Sunday, August 26, 2012

Vyatta Launches Empowering SDN Initiative

Vyatta introduced its "Empowering SDN initiative" to help enterprises and service providers build an enduring software-defined networking (SDN) strategy.

Vyatta said the significance of its Empowering SDN program is the ability to take steps now, using established protocols like OSPF and BGP, to create agile, capacity-on-demand networks for the future.

In data centers, SDN could allow users to allocate groups of servers on-the-fly . Vyatta's software based routers, firewalls and VPNs enables enterprises to connect and securing these groups. Vyatta's code can be operated as virtual machines (VMs). This approach removes the constraints of a fixed device with a finite, predetermined amount of physical ports and other resources. The Vyatta VM can be replicated and positioned where needed, avoiding network congestion due to unneeded trips out to a central router. Additionally, software-based networks can provide significant savings over a large, proprietary router – leveraging the economies of the x86 architecture.

Vyatta also noted that its software-based networks are built on open source projects, resulting in code that has been downloaded more than a million times and tested extensively in production networks worldwide. Its code has demonstrated interoperability with a wide range of network gear and continues to extend its capabilities, adding to the management and API with a roadmap to include OpenStack, CloudStack and other emerging cloud provisioning tools.

AT&T to Host DevLab in Silicon Valley

AT&T has opened registration for DevLab, a one-day, hands-on programming workshop for developers, providing a technical deep dive into the latest services and tools for mobile app development. The event will take place September 25 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

At DevLab, AT&T's new Speech API, part of the AT&T API Platform, and the AT&T Application Resource Optimizer (ARO) which analyzes mobile application efficiency, giving developers the ability to improve battery life and data usage.

Developers can learn more and register at

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Qualcomm Acquires DesignArt for Wireless Backhaul Chipsets

Qualcomm has acquired DesignArt Networks, a developer of small cell modem chipsets for cellular base stations and high-speed wireless backhaul infrastructure, for an undisclosed sum.

DesignArt, which is based in Ra’anana, Israel, supplies system-on-chip (SoC) and software for indoor and outdoor small cell base stations and remote radio heads.

The product set includes its DAN3000 SoC platform, which can supports various types of cell-site RF access equipment required for the emerging HetNet architecture - specifically all-in-one BTS and single-RAN radio head equipment. The DAN3000 baseband pipeline is designed to provide sufficient signal processing capacity to support the implementation of 4G LTE R10 baseband pooling and multi-GE unified mobile backhaul solutions. The company was founded in 2006.

Qualcomm said the acquisition allows its networking customers to benefit from the efficient integration of small cell and Wi-Fi technologies with various wireless and wireline backhaul options to support the proliferation of indoor and outdoor small cells that provide coverage and capacity exactly where it is needed.

"DesignArt and its products will both enhance and accelerate our initiatives to drive increased capacity and coverage in mobile networks,” said Craig Barratt, president of Qualcomm Atheros. “Operators can significantly improve user experience across residential, enterprise and outdoor networks given the greater network efficiencies derived by implementing small cells and heterogeneous networks."

Friday, August 24, 2012

Huawei Launches Blade Remote Radio Unit - Distributed Base Stations

Huawei introduced a new Blade Remote Radio Unit (RRU) as part of its distributed base station solution, which supports the assembly of different bands to meet operator multi-band, multi-technology network deployment requirements.

Huawei said its Blade RRU reduces the total volume of RRU equipment, enhances installation flexibility, simplifies operations and maintenance, and simultaneously supports multi-technology, multi-band networks with limited site resources and costs.

The volume of a single RRU is 12L, which is half the industry average. For flexible network deployment, multiple RRUs are seamlessly assembled as “one box” with independent installations and maintenance for each unit, meaning that this single entity of assembled RRUs supports multi-band, multi-mode GSM/UMTS/LTE, multi-sector, multi-carrier and multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) technology in accordance with evolving network development requirements.


Arista, F5, VMware and EMC Isilon Demo Multi-Vendor SDN

This week's VMworld 2012 in San Francisco will include a demo of multi-vendor programmatic automation with solutions from Arista, F5 Networks, VMware and EMC Isilon.

The joint demonstration of the Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) specification shows a common network foundation that enables seamless interoperability across ecosystems.

Some key elements:

Arista EOS working in conjunction with VMware vSphere® to gather real time information about network segments created and specified using Virtual Extensible Local Area Networks – advancing network virtualization capabilities that enable end-to-end segmentation.

Arista EOS interacting with F5's BIG-IP iControl API to dynamically update the state of servers participating in a server load balancing pool during switch-level fault detections. This coordinated effort improves fault detection at multiple layers and ensures the highest levels of application availability and performance.

Arista EOS creating hardware Virtual Tunnel End Points to enable any device to be in any network addressing range - true separation of physical to virtual to cloud networks.

In addition, the Arista demonstration also leverages EMC Isilon storage working with Arista hardware Virtual Tunnel End points, providing scale-out storage to VMware virtual machines as they move across virtual, physical and cloud networks.

Google and Boingo Wi-Fi Expands Sponsored Hotspot Model

Boingo Wireless has expanded is partnership with Google to offer more free and discounted public Wi-Fi hotspots in shopping malls across the U.S.

This expansion takes Boingo Wi-Fi from six New York subway stations and more than 200 Manhattan hotzones, to 24 additional locations across the country.

Google Offers is also extending a discounted Boingo Wi-Fi access offer to travelers at 16 airports nationwide, including JFK, LaGuardia, O’Hare, Midway , Hobby and George Bush Intercontinental,  etc.

Earlier this month, Boingo acquired Cloud Nine Media, which provides Wi-Fi sponsorship and location-based advertising at more than 6,000 airports, hotels, bars and restaurants, and recreational areas in the U.S. and Canada. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Cloud Nine technology platforms will allow Boingo to deliver 100% share-of-voice sponsored access that can be used across Boingo’s global portfolio of managed Wi-Fi hotspots, including airports, shopping malls, restaurants, stadiums, transportation hubs and metropolitan hotzones that reach more than 1.5 billion people each year. San Francisco-based Cloud Nine Media also brings a team of skilled technologists and ad sales executives to the table, as well as relationships with key venues and advertisers.

Samsung to Invest $4 Billion in U.S. Manufacturing

Samsung Austin Semiconductor announced plans to invest about $4 billion to renovate its existing fabrication operations in Texas to accommodate full System LSI production.
The remodeled fabrication line will mainly produce state-of-the-art mobile SoCs on 300mm wafers at the 28nm process node.

The company noted that its total investment in Samsung Austin Semiconductor since 1996 will exceed $13 billion.

Vertical Systems' Mid-2012 Global Provider Ethernet Leaderboard

Vertical Systems Group announces that the following companies have achieved a position on the Mid-2012 Global Provider Ethernet Leaderboard (in rank order based on port share): Orange Business (France), Verizon (U.S.), Colt (U.K.), BT Global Services (U.K.), AT&T (U.S.), NTT (Japan) and Level 3 (U.S.).

Vertical's Global Provider Leaderboard is the industry's foremost benchmark for measuring multi-national Ethernet market presence. All Global Providers ranked on the Leaderboard hold four percent (4%) or more of retail business Ethernet ports installed at sites outside of their respective home countries.

"Leaderboard competition tightened up in the first half of 2012. The share differential between a number of Global Providers is less than 1%, indicating that shifts in the Leaderboard rankings are likely by the end of the year," said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "Global Providers that actively expanded their Ethernet service reach into Latin America, southern Asia and the Middle East were least impacted by the slowdown in Europe, and therefore fared better at retaining market share."

All other Global Providers offering Ethernet services outside of their home countries have port shares that are below the Leaderboard threshold. These companies are segmented by share into two tiers: the "Challenge" tier and the "Market Player" tier.

The Challenge tier expanded to five companies (in alphabetical order) with the addition of Cable & Wireless (U.K.) and Cogent (U.S.) to the previous roster of Reliance Globalcom (India), Tata Communications (India) and T-Systems (Germany).

The Market Player tier covers all other Global Providers as follows (in alphabetical order): Airtel (India), Bezeq (Israel), CAT Telecom (Thailand), Centurylink (U.S.), China Telecom (China), China Unicom (China), Easynet Global Services (U.K.), Embratel (Brazil), euNetworks (U.K.), Exponential-e (U.K.), Frontier (U.S.), GlobeNet (Brazil), GTS (Poland), GTT (U.S.), Interoute (U.K.), KDDI (Japan), Korea Telecom (Korea), KPN International (Netherlands), Masergy (U.S.), PCCW Global (Hong Kong), SingTel (Singapore), StarHub (Singapore), Swisscom (Switzerland),Telecom Italia International (Italy), Telefonica Worldwide (Spain), Telenor (Norway), TeliaSonera (Sweden), Telkom Indonesia (Indonesia), Telkom South Africa (South Africa), TelMex (Mexico), Telstra (Australia), Telus International (Canada), TM (Malaysia), Zayo Group [includes AboveNet] (U.S.), and others.

Market shares are calculated using the base of enterprise Ethernet services installations, plus input from Vertical's surveys of Ethernet providers throughout the world.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

FCC Approves Verizon Wireless-SpectrumCo Deal

The FCC approved the Verizon Wireless-SpectrumCo deal, subject to the following conditions:
  • the assignment of AWS-1 licenses held by Cox and SpectrumCo (a joint venture among subsidiaries of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks) to Verizon Wireless;
  • a spectrum swap between Verizon Wireless and Leap;
  • and Verizon Wireless’s net assignment of AWS-1 licenses to T-Mobile.
The deal is also subject to the Consent Decree between DOJ and SpectrumCo and Cox, which was announced last week.

The FCC noted that to address staff concerns regarding spectrum concentration, Verizon Wireless undertook an unprecedented divestiture of spectrum to a competitor, T-Mobile. In addition, the Commission’s Order includes enforceable commitments from Verizon Wireless to accelerate buildout of its newly acquired spectrum, as well as to offer data roaming on commercially reasonable terms and conditions.

Regarding the buildout, within three years, Verizon Wireless will provide signal coverage and offer service to at least 30 percent of the total population in the Economic Areas or the portions of Economic Areas in which it is acquiring AWS-1 license authorizations (calculated by summing the population for each of these areas). Also, within seven years, Verizon Wireless will provide signal coverage and offer service to at least 70 percent of the population in each Economic Area in which it is acquiring AWS-1 license authorizations, or, where a portion of the Economic Area is acquired, to at least 70 percent of the population of the total acquired portion of the licensed Economic Area.

In addition, Verizon must provide on a semi-annual basis, subject to an appropriate protective order, reports concerning trends in DSL subscribership following the implementation of the commercial agreements.

To gain DOJ approval, the companies have agreed to a proposed settlement forbids Verizon Wireless from selling cable company products in FiOS areas and removes contractual restrictions on Verizon Wireless’s ability to sell FiOS, ensuring that Verizon’s incentives to compete aggressively against the cable companies remain unchanged.

In addition, under the proposed settlement, Verizon Wireless’s ability to resell the cable companies’ services to customers in areas where Verizon sells DSL Internet service ends in December of 2016 (subject to potential renewal at DOJ's sole discretion), thereby preserving Verizon’s incentives to reconsider its decision to stop building out its FiOS network and otherwise innovate in its DSL territory.

The DOJ is limiting the duration of a technology joint venture that the companies had planned to set-up to develop wireless + wireline solutions. In addition, the companies are limited in the exchange of competitively sensitive information.

"This purchase represents a milestone in the industry and we appreciate the FCC's diligent work to review and approve the transaction," said Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless. "We will work aggressively to ensure that we put this previously unused spectrum to use quickly to benefit customers."
  • In December 2011, Verizon Wireless announced a deal to acquire 122 Advanced Wireless Services spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, a joint venture between Comcast Corporation, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks, for $3.6 billion. The transfer of licenses will require approval from the FCC and review from the Department of Justice. The companies also announced several agreements to resell each others' services. The cable companies will have the option of selling Verizon Wireless' service on a wholesale basis. Furthermore, the companies will form an innovation technology joint venture to develop technology that better integrates wireline and wireless products and services.
  • In June 2012, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless announced a sale and exchange deal covering certain Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses in 218 markets across the U.S. Some of the spectrum contemplated in this transaction included licenses that Verizon is purchasing from SpectrumCo, Cox and Leap, and the agreement is contingent on the closing of those transactions and is subject to regulatory approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice.

Saudi Aramco Suffers Shamoon Attack and New Threat

Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company, is believed to have suffered damage to three-quarters of its computers when it was hit by the Shamoon virus earlier this month, according to The New York Times and other sources. The attackers are believed to be a group called "Cutting Sword of Justice", possibly linked to Iran, making the attack a political statement against the oil policies of the Saudi government. The group is threatening further attacks on the firm.

China Telecom Sees Growth from 3G Mobile

China Telecom's revenues rose 14.8% in the first half of 2012 to RMB 138.0 billion (US$21.7 billion), up by 14.8%. Excluding the mobile terminalssales, operating revenues reached RMB 126,580 million, up by 11.2%. Profits beat expectations, coming in at RMB 8.8 billion with EPS of RMB 0.11.

Some company highlights from the first half of 2012:
  • Total number of mobile subscribers reached 144 million, representing a net addition of 17.71 million from the end of last year, up by 14.0%, of which 3G mobile subscribers was 50.96 million, representing a net increase of 14.67 million from the end of last year, up by 40.4%
  • Total number of wireline broadband subscribers reached 83.70 million, representing a net addition of 6.89 million from the end of last year, up by 9.0%
  • Total number of access lines in service was 167 million, representing a net decrease of 2.10 million from the end of last year, down by 1.2%
  • Wireline voice revenue as a proportion to total revenues decreased to 16.1%.
  • 3G handset data traffic increased rapidly with average monthly data usage per user reaching 111MB.
  • FTTH covered approximately 40 million households, which manifested the superior quality of China Telecom’s fibre broadband network.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Shenick Launches Cloud-based Test System

Shenick Network Systems introduced a cloud-based test system that scales to four terabits of real, stateful service and application traffic while providing the ability to pinpoint issues right down to each individual application flow.

The company said such capacity is needed because next-generation switching, routing, firewall, packet inspection, WAN optimization and other massive data handling systems are heading towards terabit levels of packet handling. This will require tests at huge scale to understand performance limits.

Shenick's TeraVM provides the ability to emulate and test cloud infrastructure on any hypervisor including ESXi, Xen, KVM and Hyper-V, in one test system, with test analysis right down to each application flow.

Some highlights of TeraVM:
  • It is not restricted in the amount of core processing power it can access compared to other solutions in the market.

  • Testing can be conducted in both functional and highly scaled, virtualized test beds for all hypervisors including ESXi, Xen, KVM and Hyper-V.

  • TeraVM is one of the first products to have been completely and successfully ported to an all-virtual, massively scaled IP performance tester.

  • Shenick addresses next-generation virtualized and physical converged IP network application performance issues for 4G, VoLTE, OTT Video, IPTV, VoD, Multi Play (VoIP video, data), telepresence, multivendor IPsec/SSL secure VPN, Security Attack Mitigation, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), Traffic Shaping, Peer to Peer (P2P), Application Server Test, Metro Ethernet and IPv4/IPv6 hybrid network deployments.

  • TeraVM also covers security testing including secure VPN and security attack mitigation testing by generating emulated DDoS attack traffic for testing virtual and highly scaled firewalls.

"TeraVM takes the uncertainty out of testing cloud and physical networks by giving organizations the tools to understand the behaviour of mixed Internet application traffic types and prove that extreme performance levels can be maintained while guaranteeing QoE for end users," said Robert Winters, CMO, Shenick Network Systems. "As more and more organizations move data to the cloud, testing security of virtualized networks becomes paramount especially as corporate information needs to be accessed by personal devices remotely."

CloudPhysics Targets Data Center Analytics

CloudPhysics, a start-up based in San Mateo, California, has raised $2.5 million in Series A funding for its a data center analytics service.

CloudPhysics, which was founded by former VMware executives John Blumenthal and Irfan Ahmad, provides virtualization administrators and architects detailed real-time analytics about their physical infrastructure and specific application workloads.

"Today's datacenters are complex and highly dynamic. They require data-driven decision making to achieve efficiency, availability and flexibility. CloudPhysics uniquely combines big data analytics with deep insight into virtualization and resource management to simplify and automate virtualized
datacenters," said founder John Blumenthal.

CloudPhysics is funded by Mayfield Fund and industry angels including Diane Greene and Mendel Rosenblum, Mark Leslie, Peter Wagner, Carl Waldspurger, and Matt Ocko.

Mocana Raises $25 Million for Mobile App Protection

Mocana, a start-up based in San Francisco, raised $25 million in Series D funding to scale the company's Mobile and Device Security Platform, a software and network services solution for securing connected devices and the information, applications and services that run on them.

The Mocana Mobile Application Protection (MAP) solution gives enterprises fine-grained, cross-platform security management control over mobile apps, without requiring those enterprises to write any code, or to have access to the source code of the original app. MAP works on apps deployed inside the enterprise, and it secures apps deployed to devices that the enterprise doesn't directly control. Mocana also recently announced its Security Detail solutions which give device manufacturers a common, open standards-based way to solve security across entire connected, smart device portfolios.

The new funding was led by Trident Capital and included current investors Intel Capital, Shasta, Southern Cross and Symantec. Mocana has raised $22 million in previous investment rounds.

AOptix Raises $42 Million for Biometric Verification and Wireless

AOptix Technologies, a start-up based in Campbell, California, secured $42 million in a Series E round of funding for its advanced iris recognition systems and ultra-high bandwidth wireless optical communication solutions.

AOptix conducted pioneering research into adaptive optics technologies and then worked with DARPA and the U.S. military to develop advanced mobile wireless networks for high speed air-to-ground and air-to-air communications. The company currently provides accurate, automated identity verification using iris recognition. The AOptix identity verification solution is already being used in locations such as Gatwick Airport in London and all the air, land and sea border crossings in Qatar.

The new funding brings the total investment in the company to date to $123 million. All of the company'ss existing investors Clearstone Venture Partners, DAG Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Northgate Capital and W Capital Partners participated in the round and were joined by a new investor, True Ventures.

Telekom Austria Picks Ericsson for LTE Upgrade

Telekom Austria Group, which serves 23 million customers in Central and Eastern Europe, has awarded a multi-standard radio access network contract to Ericsson, which has been a long term supplier.

Ericsson will upgrade the 2G and 3G mobile networks and also provide LTE for Telekom Austria Group's subsidiaries A1 in Austria and Vipnet in Croatia. Rollout has already started. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The future of wireless is small, but very, very big

by Marcus Weldon, CTO, Alcatel-Lucent

We are at a defining moment in broadband network deployment.  We are on the verge of a transformation in behaviors so profound that what we think is normal now will be viewed as quaint and amusingly antique in the same way that the Model T Ford, or wooden-cabinet enshrouded black and white TVs, or dial-up internet access are viewed today.  And this behavioral change will not be limited as before to a certain socio-economic class or age demographic, or geography, or educational background - it will be universal in extent, ageless and classless in adoption, and will redefine economies and the nature of commerce. 

What is the driving force behind this unparalleled new reality?  A device: the tablet.  To understand how something that you are probably holding in your hand or carrying in your backpack right now is going to change our reality, consider what that device is and can become for you.  It is already a device on which you communicate (email, video chat, messaging), you watch video content, you play games, you listen to music, you read books, you navigate (in 2D and 3D), you view documents and presentations, you surf the web, you monitor and control your home, you record videos, you control your TV and more and more applications appear every hour and every day.   In essence, this device defines and enables a new digital life - your life wherever and whenever you are.  

But what has this got to with the future of wireless or networking?  Well it is this last observation - the 'whenever and wherever you are' - that has truly profound consequences for networks, and in particular wireless networks.  But to fully appreciate this, it is first important to realize that although the tablet is a remarkable device, it isn't capable enough to store or process your life and it is unlikely that it will least for the next decade or so.  In short, current tablets have the processing power and storage capacity of an 8-10 year old PC.  And even a current PC hard drive doesn't have enough capacity to store all our digital media objects, which is why we increasingly rely on external storage and Cloud storage as a complement to local hard drive storage.  With the advent of Cloud storage we not only get access to seemingly infinite storage capacity at the lowest cost per gigabyte, but we can access the stored content from any device anywhere, without having to replicate it on every device everywhere.  So even as storage density and processing power continue the seemingly inexorable march of Moore's Law (doubling every 18 months), our demand will always exceed the local supply on a mobile device, with its intrinsic power, size and cost constraints.

The intrinsic connection between these two elements: the tablet and the Cloud is the root of the manifest change in wireless networks that will occur, because without an ultra-high capacity wireless network infrastructure this nascent demand and vision for a new digital economy cannot be realized.  In order to quantify this future demand, Bell Labs have built a future demand model for the tablet generation that predicts that by 2016, the intrinsic demand (unconstrained by economics of supply) will be more than 80x today's average demand even when averaged across different demographic age groups.  So, in essence, there are two central questions we must address to realize this future:

1)      How can we increase the capacity of wireless networks by 80x (or more)?
2)      How can we afford to do this?

I will exclusively focus on the first question here, and defer the second critical question for another time.  This question of the ultimate capacity of wireless networks would, at first glance, seem to require a futurist or information theorist to answer.  But in reality, the problem can be parameterized in a way that reduces the need for technological clairvoyance or new theorems.  In essence, there are 3 basic dimensions of capacity growth in wireless networks: A) More spectrum, B) More spectral efficiency and C) More spatially efficient use of that (efficiently-utilized) spectrum.  And it is the product of these 3 capacity elements from which one will derive the ultimate wireless network capacity.  Or, to put it simply:  

Ultimate wireless network capacity, U = A * B * C
So what are the right values of A, B and C?  Interestingly, although the answer to this question would require a detailed analysis for any specific network or deployment scenario, the parametric, or limiting (maximum) values are relatively simple to compute, and are summarized in Figure 1.

If we start by considering the value of A), i.e. the maximum amount of additional spectrum that will likely be made available, we have to consider both licensed and unlicensed spectrum contributions.  In terms of licensed spectrum, approximately 500-600 Mhz of spectrum is currently allocated (Figure 2) for commercial wireless services below 3Ghz (the cut-off for commercial terrestrial deployments due to the non-line of sight, superior propagation of this spectrum), and it is commonly accepted that another 500-600 Mhz could be made available by various refarming, repacking and reallocation schemes.  

In addition to this, approximately 500-600 Mhz of unlicensed spectrum is currently available across the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands and could be utilized to augment the licensed spectrum, particularly for best effort, lower QoS services delivery.  

So, this simple summary analysis suggests that a 2-3x increase in spectrum is a realistic possibility, with a concomitant 2-3x increase in wireless network capacity.

If we now consider element B), the use of sophisticated physics and engineering to increase the spectral efficiency, a number of approaches have to be considered and quantified.  But first, it is important to recognize that we are already operating within 20% of the Shannon Limit for a wireless communications channel, so the gains will largely come from 4 factors:

1)     More efficient use of disjoint spectrum assets: Use ‘Carrier Aggregation’ to deliver higher peak capacity across the aggregated bands

2)     More spatial paths: Use Higher-order MIMO with more transmit diversity to improve received Signal to Interference + Noise Ratio (SINR)

3)     Decrease interference: Use enhanced inter-cell interference cancellation (eICIC) to reduce the received noise and therefore increase SINR

4)     Coordinate transmission from multiple cells: Use so-called ‘network MIMO’ (formally known as Coherent Multipath (CoMP)) techniques to improve the coherent signal strength at the receiver and increase SINR

Although each of the four techniques can provide significant gains under certain circumstances, such as at the cell edge or in lightly loaded cells, when the average improvement is computed across all locations and usage scenarios the gains are typically on the order of 20% per technique, or a total of a factor of 2, if all techniques are employed together.

So by now it should be clear that if capacity growth by more than a factor of 6 is required, a new approach is required. And that new approach is to increase the ‘spatial efficiency’ by deploying much smaller cells and effectively reusing of all the spectrum assets of A), and the spectral efficiencies of B), over much smaller areas and user groups.  Therefore, logically, the gain that can be realized using this approach is a factor of ‘N’, if the inter-cell interference can be minimized and if users are clustered in metrocell locations or ‘hotspots’, where N is the number of small cells deployed per macro serving area.  So, N could be 5, 10, 30 or even 100 or more, in the limit. 

Now returning to the predicted demand of the Tablet Generation with 80x growth in demand over the next 5 years, the answer to the capacity equation must be:

Tablet Generation Capacity Demand:
= 2.5x (More spectrum) * 2x (More spectral efficiency) * 16x (More spatial efficiency)

So, the future of wireless is small (cells), but it will drive very, very big behavioral and socio-economic change.

 About the Author
Marcus Weldon is Corporate CTO for Alcatel-Lucent and also a member of Bell Laboratories. In this position he is responsible for co-ordinating the technical strategy across the company and driving technological and architectural innovations into the portfolio. He holds a B.S in Chemistry and Computer Science and a Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry from Harvard University. He joined AT&T Bell Labs in 1995, winning several scientific and engineering society awards for his work on electronics and optical materials.

In 2000, Dr. Weldon started work on fiber-based Broadband Access technologies and, in 2005, became the CTO for Broadband Solutions business group in Lucent Technologies, with responsibility for wireline access networks and IPTV. He was subsequently appointed as CTO of the Fixed Access Division and the Wireline Networks Product Division in Alcatel-Lucent following the merger of Alcatel and Lucent in December 2006, with responsibility for xDSL and FTTH, IPTV, Home Networking and IMS. He was one of the primary architects behind the evolution of the Triple Play Service Delivery Architecture to the High Leverage Network™, now the widely accepted industry architecture centered around the principles of ‘all IP, converged wireline/wireless, intelligent, optimized networking’. Together with his CTO team he was also a primary driver behind the groundbreaking and multiple award-winning lightRadio™ architecture for next generation wireless networks. He continues to help drive the company in new portfolio directions, including defining new ‘Cloud-networking’ and ‘network as a platform’ paradigms, as well as the use of sophisticated analytics for optimizing the customer experience and service delivery.
About Alcatel-Lucent

The long-trusted partner of service providers, enterprises and governments around the world, Alcatel-Lucent is a leading innovator in the field of networking and communications technology, products and services. The company is home to Bell Labs, one of the world's foremost research centers, responsible for breakthroughs that have shaped the networking and communications industry. Alcatel-Lucent was named one of MIT Technology Review's 2012 Top 50 list of the "World's Most Innovative Companies" for breakthroughs such as lightRadio™, which cuts power consumption and operating costs on wireless networks while delivering lightning fast Internet access. Through such innovations, Alcatel-Lucent is making communications more sustainable, more affordable and more accessible as we pursue our mission - Realizing the Potential of a Connected World.

With operations in more than 130 countries and one of the most experienced global services organizations in the industry, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with global reach. The Company achieved revenues of Euro 15.3 billion in 2011 and is incorporated in France and headquartered in Paris.
For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on:

Calix to Acquire Ericsson's GPON Access Platform

Calix will acquire Ericsson's fiber access assets for an undisclosed sum.

Ericsson supplies a range of GPON OLT platforms and complementary ONTs. The Ericsson EDA 1500 GPON plaform features a redundant 320 Gbps switch architecture and support for 7168 ONT/ONUs per chassis (1:64 split ratio). It delivers 2.5 Gbps/ 1.2 Gbps downstream/upstream speeds and offers 10 Gbps uplink interface. Up to 61 U.S.-based employees of Ericsson are expected to transfer to Calix.

Calix will also become Ericsson's preferred global partner for broadband access applications under a global reseller agrement between the firms. This allows Ericsson to sell Calix Unified Access systems and software as its preferred fiber and VDSL2 access solution in 180 countries worldwide. This preferred partnership becomes effective upon the close of the acquisition and remains effective for three years.

"This partnership provides Calix, already North America's fiber access deployment leader, with an extensive new global reseller channel, while our acquisition of Ericsson's fiber access portfolio delivers powerful new complements to our industry-leading Unified Access portfolio," said Carl Russo, president and CEO of Calix. "This partnership, built on a clear alignment of corporate strategy and direction, allows Ericsson to fully leverage its strengths in wireless and end-to-end services while relying on Calix to provide innovation and expertise in fixed-line broadband access. We are excited about the opportunity to assume responsibility for development and support of Ericsson's fiber access business, and look forward to working closely with Ericsson and its broad customer base as a preferred global partner."

"We believe that this partnership will provide our existing fiber access customers with world-class support and maintenance, and an expanded portfolio of access systems and software from a leading company totally focused on access," said Jan Haeglund, vice president and head of product area IP and broadband at Ericsson.
  • Last year, Ericsson upgraded its solutions for scaling PON-based fiber access networks to 40 Gbps using Wavelength Division Multiplexing Passive Optical Network (WDM-PON) technology. The capability is being added to the EA 1100 platform, which is a result of a joint venture with LG-Ericsson.

    Ericsson also announced several GPON enhancements, including a new 16-port GPON OLT board now enables broadband services to more than 14,000 FTTH GPON subscribers in a single EDA 1500 chassis.

    Ericsson introduced an Integrated TDM Gateway (ITG) board to the EDA 1500, enabling a converged platform for packet and TDM services across fixed enterprise and mobile applications. The ITG terminates and aggregates E1 services across multiple GPON ports at the OLT for STM-1 connectivity to existing TDM networks. This simplifies the network and substantially improves an operator's total cost of ownership.

    In addition, Ericsson expanded its EDA portfolio with the T780G Optical Network Unit (ONU). This GPON-fed modular ONU provides flexibility for operators delivering ADSL2+, VDSL2, POTS, E1 and Ethernet services to both business and residential users. The T780G enables operators to support dense areas with different service requirements without rewiring buildings. The ONU is part of Ericsson's T-series of optical terminals which provides maximum flexibility to deploy deep fiber access networks.
  • In 2007, Ericsson acquired Entrisphere, a start-up specializing in GPON fiber access technology, for an undisclosed sum. Entrisphere was founded in 2000 and was based in Santa Clara, California. The company has about 140 people at the time. The core of the Entrisphere GPON solution included Optical Line Terminals (OLTs), Optical Network Terminals (ONTs), Optical Network Units (ONUs) and management systems. The solution also included software upgrades that expand existing IP service-aware features such as IGMP multicasting, VLAN stacking and tagging, and security upgrades.
  • In 2010, Calix acquired Occam Networks, also a supplier of broadband access solutions.

ZTE's 1H2012 Revenue Rises 15% to RMB 42 Billion (US$6.61B)

Driven by a 26% growth in its domestic Chinese market, ZTE posted 1H2012 revenue of RMB 42.64 billion for the period, an increase of 15.2% year-on-year.

Pre-tax profit in the period was RMB 656 million, a decrease of 48.5% year-on-year. Basic earnings per share for the period were RMB 0.07. The decline in net profits was attributed to reduced investment income, exchange losses, postponement of network contract tenders of certain domestic carriers and lower gross profit margin.

Some highlights:

  • During the reporting period, ZTE reported operating revenue of RMB 20.89 billion from the domestic market, accounting for 49% of overall operating revenue and representing year-on-year growth of 26.4%.
  • From the overseas market, ZTE reported operating revenue of RMB 21.76 billion during the period, accounting for 51% of its overall operating revenue and representing year-on-year growth of 6.2%.
  • For carrier network products, ZTE reported revenue of RMB 21.28 billion, representing year-on-year growth of 3.9%.
  • The slight increase in operating revenue from the Group’s carriers’ networks segment for the first six months of 2012 reflected mainly growth in revenue derived from wireless products in the domestic and international markets and from optical communications systems and data products in the domestic market, offset by the decline in revenue derived from wireline switch and access products in the domestic and international markets and from optical communications systems and data products in the international market, resulting in a relatively small margin of growth.
  • Terminal products revenue was RMB 14.25 billion, representing year-on-year growth of 27.1%.
  • Telecommunication software systems, services and other product revenue was RMB 7.11 billion, representing year-on-year growth of 33.8%.
  • ZTE also saw a 70% increase in sales in its government and enterprise business for the period ending June 30, compared with the same period a year earlier. This was partially due to the company’s launch of data center products and a series of smart solutions in the government and business arenas, including Smart Mine, Smart City and the Smart Traffic System.

T-Mobile USA Offers Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data Plan

T-Mobile USA introduced an Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan with no data cap or speed throttling.

The Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan will cost $20 per month when added to a Value voice and text plan or $30 per month when added to a Classic voice and text plan. For example, a single line Value plan with unlimited talk and text combined with unlimited nationwide 4G data will cost $69.99 or a single line Classic plan with unlimited talk, unlimited text and unlimited nationwide 4G data will cost $89.99. New customers can purchase any smartphone in T-Mobile’s lineup or bring their own compatible smartphone. Current T-Mobile customers on Classic or Value plans can upgrade their existing service by adding an Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan.

"We’re big believers in customer-driven innovation, and our Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan is the answer to customers who are frustrated by the cost, complexity and congested networks of our competitors," said Kevin McLaughlin, vice president, marketing, T-Mobile USA. "Consumers want the freedom of unlimited 4G data. Our bold move to be the only wireless carrier to offer an Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan reinforces our value leadership and capitalizes on the strength of our nationwide 4G network."

  • In June 2012, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless announced a sale and exchange deal covering certain Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses in 218 markets across the U.S.

    Some of the spectrum T-Mobile is acquiring in this transaction include licenses that Verizon is purchasing from SpectrumCo, Cox and Leap, and the agreement is contingent on the closing of those transactions and is subject to regulatory approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice.

    Verizon Wireless believes the deal would help it gain regulatory approval for its SpectrumCo transaction.

    The deal would provide improve T-Mobile’s spectrum position in 15 of the top 25 markets in the U.S. by providing an opportunity for T-Mobile both to acquire additional AWS spectrum and to realign its existing spectrum holdings. -Mobile will gain spectrum covering 60 million people — notably in Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Minneapolis; Seattle; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Milwaukee; Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Rochester, N.Y. — in exchange for spectrum covering 22 million people and certain cash consideration. The agreement also includes exchanges in a number of markets in which the companies will swap licenses to create more contiguous blocks of spectrum and re-align spectrum in adjacent markets.
  • In May 2012, T-Mobile USA announced multi-year agreements with Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks to support its $4 billion 4G network evolution plan.

    T-Mobile USA, which acquired AWS spectrum from AT&T as part of the failed merger deal, aims to launch LTE in 2013. This new spectrum, in addition to the refarming effort, enables the launch of LTE in AWS spectrum and up to 20 MHz of LTE in 75% of the top 25 markets.

    As part of the agreements, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks will provide and install state of the art, Release 10 capable equipment at 37,000 cell sites across T-Mobile's 4G network this year. T-Mobile also expects to be the first carrier in North America to broadly deploy antenna integrated radios, enabling accelerated deployment and reduced site loading.

    T-Mobile also plans to launch 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band in a large number of markets by the end of the year, thereby supporting the iPhone.

    Nokia Siemens Networks confirmed that it will modernize T-Mobile’s GSM and HSPA+ core and radio access infrastructure in key markets to improve existing voice and data coverage. It will also deploy LTE as part of T-Mobile USA’s 4G evolution initiative in 2013. Specifically, NSN will supply T-Mobile with its Evolved Packet Core platform, including Flexi NS (Network Server) and Flexi NG (Network Gateway). The company will also provide for the LTE deployment its Single RAN Advanced platform based on its Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station.

    Ericsson noted that T-Mobile USA will be the first in North America to deploy its AIR technology. Ericsson will install the radio, tower and switch room equipment, as well as provide consulting and systems integration and rollout services. Ericsson will also provide turnkey services in the areas of installation, commissioning, integration and migration. In 2006, Ericsson expanded its existing network contract with T-Mobile USA to include a nationwide 3G network. In 2010, Ericsson further enhanced T-Mobile USA's network with the deployment of HSPA+ 21 technology, and again in 2011 with HSPA+ 42 technology.