Monday, December 6, 2021

Nokia to build a new campus in Oulu, Finland

Nokia will build a new campus in Oulu, Finland. 

Oulu is considered the "Home of Radio" and is a key R&D site for Nokia, as well as a city where Nokia continues to recruit new R&D talent. During 2018-2020, Nokia hired around 1,200 permanent employees in Finland and in 2021 has hired an additional 500 employees. The vast majority of these new positions are in R&D and the employees will be placed in Nokia’s three sites in Finland; Espoo, Oulu and Tampere.

The new campus on the Linnanmaa-Ritaharju plot will provide Nokia with premises to cater to the future ways of working, including moving towards purpose-driven and more collaborative office spaces. The campus is expected to be completed during 2025 and it will enable Nokia’s continuous innovation and development at the forefront of 5G technologies.

Erja Sankari, Head of Nokia Oulu site and Vice President, Global Supply Chain, at Nokia, said: “We are thrilled to be able to proceed with our plan to build a new Home of Radio campus in Oulu. The new campus follows our vision of connecting people, technology and nature. We want to build a functional, scalable and sustainable campus to enable the best possible workplace experience that meets the needs for flexibility, productivity, collaboration and innovation.”

Dell'Oro: Mobile backhaul drives recovery in microwave transmission

Demand for Microwave Transmission equipment is recovering from the market contraction that was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in 2020, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

“The Microwave Transmission market grew eight percent in the first nine months of the year,” stated Jimmy Yu, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “The demand for microwave equipment has sharply increased this year due to mobile radio backhaul, and the outlook continues to improve as 5G deployments proliferate. Our biggest concern, however, is that the supply chain is not keeping up with demand, delaying some shipments and raising costs,” added Yu.

Highlights from the 3Q 2021 Quarterly Report:

  • Microwave Transmission revenue from mobile backhaul grew 11 percent year-over-year in the first nine months of 2021. Growth was driven by both 4G and 5G radio deployments.
  • Huawei maintained the highest revenue share. The manufacturers with the second and third highest shares were Ericsson and Nokia, respectively. In the first nine months of 2021, Ericsson outperformed the market, increasing its market share by three percentage points.
  • E/V Band radios continued to drive the Microwave Transmission market growth. Growth rates of this equipment, which can enable up to 10 Gbps of capacity over a single carrier, has outpaced that of the total market for over nine years.

Intel plans IPO for Mobileye

Intel plans to take Mobileye public in the United States in mid-2022 via an initial public offering (IPO) of newly issued Mobileye stock.

Intel will remain the majority owner of Mobileye, and the two companies will continue as strategic partners, collaborating on projects as they pursue the growth of computing in the automotive sector.

Mobileye focuses on advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and self-driving solutions. In 2021, Mobileye shipped its 100 millionth EyeQ system-on-chip (SoC), scaled autonomous vehicle (AV) test programs across multiple cities around the world covering the U.S., Europe and Asia, unveiled its production robotaxi, and secured 41 new ADAS program wins across more than 30 automakers globally. New program wins range from core driver-assistance technology through next-generation driver-assistance and full self-driving systems. The company has also secured multiple deals for mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) programs starting in 2023, as well as consumer and business-to-business vehicle production designs for Mobileye’s self-driving system starting in 2024.

Intel said the  move will unlock the value of Mobileye for Intel shareholders.

“Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye has been a great success. Mobileye has achieved record revenue year-over-year with 2021 gains expected to be more than 40 percent higher than 2020, highlighting the powerful benefits to both companies of our ongoing partnership,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said. “Amnon and I determined that an IPO provides the best opportunity to build on Mobileye’s track record for innovation and unlock value for shareholders.”

Mobileye went public in 2014; it was acquired by Intel in 2017. Intel currently owns 100% of Mobileye shares and is expected to retain majority ownership following the completion of the IPO.

Intel eyes automotive silicon expansion

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger predicts the “digitization of everything” will push the share of semiconductors in the total new premium vehicle bill of materials (BOM) to more than 20% by 2030 – up more than 5X from 4% in 2019. The company forecasts the total addressable market (TAM) for automotive silicon will more than double by the end of the decade to $115 billion – approximately 11% of the entire silicon market.2

In pursuit of this opportunity, Intel announced plans to build new chip manufacturing facilities in Europe, establish committed foundry capacity at its Ireland site, and launch the Intel Foundry Services Accelerator to help foundry customers move automotive designs to advanced nodes.

In addition, Intel's Mobileye division unveiled the first production AV equipped with the Mobileye Drive self-driving system and bearing the MoovitAV services branding. Mobileye is working with Sixt to bring autonomous ride-hailing into operation with Munich-based Sixt SE starting in 2022.

Intel leverages silicon photonics for Mobileye's lidar system-on-chip

Mobileye, a division of Intel, unveiled a new silicon photonics processor for frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) lidar. The new device, which was engineered at Intel’s silicon photonics fab in New Mexico, is expected to be in production by 2025. 

Mobileye envisions that AVs will use both radio- and light-based detection-and-ranging sensing.

The new software-defined imaging radar technology with 2304 channels, 100DB dynamic range and 40 DBc side lobe level that together enable the radar to build a sensing state good enough for driving policy supporting autonomous driving. 

“This is really game-changing. And we call this a photonic integrated circuit, PIC. It has 184 vertical lines, and then those vertical lines are moved through optics. Having fabs that are able to do that, that’s very, very rare. So this gives Intel a significant advantage in building these lidars,” stated Mobileye president and chief executive officer Amnon Shashua.

Windstream Wholesale connects with EdgeConneX in Tempe

Windstream Wholesale will connect its Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON) to the EdgeConneX data center in Tempe, Arizona.

The carrier-neutral PHX01 Data Center is located at 3011 South 52nd St., Suite 107, in Tempe, less than 10 minutes from downtown Phoenix. It connects to Windstream’s point of presence at 1710 East Grant St. in Phoenix and houses approximately 30 clients, including cable and content providers, carriers, enterprise-scale customers and international tenants.

A Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute cloud on-ramp is available at Windstream’s Phoenix facility as well as other multi-cloud hybrid solutions through the company’s technology and solution partners. In addition, EdgeConneX enables customers to access leading CSP’s like AWS, Google, Oracle, and IBM.

Windstream Wholesale also has a presence in these EdgeConneX data centers:

  • 1003 Donnelly Ave., Atlanta, GA
  • 21005 Lahser Rd., Southfield, MI
  • 6327 Northeast Evergreen Parkway, Hillsboro OR
  • 282 Corliss St., Pittsburgh, PA
  • 8535 Highfields, Englewood, CO (Jan 2022)

Windstream Wholesale cites progress with 400G

Windstream Wholesale  is expanding its 400 Gigabit wave offerings to meet rapidly growing customer demand for high-bandwidth solutions. The carrier cited several milestones:Windstream and Infinera were the first to successfully demonstrate 400 Gig client-side services in April 2020 with commercially available ultra-efficient 400GbE-LR8 QSFP-DD compact pluggable interfaces.In February 2021, Windstream announced that it had deployed 400 Gbps single-wavelength...

ADTRAN/ADVA combination reaches major milestones

ADTRAN announced that the acceptance of the exchange offer regarding the proposed business combination between ADTRAN and ADVA Optical Networking SE has been recommended by ADVA's management and supervisory boards and that key antitrust approvals have been received.

On November 23, 2021, the management and supervisory boards of ADVA issued a joint reasoned statement recommending that ADVA shareholders accept the exchange offer for Acorn HoldCo shares. The members of both boards are of the opinion that the consideration offered is appropriate and fair and in the best interest of ADVA and its shareholders.

Furthermore, following approval of the publication of the offer document by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), the offer period in Germany started on November 12, 2021, and is expected to end on January 12, 2022.

In the United States, the registration statement on Form S-4 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by Acorn HoldCo, Inc., which includes a proxy statement of ADTRAN and a prospectus of Acorn HoldCo, was declared effective on December 2, 2021. ADTRAN also announced that it has scheduled a special meeting of its shareholders to be held on January 6, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. (CST) to seek approval by ADTRAN’s shareholders of the proposed business combination, a key milestone. Further information on the special meeting of shareholders is available on the ADTRAN Investor Relations website at

Major milestones have also been reached with regard to the required antitrust approvals. As of November 17, 2021, the relevant antitrust authorities have either cleared the business combination or confirmed they did not intend to conduct a public review. The parties continue to work diligently to obtain the required foreign direct investment approvals.

ADTRAN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Stanton stated, “Progress of our merger is on track with key antitrust clearances now received and the parties focusing on cooperative proceedings with the FDI authorities. Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and our expected completion timeline remains on track.”

ADTRAN + ADVA merger targets fiber broadband opportunities

ADTRAN and ADVA announced a merger focused on end-to-end fiber networking solutions for communications service provider, enterprise and government customers. The deal combines ADTRAN’s market presence in fiber access, fiber extension and subscriber connectivity solutions with ADVA’s position in metro wavelength division multiplexing, data center interconnect, business ethernet and network synchronization solutions. The new company, which will...

Keysight and CTC certify the first Wi-Fi 6E device

Keysight Technologies and CTC advanced GmbH, a testing and certification laboratory, have collaborated to certify the first Wi-Fi 6E device. The device, a broadband home gateway, was tested against the most recent version of the European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI) standard EN 303 687, introduced to regulate usage of the new Wi-Fi frequencies (from 5.9 to 6.45 GHz), a mandatory procedure to gain market access.

Keysight’s IoT Regulatory Compliance Test Solution addresses the requirements of ETSI and FCC regulatory standards for IoT devices operating in Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) frequency bands.

“Regulatory certification is a critical aspect when it comes to optimizing time-to-market of a wireless device. Keysight works closely with regulatory bodies like ETSI and FCC to enable all players of the ecosystem to test their design as early as possible against the new standards. We are proud of this successful collaboration with early adopters, which makes new technologies like Wi-Fi 6E a reality for the mass market,” said Boon Juan Tan, vice president and general manager, General Electronics Measurement Solutions at Keysight Technologies.

In the field of Radio Systems, CTC advanced GmbH offers the complete range of compliance testing and development-related measurements according to the requirements for Europe, USA, Canada, Japan and further worldwide standards. In addition to radio tests (up to 500 GHz) for any established technology, such as Bluetooth, WLAN, 2G/3G/4G/5G, UWB, satellite and radar applications, CTC advanced GmbH covers measurements of electromagnetic compatibility, electrical safety and assessments of potential health impairments through SAR and EMF testing.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

AWS SiteLink bridges on-prem resources over global backbone

A new AWS Direct Connect SiteLink capability has been introduced to help enterprises create connections between  on-premises networks through the AWS global network backbone.

Amazon says its AWS global backbone can serves as an alternative to the public Internet or managed connectivity service for linking private data centers to branch office resources.

Previously, such connections required routing through an AWS Region and an AWS Transit Gateway.

Currently, AWS has 108 Direct Connect locations available in 32 countries across Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. Traffic flows from one Direct Connect location to another following the shortest possible path. 

AWS Direct Connect SiteLink does not require a long-term contract. Service speed ranges from 50 Mbps to 100 Gbps. SiteLink also integrates with other AWS services, letting customers reach their VPCs, other AWS services, and  on-premises networks from your Direct Connect connections.

Once you connect your locations (NY1, AM3, Paris, and TY2 in the diagram) to a Direct Connect gateway, those connections can reach any AWS Region (except the two AWS China Regions). No peering between Regions is necessary, because Direct Connect gateways are global resources.

Video: The Journey to CI/CD and Automation

When we talk about embracing the principles of CI/CD, the goal is to automate Ribbon’s CI/CD pipeline to align with, and enable, our customer’s CI/CD environment.  It also encompasses how automation enables cloud native operations.   This engineering discussion delves into Ribbon’s adoption of CI/CD and cloud native operations and how the artifacts delivered by Ribbon enable frictionless integration with their customer’s automation environments.

Blueprint: To Unlock the 5G Future, Service Providers Need to Get Active

by Steve Douglas, Head of Market Strategy, Spirent Communications

Imagine a big storm just passed through your neighborhood, and you’re worried it might have damaged your roof. Do you:

a. Go investigate how the roof is holding up 

b. Wait until the next storm to see if water starts dripping into your bedroom

Most of us would choose option A. It just makes sense to try to determine if something is broken ahead of time, before it fails and creates a bigger, more expensive problem. And yet, that’s not the approach most service providers use today when monitoring their networks.

Modern active monitoring technologies let operators poke and prod their networks in a variety of ways to spot potential problems before they affect customers. But only a fraction of service providers actually use them across the end-to-end network. Instead, most rely on the same techniques they’ve used for years: passively collecting telemetry data, analyzing it over time, detecting many problems only when someone calls to complain. 

This has never been an ideal situation, but in the near future, it will be an impossible one. As service providers progress with 5G rollouts, passive monitoring strategies fall apart. Which means, active testing and assurance is no longer optional. It’s becoming a mission-critical requirement. 

 Problems with Traditional Testing

Historically, most operators have relied on passive monitoring to assess network health, isolate faults, and ensure they live up to their service-level agreements (SLAs). That is, they deploy passive probes throughout their environment to capture network traffic data, dump that data into huge data lakes, and run analytics on it to identify anomalies. Active monitoring takes a more proactive approach. Instead of waiting for statistical analysis to reveal issues over weeks or months, it continually injects synthetic traffic into the network to measure performance in real time. 

Active monitoring is not a new concept. Many operators use it today in transport networks, where they’ve been seeking to introduce self-healing and automation capabilities. In the heart of most networks though, the passive approach still dominates. Now, that’s starting to change in response to five big trends:

  • Cloudification: To enable more agility and automation, operators are implementing more of the network as software, hosted in cloud environments. As a result, network elements are no longer static, rigid functions. They’re dynamic pieces of software that can be continually spun up and moved across cloud environments.  
  • Openness: The 5G specification mandates open interfaces. This allows operators to work with new vendors and open-source technologies in ways that weren’t possible before. But it also means that, instead of getting software updates a couple times a year from one or two well-known suppliers, you can now expect constant updates from dozens of vendors. 
  • Automation: Legacy manual approaches can’t keep up with the volume and velocity of change in cloudified networks. As complexity and costs grow, operators need to automate more of their operations and enable self-healing, self-optimizing networks. 
  • Artificial intelligence (AI): To enable true “self-driving networks,” you can’t stop and wait for human beings to make decisions. So, AI is playing play a larger role in network operations. 
  • Shift to work from home: Businesses were already seeing their workforces get more distributed, but COVID-19 kicked this trend into overdrive. Suddenly, operators need to deliver business-quality network experiences anywhere and everywhere.
As these trends converge, network traffic patterns become incredibly dynamic, elastic, and hard to predict. Just understanding what’s happening out there, much less isolating the source of issues, gets enormously difficult—especially if you’re relying on passive probes in static locations. 

Getting Active 

To navigate these issues and position themselves to succeed in the 5G marketplace, service providers are now extending active testing and assurance across more of their networks. Active monitoring involves three basic components: 

  • Active test agents—lightweight software probes that can run on any cloud compute platform and be spun up anywhere in the network, even on end-user devices
  • Large testing libraries to cover a variety of simulations—voice calls, video sessions, web browsing, low-latency services, and more
  • Intelligent automation, so the environment can not only run tests in the background continuously but can make smart decisions about which tests to run and where, without human input 

By adopting active testing and assurance, you can:

  • Monitor more proactively: With active testing always working in the background, you can continually probe your environment and spot most problems before they affect customers or SLAs. 
  • Accelerate change management: Active testing can become a default step when provisioning new services or network functions (NFs), immediately validating their performance as soon as they’re deployed. But it’s also valuable for contending with nonstop multivendor software updates. Now, you can rapidly test and validate updates in the live network, instead of having to wait weeks or months for lab testing. 
  • Assure SLAs: A growing number of services use hybrid environments, where parts of the service depend on cloud providers or other third parties. How do you guarantee that enterprise customers get the performance they’re paying for when you don’t fully own the service delivery infrastructure? The only way is to continually test the end-to-end service. 
  • Reduce mean time to repair (MTTR): If you’re relying on passive monitoring, you have to capture enough statistical data to feel confident that an anomaly signifies a real problem. Getting to that point takes time—especially if you’re waiting for organic traffic to recreate the conditions that caused the issue. Too often, while you’re waiting, customers are already calling to complain. With active monitoring, you can recreate any network conditions synthetically. And when you identify issues, you can isolate their source more quickly. 

In early active testing deployments, we’ve seen operators reduce MTTR by close to 75% through rapid fault isolation. Just as important, they’re seeing trouble tickets fall by nearly 90% through proactive monitoring—meaning they’re fixing most issues before they ever impact customers.

Preparing for the Future

Active testing can be enormously useful in today’s telecommunications networks. But if you want to achieve your business objectives in the coming years for 5G, it’s absolutely essential. Whether you’re embracing DevOps software methodologies to accelerate innovation, offering low-latency enterprise services under SLAs, or driving down costs and complexity with self-driving networks, you can’t do any of it with passive monitoring. It’s time for active assurance. 

BT opens new global headquarters in Aldgate, London

BT officially opened a new global headquarters in Aldgate, London.

The building, known as One Braham, houses approximately 3,500 BT workers and boasts smart building technology, flexible workspaces, and collaboration areas. There are also a range of catering options including a ground floor café open to the public, world class event spaces, and a large media screen in reception.

Philip Jansen, BT Group Chief Executive, said: “Our new HQ in London will bring our people together in an impressive and modern environment, transforming the way teams work.  We’re really excited to be moving into One Braham. It represents a changing BT, one that is more agile, forward thinking and able to adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by the acceleration of digital technologies. We want our colleagues to be proud of where they work, to feel part of something brilliant at BT. Our new HQ has been designed to support our people, to enable them to be at their best and deliver great results for our customers.”

Marvell posts revenue of $1.211 billion

Marvell Technology reported revenue of $1.211 billion for the third quarter of fiscal year 2022, which exceeded the midpoint of the company's guidance provided on August 26, 2021. 

GAAP net loss for the third quarter of fiscal 2022 was $(63) million, or $(0.08) per diluted share. Non-GAAP net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2022 was $364 million, or $0.43 per diluted share. Cash flow from operations for the third quarter was $265 million.

"Marvell delivered record revenue of $1.211 billion in the fiscal third quarter, growing 13 percent sequentially and 61 percent year over year, exceeding the high end of our guidance. Revenue grew substantially in each of our five end markets, led by data center, our largest contributor at 41 percent of total revenue, which grew 15 percent sequentially and 109 percent year over year," said Matt Murphy, Marvell's President and CEO. "For the fourth quarter, we are expecting sequential revenue growth of 9 percent at the midpoint of guidance, led by 5G, which is projected to increase by 30 percent sequentially and data center which is forecasted to continue to grow in the double digits on a percentage basis."

Hurricane Electric opens PoP at NEXTDC Melbourne

Hurricane Electric opened a new Point of Presence (PoP) in NEXTDC’s M1 Melbourne Data Centre, located in Port Melbourne, Australia.

NEXTDC’s M1 Melbourne offers access to the world’s largest cloud platforms including AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft, IBM Cloud, Oracle Cloud and Alibaba Cloud, as well as the nation's major carrier networks and digital service providers.

The expansion of Hurricane Electric’s presence into M1 delivers NEXTDC’s Melbourne-based customers a variety of new connectivity options and access to Hurricane Electric’s extensive IPv4 and IPv6 network through 100GE (100 Gigabit Ethernet), 10GE (10 Gigabit Ethernet) and GigE (1 Gigabit Ethernet) ports. Additionally, customers at the facility are able to exchange IP traffic with Hurricane Electric’s global network, which offers over 20,000 BGP sessions with over 9,000 different networks via more than 250 major exchange points and thousands of customer and private peering ports.

“Connectivity continues to play an increasingly important role for organisations as they continue to accelerate and modernise their hybrid IT environments. Our partnership with Hurricane Electric enables us to deepen optionality within our ecosystem, and deliver our customers the power of choice to seamlessly connect to the critical services their business relies on,” said David Dzienciol, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer at NEXTDC. “With Melbourne rapidly emerging as Australia’s next major digital region, it’s critical customers have access to a global network of services such as Hurricane Electric, to provide the speed and global reach needed.”

Thursday, December 2, 2021

DOCOMO and NEC test O-RAN compliant 5G SA

NTT DOCOMO and NEC completed interoperability testing for 5G standalone (SA) using a 5G base station baseband unit (5G CU/DU) conforming to O-RAN open interface specifications and radio units (RUs) of different vendors.

The multi-vendor interoperability test used a software upgrade to introduce SA capability to NEC's 5G non-standalone (NSA) CU/DU operating on DOCOMO's commercial network. As a result, the system was transformed from a 5G NSA system into a 5G SA system using the same 5G CU/DU hardware. Since the 5G CU/DU can also accommodate existing NSA, the unit can be used to flexibly and quickly upgrade a 5G network.

The SA system enables network operators to flexibly provide services that take advantage of 5G features, such as eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband), mMTC (massive Machine Type Communication), and URLLC (Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications), enabling support for the diverse demands of 5G, including the enhancement and sophistication of solutions for corporate customers.

Moving ahead, DOCOMO and NEC will continue to verify the performance of 5G CU/DU, and aim to introduce new units to DOCOMO's commercial network, resulting in expanded 5G coverage with sophisticated base station equipment that enables superior 5G service.

NEC and Fujitsu collaborate on O-RAN testing

NEC and Fujitsu are collaborating on interoperability testing between 5G base station equipment conforming to O-RAN specifications.The initiative will be implemented as part of the "Post 5G Infrastructure Enhancement R&D Project" under the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan. Through this initiative, NEC, Fujitsu, and NEDO will accelerate the global reach of base station equipment that conforms to...

NEC and NTT Docomo develop RIC for Open RAN

NEC Corporation and NTT DOCOMO are collaborating on the development of RAN Intelligent Controllers (RIC) in support of intelligent Radio Access Networks (RAN). RICS have the potential to reduce operating costs of RANs by automating base station settings. The companies expect that, in the future, the RIC control cycle will be advanced from slow control to fast control, and from the base station unit level to a user-based level of control. At...

NTT DOCOMO selects Samsung as 5G supplier

NTT DOCOMO has selected Samsung Electronics as a 5G network solution provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.Samsung's range of solutions will include O-RAN-compliant solutions.“As a leading mobile operator, our goal is to provide our customers the best possible services for creating innovative, fun and exciting experiences and finding solutions to social issues,” said Sadayuki Abeta, General Manager of the Radio Access Network Development Department...

DOCOMO commits to multivendor O-RAN for 4G/5G 

NTT DOCOMO has commenced deployment of a 4G/5G multivendor radio access network conforming to O-RAN specifications.

Working in collaboration with Fujitsu, NEC, and Nokia, DOCOMO has demonstrated multi-vendor interoperability across a variety of 4G and 5G base station equipment compatible with O-RAN. The O-RAN standards include fronthaul specifications and X2 profile specifications.

O-RAN fronthaul specifications are used to establish the connections between centralized units hosting baseband processing and remote units hosting radio processing in 5G remote-installed base stations. O-RAN fronthaul interface specifications provide a foundation for interoperability between centralized units and remote units of 5G remote-installed base stations manufactured by diverse partners.

The O-RAN X2 profile specifications provide a foundation for interoperability between 4G base stations and 5G base stations manufactured by diverse partners in 5G non-standalone (5G NSA) networks by taking 3GPP X2 interface specifications and specifying detailed standards for their usage. 5G NSA networks connect devices using both 4G and 5G technologies.

DOCOMO believes this represents the world's first realization of this level of multi-vendor interoperability in 4G and 5G base station equipment conforming to O-RAN specifications. The ability to deploy and interconnect base station equipment from different vendors will make it possible to select the equipment most suitable for deployment in any given environment, such as base stations offering broad coverage in rural areas or small base stations that can be deployed in urban areas where space is limited.

DOCOMO will deploy the equipment in the pre-commercial 5G service it plans to launch on September 20, 2019 in Japan.

Citing competition concerns, FTC moves to block NVIDIA + ARM

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued to block the $40 billion proposed acquisition of Arm Ltd. by Nvidia Corp.

The FTC vote was 4-0.

The FTC complaint states that the acquisition will harm competition in three worldwide markets in which Nvidia competes using Arm-based products:

  • High-Level Advanced Driver Assistance Systems for passenger cars. These systems offer computer-assisted driving functions, such as automated lane changing, lane keeping, highway entrance and exit, and collision prevention;
  • DPU SmartNICs, which are advanced networking products used to increase the security and efficiency of datacenter servers; and
  • Arm-Based CPUs for Cloud Computing Service Providers

The complaint also alleges that the acquisition will harm competition by giving Nvidia access to the competitively sensitive information of Arm’s licensees, some of whom are Nvidia’s rivals, and that it is likely to decrease the incentive for Arm to pursue innovations that are perceived to conflict with Nvidia’s business interests.

“The FTC is suing to block the largest semiconductor chip merger in history to prevent a chip conglomerate from stifling the innovation pipeline for next-generation technologies,” said FTC Bureau of Competition Director Holly Vedova. “Tomorrow’s technologies depend on preserving today’s competitive, cutting-edge chip markets. This proposed deal would distort Arm’s incentives in chip markets and allow the combined firm to unfairly undermine Nvidia’s rivals. The FTC’s lawsuit should send a strong signal that we will act aggressively to protect our critical infrastructure markets from illegal vertical mergers that have far-reaching and damaging effects on future innovations.”

NVIDIA to acquire ARM for $40 billion

 In a deal that will redefine the semiconductor market, NVIDIA agreed to acquire Arm Limited from Softbank for $40 billion. Under the deal, NVIDIA will pay to SoftBank a total of $21.5 billion in NVIDIA common stock and $12 billion in cash. NVIDIA will also issue $1.5 billion in equity to Arm employees. The deal does not include Arm’s IoT Services Group.

NVIDIA vowed to retain Arm's open-licensing model while maintaining the global customer neutrality that has been foundational to its success. NVIDIA also committed to retaining Arm's headquarters in Cambridge, UK.

SoftBank will retain a minority stake in NVIDIA, which is expected to be under 10%.

“AI is the most powerful technology force of our time and has launched a new wave of computing,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “In the years ahead, trillions of computers running AI will create a new internet-of-things that is thousands of times larger than today’s internet-of-people. Our combination will create a company fabulously positioned for the age of AI.

“Simon Segars and his team at Arm have built an extraordinary company that is contributing to nearly every technology market in the world. Uniting NVIDIA’s AI computing capabilities with the vast ecosystem of Arm’s CPU, we can advance computing from the cloud, smartphones, PCs, self-driving cars and robotics, to edge IoT, and expand AI computing to every corner of the globe.

“This combination has tremendous benefits for both companies, our customers, and the industry. For Arm’s ecosystem, the combination will turbocharge Arm’s R&D capacity and expand its IP portfolio with NVIDIA’s world-leading GPU and AI technology.

NVIDIA acquires Mellanox - focus on Next Gen Data Centers

NVIDIA completed its $7 billion acquisition of Mellanox Technologies. The deal was originally announced on March 11, 2019.

NVIDIA says that by combining its computing expertise with Mellanox’s high-performance networking technology, data center customers will achieve higher performance, greater utilization of computing resources and lower operating costs.

“The emergence of AI and data science, as well as billions of simultaneous computer users, is fueling skyrocketing demand on the world’s datacenters,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “Addressing this demand will require holistic architectures that connect vast numbers of fast computing nodes over intelligent networking fabrics to form a giant datacenter-scale compute engine.

Video: Network complexity requires a new level of intelligent automation

Service Providers are challenged with complexity and technologies coming into deployment, such as network slicing, disaggregation, and virtualization of RAN infrastructure,  only add to the challenge

Here is a perspective from Santiago Rodriguez, Head of Strategic Projects, Lead of Intelligent Automation Platform, at Ericsson.

Ericsson's Intelligent Automation Platform runs rApps

Ericsson launched its Intelligent Automation Platform and a suite of rApps as its next natural step for existing 4G and 5G radio access networks (RAN). 

The Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform is a service management and orchestration product that builds on the company's cloud native dual-mode 5G Core and the Cloud RAN portfolio, while also supporting multivendor RANs including purpose-built and Open RANs. The solution facilitates AI and automation, which improves network performance, operational efficiency and customer experience to help create smarter networks.

Ericsson said its new platform automates the radio access network using AI and radio network applications (rApps) with different functionalities. In a similar way to an operating system that automates operations, resources and identifies improvements to be made across the network, Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform includes a non-real-time RAN intelligent controller (Non-RT-RIC) that operates rApps. Ericsson is introducing a suite of rApps across four domains: efficient automated deployment; network healing; network evolution; and network optimization. The company is also introducing a software-development toolkit (SDK) to help operators and integrators to build their on rApps.

Jan Karlsson, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Digital Services, Ericsson, says: “We embrace the principle of openness and the evolution to open network architectures. Building upon our Cloud RAN offering, we are taking another major step towards building the network for the digital future with the launch of Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform, which fundamentally enables smarter mobile networks. We look forward to providing our customers with an open platform that enables operational efficiency, enhances customer experience and drives service innovation. I am happy to hear the reactions from our customers already being positive towards our new product and we look forward to future development and innovation.”

Neil McRae, MD Architecture & Strategy, BT Group Chief Architect, says: “At BT we connect for good and continuously innovate to provide the best services for our customers. As we expand and modernize building more reliable networks in more places, managing network complexity via automation is critical to ensure our customers best quality of experience.  I’m pleased to see that Ericsson is launching the Intelligent Automation Platform for automating networks, based on the O-RAN Alliance Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) concept. Ericsson’s vision to extend that SMO concept to support both Open RAN and existing 4G and 5G networks, using a single operational pane-of-glass is an innovative approach.”

Verizon Business adds Cisco managed SD WAN services

Verizon Business has added Cisco managed SD WAN service, including options for 4G/5G connectivity, to its Network as a Service (NaaS) digitization portfolio.

The new solutions include:

  • Managed Cisco SD WAN for the Cisco Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms Family, and Integrated Services Router (ISR) 1000 and 4000 series, including management of the Cisco cellular Pluggable Interface Modules (PIM), and Cisco Catalyst Cellular Gateways. This new offer supports 4G and 5G cellular for gigabit connectivity to distributed cloud workloads. For a limited time, Verizon will provide customers one free Cisco Catalyst Cellular Gateway with each new Cisco SD WAN 3-year device license purchase.
  • Verizon is delivering a Cisco SD WAN performance suite including Cisco Umbrella for cloud security, Duo for zero trust application access, and Thousand Eyes for network observability. This suite delivers the protection and visibility to enhance SD WAN security and performance while reducing customer costs.
  • Cloud collaboration services with carrier-grade quality, reliability and security via Verizon’s fully private connection to Cisco Webex Calling and Webex Contact Center. Customers can capitalize on this private integration through wireline and wireless networks with Verizon Private IP and Verizon Wireless Private Network Traffic Management.

"In a hybrid work world, application performance and security are critical. We are committed to making it simpler for IT teams to deliver the best customer experiences,” said Todd Nightingale, EVP and GM, Enterprise Networking and Cloud, Cisco. “Verizon’s new Cisco managed SD WAN offer delivers cloud security and 5G capabilities, reduces complexity for customers, and enables private network connections to Cisco's Webex service cloud."

“Organizations are challenged with finding flexible and secure networking solutions that enable the rapid transition to hybrid cloud and hybrid work while maximizing application performance for their users,” said Massimo Peselli, senior vice president, Global Enterprise, Verizon Business. “The addition of these Cisco solutions builds on our longstanding history of co-innovation and provides customers with the agility and scalability to meet today’s needs while future-proofing their operations.”

Verizon to deliver global SD-WAN for FM Logistic

Verizon Business has been selected by FM Logistic, an international supplier of supply chain services with a strong customer base in the consumer goods, retail, cosmetic, industrial and health sectors. It employs more than 27,200 people.The secure SD WAN network will run across FM Logistic’s operations in 14 countries and is a fundamental part of the company’s growth and ongoing digital transformation.“With new digital applications on the horizon...

Verizon Business adds Fortinet to its SD-WAN portfolio

Verizon Business has added Fortinet Secure SD WAN to its global SD WAN offering.“The quick transition to hybrid and/or remote working models opened new avenues for cyber threat actors,” said Sampath Sowmyanarayan, Chief Revenue Officer for Verizon Business. “Solutions like Verizon’s Software Defined Secure Branch with Fortinet add those layers of security that help safeguard your employees, your business and ultimately your customers against cyberattacks.” Fortinet...

Italy's TOP-IX Internet Exchange deploys Nokia 400GE IP

Italian Internet Exchange provider TOP-IX will deploy the Nokia 7250 Interconnect Router (IXR)-X1 platforms with 400GE network interfaces to expand and upgrade its network to offer high speed IP routing for interconnection, peering and access to cloud services. The routers will be deployed in TOP-IX locations to increase the geographical scale, reach and capacity of its services.

Nokia 7250 IXR platforms running the Service Router Operating System (SR OS) are purpose-built to deliver multi-terabit-scale interconnectivity within data centers and across WANs. They offer exceptional networking performance and reliability and will enable TOP-IX to meet increasing traffic and service demands as its networking needs grow and change.

Davide Calonico, President of TOP-IX, said: “We chose to make a significant investment in Nokia technology because it perfectly meets the requirements of our interconnection services on a geographically distributed platform. The new platform will allow us to introduce automation for the deployment of current services and all future services that may be enabled. In addition, it will ensure that we grow in terms of capacity in order to meet the increases in traffic expected in the near future.”

Manuel Ortiz Fernandez, Senior Vice President of EMEA Webscale business at Nokia, said: “TOP-IX is a major regional Internet Exchange Provider and is expanding its regional interconnection capabilities to meet the needs of its customers as they embrace digital and cloud technologies. We are pleased that TOP-IX has chosen Nokia 400GE IP routing technology to enhance its infrastructure to support the needs of businesses and consumers in the region.”

SpaceX launches 48 more Starlink satellites

SpaceX launched a further 48 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral on a Falcon 9 rocket that previously launched GPS III-3, Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, and five other Starlink missions.

The mission also carried two BlackSky imagining spacecraft. BlackSky operates a constellation of microsatellites that powers a global monitoring service combining artificial intelligence, cloud computing, multi-sensor data fusion, activity analysis, and autonomous satellite tasking.