Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Saudi Telecom to Launch TDD LTE-A with Huawei

Saudi Telecom has succeeded Huawei to deploy TDD LTE-Advanced technology in its network.  network to the advanced 4th generation LTE-A network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Saudi Arabia is considered as the largest telecom market in the Middle East. Therefore, launching the first quad systems network in the world (GSM/ UMTS/ LTE TDD/ LTE FDD), and upgrading the network to the advanced 4th generation LTE-A, enhances the Internet service in the Kingdom significantly, and offers a new experience for the STC's customers in the field of mobile wireless broadband services," stated Dr. Khaled Albayari, Senior Deputy of STC Group for Technology & Operations.

http://www.huawei.com

Saudi Telecom Picks Ericsson's Evolved Packet Core

STC has selected Ericsson's evolved packet core (EPC) solution.

The deployment includes the Ericsson Blade System, MKVIII for SGSN-MME and Ericsson SSR 8020 for GGSN/EPG. The solution handles the growing demand for mobile broadband through common high-capacity multi-access platforms. The new core elements act as a common platform supporting 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE network technologies, providing additional capacity and throughput to cater for surging demand. Financial terms were not disclosed.

http://www.stc.com.sa
http://www.ericsson.com

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blueprint Column: Five Big Themes at RSA 2014

by John Trobough, president at Narus

Now that RSA is underway I wanted to take some time to cover five key themes being talked about at the event.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning is at the top of my list.  As the frequency of attacks, the sophistication of the intrusions, and the number of new networked applications increase, analysts cannot keep up with the volume, velocity, and variety of data.

The use of machine learning is gaining critical mass fueled by the bring your own device (BYOD) and Internet of Things (IOT) trends. This technology can crunch large data sets, adapt with experience, and quickly generate insight or derive meaning from the data. With machine assistance, analysts spend less time on data-processing duties, and focus more time on problem solving and defense bolstering activities. Machine learning brings new insights to network activity and malicious behavior, and is accelerating the time to resolve cyber threats.

Data Visualization

The historic and rudimentary approach of taking tabular data and presenting it in colorful pie charts and graphs does not deliver insight. According to ESG research, 44 percent of organizations classify their current security data collection as “big data” and another 44 percent expect to classify their data collection and analysis as “big data” within the next two years.  With the explosive growth of volume and variety of data, analysts are experiencing cognitive overload. Their brains cannot process information fast enough. The challenge is to display insight and conclusions from data analysis in a clear way to facilitate rapid response.

Symbolic representations, like visual threat fingerprints, will be required for quick interpretation and comparison before diving into details. Data visualization design will need to incorporate best practices including:
Context-aware controls, that appear only when required
Seamless integration, providing flow from one task to the next without assumed knowledge about the source of the data
Human factor principles, to display data, analysis, and controls in ways that enhance clarity and usability.

Context

According to Gartner, the use of context-aware security helps security technologies become more accurate and enhance usability and adoption in response to cyber threats.

If we define context as the information required to answer the questions “what,” “how” and “why,” context will provide the understanding needed to better assess the threats and resolve them faster.

The advancements made in data visualization enable organizations to determine when something isn’t right on their network. Context takes this further by allowing organizations to determine what their network activity is supposed to look like and how data visualization and context fit together.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Connected devices have become a hot and desirable trend. ABI Research estimates there will be more than 30 billion wirelessly connected devices by 2020. This machine-to-machine (M2M) conversation offers new opportunities for innovation, generates a plethora of new data streams and also creates new threat vectors.

Today, there is a desire for deeper connectivity in the workplace and home. For the business, IoT provides a range of benefits, from increasing operational efficiency to better managing resources and expanding existing business models.  As for the consumer, IoT assists with safety, health, everyday planning and more.

However, all this connectivity compounds security challenges. It’s one thing for your refrigerator to tell you you’re out of milk, but it’s quite another for hackers to use refrigerators to access your network and steal your data or initiate attacks on other networks.

Consumerization of Security

It’s no longer just about the impact that weak security has on the enterprise but also how it is affecting consumers. More and more people are producing and storing their own data and creating their own private clouds, but are still in the dark about how to properly protect it.

According to cybersecurity expert Peter W. Singer, it’s not just weak passwords, such as “password” and “123456” that cybercriminals are after. Usually, cybercriminals are after the ability to change a password with information acquired from public records (i.e. mother’s maiden name). With sophisticated threats looming all over the web, it’s only a matter of time before most consumers are faced with a stiff test on protecting their digital assets.

As consumers become more conscious of security and privacy issues, they will want to know how to prevent their identity from being stolen with just a click of a mouse. Many consumers will turn to the vendors, including retail and banking, for answers, and many vendors will turn to security providers.

Our Opportunities and Challenges

The security landscape faces a future of tremendous growth. More than ever, security is underlying all business practices. In a digital economy where connected devices are everything, security is critical and cannot be an afterthought. Security is not something that you layer on. Instead we should assume we will face a threat and be prepared to respond. While there will be many conversations happening at RSA on a multitude of other security topics, you can be sure these five themes will be heard loud and clear.

About the Author



John Trobough is president of Narus, Inc., a subsidiary of The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA).  Trobough previously was president of Teleca USA, a leading supplier of software services to the mobile device communications industry and one of the largest global Android commercialization partners in the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). He also held executive positions at Openwave Systems, Sylantro Systems, AT&T and Qwest Communications.







About the Company


Narus, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), is a pioneer in cybersecurity data analytics. The company's patented advanced analytics help enterprises, carriers and government customers proactively identify and accelerate the resolution of cyber threats. Using incisive intelligence culled from visual interactive and underlying data analytics, Narus nSystem identifies, predicts and characterizes the most advanced security threats, giving executives the visibility and context they need to make the right security decisions, right now, by letting them know what’s happening, why, and what to do about it. And because Narus solutions are scalable and deployable to any network configuration or business process, Narus boosts the ROI from existing IT investments. Narus is a U.S.-based company, incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. (U.S.A.), with regional offices around the world.

Blueprint Column: Making 5G A Reality

By Alan Carlton, Senior Director Technology Planning for InterDigital

By now we’ve all heard many conversations around 5G, but it seems that everyone is pretty much echoing the same thing—it won’t be here until 2025ish. And I agree. But it also seems that no one is really addressing how it will be developed. What should we expect in the next decade? What needs to be done in order for 5G to be a reality? And which companies will set themselves apart from others as leaders in the space?  


I don’t think the future just suddenly happens like turning a corner and magically a next generation appears. There are always signs and trends along the way that provide directional indicators as to how the future will likely take shape. 5G will be no different than previous generations whose genesis was seeded in societal challenges and emerging technologies often conceived or identified decades earlier. 

5G wireless will be driven by more efficient network architectures to support an internet of everything, smarter and new approaches to spectrum usage, energy centric designs and more intelligent strategies applied to the handling of content based upon context and user behaviors. From these perspective technologies/trends like the Cloud, SDN, NFV, CDN (in the context of a greater move to Information Centric Networking), Cognitive Radio and Millimeter Wave all represent interesting first steps on the roadmap to 5G. 

5G Requirements and Standards

 The requirements of what makes a network 5G are still being discussed, however, the best first stab at such requirements is reflected in the good work of the 5GPPP (in Horizon 2020).  Some of the requirements that have been suggested thus far have included:

  • Providing 1000 times higher capacity and more varied rich services compared to 2010
  • Saving 90 percent energy per service provided
  • Orders of magnitude reductions in latency to support new applications
  • Service creation from 90 hours to 90 minutes 
  • Secure, reliable and dependable: perceived zero downtime for services
  • User controlled privacy

But besides requirements, developing a standardization process for 5G will also have a significant impact in making 5G a reality. While the process has not yet begun, it is very reasonable to say that as an industry we are at the beginning of what might be described as a consensus building phase.

If we reflect on wireless history seminal moments, they may be where the next “G” began. The first GSM networks rolled out in the early 1990’s but its origins may be traced back as far as 1981 (and possibly earlier) to the formation of Groupe Spécial Mobile by CEPT. 3G and 4G share a similar history where the lead time between conceptualization and realization has been roughly consistent at the 10 year mark. This makes the formation of 5G focused industry and academic efforts such as the 5GPPP (in Horizon 2020) and the 5GIC (at the University of Surrey) in 2013/14 particularly interesting.

Assuming history repeats itself, these “events” may be foretelling of when we might realistically expect to see 5G standards and later deployed 5G systems. Components of 5G Technology 5G will bring profound changes on the both network and air interface components of the current wireless systems architecture. On the air interface we see three key tracks:

  • The first track might be called the spectrum sharing and energy efficiency track wherein a new, more sophisticated mechanism of dynamically sharing spectrum between players emerges. Within this new system paradigm and with the proliferation of IoT devices and services, it is quite reasonable to discuss new and more suitable waveforms. 
  • A second track that we see is the move to the leveraging of higher frequencies, so called mmW applications in the 60GHz bands and above. If 4G was the era of discussing the offloading of Cellular to WiFi, 5G may well be the time when we talk of offloading WiFi to mmW in new small cell and dynamic backhaul designs. 
  • A final air interface track that perhaps bridges both air interface and network might be called practical cross layer design. Context and sensor fusion are key emerging topics today and I believe that enormous performance improvements can be realized through tighter integration of this myriad of information with the operation of the protocols on the air interface. 

While real infinite bandwidth to the end user may still remain out of reach in even the 5G timeframe, through these mechanisms it may be possible to deliver a perception of infinite bandwidth in a very real sense to the user. By way of example, in some R&D labs today organizations have developed a technology called user adaptive video. This technology selectively chooses the best video streams that should be delivered to an end user based upon user behavior in front of the viewing screen. With this technology today bandwidth utilization has improved 80 percent without any detectable change in quality of experience perceived by the end user. 

5G’s Impact on the Network

 5G will be shaped by a mash up (and evolution) of three key emerging technologies: Software Defined Networking, Network Function Virtualization and an ever deeper Content caching in the network as exemplified by the slow roll of CDN technology into GGSN  equipment today (i.e. the edge of the access network!). This trend will continue deeper into the radio access network and, in conjunction with the other elements, create a perfect storm where an overhaul to the IP network becomes possible. Information Centric Networking is an approach that has been incubating in academia for many years whose time may now be right within these shifting sands. 

 Overall, the network will flatten further and a battle for where the intelligence resides either in the cloud or the network edges will play out with the result likely being a compromise between the two. Device-to-Device communications in a fully meshed virtual access resource fabric will become common place within this vision. The future may well be as much about the crowd as the cloud. If the cloud is about big data then the crowd will be about small data and the winners may well be the players who first recognize the value that lies here. Services in this new network will change. A compromise will be struck between the OTT and Carrier worlds and any distinction between the two will disappear. Perhaps, more than anything else 5G must deliver in this key respect.   

Benefits and Challenges of 5G

 Even the most conservative traffic forecast projections through 2020 will challenge the basic capabilities and spectrum allocations of LTE-A and current generation WiFi. Couple this with a recognition that energy requirements in wireless networks will spiral at the same rate as the traffic projections and add the chaos of the emergence of the 50 or 100 billion devices - the so called Internet of Everything - all connected to a common infrastructure, and the value of exploring a 5th Generation should quickly become apparent. 

The benefits of 5G at the highest level will simply be the sustaining of the wireless vision for our connected societies and economies in a cost effective and energy sustainable manner into the next decade and beyond.

 However, 5G will likely roll out into a world of considerably changed business models from its predecessor generations and this raises perhaps the greatest uncertainty and challenge. What will these business models look like? It is clear that today’s model where Carriers finance huge infrastructure investments but reap less of the end customer rewards is unsustainable over the longer term. Some level of consolidation will inevitably happen but 5G will also have to provide a solution for a more equitable sharing of the infrastructure investment costs. Just how these new business models take shape and how this new thinking might drive technological development is perhaps the greatest uncertainty and challenge for 5G development.

 While the conversations around 5G continue to grow, there is still a long way to go before reaching full scale deployment. While we may be looking farther down the line, the development is already in place and companies are already starting to do research and development into areas that might be considered foundational in helping 5G prevail. WiFi in white space is an early embodiment of a new more efficient spectrum utilization approach that is highly likely to be adopted in a more mainstream manner in 5G. More than this, companies are also exploring new waveforms (new proverbial 4 letter acronyms that often characterize a technology generation) that outperform LTE “OFDM” in both energy efficiency, operation in new emerging dynamic spectrum sharing paradigms and also in application to the emerging challenges that the internet of things will bring.


About the Author 

Alan Carlton is the senior director of technology planning for InterDigital where he is responsible for the vision, technology roadmap and strategic planning in the areas of mobile devices, networking technologies, applications & software services. One of his primary focus areas is 5G technology research and development. Alan has over 20 years of experience in the wireless industry.

Deutsche Telekom Drives Network Transformation

Deutsche Telekom is moving as quickly as possible to retire its legacy PSTN and go entirely IP, with the goal of having around 8 million IP-based lines across its footprint in Europe by the end of 2014 and the entire project completed in 2018. It's long term goal is an IP network that integrates mobile and fixed lines across all the European markets in which it operates.

In presentations at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Deutsche Telekom executives said this network transformation will also leverage network virtualization technology for service agility and reduced operating costs.

“The growing traffic demands by new mobile access technologies including machine-to-machine and real-time applications require a holistic network approach to improve capacity, efficiency and manage the best-possible customer experience,” said Claudia Nemat. "Innovation in networks is invisible, but customers feel the benefits. It's a revolution that is as radical as the transition from horse and carriage to car."

In mobile, Deutsche Telekom has now launched LTE in almost all of its markets. By 2016, Deutsche Telekom will be able to provide LTE to its customers at every second base station across Europe.

“We don’t only have the expansion of network coverage in mind; we also want to keep increasing the speed of connections. That’s why we’re carrying out tests in Germany, among other places, to see how we can provide customers with data as fast as possible through LTE Advanced,” said Claudia Nemat. “Today I can say that we have reached a point in the LTE rollout in Germany where our customers can use LTE in over 150 cities with speeds up to 150 Mbps,” added Niek Jan van Damme. 300 Mbps will be the next milestone. In a test last week in the German city of Alzey Deutsche Telekom reached even speeds of up to 580 Mbps using LTE-A 4x4 MIMO.

Deutsche Telekom also presented a hybrid router that combines fixed network, LTE and WiFi technologies so as to bundle, concentrate and distribute bandwidth in consumer homes. This project is expected to launch by the end of 2014.

http://www.telekom.com/news/156602

Small Cell Forum Launches Release Three

The Small Cell Forum announced Release 3.0 -- a set of documents aimed at identifying demand and supporting operators in the deployment of urban small cells. The 18 documents in the newly published release covers market drivers, business cases, service opportunities and technical overviews in areas such as self-organizing networks, backhaul, Wi-Fi integration and network architecture as well as regulatory challenges and deployment processes. The package also contains substantial content in support of residential, urban and rural small cell deployments.

“Release Three focuses on establishing the need, evaluating the business case and identifying key barriers to commercial deployment of urban small cells. In Release Four and beyond, we will delve into the detail of the technical solutions that will speed deployments in this exciting new market," stated Gordon Mansfield, Chairman of the Small Cell Forum.

“The Small Cell Forum unequivocally believes the case for urban small cells to be a strong one. But small cells cannot meet growing user demand quickly and efficiently without practical and informed support and guidance. That is why Release Three is so important. I believe small cells will have a pivotal role for operators in viable network densification — the development of HetNets that efficiently and cost-effectively combine macro and small cell rollout.”

http://www.smallcellforum.org/





Huawei Announces Ultra Wideband Active Antenna

Huawei announced an ultra wideband AAU (Active Antenna Unit) that employs SDBTM (Software-Defined Band) technology for band-programmability.

The AAU leverages optimized algorithms, high-performance radio frequency (RF) chipsets, and significantly enhanced RF module integration. It supports 4 * 4 MIMO and carrier aggregation LTE-Advanced technologies, which can improve up to 90% network capacity.

Huawei said that compared with industry similar AAU products, the product has higher integration level and supports software define band which further reducing module quantity on sites. It features smaller in size, lighter in weight and easy installation thus reduces over 60% installation time which facilitated fast deployment of network.

Wang Tao, President of Huawei Wireless Networking Business Unit, said: "Ultra wideband AAU is an important part of Huawei "SDBTM" portfolio. From SDR (Software Defined Radio) to SDBTM, Huawei keeps leading in wireless technology development. Spectrum is the most important asset of operators. Flexible configuration and efficient use of the spectrums is the direction of next-generation RF technology. Huawei will launch series ultra wideband products which help operators simplify deployment and enhance MBB network capacity."

http://www.huawei.com/mwc2014

Huawei and Vodafone Announce FDD and TDD Carrier Aggregation

Huawei and Vodafone announced the first implementation of LTE-Advanced FDD+TDD Convergence Carrier Aggregation (CA).

At Mobile World Congress, the companies said their prototype achieved a single user peak downlink speed of more than 500 Mbps. The demonstration involved 3 FDD carriers and 1 TDD carrier.

Vodafone currently has 800MHz, 1800MHz, and 2600MHz, a total of 50MHz spectrum bandwidth in FDD mode and 20MHz of 2600MHz in TDD
mode in Spain. This latest breakthrough in FDD+TDD Carrier Aggregation technology will boost Vodafone’s network capacity in the country and enable the operator to have more flexibility in deploying 2CC and 3CC CA solutions in the future.

Vodafone first rolled out its 1800MHz and 2600MHz commercial LTE services in the main cities of Spain at the beginning of 2013, with a peak speed of 150Mbps/user.

http://www.huawei.com

Narus Accelerates Cyber Threat Assessment for Enterprises

Narus introduced new tools to accelerate the time it takes for enterprise security teams to resolve cyber threats.  Once network administrators suspect an attack, current practices can take days or weeks to isolate the breach and understand its implications.

The next generation of the Narus nSystem enables organizations to build “zero trust” networks and take a proactive approach to cybersecurity.

The system provides visibility, advance warning and data modeling to help teams understand and make informed security decisions quickly. It can identify over half a million applications (including mobile)and deliver visualizations to put the observed activity in context.

“Enterprises with cloud, mobile and big data initiatives know that security remains their biggest risk and roadblock to success,” said John Trobough, president, Narus. “Narus is experienced in equipping security teams with the necessary tools to help protect and maximize return on their existing IT investments. We enable enterprises to shift their security posture from being defensive and reactionary to being proactive. Powered by the innovation in machine learning and cognitive research, Narus nSystem greatly enriches context and visibility, allowing enterprises to speed up response time and adopt a proactive approach to cybersecurity.”

http://www.narus.com

Infonetics: Challenges for Outdoor Small Cell Rollouts

A survey of 20 incumbent, independent wireless, competitive, and cable operators conducted by Infonetics Research reveals numerous challenges in the rollout of outdoor small cells, including:

  • Operators are finding that outdoor small cell deployments are more expensive than anticipated: more respondents now expect the 5-year TCO ratio of a small cell deployment to be 25% of a typical macrocell deployment, up from 10% in Infonetics' 2012 survey
  • There is a big opportunity for point-to-multipoint (P2MP) backhaul topology in dense urban areas, but there are only a few manufacturers shipping P2MP products today: BluWan, Cambridge Broadband, and Intracom
  • 1/4 of operators surveyed indicated they will use software-defined networking (SDN) in outdoor small cell backhaul networks by 2016 or later
  • Downstream bandwidth capacity is a top service-level agreement (SLA) metric for backhaul services supporting LTE and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A)


Infonetics is predicting that operators will spend $3.6 billion on outdoor small cell backhaul equipment over the five years from 2013 to 2017, down from earlier forecasts based on operator plans.

"2013 was supposed to be the year for greater deployments of outdoor small cells, but installations haven’t proceeded as quickly as operators expected. It’s no picnic out there for operators. Costs are higher than anticipated, and many challenges remain difficult to solve, including siting, jurisdictional issues, unsettled local regulations, power availability, copper and fiber availability, small cell packaging with or without backhaul, just-coming-available technologies and products, and backhaul connections. Not to mention the coordination of small cells with WiFi or nearby macrocells over new types of backhaul that must support strict timing, sync, and latency requirements for LTE and LTE-Advanced in the future,” explains Michael Howard, co-founder and principal analyst for carrier networks at Infonetics Research.

http://www.infonetics.com

IBM Boosts Data Breach Detection Capabilities

IBM is boosting its security solutions to help organizations to reduce detection time for security breaches and investigate these threats before they can significantly impact the business.

IBM Security QRadar Incident Forensics, a new software product designed as a module for the QRadar Security Intelligence Platform, can help security teams retrace the step-by-step actions of sophisticated cyber criminals.  By adding this forensics capture and search module to its QRadar Security Intelligence platform, IBM can further strengthen its clients' abilities to efficiently investigate security incidents and understand the impact of any suspicious activity. QRadar Incident Forensics provides a record of activity on the network, enabling organizations to retrace suspicious activity, provide alerts to growing concerns, and provide forensics search capabilities.

According to a newly released IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Quarterly Report, in 2013, more than half a billion records of personally identifiable information were leaked through a number of attacks against  strategic targets.

"Every breach is a race against time. This new forensics module further expands the breadth and depth of IBM's security intelligence capabilities," said Brendan Hannigan, general manager of IBM Security Systems.  "QRadar Incident Forensics further helps IT staff prevent emerging threats and better determine the impact of any intrusion."

http://www.ibm.com/security

Monday, February 24, 2014

Telefónica's UNICA Architecture Targets NFV

Telefónica unveiled UNICA -- it's end-to-end vision for virtualized network infrastructure that will transform the company into a true Digital Telco.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Telefónica described UNICA as a paradigm shift in the way networks are designed, installed, provisioned and managed.  Its first goal is to address the logical re-grouping of resources needed to deploy a new services via the new generation data centers it is building.  The idea is to use extremely efficient data centers to deploy platforms and telecommunication services faster than ever before.

Telefónica will pursue an "Open Telco" model with a global network infrastructure on which multi-vendor platforms, features and services can be developed in standardized form.

Telefónica also said that it believes the redesign of its network should be gradual and seamless and foresees an implementation start date of sometime in June 2014.  The company expects to have more than 30% of its new infrastructures managed in accordance with this model by 2016.

At #MWC14, Telefónica is demonstrating a few UNICA use cases, including the idea of multi-tenancy (where the same basic solution works for multiple organisations) or NaaS (Network as a Service), using pre-installed templates to deploy virtualised equipment in real time and with integrated resource management.

In partnership with Huawei, Telefónica is showing UNICA’s capabilities and performance requirements.

In addition, Ericsson and Telefonica are launcing a joint R&D program focused on NFV and service provider SDN. The companies will define a joint view on how the transformation of networks should take place, sharing a common outlook on the order in which network functions will be virtualized and which applications are likely to give the most benefit.

"We are living in an extremely dynamic and changing environment, and flexibility is the only approach to efficiently adapt our business to our customers' needs. Network virtualization brings unique opportunities to address current and upcoming challenges while building a more sustainable network model. This collaboration with Ericsson will help us to advance this future network," stated Enrique Blanco, Telefonica Global CTO.

http://saladeprensa.telefonica.com/
http://www.ericsson.com/news/1763979

In 2013, Telefónica inaugurated the first phase of its massive Alcalá Data Centre project outside of Madrid, which aims to be one of the largest Tier IV data centers in Europe and the world.

The first phase, which is now operational, is a new building measuring 24,700 m2, with seven IT rooms covering an area of 682 m2 each. The complete project, which will progress gradually, will cover a total area of 65,700 m2 (over 700,000 square feet) and include a further 16 IT rooms, on a 78,400 m2 plot of land (the size of 8 football pitches).

Telefónica said the new facility is key to transforming the company into one of the leading companies in the new digital world.  The data center will be home for the whole range of ICT services, from housing, infrastructures and cloud computing to full outsourcing of customer applications. It will also operate as Telefónica’s cloud services base for Europe and will house platforms for customers in Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Czech Republic.

The Alcalá Data Centre uses a modular architecture with redundant energy supplies and communications for each hall. Telefónica expects an annual reliability of 99.995%.   Each module will be independent, allowing new rooms to be activated without affecting the operation of the rest. Similarly, the 1,200 kW of IT power for each room can be multiplied up to fourfold without impacting the housed systems.  A redundant fiber optic ring connects to the company's Julián Camarillo Data Centre (Madrid), providing mutual back-up in case of faults.

AT&T Outlines User-Defined Network Cloud

AT&T outlined its vision a User-Defined Network Cloud that is open, simple, scalable and able to perform many functions.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, John Donovan, senior executive vice president of AT&T technology and network operations, said it envisions a multi-service, multi-tenant platform capable of adapting to traffic demands dynamically.  The end goal is to spur innovation by making it easier to adapt the network for new services.

AT&T's Domain 2.0 supplier program, which will was announced in September 2013, will use these principles to build this new architecture based on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN).

AT&T also announced the first group of companies selected to work on the company’s strategy. Ericsson, Tail-F Systems, and Metaswitch Networks have been selected to begin further discussions on design and deployment. AT&T also selected Affirmed Networks to work on a virtualized Evolved Packet Core (EPC).  Ericsson will also work on integration and transformation services. Further selections will take place through the end of 2014.

http://www.attinnovationspace.com/innovation/story/a7794835

TM Forum Releases Blueprint for Managing Virtualized Networks

The TM Forum is launching its new Zero-touch Orchestration, Operations and Management (ZOOM) project aimed at defining a vision of the new virtualized operations environment, and a management architecture based on the seamless interaction between physical and virtual components that can easily and dynamically assemble personalized services.

The ZOOM project is supported by leading providers and suppliers, including AT&T, IBM, Huawei, Oracle, Orange and Telecom Italia.

“The pressure for IT and operational agility to enable new digital service revenues, and continuing demand for cost reduction makes it essential to radically rethink network, operations and service management. Virtualized environments can open up previously unimaginable expectations for service personalization, speed, flexibility, automation and customer centricity,” said Nik Willetts, chief strategy officer, TM Forum. “ZOOM brings together the industry and the Forum’s extensive set of best practices and standards to deliver practical answers for game-changing operations concepts, including operations, adaptive automation and customer-created service definitions.”

https://www.tmforum.org/PressReleases/TMForumBuildsBlueprint/54445/article.html

NSN's LTE Stadium Optimization Claims 30–60% Interference Cut


New software from NSN claims to double the uplink capacity in existing LTE networks, without any additional hardware, by linking centralized RAN links of multiple base stations and turns mitigating interference.  The capability is especially relevant in areas with high concentrations of smart phones, such as stadiums, where people tend to upload a lot pictures and videos.

NSN said its Centralized RAN links multiple LTE base stations to work directly with one other to reduce interference between neighboring cells. This can double the average uplink capacity across a cell, while uploads at the cell edge can be up to ten times faster. It also helps extend battery life as smart devices no longer need to transmit at high power to cut through the interference.

NSN also announced two new software features for its Liquid Radio Software Suite to allow operators to steer LTE-capable smart devices onto 4G more quickly, freeing up WCDMA capacity.

The first feature is Measurement-based LTE layering, which ensures LTE capacity is available before devices are steered, even when LTE and WCDMA sites are not co-located. Also launched is Smart LTE handover, which enables smooth handover from WCDMA to LTE with low delay.

“Our Centralized RAN is capable of enabling operators to convert interference into useful traffic and all without additional hardware or even having to modify their existing base station structure,” said Thorsten Robrecht, vice president, Mobile Broadband portfolio management, NSN. “Apart from this, our two new Liquid Radio software features allow operators to ensure top class mobile broadband experience for their LTE subscribers. These features are valuable in any areas with fluctuating network traffic or densely populated by subscribers, as they are adding more capacity whenever needed, even during special events.”

http://www.nsn.com


NSN's Enhances Flexi Zone Controller for Small Cells

Nokia Solutions and Networks is extending its Flexi Zone comtroller, which runss on macro cells, to now support nearby small cells.

A software version of its Flexi Zone controller that can be deployed on Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations to implement clusters of outdoor and indoor small cells for fill-in coverage near existing macro sites, for example in streets flanked by high-rise buildings. It also enables early deployment of hot zones by re-using macro site infrastructure.

Flexi Zone controller software can also be used to increase the capacity of macro-cellular Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) in large buildings by supporting the deployment of complementary LTE and Wi-Fi small cells. Unlike conventional DAS or hybrid DAS systems, the enhanced Flexi Zone controller can make use of many different transport media including a building’s existing and shared Ethernet (LAN), fiber or coaxial cabling, or even wireless links for large open indoor spaces, slashing operators’ deployment costs by avoiding the need to install dedicated connections. Using a mix of fiber and dedicated Ethernet, Hybrid DASs are a more recent variant of DAS that takes advantage of remote radio heads deployed closer to the antennas.

A third major development enables the Flexi Zone controller to support the integration of NSN Radio Application Cloud Server functionality to enable Liquid Applications on a cluster of small cells. Radio Application Cloud Server provides processing and storage, together with the ability to collect real-time network data.

“Flexi Zone architecture continues to push the boundaries of what small cells can do and future HetNets will look like,” said Randy Cox, head of Small Cells product management at NSN. “Our latest enhancements open up vast new potential for operators to provide top-quality mobile broadband services to their subscribers in even the largest indoor environments and make Flexi Zone the most versatile and lowest overall cost small cell solution. The ability to run Liquid Applications from clusters of small cells will transform what HetNets can do by providing game-changing applications and personalized services matched to a subscriber’s location and context.”

http://www.nsn.com

NSN Intros Indoor Pico Cell

Nokia Solutions and Networks introduced a new indoor Flexi Zone pico base station that offers the same capacity and runs the same software as a macro base station. Pico base stations for indoor coverage provide easier connection options and higher capacity than a distributed antenna system (DAS)* can offer.

The new multi-radio outdoor and indoor Flexi Zone picocell base station integrates LTE and Wi-Fi in one unit. Combined with NSN Smart Wi-Fi real-time traffic steering, operators can  take advantage of unlicensed spectrum to further increase site capacity and improve the customer experience at busy locations.

A new indoor Flexi Zone picocell base station for small and medium-sized buildings has optional Wi-Fi and can provide significant performance gain over femto, DAS and hybrid DAS.

Flexi Zone LTE micro/pico base stations now support all the most commonly used frequency bands for FDD LTE and TD-LTE and can be deployed in outdoor and harsh indoor environments such as railway stations or factories.

Click here and here to download photos illustrating the new indoor Flexi Zone pico base station, the only indoor small cell with the same capacity and running the same software as a macro base station.

http://www.nsn.com

SingTel Gets Ready for LTE Launch with Ericsson

SingTel is preparing to launch voice over LTE (VoLTE) services in Singapore in the coming months.

The deployment, which uses Ericsson's VoLTE solution, enables calls to be connected in less than two seconds compared with five to ten seconds on 3G networks.

SingTel's VoLTE service will be the first of its kind to be equipped with Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) capability, whicg automatically switches ongoing calls without interruption to the 3G network if users lose connection to the 4G network.

http://www.ericsson.com
http://www.singtel.com

Sprint Spark Deliver Fixed LTE Acces with Netgear Router

Sprint will begin selling the NETGEAR LTE Gateway 6100D fixed wireless router to deliver LTE access to small business customers at rates of 50-60 Mbps and increasing over time.


The NETGEAR LTE Gateway 6100D (LG6100D) is equipped with an embedded 3G/4G LTE modem to take full advantage of the Sprint Spark enhanced LTE network. The NETGEAR LTE Gateway 6100D also supports the next generation 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi.

The NETGEAR LTE Gateway 6100D will be available for $199.99 (excluding taxes). Sprint wireless router plans start as low as $14.99 for 100MB of combined 3G/4G data while on the Sprint network. Customers can also choose from additional plans as large as 30GB of combined 3G/4G data for $109.99 excluding taxes and fees.

“At Sprint we’re always striving to provide new innovation to meet the growing needs of our business customers, and this product is a great example of that,” said David Owens, vice president-Product Development, Sprint. “The launch of devices like NETGEAR LTE Gateway 6100D, which can operate on three spectrum bands, is another milestone in the rollout of Sprint Spark. Customers will find that the enhanced technology of Sprint Spark and spectrum integration creates a more seamless network.”

http://www.sprint.com
http://www.netgear.com

AT&T Expands LTE Roaming to 15 Countries

AT&T has expanded its LTE roaming coverage to now include 15 countries:  Canada, UK, Spain, France, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, Guam, Philippines and Antigua & Barbuda.

AT&T said it is expanding the program quickly and currently has agreements to allow for LTE roaming in over 200 countries.

http://att.com/globalcountries