Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Telstra Offers Mobile Wi-Fi 4G Hotspot

Telstra introduced a battery-powered Mobile Wi-Fi that runs on its LTE network (now available to business customers). Up to five Wi-Fi devices can be connected simultaneously to the device. Telstra collaborated with Sierra Wireless to develop the device.

Telstra Mobile Wi-Fi 4G in 4G coverage areas (capital city CBDs, associated airports and more than 80 regional and metropolitan locations) promises typical download speeds ranging from 2Mbps to 40Mbps and typical upload speeds from 1Mbps to 10Mbps. When outside 4G coverage areas the Mobile Wi-Fi 4G uses HSPA+ Dual Channel technology.

Blue Jeans Debuts its "MCU-Killer in the Cloud"

Blue Jeans Network, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, announced new pricing plans aimed at eliminating traditional on-premise bridging hardware (commonly known as multipoint control units, or MCUs). Blue Jeans' new offering allows customers to license a variable number of concurrent connections (known as “virtual ports�?) from its cloud.

Blue Jeans offers video conferencing interoperability with room-based systems, desktops, and mobile devices, including Cisco, Polycom, Skype, Microsoft, Lifesize, Google, and others. Blue Jeans can also include audio-only participants on the phone.

“Our goal was to make video conferencing a practical alternative for businesses of any size. To do that, we knew we had to make it just as easy, open, and affordable as traditional audio-only bridging systems,�? said Krish Ramakrishnan, CEO of Blue Jeans Network. “By combining improved functionality over legacy MCU systems with the economics, ease and security of the cloud, our customers can now use video to improve their business collaboration. Better yet, money that previously would have been spent on MCUs can be reallocated to update or acquire more video conferencing endpoints.�?http://bluejeans.com/mcu

Dell to Resell Mellanox Interconnect Solution

Dell will resell the newest generation of Mellanox Technologies' interconnect solutions as part of the new Dell PowerEdge M620 blade server. Specifically, customers can order new Dell M620 blade servers equipped with Mellanox FDR 56Gb/s InfiniBand switch blades and ConnectX-3 PCIe 3.0 FDR 56Gb/s InfiniBand and 10/40GbE mezzanine adapters.

Broadband Surpasses 600 Million Lines Worldwide

The number of active broadband wireline subscribers reach 597 million as of the end of 2011 and is projected to have passed the 600 million threshold this quarter, according to figures from Point Topic released by the Broadband Forum. While new installations have slowed in developed markets with high-penetration rates, developing markets, especially Brazil, Russia, India and China are seeing strong demand. Overall, broadband growth is estimated at 65,493,596 lines, bringing the global total to 597,322,636, a quarterly increase of 2.6% - and an annual growth rate of 12.3%.

DSL continues to hold the biggest share of the broadband market -- 60.8% of the overall market share, compared to 19.4% for cable modems. Hybrid fiber/DSL deployment is continues to grow as the preferred architecture for many carriers.

"This is an exciting return to higher growth figures and points to a strengthening in the broadband market," commented Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum. "With a number of active new markets coming online and standards based deployments becoming common - we are seeing broadband move into the daily lives of more and more people the world over. A great example of this is the exceptional growth in some key Eastern European markets, such as Russia, Poland and the Ukraine."

The Broadband Forum noted that IPTV penetration continues to rise -- Q4 2011 was the best quarter yet with net additions of 3.68 million. This brings the IPTV installed base to 58.2 million subscribers worldwide. Though Europe still holds the top regional spot - China is the fastest growing country and now has over 12 million subscribers, outstripping France for the first time.

A number of activities are underway at the Broadband Forum, including:

  • an expansion of the Broadband Forum Certification Program to include G-PON certification for ONUs, an interoperability test suite, as well as XG-PON test requirements

  • MMBI certification option for Ethernet Service emulation over MPLS

  • TR-069 CWMP Device Conformance Program

  • End-to-End Multi-service Network Architecture work will progress

  • Network interworking and convergence work in collaboration with 3GPP

  • Work on MPLS in Carrier Ethernet Networks, as well as new MPLS in Mobile Backhaul Initiative (MMBI) developments, including energy efficient mobile backhaul

  • DSL testing, including VDSL2, bonding, vectoring, G.fast requirements and DQM measures

  • New access node management models and interface specifications

  • New access work is beginning around business services; cloud, data center interconnection and machine-to-machine (M2M) requirements as well.

Oclaro to Transfer Optical Assembly from Shenzhen to Malaysia

Oclaro announced a deal with Venture Corporation Limited to transfer Oclaro's Shenzhen, China, final assembly and test operations to Venture's Malaysia facility in a phased and gradual transfer of products over the next three years. The transfer will occur over a three-year period.

"Today's announcement is a significant milestone in Oclaro's strategy to adopt an outsourced back-end manufacturing model, focus on our core competencies and position the company to scale," said Alain Couder, chairman and CEO of Oclaro.

FCC to Examine 700 MHz Interoperability

The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to promote interoperability and encourage the efficient use of spectrum in the commercial Lower 700 MHz band.

The FCC will examine the interference concerns should the Lower 700 MHz band utilize a single band class for devices
operating across the Lower 700 MHz A, B, and C Blocks.

"We have heard from providers in one of the bands – the A band – that the lack of interoperability
is making it difficult to obtain mobile broadband devices. That difficulty, they have said, is slowing
mobile broadband roll-outs and buildouts, and making it harder for those providers to compete. And so
this issue affects central FCC goals. To help facilitate solutions to the interoperability challenges, we have over the past months increased the agency’s engagement with 3GPP -- the principal mobile broadband standards setting body. To continue this work and to help drive toward a solution, today we initiate a proceeding on
interoperability," stated FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

Zayo to Acquire Arialink

Zayo announced its latest acquisition target Arialink, Mid-Michigan’s largest fiber optic service provider. The acquisition adds 930 new route miles to Zayo’s national footprint, including 400 miles of dense metro networks in Lansing and Ann Arbor. Arialink’s network will be interconnected with Zayo’s existing network, enabling end-to-end-Bandwidth Infrastructure services between Zayo’s existing 45,000 mile national network and Arialink’s extensive network in Michigan. Zayo is paying $18 million in cash for Arialink.

Broadcom Acquires Broadlight for $195 Million

Broadcom confirmed its intention to acquire BroadLight, a leading supplier of network and PON processors, for approximately $195 million, net of cash assumed.

The acquisition of BroadLight further extends Broadcom's presence in the access network.

"Combining BroadLight's PON solutions with the strength of Broadcom's broadband access portfolio will enable us to offer a complete, end-to-end solution for customers — from OLT at the central office to CPE at the home. BroadLight's strong engineering team and broad IP will complement and extend our ability to deliver next-generation access technologies to customers, said Dan Marotta, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom's Broadband Communications Group.
  • In October 2011, BroadLight announced commercial availability of standard compliant ITU-T G.987 XGPON OLT and ONT silicon. XGPON supports 10Gbps downstream and 2.5Gbps upstream rates. Broadlight is the first in the market with a commercial standard compliant (ITU-T G.987) XGPON OLT and ONT solution.

FCC Forms Incentive Auction Task Force

The FCC has formed an Incentive Auction Task Force, with the goal of using market forces to bring under utilized broadcast frequencies into commercial networks.

Incentive auctions were among the key features promoted in the National Broadband Plan outlined last year.

“Incentive auctions are a big idea. The concept, of course, which we developed in our National Broadband Plan, is to deploy market forces and a market-based mechanism to repurpose spectrum for flexible use, including mobile broadband. But there’s no doubt that the task ahead will be complex and challenging," stated FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.
  • In February 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012", which also granted voluntary incentive auction authority to the FCC.

TELUS Deploys DigitalRoute for Billing Mediation

TELUS has deployed DigitalRoute's MediationZone product to replace its existing mediation platforms in order to reduce costs for processing usage data across the company's multiple business support systems (BSS). MediationZone, which is now in live operation at TELUS, provides an integration layer between the mobile core network and the BSS. The deployment is one of the first steps in a comprehensive replacement program.

FCC Proposes 40 MHz of Additional Spectrum for Mobile Broadband

The FCC is proposing to open 40 megahertz of additional spectrum currently assigned to the Mobile Satellite Service
(MSS) in the 2 GHz band for new uses in terrestrial mobile broadband.

The FCC said its proposed rules would enable flexible use of this spectrum, encourage innovation and investment in mobile broadband, and provide a stable regulatory environment in which broadband deployment can develop in the 2 GHz band.

Public comment is sought on potential ways to free up additional spectrum for mobile broadband.

Broadcom Intros 40nm Multi-Constellation GNSS Solution

Broadcom introduced a new location architecture for smartphones that promises 10x acquisition performance improvement and faster and more accurate position computation than existing smartphone GPS solutions.

Broadcom's location architecture features a new 40nm CMOS Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) chip that significantly reduces time-to-first-fix (TTFF) for outdoor positioning and also uses data from inertial sensors, Wi-Fi access points (including those based on recently announced 5G WiFi) and future technologies such as Bluetooth beacons to enable indoor positioning. In addition, the platform offers integration with NFC, which opens the door for smarter, more secure mobile payments where location data provides additional security.

The Broadcom BCM4752 GNSS chip simultaneously collects data from four satellite constellations (GPS, GLONASS, QZSS and SBAS) and uses the best received signals to calculate location. It uses 50 percent less power than previous generations and 44% less board space.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Qualcomm Atheros Intros 802.11n for Low-Energy M2M Sensors

Qualcomm Atheros introduced a new 802.11n single-stream Wi-Fi system-in-package with integrated networking stack and aimed at machine-to-machine (M2M) communications in the smart home, building and appliances channels.

The AR4100P is an enhanced version of the FCC-certified AR4100 that includes an integrated IPv4/IPv6 TCP/IP stack. It is the latest product within the Qualcomm Atheros Internet of Everything portfolio. The new device is featured in Qualcomm Atheros' SP137 development kit, which is a reference design for low-power IP sensors. The development kit integrates Energy Micro's EFM32 Gecko low-energy Cortex-M3 microcontroller running the Micrium uC/OS-III operating system. With a well of additional onboard sensors, the energy friendly Wi-Fi kit supports deep sleep modes of only 2uA, enabling operation off just AA batteries.

China Telecom Sees Rapid Transformation

China Telecom is undergoing a rapid transformation into "an intelligent pipeline, a provider of integrated platforms, and a participant in content and application development" as it continues to benefit from rapid gains in mobile users (up 40% YoY to 126 million, including 36 million 3G subs) and surging numbers of wireline broadband subscribers (up 21% to 76.81 million). Operating revenues for 2011 reached RMB244.9 billion (US$38.7 billion), up by 11.7% over 2010. Profit for 2011 was RMB16.4 billion (US$2.6 billion), up by 10.5%. Traditional access lines in service were 170 million at year's end, down 3.1% for the year.

"In 2011, we firmly seized the valuable market opportunities arising from the rapidly proliferating mobile Internet applications and the increasing demand of industry informatisation to continue to deepen our strategic transformation. We pragmatically promoted the development of our Three New Roles -– a leader of intelligent pipeline, a provider of integrated platforms, and a participant in content and application development -- and proactively expanded into emerging areas such as mobile Internet," stated Mr. Wang Xiaochu, China Telecom's Chairman and CEO.

Some key metrics at China Telecom:

During 2011, China Telecom added 35.95 million mobile users and became the world’s largest CDMA operator.

China Telecom has now captured 13% of the nation's mobile market. For 3G, its market share is now 29%.

The company is currently experiencing robust sales of smartphones priced around RMB1,000. China Telecom will differentiate itself with an integrated platform that gathers popular Internet applications such as instant messaging, Weibo, group buying and Best Tone services.

Mobile service revenue reached RMB68.2 billion, up 43% over last year, and rising to 28% of total revenue.

In 2011, mobile data revenue was RMB29,620 million, an increase of 57.4% over last year.

Revenue from wireline broadband service was RMB 60.8 billion, an increase of 12.3% over last

By the end of 2011, all cities in service areas basically had 8 Mbps bandwidth access capability, while 20 Mbps bandwidth coverage reached 70%.

In 2011, the net addition of wireline broadband subscribers was 13.33 million and the total number of wireline
broadband subscribers reached 76.81 million.

Wireline voice revenue was RMB49,764 million, its proportion of total revenue declining to 20.3%

OPEX as a percentage of revenue was 90.2% compared to 89.5% last year.

CAPEX for 2011 was RMB49.55 billion. Broadband & Internet investment accounted for 66.8% of total CAPEX, The CAPEX forecast for 2012 is RMB54 billion.

GSMA and the Wireless Broadband Alliance Target Simpler Wi-Fi Roaming

The GSMA and the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) are launching an initiative aimed at simplifying connectivity to Wi-Fi hotspots from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Specifically, the joint initiative is developing technical and commercial frameworks for Wi-Fi roaming. The goal is to allow mobile devices to seamlessly connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot using the SIM card for authentication, as well as enable mobile operators to uniquely and securely identify users whether they are on a mobile or Wi-Fi network.

Wi-Fi roaming will be based on the WBA’s Next Generation Hotspot program and the Wi-Fi Alliance’s "Passpoint certification" technology. It will also build on the GSMA’s roaming principles.

Agreement has already be reached on a common approach to authenticating mobile devices on Wi-Fi hotspots, automatically and securely. The initiative will now work towards aligning guidelines on security, billing, data offload, device implementation and network selection to create a consistent solution for GSMA and WBA members. This work will build on the GSMA’s GPRS Roaming Exchange (GRX) and the WBA’s Wireless Roaming Intermediary Exchange (WRIX) roaming models, which combined, will enable billions of consumers around the world to enjoy straightforward Internet connectivity.

"The proliferation of smartphones and tablets around the world, as well as consumers’ huge appetite for data means innovative solutions need to be explored to make using the Internet as convenient and as accessible as possible,�? said Dan Warren, Senior Director of Technology at the GSMA. "Through combining the proven capabilities of Mobile Broadband and Wi-Fi technologies, users will have the freedom to move between networks with ease."http://www.gsma.com http://www.wballiance.com

Northrop Grumman Wins Cybersecurity Contract with U.S. Navy

Northrop Grumman was awarded a contract to provide cybersecurity professional, technical and analytical support to a variety of U.S. Navy Information Operations organizations. The five-year contract was awarded by the NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk to eight companies and is valued at $16.3 million for Northrop Grumman. The contract vehicle replaces a previous blanket purchase order, reducing costs, increasing access to innovation and improving cybersecurity mission effectiveness.

Under the contract, the Northrop Grumman team will provide full scope information operations support to Fleet Cyber Command, Naval Information Operations Command Norfolk, Navy Cyber Forces, and Fleet and Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command. Northrop Grumman will support the Navy's warfighting capabilities and all command missions, functions and tasks.

Motorola Mobility to Resell EdgeCast CDN Solutions

Motorola Mobility announced plans to EdgeCast Networks' content delivery network (CDN) solutions to service providers worldwide. This new relationship combines Motorola’s leading portfolio of on-demand, network DVR and IP CPE solutions, driving the evolution of multiscreen TV and the smart, simple connected home, with a leader in the world of CDN development and deployment of intelligent global CDN networks.

EdgeCast’s CDN platform includes advanced network provisioning, monitoring and management capabilities.

"Motorola is driving the evolution of TV and the smart, simple connect home. Working with EdgeCast provides us the ability to offer our customers simple and fast access to a proven CDN environment that enables the delivery of IP video on-demand and nDVR cloud based services directly to the multi-device, multi screen enabled consumer,�? said Joe Cozzolino, senior vice president and general manager, Network Infrastructure Solutions, Motorola Mobility. “EdgeCast’s CDN solution will immediately enable service providers the ability to efficiently delivery multi-screen IP content, and if desired, an option to generate additional revenue by offering their CDN services directly to content providers."

Broadcom Boosts DOCSIS Ethernet-over-Coax to 1 Gbps

Broadcom has increased the performance of its DOCSIS-based Ethernet over Coax (EoC) cable architecture to 1 Gbps. The enhanced capability supports China's NGB initiative, led by SARFT, the Chinese government agency overseeing broadcasting.

Broadcom said the gain was achieved by leveraging existing EPON and GPON standards and employing DOCSIS technology as part of a customized "final 100 meter" solution. DOCSIS-based EoC cable architecture is a complete chipset and software solution that includes Coax Media Converter (CMC), DOCSIS 2.0 and 3.0 cable modem, and set-top box (STB) SoC solutions.

ZTE Announces 3.5GHz TD-LTE Base Station

ZTE announced the commercial release of its 3.5GHz high-power TD-LTE distributed base station.

The base station has wide coverage and transmission power of 80W. In addition, its RF module supports a 4-port antenna, with each port capable of transmission power of 20W. The base station also has interference suppression and carrier aggregation features. This increases site coverage by more than 25 per cent, dramatically reducing operator network development costs.

To date, ZTE has signed three contracts related to deploying and upgrading 3.5GHz TD-LTE networks in Asia-Pacific and Africa.

Saudi Telecom Company Upgrades with NSN

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has selected Nokia Siemens Networks to upgrade its nationwide GSM and 3G networks and expand its commercial TD-LTE network. Nokia Siemens Networks is now responsible for building one-third of STC’s nationwide 4G network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

As part of the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks is modernizing STC’s GSM and 3G networks to its award winning Single RAN (radio access network) platform based on the compact, energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Station. The company is deploying its 4G radio network infrastructure across 2,500 STC sites over the next two years. Nokia Siemens Networks is also providing its FlexiPacket Microwave transport platform, which is a common transport medium for STC’s GSM, 3G and 4G networks with on-air speed of up to 400 Mbps.
  • In January 2012, Alcatel-Lucent announced a contract to supply LTE solutions to STC.