Wednesday, May 3, 2017

T-Mobile US Plans 5G roll-out using 600 MHz Spectrum

T-Mobile US, serving nearly 73 million customers, the U.S. mobile business of Deutsche Telekom, detailed its plans to roll out a nationwide 5G network, in conjunction with expanding and enhancing its LTE coverage, using a portion of its $8 billion portfolio of low-band 600 MHz spectrum acquired in the recent FCC auction.

Under the program, T-Mobile US, the un-carrier, will leverage multiple spectrum bands to deliver nationwide mobile 5G coverage. In addition to its national deployment, T-Mobile 5G will enable high bandwidth and throughput in urban areas employing a combination of mid-band and millimetre-wave spectrum.

T-Mobile's 600 MHz 5G network is designed to enable enhanced radio efficiency, support for greater numbers of connected devices, lower latency and improved device battery life. T-Mobile expects to be able to quickly deploy 5G using its low-band 600 MHz spectrum across its existing macro network, noting that other carriers plan to use millimetre-wave spectrum that will require very large numbers of small cells to provide extensive coverage.

Beyond vastly improved speeds for mobile devices, T-Mobile expects to see a whole new class of innovative mobile applications and solutions emerge, built for broad 5G coverage.

T-Mobile stated that, working with device and infrastructure partners, it will support the 3GPP's certification for 5G in the 600 MHz band. Subsequently, as 5G standards are defined, chipsets developed and equipment becomes available, T-Mobile will aim to quickly deploy 5G nationwide leveraging unused spectrum. The 5G rollout is expected to begin in 2019, with a target of offering national coverage in 2020.

  • T-Mobile US announced earlier in April that it had purchased 45% of all low-band spectrum auctioned, covering all of the U.S. and Puerto Rico. T-Mobile acquired 31 MHz of spectrum nationwide on average, quadrupling its low-band holdings, for a total of $7.99 billion. With the purchase, T-Mobile claims to hold more low-band spectrum per customer than any other major provider, and nearly 3x the low-band spectrum per customer held by Verizon.

Sprint Unveils Magic Box Small Cell

Sprint unveiled the Sprint Magic Box, a new plug–and–play LTE small cell for businesses and consumers that it claims will increase download and upload speeds on average by 200 percent.

The Sprint Magic Box is an indoor, self-configuring small cell, about the size of a shoebox, that is designed for consumer installation. One Sprint Magic Box provides average coverage of 30,000 square feet indoors and can benefit adjacent Sprint customers inside the building. The signal can also extend coverage 100 meters outside a building, benefitting Sprint customers in nearby buildings and improving street–level network performance.

“Sprint Magic Box is going to quickly transform our network, and it is key to delivering an amazing experience to customers today as we build the kind of dense urban infrastructures needed for 5G,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. “By leveraging our deep spectrum trove, Sprint has the ability to blanket its network with an all-wireless small cell that delivers this kind of dramatic performance boost with zero backhaul, permitting, and engineering costs.”

Sprint also announced plans to to continue its deployment of three-channel carrier aggregation on 2.5 GHz sites. The company also anticipates leveraging a multitude of advanced technologies including four-channel carrier aggregation, 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) and Massive MIMO to further enhance the capacity and coverage of its 2.5 GHz TDD-LTE spectrum.

Broadband Forum and SDN/NFV Industry Alliance partner on network transformation

The Broadband Forum and SDN/NFV Industry Alliance announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly establish the Open Broadband Laboratory Asia (OBLA) and to promote network transformation and cloud evolution initiatives.

The new partnership, signed during the recent China SDN/NFV Conference in Beijing, also introduces the forum's Open Broadband initiative, established with a mission to create an open framework defining cloud-based broadband.

It was noted that Open Broadband Labs are a collaborative resource designed to support the integration, staging and testing of open source, commercial software, standards-based and vendor implementations, where vendors, integrators and operators can work together on new and coexisting solutions.

The focus of Open Broadband Labs, such as OBLA, is to accelerate the realisation of marketable and commercial new services and applications, and the migration from existing broadband infrastructures to cloud-based models featuring NFV and SDN technologies.

Under the partnership agreement, the Broadband Forum will exclusively license the SDN/NFV Industry Alliance to undertake the construction of OBLA in China and to conduct conformance and interoperability testing, migration best practices, technical due diligence and training around the project. The SDN/NFV alliance will build and manage the OBLA, while the Broadband Forum will provide technical direction, testing methodologies, a standards framework and domain expertise.

The joint initiative is intended to support the development of network cloud standards verification, testing, solution conformance and provide a proving ground for testing new services.

The Broadband Forum noted that OBLA builds on multiple ongoing and completed virtualisation and cloud projects, including the Network Enhanced Residential Gateway, which transitions functionalities from the residential gateway to the operator network, the Cloud Central Office, Fixed Access Network Sharing, SDN in the Access Network and virtual Business Gateway.

The initiative also complements the SDN/NFV Industry Alliance effort to advance the readiness for SDN commercial utilisation and promote the development of the SDN industry.

  • Recently, the Broadband Forum combined with the NG-PON2 Forum to create the new NG-PON2 Council, tasked with accelerating the development of NG-PON2 technology The forum noted that it was already working on NG-PON2 through its Fiber Access Networks working group.

Canada's CENGN awarded C$63m for 5G development

CENGN, the Canadian Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (NGN), a consortium of industry, academic and research partners supporting the commercialisation of network products, applications and services, announced that it was identified in the recent Ontario 2017 budget as a key player in the Ontario government's 5G technology initiative.

CENGN stated that it has a record of helping to accelerate the commercialisation of technology developed by Canadian SMEs federal with the support of funding provided by the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) and the support of its members.

The newly announced financial support to be provided by the government of Ontario will help enable greater collaboration between industry, academic, research and government bodies in key areas of NGN, software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) across the province.

The Ontario budget specifically identifies 5G as constituting the backbone of future networking technologies, and the government plans to invest C$63 million over five years in CENGN's Cloud Expansion Project. The CENGN Cloud will connect 18 innovation centres across Ontario that support key industries, as well as providing SMEs with new advanced networking capabilities.

The CENGN cloud project is designed to support the development and availability of next-generation networks and the digital economy industries that utilise these networks. The initiative is expected to help companies address key opportunities in fields such as autonomous vehicles (AV), aerospace, public safety, cybersecurity, ICT, mining, eHealth, smart agriculture and broadband Internet architectures, particularly for rural and remote users.

Canada's CENGN is an NCE funded Centre of Excellence for Commercialisation and Research (CECR) that aims to accelerate the commercialisation of next generation communications solutions. The consortium's data centre runs a production OpenStack environment with multiple connections, including a 100 Gbit/s-enabled dark fibre link. CENGN offers services including proof of concept validation, interoperability and certification testing and technical training.

CENGN industry members include: Cisco, EXFO, GENBAND, Fujitsu, Invest Ottawa, Juniper, Nokia, Rogers, TELUS, Viavi, Wind River and Zayo Canada.

Cosmote of Greece deploys Nokia Microwave Backhaul

Nokia announced that it has upgraded the long-haul microwave trunk network of Cosmote, the mobile operation of OTE Group, Greece's largest telecoms provider and a Deutsche Telekom company, to enhance network capacity and performance, particularly in rural locations of the Greek islands.

Based on the Nokia 9500 microwave packet radio technology, the upgrade is designed to enable Cosmote to meet growing demand from residents and tourists for broadband access in underserved areas of the islands. The Nokia solution will enable traffic backhaul at speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s using IP connectivity for both mobile and fixed networks.

Following the upgrade, Nokia's long-haul microwave technology will enable backhauling of traffic across multiple Aegean islands, with the solution designed to provide fibre-like connectivity as well as backhaul redundancy to improve the reliability of services.

Nokia stated that a key part of the project is the use of microwave technology to deliver broadband connectivity to the island of Kastellorizo, the most easterly of the Greek islands, located more than 150 km away from the nearest network point of presence. Nokia added that by upgrading the existing SDH-microwave trunk-based network, Cosmote was also able to reuse existing passive radio equipment and so reduce the cost of the project.

  • In 2016, Huawei and Cosmote announced the completion of a field trial of Super Dual Band microwave technology enabling multi-Gbit/s backhaul capacity. It was noted that as it rolled out LTE services, Cosmote had been upgrading the RAN and identified the need for greater backhaul capacity. The microwave technology trial with Huawei was designed to help address the increasing demand for mobile broadband applications.

Chelsio T6 100 GBE Supports Large-scale NFV

Chelsio Communications, a provider of Ethernet unified wire adapters and ASICs for storage networking, virtualised enterprise data centres, cloud services and cluster computing environments, announced benchmark testing results for the integrated packet handling capabilities of its Terminator 6 (T6) 100 Gigabit Ethernet adapters.

During the testing, Chelsio's T6 100 Gbit/s adapters demonstrated packet processing performance for the small size 64 Bytes network packets of up to 75 MPPS, when measuring transmit (Tx) and receive (Rx) network traffic independently. Bi-directional network processing for 64 and 128 Bytes packets delivered performance of 93 MPPS, saturating the PCI Gen3 x16 bus.

Chelsio stated that this packet processing performance can enable the rapid deployment of network function virtualisation (NFV) in both service provider and enterprise network cloud deployments.

The T6 100 Gigabit Ethernet unified wire adapter, launched in March, offers line rate throughput of over 176 Gbit/s for 512 Bytes packets and up to 93 MPPS bi-directional packet rate for small packets, which the company claims will help to enable large-scale NFV deployments.

Chelsio's T6 adapters provide flexible support for 1, 10, 25, 40, 50 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces together with offload capabilities including iWARP, storage protocol acceleration (iSCSI, NVMe-oF and FCoE) and DPDK acceleration. The T6 adapters are designed to accelerate DPDK-based networking applications by increasing bandwidth and packet rate (MPPS).

By offloading compute-intensive server-based networking functions and utilising multi-CPU socket platforms more efficiently, the solution can help deliver improved performance, while CPU cycles are freed for additional applications processing.

Chelsio noted that its unified wire adapters utilise DPDK-based poll mode driver (PMD), designed to enable fast packet processing and low latency, eliminating the need for data to traverse the Linux kernel and avoiding interrupt handling overhead for sending and receiving data to the x86 server. The T6 DPDK-based driver targets high-instruction compute node and service node applications such as cybersecurity and telecom wired/wireless infrastructure applications.

Chelsio T6 adapters also feature offload for traffic management, packet classification and filtering, OVS offload, and crypto functions. When combined and configured with the DPDK interfaces, these capabilities can enhance DPDK functionality by enabling network security, monitoring and QoS for incoming/outgoing traffic.

Oclaro reports Q3 revenue of $162.18m

Oclaro reported financial results for its third quarter of fiscal year 2017, ended April 1, 2017, as follows:

1.         Revenue for the third quarter of $162.18 million, up 5.4% compared with $153.91 million for the second quarter and up 60.5% from $101.05 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2016.

2.         Gross income for the second quarter of $66.79 million, up 10.0% compared with $60.74 million for the second quarter and up 147.9% from $26.94 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2016.

3.         R&D expenditure for the third quarter of $14.48 million, up 5.2% compared with $13.76 million for the first quarter and up 27.2% from $11.38 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2016.

4.         SG&A expenditure for the third quarter of $14.74 million, up 10.4% compared with $13.35 million for the second quarter and up 12.9% from $13.05 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2016.

5.         Total operating expenditure for the third quarter of $29.05 million, up 6.2% compared with $27.36 million for the first quarter and up 18.7% from $24.48 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2016.

6.         On a GAAP basis, a net income for the third quarter of $38.21 million, compared with a net income of $30.27 million for the second quarter and a net income of $89,000 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2016.

On a non-GAAP basis, a net income for the third quarter of $39.89 million, compared with a net income of $36.29 million for the second quarter and a net income of $3.32 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2016.

7.         Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash as of April 1, 2017 of $214.78 million, compared with $223.51 million as at December 31, 2016 and $96.64 million as at July 2, 2016.

Additional results and notes

Oclaro noted that for the third quarter 100 Gbit/s and above revenue reached $125.8 million, driven by line side and client-side products, and up 11% sequentially and up 115% year on year. For 40 Gbit/s and lower speeds, revenue decreased by $4 million, or 9%, to $36.4 million.

For the third quarter, datacom, or client-side, sales increased by 9% sequentially, driven by QSFP28 products, which continued to grow, while telecom, or line side, sales grew 3% sequentially as metro and data centre interconnect sales continued to grow.

During the quarter, Oclaro noted that 10%-plus customers represented 59% of total sales, compared to 68% in the second quarter, with the same top four customers contributing 18%, 17%, 12% and 12% of sales in the third quarter.

Reported by region, in the third quarter China accounted for 36% of total sales, down sequentially from 42%; the Americas 28%, up from 21% in the prior quarter; Southeast Asia 22%; and EMEA 12% of total sales.


For the fourth quarter Oclaro expects revenue of between $144 and $152 million, representing a sequential decrease of 8.7% at the midpoint.