Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mobile World Congress 2014: 85,000 Visitors, up 18%

This week's Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona set a new attendance record:  more Than 85,000 visitors, up 18% over 2013.

"By any measure, the 2014 Mobile World Congress was a stunning success and we thank our attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and partners for their continued support," said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd. "Beyond the number of attendees and participating companies, the continued expansion of the event to address key adjacent industry sectors demonstrates just how pervasive mobile is in our everyday lives and how integrated it is becoming in everything that we do. It's gratifying to be part of such a dynamic, exciting industry."

Mobile World Congress set additional records, with more than 1,800 exhibiting companies across 98,000 net square meters of exhibition and hospitality space. More than 3,800 international media and industry analysts attended the event.

The GSMA estimates that 2014 Mobile World Congress will have contributed more than EUR 356 million and 7,220 part-time jobs to the local economy.

The 2015 Mobile World Congress will be held 2-5 March 2015.

http://www.mobileworldcongress.com/

NEC Launches Virtualized MVNO Solution

NEC has introduced a Mobile Virtual Network Operator solution that leverages Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) to enable services such as traffic restrictions/filtering of communication data and collection of charging information.

NEC’s vMVNO-SL enforces services between an MVNO's own communication network and a carrier's mobile network.

NEC delivers the MVNO solution as software that runs on a virtualized all-purpose Intel Architecture (IA) server.  It will be offered as one of NEC SDN Solutions’ NFV Solutions.

“MVNO operators are often required to introduce gateway systems in order to establish connections with carriers through the layer 2 data link,” said Tsutomu Ookurano, senior manager, NEC. “This requires a large amount of time and money, which is further aggravated by facility investment and rapid increases in operational costs. Furthermore, MVNOs face demands from customers for more flexible and scalable services, such as session management,
IP address management, charging data collection and security control. This new solution meets these needs and enables MVNOs to provide their original services more easily.”

The solution adopts NFV to achieve a variety of network functions on a virtual infrastructure of commercial-off-the-shelf IA servers, including the MVNO-GW functions conventionally achieved by dedicated hardware. This enables customers to begin with a single-server structure and to scale out their servers depending on business needs, thereby dramatically cutting back on capital expenditures.

http://www.nec.co.jp

Qwilt and Procera Partner on Transparent Caching + Policy Control

Qwilt, a provider of online video delivery and transparent caching solutions, and Procera Networks have formed a partnership to offer a transparent caching and Internet Intelligence solution for service providers.

Qwilt’s QB-Series transparent caching technology and Procera’s PacketLogic platform together provide a plug-and-play solution to seamlessly deliver over-the-top (OTT) video traffic and improve quality of experience (QoE).

“Our PacketLogic solutions provide network operators with unprecedented insights and the ability to enhance the QoE for any Internet connected device,” said James Brear, president and CEO of Procera Networks. “Our collaboration with Qwilt provides operators with an end-to-end solution for delivering high quality video traffic on their networks. The joint solution achieves a high return on investment by optimizing the network resources needed to deliver high-value streaming video traffic.”

Highlights include:

Ease of Deployment: For new deployments, a simple insertion model for the combined solution enables both application intelligence and transparent caching immediately, while those who have already deployed Procera’s solutions in their networks can easily insert and integrate Qwilt’s solution to enable transparent caching of online video.

Network Resources Optimization: Procera’s Advanced Traffic Steering can selectively steer OTT traffic to Qwilt for classification and caching which results in a more efficient use of video caching resources.

Service Model Innovation: Advanced analytics and reporting from Qwilt and Procera solutions can identify new service models and create new revenue streams by providing network operators with enhanced usage management and differentiated services based on video caching.

“Through the combination of transparent caching, video delivery and video analytics, Qwilt’s QB-Series Video Fabric Controller delivers a solution that network operators can implement to reduce network cost and improve QoE,” said Alon Maor, CEO of Qwilt. “Our partnership with Procera provides network operators with a total solution that is simple to deploy and optimizes network resources and efficiency. Our ability to reduce network cost and improve QoE enables our joint customers to realize the value of edge caching.”

http://www.qwilt.com
http://www.proceranetworks.com

Procera and Openet Develop NFV-Based Policy and Charging Control

Openet and Procera Networks demonstrated a turnkey Policy and Charging Control (PCC) solution based on network functions virtualization (NFV).

The Revenue Express solution combines Openet’s Policy Manager and Procera’s Intelligent Policy Enforcement capabilities.  The companies said elasticity is a key benefit for operators because the capacity dedicated to each network function can now be dynamically modified according to actual load on the network.

“Virtualization represents a strategic shift in the telecom industry and we are investing significantly to remain at the forefront of this transition,” said Chris Hoover, GVP of Marketing at Openet. “Our support for virtualized infrastructure helps operators to decrease total costs of ownership, accelerate time to market and drive agility in their respective markets.”

“Procera has been at the leading edge of virtualization with our participation in the ETSI Network Functions Virtualization Industry Specification Group, and our public demonstrations of our NFV capabilities,” said Cam Cullen, Vice President of Global Marketing at Procera Networks. “Virtualization opens up new options for service creation and deployment for operators that increases their service velocity and flexibility.”

Policy use cases of the virtualized solution include service plan provisioning and enforcement of tiered service and service passes which allow operators to accelerate data monetization by introducing segmented pricing that aligns network usage with revenue.

http://www.openet.com/technology/virtualization
http://www.proceranetworks.com


NSN Delivers Wi-Fi Traffic Steering

Nokia Solutions and Networks announced two advancements in mobile traffic steering.

  • Wi-Fi traffic steering, including automated creation of traffic steering rules, and enhanced ANDSF capabilities for real-time traffic steering based on network loading. Both new features are part of NSN’s Smart Wi-Fi solution. NSN’s CEM Analytics for Traffic Steering analyzes network traffic and billing data trends to automatically generate and update ANDSF rules that govern how devices select cellular or Wi-Fi access.
  • NSN Dynamic ANDSF software for mobile devices. While applying the ANDSF standard rules, operators can now also take into account network congestion and steer devices onto the radio access layer that will best maintain the experience of their most valued customers.

“As well as making ANDSF dynamic to cater for unpredictable traffic, we’re introducing a more efficient, time-saving way to create different traffic steering rules,” said Randy Cox, head of Small Cells product management at NSN. “Operators can now fully exploit Wi-Fi as a fourth radio access technology, complementing GSM, HSPA and LTE in their Heterogeneous Networks. NSN Smart Wi-Fi is the industry’s most comprehensive and efficient Wi-Fi traffic steering capability.”

http://www.nsn.com

Sequans Showcases Cassiopeia LTE-Advanced

Sequans Communications showed off its Cassiopeia silicon compliant with 3GPP Release 10 specifications and is software upgradeable to Release 11.

Cassiopeia supports highly flexible dual carrier aggregation up to 40 MHz total bandwidth. In 30 MHz FDD, combining two channels of 10 MHz plus 20 MHz, which will be one of the most common configurations deployed by LTE operators, Cassiopeia can deliver maximum theoretical category 6 LTE throughput of up to 225 Mbps.

The company says its carrier aggregation capability allows any two carriers of any size up to 20 MHz each, contiguous or non-contiguous, inter-band or intra-band, to be combined.

http://www.sequans.com

Sequans and ALU Show Carrier Aggregation and LTE Broadcast

At Mobile World Congress, Sequans Communications and Alcatel-Lucent demonstrated carrier aggregation, using Sequans’ Cassiopeia LTE-Advanced Platform, and LTE Broadcast, using Sequans’ Mont Blanc LTE platform.

The carrier aggregation demo showed Sequans’ Cassiopeia LTE-Advanced platform, as well as of Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE Overlay solution.

In the LTE Broadcast demonstration, Sequans and Alcatel-Lucent showed tablets based on Sequans’ eMBMS-capable Mont Blanc LTE platform, receiving ideo content broadcast from Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE Overlay solution.

http://www.sequans.com

NTT Develops Nanowire and Photonic Crystal on a Silicon Chip

Researchers at Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) have developed a novel method to create an optical nanocavity  at an arbitrary place on a silicon chip by placing a compound semiconductor nanowire on a silicon photonic crystal.

NTT sais a large number of nanophotonic devices could be integrated on a silicon chip using this methos, paving the way for dense optical networks on a processor chip.

NTT Nanophotonics Center (NPC) is located in Atsugi, Japan.

The researchers plan to extend this approach to various nanowires with specific functions, such as optical gain or optical nonlinearity, so as to realize functional photonic devices, such as lasers and optical switches, on a silicon chip.

http://www.ntt.co.jp

DOCOMO Demos Field-tested Active Antenna System

NTT DOCOMO announced the first field test of an active antenna system that achieves a 4 dB reduction in electrical loss compared to conventional antennas. This promises to help enlarge the coverage range of base stations 1.7-fold.

The active antenna system, which was developed by Tokyo-based Nihon Dengyo Kosaku Co., integrates multiple antenna elements, each equipped with a small transceiver, which enables installment in confined spaces and assures continued coverage if one or more of the transceivers fails.

https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/info/media_center/pr/2014/0221_00.html


Simgo Develops a "Virtual SIM" Platform

Simgo introduced a virtual SIM chipset that enables cellular users to benefit from reduced roaming costs, broadband global M2M, and increased operational efficiency.

Simgo's solution, which allows for the separation of the SIM card from the cellular device, is comprised of 2 components: a remote device which acts like a SIM and a cloud-based platform which physically contains tens of thousands of SIMs.

The remote device is available as either a smartphone cover, a self-contained module or a low power, 9x9mm chip to be integrated into equipment with cellular modules. The completely fault tolerant platform allocates service to all devices dynamically, supporting on-the-fly switching according to any business logic, ranging from simply assigning local SIMs to adaptively choosing the highest throughput SIM at any given time and location.

http://www.simgo-mobile.com

RAD Demos Distributed NFV for Business Services

At Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, RAD demonstrated Distributed NFV (D-NFV) that integrates a Layer2/Layer3 FPGA-based NID and compute infrastructure with a standard x86 server.

“The common perception of NFV is that it has to be implemented in data centers, but in reality that approach isn’t ideal in every situation, in particular when targeting services for business customers,” notes Ulik Broida, RAD’s Vice President of Marketing. “In fact, some functions and capabilities, even if virtualized and implemented as software, are better located at the customer premises due to various considerations, such as performance, cost and data confidentiality.”

“For that reason, service providers should have the freedom to locate virtual functions where they will be most practical, beneficial and cost-effective – not just at data centers but also at network nodes and the customer premises itself,” Broida states.

http://www.rad.com


Napatech Launches 40 Gbps Adapter

Napatech introduced a 4-port 10 Gbps adapter provides a full 40 Gbps of packet analysis in networking appliciances.

Napatech software provides hardware abstraction that allows up to eight network adapters in an appliance to appear as one, enabling up to 320 Gbps of throughput per appliance.

Napatech allows real-time data from multiple points in the network to be collected and merged into a single analysis stream, allowing for easier correlation of analysis data.

Precise merging is made possible by nanosecond precision time-stamping of every Ethernet frame, based on flexible support of multiple time synchronization schemes including IEEE1588-2008 Precision Time Protocol (PTP).

"Network equipment manufacturers are focused on improving efficiency, performance and cost. To stay ahead of the data growth curve, our customers will need higher capacity appliances with multiple analysis ports that help them reduce their time to market and risk. Our new 4 port 10G product and Napatech Software Suite addresses these needs. Napatech will continue to offer the broadest portfolio to enable unprecedented throughput with guaranteed delivery of data," stated Erik Norup, president and CMO, Napatech.

http://www.napatech.com

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Blueprint: Impending ITU G.8273.2 to Simplify LTE Planning

By Martin Nuss, Vitesse Semiconductor

Fourth-generation wireless services based on long-term evolution (LTE) have new timing and synchronization requirements that will drive new capabilities in the network elements underlying a call or data session. For certain types of LTE networks, there is a maximum time error limit between adjacent cellsites of no more than 500 nanoseconds.

To enable network operators to meet the time error requirement in a predictable fashion, the International Telecommunications Union is set to ratify the ITU-T G.8273.2 standard for stringent time error limits for network elements. By using equipment meeting this standard, network operator will be able to design networks that will predictably comply with the 500-nanosecond maximum time error between cellsites.

In this article, we look at the factors driving timing and synchronization requirements in LTE and LTE-Advanced networks and how the new G.8273.2 standard will help network operators in meeting those requirements.

Types of Synchronization

Telecom networks rely on two basic types of synchronization. These include:
Frequency synchronization
Time-of-day synchronization, which includes phase synchronization

Different types of LTE require different types of synchronization. Frequency division duplexed LTE (FDD-LTE), the technology that was used in some of the earliest LTE deployments and continues to be deployed today, uses paired spectrum. One spectrum band is used for upstream traffic and the other is used for downstream traffic. Frequency synchronization is important for this type of LTE, but time-of-day synchronization isn’t required.

Time-division duplexed LTE (TD-LTE) does not require paired spectrum, but instead separates upstream and downstream traffic by timeslot. This saves on spectrum licensing costs but also allows to more flexible allocate bandwidth flexibly between upstream and downstream direction, which could be valuable for video.  Time-of-day synchronization is critical for this type of LTE. Recently TD-LTE deployments have become more commonplace than they were initially and the technology is expected to be widely deployed.

LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) is an upgrade to either TD-LTE or FDD-LTE that delivers greater bandwidth. It works by pooling multiple frequency bands, and by enabling multiple base stations to simultaneously send data to a handset. Accordingly adjacent base stations or small cells have to be aligned with one another – a requirement that drives the need for time-of-day synchronization. A few carriers, such as SK Telecom, Optus, and Unitel, have already made LTE-A deployments and those numbers are expected to grow quickly moving forward.

Traditionally wireless networks have relied on global positioning system (GPS) equipment installed at cell towers to provide synchronization. GPS can provide both frequency synchronization and time-of-day synchronization. But that approach will be impractical as networks rely more and more heavily on femtocells and picocells to increase both network coverage (for example indoors) and capacity. These devices may not be mounted high enough to have a line of sight to GPS satellites – and even if they could, GPS capability would make these devices too costly.  There is also increasing concern about the susceptibility of GPS to jamming and spoofing, and countries outside of the US are reluctant to exclusively rely on the US-operated GPS satellite system for their timing needs.

IEEE 1588

A more cost-effective alternative to GPS is to deploy equipment meeting timing and synchronization standards created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

The IEEE 1588 standards define a synchronization protocol known as precision time protocol (PTP) that originally was created for the test and automation industry. IEEE 1588 uses sync packets that are time stamped by a master clock and which traverse the network until they get to an ordinary clock, which uses the time stamps to produce a physical clock signal.

The 2008 version of the 1588 standard, also known as 1588v2, defines how PTP can be used to support frequency and time-of-day synchronization. For frequency delivery this can be a unidirectional flow. For time-of-day synchronization, a two-way mechanism is required.

Equipment developers must look outside the 1588 standards for details of how synchronization should be implemented to meet the needs of specific industries. The ITU is responsible for creating those specifications for the telecom industry.

How the telecom industry should implement frequency synchronization is described in the ITU-T G.826x series of standards, which were ratified previously. The ITU-T G.8273.2 standard for time-of-day synchronization was developed later and is expected to be ratified next month (March 2014).
Included in ITU-T G.8273.2 are stringent requirements for time error. This is an important aspect of the standard because wireless networks can’t tolerate time error greater than 500 nanoseconds between adjacent cellsites.

ITU-T G.8273.2 specifies standards for two different classes of equipment. These include:
Class A- maximum time error of 50 ns
Class B- maximum time error of 20 ns

Both constant and dynamic time errors will contribute to the total time error of each network element, with both adding linearly after applying a 0.1Hz low-pass filter. Network operators that use equipment complying with the G.8273.2 standard for all of the elements underlying a network connection between two cell sites can simply add the maximum time error of all of the elements to determine if the connection will have an acceptable level of time error. Previously, network operators had no way of determining time error until after equipment was deployed in the network, and the operators need predictability in their network planning.

Conforming to the new standard will be especially important as network operators rely more heavily on heterogeneous networks, also known as HetNets, which rely on a mixture of fiber and microwave devices, including small cells and femtocells. Equipment underlying HetNets is likely to come from multiple vendors, complicating the process of devising a solution in the event that the path between adjacent cell sites has an unacceptable time error level.

What Network Operators Should Do Now

Some equipment manufacturers already have begun shipping equipment capable of supporting ITU-T G.8273.2, as G.8273.2-compliant components are already available. As network operators make equipment decisions for the HetNets they are just beginning to deploy, they should take care to look for G.8273.2-compliant products.

As for equipment already deployed in wireless networks, over 1 million base stations currently support 1588 for frequency synchronization and can be upgraded to support time-of-day synchronization with a software or firmware upgrade.

Some previously deployed switches and routers may support 1588, while others may not. While 1588 may be supported by most switches and routers deployed within the last few years, it is unlikely that they meet the new ITU profiles for Time and Phase delivery.  IEEE1588 Boundary or Transparent Clocks with distributed time stamping directly at the PHY level will be required to meet these new profiles, and only few routers and switches have this capability today.  Depending where in the network a switch or router is installed, network operators may be able to continue to use GPS to provide synchronization, gradually upgrading routers by using 1588-compliant line cards for all new line card installations and swapping out non-compliant line cards where appropriate.

Wireless network operators should check with small cell, femtocell and switch and router vendors about support for 1588v2 and G.8273.2 if they haven’t already.

About the Author

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 nuss@vitesse.com.

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.

Deutsche Telekom Tests LTE Direct with Qualcomm

Deutsche Telekom is working with Qualcomm on the first LTE Direct operator trial in Germany.

LTE Direct is a new device-to-device proximity technology that enables discovering thousands of devices and their services in the proximity of ~500m.  The platform would be owned by the mobile operator.  It uses licensed spectrum, allowing mobile operators to employ it as a way to offer a range of differentiated applications and services to users. It relies on the LTE physical layer to provide a scalable and universal framework for discovery and connecting proximate peers. Qualcomm Research, along with other 3GPP participants are leading the standardization of this feature in R-12.

Qualcomm said LTE Direct will function in a privacy-sensitive and battery-efficient way, allowing the discovery to be “Always ON” and autonomous, without drastically affecting the device battery life. Qualcomm predicts that LTE Direct will be the basis of many new services from from advertising, to SNS, Gaming, Education and more.

"The LTE Direct trial will be an excellent opportunity for the application developer community to demonstrate a number of unique applications and services working on LTE Direct," stated Matt Grob, Qualcomm's Chief Technology Officer.

The trial with Deutsche Telekom will use prototype devices from Qualcomm, Samsung, and LTE Direct enabled base stations. Standardization of LTE Direct in a 3GPP Release 12 is expected to be completed at the end of this year.

http://www.qualcomm.com
http://www.telekom.com

Huawei and China Mobile Demo Virtualized EPC

Huawei and China Mobile jointly demonstrated a virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) and virtual IMS this week at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. Both solutions are a part of Huawei’s CloudEdge solution, which has four parts:

  • Mobile: Focused on continued LTE build outs, virtual EPC and simplification of Gi-LAN by introducing service chaining
  • Service: The introduction of MANO (Management and Orchestration)in NFV related to operation management, automation and network services orchestration. MANO avoids siloed point deployment of NFV, including integration and migration with existing backend OSS/BSS.
  • IP: Huawei’s SDN controller for IP RAN backhaul is designed to ease OPEX complexity through automation and simplified management of complex IP backhaul. IP and optical devices under the SDN controller improve traffic engineering and optimization for overall cost reduction and backhaul improvement
  • Home: Virtualized set-up box and virtual EPC to address the home network environment.


Huawei also noted that it is currently conducting more than 20 PoC (proof of concept) CloudEdge projects and is in trials with leading operators around the world, with a planned first commercial product in the third quarter of 2014.

http://www.huawei.com

SK Telecom to Offer Tracking Service via Mobile Sensors, Patterns

SK Telecom has developed a "Context Platform" that seeks to know more about the user by leveraging a smartphone's camera, sensors, GPS and Wi-Fi, along with usage patterns in calls, SMS, SNS, scheduling, and applications.  The carrier says it is using the data to offer a "Life Log" service to help its users automatically track their lives.

"Along with Big Data, Context Platform is an important pillar of the newly emerging field of ICT intelligence," said Park Jin-hyo, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Technology R&D Center at SK Telecom. "With Context Platform, smartphones will truly become an indispensable life partner for customers."

SK Telecom's "Context Platform" could, for instance, detect the user's movements while walking, automatically open a mapping application, guess his likely destination, make suggestions, develop a health profile, etc.

http://www.sktelecom.com

BTI Wireless Builds TD-FEMTOs for China Mobile with Radisys

BTI Wireless, which supplies TD-FEMTO end-to-end solutions providing 3G and 4G Small Cell and Gateway System products, has selected Radisys’ Trillium software for deployment of an advanced LTE-TDD solution for China Mobile.

Specifically, BTI Wireless will leverage Radisys’ Trillium TOTALeNodeB software and protocol stacks and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) ATCA platforms to provide dual-mode TD-SCDMA and LTE-TDD small cells and gateways,  achieving successful circuit switched (CS) fallback and a seamless 3G to 4G migration path for China Mobile.

BTI Wireless will begin LTE-TDD network trial deployments next quarter in the Chinese market, and will also deploy LTE-FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) in markets outside of China.

“This customer win signifies another key success for our solutions in the Chinese LTE-TDD market and further substantiates our position as a global leader in LTE,” said Todd Mersch, general manager, Software and Solutions, Radisys. “Not only do we supply award-winning small cell software, but our delivery of the gateway software allows our customers to extend to the core, providing a true one-stop, end-to-end LTE solution.”

http://www.radisys.com


DragonWave Intros 70-80 GHz EBand Radios

DragonWave introduced its Harmony Eband, a compact, lightweight radio that operates in the 70-80 GHz spectrum with low-energy consumption and designed for fronthaul, macro backhaul and small cell deployments.

The Harmony Eband delivers a complete, all-outdoor solution and delivers the industry’s first uncompressed CPRI transport mode that enables wireless fronthaul. The radio comes equipped with an integrated switch, multiple ports and a proprietary mechanical design for self-weatherization that simplifies installation and saves on deployment cost. Additional features include a reach comparable at 23-38 GHz, higher capacity and a lower OPEX expansion solution.

Performance is demonstrated by operation up to 64 QAM to achieve throughput of 2.6 Gbps full duplex in 500 MHz mode. Spectral efficiency is further enhanced by DragonWave’s Bandwidth Accelerator+, which delivers capacity of up to 4 Gbps. Additionally, Harmony Eband features the DragonWave Reach Extender, leveraging Waveform and Modulation Adaptivity (WMA) and MIMO to extend the radio’s reach and deliver 3-7 KM links with high availability.

“The Harmony Eband truly rounds out the DragonWave product portfolio and its addition allows operators a product choice addressing nearly every possible spectrum, while also providing long-term viability and easy redeployment options in evolving network environments,” said Greg Friesen, vice president, Product Management, DragonWave. “Because it meets the capacity and latency requirements required to support fronthaul, macro backhaul and small cell aggregation, and is LTE synchronization ready, we view the Harmony Eband as an extremely viable and cost effective transport option for today’s networks, with future-proof capabilities that will carry over to support tomorrow’s networks, as well.”

http://www.dragonwaveinc.com

TIM Brasil Deploys Juniper's SRX5600 for LTE Security

Telecom Italia Mobile Brasil (TIM) has deployed Juniper's SRX5600 and 5800 Series Services Gateway for improved performance, scalability and integrated security services across its new LTE network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Juniper noted that its SRX5600 and 5800 support 450,000 connections per second, up to an industry record-breaking 100 million concurrent user sessions and 300 Gbps throughput. The SRX line cards provide TIM zero downtime performance upgrades by offering both in-service software and hardware upgrades reducing the need for planned downtime.

http://www.juniper.net

Saudi Telecom to Launch TDD LTE-A with Huawei

Saudi Telecom has succeeded Huawei to deploy TDD LTE-Advanced technology in its network.  network to the advanced 4th generation LTE-A network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Saudi Arabia is considered as the largest telecom market in the Middle East. Therefore, launching the first quad systems network in the world (GSM/ UMTS/ LTE TDD/ LTE FDD), and upgrading the network to the advanced 4th generation LTE-A, enhances the Internet service in the Kingdom significantly, and offers a new experience for the STC's customers in the field of mobile wireless broadband services," stated Dr. Khaled Albayari, Senior Deputy of STC Group for Technology & Operations.

http://www.huawei.com

Saudi Telecom Picks Ericsson's Evolved Packet Core

STC has selected Ericsson's evolved packet core (EPC) solution.

The deployment includes the Ericsson Blade System, MKVIII for SGSN-MME and Ericsson SSR 8020 for GGSN/EPG. The solution handles the growing demand for mobile broadband through common high-capacity multi-access platforms. The new core elements act as a common platform supporting 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE network technologies, providing additional capacity and throughput to cater for surging demand. Financial terms were not disclosed.

http://www.stc.com.sa
http://www.ericsson.com

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blueprint Column: Five Big Themes at RSA 2014

by John Trobough, president at Narus

Now that RSA is underway I wanted to take some time to cover five key themes being talked about at the event.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning is at the top of my list.  As the frequency of attacks, the sophistication of the intrusions, and the number of new networked applications increase, analysts cannot keep up with the volume, velocity, and variety of data.

The use of machine learning is gaining critical mass fueled by the bring your own device (BYOD) and Internet of Things (IOT) trends. This technology can crunch large data sets, adapt with experience, and quickly generate insight or derive meaning from the data. With machine assistance, analysts spend less time on data-processing duties, and focus more time on problem solving and defense bolstering activities. Machine learning brings new insights to network activity and malicious behavior, and is accelerating the time to resolve cyber threats.

Data Visualization

The historic and rudimentary approach of taking tabular data and presenting it in colorful pie charts and graphs does not deliver insight. According to ESG research, 44 percent of organizations classify their current security data collection as “big data” and another 44 percent expect to classify their data collection and analysis as “big data” within the next two years.  With the explosive growth of volume and variety of data, analysts are experiencing cognitive overload. Their brains cannot process information fast enough. The challenge is to display insight and conclusions from data analysis in a clear way to facilitate rapid response.

Symbolic representations, like visual threat fingerprints, will be required for quick interpretation and comparison before diving into details. Data visualization design will need to incorporate best practices including:
Context-aware controls, that appear only when required
Seamless integration, providing flow from one task to the next without assumed knowledge about the source of the data
Human factor principles, to display data, analysis, and controls in ways that enhance clarity and usability.

Context

According to Gartner, the use of context-aware security helps security technologies become more accurate and enhance usability and adoption in response to cyber threats.

If we define context as the information required to answer the questions “what,” “how” and “why,” context will provide the understanding needed to better assess the threats and resolve them faster.

The advancements made in data visualization enable organizations to determine when something isn’t right on their network. Context takes this further by allowing organizations to determine what their network activity is supposed to look like and how data visualization and context fit together.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Connected devices have become a hot and desirable trend. ABI Research estimates there will be more than 30 billion wirelessly connected devices by 2020. This machine-to-machine (M2M) conversation offers new opportunities for innovation, generates a plethora of new data streams and also creates new threat vectors.

Today, there is a desire for deeper connectivity in the workplace and home. For the business, IoT provides a range of benefits, from increasing operational efficiency to better managing resources and expanding existing business models.  As for the consumer, IoT assists with safety, health, everyday planning and more.

However, all this connectivity compounds security challenges. It’s one thing for your refrigerator to tell you you’re out of milk, but it’s quite another for hackers to use refrigerators to access your network and steal your data or initiate attacks on other networks.

Consumerization of Security

It’s no longer just about the impact that weak security has on the enterprise but also how it is affecting consumers. More and more people are producing and storing their own data and creating their own private clouds, but are still in the dark about how to properly protect it.

According to cybersecurity expert Peter W. Singer, it’s not just weak passwords, such as “password” and “123456” that cybercriminals are after. Usually, cybercriminals are after the ability to change a password with information acquired from public records (i.e. mother’s maiden name). With sophisticated threats looming all over the web, it’s only a matter of time before most consumers are faced with a stiff test on protecting their digital assets.

As consumers become more conscious of security and privacy issues, they will want to know how to prevent their identity from being stolen with just a click of a mouse. Many consumers will turn to the vendors, including retail and banking, for answers, and many vendors will turn to security providers.

Our Opportunities and Challenges

The security landscape faces a future of tremendous growth. More than ever, security is underlying all business practices. In a digital economy where connected devices are everything, security is critical and cannot be an afterthought. Security is not something that you layer on. Instead we should assume we will face a threat and be prepared to respond. While there will be many conversations happening at RSA on a multitude of other security topics, you can be sure these five themes will be heard loud and clear.

About the Author



John Trobough is president of Narus, Inc., a subsidiary of The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA).  Trobough previously was president of Teleca USA, a leading supplier of software services to the mobile device communications industry and one of the largest global Android commercialization partners in the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). He also held executive positions at Openwave Systems, Sylantro Systems, AT&T and Qwest Communications.







About the Company


Narus, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), is a pioneer in cybersecurity data analytics. The company's patented advanced analytics help enterprises, carriers and government customers proactively identify and accelerate the resolution of cyber threats. Using incisive intelligence culled from visual interactive and underlying data analytics, Narus nSystem identifies, predicts and characterizes the most advanced security threats, giving executives the visibility and context they need to make the right security decisions, right now, by letting them know what’s happening, why, and what to do about it. And because Narus solutions are scalable and deployable to any network configuration or business process, Narus boosts the ROI from existing IT investments. Narus is a U.S.-based company, incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. (U.S.A.), with regional offices around the world.

Blueprint Column: Making 5G A Reality

By Alan Carlton, Senior Director Technology Planning for InterDigital

By now we’ve all heard many conversations around 5G, but it seems that everyone is pretty much echoing the same thing—it won’t be here until 2025ish. And I agree. But it also seems that no one is really addressing how it will be developed. What should we expect in the next decade? What needs to be done in order for 5G to be a reality? And which companies will set themselves apart from others as leaders in the space?  


I don’t think the future just suddenly happens like turning a corner and magically a next generation appears. There are always signs and trends along the way that provide directional indicators as to how the future will likely take shape. 5G will be no different than previous generations whose genesis was seeded in societal challenges and emerging technologies often conceived or identified decades earlier. 

5G wireless will be driven by more efficient network architectures to support an internet of everything, smarter and new approaches to spectrum usage, energy centric designs and more intelligent strategies applied to the handling of content based upon context and user behaviors. From these perspective technologies/trends like the Cloud, SDN, NFV, CDN (in the context of a greater move to Information Centric Networking), Cognitive Radio and Millimeter Wave all represent interesting first steps on the roadmap to 5G. 

5G Requirements and Standards

 The requirements of what makes a network 5G are still being discussed, however, the best first stab at such requirements is reflected in the good work of the 5GPPP (in Horizon 2020).  Some of the requirements that have been suggested thus far have included:

  • Providing 1000 times higher capacity and more varied rich services compared to 2010
  • Saving 90 percent energy per service provided
  • Orders of magnitude reductions in latency to support new applications
  • Service creation from 90 hours to 90 minutes 
  • Secure, reliable and dependable: perceived zero downtime for services
  • User controlled privacy

But besides requirements, developing a standardization process for 5G will also have a significant impact in making 5G a reality. While the process has not yet begun, it is very reasonable to say that as an industry we are at the beginning of what might be described as a consensus building phase.

If we reflect on wireless history seminal moments, they may be where the next “G” began. The first GSM networks rolled out in the early 1990’s but its origins may be traced back as far as 1981 (and possibly earlier) to the formation of Groupe Spécial Mobile by CEPT. 3G and 4G share a similar history where the lead time between conceptualization and realization has been roughly consistent at the 10 year mark. This makes the formation of 5G focused industry and academic efforts such as the 5GPPP (in Horizon 2020) and the 5GIC (at the University of Surrey) in 2013/14 particularly interesting.

Assuming history repeats itself, these “events” may be foretelling of when we might realistically expect to see 5G standards and later deployed 5G systems. Components of 5G Technology 5G will bring profound changes on the both network and air interface components of the current wireless systems architecture. On the air interface we see three key tracks:

  • The first track might be called the spectrum sharing and energy efficiency track wherein a new, more sophisticated mechanism of dynamically sharing spectrum between players emerges. Within this new system paradigm and with the proliferation of IoT devices and services, it is quite reasonable to discuss new and more suitable waveforms. 
  • A second track that we see is the move to the leveraging of higher frequencies, so called mmW applications in the 60GHz bands and above. If 4G was the era of discussing the offloading of Cellular to WiFi, 5G may well be the time when we talk of offloading WiFi to mmW in new small cell and dynamic backhaul designs. 
  • A final air interface track that perhaps bridges both air interface and network might be called practical cross layer design. Context and sensor fusion are key emerging topics today and I believe that enormous performance improvements can be realized through tighter integration of this myriad of information with the operation of the protocols on the air interface. 

While real infinite bandwidth to the end user may still remain out of reach in even the 5G timeframe, through these mechanisms it may be possible to deliver a perception of infinite bandwidth in a very real sense to the user. By way of example, in some R&D labs today organizations have developed a technology called user adaptive video. This technology selectively chooses the best video streams that should be delivered to an end user based upon user behavior in front of the viewing screen. With this technology today bandwidth utilization has improved 80 percent without any detectable change in quality of experience perceived by the end user. 

5G’s Impact on the Network

 5G will be shaped by a mash up (and evolution) of three key emerging technologies: Software Defined Networking, Network Function Virtualization and an ever deeper Content caching in the network as exemplified by the slow roll of CDN technology into GGSN  equipment today (i.e. the edge of the access network!). This trend will continue deeper into the radio access network and, in conjunction with the other elements, create a perfect storm where an overhaul to the IP network becomes possible. Information Centric Networking is an approach that has been incubating in academia for many years whose time may now be right within these shifting sands. 

 Overall, the network will flatten further and a battle for where the intelligence resides either in the cloud or the network edges will play out with the result likely being a compromise between the two. Device-to-Device communications in a fully meshed virtual access resource fabric will become common place within this vision. The future may well be as much about the crowd as the cloud. If the cloud is about big data then the crowd will be about small data and the winners may well be the players who first recognize the value that lies here. Services in this new network will change. A compromise will be struck between the OTT and Carrier worlds and any distinction between the two will disappear. Perhaps, more than anything else 5G must deliver in this key respect.   

Benefits and Challenges of 5G

 Even the most conservative traffic forecast projections through 2020 will challenge the basic capabilities and spectrum allocations of LTE-A and current generation WiFi. Couple this with a recognition that energy requirements in wireless networks will spiral at the same rate as the traffic projections and add the chaos of the emergence of the 50 or 100 billion devices - the so called Internet of Everything - all connected to a common infrastructure, and the value of exploring a 5th Generation should quickly become apparent. 

The benefits of 5G at the highest level will simply be the sustaining of the wireless vision for our connected societies and economies in a cost effective and energy sustainable manner into the next decade and beyond.

 However, 5G will likely roll out into a world of considerably changed business models from its predecessor generations and this raises perhaps the greatest uncertainty and challenge. What will these business models look like? It is clear that today’s model where Carriers finance huge infrastructure investments but reap less of the end customer rewards is unsustainable over the longer term. Some level of consolidation will inevitably happen but 5G will also have to provide a solution for a more equitable sharing of the infrastructure investment costs. Just how these new business models take shape and how this new thinking might drive technological development is perhaps the greatest uncertainty and challenge for 5G development.

 While the conversations around 5G continue to grow, there is still a long way to go before reaching full scale deployment. While we may be looking farther down the line, the development is already in place and companies are already starting to do research and development into areas that might be considered foundational in helping 5G prevail. WiFi in white space is an early embodiment of a new more efficient spectrum utilization approach that is highly likely to be adopted in a more mainstream manner in 5G. More than this, companies are also exploring new waveforms (new proverbial 4 letter acronyms that often characterize a technology generation) that outperform LTE “OFDM” in both energy efficiency, operation in new emerging dynamic spectrum sharing paradigms and also in application to the emerging challenges that the internet of things will bring.


About the Author 

Alan Carlton is the senior director of technology planning for InterDigital where he is responsible for the vision, technology roadmap and strategic planning in the areas of mobile devices, networking technologies, applications & software services. One of his primary focus areas is 5G technology research and development. Alan has over 20 years of experience in the wireless industry.

Deutsche Telekom Drives Network Transformation

Deutsche Telekom is moving as quickly as possible to retire its legacy PSTN and go entirely IP, with the goal of having around 8 million IP-based lines across its footprint in Europe by the end of 2014 and the entire project completed in 2018. It's long term goal is an IP network that integrates mobile and fixed lines across all the European markets in which it operates.

In presentations at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Deutsche Telekom executives said this network transformation will also leverage network virtualization technology for service agility and reduced operating costs.

“The growing traffic demands by new mobile access technologies including machine-to-machine and real-time applications require a holistic network approach to improve capacity, efficiency and manage the best-possible customer experience,” said Claudia Nemat. "Innovation in networks is invisible, but customers feel the benefits. It's a revolution that is as radical as the transition from horse and carriage to car."

In mobile, Deutsche Telekom has now launched LTE in almost all of its markets. By 2016, Deutsche Telekom will be able to provide LTE to its customers at every second base station across Europe.

“We don’t only have the expansion of network coverage in mind; we also want to keep increasing the speed of connections. That’s why we’re carrying out tests in Germany, among other places, to see how we can provide customers with data as fast as possible through LTE Advanced,” said Claudia Nemat. “Today I can say that we have reached a point in the LTE rollout in Germany where our customers can use LTE in over 150 cities with speeds up to 150 Mbps,” added Niek Jan van Damme. 300 Mbps will be the next milestone. In a test last week in the German city of Alzey Deutsche Telekom reached even speeds of up to 580 Mbps using LTE-A 4x4 MIMO.

Deutsche Telekom also presented a hybrid router that combines fixed network, LTE and WiFi technologies so as to bundle, concentrate and distribute bandwidth in consumer homes. This project is expected to launch by the end of 2014.

http://www.telekom.com/news/156602

Small Cell Forum Launches Release Three

The Small Cell Forum announced Release 3.0 -- a set of documents aimed at identifying demand and supporting operators in the deployment of urban small cells. The 18 documents in the newly published release covers market drivers, business cases, service opportunities and technical overviews in areas such as self-organizing networks, backhaul, Wi-Fi integration and network architecture as well as regulatory challenges and deployment processes. The package also contains substantial content in support of residential, urban and rural small cell deployments.

“Release Three focuses on establishing the need, evaluating the business case and identifying key barriers to commercial deployment of urban small cells. In Release Four and beyond, we will delve into the detail of the technical solutions that will speed deployments in this exciting new market," stated Gordon Mansfield, Chairman of the Small Cell Forum.

“The Small Cell Forum unequivocally believes the case for urban small cells to be a strong one. But small cells cannot meet growing user demand quickly and efficiently without practical and informed support and guidance. That is why Release Three is so important. I believe small cells will have a pivotal role for operators in viable network densification — the development of HetNets that efficiently and cost-effectively combine macro and small cell rollout.”

http://www.smallcellforum.org/





Huawei Announces Ultra Wideband Active Antenna

Huawei announced an ultra wideband AAU (Active Antenna Unit) that employs SDBTM (Software-Defined Band) technology for band-programmability.

The AAU leverages optimized algorithms, high-performance radio frequency (RF) chipsets, and significantly enhanced RF module integration. It supports 4 * 4 MIMO and carrier aggregation LTE-Advanced technologies, which can improve up to 90% network capacity.

Huawei said that compared with industry similar AAU products, the product has higher integration level and supports software define band which further reducing module quantity on sites. It features smaller in size, lighter in weight and easy installation thus reduces over 60% installation time which facilitated fast deployment of network.

Wang Tao, President of Huawei Wireless Networking Business Unit, said: "Ultra wideband AAU is an important part of Huawei "SDBTM" portfolio. From SDR (Software Defined Radio) to SDBTM, Huawei keeps leading in wireless technology development. Spectrum is the most important asset of operators. Flexible configuration and efficient use of the spectrums is the direction of next-generation RF technology. Huawei will launch series ultra wideband products which help operators simplify deployment and enhance MBB network capacity."

http://www.huawei.com/mwc2014

Huawei and Vodafone Announce FDD and TDD Carrier Aggregation

Huawei and Vodafone announced the first implementation of LTE-Advanced FDD+TDD Convergence Carrier Aggregation (CA).

At Mobile World Congress, the companies said their prototype achieved a single user peak downlink speed of more than 500 Mbps. The demonstration involved 3 FDD carriers and 1 TDD carrier.

Vodafone currently has 800MHz, 1800MHz, and 2600MHz, a total of 50MHz spectrum bandwidth in FDD mode and 20MHz of 2600MHz in TDD
mode in Spain. This latest breakthrough in FDD+TDD Carrier Aggregation technology will boost Vodafone’s network capacity in the country and enable the operator to have more flexibility in deploying 2CC and 3CC CA solutions in the future.

Vodafone first rolled out its 1800MHz and 2600MHz commercial LTE services in the main cities of Spain at the beginning of 2013, with a peak speed of 150Mbps/user.

http://www.huawei.com

Narus Accelerates Cyber Threat Assessment for Enterprises

Narus introduced new tools to accelerate the time it takes for enterprise security teams to resolve cyber threats.  Once network administrators suspect an attack, current practices can take days or weeks to isolate the breach and understand its implications.

The next generation of the Narus nSystem enables organizations to build “zero trust” networks and take a proactive approach to cybersecurity.

The system provides visibility, advance warning and data modeling to help teams understand and make informed security decisions quickly. It can identify over half a million applications (including mobile)and deliver visualizations to put the observed activity in context.

“Enterprises with cloud, mobile and big data initiatives know that security remains their biggest risk and roadblock to success,” said John Trobough, president, Narus. “Narus is experienced in equipping security teams with the necessary tools to help protect and maximize return on their existing IT investments. We enable enterprises to shift their security posture from being defensive and reactionary to being proactive. Powered by the innovation in machine learning and cognitive research, Narus nSystem greatly enriches context and visibility, allowing enterprises to speed up response time and adopt a proactive approach to cybersecurity.”

http://www.narus.com

Infonetics: Challenges for Outdoor Small Cell Rollouts

A survey of 20 incumbent, independent wireless, competitive, and cable operators conducted by Infonetics Research reveals numerous challenges in the rollout of outdoor small cells, including:

  • Operators are finding that outdoor small cell deployments are more expensive than anticipated: more respondents now expect the 5-year TCO ratio of a small cell deployment to be 25% of a typical macrocell deployment, up from 10% in Infonetics' 2012 survey
  • There is a big opportunity for point-to-multipoint (P2MP) backhaul topology in dense urban areas, but there are only a few manufacturers shipping P2MP products today: BluWan, Cambridge Broadband, and Intracom
  • 1/4 of operators surveyed indicated they will use software-defined networking (SDN) in outdoor small cell backhaul networks by 2016 or later
  • Downstream bandwidth capacity is a top service-level agreement (SLA) metric for backhaul services supporting LTE and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A)


Infonetics is predicting that operators will spend $3.6 billion on outdoor small cell backhaul equipment over the five years from 2013 to 2017, down from earlier forecasts based on operator plans.

"2013 was supposed to be the year for greater deployments of outdoor small cells, but installations haven’t proceeded as quickly as operators expected. It’s no picnic out there for operators. Costs are higher than anticipated, and many challenges remain difficult to solve, including siting, jurisdictional issues, unsettled local regulations, power availability, copper and fiber availability, small cell packaging with or without backhaul, just-coming-available technologies and products, and backhaul connections. Not to mention the coordination of small cells with WiFi or nearby macrocells over new types of backhaul that must support strict timing, sync, and latency requirements for LTE and LTE-Advanced in the future,” explains Michael Howard, co-founder and principal analyst for carrier networks at Infonetics Research.

http://www.infonetics.com

IBM Boosts Data Breach Detection Capabilities

IBM is boosting its security solutions to help organizations to reduce detection time for security breaches and investigate these threats before they can significantly impact the business.

IBM Security QRadar Incident Forensics, a new software product designed as a module for the QRadar Security Intelligence Platform, can help security teams retrace the step-by-step actions of sophisticated cyber criminals.  By adding this forensics capture and search module to its QRadar Security Intelligence platform, IBM can further strengthen its clients' abilities to efficiently investigate security incidents and understand the impact of any suspicious activity. QRadar Incident Forensics provides a record of activity on the network, enabling organizations to retrace suspicious activity, provide alerts to growing concerns, and provide forensics search capabilities.

According to a newly released IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Quarterly Report, in 2013, more than half a billion records of personally identifiable information were leaked through a number of attacks against  strategic targets.

"Every breach is a race against time. This new forensics module further expands the breadth and depth of IBM's security intelligence capabilities," said Brendan Hannigan, general manager of IBM Security Systems.  "QRadar Incident Forensics further helps IT staff prevent emerging threats and better determine the impact of any intrusion."

http://www.ibm.com/security

Monday, February 24, 2014

Telefónica's UNICA Architecture Targets NFV

Telefónica unveiled UNICA -- it's end-to-end vision for virtualized network infrastructure that will transform the company into a true Digital Telco.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Telefónica described UNICA as a paradigm shift in the way networks are designed, installed, provisioned and managed.  Its first goal is to address the logical re-grouping of resources needed to deploy a new services via the new generation data centers it is building.  The idea is to use extremely efficient data centers to deploy platforms and telecommunication services faster than ever before.

Telefónica will pursue an "Open Telco" model with a global network infrastructure on which multi-vendor platforms, features and services can be developed in standardized form.

Telefónica also said that it believes the redesign of its network should be gradual and seamless and foresees an implementation start date of sometime in June 2014.  The company expects to have more than 30% of its new infrastructures managed in accordance with this model by 2016.

At #MWC14, Telefónica is demonstrating a few UNICA use cases, including the idea of multi-tenancy (where the same basic solution works for multiple organisations) or NaaS (Network as a Service), using pre-installed templates to deploy virtualised equipment in real time and with integrated resource management.

In partnership with Huawei, Telefónica is showing UNICA’s capabilities and performance requirements.

In addition, Ericsson and Telefonica are launcing a joint R&D program focused on NFV and service provider SDN. The companies will define a joint view on how the transformation of networks should take place, sharing a common outlook on the order in which network functions will be virtualized and which applications are likely to give the most benefit.

"We are living in an extremely dynamic and changing environment, and flexibility is the only approach to efficiently adapt our business to our customers' needs. Network virtualization brings unique opportunities to address current and upcoming challenges while building a more sustainable network model. This collaboration with Ericsson will help us to advance this future network," stated Enrique Blanco, Telefonica Global CTO.

http://saladeprensa.telefonica.com/
http://www.ericsson.com/news/1763979

In 2013, Telefónica inaugurated the first phase of its massive Alcalá Data Centre project outside of Madrid, which aims to be one of the largest Tier IV data centers in Europe and the world.

The first phase, which is now operational, is a new building measuring 24,700 m2, with seven IT rooms covering an area of 682 m2 each. The complete project, which will progress gradually, will cover a total area of 65,700 m2 (over 700,000 square feet) and include a further 16 IT rooms, on a 78,400 m2 plot of land (the size of 8 football pitches).

Telefónica said the new facility is key to transforming the company into one of the leading companies in the new digital world.  The data center will be home for the whole range of ICT services, from housing, infrastructures and cloud computing to full outsourcing of customer applications. It will also operate as Telefónica’s cloud services base for Europe and will house platforms for customers in Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Czech Republic.

The Alcalá Data Centre uses a modular architecture with redundant energy supplies and communications for each hall. Telefónica expects an annual reliability of 99.995%.   Each module will be independent, allowing new rooms to be activated without affecting the operation of the rest. Similarly, the 1,200 kW of IT power for each room can be multiplied up to fourfold without impacting the housed systems.  A redundant fiber optic ring connects to the company's Julián Camarillo Data Centre (Madrid), providing mutual back-up in case of faults.

AT&T Outlines User-Defined Network Cloud

AT&T outlined its vision a User-Defined Network Cloud that is open, simple, scalable and able to perform many functions.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, John Donovan, senior executive vice president of AT&T technology and network operations, said it envisions a multi-service, multi-tenant platform capable of adapting to traffic demands dynamically.  The end goal is to spur innovation by making it easier to adapt the network for new services.

AT&T's Domain 2.0 supplier program, which will was announced in September 2013, will use these principles to build this new architecture based on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN).

AT&T also announced the first group of companies selected to work on the company’s strategy. Ericsson, Tail-F Systems, and Metaswitch Networks have been selected to begin further discussions on design and deployment. AT&T also selected Affirmed Networks to work on a virtualized Evolved Packet Core (EPC).  Ericsson will also work on integration and transformation services. Further selections will take place through the end of 2014.

http://www.attinnovationspace.com/innovation/story/a7794835

TM Forum Releases Blueprint for Managing Virtualized Networks

The TM Forum is launching its new Zero-touch Orchestration, Operations and Management (ZOOM) project aimed at defining a vision of the new virtualized operations environment, and a management architecture based on the seamless interaction between physical and virtual components that can easily and dynamically assemble personalized services.

The ZOOM project is supported by leading providers and suppliers, including AT&T, IBM, Huawei, Oracle, Orange and Telecom Italia.

“The pressure for IT and operational agility to enable new digital service revenues, and continuing demand for cost reduction makes it essential to radically rethink network, operations and service management. Virtualized environments can open up previously unimaginable expectations for service personalization, speed, flexibility, automation and customer centricity,” said Nik Willetts, chief strategy officer, TM Forum. “ZOOM brings together the industry and the Forum’s extensive set of best practices and standards to deliver practical answers for game-changing operations concepts, including operations, adaptive automation and customer-created service definitions.”

https://www.tmforum.org/PressReleases/TMForumBuildsBlueprint/54445/article.html

NSN's LTE Stadium Optimization Claims 30–60% Interference Cut


New software from NSN claims to double the uplink capacity in existing LTE networks, without any additional hardware, by linking centralized RAN links of multiple base stations and turns mitigating interference.  The capability is especially relevant in areas with high concentrations of smart phones, such as stadiums, where people tend to upload a lot pictures and videos.

NSN said its Centralized RAN links multiple LTE base stations to work directly with one other to reduce interference between neighboring cells. This can double the average uplink capacity across a cell, while uploads at the cell edge can be up to ten times faster. It also helps extend battery life as smart devices no longer need to transmit at high power to cut through the interference.

NSN also announced two new software features for its Liquid Radio Software Suite to allow operators to steer LTE-capable smart devices onto 4G more quickly, freeing up WCDMA capacity.

The first feature is Measurement-based LTE layering, which ensures LTE capacity is available before devices are steered, even when LTE and WCDMA sites are not co-located. Also launched is Smart LTE handover, which enables smooth handover from WCDMA to LTE with low delay.

“Our Centralized RAN is capable of enabling operators to convert interference into useful traffic and all without additional hardware or even having to modify their existing base station structure,” said Thorsten Robrecht, vice president, Mobile Broadband portfolio management, NSN. “Apart from this, our two new Liquid Radio software features allow operators to ensure top class mobile broadband experience for their LTE subscribers. These features are valuable in any areas with fluctuating network traffic or densely populated by subscribers, as they are adding more capacity whenever needed, even during special events.”

http://www.nsn.com


NSN's Enhances Flexi Zone Controller for Small Cells

Nokia Solutions and Networks is extending its Flexi Zone comtroller, which runss on macro cells, to now support nearby small cells.

A software version of its Flexi Zone controller that can be deployed on Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations to implement clusters of outdoor and indoor small cells for fill-in coverage near existing macro sites, for example in streets flanked by high-rise buildings. It also enables early deployment of hot zones by re-using macro site infrastructure.

Flexi Zone controller software can also be used to increase the capacity of macro-cellular Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) in large buildings by supporting the deployment of complementary LTE and Wi-Fi small cells. Unlike conventional DAS or hybrid DAS systems, the enhanced Flexi Zone controller can make use of many different transport media including a building’s existing and shared Ethernet (LAN), fiber or coaxial cabling, or even wireless links for large open indoor spaces, slashing operators’ deployment costs by avoiding the need to install dedicated connections. Using a mix of fiber and dedicated Ethernet, Hybrid DASs are a more recent variant of DAS that takes advantage of remote radio heads deployed closer to the antennas.

A third major development enables the Flexi Zone controller to support the integration of NSN Radio Application Cloud Server functionality to enable Liquid Applications on a cluster of small cells. Radio Application Cloud Server provides processing and storage, together with the ability to collect real-time network data.

“Flexi Zone architecture continues to push the boundaries of what small cells can do and future HetNets will look like,” said Randy Cox, head of Small Cells product management at NSN. “Our latest enhancements open up vast new potential for operators to provide top-quality mobile broadband services to their subscribers in even the largest indoor environments and make Flexi Zone the most versatile and lowest overall cost small cell solution. The ability to run Liquid Applications from clusters of small cells will transform what HetNets can do by providing game-changing applications and personalized services matched to a subscriber’s location and context.”

http://www.nsn.com

NSN Intros Indoor Pico Cell

Nokia Solutions and Networks introduced a new indoor Flexi Zone pico base station that offers the same capacity and runs the same software as a macro base station. Pico base stations for indoor coverage provide easier connection options and higher capacity than a distributed antenna system (DAS)* can offer.

The new multi-radio outdoor and indoor Flexi Zone picocell base station integrates LTE and Wi-Fi in one unit. Combined with NSN Smart Wi-Fi real-time traffic steering, operators can  take advantage of unlicensed spectrum to further increase site capacity and improve the customer experience at busy locations.

A new indoor Flexi Zone picocell base station for small and medium-sized buildings has optional Wi-Fi and can provide significant performance gain over femto, DAS and hybrid DAS.

Flexi Zone LTE micro/pico base stations now support all the most commonly used frequency bands for FDD LTE and TD-LTE and can be deployed in outdoor and harsh indoor environments such as railway stations or factories.

Click here and here to download photos illustrating the new indoor Flexi Zone pico base station, the only indoor small cell with the same capacity and running the same software as a macro base station.

http://www.nsn.com

See also