Thursday, October 18, 2018

Cloud bursting with Kubernetes

Is cloud bursting from private to public using Kubernetes a current reality or still a future vision?

Cloud bursting is here and now, says Bikash Koley, CTO of Juniper Networks, explaining how Contrail is the Kubernetes network interfacing that makes it possible to spin-up workloads on-prem or on AWS, Azure or GCP.

Automating Service Migration during Network Upgrades

Is it possible to fully automate the service migration for all clients during a major network upgrade?

Ruben Van Den Brink, Head of Network for Surf.Net, discusses the migration process to the eigth generation of the national research network serving the Netherlands.

Ericsson sees growing 5G sales, ongoing field trial costs

Ericsson reported strong momentum in the global 5G market and in North America in particular, as it posted Q3 net sales of SEK 53.8 billion (US$5.94 billion), up 9% compared to a year ago in absolute terms but up 1% when adjusted for comparable units and currency. Gross margin was 36.5% (26.9%). Gross margin excluding restructuring charges improved to 36.9% (28.5%), driven mainly by cost reductions, the continued ramp-up of Ericsson Radio System (ERS) and good progress in reviewing Managed Services contracts. Net income was SEK 2.7 billion (US$300 million), compared to a loss of SEK 3.5 billion last year.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson, states: "We continue to execute on our focused strategy, tracking well towards our 2020 targets. We see improvements across our businesses resulting in a gross margin of 36.9% (28.5%) and an operating margin of 7.0% (-1.7%). Organic  sales growth was 1% for the Group, despite headwind from exited non-strategic contracts.

We continue to invest in our competitive 5G-ready portfolio to enable our customers to efficiently migrate to 5G. Operators around the world plan for launching 5G services, led by North America. The strong customer interest in 5G generates a gradual increase in costs for field trials. We expect the costs to remain on high levels, at least for the coming 12-18 months, and they are included in our 2020 profitability target of at least 10%."


  • Ericsson says it is continuing to cooperate with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice regarding an investigation that is ongoing since 2015 into its business practices. On a conference call, the company confirmed that dozens of employees have been dismissed because of the issue.
  • Ericsson remains confident in reaching its long-term target of at least 12% operating margin beyond 2020.
  • Networks sales adjusted for comparable units and currency increased by 5% YoY, driven by strong sales growth in North America as well as sales growth in Europe and Latin America. 
  • Digital Services sales adjusted for comparable units and currency decreased by -6% YoY mainly due to continued decline in legacy product sales. 
  • Managed Services sales adjusted for comparable units and currency declined by -8% YoY, mainly as a result of customer contract reviews.
  • Networks gross margin improved to 41.5% (34.8%) with an organic sales growth of 5%. 
  • Digital Services gross margin improved to 36.9% (32.0%) YoY, but declined QoQ.
  • In Managed Services, gross margin improved to 12.9% (-4.0%) supported by efficiency gains and customer contract reviews. 
  • Restructuring charges for the full year remain unchanged at SEK 5-7 billion.

CommScope and Google develop Environmental Sensing for CBRS

CommScope and Google agreed to jointly develop, deploy and operate an Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) network for the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) market.

CBRS spectrum is managed by Spectrum Access Systems (SASs), which require an ESC network to sense radar operation. The ESC will alert the SASs of naval radar operations, so the connected SAS systems can reconfigure spectrum allocations for nearby CBRS devices to operate without interfering with naval activity.

The companies said they will each provide independent SAS services and jointly operate the ESC network. The ESC network is engineered for high availability with the built-in redundancy and fault detection necessary to provide this key enabling capability. As part of this collaboration, both companies share responsibility for overall network design.

Google has developed the ESC sensor and cloud decision engine and will operate the cloud that communicates with each SAS. CommScope will deploy and manage the operation of the physical network. CommScope and Google are working with the FCC and other governmental agencies to obtain certification of the ESC.

“The ESC represents more than a check-the-box capability. To effectively manage spectrum, a SAS relies on accurate ESC notifications - that eliminate false positive readings - from a high availability sensing network,” said Milo Medin, vice president of Wireless Services at Google. “We are excited to work with CommScope toward the success of CBRS.”

“This critical network infrastructure agreement represents a major commitment to CBRS by two major SAS providers and will help to ensure that the opportunities presented by CBRS will soon be realized,” said Ben Cardwell, senior vice president, CommScope Mobility Solutions. “Together, we can bring about a combined ESC network faster and more efficiently, leveraging the combined capabilities of two major companies.”

  • The CBRS band is 150 MHz of 3.5 GHz spectrum, which will be shared by the current incumbents, including federal government radar systems, and new commercial users. CBRS will provide new dynamically-allocated shared spectrum for various use cases such as private networks, fixed wireless access, wireless rural broadband, indoor wireless coverage, the Internet of Things, and additional cellular capacity. The FCC has authorized shared use of the band, which enables the support of commercial wireless services while protecting incumbent use.

NEC adopts Arm's Platform Security, develops facial recognition accelerator

NEC announced a strategic collaboration with Arm to drive the development of secure Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for Smart Cities using artificial intelligence (AI).

Under the alliance, NEC will adopt the Arm Platform Security Architecture, which is an industry framework for building securely connected devices. This framework includes the concept of threat modeling, architectural guidelines and implementation resources that reduce the cost, complexity, and risk associated with IoT security.

NEC is also developing a box-type accelerator device featuring real-time facial recognition that will be securely managed and provisioned by Arm Pelion Device Management. The accelerator will be equipped with the Arm Cortex-A53 processor. It will accelerate the device's facial recognition process and enable faster analytics by offloading the analytics workload carried out on servers or the cloud, thereby helping to reduce costs for networks and systems.

NEC says its facial recognition technology is the world's most accurate and fastest as measured by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) benchmark tests.

"We expect the new accelerator to promote further adoption of face recognition throughout many areas, including the public safety, entertainment and transportation fields, as it contributes to the security and convenience of consumers worldwide," said Naoki Hashitani, SVP, NEC Corporation.

Cignal AI: Record cloud and colo optical hardware spending

Sales of optical equipment to the cloud and colo market, which includes Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, reached record levels during 2Q18 and were nearly a quarter of all North American operator purchases during 2Q18, according to the most recent Optical Customer Markets Report issued by networking component and equipment market research firm Cignal AI.

“While cloud and colo spending is still not near traditional telco demand for optical transport equipment, the balance is shifting. This is particularly true in North America, where cloud and colo operators now provide both technical and financial leadership to the supply chain,” said Andrew Schmitt, Directing Analyst at Cignal AI.

Some highlights:

  • Incumbent spending accounts for the largest share of all optical spending in the market. In fact, incumbent spending in China is as much as all spending by other incumbent operators worldwide, combined. Outlays by EMEA incumbents increased again in the most recent quarter.
  • Cable MSO spending in North America continues to be very strong and grew both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year.
  • Ciena led other vendors in direct sales to the cloud/colo market led by strength from the WaveServer platform. Also, newly-combined Infinera and Coriant became the second largest supplier of optical equipment to these customers. Huawei also continues to grow its market share as a result of growing demand from Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.

Comcast completes nationwide rollout of Xfinity Gigabit Internet

Comcast has officially completed it rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 powered gigabity broadband service across all of its network footprint, which covers 58 million homes and businesses passed in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

The company said this deployment represents the fastest roll out of gigabit speeds to the most homes in the country. Comcast has increased speeds 17 times in 17 years and has doubled the capacity of its broadband network every 18-24 months.

“Comcast continues to offer an unmatched Internet experience that combines gigabit speeds with wall-to-wall WiFi, personalized tools and controls, and enough capacity to stay ahead of tomorrow’s innovations,” said Dana Strong, President of Consumer Services, Comcast. “We’ve built an innovative high speed data platform that combines speed, coverage and control features and really sets our broadband experience apart from the competition.”

Comcast also notes that its Xfinity Internet customers also have access to more than 19 million WiFi hotspots across the country.

Bell Canada launches Virtual Network Services platform

Bell launched its new Virtual Network Services (VNS) platform, offering enterprise customers across Canada a catalogue of on-demand network functions that reside securely in Bell's private cloud.

Bell also announced it will be the first Canadian service provider to offer a managed SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) solution powered by Cisco Viptela, the first Virtual Network Function offered on the Bell VNS platform.

"Bell VNS is a revolutionary way for business customers to adapt their networks quickly and efficiently while reducing their hardware expenses," said Tom Little, President of Bell Business Markets. "The Bell VNS service experience offers a new level of control, flexibility and automation through software-driven networks."

Rogers ready to light up LTE-M in Ontario

Rogers is preparing to launch its LTE Cat M1 network (LTE-M) in Ontario before the end of the year.  Nationwide coverage will follow in 2019/2020.

to help businesses connect and track their assets in real time – using solutions such as logistics tracking, alarm monitoring, and smart metering.

LTE-M will connect fixed and mobile low-power IoT devices over long distances, with longer battery life and better network coverage in hard to reach areas than regular 2G3G/4G.

“As leaders in IoT, we are committed to supporting our customers as they explore the capabilities and benefits available through Rogers rapidly growing IoT ecosystem,” said Dean Prevost, President, Enterprise, Rogers Communications. “With the launch of LTE-M, we are empowering the adoption of reliable, low cost, and secure IoT solutions that support a variety of use cases such as asset tracking, smart cities, utilities, transportation, and supply chain management.”

NTT ICT upgrades data centers with Mellanox 25G and 100G

NTT Communications ICT Solutions (NTT ICT) has selected Mellanox Technologies' 25G and 100G Ethernet to accelerate their multi-cloud data centers.

The upgrade includes: Spectrum-based switches running Cumulus Linux, ConnectX adapters, and LinkX cables and transceivers.

NTT ICT is a premium global IT provider delivering solutions to Australian enterprise and government clients.

MIPI interface specs for smartphones are 5G ready

The MIPI Alliance confrimed that all of its specifications relevant for applications in mobile platforms are 5G ready.

A whitepaper presented this week at MIPI DevCon Seoul argues that MIPI specifications are already capable of enabling 5G devices due to several factors:

  • MIPI specifications are widely used by multiple industries. Virtually all 4G smartphones—along with many tablets, connected cars and Internet of Things (IoT) devices—use at least one MIPI interface. As a result, systems designers, application developers and others have extensive experience with MIPI specifications, making them a natural choice for their 5G products.
  • High performance enables 5G to live up to its potential. End users expect 5G devices to be significantly faster and more responsive than 4G and 3G models. MIPI interfaces for storage access are ideal for the bandwidth-intensive data flows that come with 5G’s higher camera and display resolutions.
  • Low power consumption helps 5G smartphones and wearables maximize battery life. All MIPI specifications are designed to be highly power-efficient, helping to ensure that 5G devices last longer from a power perspective than their 4G and 3G predecessors.
  • MIPI interfaces are optimized for low interference. Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can undermine a device’s performance and reliability, and is a major concern with 5G because it uses far more spectrum bands than 3G and 4G. MIPI specifications are designed to meet stringent EMI requirements, even in wearables and other small 5G devices where less space between components means greater risk of EMI.