Monday, April 17, 2023

Nokia extends its OLT portfolio with pizza-box for low-density areas

Nokia introduced its second ‘pizza-box’ form optical line terminal (OLT). 

The new Quillion-powered Lightspan DF-32GM extends Nokia’s OLT portfolio for multi-gig deployments in low density areas by communication service providers and cable operators. DF-32 will fit into Nokia’s existing multi-gig portfolio which ranges from the very small size unit, the DF-16, to the large MF-14 fit for massive delivery of 25G PON and beyond.

Nokia-designed Quillion chip supports three PON technologies (GPON, XGS-PON, 25G PON) in a single solution.

Geert Heyninck, VP Broadband Networks at Nokia, said: “Operators need complete scale of solutions for any service and any deployment type. One size doesn’t fit all. We are seeing growing interest in small OLT solutions to go further with fiber: rural; other new areas; enterprises; cell site connectivity. Our goal is to bring these different form factors with future proof capacity, high reliability and SDN capabilities.”

Nokia also noted that it now has 250 customers worldwide for its Quillion-based fiber broadband solutions.

Ericsson posts flat sales in Q1

Ericsson reported flat organic sales in Q1 of SEK 62.6 billion (approximately US$6.05 billion), as sales for its Networks business unit declined by 2% driven by lower operator capex and inventory optimization among multiple customers. The decline was offset by growth in other business segments, including a 19% organic growth in Enterprise. EBITA excluding restructuring charges was SEK 4.8 (5.0) b.

Some highlights from the prepared remarks of Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm:

"As expected, customers in early 5G markets have slowed the deployment pace somewhat. Our effect on sales is bigger as some customers have also lowered the elevated inventory levels built up in a tight supply environment. We expect this inventory adjustment to be mostly completed during Q2 but may spill into Q3. Significant growth from large roll-out projects did not fully offset the sales impact from early 5G markets. As expected, the increased share of large roll-out projects pressured the gross margin in Networks, however it positions us well for future growth. In Cloud Software and Services, we continued to execute on our turnaround strategy and reduced our loss slightly more than plan. With this progress, we are on track to reaching the important milestone of break-even in 2023."

"Following the strong cash flow in Q4, the first quarter cash flow was negative. Compared to last year working capital grew related to the changed business mix with the two components: increased customer financing for large roll-out projects in new 5G markets and reduced trade payables. As usual, Q1 cash flow was seasonally impacted by pay-out of accrued employee-related expenses."

"Cost efficiency is crucial for our long-term competitiveness. We have accelerated our cost-out execution and have identified additional savings opportunities of SEK 2 b. and now plan to reduce cost run rate by SEK 11 b. by year-end. Our early estimate, given the increased scope and more costly programs in Europe, indicates that restructuring charges may amount to around SEK 7 b. for the full year, of which more than half is likely to be booked in Q2. For 2024, we expect restructuring charges to normalize to about 0.5% of sales."

"We continue to see a choppy environment during 2023 with poor visibility. In Q2, we expect operators to remain cautious with capex investments and continue to adjust inventories. We expect this dynamic to largely be offset by growth from large roll-out projects which, as noted earlier, will be dilutive to gross margin in the short term. In the Enterprise segment, we remain confident of the long-term growth trajectory, and we expect the slower growth we saw in Q1, caused by the slower global economy, to continue in Q2. For Q2, we expect Group EBITA[2] margin to reach mid-single-digit level. We expect a gradual recovery in the second half of 2023, primarily as we expect the inventory adjustments to be completed and our cost reduction activities to start flowing through the P&L. Long-term, previous experience tells us that when operators are seeing underlying traffic growth, this leads to investments in networks in order to avoid deteriorating quality."

Indonesia Global Gateway subsea cable tests Nokia's PSE-V optics

Nokia’s next-generation PSE-V super coherent optics have been tested successfully on PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin)’s Indonesia Global Gateway’s (IGG) submarine live network. The trial was conducted last year over a 3,551 km subsea cable between Jurong in Singapore to Manado in Indonesia.

The trial utilized Nokia’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) for Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) and repeater loading the 1830 Photonic Services Interconnect – Modular (PSI-M) compact modular platform for PSE-Vs transponder cards, enabling Telin to further improve spectral efficiency on its subsea cable systems, including repeaters.

Telin, which is the international arm of Telkom Indonesia, expects the solution will increase capacity by around 31% while lowering the total cost of ownership.

The trial exceeded the quality benchmark set by Telin and recorded a fiber capacity of 11Tb/s in the 2.2THz of optical fiber spectrum. Nokia and Telin recorded a capacity of 500 Gbps per channel compared to 400 Gbps per channel of the existing equipment. 

Nokia PSE-V super coherent chipset ensures optimal use of spectrum by leveraging second-generation Probabilistic Constellation Shaping (PCS) technology with continuous baud rate adjustment.

Ozgur Erzincan, President Director at Nokia Indonesia, said: “Our innovative PSE-V super coherent optic solution is helping service providers improve spectral efficiency and considerably increase capacity. We are thrilled that our solution surpassed the quality standards set by Telin before the trial. We look forward to continue supporting Telin as it addresses the growing demand for capacity and improves network performance while keeping costs under control.”

Ericsson expands R&D in Canada

Ericsson announced a five-year R&D partnership valued at more than CAD 470 million with the Government of Canada.

The investment will see Ericsson expands its facilities in Ottawa, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec, creating hundreds of jobs. The research will include 5G Advanced, 6G, AI, Cloud RAN, and Core Network technologies. The investment will also support the expansion of research facilities and staff support for quantum computing at Ericsson’s recently established Quantum Research hub in Montreal.

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, says: “Today’s announcement is further evidence that Canadian workers have the talent the world needs to develop faster and more secure internet connection and other wireless services. As we continue to support innovation, we are creating good jobs, strengthening the middle class, and ensuring Canada remains a global leader in technology.”

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, says: “We are already seeing the benefits of next-generation technologies such as 5G and AI, yet we are still in the early days of their potential to transform our work, leisure, and social lives. Ericsson’s R&D investment partnership with the Canadian government, supported by world-class talent in Ottawa and Montreal, will boost innovation and ultimately help to improve the lives of millions of people. We are determined to lead our industry through continued R&D investment.”

Virgin Media O2 picks Mavenir for Open RAN

Virgin Media O2 has selected Mavenir as its Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) vendor. Mavenir will also be the prime integrator, providing its Open virtualised Radio Access Network (Open vRAN) solution for sites on Virgin Media O2’s network.

Mavenir’s Open vRAN solution is cloud-native with fully containerised microservices and it works on open interfaces supporting O-RAN Split 7.2x and Split 2. It further disaggregates into Distributed Unit (DU) and Centralised Unit (CU). These entities work as containerised network functions running on Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) hardware containing Intel processors.

Mavenir’s Open RAN system will consist of fully virtualised L1, L2 vRAN SW and will operate on Intel Xeon Scalable Processors, along with Intel vRAN Accelerator ACC100 and Intel 800 series Ethernet adapters. The delivery will also feature Mavenir’s OpenBeam Radios including massive MIMO, 3rd party O-RAN based Radio Units (O-RU) for open Fronthaul, network monitoring and optimisation.

Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2, said: “Through digitalising our networks, we’re seamlessly integrating our infrastructure to get more value from our existing assets. Extending our collaboration with Mavenir to the RAN for the first time will help us establish a future-proof Open vRAN architecture, unlocking the benefits of a multi-vendor open interface while allowing us to rapidly benefit from an end-to-end network solution.”

Pardeep Kohli, President and CEO at Mavenir, said: “Mavenir’s Open vRAN cloud-native approach presents new pathways for automated networks to deliver on the use cases and data demands of today and beyond – driving network elasticity, flexibility and best-in-class automation. The Mavenir OpenBeam radio portfolio fully complements Virgin Media O2’s full spectrum requirements and we look forward to playing an active role in unlocking network automation and openness in the RAN.”

SkyLine picks Ribbon for IP + Optical network

SkyLine, a provider of advanced telecommunications in North Carolina, has selected Ribbon Communications to supply a comprehensive IP and Optical network solution.

Ribbon said its IP Wave solution enables greater speeds, while simplifying management and monitoring. Ribbon's NPT family of IP Routers supports multiple routing technologies and services for flexibility and high performance, while its Apollo DWDM Optical Transport platform provides a programmable and open solution supporting very high capacity transport that can be tailored to an organization's individual business needs.

"We've built our IP Wave solutions for maximum flexibility and performance, "said Elizabeth Page, Senior Sales Director - Rural Markets at Ribbon. "SkyLine now has the keys to a network that matches current requirements and can easily and cost-effectively scale to meet their needs for years to come."

BridgeComm and X-lumin target ground-to-space lasers

BridgeComm, which offers connectivity through multipoint optical wireless communications, announced a two-way exclusive teaming agreement with X-lumin Corporation to manufacture and market a new ground-to-space communication solution (G2S).

X-lumin supplies state-of-the-art optical wireless communication solutions.

The G2S solution is designed for all-weather austere locations, operating at high availability 24/7/365. The system functions as a ground terminal supporting bi-directional links to LEO, MEO and GEO satellites and can operate as a stand-alone optical ground station (OGS) or as part of a network. With this exclusive teaming agreement, BridgeComm and X-lumin will make this comprehensive laser communications solution available to provide superior quality ground-to-space optical communications from anywhere in the world.

The G2S solution features interoperability with SDA, CCSDS, and U.S. and International FSOC Modem and Wavelength Standards. This exclusive agreement marks a significant milestone for BridgeComm and X-lumin Corporation and underscores their commitment to pushing the boundaries of optical wireless communication technology.

"We are excited to work with X-lumin Corporation to expand our capabilities to design, build and deliver a state-of-the-art laser communications ground optical solution to market," said Michael Abad-Santos, CEO of BridgeComm. "This collaboration will allow us to enhance global connectivity solutions for space-based companies, government and mobile networks, enabling humans and machines to interact without limitation."

"BridgeComm has been a great partner for us, and this agreement helps solidify our complete offering of lasercom solutions for both space applications as well as telecommunications service providers here on earth," said Diana LaTour, Co-Founder, CEO and Chairman of X-lumin Corporation.