Monday, October 28, 2019

Next Gen Network Automation - Provisioning Workflows

The future of network automation involves acquiring key operational data within the network and tying that to automation workflows in an intelligent manner. FRINX has combined a system of multiple components (controller and agent), a workflow engine, and open-source databases into one solution that is ready to work out of the box.

Gerhard Wieser, CEO of FRINX, talks about how FRINX allows customers to provision services, configure devices, and understand the state of their whole network at scale.

Next Gen Network Automation - Edge Data Centers

Data centers are becoming more distributed and smaller, says Mike Capuano, VP of Marketing, Pluribus, moving into central offices or even radio base station aggregation locations. This makes network automation absolutely critical. These smaller data centers have to become software-defined.

AT&T announces new capital allocation plan

Responding to calls for reform from investor Elliott Management Corporation, AT&T announced its updated 3-year financial outlook and capital allocation plan that targets significant growth in EBITDA margins and EPS, while allowing the company to invest in growth areas, retire shares and continue to pay down debt.

“The strategic investments we’ve made over the last several years have given us the essential elements to meet growing demand for content and connectivity,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “Our 3-year plan delivers both substantial and consistent financial improvements over the next 3 years. We grow revenues, EBITDA and EPS every single year, and free cash flow is stable next year, but then grows in both of the next two years, as well. And all of this is inclusive of our investment in HBO Max.”

Highlights of AT&T's capital allocation plan for the next 3 years:

  • Dividend Growth & Payout Ratio: Continued modest annual dividend growth; dividends as percent of free cash flow of less than 50% in 2022;
  • Share Retirement: 50-70% of post-dividend free cash flow being used to retire about 70% of the shares issued for the Time Warner deal;
  • Debt Reduction: Retiring 100% of the acquisition debt from the Time Warner deal; a net-debt-to-adjusted EBITDA ratio between 2.0x and 2.25x by 2022;
  • Portfolio Review: Continued disciplined review of portfolio; no major acquisitions.
  • AT&T will continue to refresh its Board as two directors retire over the next 18 months. 
  • AT&T expects Stephenson to remain CEO through at least 2020.

AT&T's Q3 revenue dips to $44.6 billion

Citing declines in revenues from legacy wireline services, WarnerMedia and domestic video, AT&T reported consolidated Q3 revenues of $44.6 billion versus $45.7 billion in the year-ago quarter. Operating expenses were $36.7 billion versus $38.5 billion in the year-ago quarter, down 4.6% due to lower intangible asset amortization, lower Entertainment Group costs, lower Warner Bros. film and TV production costs, and cost efficiencies. Third-quarter net income attributable to AT&T was $3.7 billion, or $0.50 per diluted share, versus $4.7 billion, or $0.65 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

AT&T noted growth in strategic and managed business services, domestic wireless services and IP broadband.


  • Service revenues up 0.7% in 3Q; up 1.9% year to date
  • 255,000 phone net adds (101,000 postpaid, 154,000 prepaid); 780,000 phone net adds year to date
  • Total net adds of 3.7 million to reach 162.3 million in service
  • Postpaid phone-only ARPU increased 0.6% versus the year-ago quarter
  • Nearly 900,000 FirstNet connections across more than 9,800 agencies now in service 

Entertainment Group:

  • Operating income up 4.8% year to date with solid video and broadband ARPU gains
  • 2.3% year-to-date EBITDA growth as Company targets stability
  • Video subs impacted by focus on long-term value customer base and carriage disputes:
  • 20.4 million premium TV subscribers – 1,163,000 net loss
  • 1.1 million AT&T NOW subscribers – 195,000 net loss
  • IP broadband revenue growth of 3.5%; 318,000 AT&T Fiber gains
  • Nearly 85% of all broadband subscribers on AT&T’s fiber network have speeds of 100 megabits or more. 
  • Total broadband customers with speeds of 100 megabits or faster have more than doubled in the past year.
  • AT&T now markets its 100% fiber network to nearly 14 million customer locations in parts of 85 major metro areas. 
  • Broadband penetration in the fiber footprint continues to be significantly higher than in AT&T’s non-fiber footprint with penetration rates increasing the longer we have fiber in a market.

ADTRAN delivers 100G Transport for 10G PON

ADTRAN announced general availability of a new 100G transport capability on its Total Access 5000 (TA5000). The new 100G transport capability enables each TA5000 to scale to support more than 20k customers per system.

With the SM200 100G Switch Module, Nx100G uplinks with integrated DWDM transport can now be delivered with the TA5000.

ADTRAN said this ability to scale to 100G means that any of the nearly 60,000 TA5000s deployed can quickly and cost-effectively scale simultaneous multi-gigabit business, residential and backhaul services.

Totah Communications is leveraging the new 100G capability as part of its transport network to aggregate traffic from several TA5000 chassis already deployed in its access network. This 100G transport network is required to support the ever-increasing broadband demands and bandwidth-intensive applications such as 4K video streaming, gaming and cloud-based services. Totah’s network spans rural communities in Oklahoma and Kansas, and it believes that having the 100G transport network will play a key role in improving customers’ broadband experience.

“With the 100G available, we have the scale needed to expand the range and reach of our Fiber-to-the-Premise services without the added capital and operational impact of adding a new platform to our network,” said Totah Communications President and General Manager Mark Gailey. “ADTRAN’s ability to deliver one platform with the Total Access 5000 that can scale to meet today’s needs and tomorrow’s, is the type of streamlined, operationally efficient system that makes it the ideal solution as we expand our fiber rollouts. There is no need to maintain two network infrastructures. This allows Totah to use USF dollars to continue to get the speeds our customers demand, and the FCC requires.”

In addition, ADTRAN is now providing up to 560 Gbps uplink capacity and 1.2Tbps of switching capacity as part of the TA5000 platform. It provides the scaled network capacity required by mass deployment of multi-gigabit services over 10G PON and is the ideal addition to ADTRAN’s broad 10G existing portfolio. The SM200 Ethernet Ring Protection Switching (ERPS) support together with the TA5000 Optical Network Edge capabilities provides flexibility for network transport, and network deployment options from both Central Office (CO) and Remote Terminal (RT) locations.

“To support multiple 10G PON service delivery, the SM200 Switch Module supports non-blocking connectivity to every access module slot,” said ADTRAN Product Line Manager Javier Lopez. “The increased capacity of the switch fabric for the Total Access 5000 SM200 allows operators to scale both network and subscriber bandwidth for years to come—without a forklift replacement.”

The Total Access 5000 SM200 Switch Module is SD-Access ready and available now.

Zayo signs its largest capacity wavelengths deal

Zayo signed a deal for the largest amount of capacity sold on any route in a single deal in the company’s history. The customer's name was not disclosed.

The deal covers approximately 5 Tbps of capacity to connect key data centers.

“Our customers are no longer talking gigabits -- they’re talking terabits on multiple diverse routes,” said Julia Robin, senior vice president of Transport at Zayo. “Zayo’s owned infrastructure, scalable capacity on unique routes and ability to turn up services quickly positions us to be the provider of choice for high-capacity infrastructure.”

Zayo noted that its extensive wavelength network provides dedicated bandwidth to major data centers, carrier hotels, cable landing stations and enterprise locations across its own long-haul and metro networks. Zayo continues to invest in the network, adding new routes and optronics to eliminate local stops, reduce the distance between essential markets and minimize regeneration points. Options include express, ultra-low and low-latency routes and private dedicated networks.

T-Mobile adds 1.7 million subs in Q3 as it readies 5G launch

T-Mobile US hit 1.7 million total net additions in Q3 2019 - a record 26th consecutive quarter of more than 1 million total net additions. Branded postpaid phone churn was at a record-low of 0.89% in Q3 2019, down 13 bps YoY.

Q3 revenues reached a record $11.1 billion, up 2% in Q3 2019. Service revenues were a record $8.6 billion, up 6% in Q3 2019 with Branded postpaid revenues up 10%.

Branded postpaid phone Average Revenue per User (ARPU) was essentially flat at $46.22 in Q3 2019.

T-Mobile highlighted its accelerated plan to launch its nationwide 5G network on 600 MHz spectrum later this year. The 600 MHz spectrum will be the foundational layer for the New T-Mobile’s 5G Network that once combined with Sprint’s spectrum, will result in a broad and deep nationwide 5G experience.

“Q3 2019 was another blockbuster quarter for T-Mobile! Once again we set new records, including our 26th quarter in a row with more than 1 million net additions. And the Un-carrier is leading the industry in postpaid phone net adds - again,” said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile. “Our team has been hard at work deploying 600 MHz spectrum and we have accelerated our plans to launch a foundational layer of 5G nationwide later this year. On top of that, the tremendous benefits of our merger with Sprint are just as compelling today as when we announced the deal and we look forward to completing the remaining steps so the New T-Mobile can get started delivering the incredible benefits to American consumers!”

India-Middle East-Western Europe subsea cable upgrades with Ciena

The IMEWE (India-Middle East-Western Europe) submarine cable is deploying Ciena’s GeoMesh solution based on the 6500 packet-optical platform with Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan domain controller software. The upgrade program also is using Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai technology to deploy 200G per wave on the majority of the IMEWE digital line section.

IMEWE is a three fiber pair system with a total length of approximately 12,091km. It is complemented with nine terminal stations forming a consortium of nine leading telecom carriers from eight countries.

Ciena says its WaveLogic Ai improves on the last generation of technology and is capable of delivering a 400G-optimized engine that drives twice the capacity per channel, three times the distance at the equivalent capacity, and four times the service density to support innovative client services at less than half the power.

“Ciena developed an attractive solution for IMEWE Upgrade III using a proven technology, which will efficiently enable IMEWE to meet future bandwidth requirements. Ciena has been able not only to understand our current network requirements but has provided a scalable network development path for future growth,” stated Ali Amiri, Chairman, IMEWE Management Committee.

Colt upgrades its core optical backbone with Ciena

Colt Technology Services has upgraded its Colt IQ Network by deploying a combination of Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai technology with a conversion to flexible grid photonics. The upgrade will quadruple the capacity on Colt’s core optical network in preparation for the delivery of 400Gbps wavelength services.

The Colt IQ Network launched in 2016, has facilitated high bandwidth services to more than 900 connected data centres and 27,500 on net buildings – providing unrivalled coverage in Europe and Asia.

“In 2016, Colt announced a major investment in a next generation optical and packet network as a key enabler to our high bandwidth strategy”, explains Rajiv Datta, Colt’s Chief Operating Officer. “Since then, we have actively served the growing needs of enterprises and providers to connect to the cloud and to bring that scale to their end user locations with our highly distributed fibre network. The response from our customers has been strong and this further investment ensures that we will continue to be at the forefront of serving high bandwidth connectivity needs.”

Over the past few years, Colt has expanded its global reach to the US – spanning 13 cities, Eastern Europe, Australia and new regions in Japan. Additionally, the network in existing metros like London, Dublin and Berlin have been further densified.

ADVA supplies its Oscilloquartz synchronization to Chilean service provider

One of Chile’s largest communication service providers (CSPs) is using ADVA's Oscilloquartz synchronization technology to roll out LTE Advanced (LTE-A) connectivity across the country and prepare for 5G.

ADVA's OSA 5430 Series and OSA 5410 Series of PTP grandmaster clocks and GNSS receivers deliver stringent phase synchronization in the core and in the access network, enabling the company to address rapidly rising customer demand for premium services such as high-definition video streaming. The network is being installed by ADVA’s long-term partner Sistemas de Instrumentaci√≥n Ltda.

“Being selected to transform the sync network of another of Chile’s key CSPs highlights the unique benefits of our grandmaster clocks and GNSS receiver portfolio. With high-quality oscillators guaranteeing unbeatable holdover and the continual assurance of in-service sync with our built-in probes, our technology offers the most complete and comprehensive solution for advanced timing in telecom networks. It will generate value for years to come,” said Gil Biran, general manager, Oscilloquartz. “Our mission is to provide exceptional service to all of our customers. With our technology and ongoing support, we’re empowering another major company to reshape Chile’s telecommunication landscape, reaching more people than ever while continuing to deliver unrivalled quality of service.”

"We work closely with our partner ADVA to deliver world-class technology that ensures unbeatable quality and availability. Their Oscilloquartz grandmasters are the most advanced timing solutions on the market. Ideal for distributing ultra-precise, incredibly reliable phase and time-of-day information, these devices are now providing the heartbeat of another of Chile’s leading CSPs,” commented Danor Quinteros, CEO, Sistemas de Instrumentaci√≥n Ltda. “One of the crucial elements of this deployment was bringing synchronization close to the end user where it’s most needed. The compact and feature-rich OSA 5410 devices in the access network and the high-capacity OSA 5430 in the core infrastructure will be key to delivering ever-faster speeds and latency-sensitive applications.”

Altran develops Mobile Fronthaul Gateway with Intel FPGAs

Altran, which offers Engineering and R&D services, has created a disaggregated fronthaul framework based on Intel field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

Altran said its Fronthaul Gateway software framework enables radio aggregation from CPRI and eCPRI interfaces for transport over Ethernet networks using IEEE 1914.3 RoE and eCPRI. The framework satisfies demands for low-latency transport and stringent quality of service (QoS), with support for time-sensitive networking (TSN) and telecom timing profiles. Support for the ORAN management plane with NETCONF/YANG and REST application programming interfaces (APIs) enables SDN capabilities and full programmability.

The framework also supports full carrier Ethernet features with operations, administration and maintenance (OAM) and protection. It includes IPv4/v6 routing, IP virtual private networks (VPNs) and Ethernet VPN (EVPN) with multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), segment routing and a variety of transport options for deployments that combine fronthaul, mid-haul and backhaul capabilities.

“5G fronthaul networks must dovetail with the wireless ecosystem, and Altran is uniquely positioned to address the diverse requirements of 5G with expertise and software assets across the digital stack and the mobile infrastructure,” said Dominique Cerutti, Chairman and CEO of Altran. “And our decade-long strategic partnership with Intel helps us build ready-to-deploy solutions that can dramatically accelerate time to market for our OEM customers.”

C-Band Alliance proposes to clear 300 MHz of spectrum for 5G

The C-Band Alliance (CBA), which is backed by Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat, and Telesat, announced a commitment to clear 300 MHz of C-band spectrum to support fast 5G wireless deployment throughout the continental U.S.

The CBA proposal, which is detailed in a filing with the FCC, encompasses 300 MHz of spectrum including a 20-MHz guard band to protect existing satellite services from 5G interference.

Further enhancing its plan to clear spectrum quickly, the first tranche—which clears spectrum within 18 months of an FCC order in 46 top metropolitan zones—is now increased to 120 MHz, inclusive of the 20-MHz guard band. The second tranche of the remaining spectrum will be made available within 36 months from a CBA-led auction, providing cleared spectrum throughout the entire continental U.S.

Speaking on behalf of the C-Band Alliance, Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler said, “Throughout this nearly two-year process, we have sought to work collaboratively as peers, to be responsive to the goals of U.S. policy makers seeking spectrum for 5G, and to work closely with our customers to protect their transmissions and understand their current and future network needs. Over this time, compression technology has continued to commercialize. We are confident that we can deliver a solution that not only maximizes the clearing of mid-band spectrum to enable 5G in the U.S., but also fully funds a spectrally-efficient, next-generation compression infrastructure for programming distribution in the U.S. This solution represents unprecedented coordination among satellite operators, our customers, and the FCC, and we look forward to delivering to the U.S. an accelerated 5G deployment and the innovation and high-technology job growth that the deployment of 5G is expected to generate for the U.S. economy.”

DE-CIX Dallas continues to grow - peak traffic at 88.78 Gbps

DE-CIX Dallas exchange now ranks among the top 20 IXs across the United States based on the number of networks connected as indicated on PeeringDB.

DE-CIX Dallas offers access to networks with a point of presence (PoP) in the Dallas market via a variety of data center providers, including Cologix, CyrusOne, DataBank, Digital Realty, Equinix, Flexential, QTS and zColo. Companies not located in these colocation or data center facilities can also connect to DE-CIX through a transport connection.

“We are thrilled that our Dallas exchange has reached the echelon of being among the top 20 IXs in the U.S. in under three years from its initial launch,” comments Ed d’Agostino, Vice President and General Manager, DE-CIX North America. “This growth, combined with the fact that the New York IX is also among the nation’s top five, serves as a testament to the success of our neutral approach and our model’s ability to seamlessly serve and support a market’s requirements. We’re proud to be empowering the Dallas area and its surrounding region with improved network performance, and we will continue to deliver on our promise of bringing top-tier solutions to a growing number of providers.”

DE-CIX North America also operates DE-CIX New York, the region's largest neutral IX and one of the top five IXs in the U.S., which features access to over 200 networks through a single connection.