Thursday, February 23, 2023

Nokia's PSE-6s photonic service engine carries 1.2 Tbps wavelength for 118km

Nokia announced two performance metrics for its recently-announced sixth generation super-coherent Photonic Service Engine, PSE-6s: 1.2 Tb/s over metro distances (118km) and 800 Gb/s over long haul distances (2,019 km), both using a single wavelength.

Both field records were achieved on GlobalConnect’s live optical network in Europe. 

The 1.2 Tb/s speed was using Nokia’s PSE-6s optics deployed over a wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) network using 150 GHz of spectrum on GlobalConnect’s Metro Data Center Interconnect links. Data center interconnection was also demonstrated at 800 Gb/s on a single wavelength over 2,000km, paving the way to single-wavelength 800GE transport across long-haul distances with no regeneration. Reducing the number of coherent interfaces needed enables up to 50% network total cost of ownership savings and up to a 60% reduction in network power consumption.

James Watt, President Nokia Optical Networks, said: “With world data volumes expected to double by 2025, there has never been so much focus on cost and power consumption per bit. That is why we launched the PSE-6s and why we are celebrating this first field trial with GlobalConnect, ushering in new era of single-wavelength 800GE client transport to increase network capacity.”

Martin Højriis Kristensen, Head of Market & Operations at GlobalConnect, said: “This trial highlights GlobalConnect’s commitment to offering scalable and flexible high-bandwidth services across our Nordic backbone network. We are pleased to validate Nokia’s latest generation of PSE-6 super coherent optics as an important enabler of these continuous network upgrades, seamlessly operating over our live network with existing coherent channels.”

Vodafone tests Juniper's Open RAN RIC

Vodafone, in partnership with Juniper Networks and Parallel Wireless completed a field trial that validated both Admission Control and Traffic Steering applications running on top of the open and interoperable Juniper RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) platform. 

The trial ran over a Vodafone commercial network.

The Admission Control use case combines both the rApp and xApp from Juniper, allowing real-time tracking and optimization of radio resources such as User Equipment (UEs)/tenant and Power Distribution Unit (PDUs)/tenant based on current traffic utilization. The application allows for the dynamic allocation of network resources without the need for over-provisioning all the way to specific customers, therefore improving resource management and network efficiency. As a result, operators can achieve cost savings with streamlined operations and reduced equipment needs while providing a higher quality of service to end users.

The Traffic Steering xApp from Parallel Wireless, in conjunction with Juniper’s rApp, enhances the user experience by dynamically and automatically distributing network load. Based on the traffic/cell conditions in Vodafone’s live network, throughput improvements of 40 percent were observed for users that were experiencing low performance due to cell overload, and an average of 15 percent to 30 percent improvement was observed across all users in the overloaded cell. This application efficiently utilizes operator resources to meet capacity demands without requiring manual intervention, thereby helping to reduce costs and to minimize errors.

Juniper says both use cases  demonstrate that user experience can be managed and optimized automatically by the RIC, based on real-time data insights. These use cases can be implemented uniformly across RANs in a multi-vendor environment. The ability to deploy innovative applications from third-party vendors on top of the Juniper RIC platform helps mobile operators and third-party apps unlock the full potential and benefits of Open RAN.

CignalAI: a nascent market for 100ZR coherent pluggables

CignalAI has published a “Coherent at the Network Edge” report that forecasts demand for 100ZR coherent pluggables beginning in 2024 as operators upgrade to higher speeds in optical access networks. 

“It was important to discuss the requirements and viability of this technology with the hardware designers and end users, not just the component manufacturers,” said Scott Wilkinson, Lead Analyst for Optical Components at Cignal AI. “We learned that dedicated QSFP28-based 100ZR modules will fill a central role in the next generation of fiber access networks.”

More key findings from the Coherent at the Network Edge Report:

  • QSFP28 versions of 100ZR will win most of the access market. QSFP-DD versions based on 400ZR technology do not meet critical size and power needs at the network’s edge.
  • Access network upgrades will drive 100ZR demand when Enterprise and mobile traffic coexists on the same network.
  • Price is not the primary driver in situations where 100ZR is the best solution, but it must be significantly less than the current 400ZR pricing to replace 10G.
  • Market demand and general availability of 100ZR components will align in 2024.
  • As a result of these discussions with access hardware manufacturers, Cignal AI’s forecast for 100ZR module shipments was doubled for 2025.

Juniper and IBM pursue O-RAN automation

Juniper Networks and IBM will pursue the integration of IBM’s network automation capabilities with Juniper’s Radio Access Network (RAN) optimization and Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) technology. 

The goal is to deliver a unified RAN management platform that will be designed to use intelligent automation to better enable communications service providers (CSPs) to monetize, optimize and scale their investments in next-generation networks and provide better experiences to mobile users.

Specifically, the two companies will look to integrate Juniper’s RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) with IBM Cloud Pay for Network Automation with the intention of creating a fully integrated and automated O-RAN and RAN solution. The goal of this solution will be to offer end-to-end automation of secured 5G network slices, from provisioning through validation and deployment, monitoring and assurance of SLAs during run-time, through the integration of Juniper’s RIC and Slice-aware use case capabilities with IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation’s policy engines.

“We see CSPs rapidly turning to cloud and intelligent automation technology as they look to build more open and scalable next-generation networks and provide their customers with better end-user experiences. We are driving innovation with partners like Juniper Networks where the value of Cloud Pak® for Network Automation can bring extensive solution value to our joint clients who need disaggregated, multi-vendor and economically-viable radio networks,” stated Andrew Coward, General Manager, Software-Defined Networking, IBM.

“O-RAN is enabling a shift to an open, intelligent and programmable environment that can open up a new vista on the full potential of mobile services, driving innovative applications that make new revenue streams possible for service providers globally. To realize this potential, Juniper’s RIC has been architected as an open and interoperable platform to support easy integration with RAN automation solutions. Coupling it with IBM’s Cloud Pak for Network Automation software has the potential to unlock new monetization opportunities for operators,” said Constantine Polychronopoulos, Group Vice President, 5G & Cloud Networking, Juniper Networks.

Ericsson: 5G subscriptions top one billion

According to updated figures just released by Ericsson, the number of active 5G subscriptions worldwide has topped 1 billion. Some 136 million 5G subscriptions were added globally between October and December 2022.

Among other statistics in the Ericsson update:

  • There were more than 8.4 billion mobile subscriptions at the close of 2022 - a net addition of 39 million between October-December 2022.
  • Nigeria accounted for the most mobile subscriptions net additions between October-December 2022, accounting for more than four million. More than four million were also added in the Philippines and more than three million in
  • There were about 6.1 billion unique mobile subscribers at the close 2022.
  • Mobile broadband accounts for about 86 percent of all mobile subscriptions.
  • Mobile network data traffic grew 40 percent between Q4 2021 and Q4 2022, reaching 118 EB (exabytes) per month.
  • There was a ten percent quarter-on-quarter mobile network data traffic growth between Q3 2022 and Q4 2022.
  • Mobile network data traffic has doubled in just two years.
  • 4G subscriptions increased by 36 million from October-end of December 2022 to around 5.1 billion, representing 60 percent of all mobile subscriptions
  • WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions fell by 89 million during Q4, 2022, while GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions dropped by 40 million during the same period.
  • At the close of 2022, 235 communications service providers (CSPs) had launched commercial 5G services. About 35 CSPs have deployed or launched 5G standalone (SA) networks.

Nokia supplies 5G Standalone Core for Comcast

Nokia will supply its 5G Standalone Core to Comcast to deliver new seamless connectivity for Xfinity Mobile and Comcast Business Mobile customers.

The deployment includes Nokia's 5G Stand Alone Core networking software, including Packet Core, delivering near zero touch automation and ultra low latency capabilities, as well as operations software and consulting services. These offerings will support Comcast’s efforts to deliver enhanced 5G access to consumer and business customers in the U.S. using Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) and 600 MHz spectrum. This will supplement Comcast's existing Xfinity WiFi network and cellular network partnership with additional targeted 5G coverage in certain high-traffic areas within its service territory. 

Fran Heeran, SVP & General Manager of Core Networks, Cloud and Network Services, at Nokia, said: “We are delighted to partner with Comcast and provide Nokia’s advanced 5G Core portfolio to deliver innovative 5G customer offerings securely, at scale, and with advanced operational efficiencies.”

Infinera posts Q4 sales of $485.9 million as ICE6 ramps

Citing ramping sales of its ICE6, Infinera reported Q4 2022 GAAP revenue of $485.9 million compared to $390.4 million in the third quarter of 2022 and $400.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. GAAP gross margin for the quarter was 37.1% compared to 34.4% in the third quarter of 2022 and 35.6% in the fourth quarter of 2021. GAAP operating margin for the quarter was 5.2% compared to (2.4)% in the third quarter of 2022 and (2.5)% in the fourth quarter of 2021.

GAAP net income for the quarter was $33.5 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, compared to net loss of $(11.9) million, or $(0.05) per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2022, and net loss of $(33.1) million, or $(0.16) per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2021. Non-GAAP net income for the quarter was $40.3 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, compared to net income of $9.9 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2022, and $5.7 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Infinera CEO David Heard said, “Our fourth quarter revenue and operating profit beat consensus expectations and contributed to record performance for Infinera on many fronts. In the fourth quarter we grew product revenue by 26% and overall revenue by 21% compared to the same quarter a year ago, while operating profit improved approximately three-fold compared to the same quarter a year ago. We delivered these results despite the significant impact of elevated supply chain costs on our financial results. We expanded ICE6 revenue in the quarter, continued to win in the metro, deployed new line systems and advanced the qualification of our 400G ZR+ softwaredefined pluggables.”

“For the full year of 2022, we ramped ICE6 to exceed our 25% of product revenue annual goal, grew total revenue by 10%, and improved operating margin by 230 basis points. Furthermore, we introduced our first subsystems products, which positions us well to access a new multibillion-dollar market that we believe can drive incremental growth, profitability and earnings per share as we focus on achieving our target business model.”