Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mobile Operators Agree to Network Infrastructure Sharing in Spain

Telefónica’s subsidiary Movistar and TeliaSonera’s Spanish subsidiary Yoigo agreed to a network infrastructure sharing in Spain.

Under the deal, the current national roaming contract for Yoigo to use Telefónica's 2G and 3G networks, signed in 2008, has been extended to 2016. This allows Yoigo to continue to offer mobile voice services throughout all Spain.

Telefónica will gain access to Yoigo’s 4G network. Yoigo was the first operator in Spain to announce the launch of 4G services -- beginning with Madrid in July.  Telefónica will be able to use Yoigo’s access network over 1800 MHz, allowing it to offer its customers ultra-fast 4G mobile broadband services under its Movistar brand.

Yoigo's 4G networkuses 2x10 MHz in 1800 MHz.  The rollout is expected to reach 48% of the population by the end of the year, which means bringing 4G to all cities with more than 70,000 inhabitants, making it the largest 4G network announced to date in Spain. To reach the speed permitted by 4G access, the agreement includes the use of Telefónica's transport network. To do this, Yoigo will contract new transmission capabilities from Telefónica, extending the agreement previously signed by the two companies.

Telefónica said it goal remain to build its own 4G network once the 800 MHz frequencies it was awarded in 2011, along with 2600 MHz and 900 MHz, are available, which represented an investment of around €900 million.

The agreement includes the commercial distribution of Telefónica’s fixed services by Yoigo. This enables Yoigo to offer its customers an integrated fixed mobile service - a service package of voice and fixed broadband with one or more mobile lines, including the subscription fee, at a fixed price and with one invoice only. The integrated product, which Yoigo will be able to commercialize in all its sales channels, will include its own mobile services and Telefonica’s fixed services of voice and broadband, both ADSL and fiber.

In addition, Yoigo and Telefónica will sell mobile towers to Abertis Telecom.  The agreement is expected to be carried out in the fourth quarter of 2013.  Abertis acquiring at least 4,227 passive infrastructures from these operators for €385 million.  Albertis will upgrade most and dismantle those that overlap.
After this acquisition, Telefónica and Yoigo's equipment will be hosted on the same infrastructures. Yoigo expects to generate EUR 60-70 million, helping it to reduce future operating costs.

O2 Set to Launch LTE this Month in London

Telefónica's O2 outlined plans to launch 4G in London, Leeds and Bradford later this month. The network will be extended to 10 more cities across the UK by end of year.

O2 is launching a range of tariffs starting at £26 a month, along with a 30 day "Happiness Guarantee" for customers who sign up direct from O2.

Some other notes:

  • Data usage on O2's 3G network has more than doubled in the past 12 months.
  • O2 has invested £550m for 800Mhz spectrum, which was released to O2 at the end of May and was fully cleared by Ofcom this week.
  • O2's network includes some 9,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots.

NFV Video Series -- Full Set

00:12 - What is NFV?
01:41 - What is the vision of NFV?
02:29 - Is NFV the same as SDN? How does NFV bring an Open Paradigm to Networking?
03:48 - Who is developing NFV? Will it be standardized?
04:32 - What are some basic NFV concepts?
05:04 - How can I learn more about NFV?

NFV will be truly transformative, enabling far better subscriber-aware services, says James F. Brear, President and CEO of Procera. First mover advantage will be a competitive weapon for network operators that capitalize on this innovation.

1:15 - What is network virtualization?
1:50 - Why NFV?
3:34 - Major Carriers Back NFV
4:08 - Virtualization Targets
4:30 - Procera's NFV Strategy
5:16 - ETSI and ONF participation
5:40 - Procera's PacketLogic solutions running on NFV-compliant hypervisor systems
7:28 - Virtualization is on the path to Smarter Services
8:18 - Three phase approach - Intelligent Networks, NFV, SDN
8:40 - Evolution from vanilla networks to virtualized infrastructure
11:05 - Deployment opportunities - Intelligence drives True SDNs
11:50 - Network Intelligence is the foundation of the Software-defined revolution

Presented by Cam Cullen, Vice President of Global Marketing, Procera Networks.

    SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Hits 10 Gbps

    The newly completed USB 3.1 specification adds enhancements to enable operation at at up to 10 Gbps.

    SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps uses a more efficient data encoding and will deliver more than twice the effective data through-put performance of existing SuperSpeed USB over enhanced, fully backward compatible USB connectors and cables. Compatibility is assured with existing USB 3.0 software stacks and device class protocols as well as with existing 5 Gbps hubs and devices and USB 2.0 products.

    The latest release of the specification is now available for download from the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) website.

    Obama Nominates Mike O'Reilly for FCC

    President Obama nominated Michael P. O'Rielly of New York to serve as a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission, replacing Robert McDowell who stepped down earlier this year. If confirmed by the Senate, O'Rielly would serve for the remainder of the term expiring June 30, 2014, previously held by McDowell.

    O'Rielly is a congressional staffer for Senator John Cornyn, a Republican for Texas.

    The U.S. Senate has not yet voted on the confirmation of Tom Wheeler for Chairman of the FCC. Wheeler is a Democrat.

    Verizon issued the following statement: "Verizon congratulates Mike O'Rielly on his nomination to serve as commissioner at the FCC.  His experience and public service are tremendous assets that will prove invaluable as the commission addresses pressing needs, including the availability of spectrum, the transition to IP-based services and the need to modernize the country's outdated policy framework for communications technology.

    TE Intros Category 6A Unshielded Cabling for 10 GbE

    TE Connectivity (TE) introduced a new Category 6A unshielded cabling system designed for 10 GbE applications.

    The company said its Cat 6A U/UTP system offers the world’s first unshielded structured cable for 10 GbE transmission of up to 100M. Benefiting from TE’s AirES cable and “inside-out” filler technologies, the cable is able to provide higher throughput and an increased signal-to-noise ratio in a smaller package. At approximately 0.285 inches in diameter, the cable is up to 32 percent thinner as compared to traditional Cat 6A cables, helping to save space in the communications closet, reduce the amount of cable management accessories required, and lower the risk associated with fire and smoke in the plenum space.

    “The growing popularity of virtualization, IP video and larger file transmissions is driving the need for higher network performance while also necessitating higher density in data center and office LAN environments,” said Brian Davis, director of product management, TE Enterprise Networks. “Our AirES enhanced cabling solution provides optimal performance, meets bandwidth demands and is scalable – ready for new technology to be added. Plus, the smaller, thinner design of the patch cord makes it an unbeatable combination of performance and agility.”

    Time Warner Cable Now Has 19,000 Wi-Fi Access Points

    Time Warner Cable posted Q2 revenue of $5.6 billion, up 2.7% YoY.  Residential services revenue increased 0.3% to $4.6 billion and business services revenue grew 21.8% to $565 million, while advertising revenue decreased 1.9% to $260 million and other revenue grew 60.3% to $93 million. Net income was $481 million, or $1.65 per basic common share and $1.64 per diluted common share, for the second quarter of 2013 compared to $452 million, or $1.44 per basic common share and $1.43 per diluted common share, for the second quarter of 2012.

    Some operational notes from the company's quarterly financial report:

    • The growth in residential high-speed data revenue was the result of an increase in average revenue per subscriber, primarily due to an increase in equipment rental charges and a greater percentage of subscribers purchasing higher-priced tiers of service, as well as growth in high-speed data subscribers.
    • Residential video revenue decreased driven by declines in video subscribers and transactional video-on-demand revenue, partially offset by price increases and a greater percentage of subscribers purchasing higher-priced tiers of service.
    • Residential voice revenue decreased due to a decline in average revenue per subscriber and lower voice subscribers.
    • Video programming expenses grew 3.7% to $1.2 billion due to an increase in average monthly video programming costs per video subscriber, offset in part by a decline in video subscribers. Average monthly video programming costs per video subscriber increased 8.5% year-over-year to $33.54 for the second quarter of 2013, primarily driven by contractual rate increases and the carriage of new networks, partially offset by a decline in transactional video-on-demand.
    • Average monthly revenue per residential customer relationship (ARPU) grew 1.2% to $105.21.
    • Capital expenditures in the first half totaled $1.6 billion, consistent with the Company’s plans for full-year capital spending of $3.2 billion.
    • Residential wideband high-speed data subscribers (which includes the 30, 50, 75 and 100 Mbps tiers) more than doubled year over year to 608,000 subscribers.
    • The company continued to make progress with its Wi-Fi initiative; Aggressive deployment in New York City increased total access points to 19,000.
    • Time Warner Cable has IntelligentHome available in approximately 80% of its footprint and has 24,000 customers. Second quarter net additions were the strongest since its launch.
    • Business services reached a milestone in the quarter, delivering backhaul service to more than 10,000 cell towers.

    Tellabs Q2 Revenues Fall to $212 Million

    Tellabs reported Q2 2013 revenues of $212 million, compared with $288 million in the year-ago quarter. On a GAAP basis, Tellabs recorded a net loss of $8 million or 2 cents per share in the second quarter of 2013, compared with a net loss of $5 million or 1 cent per share in the second quarter of 2012.

    Tellabs’ GAAP gross profit margin was 37.8% in the second quarter of 2013, compared with39.6% in the year-ago quarter.

    "We made good progress in the second quarter, compared with the first quarter, as revenue and gross profit margins improved,” said Dan Kelly, Tellabs CEO and president. “We’re encouraged by this progress as we work to revitalize Tellabs with a focus on customers, strategy and results."

    RIP: Kenneth Brill, Pioneer of Data Center Design and Founder of Uptime Institute

    Uptime Institute, which is best known for its creation and global administration of the Tier Standard for data centers, announced the death of its founder, Kenneth G. Brill, who passed away on Tuesday.

    Mr. Brill was the Founder of the Uptime Institute and the Site Uptime Network. Many data center industry innovations over the past 25 years are underpinned by his original concepts, including dual power, the industry's Tier system for evaluating and classifying data center facility performance, and IT/facility energy efficiency and productivity measurement. Mr. Brill's research into the economic meltdown of Moore’s Law, data center productivity and energy efficiency, and IT's declining economics form core knowledge to be taken into account by corporate leaders charged with business performance, profitability and sustainability.

    "Ken Brill was inspired in his thinking, and resolute in his principles," said Julian Kudritzki, COO of Uptime Institute. "As a personality and an innovator, he left an indelible imprint on the IT and data center industry. His innovations are so fundamental to the progression of the data center industry over time that it is difficult to believe they can be traced back to the energy and passion of a single man. With Ken's passing, the industry mourns a ferocious critic and committed agent of change."

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    Starbucks Picks Google for Wi-Fi in U.S.

    Starbucks is replacing AT&T with Google as the provider of in-store Wi-Fi for its company-owned stores across the U.S.  Level 3 Communications will upgrade existing Wi-Fi devices and will manage in-store connectivity.

    Beginning in August and extending over the next 18-months, Starbucks will convert more than 7,000 U.S. stores to the upgraded store network and Wi-Fi experience powered by Google.  The company are targeting up to 10 times faster network and Wi-Fi speeds.

    In addition to providing faster Wi-Fi, Starbucks and Google will also work together to co-develop the next-generation Starbucks Digital Network.

    “Every day, our customers rely on the free Wi-Fi at Starbucks to study, work, connect with friends or just relax. We want to make sure that they can access the web effortlessly and quickly, no matter what they’re doing, or what device they are using,” said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer, Starbucks. “Our goal is to continue to provide our customers with the best in-store experience possible, and we are excited to offer these kinds of unparalleled experiences at a broad scale.”

    “Google has always invested in projects that help the Internet grow stronger, including projects that make Internet access more affordable and more widely available. We hope that speedier Internet will make the time customers spend at Starbucks even more enjoyable and productive,” said Kevin Lo, the General Manager of Google Access.

    • In February 2008, Starbucks named AT&T as the provider of Wi-Fi for 7,000 company-owned stores across the U.S.   At the time, the companies planned to offer a mix of free and paid Wi-Fi.  Previously, T-Mobile had been the provider of Wi-Fi in Starbucks across the U.S.

    UK Clears 800 MHz Broadcast Spectrum for 4G

    The UK has just completed a process of clearing broadcast spectrum for new use in mobile networks.

    Last year, Ofcom secured an accelerated timetable for releasing these Freeview frequencies following discussions with TV broadcasters, Digital UK and the transmission company Arqiva. The project's completion on Wednesday comes five months earlier than originally planned. Work was conducted at more than 600 transmitters across the UK, while wireless microphones now use alternative frequencies.

    The 800 MHz spectrum was auctioned by Ofcom for use by 4G companies in February. This section of the airwaves is particularly suitable for offering mobile broadband coverage over wide areas, and penetrating buildings to provide a good indoor signal.

    "This week we are clearing the path for 4G mobile broadband, allowing mobile companies to provide coverage across the UK.”
    “4G services will reach 98% of the UK population indoors – and even more when outdoors – which will provide a significant boost for rural businesses and consumers," stated Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive.

    Southern Cross Competes 100G Expansion with Ciena

    The Southern Cross Trans-Pacific submarine cable network, which connects Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii and the west coast of the U.S., has completed the deployment of Ciena’s 100G transmission equipment across its entire network.

    The 100G upgrade brings total lit capacity across the two cables to 2.6 Tbps. If deployed on all Southern Cross fibres, along with gridless optical networking, our potential capacity capability increases to 12 Tbps, between Australia/New Zealand and the USA.

    Southern Cross Sales and Marketing Director Ross Pfeffer says, “The implementation of 100G technology is a major milestone in the ongoing expansion and enhancement of our 30,000km submarine network in continued support of the development of high-speed broadband in Australia and New Zealand.

    "Retail broadband data caps have expanded dramatically on the back of current international capacity prices in both Australia and New Zealand with demand for capacity continuing to grow at around 35 to 40 per cent annually,” Pfeffer stated. “Our deployment of this latest technology places Southern Cross in an even stronger position to stay well ahead of the demand growth resulting from Australia’s NBN (National Broadband Network) and New Zealand’s UFB (Ultra-fast Broadband) initiatives, and the growth associated with cloud services and new content. The long-standing Southern Cross policy of using the latest technology improvements to expand lit capacity and to lower marginal cost will ensure that Southern Cross remains in a position to cost-effectively support demand growth for many years."

    Eutelsat Acquires SatMex to Expand Latin America Coverage

    Paris-based Eutelsat Communications announced a deal to acquire 100% of Satmex for US$831 million, representing an enterprise value of US$1,142 million when considering the company's debt.

    Based in Mexico, Satmex operates three satellites at contiguous positions, 113.0° West (Satmex 6), 114.9° West (Satmex 5) and 116.8° West (Satmex 8) that cover 90% of the population of the Americas. The company benefits from frequency rights in C and Ku-bands and was granted Ka-band rights in 2012. It has an 11% market share in Latin America where it enjoys a strong franchise in corporate data networks and cellular backhaul.

    Eutelsat said this acquisition, together with the recently ordered EUTELSAT 65 West A satellite, will position it as a major satellite operator in Latin America, reflecting its strategy to expand in high growth markets.

    Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO, said: "With Satmex’s strategic orbital slots, state of the art fleet and upcoming satellites, Eutelsat is gaining a robust platform from which to access the significant opportunities in this region. Via these two strategic steps, we are significantly upscaling our presence in Latin America to complement our footprint in fast-growing markets, and securing future sources of growth and value creation."

    NEC Exits Mobile Handset Business

    NEC is ending the development, manufacturing and sale of smartphones, other than models already on the market.

    The company said the handset business is now ruled by economies of scale, admitting that its own efforts failed to generate sufficient market momentum to continue as a competitive player.  Instead, NEC will focus its resources on its Social Solutions Business.

    Cisco Completes Acquisition of Composite Software

    Cisco completed its previously announced acquisition of Composite Software, a developer of data virtualization software and services, approximately $180 million in cash and retention-based incentives.

    Composite Software, which is based in San Mateo, California, connects many types of data from across the network and makes it appear as if it's in one place. Composite's software integrates traditional and new data sources including cloud and big data, into a simplified consolidated view.
    Cisco said Composite's software will expand its portfolio of Smart Services, enabling companies to better leverage network knowledge (APIs) and programmability, which maximizes the benefits of data virtualization. As with the transition from physical servers to server virtualization and from physical networks to network virtualization, together Cisco and Composite will accelerate the shift from physical data integration to data virtualization for customers and partners.

    • Composite Software was founded in 2002.  Investors included Apax Partners, Clearstone Venture Partners, Dot Edu Ventures, Palomar Ventures and Tenaya Capital.

    Cavium Reports Q2 Revenue of $74 Million, Uo 34% YoY

    Cavium reported Q2 revenue of $74.2 million, a 6.7% sequential increase from the $69.5 million reported in the first quarter of 2013 and a 34.2% year-over-year increase from the $55.3 million reported in the second quarter of 2012.

    Net loss (GAAP) was $4.3 million, or $(0.08) per diluted share compared to $3.2 million, or $(0.06) per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013. Gross margins were 58.3% in the second quarter of 2013 compared to 62.4% in the first quarter of 2013. Total cash and cash equivalents were $97.6 million at June 30, 2013.

    Tuesday, July 30, 2013

    Nokia Siemens Networks Readies Virtualized Telco Cloud Core

    Nokia Siemens Networks reported progress in its efforts to deliver mobile voice core services via a virtualized telco cloud core.  The company, which previously has demonstrated various use cases covering Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and other IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) based services in the Telco Cloud, said the technology is now on the brink of commercial deployment.

    The latest progress includes further testing to verify end-to-end VoLTE deployment readiness in a Telco Cloud. This testing involved end-to-end verification of VoLTE call cases to ensure feature parity with customers’ current 2G/3G circuit-switched voice services, Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) functionality, and the reuse of existing billing, lawful interception and intelligent network interfaces.

    During 2012, Nokia Siemens Networks demonstrated the reliability of core virtualization in several “proof of concept” projects. The company said these projects provided the technology foundation for core network element software running on top of a virtualized infrastructure. In addition, the projects helped identify telco-specific requirements for cloud computing. The testing used industry-standard virtualization and cloud management infrastructure as well as commercial off-the-shelf IT server hardware.

    Specifically, NSN's test program for Telco Cloud deployment verified:

    • automated deployment and elastic scaling of virtualized network elements
    • live migration of virtual machines from one server to another,
    • recovery from hardware failures. 

    "The range of test cases we ran during the pre-deployment verification phase underlines the essential role of the OSS components in the Telco Cloud,” said Peter Patomella, vice president, Operations Support Systems at Nokia Siemens Networks. "We’ve shown how the complete lifecycle of a network element can be managed remotely via our OSS – including initial network element cloud deployment, monitoring of virtualized VoLTE application resources, and elasticity management."

    Ericsson Enables LG U+'s LTE-Advanced

    Ericsson confirmed that South Korea's LG U+'s recently launched LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) commercial service network is using their equipment.

    Specifically, Ericsson has supplied Evolved Packet Core network and radio base stations and integrated new software for LTE-A service. The LTE-A rollout involved a Carrier Aggregation (CA) software upgrade.

    LTE-A supports up to 150 Mbps throughput – twice and 10 times the speed of LTE and 3G services.  Furthermore, LG U+ is able to support voice and data both on the LTE-A network with upgraded data speeds and service quality.

    The two companies have agreed to jointly develop LTE-A and post LTE-A technology such as coordination functions between cells to enhance throughput by minimizing inter-node interference, inter-cell interference control technology to expand small cell coverage through coordination between macro and small base stations, and soft cell related technology to enhance data quality and speed by separating nodes for controlling signal and actual traffic data.

    “Ericsson has successfully deployed LTE-A commercial service and accumulated unrivalled technology, experience and know-how,” said Jan Signell, Head of Region North East Asia, Ericsson. “We will not only bolster our partnership with LG U+ but also contribute to the future technology development to lead the Beyond 4G era as well as LTE-A market in the region.”

    On July 18th, South Korea's LG U + officially launched its LTE-Advanced service, promising download speeds of 75 Mbps to 150 Mbps -- roughly twice the performance of its standard LTE service. The LTE-A network is using carrier aggregation of 800 MHz and 2.1 GHz spectrum.  Compatible handset initially include a version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and soon the LG Electornics Optimus G2.  By the end of the year, the company expects there will be six LTE-A terminal devices on the market.

    Hughes Network Systems Hits 1 Gbps with JUPITER

    Hughes Network Systems reports carrier data rates exceeding 1 Gbps on its JUPITER System. 

    "With this development, we are extending our JUPITER technology to maximize data throughput and achieve the industry's fastest VSAT," said Adrian Morris, executive vice president of Engineering and CTO, Hughes. "This capability positions us to continue to lead the market in delivering the most bandwidth-hungry applications that demand the highest speeds."

    Hughes' JUPITER powers its newly launched HughesNet Gen4 service, which was launched in October 2012 and is credited with accelerating growth of the total HughesNet subscriber base in the U.S. to approximately 700,000 subscribers, making it the world's largest satellite Internet service. 

    HughesNet Gen4 delivers downlink speeds from 10 to 15 Mbp.  It also features a VoIP voice calling option.

    “This breakthrough demonstrates the enormous potential of our JUPITER technology,” said Arunas Slekys, vice president of Corporate Marketing, Hughes. “Not only has it proven rock-solid in powering the fastest growth of satellite Internet service experienced anywhere, it means we can further expand the addressable market for satellite-based services—whether for consumers, enterprises or governments—and beyond North America, as we are poised to bring JUPITER Systems to International markets soon.”\

    • HughesNet Gen4 Business Internet is powered by the EchoStar XVII satellite with JUPITER high-throughput technology -- a next-generation Ka-band satellite employing a multi-spot beam architecture.  It is designed to provide well in excess of 100 Gbps capacity to HughesNet across North America. Its multi-spot beam architecture will expand coverage and focus capacity on the areas with the highest traffic demand. It uses the Space Systems/Loral 1300 platform and is designed to provide service for 15 years or longer. The satellite is in a circular orbit 22,300 miles above the equator at 107.1 degrees West longitude.
    • In July 2012, EchoStar XVII was launched aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

    ViaSat Gains FCC License for Airborne Internet Services Using Ka-band

    ViaSat confirmed that it has been granted a Blanket License Radio Station Authorization by the FCC for Ka-band aeronautical earth stations, enabling it to deliver airborne Ka-band services over all 50 U.S. states.

    The 15-year, renewable license permits operation of the ViaSat Mantarray, low-profile airborne antenna on the ViaSat Ka-band satellite fleet of ViaSat-1, WildBlue-1, and Anik-F2.

    "This is the first license of its kind in the world," said Mark Dankberg, ViaSat chairman and CEO. "We're gratified to see the FCC recognizing that the advanced technical design of this equipment is compatible with the operating environment in which our other Exede services successfully operate. Now airlines, and their passengers, will have access to an unprecedented amount of bandwidth. We want to let everyone on board be connected at high speed."

    ViaSat is preparing to launch its "Exede In The Air" in-flight broadband service this fall with initial availability on the U.S. fleets of JetBlue Airways and one other major airline. Approximately 400 aircraft are already under contract to receive the service.

    ViaSat also initiated work with the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) two years ago that led to a related Electronic Communication Committee decision in March, allowing mobile earth station operation – including in the Ka-band – in participating countries in Europe.

    The service will be powered by ViaSat-1, which holds the title of the World's Highest Capacity Communications Satellite to date with 134 Gbps of total throughput capacity.