Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blueprint 2013: Backhaul Gets Smarter, Small Cells Get Rolling

2013 should be an eventful year in the network and communications industry. Given the intense focus on 4G and LTE, it helps to have a sense of what’s next in wired and wireless networks.

Five Top Predictions for Networking

Data and video surges cause a shift from a single class of service to multiple classes of service in the backhaul network:  In 2013, we’ll see a shift from a single class of service to multiple classes of service to address the demands of the end-users and maximize profitability for backhaul operators by avoiding costly over-builds. Currently all traffic on a network goes through a single pipe whether it be video or audio. With multiple classes of service, mobile operators will better be able to handle the unprecedented growth of data and achieve significant savings by only delivering services users pay for. Multiple classes of service also enable service providers to allocate network resources for services that matter, rather than providing a “dumb pipe” for all traffic and at all times. Customers, as well as content providers, are willing to pay for those differentiated services.

Carriers finally trial small cell deployments:  There is a lot of buzz around small cells and how they will be instrumental in LTE network rollouts. 2013 will be the main trial year for carriers in outdoor small cell deployment, with carriers increasing RFQs for small cell equipment and their backhaul networks. As outdoor small cells will primarily be deployed on lamp posts and traffic signs in      addition to the outside of buildings, they will require connectivity besides fiber. 80% of small cell backhaul will be over microwave or millimeter-wave links. Additionally, more than half of the growth in small cells will come from the APAC region.

Carrier LTE deployments will double to create 200+ commercial LTE networks:  As more and more consumers buy devices with LTE capabilities, the demand for LTE services is increasing and carriers will need to invest in their radio access networks. Today’s LTE networks are focused on providing basic coverage for LTE devices, but can’t support a large number of LTE devices on the network. In 2013, there will be a growing emphasis on moving towards increasing both coverage and      capacity of LTE networks with the corresponding infrastructure investments. TD-LTE will also see more acceptance and trials, as it reduces carrier costs and requires fewer spectrum licenses.

Carriers figure out a way to provide value added services to businesses over cloud:  Most business services in the past were primarily about delivering a pipe for transferring data between enterprise locations. But with enterprise (IT) services increasingly moving to the cloud, the demand for Ethernet business service is surging. 2013 will be the year when carriers figure out how to make money off of their networks by securely connecting customers to public and private clouds, and helping enterprise customers manage networks and infrastructure, increased use of mobile devices and a more mobile workforce in general. This will allow carriers to provide additional revenue generating services to their business customers, manage service level agreements, and be able to charge for different levels of service, and services that can change based on time-of-day.

Carriers and OEMs implement IEEE1588v2-based timing on a large scale:  Radio networks require very precise timing in order to work. Until now, carriers have been focused on how to move their backhaul traffic to packet-based networks. In 2013, these packet networks will enter the next stage, where carriers are moving to their timing packet-based as well and the IEEE 1588v2 Precision Time Protocol will be the de-facto standard. Overall we’ll see a shift from awareness to actual implementation and deployment. There will be a concerted effort in the industry to define a standard mechanism for accurate time-of-day and phase delivery for LTE and LTE-Advanced networks based on IEEE 1588v2 technology.

Mobile devices are here to stay and only getting more prevalent. According to the Worldwide Mobile Industry Handbook, there will be 8.5 billion mobile subscribers worldwide by 2016, and Cisco's Visual Networking Index predicts mobile data traffic to increase 26-fold over a five-year span. Wireless networks, especially for mobile access, as well as Enterprise networks, must naturally evolve to keep up. 

Give that, these predictions are what Vitesse sees as top network infrastructure trends for 2013. How accurate are they? Who knows. We won’t know until this time next year when we gaze into the crystal ball again. In the meantime, what do you think?

About the Authors

Martin Nuss joined Vitesse in November 2007 and is the vice president of technology and strategy and the chief technology officer at Vitesse Semiconductor. With more than 20 years of technical and management experience, Mr. Nuss is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and a member of IEEE. Mr. Nuss holds a doctorate in applied physics from the Technical University in Munich, Germany. He can be reached at

 Uday Mudoi is the director of product marketing at Vitesse Semiconductor. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, a master’s degree in computer science from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, and an MBA from Columbia University, New York, N.Y. He can be reached at

About Vitesse
Vitesse (Nasdaq: VTSS) designs a diverse portfolio of high-performance semiconductor solutions for Carrier and Enterprise networks worldwide. Vitesse products enable the fastest-growing network infrastructure markets including Mobile Access/IP Edge, Cloud Computing and SMB/SME Enterprise Networking. Visit or follow us on Twitter @VitesseSemi.

ARRIS to Acquire Motorola Home from Google for $2.35 B

Google will sell its Motorola Home Business to ARRIS for $2.35 billion in cash and stock.

Motorola Home is a leading global supplier of digital video and IPTV hardware and
software solutions for the cable, telecom, broadcast & satellite markets.  The Motorola Home division, which is based in Horsham, PA, had revenues of approximately $3.4 billion over the past 4 quarters and about 5,000 employees. The company is profitable.

ARRIS reported revenue of approximately $1.3 billion over the past 4 quarters.  It has approximately 2,100 employees and is based in Suwanee, Georgia.

For ARRIS, the acquisition effectively triples its overall revenue, brings an enhanced product portfolio, a larger customer base, and strengthened relationships with cable operators and broadband service providers worldwide. The deal also includes the transfer of certain Motorola patents related to the business.

For Google, the deal helps it dispose of some of the assets of Motorola Mobility, which it acquired last year for about $12.5 billion.  That acquisition also included approximately 24,500 patents and patent applications from Motorola, along with the Motorola mobile handset business.

The acquisition will be on a cash-free, debt-free basis. Google will receive $2.05 billion in cash and approximately $300 million in newly issued ARRIS shares.

“This transformational combination of two complementary businesses will create a leading end-to-end provider of today’s video, data and voice products and tomorrow’s next-generation IP-based broadband products,” said Bob Stanzione, Chairman and CEO of ARRIS.  “Ever-expanding consumer demand for bandwidth will continue to drive growth across cloud and network technologies we provide that enable innovative home entertainment products and services.”

FCC Gives Go Ahead to AT&T Acquisitions of WCS and AWS Licenses

The FCC approved AT&T's request to acquire certian Wireless Communications Service (WCS) and Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-1) licenses from Comcast, Horizon, NextWave, 
and San Diego Gas & Electric.

AT&T will acquire AWS-1 and WCS spectrum in 608 CMAs,15 covering 82 percent of the population of the contiguous 48 states. By spectrum band, AT&T would acquire: 10-20 megahertz of WCS A and B Block spectrum in 473 CMAs, covering close to 70 percent of the population of the contiguous 48 states; 5-10 megahertz of WCS C and D Block spectrum in 344 CMAs, covering 54 percent of the population of the contiguous 48 states; and 10-30 megahertz of AWS-1 spectrum in 29 CMAs,16 covering 2 percent of 
the population of the contiguous 48 states.

The FCC noted that AT&T already has made a multi-billion dollar commitment to the deployment of LTE in the AWS spectrum band, so the transfer of licenses should result in more services available to the public.

Joan Marsh, AT&T Vice President of Federal Regulatory, issued the following statement: "The long era of dispute and uncertainty surrounding the WCS spectrum band is finally over.  With the Order released today, AT&T will be able to complete acquisitions that will give it a path to robust commercial LTE deployment in the WCS band.  We applaud the FCC Chairman and Commissioners for their commitment to fostering innovative spectrum solutions that unlock under-utilized spectrum bands to serve the growing demands of American consumers. Repositioning the WCS band for LTE deployment is a significant accomplishment which will spur aggressive investment by AT&T and create good paying jobs across the wireless and technology eco-systems. This is also a win for our customers, who will benefit from today’s Order for years to come as we realize the spectrum’s full potential to enhance our wireless broadband offerings.”

In August, AT&T announced plans to acquire NextWave Wireless, which holds licenses in the Wireless Communication Services (WCS) and Advanced Wireless Service (AWS) bands, for approximately $25 million plus the assumption of about $600 million in debt. According to its 2011 annual report, Nextwave Wireless' total domestic spectrum holdings covers approximately 218.6 million total POPs, with 104.8 million POPs covered by 20 MHz or more of spectrum, and an additional 94.9 million POPs covered by at least 10 MHz of spectrum. In addition, a number of markets, including much of the New York City metropolitan region, are covered by 30 MHz or more of spectrum. Its domestic spectrum resides in the 2.3 GHz Wireless Communication Services (WCS), 2.5 GHz Broadband Radio Service (BRS)/Educational Broadband Service (EBS), and 1.7/2.1 GHz Advanced Wireless Service (AWS). Its international spectrum includes 2.3 GHz licenses in Canada with 15 million POPs covered by 30 MHz of spectrum.

Deutsche Telekom Looks to Vectoring

Deutsche Telekom has submitted an application to Germany's Federal Network Agency to permit the use of vectoring for boosting the performance of its copper access network.

Deutsche Telekom plans to invest about EUR 6 billion over the next four years primarily to enhance its fixed network with vectoring. This upgrade would entail extending fiber optics up to the cable distribution boxes and then installing vectoring technology in the cabinets. This will enable 24 million households to benefit from the new technology.

Deutsche Telekom said the use of vectoring could boost VDSL downstream access rates to 100 Mbps, compared with top speeds in the 50 Mbps range today. Vectoring also supports upstream rates of around 40 Mbps.

In this regulatory filing, Deutsche Telekom is proposing to permit competitors to access lines that it has upgraded with vectoring. The carrier would offer a bitstream connection for vectoring available as a wholesale product.

Deutsche Telekom is also proposing that is competitors be allowed to deploy vectoring at the cable distribution boxes that they have already connected using fiber optics. Development of new areas by competitors is generally also conceivable. A prerequisite is that they - just like Telekom - allow other companies to use the new connections (open access). In addition, the "KVz-TAL" (subscriber line that runs to the cable distribution box) will generally be retained - this was a key demand of the trade associations of competitors.

"Only with vectoring can millions of households be provided with fast and efficient high-performance connections in the fixed network. We must take this opportunity for better networking of society in Germany, and that's why we have now seized the initiative with our application," emphasizes Niek Jan van Damme, Member of the Board of Management for Germany at Deutsche Telekom. In Belgium and Austria the regulatory authorities have already approved the use of vectoring with the support of the EU Commission.

Verizon Replaces Copper with Fiber in Lower Manhattan

Verizon has completed the installation of fiber-optic cables between the company’s two critical central switching offices in lower Manhattan.  The rapid deployment replaces many copper lines which were damaged by flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy. Copper cables were destroyed that served businesses and residences in the area south of Worth Street, from the East River to the Hudson River. The damaged resulted from inundation of salt water mixed with diesel fuel.

Verizon now estimates that more than 70 percent of the affected buildings served by its Broad Street switching office, where copper services were most significantly damaged, have fiber-optic cables and facilities serving them, with many buildings downtown having full service.

In addition, Verizon estimates that this operation has already installed more than 5,000 miles of fiber strands in lower Manhattan and removed more than 100 tons of copper cables -- 30 percent more than all the copper in the Statue of Liberty.  The copper is being collected and recycled.

“We are doing years’ worth of work in just a few weeks’ time, and doing it round the clock,” said Martin Burvill, senior vice president of global operations for Verizon Enterprise Solutions.  “We are keenly focused on transforming the communications infrastructure of lower Manhattan with this new architecture in a way that fully benefits our residential and business customers.

Sprint Gives LTE Update: 49 Markets On-Air, 150 Market Targeted

Sprint's LTE rollout has reached 49 markets across the U.S., including Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and Baltimore – and sites are on-air and implementation is under way in hundreds more.

Sprint has announced nearly 150 markets that should see an official LTE launch in the coming months.  The updated rollout plan adds 36 markets.

Sprint launched its LTE network in July 2012.

"With the network investments we made in 2012 and as the only national wireless carrier to offer truly unlimited 4G LTE data plans, we continue to offer better value than our competitors,” said Bob Azzi, senior vice president-Network, Sprint. “But our commitment to an exceptional wireless experience doesn’t stop there. We are an aggressive path to complete the rollout of Network Vision, and we expect to accelerate this momentum in 2013."

MAYA-1 Cable Upgrades to 40G with Alcatel-Lucent

The MAYA-1 Submarine Cable System will upgrade from 10G to 40G using Alcatel-Lucent's 1620 Light Manager submarine line terminal equipment with single carrier coherent technology.

MAYA-1 is a submarine telecommunications cable system owned by a consortium of telecom companies. The system, which was originally constructed in the year 2000, connects seven landing points in the Caribbean, including Hollywood, Florida , Cancun (Mexico), Puerto Cortes (Honduras), Puerto Limon (Costa Rica) Half Moon Bay (Cayman Islands), Maria Chiquita (Panama) and Tolu (Colombia) in a collapsed ring configuration.

Gigamon Appoints Paul Hooper as CEO

Gigamon named Paul Hooper as its new Chief Executive Officer, replacing co-founder Ted Ho, who is stepping down.

Hooper previously served as Gigamon's Vice President of Marketing and Product Management. Before that, he held various positions at Extreme Networks, including Chief Marketing Officer, Vice President and General Manager for the Volume Products Group, and Chief Information Officer.

Gigamon provides an intelligent Traffic Visibility Fabric for enterprises, data centers and service providers.  The Gigamon GigaVUE portfolio of high availability and high density products intelligently delivers the appropriate network traffic to security, monitoring or management systems.

"Ted, along with the co-founders, have created a new market, and established Gigamon as one of the leaders of this new segment, by combining incredible engineering innovation and skills with a vision to create a more efficient and effective approach to manage the information traversing networks of today and tomorrow," said Paul Hooper, Gigamon CEO.  "I am honored to assume the leadership of Gigamon and take our company to new levels of success."

AT&T to Develop Highly-Secure Mobile Handsets for U.S. Military

The U.S. Marine Corps has awarded a contract to AT&T Government Solutions to develop and deliver trusted mobile devices able to send and receive highly-secure voice, video, and data across multiple security domains and wireless networks – domestic and international. 

The Trusted Handheld Platform will support  secure, classified, and unsecure communications.   Initial devices will use a modified version of the Android.

AT&T said it has assembled a team of leading security technology providers to deliver secure mobile devices under this award, including: Green Hills Software, SafeNet, and Sequitur Labs.

Pulsant Acquires Huge Data Center in Scotland

Pulsant, which offers managed cloud and hosting services, has acquired  ScoLocate's 75,000 sq ft data centre in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The facility hosts over 30 telecommunication carriers, making it one of the most connected commercially available data centres outside the M25. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition brings Pulsant's nationwide network of data centres up to 10, positioning it as a leading supplier of data centre services in the UK. The company says it now has more than 3,000 mid-tier and enterprise customer using its facilities.

  • The Pulsant brand was launched earlier this year following the business integration of Lumison, DediPower and Bluesquare Data.