Wednesday, September 13, 2017

FCC: Cell sites being restored, wireline outages worsening

As of September 13, 2017 at 11:00 AM EDT, substantial numbers of cell sites remain out of services in areas impacted by Hurricane Irma, but the situation is improving, according to data from the FCC.

  • Alabama: Less than 1% of cell sites in the disaster area are out of service
  • Florida: 18.1% (down from 24.6% yesterday) of cell sites are out of service.
  • Georgia: Overall, 5.3% (down from 10.5% yesterday) of cell sites in the disaster area are out of
  • service.
  • Puerto Rico: 10.1% (down from 14.5% yesterday) of cell sites are out of service.
  • Virgin Islands: 54.7% (up from 53.8%) of cell sites are out of service.

However, the the outage is growing for cable and fixed wireline systems.  There are at least 8,190,407 (up from 7,184,909 yesterday) subscribers out of service in the affectedareas in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.

There are a total of 1,040 (up from 819 yesterday) non-mobile switching centers out in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.

http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0913/DOC-346710A1.pdf

AT&T Extends its NetBond between clouds

AT&T NetBond is introducing a "cloud-to-cloud" feature that efficiently moves workloads across highly secure connections between public, private and hybrid cloud services in the NetBond for Cloud ecosystem.

AT&T NetBond for Cloud promises scalable network connectivity for efficient traffic flow between clouds. AT&T said that with this feature, each ecosystem cloud – private or public – can now be efficiently connected to another and remain off internet. Customers can easily manage connections between clouds by using the digital AT&T cloud portal. Network managers no longer have the time-consuming manual task of working with multiple cloud providers to build connection points individually – they can now create or change connectivity configurations within minutes.

“Many businesses use 3 or more clouds. And they’re often a mix of public, private or hybrid,” said Roman Pacewicz, Chief Product Officer, AT&T Business. “No matter the combination, it can be challenging if cloud environments have to mix. An important part is enabling efficient and highly secure network connections that help customers move their workflows between cloud endpoints. With NetBond for Cloud, it’s simple.”

Security options are available to manage the flow between end users and applications that can be used with the cloud to cloud feature. Our NetBond for Cloud service is fully off-internet, providing simple, highly secure access to industry-leading cloud services from virtually anywhere.

http://att.com/netbond


Qualcomm shows 5G NR mmWave prototype

Qualcomm unveiled a 5G NR mmWave prototype system based on the 5G New Radio (NR) Release-15 specifications.  Peak download speeds of up to 5 Gbps are possible.

The prototype system, which operates in millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum bands above 24 GHz, demonstrates how advanced 5G NR mmWave technologies can be utilized to deliver robust mobile broadband communications at multi-gigabit-per-second data rates in real-world mobile environments.

Qualcomm's prototype leverages the company's optimized mmWave RF Front-end design in a smartphone form-factor to test and trial real-world mmWave challenges, such as device and hand-blocking. It employs Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology with adaptive analog beamforming and beam tracking/steering techniques, which is required for robust and sustained mobile broadband communications in non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments and device mobility. It also supports 800 MHz bandwidth and advanced 5G NR technologies including LDPC channel coding for data channels.

"We are delivering on the promise of developing 5G NR mmWave technologies to enhance mobile broadband services,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and president, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. “Our 5G NR mmWave prototype system is proving that sustained mobile broadband communications and smartphone form-factor devices are progressing for 2019 launches — another powerful testament to Qualcomm Technologies’ continued leadership in developing next generation wireless technologies that push the boundaries of what is possible.”

https://www.qualcomm.com/news/releases/2017/09/11/qualcomm-announces-5g-nr-mmwave-prototype-accelerate-mobile-deployments

Sprint says Massive MIMO could increase network capacity by 10x

Sprint reported strong results of 2.5 GHz Massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) field tests conducted in Seattle, Washington and Plano, Texas in partnership with Ericsson, saying Massive MIMO radios could increase its network capacity up to ten times.

The Massive MIMO tests used Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum and Ericsson’s next-generation 5G-ready AIR6468 (64 transmit, 64 receive) radio, and the backhaul equipment utilized the MINI-LINK 6352 R2 microwave radios which can provide up to 10 Gbps of backhaul.

The companies said Massive MIMO test showed a capacity increase of approximately four times compared to an 8T8R antenna. This was demonstrated by having 100 people with Samsung Galaxy S7 phones run simultaneous file downloads on a timed-test on all networks. The testing showed a 100 percent success rate on the Massive MIMO-powered Sprint network, which was a significantly higher result compared to the other networks.

In Plano, Texas, Sprint and Ericsson also recently tested Ericsson’s 64T64R Massive MIMO radios reaching peak speeds of more than 300 Mbps using a single 20 MHz channel of 2.5 GHz spectrum.

“Massive MIMO is a game changer for adding capacity to our network and taking LTE Plus to the next level,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. “This technology is a tremendous competitive advantage for Sprint, enabling us to maximize our deep 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings. Massive MIMO will be key to meeting our customers’ growing demand for unlimited data, as well as offering Gigabit LTE and 5G services.”

Nishant Batra, Head of Network Infrastructure, Ericsson says: “Ericsson and Sprint have been collaborating on new technologies and continually evolving Sprint’s LTE network, laying the foundation for 5G. Our next-generation 5G-ready TDD 64T64R Massive MIMO radio (AIR6468) will help maximize spectral efficiency of Sprint’s 2.5 GHz network. It will also provide a cost-efficient way to support their customers’ growing appetite for increased capacity and high-speed data services. This will be the industry’s first live eCPRI installation, which allows for several deployment and performance advantages to operators in the 5G era.”

The two companies are preparing for commercial deployment next year.

http://www.sprint.com
http://www.ericsson.com


Verizon and Ericsson hit 953 Mbps with 4-carrier aggregation

Verizon achieved a top downlink rate of 953 Mbps is a real-world LTE-Advanced field test in Florida conducted in partnership with Ericsson and Qualcomm. The test combined licensed and unlicensed bands with 4-carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO and 256 QAM. The new Moto Z2 Force and Samsung Note 8 are capable of performing at this level.

Verizon announced several other milestones at MWC-A:

  • LTE on CBRS: Verizon, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Federated Wireless will demonstrate the first use of CBRS band 48 spectrum for LTE with carrier aggregation using a true band 48 radio in the Ericsson Radio Dot System, Qualcomm MTP, Federated Wireless Spectrum Access System (SAS) and domain proxy in the Ericsson Network Manager. This group was the first to use this newly authorized spectrum an innovative spectrum sharing scheme, and will allow cellular systems to tap into 150 MHz of new spectrum in buildings and small cell clusters. The demonstration will showcase the possibility of both operator mobile broadband and private LTE use cases on the same radio.
  • 5G enhanced intelligent video surveillance: Today, 4G LTE is used to connect surveillance cameras across cities in the US. With 5G, there will be significantly more capacity to stream the captured video back to the network and support large numbers of cameras, enabling new levels of intelligence. With all streams coming to a central, video optimized repository in the core of the 5G network, additional analysis can be applied, providing actionable intelligence for end users. This 5G enhancement to an existing 4G solution will provide benefits across smart cities, marketing insights for retail, and security.
  • Drone powered by edge compute: The Verizon and Ericsson Distributed Edge Cloud amplifies the power of simple drones to match or exceed the capabilities of complex drones, which are much more expensive. This proof of concept demonstration shows that as intelligence and processing are moved to the 5G core and the very edge of the network, existing device constraints will be lifted, enabling advanced applications with low cost devices. This new kind of architecture will provide benefits to augmented and virtual reality use cases as well as industrial control and intelligent transport systems.


http://www.verizon.com

Comcast Business launches ActiveCore SDN

Comcast Business introduced its gigabit-ready "ActiveCore" SDN platform for helping enterprises manage their networks, systems and costs across multiple locations, branch offices or data centers. SD-WAN is the first service to be powered by the ActiveCore platform.


ActiveCore delivers new services and network changes via software. It features an embedded orchestration capability, allowing it to seamlessly deliver and manage multiple virtualized network functions (VNF).  ActiveCore can be paired with Comcast’s high-performance, DOCSIS 3.1-based gigabit broadband service, which is already available in much of the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic and Central United States, and will be available to the entire national Comcast service area by the end of 2017.


Comcast Business SD-WAN combines secure IP-VPN, application-aware routing, and a stateful network firewall. This is delivered over the public internet via a carrier-class IP-backbone, leveraging Comcast’s broadband solutions. With Comcast Business SD-WAN on the ActiveCore platform, customers can augment or replace their existing network with an alternative providing bandwidth, reliability and flexibility.


Comcast Business is positioning SD-WAN as a cost-effective, alternative to MPLS running over T1 lines. With firewall-secured, branch-level internet connectivity to a public cloud, Comcast Business SD-WAN accelerates performance and can reduce the cost of backhauling data traffic through corporate data centers. Comcast Business plans to add additional ActiveCore VNFs in the near future which complement SD-WAN.


“ActiveCore and SD-WAN represent a ‘generational moment’ for our industry and are designed for businesses that embrace the consumerization of IT, SaaS and cloud services to run their enterprise operations,” said Kevin O’Toole, senior vice president of Product Management for Comcast Business. “We now offer enterprises a robust, future-proof alternative to legacy MPLS solutions; allowing them to easily add capacity to branch offices at scale and unlock the potential of virtualized networks for today’s connected economy.”


http://www.comcast.com


ECI's Apollo OPT9904X extends OTN/packet switching to network edge

ECI, launched of its Apollo OPT9904X  for extending the benefits of OTN switching to metro networks that often have fluctuating, variable demand.

ECI said its new platform enables metro optical networks to deploy OTN switching exactly where, when, and in the amount required to enjoy improved efficiency and flexibility.

The OPT9904X is a part of ECI’s OTN switching line, designed to meet the unique switching requirements of metro networks. The OPT9904X offers a unique expandable OTN interface and switching block that
can be deployed on an as-needed basis. This “fabric-less” design enables smooth switching capacity expansion in 200Gbps increments up to 800Gbps per shelf, scaling up to 1.6Tbps in the future, making
the OPT9904X the most elastic and cost-effective overall solution for OTN in the metro.

The OPT9904X also integrates packet services, generating savings by aggregating L2 traffic and reducing the number of costly router ports.

“OTN switching can greatly improve the overall efficiency of optical networks, which can be challenging in metro networks with varying demand where planning the location and size of OTN networking equipment becomes difficult,” said Jimmy Mizrahi, Head of Global Portfolio at ECI. “The Apollo OPT9904X is our OTN switching option designed specifically to meet these needs, and we’ve already had our first orders. It joins our bigger 9914 and 9932 platforms to offer scalable OTN switching capacity where and when it is needed in a network, end-to-end from metro access to core.”

http://www.ecitele.com/media/2104/apollo-9904x-release-sept-6-2017.pdf

Vodafone Agrees to Enterprise NFV Licensing Agreement with VMware

Vodafone Group has agreed to a software licensing agreement with VMware supporting the operator's global roll out of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

Specifically, Vodafone will deploy VMware vCloud NFV as part of its group-wide transformation program utilizing NFV and software defined networking technologies across applications and networks. Vodafone will also receive Carrier-Grade Support, a new VMware offering to support the implementation of new software.

VMware said its vCloud NFV will provide Vodafone with an ETSI-compliant, modular, multi-tenant NFV platform that supports choice in virtual infrastructure managers (VMware and OpenStack). The vCloud NFV platform combines a highly available, carrier-grade NFV infrastructure with Day 2 operations management and service assurance capabilities. Customers such as Vodafone are able to roll out multiple applications on a common NFV infrastructure, rather than building new platforms for each innovative service. The VMware-based virtualized infrastructure including VMware vSphere and VMware NSX will also provide a common architecture spanning network and IT operations, further improving operational efficiencies and overall economics.

"Virtualized, cloud-native network functions are a critical element of our Group-wide program as we continue to transform how we build, operate and evolve our networks and services," said Fran Heeran, Vodafone Group's Head of Network Virtualisation. "Reducing the time and cost to deploy and operate services, utilizing automation and convergence in standardized cloud environments for our network and IT businesses is a critical part of our technology and operational transformation strategy."

"Vodafone's selection of VMware to support network transformation highlights how we are a proven, strategic software innovator that can help communications service providers successfully deliver new services faster while driving down costs," said Shekar Ayyar, executive vice president and general manager, Telco Group at VMware. "Our vCloud NFV platform is an agile and flexible virtualized infrastructure platform. Combined with Carrier-Grade Support, this will provide Vodafone with an open platform for new service development today, with an architecture that will support 5G deployments in the future."

https://www.vmware.com/solutions/industry/telco.html

LG U+ hits 2.5 Gbps in 5G mmWave testing with Huawei

LG U+, a leading mobile network operator in Korea, achieved a peak downlink rate of 2.5Gbps at a distance of 1 km in 5G intensive urban field test conducted in the Sangam area of Seoul in partnership with Huawei.

The testing was based on Huawei's research into the latest 3GPP 5G NR protocol frame. At the same time, this test also verified the large capacity of 5G. In addition, the peak rate of single user under millimeter wave 28GHz reached 18.5 Gbps.

http://www.huawei.com/en/news/2017/9/Huawei-LG-U-5G-urban-field-test

President Trump blocks sale of Lattice Semi citing National Security

President Trump signed an order blocking the sale of Lattice Semiconductor to Canyon Bridge Capital Partners on national security grounds. The issue was referred to the President by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) due to concerns regarding China Venture Capital Fund Corporation Limited and its interest in Canyon Bridge Capital Partners.

Darin G. Billerbeck, CEO of Lattice Semiconductor, issued the following statement:

“The transaction with Canyon Bridge was in the best interests of our shareholders, our customers, our employees and the United States. We also believe our CFIUS mitigation proposal was the single most comprehensive mitigation proposal ever proposed for a foreign transaction in the semiconductor industry and would have maximized United States national security protection while still enabling Lattice to accept Canyon Bridge’s investment and double American jobs. While it is disappointing that we were not able to prevail, the Board and I would like to thank Canyon Bridge for their support during this time.”

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/09/13/order-regarding-proposed-acquisition-lattice-semiconductor-corporation

Private Equity Firm Acquires Lattice Semi for $1.3 Billion - FPGAs

Canyon Bridge Capital Partners agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:LSCC) for approximately $1.3 billion inclusive of Lattice’s net debt, or $8.30 per share in cash. This represents a 30% premium to Lattice’s last trade price on November 2, 2016, the last trading day prior to announcement.

Lattice supplies low power FPGA, video ASSP, 60 GHz millimeter wave, and IP products to the consumer, communications, industrial, computing, and automotive markets worldwide. The company is based in Portland, Oregon.

Darin G. Billerbeck, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lattice, commented, “We are pleased to announce the transaction today with Canyon Bridge, which will unlock tremendous value for shareholders. This transaction is the culmination of an extensive review process with our Board, financial and legal advisers, and it delivers certain and immediate cash value to shareholders while reducing our execution risk. We are excited to leverage Canyon Bridge’s resources and market connections as we enhance our focus on executing our long-term strategic plan of continued innovation. Importantly, we will operate as a standalone subsidiary after the acquisition and do not expect any changes in our operations or our unwavering commitment to continued innovation for our customers.”

Ray Bingham, Founding Partner, Canyon Bridge, noted, “Lattice’s low-power FPGA franchise, along with its video connectivity and wireless solutions, make it a compelling, strategic investment. We expect the Company will continue to leverage its existing customer relationships with major OEMs globally, while further broadening the role of its technology solutions and accelerating its strategic plans.”

http://ir.latticesemi.com/

Technicolor picks Quantenna for Dual-Band Wi-Fi Extender

Technicolor has adopted Quantenna Communications' QV860 chipset for its OWA0130 dual-band extender, which extends the coverage of Wi-Fi gateways and could be used by service providers for in-home mesh networks.

Technicolor’s OWA0130 is a multi-function extender which supports both 5GHz 802.11ac Wave 2 and 2.4GHz 802.11n networks. It can be easily configured to be a wired extender, which uses a gigabit Ethernet connection as the backhaul, or a fully wireless extender, in which the 5GHz 802.11ac is used as the backhaul. In either configuration, the OWA0130 supports a dual-band, dual-concurrent 4x4 5GHz 802.11ac and a 2x2 2.4GHz 802.11n network to downstream clients. The OWA0130 also supports Technicolor’s cloud-based Wi-Fi monitoring solution, Wi-Fi Doctor, and is available now.

“A successful connected home experience today depends on reliable and high-quality Wi-Fi infrastructures which can support a growing array of devices requiring wireless access to the internet,” said Bart Vercammen, VP Product Management at Technicolor. “The collaboration between Technicolor and Quantenna offers network service providers an opportunity to offer subscribers consistent and excellent performance throughout their homes.”

http://www.quantenna.com/

Nokia and Telefónica collaborate on 4.5G Pro and 4.9G

Telefónica agreed to evaluate technologies from Nokia enabling an efficient network evolution to 5G in line with Telefónica's business objectives. The companies will assess how higher performance 4G and 5G networks will lead to the creation of compelling new services.

Nokia is proposing its 4.5G, 4.5G Pro and 4.9G technologies, which deliver advances such as increased speed, capacity and improved latency where and when needed.

Under the agreement, Nokia will focus on trials that maximize the use of Telefónica's existing network assets, ultimately helping it meet the growing and evolving demands of individual subscribers and the internet of things (IoT).  

Leveraging licensed and unlicensed spectrum as well as Nokia massive MIMO capabilities, the companies will conduct trials to increase capacity in busy city center hot spots as well as in suburban and rural areas, particularly in markets where traditional LTE spectrum is limited. Other trials will use Nokia Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) for the delivery of ultra-low latency communications. MEC allows data to be processed closer to the end-user to enable the faster network response time required by critical machine-to-machine type communications in enteprises such as factories and mines, and to deliver an immersive virtual reality video experience in stadiums.

Nokia and Telefónica will also investigate network slicing techniques on a cloud-native core network using Telefónica's UNICA cloud platform. This will allow Telefónica to leverage a common network infrastructure to deliver discrete services to a variety of new and exisiting customers. Telefónica established the UNICA program with the aim of using network functions virtualization and software defined networking to transform the way it delivers customer services, meeting new customer demands rapidly and in the most efficient way.

http://www.nokia.com

CenturyLink now expects to complete Level3 acquisition in October

CenturyLink now anticipates the Level 3 transaction to close in mid-to-late October 2017.

CenturyLink updated its closing timeframe based on a proposed decision filed by the California Administrative Law Judge, who last weel recognized that the combination of CenturyLink and Level 3 is in the public interest and is recommending the California Public Utilities Commission approve the transaction at its Oct. 12 meeting.

"Since we began the regulatory approval process, 24 states and territories have approved or cleared CenturyLink's acquisition of Level 3 and recognize this transaction is clearly in the public interest and will be good for competition in the enterprise market," said Glen F. Post III, CenturyLink chief executive officer and president. "We are working to obtain the remaining approvals, including the State of California, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Communications Commission, and want to give the regulators time to complete their review process."

http://ir.centurylink.com/file/Index?KeyFile=390251009

CenturyLink to Acquire Level 3 for $34 Billion


CenturyLink agreed to acquire Level 3 Communications in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $34 billion, including the assumption of debt. The deal combines CenturyLink's larger enterprise customer base with Level 3's global network footprint. The companies said this scale will enable further investment in the reach and speeds of its broadband infrastructure for small businesses and consumers

See also