Sunday, January 31, 2021

Ericsson posts strong Q4 as 5G contracts grow to 127

Ericsson reported Q4 2020 sales of SEK 69.6 billion (approximately US$8.325 billion), up by 13% YoY mainly driven by sales in North East Asia, Europe and North America, when adjusted for comparable units and currency. Reported net income was SEK 7.2 (4.5) b.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson, states "Our R&D investments have continued to drive both technology leadership and cost efficiency which have led to increased market share and improved financial performance. We are today a leader in 5G with 127 commercial contracts and 79 operating networks around the world. Organic sales grew by 5% for the full year. Our operating margin of 12.5% (5.0%) exceeded our 2020 target and reached the 2022 Group target range two years early."

Regarding Sweden and China, Ekholm states: "The Swedish telecom regulator’s decision to exclude Chinese vendors from 5G networks may create exposure for our operations in China. Our business in 180 markets today has been built on free trade and open, competitive markets. This has also ensured the development of a single global standard for mobile communication. It is critical that responses to the geopolitical situation safeguard the extraordinary value associated with those operating standards for 5G and beyond."

Some highlights:

Networks sales grew organically1 by 20%, reporting a gross margin of 43.5% (41.1%) for Q4. Ericsson saw continued high activity levels in North America and North East Asia.

Digital Services gross margin grew to 41.0% (38.1%) in Q4. From 2017 to 2020, gross margin excluding restructuring charges and items affecting comparability increased from 29% to 42%, as a result of streamlined product portfolio, fewer critical contracts, a growing portion of software sales and lower service delivery costs. The cloud-native 5G portfolio has a high win ratio and significant new customer contracts will start to generate revenues during the next 12-18 months. 

Managed Services delivered a gross margin of 17.7% (15.4%) in Q4. Sales declined on operator consolidation in the US during 2020. The full-year 2020 operating margin was 8.1% – above the 5%-8% target.

Emerging Business and Other sales are growing in enterprise offerings such as IoT Platforms, complemented by the acquisition of Cradlepoint. Gross margin improved to 33.8% (15.1%) driven by operational leverage from growth and lower cost as a result of the exited Edge Gravity business.

Speaking on CNBC, Ekholm said the company plans to increase its presence in the United States.

Gigalight launches 400G QSFP-DD PSM8 transceivers

Shenzhen-based Gigalight introduced its 400G QSFP-DD PSM8 transceivers for 400G Ethernet and OTN at distances of 2km or 10km.

Gigalight said its new 400G PSM8 modules are based on a unique parallel optical design. The inside of the module uses a single PCB design, which reduces the difficulty of attaching the board. The process is simple, easy to mass produce, reliable in process, and controllable in thermal design. The performance and power consumption are excellent, which is believed to be the leading level in the industry.

Key features of GIGALIGHT 400G QSFP-DD PSM8 optical modules:

  • 8-lane parallel light engine
  • Dual rates of 400G Ethernet and OTN
  • Reach up to 2km or 10km
  • Uncooled 50G PAM4 EML lasers
  • High density design with good reliability
  • Low power consumption < 11W
  • Commercial operating temperature range of 0°C to 70°C

The company said it also plans to launch a 400G QSFP-DD DR4 parallel optical module based on silicon photonics technology in 2021.

Bharti Airtel demos upcoming 5G service in Hyderabad

Bharti Airtel demonstrated for the first time in India its upcoming LIVE 5G service over a commercial network.

Airtel's demo, which occurred in Hyderabad, ran over its existing liberalised spectrum in the 1800 MHz band using NSA (Non Stand Alone) mode. Airtel used dynamic spectrum sharing to operate 5G and 4G concurrently within the same spectrum block. 

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel said: “I am very proud of our engineers who have worked tirelessly to showcase this incredible capability in Tech City, Hyderabad today. Every one of our investments is future proofed as this game changing test in Hyderabad proves. With Airtel being the first operator to demonstrate this capability, we have shown again that we have always been the first in India to pioneer new technologies in our quest for empowering Indians everywhere.”

“We believe India has the potential to become a global hub for 5G innovation. To make that happen we need the eco system to come together – applications, devices and network innovation. We are more than ready to do our bit.” added Gopal Vittal.

Crown Castle and Verizon enter long-term 5G Small Cell commitment

Crown Castle has signed a new long-term agreement with Verizon to support Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband and 5G Nationwide deployment. Specifically, Verizon has committed to lease 15,000 new small cells from Crown Castle over the next four years. Once installed, the small cell leases will have an initial term of 10 years.

“Verizon has led the industry in 5G deployment and has been at the forefront of building a strong ecosystem of stakeholders who will continue to drive forward this essential platform for innovation,” said Gina Cacciatore, Executive Director of Network Engineering and Operations for Verizon. “This agreement with Crown is an important component of our 5G expansion plans and will advance the infrastructure requirements for many more people to access this revolutionary technology.”

“We are excited to expand our longstanding strategic relationship with Verizon with this significant small cell agreement,” stated Jay Brown, Crown Castle’s Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to continuing to support Verizon’s growth as they deploy 5G Ultra Wideband and 5G Nationwide, and we believe our ability to offer a comprehensive solution with towers and small cells at scale provides us the best opportunity to deliver value as we support their wireless infrastructure needs.”

  • Crown Castle owns, operates and leases more than 40,000 cell towers and approximately 80,000 route miles of fiber supporting small cells and fiber solutions across every major U.S. market. 
  • In December 2020, T-Mobile US, notified Crown Castle it was cancelling approximately 5,700 small cells contracted with Sprint Corporation ("Sprint Cancellation") prior to its merger with T-Mobile. The majority of the cancelled small cells were not yet constructed and, upon completion, would have been located at the same locations as other T-Mobile small cells. The Sprint Cancellation resulted in T-Mobile accelerating payment of all contractual rental obligations associated with the approximately 5,700 small cells as well as the payment of capital costs incurred to date.

DISH signs tower lease with Crown Castle

DISH signed a multi-year agreement with Crown Castle to lease space on up to 20,000 communication towers. As part of the agreement, DISH will receive certain fiber transport services and also have the option to utilize Crown Castle for pre-construction services. The agreement encompasses leases on towers located nationwide, helping DISH facilitate its buildout of the first open, standalone and virtualized 5G network in the U.S. Financial terms were...

Verizon signs power purchase deal for 152MW solar farm in Indiana

Verizon has entered into a power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Lightsource bp that will enable construction of a new 152.5 megawatt ac solar farm in Indiana.

The Bellflower solar farm, located about 40 miles east of Indianapolis in Henry and Rush Counties, is expected to become operational in 2022.

“Through their corporate sustainability commitment, Verizon is spurring development of clean and affordable energy sources in the U.S. that benefit us all,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of Lightsource bp in the Americas. “Working together, we’re reducing carbon emissions from electricity generation for the overall grid while delivering substantial local economic benefits. Adding initiatives to enhance local biodiversity further multiplies solar’s contribution to preserving our planet for future generations.”

“Last year, Verizon issued its second $1 billion green bond, which will be used to fund long-term renewable energy purchase agreements – including this agreement with Lightsource bp – that support the construction of solar and wind facilities. These facilities will bring new renewable energy to the grids that power our networks,” said James Gowen, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer and vice president, supply chain operations. “Verizon is committed to supporting the transition to a greener grid by making substantial investments in renewable energy.”

STC calls on ADVA’s NFV suite for uCPE services

The Saudi Telecom Company (STC) is rolling out on-demand virtual services using ADVA’s Ensemble suite of network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies. The new universal CPE (uCPE) offering is built on the Dell EMC Networking Virtual Edge Platform (VEP) 1405 series running ADVA’s Ensemble Edge Cloud NFV suite. 

STC’s new uCPE offering enables businesses across the Middle East to select virtual products from the multivendor Ensemble Harmony Ecosystem. Enterprise customers of STC will be able to quickly and easily access virtual services, including routing, firewall, WAN optimization, IoT and voice applications.  The Dell EMC Networking VEP 1405 series is a compact, low-power uCPE appliance purpose-built to host VNFs and ideal for demanding SD-WAN applications. With ADVA’s Ensemble Connector as the NFVI platform, multiple VNFs can run on a single uCPE. Other key components include Ensemble Orchestrator and Virtualization Director, which provide a simple and effective management and orchestration (MANO) architecture, empowering STC to roll out secure virtualized services at scale.

“Today’s enterprises need to be agile. They require the freedom to mix and match the latest cloud technologies to seize new revenue opportunities in an instant. That’s what our new uCPE service is all about. It eliminates vendor lock-in and lets our clients experiment with best-in-class solutions that fit their specific needs and ambitions,” said Fahad A. Alhajeri, VP, digital solutions, STC. 

“STC’s uCPE service is ideal for connecting the enterprise to the cloud. Now businesses throughout the Middle East can leverage the power of virtualization and choose from the market’s widest range of onboarded commercial VNFs,” commented James Buchanan, GM, Edge Cloud, ADVA. “Our Ensemble suite’s MANO capabilities support the rollout of secure virtualized service across multiple locations with complete flexibility and scale. And, thanks to our Ensemble Connector’s zero-touch provisioning, STC can ship uCPE to a customer site and provision it securely with no need for technicians. With such rapid deployments and agile service creation at the network edge, STC is leading the way to the managed services of tomorrow.”

“By utilizing our Virtual Edge Platform 1405 series and ADVA’s Ensemble software, STC is giving its customers a simple way to respond to shifting industry demand,” said Drew Schulke, VP, Dell EMC Networking, Dell Technologies. “Working with ADVA, we’re empowering STC and its customers to digitalize their infrastructures. Now they can deploy solutions at the click of a mouse and harness advanced tools for boosting security, reducing costs and improving end-user customer experience.”

Inspur contributes rack management spec to OCP

Inspur has contribued a specification to the Open Compute Project that clarifies the scope of information collection, data presentation modes and hardware deployment options of collection modules in rack management.

Inspur said its specification provides a reference architecture for centralized rack management and lays the foundations for smarter operation of data centers.

Dozens of server nodes, fans, power supply and other components are integrated into a rack. These components are centrally managed and monitored by an RMC (Rack Management Controller). The OpenRMC design specification addresses the challenges of centralized management across different racks. In addition, it meets a range of needs among small and medium-sized data centers, such as enhancing automated operations capability, improving system availability, and reducing overall energy consumption.

OpenRMC Design Specification v1.0, contributed by Inspur, unifies the format and parameters of read data by defining the northbound and southbound specifications, allowing users to manage all racks in one interface. In terms of the northbound data presentation, OpenRMC is integrated with Redfish, the next-generation data center management standard, allowing all kinds of server data to be presented through a browser, an approach that is more user-friendly than a binary display mode. Meanwhile, firmware can be flashed remotely, making it more convenient for operations personnel to control.

“The OpenRMC Sub-project aims at an opensource-based rack management solution, which is fundamental to efficient, flexible, and open data center management. As the project-lead of the OpenRMC project, Inspur’s Rack Management Specification offers a significant push to the fulfillment of that goal,” said Rajeev Sharma, Director of Software & Technologies, of the OCP Foundation. “We are confident that Inspur and participating companies will yield more designs and specifications that apply Open Compute technologies to solving data center operation challenges.”

Wilson Guo, Inspur's senior technology director, said that Inspur has always been an active advocate of open source technologies ranging from Linux to OCP to OpenStack and is currently a member of three leading global open computing standards organizations. “Inspur has been involved in many open source communities in the hardware and software fields,” said Inspur’s Wilson. “To stay ahead of the future transformation of cloud data centers, Inspur has been driving the development of converged data centers and smart computing to advance the integration of open computing technologies and help build a truly open ecosystem.”

Huawei's optical distribution products gain TÜV SÜD Certification

 Huawei Digital QuickODN (DQ ODN) has recently been granted the first TÜV SÜD Certification Mark for optical distribution network products. The Huawei DQ ODN solution uses pre-connection and digital technologies to provide operators with a full-process splicing-free network construction solution, boosting network construction efficiency while reducing construction costs. In addition, AI image recognition and optical iris technologies are used to automatically collect ODN GIS, link topology, and loss information, achieving accurate and visualized resource management. 

TÜV SÜD is an international third-party testing organization founded 150 years ago that is dedicated to professional testing, inspection, and certification. It has extensive experience in communications product certification, with a panel of authoritative industry experts and first-class testing platforms. The global mark for optical distribution network products launched by TÜV SÜD strictly complies with IEC and ITU standards in testing and certifying the mechanical reliability, environmental reliability, and optical performance of the products and components. In addition to product testing, the certification process also involves factory quality assurance capability check, product consistency check, and post-certification supervision.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Telia Carrier opens POP near MAREA’s cable landing station in Bilbao

Telia Carrier launched a new Point-of-Presence at Telxius’ interconnection rich Derio Communications Hub located near Bilbao, Spain, only a few kilometers from MAREA’s submarine cable landing station.

The Derio Communications Hub is a  combination of an expanded cable landing station and a fully-fledged PoP, the first of its kind in EMEA.  The 2,000 sqm carrier-neutral TIER III facility offers up to 4 MW of power and is specially designed to leverage the full potential of MAREA. It features an open architecture, offering high interconnection capacity as well as IP, Capacity, Colocation and Security services. It was designed using environmentally friendly standards and runs on 100 percent renewable energy with free cooling.

Telia Carrier said the new facility enhances its fiber connectivity for customers seeking gateway access to a completely new and diverse path from the Americas to Europe with low latency and high capacity between the two continents. Customers in the region can now take advantage of Telia Carrier’s number one ranked global backbone, AS1299, as well as the local availability of high-speed IP Transit, Cloud Connect, DDoS Mitigation, Ethernet and Internet Exchange (IX) Connect for operators, content providers and enterprises alike. The new expansion seamlessly connects to Telia Carrier’s terabit scale DWDM networks extending throughout Europe and the Americas.

“We see this as a very strategic route that complements Telia Carrier’s number one global backbone,” said Art Kazmierczak, Director of Business and Network Development, Telia Carrier. “By bringing our two networks together, we are creating a fully integrated carrier-class route that can handle capacity at scale to drive new edge activities in the region while supporting customers from international and local markets seeking to diversify their network and reduce latency.”

“The combination of Telia Carrier’s extensive global network and our Derio Communications Hub is a win-win for the world’s largest operators, content providers and enterprises,” said Enrique Valdés, Sales VP Northern Region, Telxius Cable. “Colocating in Derio opens up a world of interconnection opportunities with the US via MAREA and with the main European hubs. We believe this will benefit large and small customers looking for flexible and innovative solutions that will adapt to the future demand of data services.”

  • MAREA, which means “tide” in Spanish, is one of the highest capacity transatlantic submarine cables to date. It connects Virginia Beach in the US, with Sopelana, in Northern Spain, providing an alternative path to the main communication hub routes to Africa, the Middle East and Asia. 

Showing posts sorted by date for query MareaSort by relevance Show all posts

Facebook tests trans-Atlantic 700 Gbps wavelength with Infinera's ICE6

 Facebook achieved two significant optical transmission records during recent testing of Infinera's ICE6 optical engine over the MAREA trans-Atlantic cable system:MAREA hero results over 6,640 km30 Tbps of total capacity on a single fiber pair700 Gbps data rate per wavelengthMAREA deployable results over 6,640 km:28 Tbps of total capacity on a single fiber pairUp to 650 Gbps data rate per wavelengthThe hero result is considered maximum performance...

Windstream Wholesale moves into Globalinx in Virginia Beach

Windstream Wholesale is the first national service provider built into the Globalinx Data Center international subsea cable landing station in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Windstream Wholesale is taking orders out of the new Globalinx Data Center. Windstream Wholesale has secured a contract with anchor tenant Hurricane Electric for multiple 100G circuits connecting into the Globalinx location. The access point also provides another location for carrier,...

NJFX and Telxius interconnect their East Coast Cable Landing Stations

The NJFX Cable Landing Station (CLS) in Wall, New Jersey has been directly connected to Telxius facilities at the CLS in Virginia Beach, VA using Windstream's fiber network. NJFX’s CLS campus offers access to four subsea cable systems to Europe and South America and seven independent US fiber-based backhaul providers. Customers can access points of presence in 15 countries across Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. NJFX said its...

Halo acquires Skylane Optics for its transceivers

Halo Technology Group has acquired Skylane Optics, a leading provider of transceivers for optical communications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Skylane offers a range of optical solutions including optical and copper transceivers, DACs, AOCs, multiplexers, and coding boxes (TCS) for a broad range of applications. The company has offices in Belgium, Brazil, Sweden, and the U.S.

Halo said the acquisition adds improved technical reach and enhanced operational power to its portfolio, including Skylane's CFP-DCO coherent products. Operationally there will be a benefit of improved production capacity, automation and manufacturing efficiencies with Skylane's patented Anaconda production system. 

Halo Group, which is based in Irvine, California, develops and markets optical networking solutions including optical transceivers, multiplexers, ROADMs, EDFAs, high-speed optical cabling, in addition to other supporting optical connectivity products. With manufacturing and distribution centers in the US, UK, and India, Halo serves the networking needs of a broad spectrum of enterprise, service provider and telecommunications customers globally.

"We are incredibly excited about adding Skylane's cutting-edge product offering and their very talented team to our group," said Matt McCormick, Chief Executive Officer of Halo. "Halo is committed to growing the Skylane business and to continue to meet the demands of its sophisticated and diverse customer base. With the added strength and capabilities derived from our platform, we expect Skylane to thrive as part of the Halo Group."

"Halo has become the global market leader in compatible optics with the expertise to meet the needs of virtually any network architecture requirements, whether enterprise, hyperscale data center or multinational telco," said Al Aguirre, Chairman of the Halo Technology Board of Directors. "The Skylane transaction enhances the group's abilities and further proves the value of the platform as a global growth vehicle."

Seoul Viosys delivers 25Gbps VCSELs for 5G

Seoul Viosys has developed a 25Gbps transceiver based on vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) technology and designed for 5G transport networks. The company has started mass production and says its has three initial customers.

The 25Gbps VCSEL developed by Seoul Viosys is a high-performance laser diode technology that emits light vertically from semiconductor substrates to enable fast communication. C

Seoul Viosys’ VCSEL can be implemented in a single channel or four-channel configurations, depending on its intended use, and the four-channel implementation features 100Gbps (4x) of high-capacity and high-quality data reception and transmission. 

“As the paradigm shift has progressed in the recent noncontact era, interest in VCSEL technology is growing, since it is a critical technology for implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) environment. Seoul Viosys will continue to research and develop the VCSEL technology to expand and apply our differentiated VCSELs to 5G communication-based smart cities, autonomous driving applications, AR/VR, and industrial IoT markets,” said an official at Seoul Viosys.

Juniper posts revenue of $1.2 billion, routing sales grow

Juniper Networks reported net revenues of $1,222.6 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2020, an increase of 1% year-over-year, and an increase of 7% sequentially. Non-GAAP net income was $181.8 million, a decrease of 9% year-over-year, and an increase of 26% sequentially, resulting in non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.55.

“We experienced better than expected Q4 demand and ended 2020 on a high note by delivering a second consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth,” said Juniper’s CEO, Rami Rahim. “Despite the various challenges presented by the pandemic, we achieved many of the objectives we laid out earlier in the year, which included growing our enterprise business for a fourth consecutive year, growing our cloud business for a second consecutive year and stabilizing our service provider business. We believe these outcomes are a direct result of the strategic actions we have taken, which should position us for sustainable full-year revenue growth starting this year.”

“We executed well in the December quarter and were able to exceed our revenue and non-GAAP EPS targets,” said Juniper’s CFO, Ken Miller. “We are entering the new year with strong backlog and healthy momentum across each of our core industry verticals. We believe the investments we have made in 2020 to strengthen our technology portfolio and go-to-market organization will not only position us to deliver long-term growth, but also improved profitability over time.”

Some highlights:

Routing product revenue: $462 million, up 9% year-over-year and up 7% sequentially. The year-over year increase was driven by Enterprise and Cloud, partially offset by a decline in Service Provider. The sequential increase was primarily driven by Enterprise, and to a lesser extent, Cloud, offset by a decline in Service Provider. Both MX and PTX product families grew year-over-year and sequentially.

Switching product revenue: $261 million, down 2% year-over-year and up 14% sequentially. The yea rover-year decrease was driven by Cloud, partially offset by growth in Enterprise and Service Provider. The sequential increase was driven by all verticals. The QFX product family decreased year-over-year and grew sequentially. The EX product family grew year-over-year and sequentially.

Security product revenue: $87 million, down 14% year-over-year and up 19% sequentially. The yearover-year decrease was primarily due to Service Provider, and to a lesser extent, Cloud and Enterprise. The sequential increase was primarily driven by Enterprise.

Service revenue: $412 million, down 1% year-over-year and up 2% sequentially. The year-over-year decline and sequential increase was primarily driven by timing of renewals.

By vertical

Cloud: $281 million, slightly up year-over-year and up 11% sequentially. The slight year-over-year increase was driven by Routing and to a lesser extent, Services, offset by a decline in Switching and

Security. The sequential increase was primarily driven by Switching, and to a lesser extent, Services and Routing, partially offset by a decline in Security.

Service Provider: $475 million, down 4% year-over-year and essentially flat sequentially. The year-over year decrease was primarily due to Services. The sequential change was primarily due to a decline in Services, partially offset by growth in Switching and Security.

Enterprise: $467 million, up 7% year-over-year and up 14% sequentially. The year-over-year increase was primarily driven by Routing, and to a lesser extent, Switching and Services, partially offset by a decline in Security. The sequential increase was driven by all products and services.

Some other notes

  • Juniper cites progress on 400G, noting that it currently has more than 100 wins for 400G capable products.
  • Juniper said software accounted for 12% of total revenue in Q4, primarily driven by the adoption of Mist cloud and other software-based subscription offerings. The company expects software sales to continue to grow especially given its recent acquisitions of 128 Technology, Netrounds and Apstra.
  • In total, Mist wireless LAN, Wired Assurance, Marvis Virtual Network Assistant and Associated EX pull through generated over $150 million in 2020.'20-CFO-Commentary.pdf

DOCOMO trials 5G aboard Shinkansen test train running at 360km/h

NTT DOCOMO verified the stable operation of 5G, including handover between base stations and the transmission of high-definition video data, aboard JR East's ALFA-X1 Shinkansen test train running at 360km/h. The trials confirmed that it will be possible to ensure stable mobile communication environments on high-speed trains for the delivery of high-value mobile services.

In general, communication quality at high speed becomes unstable due to the influence of direct-path obstructions and the Doppler effect. This is especially true in the case of 5G, which uses relatively high frequency bands that are more sensitive to physical obstructions and the Doppler effect compared to lower frequency bands used in legacy mobile communication networks.

Specifically, the trials confirmed the following three results aboard ALFA-X running at 360km/h:

Maximum data rates exceeding 500Mbps and 100Mbps in the downlink and uplink, respectively, were verified and highly stable communication at 100Mbps or higher was achieved over a distance of approximately 5km, confirming the possibility of practical, reliable communication.

Successful handover was confirmed while maintaining data rates at 100Mbps or higher.

Both 4K and 8K high-definition video data transmissions were achieved, confirming the possibility of stable, large-capacity data transmissions. 

CommScope's Wi-Fi gear clears NSA security vetting

CommScope announced that its RUCKUS SmartZone controllers and RUCKUS access points have cleared the National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) vetting process and are now available on the Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) Programs list.

NSA/CSS's CSfC Program was established to enable commercial products to be used in layered solutions protecting classified National Security Systems (NSS) data. This gives the government the ability to securely communicate based on commercial standards. The evaluation was carried out in accordance with the Common Criteria Evaluation and Validation Scheme (CCEVS) requirements and guidance.

“The protection of government information – especially NSS data – is critical to the national security of the United States,” said Chris Collura, vice president, Federal business for CommScope. “CommScope’s wired and wireless networking products meet the stringent standards required to work within a government network. We made strategic investments in our wireless controllers and access points to meet the NSA/CSS’s CSfC Program requirements.”

Keysight offers Open RAN testing solution

Keysight Technologies introduced an Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) solution for verifying the interoperability, performance, conformance and security of multi-vendor 5G networks based on O-RAN standard interfaces.

Keysight’s Open RAN Architect (KORA) suite is tailored to the supply chain workflow consisting of chipset makers, network equipment manufacturers (NEMs), mobile operators and Open Test and Integration Centers (OTIC). Users can uniquely access a common set of solutions to simplify the sharing of results across the workflow from pre-silicon to cloud deployments.

Keysight’s Open RAN Architect (KORA) includes Open RAN Studio, UeSIM, RuSIM, CoreSIM, DuSIM, CuSIM, RIC Test, ATI Pentest, CyPerf, Breaking Point, Vision Edge, IxNetwork, CloudPeak, and Nemo Outdoor.

The portfolio covers both 3GPP and O-RAN testing and is segmented to support the following key stakeholders:

Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) – Chip Designer Suite

  • Enables chipset vendors to verify compliance of O-RAN designs to O-RAN specifications using O-RAN simulation tools prior to tape out, reducing development time.

Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) – NEM Suite

  • Enables open RAN hardware and software vendors to verify compliance to O-RAN specifications and interoperability, ensuring each function integrates as expected into a multi-vendor open RAN.

Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) – Operator Suite

  • Enables mobile operators to verify conformance, interoperability and performance of subsystems that drive new 5G service revenue opportunities.

Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) – OTIC Suite

  • Enables OTICs to validate conformance, interoperability and performance using tools that adhere to the O-RAN specifications with thorough, repeatable and automated processes.

“Vendors of radio units (O-RUs), distributed units (O-DUs), central units (O-CUs) and RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) need integrated, virtualized and cloud native solutions to validate performance, establish interoperability between network elements and ensure compliance to the latest O-RAN and 3GPP specifications,” said Giampaolo Tardioli, vice president and general manager for Keysight’s network access group. “Keysight’s end-to-end open RAN solution portfolio enables this ecosystem to verify components across every level of the protocol stack, ensuring that subsystems perform as expected and cohesively.”

Orange and Free call off network sharing talks

Orange and Free have ended discussions about possible a mobile network sharing agreement in France.

Orange said that, given a divergence in deployment strategy, Orange it has decided to end these discussions. The Group said it is also fully committed to the deployment of fibre in France, providing two-thirds of the 24 million connectable homes that have already been built.

Colorado's Eastern Slope deploys Ribbon's IP and optical transport

Eastern Slope Rural Telephone, a regional provider of high quality communications services to customers in eastern Colorado, has upgraded its network with Ribbon's IP and optical transport solutions. Ribbon's Neptune and Apollo platforms provide Eastern Slope with advanced Layer 2 Ethernet aggregation capabilities along with a next-generation DWDM network to deliver faster data speeds. 

"Eastern Slope is already leveraging our market-leading Call Control solutions, so we are delighted to help them expand the capacity of their network and increase customer broadband speeds with our IP and Optical Transport solutions," said Elizabeth Page, U.S. Rural Market Director for Ribbon. "This is another great example of how existing Ribbon Cloud and Edge customers can also leverage our IP and Optical Transport solutions to expand and help future-proof their broadband networks, while enhancing end-customer offerings."

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Anuket aims to accelerate infrastructure compliance and interoperability

LF Networking (LFN) has merged CNTT (The Cloud iNfrastructure Telco Taskforce, which provided reference models and architectures for both virtual machine and containerized network functions) and OPNFV (the Open Platform for NFV, which reduced time to integrate and deploy NFV infrastructure and onboard VNF/CNFs), into a new open source project called Anuket.

Anuket's mission is to deliver tools and artifacts to "empower the global communications community to deliver compliant network services faster, more reliably and securely, and accelerate the transformation to cloud native infrastructures." The project delivers standardized reference infrastructure specifications and conformance frameworks for virtualized and cloud native network functions, enabling faster and more robust onboarding into production, reducing costs, and accelerating telecom digital transformation. 

OPNFV’s final stand-alone release, Jerma, delivered in December, delivered CNTT-ready capabilities, including an initial cloud native Reference Implementation and integration of cloud native testing aligned with CNTT’s R2 work. Elbrus, CNTT’s final release, planned by early February, initiates a number of new work areas, including infrastructure automation and observability, hardware management, and hardware abstraction and network fabric programmability. 

LFN said the new group will continue OPNFV’s legacy of operating upstream with collaboration across other open source projects (such as LF Networking, LF Edge, CNCF, LF AI, ODIM and other industry organizations and standards bodies). Anuket will also preserve CNTT’s close working relationship with GSMA, who will continue to publish the project’s Reference Model work.  

“It’s incredible to see the evolution of what began as the Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization over six years ago,” said Heather Kirksey, vice president of Community and Ecosystem Development at the Linux Foundation. “With Anuket, we are making it easier and more efficient for CSPs to transform their networks and save money, with one, end-to-end platform.”

“The Anuket project is unique in covering Operator requirements collection and normalisation, subsequent open-source software development, through to Industry certification programs of ecosystem implementations, all under a single initiative,” said Walter Kozlowski, Anuket Technical Steering Committee co-chair and Principal, Cloud Infrastructure Architecture, at Telstra. “I am proud to serve in the role of a co-chair of its Technical Steering Committee, and I am excited by the unique opportunity this project creates for my company and for the whole industry, in the area of network transformation and related telco open infrastructure.”

“I’m very excited about the merging of CNTT and OPNFV into a single entity,” said Andre Fuetsch, CTO, Network Services, AT&T. “This move will empower the global communications community by bringing together reference cloud infrastructure models and architectures with conformance programs and tools to deliver network services faster, more reliably, and securely. The collaborative spirit of this open source development effort will help grow the communications industry to new levels of service for all stakeholders. Empowering the global society to benefit. We at AT&T are proud to be part of this initiative and look forward to supporting Anuket in the coming years.”

  • Anuket is the Egyptian Goddess of the Nile

Nokia and Elisa test first 1 terabit clear-channel interface

Elisa, a network operator serving Finland and Estonia, has tested the first 1 Tbps clear-channel interface across its commercial infrastructure.

Elisa upgraded some of its Nokia 7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS) nodes with 1T interfaces powered by Nokia’s FP4 chipset, the industry’s first terabit capable routing silicon. The new FP4 terabit linecard supports two 1T ports and demonstrated deployment readiness by carrying live traffic on Elisa’s network.

Nokia achieved a major network capacity milestone with its long-standing partner Elisa while preparing the operator’s network

Kalle Lehtinen, CTO, at Elisa, said: “Elisa continues its string of world firsts with this record-breaking IP routing capability achieved with Nokia, enabling us to leapfrog an 800G progression that other service providers are only strategizing about. This strengthens our position as a global 5G leader and gigabit broadband service provider, allowing us to stay ahead of the curve and maintain our commitment to our customers." 

Ken Kutzler, Vice President of IP Routing Hardware at Nokia, said: “Nokia is honored to have a longstanding partnership with Elisa. Delivering FP4-based 1T ports in the 7950 XRS is a testament to Nokia’s innovation and drive to push the technology envelope, maximizing investments for customers like Elisa.”

Webinar replay: The Race to 800G

 This one-hour webinar explores the path to #800G coherent as well as the race to push lane speeds to 224G, enabling 800G PAM4 solutions. We hear from two leading experts at Inphi, Radha Nagaragan, CTO & SVP, Photonic Integrated Circuits & Systems, and Ilya Lyubomirsky, Senior Technical Director.

Inphi is already making big strides in this area. In March of 2020, Inphi announced sampling of its Speeka 800G 7nm PAM4 DSP for optical transceiver modules.

As a reality check, we will also hear from Mark Filer, Principle Optical Network Architect, Microsoft Azure.

Webinar host: DuPont Silicon Valley Innovation Center

and the Consortium for On-board Optics

Cignal AI: Big shifts in spending on optical and packet transport

Expenditures by North American cloud and colocation operators on optical and packet transport equipment declined 20 percent year over year in the third quarter of 2020 (3Q20), while incumbent operator spending increased 2 percent, according to the 3Q20 Transport Customer Markets Report from market research firm Cignal AI.

“Equipment suppliers to cloud operators report that sales in the third quarter were depressed because service providers absorbed capacity on networks that were built during the first half of 2020,” said Scott Wilkinson, lead analyst at Cignal AI. “Both incumbent and cloud operators, especially in North America, spent significantly more of their annual budget than typical in the first half of the year.”

More Key Findings from the 3Q20 Transport Customer Markets Report

  • After uncharacteristically strong growth in 2Q20, sales to cloud and colocation operators in Asia Pacific (APAC) rose dramatically again in the third quarter
  • Despite a year-over-year decline in sales, Ciena maintained its worldwide market share leadership in sales to cloud and colocation operators in 3Q20
  • The fourth quarter is expected to be challenging for sales outside APAC, with traditional telco and cloud and colocation purchases anticipated to wane worldwide

HFR and Fujitsu debut 25G Smart Tunable Optics for 5G transport

HFR Networks and Fujitsu Network Communications introduced 25G Smart Tunable Optics as part of Fujitsu's flexiHaul portfolio of solutions. HFR Networks’ Smart Tunable Optics seamlessly integrate into Fujitsu's flagship flexiHaul transponder based and Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) portfolios. 

The Smart Tunable Optical transceivers automatically self-tune to the correct wavelength without intervention by the host system or a field technician. This automates fast service turn-up, and enables full operational visibility on xHaul transport links for proactive management of active or passive remote sites. Smart Tunable Optics are also available supporting 10G.

Fujitsu says 5G fronthaul is driving 25G transport as an essential requirement, including the ability to combine existing 10G services across a variety of equipment and technologies from different RAN suppliers. Intelligent self-tuning optics enable network operators to maximize valuable fiber capacity while saving on space and power at remote sites by using only passive components. This is critical for operators around the world as they continue deploying additional LTE capacity in parallel with quickly ramping new 5G services.

“As a strategic partner of Fujitsu, HFR Networks continues to provide the innovation required by our customers,” said Paul Havala, V.P. of Global Planning, Fujitsu Network Communications. “Smart Tunable Optics deliver the increased flexibility and impressive total cost of ownership benefits that operators demand as they continue to move towards open networks while simultaneously increasing network capacity across mixed generations of radio technologies and vendors.”

“HFR Networks is thrilled to add another industry first to its list of accomplishments,” stated Paul Crann, CEO, HFR Networks. “By enabling converged 4G/5G services across RAN vendors and overcoming constraints due to limited fiber, we are able to simplify operations while reducing the remote site space and power requirements. HFR Networks empowers operators in their continued efforts to get to market quickly with new 5G services using high-performance, open and cost-effective solutions.”

Juniper completes Apstra acquisition

Juniper Networks completed its previously-announced acquisition of Apstra, a leader in intent-based networking and automated closed-loop assurance. 

The Apstra team is now part of Juniper’s Data Center business and Apstra CEO and co-founder, David Cheriton, joins Juniper as Chief Data Center Scientist.

“The Apstra acquisition is a significant milestone for our business that reinforces our commitment to transforming data center operations. Apstra’s focus on intent-based networking, closed-loop automation and fabric assurance is a perfect complement to Juniper’s award-winning hardware and software. Together, we can drive lasting customer value from design to deployment (Day 0 and 1) through everyday operations and assurance (Day 2 and beyond)," states Mike Bushong, Vice President of Data Center Product Management, Juniper Networks.

Juniper to acquire Apstra for Intent-Based networking and assurance

Juniper Networks agreed to acquire Apstra, a start-up based in Menlo Park, California offering intent-based networking and automated closed loop assurance solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Apstra offers an intent-based network operating system for simplifying the management of data center networks. Intent-Based Networking (IBN) is a closed-loop, continuous validation approach to designing, deploying and managing infrastructure. Apstra automatically generates and deploys full configuration of all devices based on a service description, and continuously provides assurance checks between the intended and operational state. Apstra’s multivendor integrations extend its closed loop automation and analytics to customers independently of their underlying infrastructure, including those running SONiC (Software for Open Networking in the Cloud). 

Juniper said the acquisition expands its commitment to open programmability, adding to its portfolio of solutions that includes powerful switching platforms with native SONiC integration and a deployment-hardened, cloud-native routing stack for the SONiC ecosystem.

AT&T brings power range upgrades to FirstNet

AT&T announced a number of upgrades to its FirstNet public safety network, including:

  • FirstNet MegaRange: Following 3GPP and FCC standards, FirstNet can now take advantage of the highest power class signaling available in the U.S. The high-power user equipment (HPUE) solution exclusively available on Band 14. For rural, remote and maritime first responders, MegaRange can significantly improve connectivity especially at the edge of network coverage. And for urban and suburban responders, this can help solve the common challenge of difficult coverage spots such as building shadows, parking garages, basements, elevators, and stairwells. 
  • Z-Axis for FirstNet: Now available in more than 105 markets across the country, including Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, with additional markets added weekly, public safety has a new level of indoor spatial awareness not previously available using traditional GPS-based location methods. Intrepid Networks’ Response for FirstNet, a situational awareness platform, is the first to bring Z-Axis capability to market. 
  • Compact Rapid Deployable (CRD): Public safety agencies can now also purchase their own deployable network assets. These agency-owned Cells on Wheels (COW) can be deployed by a single person within a matter of minutes. CRDs link to FirstNet via satellite and do not rely on commercial power availability, making them ideal for use during emergencies in rural and remote areas, as well as areas where communications may be temporarily unavailable. 
  • LMR Interoperability for FirstNet Push-To-Talk: The first-ever nationwide mission-critical, standards-based PTT solution to launch in the U.S. now supports LMR-to-LTE interoperability. This means first responders using LMR can virtually seamlessly communicate with users on FirstNet PTT and vice versa.

Deutsche Telekom tests Samsung 5G SA in Czech Republic

Deutsche Telekom completed a trial of Samsung's 5G Standalone (SA) solution in the Czech Republic.

The trial, which was held in the city of Pilsen, 5G SA Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO) technologies using Samsung’s 3.5GHz Massive MIMO radio. The spectrum efficiency was tripled in comparison to that of LTE under realistic conditions and the throughput was increased by about 2.5 times of SU-MIMO (Single-User MIMO).

“We are pleased to collaborate with Samsung to verify the performance of its 5G SA solution,” said Alex Choi, SVP Strategy &amp; Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom. “Together with strong partners we are consistently introducing advanced technical capabilities into our network, and we are very excited about the potential of 5G SA networks to further accelerate the 5G evolution.”

“Samsung is glad to successfully conduct the first Massive MIMO call on an end-to-end 5G architecture within the DT Group in Europe. This is an important milestone in both companies’ efforts to bring 5G to the next phase,” said WooJune Kim, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Sales &amp; Marketing, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “Leveraging Samsung’s technical capabilities, DT will provide the ability of 5G to deliver unprecedented values to users.

Intel re-hires Sunil Shenoy to lead Design Engineering Group

Intel announced the appointment of Sunil Shenoy as senior vice president and general manager of the Design Engineering Group.

Shenoy, a 33-year Intel veteran who departed in 2014, will lead design, development, validation and manufacturing of intellectual properties and system-on-chips (SOC) for client and data center applications. 

Most recently, Shenoy was senior vice president and general manager of RISC-V at SiFive, an Intel Capital portfolio company working to commercialize the RISC-V open architecture. At SiFive, Shenoy helped build the engineering team. In his prior years at Intel, Shenoy was corporate vice president in charge of Intel’s Platform Engineering Group, responsible for microprocessor and SoC design across Intel’s product groups. He also led Intel’s Visual and Parallel Computing Group and server and PC silicon development R&D and engineering, among other responsibilities.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Ericsson's 5G RAN slicing allocates resources with 1ms scheduling

 Ericsson announced commercial availability of its 5G network slicing solution for radio access networks.

The Ericsson 5G RAN Slicing allocates radio resources at 1 millisecond scheduling and supports multi-dimensional service differentiation handling across slices, ensuring high-quality end-user experience for diverse use cases. This allows for the effective use of dynamic radio resource partitioning, slice-aware quality of service (QoS) enforcement, and slice orchestration functionality for service-level agreement (SLA) fulfilment. 

Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson says: “Ericsson 5G RAN Slicing dynamically optimizes radio resources to deliver significantly more spectrum-efficient radio access network slicing. What makes our solution distinct is that it boosts end-to-end management and orchestration support for fast and efficient service delivery. This gives service providers the differentiation and guaranteed performance needed to monetize 5G investments with diverse use cases. With 5G as innovation platform, we continue to drive value for our customers.”

Ericsson said it now has ongoing 5G network slicing engagements for RAN, transport, core network and orchestration across the globe involving use cases for the consumer segment and enterprises/industry verticals such as video-assisted remote operations, AR/VR, TV/Media for sports event streaming, cloud gaming, smart city, and applications for Industry 4.0 and public safety. 

An Ericsson report estimates USD 712 billion in an addressable consumer market for service providers by 2030. The addressable market for network slicing alone in the enterprise segment is projected at USD 300 billion by 2025 (GSMA data). As 5G scales up, service providers are looking to maximize returns on their investments by targeting innovative and high revenue-generating use cases such as cloud gaming, smart factories, and smart healthcare.

RTI and OneQode offer Layer 2 connectivity from Queensland

 RTI Connectivity Pte. Ltd. (RTI) and the OneQode Group (OneQode)  are now offering international layer-2 carrier connectivity from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland via RTI's JGA-S, JGA-N and SEA-US cables, which use a high-capacity fibre branch terminating in Maroochydore, Queensland.

“The Sunshine Coast and wider Queensland area is home to many companies doing amazing things. RTI is passionate about unlocking latent potential in regions we connect our cables to, and we believe there’s an incredible amount of potential here. Connecting Queensland to the world will remove the region’s dependency on other capital cities and allow people to do business like never before.”

Department of Homeland Security opens $3.4B data center contract

The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has opened a Request for Proposal for a single award contract value at $3.355 billion for Data Center and Cloud Optimization (DCCO) Support Services.

The contractor is to provide the Department of Homeland Security and its Components with management of its enterprise data center and to implement and manage its future state enterprise information technology (IT) hosting environment.

The main source of enterprise computing resource for DHS has been Data Center 1 (DC1), a Government Owned Contractor Operated data center located at the NASA Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. NASA owns and manages the data center facility and DHS leases approximately 36,000 square feet of raised floor space in the data center.

Verizon reports flat trends, continue buildout of 5G Ultra Wideband

Verizon reported total 4Q 2020 revenue of $23.9 billion, a decrease of 1.2 percent year over year. Earnings per share (EPS) amounted to $1.11, compared with $1.23 in 4Q 2019. Net income was $4.7 billion, a decline of 9.6 percent from fourth-quarter 2019, and adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP) of  $11.7 billion, an increase of 5.3 percent from fourth-quarter 2019.

"Verizon finished the fourth quarter with strong financial performance," said Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg. "2020 was marked by transformational change, including the launch of our 5G nationwide network. We witnessed a mass shift toward virtual collaboration, touchless retail and delivery, remote work, distance learning, and telemedicine. We continued to execute our multi-use network strategy; we were recognized by RootMetrics as the best overall wireless provider, undefeated in all categories; and we continue to be the partner of choice for the world’s most innovative brands. 

Some highlights

  • Full-year 2020 capital expenditures were $18.2 billion. Capital expenditures continue to support the growth in traffic on the company's 4G LTE network and the continued build-out of the company's 5G Ultra Wideband and nationwide networks. 
  • For 2021, capital spending is expected to be in the range of $17.5 billion to $18.5 billion, including the further expansion of 5G Ultra Wideband in new and existing markets, the densification of the wireless network to manage future traffic demands, and the continued deployment of the company's fiber infrastructure. 


  • Total Verizon Consumer revenues were $23.9 billion, a decrease of 1.2 percent year over year, primarily driven by a decline in wireless equipment revenue due to softer volumes in the quarter. For full-year 2020, total Consumer revenues were $88.5 billion, a decrease of 2.8 percent from full-year 2019, driven by a decline in wireless equipment revenue.
  • In fourth-quarter 2020, Consumer reported 357,000 wireless retail postpaid net additions.This consisted of 163,000 phone net additions and 81,000 tablet net losses, offset by 275,000 other connected device net additions. Postpaid smartphone net additions were 284,000.
  • Consumer wireless service revenues were $13.6 billion in fourth-quarter 2020, a 1.2 percent increase year over year. Full-year 2020 Consumer wireless service revenues were $53.6 billion, a 0.3 percent decrease from full-year 2019.
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 0.96 percent in fourth-quarter 2020, and retail postpaid phone churn was 0.76 percent. 
  • Consumer reported 92,000 Fios Internet net additions in fourth-quarter 2020, an increase from 35,000 Fios Internet net additions in fourth-quarter 2019. Consumer and Business reported 95,000 total Fios Internet net additions in fourth-quarter 2020, the most fourth-quarter total Fios Internet net additions since 2014. Consumer reported 72,000 Fios Video net losses in fourth-quarter 2020, reflecting the ongoing shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings. 

Business results

  • Total Verizon Business revenues were $8.1 billion, down 0.3 percent year over year. Wireless service revenue growth was offset by reductions in wireless equipment volumes and secular pressure on legacy wireline products. For full-year 2020, total Verizon Business revenues were $31.0 billion, a decrease of 1.5 percent from full-year 2019. 
  • Business reported 346,000 wireless retail postpaid net additions in fourth-quarter 2020. This consisted of 116,000 phone net additions, 116,000 tablet net additions, and 114,000 other connected device additions.
  • Business wireless service revenues were $3.1 billion in fourth-quarter 2020, a 7.1 percent increase year over year. Full-year 2020 Business wireless service revenues were $11.8 billion, a 5.5 percent increase from full-year 2019.
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 1.19 percent in fourth-quarter 2020, and retail postpaid phone churn was 0.98 percent.