Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Whitepaper: 7 Principles of AT&T’s Network Transformation

AT&T published a nine-page whitepaper outlining seven tenets of its network transformation.

In a blog post, Scott Mair, President, AT&T Technology & Operations, says the company's network carried an average of 335 petabytes of data per day during Q4 2019. This jumped 20% because of the COVID-19 response. AT&T is on track to hit is its 75% SDN and automation goal this year, to deliver nationwide 5G this summer, and to expand its 400G deployment.

The whitepaper discusses the following “7 Principles of AT&T’s Network Transformation”:

  1. Network growth necessitates economies of scale that can only be achieved from interoperability and open disaggregation
  2. White Box hardware/software disaggregation using open dNOS, such as AT&T’s Vyatta NOS, is proliferating from the network edge to the core
  3. Network edge densification is critical for low latency, near-real time connections, highspeed requirements for 5G and low latency enterprise applications
  4. AT&T’s Mobility Core and IP Communication Core are pivoting to be cloud native
  5. ONAP and AT&T’s ECOMP SDN platform are evolving for diverse NFV instantiation orchestration models - APIs not GUIs
  6. Cloud-Based Data Warehouse, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and policy-driven SDN-control are a powerful combination 
  7. AT&T network security paradigm is rapidly changing from the customer premise, to the network edge, and at its core 

The full whitepaper is here:

Fujitsu supplies Open ROADM planning tool to Tier 1 operator

Fujitsu Network Communications confirmed that its Virtuora PD multi-vendor network design and planning tool for Open ROADM networks has been selected by a Tier One service provider.

The Fujitsu Network Virtuora PD, an SDN-based application, optimizes and simplifies planning, design, and testing of optical networks that conform to Open ROADM specifications.

Virtuora PD accesses a set of common network characteristics from multiple vendors’ equipment to align with service provider business processes. As a result, service providers can speed up the overall process of network design and deployment; reduce errors with zero touch provisioning; and drive out operational inefficiencies with tightly integrated Operations Support Systems (OSS) tools.

“As a contributing member of the Open ROADM Multi-Source Agreement (MSA), Fujitsu is committed to the core principles of multi-vendor, software-enabled Open ROADM ecosystems,” said Francois Lafontaine, vice president and head of the software business at Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. “Virtuora PD is a key component in enabling open networks, helping providers overcome the disadvantages of proprietary architectures.”

Open RAN Policy Coalition seeks to diversify supply chain

A new Open RAN Policy Coalition has been formed to promote policies that will advance the adoption of open and interoperable solutions in the Radio Access Network (RAN) as a means to create innovation, spur competition and expand the supply chain for advanced wireless technologies including 5G.

The coalition believes that the U.S. Federal Government has an important role to play in facilitating and fostering an open, diverse and secure supply chain for advanced wireless technologies, including 5G, such as by funding research and development, and testing open and interoperable networks and solutions, and incentivizing supply chain diversity.

As evidenced by the current global pandemic, vendor choice and flexibility in next-generation network deployments are necessary from a security and performance standpoint,” said Diane Rinaldo, Executive Director, Open RAN Policy Coalition.  “By promoting policies that standardize and develop open interfaces, we can ensure interoperability and security across different players and potentially lower the barrier to entry for new innovators.”

Open RAN Policy Coalition founding members include Airspan, Altiostar, AT&T, AWS, Cisco, CommScope, Dell, DISH Network, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Intel, Juniper Networks, Mavenir, Microsoft, NEC Corporation, NewEdge Signal Solutions, NTT, Oracle, Parallel Wireless, Qualcomm, Rakuten Mobile, Samsung Electronics America, Telefónica, US Ignite, Verizon, VMWare, Vodafone, World Wide Technology, and XCOM-Labs.

Sparkle adds fiber pair on Google’s Curie US-Chile cable

TI Sparkle will gain access to a fiber pair on Google's new Curie submarine cable system connecting Los Angeles to Valparaiso, Chile.

The new fiber pair on Curie will be fully integrated with Sparkle’s global backbone, increasing redundancy and offering a fourth diversified route to directly connect South and North America, complementing its 2017 addition of the Seabras-1 cable in the Atlantic.

Sparkle said its newest highways, Curie in the Pacific and Seabras-1 in the Atlantic, position it as the best-in-class choice for OTTs, ISPs, enterprises, Content/Application Providers and Asian players looking for global connectivity through its City2City transport service and its global Tier-1, Seabone IP transit service.

Google completes California-to-Chile subsea cable

Google's 10,500-km "Curie" subsea cable stretching from California to Chile is now ready for service. The new cable is equipped four 18 Tbps fiber optic pairs, a design capacity of 72 Tbps.

Google also announced the first Curie branch into Panama. Subcom has been selected for the project.

Curie represents Google's third wholly-owned subsea cable. The other projects are Dunant, which crosses the Atlantic from Virginia to France, and Equiano, which will link Portugal to South Africa.

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.

Google's Loon balloons working with AT&T

Google's Loon balloon initiative, which has undergone limited field deployments in Puerto Rico and Peru, is working with AT&T and its global partners to extend its reach to new markets.

Specifically, Loon is looking to leverage the AT&T network to expands the number of operators around the world that Loon can work with without having to complete time-intensive network integration for each one. The collaboration is expected to save valuable time if the event that Loon broadband coverage is needed for disaster response.

Loon also disclosed that it has recently secured approvals to fly over additional countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Malawi, and Lesotho. Loon now has approvals to fly ove a total of 50 countries.

Google Loon to fly over the Peruvian Amazon

Peru is likely to be the first country in Latin America in which the "Loon" Internet-via-balloon service will operate

Specifically, Loon and Internet para Todos Perú (IpT) have reached an agreement to use high-altitude balloons to expand mobile internet access to parts of the Peruvian Amazonia. The companies aim to provide service to Telefónica customers in Peru in 2020.

Loon, which is a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, uses a network of high altitude balloons operating 20 km above sea level, well above air traffic, wildlife and weather events. Loon provides a full network as a service. The balloons act as floating cell towers, transmitting a provider’s service directly to a subscriber’s 4G/LTE device below.

IpT Perú is an open access wholesale rural mobile infrastructure operator owned by Telefónica, Facebook, IDB Invest and CAF which aims to help bridge the digital divide bringing mobile internet to remote populations where conventional telecom infrastructure deployment is not yet economically feasible.  Launched last May, Internet para Todos Perú is a neutral-host Rural Mobile Infrastructure Operator in Peru focused on offering mobile internet connectivity in rural areas to any Mobile Network Operator (MNO) willing to use its services on a wholesale basis. With a strong focus on innovation to provide sustainable service, IpT will leverage Loon for hard-to-reach areas, complementing its terrestrial network and, initially, managing the service for Telefónica del Perú, first MNO to use the technology on a commercial basis in Latin America. More than 800,000 people living in around 5,300 rural communities in Peru have now access to mobile internet thanks to IpT. The aim is to connect over 30,000 communities by 2021 for the bicentennial of Peru.

Loon and Telefónica in Peru started collaborating in 2014 when early tests of Loon´s technology began. In 2017 when the El Niño floods devastated parts of Northern Peru, Loon worked with Telefónica to provide Internet connectivity to those in need in an area over 40,000 Km² in size. Earlier this year when a magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck Peru, the two companies were able again to provide emergency connectivity. This agreement marks an important milestone in their collaboration and the result of the extensive work by the Loon, Telefónica del Perú and IpT teams over the last few years.

Peru joins Kenya as the second country where Loon has signed a contract to expand the service of Mobile Operators using stratospheric balloons. In Kenya, Loon is awaiting final written regulatory approval to begin flying and conducting the final stages of network integration with Telkom Kenya.

T-Mobile US posts strong Q1, withholds guidance due to COVID-19

T-Mobile US reported a record-setting first quarter in 2020, including record service revenues of $8.7 billion, up 5%, and record net income of $951 million, up 5%.

Some highlights:

  • Branded net customer additions were 649,000 in Q1 2020, bringing the total branded customer count is 68.5 million.
  • Branded postpaid net customer additions were 777,000
  • Branded postpaid phone net customer additions were 452,000 down 204,000 year-over-year. This decrease was primarily due to lower gross additions impacted by reduced demand from social distancing rules and retail store closures arising from COVID-19, partially offset by lower churn. 
  • Branded postpaid other net customer additions were 325,000 in Q1 2020, down 38,000 year-over-year..
  • Branded postpaid phone churn was a Q1 record-low 0.86% in Q1 2020, down 2 bps year-over-year, primarily impacted by the beginning effects of reduced demand from social distancing rules and retail store closures arising from COVID-19.
  • Branded prepaid net customer losses were 128,000 in Q1 2020, primarily due to lower gross additions impacted by reduced demand from social distancing rules and retail store closures arising from COVID-19, partially offset by lower churn. Migrations to branded postpaid plans reduced branded prepaid net customer additions by approximately 115,000 in Q1 2020.
  • Branded prepaid churn was a Q1 record-low 3.52%, down 33 bps year-over-year, primarily due to the continued success of our prepaid brands due to promotional activities and rate plan offers and the beginning effects of reduced demand from social distancing rules and retail store closures arising from COVID-19.
  • Branded postpaid Average Revenue per Account (ARPA) was essentially flat year-over-year. Branded postpaid ARPA was primarily impacted by an increase in average customers per account due to the growing success of wearables, specifically the Apple Watch, and other connected devices, offset by an increase in our promotional activities, including the ongoing growth in the Netflix offering, a reduction in regulatory program revenues from the continued adoption of tax inclusive plans and a reduction in certain non-recurring charges including the impact of credits for restore fees, international calls and data usage in connection with our response to COVID-19.
  • Branded postpaid phone Average Revenue per User (ARPU) decreased 1% year-over-year to $45.80.Branded prepaid ARPU increased 1% year-over-year to $38.11 in Q1 2020 primarily due the removal of certain branded prepaid customers associated with products now offered and distributed by a current MVNO partner, partially offset by dilution from our promotional activities, a reduction in certain non-recurring charges and growth in our Amazon Prime offering.

“Just five weeks ago, we merged with Sprint to create the New T-Mobile, and we’re more excited today than ever before about the massive value creation opportunity and synergy potential that lies ahead. We are off to the races laying the foundation for the future of the New T-Mobile as we work to execute on our business plan and harness the incredible opportunity ahead,” said Mike Sievert, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “In the face of a challenging climate for Q1, T-Mobile once again led the industry in postpaid phone net customer additions and set even more financial records, including record service revenues, record Q1 Net income and record Adjusted EBITDA. Additionally, I'm so proud of our teams for their creative and passionate work in the face of the COVID-19 health crisis as we continue to provide crucial connectivity to our customers and impacted communities, while ensuring the safety of our employees.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted, and will continue to adversely impact, T-Mobile’s business and operating results, the company continues to work to ensure the health and safety of its employees, the ongoing reliability of its network, which continues to perform strongly and function with minimal interruptions, and the ability to serve and connect our customers. These prioritizations have resulted in key operational changes, affecting T-Mobile’s service revenues, equipment revenues, customer additions, churn rate and SG&A expenses, including increased labor costs. Additionally, T-Mobile continues to actively monitor and assess the impacts of COVID-19 on all facets of its business and operations, and as a result - the company is not in position to issue full year guidance, which depends on future developments that remain highly uncertain and unpredictable at this time, including the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and related mitigation and response efforts. "

  • The Sprint merger was completed on April 1, 2020.

Equinix's revenues top $1.445 billion, up 6% YoY

Equinix reported Q1 revenue of $1.445 billion, a 2% increase over the previous quarter and a 6% increase over the same quarter last year. Adjusted EBITDA was $684 million, a 47% adjusted EBITDA margin, including higher seasonal costs. Net income amounted to $119 million, a 5% decrease from the previous quarter.

"The Equinix business continues to perform well and show resiliency through these times of uncertainty, enabling us to remain focused on the clear set of priorities we laid out at the beginning of the year—investing in our people, evolving our platform and service portfolio to meet the changing needs of customers, expanding our go-to-market engine to fuel long-term growth, and simplifying our business to drive operating leverage and enhance our customer experience," states Charles Meyers, President and CEO, Equinix.

Some highlights for the quarter

  • Key customer expansions included Hurricane Electric, TikTok and Zoom
  • Global connectivity remains a growth area as customer deployments across multiple metros comprised 87% of total recurring revenues, and Interconnection revenues increased 14% over the same quarter last year; peak Equinix Internet Exchange™ traffic increased 44% over the same quarter last year, or over 20% compared to the prior quarter, reflecting the impact of the sudden global shift to remote and work-from-home practices
  • Equinix continues the growth of its indirect selling initiatives, as Q1 channel activity accounted for approximately 30% of bookings
  • Interconnection revenues in Q1 grew 14% year-over-year, or 15% on a normalized and constant currency basis, steadily rising over the last few quarters, reflecting the demand across our portfolio of interconnection products. 
  • Equinix's global interconnection platform now comprises over 370,000 physical and virtual interconnections. In Q1, Equinix added an incremental 6,800 interconnections.

VIAVI reports sales of $256 million, down 3% YoY

VIAVI reported net revenue of $256.2 million for its third fiscal quarter ended March 28, 2020, down $9.0 million or (3.4)% year-over-year. GAAP net loss was $(32.8) million, or $(0.14) per share. Non-GAAP net income was $32.0 million, or $0.14 per share.

"Fiscal Q3 2020 revenue came in below our guidance range. The emerging COVID-19 pandemic was the principal driver behind the revenue shortfall. Despite that, through disciplined OPEX management, we managed to deliver the midpoint of our non-GAAP EPS guidance range, at 14 cents per share," said Oleg Khaykin, VIAVI's President and Chief Executive Officer. "The NSE business segment was most impacted by the COVID-19 headwinds, as our customers increasingly went into WFH and lockdown mode of operations and many purchase decisions were either pushed out or put on hold. The OSP business segment, on another hand, saw some late quarter customer order upsides and expedites, coming in above the revenue and non-GAAP operating margin guidance range."

Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA customers represented 34.7%, 29.0% and 36.3%, respectively, of total net revenue for the quarter ended March 28, 2020.