Tuesday, March 12, 2013

MWC Video Perspective: Wireless Backhaul for LTE

Amir Makleff, CEO of BridgeWave Communications, discusses the elements needed for small cell backhaul.

1. Does the backhaul remain the primary obstacle for widespread small cell rollouts?

2. How does BridgeWave's FLEX4G address the LTE backhaul challenge?

3. What is happening with BridgeWave relative to small cell backhaul?

4. Is time-to-market the critical factor that carriers look to when considering wireless backhaul?


Oclaro Develops 100G Indium Phosphide Tunable Transmitter

Oclaro has achieved a key milestone towards the development of a 100G coherent CFP2 pluggable module based on a new generation of indium phosphide (InP) photonic components that can deliver the high density, low power dissipation, and reduced cost.

Specifically, Oclaro demonstrated that its transmitter can achieve the high electro-optic bandwidth and low power dissipation to meet the requirements of an analog coherent CFP2.  The integrated 100G transmitter is based on Oclaro's proven high-volume InP technology and replaces two discrete narrow linewidth tunable lasers (typically external cavity iTLAs), and an external Mach-Zehnder modulator with a single component that serves as both the transmitter and as the local oscillator for the coherent receiver.

"With this accomplishment, Oclaro has reaffirmed its leadership position in indium phosphide technology and is now in an excellent position to deliver a new generation of highly disruptive pluggable modules for coherent applications," said Jim Haynes, President of Global Business for Oclaro, Inc. "We are excited that Oclaro will enable its customers to drive the growth of coherent technology into the metro and long haul markets where higher density and lower power dissipation are critical requirements and where pluggability offers significant benefits."

The coherent CFP2 production ramp is expected for mid-2014.


Compass-EOS Unveils Silicon-to-Photonics Router

Compass-EOS, a start-up based in Israel, unveiled its radical silicon-to-photonics router that essentially leverages an on-chip optical mesh and electronics to route high-densities of 100GbE and 10GbE.

The company's silicon-to-photonics implementation, which it calls icPhotonics, simplifies router design by bringing the entire backplane on-chip, thereby enabling petabit-class scalability, significantly smaller footprint and power consumption, and easier implementation of software-defined networking capabilities.  The on–chip optical integration ensures QoS routing at high utilization rates and congestion-free multicast packet handling. Compass-EOS said it is also able to ensure maximum router protection from DDoS attacks at maximum capacity.

The company's first product, r10004, is a carrier-grade, modular platform offering 800 Gbps Capacity in a 6U enclosure.  It offers 2 x 100G ports or 20 x 10G ports with full Layer 3 routing functionality for core, peering or aggregation deployments. The r10004 router has been shipping since late 2012 and is currently deployed by several top-tier carriers, including a Japan-based cable provider.

Compass-EOS was founded in 2006 by Michael Laor, who previously was a Director of Engineering and Architecture of Cisco Systems, and Dr. Michael Mesh, who had been a co-founder and CTO of PacketLight Networks.

Investors in Compass-EOS is backed by Comcast Ventures, T-Ventures, Cisco Systems, Pitango Venture Capital, Benchmark Capital, Northbridge Venture Partners and Crescent Point.  The company has raised over $120 million to date.

“A major concern for service providers today is how to scale their networks while simplifying operations and improving utilization. We set out to address that concern by building a new breed of routers,” said Gadi Bahat, CEO of Compass-EOS. “Our revolutionary router design built on icPhotonics simplifies the network, brings about cost savings, moves service providers toward SDN and network


Silver Spring Networks Prices IPO at $17

Silver Spring Networks, which supplies a networking platform for energy utilities, announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 4,750,000 shares of common stock at a price to the public of $17.00 per share. This equates to approximately $81 million.

The shares are expected to begin trading on The New York Stock Exchange on March 13, 2013 under the symbol "SSNI."

Silver Spring Networks customers include major utilities around the globe such as Baltimore Gas & Electric, CitiPower & Powercor, Commonwealth Edison, CPS Energy, Florida Power & Light, Jemena Electricity Networks Limited, Pacific Gas & Electric, Pepco Holdings, Inc., and Progress Energy, among others.


FCC Approves MetroPCS + T-Mobile USA Merger

The FCC approved the proposed merger of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS, including the transfer of control of a number of Personal Communications Service (PCS) and Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-1) licenses and leases, and one lower 700 MHz license.

 “With today’s approval, America’s mobile market continues to strengthen, moving toward robust competition and revitalized competitors. We are seeing billions more in network investment, while the courts have upheld key FCC decisions to accelerate broadband build-out, promote competition, and benefit consumers, including our broadband data roaming and pole attachment rules. Today’s action will benefit millions of American consumers and help the U.S maintain the global leadership in mobile it has regained in recent years," stated FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.


On October 3, 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.

The basis for the merger will be to re-farm MetroPCS spectrum to create capacity services.  Specifically, the spectrum migration plan for the merged company will be:

  1. GSM will become the merged company's “universal” technology for roaming, M2M and legacy device
  2. MetroPCS PCS spectrum will be migrated to HSPA+
  3. T-Mobile AWS will be repurposed from HSPA+ to LTE over time
  4. Available MetroPCS AWS spectrum will be migrated to LTE
  5. AWS will become NewCo's primary LTE band across Americas

Some other key points of the deal:
  • The merged company will use the T-Mobile name and brand.  It will be traded on the NYSE.
  • The combined company is projected to have 2012 Pro Forma Revenue of $24.8 billion
  • The combined company will have 42.5 million subscribers

  • The annual CAPEX budget for the combined company would be approximately $4.2 billion at current level
  • Deutsche Telekom will receive a 74% stake
  • MetroPCS Shareholders will receive $1.5 billion in cash and 26% ownership in the combined company
  • The new company will continue to position itself as "the best value in wireless" in the U.S. market
  • The combined company will have ~70,000 total points of distribution, including 50,000 retailers
  • The cost synergies are projected $6 - $7 billion over 5 years, including both CAPEX and OPEX on network infrastructure
  • The company’s headquarters will be in Bellevue, Washington and it will retain a significant presence in Dallas, Texas.

ECI Transmits 100G over Bezeq's 4,600Km Submarine Cable

ECI Telecom successfully transported non-regenerated 100G traffic using its Apollo OMLT platform.  The test traveled over the the Jonah international submarine cable, owned by Bezeq International, over a total distance of 4,600 km, from Tel Aviv to Bari, Italy and back.

The 100G trial was carried out over Bezeq International’s live operational submarine fiber, in conjunction with the Tera Santa Consortium, as part of its research on long-distance adaptive coherent channel behavior. This trial demonstrated the advanced capabilities of ECI 100G transmission system and technologies in compensating for non-linear channel impairments and chromatic dispersion utilizing advanced SD-FEC algorithms.

The Optimized Multi-Layer Transport (OMLT) architecture is ECI’s vision for your next-generation packet-optical transport network, with flexible convergence from metro access to core. The Apollo OMLT is optimized for next-generation optics, and it brings transparent aggregation and transport of services over 10G to 100G WDM links.

"ECI once again demonstrated the powerful performance of our innovative coherent technology with SD-FEC algorithms by transmitting 100G link over Bezeq International's submarine cable for 4,600Km with no regeneration. The 100G channels from the Apollo OMLT allow submarine cable operators to increase significantly the network capacity over expensive links with minimal network adjustment. ECI already deployed and trialed 100G solutions in various customer networks and now we also displayed our capability over submarine cables."


Moscow's Akado Telecom Selects Infinera

Akado Telecom , a major multi-service cable network operator in the Moscow region, has selected Infinera's DTN and ATN optical transmission platform for its metro optical network.

Akado Telecom provides a full range of advanced communication services based on its own fiber-optic network, which extends more than 18,000 kilometers. Akado's multi-service network provides high-speed residential Internet access, voice services, and cable TV services, as well as a broad range of enterprise services for businesses.

The Infinera DTN platform, powered by 100 Gb/s photonic integrated circuits (PICs), is designed to scale up to 6.4 Tb/s of transmission capacity per fiber today and support services with speeds up to 100 GbE. The Infinera ATN, a scalable WDM transport platform with multi-service aggregation, brings the intelligence and integration of the Infinera Digital Optical Network to the metro edge.

"The new solution we implemented offers us a flexible next generation DWDM network and intelligent tools to rapidly deploy additional bandwidth resources,” said Vitaly Klishin, business development director at Akado Group. “As one of the first service providers in Russia to offer 100 GbE services, we are committed to continuously satisfying the needs of over 3,500 enterprises, 350 service providers, and over 12,000 state organizations, and will further innovate our backbone network in 2013.”

Utah Education Network PicksCiena for Metro Optical Network

The Utah Education Network (UEN) and the University of Utah have deployed Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform. The network provides 100G connectivity between the University and its new downtown Salt Lake City data center and to UEN member organizations. Ciena’s technology will also provide high-performance optical transport to support UEN, which operates a statewide backbone for K-12 educational schools, Head Start organizations, higher education institutions and public libraries. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Separately, Ciena announced that Ritter Communications, an Arkansas-based communications provider, has deployed Ciena’s packet networking and converged packet optical technologies.
The deployment includes Ciena’s packet networking solutions, including its 5150 Service Aggregation Switch and 3930 Service Delivery Switch, as well as the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform equipped with WaveLogic Coherent Optical Processors.


Infonetics: Network Security Appliance Market Expands

Worldwide, network security appliance and software revenue grew 10% in 2012 to $6.3 billion, and is up 7% from the year-ago 4th quarter, at $1.7 billion, according to a new report from Infonetics Research. Integrated security appliances have gained share every quarter since 4Q11.

In 2012, Cisco, Check Point, Juniper, McAfee, and Fortinet led the network security market, though Infonetics expects possible share changes in 2013.

"In the network security appliances and software market, vendors are actively jockeying to take advantage of competitor slip-ups," observes Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for security at Infonetics Research. "Challengers like Palo Alto, Fortinet, Sourcefire, and Dell SonicWALL will continue to make life interesting for Cisco, Check Point, and Juniper in 2013. When they find success, it will be because they exploit dis-satisfaction with the pricing, efficacy, performance, and feature breadth of the products from the top 3 vendors."


Monday, March 11, 2013

Overture's Ensemble Open Service Architecture Looks to SDN

Overture unveiled its Ensemble Open Service Architecture aimed at transforming the metro edge with software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization technology.

Overture, which supplies Carrier Ethernet solutions for the metro edge, said its goal is to transform static infrastructure into dynamic, virtualized, and automated environments for service creation and delivery.  This would let Service Providers offers virtualized network capabilities and application-aware cloud offerings to their enterprise customers.  In addition, by simplifying and automating essential tasks in service creation, activation, and assurance, Overture aims to significantly reduce the ongoing operational expenses of the network.

“Service providers do not have a demand problem – they have a revenue and cost problem. They are working to transform their bandwidth business into one focused on the customer application experience while dramatically driving down the cost of managing their infrastructure. With Ensemble OSA, we are helping service providers achieve both objectives by bringing the proven benefits of the cloud to the metro edge,” said Mike Aquino, president and CEO, Overture.

Overture's Ensemble OSA will leverage open API standards, including OpenFlow.  It is comprised of three layers, each of which may include Overture developed components and those developed by service providers or third party vendors:

  • Resources – Elements that provide connect, compute, and storage functionality. They may consist of physical devices such as switches, servers and storage arrays, and/or software functions running on virtual machines.
  • Orchestration and Control – Software building block functions for data plane control, resource abstraction, and network management that provide the glue connecting the resources to the applications.
  • Network Applications – Software packages that leverage one or more of the Orchestration and Control building blocks and tie into a service provider’s back office systems and that of their business partners to create a service or network function.

Overture is currently building out ecosystem partnerships, and integrating the APIs into the initial set of Ensemble-powered Overture equipment. The company expects Ensemble OSA products, integrated with third-party applications and devices, to be available to the general market in 2014.


RootMetrics: AT&T LTE Averages 18.6 Mbps, VZ Wireless Averages 14.3 Mbps

AT&T has the fastest LTE performance among U.S. networks, according new data published by RootMetrics, an independent mobile analytics firm. The report is based on more than 725,000 4G and 4G LTE data samples gathered from the top 77 U.S. markets during the second half of 2012.

Some key findings:

  • AT&T's LTE-only achieved 18.6 Mbps average downloads (57.7 Mbps max) and 9.0 Mbps average upload (19.6 Mbps max).
  • Verizon's LTE-only achieved 14.3 Mbps average downloads (49.3 Mbps max) and 8.5 Mbps average upload (19.7 Mbps max).
  • Sprint's LTE-only achieved 10.3 Mbps average downloads (32.7 Mbps max) and 4.4 Mbps average upload (9.9 Mbps max).
  • T-Mobile USA's HSPA+42 service achieved 7.3 Mbps average downloads  and 1.5 Mbps average upload (9.9 Mbps max).

RootMetrics notes that Verizon commands the most extensive footprint and the best chance of connecting to LTE in markets that LTE-ready.


Netflix Publishes ISP Rankings

Netflix is hosting a new web portal that ranks the streaming performance of major ISPs in the U.S.,  the UK, Ireland and other countries where its service is offered.  The index is based on data from the 33 million members of Netflix who are watching over 1 billion hours of streaming Netflix content per month.

Google Fiber has the highest ranking in the U.S. market at 3.35 Mbps.


Czech Telecom Authority Halts Spectrum Auction Because Bids too High

The telecom regulatory office for the Czech Republic halted an ongoing auction for 4G spectrum in the 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands because bidding exceeded the threshold limits for the auction.

The Czech Telecommunication Office said the upper pricing limits for the spectrum was set after observing the experience of other EU member states where high license prices were achieved, thereby benefiting the government, but resulting in a distorted telecom market where carriers are reluctant to deploy quickly.  As a consumer issue, the Czech Telecommunication Office said high spectrum prices would most likely translate into high prices for mobile services.


Seacom Upgrades African Cables with Ciena

Seacom, which operates submarine cables systems along the coasts of Africa, has selected Ciena's 6500 Packet-Optical Platform and OneControl Unified Management System for the upgrade of its infrastructure.

The upgrade, which includes key countries in SEACOM’s 17,000km undersea network, including India, Egypt, Dijbouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa, will initially use Ciena’s 40G coherent transport technology, with ultra-long distance 100G wavelengths planned for future upgrades.


DragonWave Debuts Compact, Sub-6 GHz Microwave Radio

DragonWave unveiled an all-outdoor, sub-6 GHz microwave radio for rural deployments, government and private networks, vertical industries, mobile and extended network backhaul.

The DragonWave Harmony Radio Lite offers a form factor of only 7.5 in square including integrated antenna.  Its point-to-point microwave radio supports both licensed and unlicensed spectrum and is ideally suited for non-line-of-sight (NLOS) scenarios. It includes standard Ethernet interfaces. Streamlined functionality is further complimented by low power consumption (under 15W), PoE compatibility, reduced cabling requirements and low delay. Synchronization through 1588v2 and SynchE eliminates the need for an external synchronization source.

Harmony Radio Lite links can be deployed using a tree topology, with macrocell traffic aggregation points on rooftops, or with tail, chain or small hub microsites at street level, which reduces interference and offers more flexible network connectivity, as well as simplifying network expansion and helping to ensure protected network architectures.

"Addressing vertical markets and a growing demand for rural and suburban backhaul has driven our product strategy with the introduction of the Harmony Radio Lite,” said Peter Allen, CEO. “The value proposition customers seek is Quality of Service assurance, affordability and ease of deployment and management of the network ­– we’re confident the Harmony Radio Lite raises the bar by bringing the lowest cost per bit with uncompromised performance."


ASSIA Raises $25 Million for Dynamic Spectrum Management

ASSIA, which supplies software for Dynamic Spectrum Management (DSM) for DSL networks, closed a Preferred Stock offering with a total participation of $25 million.  The company has raised over $54 million to date.

Previous investors in ASSIA have included Telefonica, AT&T, and Sandalwood Partners, Mingly China Growth Fund, SFR Development, Sofinnova Partners, Stanford University, Swisscom Ventures, and T-Ventures.

Development projects funded by this latest round of investment include software features for vectored VDSL networks, Wi-Fi management solutions, and additional functionality available through ASSIA’s websites.

“ASSIA greatly appreciates the confidence our investors continue to demonstrate in our business plan,” said Dr. John M. Cioffi, ASSIA chairman and CEO.  “This latest investment round solidifies the foundation for our future product and growth plans.”


  • ASSIA stands for Adaptive Spectrum and Signal Alignment Incorporated.
  • ASSIA is headed by Dr. John Cioffi, a veteran of the DSL industry, having served as founder, CTO and Vice President of Engineering at Amati prior to its acquisition by TI in 1997. Dr. Cioffi also held a tenured endowed professorship at Stanford University in the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1985-2009, where he is now an active Professor Emeritus with small research efforts there in broadband access.

Crehan: Data Center Ethernet Switch Market Hits $8 Billion Run-Rate

Data center Ethernet switch revenues exceeded $2 billion in calendar 4Q12, putting this market on an $8 billion annual run-rate, according to a new report from Crehan Research.

The report shows that calendar 2012 revenue growth far exceeded that of 2011, helped by a leveling out in the decline of Chassis/Modular Ethernet switch shipments, coupled with increasing adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) switches.

“Given that data center Ethernet chassis or modular switches command a considerable price premium over the market average, mix shifts in this segment can have a significant market impact,” said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. “Aided by stabilization in the mix of this data center Ethernet switch category, total market average selling prices fell only a little in 2012,” he added.

Two other highlights from the report:

  • Data center Ethernet Fixed/Top-of-Rack switches continue to reach record levels, as this form-factor not only sees increasing server access deployment, but also data center aggregation deployments.
  • In line with the overall market, Fibre Channel Switches also enjoyed revenue growth in 4Q12 and 2012, as higher pricing offset port-shipment declines. 


Dell'Oro: Microwave Transmission Market Declined 12% in 2012

The point-to-point Microwave Transmission equipment market declined 12 percent worldwide in 2012 to $4.2 billion as radio transceiver shipments declined 6 percent to 1.5 million, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

"The market for microwave backhaul was truly impacted by surprisingly low demand in the European region," said Jimmy Yu, Vice President of Microwave Transmission research at Dell'Oro Group.  "Although the market really took a step back this year, there were a couple of bright spots.  The first was the growth in sales in the North American region as operators expanded their Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.  The second was the greater usage of ultra-high-capacity links using E-band frequencies to deliver a full gigabit of backhaul capacity to cell towers," Yu added.

Some highlights:

  • The North American region was the only region to achieve significant positive growth in 2012, growing 13 percent.  Alcatel-Lucent captured the majority of the North American market, garnering 44 percent market share.
  • Microwave sales in the European region pulled back sharply in 2012, declining 28 percent.  Ericsson held the highest share of the European market at 32 percent.
  • Ultra-high-capacity radio transceiver shipments grew nearly 60 percent in 2012.

WashPost: FCC Chairman Likely to Step Down

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is likely to step down even before his term ends this summer, according to The Washington Post, which also names three possible candidates for his replacement: Tom Wheeler, Karen Kornbluh and Lawrence Strickling.  The FCC seat held by Robert McDowell is also expected to be vacated.


Yenista Optics launches Tunable Lasers from 1240 to 1700 nm

Yenista Optics is unveiling a range of high power tunable lasers for telecom applications covering the following bands:

  • 1240 – 1380 nm,
  • 1260 – 1360 nm,
  • 1340 – 1520 nm,
  • 1440 – 1640 nm,
  • 1500 – 1630 nm,
  • 1500 – 1700 nm.

“We managed to implement important innovations that enabled us to extend the wavelength range and to increase the output power without any compromise on other specifications of the T100S” said Michiel van der Keur, Yenista’s CEO.

Yenista is based in Lannion, France.