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.