Sunday, February 5, 2023

Liquid selects Nokia for African optical transport backbone

South Africa-based Liquid Intelligent Technologies selected Nokia to deploy a next-generation optical transport network connecting Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The first-of-its-kind terrestrial network connecting submarine landing stations in Kenya, South Africa and DRC.  

Nokia is deploying 145 nodes of 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) in the seven countries with a total design capacity up to 12 Terabits per second. Once launched, the new, advanced optical transport backbone will enable Liquid lntelligent Technologies to address the growing demand for capacity and deliver submarine traffic to landlocked countries at an affordable cost.

Liquid lntelligent Technologies’ new optical backbone covers the sites with a colourless and flexgrid ROADM network for improved agility and flexibility. The Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching (GMPLS) feature of the new optical transport network will help reduce network disruptions by enabling automatic rerouting to alternate paths as needed.

Shahzad Manzoor Khan, Group Chief Technology Officer at Liquid Intelligent Technologies, said: “Internet giants, established cloud service providers and other mega-organisations are demanding hyperscale data centres that can support high levels of performance, spikes in demand, and redundancy while enabling massive availability. Our new terrestrial fiber corridor is the first of its kind in Africa in terms of distance and capacity. We are thrilled to partner with Nokia on this prestigious project which will transform Africa’s digital infrastructure and propel the region’s economy.”

Rajiv Aggarwal, Head of Central East and West Africa (CEWA) Market Unit at Nokia, said: “Nokia’s next-generation optical network will enable Liquid Intelligent Technologies to maintain its leadership position and emerge as a preferred partner of organizations requiring massive capacity. We are delighted that our technology and expertise will help Liquid Intelligent Technologies provide the best-in-class digital infrastructure to Africa’s enterprises and will play a role in strengthening the digital infrastructure of the continent.”

DigitalBridge buys AMP Capital’s global infrastructure fund

DigitalBridge Group completed its acquisition of AMP Capital’s global infrastructure equity investment management business in a transaction valued at $316 million, plus potential contingent payments based on certain future performance thresholds. The acquired business, which is based in London,  has been rebranded as InfraBridge. 

InfraBridge, comprises four investment funds with $5.6 billion in fee-earning assets under management, including the $3.4 billion Global Infrastructure Fund II (“GIF II”) and $1.4 billion Global Infrastructure Fund I (“GIF I”). InfraBridge will operate as a new, autonomous business unit within the DigitalBridge investment management platform, with its operations and strategy supported by DigitalBridge’s team of digital infrastructure professionals.

Damian Stanley, previously Global Co-Head, Value-Added Infrastructure Equity at AMP Capital, will serve as Managing Partner of InfraBridge. Mr. Stanley has been an instrumental and respected leader since joining AMP Capital in 2015 and has led numerous key transactions across the GIF platform. In addition, Bernardo Vargas Gibsone, who joined DigitalBridge’s leadership team in September 2022 after serving as CEO of ISA Group, has been appointed Non-Executive Chair of InfraBridge.

“We are pleased to welcome to DigitalBridge an experienced, high-caliber investment team that shares our focus on generating attractive, long-term, risk-adjusted returns for our investors,” said Marc Ganzi, Chief Executive Officer of DigitalBridge. “InfraBridge complements our “full-stack” investment platform, positioning DigitalBridge to capitalize on high-return mid-market investment opportunities. Further, the acquisition immediately contributes significant earnings and further advances DigitalBridge’s strategic roadmap towards an asset-light, high-growth asset manager serving secular growth markets.”

Telecom Italia hit by Internet outage

Telecom Italia's IP backbone suffered a multi-hour outage on Sunday, 05-Feb-2023, with traffic levels dropping by over 70%.

A spokesman from TIM cited an international interconnection problem, according to Reuters.

Also on Sunday, Italy's National Cybersecurity Agency (ACN) warned of wide-scale cyber attacks on servers running VMWare ESXi.

SK Telecom inspects cell towers using drones + image analysis AI

SK Telecom is using drone and image analysis AI to perform safety checks of its mobile towers.

Developed by SKT’s in-house experts, the image analysis AI model is capable of determining the status of bolts and nuts by analyzing images taken by drones.

SKT hopes to prevent accidents due to aging cell towers, while ensuring the safety of these personnel by minimizing the need to go up the cell towers.  

Moreover, the company can drive up work productivity through the application of an AI model that automatically identifies defects by analyzing images taken by drones. Previously, safety inspectors had to study around 100 images to complete safety inspection of one cell tower. With the adoption of this AI analysis model, SKT was able to reduce the time required for the process by 95%, while increasing the reliability and consistency of the analysis results.

“By building an intelligent safety inspection system that can complement the existing visual inspection, we have secured greater safety for workers,” said Park Myung-soon, SKT’s Vice President and Head of Infra DT Office. “We will continue to make efforts to achieve AI transformation of our telecommunication networks, while focusing on developing our field workers into experts who can develop and operate AI.” 

NTT Ltd adds Palo Alto Networks' SASE to its menu

NTT Ltd. added Palo Alto Networks Prisma SASE to its Managed Campus Networks portfolio. 

The new offering is a managed Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution that includes SD-WAN, cloud-delivered security, and enhanced automation and reporting. The end-to-end solution is designed to help enterprises meet current digital transformation challenges and enable more flexible ways of working.

“We are excited to partner with Palo Alto Networks to provide this end-to-end managed SASE offering that helps customers address the challenges that confront today’s enterprise operational environment,” said Sunil Kishore, Senior EVP Managed Network and Collaboration Services Division at NTT Ltd. “The breadth of our combined technical resources and service capabilities, coupled with NTT’s global presence, will enable us to design, deliver and manage solutions for even the most complex enterprise requirements.”

“NTT’s world-class service, support, and comprehensive set of SLAs provide a strong managed service foundation for our single vendor SASE solution,” added Anand Oswal, Senior Vice President of Products, Network Security at Palo Alto Networks. “NTT Managed Campus Networks with Palo Alto Networks Prisma SASE will play an integral role in enabling organizations to secure their digital transformation journeys through enhanced operational efficiency, agility and effective management of cloud environments, providing a true zero trust solution to safeguard today’s distributed workforce.”

Deutsche Telekom sells majority stake of its towers business

Deutsche Telekom completed the previously-announced, partial sale of its tower business in Germany and Austria, which is combined in the GD Towers unit, to DigitalBridge and Brookfield for more than 10 billion euros. 

GD Towers operates more than 40,000 mobile sites in Germany and Austria with around 800 employees. The company generated pro forma revenues of 1.1 billion euros in 2021. Adjusted pro forma EBITDA AL amounted to 640 million euros in 2021. The management team led by CEO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn and Chairman Thorsten Langheim will continue to manage the business. 

Deutsche Telekom retains 49 percent of the shares with significant minority rights and thus retains a stake in future value growth in the attractive infrastructure business. Telekom Deutschland and Magenta Austria will continue to have unrestricted access to GD Towers' passive infrastructure via long-term lease agreements.