Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Telia Carrier's new name is Arelion

by James E. Carroll

Telia Carrier, which operates the leading global Internet backbone, AS1299, has adopted a new name and brand -- Arelion.

The rebranding comes roughly a year after Polhem Infra, a private investment firm based in Sweden, acquired Telia Carrier from the Telia Company for SEK 9,450 million (US$1.055 billion). The business became a fully-independent company in June 2021.

Arelion's mission is to provide premium global connectivity services to the world's largest operators, content providers and enterprises. Its network spans Europe, North America, and Asia, with more than 70,000 km of optical fiber and 1,700 MPLS endpoints, connecting customers in 125 countries. The AS1299 backbone powers nearly 65 percent of all Internet routes. 

“We live in the age of connectivity where people and businesses interact in real-time, all the time – wherever they are. As we move forward as Arelion, one thing that won't change is the core of our business: the people, our customers and partners that bring us together," said Staffan Göjeryd, CEO of Arelion. "Arelion will continue to support the mission that has resulted in 30 plus years of success and will continue to execute on our mission to connect the world to a brighter future and deliver the highest quality of services to our customers. That's all possible thanks to our investors at Polhem Infra, who share the same focus and vision for us."

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DT runs with Cisco 8000 Series routers

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Orange reaches 6 million fiber customers in France

Orange connected its 6 millionth fiber customer in France this week.

2021 was an exceptional year for Orange in terms of fiber deployment. At the end of 2021, using its own funds and in partnership with local authorities, Orange had deployed fiber to 63% of the 29 million premises eligible for FttH in France. With a 20% increase in the number of premises in one year, France is now Europe’s leading country for fiber.

Fabienne Dulac, CEO of Orange France says "With 6 million customers, I am delighted about the widespread adoption of fiber. This result reflects the full mobilization of all the Orange France technical and sales teams and those of its partners across all our regions. Over half of all Orange internet customers in France now enjoy Fiber in the home or in their place of work. This success is based on our position as the leader in the deployment and our ability to connect 10,000 customers every day".

Orange Chairman and CEO, Stéphane Richard, said: "Orange and France gambled on optical fiber over ten years ago now. A gamble that has paid off as France is currently the leading European country for fiber with it now available to 70% of the country, a feat made possible in large part by the men and women at Orange who have already deployed 63% of the existing FttH lines. Every day, our employees and partners help to build the network we will use for the next 50 years".

FAA clears more aircraft and notes differences in U.S. deployments

 The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it has now cleared 62% of the U.S. commercial airplane fleet to perform low-visibility landings at airports where wireless companies deployed 5G C-band. The FAA early Wednesday cleared another three altimeters.

 Airplane models with one of the five cleared altimeters include some Boeing 717, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, MD-10/-11 and Airbus A300, A310, A319, A320, A330, A340, A350 and A380 models.

The FAA claimed that it has made progress during the two week delay in 5G deployment, saying it has accomplished the following over the past two weeks:

  • Received vital 5G transmitter location and power level information from the wireless companies
  • Facilitated data sharing between avionics manufacturers and wireless companies
  • Worked with airlines to help manage and minimize potential delays and cancellations in affected areas.
  • Determined that some GPS-guided approaches may be used at certain airports
  • Educated aviation stakeholders about what they can expect when 5G C-band is deployed on Jan. 19
  • Worked with airlines on how they can demonstrate altimeters are safe and reliable in the 5G C-band environment. This is known as the Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC) process.

The FAA is also pushing back on the notion that the experience of other countries, notably France and Japan, in operating 5G in midband spectrum is applicable to the United States. The FAA argues that deployments of 5G technology in other countries often involve different conditions than those proposed for the U.S., including: 

  • Lower power levels 
  • Antennas tilted downward to reduce potential interference to flights 
  • Different placement of antennas relative to airfields 
  • Frequencies with a different proximity to frequencies used by aviation equipment 
  • The early stages of the 5G deployment in the U.S. will include mitigations that are partly similar to those used to help protect air travel in France. However, even these proposals have some significant differences.

Verizon activates C-band spectrum

Verizon activated C-band spectrum to boost its 5G Ultra Wideband network, which is now available to more than 100 million people in 1,700-plus cities around the nation.

“This massive launch will put incredible speeds, reliability and security in the hands of our customers and amplifies our offering of reliable home and business broadband options to more places around the country, well ahead of the commitment we made last year,” said Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon. “As 5G Ultra Wideband becomes available to more and more people and businesses, it will allow our customers to do more amazing things.”

Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband boasts download speeds up to one gigabit per second.

AT&T and Verizon agree to delay C-Band rollouts near airports

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AT&T activates C-Band spectrum in 8 metros

AT&T began activating 5G in C-Band spectrum in limited parts of 8 metro areas across the U.S.: Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, Chicago, Detroit, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami.

AT&T customers will see a "5G+" indicator on their device if connected to either C-Band or mmWave spectrum).

AT&T is currently offering 17 C-Band-capable devices.

AT&T and Verizon agree to delay C-Band rollouts near airports

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

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DataBank to acquire 4 Houston data centers from CyrusOne for $670M

DataBank, a  provider of enterprise-class colocation, interconnection and managed cloud services,  agreed to acquire four existing data centers in the Houston, Texas metro area from CyrusOne for $670 million.

The transaction positions DataBank as the largest independent data center provider in Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest metro area. 

The Houston facilities encompass more than 300,000 square feet of raised-floor data center capacity and 42.5 MW of installed critical IT load, as well as a roster of blue-chip customers from the area’s fast-growing healthcare, financial, energy, media and software sectors. Additionally, one of the facilities being acquired – the Houston West Campus – is the region’s primary interconnection point, with over 30 fiber networks, 3,500 cross connects and public cloud on-ramps from AWS and Google. 

“We are excited to add the high-growth Houston market to DataBank’s portfolio, marking a significant milestone in our expansion efforts as we enter into our 27th metro area and add to what is already the largest edge infrastructure footprint in the United States,” said Raul Martynek, DataBank’s CEO. “We look forward to providing the businesses and people in this important community with best-in-class digital infrastructure.”

The transaction is being funded by an investor group led by DigitalBridge, DataBank’s controlling shareholder. In addition to leading a consortium of world-class institutional investors to support the acquisition, DigitalBridge is investing $80 million from its balance sheet to maintain its 20% ownership position in DataBank.

Marc Ganzi, President and CEO of DigitalBridge, said, “With this acquisition, DataBank is extending its footprint in a strong growth market with significant expansion potential, continuing its strategic focus on carrier-rich data centers in critical metro areas across the United States. We are pleased to support Raul and his team as they continue to deliver for an expanding Fortune 500 customer base.”

Following the close of the transaction, DataBank’s total portfolio will feature more than 65 facilities and 2.0 million square feet of raised-floor data center capacity.

Dell'Oro: Slow uptake for 5G Standalone

The slow uptake of 5G Standalone networks reduces Mobile Core Network (MCN) growth, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group, which is now forecasting worldwide MCN 5-year growth at a 3 percent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR).

“The cumulative revenue forecast for the period 2022 to 2026 is over $50 billion. The overall revenues and the CAGR have been dampened by the muted uptake in 5G SA networks,” according to Dave Bolan, Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “5G SA network deployments have not matched the hype, with only 19 networks launched to date,” Bolan continued.

“CSPs have three choices for offering 5G: Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), 5G Non-standalone (5G NSA), and 5G SA. Only 5G SA requires the new 5G Core and many CSPs seem content for the time being to stick with DSS and 5G NSA. At the same time, CSPs are evaluating the option of moving 5G workloads to the public cloud, which is delaying the market uptake for 5G SA,” Bolan added.

Additional highlights from the report:

  • 5G MCN, IMS Core, and Multi-Access Network Computing (MEC) will have positive growth rates for the forecast period while 4G MCN will experience negative growth.
  • By 2026, virtually all businesses will be container-based cloud-native network functions.

Keysight demos 3.5 Gbps uplink with NR-DC + mmWave CA

Keysight Technologies, in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, demonstrated data throughput speeds in the uplink of 3.5 Gbps using 5G new radio dual connectivity (NR-DC) with mmWave carrier aggregation (CA).

The milestone was achieved by combining Keysight’s 5G Protocol R&D Toolset and 2D multi-probe anechoic (MPAC) over-the-air (OTA) test chamber with a Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System. 

“Keysight is pleased to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies to achieve this industry first milestone,” said Mosaab Abughalib, general manager of device development solutions at Keysight. “The need for high uplink data throughput rates is on the rise, a trend driven by a multitude of 5G consumer applications, wireless broadband access for businesses and a growing number of private 5G deployments that support industrial internet of things use cases.”

Keysight’s 5G Protocol R&D Toolset, part of the company’s 5G network emulation solution portfolio, leverages Keysight’s UXM 5G Wireless Test Platform, an integrated and compact signaling test platform with multiformat stack support, rich processing power and abundant RF resources, to emulate a 5G new radio (NR) network. The demonstration, which took place in Qualcomm Technologies’ San Diego lab, used 5G NR-DC technology in 5G NR standalone (SA) mode. The milestone was achieved using one component carrier (CC) in frequency range one (FR1) and four CCs in FR2 (also referred to mmWave spectrum).

“Together with Keysight, Qualcomm Technologies has realized several key industry milestones that will propel the wireless industry to the next phase of 5G NR deployments,” said Krishna Mandadapu, senior director, engineering at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “The 3.5Gbps in UL milestone is vital to many applications, such as uplink broadband connectivity for effective cloud storage of data and high-definition live streaming.”

Qualcomm Technologies uses Keysight’s 5G network emulation solutions to verify 5G NR 3GPP Rel-16 protocol, RF and radio resource management (RRM) test requirements using SA mode. 

Zain Kuwait picks Ericsson for 5G Standalone Charging

Zain Kuwait has signed a strategic agreement with Ericsson to upgrade and modernize its existing Business Support Systems (BSS) in order to pave the way for the commercial launch of 5G services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson’s BSS portfolio, which includes solutions such as Ericsson Charging, Ericsson Catalog Manager, Ericsson Order Care, Ericsson Dynamic Activation, and Ericsson Mediation will enable Zain Kuwait to efficiently capitalize on 5G opportunities and also help Zain Kuwait to handle data growth and adapt faster to business needs.

Eaman Al Roudhan, Zain Kuwait Chief Executive Officer, said: “Through our strategic partnership with Ericsson on their BSS solutions we are building a digital infrastructure backbone that will soon help us deliver high-performance and reliable 5G services to residents and enterprises across the country. Moreover, with 5G driving digitalization around the world, we look forward to leverage connectivity to play a vital role in the digital transformation journey of Kuwait.”

Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa says: “Our full suite of Ericsson BSS solutions will not only help Zain Kuwait boost business efficiency but also help them discover and implement new 5G business models.  As 5G adoption increases in Kuwait, the upgrade of our BSS solutions will provide the building blocks that will support Zain Kuwait to provide services for industry 4.0, enabling use cases such as smart manufacturing, Internet of things and others.”