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.”