Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cavium Debuts LTE eNodeB and Packet Core Solutions using OCTEON

At last week's Mobile World Congress, Cavium Networks introduced its OCTEON multi-core MIPS64 processor solution for LTE eNodeB and Packet Core gateways. These solutions were developed in conjunction with Picochip, Continuous Computing (Trillium) and Tata Elxsi.

Cavium said its OCTEON solution offers a high-level of integration, including control processing, MAC layer acceleration, packet processing, DPI Routing, security processing at very low power. OCTEON also enables equipment manufacturers to achieve dramatic reduction in form factor by implementing Macro BTS in a 1U or 2U size, and RNC/Gateway in 4U size instead of large telecom shelfs.

3G/4G wireless COTS solutions are available from Cavium Networks and partners including Aricent, CCPU, D2 Technologies, Emerson, GE Fanuc, Interphase, Kontron, MontaVista, picoChip, RadiSys, Tata Elxsi, Wind River and others.

The new LTE femtocell reference design shown at Mobile World Congress, which was developed with Continuous Computing and picoChip, includes the LTE modem (PHY), radio frequency (RF) and packet processors, protocol software, intelligent router functionality and a complete Evolved Packet Core (EPC) simulator. The reference design consists of a microTCA system including a chassis with a picoChip modem, mezzanine RF card and Layer 1 physical layer (PHY) software, together with Cavium Networks' OCTEON Plus multi-core MIPS64 processor. Continuous Computing provides Trillium LTE Layer 2/3 protocols, the eNodeB reference application and a complete EPC Core Network Emulator (CNE). Continuous Computing's Trillium LTE eNodeB protocols have been optimized on Cavium's Simple Executive software environment.

"The demand for LTE femtocells is unquestionable. We are already seeing operators asking for small cell access points to start testing in the second half of this year. Femtocells represent the key to avoiding the difficulties surrounding the first 3G deployments where rollouts cost too much, took too long and did not meet user expectations," said Mike Dagenais, President and CEO, Continuous Computing.

Cavium also showcased a new DPI Software Toolkit for Evolved Packet Core applications. The DPI Protocol Software utilizes extensive hardware acceleration in OCTEON Plus Multi-core MIPS processors, NITROX DPI Processors and OCTEON II processors to deliver performance of up to 40Gbps. It can detect and analyze hundreds of widely used protocols, and can be dynamically updated in the field or at OEM customer for additional protocols. The DPI toolkit is targeted for manufacturers of networking, wireless and storage infrastructure equipment.

Zain Selects Motorola for LTE in Saudi Arabia

Zain Saudi Arabia has selected Motorola to deploy an LTE network in Riyadh. Motorola will supply an end-to-end LTE solution including radio access network (RAN), evolved packet core (EPC), devices and optimization and integration services. Deployment will begin in the second quarter enabling Zain to offer high-speed mobile broadband services to its customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Motorola and Zain will deploy a FDD LTE network in the 2.6GHz band, overlaying Zain's existing 3G network.

Motorola Shows 2nd Generation LTE eNodeB

Motorola introduced its newest and highest capacity LTE solution, the WBR 700 Series LTE eNodeB.

The WBR 700 Series, which is Motorola's 4th generation orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) solution and its 2nd generation LTE platform, is a compact (1U), energy efficient eNodeB able to accommodate 3GPP Release 9 and 10 based upon the current specification. It will support FDD as well as TD-LTE solutions in a wide variety of frequencies from 700MHz to 2.6GHz.

Motorola said its WBR 700 boasts an LTE baseband that has up to four times the capacity of the average LTE baseband currently on the market, enabling the deployment of multiple antenna schemes that support higher throughput to deliver superior mobile broadband experiences. For example, Motorola's initial performance tests show the WBR 700 Series in a 4TxX8Rx TD-LTE configuration will offer up to 200 percent higher throughput compared to an average 2TxX2Rx LTE eNodeB.

The higher capacity will enable operators to deploy multiple LTE carriers at different frequencies.

Motorola also noted that its WBR 700 features the tight integration of its proprietary intelligent scheduler, the master controller of the radio access network that prioritizes voice and data traffic to further improve sector throughput and performance at the edge of a cell.

The WBR 700 Series, scheduled to be available at the end of Q2 this year.

Wholesale Applications Initiative Seeks to Unite Carriers

A group of twenty-four leading telecommunications operators have formed the Wholesale Applications Community with a goal of creating an ecosystem for the development and distribution of mobile and internet applications irrespective of device or technology. Together, these carriers backing the initiative serve over 3 billion mobile users.

The alliance's stated goal is to create a wholesale applications ecosystem that -- from day one -- will establish a simple route to market for developers to deliver the latest innovative applications and services to the widest possible base of customers around the world.

This would offer an alternative to the iTunes AppStore model and similar storefronts beyond the operator's control.

The Wholesale Applications alliance plans to initially use both the JIL and OMTP BONDI requirements, evolving these standards into a common standard within the next 12 months. The alliance also voiced a commitment to work with the W3C for a common standard based on a converged solution "to truly ensure developers can create applications that port across mobile device platforms, and in the future between fixed and mobile devices."

Carriers supporting this effort include América Móvil, AT&T, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, mobilkom austria group, MTN Group, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Orascom Telecom, Softbank Mobile, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, SingTel, SK Telecom, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, VimpelCom, Vodafone and Wind.

LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson also voiced support. In addition, the GSMA said this work is completely within its principles.

Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile Achieve 80 Mbps with TD-LTE

Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile have achieved 80Mbps downstream rates on a trial TD-LTE (time division duplex - long term evolution) network being installed to support the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

The TD-LTE peak rates were achieved by using a single 20MHz spectrum band, carrying both the upstream and downstream traffic. The companies said this is an important differentiator versus previously announced breakthroughs in the FDD-LTE (frequency division duplex) space: the tests on China Mobile's TD-LTE network show its readiness to cope with very high bandwidth demands as well, all while using half of the spectrum FDD-LTE networks require to accommodate peak throughputs of 100 Mbps (downstream).

The World Expo 2010, which will open on May 1st with 70 million expected visitors, will provide a unique venue for all countries to demonstrate latest technological advances.

"These record speed rates on China Mobile's TD-LTE trial network highlight Alcatel-Lucent's commitment to providing our customers with an end-to-end LTE solution matching their specific spectrum and timing strategies," said Romano Valussi, president of Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell and head of Alcatel-Lucent's China regional business unit.

Qualcomm Unveils Next Generation FLO-EV

Qualcomm unveiled FLO-EV, the next evolution of the "FLO" air interface for new deployments of mobile TV and other advanced broadcast mobile media services.

FLO-EV, which is intended primarily for international markets, is designed to help wireless operators lower the deployment costs for delivering multimedia content to mobile devices. The new spec features a variety of technical enhancements to the original FLO Rev. A air interface (TIA-1099), including a 3-5 dB improvement in performance with the same spectral efficiency.

Qualcomm said this link margin can translate into a 30-50 percent reduction in capital and operating costs to deploy a FLO-EV network. Moreover, the costs savings can be realized without negatively affecting channel change times or increasing power consumption on the mobile device, thereby preserving a high-quality user experience.

FLO-EV can increase the channel capacity of a FLO Rev. A network by 50 percent or more using the existing transmit sites with no increase in radiated power. Existing FLO Rev. A networks can be upgraded to FLO-EV as well.

Sierra Wireless Adds Support for Dual-Carrier HSPA+

Sierra Wireless is adding support for dual-carrier HSPA+ technology, effectively doubling the speeds of devices currently available. Dual-carrier HSPA+ doubles the speeds of current HSPA+ networks from a theoretical maximum of 21 Mbps to 42 Mbps.

The Sierra Wireless AirCard 312U USB modem is scheduled for commercial release later this year from Telstra in Australia. Other Dual-Carrier HSPA+ products, including Sierra Wireless AirPrime embedded modules, are planned to follow.

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 to Debut Later this Year

Microsoft took the wraps off its Windows Phone 7. Microsoft's latest mobile phone OS will add a slicker graphical interface, easier connections to social networking services, Xbox LIVE games and the Zune music and video experience.

Microsoft has lined up a number of manufacturers for the device, including Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC Corp., HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm Inc.

Mobile operators partners so far include AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone.

The first phones will be available by holiday 2010. Some additional notes:

  • Windows Phone 7 Series phone will come with a dedicated hardware button for Bing, providing one-click access to search from anywhere on the phone.

  • On Windows Phone 7 Start screens, dynamically updated"live tiles" show users real-time content directly.

  • Windows Phone 7 will not support Adobe Flash initially, but may do so in a later release.

Qwest Opens its 17th National CyberCenter

Qwest Communications has opened its 17th data center nationwide and third center in the Washington, D.C., metro area. Qwest-owned and operated CyberCenter currently is supporting one federal government customer. The new 129,000 square foot facility will be equipped with redundant state-of-the-art network and hosting capabilities.

The new CyberCenter provides remote and on-site monitoring and management of more than 80 different types of applications, operating systems and databases. It provides collocation, network and IT experts on-site (remote hands) and available by First Touch Response (e-mail and 8XX), plus a secure Web portal for ticketing and alarms, trending data, system health and a wealth of capacity planning data.

Alcatel-Lucent and Sequans Collaborate on TD-LTE

Alcatel-Lucent and Sequans today announced their collaboration on LTE solutions for operators of TD-LTE networks in Asia and Europe who are planning to offer services at 2.6 GHz.

The first result of this collaboration will be a Sequans 2.6 GHz USB dongle to be used in operator trials in 2010.

Alcatel-Lucent was previously selected by China Mobile to deploy China Mobile's demonstration network at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, beginning in May, using Sequans TD-LTE chips and USB dongles at 2.3 GHz.

Nokia Siemens Networks Debuts ATCA-based Open Multimedia Gateway

Nokia Siemens Networks introduced an ATCA-based Open Multimedia Gateway that uses off-the-shelf hardware to handle data and call traffic for IP-based and legacy networks. The company calculates that compared to current solutions based on proprietary hardware, the Open Multimedia Gateway cuts power consumption by almost 40 percent. The new gateway also delivers up to four times more capacity per footprint compared to legacy platforms, thus requires less floor space.

"Our aim is to decouple hardware and software, making our network applications more hardware independent. Decoupling creates a more open environment that gives service providers greater flexibility to meet their hardware requirements and reduce their operational costs," stated Michael Clever, head of voice and IP transformation at Nokia Siemens Networks.

In a unique software design, the Nokia Siemens Networks' gateway software can be used in either legacy hardware or the new ATCA-based Open Multimedia Gateway. This means that service providers can benefit from having the same software running on multiple hardware options.

Ixia Supplies LTE Test Equipment to NTT DOCOMO

Ixia is supplying its wireless testing solution to NTT DOCOMO to validate the functionality of its pre-deployed LTE network.

Ixia's end-to-end wireless testing solution includes the IxCatapult and IxLoad test applications. Its LTE end-to-end test solution spans from the wireless edge to the Internet core. Using Ixia's products, carriers and telecom equipment manufacturers can fully exercise LTE equipment, including evolved node Bs (eNode B), mobility management entities (MME), serving gateways (SGW), and packet data network gateways (PDN GW), using multi-user emulations. Advanced subscriber modeling is used to stress test LTE network devices and complete networks.

GSMA Builds Momentum for "One Voice" over LTE

The GSMA has adopted the work of the "One Voice" initiative for voice service over LTE.

Last November, the One Voice initiative was established by a set of industry players to push for a standards-based solution for voice and SMS over LTE networks. The companies offered a technical profile for LTE voice and SMS services that defines an optimal set of existing 3GPP-specified functionalities. Initial backers of this effort included AT&T, Orange, Telefonica, TeliaSonera, Verizon, Vodafone, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nokia, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., and Sony Ericsson.

Now, the GSMA's Voice over LTE (VoLTE) initiative has taken on this work and gained the backing of more than 40 organizations from across the mobile ecosystem. The goal is to establish a single, IMS-based voice solution for next-generation mobile broadband networks. The GSMA will also lead the development of the specifications that will enable interconnection and international roaming between LTE networks, and will complete that work by Q1 2011.

The VoLTE approach will be based on IMS (IP multimedia subsystem), which supports voice call service features such as call waiting, call hold and call barring, and is highly scalable to serve very large subscriber bases. IMS also provides mobile operators with the ability to offer services that can integrate voice calls with enhanced, rich features such as presence, instant messaging and video content, delivered in an interoperable and multi-operator environment. Fall back mechanisms to circuit-switched voice services over existing 2G/3G networks is also being worked on.

Ericsson's Vestberg: 50 Billion Connected Devices in 2020

The world will have 50 billion connected devices by 2020, predicted Hans Vestberg, Ericsson's CEO, in a press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The figure includes machine-to-machine connections, which Ericsson expects will take off in the next decade.

"In the past decade telecommunications have become the nerve system of the world. The number of mobile subscriptions worldwide has grown six fold to 4.6 billion. Mobile broadband has had its breakthrough and we believe that we will see 3 billion new mobile broadband subscriptions in the next five years."

"We forecast that by 2015 mobile PC subscriptions will have grown six times and the traffic generated will grow more than 50 times compared with the end of 2009. In the same time period smartphone devices will grow four times and the traffic they generate will have grown more than 25 times. The rapidly increasing traffic puts a focus on network capacity and quality.

Ericsson: LTE Speeds of 1 Gbps are Possible

At the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Ericsson is showcasing LTE downlink speeds of 1 Gbps. The demonstration uses Multi Carrier technology and Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) running over Ericsson commercial LTE hardware. The demonstration uses four carriers of 20MHz each, totally 80MHz and 4x4 MIMO, data is sent over the air-interface on four independent bit-streams.