Sunday, November 17, 2013

NTT DOCOMO Achieves 1.2 Gbps with Smart Vertical MIMO for LTE-A

NTT DOCOMO has achieved downlinks exceeding 1.2 Gbps in a field test using a single-size antenna incorporating a new transmission technology, Smart Vertical MIMO, for LTE-Advanced.

DOCOMO has developed a unique Smart Vertical MIMO transmission technology that uses adaptive grouping of vertical antenna components according to the reception quality for mobile devices in the transmission area.  The technique enables a single-size antenna to achieve throughput equivalent to that of a four-antenna system.

DOCOMO said Smart Vertical MIMO could play a key role in its planned deployment of LTE-Advanced.  The technology reduces the cost and space of installing antenna equipment and improves spectrum utilization efficiency. Space reduction is particularly beneficial for deployments in congested urban areas.

The company tested Smart Vertical MIMO in July 2013 in the suburban environment of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, and again this month in the urban environment of Sagamihara.  The tests used 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3.9GHz band.

NTT Creates Quantum Buffer in Optical Waveguide

Researchers at NTT have developed a quantum buffer on an optical waveguide that takes advantage of the "slow light effect:, where the propagation speed of a pulsed light in a special optical waveguide slows significantly compared with the speed of light in vacuum.

The company said this innovation facilitates the precise synchronization of photons, thereby creating a buffer that could be used to create quantum computers.  Experiments have shown that the buffer can slow down the speed of pulsed photons to 1/60 of the speed of light in vacuum while faithfully preserving its quantum state. The device used for this demonstration was created by NTT Basic Research Laboratories fabricated by coupling nanocavities with a total length of 840 μm using a silicon photonic crystal.

The research was published in the UK science journal “Nature Communications”.

Department of Energy Funds Research in Next-Gen SuperComputer Interconnects

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) have awarded $25.4 million in research and development contracts to five leading companies in high-performance computing (HPC) to accelerate the development of next-generation supercomputers.

Under DOE’s new DesignForward initiative, AMD, Cray, IBM, Intel Federal and NVIDIA will work to advance extreme-scale, on the path to exascale, computing technology. The contracts, which cover a two-year performance period, will support the design and evaluation of interconnect architectures for future advanced HPC architectures. Such interconnects will tie together hundreds of thousands or millions of processors, as building blocks of supercomputers to be used in studying complex problems in unprecedented detail.  Intel will focus on interconnect architectures and implementation approaches, Cray on open network protocol standards, AMD on interconnect architectures and associated execution models, IBM on energy-efficient interconnect architectures and messaging models and NVIDIA on interconnect architectures for massively threaded processors.

“Exascale computing is key to NNSA’s capability of ensuring the safety and security of our nuclear stockpile without returning to underground testing,” said Robert Meisner, director of the NNSA Office of Advanced Simulation and Computing program. “The resulting simulation capabilities will also serve as valuable tools to address nonproliferation and counterterrorism issues, as well as informing other national security decisions.”

“In an era of fierce international HPC competition, the development of exascale computing becomes critical not only to our national security missions but to the nation’s economic competitiveness in the global marketplace,” said William Harrod, FastForward Program Manager and Research Division Directorfor DOE’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program. “This partnership between industry, the DOE Office of Science and NNSA supports the development of technology to overcome the obstacles on the road to exascale systems.”

ADVA, Juniper and University of Michigan Demo OpenFlow for Massive Data Transport

ADVA Optical Networking, Juniper Networks and the University of Michigan are showcasing a demo at SC13 that uses OpenFlow to transport multiple petabytes of data.

The demo features Juniper Networks' PTX Series Packet Transport Routers, including their integrated 100G coherent transponder, and ADVA Optical Networking's 100G Core technology. The ADVA FSP 3000 and its 100G Core transponder can talk directly to the Juniper Networks' PTX router and its 100G coherent transponder over an error free long haul circuit.

“We live in an era of mass collaboration, an era of sharing data, resources and knowledge, an era defined by global interworking,” said Niall Robinson, vice president, PLM, Packet Optical Solutions, ADVA Optical Networking. “This trend will continue to increase and will continue to demand a supporting network that can transport enormous volumes of data. Research and education organizations are acutely aware of this. To be a part of global scientific conversations demands a network that can scale, a network that can meet the petabyte era. That's the very essence of this demo. We're not just showing an isolated technology here, we're showcasing a fully realized global network; one based on a seamless interworking of optical layer and Supercore routing technology. This isn't just a vision, it's a reality.”

“Through our partnership with ADVA Optical Networking and the University of Michigan, we’re doing our part to advance the research community’s ability to stay ahead of the relentless pace of modern scientific breakthrough and discovery. Without a strong supporting network infrastructure to transport huge amounts of scientific information, these discoveries would likely be much more limited,” commented Paul Obsitnik, vice president, Service Provider Marketing, Juniper Networks. “Together, we've built a live network that is successfully transporting huge amounts of data, error-free, on a global scale. This demonstration underscores our commitment to an open ecosystem where scientific organizations can migrate from their existing networks to a multi-vendor infrastructure that can accommodate the demands of big data and the demands of future scientific collaboration.”

FCC Chairman Calls on Industry to Act on Mobile Phone Unlocking

Mobile network operator must act now on setting voluntary policies to allow consumers to unlock their mobile wireless devices once their contracts are fulfilled, according to a open letter from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to CTIA president Steve Largent.

Wheeler notes that the FCC has been working with CTIA for eight months with results on an amendment to the CTIA Consumer Code in which the industry would address consumers' rights to unlock their mobile wireless devices once their contracts are fulfilled.

The Commission indicated that any such policy must contain five parts: (a) provide a clear, concise, and readily accessible policy on unlocking; (b) unlock mobile wireless devices for customers, former customers, and legitimate owners when the applicable service contract, installment plan, or ETF has been fulfilled; (c) affirmatively notify customers when their devices are eligible for unlocking and/or automatically unlock devices when eligible, without an additional fee; (d) process unlocking requests or provide an explanation of denial within two business days; and (e) unlock devices for military personnel upon deployment.

Wheeler said the industry should resolve this matter expeditiously or the FCC will take regulatory action.

DOCOMO Partners with Pioneer for Automotive Cloud in Japan

NTT DOCOMO and Pioneer are partnering to launch a mobile telematics service in Japan beginning in mid-December.  The service, which runs on Android smartphones mounted on a cradle attached to a car dashboard, will provide navigation and mobile concierge information.

Pioneer is developing an "automotive cloud" to process data from large numbers of vehicles equipped with its devices.

AT&T U-verse Internet Hits 10 Million Customer Milestone

AT&T passed the 10 million customers milestone for its U-verse High Speed Internet service.  The company credits its multi-billion dollar Project Velocity IP with boosting the business. AT&T said that since announcing Project VIP one year ago, it has added about 2.5 million broadband customer locations. The plan calls for expanding IP broadband to reach about 57 million customer locations by the end of 2015. The plan also calls for Internet speed upgrades. Earlier this year, AT&T rolled out U-verse High Speed Internet Power with up to 45 Mbps download speeds in 79 markets.  And the company plans to raise speeds up to 75 and 100 Mbps in the future.

"This latest milestone shows how U-verse is helping transform AT&T into a premier IP broadband company," said Lori Lee, senior executive vice president, AT&T Home Solutions. As of 3Q 2013, total U-verse high speed Internet subscribers represented about 60 percent of all wireline broadband subscribers, compared with 43 percent in the year-earlier quarter.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

KT to Launch Mobile Content Acceleration in LTE Network Q1 2014

KT will be the first commercial mobile content acceleration service in its LTE network in Q1 2014 based on Ericsson's Mobile Cloud Accelerator (MCA) solution.

Ericsson said trials of its Mobile Cloud Accelerator showed that web page download times could be reduced by more than 50 percent.  The solution works by guaranteeing traffic transmission quality of certain categories of data, such as premium content and application traffic in the radio access area.

Heekyoung Song, Head of Enterprise IT Business Unit, KT commented: "We're pleased to announce that KT will be the first operator in the world to provide a commercial mobile content acceleration service, thanks to our strong partnership with Ericsson. It means that we can expand the connectivity of our premium CDN service from the fixed network, which we launched last year, to the mobile network. MCA deployment in our network will enable us to offer our subscribers a differentiated and higher quality of service. Downloading content in a much shorter time may well be one of the exceptionally good reasons why subscribers choose our network."

Jan Signell, Head of Region North East Asia, Ericsson says: "The explosion of connected mobile devices has opened a whole new world of possibilities, and LTE in South Korea is moving faster than in any other market. That's why our partnership with KT is important to us, because it allows us to be in the very frontline of developing future innovative mobile services."

AWS Intros Kinesis - Real-Time Processing of Streaming Big Data

Amazon Web Services introduced Kinesis, a fully managed service for real-time processing of high-volume, streaming data.

The idea with Amazon Kinesis is to direct the flow of real-time data into cloud-hosted analytic applications and then display desired real-time intelligent via online dashboards.

The new service interoperates with other AWS big data services, such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Elastic Map Reduce (Amazon EMR) or Amazon Redshift. It scales elastically to support applications that process data streams of nearly any size, while replicating all data across multiple Availability Zones to help ensure high durability and availability. Amazon said Kinesis can allow a customer to store and process terabytes of data an hour from hundreds of thousands of real-time data sources, such as web site click-streams, marketing and financial transactions, social media feeds, logs and metering data and location-tracking events.

“Database and MapReduce technologies are good at handling large volumes of data,” said Terry Hanold, Vice President of New Business Initiatives, AWS. “But they are fundamentally batch-based, and struggle with enabling real-time decisions on a never-ending—and never fully complete—stream of data. Amazon Kinesis aims to fill this gap, removing many of the cost, effort and expertise barriers customers encounter with streaming data solutions, while providing the performance, durability and scale required for the largest, most advanced implementations.”

“Exchange order data peaks at tens to hundreds of megabytes per second, and we have to accurately record and process every single transaction,” said Ann Neidenbach, Senior Vice President of Global Software Development, NASDAQ OMX. “Amazon Kinesis is designed to handle market order data in real-time, durably and reliably, without data loss, enabling continuous analysis and auditing of this stream of market data. This lets us focus on building the next generation of innovative financial tools and services.”

AWS Boosts Compute I/O Performance Via SSD

At the AWS re:Invent! show in Las Vegas, CTO Werner Vogels announced the I2 instances are optimized for high performance random I/O.  
AWS said the greater performance is achieved using 2.5 GHz intel Xeon E5-2670v2 processors with Turbo mode enabled. EC2's new enhanced networking, and SSDs.  At the high-end,  i2.8xlarge instances will be able to deliver 350,000 random read IOPS and 320,000 random write IOPS. 
Instance NamevCPU CountRAM Instance Storage (SSD)
i2.large215 GiB1 x 360 GB
i2.xlarge430.5 GiB1 x 720 GB
i2.2xlarge861 GiB2 x 720 GB
i2.4xlarge16122 GiB4 x 720 GB
i2.8xlarge32244 GiB8 x 720 GB

IBM Positions Watson for Cloud Applications

IBM announced plans to make it Watson technology available as a development platform in the cloud.

The idea is to enable software application developer to build a new generation of apps that leverage Watson's cognitive computing intelligence and ability to ingest both structured and unstructured data.

IBM said its goal is to create a cloud-hosted marketplace where application providers can tap into its library of resources for Watson-powered intelligence.  IBM will supply a developer toolkit, educational materials and access to Watson's application programming interface (API). IBM is already working with partners on applications for smarter online shopping comparisons, medical equipment supply chain management, and personalized healthcare recommendations.

“By sharing IBM Watson's cognitive abilities with the world, we aim to fuel a new ecosystem that accelerates innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit," said Michael Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Software Solutions Group. “With this move, IBM is taking a bold step to advance the new era of cognitive computing. Together with our partners we'll spark a new class of applications that will learn from experience, improve with each interaction and outcome, and assist in solving the most complex questions facing the industry and society."

Zayo Builds Out Support for AWS Direct Connect

Zayo announced expansion of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect as an Amazon Partner Network (APN) Technology Partner.

Specifically, Zayo will offer AWS Direct Connect sub-1G hosted connections at all US AWS Direct Connect locations, as well as Telecity in London.  Zayo provides private networks connectivity to each AWS Direct Connect location and offers flat rate Metro/Intercity pricing to its customers for connections directly to AWS in key markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Ashburn, Va., and London.

Since 2011, Zayo has provided direct bandwidth up to 10G through AWS Direct Connect portal, and the new APN will enable customers to more easily find high quality technology partners that support the AWS cloud platform.  APN allows customers to establish a private, secure connection directly to AWS platform across Zayo’s expansive network.

“Our support for AWS Direct Connect allows our customers to seamlessly transition onto cloud computing platforms,” says Stephanie Copeland, senior vice president of Ethernet at Zayo Group. “AWS is a pioneer in cloud computing and the APN fully aligns with our goal to provide customers with highly scalable, flexible and cost effective cloud connectivity.

IBM to Acquire Fiberlink for Cloud-Based Mobile Management and Security

IBM agreed to acquire Fiberlink Communications, a mobile management and security company based in Blue Bell, Pennslyvania, for an undisclosed sum.

Fiberlink's MaaS360 is an enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform encompassing:

  • Mobile Device Management
  • Mobile Application Management
  • Mobile Content Management
  • Secure Mail
  • Secure Browser
  • Mobile Expense Management
  • Laptop Management

IBM said Fiberlink’s MaaS360 cloud-based offerings will enable it to deliver a complete mobile management and security solution via IBM MobileFirst, which includes trusted transactions and security intelligence capabilities for mobile apps, users, content and data.

“In a mobile first world, clients require a comprehensive mobile management and security offering. Often times they integrate solutions on their own and take on unnecessary risk,” said Robert LeBlanc, IBM senior vice president, Middleware Software. “To protect and enhance the complete mobile experience, it’s crucial to secure the app, user, content, data and the transaction. The acquisition of Fiberlink will enable us to offer these expanded capabilities to our clients, making it simple and quick to unlock the full potential of mobility.”

“While the proliferation of mobile devices provides great flexibility and agility for organizations, it also increases the complexity to manage and protect corporate data,” said Jim Sheward, CEO, Fiberlink. “We are looking forward to becoming part of IBM’s strategy to put mobile first and deliver holistic mobile device and app management and security for today’s always-connected workforce.”

China Mobile Selects Alcatel-Lucent’s all-IP Evolved Packet Core

China Mobile has selected Alcatel-Lucent’s all-IP Evolved Packet Core portfolio to support the nationwide rollout of its 4G LTE network, set to be the world’s largest mobile ultra-broadband network.

Specifically, China Mobile has awarded Alcatel-Lucent 24 percent of its overall EPC network.

The contract covers the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router - Mobile Gateway, the Alcatel-Lucent 9471 Wireless Mobility Manager, and the Alcatel-Lucent 5620 Services Aware Manager (SAM).  Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Alcatel-Lucent Evolved Packet Core (EPC) is a high-capacity IP solution that consists of three platforms – data, mobility and policy.

  • In September 2013, China Mobile selected Alcatel-Lucent to deploy 11% of their new LTE network, consisting of more than 200,000 TD-LTE base stations, by the end of 2013.

DragonWave Launches 60 GHz Radio for Small Cell Backhaul

DragonWave launched 60 GHz capabilities for its Horizon Compact+ and Avenue Link product lines.

DragonWave said 60 GHz radios are well suited for metro deployment in small cell architectures due to their small form factor and high-capacity, low-delay transport capabilities. The 60 GHz spectrum is widely available and generally offered at a lower cost than other bands.

First deployments and small cell trials have verified the operational feasibility of 512 QAM at 60 GHz, with reaches over 1 Km. The integrated 5" antenna makes the 60 GHz Avenue Link product a logical choice for urban deployments on street furniture. The initial deployments of 60 GHz have also achieved 0.1 ms delay to support LTE backhaul. In addition, the trials characterized DragonWave's unique bandwidth accelerator technology, with some trials yielding capacity and spectral efficiency improvements greater than 50%.

"60 GHz is globally available and emerging as a viable, low-cost spectrum that will be a key building block for large scale small cell networks, said Greg Friesen, vice president of Product Management, DragonWave. "We're confident that the commercial release of this band adds a new, useful element to the operator's toolbox and it is an important addition to our expanding Small Cell portfolio."

Fujitsu Delivers 100G Transport for the SC13 Conference

Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet Optical Networking Platform (Packet ONP) will be deployed at next week's SC13 conference in Denver to support SCinet, which is used at the event by university, government, and industry volunteers to showcase cutting-edge platforms in high-performance computing (HPC), networking, storage and analysis.

During the conference, one FLASHWAVE 9500 node will be located at the Colorado Convention Center, and the other node will be located a few kilometers away at a local Point of Presence (POP). Three services, supporting a wide variety of bandwidth-driven applications including supercomputing and cloud computing, will be operating between the two nodes: Two 10G-bandwidth services and one 100G-bandwidth service will traverse the network on a single fiber pair using DWDM technology.

“Fujitsu is pleased to donate the equipment supporting one of the most powerful and advanced networks in the world,” said Rod Naphan, Senior Vice President, Planning, Fujitsu Network Communications. “With its high-density optical design and support for wide-ranging technologies, the FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet ONP is ideally suited for bandwidth-intensive applications, such as those used in supercomputing.”

NeoPhotonics Sees Strong Q3 As 100G Shipments Grow

NeoPhotonics, which supplies photonic integrated circuit based optoelectronic modules and subsystems, reported record Q3 revenue of $76.8 million, up $1.8 million, or 2.4%, from the prior quarter and up $10.7 million, or 16.1%, from the third quarter 2012. For the quarter, the Company had three customers that comprised over 10% of revenue including Alcatel-Lucent (18%), Ciena (13%) and Huawei Technologies (23%).

“The third quarter was the highest revenue quarter in the Company’s history, which is a direct result of our customers continuing adoption of our Photonic Integration technology in the rapidly growing 100G market. I particularly want to highlight the contribution of NeoPhotonics Semiconductor, which significantly enhances our 100G product suite,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman, President and CEO of NeoPhotonics.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cisco Sees Weaker Demand, Fallout from NSA Scandal

Cisco reported quarterly revenue of  $12.1 billion, net income on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis of $2.0 billion or $0.37 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $2.9 billion or $0.53 per share for its first fiscal quarter of FY14. Revenue was up only 1.8% compared to $11.9 billion in Q1 FY13.

Revenue and earnings per share were under industry analyst consensus estimates of $0.41 per share.

Cisco cited pre-tax charges of $237 million related to the workforce reduction plan announced in August 2013, and a pre-tax charge of $257 million related to compensation expense in connection with Cisco's acquisition of the remaining interest in Insieme Networks.

Cisco also warned that revenue would decline 8-10% this quarter (Q2) due to lower demand in certain countries, such as China, due to fallout from the NSA scandal.  Service Provider orders also fell 13%.  The order backlog is significantly weaker than expected.

"While our revenue growth was below our expectation, our financials are strong, our strategy is strong and our innovation engine is executing extremely well. We remain confident in our long-term goal to be the #1 IT company in the world and help our customers solve their biggest business problems,” stated John Chambers, Cisco's CEO.

Some notes from the quarterly conference call.

  • The three areas of weakness are emerging markets, the Service Provider segment, and major switching/router product transitions.
  • The switching business is stable and performing well. Data center products are hot.
  • Wireless is performing well and the transition to 802.11ac is in its early stages.  Meraki is performing well.
  • NGN routing revenue is down.  The first shipments of the new NCS platform occurred in the quarter. The new architecture of the NCS leads to a longer evaluation and sales cycle.
  • The set-top box business declined 20% YoY. Cisco said it is committed to the segment, evolving its product line to the cloud, and walking away from deals that don't make sense. 
  • Sales in China continue to decline due to "political dynamics".  Chambers attributed this to suspicion caused by fallout from the NSA scandal.

Vitesse Intellisec: A New Paradigm for Secure Networking

Network encryption today is typically handled at the application layer with SSL or at the IP layer with IPsec. Building a more secure connection at a lower layer of the network has been a headache because encryption had to be provided on a link-by-link basis.

In this video, Vitesse Semiconductor's Sam Barnett discuses the timing and synchronization capabilities in Intellisec, a new technology that leverages MACsec protocol to extend security end-to-end.

Part I of this video is here:

Amazon WorkSpaces Delivers Virtual Windows 7 Desktops

Amazon Web Services launched a virtual desktop in the cloud service.

Amazon WorkSpaces provides a Windows 7 desktop with persistent storage and integrated with corporate active directories. Because it is a cloud service, all data is secured in the cloud and not at the user's location.

There are four standard bundles. Here are the hardware specifications for each one:

  • Standard - 1 vCPU, 3.75 GiB of memory, and 50 GB of persistent user storage - $35 / user / month.
  • Standard Plus - 1 vCPU, 3.75 GiB of memory, and 50 GB of persistent user storage - $50 / user / month.
  • Performance - 1 vCPU, 3.75 GiB of memory, and 100 GB of persistent user storage - $60 / month.
  • Performance Plus - 2 vCPU, 7.5 GiB of memory, and 100 GB of persistent user storage - $75 / month.

All of the bundles include Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9, 7-Zip, the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), and other utilities. The Standard and Performance Plus bundles also include Microsoft Office Professional and Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services.

WorkSpaces can also be accessed from iPads, Kindles, and Android tablets.