6.3 billion, up 0.4 percent (down 4.1 percent adjusting for currency). Both Infrastructure & Cloud Services and Technology Support Services were flat (down 4 percent adjusting for currency). Cloud revenue down 1 percent (down 5 percent adjusting for currency). Gross profit margin up 110 basis points.
  • Systems (includes Systems Hardware and Operating Systems Software) — revenues of $1.7 billion, down 7.3 percent (down 10.2 percent adjusting for currency), driven by declines in IBM Z (down 11 percent; down 13 percent adjusting for currency) and Storage Systems (down 7 percent, down 10 percent adjusting for currency). Power systems declined 2 percent (down 5 percent adjusting for currency). Cloud revenue down 16 percent (down 19 percent adjusting for currency).
  • Global Financing (includes financing and used equipment sales) — revenues of $242 million, down 8.6 percent (down 11.6 percent adjusting for currency).


 

Intel elects Andrea Goldsmith to Board of Directors

Andrea Goldsmith, dean of engineering and applied science and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Princeton University, has been elected to Intel’s board of directors.

Dr. Goldsmith spent more than two decades at Stanford University before she was named dean of engineering and applied science at Princeton in 2020. From 2010 to 2014, Goldsmith co-founded and served as the chief technology officer at Plume WiFi (formerly Accelera Inc.), a provider of software-defined wireless networking technology. From 2005 to 2009, Goldsmith also co-founded and served as chief technology officer at Quantenna Communications. Her research focuses on the fundamental performance limits of wireless systems, especially with regard to 5G wireless, the mobile Internet of Things, smart grid design and the applications of communications and signal processing to biology and neuroscience.

Goldsmith has significant public company board experience. She currently serves on the boards of Medtronic and Crown Castle International. Goldsmith has served on the technical advisory boards of several private companies.

Taiwan Star Telecom expands rollout with Nokia

 Taiwan Star Telecom (TST) selected Nokia to extend its 5G footprint across the country. 

Nokia is a long-term partner of TST and will provide equipment from its latest 5G AirScale portfolio to support TST’s 5G standalone (SA) network. The rollout includes Nokia's AirScale Indoor (ASiR) system for retail and office environments. 


TST will also utilize the EN-DC functionality available on Nokia’s AirScale radios. EN-DC allows devices to connect simultaneously to 5G and LTE networks, transmitting and receiving data across both air-interface technologies. 

TST launched 5G services last summer utilizing the 40 MHz of bandwidth in the 3.5GHz band it had previously secured. Early deployment saw 80 percent covered in densely populated areas last year with 100 percent in Taiwan expected to be covered by 2023. 

TST’s 5G subscriptions reached 5 percent of its total mobile users last year with a target of reaching 20 percent by the end of this year.

Webinar archive: Expanded beam optics

How do you ensure the reliability of a fiber connection to a switch at very high line rates or once co-packaged optics (CPO) solutions come to market? Dust is always a concern, especially at 400G and above, when even a small contamination can lead to magnified disruptions. Reliable optical interconnects are key! The latest OSFP 4.0 spec introduces support for Expanded Beam Optical (EBO) technology, opening up new possibilities.

This webinar explores what makes the Expanded Beam concept unique for fiber optic connectors, how EBO contributes to increasing operational reliability, and the wide range of applications for which EBO can be used.

Video archive: https://youtu.be/CHvXe-2HPe4





Sunday, July 18, 2021

Blueprint: Green network quality makes service operators happy

by Stefan Vallin, PhD in Network Management, Senior PLM, Juniper Networks

As we all have been hunkered down in our homes throughout the pandemic, many of us have been trying to make the best of a horrible situation and some of us have taken on new pursuits to keep our minds active.  Where possible, some of us are trying to live as actively as we can during these hard times, perhaps we have reconnected with the outdoors and nature?  Whether it be walking, hiking, cycling or gardening, there is something about fresh air and the greenery of the world that has comforted many of us.  For me, it has been an active interest in my green house for both gardening and contemplation.  There is something about it that allows me to feel very free and focused on something that brings me a little bit of happiness in an otherwise chaotic world of networking and service assurance. (Watch my video below on this topic from my greenhouse.)

Having studied service assurance for my doctorate and working across many roles in the industry with this focus, I recently have reflected on how this anxiety-reducing feeling of “green” comfort is so applicable to service operators.  Green network quality makes service operators and their telecom customers happy.  It’s just a fact!

But why are telecom’s customers not happy?  It’s because when it comes to network quality, services have been far from green.  We at Juniper Networks have researched that in the Service Provider industry, the Telecom NPS (Net Promoter Score) is roughly half that of any other industry.

So lately I’ve been thinking about this and how things are actually just getting worse. First, there is today’s drastically increased requirements on network quality, both in the case of businesses and home end-users that cannot live without a high performing network.  Secondly, there is tomorrow’s promise of 5G which rotates around high-quality services that are ultra-reliable with ultra-low latencies.  So 5G is very much connected to networks becoming critical when it comes to performance, which is tightly coupled with the classic concept of Service Level Agreements (SLAs).  Of course, this may sound like an outdated topic that has been around for decades, but with the cloud and 5G era, it is time to revisit the SLA topic as a key focal point of what we do in the networking industry!

The revenge of SLAs

If we look at SLAs, and what specifically is sold to both broadband and business customers, all communications service providers tout their high quality of experience and bandwidth guarantees, along with network performance that delivers extremely fast response times while minimizing loss, latency and jitter.  However, when we go to monitor these services in the service operations center, we see mostly that device health is being monitored in terms of alarms and performance counters from infrastructure that are not specifically related to the individual customer services.  This is a very device-centric approach.  And although this information may make services appear green, it does not really show service operators that they are indeed meeting SLAs and keeping customers happy.  

So how are service operators showing customers that they are meeting contracted SLAs then?  The process of many operators is to track ticket resolution times for fixing outages and well as outage hours.  However, bad performance over time and intermittent issues are a bigger problem than blackouts: they are harder to detect and they impact customers over a long time.  In fact, in today’s hyper competitive landscape, when customers are not satisfied with their services it has been studied that 95% of them leave without even complaining.  But not only that, they also tell others and boast about the new deal they got with your competitor!  

The cause of this poor customer experience is actually known, and untested network changes not being caught in time are costing dearly economically at the tune of billions, with dramatic negative impact to reputation and customer retention.

It is such a high cost, when the change we need in the industry is fairly simple and at a low cost of ownership.  The shift we need is as easy as moving away from the device-centric approach and taking on a service-centric approach by actively testing end-to-end network quality.  To achieve true SLA guarantees, we need to start monitoring network quality key performance indicators (KPIs).  This needs to be measured at the data-plane while most monitoring solutions are looking at the management plane for insights.  It is exactly this missing element that service operators need to enable services to be truly green and deliver experiences that delight customers.

Active Assurance is the missing piece for improving service operations 

Looking at the typical assurance stack, most operations rely of a mix of solutions.  Typically, a fault and event management system presents volumes of alarms that show you if any devices are broken, answering questions such as “Is the interface up or down?”  Important, but it does not tell you service health.  Secondly, we have performance monitoring systems that look at the overall network health, answering questions such as “How are my links utilized?”  We also have passive probes that give a centralized understanding of traffic flows in the network and what protocols are enabled, answering questions such as “What types of traffic are in my network and how does this traffic flow?”

All of these solutions are needed within service operations, but fail to deliver the service-centric approach needed to truly measure and guarantee end-to-end network quality for your services.  

The missing is piece is called “Active Assurance”.

Meet Active Assurance

Active assurance provides a straightforward approach that can provide immediate results whether you have an existing modern service assurance framework or not.  It works by measuring end-to-end service quality through actively sending a small amount of traffic on the data plane to simulate an end user.

With active assurance, you can easily and cost-effectively deploy a solution that will enable you to automate proactive testing and monitoring on the real-time data plane and locate emerging issues before customers are impacted.  When your services are actively assured, you will be able to guarantee service quality for your services.  This service-centric approach will also enable your service and network operations teams to ensure that all network changes are made right the first time and right all the time.  

So make your service operators and customers happy by delivering truly green network quality with active assurance!  Read our Juniper Networks Paragon Active Assurance white paper on “Service assurance in the 5G and cloud era” to learn more about how you can use it to achieve a proactive, service-centric operations model that puts your customers in focus.