Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ZTE Shows LTE-A CoMP Prototype

At Mobile World Congress, ZTE demonstrated a prototype LTE-Advanced CoMP (Coordinated Multipoint) technology with a downstream peak speed of over 1 Gbps. The prototype incorporates a number of key technologies such as multi-antenna enhancement, MU-MIMO, and multi-point joint coordinated transmission. Through the use of CoMP technology in the solution, throughput on the edge is dramatically increased.

The company said it plans to introduce commercial LTE-A products in 2012.

National Broadband Map Shows 68% Penetration

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) published its online National Broadband Map -- providing a searchable database on broadband Internet availability and adoption across the country.

The database includes more than 25 million searchable records showing where broadband Internet service is available, the technology used to provide the service, the maximum advertised speeds of the service, and the names of the service providers. Users can search by address to find the broadband providers and services available in the corresponding census block or road segment, view the data on a map, or use other interactive tools to compare broadband across various geographies, such as states, counties or congressional districts.

A key finding in the data is that a digital divide persists between urban and rural areas.

"The National Broadband Map shows there are still too many people and community institutions lacking the level of broadband service needed to fully participate in the Internet economy. We are pleased to see the increase in broadband adoption last year, particularly in light of the difficult economic environment, but a digital divide remains," said Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling. "Through NTIA's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, digital literacy activities, and other initiatives, including the tools we are releasing today, the Obama Administration is working to address these challenges."

Additional findings include:

  • Approximately 36 percent of Americans have access to wireless (fixed, mobile, licensed, and unlicensed) Internet service at maximum advertised download speeds of 6 Mbps or greater, which some consider the minimum speed associated with "4G" wireless broadband service. Ninety-five percent of Americans have access to wireless Internet service speeds of at least 768 kbps, which corresponds roughly to "3G" wireless service.

  • 68 percent of U.S. households have broadband access, as compared to 63.5 percent last year.

  • Overall, the two most commonly cited main reasons for not having broadband Internet access at home are that it is perceived as not needed (46 percent) or too expensive (25 percent). In rural America, however, lack of broadband availability is a larger reason for non-adoption than in urban areas (9.4 percent vs. 1 percent). Americans also cite the lack of a computer as a factor.

Mobile World Congress 2011 Tops 60,000 Attendees

This week's Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona attracted over 60,000 attendees -- a new record for the four day event. Attendance was up 20% over last year.

"The record attendance to this year's Mobile World Congress is indicative of the impact and importance of mobile in not only technology and telecommunications, but across nearly all facets of the private and public sectors," stated John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd. "Mobile truly is leading a transformation in how the world communicates, how business is conducted and how people live their lives. We are very proud of the contribution that the GSMA and the Mobile World Congress have in furthering this transformation."

Netronome Forms Partnerships with McAfee, VSS, Qosmos

Netronome has completed compatibility testing in the McAfee Security Innovation Alliance (SIA) program to become a Technology Partner. Under the McAfee SIA program, Netronome SSL Inspector appliances have demonstrated interoperability with McAfee Network Security Platform devices. The Netronome SSL Inspector appliances provide line-rate decryption of encrypted traffic, and the joint solution with McAfee leverages this capability to detect and protect against threats hidden within encrypted traffic.

In addition, Netronome is partnering with VSS Monitoring to provide interoperable solutions for the real-time examination of traffic encrypted with SSL.. Network administrators will be able to use their existing analytical tools to inspect SSL packets in real time at 10 Gbps throughout large distributed enterprise and carrier-class networks. The solutions are built around VSS Distributed Traffic Capture Systems that provide real-time access for the high-performance Netronome SSL Inspector appliance.

Netronome has also formed a partnership with Qosmos, which specializes in Network Intelligence (NI) technology. The joint solution can scale deep packet inspection (DPI) from 1 Gbps to 100 Gbps while simultaneously offering a rich detection set for thousands of applications and protocols. The integrated solution is designed for manufacturers of security applications.

Netronome Boosts its Network Flow Processor with 40G, 10G Copper Interfaces

Netronome has added 10GBASE-T and 40GBASE-SR4 Ethernet interfaces for use with its family of PCIe network acceleration cards and production-ready network processing platforms.

Netronome supplies Network Flow Processors that are designed for tight coupling with embedded multicore Intel and x86 processors. This accelerates network, security and content processing platforms used in 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps networks. It is the only line of processors backward compatible with the market‐leading Intel IXP28XX. Netronome's heterogeneous multicore processing architecture provides independent layers of workload-optimized packet, flow, security and application processing to dramatically increase network performance. Simultaneously, it frees IA/x86 resources to provide more application and control plane processing. Because the platform is based on standard Intel-based CPUs, developers of Linux-based network and security applications can significantly reduce development time and costs.

Netronome's new 10GBASE-T and 40GBASE-SR4 interface modules include fully integrated network bypass support, reducing the need for costly external hardware.

Netronome's NFP-3240 network flow processors can be used in the 1U and 2U platforms that offer up to 200 Gbps of L2-L7 network and security application performance with sub-50 microsecond latency for security applications.

"Netronome pioneered flow processing and is committed to providing our customers the silicon, hardware, software and building blocks to securely process flows at the speeds required for next generation platforms," said Jarrod Siket, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Netronome. "The new accelerated 40 Gbps and copper 10 Gbps interfaces will allow our customers to continue to meet their design goals at a fraction of the time and cost of alternative solutions."

ZTE Develops Cloud Radio Access Network

At Mobile World Congress, ZTE introduced its next generation C-RAN (Cloud of Radio Access Network) wireless architecture aimed at significantly reducing mobile operator CAPEX and OPEX.

C-RAN, which follows the architectural lead of China Mobile, would leverage centralized processing, collaborative radio, real-time cloud infrastructure, energy efficiency gains and the power pf cloud computing.

ZTE is working on dynamic baseband sharing. Its design separates the Remote Radio Unit (RRU) and the Baseband Unit (BBU) on the wireless side, enabling a centralized facility for base-stations. ZTE is also working on better optical backhaul technology.

ZTE estimates that this cloud-based RAN approach could reduce a carrier's total cost of ownership by 40%.

Australia's NBN Co acquires AUSTAR Spectrum

NBN Co will acquire AUSTAR's 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz spectrum licences for $120 million. The spectrum will enable NBN Co to roll out a high-speed fixed-wireless service to rural and regional areas.

The first NBN Co fixed-wireless commercial services are scheduled for delivery in mid 2012. NBN Co has previously outlined plans to deliver next-generation wireless and satellite services to seven per cent of premises outside its fibre footprint.

AUSTAR Chief Executive Officer Mr John Porter said: "This is a great result for NBN Co, AUSTAR and most importantly, regional Australians. There is no doubt that NBN Co will build broadband services in regional Australia very efficiently with consumers outside metropolitan markets finally gaining access to world-class broadband services."

NBN Co recently announced its pricing for wholesale broadband services starting at a download speed of 12/1 megabits per second (Mbps) for a uniform national wholesale access price of $24 a month.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Telefónica Previews "Frigo" Application Platform

Telefónica unveiled "Frigo" -- a new service that it has developed that lets customers access, manage and enjoy apps on any mobile phone, tablet, netbook, mobile PC, set-top box TV and many other homescreen devices.

Frigo's idea is to create an "anywhere" applications folder that automatically backs itself up and shares resources across the cloud to any authorized device. Frigo uses Qualcomm's Xiam recommendation engine to enable Telefónica to provide customers with content, services and offers uniquely tailored to their individual needs and interests across all of their connected devices. Ericsson's Mobile Service Delivery Platform (MSDP) solution powers Frigo's application store elements.

Frigo works across a number of operating systems -- including Android, Windows Mobile, Java and Symbian -- and is being launched this year in seven Telefónica territories: Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Spain and UK.

Telecom Italia also plans to launch Frigo in April.

Telefónica said Frigo supports the aims of the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) -- the alliance of telecommunications companies committed to building a global open applications platform.

Tanya Field, Director of Telefónica's Mobile Data Group, said: "The real value offered by Frigo with regards to multi-platform is ‘all my stuff, anywhere, anytime'. The outcome for users will be true ownership of their apps and content through a personalised and consistent service that can be accessed and enjoyed on the device of their choice. Frigo also opens up opportunities to reach and retain vast new segments of customers because it is not restricted to specific, high-end devices and smartphones."

Altair Looks to TD-LTE Trials with Alcatel-Lucent

Altair Semiconductor announced that its TD-LTE chipset, alongside Alcatel-Lucent's LTE infrastructure, has successfully completed interoperability (IOT) testing and will take part in several upcoming TD-LTE field trials in India and China.

TD-LTE operates in unpaired spectrum.

"TD-LTE, specifically in emerging markets, represents the highest growth potential for LTE in the coming years, and is a strategic focus area for Altair," said Eran Eshed, Co-Founder and VP of Marketing and Business Development at Altair Semiconductor. "After more than a year of close collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent on commercializing our respective TD-LTE products, we feel confident in our ability to meet the performance and maturity expectations of our carrier customers, with a solution that also meets the aggressive price targets of carriers in these markets."

Vodafone Extends Support for Télécoms Sans Frontières

The Vodafone Foundation will extend EUR 1 million in support to the disaster relief agency Télécoms sans Frontières (TSF) under a three year partnership. Télécoms sans Frontières specialises in bringing wireless communications to affected areas to help humanitarian relief agencies coordinate their efforts and to enable displaced families to make a three minute call to reassure loved ones.

Vodafone has also been trialling a portable GSM network that could help TSF and relief workers in the wake of a disaster. Vodafone, working alongside Huawei at its Mobile Innovation Centre in Madrid, have developed a prototype portable GSM network that can be set up to handle free local calls among relief workers in less than 40 minutes. The equipment can be packed into three suitcases, which can be transported on commercial flights, avoiding the inevitable delays that surround cargo deliveries of bulkier equipment.

Telefónica O2 Germany Picks NSN and Huawei for LTE

Telefónica O2 Germany has selected Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks as its main technology partners for its LTE network. The carrier plans to begin marketing LTE service during Q2 2011.

Huawei Technologies will be the supplier in Southern and Western Germany and Nokia Siemens Networks in all other areas of the O2 network. The rollout in the rural areas is already in progress.

Since September, O2 already operates LTE pilot networks in Munich / Ebersberg and in Halle / Teutschenthal. In these areas, large-scale friendly user tests have been carried out since December. They involve several hundreds of O2 customers and non customers testing the new technology at home free of charge for several months.

"Finally the time has come: LTE is bringing fast Internet to the country as well. Thanks to our high speeds, customers in rural regions can now also watch videos online, download large data packages and play computer games, says René Schuster, CEO of Telefónica O2 Germany. "Covering these white spots is only the first step. As soon as the requirements of the Federal Network Agency are being fulfilled, we will offer LTE800 in the cities also. This could even happen in only a few months."

ZTE Confirms 18 TD-LTE Trials and Contracts

ZTE has secured 18 contracts to supply TD-LTE solutions globally. These contracts are for trial and commercial networks in 12 countries across Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS, or the former Soviet Republics) and the Asia Pacific region, including India.

ZTE noted that it is actively cooperating on Interoperability Tests with mainstream chipset providers such as Qualcomm, Innofidei, Altair, Sequans and ST-Ericsson.

KPN will conduct an LTE technology in Germany and Belgium with ZTE.

In addition, the E-Plus Group will launch a TD-LTE field trial in Germany in Q1 2011. The trial is based on 2.6 GHz spectrum that E-Plus acquired in the German spectrum auction. China Mobile, with its leading position and rich experience in the operation and maintenance of TDD networks, will provide technical support to this trial. ZTE will provide base stations developed on the advanced SDR platform and co-siting solution of LTE FDD/TD-LTE.

Rogers Begins LTE Trials in Ottawa

Rogers Communications commenced a Long Term Evolution ("LTE") wireless network technical trial in the Ottawa area. The tests will validate how LTE technology performs across a variety of spectrum frequencies in urban, suburban and rural environments, as well as actual throughput speeds, performance quality and interoperability with our existing HSPA+ network.

Separately, in its quarterly financial reports, Rogers reported that wireless network revenue growth was fuelled by data revenue growth of 32% and net subscriber additions of 123,000. Wireless data revenue now comprises 31% of wireless network revenue. The carrier activated a record 635,000 additional smartphones during the quarter, of which approximately 29% were for subscribers new to the company.

Verizon Advances Enterprise Identity Management

Verizon announced an enhanced set of Enterprise Identity Management services to help businesses authenticate the identities of employees, partners and customers.

The enhanced suite of services, which is delivered "as-a-service" via the cloud, aims to reduce the complexity and risk associated with identity management programs.

Verizon currently manages 25 identity programs for countries around the globe, and in November the company announced a massive program with the U.S. medical community to issue identity credentials to 2.3 million health care professionals to help physicians manage online access and the secure exchange of confidential patient information.

"For the most part, we have found that authentication methods used by enterprises today are either inadequate or difficult and expensive," said Peter Tippett, Verizon vice president of security and industry solutions. "Until now, there's been no single service that delivers a total-solution offering that includes the critical features -- such as registering users, providing identity proofing and issuing identity credentials -- required to truly meet the needs of today's enterprise."

Verizon also announced the creation of an Identity Advisory Board, which will give Verizon's enterprise clients the opportunity to work collaboratively in addressing their needs to better manage the identities of workers, increase transparency for transactions and strengthen data protection. The board plans to synthesize the input received to create new features and capabilities that meet the requirements of today's distributed enterprise.

AT&T Adds Web Application Firewall Service

AT&T introduced a new web application firewall service, a network-based firewall and a secure e-mail gateway service all aimed at meeting corporate network security compliance requirements. The company also announced it has received ISO 27001 certification, a globally recognized confirmation of trustworthy and effective information security practices.

AT&T Web Application Firewall Service -- a fully managed security service that combines Web Application Firewall technology with expert management and 24x7x365 security monitoring to help protect Web applications and their underlying systems. The service helps customers protect their Web applications without interrupting legitimate traffic. It also facilitates customers in complying with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard 6.6 requirements by aiding automated web application scanning and detecting vulnerabilities in web-facing application code.

AT&T Network-Based Firewall Service -- newly enhanced new self-servicing capabilities for customers including the ability to directly manage aspects of their security policies in real-time through a convenient online portal as well as the ability to download policies into a convenient PDF format for use with compliance audits. These new features are designed to increase productivity and effectiveness by providing customer administrators with more direct control over security requirements and resources.

AT&T Secure E-Mail Gateway service -- newly enhanced with new Data Leakage Prevention (DLP) capabilities, off-site archiving, and encryption features to help customers comply with data privacy and retention regulations, meet legal discovery requirements, and implement data loss prevention measures.

4 Minute Video: LTE Security Gateway

LTE networks leverage all-IP backhaul from cell sites to the packet core. But does this IP topology introduce security risks? RadiSys' Jeff Sharpe discusses the new class of LTE Security Gateways that address this challenge.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ericsson and Polycom Cooperate on Telepresence

Ericsson and Polycom will offer an integrated end-to-end solution for hosted telepresence services. The joint offering integrates the Ericsson IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) network and Polycom infrastructure and telepresence endpoints.

Japan's EMOBILE Outsources with Ericsson

Japan's EMOBILE announced a network outsourcing contract with Ericsson. EMOBILE also recently selected Ericsson to enhance its network with 42Mbps HSPA technology.

RIM Announces LTE and HSPA+ for PlayBook Tablet

Research In Motion (RIM) plans to launch two additional BlackBerry 4G PlayBook tablets during the second half of 2011, featuring support for LTE and HSPA+.

RIM has now announced plans to offer four BlackBerry PlayBook tablets:

1. BlackBerry PlayBook with Wi-Fi

2. BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi + WiMax

3. BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi + LTE

4. BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi + HSPA+

In addition to the Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity referenced above, each tablet can also support:

1. Bluetooth tethering

2. Mobile hotspots (ie. a MiFi, smartphone or other portable device equipped to act as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot)

3. BlackBerry Bridge

CenturyLink to Resell Verizon Wireless, Gains LTE Access

CenturyLink will be an authorized agent of Verizon Wireless, offering equipment and service plans to its residential and small business customers. Financial terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

In addition, CenturyLink customers will have access to Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network which is available today in 38 major metropolitan areas and more than 60 airports, and will be expanded to an additional 140 markets by the end of 2011.