Thursday, February 20, 2014

Alcatel-Lucent Outlines its NFV Roadmap

Alcatel-Lucent outlined its product roadmap for network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies, including plans to virtualize every element of its IMS platform and even key elements of its LTE RAN product set.


Specifically, The virtualized portfolio includes:

A virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC). This automates the authentication and management of subscribers and the services they access, as well as the creation of and connectivity to services within the operator’s network and to the wider Internet on a massive scale, with the quality and performance subscribers demand. Alcatel-Lucent’s vEPC leverages a software base that has been proven in the networks of the world’s largest mobile network operators. The company is currently conducting five customer trials using the vEPC.

A virtualized IMS (vIMS) solution – a cloud communications platform for delivering a rich portfolio of multimedia services over IP networks. Alcatel-Lucent’s vIMS embraces new open cloud technologies whilst retaining the high performance leveraged from being operational at scale in the largest communication networks with 100% availability. Alcatel-Lucent’s vIMS is already being deployed within customer networks and the company is engaged in eight vIMS cloud customer trials.

A virtualized RAN portfolio – encompassing a virtualized 3G Radio Network Controller (RNC) and virtualized proof of concept for LTE and LTE-Advanced Radio Access Networks.  The LTE components leverage Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE software deployed in eight of the top ten mobile operator networks and advanced wireless algorithms from Bell Labs.

To leverage the cloud, the functional software must be on-boarded, managed, orchestrated and optimized within the cloud network. The company is using its CloudBand 2.0 NFV platform at its Cloud Innovation Centre lab in Naperville, US, to onboard and manage its virtualized applications. The 2.0 version has been expanded to support greater network control, broader open industry standard technologies, and virtualized network functions. It also integrates the Virtual Service Platform (VSP) from Alcatel-Lucent’s SDN venture, Nuage Networks. Software defined networking (SDN) solutions from Nuage Networks deliver highly automated, programmable and responsive networks in support of IT and telecommunications applications for the cloud era.

Alcatel-Lucent said it is in a unique position to drive NFV technology forward thanks to its existing product sets in each of these areas, its large customer base, its early work on CloudBand technologies and its contributions to standards bodies.

The company is already working with 20 service providers, including China Mobile with whom it is co-demonstrating voice and video delivered over a virtualized proof of concept LTE RAN Baseband Unit (BBU) and virtualized evolved packet core (vEPC) onboarded to the cloud by CloudBand 2.0 – the company’s second generation NFV platform. It is aligned with the ETSI NFV ISG program and is currently delivering on three CloudBand NFV customer contracts and 10 trials.

“Each mobile operator will have different priorities and want to take their own specific path to NFV, based on their business priorities and the state of their network and operations readiness.  Building on our strong IP foundation, we have pioneered an open SDN and NFV architecture that combines the best of IP with the best of IT, to create a truly carrier-grade cloud network solution. Our accelerated investments in virtualized telecom applications, our CloudBand 2.0 platform and our Nuage Networks SDN venture are clear proof points that we have all the elements to help operators create an open agile, efficient cloud environment at a speed that meets their individual needs,” stated Marcus Weldon, Corporate Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Alcatel-Lucent and Bell Labs President.

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

China Mobile and Alcatel-Lucent Demo Cloud-based VoLTE Network

Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile will demonstrate a voice over LTE (VoLTE) implementation using a virtualized proof of concept LTE RAN Baseband Unit (BBU) and virtualized evolved packet core solutions.

The demo, which will be held at China Mobile’s booth at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, will allow visitors to make voice and video calls with VoLTE capable handsets.

These services are enabled by a multi-vendor cloud network including:

  • Alcatel-Lucent’s virtualized proof of concept LTE RAN BBU uses COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) parts including hardware components, software components and commercial LTE protocols. The solution was developed as part of the Cloud-RAN (C-RAN) program initiated by China Mobile. Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop C-RAN in 2011.
  • Alcatel-Lucent’s vEPC operating with other virtualized core network functions in a multi-vendor environment.  This will be onboarded, managed and orchestrated within the virtual environment by the latest version of Alcatel-Lucent’s NFV platform - CloudBand 2.0.

China Mobile has more than 700 million subscribers and operates a large scale TD-LTE overlay network in which Alcatel-Lucent is a prime vendor.

Dr. Chihlin I, Chief Scientist of CMCC Research Institute, said “China Mobile and Alcatel-Lucent have a long history of working together to deliver innovative solutions that push the boundaries of telecoms and our work on NFV is no exception. Here we are demonstrating how a cloud network environment can help us deliver services faster and better to even greater numbers of people. This will help us meet the explosion in demand for mobile data and allow us to innovate even further with new service offerings.”

Dave Geary, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s wireless business: “As IP Networking and Ultra-Broadband Access specialists, we are delivering carrier grade solutions to some of the largest LTE networks in the world, helping customers such as China Mobile manage the unprecedented demand being placed on their networks today. Having started work on our own virtualization plans before the NFV initiative was founded we are heavily investing in delivering open carrier-grade virtualized solutions and have a real understanding of what is needed in a cloud environment. We are very pleased to have this opportunity to work with China Mobile at Mobile World Congress to show the benefits of this type of solution working in a complete multi-vendor cloud network environment.”

http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

DoD Releases Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy

The U.S. Department of Defense released a report of its Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy (EMS) to increase available spectrum in order to meet growing demand from the commercial wireless industry while maintaining critical military capabilities.

The document outlines key goals and objectives that focus on developing systems that are efficient, flexible, and adaptable in their use of the spectrum; increase operational agility in use of the spectrum; and participate in the development of national and international policies and regulations needed to enable these improvements.

The strategy follows the release of a memorandum issued in 2010 by President Obama titled “Unleashing the Wireless Broadband Revolution,” which requires 500 MHz of spectrum be made available for commercial use by 2020 and one issued in June 2013 titled “Expanding America's Leadership in Wireless Innovation” which directed federal agencies and offices to accelerate efforts to allow and encourage shared access to spectrum allocated for federal use.

“The Department’s Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy addresses the ever increasing need for spectrum to achieve national security goals,” said Teri Takai, DoD chief information officer. “This strategy also addresses short and long-term spectrum challenges as it relates to the growing US demand for wireless broadband services. To achieve the balance required between national security and economic growth, DoD will continue to work in close collaboration with federal regulatory agencies and policymakers, including the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Federal Communications Commission, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), as well as with commercial industry.
Together we must identify ways to make more spectrum available for commercial use, and find technologies that enhance spectrum sharing, all while improving how DoD accesses spectrum, where and when needed to ensure mission success.”

http://www.defense.gov/news/dodspectrumstrategy.pdf

In February 2013, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile USA announced plans to begin testing the viability of sharing 95 MHz of spectrum that is currently used by U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies. 

Last year, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) proposed a spectrum sharing scheme between government and industry.  Specifically, the NTIA determined that 95 megahertz (MHz) of prime spectrum in the 1755 – 1850 MHz band could be repurposed for wireless broadband use. Over 20 federal agencies currently hold more than 3,100 individual frequency assignments in this band. Federal uses of this spectrum include law enforcement surveillance, military tactical communications, air combat training, precision-guided munitions, weather balloons, etc.

Sharing and simulation activities are expected in the next few months to determine how federal use of this spectrum is impacted by the introduction of commercial mobile broadband services in this band.  The testing will involve low power mobile broadband uplinks (base station receivers) and four uses identified by NTIA, including air combat training systems, aeronautical mobile telemetry, satellite command and control, and small unmanned aerial vehicles.

Marvell Reports Flat Q4 Revenue

Marvell reported Q4 2013 revenue of $932 million, essentially flat from $931 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014, ended November 2, 2013, and a 20 percent increase from revenue of $775 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, ended February 2, 2013.  GAAP net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 was $107 million, or $0.21 per share (diluted), compared with GAAP net income of $103 million, or $0.21 per share (diluted), for the third quarter of fiscal 2014, and $50 million, or $0.09 per share (diluted), for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.  

For the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014, revenue was $3.4 billion, an increase of 7 percent from revenue of $3.17 billion for the fiscal year ended February 2, 2013.

"Fiscal year 2014 was the start of a turnaround for Marvell as we delivered year over year growth in revenue and profits. We made good progress in a number of critical areas during the year," said Dr. Sehat Sutardja, Marvell's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are investing in advanced technologies that will help drive increased business opportunities and continued revenue and profit growth in all of our target end markets."


IBM Develops Cybersecurity Framework for Nation’s Critical Infrastructure

IBM, in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other government agencies,  has developed a new Cybersecurity Framework designed to help organizations assess and manage cybersecurity risk associated with the nation's critical infrastructure.

IBM said its framework establishes a common language for organizations to evaluate their cybersecurity posture and to identify and prioritize opportunities to improve it.

"Cyber threats are not limited to select industries such as financial services and retail companies.  There is a growing need to apply advanced security to our increasingly interconnected critical infrastructure like power facilities, electrical grids, industrial manufacturing operations and others,” said Kris Lovejoy, general manager of IBM Security Services.

IBM’s own analysis shows that that infrastructure-dependent industries are among the most targeted by cyber attackers.  The top five industries that reported the most incidents include:

  • Manufacturing – 26.5% of all observed security incidents
  • Finance and Insurance – 20.9%
  • Information and Communication – 18.7%
  • Health and Social Services – 7.3%
  • Retail and wholesale – 6.6% 

http://www.securityintelligence.com

Level 3 Teams Up with Windows Azure

Level 3 Communications announced a strategic relationship with Microsoft to deliver private, direct network connections to Microsoft Windows Azure as part of the Level 3 Cloud Connect Solutions partner ecosystem.

The "Cloud Connect" solution bypasses the public Internet to provide a secure, high-performance network link into the Azure cloud.  Level 3 Cloud Connect Solutions and Windows Azure support MPLS-based Ethernet Virtual Private Line Service, Virtual Private LAN Service and IP/VPN Service, as well as Level 3's Security Solutions and Application Performance Management Services. Level 3 and Windows Azure are now accepting limited customer trials of Windows Azure with connectivity in San Jose, Calif. and Ashburn, Va. Global availability is scheduled for additional regions throughout the year.

"Microsoft has unmatched experience running datacenters and cloud services at global scale," said Steven Martin, general manager of Windows Azure at Microsoft. "Private, direct network connections between Level 3 Cloud Connect Solutions and Windows Azure put our combined scale and global reach to work for enterprises, helping them to realize greater efficiencies and focus on their core business."

"Level 3 Cloud Connect Solutions and Windows Azure deliver a fast, reliable and cost-effective path for enterprises to migrate and optimize their cloud strategies," said Anthony Christie, chief marketing officer of Level 3. "Level 3 is driving a new, more efficient way to connect to the cloud, and our strategic relationship with Windows Azure represents the most recent addition to the global ecosystem we are developing to provide enterprises with greater choice and flexibility to operate within the cloud as a platform for future growth."

http://www.level3.com/azure

Ericsson Builds a Global CDN Program

Ericsson announced its first three global content delivery network (CDN) partners: Limelight Networks, CDNetworks and ChinaCache.

Ericsson says its global CDN partnership program will facilitate operators' ability to deliver more content to subscribers.

The idea is to create a plug-in ecosystem for operators to add CDNs to their networks. Limelight Networks, CDNetworks and ChinaCache are the first to announce they will integrate their systems with the Ericsson content delivery solution.

Ove Anebygd, Vice President and Head of Solution Area Media, Ericsson, said: "Today's CDNs must be able to deliver all types of content in an ultra-efficient way in order to cope with the pressures of the TV Anywhere era. The convergence of global CDNs with operator networks propels content delivery forward to a new level of effectiveness, and enables the media industry to optimize broadcast potential with the continued explosion of available video content. We have created these partnerships to help operators and content providers to forge even stronger links so that they can continue to deliver the right services to the right audiences at the right time."

The first three CDN partners are:

Limelight Networks -- now with over 9Tbps of egress serving over 3 billion objects an hour, providing website acceleration, cloud storage, media delivery, and video services worldwide.

CDNetworks -- accelerates more than 40,000 websites and cloud services with 140 nodes spanning six continents, including mainland China and Russia, helping content providers break down barriers to new markets.

ChinaCache -- operating more than 17000 servers in more than 120 cities across China and global points of presence on four continents.

http://www.ericsson.com/timetoplay

See also