Monday, June 3, 2013

Qualcomm Debuts Quad-core Snapdragon for High Volume LTE Smartphones

Qualcomm introduced a new version of its Snapdragon 400 processor featuring a quad-core CPU with integrated multimode 3G/4G LTE. This makes the Snapdragon 400 tier the first to offer multimode 3G/4G LTE on processors with both dual- and quad-core CPUs for high-volume smartphones.

The new Snapdragon processor integrates key modem features that are important to China and other emerging regions, including TD-SCDMA, HSPA+ (up to 42Mbps), and multi-SIM capabilities. The new Snapdragon 400 processor (8926), along with its Qualcomm Reference Design counterpart, will be available in late 2013 and will deliver the optimal balance of multimedia features, modem technologies and performance to high-volume smartphones.

In addition, the newest Snapdragon 400 processor will continue to support multi-SIM capabilities of Dual SIM, Dual Standby and Dual SIM, Dual Active and is optimized to deliver a smooth, graphics-rich gaming experience and provides Miracast support for wireless streaming of multimedia content. The platform also supports a rich set of wireless connectivity functionality including integrated Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM and NFC.

"By offering a multimode 3G/4G LTE variant to Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 tier of processors with quad-core CPUs, we are ensuring that emerging regions are equipped and prepared for the imminent transition to multimode 3G/4G LTE, in addition to being equipped for every major 2G and 3G technology," said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president and co-president of mobile and computing products, Qualcomm Technologies. "Snapdragon 400 processors provide customers with a wide range of innovative smartphones for both the high-volume and mid-tier segments."

Digicel Bids for License in Myanmar, Plans US$9 Billion Investment

The Digicel consortium will bid for a nationwide mobile phone licence in Myanmar.

The consortium, which is backed by Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd with the involvement of George Soros, has committed to reaching 96 per cent population coverage by the end of 2015.

"This is truly an historic day for Digicel. With FMI/Yoma and Quantum Strategic Partners, our consortium brings unrivalled expertise, local experience and resources to deliver a world-class telecommunications service to Myanmar," said Mr. Denis O'Brien - Chairman and Founder of Digicel Group Limited, in Nay Pyi Taw today. Our promise is 'Myanmar's Bigger, Better Network' and the Digicel Consortium will do this by delivering the best network, best service, best value and best innovation to the people of Myanmar," Mr. O'Brien added.

Some key points of the Digicel bid:

  • Digicel will invest almost US$9 billion in a world-class mobile phone network. Of this US$6.6 billion will be directly invested in Myanmar
  • Employ over 7,000 people by the end the first year
  • Digicel's investment in Myanmar will lead to the creation of 124,000 indirect jobs
  • Digicel will launch its 4G mobile network and achieve 52 per cent population cover by the end of this year and rising to 96 per cent by 2016
  • The roll out will involve 7,000 kilometres of fibre optic cable and provision of 23,000 wi-fi hotspots
  • Digicel will undertake the world's largest single mobile deployment of solar power - with 7,277 solar sites
  • Another major initiative will be the provision of free connectivity to 879 hospitals, 3,900 secondary schools, 180 universities and 4,600 libraries.

IBM and AT&T Offer Enterprise App Testing

IBM and AT&T are collaborating to help enterprises to develop more network-efficient mobile apps.

The integration of AT&T's Application Resource Optimizer (ARO) with IBM's software development solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) will help determine how enterprise mobile apps are performing on any wireless network.

"ARO tackles a fundamental coding challenge developers face today – finding and fixing performance and power bottlenecks that detract from a great user experience," said Carlton Hill, vice president –Developer Services, AT&T. "ARO can help developers create apps that conserve battery life, load pages faster and consume network resources in a smarter way, all of which improve the customer experience."

AT&T's ARO is a free, carrier-agnostic, open source diagnostic tool that enables developers to analyze the performance of their apps, whether they be business or consumer apps. Launched in January 2012, ARO is now used by more than 1,500 developers, and users are seeing better results across the board, from a 35 percent reduction in excess data usage to apps that run up to 60 percent faster. 

Tabula Releases 100GE Packet Parser

Tabula, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, announced the availability of the latest addition to its suite of high-performance packet processing solutions: the 100G Ethernet Packet Parser Reference Design Kit. This latest kit is based on its new ABAX2P1 3PLD and supported by its Stylus revision 2.6.2 compiler.

The 100 GbE packet parser includes the following features:
  • 149M packets/sec at the minimum packet size of 64 bytes
  • 100 GbE stream support at 100% efficiency
  • Deterministic latency of 17 ns
  • Guaranteed bandwidth of 122 Gbps
  • Less than 1.5 Watts per 100 GbE stream

Earlier this year, Tabula unveiled  its suite of high-performance packet processing solutions aimed at 100G applications.

The technology focuses on routing of high-performance buses, on-chip RAM throughput, and timing closure for the ultra-high-performance functions required by 100G systems. Tabula will also leverage Intel's 22nm Tri-Gate technology.

The packet processing solutions, combined with Tabula’s new ABAX2P1 3PLD, deliver processing of four 100G streams on a single chip, a search engine capable of supporting 100G packet traffic, and a 12x10G-to-100G bridge.

The company said its solution leverages innovations four key areas: Programmable 3D architecture, RTL compiler, leading-edge process technology using Intel's 22nm Tri-Gate technology, and 3PLD devices.

In 2011, Tabula announced $108 million in Series D funding for its 3PLD ABAX programmable logic products.

VeEX to Acquire Sunrise Telecom for Test Gear

VeEX, a supplier of telecom and CATV test solutions, agreed to acquire Sunrise Telecom , a supplier of test, monitoring and workflow management solutions for cable, telecom, wireless operators, and equipment manufacturers.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

VeEX said the deal will accelerate its growth and strengthen its presence in the CATV and telecom markets. VeEX is located in Fremont, California.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

NTT Opens Massive Data Center in Hong Kong Amidst Strong Demand

NTT Communications opened phase one of a new Hong Kong Financial Data Centre (FDC™).  The company said over 80% of phase one capacity in the new data centre was reserved prior to launch.

The Tier IV ready facility boasts a100% uptime service level, unrivalled security, connection to NTT's ultra-low latency networks and close proximity to the data centre operations of regional exchanges.

FDC also features a continuous cooling system, continuous rating generators and compartmentalized infrastructure design. Once complete, the facility will offer over 70,000 m2 of gross floor area and over 6,000 racks in total.

The FDC houses the landing station of the new Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) which connects key financial hubs in Asia with the shortest possible route that boasts industry leading network latency of less than 43 milliseconds from Hong Kong to Tokyo and less than 64 milliseconds from Singapore to Tokyo. Furthermore, the FDC is collocated with NTT Communications’ global network node that connects to Europe and North America.

The Hong Kong Government is committed to promoting the development of high-tier data centres. Today the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate houses a cluster of 12 high-tier data centres, occupying a total of 20 hectares of land and the Hong Kong Financial Data Centre of NTT is the latest addition to this impressive data centre family. These centres with stringent performance requirements provide valuable support to the business operations and growth of both our local and international enterprises," stated Ms. Susie Ho Shuk-yee, JP, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Hong Kong.

NextiraOne Picks Equinix UK for Cloud Infrastructure

NextiraOne, a European multinational company based in Paris that designs, installs, maintains and supports business communications services for over 60,000 private and public sector organizations, selected Equinix’s LD5 International Business Exchange(IBX) as the primary data center to support the roll-out of its new modular private cloud infrastructure portfolio.

The new Equinix LD5 facility is located on same campus in Slough, England, as its LD4 data center.  The Equinix campus is linked by more than 1,000 diverse dark fiber links into Central London with global access to more than 900 network providers.  The location (just outside of London) provides access to transatlantic cables for low-latency connections to New York.

“The past twelve months have seen a significant increase in the number of businesses consolidating IT legacy systems, which have proven costly to update and slowed commercial growth. By locating in Equinix, we will not only be able to deliver our services to customers but also have direct access to a prospective client base of cloud driven customers and partners through Equinix Marketplace portal," stated Geraint Davies, head of business development, Data Centers, NextiraOne.

Separately, Equinix received an award from the European Commission Joint Research Center that oversees the EU Code of Conduct (CoC) on Data Center Energy Efficiency for the company's new International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Amsterdam (AM3). The new AM3 facility is build to LEED Gold standards.

Okinawa Open Laboratory Targets SDN

A new Okinawa Open Laboratory has been established by NTT Communications, NEC and IIGA Co. with a mission to develop software-defined networking (SDN) and cloud computing technologies.

The laboratory, which is located in Okinawa IT Shinryo Park in Okinawa Prefecture, will invite engineers from private companies and academic organizations in Japan and other countries to work at the facility on the development of SDN and cloud-computing technologies and verification for commercial use. 

The three companies set up the Okinawa Open Laboratory in cooperation with Okinawa Prefecture, which aims to become a leading ICT base in Asia. Yukio Ito, Senior Vice President and concurrently Director of Service Infrastructure at NTT Com, has been named Director of the new facility.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Interxion Plans 8th Frankfurt Data Center

Interxion announced plans to build its 8th data center in Frankfurt, Germany.  The new facility will be built on an adjoining campus, consists of four phases, each of approximately 900 m2.  CAPEX for the first two phases is expected to total EUR 30 million.

Interxion said the data center market in Frankfurt is being driven by cloud services, digital media and the financial sector.

Huawei Announces LTE Carrier Aggregation Solution

Huawei introduced a Carrier Aggregation designed to maximize spectrum resource utilization for existing operators.  It is deployable using Huawei's SRC (Single Radio Controller) hardware platform solution for centralized cell resource coordination.

Peter Zhou, VP & COO for Huawei LTE, said: "Through customer-centric innovation and strong partnerships, we are dedicated to providing competitive solutions that create maximum value for our customers. Our CA total solution not only dramatically increases spectrum resource utilization and increase peak data rates, but does so while flexibly combine bandwidth to solve spectrum discontinuity."

In October 2012, Huawei partnered with a leading operator to launch the world's first commercial LTE-Advanced network that provides downlink peak rates of up to 300 Mbps. 

As of April 2013, Huawei had won more than 160 commercial LTE networks and deployed 78 commercial LTE networks worldwide. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cyan's Blue Planet SDN Digs into Multi-Vendor Network Inventory and Resources

Cyan introduced Planet Inventory, a multi-vendor network asset management application that forms part of the company's Blue Planet suite of software-defined network (SDN) applications.

Planet Inventory provides physical asset and logical resource management in complex, multi-layer, multi-vendor environments, including Cyan’s Z-Series family of packet-optical transport platforms, as well as equipment from a broad range of third-party network equipment suppliers. It includes a dynamic set of tools to browse collected data, including an advanced search-driven Object Browser, as well as a dynamic Object Graph, showing the relationships between various object types, such as cards, ports and services.

Cyan said accurate network asset information helps network operators reduce operating costs and accelerate service availability. Cyan’s Blue Planet SDN system provides a centralized orchestration service from which network operators can configure and manage network-wide services. Because Blue Planet has direct access to the equipment, the data it provides represents the true state of the network. Operators may use this network-side data for a variety of needs, including inventory management.

"Rapidly changing demands on networks is causing an increased emphasis on the performance and ROI of network assets. As a result, many network operators are asking for a clear, multi-vendor view of what is in their network and how it is performing. Our Planet Inventory application significantly improves their visibility," stated Michael Hatfield, Cyan's president,

Cyan will offer Planet Inventory both as a cloud-based service and as a locally-hosted implementation.

GSMA: Average Mobile Data Speed 75% Faster in U.S. Than Europe

Europe now lags far behind the United States in the deployment of next-generation mobile technologies and the advanced services, according to a new report from the GSMA.

As recently as five years ago, the European mobile market was performing as well as, or even better than, the United States. However, since then, the situation has dramatically reversed. The report, developed in collaboration with Navigant Economics, explores the many factors that have contributed to Europe's lost mobile leadership and offers policy recommendations.

Some key findings of the report:

  • On average, U.S. consumers spend more each month than their EU counterparts and use mobile services much more intensely, consuming five times more voice minutes and nearly twice as much data.
  • The U.S. has opened up a large lead in deployment of next-generation technologies; by the end of 2013, nearly 20 per cent of U.S. connections will be on LTE networks, compared to fewer than two per cent in the EU.
  • Average mobile data connection speeds in the U.S. are now 75 per cent faster than those in Europe and by 2017 will be more than twice as fast.
  • Mobile investment in the United States has outpaced that in Europe, with capital expenditure in the U.S. growing by 70 per cent since 2007 while declining in the EU and the gap continues to widen.

"Europe was the early leader in mobile, with a wide range of companies pioneering the innovation that now benefits more than 3.2 billion men and women around the world," said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. "However, this report confirms the very sobering reality that Europe has lost its edge in mobile and is significantly underperforming other advanced economies, including the United States. While there are many factors that have contributed to Europe's current position, it is clear that enlightened policy reforms could bring improvement, creating substantial benefits for EU consumers and driving economic growth."

Some policy recommendations in the report: prioritise spectrum allocation and harmonisation; allow for efficient mergers & acquisitions; discriminations in favour of new entrants should be discontinued, allowing market forces to take hold; drive a single European market for mobile services; and encourage mobile innovation and investment in Europe.

Telefónica Announces Digital Wallet Joint Venture with Spanish Banks

Telefónica will form a joint venture company with CaixaBank and Santander to develop new business opportunities based on the latest mobile and communication technologies. The new company will build an online community to ease the connection between merchants and consumers when it comes to offers, discounts and promotions. It also plans to offer a Digital Wallet in which customers can keep all their cards, which will serve as identification in stores and for making purchases within the digital community, as well as being a person-to-person (P2P) mobile payment service for community members.

The companies described their agreement as the first such alliance in Europe between financial institutions and a telecom operator. They believed there is the potential to reach more than 600,000 businesses in Spain.  An international expansion is also part of the plan.

"There is a profound change happening in the way we buy things. Digital technologies are transforming how consumers research products and then identify the best prices, promotions or discounts. This joint venture combines the partners’ technical and financial services expertise to create an ecosystem for the benefit of both retailers and consumers," stated José María Álvarez-Pallete, CEO of Telefónica.

Rogers and Videotron Announce LTE Network Sharing Deal in Québec and Ottawa

Videotron and Rogers announced a 20-year, LTE network sharing agreement in the province of Québec and the Ottawa region. The two companies will pool their efforts to quickly build out and operate a shared LTE wireless network.  The deal will deliver capital and operating savings, allowing both companies to reinvest in their customers and networks. Videotron and Rogers will maintain their business independence, including their product and service portfolios, billing systems and customer data.

In addition to the network sharing agreement, Videotron and Rogers have also come to an agreement regarding Videotron's unused AWS spectrum in the Greater Toronto Area. Videotron will have the option to transfer its Toronto spectrum licence to Rogers, subject to regulatory approvals, beginning January 1, 2014 for a price of $180 million.

Rogers said the deal builds on its extensive LTE footprint across Canada, including Montreal, Ottawa and Québec City. The fast-paced rollout of LTE infrastructure will position the two companies to meet the steadily growing needs of consumers and businesses, ensuring many more can enjoy incredibly fast speeds, throughput and take advantage of the latest and greatest LTE enabled devices.

Videotron serves 1,849,200 cable television customers in Québec, including 1,500,300 subscribers Digital TV. Videotron also has 1,397,300 subscribers to its cable Internet service, 420,900 subscriber connections to its mobile telephone service, and 1,274,000 subscribers to its cable telephone service.

"This agreement will benefit businesses and consumers and is part of Rogers focused, strategic game plan," said Nadir Mohamed, President and CEO, Rogers Communications Inc. "This network and spectrum sharing agreement, combined with the expansion of our LTE footprint, will allow even more consumers to experience the superior connectivity and incredibly fast speeds that LTE delivers."

"This is excellent news for our customers and our shareholders. This agreement will enable us to go farther and to do it faster and is indicative of our determination to anticipate our customers' needs and to maintain the close relationship we have built with them." said Robert Dépatie, President and CEO of Quebecor Inc. and CEO of Videotron.

Digital Realty Buys Six Buildings to Expand Austin Data Centers

Digital Realty Trust has acquired six buildings at the MetCenter Business Park in Austin, Texas for $31.9 million.  The facilities include operating data centers and flex office space totaling approximately 337,000 square feet.  The overall portfolio is currently 90% leased to a variety of data center, biotechnology, technology and/or telecommunications enterprises.

The six buildings are located adjacent to Digital Realty's data center at 7500 Metro Center Drive, near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

"The acquisition of this portfolio achieves several key objectives for us," said Scott Peterson, Chief Acquisitions Officer at Digital Realty. "It expands our existing data center footprint in the Austin market, while providing stable cash flow immediately at an attractive going-in cap rate. Second, it provides near-term opportunity to add value by lease existing vacant space. And third, it offers the option to convert a portion of the property to data center space over the longer term as leases expire."

Verizon Pumps its Private IP network with 100GE Access

Verizon is bringing 100GE to the edge routers of its Private IP network, giving its enterprise customers faster access speeds to support growing cloud applications.  The company confirmed plans to implement the technology on the same U.S. and European routes where 100G long-haul is deployed. In addition, Verizon now is offering standardized 1GE and 10GE access for its Private IP network to continue to support the growing bandwidth needs of customer applications. Standardization of these services means quicker ordering and delivery, compared with previous processes.

Verizon's Private IP service provides the foundation for communication and business-process automation both within and between companies, including e-commerce, shared intranets and extranets, as well as video applications.

"The increase in demand for cloud and data center connectivity is driving the decision to expand our service offering to higher speeds in order to meet the bandwidth needs of our customers by providing reliable, high-performance and secure services," said Ihab Tarazi, vice president of product technology. "Verizon is a leader in high-bandwidth technology, and extending 100GE to the edge is the next natural step for us."

"Our customers are transforming the way they access information and increasingly are looking to quickly turn their big data into information that offers real business advantages," said Rich Montgomery, Verizon group vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Asia. "Extending 100GE to the edge gives customers the connectivity they need to run their businesses most effectively while staying competitive in the global market."

Broadcom's Bluetooth Smart SoC Targets Android Peripherals

Broadcom introduced a new Bluetooth Smart system-on-a-chip (SoC) designed to connect a broader range of low-cost, low-power peripherals to work with Android-based smartphones and tablets.

Broadcom's new BCM20732 Bluetooth Smart SoC seamlessly connects peripheral devices like heart rate monitors, pedometers, door locks, lighting, proximity alarms, etc. that are powered by coin cell batteries.  It is powered by an ARM Cortex M3.  Broadcom said its new SoC makes it possible to operate Bluetooth Smart-enabled products for more than one year without recharging the small batteries that power them.

Broadcom also announced the contribution of its Bluetooth software stack, including classic Bluetooth and Bluetooth Smart (formerly Bluetooth Low Energy) technology, to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The new Broadcom chip and contribution of its software will help drive proliferation of Bluetooth technology in the "Internet of Things" ecosystem. For more news, visit Broadcom's Newsroom.

"The integration of Bluetooth Smart into the Android community is a huge step forward for the 'Internet of Things'," said Brian Bedrosian, Broadcom's Senior Director, Embedded Wireless, Wireless Connectivity Combo Group. "Broadcom is committed to driving new standards of connectivity for OEMs by providing both software and hardware for simplified development of high-performance products. Adding direct support for Bluetooth Smart directly into the most widely used mobile OS will greatly expand the opportunities for users to easily monitor and control aspects of their health, fitness, and security for smartphones and tablets."

Telecom Italia to Spin-Off Fixed Line Infrastructure

The board of directors of Telecom Italia adopted a plan to spin-off the company's fixed line access business into a separate company. Infrastructure belonging to the separated company will include resources for developing and managing the passive access network (both copper and fibre) and the active components of the fibre, consisting of OLTs (Optical Line Terminals) and cabinets.

Telecom Italia said its new structure will guarantee all operators (OLOs and Telecom Italia) access to the fixed-line network, including Unbundled Local Loops (ULLs) and Virtual Unbundled Line Access (VULA) for next-generation networks leveraging FTTx and FTTH architecture.

Octasic Enables 20 km Small Cell Radius

Octasic released an updated version of its flexiPHY HSPA software, adding support for a cell radius of 20 kilometers.

Octasic’s flexiPHY software, which runs on Octasic’s OCT2224W base station devices and Octasic’s small cell platform products such as the OCTBTS2000 and OCTBTS4000, offers 3GPP-compliant physical layers for GSM, UMTS, and LTE, integrated with leading RNC and Iuh stack vendor products. This eliminates the need for OEMs to develop the baseband and stack portion of their design.

Octasic noted that small cells with a large radius could prove especially useful in rural areas or for applications such as emergency networks, search and rescue, public safety, and military deployments.

NSN and MediaTek Test Orthogonal Sub-Channel for GSM Spectral Efficiency

Nokia Siemens Networks has successfully completed testing of Orthogonal Sub-Channel (OSC) support for Voice services over Adaptive Multi-user channels on One Slot (VAMOS) handsets with the mobile chipsets provided by MediaTek. OSC, which was invented by NSN, improves the spectral efficiency for GSM.

Nokia Siemens Networks Liquid Radio Software Suite uses OSC to support up to four devices in one radio timeslot, providing up to double voice capacity in GSM.  The company said the OSC feature is currently in commercial use in networks serving more than 500 million users.

By enhancing OSC with support for VAMOS handsets, an average capacity increase of 5% can be provided, helping operators further reduce the capacity required for GSM and dedicate more network resources to WCDMA and LTE when they are re-farming spectrum. Successful compatibility testing with VAMOS capable chipsets is a major milestone in this development.

"Collaboration with MediaTek to implement OSC enhancements for VAMOS-capable devices puts us in a position to offer even better GSM spectral efficiency to our customers,” said Kimmo Virkki, head of GSM product management at Nokia Siemens Networks. “We will continue innovating in this area."

Nokia Siemens Networks’ OSC support is compliant with 3GPP GERAN release 9.