Monday, April 22, 2024

Cignal AI: the 800 GbE optical market is ramping up fast

 Datacom optical component revenue grew for the 4th straight quarter with the explosion of demand for optics used in AI clusters, according to the most recent 4Q23 Optical Components Report from research firm Cignal AI. Nvidia, Coherent, and Innolight lead in 800GbE Datacom module shipments for hyperscale AI applications. Acacia and Marvell lead in shipments of high-performance coherent interfaces based on large volumes of 400ZR pluggables.

“Datacom shipments, especially 800GbE optics, are ramping up fast and shipped units are forecast to reach 8 million in 2024," said Scott Wilkinson, Lead Analyst for Optical Components at Cignal AI. "Telecom is slowly recovering from a bottom in Q3, but no immediate reversal is in sight.”

More Key Findings from the 4Q23 Optical Component Report:

  • Datacom revenue reached record levels, up 11% YoY, and module shipments grew rapidly in the last 2 quarters of 2023 as AI demand accelerated. For all of 2023, total Datacom revenue was down -4%, weighed down by poor performance at the start of the year.
  • After a sharp drop at the start of 2023, 400GbE port shipments recovered and grew over 50% YoY in 4Q23.
  • The high-speed Datacom optical component market is forecast to exceed $10 billion by 2025.
  • Coherent port shipments increased QoQ, but they were down slightly YoY. 400ZR/ZR+ shipments grew 25% QoQ.
  • The market for embedded and pluggable coherent optical modules is forecast to exceed $6 billion in 2024.
  • Huawei, Infinera, Acacia, and Nokia shipped Gen120P 1.2T high speed coherent ports for revenue in 4Q23, which is the first quarter of production shipments for this new technology.
  • Cignal AI's 2024 forecast for 800GbE modules was increased 8% based on accelerating demand, and initial forecasts of 1600ZR modules were also added to the Optical Components report this quarter.

Intel Foundry advances in DoD's RAMP-C

Intel has been awarded Phase Three of the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes - Commercial (RAMP-C) program. This development marks a crucial step in testing and deploying defense industrial base (DIB) product prototypes. Announced via the National Security Technology Accelerator’s consortium-based program, this phase emphasizes Intel's readiness in process technology and the ability to meet high-volume manufacturing demands with its Intel 18A technology.

The latest phase of RAMP-C allows for the commencement of manufacturing both commercial and DIB product prototypes using Intel’s advanced 18A process technology. Kapil Wadhera, Intel's vice president for Foundry Services and general manager of the Government Engagements and Business Operations Group, noted that for the first time in decades, U.S. government and defense customers will access leading-edge technology concurrently with commercial markets. 

RAMP-C is strategically designed to reinstate the U.S. as a leader in cutting-edge semiconductor technology by fostering a robust, resilient, and trusted commercial foundry ecosystem. Here are some key points about the program and Intel’s involvement:

  • Phase Three Focus: Extensive testing of DIB product prototypes using Intel 18A process technology.
  • Collaboration: Intel Foundry works with major industry players such as Microsoft, Nvidia, IBM, and others to support the design and manufacturing of advanced integrated circuits.
  • Future Milestones: Dr. Dev Shenoy of the DoD highlighted that RAMP-C aims to showcase prototype production on Intel 18A by 2025, significantly enhancing processing capabilities for military applications.
  • Security and Performance: The program addresses the critical need for secure and highly performant microelectronics in U.S. military systems.
  • Industry Integration: Intel has created the U.S. Military, Aerospace, and Government (USMAG) Alliance to ensure functional and operational security requirements are met through a dedicated semiconductor IP ecosystem.

Samsung: 1024 QAM boosts downlinks by 20%

Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm Technologies have successfully completed tests for 1024 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) on both Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD) spectrum bands. This accomplishment is notable as it marks the first time 1024 QAM has been achieved in an FDD band, a significant step in advancing 5G technology. The tests, which were conducted in Samsung’s R&D lab in Korea, utilized Samsung’s 5G vRAN software and radios, along with a Qualcomm Snapdragon® X75 5G Modem-RF System equipped test device.

In the recent tests, using a 20MHz bandwidth on the FDD spectrum, the technology achieved downlink speeds up to 485Mbps, which is more than 20% higher than the speeds achievable with the currently widespread 256 QAM. 

Looking ahead, Samsung said it will continue its testing on 1024 QAM with traditional RAN systems and plans to make the technology commercially available within the year. This ongoing collaboration between Samsung and Qualcomm is part of a broader effort to push the limits of 5G technology, which also saw them achieving the world’s first simultaneous 5G 2x uplink and 4x downlink carrier aggregation for FDD spectrum last year.

Key Points:

  • First in FDD: Samsung and Qualcomm achieved an industry first by successfully testing 1024 QAM for the FDD spectrum.
  • Enhanced Speeds: Tests showed a 20% increase in downlink speeds compared to existing 256 QAM, reaching up to 485Mbps.
  • Future Availability: Samsung plans to commercialize the 1024 QAM technology later this year, following additional tests on traditional RAN systems.
  • Continued Collaboration: The companies continue to collaborate on advancing 5G capabilities, building on previous achievements like 5G carrier aggregation.

Verizon posts flat Q1 revenue of $33.0 billion

 Citing price increases and a substantial cut in CAPEX,  Verizon reported operating revenue of $33.0 billion, up 0.2 percent from first-quarter 2023. Consolidated net income was $4.7 billion, compared to consolidated net income of $5.0 billion in first-quarter 2023. Consolidated adjusted EBITDA of $12.1 billion, up from $11.9 billion in first-quarter 2023. Earnings per share of $1.09, compared with earnings per share of $1.17 in first-quarter 2023.

Some highlights

Total wireless service revenue in first-quarter 2024 was $19.5 billion, up 3.3 percent year over year, driven primarily by pricing actions implemented in recent quarters, higher premium price plan adoption, and growth of our fixed wireless subscriber base.

First-quarter 2024 capital expenditures were $4.4 billion, compared to $6.0 billion in first-quarter 2023.

  • Verizon's total unsecured debt as of the end of first-quarter 2024 was $128.4 billion, a $0.1 billion decrease compared to fourth-quarter 2023, and $3.6 billion lower year over year.
  • Consumer wireless service revenue in first-quarter 2024 was $16.1 billion, up 3.4 percent year over year, driven by growth in Consumer wireless postpaid average revenue per account (ARPA) from pricing actions and continued FWA adoption. 
  • Consumer wireless retail postpaid churn was 1.03 percent in first-quarter 2024, and wireless retail postpaid phone churn was 0.83 percent. 
  • In first-quarter 2024, Consumer reported 158,000 wireless retail postpaid phone net losses, representing an improvement of 105,000 from first-quarter 2023 net losses of 263,000, driven by improvements in both gross adds and churn. This represents Verizon Consumer's best first-quarter performance since 2018. 
  • Consumer postpaid phone gross additions in first-quarter 2024 increased 5.3 percent year over year, driven by the continued success of myPlan and last year's go to market improvements. 
  • Consumer reported 216,000 wireless retail prepaid net losses in first-quarter 2024. Wireless retail prepaid net losses excluding SafeLink Wireless, Verizon's brand offering access to government-sponsored connectivity benefits and programs, were 131,000. 
  • Consumer reported 203,000 fixed wireless net additions and 49,000 Fios Internet net additions in first-quarter 2024. Consumer Fios revenue was $2.9 billion in first-quarter 2024. 
  • Total Verizon Business revenue was $7.4 billion in first-quarter 2024, a decrease of 1.6 percent year over year, as increases in wireless service revenue were more than offset by decreases in wireline revenue and wireless equipment revenue. 
  • Business wireless service revenue in first-quarter 2024 was $3.4 billion, an increase of 2.7 percent year over year. This was driven by continued strong net additions in the quarter for both mobility and fixed wireless, as well as benefits from pricing actions implemented in recent quarters. 

For 2024, Verizon continues to expect the following: 

  • Total wireless service revenue growth2 of 2.0 percent to 3.5 percent.
  • Adjusted EBITDA growth of 1.0 percent to 3.0 percent.
  • Adjusted EPS1 of $4.50 to $4.70.
  • Capital expenditures between $17.0 billion and $17.5 billion. 
  • Adjusted effective income tax rate1 in the range of 22.5 percent to 24.0 percent.

euNetworks adds metro fiber network in Brussels

euNetworks Ghas added a new duct and fibre-based network in Brussels to its Pan-European network footprint. This new addition takes the company’s owned and operated metropolitan network count to 18 in Europe. This is the latest of the company’s investments in digital infrastructure in the Benelux region, following the addition of a duct-based fibre network in Belgium through acquisition in April 2023.

Last year, the 1,660 kilometres of fibre network acquired added unique routes in Brussels and long haul routes across Belgium, delivering a solid complement to euNetworks’ in-place network in the region. It also presented compelling additional investment opportunities for euNetworks in the long haul, in adjacent geographies and in building a new Brussels city network to give customers a truly end-to-end experience.

Since then, euNetworks has invested further in the Brussels metropolitan area, overbuilding acquired duct, purchasing additional cable and duct, and building additional high fibre count connectivity and diversity between key data centre sites, clusters and network aggregation points to deliver this new Brussels footprint.

Brussels Metro:

  • 41 kilometres of duct and high-fibre count network
  • Connects 5 data centres day 1, including LCL Brussels-North, Digital Realty BRU1, BRU3 & BRU4, AtlasEdge Brussels BRU001
  • With multiple, diverse entry points to these on-net data centres
  • Additional data centres are in the pipeline to be connected to support customer demand
  • Dark Fibre, Long Haul and Metro Wavelengths and Ethernet-based services are available across this footprint, with four diverse 100G Ethernet nodes to be installed, delivering resiliency and redundancy
  • Seamless connectivity between Brussels connected data centres and other regional data centre clusters and hubs in Ghent, Antwerp, Charleroi and Saint Ghislain
  • With multiple diverse long haul connectivity options from Brussels

“Belgium is a growing digital hub, with significant investment in the region to support emerging technology trends such as IoT and GenAI, which drive Cloud adoption and strategies,” said Paula Cogan, Chief Executive Officer of euNetworks. “Our Brussels and wider Belgium investments strengthen our leadership in European critical infrastructure as we focus on the ongoing densification of the high-bandwidth demand region of FLAP (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris). We continue our approach to deliver a differentiated proposition to the market, offering unique and scalable network routes to our customers between key data centres. We also have a strong pipeline of ongoing investment to continue to support their growing bandwidth needs, further capitalising on the investment we made last year. I’m very proud of what the team have accomplished in a relatively short timeframe, delivering our eighteenth metro network to market. We’ve also expanded our local operations and sales presence, enabling strong support for our customers locally as they move forward with their infrastructure investments.”

Network-as-a-Service (#NaaS) in 2030 - Which vendors survive?

Welcome to 2030, where Network-as-a-Service has revolutionized the way we do business!

With #NaaS, businesses can scale their network on-demand, ensuring they always have the speed and capacity needed without hefty upfront costs. Gone are the days of managing cumbersome and disjointed network hardware. Everything is built to work together and transparently managed behind-the-scenes.

From retail to manufacturing, businesses enjoy enhanced connectivity that allows them to serve customers faster and innovate continuously.

Scaling has never been easier, leading to higher productivity and cost efficiency.

With built-in advanced security features, automatic updates, and AI management, Network-as-a-Service is the backbone of business operations.

Which networking companies led the transition? What’s common in their success strategies?

Join our 2024 NaaS showcases, and download our reports.

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