Thursday, March 18, 2021

AT&T awards 5-year contract to Nokia for 5G C-band rollout

AT&T has awarded a five-year contract to Nokia to deploy the mobile operator’s C-Band network in parts of the U.S. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia’s C-Band portfolio includes support for both 5G standalone (SA) networks and non-standalone (NSA) networks, cloud-based implementations and Open RAN products, providing AT&T with flexibility for its 5G deployment. Nokia’s C-Band RAN technology will interwork with existing Nokia LTE RAN equipment deployed by AT&T for a powerful user experience. 

Igal Elbaz, Senior Vice President of Wireless and Access Technology AT&T said: “AT&T is committed to bringing the power of 5G to businesses and communities across the nation, and our C-Band deployments with Nokia will help add 5G capacity where it’s needed. Nokia has been our trusted collaborator for more than 20 years as we’ve rolled out each generation of wireless technology, and its C-Band portfolio brings the right capabilities to help enable AT&T to deliver an exciting and powerful 5G experience that our subscribers have come to expect from us.”

Ed Cholerton, President of Nokia North America, said: “Nokia is ready to support the launch of 5G services into this valuable new spectrum on our customers’ timelines by leveraging our powerful portfolio of C-Band solutions and by being the first to demonstrate a live C-Band network in the U.S. in 2020. Our flexible and comprehensive portfolio will enable AT&T to enhance its 5G services in areas across the nation.”

NEC qualifies subsea repeaters and cables for 24 fiber pairs

 NEC and its subsidiary OCC Corporation have completed full qualification of subsea repeaters and optical cable containing up to 24 fiber pairs (FPs) (48 fibers). The new qualification is a 50% improvement in fiber count over the 16 fiber pair systems generally available today. 

Only minor modifications were needed to NEC's existing repeater and cable designs. Keeping NEC's quadruple pump redundancy in the repeater (established more than 10 years ago) and maintaining OCC's outstanding cabling performance has resulted in cabled attenuations lower than 0.150dB/km. Low attenuation is critical to achieve large spectral efficiency as well as lower power consumption.

NEC said the qualification will allow for the construction of subsea telecom cables with superior traffic capacity while reducing the cost per bit of the wet plant. The development is fully in line with SDM (Space Division Multiplexing) system architectures. 

"As global demands for capacity and FP flexibility continue to soar, NEC is committed to helping our customers to build up their subsea networks with large spectral efficiency, lower power consumption and large-scale subsea connectivity," said Yoshihisa Inada, Deputy General Manager and Head of Subsea Technology Development at NEC's Submarine Network Division.  "We continue to evaluate multiple technical options to further increase capacity and reduce the cost/bit of the networks."

OCC's 24 fiber pair cable can be manufactured using a wide range of existing optical fibers, according to the needs of each new cable system. Each fiber can be visually identified using a field-proven combination of ring marking and conventional fiber coloring, first introduced in 2013. Furthermore, in OCC cable, the fiber's transmission performance is completely unaffected, either by the fiber marking or cabling processes.

"We have concluded that the use of our fibers in OCC's 24 pair cable results in a cabled attenuation matching the nominal value. We are confident that our ultra-low-loss fibers can contribute to achieve large capacity, high spectral efficiency and low power consumption in transoceanic networks," said Dr. Masashi Onishi, General Manager at Optical Fiber and Cable division of Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd.

"To support growing bandwidth, next generation subsea systems will offer Petabit-scale transmission. To achieve the required performance, cabling processes must capture the advantaged optical attenuation and large effective area of our ultra-low-loss fibers. OCC's cabling process for 24 fiber pairs works with our high quality fiber to meet the challenge," said Dr. Bernhard Deutsch, VP & GM, Optical Fiber & Cable, Corning Incorporated.

NEC targets subsea cables to 24 fiber pairs and beyond

NEC and its subsidiary OCC Corporation completed full qualification of subsea repeaters and optical cable containing up to 20 fiber pairs (40 fibers). This represents a 25% improvement in fiber count over 16 fiber pair systems previously built by NEC. NEC said it achieved this milestone with only minor modifications to its proven repeater and cable designs. This was done by optimizing key repeater components, and by proving that its existing cable...

Google confirms U.S. data center expansions

Google plans to invest over $7 billion in offices and data centers across the U.S. this year while creating at least 10,000 new full-time Google jobs.

In a blog post, Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO, says data center expansions are underway in Nebraska, South Carolina, Virginia, Nevada and Texas. The company will also open the first U.S. Google Operations Center in Southaven, Mississippi.

Digital Realty sells 11 European data centers for $680M

Digital Realty has sold a portfolio of 11 data centers in Europe (four in the UK, three in the Netherlands, three in France and one in Switzerland) to Ascendas Reit, a CapitaLand sponsored REIT.  The price for the four data centers in the UK was £250.25 million and the consideration for the seven data centers on the continent was €276.85 million, for a total of approximately $680 million.  The portfolio is expected to generate 2021 net operating income of approximately $43.5 million.  

"This transaction represents an important step towards our goal of self-funding our growth and diversifying our sources of equity capital while shrinking our asset base and setting the stage for accelerating growth as the proceeds are redeployed into accretive investment opportunities," said Digital Realty Chief Investment Officer Greg Wright.  "These 11 legacy assets are almost fully leased, and this portfolio sale enables us to harvest value from stabilized properties and reinvest the proceeds to fund the continued expansion of PlatformDIGITAL® in support of our customers' needs around the world." 

Digital Realty expects proceeds from the transaction will initially be used to pay down debt and will ultimately be used to fund future investment activity.

Credo intros Black Hawk PAM4 retimer and gearbox DSP

Credo introduced its Black Hawk (CRT55321), a PAM4 retimer and gearbox for providing guaranteed, end-to-end signal integrity in backplane, front panel and copper applications. 

The new device, which leverages the company’s unique PAM4 DSP architecture, is a 32-lane device that supports 16 lanes on the host side and 16 lanes on the line side. The extended reach performance provides robust signal integrity for PAM4 across the most difficult channels, including legacy backplanes. The device can be used in front panel applications to drive QSFP, QSFP-DD, and OSFP optical modules, Active Electrical Cables (AEC), and passive copper cables. 

Credo said its CRT55321 Black Hawk DSP features best-in-class jitter and extended reach while operating at the lowest power consumption. The device supports built-in test and channel performance analysis capabilities such as PRBS pattern generation, internal eye monitoring and PRBS error detection. It supports IEEE standard auto-negotiation with link partners to enable more flexible applications.

“The introduction of Black Hawk DSP furthers Credo’s commitment to providing high-performance DSP for data centers, enterprise networking and high-performance computing,“ said Scott Feller, Vice President of Marketing at Credo. “Credo has leveraged its extensive analog and mixed-signal expertise to develop a unique DSP architecture to create the Black Hawk product which is 50% lower power than existing products. Credo continues to innovate with new product solutions to help solve the signal integrity issues of the next-generation data center interconnects.”

“Credo has established a significant market share in Hyperscale data centers with their retimer and gearbox solutions. The new Black Hawk device, which offers a 50% reduction in power consumption, enables those data centers to lower power consumption while driving even higher bandwidth,” says Alan Weckel, Founder and Technology Analyst at 650 Group. “As Cloud data centers deploy a larger number of 400G and 800G ports, low power solutions such as Credo’s Black Hawk will enable the migration.”

Key features

  • Support long-reach links defined in CEI-25G-LR, CEI-56G-LR-PAM4 and IEEE802.3cd
  • Support chip-to-chip and chip-to-module interfaces defined in CEI-28G-SR/VSR, CEI-56G-SR-PAM4, and IEEE 802.3bs
  • Pin-compatible with Credo’s previous generation retimer and gearbox
  • Support auto-negotiation and link training
  • Fully adaptive and programmable RX equalization with CTLE and DFE
  • Built-in diagnostics
  • IO polarity switch control

VMware to acquire Mesh7

VMware agreed to acquire Mesh7, a start-up that developed a contextual API behavior security solution based on Envoy. Financial terms were not disclosed.

VMware said the Mesh7 technology will bring visibility, discovery, and better security to APIs.

Envoy, which is a platform for next-generation security services, offers an open-source Layer 7 proxy designed for large modern service-oriented architectures. Envoy is a foundational component of Tanzu Service Mesh, which provides consistent connectivity and security for microservices across Kubernetes clusters and clouds. Tanzu Service Mesh controls the communication between thousands of application components, enforces security policy and measures performance and other critical functions, regardless of the underlying infrastructure.

Mesh7 is based in Sunnyvale, California.

Ribbon adds support for Microsoft's new Operator Connect service

Ribbon Communications announced that its Session Border Controller (SBC) portfolio now supports Microsoft's new Operator Connect service, which simplifies interconnection to Microsoft Teams for service providers. 

Ribbon's extensive SBC portfolio enables service providers, partners and enterprises to select the Microsoft Teams calling deployment model that best supports their business and technical needs. The company's core SBCs including SBC Software Edition (SWe), SBC 5400 and SBC 7000 deliver carrier-grade reliability, scale, resiliency and interoperability in addition to their support for Operator Connect.

Ribbon also supports enterprise Teams Deployments with its SBC Software Edition Lite (SWe Lite), SBC 1000, SBC 2000,  EdgeMarc Intelligent Edge portfolio and Ribbon Connect, a fully managed service that Ribbon Partners can use to migrate enterprises to a Teams Phone System in hours instead of days or weeks. 

"Operators around the globe already use our robust suite of SBCs in their network core, including many in the initial wave of Operator Connect service provider partners," said Tony Scarfo, EVP & General Manager of Ribbon's Cloud & Edge Business Unit. "Our existing Microsoft certifications, combined with our support for Operator Connect, enable our service provider customers to leverage their Ribbon SBCs to help deliver the next level of business integration Operator Connect offers."

Zayo upgrades its fiber network in Vancouver

Zayo announced a significant expansion to its infrastructure in Vancouver, British Columbia with two key projects: a network upgrade to 100G and an increase in the fiber capacity to its existing terrestrial route between Vancouver and Seattle, scheduled for completion by mid-year of 2022.

The upgraded network in the Vancouver area will enable Zayo to support 100G services, including IP Transit and Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) services. 

The increased fiber capacity Vancouver - Seattle route will better support the region’s growing commercial marketplace, meeting demands for higher speed and increasing volume. 

“Our delivery of 100G enabled service capabilities to the Vancouver market and increased capacity for the Vancouver-Seattle technology corridor reflects Zayo’s commitment to building our network based on customer needs,” stated Dennis Kyle, SVP of Zayo Networks, Mountain Region. “We look forward to collaborating with innovative businesses and organizations in the region, helping them drive transformative changes that disrupt the way we live and work.”

II-VI again raises its bid for Coherent

II-VI increased its offer to acquire Coherent Inc. to top the revised proposal from Lumentum on March 17th.

Under the terms of the revised II-VI proposal, Coherent’s shareholders would receive $220.00 in cash and 0.91 of a share of II-VI common stock for each Coherent share, which implies a total per share value of $287.18 based on the 10-day volume weighted average price (VWAP) of II-VI common stock, ending March 16, 2021. II-VI continues to expect the transaction to be accretive to non-GAAP EPS in the second year following closing.

II-VI’s revised proposal includes $5.4 billion of fully committed debt financing from J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and a $1.5 billion equity investment from Bain Capital. Bain has expressed an interest in making an additional equity investment of up to $650 million on the same terms to reduce leverage. The conversion price of Bain’s entire equity investment is $85.00 per share.

II-VI opens industrial laser lab in Suzhou, China

II-VI opened a new applications laboratory in Suzhou, China, to support the growing industrial laser market in the region. 

II-VI said its new applications laboratory provides close customer support on state-of-the-art laser materials processing with practical hands-on training, in-depth applications consulting, and detailed feasibility studies based on the expertise of II-VI’s applications engineers and the advanced capabilities of II-VI’s laser processing heads.

The company highlighted new opportunities for industrial lasers in the automotive sector as as manufacturers retool their production lines for the unique welding requirements of electric vehicles and their batteries. 

“In our new applications laboratory in Suzhou, customers can directly experience our high-performing and intelligent laser processing heads,” said Dr. Karlheinz Gulden, Senior Vice President, Laser Devices and Systems Business Unit. “This product application facility, together with our labs in Berlin, Germany, and Detroit, U.S., enhances our global ability to demonstrate manufacturing feasibility and develop optimized processes for our customers.”