Monday, July 26, 2021

Lumen to sell Latin American business for $2.7 billion

Lumen Technologies agreed to sell its Latin American business to Stonepeak, a leading alternative investment firm, for $2.7 billion.

Lumen said the sale enables greater flexibility on capital allocation, allowing for debt reduction and the continued evaluation of share repurchases.

"This transaction unlocks value for our shareholders while allowing us to maintain our global presence through our strategic relationship with the New LATAM Company," said Lumen President and CEO Jeff Storey. "This transaction allows Lumen to focus investments in key areas of the business to drive future growth while providing flexibility for our capital allocation strategy."


"Lumen's Latin American business is a market leader with a strong footprint and exciting potential for expansion," said Brian McMullen, Stonepeak Senior Managing Director. "Stonepeak has been an early and active investor in digital infrastructure globally and we are looking forward to applying our experience and additional capital to Lumen's Latin American business."

AT&T offloads Vrio Operations to Grupo Werthein

 AT&T will sell its Vrio Corp. business unit to Grupo Werthein, a private holding company active in telecommunications, finance, insurance, agribusiness and real estate in Latin America.Vrio is a digital entertainment services company with 10.3 million subscribers across 11 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Vrio provides live and on-demand video services via DIRECTV Latin America, SKY Brasil and DIRECTV GO. Vrio’s entertainment...

Corning adds new terminal in its Evolv portfolio

Corning is adding to its Evolv portfolio, including a terminal that supports additional fiber configurations, to enable the fiber-lean distributed tap architectures sometimes used in rural deployments. 

Corning's Evolv portfolio features its Pushlok technology.

"Today, the benefits of a fiber broadband connection are clearer than ever, and network operators are working to bring more connections to more people in more places," said Joe Jensen, director, Americas, fiber-to-the-home market development for Corning. "Our industry-leading products, including our Evolv portfolio, offer network operators enhanced deployment flexibility at a lower cost.”



 

F5 posts revenue of $652 million, up 12% yoy

F5 Networks reported GAAP revenue of $652 million, up 12% yoy, for its fiscal third quarter ended June 30, 2021. Non-GAAP net income for the third quarter of fiscal year 2021 was $169 million, or $2.76 per diluted share, compared to $134 million, or $2.18 per diluted share, in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020.

Our very strong third quarter results demonstrate the powerful alignment of F5’s expanded solution portfolio and our customers’ most important application needs,” said Fran├žois Locoh-Donou, F5’s President and CEO. “Robust software growth and resilient demand for systems drove 12% GAAP revenue growth in our third quarter, and 11% revenue growth versus the prior year’s third quarter non-GAAP revenue.”



Locoh-Donou continued, “Customers’ traditional applications are generating more revenue and more engagement than ever before. At the same time, customers also are accelerating adoption of modern application architectures, like Kubernetes, for new applications. With our expanded application security and delivery portfolio, we are uniquely positioned to solve our customers’ most significant modern and traditional application challenges on premises, in the cloud, and across multiple clouds.”

Clearfield expands manufacturing in Mexico

 Clearfield, which specializes in fiber optic management, protection and delivery products for communications networks, is expanding its manufacturing capacity in Tijuana, Mexico. A new 319,000-square-foot manufacturing and warehouse center  is being built to its specifications and is scheduled to enter into production slightly after the start of calendar year 2022. This move is in support of the anticipated future demand of the business. The facility will augment our growing investments in U.S. production.

"Our Mexican manufacturing facilities fully complement our ongoing operations at our U.S. headquarters,” said Cheri Beranek, Clearfield president and CEO. "In addition, we continue to enhance and strengthen our partnerships with contract manufacturing operations and component suppliers. As part of our value proposition to provide our service provider customers the best total cost of ownership solutions, this strategic investment in manufacturing capacity will position us to build upon our growing momentum throughout the broadband marketplace.”



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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Dell'Oro: Optical transport market reaches $18 billion by 2025

 The Optical Transport market, largely driven by WDM equipment, is forecasted to increase in size annually for the next five years, reaching nearly $18 billion, according to Dell’Oro Group's Optical Transport 5-Year Forecast Report. The top number is unchanged from Dell'Oro's earlier forecast, however, the outlook is lower for  WDM Metro since the coherent 400 Gbps ZR (400ZR) pluggable optics are now available and "interest in using them in an IPoDWDM architecture seems high."


Some highlights:

  • demand for coherent ZR optical pluggables is expected to reach a material amount in 2022, starting with 400ZR. Demand is expected to be high with Internet content providers (ICPs), driving a very high percentage growth rate for the next few years. 
  • 800ZR is expected to enter the market a few years later. 
  • the ZR pluggable optics market will surpass $500 million in annual sales by 2025.
  • Demand for 800 Gbps-capable line cards, first introduced in early 2020, has rapidly increased, demonstrating a strong rate of adoption as well as the market's continued desire for higher performance DWDM transponder cards.
  • The next wavelength speed following 800 Gbps will be 1200 Gbps (1.2 Tbps). 
  • Dell'Oro anticipates that 1.2 Tbps-capable line cards could enter the market before the end of 2023.
  • Dell'Oro forecasts that by 2025 about one-third of all coherent wavelength shipments will be from a line card capable of transmitting a signal at a speed of 800 Gbps or higher.

https://www.delloro.com/5-year-forecast-optical-transport-market-reaches-18-billion-by-2025/

Dell'Oro: Mobile Core Network market to top $50 B from 2021 to 2025

The Mobile Core Network (MCN) to have an overall revenue compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3% from 2020 to 2025, according to Dell'Oro Group's updated Mobile Core Network 5-Year Forecast Report which covers the market for Wireless Packet Core, IMS Core, policy, and subscriber management. The report also estimates the 5G portion of the MCN market to have a 33% CAGR. 


Some key highlights:

  • The cumulative investment is expected to be over $50 B from 2021 to 2025, with regional shares in the range for North America – 18 % to 23 %; Europe, Middle East, and Africa – 30 % to 35 %; Asia Pacific – 40 % to 45 %; and Caribbean and Latin America – 5 % to 10 %.
  • By the year 2025, MCN functions associated with 5G are expected to represent over 70 % of the revenue mix between 4G and 5G MCN functions.
  • 5G Core builds by the three incumbent service providers for 5G Standalone (5G SA) networks in China are continuing to exceed our expectations. In addition, in 2021, the new Chinese communications service provider, China Broadcasting Network will be beginning construction of its 5G SA network.
  • Deployments of more 5G SA networks are expected in the latter half of 2021 in Australia, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. AT&T and Verizon should begin in earnest in 2022 and 2023 with their 5G SA networks. Geographic coverage is minimal at launch and is expected to grow throughout the forecast period.

European Aviation Network extends broadband to takeoff/landing

Deutsche Telekom's European Aviation Network (EAN) inflight broadband has been enhanced to enable connectivity for longer periods during commercial flights.

Previously, EAN was only offered to passengers at altitudes above 10,000 feet (3 km), which meant the service was not available during the take-off and landing phases of a flight. 

Deutsche Telecom now has make a number of enhancements to EAN’s onboard Advance Integrated System Manager (AISM) that enables broadband connectivity to passengers during the climb and approach phases. 

The extended availability of inflight broadband is subject to regulatory restrictions and airline policy.

https://www.telekom.com/en/company/details/improving-ean-s-service-availability-631372

Telenor selects Oracle's cloud native converged charging and billing

Telenor selected Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management, including Oracle Converged Charging to lay the groundwork for 5G and provide seamless charging and billing interactions in its Asian operations. Telenor serves 175 million subscribers in the region.

Telenor is focused on three key initiatives: digitalizing its technical stack to be ready for 5G, innovating its operating model with more touch-free operations, and transforming how it works internally and with partners to deliver more value while containing capital expenditures.


Oracle's solution supports any payment model (prepaid, postpaid or hybrid) and any business model, including business-to-business or business-to-consumer account structures. 

"Telenor is recognized for its innovation and industry leadership as well as driving standards," said Jason Rutherford, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Communications, Applications. "Oracle's integrated billing and charging provides a flexible, standards-based platform that will scale to support Telenor's large customer base today and in the upcoming 5G era."


SMART Photonics receives €13M for Indium Phosphide foundry

SMART Photonics, which is based at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, recently received a new loan worth up to €13M provided by Rabobank.

The company will use the funding to scale up of production of its photonics chips and to strengthen SMART Photonics’ role in the growing photonics ecosystem. 

SMART Photonics is a foundry offering production services for mainly Indium Phosphide based photonic components.


https://smartphotonics.nl/

FCC officially issues C-Band licenses

The FCC officially issued 5,676 licenses in the 3.7 GHz service (3.7 to 3.98 GHz, also referred to as the C-band) following completion of Auction 107 earlier this year. 

 “These mid-band licenses are the sweet spot for 5G deployment,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “That’s because they have the right mix of capacity and propagation that will help us reach more people in more places faster. With these licenses in hand, more carriers can deploy mid-band 5G, which means faster speeds over much wider coverage areas and more robust competition. I thank our outstanding wireless, auctions, and international teams for a job very, very well done.”

3.7 GHz spectrum auction tops $80 billion

The FCC's Aution 107 for flexible‐use overlay licenses for spectrum in the 3.7–3.98 GHz band concluded with a record $80.9 billion in bids after 97 rounds.

The auction made available licenses for 280 megahertz of spectrum in the the so-called C-band.  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai made the following statement:

“This historic FCC auction is already a record-breaking success.  Bidders have won all of the 5,684 spectrum blocks that were up for bid.  And gross proceeds have exceeded $80.9 billion, shattering the prior FCC auction record of $44.9 billion.  

“These results represent a strong endorsement by the private sector of the service rules and transition plan put in place by the FCC to quickly make the C-band a critical part of 5G rollout in the United States.  And they vindicate the hard choices the FCC made during the C-band proceeding—and that we made them.  The FCC confronted a host of technical, legal, practical, and political challenges in structuring this auction.  It would have been easy to delay.  But we rightly pushed ahead and overcame every one of those obstacles.  As a result, we significantly advanced United States leadership in 5G and have enabled America’s wireless consumers to more quickly benefit from 5G services.  

Winning bidders will now have the opportunity to bid for frequency-specific licenses in the assignment phase of Auction 107. 

https://www.fcc.gov/document/first-phase-record-breaking-5g-spectrum-auction-concludes

Intel's Q2 PC sales rise, but data center continues to dip

 Citing record Q2 revenue in its PC and Mobileye businesses, on July 2, Intel reported Q2 revenue of $19.6 billion, flat year over year (YoY), and non-GAAP revenue of $18.5 billion, up 2% YoY, which exceeded April guidance by $700 million. EPS) was $1.24. The results exceeded Q2 guidance for revenue, EPS, and gross margin.

“There’s never been a more exciting time to be in the semiconductor industry. The digitization of everything continues to accelerate, creating a vast growth opportunity for us and our customers across core and emerging business areas. With our scale and renewed focus on both innovation and execution, we are uniquely positioned to capitalize on this opportunity, which I believe is merely the beginning of what will be a decade of sustained growth across the industry,” said Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO. “Our second-quarter results show that our momentum is building, our execution is improving, and customers continue to choose us for leadership products.”

Gelsinger also stated "While I expect the shortages to bottom out in the second half, it will take another 1 to 2 years before the industry is able to completely catch up with demand. IDM 2.0, which combines our internal manufacturing capacity with the use of third-party foundries, best positions us to weather these challenges and work with our ecosystem partners to build a more resilient supply chain."


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Google Cloud launches Cloud IDS with Palo Alto Networks

Google Cloud introduced a Cloud IDS service that delivers cloud-native, managed, network-based threat detection. The service was built with Palo Alto Networks' threat detection technologies.

Google Cloud said customers can leverage Cloud IDS to gain deep insight into network-based threats and to support industry-specific compliance goals that call for the use of an intrusion detection system.  Cloud IDS has visibility into traffic to and from the Internet. It can also monitor east-west traffic, which includes both intra- and inter-VPC communication for suspicious lateral movement. 

Additionally, because Cloud IDS is an end-to-end cloud-native solution, customers can leverage an extensive, continually updated, built-in catalog of attack signatures from Palo Alto Networks’ threat analysis engine to detect the latest threats, as well as anomaly detection for unknown threats. 

https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/identity-security/detect-complex-network-threats-with-cloud-ids

Comcast develops its own local optical spectrum tester

Comcast has built a prototype system called XMF to gain visibility into its local fiber networks. The design purposes mature opto-electronic chips used for long-haul optical analysis, making it economically feasible to install ultra-precise fiber diagnostic tools at many points throughout local fiber networks.

Comcast said its XMF platform is continuously monitoring hundreds of thousands of local broadband optical links every minute, measuring both the optical spectrum and testing the length and quality of the fiber links. The system is able to pinpoint the exact point at which a local fiber network is experiencing an issue, such as a fiber cut, and share the precise geolocation with local technicians. 

Comcast is also rolling out a handheld version of the XMF platform that technicians can use in the field to identify fiber link issues.

https://corporate.comcast.com/stories/10g-network-evolution-using-prisms-and-sonars-to-increase-network-reliability

Samsung expands its SDN ambitions from data center to transport and enterprise

Samsung Electronics is expanding its SDN portfolio, which includes controllers, orchestrators, switches and routers, with the goal of extending its presence from data centers to enterprises in various sectors, including education, retail and energy. This full lineup of SDN will also support mobile access (xHaul), which refers to fronthaul, midhaul and backhaul transport networks.

Samsung highlights its following advantages:

  • “SDN In-a-Box”: Samsung’s SDN solution can serve multiple purposes in a single box, including data center SDN, enterprise SDN and mobile access (xHaul) SDN.
  • User-Friendly: This SDN delivers a user-friendly, award-winning 3D-based UX design.1 With high accessibility and usability, this solution provides a simplified view of an end-to-end network, enabling more unified and consistent management.
  • Openness: The company’s cloud-native, open source-based SDN solutions can integrate seamlessly with third-party switches and routers. Samsung’s SDN is based on the Open Network Operating System (ONOS), supporting various types of open interfaces to enable multi-vendor interoperability.
  • End-to-End Network Slicing: SDN technology can automate network slicing end-to-end, which will help fulfill service-level agreement (SLA) requirements, even at the transport level. Combined with its RAN and Core, Samsung’s SDN solution will enable mobile operators to offer optimal networks for various business models through company’s end-to-end network slicing capability.

“Networks are becoming more agile with SDN technology in the 5G era. Samsung is proud to take part in this network evolution by offering a full lineup of SDN solutions and bringing more operational flexibility to 5G network management,” said Sohyong Chong, Senior Vice President and Head of Software R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung’s SDN will help operators and enterprises rapidly introduce new 5G applications, services and infrastructures, driving faster time to market.”

https://news.samsung.com/global/samsung-expands-its-lineup-of-sdn-solutions 

Akamai hit by DNS disruption

A faulty software configuration update at Akamai triggered a bug in its DNS on Thursday at 15:46 UTC. This led to widespread website outages for many of its customers.

Akamai confirmed via Twitter that the disruption was not caused by a cyber attack.

Once Akamai rolled back the configuration update, the service was restored. The outage lasted for about an hour.


AT&T Fiber: 246,000 net adds in Q2 bring total to 5.4M

Citing higher revenues for its WarnerMedia, Mobility, Mexico, and Consumer Wireline groups, AT&T reported Q2 sales of $44.0 billion versus $41.0 billion in the year-ago quarter, up 7.6% reflecting partial recovery from the prior-year impacts of COVID-19.  The gains were offset by declines in domestic video and Business Wireline, which were $6.1 billion, down 4.0% year over year from lower service revenues. Second-quarter revenues were $28.1 billion, up 6.1% year over year due to increases in Mobility and Consumer Wireline.

Second-quarter net income attributable to common stock was $1.5 billion, or $0.21 per diluted common share, versus $1.2 billion, or $0.17 per diluted common share in the year-ago quarter. Cash from operating activities was $10.9 billion, down $1.1 billion year over year, with capital expenditures of $4.0 billion and content spend of $5.3 billion 

“We’re pleased with our performance and our momentum is strong,” said John Stankey, AT&T CEO. “For the fourth consecutive quarter, we saw good subscriber growth across wireless, fiber and HBO Max. Mobility delivered strong service revenue, EBITDA and postpaid phone growth. Our fiber business, which leads on customer satisfaction, grew subscribers and penetration."

Some highlights

Communications 

Mobility:

  • 789,000 postpaid phone net adds
  • 1,156,000 postpaid net adds
  • 174,000 prepaid phone net adds
  • Postpaid phone churn of 0.69%, equaling lowest churn ever
  • Revenues up 10.4%; service revenues up 5.0%; equipment revenues up 31.9%
  • Operating income of $6.0 billion, up 3.4% year over year; EBITDA4 up 2.7%
  • Operating income margin of 31.7%; EBITDA service margin5 55.9%

Consumer Wireline:

  • 246,000 AT&T Fiber net adds; penetration more than 36%
  • Revenues up 2.9%; broadband revenues up 8.3% with ARPU growth of 6.1%

WarnerMedia 

  • 2.8 million total domestic HBO Max and HBO subscriber6 net adds; total domestic subscribers of 47.0 million, up 10.7 million in past year; and 67.5 million7 globally, up
  • 12.0 million in past year
  • Launched ad-supported HBO Max and international offerings
  • Domestic HBO Max and HBO subscriber ARPU8 of $11.90
  • Total revenues up 30.7% to $8.8 billion
  • Direct-to-Consumer subscription revenues up nearly 40%
  • Now expect 70-73 million global HBO Max/HBO subscribers by end of year

https://investors.att.com/financial-reports/quarterly-earnings/2021


25GS-PON MSA Group cites momentum

 The 25GS-PON MSA Group today announced seventeen new member organizations, including service providers Proximus, OptiComm, and INEA, as well as

CableLabs. In addition to the operators and service provider organizations, new members including ALPHA, Asia Optical, BFW, CZT, DZS, EXFO, EZconn, Gemtek, JPC, MT2, Pegatron, SiFotonics, and WNC.

This brings the 25GS-PON MSA to 34 members.

Proximus, the leading provider of fixed broadband networks in Belgium, deployed the world’s first live 25G network on May 26, 2021.

The 25GS-PON MSA was first announced on October 8, 2020 with the goal of promoting and accelerating the development of 25GS-PON technology. Since its formation, the 25GS-PON MSA Group has published version 1.0 of the 25 Gigabit Symmetrical Passive Optical Network specification, providing the basis for how 25GS-PON should be implemented to ensure basic functionality and interoperability across different vendors.

Previously announced members include AOI, AT&T, Chorus, Chunghwa Telecom, Ciena, Commscope, Cortina Access, Feneck, HiLight Semiconductor, Hisense, MACOM,

MaxLinear, NBN Co., Nokia, Semtech, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., and Tibit Communications. 

http://www.25gspon-msa.org

New 25GS-PON multisource agreement gets underway

A new 25G symmetric PON multi-source agreement (25GS-PON MSA) is underway with the goal of promoting and accelerating the development of 25GS-PON. 

The MSA Group has defined the 25GS-PON specification needed to address the gap between 10G XGS-PON and 50G PON in the ITU-T. The MSA was created after the ITU-T SG15/Q2 group did not reach consensus to standardize 25GSPON, which is seen as a crucial technology by many of the world’s top operators and vendors.

As a first step, the 25GS-PON MSA Group created a specification for 25GS-PON which includes optical specifications based on the IEEE 802.3ca 25G EPON standard, along with a Transmission Convergence (TC) layer that is an extension of XGS-PON. 

The MSA Group will also promote and catalyze the market development for 25GS-PON.

The founding members of the 25GS-PON MSA Group include: AOI, Chorus, Chunghwa Telecom, Ciena, MACOM, MaxLinear, NBN Co., Nokia, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd, and Tibit Communications.

http://www.25gspon-msa.org


STL acquires Clearcomm for FTTx integration expertise

STL (Sterlite Technologies Ltd) has acquired Clearcomm Group Ltd, a UK-based network integration company. The transaction is structured to acquire 100% of the share capital in 2 tranches. Tranche 1 entails acquisition of 80% of the share capital which will happen immediately (subject to customary pre-closing conditions), and is based on an Enterprise Value of GBP 15.5 million. The balance 20% shareholding will be acquired in 2023.

Clearcomm is a privately held company that provides end-to-end network integration solutions and capabilities in the UK, including for large-scale FTTx projects. The company claims revenues in the range of GBP 20 million and growth rates of over 25% over the past 3 years. 

STL said the deal will enhance the presence of its Network Integration solutions across UK and Europe.

Welcoming Clearcomm on board, Dr Anand Agarwal, Group CEO, STL said, "As digital infrastructure investments are increasing across the globe, STL is globalising its System Integration solutions to help build these advanced networks. With the addition of Clearcomm's network integration expertise to STL's Optical Connectivity and Data Centre integration capabilities, we are uniquely positioned to help our customers deliver the most advanced, deep-fiberised digital networks."

https://www.stl.tech/

NeoPhotonics appoints SVP of Global Sales

NeoPhotonics announced the appointment of Bradford W. Wright as the Company’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales. Most recently, Wright was head of Worldwide Component Sales and Applications at Cisco Systems, following their acquisition of Acacia Communications, where he was Vice President of Sales from January 2018. From January 2016 to January 2018, he served as Director of Sales at Intel Corporation, following their acquisition of Altera Corporation in 2015, where he held a similar role. 


"On behalf of the Management and Board of Directors, I am pleased to welcome Brad to NeoPhotonics," said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. "Brad’s extensive experience in both communications and semiconductors will bring direct benefit to our high speed optical components, modules and semiconductor device solutions for our rapidly expanding high speed markets," concluded Mr. Jenks.


MEF elects 2021-2022 Board of Directors


MEF announced its 2021-2022 Board of Directors

  • Nan Chen, Head of The One Network, Ericsson
  • Frederick Chui, Chief Commercial Officer, PCCW Global
  • Andrew Dugan, Chief Technology Officer, Lumen
  • Shawn Hakl, Vice President, 5G Strategy, Microsoft
  • Aamir Hussain, Chief Product Officer and Senior Vice President, Verizon Business Group
  • Daniele Mancuso, Senior Vice President Chief Product Management, Sparkle
  • Franck Morales, Vice President, Connectivity Services, Orange Business Services
  • Rasesh Patel, Executive Vice President, Chief Product & Platform Officer, AT&T Business
  • Robert “Bob” Victor, Senior Vice President of Product Management, Comcast Business
  • Mirko Voltolini, Vice President, Innovation, Colt Technology Services
  • Jeremy Wubs, Senior Vice President, Product, Marketing and Professional Services for Bell Business Markets, Bell Canada 

MEF Officers

  • Nan Chen, President
  • Aamir Hussain, Chairman
  • Bob Victor, Treasurer
  • Kevin Vachon, Chief Operating Officer
  • Pascal Menezes, Chief Technology Officer
  • Daniel Bar-Lev, Vice President, Strategic Programs

“We are extremely fortunate to have a world-class team of distinguished leaders on the MEF Board of Directors,” said Nan Chen, President, MEF. “For 20 years, MEF has been solving shared business challenges through industry collaboration. Our new Board brings deep industry expertise, insights, and fresh perspectives that will challenge and strengthen MEF’s ability to drive network transformation to power the digital economy. 

“I want to express my appreciation to outgoing board member and MEF Distinguished Fellow Ralph Santitoro, Head of Digital Services, Fujitsu Network Communications, for his important contributions in guiding MEF’s work in key strategic areas.”

https://www.mef.net/