Wednesday, July 18, 2012

AT&T Announces Shared Wireless Data Plans

Next month, AT&T will begin offering shared wireless data plans that let customers share a single bucket of data across smartphones, tablets, and other compatible devices, plus get unlimited talk and text. 

Customers will be able to choose one of the new shared data plans or choose one of AT&T's existing individual or family plans, without a contract extension. There are no changes to AT&T's device upgrade policy, which means customers eligible to upgrade to AT&T's best device price are not required to switch plans. The new plans will also be available for business customers. 

The Grum Botnet Meets its Demise

Grum, described as the world's third botnet, has been largely taken offline, following the seizure of command-and-control servers in the Netherlands, Russia and Panama, according to FireEye, which has been tracking the issue. Grum is blamed for generating billions of spam messages daily from at least 120,000 zombie IP addresses around the world. According to the FireEye's blog, Grum's takedown resulted from the efforts of many individuals. Check out the blog for a behind-the-scenes look at how this was done. 

Verizon Wireless Adds 33 More LTE Markets

Verizon Wireless is activating its 4G LTE network in 33 new markets and expanding in 32 other markets. The company confirmed that it is on track to meet its goal of covering more than 400 U.S. markets by the end of 2012.

“Our rollout of Verizon Wireless 4G LTE in the United States is on track and we are confident we will meet our target of providing 4G LTE to our customers in more than 400 markets by the end of the year,” said Nicola Palmer, chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless. “With more markets than all other U.S. wireless providers combined, our customers are the first to learn of the great advantages of the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network for streaming video, downloading files, uploading pictures and so much more, at consistently reliable fast data speeds.” 

Qualcomm Revenues Hit $4.63 Billion on 3G/4G Expansion

Qualcomm reported quarterly revenues of $4.63 billion, up 28 percent year-over-year (y-o-y) and down 6 percent sequentially. Operating income hit $1.38 billion, up 24 percent y-o-y and down 9 percent sequentially, while net income was $1.21 billion, up 17 percent y-o-y and down 46 percent sequentially.

"Adoption of 3G and 3G/4G technologies continues around the world, driving strong year-over-year growth in our chipset and licensing businesses this quarter," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. "Looking forward, our growth estimates for 3G/4G device shipments in calendar 2012 have moderated slightly, and we now expect the demand profile of the calendar year to be more back-end loaded as new devices are launched for the holiday season. Although our outlook for semiconductor volumes in the fiscal fourth quarter has been reduced from our prior expectations, we are ramping supply of our 28 nanometer chipsets to help enable what we expect to be a strong December quarter for our semiconductor business."

Some highlights:
  • MSM chip shipments: 141 million units, up 18 percent y-o-y and down 7 percent sequentially.
  • March quarter total reported device sales: approximately $47.8 billion, up 31 percent y-o-y and down 8 percent sequentially.
  • March quarter estimated 3G/4G device shipments: approximately 206 to 211 million units, at an estimated average selling price of approximately $226 to $232 per unit.
  • $26.5 billion held in cash and cash equivalents.

New OIF Projects Address 100G, 400G and Emerging Control Plane Applications

The OIF has taken on three new projects focusing on 100G and 400G needs for optical and electrical technologies.

1. Members of the PLL Working Group are actively assessing the need to synchronize data rates of 4x10G lanes with 4x25G lanes. By mapping an interface IC with fiber optic modules, the Multi-Link Gearbox 2.0 project looks at how to process the link technology with optical interfaces as bandwidth grows to 400G data rates.

2. A new project proposes an electro-mechanical footprint for Optical Engine (OE) modules. Driving optical conversion off the front panel, deeper inside equipment, OEMs are looking to achieve connectivity with future optically enabled multi-chip modules (MCM) packages and prepare for 3D stacking technology and 50 Gbps connected devices. This project will address the power, footprint and high-density connectivity needs for those applications.

3. The OIF has begun reviewing the extremely well received and forward looking 100G DWDM Framework Document that was published in 2009 to update and target needs of the 100G Intermediate Reach market. This project will look at the requirements and application scenarios related to low cost, power efficiency and high-density approaches for next generation 100G transmission as it relates to the Metro space.

At its quarterly meeting last week, the OIF also held a workshop reviewing emerging control plane technologies for cloud computing and Software Driven Networks (SDN). Topics of discussion included Cross Stratum Optimization (CSO), Open Flow, Application-Layer Traffic Optimization (ALTO) and GMPLS/PCE.


Huawei Announces 2 Tbps Wavelengths Based on DSPs + FEC

Huawei announced a prototype WDM platform capable of delivering 2 Tbps per-channel -- a 20–fold increase over the 100G channels available today. Huawei has previously demonstrated 400 Gbps technology at trade shows earlier this year. 

The 2 Tbps channel rate is achieved by using intelligent digital signal processing and high performance adaptive-SD FEC technologies. Huawei claims that the 2T signals with 300GHz spectral width can transmit over a distance of 1,000 km without electrical regeneration when using G.652 fiber and common EDFAs.

The use of 2 Tbps channels expands the prototype WDM system capacity to 56 Tbps when utilizing wavelengths in both the C and L bands.

Huawei is also planning to use flex transceiver technology on this prototype WDM platform. This will enable software-defined OTN, allowing a programmable network controller to configure parameters such as the number of subcarriers, subcarrier spacing, modulation codes and FEC modes, thereby achieving flexible adjustments in areas including line rates, transmission distances and transmission capacity. Huawei describes this as programmable "resilient tunnels". 

UNH-IOL and TraceSpan to Provide GPON ONU Conformance Testing

The UNH-IOL will use TraceSpan's GPON Xpert OLT emulator to perform GPON ONU testing in accordance with the Broadband Forum's OD-247 GPON ONU Conformance Test Plan.

GPON Xpert combines OLT emulation with passive and objective analysis, and can perform these two functions simultaneously, thus serving as a complete integrated test tool for ONU conformance. The GPON Xpert OLT emulator comes with pre-defined tests for the various OD-247 test cases. Its embedded multi-layer analysis capability automatically compares the ONU's behavior and OD-247 criteria using the Validation Test mechanism.

TraceSpan noted that its GPON Xpert has been used extensively by UNH-IOL and its customers in the lab and during plugfest events, greatly aiding in the debugging of testing. Testing in the lab included a variety of test cases from the draft BBF WT-255 GPON Interoperability Test Plan. 

China Mobile and Clearwire Advance Plans for Global Roaming on TD-LTE

China Mobile and Clearwire signed a a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) for international roaming between China and the United States using TD-LTE.

The carriers are working on the technical means to support international roaming. The companies also expect this agreement to serve as a blueprint for future roaming agreements with other members of the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) of which China Mobile and Clearwire are founding members.

"We recently demonstrated the roaming capability between Hong Kong FDD LTE and Hang Zhou TD-LTE. With the commercial launches of TD-LTE networks in major markets, these networks shall enable international roaming to create a ubiquitous user experience and a unified market," said Dr. Tiger Lin, Chairman of China Mobile International. "Our goal is to make a converged LTE TDD/FDD market in which our subscribers roam between a TD-LTE network and a LTE FDD network at affordable cost and enjoy the benefit of LTE service globally."