Monday, March 2, 2015

#MWC 2015 - Unlocking the Value of Context with @SAP_Telco

The next trend in mobile transformation is unlocking the value of context by getting the right information to the right user at the right time, says Rick Costanzo, Exec. VP and GM, Telecommunication Industry & Global Mobility Solutions.

Blueprint: Rethinking Mobile Infrastructures for IoT

by Don DeLoach, CEO of Infobright

The sheer magnitude of machine-to-machine (M2M) data currently being generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) is mind-blowing. Global mobile data traffic grew 69 percent in 2014 according to a recent Cisco report, and that data is expected to increase nearly tenfold with 11.5 billion mobile-connected “smart” devices (including M2M modules) estimated to be in existence by 2019.

The report’s researchers say that growth in mobile data traffic can be traced to the rapid growth of M2M applications and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones as the IoT – which delivers this data through M2M interfaces such as surveillance video systems, utility meters and GPS devices – is only expected to grow from its 109 million figure in the current market to 578 million by 2019. Each year, according to the report, several new devices in different forms such as smartwatches or tablets along with increased capabilities and intelligence are introduced to the market, accounting for nearly half a billion mobile connections and devices added in 2014.

What this all boils down to is that the implementation of the Internet of Things over the next few years will create a powerful, vast amount of M2M data in the hands of mobile network operators looking to glean actionable business insights from it. The problem is, not all that data is essential to the business’ bottom line. If a network operator needs to find out how many end-users are women between 18-35 years old, then end-users who are men, or outside of that age range, would not be practical for the immediate business need at hand.

The IoT is about analyzing the true value, or the utility value, of the data that will effect real change to improve whatever end result is desired by a company, such as product development, marketing campaigns, customer support resolution or SLA root cause monitoring. This is the real “Holy Grail” of the Internet of Things. This means that in order to gain the most out of their bottom line, telecoms and their service providers need to take a hard look at where their current infrastructures are falling short in collecting, storing and analyzing this wealth of data and identify the areas in which they need updating so that they can quickly and efficiently decipher the true data sets specific to their needs. Innovative companies must rethink legacy systems in order to address the sheer volume and velocity of data sets never before seen prior to the IoT explosion.

So let’s take a look at exactly how telecoms should be rethinking their infrastructures to meet these new data demands.  For starters, they should implement an explore and exploit approach to collecting, ingesting, storing, and querying new sets of data. With the explore side of the equation, it is essential for telecoms to keep a close watch on the interesting pieces of information within the data (and only the interesting pieces) that will enable them to yield the exact results they are looking for.  If they wouldn’t expend time and/or money on useless details that won’t add anything to their bottom line, why waste resources in the beginning looking for them? Once telecoms have identified those interesting data sets, they are then able to move to the exploit side of the coin, where they can reproduce that valuable insight so that they can continue to use it to change how their business works.

But in order for telecoms to even start approaching this vital explore and exploit approach to data collecting, they must ensure that their infrastructures are able to hold an enormous volume of data, held over a long period of time, and received as close to real-time as possible. This is a very different proposition from traditional analytics, which deals with this volume in a monolithic relational database and, in a lot of cases, sacrifices some functionality for the ability to load that data quickly as possible. For telecoms to gain and maintain a competitive edge, they must embed within their infrastructures real-time investigative or ad-hoc analytics solutions to provide value-added and customized services to their end-customers. One way of doing so lies with Hadoop, which has grown in popularity as a cost-effective and highly scalable way to store and manage big data. Data typically stored with Hadoop is complex, from multiple data sources, and includes structured and unstructured data. However, companies are realizing that they may not be extracting the full value of their data with Hadoop due to a lack of high-performance ad-hoc query capabilities.

To fully address the influx of M2M data generated by the IoT, telecoms can deploy a range of technologies to leverage distributed processing frameworks like Hadoop and NoSQL and improve performance of their analytics, including enterprise data warehouses, analytic databases, data visualization, and business intelligence tools. These can be deployed in any combination of on-premise software, appliance, or in the cloud.

The reality is that there is no single silver bullet to address the entire analytics infrastructure stack. Specific business requirements will determine where each of these elements plays its role. The key is to think about how business requirements are changing and move the conversation from questions like, “How did my network perform?” to time-critical, high-value-add questions such as, “How can I improve my network’s performance?”

The ability to compete based on analytical maturity, coupled with the overwhelming contribution of new data coming from the multitude of IoT devices and sensors, means conventional ways of storing and analyzing data will need to adapt. By maximizing insight into the data, mobile network operators can make better decisions at the speed of business, thereby reducing costs, identifying new revenue streams, and gaining a competitive edge.

About the Author

Don DeLoach is CEO and president of Infobright. Don has more than 30 years of software industry experience, with demonstrated success building software companies with extensive sales, marketing, and international experience. Don joined Infobright after serving as CEO of Aleri, the complex event processing company, which was acquired by Sybase in February 2010. Prior to Aleri, Don served as President and CEO of YOUcentric, a CRM software company, where he led the growth of the company before being acquired by JD Edwards in 2001. Prior to YOUcentric, Don spent five years in senior roles at Sybase.  He has also served as a Director at Broadbeam Corporation and Chairman of the Board at Apropos Inc. Don currently also serves on the Board of the Illinois Technology Association as well as the Board of the Juvenile Protective Association.

About Infobright

Infobright delivers a high performance analytic database platform that serves as a key underlying infrastructure for The Internet of Things. Specifically focused on enabling the rapid analysis of machine generated data, Infobright powers applications to perform interactive, complex queries resulting in better, faster business decisions enabling companies to decrease costs, increase revenue and improve market share. With offices around the globe, Infobright’s platform is used by market-leading companies such as Mavenir, Yahoo! Bango, JDSU and Polystar. For more information on Infobright’s customers and solutions please visit

HP Brings in Aruba to Manage its Networking Business

HP agreed to acquire Aruba Networks for $24.67 per share in cash, reflecting an equity value of approximately $2.7 billion net of cash and debt.

Aruba, which is based in Sunnyvale, California, is a leading supplier of WLAN solutions for enterprises.  The company had revenues of $729 million in fiscal 2014, and has reported compound annual revenue growth of 30 percent over the last five years. It has approximately 1,800 employees.  Aruba has made rapid progress in 802.11ac Wi-Fi upgrades.  It offers integrated solutions for many vertical market segments, such as retail or healthcare.

HP said Aruba's marketing and channel model will complement its own networking business and go-to-market breadth.  Together, the companies will focus on next-generation converged campus solutions, leveraging the strong Aruba brand.  This new combined organization will be led by Aruba’s Chief Executive Officer Dominic Orr, and Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, Keerti Melkote, reporting to Antonio Neri, leader of HP Enterprise Group.  With this move, HP will be uniquely positioned to deliver both the innovation and global delivery and services offerings to meet customer needs worldwide.

“Enterprises are facing a mobile-first world and are looking for solutions that help them transition legacy investments to the new style of IT,” said Meg Whitman, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of HP.  “By combining Aruba’s world-class wireless mobility solutions with HP’s leading switching portfolio, HP will offer the simplest, most secure networking solutions to help enterprises easily deploy next-generation mobile networks.”

“Together with HP, we have a tremendous opportunity to become an even greater force in enterprise mobility and networking,” said Mr. Orr.  “This transaction brings together Aruba’s best-of-breed mobility hardware and software solutions with HP’s leading switching portfolio.  In addition, Aruba’s channel partners will have the opportunity to expand their businesses with HP offerings.  Together, we will build on Aruba’s proven ‘customer first, customer last’ culture, creating an innovative, agile networking leader ideally positioned to solve our customers’ most pressing mobility, security and networking challenges.”

Nokia Rolls Out Radio Enhancements

At this week’s Mobile World Congress, Nokia Networks is rolling out enhancements across its radio portfolio.  Some highlights:
  • Extending the unique macro parity Small Cells offering with dual band LTE pico cells and a Flexi Zone 3G/Wi-Fi base station.
  • Significant LTE-Advanced enhancements across all dimensions, with Carrier Aggregation launches for TDD-FDD, Small Cells and between sites.
  • Capitalizing on new radio spectrum thanks to a new 8-pipe TD-LTE-Advanced 3.5GHz radio and future expansion to unlicensed bands with LTE-U technology; both demonstrated at MWC.
  • Improving spectral efficiency with enhancements in both LTE- and TD-LTE-Advanced, including MIMO 4x4 and Downlink CoMP (Coordinated Multipoint).
  • Single RAN Advanced portfolio now enables carbon neutral base station sites, with several launches including the launch of a new Radio Antenna System and advanced energy saving software .
  • Consulting services to guide operators to the best and most cost efficient network evolution strategies, and a new Multi-layer Optimization service that can reduce unnecessary handovers by up to 20%.
“Operators are preparing for the huge data growth that is coming with 5G and ultra-dense networks. We help them plan ahead to evolve their networks, making the most of their existing equipment as well as deploying the newest technologies to provide a seamless experience for mobile users across all access technologies and network layers,” said Marc Rouanne,  Executive Vice President, Mobile Broadband at Nokia Networks.

NXP to Acquire Freescale for $11.8 Billion

NXP Semiconductor agreed to acquire Freescale for $6.25 per share in cash and 0.3521 of an NXP ordinary share for each Freescale common share, implying a total equity value for Freescale of approximately $11.8 billion (based on NXP's closing stock price as of February 27, 2015) and a total enterprise value of approximately $16.7 billion including Freescale's net debt.

The deal creates the largest supplier of semiconductors for the automotive industry and the No.1 supplier of general microcontrollers (MCUs).

The combined company will capitalize on the growing opportunities created by the accelerating demand for security, connectivity and processing. NXP estimates annual cost synergies of $500 million.

"Today's announcement is a transformative step in our objective to become the industry leader in high performance mixed signal solutions. The combination of NXP and Freescale creates an industry powerhouse focused on the high growth opportunities in the Smarter World. We fully expect to continue to significantly out-grow the overall market, drive world-class profitability and generate even more cash, which taken together will maximize value for both Freescale and NXP shareholders," said Richard Clemmer, NXP Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Clemmer will continue to be the President and Chief Executive Officer of the merged company.

"We believe this merger, which combines two highly successful and complementary companies, will create significant value for Freescale's and NXP's shareholders, customers and employees. Both companies have built leadership positions and have a sharp focus on delivering superior value to customers. Our combined scale, size and global reach will position our new company to deliver sustainable above market growth. It will also serve to accelerate the strategic plans both companies have invested in, enabling us to deliver more complete solutions to customers," said Gregg Lowe, Freescale Semiconductor President and Chief Executive Officer.

Mitel to Acquire Mavenir for $560 million

Mitel agreed to acquire Mavenir Systems (NYSE:MVNR) in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $560 million.

Mitel specializes in enterprise and mobile IP unified communications.  Mavenir prrovides software-based mobile networking solutions, including a portfolio of voice/video, messaging and mobile core products that include IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and Session Border Controllers (SBCs). Mavenir was the supplier for the world’s first live network deployments of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and RCS5 with MetroPCS (now T-Mobile); the first mobile network deployment of IMS-based VoWi-Fi (Wi-Fi calling) with T-Mobile US; and the first implementation of Virtualized RCSe with Deutsche Telekom.

Mavenir said the deal provides it with the financial and operational footprint to drive further market expansion.

“Mitel is a leader in enterprise and cloud communications, markets in which mobility is becoming increasingly influential. With wireless adoption of IP and 4G LTE and demand for next gen mobile services ramping quickly, we see a compelling opportunity to capitalize on a major market transition to add a high-growth mobile business to Mitel,” said Rich McBee, President and CEO of Mitel. “We believe the combination of Mitel and Mavenir creates a powerful new value proposition for enterprises and mobile service providers, using a common IP technology layer as the foundation for convergence, growth and competitive differentiation.”

“The move to all-IP LTE mobile networks has created a unique opportunity for service providers to leverage a converged all-IP network to offer feature-rich business and consumer communication services to any device, anywhere, on any access network,” said Pardeep Kohli, President and CEO, of Mavenir. “We believe that the combined company is ideally positioned to capitalize on the trends within the communications industry today; namely, the convergence across enterprise and mobile networks to all-IP technologies, and the transition to cloud-based unified communications telephony and software-defined virtualized infrastructure.”

Juniper and Amdocs Showcase vCPE

At this week's Mobile World Congress, Juniper Networks and Amdocs will showcase an automated virtualized customer premises equipment (vCPE) solution that leverages Juniper's vMX router and vSRX firewall.The joint offering also utilizes Juniper's Contrail Networking framework.

The Amdocs Network Cloud Service Orchestrator allows provisioning and rapid fulfillment of both virtual and physical network functions services. As part of the joint offering, Juniper and Amdocs are also providing a user portal for self-service selection, a service catalog and service creation capability, and a wide range of delivery and managed services options to help service providers transition to an IT cloud operating model.

“Service providers recognize the business value of software-powered service chaining as they seek to make their networks more dynamic and better able to adapt to rapid change,” said Gabriel Brown, senior analyst at Heavy Reading. “Virtual CPE is one of the primary use-cases for NFV and there is clear evidence that service providers will invest in the technology if they have the software solutions they need to achieve true service agility.”

Telefónica Demos LTE-A at 375 Mbps

Telefónica hosted a demonstration of LTE Advanced 3 band carrier aggregation over a live network at #MWC15.

Telefónica demonstration used Ericsson network equipment and all of its available spectrum to combine 3 component carriers (20MHz in 2600+20MHz in 1800 +10MHz in 800).  The test showed up to 375 Mbps in the downlink and up to 50 Mbps in the uplink in two different Hot-Spots in Barcelona.

In Spain, Telefónica is currently deploying LTE in the 800 MHz frequency band.

Xilinx and BEEcube Launch 5G Massive MIMO Prototyping Platform

Xilinx and BEEcube announced a highly scalable prototyping platform for 5G massive MIMO antenna systems.

The new MegaBEE prototyping platform supports up to 256x256 antennas and provides all the elements necessary to put a massive MIMO system on the air within LTE bands and without external hardware.  The platform uses Xilinx’s Zynq All Programmable SoC.

MegaBEE said its clocking structure paves the way for antenna modules to be dispersed over a three mile radius while maintaining phase coherence, enabling the system to be used for distributed MIMO as well as massive MIMO systems with greater coverage and capacity.

"Xilinx devices have long been used in wireless infrastructure equipment due to their unique properties of being fully programmable and high performance. MegaBEE's Linux cluster for distributed control is one of the most innovative uses of Zynq's dual ARM cores that I have seen," said Ivo Bolsens, Xilinx CTO and senior vice president.

"The MegaBEE platform delivers all the required elements for 5G massive MIMO prototyping in one box, greatly simplifying the task of building a system and freeing designers up to focus on algorithms instead of the interfaces around the periphery of their design," said Chen Chang, BEEcube founder and CEO. "Our tier one customers have pushed us hard to create an easy-to-use yet powerful MIMO prototyping platform and together with Xilinx, we've done just that."