Saturday, September 17, 2011

Netflix to Separate DVD and Streaming Businesses

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced plans to separate the company's streaming and DVD operations into distinct businesses. The DVD by mail operation will be renamed "Qwikster" and the streaming operation will retain the "Netflix" name. Each operation will have its own website and customers will need to subscribe to each service independently. Pricing remains the same. Andy Rendich has been appointed CEO of Qwikster.

Huawei Wins Contract with Telenor Global Services in 10 Countries for Five Years

Telenor Global Services (TGS) has selected Huawei as the sole partner for its Voice & IP network renovation across 10 countries. Huawei will provide TGS with a comprehensive One Network and IP Core solution and managed services for five years to countries including, Norway, Singapore, Hong Kong (China), United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Seven States Join Suit to Block AT&T-T-Mobile Deal

AT&T's bid to acquire T-Mobile faced another set-back, as seven states joined the U.S Department of Jusctice's lawsuit to block the deal. These states are California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington, which represent a sizable portion of the U.S. population.

"Our review of the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile has led me to conclude that it would hinder competition and reduce consumer choice. Today we joined the United States Department of Justice in filing suit to prevent this merger. Enforcement of antitrust law is the responsibility of the Attorney General and is vital to protecting our state's economic strength and tradition of innovation for the betterment of all Californians. I look forward to working with the parties involved to resolve this matter in a way that will create jobs in our state, encourage a vibrant technology sector, and protect competition in the marketplace," stated California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris.

Poland's Aero2 Picks Huawei for LTE TDD/FD

Aero2, a mobile broadband operator in Poland, has selected to launch the world's first LTE TDD/FDD converged commercial telecommunications network. The deployment will use Huawei's SingleRAN LTE solution. The LTE TDD/FDD network will boast downlink data speeds of 134 Mbps and uplink speeds of 124.8 Mbps.

"We are thrilled to partner with Huawei on a further breakthrough in network deployment by launching the world's first LTE TDD/FDD network, which will enhance user experience with improved data speeds and create a more compact and efficient network infrastructure," said Adam Kuriański, President of Aero2. "Using Huawei's technology, we plan to expand TDD/FDD network coverage to 25 percent of the population and bring mobile broadband services to over 200 urban and rural communities in Poland by the end of 2012."

  • In November 2010, Aero2, a wholesale mobile broadband operator in Poland, has selected Huawei to deploy a commercial LTE TDD network. The contract covers Huawei's end-to-end LTE TDD/EPC (Evolved Packet Core) solution. This network was activated in May 2011. Aero 2 has 900 MHz and 2.5 GHz spectrum licenses.

Alcatel-Lucent and Telecom New Zealand launch LTE Showcase

Alcatel-Lucent, in conjunction with Telecom, launched New Zealand's first LTE Showcase – featuring applications from ng Connect Program partners. Founded by Alcatel-Lucent, this is a unique alliance of global infrastructure, device, application and content companies working together to help develop next generation mobile services and applications. These solution concepts include: Connected Camera, Connected Video, Virtual Venue, Augmented Reality, Virtual Concierge, GameTime Media Table, Media Hot Spot and Next-generation signage.

Partners, customers, media and members of New Zealand's innovation community will be hosted at the LTE Showcase at Telecom Place in Auckland during September and October.

P&TLuxembourg Activates 100G with Alcatel-Lucent

P&TLuxembourg has activated a 100 Gbps IP between Frankfurt and Luxembourg, enabling very high-bandwidth, low latency, secure and reliable data services to the financial sector, European institutions and organizations as well as to all businesses and consumers throughout the country. Alcatel-Lucent has provided P&TLuxembourg with its Converged Backbone Transformation (CBT) solution, a distinctive combination of IP and optical technologies that will help the operator to improve the performance, reliability and operational efficiency of its network, while reducing costs. The deployment includes the Alcatel-Lucent 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) with 100G optical coherent technology and the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router (SR) with 100G Ethernet (100GE) interfaces.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BroadLight Partners with Korea's ETRI on XGPON

BroadLight is collaborating with Korea's National Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) to develop and promote XGPON technology. The partnership aims to ensure a fully standardized XGPON (ITU-T G.987) initial deployment in Korea. BroadLight and ETRI are using their existing XGPON OLT and ONT technology for end to end interoperability testing. The test plan is based on efforts by FSAN to launch the first worldwide XGPON interoperability event. BroadLight plays an instrumental role in preparing this test plan as part of its active role with FSAN.

Infinera Unveils Next Step in Photonic Integrated Circuits -- 500 Gbps

Infinera introduced its third generation, 500 Gbps photonic integrated circuit (PIC) -- the foundation for its new DTN-X multi-terabit switching platform designed for scaling core networks. The 500 Gbps PIC integrates more than 600 optical functions and works by converting light waves into electrical circuits, which can then be switched and groomed with digital signal processing.

The DTN-X combines three core functions-- a) a DWDM transmission system, offering 500 Gig super-channels based upon 100 Gig coherent channels, b) an OTN switch that scales from 5 Tbps non-blocking at ODU 0 today to 100-terabit non-blocking in the future; and c) a platform that can be upgraded to MPLS in the future.

Infinera believes that these key innovations will lead to the next economic disruption in the network, as very large pools of bandwidth can now be easily created, directed and managed across a fiber network. The 500 Gbps super-channel capability is unique in the industry and Infinera plans to support 1 Tbps super-channels in the future with another new PIC which is already in the lab.

The DTN-X combines PICs, custom ASICs and GMPLS software to deliver 5 Tbps of non-blocking, ITU G.709 Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching in a single bay for grooming traffic onto larger 100 Gbps and 500 Gbps pipes to maximize network utilization. Future iterations of the platform will be upgradeable to resilient multi-bay configurations providing 100 Tbps of non-blocking OTN and MPLS switching.

The embedded GMPLS software provides automatic topology discovery an inventory management. It also enables point and click end-to-end service provisioning, as well as <50ms hardware based protection for mesh & ring configurations.

The new DTN-X is interoperable with Infinera's existing DTN platform and is planned to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE), 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40 GbE), 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100 GbE), 10 Gbps SONET/SDH/OTN, 40 Gbps SONET/SDH/OTN, 100 Gbps OTN, 8/10 Gbps Fibre Channel, and multiple bit rate clear-channel interfaces.

Infinera also announced the availability of new capabilities on the DTN platform, including:

  • new 40 GbE and 100 GbE service interfaces to support high-bandwidth data services

  • new DWDM line-cards supporting 40 Gbps per wavelength coherent optical transmission, enabling the DTN platform to scale up to 6.4 Tbps of transmission capacity per fiber.

  • Infinera introduced its 100 Gig PIC and DTN platform in 2004.

  • Infinera currently claims 85 customers in 50 countries who have deployed over 8,000 DTN chassis systems.

  • Last month Infinera and SEACOM, a leading pan-African telecommunications provider, has completed testing of five 100 Gigabit per second (100 Gbps) coherent optical signals transmitted over 1732 km. The 500 Gbps trial ran over and was looped back across SEACOM’s newly built 930 km Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) fiber route which links the SEACOM Mtunzini cable landing station in KwaZulu Natal to the Teraco data center in Johannesburg.

    The trial used Infinera’s 500 Gbps Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs), each of which integrates five 100 Gbps coherent channels onto a single chip. The PICs were used for both transmitting and receiving the five 100 Gbps signals during the trial, the first time the PICs have been used to transmit and provide real time coherent processing for all 500 Gbps simultaneously on a production network. The trial also demonstrated Infinera’s FlexCoherent functionality by switching between QPSK and BPSK modulation.

    Infinera said it plans to deliver the 500 Gbps PICs as part of a system which integrates 5 Terabit per second (Tbps) OTN switching and 100 Gbps coherent optical transmission in early 2012.

Verizon Wireless Launches LTE In 26 New Markets

Verizon Wireless announced the launch of its LTE service in 26 additional cities and the expansion of its network in San Francisco, Indianapolis and Cleveland/Akron.

Verizon Wireless is now delivering LTE in a total of 143 markets across the United States. The carrier is currently offering 11 4G LTE-enabled device, including the new DROID BIONIC by Motorola which is the first Verizon Wireless smartphone to combine 4G LTE with the power of dual-core 1 GHz processors, 1 GB of RAM and a stunning 4.3-inch qHD display.

"We've followed an aggressive roll out plan for our 4G LTE network, and consumers and businesses can connect today to the fastest 4G LTE network in the country with nearly a dozen devices,�? said David Small, chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless.

Verizon Wireless also noted that it now has 11 rural operators that have announced their participation in its LTE in Rural America program and have leased spectrum covering, in total, more than 2.1 million people in rural communities and nearly 62,000 square miles. These companies include: Bluegrass Cellular, Carolina West/Clear Stream, Cellcom, Chariton Valley, Convergence Technologies, Cross Telephone, Custer Telephone Cooperative, Pioneer Cellular, S&R Communications, Strata Networks and Thumb Cellular.

AT&T Confirms LTE Launch for Sunday

AT&T confirmed plans to launch its first five LTE markets this Sunday, September 18.

While AT&T believes the pending T-Mobile acquisition will be approved and implemented, AT&T is not standing still but pushing forward in a number of areas, said John Stephens, CFO at AT&T, speaking at the Bank Of America Merrill Lynch Conference. The company is not discussing any Plan B regarding the acquisition. Among the hottest areas of growth, Stephens cited Uverse, which is now the nation's fastest growing paid TV service with 3.4 million subscribers. ARPU for Uverse is currently $170 and the Uverse business now represents a $6.5 billion annual revenue stream.

Another note from the conference, Stephens said the tiered pricing model for mobile data services has worked out well for AT&T. The company now has 15 million customers on these plans and there was no spike in churn when plans were introduced. In addition, 50% of post-paid customers are now using smartphones.

A webcast of the Bank Of America Merrill Lynch Conference session is on the company's Investor relations page.

  • AT&T announced that its first LTE devices will be the AT&T USBConnect Momentum 4G and the AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G, both of which support fallback to the HSPA+ network. AT&T will offer same $50 plan for 5 GB of data as is currently available for USBConnect or Mobile Hotspot customers on the HSPA+ network.

    AT&T has previously announced plans to roll out 4G LTE in five markets – Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio – this summer. By the end of 2011, AT&T plans to offer 4G LTE to customers in at least 15 markets, covering 70 million Americans.

ZTE Wins China Unicom Transmission Contract

ZTE announced a contract with China Unicom to provide more than 70% of the transmission equipment for network upgrades in 15 provinces across China. Financial terms were not disclosed.

As part of the project, ZTE will provide its ZXONE 8000 series OTN and ZXONE 5800 MSTP equipment. The contract covers 70% of the China Unicom OTN and WDM contracts and over 90% of its MSTP deployments.

As a result of a rapid increase of WCDMA users and in-depth 3G strategic layout, China Unicom has committed to building a powerful PTN network for 3G and LTE. It also is committed to promoting next-generation optical networks such as OTN. The ZTE contract marks the first time China Unicom will make a large-scale purchase of OTN equipment.

Skorpios Raises $19 Million for Silicon Photonics

Skorpios Technologies, a start-up based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, raised $19 million in Series B round of financing for its composite silicon photonic technology.

Skorpios Technologies has developed an advanced Composite Semiconductor on Insulator Technology promising lower cost, reduced size, and decreased power dissipation compared to traditional technology approaches. The technology allows the generation, detection and modulation of light to be monolithically integrated with high-speed electronic circuits in a standard CMOS-compatible process known as Composite-Semiconductor on Insulator (C-SOI)

Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and other leaders in the communications ecosystem participated in the funding. Also participating were founding investors Cottonwood Technology Fund and Sun Mountain Capital.

The company said the funds will be used to complete the commercialization of its technology.

"We are obviously very pleased to have closed such a substantial funding round and thrilled to have the support of industry leaders from throughout the communication networking ecosystem," said Stephen Krasulick, President and CEO of Skorpios Technologies.

Australia's Optus Sets LTE Launch for April 2012

Optus announced plans to launch commercial LTE service in April 2012. The rollout will begin with Newcastle, Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie areas. A 4G capital city rollout will begin next month with Phase One to deliver LTE services in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth from mid-2012. Phase Two of the rollout will see an expansion of 4G LTE services to other capital cities and selected regional centres.

Optus also announced that it just became the first Australian carrier to be awarded a licence to trial LTE services in the 700 MHz spectrum band. A trial will take place in Bendigo, Victoria and will be the first time in Australia that the former analogue TV frequency will be used for 4G services and applications. Huawei has been selected for this trial.

Nokia Siemens Networks Cites Packet Core Dominance in India

Nokia Siemens Networks announced that its intelligent mobile packet core solution has been selected by five mobile operators in India: with Bharti Airtel, Datacom, Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices and Uninor. Its platforms are carrying data traffic from all 22 circles in India serving around 250 million subscribers, the highest in the country.

The Nokia Siemens Networks Evolved Packet Core solution consists of Flexi NS (Network Server) and Flexi NG (Network Gateway) and provides unique flexibility with 4D scaling. The company noted that it also provides managed services to many of the operator circles where it is providing its packet core solution.

Alcatel-Lucent Tests 400G Network Processor with Spirent's Gear

Alcatel-Lucent is using Spirent Communications' testing tools to validate the performance of its new FP3 400G network processor in advance of its commercial introduction. Specifically, the Spirent TestCenter HyperMetrics mX 40/100G is being used to test the FP3-based Service Router modules under real-world scenarios with high-scale services and traffic.

  • In June 2011, Alcatel-Lucent unveiled its 400 Gbps, "FP3" network processor for enabling the full stack of services over IP routers. The FP3 processor, which is scheduled to appear in Alcatel-Lucent's service router portfolio in 2012, supports 400 Gbps line rates, sufficient for handling 70,000 simultaneous High Definition video streams. It leverages 40nm process technology and represents the evolution of the company's 100 Gbps FP2 silicon, which was introduced in 2008 using 90nm process technology. It packs 288 RISC cores operating at 1 GHz. This compares with 112 cores at 840 MHz in the previous generation FP2 device. The new design uses 50% less power per bit than its predecessor.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

AT&T Opens Collaboration Center in Palo Alto

AT&T has opened its newest "Foundry" innovation centers in Palo Alto, California.

The Palo Alto center, sponsored by Ericsson, is the third permanent AT&T Foundry facility to open worldwide, adding to a global network that includes facilities sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent and Amdocs in Plano, Texas, and Ra'anana, Israel, respectively. The new location will join two temporary facilities in the Bay Area where collaborative projects are already underway, many on display during today's opening day festivities.

"AT&T and Ericsson are working to transform the way telecommunications companies develop concepts that will form tomorrow's networked society,�? said HÃ¥kan Eriksson, Ericsson Group Chief Technology Officer and President of Ericsson Silicon Valley. “AT&T is actively engaged with us to combine local insights with global ecosystems to help entrepreneurs bring innovative ideas to market as quickly as possible."

AT&T said projects are funneled to the Foundry in several ways:

Fast Pitch, or "speed date" reviews, where companies or developers meet with key AT&T decision makers to evaluate projects or technologies. AT&T is on track to hold 400 of the fast-pitch sessions in locations across the globe this year.

The Innovation Pipeline (TIP), AT&T's crowd-sourcing idea-generating platform, where more than 100,000 employees gather to share ideas and collaborate on bringing new products and services to market.

AT&T Labs provides the starting point for many AT&T Foundry projects. Many of the organization's 1,200 researchers also provide expertise to projects currently underway.

FCC Kicks Off Test of TV White Spaces Database System

The FCC will kick off a 45-day public trial of Spectrum Bridge's TV band database system on September 19.

The intent of the trial is to allow the public to access and test Spectrum Bridge's database system to
ensure that it correctly identifies channels that are available for unlicensed TV band devices, properly
registers those facilities entitled to protection, and provides protection to authorized services and registered
facilities as specified in the rules. Participants are encouraged to test the channel availability calculator; the cable headend and broadcast auxiliary temporary receive site registration utilities; and the wireless microphone
registration utility to ensure that each of these elements of the database system is working properly and
providing the interference protection required under our rules.

"Unleashing white spaces spectrum will enable a new wave of wireless innovation. It has the potential to exceed the billions of dollars in economic benefit from wi-fi, the last significant release of unlicensed spectrum, and drive private investment and job creation," stated FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. http://www.fcc.gov

  • In July 2011, The IEEE published the 802.22 standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRANs) using the favorable transmission characteristics of the VHF and UHF TV bands. 802.22 enables broadband wireless access over a large area up to 100 km from the transmitter. The standard specifies up to 22 Mbps per channel without interfering with reception of existing TV broadcast stations, using the so-called white spaces between the occupied TV channels.

    IEEE 802.22 incorporates advanced cognitive radio capabilities including dynamic spectrum access, incumbent database access, accurate geolocation techniques, spectrum sensing, regulatory domain dependent policies, spectrum etiquette, and coexistence for optimal use of the available spectrum. It operates generally in the 54-862 MHz range. For the United States, it specifies the following VHF / UHF Bands54 – 60, 76 – 88, 174 – 216, 470 - 608 and 614 –698 MHz => Total of 282 MHz or 47 Channels.

  • In September 2010, The FCC issued an order that opens up vacant airwaves between TV channels for new unlicensed applications such as "super Wi-Fi." Specifically, a Second Memorandum Opinion and Order (Second MO&O) resolves numerous legal and technical issues regarding unlicensed spectrum usage. Notably, the Order eliminates the requirement that TV bands devices that incorporate geo-location and database access must also include sensing technology to detect the signals of TV stations and low-power auxiliary service stations (wireless microphones). It also requires wireless microphone users who seek to register in the TV bands databases to certify that they will use all available channels from 7 through 51 prior to requesting registration. Requests to register in the database will be public, thus allowing interested parties to weigh in on any given request.

    The FCC order also includes steps to ensure that incumbent services are protected from interference from the use of white spaces in various ways. This includes reserving two vacant UHF channels for wireless microphones and other low power auxiliary service devices in all areas of the country.

Canada's Bell Mobility Launches LTE Service

Bell Mobility officially launched its LTE network service in some of Canada's most populous urban areas, including Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph.

Bell Mobility is supporting downlink speeds as fast as 75 Mbps with typical speeds ranging between 12 and 25 Mbps. The carrier expects that as the LTE standard and products evolve, speeds will increase to as fast as 150 Mbps. Bell's 4G LTE network is also the first and only Canadian 4G network to switch to the next fastest speed available when outside LTE areas, either Bell's Dual Carrier HSPA+ providing peak speeds up to 42 Mbps (typical between 7 and 14 Mbps) or HSPA+ offering speeds up to 21 Mbps (typical between 3.5 and 8 Mbps). Bell is offering Dual Carrier HSPA+ to approximately 70% of the Canadian population. Bell offers total HSPA+ coverage to more than 96% of Canadians.

Roll-out to additional Canadian markets will happen this year and through 2012. Bell is focused on an urban rollout first, with the timing of broader rural and remote coverage deployments contingent on the outcome of Industry Canada's 700 MHz spectrum auction.

Key network infrastructure suppliers for Bell's LTE network include Cisco, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks.

Bell noted that it is investing $3 billion per year in its network - more than any other communications company in the country. Bell's total Research & Development investments increased in 2010 (the latest period for which figures are available), surpassing $800 million.

The 4G LTE Sierra Wireless U313 Turbo Stick is available in select Bell stores beginning on September 14; for online purchase for CAD$79.95 on a three-year term (CAD$219.95 with no term contract); and in Bell stores across LTE service areas on September 15. In coming weeks, Bell will add the 4G LTE Novatel Wireless U679 Turbo Stick. 4G LTE flex-rate data plans start at CAD$45 a month for 1.5 GB which automatically adjusts based on data usage.

"LTE is the next step in ensuring Bell continues to deliver the best networks in the world to Canadian consumers and businesses, backed up by the newest data devices and the leading mobile services and content available. LTE will deliver amazing data access speeds - at least three times faster than the Bell HSPA+ network originally launched less than three years ago," said Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Mobility.

Huawei Lands 2 SingleRAN Deployments in USA

Huawei Technologies announced two deployments of its SingleRAN infrastructure products in the U.S.: United Wireless and SpeedConnect.

United Wireless, which is based in Kansas. is using the Huawei SingleRAN to replace its existing network. The Huawei SingleRAN solution will include LTE and CDMA . Huawei will be wholly responsible for the new network, which includes deploying its 4G LTE network and upgrading its existing 3G networking.

SpeedConnect, which serves Michigan, chose Huawei to deploy its 4G network. The network will provide up to 10Mbps x 2Mbps connections with the Huawei SingleRAN solution, which includes LTE and WiMAX technology.

China Mobile and Clearwire Collaborate on TD-LTE Devices

China Mobile and Clearwire announced a collaboration to accelerate the development of TD-LTE devices. Specifically, the carriers will work jointly to further accelerate the time-to-market availability of high volume TD-LTE chipsets and devices that should be commercially available starting in 2012. In addition, the two companies will collaborate to enable worldwide data roaming among TD-LTE, FDD-LTE and other 2G/3G networks.

Both carriers support the global 2.5 GHz spectrum band for 4G deployments along with many other operators around the
world. To date, both China Mobile and Clearwire have conducted successful TD-LTE trials and tests using commercially
available/production-ready TD-LTE devices from numerous vendors.

"The availability and cost of TD-LTE devices are critical success factors for operators to deploy TD-LTE networks," said Mr. Jianzhou Wang, Chairman of China Mobile Communications Corporation. "The cooperation with Clearwire will leverage economies of scale in the two largest markets in the world to speed up the development of TD-LTE devices. We anticipate the widest variety and most cost effective high performance devices - modems, routers, smart phones and tablets - to provide end users with affordable advanced mobile broadband services."

  • In August 2011, Clearwire confirmed its intention to deploy "LTE Advanced-ready" technology in its 4G network while restating its commitment to its existing 4G WiMAX network, which covers approximately 132 million people while serving 7.65 million retail and wholesale customers. The company expects to end 2011 with approximately 10 million 4G customers. Clearwire said the initial LTE deployment will target densely populated, urban areas of its existing 4G markets where current 4G usage demands are high.

    Clearwire said its LTE network will be "LTE Advanced-ready," meaning that it will use spectrum configurations capable of 100+ Mbps downlink speeds. The LTE implementation plan, which is subject to additional funding, contemplates deploying Time Division Duplex (TDD) LTE technology. The plan calls for upgrading the all-IP network architecture and base station radios, as well as some core network elements. The LTE overlay will include the use of multicarrier, or multichannel, wideband radios that will be carrier aggregation capable. Carrier aggregation is a key feature of LTE Advanced that will enable Clearwire to further leverage its spectrum depth to create larger "fat pipes" for deploying mobile broadband service. Clearwire holds an average of 160 MHz of spectrum nationwide, more than AT&T and T-Mobile together, in one contiguous band, enabling wider channels for high-bandwidth applications.

  • Also in August 2011, Clearwire confirmed that it is looking for $600 million in new funding for the LTE rollout. It is also seeking $150-350 million as working capital to support its existing operations.

  • In August 2010, Clearwire began testing coexistence scenarios for WiMAX and LTE in Phoenix using both Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) of 40 MHz of spectrum paired in 2 x 20 MHz contiguous channels ("LTE 2X"), and Time Division Duplex (TDD) configurations using 20 MHz of spectrum. Initial tests have recently confirmed that the company's LTE 2X trial network achieved peak download speeds on commercially available equipment and devices in excess of 90 Mbps and upload speeds of more than 30 Mbps. Clearwire expects to conclude the tests in Q1 2011. The company later updated the test reports noting consistent 120 Mbps downlinks using TDD-LTE.