Sunday, November 8, 2020

Vector Photonics develops a new class of semiconductor lasers

Vector Photonics, a spin-out from the University of Glasgow, announced plans to commercialize a new class of Photonic Crystal Surface Emitting Lasers (PCSEL) technology for hyperscale data center applications. The technology uses a 2D grating structure to scatter light linearly and orthogonally.

Vector Photonics CEO, Neil Martin, said, “PCSELs are low cost, robust, have a broad wavelength range and high power. This combination of key characteristics gives them a huge advantage over most of the laser technologies used today. This includes VCSELs (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers), which are robust, but compromise wavelength range and power, and EEL’s (Edge Emitting Lasers), which have broad wavelength range, but are expensive to make and are fragile to handle.

“PCSELs emit light from their top surface, like VCSELs, making them easy to package and incorporate into PCBs and electronic assemblies. They are also produced in a similar way to EELs, allowing us to draw on existing supply chain expertise and capacity as we grow.”

BT now operates on 100% renewable energy

BT Group, the joint-largest private purchaser of electricity in the UK, confirmed that its network, offices and shops worldwide are now powered with 100% renewable electricity. 

The company has committed to run its global operations on renewable electricity where markets allow and will purchase the remainder from neighbouring markets until local solutions can be found.

Cyril Pourrat, Chief Procurement Officer at BT, said: "As an organisation that consumes nearly 1% of the UK’s electricity, it is important for BT to demonstrate its commitment to a green recovery. Our team has worked hard to secure renewable electricity contracts for our sites globally, a crucial step towards the Paris agreement’s 1.5°c target.”

BT’s transition to renewable electricity has been delivered through supporting the development of local renewable energy markets, with 16% of its electricity supplied through corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and the remainder from high-quality green tariffs or in a small number of markets, renewable certificates.

In addition, Openreach, which has the second largest commercial fleet in the UK, is aiming to switch out a third of its 27,000 combustion engine vehicles to electric by 2025. With 33,000 vehicles, the entire BT Group fleet accounts for two thirds of its operational emissions.

In June 2020, BT Group including Openreach joined forces with the Climate Group to launch the UK Electric Fleets Coalition. The coalition of 27 companies has taken a leading role in communicating the benefits of switching from combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs) and has called for supportive policy measures which target 100% electric car and van sales by 2030; extend grants for electric vehicles and charging points through to at least 2023 and speed up the rollout of public charge-points across the country.


AT&T elects William Kennard as its chairman

The board of directors of AT&T elected William E. Kennard to serve as its chairman, effective January 2021, replacing Randall Stephenson who is retiring after serving in the role since 2007. 

Mr. Kennard served as general counsel to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission from 1993 to 1997. In 1997, he was appointed FCC Chairman, a position he held until 2001. From 2009 to 2013, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union. 

Kennard also has held positions with The Carlyle Group, a global asset management firm, at which he led investments in the telecommunications and media sectors, and the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand (now DLA Piper), where he was a partner and member of the board of directors. He has served on the AT&T board since 2104. He also serves on the boards of Duke Energy Corporation, Ford Motor Company and MetLife, Inc.  He is also co-founder of Astra Capital Management, a private equity firm.  Kennard received his B.A. in Communications from Stanford University and earned his law degree from Yale Law School. He currently serves on the board of trustees of Yale University.

“Bill’s deep knowledge of communications, media and technology, proven leadership and broad experience across capital markets and government uniquely positions him to serve as AT&T’s new chairman,” Stephenson said. “He is an outstanding choice to lead our board of talented directors who possess diverse expertise and experience.” 

“It’s an honor to be selected to serve as chairman of AT&T’s board of directors,” Kennard said. “On behalf of the board, I want to thank Randall for his outstanding leadership and countless contributions as chairman. We wish him all the best.  I look forward to working with our CEO and fellow board member John Stankey and the entire board to continue creating long-term value for all stakeholders – investors, customers, employees and the communities we serve.”

China Mobile now has 114 million 5G customers

China Mobile's operating revenue increased by 1.4% year-on-year to RMB574.4 billion for the first three quarters of 2020. Of which, revenue from telecommunications services grew by 2.5% year-on-year to RMB525.7 billion whereas that from the sales of products and others declined by 9.2% year-on-year to RMB48.7 billion. 

The Group’s profit attributable to equity shareholders fell slightly by 0.3% year-on-year to RMB81.6 billion for the first three quarters of 2020. 

China Mobile said it will continue to put in an all-out effort to implement its “5G+” plan, further promote scale-based and value-oriented operations and foster the all-round development of CHBN markets, thereby maintaining growth in telecommunications services revenue for the full-year of 2020.

NTT's revenue dips, income increases on flat subscriber trends

NTT Group reported operating revenues ¥5,711.4 billion, down approximately 3% from the same period last year. Operating income increased ¥1,008.6 billion, up 2.6% year-on-year.

Overseas sales were $9.1 billion, down 7.3% year-on-year due in part to the pandemic.

In order to provide customers with appropriate services both during and after COVID-19, NTT has created a lineup of services under a new service brand called "Remote World".  This will include “OriHime”, a remote-controlled avatar robot; customer support screen sharing service; a new “elgana” business chat service; a new SwipeVideo service that allows different video by swiping the screen.“Smart Me™” digital employee ID that uses smartphones instead of traditional employee badges.

Deutsche Telekom enters sales partnership with Zoom

Deutsche Telekom has entered into a sales partnership with Zoom Video Communications.

Customers who book Zoom via Telekom will benefit from the advice of specialized customer teams and contract handling with their usual contractual partner.  

“With Telekom, our sales ecosystem is growing to include a strong partner with excellent market knowledge, extensive experience and an established name. We are pleased to reach completely new target audiences through this partnership, small and medium-sized businesses, for example,” commented Peer Stemmler, Head of DACH at Zoom. “We are convinced that Telekom’s clientele will also be delighted with the simple and frictionless video communication Zoom enables.”

“Most recently, ‘zooming’ has become synonymous with online video telephony. We can now offer this experience directly to our customers through our channels,” said Peter Schamel, VP of Business Collaboration Services at Deutsche Telekom. “As a telecommunications company, it is essential for us to keep up with the times. With Zoom, we are now integrating an intuitive and widely used tool into our portfolio. We are making sure that we can provide our business customers with the modern technology they need in the current situation and beyond from a single source.”