Wednesday, January 4, 2012

SK Telecom Implements HetNet Integration for 3G + LTE + Wi-Fi

SK Telecom is implementing Heterogeneous Network Integration technology that enables simultaneous use of different types of networks including 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi.

The technology seamlessly integrates two heterogeneous networks -- i.e. 3G and Wi-Fi, or LTE and Wi-Fi -- to provide a unified data service, the speed of which is the sum of two network speeds.

SK Telecom, which claims to be the first carrier in the world to implement this technology, said it is able to deliver up to 100 Mbps.

SK Telecom plans to implement this solution to enable simultaneous use of 3G and Wi-Fi networks in the second quarter of 2012 to realize a theoretical maximum speed of 60 Mbps service and begin LTE and Wi-Fi integrated service in 2013 to offer a 100 Mbps ultra-high speed wireless Internet service.

The first smartphone supporting Heterogeneous Network Integration technology is expected to become available this year. SK Telecom expects to apply the technology to all its handsets to be launched in 2013, after conducting an analysis of consumer responses and a study on the data distribution effect.

SK Telecom also said it will push for standardization of Heterogeneous Network Integration technolgy through 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and Telecommunication Standardization Sector of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU-T).

SK Telecom plans to demo this technology at the upcoming Mobile World Congress 2012 next month in Barcelona.

Canada's Xplornet Deploys Sandvine for QoE Measurement & Control

Xplornet Communications, which is building a 4G rural broadband service for Canada that combines a fixed-wireless network on the ground and two 4G satellites in space, will deploy Sandvine's Network Analytics product. The equipment provides an intelligence layer to measure quality of experience for their customers; especially for those using applications such as streaming video.

“With Sandvine’s Network Analytics product, we will have intelligent, real-time visibility into how our network is performing with respect to the activities that are increasingly critical for our customers. We will then be empowered to allocate network resources appropriately to optimize customer experience�? said David Miles, Chief Network Officer at Xplornet Communications Inc.

“When you watch a video online, you know whether or not the quality is acceptable – but your service provider has little or no insight into your quality of experience,�? said Tom Donnelly, COO, Sales and Global Services, Sandvine. “Forward-thinking service providers like Xplornet are using Sandvine’s Real-Time Entertainment Dashboard to quantify the online quality and implement measures to help ensure a positive subscriber experience.�?

Broadcom Launches First Gigabit Speed 802.11ac Chips

Broadcom introduced its first family of 802.11ac chips, promising devices that are three times faster and up to six times more power efficient than equivalent 802.11n solutions. The company is positioning its 802.11ac "5G WiFi" silicon as "a major evolutionary step from the existing 802.11a/b/g/n networks" as its will boost the wireless rate and the range in the home, allowing consumers to watch HD-quality video from more devices, in more places, simultaneously.

Broadcom's family of 5G WiFi solutions includes the BCM4360, BCM4352, BCM43526 and BCM43516. Some highlights:

  • 80 MHz channel bandwidth that is 2 times wider than current 802.11n solutions

  • 256-QAM, a higher modulation scheme that increases data transfer efficiency

  • Transmit and receive beamforming

  • Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) Codes

  • Space-Time Block Codes (STBC)

  • BCM4360 supports the PCIe interface and implements 3-stream 802.11ac specifications, and reaches speeds up to 1.3 Gbps.
    BCM4352 and BCM43526 implement 2-stream 802.11ac specification to reach up to 867 Mbps. BCM4352 supports PCIe interface; BCM43526 supports the USB interface.

  • BCM43516 supports USB and reaches speeds of up to 433 Mbps with its single stream 802.11ac implementation.

  • Chips with the PCIe interface are ideal for access points, routers, DSL/cable gateways and PC products; chips that use USB are ideal for consumer electronics devices including televisions, set-top boxes and Blu-Ray players.

Mindspeed Cuts Financial Guidance

Mindspeed Technologies cuts its financial guidance for its fiscal first quarter of 2012, which ended on December 30, 2011. The company now expects revenues in its fiscal first quarter of 2012 to be approximately $33.3 million. The company's previous guidance for fiscal first quarter revenue was to be in the range of $35.9 million to $37.5 million.

"We continued to experience a weaker demand environment in the fiscal first quarter of 2012, primarily related to a slower work-down of inventory levels in the channel than we had anticipated, across the entire product portfolio," said Raouf Y. Halim, chief executive officer of Mindspeed. "That said, based on positive trends in channel inventory and customer point of sales data through the month of December, as well as current backlog, our perspective is that the demand environment is stabilizing. We also believe we will see improving gross margin trends in the fiscal second quarter," added Mr. Halim.

JDSU Acquires Dyaptive Systems for Wireless Test Emulators

JDSU has acquired Dyaptive Systems, a developer of capacity test solutions for 2G, 3G and 4G wireless networks, for an undisclosed sum.

The Dyaptive test solutions are used to emulated thousands of mobile devices to support network capacity planning. The Dyaptive solutions emulate high-bandwidth applications, such as streaming video across multiple wireless devices, to ensure quality performance for service providers and their customers. Specifically, Dyaptive offers a software-defined, radio-based solution that cost-effectively scales to thousands of application-loaded mobile devices. The company, which is based in Vancouver, generated revenue in the high single-digit millions during the trailing 12-month period. Approximately 40 employees will be joining JDSU.

JDSU said this acquisition expands its test position in LTE trials and deployments by extending network testing in the labs and field to devices and applications.

“Dyaptive’s portfolio complements JDSU’s expansive set of wireless test tools, software and services, extending from the lab to the field and all the way to the end user experience,�? said David Heard, president of JDSU’s Communications Test and Measurement business segment. “JDSU’s focus on mobile service assurance is a key element of our growth strategy as dependence on wireless devices at home, work and play continues to explode worldwide.�?http://www,

Mindspeed to Acquire Picochip

Mindspeed Technologies agreed to acquire U.K.-based Picochip Limited, a leading supplier of integrated system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for small cell base stations, for a purchase price of approximately $51.8 million, plus a potential earnout payment of up to $25 million payable in the first calendar quarter of 2013.

Picochip specializes in femtocell SoCs. Its publicly announced customers include Alpha Networks, AT4 Wireless, Airspan (partnered with Fujitsu), Intel, ip.Access, Ubiquisys (supplying NEC and Motorola), Willtek, Xinwei Telecom, Zyxel and a number of other major OEMs and ODMs.

Mindspeed said the acquisition will make it a clear market leader in small cell base station solutions for next generation mobile broadband communications infrastructure.
  • Picochip was founded in 2000. Its investors have included AT&T, Atlas Venture, Highland Capital Partners, Intel, Pond Venture Partners, Rothschild, Samsung, and Scottish Equity Partners.

AT&T Announces 11 More LTE Networks

AT&T announced LTE rollouts in 11 more markets, including New York City metro area, San Francisco and Los Angeles. This brings AT&T's LTE footprint to 26 markets covering 74 million consumers. Active markets now include Athens, Ga.; Atlanta; Austin; Baltimore; Boston; Chapel Hill; Charlotte; Chicago; Dallas-Fort Worth; Houston; Indianapolis; Kansas City; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; New York City metro area; Oakland, Oklahoma City; Orlando; Phoenix; Raleigh; San Antonio; San Diego; San Juan, Puerto Rico; San Francisco, San Jose, and Washington, D.C..

AT&T noted that it is the only U.S. carrier offering LTE and HSPA+.

John Stankey, President and Chief Executive Officer—AT&T Business Solutions, speaking at Citi’s 22nd Annual Global Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference in San Francisco, said the company regrets that its T-Mobile USA acquisition did not get approved but that it had no regrets about pursuing the deal.

He also noted that at the end of 2011, 80% of AT&T mobile data traffic was be carried on its upgraded Ethernet-based backhaul links.

Another data point, Stankey noted that AT&T is now experiencing less than 1% of dropped calls.
  • AT&T launched its first LTE market on September 19, 2011.

Sprint Confirms LTE Launch in 1H

Sprint confirmed plans to launch commercial LTE services in Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and San Antonio in the first half of 2012. Six other small market launches are also slated for the first half of the year.

As part of its Network Vision program, Sprint is deploying multimode base stations across many of its cell sites throughout the country. The company said 3G customers will notice improvements in voice quality, signal density and data speeds as this occurs. The first completed deployment of a multimode base station was in Branchburg, N.J., in December 2011. As additional areas receive 3G enhancements and 4G LTE service, announcements will be made.

“Within the first half of 2012, Sprint customers should experience first-hand the wide-reaching improvements we have made in terms of boosting voice and data quality,�? said Bob Azzi, senior vice president – Network, Sprint. “With advanced smartphones and sophisticated wireless modems, our customers are using more and more mobile data, and one of our top priorities is to provide the best technology possible to improve our customers’ experience.�?

Speaking at Citigroup Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference , Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said the company is holding off on any further investment in LightSquared until its spectrum interference issues are resolved. The company has extended an internal deadline with LightSquared to the end of the month, hoping the issues will be resolved.

Hesse also admitted that the carrier throttles data capacity to about 1% of its unlimited data plan users when their usage becomes excessive.
  • Under its Network Vision plan, Sprint will repurpose some of its 800MHz spectrum for Sprint 3G service, thereby enhancing coverage, particularly the in-building experience for customers. Augmenting its 1.9GHz footprint with 800MHz, Sprint expects its CDMA coverage density will increase throughout the country. More density generally equates to fewer dropped calls and a more seamless network experience for customers.

  • Sprint's suppliers include Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung.>/li>