Monday, March 17, 2014

Overture Releases 10 Gigabit Ethernet Access Device (EAD)

Overture released a high density 10 gigabit optical Ethernet Access Device (EAD).

Key features include:

  • Rich service assurance – A full suite of CE2.0 demarcation tools, hierarchical QoS, and an sFlow monitoring agent; layer 3 features including RIP, NAT, and multicast eliminate the need for CPE router for many IP services.
  • Capacity – Non-blocking 64Gbps switching capacity, full line rate classification on four 10GigE and 24 1GigE ports, support for up to 256 EVCs, 32k MAC addresses, and 4096 QoS classification rules addresses aggregation and ENNI demarcation applications.
  • Flexible deployment options – Deployable in both ring and point-to-point architectures, and is a state-of-the-art 10GigE demarcation device. Its high performance switching on all 10GigE and 1GigE interfaces supports high-density aggregation and router offload applications. Additional flexibility also comes from the 65F10’s integrated universal AC and DC combo power supply.
  • Timing precision – Hardware-based OAM and exacting IEEE1588v2 implementation backed by nanosecond accuracy for mobile synchronization, precision one-way delay measurements, and less than three microseconds of latency delivers high-powered performance for financial and mobile backhaul applications.
  • Reliability – Support for G.8031, G.8032v1 and G.8032v2 rings, as well as link aggregation create highly resilient network topologies; extremely low-power and extended operating temperature range ensure high service availability.
  • Ready for Network Virtualization and Software-Defined Services – The Overture 65F10 joins the Overture 65, 6500 and Ensemble OSA as a member of the Overture Open Service Delivery family. It is the first 10Gig EAD ready for network virtualization and software-defined services.

“We understand that service providers need to economically address ongoing bandwidth capacity challenges, while also finding ways to optimize service creation, activation, and assurance,” said Keith Donahue, vice president of Product Management, Overture. “The Overture 65F10 along with Ensemble OSA allows CSPs to more easily leverage the benefits of performance-assured Carrier Ethernet 2.0 in an extremely cost effective package today and provide a straightforward path to network virtualization and software-defined services when they are ready.”

Sprint Spark LTE Rollout Expands, HD Voice Coming Soon

Sprint activated 20 new 4G LTE markets as well as the upcoming availability of HD Voice.

Sprint Spark, which leverages carrier aggregation across three bands, is designed to deliver peak wireless speeds of 60 Mbps today on capable devices, with the potential for speeds three times as fast by late next year. 

HD Voice is also now available to customers in Provo, and will soon be available in Trenton. HD Voice capability requires call between two Sprint HD Voice enabled devices on upgraded areas of the Sprint network.  Sprint said its HD Voice will provide a better experience than a landline.  A typical phone without HD Voice offers four octaves of sound, but a phone with HD Voice offers seven (10 octaves is considered perfect hearing).

Sprint 4G LTE, available in 402 cities, also provides benefits to customers of Sprint’s prepaid brands – Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA.

Sprint Spark is available in the following 18 cities: Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Chicago; Dallas; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Fort Worth, Texas; Houston; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City, Kan./Mo.; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Philadelphia; Provo, Utah; Salt Lake City; San Antonio; Tampa, Fla; and Trenton, N.J.

Cisco Milestone: More than 200 Carriers Deploys its Carrier Wi-Fi

Cisco announced several company milestones concerning its carrier-grade Wi-Fi solution:

  • More than 200 service providers have deployed Cisco Service Provider Wi-Fi technology;
  • More than 18 million carrier-grade access points are deployed worldwide across networks operated by service providers, enterprises, stadiums, public sector entities and commercial organizations;
  • More than a half-billion mobile users worldwide receive advanced mobile services through Cisco Wi-Fi technology;

One carrier customer is PT Telkom in Indonesia, which is deploying 100,000 access points across the country -- one of the largest deployments of Wi-Fi access points by a single service provider in Asia. PT Telkom and Cisco built a high speed, high-density Wi-Fi network for the The Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.  Attendees were able to access the network with a single-sign-on (SSO) service set identification (SSID) from any Wi-Fi enabled device across multiple APEC hosting venues, including the airport, convention centers and 51 hotels.

Aquantia Raises $16 Million for its 10GigE Chips

Aquantia, a start-up specializing in 10Gigabit Ethernet ICs, raised $16 million in series G financing, including support from Xilinx.

Aquantia, which is based in Milpitas, California, recently announced a low-power, 28 nanometer generation of 10GBASE-T silicon that promises to further the penetration of the technology in cloud service providers and corporate data centers.

“The team at Aquantia has had a phenomenal track record establishing itself as the leader in high-speed connectivity solutions for data center and cloud providers,” said Krishna Rangasayee, senior vice president and general manager of Market Segments and the Communications Business Unit at Xilinx. “We’re excited to be part of their venture as a new investor.”

“This is what pre-IPO companies dream of; a strong technology play that delivers successive generations of very large revenue opportunities,” said Faraj Aalaei, president and CEO of Aquantia. “We have the technology and market leadership, the strong support of our investors, and are now proudly adding Xilinx to the list of our backers. Everything is aligned for a successful expansion of our business.”

Vodafone to Acquire ONO of Spain for US$10 Billion

Vodafone will acquire ONO, a privately-held cable operator serving approximately 1.9 million households and small businesses in Spain, for approximately EUR 7.2 billion.

In 2013, ONO started offering 500 Mbps for SoHos. In the high-speed segment – more than 30 Mbps - the operator added 31,000 new clients in 4Q2013, reaching 811,000, representing 56% of the total fiber client base. Ono ended 2013 with 1,531,000 clients in the broadband business.

  • In October 2013, Vodafone acquired Kabel Deutschland, bringing 5 million broadband and 7.6 million TV customers in Germany.

Telefónica España Offers McAfee Mobile Security

Telefónica España is offering McAfee’s Multi-Access (MMA) software to its Movistar customers to protect smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs from the risk of data loss, theft or viruses.

McAfee’s Multi-Access offering provides 24x7 anti-virus protection and safe web search by blocking risky links, such as phishing sites. If the device is lost or stolen, Movistar customers can trace and block the device and delete personal information remotely if required, safe in the knowledge that the data can be restored on another device.

Fernando Abella, Digital Services director at Telefónica España, said: ‘Accessing information and services at any time, across any device, is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ feature but a necessity. Whether shopping online, conducting internet banking or surfing the web, consumers want the freedom to do so safely and securely, from any device. With this new service Telefónica and McAfee help to make security simple by protecting multiple devices from viruses, threats and risky websites all under the one easy to use service subscription’.

Orange Turns On 4G Roaming in 11 Countries

Orange will begin supporting 4G roaming in six new countries starting next month: Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland. This brings the total number of countries with Orange 4G roaming to 11.  The service is already available in Spain, Portugal, the UK, South Korea and the Netherlands.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Video Tutorial: Synchronization and Timing for LTE-Advanced

 Martin Nuss, CTO of Vitesse Semiconductor, provides an overview of Synchronization and Timing for LTE-Advanced

Part 2 - What are the key differences between LTE FDD and TDD, and LTE-Advanced?

Part 3 - Do operators need to run their backhaul networks differently for LTE FCC, TDD and LTE-Advanced?

Part 4 - Why are mobile operators looking for GPS alternatives?

Part 5 - What standards are being developed to deliver time and phase synchronization with IEEE 1588?

Part 6 - What impact will the new ITU-T standard for time and phase delivery have on network architecture?

Part 7 - What impact will the new ITU-T standard have on network operators and telecom equipment suppliers?

Part 8 - What are Vitesse's solutions for OEMs to achieve the new ITU G.8273?

VMware Releases Software-defined Virtual SAN

VMware officially released its first software-defined storage product.

VMware Virtual SAN, which is built directly into the VMware vSphere kernel, provides a new tier of hypervisor-converged storage. The software abstracts and pools internal magnetic disks and flash devices from industry-standard x86 servers to produce a high-performance and resilient shared datastore for virtual machines (VMs).

"Today VMware changes the way that storage has been operated to date," said John Gilmartin, vice president and general manager, SDDC Suite Business Unit, VMware. "VMware Virtual SAN is a radically simple storage solution optimized for virtual environments that brings an application-centric approach to storage management. Customers that know VMware vSphere know VMware Virtual SAN, and can rely on that familiarity to hit the ground running with VMware Virtual SAN."

Features include:

  • Hypervisor-converged architecture: Embedded within the VMware vSphere kernel, VMware Virtual SAN delivers the most efficient data path for superior performance while minimizing resource utilization resulting in the consumption of less than 10 percent of CPU resources.
  • High performance with elastic and linear scalability: VMware Virtual SAN uses flash to deliver performance acceleration through read/write caching. The software provides a granular and elastic approach to provision performance and capacity enabling customers to linearly scale their clusters on demand by adding nodes to a cluster or disks to individual nodes
  • Storage Policy Based Management: With storage policy based management, VMware Virtual SAN shifts the management model for storage from the device to the application. A single VMware Virtual SAN datastore can provide differentiated service levels based on individual VM policies. For administrators, there are no complex configurations through LUNs or volumes, they avoid overprovisioning, and can change policies easily. With automated provisioning and management, administrators improve the ability to meet Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
  • Integration with the VMware stack: VMware Virtual SAN is easy to configure and deploy requiring two clicks using VMware vSphere Web Client. Its integration with VMware vSphere enables customers to use data services such as backup, cloning, replication and snapshots as well as features such as Distributed Resource Scheduler™, High Availability, vMotion and Storage vMotion. Additionally, VMware Virtual SAN is interoperable with VMware Horizon View 5.3.1, VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager, VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite and VMware vCloud Automation Center.

Some performance specs:

  • 2 million input/output operations per second (IOPS) on a read-only workload on a 32 node cluster; (1) and,
  • 640,000 IOPS on a mixed workload on a 32 node cluster. 

VMware Virtual SAN can be deployed on a wide range of servers. Pricing starts at $2,495 per processor. VMware Virtual SAN for Desktop is priced at $50 per user.

NEC Delivers 100G for Colombia's INTERNEXA

NEC has delivered a 100Gbps transponder to Internexa, a newregional carrier in South America which has already started commercial operation in Colombia.

Internexa, which is as an affiliate of the ISA, is building a wholesale transmission network spanning 28,000 km connection Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil using terrestrial fiber primarily mounted on electrical infrastructure.  The transponder that NEC delivered for the construction of these network projects incorporates a 100Gbps digital coherent technology developed by NEC and a DP-QPSK modulation system to support high-capacity transmissions of a maximum of 96 waves. Prior to its introduction, a test was conducted by integrating NEC's 100Gbps transponder seamlessly into Internexa's existing optical transmission system located on the optical layer of the current 80 x 10Gbps DWDM System provided by a third party vendor. The transponder earned higher marks than its competitors for its signal characteristics, implementation efficiency, footprint and energy-saving performance.

"In recent years, telecommunications traffic is rapidly increasing in response to the growing use of smartphones, machine to machine, cloud computing, digital cities, CDN's, tablets and the launch of LTE services. As a result, the expansion of optical fiber networks that can accommodate this growing traffic is urgently required in Latin America," said Genaro Garcia, CEO, Internexa. "The 100Gbps transponder provided by NEC to Internexa in Colombia has demonstrated significant competitive advantages, such as rapid implementation, efficiency and excellent performance. This allows us to continue offering customers the best services through our networks."

  • INTERNEXA recently acquired NQT, a wholesale carrier company which provides telecommunications transport and Internet access services in the state of Rio de Janiero, Brazil, which has among its clients small, medium and big telecommunications companies, some of which offer specific services to the energy market.  NQT operates a 2,700km long network and is based on an open business model, which allows the company offers services to all telecommunications operators.

NTT and Mitsubishi Develop Authenticated Encryption Technique

Researchers at Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, and the University of Fukui have jointly developed an authenticated encryption algorithm offering robust resistance to multiple misuse, thereby helping to ensure confidentiality and integrity.  NTT said the technique could prove very useful in knowing that large-volume data has not been tampered with.  The new algorithm accepts messages longer than the 64-gigabyte limit of AES-GCM, and it works faster than AES-GCM on many platforms.

The algorithm has been entered in the Competition for Authenticated Encryption: Security, Applicability, and Robustness (CAESAR) project, based on which the algorithm is expected to be deployed for increasingly secure and reliable information technology.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Infonetics: Record Year for GPON in China; VDSL Shipments Outstrip ADSL

For the full year 2013, worldwide broadband aggregation equipment revenue totaled $6.96 billion, a 1.6% increase over 2012, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.

Some key highlights of the report:

  • For the full year 2013, worldwide broadband aggregation equipment revenue totaled $6.96 billion, a 1.6% increase over 2012
  • 2013 capped a record year for GPON in China, with revenue increasing 64% from the previous year as China Unicom and China Telecom continued deployments of GPON-based FTTH
  • VDSL shipments surpassed ADSL for the first time in 2013 and now make up over half of all DSL ports shipped, though this was not enough to lift overall DSL aggregation market on a year-over-year basis
  • The top 3 overall broadband aggregation revenue leaders are once again Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, and ZTE

“2013 ended up being a strong year for fixed broadband spending, driven by the continued growth of GPON and vectoring-capable VDSL gear. Competition, over-the-top (OTT) and multiscreen video, and national broadband goals remain the primary drivers for fixed broadband investment,” notes Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics Research.

Fujitsu Selected for FTTH in New Mexico

Fujitsu Network Communications was selected by Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) to implement a new Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) project in northern New Mexico’s rural, underserved counties of Taos, Colfax, and Rio Arriba.

KCEC has access to $64 million in funding from the U.S. Rural Utilities Service to help drive economic development by providing opportunities for high-bandwidth broadband connectivity to businesses, households, community institutions and two Native American Pueblos. The network will also lay the groundwork for KCEC’s planned Smart Grid, which will feature an advanced metering infrastructure and real-time detection of power outages to promote energy efficiency and offer customers higher levels of service.

Fujitsu said its design will future-proof the co-op’s investment in the network and enable delivery of additional services by using a combination of Ethernet and Gigabit Passive Optical Networks (GPON). An Ethernet-based core infrastructure connects the electrical power substations and GPON is used in the access networks to deliver 100 Mbps in broadband connectivity to residents and 1 Gbps to schools, hospitals and government agencies. At KCEC’s request then, Fujitsu designed and engineered a new infrastructure and took on the role of network systems integrator as well as responsibility for overall program management.

“Fujitsu’s understanding of the best-of-breed technologies and the implementation strategy made them an invaluable partner,” said Luis Reyes, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative. “Their vendor-agnostic approach, ability to integrate networking technology solutions from multiple manufacturers, and proven program management methodology are vital to our project’s success. Together, KCEC and Fujitsu are building a broadband infrastructure that will provide the foundation necessary to drive economic growth, create stronger communities, improve educational opportunities, and give citizens better access to healthcare.”

NSN to establish Mobile Broadband Security Center in Berlin

Nokia Solutions and Networks will establish a Mobile Broadband Security Center in Berlin with the goal of sharing knowledge on mobile broadband-related telco security research with customers, business and research partners, and public authorities. NSN noted that it has more than 500 successful security projects worldwide and a team of services and security experts who have earned industry-recognized certification such as CISSP, CISA, and CISM. The company also recently launched Mobile Guard, which complements the existing Content Security solution to deliver protection right through to subscribers’ devices even if they have no anti-malware protection software.

The new Mobile Broadband Security Center will be located in NSN’s premises in Berlin and will be operational in the second half of the year.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

AT&T Completes Cricket Acquisition

AT&T completed its previously announced acquisition of prepaid wireless provider Leap Wireless International Inc., which operates under the Cricket brand, for $15 per share in cash. Leap shareholders will also receive a contingent right entitling them to the net proceeds received on the sale of Leap’s 700 MHz “A Block” spectrum in Chicago, which Leap purchased for $204 million in August 2012.

Leap currently operates a 3G CDMA network, as well as a 4G LTE network covering 21 million people across 35 states. The company serves about 5 million prepaid mobile users under the Cricket brand. It currently ranks as the fifth largest mobile operator in the U.S. Its network currently covers approximately 97 million people in 35 U.S. states, and Cricket had 4.57 million customers as of February 28, 2014. Customer migrations are expected to be completed approximately 18 months after the launch of the new Cricket.

The deal would include all of Leap’s stock and wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 5 million subscribers. As of April 15, 2013, Leap had $2.8 billion of net debt. Leap shareholders will also receive a contingent right entitling them to the net proceeds received on the sale of Leap’s 700 Mhz “A Block” spectrum in Chicago, which Leap purchased for $204 million in August 2012.

AT& said it plans to integrate Cricket with its existing operations to create the "new Cricket" for the pre-paid market -- featuring a combination of simple, low-cost rate plans and smartphones.

In addition to Cricket’s operations, AT&T also acquired spectrum in the PCS and AWS bands covering nearly 138 million people. This spectrum is largely complementary to AT&T’s existing spectrum holdings and includes unutilized spectrum covering 41 million people. AT&T will immediately begin to put the unutilized spectrum to use to support 4G LTE services for its customers. This additional spectrum will provide additional capacity and enhance network performance for customers using smartphones and other mobile Internet devices.

  • Leap Wireless was founded in 1998 as a spin-off from Qualcomm.  The company is based in San Diego.

Ericsson: Near Term Growth Expected Around 4%

From 2012 to 2016, Ericsson expects a compound annual growth rate of more than 4% in markets it serves (measured in USD with some variations), according to the company's newly published Annual Report.  Ericsson argues that the underlying fundamentals for growth in the industry are intact, driven largely by the rapid increase in smartphones and mobile broadband subscriptions.

In his letter to shareholders, Hans Vestburg, Ericsson's President and CEO, says the company's strategic plan remains focused on three components:

  1. Excel in the core business – radio, core and transmission, and telecom services
  2. Establish leadership in targeted areas – modems, cloud, IP networks, TV and media, as well as OSS and BSS
  3. Expand business in new areas.

"We have continued with our strategy of  expanding into targeted areas such as TV and  media, IP, cloud, as well as OSS and BSS. And we have refocused our position in modems, winding up the ST-Ericsson joint venture and establishing our own thin modems business. We further strengthened our global services capabilities all over the world. And we continue to invest in research and development – SEK 162 billion in the past five years alone. We build on our core assets – our technology and services leadership and our global scale – as part of our constant evolution, something that is vital for maintaining our leading position in a transforming industry," stated Hans Vestburg.

Broadcom Sells Certain Ethernet Controller-related Assets to QLogi

Broadcom completed the sale of certain Ethernet controller-related assets to QLogic Corporation for approximately $147 million in cash.

The sale includes certain 10/40/100Gb Ethernet controller-related assets and non-exclusive licenses to intellectual property relating primarily to Broadcom's programmable NetXtreme II Ethernet controller family.

The companies have entered into a long-term supply agreement whereby Broadcom will become ASIC supplier to QLogic in support of the NetXtreme II product line.  QLogic also licensed certain Broadcom patents under a non-exclusive patent license agreement that covers QLogic's Fibre Channel products in exchange for a license fee of $62 million.

In January,  Brocade has sold its network adapter business to QLogic for an undisclosed sum.  This deal included the entire Brocade network adapter product portfolio:
  • Brocade 1860 Fabric Adapters
  • Brocade 815/825 and 415/425 Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapters, or HBAs
  • Brocade 1010/1020 Converged Network Adapters, or CNAs
  • HBA and CNA mezzanine adapters for select OEM partners.
The companies also agreed to work together closely to affirm their commitment to the storage area networking industry, collaborate on the development of the next generation Gen 6 Fibre Channel technology, and strengthen the Fibre Channel vendor ecosystem for the benefit of mutual customers.

Brocade said the sale enables it to focus on meeting the data center networking needs of customers through next-generation fabrics and software defined networking -- the two critical building blocks for modern data centers.

Google Slices Storage Pricing

Google rolled out a major price cut for its paid online storage service for consumers.  Monthly storage plans for 100GB have been cut to $1.99 (previously $4.99), 1TB storage is reduced to $9.99 (previously $49.99) and 10TB of online storage now costs $99.00.  Google says it can provide more storage if you need it.

Google storage is shared across is Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photos services.

Crehan Research: 10GbE Data Center Switches Surpass 1GbE

Robust 2013 year-end growth has propelled 10 gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) data center switch port shipments past those of gigabit Ethernet (1GbE) for the first time, according to a recent report from Crehan Research.

Since first product introductions in 2001, 10GbE data center switching has overcome numerous hurdles on the path to majority adoption. These have included:

  • Very low port-density switches, with accompanying prices prohibitive to volume data center deployments. 
  • High-priced optical pluggable modules accompanied by many different multi-source agreements and form-factors, with the market cycling through the 300pin, XENPAK, XPAK, XFP and X2 modules before finally settling at the current dominant SFP+ form-factor. 
  • Limited default or free 10GbE networking on volume rack servers to seed the market for a switch upgrade, similar to what happened with 1GbE. 
  • Slower-than-expected arrival of compelling 10GBASE-T solutions. 
  • Two major recessions in the aftermath of the housing and dot-com bubbles. 

“When I first saw 10 gigabit Ethernet switches arrive on the market back in 2001, I never thought that we would be well into the next decade before these products would comprise a majority of data center Ethernet port shipments,” said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. “Despite a network traffic growth curve that turned out to be way above most expectations, this technology was encumbered by numerous obstacles on its way to becoming a majority of data center connections,” he added.

Huawei Intros Enhanced eLTE Broadband Trunking

Huawei introduced an enhanced version of its enterprise LTE (eLTE) broadband trunking solution, which launched last year and has been deployed in various vertical industries, including government, energy, transportation and smart grids around the world. Huawei's eLTE supports downlink rates of up to 100 Mbps and uplinks at up to 50 Mbps.

The enhanced version, named eLTE 3.1 Broadband Trunking Solution, supports a broad set of eLTE services, including broadband trunking video surveillance. It supports multiple frequency bands, including 400M, 800M, 1.4G, 1.8G, 2.3G for broadband trunking, and 400M ~ 5.8G for broadband access services.

The solution is interoperable with Huawei's Telepresence and TETRA systems and supports audio and video communications between 14U core network which supports 31 to 1500 sites, 2U core network which supports 2 to 30 sites, emergency communications vehicles, rapid deployment system, and visual dispatch.

"As the first vendor in the industry to adopt LTE technologies in the enterprise domain, Huawei has demonstrated deep understanding of customers' needs. With in-depth experience in the industry and upcoming technology trends, we are pleased to introduce the eLTE 3.1 broadband trunking solution," said Mr. Norman Frisch, Director of Marketing, Huawei Enterprise Wireless Solution Sales Department. "Aimed to develop smarter cities with eLTE, the new eLTE 3.1 broadband trunking solution will feature multiple frequency band support, flexible networking and strong adaption in harsh environments, enhancing overall operational efficiency of enterprises."

Huawei also noted that ,as of December 2013, it has signed 46 contracts with customers to design innovative eLTE network solutions to address specific application scenarios for the public sector, transportation, energy, and other industries globally. For instance, Huawei supplied an eLTE-based urban rail transportation solution for Zhengzhou Metro in China. The solution features highly reliable bilateral radio transmission channels for train-to-ground voice, data, and video transmissions, improving the overall communication and operational efficiency of rail transportation.