Sunday, March 27, 2022

Aqua Comms activates CeltixConnect-2 and North Sea Connect

Aqua Comms confirmed the launch of CeltixConnect-2 (CC-2) and North Sea Connect (NSC) as part of its ownership of the Havhingsten cable system, which links Ireland, the UK and the Nordics.

CC-2 is Aqua Comms’ second unrepeated system between the key data hubs of Ireland and the UK, with diverse landings into the Isle of Man (IOM). Together with CC-1 the new system brings resilient, high fibre count, capacity connectivity between these key hubs for the Carrier, Cloud and Content markets.

NSC offers a completely new route connecting the UK and the Nordics and is a repeated cable system connecting the Stellium Data Centre at D9’s SeaEdge-1 in Newcastle, UK and Blaabjerg, Denmark which also hosts Aqua Comms’ AEC-2 Trans-Atlantic cable system.

CC-2 and NSC also combine to provide regional connectivity to Aqua Comms’ AEC-1 and AEC-2 Trans-Atlantic cables ensuring resilience and diversity between the US, Ireland, the UK and the Nordics.

Chris Bayly, CCO of Aqua Comms, commented, “The addition of these two new regional systems mark an important milestone for Aqua Comms. By connecting Ireland, the UK and the Nordics, Aqua Comms is bringing its industry-leading connectivity services to these key growth markets whilst also enhancing its Trans-Atlantic footprint and connectivity between the US and Europe”.

Havhingsten Cable System links Ireland, UK and the Nordics

Construction has completed on the Havhingsten cable system linking Ireland, the UK and the Nordics. Partners in the project include Aqua Comms, Bulk Fiber Networks, a leading builder and operator of fiber network infrastructure, and Meta. The subsea cable was built by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN).

The Havhingsten cable system runs across the Irish Sea from north of Dublin, Ireland to south of Blackpool on the west coast of the UK, with a section also linking into the Isle of Man, and from Seaton Sluice in Northumberland to Denmark. Notably, the route avoids congested paths across the English Channel and ensures lower latency between Dublin and the Nordic region.

The partners are highlighting several key innovations and technological milestones:

  • Havhingsten is the world’s first aluminum conductor powered subsea cable system. As a material, aluminum allows for a much lower cable conductor voltage drop, which ultimately allows for a higher number of fiber pairs per cable. Using aluminum instead of copper reduces cost and weight, allowing more cable to be loaded onto an installation vessel. It also offer improved resistance to hydrogen penetration.
  • The end-to-end system combines data transmission seamlessly across both an unrepeatered subsea segment in the Irish Sea, a terrestrial segment in the UK and a repeatered segment in the North Sea. Typical systems have one or two of these elements, but not all three.
  • The system utilized a new enhanced, jet-assisted burial plough in both the North and Irish Sea segments, allowing the installers of the system to bury the cable to our specific demanding level of protection in very challenging seabed conditions along the route.

DigitalBridge to acquire Telenet's towers in Belgium

DigitalBridge agreed to acquire the mobile telecommunications tower business of Telenet Group for €745 million in cash (US$820 million).

The deal will provide DigitalBridge with ownership of 100% of Telenet’s passive infrastructure and tower assets, including TowerCo’s nationwide footprint of 3,322 sites in Belgium, including 2,158 owned sites and 1,164 third-party sites.

The business boasts a total tenancy ratio of 1.2x, and a tenancy ratio of 1.6x in towers. The transaction creates the foundation for DigitalBridge to benefit from Telenet’s increased participation in 5G deployment to meet growing coverage needs as underscored by robust market and macroeconomic trends in the telecom.

Telenet also agreed to a lease-back arrangement with DigitalBridge, with an initial period of 15 years and two renewals of 10 years each. The agreement also includes a build-to-suit commitment to deploy a minimum of 475 additional new sites.

Marc Ganzi, President and CEO of DigitalBridge, said, “Telenet’s tower business is a high-quality digital infrastructure asset with stable, predictable cashflows, high cash conversion, and long-term contracts. This transaction is the latest example of DigitalBridge’s commitment to working with leading telecom and technology companies globally to help them unlock embedded value in their networks via creative solutions built on long-standing relationships and a proven track record of successfully operating assets. We see significant headroom for growth in the Belgian telecom market through the enhancement of mobile penetration and data usage, and we look forward to meeting and exceeding Telenet’s increased coverage needs.”

KKR and Global Infrastructure Partners complete CyrusOne acquisition

Funds managed by KKR, a leading global investment firm, and Global Infrastructure Partners, completed their previously-announced acquisition of CyrusOne for $15 billion in cash.

“Closing this transaction begins an exciting new chapter for CyrusOne as we continue our global expansion with the benefit of significant resources and expertise that KKR and GIP are able to provide to the Company and its customers,” said Dave Ferdman, Co-Founder and President and Chief Executive Officer of CyrusOne. “We are very well positioned to capitalize on the acceleration in growth opportunities driven by strong underlying secular demand trends and create substantial value for all of our stakeholders.”

“We see significant opportunity ahead for CyrusOne to build on its market leading position and impressive track record of delivering state of the art data center solutions around the globe, at a time when the world is increasingly dependent on them, at a rapid pace,” said Waldemar Szlezak, Partner at KKR. “We look forward to leveraging our global experience investing behind digital infrastructure to, together with GIP, support CyrusOne’s continued growth, and are excited to get started.”

KKR and Global Infrastructure Partners to acquire CyrusOne for $15B

KKR, a leading global investment firm, and Global Infrastructure Partners agreed to acquire CyrusOne for $90.50 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $15 billion, including the assumption of debt.

The $90.50 per share purchase price reflects a premium of approximately 25% to CyrusOne’s unaffected closing stock price on September 27, 2021, the last full trading day prior to published market speculation regarding a potential sale of the Company.

CyrusOne operates more than 50 data centers worldwide providing mission-critical facilities for approximately 1,000 customers, including approximately 200 Fortune 1000 companies. Services include colocation, hyperscale, and build-to-suit environments.

“This transaction is a testament to the tremendous work by the entire CyrusOne team. We have built one of the world’s leading data center companies with a presence across key U.S. and international markets supporting our customers’ mission-critical digital infrastructure requirements while creating significant value for our stockholders,” said Dave Ferdman, Co-Founder and interim President and Chief Executive Officer of CyrusOne. “KKR and GIP will provide substantial additional resources and expertise to accelerate our global expansion and help us deliver the timely and reliable solutions at scale that our customers value.”

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of a robust strategic review process conducted by the CyrusOne Board of Directors to determine the best path forward for the Company and maximize stockholder value,” said Lynn Wentworth, Chair of the CyrusOne Board of Directors. “This transaction provides CyrusOne stockholders with significant value and simultaneously positions the Company to even better serve its customers to meet their needs in key markets around the world.”

What's hot at OFC22? Spirent on 800G

One of the hottest topics at OFC22 was 800G (2x400G), enabled by 112Gbps electrical lanes, explains Steve Rumsby, Demo Architect, Spirent.

A multivendor interoperability demo was hosted by the Ethernet Alliance.

AT&T sets details for WarnerMedia Spin-off

AT&T published the following details regarding the previously-announced deal to combine AT&T’s WarnerMedia business with Discovery, which is expected to be completed in April

AT&T declared a stock dividend to effect the spin-off of 100% of its interest in WarnerMedia to AT&T’s shareholders. The record date for the stock dividend is the close of business on April 5, 2022. 

AT&T shareholders as of the stock dividend record date will be entitled to receive shares of WarnerMedia Spinco common stock, representing 100% of AT&T’s interest in WarnerMedia. 

Immediately following this spin-off, the WarnerMedia Spinco shares will be exchanged for stock representing approximately 71% of the new WBD on a fully diluted basis. The exact number of shares of WBD common stock to be received by AT&T shareholders for each AT&T common share will be determined immediately before the closing based on the number of shares of AT&T common stock outstanding and the number of shares of Discovery common stock outstanding on an as-converted and as-exercised basis.

Polaris Wireless lands E911 Z-axis location licensing deal for a U.S. Tier 1 carrier

Polaris Wireless has signed License Agreements with two cellular device manufacturers for the integration of the company’s FCC-compliant E911 Z-axis location solution. The wins include a deal for its vertical location solution to be integrated into feature phones for delivery to a U.S. Tier 1 carrier

Nationwide U.S. wireless carriers must begin locating emergency callers within 3 meters vertically (floor level accuracy) by April 3, 2022, a level of accuracy the company’s technology has been independently demonstrated to achieve. The Polaris Wireless Z-axis solution has been integrated into multiple devices and is currently undergoing acceptance testing for planned deliveries to a U.S. Tier 1 carrier beginning in the second quarter of 2022.

“With our commitment to public safety and saving lives, we are very excited to reach the stage of commercial integration of our Z-axis product,” said Manlio Allegra, CEO and Founder of Polaris Wireless. “This milestone of achieving commercial readiness and availability comes after years of investment in development and testing.”

Polaris Wireless FCC-compliant location solutions have been deployed by U.S. wireless carriers consistently since 2003, initially providing highly accurate XY location of emergency callers and now adding floor level Z-axis location. The vertical component is critical in today’s environment when most 911 calls are placed by mobile phones and where location indoors and in high rise buildings is particularly challenging. Polaris Wireless is focused on innovation and has been issued 124 patents for location technology with 15 patents specifically related to vertical and barometric-based vertical location.

“The two license agreements will help save lives in the U.S. Polaris Wireless is already a leader in software-based XY location, and now we have established ourselves as a leader in Z-axis location for a complete 3D location portfolio,” continued Allegra. “Our Z-axis solution is scalable with minimal costs and complexity and will extend well beyond the geographical areas defined by the FCC for E911. We are a global company today and are well on our way to deliver accurate 3D location worldwide.”

Inspur's AI Servers support NVIDIA's new H100 Tensor Core GPU

Inspur Information announced that its AI servers fully support the new NVIDIA H100 Tensor Core GPU in four- and eight-way configurations. 

The NVIDIA H100 is positioned for AI training as well as AI inference of larger-scale and more complex models. Inspur said its AIStation will further amplify these benefits by offering a computing resource management platform to more conveniently and efficiently utilize computing power of GPU clusters.

"Inspur has a long-term cooperation with NVIDIA,” said Liu Jun, Vice President of Inspur Information and General Manager of AI and HPC. “Through innovative optimization design, the NVIDIA H100-based Inspur AI servers will help customers efficiently manage various challenging AI scenarios and will promote the development of AI industrialization and AI transformation.”