Monday, February 27, 2012

LightSquared's CEO Resigns

Following its failure to gain regulatory approval, LightSquared announced the resignation of its CEO, Sanjiv Ahuja. He will continue as Chairman of the board. The company is currently searching for a new CEO.

LightSquared also affirmed its intention to work through the regulatory issues and ultimately build a wireless network.

Philip A. Falcone, CEO and CIO of Harbinger Capital Partners stated:

"LightSquared's objective, through its wholesale business model, is to provide increased competition and lower prices in the telecommunications industry, and to bring broadband cellular phone service to rural areas that currently don’t have such service and that has not and will not change. That has been our vision from day one....

"We are, furthermore, committed to working with the appropriate entities to find a solution to the recent regulatory issues. We, of course, agree that it is critical to ensure that national security, aviation and the GPS communities are protected. I am confident that working together, we can solve this problem and bring the American consumer the lower priced 4G wireless alternative they need and deserve."

Intel's Medfeld Atom Processors Offers LTE/3G/2G

Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Intel CEO Paul Otellini disclosed plans to expand Intel's smartphone silicon ambitions, including early smartphone design engagements with Orange, India's Lava International, ZTE, and Visa.

Specifically, Intel announced plans for three new smartphone SoCs. The Intel Atom processor Z2460, formerly codenamed “Medfield,�? will now support speeds up to 2GHz. Intel also announced the Atom Z2580 processor that doubles the performance of the Atom processor Z2460, and features an advanced multimode LTE/3G/2G solution. Intel will sample the Z2580 in the second half of the year with customer products scheduled in the first half of 2013. For handsets in emerging markets, Intel disclosed plans for the Intel Atom processor Z2000, featuring a1.0 GHz Atom CPU and supporting the Intel XMM 6265 3G HSPA+ modem with Dual-SIM 2G/3G. Intel will sample the Z2000 in mid-2012 with customer products scheduled by early 2013.

Intel has previously announced a partnership with Motorola Mobility.

Intel also announced sampling of its XMM 6360 platform, a new slim modem 3G HSPA+ solution supporting 42Mbps downlink and 11.5Mbps uplink for small form factors.

Building on these 32nm announcements, Otellini discussed how the Atom processor will outpace Moore’s Law and announced that Intel will ship 22nm SoCs for carrier certification next year, and is already in development on 14nm SoC technology.

KT Selects Mindspeed Chips for LTE Small Cells

KT has approved Mindspeed’s Transcede SoC baseband processors for its LTE small cell dual mode (LTE and 3G) small cell base stations.

“Mindspeed is delighted that our Transcede platform has been chosen by KT for their next-generation femtocell development project," said Dr. Naser Adas, vice president and general manager, wireless and customer premises equipment (CPE), at Mindspeed. “We have been impressed by KT’s expertise and experience in LTE Cloud-RAN small cell technology and look forward to supporting their new product development efforts."

Separately, Mindspeed announced a collaboration with JUNI to jointly develop LTE femtocells and other small cell dual mode 3G/LTE solutions. The collaboration combines Mindspeed’s carrier-grade Transcede SoC baseband processor solutions with JUNI’s development expertise.

Alvarion Shows its Wi-Fi Offload Solution with Hot Spot 2.0

Alvarion introduced its Wi-Fi mobile data offload solution for 3G and LTE networks. It implementation uses two-way beamforming Wi-Fi technology to provide access to the Internet. Alvarion offers an embedded access controller direct tunneling from base stations to the operator’s core. The solution is Hot Spot 2.0 and 802.11u ready permitting a cellular-like experience over the Wi-Fi network with zero-configuration from the user.

Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile Sign lightRadio Architecture Deal

Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile have signed a co-creation agreement under which teams from the two companies are conducting joint development and test activities on a series of lightRadio projects at Alcatel-Lucent’s Stuttgart lab.

This follows the non-binding MoU signed between Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile in mid 2011. It also builds on the collaboration between the companies on the delivery of superfast mobile broadband using TD-LTE technology.

Alcatel-Lucent said this collaboration help to accelerate the smooth commercial introduction of the lightRadio product family to meet China Mobile’s business initiatives and support growing customer demand for high-bandwidth mobile broadband services.

Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said: "The ability for us to pair with the world’s largest mobile provider to gain deeper insight into its customer behaviours and the way services are evolving will ensure we develop lightRadio in the right direction. The knowledge we gain from implementing lightRadio to support the delivery of mobile broadband services to 650 million people will help us to meet the growing demand for services across the globe.
  • China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile provider, had around 650 million subscribers at the end of 2011.

Ericsson Pitches Self-organizing Networks

At Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012, Ericsson is launching a self-organizing networks (SON) Optimization Manager that automates the process of optimizing the capacity, coverage and quality of mobile networks.

The company is taking a number of the network optimization and management features developed for LTE and extending them for multi-standard networks. Whereas optimization is traditionally a slow, complex process carried out at regular intervals by teams of network experts, SON Optimization Manager automates the process.

Ulf Ewaldsson, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Head of Group Function Technology & Portfolio Management at Ericsson, says: "SON Optimization Manager is based on a simple idea - increasing automation to overcome increasing complexity. We call this Smart Simplicity, because it simplifies operators' processes and makes them more efficient."

Ericsson joins OpenStack

Ericsson has joined the OpenStack project, an open-source community dedicated to creating cloud software. Ericsson plans to contribute to further developing OpenStack to support carrier-grade services and applications. OpenStack provides a flexible alternative cloud management solution that is based on open-source components.

At Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012, Ericsson is demonstrating a unique virtual data center manager solution based on OpenStack that coordinates three data centers distributed across different continents. Slices of virtual data centers are created at the three physical locations and are bound together through elastic networking. This forms a separate distributed virtual private cloud, with seamless end-to-end operation and multi-tenant support provided by associating one or several distributed virtual private clouds with each tenant.

Also at MWC, Ericsson and recently acquired Telcordia are demonstrating an integrated cloud-management stack based on OpenStack.

NEC Delivers 2048 QAM Microwave Transmission

NEC announced plans to implement 2048 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (2048QAM) within its iPASOLINK microwave product family in the second half of 2012. This will deliver up to 40% per-channel capacity relative to the systems commonly in operation today which employ up to 256QAM. Furthermore, NEC's design also supports a full sequence of Adaptive Modulation in all steps from 2048QAM down to QPSK. The company said this feature allows scalable addition of capacity without compromising the reach and availability of transmission links deployed in the network.

Atsushi Noro, deputy general manager of NEC's Mobile Wireless Network Division, said: "In recent times we have seen a great deal of innovation in microwave technologies driven by the need to support next generation networks: high capacity, new carrier frequencies, packet transport, QoS aware adaptive modulation, smaller and more power efficient equipment, and others. Many of these technologies were pioneered by NEC thanks to our extensive research and development capabilities proven by years of market leadership. 2048QAM is the latest development from NEC and we are confident we will deliver further innovations."

Ceragon Networks Posts Reports Record Q4 Revenues

Ceragon Networks reported revenue for its fourth quarter which ended December 1, 2011 of 2011 reached $118.5 million, up 77% from $67.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, and up 2% from $116.1 million in the third quarter of 2011.
Net loss (GAAP) for the fourth quarter of 2011 was ($8.2) million or $(0.23) per basic share and diluted share, compared to net income of $3.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, or $0.11 per basic share and $0.10 per diluted share.

Revenues for the full year of 2011 were $445.3 million, up 78% from $249.9 million in 2010. Net loss on a GAAP basis for 2011 was $(53.7) million or $(1.49) per basic share and diluted share. Net income for the year 2010 was $14.1 million or $0.40 per basic share and $0.38 per diluted share.

"As a result of our continued strong execution, we reported higher revenues, gross margin and profitability for the fourth quarter," said Ira Palti, President and CEO of Ceragon. "I am delighted to report that the integration of the Nera business is complete. We believe our decision to seize the first-mover advantage in the latest round of industry consolidation, combined with the rapid integration, positions us to continue to grow and to gain market share as the #1 wireless backhaul specialist.

Geographical breakdown, fourth quarter of 2011:

Europe: 24%

Africa: 21%

North America: 8%

Latin America: 21%

India: 10%

APAC: 16%

Infrastructure Winners at Mobile World Congress

Winners of the 17th Annual Global Mobile awards in infrastructure and services categories at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona:

Best Infrastructure Technology

Winner: Alcatel-Lucent - lightRadio Network

Best Mobile Broadband Technology

Winner: KT - KT's Premium WiFi Solution

Best Technology Breakthrough

Winner: Vodafone Group PLC - Quad Rate Technology: an evolved path doubling the efficiency of mobile voice

Best Cloud Based Technology

Winner: Appcelerator - Titanium Integrated Development Platform

Best Enterprise Mobile Service

Winner: Fiberlink - MaaS360

Best Consumer Mobile Service

Winner: Google - Google Maps for Android

Best Network Product or Solution for Serving Customers

Winner: Turkcell - Turkcell TiklaKonus

Best Product, Initiative or Service for Underserved Segments

Winner: Safaricom - Grundfos

Best Smartphone

Winner: Samsung - Samsung Galaxy S II

Best Feature Phone or Entry Level Phone

Winner: Nokia - Nokia C3-00

Device Manufacturer of the Year

Winner: Samsung

Best Mobile Tablet

Winner: Apple - Apple iPad 2

Best Embedded Mobile Device (Non-Handsets)

Winner: AT&T - Garmin GTU 10

The full list of winners and finalist for the 2012 Global Mobile Awards is available at:

Cisco Leaps Forward in the Small Cell + Hot-Spot 2.0 Market

Cisco is pushing ahead into the market for carrier-grade, end-to-end Wi-Fi and small-cell infrastructure.

At Mobile World Congress, Cisco unveiled Next-Generation Hotspots (NGH) for seamless roaming, as well as a new Small Cell Gateway based on the Cisco ASR 5000 Series Mobile Multimedia Core Router.

For its Wi-Fi access points, Cisco is now embedding Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA)-approved NGH technology based on the Hotspot 2.0 specification established by the Wi-Fi Alliance. The company has deployed over 12 million access points, the majority of which can now be upgraded to support NGH. These include access point solutions aimed at in-flight Wi-Fi, retail hotspots, stadium and large venue coverage, and extensive data offload deployments. Seamless Wi-Fi carrier roaming uses the SIM card and the network for authentication, making it much easier for users to access Wi-Fi networks where available.

Upgrades to the Cisco ASR 5000 Series Mobile Multimedia Core Router will now enable operators to manage subscriber and service information while integrating 2G/3G/4G LTE and femtocell (licensed) networks with Wi-Fi (unlicensed) networks. Potentially, service providers could also manage the Wi-Fi infrastructure of enterprise customers, providing their roaming users with seamless secure access to additional hotspots under this framework. PCCW, the mobile operating division of HKT, recently completed a commercial trial of the highly secure roaming provided by NGH via Cisco's service provider Wi-Fi solution in locations around Hong Kong.

Cisco is also working with Shaw Communications to deploy an extensive and advanced Wi-Fi network in Western Canada to provide broadband wireless access. The company cited other notable small cell deployments with AT&T, BT, Portugal Telecom, and Thailand's TrueMove H, among others.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Telco Challenge: Cloud Security Services

Almost by definition, telecom operators are becoming cloud service providers, opening up new opportunities to become a trusted extension of corporate IT.

In this video, Jim Reavis, Executive Director of the Cloud Security Alliance, discusses the two-fold requirement for operators to best secure their own networks while leveraging this infrastructure for outsourced IT services.

Nick Kael, Principal Security Strategist at Symantec, discusses the telco challenges of multi-tenant cloud security. Four design principles for cloud security are presented:

  • 3:10 -- Security by Design

  • 3:28 -- Security by Integration

  • 3:53 -- Security by Visibility

  • 4:15 -- Security by Automation

AppliedMicro Develops Hybrid OTN Switching for 100G Linecards

AppliedMicro is preparing to release the industry's first standard Optical Transport Network (OTN) multiplexer to enable 100 Gbps OTU4 linecards. The new TPO415/C415 device facilitates the switching of any client and any rate traffic in Terabit-per-second Packet-Optical Transport Systems (P-OTS).

The TPO415/C415 contains a flexible OTU4 multiplexer with support of any size and combination of ODU0/1/2/3/4 and ODUflex containers. The device offers a 100G capacity ODU Segmentation And Reassembly (SAR) engine compliant with OIF-IA standards. It also offers a 100G capacity ODUk/ODUflex packet mapper for support of hybrid OTN and packet switching. Additionally, an advanced software Application Programming Interface provides large efficiency for software integration.

AppliedMicro said these capabilities will enable a new generation of terabit-class Packet Optical systems which leverage the new OTN networking layer and replace SONET/SDH to enhance the capacity and efficiency of the Internet by several orders of magnitude. In addition to IP transport, the new OTN layer will transport more specialized services such as Fibre Channel and video and allow for migration away from old SONET/SDH networks.

"AppliedMicro is first to market with a standard 100G multiplexer for hybrid OTN and packet switching systems," said Lars Pedersen, Chief Technology Officer of AppliedMicro TPACK A/S. "TPO415/C415 is future-proof because it is adaptable in meeting ever-changing customer requirements and evolving industry standards. It is supplied with the industry's most advanced Applications Programming Interface and a hardware reference design is available to help network system developers with rapid deployment of 100G systems. AppliedMicro provides the safest path to 100G P-OTS systems with advanced technology backed by our market-leading presence and experience."

AppliedMicro will demonstrate the 100G multiplexer during the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) next week in Los Angeles.

BT and Stoke Conduct Joint LTE Lab Tests

Stoke and BT’s Advanced Research Mobility have completed joint lab trials investigating different deployment models for LTE networks.

The test examine a variety of options for LTE transport connectivity. Stoke's Security eXchange was used to examine aspects of scalability, enhanced security, and multi-tenant network sharing scenarios, and acted as an anchor device in enabling the demonstration of different architectural strategies for LTE deployment. Stoke’s Security eXchange successfully demonstrated seamless interoperability and transparency with multiple vendors’ equipment including RAN, backhaul transport, caching, timing and synchronization and EPC.

“With spectrum owners looking at options ranging from build-own-operate to complete outsourcing arrangements, there are many unanswered questions. The test results shed much-needed light onto the feasibility of LTE rollout options, and point the way to some viable alternatives,�? said Dave Williams, Chief Technology Officer at Stoke “We are very pleased to support BT in extending its research into areas that will rapidly add value to its business divisions and customers. Additionally, the trials have helped us to develop advanced new features for our platform.�?

Freescale Unveils QorIQ Qonverge Macrocell Base Station-on-Chip

Freescale Semiconductor unveiled its first large cell base station-on-chip built on its QorIQ Qonverge multimode platform.

The new QorIQ Qonverge B4860 baseband processor, which is expected to begin sampling in Q2, supports LTE, LTE-Advanced and WCDMA standards. It is implemented in 28nm technology and offers more than 21 GHz of raw programmable performance. The macrocell SoC integrates four dual-thread, 64-bit e6500 Power Architecture cores with AltiVec SIMD engines running at up to 1.8 GHz. The e6500 core is ideal for Layer 2, control and transport processing, and incorporates an enhanced version of the proven, high performance and widely adopted AltiVec vector processing unit, which boosts performance for Layer 2 scheduling algorithms. The e6500 core has achieved the highest CoreMark® benchmark performance-per-watt profile ever recorded for an embedded processor. The B4860 also integrates six all-new, high performance SC3900 StarCore FVP cores running at 1.2 GHz. Together, these technologies provide a balanced, programmable architecture for all baseband digital processing layers for next-generation base stations.

The macro base station chip extends Freescale’s QorIQ Qonverge small cell products, which were first introduced a year ago. The QorIQ Qonverge portfolio shares a common architecture integrating Power Architecture microprocessors, StarCore digital signal processors and wireless acceleration technologies on a single chip.

Freescale notes that the new B4860 is one of the first single-chip LTE base station products to support three sectors of 20 MHz, and is designed to replace today’s channel cards that can include up to six discrete devices. In addition to simplified design and board-level efficiency resulting from reduced part counts, the B4860 provides 4x cost reduction and 3x power reduction compared to similarly deployed discrete solutions. The chip also supports Multi-RAT (i.e. multi-standard) and Multimode (i.e. LTE-A, LTE and WCDMA) standards simultaneously.

The company cited Fujitsu and Alcatel-Lucent as lead customers for the key technologies powering the QorIQ Qonverge B4860 baseband processor. Alcatel Lucent is already planning lightRadio base station designs built on Freescale’s QorIQ Qonverge B4860.

“Freescale’s QorIQ Qonverge macrocell products provide the performance, energy efficiency and cost effectiveness that OEMs and service providers need to help address challenges associated with the growing tsunami of wireless data worldwide,�? said Tom Deitrich, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Networking & Multimedia Solutions Group. “The QorIQ Qonverge B4860 macrocell baseband processor allows OEMs to develop differentiated products that help service providers ramp LTE, begin to deploy LTE-Advanced and address the stringent cost requirements of WCDMA base station processing.�?

Huawei Intros LTE-A Inter-Band Carrier Aggregation

Huawei introduced an LTE-Advanced inter-band carrier aggregation (CA) solution to help operators re-farm discontinued spectrum resources and increase user peak rate and network throughput.

At Mobile World Congress 2012, Huawei is showing the LTE-A inter-band CA solution performing inter-band carrier aggregation at 800MHz and 2.6GHz with peak throughput of over 225 Mbps. The solution is expected to revolutionize user experience by allowing networks to meet bandwidth requirements of data-heavy applications, marking an industry milestone and demonstrating Huawei's leadership in field of LTE-A innovation.

The company notes that inter-band CA is the most difficult to realize of the three forms of LTE-A CA (continuous CA within the band, non-continuous CA within the band, and non-continuous CA outside of the band). Given existing spectrum allocation policies, inter-band CA not only dramatically increases spectrum resource utilization, but also helps operators flexibly combine bandwidth and solve spectrum discontinuity to increase user peak rate and experience. With this solution, Operators enjoy greater returns and spectrum assets will appreciate in value.

"Through customer-centric innovation and strong partnerships, we are dedicated to creating maximum value for our customers by providing competitive solutions," said Ying Weimin, President of Huawei GSM&UMTS<E Wireless Network Business Unit. "Huawei has been partnering with global leading operators in the fields of LTE/LTE-A. Huawei's leading end-to-end advantages help operators build efficient, sustainable, and profitable mobile broadband networks, as well as bring people a wonderful service experience."

Huawei Unveils Quad-Core Mobile Processor

Huawei's HiSilicon Technologies group unveiled a quad-core processor with 4 ARM Cortex A9 cores, a 16-core super GPU and 64-bit memory system targeted at smartphones and tablets. The company claims the new K3V2 device to be the fastest application processor both in CPU and GPU. Huawei's newly announced flagship, Ascend D quad, is the first smartphone based on HiSilicon K3V2 AP. HiSilicon is also announcing a smartphone/tablet platform solution based on K3V2 AP, Balong 10 LTE multi-mode modem and Android 4.0 ICS software package.

Alcatel-Lucent to Supply Small Cells to Telenor

Alcatel-Lucent will supply Telenor with small cell base stations to support its customers. Under the global frame agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will supply plug-n-play femto cells to enhance coverage in areas where it can be traditionally poor, such as buildings which can interfere with the quality of a mobile signal. They can also be applied in rural or remote areas far from a cellular network base station, as well as busy public areas such as shopping malls and airports, where crowds of people and their mobile devices can also impede mobile coverage and capacity.

Symantec Advances Enterprise Mobility Strategy

Symantec is advancing its enterprise mobility strategy across Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7 platforms with new Mobile Device Management (MDM) capabilities and mobile threat protection for both company-owned devices and personally owned mobile phones and tablets. The expanded strategy addresses enterprises’ concerns by applying corporate security policies uniformly on all mobile devices, endpoints and applications.

Key highlights include:

  • New Symantec Mobile Management for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)

  • Enhanced native mobile device management for Android and Windows Phone 7

  • New Symantec Mobile Security for Android

  • New Symantec Data Loss Prevention for Tablets integration with Mobile Management

  • New Symantec Managed PKI Service integration with Mobile Management

  • Symantec O3 tie with Symantec’s enterprise mobility platform.

Symantec’s modular enterprise mobility platform will allow these services to be delivered via on-prem and SaaS models.

“Our recent State of Mobility Survey highlighted that 59 percent of enterprises are making line-of-business applications accessible from mobile devices, representing a dramatic shift in the nature of mobility from an email extension to a core business enabler,�? said CJ Desai, senior vice president, Endpoint and Mobility Group, Symantec.

Telkomsel First with Mobile Cloud Accelerator from Ericsson+Akamai

Indonesia's Telkomsel is the first carrier to deploy a mobile cloud accelerator (MCA) solution from Ericsson and Akamai in its live network. The implementation enables selected mobile users reduce page load times by as much as 70 percent - thereby providing a better and more consistent user experience.

Ericsson is positioning MCA as a means for operators to monetize over-the-top (OTT) traffic. Content providers also gain a way of improving quality of experience, conversion rates and brand perception.

Mobile penetration in Indonesia has increased rapidly in recent years. Telkomsel as the largest mobile operator has recorded more than 107 million customers.
  • In February 2011, Ericsson and Akamai Technologies announced an exclusive strategic alliance focused on bringing to market mobile cloud acceleration solutions aimed at improving end-user Internet experiences such as mobile ecommerce, enterprise applications and internet content. The companies will jointly develop solutions for delivering content and applications to mobile devices.