Sunday, March 20, 2011

NSN Unveils "Liquid Radio" Mobile Architecture

Nokia Siemens Networks unveiled its new "Liquid Radio" mobile network architecture for dynamically directing mobile broadband capacity to where it is needed most. Baseband pooling is at the heart of the approach.

Liquid Radio promises a more economic use of network resources through sharing and redistributing capacity based on user demand. Nokia Siemens Networks said its baseband pooling approach centralizes the resources needed to undertake processing functions common to every base station in a given area. Baseband pooling helps to achieve a more cost efficient sharing of resources over a large geographical area.

Liquid Radio architecture comprises three key elements:

  • Baseband pooling achieved via Nokia Siemens Networks‘ recently launched Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station enables centralized pools of over 10 Gbps baseband capacity to manage up to 100 cells dynamically via smart scheduling algorithms.

  • A new Flexi Multiradio Antenna System that provides true active antennas and complements the company's Flexi Multiradio Base Station family. The Flexi Multiradio Antenna System is based on several distributed radio frequency components integrated in the antenna housing to genuinely cooperate as a single entity to enable advanced features like beamforming. Beamforming provides additional capacity exactly where it is needed, allowing up to 65% capacity gain. Commercial availability is expected at the end of 2011.

  • Unified heterogeneous networks enable various network layers to be used as a logically unified network with automated management, seamless interworking and uncompromised quality of experience to the user. As modern mobile networks continue to carry most of the traffic for mobile broadband in the future, they are getting more complex with several bands and mobile technologies (like LTE, HSPA+, Long Term HSPA Evolution) and the use of smaller cells like micro, pico and femtocells. Also, alternative technologies like 802.1x WiFi are increasingly being used for mobile broadband capacity enhancement as well as the more traditional in-building coverage.

"Liquids are unconstrained, streaming to fill any gap or space," said Thorsten Robrecht, head of Network Systems product management, Nokia Siemens Networks. "In the same way, our Liquid Radio architecture removes the constraints of traditional mobile broadband networks to address the ‘ebb and flow' of traffic created by users' movements across the network."

"We foresee demand for network capacity increasing to up to 1 GB per user per day[1] ," said Robrecht. "Not only will this require substantial network investments, but also a unique combination of base station sites for wide area coverage complemented by Wifi and small, compact micro, pico and femto cells. Nokia Siemens Networks Liquid Radio ensures that existing network investments are fully leveraged and that future investments deliver the return necessary to support today's pressing challenge of maintaining and transitioning GSM, evolving 3G and introducing LTE and LTE-Advanced."
  • In February 2011, Nokia Siemens Networks unveiled its "Single RAN Advanced" architecture for supporting the full range of air interface technologies from GSM up through LTE-Advanced using software defined radios.

    Key components of Single RAN Advanced include a new highly powerful, compact and scalable Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station. This base station will be 10 Gbps capable for high capacity cell sites. Single RAN Advanced also includes the Flexi Lite Base Station for micro and pico deployments, which are ideal for providing hotspot coverage in high traffic areas, and a Multicontroller platform for GSM and 3G.

    Nokia Siemens Networks Flexi Base Station will also have the capability to reallocate radio frequencies for maximum efficiency. The 4.2 MHz technology can rapidly refarm HSPA to lower frequencies with less spectrum required. It also offers spectral efficiency features like Orthogonal Sub Channel in GSM.

    Flexi BTS will also come with integrated IP transport interfaces. Flexi BTS will also feature a modular design and the ability to deployed outdoors, eliminating the need for shelter or huts with air conditioning.

    Nokia Siemens Networks' Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station will be available for commercial deployment during 2011, while the Flexi Lite Base Station will become available for commercial use during the first half of 2012. The Multicontroller platform is already being used in customer trials.

Rural Telecommunications Group Opposes AT&T+T-Mobile Merger

The Rural Telecommunications Group, a trade association representing rural wireless carriers who each serve less than 100,000 subscribers, condemned A&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA, saying the deal would ultimately result in a duopoly of AT&T versus Verizon.

"November 4, 2008, the day the FCC approved the Alltel/Verizon merger under Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin, was the first day the United States wireless market ceased to be competitive," stated RTG's General Counsel, Caressa Bennet. "The market has failed and T-Mobile's decision to throw in the towel only confirms it." The Department of Justice and the FCC have approved similar mergers in the past and American consumers should brace themselves for losing yet another marketplace choice in the mobile sector."

Ceragon Debuts Long-Haul Microwave Backhaul

Ceragon Networks introduced its Evolution IP-10 Compact Long Haul (CLH) all-indoor microwave system for high capacity long distance applications. The new platform is optimized for the North American market and delivers Ethernet traffic at up to 1.4 Gbps per channel. The 3-RU platform offers exceptionally high transmit power and configuration options for 1+1/2+0 systems.

Key Features of the Evolution IP-10 CLH include:

  • Highest possible capacity and efficiency for Ethernet traffic with up to 1.4Gbps per channel.

  • Robust, redundant equipment design for maximum network availability.

  • Advanced radio features with high system gain and errorless adaptive power modulation.

  • Unique "Rack & Stack" design providing simplified and flexible network design, installation and maintenance – significantly reducing CAPEX and OPEX.

  • MEF-9 and MEF-14 Certified

  • Operates at 5.8, 6L, 6H, 7, 8, 11 GHz licensed and unlicensed bands using channel bandwidths of 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 MHz

  • Optimized for risk free migration from TDM to all-IP networks.

AT&T Cites Benefits of T-Mobile USA Deal

In an investor presentation, AT&T executives laid out the reasons for the $39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile USA. They expressed confidence in getting the deal approved by the FCC and Department of Justice.

The main reasons given for the acquisition are:

1. It improves network capacity, density, spectrum and efficiency.

2. It expands and accelerates the LTE rollout.

3. It improves the growth potential of the company, adding over 33 million customers.

4. It achieves important business synergies for enhanced efficiency.

5. The companies have highly compatible 4G spectrum (700 MHz, AWS) and operate common network technology (UMTS, GSM, HSPA+).

6. The cell splits achieve by integrating the network in areas where they overlap would double 3G capacities in many urban centers.

7. The fastest LTE speeds possible can be achieved by the pairing of AT&T's and T-Mobile's existing AWS spectrum holdings.

8. The deal will deliver substantial on-going synergies of >$3B in year three.

As for getting the deal approved, AT&T's General Counsel, Wayne Watts, said he fully respects the legal process and that the company can demonstrate that wireless competition "will continue to flourish" after this merger. AT&T sees new entrants into the market, such as Clearwire, LightSquared, MetroPCS and Leap, rather than a consolidation to 3 players.

Frontier Deploys Actelis

Frontier Communications has selected Actelis to provide its Ethernet-over-copper platforms for delivering business-class Ethernet services as well as backhauling DSL services to residential customers who have been out of reach until now. The deployment will cover Frontier's entire footprint, including the 13 new territories acquired from Verizon Communications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

For DSL, Frontier will deploy Actelis' Ethernet access devices, central office aggregation systems and spectrally friendly ANSI T1.417-compliant EFM repeaters, enabling high-bandwidth services at tens of thousands of feet from their central offices and remote terminals.

"Legacy T1 circuits were never designed to meet the bandwidth requirements being imposed by new applications and cloud-based services today," said Joe Manuele, executive vice president of worldwide sales and customer service at Actelis. "By leveraging Actelis' innovative and patented DRB technology with our industry-leading EFM repeaters, Frontier can deliver dramatically more bandwidth to more customers than previously thought possible. And unlike alternative solutions, Actelis' continued innovation in Ethernet-based technology will boost the bandwidth provided by Ethernet, protecting Frontier's investment and providing the means to meet evolving bandwidth requirements."

BridgeWave's New 60GHz Pipe Delivers Small Cell Backhaul

BridgeWave Communications introduced its new "PicoHaul" backhaul product for serving the large number of low-cost, small-cell (picocell) base stations that expected to be deployed in 4G networks.

BridgeWave's new PG60C "pipe" shaped product is designed to hang off a lamp post or the side of a building and provide high-capacitybackhaul to the low-power picocell using 60 GHz spectrum over a distance of a mile or more. The design avoids the "dish antenna" featured in other solutions. Bridgewave said its PG60c is highly directional, which lessons the chance of interference with other picocell backhaul radios operating near-by. It could be deployed in star topologies or possibly as a daisy-chain.

The company cited a number of other benefits for its millimeter wave frequency bands, specifically the 60 GHz band, including spectrum availability, frequency reuse, interference immunity, and in many areas, licensee-free availability.

BridgeWave's PicoHaul product has already completed a several month-long trial with a North American Tier 1 carrier.

"The PG60C picocell backhaul product was developed for mobile operators looking for an affordable, high-capacity product for small-cell connectivity," said Amir Makleff, CEO of BridgeWave Communications. "BridgeWave is committed to developing products that tackle emerging 4G issues, ultimately providing operators with more tools for ubiquitous coverage. This product leverages our expertise in building high-quality gigabit transmission solutions that are being adopted by carriers world-wide."

FCC: Growth in Fixed Broadband Lines Ends

The days of subscriber growth in fixed broadband connections in the U.S. came to an end in 2010, according to newly released FCC reports on Internet Access Services and Local Telephone Competition. The two reports are based on data submitted by carriers as of 30-June-2010.

Highlights from the Internet Access Services report include the following:

  • 60% of connections were slower than the benchmark 4 Mbps download speed identified by the FCC as the minimum bandwidth generally required to accommodate today's uses: high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video.

  • At mid-year 2010, 63% of reportable connections (or 96.9 million connections) were slower than
    768 kbps in the upstream direction, 18% (or 27.7 million connections) were at least 768 kbps in
    the upstream direction but slower than 1.5 Mbps, and 19% (or 28.4 million connections) were at
    least 1.5 mbps in the upstream direction.

  • Growth of fixed broadband service appears to have flattened at 1% in the first half of
    2010, to 82 million connections.

Highlights from the Local Telephone Competition report including the following:

  • Interconnected VoIP grew by 21% between June 2009 and June 2010.

  • Conventional switched access lines (i.e., traditional wireline telephone lines) decreased
    by 8% between June 2009 and June 2010.

  • 28% of all residential wireline connections were interconnected VoIP as of June 2010.

  • An estimated 77% of interconnected VoIP subscribers received service through a cable

  • The number of subscriptions to wireless phone service grew by 5% in the year.

Overture Networks Completes Merger, Focuses on Carrier Ethernet

Overture Networks and Hatteras Networks completed their previously-announced merger. The new Overture Networks will continue to be headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC and focused on the Carrier Ethernet market.

Jeff Reedy will lead the new management team as CEO. Kevin Sheehan will take on the role of company President, Prayson Pate becomes Senior Vice President of Engineering and Matt Squire, will assume the position of Overture's Chief Technology Officer.

AVG Technologies Gains $235 Million Credit Line

AVG Technologies, which supplies consumer security software, has secured a new $235 million credit agreement with a syndicate led by J.P Morgan and Morgan Stanley.

J.R. Smith, Chief Executive Officer, AVG commented, "AVG has created one of the world's largest installed customer bases for anti-virus software, and has delivered powerful security technologies and solutions that are proven and well-respected in the market. The potential and growth opportunities for our business are extraordinary, and we are delighted that the market has recognized that potential with this new credit facility led by two of the most respected global institutions, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan. This agreement further strengthens AVG's market position, provides additional financial flexibility, and enhances our ability to execute our strategic plans. AVG firmly believes that basic internet protection should be free, and we continue to offer the most robust free offering in the market which forms the cornerstone of our financial success through the company's unique business model."

Verizon Joins CENX Carrier Ethernet Exchange in LA and Washington

Verizon is expanding its Ethernet services using the CENX Carrier Ethernet Exchanges in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.. The Ethernet exchanges provide a neutral place for buyers and sellers to peer, connect and purchase Ethernet services.

"The positive response we've experienced since launching this product demonstrates that customers are accepting the Ethernet exchange concept," said Matthew Duckworth, marketing director for Verizon Global Wholesale. "Ethernet is a dynamic field in and of itself, and as our customers discover how flexible and easy it is to use our Ethernet exchange services, they're quickly getting on board."

NetLogic to Acquire Optichron for LTE Base Station Processors

NetLogic Microsystems will acquire Optichron, a privately-held, fabless semiconductor provider of 3G/4G LTE base station digital front-end (DFE) processors, for approximately $77 million in cash, $22 million for restricted stock units for employees of Optichron, and a possible maximum earn-out or approximately $108.5 million payable in 2013 if certain milestones are met.

Optichron, which is based in Fremont, California, offers DFE technology for next-generation LTE systems requiring the highest data rates and lowest power consumption.
The company said its DFE processors have been designed into next-generation base stations by multiple original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Conventional DFE processing solutions typically support narrow bandwidths, a limited number of channels and a single protocol per signal band, and are therefore costly and inefficient for high-throughput base stations.
Optichron's DFE processors deliver performance of up to 5X increase in signal bandwidth and up to 9X increase in instantaneous bandwidth over available competing solutions In addition, Optichron enables simultaneous processing of multiple signal channels per frequency band, as well as the multi-mode co-existence of 4G LTE, 3G and 2G protocols. The design also eliminates the need for costly and very power-hungry FPGA devices and conventional DFE solutions that are traditionally used to implement DFE functionality. Optichron's investors include U.S. Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, TL Ventures and VentureTech Alliance.

NetLogic said the acquisition of Optichron will expand its footprint in 3G/4G LTE base stations by complementing its portfolio of multi-core processors, knowledge-based processors and 10 Gigabit Ethernet PHY solutions.
NetLogic expects that the acquisition will accelerate Optichron's technical leadership and product roadmaps in the advanced 40nm process node and beyond.

Broadcom to acquire Provigent for $313 Million -- Microwave Radio Silicon

Broadcom will acquire Provigent, a privately-held silicon developer with solution for microwave backhaul systems,
for approximately $313 million in cash.

Provigent's System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions address the backhaul bottleneck, including high capacity modem, baseband, networking and RF chain components. The company is based in Israel and it has offices in Santa Clara, California.

Broadcom said the addition of Provigent's engineering expertise in microwave radio products will expand its portfolio to more thoroughly address the $5B microwave backhaul equipment business.

"Provigent is a unique asset with world-class microwave backhaul technology and strong engineering talent developing innovative and highly integrated semiconductor solutions for the microwave segment," said Rajiv Ramaswami, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom's Infrastructure and Networking Group. "Combining their microwave backhaul solutions with our industry leading network infrastructure and wireless solutions allows us to better serve our customers and expand our addressable market."