Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sprint Spark Gets Rolling with Up to 60 Mbps in Multiband Devices

Sprint's new "Spark" network architecture, which leverages carrier aggregation, is now available in 11 markets across the U.S. with peak downlink speeds of 60 Mbps.

Sprint Spark uses carrier aggregation to combine FDD-LTE at 800 MHz and 1.9 GHz with TDD-LTE at 2.5GHz. Sprint Spark is now available in the following 11 markets: Austin, Texas; Chicago; Dallas; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Fort Worth, Texas; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; San Antonio, Texas;
Tampa, Fla..

The first devices to support Sprint Spark include:

  • LG G Flex  -- the new curved, flexible smartphone.  It will take advantage of the Sprint Spark network. It also comes with a 3,500mAh battery and offers up to 29 hours of talk time.
  • NETGEAR LTE Gateway 6100D  -- a fixed wireless router for businesses that is positioned as a back up Internet service to avoid outages.  It could also be used to replace primary Internet service in the office because it can connect up to 80 Wi-Fi users while using the high-speed capabilities of Sprint Spark. It features Power over Ethernet, WAN to WWAN failover, TR-069 remote management, advanced Wi-Fi encryption and VPN capability.
  • NETGEAR Mingle Mobile Hotspot  -- the first tri-band device available for prepaid customers in the United States. It will be available this quarter on Virgin Mobile’s competitive Broadband2Go no-contract plans, which include daily service on Sprint’s 3G/4G LTE networks (where available) for $5/day. Broadband2Go also offers monthly data plans for $25 with 1.5GB or $55 with 6GB.

Sprint plans to deploy Sprint Spark in about 100 of America’s largest cities during the next three years. The service is expected to cover 100 million POPs by the end of the year.

http://faster.sprint.com/?ECID=vanity:faster

In October 2013, Sprint demonstrated 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) over-the-air speeds at its lab near Silicon Valley, California.

Sprint claims that it is technically feasible to deliver more than 2 Gbps per sector of over-the-air speed given its extensive spectrum licenses, especially in the 2.5 GHz band.
high-speed capability demonstrates 50-60 Megabits per second (Mbps) peak speeds today with increasing speed potential over time. Given Sprint's spectrum and technology assets, it is technically feasible to deliver more than 2Gbps per sector of over-the-air speed.

"Sprint Spark is a combination of advanced capabilities, like 1x, 2x and 3x carrier aggregation for speed, 8T8R for coverage, MIMO for capacity, TDD for spectral efficiency, together with the most advanced devices offering both tri-band capability and high-definition voice for the best possible customer experience," said Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint.

Some other key points of the October 2013 announcement:

  • Sprint current has approximately 55,000 macro cell sites and plans to stay at this level for the next few years. 
  • A rollout of small cells beginning next year will augment capacity, coverage and speed.
  • Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Solutions and Networks and Samsung have been selected to provide 2.5GHz radio heads and to enable Sprint Spark. Each company will service approximately one-third of Sprint's deployment markets.
  • The 2.5GHz radios are expected to have capabilities for 8 Transmitters 8 Receivers (8T8R), which will be a first deployment of its kind in North America. These radios will be capable of improved coverage, capacity and speeds when compared to the more traditional 2T2R or 4T4R radios used by our competitors.
  • Sprint Spark is designed to accommodate all of Sprint's spectrum bands on a single tri-band smartphone. The first tri-band devices will be available to customers in the next few weeks and offered by HTC, LG and Samsung.
  • Sprint's HD Voice capability, which is also supported on 3G, reaches approximately 85 million people across the Sprint network today, and the company expects 250 million to have access to HD Voice capability by mid-2014. Sprint expects 12 million HD Voice devices in the customer base by the end of 2013, growing to 20 million by the end of 2014.

T-Mobile to Pay Early Termination Fees, Claims Fastest LTE

T-Mobile US promised to pay early termination fees (EFT) of up to $350 per line for customers who switch from AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. Customers who hand in their eligible devices at any participating T-Mobile location and switch to a postpaid Simple Choice Plan can receive a $300 credit based on the value of their phone, when they purchase a new smartphone from T-Mobile.

In a keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show, T-Mobile CEO said the offer represents a "Get Out of Jail Free Card" for families stuck in the perpetual cycle of 2-year contracts that have impeded true competition in the U.S. mobile market.

“Carriers have counted on staggered contract end dates and hefty early termination fees to keep people bound to them forever. But now families can switch to T-Mobile without paying a single red cent to leave them behind.” -- John Legere

In his presentation, Legere lampooned the company's three largest competitors, saying the status quo in the wireless industry has been exceptionally bad for consumers because the lack of market freedom blocks innovation.

In the first eight months since launching its "Un-Carrier" strategy, T-Mobile has already seen positive results:

  • T-Mobile added 1.6 million customers in Q4 2013, more than the other 3 carriers, including 869,00 post paid adds.
  • T-Mobile added 4.4 million customers for all of 2013
  • 12.2 million customers are on Simple Choice plans
  • No competitor response to T-Mobile free international data roaming

Legere also exulted in the finding that T-Mobile now has the fastest LTE service in the nation, according to Ookla's SpeedTest.net:  17.8 Mbps on average compared to 15.1 Mbps for Verizon, 13.7 Mbps for AT&T and 7.6 Mbps for Sprint.  He also bashed AT&T's newly announced Sponsored Data initiative as "horsesh*t" and called Sprint's Spark rollout essentially "a pile of spectrum waiting to be turned into a capability... come back in a few years."

http://newsroom.t-mobile.com/

Facebook to Acquire Little Eye Labs for Mobile App Analytics

Facebook will acquire Little Eye Labs, a start-up based in Bangalore, India, offering software tools to measure, analyze, and optimize the performance of Android apps.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Little Eye software provides detailed stats on how much power, data, CPU, memory and disk space the app is using. A Visual Correlation Engine then provides analysis around the app and the collected data.

Little Eye Labs, which was founded about a year ago, was backed by GSF and VenturEast Tenet Fund.

http://www.littleeye.co/transition.php
https://www.facebook.com/LittleEyeLabs

Apigee Acquires InsightsOne for Big Data Analytics

Apigee has acquired InsightsOne, provides big data predictive intelligence to help businesses understand consumer preferences, for an undisclosed sum.

InsightsOne, which is based in Santa Clara, California, delivers big data predictive intelligence products to marketers and customer service organizations serving the healthcare, financial services, telecommunication, and ecommerce sectors. For example, InsightsOne can predict which healthcare payer members are likely to complain, so that proactive member outreach can be done. For marketing, InsightsOne could trigger a targeted buying offer for a high value customer at the right time, through the right channel. InsightsOne delivers a predictive analytics infrastructure that is consistent with Apigee’s big data offerings, built on top of a massively scalable distributed processing foundation based on open-source Hadoop and an in-memory real-time processor.

Apigee, which is based in San Jose, California, offers an API Platform that enables businesses and developers to deliver APIs and apps.  The company said the InsightsOne acquisition expands its effort to deliver big data and predictive analytics alongside APIs.  InsightsOne will be offered as a stand-alone product today and part of Apigee’s integrated digital business platform for mobile apps, APIs and data analytics by mid-2014.

“Success in today’s mobile-first digital world requires a single vision that spans and connects business and technology,” said Chet Kapoor, Apigee CEO. “In this new world, the business intelligence and context gleaned through the massive amount of big data available about customers, products, developers – every part of a digital business – must be tightly integrated with technology infrastructure to effect real change. InsightsOne dramatically expands Apigee’s big data predictive analytics capabilities, and we welcome the accomplished InsightsOne team to Apigee.”

Waqar Hasan, InsightsOne CEO, will join Apigee’s executive team.  Hasan added, “Predictive is the ‘killer app’ for big data, and Apigee is the only company that delivers predictive analytics with API and app infrastructure in an integrated platform.  InsightsOne is a natural fit for Apigee, expanding its big data analytics to make all customer interactions smarter and more effective. We are thrilled to be joining Apigee as the company helps businesses – including many of the world’s largest companies – transform into leaders in the new digital world.”

https://apigee.com/about/pressrelease/apigee-acquires-insightsone-%E2%80%93-doubling-down-big-data
http://insightsone.com/

Citrix Acquires Framehawk for Desktop Virtualization over Wi-Fi, Cellular

Citrix has acquired Framehawk, a start-up based in San Francisco that develops optimization software for extending virtual desktops and applications to mobile devices over Wi-Fi and cellular.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Citrix said the Framehawk platform will combined with its HDX technology in the Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop products. Framehawk’s leadership and engineering teams will be integrated into the Enterprise and Service Provider division of Citrix.

“With enterprises increasingly enabling mobility for their employees, the ability to deliver apps and desktops with the best user experience to any of the billions of devices on the market is of paramount importance. As a company, we are focused on delivering the best user experience on any device, over any network. The addition of Framehawk’s technology to the HDX portfolio enables Citrix to continue to lead the industry in delivering a powerful virtual desktop and application experience," stated Sudhakar Ramakrishna, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise and Service Provider division at Citrix.

http://www.citrix.com/news/announcements/jan-2014/citrix-acquires-framehawk.html

New 802.11ac-2013 Spec Hits 7 Gbps in 5 GHz Band

IEEE announced approval the 802.11ac-2013 specification amendment, which enables wireless LAN data rates up to 7 Gbps in the 5 GHz band, more than 10 times the speed that was previously standardized.

The IEEE 802.11ac-2013 gains are achieved by multiple concurrent downlink transmissions, referred to as “multi-user multiple-input, multiple-output” (MU MIMO). Smart antenna technology and up to four simultaneous user transmissions enables more efficient spectrum use, higher system capacity and reduced latency.  Client devices with a limited number of antennas, such as smartphones and tablets, will benefit from MU MIMO.

IEEE noted that the 802.11ac specification adds channel bandwidths of 80 MHz and 160 MHz with both contiguous and non-contiguous 160 MHz channels for flexible channel assignment. It adds higher order modulation in the form of 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), providing an additional 33-percent improvement in data rate. A further doubling of the data rate is achieved by increasing the maximum number of spatial streams to eight.

“As wireless networks become more widely deployed, users are able to transition applications from fixed links to the convenience, freedom and versatility of wireless links,” said Bruce Kraemer, chair of the IEEE 802.11™ working group. “These transitions create an evolutionary demand to enhance the capacity of wireless networks in order to support the increasing number of users, as well as new classes of applications with higher bandwidth requirements. Moreover, as WLAN usage of shared spectrum grows, the wireless access mechanisms need to be improved to achieve higher multi-user throughput. IEEE 802.11ac is intended to meet these evolving needs for higher data rates and to help enable new generations of data-intensive wireless applications.”

http://www.ieee.org

Frontier Enhances its Ethernet Virtual Private Line Service

Frontier Communications has enhanced its Ethernet portfolio with traffic prioritization based on user-defined applications.

Frontier is introducing two new Ethernet offerings for Retail and Wholesale users. Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) Gold focuses on businesses needing point-to-point design within Frontier’s QoS-enabled markets, requiring service level agreements (SLAs) surrounding bandwidth guarantees, a limited delay in traffic prioritization and monthly reporting. Frontier’s EVPL Platinum offers premium point-to-point service for customers with real-time data delivery requirements and corresponding SLAs.

The carrier said its new Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities significantly improve network efficiencies and availability by prioritizing critical applications.

According to Stephen LeVan, Frontier’s Senior Vice President of Commercial Sales, “2014 will bring more enhancements to Frontier’s Ethernet portfolio, beginning with fiber QoS-enabled elements in 480 Frontier exchanges throughout Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

“The next enhancement will introduce additional exchanges utilizing our copper elements, which we believe is a key differentiator in our Ethernet Virtual Private Line offerings. All three Frontier EVPL solutions are hybrid in nature and take advantage of our growing fiber plant while leveraging our existing copper facilities for a footprint encompassing 6,373 exchanges.”

In addition to adding QoS, SLAs and Reporting, Frontier will expand and enhance its EVPL offers to include increased interface speeds, out-of-franchise capabilities, multipoint-to-multipoint configurations, and services that enable multiple Classes of Service (multi CoS) with manageability over interconnected provider networks.

http://www.frontier.com

VIZIO + Netflix: Ultra HD Content Will be Primarily Streamed

At CES 2014, VIZIO introduced its new P-Series Ultra HD Full-Array LED Smart TV collection, with pricing starting at $999.99 for a 50" model.  The VIZIO P-Series supports the HEVC Codec for Ultra HD streaming and is powered by a six-core processor that combines a quad-core GPU and dual-core CPU.  The HEVC H.265 codec supports Ultra HD enabled apps such as Netflix, with HDCP 2.2 support also built-in, allowing playback of protected Ultra HD content.

"The primary way to watch TV shows or movies in Ultra HD 4K will be streaming,” said Joris Evers, Director Global Corporate Communications, Netflix.

VIZIO's P-Series use 802.11ac dual-band MIMO wireless for streaming inside the home.  

http://store.vizio.com/news/cat/news/post/vizio-announces-pricing-for-best-in-class-p-series-ultra-hd-full-array-led-smart-tv

TDF Deploys Ciena's 6500 Packet-Optical in France

TDF, continental Europe’s biggest owner of broadcast and telecoms masts, has deployed Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform equipped with WaveLogic 3 Coherent Optical Processors One Control Unified Management System to deliver 100G services in France.

TDF, which provides radio and television transmission along with other multimedia services, such as digitization of content, encoding and storage, operates a network spanning 4,200km betweekn data centers in Paris, Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Aix-Marseille and Rennes.

TDF will also deploy Ciena's digital video transport solution to offer users the ability to transport high-quality video content over its network. This will include: MOTR 20G video card and 565 as a 6500 CPE solution. TDF is also leveraging Ciena’s GeoAnalytics a consulting service that harnesses the power of enterprise databases and analytics to give service providers strategic business insight to help grow their business efficiently and profitably.

http://www.ciena.com
http://www.tdf-group.com

Alcatel-Lucent Supplies IP/MPLS for Colombia's Lazus

Alcatel-Lucent will supply its IP/MPLS solution to Lazus, a telecommunications operator working under the model carrier to carriers in Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.

The IP/MPLS solution, to be deployed for metro networks in nine Colombian cities this year, will deliver high-bandwidth, high-performance mobile backhaul and wholesale metropolitan services for IPTV and Triple Play, business and cloud service providers.

Lazus plans to use Alcatel-Lucent's converged IP/MPLS to provide continuous nationwide 2G, 3G and 4G-enabled services for subscribers of their service provider customers in the Colombian cities of Bogota, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Sincelejo, Monteria, Bucaramanga, Cali and Popayan. The deployment includes the 7450 Ethernet Service Switch (ESS), 7705 Service Aware Router (SAR) and 7210 Service Access Switch (SAS), as well as advanced network management and network planning tools, and professional services.

http://www.alcatel-lucent.com
http://www.lazus.com/

Sprint Announces Group Discounting with "Framily" Plan

Sprint is rolling out a new "Framily" plan that provides discounts when up to 10 lines are combined into a single account.

The more people added to the group, up to 10 phone lines, the greater the savings for everyone on the plan. All members of the group can customize their plan. Each line can be billed separately.

“The Sprint Framily Plan redefines the way we think of family plans and gives our customers the power to decide who will be a part of their group and gain greater savings as more members are added,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. “Sprint continues to be a leader in offering customers choice, flexibility and value. The Sprint Framily Plan makes Sprint the best choice for families and friends.”

http://www.sprint.com/framily

Barracuda Launches Backup-as-a-Service

Barracuda Networks introduced its new Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) offering in the U.S..  The service allows Barracuda Backup 190 and 390 to be purchased as an annual service that includes an appliance, Energize Updates, Instant Replacement and Unlimited Cloud storage. This new service gives customers an alternate method of purchasing Barracuda Backup with a smaller up-front cost.

"Purchasing Backup-as-a-Service is a simple and more cost-effective way for customers to meet their backup needs," said Rod Mathews, GM Storage, Barracuda. "The BaaS program provides customers additional flexibility to purchase Barracuda Backup in the way that better suits their needs, from either their operational or capital budgets."

http://www.barracuda.com/backup

Arbor Networks Appointa Matthew Moynahan as President

Arbor Networks appointed Matthew Moynahan to the position of President, replacing Colin Doherty. Mr. Moynahan had been senior vice president of product management and corporate development at Arbor since 2012. Previously, he was  president and chief executive officer of Veracode, a leader in application security. Before that, he served as a vice president at Symantec in several roles, including the consumer products and client and host (server) security divisions.

http://www.arbornetworks.com/

See also