Monday, June 14, 2021

Vodafone outlines its O-RAN architecture and vendors

Vodafone named Dell, NEC, Samsung Electronics, Wind River, Capgemini Engineering and Keysight Technologies as strategic vendors for its commercial deployment of Open Radio Access Network (RAN) in Europe.


  • Samsung will be a reference RAN software provider. 
  • Samsung and NEC will supply Massive MIMO radio units based on the Telecom Infra Project's Evenstar whitebox design
  • Dell EMC PowerEdge servers will support the combined DU/CU function running Containers as a Service (CaaS) software from Wind River Studio, which will provide a distributed cloud-native platform hosting the Open RAN applications and virtualised RAN from Samsung. 
  • Keysight Technologies will deliver its comprehensive Open RAN test solution portfolio designed to support conformance, interoperability and E2E system testing. 
  • Capgemini Engineering will be the key partner within our lab testing to ensure interworking of the Open RAN multi-vendor ecosystem.
  • The O-RAN Alliance 7-2x split, which defines the interface between the radio antenna and the baseband unit, will be used in the deployments, following successful test and simulations that make it the option of choice. 

Vodafone said its initial O-RAN focus will be on the 2,500 sites in the UK that it committed to Open RAN in October 2020. Starting this year, the vendors will work with Vodafone to extend 4G and 5G coverage to more rural places across the South West of England and most of Wales, moving into urban areas in a later phase. 

Johan Wibergh, Vodafone Chief Technology Officer, said: “Open RAN provides huge advantages for customers. Our network will become highly programmable and automated meaning we can release new features simultaneously across multiple sites, add or direct capacity more quickly, resolve outages instantly and provide businesses with on-demand connectivity.

Open Optical Momentum at #OFC21

Openness was a big theme at this year's virtual #OFC21 event, with big announcements concerning XR optics, OSFP modules, 800G, disaggregated platforms based on Telecom Infra Project (TIP) designs, and market-ready 400ZR solutions.

Marvell announced sampling on an ultra low-power, 400G DSP chipset and a 50Gbps PAM4 DSP chipset which integrates transimpedance amplifiers (TIAs) and laser drivers in the CMOS package -- both targeting disaggregated optical platforms.

In this video, Jim Carroll and Roy Chua discuss the new Marvell, and whether "Open" can be a strategic differentiator for the company.

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Dark Fiber & Infrastructure links to Sabey Data Centers in Ashburn

Sabey Data Centers' Ashburn campus will serve as a terminus for a high-capacity dark fiber connectivity conduit linking Northern Virginia’s “Data Center Alley” to major Northeast U.S. telecom corridors. The conduit is owned and operated by Dark Fiber & Infrastructure.

DF&I’s unique Potomac River Crossing bypasses Washington, DC, thereby providing its customers with a diverse, all underground, lowest-latency option within the largest U.S. data center market. The installation is complete and the system is currently operational.

Robert Rockwood, President of Sabey Data Centers, said, “This development is a milestone for Sabey’s East Coast expansion. In a region experiencing unbridled bandwidth growth, especially with hyperscale customers who demand for leased dark fiber and new conduits, we are pleased to be a solution provider in partnership with DF&I.”

DF&I's Co-founder John Schmitt said, “Our infrastructure hub at Intergate.Ashburn reinforces our position as the largest open access network currently available for lease in the region. It provides diversity, latency improvement, and scale that is required but until now, had not been available in the market today."

Skorpios 100G CWDM4 chipset passes Telcordia

Skorpios Technologies announced Telcordia qualification for its 100G CWDM4 chipset, as well as its 100G CWDM4 optical transceiver, both of which are shipping in limited quantities. The chipset is based on Skorpios' Heterogeneous Photonic Integrated Circuit (HPIC) technology platform, which seamlessly integrates III-V material into a standard CMOS process flow.

At the device level, extensive testing demonstrated full compliance to GR-468. Testing beyond Telcordia requirements resulted in demonstrating >10,000 hours high temperature operating life (HTOL) against a requirement of 2,000 hours, and extensive accelerated aging testing demonstrated a 50+ year lifetime for the four-channel devices.

At the optical transceiver level, full compliance was demonstrated to GR-468, GR-326 and GR-1217 standards. Testing beyond Telcordia requirements resulted in demonstration of 2,000 hours of unbiased damp heat against a 1,000-hour requirement.

"With a technology platform passed full Telcordia qualification with no issues and demonstrated industry-leading lifetimes, Skorpios secures a commanding position in current and future applications requiring high levels of photonic integration with many lasers and modulators on a single die" said Glenn Li, CTO for Skorpios Technologies.

Dell'Oro: Sales of data center switches surged in Q1

Global Data Center Switch market revenue were up 14 percent year-over-year in 1Q21, the strongest growth rate recorded since 1Q18, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. Growth was healthy across all major customer segments (Cloud Service Providers, Telco Service Providers, and Large Enterprises) and all regions, except Latin America.

“In line with our predictions, the recovery in the data center switch market, which started in the second half of last year, continued to accelerate in 1Q21,” said Sameh Boujelbene, Senior Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “Although this strong performance was in part due to an easy year-over-year comparison, it was more reflective of an improvement in the demand environment. Additionally, impact from supply chain challenges on revenue and pricing environment during the quarter was minimal but may become more pronounced in the remainder of the year,” added Boujelbene.

Additional highlights from the 1Q21 Ethernet Switch – Data Center Report:

  • Major vendors with revenue share gain in the first quarter period are Arista, H3C, and Huawei.
  • 25 Gbps, 100 Gbps, and 400 Gbps comprised more than 60 percent of the data center switch port shipments in 1Q21 as the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new generation speeds and the decline of legacy speeds.

Dell'Oro: XGS-PON OLT spending takes off

Total global revenue for the Broadband Access equipment market increased to $3.3 B in 1Q 2021, up 18 percent year-over-year (Y/Y), according to Dell'Oro Group. Growth came from spending on PON OLT ports, particularly 10 Gbps PON technologies.

"The shift to 10 Gbps PON technologies is happening quickly and on a global basis," noted Jeff Heynen, Vice President, Broadband Access and Home Networking at Dell'Oro Group. "The only thing preventing further expansions are supply chain constraints and increased costs," explained Heynen.

  • Additional highlights from the 1Q 2021 Broadband Access and Home Networking quarterly report:
  • Total broadband access equipment revenue was down 6 percent from the record revenue of 4Q 2020.
  • Total cable access concentrator revenue increased 15 percent Y/Y to $243 M. Though DOCSIS license purchases were down, new hardware purchases in the form of CCAP chassis, line cards, and DAA nodes and modules helped push revenue higher.
  • Total DSL Access Concentrator revenue was down 30 percent Y/Y, driven by slower port shipments worldwide as more operators shift their spending to fiber.
  • Total PON ONT revenue was down quarter over quarter, but unit shipments remained above 30 M globally for the second straight quarter.

AWS to open data center in Tel Aviv

Amazon Web Services will open a data center region in Tel Aviv, Israel in the first half of 2023.

The AWS Israel (Tel Aviv) Region will have three Availability Zones, each fully isolated with its own infrastructure. As is the case with other AWS Regions, the AZs in the region and will be connected together with dedicated, fully-redundant metro fiber. 

AWS currently has 81 Availability Zones within 25 AWS Regions in operation today, with 21 more Availability Zones and seven announced regions (including this one) underway.

Defense Info Systems Agency awards $1.8 billion contract to Cisco

The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency awarded a contract valued at $1.8 billion to Cisco for Cisco Smart Net Total Care and Software Support Services for users across the Department of Defense.  

The period of performance is a one-year base period and two one-year option periods, for a total contract life cycle of three years.

DISA awards $84 million contract to Comcast for Ethernet Gateway Region 4

The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency awarded a contract valued at $84.2 million to Comcast Government Services for the Commercial Ethernet Gateway Region 4 to provide mission partner access, via Ethernet connections, to the Department of Defense Information Network and to enable the replacement of legacy, time division multiplexing-based circuits.

Primary performance will be at the contractor’s above-identified facility in Reston, Virginia.

North Carolina's AccessOn Networks picks Ciena

AccessOn Networks, a North Carolina-based provider of advanced fiber-based communication services, has chosen Ciena to expand its network across rural locations.

AccessOn Networks will deploy Ciena’s 6500 Flexible Grid ROADM to offer new high-speed 100GbE services and extend access to new PoP locations with long distance 600 Gbps wavelengths. The upgraded network will also leverage Ciena’s 5170 Platform, helping scale lower-speed 10GbE service demands, and its Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller for increased network visibility and monitoring.

“Our mission is to provide connections to small, rural communities throughout North Carolina and put them on equal footing with even the largest cities,” said Steve Ledford, CEO, AccessOn Networks. “Ciena’s solutions will allow us to achieve that goal by transforming the network with greater capacity and efficiency to accommodate the increasing digital needs of our partners and their customers.”

“As the home network becomes increasingly important, AccessOn Networks can serve as the missing link, giving the local community greater connectivity. With Ciena’s solutions, these communities will have improved Internet services, boosting digital opportunities for all,” said Bruce Hembree, Vice President & General Manager of Sales in the Americas, Ciena.