Tuesday, September 13, 2011

AT&T Opens Collaboration Center in Palo Alto

AT&T has opened its newest "Foundry" innovation centers in Palo Alto, California.


The Palo Alto center, sponsored by Ericsson, is the third permanent AT&T Foundry facility to open worldwide, adding to a global network that includes facilities sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent and Amdocs in Plano, Texas, and Ra'anana, Israel, respectively. The new location will join two temporary facilities in the Bay Area where collaborative projects are already underway, many on display during today's opening day festivities.


"AT&T and Ericsson are working to transform the way telecommunications companies develop concepts that will form tomorrow's networked society,�? said Håkan Eriksson, Ericsson Group Chief Technology Officer and President of Ericsson Silicon Valley. “AT&T is actively engaged with us to combine local insights with global ecosystems to help entrepreneurs bring innovative ideas to market as quickly as possible."


AT&T said projects are funneled to the Foundry in several ways:


Fast Pitch, or "speed date" reviews, where companies or developers meet with key AT&T decision makers to evaluate projects or technologies. AT&T is on track to hold 400 of the fast-pitch sessions in locations across the globe this year.


The Innovation Pipeline (TIP), AT&T's crowd-sourcing idea-generating platform, where more than 100,000 employees gather to share ideas and collaborate on bringing new products and services to market.


AT&T Labs provides the starting point for many AT&T Foundry projects. Many of the organization's 1,200 researchers also provide expertise to projects currently underway.
http://www.att.com

FCC Kicks Off Test of TV White Spaces Database System

The FCC will kick off a 45-day public trial of Spectrum Bridge's TV band database system on September 19.


The intent of the trial is to allow the public to access and test Spectrum Bridge's database system to
ensure that it correctly identifies channels that are available for unlicensed TV band devices, properly
registers those facilities entitled to protection, and provides protection to authorized services and registered
facilities as specified in the rules. Participants are encouraged to test the channel availability calculator; the cable headend and broadcast auxiliary temporary receive site registration utilities; and the wireless microphone
registration utility to ensure that each of these elements of the database system is working properly and
providing the interference protection required under our rules.


"Unleashing white spaces spectrum will enable a new wave of wireless innovation. It has the potential to exceed the billions of dollars in economic benefit from wi-fi, the last significant release of unlicensed spectrum, and drive private investment and job creation," stated FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. http://www.fcc.govhttp://whitespaces.spectrumbridge.com/Trial.aspx

  • In July 2011, The IEEE published the 802.22 standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRANs) using the favorable transmission characteristics of the VHF and UHF TV bands. 802.22 enables broadband wireless access over a large area up to 100 km from the transmitter. The standard specifies up to 22 Mbps per channel without interfering with reception of existing TV broadcast stations, using the so-called white spaces between the occupied TV channels.


    IEEE 802.22 incorporates advanced cognitive radio capabilities including dynamic spectrum access, incumbent database access, accurate geolocation techniques, spectrum sensing, regulatory domain dependent policies, spectrum etiquette, and coexistence for optimal use of the available spectrum. It operates generally in the 54-862 MHz range. For the United States, it specifies the following VHF / UHF Bands54 – 60, 76 – 88, 174 – 216, 470 - 608 and 614 –698 MHz => Total of 282 MHz or 47 Channels.


  • In September 2010, The FCC issued an order that opens up vacant airwaves between TV channels for new unlicensed applications such as "super Wi-Fi." Specifically, a Second Memorandum Opinion and Order (Second MO&O) resolves numerous legal and technical issues regarding unlicensed spectrum usage. Notably, the Order eliminates the requirement that TV bands devices that incorporate geo-location and database access must also include sensing technology to detect the signals of TV stations and low-power auxiliary service stations (wireless microphones). It also requires wireless microphone users who seek to register in the TV bands databases to certify that they will use all available channels from 7 through 51 prior to requesting registration. Requests to register in the database will be public, thus allowing interested parties to weigh in on any given request.


    The FCC order also includes steps to ensure that incumbent services are protected from interference from the use of white spaces in various ways. This includes reserving two vacant UHF channels for wireless microphones and other low power auxiliary service devices in all areas of the country.

Canada's Bell Mobility Launches LTE Service

Bell Mobility officially launched its LTE network service in some of Canada's most populous urban areas, including Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph.


Bell Mobility is supporting downlink speeds as fast as 75 Mbps with typical speeds ranging between 12 and 25 Mbps. The carrier expects that as the LTE standard and products evolve, speeds will increase to as fast as 150 Mbps. Bell's 4G LTE network is also the first and only Canadian 4G network to switch to the next fastest speed available when outside LTE areas, either Bell's Dual Carrier HSPA+ providing peak speeds up to 42 Mbps (typical between 7 and 14 Mbps) or HSPA+ offering speeds up to 21 Mbps (typical between 3.5 and 8 Mbps). Bell is offering Dual Carrier HSPA+ to approximately 70% of the Canadian population. Bell offers total HSPA+ coverage to more than 96% of Canadians.


Roll-out to additional Canadian markets will happen this year and through 2012. Bell is focused on an urban rollout first, with the timing of broader rural and remote coverage deployments contingent on the outcome of Industry Canada's 700 MHz spectrum auction.


Key network infrastructure suppliers for Bell's LTE network include Cisco, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks.


Bell noted that it is investing $3 billion per year in its network - more than any other communications company in the country. Bell's total Research & Development investments increased in 2010 (the latest period for which figures are available), surpassing $800 million.


The 4G LTE Sierra Wireless U313 Turbo Stick is available in select Bell stores beginning on September 14; for online purchase for CAD$79.95 on a three-year term (CAD$219.95 with no term contract); and in Bell stores across LTE service areas on September 15. In coming weeks, Bell will add the 4G LTE Novatel Wireless U679 Turbo Stick. 4G LTE flex-rate data plans start at CAD$45 a month for 1.5 GB which automatically adjusts based on data usage.


"LTE is the next step in ensuring Bell continues to deliver the best networks in the world to Canadian consumers and businesses, backed up by the newest data devices and the leading mobile services and content available. LTE will deliver amazing data access speeds - at least three times faster than the Bell HSPA+ network originally launched less than three years ago," said Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Mobility.

http://best.bell.ca/en/lte/

Huawei Lands 2 SingleRAN Deployments in USA

Huawei Technologies announced two deployments of its SingleRAN infrastructure products in the U.S.: United Wireless and SpeedConnect.


United Wireless, which is based in Kansas. is using the Huawei SingleRAN to replace its existing network. The Huawei SingleRAN solution will include LTE and CDMA . Huawei will be wholly responsible for the new network, which includes deploying its 4G LTE network and upgrading its existing 3G networking.


SpeedConnect, which serves Michigan, chose Huawei to deploy its 4G network. The network will provide up to 10Mbps x 2Mbps connections with the Huawei SingleRAN solution, which includes LTE and WiMAX technology.

http://www.huawei.com

China Mobile and Clearwire Collaborate on TD-LTE Devices

China Mobile and Clearwire announced a collaboration to accelerate the development of TD-LTE devices. Specifically, the carriers will work jointly to further accelerate the time-to-market availability of high volume TD-LTE chipsets and devices that should be commercially available starting in 2012. In addition, the two companies will collaborate to enable worldwide data roaming among TD-LTE, FDD-LTE and other 2G/3G networks.


Both carriers support the global 2.5 GHz spectrum band for 4G deployments along with many other operators around the
world. To date, both China Mobile and Clearwire have conducted successful TD-LTE trials and tests using commercially
available/production-ready TD-LTE devices from numerous vendors.


"The availability and cost of TD-LTE devices are critical success factors for operators to deploy TD-LTE networks," said Mr. Jianzhou Wang, Chairman of China Mobile Communications Corporation. "The cooperation with Clearwire will leverage economies of scale in the two largest markets in the world to speed up the development of TD-LTE devices. We anticipate the widest variety and most cost effective high performance devices - modems, routers, smart phones and tablets - to provide end users with affordable advanced mobile broadband services."
http://www.clearwire.com

  • In August 2011, Clearwire confirmed its intention to deploy "LTE Advanced-ready" technology in its 4G network while restating its commitment to its existing 4G WiMAX network, which covers approximately 132 million people while serving 7.65 million retail and wholesale customers. The company expects to end 2011 with approximately 10 million 4G customers. Clearwire said the initial LTE deployment will target densely populated, urban areas of its existing 4G markets where current 4G usage demands are high.


    Clearwire said its LTE network will be "LTE Advanced-ready," meaning that it will use spectrum configurations capable of 100+ Mbps downlink speeds. The LTE implementation plan, which is subject to additional funding, contemplates deploying Time Division Duplex (TDD) LTE technology. The plan calls for upgrading the all-IP network architecture and base station radios, as well as some core network elements. The LTE overlay will include the use of multicarrier, or multichannel, wideband radios that will be carrier aggregation capable. Carrier aggregation is a key feature of LTE Advanced that will enable Clearwire to further leverage its spectrum depth to create larger "fat pipes" for deploying mobile broadband service. Clearwire holds an average of 160 MHz of spectrum nationwide, more than AT&T and T-Mobile together, in one contiguous band, enabling wider channels for high-bandwidth applications.


  • Also in August 2011, Clearwire confirmed that it is looking for $600 million in new funding for the LTE rollout. It is also seeking $150-350 million as working capital to support its existing operations.


  • In August 2010, Clearwire began testing coexistence scenarios for WiMAX and LTE in Phoenix using both Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) of 40 MHz of spectrum paired in 2 x 20 MHz contiguous channels ("LTE 2X"), and Time Division Duplex (TDD) configurations using 20 MHz of spectrum. Initial tests have recently confirmed that the company's LTE 2X trial network achieved peak download speeds on commercially available equipment and devices in excess of 90 Mbps and upload speeds of more than 30 Mbps. Clearwire expects to conclude the tests in Q1 2011. The company later updated the test reports noting consistent 120 Mbps downlinks using TDD-LTE.

Telefónica Launches LTE in Madrid and Barcelona

Telefónica launched its first, pre-commercial LTE services in Madrid and Barcelona to large clients and institutions. The service is using 2.6 GHz spectrum and offers downlink speeds of 30 Mbps using USB modems. Telefónica is preparing for a wider LTE rollout in Spain supporting downlink rates up to 100 Mbps.


Telefónica is pricing the initial LTE service under its EUR 45 per month plan, which has a 10GB data cap.


Alcatel-Lucent is the infrastructure supplier. Huawei is supplying USB modems for the initial rollout.


Alcatel-Lucent confirmed that it is providing Telefónica with a complete, end-to-end 4G LTE solution – including LTE base stations (eNodeBs), all-IP wireless Evolved Packet Core (EPC), and subscriber data management capabilities based on our IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) portfolio. Alcatel-Lucent also will build, operate and maintain the network on Telefonica's behalf. http://www.telefonica.es

  • In July 2011, Telefónica Spain was the winning bidder on five blocks of frequencies (70 MHz total) in the spectrum auction conducted by Spain's Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade. This includes 2x10 MHz in the 800 MHz band, which the company plans to use for a nationwide LTE network. Additionally, Telefónica has secured 2x5 MHz in the 900 MHz band and 2x20 MHz in the 2.6 GHz band, enabling other broadband wireless services. Telefónica bid 668 million euros, payable in two installments, September 2011 (53%) and June 2012 (47%). The spectrum licenses extends to December 31, 2030.

Saudi Telecom Launches LTE Network

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) announced the launch of its LTE network. The network supports a top downlink rate of 100 Mbps. The company said it will cover 400 locations during the first phase of the launch. Further service details have not yet been posted.

http://STC is serving more than 24 million customers across the Kingdom.

See also