Friday, January 25, 2019

BBC: Vodafone puts Huawei rollout in core networks on hold

Vodafone is pausing the further rollout of Huawei equipment into its European core networks, including in the UK, according to the BBC.

The chief executive of Vodafone said that the company is engaged in discussions with various security agencies and with Huawei, which "is really open and working hard" to resolve the matter.

Huawei has been a close supplier to Vodafone since 2007.

For 2018, Ericsson posted first sales growth since 2013

Ericsson's overall sales for Q4 2018 increased by 10% YoY to SEK 63.8 billion (US$7.06 billion), while sales adjusted for comparable units and currency increased by 4%. Gross margin rose to 25.7% compared to 21.6% a year earlier. Gross margin, excluding restructuring charges and other costs related to revised BSS strategy, improved to 36.3%, supported by cost reductions, the ramp-up of Ericsson Radio System (ERS) and the contract review in Managed Services.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson, stated:

"Our focused strategy has yielded clear results. Ericsson is today a stronger company. Increased investments in R&D for future growth, managed services contract reviews, combined with efficient cost control have proven to be successful, with improved competitiveness and profitability as a result. As the industry moves to 5G and IoT, we will now take the next step, focusing on profitable growth in a selective and disciplined way. Sales have gradually improved during 2018, resulting in full-year organic sales growth for the first time since 2013. This is partly due to an improved market, but also driven by market share gains in Networks as a result of a more competitive radio product portfolio. "

Some highlights:

  • Networks sales adjusted for comparable units and currency grew by 6% YoY. The company notes high business activity across multiple regions, including a recovering RAN market as well as strong performance in the product portfolio. Growth was partly due to a higher than anticipated activity level in North America driven by increased 5G demand among the US operators. Networks gross margin improved to 41% (35%) YoY, mainly due to improved hardware margins driven by the successful shift to Ericsson Radio System (ERS). Strategic contracts and 5G field trials had a negative impact on operating margin in the quarter. R&D investments continued to grow in the quarter, but are now expected to flatten out.
  • In Managed Services, gross margin improved to 12% (-5%) YoY, supported by efficiency gains and customer contract reviews. We have now addressed all 42 targeted contracts, resulting in an annualized profit improvement of SEK 0.9 b. 
  • Digital Services sales adjusted for comparable units and currency grew by 5% YoY. Digital Services operating income, excluding restructuring charges and costs related to revised BSS strategy, was SEK -0.6 b.
  • Managed Services operating margin excluding restructuring charges increased to 5.2% (-13.0%). The review of all 42 low-performing customer contracts has been completed.
  • Ericsson also noted that it continues to cooperate with an investigation into its compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). 

NTT Com's Media Pipeline extends WebRTC

NTT Communications introduced a toolkit that provides real-time connectivity between its Enterprise Cloud WebRTC Platform Skyway (Skyway) with a variety of cloud services, including voice recognition artificial intelligence (AI), machine-translating AI and live transmission.

The new Media Pipeline Factory will offer six kinds of built-in components that can process recording, voice recognition and machine translation without the need for programming.

It integrates Skyway's voice and video data services with AI and cloud offerings such as NTT Com's natural language analysis AI engine COTOHA Virtual Assist, which enables those without knowledge of Japanese to communicate in the language.

NTT Com said its kit simplifies the expansion of WebRTC functionality and extends the areas in which voice and video data can be leveraged, allowing clients to accelerate their digital transformation.

Nokia wins FTTH project in Italy

Open Fiber, a wholesale-only player in the Italian broadband market, selected Nokia for a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) rollout covering small towns and rural areas of Italy.

Specifically, Nokia has been selected as the sole supplier for clusters C and D (white areas) under a broadband plan drawn up by the Italian government. Nokia will deliver products, services and software needed to plan, design, deploy and support the end-to-end active network infrastructure based on GPON technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Stefano Paggi, Network & Operations Director at Open Fiber, said:  "We have selected Nokia as our supplier in clusters C and D to deliver giga-services and pave the way for future ultra-broadband technology evolutions. With Nokia's solutions we will be able to offer services at 10 Gbps and in the future at 40 Gbps on the access network. We will also have the opportunity to adopt the SDAN (Software Defined Networking) paradigm and therefore to maximize the potential of a new generation access network, with high automation, programmable and integrated with cloud environments."

Keysight's emulation hits maximum achievable 5G NR data throughput

Keysight Technologies demonstrated maximum achievable 5G New Radio (NR) data throughput performance using the company’s 5G NR network emulation solution, which is based on Keysight’s UXM 5G Wireless Test Platform, and Samsung’s 5G NR Exynos Modem 5100.

The joint achievement marks the successful completion of full stack interoperability and development test (IODT) based on the 3GPP 5G NR release 15 specifications. The demonstration utilized 256QAM and 4x4 MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology to verify maximum achievable data throughput rates.

Keysight’s 5G NR network emulation solution enables the mobile device ecosystem to validate the performance of new 5G mobile devices in conducted and over-the-air (OTA) test environments, accelerating deployment of 5G technology across both sub-6 GHz and mmWave frequencies.

“Keysight is an influential contributor to 3GPP standards development,” said Kailash Narayanan, vice president and general manager of Keysight’s wireless test group. “We work closely with market leaders, such as Samsung, to help chipset manufacturers ensure their designs meet the latest 5G NR standards, and address technical challenges introduced by the next generation of mobile communications technology.”

Keysight and Samsung are continuously working to accelerate early 5G capabilities and have been collaborating for more than two years to advance 5G technologies. Samsung uses Keysight’s 5G Protocol R&D Toolset and 5G RF Design Validation (DVT) Toolset for protocol and radio frequency (RF) development and validation using the latest 3GPP 5G NR release 15 standards. The toolsets form part of the company’s end-to-end 5G network emulation portfolio.

Vantage Data Centers complets acquisition of 4Degrees Colocation

Vantage Data Centers completed its previously announced acquisition of Canadian-based 4Degrees Colocation from Videotron for approximately US$200 million (C$259 million).

4Degrees operates two facilities in Montreal and Quebec City. The two data centers are Tier III Design and Construction certified, which highlights the facilities’ exceptional quality and reliability, by the Uptime Institute, an independent organization.

Vantage plans significant expansion projects in both markets to accelerate 4Degrees’ original plans to bring total capacity up to 31MW.

Guavus acquires SQLstream for real-time streaming analytics

Guavus has acquired SQLstream, a real-time streaming analytics start-up based in San Francisco. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SQLstream offers suite of high-performance, low-latency, and low-cost edge data collection and smart mediation products. The solutions are used for real-time data quality assurance and competitive price optimization, real-time travel-time services integrating sensors with smartphone applications, traffic congestion detection and prediction for ‘smart city’ initiatives, real-time emergency services dashboard and alerts, and continuous data quality assessment and correction for IoT devices. Their customer list includes companies such as Walmart, Cisco, and Amazon AWS, which licensed the SQLstream technology for use within AWS Kinesis Data Analytics, powering the applications of thousands of AWS customers.

Guavus said the deal helps it to expand its offering, providing communications service providers (CSPs) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) customers access – at the network edge – to real-time, cloud-enabled streaming analytics to address their growing big data needs.

“With our integrated solutions, CSPs to IIoT customers will be able to take advantage of something that’s radically different as we deliver AI-powered analytics from the network edge to the network core.  With this solution, our customers can now analyze their operational, customer, and business data anywhere in the network in real time, without manual intervention, so they can make better decisions, provide smarter new services, and reduce their costs,” said Guavus CEO, Faizel Lakhani.

“In a world facing exponential growth in the volume of data coming from increasingly connected network devices and IIoT-based sensors, the inclusion of SQLstream’s industry-leading technology opens up huge new opportunities for our customers and our partners. Their disruptive technology allows customers to interactively inspect and curate streaming data for analytics at the edge. We’re excited to have the SQLstream team onboard,” said Lakhani.

Zayo supplies E-LAN to Internet analytics and cybersecurity firm

Zayo Group was selected to provide an E-LAN solution to an Internet analytics and cybersecurity firm.

Zayo said the diverse solution leverages its network across the U.S. and Western Europe.

“We were able to design, optimize and finalize the solution in less than 30 days,” said Tyler Coates, senior vice president of Enterprise at Zayo. “There are not many providers that can be this agile. We’re moving forward to implement this solution for the customer as quickly as possible.”

http://www.zayo.comcompanies: one to focu