Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Telecom Infra Project streamlines its OpenRAN efforts

The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is streamlining its OpenRAN and OpenRAN 5G NR Project Groups into an overarching OpenRAN Project Group under a revised charter.

The new Project Group will be chaired by Vodafone and T-Mobile USA, and different work streams will be co-led by BT, China Unicom, Ooredoo, Smartfren, TPG, Intel and Vodafone Idea.

Various new subgroups have also been formed:

  • RU: Defining Radio Unit (RU) whitebox hardware (HW) platforms for 4G/5G
  • DU/CU: Defining Distributed Unit (DU) & Centralized Unit (CU) whitebox HW for 4G/5G
  • RAN Intelligence & Automation (RIA): Productization of AI/ML Use Cases for Massive MIMO (MaMIMO), e.g., beam optimization, Radio Resource Management (RRM) and Self Organizing Network (SON)

Segment subgroups: Focused on integrated RAN solutions for specific network use cases to improve deployment business cases:

  • Outdoor: Addressing coverage and capacity requirements, performance and features for outdoor macro base stations
  • Indoor: Defining requirements, performance and features for indoor 5G NR small cells

“We are excited to lead this transition towards flexible and open RAN with a richer ecosystem. Vodafone has been expanding OpenRAN footprint via ongoing pilot deployments in Europe and Africa. The streamlined OpenRAN structure is a significant opportunity to drive scale and support vendors to more quickly deliver products to the market. We look forward to the Project Group delivering harmonised requirements and proven commercial solutions to support our network deployment objectives,” stated Andy Dunkin, Senior Manager Mobile Access Centre of Excellence at Vodafone Group Networks and TIP Technical Committee delegate.


TIP pushes SDN for IP/MPLS, optical and microwave transport

The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) has formed a new sub-group within its Open Optical & Packet Transport project group to accelerate and drive the adoption of SDN standards for IP/MPLS, Optical and Microwave transport technologies. The new sub-group is called MUST (Mandatory Use Case Requirements for SDN for Transport) and is led by Deutsche Telekom, MTN, Orange, Telefónica, Telia Company and Vodafone.

With the MUST sub-group, operators will define the use cases, their workflows and the set of data models needed to fulfill them. These use cases will be incorporated into specification documents.

“The development and adoption of open interfaces is a key factor for the adoption of open and disaggregated technologies,” said David Hutton, Chief Engineer at the Telecom Infra Project. “We are delighted to see such a strong pull of operators starting this activity and we encourage other to join and work with us.”


ADVA releases DCSG operating system for mobile operators

ADVA announced the commercial release of a carrier-grade network operating system (NOS) designed for disaggregated cell site gateways (DCSGs).

The new ADVA Ensemble Activator, which was developed as part of the Telecom Infra Project's Disaggregated Cell Site Gateway group, enables mobile network operators to move away from closed proprietary systems and build open, vendor-neutral transport infrastructure with best-of-breed components.

ADVA said its Ensemble Activator is optimized for the operation of large, geographically dispersed networks. The software has been proven in tests with third-party hardware from suppliers such as Alpha Networks, Delta and Edgecore. ADVA has trials underway with multiple mobile operators including Telefónica and Vodafone. 

“Today’s announcement marks the start of a new age of disaggregated mobile networks. By deploying our Ensemble Activator, MNOs will be able to leverage the full benefits of separated software and hardware and inject unprecedented speed, efficiency and flexibility into their transport infrastructure,” said Eli Angel, VP, product line management, Ethernet access, ADVA. “Built on our team’s vast experience equipping the largest public networks with the most advanced connectivity solutions, Ensemble Activator has now proven itself in a wide range of real-life scenarios. These include 5G field trials where Ensemble Activator combined with third-party white box hardware to create an open and cohesive DCSG solution. By turning cost-effective bare-metal switches into powerful packet network devices, it will equip MNOs to build tomorrow’s mobile infrastructure.”

“Supporting the disaggregation of hardware and software while meeting the performance needs of the most demanding mobile networks is critical in transitioning today’s technology to open, highly scalable mobile transport architectures and enabling the mass rollout of 5G services. We are very excited about ADVA’s Ensemble Activator, as it offers something new to the market and enables a strong ecosystem for DCSG technology,” commented Luis MartinGarcia, manager, network technologies, Facebook and co-chair, DCSG group, TIP. “TIP is all about unleashing the power of collaboration and open innovation, and ADVA’s work demonstrates how quickly we build together in TIP to bring a powerful new technology to maturity.”


Australia's OptiComm to build 10G XGS-PON with ADTRAN

OptiComm, which is the largest private competitor to Australia's NBN, is in the final stages of developing the nation's first 10G XGS-PON. The plan is to deliver residential service at a nominal line speed of up to 1 Gbps, and commercial service reaching speeds up to 10 Gbps.

OptiComm has been working closely with ADTRAN at the latter’s research and development facility in Melbourne.

OptiComm has been a licensed carrier and wholesale network infrastructure operator since 2007. As of 2019, OptiComm was serving 60,000 active connections and its fiber network passed 100,000 dwellings.


T‑Mobile tests sub‑6 GHz carrier aggregation

T-Mobile completed q 5G standalone (SA) New Radio Carrier Aggregation (NR CA) data call on a commercial device, LG VELVET 5G, and its 2.5 GHz mid-band and 600 MHz low-band spectrum.

The test is seen as a key step in expanding T-Mobile’s nationwide standalone architecture (SA) 5G network.

The test was completed on T-Mobile’s exclusive version of LG VELVET 5G, which is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1000C 5G chipset. Ericsson provided the 5G radio network hardware and software.

DustPhotonics intros 400G QSFP-DD DR4 module

DustPhotonics introduced a QSFP-DD DR4 transceiver module supporting 400 Gbps coherent transmission in a pluggable form factor.

The QSFP-DD form factor provides an 8-lane electrical interface, increasing bandwidth, channel capacity and port density. The module converts 8 channels of 50 Gbps (PAM4) electrical input data to 4 channels of parallel optical signals, each capable of 100 Gbps operation for an aggregate data rate of up to 400 Gbps.

The 400GbE QSFP-DD DR4 module will be commercially available in Q4 2020. 


Telia Carrier spins out as a separate company

Polhem Infra, a private investment firm based in Sweden, has acquired Telia Carrier from the Telia Company for SEK 9,450 million (US$1.055 billion).

Telia Company has also entered in to a long-term strategic partnership with Telia Carrier, securing continuous world-leading network solutions to Telia’s customers.

Telia Carrier holds the top position in the global ranking of companies with Internet backbone networks. Content, services and operator customers of Telia Carrier account for 65 percent of global Internet routes. Its network spans across Europe, North America, and Asia, connecting customers in more than 120 countries, with the Scandinavian footprint being particularly strong through the so-called Scandinavian Ring – the part of Telia Carrier’s network that connects major Baltic and Nordic cities. Telia Carrier has 530 employees.

For 2019, Telia Carrier reported net sales of SEK 5,388 million, an EBITDA excluding IFRS-16 of SEK 500 million (SEK 888 million including IFRS-16) and capital expenditures of SEK 396 million resulting in EBITDA, excluding IFRS-16, less capital expenditures, of SEK 104 million. The agreed price for Telia Carrier equals an EV/EBITDA, excluding IFRS-16, multiple for 2019 of 18.9x. The transaction is expected to generate a capital gain of approximately SEK 7 billion at closing.

”At this time, I want to thank the whole Telia Carrier team for building such a strong customer-centric business over many years. This transaction is great testament to the value they have created for their customers and for Telia Company’s owners. I am confident that under the continued leadership of Staffan Göjeryd, Head of Telia Carrier, Polhem Infra will be an excellent owner for Telia Carrier and that it will continue to go from strength to strength under their stewardship.”

Vantage Data Centers raises $1.3 billion for expansion

Vantage Data Centers raised US$1.3 billion in securitized notes. 

The company said proceeds from this transaction are primarily being used to refinance outstanding debt and will reduce Vantage’s overall cost of capital by approximately 30% on average across its capital structure and extend debt maturities. This financing also provides cash for further investment.

“The current market environment proved extremely advantageous for Vantage and our investors to lower our capital costs, extend maturities and provide funding for growth opportunities,” said Sharif Metwalli, Vantage’s CFO. “Having access to capital at today’s attractive market rates gives us the ability to redeploy the realized savings with additional investments to grow the business across key regions throughout North America where our customers’ data center requirements continue to increase.”

Vantage Data Centers adds capacity in No. Virginia and Silicon Valley

 Citing a substantial increase in customer demand for premiere hyperscale data center space in recent months, Vantage Data Centers has begun construction on additional data center facilities at its growing Northern Virginia campus and its second Silicon Valley campus.

In Northern Virginia’s Data Center Alley, Vantage started construction on the next facility on its Ashburn campus. VA12 is the second of five planned facilities on the 42-acre campus, which will include more than 1 million square feet and 146MW of IT capacity once fully developed. Upon completion, VA12 will consist of 36MW of IT capacity and more than 250,000 square feet. Phase 1 is expected to be operational in Q1 2021.

In Silicon Valley, Vantage has begun construction of CA23 on its second Santa Clara campus, which will include a total of three facilities and 77MW of IT capacity upon completion. This newest facility will consist of more than 200,000 square feet, providing customers with 32MW of IT capacity. It is slated for completion in the second half of 2021.

CA23 is located on a nine-acre site less than two miles from Vantage’s flagship campus, the largest LEED certified campus in North America with a total of 77MW and six facilities. Combined, Vantage’s two Santa Clara campuses will provide customers with a total of nine facilities and 154MW of capacity in the heart of Silicon Valley.

“Vantage continues to experience a heightened global demand for hyperscale data center services,” said Sureel Choksi, president and CEO of Vantage Data Centers. “Because our customers want to grow with us across multiple markets, we continue to develop sustainable, state-of-the-art facilities across our portfolio, including in the world’s top data center markets.”


Vantage Data Centers gains strategic backing from Colony Capital

Vantage Data Centers announced a strategic partnership valued at $3.5 billion to accelerate the expansion of its wholesale data centers throughout North America and Europe.

Specifically, the Colony-led investor group will invest $1.2 billion in Vantage’s diversified portfolio, including 12 stabilized North American data centers, which span more than 1.4 million gross square feet and 150MW of IT capacity across key strategic markets in Santa Clara, California; Quincy, Washington; Montreal and Quebec City, Canada.

Vantage’s management team, led by Sureel Choksi, president and CEO, will continue to manage and operate these assets as part of its global data center footprint. Vantage will maintain the same level of superior service to its valued customers in each market, while simultaneously developing and operating additional data centers throughout North America and Europe. The capital provided by this transaction will support Vantage’s strategy to expand and enhance its global footprint.


Edgecore switches add support for SONic

Edgecore switch platforms are now offering an enterprise SONiC distribution.

SONiC (Software for Open Networking in the Cloud) is the open-source network operating system, led by Microsoft and many key players, including Edgecore, which delivers a robust proven software infrastructure enabling customers to deploy highly scalable data center networks. 

Edgecore SONiC is now supported on a full range of Edgecore platforms, from 1G to 400G data center switches.

“As a provider of open networking solutions to tier-one data centers and a leading contributor to open communities, like OCP, ONF, TIP, and SONiC, Edgecore understands the unprecedented value of disaggregated infrastructure in giving open choices to customers in designing their networks. Edgecore has been an active contributor for years to the SONiC community to further accelerate and expand the use of open networking. We are pleased to announce the availability of Enterprise SONiC Distribution by Edgecore and Edgecore hardware platforms with one-stop-shop service options to customers,” said George Tchaparian, CEO and President of Edgecore Networks.

SpaceX completes 13th Starlink launch, nearing 800 satellites in orbit

 SpaceX successfully completed its 13th Starlink launch mission, delivering a further 60 satellites to orbit and bringing the constellation size to over 760. The booster rocket successfully landed on a drone ship off the Florida coast.

SpaceX confirmed that public beta testing of the Starlink network will begin soon. Private tests of the service have achieved download speeds of 100 Mbps with "super good latency" capable of supporting the fastest online video games. 

Mavenir files for IPO

Mavenir publicly filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering of its Class A ordinary shares. 

Mavenir intends to list its Class A ordinary shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol “MVNR”.