Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Verizon Confirms VoLTE Coming Later this Year

Verizon confirmed plans to commercially launch its Voice over LTE service across its nationwide network later this year. A specific launch date was not specified.

From the beginning, Verizon’s VoLTE service will offer an HD Voice experience using the AMR-wideband standard.  The company said it will have a robust line-up of VoLTE-enabled smartphones available when the service launches. A software upgrade will also be available for certain other smartphones.

Verizon’s VoLTE will also offer video calling options, including making and receiving video calls directly from contact lists. As part of the VoLTE video calling experience, customers have the ability to change their calls instantly from voice-only to voice and video. The rollout also sets the stage for future enhancements through Rich Communications Services (RCS), which enable things like including large file transfer, more robust group messaging, and more location sharing.


Cisco Names Intercloud Partners: Dimension Data, Sungard, Telstra

Cisco announced partnerships with Dimension Data (part of NTT, Sungard Availability Services and Telstra to extend its vision of the Intercloud.  The partners will align their public cloud infrastructure to the Cisco Cloud architecture and deliver Cisco Cloud services to customers and resellers.

Cisco's open Intercloud allows local hosting and local provider options that enable data sovereignty. The hybrid cloud capabilities that differentiate the Cisco Cloud are built upon the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Cisco Intercloud Fabric technologies.

Some highlights of the partnerships

The deal with Dimension Data expands a 23-year relationship. Cisco will use Dimension Data's Managed Cloud Platform and SaaS solutions to deliver a suite of midmarket cloud services to its customers and resellers. Dimension Data and Cisco will partner to deliver an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solution that will be packaged with Cisco technology and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, including Microsoft SQL Server and SharePoint. The Cisco validated and co-branded solutions will be sold by Cisco through the Cisco channel partner community. Dimension Data's global cloud service is available via 10 data centers around the world, with plans to expand to 13 locations by September 2014. As a Cisco Intercloud partner, Dimension Data will evolve its Managed Cloud Platform to embrace Cisco ACI and Intercloud Fabric — the building blocks of the Cisco Cloud architecture

Sungard Availability Services is a Cisco Intercloud partner, utilizing its cloud infrastructure to deliver new Cisco Cloud services to customers and resellers. As a Cisco Intercloud partner, Sungard AS is expanding its cloud infrastructure utilizing the foundational elements of the Cisco Cloud architecture, including Cisco ACI. Sungard AS is poised to become the first cloud provider to market with a Cisco ACI-based public cloud offer built on an application-centric cloud architecture. Cisco will feature two cloud services from Sungard AS in its service catalog: an IaaS offering that enables customers to rapidly deploy hybrid clouds; and a disaster recovery-as-a-service offering to deliver business continuity.

Telstra said it will build a cloud infrastructure together with Cisco that provisions cloud and network services in real-time, providing greater speed, security and performance.   This includes investing in the Cisco Evolved Services Platform for its networking infrastructure, enabling seamless and highly secure delivery of cloud applications to customers, across the network and cloud, all the way to the branch and user desktop. Telstra’s cloud offerings based on Cisco’s global cloud platform will be available in Australia by the end of 2014.

In March, Cisco announced plans to build "the world’s largest global Intercloud" – a network of clouds – together with a set of partners.  The idea is to leverage a distributed network and security architecture designed for high-value application workloads, real-time analytics, “near infinite” scalability and full compliance with local data sovereignty laws. Cisco's open Intercloud promises APIs for rapid application development and a new enterprise-class portfolio of cloud IT services for businesses, service providers and resellers. It will support OpenStack and multiple hypervisors. It will also leverage Cisco's recently announced Application Centric Infrastructure.

Cisco plans to invest over $1 billion to build its expanded cloud business over the next two years following a "partner-centric" business model.  The Cisco Intercloud will be hosted across a global network of Cisco data centers and partner data centers. It will offer value-added application- and network-centric cloud services to accelerate the Internet of Everything.

Cisco's John Chambers and Rob Lloyd on Consolidation, Intercloud, ACI and NSA

On Industry consolidation

In your keynote, you predicted a "brutal consolidation" for the IT sector.  What do you foresee?

John Chambers:  I've seen this movie before.  All of our competitors from 15 years ago are gone.  They were good companies but they missed critical transitions. Now you are seeing this accelerate. The role of a pure hardware player will be challenged.  We are a software-hardware-ASIC-cloud company moving forward.  I do think that of the top 5 IT players today, only two or three will really be relevant five years from now. It isn't a given that Cisco will be one of those. We have to change to get ahead in the transition.

On Intercloud

What is the real value proposition for Intercloud? What's in it for other Service Providers?

Rob Lloyd:  The primary differentiators with current infrastructure-as-a-service offerings are (1) Intercloud partnerships will be based on ACI (Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure) for handling profiles that can scale from private clouds to public clouds, (2) Intercloud partners will embrace the idea of workload mobility or hypervisor independent workloads, which is a recent innovation that allows the customer to have choice to move from a VSphere-application to AWS or Azure application via APIs. We've tested workload mobility already with Amazon, (3) Many of the services that we plan on bringing to the Intercloud partnerships will be networking services.  We will deliver an increasing number of cloud-based networking services.  Many of the Intercloud offers will be branded solely by the Service Providers.  That will be the case with Telstra, which was the first Intercloud partner that we announced.

John Chambers: To really know if an idea is going to be successful, I like to sit down with the customer.  If they get really excited about the new idea, then we move. This was the case with Telstra.  It's clear that they get how an Intercloud will transform their bottom line.

On a deal with Rackspace

To be successful in cloud services, is it vital for Cisco to acquire a leading player such as Rackspace?

John Chambers: The purpose of our network architecture is to help us to prioritize what we are going to do in each market.  We don't move into a new market unless there is a real chance of capturing 40% share with sustainable differentiation.  We try not to move into markets that don't have very strong gross margins -- unless they are very strategic for us.  In this case we are talking about a market that is very price sensitive that is taking on giants like Google, Facebook, AWS, Microsoft, etc.  In this type of scenario, we will look for partnership opportunities rather than acquisitions.

Rob Lloyd:  The concept of the Intercloud was announced at our Partner Conference.  That was not accidental.  Our desire is to build a Star Alliance of cloud providers.  Any company that is in that space today should be part of our roadmap to build the Intercloud.  Customers will choose to use its scale.  They will embrace the constructs describer earlier, namely, ACI architecture, OpenStack automation, movable workloads, etc. This ecosystem will expand and it could grow to include any of the companies that we think of today as major cloud providers.


How did you feel about the most recent revelation that the NSA may have tampered with Cisco products prior to delivery to certain customers?  Did this prompt your recent letter to President Obama?

John Chambers:  I'm not going to dodge this question.  But first, let's take a step back to the days immediately after 9/11. I was asked by President Bush to be a co-chair for the National Infrastructure Advisory Council and so I understand what is possible. This country has been very fortunate that there have not been addition terrorist attacks.  Things change, however. When I saw the picture (of the Cisco box being tampered with), I did not know how to interpret it.  Is it true? Remember nothing has been proven at this point, and there isn't any indication that Cisco is involved.  The photo could very likely have been a training program.

The issue is really simple and too important to the global supply chain.  It is essential for our customers to trust us. This isn't just an issue for the U.S. high tech industry.  It is global. Customers have to be able to trust the supply chain or things will begin to break down.

My parents, who were doctors, taught me never to get too excited and I've never raised my voice as CEO.  I knew this could be a real issue for Cisco, even though there is no reason to think we were involved. Therefore, I made the decision to write the letter to President Obama.  This is so important to the future of our industry.  We have got to change.  I like our leader.  I know that the NSA has good people and they are a good customer for us, but the situation is different now than the days after 9/11 .  We have got to change. It isn't so important how we got to where we are now as to where we go from here.

On the issue of tampering, how are you planning to ensure that the customer gets the original product that you shipped?  

Distribution and shipment is just one part in the production cycle.  You also have to look at where the product is manufactured.  Securing hardware manufacturing is easier than software development. We believe that we have the most secure supply chain in the industry. You have to offer more than just a single step in security. We've been focused on securing the supply chain also because of the issue of counterfeiting. The are boxes out there that look identical to Cisco. It's really hard to tell the difference.  In some cases, it may be nation-states that have created the counterfeit. We have been cranking up security but at the same time we do not want to see a break-down of the global supply chain.  On an international level, we need rules of the road. Governments need to say 'we are not going to mess with the supply chain.'


What is the No. 1 business case for Application Centric Infrastructure?  Why would customers want to buy it?

John Chambers:  The first reason is to have common policy for the data center, cloud, WAN and through the access network.  If you consider what application centric infrastructure does, it is remarkably simple -- it delivers applications, network, scale, and security. As basic as that sounds, that's how we charted the original cloud in the data center combining compute, storage and the network. The value is in bring applications to life to run wherever you want with common policy and management.

Rob Lloyd:  I think the No. 1 use case for ACI is security.  I think we are going to see security policies deployed from data centers to WANs to access.  I think we are going to see that the ability to react quickly to a threat or attack quickly will become automated and handled network policy. Once that threats are mitigated, the isolated node could be decommissioned and then the rest of the network will return to a normal state.  Many of the breaches in security often happen between the silos in network infrastructure and these can be avoided with end-to-end common policy.  This will be one of the strongest arguments for ACI.

John Chambers: If you want to track our progress in ACI, watch the shipment numbers for Nexus 9000 switches and the number of ACI customers that we announce each quarter. There were 25 Nexus 9000 customers a quarter ago and there are 175 customers today.  ACI is in a number of trials now and shipments are coming soon.  Watch how our customer count will go up. That will be the real measure of whether we hit a homerun with this one.

Transcribed and paraphrased from a press conference at Cisco Live! on 20-May-2014

Infonetics: VoLTE Fuels 37% Year-Over-Year Growth in Q1 Carrier VoIP and IMS market;

Worldwide service provider VoIP and IMS equipment revenue totaled $992 million in 1Q14, an increase of 37% from 1Q13, but a sequential decline of 9%, according to a new report from Infonetics. Most segments were down on a sequential basis following a strong 4Q13.

VoLTE continues to positively impact the service provider VoIP and IMS equipment market, though we look for the market to slow this year as operators commercially launch services and draw down capacity built over the past year,” notes Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS at Infonetics Research.

Myers continues: “Already this year we have seen AT&T, PCCW/HKT, and other operators launch VoLTE services, and NTT DoCoMo is set to do so in June. There will be additional launches in 2014 by large and small providers alike that will hit the bottom line, but mobile does not completely dominate the picture. Spending on Class 5 replacement and voice over broadband (VoBB) and SIP trunking expansion will continue.”

Some additional highlights:

  • The core IMS and voice application server segment posted the strongest growth in 1Q14, continuing to be driven by VoLTE activity in the large North American and Asian markets
  • All regions are up on a year-over-year basis in 1Q14, with Asia Pacific and North America forming the foundation for the IMS rise due to activity from mobile operators
  • The standout vendor in 1Q14 is Alcatel-Lucent, rising to the top due to strong growth of core IMS and voice application server revenue, particularly in North America.


HP Intros Orchestrated Datacenter Software

HP introduced its Orchestrated Datacenter solution, an automation and cloud-management suite for optimizing data center operations. This includes orchestrating the full stack—from  physical, virtual servers, networks, storage and databases to the middleware and the application layer—and automating end-to-end IT workflows across the service desk, monitoring and security operations.

HP said its Orchestrated Datacenter lets IT teams design, customize and deploy these services securely in test and production, as well as across traditional, private and public cloud environments.

“IT organizations must sharpen their focus from just managing  servers and infrastructure to orchestrating the delivery of end to end services and applications that help differentiate businesses in the market,” said Ajay Singh, senior vice president and general manager, IT Operations Management, Software, HP. “The Orchestrated Datacenter empowers customers to orchestrate across the entire operations cycle ensuring timely delivery of infrastructure and application services with consistency, compliance and reliability.”


Vitesse Licenses GigE IP Cores for Freescale's QorIQ Processors

Freescale Semiconductor has licensed Vitesse Semiconductor's VSC9953-01 SparX Gigabit Ethernet switch IP core for use in its 28nm QorIQ T1040 quad-core and T1020 dual-core communications processors, now sampling to customers. Targeted applications include gateway routers and industrial automation, as well as unified threat management (UTM) and network attached storage (NAS) networking. Together, Freescale's processor family and Vitesse's complementary portfolio of Ethernet switches, PHYs and software deliver carrier-grade Ethernet functionality for diverse mixed control and data plane applications.

"Freescale's QorIQ T1040/T1020 64-bit embedded communications processors are among the industry's first to integrate a Gigabit Ethernet switch," said Nikolay Guenov, director of product management for Freescale's Digital Networking group. "Vitesse's proven switch IP core and high-quality support enabled Freescale to quickly bring to market a highly integrated, scalable managed Ethernet solution with significant performance and system level design benefits."

"Gigabit Ethernet connectivity is becoming a de facto standard in various applications, such as storage, smart grid and other industrial uses," said Brian Jaroszewski, senior product marketing manager of IP licensing at Vitesse. "Licensing our IP cores to market leaders such as Freescale strategically aligns with Vitesse's goal to penetrate adjacent or similar markets. The fact that the IP core reliability and quality are directly validated in Vitesse's external switch IC chips minimizes our customers' integration risks and expedites their time to market with field-proven Gigabit Ethernet solutions."


Monday, May 19, 2014

Cisco Live! - Tomorrow Starts Here

Cisco kicked off its 25th annual customer show with the theme of "Tomorrow Starts Here" and a big emphasis on two initiatives: the Internet of Everything and its new Application Centric Infrastructure.

In a keynote address in San Francisco to a registered crowd of 25,000 + 200,000 online viewers, Cisco's CEO John Chambers began by saying that he expects the next few years will bring "a brutal consolidation to the networking industry. "

Cisco has a goal of becoming the world's leading IT vendor and Chambers predicts that many of its competitors today will be out of business by 2018.  He vowed that Cisco will lead the transformation to software-defined networks in part because it stands alone in the industry with a clearly differentiated, end-to-end network architecture based on driving application performance.

Chambers said that Cisco's decision to pursue custom ASICS to deliver programmable policy control will give it a permanent price/performance advantage in SDN.  Likewise with the nascent market for the Internet of Everything, Chambers said "no one will eat our lunch".

An archive of the presentation in online.


Verizon's XLTE 2X Bandwidth Leverages AWS Spectrum

Verizon Wireless kicked off a marketing campaign to promote XLTE – its new network architecture that aggregates AWS spectrum with the company's existing 700 MHz spectrum to deliver 2x the capacity of regular LTE.

XLTE Ready devices automatically access both 700 MHz spectrum and the AWS spectrum in XLTE cities.  Customers with 4G LTE devices operating solely on the 700 MHz spectrum in XLTE markets also benefit from the extra capacity created by XLTE Ready device traffic moving to the AWS spectrum.

Verizon said nearly all of the devices it sells, including the newest DROID devices, Samsung Galaxy S4, S5 and Note 3, and the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, are XLTE ReadVy when purchased.

"The industry and tech world recognize this is a big deal, and we want consumers to know, too," said Ken Dixon, chief marketing officer of Verizon Wireless. "We continue to offer the very best network, bar none.  Now, XLTE provides an even greater advantage to customers by doubling the 4G LTE bandwidth and providing faster peak speeds in cities coast to coast."

Cisco Unveils Android-powered, Touchscreen Collaboration Screen

Cisco introduced an Android-based desktop collaboration screen that consolidates Cisco IP phone, HD video conferencing, Web browsing, whiteboarding and collaboration tools. It features a hardened version of Android, H.265 codecs, and four wide-band microphones with dynamic noise reduction technology. The device is open for 3rd party applications. Two versions will be offered with pricing for a 24-inch touchscreen version at under $2,000.

+Cisco is also expanding on its WebEx platform to deliver what it calls "Collaborative Meeting Rooms" in the cloud.  Attendees will be able to join the hosted meetings whether they choose a Cisco video endpoint, standards-based video endpoints, or desktop/mobile software clients.  Cisco said its solution can accommodate more concurrent users than any other enterprise-grade solution on the market.


NORDUnet Picks Ciena's Packet/Optical

NORDUnet, an international collaboration between the Nordic national computer networks for research and education (R&E), is deploying converged packet optical platforms and software from Ciena, for programmable 100G Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching.

NORDUnet, which operates an optical transmission system throughout Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Germany, Holland and the UK, will use the network update to provide improved network automation and management capabilities. In addition, Ciena’s Network Transformation Solutions (NTS) consultative practice is providing a comprehensive operations and maintenance package designed for NORDUnet’s unique requirements.

“Research and education institutions have exceptionally demanding network needs. With Ciena’s platforms we can deliver the best possible service experience to our end-customers with the flexibility and agility to quickly react to changing network requirements and to support cross-border collaborations.”


Crehan Research: 10 Gigabit Server Networking Market Surges

Following some recent softness, the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) server networking market delivered impressive results in 1Q14, according to the latest server-class adapter & LOM/controller report from Crehan Research.The strong showing was even more noteworthy given that servers based on Intel's next-generation Grantley platform have not yet hit the market.

"New server micro-architecture platforms, such as Grantley, tend to drive a positive step-function in demand for higher networking speeds," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. "The increased processor performance puts greater demands on the network in conjunction with driving a server-upgrade purchase cycle," he explained. "Such stellar results in the seasonally-soft first calendar quarter, even prior to the arrival of Grantley-based servers, are positive indicators for the market's future growth."

Besides the overall strong growth, the report points to other positive milestones in the server networking market during the quarter, including:

  • Record 10GbE shipments which surpassed a 10-million-port annual run rate
  • 10GBASE-T shipments exceeded a one-million-port annual run rate
  • One vendor – Intel – shipped over a million 10GbE ports during the quarter
  • 40GbE shipments surpassed a 50-thousand-port annual run rate

Last quarter, Crehan Research reported that 10GbE data center switch shipments surpassed those of 1GbE to become a majority of total data center switch shipments. Many of those ports are deployed as uplink, aggregation and core networking connections. Crehan Research now reports that this technology is starting to migrate to direct server access in much greater volumes.


Microsemi Intros Low-Noise, Chip Scale Atomic Clock

Microsemi Corporation introduced its Low Noise Chip Scale Atomic Clock (LN CSAC), which combines the best of oven-controlled crystal oscillator (OCXO) and standard CSAC technologies by employing an ultra-low power crystal oscillator within the control loop of the atomic clock to optimize Allan deviation and phase noise.

Microsemi said its innovations in processing, packaging and manufacturing makes possible portable atomic clocks with leading-edge performance and specifications, including for low noise, which is a critical parameter in many radar and communication applications for both military and industrial sectors.

"LN CSAC leverages the leading edge ultra-low power atomic clock technology developed by Microsemi to produce the only commercially available low power frequency reference and timing module unique within the industry," said Peter Cash, business area director of Microsemi's Space, Defense and Avionics (SDA) business. "This new device produces atomic clock accuracy and crystal oscillator signal purity that can operate using battery power to provide low power signal generation for a broad range of applications. These capabilities operate within the volume of typical ovenized crystal oscillators using a fraction of the power, with features common in sophisticated timing modules."


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.


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.


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."


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.


See also