Thursday, June 27, 2013

Verizon Wireless Completes LTE Build Out

Verizon Wireless announced that its 4G LTE network build out is substantially complete.  The company marked the occasion by activating service in Parkersburg, W.Va. -- the 500th market in the United Stated to get Verizon Wireless LTE service.

The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network now covers more than 99% of its 3G network. The 4G LTE network is available to 298 million people across the country – more than 95% of the U.S. population, making it the nation’s largest 4G LTE network.

Verizon Wireless’ Chief Network Officer Nicola Palmer said the company's efforts will now turn to bringing more advanced services to the network, including VoLTE.  The company now expects to activate VoLTE commercially in 2014.


http://news.verizonwireless.com/

Cisco Focuses on Application-Centric Infrastructure, New Nexus Chassis/Modules

At this week's Cisco Live! event in Orlando, Florida, Cisco further outlined its data center networking architecture for the era of Application-Centric Infrastructure.  The goal is an open, programmable and automated infrastructure that is ready for cloud deployment models and Big Data applications. Cisco also announced new Nexus 7700 Series switches and new F3 Series I/O modules.

Some highlights:

  • Cisco's Application-Centric Infrastructure architecture will cut application deployment time  via fully automated and programmatic equipment.  The architecture will provide integration across physical and virtual applications normalizing endpoint access while delivering flexibility of software and performance, scale and visibility of hardware across multi-vendor virtualized, bare metal, distributed scale out and cloud applications. Another design element is a common policy management framework and operational model across network, security and application teams that is extensible to compute and storage in the future. Cisco said it will support a broad ecosystem of partners empowered by a comprehensive published set of open APIs.
  • New Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA) for the Nexus portfolio brings support for optimized spine-leaf topologies with enhanced forwarding and distributed control plane capabilities.  It also delivers greater resiliency with smaller failure domains and multi-tenant scale of greater than 10,000 tenants/networks.
  • Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) 7.0 provides a single point of management automates and simplifies infrastructure deployment, enables dynamic infrastructure provisioning for virtual machine (VM) deployment and provides troubleshooting tools.
  • Cisco Prime Network Services Controller 3.6 -- dynamically creates network services, communicates with VMware and Cisco Nexus 1000V, and passes relevant information to DCNM.
  • New Nexus 7700 Series switches consist of environmentally efficient Nexus 7710 (10-slot) and Nexus 7718 (18-slot) chassis.
  • New F3 series I/O modules, which are supported on both 7000 and 7700 Series switches, deliver 40G/100G density, improve power efficiency by 60%, and support a broad set of proven Data Center Switching features. These enable the Nexus 7718 to support up to 384 40-Gbps ports and 192 100-Gbps ports. The Nexus 7718 has been designed to deliver up to 83Tbps of overall switching capacity.


http://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1211429

FCC Clears 10 MHz H-Block Spectrum for Auction

The FCC adopted an order that opens 10 megahertz of spectrum in the bands 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz (H Block) for commercial mobile broadband use.

The order pairs the two bands that comprise the H Block, and establishes that the paired bands will be licensed on an Economic Area basis and auctioned through a system of competitive bidding. Rules are also established to  ensure that operations in the H Block do not cause harmful interference to PCS downlink operations.

The FCC described the action as a step towards meeting its obligation under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Spectrum Act) to license 65 megahertz, including the 10 megahertz in the H Block, by February 2015.

http://www.fcc.gov

tw telecom Launches 40G and 100G Business Ethernet

tw telecom officially launched metro 40G and 100G Business Ethernet services in its 75 metro serving areas. The faster speeds complement its current 2.5G and 10G intra-market Ethernet services.  

"The addition of these faster speeds will enable enterprises to more efficiently and effectively connect headquarters, remote offices and data center locations across the metro for a variety of Big Data applications," said Graham Taylor, Senior Vice President for Marketing at tw telecom. "We build our gigabit Business Ethernet services in direct, point-to-point connections so the infrastructure remains highly efficient; enabling customers to get massive transmission speeds to deploy their equipment and solution anyway they need."

http://www.twtelecom.com


  • tw telecom is one of the top three providers of Business Ethernet throughout the U.S., according to leading industry analysts Vertical Systems Group and Frost & Sullivan. 

Ericsson and Sony Demo HD Voice over TD-LTE Smartphone

Ericsson and Sony demonstrated HD quality voice and video calling (VoLTE) using TD-LTE (VoLTE).

The demonstration, which was conducted at Ericsson's Wireless Innovation Lab & Demo Center (WILD Center) in Shanghai, featured Sony’s 4G phone Xperia SP M35t smartphone, which supports TDD/FDD LTE, TD-SCDMA, HSPA and GSM over 13 bands. 

A connection to the Core & IMS nodes located in Ericsson’s VoLTE Competence Center in Anyang, South Korea was used for the HD voice and video calling over LTE demonstrations, using Ericsson’s end-to-end core and radio network infrastructure.

Sony's Xperia SP M35t will be commercially launched when 4G licenses are released in China.

  • In February, Ericsson successfully supported China Mobile in demonstrating the world’s first dual-mode HD VoLTE call between TD-LTE and LTE FDD at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

U.S. Navy's 2nd MUOS Satellite Prepared for Launch

The first Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite, which will provide simultaneous voice, video and data communications to U.S. military combatants, was encapsulated into its payload fairing and is scheduled to launch July 19 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle. The satellite was built by Lockheed Martin.

The MUOS constellation replaces the legacy Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Follow-On system and delivers secure, prioritized voice and data communications, a first for mobile users who need high-speed mission data on the go.

Lockheed Martin said first MUOS satellite, launched in 2012, is currently providing high quality legacy voice communications for users.  More than 20,000 existing terminals are compatible with and can access the MUOS legacy UHF payload, and with the release of the new waveform developed for increased data-handling capacity, many of these terminals could be retro-fitted to access the Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) payload. This advanced WCDMA payload incorporates commercial technology designed to provide 16 times the number of accesses as the legacy UHF Follow-On system that it replaces.

The geosynchronous constellation consists of four satellites and one on-orbit spare, which are expected to achieve full operational capability in 2015, extending UHF narrowband communications availability well past 2025.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the MUOS prime contractor and system integrator.

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/muos

  • A single MUOS satellite will provide four times the capacity of the entire legacy UFO constellation of 10 satellites. The satellites also include a hosted legacy UHF payload that will be fully compatible with the current UFO system and legacy terminals.


Claro Chile Launches LTE with NSN

Claro Chile, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the América Móvil, is the first operator to launch commercial LTE service in Chile.

Nokia Siemens Networks provided the LTE radio access network featuring its Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations. along with its Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network to help the operator deal with the unprecedented increase in data traffic over its network.

Nokia Siemens Networks’ Global Services is providing network planning and optimization services, as well as operational services for process alignment, support and engineering. The contract also includes care hardware and competence development services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

http://www.nsn.com

OIF Releases Papers on OTN Monitoring and PCE Implementation

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) has completed two critical technical whitepapers that address the increased adoption of OTN for 100G carrier networks and the use of PCE control technology as a building block towards Software Defined Networking (SDN).

  • OTN TCM whitepaper -- provides guidelines on the use of Tandem Connection Monitoring, a way of monitoring performance on segments of an OTN connection.  It focuses on guidelines for how to apply the six levels of TCM and is intended to help carriers best take advantage of the advanced monitoring functions provided by TCM.  The whitepaper provides a framework that can be pre-configured into switches to further reduce administrative overhead.
  • PCE Implementation Agreement -- defines the use of Path Computation Elements in a multi-domain ASON network, taking standards for PCE created by the IETF andidentifying subsets of the standards that can be adopted for interoperability across a multivendor, multi-domain carrier network.

"The OIF is working to define a framework for Transport SDN requirements and functions in multi-domain ASON networks, leveraging input from OIF carrier members," said Lyndon Ong of Ciena and editor of the PCE IA. “PCE defines the separation of path computation functions from the data path and is an early step carriers can take towards SDN that extends the OIF E-NNI control plane.  The OIF E-NNI control plane has been tested in multiple OIF interoperability demonstrations.”

http://oiforum.com


Telenor and Qtel Win Telecom Licenses in Myanmar

Telenor and Qtel (Ooredoo) were each awarded licenses to build mobile networks in Myanmar.

Telenor said it plans to rapidly roll out a modern telecommunications network and services. Telenor plans to build a state-of-the-art mobile network using HSPA and LTE-ready technologies reaching nationwide coverage within five years. First services are expected to launch in 2014.

Ooredoo noted its significant experience of developing, delivering and investing in communication services in the ASEAN region.  Its assets include Indosat, the Indonesian fixed and mobile communications services provider.  Through its partnership with STT, Ooredoo is also an active investor in Starhub, Singapore’s leading integrated communications provider, which offers some of the region’s most advanced communications services for consumers and business. Also through the STT partnership, Ooredoo is invested in LTC, the incumbent fixed and mobile network provider in Laos. Underpinning the importance of broadband services, Ooredoo operates wi-tribe, a broadband network provider with operations in Pakistan and the Philippines.

http://www.ooredoo.com/en/news/investor-relations/financial-news/ooredoo-wins-myanmar-licence-1.html
http://www.telenor.com/

Tele2 Norway Selects Ericsson for LTE

Tele2 Norway has selected Ericsson for its nationwide LTE rollout.  Ericsson will also upgrade and expand Tele2's existing 2G and 3G networks in Norway, becoming the main vendor for the radio access solutions for all standards.

The deal includes multi-standard radio base station equipment from the Ericsson RBS 6000 family, LTE RAN software, upgrade of existing 2G and 3G access network software and upgrade of core solutions. Services will also be a key part of the upgrade. Financial terms were not disclosed.

http://www.ericsson.com

Ericsson Refinances $2 Billion Loan

Ericsson signed a new USD 2 billion multi-currency revolving credit facility and refinanced its credit facility signed in 2007. The new facility has a tenor of five years, with two extension options of one year each, and the facility serves for general corporate purposes.

HSBC Bank plc and Nordea acted as coordinators.

http://www.ericsson.com/press

Wind Telecomunicazioni Picks ALU

Wind Telecomunicazioni has selected Alcatel-Lucent to extend and transform its nationwide fibre-optic transport and IP communication networks across Italy.

Alcatel-Lucent is providing a network transformation solution that includes long-haul optical transport, mobile backhaul, metro area network (MAN) and IP service edge technology to expand and update Wind's existing network, as well as introduce advanced services to customers.

The deployment includes Alcatel-Lucent's:


  • 1830 Photonic Service Switch with the 400G Photonic Service Engine and 100G technology
  • 1850 Transport Service Switch to extend Wind's mobile backhaul infrastructure in support of mobile broadband services.
  • 7750 Service Router for aggregating traffic in the metro areas and as the IP service edge for delivering advanced, high-speed residential services and business services, such as VPN over IP and Internet access.

"This agreement confirms our commitment to deliver services with high efficiency and functionality to our customers, by  developing the telecommunication infrastructure in Italy. The continuous evolution of our transport network is of paramount importance to our strategy, which aims to provide an effective and intelligent answer to the new phase of communications, already characterized by a real data explosion, particularly in mobility, with the objective of keeping on offering the best value/price ratio, that is what distinguishes our positioning," stated Gianluca Baini, CEO Alcatel-Lucent Italia.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SK Telecom is First to Launch LTE-Advanced Service

SK Telecom launched the world's first LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service through smartphones.

The LTE-A service offers download speeds of up to 150 Mbps, which is two times faster than its regular LTE service, and 10 times faster than its 3G network. LTE-A coverage initially is available in Seoul and central city areas of Gyeongg-do and Chungcheong-do.  Expansion to 84 cities nationwide is planned.

At top speed, LTE-A users can download an 800MB movie in just 43 seconds.

The LTE-A implementation leverages several advanced mobile network technologies including Carrier Aggregation (CA) and Coordinated Multi Point (CoMP). SK Telecom plans to implement Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC) in 2014.

CA supports up to 150 Mpbs speed by combining two 10 MHz components carriers to form an effective bandwidth of 20 MHz. The company said further advancements should yield rates up to 300Mbps speed by aggregating two 20MHz component carriers by 2015, and become capable of combining three component carriers by 2016. An uplink capability using carrier aggregation should also be possible by 2016.  The current CA standards allow for up to five 20 MHz carriers to be aggregated.

SK Telecom is offering LTE-A service at LTE prices.  Customers will not have to pay more for the faster service.

Samsung's Galaxy S4 LTE-A smartphone is the first compatible device It will come in two colors, red (exclusively available at SK Telecom) and blue. The operator has secured an initial supply of 20,000 units of Galaxy S4 LTE-A. SK Telecom expects to have seven LTE-A devices on offer later this year.

SK Telecom' LTE-A phones will feature embedded services like 'Safe Message' and 'Safe Data Backup'. Safe Message is designed to protect users from smishing (SMS phishing) attacks by enabling them to check whether the message is sent from a trusted source; and 'Safe Data Backup' enables users to upload personal data stored in their smartphones to the cloud server to keep data safe from smartphone loss and accidental deletion. The company also plans to mount these features on all its to-be released LTE phones as well.

Some additional network service innovations from SK Telecom:

  • SK Telecom is launching a group video calling service for up to four users. The service, an upgraded version of the 3G network-based multi-party video conferencing service, will support 12 times better video quality and 2 times clearer audio quality.
  • SK Telecom's 'Btv mobile,' an IPTV service with 550,000 paid subscribers, will begin providing full HD (1080p resolution) video streaming service, for the first time in the world, from early July. Full HD video streaming requires a speed of 2Mbps or above, which is well supported by the LTE-A network.
  • The company will also launch 'T Baseball Multiview,' to enable users to watch two different games on one screen in July 2013. T Baseball is a free, real-time professional baseball game broadcast service optimized to the LTE network. Launched in August 2012, the service is currently enjoyed by 1.1 million users.
  • SK Telecom plans to launch 'T Freemium 2.0,' a free multimedia content package that offers three times more contents – e.g. dramas, TV entertainment shows, music videos, sports game highlights, etc.- than its previous version, 'T Freemium,' in July 2013.
  • SK Telecom plans to launch a new HD video-based shopping service in August 2013 to make shopping more fun and convenient for customers. Users will be able to seamlessly watch 6 different home shopping channels on one screen.
  • SK Telecom's online/mobile music portal service MelOn just opened a new service category to allow users to listen to original CD quality music by downloading Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) files.
  • SK Telecom will hold a large-scale contest named 'LTE-A i.con' to boost the creation and provision of diverse innovative contents and applications optimized for the LTE-A network.


http://www.sktelecom.com/

NTT Comm Launches SDN-based Cloud Migration Service

NTT Communications is launching the world’s first software-defined networking (SDN)-based cloud migration service.

The NTT Comm On-premises Connection links customer on-premises systems with NTT Com’s Enterprise Cloud via the Internet using SDN technology.

NTT Comm said overcoming complexity will be the driving factor when considering migrating an application from on-premise to the cloud as this requires servers and data to be transferred sequentially.  Conventionally, this involves many changes to network equipment settings and IP addresses in both servers and clients, which is a huge headache for many customers.

NTT Comm's  On-premises Connection Service greatly simplifies the process through incorporation of unique SDN technology, which NTT Com developed in cooperation with VMware.

Some highlights:


  • By connecting on-premises systems and cloud in the same network segment using SDN-compatible gateway equipment installed in the customer’s system, the service substantially reduces the workload normally required to design and configure on-premises networks. Also, once in the cloud environment after migration, customers can continue to use the existing IP addresses of their on-premises systems, a further reduction of workload.
  • Highly secure, encrypted data can be transferred between on-premises systems and Enterprise Cloud via the Internet at up to 100 Mbps. SDN technology enables customers to make changes promptly and flexibly, such as adjusting bandwidth to transfer large data in off-peak hours. Customers can even use their existing Internet connection lines for cloud migration.
     
  • On-demand use helps to minimize the cost of cloud migration because payment for the service, including gateway equipment, is on a per-day basis.

 The initial fee of 231,000 yen includes the cost of installing gateway equipment at the customer’s site. The daily charge is 11,718 yen and the maximum monthly charge has a ceiling of 234,150 yen. Internet connection from on-premises systems and two fixed global IP addresses for gateway equipment are charged separately.

The service is available in Japan starting this week and will be offered later in other markets worldwide.

http://www.ntt.com/aboutus_e/news/data/20130627.html


ZTE Develops Cloud Radio Scheduling/Coordination Functions for LTE

ZTE is showcasing a new Cloud Radio Solution for 4G network optimization at the Mobile Asia Expo conference in Shanghai. China Mobile is already testing ZTE’s Cloud Radio Solution to optimize trial TD-LTE networks in Guangzhou.

ZTE's Cloud Radio features newly developed Cloud Scheduling and Cloud Coordination modules for LTE network operators.

ZTE’s Cloud Scheduling module utilizes a central scheduler to manage network resources on a real-time basis and achieve unified network scheduling. The Cloud Coordination module enables seamless and borderless coordination for the whole network to improve user experience. Cloud Scheduling realizes coordination at the cell level from a macro perspective, while Cloud Coordination realizes coordination at the user level from a micro perspective. The two-level coordination helps operators build smooth LTE networks.

The company said its Cloud Radio solution will prove most use for mitigating signal interference issues at the cell edge. multiple-layer coordination within bases stations and network users, the approach should lead to a better user experience.

In April 2013, ZTE and China Mobile conducted the Phase I Cloud Radio Solution verification in a project site in Guangzhou. When the Cloud Scheduling function was enabled with the network at more than 70% loading, the data throughput volume of cell edge users increased by 40%. When the Cloud Coordination function was enabled, the throughput volume increased between 20% and 100%, with the improvement most pronounced for cell edge users. The test by ZTE and China Mobile was the first site-level verification of LTE-Advanced coordination technology in the global telecommunications industry.

China Mobile has now expanded the scale of the test in order to collect more performance data. In June 2013, ZTE and China Mobile started the Phase II large-scale Cloud Radio verification in the Tianhe commercial area of Guangzhou, a complex wireless environment with a variety of data transmission requirements.

http://wwwen.zte.com.cn/en/press_center/news/201306/t20130627_401238.html


ZTE Hits 1Gbps with LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation

ZTE has achieved wireless data transmission rates of 1 Gbps in a live demonstration using LTE-Advanced.

In the demonstration, ZTE deployed Carrier Aggregation technology with four carrier frequencies on the F-band(1.9G Band) and D-band (2.6G Band). Carrier Aggregation is a core technology in the LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) standard, combining two or more carrier frequencies sharing the same or different bands into one channel, increasing the peak transmission speeds of TD-LTE cells by multiple times. ZTE used three carrier frequencies in the 2.6 G band, and on carrier in the 1.9 G band to complete the 1Gbps (F+D CA @ 4×4MIMO) demonstration successfully.

http://wwwen.zte.com.cn/en/press_center/news/201306/t20130626_401097.html

Broadcom's Latest StrataXGS Switch Delivers 10GbE Mobile Backhaul

Broadcom introduced its latest StrataXGS Ethernet switch chip for the aggregation layer of mobile backhaul networks.

The StrataXGS BCM56450 switch features a traffic manager that provides fine-grained quality of service and offers 10Gbps serial interfaces.  The single-chip solution, which is part of Broadcom's switching portfolio for network access and aggregation, integrates many capabilities onto a single device, including high bandwidth switching with a control-plane processor, hierarchical traffic management, packet timing recovery, and advanced operation, administration and maintenance (OAM) functions.

The network aggregation layer could be used for multiple network architecture, including those based on VLANs, MPLS or MPLS-TP.

Key Features


  • Advanced OAM functions and hardware-based protection switching enable a highly reliable backhaul network
  • Fully integrated timing solution with integrated digital phase-locked loop and 1588 v2 and synchronous Ethernet hardware support provides highly accurate time synchronization
  • Carrier Ethernet packet processor delivers line-rate L2 and VLAN switching, L3 routing, MPLS, MPLS-TP, and provider backbone bridging (PBB) while supporting L2, L3, MPLS, or PBB deployment models
  • Channelization over Ethernet and hierarchical traffic manager with DDR3-based packet buffer memory provides fine grained quality of service (QoS) to aggregate sub-1G microwave and small cell backhaul networks
  • On-chip ARM-based CPU and integrated 10G optical PHYs reduce bill-of-materials cost and enable a compact system design


The device, which is currently sampling, is implemented in 40nm. Production is slated for 1H 2014.

http://www.broadcom.com/press/release.php?id=s773805

Oracle's Gatekeeper Provides Carrier Billing, QoS Control for OTT Services

Oracle released a new version of its Communications Services Gatekeeper featuring pre-integrated solutions to help network operators monetize over-the-top (OTT) content.

Essentially, the Oracle Communications Services Gatekeeper is an open, standards-based service exposure platform. The new release provides  analytics and partner management portals that leverage APIs to track and bill for specific OTT services.

The Oracle Communications Services Gatekeeper runs on commercial-off-the-shelf platforms and offers built-in integration to Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF), online charging systems and network call control.

“In a competitive communications marketplace, it is vital that CSPs can rapidly deploy new and exciting services that meet customer and partner expectations. The latest release of Oracle Communications Services Gatekeeper provides CSPs with industry-standard technology combined with sophisticated management tools and analytics to securely open up networks to third-party services and applications while also helping to monetize those services and increase customer satisfaction,” said Bhaskar Gorti, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Communications.

http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/1965921