Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Juniper scales edge and core with next gen Trio and Express ASICs

by Benedict Chua, Associate Editor

Juniper Networks is pushing ahead with its next generation Trio and Express ASICs for cloud and Service Provider networks.

The 5th generation Express ASIC, which powers Juniper's PTX Series core routers, increases forwarding performance with pipeline and memory capabilities for scaling, filtering, telemetry and sampling operations. It offers 45% power efficiency improvement over the 4th generation introduced in 2020. 

The 6th generation Trio ASIC, which powers Juniper's MX Series edge routers, has been optimized for logical service scaling with large route forwarding tables, flexible tunnel encapsulation, rich QoS, firewall security filters, traffic management counters, and ML capabilities. It promises 70% power efficiency over the previous generation ASIC. The Trio 6 is now available.

Juniper is also announcing three new multi-service edge offerings, each powered by the Trio 6 ASIC.

  • MX10K LC9600 Line Card: The LC9600 line card delivers the same MX Series capabilities for the multi-service edge. It delivers 9.6 Tbps per slot throughput and, along with the existing LC480 line card, provides the flexibility to scale from 1GE to 400GE interfaces in a single MX10K platform. The LC9600 brings the full breadth of multi-service functionality in Juniper’s Junos OS, with the versatility to deliver disparate edge services concurrently (residential, business, mobile, video, converged P/PE infrastructure, data center interconnect and more). The LC9600 also offers embedded MACsec on each port.
  • MX10004 Multi-Service Edge Router: a modular 7RU, 4-slot line card configuration that uses the existing MX10K universal router chassis, enabling the reuse of MX10K line cards currently deployed (LC2101, LC480) along with the new LC9600. When fully loaded with LC9600 line cards, it operates with noteworthy power efficiency.
  • MX304 Compact Multi-Service Edge Router: a highly compact, 2RU platform with the flexibility to scale out services at 3.2 Tbps and 4.8 Tbps, in redundant and non-redundant configurations.


The America Competes Act of 2022 includes $52B in CHIPs funding

An "America Competes Act of 2022" was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives with the aim of bolstering the nation's competitiveness with China.

The 2,900-page bill includes $52 billion in incentives for the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Fund.

The proposed legistation offer $45 billion for supply chain resilience and manufacturing of critical goods, industrial equipment and manufacturing technology. It also specifies tariff reductions on hundreds of imported goods.

Unlike the version passed by the Senate last year, the House bill does not include $190 billion in funding for science and technology research programs. It does include funding for advanced communications technologies, including mobile, cybersecurity, and quantum network infrastructure.

The full text of the bill is here: 


Verizon: 1-in-3 consumers now have a 5G-capable device

Verizon Communications reported strong wireless service revenue growth and increased 5G phone adoption in Q4 2021, as more than one in three Consumer wireless phone customers now have a 5G-capable device. 

"2021 was a transformational year for Verizon that will serve as a catalyst for us," said Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg. "We delivered on all of our goals in 2021 and made great progress on our five paths of growth, finishing the year with strong operating and financial momentum. As we move into 2022, we have the necessary assets to realize our strategy that we laid out in 2019. We are laser focused on executing our 5G strategy and providing value to our customers, shareholders, employees, and society, as 2022 will be the most exciting year yet for Verizon."

For fourth-quarter 2021, Verizon reported EPS of $1.11, compared with $1.11 in fourth-quarter 2020. 

Some highlights:

  • Total wireless service revenue of $17.8 billion, a 6.5 percent increase year over year, driven by a combination of higher ARPA (average revenue per account), volume growth and the contribution from the acquisition of TracFone Wireless, which was completed on November 23.
  • Total retail postpaid churn of 1.01 percent, and retail postpaid phone churn of 0.81 percent.
  • 1,058,000 retail postpaid net additions, including 558,000 phone net additions, resulting in 142.8 million total retail connections. 
  • 106,000 total broadband net additions, defined as wireline (Fios and DSL) and fixed wireless, an increase of 30,000 total broadband net additions year over year.
  • 78,000 fixed wireless net additions, an increase from 55,000 fixed wireless net additions in third-quarter 2021.
  • 55,000 Fios Internet net additions in fourth-quarter 2021. In full-year 2021, Verizon reported 360,000 Fios Internet net additions, the best annual performance since 2014. Total Fios revenues were $3.2 billion in fourth-quarter 2021, an increase of 5.7 percent year over year. Full-year 2021 Fios revenues were approximately $12.7 billion, up 4.6 percent year over year.


Ericsson: steady growth in 5G, improved margins, sales drop-off in China

Ericsson reported steady sales in its core mobile infrastructure business for Q4 2021 despite a significant drop off in business in mainland China. Overall group organic sales for Q4 2022 grew by 2% YoY. Excluding mainland China, organic sales growth was 5%. Reported sales were SEK 71.3 (69.6) billion (approximately US$7.7 billion).

In North America, Europe and Latin America, Ericsson saw strong growth in 5G. Business in South East Asia, Oceania and India declined due to timing of orders and project milestones.

Gross margin improved in all segments to 43.5% (40.6%) excluding restructuring charges. Reported gross margin was 43.2% (40.6%).

For the full year 2021, group organic sales grew by 4%, with an increase in Networks sales of 7%. Reported sales were stable at SEK 232.3 b. The loss of market share in Mainland China impacted sales by SEK -7.7 b. and the growth rate by -3 percentage points, meaning that excluding Mainland China, organic sales growth was 8%.

Some comments from Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson:

"Our strategy to invest in technology leadership and grow market share in our core business underpinned a robust financial performance in 2021 and ensured a good Q4 for Ericsson overall. Our commitment to pursue value from growth in wireless enterprise took a significant step forward with the announcement of our ambition to acquire Vonage, which will give us the foundation to develop a Global Network Platform to drive innovation on top of the 5G networks. This adds to already strong progress in 2021 in our organic enterprise portfolio - Dedicated Networks and IoT - and follows the successful integration of Cradlepoint. With a full-year EBIT margin of 13.9%, we reached our 2022 target one year early, while absorbing significantly increased investments in R&D, Enterprise, cybersecurity and compliance."

"Based on current business momentum, we expect fundamentals to remain strong in our core mobile infrastructure business during 2022. We will continue to increase investments in R&D to sustain our technology leadership and strengthen our competitive position to take advantage of the rollout of 5G networks. At the same time, we will continue our efforts to expand our presence in the enterprise market. Over time, we expect the enterprise segment to provide higher growth and profitability than our mobile infrastructure business." 


Harbor Link builds new fiber conduit for Baltimore-to-Northern Virginia route

Harbor Link broke ground on a new 60-mile, diverse conduit route set to enhance connectivity between Baltimore, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Northern Virginia. 

The route will provide undergroud conduit for fiber optic cables along the highly traversed I-95 corridor. The underground infrastructure system will provide local and long-haul dark fiber capacity, with more than 300 easy access points along the route.

Key highlights of the new conduit route include:

  • 60-miles of wholly new conduit
  • Duel-diverse paths along I-95 and MD RT-97
  • 300 easy access points to the conduit system from Maryland through Northern Virginia
  • Fully pathway resiliency, diversity, and redundancy
  • End-to-end connectivity under 1 millisecond from Baltimore to Northern Virginia

“This project is a culmination of many years of work, and it’s exciting to get this much needed new fiber optic conduit system underway,” says Felix Dialoiso, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Harbor Link. “As the digital divide continues to affect underserved and minority communities, we are committed to bridging the divide to empower residents, businesses and communities with accessible and affordable high speed fiber optic solutions, enabling 5G Wireless capabilities and improving internet access for as many as possible.”


BT launches VMware SASE

BT will offer its customers VMware Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) as a global managed service, combining BT’s networking capabilities and isecurity expertise with VMware technology.

BT already offers a managed service based on VMware SD-WAN.

The companies said the new managed service will help customers accelerate their digital transformation by providing employees wherever they are with flexible, more secure, and reliable access to cloud-based applications and services deployed in public and private clouds, SaaS, or at the enterprise edge. It will support the adoption of the latest digital technologies and workstyles, including IoT and hybrid working.

BT will provide full end-to-end support across networking and security, protecting access to applications and data across private, hybrid and multi-clouds. The new BT-managed VMware SASE service will launch with features including URL filtering; in-line cloud access security broker (CASB) to protect user activity; content filtering to reduce attack surfaces; and content inspection to protect against malware attacks.

Scott Cowling, Director, Software Defined Networks, BT, said, “Many organizations are deploying cloud networking with SD-WAN technology. SASE takes this approach to the next level with an architecture that enables delivery of networking, security, and edge compute services from the cloud. Launching our managed VMware SASE solution will help customers address networking and security challenges seamlessly as one.”


F5 cites ongoing supply constraints but strong growth in software

F5 reported first quarter fiscal year 2022 GAAP revenue of $687 million, up 10% from GAAP revenue of $625 million and non-GAAP revenue of $626 million in the year-ago period. First quarter fiscal year 2022 GAAP and non-GAAP revenue growth was driven by 19% product revenue growth and 2% global services revenue growth over the prior year. Non-GAAP product revenue was driven by 47% software revenue growth and 1% systems revenue growth compared to the year ago period.

GAAP net income for the first quarter of fiscal year 2022 was $94 million, or $1.51 per diluted share compared to first quarter fiscal year 2021 GAAP net income of $88 million, or $1.41 per diluted share.

“Our customers’ need to grow and evolve the applications that support and drive their businesses led to strong demand for F5’s application security and delivery solutions, fueling 10% revenue growth in our first quarter,” said François Locoh-Donou, F5’s President and CEO. “Demand for software solutions was particularly strong, with non-GAAP software revenue growing 47% compared to the same period in the prior year.”

“Demand drivers across our business are as strong as they have ever been,” Locoh-Donou continued. “Customers increasingly see F5 as an innovator uniquely equipped to help them build and scale both their traditional and modern application environments with our software- and systems-based solutions.”

While demand for its solutions remains robust, the company expects that its ability to meet customers’ continued strong demand for systems will be restricted by supply chain constraints for the remainder of fiscal year 2022. As a result, it expects fiscal second quarter revenue in a range of $610 to $650 million. It further expects fiscal year 2022 revenue growth in a range of 4.5% to 8%, down from its prior expectation of 8% to 9% growth. The Company expects fiscal year 2022 software revenue growth near the top end of its previously provided 35% to 40% guidance range, and fiscal year 2022 global services revenue growth of 1% to 2%.


Vodafone UK to phase out 3G starting in 2023

Vodafone confirmed that it will begin retiring its 3G network in 2023 as part of a network modernisation programme to improve the 4G and 5G experience for all customers. 

Vodafone says that retiring 3G, after 17 years and nearly 500 billion minutes of calls, is a key part of its strategy to give customers the most reliable network experience. Today, less than 4% of the data used on Vodafone’s network travels on 3G, in comparison to more than 30% in 2016.