Thursday, November 28, 2013

Comcast: World's Largest, Native IPv6 Deployment

Comcast’s Xfinity Internet native IPv6 deployment is the world’s largest IPv6 deployment, as measured by the Internet Society’s World IPv6 Launch Measurements.

The company recently launched IPv6 support for the ARRIS Touchstone Telephony Wireless Gateway Modem (TG852G and TG862G) that brought IPv6 to over four million customers.

Currently, over 25% of Comcast’s Xfinity Internet customers are actively provisioned with native dual stack broadband Internet service.  Native IPv6 support has been deployed to over 75% of our broadband network.  Comcast aims for 100% in early 2014.

Comcast said its number one ranking is not only a measurement of the percentage of network equipment that is enabled for native IPv6, but more importantly the number of people actively using native IPv6 on a day to day basis.

Intel Prepares for Tablet War with Sub-$100 Pricing

by: James E. Carroll
Look for a new crop of 7" and 8" tablets powered by Intel processors with value pricing of under $100. These will be the opening salvos of what Intel expects will be a big battle for the tablet market in 2014.

During the course of 2013, Intel established its first footprint in the tablet market with a design win in a Samsung Galaxy device, said company CEO Brian Krzanich during an investor meeting in Santa Clara, California. For 2014, Intel will "invest to scale" with a goal of increasing shipments by 4X to more than 40 million Intel-based tablets sold.

Because the tablet market has grown up without Intel, the company's first objective has been to convince the ecosystem that it is serious about this space. In some cases, Intel has now made long-term agreements with OEMs to convince them of its determination.

The plan calls for a performance segmentation strategy, support for Android and Windows, integrating McAfee security into the offering and introducing "Perceptual Computing" capabilities driven by multiple sensors in each device.

Last week, Taiwan-based DigiTimes reported that Intel may be ready to offer US$1 billion in market subsidies to help major OEMs make the transition to its Bay Trail processors.  Per unit cost of the Intel processors is said to be around US$20, although the DigiTimes report suggests even lower prices for large brand vendors.

Sub-$100 Tablets

At the low-end, Black Friday sales in the United States included new tablets from Dell, HP and others based on Intel's current dual-core and quad-core "Medfield" Atom processors.  The company will span from upper end devices (above $450) to entry level devices (under $100) good for browsing the Web.

For example, Walmart is offering the HP Mesquite for $89.  At Costco, the Dell Venue 8 tablet is available for anyone buying a regular PC for $599 or more.  The same Dell Venue 8 tablet is expected to be available directly from Dell for $129.

Beyond driving prices lower, Intel is seeking to takes its innovations for the PCs down into the tablet market. The first step in this direction is to scale Android for 64-bit, which will allow larger memories and enable enterprise applications.  The first 64-bit Bay Trail Atom tablets are expected in 2014, beginning with Windows.

Broxton and SoFIA Mobility Chipsets for Tablets

Intel's LTE chipsets will also make their way into tablet designs.  By mid-2015, Intel plans to introduce a next generation Atom processor called "Broxton" for high-end smartphones and tables. Broxton will feature a core chassis that can be rapidly modified for integration with other intellectual property blocks.  The will enable Intel to rapidly rollout multiple iterations of the Broxton processor for OEM customers, much like how ARM has been able to create many customized versions of its cores.

Taking the same pragmatic market approach, Intel is also planning to introduce SoFIA entry-level, mobile broadband processor based on technology from its acquisition of Infineon Wireless.  The plan is to replace the ARM core with an IA design but to keep using the outside foundry for the first 3G device and later an LTE device. Eventually, SoFIA will move to an Intel foundry using 14nm.

SK Telecom Demos LTE-A Carrier Aggregation of 1.8GHz + 800MHz Bands

SK Telecom has demonstrated downlink speeds of 225 Mbps by using LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation to combine 20MHz bandwidth in 1.8GHz band and 10MHz bandwidth in 800MHz band. For comparison, the carrier's regular LTE service delivers a maximum of 150Mbps of speeds using 20MHz of continuous spectrum in one band.

SK Telecom said its planned upgrade to LTE-Advanced (20MHz+10MHz) will enable mobile customers to download an 800MB movie in just 28 seconds, significantly faster than other networks. Measured at their maximum speeds, downloading the same movie file via 3G, LTE, and the existing LTE-Advanced (10MHz+10MHz) would take 7 minutes and 24 seconds, 1 minute and 25 seconds, and 43 seconds, respectively.

The company said that it expects to launch the ‘20MHz+10MHz’ LTE-Advanced service nationwide through smartphones in the second half of 2014, pending release of LTE-Advanced smartphone chipsets.

SK Telecom is also working on aggregating three component carriers (20MHz+10MHz+10MHz) to support up to 300Mbps.

Alex Jinsung Choi, Executive Vice President and Head of ICT R&D Division at SK Telecom said, “SK Telecom has been leading the development of wireless networks since it commercialized CDMA (2G) technology for the world’s first time in 1996. Today’s successful demonstration of 225 Mbps LTE-Advanced will serve as a momentum for SK Telecom to realize more innovative network technologies, which will also lead to the growth of relevant industries, including device, content and convergence fields.”

  • In June 2013, SK Telecom launched the world's first LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service through smartphones. The LTE-A service offers download speeds of up to 150 Mbps, which is two times faster than its regular LTE service, and 10 times faster than its 3G network. LTE-A coverage initially is available in Seoul and central city areas of Gyeongg-do and Chungcheong-do.  Expansion to 84 cities nationwide is planned. At top speed, SK Telecom's LTE-A users can download an 800MB movie in just 43 seconds. The LTE-A implementation leverages several advanced mobile network technologies including Carrier Aggregation (CA) and Coordinated Multi Point (CoMP). SK Telecom plans to implement Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC) in 2014.
    CA supports up to 150 Mbps speed by combining two 10 MHz components carriers to form an effective bandwidth of 20 MHz. The company said further advancements should yield rates up to 300Mbps speed by aggregating two 20MHz component carriers by 2015, and become capable of combining three component carriers by 2016. An uplink capability using carrier aggregation should also be possible by 2016.  The current CA standards allow for up to five 20 MHz carriers to be aggregated.
  • In August 2013, SK Telecom gained authorization to operate 35 MHz bandwidth (20 downlink + 15 uplink) in 1.8GHz band, and immediately launched diverse measures to strengthen both its LTE and LTE-Advanced services by utilizing the newly acquired bandwidth.

Vivendi Confirms Plans to Spinoff SFR

Vivendi Group confirmed plans to proceed with a demerger under which shares in its SFR subsidiary will be distributed to Vivendi shareholders.  This will give Vivendi shareholders the opportunity to invest in two separate vehicles listed on the stock market and valued according to the specifics of their respective sectors.

Vivendi is an international media group, bringing together strong brands in the production and distribution of original content.

SFR is a French telecommunications operator delivering mobile, landline, internet, IP television and mobile internet to consumers and businesses.

  • Vodafone sold its 44% share in SFR to Vivendi in 2011.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

BT Looks for Growth in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa

BT will hire 400 new employees to focus on regional business growth in key markets, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey. These new employees are in additional to the 600 positions announced earlier this year for BT’s Global Development Centre in Bangalore and to the c.600 hires expected for BT’s new Global Shared Service facility in Kuala Lumpur announced in April.

BT also confirmed the activation of five new IP and Ethernet Points of Presence starting with India and Turkey, four Network-to-Network Interfaces (NNIs) with the first in Indonesia, and an enhanced satellite capability to support remote coverage and disaster recovery.

TeliaSonera Dismisses Execs over Eurasian Deals

TeliaSonera announced the dismissal of four individuals because of irregularities in transactions and agreements made by TeliaSonera and partners in Eurasia over the past few years.  The company had retained the international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright LLP to conduct a review of the deals.

“The Board’s conclusion is that some senior employees no longer have the trust of the Board. Therefore they have been notified that their employment with TeliaSonera will be terminated and they will leave their position effective immediately. It is not the Board’s task to assess the legal aspects, but we have decided to hand over the material from the Norton Rose Fulbright review to the Prosecutor’s office as part of our continuous dialogue,” stated Marie Ehrling, Chairman of the TeliaSonera Board.

Separately, the company announced that Christian Luiga, currently Head of CEO Office, will assume the position as acting Chief Financial Officer, replacing Per-Arne Blomquist who will leave his position effective immediately.

  • In February 2013, Lars Nyberg resigned as President and CEO of TeliaSonera following an outside review of  Mannheimer Swartling regarding illegal business practices by the firm in Uzbekistan.  While the review did not find evidence that TeliaSonera engaged in bribery or participated in money laundering, it did criticize TeliaSonera for not vetting its investment partners in Uzbekistan. At the time, TeliaSonera's Board of Directors appointed Per-Arne Blomquist as acting President and CEO.

  • In October 2012, TeliaSonera's Board of Directors hired the law firm Mannheimer Swartling to investigate whether TeliaSonera's investment in a 3G license, frequencies and number blocks in Uzbekistan in 2007 involved corruption or money laundering. Later, the investigation was expanded to include more recent investments in connection with TeliaSonera's operations in Uzbekistan.

Orange to Sell Subsidiary in Dominican Republic for EUR 1.1 Billion

The Orange Group will sell 100% of Orange Dominicana S.A., its  subsidiary in the Dominican Republic, to Altice for US$1.435 billion (EUR 1.1 billion).

Orange Dominicana was established in 2000 and is now a leading telecommunication operator in the Dominican Republic, one of the largest and most dynamic economies in the Caribbean with an estimated population over 10 million. The company posted revenues of DOP 22.8 billion (EUR 451 million) in 2012 and had 3.4 million subscribers at the end of September 2013. The company employs approximately 1,400 people.

Altice is a multinational cable and telecommunications company with presence in six countries—Israel, Belgium, Luxembourg, the French Overseas Territories of Guadeloupe and Martinique, Portugal and Switzerland.

The deal requires regulatory approval in the Dominican Republic.

Orange said this sale represents a significant step forward in the optimization of its assets portfolio.

DOCOMO Offers LTE Roaming for KT

NTT DOCOMO will offer LTE roaming to subscribers of Korean mobile operator KT Corporation when they travel in Japan.  DOCOMO said it plans to partner with other overseas mobile operators to offer LTE international roaming services, including for DOCOMO users traveling outside of Japan.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

GSA: Mobile Broadband Subscriptions Top 2 Billion

Global mobile broadband subscriptions have passed the 2 billion milestone, according to newly published statistics from GSA.

There were 126.1 million LTE subscriptions (Q2 2013) and this figure was expected to have topped 150 million by the end of September 2013.
There are currently 222 commercially launched LTE networks in 83 countries, rising to 260 commercial LTE networks by the end of the year.

Some other numbers from the report:

  • 23 commercially launched TD-LTE networks in 18 countries, of which 11 are dual mode FDD + TDD systems.  More trials are underway.  There are 274 LTE TDD devices on the market.
  • LTE-Advanced is a commercial reality already with several networks in South Korea using carrier aggregation.
  • The first wave of VoLTE service launches that include support for HD voice (using W-AMR) has begun. Many operators have committed to VoLTE deployments or trials in 2013-2014 including KT, LG U+, SK Telecom, Evolve Broadband, T Mobile Austria, Azercell, Sasktel, China Mobile, E Plus, O2 DE, CSL Limited, Bharti Airtel, RIL, NTT DoCoMo, Tele2 NL, Yota, StarHub, Telekom Slovenije, Tele2 SE, Etisalat UAE, AT&T, C-Spire, MetroPCS, US Cellular, Sprint, Verizon Wireless.
  • 55% of phones sold in Q3 2013 were smartphones, compared to 50% in Q1 2013.
  • 80% growth in data traffic between Q3 2012 and Q3 2013 driven mainly by video. 

The full report is online.

CloudEthernet Forum Sets Five Priorities

The CloudEthernet Forum (CEF) has identified five key priorities to drive its work:
  • Virtualization – VMWare, Citrix and Microsoft are all working to extend their platforms to encompass network virtualization, and network service providers need to manage both the end to end transport of storage and virtual machines, and network virtualisation tunnels. How to make sure that a unified management layer can be rolled out across a network, and meet the deterministic performance requirements of cloud traffic? The role of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) in this process is also considered.
  • Automation – automated creation and deployment of VMs is evolving quickly. Storage can be established in seconds, but network automation lags far behind. Vendor independent protocols and standards are needed to accelerate network automation and delivery and creation of services, particulary across multiple service providers – such as in a hybrid cloud environment.
  • Security – the cloud is well established as a principle, data has become highly mobile, but regulatory and privacy laws must be complied with. For the cloud to remain on its growth path it needs robust structures to ensure end to end security. The industry also needs to formulate guidelines to inform the security decisions made by governments and regulators.
  • Programmability – most routers and switches can be programmed by their makers, but few are open to third party APIs. A number of groups – including ETSI and the ONF– are working on this within the domain of a single customer, but coordination is needed around the specific needs of cloud computing, and inter-provider service continuity.
  • Analytics –  A continuous exchange of information between the network and the cloud service providers on network and application service performance and requirements is needed, followed by real-time analysis of whether additional resources, either from the cloud or the network service provider, are required.

Working groups are already being established by the CEF to address specific concerns, and members can get involved in shaping the future of the cloud computing.

“Networks are seeing a number of major transitions under the pressure of mobility and the move to cloud services,” said James Walker, President, CloudEthernet Forum (CEF). “Now the explosion in machine to machine (M2M) communications promises the fastest growth ever in connected devices, with 73% of devices being mobile or M2M by 2017. Unless the industry – vendors, service providers and OTT providers included – really work together to define global standards and address these challenges, then cloud computing could fall victim to its own success.”

Dell'Oro: Wireless Packet Core Revenue up 17% YoY

The overall Wireless Packet Core market grew more than 17% during the third quarter of 2013 versus the year-ago period, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

Huawei, Ericsson, Cisco and Nokia Solutions and Networks were the top revenue-producing vendors in the overall market.  In the faster-growing Evolved Packet Core (EPC) segment, Alcatel-Lucent joined Ericsson and Huawei in the top three vendor list.

Dell'Oro said the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) market is changing in three ways:

  • Regions outside the North American LTE market are now driving EPC results, allowing a larger set of vendors to compete in the worldwide market.  We expect EPC spending to accelerate in Europe and in China in coming quarters.
  • New Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technology furnished by leading vendors is now being trialed by operators.  We expect that in 2014 and beyond, operators will begin deploying NFV EPC systems.
  • Additional services are being added along with EPC core networks, including Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Rich Communication Services (RCS).  These new systems will create additional vendor decisions for Service Providers as their networks are enhanced.

“Network Function Virtualization (NFV) means vendors can sell software-only telecom core network systems,” explained Chris DePuy, Vice President of Wireless Packet Core Research at Dell’Oro Group. “These new systems will run on top of data center-class servers, effectively matching the features and performance of systems that were previously available as hardware-based systems.”

Infonetics: SP Routers and Switch Market Rises 7% YoY in Q3

The global carrier router and switch market (IP edge and core routers and carrier Ethernet switches) totaled $3.6 billion in 3Q13, an increase of 7% from the year-ago 3rd quarter, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.

The third quarter is normally slow for the carrier router/switch market, so a 10% sequential drop isn’t overwhelmingly bad, especially with the expectation of a good 4Q13 and an improving year-over-year outlook,” says Michael Howard, principal analyst for carrier networks and co-founder of Infonetics Research. “All three main IP router/switch categories – edge routers, core routers, and carrier Ethernet switches (CES) – are up from a year ago.”

Some additional highlights:

  • Sequential dips by Huawei and ZTE pulled Asia Pacific down in 3Q13, but Infonetics looks for the usual up-down pattern in the region to continue, giving rise to a strong 4Q13.
  • Though Europe/EMEA declined 10% in 3Q13 from 2Q13, European service providers are expected to carry out a decent budget flush in the 4th quarter.
  • Cisco maintains its lead with 38%, Alcatel-Lucent regains 2nd place, Juniper holds #3, while Huawei drops to #4 on the 3Q13 global router/CES revenue share leaderboard.
  • Infonetics forecasts the service provider router and switch market to grow at a 7% CAGR from 2012 to 2017, when it will reach $20.2 billion.

XO Names Christopher Ancell as CEO

XO Communications named Christopher Ancell as its new CEO, replacing Laura W. Thomas, who will remain with the company and assume the role of Chief Financial Officer, a position she previously held.

Ancell most recently served as senior vice president of sales and sales engineering for CoreSite Realty Corporation.  Prior to CoreSite, Ancell spent 12 years in a variety of leadership roles at both CenturyLink and Qwest, including president of CenturyLink's business markets organization and executive vice president of Qwest's business markets organization.

New Powerline Spec Approved -- IEEE 1901.2 - for Electical Smart Grids

The HomePlug Alliance applauded the approval of the IEEE 1901.2 Standard for Low-Frequency Narrow-Band Powerline Communications.

The new standard enables urban and long-distance communications through existing transformers in the electricity distribution network using frequencies below 500 kHz, while supporting data rates of up to 500 kbps.

The HomePlug Alliance is launching a "Netricity" certification and marketing program for the 1901.2 standard.   Netricity product applications include:

  • Utility grid modernization
  • Distribution automation
  • Meter-to-Grid connectivity
  • Micro-grids
  • Grid sensor communications
  • Load control
  • Demand response
  • Net metering
  • Street Lighting control
  • Photovoltaic panel monitoring

Microsemi Completes Symmetricom Acquisition - Precision Timing

Microsemi completed its previously announced acquisition of Symmetricom for approximately $230 million, or $7.18 per share, representing a premium of 49 percent based on the average closing price of Symmetricom's shares of common stock during the 90 trading days ended Oct. 18, 2013.

Microsemi said the deal enables it to offer the industry's largest and most complete timing product offering spanning from the core of the network to the edge and including the source, synchronization and distribution of end-to-end timing solutions.

Symmetricom specialized in highly precise timekeeping technologies for data, voice, mobile and video networks and services. It provides timekeeping in GPS satellites, national time references, and national power grids as well as in critical military and civilian networks. The company is based in San Jose, California.

Microsemi's other product lines include high-performance and radiation-hardened analog mixed-signal integrated circuits, FPGAs, SoCs and ASICs; power management products; timing and voice processing devices; RF solutions; discrete components; security technologies and scalable anti-tamper products; Power-over-Ethernet ICs and midspans; as well as custom design capabilities and services. The company is based in Aliso Viejo, California.

"We look forward to integrating the talented Symmetricom team and leveraging our product and technology synergies to develop solutions that contribute to our customers' success," said James J. Peterson, chairman of the board and CEO of Microsemi. "We are eager to drive the business forward for our stakeholders as we continue to execute Microsemi's growth strategy."

Brazil's Copel Telecom Upgrades to 100G with Coriant

Copel Telecom, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Companhia Paranaense de Energia (Copel), has selected Coriant's coherent 100G technology to upgrade its optical backbone, which has been using the hiT 7300 intelligent transport platform since 2010.

Copel Telecom's backbone network boasts over 9,330 km of fiber optic cables deployed between its main ring and urban radials (self-sustained cables), totaling more than 30,000 km and reaching more than 400 cities in south Brazil.

"A robust backbone network allows us to support economic development and information exchange for both large and small enterprises, whose service needs also continue to evolve. We chose Coriant's proven solution because it offers an exceptional level of flexibility in the provisioning of high-capacity services, and an easy upgrade path to transmission speeds of 100G and beyond," stated Antonio Carlos W. P. Melo, chief technology officer, Copel Telecom.

China Mobile Demos International TDD/FDD VoLTE Call

China Mobile demonstrated international HD voice and video calls between its VoLTE trial networks in Chengdu and Hangzhou with the VoLTE network of a South Korean mobile operator.  Huawei participated in the demo.

Acacia Acquires More HSPA and LTE Patents

Acacia Research Corporation confirmed that it has has acquired US patents and foreign counterparts related to cellular HSPA and LTE technology.  The name of the seller and the purchase price were not disclosed.

“We are rapidly becoming the leader in technology licensing and we continue to grow our base of future revenues by adding new patent portfolios," commented Matthew Vella, CEO and President of Acacia Research Corporation.

Spain's Jazztel to Deploy Huawei's 400G Core Router

Spain's Jazztel will be the first operator in Western Europe to deploy the Huawei NE5000E 400G core router.  The Huawei NE5000E core router allows 400 Gbps linecards, which support flexible networking of 100GE ports, 40GE ports, and 10GE ports. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"The burgeoning mobile bandwidth services and video services are spurring the growth of backbone network traffic and present an opportunity for the 400G technology in the lab to make its debut on a live network," said Gai Gang, president of Huawei Carrier IP Product Line. "After years of comprehensive research on operators' needs for network reconstruction, Huawei is now playing a leading role in 400G platform design. With the 400G platform technology, Huawei aims to simplify operators' network architecture, improve device performance and capacity, and construct sustainable IP backbone networks."

Monday, November 25, 2013

SK Telecom Tests Virtualized Evolved Packet Core with NSN

Nokia Solutions and Networks and SK Telecom demonstrated a joint proof-of-concept for Evolved Packet Core (EPC) virtualization based on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) principles.

The companies said their project showed successful results for capacity scaling for both throughput and signaling traffic in connection with smartphone usage patterns.

NSN has previously demonstrated a complete EPC solution in a cloud environment, including both virtualized Mobility Management Entity (MME) and virtualized S/P-Gateway elements. NSN said its virtualized EPC helps operators improve their competitiveness by rapidly introducing optimal services customized to its environment while running on off-the shelf commercial IT hardware.

“It has been satisfying to work with our long-standing partner, NSN, in yet another successful proof-of-concept project,” said Choi Jin-sung, Executive Vice President and Head of ICT R&D Division at SK Telecom. “We have now verified the feasibility of telco cloud technology and can now make plans for our future commercial cloud solutions for enhanced flexibility and operational efficiency.”

“I’m proud of our work with SK Telecom in this exciting demonstration of our telco cloud capabilities for virtualized EPC,” said Reino Tammela, vice president, Packet Core at NSN. “This successful project shows the full benefit of our Liquid Core portfolio. We have now completed proof-of-concept projects for voice as well as packet core network functions virtualization. We proved that handling both control and user plane traffic in the cloud is feasible and a viable option to meet the performance requirements of data traffic growth.”

  • In October 2013, NSN reinforced its multi-stack approach to telco cloud to give operators full flexibility in their choice of cloud platforms.  The company confirmed that it is working closely on cloud technology with major operators, leading cloud stack vendors such as VMware, open source cloud platforms  such as OpenStack and the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) Industry Specification Group (ISG). NSN also launched its cloud-ready NetAct 8 , which helps simplify network operations, reduce operational expenses and deliver very high availability. NetAct 8 includes the NSN Cloud Application Manager, which provides off-the-shelf management, orchestration and elasticity for virtual network functions.

Las Vegas Pilots LTE Public Safety Net with Alcatel-Lucent

The Las Vegas Metro Police Department, along with the Nevada Department of Transportation and other first responders, conducted a six-month trial of a 4G LTE public safety network in partnership with Alcatel-Lucent.

The trial, which occurred in a designated section of Las Vegas, used 700 MHz Band 14 spectrum allocated to the First Responders Network Authority (FirstNet).  The network delivered real-time use of video gathered from the Las Vegas area, collaboration, real-time vehicle tracking, remote office applications, WiFi and a secure virtual private network (VPN) to trial participants.

Alcatel-Lucent provided an LTE eNodeB, a 7705 SAR-8 service aggregation Router, a 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM), and a local Serving/Packet Data Network Gateway.  Axis Communications provided its ruggedized, vibration-resistant AXIS M3114-R Fixed Dome Network Camera.  CalAmp Fusion provided a multi-network LTE/FirstNet ready router with Wi-Fi. Cassidian Communications provided a Broadband Vehicle Router.

“For more than ten years Alcatel-Lucent and Bell Labs have been promoting the use of open standards-compliant commercial broadband technology to build a nationwide interoperable public safety network. Our work with the departments in Las Vegas is another step closer to our country having that network," stated Fred Scalera, Director, Public Safety Strategies of Alcatel-Lucent.

  • In October he FCC adopted technical service rules, including power limits and other technical parameters, to govern the spectrum for First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) nationwide wireless broadband system.  The rules are intended to provide a foundation for FirstNet's operations, help avoid harmful interference to spectrum users in adjacent bands, and expedite the availability of equipment for use on the public safety network, thereby fostering competition and innovation in the marketplace.  The FCC has granted a license to FirstNet for the combined use of two spectrum blocks  -- one block that was previously designated for public safety use (763-768/793-798 MHz) and a second, spectrally adjacent block (758-763/788-793 MHz).  The FCC said this action consolidates the technical requirements governing both spectrum blocks into a uniform set of rules, which will provide vendors with specifications they need to develop equipment for use on this spectrum.

Qualcomm Finalizes $800 Million Sale of Omnitracs

Qualcomm completed the the sale of its Omnitracs subsidiary to Vista Equity Partners (Vista), a U.S.-based private equity firm, for approximately $800 million in cash.  The sale includes all of Omnitracs' operations in the United States, Canada and Latin America. The deal was first announced in August.

"Omnitracs was one of Qualcomm's earliest businesses and has been a leader in fleet management and telematics for more than 25 years. We'd like to thank all of the employees, suppliers and customers for helping make Omnitracs a success, and look forward to many more years of accomplishments," said Derek Aberle, executive vice president and group president, Qualcomm Incorporated.

China Initiates Anti-Monopoly Investigation into Qualcomm

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has commenced an investigation of Qualcomm relating to the Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law (AML).

In a statement, Qualcomm said it is not aware of any charge by the NDRC that Qualcomm has violated the AML.

Equinix Hires Senior Exec from Level 3

Equinix appointed Karl Strohmeyer as president of the Americas, a role in which he will be responsible for the management, strategy and growth plan for Equinix in the Americas, with P&L accountability for the region.

Strohmeyer joins Equinix from Level 3 Communications, where he was group vice president for the North American enterprise group. Prior to this role, Strohmeyer led the Global Carrier Channel for Level 3 and managed sales teams responsible for more than $1 billion in carrier and service provider revenue.

During his 12-year tenure at Level 3, Strohmeyer held several executive positions, supervising commercial services and large deal teams, overseeing customer operations and client service, and managing strategic relationships with other companies, including channel partners.

Alcatel-Lucent USA Offers $250 Million in Senior Notes

Alcatel-Lucent USA announced plans to offer $250 million aggregate principal amount of its 6.750% Senior Notes due November 2020.  The net proceeds will be used, together with available cash, to repay  the €298 million Senior Secured Term Loan Facility due 2019.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Intel: From Silicon to Platforms

"If it computes, it does it best with Intel" -- this statement underscores Intel's mission, said company CEO Brian Krzanich, speaking at the Intel Investor's Day conference in Santa Clara, California. Intel is dedicated to "a new pragmatism" that will make the company much more market driven, said Krzanich, with a the goal of capturing significant inroads in the data center and mobile computing. Among the changes to the way the company does business is that decision to open its foundry to any company able to utilize its silicon and the decision to create platforms for the data center, not just server and switching silicon.

Some highlights taken from half-dozen executive presentations (now available on the company's website).

Data Center

  • Intel sees a 15% CAGR for data center products through 2016.
  • Intel's data center business spans Enterprise, Telco, HPC, Work stations and Cloud.  The company will move from delivering just silicon to complete solutions for each of these segments.
  • Intel believes the Telco market will transition to common server platforms for many workloads, including signal processing at the edge, control plane processing, application processing and data plane processing.  This is a major transition and will help offset Service Provider CAPEX/OPEX.
  • AT&T's Supplier Domain 2.0 program is an example of the move to open software and hardware solutions.
  • The move to SDN and NFV will also drive the move to Intel architectures. Over 15 major telcos worldwide are in the process of qualifying new systems based on Intel systems.
  • Proprietary network appliances are being virtualized and migrated on open servers based on Intel.
  • Intel currently estimates that it has about 5% of the overall network equipment compute market, compared with 94% of the enterprise server compute market.  The company believes the performance gains of its Xeon processors will enable it to challenge the ASIC-based systems currently used in many networking platforms.
  • Intel estimates that every 400 new Connected Devices sold leads to the sale of 1 new server. Every new 20 Digital Signs leads to 1 new server.
  • Internet of Things will drive faster change: a metro area smart traffic deployment will require 30K cameras, 10K gates, 2.5K servers, 650 network switches, 250 storage systems -- based on a real project in China.
  • 6 of 7 top data center customers bought “higher bin” CPUs vs. prior year.
  • Intel delivers unique server processors for eBay (liquid cooled), Facebook (cold storage server), and Nuance (optimized for voice processing)
  • Intel is delivering its new open rack-scale architecture to the Open Compute project and a similar "Scorpion" initiative in China.
  • In terms of connecting systems in a rack, copper will be challenged >25Gbps.
  • Current optical interconnect products are challenged >100m, >25Gbps.
  • Intel's Silicon Photonics has demonstrated 800m reach at 25Gbps.  This will enter production in Q1 2014.
  • Intel currently holds No.1 market share in enterprise SSDs.  Upcoming technologies will redefine the boundary between memory and storage.
Mobility and PC

  • About 1.5 billion smartphones and tablets will ship in 2014 (overall market).
  • Intel believes the PC market is stabilizing, although still declining at single digit rates.
  • In 2014 aims for 40 million tablets sold -- a 4X gain over expected 2013 Intel tablet shipments.
  • Intel seeks to change the "PC experience" by pushing 2-in-1 convertible and detachable PC/Tablet devices, with prices under $300.
  • Look for Intel-powered tablets on the market for under $100.
  • The first LTE chipset (XMM7160) is shipping and the LTE-Advanced chipset (XMM7260) will be out next year.
  • The forthcoming Broxton chip (next gen Atom) will offer a unique design that will allow it to be quickly adapted for specialized devices. Target date is mid-2015.
  • A new SoFIA chipset will provide integrated global LTE multi-comm connectivity with Intel Atom inside.  Initially it will be built in an external foundry for market pragmatics, but brought back inside with a move to 14nm.
  • Intel believes "perceptual computing" will be a big trend - using voice and motion sensors to make computing a 3D experience.
  • Intel's 10nm process technology will be ready in 2015.
  • Opening the foundry means focusing on a much wider range of customers.
  • Initial foundry customers include achronix, Altera, Microsemi, Netronome and Tabula.

Archived materials are here:

NTT DATA to Acquire Optimal Solutions Integration for SAP Consulting

NTT DATA will acquire Optimal Solutions Integration, a consulting company based in Irving, Texas that specializes in SAP services.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Optimal offers a broad range of planning, implementation, and maintenance services for the SAP product suite.

NTT DATA said its SAP-related revenues already exceed $1 billion annually and the acquisition will expand this business. Optimal’s 2012 fiscal year revenue was $153 million.  With the acquisition expected to close in early 2014, NTT DATA will have approximately 7,500 SAP professionals, including more than 950 from Optimal.

“Optimal complements and brings further innovation to support the growing market demand for emerging technologies in the SAP space such as HANA, big data, analytics, mobility, and cloud, areas where NTT DATA is heavily focused today,” stated Robb Rasmussen, President of NTT DATA’s Enterprise Services.  “Optimal is well-respected in the SAP ecosystem and brings business process expertise in industries such as Consumer, Retail, Wholesale and Distribution, Mining, Public Sector, and Manufacturing.”

"This combination is all about growth,” said Gurvendra Suri, CEO of Optimal. "We are very excited to bring our SAP expertise to NTT DATA to strengthen its leadership position in the market. This combination strengthens an already robust SAP services portfolio, providing more options for our clients and opening up new opportunities to expand and innovate in ways others cannot.”

More recent acquisitions from NTT

NTT Com Expands Global Cloud Vision with 2 Investments: Virtela and RagingWire

NTT Communications announced two major international investments:  the acquisition of Virtela for US$525 million in cash, and the acquisition of an 80% stake in RagingWire for US$350 million. Virtela Technology Services (Virtela), which is based in Denver, is a leading global managed and cloud network services provider serving over 500 multinational companies.

NTT Comm to Acquire Arkadin for Cloud Collaboration

NTT Communications will acquire a maximum 91.2% equity stake in Arkadin, which delivers SaaS conference-related solutions covering audio, web, video conferencing and unified communications services. Arkadin, which was launched in 2001 by CEO, Olivier de Puymorin, serves approximately 37,000 customers in 32 countries, including France, Germany, the UK, USA, Australia, China, Singapore and Japan. The company is based in Paris.

NTT to Acquire Solutionary for Managed Security Services

NTT agreed to acquire Solutionary, a privately held company based in Omaha, Nebraska that specializes in managed security in an all-cash transaction. Financial terms were not disclosed. Solutionary is a pure-play managed security service provider (MSSP) that helps enterprises fulfill the requirements of major compliance frameworks (such as PCI DSS, GLBA, FFIEC, HIPAA, HITECH and SOX). Solutionary's cloud-based ActiveGuard security services and analytics.

NTT to Acquire Centerstance for Cloud Integration Expertise

NTT will acquire Centerstance, a U.S.-based consulting company specializing in cloud integration projects, for an undisclosed sum. Centerstance is a platinum cloud alliance partner for  The company is based in Portland, Oregon.  The company helps clients to identify and move key business processes to the cloud leveraging the platform.

NTT DOCOMO Updated Indoor Base Station + Antenna for LTE-A

NTT DOCOMO has developed an indoor multi-band base station and antenna that are newly compatible with the 1.5 and 1.7 GHz frequency bands for LTE-Advanced in addition to the conventionally supported 2 GHz band.  Maximum downlink is rated at 150 Mbps currently and up to 225 Mbps when DOCOMO launches its LTE-Advanced service.  Installations of the new base station and antenna are beginning immediately in parts of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Aichi, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures.

DOCOMO said its new multi-band base station fits into limited spaces in indoor locations and the new multi-band antenna, which is about the same size as the current single-band antenna, can replace existing antennas using the same space.

Facebook Backs RocksDB Open Database in Flash

At last week's Data@Scale event, Facebook announced support for RocksDB, a high-performance, embedded key-value store database optimized for flash storage.

Facebook said RocksDB builds on LevelDB to be scalable to run on servers with many CPU cores, to efficiently use fast storage, to support IO-bound, in-memory and write-once workloads, and to be flexible to allow for innovation.

A video by Dhruba Borthakur, software engineer at Facebook, presents Rocksdb.

Twitter Implements Forward Secrecy

Twitter announced the implementation of Forward Secrecy for traffic on,, and  The new security seeks to defend against an adversary that may be recording all of Twitter's encrypted HTTPS traffic.

On a blog post, Twitter's engineering team said that unlike traditional HTTPS, Forward Security enables the EC Diffie-Hellman cipher suites, which lets the client and server share a random session key without ever sending the key across the network, even under encryption.

Twitter is encouraging other websites to adopt Forward Secrecy as "the new normal" in web traffic, saying this type of protection is increasing important on today's Internet.

NYT: N.S.A. Report Outlined Goals for More Power

The New York Times reported on a top secret, 2012 N.S.A. document leaked by Edward Snowden that outlines the agency's ambition to expand its surveillance powers through new access channels, by integrating its technical tools and by leveraging global business trends in data and communications services.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Level 3 Opens Tier III Data Center in Bogotá

Level 3 Communications has launched its newest data center in Bogotá, Colombia. The new facility adds 1,700 square meters to Level 3’s current data center complex in Bogotá.  The Tier III data center is built for earthquake preparedness and energy efficiency.  It implements the 2N philosophy (system + system), which results in higher redundancy and reliability.

“Demand for colocation, housing, hosting and value-added services continues to grow in Colombia as the adoption of cloud-based applications increases,” said Gabriel del Campo, Level 3's senior vice president of Data Centers for Latin America. “As a result, companies are increasingly looking to outsource these services to ensure they can capitalize on efficient cloud solutions and remain focused on their core business objectives. Level 3's data center services range from traditional network equipment hosting to comprehensive support for managed IT solutions, helping position enterprises for successful growth amid a dynamic global marketplace.”

Dell'Oro: LTE RAN Market Advances, Nearly Offsetting Declines in GSM, WCDMA, CDMA

The LTE RAN market continued to grow at a rapid pace in 3Q13, nearly offsetting declining RAN technologies (GSM, WCDMA, CDMA), according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.  After three quarters of consecutive year-over-year RAN growth, Dell'Oro Group estimates that the total RAN (2G, 3G, 4G, excluding TD-SCDMA and SP WiFi) market declined approximately one percent year-over-year in 3Q13.

"Even though growth is slowing down in some of the more advanced Mobile Broadband (MBB) markets, we are now seeing great demand for LTE in other markets, particularly Europe, with LTE RAN revenues more than doubling year-over-year", said Stefan Pongratz, Director of Mobile RAN research at the Dell'Oro Group.

Other highlights from the 3Q13 quarterly market share report:

  • Ericsson maintained its dominant position in LTE with a 15 point four-quarter trailing share lead over number two, Huawei.
  • Alcatel-Lucent passed NSN to take the number three spot in LTE RAN revenue share in the quarter.  NSN maintained the number three LTE position on a four-quarter trailing basis.
  • Total RAN market is expected to grow in 2014, as growth in China offsets declines in the U.S. and Japan.
  • Dell'Oro Group maintains an optimistic view of the Small Cell RAN market with small cell revenues expected to account for approximately one percent of total RAN revenues in 2014.

NTT DOCOMO to Deliver Wi-Fi on Bus

NTT DOCOMO will begin delivering Wi-Fi on busses in Japan later next month.

The service uses the LTE network to enable an on-board router to supply up to 72 Mbps downstream.  The company plans to have 1,452 busses installed by the end of March 2014.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

IBM Tests SDN-based Disaster Prevention Intervention App

IBM is working with Marist College on a rapid re-provisioning application for cloud computing that could move resources to a safe location in the event of a pending natural disaster.  The effort comes in response to last year's Hurricane Sandy, in which many data center operators were warned of the impending weather disaster, but were unable to re-provision applications and storage to a safe location at short notice.

The cloud computing disaster prevention invention that IBM and Marist are currently testing could slash re-provisioning time from days to minutes -- avoiding costly network disruptions and outages. Marist’s SDN Innovation Lab is testing an SDN solution from IBM that enables data center operators to more efficiently control data flows within physical and virtual networks.
IBM said this cloud-based solution could significantly reduce or eliminate the loss of services and data in a major weather event or other crisis that threatens voice and data network resources. It is now being demonstrated to clients and is expected to be commercially available in 2014.

"A year ago, Sandy left millions of individuals and businesses in the Northeast without electronic communications for days, weeks and even months -- in some cases, data centers were literally under water," said IBM Distinguished Engineer Casimer DeCusatis. "With our invention, a data center operator could quickly and simply move data and applications to another data center outside the danger zone in minutes -- from a remote location using a tablet or smartphone."

"Our SDN Innovation Lab provides a cloud networking test bed for early SDN adopters, including IBM clients, and also offers an opportunity to evaluate new technologies across our entire infrastructure here at Marist College," said Robert Cannistra, senior professional lecturer for computer science and information technology at Marist. "We gain practical experience with the latest technology that we can apply to our own operations and curricula, and our students gain valuable knowledge they can apply to their future careers."

Other IBM cloud inventions and projects being tested at the SDN Innovation Lab include:

  • The recently announced "noisy neighbor' invention (U.S. Patent #8,352,953) for dynamically managing network bandwidth for systems running within a cloud that experience dramatic or unexpected peaks and valleys in demand for services.
  • A patent-pending IBM invention that creates a "heat map" of network activity within a cloud to automatically predict and prevent congestion before it occurs. This invention is included in IBM Flex System servers and System Networking offerings.
  • A prototype streaming video invention that monitors server CPU and memory function to dynamically shift the video stream from one virtual machine to another within a cloud while it's running, to ensure picture quality and continuous transmission.
  • An open-source SDN controller that will allow developers to build redundancy, high availability and automation into cloud networks. The controller is based on IBM's DOVE technology, which is being donated to the Linux Foundation's OpenDaylight Project.
  • Additional research partners in the Marist SDN Innovation Lab include Columbia University, City University of New York, the State University of New York 

Optical Internetworking Forum Continues 100G and 400G Work

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) launched three new projects following its Q4 Technical meeting last month in Hong Kong:

400G Framework Document  - the Physical and Link Layer (PLL) and Carrier Working Groups joined forces to begin developing a 400G Framework Document that will analyze and discuss trade-offs between high-order modulation formats, high data rates per channel and a number of subcarriers.  The effort is expected to lead to the definition of application scenarios and limits for 400G operation. The framework document will also consider single optical carrier vs. multi-carrier solutions for long haul and metro applications.

Integrated Polarization Multiplexed Quadrature Modulated Transmitters for Metro Applications -- targeting 100G coherent optical modulator modules for metro applications. This new project will incorporate the use of new and advanced modulator technologies which will enable smaller and more cost-effective components needed for these metro applications.

Multi-Link Gearbox (MLG) 3.0 - an effort to define a protocol to support in-band and remote Monitoring & Control and define IEEE 802.3bj RS-FEC compatibility.  In some applications the transport of 10GBASE-R signals over Nx20G links requires definition, including 2X20G and 1X40G links. The MLG 3.0 Project will define in-band coding that preserves 10GBASE-R physical lane-to-lane ordering and in-lane bit ordering to support synchronous and asynchronous 10G lanes.

The OIF also announced the election of its new leadership.  Newly elected to the board of directors is Dave Brown of Alcatel-Lucent, who will serve a one-year term as vice president of marketing. Re-elected to the OIF board of directors are the following: Steve Joiner of Finisar, who will serve a two-year term; John McDonough of NEC America, who will serve a one-year term, was appointed vice president; and Vishnu Shukla of Verizon, who will serve a two-year term, was appointed president.

Newly elected OIF officers and committee chairs, each serving a one-year term, include: Nathan Tracy of TE Connectivity as Technical Committee chair; Jonathan Sadler of Tellabs as Technical Committee vice chair, Brian Holden of Kandou as Market Awareness & Education Committee co-chair, PLL; Lyndon Ong of Ciena as Market Awareness & Education Committee co-chair, Networking.

“Recently, several approaches to achieving 400G data transmission have been proposed with reported transmit fiber distances from short haul to long haul applications,” said Nathan Tracy, TE Connectivity and the OIF’s Technical Committee chair.  “To develop this white paper, the OIF intends to bring the industry together to discuss the options and where the gaps exist for initial 400G long haul implementations.”

Internap's AgileCLOUD to Offer Native OpenStack API

Internap Network Services announced the beta availability of the next generation of its public cloud.

Internap's AgileCLOUD will fully expose both virtualized and bare-metal compute instances over a native OpenStack API. The company said this will allow customers to easily provision and manage thousands of virtual or bare-metal cloud AgileSERVER instances – to best fit their application and use case requirements – across Internap’s global cloud footprint, which includes locations in New York, Dallas, Silicon Valley, Amsterdam and Singapore.

“AgileCLOUD is now 100% OpenStack ‘under the hood,’ which provides an open, interoperable framework that helps us deliver a dramatically more scalable platform,” said Raj Dutt, senior vice president of technology at Internap. “Not only can we offer our customers all the benefits of the OpenStack platform, but we’ve implemented existing features that our hybridized customers find valuable – such as bare-metal cloud instances, static IP addresses, Layer 2 VLANs and compatibility with our existing hosting API (hAPI).”

Other key features include:

  • Flexible configuration options and hybridization – Bare-metal cloud AgileSERVERs will function as just another instance flavor, providing customers with a seamless choice on a per-application or per-instance basis. AgileCLOUD continues to support Layer 2 VLANs for hybridization across customers’ colocation and managed hosting services with Internap, all of which can be managed through a “single-pane-of-glass” customer portal and API.
  • High-performance storage – AgileCLOUD provides 100% SSD for both local (ephemeral) and networked (persistent) block storage.
  • Improved interoperability and no vendor lock-in – native OpenStack API and third-party OpenStack ecosystem for both virtualized and bare-metal cloud instances, including the ability to more easily hybridize between on-premise and third-party OpenStack clouds.

China Mobile Selects HP for Wireless City Search

China Mobile has selected HP Autonomy's Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) to power the search capability of its strategic Wireless City platform, which allows users to access information on thousands of public services directly from their mobile phones.

HP IDOL uses advanced pattern-matching technology to understand key concepts in all forms of information, including free text, video, audio, image, social media and the web. Unlike traditional, keyword-dependent systems, HP IDOL retrieves all relevant information that is conceptually related to a query, going beyond search to help users discover information they may not know to look for.

“Much of the success of Wireless City depends on the users’ ability to quickly find information and harness the full potential of the platform,” said Cao Yang, project manager, Wireless City, China Mobile. “HP Autonomy stood out by having a great support infrastructure. We believe that the unique conceptual search capabilities of HP IDOL can help us deliver an unmatched experience and a highly valuable service to our customers.”

Infonetics: Banner Year for VoIP and IMS

Bucking the typically soft 3rd quarter, the global service provider VoIP and IMS equipment market totaled $974 million in 3Q13, up 4% sequentially, and up 52% from the year-ago quarter, according to a new report from Infonetics.

“2013 is turning into a banner year for the IMS equipment market due largely to mobile operators in the U.S., Japan, and South Korea purchasing gear for voice over LTE (VoLTE). While many of these networks won’t go live until next year, operators are purchasing and deploying enough capacity to make sure they don’t fall short upon launch,” notes Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS at Infonetics Research.

Some additional highlights:

  • Legacy equipment—gateways and softswitches—showed resiliency rather than being a drag on results
  • Owing to LTE-related activity, North America enjoyed the strongest year-over-year growth of any region in 3Q13, despite being down on a quarter-over-quarter basis
  • The Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) continues to benefit from the overall expansion of fixed-line VoIP services, notching a 20% sequential increase in revenue in 3Q13
  • Strong performances in Asia Pacific, CALA, and EMEA helped Huawei maintain its leadership in the global service provider VoIP and IMS market
  • In the 3rd quarter, NEC, Ericsson, Mavenir, Genband, and Metaswitch all posted double-digit revenue growth.

Cable Wi-Fi Now Provides Access Nearly 200,000 WiFi Hotspots across U.S.

Cox Communications is now providing its customers with access to nearly 200,00 Wi-Fi hotspots across the U.S. in the Cable WiFi network.

With the latest integration with Time Warner Cable's hotspots, Cox customers now can access free Wi-Fi in additional cities including Los Angeles, New York City, Austin, Charlotte and Kansas City.

"Cox continues to extend our customers access to WiFi hotspots across the country delivering information and entertainment anytime, anywhere," said Len Barlik, executive vice president and chief product officer. "Not only are we providing our customers access to nearly 200,000 WiFi hotspots throughout the country, we are also making it convenient and simple for customers to locate and logon to these hotspots."

Aruba Posts Quarterly Revenue of $161M, up 11% YoY

Aruba Networks reported record quarterly revenue of $160.9 million, up 11 percent from the $144.5 million reported in Q1’13. G

AAP net loss for Q1’14 was $7.8 million, a loss of $0.07 per share, compared with GAAP net loss of $0.8 million, or a loss of $0.01 per share, in Q1’13.

“In the first quarter, we surpassed our revenue expectations and executed well on our initiatives to grow our sales and channel engine,” said Dominic Orr, Aruba’s president and chief executive officer. “The early strong performance of our 802.11ac solutions validate our technology leadership position in the industry. Additionally, we expanded our addressable market with the launch of our Aruba Central cloud-based management service, bringing Aruba’s enterprise-class performance, manageability and reliability to the cloud. Our competitive position continues to grow as IT teams recognize that upgrading their wired closet will not solve their most pressing needs brought about by an increasingly wireless world and the proliferation of devices needing access to their networks."

Splunk Sees 51% YoY Sales Growth for Analytics

Splunk posted quarterly revenue of $78.6 million, up 51% year-over-year, for its software platform for real-time operational intelligence.

“We are pleased to welcome a record number of new customers to Splunk this quarter,” said Godfrey Sullivan, Chairman and CEO, Splunk. “There is tremendous value to be found in machine data. As a result, more customers are adopting Splunk software as their enterprise standard. We expanded our product portfolio this quarter with the release of Splunk Enterprise 6, Splunk Cloud and Hunk: Splunk Analytics for Hadoop, providing more power, functionality and flexibility for our customers.”