Sunday, June 16, 2024

2Africa subsea cable reaches UK

The 2Africa subsea cable has been landed in Bude, Cornwall.

At 45,000km, 2Africa is expected to be the longest subsea cable ever deployed. A total of 46 cable landing locations are envisioned for the project before completion in 2024. With a capacity of up to 180 terabits per second (Tbps), 2Africa will be the first system to provide continuous capacity around the African continent, and will connect 33 countries on three continents (Europe, Africa and Asia). 

Vodafone, which is the landing partner for the the 2Africa subsea cable, in Bude, confirmed that it is now carrying traffic on part of its 2Africa cable system to deliver additional capacity to customers.

As the lead partner for the UK landing, Vodafone handled the physical cable coming ashore; burial on the beach; and installation into a new, purpose-built beach manhole, where 2Africa will connect to terrestrial cable routing back to the existing Vodafone Cable Landing Station. Vodafone will also provide 2Africa with onward connectivity via two diverse terrestrial infrastructure and fibre routes linking to the London area.

Vodafone has named the twin-fibre pairs it owns in the cable system after Vodafone Group’s Head of Subsea Partnerships, Rick Perry. The Vodafone system is referred to as SHARP (the System Honouring the Achievements of Rick Perry).

The 2Africa consortium is made up of eight international partners: Bayobab; Center3; China Mobile International; Meta; Orange; Telecom Egypt; Vodafone Group; and WIOCC. Alcatel Submarine Networks is responsible for the manufacture and installation of the 2Africa cable.

Vodafone has been the partner for 11 landings of the 2Africa cable to date, with its experience in subsea cables tracing back to the landing of the first-ever transoceanic cable in Porthcurno, Cornwall, in 1870.

YOFC and China Mobile test 800G hollow-core fiber

Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable YOFC), in collaboration with China Mobile, unveiled the world's first 800G hollow-core fibre transmission test network in Shenzhen-Dongguan, Guangdong. Hollow-core fibre, utilizing an innovative air-guiding mechanism, surpasses the performance constraints associated with traditional solid-core fibres in both capacity and latency. 

YOFC's participation in the test network featured a comprehensive suite of solutions specifically designed for hollow-core fibre optics, encompassing the provision of cables, essential splicing services, and adapters for integration with single-mode fibres. The project successfully navigated several technical challenges common in complex installations. The challenges involved mitigating environmental risks and ensuring robust infrastructure during fibre laying and splicing operations—addressing pipe flooding, managing excessive humidity, and conducting precise splicing in outdoor environments. These efforts were crucial in enabling a detailed evaluation of the fibre's performance under real operational conditions.

Key performance metrics achieved on a 20km test link—such as splice losses between hollow-core fibres, connections from hollow-core to solid-core fibres, and attenuation post-installation—were benchmarked against leading global standards. Moreover, the deployment featured an 800Gbps single-wavelength optical transmission setup, achieving a bidirectional long-distance transmission test with a throughput of 128Tb/s over hollow-core fibres. This not only demonstrated the practical application of such fibres in intricate and demanding network environments but also served as a critical proof-of-concept for the scalability and industrial applicability of hollow-core fibre technologies.

New Zealand's Chorus deploys Nokia's 25PON

Chorus, New Zealand's largest open-access internet infrastructure company, and 2Degrees, the country’s leading retail service provider, have activated its 25G PON solution in a live commercial network. New Zealand Cherry Corp will become the first customer to benefit from 25G PON, leveraging its capacity, latency, and reliability to revolutionize its farming methods.

The companies said this pilot project demonstrates the transformative impact 25G PON can have on business practices and industry 4.0 applications. Using Nokia’s next-generation fiber technology, Chorus can quickly enhance the fiber network capacity and enable retail service providers like 2Degrees to deliver higher-speed connectivity and new use cases that drive more efficiency, productivity, and lower overall energy consumption.

Ewen Powell, Chief Information Officer at Chorus, said: “Nokia’s 25G PON solution allows us to provide our customers with the capacity they need to offer new services and applications that require a reliable, ultra-fast connection, such as Agriculture 4.0, Industry 4.0, mobile transport, and advanced enterprise connectivity. Running 25G PON alongside XGS-PON and GPON will allow us to converge many more services and retail service providers onto our network, providing greater choice and quality for end-customers.”

Sandy Motley, President of Nokia Fixed Networks, said: “Fiber broadband networks have great potential that operators just started tapping in because you can increase bandwidth in a very efficient way and leverage the infrastructure to connect everything. When we designed our Quillion chipset, a key requirement was to be able to support multiple PON technologies on the same fiber, giving operators the flexibility to offer different service levels dependent on the customers’ needs.”

Dell'Oro: Data center physical infrastructure market slows in Q1

Data Center Physical Infrastructure (DCPI) revenue growth slowed to a mid-single-digit rate in 1Q 2024, as design shifts to support accelerated computing infrastructure and AI workloads need more time to materialize, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

“As I predicted, DCPI revenue growth slowed in 1Q 2024 as deployments related to AI workloads simply need more time to materialize, and to a lesser extent, a difficult comparison to an unseasonably strong 1Q 2023,” said Lucas Beran, Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “On a positive note, the pipeline for AI-related DCPI deployments continues to grow, as evidenced by vendor backlogs that have eclipsed levels seen during the 2022 supply chain constraints. Fulfillment of this demand is simply a matter of time.

“Many factors are impacting the timing of this DCPI growth related to AI – Vendor manufacturing expansion, data center construction, and power availability all need to align. Furthermore, new data center designs to accommodate rack power densities 3 to 5 times higher than average, to incorporate liquid cooling, and to manage AI training load variability are all new challenges currently being addressed. As they are overcome, I expect growth to materialize in a very meaningful way,” continued Beran.

Additional highlights from the 1Q 2024 Data Center Physical Infrastructure Quarterly Report:

  • Eaton, Modine, and Schneider Electric led all vendors in market share gains, while Vertiv lost share.
  • Revenue growth was broad based, but North America slightly outpaced all other regions. The China DCPI market was the only region to decline, but is expected to return to growth next quarter.
  • Hardware sales growth broadly slowed, with the exception of Facility Power Distribution, which was the only market segment to grow at a double-digit rate, due to increasing power distribution requirements of AI workloads. Thermal Management growth notably slowed as some colocation end-users are still deploying recently shipped equipment.
  • Looking ahead, we forecast double-digit revenue growth for the 2024 DCPI market after a small upward revision. We expect this to be weighted towards the second half of the year as physical infrastructure deployments related to AI workloads begin to materialize.

Dell'Oro: SASE market surges 23 percent in Q1

The Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) market experienced a remarkable 23 percent revenue growth in 1Q 2024, marking its seventeenth consecutive quarter of over 20 percent growth, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. This sustained increase underscores the ongoing shift towards SASE solutions as enterprises prioritize mobile- and cloud-first environments. Revenue growth eclipsing 20 percent in both the Security Service Edge (SSE) and SD-WAN segments is a significant driver of this trend, as enterprises seek comprehensive solutions to enhance security and streamline network management in a digital-first world.

“Enterprises worldwide are increasingly leaning towards comprehensive SASE solutions to address the complexities of remote work and cloud integration,” said Mauricio Sanchez, Sr. Research Director, Enterprise Networking and Security at Dell’Oro Group. “Our latest report indicates that this trend is persisting, driven by the need for integrated and scalable secure network frameworks.”

Additional highlights from the 1Q 2024 SASE and SD-WAN Quarterly Report:

  • The global SASE market, combining SD-WAN and SSE technologies, again topped $2 billion for the fourth consecutive quarter, showcasing a 23 percent growth rate.
  • North America remained the largest revenue contributor, accounting for over half of the global market. However, regions like EMEA and APAC exhibited faster growth rates, signaling broader global enterprise adoption of SASE solutions.
  • Single-vendor SASE solutions dominated the market, representing 80 percent of the total SASE revenue, bolstered by Zscaler’s recent entry into the SD-WAN market.
  • The unified SASE market continues to appeal to the mid-market with its simplified networking and security integration as evidenced by Cato Networks’ 48 percent revenue growth.
  • Zscaler remained the overall SASE revenue leader and extended its share to become only the second SASE vendor with 20 percent or more revenue share since Cisco in 3Q 2019.
  • SSE revenue grew by 24 percent year-over-year, its lowest-ever growth rate. However, key players like Zscaler, Palo Alto Networks, and Netskope saw a combined revenue rise of 38 percent year-over-year, reflecting strong customer demand for comprehensive security solutions.