Monday, January 14, 2019

Telstra reaffirms commitment for largest Pacific subsea cable network

Telstra reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining the largest subsea cable network in the Asia Pacific region by announcing its first large capacity purchase on the new-generation New Cross Pacific (NCP) cable, and a further investment in the Faster cable.

The 13,000-km New Cross Pacific Cable System offers landing points in China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and the US. Existing consortium members include Microsoft, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telekom (Taiwan) and KT.

FASTER is a 9,000km trans-Pacific cable connecting Oregon and two landing sites in Japan (Chiba and Mie prefectures). The system has extended connections to major hubs on the West Coast of the U.S. covering Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland and Seattle. Its six fibre pairs offer a design capacity of 60 Tbps.

Telstra's other subsea investments include:

  • Southern Cross -- in December, Telstra agreed to purchase a 25 percent stake in Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN). This deal includes capacity on the existing Southern Cross network and new Southern Cross NEXT subsea cable - set to become the lowest latency path from Australia to the US.
  • HKA -- Telstra is making a half fibre pair investment in the Hong Kong Americas (HKA) cable 
  • PLCN -- Telstra is making a 6Tb capacity purchase in the Pacific Light Cable Networks (PLCN) cable, both due to be completed in 2020.
  • Indigo -- Telstra has a half fibre pair investment in the INDIGO cable system from South East Asia to Australia, which has reached a major milestone with the completion of the 4,600km Indigo West cable lay from Singapore to Perth just before Christmas.

"Building on the capacity, resiliency and the footprint of our already vast subsea network is a key part of our international growth strategy,” stated Telstra Enterprise Group Executive Michael Ebeid. "Following Telstra’s purchase of Pacnet in 2015, we have strategically invested in additional capacity and infrastructure to meet the increasing demand for data right across the Asia Pacific region, carefully mapping our international paths and investment."

Telstra Completes Pacnet Acquisition, Extends its SDN Globally
Telstra acquired Pacnet Limited, a provider of connectivity, managed services and data centre services to carriers, multinational corporations and governments in the Asia-Pacific region.

Telstra Group Executive, Global Enterprise and Services, Brendon Riley said Pacnet would be integrated into Telstra and the Pacnet brand progressively retired. Telstra will continue the development of the joint venture in China. US assets will be integrated when regulatory approval is obtained.

Telstra also announced Asia's first Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Platform will now be available to customers globally, enabling high-performance, self-provisioned dynamic network services across 25 PEN Points of Presence worldwide.

  • In December 2014, Telstra first  announced plans to acquire Pacnet Limited, which owns and operates a pan-Asian submarine cable network and offers managed services and data center services to carriers, multinational corporations and governments across the region, for US$697 million acquisition is subject to completion adjustments. In addition to its submarine cables and 21 landing stations in China, Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, Pacnet’s core assets comprise an integrated network with 109 PoPs across 61 cities in the Asia-Pacific region, along with 29 data centers in key locations. Seven of the data centers have Tier III accreditation. In addition, Pacnet controls two of the five fibre pairs on the Unity trans-Pacific submarine cable network connecting Japan to the United States.  In the year ended December 2013, Pacnet generated revenues of US$472m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of US$111m. Pacnet is headquartered in both Singapore and Hong Kong with approximately 815 employees across 25 offices (including PBS China).

EdgeCore Internet Real Estate plans data center campus in Silicon Valley

EdgeCore Internet Real Estate, which is currently developing data center campuses in Dallas, Phoenix, Northern Virginia, Reno, has acquired land in Santa Clara, California, to build its fifth US data center campus.

The campus is planned to support 80 MW of critical data center capacity and is located in the second largest US data center market near key points of interconnection and cloud-computing hubs. EdgeCore expects to complete the first phase of capacity during 2020.

“This is an important milestone in rolling out our wholesale data center platform across the US,” said Matt Muell, SVP Development at EdgeCore. “Santa Clara is the fifth location that we have acquired and commenced development on in less than ten months as we systematically execute upon our goal to be the preeminent developer and operator of wholesale data centers in the United States."

NeoPhotonics hits preliminary sales of $90-92 M, sells Russian facility

NeoPhotonics announced preliminary revenue in the range of $90 to $92 million for Q4 2018, compared to the previously announced expectation of $87 to $92 million. Gross margin is expected to be approximately 24%-25%, compared to the previous expectation of 22%-26%. Total restructuring and other charges will be approximately $5.7 million, including restructuring costs, inventory write-downs and legal settlement expenses. Diluted Net loss per share are expected to be in the range of $0.18 to $0.15, inclusive of restructuring charges. Non-GAAP earnings per share are expected in the range of $0.00 to earnings of $0.04.

The company said these preliminary fourth-quarter results reflect recent developments including the end-of-life of certain client transceiver modules, which contributed approximately $10 million of revenue in 2018.

NeoPhotonics reached an agreement to settle its lawsuit with Lestina International, with a cash payment of $2.2 million. In addition, the company announced a definitive agreement to sell its manufacturing operations in Russia for approximately book value.

“As a company, we remain committed to our core capabilities, including our industry leading coherent components and solutions for data center interconnect and telecommunications systems,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. “These actions will complete our move from module to component level solutions for client network applications and will further increase our focus on our more profitable, industry leading platforms for 400 Gigabits/sec to beyond 1 Terabit/sec on a single wavelength, in which our advanced hybrid photonic integration technology provides the highest value,” concluded Mr. Jenks.

Choice Hotels goes all-in with AWS

Choice Hotels International is going all-in moving its infrastructure to AWS. Specifically, Choice Hotels will migrate over 1,000 applications to AWS, moving off legacy systems to help improve performance, scalability, and reliability.

AWS noted that it is already hosting some of Choice Hotels’ primary business applications, including its global reservation system (GRS) and distribution platform, property-management system, and data analytics platform.

“Choice began working with AWS in 2014. Shortly after, we embarked on the largest IT project in the company’s history to replace our central reservation system and distribution platform with a new cloud-based global solution – choiceEDGE, the industry’s first new GRS from a hotel company in over 30 years. We have continued to expand our strategic relationship with AWS ever since,” said Brian Kirkland, Chief Technology Officer at Choice Hotels.

Telefónica validates Wind River Titanium Cloud

Telefónica completed its validation of Wind River Titanium Cloud as a Virtualized Infrastructure Manager (VIM) for NFV workloads, in line with the multi VIM paradigm of their UNICA initiative.  The multi-phase evaluation included functional testing of the Titanium Cloud virtualization platform. Test teams also validated the integration of Titanium Cloud with OSM orchestration to prove interoperability. Additionally, Telefónica is running use case trials, including testing virtual RAN solutions hosted on Titanium Cloud.

Wind River said Titanium Cloud is deployment-ready and fully compatible with open standards such the Open Source MANO (OSM) orchestration project.

“By working with network innovators such as Telefónica, Wind River can help the industry address evolving market needs and deploy highly-reliable cloud compute at the optimum edge locations for a wide range of new applications,” said Michael Krutz, Chief Product Officer at Wind River. “Wind River Titanium Cloud delivers a flexible and secure cloud-based infrastructure that can be efficiently deployed at any network location from the edge to the core.”

“5G applications will increasingly demand low latency, and computing will often need to happen much closer to the end device. It was important to select an infrastructure platform that was optimized for edge use cases,” said Javier Gavilan, Core Network, Platforms & Transport Director at Telefónica. “After careful and comprehensive evaluation, Wind River Titanium Cloud stood out for its unique differentiators, such as extreme low latency and high reliability, to effectively meet the technical challenges that accompany Telco cloud compute.”

Windstream expands its 100 Mbps broadband footprint

Windstream will double the availability of its 100 Mbps Kinetic Internet Service across its 18-state footprint in the first quarter of 2019. By the end of March, approximately 30 percent of the households in Windstream’s local exchanges will qualify for 100 Mbps service by the end of March 2019.

Windstream notes that network upgrades completed during 2018 delivered speeds of 50 Mbps or greater to approximately 40 percent of households, up from 33 percent at the start of the year, as well as speeds of 25 Mbps or greater to over 60 percent of households, up from 55 percent at the start of the year.

“Windstream understands that premium internet speeds are critical to families and businesses in rural America, and we are systematically enhancing our network to meet that urgent demand,” said Jeff Small, president of the company’s consumer and small and medium-sized business segment. “Network upgrades are expensive, especially in rural areas where there are relatively few customers, so Windstream is using a combination of its own capital and crucial support from the FCC’s Connect America Fund to make faster speeds more widely available. Without support from the Connect America Fund, many of these projects simply would not be economically feasible.

Zoox appoints former Intel exec as CEO -- Aicha Evans

Zoox, a start-up developing autonomous vehicle systems, named Aicha Evans as its new CEO and a member of its Board of Directors.

Evans most recently served as Intel's Chief Strategy Officer, where she oversaw Intel’s transformation from a PC-centric to a data-centric company. Previously, Evans was General Manager of the Communication and Devices Group, where she led a team of over 7,000 people across multiple continents and was responsible for driving wireless engineering for multi-comm products and Intel platforms.

“Our team has made incredible progress since we started in 2014,” said Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder, CTO, and President. “We believe now more than ever that the full realization of autonomous mobility is a radical departure from last century’s car architecture, and that requires a completely reimagined vehicle and AI solution. I’m excited to partner with Aicha as we forge our own path and show the world what the next generation of mobility looks like.”

Teradata appoints CEO

Teradata appointed Oliver Ratzesberger as its new President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Victor L. Lund, who is transitioning from his role as President and CEO to Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Ratzesberger has served as Teradata’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) since February 2018, responsible for the company’s global operations and leading its strategies for go-to-market, products and services. He joined Teradata in 2013 and, from 2016 to 2018, served as the Company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer, leading Teradata’s research and development organization, following a distinguished career in advancing innovation in technology at both established and start-up companies.

Ribbon reports 2018 revenue of $610M

Ribbon Communications expects non-GAAP revenue and adjusted EBITDA for the full year ended December 31, 2018 to meet the guidance provided on October 30, 2018, with full year 2018 non-GAAP revenue to be at or above $610 million and adjusted EBITDA to be in excess of $80 million.

"I am pleased to announce that we expect to report another strong quarter as it relates to both non-GAAP revenue and adjusted EBITDA," said Fritz Hobbs, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ribbon Communications.  "2018 was an important transition time for Ribbon, as we strengthened our solutions offerings, successfully completed our merger integration between Sonus and GENBAND and substantially improved our profitability."