Sunday, September 20, 2009

China Mobile and NSN Test TD-LTE Femtocell

China Mobile and Nokia Siemens Networks announced the world's first TD-LTE femtocell demonstration.

Specifically, Nokia Siemens Networks' Beijing research team demonstrated a live streaming video downlink application using a compact experimental Femtocell prototype in China Mobile's Research Institute laboratory. The demonstration achieved throughputs which exceed the typical xDSL speed currently possible via residential broadband connections.

GSMA Announces Release 2 Service Specification for RCS

The GSMA released a updated version of its Rich Communication Suite (RCS) service specifications, RCS Release 2.

The GSMA's RCS Initiative provides operators with a feature-rich portfolio of interoperable communication services that they can offer to their customers, and this latest specification includes key enhancements to the core feature set included in RCS Release 1, such as a broadband access client and support for a multi-device environment. Having broadband access to core RCS services such as in-call multimedia sharing, conversational messaging and presence-enhanced contact management means that users will be able to access services and applications from both mobile and fixed terminals, resulting in a seamless experience across both mobile phones and PCs.

The GSMA has also launched a new competition for mobile and PC client developers called RCS DevChallenge. The competition will encourage innovative developers to deliver the most useable and attractive RCS client that can either be embedded in a mobile phone or used on a PC, as well as demonstrate new and innovative ideas for future RCS-based services.

China Mobile Tops 500 Million Subscribers

China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator, has passed the 500 million subscriber mark. The company noted that 1.3 million users accessed its new 3G network in August.

EANTC Tests Carrier Ethernet Interoperability Amongst 24 Vendors

The European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC) is hosting 24 vendors to showcase the results of its latest interoperability test at this week's Carrier Ethernet World Congress 2009. This year, the showcase focused on three top issues: Mobile Backhaul, Managed Ethernet Services, and Global Interconnect.

During the two-week hot staging in the beginning of September, 60 engineers from the participating vendors and EANTC tested the network.

EANTC described the results as reassuring, noting that vendors have significantly invested in product and interoperability in recent years. The tests showed that Ethernet technology has successfully begun to extend to such areas as ENNI and LTE backhaul as well as the wireless media, while integrating deployments such as advanced end-to-end, multi-vendor fault management. At the same time, the technology has further matured, for example with regards to IEEE1588:2008 packet-based clock synchronization and Synchronous Ethernet interoperability. Service provider transport technologies for Carrier Ethernet services, including MPLS, PBB-TE and pre-standard MPLS-TP, were also successfully tested.

Ethernet OAM tests were included to cover an extensive set of tests for management solutions for both Link and Service OAM, primarily resulting in configurational issues to be settled. "Global Interconnect", the latest MEF project, is a topic that is just around the corner but already high on the industry's agenda. The future belongs to scalable and resilient interconnects, successfully tested this time with MPLS and Ethernet.

Carsten Rossenhövel, Managing Director of EANTC AG, sums up the importance of the tests: "As Carrier Ethernet technology matures, new challenges arise resulting from the need to integrate new markets and fields. We are very pleased to see that the vendors have fully used the opportunity that the showcase offers to address these issues and essentially move the technology ahead."

The following vendors are participating in the event: Agilent Technologies, Albis Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent, Calnex Solutions, Ceragon Networks, Ciena, Cisco Systems, ECI Telecom, Ericsson, Ethos Networks, Harris Stratex Networks, Huawei Technologies, Ixia, JDSU, MRV Communication, NEC Corporation, Nokia Siemens Networks, RAD Data Communications, SIAE MICROELETTRONICA, Siklu Wireless Communications, Spirent Communications, Symmetricom, Tejas Networks, Telco Systems - a BATM Company.

Mellanox Releases First 40 GigE Converged NIC

Mellanox Technologies announced availability of its ConnectX-2 EN 40G converged network adapter card, the world's first 40 Gigabit Ethernet adapter solution. The 40 Gigabit Ethernet converged network adapter sets the stage for next-generation data centers by enabling high-bandwidth Ethernet fabrics optimized for efficiency.

Available today, ConnectX-2 EN 40G supports hardware-based I/O virtualization, including Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV), and delivers the features needed for a converged network with support for Data Center Bridging (DCB).

Mellanox said its 40 Gigabit Ethernet converged network adapter solution simplifies FCoE deployment with T11 Fibre Channel frame encapsulation support and hardware offloads. The single port ConnectX-2 EN 40G adapter comes with one QSFP connector suitable for use with copper or fiber optic cables to provide the highest flexibility to IT managers.

Huawei to Offer 56 Mbps HSPA+ Solution in 2010

Huawei announced plans to launch a 56 Mbps HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access Plus) commercial solution in 2010. The solution allows operators currently using Huawei' s fourth generation and 38xx series base stations to smoothly evolve their legacy networks to 56 Mbps HSPA+ networks via a software upgrade.

"Advances in mobile broadband, particularly record breaking data speeds and capacity of HSPA networks, have had a profound impact on the telecom industry and demonstrate the enormous potential of UMTS/HSPA," said Wan Biao, President of Wireless, Huawei. "This 56Mb/s HSPA+ solution will enable operators to maintain their industry leading positions and provide consumers with an evermore attractive mobile broadband experience."

As of August 2009, Huawei has over 10 commercial HSPA+ network contracts. In Asia Pacific, Huawei has deployed a commercial 28 Mbps HSPA+ network, and, along with leading operators including Japan EMOBILE, Singapore StarHub, Vodafone Turkey and Hong Kong PCCW, Huawei has launched five commercial HSPA+ networks which support downlink speeds of up to 21 Mbps.

Skype Welcomes Genachowski's Net Neutrality

Skype welcomed FCC Chairman Genachowski's Net Neutrality speech, saying the move will open up more innovation and allow consumers to make the choice about which applications they would like to use, without having that choice dictated to them by network operators.

Following the FCC Chairman's remarks, Josh Silverman, president of Skype, spoke on panel at the Brookings Institution and said:

"Consumers should be entitled to greater choice, flexibility and control over the applications they use on their mobile phones. Mobile openness is a win for individual consumers and for the entire broadband ecosystem. There is only one Internet -- Network Neutrality principles should be applied allowing for a consistent approach across all the ways consumers access the Internet."

Sumitomo Electric Announces the Development of a 40GbE Transceiver

Sumitomo Electric Industries unveiled a 40GbE CFP module for 10km transmission. The transceiver complies with the 40GbE standard under discussion at IEEE802 committee. Sumitomo Electric noted that i has been leading the multi source agreement (MSA) of next generation form factor called CFP with 2 major optical component vendors.

Sumitomo Electric has started shipping 40G CFP samples and mass production is planned for 2nd quarter of 2010.

CWA Comments on Net Neutrality

The Communications Workers of America said it supports the initiative announced today by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski to develop rules to protect an open Internet.

However, the union of communications workers emphasized that FCC must set rules and policies that "encourage investment, ensure reasonable network management, safeguard transparency, promote media diversity and lead to the growth of good jobs in the telecommunications industry." Specifically, the CWA said it believes the FCC must encourage investment in the next-generation networks that are critical to economic growth and boosting the lagging economy.

"Protecting an open Internet should not follow the path of network unbundling requirements that discourages investment. This and other practices have contributed to the United States' poor ranking among industrial nations in terms of broadband penetration -- where the U.S. ranks 15th -- and broadband speeds -- in which the U.S. ranks 28th."

AT&T Enhances VoIP Portfolio for Wholesale Customers

AT&T introduced several enhancements to its VoIP portfolio that will enable wholesale customers to cost-effectively broaden their footprint and extend the reach of their VoIP calling area.

Enhancements include a new access option for AT&T Voice over IP Connect Service (AVOICS), a new user-based Web enhancement for AT&T Global Hubbing IP Access (GHIA) and additional options in AT&T's suite of Business VoIP services.

AVOICS, which is AT&T's flagship wholesale VoIP platform for U.S. service providers, offers IP-based connectivity to AT&T's network and termination of IP voice traffic over the Public Switched Telephone Network. With AVOICS, service providers can offer premium long distance communication service to their customers.

When building out their networks, wholesale customers now have the flexibility to connect to AVOICS through multiple options. They can connect to AVOICS via the AT&T Private Network Transport (PNT) service, which provides class-of-service voice quality, key security elements and advanced network reliability. Clients now have the added capability of connecting through a new access option called Transport Independent Access (TIA), which offers an economic and efficient way to access AVOICS by using either the Public Internet or on the AT&T network using AT&T Managed Internet Service (MIS).

AT&T Reacts to FCC Chairman's Net Neutrality Speech

AT&T issued the following public response to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's Net Neutrality proposal."

"We are concerned, however, that the FCC appears ready to extend the entire array of net neutrality requirements to what is perhaps the most competitive consumer market in America, wireless services. Today, American consumers enjoy the broadest array of innovative services and devices, the highest usage levels, the lowest prices, and the most competitive choices of any wireless market in the world. The evidence of intense competition in the wireless market is overwhelming--there are 10 carriers with 4 million or more customers, and 5 with 10 million or more. Opening one's daily newspaper is an exercise in competing wireless offers. We have applauded this FCC for emphasizing that its regulatory decisions would be data-driven. We would thus be very disappointed if it has already drawn a conclusion to regulate wireless services despite the absence of any compelling evidence of problems or abuse that would warrant government intervention.

"To paraphrase a recent analyst comment, net neutrality is rooted in an assumption that broadband networks are instantly expandable, to an infinite extent, at little or no cost. To base policy assumptions on such fallacies is to conduct a risky experiment with American broadband investment, nearly all of which is private investment on which our nation depends. This is especially so with U.S. wireless networks, which are facing incredible bandwidth strains, and which require continued private investment at very high levels, and pro-active network management, to ensure service quality for 270 million customers.

"In addition, to apply net neutrality requirements to wireless only a year after completing the 700 MHz auction, and only months after delivering licenses to winning bidders, is to raise questions as to why such policies were not implemented in advance of the auction. Indeed, only the C Block was encumbered with requirements of the sort suggested in today's speech; the other spectrum was auctioned with specific assurances that it was not encumbered with such regulations. As a result, that unencumbered spectrum was sold for many billions more than the C Block. For the FCC to now place such requirements on that spectrum so soon after the auction creates the impression of a ‘bait and switch', and could raise questions about the fairness and integrity of the auction process itself."

CTIA Expresses Concern over FCC's Network Neutrality Proposal

CTIA - The Wireless Association -- expressed its concern that new Internet regulations could have the unintended consequence of stifling competition in broadband wireless communications.

Chris Guttman-McCabe, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for CTIA, stated "as a justification for the adoption of rules, the Chairman suggested that one reason for concern ‘has to do with limited competition among service providers.' This is at the core of our concerns. Unlike the other platforms that would be subject to the rules, the wireless industry is extremely competitive, extremely innovative, and extremely personal. How do the rules apply to the single-purpose Amazon Kindle? How does it apply to Google's efforts to cache content to provide a better consumer experience? How about the efforts from Apple and Android, Blackberry and Nokia, Firefly and others to differentiate the products and services they develop for consumers? Should all product and service offerings be the same?"

"Regarding spectrum investment, the Commission need only look at the results of the 700 MHz auction to understand the impact on investment. The C Block rules, which included an open requirement, had only two bidders, and sold for significantly less. The other licenses, which sold for significantly more, were sold with the promise that the spectrum would not be subject to the open rules. Now the Commission is considering changing the rules after the auction -- impacting companies' confidence in the auction process -- just as carriers are facing a brewing spectrum crisis."

Vodafone Portugal Launches Digital TV with Alcatel-Lucent

In July, Vodafone Portugal launched its "Casa" Digital Television (IPTV) service, providing access to more than 100 TV channels, including 8 high definition channels and hundreds of movies available via video on demand (VoD). The move reinforced Vodafone Portugal's offer for the home and strengthens its position as a total communications company. Alcatel-Lucent served as network integrator.

The offer includes all advanced television features such as High Definition Image (HD) and Dolby Surround Sound, as well as a wide portfolio of innovative services.

The service also has a unique user interface, specially designed for Vodafone and developed by Alcatel-Lucent for simplified and intuitive access to all the television and video services features. The "Vodafone Casa TV" service reuses the network architecture developed for providing broadband and voice services. The middleware and DRM are Microsoft's platform.

Alcatel-Lucent Supplies Packet Transport for TIM in Brazil

TIM, one of the largest mobile carriers in Brazil, has deployed Alcatel-Lucent's packet optical transport and microwave packet radio technologies in metropolitan areas to support its 3G network while preparing for LTE. In addition, this solution simplifies the network for minimized operational expenditures. Alcatel-Lucent also is providing comprehensive professional services including consulting, network design, project management, installation and commissioning as part of the agreement. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Alcatel-Lucent managed solution is based on its 1850 Transport Service Switch (TSS) and 9500 Microwave Packet Radio (MPR), which are part of the Mobile Evolution Transport Architecture (META), implementing innovative features like T-MPLS and service driven adaptive modulation. The solution optimizes traffic transport and aggregation from the base stations to the core network handling multiple traffic types onto the same platform. Additionally, it automatically allocates the appropriate bandwidth to ensure services are delivered according to the required quality.

Genachowski Proposes Rules for Free and Open Internet

In a speech at The Brookings Institution, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed a set of actions he believes are necessary "to preserve the free and open Internet." Previously, the FCC embraced four open Internet principles affirming that consumers must be able to access the lawful Internet content, applications, and services of their choice, and attach non-harmful devices to the network. Genachowski is proposing two new principles:

  • The first would prevent Internet access providers from discriminating against particular Internet content or applications, while allowing for reasonable network management. Genachowski said this means that network operators cannot block or degrade lawful traffic over their networks, or pick winners by favoring some content or applications over others in the connection to subscribers' homes. Nor can they "disfavor an Internet service just because it competes with a similar service offered by that broadband provider."

  • The second principle would ensure that Internet access providers are transparent about the network management practices they implement.

The FCC will begin a process of codifying all six open Internet principles at its upcoming meeting in October. Genachowski said this process should make clear that all six principles apply to all platforms that access the Internet.

"The Internet is an extraordinary platform for innovation, job creation, investment, and opportunity. It has unleashed the potential of entrepreneurs and enabled the launch and growth of small businesses across America," said Chairman Genachowski. "It is vital that we safeguard the free and open Internet."http://www.fcc.govIn February 2004, then FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell issued a challenge to high-speed Internet providers to adopt a set of four voluntary "Net Freedom" principles:

  • Freedom to Access Content. Consumers should have access to their choice of legal content.

  • Freedom to Use Applications. Consumers should be able to run applications of their choice.

  • Freedom to Attach Personal Devices. Consumers should be permitted to attach any devices they choose to the connection in their homes.

  • Freedom to Obtain Service Plan Information. Consumers should receive meaningful information regarding their service plans.

"I would emphasize that consumers also have a role in this challenge to preserve ‘Net Freedom,'" said Powell. "I encourage consumers to challenge their broadband providers to live up to these standards and to let the Commission know how the industry is doing."

One Minute Video: Mobile Video Gateways