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...