Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Linux Foundation Launches Open Security Controller Project

A new Open Security Controller Project is being launched by The Linux Foundation to help centralize security services orchestration for multi-cloud environments.

Founding members include Huawei, Intel, McAfee, Nuage Networks from Nokia, and Palo Alto Networks.

The main idea for the Open Security Controller Project is to orchestrate virtual network security policies for virtualized network security functions, like next-generation firewall, intrusion prevention systems and application data controllers to protect east-west traffic inside the data center. A centralized controller would apply the correct policy to the appropriate workload, and it would broker services among cloud management platforms. A open standard would enable seamless integration of multi-vendor virtual security controls.
                               
“Software-defined networks are becoming a standard for businesses, and open source networking projects are a key element in helping the transition, and pushing for a more automated network” said Arpit Joshipura, General Manager of Networking and Orchestration at The Linux Foundation. “Equally important to automation in the open source community is ensuring security. The Open Security Controller Project touches both of these areas. We are excited to have this project join The Linux Foundation, and look forward to the collaboration this project will engender regarding network security now and in the future.”

Open Security Controller Project technology is licensed under Apache 2. Governance for the Open Security Controller Project has been structured to nurture a vibrant technical community. A Governing Board will guide business decisions, marketing and ensure alignment between the technical communities and members. The technical steering committee will provide leadership on the code and guide the technical direction of the project. Visit https://www.opensecuritycontroller.org for more information.

https://www.opensecuritycontroller.org

AT&T launches fixed wireless Internet in 8 states

AT&T announced that its Fixed Wireless Internet for rural and underserved locations is now available in a further eight states, expanding on the initial launch of the service in Georgia in April this year.

With the latest launch, the AT&T fixed wireless Internet service is available to more than 70,000 locations across underserved or unserved areas in the 9 states. AT&T noted that the service expansion is part of its FCC Connect America Fund (CAF) commitment, through which it plans to serve a total of over 400,000 locations by the end of 2017 and more than 1.1 million locations by 2020.
The states where the fixed wireless Internet service is being launched are as follows: Alabama; Florida; Kentucky; Mississippi; North Carolina; South Carolina; Tennessee; and Louisiana.

AT&T stated that it plans to expand the service to 18 states overall during 2017, including Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. AT&T plans to reach a total of more than 67,000 locations across Georgia using fixed wireless technology by 2020.



  • AT&T's fixed wireless Internet service provides a home Internet connection for customers in rural and underserved areas and offers a minimum download speed of 10 Mbit/s. The connection is delivered from a wireless tower to a fixed antenna located at the customers' homes or businesses.
  • AT&T announced in January that following trials of fixed wireless Internet (FWI) service in 2016 in a number of states as part of efforts to expand access to rural locations with slow or no Internet connectivity via its participation in the CAF II program, it would launch FWI in areas where it had accepted CAF support.

MPLS-TP OpenFlow extensions approved

ZTE announced that the 'MPLS-TP OpenFlow Protocol Extensions for SPTN' (ONF TS-029) technical document proposed by China Mobile has become a formal standard of the ONF (Open Networking Foundation) after receiving unanimous approval from the forum's board of directors.

The release of MPLS-TP OpenFlow Protocol Extensions for SPTN is intended to provide a foundation for interworking between devices from heterogeneous vendors, and between devices and controllers. ZTE noted that China Mobile's large-scale deployment of software-defined packet transport network (SPTN) devices provides an example for other operators, while five operators are believed to be planning to implement the standard in the near future.

ZTE stated that packet transport network (PTN) technology features separate forwarding/control and a centralised management architecture, while OpenFlow offers an open protocol that performs programmable control for flow tables on the forwarding plane. In addition, an abstract adaptation layer supporting OpenFlow to encapsulate the existing forwarding functions of PTN is intended to provide an efficient means of enabling PTN devices with open and software-defined features.

Additionally, this design is expected to facilitate the commercialisation of PTN devices supporting SDN and thereby accelerate the development of the SPTN supply chain.

It was noted that China Mobile has a longstanding commitment to SPTN technology, in mid-2015, working with ZTE, Broadcom and Microsemi, establishing a discussion group within the ONF to research device specifications for SPTN based on OpenFlow and table type pattern (TTP).

In November 2015, a first ONF draft was proposed based on SPTN TTP that extended flow tables, group tables and related fields supporting MPLS-TP, expanded the OF-Config protocol to support QOS, OAM, protection and alarm performance configuration, and leveraged local OAM processing units to ensure a 50 ms protection switching time.

In tandem with the draft specification, China Mobile also organised lab tests for SPTN devices complying with the specifications and amended the document in accordance with the test results. The draft document was subsequently passed for review by experts from a number of ONF technical groups and adopted as a formal standard.

ZTE stated that MPLS-TP OpenFlow Protocol Extensions for SPTN standard is supported by the SPTN industrial supply chain, including chip manufacturers Broadcom, Microsemi, Centec and Marvell, equipment providers ZTE, Ericsson, Fiberhome, Raisecom, Greenwell, Chuling and Huahuan, instrument manufacturer Spirent and open source software Open Daylight and ONOS.

To date it is estimated that more than 50 operators have deployed MPLS-TP-based PTN devices at scale, including China Mobile, which purchased around 590,000 group customer devices compliant with the SPTN TTP standard in 2016. In addition, six equipment vendors have worked with China Mobile to deploy the networks.


T-Mobile trials LAA enabling 741 Mbit/s data rate on commercial network in LA

Deutsche Telekom unit T-Mobile in the U.S., serving nearly 73 million customers, has announced what it claims is a network first with the demonstration of a mobile broadband data session live in the field utilising License Assisted Access (LAA) on its commercial network.

The field testing, which was launched in Los Angeles, achieved a 741 Mbit/s download speed using 80 MHz of aggregated spectrum.

T-Mobile also claims to have become the first national U.S. wireless carrier to make LTE-U available to its customers. LTE-U uses publicly available 5 GHz airwaves to increase existing LTE capacity and enhance the performance of its advanced 4G LTE network. T-Mobile LTE-U technology is now live in select locations in Bellevue, Washington, Brooklyn, New York, Dearborn, Michigan, Las Vegas, Nevada, Richardson, Texas and Simi Valley, California.

For T-Mobile customers in these locations, LTE-U is available immediately to users with compatible smartphones. The company noted that LTE-U provides similar speed and capacity increases as the technologies it introduced in the fall of 2016, when it launched carrier aggregation, 256QAM and 4 x 4 MIMO, while utilising less licensed spectrum.

T-Mobile noted that the FCC announced it would permit LTE in unlicensed spectrum earlier this year, thereby allowing wireless providers to use unlicensed spectrum in the 5 GHz band that is often under-utilised. T-Mobile then began to rollout new network hardware to support LTE in unlicensed spectrum. LTE-U and LAA-enabled devices and equipment share under-utilised unlicensed spectrum without affecting other users on the same band, including those using conventional WiFi.

The company stated that LAA enables greater carrier aggregation than LTE-U, allowing mobile operators to combine larger amounts of unlicensed and licensed spectrum. T-Mobile added that as part of its plans to further densify its mobile network, it will begin deploying small cells featuring LAA functionality later in 2017.



  • T-Mobile confirmed in February that that it was deploying LTE-U technology following FCC certification of suitable equipment from strategic partners Ericsson and Nokia. At that time, the operator stated that using LTE-U it would enable customers to utilise the first 20 MHz of under-utilised unlicensed spectrum on the 5 GHz band to gain LTE capacity.


Claro Brazil partners with Huawei to launch 4.5G

Huawei announced that Claro Brazil recently launched what is claimed to be the first commercial 4.5G network in Brazil, incorporating 4 x 4 MIMO, carrier aggregation (CA) and 256QAM technology, in the city of Brasilia.

Claro demonstrated 4.5G data rates averaging 250 Mbit/s on compatible smartphones during the release ceremony in Brasilia, which is claimed to be around ten times the average rate delivered on the existing 4G network. Claro also announced its new tariff policy at the event, which features increased data allowances for existing packages.

Huawei noted that as smartphones featuring support for both 4 x 4 MIMO and 256QAM become available in the market, users will be able to access the enhanced capabilities offered by the 4.5G network. On the network side, Claro is able to provide mobile Internet access with fibre-like speeds to mobile customers with suitable devices.

Huawei noted that 4.5G Evolution helps operators enhance their networks by introducing 5G technologies into existing 4G networks. This can allow operators to trial 5G-like services and develop the business models that 5G will support in the future.

Separately, Huawei announced that working with French operator SFR it had completed the first pre-commercial field verification of 4 x 4 MIMO technology in France, enabling a downlink throughput of 628.3 Mbit/s using a commercially available phone on SFR's 4.5G network.

The tests with SFR involved a commercial phone operating on the live SFR 4.5G network and served to verify that the use of 4 x 4 MIMO, combined with 2 CC carrier aggregation and 256QAM modulation, can enable throughput of up to 628.3 Mbit/s. Huawei noted that SFR is aiming to extend its 4.5G network coverage to 90% of customers in France by the end of the year, and to increase this to 99% during 2018.


Commenting on the network launch, Claro CEO Paulo César Teixeira said, "The commercial release of the 4.5G network, with 4 x 4 MIMO, carrier aggregation, 700 MHz spectrum activation and advanced modulation, will help the Brazilian communications industry to play a significant role in the worldwide arena, as the country is a pioneer in this technology… Claro will use the recently acquired 700 MHz frequency band as a part of its ongoing effort to build a quality, next-gen mobile network nationwide".


ABI forecasts $1.7bn market over 5 yrs for unlicensed/shared spectrum

According to ABI Research's latest Network Evolution in Unlicensed and Shared Spectrum report, which explores the use of unlicensed and shared spectrum, technologies enabling the utilisation of this spectrum type are not only attracting interest from established mobile network operators for low cost network densification, but also from new entrants to the market.

ABI finds that this interest is due to the opportunities that the network technologies offer for densification, neutral hosts, as well as enterprise and private network operators. The research firm predicts that new LTE unlicensed and shared spectrum technologies will create a $1.7 billion hardware market over the next 5 years encompassing LTE Unlicensed, CBRS (citizens broadband radio service) and MulteFire technology.

ABI notes that as a result of the power restrictions inherent with unlicensed and shared spectrum, the technologies are most suitable for small cell indoor or venue deployments. Based on low or no spectrum acquisition costs, plus deployment economics comparable to WiFi, ABI forecasts that demand for in-building wireless penetration in the mid-sized and enterprise verticals will increase dramatically and account for more than half of in-building small cell shipments in 2021.

The research firm reports that numerous companies are developing in technology in this area, ranging from the Spectrum Access System (SAS) providers and Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) operators for CBRS, including Alphabet, CommScope, Federated Wireless, to small cell and infrastructure vendors such as BaiCells, Casa Systems, Ericsson, Huawei, ip.access, Nokia, Ruckus and SpiderCloud.

With regards to CBRS, which uses the 3.5 GHz band, ABI notes that an indication that the technology will transform the in-building wireless and mobile industries is that the CBRS Alliance, which advocates for CBRS technology, counts as members all four major U.S. mobile operators, namely AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, as well as major MSOs, Comcast and Charter Communications, plus Google, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm.

Commenting on the report, Nick Marshall, research director at ABI Research, said, "LTE-U/LAA appeals to MNOs planning to densify but with insufficient spectrum or the capex to acquire it… while MulteFire and CBRS promise low network build-out costs with economics that threaten to disrupt the DAS market... the technologies appeal to service providers as CBRS pioneers a significant change in spectrum management…. (and) traditional spectrum refarming cannot match the mobile broadband throughput demands with the migration to 5G".


LuxNetwork picks Ciena

Ciena announced that LuxNetwork of Luxembourg has selected its 6500 Packet-Optical Platform with integrated WaveLogic Encryption for a new 100 Gbit/s network designed to increase network capacity to support the growing bandwidth and security demands of the major financial sector companies, large enterprises and international wholesale customers.

LuxNetwork, a subsidiary of the NomoTech Group, specialises in providing high-speed, secure optical WAN connectivity to connect businesses to data centres and interconnect data centres. The service provider also offers a suite of managed services for enterprise customers and international telecom operators.

Operating its upgraded network that provides ten times the capacity of its previous system, LuxNetwork can offer higher-capacity services including 10 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet, 8 and 16 Gbit/s Fibre Channel, as well as encryption for protection of in-flight data. Additionally, enterprise and carrier customers are able to leverage dedicated, secure, high-bandwidth and scalable connectivity without the need to own the infrastructure.

The network upgrade will also allow LuxNetwork to consolidate and modernise its infrastructure and to realise operational efficiencies following the acquisition and integration of Telecom Luxembourg.



  • Last week, Ciena announced that Bouygues Telecom of France had selected the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform to enhance the efficiency, scalability and reliability of its network backhaul and aggregation infrastructure, as well as provide the foundation for its new SuperCore network.
  • The deployment was designed to increase capacity to 400 Gbit/s to support growing capacity demand and new high-bandwidth services, as well as allow Bouygues Telecom to expand its mobile and ISP offerings support future 5G services.

CP-TEL rolls out FTTx using Champion GPON

Champion ONE, an open networking company and supplier of optical transceivers, announced it has partnered with CP-TEL, a communications service provider in Louisiana, to enable the deployment of cost effective FTTx services to its customers.

CP-TEL serves rural residents and businesses in Louisiana's Natchitoches, Sabine, and DeSoto parishes, offering high-speed Internet, digital TV and telephone services.

Champion ONE noted that with increasing demand for FTTP services across parishes in north central Louisiana, CP-TEL was faced with the challenge of turning up new services quickly. However, optical transceivers from its legacy provider proved prohibitively expensive, so the company was seeking a partner that was able to supply a cost-effective solution.

Champion ONE stated that it had previously helped CP-TEL double its fibre utilisation by providing 10 Gbit/s single-fibre, bi-directional SFP+ transceivers to support backhaul traffic. Therefore CP-TEL was confident that Champion ONE optics would be compatible with its OEM equipment.

For the new deployment, Champion ONE supplied high-performance SFP GPON OLT optics at lower cost than other solutions. In addition, due to the significantly lower cost CP-TEL was not only able to turn up new FTTx services quickly, but also stock additional optics as spares to help reduce future downtime.



  • In May, Champion ONE introduced a new line of low-cost open network Ethernet switches offering features including SDN and NFV functionality. The Broadcom-based optical and copper switches offer up to 54 ports, with full L2/L3 line-rate switching at data rates of 1, 10 and 40 Gbit/s initially.

  • Champion ONE noted it has partnered with software vendors including IP Infusion, Pica8 and Cumulus Networks to offer a diverse range of operating systems to meet the requirements of service provider and data centre environments and different network topologies.

See also