Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Orange launches Djoliba pan-African optical backbone

Orange and its subsidiaries announced the commissioning and commercial launch of Djoliba, a terrestrial fibre optic network, coupled with undersea cables, serving west African.

This new backbone covers 8 countries: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. Natively interconnected with the domestic networks within the countries, this broad coverage will generalise access to connectivity for operators and companies. The network covers more than 10,000 km of terrestrial fibrem 10,000 km of subsea cable and 16 points of presence with a grid of nearly 155 technical sites.

Orange describes Djoliba as the first unified superfast broadband network for Africa. The network is operated and maintained from Dakar.

Alioune Ndiaye, CEO Orange Middle East and Africa: “Orange is actively contributing to the development of undersea and terrestrial infrastructure which enable the African continent’s digital transformation, by investing 1 billion euros each year. With Djoliba, local populations will be able to access healthcare or educational services more easily, as well as the applications offered by cloud computing. Development of access to digital technology is a key challenge for Africa and I would like to congratulate our teams in all the countries for their remarkable work that has enabled the Djoliba project to come to fruition.” 

Jérôme Barré, CEO Orange Wholesale & International Networks: “With Djoliba, Orange is once again confirming its expertise and leadership in the deployment and operation of international terrestrial and undersea networks. Consequently, all the operators, companies and institutions in West Africa now benefit from seamless connectivity that is open to the whole world, thanks to a single customer point of contact and unparalleled service availability. Djoliba is the fruit of a group effort, and thanks to a fully mobilised cross-functional team, we have been able to meet this sizeable challenge. This human adventure illustrates the Orange Group’s strength, both due to its local presence through its subsidiaries and its capacity to build shared international assets.”

Virtual OSA Industry Development Associates Showcase - Dec 1-3

The 2nd Virtual OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) Technology Showcase will be held 1 – 3 December 2020, beginning at 10:00 EST. 

The three-day program will feature 29 companies in a format comprised of six technology themes – Instrumentation and Metrology, Imaging and Microscopy, Fiber Optics and Communication, Services, Precision Optics and Components and Precision Sources.

Participating companies, OIDA members, will present their products to a global audience and engage with attendees in virtual networking rooms for demos and Q&A discussion. Industry experts will introduce new problem-solving tools and materials such as continuously variable filters, high performance fiber optic components and assemblies, 3D imaging systems and more. Event registration is free and open to the public.

“The response for the first technology showcase was so overwhelmingly positive that more companies expressed interest in participating in the next program,” said Simin Cai, OIDA Council Chair and President and CEO, Go!Foton, USA. “As companies embrace new engagement strategies in a virtual environment, they recognize this format allows for substantive presentations and networking opportunities to support their business objectives. Attendees will also benefit by having direct access to industry leaders who will share the latest innovations and trends in the marketplace.”

The 29 participating companies include II-VI, CMC Microsystems, Delta Optical Thin Film, Hamamatsu, Inrad Optics, Ligentec, Santec, Schott Advanced Optics, Source Photonics and TRUMPF.

Intel advances its oneAPI initiative across CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs

Intel's oneAPI industry initiative, which was first announced at SuperComputing 2019, marked a major milestone with the gold release of oneAPI toolkits. The oneAPI vision calls for a unified and simplified cross-architecture programming model without proprietary lock-in while enabling the integration of legacy code. This programming model would extend across CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs and other accelerators. 

Intel said its oneAPI toolkits take advantage of hardware capabilities and instructions such as Intel AVX-512 and Intel DL Boost on CPUs, along with features unique to XPUs. 

“Today is a key moment in our ambitious oneAPI and XPU journey. With the gold release of our oneAPI toolkits, we have extended the developer experience from familiar CPU programming libraries and tools to include our vector-matrix-spatial architectures. We are also launching our first data center GPU based on Xe-LP microarchitecture focused on the fast-growing cloud gaming and media streaming segments,” states Raja Koduri, Intel senior vice president, chief architect and general manager of Architecture, Graphics and Software.

Intel also debuted its first discrete graphics processing unit (GPU) for the data center based on the Xe-LP microarchitecture and designed specifically for high-density, low-latency Android cloud gaming and media streaming.

Intel shows its Ponte Vecchio GPU and oneAPI programming model

Intel unveiled its new general-purpose "Ponte Vecchio" GPU architecture for HPC/AI acceleration, along with its new oneAPI, a unified and scalable programming model for the era of HPC/AI convergence. The oneAPI industry initiative ains to deliver a unified and simplified programming model for application development across heterogenous processing architectures, including CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs and other accelerators. The oneAPI specification includes...

TIM updates strategic initiative, Q3 revenue dips 5% yoy

TIM Group reported Q3 revenue of 11.7 billion euros, a drop of 5% YoY, but a 5% improvement compared to the second quarter despite the persistence of the COVID-19 emergency. EBITDA amounted to 5.3 billion euros for the first nine months, -7.3% YoY. ( Q3 stable compared to the previous quarter in Italy), increasing in Brazil (+3.2% YoY).

TIM provided the following updates on its strategic initiatives:

  • Fibre network: Work is continuing on the launch of FiberCop’s operations, which is scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2021 once the required authorisations have been obtained. At the same time, work is continuing on the creation of a Single Network (AccessCo), through constant dialogue with the Government and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.
  • Sale of mobile towers: payment collected in October for the sale to Ardian Infrastructure of a minority stake in the holding company which holds TIM’s joint controlling share in INWIT. The total value of the transaction will amount to 1.6 billion euros in the fourth quarter of 2020.
  • Data Centers and partnership for Cloud services: the Board of Directors approved the creation of the Newco dedicated to managing the Group’s Data Centers, which will operate as of the first quarter of 2021, once the necessary authorisations have been obtained. 2020 proforma turnover is expected to be in the order of approximately 500 million euros, with an expected growth of over 20% per year. Thanks to the partnership with Google Cloud in the first nine months of the year major clients were won for the provision of joint services to business clients.
  • In Brazil, TIM S.A., together with Vivo and Claro, submitted a binding offer of 16.5 billion Reais (2.7 billion euros) for the mobile business of the Oi Group. The consortium was admitted as a “stalking horse” (entitled to raise its bid in the event of higher bids being made by competitors) at the auction scheduled to take place by mid-December 2020.
  • Capital expenditure was 2,006 million euros in the first nine months of 2020 (2,276 million euros in the first nine months of 2019).
  • The TIM Group headcount as of 30 September 2020 was 52,480, including 42,827 in Italy (55,198 as of 31 December 2019, including 45,266 in Italy) down by 2,718 compared to 31 December 2019, including -2,439 in Italy. Compared to 30 September 2019, the reduction was 3,568.

Windstream Wholesale opens hub in Digital Realty Atlanta

Windstream Wholesale has established a Network Hub presence in Digital Realty’s data center at 250 Williams St. in Atlanta, one of the largest multi-tenant locations in the Southeast. 

The companies sai the expansion was driven by a Tier 1 content provider requiring a multi-location solution between Digital Realty’s Atlanta data center site and Digital Realty’s data center campus in Richardson, Texas.

Windstream Wholesale will offer fully diverse wavelength solutions at speeds up to 400G to the rich connected community of companies operating at Digital Realty’s portfolio of data centers in Atlanta, along with access to its full suite of ethernet and internet services.

“As Windstream continues to expand its reach to better serve its customers, we’re excited to partner with them as they deploy with us in Atlanta – an important hub for connectivity and internet exchange in the region,” said Tony Bishop, senior vice president of growth, platform and marketing at Digital Realty. “This represents Windstream’s sixth Network Hub deployment on PlatformDIGITAL® in the U.S. and marks another step in our work with them to implement a data-centric architecture that supports the performance needed for customers to overcome data gravity challenges and scale digital business at key centers of data exchange.”

“As one of the top connectivity hubs and internet exchanges in the Southeast, Digital Realty’s Atlanta location provides customers with access to carrier and cloud-dense environments,” said Joe Scattareggia, executive vice president for Windstream Wholesale. “This launch is another step in Windstream Wholesale’s ongoing initiative to meet our customers’ rapidly growing need for diverse, high-capacity, low-latency bandwidth at key data centers nationwide.”

DISH adds Qualcomm to list of O-RAN partners

DISH Network added Qualcomm Technologies to its list of partners supporting open and virtualized RAN 5G solutions.

DISH will utilize the Qualcomm 5G RAN Platforms through DISH's network vendors and device partners. The platforms are designed to allow emerging network vendors to accelerate deployment and commercialization of vRAN and interoperable networks that can deliver on the wide array of use cases and opportunities envisioned for 5G.

"By further expanding its portfolio of 5G infrastructure solutions to include O-RAN specifications that are compliant with DISH's open architecture and implementation, Qualcomm Technologies will enable greater flexibility in the deployment of our 5G vRAN equipment," said Marc Rouanne, DISH executive vice president and chief network officer.

"We are excited about working with DISH to accelerate their strategy to bring flexible, scalable, and interoperable 5G deployments to a more competitive North American market. With our vast 5G portfolio, from smartphone to infrastructure, we are committed to supporting DISH's network vendors and device partners to bring new capabilities to life, with standalone 5G and Vo5G across all DISH spectrum bands," said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 4G/5G, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Telia Estonia activates 5G with Ericsson

Telia activated 5G commercial service in the center of the three largest cities in Estonia: Tallinn, Tartu, and Pärnu.

The network implements the Ericsson Spectrum Sharing solution for using Telia's existing spectrum. Following the auction of the related spectrum by the Estonian government beginning of next year, Telia aims to enhance and expand its low-band 5G commercial services with additional nationwide 5G coverage, including mid- and high-bands.

Robert Pajos, CEO Telia Estonia, says: “Although the state has yet to issue 5G frequency licenses within the 3.5 GHz frequency range, Ericsson’s 5G technology enables us to take advantage of frequencies already in use. We are using the Ericsson Spectrum Sharing solution, which enables us to go live with 5G services already today.”

Jenny Lindqvist, Head of Ericsson Northern and Central Europe, says: “We are excited to enable Telia’s launch of 5G in Estonia. 5G will serve both consumers and enterprises taking the digitalization and sustainable development to the next level, where superior connectivity is a prerequisite.  Given that the 5G equipment we deploy also is produced in Estonia makes this moment even more special.”