Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ericsson to Offer "Small Cell as a Service"

Ericsson will begin offering "Small cell as a Service" in urban areas where it is not practical to densify existing operator networks.  The Ericsson service involves using low-powered, short-range radio access nodes to supplement existing telecom networks and increase capacity in traffic hot spots where large numbers of users gather. The plan would seamlessly combine 3G/4G with carrier-grade Wi-Fi while allowing for the monetization of dedicated media content, advertising and over-the-top services.

The resulting densified network would be owned by either Ericsson or a partner, and could serve multiple operators in scenarios when dedicated operator deployments are impractical. Ericsson would in essence take over the existing network infrastructure, which – depending on the type of
environment – could be either a distributed antenna system (DAS), a Wi-Fi system or both.

Ericsson said it is well positioned to enter the business of "Small Cell as a Service" because of its ability to plan, design and operate networks in very challenging radio environments.

"This is an innovative managed services model that we are launching to cope with the huge volumes of traffic that are generated in areas where large numbers of people gather. Our solution is unique because of our ability to seamlessly combine 3G/4G with carrier-grade Wi-Fi, thereby ensuring that network capacity always exceeds demand," stated Jean-Claude Geha, Vice President and Head of Managed Services, Ericsson.

Ericsson Launches Virtualized Evolved Packet Core

Ericsson is launching a virtualized version of its Evolved Packet Core (EPC) solution including implementations that can run on third party hardware.

Key components of Ericsson's virtual Evolved Packet Core include virtual Evolved Packet Gateway, virtual SGSN-MME, virtual Service-Aware Policy Controller and virtual Service Aware Support Node.

Ericsson said its solution conforms to the principles of network functions virtualization (NFV).  It will be demonstrated at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Jan Häglund, Head of Product Area IP & Broadband at Ericsson says: "At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona we are launching virtual Evolved Packet Core to support operators' transition to a network-enabled cloud. Based on our open platform Ericsson Cloud System, the real-time networking capabilities of Ericsson Service Provider SDN and our Telecom Cloud Transformation service, we support operators' next step to enable the networked society and provide innovative services."

Cisco's Q2 Revenue Falls 8% YoY

Cisco reported Q2 revenue of $11.2 billion, net income (GAAP) of $1.4 billion or $0.27 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $2.5 billion or $0.47 per share. Q2 sales were down 8% compared to the same period a year earlier, and net income declined 54.5% in part due to a pre-tax charge of $655 million related to the expected cost of remediation of issues with memory components in certain products sold in prior fiscal years.

"We delivered the results we expected this quarter. I'm pleased with the progress we've made managing through the technology transitions of cloud, mobile, security and video," stated chairman and CEO John Chambers. "Our financials are strong and our strategy is solid. The major market transitions are networking centric and as the Internet of Everything becomes more important to business, cities and countries, Cisco is uniquely positioned to help our customers solve their biggest business problems."

Some highlights from the report:

  • Cisco announced a quarterly dividend of $0.19 per common share, a two-cent increase over the previous quarter's dividend.
  • Gross margin came in at 61.3% compared to 62.3% a year earlier.
  • Geographically, sales were down 5% YoY in the Americas, down 2% in EMEA, and down 5% in APJC.
  • By customer segment, Enterprise were down 2%, while Service Provider sales fell 12% compared to a year earlier.

  • In its last quarterly conference call on 13-Nov-2013, Cisco warned that revenue would decline 8-10% this quarter (Q2) due to lower demand in certain countries, such as China, due to fallout from the NSA scandal.  Service Provider orders backlog was said to be significantly weaker than expected.

Cisco Cites Memory Component Failure for $655 Million Charge

Cisco said the premature degrading and failure of a memory component used in many of its products between 2005 and 2010 will necessitate to take a charge of $655 million against its earnings to resolve customer support issues.  The bad component from a single supplier, which Cisco has declined to name.

Impacted products include the following:

Enterprise Switching
*Cisco Catalyst 6000 (C6000)
Enterprise Routing (Edge) 
*Integrated Services Router Cisco 18XX (18XX)
*Integrated Services Router Cisco 28XX (28XX)
*Integrated Services Router Cisco 38XX (38XX) 

Integrated Services Router Cisco 800BB (800BB)
Enterprise Switching (Access)
Cisco Catalyst 2960 (C2960)
Cisco Catalyst 3560 (C3560)
Cisco Catalyst 3750 (C3750)
Enterprise Wireless
Cisco Aironet 11XX Series (AIR11X)
Cisco Aironet 12XX Series (AIR12X)
Service Provider Routing (Edge)
Cisco 7200 Series Router (7200)
Cisco 7304 Router (7304)
Cisco ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers (ASR1000)
Cisco 7304 Router Shared Port Adapters (SPA)
Service Provider Routing (Access) 
Cisco ME 3400 Series Ethernet Access Switches (ME3400)
Service Provider Routing
*Cisco Carrier Routing System (CRS)
*Cisco 7600 Series Routers (7600) 

Cisco Embedded Services Routers (ESR)
Service Provider Mobility 
Cisco ASR 5000 Series (ASR5000)
Service Provider Video 
*Cisco uBR10000 Series Universal Broadband Routers (UBR10K)
Cisco uBR7200 Series Universal Broadband Routers (UBR7200)
Data Center 
Cisco MDS 9000 Series Multilayer Switches (MDS)
Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches (N7K)
Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA)
Cisco Firewall Services Module (FWSM)

Poland Cancels LTE Spectrum Auction

Poland's Office of Electronic Communications abruptly decided to cancel the spectrum auction for licences in the 791-816 MHz band and in the 832-857 MHz band, as well as in the 2500-2570 MHz band and in the 2620-2690 MHz band.  Initial bids were initially due on 13-February-2014, however this period was extended by one day due to technical reasons.  After having made this extension, the President of the Office of Electronic Communications decided to cancel the entire auction because some bidders complained that the auction environment was not stable and predictable, possibly leading to legal uncertainties.

Cambium Launches Sub-6 GHz Backhaul Radio for Small Cells

Cambium Networks introduced a Point-to-Point (PTP) 650S Small Cell backhaul radio that delivers up to 450 Mbps aggregate throughput at 2km and packaged in a small form factor suitable for mounting on the sides of buildings or poles.

The Cambium PTP 650S is a sub-6 GHz point-to-point (PTP) wireless backhaul solution tailored for small cell networks. Non-line-of-sight (NLOS) installations are made possible by 2x2 multiple-input multiple-output orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (MIMO-OFDM) and Dynamic Spectrum Optimization (DSOTM) technologies. Bands supported include 4.9, 5.2, 5.4 and 5.8 GHz frequencies, and future support of 2.6 and 3.5 GHz is planned. Timing and synchronization support includes IEEE 1588v2 and Synchronous Ethernet.

Cambium also noted that with a volume of less than 3 liters volume (or less than 0.1 cubic feet), the PTP650S can qualify as “De Minimis” in certain European countries and the UK, and therefore does not require planning permission enable rapid small cell deployments.

"Performance, reliability, scalability and agility are the cornerstones of all of our platforms. In PTP 650S, we have given all of these qualities a boost with built-in technologies: dynamic spectrum optimization (DSO), IEEE 1588v2, Synchronous Ethernet, and dual stack IPv4 and IPv6 support to name a few,” said Scott Imhoff, vice president of product management, Cambium Networks. “With small cell networks continuing to proliferate and require additional support, in addition to the need for flexible platforms to suit global connectivity spanning industries and applications, the timing for PTP 650S’s release couldn’t be better."

Ericsson Packs More Radio Capacity into Outdoor Enclosures

Ericsson introduces a modular All-in-One Outdoor Enclosure that houses and powers multi-standard radio, transmission, power and climate equipment for high-capacity mobile broadband sites. Built to complement its RBS 6000 portfolio, the maximum high-capacity configuration houses up to 8 digital units, 18 radios and 4 MINI-LINK hops in a footprint of less than 0.5 square meters (70 x 70 cm).

Thomas Norén, Vice President and Head Product Area Radio, Business Unit Networks, Ericsson says: "Optimizing outdoor enclosures is an important area for operators to reduce time-to-service. The All-in-One Outdoor Enclosure helps them to add capacity cost-efficiently, enabling them to handle the massive data growth in the Networked Society."

China Telecom Tests Embedded OTDR with Huawei

China Telecom has conducted the first commercial tests of Embedded OTDR (eOTDR) technology in its live fiber access network in Xinjiang province.

An optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR), uses scattered and reflected light to measure transmission quality along optical fibers, and is primarily used for fiber testing and troubleshooting. Huawei's eOTDR(Embedded OTDR)is embedded in an OLT PON optical module.  It works with the company's Line Assurance System iManager N2510 to effectively identify physical connections and optical fiber attenuation.

Huawei said its OTDR-embedded optical modules are the same size as standard optical modules and can be easily deployed on an FTTx network to assist with troubleshooting. This technique does not require serious network reconstruction, such as fiber connection modifications or optical network terminal (ONT) adjustment, nor does it interrupt services during the troubleshooting process.

China Telecom implemented Huawei's iManager N2510/eOTDR solution and completed testing across their entire live network. The test results demonstrated that this solution can locate all backbone fiber faults and the majority of branch fiber faults, work with a fiber Bragg grating (FBG) to demarcate faults and effectively reduce 40% O&M field engineer workload. Moreover, once ODN construction is completed, this solution can test fiber quality and maintain quality data, report alarms in the event of quality deterioration by implementing periodic testing and facilitate rapid response troubleshooting to reduce compliant and improve customer satisfaction. China Telecom has endorsed the test results.

NSN and Huawei Sign Bilateral OSS Interoperability Agreement

NSN and Huawei announced a commitment to cross-license the OSS interfaces used for multi-vendor management as part of the OSS interoperability initiative (OSSii) - a first between major vendors.

Under the OSSii agreement, NSN and Huawei will cross-license their proprietary Element Management System (EMS) interfaces. The agreement allows NSN and Huawei  to use the proprietary EMS interfaces for systems integration and provides the rights to develop, manufacture and sell the integrations as part of their OSS system. In the signed agreement, the two companies also define interoperability testing practices.

“This agreement will bring a whole new level of agility to multi-vendor integrations.” said Peter Patomella, vice president for CEM and OSS at NSN. “We have an industry-leading CEM and OSS portfolio, and OSSii will allow our customers to derive the best possible business value from it, with reduced focus on integration aspects.”