Monday, November 5, 2018

MEF18: Spectrum Enterprise on the value of self-optimized networks

At MEF18, Spectrum Enterprise, which is the division of Charter Communications focused on wholesale carrier and enterprise services, presented a proof-of-concept demo of a self-optimized, application-aware network.

Gunnar Peters, Senior Director with Spectrum Enterprise, talks about dynamic service enablement.

MEF18: SES Networks offers MEF-certified Carrier Ethernet via MEO

SES Networks, a global satellite provider, is already offering a MEF-certified Carrier Ethernet service of its MEO fleet.

SES Networks is the only satellite provider currently offering this capability, says Eric Watko, Executive VP of Product Marketing and Strategy. The company is looking to make this service truly dynamic and seamless for terrestrial carriers worldwide.

MEF18: Amdocs' Service-driven Networks Vision

What is a service-driven network?

It is a set of capabilities that sit between a core network and the business support layers above, says Yogen Patel, Head of Products and Solutions Marketing, Amdocs Open Networks. Ultimately, this means that the network can automatically adjust to user demands.

MEF18: Telco Systems comments on service demarcation and NFV

At MEF18, Telco Systems presented its new 100GE T-Metro 8100 service demarcation and aggregation platform, as well as its NFVTime uCPE solution, which runs on either x86 or ARM-based processors.

Ariel Efrati, CEO of Telco Systems, comments on these recent launches and says the company is performing very well, having just recorded a 28% year-over-year growth in its business. 2019 is expected to be very big on NFV as service providers reinvent their business models.

MEF18: Clear Blockchain for Carrier Settlements

At MEF18, Clear Blockchain Technologies presented a proof of concept for the intercarrier orchestration and clearing of bandwidth on-demand services.

Gal Hochberg, the company's CEO, says a blockchain-enabled billing and settlement system is needed between carriers to keep up with networks as they become more agile and dynamic.

SiTime launches MEMS timing for 5G infrastructure

SiTime Corporation introduced a MEMS-based precision timing solution for 5G infrastructure equipment.

The SiTime Emerald Platform is the first MEMS oven controlled oscillator (OCXO) in the industry and offers performance benchmarks significantly better that quartz-based timing solutions, along with key programmability features for systems OEMs.

SiTime said its MEMS OCXO is measurably more reliable than quartz-based OCXOs, which are extremely sensitive to environmental stressors such as vibration, temperature changes and shock. These environmental stressors can degrade network performance, reduce uptime, and impact mission-critical services such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

“Timing is potentially the single biggest point of failure in 5G systems and can impact performance, reliability, and revenue. 5G timing is a complex challenge for system OEMs, and requires a new approach beyond traditional, component-level methods that are in use today. To solve this, SiTime pioneered a systems approach with Emerald to help our customers achieve their highest level of performance and capability. By combining our revolutionary MEMS with programmable analog, innovative packaging and high-performance algorithms, we have created a solution that is up to 20 times better than what is currently available,” said Rajesh Vashist, CEO of SiTime.

“Our unique systems approach is driving SiTime’s success in 200 applications at 10,000 customers,” continued Vashist. “For example, our products are always programmable, which ensures 100% availability with short lead times. Our innovative temperature compensation algorithms, in conjunction with our MEMS and analog components, ensure that 5G equipment can be deployed anywhere, in any environment. In the future, we will continue to use our systems expertise to expand our leadership in the $1.5 billion networking and telecommunications timing market.”

In addition, legacy quartz OCXOs are custom built, from the ground up. There are severe limitations on the availability of features, such as frequencies, output types, operating temperature, and in-system control. SiTime’s Emerald Platform MEMS OCXOs do not have these limitations. Using a programmable analog architecture, the Emerald OCXO offers any frequency between 1 and 220 MHz, ensuring that the customer can select the optimal frequency for their application. The device also offers two output types, LVCMOS and clipped sine-wave, for optimal board performance. In the near future, the Emerald OCXO will also offer extended temperature operation (-40 to +95C, -40 to +105C) and an I2C serial interface for in-system programmability.

Highlights of the new Emerald Platform SiT5711 & SiT5712 OCXOs
(All comparisons are with quartz-based Stratum 3E OCXOs)
  • 10 times better performance in the presence of airflow and thermal shock
     ΔF/ΔT dynamic stability: ±50 ppt/°C typical (ppt = parts per trillion)
    Allan deviation (ADEV): 2e-11 under airflow
  • Unmatched ease-of-use
    No restrictions on PCB placement
    No mechanical shielding is required for thermal isolation
    On-chip regulators, no need for external LDOs or ferrite beads
    Resistant to humidity
  • Size: 9 x 7 mm, 75% smaller. Adapter boards are available to match common OCXO footprints
    Height: 6.5 mm, 40% thinner, eliminates obstruction in a chassis-based system
  • 20 times better vibration resistance, ideal for outdoor pole mounted equipment
    Resistant to microphonic and/or board bending effects, ideal for large telecom PCBs
    Supports -40 to +85°C temperature range today, -40 to +95°C and -40 to +105°C support available in the near future
  • The only programmable OCXO platform, supports any frequency up to 220 MHz and LVCMOS / clipped sine-wave outputs
  • Semiconductor-level quality and reliability, batch to batch consistency
  • No activity dips
Sampling is underway and production quantities are expected in Q2 2019.

Verizon restructures for 5G

Verizon Communications announced a new corporate structure aimed at optimizing its operations for 5G. There are three customer-facing areas:

  • Verizon Consumer Group will include the consumer segment for both the company’s wireless and wireline businesses, including wireless wholesale. It will be led by Ronan Dunne, currently executive vice president and president of Verizon Wireless.
  • Verizon Business Group will include the wireless and wireline enterprise, small and medium business, and government businesses, as well as wireline wholesale and Verizon Connect, the company’s telematics business. It will be led by Tami Erwin, currently executive vice president - Wireless Operations.
  • Verizon Media Group / Oath sits at the intersection of media, advertising and technology, helping people access and receive media, entertainment, gaming, news, commerce and other services. It will be led by Guru Gowrappan, who was previously announced as Oath CEO.

There will also be a network and IT organization supporting all three groups, along with corporate-wide staff functions.

“This new structure reflects a clear strategy that starts with Verizon customers,” said CEO Hans Vestberg. “We’re building on our network transformation efforts and the Intelligent Edge architecture to deliver new customer experiences and optimize the growth opportunities we see as leaders in the 5G era. We’re focused on how our technology can benefit customers’ lives and society at large.”

Intel previews Cascade Lake CPUs and Optane DC persistent memory

Intel previewed two new Xeon processors:

  • Cascade Lake advanced performance, which is expected to be released the first half of 2019,  will focus on offering workload-optimized performance leadership by delivering both core CPU performance gains1 and leadership in memory bandwidth constrained workloads. Cascade Lake will offer up to 48 cores per CPU and 12 DDR4 memory channels per socket.
  • Xeon E-2100 offers up to six cores and is aimed at entry-level server and is now commercially shipping. 

In addition, beta testing has begun for Intel Optane DC persistent memory. OEMs and CSPs who have announced beta services and systems for early customer trials and deployments include Alibaba, Cisco, Dell EMC, Fujitsu, Google Cloud, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, Lenovo, Oracle and Tencent.

Intel Optane DC persistent memory provides two special operating modes – App Direct mode and Memory mode. App Direct mode enables applications to receive the full value of the product’s native persistence and larger capacity. In Memory mode, applications running in a supported operating system or virtual environment can use the product as volatile memory, taking advantage of the additional system capacity made possible from module sizes up to 512 GB without needing to rewrite software.

Cerberus completes acquisition of SubCom

Cerberus Capital Management completed its previously-announced acquisition of SubCom from TE Connectivity for $325 million in cash.

SubCom, which is based in Eatontown, New Jersey, designs, manufactures, deploys and maintains subsea fiber optic cable systems. To date, SubCom has completed more than 100 cable systems and deployed over 610,000 kilometers of cable through its eight cable ships. The division has 1,400 employees.

SubCom business was expected generate approximately $700 million in sales in fiscal year 2018 and was marginally profitable.

TE Connectivity said it will use the cash for share repurchases, and said the divestiture will improve its growth profile, reduce cyclicality, and result in higher margins and a greater return on investment.

Altice now offering symmetric 1 Gbps FTTH on Long Island

Altice USA reported continued progress with its FTTH including the launch of 1Gbps symmetrical IP fiber broadband services in select areas of Long Island. While building the FTTH network, Altice USA also continues to roll out enhanced broadband services to its customers on its existing hybrid fiber coax (DOCSIS) cable network. 1Gbps broadband services are expected to be available across the whole Optimum footprint in 2019 through Digital Switched Video upgrades. In addition, further 1Gbps capacity will be added in certain areas in the Suddenlink footprint, as well as continuing to build new homes at an accelerated pace.

Altice USA reported Q3 revenue of $2.42 billion, driven by Residential revenue growth of +2.4%, Business Services revenue growth of +6.0% and advertising revenue growth of +37.8% compared to the same period a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA grew +5.8% YoY in Q3 2018 to $1.07 billion.

Altice USA Operational Highlights
  • Total unique Residential customer relationships stable YoY (+0.1% YoY) with quarterly net losses of -5k in Q3 2018 improving compared to prior year (-8k in Q3 2017). Suddenlink driving improved customer trends YoY again with Optimum trends reflecting normal seasonality and timing of recent rate event
  • Pay TV RGU quarterly net losses of -28k in Q3 2018 were better than the prior year (-33k in Q3 2017) due to another significant improvement in Suddenlink’s performance (-7k losses in Q3 2018 vs. -14k in Q3 2017)
  • Residential broadband RGU quarterly net additions of +14k in line with prior year (vs. +16k in Q3 2017)
  • Residential ARPU per unique customer increased 2.3% YoY to $143.0 in Q3 2018 following recent rate event, supporting an acceleration in Residential revenue growth to +2.4% YoY
  • Business Services revenue growth of +6.0% YoY in Q3 2018 boosted by strength in Enterprise & Carrier segment growing +7.4% YoY and SMB growth of +5.3% YoY
  • Advertising revenue growth of 37.8% YoY in Q3 2018 supported by the growth of new local and national multi-screen advertising solutions provided by a4,, as well as NY Interconnect delivering strong growth based on political and enlarged structure
  • Approximately 80% of Residential broadband gross additions are now taking download speeds of 200Mbps or higher at the end of Q3 with an average data usage of over 240GB per month
  • Initial rollout of Altice One is now complete and available to more than 80% of the Altice USA footprint with recent expansion across Suddenlink footprint. Altice USA has reached over 200k unique Altice One customers (>4% of total customers), adding approximately 100k Altice One customers per quarter on a run-rate basis as of the end of Q3 2018
Dexter Goei, Altice USA Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are extremely pleased to present Altice USA’s best financial performance yet, including improved subscriber trends, accelerated revenue growth, highest ever margin and material growth in free cash flow. We are delivering on our differentiated investment thesis anchored in infrastructure-based investment to future-proof our business, to enhance the customer experience and services offered, and to reduce costs over the long-term. This is demonstrated by having just completed the initial launch of the Altice One entertainment platform, launching fiber (FTTH) broadband services and progressing very quickly with preparations for the launch of Altice Mobile in 2019."

Symantec acquires Javelin and Appthority

Symantec announced the acquisition of Javelin Networks and Appthority. Financial terms were not disclosed

Javelin Networks offers advanced software technology to defend enterprises against Active Directory-based (AD) attacks, which recently have risen in frequency and severity. Multiple major advanced persistent threat (APT) campaigns have used AD credentials to move laterally in the network beginning with a single compromised endpoint. Javelin has developed software to protect AD and commonly-used domain resources, including domain controllers, domain identities, and domain credentials. Javelin Networks’ advanced technology can detect AD misconfigurations and backdoors and help prevent AD reconnaissance and credentials misuse by authorized devices and applications. The privately held company was founded in 2014 and has employees based in Israel and the U.S.

“In the cloud generation, identity management services, such as Active Directory, are a critical part of a user’s interaction with their organization’s applications and services. They are also a critical information repository that attackers regularly exploit,” said Javed Hasan, senior vice president of endpoint and data center products, Symantec. “The addition of Javelin Networks technology to our industry-leading endpoint security portfolio gives Symantec customers a unique advantage in one of the most vulnerable and critical areas of IT infrastructure. Most importantly, it can help expose exploitable backdoors in AD and stop attacks at the point of breach while preventing lateral movement.”

Appthority, which was founded in 2011 and is based in San Francisco, offers Mobile Application Security Analysis. The Appthority Mobile Threat Protection (MTP) solution provides threat detection and remediation across a broad range of device, app and data network risks. Last year, Symantec acquired Skycure, a leading Mobile Threat Defense (MTD) technology, that enabled the launch of Symantec Endpoint Protection Mobile (SEP Mobile). Appthority’s technology will be built into SEP Mobile, further enhancing Symantec’s ability to protect the broadest spectrum of modern endpoints and operating systems. Prior to the acquisition, Appthority was a Symantec Ventures portfolio company.

“Mobile apps are a critical threat vector that every company must address to protect their enterprise security,” said Adi Sharabani, SVP, Modern OS Security. “The Appthority technology extends SEP Mobile’s capabilities in limiting unwanted app behaviors, supporting regulatory compliance, and assessing vulnerabilities.”

INDIGO subsea cable reaches Sydney

The INDIGO Central subsea cable has been landed at Coogee Beach in Sydney, Australia.

Installation of the INDIGO Central cable is due to complete early December and once in service, it will provide a new and unique subsea communications link between Sydney and Perth. The entire cable system is expected to be in service by mid-2019.

The consortium project is backed by  AARNet, Google, Indosat Ooredoo, Singtel, SubPartners and Telstra.

The system will feature a two-fibre pair 'open cable' design and spectrum- sharing technology. This design will allow consortium members to share ownership of spectrum resources provided by the cable and allow them to independently leverage technology advances and implement future upgrades as required.

Utilising coherent optical technology, each of the two fibre pairs will provide a minimum capacity of 18 Tbps, with the option to further increase this capacity in the future.

In April 2007, the consortium selected Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) for the construction of a new subsea cable system.

Singtel’s Vice President, Carrier Services, Group Enterprise, Mr Ooi Seng Keat said “The landing of INDIGO Central cable by Optus is a landmark development which will boost Australia’s communications ecosystem with much-needed high-speed capacity and network diversity. Together with INDIGO West, the next-generation INDIGO Central data superhighway will enhance Singtel and Optus’ subsea networks, creating a cable ring connecting Australia to Singapore, through Southeast Asia, across the Pacific and back to Australia.”

Mr Drew Kelton, Chief Executive Officer, Superloop on behalf of SubPartners, said the completion of INDIGO is a significant boost to Superloop's strategy in the Asia Pacific region to build international capacity and connectivity between its metropolitan networks. “We’re on a journey to interconnect and virtualise businesses across the Asia Pacific region, and the go-live of INDIGO will accelerate that plan significantly.”

Ethernet Alliance Higher Speed Networking Plugfest set for December

The Ethernet Alliance will conduct a plugfest for port data rates ranging from 25 Gbps to 400 Gbps beginning Dec. 3, 2018, at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) in Durham, New Hampshire.

In addition, members of the 100G Lambda Multisource Agreement (MSA) Group also are invited to attend the plugfest, under terms of a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) between that industry consortium and the Ethernet Alliance.

The testing matrix for the December plugfest encompasses technologies based on both recently completed and soon-to-be-ratified standards. With the recent completion and/or expected approval of standards such as IEEE 802.3bs and IEEE P802.3cd™—as well as specifications such as 100G Lambda MSA’s 100G-FR and 400G-FR4, which are based on 100 Gb/s PAM4 signaling and designed for data center connectivity over links of up to 2 kilometers—meeting demand for greater Ethernet speeds while maintaining the technology’s legacy of proven interoperability is increasingly important. Among equipment to be tested during the December event are Ethernet physical layer transceivers (PHYs); network interface controllers (NICs); switches; test and measurement solutions, and an array of optical and copper media at speeds of 25, 50, 100, 200, and 400 Gbps.

“With so much technology development underway and transpiring on different timeframes, industry is more and more often demanding opportunities for trustworthy interoperability testing for their solutions. This is a role for which the Ethernet Alliance has grown globally respected,” said Dave Chalupsky, plugfest chair and board member, Ethernet Alliance, and network product architect, Intel Corporation. “Ethernet is amid significant and historic growth, with so many new standards activities coming out over the last two years and still rolling out. Our plugfests allow Ethernet Alliance members to more rapidly iterate on product development and confidently deliver multi-vendor-interoperable products that their customers can rely on from Day 1."