Thursday, August 2, 2018

BELLA advances with 25-year IRU for Europe to Latin America

GÉANT and RedCLARA, the Latin American Research and Education Network, have entered into an Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) contract with EllaLink, for spectrum on a direct submarine cable connecting Europe and Latin America.

GÉANT is Europe’s leading collaboration on network and related infrastructure and services for the research and education community.

The transatlantic capacity was procured on behalf of the Building the Europe Link with Latin America (BELLA) Consortium. Beneficiaries include the European and Latin American research and education communities for the next quarter of a century, in areas such as astronomy, particle physics, and earth observation. With funding from the European Union (EU) and the Latin American NREN community, the IRU represents a key financial element in the building of the EllaLink cable, which is expected to be operational in late 2020.

GÉANT and RedCLARA were first interconnected in 2003 under the EU-funded ALICE project to support scientific and academic collaboration between the two continents. Since then connections speeds have grown by over 1,600% from 622 Mbps to the current 10 Gbps. However, there is no direct submarine cable capable of supporting research and education data needs between Europe and Latin America, limiting capacity and cost-effectiveness.

Erik Huizer, GÉANT CEO said, “I am delighted to see the culmination of work with our BELLA Consortium colleagues leading to the signature of the BELLA contract with EllaLink. Obtaining spectrum on an intercontinental submarine cable, which we can deploy and upgrade with our Latin American partners in line with research and education connectivity requirements, is a completely new model for our international connections, and will provide us with the flexibility and cost efficiencies we need to meet our users’ needs. It will be exciting to watch the deployment of a submarine cable at close hand and we look forward to seeing bits between GÉANT and RedCLARA being exchanged for the first time on a physically direct path between the two continents in 2020”.

Luis Eliécer Cadenas, Executive Director of RedCLARA, and co-chair of the BELLA Consortium, said, “This milestone is a key achievement for the Latin American research and education community. We are opening a direct collaboration channel with Europe, guaranteeing security and quality of service for the many scientific and educational applications that we expect to offer. RedCLARA is engaged in building the data communications infrastructure for research and education that will foster regional development. The BELLA subsea cable is a first stone in building this capacity”.

EllaLink submarine cable system to connect Brazil to Europe

EllaLink, a proposed submarine cable system promises to bring the most direct fiber connectivity between Brazil and Europe.

EMACOM - Telecomunicações da Madeira - announced the signing of a contract to develop the system with direct links to the islands of Madeira. The expected ready-for-service is 2020.

EllaLink will be a 3 fiber pair systems linking Southern Europe (Sines – Lisbon – Madrid) to LATAM (Fortaleza – Sao Paulo). Three intermediate branches are also being planned to land in Cabo Verde, the Canary Islands and Madeira. The main section of the cable traveling from Sines to Fortaleza is approximately 5900 km.

Verizon lists moto x3 5G upgradable smartphone for $480

Verizon will begin selling Motorola's new moto z3 and 5G moto mod smartphones, which will be able to use Verizon's forthcoming 5G mobile service network when it launches in 2019. The moto z3 will connect to Verizon’s mobile 5G service over millimeter wave spectrum.

The moto z3 features all-day battery life, TurboPower charging, dual 12-MP, depth-sensing smart cameras that work with Google Lens and a nearly borderless 6” Super AMOLED display. The moto z3 will be available in the U.S. exclusively through Verizon starting on August 16 at $20 a month for 24 months on Verizon’s device payment plan ($480 retail; 0% APR).

Verizon plans to launch 5G residential broadband service in four markets in the U.S. – including Houston, Los Angeles, Sacramento and one additional city, to be named – in the second half of 2018, followed by a mobile 5G solution in 2019.

FCC sets 28 GHz auction for 5G for November 14

The FCC announced application and bidding procedures for the upcoming Spectrum Frontiers auctions of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licenses in the 28 GHz (27.5-28.35 GHz) and 24 GHz (24.25-24.45, 24.75-25.25 GHz) bands.

Two auctions will be held with different bidding procedures to accommodate differences in the characteristics of the licenses in the two bands:

  • Auction 101:  The auction of the licenses in the 28 GHz band will employ the standard simultaneous multiple round auction format.  The 28 GHz licenses will be offered in two 425 megahertz blocks by county.
  • Auction 102:  The auction of the licenses in the 24 GHz band will employ a clock auction format, beginning with a clock phase that will allow bidding on generic blocks in each Partial Economic Area in successive bidding rounds.  There will then be an assignment phase to allow winners of the generic blocks to bid for frequency-specific license assignments.  The 24 GHz licenses will be offered in seven 100 megahertz blocks.  

The bidding for the 28 GHz UMFUS licenses (Auction 101) will commence on November 14, 2018, and the bidding for the 24 GHz licenses (Auction 102) will commence after the bidding concludes in Auction 101.

Certain auction rules, such as the prohibition on certain communications, will apply across both auctions.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement:

"This is the latest in a long line of FCC efforts to make high-band spectrum available for flexible wireless use—efforts like the 2017 and 2018 Spectrum Frontiers Orders.  And we’re not stopping with these two auctions.  In the second half of 2019, we intend to hold an auction of three more millimeter-wave spectrum bands: 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz.  Between that auction and the auctions for which we establish procedures today, we’ll push almost 5 gigahertz of spectrum into the commercial marketplace over the course of the next seventeen months.  We’re also reforming our wireless infrastructure rules to ensure that the small-cell and fiber-based networks of the future can be built, for all the 5G spectrum in the world is pointless without 5G networks to make use of it.  These are the kinds of aggressive actions we need to take to promote innovation, investment, and United States leadership in 5G."

Cisco pays $2.3 billion for Duo Security and multi-factor authentification

Cisco agreed to acquire Duo Security, a start-up based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for $2.3 billion in cash and assumed equity awards.

Duo Security specializes in unified access security and multi-factor authentication delivered through the cloud. Duo Security's solution verifies the identity of users and the health of their devices before granting them access to applications.

Cisco said the acquisition enables it to extend intent-based networking into multicloud environments. Cisco currently provides on-premises network access control via its Identity Services Engine (ISE) product. Duo's software as a service-based (SaaS) model will be integrated with Cisco ISE to extend ISE to provide cloud-delivered application access control. Duo's technology will also add trusted identity awareness into Cisco's Secure Internet Gateway, Cloud Access Security Broker, Enterprise Mobility Management, and several other cloud-delivered products.

"In today's multicloud world, the modern workforce is connecting to critical business applications both on- and off-premise," said David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco's networking and security business. "IT teams are responsible for protecting hundreds of different perimeters that span anywhere a user makes an access decision. Duo's zero-trust authentication and access products integrated with our network, device and cloud security platforms will enable our customers to address the complexity and challenges that stem from multi-and hybrid-cloud environments."

Duo was founded by Dug Song, Jon Oberheide.

Duo has raised $119 million in venture capital. Investors in Duo included Benchmark, Index Ventures, Geodesic Capital, Meritech Capital Partners, Google Ventures, Redpoint, Lead Edge Capital, true ventures, and workday.

Arista hits $2 billion annual revenue rate, acquires Mojo for WiFi

Arista Networks reported revenue of $519.8 million for its second quarter of 2018, an increase of 10.0% compared to its first quarter of 2018, and an increase of 28.3% from the second quarter of 2017. GAAP gross margin was 64.2%.

GAAP net income of $150.7 million, or $1.86 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $102.7 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2017. Non-GAAP net income of $155.7 million, or $1.93 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $105.5 million, or $1.34 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2017.

“Arista is one of the fastest networking companies to achieve a $2 billion annual revenue rate, driven by its industry leadership in software-defined networking,” stated Jayshree Ullal, Arista President and CEO. “In Q2 2018 we comfortably surpassed the $500 million revenue mark with record profitability.”

Arista agreed to acquire Mojo Networks for its Cognitive WiFi and cloud-managed wireless networking.

“We are excited about Arista's first acquisition transaction and its significance to Arista's cognitive campus vision. We welcome the Mojo Networks employees to the Arista family,” stated Ms. Ullal. Financial terms were not disclosed. Mojo is based in Mountain View, California.

FCC targets faster access to utility poles for new uses

The FCC adopted new rules aimed at promoting broadband and fiber backhaul buildouts by speeding the process and reducing the costs of attaching new network facilities to utility poles.

The new “one-touch, make-ready” allows the party seeking to attach new equipment to a pole to prepare the pole quickly, rather than spreading the work across multiple parties. The FCC estimates that "one-touch, make-ready" could result in approximately 8.3 million incremental premises passed with fiber and about $12.6 billion in incremental fiber capital expenditures.  The process will not apply to more complicated attachments, or above the “communications space” of a pole, where safety and reliability risks are greater, but the Order improves current processes for attachments in these spaces.

The FCC also clarified that it will preempt, on a case-by-case basis, state and local laws that inhibit the rebuilding or restoration of broadband infrastructure after a disaster.  The FCC declaratory ruling further states that state and local moratoria on telecommunications services and facilities deployment are barred by the Communications Act because they “prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the ability of any entity to provide any interstate or intrastate telecommunications service.”

Nutanix to acquire Mainframe2 (Frame) for cloud-based Windows desktops

Nutanix agreed to acquire Mainframe2 (Frame), which specializes in cloud-based Windows desktop and application delivery. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Frame is a global, infrastructure-independent platform built to deliver Windows applications from the cloud. Frame supports multi-cloud delivery models, allowing IT teams to deliver virtual desktops from public clouds and their own enterprise datacenter – with common tooling and management constructs. The company is based in San Mateo, California.

Frame is a global, infrastructure-independent platform built to deliver Windows applications from the cloud.

"Companies desperately need a cloud-native desktop solution for their multi-cloud environments which combines the performance of on-prem offerings with the flexibility and cost optimization of the cloud. That’s why we built Frame,” said Nikola Bozinovic, Founder and CEO at Frame. “Nutanix shares our vision of simplifying critical IT functions so companies can save money, save time and still achieve exceptional performance no matter their underlying infrastructure, and we’re so proud to be joining the family."

“Frame’s cloud-native technology represents everything we believe to be true in the market - customers want easy-to-use, high performance and cost optimized solutions that just work across the entirety of their infrastructure,” said Sunil Potti, Chief Product and Development Officer at Nutanix. “We are committed to providing our customers with a robust multi-cloud DaaS offering through Frame while working with our partners to enable best-in-class enterprise VDI. We are delighted to add the Frame technology, and the innovative thinkers behind it, to our family.”

FCC approves compensation for low-power entities regarding incentive spectrum auction

Responding to a recent Congressional directive, the FCC announced rules to reimburse certain Low Power TV (LPTV), TV translator, and FM stations for costs incurred as a result of the spectrum incentive auction. 

Full power, Class A, and MVPD already receive compensation for certain costs incurred by the incentive auction. The list of eligible entities is now being expanded.