Sunday, October 27, 2019

Next-Gen Network Automation - Accelerating Enterprises

Automating a global enterprise to scale can be a herculean task. Choosing the best approach, such as using an intent-based, model-driven based network automation engine can simplify the process of automating an existing multi-vendor network, freeing precious IT engineering time to deliver strategic innovation. Gluware CEO and Co-founder, Jeff Gray, talks about how Gluware helps enterprises like Mastercard, Merck and more deploy network automation at scale and the business benefits of doing so.

U.S. mobile operators form RCS Initiative

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon will form a joint venture to deliver a Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI) based on the GSMA’s Rich Communications Service (RCS) industry standard.

To enable the service, the CCMI joint venture is working to develop and deploy the standards-based, interoperable messaging service starting with Android and expected in 2020. The CCMI service seeks to:

  • Drive a robust business-to-consumer messaging ecosystem and accelerate the adoption of Rich Communications Services (RCS)
  • Enable an enhanced experience to privately send individual or group chats across carriers with high quality pictures and videos
  • Provide consumers with the ability to chat with their favorite brands, order a rideshare, pay bills or schedule appointments, and more
  • Create a single seamless, interoperable RCS experience across carriers, both in the U.S. and globally

“People love text messaging for a reason. Texting is trusted, reliable and readily available—which is why we’re using it to build the foundation of a simple, immersive messaging experience,” said David Christopher, executive vice president and general manager, AT&T Mobility. “This service will power new and innovative ways for customers to engage with each other and their favorite brands.”

“The CCMI will bring a consistent, engaging experience that makes it easy for consumers and businesses to interact in an environment they can trust,” said Michel Combes, President & CEO of Sprint. “As we have seen in Asia, messaging is poised to become the next significant digital platform.  CCMI will make it easy for consumers to navigate their lives from a smartphone.”

AT&T to sell stake in Central European Media Enterprises for $1.1B

AT&T agreed to sell its stake in Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. to an affiliate of the Czech investment firm PPF Group N.V. (PPF) for approximately $1.1 billion in cash at close and will also be relieved of a $575 million debt guarantee.

CME, which has broadcast operations in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, announced in early 2019 that it was conducting a review of strategic options, including a potential sale of part or all of the company. AT&T acquired its stake in CME with the acquisition of Time Warner, now WarnerMedia, in 2018.

AT&T said the sale is consistent with its plans to monetize non-strategic assets as it continues to pay down debt.

AT&T to sell its remaining domestic wireless towers to Peppertree

AT&T agreed to a sale-leaseback of its remaining domestic company-owned wireless towers to Peppertree Capital Management.

Under the deal, Peppertree will purchase more than 1,000 AT&T towers for up to $680 million. AT&T will lease back capacity on the towers from Peppertree.

AT&T said the sale is consistent with its strategy to monetize non-strategic assets as it continues to pay down debt.

Verizon posts flat revenue of $32.9 billion

Verizon reported Q3 2019 revenue of $32.9 billion, up 0.9 percent from third-quarter 2018. EPS amounted to $1.25, compared with $1.19 in third-quarter 2018.

The company said growth was primarily driven by higher wireless service revenue, partially offset by lower wireless equipment revenue and declines in legacy wireline revenue, predominantly in the Business segment.

"Verizon continued its momentum in the third quarter by driving strong wireless volumes in both our Consumer and Business segments, while delivering solid financial results, highlighted by continued wireless service revenue growth, increased cash flow, and EPS growth," said Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg. "We are focused on our 5G rollout strategy, looking to deploy next-generation networks while enhancing our industry-leading 4G LTE network."

Year-to-date capital expenditures were $12.3 billion through third-quarter 2019.

Verizon also launched its 5G mobility service in parts of Dallas and Omaha. This brings the number of cities with some 5G from Verizon to 15.

Some highlights


  • Total Verizon Consumer revenues were $22.7 billion, an increase of 1.4 percent year over year, driven by continued strong growth in wireless service revenue and Fios service offerings, offset by declines in wireless equipment and legacy wireline services.
  • Verizon Consumer Group reported 193,000 wireless retail postpaid net additions in third-quarter 2019. This consisted of 239,000 phone net additions, more than double the 112,000 phone net additions in third-quarter 2018, and tablet net losses of 176,000, offset by 130,000 other connected device net additions, primarily wearables. Postpaid smartphone net additions were 372,000, an increase from 285,000 postpaid smartphone net additions in third-quarter 2018. This was driven by a 10 percent year over year increase in phone gross additions.
  • Consumer wireless service revenues increased 2.1 percent in third-quarter 2019, driven by customer step-ups to higher-priced plans and an increase in connections per account.
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 1.05 percent in third-quarter 2019, and retail postpaid phone churn was 0.79 percent.
  • In third-quarter 2019, Verizon Consumer Group reported 30,000 Fios Internet net additions and 67,000 Fios Video net losses, reflecting the ongoing shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings. Consumer Fios revenues increased by 1.7 percent, primarily due to the demand for broadband offerings.
  • Segment operating income was $7.5 billion, an increase of 3.8 percent year over year, and segment operating income margin was 33.0 percent. Segment EBITDA (non-GAAP) totaled $10.3 billion in third-quarter 2019, an increase of 0.7 percent year over year. Segment EBITDA margin (non-GAAP) was 45.3 percent, which was down 30 basis points year over year, including approximately 80 basis points from the deferral of commission expense and the lease accounting standard.

Business results

  • Total Verizon Business revenues were $7.9 billion, approximately flat year over year, as growth in wireless service revenue and high quality fiber products was offset by declines in legacy wireline products.
  • Verizon Business Group reported 408,000 wireless retail postpaid net additions in third-quarter 2019, an increase of 12.1 percent year over year. This consisted of 205,000 phone net additions, 112,000 tablet net additions and 91,000 other connected device additions.
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 1.22 percent in third-quarter 2019, and retail postpaid phone churn was 0.98 percent.
  • Segment operating income was $1.0 billion, a decrease of 15.3 percent year over year, and segment operating income margin was 12.4 percent. Segment EBITDA (non-GAAP) totaled $2.0 billion in third-quarter 2019, a decrease of 10.7 percent year over year. Segment EBITDA margin (non-GAAP) was 25.2 percent, down from 28.2 percent in third-quarter 2018, due in part to declines in high margin wholesale revenue and legacy wireline products. This includes headwinds of approximately 50 basis points from the deferral of commission expense and the lease accounting standard.

Champion ONE launches 200G and 400G transceivers

Champion ONE announced the general availability of a new line of 200G and 400G optical transceivers.

Champion ONE’s initial portfolio includes 200G transceivers in double density QSFP (QSFP-DD) and CFP2 form factors, as well as 400G transceivers in QSFP-DD and octal SFP (OSFP) formats. While QSFP-DD offers higher port density and better backward compatibility with 100G transceivers, OSFP is believed to offer a better path to 800G and beyond.

“The rapid growth of internet traffic is requiring data centers and service providers to deploy higher capacity circuits rapidly,” said Tim Yanda, Director of Engineering and Product Development. “400G optical transceivers will pay a key role in helping service providers and data centers to achieve their goals. We’ve listened to our customers in these industries, and are excited to lead the way on 400G transceivers.”

These new products extend Champion ONE’s existing line of Passport universally compatible transceivers. They are built in compliance with their respective multi-source agreements.

Qualcomm Ventures targets 5G Ecosystem Fund

Qualcomm Ventures launched a global 5G Fund, which will invest up to $200M over the next 4-5 years in startups helping build the 5G ecosystem.

The fund was announced at Qualcomm Ventures’ 15th annual CEO Summit, which was held last week in San Diego.

“5G will transform industries and should be viewed as a business strategy for all,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “The intent of this fund is to fuel innovative 5G businesses that will be poised to take advantage of the $13.2T economic benefit that 5G will enable by 2035.”

Last year, Qualcomm announced the launch of the Qualcomm Ventures AI Fund, with a focus on investing in innovative startups using on-device AI.

MaxLinear's Q3 sales dip 6% yoy to $80m

MaxLinear reported Q3 net revenue of $80.0 million, down 3% sequentially, and down 6% year-on-year. GAAP gross margin was 52.4%, compared to 53.4% in the prior quarter, and 51.6% in the year-ago quarter. GAAP loss from operations was 4% of revenue, compared to loss from operations of 4% in the prior quarter, and loss from operations of 15% in the year-ago quarter. Non-GAAP income from operations was 25% of revenue, compared to 24% in the prior quarter, and 21% in the year-ago quarter. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share was $0.23, compared to diluted earnings per share of $0.22 in the prior quarter, and diluted earnings per share of $0.19 in the year-ago quarter.

“In the third quarter, revenue results were in line with our guidance, gross margin remained solid, and operating expenses declined on disciplined execution. We also generated more than $21 million in cash from operations. We are focused on delivering our new 5G wireless radio and fiber-optic datacenter high-speed interconnect products as we expand into new large, high-growth infrastructure markets,” commented Kishore Seendripu, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO.

“We are excited to confirm our first 5G wireless radio-platform design-win at a tier-1 wireless OEM for our industry leading 14nm CMOS 4x4 Quad RF transceiver system-on-chip solution. Early customer evaluation feedback across major OEMs confirms that we are hitting the mark on the feature sets required by this demanding market. We are on track to see initial revenues in 2020 for the 5G market enabled by significant content increases per base station. In early 2020, we also expect production adoption of our 100 gigabit and 400 gigabit PAM4 DSP SoCs in the hyperscale data center market.” continued Dr. Seendripu.