Monday, January 7, 2013

MetroPCS: LTE Now 26% of Customer Base

MetroPCS reported gross additions of 866 thousand subscribers for Q4 2012, which represents a 29% decrease over the fourth quarter of 2011. The Company ended the fourth quarter of 2012 with approximately 8.9 million subscribers, which includes net subscriber losses during the quarter of 93 thousand subscribers.

The company said it now has over 2.2 million 4G LTE subscribers, an increase of 117% from the third quarter of 2012. Churn for the fourth quarter of 2012 was 3.6% compared to 3.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011 and down from 3.7% in the third quarter of 2012.

  • In October 2012, MetroPCS agreed to merge with T-Mobile USA (a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom) in a deal that creates a much strengthened No.4 mobile operator in the U.S. market with deeper network coverage and the need for an accelerated path to one common LTE network.    Despite operating incompatible legacy networks (CDMA and GSM), the companies said rapid handset turnover (60% - 65% per year) will make for a relatively quick migration of MetroPCS customers to LTE.   MetroPCS customers will also benefit from T-Mobile's much more extensive network.

AT&T Digital Life Home Security to Launch in March

AT&T is preparing to launch a wireless-based home security and automation service that will let consumers adjust the thermostat, unlock doors and monitor energy usage via their smartphones or tablets. The wireless monitoring will include cameras, door locks, window/door sensors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, glass breakage sensors, moisture detectors and appliance/lighting controls.  The service will be supported by dedicated monitoring centers staffed 24/7 with agents able to respond to emergencies and alert police and fire authorities as required.

AT&T plans to launch the Digital Life service in eight U.S. markets in March, with up to 50 additional market rollouts planned in 2013.

Cisco will provide the Digital Life control panel and back-office provisioning and applications life-cycle management system for the Digital Life service.  The home network will use five radios (one-way and two-way communications radios, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi and 3G) to support the sensors, keypads and cameras. Cisco is using the OSGi software framework to streamline new services such as energy management.

Procera Acquires Vineyard Networks for Enterprise DPI

Procera Networks agreed to acquire Vineyard Networks, a developer of deep packet inspection (DPI) technology for the enterprise market, for $28.0 million CAD, comprised of $15.4 million CAD in Procera common stock and $12.6 million CAD in cash.

Vineyard's Network Application Visibility Library (NAVL) is a deep packet inspection ( DPI) that provides real-time, Layer-7 classification of all network application traffic. It provides the application visibility that enables developers of firewalls, unified threat management (UTM) and other network security and management solutions to apply and enforce application admission, control and performance policies for their enterprise and service provider customers.  NAVL is delivered as a software developer kit for integration into network infrastructure platforms.

Procera said the acquisition will extend its Intelligent Policy Enforcement business into the growing Enterprise DPI market.

“Every network element will require intelligence. Our strategic vision is to enable networks of any size to have the intelligence needed to operate effectively. Procera directly addresses this need for service providers of all types through our PacketLogic solutions. Vineyard enables Procera to expand our total addressable market through their OEM business to include enterprise network equipment vendors, adding the entire enterprise space along with additional opportunities in the service provider OEM market. The addition of Vineyard, which has 34 employees mostly in engineering and product development, establishes Procera as the clear leader in the high-growth DPI market,” stated James Brear, Procera’s President and CEO.

Vineyard was founded in 2008 by Jason Richards (CEO), Derek Lownsbrough (CTO/VP R&D) and Josh Zieske (VP Technology Operations). Vineyard is based in Kelowna, British Columbia.

  • In December 2012, Vineyard announced that Xirrus licensed its Network Application Visibility Library (NAVL) for integration with the recently announced Xirrus Application Control platform.
  • In October, Vineyard announced that Riverbed licensed its Network Application Visibility Library (NAVL) deep packet inspection (DPI) engine.

F5 Networks Adds Two Key Industry Players to its Board

F5 Networks has appointed Steve Smith and Sandra Bergeron to its board of directors.

Smith is Chief Executive Officer, President, and member of the board of directors of Equinix. Prior to joining Equinix in April 2007, Smith served as Senior Vice President at HP Service.

From 2004 until 2012, Bergeron was a venture partner at Trident Capital, Inc. She currently serves on the board of directors of Qualys, a provider of cloud security and compliance solutions; Sophos, a privately held provider of IT security and data protection products; and TraceSecurity, a privately held provider of cloud-based security solutions and IT governance, risk, and compliance management solutions, where she also serves as chairman. Bergeron previously served on the board of directors of TriCipher, a privately held secure access management company acquired by VMware in August 2010 and ArcSight, a publicly traded security and compliance management company acquired by Hewlett-Packard in September 2010.

Huawei Unveils Huge 6.1-inch HD Android Smartphone

Huawei introduced an Android smartphone with "the largest screen in the world" -- a huge 6.1-inch HD display with a resolution of 1280 x 720.

The HUAWEI Ascend Mate features a 1.5 GHz Hi-Silicon quad-core processor and a 4050 mAh battery. Operating on Android 4.1 and featuring an 8.0-megapixel AF rear-facing camera with HDR and 1.0-megapixel HD front-facing camera, HUAWEI Ascend Mate also provides dual MIC noise reduction technology, Dolby sound system and stereo recording.

The phone offers five frequency bands and a dual-antenna design that supports high power data transmission and is optimized with maximum ratio combining method, to increase network reception by up to 2.5dB and providing an increase of 20 to 30 percent of overall network coverage.

The HUAWEI Ascend Mate will be on sale in China in February 2013.

Libya Activates 1.2 Tbps Undersea Cable to Greece

Libyan International Telecom Company, which is the incumbent operator in Libya, has activated the "Silphium" undersea cable system across the Mediterranean.

The new cable, which was deployed by Huawei Marine Networks, is one of the longest un-repeatered subsea cable systems in the world. It spans 425km from Darnah in Libya with Chania in Greece.

The cable initially carries 10 Gbps wavelengths but can be upgraded for 40G and 100G.

As the owner of the system, we trust that this cable will play a major role in the process of rebuilding Libya and will contribute to its economical and social development. Silphium will provide the country with a diverse route to the internet and will help create business and employment opportunities in the eastern region of Libya.” said Kamal Farhat, CEO of LITC,  “The challenging but successful delivery relied on Huawei Marine’s good sense of cooperation, advanced technical solution, professional delivery and installation capabilities, which offer us access to great bandwidth, and demonstrates Huawei Marine as a trusted partner.”

LG Electronics Adds 802.11ac Wi-Fi to TVs

LG Electronics has chosen Broadcom's 5G WiFi technology, based on the IEEE 802.11ac standard, for use in select 2013 LG digital TV models. 

"Last year at CES 2012, Broadcom introduced the industry's first 5G WiFi chips and committed to enabling the adoption of the technology across all wireless product segments," said Dino Bekis, Broadcom Senior Director, Product Marketing, Wireless Connectivity Combo. "Today marks yet another important milestone – the industry's first 5G WiFi Smart TV.

  • 802.11ac. leverages 80 MHz channel bandwidth that is 2 times wider than current 802.11n solutions. Broadcom also uses 256-QAM, modulation to increases data transfer efficiency.

Quantenna Shows Dual-band 4x4 MIMO Wi-Fi

Quantenna Communications is showcasing its first dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) 4x4 MIMO (four streams) silicon at this week’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Quantenna said its 4x4 MIMO Wi-Fi now delivers unmatched reliability and performance over Wi-Fi in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. The 4x4 MIMO chipset is capable of distributing multiple high-definition (HD) video streams to multiple TVs and displays anywhere in the home at full, 1080p resolution.

“Service providers’ Holy Grail of coverage, performance and quality for legacy devices is finally realized by Quantenna’s offering a dual-band, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi solution,” said Dr. Sam Heidari chief executive officer for Quantenna.

In addition, Quantenna Communications and STMicroelectronics introduced a Wi-Fi set-top box reference design platform for multi-room DVR (Digital Video Recorder) services.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Huawei Outperforms Market in 2012

Huawei outperformed that market and its peers in 2012.  The company said sales revenue for 2012 is expected to exceed US$35 billion, with a net profit of about US$2.4 billion, a more than 10% increase year on year for both.

In a New Year's letter to customers, shareholders, employees and partners, Guo Ping, Huawei Rotating and Acting CEO, writes that this solid financial showing came despite the turbulent events of the year: the downward spiral in the global economy, an investigation into cyber security allegations by a particular committee of the U.S. Congress, political upheavals in the Middle East and Northern Africa, as well as natural disasters including floods and earthquakes.

Some highlights of the letter:

  • In 2012, the Carrier Network BG further consolidated its position in the industry.
  • Huawei has now deployed over 130 LTE and over 70 EPC commercial networks worldwide.
  • Huawei's Enterprise BG has launched a series of competitive products such as data center switches, storage products, and full-view telepresence systems. Huawei Device has established solid foundations in product design, quality, and costs. In addition, the smartphone business has made breakthroughs in scale in high-end markets such as Japan, the US, and Europe.
  • In 2013, Huawei will focus on establishing leading positions in Mobile Broadband (MBB), Fixed Broadband (FBB), and backbone network solutions.
  • Huawei will devote its energy to specific business objectives, and avoid the impulse to expand business blindly. Rapid growth will no longer be Huawei's priority as it
  • Huawei will look to simplify its internal management and delegate more authority to field offices.
  • In 2013, Huawei further vows to become more open and transparent.

Australia Sets Digital Dividend Spectrum Auction for April

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has set 16 April 2013 as the commencement date of its digital dividend spectrum auction.  The auction will offer licenses for the following spectrum:

  • 703–748 and 758–803 MHz (the 700 MHz band)
  • 2500–2570 and 2620–2690 MHz (the 2.5 GHz band).

For the 700 MHz band category, ACMA is auctioning nine generic lots, each consisting of 10 MHz in paired configuration (2×5 MHz), with a block of 5 MHz in the upper and lower parts of the band separated by 55 MHz, which includes a 10 MHz mid-band gap (748–758 MHz). The mid-band gap is not available in the auction.

The 700 MHz lots are intended for a single ‘national’ product with coverage across all of Australia, excluding the Mid-west Radio Quiet Zone (RQZ).

For the 2.5 GHz band category, ACMA is auctioning 14 generic lots, with each lot consisting of 10 MHz in paired configuration (2×5 MHz), with a block of 5 MHz in the upper and lower parts of the band separated by 120 MHz, which includes a 50 MHz mid-band gap (2570–2620 MHz). The mid-band gap is not available in the auction.  The 14 lots will cover 11 areas:

  • eight metropolitan areas—ACT, Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
  • two regional areas—Regional East Australia, Regional Western Australia
  • one remote area—Remote Australia, which covers the rest of Australia, but excludes the Mid-west RQZ.

SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Doubles Throughput to 10 Gbps

Supplemental specifications for a higher-rate, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 will double throughput performance of USB 3.0 to 10 Gbps.  The higher rate will be achieved using improved data encoding.  This will ensure compatibility with existing cables and connectors. Work on the 10 Gbps SuperSpeed USB update is targeted for industry review during Q1.

“With USB technology continuing to be the data and power delivery path of choice across personal computing and consumer electronics, we are always looking ahead to how to best improve user experience and connectivity performance,” said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman.

SK Telecom Upgrades Optical Net to 100G with NSN

SK Telecom, the largest mobile operator in Korea, is upgrading its optical transmission backbone to 100G using DWDM equipment from Nokia Siemens Networks.

NSN is providing its hiT 7300 DWDM platform, enabling SK Telecom to scale the network to simultaneously transmit up to 80 wavelengths of light, each carrying data at 100G on a single optical fiber, giving a total capacity of up to 8 Tbps per fiber.

In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks provides its network management system, along with network planning, optimization and implementation as well as hardware and software maintenance care services for the project. Financial terms were not disclosed

“With increasing smartphone adoption in Korea, there is a surging demand for higher capacity networks. Operators such as SK Telecom need to expand their network capacity multifold, and they need to do so cost efficiently by optimizing the use of existing fiber,” said Tapani Sairanen, head of Asia and Middle East cluster, customer sales support, Optical Networks, Nokia Siemens Networks. 

  • On December 3, 2012, Nokia Siemens Networks and Marlin Equity Partners announced that they had reached an agreement for Nokia Siemens Networks to sell its Optical Networks business unit to Marlin Equity Partners. The announcement outlined that the deal would result in the unit being established as an independent company with the goal of becoming a leading provider in the optical market.

Google TV Offers Voice Search & Content from Amazon, France24, Dramafever

Google TV is getting a boost with a new Voice Search capability as well as new content partnerships including Amazon, France24, Dramafever. Voice Search provides access to both live TV and streaming options for a wide range of content.

In addition to the content partners, Google TV is expanding its own library of title inside of Google Play and YouTube. The company said it now has hundreds of TV-optimized apps and thousands of supported mobile apps available on Google TV.

Google now has nine equipment partners with Google TV capable set-top boxes or Smart TVs, including Asus, Hisense, LG, Sony, TCL, Vizio and others.


SkyCross Intros Active Tuning LTE Antenna Supporting Carrier Aggregation

SkyCross introduced its new VersiTune-LTE Antenna that features active tuning technology and support for carrier aggregation. SkyCross cited several key advances:
  • iMAT (Isolated Mode Antenna Technology) is a single antenna structure that acts like multiple antennas through the use of multiple feedpoints. Each feedpoint accesses the single antenna as if it were two or more independent antennas, which are highly isolated from each other.  This enables a multi-band, multi-protocol antenna module.
  • VersiTune delivers an advanced tunable antenna solution for multi-band 4G LTE devices in a single iMAT antenna structure.  This enables active tuning from frequency band to frequency band  so that many bands can be satisfied by a single structure. SkyCross said it now offers broader performance across 12 or more operating frequency bands, with optimized MIMO performance for 4G LTE in smart phones, tablets and USB modems in one-quarter the size of conventional antennas.
  • MatchTune enables a single antenna structure to uniquely fine tune within a given LTE frequency band, which both enhances performance for a given frequency or for multiple simultaneous frequencies when employing carrier aggregation. It also provides the core capability for effectively resolving head/hand effect
“Addressing antenna capabilities is critical for device designers and manufacturers to meet conflicting consumer demands of improved performance, similar or lower cost devices, and ever-shrinking form factors,” said Ben Naskar CEO and chairman of SkyCross. “To date, customers have been hesitant to integrate actively tuned antennas due to questions about market need versus performance and cost. With LTE and carrier aggregation coming upon us, the time has come to move to actively tuned solutions."

Qualcomm Atheros Demos StreamBoost-Enabled 802.11ac Routers

Qualcomm Atheros is demonstrating "StreamBoost" technology for Wi-Fi routers and gateways that manages bandwidth of a home broadband connection on an application basis.

The company's VIVE 802.11ac silicon provides up to 1.3 Gbps PHY rate of Wi-Fi capacity.  The new "StreamBoost" technology automatically manages and shapes traffic, giving each connected device and application the priority and bandwidth required for optimal performance.  Qualcomm StreamBoost also incorporates an opt-in, cloud-based service that continually increases the intelligence of the router, allowing new applications and devices to be identified and optimally managed as they are added to a network.
At this week's CES, Alienware and D-Link Systems, Inc. will be demonstrating StreamBoost routers based on Qualcomm VIVE™ 802.11ac technology for Gigabit-class Wi-Fi at International  Commercial availability is expected this spring.

"StreamBoost provides users with advanced control over their home networks to enable the first truly smart, connected homes," said Frank Azor, general manager, Alienware. "This technology will provide gamers with a more reliable and better performing online gaming experience, whether there are two, 12 or 20 devices using the network simultaneously."

Saturday, January 5, 2013

EMC Acquires iWave for Cloud Storage Automation Software

EMC has acquired iWave, a developer of storage and cloud automation software, for an undisclosed sum.

iWave, which is a privately-held subsidiary of the Hall Financial Group, offers software tools to help enterprises install, configure and automate tasks associated with the provisioning and management of storage infrastructures, data centers and cloud environments. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Frisco, Texas (a suburb of Dallas), and maintains offices in London, England and Moncton, Canada.

NYT: Cyberattacks Continue on U.S. Banks

Major U.S. banks are continuing to experience cyber attacks from the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters, the same group that launched DDoS volleys last Fall.

The New York Times reports that the major banks have seen higher volumes of Internet traffic to their websites but that customer data has remained safe.

Agilent Intros 8x8 MIMO Test for LTE-Advanced

Agilent Technologies has introduced the first LTE-Advanced 8x8 MIMO signal-generation and analysis solutions.

LTE-Advanced promises peak data rates of up to 1 Gbps in the downlink and 500 Mbps in the uplink by aggregating up to five component carriers, each up to 20 MHz wide.  It also leverages  improved multi-antenna techniques in both uplink and downlink. For the downlink, LTE-Advanced introduces transmission mode 9, which enables Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) with up to 8 spatial streams and antennas.

Agilent's LTE-Advanced 8x8 MIMO signal-generation and analysis solutions comprise Signal Studio and 89600 VSA software, as well as the Agilent X-Series vector signal generators and multi-channel signal analyzer with up to eight measurement channels. The solutions support generation and analysis of FDD and TDD signals compliant with the 3GPP Release 10 standard.

Agilent said its solution allows engineers to start testing physical layer implementations of LTE-Advanced devices.  Its multi-channel signal analyzer enables full analysis of LTE-Advanced standards on next-generation antennas, base stations and user equipment. Working with the 89600 VSA, it enables phase-synchronous and cross-channel measurements with up to eight RF channels in a single mainframe.

"As a recognized leader and provider of world-class LTE solutions, Agilent plays a pivotal role in the development, revision and implementation of the 4G technology, LTE-Advanced," said Andy Botka, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Microwave and Communications Division. "Our first-to-market 8x8 MIMO test solutions further complement Agilent's comprehensive portfolio of LTE-Advanced signal-generation and analysis solutions, and reaffirm our commitment to actively leading the evolution of LTE to a 4G technology."

ABI Research:103 Million LTE Devices Shipped in 2012

ABI Research estimates that 103 million 4G LTE mobile devices shipped in 2012, although the research agency notes that there is not a 1-to-1 correspondence between devices and LTE subscriptions. According to the report, LTE-enabled handsets to 91 million units by YE-2012 and the balance coming from other mobile devices.

New sign-ups and conversion of 3G subscribers with LTE-capable handsets should gather pace in 2013 and 2014. By 2017 we are anticipating 785 LTE million subscribers, up from 58 million at the end of 2012 – generating US$14 billion in annual service revenues,” stated Phil Solis, Research Director.

ZTE Wins Cloud Computing Contract with China Telecom

China Telecommunications Corp. awarded a tender for cloud computing services to ZTE.

ZTE will supply its proprietary iECS server virtualization software and iRAI cloud desktop system.  iECS combines the ZEN and KVM virtualization engines with ZTE’s operating system technology and management software to provide comprehensive virtualization capabilities, while iRAI supports data traffic redirection and virtual applications, providing reliable virtual connectivity. The desktop cloud system supports multiple desktops for a single user, and is compatible with most mainstream terminals.

ZTE said its selection for this contract breaks the traditional monopoly of overseas vendors.