Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sprint Extends 2.5 GHz Spectrum with High Performance User Equipment

Sprint announced plans to leverage High Performance User Equipment (HPUE) to optimize its 2.5 GHz network coverage.

Sprint said HPUE technology, which was certified by 3GPP earlier this month, is capable of extending its 2.5 GHz coverage by up to 30 percent to nearly match its mid-band 1.9 GHz spectrum performance, including indoors where an estimated 60 to 70 percent of wireless traffic is generated. HPUE is a new power class – Power Class 2 – for end-user devices such as smartphones, and is designed to improve the performance of TDD-LTE Band 41 networks around the world. Sprint co-led the development of HPUE in conjunction with the Global TDD LTE Initiative (GTI) and companies such as China Mobile, SoftBank, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., Samsung, ZTE, Broadcom, MediaTek, Skyworks Solutions, Alcatel, Motorola, LG and Qorvo.

“HPUE is an incredible innovation that will dramatically improve the performance of our high-band spectrum and deliver an even better experience for the millions of customers on the Sprint network whether they’re streaming videos, playing games or using apps, both indoors and out,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. “With HPUE, our customers using 2.5 GHz-capable phones can have nearly the same reach as our 1.9 GHz spectrum. This gives them all the coverage advantages of mid-band spectrum while maintaining the tremendous speed and capacity advantages of high-band spectrum.”

“The joint test between China Mobile and Sprint proved the benefits of HPUE technology, and China Mobile will continuously promote the availability and deployment of HPUE,” said Madam Yuhong Huang, Secretary General of GTI and Deputy General Manager of China Mobile Research Institute.

Sprint also confirmed that its network is ready for the initial roll-out of HPUE, including in its 250 LTE Plus markets. Samsung, one of Sprint’s most important ecosystem partners, is expected to support HPUE in devices slated for commercial launch in 2017.

Furthermore, Sprint will continue its deployment of three-channel carrier aggregation on 2.5 GHz sites. The company also anticipates leveraging a multitude of advanced technologies including multiple carrier aggregation, 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) and Massive MIMO to further enhance the capacity and coverage of its 2.5 GHz TDD-LTE spectrum.

http://newsroom.sprint.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=12399


IEEE Focuses on Ethics for AI and Autonomous Systems

IEEE announced the publication of the first version of Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision for Prioritizing Human Wellbeing with Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems.

The document that encourages technologists to prioritize ethical considerations in the creation of autonomous and intelligent technologies. A key tenet is that AI systems must be aligned to human values and ethical principals.

Contributors to the document include over one hundred global thought leaders and experts in artificial intelligence, ethics, and related issues.

“As we move towards a more fully autonomous world, the first version of Ethically Aligned Design represents a milestone for creating consensus around and developing the methodologies that will ensure humanity utilizes technology that inherently supports and prioritizes our wellbeing and values,” says Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director for IEEE Standard Association. “By providing technologists with peer-driven, practical recommendations for creating ethically aligned autonomous and intelligent products, services, and systems, we can move beyond the fears associated with these technologies and bring valued benefits to humanity today and for the future.”

Version One of Ethically Aligned Design is being released under the Attribution-NonCommercial version of the Creative Commons license for any organization to adopt or utilize, thereby helping expedite ethical considerations in the creation of autonomous and intelligent technologies.

http://standards.ieee.org/develop/indconn/ec/autonomous_systems.html

Google Relaunches Self-driving Car Project as Waymo

The Google self-driving car project has been relaunched as an independent company called Waymo.

Waymo's focus is on fully self-driving cars that operate without steering wheels or human guidance. Its test fleet currently includes modified Lexus SUVs and custom-built prototype vehicles. The company plans to add modified Chrysler Pacifica minivans soon.

https://waymo.com/

Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Joins Google's Self-Driving Car Test Fleet

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will integrate Google's self-driving technology into all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to expand Google's existing self-driving test program.

This is the first time that Google has worked directly with an automaker to integrate its self-driving system, including its sensors and software, into a passenger vehicle.

By later this year, around 100 Pacifica minivans will be built for Google's self-driving technology. Google will integrate the suite of sensors and computers that the vehicles will rely on to navigate roads autonomously.

Google, which is testing its self-driving cars in four U.S. cities, said the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be tested on its private test track in California prior to operating on public roads.

http://www.fcanorthamerica.com
http://www.google.com

Huawei Proposes X-Ethernet for 5G Fronthaul/Backhaul

Huawei is proposing a new X-Ethernet variation to bring TDM-like deterministic characteristics to 5G fronthaul/backhaul deployments.

The Network 5.0 Team at Huawei’s Network Technology Laboratory, part of the company’s “Laboratory 2012” developed the innovative X-Ethernet technology.

Huawei said X-Ethernet fundamentally solves the problem brought by the high bandwidth, determinacy, low-latency, hard isolation and low-cost requirements of 5G. X-Ethernet holds many innovative features such as a Layer 1.5 Switch, Hybrid Multiplexing and Ethernet E2E Flexible Hard Pipe. The Layer 1.5 Switch is based on the native Ethernet kernel.  Since it can avoid L2/L3 packets storage-and-forwarding, deterministic low-latency can be guaranteed. The Hybrid Multiplex technology is realized by enhancing Ethernet code block function.

Huawei has released X-Ethernet technology for 5G bearer networks at the ITU-T 2020 FG Workshop and Demo Day Wireline Technology Enablers for 5G conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

http://www.huawei.com/en/news/2016/12/Huawei-X-Ethernet-Solutions


McAfee Labs Finds 93% of Security Ops Managers Overwhelmed by Alerts

Security Operations Managers are finding it difficult to triage cyber threats due increasing volume of activity and growing complexity, according to a primary research study commissioned by Intel Security.  The newly released McAfee Labs Threats Report details key 2016 developments in ransomware, and illustrates how attackers are creating difficult-to-detect malware by infecting legitimate code with Trojans and leveraging that legitimacy to remain hidden as long as possible.

“One of the harder problems in the security industry is identifying the malicious actions of code that was designed to behave like legitimate software, with low false positives,” said Vincent Weafer, vice president of Intel Security’s McAfee Labs. “The more authentic a piece of code appears, the more likely it is to be overlooked. Just as 2016 saw more ransomware become sandbox-aware, the need to conceal malicious activity is driving a trend toward ‘Trojanizing’ legitimate applications. Such developments place an ever greater workload on an organization’s SOC – where success requires an ability to quickly detect, hunt down, and eradicate attacks in progress.”

Some highlights:

  • Alert overload. On average, organizations are unable to sufficiently investigate 25 percent of their security alerts, with no significant variation by country or company size.
  • Triage trouble. While most respondents acknowledged being overwhelmed by security alerts, as many as 93 percent are unable to triage all potential threats.
  • Incidents on the rise. Whether from an increase in attacks or better monitoring capabilities, 67 percent of respondents reported an increase in security incidents.
  • Cause of the rise. Of the respondents reporting an increase in incidents, 57 percent report they are being attacked more often, while 73 percent believe they are able to better spot attacks.
  • Threat signals. The most common threat detection signals for a majority of organizations (64 percent) come from traditional security control points, such as antimalware, firewall and intrusion prevention systems.
  • Proactive vs. reactive. The majority of respondents claim to be progressing toward the goal of a proactive and optimized security operation, but 26 percent still operate in reactive mode, with ad hoc approaches to security operations, threat hunting and incident response.
  • Adversaries. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of investigations in 2015 involved a specific entity, either as a targeted external attack or an insider threat.
  • Causes for investigation. The respondents reported that generic malware led the list of incidents (30 percent) leading to security investigations, followed by targeted malware-based attacks (17 percent), targeted network-based attacks (15 percent), accidental insider incidents resulting in potential threats or data loss (12 percent), malicious insider threats (10 percent), direct nation-state attacks (7 percent), and indirect or hacktivist nation-state attacks (7 percent).

In the third quarter of 2016, McAfee Labs’ Global Threat Intelligence network registered notable surges in ransomware, mobile malware and macro malware:
  • Ransomware. The count of total ransomware grew by 18 percent in Q3 2016 and 80 percent since the beginning of the year.
  • Mac OS malware. New Mac OS malware skyrocketed by 637 percent in Q3, but the increase was due primarily to a single adware family, Bundlore. Total Mac OS malware remains quite low in comparison to other platforms.
  • New Malware. The growth of new unique malware dropped 21 percent in Q3.
  • Mobile malware. We cataloged more than 2 million new mobile malware threats in Q3. Infection rates in Africa and Asia each dropped by 1.5 percent, while Australia increased by 2 percent in Q3.
  • Macro malware. New Microsoft Office (primarily Word) macro malware continued the increase first seen in Q2.
  • Spam botnets. The Necurs botnet multiplied its Q2 volume by nearly seven times, becoming the highest-volume spam botnet of Q3. We also measured a sharp drop in spamming by Kelihos, which resulted in the first decline in quarterly volume we have observed in 2016.
  • Worldwide botnet prevalence. Wapomi, which delivers worms and downloaders, remained No. 1 in Q3, declining from 45 percent in Q2. CryptXXX ransomware served by botnets jumped into second place; it was responsible for only 2 percent of traffic last quarter.
http://www.intelsecurity.com/

Symantec Files Patent Complaint Against Zscaler

Symantec has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Zscaler, asserting violation of seven Symantec patents across a variety of network security technologies including web security, data loss prevention, threat prevention, access control and antivirus techniques. This lawsuit is based on U.S. Patent Nos. 6,279,113; 7,203,959; 7,246,227; 7,392,543; 7,735,116; 8,181,036; and 8,661,498.

https://www.symantec.com/about/newsroom/press-releases/2016/symantec_1212_01

du Tests Nokia's 40 Gbps TWDM PON

Nokia has supplied its Time and Wavelength Division Multiplexing Passive Optical Network (TWDM-PON) technology to UAE-based telecommunications service provider du for testing in its lab.  The PON solution is capable of aggregate speeds of 40 Gbps.

Nokia said its unique next-generation Passive Optical Network solution will enable du to upgrade its existing GPON network to XGS-PON or TWDM-PON on a single fiber.

Jasim AlAwadi, Vice President - Network Infrastructure & Services, at du, comments: "With the increased use of smart devices and bandwidth-hungry applications by our subscribers, the demand for an ultra-fast network also keeps increasing. Keeping our customers on the top of our mind, we pioneer by introducing market-leading technologies to them. Our successful test of Nokia's TWDM-PON is proof of this. We are confident that our cooperation will take the country's journey toward IoT and smart cities to the next level."

Rima Manna, head of the du customer team at Nokia, says: "With its current strategy, du is very well positioned to evolve its network now and in the long term, and meet the customer needs of one of the leading broadband countries in the world. With this latest successful test, we reiterate our commitment to du in its endeavor to launch truly innovative services for its subscribers across the country."

http://www.nokia.com/en_int/news/releases/2016/12/13/du-prepares-for-fastest-fiber-broadband-in-the-uae-with-successful-test-of-nokias-next-generation-40-gigabit-twdm-pon-technology

Alcatel-Lucent Intros 10G TWDM-PON

Alcatel-Lucent is looking to bring down the cost of TWDM-PON (Time and Wavelength Division Multiplexed Passive Optical Networks) by allowing different types of optics to be used.  Currently, TWDM-PON requires new optics capable of providing four tunable 10 Gbps wavelengths.

Alcatel-Lucent's new ‘Universal TWDM’ solution enables operators to initially deploy one non-tunable 10 Gbps wavelength and easily add more pluggable as demand grows, providing a smooth upgrade to full TWDM without the need to replace network components, evaluate new technology, or reconfigure operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS).

"The primary obstacle for deploying new ultra-broadband infrastructure and services is the business case. Universal TWDM is Alcatel-Lucent’s innovative solution to this challenge. We are enabling operators to build upon their existing fiber investments while bringing down the total cost of ownership of TWDM technology. This means they can immediately address new high-revenue opportunities for gigabit services while knowing that their investment is future-proof,” stated Federico Guillén, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s Fixed Access Business Line.

The company noted that Universal TWDM and full TWDM-PON can co-exist with current PON technology. Alcaltel-Lucent also estimates that Universal TWDM will have a similar cost as established 10 Gbps technologies, such as XG-PON.

http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/press/2015/alcatel-lucents-universal-twdm-technology-accelerate-deployment-superfast-gigabit-ultra-broadband

See also