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

SingTel Gets Ready for LTE Launch with Ericsson

SingTel is preparing to launch voice over LTE (VoLTE) services in Singapore in the coming months.

The deployment, which uses Ericsson's VoLTE solution, enables calls to be connected in less than two seconds compared with five to ten seconds on 3G networks.

SingTel's VoLTE service will be the first of its kind to be equipped with Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) capability, whicg automatically switches ongoing calls without interruption to the 3G network if users lose connection to the 4G network.

http://www.ericsson.com
http://www.singtel.com

Sprint Spark Deliver Fixed LTE Acces with Netgear Router

Sprint will begin selling the NETGEAR LTE Gateway 6100D fixed wireless router to deliver LTE access to small business customers at rates of 50-60 Mbps and increasing over time.


The NETGEAR LTE Gateway 6100D (LG6100D) is equipped with an embedded 3G/4G LTE modem to take full advantage of the Sprint Spark enhanced LTE network. The NETGEAR LTE Gateway 6100D also supports the next generation 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi.

The NETGEAR LTE Gateway 6100D will be available for $199.99 (excluding taxes). Sprint wireless router plans start as low as $14.99 for 100MB of combined 3G/4G data while on the Sprint network. Customers can also choose from additional plans as large as 30GB of combined 3G/4G data for $109.99 excluding taxes and fees.

“At Sprint we’re always striving to provide new innovation to meet the growing needs of our business customers, and this product is a great example of that,” said David Owens, vice president-Product Development, Sprint. “The launch of devices like NETGEAR LTE Gateway 6100D, which can operate on three spectrum bands, is another milestone in the rollout of Sprint Spark. Customers will find that the enhanced technology of Sprint Spark and spectrum integration creates a more seamless network.”

http://www.sprint.com
http://www.netgear.com

AT&T Expands LTE Roaming to 15 Countries

AT&T has expanded its LTE roaming coverage to now include 15 countries:  Canada, UK, Spain, France, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, Guam, Philippines and Antigua & Barbuda.

AT&T said it is expanding the program quickly and currently has agreements to allow for LTE roaming in over 200 countries.

http://att.com/globalcountries

See also