Wednesday, April 21, 2021

DISH builds its 5G core in AWS

DISH Network will construct its 5G Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) network on AWS.

DISH, which is partnering exclusively with vendors offering cloud-native technology, plans to begin deploying the network in Las Vegas later this year.  All hardware and network management resources will be connected through AWS, including DISH’s fully automated Operation and Business Support Systems (OSS and BSS) for 5G services.

DISH said its groundbreaking, cloud-native strategy will help to simplify the process for developers to create new 5G applications.

  • To support real-time workloads at the network edge and quickly process inbound and outbound data from its O-RAN infrastructure, DISH will leverage AWS Local Zones and AWS Outposts. AWS Local Zones are an infrastructure deployment that places AWS compute, storage, database, and other select services close to large population, industry, and IT centers for applications requiring single-digit millisecond latency, while AWS Outposts extend AWS infrastructure, services, APIs, and tools to virtually any on-premises facility, such as the factory floor or a 5G base station. With this combination of AWS infrastructure, DISH can push its 5G Core to the edge and achieve consistently high performance across its service area, while also enabling developers to take full advantage of 5G speeds when building new applications and services.
  • In addition, DISH will use AWS capabilities such as compute, containers, IoT, machine learning, and security to process 5G data and run its 5G Core, BSS, and OSS at scale while optimizing costs. DISH will use AWS Graviton2-based instances to power its compute workloads (AWS’s custom-designed Graviton2 processors with 64-bit Arm Neoverse cores provide up to 40% better price-performance over comparable current-generation x86-based instances) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) to run containerized workloads, helping it deliver high availability during periods of peak network use. Running its 5G network over AWS will allow DISH to further reduce costs by bypassing the capital expenditure investments typically associated with building and operating network infrastructure hardware. DISH will also apply AWS machine learning capabilities at the network edge to help improve service by predicting network congestion at specific locations, as well as recognizing anomalies in network function, and then automatically taking corrective actions to optimize performance.

“Through this collaboration with AWS, we will operate not just as a communications services provider, but as a digital services provider harnessing the combined power of 5G connectivity and the cloud. Together, we will enable our customers to take full advantage of the potential of 5G. Our approach will revolutionize wireless connectivity by giving customers the ability to customize and scale their network experience on-demand,” said Charlie Ergen, DISH co-founder and chairman. “As a new carrier, leveraging AWS and its extensive network of partners enables us to differentiate ourselves by operating our 5G network with a high degree of automation, utilizing the talent of AWS-trained developers and helping our customers bring new 5G applications to market faster than ever before.”

“DISH’s cloud-native and truly virtualized 5G network is a clear example of how AWS customers can use our proven infrastructure and unparalleled portfolio of services to reinvent industries,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, Inc. “This collaboration means DISH and its customers can bring new consumer- and enterprise-centric services to the market as quickly as they’re created to deliver on the promise of 5G. Together, we’re opening the door to new technologies that will transform factories, workplaces, entertainment, and transportation in ways people have only dreamed.”

DISH picks Nokia for security automation and orchestration

DISH has selected Nokia’s NetGuard solution to assist with securing its Open RAN-based 5G network. This partnership will enable DISH to safeguard 5G network slices, which will be provisioned to support enterprise and wholesale customers.DISH is deploying NetGuard to support the security orchestration, automation and response capabilities needed to rapidly scale its network and intelligently assess and resolve cyber incidents with minimal manual intervention.DISH...

DISH picks Allot to protect its OpenRAN-based 5G network

DISH Network has selected Allot Ltd. to provide end-to-end User Plane Protection (UPP) against DDoS and botnet attacks for its forthcoming cloud-native, OpenRAN-based 5G network. In addition, DISH will partner with Allot to provide cybersecurity threat protection services for its consumer, MVNO and SMB customers. This protection will cover DISH’s 5G network and off-network activities against cyberattacks such as malware, viruses, ransomware...

DISH picks Palo Alto Networks to help secure 5G network

DISH Network has selected Palo Alto Networks to help secure its upcoming cloud-native, OpenRAN-based 5G wireless network.DISH will leverage Palo Alto Networks for container security, secure network slicing, real-time threat correlation and dynamic security enforcement. DISH will use Palo Alto Networks' industry-first, cloud-native security offering, including the VM-series and CN-series Next-Generation Firewalls, as well as Prisma Cloud. Financial...

DISH Network enters long term lease with American Tower

DISH Network entered into a master lease agreement for space on up to 20,000 American Tower communications sites across the United States as it deploys its new nationwide 5G network. Cash lease payments will commence in 2022 and grow over time as DISH’s network deployment progresses. In addition, DISH may lease shared generators from American Tower on select sites and will have the ability to utilize American Tower’s zoning, permitting and other...

DISH picks Amdocs’ for 5G billing

DISH Network has chosen Amdocs’ cloud-based billing system, Optima, to support enterprise and wholesale customers on its upcoming 5G network."Amdocs Optima is a cloud-based platform that has the flexibility to support our 5G needs and can scale to support enterprise and wholesale customers," said Atilla Tinic, Chief Information Officer, DISH. "This containerized component within our greater 5G billing architecture will offer us multi-cloud - public...

Mavenir lands a $500 million investment from Koch

Mavenir announced a $500 million minority equity investment from Koch Strategic Platforms (“KSP”), a subsidiary of Koch Investments Group. Affiliates of Siris Capital Group, LLC (“Siris”), a leading technology-focused private equity firm, will remain majority equity holders.

“We have built a next-generation software platform that has driven, and will continue to drive, the digital transformation of mission-critical networks. Together with KSP and our service provider customers, we expect to bring innovation and 5G to revolutionize industries such as energy, industrial automation, and health care,” said Pardeep Kohli, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mavenir. “Not only do we have the only end-to-end, cloud-native, 5G software platform in the world, but we also have strong and extensive relationships with CSPs and proven deployments of our technology around the globe. With 5G here, Mavenir is well-positioned to build the future of networks.”

“We are extremely proud of what Mavenir has achieved to date and excited about partnering with KSP to drive continued innovation,” said Hubert de Pesquidoux, Siris Executive Partner and Executive Chairman of Mavenir. “The combination of Mavenir’s 5G software platform and Koch Industries presence in relevant industry verticals will accelerate the Company’s participation in the massive digital transformation opportunity.”

David Park, President of KSP, said, “We’re taking material minority equity positions in innovative, disruptive companies with strong management teams that operate in industries with significant tailwinds. We want to partner with companies that can transform Koch Industries for the future. Mavenir checks all the boxes.”

Open19 Foundation moves under Linux Foundation umbrella

The Linux Foundation will host the Open19 Foundation, an open hardware platform for data center and edge hardware innovation. It is also announcing that one of the original founders of the Open19 project, Yuval Bachar, is joining the Linux Foundation to lead this effort. Project leadership includes premiere members Equinix and Cisco.

Open19 focuses on hardware standards that enable compute, storage and network manufacturers and end users to develop differentiated hardware solutions while protecting their competitive intellectual property. With the addition of Open19, The Linux Foundation is hosting data center hardware and software under one virtual roof.

"As the open hardware project of The Linux Foundation, the Open19 Project is dedicated to creating solutions that help digital businesses take advantage of specialized infrastructure," said Zachary Smith, Open19 Foundation chairperson and Managing Director of Equinix Metal. "We are excited to join The Linux Foundation to solve the challenges facing modern data centers with collaborative, open, community-led innovation."

"Open19 is revolutionizing the way we approach hardware," said Yuval Bachar, Open19 Foundation Fellow. "The time to invest in open hardware has never been more pressing. With the transformation happening as a result of AI, 5G and edge networking, in particular, the opportunity for innovation is ripe, and Open19 will accelerate it."

Yuval Bachar founded the Open19 project and is returning to support the project and its community under the Linux Foundation. His career includes technical leadership roles at Microsoft, LinkedIn, Facebook and Cisco. Bachar has been on the forefront of some of the industry's most important technology developments, from data center networking to data center self healing with Machine Learning, AI and predictive maintenance. Most recently, he was Principal Hardware Architect of the Azure Platform at Microsoft. Previously, he was Principal Engineer in the global infrastructure and strategy team at LinkedIn, the leader and architect for Facebook's data center networking hardware and Senior Director of Engineering in the CTO office at Cisco.

Verizon posts strong Q1 as revenue rises 4%

 Citing strength across its core business, Verizon Communications reported total consolidated operating revenues in first-quarter 2021 of $32.9 billion, up 4.0 percent from first-quarter 2020. EPS was $1.27, compared with $1.00 in first-quarter 2020. On an adjusted basis (non-GAAP), first-quarter 2021 EPS, excluding a special item, was $1.31, compared with adjusted EPS of $1.26 in first-quarter 2020. 

“Verizon is off to an excellent start in 2021 as we met the challenge of intense competition in the first quarter by achieving revenue growth across our three business segments," said Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg. “This year began with a transformative milestone for our company with our success in the recent C-Band spectrum auction. We continue to strengthen our networks, execute on our Network-as-a-Service strategy and focus on the five vectors that underpin our growth framework and position us to deliver success in 2021 and beyond.” 

Consumer results

  • Total Verizon Consumer revenues were $22.8 billion, an increase of 4.7 percent year over year, primarily driven by higher phone activations. This included Consumer wireless equipment revenues of $4.2 billion, an increase of 24.1 percent from first-quarter 2020.
  • In first-quarter 2021, Consumer reported 326,000 wireless retail postpaid net losses. This consisted of 225,000 phone net losses and 171,000 tablet net losses, offset by 70,000 other connected device net additions.
  • Consumer wireless service revenues were $13.7 billion in first-quarter 2021, a 1.5 percent increase year over year, driven by the continued adoption of wireless unlimited and premium unlimited plans.
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 0.97 percent in first-quarter 2021, and retail postpaid phone churn was 0.77 percent. 
  • Consumer reported 98,000 Fios Internet net additions in first-quarter 2021, an increase from 59,000 Fios Internet net additions in first-quarter 2020. Total Fios Internet net additions in first-quarter 2021 were 102,000, the most first quarter total Fios Internet net additions since 2015. Consumer reported 82,000 Fios Video net losses in first-quarter 2021, reflecting the ongoing shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings. The company's broadband subscriber growth, combined with an upward shift in speed tiers, more than offset pressure from secular video trends and is expected to continue to drive solid revenue performance.
  • In first-quarter 2021, Consumer segment operating income was $7.5 billion, an increase of 3.3 percent year over year, and segment operating income margin was 33.0 percent, a decrease from 33.5 percent in first-quarter 2020. Segment EBITDA (non-GAAP) totaled $10.4 billion in first-quarter 2021, an increase from $10.1 billion in first-quarter 2020. Segment EBITDA margin (non-GAAP) was 45.5 percent in first-quarter 2021, a decrease from 46.4 percent in first-quarter 2020 as a result of the higher equipment volumes. 

Business results

  • Total Verizon Business revenues were $7.8 billion, up 1.3 percent year over year, the highest rate of growth since the company's new operating structure was introduced in 2019. Strong wireless service growth offset secular pressure in wireline.
  • Business reported 156,000 wireless retail postpaid net additions in first-quarter 2021. This consisted of 47,000 phone net additions and 79,000 tablet net additions.
  • Business wireless service revenues were $3.1 billion in first-quarter 2021, a 6.2 percent increase year over year. 
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 1.24 percent in first-quarter 2021, and retail postpaid phone churn was 1.01 percent.  
  • In first-quarter 2021, Business segment operating income was $899 million, a decrease of 5.8 percent year over year, and segment operating income margin was 11.6 percent, a decrease from 12.4 percent in first-quarter 2020. Segment EBITDA (non-GAAP) totaled $1.9 billion in first-quarter 2021, a decrease from $2.0 billion in first-quarter 2020. Segment EBITDA margin (non-GAAP) was 24.6 percent, a decrease from 25.6 percent in first-quarter 2020.

Media results

  • Total Verizon Media revenues were $1.9 billion in first-quarter 2021, up approximately 10.4 percent year over year. 

Ericsson's Q1 networks sales increased 15% YoY

Ericsson reported Q1 net sales of SEK 49.8 billion up 10% YoY despite SEK -1.6 billion lower IPR licensing revenues.

  • Networks sales increased by 15% YoY, adjusted for comparable units and currency, driven by market share gains. Networks EBIT margin excluding restructuring charges was 19.9% (16.8%). 
  • Reported net income was SEK 3.2 (2.3) billion.
  • The company reported strong global growth in 5G. There was high activity levels in all market areas, except in the Middle East and Africa. Ericsson also noted good contract award momentum in Digital Services, primarily in its cloud native 5G Core portfolio.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson, states:

"Our strategy, built on increased investments in R&D for technology and cost leadership, continued to bear fruit in the first quarter of 2021. We saw organic sales[1] growth of 10%, primarily driven by market share gains in Networks. Adjusting for declining IPR revenues, organic sales[1] growth was 14%. Gross margin[2] improved to 42.9% (40.4%) YoY and margin increases in all segments more than offset lower IPR licensing revenues. Our EBIT margin[2] increased to 10.7% despite significant investments in our business and headwind from currency. We are well positioned to take advantage of the continued market momentum with a competitive 5G product portfolio and cost structure."

ADVA posts strongest Q1 results in company’s history

Citing high order volume from network operators as well as private companies and governments, ADVA reported Q1 revenues of EUR 144.5 million, up by 2.8% from EUR 140.6 million in Q4 2020, also up by 8.9% compared to EUR 132.7 million in the same year-ago period.

Pro forma gross profit in Q1 2021 increased by 1.3%, reaching EUR 55.3 million (38.3% of revenues) compared to EUR 54.6 million (38.9% of revenues) in Q4 2020 and increased significantly by 30.9% compared to EUR 42.3 million reported in the year-ago quarter. Orders for network synchronization technology again developed positively in Q1. In addition, the customer mix contributed positively to the margin increase in the past quarter.

Pro forma operating income for Q1 2021 was EUR 12.9 million (8.9% of revenues) and decreased by 10.3% compared to EUR 14.3 million (10.2% of revenues) reported in Q4 2020. Compared to the year-ago quarter, pro forma operating income improved significantly by 869.6% from a loss of EUR 1.7 million (-1.3% of revenues). Hence the pro forma operating margin was at the top end of the guidance corridor of 7% to 9%. In addition to the higher gross profit, this substantial margin improvement is mainly due to improved operational expenditures. Operating income for Q1 2021 of EUR 11.6 million decreased by 11.6% from EUR 13.1 million reported for Q4 2020 and significantly increased by 386.6% from a loss of EUR 4.0 million in the same year-ago quarter.

Net income reached EUR 11.2 million in Q1 2021, down by 15.3% from EUR 13.2 million in Q4 2020, and significantly up by 255.2% from a loss of EUR 7.2 million in Q1 2020.

The company’s cash and cash equivalents totaled EUR 79.1 million, representing an increase of EUR 14.2 million compared to EUR 64.9 million at the end of Q4 2020. Year-over-year cash and cash equivalents substantially increased by EUR 26.3 million from EUR 52.7 million at the end of Q1 2020. The higher cash balance is mainly the result of the improved profitability and lower capital expenditures, particularly compared to the prior-year quarter. Consequently, net debt in Q1 2021 strongly decreased by EUR 14.9 million to EUR 10.6 million from EUR 25.5 million at the end of Q4 2020 and improved significantly by EUR 57.1 million compared to Q1 2020 (EUR 67.7 million).

“Today we report the best Q1 in our long history as a publicly listed company. We’ve never posted higher revenues in the first quarter of a financial year, and we’ve never achieved higher profitability, generated more cash, or recorded a better order intake,” commented Brian Protiva, CEO, ADVA. “The speed of digitization in many countries has increased noticeably and we are seeing very good demand from all of our customer groups. At the same time, we are making good progress with the transformation of our business. Focus on growth markets with a higher proportion of software and services as well as more verticalization will bring our pro forma EBIT to around 10% of revenues.”

“Our transformation strategy combined with strict cost control showed the expected effects and have opened the door to sustainably higher margin potential. Net income of EUR 11.2 million is already over 50% of the result generated in 2020. With that, we have made an excellent start to the new financial year,” said Uli Dopfer, CFO, ADVA. “We were able to further increase cash and reduce net debt to EUR 10.6 million. This further underlines our strong financial position.”

SiFive licenses its RISC-V core IP to Renesas

Renesas Electronics and SiFive agreed to jointly develop next-generation, high-end RISC-V solutions for automotive applications. The partnership will also include SiFive licensing the use of their RISC-V core IP portfolio to Renesas.

Renesas provides automotive solutions including ADAS, Autonomous Driving (AD), Electric Vehicles (EV), and Connected Gateway (CoGW) to customers all over the world.

The SiFive Intelligence platform, based on SiFive RISC-V Vector processors with AI ISA extensions, features a differentiated software toolchain to enable the development of scalable solutions for AI and ML applications. SiFive RISC-V processors are pre-integrated with advanced trace, debug, and security solutions compatible with industry tools to simplify heterogeneous integration and migration. 

“RISC-V is an important element in providing additional capabilities and options for new and existing customers,” said Takeshi Kataoka, Senior Vice President, General Manager of Automotive Solution Business Unit at Renesas. “We are very excited to work with SiFive as their lead partner to develop next-generation semiconductor solutions through the collaboration of our accumulated expertise in the automotive field, and SiFive’s high-end RISC-V technologies.”

“We are excited to collaborate with Renesas to develop next-generation automotive solutions powered by the SiFive Intelligence platform,” said Patrick Little, Chairman and CEO, SiFive. “Our roadmap of advanced, high-performance RISC-V processor cores and AI accelerators will deliver significant core performance increases with the capabilities needed to meet Automotive application requirements, along with enhanced AI capabilities to power scalable, workload-accelerated solutions.”

NETGEAR's Q1 revenue soars to $317.9 million, up 38.3% yoy

NETGEAR reported Q1 2021 net revenue of $317.9 million, an increase of 38.3% from the comparable prior year quarter. First quarter 2021 GAAP net income per diluted share of $0.72, as compared to net loss per diluted share of $0.14 in the comparable prior year quarter. First quarter 2021 non-GAAP net income per diluted share of $0.99, as compared to $0.21 in the comparable prior year quarter.

Patrick Lo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NETGEAR, commented, “With both businesses performing well, Q1 marks a strong beginning to the year for us. The NETGEAR team again navigated the ongoing challenges in the supply chain to deliver strong revenue growth. Our revenue came in at $317.9 million for year over year growth of 38.3%, and we delivered record non-GAAP operating profit of $42.3 million, a non-GAAP operating margin of 13.3%. The higher than anticipated demand for SMB products propelled us over the high end of our topline guidance range. Non-GAAP operating margin significantly exceeded expectations, buoyed by a higher mix of SMB and higher margin e-commerce revenue as well as lower air freight expense.”

Mr. Lo continued, “Our outstanding first quarter was powered by strong demand across both of our businesses. Our SMB business benefited from the reopening of economies worldwide, notching strong sequential growth of 8.5% and year over year growth of 17.9%. Our CHP business again saw strong growth year on year, led by the premium segment, and we continue to hold a leading market share position in this fast growing, highly lucrative segment. This allowed us to gain share globally, and most notably we saw our US market share in consumer WiFi climb two points in the first quarter. All of this has translated into continued success in our efforts to grow our recurring subscription services business, as we added 44,000 subscribers, exiting the quarter with 481,000, and keeping us on track to reach our goal of 650,000 subscribers by the end of the year.”