Monday, February 1, 2021

Charter plans $5 billion push to expand rural fiber connectivity

Charter Communications announced a multiyear, multibillion-dollar broadband buildout initiative to deliver gigabit high-speed broadband access to more than 1 million unserved customer locations, as estimated by the FCC) and awarded to Charter in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction. 

Charter expects to invest approximately $5 billion to support its buildout initiative -  offset by $1.2 billion in support won from the RDOF auction -  expanding Charter's network to lower-density, mostly rural communities that do not have access to broadband service of at least 25/3 Mbps. Charter will offer 1 Gbps high–speed broadband access to all newly served customer locations with starting speeds of 200 Mbps. Preparation work is underway and  Charter will be expanding its existing construction organization in order to focus on the deployment of this new fiber-optic network.

Key points

  • Charter expects to hire more than 2,000 employees and contractors to support the RDOF and future rural buildout initiatives. 
  • The RDOF program alone will drive a 15% increase in the Company's network mileage coverage while expanding service to more than 1 million previously unserved homes and businesses across 24 states as estimated by the FCC. 
  • The expansion will take place in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

"The pandemic has further highlighted the need for broadband availability and adoption and Charter is committed to furthering its efforts as part of the comprehensive solution needed to address these challenges," said Tom Rutledge, Chairman and CEO of Charter Communications. "As Americans across the country increasingly rely on broadband to work, learn, access healthcare and stay in touch with family and loved ones, bringing broadband access to more unserved areas should be a priority for all stakeholders. Charter's new multibillion-dollar buildout initiative further highlights the importance of the sophisticated broadband networks that the U.S. cable industry has built over several decades, and the industry's commitment to the local communities it serves. As we continue to help provide more Americans with reliable access to the internet ecosystem, our hope is that federal, state and local authorities, other private companies, pole owners and broadband providers will work together and play a pivotal role in expanding networks to unserved areas."

Ford's connected vehicles to run Google's Android

Ford and Google announce a strategic partnership to accelerate "to reinvent the connected vehicle experience" Under a six-year agreement beginning in 2023, millions of Ford and Lincoln vehicles will run Android, with Google apps and services built-in. This includes Google Maps as the vehicles’ primary navigation with information on real-time traffic, automatic rerouting, lane guidance, etc.

Ford also named Google Cloud its preferred cloud provider to leverage Google’s world-class expertise in data, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). 

In addition, the companies are forming a collaborative group, called Team Upshift, to develop new personalized consumer experiences and data-driven opportunities. 

“As Ford continues the most profound transformation in our history with electrification, connectivity and self-driving, Google and Ford coming together establishes an innovation powerhouse truly able to deliver a superior experience for our customers and modernize our business,” said Jim Farley, President and CEO of Ford.

“From the first moving assembly line to the latest driver-assist technology, Ford has set the pace of innovation for the automotive industry for nearly 120 years,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. “We’re proud to partner to apply the best of Google’s AI, data analytics, compute and cloud platforms to help transform Ford's business and build automotive technologies that keep people safe and connected on the road.”

Brazil's Softdados rolls with Infinera for metro and long-haul networks

Softdados has deployed Infinera’s GX Series Compact Modular Platform and XTM Series across its metro and long-haul networks to increase network capacity to meet the growing needs of internet service providers (ISPs) in Brazil. Arsitec serves as Infinera's local partner.

Infinera said its solutions enable Softdados to significantly enhance the capabilities of its network and offer customers a variety of high-capacity internet services with agility and security. The deployment provides a seamless upgrade path to Infinera’s 800G Infinite Capacity Engine technology.

“Infinera’s GX and XTM solutions enable us to meet metro and long-haul network demands, positioning us for growth to deliver high-capacity services to our customers in record time, even during the pandemic,” said Gustavo Santos, CTO at Softdados. “Infinera’s solutions provide superior optical performance to help us win in our market and position us for future growth with Infinera’s ICE6 800G solution.”

“Working closely with Softdados and our partner Arsitec to upgrade Softdados’ long-haul and metro networks with a tight deadline and during the coronavirus pandemic successfully underscores the value of our highly specialized local resources in Latin America,” said Alexandre Salomao, Infinera Country Manager for Brazil. “In addition to our skilled professional services team, our industry-leading solutions powered by our innovative optical technology help network operators like Softdados succeed in their markets.”

Vietnam's FPT Telecom deploys Ciena

FPT Telecom, a telecommunications provider in Vietnam, has deployed Ciena's hardware and software to build a more resilient network and manage rising residential broadband traffic across Vietnam driven by entertainment and smart home services. A

The deployment includes Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform powered by WaveLogic Ai coherent optics, and its Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller.

“FPT Telecom is a prime example of how a network that can adapt and scale is critical to today’s digital culture,” said Dion Leung, Managing Director for ASEAN, Ciena. “This deployment reinforces our ability to deliver award-winning solutions that address total cost of ownership and achieve network transformation goals.”

StarHub picks Nokia fo standalone cloud-native 5G core in Singapore.

StarHub selected Nokia to deploy a new cloud-native 5G core network to manage 5G standalone (SA) bandwidth demand in Singapore. 

The deal also includes Nokia radio, software, security, and professional services, and enables StarHub to introduce new digital services, such as AR for entertainment, education, and healthcare, and encourages industry adoption of advanced IoT solutions. 

Rollout is currently underway and 5G SA data service launch for StarHub’s customers is expected in 2021.

Last year, StarHub launched Singapore’s first non-standalone 5G services for consumers and enterprises using Nokia.

SiTime intros low-power MEMS oscillator for consumer devices

SiTime introduced a low-power, temperature-compensated silicon MEMS oscillator (TCXO) designed for for connected consumer and IoT devices such as Internet-connected audio-video, over-the-top streaming devices, industrial smart meters, and other devices that use low power wireless connectivity. 

Features of the SiT5008 Temperature-Compensated MEMS Oscillator

  • Any frequency between 10 MHz and 60 MHz accurate to 6 decimals
  • ±2 ppm to ±10 ppm frequency stability
  • Operating temperature from -40 to +85°C
  • Low power consumption of 3.5 mA typical at 1.8 V
  • Standby mode for longer battery life
  • LVCMOS output
  • Industry-standard 2.5 x 2.0 mm x mm package, 100% pin-compatible with quartz devices
  • RoHS and REACH compliant, Pb-free, Halogen-free, and Antimony-free

“The development of our SiT5008 is a great example of our rapid release strategy, where we develop up to 15 product derivatives from a single base platform and bring them to market quickly,” said Piyush Sevalia, executive vice president of marketing of SiTime. “Each derivative has customized features and solves unique timing problems for customers. In this case, we improved the frequency stability by 10 times by optimizing our algorithms and delivered the product in just two months. This accelerated development was possible because of our systems knowledge and continued investment in automation.”

Myanmar cuts lines during coup

Domestic and international connectivity in Myanmar were cut during the coup launched by Myanmar's military on Monday. The IP Observatory at Monash University reported varying geographical degress of disruption for Internet traffic across the country. 

HGC Global Communications (HGC) of Hong Kong reported that its connectivity service to the country was down for approximately five hours before gradually resuming.

NTT Research appoints senior scientist

NTT Research has named Dr. Jon Nels Peterson a Senior Scientist in its Medical & Health Informatics (MEI) Lab where his primary role will be to provide technical expertise and leadership in advancing the bio digital twin development strategy. 

Dr. Peterson was most recently principal clinical systems engineer at Micro Systems Engineering, Inc., where he was the lead systems engineer for a family of implantable cardiac monitors. He previously held research and engineering positions at Boston Scientific CRM and Creare, Inc., and was a research assistant professor at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 

“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Peterson as a Senior Scientist on our research team,” said MEI Lab Director, Dr. Hitonobu Tomoike. “A biomedical engineer with a deep understanding of cardiovascular physiology, he has valuable experience in clinical research and in collaborating across medical, engineering and business fields, which will be a tremendous asset in advancing our organizational objectives.”

Mavenir cites progress in migrating carriers from "untrusted vendors"

Mavenir announced that it has now migrated over 20 million subscribers to date for its carrier customers from untrusted vendor networks. This includes mobile core deployments including VoLTE, and Packet Core, as well as RAN migration in process with needed feature parity and interoperability.

As the movement continues in the US to replace ‘untrusted vendor’ equipment from critical mobile networks, Mavenir has already been replacing such equipment in mobile networks in international markets where the process started in December 2019.

“Operators looking to migrate their traffic from untrusted vendors are deploying innovative solutions that are futuristic and are based on open interfaces. In some countries, this replacement of untrusted vendors started at the end of 2019. In that time, we have helped our customers migrate over 20M subscribers to Mavenir’s Packet Core and IMS solutions. We are now looking to migrate traffic from hundreds of untrusted vendors’ radio sites,” said Pardeep Kohli, Mavenir’s President and CEO.