Thursday, January 25, 2024

Frontier is first SP in North America to offer Nile’s AI-driven NaaS

Frontier is introducing Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) powered by Nile's AI-driven platform. The service provides enterprises with scalable wired and wireless networks via the cloud on a subscription basis with no up-front costs. The Nile NaaS platform has built-in security features and uses AI to make automatic upgrades and proactively detect and resolve service issues, ensuring better network performance.

Frontier delivers high-speed, reliable fiber connectivity to businesses, including healthcare providers, universities and state and local governments, in 25 states.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Frontier to deliver the next stage in the evolution of the enterprise network,” said Pankaj Patel, Nile’s CEO and co-founder. “The Nile Access Service is ideal for service providers like Frontier, as it provides a complete wired and wireless Local Area Network (LAN) offering that enables them to deepen their partnerships with their enterprise customers but doesn’t add to their operational burden. It also eliminates the need for network lifecycle management for Frontier and its customers, enabling everyone involved to focus on mission-critical applications and services the enterprise network was built to support.”

 In August 2023, Nile, a start-up based in San Jose, California, closed a $175 million Series C investment round, bringing its total funding to date to $300 million.

Nile, which emerged from stealth mode less than a year ago, offers a network-as-a-service (NaaS) solution designed to deliver a more secure wired and wireless service through the ex Nile’s service incorporates Campus Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) principles by design, and automates network access control (NAC) mechanisms that traditionally required significant manual effort to provision and maintain. 

The latest funding round was  co-led by March Capital and Sanabil Investments, with strategic participation from solutions by stc, Prosperity7, Liberty Global Ventures, and stc CIF (Corporate Investment Fund), and contribution from 8VC, Geodesic Capital, U First Capital, and Valor Equity Partners. 

Nile was founded in 2018 by Pankaj Patel, formerly former EVP and Chief Development Officer at Cisco, and Suresh Katukam , who were joined by John Chambers and Sri Hosakote. John Chambers is the former Executive Chairman and CEO at Cisco. 

The company says this round of financing will further its mission to eliminate the operational complexities plaguing enterprise networks in their ability to support cloud-born enterprise IT solutions, while also delivering the highest levels of integrated defenses to protect both wired and wireless connectivity from cyber attacks.

What's the story with Nile? Is there room for another networking start-up? Pankaj Patel, CEO and co-Founder of Nile, discusses:

  • Nile's mission to remove human dependency from the management of the network, similar to what cloud computing has done for storage and computing. 
  • Nile's goals to transform the traditional network, often associated with security risks, into a security force multiplier with zero-trust access that requires no manual network operations.
  • How Nile is committed to delivering outcome-based SLAs that matter most to customers on availability, capacity, and coverage, all through an insane level of automation and heavy use of AI/ML-driven automation and data analytics.

Dell'Oro: Data Center Spending to hit 18% CAGR over next 5 Years

 Worldwide data center capex is forecast for a compound annual growth rate of 18 percent as investments shift towards AI, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. The report anticipates accelerated computing that are optimized AI workloads will account for a quarter of the data center capex.

“Accelerated computing optimized for domain specific workloads such as AI is forecast to exceed $200 billion by 2028, with the majority of the investments deployed by the hyperscale cloud service providers,” said Baron Fung, Senior Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “In order to drive long-term sustainable growth, the cloud service providers will seek to streamline general-purpose computing infrastructure costs by transitioning to next-generation server platforms and rack-scale architectures. We also anticipate increased vertical integration efforts by the hyperscalers to control costs and bring further optimizations for their full stack. Meanwhile, the enterprise segment faces near-term headwinds related to economic uncertainties, and will adopt a hybrid cloud model for AI and traditional IT workloads,” explained Fung.

Additional highlights from the January 2024 Data Center IT Capex 5-Year Forecast Report:

  • Worldwide server unit shipments are forecast to grow 8 percent by 2028.
  • Over twenty percent of the global server deployments in 2028 are forecast to be accelerated.
  • By 2028 the Top 4 US-based Cloud SPs—Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft—will account for half of global data center capex.

T-Mobile US adds 540K fixed wireless customers in Q4 2023

T-Mobile US reported total Q4 2023 service revenues of $16.0 billion, up 3% year-over-year and up 3% year-over-year to $63.2 billion in 2023.  

Net income increased 36% year-over-year to $2.0 billion in Q4 2023 and increased 221% year-over-year to $8.3 billion in 2023, which included Merger-related costs, net of tax, of $775 million. Diluted EPS increased year-over-year to $1.67 per share in Q4 2023 and increased year-over-year to $6.93 per share in 2023. Diluted EPS also reflected the impact of 48.8 million shares issued to SoftBank Group in Q4 2023.

“This was a historic year for T-Mobile, with record outcomes across nearly every metric and industry-leading customer results – including our highest share of postpaid phone net adds since the merger and best-in-class growth in service revenues, profitability and cash flow – all while effectively completing the largest, most successful telecom integration in the world,” said Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile. “What’s really exciting is that while we’ve delivered fantastic results, we’ve also got room to run. Thanks to the unmatched value and network leadership that we’ve built, we’re entering a phase of enormous value creation with a plan to deliver sustained customer and financial growth leadership. This is just the beginning of the next chapter for the Un-carrier.”

Some highlights

  • Postpaid net account additions were 299 thousand in Q4 2023 and 1.3 million in 2023.
  • Postpaid net customer additions were 1.6 million in Q4 2023 and 5.7 million in 2023.
  • Postpaid phone net customer additions were 934 thousand in Q4 2023 and 3.1 million in 2023. Postpaid phone churn was 0.96% in Q4 2023 and 0.87% in 2023.
  • Prepaid net customer additions were 53 thousand in Q4 2023 and 282 thousand in 2023. Prepaid churn was 2.86% in Q4 2023 and 2023 churn of 2.76% was the lowest in company history.
  • High Speed Internet net customer additions were 541 thousand in Q4 2023 and 2.1 million in 2023, the highest in company history. T-Mobile ended the year with 4.8 million High Speed Internet customers.
  • Total net customer additions were 1.6 million in Q4 2023 and 5.9 million in 2023. Total customer connections increased to a record high of 119.7 million.
  • Postpaid service revenue grew 6% year-over-year in Q4 and 6% year-over-year in 2023.

Intel posts stronger Q4 sales of $15.4 billion

Intel reported Q4 2023 revenue of $15.4 billion, up 10 percent year-over-year (YoY). Full-year revenue was $54.2 billion, down 14 percent YoY. Fourth-quarter earnings per share (EPS) attributable to Intel was $0.63; non-GAAP EPS attributable to Intel was $0.54.

“We delivered strong Q4 results, surpassing expectations for the fourth consecutive quarter with revenue at the higher end of our guidance,” said Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO. “The quarter capped a year of tremendous progress on Intel's transformation, where we consistently drove execution and accelerated innovation, resulting in strong customer momentum for our products. In 2024, we remain relentlessly focused on achieving process and product leadership, continuing to build our external foundry business and at-scale global manufacturing, and executing our mission to bring AI everywhere as we drive long-term value for stakeholders.”


  • In DCAI, momentum with Intel’s 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor remains strong, with more than 2.5 million units shipped since its introduction in January 2023. In the fourth quarter, DCAI launched its 5th Gen Intel Xeon processor.
  • IFS won a key design award with a new high-performance computing customer, its fourth external Intel 18A customer win in 2023. 
  • IFS has taped out more than 75 ecosystem and customers test chips and has more than 50 test chips in the pipeline across 2024 and 2025, 75% of which are on Intel 18A. 
  • Intel also won three additional advanced packaging design wins during the fourth quarter. 
  • Intel and UMC also announced a collaboration on the development of a 12-nanometer process platform to address high-growth markets, such as mobile, communication infrastructure and networking.
  • In client computing, Intel ushered in the age of the AI PC with Intel Core Ultra processors. 
  • In network and edge, OpenVINO adoption grew by 60% sequentially in the fourth quarter as it became a core software layer for AI inference on the edge, on the PC and in the data center. 
  • Additionally, AT&T and Ericsson announced plans to lead the U.S. in commercial scale Open RAN deployment in collaboration with Intel and others as it plans for 70% of its wireless network traffic to flow across open-capable platforms by late 2026. 
  • Cisco is working with Intel and others to create solutions including Ethernet technologies, GPU-enabled infrastructure, and jointly tested and validated reference architectures with a commitment to advancing AI networking.

Nokia's sales dropped 21% in Q4 as it looks to stabilizing trends

Citing ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty that puts pressure on operator spending, Nokia reported Q4 2023 sales of EUR 5.707 billion, a decline of 21% y-o-y in constant currency (-23% reported). Q4 comparable diluted EPS was EUR 0.10; reported diluted EPS was EUR -0.01. Full year net sales declined 8% y-o-y in constant currency (-11% reported).

The company said it sees signs of stabilization with improving order trends.

Some highlights:

  • Enterprise segment achieved 16% net sales growth in constant currency, accounting for over 10% of group net sales.
  • Network Infrastructure showed progress with webscale orders, US government initiatives, and a significant customer in Asia for Fixed Wireless Access products.
  • Optical Networks achieved a record of 800Gbps transmission on a single wavelength over 6,600km.
  • Mobile Networks faced challenges but improved gross margin, and AT&T's decision to single-source RAN network was disappointing.
  • The Cloud and Network Services business had a slight decline in net sales but improved profitability and launched Network as Code platform.

Nokia Technologies signed significant deals with Apple, Samsung, Honor, and OPPO, focusing on growth in licensing in new areas like automotive, consumer electronics, IoT, and multimedia.

Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark states: "In 2023 we saw a meaningful shift in customer behavior impacting our industry driven by the macro-economic environment and high interest rates along with customer inventory digestion. This led to our full year net sales declining by 8% in constant currency. Proactive action across our organization meant we were able to protect our profitability while continuing to invest in R&D and we delivered a comparable operating margin of 10.7% for the full year. This was a resilient performance considering the challenging environment and lower contribution from our high margin patent licensing business as some renewals remained outstanding...

Looking ahead, we expect the challenging environment of 2023 to continue during the first half of 2024, particularly in the first quarter. However, we are now starting to see some green shoots on the horizon, with improving order intake for Network Infrastructure and some of the specific deals we have won. This is expected to drive a strong improvement in Network Infrastructure net sales growth in the second half of 2024 which we believe, even with a challenging first half, will drive solid growth for the full year. In Mobile Networks, we expect top line challenges in 2024 related to a more normalized pace of investment in India and the AT&T decision. We do expect further improvement in gross margin and then in the second half we will start to see more benefits from our cost savings program. At the Nokia level, we currently estimate that we will deliver comparable operating profit of between EUR 2.3 and 2.9 billion in 2024. We also target to deliver an improved free cash flow performance with conversion of between 30% and 60%."

Kyndryl adds Security Edge Services with Cisco

Kyndryl introduced two enterprise security edge services, in collaboration with Cisco, for addressing and responding to cyber incidents.

The new security edge services introduced by Kyndryl are:

Kyndryl Consult Security Services Edge (SSE) with Cisco Secure Access -- designed to provide a modular and unified approach for consulting and implementing a SSE architecture with Cisco's technology.

 Kyndryl Managed SSE with Cisco Secure Access -- introduces a new category of network security services that integrates security into a cloud-delivered service model. It also offers an end-to-end solution for transition, implementation and managed services of SSE solution with Cisco's portfolio of products and services.

This announcement builds on Kyndryl's successful partnership with Cisco, through which the companies have co-invested and collaborated on a development process to build scalable security offerings. The new security edge services, combined with Kyndryl and Cisco's available SD-WAN services, enable enterprises to build a solid foundation to transition into a secure access service edge (SASE) architecture. Kyndryl then delivers these services and solutions to help customers meet their business needs in areas of application modernization, resilient networks and secure infrastructure with zero trust network and hybrid work.

"Our partnership with Kyndryl has demonstrated the added value Cisco and Kyndryl bring to our shared customers," said Brian Feeney, Vice President, Global Security Partner Sales, Cisco. "With Cisco's technology and Kyndryl's cybersecurity services, we are able to provide our customers with an exceptional user experience and protected access from any device to anywhere."

"As Kyndryl continues to evolve our approach to security and resiliency, we are creating more opportunities to explore innovative solutions with our partners," said Michelle Weston, Vice President of Global Offerings for Security and Resiliency, Kyndryl. "Our collaboration with Cisco enables Kyndryl to help customers better anticipate security incidents using the right tools and capabilities aligned with Kyndryl's cyber resilience framework."

Nokia signs 5G patent cross-license agreement with OPPO

Nokia signed a multi-year patent cross-license agreement with OPPO. 

Under the agreement OPPO will make royalty payments, along with catch-up payments to cover the periods of non-payment. The agreement resolves all pending patent litigation between the parties, in all jurisdictions. The terms of the agreement remain confidential as agreed between the parties.

Jenni Lukander, President of Nokia Technologies, said: “We are delighted to have reached a cross-license agreement with OPPO that reflects the mutual respect for each other’s intellectual property and Nokia’s investments in R&D and contributions to open standards. OPPO is one of the leading companies in the global smartphone market and we look forward to working together to bring further innovation to their users around the world. The new agreement - along with the other major smartphone agreements we have concluded over the past year - will provide long-term financial stability to our licensing business.”

Nokia’s patent portfolio is composed of around 20,000 patent families, including over 6,000 patent families declared essential to 5G.