Thursday, January 29, 2015

FCC Raises $45 Billion in AWS-3 Spectrum Auction

The FCC's Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-3) auction drew to a close, raising a total of $44.899 billion.

A total of 1,611 licenses total were, covering 65 MHz of spectrum in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands ("AWS-3" bands).

The 1695-1710 MHz band is authorized for low-power mobile transmit (i.e., uplink) operations only. The 1755-1780 MHz frequencies in the paired 1755-1780/2155-2180 MHz band are authorized only for low-power mobile transmit (i.e., uplink) operations; the 2155-2180 MHz frequencies are authorized only for base station and fixed (i.e., downlink) operations. Mobiles and portables in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands may only operate when under the control of a base station, and AWS-3 equipment is subject to a basic interoperability requirement.

“Today we closed bidding Auction 97 – by far the highest-earning spectrum auction the United States has ever seen.  But it was much more than that.  This auction also marked a new era in spectrum policy, where a collaborative and unprecedented effort resulted in new commercial access to federal spectrum bands.  A bipartisan group of leaders in Congress, federal agencies – especially NTIA and DoD – the White House, industry, and the team at the FCC all came together to help meet the Nation’s demand for wireless broadband," stated FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

"If you had conducted a poll of analysts before the start of the AWS-3 auction, the highest prediction given for its yield would not have exceeded $18 billion.  Seventy-seven days and a record setting $44.89 billion later, Auction 97 has shown that demand for this spectrum was phenomenal," said FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.

http://www.fcc.gov

FCC Updates Broadband Definition to 25 Mbps

The FCC updated its definition for broadband to 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up.

The previous benchmark, set in 2010, was 4 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up.

The FCC also released the following stats on broadband adoption:

  • 17 percent of all Americans (55 million people) lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps service. 
  • 53 percent of rural Americans (22 million people) lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps. 
  • By contrast, only 8 percent of urban Americans lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps broadband.
  • Rural America continues to be underserved at all speeds: 20 percent lack access even to service at 4 Mbps/1 Mbps, down only 1 percent from 2011, and 31 percent lack access to 10 Mbps/1 Mbps, down only 4 percent from 2011.
  • 63 percent of Americans living on Tribal lands (2.5 million people) lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps broadband
  • 85 percent living in rural areas of Tribal lands (1.7 million people) lack access.
  • 63 percent of Americans living in U.S. territories (2.6 million people) lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps broadband.
  • 79 percent of those living in rural territorial areas (880,000 people) lack access.
  • Overall, the broadband availability gap closed by only 3 percent last year.
  • Americans living in rural and urban areas adopt broadband at similar rates where 25 Mbps/ 3 Mbps service is available, 28 percent in rural areas and 30 percent in urban areas.
  • Approximately 35 percent of schools lack access to fiber, and thus likely lack access to broadband at the Commission’s shorter term benchmark (adopted in its July 2014 E-rate Modernization Order) of 100 Mbps per 1,000 users, and even fewer have access at the long term goal of 1 Gbps per 1,000 users.

http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-finds-us-broadband-deployment-not-keeping-pace



VMware's vCloud Air to Deliver Google Cloud Services

VMware will deliver Google Cloud Platform services via its vCloud Air platform beginning later this year. Existing VMware vCloud Air customers will have access to the new services under their current service contract and existing network interconnect, and simply pay for the Google Cloud Platform services they consume.

The initial set of Google Cloud Platform services that will be available on vCloud Air include:

  • Google Cloud Storage - Google's distributed low-cost object storage service
  • Google BigQuery - A real-time big data analytics service suitable for running ad-hoc business intelligence queries across billions of data points in seconds
  • Google Cloud Datastore - Google's schema-less, document-based NoSQL database service with automatic scale and full transactional integrity
  • Google Cloud DNS - A globally distributed low-latency DNS service

The companies also announced they are exploring extended management support for Google Cloud Platform as part of VMware's vRealize Cloud Management Suite.

"Our collaboration will provide customers with a unique hybrid solution that combines the power and efficiencies of VMware virtualization and the hyperscale of Google Cloud Platform," said Murali Sitaram, managing director, Global Partner Strategy & Alliances, Google. "As a result of this agreement, enterprise customers will be able to combine their VMware cloud environments with the security, scalability, and price performance of Google's public cloud, built on the same infrastructure that allows Google to return billions of search results in milliseconds."

"We are excited to expand our relationship with Google, and offer customers the ability to use Google's rich portfolio of services while running their mission critical applications on the vCloud air platform," said Bill Fathers, executive vice president and general manager, Cloud Services Business Unit, VMware. "Through this agreement, customers will gain the benefit of both vCloud Air and Google Cloud Platform in a single hybrid cloud service, supported by VMware, and fully compatible with their existing vSphere-based data center infrastructure."

http://googlecloudplatform.blogspot.com/2015/01/VMware-to-make-Google-Cloud-Platform-available-to-its-customers.html

http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vmw-newsfeed/Google-and-VMware-Collaborate-on-Enterprise-Public-Cloud/1919365

VeloCloud: Variable Performance for Broadband WAN Connections

Businesses relying on broadband lines (DSL, cable, LTE, Ethernet or fiber) continue to experience variable and insufficient performance one-quarter of the time, according to data compiled by VeloCloud Networks.

Specifically, the VeloCloud Internet Quality Report for enterprise applications performance measured packet loss and jitter/latency during work hours over Internet WAN connections. Data was gathered by continuous monitoring of VeloCloud’s cloud network service. These 2H2014 results of 6 million link statistics cover more than 60 locations and 50 ISPs.

“The survey confirms that unpredictable Internet performance can’t be solved by switching Internet service providers (ISPs), changing the type of service (DSL, cable, LTE, Ethernet or fiber) or throwing any amount of bandwidth at the problem,” said Sanjay Uppal, CEO and co-founder of VeloCloud. “But it also shows that by fundamentally transforming how these inexpensive broadband links are utilized, enterprises can use the Internet as their WAN to augment their existing private lines, at a fraction of the cost.”

Key findings of the VeloCloud Internet Quality Report include:

  • During business hours (defined as 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., local time), Internet links could not deliver enterprise-quality real-time traffic 25% of the time, on average.
  • Poor performance varied by city from as low as 1% to over 50%. This magnitude of variation was found even within an ISP’s service in the same city over time.
  • There was no improvement in performance even as available bandwidth increased to 200Mbps and more.
  • An overlay cloud-delivered SD-WAN service, featuring dynamic multipath optimization, was able to deliver enterprise-quality application performance 99.3% of the time.
  • Unreliable Internet Links Equals Money Lost
  • Enterprises want to optimize both real-time application performance and costs across their WANs. As the network demands of these real-time applications have increased, so has the number of applications delivered from the cloud. These changes are driving enterprises to look to the Internet for a more cost-effective way to connect directly to cloud applications. However, broadband Internet links to date have not been able to deliver the quality needed to run enterprise applications.

The VeloCloud report includes a Quality Score that rates the ability of Internet connections to support application performance. This scoring is consistent with industry standards, such as mean opinion scores (MOS) for VOIP, and calibrated with third-party tools. The real-world data has been anonymized and aggregated to ensure customer privacy.

http://www.velocloud.com/about/news/internet-quality-report/


  • In July 2014, VeloCloud Networks, a start-up based in Mountain View , California, launched its subscription-based, virtualized WAN service for enterprises that aggregates multiple access lines (cable modem, DSL, LTE) into a single secure connection that is defined and controlled in the cloud. The VeloCloud service uses an Intel-based customer premise device at a branch office to communicate with a VeloCloud gateway in the cloud. The service analyzes network performance and application traffic to determine the best path and dynamically steer traffic to corporate data center or cloud services.
    Compared to MPLS VPNs, VeloCloud said its services offers a significant cost savings because it uses available Internet access lines while delivering enterprise-grade reliability and performance. Advanced network services, such as application-aware firewalls, can be virtualized on the CPE or delivered in the network.  VeloCloud will charge a flat fee per month per location served. The subscription service comprises a Cloud Orchestrator, distributed Cloud Services Gateways and a Cloud Services Edge per branch.

Mushroom Adds VoIP Performance Mgt to Broadband Bonding

Mushroom Networks introduced a VoIP Armor performance management tool for its Truffle broadband line bonding appliance.

Mushroom's VoIP Armor shields the VoIP traffic against any type of WAN link performance fluctuations and link failures. The technology relies on two or more Broadband Bonded Internet links to protect the VoIP packets against loss, delay and jitter as well as against starvation from other cross traffic. The company said this approach ensures reliability and consistent call quality for VoIP calls.

https://www.mushroomnetworks.com

Amazon Notes Some AWS Growth Metrics

In its quarterly financial report, Amazon disclosed that AWS now has over one million active customers (including trial accounts), with usage growth close to 90% year-over-year for the fourth quarter.

The company notes that AWS delivered over 515 significant service and feature releases in 2014 (up more than 80% year-over-year), and that is third annual customer conference attracted more than 13,500 attendees from 63 countries.

Amazon does not yet disclose sales figures for AWS.

http://www.amazon.com

DOCOMO Bundles "Hikari" Fiber Broadband Service

NTT DOCOMO will begin offering "docomo Hikari" optical-fiber broadband service alongside its mobile offerings.

The optical-fiber service will offer individuals and companies unlimited Internet connection at speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

Customers will not have to contract with a separate Internet service provider (ISP) since they can simply select from among many available ISPs.

https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/hikari/index.html

Vodafone Tests 400G Transmission with Alcatel-Lucent

Vodafone Spain has successfully tested 400G optical transmission between Madrid and Zaragoza using existing optical infrastructure.

The trial was conducted with Alcatel-Lucent’s 400G technology on Vodafone Spain’s existing Dispersion Compensation Module network over a span of 400km. The companies said the trial demonstrated the ability of an existing optical network to carry up 17.6 Tbps of traffic, doubling the current spectral efficiency in fiber.

Alcatel-Lucent’s optical trial solution is based on its 1830 Photonic Service Switch platform, and has the ability to be deployed simultaneously with existing multiple 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps network links.

http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/press/2015/alcatel-lucent-and-vodafone-carry-out-trial-400gbps-speed-data-transmissions-over-existing-optical


FCC Updates E911 Indoor Location Rules

The FCC updated its E911 rules to include requirements focused on indoor location accuracy for helping emergency responders find 911 callers.

The FCC said its new rules establish clear and measureable timelines for wireless providers to meet indoor location accuracy benchmarks, both for horizontal and vertical location information. The Commission noted that no single technological approach will solve the challenge of indoor location, and no solution can be implemented overnight. The new requirements therefore enable wireless providers to choose the most effective solutions and allow sufficient time for development of applicable standards, establishment of testing mechanisms, and deployment of new location technology.

http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-rules-help-responders-better-locate-wireless-911-callers


Radisys Intros Data Plane Load Balancer

Radisys introduced its FlowEngine TDE-1000 Intelligent Load Balancer for software defined networks (SDN) in both data centers and telecommunications environments.

The TDE-1000 is a 3U platform that delivers wire speed IP packet classification and flow-based load balancing.  It is capable of distributing up to 1.2 Tbps of aggregate traffic across any third-party NFV infrastructure. It offloads Layer 2-4 network services, making VNF resource utilization more resource efficient and scalable.

Radisys said that when content and service providers deploy the new TDE-1000 in their network, traffic reaching their application server infrastructure is already pre-screened, leaving more NFV processing capacity for Layer 7 and application processing. This allows additional subscribers and services to use the same compute infrastructure.

Key capabilities include:

  • Wirespeed flow classification to rapidly identify traffic,
  • Integrated load balancing to intelligently share loads and steer data flows to appropriate VNFs.
  • Service chaining with flow affinity to support use cases like Gi-LAN
  • SDN control to achieve unprecedented flexibility in new service introduction


http://www.radisys.com/2015/radisys-solves-virtualized-network-scalability-challenges-intelligent-data-plane-load-balancer/

Broadcom Posts Q4 Revenue of $2.14 Billion, up 3.8% YoY

Broadcom reported Q4 2014 revenue of $2.14 billion, a decrease of 5.2% compared with the $2.26 billion reported for the third quarter of 2014 and an increase of 3.8% compared with the $2.06 billion reported for the fourth quarter of 2013. Net income (GAAP) for the fourth quarter of 2014 was $390 million, or $0.64 per share (diluted), compared with GAAP net income of $98 million, or $0.16 per share (diluted), for the third quarter of 2014 and GAAP net income of $168 million, or $0.29 per share (diluted), for the fourth quarter of 2013.

Net revenue for the year ended December 31, 2014 was $8.43 billion. This represents an increase in net revenue of 1.5% from the $8.31 billion reported for the year ended December 31, 2013.

GAAP net income for Q3 and Q4 included charges for restructuring costs and the impairment of long-lived assets, primarily related to Broadcom's decision to exit its cellular baseband business.

"Better than anticipated revenue produced operating results above consensus for the quarter, driven by stronger Broadband and Connectivity revenue in the high-end smartphone and broadband access markets," said Scott McGregor, Broadcom's President and Chief Executive Officer.  "2014 was a pivotal year where we focused on our core businesses, delivered record revenue and non-GAAP profitability, increased capital return and enhanced corporate governance."

http://www.broadcom.com

Aviat Reports Revenue of $92.5 million

Aviat Networks reported quarterly revenue of $92.5 million, compared with $85.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Aviat reported net loss, including discontinued operations, of $(3.3) million, or $(0.05) per share, compared with a net loss of $(9.9) million, or $(0.16) per share, in the year-ago quarter. Loss from continuing operations for the quarter was $(3.2) million, or $(0.05) per share, compared with a loss from continuing operations of $(10.2) million, or $(0.17) per share, in the year-ago quarter.

"In the fiscal second quarter our mobile and non-mobile verticals both contributed to strong revenue and a favorable product mix, while we made significant progress operating the business more efficiently," said Michael Pangia, president and CEO, Aviat Networks. "Moving forward, we are focused on aligning our product roadmap with key accounts in the geographic regions where we see the highest potential for profitable growth. We continue to be dedicated to maximizing improvements in our business model to drive profitability and cash generation on a more consistent basis."

http://www.aviatnetworks.com

See also