South Africa’s Rain and Huawei Build the First 5G Transport Networks Using OXC+200G Solution

[Johannesburg, South Africa, February 26, 2020] South Africa’s Rain announced that it has cooperated with Huawei to build a 5G transport network using Huawei’s optical cross-connect (OXC) and 200G solution, leveraging Huawei’s latest all-optical switching product, OXC (P32), to build a metro optical transport network with minimal footprint, high provisioning efficiency, simple O&M, and high scalability to address the medium- and long-term challenges brought by 5G and revolutionary services.

Rain is focused on bringing mobile broadband (MBB) networks to South Africa and becoming the first operator to deploy 5G networks in South Africa. In terms of 5G transport, Rain combines TCO with lifecycle considerations. It must not only consider network construction costs, but also consider the cost of equipment rooms, O&M, capacity expansion, and network evolution. The traditional ROADM mode requires a higher footprint, extra subracks (one for each new transmission direction), site visits, and manual fiber connection, resulting in low O&M efficiency. These factors underline Rain’s motivation to use Huawei’s OXC and 200G solution for the construction of their 5G transport network.

Rain applies OXC technology at core nodes. Huawei’s OXC uses highly reliable and low-insertion-loss optical backplane technologies to merge the independent boards originally found in ROADM sites, reducing footprint by 80%. The reduced footprint is even more significant when there are more transmission directions. The industry-leading liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) switching technology and 32-degree optical cross-connection grooming meet Rain’s long-term capacity expansion requirements. Only one OXC device is required per site, capacity can be expanded by adding boards instead of subracks, and the expansion efficiency is 80% higher. Furthermore, Huawei OXC simplifies optical-layer connections and achieves zero intra-site fiber connections at the optical layer. The built-in digital optical parameter detection function monitors fiber quality, wavelength performance, wavelength, and paths in real time, implementing digital O&M at the optical layer and greatly improving O&M efficiency.

At the electrical layer, comparing with 100G solution, Huawei’s 200G solution improves the fiber capacity and reduces the E2E per bit cost. This solution features high integration, uses less power, and delivers high performance. The entire network requires no regeneration boards, greatly reducing the per wavelength cost.

Rain said, “With Huawei’s E2E solution and new OXC+200G, our first 5G users can experience an ultra-high speed 5G broadband service at home. Rain will further strengthen its partnership with Huawei in 5G network innovation and practice to offer an exceptional service experience to users.

Richard Jin, President of Huawei’s Transmission and Access Network Product Line, said, “Huawei is happy to cooperate with Rain to build South Africa’s first 5G transport network. This is a milestone in the global use of our OXC+200G solution. This transport network can meet the requirements of the next decade, realize higher network O&M efficiency, and provide an unrivaled user experience. Huawei will continue its innovation and research to provide customers with sustainable and evolvable solutions while helping Rain achieve greater business success.”

–ends—

About Huawei

Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. With integrated solutions across four key domains – telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services – we are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.

Huawei’s end-to-end portfolio of products, solutions and services are both competitive and secure. Through open collaboration with ecosystem partners, we create lasting value for our customers, working to empower people, enrich home life, and inspire innovation in organizations of all shapes and sizes.

At Huawei, innovation focuses on customer needs. We invest heavily in basic research, concentrating on technological breakthroughs that drive the world forward. We have more than 188,000 employees by the end of 2018, and we operate in more than 170 countries and regions. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.

For more information, please visit Huawei online at www.huawei.com or follow us on:

http://www.linkedin.com/company/Huawei

http://www.twitter.com/Huawei

http://www.facebook.com/Huawei

http://www.youtube.com/Huawei

 

Globe Reinvents Connectivity Solutions for Enterprise through Network Modernization and Transformation

Telco giant teams up with Huawei in streamlining enterprise and transport connectivities for enhanced customer experience

[Philippines, Manila, February 24, 2020] Recently, Globe (Philippines) and Huawei jointly released a new enterprise private line solution. The company leverages advanced technologies such as optical transport, IP, SDN, and NFV to reshape the traditional enterprise private line solution through a series of network modernization and transformation projects. The new solution features the industry’s first high-quality private line network with an IP+optical dual-layer architecture for large-scale commercial use. The network is also the first to implement full automation cross domains and vendors based on NCE, which is highly praised for its openness and interconnection capabilities.

Over the years, Enterprise customers have maintained a gradual transition towards the Ethernet platform while keeping the physical isolation connection on the WAN side for higher service availability.

“For Globe, this meant building a hybrid ecosystem that can deliver connectivity solutions with a broad range of capacity from 1G to 100G, so Enterprise customers can provide the breakthrough customer experience and digitally transform their businesses,” said Globe Telecom Transport Network Division Head Constantine A. Serafica.

To support capacity and 5G requirements of enterprises, Globe’s first modernization initiative focused on Optical transport, building a high capacity network flexible enough to provide converged services. “These high capacity optical transports are not only deployed on the Core and Distribution, but also extended to the Access layers. DWDM network elements are being deployed towards the Access loops to form a hub and spoke topology, increasing capacity for each node from a 10G sharing capacity on the access ring to dedicated multiple 10G to 100G capacity”, explained Serafica.

Globe also worked on IP network consolidation and simplification by rationalizing the architecture and protocols used. This initiative not only flattens the network for easier administration, but also created synergies between the consumer and enterprise networks, paving the way for Segment Routing and network programming which complements 5G and next generation enterprise services.

Lastly, the telco giant completed its SDN deployment, enabling end-to-end service provisioning, Bandwidth-on-Demand, Bandwidth Calendaring and end-to-end topology visibility.

Globe continuously deploy the latest technologies to build its infrastructures and systems. By remain digitally agile and advanced, Globe is able to extend these advantage and technology leadership to its enterprise customers with the reinvented connectivity solution, enabling enterprises to catapult their business towards success.

–ends—

About Huawei

Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. With integrated solutions across four key domains – telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services – we are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.

Huawei’s end-to-end portfolio of products, solutions and services are both competitive and secure. Through open collaboration with ecosystem partners, we create lasting value for our customers, working to empower people, enrich home life, and inspire innovation in organizations of all shapes and sizes.

At Huawei, innovation focuses on customer needs. We invest heavily in basic research, concentrating on technological breakthroughs that drive the world forward. We have more than 188,000 employees by the end of 2018, and we operate in more than 170 countries and regions. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.

For more information, please visit Huawei online at www.huawei.com or follow us on:

http://www.linkedin.com/company/Huawei

http://www.twitter.com/Huawei

http://www.facebook.com/Huawei

http://www.youtube.com/Huawei

 

CAT Cooperates with Huawei to Build Southeast Asia’s First International OTN Premium Private Line Network

[London, UK, February 21, 2020] CAT, Thailand’s national telecom operator, and Huawei announced that they will build Southeast Asia’s first OTN premium private line network. This network aims to serve multinational companies and customers in public and private sectors, such as government agencies and finance customers. The network will provide high-quality domestic and international private lines to support the global transformation of enterprises and lay a solid network foundation for the Thailand 4.0 strategy.

The Thailand 4.0 strategy aims to transform traditional small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into intelligent enterprises, and add value to traditional service industries. Furthermore, Thailand’s major companies are accelerating their digital transformation while expanding their global presence. This raises the requirements for international private leased circuits (IPLCs), including faster data transmission, better network stability, and lower network latency.

CAT is poised to shoulder the responsibility of building high-quality network infrastructure to support the 4.0 strategy. The majority of CAT’s enterprise private lines are MPLS VPN based. The private lines suffer from unstable latency, an availability that does not exceed 99.9%, network resources that are not visible, a long service provisioning period, and lack of value-added functions such as on-demand bandwidth. This does not live up to CAT’s reputation as a leading, nation-wide telecommunications service provider.

As one of the early adopters of Huawei’s premium private line concept, CAT has upgraded its existing 100G cross-border network by deploying Huawei’s Intelligent OptiX Network solution to build a high-quality private line network that covers the whole of Thailand, while connecting China, Singapore, Cambodia, and Myanmar. This cements Thailand’s position as an ASEAN Digital Hub. The network provides superior IPLCs featuring a high bandwidth, availability exceeding 99.99%, millisecond-level latency, fast provisioning (within days), and real-time SLA visualization to support Southeast Asian enterprises in their international transformation.

Commenting on the cooperation, Colonel Sanpachai Huvanandana, President of CAT, said: “This OTN premium private line network will cover 76 administrative regions in Thailand and connects multiple countries around the world. It can provide 2M to 100G high-quality private lines for enterprises in Southeast Asia, facilitating digital transformation. It will also strengthen our Business-to-Business sector and become an engine driving CAT’s development in 2020.”

Kevin Huang, Vice President of Huawei’s Transmission & Access Product Line, said: “With a strong presence and in-depth understanding of the OTN field and enterprise private line requirements, Huawei has proposed the OTN premium private line solution that features technological advancement and sustainable evolution. This solution aims to provide ubiquitous optical connections for enterprises to enjoy a quality experience and create a win-win situation for enterprises and operators.”

Huawei has over 20 years of experience in the optical network field and has held the largest market share for 10 consecutive years. Huawei has built more than 30 OTN premium private line networks for global operators by leveraging a portfolio of advanced products, including the OptiXstar OTN CPE, ASON, and iMaster NCE. For the future, Huawei will continue to promote innovative next-generation OTN technologies to help operators build leading premium private line networks and accelerate the digital transformation of global enterprises around the globe.

For more information about CAT OTN premium private line network, visit: Link

–ends—

About Huawei

Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. With integrated solutions across four key domains – telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services – we are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.

Huawei’s end-to-end portfolio of products, solutions and services are both competitive and secure. Through open collaboration with ecosystem partners, we create lasting value for our customers, working to empower people, enrich home life, and inspire innovation in organizations of all shapes and sizes.

At Huawei, innovation focuses on customer needs. We invest heavily in basic research, concentrating on technological breakthroughs that drive the world forward. We have more than 188,000 employees by the end of 2018, and we operate in more than 170 countries and regions. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.

For more information, please visit Huawei online at www.huawei.com or follow us on:

http://www.linkedin.com/company/Huawei

http://www.twitter.com/Huawei

http://www.facebook.com/Huawei

http://www.youtube.com/Huawei

 

Huawei Launches the Industry’s First E2E 400GE Routers with Committed SLA— NetEngine 8000 Series Intelligent Routers

[London, the UK, February 20, 2020] Today, Huawei launched the NetEngine 8000 series, the industry’s first E2E 400GE routers oriented towards the 5G and cloud era, which redefines the intelligent IP network with ultra-broadband and committed SLA.

Daniel Tang, CTO of Huawei’s Data Communication Product Line, at the product launch event of NetEngine 8000 series routers

In the coming 5G and cloud era, with the rapid development of services such as Cloud VR/AR, 4K/8K, and site-to-cloud private lines, traffic is estimated to increase by 10 times over the next 10 years. As 5G enables a multitude of industries, the IP network is transforming from the original public network oriented towards B2C services to the production network oriented towards B2B vertical industries, which places stricter requirements on network quality. This requires the network to provide SLA assurance, including committed bandwidth and latency and high availability.

Daniel Tang, CTO of Huawei’s Data Communication Product Line, said, “To address the network challenges in the 5G and cloud era, Huawei has innovatively developed the industry’s first E2E 400GE routers, – NetEngine 8000 – and the industry’s first committed SLA solution to deliver 400GE and committed SLA on IP networks.”

Industry’s First E2E 400GE Routers for Building Future-oriented Ultra-Broadband Networks

NetEngine 8000 series routers, including the industry’s only 300 mm-deep box-shaped routers and the industry’s highest-density modular routers with thirty-six 400GE interfaces per slot, are the intelligent 400GE routers oriented towards the 5G and cloud era. The series meets the ever-increasing traffic growth of the metro network, backbone network, and data center scenarios. And when it comes to 400GE standardization, Huawei is the chief contributor, as well as the only vendor that can provide transmission distances of 10, 40, and 80 km. Huawei launched the industry’s first 400GE commercial use in February 2019.

NetEngine 8000 is the industry’s first platform to carry full services, such as 5G mobile, home broadband, private lines, and cloud, which helps operators build a simplified network with optimized investment.

Industry’s First Intelligent IP Network Solution with Committed SLA

  • Guaranteed bandwidth. In traditional networks, all services share bandwidth resources. The bandwidth of key services, such as vertical industry services, may fail to be guaranteed. Huawei is the first in the industry to propose hard isolation through FlexE-based network slicing in order to ensure zero bandwidth preemption among services and 100% bandwidth guarantee for key services. The granularity of Huawei’s FlexE-based network slicing is five times finer than the industry average, providing high-quality guarantee for more services.
  • Committed latency. Huawei is the first in the industry to support SRv6-based path computation. The path with the optimal latency can be selected based on services’ latency requirements, so that low latency can be guaranteed for key services. Huawei is the major contributor of SRv6 standards and have participated in the formulation of over 83% of standards. To date, Huawei has carried out over 20 commercial deployments worldwide.
  • High availability. Huawei is the first in the industry to propose the in-situ Flow Information Telemetry (iFIT) technology in order to support service-based and flow-based performance detection as well as SLA visualization. iMaster NCE is used together to provide fault locating within minutes, which ensures high network availability. Thanks to these benefits, Huawei’s iFIT solution won Best of Show Award Special Prize at Interop Tokyo 2019.

As a leading intelligent IP network provider in the world, Huawei has continuously invested in R&D for 24 years. In the router domain, Huawei gains No. 1 market shares in two consecutive years. Huawei’s products and solutions serve more than 130 regions and countries around the world. In the upcoming 5G and cloud era, Huawei will continuously construct ultra-broadband intelligent IP networks with committed SLA for operators worldwide.

–End–

 

About Huawei

Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. With integrated solutions across four key domains – telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services – we are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.

Huawei’s end-to-end portfolio of products, solutions and services are both competitive and secure. Through open collaboration with ecosystem partners, we create lasting value for our customers, working to empower people, enrich home life, and inspire innovation in organizations of all shapes and sizes.

At Huawei, innovation focuses on customer needs. We invest heavily in basic research, concentrating on technological breakthroughs that drive the world forward. We have more than 188,000 employees, and we operate in more than 170 countries and regions. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.

For more information, please visit Huawei online at www.huawei.com or follow us on:

http://www.linkedin.com/company/Huawei

http://www.twitter.com/Huawei

http://www.facebook.com/Huawei

http://www.google.com/+Huawei

http://www.youtube.com/Huawei

Nokia acquires Elenion to boost optical offering

Nokia plans to acquire Elenion, a privately-owned technology company whose proprietary silicon photonics design platform can lower the ‘per bit’ cost for network operators.

Through its acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent in 2016, Nokia has become one of the biggest suppliers of optical transport solutions. In the latest quarterly and full-year results, the IP routing and optical businesses registered healthy growth. This newly announced transaction looks to be an attempt to acquire unique technology know-how. The parties claim that Elenion’s silicon photonics design platform can, with its design toolset, improve the efficiency of the optical supply chain, and in turn, bring down the cost of data transmission on per bit basis for the operators.

The technology know-how can be highly relevant to Nokia’s core mobile business as well. The terse announcement stresses that Elenion’s silicon photonics technologies are highly integrated, low-cost, and ideal for short-reach and high-performance optical interfaces. This indicates that the technologies can be broadly applied in the dense radio networks expected for 5G, as well as the enterprise market where Nokia has made strong gains recently.

“As a world-class provider of silicon photonics solutions, advanced packaging and custom design services, Elenion provides a strong strategic fit for Nokia. Its solutions can be readily integrated into Nokia’s product offerings and address multiple high growth segments including 5G, cloud and data center networking,” said Sam Bucci, Head of Optical Networking at Nokia. “When combined with Nokia, Elenion technologies will accelerate the growth and scale of Nokia’s optical networking business, while enabling us to cost-effectively address new markets.”

“Nokia is an industry leader in networking systems, including advanced coherent optical interfaces and hyperscale datacenter solutions. Elenion benefits by having its technology incorporated into an industry-leading portfolio and with a company offering solutions across a wide array of networking applications,” added Larry Schwerin, CEO of Elenion Technologies. “Nokia’s strong optical industry leadership, size, scale, global reach, and ongoing commitment to investment in key technologies vastly accelerates the adoption of Elenion silicon photonics technology.”

The value of the transaction is not disclosed, and the companies expect the deal to close in Q1 2020 after regulatory clearance.

Three to decouple traffic growth from price with CityFibre backhaul

CityFibre has been announced as the new preferred supplier for 5G backhaul for Three, as the telco aims to increase competition among its suppliers.

Three is the first major telco to be wooed by the CityFibre team, demonstrating the progress of the business over recent years. CityFibre should no-longer be considered a petulant disruptor in the connectivity world, but perhaps this is an indication the infrastructure challenger is a genuine contender.

“This is a huge vote of confidence in CityFibre from a national mobile operator with big plans for 5G,” said Greg Mesch, CEO at CityFibre. “Three’s decision to leverage our rapidly expanding networks nationwide shows the critical role full fibre infrastructure has to underpin 5G rollouts and reinforces CityFibre’s position as the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform.”

“A competitive fibre backhaul market is critical for the fast and efficient rollout of 5G,” said Dave Dyson, CEO at Three UK. “CityFibre are aggressively rolling out fibre across Britain and our strategic partnership with them will use the UK’s largest 5G spectrum portfolio to deliver the fastest 5G network nationwide.”

As part of the agreement, CityFibre will connect the 5G sites which are set to go live in the coming months as Three launches its commercial 5G services. CityFibre will also provide Dark Fibre services to Three, and small cell access points throughout its city-wide networks, providing the local fibre capacity required to support 5G services in busy urban areas.

After talking to Three, this is an effort to future-proof it’s backhaul relationships against the growing tides of data consumption in today’s 4G environment and the forecasted 5G era.

The surge in data consumption has been regularly discussed in recent years, especially with the emergence of 5G, but it is important to remember this was an existing trend in the 4G era. As applications become more data intensive, telcos have had to bring down the price per GB to meet the demands of consumers. Three suggests traffic across its network could increase 20X thanks to 5G, but in 2010 the average consumer only used 269 MB of data per month.

As it stands, the price of data transmission is directly linked to the amount of traffic which flows across a network; the price per GB is fixed irrelevant of the volume of traffic. Three has said by diversifying its supplier base and increasing competition, the aim is to decouple price from traffic growth.

An oversimplification of this process would be to imagine economy of scale. The more of a service which is purchased, the price per unit decreases. The relationships which are in place moving forward are obviously much more complicated than this, though it does appear to be a case of Three attempting to ensure it is not backed into a corner with a single supplier holding the aces.

While this is a headline which has the potential to turn heads, diversification is a process which has been on-going within the Three business for some time.

BT Wholesale, a customer of Openreach, was the primary supplier of backhaul services for Three during the 4G era, though in recent years it has been unbundling BT exchanges for years. In July 2018, Three announced a major project to unbundle 177 BT exchanges with SSE Telecoms, while it has already been working with CityFibre to provide backhaul services in Hull.

The objective here is to have less of a reliance on a single supplier, BT Wholesale and Openreach as a result, and to improve diversification. It is working towards creating a more sustainable and healthy vendor ecosystem.

This is of course not the end for the Three/BT relationship. CityFibre can offer services in certain regions across the UK but not everywhere. SSE Telecoms will help fill the void, though there are locations where it is not commercially attractive for anyone to build out moving forward. These areas, where Openreach is the sole supplier, are subject to a price ceiling consultation from Ofcom.

With the likes of CityFibre and SSE Telecoms aggressively expanding networks, Openreach will certainly face tougher competition in the coming years. For decades, Openreach has maintained a defacto monopoly on backhaul services across the market, though the telco desire for reduced costs and resilience through supplier diversity does seem to be translating into fresh competition.

CityFibre network:

Virgin Media to take a mmWave approach to ‘full-fibre’

Virgin Media has unveiled the results of a new trial using wireless to deliver fibre broadband to customers in remote locations.

In a small village in the English countryside, Virgin Media has been exploring possibilities of delivering backhaul traffic over the airways. Although this is something which Virgin Media has been doing for years, the difference here seems to be the team is toying around with mmWave as opposed to microwave.

“As we invest to expand our ultrafast network we’re always looking at new, innovative ways to make build more efficient and connect premises that might currently be out of reach,” said Jeanie York, Chief Technology and Information Officer at Virgin Media. “While presently this is a trial, it’s clear that this technology could help to provide more people and businesses with the better broadband they deserve.”

The challenge which seems to be addressed here is combining the complications of deploying infrastructure and the increasing data appetite of the consumer. As you can see below, the trial makes use of mmWave to connect two ‘trunk’ points over 3 kilometres with a 10 Gbps signal. The signal is converted at the cabinet, before being sent through the last-mile on a fibre connection.

Virgin Media

Although this trial only connected 12 homes in the village of Newbury, Virgin Media believes this process could sustainably support delivery of residential services to 500 homes. This assumption also factors in a 40% average annual growth in data consumption. With further upgrades, the radio link could theoretically support a 20Gbps connection, taking the number of homes serviced to 2,000.

The advantage of this approach to delivering broadband is the ability to skip over tricky physical limitations. There are numerous villages which are experiencing poor connections because the vast spend which would have to be made to circumnavigate a valley, rivers or train lines. This approach not only speeds up the deployment, it simplifies it and makes it cheaper.

Looking at the distance between the two ‘trunks’, Virgin Media has said 3km is just about as far as it can go with mmWave. This range takes into account different weather conditions, the trial included some adverse conditions such as 80mph winds and 30mm rainfall, but radios chained together and used back-to-back could increased this coverage and scope of applications.

With alt-nets becoming increasingly common throughout the UK, new ideas to make use of mmWave and alternative technologies will need to be sought. Traditional players will find revenues being gradually eroded if a new vision of connectivity is not acquired. Just look at the challenge CityFibre has been mounting to the status quo as evidence of the threat.

Ericsson and DT manage 100 Gbps over microwave

A trial of wireless backhaul over microwave jointly conducted by Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson has managed to top the 100 Gbps mark.

Current commercial microwave backhaul rigs only manage a mere 10 Gbps, we’re told, so this is a fairly substantial increase, albeit in a trial environment. This mega-fast data rate was transmitted over a distance of 1.5 kilometres, which isn’t a bad effort. It involved an 8×8 line-of-sight MIMO with cross polarization interference cancellation (of course), using a 2.5 GHz channel bandwidth in the E-band (70/80 GHz).

“This trial signifies the successful establishment of true fiber capacities over the air using microwave,” said Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks at Ericsson. “This means that microwave will be even more relevant for communications service providers in creating redundant networks as a back-up for fiber, or as a way of closing a fiber ring when fiber is not a viable solution. By carrying such high capacities, microwave further establishes itself as a key transport technology, capable of delivering the performance requirements of 5G.”

“Advanced backhaul solutions will be needed to support high data throughput and enhanced customer experience in the 5G era,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation at DT This milestone confirms the feasibility of microwave over millimeter wave spectrum as an important extension of our portfolio of high-capacity, high-performance transport options for the 5G era. In addition, it represents a game changing solution for future fronthauling capabilities.”

The reason microwave backhaul is suddenly a big deal again is that 5G is going to require a lot more base stations than previous generations, partly because it uses higher frequencies with poorer propagation characteristics. Backhauling all of those new sites with fibre will often be expensive and impractical, so if networks can fall back to a decent microwave link when that happens then everyone’s a winner.

Ciena bags 20.5% growth perhaps thanks to Huawei dilemma

Optical networking company Ciena posted positive results for the first quarter of 2019, with total revenues of $778.5 million beating analyst expectations.

There have been whispers in corners of various conferences that a Huawei ban could benefit some, and it may well be having a positive impact for Ciena. While there are numerous other companies which would compete with Huawei in the optical equipment segment, with Ciena one of the few ‘pure-play’ companies it might have a more notable impact on the financials.

That said, irrelevant of where the favourable fortune has come from investors will be happy. $778.5 million represents a 20.5% year-on-year increase for the first quarter, while nearly all geographical markets have shown healthy growth.

“We began fiscal 2019 with a very strong first quarter performance, including outstanding top and bottom line growth as well as continued market share gains,” said Gary Smith, CEO of Ciena. “We believe that the combination of our leading innovation and positive industry dynamics will enable us to further extend our leadership position.”

Net income for the quarter stood at $33.6 million, though this is incomparable to the same period of 2018 which registered a loss of $473.4 million thanks to President Donald Trump’s US tax reform.

Looking at the regions, in the US, a market which now accounts for 62% of the company’s total revenues, the earnings grew just over 20% to $485.5 million, while 20% growth was also registered in the APAC region. The big success story however was in Europe, where the team grew the business by 32% to $129.2 million. This is still only 16.6% of the total haul for Ciena, but more geographical diversification will certainly be welcomed.

For Ciena, Europe could be a very interesting market over the next couple of months. With Huawei coming under increasing scrutiny globally, telcos will look to further diversify supply chains to add more resilience and protect themselves from potential government bans. While the anti-China rhetoric being spouted out by the White House is losing momentum, the European Union is reportedly looking some sort of ban, even if this puts the Brussels bureaucrats at odds with some member states.

For such vast investments, telcos will be looking for certainty and consistency from government policies. When looking at Huawei as a potential vendor, telcos will naturally be nervous, even if they don’t want to admit it.

With Huawei’s ban set to have little impact on the US market, it is not a major supplier to the market historically, the Europe could be a hidden goldmine for Ciena.

Interestingly enough, this scenario also seems to be paying off dividend in the APAC markets as well. Smith notes the success in the APAC region has come from Australia, Japan and Korea, three markets where Huawei has either been explicitly banned or is receiving a rather frosty welcome.

Ericsson reckons it has finally got the hang of this partnership business

Ericsson’s partnership with Juniper is actually producing results, which makes it a distinct improvement on previous efforts.

The fact that it doesn’t have a fixed line offering has always been a strategic disadvantage for Ericsson. As a result it continually flirts with companies that specialise in that stuff in the hope of being able to offer that elusive end-to-end solution without going to all the hassle of buying one of them, as Nokia did with Alcatel-Lucent.

The most high-profile example of this came when Ericsson announced its engagement to Cisco back in 2015. This strategic partnership was sold as the best of both worlds; bringing all the synergy of a merger without all the hassle. There’s a reason why M&A is still generally the preferred option however, with the Cisco partnership yielding little fruit and being left to wither on the vine.

After a couple of years Ericsson gathered the courage to get back game again, this time taking it slow via the announcement of a backhaul partnership with Juniper. Five months of chilling in front of Netflix together seems to have strengthened the relationship such that the shy couple are now “unveiling further enhancements” to their relationship.

“The positive market response to our expanded partnership with Juniper is a testimony to the strength of our joint end-to-end transport solutions,” said Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks at Ericsson. “We hope to sustain this momentum by further enhancing our leading, high-performance transport portfolio to ensure that next-generation networks continue to benefit our customers.”

“By integrating complementary portfolios and technologies, Juniper Networks and Ericsson continue to partner and further develop end-to-end transport solutions for the 5G era – solutions that give service providers greater flexibility, performance, security and automation,” said Manoj Leelanivas, Chief Product Officer said Juniper Networks.

The rest of the industry seems to be really happy for them and secretly have their fingers crossed that we’ll be hearing the pitter-patter of 5G networks before long. Juniper Networks and Ericsson have implemented renewed DNA core network that supports 5G transport capacity, boosting our 5G readiness,” cooed Mikko Kannisto, Director of Transmission Networks at DNA.

Elsewhere Orange and NTT have been spending a lot more time with each other recently and things have got serious enough for them to sign a strategic R&D framework agreement, no less. What’s more they expect to “mutualise research findings in several key domains,” which sounds downright saucy, the lucky things.

“As Europe embarks on its own 5G journey, our collaboration with NTT will be very precious,” said Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange Group. “Both parties share a commitment to continuous learning and cultural exchange, which I fundamentally believe is essential in today’s global environment. The mutualisation of our respective research learnings will enable us to identify and develop better services for customers in our respective regions, and support the development of our multinational business customers internationally.”

“Orange is one of the most innovative and important players to cooperate closely in various ways to progress AI, IoT and 5G,” said Jun Sawada, CEO of NTT Group. “With this agreement, we will be able to enhance our capabilities and accelerate digital transformation in various industries, cities, sports and international events in worldwide.”

The weather is expected to be a lot better than it was last year in Barcelona and, with Spring in the air, there’s every chance MWC 2019 will see a lot more telecoms ‘partnerships’ get started, especially after many ‘networking evenings’ on offer. We wish them all the best.