Monday, August 28, 2017

First demo of LTE Advanced carrier aggregation in CBRS spectrum

Verizon, Ericsson, Qualcomm, and Federated Wireless demonstrated LTE Advanced carrier aggregation using Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band 48 spectrum.

The demo, which was conducted in an Ericsson lab in Plano, Texas included the end-to-end CBRS communication flow, using 2x20 MHz LTE carriers on the CBRS band 48, and employing a 256 QAM modulation in the downlink. Ericsson provided the band 48 Radio Dot System and Domain Proxy for communication with Federated SAS. Qualcomm Technologies provided a Qualcomm Snapdragon LTE modem test device, and Federated Wireless provided the spectrum management service with their Spectrum Controller.

The CBRS band is made up of 150 MHz of 3.5 GHz shared spectrum which until now has been primarily used by the federal government for radar systems. The FCC has authorized shared use of the band with wireless small cells. Using the LTE Advanced feature of carrier aggregation, Verizon, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies and Federated Wireless were able to demonstrate LTE with carrier aggregation on this band and carry wireless traffic. Federated Wireless provided the Spectrum Access System to dynamically prioritize traffic within the FCC's spectrum sharing framework for this band.

"The use of CBRS spectrum greatly advances our work in emerging spectrum bands. Verizon and our partners are leading the way in creating an ecosystem around the use of CBRS spectrum which will lead to greater capacity and speed for our customers," said Nicola Palmer, Wireless Chief Network Officer for Verizon. "As industry leaders we work tirelessly to provide the best mobile experience available - that includes always innovating through new technologies and software platforms to better serve our customers."

http://www.verizon.com/about/news/verizon-ericsson-qualcomm-and-federated-wireless-team-showcase-first-end-end-band-48-cbrs


Verizon, Ericsson, and Qualcomm hit 1.07 Gbps peak


Verizon, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies announced a new peak downlink speed of 1.07 Gbps using the Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 LTE Modem, the first announced modem to support Category 18 LTE speeds. The new record was achieved during an Ericsson lab trial. using 12 simultaneous LTE streams, which allow for up to 20 percent increase in peak data rates and capacity with a corresponding improvement in average speeds. Ericsson's Radio System and LTE...


ADTRAN Launches Mosaic Open Network Alliance

ADTRAN is establishing a Mosaic Open Network Alliance (Mosaic Alliance) to bring together market participants dedicated to delivering, demonstrating and testing open and proven SDN and NFV solutions.

ADTRAN Mosaic serves as the foundation for this program.

The company said this new alliance builds on the success of its Mosaic SD-Access platforms. Through the program, ADTRAN is providing operators around the globe a single point of reference for best-of-breed SD-Access and NFV solutions.The Mosaic Alliance will provide a one-stop shop of uniquely vetted solutions, saving network operators the time and resources required to assess and substantiate vendors and offerings best suited for their open network demands, while reducing introduction risks posed to the operator’s business.

“By establishing the Mosaic Open Network Alliance, ADTRAN is promoting the acceleration of the industry’s transition to open, programmable, scalable networks, and alliance members play a key role in that transition,” said Chris Thompson, director of Mosaic software and solutions portfolio for ADTRAN. “The caliber of interoperability testing, integration and validation available to vendors in the Mosaic environment presents unique value and creates a single touch point for network operators to validate solution interoperability as they look to rollout SD-Access networks around the world.”

http://www.adtran.com


Watch the video




Adtran Promo
from Cutting Factory on Vimeo.


ADTRAN Introduces Mosaic Software Tools



ADTRAN introduced its Mosaic Subscriber Solutions & Experience, described by the companyt as a new category of software products to help service providers transition their access infrastructure to a more open, programmable and scalable network. Mosaic Activate, which has been shipping for several quarters, is the initial software product released under the Mosaic Subscriber Solutions & Experience umbrella. The software streamlines the...

Video: ADTRAN Mosaic Software Defined Access

Watch the promotional video: https://vimeo.com/231256436


Ixia tester emulates Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) traffic

Ixia, which is now part of Keysight Technologies, is introducing a high-performance LTE test solution for cellular IoT enhanced Machine-Type Communication (eMTC) and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT).

The new IxLoad-Wireless test solution generates real-world traffic enabling network equipment makers and carriers to test the performance of LTE components and networks. IxLoad-Wireless supports multiple Cellular IoT interfaces including S1-Lite, a modified version of the existing S1-MME interface used for the control plane to signal or control messages, and the user plane the data being transferred between users, plus S11u for small data transmission. This allows IxLoad to emulate both the network and IoT user equipment (UE) to test IoT network nodes in isolation or the entire IoT ecosystem.

Ixia said its IxLoad-Wireless simulates IoT network traffic details, including the signaling and messaging for Power-Save Mode and eDRX (extended Discontinuous Reception), where a UE stays inactive for set periods of time to extend battery life.

http://www.ixiacom.com
=

WD acquires Upthere app for consumer cloud storage

Western Digital has acquired Upthere, a start-up that offers an enhanced cloud storage experience for consumers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Upthere, which is based in Redwood City, California, offers an app that is "designed to be the single home for all of a user’s photos, videos, documents and music." The Upthere app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, as well as macOS and Windows PCs.

WD said Upthere’s technology and team will augment itss Client Solutions business unit.

In addition, Western Digital announced that Barbara Nelson will lead its Cloud Services business. Ms. Nelson recently joined Western Digital from IronKey, a cloud security business where she was executive vice president and general manager.

http://www.investor.wdc.com

FCC: More cell sites down in Texas flood zone - 4.7%

The number of cell sites that gone offline is growing in flooded areas of Texas.

As of August 28, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. EDT, there were 364 cell sites down out of 7,803 cell sites serving the 55 counties in Texas and Louisiana impacted by Hurrican Harvey and its aftermath. This represents an offline rate of 4.7%, or 44 additional cell site outages from a day earlier. According to the FCC report,  he counties with greater than 50% of cell sites out are Aransas, Calhoun, and Refugio in Texas.  Plaquemines is the only county in Louisiana reporting any cell sites out.

The FCC also noted that a total of 16 Public Safety Support Centers (PSSC), which handle 911 calling remain offline, an improvement of 1 in the last 24 hours.

The number of wireline of cable subscribers continues at the same level: at least 148,565 subscribers out of service in the affected area.

http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0828/DOC-346381A1.pdf

AT&T preps for its mega-merger with Time Warner – Part 2

Part 1 of this article covered operational metrics from AT&T's Q2 2017 financial report. This week, AT&T confirmed that its $109 billion blockbuster acquisition with Time Warner is on track and likely to close by the end of the year. Although the company did not explicitly say that regulators, including the Department of Justice and the FCC, are likely to approve the merger, one can presume that no major issues have been presented yet that could threaten the deal. As the first mega-merger to face review under the Trump Administration, it has not been exactly clear what level of objections such mergers might face, especially under a president who routinely attacks CNN (a Time Warner property) as 'fake news'. Under the Obama administration, AT&T was blocked from acquiring T-Mobile US because the combination was seen as market consolidation that would be detrimental to consumers.

Key terms of the AT&T – Time Warner combination

As a reminder, AT&T officially announced its intention to acquire Time Warner on October 22, 2016. The deal was to be structured as a stock-and-cash transaction valued at $107.50 per share, representing a transaction value of $108.7 billion. The companies said the reason for the deal is to combine Time Warner's library of content and ability to create new premium content with AT&T's extensive customer relationships, world’s largest pay TV subscriber base and scale in TV, mobile and broadband distribution. Time Warner, which was formed in 1990 through the merger of Time Inc. and Warner Communications, encompasses many premium media properties, including HBO, New Line Cinema, Turner Broadcasting System, The CW Television Network, Warner Bros., CNN, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, DC Comics, Warner Bros. Animation, Castle Rock Entertainment, Cartoon Network Studios, Esporte Interativo, Hanna-Barbera Productions, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. It also owns 10% of Hulu.

The basic idea driving the merger is for Time Warner to act as the content arm for AT&T, providing mobile and fixed broadband line subscribers with valuable material as part of packaged service bundle. Consumers presumably would purchase an AT&T service bundle based on the perceived quality and value of the package rather than simply the lowest price for mobile connectivity. This will allow ARPU to rise and ensure a 'stickiness' factor that goes beyond the latest mobile handset deals, currently a leading cause for subscriber churn.

As a content provider, Time Warner requires far less ongoing capital expenditures than AT&T, which must invest routinely in its infrastructure. AT&T has stated that it expects $1 billion in annual run rate cost synergies within 3 years of the deal closing due to cuts in corporate and procurement expenditures. As there is little overlap between the companies, its not clear where these savings would come from. Time Warner does maintain its corporate headquarters in high-priced Manhattan, but this is where significant content transactions are negotiated and it is unlikely to be relocated to Dallas.

Rising debt load

One outcome of a combined AT&T and Time Warner is that the investor profile will be very different. An article this week by Bloomberg points out that after the merger is completed, AT&T's net debt will rise to $182 billion. This will transform AT&T into a more leveraged conglomerate, putting much greater pressure on how management can use free cash flow from operations. Over the past few years, AT&T has been using significant amounts of cash to buy back its own shares, thus increasing shareholder value. AT&T has also been one the more generous corporations in terms share dividends, reportedly returning 70% of free cash flow last year, or about $11.8 billion, according to Bloomberg. Going forward, more cash will be needed to service the heavier debt load, so we might expect that less cash will be available for dividends or share buybacks.

Betting on bundling

For the deal to be a success, AT&T and Time Warner will have to generate some real synergy in the minds of consumers. With Net Neutrality principles no longer an area of focus for the FCC under the new chairman, Ajit Pai, AT&T will have more leeway in positioning special service packages for its subscribers. For instance, home entertainment services may be the first big use case for 5G networks starting in 2019. A mobile operator such as AT&T might launch a 4K TV package for residential consumers in certain markets. With connection speeds in the hundreds of megabits, AT&T could deliver a strong 5G TV service featuring exclusive shows from HBO or Castle Rock Entertainment, while also including in the package regular LTE smartphone connectivity for all members of a household. Such an offer would be unmatched by rivals such as Sprint and Comcast.

There is already some movement in this direction. AT&T is ready to launch a 5G video trial with DIRECTV NOW service in Austin, Texas. The trial will evaluate how fixed wireless mmWave technology handles heavy video traffic. Previously, AT&T reported that its 5G lab trials were achieving speeds up to 14 Gbit/s and latency of under 3 milliseconds.

But how is video bundling working so far for AT&T? In July 2015, AT&T completed its acquisition of DIRECTV, making it the largest pay TV provider in the U.S. with more than 26 million customers in the U.S. and millions more in Latin America, including Mexico and the Caribbean. The implied total equity value of this deal was $48.5 billion although the total transaction value was $67.1 billion, including DIRECTV's net debt.

The DIRECTV acquisition also brought exclusive, premier content, particularly live sports programming to AT&T, including exclusive pay TV rights to NFL SUNDAY TICKET, ownership of ROOT SPORTS Networks and minority stakes in the Game Show Network, MLB Network, NHL Network and the Sundance Channel. Soon after completing the merger, AT&T began offering bundles combining cellular service, satellite-TV or U-serve TV over FTTH (in certain markets). These offers have been widely promoted via TV and print advertising, in the carrier's retail stores, and in notices to AT&T's millions of mobile users.

On a regular basis since then, AT&T execs have described the merger as a 'hit', citing higher ARPU from consumers who take both services. By Q2 2016, AT&T added nearly 1 million DIRECTV subscribers. In more recent quarters, this moment appears to have stalled, perhaps because the pay TV segment is no longer growing as more cord-cutting consumers look to over-the-top (OTT) services instead of traditional satellite TV subscriptions. Operating metrics for Q2 showed a loss of DirecTV and U-verse TV subscribers in the quarter. However, AT&T’s over-the-top DirecTV Now service continues to add subscribers every quarter and now stands at 491,000 users. So, if hardware-based bundling is capex intensive and no longer growing, perhaps OTT packages are the way to go.


AT&T appointments executives ahead of merger with Time Warner



AT&T has announced a number of executive appointments in preparation for completing its acquisition of global media and entertainment company Time Warner; the transaction is currently under review by the U.S. Department of Justice and competition authorities in certain foreign countries.Effective August 1st, the following executives will assume new positions and continue to report to AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson:1.  ...



Champion ONE ships 10km 25G SFP28 LR transceiver

Champion ONE announced commercial availability of its new portfolio of 25G SFP28 hot-pluggable transceivers. The company said its new transceivers are universally compatible across various OEM switch and router platforms .

The new low-power transceivers are based on the SFP+ MSA form factor, and support 25G Ethernet and 24.3G CPRI. They come in two versions: the SR (rated 70m on OM3 multimode fiber or 100m on OM4 multimode fiber) and LR (rated 10km on single mode fiber). The LR is available in both commercial temperature (0 to 70° C) and hardened (-40 to 85° C) versions to support deployment in uncontrolled environments. The power consumption is only 1.0W (SR) and 1.5W (LR) for these transceivers

”We continue to innovate and support our customers’ need for expanded bandwidth,” said Champion ONE CEO John Jutila. “By leading the industry with the release of our new portfolio of 25G transceivers, our carrier customers can use these products for expanded 5G LTE wireless fronthaul applications or 4x25G breakout configurations for their 100G Ethernet links and our enterprise customers can deploy them as a low cost migration to higher data rates.”

http://www.championone.com

Motorola Solutions acquires Kodiak for PTT over cellular

Motorola Solutions has  Kodiak Networks, a privately held provider of broadband push-to-talk (PTT) for commercial customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Motorola Solutions said Kodiak adds a complementary, carrier-integrated PTT-over-cellular solution to its existing mission-critical WAVE PTT portfolio. WAVE connects disparate networks to enable communication between smartphones, radios and computers via wireless or wireline broadband.

Kodiak was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Plano, Texas.

“Acquiring Kodiak Networks is another step in building Motorola Solutions’ communications and collaboration software suite and establishing annual recurring revenue streams,” said Bruce Brda, executive vice president, Products and Solutions, Motorola Solutions. “Kodiak’s broadband PTT software expands our offerings for mobile network operators, especially in commercial markets, and complements our software and carrier capabilities.”


Ciena Appoints Bill Fathers to Board

Ciena appointed William D. Fathers to its Board of Directors.

Fathers, 49, currently serves as the Senior Operating Partner responsible for investments in Communications Infrastructure at Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm specializing in North American middle-market infrastructure. He also currently serves as Senior Advisor to Berkshire Partners, a leading private investment firm. From 2013 through 2016, Fathers was Executive Vice President and General Manager of Cloud Services at VMWare. He previously served as President of Savvis, a public data center and cloud infrastructure provider. Mr. Fathers also worked for Thomson Reuters, where he helped build businesses in a number of international markets throughout Europe, Asia and North America.

Fathers also serves on the board of directors of Cologix Inc.

http://www.ciena.com

See also