Monday, January 22, 2024

Telstra and Trans Pacific Networks partner on Echo cable

Telstra International and Trans Pacific Networks (TPN) have partnered on the Echo cable, the first subsea cable to directly connect the US to Singapore.

 Echo’s subsea system is a unique express route connecting California, Jakarta, Singapore, and Guam. The system creates a new path and offers low latency, high-speed, resilient network infrastructure connecting South Asia to the US.

The first Echo segments (Guam-US) will launch in mid-2024, with the remaining segments in 2025. Telstra will become TPN’s operating partner to provide secure, long-term stability on an efficient route. In addition, Telstra will be delivering cable landing station services for Echo in Singapore and the Network Operations Centre services. XL Axiata is landing the cable in Indonesia and our partner for delivering services into Indonesia.

Telstra International CEO said the geographical area the new cable would be built in was one of the more challenging regions globally in terms of regulation as well as subsea cable cuts.

“Our subsea network scale makes Telstra International uniquely placed to successfully navigate the complexity of these environments to ensure the stability of the world’s digital connectivity,” said Roary Stasko, CEO Telstra International. "We’re accelerating growth in our international digital infrastructure with investments in subsea fibre capacity on unique, diverse routes - helping to move more traffic around the world and strengthening connections from Asia to the US. Echo’s cable system has the ability to allow other countries to take advantage of its redundancy. In addition, we’ve recently added 3Tbps of capacity through the SEA-US cable connecting US mainland to Hawaii, Guam and Philippines which complements our existing Trans-Pacific cables like AAG, UNITY, FASTER, NCP and JUPITER."

  • The Echo system will have 12 fiber pairs with a capacity of 12 terabits per second (Tbps) each. Ownership and Services: Facebook and Google share ownership interests in the cable system, with Facebook owning 8 of the 12 fiber pairs landing at Piti and Google owning 8 of the 12 fiber pairs landing at Agat. 
  • Telstra International and TPN are responsible for co-building and operating the cable, with Telstra also providing cable landing station services in Singapore and network operations center services.

Facebook and Google collaborate on U.S.-Guam-Singapore cable

Facebook and Google are lead investors in a new subsea cable from Eureka, California to Singapore, with a stop-over in Guam.

The Echo subsea cable will be the first to directly connect the U.S. to Singapore with direct fiber pairs over an express route. The cable is expected to have landings in Indonesia and possibly other locations. 

In a blog posting, Google said Echo's unique route to Southeast Asia will avoid the crowded, traditional paths to the north. The cable is expected to be ready for service in 2023.

Telstra extends network capabilities into Latin America

In a significant move to broaden its global reach, Telstra International has embarked on an expansion into Latin America beginning with the establishment of a new dedicated point-of-presence (PoP) located at Stemmons Towers in Dallas, Texas. The new Dallas PoP will serve as a critical hub for Telstra's operations in Latin America, providing a gateway for enhanced communication and technology services.

Telstra International also announced collaborations with leading Mexican telecommunications providers, Axtel and Vivaro. These partnerships are expected to enhance the company's service offerings and connectivity in Latin America, signifying a new era of telecommunications synergy between these regions. Throughout Mexico, Telstra International now offers global internet, IP transit, and virtual private networks. Telstra International also provides access to more than 10 carrier-neutral data centers in cities such as Mexico City, Monterrey, Queretaro, and Guadalajara, and delivers endpoint termination services for ethernet private lines and MPLS in all of Mexico’s major data centers, enterprise buildings and business parks. These network enhancements facilitate low-latency connectivity into the Mexican Stock Exchange as well, which is important for serving customers in the financial services industry, a key growth area for Telstra globally.

“We’re focused on Latin America as a key growth market as we expect to see increased demand for connectivity from enterprises, hyperscalers and wholesale customers between APAC and the region driven by a technology boom and growing economies. Our official expansion and continued investments in digital infrastructure position us well to offer customers simple and secure options to connect to this dynamic region and leverage our global network,” said Roary Stasko, CEO of Telstra International.

Bandwidth IG builds dark fiber across San Francisco Bay Area

Bandwidth IG, a metro dark fiber provider, announced plans to add over 310 route miles across the San Francisco Bay Area.  The rollout will exceed 2 million fiber miles, adding significant capacity to a region with a high density of data centers and high-bandwidth users.

The latest addition to Bandwidth IG's fiber network is noteworthy, as it includes the first submarine cable installed beneath the San Francisco Bay in over two decades. 

"With unprecedented demand for data center space and power, providing the San Francisco Bay Area with new purpose-built, mission-critical infrastructure becomes a market necessity," said Patton Lochridge, Chief Commercial Officer for Bandwidth IG. "Dark fiber is the foundation of data transmission but many incumbent networks in the Bay Area lack capacity or are not capable of meeting the needs of the world's largest consumers of data. By continuing our focus on new fiber infrastructure, we're creating a path for connectivity in critical areas of the market that will allow hyperscalers and data centers to fully leverage AI and other society-changing technologies."

Fiber Broadband Study breaks down deployment costs

On average, labor contributed to 73% of underground build costs and 67% of aerial costs for fiber rollouts, according the Fiber Broadband Association's 2023 Fiber Deployment Cost Study, conducted by Cartesian. The study also provides regional cost variations, along with the cost differential between deployment methods.

The 2023 Fiber Deployment Study survey respondents spanned across the U.S. and the fiber deployment ecosystem to include network operators, municipal broadband providers, utility/electric cooperatives, prime contractors, and subcontractors. The study explored many factors that influence cost but often make it challenging to compare costs across deployments. This includes cost components like labor, materials, build scenarios, and the choice of construction method.

“As broadband providers across the country look to leverage public and private funding to connect communities to high-quality broadband services, understanding the cost variables of deployment remains a vital component to broadband plans and proposals,” said Deborah Kish, Vice President of Research and Workforce Development at the Fiber Broadband Association. “Our annual Fiber Deployment Survey uncovers fiber cost benchmarks and how costs change over time—information that is critical for broadband providers and state broadband offices as they prepare competitive applications for NTIA BEAD funding to connect their communities to reliable fiber broadband services.”

Digital Realty sees rapid growth in its ServiceFabric

Digital Realty reported growing traction for ServiceFabric, its service orchestration platform that seamlessly interconnects workflow participants, applications, clouds and ecosystems on PlatformDIGITAL, its global data center platform.

Following the recent introduction of Service Directory, a central marketplace that allows Digital Realty partners to highlight their offerings, over 70 members have joined the directory and listed more than 100 services, including secure and direct connections to over 200 global cloud on-ramps, creating a vibrant ecosystem for seamless interconnection and collaboration.

Digital Realty sees its open interconnection and orchestration platform as a critical enabler for artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance compute (HPC), especially as enterprises increasingly deploy private AI applications, which rely on the low latency, private exchange of data between many members of an ecosystem. 

Chris Sharp, Chief Technology Officer, Digital Realty, said: "ServiceFabric is redefining the way customers and partners interact with our global data center platform. By fostering an open and collaborative environment, we're empowering businesses to build and orchestrate their ideal solutions with unparalleled ease and efficiency."

maincubes plans 40MW data center near Frankfurt

maincubes, a European data center owner and operator, is planning its newest data center, FRA04, in the Frankfurt area.

 FRA04 is located in the Rhine-Main Metropolitan Area, south of Frankfurt in Dietzenbach, and will provide approximately 134,548 square feet/12,500 square meters of whitespace and 40MW of IT capacity. maincubes has acquired the site with a committed power of 60MW, making FRA04 the largest data center development for maincubes to date. This facility will support the growing high-performance computing and AI needs of hyperscalers.

"maincubes stands out from other providers for several reasons," explains Oliver Menzel, CEO of maincubes. "First, as a European company, we are independent and capable of offering the best solutions for data protection and data sovereignty. Second, we understand that efficiency and sustainability are crucial factors for organizations in the hyperscaler and artificial intelligence sectors when selecting a data center. With our successful Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) registration and the implementation of the ESG framework according to GRESB, we not only meet current customer requirements but are also prepared for future EU regulatory requirements for data center operators."

 Patrick Sch├╝tz, CRO of maincubes, adds, "AI and the advancing digitization in the global economy demand significant data center capacities within a short period. Due to its central location in Europe, robust infrastructure, existing internet exchange points, and considerations of data protection, Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region are highly sought-after locations. Here, hyperscalers and AI companies are competing for the limited available capacities in the data center market."

maincubes FRA04 is expected to be operational in 2027 and marks the first of several hyperscale developments on maincubes' growth trajectory.

Dell'Oro: RAN market in downward trajectory

 The Radio Access Network (RAN) market is now in a downward trajectory, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. Following the >40 percent ascent between 2017 and 2021, RAN revenues stabilized in 2022, and are on target to decline sharply in 2023. Market conditions are expected to remain challenging in 2024 as the Indian RAN market pulls back, though the pace of the global decline this year and for the remainder of the forecast period should be more moderate.


“The big picture has not changed. MBB-based investments are now slowing and the upside with new growth areas including FWA and private wireless is still too small to change the trajectory,” said Stefan Pongratz, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “Also weighing on the MBB market is the fact that the upper mid-band capacity boost is rather significant relative to current data traffic growth rates in some markets, which could impact the timing for capacity upgrades,” continued Pongratz. 

Additional highlights from the Mobile RAN 5-Year January 2024 Forecast Report:

  • Worldwide RAN revenues are projected to decline at a 1 percent CAGR over the next five years.
  • The Asia Pacific region is expected to lead the decline, while easier comparisons following steep contractions in 2023 will improve the growth prospects in the North America region.
  • 5G-Advanced is expected to play an important role in the broader 5G journey, however, it is not expected to fuel another major capex growth cycle.
  • RAN segments that are expected to grow over the next five years include: 5G NR, FWA, mmWave, Massive MIMO, Open RAN, private wireless, small cells, and Virtualized RAN.

Boigo builds neutral-host cellular towers for U.S. Army

Boingo Wireless launched a new, neutral-host cellular tower at U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii’s Helemano Military Reservation (HMR). 

The tower infrastructure designed, constructed and managed by Boingo Wireless enhances wireless service for military families, personnel and visitors—a significant improvement for quality-of-life and mission critical efforts. 

The project includes 5G coverage for AT&T and Verizon and brings robust wireless coverage to a more remote location that had struggled with inadequate connectivity. Additional improvements for T-Mobile customers will be completed by the end of the year.

Located approximately five miles north above Wahiawa, HMR offers military housing for approximately 2,000 service members and families stationed at Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield. Boingo’s cellular tower is on the grounds of the Exchange’s HMR Express store in the center of the reservation and nicknamed “Dragon” for the 307th ESB-E, which is headquartered on HMR.

“Nothing is more fulfilling than serving military communities with wireless coverage that enhances daily quality of life and enables Soldiers to communicate with loved ones. We’re extremely proud to work with the Exchange and base leaders to simplify complex tower deployments and build a remarkable 13 new cell towers in Hawaii. These towers, all with Tier One carrier service, will dramatically enhance much-needed cellular connectivity for base operations, and all those working and living on base,” said Rebecca Gray, senior vice president and general manager, military at Boingo Wireless.

The Dragon tower is one of 13 new or in-progress cell towers from Boingo to expand connectivity and reliability to military communities throughout USAG Hawaii.