Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cisco Extends Carrier Wi-Fi with 3G Plug-in, Mini ASR Edge Router

Cisco is looking to extend its considerable reach in campus and enterprise Wi-Fi by introducing licensed radio small-cell carrier capabilities.

The rollout includes:

  • Cisco 3G Small Cell Module for Cisco Aironet Access Points is Wi-Fi compatible and integrates licensed and unlicensed small cells with a plug-in 3G radio for ease of deployment.  Cisco said the upgrade slot on its latest Aironet APs could accommodate 4G radio plug-in, although this has not been announced so far. The 3G plug-in does not require a separate antenna as it uses the AP's antenna.
  • Cisco 3G Small Cell expands Cisco’s solution for enterprises with a channel to market for premises-based deployments.
  • Cisco ASR 901S is designed to enable wide-scale deployment of outdoor small cells by extending carrier-class small-cell routing to the outdoor installation pole to break the backhaul bottleneck.

Mandiant: China's Cyber Espionage Led by PLA Unit in Shanghai

A highly publicized report from Mandiant, a security consulting firm based in Arlington, Virginia, links cyber attacks on over 140 U.S. corporations to a specific unit of China's People's Liberation Army.

The report, called "APT1: Exposing One of China’s Cyber Espionage Units," details how it has the PLA's Unit 61398 systematically carried out spear-phishing attacks and stole confidential data from leading companies across multiple industries.  Mandiant claims the widespread attacks are on-going.  

In addition to describing the methodology of the attacks, the Mandiant report provides domain names, MD5 hashes of malware and X.509 encryption certificates associated with the attackers.

Some highlights of the widely-cited Mandiant report:
  • APT1 has systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data
  • APT1 is believed to have dozens, if not hundreds of human operators.
  • APT1 maintains an extensive infrastructure of computer systems around the world.
  • In over 97% of the 1,905 times Mandiant observed APT1 intruders connecting to their attack infrastructure, APT1 used IP addresses registered in Shanghai and systems set to use the Simplified Chinese language.
  • Mandiant observed APT1 establish a minimum of 937 Command and Control (C2) servers hosted on 849 distinct IP addresses in 13 countries. The majority of these 849 unique IP addresses were 
  • registered to organizations in China (709), followed by the U.S. (109). 

NSN Expands Small Cell Portfolio and Accelerates Deployments with FlexiZone

Nokia Siemens Networks is introducing new Micro and Pico base stations for LTE and Wi-Fi designed to complement standard base station capacity in hot zones - areas of high subscriber density. The new Micro and Pico bases stations can be integrated into the company’s Flexi Zone architecture for mobile traffic hot zones.

Nokia Siemens Networks’ Flexi Zone supports up to 100 access points per hot zone while operating as a single base station from the network’s point of view. 

NSN said the unique architecture of Flexi Zone helps manage interference and significantly reduces the core network and maintenance demands of large small cell deployments while addressing street level challenges. The compact next generation Flexi Zone Micro and Pico can be operated as stand-alone base stations initially and then evolved into Flexi Zone Access Points in a Flexi Zone architecture, as hot spots grow into hot zones from areas covering a few cells to large indoor spaces like shopping malls and airports.

At next week's Mobile World Congress, NSN is also introducing new HSPA+ and LTE Femtocells for small cell coverage in enterprises and indoor public areas. The two new products feature plug-and-play deployment and provisioning to enable rapid ramp-up of new services, tap into new revenue streams, and capitalize on value-added enterprise services. The FAPe-hsp 5620 Femtocell for HSPA+ offers high output power for large coverage, while the FAPe-lte 7610 is the company’s first Femtocell Access Point for LTE.

The company is also enhancing services for Heterogeneous Networks (HetNets) to include customer experience management capabilities to analyze traffic hotspots and ensure backhaul capacity. Services for HetNets includes hotspot analysis, optimization and small cell planning and deployment to help operators optimize their mix of macro and small cells. It now provides customer experience management capabilities to help operators understand the effect of traffic hotspots on the end user experience.

"To support the dramatic growth in mobile broadband demand, operators will need to significantly increase capacity in high-traffic areas by adding small cells that complement their macro network. Our complete small cell portfolio comprises a package of products and services to combine macro and small cells to provide the best coverage and capacity in all locations," said Bill Payne, head of the small cells business, Nokia Siemens Networks. “With these launches, we are extending our industry lead in small cells by offering a complete portfolio across both macro and small cell technologies that delivers the best return on operator investment.”


LSI Introduces ARM-based Axxia 5500 Processors for 4G Base Stations

LSI introduced its ARM-based family of Axxia 5500 processors designed for multi-radio LTE base stations, cell site routers, gateways and mobile backhaul equipment.

The new processors combine up to 16 ARM Cortex-A15 cores with LSI specialized networking accelerators to optimize performance and power efficiency.  On-chip network accelerators deliver up to 50 Gbps packet processing, 20 Gbps security processing and 160 Gbps of Ethernet switching via 16 10G Ethernet interfaces. LSI plans to offer several versions with different core counts and throughput capabilities.  The chip design leverages ARM’s CoreLink CCN-504 low-latency interconnect in 28nm process technology.

LSI said its combination of networking expertise, specialized acceleration engines and Virtual Pipeline technology with ARM’s power-efficient processors and interconnect IP delivers communication processors that are uniquely suited for building intelligent, heterogeneous networks.

“The combination of ARM’s leading coherent interconnect, energy-efficient multicore processor technology and advanced physical IP in the LSI Axxia 5500 series delivers significant gains in performance density. This will enable highly efficient systems with new levels of software flexibility and scalability for heterogeneous networks,” said Ian Ferguson, vice president of Segment Marketing, ARM. “LSI and ARM enjoy a strong relationship, and we are working to meet the needs of customers who are focusing on building next-generation network infrastructure.”


Tilera Chips Packs 72 64-bit Cores, 100G Network I/O

Tilera introduced a processor packing 72 power-efficient cores, 100 Gbps I/O and four high-performance DDR3 memory controllers.  The design targets Big Data appliances, such as L2-7 networking and firewall platforms and high-throughput SDN equipment.

The TILE-Gx72 leverages Tilera’s iMesh-dimensional interconnect, DDC distributed coherent cache, and TileDirect direct-to-cache I/O. The new design doubles the performance of the company's TILE-Gx36 processor introduced a year ago.
Tilera said its silicon will be capable of performing network monitoring and analytics with 100% line-rate packet capture at 100 Gbps.

“The TILE-Gx72 rounds out our processor portfolio, complementing our 9, 16 and 36-core TILE-Gx processors and is offering a remarkable range of processing performance,” said Devesh Garg, president and CEO of Tilera. “Customers demand ever-increasing levels of performance and performance-per-watt to stay competitive and they simultaneously want to reuse their software and hardware investments across their product portfolio.  The TILE-Gx72 brings an unprecedented amount of compute to customer designs, and leverages thousands of open source libraries and the growing Linux ecosystem.”

Martin Cooper Awarded Charles Stark Draper Prize

Martin Cooper, who led the Motorola team that developed the first mobile phone in 1973, was named as one of the recipients of the Charles Stark Draper Prize, the highest honor of the National Academy of Engineering.

Cooper famously placed the first portable, cellular call on April 3, 1973 from outside a press conference in New York City to a landline at Bell Labs in New Jersey.  The call used the Motorola DynaTAC, which weighed 2.2 lbs., had 35 minutes of talk-time and a battery life of 20 minutes.  

"Long before we messaged people in real-time, had instant maps for anywhere, or streamed movies on our smartphones, Martin Cooper and his team laid the foundations of mobile phone technology," said Iqbal Arshad, SVP, Global Product Development, Motorola Mobility."When we look at everything that's been accomplished thanks to the hard work of Martin and his team, we can't think of anyone more deserving of this honor."



Other recipients of the Charles Stark Draper prize this year include Joel S. Engel, Richard H. Frenkiel, Thomas Haug, and Yoshihisa Okumura, all of who were recognized for their contributions to communications.

DOCOMO Tops 10M LTE Subscribers, 4K LTE Base Stations

NTT DOCOMO has surpassed the 10 million subscriber milestone for its Xi (pronounced crossy) LTE mobile service.  Subscribers reached one million in December 2011 and then quickly topped five million in August 2012.

NTT DOCOMO commercially launched its LTE service on December 24, 2010.

DOCOMO supports its LTE customers with a wide variety of advanced devices, including 32 smartphones, six tablets and seven data terminals so far.

DOCOMO currently has also 4,000 base stations supporting at least 75 Mbps downlinks. This number is expected to jump to 10,000 by June.  The company also plans to introduce a 150 Mbps downlink service before March 2014.


Cavium Advances TurboDPI Software for its OCTEON Processors

Cavium introduced TurboDPI II software for its OCTEON II processors.  The software includes up to nine major DPI functional modules.  Cavium's design ensures that data is only scanned once by the OCTEON's built-in hardware HFA DPI engines, and then the results are passed to the appropriate module.

The company said its TurboDPI II enables market-leading DPI performance and speeds up time to market for Enterprise Cloud, Data Center and 3G/4G/LTE Wireless equipment manufacturers.

"In the last two years, our TurboDPI product line has been taken up by a number of Tier 1 players in the 3G/4G infrastructure and Enterprise Markets," said YJ Kim, Vice President, Infrastructure Processor Division, Cavium. "Now with nine DPI modules, TurboDPI II provides new functionality for the Cloud and Data Center markets and will help service the ever growing demand for more fine grained network, application visibility and security."


Maxim and Freescale Partner on LTE Picocell

Maxim Integrated and Freescale Semiconductor are planning to to showcase an LTE/3G picocell base station at next week's 2013 Mobile World Congress.

The picocell base station design integrates a Freescale BSC9132 multi-core baseband processor and Maxim MAX2580 small cell RF transceiver to deliver LTE/3G coverage with 1W+ antenna output. The LTE/3G picocell brings together a Freescale BSC9132 base station SoC card, a Maxim MAX2580 RF transceiver card, RF power amplifiers, and network management cards—all in a passively cooled enclosure and weighing in at 6.8kg. 

NSN Names Samih Elhage as CFO

Nokia Siemens Networks named Samih Elhage as its chief financial officer. Elhage, who was previously the company’s chief operating officer, will continue to report to CEO Rajeev Suri as a member of the company’s Executive Board. Elhage replaces Marco Schroeter, who leaves Nokia Siemens Networks with immediate effect.

Before joining Nokia Siemens Networks in March 2012, Elhage served as a senior advisor to leading private equity and global management consulting firms.  Prior to these advisory positions, until August 2010, Elhage held a number of leadership roles at Nortel, including president of Carrier Voice over IP and Applications Solutions, and vice president of Corporate Business Operations.


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."