Tuesday, November 25, 2014

GEN14: What's Driving Business Ethernet Services?

Vertical Systems Group recently reported that customer installations of Carrier Ethernet services in the U.S. will reach one million ports in 2018.  The projected figure includes all retail Ethernet services at speeds ranging from sub-10 Mbps to more than 10 Gbps.

So, what's driving the market for business Ethernet?

The recent MEF GEN14 conference in Washington, D.C., which brought together over 1,000 attendees from 36 countries, featured keynotes and presentations from many of the leading Ethernet service providers.

 A few takeaways:
  • There is a paradigm shift underway to cloud-centric services.
  • Enterprises are seeking secure and scalable direct connections to leading cloud providers.
  • Network vendors are delivering new service orchestration platforms that promise service innovation and business agility for operators.
  • The MEF is developing its "Third Network" framework to define automated e-to-e provisioning.  (the first network is the telecom infrastructure and the second network is the best-effort Internet)
  • There are 3 pillars for the Third Network: the MEF's Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO), the ONF's SDN, and ETSI's NFV.
  • Allstream and Tata Communications are already showing an Elastic Bandwidth Proof of Concept where an API automates the ENNI between networks.
  • XO Communications sees Ethernet access disrupting legacy connections and yet serving as a complement to MPLS-based IP VPNs.
  • Global Capacity, which offers an Ethernet-enabled Cloud Ecosystem, noted that there are already 12,000 network asset owners, over 2500 in the U.S. alone.  It is targeting "Connectivity-as-a-Service", offering a national aggregation network combined with a software-driven cloud marketplace with automated provisioning and analytics.
  • Lumos Networks sees VoLTE as one of the emerging use cases for dynamic bandwidth in backhaul networks.
  • Time Warner Cable believes the industry is just in the Early Adopter phase of cloud adoption. It is offering its NaviCloud Director platform providing advanced self-service capabilities.
  • Colt, which operates 42 metro networks across Europe connecting over 20,000 buildings and 436 data centers, is now offering dedicated access to its own VMware-powered cloud, AWS, Microsoft Azure and VMware. Further partnerships are expected.
  • The Cloud Ethernet Forum (CEF) launched its Clouded Leopards Den competition to find and support start-ups powered by cloud services.

Telekom Austria A1 Rolls Out LTE-A Carrier Aggregation

Telekom Austria Group's subsidiaries A1 in Austria and Si.mobil in Slovenia are activating LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation to deliver higher bandwidth in select locations.

Working with Ericsson, A1 is using LTE Carrier Aggregation on two 20 MHz frequency blocks from the 800 and 2600 MHz frequency bands, which it acquired in auction in autumn 2013. In Austria, A1 has already started upgrading currently existing mobile base stations in Graz, especially in highly frequented areas.

In Slovenia, selected locations across six cities are going to be covered with LTE Carrier Aggregation with immediate effect. The Slovenian subsidiary Si.mobil has devoted concerted efforts to driving the rollout of its LTE network forward and expects total population coverage of 75% by year-end 2014.

"Network rollout is in full swing and with LTE Carrier Aggregation A1 and Si.mobil offer a further milestone by bringing this future-proof technology to our customers," said Günther Ottendorfer, CTO Telekom Austria Group.


Bidding for AWS-3 Spectrum tops $37 billion

After 35 rounds, bidding in the FCC's Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-3) auction has reached $37.5 billion.

A total of 1,614 licenses total are up for auction, covering 65 MHz of spectrum in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands ("AWS-3" bands).

The 1695-1710 MHz band is authorized for low-power mobile transmit (i.e., uplink) operations only. The 1755-1780 MHz frequencies in the paired 1755-1780/2155-2180 MHz band are authorized only for low-power mobile transmit (i.e., uplink) operations; the 2155-2180 MHz frequencies are authorized only for base station and fixed (i.e., downlink) operations. Mobiles and portables in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands may only operate when under the control of a base station, and AWS-3 equipment is subject to a basic interoperability requirement.


GENBAND and Nokia Collaborate on VoWiFi/VoLTE

Nokia Networks will offer GENBAND´s QUANTiX evolved Packet Data Gateway (ePDG) as part of its voice evolution solutions, including Voice over WiFi.  The GENBAND ePDG will be integrated into Nokia’s Liquid Core portfolio to support multimedia voice, data and video sessions and anywhere/any-device services.

The ePDG is a key component of GENBAND’s Wireless Access Gateway solution and enables Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) and Voice over LTE (VoLTE) interworking to allow for seamless, secure network connectivity and an enhanced customer experience.

“Combining GENBAND’s ePDG with Nokia’s Liquid Core portfolio allows operators to take advantage of communications services inWiFi networks, offering their customers the ability to make calls and send messages regardless of where they may be,” said BG Kumar, Chief Product Officer at GENBAND.  “We are excited to build on our longstanding partnership with Nokia Networks, a global leader in mobile broadband, to bring advanced solutions to the mobile marketplace.”

“With the evolution of voice and messaging services, like VoWiFi, the combination of Nokia’s and GENBAND’s solution is an effective way to ensure agility and flexibility for our customers. It allows operators to launch innovative, intelligent solutions while maximizing the value of their networks,” said Thorsten Robrecht, Vice President, Nokia Networks. “As part of our strategy, we will integrate GENBAND’s ePDG in our core portfolio to provide complete solutions to operators, without compromising our quality requirements.”


A10 Networks Adds Advanced DDoS Mitigation

A10 Networks introduced new advanced DDoS mitigation capabilities for its Thunder TPS platform.

The new functionality blocks additional attacks such as the recent POODLE attack, and provides advanced rate-limiting for granular Layer 4-7 control to enable mitigation.  The company said its Thunder TPS Release 3.1 includes comprehensive detection capabilities with access to over 400 global, destination-specific and behavioral counters, to eliminate false positives. These granular forensics protect applications and networks while they remain highly available. Significant visibility enhancements expose enhanced traffic details to provide a comprehensive understanding of regular and anomalous traffic patterns. The enhanced easy-to-use GUI provides dashboard, incident and rich report views, which can be analyzed to improve any DDoS protection strategy.

"Network and security staff will greatly benefit from the new mitigation and visibility options provided by Thunder TPS 3.1. More detailed threat analysis and updated tools help to combat the impact of DDoS attacks by preventing damage to critical online resources and the bottom line," said Raj Jalan, CTO of A10 Networks. "With these enhancements, A10 Networks sets the stage to provide additional correlated analytics and ease of administration, including centralized management and automatic traffic baselining features in the near future."


American Tower to Acquire Bharti Airtel's Towers in Nigeria

American Tower agreed to acquire over 4,800 communications towers in Nigeria from Bharti Airtel.

Airtel will be the anchor tenant on the portfolio under a lease with a ten-year initial term.

“We are pleased to announce the launch of our operations in Nigeria while expanding our relationship with Airtel, one of the leading multinational operators in the world,” said Jim Taiclet, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Tower. “With the largest population and economy in Africa and relatively underdeveloped wireless infrastructure, we view Nigeria as a tremendous growth opportunity. Further, we expect this investment to support our long-term objective of generating double-digit AFFO per share growth for our stockholders.”

Commenting on the development, Christian de Faria, MD and Chief Executive Officer of Bharti Airtel Africa, said, “Nigeria is the largest mobile market in Africa and a key one for Airtel. This agreement, which is part of our stated philosophy of promoting infrastructure sharing, will provide us with considerable cost efficiencies and at the same time allows us to sharpen our focus on the customer. American Tower has a proven track record in passive infrastructure management and we look forward to benefitting from the best practices from all other countries it operates in."


American Tower to Acquire TIM Celular's Towers in Brazil

American Tower agreed to acquire two portfolios of towers in Brazil from TIM Celular S.A., which is owned by Telecom Italia S.p.A..

The first portfolio includes approximately 5,240 towers. The second portfolio includes approximately 1,240 towers, which are subject to certain preemptive acquisition rights held by third parties. The total consideration is expected to be approximately 3.0 billion Brazilian Reais (approximately $1.2 billion at the current exchange rate), subject to customary adjustments. American Tower intends to finance the acquisition in a manner consistent with its previously announced leverage targets.

American Tower anticipates that the towers will generate approximately 435 million Brazilian Reais (approximately $171 million at the current exchange rate) in annual run rate revenues (which includes ground rent pass-through and existing collocation revenue), and approximately 191 million Brazilian Reais (approximately $75 million at the current exchange rate) in annual gross margin. TIM will be the anchor tenant on each portfolio under leases with 20-year initial terms.


Telekom Austria Group Raises EUR 997 million

Telekom Austria Group raised approximately EUR 997 million by floating 221.5 million shares. This brings the total number of shares outstanding from 443.0 million to 664.5 million.

Telekom Austria said it intends to use the net proceeds of the capital increase to re-establish its target capital structure and maintain a credit rating of at least BBB (stable) by Standard & Poor's.


Networking Event Calendar 2015 - Conferences & Exhibitions

Events we'll be covering in 2015...

ConferenceOpening DayLocation
International CES6-Jan-2015Las Vegas
DesignCon 201527-Jan-2015Santa Clara
SPIE Photonics West9-Feb-2015San Francisco
Linley Data Center Conference25-Feb-2015Santa Clara
Mobile World Congress2-Mar-2015Barcelona
Open Compute Summit9-Mar-2015San Jose
MPLS & SDN World Congress17-Mar-2015Paris
Gigaom Structure Data18-Mar-2015San Francisco
OFC24-Mar-2015Los Angeles
Data Storage Innovation Conference7-Apr-2015Santa Clara
Ethernet Technology Summit14-Apr-2015Santa Clara
RSA20-Apr-2015San Francisco
Linley Mobile Conference22-Apr-2015Santa Clara
Interop28-Apr-2015Las Vegas
M2M World Congress28-Apr-2015London
NFV World Congress5-May-2015San Jose
INTX (formerly NCTA)5-May-2015Chicago
Citrix Synergy12-May-2015Orlando
Open Stack Summit18-May-2015Vancouver
G.Fast Summit 201519-May-2015Paris
SDN & OpenFlow Asia-Pacific Congress27-May-2015Singapore
Cisco Live!7-Jun-2015San Diego
CloudExpo9-Jun-2015New York
ONS15-Jun-2015Santa Clara
Google I/O24-Jun-2015San Francisco
Flash Memory Summit11-Jul-2015Santa Clara
OpenDaylight Summit27-Jul-2015Santa Clara
VMworld 201530-Aug-2015San Francisco
CTIA SuperMobility Week15-Sep-2015Las Vegas
Dreamforce15-Sep-2015San Francisco
AWS re:Invent 20156-Oct-2015Las Vegas
Linley Processor Conference6-Oct-2015Santa Clara
SDN & OpenFlow World Congress13-Oct-2015Germany
Broadband World Forum22-Oct-2015London
Oracle Open World25-Oct-2015San Francisco

Monday, November 24, 2014

Telstra, Ericsson and Qualcomm Hit 450 Mbps with LTE-A Cat9

Telstra, Ericsson and Qualcomm achieved LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) peak downlink speed of 450 Mbps (Category 9) by combining three 20 MHz LTE carriers on commercially available Ericsson multi-standard hardware and LTE software.

The demonstration utilized 60 MHz of spectrum, with three 20 MHz LTE carriers in Band 3 (1800 MHz), Band 7 (2600 MHz) and Band 28 (APT 700 MHz) respectively. The successful utilization of Band 28 is significant as this band is gaining momentum as a global LTE band, with the potential to serve 2.1 billion people. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, Category 9 LTE-A modem and Ericsson high-performance LTE software (Networks Software 14B) and hardware supporting the company's multi-standard RBS 6000 family of base stations for macro and small cell networks drove today’s results.

The companies said the milestone confirms the maturity and readiness of the ecosystem to support operator deployments of LTE-A 450 Mbps data speeds. It builds on the May 2014 demonstration of the same speed by Ericsson and Telstra, achieved with a user test device on Telstra’s commercial network.

Mike Wright, Telstra Group Managing Director, Networks, says: "We are pleased to play a role in this milestone with Ericsson and Qualcomm. Our customers are keen to see the benefits of LTE-A Carrier Aggregation across our network and today’s achievement demonstrates that Telstra is working with industry leaders in order to develop the next generation of fast and reliable mobile data services. We look forward to offering our customers devices incorporating this new chipset when available in the market."

Thomas Norén, Vice President and Head of Radio Product Management, Ericsson says: "As consumers, businesses and industries are transformed through mobility, network performance becomes a key differentiator. Leading operators such as Telstra are looking for solutions that improve app coverage – network performance from the user perspective. With LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation, app coverage is improved right to the cell edge. Showing this commercial solution live on both network and terminal, with our partners Telstra and Qualcomm, represents a key milestone on the road to large-scale deployments."


In February 2014, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies conducted the first inter-vendor interoperability testing of LTE Category 6, which promises potential speeds of up to 300 Mbps.

The final stages of testing, which were completed in collaboration with Telstra, was based on ready-to-release versions of Ericsson's L14A software release. Ericsson said its L14A software leverages load balancing for better spectrum efficiency and improved user experience during high-load situations. It supports all bandwidth and frequency combinations for up to 40MHz Carrier Aggregation, providing users with speeds of up to 300 Mbps.  The test also used Qualcomm;s fourth-generation 3G/LTE multimode modem, the Qualcomm Gobi 9x35 chipset.

IBM and Ericsson Collaborate on 5G Antennas

Ericsson and IBM have agreed to jointly research phased-array antenna designs for 5G.

The companies plan to develop prototype systems that will serve more mobile users, enable a multitude of new services on the same frequency, as well as offer data speeds that are orders of magnitude faster than today - competitive to existing cable and wired internet access speeds.

Ericsson said phased-array design allows for more directional antennas that are electrically-steerable and will have significant weight and flexibility advantages over existing mechanical antennas. The outcome of these technological advances will integrate on the order of a hundred antennas and radios on a single chip smaller than a credit card in size, greatly facilitating the use of these technologies for high-capacity small cells in indoor spaces and dense downtown areas.

Thomas Norén, Head of Product Management Radio, Ericsson, says: "Ericsson is performing world-class radio research that will enable the extremely high data rates that will be required in the future.  We have already showed 5 Gbps over-the-air in trials back in July. We are also working to solve the size barrier and look forward to developing antenna technology with IBM that will open up possibilities for new uses. We recently launched the industry's most flexible small cell, which allows for concurrent use of multiple technologies. Even with its tablet-sized footprint, the form-factor was limited by components inside. This research collaboration will help us enable mobile network builds that provide the right coverage and capacity even in the densest urban environment."

Dr. Mehmet Soyuer, Manager of the Communication and Computation Subsystems Department, IBM Research says: "We have accumulated over 10 years of experience in developing radio frequency (RF) integrated circuit and packaging solutions, demonstrating highly integrated phased arrays for various applications. We look forward to collaborating with Ericsson to help shape the future of mobile communications."


Xilinx and NXP Collaborate on LTE-A and 5G

Xilinx and NXP have been working together to combine Xilinx's newest crest factor reduction (CFR) and digital pre-distortion (DPD) SmartCORE IP with NXP's Gen9 LDMOS RF highly efficient power amplifier technology. The combination of NXP's advanced power amplifier devices and Xilinx All Programmable devices and radio IP enables customers to implement smaller, lighter and higher reliability radios suitable for use in next-generation wireless infrastructure equipment.

Power amplifiers of higher efficiency achieve the same radio output power and enable a CapEx saving through the use of lower power rated devices and reduced cooling mechanics. Xilinx's Zynq®-7000 All Programmable SoC is the first hardware and software programmable device supporting the latest generation of CPRI at 10.1Gbps and JESD204B at 12.5 Gbps line rates.

Xilinx's latest CFR and DPD IP now support up to 100MHz of radio bandwidth in single RAT configurations in addition to supporting MC-GSM with frequency hopping in single RAT or multi-RAT configurations up to 75MHz.

"Xilinx and NXP will continue to collaborate on future technology standards such as LTE-A and 5G, and expand the system impact with the most efficient and easy to adopt combination of radio algorithms and power amplifier technology," saidDavid Hawke, director of wireless communications at Xilinx.


Palo Alto Posts Record Sales of $192.3 million, up 50%

Palo Alto Networks reported total revenue for its fiscal first quarter grew 50 percent year-over-year to a record $192.3 million, compared with $128.2 million in the fiscal first quarter of 2014. GAAP net loss for the fiscal first quarter was $30.1 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $7.9 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, in the fiscal first quarter of 2014.

Palo Alto Networks recorded fiscal first quarter non-GAAP net income of $12.8 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, compared with non-GAAP net income of $6.2 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, in the fiscal first quarter of 2014. A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP information is contained in the tables below.

"We had a strong start to fiscal year 2015, outperforming expectations across all of our reported metrics. As the leading provider of the next-generation enterprise security platform, we delivered 52 percent billings growth and 50 percent revenue growth on a year-over-year basis," said Mark McLaughlin, president and chief executive officer of Palo Alto Networks. "In today's increasingly complex threat environment, enterprise customers recognize that a true, integrated and automated platform delivering prevention capabilities offers superior security with a superior total cost of ownership advantage. Our results demonstrate the differentiation and sustainability of that unique platform, the scalability of our go-to-market model and our ongoing growth potential."


PMC Supplies 12Gb/s SAS Storage for Lenovo

PMC Sierra announced that Lenovo has selected its storage solutions for external connectivity across its ThinkServer portfolio.

The Lenovo 8885E by PMC card delivers the full throughput of 12Gb/s SAS and 6.6GB/s PCI Express 3.0 to maximize the performance of ThinkServer scale-out storage. The card will be offered on Lenovo rack and tower servers.

“Lenovo’s ThinkServer products are versatile enough to handle workloads ranging from those found in SMBs to enterprise data centers,” said Pete Hazen, vice president of the Data Center & Server Group at PMC. “A key component of that flexibility comes from their ability to scale based on business needs. IT professionals and data center managers will find that this PMC-based card addresses their immediate storage needs and allows them to future proof against ever-increasing workloads and emerging storage requirements.”


Huawei to Establish NFV Open Labs in China, Germany, US

Huawei is preparing to open a number of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Open Labs, aiming at stimulating innovation, industry development and collaboration with operators. The first three locations are China, Germany and the USA.

Huawei said it believes that the main added values from NFV are that it will break the isolation of traditional telecommunications networks, shorten innovation cycles, reduce operating costs and create an open industry chain, which requires processes for open standardization and open source cloud technology.


Hurricane Electric Continues European Expansion

Hurricane Electric, which operates what is considered to be the world’s largest IPv6-native Internet backbone, has added a new Point of Presence (PoP) at Interxion Dusseldorf in Germany.

Hurricane Electric said it is continuing to grow its footprint within Germany’s extensive data center industry. This is its sixth POP in Germany. The PoP will enable customers to experience improved fault tolerance, lower latency and increased network capacity through 100GE (100 Gigabit Ethernet), 10GE (10 gigabit Ethernet), GigE (1 gigabit Ethernet) and 100BaseT network connections. Additionally, customers will now have the opportunity to exchange IP traffic, or “peer,” with Hurricane Electric’s global network.

Hurricane Electric employs a resilient fiber-optic topology, and has four redundant paths crossing North America, two separate paths between the U.S. and Europe, and rings in Europe and Asia.