Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Coriant debuts 1.2 Tbps modular sled for its Groove G3

Coriant introduced a new Coherent Multiservice Sled for its Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform.

The new 1.2 Tbps modular sled leverages advances in integrated photonics and the latest 16nm coherent DSP.

Coriant said its new Groove G30 Coherent Multiservice Sled enables the platform to achieve new performance benchmarks, including:

  • Highest density – 9.6 Tbps of capacity in a compact and highly modular 1RU, a 2X improvement over the closest comparable solution; delivers unprecedented OpEx savings as networks scale
  • Lowest power consumption – the Groove G30 Coherent Multiservice Sled requires only 0.16 watts per gigabit of power, representing up to half the power consumption of competing solutions
  • Advanced programmability – programmable baud rate (30-70G baud), FEC (0-27%), and modulation depth (QPSK to 64QAM) enable operators to fine-tune and cost-optimize any transport application for the optimal spectral efficiency, lowest latency, and required transparent reach
  • Unmatched speed and reach – 600 Gbps single wavelength transmission for DCI and metro applications (up to 38.4 Tbps of capacity per fiber); 400 Gbps up to 1,000 kilometers, and 200 Gbps up to 4,000 kilometers for long-haul applications

"Our design philosophy from the outset was focused on giving our customers the ultimate in configuration flexibility at the lowest cost,” said Željko Bulut, Coriant’s Groove Product Line Manager. “With the latest advances to our open Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform, we maintain our market leadership in reach and capacity across the full range of applications, including access, DCI, metro, long haul, and submarine transport.”

Dropbox expands global private network, taps Equinix Cloud Exchange

Dropbox is expanding its global private network by offering its global collaboration platform on the Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric.

Dropbox is also launching six new points of presence across North America and Europe that will improve performance and reliability for users globally.

The new PoPs will include Atlanta, Denver, Berlin, Toronto, Stockholm, and Oslo.By the end of the year, the company plans to have an infrastructure footprint that spans 29 facilities in 12 countries on four continents including North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

“By rolling out network infrastructure across the globe over the last two years, we’ve improved performance and reliability for all of our users by allowing them to get more direct access to our data centers,” said Akhil Gupta, Vice President of Infrastructure, Dropbox. “The enhancements that we’re announcing today will extend these benefits to even more users around the world.”

Broadcom's Jericho2 switch-routing chip boasts 10 Tbps capacity

Broadcom announced commercial availability of its Jericho2 and FE9600 chips, the next generation of its StrataDNX family of system-on-chip (SoC) Switch-Routers.

The Jericho2 silicon boasts 10 Terabits per second of Switch-Router performance and is designed for high-density, industry standard 400GbE, 200GbE, and 100GbE interfaces. Key features include the company's "Elastic Pipe" packet processing, along with large-scale buffering with integrated High Bandwidth Memory (HBM).

The new device is shipping within 24 months from its predecessor Jericho+., Jericho2 delivers 5X higher bandwidth at 70% lower power per gigabit.

In addition to Jericho2, Broadcom is shipping FE9600, the new fabric switch device with 192 links of the industry's best performing and longest-reach 50G PAM-4 SerDes. This device offers 9.6 Terabits per second fabric capacity, a delivers 50% reduction in power per gigabit compared to its predecessor FE3600.

“The Jericho franchise is the industry’s most innovative and scalable silicon used today in various Switch-Routers by leading carriers,” said Ram Velaga, Broadcom senior vice president and general manager, Switch Products. “I am thrilled with the 5X increase in performance Jericho2 was able to achieve over a single generation. Jericho2 will accelerate the transition of carrier-grade networks to merchant silicon-based systems with best-in-class cost/performance.”

Glen Post to retire as CenturyLink's CEO in May

Glen F. Post, III announced his intention to retire as CEO of CenturyLink effective the day of CenturyLink's 2018 Annual Shareholder Meeting in May.

"After serving as CenturyLink's CEO for more than 26 years, I have decided to retire effective at this year's shareholders' meeting," Post said. "While my original plan was to stay in my role through the end of 2018, Jeff has more than demonstrated his ability to assume this leadership role and I believe we should make this change sooner than originally planned. Also, while I will continue to serve the company as a board member, I will not assume the role of chairman of the board in order to ensure there is clarity that Jeff will be CenturyLink's new leader," Post added.

"Through our employees' hard work and commitment and by the grace of God, CenturyLink has achieved remarkable success during my 42 years of service. Retiring after so many years is bittersweet, but I leave the company in great hands and I am confident in our future. I am grateful for the support I have enjoyed and I look forward to supporting Jeff as he leads CenturyLink in the years to come," Post concluded.

ADVA's Oscilloquartz intros modular sync solution with 10G interfaces

ADVA Optical Networking's Oscilloquartz division introduced the first IEEE 1588 grandmaster clock device on the market to support PTP, NTP and SyncE over multiple 10Gbit/s Ethernet interfaces.

The new OSA 5430, which is designed to help network operators achieve the stringent phase and time synchronization requirements needed for LTE-TDD, LTE-A and 5G RAN networks, can be deployed in the core and at centralized aggregation locations.

It features fully redundant hardware -- in case one critical module fails, another instantly takes over. Built-in Syncjack assurance functionality ensures that operations teams are alerted to any issues before services are affected.

"Our OSA 5430 is a major milestone for network timing. With today's launch, we're answering the key challenges facing today's operators as they roll out next-generation technologies such as LTE-A, and addressing the urgent synchronization needs of finance and cable companies. This device provides a smooth transition from legacy sync and supports levels of integration never before seen in the industry. Interest in our OSA 5430 is extremely strong with major Tier 1 customers already secured," said Gil Biran, general manager, Oscilloquartz. "

Interxion reports continued growth for European data centres

Interxion reported Q4 2017 revenue of 2017 of €29.9 million, an 18% increase over the fourth quarter of 2016 and a 4% increase over the third quarter of 2017. Recurring revenue was €123.4 million, a 19% increase over the fourth quarter of 2016 and a 5% increase over the third quarter of 2017. Recurring revenue in the fourth quarter represented 95% of total revenue. On an organic constant currency5 basis, revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 was 17% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 4% higher than in the third quarter of 2017.

Gross profit was €81.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, a 20% increase over the fourth quarter of 2016 and an 8% increase over the third quarter of 2017.

Operating Highlights

  • Equipped Space4 increased by 3,600 square metres in the fourth quarter and 11,700 square metres for the full year to 122,500 square metres.
  • Revenue Generating Space4 increased by 2,700 square metres in the fourth quarter and 12,600 square metres for the full year to 99,800 square metres.
  • Utilisation Rate was 81% at the end of the year.
  • During the fourth quarter, Interxion opened a new data centre in Frankfurt. In addition, Interxion completed the following expansions:
  • 700 sqm expansion in Zurich;
  • 300 sqm expansion in Vienna; and
  • 200 sqm expansion in Stockholm.
  • Interxion today announces a 500 sqm expansion in Paris.

“Interxion’s fourth quarter results conclude another year of strong performance, with 18% revenue growth for the quarter and 16% revenue growth for full year 2017,” said David Ruberg, Interxion’s Chief Executive Officer. “These results reflect Interxion’s consistent strategic and operational execution, our success in capturing the broad-based demand for our colocation services across our European footprint and the increasing value that our customers receive from our communities of interest strategy. Looking ahead, we are continuing to see positive growth drivers, including cloud platform providers expanding their infrastructure across our European footprint, and emerging enterprise hybrid cloud adoption.”

  • Earlier this year, Interxion announced new expansion projects in seven cities across Europe to meet rising demand. The expansion will be funded with cash and committed loans.

Mellanox milestone: one Million 100G ports with LinkX optical transceivers and cables

Mellanox Technologies announced a big milestone:  volume shipments of LinkX optical transceivers, Active Optical Cables (AOCs) and Direct Attach Copper Cables (DACs), have surpassed the one million 100Gb/s QSFP28 ports milestone.

“Our early 100Gb/s sales were driven by US-based hyperscale companies who were the first to deploy 100G Ethernet,” said Amir Prescher, senior vice president of business development and general manager of the interconnect business at Mellanox. “Now, China Web 2.0, Cloud computing networks, and OEMs worldwide are moving to 100G. Customers select us because of our high-speed experience, our capacity to ship in volume, and the quality of our products.”

CoreSite activates VMware Cloud on AWS

CoreSite announced the availability of dedicated, private connectivity into VMware Cloud on AWS in its first four markets. Direct connectivity to VMware Cloud on AWS is now available through fiber interconnections or through the CoreSite Open Cloud Exchange in four CoreSite markets, including Boston, Denver, New York and Northern Virginia.

VMware Cloud on AWS brings together VMware’s enterprise-class Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) software and elastic, bare-metal infrastructure from Amazon Web Services (AWS).

“VMware Cloud on AWS provides customers a seamlessly integrated hybrid cloud offering that gives customers the SDDC experience from the leader in private cloud, running on the leading public cloud provider, AWS,” said Mark Lohmeyer, vice president and general manager, Cloud Provider Unit, VMware. “Solutions such as VMware Cloud on AWS enable IT teams to reduce cost, increase efficiency, and create operational consistency across cloud environments. We’re excited to work with partners such as CoreSite to enhance native VMware Cloud on AWS capabilities and empower customers with flexibility and choice in solutions that can drive business value.”

A changing of the guard at SES

A changing of the guard is underway at SES, the global satellite communications company, with a new CEO and CFO expected to take up their posts in April. The new blood comes from O3b Networks, the visionary company whose name stood for the "other 3 billion" people on the planet who lacked access to the modern communications grid and who might be reached via a next-gen satellite constellation. The initial plan was for a network of 12 High Throughput Satellites (HTS) in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) around 8,000 kilometres from the Earth. Spotbeams from each of the satellites are capable of delivering up to 1.6 Gbps of throughput at a low latency of less than 150 milliseconds. Commercial operations began in September 2014. Early investors in O3b included SES, Google, Liberty Global, HSBC Principal Investments, Northbridge Venture Partners, Allen & Company, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Sofina, Satya Capital and Luxempart. Over time, SES increased its equity stake in the venture until eventually acquiring the whole firm in 2016. By this point, O3b's constellation was fully operational and the firm was getting recognized as the fastest growing satellite start-up.

Steve Collar, who previously was CEO of O3b has been appointed as the next President & CEO of SES, replacing Karim Michel Sabbagh who is stepping down in order to spend time with his family and to pursue new interests. Andrew Browne, who was until recently CFO of O3b Networks and CFO of SES between 2010 and 2013, has been appointed as the next CFO of SES.

Currently, four new O3b satellites have arrived safely at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, in preparation for launch by a Soyuz vehicle in March 2018. The new satellites, which will be placed into orbit at a distance of 8,000km, will augment SES’s fleet of 12 O3b satellites.  As with the previous units, the new satellites were built by Thales Alenia Space. SES says a bigger constellation enables it to offer more capacity, enhanced coverage, increased efficiencies and greater reliability while delivering carrier-grade services including MEF Carrier Ethernet 2.0 certified services.

Later this week, SES is expected to release its 4Q 2107 financial results. Most of its revenue comes from long-term contracts in the satellite video distribution business, so major swings from quarter to quarter are unlikely. The company has made a much faster transition to full HD video, and now UHD 4K, than its competitor Eutelsat, although it faces the same long-term challenges as younger consumers turn to on-demand OTT video options rather than broadcast cable TV channels.

About SES

Société Européenne des Satellites (SES), which is based in Betzdorf, Luxembourg and is traded on the Euronext Paris exchange under the ticker symbol SESG, was founded in 1985 with the vision to use geostationary satellites for a pan-European TV broadcasting system.

SES currently has over 50 active GEO satellites, 12 active MEO satellites, and over 60 teleports worldwide that feed into its global terrestrial network. The combined footprint covers virtually the entire global population.

The SES business model is divided into four categories: Video, Fixed Data, Mobility, and Government services. All of these areas are growing, with Mobility being experiencing the strongest growth thanks to the installation of satellite broadband connections by many airlines worldwide.

Video remains key to SES and currently constitutes 68% of its overall sales. This has been the company's cash cow and is projected to remain so in the coming decade. SES says its distribution contracts typically run over 10 years. Current gen GEO satellites typically have 15-year lifespans. For the first nine months of 2017, SES Video generated revenue of EUR 1,031.5 billion, which was up by 1.1% over a year earlier, but down 3.3% on a like-for-like comparative basis. While revenue was sliding, at least usage was up – more households, more channels, more HD channels, more UHD. During the year, SES landed a multi-year renewal with Sky Deutschland covering seven transponders. It also signed a multi-year agreement with Viasat Ukraine to broadcast 40 pay-TV channels, including 13 HDTV channels.

Some highlights:

  • SES estimates that its satellites are delivering video to 325 million households, up 3% YoY.
  • In Europe, SES reaches 156 million households, up 2% YOY, including 30 million IPTV households
  • SES is carrying 7,743 broadcast TV channels globally, up 6% YOY. Of these, 2,601 are HDTV channels, representing an HD penetration rate of 34%, up 7% YOY. 
  • As of November 2017, SES was also carrying its first 24 UHD channels, including Fashion One, Sky and QVC.
  • SES' video feeds 44 million IPTV homes.
  • SES' video feeds over 120 video-on-demand systems
  • Regarding bandwidth intensive UHD, the company calculates that 30 UHD channels are bandwidth equivalent to 220 SD MPEG4 channels. 

Current profile of SES Networks (includes O3b)

SES Networks appears to be the stronger side of the house, at least financially in 2017, growing 12.7%.

The company suffered a scare in June 2017 when its AMC-9 satellite experienced an anomaly on-orbit when contact and control of the spacecraft were lost for multiple days. The AMERICOM-9 (AMC-9) satellite is a hybrid C/Ku-band design based on Alcatel's Spacebus 3000B3 platform. Its C-band payload features 24 - 36 MHz transponders, while the Ku-band payload features 24 - 36 MHz transponders. During the anomaly, SES was forced to transfer all customer traffic to other satellites. AMC-9 was launched in 2003, so its operational life was coming to an end. However, the event brought some economic pain and also reminded us of the vulnerabilities of operating complex electronic systems in the hostile environment of space.

One area to highlight is the strong performance of SES’ mobility business, especially Internet access for airlines and cruise ships.

Part of this is driven by SES-15, which was launched in May 2017 and just entered commercial service in January 2018. SES-15 is the first SES hybrid satellite. It equipped with 16 Ku-band transponders (36MHz equivalent) as well as a 10 GHz high throughput payload. The all-electric satellite operates at 129 degrees West, enabling it to serve North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. One of its big customers is Gogo, which now has over 400 aircraft equipped with its 2Ku in-flight connectivity technology. Gogo’s 2Ku uses two Ku-band antennas, one for download and the other for upload. The company claims that 2Ku offers peak speeds of 70 Mbps. More impressively, Gogo has a backlog of 1,600 more aircraft awaiting the installation of its antennas. The company also says that 2KU will be compatible with future MEO satellites. Airlines that have contracted for this service include AeroMexico, Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, Air France, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, GOL, Iberia, JAL, JTA, KLM, LATAM, United, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia.

A second SES hybrid satellite is expected to come online shortly, although this one has had a bumpy ride getting there. In January 2018, an Ariane 5 rocket launched from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) suffered an anomaly during the second stage separation process. Ground tracking stations lost telemetry contact with the rocket and its two satellite payloads shortly after the second stage separation. Hours later we learned that all was well, relatively speaking. he mission carried SES-14, the second of SES' hybrid satellite to be launched. SES-14 was equipped with C-band wide beams designed for in-flight connectivity across the Atlantic. This satellite now appears to be in proper orbit, so commercial services should commence after all testing and commissioning activities are complete. SES has other in-flight connectivity partners as well, including Panasonic and Global Eagle.

AT&T looks to IPO of minority stake in DIRECTV Latin America

AT&T filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a potential initial public offering (IPO) of a minority interest in the Class A common stock of Vrio Corp., a holding company for its Latin American digital entertainment services unit, DIRECTV Latin America.