Five things to watch February 26

Five things to watch February 26: SES and Sky extend multi-year satellite partnership, Mobily selects Optiva for private cloud and payment solution and Ericsson launches Massive MIMO and RAN Compute solutions

26 February 2021 | Natalie Bannerman

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Capacity shares 5 key stories from around the world making headlines today!

SES and Sky extend multi-year satellite partnership

Sky UK has extended its satellite capacity agreement with SES, valued at over €90 million in secured backlog. 

“We’re pleased to continue working with SES, a world leader in satellite provision. SES has been a valued partner to Sky for decades and this agreement represents the latest step in a long and successful relationship,” said Patrick Behar, chief business officer at Sky UK.

This extended collaboration between the two is in addition to capacity already under contract that carries on through to 2027. Under the terms of this renewed contract, SES will deliver Sky UK’s channels in a mix of standard definition, high definition and ultra-high definition from the 28.2/28.5 degrees East orbital slots to the operator’s subscribers across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

“This is a significant, multi-transponder, multi-year renewal founded on SES’s decades of delivering a flawless and immersive TV viewing experience to Sky UK customers,” added Steve Collar, CEO at SES.

“It also underlines the continued and rising importance of satellites in delivering a premium content-viewing experience to end customers virtually everywhere.”

DE-CIX and NYI expand partnership to Chicago

DE-CIX and NYI, a provider of managed hybrid infrastructure solutions, have expanded their partnership to Chicago.

“We have long valued our relationship with NYI and are thrilled to extend our mutually complementary capabilities to Chicago,” said Ed d’Agostino, VP and general manager of DE-CIX North America.

“Not only was NYI instrumental in advocating for the DE-CIX expansion to Chicago, their flexible Cross Connect Fabric has expanded reach and enabled new connectivity options from day one.”

Through this expanded collaboration, DE-CIX peering, cloud, and interconnection services will now be available to the entire market including the NYI data centre facility in Oak Brook, Illinois and the Digital Crossroad hyperscale data centre campus in Hammond, Indiana.

NYI’s Cross Connect Fabric (CCF) platform provides a unique, multi-layer network connectivity ecosystem, which now gives customers access to DE-CIX’s carrier, and data centre neutral interconnection ecosystem through its GlobePEER Remote solution.

“NYI is proud to be an integral partner with DE-CIX in North America, serving as a strategic data centre partner now in both New York and Chicago,” added Phillip Koblence, co-founder and COO of NYI.

“In addition to assisting clients with custom data centre deployments, we’re now excited to be able to offer broader cost-effective connectivity solutions that enable interconnections outside the walls of our own facilities, enabling clients to reach new markets.”

Mobily selects Optiva for private cloud and payment solution

Middle Eastern operator Mobily has gone live with the Optiva payment solution on Mobily private cloud.

“Mobily will dramatically increase its business and operational agility, flexibility and responsiveness by leveraging the cloud,” said Alaa Malki, CTO of Mobily.

“This is vital to our increased growth — to meet digital market demands today and maximise our ability to seize new revenue opportunities long-term.”

The upgrade to cloud-native technology on the private cloud and a consolidated payment solution platform provides new benefits to subscribers, including online e-vouchers to top up their accounts. In addition, Mobily gains an increased platform performance that will deliver operating expenditure savings.

“Mobily’s success during our 8-year partnership has been a result of Mobily continually exceeding customers’ expectations and investing in innovation,” added John Giere, president and CEO of Optiva.

“This fosters a culture of close collaboration, which allows Optiva to be a partner in supporting Mobily to achieve its business goals and expand its market opportunities.”

Juniper Networks enhances AI enterprise suite with three new additions

Juniper Networks has enhanced its AI enterprise suite with several new solutions that add to its end-to-end AI-driven automation, insight and actions from client-to-cloud.

Just under two months of closing its the acquisition of 128 Technology, Juniper has added WAN Assurance and the Marvis Virtual Network Assistant (both driven by Mist AI) to the Session Smart networks portfolio, as well as enhanced the deployment and management of the SRX secure branch gateway using Mist AI.

“Juniper is consistently recognised for our experience-first approach to networking, where AI-driven automation, insight and actions simplify operator experiences and optimise end-user experiences from client-to-cloud,” said Jeff Aaron, VP of enterprise product marketing at Juniper Networks.

 “These latest product enhancements underscore our sustained commitment to executing on this vision, as well as our unique ability to rapidly deliver new solutions that drive real value to both customers and partners.”    

Additionally, Juniper has added a new cloud-native EX switching platform driven by Mist AI. As such, customers will benefit from fully integrated AIOps, security and troubleshooting across the WLAN, LAN and WAN for lower costs and optimised end-user experiences.

Ericsson launches Massive MIMO and RAN Compute solutions

Ericsson has launched three new radios in its Massive MIMO portfolio and expanded its RAN Compute portfolio with six RAN Compute products to accelerate 5G mid-band rollouts.

“After the first rollouts of 5G networks, now is the time to scale up 5G by leveraging Massive MIMO to a much larger extent,” said Per Narvinger, head of product area networks at Ericsson.

“With our new portfolio, communications service providers can speed up their mid-band deployments efficiently with superior performance for their users, while reducing energy consumption.”

The new solutions are powered by Ericsson Silicon, the company’s system on a chip (SoC) range that provides advanced processing capabilities for a rapid evolution of energy-efficient and high-performing networks.

“This portfolio launch comes at an opportune moment, as carriers turn their attention to capitalising on mid-band 5G spectrum,” added Ed Gubbins, principal analyst at GlobalData.

“Ericsson’s Massive MIMO radios are an industry standout in terms of compact form factors and lightweight designs, which should help operators overcome deployment challenges. In addition, the stability and strength of Ericsson's custom silicon strategy also sets them apart.”

With new mid-band spectrum available, communications service providers can leverage their 5G spectral assets to roll out services quickly and efficiently to deliver a more responsive experience to mobile broadband subscribers.

Mid-band bridges the speed, capacity and coverage gaps between low-band and high-band. 5G networks that harness mid-band spectrum at scale will have the power to provide a full-fledged 5G experience for consumers and enterprises.