Monday, September 26, 2011

Global Broadband Lines Top 558 Million

The total number of broadband subscriber lines topped 557.8 million at the end of June 2011, up by over 29 million lines since the start of this year, according to figures from Point Topic released by the Broadband Forum. The second quarter outperformed the same period last year, continuing the trend of stronger growth set in the first quarter's results announced in June.

"Globally broadband continues to grow strongly and all indications are that as an industry it has weathered the financial uncertainties of the last two years very well. Increased competition, new markets and market sectors being developed and the recognition of broadband as a vital part of any household or business have all contributed to the continued expansion of the industry," said Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum.

Some highlights:

  • DSL alone, as distinct from the part copper plays in many hybrid deployments, was responsible for over 50% (52.65%) of the net broadband lines added in the twelve months to end June 2011.

  • France still leads the IPTV market with 11.05M subscribers, 50% of Broadband lines, BBF.

  • China has 10.5 million IPTV subscribers, about 7.6% of broadband lines.

  • China accounted for about 46% of all newly deployed broadband lines last quarter.

Belgacom to Deploy VDSL2 Vectoring for 50 Mbps Services

Belgium's Belgacom will deploy Alcatel-Lucent's new VDSL2 Vectoring technology to boost performance over its national triple-play network to provide guaranteed speeds of 50 Mbps and above.

Belgacom and Alcatel-Lucent have a long history of working together. Thirteen years ago, Belgacom was first to activate ADSL lines with Alcatel-Lucent. Eight years ago, the operator was first in Europe to invest in a nationwide fiber-rich network, representing more than 16,500 km of fiber and 19.000 neighbourhood street cabinets powered by Alcatel-Lucent's technology.

Belgacom is currently serving more than one million customers with television and high speed internet. It boasts 78.9% national VDSL2 coverage, progressing to 85% by end 2013.

Picochip: London Needs 70,000 Small Cells

London will need 70,000 pico cell base stations to deliver the world class level of LTE service that users expect, according to Picochip, which develops silicon for small cell base stations. The company calculates that almost 12,000 outdoor metropolitan small cells will be needed across the city along with 1,772 covering London underground stations and walkways. The remaining picocells will be needed in indoor retail locations and other venues.

"For London to offer its residents high speed LTE mobile Internet in 2015, it needs 70,000 small cells and this will also deliver minimal traffic congestion," said Dr Doug Pulley, Picochip's CTO. "With the Olympics just around the corner and the Mayor of London admitting that the networks will struggle to cope, the need for small cells to deliver added coverage and capacity is greater than ever. While Wi-Fi will offer some respite to the network, ultimately London's population density means that small cells, deployed in the most congested areas, are the only way for the mobile networks to cope with the traffic."

Telstra Goes Live with 2G/3G/4G Combined Core

Telstra is the first carrier worldwide to operate a combined core network for its 2G, 3G and 4G traffic. The triple-access Evolved Packet Core is now in commercial service, enabling seamless handover of 2G, 3G and 4G traffic.

Ericsson supplied the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) that enables the mobile broadband traffic carried in Telstra GSM, WCDMA/HSPA and LTE access networks to be seamlessly handled by the same core network nodes.

Mike Wright, Telstra's Executive Director of Network and Access Technologies, says: "Through implementing the Evolved Packet Core, we can smoothly integrate and transition 2G, 3G and 4G traffic seamlessly for our customers. This is the complete network solution that we envisioned over 5 years ago: a common and efficient core network supporting traffic from any source across our evolving GSM, WCDMA and LTE access networks.

Ericsson noted that it has signed 30 commercial EPC contracts to date.

Nokia Siemens Uses Radio Network Controller Cloning To Speed Upgrades

Nokia Siemens Networks introduced a first-of-its-kind Network Cloning service for faster radio network controller upgrades, promising network performance upgrades that can now occur in days instead of months using the conventional manual configuration process.

A traditional RNC upgrade requires multiple parameter changes as each of the hundreds of base stations connected to the controller need to be manually migrated to the new RNC. The manual upgrade not only takes months to complete, but can also cause interruptions in the mobile service. In addition, these manual changes increase network complexity as new and old RNC need to co-exist until the upgrade is completed.

Nokia Siemens Networks said it's new Network Cloning service involves configuring the new RNC offline by replicating the existing one and then carrying out a one-time swap with minimum disruption to the rest of the network. This service eliminates the risk of error arising from the conventional, manual approach. The service is available to all operators using Nokia Siemens Networks RNCs.

"To tap the data opportunity created by the growing demand for smart devices, operators need to go beyond incremental changes, such as adding more base stations or software upgrades, and bring about a step change in network performance. Our Network Cloning service helps them achieve this goal quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively," said Armando Almeida, head of Global Services at Nokia Siemens Networks. "The Network Cloning Service for RNC uses Nokia Siemens Networks' robust RNC platform as well as our deep technical product expertise and experience in delivering complex projects as a service to operators."

NSN Previews 8 pipes" Remote Radio Head for TD-LTE

Nokia Siemens Networks announced an "8 pipes" remote radio head that provides more flexibility than alternative "path"-based approaches, allowing for the flexible allocation of sectors, carriers and transmit and receive channels by a base station.

The company said its 8 pipes TD-LTE remote radio head significantly increases coverage and capacity and offers up to four times the cost savings as compared to the existing remote radio heads. The new product can drive up to four sectors of TD-LTE in a "2 transmit 2 receive" configuration for up to 50% lower total cost of ownership (TCO) compared to competitor radio heads. It supports 40MHz of channel bandwidth and scales up to 96 watts of transmit power. Moreover, it allows advanced beamforming to deliver exceptionally high downlink capacity.

The company also recently launched a TD-LTE Smart Lab in Taiwan, in collaboration with National Chiao Tung University (NCTU). The lab is also part of Nokia Siemens Networks' TD-LTE co-operation program with China Mobile.

Telstra Launches LTE

Telstra officially launched its 4G LTE service in capital city CBDs and more than 30 regional and metropolitan centres. Telstra also announced that it would launch 4G services in more than 50 additional locations by year's end.

Typical download speeds range from 2Mbps to 40Mbps – up to ten times faster than 3G speeds currently claimed by other Australian telecommunications companies. Typical upload speeds range from 1Mbps to 10Mbps – three times faster than previous generations of mobile broadband in Australia.

The BigPond USB 4G can be purchased by consumer customers for $0 (after rebate) on a range of new 24 month plans – including on a $59.95 per month plan with 8GB of data included each month over 24 months (min cost $1,438.80).

The Telstra USB 4G can be purchased by business customers on a range of plans including $0 upfront on the $39 Telstra Mobile Broadband Standard Plan over 24 months (min total cost $936) with 4GB included data.

Tellabs Packs Content Aware Routing in SmartCore 9200 Series

Tellabs introduced a new family of content-aware SmartCore 9200 edge routers featuring a massive 1 terabit per slot capacity for up to 11.2 Tbps per chassis. The new platforms, which build on the Tellabs 8800 MSR series as a carrier-class edge routing platform for IP/MPLS and Ethernet, leverage a "SmartCard" architecture where the service intelligence is placed on each interface card, providing fine grained visibility and DPI-based traffic management on the card, instead of requiring separate Ethernet cards, Mobile Packet Core cards and DPI cards in each chassis.

Tellabs said its goal in developing its next generation edge routers was to enable traffic engineering optimization where application flows can be identified and policies enforced based on the fluctuating loads on the network. For instance, application flows can be identified for Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, BitTorrent, etc. This would allow the network operators to respond to surges in over the top traffic while ensuring a quality of user experience.

A central feature of the platform is the new Tellabs "GeniOS" Operating System, an open system that enables the operator to manage traffic on an application basis. Tellabs "GeniOS" can provide distributed and virtualized capabilities for the Layer 3-7 infrastructure as well as subscriber management and other third-party applications, such as security and malware programs. A single services control layer enables control of IP/Ethernet, Mobile Packet Core, Analytics and PCEF, Video Services and Security.

Tellabs said it is using a combination of merchant silicon and its own programmable logic devices.

Three versions are initially being introduced: the 11 Tbps SmartCore 9280 Platform, the 4 Tbps SmartCore 9240 Platform with an embedded switch fabric, and the 2 Tbps SmartCore 9220 Platform with an embedded switch fabric. The first interface cards include: SmartCard 1x100G, SmartCard 10x10G, SmartCard 40x1G, and a Centralized Switch Fabric Card.

The Tellabs 8000 Intelligent Network Manager, which already manages all Tellabs products, will manage the Tellabs SmartCore 9200 Series.

Telstra, which has a large installed base Tellabs 8800 MSRs, plans to deploy the new SmartCore 9200 edge routers beginning in 2012. Initially, Telstra plans to deploy the Tellabs SmartCore 9200 series in high-density parts of the network, where scale is needed or where it is looking to drive new services, such as DPI-based services.

Tellabs is also introducing a new "Insight Analytics" Services Network, which will pull data from its SmartCore platforms, mobile backhaul systems and third party probes to deliver deep network intelligence. The solution helps both identify and address network pain points, so operators can improve users' mobile Internet and wireline experiences. Tellabs Insight Analytics Services is in trials with operators and will be generally available in the first quarter of 2012. The Tellabs SmartCore 9100 Probe is available now.

Broadcom Debuts Central Office VDSL2 Chipset with G.Vector

Broadcom introduced a Central Office (CO) VDSL2 SoC that integrates vectoring technology for increasing broadband reach and performance by removing crosstalk interference.

Broadcom's new BCM65300 VDSL2 G.vector Central Office SoC, which represents the company's third generation of standards compliant VDSL2 technology, uses G.vector (ITU-T G.993.5) technology to reduce the interference from subscriber lines located in the same cable binder. It provides vectored services with integrated ATM and PTM channel bonding capability. The new chip also supports all bands ADSL2+ through 30Mhz VDSL2, building on the industry's largest ADSL2+/VDSL2 central office footprint.

IP Infusion's ZebOS 7.9 Adds Data Center, Mobile Backhaul & Carrier Ethernet Features

IP Infusion released the latest version of its ZebOS software for network equipment manufacturers, adding a host of capabilities for data center networking, mobile backhaul and Carrier Ethernet. Some of the top enhancements to ZebOS 7.9 include:

Data Center Networking – ZebOS 7.9 implements the data center bridging extensions to accelerate the transition from Fibre Channel to FCoE in Storage Area Networks (SANs). New capabilities include Priority-based flow control (IEEE 802.1Qbb), enhanced transmission selection (IEEE 802.1az), congestion notification (IEEE 802.1Qau), and Data Center Bridging Exchange (DCBX) protocol, which allows the autoexchange of Ethernet parameters.IP Infusion is also delivering TRILL (Transparent Interconnect of Lots of Links), which eliminates the problems associated with using the Spanning Tree Protocol in a data center network. TRILL enables optimization and load balancing of over-subscribed data center switches and network paths. Network equipment providers can create a fully meshed network where all links are available on all paths, eliminating the need to over provision links and improving the utilization of data center networking equipment. IP Infusion also supports split-control plane architecture.

Mobile Backhaul – ZebOS 7.9 provides the Mobile Backhaul Implementation Agreement for Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF)—MBH IA. The software now supports a variety of circuit emulation methods, including pseudo-wire support for ATM/HDLC emulation. With the addition of IEEE 1588v2 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) support, network equipment providers can deliver sub-microsecond clock accuracy. IP Infusion has also implemented IEEE 802.1ak to enable mobile backhaul providers to dynamically provision VLANs.

Carrier Ethernet – ZebOS 7.9 offers new capabilities to accelerate the transformation to Carrier Ethernet. This includes implementation of the MEF 13 and MEF 20 specifications that define standard services, and open the door to interoperability of networking equipment. To improve manageability, ZebOS implements new service management capabilities, including support for MPLS-TP, providing a reliable packet-based technology for transport networks. Specific protocols implemented: Service management: MPLS-TP—5654, 5960, RFC 5586 (OAM), RFC 5921; Quality of service: MEF 13 and MEF 20.

IP Infusion believes the networking industry is rapidly moving away from the hardware dominated solutions of the early 21st century to a network defined by software platforms. Its ZebOS routing and switching software enables network equipment to rapidly add features to their telco-grade products, as well easily port these products to new platforms that leverage the latest merchant silicon.

“The future of networking is software, and IP Infusion is the de facto standard for software-based routing and switching software platforms,�? said Koichi Narasaki, president and CEO of IP Infusion. “For more than a decade IP Infusion has provided a software platform used in mission-critical networks in mobile backhaul, carrier transport, and data center networks. The latest additions to our ZebOS software will help customers stay ahead of the innovation curve, enabling them to quickly adapt to changing market requirements.�?