Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CTO Viewpoint: Top Predictions for 2014

By Martin Nuss, Vitesse Semiconductor

As 2013 draws to a close, it’s time to ponder what’s next. We know connections are growing, as previously unconnected devices are now joining smart phones and tablets in the network, but how will they be networked? Furthermore, how will networks handle these additional connections, which are only going to grow faster in 2014? And lastly, how will all of these links be secured? Many advanced technologies have been developed for these exact questions. Here’s what I see coming to the forefront in 2014.

The Internet of Things: The Next All-Ethernet IP Network

Today’s world is defined by networking – public, private, cloud, industrial, you name it. Eventually everything will be connected, and mostly connected wirelessly. According to Morgan Stanley projections, 75 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020. Clearly all these devices will need to be networked, and must be securely accessible anywhere, anytime.

Proprietary communications and networking protocols have long dominated networking within Industrial applications. With higher bandwidth and increased networking demands in Industrial process control, Smart-Grid Energy Distribution, Transportation, and Automotive applications, and Industrial networks are transitioning to standards-based Ethernet networking.

Networks within the broad-based Industrial applications realm will need many of the same capabilities developed for Carrier Ethernet, such as resiliency, high availability, accurate time synchronization, low power, security, and cloud connectivity. In 2014, we believe IoT will be the next network moving entirely to Ethernet-IP based in the Carrier Ethernet space. We also believe security, timing, reliability and deterministic behavior will become important requirements for these connected networks.

Network Security Sets Sights On Authentication, Authorization, Accounting (AAA) and Encryption

There will be more than 10 billion mobile devices/connections by 2017, including more than 1.7 billion M2M connections, according to Cisco’s most recent Visual Networking Index projections. As the number of network connections increase, so do the vulnerabilities. Anything with an IP address is theoretically hackable, and networking these devices without physical security heightens risk.

Security has long been an important issue, and the continued strong growth in the number of mobile Internet connections will bring more challenges in 2014. Operators will need to rely on the most advanced technologies available. New mobile devices with bandwidth-hungry applications, and the small cell networks needed to support them, exponentially multiply the number of network elements required in mobile networks. Long gone are the days of network equipment residing solely in physically secure locations like a central office or a macro base station. The network edge is particularly vulnerable because it is part of the Carrier network, but not physically secure. New types of access points directly exposed to users pose the obvious security concern. The BYOD trend introduces a new layer of vulnerable access points for enterprises to protect. Small cells are also particularly susceptible to hackers, as they are often installed outdoors at street level or indoors in easy-to-reach locations. Strong encryption of these last mile links can provide the necessary confidentiality of data. Authentication, authorization, and the corresponding accounting trails will ensure both the users and the equipment remain uncompromised.

In 2014, we expect that encryption and AAA will become key topics as Carrier equipment migrates to lamp posts, utility poles, and traffic signals. Encryption directly at the L2 Ethernet layer makes the most sense, especially as service providers offer more Carrier Ethernet Layer 2 (L2) VPN services. Fortunately, new MACsec technologies make it a viable option for wired and wireless WAN security.

SDN Looks Promising, But Carriers’ 2014 Focus Will Be On NFV

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are widely discussed, but realization in Carriers’ networks is still some time away. Unlike datacenters, where SDN can be rolled out relatively easily, Carriers must modernize their complex operational structures before implementing SDN.

SDN’s biggest potential benefit to Carrier networks is its ability to create multiple, virtual private networks on top of a single physical network, which distributes costs by allowing multiple customers and service providers to securely share the same network. However, the entire network needs to support SDN in order to do that. On the other hand, NFV is about testing and deploying new services at the IP Edge faster and with lower CapEx. How? It’s made possible by creating the service in software, rather than with dedicated hardware. As long as the equipment at the network edge is NFV-ready, Carriers can create new services in centralized and virtualized servers. This captures Carriers’ imagination, since NFV promises a faster path to revenue with less risk and investment required. One of the first NFV applications we will see is Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). Because SDN requires spending money in order to save money, expect to see more Carrier attention to NFV in 2014.

4G RAN Sharing Becomes Widespread, Later Followed by 5G

Many see 5G as the next big thing, but beyond ‘more bandwidth’ little is defined, and the business drivers aren’t as clear as they were for 4G/LTE. We anticipate 5G will not fully materialize until 2020. Again, operators will need to upgrade networks for its deployment, and this might provide an opportunity to unify fixed, mobile, and nomadic network access.

In 2014, expect RAN sharing to become much more commonplace, with the financially strongest MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) installing the RAN infrastructure and leasing capacity back to other wireless service providers. This will allow participating operators to trade off CapEx and OpEx considerations. SDN (Software Defined Networking) will play a major role in slicing the RANs any way possible to partition the network infrastructure, while also virtualizing many aspects of the RAN.

About the Author

Martin Nuss, Ph.D. is Vice President, Technology and Strategy and Chief Technology Officer at Vitesse Semiconductor. Dr. Nuss has over 20 years of technical and management experience. He is a recognized industry expert in timing and synchronization for communications networks. Dr. Nuss serves on the board of directors for the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and IEEE member. He holds a doctorate in applied physics from the Technical University in Munich, Germany.

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 www.vitesse.com or follow us on Twitter @VitesseSemi.

AT&T to Sell Wireline Operation in Connecticut for $2 Billion

AT&T will sell its wireline business and statewide fiber network that provides services to residential, commercial and wholesale customers in Connecticut to Frontier Communications for $2 billion.

The deal includes AT&T's U-verse video and satellite TV customers in Connecticut.

Frontier expects the transaction to be accretive to its adjusted free cash flow per share in the first year.  The company says the acquisition gives it greater scale to leverage its network, information technology, engineering, administrative services and procurement capabilities to realize cost synergies and savings of $200 million annually once integration is complete.

Maggie Wilderotter, Frontier's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, "We are excited to be acquiring AT&T's wireline operating company in Connecticut, where our company has been headquartered since 1946. This is a great opportunity to bring to Connecticut Frontier's portfolio of products and services, such as Frontier Secure, our industry leading digital security offering that gives customers top-rated online computer protection and premium technical support. It also allows us to introduce our local engagement management model to Connecticut in which Frontier employees provide high-quality service to their friends and neighbors and become actively involved in their communities." Wilderotter added, "We see an opportunity to enhance broadband capabilities in Connecticut. This transaction demonstrates our continued commitment to enhancing shareholder value by improving the sustainability of our dividend, increasing our free cash flow and building on our core product and service strengths."


Brazil's Telefónica Vivo Picks Coriant

Telefónica Vivo, the largest telecommunications company in Brazil, has selected Coriant's hiT 7300, hiT 7100, TNMS and related support services to drive network expansion and increase capacity in its optical backbone network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deployment includes Coriant's hiT 7300 intelligent optical transport platform, hiT 7100 OTN/MPLS-TP switch, and TNMS, a holistic network management system designed to simplify end-to-end service provisioning and control. Coriant highlighted its 40/100G coherent technology, flexible ROADM architecture, and integrated packet and optical service capabilities as key factors in Telefónica Vivo's decision. In addition, the Coriant solution delivered tangible operational cost savings through improved efficiencies in space and power.

"Telefónica Vivo is at the leading edge of bringing services to market that demonstrate how information and communication technologies have the potential to radically transform businesses such as healthcare," said Herbert Merz, president and CEO, Coriant. "We are pleased to extend our strategic relationship with Telefónica Vivo and deliver the high-quality solutions that allow them to meet the performance requirements of all their service offerings."
Coriant's industry-leading portfolio of service management and control solutions include Intelligent Optical Control (IOC), the industry's first solution leveraging Software Defined Networking (SDN) technology for the optimization of the optical layer, and fully integrated ASON/GMPLS for enhanced multi-layer, multi-domain and multi-vendor control.


DE-CIX Completes Upgrade of its Internet Exchange

DE-CIX, which operates the world’s largest Internet exchange in Frankfurt am Main (Germany), completed a major upgrade to its flagship DE-CIX Apollon platform and successfully migrated all of its nearly 600 customers to the next system.

DE-CIX Apollon consists of four fully implemented Supernodes and six edge nodes spread across the Frankfurt metro, with the platform’s deployment having begun in April 2013. In ten scheduled maintenance windows, 580 customers with a total of 928 ports were successfully migrated to the new DE-CIX Apollon platform.

DE-CIX Apollon uses ADVA Optical Networking and Alcatel-Lucent as its technology vendors. Specifically, the platform leverages ADVA Optical Networking's flagship FSP 3000 platform for optical transport capacity of up to 2 Terabits/sec per fiber pair. The switching layer is powered by Alcatel-Lucent's Core Router 7950 XRS, which supports port density of up to 80 100 Gigabit Ethernet ports per chassis. The core of the DE-CIX Apollon network is based on four supernodes that are built from the Alcatel-Lucent 7950 XRS and which are fed by customer-facing switches, both located at secure locations spread throughout the Frankfurt metro.

In 2014, DE-CIX will announce additional Ethernet-based interconnection options that its Apollon infrastructure will provide.

“We’re proud to announce that DE-CIX Apollon is now ready for service,” confirmed Harald A. Summa, CEO for DE-CIX. “A huge congratulations goes out to our engineering and support teams for their careful planning and strong execution of this complex process. Our goal was always to maximize efficiency and minimize disruptions for our customers, and we’ve been successful. DE-CIX Apollon is the result of the innovation, vision and excellence that we bring to all aspects of our work. We know global Internet traffic will continue to grow and are confident that the DE-CIX Apollon platform will capably handle traffic for all our customers.”


Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Names Ericsson as Main LTE Supplier

Ericsson confirmed that it has been awarded main supplier for Taiwan's first LTE tender from leading operator, Chunghwa Telecom Co.

The island-wide LTE deployment includes the Radio Access Network (RAN) and roll-out services. In addition, Ericsson has won the tender as sole supplier for the Evolved Packet Core, which includes Mobility Management Entity and Evolved Packet Gateway on SSR 8020, as well as IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem). Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson noted that Taiwan currently enjoys a mobile penetration rate of 127 percent, with close to 80 percent of subscribers already on a 3G service.


Raytheon Opens Cyber Center in San Antonio

Raytheon inaugurated a new cyber facility in San Antonio, Texas. Raytheon cited its expertise in providing full-spectrum cyber capabilities including cyber domain situational awareness, incident response, network monitoring, vulnerability assessment, information assurance and cyber training capabilities.

Raytheon's global cyber resources include 21 cyber facilities in five countries. This includes 10 states where cyber solutions are developed, tested and delivered for customers. The new San Antonio cyber center is one of two cyber-focused Raytheon sites in Texas.

"Raytheon is excited to be growing its presence in 'Cyber City USA' as San Antonio plays a significant role in developing the talent and delivering the technologies that our customers have come to rely on as they keep their edge in the cyber domain," said Jack Harrington, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions with Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services business. "We expect this move will provide us the room we need to grow."


Slovak Telekom Launches LTE with Ericsson

Slovak Telekom has launched its LTE network in five cities in Slovakia.  Ericsson is the sole vendor for the LTE radio network, which is based on the multi-standard RBS 6000 base station. The network operates at 1800MHz and offers a maximum theoretical speed of 73Mbps download and 23Mbps upload. Circuit-switched fallback (CSFB) ensures that voice calls and text messages are delivered to LTE devices through the use of a 2G/3G circuit-switched network.

Ericsson is the incumbent vendor for Slovak Telekom, having supplied the operator's 2G and 3G radio, as well as circuit core hardware and software, including IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem). With the Ericsson IMS Slovak Telekom will evolve its current voice business to support VoLTE in the future.


  •  Deutsche Telekom holds a 51% stake in Slovak Telekom, while the Slovak Republic's Ministry of the Economy holds 34%, and the country's National Property Fund holds 15%.

SingTel Deploys Ericsson's Self-organizing Network Solution

SingTel is deploying Ericsson's SON Optimization Manager to extend benefits of network automation to their WCDMA networks.

Ericsson's SON solution adapts intelligently to network traffic conditions, delivering optimum coverage, capacity and quality at all times. It includes self-optimization features such as coverage capacity optimization and load balance (CCLB), and automatic neighbor relation (ANR) handling. Self-healing functions are being developed to automatically compensate for cell outages by adjusting the neighboring cells to find the optimal configuration.


ETSI Publishes Cloud Computing Report

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) delivered a 59-page report to the European Commission discussing the role of standards in cloud computing.

The report aims to serve as a detailed map of the necessary standards (inter alia for security, interoperability, data portability and reversibility) needed to build trust in cloud computing services.