Sunday, November 4, 2018

MEF18: Big data drives proactive service assurance

Big data platforms can drive proactive service assurance for carrier networks says EXFO's Anssi Tauriainen, Director of Data Science and Advanced Use Cases.

At MEF18, EXFO participated in a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) that examined various data sources, such as passive monitoring data, active test data and fiber monitoring data. A dynamic, network topology discovery component was used to correlate the data. Various applications for troubleshooting and customer care purposes were then employed. AI and machine learning enabled real-time anamoly detection, automated root cause analysis, and forecasting.

Zayo adds Long Haul Fiber Routes

Zayo disclosed plans for two new unique, low-latency long haul dark fiber networks from Columbus, Ohio to Ashburn, Virginia and Dallas, Texas to Atlanta, Georgia.

The company said the expansion is backed by a signed customer commitment and that it saw the opportunity for additional strategic customers looking for wavelength and fiber connectivity between these cities.

The Columbus to Ashburn network expansion, which will traverse West Virginia and bypas major regional congestion points, will add approximately 400 route miles of high-capacity fiber and is expected to provide the lowest latency between the two cities.

The 870-mile Dallas to Atlanta route will connect these two key metro markets with the most direct, lowest latency route to date.

“To meet continued demand for dark fiber, we are building unique new routes between strategic markets,” said Jack Waters, CTO and president of Fiber Solutions at Zayo. “These expansions will provide superior options for direct, high-capacity, latency-sensitive paths connecting data and population centers to cloud platforms and end users.”

Lumentum reports strong telecom and fiber laser demand

Lumentum reported net revenue for its fiscal first quarter of 2019, ended 29-September-2018, of $354.1 million, compared to $301.1 million in the preceding quarter and $243.2 million a year ago.

GAAP net income attributable to common stockholders of $46.1 million, or $0.72 per diluted share.

"Strong telecom and fiber laser demand, along with 3D sensing expansion across multiple customers and their products drove solid first quarter results," said Alan Lowe, President and CEO. "Revenues were up more than 45% relative to the prior year, and we saw new record revenues in ROADMs and fiber lasers.  Our strategic investments in differentiated products targeting growth markets reliant on photonics have proven successful and position us well for the years to come."

Lumentum expects the following for the fiscal second quarter of 2019:
  • Net revenue to be in the range of $405 million to $430 million
  • Non-GAAP operating margin of 28.0% to 30.0%
  • Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $1.60 to $1.75

Alibaba Cloud hits Q3 sales of US$825 million, up 90% yoy

In its Q3 financial report, Alibaba disclosed that its cloud computing revenue grew 90% year-over-year to RMB5,667 million (US$825 million), driven by improving revenue mix of higher value added services and robust paying customer growth. During the quarter, Alibaba Cloud launched over 600 products and features, including those related to big data analytics and AI application innovation, security, and IoT service enhancements.

Cloud computing now represents about 7% of Alibaba's overall corporate revenue, up from 5% a year ago.

In September, Alibaba Cloud launched Apsara 2.0, a major upgrade of its cloud computing operating system. Improvements include enhanced computation performance, flexible hybrid cloud implementation and more efficient network connections. With the upgrade, developers can leverage Alibaba Cloud IoT solutions to bring edge computing capability to connected devices at scale and seamlessly integrate with cloud networks.

Extreme Networks posts strong sales, raises pricing 5-7%

Extreme Networks reported revenue of $239.9 million for its first quarter of fiscal 2019.

GAAP net loss for the first fiscal quarter was $9.1 million, or $0.08 per basic share, a decrease of $13.5 million or $0.12 per basic share, respectively, year-over-year. Non-GAAP net income was $9.4 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, a decrease of $9.2 million or $0.08 per diluted share, respectively, year-over-year.

"We reported results towards the high-end of our guidance. We made considerable progress to consolidate our distributors, and we stabilized our data center business.  With new products on the horizon and new hires focused on key verticals such as Service Provider and Federal, we are improving our execution and go to market activities," stated Ed Meyercord, President and CEO of Extreme Networks.

Extreme's Board of Directors authorized a $60 million share repurchase.

"Beginning on November 1, we instituted a 5% global price increase on our products after four years of not raising prices, and a 7% price increase on products sold in the US. These increases reflect rising component costs, with an incremental amount related to US tariffs on goods produced in China. We are transitioning a significant portion of our manufacturing outside of China over the next several quarters and expect additional pricing actions in the US in January to mitigate our exposure to tariffs.  We are committed to continuous supply chain optimization to provide the highest value products and services to our customers."

Meyercord added, "Finally, in late fiscal Q1 we observed a slight uptick in customer orders ahead of tariffs being implemented in the US, in anticipation of rising prices.  Looking ahead, we believe our strong product roadmap and improved execution, combined with our digital transformation initiatives to make it easier for customers to do business with Extreme, will drive continued growth into the second half of fiscal '19."

Global smartphone shipments dip 6.0% in Q3 2018

Smartphone vendors shipped a total of 355.2 million units during the third quarter of 2018 (3Q18), resulting in a year-over-year decline of 6.0%, according to preliminary data from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

IDC said the figures raise questions about the market's future given that this was the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines for the global smartphone market.

Samsung, the largest smartphone vendor in terms of market share, accounting for 20.3% of shipments in 3Q18, declined 13.4% year over year in the quarter. IDC says Samsung is under pressure from all directions, especially with Huawei inching closer to the top after its second consecutive quarter as the number two vendor. In addition, are being changed by the rapid growth of Chinese brands like Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo are also penetrating growing markets like India and Indonesia, where Samsung has held leading positions for many years.

China, which is the largest country market for smartphone consumption, accounting for roughly one third of global shipments, was down as well for the sixth consecutive quarter, and was down 11% in the first half of 2018 (1H18),.

"China's domestic market continues to be challenged as overall consumer spending around smartphones has been down," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. "High penetration levels, mixed with some challenging economic times, has slowed the world's largest smartphone market. Despite this, we believe this market will begin to recover in 2019 and beyond, driven in the short term by a large, built up refresh cycle across all segments, and in the outer years of the forecast supported by 5G migration."

  • Huawei landed in the number two position for the second straight quarter by shipping 52.0 million handsets and grabbing 14.6% of the overall market. 
  • Apple's newest iPhones helped push third quarter shipments to 46.9 million units, up 0.5% from the 46.7 million units last year. 
  • Xiaomi once again grew its share to a new company high capturing 9.7% of all smartphones shipped worldwide in 3Q18. 
  • OPPO like Samsung saw shipments decline year over year, although it remained the number 5 vendor in terms of market share with 29.9 million shipments in 3Q18, down 2.1% from a year ago. 

Napatech to sell Pandion Network Recorder to CounterFlow AI

Napatech is selling its Pandion network traffic recording product line to CounterFlow AI, a provider of network forensic solutions for security operations centers (SOC) based in Virginia. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Pandion network recording solution, which Napatech introduced in 2016, guarantees line-rate packet capture from 1 to 100 gigabits per second, with lossless write to disk. It can scale to retain petabytes of data and support a range of storage options, with advanced indexing and search features. The Pandion product line is powered by Napatech's FPGA-based SmartNIC software and hardware, enabling the network recorder's application software to scale to stunning performance metrics in low-cost, open and standard server platforms.

Pandion will become part of CounterFlow AI's network forensics platform, which incorporates an advanced machine learning (ML) engine for streaming analytics and visualization. The combined platform will enable SOC analysts to perform retrospective analysis for incident response, and real-time streaming analysis for threat hunting.

"This is a natural next step in our long relationship with the CounterFlow AI team," said Ray Smets, CEO of Napatech. "We know they can take the Pandion technology in exciting new directions, and we look forward to continuing to work with them as a customer for our SmartNIC products as they scale their cybersecurity business."

"By integrating the Pandion technology with our streaming machine learning engine, CounterFlow AI is poised to deliver the next generation of network forensic solutions," said Randy Caldejon, CounterFlow AI's CEO. "Acquiring Pandion accelerates our time to market and enables us to keep engineering resources focused on developing breakthrough innovations in streaming analytics based on artificial intelligence (AI)."

California not to enforce new Net Neutrality law pending legal resolution

The State of California has agreed not to enforce its new Internet regulation law pending the resolution of a petition for review of the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and any subsequent proceedings before the U.S. Supreme Court.

All parties have requested that further proceedings in the District Court be stayed pending final resolution of that litigation.  The agreement must be approved by the District Court.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement about the matter: “The Internet is inherently an interstate information service, as the Supreme Court has recognized, which means that only the federal government can set policy in this area.  A patchwork of state laws only introduces uncertainty in the broadband marketplace that will slow investment and deployment of infrastructure and hurt consumers.  I am confident that the FCC’s authority to preempt such state laws will be upheld, along with our proven market-based framework for protecting Internet openness, investment, and innovation nationwide."

California enacts Net Neutrality law, Washington moves to block

California governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018 (Senate Bill 822), which prohibits fixed and mobile Internet service providers from blocking lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices, impairing or degrading lawful Internet traffic on the basis of Internet content, application, or service, or use of a nonharmful device, and specified practices relating to zero-rating. The...

Twenty-two states petition to restore Net Neutrality

Twenty-two states are petitioning a U.S. appeals court to reinstate net neutrality rules that were recently overturned by the FCC under Ajit Pai. Additional petitioners include the District of Columbia, Mozilla Corp., Public Knowledge, Open Technology Institute at New America, National Hispanic Media Coalition, NTCH, Benton Foundation, Free Press, Coalition for Internet Openness, Etsy, and INCOMPAS. FCC votes 3-2 to end Net Neutrality...

FCC forms best practices disaster recovery working group

The FCC has formed a new Disaster Response and Recovery Working Group to look for ways to improve the resiliency of broadband infrastructure before a disaster occurs, as well as actions that can be taken to more quickly restore broadband infrastructure following a disaster.

The working group is also charged with developing best practices for coordination among wireless providers, backhaul providers, and power companies during and after a disaster.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated: “Recently, I announced that the FCC will comprehensively re-evaluate the agency’s Wireless Resiliency Framework. The BDAC Working Group’s recommendations will be key to this review. We encourage and expect all stakeholders—including government at all levels, power companies, fixed and mobile broadband providers, first responders, and others—to work together to develop ways to harden networks for future disasters and quickly restore communications services.”

* indicates a member of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

Red Grasso, FirstNet State Point of Contact
North Carolina Department of Information Technology

Jonathan Adelstein, President & Chief Executive Officer*
Wireless Infrastructure Association


Andrew Afflerbach, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Engineering, CTC Technology and Energy
National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors

Allen Bell, Distribution Support Manager, Georgia Power Company*
Southern Company

Megan Bixler, Technical Program Manager for Communications Center and 911 Services
Association of Public Safety Communications Officials

Skyler Ditchfield, Chief Executive Officer

Patrick Donovan, Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs

Tony Fischer, Director, Information Technology
City of Germantown, Tennessee

Monica Gambino, Vice President, Legal
Crown Castle

Larry Hanson, Executive Director*
Georgia Municipal Association

David Hartshorn, Chief Executive Officer
Geeks Without Frontiers

Greg Hauser, Communications Branch Manager/Statewide Interoperability Coordinator,
North Carolina Emergency Management Division
National Emergency Management Association

Kurt Jacobs, Corporate Director, Emerging Technology & Solutions
JMA Wireless

Richard Kildow, Director of Business Continuity & Emergency Management

Frank Korinek, Director of Government Affairs

Wyatt Leehy, Information Technology Manager
Great Plains Communications

David Marshack, Telecommunications Regulatory Lead

Jim Matheson, Chief Executive Officer*
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

Kelly McGriff, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel*
Uniti Group

Wendy Moser, Commissioner, Colorado Public Utilities Commission
National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners

Alexandra Fernandez Navarro, Commissioner
Puerto Rico Public Service Regulatory Board

John O’Connor, Director, National Coordinating Center for Communications
Department of Homeland Security

Eddie Reyes, Prince William County Emergency Communications Center
National Public Safety Telecommunications Council

Rikin Thaker, Vice President, Telecommunications and Spectrum Policy*
Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council

Pete Tomczak, Manager, Spectrum Coordination and Clearance

Rocky Vaz, Director of Emergency Management
City of Dallas, Texas

Joseph Viens, Senior Director of Government Affairs

Debra Wulff, Public Safety Director
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

FWD: The FCC's much needed Disaster Working Group

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) opened a nominating process to select members for a new Disaster Response and Recovery Working Group of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC). The long bureaucratic name might suggest to some a tedious process of government meetings, argumentation, and report writing geared at creating new rules that broadband service providers will likely find difficult to interpret, let...

Federated Wireless outlines shared spectrum model

Federated Wireless identified numerous new bands as being ideal candidates for the shared spectrum model, further unlocking the airwaves to support new wireless services and business models, and provide a path for 5G. Bands identified by Federated Wireless and submitted by the Company to the FCC for consideration, include 3.7-4.2GHz, 3.45-3.55GHz, 3.1-3.45GHz, 5.925-7.125GHz, 37GHz, 26GHz, 70/80GHz and 4.9GHz bands.

In a new blog post by Jennifer McCarthy, Federated Wireless Vice President, Legal Advocacy, calls on the FCC to broadly adopt the shared spectrum model across these bands.

FCC microwave spectrum auctions to begin Nov 14

The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau approved 40 applications received for Auction 101, which will offer 3,072 Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS) licenses in the 27.5–28.35 GHz (28 GHz) band.

The Bureau also announced that 58 of the 60 applications received for Auction 102 have been deemed to be complete. Auction 102 will offer 2,909 Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS) licenses in the 24.25–24.45 GHz and 24.75–25.25 GHz (24 GHz) band.

Both auctions are scheduled to begin on November 14, 2018.

The list of approved bidders is posted here.

Nokia optimises Hutchison 3 Indonesia

Hutchison 3 Indonesia is using Nokia's Spectral Performance Management to optimise its LTE network. The solution has led to a 17% increase in Hutchison 3's spectral efficiency by proactively identifying and resolving network performance issues. Nokia AVA's cloud-based analytics generates automated recommendations that improve spectral efficiency and help prioritize investment in additional capacity.

Nokia AVA collects, stores and analyzes data from multiple sources, including Minimization of Drive Test (MDT) data. A 3GPP feature, MDT enables the collection of performance data from Nokia and other vendors' networks, tapping into billions of anonymized measurement reports sent by ordinary mobile phones.

Dennis Lorenzin, Head of the Network Cognitive Service unit at Nokia, said: "Spectrum is a finite resource, so making the most out of it is the smart thing for any operator to do. Hutchison 3 Indonesia is addressing head-on the challenge posed by growing subscriber numbers and new bandwidth-hungry apps such as video and gaming. With the help of Nokia AVA, they can improve network efficiency and boost the experience for their subscribers."