Friday, May 18, 2012

Motorola Mobility Showcases Home Connectivity Vision, HEVC

At The Cable Show this week in Boston, Motorola Mobility is showcasing its latest innovations for cable operators offering whole home connectivity, including its DCX3600 Video Gateway – a nextgen set-top positioned as the entertainment hub in the living room... and morphing into the Center of the IP Connected Home.

Motorola Mobility is also demonstrating HEVC video compression technology, which reduces bandwidth by 50 percent in comparison to MPEG4 AVC/H.264 at similar video quality. HEVC was jointly developed by ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG). It promises better video delivery over wireless link, including Wi-Fi and cellular.

Time Warner Cable has selected the company's SecureMedia Encryptonite ONE HLS+ solution for securing video streams across a variety of devices – including smartphones, tablets, game consoles, connected TVs and Blu-Ray players. 

NTT Com Connects with Brunei

NTT Communications and Brunei International Gateway (BIG), a joint venture of government and telecommunications companies in Brunei, agreed to collaborate in providing local Internet service providers (ISPs) with IPv4/IPv6 dual stack global access via NTT Com's Tier-1 global IP network. BIG's local infrastructure will provide direct connections to NTT Com's Tier-1 network.

NTT Com is BIG's first partner to establish an International Internet Gateway (IIG) for ISPs in Brunei and nearby regions of neighboring countries. Several local ISPs already connect separately to global ISPs, but the IIG will unify connections for greater efficiency. 

Carlos Slim Gets Honorary Degree from George Washington U.

Carlos Slim, the Chairman and CEO Telmex and América Móvil and currently the world's richest person, was awarded an honorary degree from George Washington University. Hundreds of protesters picketed the university in Washington D.C., arguing that Slim amassed his great fortune by working to block any meaningful competition in the Mexican telecommunications market and then using his monopoly to price-gouged Mexican customers billions of dollars for basic telephone and Internet service. http:// 

Insight Research: U.S. Telecom Business Services Continues to Grow

U.S. businesses will spend $154 billion for telecommunications services in 2012 and business spending on wired and wireless calling will grow to $184 billion by the close of 2016, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8 percent over the forecast period, according to a new market report from Insight Research.

Insight's newly released market analysis report, "Telecom Services in Vertical Markets, 2011-2016" found that business spending for cellular and other wireless services is creating all of the growth, while spending on wireline services will be essentially flat over the five year forecast horizon.

Wireless expenditures are expected to grow at a compounded rate of 9.4 percent over the period of 2011-2016. Four vertical industries – wholesale trade; financial, insurance, and real estate services; professional business services; and communications -- account for 68 percent of total business telecom expenditures in 2011. The study analyzes 14 vertical industries categorized by the NAICS, and focuses on corporate spending for wireline and wireless telecommunications services in each of the 14 industries.

"The U.S. telecommunications industry continues to show modest revenue growth, driven by business Internet and mobility solutions," says Fran Caulfield, Research Director for Insight Research. "As US business activity recovers, employment and network traffic increase. In parallel, business applications shift to the cloud and end users shift to wireless access, driving higher network and wireless revenues for service providers," Caulfield concluded. 

Google + Moto Mobility Deal Gets Regulatory Approval from China

Google's bid to acquire Motorola Mobility received regulatory clearance from the Chinese authorities.

The deal was first announced on Aug. 15, 2011. The companies say the merger will "supercharge" Android.

Motorola Mobility is the holder of a portfolio of approximately 17,000 issued patents and 6,800 applications, including hundreds of standard essential patents (SEPs) relevant to wireless devices that Motorola Mobility committed to license through its participation in standard-setting organizations (SSOs). 

Huawei Previews 12.5GHz DWDM

Huawei unveiled a WDM prototype based on a flexible 12.5 GHz wavelength grid , improving upon the current mainstream commercial products that use a 50GHz of 25 GHz fixed spectrum interval. The flexibility of the wavelength spacing lays a foundation for multi-carrier technologies and next-generation bandwidth-flexible optical networks beyond 100G.

Huawei said its WDM prototype developed increases the spectrum utilization for large-capacity WDM systems. The WDM prototype supports 40G, 100G, 400G and 1T hybrid transmissions and is compatible with the 50GHz or 25GHz spectrum interval legacy systems. It provides smooth evolution from 40G and 100G systems to 400G and 1T systems, effectively protecting investment on current networks. Huawei expects next-generation, bandwidth-flexible optical networks will leverage systems capable of automatic adjustment of the modulation mode and line rate based on the transmission distance and service capacity, constantly changing the frequency width utilization. The 12.5GHz granularity enables flexibility in the adjustment of bandwidth, distance, and frequency width, freeing up more of the available spectrum to transmit services.

Jack Wang, president of Huawei Transport Network Product Line, said: "After releasing the world’s first 10 petabit all-optical switch prototype and the 400G DWDM prototype, Huawei has provided a preview of next-generation optical networks by unveiling the highest efficiency spectrum WDM prototype. Huawei is committed to providing innovative solutions in the field of optical networks and to making significant contributions in broadband network construction to further develop next-generation optical transmission technologies."

Comcast Launches Skype on Xfinity

Comcast began marketing "Skype on Xfinity" widescreen HD video calling in its first two markets: Boston and Seattle. The service rolls out later this week in Atlanta, Augusta, Ga., Chicago, Detroit, Harrisburg, Pa., Indianapolis, Miami and Pittsburgh.

The service allows users to make and receive Skype-to-Skype video and audio calls or send instant messages via Skype on a TV while watching a TV show at the same time, and accept incoming Skype calls during a TV show with the help of Caller ID.

Pricing is set at $9.95 per month for qualifying Xfinity Triple Play customers.

Dell'Oro: LTE RAN Investments Grow in Q1

Despite the challenging macro economic environment, mobile operators are investing in LTE networks while slowing down spending on the 2G/3G mobile Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment, according to a new Mobile RAN Quarterly report from Dell'Oro Group. Some highlights:
  • LTE RAN revenues up more than 160 percent versus 1Q11

  • There were more than 60 commercial LTE networks at the end of 1Q12

  • There were 15 million LTE subscriptions at the end of 1Q12, up 70 percent Q/Q

  • TDD LTE markets have been commercialized in Japan.

Deutsche Telekom Q1 Revenues Slide, Profits Up

Deutsche Telekom's Q1 revenue declined 1.1 percent to EUR 14.4 billion compared to a year ago, while EBITDA remained stable at EUR 4.5 billion, and adjusted EDITDA margin hit 31.0 percent, 0.4 percentage points higher than one year before.

Domestic net revenue amounted to EUR 6.4 billion, around EUR 0.2 billion lower than in the first three
months of 2011. International net revenue remained on a par with the level in the prior-year quarter at
EUR 8.0 billion.

"This was a very satisfying quarter for us," said René Obermann, Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Telekom. "We have made significant progress in many areas and can now confirm our guidance for the year."

The company cited macroeconomic worries in Europe, intense competition and price changes imposed by the regulatory authorities as having a negative effect.

Some highlights:

In the German mobile market
  • Mobile contract net adds were -107k – due to customer migration of one reseller

  • Smartphone sales in Q1: 863k smartphones, of which 291k iPhones

  • LTE coverage increased to 25% of population (+11pp quarter-on-quarter)

  • Total subscriber base is 35,100,000

     In the German fixed line division:
  • Line losses were 24% below last year: 259k in Q1 (339k in Q1/11)

  • Broadband customers were up+2.5%: 12,367k, 102k net adds in Q1

  • Entertain customers were up +37%: 1,725k total, 173k net adds in Q1

  • Retail fiber customers (VDSL) were up +67%: 674k total, 66k net adds in Q1

Gogo and AeroSat Offer Satellite Internet for Airlines

Gogo announced a new partnership with AeroSat, a satellite equipment provider, to bring a Ku-satellite solution to commercial airlines.  The Ku-satellite solution will allow Gogo to offer airlines connectivity services that extend beyond the United States in the near term, including transoceanic routes, until Inmarsat's Global Xpress Ka-satellite service becomes available.

AeroSat will deliver the Ku-satellite antenna, radome, antenna control and modem unit and high power transceiver to Gogo.  The AeroSat equipment will be coupled with Gogo's onboard hardware and software (server and access points).

Gogo recently announced that it will be one of two global service providers of Inmarsat's Global Xpress™ Ka-satellite service. The launch of the first of three Inmarsat-5 satellites is scheduled for mid-2013.  Gogo expects to offer Global Xpress Ka-satellite service after the launch of all three I-5 satellites starting in late 2014 or early 2015.

"As a company, Gogo has always considered itself technology neutral.  Our goal is to provide the right technology to meet the connectivity needs of any aircraft size and any aircraft mission," said Gogo's president and CEO Michael Small.  "By adding a Ku-based offering, we will be qualified to offer our airline partners a wide range of technology solutions.  Whether it's by using our exclusive air to ground and ATG-4 technologies, Ku-satellite or, in the near future, Inmarsat's Global Xpress Ka-satellite technologies, we expect to be able to service all aircraft."

DOCOMO Extends Cloud Services

NTT DOCOMO is preparing to launch an array of new personal services for smartphone and tablet users under a new "docomo cloud" brand.

The cloud strategy, which the company highlighted in its financial report issued late last month, aims to transform the company into being a "trusted personal agent" of its customers rather than a dumb pipe. Since launching its "Shabette-Concier" voice command-based app for Android on March 1, DOCOMO has logged over 2 million downloads. Starting next month, Shabette-Concier voice command-based app will be enhanced to provide precise answers to inquiries on a wide range of topics.
In June, DOCOMO will launch, Mail-Hon’yaku-Concier, an app that automatically translates text messages, such as e-mails and social networking messages, between Japanese and English/Chinese/Korean. The service uses cloud-based mobile interpretation technologies that DOCOMO currently is developing.

In August, DOCOMO will begin providing users with 5GB of free cloud storage for photos and videos. The service recognizes facial features and scenes for automatic sorting and grouping. Photo Collection will link to external services like Evernote, Eye-Fi and HighlightCam.

Also in August, DOCOMO will enhance its dmarket portal for smartphone and tablet apps and content. Content purchased from DOCOMO’s VIDEO Store, MUSIC Store, BOOK Store or ANIME Store can be enjoyed for no extra charge on multiple devices registered to the same subscriber.

Infonetics: 23% Drop in Optical Network Market in 1Q12

Spending on optical gear dropped 23% globally in the first quarter of 2012 (1Q12) from the previous quarter, according to a newly released Optical Network Hardware vendor market share report from Infonetics. Carrier spending in Europe was down sharply, making 1Q12 the worst quarter for optical capex in the region in over 5 years.

"While optical hardware revenue trends in all world regions were not positive in the first quarter of 2012, the most alarming development is that year-over-year in EMEA – particularly Europe – spending on WDM optical equipment decreased faster than spending on legacy SDH equipment," notes Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research. "This is not the behavior of a region experiencing only a minor quarterly pullback. By contrast, the trend in North America was the opposite, with carriers cutting spending year-over-year but allocating towards forward-looking technology investments like WDM equipment and ROADMs."

Some highlights from the report:

  • While the global WDM and SONET/SDH optical network equipment market declined 23% in 1Q12 to $2.8 billion (the largest quarterly drop in years), the impact was sharpened by a strong previous quarter, when the market grew 9%
  • Revenue for all optical vendors declined in EMEA, with the exception of Infinera.
  • Though EMEA typically has a seasonal sequential decline in the first quarter, 1Q12 was the worst quarter for optical capex in over 5 years.
  • Fujitsu and Ciena outperformed competitors in North America.
  • Asia Pacific was buoyed by strong spending in Japan, with NEC and Fujitsu posting eye-popping 28% gains in 1Q12 from the year-ago first quarter.
  • Aside from the standout performances by NEC and Fujitsu, while many of the big vendors enjoyed gains the previous quarter, 1Q12 was characterized by smaller companies such as Infinera, ADVA, and Transmode outperforming the market.
  • ROADM optical equipment spending was flat in 1Q12, an achievement considering this category posted a record quarter in 4Q11.

OIF Launches Three Interface Projects

The OIF has commenced work on three new electrical interface projects addressing next generation needs for high speed and low power electrical interfaces. These include: The Ultra Short Reach Electrical Interface, which will define a link of less than 10 mm between an ASIC and an Optical Engine (OE) at data rates up to and including 56 Gbps. This will enable the industry to develop Multi Chip Modules (MCMs) and alternate advanced packaging schemes that are optimized for minimum power consumption.

The Close Proximity Electrical Interface, which will define a link with a reach of less than 50 mm from chip to discrete OE at data rates up to and including 56 Gbps. This will facilitate an efficient board mounted OE at low power.

The CEI-56G-Very Short Reach project, will determine optimum modulation format based on measurements, verification and CMOS Switch ASIC I/O capability. The project looks at single lane electrical I/O data rates beyond 28 Gbps needed for future chip-to-module applications, including single lane interfaces for 40 Gbps modules and 8-10 lane interfaces for 400 Gbps modules. "These projects address different elements of the important electrical interface beyond 100G transmission, where speed and power will become an increasingly difficult issue,” said Dave Stauffer of IBM Corp. and the OIF’s Physical and Link Layer Working Group Chair. “Based on our Common Electrical Interface (CEI) work, the industry has turned to the OIF to drive the next phase in electrical interfaces which will include data rates up to 56 Gbps." 

Ciena Endorses Open Data Center Interoperable Network (ODIN)

Ciena announced its support for the new Open Data Center Interoperable Network (ODIN)framework from IBM, which is positioned as an industry best-practice for transforming data-centers with a flatter, more converged network architecture.

In a blog posting, Steve Alexander, Chief Technology Officer of Ciena, writes: "We can see a time in the near future where the combination of increasing network intelligence combined with the use of open standards-based network programming interfaces (NPIs) enables physical network resources to be virtualized, just as we today routinely work with virtualized compute and storage resources."

The ODIN framework outlined by IBM addresses issues such as virtualization and Virtual Machine (VM) migration across flat Layer 2 networks, lossless Ethernet, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and OpenFlow, and extended distance WAN connectivity (including low latency). Several papers are posted on the IBM site listed here. 


Here is a look at the future of DSL, presented by Dr, John Cioffi, Founder and CEO of ASSIA -- and the inventor of discrete multitone modulation (DMT) technology that became the basis of DSL.

01:23 - Where does DSL stand in the market today?
02:30 - Is DSL still expanding and will this growth continue?
03:12 - Did the adoption cycle for DSL surprise you?
04:26 - How has DSL continued to improve over time?
06:21 - What are some of the technology milestones that got us to where DSL is today?
09:18 - How much more performance can yet be achieved over copper?
13:25 - What is Dynamic Spectrum Management? What is vectoring?
14:53 - Is the goal to clean up a single line, a bundle of cables or a whole node?
15:36 - When will this come to market?
16:22 - Will carriers have to choose between further investment in their wireline infrastructure versus rolling out more lucrative 4G LTE?