Wednesday, January 29, 2020

2020 State of NFV Report and Resource Site

It’s been seven years since a group of telecom service providers launched the initiative that came to be known as NFV. We decided to sit down with 12 service providers from around the world to understand the status of their NFV deployments, the business benefits they have realized, and the challenges they see ahead.

In this video, Charlie Ashton, President at 21K Consulting working with AvidThink, talks about some key findings from the carriers we surveyed and what to expect in the 2020 State of NFV Report.

Alcatel Submarine Networks develops 3D WSS ROADM

Alcatel Submarine Networks introduced a new 3 Degree WSS ROADM unit designed to reduce the number of fiber pairs in the branch, leading to significant cost savings in subsea networks. The new ASN 3D WSS ROADM provides full WSS device flexibility maintaining East+West connectivity between trunk and branch. This simplifies the topology of complex networks and facilitates the implementation of branches on branches.

Key features:

  • Full flexibility in traffic routing thanks to WSS component
  • Submarine grade reliability thanks to WSS redundancy
  • Fully configurable through active supervisory commands
  • Embedded management of noise loading and traffic confidentiality
  • Fully managed by ASN SN10 Network Management

Alain Biston, President and CEO of Alcatel Submarine Networks said: “The introduction of innovation 3D design as part of ASN WSS ROADM product family addresses the market demand for more connectivity and flexibility at a reasonable cost, keeping the same level of quality and reliability. It effectively complements the SDM1 by ASN product portfolio to support all traffic demands and decrease cost per bit. ASN is strongly supporting its customer initiatives to provide a reliable internet infrastructure to all communities around the world and will continue to innovate to support this common goal.”

ASN confirmed that its new 3D WSS ROADM has already been selected for a major submarine cable system project.

Microsoft Azure grew at 62% annual clip in Q4

Revenue for Microsoft Azure rose 62% yoy in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to a year earlier.

Overall, Microsoft reported 4Q19 revenue of $36.9 billion, up 14% yoy.  Operating income was $13.9 billion, up 35% yoy. Net income was $11.6 billion, up 38% GAAP and 36% non-GAAP.

“We are innovating across every layer of our differentiated technology stack and leading in key secular areas that are critical to our customers’ success,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Along with our expanding opportunity, we are working to ensure the technology we build is inclusive, trusted and creates a more sustainable world, so every person and every organization can benefit.”


Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was $11.8 billion and increased 17% (up 19% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Office Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 16% (up 18% in constant currency) driven by Office 365 Commercial revenue growth of 27% (up 30% in constant currency)
  • Office Consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 19% (up 20% in constant currency) with continued growth in Office 365 Consumer subscribers to 37.2 million
  • LinkedIn revenue increased 24% (up 26% in constant currency)
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 12% (up 15% in constant currency) driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 42% (up 45% in constant currency)

Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $11.9 billion and increased 27% (up 28% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Server products and cloud services revenue increased 30% (up 32% in constant currency) driven by Azure revenue growth of 62% (up 64% in constant currency)
  • Enterprise Services revenue increased 6% (up 7% in constant currency)

Revenue in More Personal Computing was $13.2 billion and increased 2% (up 3% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:
Windows OEM revenue increased 18% (up 18% in constant currency)

  • Windows Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 25% (up 27% in constant currency)
  • Surface revenue increased 6% (up 8% in constant currency)
  • Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs increased 6% (up 7% in constant currency)
  • Xbox content and services revenue decreased 11% (down 9% in constant currency)

Spectra7 and Molex demo 400G Active Copper Interconnects

Spectra7 Microsystems and Molex are demonstrating 400 Gbps Active Copper Cables (ACCs) at DesignCon in the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.

GaugeChanger is an innovative and disruptive technology that allows copper to extend much longer lengths without the cost and power penalty of optics. It works equally well at 25 Gbps NRZ and 50 Gbps PAM-4 enabling new connector standards of 100, 200 and 400 Gbps.

Molex recently began shipping its Passive Copper QSFP-DD (Quad Small Form Factor–Double Density) Cable Assemblies in volume production and the same customers are asking for Active Copper versions for longer lengths. The Molex system along with Spectra7’s GaugeChangerTM technology offers up to 12 times less power, while providing significant cost savings over optical solutions for hyperscale customers.

"Spectra7 has created a compelling solution to address the dramatically increasing power and cost of data center interconnects," said Greg Walz, advanced technical marketing manager, Molex. “We are seeing significant interest from our largest customers for 400 Gbps ACCs with Spectra7 technology and are pleased to be showcasing this product at DesignCon 2020.”

"Molex is a technology and market leader in the hyperscale interconnect market," said Spectra7 CEO Raouf Halim. "The adoption of our 400 Gbps GaugeChangerTM technology by Molex is a significant milestone in the coming volume deployment of GaugeChangerTM, our data center product line."

Inphi intros its 2nd gen 112Gbps SerDes in 7nm

Inphi released its second-generation, high performance 112Gbps SerDes IP solution in 7nm.

Inphi said its new Capella SerDes IP is designed to ensure high performance across the most demanding environments for network connectivity and data transmission.

The announcement builds on Inphi’s track record of having shipped over a million 56Gbps and 112Gbps ports to date.

“Delivering the next generation of SerDes IP technology is a significant milestone for Inphi and for the industry, as we enable ASIC and silicon product vendors to take advantage of our state-of-the-art Capella solution,” said Kumaran Siva, AVP, Networking Interconnect, Inphi. “With our 56Gbps Syrma IP and our new next-generation 112Gbps Capella IP offering, we are raising the bar for what is possible in networking and AI applications.”

Luxshare-ICT and Inphi demo 800G OSFP over copper

Luxshare-ICT and Inphi are showcasing 800G OSFP over copper at the DesignCon 2020 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California.

The demonstration shows how Inphi’s new SerDes IP solution, Capella, can robustly drive the 800G Luxshare copper cables with exceptional BER performance.

“We are extremely excited in our joint demo with Inphi. The Capella IP can easily drive the passive cable for total channel loss <= 35dB. When we integrate other Inphi 100 Gbps PAM4 retimer in our OSFP copper cables, the solution will enable long reach beyond 35dB. The technology can robustly drive our 800G copper cables with exceptional BER performance. Our ongoing collaboration with Inphi brings solutions to the market to address industry-wide challenges,” said Henning Hansen, VP of Global Sales at Luxshare-ICT.

“Having the ability to drive 100Gbps across cost efficient copper cabling is critical for broadening the market penetration for 100Gbps across the data center. At DesignCon 2020, Luxshare and Inphi will be showcasing the new Inphi Capella 112Gbps SERDES IP driving 800Gbps high performance copper cable products,” said Kumaran Siva, AVP, Networking Interconnect, Inphi.

Alcatel Submarine Networks to link Tokelau atolls

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) will deploy a submarine cable linking the three Tokelau atolls of Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo in the South Pacific.

The contract covers an unrepeated (OALC5) 250km-long open cable based on 2 fiber pairs and built by ASN. The cable will provide a connection to the archipelago up to 20 Tbps.

This new subsea cable will be interconnected with the Southern Cross NEXT submarine cable, also built and deployed by ASN.

The Tokelau Cable is co-funded by the Government of New Zealand and the Government of Tokelau, and the cable will be managed by Teletok on behalf of the two government partners. The system will be ready at the beginning of 2021.

Summary of AT&T results

AT&T reported 4Q2019 revenue of $46.8 billion (~$48.0 billion excluding HBO Max investment) versus $48.0 billion in the year-ago quarter. Net income was $2.4 billion, or $0.33 per diluted common share, versus $4.9 billion, or $0.66 per diluted common share, in the year-ago quarter.

AT&T cited growth in domestic wireless services and strategic and managed business services revenues partially offset declines in revenues from domestic video, legacy wireline services and WarnerMedia.

The company completed or announced about $9 billion in non-core asset monetizations in the fourth quarter.

“We delivered what we promised in 2019 and we begin this year with strong momentum in wireless, with HBO Max set to launch in May and our share retirement plan well underway,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “Our 2020 outlook positions us to deliver meaningful progress on our 3-year financial and capital allocation plans as we continue to invest in growth opportunities and create value for our owners, as we did last year.”

Some highlights

  • Mobility service revenues in Q4 were up 1.8% and 1.9% for the full year.
  • Total wireless revenues (including equipment) were up 0.8% in 4Q and for the full year. 
  • Q4 229,000 postpaid phone net adds; nearly 1 million total phone net adds for full year (483,000 postpaid, 506,000 prepaid)
  • FirstNet coverage more than 75% completed
  • A total of 19.5 million premium TV subscribers – 945,000 net loss
  • AT&T TV NOW subscribers – 219,000 net loss
  • 191,000 AT&T Fiber net adds; IP broadband revenue growth of 2.7%
  • Approximately 600,000 U.S. business buildings are now lit with fiber from AT&T, enabling high-speed fiber connections to more than 2.5 million U.S. business customer locations. 

Saudi Telecom to acquire 55% of Vodafone Egypt for US$2.39 billion

Saudi Telecom Company agreed to acquire Vodafone’s 55% shareholding in Vodafone Egypt for US$2.392 million (SAR 8,970m3). This implies a total enterprise value of US$4.350 billion for Vodafone Egypt.

Nasser al Nasser, Chief Executive of stc, said: “The potential acquisition of Vodafone Egypt is in line with our expansion strategy in the MENA region. The transaction, which is still subject to detailed due diligence, confirms stc’s eagerness to maintain a leadership position not only in the KSA, but also in the wider region. Vodafone Egypt is the leading player in the Egyptian mobile market and we look forward to contributing further to its continuing success.”

Nick Read, Chief Executive of Vodafone, said: “I am deeply proud of our business in Egypt, being the clear number one leader in the market. Under stc, I believe they will continue to flourish. This transaction is consistent with our efforts to simplify the Group to two differentiated, scaled geographic regions - Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, it will reduce our net debt and unlock value for our shareholders. We look forward to continuing our close relationship with the business through a Partner Market agreement, and building on our significant shared service operations in Egypt, known as _VOIS (Vodafone Intelligent Solutions).”

SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites

SpaceX successfully launched 60 Starlink satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. This brings the total number of Starlink satellites in orbit to 180.

Following the launch, SpaceX recovered the Falcon 9 boost and its fairing.

Mellanox says Infiniband continues strong growth

Mellanox Technologies posted 4Q2019 revenue of $379.8 million, an increase of 30.9 percent, compared to $290.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. GAAP gross margins were 66.2 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to 65.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. GAAP net income was $73.9 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $42.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. Non-GAAP net income was $129.3 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $77.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. GAAP net income per diluted share of $1.29 in the fourth quarter, compared to $0.78 in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“Mellanox delivered record revenue, operating income, and cash flow from operations in both the fourth quarter and the full year 2019. All our major product lines grew in the fourth quarter, demonstrating the advantages of our broad product portfolio. We are shipping over 1.2 million units per quarter of ConnectX and Bluefield adapters, driven by strong adoption of our smart offload and secure in-network compute capabilities. We continue to lead with our Ethernet adapters at data rates of 25 gigabits per second and above. Our Ethernet switch business is expanding at a healthy rate as well, attaining sequential revenue growth of 25% for two quarters in a row. Powered by our Spectrum product line with data rates of up to 400 gigabits per second, our Ethernet switch solutions are being deployed in a wide range of applications for hyperscale, cloud, storage, and financial markets. We expect to see continued growth with the introduction of Spectrum-3 products very soon,” said Eyal Waldman, president and CEO of Mellanox Technologies.

“Fourth quarter revenue for our InfiniBand solutions grew 19% sequentially, and 2019 annual revenue grew 29% compared to 2018, driven by the strong adoption of our 200 gigabit per second HDR solutions in the high performance computing, artificial intelligence, cloud, and storage market segments. HDR InfiniBand accelerates nearly one-third of the new InfiniBand platforms on the recent TOP500 supercomputing list and has been selected to connect some of the most powerful supercomputing installations in 2020, including Meteo France, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the Eni Supercomputing platform, and several national and Exascale programs,” continued Waldman. \