Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blueprint: Femtocells and LTE Symbiosis

by Sanket S. Nesargi, Senior Marketing Manager

Both LTE and Femtocells have received much attention in the industry press. While LTE has been accepted as the undisputed future of macro wireless networks, Femtocells have been seen as the technology that will help service providers address critical issues such as coverage and capacity. Moreover, while both technologies have received support and commitments from major service providers, the question of commercial uptake and return-on-investment still looms large in the minds of many service providers. This article will elaborate upon why LTE femtocells  make great business sense, and how a symbiotic relationship between these two technologies can drive market adoption and enable next generation wireless services.

LTE promises to revolutionize the mobile broadband landscape with data throughput in the range of 86 Mbps to 172 Mbps. This guarantee is enabled by a completely re-worked air-interface and a "flattening" of core network infrastructure to reduce latency and minimize transport technologies across the network. What this also means for service providers is that LTE is a big ticket both in terms of CAPEX, due to the rip-and-replace nature of its installation, and also in terms of OPEX due to the deployment and interoperability concerns that need to be accounted for. Thus, operators need to carefully plan their LTE deployment strategy based on geographic demand characteristics and uptake potential.

Femtocells have been envisioned as the one solution that can help service providers address their capacity and coverage issues. Buoyed by the increasing amounts of mobile data and voice traffic, ABI Research expects that by the end of 2014, there will be 39.97 million femtocells  deployed worldwide, serving 132 million subscribers . The benefits of femtocells  -- in terms of plugging coverage holes, as well as offloading capacity from the already strained mobile operator networks are well known -- these benefits take on a different dimension when considered in conjunction with LTE.

As operators determine the best deployment model to roll out LTE, it has been envisioned that femtocells  offer an ideal solution by which, rather than spending enormous CAPEX on deploying a LTE macro network, operators can use LTE femtocells  for localized deployments and test waters in terms of performance, service uptake, interoperability, and so on. Macro networks can be subsequently migrated to LTE based on the lessons learned from the initial Femtocell-based deployments. ABI Research senior analyst Nadine Manjaro writes:

"Some vendors are looking to deploy LTE in hot spot-like deployments, where the demand is highest first. So it makes sense that they would cover a building with a picocell and femtocells  for the smaller buildings or personal usage."

The case for femtocells  in the LTE environment is further bolstered by two other factors:
1. LTE Deployment Frequency: Initial LTE deployments are expected to occur in high frequency bands such in the 2.6 Ghz range. At this frequency, in-door coverage from macro networks is relatively poor, and femtocells  offer the natural solution to enable users achieve the performance that is needed to ensure a positive LTE experience.
2. Capacity Bottlenecks: To support LTE, operators need to deploy high capacity backhaul which is optimized for the data rates and latency characteristics demanded by LTE applications/services. Utilizing femtocells -based initial rollouts offers them an opportunity to defer the CAPEX and OPEX by offloading backhaul data traffic to the broadband service used by the subscriber.
At the same, as indicated recently an article on deployment experiences with 2G and 3G femtocells  published in IEEE Communications , there are quite a dependencies the existing macro network infrastructure that need to be addressed to ensure high quality Femtocell coverage. These include radio network optimization, provisioning of additional mobile identifiers, provisioning for interactions with packet and circuit core network elements, billing, network management systems, etc. Operators, thus, need to carefully plan their Femtocell roll-outs to ensure seamless operation with their existing networks.
LTE, on the other hand, offers operators a clean slate to start with. Choosing to deploy femtocells  in conjunction with LTE at the very outset can help operators alleviate most of the above listed issues as all of LTE network elements would be greenfield deployments. Additionally, LTE defines self-optimization and healing functionality, which can minimize a lot of concerns related to radio network optimization such as co-channel and adjacent channel interference, need to use isolated channels for Femtocell communications, ping-pong effects between macro and femto networks, etc. Further, the enhanced capabilities of LTE can enable new Femtozone services including set top box integration for quad-play applications, terminal adaptor functionality for fixed line VoIP telephony, minute and data sharing plans, etc. These enhanced services offer operators opportunities to increase revenue from new customers and an improved Quality of Experience (QoE).

Despite the benefits and natural advantages of LTE femtocells , developing and deploying these is not trivial. One of the bigger concerns with LTE femtocells  is the presence capacity bottlenecks on the backhaul between the Femto Access Point (FAP) and the Femto Gateway (FGW). As this pipe may potentially be leased from other broadband service providers with no Service Level Agreements, performance of LTE services could get negatively impacted. Thus, widespread deployment of LTE femtocells  could drive some evolution in business models, peering relationships and SLAs between wireless and fixed network service providers. Other issues with LTE femtocells  include the availability of high performance and interoperable self-optimizing and self-healing functionality, limited field experience with both LTE and Femtocell technologies, limited availability of trial ready equipment, etc. Thus, even though substantial challenges exist on the road of LTE femtocells , they are by no means insurmountable.

Both LTE and Femtocells are technologies waiting for their day in the sun. While both hold tremendous promise, standalone deployments can actually limit or potentially delay their commercial acceptance. The highly complementary nature of these technologies and the advantages offered by a symbiotic relationship between two could be the potential "killer combination" which provides the apparently elusive business case that operators have been looking for, and ensure the success of these technologies.
About the Author
Sanket S. Nesargi is Senior Marketing Manager at Aricent.

Dr Sanket Nesargi is the Senior Marketing Manager at Aricent for the OEM segment. Sanket has 12 plus years of experience in the telecom industry and has worked with Aricent since May 2009. Prior to Aricent, Sanket has held positions in multiple domains including Strategy Consulting at KPMG, Product Marketing and Management at Tektronix, and Product Management and System Architect at Nortel. Sanket holds Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Dallas, and an MBA from the McCombs Business School at the University of Texas at Austin.
About Aricent
Aricent is a global innovation, technology and services company focused exclusively on communications. Aricent combines the leading innovation capabilities of frog design with unparalleled domain expertise in communications as a strategic supplier to the world's foremost infrastructure, application and service providers. The company's investors include Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Sequoia Capital, The Family Office and The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board.For more information, visit

MEF Ratifies External Network to Network Interface (ENNI) Spec

The MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum) ratified of first phase of an External Network to Network Interface (ENNI) specification, which standardizes the reference point between service providers' MEF Certified Carrier Ethernet networks and services.

The new specification (MEF 26)is expected to accelerate the tedious process of matching different providers' Carrier Ethernet services. By supporting standardized interconnect and Ethernet services spanning multiple-operator Ethernet networks, and bringing issues such as CoS, SLAs and management into line, the ENNI is expected to open new business opportunities for service providers and vendors.

MEF 26 ratification covers connection for both E-Line (point to point) and E-LAN (multipoint to multipoint) services ensuring that when two or more services certified to MEF specifications are connected, then the resulting link will also meet MEF specifications. End-to-end Class of Service levels and Operations Administration and Maintenance (OAM) will be maintained, and the protection of the ENNI is built into this standard.

Wholesale service providers could use MEF 26 to upgrade their basic Ethernet connectivity services to fully featured Carrier Ethernet networks interconnecting with multiple service providers. In the market for mobile backhaul connectivity, MEF 26 makes it possible for local providers to interconnect their networks to provide a solution and reach into a growing market.

The Metro Ethernet Forum said another significant development is ENNI's potential to facilitate deployment in the emerging Carrier Ethernet Exchange market. Recently launched Ethernet Exchanges offer a multi-lateral complement to the bilateral one-to-one connections between service providers. Instead of having to establish and maintain their own network and service connections, service providers benefit from scalability and greater flexibility of a managed exchange without the escalating cost and complexity of managing multiple links to multiple provider partners.
  • In November 2009, CENX (Carrier Ethernet Neutral eXchange), a start-up headed by MEF President Nan Chen, opened three Carrier Ethernet Exchanges in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The carrier neutral, co-location/data-center neutral CENX Carrier Ethernet Exchanges aim to streamline the problem of interconnecting various Carrier Ethernet services.

Alcatel-Lucent Forecasts Modest Industry Growth in 2010

Alcatel-Lucent posted a profit for Q4 2009 as revenues improved over the preceding quarter, however sales were down across the board compared to a year earlier. Fourth quarter revenue decreased 19.9% year-over-year and increased 7.6% sequentially to Euro 3.967 billion. Fourth quarter adjusted operating income amounted to Euro 271 million or 6.8% of revenue. Adjusted gross margin came in at 36.7% of revenue for the quarter, compared to 33.3% in the year ago quarter and 33.4% in the third quarter 2009.

The company predicts the telecommunications equipment and related services market should recover in 2010, given a more stable global economic climate.

"Revenue came in at the lower end of the indicated range for the year due to the fact that our fourth quarter was not as strong as expected. However, I am encouraged by the strong sequential growth in our orders and by the accelerated traction we are seeing in next generation technologies, as evidenced by our selection by AT&T as a key supplier for LTE," stated Ben Verwaayen, CEO, Alcatel-Lucent.

"A more stable economic environment and the explosive growth of mobile internet will drive market growth in 2010 and beyond."

Some highlights of the quarterly report:

  • The carrier segment saw a double-digit decline in revenue, driven by 2G wireless access, TDM switching, terrestrial optics and broadband access. The segment did see slight growth in Submarine, good growth in IP and double-digit growth in W-CDMA.

  • Revenues for the IP division were Euro 317 million, a decrease of 5.9% from the year ago quarter at constant currency, due to the accelerated rate of decline in ATM.

  • Revenues from IP/MPLS service routers grew at a high-single digit rate this quarter, driven by a strong performance in North America and EMEA.

  • IP penetration in wireless improved, with sustained expansion in the backhaul market. The company's LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) is seeing strong traction, with 11 trials across all regions.

  • Revenues for the Optics division were Euro 763 million, a decline of 19.5% from the year ago quarter at constant currency. All segments of the terrestrial market declined this quarter although the D-WDM segment continued to recover with strong sequential growth and limited year over year decline.

  • Submarine networks saw only slight growth this quarter, compared to double-digit growth in prior quarters, albeit from a demanding year ago comparison.

  • Revenues for the Wireless Networks division were Euro 799 million, a decline of 33.7% from the year ago quarter at constant currency. GSM was again sharply impacted by slower mobile subscriber growth and a reduction in capital expenditures in all of the markets where Alcatel-Lucent has a meaningful presence. CDMA declined both year-over-year and sequentially due to market weakness in North America and the slow-down in the pace of deployment of this technology in China.

  • W-CDMA enjoyed double-digit growth on a year over year basis but declined sequentially off an exceptionally high third quarter which had seen the certification of the company's converged RNC at a large customer.

  • Enterprise revenue declined at a more moderate rate this quarter which is due to the recovery of Industrial Components.

  • Applications software revenue grew at a mid single-digit rate and finally Services revenue grew slightly.

  • For the fourth quarter 2009, revenues for the Services segment were Euro 1,030million, a decrease of 0.5% compared to Euro 1,035 million in the year-ago quarter and an increase of 18.5% compared to Euro 869 million in the third quarter 2009.

  • From a geographic standpoint and at constant currency, revenue declined at a double-digit rate in Europe (-15%), Asia Pacific (-26%) and in the rest of the world (-24%) and declined at a high single-digit rate in North America (-9%).

An archived webcast is online.

Zayo Deploys Low Latency Fiber Link -- NYC to Chicago

Zayo Bandwidth, a regional provider of fiber based bandwidth infrastructure, and a provider of carrier neutral colocation services, has deployed a low latency route between major carrier hotels in New York and Chicago.

The route was developed to support algorithmic trading requirements for financial and carrier customers. Zayo said its network not only provides low latency transmission capabilities, but also physical path diversity from other common carrier long-haul backbone routes.

This unique regional route enables global banks, financial/commodity exchanges, market data providers, hedge funds and other market participants to deliver market data and execute orders from locations within New York and Chicago including: 111 N Canal St. and 350 East Cermak Rd., both in Chicago to 165 Halsey in New Jersey, and 111 8th Ave. and 60 Hudson St., both located in New York. Zayo's sister company, Zayo Colocation Services (zColo) is the exclusive manager and operator of the 60 Hudson St. Meet-Me-Room in New York City, one of the world's largest interconnect exchanges.

SFR Picks Alcatel-Lucent and NSN for Network Upgrade and LTE Trial

SFR of France has selected Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks for a major network upgrade and an LTE trial.

Alcatel-Lucent said it will provide its Converged RAN (radio access network) solution to SFR. As part of the project, Alcatel-Lucent will provide an end-to-end LTE solution including base stations (eNodeBs), Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and associated management systems enabling SFR to evaluate the performance of LTE services and opportunities to introduce new multimedia applications. Alcatel-Lucent will also provide critical professional services such as the installation and commissioning for all of the equipment involved in the deployment and will provide the resources to operate the various network elements, including configuration, performance monitoring and fault management.

Nokia Siemens Networks said it is upgrading SFR's radio network and will provide, operate and maintain new all-IP packet core technology ready to support 4G LTE services. Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy its compact, energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Station for the radio network upgrade. This will enable SFR to reuse the GSM900 MHz frequency band, previously used for 2G services, in order to expand advanced 3G broadband services coverage into rural areas, simplify its network and reduce operating costs.

The mobile packet core solution being provided by Nokia Siemens Networks under a three-year agreement includes the company's LTE-ready, ATCA-based, Flexi Network Gateway for handling growth in data traffic and for ensuring uninterrupted mobile broadband services. In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks will implement, operate and maintain SFR's mobile packet core and its associated IP network to deliver improved network quality and efficiency.

SFR will also deploy Nokia Siemens Networks' NetAct network management system and the company's charge@once mediate solution to simplify the collection and processing of charging and billing data, providing SFR with a variety of sophisticated services, including differentiated billing.

SFR and Nokia Siemens Networks will collaborate on piloting LTE services using Flexi Multiradio base stations that can be software upgraded to enable HSPA+ and LTE capability, as well as Nokia Siemens Networks' Evolved Packet Core for LTE.

Bharti Airtel awards US$700 Million Contract to NSN

India's Bharti Airtel has awarded a US$700 million network expansion contractto Nokia Siemens Networks. The contract includes network planning, implementation and project management, handling of local logistics and materials, as well as system integration for the base station sites.

Specifically, the GSM network expansion will cover the eight existing circles of Mumbai, Maharashtra & Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh & Chattisgarh, Bihar & Jharkhand, Orissa, Kolkata and West Bengal where Nokia Siemens Networks already provides equipment and managed services for Bharti Airtel. With close to 60% of Airtel's monthly customers coming from rural regions, this contract will enable Airtel to further aggressively expand its footprint into rural India.

Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy its energy-efficient network solutions, including Flexi multi-radio base stations, packet core platforms and microwave solutions for new and legacy networks to boost performance at a lower total cost of ownership and reduced carbon footprint.

"The unprecedented growth in the Indian telecommunications sector is compelling telecom operators to offer compelling solutions," said Rajeev Suri, chief executive officer at Nokia Siemens Networks.
Nokia Siemens Networks already supplies Bharti Airtel with a wide spectrum of solutions, including device management, mobile network portability, next-generation fixed-network and an interactive voice response system.

JDSU to Acquire Agilent's Network Solutions Business

JDSU agreed to acquire Agilent Technologies' network solutions business for $165 million in cash.

The network solutions business includes Agilent's network assurance solutions, network protocol test and drive test products. The business had annual revenue of $162 million in its fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 2009. Agilent is an industry leader in network assurance and in next-generation network test systems. Its customer base includes leading service providers and network equipment manufacturers from around the world. gilent's network solutions business employs approximately 700 people, with operations in Colorado, the U.K., Singapore and China.

The acquisition significantly expands JDSU's communications test position, including the emerging market for LTE/4G solutions required by the dozens of wireless service providers and network equipment manufacturers upgrading to this next-generation technology.

Agilent said it is selling the group because it believes the business and its customers will be better served by a company that is focused exclusively on communications network test.

"This acquisition establishes JDSU as a market leader in wireless test instruments and systems and enables us to provide customers with new innovative LTE solutions as they deploy this next-generation mobile data technology," said Tom Waechter, president and chief executive officer of JDSU. "JDSU gains market-leading technology and a talented employee team that will fit well with JDSU's customer-centric culture."

ZTE Chosen for LTE Trial in Hungary

Pannon, a mobile operator in Hungary and part of the Telenor Group, has selected ZTE as their LTE live network trial vendor. ZTE will provide an end-to-end solution, including radio and core infrastructure as well as end user terminals.

OIF Starts 100G Work on Chip-to-Module

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) has kicked off a new 100G project titled "VSR 28G Common Electrical Chip-to- Module Interface" which will support the use of less complex, lower power 100G optical modules.

The work will establish a very short reach chip-to-module electrical interface to enable 100G optical modules that do not implement full retiming in the module.

The new project will result in an implementation agreement that will define data lane(s) that support bit rates up to 28 Gbps for chip-to-module interfaces with distances from zero to a minimum of 100 mm on a host PCB. The project will also define the channel model based on a chip-to-module application as well as define a test methodology for a chip-to-module interface including a single connector.

"This implementation agreement will allow lower power, smaller form factor multi-source 100G optical modules to be developed that will increase face-plate port density," said David Stauffer, of IBM and the OIF's Physical and Link Layer Working Group chair. "This will further the integration, power reduction and cost reduction of 100 Gbps line cards."

Motorola to Split into Two -- Mobile/Home and Enterprise/Networks

Motorola announced plants to split into two independent, publicly traded in the first quarter of 2011.

One will include the company's Mobile Devices and Home businesses, and the other will include its Enterprise Mobility Solutions and Networks businesses.

Motorola's Mobile Devices and Home businesses will offer a portfolio of mobile converged devices, digital entertainment devices in the home, and end-to-end video, voice and data solutions. Working with network operator partners, the company will also enable more advanced personalized services that leverage the capability of expanding wireless and wireline broadband availability. Dr. Sanjay Jha, co-chief executive officer of Motorola, will serve as chief executive officer of this half effective immediately.

Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Solutions and Networks businesses will offer a portfolio of products and solutions, including rugged two-way radios, mobile computers, secure public safety systems, scanning, RFID, and wireless network infrastructure. Greg Brown, co-chief executive officer of Motorola, Inc., will serve as chief executive officer of this group.

Following the separation event both entities will use the Motorola brand. The Mobile Devices and Home business is expected to own the Motorola brand and license it royalty free to the Enterprise Mobility Solutions and Networks business. Additional details regarding brand, capital structure and which entity will be distributed will be provided in the future as we progress with our plans.

Motorola intends to effect the separation through a tax-free stock dividend of shares in the new company to Motorola shareholders. Following the separation both businesses will be well capitalized so the companies can execute their respective business plans and be able to address future opportunities.

Motorola expects that, post-separation, the Enterprise Mobility and Networks business will be capitalized in a manner that will achieve an investment grade rating and will be the entity responsible for Motorola's existing public market debt at the time of separation.

Zain Appoints New CEO

Zain has appointed Mr Nabil Bin Salama as Chief Executive of the Group. Bin Salama has a Bachelor of Electronic Engineering from the University of Dayton, Ohio, USA. During 2009, he served as Kuwait's Minister of Communication, Electricity and Water following many years in the public sector and formerly served as General Manager of a mobile operator in 1997.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Motorola Invests in Zenverge for Transcoding Chips

Motorola has made an equity investment in Zenverge, a start-up developing advanced media integrated circuits (ICs). Financial terms were not disclosed.

Zenverge's media ICs support transcoding, decoding and encoding of multiple formats at up to four times HD performance or for up to four simultaneous HD streams. Zenverge ICs are being incorporated into HDTVs, Blu-ray/DVD players and recorders, set-tops, media gateways, portable device adapters, PCs and professional/network video equipment. The company said its performance far exceeds the capabilities of other media ICs today. The device is now shipping.

Other existing investors, DCM and Norwest Venture Partners, also provided funds. The financing will support production of a family of single-chip media ICs based on the Zenverge Entertainment Nexus (ZEN), a groundbreaking new architecture for digital HD convergence.

Zenverge is based in Cupertino, California.

BT Lands $370 Million UK Govt Contract

BT was awarded a three-year contract extension with The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), worth a minimum of $370 million, to provide voice, data network and contact centre solutions to the UK government department.

The deal builds on the existing contract between the DWP and BT Global Services, which has seen the networked IT services company help transform the department's voice and data networks by installing an IP network and telephony solution, which regularly handles in excess of two million calls a day and at peak times has managed three million.

Oracle Acquires Convergin for Real-time Service Brokering

Oracle has agreed to acquire Convergin, an Israeli start-up specializing in real-time service brokering solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Convergin offers a J2EE-based Service Broker platform that enables communications service providers (CSPs) to manage services for a wide range of networks and application platforms, including pre-paid charging. The solution can be used for migrating pre-paid voice from IN- to IP-based networks. Convergin provides the mediation of wide range of protocols, enabling the orchestration and blending of services and capabilities across networks and application domains.

Oracle said the combination of its service environment with Convergin's Service Broker provides a single carrier-grade, standards-based IT platform for CSPs.

Specifically, Convergin products complement Oracle Communications' integrated product suite, including Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management, Oracle Communications Converged Application Server and Oracle Communications service fulfillment applications.

"As communications service providers transition from legacy telephony networks to next-generation networks, the combination of Oracle and Convergin will accelerate new service innovation while reducing network complexity and cost," said Bhaskar Gorti, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Communications.

LSI Announces Next-Gen Processor for Wireless Backhaul

LSI Corporation unveiled its next-generation link communication processor (LCP) for multiservice applications
such as wireline access network, 2.5G/3G and 4G/LTE wireless access, and pseudowire emulation (PWE) applications.

The new LCP is a significant addition to the LSI(TM) family of multiservice processors and a key part of the LSI asymmetric multicore processor portfolio that enables any-to-any communications in wireless infrastructure.
It supports all major protocols, enabling wireless, mobile backhaul, multiservice, router and broadband access traffic to be easily and efficiently migrated from current-generation, time-division multiplexing (TDM) networks to next-generation Ethernet and MPLS networks at much lower cost and risk than previous solutions.

LSI said its new LCP performs multiprotocol processing at wire speed using dedicated, on-chip programmable cores. It contains multicore ARM processors for managing data plane applications, and running customer-specific application code. Connectivity is provided by integrated Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, enabling direct wide area network (WAN) uplinks. In addition, the LCP scales across a broad range of network speeds, from T1/E1 to STM-1/OC-3, which allows networking OEMs to leverage a single development effort across all major services and performance levels.

"The complex mix of protocols and applications that run on today's advanced networks require highly integrated, multicore SoCs with proven software," said Shane Gunning, multiservice marketing director, Networking Components Division, LSI. "Our latest-generation LCP provides OEMs with a single, scalable, highly efficient platform that enables them to build multiservice base stations and controllers that span 2G, 3G and 4G networks."

ARRIS Posts $300 Million in Q4 Revenue

ARRIS reported preliminary Q4 2009 revenues of $300.0 million, compared to third quarter 2009 revenues of $275.8 million and fourth quarter 2008 revenues of $292.4 million. Full year 2009 and 2008 revenues were $1,107.8 million and $1,144.6 million, respectively.

GAAP net income for the fourth quarter 2009 was $0.26 per diluted share, as compared to the third quarter 2009 of $0.17 per diluted share, and the fourth quarter 2008 loss of $(1.33) per diluted share. Full year 2009 GAAP net income was $0.71 per diluted share as compared to a loss of $(1.04) per diluted share for 2008.

"We ended 2009 with very strong performance," said Bob Stanzione, ARRIS Chairman & CEO. "New applications, growth of Internet TV and competition from both telco and satellite providers require ongoing network capacity additions in our customers' networks. I am confident that ARRIS has the market leading products and services necessary for our customers to meet these challenges. Longer term, we are well positioned to provide new products for a converged platform to deliver voice, data and video. We have taken key steps to grow our current business to include a strong video product suite in order to capitalize on the industry's vision of a converged voice, data and video platform."

Lantiq Expands DECT and CAT-iq Silicon Products

Lantiq announced major additions to its DECT/CAT-iq portfolio, including the introduction of an end-to-end CAT-iq 2.0 home gateway and handset system, as well as Korean DECT gateway and handset silicon products.

Lantiq said the introduction of the first CAT-iq 2.0-capable handsets and home gateways is a major milestone for carriers and vendors alike. It signals the official introduction of wideband-capable CAT-iq systems. This is the inflexion point at which wideband has a chance to attain the necessary critical mass of users to be a true success.

Lantiq's range of CPE home gateway devices all contain embedded DECT/CAT-iq functionality.

The company is working to integrate the home gateway and DECT. This will include the end-to-end DSL home gateway with both the CAT-iq base station and handset.

Lantiq is also expanding its regional cordless telephony coverage with the introduction of COSIC products for the Korean cordless VoIP market. As an incumbent supplier to Korean Telecom, Lantiq's product portfolio will now include gateway and handset solutions for applications similar to CAT-iq for the Korean market.

Juniper Creates Junos Ready Software Group

Juniper Networks has formed a new business group called Junos Ready Software dedicated to creating and delivering an ecosystem of software and applications built on the Junos platform for Service Providers.

The Junos Ready Software group will deliver Juniper and partner-built applications, all running on the Junos platform. It will include the following specific operating components:

  • Project Falcon - Disclosed in October 2009, this program is focused on delivering best-of-breed mobile solutions on Junos

  • Junos Space - A network application platform for the development and deployment of simple, smart network applications

  • Junos Innovation Ecosystem - A partner program aimed specifically at enabling a broad range of new third-party applications running on Junos. Examples of these applications include mobile video delivery, addressable advertising, service monitoring, service delivery and security

JRS will be headed by executive vice president and general manager, Manoj Leelanivas, an 11-year Juniper veteran and proven technology leader, who will now report directly to Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson. Leelanivas most recently served as senior vice president and general manager of the Edge and Aggregation business unit, where he led the development and launch of Juniper's groundbreaking MX 3D Series Universal Edge Routers. Additionally, he was responsible for notable progress in Juniper's Project Falcon initiative.

In addition to establishing the Junos Ready Software business group, Juniper also made two executive assignments to further strengthen the company's relationships with and contributions to service providers.

Kim Perdikou, a 10-year Juniper veteran, who most recently served as executive vice president and general manager of Juniper's Infrastructure Products Group (IPG), will move to a newly created position working directly with CEO Kevin Johnson to focus on developing and deepening Juniper relationships with service provider customers and partners. As executive vice president, Perdikou will join the office of the CEO in a new role that leverages her deep industry knowledge and customer relationships to guide key strategic projects that further Juniper's global market leadership.

Stefan Dyckerhoff has been named executive vice president, assuming leadership responsibilities for IPG, reporting directly to Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson. An original member of Juniper's engineering team during the company's first seven years, Dyckerhoff recently rejoined the company from Cisco Systems. While at Cisco Systems, Dyckerhoff served as vice president and general manager of the Edge Routing Business Unit (ERBU) and was responsible for managing a multi-billion dollar product portfolio targeted at both the service provider and enterprise markets.

"Late last year, Juniper unveiled a new strategic vision and introduced a series of groundbreaking silicon, software, systems and partnerships to meet the 'New Network' demands of the next decade," said Kevin Johnson, Juniper's chief executive officer. "This New Network is based on smart systems, open software platforms and an approach that adapts to changing business dynamics by embracing partnerships and unleashing innovation. Today's announcements signal the next step in our evolution and underscore our commitment to helping customers tackle the relevant issues of economics and experiences."

Facebook Mobile Passes 100 Million Milestone

The Facebook Mobile app now has over 100 million users. The milestone was passed only six months after the company announced that it reached 65 million users for its mobile app.

Facebook said it is working with every major device manufacturer and many operators around the globe to ensure the best possible mobile experience.

Some recent developments:

  • Facebook mobile sites and have been redesigned, enabling people to access Facebook from any mobile browser in more than 70 languages.

  • More than 80 operators in 32 countries enable millions of people around the world to stay connected and communicate with their friends on Facebook using SMS text messages.

  • Facebook recently launched a URL-shortening service called FB.ME that makes it even easier for people to share content, especially in SMS where the URL length has been a problem.

AT&T Selects Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent for LTE RAN

AT&T has selected Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson as the primary suppliers of radio access equipment for its planned rollout of LTE beginning in 2011. AT&T's first LTE field trials are planned for later this year.

The multi-year agreement covers radio access network equipment needed to deliver LTE service.This equipment will be deployed at cell sites across AT&T's network to enable LTE speeds and functionality. Financial terms of the supplier agreements were not disclosed.

The selection of Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson extend existing vendor relationships with AT&T. Both vendors currently supply equipment and services for AT&T's 3G network. AT&T said that as part of the supplier agreements, 3G equipment delivered starting this year, must be easily convertible to LTE, enabling AT&T to upgrade existing equipment and software rather than install entirely new equipment in many cases as it deploys the next-generation technology.

"The selection of Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson is an important step forward in our ongoing mobile broadband strategy, which is focused on delivering the best possible combination of speed, performance and available devices for customers at every level of technology deployment," said John Stankey, president and CEO, AT&T Operations.

AT&T noted that the proliferation of smartphones on its network has resulted in mobile broadband traffic that has grown more than 5,000 percent over the past three years.
  • In January 2010, AT&T announced total 2010 capital expenditures are expected to be between $18 billion and $19 billion. These plans include an increase of approximately $2 billion in wireless network and backhaul investment, which will help ensure continued strong results in 3G network performance as well as preparation for planned deployment of LTE.

  • Also in January, AT&T upgraded 3G cell sites to HSPA 7.2 technology. Over the course of 2010 and 2011, AT&T plans to combine this upgrade with enhanced fiber-optic backhaul connectivity. AT&T wireless network investment plans for 2010 also include construction of about 2,000 new cell sites and adding new radio controllers and carriers at a pace that doubles deployment in 2009.
  • In February 2009, Verizon Wireless named Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent as primary network vendors for its initial LTE network deployments in the United States. Verizon Wireless selected Starent Networks (now Cisco) as a key supplier for the packet core. Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent were selected as key suppliers for the IP Multi-Media Subsystem (IMS) network, which will enable rich multimedia applications regardless of access technology.