Tuesday, May 28, 2019

FCC auctions 24 GHz and 28 GHz spectrum for $2.7 billion

The FCC announced the close of bidding in Auction 102 for millimeter wave spectrum in the 24 GHz band suitable for 5G.

Auction 101 for 28 GHz band licenses was completed in January.

The FCC said the auction raised more than $2.7 billion in gross bids.  Combined, 55 applicants were qualified to bid, and the winning bidders won 5,869 licenses.

The FCC will release a public notice in a few days providing detailed auction results and notifying Auction 102 winning bidders of deadlines for payments and the filing of long-form applications, as well as other post-auction procedures needed for the prompt issuance of licenses. 

“American leadership in 5G means deploying more airwaves for the next generation of wireless connectivity,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  “The successful conclusion of our nation’s first two high-band flexible, mobile-use spectrum auctions is a critical step.  By making more spectrum available, we’ll ensure that American consumers reap the substantial benefits that 5G innovation will bring and we’ll extend U.S. leadership in 5G.”

  • On December 10, the FCC will begin Auction 103, which includes the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands.  This will be the largest spectrum auction in U.S. history, with 3400 megahertz up for bid.

MEF releases SD-WAN service standard

MEF released a draft standard that defines an SD-WAN service and its various attributes. MEF is now moving the draft SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services standard (MEF 70) through the last phase of membership and Board approval.

MEF said its goal is to help ecosystem stakeholders to use the same terminology when buying, selling, assessing, deploying, and delivering SD-WAN services. The SD-WAN service definition is a foundational step for accelerating sales, market adoption, and certification of MEF 3.0 SD-WAN services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of service provider networks.

“MEF’s team of SD-WAN experts has worked overtime to develop a robust and timely industry standard following multiple rounds of in-depth peer review,” said Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. “We will officially publish MEF’s SD-WAN service standard by mid-July 2019, but we are making the final draft publicly available now because broad industry alignment on common terminology will be healthy for market growth.” 

MEF’s SD-WAN service definition standard describes requirements for an application-aware, over-the-top WAN connectivity service that uses policies to determine how application flows are directed over multiple underlay networks irrespective of the underlay technologies or service providers who deliver them.

The new standard provides for critical terms such as:

  • SD-WAN UNI - s definition for Carrier Ethernet is extended to cover things for SD-WAN using common characteristics
  • SD-WAN Edge - a functional element in the network such as CPE or a virtual appliance such as a VNF.
  • UCS (underlay connecticty service) - describes the underlay WAN service, which Could be DSL, cable, MPLS or 4G/5G. 
  • TVC (tunnel virtual connection) - this uses the same methodology as an Ethernet virtual connection

MEF already has begun work on the next phase of SD-WAN standardization (MEF 70.1), which covers more complex service attributes related to application business importance and prioritization, underlay network characteristics, and connectivity to private/public cloud services consistent with market priorities for SD-WAN services. MEF also is progressing standards work focused on LSO APIs, application security, and intent-based networking for SD-WAN services.

In addition, MEF said it remains on track to launch its pilot MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Certification program in 2019. This certification will test a set of service attributes and their behaviors defined in the SD-WAN standard and described in detail in the upcoming MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Certification Blueprint.

Nikkei Asian Review: Undersea cables -- Huawei's ace in the hole

Huawei Marine is estimated to be building about 30 subsea cables at the moment, most under 1,000km in length, and is making rapid strides to catch up to market leaders Subcom, Alcatel Submarine Networks and NEC, according to this report by Nikkei Asian Review.

The article discusses Huawei's progress in the subsea sector in light of the U.S. government's blacklisting of Huawei.


Hungary's new autonomous vehicle test track offers 5G

A newly-opened test track in Hungary for autonomous vehicles features Ericsson 5G technology installed on an existing radio tower owned by Magyar Telekom.

The ZalaZone track provides car manufacturers in Europe with a 2-kilometer handling course that includes a multi-surface braking platform and multiple test track modules for everything from highway roads to bad rural roads and a water basin.

The 5G infrastructure provides high-capacity and low-latency connectivity for test vehicles.

At the official opening of ZalaZone, attended by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the country’s Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics, attendees were shown demos of self-driving cars using the 5G mobile network for the first time in Hungary.

Gartner's Q1 worldwide smartphone sales snapshot

Gartner published a snapshot of Q1 2019 smartphone, providing a good look at Huawei's rising market position prior to the May 15 listing of the company on its Entity list.

Overall, Gartner finds that global sales of smartphones to end users declined 2.7% in the first quarter of 2019, totaling 373 million units, as slowing innovation in flagship smartphones and rising prices continued to extend replacement cycles. Sales in the U.S. and China declined by 15.8% and 3.2%, respectively, in the first quarter of 2019.

The report shows continued growth for Huawei all regions, especially Europe and Greater China, where its smartphone sales grew by 69% and 33%, respectively.

“Demand for premium smartphones remained lower than for basic smartphones*, which affected brands such as Samsung and Apple that have significant stakes in high-end smartphones,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. “In addition, demand for utility smartphones* declined as the rate of upgrading from feature phones to smartphones has slowed, given that 4G feature phones give users great advantages at a lower cost.”


FireEye acquires Verodin for $250 million

FireEye has acquired Verodin, which provides cyber security control verification, for approximately $250 million in cash and stock, net of acquired net cash and excluding assumed unvested options, based on the closing price of FireEye’s common stock on May 24, 2019.

The Verodin Security Instrumentation Platform can help identify gaps in security effectiveness due to equipment misconfiguration, changes in the IT environment, evolving attacker tactics, and more.

Equipped with FireEye frontline intelligence, the Verodin platform will measure and test security environments against both known and newly discovered threats, empowering organizations to identify risks in their security controls before a breach occurs, and rapidly adapt their defenses to the evolving threat landscape.

FireEye said the acquisition will be accretive to revenue, cash flow from operations and non-GAAP operating income in 2020, and add approximately $20 million to billings in 2019 and more than $70 million to billings in 2020.

“Security effort does not equal security effectiveness. That is why security-conscious customers red-team their networks – they need the unvarnished truth of how effective their security programs are. Verodin gives us the ability to automate security effectiveness testing using the sophisticated attacks we spend hundreds of thousands of hours responding to, and provides a systematic, quantifiable, and continuous approach to security program validation,” said Kevin Mandia, chief executive officer at FireEye. “We believe there is no better way to train people and instrument better security than by continually attacking the environment and adapting security controls to the real threats. Finally, organizations will have a reliable and consistent way to quantify cyber risk in a manner understandable to frontline technicians and in the Board room.”

Verodin is based in McLean , Virginia.

In June 2016, Verodin closed a new $10 million Series A funding round with backin g from Blackstone, Rally Ventures, Crosslink Capital and Cisco Investments.

CyrusOne and ODATA’s open data center in Bogotá

CyrusOne has partnered with ODATA to construct and launch the company’s first data center in Bogotá, Colombia.

ODATA’s new data center, DC BG01, is the second ODATA data center, the first outside Brazil after DC SP01 in São Paulo, which has been operational since May 2017. The BG01 Data Center is a 7.8MW facility, the largest carrier-neutral data center in Bogotá, Colombia. It is a high density, certified Tier III Design data center, with 6,400 m² total area. Customers moved on-site in April 2019. With CyrusOne global expertise in data center construction and operation, the new facility was fully constructed in just 6 months and deploys industry-leading standards for physical security.

In October 2018, CyrusOne invested $12 million in exchange for a 10% equity interest in ODATA. In connection with the investment, CyrusOne and ODATA entered a commercial agreement covering leasing activity with CyrusOne customers in the ODATA portfolio. In addition, Kevin Timmons, CyrusOne’s chief technology officer, joined the ODATA board of directors.

“DC BG01 was built in record time through a powerful combination of ODATA´s local expertise with CyrusOne’s global supply chain that enables customers in Colombia the same level of services we offer to our customers globally, “ said Timmons. “We are excited about ODATA´s expansion in Colombia and look forward to working alongside our global and local customers at the new flagship data center.”

“ODATA has grown rapidly in Brazil with the construction of their second data center in São Paulo, and now for the first time in Colombia. Combining tour local expertise with CyrusOne’s global platform enables our customers to have world-class data center capacity in the region,” said Ricardo Alario, chief executive officer of ODATA. “With the ongoing development of the largest data center campus in Brazil, and now with a strong presence in Colombia, ODATA is well positioned to be a truly dominant player on the continent.”

CyrusOne operates more than 45 data center facilities across the United States, Europe and Asia.

Napatech brings new funding for expanding SmartNICs business

Napatech raised $8.7 million in a private placement of financing to support its expanding business in reconfigurable computing platforms. The new funding was underwritten by a group of well-known European investors by offering new shares in Napatech.

Napatech said it will use the net proceeds to accelerate and commercialize new, innovative solutions in cybersecurity and virtualization acceleration that will improve growth within its FPGA-based hardware and software product lines. In addition, the company will focus on new and additional engineering development to accelerate delivery of these new products to the market in 2019 and 2020.  This includes SmartNICs, which are being used to accelerate virtual switching applications, such as Open Virtual Switch. In cybersecurity, SmartNICs deliver 100% packet capture for real-time network insight and action.

Napatech’s FPGA SmartNIC software is available for use with the leading FPGA solutions from Xilinx, including the Virtex and Ultrascale+ lines, and the Intel Programmable Acceleration Card (PAC) featuring the Intel Arria 10 GX FPGA.

Napatech’s FPGA-based intelligent network interface cards (NICs) provide an easy way for enterprises and service providers to accelerate applications, improve cybersecurity and increase server utilization as cloud, hybrid and software-defined networks become more mission-critical.

Ray Smets, CEO, Napatech said: “Major changes in communications created by hyperscale computing, 5G mobile and the Internet of Things are transforming the technology needs of businesses. As the volume of users, devices and data continues to increase, Fortune 5000 enterprises, service providers and government operators are rethinking the way they design, deploy, operate and secure their networks and services.  We believe we are well-positioned to move toward our goals of bringing hyper-scale computing benefits to IT organizations of every size and enhancing the long-term growth of the company and value for shareholders.”