Wednesday, January 26, 2022

BT conducts Open RAN trial with Nokia

BT will install Nokia’s RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) for Open RAN, across a number of sites, to optimise network performance for customers of its mobile network, EE. The Open RAN trial is taking place in the city of Hull. 

BT said it is supporting Open RAN, with its vendor partners, to ensure it becomes a viable, mature, scale option for network optimisation as soon as possible. In addition to this trial, BT will also open a dedicated Open RAN Innovation Centre at its Adastral Park facility later this year. 

Neil McRae, Chief Architect, BT, commented: “Our Open RAN trial with Nokia is one of many investments we are making to boost the performance of our market-leading 4G and 5G EE network and deliver an even better service to our customers. Our high performance, high efficiency radio access equipment, provided by the major global vendors, has enabled us to roll-out 4G and now 5G at scale, with the confidence that our customers will get the best network experience possible.”

Mark Atkinson, SVP, Radio Access Networks PLM, Nokia, commented: “We are delighted to deepen our partnership with BT with this trial. Nokia is investing in Open RAN capabilities to enable a robust telecom ecosystem with strong network performance and security. An open and programmable RAN enables many new advanced capabilities to be introduced that can automatically optimize the 5G network. I look forward to seeing how this project develops.”

So far, BT has launched 5G across hundreds of towns and cities via its EE mobile network. EE’s 5G network will cover more than half the UK population by 2023 (four years ahead of current Government ambitions), will deliver 5G connectivity solutions anywhere in the UK by 2028 and complete the country’s only fully converged network by the mid-2020s.

Equinix and Singapore's GIC to build 2 hyperscale data centers in Seoul

Equinix and GIC, SINGAPORE'S sovereign wealth fund, agreed to form a US$525 million joint venture to develop and operate two xScale data centers in Seoul, Korea. GIC will own an 80% equity interest in the joint venture, and Equinix will own the remaining 20% equity interest. 

The two facilities under this joint venture, to be named SL2x and SL3x, are expected to provide more than 45 megawatts (MW) of power capacity to serve the unique core workload deployment needs of hyperscale companies, including the world's largest cloud service providers. 

Equinix entered the Korean market in 2019 with its first IBX, SL1. At the facility, customers can connect their corporate IT infrastructure to global hyperscale providers, including Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Service, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud, via Equinix Fabric.

Charles Meyers, President and CEO, Equinix, commented, "More and more organizations are embracing a digital-first strategy to scale their operations, enhance the experiences of their customers, and unlock the value of technologies like 5G, IoT, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Korea and the broader Asia-Pacific market are both enablers and beneficiaries as organizations prioritize digital transformation. To address demand for cloud and digital infrastructure, we have continued to invest in the region through the expansion of International Business ExchangeTM (IBX) capacity and locations, as well as the expansion of our hyperscale program, xScale, in Australia, and now Korea."

Equinix forms $1.0 billion JV with GIC for data centers in Japan

Equinix and GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, announced a US$1.0 billion initial joint venture to develop and operate xScale data centers in Japan. GIC will own an 80% equity interest in the joint venture and Equinix will own the remaining 20% equity interest. GIC is expected to have contributed cash to fund its 80% equity interest in the joint venture. Equinix is expected to have transferred its Tokyo TY12 and Osaka OS2 development assets,...

Equinix partners with Singapore's GIC on xScale Data Centers in Europe

Equinix has formed a joint venture with GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, to develop and operate xScaleTM data centers in Europe. The joint venture is initially valued at over $1 billion. Equinix said initial facilities in the joint venture will serve the unique core workload deployment needs of a targeted group of hyperscale companies, including the world's largest cloud service providers. The facilities will be located on or proximate to...

Digital Realty opens carrier-neutral data center in Seoul

Digital Realty inaugurated its first data center in South Korea. Digital Seoul 1 (ICN10) will serve as a gateway to global expansion for enterprises in Korea to scale their digital business into new markets globally, and vice versa.

ICN10 is a multi-story, 12-megawatt facility spanning 22,000 square feet and is strategically located in the northwest region of Seoul within the Sangam Digital Media City, a newly developed urban planning zone populated with technology and media companies, serving as a hub to promote South Korea's digital economy.  As a carrier-neutral data center facility, ICN10 offers enterprises superior connectivity with direct access to all local exchange carriers in the Korean market.

ICN10 is also a NVIDIA-certified colocation provider of choice in South Korea as part of the NVIDIA DGX-Ready Data Center program. The facility is designed to handle Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) workloads from NVIDIA, serving as a key launch pad to help enterprises accelerate their AI and analytics capabilities.

"South Korea is a leading technology and digital hub in Asia Pacific and is set to be one of the fastest growing data center markets in the region. It was the first country to roll out 5G in April 2019 alongside its Smart Cities initiatives, which has led to a rise of data center deployments in South Korea. The opening of our first data center in South Korea today is set to meet the growing demand from enterprises looking to scale their digital footprint across APAC and beyond, as well as deliver greater connectivity, coverage and capacity," says Mark Smith, Managing Director of APAC, Digital Realty.

"ICN10 will be critical to our go-to market strategy in Seoul and be complementary to ICN11, our hyperscale campus. It will be uniquely equipped to help organizations reinvent IT using a data-centric approach and unlock data gravity, the effect seen when data accumulates in massive amounts. From small to large colocation footprints, to integration with public cloud and cross-connects, organizations will have access to all the elements of the digital ecosystem from one place," says Jay Weon Khym, Country Manager for Digital Realty Korea.

Microsoft reports 46% increase in Azure revenue

Citing strong growth in cloud services, Microsoft reported revenue of $51.7 billion for its second quarter ended 31-December-2021, an increase of 20% yoy. Net income was $18.8 billion and increased 21%, Diluted earnings per share was $2.48 and increased 22%.

“Solid commercial execution, represented by strong bookings growth driven by long-term Azure commitments, increased Microsoft Cloud revenue to $22.1 billion, up 32% year over year” said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Microsoft.

Some highlights:

Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was $15.9 billion and increased 19%, with the following business highlights:

  • Office Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 14% driven by Office 365 Commercial revenue growth of 19%
  • Office Consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 15% and Microsoft 365 Consumer subscribers grew to 56.4 million
  • LinkedIn revenue increased 37% (up 36% in constant currency)
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 29% driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 45% (up 44% in constant currency)

Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $18.3 billion and increased 26%, with the following business highlights:

  • Server products and cloud services revenue increased 29% driven by Azure and other cloud services revenue growth of 46%

Revenue in More Personal Computing was $17.5 billion and increased 15%, with the following business highlights:

  • Windows OEM revenue increased 25%
  • Windows Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 13% (up 14% in constant currency)
  • Xbox content and services revenue increased 10%
  • Search and news advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs increased 32%
  • Surface revenue increased 8%

Intel sees record quarter for its Data Center Group

Citing an all-time record quarter for its Data Center Group (DCG), with strong server recovery in enterprise and government, Intel reported Q4 2022 GAAP revenue of $20.5 billion, exceeding October guidance by $1.3 billion and up 3 percent yoy. Q4 EPS amounted to $1.13, exceeding October guidance by 35 cents.

Full-year GAAP revenue set an all-time Intel record of $79.0 billion, up 1 percent YoY.

Pat Gelsinger, Intel's CEO, states: "We had a record quarter for DCG, where we grew 20% year-over-year and where we continue to be the partner of choice for cloud and data center customers. We expect that our Xeon shipments in December alone exceeded the total server CPU shipments by any single competitor for all of 2021."

AT&T cites growth in mobile and fiber subscribers

Citing customer growth in wireless, fiber and HBO Max, AT&T reported consolidated revenues for Q4 2021 of $41.0 billion versus $45.7 billion in the year-ago quarter, down 10.4% reflecting the impact of divested businesses, mainly U.S. Video in the third quarter and Vrio in the fourth quarter, and lower Business Wireline revenues.  Excluding impacts of the U.S. Video business and Vrio from both quarters, consolidated revenues totaled $40.6 billion9 compared to $39.0 billion in the year-ago quarter.

For full-year 2021 when compared with 2020 results, AT&T's consolidated revenues totaled $168.9 billion versus $171.8 billion, reflecting the separation of the U.S. Video business in the third quarter of 2021, and the impacts from other divested businesses. These decreases were partially offset by higher revenues in WarnerMedia and Communications. Excluding impacts of U.S. Video and Vrio from both years, consolidated revenues totaled $153.2 billion9 compared to $144.6 billion in 2020. 

“A year and a half ago, we began simplifying our business to reposition AT&T for growth and we’re extremely pleased with how we’ve executed on that commitment,” said John Stankey, AT&T CEO. “We ended 2021 the way we started it – by growing our customer relationships, running our operations more effectively and efficiently, and sharpening our focus. Our momentum is strong and we’re confident there is more opportunity to continue to grow our customer base and drive costs from the business.  

“We’re at the dawn of a new age of connectivity. Our focus now is to be America’s best connectivity provider and also ensure our media assets are positioned to grow and truly become a global media distribution leader. Once we do this, we’ll unlock the true value of these businesses and provide a great opportunity for shareholders.”

Some highlights for Communications:

Fourth-quarter revenues were $30.2 billion, up 2.4% year over year due to increases in Mobility and Consumer Wireline more than offsetting a decline in Business Wireline. Operating contribution was $6.5 billion, up 1.4% year over year, with operating income margin of 21.4%, compared to 21.6% in the year-ago quarter.


  • Revenues were up 5.1% year over year to $21.1 billion due to higher service and equipment revenues. Service revenues were $14.7 billion, up 4.6% year over year due to subscriber gains and the lapping of pandemic impacts on international roaming revenues. Equipment revenues were $6.5 billion, up 6.2% year over year, driven by increased sales of higher-priced smartphones.
  • Operating expenses were $15.8 billion, up 5.1% year over year due to higher equipment costs, including 3G network shutdown costs of approximately $130 million, and higher HBO Max bundling costs, partially offset by lower marketing and support.
  • Total net adds were 5.3 million including 1,285,000 postpaid net adds and 24,000 prepaid phone net adds
  • Postpaid churn was 1.02% versus 0.94% in the year-ago quarter. Postpaid phone churn was 0.85% versus 0.76% in the year-ago quarter. Prepaid phone churn was less than 3% with Cricket substantially lower.
  • Postpaid phone-only ARPU was $54.06, down 0.7% versus the year-ago quarter, due to the impacts of promotional discount amortization.

Business Wireline

  • Revenues were $5.9 billion, down 5.6% year over year, partially due to the prior-year increase for pandemic-related connectivity, lower demand for legacy voice and data services, and a strategic decision to deemphasize non-core services.
  • More than 675,000 U.S. business buildings are lit with fiber from AT&T, enabling high-speed fiber connections to more than 2.75 million U.S. business customer locations. Nationwide, more than 9.5 million business customer locations are on or within 1,000 feet of AT&T fiber.

Consumer Wireline

  • Revenues were $3.2 billion, up 1.4% year over year due to gains in broadband more than offsetting declines in legacy voice and data services and other services. Broadband revenues increased 5.4%, which reflects fiber subscriber growth and higher ARPU resulting from increases in higher-revenue fiber customers.
  • Total broadband and DSL subscriber net losses were 20,000, reflecting growth in fiber subscribers mostly offsetting losses in slower-speed services. 
  • Full-year 2021 fiber net adds totaled about 1.0 million, the fourth consecutive year in which the company added 1 million or more fiber subscribers. AT&T Fiber is marketed to about 16 million customer locations.

Verizon Business and Atos to power predictive analytics for 5G edge

Verizon Business is working with Atos to power intelligent IoT solutions with private 5G multi-access edge computing. The Verizon-Atos solution provides an end-to-end architecture that includes hardware, 5G, application and automation, field services and service desk support.

Verizon will implement Atos Computer Vision platform in their private 5G multi-access edge computing as part of the joint solution for enterprises, providing ready-to-deploy business use cases in various industries. The Atos platform plays a role in bringing key capabilities in AI-powered video analytics to mission critical environments. Verizon’s use of Atos’ BullSequana Edge servers will strengthen its 5G edge offers and will unlock new use cases, advancements of network security, connectivity and data management.

“This new, joint solution will provide enterprise customers with an unprecedented level of insight into their operations, and we’re excited about the prospect of building on our existing partnership with Atos. We know the future will be built on our leading 5G network, and today’s announcement is another example of how our products and solutions are having a genuine impact on business efficiency and revenue today,” said Tami Erwin, CEO, Verizon Business.

Rambus delivers PCIe 6.0 controller

Rambus released a PCI Express 6.0 Controller, delivering data rates up to 64 Gigatransfers per second (GT/s) for high-performance applications. In addition, the controller provides an Integrity and Data Encryption (IDE) engine that monitors and protects PCIe links against physical attacks.

“The rapid advancement of AI/ML and data-intensive workloads requires that we continue to provide higher data rate solutions with best-in-class latency, power and area,” said Sean Fan, chief operating officer at Rambus. “As the latest addition to our portfolio of industry-leading interface IP, our PCIe 6.0 Controller offers customers an easy to integrate solution that delivers both performance and security for advanced SoCs and FPGAs.”

Key features of the Rambus PCIe 6.0 Controller include:

  • Supports PCIe 6.0 specification including 64 GT/s data rate and PAM4 signaling
  • Supports fixed-sized FLITs that enable high-bandwidth efficiency
  • Implements low-latency Forward Error Correction (FEC) for link robustness
  • Internal data path size automatically scales up or down (256, 512, 1024 bits) based on max. link speed and width for reduced gate count and optimal throughput
  • Backward compatible to PCIe 5.0, 4.0 and 3.0/3.1
  • Supports Endpoint, Root-Port, Dual-Mode and Switch port configurations
  • Integrated IDE optimized for performance

New PCIe 6.0 spec delivers 64 GT/s raw data rate

PCI-SIG, the organization responsible for the widely adopted PCI Express standard, officially released the PCIe 6.0 specification boasting a top raw data rate of 64 GT/s (gigatransfers per second) -- double the bandwidth and power efficiency of the PCIe 5.0 specification (32 GT/s).Applications for PCIe 6.0 are expected to include data centers, AI/ML, HPC, and defense systems.PCIe 6.0 Specification Features64 GT/s raw data rate and up to 256...