Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ericsson Announces License Assisted Access (LAA) Small Cells

Ericsson will support License Assisted Access (LAA) capability in its small cells starting in fourth quarter 2015.  This will enable carrier aggregation of licensed with unlicensed bands to effectively address growth in indoor data traffic. T-Mobile US has agreed to trial the technology.  LAA capability will be supported in the Ericsson Radio Dot System for medium and large buildings and the Ericsson RBS 6402 Indoor Picocell for smaller buildings under 50,000 square feet.

LAA is an LTE-Advanced technology that can improve mobile data speeds and reduce congestion. Ericsson calculates that using only 4 percent of the 5 GHz band, LAA can provide up to a 150 Mbps speed increase to smartphone users. Each additional 4 percent of available spectrum used will increase the smartphone data speed further. Ericsson LAA also incorporates fair sharing within the 5 GHz band, to accommodate traditional Wi-Fi users. Fair sharing works on the principle that Wi-Fi and LAA users would have equal access to the spectrum.

"One of the great things about LAA is its 'rising tide' effect, increasing system capacity and making way for better service to all users in the area, whether they have an LAA-enabled device, or are using Wi-Fi or cellular access," stated Thomas Norén, Vice President, Head of Radio Product Management, Ericsson.

"With our LTE footprint now covering 264 million Americans, we look to innovations like License Assisted Access to help us drive an even better, more differentiated wireless experience. There's approximately 550 MHz of underutilized spectrum in the 5 GHz Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (UNII) band and LAA is one of the technologies we plan to develop and use in our continuing efforts to provide our customers with superior network performance. We are excited to be working with major infrastructure partners, like Ericsson, to bring this technology to our customers in the near-future," said Neville Ray, Chief Technical Officer, T-Mobile US.

T-Mobile Looks at Unlicensed Spectrum for Potential Boost

T-Mobile is looking at integrating licensed and unlicensed spectrum on its LTE network.

In a blog posting, Neville Ray, T-Mobile's CTO, notes there is approximately 550 MHz of underutilized spectrum in the 5 GHz Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (UNII) band, which is available for any use within the FCC’s rules for the UNII band. T-Mobile is considering Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) for its ability to deliver higher peak and average data speeds to smartphones and mobile broadband devices with reduced packet latencies.

Sprint Secures Vendor Financing from Nokia, Samsung, ALU

Sprint signed three new vendor financing facilities totaling $1.8 billion to purchase 2.5 GHz network equipment and related services from key suppliers. The company also amended some existing equipment credit facilities.


  • A new secured facility for up to $800 million has been signed with Nokia Networks, maturing in June 2021. It is backed by credit insurance provided by Finnvera plc, the export credit agency of Finland.
  • A new secured facility for up to $750 million has been signed with Samsung, maturing in Dec. 2022. It is backed by credit insurance provided by the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (Ksure), the export credit agency of Korea.
  • A new secured facility for up to $250 million has been signed with ALU, maturing in Dec. 2021. It is backed by credit insurance provided by Delcredere | Ducroire (D/D), the export credit agency of Belgium.
  • With ALU's assistance, Sprint amended and expanded by $300 million its credit relationship with Export Development Canada (EDC) as well as amended the terms of its existing secured equipment credit facility. The total outstanding borrowings from EDC now amount to $800 million.
  • Sprint has  amended the terms of the secured equipment credit facility that it used to finance $1 billion in purchases of network equipment and related services from Ericsson. 

In addition, the FCC recently approved Sprint’s request to reduce the Letter of Credit (LOC) for 800 MHz incumbent reconfiguration costs by an additional $22.6 million. This lowered the LOC to approximately $434 million and follows the FCC’s approval of a reduction from $850 million to $457 million earlier in 2014.

T-Mobile US Added 8.3 million Customers in '14

T-Mobile US continued to acquire market share from its competitors in 2014, adding 8.3 million total net customers for the year. In the fourth quarter, T-Mobile added 2.1 million net customers.  This was the seventh quarter in a row that the Company has generated more than 1 million net customer additions.

“While my competitors are hiding behind less valuable connected device subscriber additions and managing profit expectations to the downside, T-Mobile delivered over 2.1 million customers in Q4, while managing the balance between growth and profitability.  Needless to say, 2014 was a record breaking year,” stated John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile.

AT&T Adds Rollover Data to Mobile Share Plans

AT&T is adding a Rollover Data feature to its new and current Mobile Share Value customers.

This rolls over unused, shareable plan data in a given month roll be used within the next month.

"Rollover Data is an added benefit of being an AT&T Mobile Share Value customer and it's just another way that we're saying thanks to our more than 50 million plus Mobile Share Value subscribers," said Glenn Lurie, President and CEO, AT&T Mobility. "We're providing even more value and flexibility, and the best part is it's simple, shareable and easy to track for our customers. All Mobile Share Value customers get this automatically."

Sckipio Demos OpenFlow over Distribution Point Unit

Sckipio Technologies, a start-up based in Israel, demonstrated OpenFlow control over a commercial DPU hardware.

The demonstration includes a 16-port fully vectored Sckipio DP3000-EVM Distribution Point Unit device transmitting over a 50 meter twisted pair binder to 16 separate Sckipio CP1000-EVM units.

Sckipio said its demonstration shows ultra high-speed broadband access over telephone wires being controlled using an open framework instead of utilizing proprietary approaches.

“Telcos expect to run as open, Software Defined Networks,” said David Baum, CEO of Sckipio. “OpenFlow is the critical technology to make their vision possible and Sckipio is the first company to show it working on a networking node.”

IBM SoftLayer Data Center Opens in Frankfurt

IBM officially opened its first cloud data center with SoftLayer in Germany.  The new facility in Frankfurt provides customers with a local cloud center to help them meet Germany and Europe’s strict security and data privacy regulations, improving application performance by lowering latency for local customers.

The Frankfurt facility is part of SoftLayer’s unique global network, differentiated by its network-within-a-network architecture, and offers 10Gbps connections to SoftLayer services, with only 7 milliseconds of latency from SoftLayer’s Amsterdam facility and less than 330 milliseconds of latency from other SoftLayer cloud data centers around the world.

It also complements existing European IBM Cloud facilities in Amsterdam, London, and Paris and broadens redundancy options and geographic diversity within EMEA and around the world by enabling backups that can be replicated and integrated in any other SoftLayer cloud data center, with free unmetered bandwidth between locations.

Infonetics: Fibre Channel SAN Shows New Life

Worldwide converged data center network adapter revenue was up 13% sequentially in 3Q14, with converged network adapters (CNAs) in the lead, followed by internet small computer system interface (iSCSI) adapters, according to a new report from Infonetics Research. The report tracks storage area network (SAN) Fibre Channel switches and host bus adapters (HBAs), converged data center network adapters, and switch ports-in-use for storage.

Some highlights:

  • In 3Q14, the global storage area network (SAN) equipment market, including Fibre Channel switches and host bus adapters (HBAs), grew 10% from 2Q14 to $654 million, and was up 15% from 3Q13
  • Another transformation in the converged data center network adapter market is on the horizon: the introduction of 25GE, expected in 2015 targeting large cloud service providers (CSPs)
  • Brocade dominates the SAN switch and adapter market, while Intel leads the converged data center network adapter space.
“The long-term downward streak for Fibre Channel SAN equipment was broken in the third quarter of 2014 (3Q14), driven by high performance requirements for flash storage and Cisco’s customers finishing their SAN product evaluation cycles and beginning to scale deployments,” notes Cliff Grossner, Ph. D., directing analyst for data center, cloud, and SDN at Infonetics Research.

“The question remains, however, whether the growth expected from solid-state drive storage and Gen 6 Fibre Channel that’s expected in the coming year will be enough to return the market to increased growth,” continues Grossner. “We believe the answer is yes for the short term, but do not see any evidence that double-digit growth will return to Fibre Channel market.”

CoreSite Opens Huge Data Center in Reston, VA

CoreSite Realty officially opened the second building on its Reston campus, a new 198,000 square foot facility, of which the 50,000 square-foot Phase 1 turn-key data center capacity was leased in Q4 2014 to a single anchor tenant.

Construction has now commenced on Phase 2 of the VA2 build-out, totaling an additional approximate 50,000 NRSF, with completion anticipated in Q2 2015.

CoreSite’s Reston campus provides access to nearly 60 network, cloud and IT service providers, including interconnection with AWS Direct Connect.

“We are pleased to open the first phase of VA2 fully leased to an anchor customer, consistent with our strategy for the facility,” said Tom Ray, CEO of CoreSite. “Further, we believe that the nearly 60 network, cloud and IT service providers already deployed at our Reston campus combine with our market-leading network ecosystem at DC1 and the scalability offered at VA2 to enable CoreSite to offer one of the most comprehensive solutions in the region for performance-sensitive customer requirements.”

Procera Updates Guidance, Sees Recovery

Procera Networks updated its financial guidance, saying it now expects revenue for the fourth quarter of 2014 to be in the range of $23.5 million to $24.5 million. The ratio of bookings to revenue for the fourth quarter was above one. The company expects the gross margin rate to be around 60%, to incur a net operating loss on a GAAP basis and to be profitable on a non-GAAP basis for the fourth quarter of 2014. For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, the company expects revenue to be in the range of $74 million to $75 million and expects to incur a net operating loss on both a GAAP and non-GAAP basis.

“The results of the quarter represent a recovery driven by the strength of our product portfolio and sales pipeline,” said James Brear, President and CEO of Procera Networks. “We are executing on our sales plan and new product initiatives and believe we are well positioned for 2015 as we continue to work toward the primary goal of driving value for our shareholders.”

Cyan Raises Q4 Revenue Range

Cyan released new financial guidance, saying it now expects fourth quarter 2014 revenue to be between $30 million and $31 million, exceeding the company’s prior guidance of $24 million to $26 million.

“Fourth quarter revenue outpaced our initial expectations due to strong demand for our Z-Series packet-optical hardware for both metro and regional 100G and packet applications,” said Mark Floyd, Cyan’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We continue to believe that in the first half of 2015 we will convert some of our SDN and NFV trials into wins. Between the growing traction for our Z-Series hardware and the accelerating commercial interest we are seeing for our SDN and NFV software, we are excited about our role as the supplier of choice for critical network transformation technology. We look forward to sharing more details when we announce our full fourth quarter and 2014 results.”

Molex Acquires SDP Telecom for RF Components

Molex has acquired SDP Telecom, a maker of RF/microwave solutions for the wireless communications industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SDP, which is based in Montreal, Canada, has manufacturing facilities in China. SDP will be managed by the RF/Microwave Business Unit that is part of Molex’s Global Integrated Products Division.

“Together, Molex and SDP will broaden our RF/Microwave product capabilities and create additional value for our customers in the growing wireless infrastructure market, said Tim Ruff, senior vice president, Molex. “This is a next step towards achieving our vision to offer total integrated solutions to the markets we serve.”

MegaChips Partners with Bosch Sensortec on IoT

MegaChips announced a partnership with Bosch Sensortec to provide a complete reference design for use in smartphones, wearables and other personal devices allowing consumers to monitor their activities in real time.

The companies are offering a reference design provides both context and location awareness for health, fitness and indoor navigation monitoring and tracking applications. MegaChips' ultra-low power frizz, combined with the SiTime SiT1602 programmable MHz oscillator and the Bosch Sensortec MEMS sensors BMI160, BMM150 and BME280 provide more meaningful data, easy interpretation, higher accuracy and ultra-low power critical for longer battery life. Frizz is a motion sensor hub with a 32bit DSP based motion engine called "ParaForce" that can realize high performance calculations used in processing algorithms with ultra-low power consumption in lieu of a microprocessor, which often runs at hundreds of MHz and consumes much higher power, thereby extending the runtime of portable devices.

"With each generation, devices are getting smaller and more accurate," said Utah Iwasaki, manager, business development MegaChips Technology America Corporation. "Our new joint solution with first-rate sensors from Bosch enables longer lasting wearable devices that collect more accurate data on movement, speed, distance and direction. We can, for instance, track how someone is moving their arms and legs, which is great for golf swing analysis."

  • Last year, MegaChips Corporation, a top 25 fabless semiconductor company based in Japan, acquired SiTime for $200 million in cash.  SiTime, which is based in Sunnyvale, California, specializes in silicon MEMS-based oscillators and clock generators that are a drop-in replacement for legacy quartz crystal products. Its  MEMS timing solutions replace quartz products in the telecom, networking, computing, storage and consumer markets, with the benefits of higher performance, smaller size, and lower power and cost.MegaChips Corporation, a top 25 fabless semiconductor company based in Japan, agreed to acquire SiTime for $200 million in cash.

Arbor Networks Appoints CTO

Arbor Networks has appointed Sam Curry to the newly created position of Chief Technology & Security Officer. He previously served as Senior Vice President of Information Security and Chief Information Security Officer at MicroStrategy. Before that, he held a number of significant roles at RSA, including Chief Technology Officer for Identity and Data Protection. Sam also held a number of senior roles at McAfee and Computer Associates, among other companies.