Monday, May 19, 2014

U.S. Courts Selects Level 3 for Nationwide Network

Level 3 Communications landed a multi-year contract with the United States Courts to provide network infrastructure and services to improve overall communications quality and management throughout the federal judicial system.

Under the General Services Administration (GSA) Networx Enterprise contract, Level 3 will deliver direct connections to each of the designated sites via IP virtual private network (VPN), optical wavelength and Ethernet access services. The expanded Wide Area Network (WAN) architecture will maximize network routing options and redundancy for nationwide communications traffic between all U.S. Courts sites to ensure greater reliability, security and operating efficiencies –the primary challenges facing multi-site organizations today.

The U.S. Courts were looking to simplify nationwide operations onto a single communications platform for nearly 300 sites, including the U.S. Courts of Appeals, U.S. District Courts, U.S. Bankruptcy Courts and U.S. Courts of Special Jurisdiction.

Level 3 said the contract also covers session initiated protocol (SIP) trunking services, capitalizing on enhanced WAN connectivity to provide an Internet-based platform for local- to long-distance voice services. Level 3's Voice Complete portfolio of SIP-based services will deliver enhanced service options and a growth platform for the future, while also ensuring greater continuity of operations and disaster recovery (COOP/DR) by streamlining voice communications management for the federal judicial system.

http://level3government.com

u-blox acquires connectBlue for Wi-Fi + Bluetooth

Switzerland-based u-blox has acquired connectBlue AB, a supplier of industrial-grade short range radio modules including Bluetooth and 802.11 Wi-Fi, for SEK 185 million (CHF 25 million). The connectBlue modules are used to enable the last hundreds of meters of connectivity between equipment and the internet. connectBlue is based in Malmo, Sweden.

"The Internet of Things requires end-to-end connectivity to allow powerful applications to manage mission- and business-critical devices such as health monitoring and point of sales terminals, factory automation and vehicle sensors," said Thomas Seiler, u-blox CEO. "connectBlue's short range radio technology combined with our comprehensive line of cellular modems and satellite positioning receivers allow us to provide a complete communication solution for thousands of existing and future applications. We are very pleased to work with our new colleagues in Sweden to build on the deep synergies between our businesses."

u-blox supplies wireless and positioning semiconductors and modules for the automotive, industrial and consumer markets.

http://www.u-blox.com
http://www.connectblue.com

Sunday, May 18, 2014

DragonWave Whitepaper: Unlocking the Value of E-Band with Extended Reach

by Greg Friesen,
Vice President of Product Management at DragonWave

When first- and second-generation E-Band systems introduced Gigabit wireless systems to the market, they took advantage of the wide amount of spectrum available which is very low-cost, to be able to offer high capacity wireless links.  However, these systems did not focus on reach and were inhibited by the high amount of rain fade present in the 70/80 GHz frequency bands. As a result, current E-Band systems have been limited to about 1-3 Km reach, resulting in a limited application space that has been primarily last mile fiber extension in enterprise and campus environments.

With the next generation of E-Band systems, and a number of features targeted at extending reach, manufacturers are now effectively doubling previous link lengths and achieving up to 7 Km of reach. This increased reach is critical to expanding the application space of E-Band products. Now, with extended reach capabilities, 70/80 GHz can be used for the traditional cellular backhaul market. These E-band ranges are comparable to 38 GHz links ranges and can be used for many 23/26/28 GHz links as well.

Using the 70/80 GHz band as a spectrum alternative to traditional 23-42 GHz links has tremendous advantages. In the 23-42 GHz band, many countries issue a maximum channel size of 28 MHz channels, limiting link capacities to 200-250 Mbps. A few countries will issue channel sizes up to 56 MHz, still limiting capacities to about 500 Mbps.  However, 250 and 500 MHz channels are generally available in the 70/80 GHz band. Using these channels, today’s products can deliver 1-3 Gbps of capacity and provide operators with tremendous scalability to meet growing LTE requirements. In addition, E-Band systems offer significant total cost of ownership benefits by leveraging spectrum that costs about 1/10th as much as 23-42 GHz spectrum, as shown in Figure 1 below.



The benefits of E-Band versus 23-42 GHz are significant and offer 10 times the capacity with 1/10th of the recurring spectrum costs.  Nevertheless, in order to take advantage of these benefits, reach needs to be >4 Km, which is comparable to the 23-42 GHz bands.  First- and second-generation E-Band systems could not transmit this far and were typically limited to about 2-3 Km. of reach. Today, a number of new technologies are emerging to increase that reach twofold.
The first of these technologies is adaptive modulation, which monitors signal strength and shifts from the current modulation to a lower modulation during a fade event. Utilizing this technique, the system will shift from 64QAM all the way down to BPSK, resulting in a 15-20 dB link gain improvement.

The next area of reach improvement is adaptive waveform. Once the system has tried to compensate for path fade using adaptive modulation, it can then shift to smaller channel sizes, from a typical 250 or 500 MHz channel down to a 25 or 50 MHz channel. This adaptive waveform switching improves the receiver sensitivity, further increasing link budget by about 10 dB.
The last technique that can be used to extend the reach of an E-Band system is MIMO (multiple input, multiple output). In E-Band, MIMO can be used to transmit the same signal over two spatially separated antennas. This is different than traditional forms of MIMO which use spatial separation to achieve a doubling of capacity. In this case, spatial separation is used to get improved link budget by having 2X antenna and Receive side gain, thereby improving the total system gain by up to 9 dB. Due to the high frequency range of E-Band, the separation of the antennas required for MIMO can be very narrow, allowing them to be packaged into a single unit.

The combination of these three features can extend E-Band range to >6 Km. The graph below shows the impact of these features for a link designed at 99.99% availability in Europe.  Even at this high availability, link lengths close to 6Km are achievable.

Extending the range of E-Band is a very important step in extending the applicability of E-Band. Taking this extended range and mapping it across an existing mobile network in Europe allows one to determine how applicable E-Band could be as an alternative to 23-42 GHz microwave systems. In this case, the existing links were consuming 28 MHz channels and delivering 20 Mbps of capacity. It was found that 99% of the 38-42 GHz links could be replaced with E-Band, a further 70% of the 26-32 GHz links could be replaced, and 55% of the 23 GHz links could be replaced, which amounts to 75% of the full field population of 23-42 GHz links being viable for E-band deployment.

Further analysis compares three deployment scenarios from a cost perspective. The first scenario replaces the link with an E-Band link, increasing the capacity to 2.5 Gbps, but incurring CAPEX and install cost. The second scenario leaves the current 23-42 GHz links in the field, but not being able to scale beyond 200 Mbps and continuing to incur the high spectrum lease costs. The third scenario expands the existing microwave system to 56 MHz and adds a second XPIC channel in the 23-42 GHz range. This scenario incurs CAPEX and install costs, but scales to 1 Gbps, although it will result in costly recurring spectrum charges. In addition, the third scenario may not always be deployable, as it is often not possible to acquire 2X 56 MHz channels. All three scenarios are compared for 7 years, and shown in the graph below.



As shown in the graph above, the E-Band scenario offers slight cost savings over leaving the existing system in the field and provides greater than 10X scale. It also is by far the lowest cost option for providing any scalability beyond 200 Mbps.

It’s clear that E-Band systems have evolved tremendously over the past five years. In doing so, the reach and corresponding addressable market has expanded significantly.  With new reach capabilities of >5 Km, E-Band systems are now a viable alternative for enhancing mobile backhaul networks. For operators, the new E-band solution is something that should be highly considered, as it provides a viable means to deliver >1 Gbps, while also achieving major spectrum cost savings.

About the Author

Greg Friesen is the Vice President of Product Management at DragonWave, responsible for global product management responsibilities across DragonWave’s complete portfolio of products. This role includes regular interaction with customers to understand their evolving network requirements. Greg has 13 years experience in senior product management roles, network design, planning, and engineering, at a number of communications firms, including his current role at DragonWave and previous roles at Nortel Networks, Innovance Networks, and Fundy Telecom. As Senior Product Manager at Innovance Networks he was responsible for all product definition, architecture, and network design. He has been involved in the planning and engineering of over 10 nationwide network deployments. His experience ranges from operations and Capex modeling to network architecture design to site and link engineering. Greg holds B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from University of Saskatchewan.

About DragonWave
DragonWave(R) is a leading provider of high-capacity packet microwave solutions that drive next-generation IP networks. DragonWave'scarrier-grade point-to-point packet microwave systems transmit broadband voice, video and data, enabling service providers, government agencies, enterprises and other organizations to meet their increasing bandwidth requirements rapidly and affordably. The principal application of DragonWave's portfolio is wireless network backhaul, including a range of products ideally suited to support the emergence of underlying small cell networks. Additional solutions include leased line replacement, last mile fiber extension and enterprise networks. DragonWave's corporate headquarters is located in Ottawa, Ontario, with sales locations in EuropeAsia, the Middle East and North America
For more information, visit http://www.dragonwaveinc.com

Video: Introducing DragonWave's Harmony Eband for 70/80 GHz

DragonWave introduces its Harmony Eband product featuring more reach, greater capacity,and lower spectrum costs.

0:44 - Markets and applications
01:43 - Reach Extender
03:07 - Performance in real world mobile networks

Presented by Peter Allen and Greg Friesen.

See video: http://youtu.be/g0UcP-k0sLc


AT&T's Bid to Acquire DIRECTIV Brings Subscribers, Content, Cash Flow

AT&T reached a deal to acquire DIRECTV in a stock-and-cash transaction for $95 per share based on AT&T’s Friday closing price, comprising  $28.50 per share in cash and $66.50 per share in AT&T stock. The implied total equity value is $48.5 billion and the total transaction value is $67.1 billion, including DIRECTV’s net debt.


Some key points:
  • DIRECTV has over 20 million satellite-TV customers in the United States and more than 18 million customers in Latin America.
  • DIRECTV has premier content, particularly live sports programming. It has the exclusive pay TV rights to NFL SUNDAY TICKET, ownership of ROOT SPORTS Networks and minority stakes in the Game Show Network, MLB Network, NHL Network and the Sundance Channel.
  • DIRECTV will continue to be headquartered in El Segundo, California, after the deal closes.
  • AT&T expects cost synergies to exceed $1.6 billion on an annual run rate basis by year three after closing. The expected synergies are primarily driven by increased scale in video.
  • To facilitate the regulatory approval process in Latin America, AT&T intends to divest its interest in América Móvil. 

AT&T also announced a number of promises to help achieve regulatory approvals, including:

  1. expanding it broadband network to 15 million more places beyond those already targeted by Project VIP
  2. a commitment to offer broadband service at rates of at least 6 Mbps for customers who want only over-the-top (OTT) service
  3. a commitment to offer DIRECTV’s TV service on a stand-alone basis at nationwide package prices for at least 3 years
  4. a continued commitment for three years after closing to the FCC's Open Internet protections established in 2010, irrespective of whether the FCC re-establishes such protections for other industry participants following the DC Circuit Court of Appeals vacating those rules and
  5. a commitment to meaningfully participate in the FCC’s planned spectrum auctions later this year and in 2015. AT&T intends to bid at least $9 billion in connection with the 2015 incentive auction provided there is sufficient spectrum available in the auction to provide AT&T a viable path to at least a 2x10 MHz nationwide spectrum footprint. 

"This is a unique opportunity that will redefine the video entertainment industry and create a company able to offer new bundles and deliver content to consumers across multiple screens – mobile devices, TVs, laptops, cars and even airplanes. At the same time, it creates immediate and long-term value for our shareholders,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO.

“DIRECTV is the best option for us because they have the premier brand in pay TV, the best content relationships, and a fast-growing Latin American business. DIRECTV is a great fit with AT&T and together we’ll be able to enhance innovation and provide customers new competitive choices for what they want in mobile, video and broadband services. We look forward to welcoming DIRECTV’s talented people to the AT&T family."

http://about.att.com/story/att_to_acquire_directv.html

Zayo Acquires London's Geo Networks for UK Fiber Network

Zayo Group has acquired Geo Networks, a London-based dark fiber provider, for an undisclosed sum.


The acquisition will add over 2,100 route miles to Zayo’s European network, and connectivity to 587 on-net buildings. Geo's network owns and operates a high capacity fiber network in the UK, providing managed networks, dark fiber and co-location services to a variety of high-bandwidth sectors including media companies, service providers, financial services, data centers and gaming organizations.

Geo’s 100-route mile London network is housed in the London sewer system, which minimizes the threat of physical faults, boosting reliability and security, and enabling rapid deployment with minimum disruption.  The network reaches 130 data centers across the UK. Geo also operates a diverse optical fiber subsea system, East-West Ring, providing diverse connectivity to Dublin, a strategic hub for data centers and cloud service providers.

With this acquisition, Zayo will have 79,000 miles of fiber in 8 countries, and connectivity to more than 650 data centers.

http://www.zayo.com
http://www.geo-uk.net/


The new Cricket Wireless Launches on AT&T's LTE Network

The new Cricket Wireless officially launched service on AT&T's nationwide 4G LTE network, which covers more than 280 million Americans.

Cricket targets pre-paid, value-conscious consumers. No-contract, unlimited voice/text/data plans start at $35 a month after a $5 credit for using auto pay.

“We kept the Cricket brand name, but one thing is certain, we are stepping up our game. We are giving no-contract consumers the value they have been waiting for,” said Jennifer Van Buskirk, president of Cricket Wireless. “Now new Cricket customers can enjoy great prices, popular phones, loyalty rewards, and friendly service on a reliable nationwide 4G LTE network. The new Cricket has more 4G LTE coverage than Sprint, T-Mobile, and Metro PCS, period.”

http://www.cricketwireless.com

In March 2014, 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 built 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. 

When the merger closed, 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.

Sixth Next-Gen GPS Satellite Successfully Launched

The sixth Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-6 satellite for the U.S. Air Force was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral aboard a Delta IV rocket from the United Launch Alliance.

GPS IIF-6 will join the next generation GPS timing and navigation system, which features24 satellites in six different planes, with a minimum of four satellites per plane positioned in orbit approximately 11,000 miles above the Earth's surface.

This marks ULA's fifth launch in 2014, and the 82nd successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

http://www.ulalaunch.com

Russia's AM4R Satellite Lost at Launch

The Russian Satellite Communication Company's Express-AM4R, which was to be Russia's most powerful communications satellite to date, was lost approximately nine minutes following launch aboard a Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The satellite, which was built by Astrium and insured for about US$225 million, carried 63 transponders providing X-band, C-band, S-band, L-band, Ku-band, and Ka-band capacity along with 10 antennas installed. Its mission was to provide Internet access across a wide swath of Russia from 80°E.  AM4R was commissioned to replace AM4, which was also lost on launch in 2011.

http://www.astrium.eads.net/
http://eng.rscc.ru/

In August 2011, the Russian Satellite Communications Company lost contact with the $265-million Express AM-4 satellite shortly after launch aboard a Proton-M rocket from Kazakhstan. The Express AM4, based on Astrium's Eurostar E3000 satellite design, is the largest of the Express satellites so far. IT is equipped with a total of 63 active transponders in L-, C-, Ku- and Ka-bands and 10 antennas, both fixed and steerable. Its mission is to deliver digital TV, Internet and telecom services for eastern Russia. 

AT&T Adds Solar Mobile Charging Stations in NY

This summer, AT&T will nearly double the number of solar mobile charging stations available in outdoor locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

The charging stations are open to anyone with a mobile phone or tablet to charge their device for free at one of the AT&T Street Charge units in parks, beaches and outdoor gathering spots.

"AT&T Street Charge grew out of a need for a sustainable power source during Superstorm Sandy and took on a life of its own when we deployed more than two dozen solar-powered units around the city last summer. We're excited to expand the program this year to more locations for longer periods of time so that anyone who needs a charge on the go can find one," said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President, AT&T.

The full list of StreetCharge locations is posted here:

http://www.att.com/attstreetcharge

Emerson to Sell Connectivity Business to Bel Fuse

Emerson agreed to sell its Connectivity Solutions business unit to Bel Fuse for $98 million.

Currently a part of Emerson’s Network Power business, with 2013 revenue of more than $80 million, the Connectivity Solutions  business offers fiber optic, radio-frequency and microwave-coaxial technologies that safeguard network reliability. Its brands include Stratos optical technologies, Johnson, Trompeter, Midwest Microwave, Semflex, Vitelec Electronics, AIM Electronics and Cambridge Products. The business unit is based in Bannockburn, Illinois.

“Although the business no longer aligns with our long term strategy to strengthen our core global franchises, it offers Bel attractive growth opportunities and is consistent with its strategic direction,” said Jamie Froedge, Emerson’s Vice President, Acquisitions and Development. “We will work closely to ensure a smooth transition for customers and employees.”

Dan Bernstein, Bel’s president, said, “This is Bel’s third major acquisition in the past 14 months; all together, these acquisitions will increase our revenue from $283 million, pre-acquisition, to approximately $705 million annually.  We are proud that Emerson Inc, ABB Ltd. and TE Connectivity Ltd., have determined in the best interest of their shareholders, customers and employees to entrust these businesses to Bel and we look forward to growing these organizations.”

http://belfuse.com/
http://www.Emerson.com

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Video: NFV Market Momentum, sponsored by Radisys

This 2-minute video,sponsored by Radisys, captures insights from leading vendors about what's driving the market interest in network functions virtualizations (NFV).

  • Why pursue NFV in the first place?  
  • Is NFV a market reality today? 
  • Which network functions will be virtualized first? 
  • Will a virtualized network solution deliver the same Five 9s reliability? 
Speakers include:
  • Cassidy Shield, Chief Marketing Officer, Alcatel-Lucent
  • Jane Rygaard, Head of CEM, Core and OSS Marketing, Nokia
  • Karl Wale, Director of Product Marketing, Radisys
See video: http://youtu.be/yeotIRj6XF8


FCC Moves to Amend Net Neutrality Rules as it Asserts Authority over Broadband

The FCC voted 3-2 to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking covering how broadband providers should be regulated in the United States.  With this proposal, the FCC proposes is seeking to impose rules based on a legal blueprint set out by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in its January decision in Verizon v. FCC and its authority to promote broadband deployment under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  The FCC is still considering a legal route to assert authority over broadband operator under Title II of the Communications Act.

The Proposed Rulemaking seeks to defend previously established principles of an Open Internet by enforcing a "no-blocking" requirement on network operators.  The FCC is also seeking to codify the principle that priority service offered exclusively by a broadband provider to an affiliate should be considered illegal "until proven otherwise."

The FCC is seeking public input over the next four months.

The full text of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (99 pages) is posted here:
http://www.fcc.gov/document/protecting-and-promoting-open-internet-nprm

The video of the FCC meeting is posted here (3 hours and 13 minutes):
http://www.fcc.gov/events/open-commission-meeting-may-2014




In January 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the FCC overstepped its boundaries in setting Net Neutrality rules that compel broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic the same regardless of source.  
The court found that even though the FCC has general authority to regulate the Internet, it has previously chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers and the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from regulating them as such. The court therefore decided to vacate portions of the Open Internet Order because broadband providers do not have to meet common carrier obligations.

In December 2010, the FCC approved new Open Internet rules governing the management of Internet traffic, with the three Democrats on the commission voting in favor of the measure and the two Republicans voting against.

Key elements of the Open Internet Order included:

Rule 1: Transparency -- A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings.

Rule 2: No Blocking -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management. A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider's voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network 

Rule 3: No Unreasonable Discrimination -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic over a consumer's broadband Internet access service. Reasonable network management shall not constitute unreasonable discrimination.

Significantly, "reasonable network management" was defined as follows: "A network management practice is reasonable if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service. Legitimate network management purposes include: ensuring network security and integrity, including by addressing traffic that is harmful to the network; addressing traffic that is unwanted by users (including by premise operators), such as by providing services or capabilities consistent with a user's choices regarding parental controls or security capabilities; and by reducing or mitigating the effects of congestion on the network." The FCC rules go on to say that "Pay for Priority" delivery of packets on wireline broadband networks is likely to run afoul of the "no unreasonable discrimination" clause because it would represent a significant departure from current practices.

Mobile broadband was largely exempt from the "reasonable network management" clause, as the document acknowledges that this market is an earlier-stage platform than fixed broadband, and it is rapidly evolving. 

FCC Adopts Rules for Incentive Auction of 600 MHz Spectrum

The FCC adopted rules to implement a two-sided Broadcast Television Incentive Auction covering vacated 600 MHz spectrum.

The FCC will conduct a reverse auction in which broadcasters may voluntarily choose to relinquish some or all of their spectrum usage rights, and  a forward auction in which the relinquished spectrum is made available to wireless providers. The rules integrate the reverse and forward auctions in a series of stages; each stage will consist of a reverse a
uction and a forward auction bidding process aimed at a specific clearing target.

Specifically the band plan consists of specific paired uplink and downlink bands (which enables two-way communications), comprised of five megahertz “building blocks.” Additionally, the band plan accommodates limited variation in the amount of spectrum recovered from broadcasters in different geographic areas in order to prevent the “least common denominator market” from limiting the quantity of spectrum we can offer generally across the nation.

The band plan incorporates technically reasonable guard bands, including a uniform duplex gap (a special guard band used to separate uplink and downlink spectrum), to prevent harmful
interference between licensed services.

The rules for new 600 MHz Band licenses are similar to those governing the adjacent 700 MHz Band. Specifically, mobile devices must be interoperable across the entire 600 MHz band. And new licensees will be required to build out to 40 percent of the population in their service areas within six years and to 75 percent of the population by the end of their initial license terms of 12 years.

http://www.fcc.gov


In December 2013, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced a one-year delay in kicking off the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction until the middle of 2015.  In a blog posting, Wheeler said additional time is needed for public commentary and for putting in place the rules of the road for the auction, including developing the actual procedures for how the auction will be conducted.

Hong Kong's HKT Launches VoLTE with Huawei

HKT, Hong Kong's leading telecommunications service provider (PCCW), officially launched its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service, initially available on the Samsung Note 3 LTE smartphone.  Huawei is HKT's technology provider.

HKT said it is able to deliver a totally seamless handover of voice calls from 4G to 3G coverage. Call set-up times for VoLTE-to-VoLTE connections are around 1 second.  The service also supports instant switching between voice and video calls.

The launch also marks an important collaboration between HKT, Huawei and Samsung.

Mr. Alex Arena, Group Managing Director of HKT, said, “We are committed to providing the most advanced and compelling services to customers. Our game-changing VoLTE service will be offered to new and existing mobile customers. We are thrilled to work with Huawei to roll out the VoLTE service to customers and look forward to bringing it to more customers through Samsung Note 3 LTE now and potentially other mobile devices in future.”

Mr. Ma Haixu, President of core network product line, Huawei, said, “Built on Huawei’s network platform, the new service is the world’s first commercially available VoLTE solution using the latest R10 standard. The new service signifies Huawei’s leading position in the VoLTE market. We are focusing our efforts to ensure HKT’s VoLTE network is an industry benchmark in terms of service quality, innovation and return on investment.”

http://www.huawei.com
http://www.pccw.com/

AT&T Readies First VoLTE for Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini in Select Markets

AT&T announced plans to begin supporting High Definition (HD) Voice over VoLTE in select markets beginning May 23.

Specifically, the VoLTE service will be activated on Samsung Galaxy S4 mini devices in select areas in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  AT&T plans to add support for more devices and markets over time. Pricing was not disclosed.

http://about.att.com/story/att_introduces_high_definition_voice_in_initial_markets.html


Juniper Forms OpenContrail Advisory Board

Juniper Networks announced the formation of an OpenContrail Advisory Board (OCAB) aimed at providing input to the project leadership team on strategic priorities, community evolution, development roadmap, project governance and operational efficiency.

The board is comprised of the top 10 contributors and stakeholders of the project representing both users and developers.

http://opencontrail.org/opencontrail-advisory-board/

Qualcomm Demos LTE-TDD Broadcast in China

Qualcomm, in collaboration with Sohu.com, conducted a live public demonstration of LTE-TDD Broadcast in China, featuring High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and Dynamic Adaptive Streaming Over HTTP (DASH) technologies.  LTE Broadcast enables the multicast of high-demand content such as live sporting events, breaking news or software updates, so that multiple users receive the same content simultaneously.

Qualcomm said the demo utilized its LTE Broadcast solution for the evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) platform along with devices based on its reference designs, Snapdragon 400 processors and integrated Qualcomm Gobi modems.

The demo took place today during the Qualcomm Reference Design & Wireless Innovation Summit in Shenzhen.

"We're excited to be supporting the growth and evolution of LTE networks worldwide," said Raj Talluri, Senior Vice President of Product Management, QTI. "With LTE Broadcast, operators can better utilize their existing LTE infrastructure to deliver customers an optimized, premium video experience on the latest mobile devices without overloading their networks."

"This demonstration marks an important milestone in the deployment of LTE Broadcast, which we believe will significantly enhance our customers' ability to view popular, live content directly on their mobile devices," said Zeng, Xiongjie, President of Sohu Mobile Video.  "We're excited to be working with QTI to bring this innovative technology to market."

http://www.qualcomm.com
http://www.sohu.com

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Video: SDN and the Future of Service Provider Networks

SDN makes for better transport in the network says David Jameson, Principal Solutions Architect for Fujitsu.  Networks are no longer being defined by the hardware that is in place. SDN is opening the door to programmable networks, making new service types more easily implementable.  Fujitsu has multiple proof-of-concepts under development globally, including a bandwidth-on-demand and provisioning tool that can automatically create a circuit across existing FLASHWAVE 9500 and CDS platforms.

See 3-minute video:  http://youtu.be/713IkuFdGWI



Cisco Beats Estimates with Quarterly Revenue of $11.5 Billion

Cisco reported third quarter revenue of $11.5 billion, net income on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis of $2.2 billion or $0.42 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $2.6 billion or $0.51 per share. Revenue was down 5.5% compared with the same period last year, while net income declined 12% compared to last year.

"I'm pleased with our performance in Q3. Our financial results exceeded the guidance we provided last quarter as we demonstrated clear progress on returning to growth. The entire team is focused on moving Cisco forward aggressively and we remain confident in our long-term goal to be the #1 IT company," stated John Chambers, Cisco chairman and chief executive officer.

Some highlights:

  • Total US orders grew 7% y/y, while U.S. commercial and US enterprise orders were both up 10% y/y.  However, emerging markets continued to be challenged with orders declining (7%) y/y.  BRIC+M orders were down (13%) y/y.
  • Customer reception for the new Application Centric Infrastructure architecture is "very strong."  It will take several quarters before high-end switching really begins growing. There were 175 customers for the Nexus 9000 and the pipeline is close to 1,000.
  • Data center revenue overall grew 29% y/y.  The UCS product line experienced its 17th consecutive quarter of market share gains
  • Sourcefire fuels security revenue up 10% y/y; orders up 20% y/y.
  • Service Provider orders declined (5%) y/y, which is up from a (12%) decline in Q2.
  • ASR 9000 revenue grew 59% y/y. 
  • Switching revenue declined (6%) y/y; switching gross margins remain strong.

http://investor.cisco.com/eventdetail.cfm?EventID=143119