Thursday, May 11, 2023

AT&T and BlackRock launch Gigapower, a wholesale fiber provider

AT&T and BlackRock launched a joint venture company called Gigapower, which will offer a fiber network to ISP and other businesses in parts of select metro areas throughout the country using a commercial wholesale open access platform.

AT&T,  which will be the first tenant on Gigapower, said the new JV will greatly expand the number of customers and communities with access its AT&T Fiber internet service. AT&T is already the nation’s largest fiber internet provider in the U.S. and has previously announced plans to pass 30 million-plus consumer and business locations in its traditional service areas by the end of 2025. Gigapower will enable AT&T to expand its fiber service reach beyond its traditional service areas.

In addition to Las Vegas, Gigapower now expects to expand beyond its previously announced fiber deployment in Mesa, to the Chandler and Gilbert areas of Arizona. Gigapower also plans to build fiber in parts of Northeastern Pennsylvania (including Wilkes-Barre and Scranton) as well as parts of Alabama and Florida that are outside AT&T’s current service areas.

“We believe fiber connectivity changes everything. That’s why we’re already one of the biggest investors in fiber in the United States,” said John Stankey, CEO of AT&T. “The demand for high-speed connectivity is unprecedented, and through this innovative partnership with BlackRock, one of the world’s foremost investors in infrastructure, we’re able to connect even more people and businesses, accelerating our efforts to help close the digital divide.”

“BlackRock is pleased to help bring critical broadband services to communities across America,” said Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock. “This investment on behalf of BlackRock’s clients will advance efforts to bridge the digital divide and spur economic growth in the communities where Gigapower operates.”

“Recently our first wholesale customer, AT&T, activated end-user customers on the Gigapower fiber network in Mesa, and that is just the beginning,” said Bill Hogg, CEO of Gigapower. “We have big plans to deploy multi-gig fiber to many more cities across our country. Our partnerships with communities like Las Vegas and others are essential to building our fiber network and creating a commercial wholesale open access platform that will benefit consumers and businesses across the U.S.”

  • AT&T and BlackRock first announced the deal in December 2022.

Zayo teams with Fermaca on U.S.-Mexico long-haul fiber

Zayo announced a strategic partnership with Fermaca Networks to provide diverse fiber connectivity between the United States and Mexico.

Fermaca aims to launch a new long-haul dark fiber route in Mexico in 2025, which will be the newest and longest long-haul dark fiber route in Mexico in 20 years. 

Zayo is teaming with Fermace to provide access through Queretaro with a diverse border crossing through El Paso, Texas. Queretaro has emerged as one of the most important data center hubs in Mexico.

"Our partnership with Fermaca marks an exciting milestone for Zayo as we continue to push the boundaries of connectivity for the digital age,” said AndrĂ©s Irlando, president of Zayo. “The expectations for continued growth throughout Mexico are tremendous. We are excited to partner with Fermaca on their investment to deliver the modern IT infrastructure and cross-border connectivity our customers need to stay ahead of the digital curve.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Zayo to deliver greater value and reach to our clients and help them compete in their industries and around the world,” said Daniel Elguea, CEO at Fermaca Dreams. “The combination of Zayo’s network assets in the U.S. and Fermaca’s deep expertise in fiber networks in Mexico enable us to deepen our relationship with clients and give them peace of mind that their data and IT environments are in safe hands.”

Federated Wireless extends mobile coverage via private 5G

Federated Wireless introduced a solution that enables public cellular access through 5G private wireless networks.

Federated Wireless' Neutral Host 2.0 uses shared Citizen Broadband Radio Spectrum (CBRS) spectrum to power a single radio network that can be simultaneously shared by multiple mobile network operators (MNOs). This is in contrast to legacy Distributed Antenna System (DAS) neutral host systems that required separate radios to support differing licensed spectrum for each MNO.

“The legacy DAS model for neutral host locked customers into silos of vendor equipment and required supporting different specifications for each carrier. We don’t believe in that at Federated,” said Iyad Tarazi, CEO for Federated Wireless. “Neutral Host 2.0 is a no-compromise approach that brings together the power of our robust ecosystem of partners into a managed service that makes it easy for our customers to get both carrier-grade private wireless and public cellular network capabilities in one interoperable network.”

 Neutral Host 2.0 also provides cell phone subscribers with more coverage in more locations. Cell phone users in buildings, office parks, retail spaces, apartments, campuses, hospitals, resorts, rural areas, and other locations where they previously found themselves without a signal can now use Neutral Host 2.0 to gain data network access and place phone calls using their existing carrier subscription. 

 Neutral Host 2.0 builds on Federated Wireless’ CBRS market leadership, 4G/5G PWaaS product portfolio, and expanding ecosystem of solution partners. Federated Wireless now claims over 48% of the CBRS shared spectrum marketplace, has 150,000 connected devices, and a rapidly growing installed base of over 500 customers cutting across multiple industries and geographic regions including the continental U.S., Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. Their ecosystem of partners is expanding and includes original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and tier one Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). Additionally, they have deployments with tier one cable operators and tower companies, and more than 250 regional and rural Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs).

Digital Realty equips new Paris data center with liquid cooling

Digital Realty expanded its service offering with a new high-performance computing (HPC)-capable data center in Paris, France.

The state of the art data center in La Courneuve is equipped with a direct liquid cooling (DLC) system to support the HPC equipment.

Digital Realty said the new HPC-capable data center has been designed to be adaptable to customers’ evolving infrastructure needs while also optimizing for energy efficiency. With DLC, customers are likely to experience reductions in data processing costs – compared to traditional air-cooling methods – due to the technology’s ability to efficiently dissipate heat and reduce energy consumption, as well as make progress towards the reduction of their Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions.

Fabrice Coquio, SVP and Managing Director – France, Digital Realty, commented: “Working closely with our customers and supporting their evolving needs is a top priority for Digital Realty, which is why we are offering an HPC-compatible DLC solution in Paris.”

Coquio continues: “Digital Realty’s liquid cooling solution enables our customers to deploy their most compute-intensive applications in an environment that is optimized for energy efficiency. Our new HPC-capable data center in Paris is another step towards achieving our vision of becoming the meeting place for companies, technologies, and data to come together.”

Emirates Telecommunications (e&) expands alliance Vodafone

Vodafone and Emirates Telecommunications (e&, formerly Etisalat) announced a strategic relationship that establishes e& as a cornerstone shareholder of Vodafone. The deal is the next phase in a strategic relationship that began in May 2022, when e& made its original investment in Vodafone. e& now holds a 14% stake in the company.

The strategic relationship also covers a broad range of growth areas, enabling the companies to benefit from each other's respective operational scale and complementary geographic footprint. The key areas of commercial collaboration that Vodafone and e& will initially pursue include:

  • In Enterprise, Vodafone and e& will explore jointly offering cross-border digital services and solutions to multi-national customers and public sector organisations. Services will include fixed and mobile connectivity, Mobile Private Networks, IoT, cybersecurity and cloud-based services.  
  • In Procurement, Vodafone and e& will seek to share best practice and may adopt joint procurement.
  • In Carrier, Wholesale & Roaming, the two operators will work together to become the partner of choice in providing access to high-quality digital infrastructure.
  • In Technology, both teams will seek to work together on a technology roadmap, including the evolution and adoption of OpenRAN.

Under the terms of the Relationship Agreement, the Group Chief Executive Officer of e&, will join the Vodafone Board as a non-executive Director, for as long as e& maintains its current shareholding of 14.6%. e& will also have the ability to nominate a second non-executive Director, independent of e&, if its shareholding exceeds 20% (subject to certain adjustments while regulatory approvals are outstanding). These appointments are subject to receipt by e& of the required regulatory approvals. 

Hatem Dowidar, Chief Executive Officer of e&, said: "Our investment in Vodafone is anchored by Vodafone Group's established position and worldwide reputation as a prominent industry player that provides cutting-edge connectivity and digital services. This aligns with e&'s vision of becoming a global telecom and technology player.

Ciena supplies Coherent Routing and WaveLogic 5 to Great Plains Comm

Great Plains Communications (GPC), which operates a privately-owned 16,500+ mile fiber network reaching 13 states, is deploying Ciena's Coherent Routing solution and WaveLogic 5 Nano (WL5n) to: 

  • support 5G and xHaul services for fiber-to-the-tower (FTTT) customers up to 10Gb/s—10 times the previous capacity
  • provide high-performance, scalable 400G Data Center Interconnect (DCI) services to large cloud and data center operators
  • ensure the utmost resiliency of Layer 2 VPNs with Segment Routing for the protection of packet services

GPC’s network leverages Ciena’s Coherent Routing solution comprising the 5164 Router and 8110 Coherent Aggregation Router with WL5n 100G–400G coherent pluggables, as well as the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, powered by WaveLogic coherent optics, for optical transport. The network is managed by Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) multi-layer domain controller.Installation, turn-up, and test services for the network were provided by Ciena Services.

“As a leading regional service provider in the Midwest, Great Plains Communications always has an eye to the future—especially when it comes to technology advancements and the growing traffic curve,” remarked Kevin Sheehan, CTO of the Americas, Ciena. “With Ciena’s innovative Coherent Routing solution, GPC can support voracious network demand and shifting traffic patterns, fulfilling the needs of its business and residential customers with new in-demand, high-bandwidth services for 5G, cloud connect, and more.” 

Iowa's USA Communications picks Adtran for XGS-PON

Iowa-based USA Communications has deployed Adtran’s 10Gbit/s fiber access platform and XGS-PON technology to provide high-speed internet services across its rural and urban territory in the eastern part of the state.

“Our technology strengthens USA Communications’ position as a leader among the internet service providers operating in Eastern Iowa. By leveraging our solution to expand and enhance its network, it can reach underserved areas and offer more customers access to a range of high-speed services, including multigigabit connectivity,” commented John Scherzinger, SVP of Americas sales at Adtran. ”With its new AI-driven infrastructure, USA Communications is helping the state unlock a world of benefits that will boost the economy and public services and ensure a more prosperous and connected future for everyone.”