Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Eighteen Operators Have Launched LTE in 2011 So Far, Including 3 TDD

The GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) raised its forecast for commercial LTE network launches and is now predicting 100 network launches by end of 2012. Currently, 35 commercial LTE networks are in operation in 21 countries.

GSA now counts185 firm commercial LTE network deployments, 64% higher than a year ago, are in progress or planned in 66 countries, including 35 networks now commercially launched. Another 63 operators in 21 additional countries are engaged in LTE technology trials, tests or studies.

LTE TDD is also market reality following the commercial launch of three networks last month in Saudi Arabia.

The LTE commercial network launches scorecard:
  • 2009: 2 networks launched – all FDD
  • 2010: 15 networks launched – all FDD
  • 2011: 18 networks launched (up to October 10, 2011) - 15 FDD, 3 TDD
GSA also noted that the move towards deploying LTE in re-farmed spectrum, particularly in the 1800 MHz band (i.e. LTE1800) is accelerating. Seven LTE1800 networks are now commercially launched, in Australia, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Singapore. In Australia all three mobile operators have confirmed they will deploy LTE1800 systems (Telstra recently commercially launched its LTE network in this band). In the European Union, where operators are investing today in LTE networks or trials in more than 90% of member countries, GSA expects many of those operators will deploy LTE in 1800 MHz spectrum as part of their network strategy. http://www.gsacom.com 13-Oct-11

Telstra Shareholder to Vote Tuesday on NBN Decommissioning Course

Shareholders in Telstra are expected to vote on Tuesday on the historic pact with the Australian government regarding Telstra's role in the National Broadband Network.

Telstra's Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU) and Migration Plan has two components:
  • it commits Telstra to structural separation by 1 July 2018. This will occur through the progressive disconnection of fixed voice and broadband services on Telstra's copper and HFC networks, and subsequent migration of these services onto the NBN;
  • it sets out the various measures which Telstra will put in place to provide for transparency and equivalence in the supply of regulated services to its wholesale customers during the transition to the NBN.
The deal provides Telstra with replacement revenue, through disconnection payments as the rollout of the NBN occurs, and new revenues, through access payments for the use of Telstra's infrastructure over an assumed average 30 year period. Telstra estimates the value of this arrangement at approximately AUS $11 billion in post-tax net present value over their long-term life. http://www.telstra.com 16-Oct-11
As announced in June 2011, the deal between Telstra and the Australian government provide for the decommission of the Telstra copper network and eventual migration of traffic onto the new fibre infrastructure.
  • Telstra has agreed to disconnect, progressively, copper-based Customer Access Network services and broadband services on its HFC cable network (but not Pay TV services on the HFC) that are provided to premises in the NBN fibre footprint, and will migrate its services onto NBN-based services, over the expected 10 year build period of the NBN;
  • Telstra will provide NBN Co with large scale access to certain infrastructure – dark fibre, exchange space, lead-in-conduits and ducts - at prices based on committed large volume levels of usage and availability. The term of the infrastructure agreement will be between 35 and 40 years (the precise term depends on a number of factors including NBN Co's rollout schedule) from commencement, plus two 10 year options to extend exercisable by NBN Co.
  • The infrastructure will be taken over the course of the NBN rollout and payments made for an assumed average period of 30 years. In order to maximise the availability of this infrastructure, Telstra will undertake necessary work on the infrastructure. Telstra retains ownership of all infrastructure assets, except for those lead-in-conduits used by NBN Co which will become NBN Co property once used;
  • The Government has agreed to a package which includes increased funding for the delivery of the Universal Service Obligation (USO), clarification of Telstra's USO responsibilities for the supply of infrastructure in new developments in the NBN environment, and the avoidance of certain costs to Telstra through various funding measures such as funding of a public information campaign, and for employee retraining; and
  • Telstra and NBN Co have also agreed to key product feature and price commitments relating to NBN Co's basic voice and data offering. These will be addressed in NBN Co's full product terms, which remain subject to further development and industry consultation.

Level 3 Sets New IP Peering Policy

Level 3 Communications posted a revised peering policy for IP traffic exchanged within the United States. The company said that one fundamental aspect of the new policy is a requirement that carriers adjust routing practices and interconnection locations so that the distance and volume of traffic carried by each party on their backbone network remains equitable.

The revised policy sets forth four overarching principles that Level 3 believes should control all next-generation peering arrangements:
  • The primary objective of a peering arrangement is to enable each party to deliver high-quality service to its Internet customers.
  • The interconnection architecture and traffic exchange practices of each party should assure that the exchange of traffic is resilient, secure and quickly scalable.
  • Regardless of the direction or type of traffic exchanged between the networks, or the technology used to deliver it, the parties should work together to implement routing practices and adjust location of interconnection points such that each party bears a reasonably equal share of backbone burdens - taking into account the amount of traffic carried by each party and the distance over which that traffic is carried. This will give each party the option to use its own backbone network to balance backbone network burdens between the parties and thus eliminate the need to impose charges to interconnect or carry traffic.
  • Any termination or modification of a peering arrangement should be managed by both parties in a manner that minimizes adverse impacts to each party's customers and the overall operation of the Internet.
Level 3 said the updated policy was created to address questions raised by the Department of Justice during its review of Level 3's acquisition of Global Crossing Limited. The revised policy takes effect immediately across the networks of Level 3 and Global Crossing.

"For too long, peering practices between Internet carriers have focused solely on the commercial needs of the carriers," said Jack Waters, chief technology officer for Level 3. "We believe that the focus should be on customers, and that carriers must attempt to structure and implement fair and equitable interconnection relationships and practices that are designed to deliver fast, secure, reliable and quickly scalable Internet services to customers. Peering relationships and practices from a decade ago were implemented when traffic was dominated by email and text-based communications, and periodic interruptions in Internet service were common. Today, residential, governmental and commercial users rely on the Internet for rich content and applications, and demand better performance in an increasingly dynamic Internet environment. Fair, equitable, scalable and dynamic interconnection is essential to deliver that experience." 
http://www.level3.com/Legal/IP-Traffic-Exchange-Policy 12-Oct-11
  • In November 2010, Level 3 Communications and Comcast got into a public spat regarding IP peering after Level 3 became the primary CDN for Netflix.

FCC Chairman Announces Public-Private Broadband Adoption Initiative

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a national public-private partnership program that seeks to overcome the chief obstacles that have prevented one-third of all Americans – 100 million people from adopting broadband high-speed Internet at home. These obstacles are digital literacy, relevance and cost.

The FCC will work with public libraries and schools across the country on programs to boost digital literacy, especially among the elderly, disadvantaged and unemployed. The FCC is also supporting "Connect to Compete," a nationwide initiative with the private sector to tackle America's broadband adoption challenge. As part of this initiative, Best Buy will put its 20,000 Geek Squad agents to work beginning in 20 cities to train Americans in basic digital literacy. The Geek Squad will also train trainers, working with community groups to train others how to teach digital literacy.

Microsoft has announced it will build a state-of-the-art online digital literacy training center, with videos and other easy-to-follow content. Others participating in the initiative are National Urban League, 4-H, the Boys and Girls Club, Goodwill, Connected Nation, the NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Council of La Raza, and the Asian American Justice Center.

Careerbuilder.com and Monster.com are participating by offering a "skills gap monitor" for identifying opportunities where online training or certification could make a difference between finding a job
and not. MetrixLearning and Virtual Solutions will provide some online job training courses.

Lantiq Brings HD Voice Quality to 2.4 GHz Cordless Home Phones

Lantiq has expanded its family of single-chip solutions for advanced cordless home telephony with a new 2.4 GHz COSIC WDCT device for DECT phones targeted at Asia-Pacific countries and emerging markets that use this unlicensed frequency range.

It supports wideband voice and low-rate data services (similar to European CAT-iq™ feature-set) to make the cordless phone a value-added component of a digital home. The device's wideband coding and transmission and advanced acoustic echo cancellation results in brilliant HD voice quality for conversation and recording, including full duplex hands free speaking with HD sound. It feautres adaptive collision detection and channel selection for co-existence with 2.4 GHz wireless LAN, and a high-signal-to-noise ratio (sensitivity approx. -98 dbm) reduces transmit power requirement and achieves better range performance than alternative devices.

All members of Lantiq's COSIC family integrate baseband controller, RF transceiver and power amplifier on single silicon chip, resulting in lowest system Bill of Material (BOM) cost, optimized manufacturing and logistics, smallest PCB footprint and low power consumption.

LightSquared Signs Aircado for Towns and Small Cities

LightSquared signed a wholesale wireless broadband agreement wit Aircado, which is targeting smaller towns and cities across the country. Aircado serves "micropolitan" towns and cities with populations of 10,000-100,000.

"With LightSquared's nationwide 4G-LTE network, we can implement our unique community-based business model and deliver wireless broadband services to small but important towns throughout America," said Loren Wengerd, Aircado CEO. "LightSquared's network and attractive wholesale-only economics allow us to advance the delivery of our services in the markets we plan to serve at a dramatically quicker pace, while offering competitively priced products to our growing base of customers."http://www.lightsquared.com

IP Smart Object Interoperability Event Held in Silicon Valley

The IPSO Alliance hosted a multi-vendor IP Smart Object interoperability event in Santa Clara, California to implementations of 6LoWPAN, IPv6, and COAP, the new protocol being developed by the IETF for embedded devices.

During the interop event, devices using multiple different communications technologies including 802.15.4, 802.15.4e and powerline communications (PLC) shared command and control information directly between devices at the event, as well as with devices located at other participants' sites around the world. IPSO member companies that participated in the interop were Convergence Wireless, Dust Networks, NXP Semiconductor, Proto6, Sensinode, Symphony Networks, Ubilogix and Watteco.

Verizon Wireless' Test Fleet Adds 4G Monitoring Equipment

The fleet of test vehicles operated by Verizon Wireless is being equipped with 4G testing and monitoring equipment to encompass all of the major operating networks in the U.S. today. Specifically, the field testers are using testing equipment from Ascom to perform mobile data tests on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network as it continues to roll out across the country. The collected data will be used to measure network performance, benchmark against competitors, and assist Verizon Wireless network engineers who are responsible for maintaining and planning improvements and expansions of the company's network. The fleet includes about 100 test vehicles.

"Verizon Wireless has a firm commitment to the quality and performance that has made our wireless network the most respected in the United States," said David Small, vice president and chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless. "The addition of 4G testing equipment enables our nationwide fleet of test men and women to test our 1X, 3G and 4G networks as we continue to strive to deliver the superior wireless experience our customers expect from Verizon Wireless."http://www.verizonwireless.com

BlackBerry Blackout Expands on its Third Day

Research in Motion suffered a third day of disruption to its BlackBerry service with outages and slowdowns expanding to the United States, Canada and corporate networks. RIM's CIO Robin Bienfait began posting regular updates on the crisis, stating that traffic is now moving through the network and that the company hope to restore normal service levels soon. No technical details on the cause of the disruption has been confirmed apart from a switch failure on Tuesday at a data center in the UK.

"You've depended on us for reliable, real-time communications, and right now we're letting you down. We are taking this very seriously and have people around the world working around the clock to address this situation. We believe we understand why this happened and we are working to restore normal service levels in all markets as quickly as we can." Robin Bienfait. Chief Information Officer, RIMhttp://www.rim.com/newsroom/service-update.shtml

Pacific Crossing and Infinera Complete 100G Subsea Trial -- 9,500km

Infinera and Pacific Crossing, a wholly owned subsidiary of NTT Communications, have completed a 100 Gbps trial using the PC-1 transpacific submarine cable system. The test spanned more than 9,500 kilometers from California to Japan.

Infinera said this trial demonstrates the unique ability to deliver two industry firsts. The 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) demonstration was the first transmission of a 100 GbE client service carried across the Pacific using 40 Gbps optical channels with Infinera's FlexCoherent transmission. The success of this trial was based on Infinera's commercially available 40 Gbps optical line module and 100 GbE client interface on Infinera's DTN platform.

The second demonstration was the first realization of a 100 Gbps optical channel using binary phase shift keying (BPSK) with soft decision forward error correction (SD FEC) that will be available in the future on Infinera's DTN-X platform. Infinera's FlexCoherent technology enables service providers to optimize transmission performance across a range of applications using multiple software-programmable modulation formats. Infinera recently announced the availability of new DTN capabilities and the new DTN-X platform featuring both photonic integrated circuit (PIC) based super-channels and FlexCoherent transmission. http://www.infinera.com

Clearwire -- 29% Sequential Growth in Wholesale Subscribers

Clearwire updated its guidance for the financial community noting strong growth in wholesale 4G subscribers during Q3. The new figures:

  • Record quarterly revenues of approximately $332 million are expected for the third quarter 2011, representing an increase of approximately 126% year over year.

  • Net wholesale subscriber additions are expected to total a record 1.9 million for third quarter 2011, representing approximately 29% sequential growth in ending wholesale subscribers. Third quarter 2011 ending subscribers are expected to be approximately 9.5 million.

  • As a result of growth of its subscriber base and reductions in operating expenses, Clearwire expects to have improved Adjusted EBITDA loss by more than 50% in third quarter 2011 as compared to pro forma Adjusted EBITDA loss in second quarter 2011.

  • Cash, cash equivalents and investments as of September 30, 2011 are expected to be approximately $700 million.

Crossbeam's 6th Generation Blades Scale Security to 640 Gbps per Platform

Crossbeam Systems introduced sixth generation network processing blades and a major upgrade to its X-Series Operating System (XOS 9.6), enabling its network security platform to scale up for the security performance requirements of 4G mobile network operators.
The Crossbeam X-Series security platform can now scale to cope with 100 million concurrent IP connections and 640 Gbps of full duplex network connectivity.

Crossbeam's blades combine Intel core processors, network processors from other vendors and proprietary technology to scale performance of deep packet inspection applications. The new 9610 and 9650 Network Processing Modules (NPM) enable the consolidation of four times more network security infrastructure. Crossbeam said an average of 100 one-rack unit security devices and related networking hardware can be consolidated on a single X-Series platform.

Crossbeam enables the integration of NetFlow monitoring so service providers can measure the status and performance of data traffic on their networks. It also supports Traffic Steering, making it possible for service providers to send specific traffic types, such as video or SSL, to different security services running inside the X-Series. This dramatically improves the efficiency of the system by only inspecting what is necessary to secure the network, thus optimizing processing power and lowering capital expenses.

“Security performance is much more than vanilla speeds and feeds. While throughput and latency are critical elements, you also must consider the type of traffic and packet sizes involved for both current and future requirements,�? said Chet Gapinski, vice president of product development at Crossbeam. “This is something Crossbeam has been acutely aware of in working with customers – including 16 of the top 20 fixed and mobile operators – and the improvements we've made to the X-Series are designed to ease the burden they face in planning and delivering intelligent, scalable and high-performing security architectures.�?http://www.crossbeam.com

Internet2 & ESnet Activate Transcontinental 100G

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and Internet2 have activated transcontinental 100 Gbps links using coherent technology. The network, which uses Ciena's 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, now has 100 Gbps optical backbone connections operational between New York, Washington D.C., Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Sunnyvale spanning a distance nearly 4000 miles.

"This new coast-to-coast capacity represents the first major milestone in completing the nation's most advanced platform for network-based innovation,�? said Rob Vietzke, Executive Director of Network Services for Internet2. “Prior innovations from the research and education community have given us the Internet itself, the world-wide web and social networking. We can only imagine what the major new capabilities of this new network might enable in a classroom, research lab or health clinic." http://www.internet2.edu

  • In July 2011, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Internet2 announced plans to build one of the world's fastest and most advanced scientific networks on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy (ESnet).

    Berkeley Lab has received $62 million in funding to create the Advanced Networking Initiative (ANI) in order to develop a 100 Gbps prototype network between DOE's supercomputing centers to facilitate research and experimentation around this new technology. The prototype network is a key step to the DOE's vision of an eventual 1 terabit wavelength network to connect DOE facilities. Part of the ANI funding was also used to create a high-performance reconfigurable testbed where researchers and industry can test advanced concepts in networking and develop new protocols. Under the project, ESnet and Internet2 will build and operate the 100 Gbps ANI prototype network using one of the first national-scale deployments of 100 GigE. Internet2 will use fiber from Level 3 Communications' network. ESnet will also have the option to access 4.4 terabits per second (Tbps) of capacity for the ESnet ANI network using Ciena's 6500 Packet-Optical Platform. The ESnet ANI prototype network will initially connect three DOE unclassified supercomputing centers: the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Berkeley Lab, Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) in Tennessee, and Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) in Illinois, as well as the Manhattan Landing International Exchange Point (MANLAN) in New York.

    During the prototype phase, the network will be used for applications and networking research, including connecting the Magellan cloud computing resources at NERSC to ALCF, and the Acadia project, which will develop network interface controller (NIC) hardware and device-driver/protocol-specific software for host and gateway systems operating at 40 and 100 Gbps. The prototype network will also serve as a platform for building out technologies leading to an eventual 1-terabit per second wavelength network.