Tuesday, April 23, 2019

China Unicom post flat revenue, 323 million mobile subscribers

China Unicom reported Q1 2019 service revenue of RMB 66,802 million, up by 0.3% year-on-year. EBITDA amounted to RMB 25,012 million, up by 4.6% year-on-year.

In the first quarter of 2019, mobile billing subscribers registered a net addition of 8.10 million, reaching a total of 323 million. Within that, 4G subscribers registered a net addition of 10.52 million, reaching a total of 230 million. Due to the cancellation of mobile data “roaming” fees since July last year and intensified market competition, mobile service revenue decreased by 5.2% year-on-year to RMB 39,373 million in the first quarter of 2019. Mobile billing subscriber ARPU declined year-on-year to RMB 41.2.

In the first quarter of 2019, fixed-line broadband subscribers registered a net addition of 1.51 million, reaching a total of 82.39 million. Fixed-line broadband access revenue amounted to RMB 10,332 million.

For the first quarter of 2019, revenue from industry Internet business amounted to RMB 8,661 million, up by 47.4% year-on-year. Driven by the rapid growth of the innovative businesses, the Group’s fixed-line service revenue reached RMB 26,919 million, up by 9.4% year-on-year. Overall service revenue amounted to RMB 66,802 million, up by 0.3% year-on-year.

Google's Curie subsea cable lands in Valparaiso, Chile

Google's subsea cable along the west coast of the Americas made landfall in Valparaiso, Chile.

The Curie Submarine Cable will be a four fiber-pair subsea system spanning over 10,000 km from Los Angeles to Valparaiso. It will include a branching unit for future connectivity to Panama. Subcom is the lead contractor.

The project is believed to be the first subsea cable to land in Chile in 20 years.
Chris Carobene, vice president of marine services and network construction at SubCom said, “Google and SubCom’s consistent teamwork allowed for mitigation of potential risks to the Curie cable system project schedule, enabling early completion of the Valparaiso landing. We look forward to continued collaboration on future projects.”

Curie is the 13th subsea cable project that Google has funded or contributed to.


Google picks Equinix for Curie Subsea Cable Landing Station

Google has selected an Equinix data center in El Segundo, California as the cable landing station (CLS) for the new Curie subsea cable system.  In the U.S., the cable will land directly at the Equinix LA4 International Business Exchange (IBX) data center.

The Curie cable is expected to go live in 2019.

Equinix said the CLS configuration is ideal for extending the backhaul capacity of a subsea cable system directly to the ecosystems of companies in its high-density IBX data centers. The architecture provides easy access to a dense, rich ecosystem of networks, clouds and IT service providers.

Equinix has been selected as an interconnection partner in more than 25 of the current subsea cable projects.

Verizon posts rising earnings, fewer wireless subscribers

Verizon reported Q1 2019 revenue of$32.1 billion, up 1.1 percent from first-quarter 2018, primarily driven by strong wireless service revenue growth. Verizon reported EPS of $1.22, compared with $1.11 in first-quarter 2018. On an adjusted basis (non-GAAP), first-quarter 2019 EPS was $1.20, excluding a special item, compared with adjusted EPS of $1.17 in first-quarter 2018.

“Verizon began 2019 by extending our leadership position in 4G, driving innovation in 5G and expanding our high-valued customer relationships,” said Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg. “2019 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Verizon. We are leading the world in the development of new technologies with the launch of our 5G Ultra Wideband network. Our ambition remains unchanged to provide the most advanced next-generation networks in the world.”

Wireless results

  • Verizon reported 61,000 retail postpaid net additions in first-quarter 2019, consisting of 44,000 phone net losses and tablet net losses of 156,000, offset by 261,000 other connected device net additions, primarily wearables. Postpaid smartphone net additions were 174,000.
  • Total revenues were $22.7 billion, an increase of 3.7 percent year over year, primarily driven by continued strong service revenue performance.
  • Service revenues increased 4.4 percent in first-quarter 2019, driven by customer step-ups to higher-priced plans, contributions from strong retail postpaid net additions in fourth-quarter 2018 and an increase in connections per account.
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 1.12 percent in first-quarter 2019, and retail postpaid phone churn was 0.84 percent.
  • Segment operating income was $8.5 billion, an increase of 5.2 percent year over year. Segment EBITDA (non-GAAP) totaled $10.8 billion in first-quarter 2019, an increase of 2.7 percent year over year. Segment EBITDA margin (non-GAAP) was 47.4 percent, including approximately 85 basis points in headwinds primarily from the deferral of commission expense and the new lease accounting standard.

Wireline results

  • Total wireline revenues decreased 3.9 percent year over year in first-quarter 2019 to $7.3 billion, as growth in high-quality fiber products was offset by pricing pressures on legacy products and technology shifts.
  • Total Fios revenues grew 3.6 percent year over year to $3.1 billion. In first-quarter 2019, Verizon added a net of 52,000 Fios Internet connections and lost a net of 53,000 Fios Video connections, continuing to reflect the shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings.
  • Wireline operating loss was $88 million in first-quarter 2019, and segment operating loss margin was 1.2 percent. Segment EBITDA (non-GAAP) was $1.5 billion in first-quarter 2019. Segment EBITDA margin (non-GAAP) was 20.3 percent in first-quarter 2019, compared with 21.2 percent in first-quarter 2018.


Verizon to offer YouTube TV

Verizon and Google announced a content partnership to offer YouTube TV to Verizon customers nationwide on whatever platform they choose.

YouTube TV offers cable-free live TV that can be watched on any screen (phone, tablet, TV, computer) and includes over 70 networks such as ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC plus popular cable networks like HGTV, Food Network, TNT, TBS, CNN, ESPN, FX and on-demand programming. A YouTube TV membership includes six accounts per household, each with its own unique recommendations and personal DVR with no storage space limits.

“Our network and technology leadership uniquely positions us to lead the content revolution, which centers around choice for our customers,” said Erin McPherson, head of content strategy and acquisition, Verizon. “As we pave the path forward on 5G, we’ll continue to bring our customers options and access to premium content by teaming up with the best providers in the industry and leveraging our network as-a service strategy. We were first in the world to bring commercial 5G to our customers and now another first on the content front as we offer our customers access to YouTube TV on whatever platform they choose.”

"YouTube TV has become known for its best-in-class user experience that enhances the way users watch live TV today," said Heather Rivera, Global Head of Product Partnerships at YouTube. "With this partnership, we're making it simple and seamless for Verizon's customers to sign up to enjoy YouTube TV on-the-go on their mobile phones or tablets or at home on their big screen devices."

IEEE publishes three amendments to 802.3

Three standard amendments to IEEE 802.3 have been released:

  • IEEE 802.3cb-2018—IEEE Standard for Ethernet—Amendment 1: Physical Layer Specifications and Management Parameters for 2.5 Gb/s and 5 Gb/s Operation over Backplane.
  • IEEE 802.3bt-2018—IEEE Standard for Ethernet Amendment 2: Physical Layer and Management Parameters for Power over Ethernet over 4 pairs.
  • IEEE 802.3cd-2018—IEEE Standard for Ethernet—Amendment 3: Media Access Control Parameters for 50 Gb/s and Physical Layers and Management Parameters for 50 Gb/s, 100 Gb/s, and 200 Gb/s Operation.

“The IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group continues to deliver on its commitment to ongoing standard improvements that deliver real world operational scenarios and meet challenges faced by data network operators worldwide,” said David Law, chair, IEEE 802.3 Working Group. “These refinements are essential to maintain Ethernet as the core technology driving advancements at data centers and throughout network infrastructures everywhere, as well as utilizing Ethernet to power the wide variety of sensors, actuators, cameras and other devices associated with the Internet of Things.”

“The foresight, ingenuity and productivity of the thousands of volunteers developing the IEEE 802 family of standards since 1980 is truly remarkable, as evidenced by the worldwide impact their constantly evolving standards have had in response to ever-changing markets,” said Paul Nikolich, chair, IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee.


Indonesia's Axiata expands with Infinera

XL Axiata is expanding its South Sumatra terrestrial network and its Singapore-to-Jakarta subsea network via B2JS (Jakarta-Bangka-Batam-Singapore) with the Infinera XTC platform, leveraging Infinera’s Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE4).

XL Axiata is one of Indonesia’s leading telecommunication service providers, offering an array of innovative products and services, ranging from voice, SMS and value-added services to mobile data, covering more than 94 percent of the population throughout Indonesia. The XL Axiata transport infrastructure spans over 45,000 kilometers of fiber optics. The Infinera solution, delivered in collaboration with local partner Lintas Teknologi, ensures XL Axiata is ready to offer capacity with speed and efficiency, as demanded by its customers, today and as its network evolves to 5G.

“As one of Southeast Asia’s largest economies, modernizing the network in Indonesia to ensure 5G-readiness is a priority,” said Ms. Yessie Dianty Yosetya, CTO at XL Axiata. “Our partnership with Infinera and Lintas Teknologi has been critical to help us achieve this milestone. Further, the performance of Infinera’s ICE4 solution for this subsea and terrestrial network upgrade enables the delivery of cloud-scale capacity that is simple and operationally efficient, with the benefit of intelligent Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching that accelerates our ability to deliver services faster.”

“Cloud scale and 5G both represent bandwidth-thirsty markets that require leading-edge optical engines and scalable platforms that are easy to operate,” said Bob Jandro, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales at Infinera. “Our partnership with XL Axiata and Lintas Teknologi to build a state-of-the-art optical network in Southeast Asia reinforces our commitment to bringing leading technology that delivers on capacity, reliability and innovation all over the world.”

Ford signs multiyear car connectivity deal with AWS

Ford Motor Company and Autonomic have signed a multi-year, global agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for cloud connectivity services and connected car application development services for the transportation industry.

Autonomic is developing a Transportation Mobility Cloud (TMC) powered by AWS that will become the standard connected car solution for Ford vehicles.

The solution will use the breadth and depth of AWS’ portfolio of services, including Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, analytics, and compute services.

“This collaboration will significantly expand our opportunity to deliver the very best experiences to Ford vehicle and mobility customers,” said Marcy Klevorn, president of Ford Mobility. “I am excited that our future cloud standard for connected vehicle solutions will be powered by AWS in addition to Autonomic’s Transportation Mobility Cloud. Working with AWS and Autonomic, Ford and our mobility partners will have access to the industry-leading mobility platform.”

“The collaboration with Ford and Autonomic transforms the way automotive customers and partners develop connected vehicle cloud services,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS. “Autonomic customers will be able to bring innovative mobility services and differentiated customer experiences to their customers worldwide, by integrating TMC with AWS, the industry’s broadest and deepest cloud platform. Such capabilities, together with AWS’s Partner Network community and broad customer base in Automotive, will help reimagine the future of the automobile industry.”

Ford acquires Palo Alto-based Autonomic for cloud platform for mobility apps

Ford Motor Company announced its acquisition of Autonomic, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California that is developing an open cloud-based platform "for connecting and empowering tomorrow’s mobility systems." Financial terms were not disclosed.

Autonomic said it is working on building blocks for smart mobility applications and services. Ford said the acquisition will accelerate the automaker’s mission to establish the Transportation Mobility Cloud platform and support its plans to scale up other key mobility initiatives, including the drive toward full connectivity, Chariot and non-emergency medical transportation.

Ford also announced the acquisition of TransLoc, a Durham, North Carolina-based provider of demand-response technology for city-owned microtransit solutions.

Nokia opens 5G virtual reality test lab

Nokia has developed 5G virtual testing environment that simulates massive MIMO antenna beamforming performance. 

The new 5G VR test is located in Nokia's over-the-air validation area in Oulu, Finland.

Nokia said its 5G test lab combines a unique physical over-the-air test environment with virtual reality (VR) to test and verify the optimal site locations of the antennas for operators. Using Nokia's patent-pending approach, the test lab simulates a multitude of different physical environments to improve both the accuracy and performance of 5G mMIMO beamforming antennas in the real world.

The lab is also used to verify ReefShark chipset massive performance gains and test ReefShark components in complete radio systems as ReefShark based deployments are continuing to accelerate. Furthermore, the test lab is instrumental in the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorthms, which are vital to maximize the capabilities and spectral efficiency of mMIMO antennas.

Timo Hietalahti, Head of Network Architecture and Development at Telia Finland: "Telia is at forefront of 5G technology in Europe. Nokia's unique lab environment helps us to identify 5G radio network planning challenges earlier and solve them faster. This is a big step forward, as it builds the bridge from product design to network implementation and optimization."

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia: "We are very proud of our one-of-a-kind 5G virtual reality testing environment. Instead of expensive and time-consuming drive tests in the city streets, we can build a digital twin on the test lab wall and simulate the mobile devices moving around and the antenna beams following them. This is used for verification, troubleshooting and optimization, making it faster and more efficient to deploy 5G."

AT&T to sell WarnerMedia offices in NYC to reduce debt

AT&T will sell office space owned by WarnerMedia at 30 Hudson Yards in New York City for approximately $2.2 billion.

AT&T said it will use proceeds from this transaction, along with additional planned sales of non-core assets, to reduce its debt.

ON Semiconductor acquires 300nm fab from Global Foundries

ON Semiconductor will acquire a 300mm fab located in East Fishkill, New York from Global Foundries for $430 million, of which $100 million has been paid at signing of the definitive agreement, and $330 million will be paid at the end of 2022.

The agreement allows ON Semiconductor to increase its 300mm production at the East Fishkill fab over several years, and allows for Global Foundries to transition its numerous technologies to the company’s three other at-scale 300mm sites. Under the deal, Global Foundries will manufacture 300mm wafers for ON Semiconductor until the end of 2022. First production of 300mm wafers for ON Semiconductor is expected to start in 2020.

The agreement also includes a technology transfer and development agreement and a technology license agreement. This provides a world class, experienced 300mm manufacturing and development team to enable conversion of ON Semiconductor wafer processes from 200mm to 300mm. ON Semiconductor will also have immediate access to advanced CMOS capability including 45nm and 65nm technology nodes. These processes will form the basis for future technology development at ON Semiconductor.

“We are pleased to welcome the GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab10 team to ON Semiconductor’s team. The acquisition of 300 mm East Fishkill fab is another major step in our progress towards leadership in power and analog semiconductors,” said Keith Jackson, president and chief executive officer of ON Semiconductor. “The acquisition adds additional capacity over the next few years to support growth in our power and analog products, enables incremental manufacturing efficiencies, and accelerates progress towards our target financial model. I am very excited about the opportunity this acquisition creates for customers, shareholders, and employees of the two companies and look forward to a successful partnership with GLOBALFOUNDRIES in the coming years.”