Monday, July 7, 2014

SK Telecom and Ericsson Announced 5G Collaboration

SK Telecom and Ericsson agreed to collaborate on 5G technologies.

Under an MOU signed by company representatives in Stockholm, SK Telecom and Ericsson plan to investigate a number of technologies on the path to 5G, including next generation small cell, ultra-wideband, low latency technology that could be used for remote driving, FDD/TDD convergence technology, and gigabyte-level data transmission technology. Low latency technology refers to a technology to bring down data transmission latency to 1ms.

Park Jin-hyo, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Technology R&D Center at SK Telecom, said “SK Telecom is pleased to work with Ericsson to lead 5G network technology. We will continue to lead development of technologies for the era of the next generation network.”

Thomas Norén, Vice President and Head of Product Area Radio, Ericsson says: “Korea is clearly leading in the uptake of LTE, in terms of technology and subscriber uptake, and SK Telecom is the largest mobile carrier in their market. They are early drivers of technology and we see them as an important partner in defining new opportunities, innovations and requirements for the continued evolution of LTE and towards 5G.”

Europe's Transatel Picks Affirmed Networks to Virtualize its Infrastructure

Transatel, a Paris-based company that enables mobile virtual network operators, has selected Affirmed Networks' Mobile Content Cloud solution for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

Transatel, founded in August 2000, has launched more than 150 MVNOs across Europe in the last 10 years. Transatel has roaming agreements with seven major European carriers to offer seamless service to its subscribers.

Affirmed said its Mobile Content Cloud enables rapid service launch by moving away from legacy infrastructure with a more agile and flexible virtualized architecture. By virtualizing network functions with the Affirmed Mobile Content Cloud and utilizing data center/cloud environments, Transatel is able to differentiate their service offering as well as embrace new and flexible business models critical for taking on a leadership position in the MVNO and M2M business.

“In the M2M and Internet of Things space, Transatel offers a comprehensive embedded connectivity solution for consumer device manufacturers and distributors to embed connectivity into their devices ‒ such as PC, tablets, and gaming devices ‒ at the time of manufacturing via soldered SIM card and benefit from local connectivity in the country of commercialization, whilst supporting advanced economic models, such as B2B2C and split billing, effectively becoming data MVNOs,” said Jacques Bonifay, CEO of Transatel. “Affirmed Networks’ virtualization solution is a key component to support these various economic models in real-time mobile data control and charging, radically simplifying the way new services are created and launched, and monitored for our customers’ benefits.”

“We admire Transatel’s forward thinking vision of the consumer device market and the role the MVNO model will play in this market to bring differentiated services to subscribers. In many ways it parallels our own philosophy of innovation at Affirmed,” stated Hassan Ahmed, Chairman and CEO of Affirmed Networks. “The Transatel team immediately recognized that our virtualized architecture greatly enhances their ability to launch and monetize new services while radically simplifying their operations and management.”

Mellanox Offers Open Source Ethernet Switch MLAG

Mellanox Technologies is releasing the first implementation of Multi Chassis Link Aggregation Group (MLAG) functionality as part of its open source, Open Ethernet program.

MLAG provides the ability for a host to connect to two standalone switches with a pair of load balanced bonded interfaces. This allows for faster failure recovery.

“Mellanox continues to drive the community effort to enable Open Ethernet switch solutions for cloud, web 2.0 and enterprise data centers,” said Amit Katz, senior director of Ethernet switch product marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “The open source MLAG release allows companies to improve their switch software stack by offering their customers enhanced network resiliency and better utilization of their network.”

The open source code is available online:

Small Cell Forum Adds Virtualization to Work Agenda

The Small Cell Forum will address virtualisation as part of its on-going Release Program.

The goal is to leverage Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) to understand the optimal approach to apply to the small cell layer.  The Small Cell Forum said virtualization could have a number of use cases for small cell networks, including:

  • Scalability
  • Improved resource utilization/sharing
  • Multi-tenancy (multicarrier, carrier/enterprise)
  • Enhanced resource coordination (between small cell and macro and between small cells)
  • Multi-point capability
  • Co-located core network virtualized functions

“Operators need to understand how small cells fit into the Cloud-RAN story,” said Sue Monahan, CEO of the Small Cell Forum. “We believe there will be better ROI if operators can plan virtualisation across the entire HetNet, including small cells, rather than as a separate exercise. This work stream will consider the impact of such an approach on everything from network architecture to the business case. We are now inviting Forum members and the wider industry to get behind this initiative and help shape the future of mobile networks through our Release work.”

“Cloud-RAN and small cells have often been presented as alternatives,” said Gordon Mansfield, Chair of Small Cell Forum. “We believe that virtualisation techniques can be re-applied to small cell architectures. This work will help ensure that in dense HetNets, small cells are fully interworking with other platforms to create the broadest pool of capacity and most efficient use of shared resources.”


IBM's Green Horizon Project Aims to Help China on Energy and Environment

IBM announced a 10-year initiative to support China in transforming its national energy systems and protecting the health of citizens.

IBM's "Green Horizon" project seeks to address three areas critical to China's sustainable growth: air quality management, renewable energy forecasting and energy optimization.

The project will be led by IBM's China Research laboratory and tap into the company's network of 12 global research labs and create an innovation ecosystem of partners from government, academia, industry and private enterprise.

On the issue of air pollution, the Green Horizon project will collaborate with the Beijing Municipal Government to leverage some of IBM's most advanced technologies such as cognitive computing, optical sensors and the Internet of Things, to enable a Big Data and analytics platform that predicts air quality in the city. The aim is to create visual maps showing the source and dispersion of pollutants across Beijing 72 hours in advance with street-scale resolution.

For the renewable energy sector, IBM's "Hybrid Renewable Energy Forecasting" (HyRef) solution will provide weather modeling capabilities, advanced cloud imaging technology and sky-facing cameras to track cloud movements, while sensors monitor wind speed, temperature and direction. It can predict the performance of individual renewable energy farms and estimate the amount of energy several days ahead. IBM said its system has already been rolled out at China's largest renewable energy initiative - the Zhangbei Demonstration Project managed by State Grid Jibei Electricity Power Company Limited (SG-JBEPC) in the Northern province of Hebei. Using the system, SG-JBEPC is able to integrate 10% more alternative energy (enough for 14,000 homes) into the national grid. With a prediction accuracy of 90% proven on Zhangbei's wind turbines, it is one of the most accurate energy forecasting systems in the world.

"China has made great achievements and contributed much to the world's economic growth over the past 30 years. It now has an opportunity to lead the world in sustainable energy and environmental management," said D.C. Chien, Chairman and CEO, IBM Greater China Group. "While other nations waited until their economies were fully developed before taking comprehensive action to address environmental issues, China can leverage IBM's most advanced information technologies to help transform its energy infrastructures in parallel with its growth."

Windstream Launches Cloud-based Unified Communications

Windstream announced the nationwide availability of its enterprise-class Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).

Windstream’s UCaaS is a fully managed cloud-based solution, offered to enterprise and mid-sized businesses for a flat monthly rate. The UCaaS product suite is hosted in Windstream’s secure data centers and leverages Windstream’s high-quality MPLS with Quality of Service (QoS) for optimized performance.

For its UCaaS solution, Windstream's partners include Avaya, Cisco, Mitel and ShoreTel.

“Our UC solution helps businesses create a more collaborative and connected workforce, providing anytime, anywhere access to a range of UC options, using a single, consistent interface,” said Matt Preschern, senior vice president and enterprise chief marketing officer at Windstream. “Our business customers are seeking solutions that offer business continuity, security and increased productivity – UCaaS, supported by our team of experts and entirely hosted and managed by Windstream, from our data center to the MPLS network, provides the smart solutions and personalized service our customers need to help their businesses succeed.”

Box Announces $150 Million Investment

Box announced a $150 million investment from TPG Growth and Coatue Management.  The company, which filed an S-1 registration statement in March with the S.E.C., said TPG Growth will also appoint a director to the Box Board of Directors. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The company said it now has more than 27 million individual users at more than 240,000 businesses globally as customers.

"Our mission is to help organizations be more productive, collaborative and competitive by connecting people and their most important information. This focus has been instrumental in building a customer base that includes some of the most influential businesses in the world,” said Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO, Box. “We’re excited to work with TPG Growth and Coatue as we continue to aggressively invest in our customers, technology, and future growth.”

  • Box was founded in 2005 and is based in Los Altos, California.

  • In December, Box announced $100 million in new venture funding and strategic partnerships with with Itochu Technology Ventures, Macnica, Mitsui USA, MKI, Telefónica Digital and Telstra. Coatue, DST Global, and existing Box investors also participated.