Thursday, October 28, 2021

Orange and Liquid enter network partnership for Africa

Orange and Liquid Intelligent Technologies formed a partnership to leverage each other's existing networks in Africa.

This partnership will give Liquid access to Orange’s extensive network in West Africa, including the new Djoliba network, which is operated and maintained from Dakar, Senegal. Djoliba boasts more than 10,000km of terrestrial fiber, coupled with 10,000km of undersea cables. The network covers 16 points of presence with a grid of nearly 155 technical sites and offers connections with Europe, America and Asia. It is based on Orange's Tier 1 network and therefore provides a seamless connection to the Group's international networks.

Likewise, the deal will give Orange access to Liquid’s pan-African network, which encompasses 100,000km of fiber backbone and covers most of sub-Saharan Africa. The network development plans include extending the organization's reach into the North African countries like Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria.

"We are excited about embarking on this partnership with Orange, becoming a major customer on Djoliba as we continue to grow our existing relationship. We've long been committed to providing digital services that allow our customers to grow their businesses and the larger African economy. Partnering with a provider like Orange strengthens this offering. Our customers are the real winners in this partnership. Not only do they get access to the networks, but also the benefit of working with two carriers with proven track records of building African business and digital technology," said David Eurin, Liquid Intelligent Technologies international wholesale CEO (Liquid Sea).

“I am very happy to announce this important partnership with Liquid Intelligent Technologies which will enable Orange to expand its broad portfolio of convergent solutions across Africa. It further demonstrates Orange’s commitment across Africa to deliver highly reliable connectivity to its customers. Furthermore, this partnership also clearly illustrates Orange's unique expertise in cybersecurity and our crucial role in building a safer digital society,” said Emmanuel Rochas, CEO of Orange International Carriers.

Intel demos Xeon + Tofino switch + Mount Evans IPU

As part of the Intel Innovation event this week, Intel demonstrated an Intelligent Fabric based on its Xeon Scalable processors and next-generation Xeon D processors, Tofino 3 programmable switching silicon and new "Mount Evans" infrastructure processing unit (IPU). 

The idea is to leverage P4 programming across all 3 processing platforms for use cases such as near real-time telemetry and analytics with the Intel Deep Insight Network Analytics software.

The Intel Tofino 3 intelligent fabric processor is fully P4-programmable and is supported by a suite of development and network-monitoring tools, including Intel P4 Studio and Intel Deep Insight Network Analytics Software, which provides increased visibility and control, simplifies integration of container-based micro-services, and paves the way to more secure and self-healing cloud fabric.

AWS hits quarterly revenue of $16 billion, up 39% yoy

AWS highlighted significant customer momentum with new wins with NXP, Capgemini Engineering, CARIAD, and Continental, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Boingo Wireless, Arctic Wolf Networks.

AWS announced plans to open an infrastructure Region in New Zealand in 2024 that will consist of three Availability Zones. A newly released AWS economic impact study estimates that the new infrastructure Region will create 1,000 new jobs in New Zealand over the next 15 years through the investment of $5.3 billion (NZ$7.5 billion). 

Globally, AWS has 81 Availability Zones across 25 geographic Regions, with plans to launch 24 more Availability Zones and eight more AWS Regions.

DustPhotonics raises $33M for its silicon photonics

DustPhotonics, a start-up based in Modi'in, Israel, announced $33 million in venture funding for its silicon photonics solutions for cloud, data center, enterprise and HPC applications. The company's InP Laser to Silicon Photonics integration technology will provide significant value differentiation enabling superior performance to support 800 Gbps, 1.6Tbps, CPO and future products.

The funding round was led by Greenfield Partners, who join DustPhotonics' Round B investors Intel Capital, veteran entrepreneur Avigdor Willenz, and others.

In addition, the company also announced it has completed an organizational realignment to support its strategic and business direction. The company will focus its resources on silicon photonics solutions and phase out its transceivers product line. 

As part of the reorganization, Ronnen Lovinger, president of DustPhotonics, has assumed the role of CEO. Ben Rubovitch, the company's previous CEO, has stepped down and will lead the business side of the company.

"This latest investment and the organizational changes will enable us to take advantage of new business opportunities and to continue focusing on serving our customers' strategic requirements. Our disruptive silicon photonics technology addresses their key and most challenging problems, creating scalable, cost-effective silicon photonics and driving it as the mainstream solution for the Cloud and Telecom markets," said Ronnen Lovinger, CEO of DustPhotonics. "We are thrilled at the continued confidence of our investors in our strategic direction."

"With the rapid evolution of the connectivity and silicon optics markets, there is a growing need for innovative technologies. DustPhotonics is well-positioned at the forefront of silicon photonics technology development and we are excited to take part in their journey," said Yuda Doron, Managing Partner at Greenfield Partners. 

Nokia posts 2% rise in Q3 sales, cites supply chain constraints

Nokia reported Q3 revenue of EUR 5.399 billion, up 2% over EUR 5.294 billion in sales for the same period last year. Sales were contrained by expected supply chain and Mobile Networks North America headwinds. Comparable diluted EPS of EUR 0.08; reported diluted EPS of EUR 0.06.

Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO of Nokia, states: "We delivered another great quarter driven by our increased investments in technology leadership and strong market demand. The highlight of the quarter was the launch of our next generation FP5 IP routing silicon – delivering up to three times more capacity while reducing power consumption by up to 75% per bit compared to previous generation. This will help reduce the carbon footprint of both Nokia and our customers, while also helping customers to manage their operating expenses."

"The third quarter saw us achieve 2% constant currency net sales growth despite the impact of earlier communicated headwinds in North America for Mobile Networks and global supply chain constraints. These headwinds were offset by strong growth in Network Infrastructure against a tough year-on-year comparison and by Cloud and Network Services achieving double-digit growth. Our comparable operating margin for the quarter was 11.7%, which is a further testament to the accountability and financial discipline that our new operating model is driving through the organization.

"We now have over 380 private wireless customers and the business continues to grow strongly. We are further increasing our investment to ensure we maintain the lead we have built with the industry’s most complete offering.

"Overall, I am pleased with our strong financial performance in 2021 so far. We continue to expect seasonality to be less pronounced this year than previously and are reiterating our full year 2021 outlook. Considering our continued strength, we now expect to be towards the upper-end of our comparable operating margin range. As we look ahead, we believe we are well positioned to capitalize on strong demand in our end markets through strengthened technology leadership and improved cost competitiveness. However, the uncertainty around the global semiconductor market limits our visibility into Q4 and 2022. We are working closely not only with our suppliers to ensure component availability but also with our customers to ensure we can meet their needs and mitigate the unprecedented component cost inflation our industry faces. Coupled with the one-offs we’ve benefited from this year, this may limit our margin expansion potential in 2022."

Skorpios presents its Co-packaged Optics at ACP2021 in Shanghai

Skorpios Technologies presented its Tru-SiPh platform for integrating lasers, modulators, and other components on a polarization-insensitive silicon photonics platform at the ACP2021 Conference in Shanghai, China. 

Skorpios' highly integrated photonic chip will provide 3.2 Tb/s FR4 optical interfaces and is small enough that 16 can be placed around an Integrated Circuit to provide 51.2 Tb/s as a chip-scale interface for the next generation of high bandwidth switches.

Skorpios' Silicon Photonics platform integrates lasers, electro-absorption modulators (EAM), semiconductor optical amplifiers (S)A) and photodiodes (PD) in III-V compounds directly into silicon-based wafers. Electronics and optics can then be integrated, burned in, and tested at wafer scale. Laser materials are bonded directly to the silicon substrate vastly improving heat management and minimizing size of the laser. Since all laser stripe processing happens after bonding, multiple devices can be implemented on each implanted epitaxial layer, and laser power into the waveguide is optimized. Similarly, EAMs are built from other implanted epitaxies, reducing size and control complexity of the modulator.

The thick silicon platform Skorpios uses offers several advantages: Low waveguide loss, low coupling loss, polarization insensitivity, and high optical power handling. Multiplexing (Mux) and demultiplexing (DeMux)functions do not require tuning. The entire platform is covered in silicon dioxide after fabrication meaning that III-V devices and facets are environmentally protected, eliminating the need for hermetic packaging.

"It was exciting to present our 3.2Tb/s CPO design at this conference. With our design, we can integrate all devices on a single small chip, including 16 lasers (plus 16 redundant), 32 EAMs, 32 SOAs, 32 PDs, and 8 tuning-free wavelength Mux and DeMux, to provide eight standard 400Gb/s FR4 links," said Glenn Li, Skorpios' CTO. "This product is an outstanding demonstration of highly integrated heterogeneous silicon photonics possible with our platform."

Comcast adds 300K broadband subs as growth rate slows

Comcast reported Q3 revenue of $30.298 billion and earnings per share of $0.86. Cable Communications increased 7.4% to $16.1 billion in the third quarter of 2021, driven by increases in broadband, wireless, business services, video, other, and advertising revenue, partially offset by a decrease in voice revenue.

Some highlights:

  • Cable Communications total customer relationship net additions were 255,000 
  • Total broadband customer net additions were 300,000
  • Cable Communications Wireless Customer line net additions were 285,000
  • Capital expenditures for cable communications decreased 5.4% to $1.7 billion in the third quarter of 2021, primarily reflecting decreased investment in customer premise equipment, partially offset by increased investment in line extensions and scalable infrastructure. 

"I am pleased with our strong operating and financial results this quarter. Each of our businesses posted significant growth in Adjusted EBITDA, contributing to a double-digit increase in our Adjusted EPS. At Cable, our customer and financial metrics remained strong, highlighted by 10% growth in Adjusted EBITDA, the highest level of customer retention on record for a third quarter, and the most wireless net additions since the launch of Xfinity Mobile in 2017. Our results at NBCUniversal continue to be driven by the ongoing recovery at our domestic Theme Parks, as well as the success of our linear and streaming Media platforms. At Sky, our UK business maintained its momentum, delivering healthy growth in revenue, EBITDA, and customer relationships. Going forward, I am excited about the opportunity to continue to invest in our global technology platform and other businesses while returning more capital to shareholders. This strategy is reflected in our most recent product launches – XClass TV in the U.S. and Sky Glass in Europe – as well as the $2.7 billion we returned to shareholders through a combination of share repurchases and dividend payments," commented Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation.

AT&T brings private 5G to GE Research Campus

 GE Research has added AT&T 5G to its cross-industry 5G testbed at its research facility in Niskayuna, New York.

AT&T currently provides 2 flavors of 5G to GE's testbed: AT&T 5G, using low-band or sub-6 spectrum; and AT&T 5G+ via mmWave spectrum.

"The power of reliable, robust sub-6 and 5G+ networks will transform healthcare by bringing care more directly to the patient," said Eric Tucker, senior director of technical products, GE. "We're already seeing how doctors have become more connected to their patients through the power of telemedicine or teleconsulting. Just imagine what will be possible when millions of medical devices and diagnostics tools can be reliably connected to help doctors deliver faster, more effective patient care."

Tucker added, "Today, when you don't feel well, you call the doctor and schedule an appointment so that the doctor can examine you and figure out what's wrong.  Depending on schedules, it may take several hours or even days before you get into the doctor's office. But with the development of wearable sensors and other medical monitoring devices that GE and others are innovating, a future scenario could well be that the doctor calls the patient to tell them something is wrong first. This is possible in a very limited way today. The power of 5G networks could make it pervasive."

"A critical focus for the GE 5G testbed is democratizing technology and building solutions that work in the real-world setting," said SM Hasan, 5G Mission Leader, GE Research. "Having both flavors of 5G enables us to build solutions that span both high speeds, in building networks and the over-the-air 5G network available to AT&T customers."

A10 Networks hits Q3 sales of $65.4 million, up 15% year-over-year

A10 Networks reported Q3 revenue of $65.4 million, up 15% year-over-year. GAAP gross margin was 79.8%; non-GAAP gross margin of 80.4% as the company successfully navigated short-term input cost pressures. GAAP net income of $74.9 million (114.6% of revenue), or $0.94 per diluted share, inclusive of a non-recurring tax benefit, compared with net income of $6.5 million, or $0.08 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2020.

Sales of security products grew 18% year-over-year.

"We achieved strong top- and bottom-line results as our security-led solutions are enabling us to capture market share and driving accelerated growth,” said Dhrupad Trivedi, President and Chief Executive Officer of A10 Networks. “Long-term deferred revenue has grown 16% year-over-year, outpacing total revenue growth. Our diversified model is enabling us to successfully navigate regional and logistical challenges, as evidenced by our 15% revenue growth and nearly 26% adjusted EBITDA margin validating the business model transformation. The increasing profitability of our business required us to release our full tax valuation allowance, as we now expect to utilize our entire net operating loss carryforwards in future periods. Our business model positions us to meaningfully drive growth and continue to improve the business model. In addition, the strong, sustainable free cash flow has enabled our Board to return capital to stockholders by declaring a quarterly cash dividend and significantly expanding our share repurchase program.”

“With a transformed portfolio focused on cybersecurity, improving market conditions and our relentless focus on execution, we are outperforming the industry as well as the expectations we set at the start of the year,” continued Trivedi. “We have solid visibility and confidence in our ability to accelerate growth beyond the previous targets of 6-8%, though we are cognizant of continued supply chain challenges and other global headwinds which could impact quarter-to-quarter performance.”