Thursday, April 5, 2018

UK completes spectrum auction - EE and Vodafone gain 5G bands

Ofcom, the official telecoms regulator in the U.K., completed the auction of 190 MHz of spectrum across two frequency bands: 40 MHz in the 2.3 GHz band, which will be used to increase 4G mobile broadband capacity; and 150 MHz in 3.4GHz, which has been earmarked for 5G.

Here are the results:

EE won 40 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £302,592,000.

Hutchison 3G UK won 20 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £151,296,000.

Telef√≥nica UK won all 40 MHz of 2.3 GHz spectrum available, at a cost of £205,896,000; and 40 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £317,720,000.

Vodafone won 50 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £378,240,000.

Airspan Spectrum Holdings, which would have been a new entrant to the UK mobile market, failed to win spectrum in either band.

The total value of the winning bids amounts to £1,355,744,000.

Philip Marnick, Spectrum Group Director at Ofcom: "This is good news for everyone who uses their mobile phone to access the internet. As a nation, we’re using ever more mobile data on smartphones and mobile devices. Releasing these airwaves will make it quicker and easier to get online on the move. It will also allow companies to prepare for 5G mobile, paving the way for a range of smart, connected devices."

Verizon and partners drive advancements on CBRS spectrum

Verizon is collaborating with Corning, Ericsson, Federated Wireless, Google, Nokia and Qualcomm on end-to-end system testing of solutions for CBRS (Citizen Band Radio Spectrum) spectrum.

Testing is being done at Verizon’s facility in Irving, Texas. The end-to-end system tests are designed to accomplish several goals on the path to widespread commercial deployment:

To test and verify the Spectrum Access System algorithms from Google and Federated Wireless are consistently providing the best channel match from the SAS database.
To test data rates, modulations and the customer experience using CBRS spectrum.
To test interoperability between infrastructure providers to ensure seamless handoffs between CBRS spectrum and licensed spectrum for customers.
To test mobility handoffs on the CBRS spectrum.
To evaluate performance and data from LTE over CBRS spectrum.

Federated Wireless and Google are providing prioritization through the Spectrum Access System (SAS) that dynamically prioritizes traffic within the FCC’s spectrum sharing framework for this band.

Qualcomm is providing its Snapdragon LTE modem, which is needed to access LTE on CBRS on mobile devices.

Corning, Ericsson and Nokia have provided indoor and outdoor radio solutions which can run on the CBRS Spectrum.

Corning provided a SpiderCloud Enterprise RAN composed of a Services Node and SCRN-330 Radio Nodes.

Ericsson’s Radio System solution is comprised of 4x4 MIMO, 4x20MHz Carrier Aggregation, including CBRS spectrum delivered over infrastructure aggregating Ericsson’s outdoor micro base station (Radio 2208 units) with the indoor B48 Radio Dot System in the same baseband (5216 units).

Nokia provided FlexiZone Multiband Indoor (MBI) BTS, FlexiZone Multiband Outdoor (MBO) BTS and FlexiZone Controller (FZC).

Cisco delivers Segment Routing and Ethernet VPN for Colt

Cisco has delivered a major upgrade to Colt's pan-European, U.S. and Asian packet network.

The Colt IQ Network is using Cisco's segment routing and Ethernet VPN (EVPN) technologies to deliver further differentiated, high-bandwidth connectivity solutions.  The companies have also been working on a system-wide, multiple 100Gbps upgrade to Colt's IQ Network.

EVPN provides a unified control plane protocol (Border Gateway Protocol - BGP) for all services types, including both Layer 2 VPN and Layer 3 VPN services. It also provides faster convergence times. Cisco said its segment routing also:

  • improves network availability with 50ms protection mechanism, covering 100% of the possible network topologies using TI-LFA SR;
  • enables better utilization of the network with simple and scalable MPLS segment routing traffic engineering for the data plane;
  • makes possible the delivery of innovative network services possible, offering on-demand real-time delivery capabilities.

The Cisco Network Convergence System (NCS) 5500 series and the Cisco Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 9000 platforms will form the main components of a unified fabric powered by IOS XR and its market-leading software innovations -- segment routing and EVPN.

“Colt is focused on providing best-in-class, high-bandwidth connectivity solutions to meet our customers’ ever-growing business needs,” said Peter Coppens, vice president, Product, Colt. “Aligning with these overarching goals, we worked closely with Cisco to design a network architecture that is simple to operate, highly available and capable of delivering innovative network services. This also enables Colt to benefit from faster time-to-market. Segment routing significantly decreased complexity in the IQ Network and helped us start offering differentiated network services such as disjoint path. EVPN further contributed to operational simplification and made the delivery of services much more efficient.”

“We have been working on this initiative with Colt for more than a year, and we are proud to bring additional benefits to its network, as well as lay the groundwork for new opportunities,” said Jonathan Davidson, senior vice president and general manager, Service Provider Networking, Cisco."

Eutelsat plans next gen sat for European fixed broadband and in-flight

Eutelsat Communications unveiled plans for a next-generation VHTS satellite system named KONNECT VHTS for its European fixed broadband and in-flight connectivity businesses.

The KONNECT VHTS satellite is due to enter into service in 2021. Thales Alenia Space will build the satellite along with the ground segment solution. The satellite will have Ka-band capacity of 500 Gbps, making it the most powerful on-board digital processor ever put in orbit.

Eutelsat also announced that it has secured firm multi-year distribution commitments from Orange and Thales, two key European players and leaders in their businesses. A retail partnership was signed with Orange to address the fixed broadband market in European countries where the Group has a retail presence, and a distribution partnership was inked with Thales to serve the government connectivity services market.

Commenting on the contract, Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with global partners, Orange and Thales, which confirms the place of satellite-based solutions in the drive for enhanced high-speed internet coverage. As a core complement to terrestrial broadband networks, high-speed broadband will be a critical driver of Eutelsat’s growth from 2020 onwards. Over the next decade, VHTS satellites will bring enough capacity to serve high speed internet and in-flight connectivity markets at scale, offering fiber-like services both in terms of price and speed.”

The investment in KONNECT VHTS replaces the project of a joint investment with ViaSat in a ViaSat 3 satellite for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and is covered by Eutelsat’s capex objective of an average of 420 million euros per annum.

Eutelsat faces pressure in its traditional video business, seeks new opportunities


Eutelsat, originally known as the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization, is known for being the first satellite operator in Europe to broadcast television channels direct-to-home beginning in the 1980s with its first generation of Hot Bird satellites. The company was founded in 1977, has its headquarters in Paris, and now operates ground stations in every region of the world.  Its business interests have diversified to include...


Microsemi announces Cesium Atomic Clock certified for G.811.1

Microsemi announced that its portfolio of cesium clocks have now been to be compliant with the new G.811.1 recommendation (known as enhanced Primary Reference Clocks, or ePRC) from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for timing characteristics of enhanced primary reference clocks.

G.811.1 raises the bar for frequency accuracy by an order of magnitude from 1x10E-11 to 1x10E-12.

“As next-generation networks increasingly rely more on accurate time to achieve higher transport speeds and increased reliability, the pervasive use of GNSS technology as a time reference has become a major concern because of vulnerabilities to threats such as jamming and spoofing,” said Ramki Ramakrishnan, director of product management at Microsemi. “As a result, use of Cesium technology as the primary reference clock has become critical.”

NTT develops realtime 4K high frame rate HEVC codec

NTT has developed a real–time 4K high frame rate HEVC codec for the live transmission of high frame rate (HFR) video. The codec doubles the frame rate of the standard video frame rate (SFR), from 50/60p to 100/120p.

NTT has demonstrated a 4K HFR HEVC encoder appliance and a 4K HFR HEVC decoder appliance, both of which are 1U size.

The 4K HFR HEVC encoder appliance provides backward compatibility by supporting temporal–scalable encoding, meaning the output stream can be decoded by conventional SFR decoder to yield 4K SFR video.

Moreover, our codec supports the MPEG Media Transport (MMT) protocol which enables hierarchical transmission. Two independent transmission routes can be used to transfer the base–layer data, which is used for decoding of 4K SFR video, and the enhancement–layer data, which is used together with base–layer data for decoding 4K HFR video.

TI Sparkles appoints new chairman and CEO

TI Sparkle S.p.A. appointed Stefano Siragusa as Chairman and Riccardo Delleani as Chief Executive Officer, replacing Alessandro Talotta who has left the company.

TI Sparkle renewed its Board of Directors for the financial years 2018-2020. It also announced the appointment of the following directors: Stefano Siragusa, Riccardo Delleani, Roberto Moro, Michela Mossini, and Ettore Spigno.

See also