Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Cisco's Bill Gartner: DWDM pluggables simplify Internet architecture

Reach limitation of direct detection technologies at higher speeds will expand the need for coherent detection, said Bill Gartner, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Optical Systems and Optics Group, speaking in a Tech Talk webinar hosted by Evercore ISI. This possibly includes the need for coherent optics inside the data center when line rates exceed 1.6 Tbps.

The discussion, which focuses on Cisco’s optical strategy, portfolio evolution and market dynamics, tracks $6 billion in acquisitions that Cisco has completed over the past decade: Core Optics (2010), Lightwire (2012), Leaba (2016), Luxtersa (2019) and Acacia (2021).  

Looking ahead, Gartner says the combination of massively-scalable routers and DWDM pluggables will lead to a simplified, flat, hop-to-hop architecture for Internet backbones.

The discussion also covers 400ZR momentum, the competitive landscape, co-packaged optical (CPO) switch technology, the Acacia acquisition and Cisco's role as an independent component supplier. 

An archive of the webcast is posted on Cisco's Investor relations website.

Sparkle launches Albania Crossing between Athens and Milan

Sparkle activated Albania Crossing, a new direct route that is the shortest path from Athens to Milan.

The new optical fiber link crosses Albania, the Bari-Durres submarine cable and the Italian backbone. It was built in cooperation with Albtelecom, the largest telecommunication company in Albania, and is directly connected to Sparkle’s extensive continental network.

Albania Crossing is Sparkle’s sixth route connecting the south-eastern area of the Mediterranean basin to the rest of the world, in addition to the existing submarine ring and to the terrestrial fiber links through Sofia, thus enabling the implementation of a robust and fully redundant connectivity.

The new link is part of a wider expansion strategy that leverages on Athens as an increasingly relevant regional cross-point and on Milan as a gravitational Internet and Cloud hub in mainland Europe to cater the needs of diversified and resilient connectivity between the Balkans, Middle East and Europe.

Sparkle announces BlueMed subsea cable - up to 240 Tbps

Sparkle announced plans for a massive subsea cable along the west coast of Italy, linking Genoa and Palermo. BlueMed will be a multi-fiber cable spanning 1,000 kilometers and with a design capacity of 240 Tbps. It will cross the Tyrrhenian Sea connecting Sparkle’s Sicily Hub open data center in Palermo, which serves eighteen international cables, with Genoa’s new open landing station, directly connected to Milan’s rich digital ecosystem. BlueMed...

Everynet launches LoRaWAN network across U.S.

 Everynet launched its LoRaWAN Internet of Things (IoT) network in the United States.  The first phase of Everynet’s national network rollout will include the top 36 metropolitan areas and key logistics corridors across the United States, expected to go live by the end of 2021. 

Everynet will operate as a neutral-host, enabling mobile network operators (MNOs), mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), application service providers (ASPs), managed service providers (MSPs) and internet service providers (ISPs) to offer carrier grade Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) IoT services to their customers. 

Everynet will utilize Crown Castle’s infrastructure which includes more than 40,000 cell towers and nearly 80,000 route miles of fiber. Everynet’s 15-year commitment ensures that LoRaWAN customers, across the U.S., can easily go live on the network to monetize their deployments such as smart sensors or monitoring tools.

In addition to the U.S. market, Everynet networks are live in Brazil, Indonesia, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Puerto Rico, Ireland and Iceland. Everynet also participates in the LoRa Alliance global association that offers roaming to more than 27 countries across the globe. Everynet has also collaborated with Semtech, a leading supplier of high performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and creator of LoRa technology.

“Expansion to the U.S. market is an important part of our global development. Our ultra-low-cost networks are already live across the globe, and we are pleased to enable nationwide, no CAPEX, turn-key IoT networks for our CSP partners,” said Lawrence Latham, CEO of Everynet. “Everynet networks deliver carrier grade connectivity, with built-in resilience, security and meaningful SLAs without any need for network CAPEX from our wholesale customers.”

“It was an easy decision to work with Everynet to build out their LoRaWAN IoT connectivity. We both see the long-term value of LoRaWAN in the U.S. and embrace shared infrastructure access for customers. We look forward to helping Everynet go live with a much-needed network,” said Paul Reddick, vice president of strategy, business and product development for Crown Castle.

“Our work with Everynet extends back many years and across many different geographies. As a company, we are committed to helping our customers address real world challenges and make the world a better, sustainable planet,” said Mohan Maheswaran, president and CEO of Semtech. “Everynet’s network launch will allow even more IoT applications and use cases leveraging LoRa to hit the U.S. market – everything from smart refrigeration and asset tracking to water conservation and utilities management.”

O-RAN Alliance publishes 33 new specs

The O-RAN Alliance published another 33 specification documents, including 11 new titles, including the following:

Management interface, timing and synchronization for Transport

The baseline for Non-Real-Time Radio Intelligent Controller (Non-RT RIC) and Near-Real-Time RIC Architecture and interfaces (E2, A1, F1/X2/Xn)

Certification and badging guidelines and parts of end-to-end, inter-operability and conformance testing

In addition, the O-RAN ALLIANCE approved the first two European Open Test and Integration Centers (OTIC):

  • European OTIC in Berlin hosted by Deutsche Telekom
  • European OTIC in Torino hosted by TIM

Next week, at the O-RAN Virtual event, a total of 36 demos will be showcased.

“It is great to see the momentum in adoption of O-RAN based solutions,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, COO of the O-RAN ALLIANCE and SVP Technology Strategy & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom. “OTICs will play an important role in managing the complex interoperability scenarios and related integration cost, and accelerate O-RAN product commercialization in large network solutions.”

Windstream launches Intelligent Converged Optical Network

Windstream Wholesale launched its Intelligent Converged Optical Network, which consists of open and disaggregated infrastructure, allowing wholesale and enterprise customers to select unique custom routes, maintain operational insights with Windstream’s Network Intelligence functions, and place their networks closer to the edge to better serve end-users.

ICON stands for:

  • Intelligent – network intelligence customer portal and API provide Layer 0-3 network insights
  • Converged – disaggregated network architecture enables best of breed open line system, scalability and alien wave support
  • Optical – Flexgrid and C+L band support enable extreme bandwidth growth
  • Network - efficient architecture between local and long-haul networks

As part of its network enhancement, Windstream Wholesale has also bolstered its commitment to the West Coast of the U.S. The new ICON includes new routes from Hillsboro and Portland to Sacramento, and from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. The two new West Coast ICON routes are powered by Ciena.

“Windstream is deploying ICON in a holistic way so that businesses can leverage additional bandwidth with a low latency, cohesive infrastructure,” said Buddy Bayer, Windstream’s chief network officer. “We took time to be intentional about our network planning so we can ride the technology curve and won’t have to overbuild line systems every time there’s a stair-step advance in technology.”

“With Ciena, Windstream adds the industry’s highest level of capacity built on an open and automation-ready architecture, ensuring the ICON network can adapt to dynamic and new requirements from customers,” added Kevin Sheehan, chief technology officer of the Americas at Ciena. “Our high-performance coherent optics ensures Windstream can continue to be very successful in their fastest growing markets.”

Vodafone now 100% powered by renewable energy

Vodafone confirmed that its entire European operations – including mobile and fixed networks, data centres, retail and offices – will be 100% powered by electricity from renewable sources from 1 July 2021. The company has set a goal of reducing its own carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2030 and across the company’s entire value chain by 2040.

Vodafone has direct Power Purchase Agreements in the UK and Spain.  In Italy, Germany, Ireland, Hungary, Romania, Spain, Greece, Turkey and Czech Republic, Vodafone has sourced Renewable Energy Certificates (‘RECs’) or tariffs.  In Albania, approximately 67% of electricity consumption is sourced from local renewable sources, and Vodafone has purchased the equivalent of the remaining annual consumption in the form of RECs through our partner in Italy.

Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said: “From 1 July 2021, Vodafone’s customers across Europe can be reassured that the connectivity they use is entirely powered by electricity from renewable sources.  This is a major milestone towards our goal of reducing our own global carbon emissions to net zero by 2030, helping our customers reduce their own environmental footprint and continuing to build an inclusive and sustainable digital society in all of our markets.”

MulteFire Alliance offers Uni5G technology blueprints

MFA (MulteFire Alliance) has expanded its mission to enable 5G private networks in unlicensed, shared and locally licensed spectrum by providing guidance to enterprises seeking to deploy their own network.

Leveraging existing 3GPP 5G specifications, MFA will deliver Uni5G Technology Blueprints to help enterprises select and implement the key features from the 3GPP standards that are relevant to their specific deployment. MFA will also develop best practices and deployment guides, including industry resources on understanding all available spectrum options for 5G private networks. The first Uni5G Technology Blueprint will be available in Q4 2021.

In addition, MFA has been awarded a global Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) ID by the ITU. MFA is planning to make this PLMN ID available to industry verticals. The PLMN ID is a series of numbers that identifies a specific network and ensures that only authorized devices connect to that network.

With access to a unique global PLMN ID number, industry verticals are able to deploy their own 5G private network in locally licensed spectrum or a MulteFire private network in unlicensed spectrum today.

MFA members and others under MFA authorization are able to bundle the PLMN ID with their network equipment, thus simplifying the deployment process for enterprises by eliminating the need for them to separately apply for a PLMN ID.

“MFA paved the way for industries to contemplate how they can deploy their own private network in unlicensed spectrum using MulteFire 4G/LTE-based cellular technology with high-performance, built-in security and mobility benefits,” said Mazen Chmaytelli, president, MFA. “Now through our expanded role in enabling 5G private networks, MFA will provide industry verticals with practical guidance on deployment that will meet their unique requirements and determine which spectrum option is right for their site.” 

SPIE and Vanderbilt announce fellowship in optics and photonics

SPIE and Vanderbilt University announced the establishment of the SPIE Faculty Fellowship in Optics and Photonics. A $500,000 gift from the SPIE Endowment Matching Program will be matched 100% by Vanderbilt. This is the eighth major SPIE gift to universities and institutes as part of the Society’s ongoing program to support the expansion of optical engineering teaching and research.

The SPIE Faculty Fellowship will support a Vanderbilt University faculty member who is working in optics and photonics. Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Yuankai “Kenny” Tao has been selected as the recipient of the first gift.

Tao received his bachelor’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering, as well as a master’s degree and a PhD in biomedical engineering, from Duke University. 

“I am thrilled SPIE has chosen Vanderbilt Engineering as a recipient of an endowed faculty fellowship,” said Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean of Engineering Philippe Fauchet. “These investments provide critical support to our most promising young faculty to continue to develop their research programs and increase the school’s competitive advantage to recruit the best graduate students.”