Thursday, March 30, 2023

Cisco debuts 36 x 800G line card for its 8000 series routers

Cisco introduced a 36 x 800G line card with a capacity 28.8 Tbps for use in its Cisco 8000 Series Routers. The line card offers double the density of the previous generation, with support for 2x400G-FR4 and 8x100G-FR interfaces.

The high density solution is aimed at IP backbone, metro core, and data centers supporting AI/ML workloads.

The new 28.8Tbps / 36 x 800G line card is powered by Cisco Silicon One P100 chip, which is implemented in 7nm. The silicon design packs 192 x112G SerDes in single chip. It features on-chip SRAM/TCAM memory with high-capacity HBM for buffering and LPM scale. The new chip also brings advanced traffic management, load balancing, instrumentation and telemetry. Cisco is also introducing an IOS XR Path Tracing capability that provides hop-by-hop visibility of the packet’s path through the network.

“We continue to expand 800G to more use cases, from AI/ML fabrics to the core, to help our customers meet their performance and sustainability goals,” said Kevin Wollenweber, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Networking, Data Center and Provider Connectivity. “With our dense core and spine solutions using new double density line cards with Cisco Silicon One, we have accelerated the transition to 800G anywhere.”

The line card could be populated with Cisco's forthcoming 800G pluggable transceivers. Because it supports industry standards, the line card could also accept third party optics conforming to MSA specs.

Cisco boosts its Routed Optical Networking solutions

Cisco is rolling out a number of enhancements to its Routed Optical Networking portfolio with new products and features, including a new Cisco NCS 1010 open optical line system, Bright ZR/ZR+ pluggable optics, and expansion of Cisco Crosswork Automation portfolio.   "Cisco is committed to powering an inclusive future for all, where everyone has access to quality internet, and that requires fundamental changes in networking,” said Bill Gartner,...

Sabrina Meng takes a turn as Chair of Huawei

Sabrina Meng will assume the position of Rotating and Acting Chair of Huawei from April 1, 2023 to September 30, 2023, serving as head the Board of Directors and its Executive Committee.

Meng Wanzhou has held positions including Director of the International Accounting Dept, CFO of Huawei Hong Kong, and President of the Accounting Mgmt Dept. Ms. Meng now serves as Deputy Chairwoman of the Board, and Rotating Chairwoman and CFO of Huawei.

On Friday, March 31, Huawei is expected to announce its 2022 financial results.

  • In September 2021, after nearly 3 years of house arrest in Vancouver, Canada, pending extradition to the United States, Meng reached a settlement with U.S. Department of Justice resolving the case of alleged fraud.
  • Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei.

Windstream completes rip-n-replace of Huawei gear

Windstream confirmed that it has now removed all Huawei equipment from its network.

Windstream’s network included Huawei gear acquired as part of its 2017 purchase of EarthLink. 

The company says the prohibited equipment represented a small fraction of its routing and transportation capability.

As a federal contractor, Windstream implemented a multi-year engineering plan to remove this equipment in 2019, before the FCC made removal mandatory. By fall 2022, all Huawei equipment had been disconnected from Windstream’s network and was no longer operative.

“As an industry leader in network intelligence and infrastructure expansion, Windstream was prepared to quickly and effectively remove the impacted equipment,” said Art Nichols, Windstream’s chief technology officer. “Our multi-pronged approach included using alternate routes, replacing equipment where necessary, and leveraging the company’s winning Fast and Flexible process.”

Verizon Frontline intros two connectivity nodes for first responders

Verizon Frontline introduced two new portable communications assets for delivering mission-critical communications to first responders when network connections and coverage are impacted by natural disasters or damaged infrastructure.

The first of the two new assets is the compact Verizon Rapid Response Connectivity unit, whichis designed to be deployed by one person in fewer than 15 minutes and is capable of delivering secure and reliable voice and internet service for first responders under austere conditions. The Verizon Rapid Response Connectivity Unit is C-Band-enabled (5G) and features Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite connectivity options, a cloud-managed firewall, a cloud-managed router/switch and 4G LTE network extenders capable of supporting up to 120 active users. This asset is also built on a rugged, all-terrain motorized carriage, includes a gasoline generator with an extra five-gallon fuel tank and functions at nearly any altitude, in nearly any climate.

The second new asset is Verizon Frontline’s Mobile Connectivity Agile Vehicle, a modified electric motorcycle capable of providing first responders with mission-critical communications capabilities when operating in areas that traditional vehicles and larger deployable assets can’t reach.

For example, the Mobile Connectivity Agile Vehicle is able to navigate narrow, hard-to-access trails to provide wildland firefighters deep in a forest with satellite connectivity directly on the front lines. In addition to its satellite capabilities, the Mobile Connectivity Agile Vehicle is also equipped with a cellular network extender and WiFi router to help provide public safety agencies with critical voice and data service during emergency response operations.

FCC looks to reevaluate licenses of foreign telecom operators

The FCC is considering whether to periodically reassess the operating licenses of foreign-owned companies that provide telecommunications services in the United States. The new rules would require foreign-owned license holders to undergo a periodic review and renewal process, which would involve close consultation with our national security colleagues in the Executive Branch.

 FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said the rules need to be updated to stay ahead of evolving security threats. 

“Across the board, the FCC is taking clear and decisive action to address national security risks in our communications networks,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel.  “That is why it is so important to have the agency regularly review foreign companies’ authorizations to provide telecommunications services in the United States.  If a provider poses a threat that cannot be mitigated, we will take the steps necessary to remove their access to our networks.”

In the last few years, the FCC has revoked the Section 214 operating authorities of four Chinese state-owned carriers based on recommendations from national security agencies. 

The FCC has also brought a case against a company that was required to divest unvetted Russian ownership.

Israel's Partner Comm picks Adtran's fiber access

Partner Communications is leveraging Adtran's open, disaggregated 10Gbit/s fiber access platform.

Partner Communications is Israel’s second-largest mobile operator, and it also operates a fiber broadband network that passes nearly one million homes and connects hundreds of thousands of fiber customers. 

Adtran’s Combo PON technology enables Partner Communications to simultaneously provision a mix of GPON and XGS-PON services across the same fiber infrastructure using a single access port while maximizing the efficiency of their operations. This simplifies the migration to multigigabit services as demand increases while saving space and power.

“There is competition across our market in Israel. It’s imperative that we can offer higher internet speeds and deliver them quickly. We already see high market demand for our multigigabit service tiers. Adtran’s solution simplifies our network operations, lowering our cost to scale fiber broadband,” said Yaniv Bar-Gil, head of fiber infrastructure division at Partner Communications. “Adtran also offers a high level of customer support that we cannot find with other solution vendors. The team works hard to understand our unique challenges and helps us address them quickly so we can focus on delivering the best experience to our subscribers.”

“Like many service providers, Partner Communications needed the ability to rapidly deploy efficient FTTH technologies with open architectures to increase their service velocity while lowering operational cost. Our open and disaggregated fiber access solution creates networks with greater simplicity, sustainability and scalability,” commented Ronan Kelly, CTO of EMEA and APAC regions at Adtran. “We’re providing a highly differentiated, multi-vendor, multi-technology platform that delivers the high-speed broadband services needed to attract new subscribers, launch new services and enter new markets.”

EnerTribe picks Tarana's fixed wireless access

EnerTribe, a Native American and woman-owned consulting firm specializing in telecommunications and infrastructure projects, has selected Tarana's next-generation fixed wireless access (ngFWA) for broadband projects serving tribal communities across the United States. For this project, EnerTribe will assist the Round Valley Indian Tribes (RVIT) in deploying wireless infrastructure to provide improved broadband capacity and coverage in Covelo Valley, California.

EnerTribe serves as a resource for operators, value added resellers, and other organizations that provide essential services to tribal residents, governments, and enterprises. 

Tarana’s G1 platform, which was launched commercially in late 2021, is currently in use in over 210 active operator networks across 19 countries.

Tarana President, Dirk Gates, added, “We are thrilled to be partnering with EnerTribe on such significant projects. EnerTribe’s focus on providing broadband and other essential infrastructure to indigenous communities is well-aligned with our mission to enable connectivity in un- and under-served regions. We are excited about the prospects for our partnership, which will expand quality internet access to the Round Valley Indian Tribes and beyond.”

Ribbon completes $55 Million preferred stock private placement

In a private placement financing transaction, Ribbon issued 55,000 shares of Series A preferred stock, along with warrants to purchase approximately 4.86 million shares of common stock. Each share of Series A preferred stock was sold at a price of $970 per share. 

The private placement resulted in gross proceeds of approximately $53.4 million, with participation from Ribbon's three largest stockholders - Neuberger Berman client funds, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Swarth Investments Ltd. 

Ribbon used the net proceeds, together with cash on hand and funds received from the sale of its fixed rate interest rate swap, to prepay $75 million of the principal amount outstanding on the Term Loan A under Ribbon's senior secured credit agreement. 

"We are pleased with the continued interest and support we received from both existing and new stockholders, as well as the banks included in our credit facility," said Ribbon Communications CFO Mick Lopez.  "We believe the structure of the preferred stock, coupled with the previously announced amendment to the credit facility, complements our existing senior secured credit facility in a stockholder friendly way, while preserving balance sheet flexibility going forward. With the outlook for future interest rate increases diminishing, we believe the value of our fixed rate swap has likely peaked, making this an ideal time to capture this value and effectively reduce our total outstanding debt by approximately $20 million," continued Mr. Lopez.