Thursday, February 21, 2019

Telefónica expects continued growth in 2019

Telefónica repoerted 2018 revenues of €48,693m, up 2.4% organic (-6.4% reported) compared to a year earlier. In Q4, the growth rate accelerated to 3% y-o-y (-1.9% reported), reaching €12,917m. OIBDA reached €15,571m in 2018 and grew +3.5% y-o-y organic (-3.8% reported). Net debt fell for the 7th consecutive quarter and stood at €41,785m as of December 2018 (5.5% y-o-y reduction). Free cash flow excluding spectrum (€5,578m in January-December) rose 5.3% y-o-y.

José María Álvarez-Pallete, Executive Chairman, stated: "If I had to define this year 2018, I would define it as the year that passed the halfway mark in the transformation of Telefónica. Today I can assure you that Telefónica is closer to the company we want to be than to the company we were. Our solid set of fourth-quarter results reflected the improvement in business’ sustainability. Value customers and their average lifetime continued increasing, while both revenue and operating cash flow growth accelerated. In 2018, we regained customer relevance, resulting in the best-ever figure of customer satisfaction. We continued increasing the weight of high-growing revenues (broadband connectivity and services beyond connectivity) and investing in state-of-the-art technology networks. At the same time, we continued improving the Company's financial flexibility with a solid free cash flow, growing ex-spectrum, which enabled us to reduce net debt for the third consecutive year. And all this, notwithstanding the negative impact from regulation."


  • Telefónica closed 2018 with 356.2m accesses
  • LTE customers reached 117.4m, +20% y-o-y
  • mobile contract accesses reached 123.8m, +7% y-o-y
  • Smartphones reached 167.7 million, +6% y-o-y
  • FTTx/cable accesses reached 13.2m, +21% y-o-y and represent already 61% of total fixed broadband accesses
  • Pay TV accesses stood at 8.9m, +5% y-o-y The Group's FTTx/cable coverage at the end of December reached 82.7m premises passed (50.5m of own network, +14% y-o-y); 21.3m FTTH in Spain, 9.4m FTTx/cable in Hispam (+37% y-o-y) and 19.8m in Brazil
  • more than 44% of our broadband customers enjoy connection speeds above 50 Mbps.
  • LTE coverage reached 76% (+3.6 p.p. y-o-y; 94% in Europe and 70% in Latam)
  • LTE traffic already accounted for 65% of total traffic.

Telefónica's guidance for 2019 (organic)

  • Revenues: growing around 2%
  • OIBDA: growing around 2%
  • CapEx/Sales: around 15%

Ericsson and VMware form network virtualization alliance

Ericsson and VMware have signed a five-year alliance agreement to simplify network virtualization for communication service providers.

The agreement is expected to simplify deploying and running a combination of Ericsson applications and VMware’s vCloud NFV platform for CSPs. The alliance includes technical collaboration and interoperability testing across Ericsson’s portfolio of Virtual Network Functions, Billing and Charging solutions, Automation and Orchestration, with VMware’s vCloud NFV platform.

Honore LaBourdette, Vice President of Global Market Development, Telco NFV Group at VMware, says: “This agreement is an expansion of an ongoing successful relationship with Ericsson. This alliance agreement means a more concentrated collaboration to integrate, optimize, and provide interoperability at scale for our combined solutions, enabling speedy onboarding and deployment of VNFs. Ericsson and VMware are accelerating time to revenue and enabling carriers to provide industry-leading innovative experiences for our customers.”

A10 ships 100 Gbps NFV solution for 5G secure apps

A10 Networks has the shipment of its Thunder Convergent Firewall (CFW), a 100 Gbps virtual machine for 5G secure application services, to a major telco provider in the Middle East for its 5G environment.

"The transition to 5G is upon us, and now is the time for mobile service providers to begin the transition to NFVi to prepare their networks for 5G. A10 Networks’ Thunder CFW consolidates multiple network functions to provide lower latency and total cost of ownership. Mobile operators can more quickly transition to NFV and prepare for the 5G transition with Thunder CFW’s industry-leading scale and performance, and flexible form-factors," said Yasir Liaqatullah, vice president of product management, A10 Networks.

A10 Networks NFV Thunder CFW 5G-GiLAN solution includes:

  • Up to 100 Gbps
  • GiLAN Consolidation – Consolidates GiFW, CGNAT, application visibility and intelligent traffic steering
  • Application Visibility & Control – DPI-based L7 application visibility for effective policy enforcement and control provides enhanced Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) support and compliance.
  • Intelligent Traffic Steering – Subscriber-aware traffic steering to enhance new business models with differentiated service offerings for new revenue streams.
  • GPRS Tunneling Protocol (GTP) Support – GTP Firewall with granular SCTP filtering defends the mobile core against GTP-based attacks initiated from RAN or GRX/IPX networks.
  • Orchestration and management – Integration with leading orchestration solutions, making A10 Networks VNF and PNF form factors highly suited for 5G environments.
  • Accelerates Adoption of SDN/NFV – Achieve on-demand capacity with versatile software options (PNFs, VNFs, containers and bare metal) across SDN/NFV environments. Supports A10 FlexPool subscription-based capacity pooling licensing model for flexible consumption.

A10 Networks selected for 5G pilot in Japan

A major Japanese mobile carrier has selected the A10 Thunder Convergent Firewall (CFW) Gi/SGi firewall solution for a 5G pilot network, to complement the massive capacity demands of their existing mobile network and help lay the foundation for the mobile carrier’s 5G production network, expected to become commercially available beginning in 2020. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Japanese carrier has previously deployed A10's solutions to deliver a variety of security and networking services, such as application delivery, IPv4 preservation/IPv6 migration technologies, DDoS protection and Threat Intelligence.

A10 said its expanded relationship with this customer includes the Thunder CFW Gi/SGi firewall 5G-GiLANTM solution to scale and secure its GiLAN, and which will serve as the backbone network for data communication services of the carrier’s 5G network.

Samsung has shipped over 36,000 5G base stations

Samsung Electronics completed the development of its5G mmWave chipsets – comprised of Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFICs) and Digital/Analog Front End (DAFE) Application-specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) -- supporting 28GHz and 39GHz bands. The company said its chipset design, which is based on 28nm CMOS technology, enables about 25 percent reduction in size, weight and power consumption for 5G base stations when compared to the previous iterations.

Samsung’s new RFICs operate on bandwidths that have been expanded to a maximum 1.4GHz, compared to 800MHz for previous RFICs. The size of RFIC is reduced by 36 percent and overall performance is enhanced by decreasing the noise level and improving the linearity characteristics of the RF power amplifier. Samsung has developed RFIC solutions for 28GHz and 39GHz and plans to commercialize additional RFICs for 24GHz and 47GHz this year, allowing further expansions into markets that will use these higher frequency bands.

Samsung's DAFE ASIC provides analog-to-digital conversions and vice versa. The 5G DAFE manages large bandwidths of many that are hundreds of MHz and developing an ASIC allows for the reduction in size and power consumption of 5G base stations. Without investing in ASICs, the DAFE on its own would be too big and power insufficient to meet the product needs of carriers.

“Our breakthroughs in 5G R&D have been key driving forces behind successful 5G commercial services across the U.S. and Korea in 2018, with over 36,000 5G base station shipments,” said Paul Kyungwhoon Cheun, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. "At the forefront of ushering in the 4th Industrial Revolution, Samsung will continue to accelerate 5G commercialization, ultimately impacting industries and everyday lives by offering low latency, ultra-high speed, and massive connectivity.”

The company also noted that it has shipped over 36,000 5G base stations as of February.

IP Infusion announces white box partnership with Infinera

IP Infusion, a supplier of carrier-grade software stacks, announced a partnership agreement with Infinera.

Specifically, Infinera will use IP Infusion’s OcNOS networking operating system to enhance its IP-based white box offerings targeting a broad range of transport applications, including packet-optimized Data Center Interconnect (DCI).

New initiatives such as the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Distributed Cell Site Gateway and ONF’s CORD reference designs are looking to disaggregated open infrastructures that offer choice, innovation and cost efficiencies.

"We are excited to partner with Infinera, a company with a distinguished track record of innovation in packet optical networking and a leader in open and disaggregated solutions for carriers, ICPs, and data center operators worldwide,” said Atsushi Ogata, President and CEO of IP Infusion.

Toshiba develops bridge chip using PAM 4 to boost SSD speed and capacity

Toshiba Memory has developed a bridge chip for connecting flash memory chips into faster and higher capacity SSDs.

In SSDs, multiple flash memory chips are connected to a controller that manages their operation. As more flash memory chips are connected to a controller interface, operating speed degrades, so there are limits to the number of chips that can be connected. In order to increase capacity, it is necessary to increase the number of interfaces, but that results in an enormous number of high-speed signal lines connected to the controller, making it more difficult to implement the wiring on the SSD board.

Toshiba said it has overcome this problem with the development of a bridge chip that connects the controller and flash memory chips (Fig. 1), three novel techniques: a daisy chain connection including the controller and bridge chips in a ring shape; a serial communication using PAM 4; and a jitter improvement technique for eliminating a PLL circuit in the bridge chips. By using these techniques overhead of the bridge chips is reduced, and it is possible to operate a large number of flash memory chips at high speed with only a few high-speed signal lines.

The ring-shape configuration of the bridge chips and the controller reduces the number of transceivers required in the bridge chip from two pairs to one pair, it achieves chip area reduction of the bridge chip. In addition, adopting PAM 4 serial communication between the controller and the daisy-chained bridge chips lowers the operating speed in the bridge chips’ circuits and relaxes their required performance.

The prototype bridge chips were fabricated with 28nm CMOS process, and results were evaluated by connecting four bridge chips and a controller in ring-shape daisy chain.

CoreSite opens data center in Washington DC

CoreSite has expanded its Washington DC campus with a new colocation data center. The new 25,000 square foot facility in downtown Washington connects via high-count dark fiber to CoreSite’s DC1 data center, one of the company’s key interconnection hubs on the East Coast, as well as to its Reston campus in Northern Virginia.

“The addition of our DC2 data center increases our robust ecosystem to serve customers with one of the most inter-connected data center campuses in Washington D.C.,” said Juan Font, CoreSite’s SVP of General Management. “The addition of this facility to our D.C. campus delivers large scale and efficient data center design that enables local enterprises and government agencies to solve for mission critical, performance-sensitive hybrid cloud applications, as well as serving as a diverse point of interconnection to Northern Virginia submarkets."

Boingo appoints new CEO

Boingo announced the appointment of Mike Finley as chief executive officer, replacing current CEO and chairman of the board Dave Hagan, who has announced his desire to retire after 17 years of service to the company. Hagan will continue to serve as a member of the board, while Lance Rosenzweig, Boingo’s lead independent director, will become chairman of the board.

Prior to his appointment as Boingo’s CEO, Finley spent nearly nine years at Qualcomm, most recently as president of North America and Australia. His responsibilities included all carrier and new business development; OEM sales for mobile, computing, auto, connectivity, IOT, voice and music; product marketing; marketing and public relations; engineering services; and operations.