Thursday, November 16, 2023

Telxius signs on to Google’s Firmina cable linking US, Brazil and Argentina

Telxius  is joining the Firmina subsea cable system, the Google led project connecting the East Coast of the United States to Las Toninas (Argentina), with additional landings in Praia Grande (Brazil) and Punta del Este (Uruguay). Telxius will subsequently host Firmina in its Santos digital hub in Brazil.

Telxius will have three redundant routes between the US and Brazil (Firmina, Brusa, SAm-1) as well as three redundant routes extending to Argentina (Firmina, Tannat, SAm-1).

“We are excited about joining Firmina which demonstrates our commitment to delivering low latency, enhanced diversity and high-capacity networking across the Americas for our customers and partners. In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, we believe in the continuous growth of our international submarine cable network to create major business opportunities for all of us involved. We are also thrilled to announce the expansion of our collaboration with Google and confirm our shared mission to jointly invest in internet infrastructure”, said Mario Martín, CEO at Telxius.

  • The Telxius network spans over 100,000 km of submarine and terrestrial fiber, including eight next-generation subsea systems: Marea, Brusa, Dunant, Tannat, Junior, Mistral, Tikal, and now Firmina. Telxius also has a Tier-1 international IP network (AS 12956) offering direct Internet connectivity to major carriers and ISPs, with a capacity of more than 20 Tbps plus a wide-ranging portfolio of capacity, colocation and security services across the globe.
  • In 2021, Google announced plans to build a 12-fiber pair subsea cable linking North and South America via the Atlantic. The Firmina cable system, which will be designed, manufactured and installed by SubCom, will run from the East coast of the United States to Las Toninas, Argentina, with additional landings in Praia Grande, Brazil and Punta del Este, Uruguay. The Firmina system will use SubCom’s 18kV power technology, which will enable Firmina to be the world’s longest cable capable of maintaining operations with single-end feed power, in the event there is a far-end fault. Manufacture of the cable and equipment will take place at SubCom’s recently expanded manufacturing campus in Newington, NH, USA during 2021 and early 2022, with main lay installation operations scheduled for summer 2022. The system is expected to be ready for service by the end of 2023.

NASA’s Deep Space optical communications achieves first light

NASA confirmed that its Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) experiment achieved ‘first light’ during the early hours of November 14, sending data via laser to and from far beyond the Moon for the first time.

The experimental transmitter is mounted aboard the recently launched Psyche spacecraft, which is traveling to the asteroid belt.

The uplink laser beacon transmitted from the Optical Communications Telescope Laboratory at JPL’s Table Mountain Facility near Wrightwood, California. The uplink beacon helped the transceiver aim its downlink laser back to Palomar (which is 100 miles, or 130 kilometers, south of Table Mountain) while automated systems on the transceiver and ground stations fine-tuned its pointing.

“Achieving first light is one of many critical DSOC milestones in the coming months, paving the way toward higher-data-rate communications capable of sending scientific information, high-definition imagery, and streaming video in support of humanity’s next giant leap: sending humans to Mars,” said Trudy Kortes, director of Technology Demonstrations at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Swisscom’s Next Evolution Wavelength Transport Optical Network

Swisscom and Nokia marked the launch of Swisscom’s nationwide Next Evolution Wavelength Transport Optical Network (NEWTON) and the official start of service migration to the modernized network. The new optical network will transport all of Swisscom’s fixed and wireless traffic from customer-provided equipment to metro access to the backbone, supporting client services from 1G to 400G, and efficiently aggregating and managing traffic from end-to-end while maximizing fiber usage. 

Swisscom is using Nokia’s portfolio of optical networking hardware, software and professional services for the entire transformation, including the Nokia Photonic Service Engine (PSE)-V powered 1830 family of Wavelength Division Multiplexing/Optical Transport Networking (WDM/OTN) platforms, and the WaveSuite portfolio of networking applications.

Christoph Aeschlimann, CEO at Swisscom, said: “The transformation of Swisscom’s optical network is essential for our future digitalization. Through the partnership with Nokia, we have a network that can quickly adapt to changes and provide superior service to our customers while contributing to our sustainability goals. We are pleased to move to this next stage of service migration, working together with Nokia as our trusted partner.”

Federico Guillén, President of Network Infrastructure, Nokia, said: “We are proud to partner with Swisscom on the modernization of its optical transport network, and to deliver in record time during a period of tremendous global uncertainty. This is a showcase service-centric network, fully leveraging automation to streamline service delivery and minimize costs, even as it effortlessly scales to support surging customer traffic demands.”

Dell’Oro: RAN market to remain challenging in 2024


The dividends once reaped from the 5G surge in RAN (Radio Access Network) revenues are now a distant memory, according to the analysis of the Dell’Oro Group.  

Following a remarkable 40 percent to 50 percent increase between 2017 and 2021, global RAN revenues witnessed a second consecutive quarter of steep declines in 3Q 2023, primarily driven by reduced RAN investments in North America.

“The asynchronous nature of the 5G rollouts is in this case helping to cushion some of the blow in the US, though clearly not enough,” said Stefan Pongratz, Vice President for RAN market research at Dell’Oro Group. “This remarkable RAN/capex decline in the US market is partially offset by more favorable conditions elsewhere. Helping to explain the more upbeat sentiment outside North America is the 5G ramp in India, taken together with positive trends in the Middle East and Africa region. Also, MBB investments remain fairly elevated relative to pre-5G levels in most of the advanced 5G markets even in the post-peak period, with the exception of North America,” continued Pongratz.

 Additional highlights from the 3Q 2023 RAN report:

  • Top RAN suppliers in 3Q 2023 include Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, ZTE, and Samsung.
  • Ericsson and Nokia are gaining revenue share outside of North America.
  • In the quarter, worldwide RAN revenues excluding North America recorded a third consecutive quarter of growth.
  • The developments in the quarter are not impacting the RAN trajectory. The RAN market, having peaked in 2021, is on track to decline in 2023 and 2024. While the pace of the decline is expected to moderate in 2024, conditions will remain challenging as the pendulum swings towards the negative in India.

Nokia and Mavenir test Open RAN system performance

Nokia completed interoperability testing between Nokia Baseband (DU/CU) and Mavenir Radio Unit (O-RU) using the O-RAN Alliance 7-2x fronthaul interface at Nokia’s Open RAN Innovation Center in Dallas, Texas.

During the trial, both companies validated the interoperability of Mavenir’s CBRS Radio Unit and Nokia AirScale Baseband supporting the O-RAN compliant 7-2x interface. The testing was performed according to O-RAN Alliance specifications, demonstrating end-to-end configurations with 5G user devices. Nokia and Mavenir are able to demonstrate 5G peak performance by activating 4CC Carrier Aggregation using TDD and FDD spectrum in a 5G Standalone configuration. 

Mark Atkinson, Head of RAN at Nokia, said: “Our technology collaboration with Mavenir is further evidence of our commitment to Open RAN. We have developed our baseband software in a way that ensures that multi-supplier O-RAN systems can be deployed without compromises in performance, energy efficiency, security, or resiliency. This is key when people depend on wireless connectivity in all aspects of their daily lives. We have now completed operability with Radios from four different suppliers using the O-RAN compliant 7-2x interface.”

Energetiq appoints Singh to lead new Laser-Driven Light Source business

Energetiq Technology, a photonics manufacturer based in Wilmington, Massachusetts, has appointed Vikram Singh, PhD, to manage the newly formed Laser-Driven Light Source (LDLS) Business Unit. 

Energetiq says its LDLS technology creates extremely small, high-brightness plasma that delivers efficient light collection and a broad spectral range, from the deepest UV through visible and into the NIR.

“We recognize the pivotal role that our core LDLS technology plays in creating cutting-edge products forthe semiconductor industry and beyond,” said Debbie Gustafson, CEO of Energetiq. “Given his extensive background in the industry and years of research on plasma processing and process control, we are very pleased to welcome Dr. Singh to Energetiq as we continue bringing innovative LDLS-based solutions to market.”

In his role as VP and General Manager, Dr. Singh will oversee R&D, Product Development, Marketing, Sales, and Service operations pertaining to LDLS. 

Prior to joining Energetiq, Dr. Singh worked at Lam Research and Applied Materials in various roles with increasing responsibilities, with his last two roles being Executive positions responsible for New Product Development and Technology Supply Chain.