Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sckipio Lines up Investors for G.fast Silicon

Sckipio Technologies, a start-up based in Israel, raised $10 million in funding to support its development of ultra-high speed G.fast broadband modem semiconductors. The company has not yet announced any product specifics.

The funding round included Gemini Israel Ventures, Genesis Partners, Amiti Capital, and Aviv Ventures.

Sckipio said it is actively working with multiple tier-one telcos globally and network equipment vendors. The company has been an active participant and contributor in the G.fast ITU study group. G.fast promises.

G.fast, which represents an evolution of ADSL and VDSL technologies, promises up to 1G bps of broadband access over existing phone lines for up to 250 meters.  It uses 100 MHz wide channels and leverages vectoring technologies to deliver the super broadband performance.

“Sckipio is poised to be the leader in G.fast,” said David Baum, co-founder and CEO of Sckipio Technologies.  “The standard is now ready and so are we. We’ve got a complete team with the relevant expertise in G.fast and the capital needed to deliver the right G.fast solutions quickly.”


  • Sckipio was founded in 2012.  The company is headed by David Baum, who previously founded CopperGate (acquired by Sigma Designs), and other members of the CopperGate team.
  • In July 2013, the ITU-T Study Group 15 granted first stage approval to G.fast (ITU-T G.9700), a new broadband over copper standard that promises up to 1 Gbps rates over copper lines at a distance of up to 250 meters.  G.fast, which is a successor to ADSL and VDSL technologies, uses 100 MHz wide channels. In addition, G.fast will enable self-installation by consumers without a technician’s assistance.  Final approval of G.fast has just occurred..

Big Switch Poaches Cisco Exec to Lead Engineering

Big Switch Networks named Jeffrey Wang as Vice President of Engineering, a position where he will lead development of the company's pipeline of SDN Fabric solutions, including its Unified Physical + Virtual (P+V) Cloud Switching Fabric and its SDN Monitoring Fabric.

Wang was most recently Vice President of Engineering in Cisco's Data Center Group with responsibilities ranging from Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) software to hypervisor switching and I/O technologies such as the Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) and the Nexus 1000v vSwitch. Earlier in his career, he managed the software development team of the Cisco Catalyst 6500, the most widely used data center switch in the industry, and drove the popular Virtual Switching System (VSS).


  • Last month, Big Switch Networks named Douglas Murray as its new CEO, replacing company co-founder Guido Appenzeller, who will continue with the company as Chief Technology Officer and board member. Murray comes to Big Switch from Juniper Networks, where he most recently served as senior vice president of Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China, and before that as senior vice president and GM of the data center security business. Prior to joining Juniper, Murray was the General Manager of the Volume Products Group at Extreme Networks.

Renault and Orange Team on 4G in Automobiles

Renault and Orange announced a partnership covering 4G technologies in automobiles. The aim is for both teams to test new uses made possible by very-high-speed mobile technology in real-life situations, ranging from virtual office and cloud gaming to video conferencing.


Alcatel-Lucent Opens Innovation in Taiwan

Alcatel-Lucent inaugurated its Taiwan Innovation Center  to increase strategic engagement with service provider and enterprise customers in North Asia and China.

The Taiwan Innovation Center showcases Alcatel-Lucent’s latest solutions for service providers and enterprise customers.


Monday, December 9, 2013

NTT Develops 10G SDN Software Switch for Carriers

NTT outlined details of a prototype, 10 Gbps high-performance SDN software switch that it developed as part of the "Research and Development of Network Virtualization Technology" program commissioned by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

NTT, which is already using SDN in its data centers for cloud services, said it developed this prototype SDN software switch to handle the large scale flow entries that will be required in wide area networks, such as those of telecommunications carriers and Internet providers.

The prototype switch still transfers large packets at a 10 Gbps wire rate even when 100K entries are in its flow tables and each packet header must be rewritten.  This makes it one of the highest performance SDN software switches to date, according to NTT.

The work was carried out by NTT Network Innovation Laboratories (Yokosuka, Kanagawa) as part of reseach for SDN software nodes in the "O3 Project".

The switch features a "Flexible parallel Flow processing Framework."


Earlier this year, leading Japanese companies, including Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC, NTT Communications and NTT, launched the "Open Innovation over Network Platforms" research and development (R&D) project, also known as the "O3 Project".

The project, which is supported by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, aims to develop network virtualization technology that enables multiple telecommunications carriers and service providers who share network resources to design and construct networks and manage their operations freely to suit their needs.

Specifically, a common SDN layer will be developed to integrate a multilayer infrastructure consisting of optical, wireless and packet communications platforms. Compared to existing SDN architectures, the O3 Project targets a common, multi-carrier framework that would enable any Service Providers to share resources.

In September 2013, NTT Com's Nationwide SDN for Uncompressed HDTV received the Innovation Award in Content Delivery at IBC 2013.  The service provides stable transmission of uncompressed high-definition video images between the 128 members of the Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association via a large-capacity and highly reliable network.

NTT Com said the value of SDN in this application is that it enables simplified functionality for broadcasters, such as adjusting the bandwidth requirements of each station according to their program schedule. By centrally managing the network, the technology flexibly and efficiently manages traffic to ensure the flawless and timely transmission of vast amounts of data between stations.

In June 2013, NTT showcased its Versatile Openflow vaLidaTor (VOLT) resource control system for software defined networking (SDN) at Interop Tokyo 2013.

NTT said VOLT, which was developed in partnership with Fujitsu, is able to duplicate the entire route information and configuration of OpenFlow.  This can be used to test a new network under the same conditions as the real environment.

The system consists of an MPLS edge router and controller.

Blueprint Tutorial: SDN and NFV for Optimizing Carrier Networks

This article provides some examples of how SDN and NFV can be applied to various segments of a carrier network, and how the functions of a traditional carrier network can be offloaded to a virtualized datacenter to improve end-to-end performance.

Internet Companies Call for Reform of Government Surveillance

Seven leading Internet companies issued a joint call to reform current laws and practices covering online surveillance by government agencies and law enforcement in the United States.

In an open letter to President Obama and members of Congress, the companies urge the U.S. to take the lead and "make reforms that ensure that government surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight."  

The companies said they believe this reform should be based on five principles:

  1. Limiting governments' authority to collect users' information
  2. Oversight and accountability
  3. Transparency about government demands
  4. Respecting the free flow of information
  5. Avoiding conflicts among governments.

Signatories are Aol, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo!.


Verizon to Acquire Edgecast for its Global CDN

Verizon agreed to acquire EdgeCast, a content delivery network company based in Santa Monica, California. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Edgecast operates a series of CDN "SuperPOPS" in over 30 locations around the world.  Unlike earlier CDNs, which placed a small number of servers in thousands of locations, Edgecast focused on a smaller number of strategic global locations near primary Internet Exchange Points. These caching servers are located in data centers where major backbone providers operates Internet exchanges.

EdgeCast claims more than 6,000 accounts, including some of the world’s leading Web brands for global media delivery and acceleration services.

Verizon Digital Media Services plans to integrate EdgeCast capabilities in its own network.

“The combination of EdgeCast and Verizon Digital Media Services will allow us to fully exploit and accelerate growth in Internet media consumption and online business performance,” said Bob Toohey, president of Verizon Digital Media Services. “EdgeCast’s industry-leading technology and strategically placed assets, combined with Verizon Digital Media Services’ video solutions, improves our ability to deliver the rich, reliable and quality digital media services that our customers have come to expect.”

Earlier this year, Verizon Digital Media Services announced the acquisition of upLynk assets, with their exclusive technology that streamlines the process of uploading and encoding of video for live, linear and video-on-demand content.


  • In July 2013, EdgeCast Networks announced $54 million in new financing for its content delivery network.
    At the time, the company said it has added more than 2,000 accounts in the past year and now has more than 6,000 accounts, including such well-know brands as Twitter, Pinterest, Sony, and Hulu. Its network includes more than 30 POPs in the major data centers where primary carriers exchange traffic.

    "Millions of people use EdgeCast every day – when they use Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Hulu, or any other of the thousands of sites we accelerate worldwide. We deliver more than 4 trillion digital items a month to almost every Internet user in the world,” said Alex Kazerani, EdgeCast Chairman and CEO. “We are proud that our investment partners recognize our incredible performance and share our enthusiasm about our continued growth."

    The Series D funding round was led by Performance Equity Management (PEM), with follow-on participation from the company’s existing investors Menlo Ventures and Steamboat Ventures. The equity portion of the financing was augmented with a debt facility from Silicon Valley Bank.

Infonetics: Data Center and Enterprise SDN will Top $3 billion by 2017

"SDN is going through a classic market adoption cycle, with many new entrants looking to gain a toe-hold, and the majority of enterprises still kicking the tires," according to a new Data Center and Enterprise SDN Hardware and Software report from Infonetics.

“The important question that everyone wants answered is, ‘What’s the real market for SDN?’,” says Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., directing analyst for data center and cloud at Infonetics Research. “It’s still early days, but our research over the last two years confirms that SDN controllers and Ethernet switches in-use for SDN will play a role in enterprise and data center networks, growing to a $3.1 billion market by 2017.”

The report tracks and forecasts SDN controllers and Ethernet switches in-use for SDN — the ‘real’ market for SDN — separately from SDN-capable Ethernet switches. Some highlights:

  • Vendors shipping SDN products in 2013 include Alcatel-Lucent, Big Switch, Brocade, Cisco, Cumulus, Dell, Extreme, HP, Huawei, IBM, Juniper, Midokura, NEC, Pica8, Plexxi, Plumgrid, VMware and others
  • The few early deployments for SDN—Google, NTT, AT&T, Verizon, DT, BT, and China Mobile—are in large data centers of cloud service providers and large enterprises
  • 10% of Ethernet switches will be in-use for SDN by 2017
  • North America is where SDN got its start, and the region will claim nearly 50% SDN revenue market share through 2017.


Qualcomm's Low-Cost Snapdragon 410 Integrates 4G LTE World Mode

Qualcomm introduced Snapdragon 410 chipset featuring integrated 4G LTE World Mode.

The new Snapdragon 410 chipsets are manufactured using 28nm process technology. They feature processors that are 64-bit capable along with graphics driven by an Adreno 306 GPU, 1080p video playback and up to a 13 Megapixel camera.

Snapdragon 410 chipsets integrate 4G LTE and 3G cellular connectivity for all major modes and frequency bands across the globe and include support for Dual and Triple SIM. Together with Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution, Snapdragon 410 chipsets will have multiband and multimode support. Snapdragon 410 chipsets also feature Qualcomm's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM and NFC functionality, and support all major navigation constellations: GPS, GLONASS, and China's new BeiDou, which helps deliver enhanced accuracy and speed of Location data to Snapdragon-enabled handsets.

The chipset also supports all major operating systems, including the Android, Windows Phone and Firefox operating systems.

Qualcomm Technologies also announced for the first time the intention to make 4G LTE available across all of the Snapdragon product tiers. The Snapdragon 410 processor gives the 400 product tier several 4G LTE options for high-volume mobile devices, as the third LTE-enabled solution in the product tier.

"We are excited to bring 4G LTE to highly affordable smartphones at a sub $150 ( ~ 1,000 RMB) price point with the introduction of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor," said Jeff Lorbeck, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Qualcomm Technologies, China. "The Snapdragon 410 chipset will also be the first of many 64-bit capable processors as Qualcomm Technologies helps lead the transition of the mobile ecosystem to 64-bit processing."


DragonWave Teams with Saab for National Security Network in Sweden

DragonWave is working with Saab on the expansion and enhancement of national security communication networks in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. As a first step, the two companies will deploy up to 1500 DragonWave Harmony Radio links and a supportive number of Hub 800 adaptable, multi-service nodal switches to build an extensive, mission critical network covering all of Sweden, including remote locations.

DragonWave’s Harmony Radio offers the industry’s only software-selectable evolution from hybrid to all-IP packet networks, enabling a simple migration path from TDM to all-IP backhaul with true “zero-touch” on the existing hardware. The Harmony Hub 800 is a compact indoor unit that provides maximum flexibility for 2G, 3G and LTE traffic aggregation, incorporating 16 Gbps switching capacity and support for up to 12 radio directions in a single unit.

“Our agreement with Saab is based on a shared vision about how best to serve mission critical communication needs in this all-important vertical market in order to build national security networks that can support the next generation of applications and services,” said Peter Allen, DragonWave President and CEO.


CoreSite Opens Huge Data Center in New Jersey

CoreSite Realty Corp. opened a 280,000 square-foot (26,000m2) data center in Secaucus, New Jersey.

The new facility, which is termed "NY2", is connected to CoreSite's NY1 facility located at a network dense point of interconnection in Manhattan. NY2 offers 21 MW of UPS electrical capacity with up to 2N UPS and N+1 generators.

Some of the network and fiber providers committed to deploy in CoreSite's NY2 facility include:

  • Cogent Communications
  • Comcast Business
  • Cross River Fiber, a New Jersey-based dark fiber optic and telecommunications solutions provider 
  • Hudson Fiber Network (HFN)
  • Lightower, the premier, all-fiber provider of custom, high-capacity network services that ensure optimal application and business performance.
  • Seaborn Networks, an independent developer and operator of submarine fiber optic cable systems.
  • Sunesys, a telecommunications company that provides dedicated dark fiber and e-rate wide area networks to healthcare companies.
  • tw telecom
  • United Fiber and Data
  • Zayo Group


Interxion Plans 7th Data Center in Amsterdam

Interxion announced plans to build a seventh data center in Amsterdam.

AMS 7 will be built in six phases, with the first four phases providing approximately 4,600m2 square meters (49,000 square feet) of equipped space and approximately 8.2 MW of customer available power.

David Ruberg, Interxion’s Chief Executive Officer said: “The continued demand for carrier-neutral data centre space that Interxion is experiencing in Amsterdam is largely driven by cloud service providers looking to serve the developing European cloud market by utilising the international connectivity present in the Amsterdam area. AMS7 is being built in response to clearly defined specific customer demand that has resulted from our focus on acquiring magnetic applications and then working to develop the communities of interest around them.”


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Blueprint Tutorial: SDN and NFV for Optimizing Carrier Networks, Part II

By Raghu Kondapalli, Director of Strategic Planning at LSI

This is the second article in a two-part series. The first article, which discussed the drivers, benefits and trends of unified datacenter-carrier networks, and introduced SDN and NFV technology, is available here.

This article provides some examples of how SDN and NFV can be applied to various segments of a carrier network, and how the functions of a traditional carrier network can be offloaded to a virtualized datacenter to improve end-to-end performance.

Application of SDN and NFV to a Unified Datacenter-Carrier Network

With roots in voice, carrier networks are connection-oriented, while datacenter networks, with roots in data, utilize connectionless protocols. Carriers wanting to fully integrate its datacenter(s) will, therefore, need a common set of protocols. Possible choices include VxLAN (Virtual Extensible LAN) and NvGRE (Network Virtualization using Generic Routing Encapsulation), which are both extensible and scalable with the ability to support thousands of virtual machines (VMs), as well as tunneling protocols, such as IPSec, which can be used to establish end-to-end virtual private networks (VPNs).

In addition to these well-known protocol-level techniques, network-level abstraction based on SDN similarly enables the integration of datacenter and carrier networks. Here are two examples.

Offloading of network control functions to a centralized datacenter using SDN

Control plane components, such as discovery and dissemination of network state, can be decoupled and executed in a centralized datacenter using commodity servers. Centralizing the control plane has the advantage of providing an end-to-end network state view, and enables the network operator to allocate hardware resource pools based on different application needs. Centralizing the control plane also enables the network operator to use standard APIs to monitor and manage the network, and to provision the network according to changing conditions, such as the number of active subscribers.

Offloading of network application software to a virtualized datacenter using SDN

SDN’s centralized control platform for managing hardware resources also supports the virtualization and execution of core applications in one or more datacenters. For a “software-on-demand” capability, for example, a network operator could designate core application software to run on any hardware platform in any datacenter that provides the required processing capacity. Or to provide LTE services in a certain city, the operator might program serving gateway (SGW) or mobility management entity (MME) software to run on a local platform. A major benefit of having network services being fully abstracted is that the operator need not manage the underlying hardware.

Application of SDN and NFV to Carrier Network Segments

Carrier networks are composed of access networks, transport or backhaul networks, and core networks as shown in Figure 6. Note the use of both connection-oriented (Time Division Multiplexing and Asynchronous Transfer Mode) and connectionless (IP) networks end-to-end across the infrastructure.

Applying virtualization schemes based on SDN and NFV enables the entire carrier network to run on a common, commodity and multi-purpose hardware resource pool. This reduces network cost and complexity significantly, which also simplifies network management. By leveraging centralized control and virtualized hardware platforms, core applications share a common hardware pool that improves both scalability and resource utilization. The use of virtualized resource pools can also enable new services and upgrades to be implemented in many cases without costly hardware upgrades.

Figure 7 shows a conceptual view of the SDN-based carrier network. Note how the hardware platform is decoupled from the software platform, and how this enables different cellular technologies to run as virtualized network elements concurrently and independently of any specific hardware platform.

Application of SDN and NFV to Core Networks

Mobile core networks consist of network elements that reside between connection-oriented radio access networks (RANs) and connectionless backbone networks, including the Internet, that employ packet switching. Core networks now also need to support a growing variety of cellular technologies, including 3G, LTE and 4G—all concurrently. The underlying core network functions, such as packet forwarding, as well as control tasks, such as mobility management, session handling and security, are implemented today using dedicated network elements.

Consider, for example, an SGW that forwards packets and an MME that is responsible for activation or authentication in an LTE network. Because these functions are typically executed on common and proprietary hardware platforms, they are visible to one another, resulting in management, resource sharing and security problems. Abstraction with SDN enables the use of commodity hardware, while also mitigating the management, resource sharing and security issues.

Another example is shown in Figure 8. In this example, dedicated application software, which implements network functions for each dedicated core network element like MME or Gateway and Serving GPRS Support Nodes (GGSN and SGSN), can be virtualized and centralized with SDN to run in a private cloud, on virtualized commercial server platforms, or on multi-vendor, non-proprietary hardware.

Application of SDN and NFV to Carrier Access Networks

Subscribers interface with the carrier network via basestation nodes in the RAN, as shown in Figure 6. Owing to the explosion in mobile device adoption and mobile data usage worldwide, the RAN must now be optimized to address these challenges:

  • rapid increase in the number of more closely-spaced base stations needed to cover a given area with LTE eNodeB deployments
  • relatively low basestation utilization with relatively high power consumption
  • similarly low utilization of RF bandwidth resulting from RF interference and limited network capacity in a multi-standard environment
Virtualization of resources in a basestation based on SDN and NFV holds tremendous promise for confronting these and other challenges. As shown in Figure 9, the virtualized real-time operating system and the multiple, multi-standard basestation instances run on top of resource pools, which have been allocated from the physical processing resources. The virtualized operating system dynamically allocates the processing resources based on each virtualized basestation’s changing requirements. Virtualization also enables different basestation instances using different standards and different application software to be provisioned dynamically through resource reconfigurations performed exclusively in software.

Under an SDN architecture, basestation pools with high-bandwidth, low-latency interconnects can be centralized to form virtualized “basestation clouds.” A centralized control plane, which has a global view of all physical processing resources throughout the cloud, enables network operators to program basestation processing tasks for different standards. For example, operators can deploy 3G or 4G RANs by programming different virtual basestations, and then adjust the capacity of each, all through software reconfigurations.

Figure 10 shows an implementation of such a “Cloud-based RAN” (C-RAN) architecture that has been proposed by China Mobile (CMCC). The wireless remote radios connect to a cloud-based, virtualized basestation cluster, which can be implemented using SDN running on heterogeneous hardware processors.

Application of SDN and NFV to Carrier Transport Networks

The transport network in a wireless infrastructure serves as the backhaul network connecting the basestations in the access network to the core network. Transport networks can utilize many different technologies, including SONET, TDM, carrier Ethernet and IP, each of which exhibits different operating characteristics. For example, TDM has a simple operational model characterized by static routes and traffic flows across the network’s centralized control. By contrast, the IP network operational model routes traffic packet-by-packet across the network under distributed network control.

SDN is able to combine these different networking technologies in a way that leverages their respective strengths; in the example above, the simplicity of static network routing is combined with the flexibility and economic advantages of IP. This is possible because SDN decouples the network control and traffic-forwarding functions, thereby eliminating any interdependencies. For this reason, a distributed transport network element is able to support both static routes and dynamic traffic flows.


The telecommunications industry today, fueled by exploding growth in mobile subscribers and data usage, is undergoing an unprecedented transformation. As a result, service providers are under enormous pressure to deploy new value-added services while lowering costs to remain competitive. To achieve these objectives, carriers are integrating datacenters into their networks to create a more versatile and affordable unified datacenter-carrier network model.

Service providers also need to increase average revenue per user (ARPU) while reducing capital and operational expenditures through hardware consolidation, network resource optimization and ease-of-service deployment. Virtualization is a proven technology that has been adopted universally in datacenters to enhance resource utilization and scalability. By extending virtualization principles to the carrier infrastructure, service providers can optimize the unified datacenter-carrier network end-to-end and top-to-bottom.

Software-defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization enable this versatility in all three segments of a carrier network. SDN enables network functions and applications to leverage virtualized datacenter resources, while a combination of SDN and NFV enables carriers to deploy and scale innovative services more cost-effectively than ever before.

 Raghu Kondapalli is director of technology focused on Strategic Planning and Solution Architecture for the Networking Solutions Group of LSI Corporation.

Kondapalli brings a rich experience and deep knowledge of the cloud-based, service provider and enterprise networking business, specifically in packet processing, switching and SoC architectures.

Most recently he was a founder and CTO of cloud-based video services company Cloud Grapes Inc., where he was the chief architect for the cloud-based video-as-a-service solution.  Prior to Cloud Grapes, Kondapalli led technology and architecture teams at AppliedMicro, Marvell, Nokia and Nortel. Kondapalli has about 25 patent applications in process and has been a thought leader behind many technologies at the companies where he has worked.

Kondapalli received a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunications from Osmania University in India and a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

IBM Develops Cloud-to-Cloud Migration Software

IBM introduced a cloud storage toolkit for dynamically migrating data across multiple clouds.

IBM said its new software employs a "cloud-of-clouds" approach that invokes the resilience of separate clouds to offer stronger protection against service outages and data loss than any single cloud can deliver. Specifically, The toolkit uses an "object storage" interface that permits clients to drag and drop files to be backed up or shared on the cloud(s) of their choice — independent of the vendor. ICStore explicitly addresses space efficiency, data synchronization, and metadata coordination when storing data redundantly on object storage. Once a cloud fails, the back-up cloud immediately responds and ensures data availability — transparently to the user. No synchronization or communication among cloud clients is needed due to the innovative approach that adds redundancy and tolerates failures.

SoftLayer, an IBM Company, is the default storage provider and it provides the robust object-based interface. The combination of the toolkit and SoftLayer enables clients to overcome limits in their cloud storage capacity by dynamically routing to an alternative storage system—such as easily migrating from a remote public-cloud to on-premise private-cloud-optimizing the overall efficiency of data storage management.

"Our cloud-of-clouds invention can help clients avoid service outages and security incidents that impact the reliability and security of individual clouds," said IBM Fellow Evangelos Eleftheriou. "We are adding multiple levels of redundancy and reliability by making cloud migration and backup easier and faster than is currently possible."


Google Brings a New Look to Cloud Platform Icons

In a cosmetic change, Google updated the icons used to represent all of the services in its cloud portfolio.

The update officially retires the "Sharkon" aircraft engine icon that has stood for the Google App Engine.


SILK-Afghanistan Project Connects to GEANT

The SILK-Afghanistan project, an academic network linking universities in Afghanistan, has recently doubled its longhaul capacity to the pan-European GÉANT network from 75 Mbps to 155 Mbps.  The project is jointly funded by NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme and the U.S. Department of State.

The Afghan academic research network has also joined the pan-Asian TEIN research and education networking project and hopes to establish a high-speed network connection to the TEIN network backbone by 2015.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Telstra Tests Carrier Aggregation of 40 MHz (1800 + 2600 MHz) with Ericsson

Telstra demonstrated LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation, combining 20 MHz bandwidth within the 1800 MHz band and 20 MHz bandwidth within the 2600 MHz band, to achieve downlink speeds of up to 300 Mbps. The demonstration used Ericsson's commercially released LTE Advanced software.

Telstra plans to deploy the technology on 700 MHz spectrum once that has been freed up by the Digital Dividend.

"The trials we conducted overnight demonstrate the ability to aggregate two channels of 20 MHz spectrum on our commercial network. While the download speeds we achieved of 300 Mbps are very impressive, for Telstra the main outcome is that we will be able to build out the capacity in our network to manage the future wireless data needs of our customers and continue to deliver them the most reliable network speeds and experience," said Mike Wright, Telstra Executive Director Networks.

Thomas Norén, Head of Product Area Radio at Ericsson, said: "We are pleased to show with Telstra the network readiness of LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation beyond 20 MHz. The delivery of a superior mobile broadband experience remains key as smart device users depend more upon mobile broadband for everyday life. We also look forward to continuing our work with global chipset and handset manufacturers as the Carrier Aggregation ecosystem evolves further."


Nextivity Enhances its Small Cell Signal Boosters with New Processor

Nextivity, a start-up based in San Diego, introduced "ARES", its third generation Cel-Fi Baseband Processor for the indoor wireless coverage market.

ARES is a multi-core RISC processor that will power the next generation of Nextivity’s flagship digital Cel-Fi Smart Signal Boosters. The new processor adds support for LTE devices on LTE networks to deliver optimal indoor signal quality.

Nextivity said its ARES processor also increases the amount of bandwidth operators can boost, giving mobile operators the flexibility to meet the varying needs of both consumer and enterprise customers. The built-in intelligence of the ARES processor also enables automatic configuration for HSPA and LTE networks.

Additional features and functionalities include:

  • Multi-tap, ultra-fast adapting frequency-domain Echo Cancellation – ARES is designed to cope with highly dynamic LTE signaling environments.
  • Signal equalization – Complex, software programmable equalization filters allow for optimization of signal quality under varying radio conditions.
  • Ultra-fast gain control – Dedicated RISC processors enable ultra-fast gain adjustment to help ensure unconditional, network-safe operations.
  • Self-Organizing Networking (SON) capability – A dedicated RISC processor can implement various self-organizing algorithms to support no-touch, plug-and-play operation under any network deployment conditions. Additionally, the SON capability allows for Nextivity’s booster range to be seamlessly deployed as part of larger deployments of small cell networks.
  • 6 RISC cores; double the transistors – ARES's Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) deliver the equivalent performance of 250 Giga multiply–accumulate (MAC) operations per second, 4 times more than its previous generation.
  • Relays up to four 20MHz Cellular RF bands – ARES now supports and automatically configures for any combination of WCDMA, HSPA+ and LTE carriers to deliver optimal indoor signal quality.

“The continuing shift away from landlines to mobile-only homes and offices, coupled with the rise in bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies among businesses, and the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) market, makes it even more imperative to have strong and reliable indoor cellular coverage”, says Werner Sievers, President and CEO of Nextivity Inc. “With double the transistors of its predecessor, our third generation processor provides the intelligence, flexibility, and power to handle this growing demand from enterprises and consumers while being fully transparent to, and integrated with, mobile operators’ networks.”


FCC Postpones Spectrum Auction to mid-2015

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced a one-year delay in kicking off the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction until the middle of 2015.  In a blog posting, Wheeler said additional time is needed for public commentary and for putting in place the rules of the road for the auction, including developing the actual procedures for how the auction will be conducted.

Despite the delay, Wheeler said he is mindful of the national interest in making more spectrum available for use, and the importance of generating funds from the auction for the FirstNet emergency responders network.


  • In September 2012, the FCC voted to approve plans for the first incentive auction to repurpose broadcast spectrum for mobile broadband use.  
Incentive auctions offer financial incentives to broadcasters to put their unused, licensed spectrum up for public auction, including giving broadcasters a portion of the auction proceeds.  The U.S. is the first nation to move ahead with incentive auctions for traditional TV spectrum.

The major outlines of the incentive auction are given as follow in the FCC's NPRM:

(1) a “reverse auction” in which broadcast television licensees submit bids to voluntarily relinquish
spectrum usage rights in exchange for payments.  The reverse auction consists of three broad issues: bid collection, determination of which bids are accepted, and determination of payment amounts to winners.

(2) a reorganization or “repacking” of the broadcast television bands in order to free up a portion of the ultra-high frequency (UHF) band for other uses. Repacking involves reorganizing the broadcast television bands so that the television stations that remain on the air after the incentive auction occupy a smaller portion of the UHF band, subject to interference and other constraints imposed by the Spectrum Act and treaties with Canada and Mexico.   The goal it to configure a portion of the UHF band into contiguous blocks of spectrum suitable for flexible use.

(3) a “forward auction” of initial licenses for flexible use of the newly available spectrum. The forward auction will resemble prior competitive bidding systems that the FCC has utilized,  except that the FCC will not know in advance the amount of spectrum we can make available in the forward auction, the specific frequencies that will be available and, perhaps, the geographic locations of such frequencies.

  • In March 2013, the FCC officially notified the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce that it plans to commence the auction of licenses in the 1695–1710 MHz band and the 1755–1780 MHz band as early as September 2014. The FCC is required to give notice at least 18 months prior to the commencement of any spectrum auction.
    NTIA recently identified the 1695-1710 MHz band as the 15 megahertz of spectrum between 1675 MHz and 1710 MHz to be reallocated from federal use to non-federal use. The Spectrum Act now requires the Commission to allocate this identified spectrum for commercial use and to license the spectrum by February 2015.

    The FCC also noted that Congress has also directed it to license the 2155-2 180 MHz band, and other bands, by February 2015.

Box.Nets Adds $100 Million in Funding, New Strategic Partners

Box announced $100 million in new venture funding and strategic partnerships with with Itochu Technology Ventures, Macnica, Mitsui USA, MKI, Telefónica Digital and Telstra.  Coatue, DST Global, and existing Box investors also participated.

Box offers a cloud-based content sharing platform with APIs enabling integration into enterprise applications and systems.

"The combination of cloud and mobile technologies creates an entirely new way of working that will fundamentally reshape the IT industry," said Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO, Box. "Our new partners will help us connect and work with businesses in key global markets as they manage this transition."

Box highlighted a number of milestones, including:

  • More than 20 million users worldwide at more than 180,000 businesses.
  • Deployments with major global companies, such as Schneider Electric, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., Rosetta Stone, and eBay Inc.
  • Opening offices in London, Munich and Paris
  • Appointing Katsunori Furuichi as President, KK Box Japan. Furuichi most recently serving as president and CEO of Verisign Japan.