Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Biden's American Jobs Plan calls for $100 billion for broadband

President Biden's American Jobs Plan is calling for a historic investment of $100 billion to "bring affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband to every American", including for the more than 35 percent of rural Americans who lack access to broadband at minimally acceptable speeds.

Some highlights

  • Build high-speed broadband infrastructure to reach 100 percent coverage. The President’s plan prioritizes building “future proof” broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas and also prioritizes support for broadband networks owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, and co-operatives—providers with less pressure to turn profits and with a commitment to serving entire communities. 
  • Promote transparency and competition. This includes lifting barriers that prevent municipally-owned or affiliated providers and rural electric co-ops from competing on an even playing field with private providers, and requiring internet providers to clearly disclose the prices they charge.
  • Reduce the cost of broadband internet service and promote more widespread adoption. In the short term, this could include subsidies to cover the cost of overpriced Internet service. In the long term, the goal is to reduce internet prices for all Americans.

In addition, President Biden's plan calls for an $180 billion investment in R&D for new technologies to fuel economic growth. Some highlights here include:

  • An investment of $50 billion in the National Science Foundation (NSF), creating a technology directorate that will collaborate with and build on existing programs across the government. It will focus on fields like semiconductors and advanced computing, advanced communications technology, advanced energy technologies, and biotechnology. 
  • $30 billion in additional funding for R&D that spurs innovation and job creation, including in rural areas. 
  • $40 billion in upgrading research infrastructure in laboratories across the country, including brick-and-mortar facilities and computing capabilities and networks. 
  • $50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research

Arm aims v9 at secure processing from edge to core

Arm introduced its v9 architecture which is expected to become the processing basis for hundreds of billions of devices in the years ahead.

Armv9, which is the first new Arm architecture in a decade, introduces the Arm Confidential Compute Architecture (CCA)- a new method for shielding portions of code and data from access or modification while in-use, even from privileged software, by performing computation in a hardware-based secure environment.

The Arm CCA will introduce the concept of dynamically created Realms, useable by all applications, in a region that is separate from both the secure and non-secure worlds. For example, in business applications, Realms can protect commercially sensitive data and code from the rest of the system while it is in-use, at rest, and in transit. 

“As we look toward a future that will be defined by AI, we must lay a foundation of leading-edge compute that will be ready to address the unique challenges to come,” said Simon Segars, chief executive officer, Arm. “Armv9 is the answer. It will be at the forefront of the next 300 billion Arm-based chips driven by the demand for pervasive specialized, secure and powerful processing built on the economics, design freedom and accessibility of general-purpose compute.”

“Addressing the demand for more complex AI-based workloads is driving the need for more secure and specialized processing, which will be the key to unlocking new markets and opportunities,” said Richard Grisenthwaite, SVP, chief architect and fellow, Arm. “Armv9 will enable developers to build and program the trusted compute platforms of tomorrow by bridging critical gaps between hardware and software, while enabling the standardization to help our partners balance faster time-to-market and cost control alongside the ability to create their own unique solutions.”

Huawei's 2020 domestic revenue rose 15.4% while falling internationally

Huawei reported 2020 revenue of CNY891.4 billion, up 3.8% year-on-year, and net profit of CNY64.6 billion, up 3.2% year-on-year.

Huawei’s 2020 revenue from the Chinese market reached CNY584,910 million, up 15.4% YoY thanks to the rapid rollout of 5G domestically. 

Huawei's enterprise business also expanded rapidly in China thanks to new opportunities in digital and intelligent transformation, while the consumer business, except for smartphones, benefited from the popularity of a variety of consumer devices like PCs, tablets, smart wearables, and smart screens. 

2020 revenue by geography

  • China CNY584.9 billion, up 15.4% over 2019.
  • EMEA 180,849, down 12.2%
  • Asia Pacific 64,369 70,533, down 8.7%
  • Americas 39,638 52,478, down 24.5%
  • Americas 39,638 52,478, down 24.5%

"Over the past year we've held strong in the face of adversity," said Ken Hu, Huawei's Rotating Chairman. "We've kept innovating to create value for our customers, to help fight the pandemic, and to support both economic recovery and social progress around the world. We also took this opportunity to further enhance our operations, leading to a performance that was largely in line with forecast."

Huawei published a 169-page 2020 annual report in English, along with a webcast press conference lasting one hour and 48 minutes.

Vertical Systems: 2020 U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN LEADERBOARD

 The following companies achieved a position on Vertical Systems Group's 2020 U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN Services LEADERBOARD (in rank order based on site share): AT&T, Hughes, Verizon, Comcast, Windstream, Lumen, Aryaka and TPx. These service providers each have two percent (2%) or more of the installed and billable Carrier Managed SD-WAN customer sites in the U.S. as of December 31, 2020.

“The managed SD-WAN market in the U.S. endured the pandemic as service providers installed hundreds of new networks in extremely challenging conditions throughout the past year. Businesses and enterprises accelerated the retirement of MPLS assets, and made purchase decisions for SD-WAN solutions that enable more flexible access options and dynamic connectivity,” said Rick Malone, principal of Vertical Systems Group. “Some provider positions changed on our 2020 Leaderboard benchmark, and we expect further shuffling of the ranks as additional sizeable networks are activated this year.”

Four companies attained a Challenge Tier citation for 2020 (in alphabetical order): Fusion Connect, GTT, Meriplex and MetTel. The Challenge Tier includes service providers with between one percent (1%) and two percent (2%) share of U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN sites.

Research Highlights

  • Expansion of Carrier Managed SD-WAN services in the U.S. increased 39% in 2020, despite the pandemic. As previously projected, demand was resilient across bandwidth intensive markets, but vulnerable for verticals like retail and travel. Pre-pandemic site growth was 89% for managed SD-WAN services in 2019.
  • AT&T, Hughes and Verizon retain the top three U.S SD-WAN LEADERBOARD positions for the third consecutive year based on latest site share results.
  • Comcast advances to rank fourth for 2020, moving up from seventh position in 2019.
  • Windstream remains in fifth position. Lumen (formerly CenturyLink) moves to sixth position, from fourth in the prior year. Aryaka dips from sixth to seventh position. TPx debuts in eighth position, moving up from the Challenge Tier.
  • MetTel advances to Challenge Tier, up from the Market Player tier.
  • MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Certification has been attained by four of the 2020 LEADERBOARD companies: AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Windstream.
  • The primary technology suppliers for the 2020 LEADERBOARD companies are VMware, Versa, Fortinet, and Cisco (vEdge/Viptela and selected Meraki MX models). Additionally, Aryaka and Hughes utilize internally developed technologies.
  • MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Technology Certification has been attained to date by Versa, VMware and Fortinet.

Market Players include providers selling Carrier Managed SD-WAN services in the U.S. with site share below one percent (1%), including global network providers that manage U.S. customer sites. For 2020, the Market Player tier includes the following companies (in alphabetical order): AireSpring, American Telesis, Bigleaf, bSimplify, BT Global Services, Cincinnati Bell, Cogent, Colt, Consolidated Communications, Cox, Crown Castle Fiber, DQE Communications, FirstLight, Frontier, Intelsat, Masergy, NTT, Orange Business, PCCW Global, PS Lightwave, RCN Business, SDN Communications, Segra, SES, SingTel, Sparklight Business, Spectrum Enterprise, Syringa, T-Mobile, T-Systems, Tata, Telefonica, Telia, Telstra, Transtelco, Veracity Networks, Virgin Media Business, Vodafone, Wave Business, Zayo and others.

Vertical Systems Group defines a Carrier Managed SD-WAN Service for segment analysis and share calculations as a carrier-grade offering for business customers that is managed by a network operator. Required components and functionality for these offerings include an SDN service architecture that enables dynamic optimization of traffic flows, a purpose-built SD-WAN appliance or CPE-hosted SD-WAN VNF (Virtual Network Function) at each customer edge site, support for multiple active underlay connectivity services, and centralized network orchestration with application visibility end-to-end.

ADTRAN intros Remote Fiber Access cabinet for rural delivery

ADTRAN introduced its Total Access 5004 (TA5004) Micro-Cabinet compact, modular fiber access platform designed for ultra-low-density rural broadband delivery, while lowering the cost-per-subscriber and supporting multi-gigabit service introduction.

ADTRAN said its compact, lightweight TA5004 Micro-Cabinet can be pole or wall-mounted and comes with integrated cooling and remote powering options to accelerate deployment. It supports innovative software that enables operators to extend service out to 60km to fully serve any low-density census block. The system requires limited maintenance due to its “set it and forget it” weather-hardened, sealed packaging. The solution also incorporates ADTRAN’s Combo PON technology.

“Delivering fiber access to rural areas can be challenging due to the low population and associated higher subscriber connection costs. ADTRAN is committed to helping its customers overcome these challenges so that any customer can be reached by fiber,” said Robert Conger, Senior Vice President, Technology and Strategy at ADTRAN. “The data is overwhelming in terms of the value that enhanced broadband brings to communities, homes, businesses and people, and low-density, remote fiber access platforms help our customers reach everyone, everywhere.”

The addition of the TA5004 Micro-Cabinet further expands ADTRAN’s  portfolio of rural and distributed access solutions, including the ADTRAN 9504N 10G-EPON R-OLT, the ADTRAN SDX 6310 Combo PON R-OLT and the ADTRAN SDX 6210 10G-EPON R-OLT.

Hengtong Rockley Technology Co. announces 400G QSFP-DD DR4

Hengtong Rockley Technology Co., a subsidiary of Hengtong Optic-Electric Co., introduced a 400G QSFP-DD DR4 transceiver based on silicon photonic circuits made by Rockley Photonics Limited.

The mass production version of 400G QSFP-DD DR4 transceiver based on silicon photonic circuits and 400G QSFP-DD FR4 transceiver based on traditional free space solution were released, making Hengtong capable of providing customers with 400G single mode optical transceiver modules for different transmission distances.

Hengtong’s 400G transceivers utilize a chip-on-board (COB) assembly solution. A unique fabrication process and passive alignment is used for the optical coupling between fiber and silicon photonic chips.

Hengtong Rockley plans to accelerate mass production on 400G QSFP-DD DR4 silicon photonic transceivers.

Verizon to shut off 3G CDMA network on December 31, 2022

Verizon confirmed plans to definitively shut off its 3G CDMA network on December 31, 2022. The company says the date will not be extended again and notes that its final day of operations is months after competitors will have shut down their 3G services. 

In 2016, Verizon first announced plans for decommissioning its 3G network by the end of 2020. The deadline was extended so as to minimize potential disruption for customers who had not yet upgraded their phones. Currently, 99% of Verizon customers are using its 4G LTE or 5G service.

Cisco drives forward its Network-as-a-Service (NaaS)

Cisco announced Cisco Plus, the new name for its as-a-service strategy, bringing new flexible buying and consumption models to customers.

Cisco Plus offers new buying and subscription models for Cisco's networking, security, compute, storage, applications and observability solutions.

Cisco describes network-as-a-Service as a cloud model which enables customers to easily operate and maintain the outcomes they expect to get from the network, without owning, building and maintaining their own infrastructure. Cisco Plus NaaS solutions will provide:

  • Seamless and secure onramps to applications and cloud providers
  • Flexible delivery models, including pay-per-use or pay-as-you-grow options
  • End-to-end visibility from the client to the application to the ISP
  • Unified policy engine to ensure the right users have access
  • Security across everything, not bolted on as another point solution
  • Real-time analytics providing AI/ML-driven insights for cost and performance tracking
  • API extensibility across the technology stack
  • Partners layering additional value and delivering their services faster

“I believe every organization would benefit from simplifying powerful technology,” said Todd Nightingale, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Networking and Cloud, Cisco. “Network-as-a-service is a great option for businesses wanting to shift to a cloud operating model without a heavy lift. Cisco is leading the industry in its approach with Cisco Plus. Together with our partners, we intend to offer the majority of our technology portfolio in the simplest, most flexible way: cloud-driven, cloud-delivered, cloud-managed and as-a-service.”

Rosenworcel proposes spectrum rules for commercial space launches

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel circulated a a proposal to add a non-federal, secondary allocation in the 2200-2290 MHz band for use by private companies during rocket launches. This new allocation would limit use of the band to transmissions from space launch vehicles during pre-launch testing and space launch operations.

Currently, commercial space launches today must apply for and receive Special Temporary Authority on from the FCC on an ad-hoc basis to share the federal spectrum during the launch. 

“With the support of the FCC, 2021 is shaping up to be a record-setting year for commercial space launches.  However, despite the revolutionary activity in our atmosphere, the regulatory frameworks we rely on to support these efforts are dated,” said Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel.  “With today’s proposal the US is leading the way in developing predictable and transparent rules to support this growing industry.” 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Cisco unveils Routed Optical Networking

Cisco announced a number of  Internet infrastructure products and technologies including a new Routed Optical Networking solution featuring Acacia pluggable optics and Cisco’s full mass-scale routing portfolio. The company claims its integration of routing and optics will lead to savings of up to 46% over traditional, layered IP + optical product architecture.

At its virtual Cisco Live! event, the company said Acacia’s pluggable coherent optics, advancements in Segment Routing and Ethernet VPN, and new Cisco Crosswork Cloud capabilities will lead to greater efficiency for service providers and web scale companies such as Airtel, Altibox, Eolo, Facebook, Google Cloud, Rakuten Mobile, SFR, Telenor, Telia Carrier, Telstra, Websprix, etc.

Here are some highlights of the announcements

Cisco Silicon One - Cisco first introduced its programmable networking silicon architecture in 2019. The company has now expanded the Cisco Silicon One platform from a routing-focused solution to one which also addresses the web-scale switching market, offering ten networking chips (devices) ranging from 3.2 Tbps to 25.6 Tbps.

Subscriber Management - Cisco is introducing its new Cisco Cloud Native Broadband Network Gateway for telco customers (wireline), joining the Cisco family of existing cloud native broadband routers for cable and mobile. It paves the way for convergence to a unified subscriber management solution, bringing further simplification and efficiency while enabling service providers to offer truly access-agnostic services independent from where people use these services.  

Routing for the Access, Aggregation, Edge, and Core 

  • Cisco’s latest 8000 family of routers now features Cisco Silicon One Q200 series chips offering up to 14.4 Tbps total capacity, enabling 32 and 64 x 100G web-scale switches.
  • Introducing powerful new line cards and chassis for the Cisco Aggregated Service Router (ASR) 9000 series and Network Convergence System (NCS) 500 and 5500 series routers providing increased capacity with capital and operational cost savings
  • New Crosswork Network Controller (CNC) features help customers operate the Cisco Routed Optical Networking solution

Cisco Crosswork Cloud - new application called Traffic Analysis offers a comprehensive view across network peering points. With this insight

Cisco Business Critical Services - design and consulting services to help customers adopt Cisco's Routed Optical Networking and Cloud Native Broadband solutions. 

“Cisco has spent the last five years researching and investing in this portfolio of innovation, focusing on how to help our customers deliver the best internet while being able to grow revenue, reduce their costs and mitigate risk,” said Jonathan Davidson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mass-Scale Infrastructure Group, Cisco. “By helping our customers make the right decisions for their networks today, we are setting the world up for success, to connect more people, places and things than ever before. We can all look back on this point in time in the next ten years and celebrate how we rose to the challenge and did the right thing to take care of the internet.”

Fungible unveils its multi-tenant data center platform for pooled resources

Fungible, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, unveiled its multi-tenant, secure data center solution based on pooled resources for enabling the cost-efficiencies of hyperscale data center operators. 

Fungible, which was co-founded by Pradeep Sindhu, the founder of Juniper Networks, and Bertrand Serlet, who is perhaps best known for leading the development of Mac OS X and IoS, has as its fundamental building block a new type of processor called a data processing unit, or DPU -- the so-called “third socket” about the CPU and GPU. So far, Fungible has introduced two versions of its DPU:

  • Fungible F1 DPU – an 800Gbps processor for high-performance storage, analytics and security platforms, and the
  • Fungible S1 DPU – a 200Gbps processor optimized for host-side use cases including bare metal virtualization, storage initiator, NFVi/VNF applications and distributed node security.

Its first shipping product, which was introduced in October 2020, is an NVMe Storage Cluster in a 2RU form factor, and scaling linearly to 300M IOPS in a single 40RU rack.  The company says its high-performance design improves $/IOPS significantly by consolidating workloads and increasing utilization of storage media.

The newly-announced Fungible Data Center solution extends this vision to power hyper-disaggregated, composable infrastructure with bare-metal performance for multiple tenants. The solution is orchestrated by Fungible Data Center Composer software, which was developed internally, accelerated through the recent acquisition of Cloudistics. This is accomplished via a single pane of glass management for dynamic workload changes with bare metal performance. Security is maintained with independent hardware-accelerated security domains, fine-grained segmentation, robust QoS and line-rate encryption.

Key elements of the Fungible Data Center include:

  • Standard compute and GPU servers equipped with the Fungible Data ServicesPlatform - a standard full-height, half-length PCIe card powered by a Fungible S1 DPU. The Fungible Data Services Platform card comes at three performance points: 200G, 100G and 50G
  • Fungible Storage Cluster comprising a cluster of Fungible FS1600 scale-out disaggregated storage nodes, each powered by two Fungible F1 DPUs
  • Standard TOR switches and routers for data, BMC and management
  • Fungible Data Center Composer - a centralized software suite that enables bare metal composition, provisioning, management and orchestration of infrastructure at all scales

“At Fungible, we believe that if we build a solution that addresses the most challenging requirements in data centers - specifically, hyperscale data centers running the most data-intensive applications, then data centers of all scales, on-premise or cloud, core to edge will reap the benefits as well,” said Pradeep Sindhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Fungible. “Leveraging the Fungible Data Processing Unit™ (DPU), we were able to ‘hyperdisaggregate’ compute and storage resources providing performance, scale and cost efficiencies not even achievable by hyperscalers. Today, we deliver the ‘composable’ piece with the first incarnation of Fungible Data Centers, fully managed by the innovative Fungible Data Center Composer software.”

“The Fungible Data Center Composer is developed by fully harnessing the powerful capabilities of the Fungible DPU,” said Dr. Srinidhi Varadarajan, Senior Vice President of Solutions at Fungible. “The result is a data center architecture that is simple, flexible, high performance and secure. We believe the Fungible Data Center is the inevitable way to build infrastructure because it dynamically adapts to changing workload conditions, while delivering performance equivalent to that of a custom designed bare metal data center per workload.”

“We’ve identified the bottlenecks within our existing distributed infrastructure architectures. To achieve our desired system efficiency targets we are looking to new hardware approaches that better support our infrastructure processing stacks,” said Brad Settlemyer, Sr. Scientist in Los Alamos’ HPC Design group. “The co-design ofsoftware and hardware to support data services and data analysis is integral to meeting our efficiency targets and advancing our national security mission.”

Fungible is also in strategic partnerships with key OEMs to deliver first-class worldwide deployment, support and training, including Supermicro and Juniper Networks.

“Juniper Networks exists to provide an experience-first network for our customers and to simplify the complexities of modern networking so organizations of all sizes can focus on innovating and moving their businesses forward,” said Raj Yavatkar, CTO, Juniper Networks. “We are excited to be working with Fungible to deliver the Fungible Data Center solution. The combination of Juniper and Fungible technology enables consistent quality of service and the high performance required of today’s cloud dat centers without creating more workflows and layers of technology to manage.

Fungible Data Centers - a deep dive discussion

The networking industry has been on an evolutionary path from monolithic systems toward open, disaggregated and virtualized infrastructure.  Here, we feature a deep dive discussion on the Fungible Data Center architecture with Srinidhi Varadarajan, SVP Solutions at Fungible, and Pardha Pyla, VP Product Solutions & Design at Fungible.

Q&A Topics

04:33 - Fungible has a very audacious vision. How are you doing this?

06:22 - There is no shortage of innovation for data center software, but Fungible’s starting point is its DPU. What is special about it?

08:31 - Where does the DPU fit?

11:02 - Is True Fabric proprietary? Do I need special switches to make it work? Why TCP?

12:17 - What exactly are you announcing?

12:46 - What problems does the Fungible Data Center solve?

15:10 - How does the FDC address these challenges?

16:31 - Not everyone is familiar with bare metal composition. Can you elaborate on how that is different from virtualization? 

18:17 - Do you consider the FDC a form or composable, disaggregated architecture?

22:25 - Are the benefits of the FDC similar to virtualization? 

23:42 - Who are the target customers for the Fungible Data Center?

24:44 - How does the FDC enter the market without having customers start from scratch? What is the insertion point for cloud data centers or telco data centers?

27:13 - Are there any cloud or telco workloads in particular that are especially well-suited for this architecture?

28:05 - What is the insertion point opportunity for enterprise data centers?

31:05 - How does Fungible address the high-performance compute (HPC) opportunity? What is the insertion point for AI and ML data center architecture?

 32:53 -  Let’s talk about the software side of the FDC solution. What are the unique innovations behind the Fungible Data Center Composer?

 35:11 - Clearly Fungible is not stopping here. What comes next? What about optimizing GPUs and memory?

ADVA launches DCI open line system designed for 400ZR

ADVA launched a new FSP 3000 data center interconnect (DCI) open line system (OLS) specifically designed for 400ZR technologies.

The ADVA FSP 3000 DCI OLS, which is fully compliant with the OIF’s implementation agreement for 400ZR coherent optical interfaces, isptimized for amplified 400 Gbps DWDM links with reaches up to 120km at 75GHz or 100GHz channel spacing. ADVA says the solution exceeds all 400ZR performance specifications and is also compatible with OpenZR+ interfaces, which expand the application area to DCI applications with distances far beyond 120km. The ADVA FSP 3000 DCI OLS integrates multiple diagnostic tools, including built-in OTDR for the monitoring of all fibers and built-in optical channel monitoring. The solution is currently undergoing customer testing and evaluation.

“Today we’re announcing a major milestone for open, high-capacity data center networks. The launch of our new DCI OLS will be key for operators. It provides the missing link to real-world deployments of open infrastructure built with 400ZR interfaces,” said Christoph Glingener, CTO, ADVA. “Our pedigree in the DCI space is second to none. We were the original DCI company, enabling Fortune 500 companies around the globe to harness the cloud with best-in-breed solutions. For more than 25 years, our innovation has helped the industry evolve. Now we’re giving large-scale DCI providers what they need to move forward. Our next-generation FSP 3000 DCI OLS offers a way to inject ultra-high capacity while reducing total cost of ownership and operational complexity. What’s more, the ADVA FSP 3000 DCI OLS solution is designed to optimize performance with 400ZR-compliant optics from any vendor.”

Innovium offers whitebox certified switches with SONiC software

Innovium is now offering a line-up of TERACertified switch solutions that are pre-validated with optics, DAC and SONiC network operating system software. 

The TERACertified solutions are based on the company's TERALYNX switch silicon and SONiC software. A key advantage of TERACertified is that there is no vendor lock-in, following the same approach as the top few hyperscalers. The solutions are partner switch systems designed in partnership with key ODM partners, delivered with Innovium’s rigorous qualification.  They are ready-to-deploy and built from silicon up, pre-validated with optics, cables and the latest version of SONiC. The portfolio includes 100G, 200G and 400G Ethernet switches with 10/25G to 400G connectivity.The TERACertified lineup includes

  • 1RU fixed switch with 32-ports of QSFP28 (100G) -- a ToR switch in 1RU based on 3.2T TERALYNX 5 switch ASIC
  • 1RU fixed switch with 32-ports of QSFP56 (100/200G) --a  ToR switch in 1RU, based on 6.4T TERALYNX 5 switch ASIC. It is designed for customers as they transition from 25G NRZ to 50G PAM4 connectivity to servers & storage
  • 1RU fixed switch with 32-ports of QSFP-DD (400G) --the highest radix & performance switch in 1RU today, based on 12.8T TERALYNX 7 switch ASIC. This design is targeted at use cases for leaf, spine, core and DCI in the data center and it delivers the most power efficient 12.8T switch with best TCO.
  • 1RU fixed switch with 32-ports of QSFP-DD800 (800G) -- the highest radix & performance switch in 1RU, based on 25.6T TERALYNX 8 switch ASIC. It is targeted at use cases for next-gen leaf, spine, core and DCI in the data center. It delivers the most power efficient 25.6T switch with best TCO

“Our vision is to bring the benefits of open and disaggregated solutions being deployed by top hyperscale customers to the broader market. Using data center optimized TERALYNX switch silicon and SONiC software we are delivering a set of highly robust and validated switches with disruptive TCO,” said Rajiv Khemani, CEO and Co-Founder of Innovium Inc. “Through this effort, we are excited to be transforming the networking industry and ushering in a new era which will deliver breakthrough advantages we have enabled for top hyperscalers to a broad set of customers.”

Imec demos ultrasound sensor in silicon photonics

Imec, a leading research and innovation hub in Belgium, has demonstrated an optomechanical ultrasound sensor on a silicon photonic chip that has an unprecedented sensitivity due to an innovative optomechanical waveguide.

By leveraging this high-sensitivity waveguide, Imec's 20-µm small sensor has a detection limit two orders of magnitudes better than piezoelectric elements of identical size. 

Potential clinical and biomedical applications of ultrasonic and photoacoustic imaging include deep-tissue mammography and the study of vascularization or innervation of potential tumorous tissue. 

 “The sensor we have demonstrated will be a gamechanger for deep tissue imaging in otherwise non-transparent tissues such as skin or brain. For applications such as sub-cutaneous melanoma imaging or mammography, it enables a more detailed view of the tumor and vascularization around, aiding in a more detailed diagnosis,” says Xavier Rottenberg, fellow wave-based sensors and actuators at imec.

Imec said its solution is based on a highly sensitive split-rib optomechanical waveguide fabricated using new CMOS-compatible processing. The sensitivity is two orders of magnitude larger than a state-of-the-art device. A low detection limit can improve the trade-off between imaging resolution and depth for ultrasound applications, and is crucial for photoacoustic imaging, where pressures are up to three orders of magnitude lower than in conventional ultrasound imaging techniques. 

Finally, a fine-pitched (30 µm) matrix of these tiny (20 µm) sensors can be easily integrated on-chip with photonic multiplexers. This opens the possibility of new applications such as miniaturized catheters because the sensor matrices require only few optical fibers to be connected instead of one electrical connection per element in the case of piezoelectric sensors.

Keysight supplies cloud-native 5G core network test solution

NEC has selected Keysight Technologies' scalable and cloud-native 5G core (5GC) network test solution, LoadCore, to validate its 5GC platform.

Keysight’s LoadCore 5GC network test solution enables NEC to perform network capacity tests, measure device data throughput and model a wide variety of complex end-user behavior and traffic mobility scenarios. Next generation communications, based on 5G NR technology, uses wider bandwidths to manage higher data throughput and traffic flows compared to 4G LTE. LoadCore allows NEC to efficiently optimize performance testing of user plane functions deployed in 5G NR networks.

“We’re pleased that NEC, a leading provider of 5G core network functions and radio units, virtualized radio access network software and network transport equipment, selected Keysight to validate the user plane function (UPF) in their 5GC platform,” said Kalyan Sundhar, vice president and general manager for Keysight’s 5G edge to core industry group. “Keysight’s portfolio from the edge of the RAN to the core of the network, including open RAN platforms, enables vendors and mobile operators to verify the interoperability, performance, conformance and security of 5G networks.”

Indosat Ooredoo sells 4,200 towers to Digital Colony for $750 million

PT. Indosat Tbk. (Indosat Ooredoo), a leading service provider in Indonesia, agreed to sell more than 4,200 telecommunications towers to PT EPID Menara Assetco, an Indonesian subsidiary of Edge Point Singapore, which is wholly owned by Digital Colony.

The deal, which includes a lease-back agreement, is valued at USD 750 million, including a supplementary offer, making it one of the largest deals of its kind in Asia.

President Director and Chief Executive Officer of Indosat Ooredoo, Ahmad Al-Neama, said: “I am delighted that Indosat Ooredoo has agreed this deal with Edge Point Indonesia, which has been long in the planning and is in-line with our turnaround strategy to create more value for shareholders and customers. The deal marks the third and final sale of assets from Indosat Ooredoo’s high-quality tower portfolio that moves us towards a more asset-light model and greater focus on delivering outstanding mobile digital services to our customer. I would like to thank the Government of Indonesia for creating a policy environment that has enabled the telecoms industry to thrive and attract high-quality investors such as Edge Point Indonesia. Increasing investment into the sector will ultimately benefit customers and the Indonesian people.”

Suresh Sidhu, CEO of Edge Point Group, welcomed the transaction : "This deal is one of the largest of its kind in Asia and cements our position as a leading tower provider in Indonesia. We are delighted to have further strengthened our strategic partnership with Indosat Ooredoo, which has been developing over several years. The addition of 4,200 towers to our portfolio will help to create significant value for all our stakeholders.”


Monday, March 29, 2021

Facebook and Google collaborate on U.S.-Guam-Singapore cable

Facebook and Google are lead investors in a new subsea cable from Eureka, California to Singapore, with a stop-over in Guam.

The Echo subsea cable will be the first to directly connect the U.S. to Singapore with direct fiber pairs over an express route. The cable is expected to have landings in Indonesia and possibly other locations. 

In a blog posting, Google said Echo's unique route to Southeast Asia will avoid the crowded, traditional paths to the north. The cable is expected to be ready for service in 2023.

Facebook's new Singapore data center to use StatePoint Liquid Cooling

Construction is now underway on Facebook's first custom-built data center in Asia.  The new data center in Singapore shares some characteristics with other Facebook facilities, such as the use of 100% renewable energy, but features many unique aspects. First, it will be an 11-story building that will sit on 12 acres of land in Singapore’s Tanjong Kling Data Center Park. Second, it will be the first to incorporate the new StatePoint Liquid...

Facebook to build data center in Singapore

Facebook announced plans to build a hyperscale data center in Singapore. The 170,000 square meter facility, which will be Facebook's first wholly-owned data center in Asia-Pac, is expected to come online in 2022 at the latest. Facebook estimated the cost of the project at US$ 1 billion. Last month, Facebook set 2020 as its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75% and to power 100% of global operations with renewable energy. Three years...

MIST subsea cable to deliver 240 Tbps from Singapore to India

NTT announced "MIST", a submarine cable between Singapore, Myanmar and India (Mumbai and Chennai) that promises a record 240 Tbps capacity with support for 400 Gbps wavelengths. MIST will be part of a strategic joint venture for international submarine cables in South East Asia, with Orient Link Pte. Ltd. The cable is expected to be ready for service by June 2022. MIST will span 11,000 kilometers in length with 12 fiber pairs. Wavelength Selective...

Facebook backs Bifrost cable from U.S. to Southeast Asia

In addition to its participation in the Echo subsea cable from the U.S. to Singapore, Facebook confirmed its investment in the Bifrost Cable System from the U.S. to South East Asia.

The Bifrost Cable System will span over 15,000 km, connecting Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Guam and the west coast of North America. The cable is expected to be completed in 2024.

The project is also backed by Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation Limited (Keppel T&T) and Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin), which is a subsidiary of PT Telkom Indonesia.

The partners say that when fully commissioned, the multiple fibre paired Bifrost Cable System will be the largest capacity cable across the Pacific Ocean.

Keppel T&T, Facebook and Telin have appointed Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) for the supply and installation works of the cable system.

“Connectivity is at the heart of our mission to give people the power to build community,” said Kevin Salvadori, Vice President, Network at Facebook. “We are committed to bringing more people online to a faster internet, to support the growth of digital economies, and to do this in collaboration with local partners.”

DARE-1 subsea cable enters service to East Africa

The Djibouti Africa Regional Express (DARE) submarine cable system has entered service in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. 

The 4,900 km cable links Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya. The project was funded by Djibouti Telecom, Somtel, Hormuud Telecom and Telkom Kenya. Total investment was US$81 million.

DARE-1 has a design capacity of 36 Tbps, making it the largest in the region.

Australia's NBN Co extends satellite coverage for businesses

Australia's nbn announced plans to expand its satellite beams for its business nbn satellite service (BSS)  to cover 100 per cent of the Australian mainland and surrounding large islands.

Scheduled for 29 July 2021, BSS beam coverage will increase from 93 per cent to 100 per cent to expand access across the east coast of the Australian mainland, the west coast of Tasmania and large surrounding islands such as Christmas Island, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island.


nbn also announced plans to reduce the wholesale price by approximately 40 per cent for the BSS Access Bandwidth Service (ABS) Layer 3 dedicated bandwidth product for internet retailers that engage in extended contract terms with nbn to help meet the needs of their customers over longer time periods. The ABS Layer 3 service is designed to deliver consistent wholesale speeds of up to 50/13 Mbps to provide the core connectivity for critical applications required by many medium and large businesses, enterprises and government organisations. 

NBN Co’s Chief Development Officer of Regional and Remote, Gavin Williams: “At nbn, we recognise that connectivity is vital for businesses to drive innovation, productivity and growth. With this knowledge we have dedicated ourselves to expand the availability of wholesale business-grade services across the continent. Whether to connect remote health facilities, mining operations or large-scale agriculture, these enhancements help make the business nbn™ satellite service more accessible for eligible businesses and government organisations even in the most remote parts of continent and we look forward to delivering new capabilities to further improve the service in the future.”

DE-CIX brings its Internet Exchange to four QTS Mega Data Centers

DE-CIX has extended Internet Exchange platform by deploying core switches in QTS' mega-scale data centers in Chicago, Dallas/Irving, TX, Piscataway, NJ and Richmond, VA. 

The Dallas/Irving DE-CIX core switch enables QTS customers to peer with nearly 100 networks, while the New York DE-CIX core switch provides QTS' Piscataway customers access to more than 250 networks. 

All four DE-CIX IXs in North America, including DE-CIX Chicago and RVA-IX, are interconnected via a private network to DE-CIX New York and DE-CIX Dallas, creating a fully redundant, optimized low-latency route between each market. DE-CIX and QTS partnered with global consulting company InterGlobix on the new expansion across the four markets.

"QTS is clearly committed to providing access to an unrestricted Internet ecosystem as evidenced by their partnership with similar exchanges nationally," said Ivo Ivanov, CEO, DE-CIX International. "By expanding our US presence in QTS' mega scale, carrier neutral data centers and connectivity ecosystems, DE-CIX is able to provide even more customers the ability to reach the greatest number of low latency network choices, reducing risk and improving performance for their IT investments in each market."

"DE-CIX is the ideal partner to support our focus on creating optimized and resilient interconnection platforms, utilizing the most advanced technologies, and reinforcing our core values of interconnection neutrality and transparency," said Sean Baillie, Executive Vice President – Connectivity Strategy, QTS. "As technology increases in scale and complexity across multiple platforms and geographies, we are focused on building mega data centers with risk-adjusted access to a myriad of networks sought by enterprise and hyperscale organizations. This translates to a combination of mega scale infrastructure with access and connectivity to the world's largest cloud providers, the world's largest IP networks, Internet Exchanges, fiber providers, diverse transport paths and subsea cables."

DC BLOX secures $187M for data centers in southeastern U.S.

DC BLOX, which operates Tier III-designed data centers located in Atlanta, Birmingham, Chattanooga, and Huntsville, secured $187 million in long-term financing led by Post Road Group and Bain Capital Credit. 

Proceeds will be used to refinance DC BLOX’s existing credit facilities, add liquidity to DC BLOX’s balance sheet, and provide additional capital to fund continued investments in existing and new data center capacity.

“This financing would have not been possible without the efforts of our team and represents a significant milestone for the company. The trust and partnership we have developed with the teams at Post Road Group and now with Bain Capital Credit are instrumental to our continued growth plans,” commented Jeff Uphues, CEO of DC BLOX. “This capital will be immediately deployed to support growth in our existing facilities and accelerate the expansion of our Tier III-designed interconnected data center platforms in other markets throughout the Southeastern United States,” said Kevin O’Donnell, Chief Financial Officer.

Fujitsu supplies FTTP in rural Virginia

Fujitsu Network Communications was selected to be the prime broadband network and integration partner for a 53-mile fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband network for Craig-Botetourt Rural Electric Cooperative (CBEC) headquartered in New Castle, Virginia. Fujitsu is responsible for network design and build-out, multivendor equipment and software procurement, network integration, testing and service turn-up. 

The new fiber broadband network, which passes 700 addresses, makes it possible for CBEC to serve the essential connectivity needs of their cooperative members, delivering symmetrical, high-speed internet services up to 300 Mbps and digital voice services. Since the launch on February 1, 2021, the co-op already has 155 new subscribers.

“The response from our community is overwhelmingly positive. Improved broadband means a better quality of life for our members, attracting new residents to the area and encouraging existing residents to stay when they might have otherwise moved,” said Jeff Ahearn, CEO, Craig-Botetourt Rural Electric Cooperative. “The ability of Fujitsu to efficiently manage the overall project while accommodating a very tight turnaround means that we can deliver unmatched, next-generation fiber broadband services to our members at a time when they are most needed.”

“Being connected with reliable, affordable, high-speed broadband has become a must-do for the economic vitality of communities of all sizes,” said Greg Manganello, senior vice president and head of wireless and service solutions, Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Nokia intros integrated CBRS solution

Nokia announced a fully integrated CBRS solution that consists of Key Bridge Wireless' FCC-certified Wave 1 SAS/ESC coupled with Nokia CBRS radios, user devices and new Domain Proxy.

The CBRS solution is aimed at communications service providers (CSPs), multiple-system operators (MSOs) and enterprises.

The Nokia Domain Proxy’s capabilities are implemented as scalable edge cloud native micro-services, which aggregate multiple radio links to simplify SAS connectivity in large deployments. Simultaneously, they provide an extra level of CBRS reliability, policy control and security in the most challenging environments.

The integrated Key Bridge Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) in the solution can be selectively densified in areas with high-value industrial sites and enterprises to enable ultra-reliable CBRS spectrum availability information. Combined with distributed, geo-redundant SAS and Domain Proxy, this enables enterprises to operate ultra-reliable radio access networks in CBRS spectrum, especially high-value PAL spectrum.

The companies said their joint offering provides the highly reliable SAS service required to operate in CBRS General Authorized Access (GAA) and Priority Access License (PAL) spectrum.

Stephan Litjens, Vice President Enterprise Solutions, Nokia Cloud & Network Services, said: “Together with Key Bridge, this new offering gives PAL and GAA users a new standard in ease of use. Its unparalleled robustness will extend and accelerate their CBRS plans, and maximize the value of their investment. CBRS presents a huge opportunity for CSPs, MSOs and enterprises for deployment of private wireless networks and to build the platform for new use cases that drive Industry 4.0 implementation.”

Jesse Caulfield, CEO of Key Bridge Wireless, said: “Our partnership with Nokia has produced an integrated CBRS solution unlike any other. Our SAS/ESC infrastructure is designed, deployed and operated to ensure carrier-grade reliability at tremendous scale. Through extensive testing, field trials and now active commercial deployments we provide a robust and easy-to-use service for CBRS network operators."

Video: IBM builds a Cloud for Telecommunications


There are several key drivers for why carriers are moving to cloud infrastructures, including the acceleration of edge & 5G services, zero touch service automations, and operational modernization.  But can carriers justify the cost of this migration. Bill Lambertson, Vice President, 5G, Edge & Cloud Business, IBM, gives an overview of the IBM Cloud for Telecommunications, and why Red Hat OpenShift is a strategic advantage.

Download the 2021 Telco Infrastructure Report here:

IBM Cloud launches Multizone Region in Brazil

 IBM Cloud launched its first Multizone Region (MZR) in Brazil.

IBM Cloud MZRs are composed of three or more data center zones with each being an Availability Zone. This is designed so that a single failure event can affect only a single data center rather than all zones – allowing for consistent cloud services and greater resiliency. Clients hosting workloads on IBM Cloud MZRs in any country can continuously run mission-critical workloads to keep business up and running.

IBM said the new MZR is a result of its continued investment in cloud infrastructure to accelerate hybrid cloud adoption and help foster business growth in Latin America. Following the openings of Toronto and Osaka last year, the latest MZR in Brazil marks IBM's ongoing commitment to help clients across the globe deploy mission-critical workloads with high levels of security and resilience, while helping to address data sovereignty requirements and prepare for a sustainable future.

"As companies embrace digital transformation, IBM is continuing to invest in cloud infrastructure and hybrid cloud capabilities that will help businesses around the world modernize and drive sustainable growth and innovation," said Harish Grama, General Manager, IBM Cloud. "Following the openings of Toronto and Osaka MZRs just last year, IBM's expanded presence in Brazil is designed to deliver our clients high levels of security and reliability, so they can advance in their journey to cloud – all in a way that supports sustainability goals while thriving in a digital era advancing to the future."

China Telecom grew 4.7% in 2020

China Telecom has reported 2020 revenue of RMB393.6 billion, representing an increase of 4.7% over last year. EBITDA amounted to RMB118.9 billion, representing an increase of 1.4% over last year. Net profit amounted to RMB20.9 billion, representing an increase of 1.6% over last year, while basic earnings per share were RMB0.26. 

Some highlights:

  • Service revenues amounted to RMB373.8 billion, representing an increase of 4.5% over last year.
  • Mobile service revenues amounted to RMB181.7 billion, representing an increase of 3.5% over last year. 
  • Wireline service revenues amounted to RMB192.1 billion, representing an increase of 5.5% over last year. 
  • Capital expenditure was RMB84.8 billion and free cash flow was RMB14.3 billion. 
  • As of the end of 2020, the number of 5G base stations in use exceeded 380,000. China Telecom aims to have 700,000 5G base stations in use by the end of 2021.
  • China Mobile now has 351 million mobile users.
  • Overall mobile ARPU is RMB44.1, down from RMB45.8 a year earlier
  • 5G ARPU is RMB65.6
  • Broadband access revenue is RMB38.4

Coherent Inc. finally picks II-VI's acquisition offer

The Board of Directors of Coherent selected the latest acquisition proposal from II-VI over the competing bid from Lumentum. In making its determination, the Coherent board of directors evaluated the comparative benefits and risks of the II-VI and Lumentum proposals, including the near-term and long-term financial opportunities and risks presented by each proposal, the potential synergies available through a combination with each company, and the complementary businesses of each company.​

Under the II-VI offer, each share of Coherent common stock will be exchanged for $220.00 in cash and 0.91 of a share of II-VI common stock at the completion of the transaction. 

Coherent confirmed that it has terminated he March 9, 2021 merger agreement between Coherent and Lumentum and paying Lumentum the $217.6 million termination fee contemplated by their merger agreement in order to enter into a new merger agreement with II-VI.

II-VI said it plans to finance the transaction with cash on hand, approximately $5.4 billion in fully committed debt financing from J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and an equity investment from Bain Capital. Bain Capital has committed $1.5 billion in the combined company at a conversion price of $85.00 per share and has confirmed it is willing to increase this commitment by at least $300 million of an additional $650 million optional amount on the same terms, for a total commitment of at least $1.8 billion. 

Dr. Vincent D. Mattera, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of II-VI, states: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Coherent to create a global leader in photonic solutions, compound semiconductors and laser technology and systems. Together, we will have significant opportunities to accelerate our growth through complementary technology platforms, strengthen our competitiveness by using our combined scale across the value chain, benefit from deeper market intelligence and expertise, and further diversify our businesses by end market and geography. Moreover, the combination of II-VI and Coherent will increase our collective exposure to irreversible megatrends for decades to come.

For its part, Lumentum noted Coherent's Board of Directors "chose to accept an offer that is inferior in overall value and cash consideration. Using the closing prices as of March 24, 2021, Lumentum's offer had a value of $283.12 while the value of II–VI Incorporated's (NASDAQ: IIVI) ("II-VI") offer was $281.21."

Nokia to supply XGS-PON to UG in South East Europe

United Group (UG), a leading multi-play and media provider in South East Europe, has selected Nokia to deploy a fiber network and in-home mesh Wi-Fi solution across the eight different countries it operates in. 

The rollout will be based on Nokia Lightspan series FX for GPON and XGS-PON services. Nokia will also supply its ONT customer premises equipment and WiFi Beacons.

UG will use the network to deliver new enhanced broadband services to residential and business customers, offer mobile transport services, create new business opportunities such as off-loading mobile traffic and seamlessly evolve toward a virtualized access-network.

Sandy Motley, President Nokia Fixed Networks Division, said:  “We are excited to be the preferred fiber access network equipment provider to United Group and to work with them on this new phase of growth. With our FTTH and Wi-Fi solution, we are able to provide a high-speed, reliable network infrastructure and an unmatched in-home Wi-Fi experience that will meet United Groups 

NTT builds Internet Exchange into its Bangkok2 data center

NTT Ltd., in partnership with Japan Network Access Point (JPNAP) and Bangkok Neutral Internet eXchange (BKNIX), is uplifting its the NTT Bangkok 2 Data Center to become an international network exchange. NTT has developed an “international link” with JPNAP’s data centers in Tokyo and with BKNIX Point of Presence (PoP), which was installed at NTT’s data center in Thailand.

NTT Thailand’s partnership with JPNAP, the leading Internet Exchange Point service provider in Asia, aims to create an Internet exchange linkage that will empower Internet Service Providers, Cloud Service Providers and educational institutions among others, with unlimited access to international-level content. NTT also collaborated with BKNIX, Thailand's first neutral IXP service provider, to install a new PoP at Bangkok 2 Data Center to serve as a hub for content and Internet traffic exchange.

Bangkok 2 Data Center can accommodate ultra-high-heat servers that consume 20kW or more power, such as Graphics Processing Unit servers. The center also adopted 2N Power System with Active-Active technology that guarantees a supply of electrical power, to enable a 100% service-level agreement. With these innovations, customers can easily access large-volume traffic exchange services on existing networks through Bangkok 2 Data Center.

Sutas Kongdumrongkiat, CEO for NTT Ltd. in Thailand, who is also responsible for its operations in Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos, said “We’re pleased to be a part of this initiative to help drive the efficiency of Internet connectivity on an international level. With connectivity being paramount to business success, we hope this will unlock greater value for partners and providers, as they capture emerging market demands in today’s digital economy.”


Safaricom launches 5G in Kenya with Huawei and Nokia

Safaricom activated trial 5G services in principal areas across Kenya, including Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii and Kakamega.

Safaricom plans to expand the number of such 5G sites to more than 150 across nine towns over the next 12 months. Nokia and Huawei are the vendors.

“Today marks a major milestone for the country. With 5G, we aim to empower our customers with super-fast internet at work, at home and when on the move, supplementing our growing fibre network. At Safaricom, we are proud to be the first in the country and the region to bring this latest innovation to both our retail and enterprise customers empowering them to start exploring new opportunities that 5G provides,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.

“I congratulate Safaricom on this milestone, reinforcing the country’s position at being at the forefront of innovation in the region and the world. 5G technology will usher increased internet speeds and capabilities for millions across the country, laying a strong foundation for a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Hon. Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information and Technology.

Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom, said: “We are proud to be the first operator in the East Africa to launch 5G services, bringing the benefits of 5G technology to our customers. 5G capabilities will change a lot of things in unimaginable ways for people and enterprises, playing a key role towards fulfilling our vision to transform lives. Our long-term partner Nokia’s technologies and services expertise helped us achieve this milestone in our journey to provide world-class broadband services to our customers.”