Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Zayo separates its European operations

Zayo unveiled plans to carve out its European business as a separate legal company.

Zayo Europe, now headed by newly-appointed CEO, Colman Deegan, already operates a largely autonomous, mostly-owned fiber infrastructure network across eight Western European countries. Zayo Europe will maintain key employee hubs in London, Paris, Stuttgart, and Sofia. Following the separation, Zayo Europe will have a new board of directors, including Jens Schulte-Bockum as chairman of the board. Schulte-Bockum is the former CEO of Vodafone Germany and Group COO of MTN Group. 

As a standalone business, Zayo Europe will be better positioned to achieve growth objectives across the Western European markets in which it operates. Zayo and Zayo Europe will remain under the same ownership group and offer network services globally through formal contracts. 

“The transition of our European business into an independent entity marks a pivotal moment in Zayo Group’s strategic journey as we look to maximize our potential across the continent,” said Steve Smith, CEO at Zayo. “Under the experienced leadership of Colman Deegan, our shared owners will continue to invest in Zayo Europe and position the organization for accelerated growth and momentum in the European market.”

“This strategic move will allow us to tailor our services and solutions to the needs of our European customers. As an independent company, we will have the agility to innovate faster, enhance our customer service, and deepen our commitment to the local markets,” said Colman Deegan, CEO of Zayo Europe. “This is an exciting new chapter for us, and we are committed to leveraging this opportunity to deliver even greater value to our customers and investors.”

Zayo’s business that manages the global network needs of customers outside of Zayo’s core North American and European networks will also become a standalone entity with a separate management team that will continue to support North American and European customers’ international network expansions.

Tech Update: DigiCert on the Post-Quantum Threat

 There's growing awareness of the post-quantum threat to cybersecurity and NIST is expected to deliver recommendations soon. Avesta Hojjati, VP of Engineering from DigiCert, provides an update:

- The potential risk quantum computers pose to existing security protocols and algorithms, which could be broken in a matter of hours or weeks once a stable and powerful enough quantum computer is developed.

- The importance of incorporating security into the design cycle of networking equipment, following the "security by design" recommendation, to protect against quantum threats.

- The introduction of post-quantum crypto, a new set of cryptographic algorithms being developed to secure devices against quantum computers, despite the complexities and limitations of these devices and use cases. 


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Arista's Q1 sales rise 16% yoy to $1.571 billion

Arista Networks $1.571 billion, an increase of 2.0% compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, and an increase of 16.3% from the first quarter of 2023. GAAP gross margin was 63.7%, compared to GAAP gross margin of 64.9% in the fourth quarter of 2023 and 59.5% in the first quarter of 2023. Non-GAAP net income was $637.7 million, or $1.99 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $452.5 million, or $1.43 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2023.

“Arista is off to a strong start to 2024 with solid first quarter results,” said Jayshree Ullal, Chairperson and CEO of Arista Networks. “As we get ready to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our IPO in June, I am pleased with our progress in the Arista 2.0 journey as seen in breakthrough innovations, customer traction and building our next generation leaders.”


Tesla deploys Private 5G in Giga Berlin

Tesla posted a video about use of private 5G at Gigafactory Berlin -- its first deployment of the technology.

The private 5G network extends fast connectivity across the site, including the production floor as well as the outbound lots where newly manufactured vehicles can receive over-the-air software updates.



Niobium raises seed funding for accelerator chip

 Niobium, a start-up based in Dayton, Ohio, announced $5.5 million in seed fundraising for its development of a fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) hardware accelerator for Zero Trust  cryptography hardware. 

Niobium is a spin-out from Galois, a consultant group leading advanced cryptography and privacy research and development. The company's fully integrated custom silicon for FHE is a PCIe card based on Niobium's FHE System on a Chip (SoC) that can be inserted into any existing cloud server to accelerate the performance of FHE software solutions by up to four orders of magnitude while keeping data completely private and confidential and eliminating the possibility that encrypted data could be stolen at the moment of processing. The company will demonstrate the solution for customers and begin pilots starting in Q4 2024.

Niobium will leverage this new funding to develop commercial applications for FHE acceleration, including healthcare and pharmaceutical research, financial fraud detection, blockchain public ledgers, digital advertising, and other use cases where sharing and analyzing data while maintaining complete privacy is paramount. Niobium also plans to grow its software engineering team, expand existing IP protection, and continue to optimize its FHE hardware products.


Australia's Optus appoints Rue as next CEO as Singtel sets new governance model

Stephen Rue, who is currently CEO of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN),has been appointed CEO of Optus with effect from November 2024. 

Stephen joined NBN as CFO in 2014 before becoming CEO in 2018. In his decade at NBN, he led the nation’s broadband rollout to completion, connecting over 8 million Australian homes and businesses with fast and secure broadband access. 

The CEO appointment coincides with the introduction of a new governance model that is in line with the Singtel Group’s move in 2022 to adopt a decentralised operating company-driven structure to empower its businesses and leverage commercial synergies and capabilities to drive growth.

Moving forward, the Optus CEO and executives will report to the Optus Board and Stephen will join the Board and report to the Chairman. The Board and executives will work together to reset strategy and rebuild customer trust in the Optus brand. Members of the Optus Board include Paul O’Sullivan (Chair), Yuen Kuan Moon, John Arthur, Lim Cheng Cheng and Michael Venter.

Stephen Rue said, “I’m honoured and excited to be given the opportunity to lead Optus, a company that has strived to serve Australians for over two decades. Optus’ continuous investments in critical infrastructure through the years has resulted in an extensive 5G network that is being strengthened in regional Australia. My job will be to take care of Optus’ customers, people and business and to provide strong competition and choice. I look forward to accelerating the transformation at Optus so fellow Australians continue to have the choice of a strong alternative telecoms provider and the country as a whole can harness the power of digital connectivity to drive economic participation and social inclusion.” 

Singtel Group CEO, Yuen Kuan Moon said, “Optus has been part of the Singtel stable for two decades and remains a strategic long-term commitment. We are extremely excited to have Stephen, with his deep understanding of the industry and strong operational experience to take Optus forward. In today’s uncertain economic environment, businesses need greater independence and agility to better navigate the market and we believe the new governance model will set the Optus management up for success and help Optus restore and cement its position as a leading player in the Australian telecommunications market.” 


Kelly Bayer Rosmarin steps down as CEO of Optus

Optus Chief Executive Officer Ms Kelly Bayer Rosmarin has tendered her resignation.  The announcement comes in the wake of an Australia-wide blackout across the Optus mobile and landline networks for most of Wednesday, November 8.“On Friday I had the opportunity to appear before the Senate to expand on the cause of the network outage and how Optus recovered and responded. I was also able to communicate Optus’ commitment to restore trust and...

Optus suffers widespread outage across Australia 

Optus experienced an Australia-wide blackout across its mobile and landline networks for most of Wednesday, November 8.  Service has now been restored.The company said the problem was a network fault, but did not elaborate.The outage impacted 10 million customers across the country.  The Australian government has launched an investigati...


Astera Labs posts revenue of $65 million, up 269% yoy

Astera Labs reported Q1 revenue of $65.3 million, up 29% sequentially and up 269% year-over-year. GAAP gross margin was 77.4%. Non-GAAP net income was $14.3 million.

“Astera Labs started the year strong, achieving record revenue in the first quarter, driven by the accelerating deployment of AI infrastructure,” said Jitendra Mohan, Astera Labs’ Chief Executive Officer. “As hyperscalers embark on a significant transformation of their data centers to support AI applications with increased capital investment, we're witnessing the emergence of a multi-year growth cycle. Our Intelligent Connectivity Platform, comprising of the COSMOS software suite and semiconductor-based PCIe, Ethernet, and CXL solutions, is uniquely positioned to support this growth and is foundational to deploying AI infrastructure at scale. In the first quarter, we further extended our connectivity platform and started sampling our third generation of Aries Retimers with support for PCIe 6.x and the industry’s first PCIe/CXL Smart Cable Modules for Active Electrical Cable applications to enable multi-rack GPU clustering.”