Sunday, May 12, 2024

KDDI and Softbank expand shared 5G network buildout

In a significant move to bolster Japan's 5G infrastructure, KDDI and SoftBank have confirmed their discussions on expanding the collaborative efforts under their joint venture, 5G JAPAN Corporation. Originally focused on rural areas, the companies are now considering expanding their joint 5G network initiatives nationwide. The venture, which also looks into the mutual use of existing 4G base station assets alongside 5G technology, aims to significantly enhance network availability and efficiency across Japan.

This expansion is not just about widening the geographical coverage but also includes broader strategic goals. By the fiscal year 2030, KDDI and SoftBank aim to establish 100,000 base stations each, aiming for substantial capital expenditure savings of around 120.0 billion yen per company. This initiative is seen as a crucial step towards enhancing Japan's international competitiveness by providing robust 5G connectivity that can empower various industries, foster regional revitalization, and boost national resilience.


  • Nationwide Expansion: Initially focusing on rural areas, the collaboration through 5G JAPAN is set to expand to a national level, enhancing connectivity across the country.
  • Utilization of 4G Assets: The companies plan to leverage not only 5G but also existing 4G base station assets to optimize their network infrastructure.
  • Significant Cost Reductions: By 2030, KDDI and SoftBank aim to build 100,000 base stations each, with anticipated capital expenditure savings totaling 120.0 billion yen per company.
  • Industrial and Regional Development: The expansion of 5G networks is expected to play a key role in Japan’s industrial development and regional revitalization, improving overall national resilience.

Mexico's Megacable carries 1.1Tbps over long-haul with Nokia

Mexico's Megacable transmitted 1.1 Tbps in a single-carrier wavelength over 390 km on one of its existing long-distance routes.

For the trial, Nokia deployed a next-generation optical transport solution, based on its sixth-generation super-coherent PSE-6s technology over its existing 1830 PSS optical transport platform, running live traffic without any impact to the network. The transmission passed through several intermediate ROADMs and no Raman amplifications. A previous test, run under similar conditions, demonstrated 900 Gbps in a single-carrier transmission over 600km. On both tests, the channel speeds were achieved without regeneration.

The tests are part of the actions that Megacable is taking to rapidly scale its network capacity and increase its long-distance data transmission speeds from 9.6Tb to 28.8Tb in a first phase using Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine-Vs (PSE-Vs) coherent optics, and up to 38.4Tb with the new PSE-6s in a second test phase that will interconnect all its data centers nationwide.

Miguel Sol, Chief Technology Officer at Megacable, said: “We selected Nokia for this trial to prove our network evolution, since our first deployment with Nokia was 9.6 Tbps of total capacity.   As part of our technology innovation and evolution program, we agreed with Nokia to set and select the transport routes to perform the trial of their new PSE-6s chipset. It will allow us to increase optical spectrum efficiency, enabling capacities up to 38.4Tbps, as well as cost and power consumption efficiencies over our Optical Long Haul fiber network.  Those are the key aspects that we evaluate to cover the requirements of all markets to which Megacable provides connectivity, especially for Fiber High-speed connectivity, dedicated Enterprise links and Carriers-to-Carrier services. The new PSE-6s coherent optics, will allow Megacable to do a fast deployment of ultra-high-capacity wavelengths on the most high-demand routes of our network, and deliver the best connectivity for our customers in Mexico.”

OFS boosts its fiber manufacturing plant in Norcross, Georgia

OFS has been investing in optical fiber and fiber optic cable manufacturing in Norcross, Georgia, including a $139 million expansion that was fully operationalized by 2022. With the anticipated demand from BEAD funding, OFS will create up to 100 new jobs in Georgia over the next few years.

Holly Hulse, CEO of OFS, explained, “We’ve all seen the increased importance of the internet in our daily lives.  The BEAD program is an important investment in people and locations across the United States to keep them up to speed and prepare them for the future. With two longstanding factories in Georgia, OFS has been a fiber optic innovator for decades.  OFS is pleased to do our part in rewiring the country by offering world-class optic fiber solutions that meet Buy America Build America (BABA) Act requirements. We look forward to creating jobs for Georgians in the process”. 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law requires the use of Made in America construction materials and products for federally funded infrastructure projects, including high-speed Internet service equipment, under the Administration’s “Internet for All” initiative.  

In February 2024, NTIA announced the majority of fiber broadband equipment for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program —including optical fiber, fiber optic cable, key electronics, and enclosures— will be made in the United States.

NTT reports stable trends as it focuses on IOWN

NTT Group’s consolidated operating revenues for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2024 were 13,374.6 billion yen (an increase of 1.8% from the previous fiscal year), consolidated operating profit was 1,922.9 billion yen (an increase of 5.1% from the previous fiscal year), and consolidated profit attributable to NTT was 1,279.5 billion yen (an increase of 5.5% from the previous fiscal year).

Some of NTT's highlighted initiatives:

  • NTT is creating new value and accelerating a global sustainable society through the IOWN concept, which involves photonic-electronic convergence devices and ultra-low power consumption.
  • NTT is commercializing its IOWN APN service and collaborating with Sony to develop a multi-site wide-area remote production platform.
  • NTT DOCOMO is strengthening its personal business by acquiring subsidiaries and using data to provide new marketing value.
  • NTT is using AI to promote digital transformation in various industries, including its own operations, by launching a commercial service that uses its Large-scale Language Model (LLM) “tsuzumi.”
  • NTT DOCOMO is offering OREX Open RAN service to international telecom operators, which can reduce costs and accelerate 5G network deployment.
  • NTT, as the world's third largest data center provider, is expanding its business to meet the growing demand for data centers.
  • NTT launched the Green Transformation (GX) solution brand “NTT G×Inno” to help customers achieve carbon neutrality.
  • NTT is creating circular economy businesses by promoting renewable energy and acquiring Green Power Investment Corporation.
  • NTT has established new targets aimed at achieving Net-Zero by FY2040.
  • NTT is improving the customer experience by expanding its network facilities and upgrading its services.

Tech Update: NTT Research - Innovations for a Better Future

As demand for network and computing capacity continues to rise, AI is pushing for a revolutionary new infrastructure that is quicker, more sustainable, and secure. This will support cutting-edge innovations. Implementing NTT's IOWN concept, which aims to shift from electronic to photonic technologies in networks and computing, will play a crucial role in developing a more sustainable and scalable AI infrastructure. 

Kazuhiro Gomi, President and CEO from NTT Research, provides updates from Upgrade 2024 event in San Francisco :

- The role of photonics technology as a potential solution to the overheating problem in IT tech infrastructure, especially as AI requires significant computational power and energy consumption.

- The steps towards integrating photonics technology into our systems, starting with replacing connections between processors and memory, and eventually leading to the development of optical computers.

- The importance of investing in fundamental basic research, as it is the starting point for big innovations, and how NTT Research allocates a significant portion of its operating income towards this type of research.

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Intel buys more Bloom Energy fuel cells for Santa Clara data center

Intel will deploy additional megawatts (MW) of Bloom Energy’s fuel cell-based Energy Server at its existing data center in Santa Clara, California. The additional capacity expands an existing Bloom Energy fuel cell installation already deployed at the tech giant’s location since 2014. The resulting installation will be the single largest fuel cell-powered high-performance computing data center in Silicon Valley.

“Bloom Energy is proud to be a long-term supplier to Intel and to support the company’s data center capacity building at a time when the grid is severely constrained,” said Ravi Prasher, Bloom Energy’s Chief Technology Officer. “Bloom Energy technology is compatible with hydrogen fuel in addition to natural gas. We are working with governments and industries to adopt hydrogen as a primary fuel when it becomes economically viable. Intel’s confidence in our fuel cell technology is a testament to Bloom’s ability to reliably meet the energy needs of cutting edge and high-performance IT infrastructure.”

East Africa hit by subsea cable cuts

A series of subsea cable cuts is causing traffic disruptions across Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. 

According to media reports, both the Eassy and Seacom cable systems appear to have been cut on segments between Kenya and South Africa. Network operators on social media commented on the situation.

TSMC revenue in April jumps 60% yoy on AI demand

TSMC reported net revenue for April 2024 of approximately NT$236.02 billion (US$708 million), an increase of 20.9 percent from March 2024 and an increase of 59.6 percent from April 2023. 

Revenue for January through April 2024 totaled NT$828.67 billion, an increase of 26.2 percent compared to the same period in 2023.