Author: Alan Weissberger
Ranovus Monolithic 100G Optical I/O Cores for Next-Generation Data Centers
Ranovus Inc. (“RANOVUS”) [1.] has announced the availability of its protocol-agnostic Odin™ 100G optical I/O cores based on GF Fotonix™, GlobalFoundries’ recently announced next generation, monolithic platform. GF Fotonix™ is the first in the industry to combine its differentiated 300mm photonics and RF-CMOS features on a silicon wafer, delivering best-in-class performance at scale. The announcement was made at OFC 2023 in San Diego.
Note 1. RANOVUS, founded in 2012, develops and manufactures advanced photonics interconnect solutions to support the next generation of AI/ML workloads in data centers and communication networks. Its current portfolio includes Multi-Wavelength Quantum Dot Laser technology and advanced digital and silicon photonics integrated circuit technologies that set a new industry benchmark for the lowest power dissipation, size, and cost for the next generation of optical interconnect solutions. RANOVUS’ Odin™ platform is claimed to be the enabling technology for a new data center architecture optimized for AI/ML workloads.
Odin 100G optical I/O chiplets and IP cores can be integrated with processors, switches, and memory appliances to enable new data centre architectures for machine learning, artificial intelligence, metaverse, cloud, 5G communications, and defence and aerospace. Data centres are increasingly demanding efficient and cost-effective high-capacity interconnect solutions to meet the exponential growth in data-driven applications like ML/AI and metaverse. Odin 100Gbps optical I/O scales from 8- to 32-cores in the same footprint by combining RANOVUS’ 100G bps per wavelength monolithic EPIC (Electro-Photonic Integrated Circuit) cores with its proprietary laser and advanced packaging technologies.
“We are delighted to share our multi-disciplinary silicon-photonics IP cores and chiplets, and advanced packaging solutions with our customers who are driving the adoption of novel data centre architectures based on integrating best-in-class chiplets and co-packaged optics”, said Hojjat Salemi, Chief Business Development Officer of RANOVUS. “Our close collaboration with GlobalFoundries underlines our joint commitment to deliver a fully featured set of qualified IP cores and chiplets with OSAT-ready high-volume manufacturing flows and supporting ecosystem to enable the huge potential of monolithic silicon photonics.”
As previously announced, RANOVUS has developed a highly flexible co-packaged optics architecture (Analog-Drive CPO 2.0) together with a Tier 1 ecosystem for high volume manufacturing of Odin chiplets. The first customer co-packaged solution with 800Gbps Odin optical I/O is also being demonstrated at OFC 2022 with samples based on the GF Fotonix platform shipping now.
“Data centers, computing and sensing applications require incredible processing, transmission and power efficiency as the world’s data needs soar dramatically.” Ranovus’ IP cores, chiplets and advanced packaging solutions, combined with GF Fotonix, provide customers a complete solution to develop the chips needed solve some of the biggest challenges facing data centers today,” commented Anthony Yu, vice president, Computing and Wired Infrastructure Strategic Business Unit at GF.
Image Credit: RANOVOUS
Previously at OFC 2023, RANOVUS announced interoperability of AMD Versal adaptive SoCs with the co-packaged Odin® 800G direct-drive optical engine and third party 800G DR8+ retimed pluggable modules. The interoperability demonstration is part of OFC 2023, the leading optical networking event in North America, and highlights the versatility of RANOVUS’s Odin® portfolio for AI/ML and communications applications.
“We announced the first generation of our Odin® optical interconnect at OFC 2022 for proprietary AI/ML applications. We are thrilled to showcase our standards-based Odin® optical interconnect product with 5pJ/bit for a direct-drive CPO solution,” said Dr. Christoph Schulien, head of Systems and High-Speed IC R&D of RANOVUS. “Its inherent versatility enables hyperscale data center providers to drastically reduce power consumption and optimize density and cost as they deploy novel hybrid data center architectures in response to the insatiable growth in AI/ML workloads.”
“RANOVUS’ demonstration of interoperability between our Versal™ adaptive SoCs co-packaged with Odin® 800G direct-drive CPO 2.0 and third party 800G DR8+ retimed pluggable modules underlines the flexibility and scalability of RANOVUS’ technology,” said Yohan Frans, vice president, Engineering at AMD. “We are proud of our collaboration with RANOVUS in demonstrating the performance and versatility of monolithic silicon photonics interconnects as data center and 5G customers deploy highly efficient and cost-effective systems for next generation workloads.”
“RANOVUS’ demonstration of interoperability between CPO and pluggable modules is a key proof point that their interconnect technology supports the flexibility and scalability with the lowest power consumption sought by hyperscalers as they optimize their data centers for AI/ML workloads,” said Vladimir Kozlov the founder and CEO of LIGHT COUNTING.
RANOVUS, with operations in Ottawa, Canada (headquarters), Nuremberg, Germany and Sunnyvale, CA, develops and manufactures advanced photonics interconnect solutions to support the next generation of AI/ML workloads in data centers and communication networks. Our team has extensive experience in product development and commercialization of optoelectronics subsystems for the information technology industry. RANOVUS’ current disruptive portfolio of IP cores includes multi-wavelength quantum dot laser technology and advanced digital and silicon photonics integrated circuit technologies that set a new industry benchmark for the lowest power dissipation, size, and cost for the next generation of optical interconnect solutions. RANOVUS’ Odin™ platform is the enabling technology for a new data center architecture optimized for AI/ML, metaverse, cloud and 5G communications workloads. The company has received funding from leading venture capital firms, strategic investors, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, and Strategic Innovation Fund of Canada.
Ranovus Delivers World’s First Monolithic 100G Optical I/O Cores for Next-Generation Data Centers based on the GF Fotonix™ Platform
Ziply® Fiber agrees to acquire Ptera as U.S. fiber buildouts slow
Ziply® Fiber [1.] has announced an agreement to acquire Ptera, Inc, a fiber internet and fixed wireless internet service provider (WISP) serving four counties across Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. The acquisition, Ziply’s fourth since June 2022, is scheduled to close later this year, pending regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the buyout were not disclosed.
Note 1. Ziply was created in May 2020 after Frontier Communications sold its operations and assets in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana to WaveDivision Capital in partnership with Searchlight Capital Partners for $1.35 billion. Ziply won just over $57 million in Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) support to build fiber to more than 21,000 locations. It has also been working with state and local broadband officials on additional opportunities and plans to participate in the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program.
Image Credit: Ziply® Fiber
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Liberty Lake, WA, Ptera serves more than 4,000 customers in the cities of Airway Heights, Cheney, Liberty Lake, Medical Lake, Otis Orchards and more. All Ptera employees will join the Ziply Fiber team as part of the acquisition.
“Both Ptera and Ziply Fiber were born here in the Northwest, and both of our companies have been focused on a similar mission to connect communities that have been underserved when it comes to reliable, high-speed internet,” said Harold Zeitz, CEO of Ziply Fiber. “We look forward to having the Ptera employees join the Ziply Fiber team and continue the work underway to expand their fiber network to reach more addresses in the region.”
Zeitz told Fierce Wireless the deal will not only help fill in a gap in its fiber map, but will also give it fixed wireless access expertise which may help it secure more customers in the future. Zeitz said, “We’re not going to build fiber generally where there is fiber. So, rather than skip those areas that we think fit what we ultimately want as our network, it makes sense ultimately to join forces rather than skip an area or build over fiber.”
Zeitz told Fierce Wireless on Friday that it now serves fiber to approximately 800,000 locations – and remains on track to hit its goal to deploy fiber to 80% to 85% of its territory. But for the 15% to 20% of locations that fall outside its economic threshold for building fiber, Zeitz said it will either use grants to help fund its build or just use fixed wireless. Its recent acquisitions “give us an opportunity to have teams that are experienced with that.”
“There’s definitely a part of the footprint that’s just too expensive to get to but they deserve better internet, so fixed wireless is a good alternative for that cross section of the population,” he said. “We may build fiber where there is fixed wireless [today] but we’ll likely have some fixed wireless and we may extend the fixed wireless. We’re in the process of thinking through how we would do that.”
Steven Wilson, CEO of Ptera, said, “Ptera has been a family-owned business for more than 20 years, and I’m very proud of the work our team has done to earn the trust and support of our customers across the Inland Northwest. I’m excited about this next chapter for the company and our future together with Ziply Fiber.”
Current Ptera customers will not see any immediate changes to their service or working relationships. Once the acquisition officially closes (which can take months), customers will benefit from expanded customer service capabilities and access to new products such as SD-WAN and improved network management capabilities.
Meanwhile, the fiber buildout boom shows signs of slowing due to inflationary pressures for labor and equipment with a higher interest rates (i.e. cost of capital). In a new report to MoffettNathanson clients, Craig Moffett found that incremental telco fiber passings in 2022 were about 500,000, roughly 8% below year-ago expectations. Meanwhile, combined guidance for 2023 has dipped by 3.1 million, or 40%, he added, noting that this doesn’t include the build activities of private companies such as Windstream, Brightspeed, Ziply Fiber and Cincinnati Bell (altafiber).
AT&T has reduced the pace of future fiber buildouts to 2 million to 2.5 million per year, down from the prior suggested run-rate of 3.5 million to 4 million. That doesn’t include the AT&T-BlackRock joint venture initially targeting the buildout of 1.5 million fiber locations outside AT&T’s current footprint.
Lumen’s build also dropped about 33% from its year-ago guidance amid a broader company “reset”. Frontier Communications’ expected 2023 build has been cut back by about 300,000 passings, though its target to build fiber to 10 million locations by 2025 hasn’t changed.
Altice USA has also reduced its original fiber upgrade plans, putting more emphasis on DOCSIS upgrades in rural footprint.
Moffett doesn’t see any near-term relief as more government funds are released to support rural builds. “We expect labor cost pressures, in particular, to worsen,” he wrote. “We are inching ever closer to the allocation of rural subsidy BEAD [Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment] funds to states, and then to individual grantees. Those projects will introduce an enormous new source of demand for labor (and for crews from contract builders such as Dycom).”
About Ziply Fiber:
Ziply Fiber is local in the Northwest, headquartered in Kirkland, Washington, and has major offices in Everett, Washington; Beaverton, Oregon; and Hayden, Idaho. Most of Ziply Fiber’s executive team, which consists of former executives from AT&T, CenturyLink, and Wave Broadband, either grew up in the Northwest or have spent the better part of 30 years living here. That local ownership and market familiarity is an important part of the company mindset and culture. Ziply Fiber’s primary service offerings are Fiber Internet and phone for residential customers, Business Fiber Internet and Ziply Voice services for small businesses, and a variety of Internet, networking, and voice solutions for enterprise customers. The company also continues to support Ziply Internet (DSL) customers and its TV customers in Washington and Oregon.
Ziply Fiber has committed to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to build an advanced, 100-percent fiber network to both suburban and rural communities across the Northwest that have been underserved when it comes to internet access. The company has been actively building fiber across the Northwest since June 2020 and has plans to build and deploy new fiber-optic cables, local hubs, new offices, and new hardware to run the network as part of hundreds of additional projects across its 250,000-square-mile footprint.
A full listing of products and services can be found at ziplyfiber.com.
Ptera, a Liberty Lake, WA based telecommunications corporation, was founded in 2001 as a family-owned business. Today, Ptera is a pioneering wireless internet service provider operating a network with coverage in four counties across Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. Ptera also offers hosted voice over IP phone solutions serving customers across the country. The company’s service has no data caps on fiber internet and the lowest latency in town, even lower than DSL or cable providers. Ptera’s VoIP service offers crystal clear digital phone calls over an Internet connection utilizing your current handset or Cisco office phone.
For more, visit ptera.com.
AT&T and BlackRock’s Gigapower fiber JV may alter the U.S. broadband landscape
Ziply Fiber deploys 2 Gig & 5 Gig fiber internet tiers in 60 cities – AT&T can now top that!
AT&T to use Frontier’s fiber infrastructure for 4G/5G backhaul in 25 states
PLDT, vHive & Amdocs Launch Drone-Aided Site and Inventory Audits
Amdocs, a leading provider of software and services to communications and media companies, today announced that it has completed, in a collaboration with Amdocs partner vHive, a proof of concept (PoC) with Philippines-based PLDT’s wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) that showcases how service providers can harness autonomous drone technology to transform how they manage and maintain network towers, while also reducing their carbon footprint.
The PoC provided Smart with an advanced, safe, sustainable way to replicate their network towers by digitizing Smart’s portfolio. Working with vHive, Amdocs’ Drone-Aided Site and Inventory Audits solution powers autonomous drone flights to simplify data capturing, effectively creating a digital twin of towers quicker than manual inspections.
Multiple teams such as network planning, optimization, engineering, and operations typically send out tower-climbing teams when they need to survey a site. This leads to duplication of effort and unnecessary truck rolls. Through the PoC, Smart was able to dramatically reduce truck rolls, minimizing its environmental impact while achieving greater operational efficiency and improved data accuracy and analysis in support of its vision of transitioning to AIOps and Autonomous Network Operations.
By leveraging the digital twin and wider solution, which integrates with Amdocs’ network inventory offering to ensure a single source of truth for the tower, Smart can also gain ongoing value around other use cases, from planning and design to compliance reviews and mount mapping/inspections.
“As we maximize the network we have put in place across the country and aim for better customer experience – we also need to empower our people and processes with the right technology to continuously improve. Digital Inspection is a good example of how we are holistically transforming every aspect of our network to a future state through new ways of working and using automation to evolve our operations,” said Eric Santiago, FVP and Head of Network at PLDT and Smart. “This is a step towards Smart’s vision of being the best in customer experience by building a fully automated, intelligent, highly efficient network, and putting in place sustainable network and operations.”
“We are excited to work with Smart to showcase this innovative solution and empower Smart on its automation and digitization journey,” said Anthony Goonetilleke, Group President of Technology and Head of Strategy at Amdocs. “At a time when service providers across the globe are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and become more efficient, this project highlights the vast potential of new technologies to enable agility and accelerate business outcomes.”
Amdocs helps those who build the future to make it amazing. With our market-leading portfolio of software products and services, we unlock our customers’ innovative potential, empowering them to provide next-generation communication and media experiences for both the individual end user and enterprise customers. Our 31,000 employees around the globe are here to accelerate service providers’ migration to the cloud, enable them to differentiate in the 5G era, and digitalize and automate their operations. Listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, Amdocs had revenue of $4.58 billion in fiscal 2022. For more information, visit Amdocs
Learn more about Amdocs Drone-Aided Site Audits
Keep up with Amdocs news by visiting the company’s website
Ethernet Alliance multi-vendor interoperability demo (10GbE to 800GbE) at OFC 2023
The Ethernet Alliance, a global consortium dedicated to progressing Ethernet technologies (albeit, only the MAC frame format is left from the original 10BaseT Ethernet standard), this week exhibited a multivendor interoperability demonstration at the OFC 2023 conference and exhibition in San Diego, CA.
–>Please see References 1. and 2. below for the detailed multi-vendor interoperability demo diagrams.
Featuring 18 different participating member companies, the Ethernet Alliance interoperability demo spans diverse Ethernet technologies ranging from 10 Gigabit Ethernet to 800GbE. The interoperability display features a live network between the booths of Ethernet Alliance and the Optical Internetworking Forum, Exfo, Spirent Communications, and Viavi Solutions.
The network leverages single-mode optical fibers with high-speed traffic originating from an array of switches, routers, interconnects, including copper and optical cables. It also employs various interconnects using multiple pluggable form factors such as OSFP, QSFP-DD, QSFP, and SFP, and multiple interface types including OIF 400ZR, OpenZR+ MSA 400ZR+, and 800G-ETC-CR8.
The Ethernet Alliance also spent time highlighting its roadmap, which sees continued advancement in the speed, reliability, and use cases for the networking protocol across multiple sectors. The goal of the organization is not to invent new standards, but rather to help foster their adoption and deployment in an interoperable approach.
Source: Ethernet Alliance
“We’re now at the half-century mark, and Ethernet’s star continues to rise. As a profoundly resilient technology that’s getting progressively faster, it is an innovation engine that drives market diversification and fuels business growth. If you think about the journey from invention to deployment, what we do is we try to show that the technology does work and it is mature enough that it can be deployed,” said Peter Jones, chairman, Ethernet Alliance.
In the enterprise market, demand for 10 GbE-based Ethernet remains strong and there is also some growth for 25 GbE, which is intended more for servers. Ethernet also has 100 GbE and 400 GbE speeds to support larger enterprise and campus needs.
Network operators are always looking for more network capacity and speed and to that end 800 GbE and soon 1.6 Tb/s Ethernet (TbE) will fit the bill.
Jones said that in the early days, the goal for each new set of specifications was to provide 10-times the speed, at only three-times the price of the existing specification. Over time what has occurred is the standards have not just been racing forward to ever faster speeds, but rather are being tailored to meet the price and performance characteristics that a given use case requires.
For example, work is ongoing to help bring Ethernet into more industrial use cases as a solution for serial connections. Ethernet is also increasingly finding its way into automotive use cases as modern vehicles rely on growing levels of compute capacity to operate and communicate.
The Ethernet Alliance is also working on certification efforts for Power-over-Ethernet (PoE). While there have long been PoE standards, there hasn’t been a full-scale certification effort in the same way that there is for Wi-Fi in the wireless world. Jones said that while PoE mostly works today, there have been some instances of vendor technologies that weren’t interoperable.
“We really want people to be able to buy certified devices because we want to preserve the idea that Ethernet just works and we were starting to see that breaking down with PoE,” Jones said. “Ethernet is the most important technology that no one ever sees. Very few people that use the internet understand that Ethernet is the key part of it,” he added.
“One of OFC’s highlights was live interoperability demonstrations from leading optics companies running over OFCnet,” said OFC chairs Chris Cole, Coherent Corporation; Ramon Casellas, Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya; and Ming-Jun Li, Corning Incorporated.
Russia’s Digital Ministry plans pilot 5G launch in 2025 with locally built base stations
According to Russian news agency Tass, Russia expects to conduct pilot testing of 5G networks in 2025 using “home grown”/ locally built base stations. Russia’s Ministry of digital development, communications and mass media Maksut Shadayev said, “We expect a pilot test to begin in 2025 in cities with more than one million people.”
Russia has fallen far behind in the 5G race due to sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine. High-profile network equipment vendors Ericsson and Nokia have left the country. Chinese vendor Huawei hasn’t exited the Russian market, but has set out plans to separate its Russian and Belarusian business units from the rest of the countries in the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) block, and has moved thousands of employees out of the country and closed down its local Enterprise Business Group. Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, foreign vendors previously helped with limited 5G test zones in the country.
In January 2023, Russian telecom operators entered into forward contracts with Russian manufacturers of base stations for communication networks for over 100 Billion rubles ($1.32 Billion). The total volume of deliveries until 2030 will include around 75,000 base stations, and starting from 2028 operators will have to purchase domestic base stations only. Currently, 5G zones have been launched in an experimental mode in several Russian regions. The 5G base station vendors were not disclosed!
Image Credit: Getty Images
In a blog post last September, Counterpoint Research wrote: “Russia might have to wait to get 5G services, as the government hasn’t finalized the spectrum band for the auction, although the ministry concerned is moving towards mmWave in the 24.25GHz-27.5GHz band from existing radio relay stations and 4GHz. The plan is expected to be finalized not before 2023.”
Russian government to allocate 24.25-27.5 GHz band for 5G services (Russian made base stations)
Russia’s Norilsk Nickel to deploy private 5G network without a network operator
Russia Joint Venture with Beeline, Rostelecom and Megafon to focus on 5G spectrum
Only domestic network equipment may be used for 5G in Russia; Revision of ITU-R M.1036 urgently needed
Cybersecurity threats in telecoms require protection of network infrastructure and availability
Adtran showcases coherent innovation at OFC 2023: FSP 3000 open line system & coherent 100ZR
Adtran®, Inc., a leading provider of open and disaggregated networking solutions, today announced that its latest coherent innovation is being showcased at OFC 2023, as part of OFCnet. The demo reveals how the Adtran FSP 3000 open line system (OLS) can bring new levels of flexibility to optical networks by enabling optimized, tailored spectrum services. In collaboration with Acacia, Cisco, Coherent Corp., Corning, EXFO, Nokia and VIAVI Solutions, Adtran will showcase 100ZR, 200Gbit/s, 400Gbit/s OpenZR+ and 800Gbit/s connectivity. The FSP 3000 DCI OLS is also playing a key role in the OIF 400ZR demo at OFC.
“Our demo shows how the spectrum-as-a-service concept has the potential to revolutionize the way operators utilize their fiber resources. It highlights how it’s possible to slice up the network even in a metro environment. With fully flexible spectrum allocation, operators can provide a wide variety of differentiated services and ensure they leverage the full capacity of their infrastructure. Not only will this help tackle ever-increasing data demand, but it also offers a new route to revenue growth. Our compact FSP 3000 OLS is the key to realizing the full benefits of this open and flexible approach. It removes the limits of fixed channel grids so that untapped spectrum can be put to work,” said Jörg-Peter Elbers, head of advanced technology at Adtran.
Adtran also demonstrated its QSFP28 pluggable Coherent 100ZR [1.], which provides 100G coherent edge network connectivity. There was a live display of a 100ZR QSFP28 pluggable operating over a DWDM metro ring. The objective was to show how fiber based network operators can benefit from efficient and cost-effective deployment of coherent 100Gbit/s services with minimal power consumption and low footprint increase. The trial uses the multi-vendor OFCnet network setup with equipment at the Adtran booth as well as the Coherent and OFCnet booths.
Note 1. In June 2022, transceiver developer II‐VI Incorporated (now Coherent Corp.) and optical networking solutions provider ADVA (now owned by Adtran) announced the launch of the industry’s first 100ZR pluggable coherent transceiver. A recently released Heavy Reading survey (see pie chart below) revealed that over 75% of network operators surveyed believe that 100G coherent pluggable optics will be used extensively in their edge and access evolution strategy. However, this interest had not really materialized into a 100ZR market because no affordable or power-efficient products were available. The most the industry could offer was 400ZR pluggables that were “powered-down” for 100G capacity.
Adtran’s Coherent 100ZR is purpose-built for the optical network edge. With its QSFP28 form factor and power specification, it enables easy and cost-effective upgrades to 100Gb/s data rates by plugging directly into existing head-ends, switches and routers. Co-developed by Adtran and Coherent, the DSP offers a range of deployment options, from local exchanges and central offices to harsh outdoor conditions such as street cabinets. These benefits are achieved thanks to the transceiver‘s features, which include a cost-, space- and power-optimized DSP specifically engineered for 100ZR. Adtran is also developing low-power silicon photonics integrated circuits that will enable faster and more energy-efficient solutions across a wide range of applications.
Saeid Aramideh, VP of Business Development at Optical Engines, Adtran said: “This demo is a significant milestone for network operators looking to expand their business capabilities. It highlights how our Coherent 100ZR can be easily and affordably integrated into a metro aggregation network, eliminating the need for costly infrastructure changes. This showcase reveals a valuable solution for operators seeking to support higher data rates at the network edge and highlights the potential for widespread adoption of 100Gbit/s coherent technology. We can’t wait to bring these benefits to our customers.”
Ross Saunders, GM of Optical Engines, Adtran said: “The technology we’re showcasing here will be a game-changer for service providers. It offers the ability to easily deploy coherent 100Gbit/s connectivity with compact footprint and lowest power consumption. By bringing coherent technology to the optical edge, we’re providing operators with a cost-efficient solution to upgrade edge aggregation networks to 100Gbit/s. Our Coherent 100ZR will also boost sustainability by lowering our customers’ carbon footprint. What’s more, it offers a way to deliver an improved experience for end-users by supporting higher data rates and improved service reliability.”
According to a recent Heavy Reading survey, 75% of operators believe that 100G coherent pluggable optics will be used extensively in their edge and access evolution strategy. However, market adoption has yet to materialize since affordable and power-efficient 100ZR-based products are currently not available due to stringent size and power consumption requirements that cannot be fulfilled by today’s tunable laser solutions.
Distribution of responses to a Heavy Reading survey question: How important are 100G coherent pluggable optics for your edge/access evolution strategy? The sample was composed of 87 people who work for network operators worldwide and are involved in network planning or purchasing network equipment.
Source: Heavy Reading
China Tower had ~2.1M telecom towers installed with 3.36M tower tenants at end of 2022
China Tower ended 2022 with 2.05 million telecom towers installed, representing a net increase of 17,000 sites from the end of 2021. The company installed approximately 745,000 5G base-stations during the year, with more than 96 percent of sites delivered through sharing existing network infrastructure. Through the end of 2022, China Tower reported that it has received cumulative orders of nearly 1.8 million new 5G cell sites. The total tower tenants rose by 102,000 in the year to 3.36 million, pushing the average number per tower from 1.62 as of the end of 2021 to 1.65 at end-2022.
China Tower primarily serves the country’s state-owned telecommunications service providers (TSP) – China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Broadnet. The four TSPs accounted for a total of nearly 3.4 million tower tenants, a 102,000 year-over-year increase. The TSP tenancy ratio increased from 1.60 to 1.65 over the same period last year, showing a continuous increase in the level of site colocation.
Operating revenue for 2022 reached $13.4 billion, up 6.5 percent YoY. Revenue from the TSP segment was $12.0 billion, up by 3.5 percent over the same period last year, and accounting for 90 percent of operating revenue. The TSP business comprises revenue from towers and indoor distributed antenna system (DAS) business. Towers contributed $11.3 billion, up nearly 2 percent, while DAS revenue was $845 million, a 34 percent YoY increase. Capital expenditures for new tower builds and site augmentation was $3.0 billion in 2022, up 5 percent over nearly $2.9 billion in 2021.
The company sees “5G + DAS” as its dual-growth engines, with DAS as the fastest growing segment. The DAS business focuses on providing 5G coverage under various scenarios in key sectors including education, cultural tourism, transportation, and healthcare, with an integrated approach to coordinating resources and demands.
At year-end 2022, China Tower’s DAS deployments covered buildings with a cumulative area of 7,390 million square meters, representing a 48 percent YoY increase. The company expanded DAS coverage to 10,429 kilometers in high-speed railway tunnels and to 9,611 kilometers in subways, coverage reaching a cumulative length of 20,040 kilometers, up 19 percent from a year ago.
China Tower has Commercial Pricing Agreements and Service Agreements with each of the TSPs. In a statement, the company reiterated its commitment to meeting its TSP customer network construction needs using innovative construction and service models that provide low-cost and efficient coverage.
Zhang Zhiyong, chairman of China Tower said: “Looking ahead, we will remain focused on grasping the opportunities brought by the development of 5G new infrastructure, the digital economy, and the green-oriented transition of energy. With a focus on “Digital Tower,” our Smart Tower business growth accelerated. Serving the national strategic goals.”
Tower business. China Tower advocated for the inclusion of 5G base-station sites in development planning and played an active role in setting the wireless communications specifications for buildings. Complying with these specifications, we have been included in the administrative approval process for new construction projects, further strengthening our ability to coordinate and share resources. We launched innovative low-cost construction solutions to sharpen our capability in providing integrated wireless communications coverage solutions. A higher level of resource sharing enabled us to comprehensively satisfy customer demand for 5G construction. We completed approximately 745,000 5G base-stations during the year, of which more than 96% were delivered through sharing existing resources. In addition, we focused our efforts on tackling difficult sites and continued to enhance our service quality. Alongside an improving capability in site maintenance, customer satisfaction grew. In 2022, our Tower business generated revenue of RMB77,204 million, or year-on-year growth of 1.8%. As of 31 December 2022, we managed 2.055 million tower sites, representing a net increase of 17,000 sites from the end of 2021. The number of TSP tenants reached 3.362 million, an increase of 102,000 from the end of 2021, and the TSP tenancy ratio also increased from 1.60 to 1.65 over the same period of last year, showing a continuous increase in the level of site co-location.
DAS business. China Tower focused on providing 5G coverage for key scenarios and key sectors including education, cultural tourism, transportation and healthcare, with an integrated approach to coordinating resources and demands. Playing an important role in coordinating site entry and construction, we were able to take up all DAS construction demand for key venues, scenarios and sectors, providing customers with differentiated and diversified indoor coverage solutions. In addition, we stepped up innovation to develop sharable DAS products and solutions. We enhanced our professional capabilities to optimize our advantages in providing low-cost and green and low-carbon DAS solutions, complemented by our quality services, driving accelerated growth in the DAS business. This business has increasingly become the second growth engine of our development. In 2022, our DAS business recorded revenue of RMB5,827 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 34.3%. As of 31 December 2022, we had covered buildings with a cumulative area of 7,390 million square meters, representing a year-on-year increase of 48.1%. Our high-speed railway tunnels and subway coverage reached a cumulative length of 20,040.2 kilometers, a year-on-year increase of 18.5%.
Grasping strategic opportunities to boost strong growth in Two Wings business:
By leveraging the opportunities brought forth by the growth of the “digital economy” and the “dual carbon” goals, we focused on product innovation and business optimization to fortify our competitive advantages. As a result, the Two Wings business sustained a robust growth trajectory with revenue in 2022 reaching RMB8,904 and accounting for 9.7% of our overall operating revenue, an increase of 2.6 percentage points from the same period in 2021. The business contributed 49.7% to our incremental operating revenue for the year, an increase of 9.7 percentage points year-on-year, further solidifying our multi-pillar business development structure.
Image courtesy of China Tower
China’s wireless network operators had deployed a total of 2.29 million 5G base stations nationwide as of the end of November, according to the latest available data from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. This figure represents an increase of 862,000 compared to the end of 2021 and accounts for 21.1% of all mobile base stations in the country.
Chinese operators recorded a net gain of 16.53 million 5G subscribers in January, according to the operators’ latest available statistics. China Mobile, the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, added a total of 8.46 million 5G subscribers during the first month of the year. The carrier said it ended last month with 622.47 million 5G subscribers. China Mobile added a total of 227.2 million subscribers in the 5G segment during 2022.
Meanwhile, China Telecom added 5 million 5G subscribers last month to take its total 5G subscribers base to 273 million. During 2022, the telco added a total of 80.16 million 5G subscribers.
Rival operator China Unicom said it added a total of 3.07 million 5G subscribers during last month. The carrier ended January with 215.8 million 5G subscribers. China Unicom added over 42 million subscribers in the 5G segment during 2022.
China MIIT claim: 475M 5G mobile users, 1.97M 5G base stations at end of July 2022
China’s MIIT to prioritize 6G project, accelerate 5G and gigabit optical network deployments in 2023
Leichtman Research Group: Fixed Wireless Services Accounted for 90% of the Broadband Net Adds in 2022!
Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the largest cable and wireline phone providers and fixed wireless services in the U.S. – representing about 95% of the market – acquired about 3,500,000 net additional broadband Internet subscribers in 2022, compared to a pro forma gain of about 3,725,000 subscribers in 2021.
These top broadband providers account for about 110.5 million subscribers, with top cable companies having 75.6 million broadband subscribers, top wireline phone companies having 30.8 million subscribers, and top fixed wireless services having 4.1 million subscribers.
LRG’s findings for 2022 include:
- Overall, broadband additions in 2022 were 94% of those in 2021.
- The top cable companies added about 515,000 subscribers in 2022 – compared to about 2.8 million net adds in 2021.
- The top wireline phone companies lost about 180,000 total broadband subscribers in 2022 – compared to about 210,000 net adds in 2021.
- Wireline Telcos had about 2.4 million net adds via fiber in 2022, offset by about 2.6 million non-fiber net losses.
- Fixed wireless/5G home Internet services from T-Mobile and Verizon added about 3,170,000 subscribers in 2022 – compared to about 730,000 net adds in 2021.
“Top broadband providers added about 3.5 million subscribers in 2022. Fixed wireless services (FWA) accounted for 90% of the net broadband additions in 2022, compared to 20% of the net adds in 2021,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “Total broadband net adds in 2022 were slightly lower than last year, and down from about 5 million in 2020, but were more than in any year from 2012-2019.”
FWA in the Spotlight:
A recent survey of some T-Mobile fixed wireless customers, conducted by the financial analysts at Wolfe Research, “T-Mobile Fixed Wireless Consumer Survey & Broadband Industry Implications,” found that 90% rated their service as “good enough.” The firm surveyed Facebook’s T-Mobile FWA user group, totalling over 15,000 members, in December 2022. Based on the 60 replies it received, 90% said they were mostly satisfied. The firm also found that 42% of respondents previously subscribed to a cable connection, 37% hailed from DSL operators, and 6% previously used fiber. Around 8% had no prior broadband service. Moreover, the financial analysts at Evercore expect T-Mobile to accumulate around 450,000 new fixed wireless customers in the first quarter of 2023, down from the 524,000 the operator reported in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Verizon added 262,000 residential FWA customers in Q4, up from +38,000 in the year-ago period, to end 2022 with 884,000 residential FWA subscribers. The company also signed on 117,000 business FWA subs in the quarter, up from +40,000 in the year-ago period, ending 2022 with 568,000 business FWA customers. About 70% of the consumer fixed wireless gross additions have come from bundling an existing wireless service, while 30% are new to Verizon. Interestingly, the experience is flipped for Verizon Business, where 70% of FWA customers were new to Verizon.
In contrast to the widely-held view that FWA is a “lower quality” service than wired broadband, Verizon says their principal selling point is FWA network’s greater reliability versus wireline alternatives. Cable’s outside plant issues can take days to resolve, a particularly critical issue in B2B, where cablecos (like Comcast Business) have increased their market share.
Image Credit: Verizon
The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) kicked off its annual trade show this week in Louisville, Kentucky, stating that WISPs service a total of 9 million Americans, many of whom live in the hardest to reach and serve parts of the country
According to Fierce Wireless, Cox is using 5G technology to test FWA services near Macon, Georgia; Tucson, Arizona; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
|Broadband Providers||Subscribers at end of 2022||Net Adds in 2022|
|Total Top Cable||75,649,081||517,103|
|Wireline Phone Companies|
|Total Top Wireline Phone||30,798,458||(181,276)|
|Fixed Wireless Services|
|Total Top Fixed Wireless||4,098,000||3,171,000|
|Total Top Broadband||110,545,539||3,506,827|
* LRG estimate
** Includes LRG estimate of pro forma net adds
^ Includes the impact of a divestiture completed in October 2022
- TDS residential subscribers, includes 305,200 wireline subscribers and 204,800 cable subscribers
- Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households – about 6.5% of the total are non-residential
- Top broadband providers represent approximately 95% of all subscribers
- Net additions reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions, reporting adjustments, and the addition of new providers to the list – therefore, comparing totals in this release to prior releases will not produce accurate findings
About Leichtman Research Group, Inc:
Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) specializes in research and analysis on broadband, media and entertainment industries. LRG combines ongoing consumer surveys with industry tracking and analysis, to provide companies with a richer understanding of current market conditions, and the potential impact and adoption of new products and services. For more information about LRG, please call (603) 397-5400 or visit www.LeichtmanResearch.com
Broadcom: 5nm 100G/lane Optical PAM-4 DSP PHY; 200G Optical Link with Semtech
Broadcom Inc. today announced the availability of its 5nm 100G/lane optical PAM-4 DSP PHY with integrated transimpedance amplifier (TIA) and laser driver, the BCM85812, optimized for 800G DR8, 2x400G FR4 and 800G Active Optical Cable (AOC) [1.] module applications. Built on Broadcom’s proven 5nm 112G PAM-4 DSP platform, this fully integrated DSP PHY delivers superior performance and efficiency and drives the overall system power down to unprecedented levels for hyperscale data center and cloud providers.
Note 1. Active Optical Cable (AOC) is a cabling technology that accepts same electrical inputs as a traditional copper cable, but uses optical fiber “between the connectors.” AOC uses electrical-to-optical conversion on the cable ends to improve speed and distance performance of the cable without sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces.
BCM85812 Product Highlights:
- Monolithic 5nm 800G PAM-4 PHY with integrated TIA and high-swing laser driver
- Delivers best-in-class module performance in BER and power consumption.
- Drives down 800G module power for SMF solutions to sub 11W and MMF solutions to sub 10W.
- Compliant to all applicable IEEE and OIF standards, capable of supporting MR links on the chip to module interface.
- Fully compliant with OIF 3.2T Co-Packaged Optical Module Specs
- Capable of supporting optical modules from 800G to 3.2T
Demo Showcases at OFC 2023:
Broadcom will demonstrate the BCM85812 in an end-to-end link connecting two Tomahawk 5 (TH5) switches using Eoptolink’s 800G DR8 optical modules. Attendees will see live traffic stream of 800GbE data running between two TH5 switches. Broadcom will showcase various 800G DR8, 2x400G FR4, 2x400G DR4, 800G SR8, and 800G AOC solutions from third party transceiver vendors that interoperate with each other, all using Broadcom’s DSP solutions. Following are module vendors that will be participating in a multi-vendor interop plug-fest on the latest Tomahawk 5 switch platform: Eoptolink, Intel, Molex, Innolight, Source Photonics, Cloud Light Technology Limited and Hisense Broadband.
Additionally, Broadcom in collaboration with Semtech and Keysight will demonstrate a 200G per lane (200G/lane) optical transmission link leveraging Broadcom’s latest SerDes, DSP and laser technology. These demonstrations will be in Broadcom Booth 6425 at the Optical Fiber Communication (OFC) 2023 exhibition in San Diego, California from March 7th to 9th.
“This first-to-market highly integrated 5nm 100G/lane DSP PHY extends Broadcom’s optical PHY leadership and demonstrates our commitment to addressing the stringent low power requirements from hyperscale data center and cloud providers,” said Vijay Janapaty, vice president and general manager of the Physical Layer Products Division at Broadcom. “With our advancement in 200G/lane, Broadcom continues to lead the industry in developing next generation solutions for 51.2T and 102.T switch platforms.”
“By 2028, optical transceivers are projected to account for up to 8% of total power consumption in cloud data centers,” said Bob Wheeler, principal analyst at Wheeler’s Network. “The integration of TIA and driver functions in DSP PHYs is an important step in reducing this energy consumption, and Broadcom is leading the innovation charge in next-generation 51.2T cloud switching platforms while also demonstrating a strong commitment to Capex savings.”
Broadcom has begun shipping samples of the BCM85812 to its early access customers and partners. Please contact your local Broadcom sales representative for samples and pricing.
Separately, Semtech Corp. with Broadcom will demonstrate a 200G per lane optical transmission link that leverages Semtech’s latest FiberEdge 200G PAM4 PMDs and Broadcom’s latest DSP PHY. The two companies plan to recreate the demonstration this week at OFC 2023 in San Diego in their respective booths. Such a capability will be useful to enable 3.2-Tbps optical modules to support 51.2- and 102.4-Tbps switch platforms, Semtech points out.
The two demonstrations will leverage Semtech’s FiberEdge 200G PAM4 EML driver and TIA and Broadcom’s 5-nm 112-Gbaud PAM4 DSP platform. Instrumentation from Keysight Technologies Inc. will verify the performance of the links.
“We are very excited to collaborate with Broadcom and Keysight in this joint demonstration that showcases Semtech’s 200G PMDs and their interoperability with Broadcom’s cutting-edge 200G/lane DSP and Keysight’s latest 200G equipment,” said Nicola Bramante, senior product line manager for Semtech’s Signal Integrity Products Group. “The demonstration proves the performance of a 200G/lane ecosystem, paving the way for the deployment of next-generation terabit optical transceivers in data centers.”
“This collaboration with Semtech and Keysight, two of the primary ecosystem enablers, is key to the next generation of optical modules that will deliver increased bandwidth in hyperscale cloud networks. This achievement demonstrates our commitment to pushing the boundaries of high-speed connectivity, and we are excited to continue working with industry leaders to drive innovation and deliver cutting-edge solutions to our customers,” added Khushrow Machhi, senior director of marketing of the Physical Layer Products Division at Broadcom.
“Semtech’s and Broadcom’s successful demonstration of the 200-Gbps optical link is another important milestone for the industry towards ubiquitous future 800G and 1.6T networks. Keysight’s early engagement with leading customers and continuous investments in technology and tools deliver the needed insights that enable these milestones,” said Dr. Joachim Peerlings, vice president and general manager of Keysight’s Network and Data Center Solutions Group.
Broadcom Inc. is a global technology leader that designs, develops and supplies a broad range of semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions. Broadcom’s category-leading product portfolio serves critical markets including data center, networking, enterprise software, broadband, wireless, storage and industrial. Our solutions include data center networking and storage, enterprise, mainframe and cyber security software focused on automation, monitoring and security, smartphone components, telecoms and factory automation. For more information, go to https://www.broadcom.com.
Broadcom, the pulse logo, and Connecting everything are among the trademarks of Broadcom. The term “Broadcom” refers to Broadcom Inc., and/or its subsidiaries. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Semtech Corporation is a high-performance semiconductor, IoT systems and Cloud connectivity service provider dedicated to delivering high quality technology solutions that enable a smarter, more connected and sustainable planet. Our global teams are dedicated to empowering solution architects and application developers to develop breakthrough products for the infrastructure, industrial and consumer markets.
ZTE and China Telecom unveil 5G-Advanced solution for B2B and B2C services
ZTE, in partnership with China Telecom, has released a 5G-Advanced solution, named Cluster DFS at Mobile World Congress 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. According to ZTE, the new offering will facilitate the development of specific B2B and B2C services using a single 5G network.
China Telecom claims to have deployed the world’s largest 5G SA network with more than 1 million 5G base stations based on a RAN-sharing strategy. The Chinese carrier noted it continues to focus in the B2B segment, with the number of private 5G networks hitting over 3,000, and commercial projects in this segment totaling 9,000 by the end of 2022.
Image Credit: ZTE
ZTE explained that that the new solution will be key as the service-level agreements (SLAs) requirements for the provision of 5G for industrial verticals such as smart manufacturing or smart grid are different from the requirements for the provision of 5G services for consumers. ZTE further explained that it launched the new solution given to the increasing complexity of 5G networks and to enable a coordinated development of B2B and B2C services on a single network and deliver differentiated service experiences.
To adapt to vertical application traffic dynamics on uplink and downlink, China Telecom and ZTE have introduced the innovative Cluster DFS, by which, base stations with same heavy uplink characteristics are intelligently formed as “cluster” to implement accurate adaptation between frame structure and services requirements. Consequently, a 5G network can synergize B2B and B2C services with optimal user experiences.
Li Peng, Director of Network Development and Sharing Department of China Telecom, said, “5G has become an important driving force of digital economy development. China Telecom is continuously exploring and promoting innovative technologies and solutions that combine the development of 5G high-quality networks and industrial applications.”
“Based on previous successful experience of Cluster DSS, China Telecom further extends ‘cluster-level’ radio resource management mechanism from ‘frequency domain’ to ‘time domain’, which provides more flexible radio resource strategy and promotes the development of fully-connected factories. The commercial trial of Lierda shows that Cluster DFS has increased the uplink throughput of B2B applications by 60~80% while ensuring stable B2C experiences, significantly improving network performance and efficiency, ” added Huang Lilian.
Tang Xue, VP of RAN Products, said, “B2B and B2C coordinated development on one network requires more flexible and more intelligent resource management strategy, therefore, RAN intelligence is of great importance. ZTE uses RAN native-AI to enable adaptive radio resource adjustment, including spectrum, frame structure, power and beams. With four key features, specifically, intelligent traffic prediction, cluster self-generating, intra-cluster traffic shaping and inter-cluster coordination, the potential of commercial 5G networks can be fully unlocked to offer optimal experiences for both industrial applications and consumer users.”
Cluster DFS provides precise and on-demand user experiences for both consumers and enterprises based on AI capability, enabling network policy shift from “one-size-fit-all” to “context-aware” and coordinating the development of B2B and B2C on 5G commercial networks.
Moving forward, ZTE and China Telecom will continue working together to carry out innovative practices and facilitate the development of 5G-Advanced applications for a digital, intelligent and green future.
ZTE said Cluster DFS provides precise on-demand user experiences for consumers and enterprises based on its AI capability to coordinate the development of B2B and B2C on 5G commercial networks.
China Telecom and rival network operator China Unicom had previously signed an agreement to co-build and co-share their 5G networks. According to the latest available statistics, China Telecom added a total of 5 million 5G subscribers during the first months of the year to take its total 5G subscribers base to 273 million. During 2022, the telco added a total of 80.16 million 5G subscribers.