Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Ericsson Showcases 5G, Cloud RAN, IoT at #MWC16

Ericsson will be showcasing 5G radio prototypes, cellular IoT and cloud RAN at next week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Ericsson announced 5G partnerships with Vodafone and Telefónica.

Phase 2 of Ericsson's 5G Radio Test Bed, which includes 5G radio prototypes set for operator field trials in 2016, will be running live and with advanced features such as Massive MIMO and beam tracking. 

Ericsson demos for MWC include:

Telehaptic control: a prototype system for semi-autonomous, remote flying of radio-controlled helicopters controlled with haptic feedback

Network slicing:
one network that can support multiple industries 

Cellular IoT:
low power wide area (LPWA) cellular IoT solutions, including Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), LTE-M (Cat M) and EC-EGPRS/EC-GSM (Extended Coverage) for Massive IoT applications. 
IoT solutions: how to build and efficiently manage IoT networks that combine devices connected directly to a 5G system with devices connected via short-range radio through capillary gateways, as well as live demonstration of Virtual Evolved Packet Core (EPC) for Massive IoT. A related presentation will show how forthcoming Bluetooth low energy mesh technology can be used for capillary connectivity in a smart home.
Evolution to Hyperscale IT infrastructure: The Ericsson Hyperscale Datacenter System 8000 - a new generation of datacenter system using disaggregated hardware architecture for better resource utilization

Cloud RAN:
radio access functionality virtualized on remote COTS servers located in Sweden. 

The journey to NFV:
Ericsson will showcase its end-to-end role in the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) story, including software-defined networking (SDN) and evolution to the 5G-ready core. Solutions on show include vEPC, vIMS and vUDC, as well as Ericsson Cloud Manager.
Enriched VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling for multi-device: Ericsson and Sony will demonstrate the latest consumer and enterprise communication services based on VoLTE. Ericsson will also demonstrate extension of voice services to tablets, computers and other personal devices in collaboration with its device partners.

Gigabit LTE: Network and device performance of up to 1Gbps will be demonstrated live, using a combination of 3 Component Carrier Aggregation, 4X4 MIMO and 256 QAM, and including interoperability with the latest devices. Ericsson Lean Carrier will also be demonstrated.

Ericsson Radio System: Three new radio access products supporting 4X4 MIMO, as well as new spectrum bands and spectrum refarming, will be demonstrated. New multi-gigabit capacities and multi-band microwave additions that address increasing backhaul requirements, as well as radio transport integration using Router 6000  will be on show.

Indoor small cells: Ericsson will demonstrate a new indoor radio planning tool designed to help operators dramatically reduce time-to-service for indoor solutions including the Ericsson Radio Dot System and Pico RBS.

App Experience Optimization: A new service will be presented that enables operators to understand which factors matter most to consumers, how to measure them and what actions to take to improve network performance where it counts.

3G performance and efficiency: Ericsson will feature 3G WCDMA innovations, including Flow of Users, Zero Touch and Intelligent Antenna Sharing, which make it faster and more cost-effective for operators to bring mobile broadband to everyone.

Accelerating digital transformation: BSS software to support agile digital operating models will be on show.

Time-shifted video: a Cloud DVR solution that enables operators to move media storage and recording processes to a network operation center or the cloud.

Mobile financial services: Ericsson's Interconnect solutions ensure interoperability between mobile wallet providers and established payment networks
Smart and sustainable cities: Industry solutions come together to address key urban agendas of safety, efficiency, resilience, growth and holistic planning.

Ericsson Emergency Response - modern operations center capabilities to support emergency response agencies with efficient incident handling and inter-agency collaboration, across all mission-critical networks.

Solar car: Ericsson will demonstrate how an application based on the Connected Traffic Cloud helped Solar Team Eindhoven's Stella Lux to win the Cruiser Class of the 2015 World Solar Challenge - a 3,000-kilometer race across the Australian outback.

Autonomous driving: Ericsson is supporting Volvo Cars' Concept C26, which explores the media experience in autonomous vehicles, as well as the recently launched Volvo S90 and its infotainment and connected services.

CableLabs Eyes Symmetric Multi-Gigabit DOCSIS

During its recent 2016 Winter Conference, CableLabs unveiled a Full Duplex DOCSIS technology that aims for multi-gigabit rates.  The breakthrough increase in the upstream speeds for DOCSIS delivered broadband service is achieved by applying emerging techniques from wireless networks to the cable infrastructure.

CableLabs said this new approach significantly increases upstream data capacity in order to enable symmetric multi-Gigabit broadband data services for consumers and the enterprise. These developments are expected to yield DOCSIS 3.1 network performance of up to 10 Gbps symmetrical on 1 GHz HFC networks, with the potential for even higher performance by utilizing spectrum that is currently available for future expansion above 1 GHz.

T-Mobile Beats Expectations, Adds 2.1 Million in Q4

T-Mobile added 2.1 million net customers in Q4 2015, bringing its total customer count to more than 63 million at year-end 2015.

Some highlights:

  • Service revenues for the fourth quarter of 2015 grew 11.7% year-over-year, primarily due to rapid growth in the company’s customer base. 
  • T-Mobile’s total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2015 grew by 1.1% year-over-year.
  • 1.3 million branded postpaid net adds in 4Q15 
  • 17,000 branded postpaid phone net adds in 4Q15 – 3.5 million in 2015
  • 469,000 branded prepaid net adds in 4Q15 – 1.3 million in 2015
  • Branded postpaid phone churn of 1.46%, down 27 bps YoY in 4Q15 – down 19 bps YoY in 2015
  • 100% of the MetroPCS spectrum has been re-farmed and integrated into the T-Mobile network. 
  • Total devices sold or leased were 10.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, including 10.0 million smartphones.
  • In February 2016, T-Mobile entered into agreements with multiple parties to acquire additional 700 MHz A-Block spectrum covering approximately 48 million POPs

Ciena Expands Blue Orbit SDN/NFV Ecosystem

Ciena has added six organizations to its Blue Orbit ecosystem for SDN and NFV: Active Broadband Networks, Calix, Centina Systems, Dell, Qwilt, and Silver Peak.

Existing Blue Orbit partners include:

  • VNFs: BlackRidge Technology, Brocade, Certes, EXFO, Fortinet, GENBAND, Metaswitch Networks, PowerDNS, Spirent Communications, Versa Networks
  • Physical Network Elements: Accedian, Omnitron Systems, RAD, Telco Systems
  • Virtual Infrastructure: ADI Engineering, Aria Networks, Arista, Boundary, Canonical, Intel, Mellanox, Pica8, Red Hat, Ryu, VMware, Wind River

“As the industry heads toward open and software-defined multi-vendor networks, it is essential to assure that new virtual functions can run in live networks without disruption,” said Kevin Sheehan, vice president, Global Customer Operations, Blue Planet Division, Ciena. “We are excited to welcome these leading SDN and NFV solution providers as our newest partners in the Blue Orbit ecosystem.”

ADVA's Ensemble Division Focuses on NFV

ADVA Optical Networking launched Ensemble, a strategic division and product suite focused purely on network functions virtualization (NFV). The division combines the software engineering capabilities of ADVA Optical Networking and the NFV portfolio of its most recent acquisition – Overture.

“What we’re announcing here isn’t simply a new division or a combined product suite. It’s our stake in the NFV landscape – a signal to our customers and to the industry that we’re making something special,” said Brian Protiva, CEO, ADVA Optical Networking. “Even at this early stage of the ADVA Ensemble solution, it’s clear we can now offer our customers something no one else in the industry can – freedom of choice. However they want to implement NFV, however they want to develop their network – we can do it. Our Ensemble software architecture and our open hardware solutions enable our customers to select best-of-breed elements of our portfolio or tightly integrated end-to-end solutions. Our customers see this as truly compelling. When we said we were creating an NFV powerhouse with our Overture acquisition, we meant it. The ADVA Ensemble product suite is the first big step in our journey.”

Cohere’s OTFS Scales MIMO without Signal Drop

Cohere Technologies, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, has validated the ability of its Orthogonal Time Frequency and Space (OTFS) to consistently maintain high-speed connectivity, even when encountering the most difficult scenarios for wireless networking. The company said its OTFS outperformed all other modulation schemes that were tested, and was able to extract high-speed capacity that perfectly scaled with the addition of additional antennas.

Cohere claims its new OTFS modulation scheme delivers 100 percent coverage, 10x spectral efficiency and a 50 percent cost savings over existing solutions by perfectly capturing the wireless channel. Combined with traditional modulation schemes, OTFS extends the benefits of this 2D modulation to existing platforms.

The recent trials, which were conducted in partnership with wireless operators, used currently available MIMO radios with 2 x 2 and 4 x 4 antenna arrays. The tests spanned urban settings with tall buildings, mountainous regions, rural settings and moving vehicles, all at various distances, with and without line-of-site configurations. While OFDM-based radios used for comparison would fade, drop signals or lose capacity, the OTFS radios never faded – even at distances beyond 4 km – and maintained connectivity, even in the most challenging mobile scenarios. The tests were able to maintain a minimum of 4bps/Hz in 10MHz achieving at least 120 Mbps up to 320Mbps.

Cohere also noted that it is preparing to produce Massive MIMO radios that include 64 x 64 antenna arrays.

  • Cohere is headed by Shlomo Rakib, who previously was President and CTO of Terayon Communications.

Avi Launches Container Service Fabric for Mesosphere, Docker

Avi Networks and Mesosphere introduced an integrated solution to help enterprises build and deploy microservices applications at scale using Docker Containers.

The Avi Vantage Platform works with the Mesosphere Datacenter Operating System (DCOS) and Docker containers to provide a dynamic service fabric for micro-segmentation, service discovery, graphical application maps, load balancing, and autoscaling capabilities deployed across thousands of DCOS nodes.

Key capabilities of Avi Vantage and Mesosphere DCOS:

  • Full integration with the Mesosphere DCOS for automated, policy-driven deployments of apps and services
  • Comprehensive security services including micro-segmentation, DDoS protection, SSL, and web application security
  • Software load balancer with support for East-West traffic and automated configuration updates
  • Visibility to inter-service relationships with graphical application maps and application performance analytics
  • Predictive autoscaling of applications based on real time performance metrics

In conjunction with the launch, Avi Networks is also announcing free development and test licenses of its products that application developers can download along with complete documentation and a knowledge base.

“Mesosphere simplifies building and running distributed applications at scale, but until now supporting application services such as service discovery and load balancing have been disparate point solutions that can’t match the agility and automation that Mesosphere provides,” said Ranga Rajagopalan, CTO of Avi Networks. “Avi’s container service fabric automates application services and accelerates the path to production deployments.”

ARM Positions Cortex-R8 for 5G, Storage

ARM's newest Cortex-R8 processor, which is expected to arrive later this year, will enable chip designers to double the performance of ARM-based modem and mass storage device SoCs.

The company said its Cortex-R8 based SoCs feature a quad-core CPU configuration, coherency system and rich set of memory and peripheral interfaces. The design promises the scalable performance, low power, fast and highly deterministic interrupt response times and extremely low-latency interfaces which will be required in future mobile broadband devices.

As a data storage SoC solution, the Cortex-R8 targets the higher capacity and faster data rates in hard and solid state drives across enterprise and consumer storage solutions. Cortex-R8 enables this in a highly efficient way by dynamically scaling performance as workload changes. The Cortex-R8 includes a range of very low latency dedicated interfaces that help ensure performance is extended through the SoC system.

“5G will revolutionize mobile communications as it delivers the ability to significantly increase data rates, offering a far better mobile experience,” said James McNiven, general manager, CPU Group, ARM. “The Cortex-R8 is the most powerful real-time CPU available and its unrivalled performance will make it instrumental in the creation of 5G modems. It will form the communications heart of future smartphones, tablets, connected cars and IoT.”

Level 3 Appoints President of N. America and APAC

Level 3 Communications named Laurinda Pang as the Regional President of North America (NA) and Asia Pacific (APAC). Pang previously served as executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Level 3.

Prior to joining Level 3, Pang held executive positions at Global Crossing and Frontier Communications.

"We are excited to have Laurinda in this role, she has an impressive track record of transformative leadership and we look forward to her continued success," said Jeff Storey, president and chief executive officer. "Our top priority remains our customers and providing them with the best experience possible."

Mellanox Supplies100G InfiniBand for European Supercomputer Center

The Flemish Supercomputer Center (VSC) in Belgium has selected Mellanox’s end-to-end 100Gb/s EDR interconnect solutions to be integrated into a new LX-series supercomputer from NEC. The system will be the fastest supercomputer (peak performance of 623 Teraflops) and the first complete end-to-end EDR 100Gb/s InfiniBand system in Belgium.

“Mellanox is thrilled to contribute to a project that will accelerate scientific discovery and has the capability to solve some of the top problems plaguing scientists and researchers today,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing, Mellanox Technologies. “This new supercomputer will position the university to make discoveries critical for the continuous advancement of science. VSC selected Mellanox for the performance levels only EDR 100Gb/s InfiniBand can deliver and is a prime example of the growing global demand for intelligent, fast, highly reliable, and cost efficient interconnect technology.”

Netronome Signs Partners for its Agilio Server-Based Networking

Netronome announced partnerships with Broadband, Colfax International and DSCon to bring its Agilio Server Networking Platform to end-users in North America, Western Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Broadband, Colfax and DSCon join existing Netronome worldwide channel partners in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

“The Agilio server-based networking platform enables businesses of all sizes to dramatically increase the efficiency of their Cloud, SDN and NFV-enabled data center compute infrastructure, delivering up to 5X higher throughput while reducing CPU requirements by up to 80 percent compared to traditional NICs,” said Ken Way, senior vice president of worldwide sales at Netronome.

Netronome's Agilio Server Networking Accelerates Cloud Data Centers

Netronome introduced its Agilio Server Networking Platform for transparently offloading server-based networking data paths, such as open virtual switch (OVS), Juniper Networks Contrail vRouter, and Linux firewall.

The company said its hardware and software-based Agilio platform delivers up to 5X higher throughput while reducing CPU requirements by up to 80 percent compared to traditional NICs and server-based networking implemented in software.

Server-based networking is being widely deployed in cloud data centers to handle virtualization, firewalls, load balancing, telemetry, zero-trust security using micro-segmentation, virtual network functions (VNFs) and application-based analytics. The big cloud providers (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google) are using server-based networking in their mega data centers. Netronome's Agilio solution accelerates such server-based networking functions by offloading compute-intensive flow and tunnel processing from the CPUs.

The Agilio CX intelligent server adapters (ISAs) are based on Netronome's own flow processing silicon (NFP-4000) and software architecture (Agilio Software). The Agilio ISAs use onboard memory to support up to two million security policies, and deliver 28Mpps of throughput using hardware-based acceleration.

The Agilio server-based networking solutions include:

  • Production-ready Agilio Software currently supports OVS v2.3 and v2.4, with support for OVS v2.5, Linux Firewall, and the Juniper Networks Contrail vRouter expected during the first half of 2016.  The Agilio host software package is open sourced, has been up-streamed to relevant Linux repositories and is available at
  • The Agilio CX family of intelligent server adapters includes standard PCIe Gen3 low-profile adapter cards for customer deployments. 10 and 40GbE configurations of the intelligent server adapters are in production now, with additional 25, 40 and 50GbE configurations expected to sample during the middle of 2016