Category Archives: Communication industry

Updates from Ciena

How to Right-Size Your Middle-Mile Network for Rural Broadband Growth
By Mitch Simcoe – Have you ever purchased something where you didn’t plan and anticipate your future needs correctly and you ended up needing to replace it with something larger, something that can scale with greater capacity to meet your needs? Something that leaves you with a nagging feeling, that if you had just planned better from the start it would have saved you a lot of time, money and aggravation?

For example, my son recently graduated from college and the first car he went and bought was a 2-seater red convertible with a trunk that can barely hold a suitcase. Now he wants to go mountain biking and kayaking on the weekend and realized he will need to upgrade to a truck and will reluctantly have to sell the sports car.

Well, it is not hard to fall into the same trap when it comes to planning for a Middle-Mile Network for Rural Broadband. Middle-mile networks are typically fiber rings that aggregate the traffic from service provider central offices or utility substations that connect residential customers in rural areas as shown in Figure 1. Whether it’s utility co-ops, regional service providers or municipalities, all need to plan for future broadband demand on these middle-mile networks. As we have seen during the pandemic, people living in rural areas have welcomed the opportunity to work from home; they shop, consume entertainment, and access advanced education services and critical healthcare data online. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated these trends: elevating high-speed reliable broadband from a “nice to have” service to an essential one, just like water or electricity. more>

Related>

Updates from CIena

Distribute, virtualise, and optimise your datacentre infrastructure with Interxion’s ‘Managed Wave’ services
More enterprises than ever are distributing their datacentre infrastructure across multiple locations to boost their agility and to get closer to their cloud and content partners. If this is your case, you could benefit from DCI connectivity that’s super-fast, totally reliable, and highly cost effective, such as Interxion’s Ciena-powered Managed Wave solution, says Martin Phelps,
By Martin Phelps – In recent years, we have seen massive changes in enterprise’s collocation and connectivity needs. Until very recently, for example, most organisations only hosted equipment in two remote datacentres for backup or disaster recovery (DR) purposes. Additionally, compute, storage, and network equipment was nearly always hosted in the same facility to avoid latency and other issues that can impact performance.

Now, though, all this has changed.

The new normal is to distribute datacentre infrastructure across two or more geographically distributed locations, and not only for the purpose of DR. This approach to building out infrastructure is being driven by a number of key factors, including:

  1. Availability of datacentre space (or lack of it)
    Lack of space in tier-4 datacentres could be a challenge for Enterprises.  A distributed architecture allows them to overcome this challenge by hosting infrastructure in two or more tier-3 datacentres in active-active mode.
  2. Proximity to cloud providers and other partners
    With distributed architectures, enterprise customers can decide to host additional, virtualised infrastructure that is collocated with cloud ‘on-ramps’. This can minimise their latency and maximise app and workload performance.

more>

Related>

Updates from Ciena

How bold hardware and software innovations are changing the game in optical networking
How are hardware and software advancements helping network operators solve key challenges they face today?
By Paulina Gomez – Communications have come a long way since Western Union took the bold step of implementing the first transcontinental electric telegraph system in October of 1861. Fast forward 160 years and optical networks across the globe are what lay the foundation for modern communications and the way we live, work and play.

Keeping pace with today’s “new normal” customer demands for always-on, anywhere, reliable connectivity requires innovative technologies to deliver open, scalable, and programmable networks, that include next-gen coherent modems to drive down the cost of transport and reconfigurable open line systems, to be able to quickly adapt to changing customer requirements.  However, evolving towards a smarter optical network also requires leveraging advanced analytics with intelligent software automation to not only drive operational simplicity but also actionable insights based on what is happening in the network.

As our customers evolve to more open, programmable, and automated networks they need the right analytical tools at their fingertips to be able to extract the full value of their deployed network assets across all stages of the photonic network lifecycle. Paving the path towards a smarter optical network starts with an SDN domain controller like Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP), that lays the foundation for multi-layer, automated, lifecycle operations. Advancements in hardware and software are also required to give more control to end-users so that they can fully operationalize and realize the benefits associated with a modernized network. Let me explain further: more>

Updates from Ciena

3 unique network provider perspectives on IP/Optical convergence
What are network providers thinking about IP/Optical Convergence? Representatives from Microsoft, Telia Carrier and Cox Communications recently participated in a panel “Evolution to Coherent WDM Integration in Routers” moderated by Ciena’s Helen Xenos to discuss this very topic. Helen shares some of the interesting insights she learned during the session.
By Helen Xenos – According to a recent Heavy Reading global service provider survey, 87 percent of providers view IP/Optical convergence as important for their next-generation networks.* This is consistent with what we are hearing from customers.  There is a lot of excitement in the industry to build networks differently and offer a richer quality of experience to end users by leveraging a combination of new technology innovations – coherent pluggable optics, modern IP protocols, programmable open interfaces, and centralized multi-layer, multi-vendor software control.

What are the advantages and opportunities tied to IP/Optical convergence?  What are the networking considerations and challenges yet to overcome? I was fortunate to moderate a panel at the recent OFC Conference on this topic, where important –and entertaining—insights were shared through three unique perspectives: cloud provider (Microsoft), service provider (Telia Carrier), and multi-service operator (Cox Communications).  Here are some of the key insights I took away from the sessions. more>

Related>

An Open Letter from the Digital Interface Standards Working Group to the SATCOM Industry

An Open Letter from the Digital Interface Standards Working Group to the SATCOM Industry urging the development of an open standard to replace L-band IF, paving the way for interoperability, improved performance and costs.

Twenty years ago, our industry undertook a major transition from 70MHz IF to L-Band IF to improve earth station reliability and reduce complexity. Today, we are embarking on the next radical transition from L-band to a fully digitalized interface. The development of an open standard will enable us to deliver the most advantages at the lowest cost, allowing all manufacturers to build interoperable technologies that work in both open and closed network topologies. The Digital Interface Standards Working Group (DIS) is pleased to announce the work that has been completed to date and our desire to open the Working Group to participation by a larger portion of the SATCOM industry.

Along with increased demand for higher throughputs and the availability of more satellite bandwidth comes the need to deploy and manage networks on a much larger scale. We aim to utilize the available bandwidth more flexibly and enable the use of higher-order modulations to improve bandwidth efficiency. The currently available technologies in the SATCOM industry have reached a point at which the traditional analog L-Band modem to RF interface is impeding realization of these goals.

Leveraging the latest virtualization, cloud computing and network function virtualization technologies, we can improve the performance and scale of satellite hub, gateway and modem equipment with this open standard. Digital signal processing techniques and hardware have advanced to levels at which amplifier impairments such as distortion and gain ripple can be substantially mitigated. Coupling a digital signal representation of the modem Transmit (TX) output and Receive (RX) input to modern frequency conversion techniques will allow flexible mapping of signals onto a multi-GHz RF spectrum allocation without requiring a multi-octave analog IF signal or an arbitrary segmentation of the RF bandwidth. All of these potential improvements to operation and performance can be enabled by a digital modem-to-RF equipment interface. more>

Updates from Chicago Booth

Who is right about inflation?
The US Fed and consumers have very different expectations about the future
By Brian Wallheimer – Inflation chatter started heating up this spring, along with inflation itself. In April 2021, the US Consumer Price Index, which measures how fast prices change, rose at a 4.2 percent annual rate, more than double the usual target rate. Then in May, the inflation rate soared to 5 percent. With the worst of the pandemic seemingly easing, US consumers were apparently venturing out again and spending at a fast clip.

The figures took inflation watchers off guard. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page noted that Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell had wanted some inflation but would likely be surprised by the force of April’s numbers, saying, “Powell’s inflation ship has come in, albeit more rudely than he probably wanted.”

Financial journalists and investors, always looking for signs of how the central bank will react to signs of inflation or deflation, kicked into high gear, trying to anticipate the timing of any Fed actions.

But consumers—who actually drive inflation—seemed unfazed, apparently already operating with the understanding that prices were rising fast, and would continue to do so. Homeowners remodeling their homes during the pandemic were aware of historically high lumber prices. Home cooks felt the impact on food prices. Buyers of both new and used cars saw prices surge due to a shortage of computer chips. more>

Related>

Updates from ITU

The basis for safer digital finance
By Bilel Jamoussi – The transformations we are seeing in numerous fields – from energy and mobility to health care, agriculture, and financial services – all hinge on digital technologies, along with an array of associated business ecosystems. All these technologies and systems must be reliable, secure and deserving of our trust.

The Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI) is an open framework for collaboration led by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Bank Group, and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI).

Our partnership brings together the expertise to accelerate digital financial inclusion. With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we have brought together the full range of stakeholders set to benefit from this expertise.

The World Bank Group and CPMI have helped to build a strong understanding of the policy considerations surrounding digital identity and incentivizing the use of electronic of payments.

ITU’s work has focused on security, infrastructure and trust – secure financial applications and services, reliable digital infrastructure, and the resulting consumer trust that our money and digital identities are safe. more>

Related>

Updates from Ciena

Enabling Africa’s digital economy
Africa leads the globe in international bandwidth growth. With the fastest growth rate over the last four years and eight new cables in the works over the next few years, this is an emerging market with key network infrastructure projects to watch.
By Brian Lavallée – After Asia, the world’s 2nd largest continent is Africa, which covers 20% of our planet’s landmass. How big is Africa? Well, it’s bigger than China, India, the contiguous U.S., and most of Europe – combined. Africa is the home to almost 1.4 billion people, speaking over 2000 languages, making it the 2nd most populous continent. This population is also the youngest, with a median age of just 19.7 years in 2020.The next youngest continent is Latin America and the Caribbean (31.0) followed by Asia (32.0), Oceania (33.4), North America (38.6), and Europe (42.5).

A large, young, and populous continent means networks play an extremely important socioeconomic role to help increase critical connectivity options to close the Digital Divide and connecting Africa to the rest of the digitized world. The direct link between higher broadband and a higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) further increases the importance of a fast, reliable, and inexpensive digital ecosystem of submarine and terrestrial networks, both wired and wireless.

From 2016 to 2020, Africa experienced the highest used international bandwidth growth by region, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of over 50%, shown in Figure 1. However, Africa is still the world’s least connected continent, but it’s changing because of steady investments by African network operators. more>

Related>

Updates from Ciena

Simplifying Open Submarine Cable Link Engineering
How can a new and better way to perform submarine cable link budgeting address challenges associated with the open submarine cable model? Brian Lavallée explains why the submarine network industry is moving towards these new metrics and how you can learn more in our new handbook.
By Brian Lavallée – Terrestrial networks leverage many optical line amplifiers and Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) nodes to construct end-to-end networks. Fortunately, terrestrial amplifier and ROADM nodes are relatively simple to monitor to determine how each section contributes to end-to-end service performance, as each of these network elements provides a rich set of measured data.

Submarine cable systems are far more challenging because submerged repeaters (historical misnomer referring to optical amplifiers) and branching units provide only basic health status information. This design philosophy reduces the component count of undersea optoelectronics providing a higher overall reliability, which is a fundamental design goal of wet plants, because once deployed, they’re extremely expensive and time-consuming to repair. Given the limited information provided by most wet plants, end-to-end service performance must be determined from information provided by Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLTE) coherent optical modems connected at each end of a submarine cable.

The Open Submarine Cable business model

The industry is operating in a “quasi-open” submarine cable environment in that operators can and typically do select their wet plant from one vendor and their SLTE from another vendor, often much later, as wet plants take years to go from the designed to deployed stage. This quasi-open model allows operators to choose the latest and greatest SLTE, when and where needed, over the entire lifecycle of their wet plant allowing them to design and deploy a best-in-breed network tailored to their unique business requirements. more>

Related>

Updates from Ciena

Navigating vendor equipment swaps: Minimizing risk while maximizing outcomes leveraging data-informed tools and automation
Vendor equipment swaps are typically complex from a technical as well as an operational standpoint due to the need to ensure network service continuity and stability during the transition process. Chris Antlitz details a real-world use case that involved multiple vendors and an aggressive timetable.
By Chris Antlitz – The increased focus on protecting critical infrastructure has prompted situations where communication service providers (CSPs) have had to adjust their networks, specifically to replace equipment provided by certain vendors that are deemed by governments in some countries to pose network security and/or customer privacy risks. These network adjustments typically involve swapping out gear from an unapproved vendor with gear from an approved vendor. Also referred to as vendor swaps, these situations are typically complex from a technical as well as an operational standpoint because the CSP needs to ensure network service continuity and performance is stable during the transition process.

Fortunately, there are approved vendors that have a proven track record of providing the replacement equipment and/or the services required to perform equipment swaps. There are also situations where multiple vendors participate in the swap, in some cases with one or more vendors providing equipment and one or more vendors providing the services as third parties.

In one such case, a large CSP with global operations had a DWDM network that required the replacement of thousands of circuits from one untrusted vendor with circuits from an approved vendor. To align with government mandates, the swap had an aggressive timetable of two years. The scope of the project also implicated network management systems (NMS), IP multimedia subsystems (IMS) and operational support systems (OSS) that were tied to the untrusted vendor’s equipment. more>

Related>