Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Baseline specs complete for 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service

Ten baseline specifications for commercial operations within the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band are now ready to go.

  • CBRS Operational and Functional Requirements
  • CBRS Communications Security Technical Specification
  • CBRS Operational Security Technical Specification
  • SAS to CBSD Protocol Specification
  • SAS to SAS Protocol Specification
  • SAS Test and Certification Specification
  • PAL Database Specification 
  • CBRS PKI Certificate Policy
  • CBSD Test and Certification Specification
  • CPI Accreditation Standard

In April 2015, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules for CBRS, which opens 150 MHz of spectrum (3550-3700 MHz) for commercial use — while providing necessary protection of incumbent users of the band. Spectrum access is actively coordinated based on priority and granular location, making previously allocated spectrum available to new entrants and services.

The Wireless Innovation Forum (WInnForum) said this watershed event allows the finalization of CBRS products already in various levels of testing and sets the stage for the rollout of commercial CBRS networks.

Google: "Completion of these standards demonstrates that it is now possible to make major changes in how we approach managing spectrum resources to provide the abundant bandwidth essential to our society,” said Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google parent company Alphabet Inc. “This accomplishment shows that flexible, cloud-based management can enable spectrum to be used for many purposes simultaneously, and relegate the exclusive, command and control vision of spectrum allocation to history."

Nokia: “The CBRS shared spectrum band has been made available in the US, offering 150MHz of spectrum in a continuous block. This spectrum will enable cost effective coverage and capacity expansion at large scale. Completion of detailed specifications of the CBRS Baseline Standards, while working with various contributors from multiple companies, is a monumental milestone achievement,” said Ricky Corker, Executive Vice President, Nokia. “I would like to congratulate all members of the WInnForum in achieving this milestone. CBRS, using a unique 3-tiered shared spectrum approach, promises efficient use of spectrum, and I cannot wait to see the successful rollout in the US.”

Ericsson: “The completion of the CBRS Baseline Standards represents an important milestone for spectrum sharing, unleashing the band’s potential for innovation. Ericsson’s commitment to supplying LTE equipment for the band will ensure strong commercial support for the ecosystem,” said Paul Challoner, VP Network Product Solutions, Ericsson. “The wholehearted cooperation of incumbents, including the DoD, the NTIA, the fixed satellite industry, and the commitment of the FCC to the success of the CBRS is to be acknowledged. Ericsson looks forward to speedy certification of the SAS and ESC and a smooth transition to commercial operation of LTE nationwide in the 3.5 GHz shared spectrum band.”

Verizon: “Verizon is pleased to see the WInnForum make timely progress in publishing CBRS protocol and test specifications. These are critical steps in the testing of CBRS SAS systems, ESC systems, and CBSD devices and the eventual deployment of network infrastructure and consumer devices on this highly desirable CBRS spectrum,” says Ed Chan, Chief Technology Architect and Network Planning (NYSE: VZ). He added, “Access to additional wireless spectrum is essential for providers who want to deliver on the promise of next generation technologies. We believe the FCC’s new CBRS shared spectrum approach is an innovative and responsible way to leverage all the available spectrum resources in the U.S. We look forward to offering innovative new products and services in this new shared CBRS spectrum.”

Verizon to begin large-scale NG-PON2 deployments with Calix

Verizon has selected Calix's AXOS E9-2 Intelligent Edge System to begin large-scale NG-PON2 deployments this quarter. These deployments will include the AXOS RPm (Routing Protocol module for Layer 3) and the AXOS SMm (Subscriber Management module for disaggregated Broadband Network Gateway). Financial terms were not disclosed.

Calix said its NG-PON2 converged services platform enables Verizon to deploy a single access network for residential, business, and mobile services.

“Several years ago, we determined that we were going to need a better network to meet our growing customers’ demands for bandwidth and higher throughput. We saw that the single wavelength systems (e.g., 10G EPON and XGS-PON) were only possible interim solutions and that we needed a longer term solution. NG-PON2 is a platform that will meet the customers’ envisioned needs for the next decade or more given its many evolution paths as well as bringing many operational benefits to simplify the network. It represents a paradigm shift in the design of access networks,” said Vincent O’Byrne, director of technology planning at Verizon. “NG-PON2, allows us to converge our many service networks into a single unified intelligent network, and simplify our operating model by integrating the OLT and subscriber management system.”

 “We also need to drastically shorten the time it takes to deploy new services,” added Lee Hicks, vice-president of technology at Verizon. “The best way to achieve these goals is through leveraging breakthrough technologies like NG-PON2 and the automation of manual functions across the network. Innovative partners like Calix are enabling us to leap frog the competition and consolidate multiple network elements into one platform and automate many of our most critical network functions. We are excited to now begin this transformation, starting in Tampa, Florida and expanding into other markets.”

Elements of Nokia' Future X network architecture for 5G

Nokia's Future X architecture for 5G, which the company is outlining this week and plans to showcase at next month's Mobile World Congress, will combine high-capacity 5G New Radio access, core networking capabilities, and SDN controlled 'Anyhaul' transport. The new architecture promises up to three times more data capacity per cell site and 30% lower total cost of operation through the artificial intelligence-based automation.

Here are the key elements:

  • Nokia 5G New Radio - the radio software, based on the 3GPP 5G New Radio Release 15 standard. 
  • Nokia AirScale Radio Access - a modular way to build radio access networks. Nokia plans 20 new products and features with software-upgradeable radios, including ReefShark-based products, and the smallest-ever outdoor AirScale system module.
  • Nokia's 5G AirScale active antennas - optimized for mobility support, wide-area coverage, multi-gigabit throughput speeds and millisecond latency. New antenna products include AirScale massive MIMO Adaptive Antennas for 5G and LTE, a portfolio of new 5G ready radio heads, as well as a new dual-band Compact Active Antenna addressing all operator deployment scenarios.
  • Nokia's 5G Small Cells -  new 5G outdoor and indoor small cells will be compact and easily deployable and complement the 5G macro network.
  • Nokia 5G Anyhaul - the portfolio is enhanced with SDN automation capabilities and products for Microwave, IP Routing, Optical Networking, and Next Gen PON, all supporting the migration of radio access and packet core functions to cloud architectures.
  • Nokia 5G Core - Nokia cloud-native packet core supports separated control and user planes and offers both virtualized and new physical deployment capabilities, including platforms built with Nokia's FP4 processor. Nokia's 5G core supports both wireless and fixed technologies. Nokia will also launch 5G registers to enable the management of subscriptions on the 5G network.
  • Nokia Massive Scale Access - complements 5G New Radio with fiber, DSL, cable and Wireless PON solutions. The end-to-end access portfolio enables service providers to connect more people sooner, using whichever access technology best suits the use case.
  • 5G Acceleration Services -  Bell Labs Consulting in network planning, site evolution, predictive care and virtual operations 

.Nokia's ReefShark silicon cuts massive MIMO antenna size and power consumption
Nokia unveiled its ReefShark 5G chipsets for radio frequency (RF) units such as the radio used in antennas. The chipsets, which were developed in-house, significantly improve radio performance resulting in halving the size of massive MIMO antennas. Nokia says its ReefShark chipsets also reduce power consumption in baseband units by 64%, compared to current technology.

The ReefShark chipsets comprise:

  • ReefShark Digital Front End for LTE and 5G radio systems supporting massive MIMO
  • ReefShark RFIC front-end module and transceiver: massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna solution
  • ReefShark Baseband Processor: All-in-one compute heavy design, capable of supporting the massive scale requirements of 5G. This is the brain power of baseband processing.

The ReefShark chipsets for compute capacity are delivered as plug-in units for the commercially available Nokia AirScale baseband module. The new plug-in units triple throughput from 28 Gbps today to up to 84 Gbps per module. Additionally, AirScale baseband module chaining supports base station throughputs of up to 6 terabits per second. Nokia said this level of performance will allow operators to meet the huge growing densification demands and support the massive enhanced mobile broadband needs of people and devices in megacities.

Nokia also announced that it is working with 30 operators using ReefShark and will ramp up field deployments during the third quarter of 2018.

Red Hat to acquire CoreOS for Kubernetes platform

Red Hat agreed to acquire CoreOS, a developer of Kubernetes and container-native solutions, for $250 million.

CoreOS, which was founded in 2013 and is based in San Francisco, offers a commercial Kubernetes platform that let's customer build "Google-style" where workloads and applications placed in containers can be moved rapidly across clouds. CoreOS Tectonic is an enterprise-ready Kubernetes platform that provides automated operations, enables portability across private and public cloud providers, and is based on open source software. The company also offers CoreOS Quay, an enterprise-ready container registry. CoreOS is also well-known for being a leading contributor to Kubernetes; Container Linux, a lightweight Linux distribution created and maintained by CoreOS that automates software updates and is streamlined for running containers; etcd, the distributed data store for Kubernetes; and rkt, an application container engine, donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), that helped drive the current Open Container Initiative (OCI) standard.

Red Hat said the deal furthers its vision of enabling customers to build any application and deploy them in any environment with the flexibility afforded by open source.

“The next era of technology is being driven by container-based applications that span multi- and hybrid cloud environments, including physical, virtual, private cloud and public cloud platforms. Kubernetes, containers and Linux are at the heart of this transformation, and, like Red Hat, CoreOS has been a leader in both the upstream open source communities that are fueling these innovations and its work to bring enterprise-grade Kubernetes to customers. We believe this acquisition cements Red Hat as a cornerstone of hybrid cloud and modern app deployments,” stated Paul Cormier, president, Products and Technologies, Red Hat.


  • In May 2016, CoreOS received $28 million in Series B funding round led by GV (formerly Google Ventures). Intel Capital participated in the round, as well as existing investors Accel, Fuel Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), Y Combinator Continuity Fund and others, bringing the company’s funding to date to $48 million.

Juniper's Q4 sales drop 11% yoy as the company cites deployment delays from cloud customers

Juniper Networks reported net revenues of $1,239.5 million for Q4 2017, a decrease of 11% year-over-year and 1% sequentially, and also announced lowered financial expectations for Q1 2018 due to ongoing deployment delays as large cloud customers continue their architectural transition.  Juniper said it remains confident in its competitive position and strong relationship with these strategic customers.

On the earnings conference call, company execs said the weakness is primarily being driven by the shift to a scale out from scale up architecture, most notably at several of its largest cloud customers.

For Q4 2017, GAAP operating margin was 16.4%, a decrease from 20.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016, and a decrease from 18.4% in the third quarter of 2017. Non-GAAP operating margin was 22.7%, a decrease from 26.5% in the fourth quarter of 2016, and a decrease from 23.5% in the third quarter of 2017. GAAP net loss was $148.1 million, a decrease of 178% year-over-year and 189% sequentially, resulting in diluted loss per share of $0.40. GAAP net loss was primarily due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which resulted in an estimated $289.5 million of tax expense.

For full year 2017, Juniper's net revenues were $5,027.2 million, an increase of 1% year-over-year. GAAP operating margin was 16.9%, a decrease from 17.8% in fiscal year 2016. Non-GAAP net income was $809.0 million, flat year-over-year, resulting in diluted earnings per share of $2.11, an increase of 1% year-over-year.

“We continue to lead the way in helping our customers build more automated, cost efficient, scalable networks," said Rami Rahim, chief executive officer, Juniper Networks. "We believe strongly that we have the right product portfolio in place to win in this dynamic market.”

A10 delays earnings release citing insider trading issue

A10 Networks is postponing its quarterly earnings announcement, originally scheduled for Feb. 8, 2018, due to an internal investigation concerning a violation of its insider trading policy by a mid-level employee within its finance department.

The company said its investigation did not identify matters that require material adjustments to be made, however, attention is now being focused on certain revenue recognition matters from the fourth quarter of 2015 through the fourth quarter of 2017 inclusive. Once the investigation is complete, A10 will schedule a conference call to discuss full financial results for the 2017 fourth quarter and full year.

WorldStream, an ISP in Holland, deploys Coriant Groove G30 for 100G

WorldStream, a leading Internet Service Provider in the Netherlands, has deployed the Coriant Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform to enhance the resiliency of its backbone network and scale transmission capacity to 100G per wavelength.

WorldStream offers a wide variety of ISP and data center hosting services, as well as global connectivity.

INAP to acquire SingleHop for $132 million

Internap, which provides high-performance internet infrastructure including colocation, managed services and hosting, cloud and high-performance network services, agreed to acquire SingleHop, private company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois for $132 million in cash.

SingleHop is a managed hosting and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider offering automated and on-demand IT infrastructure.

“The INAP turnaround strategy includes restoring top-line organic revenue growth while leveraging smart tuck-in acquisitions to accelerate that growth,” stated Peter D. Aquino, President & CEO of INAP. “Today we announce significant progress on both fronts: We are reporting a positive outlook for 4Q 2017 revenue, which is up sequentially, and we are ahead of turnaround expectations. We are also pleased to announce the signing of an agreement to acquire SingleHop and welcome their customers and employees to the INAP family. We are very excited about partnering with Zak Boca and his experienced team to integrate their advanced platform into INAP. The combined impact of our sales and operational improvements, and the momentum of SingleHop’s success, is expected to be a catalyst for growth in 2018.”

See also