Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Wi-Fi 6 promises better network performance

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) published a white paper that provides deployment guidelines for Wi-Fi 6 technology by network operators, enterprises and cities.

Globally, dependence upon Wi-Fi continues to grow exponentially, driven by a number of factors:

  • The number of Wi-Fi devices in the world – 9 billion – now outnumbers the 7.6 billion people on the planet.
  • Global enterprises this year will generate more than 33 billion exabytes of IP traffic. By 2022, that number will grow to more than 63 billion exabytes of IP traffic, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 percent.
  • Wi-Fi is the primary access technology in most broadband households, with 76 percent of US households using Wi-Fi as the primary broadband connection.

The WBA expects that Wi-Fi 6 will mitigate some of the growing pains that Wi-Fi is experiencing, while ensuring that operators, enterprises and vendors meet important service-level agreements (SLAs). As such, the work released today proposes guidelines to ensure SLAs around bandwidth, throughput, latency, traffic prioritization and numerous other factors.

The paper also provides guidelines for RF planning and design, with consideration given to factors like band steering, MU-MIMO and adjusting for high-density deployments that demand increased capacity. Additionally, today’s release addresses ways that Wi-Fi 6 deployments can provide seamless mobility and backward compatibility with previous Wi-Fi generation technology.

https://wballiance.com/wba-releases-wi-fi-6-guidelines-to-assist-operators-enterprises-cities-with-deployments/

Wi-Fi 6 benefits include higher data rates, increased network capacity, improved performance in congested environments, and improved power efficiency:

  • Uplink and downlink orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA): increases network efficiency and lowers latency for high demand environments
  • Multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO): allows more data to be transferred at once and enables an access point to transmit to a larger number of concurrent clients at once
  • Transmit beamforming: enables higher data rates at a given range resulting in greater network capacity
  • 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM): increases throughput in Wi-Fi devices by encoding more data in the same amount of spectrum
  • Target wake time (TWT): significantly improves battery life in Wi-Fi devices, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices

FCC clarifies rules for 5G auction in upper 37 GHz, 39GHz, and 47 GHz bands

The FCC established procedures for the third auction of high-band, flexible-use licenses suitable for 5G. 

This auction of airwaves in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz spectrum bands will be the largest spectrum auction in our nation’s history, offering licenses covering up to 3,400 megahertz. 

Bidding in Auction 103 is scheduled to commence on December 10, 2019.  The Public Notice approved by the FCC today provides details regarding the procedures, terms, conditions, dates, and deadlines governing participation in Auction 103, as well as an overview of the post-auction application and payment processes. 

Auction 103 is designed as an incentive auction that will provide incentive payments to existing 39 GHz licensees that relinquish their spectrum usage rights, increasing the amount of 39 GHz spectrum available for new licenses.  The auction will offer licenses for 100 megahertz blocks of spectrum in Partial Economic Areas (PEA) through a clock phase and an assignment phase.  The clock phase will allow bidding on generic blocks in two categories—one for Upper 37 GHz and 39 GHz, and one for 47 GHz—in each PEA.  The clock phase will serve to determine both the winners of generic spectrum blocks and the amount of incentive payments due to those incumbent licensees in the 39 GHz band that opt to relinquish their spectrum usage rights.  The assignment phase will allow bidding for frequency-specific license assignments, while ensuring contiguous block assignments within a PEA.


FCC issues rules for broadband access in apartments

The FCC adopted the following items with the intent of promoting facilities-based broadband deployment and greater consumer choice for Americans living in apartment buildings:


  • First, in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the FCC seeks public input on additional actions it could take to accelerate the deployment of next-generation networks and services within MTEs.  In particular, the NPRM seeks comment on the impact that revenue sharing agreements between building owners and broadband providers, exclusivity agreements regarding rooftop facilities, and exclusive wiring arrangements have on broadband competition and deployment
  • Second, in a Declaratory Ruling, the Commission clarifies that it welcomes state and local experimentation to increase access to MTEs—so long as those actions are consistent with federal law and policy.
  • Third, in the same Declaratory Ruling, the Commission preempts part of an outlier San Francisco ordinance to the extent it requires the sharing of in-use wiring in MTEs.  Required sharing of in-use wiring deters broadband deployment, undercuts the Commission’s rules regarding control of cable wiring in residential MTEs, and threatens the Commission’s framework to protect the technical integrity of cable systems for the benefit of viewers. 

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following comment with regard to the San Francisco ordinance: "Unsurprisingly, some oppose our decision to preempt today.  I would say that they are making a mountain out of a molehill, but in reality, there isn’t even a molehill here.  Throughout this proceeding, the City of San Francisco has failed to mount any defense whatsoever of requiring the sharing of in-use wiring.  Yet before I circulated this draft Declaratory Ruling to my colleagues three weeks ago, the city also refused to say that its ordinance didn’t mandate the sharing of in-use wiring.  Indeed, it was only last week that the city finally stopped playing games with this Schrödinger’s cat of an ordinance and belatedly claimed that its ordinance “does not require sharing of ‘in-use’ wiring.”

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-spurs-broadband-access-apartments-condos-office-buildings

China Unicom deploys Nokia optical fronthaul in Beijing

China Unicom has selected the Nokia optical fronthaul solution to power its 4G and 5G networks in Beijing. 

In order to meet its 2019 5G goals, China Unicom requires a robust fronthaul solution that will speed deployment of 4G/5G radios and simplify the installation and management of the network.

The deployment features the Nokia 1830 Versatile WDM Module (VWM), which provides multiservice WDM optical transport and is suited for advanced 4G and 5G fronthaul in cloud RAN architectures. Nokia says the platform's low cost of operation and integrated backhaul to fronthaul management system are matched by its low latency and jitter performance — ensuring precise synchronization between cell sites.

Gao Bo, Head of the China Unicom CBT at Nokia Shanghai Bell, said: “We share China Unicom’s vision and commitment to creating this world-leading 5G service for its customers. The Nokia Anyhaul solutions are a key element in faster network deployment, simpler management and lower operational costs. The optical fronthaul solution will be key to providing top notch performance for China Unicom’s 4G/5G subscribers.”

Menlo Security raises $75 million for web isolation

Menlo Security, which offers a security solution that isolates all Web content in the cloud, raised $75 million in Series D funding.

Menlo Security’s Internet Isolation technology separates an enterprise network from the public web, while still allowing employees to access the Internet seamlessly.  The solution removes the viewing of email attachments and web browsing from the desktop and moves it to the cloud. By isolating Internet content in the cloud with a Zero-Trust approach, users are protected from malware, ransomware and phishing attacks that bypass legacy defenses, thereby eliminating the most prolific sources of breaches. 

The new funding was led by clients advised by JP Morgan Asset Management.  Existing investors also participated in the round, including General Catalyst, Sutter Hill Ventures, Osage University Partners, American Express Ventures, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase and Engineering Capital.  In addition, Jonathan Ross, portfolio manager and managing director at JP Morgan Asset Management, will join the company’s board.

“Menlo Security’s global cloud is protecting millions of end users, isolating over 500 million websites per day,” said Amir Ben-Efraim, CEO of Menlo Security.  “While our customers have deployed the most advanced security products, we see a constant stream of phishing and malware attacks evading their defenses. Menlo Security stops these attacks, validating Internet Isolation as being essential to modern security architectures.”

https://www.menlosecurity.com

Akash Systems raises $14.5 million for GaN-on-Diamond for sat comms

Akash Systems, a San Francisco-based startup focused on silicon for satellite communications, announced $14.5 million in Series A funding, including $10 million in new equity funds, and an additional $4.5 million converted from prior convertible notes.

Akash is currently manufacturing GaN-on-Diamond-based power amplifiers and radio modules for customers who make satellites requiring high frequency and high power efficiency. Its radio products are on track to hit the market in Q4 2019.

The company says it can achieve a dramatic reduction in the waste heat generated from the power amplifier by using GaN-on-Diamond technology, whereby the hottest part of a transistor is brought to within tens of nanometers of synthetic diamond – the most thermally conductive material developed to date.

Akash has designed its satellite transmit/receive radio modules to easily integrate with existing ground station and satellite infrastructure for satellite makers in all markets.

Investors in this round include Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, ACME Capital, Sriram Krishnan, Correlation Ventures and others. Akash will deploy the new capital toward scaling its transmit/receive radio modules and power amplifier business, moving it closer to profitability.

“Akash Systems is playing a critical role in meeting the growing and vital need for improved satellite communications infrastructure,” said Delian Asparouhov of Founders Fund, which is focused on assisting entrepreneurs to build impactful new energy and technology companies. “We’re proud to be part of Akash’s journey as a critical enabler and accelerant in global communications.”

Oracle Cloud Joins Epsilon's Global Fabric

Epsilon, a privately-owned global communications Service Provider, will offer dedicated and private access to Oracle Cloud through Oracle Cloud FastConnect.

Epsilon on-demand connectivity platform enables other Service Providers to instantly connect their enterprise customers to Oracle Cloud, bypassing the public internet by utilizing Epsilon’s global next-generation packet optical private network infrastructure.

Oracle Cloud offers SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

“The Cloud market in the U.S. and Europe is growing and on-demand connectivity is supporting its adoption globally. As an Oracle Cloud partner, we are proud to accelerate secure and reliable internet bypass connectivity solutions for Service Providers as well as Enterprises. Infiny removes the complexity from connecting to the Cloud with a simple yet powerful platform,” said Jerzy Szlosarek, CEO at Epsilon. “We are constantly adding new Cloud Service Providers to our platform and growing our ecosystem to deliver agile networking solutions. Our partners can rely on us for seamless on-demand access to the Cloud as they continue to serve new demands.”

Separately, Epsilon announced the appointment of former Interoute Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Lee Myall as their Chief Commercial Officer. Myall previously transformed Interoute from a wholesale-led organisation to Enterprise focused.

Expereo opens Cloud Acceleration Hub in Sao Paulo

Expereo, a leading managed SD-WAN, Internet connectivity services and cloud acceleration solutions provider, announced a major infrastructure expansion into the growing Latin America market with the opening of strategically located Cloud Acceleration Hubs in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Using a network of cloud acceleration hubs to probe public internet traffic, it is possible to simulate user traffic and create a dynamic topology of the internet. Performance metrics such as packet loss, latency, throughput and historical reliability can be accurately recorded.  Based on the data gathered, Expereo’s intelligent routing platform (XCA) can identify the most efficient path, not just the shortest path between individual networks, optimising the user experience. In other words, cloud acceleration hubs calculate the best-possible path for transferring information and preventing packet loss.

Sander Barens, CCO at Expereo, comments: “As technology continues to evolve, a surge of new business is taking hold in previously ‘hard to reach’ city hubs around the world. Many global corporations are expanding into Latin America, particularly in Brazil. To succeed, they need guaranteed performance and reliability from their Internet. We see enormous opportunity for the cloud to accelerate economic growth here.

RISC-V base instruction set architecture approved

The RISC-V Foundation has ratified the RISC-V base instruction set architecture (ISA) and privileged architecture specifications.

Software that’s coded to this specification will continue to work on RISC-V processors in perpetuity, even as the architecture evolves through the development of new extensions.

“RISC-V was designed with a simple fixed base ISA and modular fixed standard extensions to help prevent fragmentation while also supporting customization,” said Krste Asanović, chairman of the RISC-V Foundation Board of Directors. “The RISC-V ecosystem has already demonstrated a large degree of interoperability among various implementations. Now that the base architecture has been ratified, developers can be assured that their software written for RISC-V will run on all similar RISC-V cores forever.”

Privilege levels are used to provide protection between different components of the software stack, and attempts to perform operations not permitted by the current privilege mode will cause an exception to be raised. The RISC-V privileged architecture covers all aspects of RISC-V systems beyond the unprivileged ISA, including privileged instructions as well as additional functionality required for running operating systems and attaching external devices. Each privilege level has a core set of privileged ISA extensions with optional extensions and variants, including the machine ISA, supervisor ISA and hypervisor ISA.

“The RISC-V privileged architecture serves as a contract between RISC-V hardware and software such as Linux and FreeBSD. Ratifying these standards is a milestone for RISC-V,” said Andrew Waterman, chair of the RISC-V Privileged Architecture Task Group. “Operating system developers and hardware vendors can build to these specs with confidence that their work will be compatible.”

The RISC-V Foundation has seen significant growth over the past few years with more than 275 organizations, individuals, and universities from 28 countries and six continents around the world. The RISC-V ISA has already witnessed rising commercial adoption and implementations across a variety of industries.

https://riscv.org/specifications/privileged-isa/

  • The RISC-V Foundation, which was founded in 2015, now comprises more than 235 members building the first open, collaborative community of software and hardware innovators powering a new era of processor innovation.

See also