Monday, February 17, 2014

Alcatel-Lucent: VoLTE Subscriber Licenses Pass 88 Million Milestone

Alcatel-Lucent provided an interesting metric for VoIP and VoLTE:  the company has now shipped more than 125 million Voice over IP subscriber licenses to  service providers, including more than 88 million licenses issued for VoLTE subscriber lines.

Alcatel-Lucent notes that VoLTE will help operators reduce operational costs by moving to an all IP network, free up precious spectrum to meet increasing demand for mobile broadband, and combine HD voice, video conferencing and data with the lightning speed of 4G LTE networks.

“Alcatel-Lucent provides an end-to-end VoLTE solution that includes IMS, Evolved Packet Core and RAN. This is important because VoLTE resets the bar for today’s new mobile voice by leveraging tight integration across the device and network. NAR operators will lead the deployment of VoLTE, but it is essential to mobile innovation around the globe," stated Andrew McDonald, President, IP Platforms, Alcatel-Lucent.

NSN Enhances its Single RAN

Nokia Solutions and Networks announced six enhancements for its Single RAN (radio access network) Advanced portfolio:

  • Single RAN releases will support GSM, WCDMA and LTE deployments. The New Single RAN Advanced will align availability of three separate software releases, making it easy to build, operate and maintain NSN Single RAN Advanced networks.
  • Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station 6 x 60W radio frequency module enables a compact three-sector site with LTE MIMO 2x2 using just one radio frequency (RF) hardware unit instead of two 3-pipe modules. It provides 360W total RF output power, the highest in market, for better end user experience. With this, operators can now deploy 1800 MHz LTE/GSM refarming and RF sharing using half the number of modules.
  • Expansion sub-module for increasing RF connectivity of the Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station. This new sub-module supports three times more RF ports compared to earlier models, enabling operators to meet their refarming and RF sharing needs with less hardware.
  • Smart Dual Beam (SDB) application software for Liquid Radio GSM Software Suite brings an intelligent new way to build three-sector GSM sites. This enables operators to either benefit from 50% more GSM capacity in their existing spectrum and base station sites, or provide 20% more spectrum for HSPA/LTE deployments.
  • Common Base Station Operations, Administration and Maintenance entity, supported by NSN’s NetAct 8, for sites with GSM, WCDMA and LTE base stations. It replaces three separate entities with one, making it simpler to build, operate and maintain base station sites.
  • Improved common IP backhaul solution with a new single transport function to support single site deployments. On the transport layer, GSM, WCDMA and LTE base station sites can now appear as one IP host, which improves flexibility in IP addressing, QoS and IP security, and simplifies the IP transport backhaul implementation and maintenance process.

“Radio access networks are becoming increasingly complex with LTE services provided alongside GSM and WCDMA services, and new frequency bands, as well as IP-based transport for LTE being added to existing backhaul network,” said Kimmo Virkki, vice president, Single RAN Business Product Management at NSN. “Running three different networks simultaneously often means rising costs, and compromised performance given the increased risk of error. NSN’s Single RAN Advanced cuts through this complexity by running GSM, HSPA and LTE technologies on shared multi-purpose hardware. Our latest features simplify base station sites and their operations, slashing costs and freeing up 55% of the spectrum for HSPA/LTE refarming.”

Huawei Develops TWDM-PON Prototype

Huawei announced a prototype TWDM-PON system based on stacked XG-PONs with 4 or 8 wavelengths. The design required developing a new colorless ONU transceiver module, integrated transceiver module at the OLT, and a multi-wavelength management and control protocol. The system is a successor to a 40G TWDM-PON prototype previously announced.

Huawei said the chief advantages of TWDM is that it allows operators to scale capacity while reusing the existing ODN.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tabula Releases New 100G Reference Designs

Tabula released an updated version of its Stylus compiler, offering new 3 × 40G-to-100G low-latency Ethernet bridge reference design, as well as a high-performance search engine soft IP core developed in collaboration with Algo-Logic Systems. The designed are aimed at next-generation 100G networking equipment.

The Tabula Stylus compiler provides a synthesis, placement, and routing flow familiar to FPGA designers, using industry-standard RTL inputs and design constraints. The suite automatically exploits Tabula’s 3D Spacetime architecture.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ericsson and Ciena Enter IP-Optical Agreement

Ericsson and Ciena announced a global, strategic agreement to develop joint transport solutions for IP-optical convergence and service provider software-defined networking (SDN).

Under the deal, Ericsson will resell Ciena's Converged Packet Optical portfolio, including the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform and 5400 family.

The companies also plan to build IPoWDM interfaces/boards for Ericsson SSR 8000 platform based on Ciena WaveLogic coherent optical processors.  They will also develop multi-layer and multi-vendor open Service Provider SDN Transport Control.

"This strategic global agreement brings together two companies uniquely positioned to drive the adoption of more open, programmable networks. The integration of our industry-leading packet-optical technologies into Ericsson's portfolio, combined with our global distribution agreement, allows us to address a wider market with a combined offering," said Gary Smith, President and CEO, Ciena. "As our industry moves toward a more open networking environment, collaboration within an ecosystem of specialists will be critical for innovation. Our SDN-focused joint development activities will enable us to deliver on network transformation strategies that dynamically support changing demands for network-level applications and services."

"The convergence between IP and Optical network layers in an Open SDN controlled architecture will enable more flexible and cost efficient networks for Service Providers" said Johan Wibergh, Executive Vice President and Ericsson's Head of Business Unit Networks." This agreement allows us to offer Ciena's industry-leading Packet-Optical products. This is a great complement to our portfolio of 4th Generation IP products and will enable more complete and competitive solutions to our customers."

The strategic agreement is effective immediately, and go-to-market activities and solution integration efforts are underway.

Deutsche Telekom Goes All IP in Macedonia, Switching Off PSTN

Deutsche Telekom has implemented a pure, All IP infrastructure in the voice network of its subsidiary in Macedonia.

Makedonski Telekom is the first company within the Group with a network fully based on IP.  The conversion of 290,000 fixed lines away from the PSTN occurred over 25 months.

"Our vision is a Pan-European network on the basis of All IP. This network will integrate mobile communications and fixed-line network technology. And it will enable a new cloud-based production model", said Claudia Nemat, member of the Board of Deutsche Telekom for Europe & Technology . The objective is to have the customers across Europe migrated to IP by the end of 2018. "The experience gained from Macedonia is of great value. Migrating to All IP is a great challenge. With its successful launch our colleagues in Macedonia are real pioneers", said Nemat.

DT said its network in Slovakia will be the next to go all IP later this year.  Next year, Croatia and Montenegro will follow and then Hungary. By the end of 2018 Romania, Greece and Germany are expected to have migrated too.

Cyan Boosts its Packet-Optical for Scale and Network Programmability

Cyan is rolling out a number of major enhancements aimed at delivering scalablity and further network programabbility to both its Z-Series Packet-Optical hardware and Blue Planet SDN Platform.

Upgrades for  the Cyan Z-Series Packet-Optical Transport Platform (P-OTP) include the following modules:

  • A 10-port 10G to 100G muxponder module – that complements Cyan’s single-slot 100G coherent transponder by aggregating packet and non-packet wavelength services
  • A 100 GbE packet switching module – that further extends Cyan’s Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) solution with line-rate 100 GbE switching and transport
  • Two multi-degree ROADM modules – that significantly increase fiber capacity and efficiency in metro core and regional networks with support for up to 96 100G wavelengths on a single fiber

Cyan is enhancing its Blue Planet SDN and NFV Orchestration Platform with multi-vendor Service Automation capabilities.  These enable carriers to simplify, manage and orchestrate multi-vendor networks to achieve end-to-end network control, service automation and service agility. Specifically, new Blue Planet features include the addition of A-to-Z provisioning of Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) services in multi-vendor networks, a “cut-in” and “cut-out” feature that provides for non-disruptive activation of third-party devices on live networks, and new element adaptors for provisioning Accedian (MetroNID GT, GT-S, LT-S) and RAD (ETX-204A) devices.

Cyan has also released its first open application programming interface (API). The MEF CE 2.0 API is being utilized by multiple customers to automate the provisioning of standards-based MEF E-Line, E-LAN, and E-Access services across multi-vendor networks. This reduces provisioning errors and service turn-up times for network operators.

“Packet-optical scale and service orchestration are key topics as network operators simplify and automate their operations to reduce costs and revitalize their business models. In addition, the launch of our API strategy is critical for customers who want to unite existing operational and support systems with Blue Planet to automate service delivery. All of these enhancements are designed to ensure Cyan can help network operators deploy scalable and automated networks that can respond to today’s on-demand world,” stated Mark Floyd, chief executive officer, Cyan.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Intel Data Platform Software Digs into Hadoop

Intel introduced a software analyics suite for importing, managing and analyzing big data.

The Intel Data Platform, which builds on the Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop software, provides streaming data processing, interactive and iterative analytics, and graph processing. This enables enterprises to extract value from Apache Hadoop.

Intel noted that it is also working with carrier to help uncover value in data.  One example is China Mobile Guangdong, which is using Intel systems and software to be able to retrieve up to six months' worth of call data records in near real time. Intel said China Mobile Guangdong's detailed billing statement inquiry system can now retrieve 300,000 records per second and insert 800,000 records per second or the equivalent of 30 terabytes of subscriber billing data per month.

Radisys Delivers Large Scale Media Processing for VoLTE

Radisys introduced a new high-capacity MPH6 media processing card for its MPX-12000 Broadband Media Resource Function (MRF).

The new blade is specifically designed to support the processing requirements for large deployments of real-time telecommunication services, including Voice over LTE (VoLTE), high definition (HD) video conferencing, and high capacity multimedia transcoding services.

VoLTE enabled mobile phones and tablets that use HD audio (AMR-Wideband) codecs will require connectivity with GSM, CDMA or PSTN endpoints that use legacy codecs including AMR Narrowband (AMR-NB), EVRC or G.711. This will require the underlying IMS services infrastructure to have scalable, economical and high capacity transcoding capabilities to interconnect new VoLTE devices to legacy handsets and subscribers.

Radisys said its new card, based on the latest multicore Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology, delivers industry-leading DSP power for processor intensive media stream manipulation, enabling large scale, economical real-time HD communication services utilizing a broad range of HD audio and video codecs including H.264, VP8, and AMR-WB.  It also leverages the MPX-12000 fault-resilient architecture for service reliability, including preserving active sessions for call continuity, customer satisfaction and revenue assurance.

“Radisys is a leading provider of media processing platforms and is deployed today in VoLTE networks and trials around the globe,” said Grant Henderson, vice president of marketing and product management, Radisys. “Our flagship MPX-12000 combined with the MPH6 delivers the highest capacity IP media processing platform on the market for communication equipment providers and operators, not only for multimedia transcoding, but for a broad range of IMS and web communication services.”

The Radisys MPX-12000 is a Broadband Media Processing platform for large LTE IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) network deployments.

The MPX-12000, which is based on Radisys 40G ATCA open platform technologies, is specifically designed to provide mobile and IMS network operators the capacities, capabilities and reliability essential for monetizing real-time wireless broadband communications, including mobile video and voice over LTE (VoLTE). The platform performs the Multimedia Resource Function (MRF) in LTE IMS networks.

Brocade's Q1 Revenue Dips 4% YoY as SAN Business Grows

Brocade reported first quarter revenue of $565 million for the 3-month period ending 25-Jan-2014, down 4% year-over-year and up 1% quarter-over-quarter. The company reported GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.18, up from a loss of $0.05 per share in Q1 2013. Non-GAAP diluted EPS was $0.24, up from $0.21 in Q1 2013.

"Brocade achieved solid results in Q1, exceeding our outlook for revenue and profitability," said Lloyd Carney, CEO of Brocade. "Our performance was driven by the strength of our Storage Area Networking (SAN) business as customers continue to adopt Gen 5 Fibre Channel networks for their highly virtualized data centers and high-performance storage environments, including Solid State Disks (SSDs). While the overall IP Networking business declined year-over-year, we achieved our outlook for the quarter. This is a transformational year for Brocade and we remain committed to our mission to be the network provider of choice to the world's data centers."

Some highlights:

  • SAN business revenue, including products and services, was $412 million, down 1% year-over-year and up 8% sequentially. SAN business revenue grew sequentially across all product segments and performed better than the company's outlook for Q1 2014. Gen 5 Fibre Channel products represented approximately 71% of director and switch revenue in the quarter, higher than the 42% reported in Q1 2013 and 69% in Q4 2013.
  • IP Networking business revenue, including products and services, was $153 million, down 11% year-over-year and 15% quarter-over-quarter. The year-over-year and sequential decline was principally due to lower sales into the U.S. Federal government as well as lower non-Federal sales in the Americas region. During Q1 2014, an estimated 59% of our IP Networking product revenue came from data center customers, a favorable shift in the mix of our IP business from an estimated 48% in Q1 2013 and 53% in Q4 2013.

Extreme Networks Names New CTO - Eric Broockman

Extreme Networks named Eric Broockman as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO).  Broockman most recently served as the CEO of Alereon, where he led the strategy and product development of the industry's first gigabit OFDM wireless solution. He holds numerous US patents, is an active inventor, and was a National Science Foundation Fellow.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Aerohive Files for IPO

Aerohive Networks, which specializes in controller-less Wi-Fi and cloud-managed mobile networking for the enterprise market, filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating for a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of shares.

Aerohive is based in Sunnyvale, California.

  • Aerohive is headed by David Flynn, who previously was Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at NetScreen (acquired by Juniper). Later, he was Juniper's Vice President of Products for the Security Products Group.

CEO Interview: 2014 Outlook for DSL

Dr. John Cioffi, CEO of ASSIA, Inc., discusses the outlook for DSL technologies in 2014, including market opportunities, the use of Vectoring to improve performance, and Phantom Mode.

  • Are there new markets or applications for DSL?
  • What are the prospects for upgrading the existing DSL base with vectoring?
  • Future prospects for DSL in the U.S.?
  • Future prospects for DSL in Europe?
  • Does DSL have a new chance with Australia's NBN?
  • Does DSL make sense in areas with poor copper plants?
  • How has vectoring evolved?
  • How good is nodescale vectoring?
  • How fast can DSL ultimately go?
  • Any more opportunities to enhance DSL?
  • What are the prospects for
  • Does FTTH still cost too much?
  • What is Phantom Mode?
What's next for ASSIA?

NSN Extends "Liquid Applications" to Mobile Base Stations

Nokia Solutions and Networks is extending its "Liquid Applications" framework to enable accelerated content delivery and real-time utilization of network information at the base station.

Liquid Applications’ new capabilities focus on three areas:

Building entirely new types of real-time services delivered from the base station.

Examples include instant video replays at sports venues delivered to nearby subscribers, high speed and secure access to corporate intranets, or video surveillance and advanced analytics running in the base station to improve urban transport systems. Liquid Applications’ distributed cloud capabilities coupled with NSNs AppFactory allow for agile application development and deployment in very short cycles.

Accelerating content delivery to improve customer experience

NSN’s Liquid Applications run on its Radio Application Cloud Server (RACS) within the base stations. The company is now extending the software capabilities of RACS with advanced content acceleration and optimization as well as enabling storage of third-party content. Serving content directly from the base station cuts time-to-content by up to 80 percent and reduces backhaul traffic by up to 25 percent.

Improving network operations and gaining new insights into customer behavior

NSN is introducing RACS-based agents in the base station that collect and process network data in real-time. By using tools such as NSN’s Service Quality Manager to analyze this data, operators can gain deeper insight into user actions and preferences. They can pinpoint precisely how to utilize the available network capacity to best effect and tailor services based on user preferences and location.

NSN is also bringing to the market a cloud based IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) aimed at Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services. These will be shown at this month's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

NTT and Partners Demo NFV Service Chaining

NTT, Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, and Hewlett-Packard Japan are testing service chaining based on network functions virtualisation (NFV) principles.  The use case has been approved as an authorized PoC (Proof of Concept) by ETSI's Industry Specification Group for Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV ISG).  This is the first such trial use case in Japan (the second in the world) approved as a PoC.

NTT said interoperability will be crucial for its vision of service chaining, in which virtualized appliances are interconnected in conjunction with networks.

For this PoC, multiple multiple services from multiple vendors are chained together. NTT Network Technology Laboratories is developing a service chaining method in which each packet is assigned an identifier to enable customers to select and apply virtualized functions on demand. The identifier shows a chain of virtualized network functions and forwards packets to them as appropriate.

NTT: Providing service chaining method
Cisco Systems: Providing vDPI
Juniper Networks: Providing vFW
Hewlett-Packard Japan: Providing vCPE

A demonstration is being held this week at the NTT R&D Forum 2014.

IBM Develops Ultra-Fast Analog-to-Digital Converter

IBM Research and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed an ultra-fast and energy efficient analog-to-digital converter (ADC) technology to enable complex digital equalization across long-distance fiber channels.

An ADC converts analog signals to digital, approximating the right combination of zeros and ones to digitally represent the data so it can be stored on computers and analyzed for patterns and predictive outcomes.

IBM has awarded a non-exclusive technology license to Semtech, including access to patented designs and technological know-how, to develop the technology for its own family of products ranging from optical and wireline communications to advanced radar systems.

The 64 GS/s (giga-samples per second) chips for Semtech will be manufactured at IBM’s 300mm fab in East Fishkill, New York in a 32 nanometer silicon-on-insulator CMOS process and has an area of 5 mm2. This core includes a wide tuning millimeter wave synthesizer enabling the core to tune from 42 to 68 GS/s per channel with a nominal jitter value of 45 femtoseconds root mean square. The full dual-channel 2x64 GS/s ADC core generates 128 billion analog-to-digital conversions per second, with a total power consumption of 2.1 Watts.

IBM cited a number of Big Data use cases, including radio astronomy projects that are expected to produce 10 times the global internet traffic loads in a few years.

“Our ADC supports IEEE standards for data communication and brings together speed and energy efficiency at 32 nanometers enabling us to start tackling the largest Big Data applications,” said Dr. Martin Schmatz, Systems department manager at IBM Research. “With Semtech as our partner, we are bringing our previous generation of the ADC to market less than 12 months since it was first developed and tested.”

“Through leveraging the IBM 32nm SOI process with its unique feature set, we are developing products that are well-suited for meeting the challenge presented by the next step in high performance  communications systems such as 400 Gb/s Optical systems and Advanced Radar systems. We are also seeing an expanding range of applications in the existing radio frequency communications marketplace where high-speed digital logic is replacing functions that have been traditionally performed by less flexible analog circuitry,” said Craig Hornbuckle, Chief Systems Architect, Semtech.

Gigamon Partners with Vistapointe on Big Data Monitoring + Network Intelligence

Gigamon and Vistapointe announced a partnership to provide mobile network operators with deep visibility and insight into the operations and transactions occurring on their network.

Vistapointe delivers data extraction, analysis and insight generation technologies for mobile traffic.  Its product portfolio, following the NFV architecture, is completely software-based, runs on COTS and ATCA platforms, and provides a 360°visibility around Subscriber, Applications, Networks, Roaming, Tethering and Device proliferation. The solution passively taps into the data, session and signaling layers of 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi networks non-intrusively. It complies with the 3GPP, IETF & IEEE standard protocols, without requiring any integration with the existing vendors.

Gigamon provides an intelligent Visibility Fabric architecture for enterprises, data centers and service providers. Its GigaVUE portfolio of high availability and high density products intelligently delivers the appropriate network traffic to management, analysis, compliance and security tools.

Under the partnership, Vistapointe becomes part of Gigamon's Visibility Fabric Ecosystem Partner Program, which offers visibility solutions for network security, troubleshooting, application analysis, forensics review and SOX compliance.

"There are significant changes occurring within carrier networks as a result of various forms of virtualization and Big Data," said Andy Huckridge, Director of Service Provider Solutions at Gigamon. "The associated business impacts are also changing the way these operators deliver services and generate revenue. The Gigamon Visibility Fabric and a new class of tool vendor, like Vistapointe, are addressing the needs of these mobile service providers. We look forward to working with Vistapointe to truly deliver greater value to our carrier customers."

"Vistapointe is excited to partner with Gigamon to bring new and valuable solutions to mobile operators," said Ravi Medikonda, CEO, Vistapointe Inc. "Mobile providers are looking for ways to deal with the explosion in the amount and variety of traffic flowing through their networks. They need to enhance subscriber experience, while reducing churn and revenue erosion. The combined Vistapointe and Gigamon solution can support this new Big Data business model, while working towards delivering enhanced value in increasingly virtualized environments."

NEC Launches E-band Radio for Small Cells and Cloud-RAN

NEC introduced an all-outdoor, E-band radio unit designed for small cell backhaul aggregation and wireless extensions to fiber broadband networks.

The iPASOLINK EX leverages E-band millimeter wave spectrum, which typically offers lower licensing costs than any other radio solution.

NEC also noted that new addition of a Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) enables the unit to provide wireless fronthaul in a Cloud RAN (C-RAN) environment. This ensures high data transmission speeds and capacity to connect baseband processors and Remote Radio Heads (RRH) wirelessly in a distributed RAN.

Ichiro Kaneko, Senior Manager of NEC's Mobile Wireless Solutions Division, commented:  "NEC engineered iPASOLINK EX to provide an even higher level of upgradeable data capacity in a small, exceptionally reliable radio unit. With this latest product launch, NEC aims to continue to provide the most advanced and most comprehensive range of mobile backhaul and fronthaul solutions on the market."

NEC has already deployed over two million microwave transmission systems across 147 countries to support LTE, digital broadcast, Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA), 3G and other types of communication networks.

Ericsson Offers Telecom Cloud Transformation Consulting

Ericsson is launching a Telecom Cloud Transformation consulting practice to help network operators add value by either improving the quality of existing services or launching services of their own.

The unit combines Ericsson's professional services experience and technology insights across business, IT and telecom with the latest developments in SDN and NFV.

Paolo Colella, Vice President and Head of Consulting and Systems Integration, Ericsson, says: "The cloud offers operators advantages such as efficiency gains in operations as well as improved time to market. With our professional services leadership and data center experience, we can help operators identify how best to transform their existing technology and process environments to take advantage of the cloud opportunity."

Comcast to Acquire Time Warner Cable

In a deal that combines the No.1 and No.2 cable operators, Comcast has agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable for $159 per share, representing a enterprise value of about $45 billion.

Comcast is the largest U.S. cable operator with approximately 23 million subscribers.  Time Warner Cable has about 12 million subscribers.  The combined company would have $86.8 billion in annual revenue.

The proposed merger is expected to face regulatory reviews. Comcast and Time Warner said they are prepared to shed 3 million subscribers if needed to gain approvals.

Previously, Charter offered $132 per share to acquire Time Warner - a bid that was rejected by the company as below value.

The companies believe they will be able to achieve $1.5 billion in ongoing operational efficiences, including $400 million in capital savings through the merger.