Thursday, May 15, 2014

Video: NFV Market Momentum, sponsored by Radisys

This 2-minute video,sponsored by Radisys, captures insights from leading vendors about what's driving the market interest in network functions virtualizations (NFV).

  • Why pursue NFV in the first place?  
  • Is NFV a market reality today? 
  • Which network functions will be virtualized first? 
  • Will a virtualized network solution deliver the same Five 9s reliability? 
Speakers include:
  • Cassidy Shield, Chief Marketing Officer, Alcatel-Lucent
  • Jane Rygaard, Head of CEM, Core and OSS Marketing, Nokia
  • Karl Wale, Director of Product Marketing, Radisys
See video:

FCC Moves to Amend Net Neutrality Rules as it Asserts Authority over Broadband

The FCC voted 3-2 to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking covering how broadband providers should be regulated in the United States.  With this proposal, the FCC proposes is seeking to impose rules based on a legal blueprint set out by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in its January decision in Verizon v. FCC and its authority to promote broadband deployment under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  The FCC is still considering a legal route to assert authority over broadband operator under Title II of the Communications Act.

The Proposed Rulemaking seeks to defend previously established principles of an Open Internet by enforcing a "no-blocking" requirement on network operators.  The FCC is also seeking to codify the principle that priority service offered exclusively by a broadband provider to an affiliate should be considered illegal "until proven otherwise."

The FCC is seeking public input over the next four months.

The full text of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (99 pages) is posted here:

The video of the FCC meeting is posted here (3 hours and 13 minutes):

In January 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the FCC overstepped its boundaries in setting Net Neutrality rules that compel broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic the same regardless of source.  
The court found that even though the FCC has general authority to regulate the Internet, it has previously chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers and the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from regulating them as such. The court therefore decided to vacate portions of the Open Internet Order because broadband providers do not have to meet common carrier obligations.

In December 2010, the FCC approved new Open Internet rules governing the management of Internet traffic, with the three Democrats on the commission voting in favor of the measure and the two Republicans voting against.

Key elements of the Open Internet Order included:

Rule 1: Transparency -- A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings.

Rule 2: No Blocking -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management. A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider's voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network 

Rule 3: No Unreasonable Discrimination -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic over a consumer's broadband Internet access service. Reasonable network management shall not constitute unreasonable discrimination.

Significantly, "reasonable network management" was defined as follows: "A network management practice is reasonable if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service. Legitimate network management purposes include: ensuring network security and integrity, including by addressing traffic that is harmful to the network; addressing traffic that is unwanted by users (including by premise operators), such as by providing services or capabilities consistent with a user's choices regarding parental controls or security capabilities; and by reducing or mitigating the effects of congestion on the network." The FCC rules go on to say that "Pay for Priority" delivery of packets on wireline broadband networks is likely to run afoul of the "no unreasonable discrimination" clause because it would represent a significant departure from current practices.

Mobile broadband was largely exempt from the "reasonable network management" clause, as the document acknowledges that this market is an earlier-stage platform than fixed broadband, and it is rapidly evolving. 

FCC Adopts Rules for Incentive Auction of 600 MHz Spectrum

The FCC adopted rules to implement a two-sided Broadcast Television Incentive Auction covering vacated 600 MHz spectrum.

The FCC will conduct a reverse auction in which broadcasters may voluntarily choose to relinquish some or all of their spectrum usage rights, and  a forward auction in which the relinquished spectrum is made available to wireless providers. The rules integrate the reverse and forward auctions in a series of stages; each stage will consist of a reverse a
uction and a forward auction bidding process aimed at a specific clearing target.

Specifically the band plan consists of specific paired uplink and downlink bands (which enables two-way communications), comprised of five megahertz “building blocks.” Additionally, the band plan accommodates limited variation in the amount of spectrum recovered from broadcasters in different geographic areas in order to prevent the “least common denominator market” from limiting the quantity of spectrum we can offer generally across the nation.

The band plan incorporates technically reasonable guard bands, including a uniform duplex gap (a special guard band used to separate uplink and downlink spectrum), to prevent harmful
interference between licensed services.

The rules for new 600 MHz Band licenses are similar to those governing the adjacent 700 MHz Band. Specifically, mobile devices must be interoperable across the entire 600 MHz band. And new licensees will be required to build out to 40 percent of the population in their service areas within six years and to 75 percent of the population by the end of their initial license terms of 12 years.

In December 2013, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced a one-year delay in kicking off the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction until the middle of 2015.  In a blog posting, Wheeler said additional time is needed for public commentary and for putting in place the rules of the road for the auction, including developing the actual procedures for how the auction will be conducted.

Hong Kong's HKT Launches VoLTE with Huawei

HKT, Hong Kong's leading telecommunications service provider (PCCW), officially launched its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service, initially available on the Samsung Note 3 LTE smartphone.  Huawei is HKT's technology provider.

HKT said it is able to deliver a totally seamless handover of voice calls from 4G to 3G coverage. Call set-up times for VoLTE-to-VoLTE connections are around 1 second.  The service also supports instant switching between voice and video calls.

The launch also marks an important collaboration between HKT, Huawei and Samsung.

Mr. Alex Arena, Group Managing Director of HKT, said, “We are committed to providing the most advanced and compelling services to customers. Our game-changing VoLTE service will be offered to new and existing mobile customers. We are thrilled to work with Huawei to roll out the VoLTE service to customers and look forward to bringing it to more customers through Samsung Note 3 LTE now and potentially other mobile devices in future.”

Mr. Ma Haixu, President of core network product line, Huawei, said, “Built on Huawei’s network platform, the new service is the world’s first commercially available VoLTE solution using the latest R10 standard. The new service signifies Huawei’s leading position in the VoLTE market. We are focusing our efforts to ensure HKT’s VoLTE network is an industry benchmark in terms of service quality, innovation and return on investment.”

AT&T Readies First VoLTE for Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini in Select Markets

AT&T announced plans to begin supporting High Definition (HD) Voice over VoLTE in select markets beginning May 23.

Specifically, the VoLTE service will be activated on Samsung Galaxy S4 mini devices in select areas in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  AT&T plans to add support for more devices and markets over time. Pricing was not disclosed.

Juniper Forms OpenContrail Advisory Board

Juniper Networks announced the formation of an OpenContrail Advisory Board (OCAB) aimed at providing input to the project leadership team on strategic priorities, community evolution, development roadmap, project governance and operational efficiency.

The board is comprised of the top 10 contributors and stakeholders of the project representing both users and developers.

Qualcomm Demos LTE-TDD Broadcast in China

Qualcomm, in collaboration with, conducted a live public demonstration of LTE-TDD Broadcast in China, featuring High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and Dynamic Adaptive Streaming Over HTTP (DASH) technologies.  LTE Broadcast enables the multicast of high-demand content such as live sporting events, breaking news or software updates, so that multiple users receive the same content simultaneously.

Qualcomm said the demo utilized its LTE Broadcast solution for the evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) platform along with devices based on its reference designs, Snapdragon 400 processors and integrated Qualcomm Gobi modems.

The demo took place today during the Qualcomm Reference Design & Wireless Innovation Summit in Shenzhen.

"We're excited to be supporting the growth and evolution of LTE networks worldwide," said Raj Talluri, Senior Vice President of Product Management, QTI. "With LTE Broadcast, operators can better utilize their existing LTE infrastructure to deliver customers an optimized, premium video experience on the latest mobile devices without overloading their networks."

"This demonstration marks an important milestone in the deployment of LTE Broadcast, which we believe will significantly enhance our customers' ability to view popular, live content directly on their mobile devices," said Zeng, Xiongjie, President of Sohu Mobile Video.  "We're excited to be working with QTI to bring this innovative technology to market."