Monday, February 18, 2013

DOCOMO Develops 5-Band LTE Base Station Antenna

NTT DOCOMO has developed a base station antenna that supports five frequency bands, including Japan's newly allocated 700MHz band for LTE

DOCOMO plans to begin installing 700MHz-compatible base stations in preparation for the new spectrum, which will become available for use in commercial LTE service in Japan from early 2015.

The new antenna the same size as DOCOMO’s existing four-band antennas for 800MHz, 1.5GHz, 1.7GHz and 2GHz.

Ericsson: Mobile Data Doubled from 4Q11 to 4Q12

Global mobile data traffic doubled between Q4 2011 and Q4 2012, according to the newly released Ericsson Mobility Report. Mobile data traffic grew by 28 percent between Q3 and Q4 2012.

Some highlights of the report:

  • There was a net gain of 140 million subscriptions globally (30 million of which were in China).
  • During 2012, smartphones accounted for 40 percent of new mobile phone sales, compared with 30 percent in 2011.
  • Global mobile penetration reached 89 percent in Q4 2012 and mobile subscriptions now total around 6.3 billion. However, the actual number of subscribers is around 4.4 billion, since many people have several subscriptions.
  • In Q4, mobile broadband subscriptions grew by approximately 125 million to 1.5 billion, reflecting a 50 percent year-on-year increase.

Ericsson Releases MINI-LINK Backhaul for Small Cells

Ericsson is expanding its MINI-LINK wireless backhaul portfolio with several new models aimed at small cell deployments.

The products being launched are:
  • MINI-LINK SP 415 and 420 - packet aggregation nodes for L3 VPN based on IP/MPLS
  • MINI-LINK PT 3060 - microwave node optimized for small-cell deployments (60GHz)
  • MINI-LINK PT 6020 - 1Gbps (in one 250MHz carrier) microwave node in the E- band (70-80GHz)
  • MINI-LINK LH Compact - long-haul microwave solution for reuse of existing cabinets.
Ericsson has now validated that MINI-LINK products in traditional frequency bands can operate in non-line-of-sight (NLOS) conditions with high performance.  The performance has been verified in trials with MetroPCS in Los Angeles.

"NLOS microwave is a critical component of building backhaul networks where clutter is an issue and especially for heterogeneous networks," said Malcolm Lorang, co-founder, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of MetroPCS. "We are pleased with the results of the MINI-LINK trial in the challenging Los Angeles environment and look forward to further testing."

Ericsson Adds Wi-Fi Gateway to SSR Edge Router

Ericsson SSR 8000 family of edge routers with new Service-Aware Support Node (SASN) and Wi-Fi Gateway capabilities.

The Ericsson Service-Aware Support Node provides policy control, enabling the SST to ensure differentiated services.

Meanwhile, the new Ericsson Wi-Fi Gateway integrates Wi-Fi and mobile-broadband networks for a seamless user experience when switching between access types. The Ericsson Wi-Fi Gateway offers a network-controlled, clientless solution for dynamic traffic steering between cellular and Wi-Fi.  Ericsson said its goal to provide a consistently superior performance and a truly seamless mobile-broadband user experience across Wi-Fi and licensed bands while optimizing heterogeneous-network resources.

Taiwan's ZyXEL Licenses Alcatel-Lucent’s Small Cell Software

ZyXEL has agreed to license and integrate small cell product software from Alcatel-Lucent.

As part of Alcatel-Lucent’s Software Licensing Program, ZyXEL will integrate Alcatel-Lucent’s residential small cell software with its own broadband and wireless products, to provide consumers with high-speed, high-performance connections to the mobile broadband network in their homes.

"At ZyXEL, our mission is to develop IP-enabled wired and wireless broadband solutions that help people communicate more effectively while enjoying a seamlessly connected network. Alcatel-Lucent’s residential small cell software will help us deliver products with a competitive edge, while allowing us to provide high-quality, high-performance mobile broadband solutions for homes across the globe to enhance the mobile broadband experience for customers," stated Wayne Hwang, Assistant VP of Wireless Strategy Business Unit of ZyXEL.

Belgacom Picks Alcatel-Lucent's XRS Core Router

Belgacom has selected Alcatel-Lucent's Extensible Routing System (XRS)to expand its network infrastructure as it continues to address the exponential growth in bandwidth demand driven by demand from customers, businesses, data centers and content platforms.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent has previously announced that Telefonica plans to deploy the XRS in Argentina and the Czech Republic.

Mavenir Moves to Virtualize the IMS Core

Mavenir Systems announced a Virtualized IMS Solution for 4G core networks, including VoLTE & RCS 5.

Mavenir is using its Automated mCloud Manager in conjunction with VMware's virtualization technology along with off-the-shelf hardware. The goal is to offer virtualized IMS solutions that can be flexibly deployed to meet business needs such as multi-tenancy and capacity elasticity.

Mavenir noted that leading Tier-1 operators in Europe are currently deploying its Virtualized IMS technology as part of their VoLTE / IMS rollouts.

Pardeep Kohli, president and CEO Mavenir Systems, said, "Virtualization is a means for mobile operators to build the next generation core network, while fundamentally changing the cost equation that historically involved paying price premiums for proprietary HW to provide optimal, cost effective performance. Simply put, virtualization enables an economy of scale not previously available to mobile operators."

TE Connectivity Introduces 10 Gbps Serial Link Combiner for Small Cell Networks

TE Connectivity introduced a 10 Gbps optical transport Serial Link Combiner (SLC) for small cell backhaul.

TE’s SLC is a CPRI rate muxponder that can support up to 225 MHz of spectrum over a single fiber pair. The SLC combines up to three 3.072 Gbps fiber links to a single 9.8304 Gbps (10 Gbps) single-mode or multi-mode fiber pair. And each SLC chassis supports four 10 Gbps links for a combined 900 MHz of available transport capacity.

The company said its new muxponder is significant in that it reduces fiber needed from up to three fiber pairs (six fiber strands) to a fiber pair (two fiber stands).  This reduces fiber leasing requirements by up to 150%, reducing operational expenses.

Each SLC chassis supports four 10 Gbps links; each 10 Gbps link supports up to 225 MHz of RF spectrum transported over a single 10 Gbps fiber pair (two fiber strands).  The design allows for fiber reuse of existing fiber infrastructure.

The platform could be used as an optical multiplexing solution for multiband and multi-operator mobile networks where it is necessary to transport full-band, multi-band RF to a designated service area, such as a large public venue or urban core, where there is high sectorization and capacity strain on the network. The four composite 10 Gbps fiber links can also be multiplexed by utilizing WDM, CWDM and DWDM to further reduce the amount of fiber needed. SLC works with any solution that transports at the 3.072 Gbps data rate, including TE’s digital DAS solutions or remote radio heads, and small form pluggable (SFP) and SFP+ optical transceivers to transport high amounts of capacity several kilometers away.

Gee Rittenhouse Named President of Bell Labs

Alcatel-Lucent named Gee Rittenhouse as President of Bell Labs, replacing Jeong Kim, who is to return to his native South Korea, where he is to be appointed as the country’s new Minister of Future Creation and Science.

Gee Rittenhouse, currently chief operating officer of Alcatel-Lucent’s technology platforms business, has an extensive experience within Bell Labs, as head of Bell Labs Research and in overseeing all Bell Labs research centers and activities for Alcatel-Lucent. He also chaired GreenTouch, an industry-wide consortium launched by Bell Labs whose goal is making a thousand fold improvement to the energy efficiency of ICT networks.

Gee received his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1986 and his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1993. In 2002, Gee received the Bell Labs Fellow Award.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

NSN Focuses on Simplicity for LTE Rolluts and Small Cells

Nokia Siemens Networks introduced a suite of products and services aimed at simplifying LTE rollouts and the deployment of small cells. Specifically, NSN is launching new content packs as part of its off-the-shelf Operations on Demand platform:

  • Network 360 provides a map-based overview of the entire multi-technology and multi-vendor network, and network domains to speed up both troubleshooting and trouble resolution.

  • Automated LTE Site Creation speeds up site creation and reduces costs by providing error free and automated end-to-end processes with integrated intelligent SON (iSON) capabilities.
  • Location Area Based Subscriber Balancer enables automated subscriber balancing of Mobile Switching Center Servers (MSS) for better network availability for end users at a lower cost.
  • Nokia Siemens Networks’ Operations on Demand is also the engine behind the company’s multi-vendor SON Operations Manager. In addition to providing detailed network views, it offers control, coordination and prioritization for all simultaneously active iSON functions. Together with the Automated LTE Site Creation content pack, it provides benefits such as faster integration of base stations, in minutes instead of days.

"Dealing with diversity in the operations environment has a new urgency for operators as new technologies, services and devices drive exponential growth in data demand, and higher expectations for performance and quality,” said Peter Patomella, head of OSS, Nokia Siemens Networks. “To help operators address these challenges, and shift and simplify their approach, Nokia Siemens Networks is launching a suite of product and services capabilities."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ericsson Aims for Converged Content Delivery Network

Ericsson is introducing a new unified content delivery network (CDN) solution for both fixed and mobile networks.

The new Ericsson Media Delivery Network solution aims to integrate the company's advanced packet core and radio capabilities with a converged cache. The solution also adds management and service exposure layers for intelligent control and business model enablement.

Ericsson said its goal is to enable operators to enter the media value chain with profitable video delivery and to truly leverage their established consumer relationships. At the same time it offers content providers and enterprises cost-effective accessibility and guaranteed quality of experience across all networks, enabling the delivery of video, web content, and app downloads while accelerating commerce.

"Yesterday our mobile devices were telephones, today they are everything; our TVs, our banks, our conference rooms. The recent Ericsson Mobility Report shows that mobile data traffic will grow 12 times by 2018, and this is only the start of the tremendous transformation we will witness. The Ericsson Media Delivery Network solution breaks the boundaries of traditional CDN solutions, offering operators a single, intelligent, and agile management platform for superior efficiency, optimization, velocity of service, and monetization opportunities," stated Per Borgklint, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Support Solutions, Ericsson. 

  • In 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.
  • Ericsson has subsequently introduced CDN capabilities in its Smart Services Routers.

VimpelCom Awards 5-year Managed Services Deal to Ericsson

VimpelCom awarded a five year managed services contract to Ericsson covering network operations on VimpelCom's behalf at more than 10,000 sites, as well as overseeing more than 10,000km of optical transport cables and an extensive fixed network across Siberia and the Urals in Russia. Over 400 VimpelCom employees spread over 41 locations across Siberia and the Urals will be transferred to Ericsson in April.

Ericsson will be responsible for network operations and field maintenance for active and passive network components, for the operator's mobile, fixed and transport networks.

"This agreement meets VimpelCom's long-term plans in strategic programs to increase operating efficiency. The transfer of network maintenance and support to Ericsson will allow us to more effectively optimize costs and network management. Similar projects have already become standard practice in the world, and we are actively supporting this trend, as we see the effectiveness of this model with examples of global operators. We are confident that the knowledge and experience of Ericsson in the extended network service and support, will allow us to maximize our focus on business development, improve the quality of services for our customers and provide additional quality services"- said Anton Kudryashov, General Director of Joint Stock Company" VimpelCom."

Mitsubishi Electric Develops Error Correction for Long-Haul 100G

Mitsubishi Electric has developed an error-correction method for optical communications that achieves a coding gain of 12.0dB.

Mitsubishi Electric said its new error-correction technology enables transmissions four times longer than conventional codes, such as Reed-Solomon codes standardized by ITU-T G.709. As a result, the technology enables long-haul transoceanic transmissions, such as  those between Japan and the United States (about 9,000km), at 100 Gbps per wavelength for high-capacity communication systems.  

The new technology leverages low-density parity-check (LDPC) code, which uses sparse parity check matrices for high-level error correction. The R&D was conducted under the "Lambda Reach Project" of Japan's National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT).

Antilles Crossing Cable Upgrades to 40G with Ciena

Global Caribbean Fiber (GCF), the main provider of network services across the Eastern Caribbean, is upgrading its Antilles Crossing submarine network with Ciena's 6500 Packet-Optical Platform equipped with WaveLogic coherent optical processors and Submarine Line Terminating Equipment (SLTE).

The upgrade, which is slated to be complete in May 2013, uses 40G coherent technology. The upgrade will also use Ciena’s agile GeoMesh optical bypass, which will provide GCF with flexibility to add or drop select wavelengths at intermediate sites.

The 1,100 km Antilles Crossing submarine network connects the Eastern Caribbean islands of St. Croix, St. Lucia, and Barbados.

GCF was created in 2007, jointly owned by Group Loret (60 percent) and Leucadia (40 percent). GCF is also the parent company of the Global Caribbean Network (GCN), Middle Caribbean Network (MCN), Southern Caribbean Fiber (SCF), and Antilles Crossing projects. All of the aforementioned GCF systems are grouped under the GCF network.

Brocade Posts Revenue of $589 Million, up 5% YoY

Brocade reported record first quarter revenue of $588.7 million for the period ended January 26, 2013, an increase of 5% year-over-year and 2% quarter-over-quarter. There was a GAAP loss per share of $(0.05), down from a profit of $0.12 per diluted share in Q1 2012.

"Brocade achieved record revenue in Q1 based on strong performances in both our storage and IP networking businesses," said Lloyd Carney, CEO of Brocade. "As the new CEO, it is my top priority to ensure that the company continues to execute well in our core businesses to drive growth and shareholder value. Looking forward, I see new opportunities emerging in the networking industry due to disruptive IT market trends that are challenging the capabilities of today's networks. It is clear that customers are looking for new technologies and approaches in networking to meet these challenges. I am excited and honored to navigate the company forward, delivering on these customer requirements in a way that drives top-line revenue through both innovation and operational efficiency."

Some highlights:

  • Storage Area Networking (SAN) business revenue, including products and services, was a record $416.9 million, up 3% year-over-year and up 6% sequentially. SAN product revenue increased 3% year-over-year and increased 7% sequentially, led by higher switch and director product sales, in a seasonally strong quarter for the company. Brocade's Gen 5 (16 Gbps) Fibre Channel products represented approximately 42% of director and switch revenue in the quarter. 

  • IP Networking business revenue, including products and services, was $171.8 million, up 11% year-over-year and down 7% quarter-over-quarter. The year-over-year growth was driven by solid performances across all three IP Networking product groups and led by Ethernet switch revenue, which was up 18% year-over-year. Routing revenue was up 5% year-over-year and other IP Networking revenue was up 25% year-over-year driven by higher sales of the Brocade ADX Series of application delivery products. The sequential decline in IP Networking revenue was principally due to lower Ethernet switch sales into the U.S. federal government, which is typical in the company's first fiscal quarter.

Extreme Adds SDN in Latest OS Release

Extreme Networks released the latest version of its modular Operating System (ExtremeXOS v15.3) with new features and support for SDN technology, including OpenFlow and support for SDN applications from partners such as Big Switch Networks and NEC.

The company is also shipping its OpenStack Quantum plugin, a downloadable software module providing a rich API for ExtremeXOS that enables orchestration and management of multi-tenant networks providing security, load balancing and data center interconnect infrastructure as network services.

The OS supports Big Switch Networks' Big Tap, which provides traffic monitoring and dynamic network visibility with flow filtering, and Big Virtual Switch (BVS), an application for virtualized data center networks which provisions the physical network into multiple logical networks across the stack, from Layer 2 to 7. Additionally, ExtremeXOS 15.3 delivers support for AVB (Audio Video Bridging), Identity Management enhancements, XNV Dynamic VLANs and GRE Tunneling enhancements.

EXFO Releases 40G/100G Field Test Module

EXFO introduced its FTB-88100NGE Power Blazer Multiservice Test Module for 40G/100G field testing.

The new unite supports 10M-to-100G rates in a single module and covers a wide range of technologies, including SONET/SDH, OTN and Ethernet.

The FTB-88100NGE Power Blazer features remote management, battery operation and integrated optical tools. Carriers can combine the FTB-88100NGE with EXFO's optical modules, such as an optical spectrum analyzer.  It is compatible with EXFO Connect, so users can benefit from EXFO's cloud-based services, including centralized management of test units and data.

Open Networking User Group: Top Five Recommendations for SDN

The Open Networking User Group (ONUG), which is an industry event organized by networking analyst Nick Lippis, published a list of  Top Five Recommendations to Enable Open Networking:

  • 1. Open Networks Must Be Interoperable Networks - across SDN controllers and multi-vendor physical switches and hypervisors supporting industry standards such as OpenFlow. Software-Defined Networks must address the entire network including physical and virtual switches, and though overlays deliver value today, they are not the end game.
  • 2. Open Networking Means Vendor Neutral Platforms - support for multiple hypervisors, controllers, physical and virtual switches, network services and network silicon in a seamless multi-vendor environment with no vendor lock-in.
  • 3. Open Networking Means Programmable Networks via Northbound APIs - abstract network Command Line Interfaces (CLI) to interface with applications and orchestration stacks to radically reduce the operational cost. Auto provisioning of physical and virtual network gear, compute and storage scheduling, and workload placement via an orchestration stack that does not require coding. The Northbound APIs should also serve as an innovation injection to speed-to-market new applications, network services and design options.
  • 4. Increased Network Visibility and Monitoring - open networking also means visible networking so that troubleshooting, design, traffic flow optimization, and others are enabled. Open networks should emit real time network statistics to various traffic analytic and Big Data engines to determine network operational state.
  • 5. Open Networking Business Model Needed - The industry needs to develop a business model that includes but is not limited to financial, support and service models. ONUG believes that for open networking to accelerate, the industry needs a viable, altruistic, truly open networking business model to drive innovation, fuel research and development and deliver best of breed solutions without allowing individual vendor proprietary interests to derail SDN deployments. Who will be the Red Hat of Open Networking?

"Transformation in the networking industry occurred once before in the 1990s as companies migrated toward TCP/IP and away from proprietary protocols such as SNA and DECnet, and although this transition took a decade it brought the world the Internet,” said Nick Lippis, host of the Open Networking User Group and founder of the Lippis Report. "Though this open networking migration cycle will more than likely proceed similarly, the innovation and disruption have begun, and sophisticated IT leaders are in the driver’s seat trialing and beginning deployments of open SDN solutions today."

Aviat Lands $10M Contract with U.S. Municipal Network

Aviat Networks announced orders worth over $10 million for a combination of microwave backhaul equipment and services to support the public safety network of one of the largest city municipalities in the United States.

The network supports the city's police, firefighters and other first responders on a multi-agency wireless system. Aviat is installing Eclipse IRU 600 and Eclipse ODU 600 radios to provide seamless migration to IP/MPLS and LTE while supporting the mission-critical requirements of existing TDM traffic.

"The public safety LTE infrastructure will need to support the next wave of in-field crime-fighting tools, such as mobile surveillance video," say Tony Ljubicich, vice president of sales, the Americas, Aviat Networks. "This upgrade of the city's wireless voice and data microwave backhaul will deliver LTE-proven bandwidth for video as well as other real-time applications such as fingerprint matching and identity checks. Moreover, it is set to be leveraged for integration into the statewide radio system when the time comes."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Vistapointe - The Power of Mobile Analytics & Mobile Advertising

Mobile operators have a wealth of information about how applications are being used across their networks. Mobile users are consuming ever increasing amounts of media on smartphones and tablets. Looking deep into the data could unlock significant value for the network operators, users in search of contextually-relevant media, and third-party advertisers, explains Shrikant Latkar, VP of Marketing at InMobi and Board Advisor at Vistapointe.

1:00 -- Mobile Operators Look to New Revenue Streams
2:00 -- Smartphones Change the Game for Network Traffic and Media Consumption
4:00 -- Unlocking Value with User Data
5:10 Mobile Apps Can Leverage Network Intelligence
7:38 -- Context Delivers Ultimate Value for the User

Vistapointe, a start-up based in San Ramon, California with R&D in Bangalore, India, offers a cloud-based and embedded network intelligence solutions for mobile and enterprise Wi-Fi operators.

Unlike general purpose, deep packet inspection (DPI)-based network intelligence platforms, Vistapointe features a Linux-base packet parser engine to selectively decode 3GPP and 4G/LTE protocols, capture only specific protocol fields, apply compression and then deliver this data to a cloud-based mobile analytics platform.
The cloud-based analytics enables Vistapoint to offer a highly scalable Network Intelligence As A Service (NiAS) for 3G, 4G/LTE and Wi-Fi carriers.  Vistapointe's Dynamic Subscriber Profiling enables the operator to predict subscriber usage patterns and profile their mobile data customers so as to offer fine-tuned tariff plans.  Vistapointe also said its dynamic subscriber profiling could leverage APIs to integrate with 3rd party mobile ad platforms.