Wednesday, April 1, 2020

FCC Chair Ajit Pai proposes 1,200 Megahertz for Unlicensed Use

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing to make 1,200 megahertz of spectrum available for unlicensed use in the 6 GHz band. 

If adopted, the draft Report and Order would authorize two different types of unlicensed operations: standard-power in 850-megahertz of the band and indoor low-power operations over the full 1,200-megahertz available in the 6 GHz band.  An automated frequency coordination system would prevent standard power access points from operating where they could cause interference to incumbent services. 

“From Wi-Fi routers to home appliances, Americans’ everyday use of devices that connect to the Internet over unlicensed spectrum has exploded,” said Chairman Pai.  “That trend will only continue.  Cisco projects that nearly 60% of global mobile data traffic will be off-loaded to Wi-Fi by 2022.  To accommodate that increase in Wi-Fi demand, the FCC is aiming to increase the supply of Wi-Fi spectrum with our boldest initiative yet: making the entire 6 GHz band available for unlicensed use.  By doing this, we would effectively increase the amount of spectrum available for Wi-Fi almost by a factor of five.  This would be a huge benefit to consumers and innovators across the nation.  It would be another step toward increasing the capacity of our country’s networks.  And it would help advance even further our leadership in next generation wireless technologies, including 5G.”

The Chairman’s draft rules will be voted on by the Commission at the FCC’s Open Meeting on April 23.

Some industry reaction:

Aruba's Keerti Melkote: "The runaway success of Wi-Fi in the last couple decades represents the power of unlicensed spectrum, open standards and unfettered innovation. The FCC’s forward-looking action to allocate the largest block of mid-band spectrum for unlicensed use builds on its success in creating the Wi-Fi industry and promises to usher in the next era of unconstrained American innovation for the global markets."

Boingo's Dr. Derek Peterson: “The expansion of Wi-Fi into the 6 GHz band provides exciting new real estate that lays the foundation for continued wireless innovation. The significant swath of contiguous spectrum is well suited to facilitate Wi-Fi’s skyrocketing growth, and will enable Boingo to maximize the benefits of neutral host Wi-Fi 6 deployments at major airports, stadiums, military bases and multifamily communities.”

Broadcom's Henry Samueli: “Today’s announcement by Chairman Ajit Pai that the Commission will vote to open 1,200 MHz of unlicensed spectrum in the 6 GHz band positions the U.S. to lead the world in next-generation 5G services. All Americans could soon have Wi-Fi in a pristine, wireless superhighway to deliver digitally immersive experiences including in education and telemedicine."

Cisco's Chuck Robbins: “All of us at Cisco congratulate FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for his leadership in moving forward with a 6 GHz spectrum plan that will be the backbone of American jobs and the economy. Across the country, Wi-Fi networks on unlicensed spectrum are supporting first responders, hospitals, telehealth, remote learning, and remote work at unprecedented levels. Chairman Pai’s decision to unleash the full potential of Wi-Fi alongside 5G could not come at a more important time. We’re excited to help build an internet for the future and look forward to the FCC’s vote.”

CTIA's Brad Gillen: “We support the FCC’s efforts to make the lower half of the 6 GHz band available for unlicensed use and will continue to work closely with the commission to ensure rigorous protections for licensed services already existing in the band. While the FCC has done a remarkable job freeing up critical licensed spectrum for 5G, the United States faces a growing mid-band deficit. It is essential that the FCC and the administration develop a roadmap to close this deficit before moving forward with plans to give away the full 1200 MHz in the 6 GHz band and further limit our few remaining options.”

Qualcomm’s Steve Mollenkopf: "Qualcomm fully supports the FCC’s plan to allocate the 6 GHz band for advanced unlicensed operations at its April 23rd meeting.  We applaud FCC Chairman Pai and his fellow FCC Commissioners for this initiative, which will provide American consumers with better, faster broadband for so many uses, including telemedicine, remote learning and working, fully immersive augmented and virtual reality, & the Internet of Things.  In February, we demonstrated a full suite of Wi Fi 6E products ready to start using this large new swath of spectrum.  We are also optimizing other exciting new technologies for this large swath of spectrum, including the next version of 5G and next generation Wi-Fi.  Today’s announcement is another important step taken by the FCC to ensuring American leadership in the key 21st Century enabling technologies."

Infinera evolves its Groove optical transport with 2 x 800G transponder sled

Infinera announced the expansion of its Groove (GX) Series of open, compact, and modular transport solutions with the adoption of a sled-based architecture and support for its sixth-generation Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE6) technology. The platform's evolution includes carrier-grade features, high-density chassis, and a wide variety of advanced sled capabilities.

“These advances represent the continuation of Infinera’s vision to bring open, modular, cost-effective solutions to our customers,” said Glenn Laxdal, Infinera Senior Vice President, Product Management. “Infinera pioneered the compact modular transport platform with the Cloud Xpress for internet content providers, significantly advanced its compact modular portfolio with the industry’s first sled-based architecture with the GX G30, and is now leading the market once again with this evolution of the GX Series.”

The expanded GX Series of compact modular solutions adds improved scalability and carrier-grade features to modern data center-style networking approaches with chassis options that streamline and accelerate large-scale deployments in a wide variety of data center and traditional service provider networks. These features include NEBS Level 3 compliance, field-replaceable redundant controllers, both A/C and D/C power supplies, enhanced security, 300-millimeter (mm) and 600-mm ETSI-compliant shelf variants, and multi-chassis single-element configurations. Additionally, the expansion adds a variety of new sled-based options:

The ICE6-powered CHM6 sled – an industry-leading 2 x 800G transponder sled
Flexible aggregation sleds – a suite of metro-optimized sleds for multi-service aggregation
Advanced open line system sleds – including low- and high-degree ROADMs with colorless/directionless/contentionless add/drop architectures and low-cost FOADMs, enabling support for most networks

https://www.infinera.com/press-release/Infinera-Unveils-the-Next-Phase-in-the-Evolution-of-Compact-Modular-Optical-Transport-Solutions?

Napatech accelerates virtualization with FPGA-based SmartNICs

Napatech released new Link-Virtualization software that delivers high-performance virtual switching capabilities for its family of FPGA-based SmartNICs. The solution delivers a massive increase in network performance and simultaneous reduction in server CPU utilization, allowing data center operators to fulfill their vision for SDN and NFV.

The company said its Link-Virtualization software and FPGA-SmartNIC solution delivers the high throughput and virtual switching programmability needed for use cases such as VM demultiplexing, full and partial vSwitch offload for application acceleration, VM-to-VM network and application performance monitoring, network telemetry, and custom workload integration.

Highlights:


  • Network Performance: More than 60X gain compared to basic NICs with line-rate forwarding up to 100Gbps switching and 60 million packets per second to virtual machines, for millions of simultaneous flows, with sub-10 uS latency.
  • Server Scalability: More than 90% reduction in server utilization, removing burdensome network and security processing from valuable and expensive CPU cores, returning them to the applications, services and tenants for which they were intended.
  • Feature Velocity: Reconfigurable and programmable processing to retain hardware performance and the speed of software innovation, to keep pace with the rapid evolution in networking standards and increasing threat landscape in cybersecurity.
  • Data Center Sustainability: The combination of performance and programmability provides up to 5X lifetime cost savings by requiring fewer servers, rack space, power and cooling, while also reducing costly upgrade cycles when basic NICs fall behind in functionality.
  • Rich Functionality: Napatech’s Link-Virtualization is supported on Napatech’s family of FPGA-based SmartNICs that include 10, 25, 40 and 100 gigabit Ethernet. It is fully compliant with industry standards including DPDK, OVS, and PCIe, and features the industry’s most programmable application interface for sophisticated match-action policies, VirtIO with live migration support, QoS, load balancing, overlay encapsulations, and much more.

“As the market shifts towards virtualized cloud, telco 5G, edge and enterprise networks, Napatech’s programmable NICs and software are leading the way,” said Jarrod Siket, Chief Marketing Officer at Napatech. “No vendor has shipped more FPGA-based SmartNICs and ports than Napatech, and our Link-Virtualization software makes us well positioned in this high growth market.”

The software is in trials with global server and appliances OEMs.

https://www.napatech.com/products/link-virtualization-software/

FCC proposes $9B 5G Fund for Rural America

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing to establish a $9 billion 5G Fund for Rural America.

The 5G Fund would specifically target rural areas that would not see timely deployment of 5G service absent support and are not likely to be covered by the T-Mobile transaction commitments.  The FCC will vote on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at its April 23 Open Meeting.

“5G promises to be the next leap in broadband technology, offering significantly increased speeds and reduced latency,” said Chairman Pai.  “The 5G Fund for Rural America focuses on building out 5G networks in areas that likely would otherwise go unserved.  It’s critical that Americans living in rural communities have the same opportunities as everybody else.”

As part of its recently approved transaction, T-Mobile has committed to deploying 5G service to 99% of Americans within six years, including covering 90% of those living in rural America.  Some rural areas, however, will not see the technological and economic benefits of 5G if there are insufficient financial incentives for mobile wireless carriers to invest in 5G-capable networks throughout rural America.  The FCC is proposing to use Universal Service Fund support to make sure that rural Americans are not left behind.  Building on the success of the Connect America Fund Phase II auction and the upcoming Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction, the FCC is proposing to award funding for 5G services through a reverse auction. 

The FCC is seeking comment on two options for identifying areas that would be eligible for 5G Fund support:


  • Under one approach for Phase I, the Commission would hold an auction in 2021 by defining eligible areas based on current data sources that identify areas as particularly rural and thus in the greatest need of universal service support.  In recognition of the challenges of ensuring that 5G service is deployed to areas that lack any mobile broadband service, the proposal would prioritize areas that have historically lacked 4G LTE or 3G service.  
  • The second approach would delay the 5G Fund Phase I auction until at least 2023, after collecting and processing improved mobile broadband coverage data through the Commission’s new Digital Opportunity Data Collection.  


Phase II of the 5G Fund would target support to bring wireless connectivity to harder to serve and higher cost areas, such as farms and ranches, and make at least $1 billion available for deployments that would facilitate precision agriculture.

https://www.fcc.gov/document/chairman-pai-moves-forward-establish-5g-fund-rural-america

The new T-Mobile is underway

T-Mobile US officially completed its merger with Sprint.

The New T-Mobile, whose shares of common stock continue to trade on NASDAQ under the symbol “TMUS”, promises the following:
  • The network will have 14 times more capacity in the next six years than T-Mobile alone has today, enabling the New T-Mobile to leapfrog the competition in network capability and experience.
  • Customers will have access to average 5G speeds up to eight times faster than current LTE in just a few years and 15 times faster over the next six years.
  • Within six years, the New T-Mobile will provide 5G to 99% of the U.S. population and average 5G speeds in excess of 100 Mbps to 90% of the U.S. population.
  • New T-Mobile’s business plan is built on covering 90% of rural Americans with average 5G speeds of 50 Mbps, up to two times faster than broadband on average.

The New T-Mobile’s fixed wireless in-home broadband service will deliver 100+ Mbps speeds for wireless broadband to 90% of the population and offer in-home service to millions of the country’s households in the next six years.

“During this extraordinary time, it has become abundantly clear how vital a strong and reliable network is to the world we live in. The New T-Mobile’s commitment to delivering a transformative broad and deep nationwide 5G network is more important and more needed than ever and what we are building is mission-critical for consumers,” said Mike Sievert, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “With this powerful network, the New T-Mobile will deliver real choice and value to wireless and home broadband customers and double down on all the things customers have always loved about the Un-carrier. T-Mobile has been changing wireless for good — and now we are going to do it on a whole new level!”

“The network is at the core of everything we do as a business, and it’s critically important for keeping customers connected to each other, their communities and the world,” said Neville Ray, president of Technology at T-Mobile. “The supercharged 5G network that we’ll build as a combined company will be a huge step forward, transforming wireless, fueling innovation and delivering new experiences for customers all across the country that we can’t even imagine today.”

China Mobile picks Huawei and ZTE for 5G base stations

China Mobile has selected Huawei and ZTE as the primary suppliers in the latest tender for its nationwide 5G rollout. This phase of the rollout calls for 232,143 5G base stations to be deployed in 28 provincial-level regions.

Huawei Technologies will build 57.2% of the base stations,
ZTE Corp. will build 28.7% of the base stations
Ericsson will build 11.4% of the base stations
China Information Communication Technologies (FiberHome + Datang) will build 2.6%.

Nokia was not selected for the contract, although it has played a role in previous parts of the 5G rollout.

China Mobile officially launched its 5G commercial service in 50 cities across the country.

China Mobile has deployed 40,000 5G base stations in the first batch of 50 key cities.  5G network construction is underway in more than 300 cities across the country.

The carrier is offering a number of 5G subscriptions starting with a Personal Plan priced at RMB 128 per month (~US$18). Family plans and business plans are also available. Downlink speed caps and data caps apply.

China Mobile initially has ten 5G smartphones available, along with 3 hotspot devices.

Cities with 5G coverage include: Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Shijiazhuang, Xiong'an, Taiyuan, Jincheng, Hohhot, Shenyang, Dalian, Changchun, Harbin, Nanjing, Wuxi, Suzhou, Hangzhou , Ningbo, Wenzhou, Jiaxing, Hefei, Wuhu, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou, Nanchang, Yingtan, Jinan, Qingdao, Zhengzhou, Nanyang, Wuhan, Changsha, Zhuzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan, Dongguan, Liuzhou, Nanning, Haikou, Qiong, Hai, Chengdu, Guiyang, Kunming, Xi'an, Lanzhou, Xining, Yinchuan and Urumqi.

http://www.10086.cn/aboutus/news/groupnews/index_detail_34938.html

China Mobile launches 5G in Hong Kong

China Mobile launched 5G service in Hong Kong.

The company said its new 5G infrastructure is delivering latency of under 10ms, and peak download speeds exceeding 1Gbps with upload speeds exceeding 130Mbps. 5G roaming is available for mainland China and South Korea.

The first phase of the Hong Kong network deployment includes the activation of 500 5G base stations providing coverage in major regions (such as Central and Western District, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay) and reaching more than 90% of the population.

See also