Friday, March 1, 2013

OFC/NFOEC Booth Tour: Calient Technologies

CALIENT Technologies introduced a new 320-port photonic switch designed for data center applications. The new switch leverages the company's patented 3D microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) switching technology, can be used to create a scalable, flexible, switched network fabric, with total throughput of 3.2 TB that connects top-of-rack switches and core routers.

 CALIENT’s enabling technology is a three-dimensional array of silicon micro mirrors that are used to switch up to 320 incoming fiber optic signals from any port to any output port. The module delivers switching speed of less than 25 milliseconds, and offers redundant control processors and high availability Linux OS carrier-grade OS.

 At OFC/NFOEC, CALIENT is showing the S320 for the first time.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mobile World Congress 2013 Hit Record 72,000 Attendance

The GSMA confirmed a record 72,000 visitors attended this week's 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

“We are thrilled with the record results for Mobile World Congress 2013, in our first year here in Fira Gran Via,” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd. “Mobile is one of the most vibrant and dynamic industries in the world, and the innovation that is powering the sector was clearly evident throughout Mobile World Congress, in the exhibition, the conference, programmes such as App Planet and mPowered Brands and new event initiatives such as the NFC Experience.

There were more than 1,700 exhibiting companies and the show floor covered 94,000 net square meters of exhibition and hospitality space. More than 3,400 international media and industry analysts attended the event .

According to a preliminary independent economic analysis, the 2013 Mobile World Congress will have contributed more than 320 million Euros to the local economy. This represents an increase of approximately 19 million Euros over the economic impact of the 2012 event and is driven by the growth in attendance and number of exhibiting companies, as well as the increased footprint of exhibition and hospitality spaces.

Huawei's FusionNet for LTE-B Envisions 500% Gains

At Mobile World Congress, Huawei outlined its "FusionNet" next generation network architecture for LTE-B.

The company believes it can improve Cell Edge User (CEU) throughput by at least 500% with a series of multi-RAT, multi-band and multi-layer HetNet enhancements.

Huawei’s FusionNet concept for LTE-B comprises several core technologies, including multi-stream aggregation, interference coordination, traffic adaption and spectrum efficiency optimization. Existing LTE and LTE-A deployments and technologies (including CoMP and carrier aggregation) will be coordinated.

Also at MWC 2013, Huawei unveiled its Ultra Node prototype design for future mobile broadband base stations. Huawei said its Ultra Node enhances the spectrum utilization and overall network efficiency to achieve a 50 Gbps peak data speed in a single node.

Huawei also noted that since 2010 it has contributed 362 LTE, LTE-A and LTE-B proposals for 3GPP LTE standards, accounting for nearly 20% of the global total and more than any other contributor.

Telefónica Targets Seamless Wi-Fi + 3G/4G

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Telefónica showcased Wi-Fi access working seamlessly with 4G.

Telefónica's vision is to enable smartphone and tablet users to move seamlessly between different wireless access technologies without losing coverage – leading the way to a wide range of next generation multimedia services.  The carrier believes Wi-Fi will prove to be more useful when it is fully integrated with 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) based mobile technologies.

Telefónica’s demo at the MWC showcases highly advanced network features enabling seamless handover between Wi-Fi and LTE and also implementing a set of network policies easing the discovery and selection of the network, regardless of the access technology and transparently to the customer.  WiFi and LTE networks in seamless integration enabling communication uninterrupted service sessions during handovers across access technologies.

The company also demoed voice over LTE, which offers approximately 40% improvement on voice quality and the ability to make connections in 0.25 seconds or 20 times faster than a standard 3G call.

Telefonica  said a key advantage of VoLTE is that it can be combined with several enhanced IP-based services such as High Definition Voice, presence, location, and Rich Communication Suite (RCS) additions like instant messaging, video share and enhanced phone books. Moreover, VoLTE enables prioritization over other data streams to deliver consistently high quality service levels.

Telefónica Sees Growth in Mobile Data (+12.8%), Latin America (+5.5%)

Thanks to growth in Latin America and mobile data services, Telefónica achieved a 2012 EUR 62.356 billion.

Mobile data revenues were up +12.8% year on year while revenues from Latin America rose +5.5%.  Telefónica’s consolidated OIBDA grew by +5.1% in reported terms to EUR 21,231 billion , which places the OIBDA margin at 34% (+1.9 p.p.).

Some 2012 highlights:

Telefónica ended 2012 with a customer base that grew by +3% to 316 million accesses.

Mobile customers totalled 247 million accesses at close of 2012 (+4%), with growth rates of +7% in the contract segment.

At the end of December, Telefónica had 52.8 million mobile broadband customers (+38%) and had 18.6 million retail fixed broadband
accesses (+3%).

Between January and December, Telefónica reduced its financial debt by over EUR 5 billion to EUR 51.259 billion, which means that the net financial debt to OIBDA ratio is 2.36 times.

During financial year 2012, Telefónica invested EUR 9,458 billion, i.e. 14.2% of its revenue (excluding investments in spectrum). 81% of that investment was earmarked for growth and transformation projects.

SFR Picks Cisco for Elastic Packet Core

SFR, which serves more than 20 million mobile customers across France, has selected Cisco to expand and enhance its mobile Internet network in order to accelerate the deployment of LTE services.

SFR will leverage Cisco's next-generation Internet architecture, including elastic packet core, mobile backhaul, and service provider Wi-Fi solutions, t odeploy the widest range of heterogeneous radio networks (2G/3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi), capture new business opportunities, foster new business models and meet rapidly growing network demands.

The Cisco Elastic Packet Core will provide 4G LTE Mobility Management Entity (MME), Serving Gateway (SGW), Packet Data Network Gateway (PGW), 2G/3G GGSN and SGSN applications. The MME is critical to the network function of the 4G LTE network. The Cisco MME manages multiple back-end functions, including authentication, paging, mobility with 3GPP 2G and 3G nodes, roaming and other functions. The Cisco Serving Gateway (SGW) and the Cisco Packet Data Network Gateway (PGW) are two essential elements to SFR’s 4G LTE mobile network. The Cisco SGW provides superior throughput and processing, while the Cisco PGW acts as policy enforcement, managing quality of service (QoS).

SFR is also deploying the Cisco ASR 901 and Cisco ASR 903 mobile backhaul solutions.

In addition to SFR’s 4G deployment, Cisco will also support the service provider’s 2G and 3G cellular networks with its Cisco Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) and Cisco Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN).

NSN Announces LTE Wins in Germany and New Zealand

Germany’s E-Plus Group has selected Nokia Siemens Networks as a partner for its LTE rollout.  Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will expand E-Plus’ current HSPA+ capacity in the 2100 MHz band while modernizing its GSM network. NSN will supply its high-capacity Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station and its Liquid Radio GSM software suite, which enables operators to free GSM spectrum for LTE. Nokia Siemens Networks will also expand the capabilities of its NetAct network management system and deliver various services such as installation and integration, network optimization and build. Financials terms were not disclosed.

Separately, Nokia Siemens Networks confirmed that Vodafone New Zealand selected it to deploy an LTE network in the 1800 MHz spectrum band across the country. In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks in partnership with Vodafone New Zealand upgraded Vodafone’s 2G and 3G networks to ensure improved coverage and speed for subscribers. They also jointly completed GSM and LTE refarming so that part of the GSM spectrum can be re-used for LTE. This leads to enhanced speed and coverage, as well as a gain in capacity by up to 50 percent.

"The launch of the country’s first commercial 4G network is a major milestone for New Zealand. We’ve now joined other countries around the world which are already seeing the benefits of the increased speed and performance with 4G, and we’re delighted to lead the rollout of 4G service in New Zealand with Nokia Siemens Networks. With so much of our lives being driven now by the desire and ability to be connected to data wherever we are, this major network investment by Vodafone is really important,” Russell Stanners, CEO of Vodafone New Zealand.

MedNautilus Deploys Infinera's DTN-X for 100G Services

MedNautilus, the Mediterranean operations of the Telecom Italia Sparkle Group, has deployed the Infinera DTN-X platform to boost its subsea network and deliver up to 100 Gbps international connectivity services.

MedNautilus operates the largest protected submarine cable network in the Mediterranean connecting Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel and Cyprus, and serves the growing capacity needs of the region.

“Mednautilus now operates the first submarine cable network in Europe able to provide up to 100 Gbps  international connectivity services with a solution that ensures top quality and efficiency standards,” said Mario Pirro, Sparkle’s EVP Technology. “The market in the region is demanding faster and more advanced services and with the Infinera DTN-X solution for the provision of 100Gb/s services, we are able to provide the capacity we need in order to meet the fast growing requirements of our customers throughout the markets covered by our backbone.”

Procera Selected by Orange Switzerland & U.S. Tier One

Orange Switzerland has placed an initial order for Procera Networks' Intelligent Policy Enforcement solutions.

Procera's PL8820 PacketLogic Intelligence Center (PIC) and the PacketLogic Subscriber Manager (PSM) will be deployed throughout Orange's network as a replacement for an existing solution. Procera's solutions will be used to allow Orange to offer high value subscriber services. Procera expects to recognize most of the revenue related to this order in the first half of 2013.

Separately, Procera Networks also confirmed an initial order from a top five North American DSL operator. The carrier selected Procera's Intelligent Policy Enforcement systems to support detailed subscriber-aware traffic analysis and reporting across its fixed-line broadband network and for sophisticated network and subscriber analytics across its deployment footprint. Procera recognized revenue from this initial order in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Commscope Offers Combined Fiber/Copper in Single Cable

Commscope introduced a new cable design to help MSOs incorporate fiber deeper into their plant as a bridge from HFC (Hybrid Fiber-Coax) networks to a fiber rich network.

CommScope’s E2O (Electrical to Optical) is a combination of the company's coaxial/fiber product lines that merges microducts and microcables, along with fiber and coaxial cable, in one sheath versus multiple sheaths.

“Because of this single sheath, E2O can help mitigate current and future installation costs while ensuring future migration strategies including PON, RFoG and other FTTx technologies. Whether an operator needs to reconfigure, maintain or replace their HFC residential services, deploying E2O helps ‘future proof’ their network for when fiber is eventually needed. If their strategy is to install coaxial cable integrated with fiber or conduit for future fiber blow-in, or both, operators can once again minimize expenses by installing all under one sheath at the same time," said Doug Wells, vice president, Outside Plant Solutions, Broadband, CommScope.

Saudi Telecom Names ZTE as a Preferred Vendor

The STC Group, the largest telecom provider in the Middle East & North Africa, named ZTE as one its preferred global vendors.

The agreement between ZTE and STC Group, announced at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, will allow ZTE to offer its portfolio of network infrastructure equipment through a global price structure based on total business located in Bahrain, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

IBM Pushes for Network Core Virtualization

IBM is endorsing the virtualization of network infrastructure to extend the benefits of a cloud delivery model to communications networks.

Under its "Smarter Communications" initiative, IBM is working with business partners, including Connectem Inc., to deliver telecom solutions that run on its elastic, on-demand cloud platforms.

The Virtual Core for Mobile (VCM) is a software solution from Connectem, an IBM Business Partner, which has the potential to deliver higher network performance during peak usage periods, where millions of customers could be accessing a mobile network via smartphones or tablets.

A virtualized solution can rapidly switch computing resources to deliver incremental capacity on-demand. As a result, customers experience lower network latency even during periods of peak network activity. The Connectem VCM software running on IBM PureFlex platform is a part of a key initiative that can dramatically reduce the time to deploy new services as software applications on general-purpose computing platforms.

The Australian mobile carrier Optus recently tested a new mobile network capacity solution from Connectem Inc. running on IBM PureFlex. The IBM PureSystems family offers carriers an alternative to current enterprise computing models, where multiple and disparate systems require significant resources to set up and maintain.

"The IBM PureFlex platform is uniquely suited to enable virtualization of network functions that are implemented as software applications running on elastic, on-demand infrastructure in 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi wireless networks," said Jacqueline Woods, global vice president of Systems Software & Growth Initiatives, IBM Systems & Technology Group. "We continue to support our partners as they develop and bring to market innovative solutions on the PureFlex platform."

DOCOMO's Mobile Base Station Hits 10 Gbps Uplink

NTT DOCOMO and the Tokyo Institute of Technology achieved an uplink rate of approximately 10 Gbps during a field experiment.

In the experiment, a 400 MHz bandwidth in the 11 GHz spectrum was transmitted from a mobile station moving at approximately 9 km/h. Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology was used to spatially multiplex different data streams using 8 transmitting antennas and 16 receiving antennas on the same frequency.

In light of the squeeze on remaining frequencies as mobile data traffic continues to increase, DOCOMO aims to achieve a transmission speed of more than 10 Gbps using super-high-frequency bands exceeding 5 GHz. Such high frequencies have been difficult to use for mobile networks due to the limited distances their waves are able to travel, especially along indirect paths such as around buildings.

NTT DOCOMO said the technologies also are applicable to downlink packet transmissions, suggesting that it should be possible to achieve a 10 Gbps downlink.

NTT DOCOMO Selects NEC Base Stations for Proposed C-RAN Architecture

NEC confirmed that NTT Docomo has selected it to develop LTE-Advanced base stations for its new C-RAN architecture.

NTT Docomo is proposing a new Advanced C-RAN architecture that uses small "add-on" cells for localized coverage that act in concert with macro cells in HetNet fashion.  Deep integration is achieved using carrier aggregation technology, one of the main LTE-Advanced technologies standardized by 3GPP.

Under the Advanced C-RAN architecture, high-capacity base stations utilizing advanced C-RAN architecture will serve as master base stations both for multiple macro cells covering broad areas and for add-on cells in smaller, high-traffic areas. The base stations will accommodate up to 48 macro and add-on cells at launch and even more later. Carrier aggregation will be supported for cells served by the same base station, enabling the flexible deployment of add-on cells. In addition, maximum downlink throughput will be extendible to 3Gbps, as specified by 3GPP standards.

Carrier aggregation is expected to yield 3 Gbps maximum throughput by aggregating multiple carriers of up to 100 MHz of carrier bandwidth.

DOCOMO, China Mobile and KT Announce Wi-Fi Roaming Deal

NTT DOCOMO,China Mobile International and KT agreed to lay out a joint Wi-Fi inbound roaming scheme covering Japan, China and Korea.

The new arrangement will allow international mobile and/or Wi-Fi operators to roam into Wi-Fi hotspots in Japan, China and Korea through a single contract and a one-stop connection realized by hubs supported by the scheme.

China Mobile International is named to be one of the hub operators. The companies hope to launch in Q2 2013.

The three carriers also agreed to adopt EAP-SIM authentication technology to eliminate the need for customers to enter user IDs and passwords when accessing Wi-Fi hotspots, leading to improved convenience and experiences.

Separately, the three carriers have also agreed on handset and service requirements needed to realize NFC international roaming services, or NFC service roaming, between the three countries and for the rest of Asia. The companies have been exploring opportunities for NFC service roaming since January 2011, and from April 2012, efforts have focused on developing common requirements.

Gigamon Turns Big Data into Manageable Data for Mobile Carriers

Gigamon is developing an innovative approach for dealing with the problems that Big Data creates for network visibility in the networks of mobile operators.  The aim is to deliver a cost-effective solution for connecting single or multiple 40Gb and 100Gb pipes to 10Gb and 1Gb analytic tools.

Gigamon's technology essentially takes the network traffic flowing through the large pipes, and controls the volume of data being forwarded to the tools.  The concept is being showcased at this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The company said this approach will faithfully reproduce the data on a smaller scale, retaining its stateful condition with session awareness. Single tools can then effectively process throughput of what was originally 100Gb or 40Gb traffic flows.

When commercially available, this new innovation will work in tandem with Gigamon’s Flow Mapping and GigaSMART applications technologies. Flow Mapping enables advanced filtering of individual network traffic packets that are forwarded according to a set of user-defined rules that are optimized to provide customers with unique granularity and scalability.

GigaSMART applications modify, manipulate, transform and transport packets, along with the information they carry, in order to enhance and improve the value of the network traffic before delivering it to the appropriate management, monitoring and security tools.

“Gigamon was the first to recognize that the flow of data rushing through mobile carrier pipes has scaled to such levels that no technology out there can sufficiently filter and process it all, so we decided to design an entirely new approach,” said Andy Huckridge, director of service provider solutions at Gigamon. “For the first time, the industry as a whole has a real way to tackle the issues associated with Big Data. Through this new concept we hope to alleviate much of the data running through 40Gb and 100Gb pipes, allowing it to fit into smaller existing pipes and saving the carrier from drowning under the massive flow of data and resulting greater tooling costs.”

Huawei Shows SDN-based Mobile Backhaul

Huawei introduced an SDN-based mobile backhaul solution that simplifies the operation and maintenance (O&M) and management of mobile backhaul networks and shortens the time to market (TTM) of new services. The solution helps operators resolve network issues during the evolution to LTE networks.

Huawei said three large gaps persist in backhaul networks that operators must leap over during the evolution to LTE and LTE-A networks.

First, a large gap exists between massive LTE hotspots and limited hotspot backhaul sites. The LTEHaul solution extends the traditional backhaul network downwards to form a fronthaul, facilitating the management and maintenance of massive hotspot backhaul nodes.

A second large gap is present between the vast increase in the LTE bandwidth and the limited bandwidth on the traditional backhaul network.

Third, there is a large gap between the traditional backhaul and core networks. The LTEHaul solution stretches the traditional backhaul network upwards to achieve end-to-end fast service provisioning, protection switching, and fault locating from eNodeBs to evolved packet cores (EPCs).

Ericsson Highlights SDN for Mobile Operators

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Ericsson is highlighting its vision for how software defined networking (SDN) vision will transfer Service Provider infrastructure.
Ericsson said its Service Provider SDN vision expands the industry definition in three important ways to open new revenue opportunities and costs saving for network operators:

Integrated network control, extending SDN control from the data center into the wide area network, all the way to the radio access network
Orchestrated network and cloud management bringing both legacy network management and new management system together in a unified control plane
Service exposure opening network interfaces to applications developers

At Mobile World Congress, Ericsson also announced its commitment to deliver the first commercial Service Provider SDN application in the fourth quarter of 2013. That initial application will be Service Chaining running in the SSR 8000 family of Smart Service Routers.

KPN Awards Five-year Managed Services Deal to ALU

KPN awarded a five-year managed services agreement to Alcatel-Lucent for the transformation of KPN’s fixed network in The Netherlands. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of KPN’s network, Alcatel-Lucent will migrate existing Voice and Transport networks to next-gen Alcatel-Lucent technology.

Under the deal, Alcatel-Lucent will plan, design and implement an end-to-end solution to provide KPN’s network with increased capacity, upgraded equipment, and best-in-class customer service processes. Alcatel-Lucent also will help KPN transform its existing multi-vendor voice and core networks enabling its customers to access and share multimedia content from wherever they are or using the device of their choice be it smartphone, computer or tablet.

As part of the network upgrade, Alcatel-Lucent will migrate KPN’s core network to next-gen Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) technology, move KPN’s VoIP service to Alcatel-Lucent’s IMS platform and provide WLAN and security gateway for Wi-Fi networks, as well as Professional Services.

Ixia Introduces GTP-Session Awareness Visibility

Ixia introduced a network visibility solution to help mobile operators gain better insight and control over individual user sessions in order to increase customers’ quality of experience.

Highlights of the Ixia Anue GSC include:

  • GTP-session awareness -- Offloads GTP session correlation from monitoring tools while keeping GTP sessions together across multiple probes. The Anue GSC understands GTP protocol and can deliver all packets from a single subscriber to a single tool as well as send GTP-session and non-GTP, non-session traffic to different pools of probes.
  • A scalable load balancing solution -- Distributes millions of subscriber sessions to tools in a 32-port configuration, doubling the number of ports for twice the performance in a 2RU chassis.
  • Carrier-grade robustness — NEBS Level 1 certified, including high-availability features such as redundant management ports, power supplies and fan trays.