Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dell'Oro: Mobile Infrastructure Spending Increased 15% in 2011

In 2011, the mobile infrastructure RAN market recorded its strongest full-year revenue growth since 2004. - up 15% over 2010 -- according to a recently published report by Dell'Oro Group. The strong momentum that drove the mobile infrastructure RAN market in the first three quarters of 2011 slowed down significantly in 4Q11 paving the way for slower growth in 2012.

"While operators in North America maintained capex guidance for 2011 and front end loaded investments were expected, it was the shift in product mix from capacity to LTE coverage that resulted in weaker than anticipated wireless infrastructure investments," commented Stefan Pongratz, Analyst of Mobile Infrastructure research at Dell'Oro Group. "The product mix will have a large impact on the equipment market in 2012. LTE RAN investments accounted for 40 percent of global mobile RAN growth in 2011 and there are no major signs yet of operators holding back LTE rollouts as a result of a challenging macro economic environment," continued Pongratz.

F5 to Acquire Traffix Systems for its 4G Diameter Signaling

F5 Networks has agreed to acquire Traffix Systems, a developer of 4G Diameter signaling systems, for an undisclosed sum.

Traffix, which is based in New Jersey with offices in the UK and Israel, has focused on solutions for the Diameter control plane with a portfolio of Diameter products including a Diameter Gateway, Diameter Load Balancer and Diameter Router. The company claims of 100 active deployments, many with leading operators worldwide.

“Leading industry experts and service providers recognize the need for converged and unified IP solutions across carriers’ control, data, and application planes, which scale, secure, and optimize 3G, 4G/LTE, and IMS traffic,�? said John McAdam, President and CEO of F5 Networks. “The result is a dramatic reduction of complexity and costs, making service provider networks more agile. With this move, F5 continues to execute on the company’s vision of delivering an adaptable architecture to enable its customers to create a smart, converged carrier IP infrastructure.�?

“Bringing together F5’s superior expertise in IP for applications and data with Traffix’s industry leadership in Diameter and signaling for the control plane, F5 has the unique depth and breadth to make the transition from 3G to 4G and IMS much simpler, cost effective, and non-disruptive for carriers,�? said Ben Volkow, CEO of Traffix Systems.
  • Last year, Traffix Systems introduced its Signaling Delivery Controller (SDC) -- a unified platform that supports fully-featured solutions of a Diameter Gateway, Diameter Load Balancer and Diameter Router. This provides interfaces for both legacy and LTE/HSPA+ signaling network technologies and protocols.

Cisco Supplies 4G/LTE Core for Magyar Telekom

Magyar Telekom, which serves 5.2 million mobile customers and is part of the Deutsche Telekom, has deployed the Cisco ASR 5000 Series Mobile Multimedia Core, Cisco ASR 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routers, and Cisco ME 3800X Series Carrier Ethernet Switch Routers for its 4G/LTE network.

The operator embarked on its large-scale network modernizing project in May 2011. Its first 4G/LTE-based mobile Internet service was launched on January 1, 2012, when 40 percent of Budapest's population was covered by 4G/LTE base stations. Magyar Telekom expects to have all Budapest areas covered by end of 2012.

ITU's World Radiocommunication Conference Pushes for 700 MHz Mobile Broadband

Following four weeks of negotiations in Geneva, the World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 came to a conclusion with the signing of the Final Acts that revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. A total of 153 countries are expected to sign the treaty, which significantly call for global harmonization of the use of the 700 MHz band for mobile broadband communications.

In addition to the use of the 790-862 MHz in Regions 1 and 3, WRC-12 considered further spectrum allocations to the mobile service, including International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) to facilitate the development of terrestrial mobile broadband applications in the frequency band 694 – 790 MHz.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun TourĂ© expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the Conference. “WRC-12 has helped define new and better ways to regulate radio services and applications, and represents a major contribution in making the world a better place for all,�? Dr TourĂ© said. “The work done here will make the world a better place to communicate – and that will make the world a better place to live in.�? He highlighted the achievements of WRC-12 in allocating spectrum resources for mobile broadband and for addressing the digital dividend issue which “now provides for a great deal of global harmonization of the use of the 700 MHz band for all regions by the services which most need it�?. He also commended the delegates on the attention given to Earth observation radiocommunication applications, which are crucial for monitoring and combating climate change and for disaster prediction.

The next World Radiocommunication Conference is expected to be held in 2015.

Australia's Optus to Acquire Unwired Broadband

Seven Group Holdings has agreed to sell its Vividwireless business and the associated Unwired broadband business to Optus, a subsidiary of the SingTel Group, for A$230 million. Through the acquisition, Optus will gain 98MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz band, enabling to expand its 4G offerings.

NSN Opens Silicon Valley Testing Lab

Nokia Siemens Networks has opened a mobile broadband testing and development facility in Silicon Valley.

The Smart Lab allows US-based operators, smartphone and operating system (OS) vendors, and application developers to analyze application and device performance across ‘live’ mobile network environments, including LTE.

The company is featuring a new Smart Lab Performance Advisor tool that provides instant insights into app and device behavior. Each application and device tested is ranked by comparing test results to a database of network performance indicators. Operators can use this ranking to get a thorough understanding of application and device impact, and achieve the most effective network configuration to minimize such impact.

“Smartphones with always-connected applications introduce a new type of network behavior, and increase volatility in mobile broadband demand,�? said Jan Hellman, head of Smart Labs at Nokia Siemens Networks. “This can considerably increase signaling traffic and drastically reduce smartphone battery life, and thus impact user experience. Our Smart Labs provide the world’s leading mobile broadband testing facilities and collaboration with other industry players allowing us to better advise our customers on how to make their networks more smartphone friendly.�?

NSN and Qualcomm Develop HSPA+ Multiflow,

Nokia Siemens Networks and Qualcomm are developing an HSPA+ Multiflow capability that delivers flows from multiple base stations to specially equipped devices.

HSPA+ Multiflow allows devices located close to the edge of a mobile base station’s cell to connect with a second base station serving a neighboring cell. The ‘Multiflow’ name refers to the two different paths data can then take to reach a device. Essentially, two data streams are delivered from base stations in two adjacent cells to a single user device instead of one data stream from one base station as is the case with HSPA+. The companies claim Multiflow can deliver up to double the data speed and up to 50% faster response compared to existing HSPA+ networks.

HSPA+ Multiflow is expected to be standardized in 3GPP Release 11 later this year. Nokia Siemens Networks expects to deliver a commercial HSPA+ Multiflow implementation in 2013.

The demonstration at MWC 2012 will be conducted using Nokia Siemens Networks’ commercial Single RAN equipment . Three prototype USB dongles from Qualcomm will be connected to the HSPA+ network via a radio frequency network emulator. The HSPA+ Multiflow will show up to 100% throughput increase in the cell edge area for the multiflow-capable user equipment, while legacy user equipment will experience neither gains nor degradation.
  • In September 2011, Nokia Siemens Networks and Qualcomm demonstrated a multi-band, multi-carrier HSPA+ data call with peak throughput of 336 Mbps. The demo used a commercial Flexi Multiradio Base Station and Multicontroller platform alongside MDM8220 test terminals from Qualcomm. It combined a total of eight HSPA carriers (multi-carrier), each carrying 42 Mbps with MIMO and 64 QAM modulation. This configuration can be allocated from one or multiple frequency bands (multiband), simultaneously for one data connection of over 300 Mbps. Multi-carrier and multiband HSPA is standardized in 3GPP Release 8 through 11, and the standardization for eight carriers is expected to be completed by 2012. The eight-carrier product will be available from Nokia Siemens Networks by end of 2012.

    Nokia Siemens Networks noted that it is driving the standardization of Long Term HSPA Evolution to achieve speeds of more than 650 Mbps.