Sunday, December 19, 2021

SpaceX deployed over 800 Starlink satellites in 2021

On Saturday, SpaceX successfully launched 52 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. It was the 11th launch for the Falcon 9 first stage booster used in this mission. The booster was recovered on a drone ship in the Pacific.

With the completion of this mission, SpaceX has launched over 800 Stalink satellites during the course of 2021 and over 2,000 in total to date. 

SpaceX also confirmed that it currently has over 100,000 active customers in more than 20 countries.

In addition, on Saturday, December 18, SpaceX also successfully launched the Turksat 5B mission to geostationary orbit.  The mission was launched from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. This was the 3rd launch and landing for the Falcon 9 booster.

 Türksat 5B is a Turkish geostationary high-throughput (HTS) communications satellite of Türksat A.Ş. The Ka-band satellite offers a transmission capacity of over 55 Gbps via its multiple transponders. It uses the Eurostar-3000EOR satellite bus and has a mass of 4,500 kg.

FCC announces over $1 billion in rural broadband support to 32 states

The FCC is ready to authorize $1,041,074,000 over 10yrs in its 5th round of funding for new broadband deployments through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. 69 broadband providers will bring broadband service to 518,088 locations in 32 states.

"This latest round of funding will open up even more opportunities to connect hundreds of thousands of Americans to high-speed, reliable broadband service,” said Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.  “Today’s actions reflect the hard work we’ve put in over the past year to ensure that applicants meet their obligations and follow our rules.  With thoughtful oversight, this program can direct funding to areas that need broadband and to providers who are qualified to do the job." 

For a list of RDOF providers and funding amounts by state, see:

5G upload speed hits record 986 Mbps

Ericsson, Telstra, and Qualcomm Technologies reported the highest uplink peak rate ever recorded on a commercial network during a live demo: 986 Mbps.

The demo integrated four component 100MHz carriers of millimeter wave, combining with the 100MHz of 3.6GHz spectrum. NR-DC was implemented with n78 and n258.

The testing was conducted at Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) using Telstra’s commercial network resulting in a throughput of roughly 1Gbps, more than doubling the current uplink speed on the market. The smartphone form-factor test device powered by Snapdragon X65 was used with Ericsson Radio System’s Baseband 6648 and AIR 6488 for mid-band, which has been widely deployed in Telstra’s network, and Baseband 6648 with the AIR 5322 for high-band.

Ericsson’s NR-DC software combines 5G frequency ranges below 7.125 GHz (mid-band, Time Division Duplex, TDD) and above 24.25 GHz (high-band TDD) and is now available for commercial deployment. The UL 4CC carrier aggregation software is slated to go commercial globally in the second quarter of 2022.

Sibel Tombaz, Head of Product Line 5G RAN, Ericsson, says: “We continue to pursue new and innovative ways of enhancing the end-user impact of 5G. An uplink speed of close to 1Gbps using NR-DC and four-component carrier aggregation is the latest in a series of 5G milestones we have achieved in collaboration with Telstra and Qualcomm Technologies. This means users can enjoy vastly improved experiences from applications where quicker upload time makes a difference.”

Nikos Katinakis, Group Executive Networks and IT, Telstra, says: “We have a history of world firsts with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies. In 2016 we broke the 1Gbps barrier on 4G; in January this year, we set a new download record on 5G, and now we have set a new record in the uplink on a commercial 5G network. It is a testament to the continuous efforts of our team to innovate, and I take pride in how, together, we continue to push the boundaries of what this technology can deliver.”

Sunil Patil, Vice President, 5G Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., says: “Qualcomm Technologies is pleased to collaborate with Ericsson and Telstra on this 5G dual connectivity and carrier aggregation milestone. By achieving the highest uplink peak rate ever recorded on a commercial network in Queensland, Australia, we’re underscoring our commitment to enabling differentiated 5G experiences across a variety of use cases beyond mobile. Together, we are realizing the full potential of 5G through new breakthroughs that will drive transformative benefits for consumers and enterprises alike.”

LightCounting: ICP Top 15 capex hit another record high in Q3

According to LightCounting's December 2021 Quarterly Market Update, the datacom side of the industry saw growth from top to bottom, while on the telecom side, growth in CSP capex and telecom network equipment did not carry over to the telecom components segment. 

Some highlights from LightCounting:

ICP Top 15 capex hit another record high, with year-over-year growth of 34%, and datacom equipment revenues grew 9.6%, the fastest rate since Q3 2018. Facebook changed its name to Meta, and announced a 66% increase in capex for 2022.

In optical networking, Ciena had record high sales, of more than $1 billion for the first time, growing 26% y-o-y while the Top 15 NEMs collectively grew only 2%.

Despite continued problems in smartphone sales, Huawei’s optical business is down, but in terms of DWDM port shipments on par with 2020. Lack on new projects is the most likely reason for the discrepancy between sales and port shipments.

The semiconductor segment extended its streak of double-digit sales growth to seven quarters, with 12 of 14 companies solidly double-digits ahead of last year.

Despite all the above, 3Q21 component vendor company revenues in aggregate were 12% lower than in Q3 2020, but flat compared to Q2 2021. On the bright side, Broadex, HiSense, Innolight, Lumentum, and Neophotonics all reported Q3 sales higher than Q2 2021.

Optical transceiver sales were flat versus Q3 2020, but up 7% sequentially. We expect more growth in Q4 2021. Sales of 400ZR/ZR+ will return the telecom components market to positive territory.

Dell'Oro: 3Q 2021 Campus Switch sales hit all-time high

The worldwide Campus Switch market revenue reached a record level in 3Q 2021, according to a recent report by Dell’Oro Group. Growth was mostly propelled by 1 Gbps, which reached a record level in shipments during the quarter, while NBase-T ports were down Y/Y.

“We have been predicting the demand in the market to remain strong, but what surprised us is the level of shipments and revenues that vendors were able to achieve during the quarter, despite ongoing supply challenges,” said Sameh Boujelbene, Senior Director at Dell’Oro Group. “It appears, however, that these supply challenges are impacting the newer technologies more than the older ones, due to a less diversified ecosystem, and in some cases, a less mature supply chain,” added Boujelbene.

Additional highlights from the 3Q 2021 Ethernet Switch – Campus Report:

  • Extreme, HPE, and Juniper each gained more than one point of revenue share in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)
  • H3C outperformed the market and captured the revenue leading position in China
  • Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) ports up strong double-digits and comprised 30 percent of the total ports

Dell’Oro: SaaS-based Network Security Rockets up 26% in Q3

The pent-up demand created after the 2020 pandemic shutdowns has combined with the attention on enterprise digitalization and new threats to provide the network security market an enormous boost, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.  Further amplifying demand is the copious amounts of fiscal stimulus by governments helping to increase macro-economic confidence.  Thus far, the network security industry has largely overcome the supply chain chaos affecting other markets, as vendors have deftly maneuvered to satisfy demand.

“This quarter’s growth reflects an uncommon alignment between enterprise IT teams asking for more security investment and business leadership willing to do so,” said Mauricio Sanchez, Research Director, Network Security at Dell’Oro Group. “While spend on more modern Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Zero Trust approaches skyrocketed, even that for the more traditional perimeter firewall experienced healthy growth.”

Additional highlights from the 3Q 2021 Network Security Quarterly Report:

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based Network Security, consisting of cloud-delivered Email Security, Secure Web Gateway (SWG), and Web Application Firewall (WAF), achieved a total of $1.2 B in 3Q 2021, representing 26 percent growth year-over-year (Y/Y).
  • SaaS-based SWGs which are vital to SASE and starting to go by the Secure Service Edge (SSE) name, were up 35 percent Y/Y and on track to surpass $2 B for full-year 2021.
  • Physical firewall appliance revenue rose 14 percent and is on trajectory to crack $10 billion for full-year 2021.

​Telekom Malaysia to provide fiber to DNB for nationwide 5G infrastructure

Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) signed a Fibre Leasing Service agreement with Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) to speed up the deployment of the government-owned 5G network nationwide.

DNB will be able to leverage on TM’s extensive fibre and network infrastructure, and subscribe to TM’s 5G RAN-to-Edge Fronthaul and Backhaul solution for the provision of fibre connectivity, enabling DNB to provide 5G network services nationwide.

Under the agreement, TM will provide DNB with 5G fibre leasing services for connectivity between DNB’s 5G mobile sites and nodes, leveraging on TM’s domestic fibre cable network spanning over 640,000 km across Malaysia. Prior to this, TM along with other fibre providers in Malaysia had participated in the 5G Fiber Leasing Request for Quotation (RFQ) exercise conducted by DNB in June 2021.

The term sheet agreement with a total contract value of RM2 billion over 10 years was duly signed by Imri Mokhtar, Group Chief Executive Officer of TM and Amar Huzaimi Md Deris, Executive Vice President, TM Wholesale while DNB was represented by Augustus Ralph Marshall, Chief Executive Officer and Dushyanthan Vaithiyanathan, Chief Operating Officer.

Telefónica and NTT DATA team on 5G for Port of Málaga

Telefónica and NTT DATA, the world’s sixth largest IT services company, are collaborating on the development of a 5G solution for the Port of Málaga, Spain.

Telefónica says the project focuses primarily on security and will deploy a solution that will record the events associated with each vessel to generate valuable information to port staff on those vessels that are not allowed to transit.

For this solution, NTT DATA has contributed its portfolio of port technology solutions, considering the use of analytical and artificial intelligence capabilities to extract valuable information from the events that will be captured with cutting-edge cameras and 5G communications components. As for Telefónica, it is supplying its 5G communications network in the city of Málaga and its VDC Edge node in Andalusia so the data can be processed near the port location. The node will also host other essential applications and network functions.

The technology provided by Telefónica and NTT DATA makes it possible to identify vessels that do not have permission to access the port, through 4K video that is processed on a high-performance device at the Edge node using both computer vision and analytical modelling. Real-time information processing will enable the generation of useful alarms for port personnel, with a clear focus on early detection and the launch of the actions required according to protocol.