Monday, January 31, 2022

IOWN advances All-Photonics Data and Communications Architecture

 The Innovative Optical and Wireless Network Global Forum (IOWN Global Forum) has released six technology reference documents in support of its goal to provide reliable, high-speed, low-latency data and communications paths using an all-optical data transport architecture.

The reference documents focus on methodologies for the provisioning of data and communications paths along with computing improvements which are designed to deliver more energy-efficient ways of routing network traffic than what is available today.

“Today’s world is experiencing faster than ever data growth, thanks to advancements in communication and computing technologies,” said Katsuhiko Kawazoe, Ph.D., President and Chairperson of the board, IOWN Global Forum. “However, the evolution of sensing/capture technologies suggests that their critical requirements will be much higher than is achievable with existing technologies. Moving forward, another quantum leap in computing and communication capabilities is needed to move the world into a new era of growth.”

The newly released “starter packs” cover the following areas:

Open All-Photonic Network (APN) Functional Architecture. The Open APN expands existing network communications paths such as local area networks (LANs), access networks, and inter-data-center networks, with a direct optical communication path that spans multiple segments and allows end-to-end communication with deterministic performance.

Data-Centric Infrastructure (DCI) Functional Architecture. The DCI subsystem provides applications with a distributed, heterogeneous, end-to-end computing and networking environment across clouds, edges and customer premises. The DCI is designed to enable service providers with the tools needed to build and flexibly place data pipelines, including data processing and storage functions, while dynamically selecting data transfer and network protocols on a pipe-by-pipe basis.

Data Hub Functional Architecture. This data management and sharing infrastructure enables fast and trusted data processing, usage and exchange among multiple parties or locations. This architecture sits on top of the DCI architecture and supports APIs that are functionally compatible with those of well-adopted services, such as Apache Kafka/Pulsar, AWS S3 and SQL. The Data Hub Functional Architecture provides unified secure access to its internal storage as well as the data that each organization keeps on-premises or in the cloud.

Fiber Sensing for Open APN. Fiber-optic sensing has many advantages over conventional sensors, including the ability to extend sensing range to hundreds of kilometers; reduced latency, size and weight; the ability to operate outside of line-of-site and immunity to electromagnetic interference. Distributed Fiber Optics Sending (DFOS) technology performs multi-point, real-time and continuous measurement of changing environmental conditions, such as temperature, strain and vibration (including acoustic) along the entire fiber optic cable.

Technical Outlook for Mobile Networks Using IOWN Technology. Emerging mobile technologies such as massive MIMO, dynamic spectrum sharing and mmWave wide spectrum deliver high data rates to enable video-centric, latency-sensitive applications such as remote surgery, AR/VR and industrial automation. To render these use cases possible, the reference documents for the IOWN Global Forum APN architecture allow implementers of the reference designs to address new requirements for handling capacity, reliability and availability in next generation networks.

Reference Implementation Model (RIM) for the Area Management Security Use Case. The RIM-TF oversees the Cyber-Physical System (CPS) Use Case and Artificial Intelligence-Integrated Communications (AIC) Use Case defined in 3.2.4 of the IOWN Global Forum System and Technology Outlook Report issued April 14, 2021. The RIM-TF produced reference document describes an IOWN Global Forum end-to-end system that will meet the requirements of a target use case. The reference design also aims to demonstrate many of the benefits of the IOWN Global Forum architecture and technology over today’s cloud-based implementations.

The reference documents will be introduced in detail at the next IOWN Global Forum Member Meeting, a virtual event scheduled for Feb. 15-17, 2022. Membership in IOWN Global Forum is required for attendance.

IOWN Global Forum adds 23 new members

The Innovative Optical and Wireless Network Global Forum announced 23 new member companies supporting its ambition to developn an all-photonics network and data-centric infrastructure. The organization now includes over 70 companies, academic and research institutes from Asia, North America and Europe that are committed to developing an all-optical approach to data sensing, collection, storage, processing and distribution.

“We were delighted to greet members old and new and share how far IOWN Global Forum has come in such a short time,” said Dr. Kawazoe, President and Chairperson of the forum. “The robust turnout reaffirmed our commitment to define an all-photonics network and a next-generation distributed computing architecture by 2030.”

New IOWN members include:

Sponsor Members: KIOXIA Corp., PwC Japan and Samsung Electronics

General Members: Advantest Corp., AIOCORE, DIC Corp., Hitachi Ltd., Honda Tsushin Kogyo Co., Ltd., IBIDEN Co., Ltd., I-PEX Inc., MIRISE Technologies Corp., OKI Electric Industry, Peers Co., Ltd., Sumitomo Corp. Kyushu Co., Ltd., Toyo Ink SC Holdings Co., Ltd. and UNIADEX Ltd.

Academic/Research Members: The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience, the Photonics Electronics Technology Research Association, the Photonics Industry & Technology Development Association and Tohoku University.

NTT establishes IOWN Integrated Innovation Center

NTT Corporation will establish an "IOWN Integrated Innovation Center" to advance R&D for optical and 6G wireless networks. Hidehiro Tsukano, Corporate Adviser of NTT Advanced Technology Corporation, will be appointed as the Head of the IOWN Integrated Innovation Center.The IOWN concept announced in May 2019 aims to develop an innovative network and information processing platform using photonics-electronics convergence technologies in 2030. NTT...

NTT and Fujitsu focus on silicon photonics manufacturing

 NTT Corporation (NTT) and Fujitsu Limited announced a strategic alliance focused on innovations for the “Realization of a Sustainable Digital Society,” including the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) initiative.A key focus is on establishing photonics-electronics convergence manufacturing technology. Key points:NTT Electronics Corporation (NEL), which develops hardware products utilizing NTT R&D’ s advanced device technologies,...

T-Mobile US achieves 100% renewable energy

T-Mobile US announced that it now source 100% of its total electricity usage with renewable energy.  The 100% threshold was achieved by the end of 2021. 

The 100% renewable energy target was first announced in 2018. T-Mobile met its RE100 goal through a combination of renewable energy investments, including eight virtual power agreements, 19 retail agreements, one Green Direct program, and unbundled Renewable Energy Certificates that support projects across the country. As a result, the company has invested in enough wind and solar power annually to account for every unit of electricity consumed. The nine large wind and solar farm projects alone (which include the virtual power agreements and Green Direct program) are contracted to provide T-Mobile with approximately 3.4 million MWh of clean energy annually—enough to provide electricity to over 313,000 homes per year.

T-Mobile also supports 37 community solar projects, which represent greening local energy grids with more than 2.1 million MWh over 25 years for Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Oregon.

“T-Mobile put a stake in the ground as the first telecom to commit to going all in on renewable energy by the end of 2021, and now we’re the first to hit this milestone years ahead of others,” said Mike Sievert, T-Mobile CEO. “This was no easy task, but we set a goal and we achieved it. Today, thanks to amazing efforts from a team who was unwavering in our commitment to reduce our impact on the planet, the Un-carrier is powering America’s largest, fastest and most reliable 5G network with 100% clean electricity.”

DT and Google expand partnership for RCS messaging, cloud and TV

Deutsche Telekom and Google are expanding their partnership in three key areas: enhanced mobile messaging services for businesses through Telekom RCS Business Messaging powered by Google and Jibe Cloud; the new Sovereign Cloud for Germany will be available to German cloud customers ahead of schedule; and Telekom’s premium TV experience, MagentaTV One, powered by Android TV OS available now in Germany and expanding to additional European markets. 

CEO Tim Höttges and Google CEO Sundar Pichai discussed this expanded partnership as part of Telekom's internal digital kick-off event attended by around 1,000 top managers. 

"Deutsche Telekom is a longstanding and important partner for us, going back to the launch of the G1, the first smartphone powered by Android, in 2008,” says Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. “Today’s announcements will expand the range of helpful and trusted products and services that we can provide to businesses and consumers across business messaging, cloud computing, and TV experiences.”

Some highlights:

RCS messaging: Telekom and Google currently offer enhanced mobile messaging services for millions of Android users across Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. This new expanded partnership extends Rich Communication Service (RCS) to customers of Telekom in Germany. In addition, Telekom announces for its entire European footprint the availability of Telekom RCS Business Messaging, provided by Google. The service enables secure, efficient and highly engaging exchanges between customers and companies via messaging. Consumers can order products, make reservations, purchase tickets and more through a seamless digital experience within their messaging app, while companies can create and manage messages to reach target groups more effectively and increase brand loyalty. 

German Sovereign Cloud: the launch of the new Sovereign Cloud for Germany will take place ahead of schedule. Telekom's business customer arm T-Systems and Google Cloud are launching their new sovereign cloud service in spring 2022. It will be available for all clients, initially out of the Frankfurt Google Cloud Region. Telekom and Google confirmed that they will jointly drive innovation for the cloud, closely aligned with the new German government's digital plans which aims to build a public administration cloud based on a multi-cloud strategy and open interfaces, as well as meeting strict sovereignty and transparency requirements. To this end, the partners are setting up a Co-Innovation Center in Munich as announced in November 2021. In addition, executive briefing facilities in Munich and one in Berlin will be established for close collaboration with customers. 

T-Systems will manage a set of sovereignty controls and measures, including encryption and identity management. In addition, T-Systems will exercise a control function over relevant parts of the German Google Cloud infrastructure. Any physical or virtual access to facilities in Germany (such as routine maintenance and upgrades) will be under the supervision of T-Systems and Google Cloud.

MagentaTV One launches in Germany: the new service is powered by Android TV OS.  MagentaTV One combines classic TV with a wide variety of streaming services, media libraries, and numerous apps via the Google Play Store. MagentaTV One is Deutsche Telekom’s second device powered by Android TV OS in Germany, following the successful launch of the MagentaTV Stick in 2020.

T-Systems teams with Google Cloud on sovereign cloud for Germany

T-Systems announced a strategic, long-term partnership with Google Cloud to provide a sovereign cloud for German enterprises, the public sector, and healthcare organizations. 

The companies agreed to develop a large spectrum of next-generation sovereign cloud solutions and infrastructure where customers can host their sensitive workloads whilst continuing to leverage the scalability, elasticity and reliability of public cloud services. Service management and operation of the sovereign cloud will be supervised by T-Systems.

The new joint offering that will be available as of mid 2022 and then upgraded over the following months. In addition, T Systems will exercise a control function over relevant parts of the German Google Cloud infrastructure. 

"Our joint strategic goal is to support the digitalization of European companies and the public sector as they move operations to the cloud," explained Adel Al-Saleh, member of the Telekom Board of Management and CEO of T-Systems. "Together with Google Cloud, we will build a sovereign cloud services portfolio that provides clients with full control over their data, software and operations whilst leveraging the full power of Google Cloud. Even stricter compliance requirements for public sector institutions will be addressed. We are happy that we’ll be able to offer customers a cloud solution that is secure and sovereign, but also gives access to the innovation and scalability of Google Cloud in Germany. We are also considering Austria and Switzerland as a next step," he added.

"We’re committed to helping enable Germany’s digital transformation,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “Data privacy, security and control are vital to European and German organizations as they digitize their operations. The sovereign cloud solution we are partnering with T-Systems to create will provide public and private-sector organizations with an additional layer of technical and operational measures and controls that ensure German customers can meet their data, operational, and software sovereignty requirements."

T-Systems enters strategic collaboration agreement with AWS

T-Systems and Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a multi-year Strategic Collaboration Agreement to manage the digital transformation of companies more quickly, efficiently and securely. 

T-Systems said the agreement will spur it to build out capacity in both solutions and people through a strong training and enablement program. The ICT service provider intends to train 3,000 additional AWS experts as part of the new collaboration.

Regarding security, AWS and T-Systems agreed to closely collaborate to achieve the targets recently set by the European regulation.

“Since the beginning of our relationship with AWS, we have built up expertise in AWS technology and combined it with our extensive experience from major transformation projects. Our customers appreciate this,” explained Adel Al-Saleh, member of the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management and CEO T-Systems.

Deutsche Telekom aligns with Microsoft Azure

Deutsche Telekom and Microsoft announced a seven-year strategic agreement to help customers of all sizes accelerate their cloud transformation initiatives. 

"We have agreed on the framework for joint strategic growth with our long-term partner Microsoft. We are delighted," said Adel Al-Saleh, member of the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management and CEO of T-Systems. "This partnership will enable us to enhance services for our customers. We will also be supporting each other with digitalization and network build-out." 


  • Telekom plans to migrate the majority of its internal IT workloads to the public cloud by 2025 and Azure is a central part of that strategy. Through a companywide training program, thousands of Telekom employees will learn how to maximize the benefits of Azure. 
  • Telekom will also offer its customers direct access to the Microsoft cloud through Azure ExpressRoute. 
  • Telekom will offer Microsoft 365, including Microsoft Teams. As part of this, the companies have started a project for German schools to reimagine traditional approaches to education, enabling remote learning through cloud-based IT infrastructure, modern devices and the cloud productivity and collaboration applications within Microsoft 365. 
  • Telekom will help its customers with moving their SAP environments to Azure. SAP solutions on Azure offer enterprise-grade security, and business continuity and reduce hardware expenses, making it easier for start-ups and smaller organizations to get started. 

Citrix confirms $16.5B deal to go private and merge with TIBCO

Citrix will be acquired by private equity firms in an all-cash deal valued at $16.5 billion, including assumption of debt. Citrix shareholders will receive $104.00 in cash per share, representing a premium of 30% over the company’s unaffected 5-day VWAP as of December 7, 2021, the last trading day before market speculation regarding a potential transaction.

The buyers include affiliates of Vista Equity Partners, a leading global investment firm focused exclusively on enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses, and Evergreen Coast Capital, an affiliate of Elliott Investment Management.

Vista and Evergreen intend to combine Citrix and TIBCO Software, one of Vista’s portfolio companies, creating one of the world's largest software providers. The combination brings together Citrix’s secure digital workspace and application delivery suite with TIBCO’s real-time intelligent data and analytics capabilities. Together, the combined company will serve 400,000 customers, including 98 percent of the Fortune 500, with 100 million users in 100 countries.

“Over the past three decades, Citrix has established itself as the clear leader in secure hybrid work. Our market-leading platform provides secure and reliable access to all of the applications and information employees need to get work done, wherever it needs to get done. By combining with TIBCO, we will expand this platform and the outcomes our customers achieve,” said Bob Calderoni, Chair of the Citrix Board of Directors and Interim Chief Executive Officer and President. “Together with TIBCO, we will be able to operate with greater scale and provide a larger customer base with a broader range of solutions to accelerate their digital transformations and enable them to deliver the future of hybrid work. As a private company, we will have increased financial and strategic flexibility to invest in high-growth opportunities, such as DaaS, and accelerate its ongoing cloud transition.”

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of a strategic review process conducted over five months, including extensive outreach to both potential financial and strategic buyers,” continued Calderoni. “This transaction provides our shareholders with significant immediate cash value. Moreover, this investment by Vista and Evergreen is a testament to the value Citrix has created and the reputation our team has built.”

Added Dan Streetman, CEO of TIBCO, “There has never been a better time to be in the business of connected intelligent analytics, and we’re thrilled to bring our industry-leading solutions to Citrix’s global customers. The workplace has changed forever, and companies everywhere will require real-time access to faster, smarter insights from the increasingly large volumes of data available to them, their employees, and their ecosystems. I couldn’t be more excited about our combined vision and look forward to a strong partnership.”

Separately, Citrix posted Q4 2022 revenue of $851 million, compared to $810 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020, representing 5 percent revenue growth. GAAP net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021 was $103 million, or $0.81 per diluted share, compared to $112 million, or $0.89 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020. For fiscal year 2021, Citrix reported annual revenue of $3.22 billion, compared to $3.24 billion for fiscal year 2020, a 1 percent decrease. 

eir to establish wholesale fibre network for Ireland with InfraVia

eir, Ireland’s incumbent telecommunications provider, and InfraVia, is a leading independent private equity firm specialising in infrastructure and technology investments, agreed to establish a joint venture to accelerate the roll-out of high-speed internet across Ireland. 

InfraVia will take a 49% stake in a new subsidiary of eir, Fibre Networks Ireland Limited. The companies estimate that 200,000 homes will be passed in 2022, increasing to 250,000 homes in 2023. This acceleration in network roll-out will allow around 50,000 more families and businesses to gain access to high-speed internet per year than previously anticipated by eir.

Stephen Tighe, CFO of eir, states “The establishment of Fibre Networks Ireland provides a vehicle for further investment in our already extensive network. eir’s mission has always been to connect people through great quality services. Through this exciting partnership with InfraVia we can improve our ability to connect customers faster than ever before and ensure that more homes in Ireland can access the high-speed internet that has become an increasingly important part of how we live our lives.”

Bruno Candès, Partner at InfraVia Capital Partners, said, “We are very pleased to partner with eir and its shareholders in building out a high quality, national FTTH network that will provide next generation connectivity across Ireland. Fibre internet access is a critical service that enables an inclusive digital transformation, and we are proud to support this transition in the Republic of Ireland. This investment builds on our existing track record in Ireland and our deep communications infrastructure experience across Europe. We look forward to working with eir in this partnership in the years ahead.”

Ireland's eir names Oliver Loomes as next CEO

eir announced the appointment of Oliver Loomes as its Chief Executive Officer-designate, replacing Carolan Lennon, who has served as CEO since 2018.Loomes, an experienced corporate leader, has spent 30 years working in consumer-focused industries, his most recent position was Chairman and Managing Director at Diageo Ireland. Lennon departs eir having led four consecutive financial years of growth in profits, as well as the significant expansion...

Deutsche Telekom launches 5G SA Campus powered by Ericsson

Deutsche Telekom launched a 5G Campus Network offer powered by the Ericsson Private 5G portfolio. The new “Campus-Netz Private” operates completely separated from the public mobile network: all components of the infrastructure from the antennas to the standalone core network to the network server are located on the customer's premises. 

Deutsche Telekom has been offering private network solutions since 2019 and has delivered more than ten of such local networks based on 5G non-standalone technology or LTE across Germany. The new fully private 5G SA Campus network solution  operates on frequencies in the 3.7 to 3.8 GHz range that are specifically allocated to the enterprise. Thus, up to 100 MHz bandwidth is available for the exclusive use within the private campus network.

ZTE reports record profit for 2021

 ZTE expects its 2021 net profit attributable to holders of ordinary shares will be in range of RMB 6.5 billion to RMB 7.2 billion (US$1.02 billion to US$1.13 billion), an increase of 52.6% to 69.0% year on year. Net profit after extraordinary items for 2021 amounted to RMB 3.0 billion to RMB 3.5 billion, representing a year-on-year rise of 189.7% to 238.0%. Both of them were the highest in the history of the company. Basic earnings per share was RMB 1.40 to RMB 1.55.

ZTE said that despite complex external environment, it continued to solidify its position in 2021 with innovative initiatives while maintaining steady operations and optimizing its market structure. The company achieved double-digit year-on-year growth in operating revenue, with both domestic and international markets and all its three major businesses (operator networks, government and enterprise services and consumer services) seeing year-on-year growth in terms of operating revenue.

In domestic market, ZTE's key products of 5G, core network, transport network, and server & storage products have witnessed continued growth in terms of market share. 

In the overseas market, ZTE benefited from 4G modernization projects, 5G infrastructure deployments, fiber-based transformation of fixed networks, transport network upgrades and home broadband product upgrades. 

In the IT field, ZTE reported operating revenue of RMB10 billion (US$1.57 billion).

Vodafone opens European R&D center in Málaga

Vodafone inaugurated an R&D centre and digital skills hub in Málaga, Spain.

The Vodafone European R&D Centre will develop technology solutions and digital services based on unified communications, the Internet of Things (IoT), Edge Computing, Mobile Private Networks (MPN) and Open RAN. It is equipped with the latest Vodafone 5G and ultrafast fibre connectivity, as well as laboratory infrastructure and office space.

Vodafone said the facility will grow to include 50 people dedicated to developing Open RAN, including optimized silicon designs. Plans call for 650 software engineers, architects and technicians at the hub. In total, Vodafone plans to invest EUR 225 million over 5 years in the Málaga R&D hub.

Francisco Martin, Head of Open RAN, Vodafone, explained: “As a pioneer of Open RAN, Vodafone is joining forces with specialist technology companies to expand the ecosystem. Silicon innovation will strengthen Europe’s position in the global market and speed up the roll out of new digital services.”

Intel cites continued momentum in 5G vRAN and edge

In a virtual event ahead of Mobile World Congress, Intel showcased a number of foundational technologies and products that position the company for continued leadership in 5G virtual radio access network (vRAN) and edge deployments. This includes the following product announcements:Intel Agilex FPGA family is expanding, with a new FPGA with integrated cryptography acceleration that can support MACSec in 5G applications. This adds another layer of...

Vodafone tests multi-vendor RAN intelligent controller

Vodafone, in conjunction with Cohere Technologies, VMware, Capgemini Engineering, Intel and Telecom Infra Project (TIP), demonstrated an Open Radio Access Network (RAN) platform capable of increasing the capacity of a 5G cell site by two-fold using a programmable, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC).Specifically, he companies showed the first demonstration of 5G Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) – providing more capacity at...

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Mediatek demos pre-standard Wi-Fi 7

MediaTek announced the world’s first live demo of pre-standard Wi-Fi 7 technology. The company is currently showcasing two Wi-Fi 7 demos to key customers and industry collaborators.

Wi-Fi 7, which will utilize 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz spectrum, promises 2.4X faster speeds than Wi-Fi 6 – even with the same number of antennas – since Wi-Fi 7 can utilize 320Mhz channels and support 4K quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) technology. Other notable features of Wi-Fi 7 include MLO to reduce latency by transmitting Wi-Fi on multiple bands, in addition to multi-user resource unit (MRU) features for enhanced interference avoidances and mitigation. Products with Wi-Fi 7 are expected to hit the market starting in 2023.

MediaTek said its Wi-Fi 7 demo achieves the maximum speed defined by IEEE 802.11be and demonstrates multi-link operation (MLO) technology. MLO technology aggregates multiple channels on different frequencies bands at the same time to highlight how network traffic can still flow seamlessly even if there is interference or congestion on the bands. MLO technology will be critical for delivering faster and more reliable video streaming, gaming and anything else that requires constant, sustained and real-time throughput.

“The rollout of Wi-Fi 7 will mark the first time that Wi-Fi can be a true wireline/Ethernet replacement for super high-bandwidth applications,” said Alan Hsu, corporate vice president and general manager of the Intelligent Connectivity business at MediaTek. “MediaTek’s Wi-Fi 7 technology will be the backbone of home, office and industrial networks and provide seamless connectivity for everything from multi-player AR/VR applications to cloud gaming and 4K calls to 8K streaming and beyond.”

“Faster broadband Internet access and more demanding applications such as higher resolution video streaming and VR gaming are driving demand for Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E, and soon Wi-Fi 7,” said Mario Morales, group vice president, Semiconductors at IDC. “Wi-Fi 7’s advances in channel width, QAM, and new features such as multi-link operation (MLO) will make Wi-Fi 7 very attractive for devices including flagship smartphones, PCs, consumer devices and vertical industries like retail and industrial; as service providers begin to deploy a wider spectrum of hotspots across these market segments.”

Saturday, January 29, 2022

FCC to open $1.2 billion through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

The FCC announced e more than $1.2 billion through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to fund new broadband deployments in 32 states.  

In the largest funding round to date, 23 broadband providers will bring broadband service to over 1 million locations.  With this sixth funding wave, the FCC has now announced over $4 billion in funding to winning bidders for new deployments. 

“Today’s announcement means more connectivity is coming to consumers, while we continue our commitment to make sure that funding goes to areas that truly need it,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel.  “The new Rural Broadband Accountability Plan will speed up our audit and verification processes and for the first time make public the results of verifications, audits, and speed and latency testing.  These new measures will help ensure that the providers we fund in this program will do the job.”

In addition, the FCC has created a Rural Broadband Accountability Plan, a new effort to monitor and ensure compliance for universal service high-cost programs including the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

A fact sheet on the Rural Broadband Accountability Plan is available here:

The list of RDOF providers and funding amounts by state, is here:

Christel Heydemann to take charge as CEO of Orange

by Benedict Chua, Associate Editor

Orange’s Board of Directors, appointed Christel Heydemann as Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Stéphane Richard who served as chairman and CEO of the company since March 2011. Richard resigned in November, pending the appointment of a new CEO, following  a verdict reached by the Paris Appeal Court that found Richard guilty of the misuse of public funds. Heydemann will take over with effect from 4 April 2022.

Given the Board’s decision to separate the roles of Chairman and CEO, on the new Chief Executive’s arrival Stéphane Richard will continue in the role of Non-executive Chairman until a new Chairman is in post and at the latest until 19 May 2022, the date of Orange’s Annual General Meeting.

Christel Heydemann is currently Executive Vice President Europe Operations and a member of the Executive Committee of Schneider Electric. A graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, she began her career in 1997 at Boston Consulting Group. In 1999, she joined Alcatel where she was entrusted with a range of roles and responsibilities, specifically in the context of the merger of Alcatel and Lucent. In 2011, she was appointed to Alcatel-Lucent’s Executive Committee as Director of Human Resources and Transformation. In 2014, she joined Schneider Electric as the Director of Strategic Alliances and in April 2017 she was appointed as Executive Vice President of Schneider Electric France and subsequently Executive Vice President Europe Operations in May 2021.

Stéphane Richard commented: “I am delighted to welcome Christel Heydemann and wish her full success as CEO of Orange. Working alongside the Group’s employees, I am convinced that her personal and professional qualities will enable her to meet the challenges the future holds for the Group. Christel’s involvement as a Board member and her long experience at Alcatel and then Schneider Electric means she has an excellent understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the digital future and the critical role this will play in the decades ahead. I am certain that her vision, her pragmatism and her ability to bring out the best in every situation will be of enormous value to Orange. Finally, I would also like to thank Anne-Gabrielle Heilbronner and Bernard Ramanantsoa for their exemplary and rigorous work throughout the selection process in the best interests of the Group.”

Commenting on her appointment, Christel Heydemann said: “I would like to thank the Board members for their confidence. As a member of the Board for nearly five years, I have gained a solid understanding of the technological challenges and opportunities that lie before us. I know that these are significant, but it is equally a huge honour to be able to contribute to the development of one of the leading players in our industry and Orange will have my total commitment as we set about this task. I also know I can count, as my predecessor has been able to, on the dedication of all the company’s teams to see Orange through to success. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank my colleagues at Schneider Electric. These past seven years building a more durable world through technological innovation have been truly exciting and have further convinced me of the central role that digital will play in the transformation of our society.”

FAA reaches agreement with AT&T and Verizon

 The FAA reached an agreement with Verizon and AT&T on 5G in C-Band spectrum near airports. 

"The FAA appreciates the strong communication and collaborative approach with wireless companies, which have provided more precise data about the exact location of wireless transmitters and supported more thorough analysis of how 5G C-band signals interact with sensitive aircraft instruments. The FAA used this data to determine that it is possible to safely and more precisely map the size and shape of the areas around airports where 5G signals are mitigated, shrinking the areas where wireless operators are deferring their antenna activations. This will enable the wireless providers to safely turn on more towers as they deploy new 5G service in major markets across the United States."

The FAA continues to work with helicopter operators to ensure they can safely operate in areas of current and planned 5G deployment.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Google to invest up to $1 billion in Bharti Airtel

Google will invest up to US$1 billion in a partnership with Bharti Airtel. The agreement includes an investment of US$700 million to acquire 1.28% ownership in Airtel and up to US$300 million toward potential multi-year commercial agreements.

The companies will focus on India-specific network domain use cases for 5G and other standards. Airtel is already using Google’s 5G-ready Evolved Packet Core & Software Defined Network platforms, and plans to explore scaling up the deployment of Google’s network virtualisation solutions to deliver a superior network experience to their customers.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel said, “Airtel and Google share the vision to grow India’s digital dividend through innovative products. With our future ready network, digital platforms, last mile distribution and payments ecosystem, we look forward to working closely with Google to increase the depth and breadth of India’s digital ecosystem.”

Apricot subsea cable to link Japan to Singapore

Google and Facebook unveiled plans for the Apricot subsea cable system, a 12,000-kilometer-long cable will connect Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore.Apricot, which is expected to launch in 2024, will boast a 190 Tbps design capacity based on space division multiplexing. It will feature a submersible reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer employing wavelength selective switch for a gridless and flexible bandwidth configuration.'s...

Google Cloud opens in Delhi National Capital Region

Google Cloud inaugurated its new Delhi National Capital Region (NCR), its second Google Cloud region in India and 10th to open in Asia Pacific. Google Cloud region highlighted several major customer already active in the Delhi NCR, including InMobi, Groww, HDFC Bank, and Dr. Reddy's Lab.Delhi NCR joins 25 existing Google Cloud regions connected via Googles high-performance network.

The Economic Times: Google dominates in India

Google is building a substantial lead over rivals in India. A report in The Economic Times states that Google Search has more than 90% share of the Indian market and, likewise, YouTube is regularly watched by 80% of online users, and Google's Android OS powers more than 90% of smartphones in the country. Moreover, a mobile payments service called Google Tez quickly captured 60% of transactions a month after its launch in September 2017. The Economic...

Terralpha deploys ADVA's FSP 3000 for 600G transport across France

Terralpha, the new network subsidiary of France’s state-owned railway operator Société nationale des chemins de fer français (SNCF), has deployed ADVA's FSP 3000 TeraFlex terminal to transport data at speeds up to 600 Gbps between cities across France. The new solution also features ADVA’s FSP 3000 OLS, flexgrid multi-degree ROADMs, its ALM fiber monitoring technology and its Ensemble Controller network management and control solution.

Terralpha plans to use its spare fiber capacity to offer low-latency, ultra-high-speed connectivity to enterprises, mobile network operators and government institutions. 

“With around 20,000km of fiber deployed alongside our railway infrastructure, we knew we were in a unique position to offer super-fast connectivity right across France. What we needed was a transport solution with the capacity, flexibility and scale to match our ambitions and a partner we could trust. In ADVA, we have a European technology provider with a wealth of experience and an excellent track record for success,” said Gabriel Chenevoy, CEO of Terralpha. 

“We’re helping Terralpha to unlock the full value of its fiber assets. By harnessing our technology and the expertise of our engineers, Terralpha can take advantage of its vast network architecture to bring reliable, low-latency services at unprecedented speeds to homes, businesses and service provider customers in every corner of France,” commented Hartmut Müller-Leitloff, SVP of sales, EMEA at ADVA.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Ericsson targets Dynamic Network Slicing for 5G devices

Ericsson introduced a Dynamic Network Slice Selection solution that will provide communication service providers with the ability to flexibly separate services in their 5G network and enhance traffic steering to maximize quality of experience on a single device. This will allow multiple tailored slices to 5G devices. 

Ericsson said it has taken the first steps to enable enterprise services in smartphones for high-quality connectivity, and support for consumer services in smartphones will follow, as well as support in other 5G devices. Ericsson has been actively working with the device ecosystem to introduce 3GPP-standards based user equipment route selection policies (URSP) in 5G networks to enable application traffic steering with network slices.

URSP is one of the main functionalities being implemented in 5G smartphones and 5G network infrastructure and allows devices to have multiple network slices on the same device with traffic detection and steering capabilities.

For instance, a user device might attach to different network slices for personal and work profiles. They could have one slice for generic mobile broadband traffic, another slice for a service like gaming, and one or several slices for work, like a high-security slice for enterprise applications like video conferencing and collaboration. Application developers could use this technology to improve the quality of experience for their applications, for example by decreasing the latency.

Monica Zethzon, Head of Solution Area Packet Core at Ericsson says: “We are now enhancing the Ericsson 5G Core portfolio with new network slicing capabilities, by introducing Ericsson Dynamic Network Slice Selection. This enables our customers to provide differentiated 5G services to their enterprise and consumer customers, by enabling multiple tailored network slices on a single 5G device.”

  • In November last year FarEasTone and Ericsson demonstrated the world’s first 5G end-to-end multiple network slicing on commercial Android 12 devices based on an Ericsson-powered 5G standalone system.
  • In January 2021, Ericsson launched 5G RAN Slicing that supports customized business models and growth requirements, strengthening end-to-end network slicing capabilities needed to deliver different services over a common infrastructure and ensuring end-to-end network slice management and orchestration support for fast service delivery.

Nokia to power cloud servers using 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors

 Exapnding its choice of processors, Nokia confirmed that its Core Networks business will 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors to power the servers that deliver Nokia Core cloud-native software products for communication service providers. Servers powered by the 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors are expected in the first half of this year. Nokia will continue to offer existing servers with other processor choices.

Nokia said it is targeting up to a 40% reduction in server power consumption to run Core workloads using AMD EPYC processors.

Dan McNamara, SVP & GM, EPYC, Server, AMD said: “We are excited to collaborate with Nokia to provide their customers with the performance, efficiency and overall sustainability benefits of 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors. With our unique capability to offer high core counts in an energy efficient package, we are enabling outstanding performance for telco and 5G workloads, while supporting Nokia and the ICT industry’s quest to improve energy efficiency and the overall performance of its operations.”

Fran Heeran, SVP & Head of Core Networks, Cloud and Network Services at Nokia, said: “Through the latest generation of AMD EPYC processors and Nokia’s cloud-native Core software, we are helping CSPs shrink the carbon footprint of their networks. This is critical as advanced 5G service roll-out accelerates, with the associated implications for new demands on energy consumption and our continued innovation push to minimize the impact of those demands.”

GlobalConnect carries 600G using Nokia's PSE-V

GlobalConnect, which operates more than 74.500 kilometers of fiber, 3300 access nodes, and 16 data centers in Europe, completed a trial of Nokia PSE-V fifth generation super coherent optics (PSE-Vs). The trial demonstrated 600G transmission over a live long-haul network link of GlobalConnect Group’s GO-COLOR network. 

Nokia said the trial validated a planned upgrade of GlobalConnect's long-haul backbone networks using the PSE-Vs super coherent optics productized in Nokia’s 1830 PSI-M optical transport system. 

Anders Kuhn-Saaby, CTO, GlobalConnect Group, said: “This trial validates GlobalConnect’s commitment to offering scalable and flexible high-bandwidth services across our Nordic backbone network. We are pleased to validate Nokia’s latest generation of PSE-V super coherent optics as an important enabler of these continuous network upgrades, seamlessly operating over our live network with existing coherent channels.”  

James Watt, Head of Optical Networks Division, Nokia, said: “We are delighted to work with GlobalConnect to support continued capacity evolution of its core networks. With the introduction of the PSE-Vs super coherent capabilities across our entire 1830 portfolio, Nokia enables spectrally-efficient network capacity upgrades over real-world long-haul networks.”

Nokia debuts WaveFabric Elements: photonic chips, devices, subsystems

Nokia unveiled its WaveFabric Elements portfolio of photonic chips, devices and subsystems, including its fifth generation coherent digital signal processor family, the Photonic Service Engine V (PSE-V). The company said its WaveFabric Elements address the demanding power, performance, and cost-per-bit requirements of 400G networking across data center, metro, core and subsea applications. Nokia’s WaveFabric Elements portfolio combines digital signal...