Sunday, March 30, 2008

WiMAX Forum Forecasts Rapid Growth -- 133 Million Users in 4 Years

The WiMAX Forum published a Worldwide Subscriber and User Forecast predicting more than 133 million WiMAX users globally by 2012. Additional data from the study estimates that approximately 70 percent of the forecasted WiMAX users by 2012 will utilize mobile and portable WiMAX devices to access broadband Internet services. The WiMAX Forum's report examines the progress of WiMAX service providers, equipment vendors, content developers and users in regions around the world.

"WiMAX is here now and is the catalyst in the global marketplace to grow demand for mobile broadband Internet access," said Ron Resnick, president of the WiMAX Forum. "This new subscriber and user forecast is a solid proof point of the future growth of the thriving mobile Internet ecosystem and presents reasonable predictions of the positive progress our industry is working to achieve."

The WiMAX Forum also announced the availability of a new 700 MHz white paper to clarify the organization's position on pursuing WiMAX deployment opportunities in this spectrum band. The WiMAX Forum said it views 700 MHz as a strong contender for mobile Internet services. WiMAX technology in the 700 MHz frequency has the capability to meet specific requirements of new subscriber and user segments, such as low cost deployment advantages in low-density rural areas.

The WiMAX Forum is also offering a map showing current deployment activities across the globe.

Spirent Offers WiMAX and LTE Test Tools

Spirent Communications announced new packaged configurations targeted at WiMAX and LTE developers. These new high-value packages support bi-directional Multiple-In, Multiple-Out (MIMO) and beamforming testing on the industry leading Spirent SR5500 Wireless Channel Emulator, which is used for testing wireless receivers. The new configurations also feature Spirent's exclusive Dynamic Environment Emulation (DEE) to perform a lab-based equivalent of mobility drive testing, including the scenarios recommended by the WiMAX Forum.

The Spirent SR5500 supports multiple emerging next-generation technologies, including the new 700 MHz and 2.7 GHz bands. It also offers fully independent RF channels for widely spaced Frequency-Division Duplexing (FDD) WiMAX applications. Spirent said its advanced fading engine ensures accurate testing of sophisticated technologies such as HSPA, EV-DO, E-UTRA (LTE) and WiMAX.

Agilent's New Receivers Simultaneously Measure All RF Bands

Agilent Technologies announced six new models for its W1314A measurement receiver platform that are designed to simultaneously measure all wireless technologies in all RF bands in a given market using a single unit.

Specialist measurements for UMTS, CDMA2000, 1xEVDO, GSM, iDEN and Mobile WiMAX technologies and CW, Spectrum Analysis can all be measured simultaneously on any of the RF bands supported with the new receivers. In addition, the receivers offer the ability to troubleshoot handover and missing-neighbor issues, confirm coverage and pinpoint interference sources.

Agilent said its new receivers enable network equipment manufacturers and wireless operators' RF engineering teams to effectively deploy, optimize and troubleshoot all technologies in their own networks by quickly identifying coverage and interference problems. In addition, they offer the ability to assess how all competitive networks in the market compare from an overall coverage perspective, regardless of the technology they use.

Quebec's Sogetel Selects Occam for Network Upgrade

Sogetel, an independent telephone company serving 26,000 lines in Quebec, Canada, has purchased Occam Networks' Broadband Loop Carrier (BLC) 6000 solution to complete a significant upgrade to its network, enabling it to offer VoIP and IPTV services to its subscribers. Sogetel maintains offices in Nicolet, St. Paulin, Lac Etchemin, St. Liboire and other locations in the province of Quebec.

Sogetel is deploying Occam equipment at more than 35 sites across its service area. The upgrade includes Occam's BLC 6252 POTS and ADSL2Plus combo blade and BLC 6214 ADSL2Plus blade. Sogetel is also using BLC 6450 blades to accommodate 10G transport rings to accommodate IP traffic increases. To offer IPTV, Sogetel will push electronics closer to the premises while utilizing ADSL2+ to provide IPTV over the last mile copper facilities. Sogetel is also deploying FTTP in areas where it is necessary to replace existing copper lines and will install Occam's BLC 6322 GPON blade later this year.

Alcatel-Lucent Teams with Georgia Tech on 3D Virtual Collaboration Environments

Alcatel-Lucent and Georgia Institute of Technology are developing a widescale distributed mobile Augmented Reality (AR) interface prototype. The prototype, which is the first development resulting from the Alcatel-Lucent 4G Center of Excellence established in 2007 at Georgia Tech, enables users to collaborate with colleagues in a virtual world from their mobile device.

In addition, the team has developed an advanced interface for a multiplayer online game that enables players to "collect" items from their favorite TV shows and then share these items with others in the real world using location and presence information.

"Augmented Reality technology - enabled by new business models for advertising, social networking and media - merges the physical and the virtual worlds. Next-generation technology is required to access these high-bandwidth 3D environments so that the mobile device can provide the 'magic window' into the virtual world," said Jessica Stanley-Yurkovic, vice president of North America marketing for Alcatel-Lucent. "Our partnership with Georgia Tech and the work we are doing there is a critical first step toward developing services and technologies that go beyond today's capabilities toward a next- generation user experience."http://www.alcatel-lucent.,com

Alcatel-Lucent and Airvana to Jointly Demo CDMA Femtocell

Airvana and Alcatel-Lucent will jointly demonstrate an end-to-end CDMA/EV-DO femtocell solution,

supporting voice and mobile high-speed data services, at this week's CTIA Wireless 2008 tradeshow in Las Vegas. The CDMA femtocell solution envisioned by both companies combines Airvana's radio access technology, including the femto access point and Femto Network Gateway services provided by the Universal Access Gateway (UAG), together with Alcatel-Lucent's IMS core supporting CDMA-SIP convergence.

The companies said that by deploying a flat IP architecture using IMS and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) standards, the solution provides support for both CDMA2000 1X and EV-DO Rev. A service, together with unique capabilities to allow seamless inter-working between the femtocell and the broader macro network, in order to ensure that users have a consistent, high-quality mobile experience for voice, data, and video services as they move between the indoor and outdoor environments.http://www.airvana.com

AT&T Cites $1 Billion Infrastructure Upgrades in California

By the end of this year, AT&T will have invested more than $1 billion as part of the first phase of its network upgrade adding more fiber-optics to bring advanced services to California. AT&T made the announcement on the one year anniversary of receiving its state-issued authorization to provide video service. Currently, customers in parts of more than 140 cities and counties across California have access to AT&T U-verse services. The company has added close to 900 jobs in the state, and plans to add up to 1,000 jobs this year. Over the past two years, AT&T has added more than 450 Remote Terminals and 30 DSLAMs to its California network. In addition, the company has added close to 4,000 new route miles of fiber to its California network over this same period, bringing the total to more than 31,000 miles -- making it the state's largest.

On it wireless network, AT&T has added more than 550 new and acquired cell sites in California over the past two years alone. 3G service is currently available in more than 400 cities throughout the state. In 2008, AT&T plans to invest more than $400 million in its California wireless network to continue to improve service and bring advanced wireless services to more customers across the state.

Texas Instruments Adds OMAP Multimedia Coprocessor for Mobile Phones

Texas Instruments has expanded its OMAP processor portfolio to include a line of coprocessors

that boost the multimedia and imaging performance of mobile phones. The newest device in this family is the OMAP-DM510 coprocessor which provides support for up to eight megapixel still images and DVD-quality video capabilities. TI said the coprocessor delivers the performance necessary to take high quality images and video by using an embedded image signal processor (ISP) and video processors along with an ARM processor. Along with advanced imaging capabilities, the OMAP-DM product line also offers high quality video, supporting up to DVD quality video at 30 frames per second for various video standards, including MPEG4 and H.264. Sampling is underway.

Malaysia's Celcom Selects Ericsson for Common Core

Malaysia's Celcom will establish a single core network platform for both GSM and WCDMA technology with the deployment of Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch solution. Upon completion, Celcom will have a single, common infrastructure that can handle both 2G and 3G network services, including the current available voice, data and TV services such as MMS, mobile broadband and mobile TV. Ericsson said the deployment marks the first crucial step for Celcom in migrating its core network to an all-IP architecture.

Saudi Arabia's Mobily selects Alcatel-Lucent for Managed Services

Mobily, the Etihad Etisalat mobile operator in Saudi Arabia.

  • In March 2008, Ericsson announced that Mobily awarded it a 3-year multivendor, managed services agreement. Under the deal, Ericsson would be responsible for network operations, field operations and optimization as well as the spare parts management.
  • Nokia Siemens Networks Supplies ADSL2+ for India's BSNL

    Nokia Siemens Networks announced plans to supply ADSL2+ technology to BSNL to cover more than 25,000 villages in India. As part of the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks is deploying its Gigabit Ethernet-capable IP DSLAMs SURPASS hiX5625 (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexers) and chassis based access switch (SURPASS hiD6615). Nokia Siemens Networks will also supply customer premises equipment that will enable BSNL to provide speeds of up to 8 Mbps using ADSL2+ for its subscribers over its existing copper infrastructure. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    NSN Supplies Subscriber Data Management for Sprint's WiMAX

    Nokia Siemens Networks is supplying its Subscriber Data Management (SDM) solution

    for deployment in Sprint's XOHM WiMAX Broadband Network. The solution, which includes the Apertio One-NDS (Network Directory Server), will enable Sprint to operate a Subscriber Profile System (SPS) based on a single, real-time common subscriber database, eliminating the inefficiencies of multiple databases and reducing administration and cost. Additionally, the capability to efficiently integrate new applications by plugging in extensions to the core data model on short notice without service interruption gives Sprint greater agility to adapt to changing markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    The platform also will support a host of IP and IMS-based services and applications over the XOHM WiMAX network.
    • In January 2008, Nokia Siemens Networks agreed to acquire Apertio, a provider of open real-time subscriber data platforms and applications, for around EUR 140 million. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008.

      Apertio will provide the new generation architecture and open real-time subscriber data platform for Nokia Siemens Networks' portfolio.
      Nokia Siemens Networks said the acquisition will enable it to build on its position in the converged core.

      Apertio's software application suite, Apertio One, delivers a single, open, subscriber-centric architecture for current and new generation networks. The suite includes Apertio One-NDS (Network Directory Server), Apertio One-HLR (Home Location Register) and Apertio One-HSS (Home Subscriber Server).

    NSN Announces North American LTE Solution for 700 MHz, 1.7/2.1 GHz

    Nokia Siemens Networks unveiled its Long Term Evolution (LTE) solution for 700 MHz and 1.7/2.1 GHz spectrum bands in North America. The solution is comprised of the new Flexi Multimode Base Station, Mobility Management Entity (MME) and System Architecture Evolution (SAE) Gateway. The Flexi Multimode Base Station is the newest member of the small, modular and energy-efficient Flexi Base Station family, making full use of the software defined radio concept, which simplifies the path to LTE.

    Nokia Siemens Networks said its LTE solution is appropriate for new entrants, incumbents with existing GSM/WCDMA/HSPA and CDMA network operators, allowing them to provide Internet services via mobile broadband at speeds comparable to DSL.

    The LTE solution was launched globally in February at Mobile World Congress.

    "License winners from auctions in the U.S. and Canada will be eager to deploy new networks and services as quickly as possible," said Sue Spradley, President, Nokia Siemens Networks, North America. "We are confident that Nokia Siemens Networks' LTE solution will enable service providers to deliver high-speed wireless services in the near term, while providing investment protection in the form of a cost efficient software upgrade to LTE in the future."

    Juniper Networks Debuts Mobile Backhaul Solution

    Juniper Networks introduced a mobile backhaul solution for addressing the growth of data traffic in mobile networks. The new product set consists of the BX 7000 Multi-Access Gateway for the cell site and new M-series Circuit Emulation Physical Interface Cards (PICs) for the aggregation site, along with enhancements to the JUNOScope framework for network management.

    The BX 7000 Multi-Access Gateway transports TDM and ATM circuits to the cell site over an IP/MPLS connection using MPLS pseudowires. It will feature a unique timing expansion module that protects network investments and provides a wide range of timing synchronization options by allowing customers to replace clocking modules as technologies and network requirements evolve. Additionally, the BX 7000 provides an expansion slot that will offer flexibility for backhaul network uplinks. The BX 7000 also includes a zero-touch deployment capability, allowing for automatic configuration of the system upon physical installation.

    Juniper said that by deploying the BX 7000, mobile operators can retain their existing investments in 2G and 3G cell sites, while realizing the operational benefits of IP/MPLS-based transport. Services can be migrated gradually, for example, by offloading the high-growth data transport as a first step.

    Juniper is also introducing new Circuit Emulation PICs for the M-series routers. Mobile operators can deploy the M-series with the new Circuit Emulation PICs as highly efficient and scalable aggregation site gateways. When combined with the BX 7000, this creates an end-to-end mobile backhaul network that fully leverages the converged IP/MPLS network.

    The BX 7000 and M-series Circuit Emulation PICs are expected to be generally available in Q4 2008.

    Sandvine Introduces Policy Control Platform for Mobile Operators

    Sandvine introduced a service control platform for tier-1 mobile operators with high subscriber counts, wireless specific protocols and subscriber mobility.

    Sandvine said its new PTS 14700 enables visibility into subscriber data trends and consumption and opens the door to new customized services such as quota management, value-based billing, advice-of-charge, and content zones that facilitate and encourage more mobile data usage.

    The PTS 14700 provides capacity to manage 5 million subscribers on a single platform and can be configured in clusters for even higher performance. It offer a range of policy capabilities, including: advanced usage-based services, advice-of-charge notices prior to usage, automatic network protection from DoS attacks, spam Trojans and other malicious activity, and business intelligence. Other platform highlights include:

    • n: n+1 redundancy;

    • Centralized policy management including advanced GUI configuration;

    • Support for data link building blocks of 1, 4, 6, and 10 GE;

    • Protocol support for wireless networks including IP in IP, GRE, VLAN, MPLS, L2TP and GTP tunnels; and,

    • Integrates with standards-based (IMS, TISPAN) and pre-standard architectures.

    Thursday, March 27, 2008

    Bubble Motion Raises $14 Million for its "Voice SMS"

    Bubble Motion, a start-up based in Mountain View, California raised $14 million in new funding for its "voice SMS" technology.

    The company's BubbleTALK provides a "click, talk, and send" short voice messaging service that works on any mobile phone. Operators can limit the messages to 30 seconds in length.

    The new funding came from existing investors Sequoia Capital US and Sequoia Capital India, as well as new investors Comcast Interactive Capital and NCD Investors.

    Ericsson Demos HSPA at 42 Mbps

    Ericsson plans to demonstrate end-to-end HSPA Evolution technology with speeds of up to 42 Mbps at this week's CTIA Wireless 2008 in Las Vegas. The 42 Mbps speed is achieved by combining new higher order modulation technology (64QAM), together with 2x2 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna technology. The demonstration will be made using a handheld form-factor device based on Ericsson Mobile Platforms access technology. Ericsson plans to introduce the first step of its HSPA evolution in 2008.

    Ericsson's RBS 3000 family of base stations offer support for both HSPA Evolution and LTE. Ericsson's recently launched next-generation radio base station family, the RBS 6000 series, offers a enhanced multi-standard solution that supports GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA Evolution and LTE, all in a single package.

    China Mobile Begins Commercial Deployment of TD-SCDMA

    China Mobile (CMCC) will begin commercial deployment of TD-SCDMA in April. TD-SCDMA is a 3G wireless network standard developed by the China Academy of Telecommunications Technology (CATT) in collaboration with Datang and Siemens and endorsed by the Chinese government.

    Spreadtrum welcomed the news and said it was already seeing TD-SCDMA silicon orders from handset manufacturers. Two of its customers received over 50% of the initial round of 60,000 handset order from China Mobile in January.

    Spreadtrum developed the first single-chip dual-mode TD-SCDMA/GSM baseband (the SC8800D) in 2004 and the first multi-mode HSDPA/TD-SCDMA/GSM/GPRS baseband (the SC8800H) in 2007. The company also offers a single-chip TD-SCDMA/HSDPA solution optimized for data cards (the SC8800S) and its Quorum subsidiary announced a TD-SCDMA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE RF transceiver.http://www.spreadtrum.com
    • In February 2008, it was announced that China Mobile has joined LTE (Long Term Evolution) trials already being carried out by Vodafone and Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone. The resultant three-way operator trials focus on LTE FDD (the Frequency Division Duplex version of LTE) for use with paired spectrum allocations and TD-LTE (the Time Division Duplex version of LTE) as an evolution of current TD-SCDMA technology to enable the exploitation of unpaired spectrum globally. The three carriers said their trials are designed to explore the performance of LTE with different spectrum types as a potential next generation mobile technology. They will provide an opportunity to adopt a harmonized access platform with global scale and high performance inter-working with the existing technologies of all three companies.

    Verizon Wireless Offers Loopt's Social-Mapping Service

    Verizon Wireless will begin offering Loopt's social-mapping service on select mobile phones.

    With Loopt, Verizon Wireless customers can leverage their phones' location-based services capabilities to share location information, status messages and geo-tagged photos with their community of friends. Loopt users can view where friends in their private network are located via a map displayed on their mobile phones and connect and share their locations with anyone in their address books or AIM buddy lists. Detailed Loopt maps that show Verizon Wireless users where friends are, what they are doing, and how to meet up with them, transform their Verizon Wireless phones into active social tools to connect, share and explore the real world.

    Loopt is permission-based. Users can turn location-sharing on or off at any time on a friend-by-friend basis or for all friends at once.
    • Loopt has previously announced support from Sprint and Boost Mobile.

    • Loopt, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, is backed by venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates.

    Lockheed Martin Team Awarded $766 Million Contract for Joint Tactical Radio System

    A team led by Lockheed Martin has been awarded an initial system development and demonstration contract valued at $766 million for a Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) for the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and other users. The Lockheed Martin Airborne and Maritime/Fixed Stations (AMF) JTRS team will design, develop, integrate, test and deliver advanced, reliable, tactical networked communications solutions providing joint interoperability with secure information flow.

    AMF JTRS is an essential element in the Tactical Global Information Grid strategy to provide secure data, voice, and video to the right people, in the right place, at the right time. The initial System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract value is $766 million.

    AMF JTRS will network enable and provide interoperable communications for more than 160 platform types including fixed and rotary wing aircraft, submarines and surface ships, and fixed stations world-wide.

    Lockheed Martin said its Network Centric Operations Live Flight Demonstration at the end of the Pre-SDD Phase of the Program showed a glimpse of the future with improved situational awareness, tactical voice, video and data interoperability, and communications automation.

    The Lockheed Martin AMF JTRS team includes BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon. Work will be conducted at locations in Scottsdale, Ariz.; San Diego, Calif.; Tampa, Fla.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Gaithersburg, Md.; St. Paul, Minn.; Wayne, N.J.; Charleston, S.C.; and Chantilly and Reston, Va.