Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Nokia jumps into Software-as-a-Service for CSPs

Nokia is rolling out multiple Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) services for communication service providers (CSPs). The company is targeting a SaaS addressable market, comprised of CSPs and enterprises, with a value of $3.1 billion for the 2021-2025 period and an annual growth rate of approximately 25-30%. Nokia is in discussions with several CSPs around the world about using its SaaS services, including security.

Nokia said the shift to SaaS reflects a culmination of steps Nokia has taken in recent years to enhance CSP network operations, including rearchitecting its software applications to make them fully cloud-native and deployable in any cloud environment, edge, public or private. The SaaS rollout includes:

  • Nokia Data Marketplace (NDM) -- launched “as a service” earlier this year, the new SaaS version of NDM offers enhanced automation, efficiency and scalability to CSPs and enterprises in a variety of industry verticals, including energy, public sector, transportation, and smart cities.
  • Nokia NetGuard Cybersecurity Dome - to be commercially available in early 2022, enables CSPs to assure 5G networks and monetize security tied with services like 5G slicing.
  • Nokia Anomaly Detection - a machine learning service aimed at finding and remediating network anomalies before they affect network customers. Based on Nokia Bell Labs technology, Nokia Anomaly Detection helps CSPs improve operational efficiency and will also be commercially available in early 2022.

Nokia expects to combine these independent services into three high-value SaaS “suites” focused on Digital Engagement, Marketplaces and Networking, each composed of integrated SaaS services. Some SaaS services within these suites, such as security, will provide value across suite domains. Additional SaaS for CSP services will be announced in early 2022.

Raghav Sahgal, President of Cloud and Network Services at Nokia, said: “The convergence of 5G, cloud native software and SaaS creates a great and fast-growing opportunity for Nokia. With the groundwork we’ve already been laying, our SaaS delivery framework is in a very strong competitive position. It enables a combination of rapid time to value with on-demand access for Nokia SaaS applications and low cost of ownership, based on a pay-as-you-go / pay-as-you-grow commercial model. This is a multi-year journey and we are going at it aggressively.”

BlastWave secures remote access with microsegmentation + passwordless MFA

BlastWave, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, unveiled a software-defined perimeter (SDP) solution that combines infrastructure cloaking and passwordless multi-factor authentication (MFA) for identity-based secure remote network access.

The company's all-in-one "BlastShield" SDP solution aims to protect remote network access from inadvertent and intentional threats for organizations who’ve adopted a zero trust security model. BlastShield uses software-defined microsegmentation without modifications to existing network fabric and hardware to hide on-premise and cloud workloads from outsiders and insider threats. Using passwordless MFA, BlastShield prevents account takeovers while combining the SDP capabilities of asset cloaking to hide an organization’s infrastructure from cyberattacks.

BlastShield can be deployed on virtual machines, cloud, X86 platforms or as a host agent. It utilizes ultra-lightweight, software-based protective gateways and automatically bonds with "peers" to form an invisible peer-to-peer fabric. BlastShield renders protected assets and applications invisible to attackers and cannot be detected by network scanning technologies. 

BlastWave says its BlastShield solves the three most critical steps in the cyber kill chain for an attacker: (1) account takeover; (2) lateral movement; and (3) remote access compromise. By disrupting the adversarial decision-making process, the mean time to detection (MTTD) and mean time to response (MTTR) can be greatly reduced, lowering the cost of a breach and potential for data compromise.

“We took the time to speak with our partners and customers, asking CISOs and CTOs about security attacks and threats they were experiencing and why current solutions were not working," said Tom Sego, Co-Founder and CEO, BlastWave. "Networks are becoming more complicated and diverse. Homes are becoming part of the corporate network, and more devices are getting IP addresses. Cybercriminals love this complexity as they can leverage a wider array of attack vectors. Traditional remote management solutions haven’t kept up with this evolution, which explains the explosion in ransomware and cyber-attacks over the past few years and exodus away from legacy VPNs and flat networks.”

Sego added, “With BlastShield, we apply both a zero trust framework and simplicity for users and administrators to eliminate and reduce human error and the most common threats. As an example, our authentication process is similar to Apple Pay. It's quick, easy and extremely secure for users without the hassle and risk of dealing with passwords."

BlastWave currently has eight customers and dozens of Proof of Concept (PoC) trials.

AT&T and Microsoft launch 5G Azure Edge Zones in Atlanta

AT&T and Microsoft are launching the “Private Preview” of Azure Edge Zone in Atlanta.

The companies are pitching the power of AT&T Network Edge (ANE) capabilities combined with the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

The Azure Edge Zones collaboration enables customers to creaste services such as lightweight and rich virtual reality interfaces for everyone from gamers to first responders. Or hyper-precise location tools that will supercharge industrial and warehouse environments. 

Most recently, the two companies announced an industry-first collaboration to adopt Microsoft cloud technology for AT&T’s 5G core network workloads. 

AT&T to power its network with Microsoft Azure for Operators

AT&T will power its mobile network on Microsoft's Azure for Operators cloud starting with the 5G and migrating existing and future workloads over time. Microsoft will assume responsibility for both software development and deployment of AT&T’s Network Cloud immediately and bring AT&T’s existing network cloud to Azure over the next three years. Financial terms were not disclosed.Under an expanded strategic alliance between the firms, AT&T...

Cisco posts $12.9 billion in revenue, up 8% year over year

Cisco reported Q1 FY22 total revenue of $12.9 billion, up 8% year-over-year, with product revenue up 11% and service revenue up 1%. Earnings per Share were: GAAP $0.70 and Non-GAAP $0.82. On a GAAP basis, total gross margin, product gross margin, and service gross margin were 62.4%, 61.5%, and 65.2%, respectively. 

"In Q1, we had robust growth and continued strong demand despite the very dynamic supply environment," said Chuck Robbins, Chair and CEO of Cisco. "Cisco's technology sits at the heart of the accelerated digital transformation happening today. Our breakthrough innovation, strong demand, and the success of our business transformation position us well for another year of growth in fiscal 2022."

Some highlights:

  • Revenue by geographic segment was: Americas up 5%, EMEA up 11%, and APJC up 15%. 
  • Product revenue performance was led by growth in Secure, Agile Networks up 10%, Internet for the Future up 46%, End-to-End Security up 4%, and Optimized Application Experiences up 18%. 
  • Hybrid Work was down 7%, as compared with 63.6%, 62.7%, and 65.8%, respectively, in the first quarter of fiscal 2021.
  • Software revenue of $3.7 billion, with 80% sold as a subscription
  • Cisco noted ongoing supply chain constraints yet said it was able to preserve healthy margins even though it has paid significantly higher logistics costs to get critical components to where they are needed. The company also said it has raised prices to offset its increased costs.

NVIDA hits record revenue on strong data center and gaming trends

Driven by strong data center and gaming sales, NVIDIA reported record revenue of $7.10 billion, up 50 percent from a year earlier.

GAAP earnings per diluted share for the quarter were $0.97, up 83 percent from a year ago and up 3 percent from the previous quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $1.17, up 60 percent from a year ago and up 13 percent from the previous quarter.

“The third quarter was outstanding, with record revenue,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “Demand for NVIDIA AI is surging, driven by hyperscale and cloud scale-out, and broadening adoption by more than 25,000 companies. NVIDIA RTX has reinvented computer graphics with ray tracing and AI, and is the ideal upgrade for the large, growing market of gamers and creators, as well as designers and professionals building home workstations.

Some highlights:

  • Record Data Center revenue of $2.94 billion, up 55 percent from a year earlier and up 24 percent from the previous quarter.
  • Record Gaming revenue of $3.22 billion, up 42 percent from a year earlier and up 5 percent from the previous quarter.
  • Professional Visualization revenue was a record $577 million, up 144 percent from a year earlier and up 11 percent from the previous quarter.
  • Automotive revenue was $135 million, up 8 percent from a year earlier and down 11 percent from the previous quarter.

MFA launches Network Identifier Program for enterprises

MFA, an industry organization that promotes the adoption of private networks based upon 3GPP technologies, has launched a Network Identifier Program for enterprises. 

Enterprises can now use the MFA’s unique global PLMN ID when deploying their own private network to ensure that only authorized devices connect to their network. This streamlines the network development process for enterprises by eliminating the need for them to separately apply for their own PLMN ID.

Enterprises and industry verticals including maritime, manufacturing, warehouses, utilities, and venues can select a Private Network ID package or a Neutral Host Network (NHN) ID package that will provide them with all the items they need to deploy a neutral host or private network. For large deployments, enterprises will be able to add-on IDs to meet their requirements for coverage and capacity.

“Our mission is to make it as easy as possible for enterprises to quickly deploy their own private network and realize the benefits of greater control over their network, enhanced on-premise data security, and predictable performance,” said Mazen Chmaytelli, president, MFA. “MFA was awarded a unique global PLMN ID by the ITU, and we are creating this new program to ensure all industry verticals have ready access to a PLMN ID that will support their digitalization journey.”

Ekinops delivers optical backbone upgrade for France's IKOULA

IKOULA, a French Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider of dedicated servers, outsourced cloud computing, web and cloud hosting services, has selected Ekinops to upgrade its backbone network between data centers.

Ekinops is delivering the PM 200FRS02 200G FlexRate coherent line card for IKOULA to upgrade its existing Ekinops chassis that are already transporting traffic on multiple 10G cards. The line card is used in 100G mode, de facto instantly multiplying the capacity of this line by a factor of ten to handle the current traffic load. 

IKOULA has been using Ekinops equipment for its core network for over ten years, connecting data centers in Reims and Eppes and an Internet point-of-presence (PoP) in Paris. Having grown since the initial installation to 25,000 active customers in over 60 countries on 4 continents, IKOULA recognized the need to upgrade its backbone network in order to maintain its customers’ high quality of experience despite the increased demand. The PM 200FRS02 FlexRate card can be installed in the same chassis used by 10G saving IKOULA both the cost of new shelves as well as the time and cost of deploying and commissioning the new hardware. A long record of performance, simplicity of deployment, short lead times and exemplary execution were all factors in IKOULA’s decision to upgrade with Ekinops.

“Our optical transport solutions enable service providers to radically transform the speed of their networks,” says Thierry Varona, Sales Director France at Ekinops. “The FlexRate technology will allow IKOULA to more easily adapt to continued service growth without compromising on quality of service.”

Padtec's Q3 revenue rises 42% yoy

Brazil-based Padtec Holding reported Q3 2021 gross operating revenue of approximately R$ 120 million, up 42.1% compared to the same quarter in 2020. Operating revenue reached R$ 326 million in the 9-month period of 2021 – an increase of 55% compared to the same period last year and 2.6% in relation to the revenue registered in 2020 (R$ 317.9 million). It was the best quarterly result in the company's recent history.

In the period from January to September 2021, Padtec also recorded an improvement in EBTIDA, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of R$49 million. Adjusted EBTIDA (which excludes non-recurring events) reached R$ 34 million, with a margin of 13.8% – growth of 27% when compared to the amount registered in 2020. The gross margin in the 3rd quarter of 2021 was 36.3%, maintaining the same level as the 2nd quarter of 2020 (above 35%) and reinforcing the profitability of the company's businesses.

In the quarter that celebrates its 20th anniversary, Padtec obtained an important recognition of its positive financial performance and the sustainable growth registered in recent years. The company won third place in the Telecommunications category of the Best and Biggest 2021 award, given by Exame magazine. In this year's edition, in addition to operating and financial results, the publication also analyzed companies' ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) practices.

In the research and development area, between January and September 2021, Padtec invested R$ 30.6 million in the creation of new products for high-performance optical communication systems, maintaining the same percentage of R&D investments in relation to net revenue of recent years. “The investment in technology is the differential that allows Padtec to remain competitive and at the frontier of knowledge in its area of expertise”, emphasizes Roberto Nakamura, the company's Technology director. “Our focus is on providing networks capable of adapting to constant changes in demand, so that people and companies can stay connected”, he adds.

Bell Canada tests Nokia's 25G PON

Bell Canada has tested Nokia's  25G PON fiber broadband technology at Bell’s Advanced Technical Lab in Montréal, Québec. The trial validated that current GPON and XGS-PON broadband technology and future 25G PON can work seamlessly together on the same fiber hardware, which is being deployed.

Stephen Howe, EVP & Chief Technology Officer, Bell, said: “As part of Bell’s purpose to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world, we embrace next-generation technologies such as 25G PON to ensure we remain at the forefront of broadband innovation. Our successful work with Nokia to deliver the first 25G PON trial in North America will help ensure we maximize the Bell fiber advantage for our customers in the years to come.”

Nokia supplies private LTE for Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authority

Nokia will build a secure, private LTE network (pLTE) for Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authority (EWA). In the first phase of deployment, Nokia will cover Al Muharraq area in Bahrain. After the successful completion of the first phase, the network will connect thousands of secondary substations and hundreds of primary substations spread across the entire country.

In the first phase, Nokia's solution will connect 500 secondary substations and six primary substations to the central location. Its solution including Nokia IP/MPLS wireless router 7705 SAR-Hmc, Nokia Compact Mobility Unit (CMU), Nokia Network Services Platform (NSP) and Nokia LTE radio equipment will be used to build advanced private LTE networks. The solution will be based on 3GPP standardization on 410 MHz Band B87 which is specifically for industrial use for private LTE connectivity.

Kamal Ballout, Head of Nokia Enterprise, Middle East, Africa, China and India at Nokia, said: “Private LTE is enabling utility organizations around the world to simplify networks management and use automation to bring down costs. We are committed to modernizing and upgrading EWA’s distribution systems for better performance and reliability. Our end-to-end portfolio allows us to provide reliable and ultra-high-speed broadband wireless networking to our utility customers.”