Sunday, July 6, 2014

Blueprint: Street-Level Small Cell Wireless Backhaul For Outdoor Small Cells

by Erik Boch, MSEE, Peng
CTO, VP of Engineering and Co-founder
DragonWave Inc

The global small cell market can be represented as being partially “indoor” small cells (pico, femto cells), or “outdoor” small cells (“micro” cells). Backhaul availability is of critical/primary interest to the success of this mobile network segment (see Figure 1). In the indoor environment, small cells can often capitalize on existing backhaul infrastructure, however in the outdoor small cell case the picture is quite different.
In the outdoor environment, fiber “close” to a micro-cell site doesn’t generally mean that there is a point-of-presence which allows cost effective or timely deployment of a fiber spurline to the micro-cell site (located on a store front, or lamp-pole for example). As a result, wireless backhaul technology is a very important contributor to the expected build-out strategies in small cell networking. Fiber penetration statistics sit about ~16% , which includes FFTH and FTTB/E, so it’s logical to assume that Fiber to the Street-Lamp-Pole (SLP)” or “Traffic-Light-Pole (TLP)” is a very small value.

A growing market consensus is that micro-cellular network segments will tie into local macro-cellular points-of-presence (PoPs) . These PoPs tend to be on high point locations in the dense urban environment. The problem with servicing these from the macro PoP is that the “street furniture” onto which the micro-cell equipment is mounted generally doesn’t have a clear LoS connection path. Assuming installations at/near roadway intersections, only 5% - 15%  of these locations have clear LoS to the elevated macro PoP locations.

As a result of this reality, conventional Line-of-Sight (LoS) radio link technology has been seen as somewhat limiting, despite its other positive attributes, namely;
  • Many spectrum choices. Lots of available spectrum in site-licensed, area-licensed, or unlicensed segments.
    o At high frequencies, antenna sizes can be made very small whilst beam shaping for optimized spatial filtering of static and dynamic multipath contributors in the path.
  • Very high degree of deployment success certainty.
  • Predictable over-life availability performance.
  • Use of FDD technology which allows for low delay and low delay-variability.
  • The use of very high frequency radio systems in street-level backhaul links allows the use of the low-multipath channel just above the vehicular traffic in the roadways, assuming they have properly designed antenna beam shapes. This avoids, or largely mitigates flat and selective fading impacts to the radio link (which results in superior link performance stability).
Despite some of the attractive strengths of LoS radio systems, the path blockage reality has incented various non-Line-of-Site (so called nLoS or NLoS) radio system products to have been brought to market. Generally, these systems rely on low RF frequencies (i.e. < 6GHz) and the use of modem/waveform techniques that allow varying degrees of tolerance of the harsh propagation environments involved (i.e. OFDM, MIMO). There are several residual artifacts that the operator has to accept when adopting this technology, namely;
  • There is very limited spectrum available.
    o Difficult to achieve the needed high capacities.
    o If operating unlicensed, there is a significant risk of interference. This can negatively impact capacity, but also can severely impact delay and delay variability.
    o Spectrum allocations often drive the use of TDD technology, which negatively impacts delay and delay variability.
  • It is not possible to predict with certainty the success/outcome of the installation of a non-LoS radio link.
  • It is not possible to know the over-life radio link availability.
  • Small physical form factors [usually] dictated by microcell installations cause larger beamwidth operation. This in turn leads to an increased vulnerability to flat and selective fading, particularly acute when considering street-level links in which the dynamic impacts of vehicular traffic can have severe impacts to the radio channel performance.
Higher frequency waveforms have also been used to build nLoS/NLoS links using reflected/bounced path geometries. 28 GHz was used in the 1990’s by CellularVision to deliver consumer TV services. Recently similar types of links have been demonstrated successfully at frequencies above 6 GHz and as high as 60 GHz . However, these suffer from difficulties in predicting performance in advance of installation, similarly to sub-6GHz.

The resulting reality is that the various wireless solutions have different attributes that need to be optimally combined such that the resulting “networking” solution provides a predictable, reliable and available backhaul; function.

So how does this get done? One backhaul networking solution (see Figure 2) can be composed of the following:
  • LoS high capacity radio shot from a macro [high] site to a street level PoP.
  • Once at the street level, build rings, zig-zagging LoS radio shots up the center of the roadways. The use of high frequency delivers high capacity, low delay & delay variability, and stable operation in the presence of vehicular (and other) multipath.
  • The use of self-healing rings is desirable because in order to keep availability high … as there are unforeseen propagation impairments, and network node outages that are a reality. Downed poles, interruptions to power, elevated maintenance equipment (etc.) need to be realistically considered.
  • Spur shots used to pull in local base station sites which can’t be directly designed onto the ring path.
  • Use of nLoS radio technology to address [the odd] blocked link which can’t be deigned out of the solution.

In summary, understanding the beneficial attributes and limitations of various wireless technology solutions can allow optimized combinations of LoS and n/NLoS technologies into reliable and deployable backhaul networking solutions – a key enabler for outdoor small cell deployments.

About the Author
Erik Boch holds a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University in Ottawa and is a registered professional engineer. Erik has held senior engineering or technical management positions at a number of communications and aerospace companies namely Litton Systems, ComDev, Lockheed Martin and Alcatel Networks (formerly Newbridge). While at Alcatel, Erik was AVP of the Wireless Systems Group and was involved in various aspects of microwave & millimeter wave subsystem and system design for more than 22 years. Erik led the R&D team at Alcatel (formerly Newbridge) that introduced the first ATM-based Fixed Wireless Access System in the industry.

Erik has been published extensively in major networking publications, including Telephony, Microwave Journal, Wireless Review, Internet Telephony and America's Network. Erik has spoken at numerous industry events including IEEE sessions, WCA, Broadband Wireless World and IWPC. Erik has served on the Technical Advisory Board of the NCIT (National Capital Institute of Technology). Erik holds several approved RF design patents, with numerous patents pending.

About DragonWave
DragonWave is a leading provider of high-capacity packet microwave solutions that drive next-generation IP networks. DragonWave's carrier-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 Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America. For more information, visit

1  Data from , June 2013
2  Small Cell Forum
3  DragonWave field data
4  Ericcson at 28 GHz, DragonWave at 60 GHz

Huawei Joins Europe's 5G Infrastructure Association

Huawei will join the board of the 5G Infrastructure Association in Europe, which represents the private interests participating in the EU's 5G Public and Private Partnership (5G-PPP).

The 5G Public-Private Partnership (5G PPP) was formed earlier this year with a mission to secure Europe’s leadership in the particular areas where it is strong in networking technologies.  The initiative will also explore new areas, such as smart cities, e-health, intelligent transport, education or entertainment & media.

Huawei said it will place significant effort in driving 5G foundational technology research, tests and large scale trials in collaboration with partners to assess the technical feasibility and business viability of new 5G technologies.

•    Alcatel-Lucent
•    Astrium Satellites
•    Atos
•    Deutsche Telekom
•    DOCOMO Communications Laboratories Europe GmbH
•    Ericsson
•    Huawei Technologies Düsseldorf GmbH
•    NEC Europe Ltd., NEC Laboratories Europe
•    Nokia Solutions and Networks
•    Orange Labs
•    Portugal Telecom
•    SES
•    Telecom Italia
•    Telefónica I+D
•    Telenor ASA
•    Telespazio
•    Thales Alenia Space
•    Turk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş.
•    Centre Tecnologic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC)
•    Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Telecomunicazioni (CNIT)
•    Fundacion IMDEA Networks
•    Instituto de Telecomunicações
•    University of Bologna – DEI
•    Integrasys SA
•    M.B.I. S.R.L.
•    Nextworks s.r.l.
•    Quobis
•    Sequans Communications

Thursday, July 3, 2014

SMIC to Manufacture 28nm Qualcomm Snapdragon Processors

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMCI), of China's largest and most advanced semiconductor foundries, inked a deal with Qualcomm to manufacture Snapdragon processors using 28nm process technology.

The companies said the deal will help accelerate SMIC’s 28nm process maturity and capacity, and will also make SMIC one of the first semiconductor foundries in China to offer production locally for some of Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon processors on 28nm node, both PolySiON (PS) and high-K dielectrics metal gate (HKMG).

“We are delighted to enter this collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies since this marks a significant milestone on the readiness and competitiveness of SMIC’s 28nm process technologies,” said Dr. Tzu-Yin Chiu, chief executive officer and executive director, SMIC. “This step forward demonstrates SMIC’s capabilities and commitments on bringing up the needed advanced node technologies for addressing customers’ demands and product roadmaps. With Qualcomm Technologies’ support, we are confident that our 28nm technologies will become one of the most important growth drivers for the company. We expect that the 28nm product life cycle longevity will exceed previous nodes, which will help better position SMIC to service the needs of Qualcomm Technologies, as well as others.”

CTERA Raises $25 Million for its Cloud Storage Service Platform

CTERA Networks, a start-up based in Petach Tikvah, Israel, announced a $25 million Series C funding round to accelerate its cloud storage services platform.

CTERA's Cloud Storage Services Platform combine enterprise endpoint backup software, enterprise file sync and share software, and cloud storage gateway appliances. It can be used large enterprises and service providers to sync, serve and protect data from one centrally managed solution that is 100% secure and deployable on the cloud infrastructure of their choice.

The financing round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners who join existing CTERA investors Benchmark Capital, Cisco, and Venrock. CTERA’s existing investors also participated in the Series C round.

Earlier this year, the company announced that more than 21,000 businesses are powered by CTERA technology, and marked the shipment of more than 30,000 CTERA Cloud Storage Gateways to date. Some examples:

  • A large multi-national insurance firm has deployed CTERA Cloud Storage Gateways across thousands of its branch office locations.
  • A large multi-national financial services firm has successfully deployed CTERA’s Enterprise File Sync and Share and Endpoint Backup software to more than 50,000 users across their enterprise.
  • The business services unit of a large telecommunications company has delivered CTERA-powered services to more than 10,000 business customers in less than 12 months.

Zayo Files for IPO

Zayo Group Holdings filed an S-1 statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to a proposed public offering of its common stock.

Zayo operates a fiber network spanning 77,000 route miles across the U.S. and Europe, as well as 28 data centers in markets across the U.S.

The company was founded in 2007 and has completed a number of acquisitions since then. The company has about 1,400 employees.

From Edgar:

From its founding in 2007 through June 30, 2014, Zayo completed acquisitions with an aggregate of $3.7 billion. These include:

Memphis Networx
July 31, 2007
PPL Telecom
August 24, 2007
Indiana Fiber Works
September 28, 2007
November 7, 2007
November 7, 2007
Citynet Fiber Networks
February 15, 2008
Northwest Telephone
May 30, 2008
CenturyTel Tri-State
July 22, 2008
Columbia Fiber Solutions
September 30, 2008
CityNet Holdings Assets
September 30, 2008
Adesta Assets
September 30, 2008
Northwest Telephone California
May 26, 2009
September 9, 2009
AGL Networks
July 1, 2010
Dolphini Assets
September 20, 2010
American Fiber Systems
October 1, 2010
December 1, 2011
December 31, 2011
May 1, 2012
July 2, 2012
August 31, 2012
October 1, 2012
December 14, 2012
December 31, 2012
Core NAP
May 31, 2013
August 1, 2013
October 1, 2013
October 2, 2013
March 4, 2014
May 16, 2014

Nokia Networks Acquires 3-D Geolocation Tool from NICE Systems

Nokia Networks has acquired a 3-D geolocation solution from NICE Systems that can be used to enhance the planning and optimization of mobile networks.  The dead includes the tools, technical expertise, and the right to further develop these capabilities.  Nokia plans to build up a competence center in Israel, develop its future portfolio around 3-D modeling, and increase automation in its services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia said three dimensional modelling can deliver unparalleled accuracy of network performance for multivendor networks.  Combined with Nokia’s services expertise, this technology helps to provide deep insight into traffic trends and the performance of mobile broadband networks.

 “Advanced network planning and optimization services are at the forefront of Nokia Networks’ strategic services to mobile operators.  The evolution of small cells and LTE necessitates more accurate 3-D geolocation capabilities. Nokia Networks  intends to enhance this unique solution in order to offer superior services to our customers, regardless of which network gear they use,” said Dennis Lorenzin, head of Network Planning and Optimization** at the Global Services business unit of Nokia Networks.

Zayo Acquires Data Center in Atlanta

Zayo has acquired Colo Facilities Atlanta ("AtlantaNAP"), an Atlanta data center and managed services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AtlantaNAP has over 72,000 square feet of total data center space, including 42,000 square feet of conditioned colocation space. The Atlanta colocation facility is connected to most major carrier hotels and data centers via high-count and diverse fiber rings, providing customers with increased connectivity options. The SSAE 16 type II compliant facility offers 5Mw of fully redundant 2N UPS power, serviced from diverse utility feeds.

Zayo said AtlantaNAP complements its metro fiber network in the region, which spans over 600 route miles. The deal brings Zayo's number of data centers to 28, with over 570,000 square feet of capacity.

“Atlanta is a high demand colocation market and a growing hub for healthcare, technology, and large enterprises,” said Greg Friedman, vice president of zColo. “The AtlantaNAP facility offers customers a highly secure and redundant infrastructure, and will now be able to leverage Zayo’s existing fiber footprint to provide a connectivity-driven colocation offering in Atlanta for new and existing customers.”

In March, Zayo acquired CoreXchange, Inc., a data center, bandwidth and managed services provider in Dallas, Texas. Financial terms were not disclosed.  The purchase adds one new data center to Zayo's zColo portfolio. In addition, zColo will secure an additional 12,000 square feet in CoreXchange’s suite at its existing data center in the Dallas Infomart at 1950 N. Stemmons Freeway.

The acquisition yields over 18,000 square feet of total data center space and brings zColo’s national data center count to 27 locations. As a part of the acquisition, Zayo will also assume ownership of ColoUnlimited, CoreXchange’s online presence that facilitates simple, real-time online sales and ordering of colocation services. zColo will continue operating ColoUnlimited in the Dallas market before integrating into Zayo’s recently announced Internet Portal, Tranzact, in the second quarter of 2014. Tranzact will enable transactional ordering capabilities across zColo’s national data center footprint.

In 2013, Zayo acquired CoreNAP, establishing zColo’s presence in Austin, Texas.  

Gowex Suspended for Financial Irregularities

Shares of Gowex, a provider of free municipal Wi-Fi services based in Madrid, Spain, were suspended from trading following reports of financial irregularities.

Over the weekend, the founder and CEO of Gowex, Jenaro Garcia Martin, resigned.  Insiders said Garcia Martin indicated to the board that financial records had been manipulated for some time.  The company subsequently announced plans to file for bankruptcy protection.

Gowex has previously announced multiple partnerships with cities and public transport companies to deploy a free Wi-Fi service supported by its business model.

Public transport Wi-Fi projects included with Madrid & Barcelona City Tour, the Subte and the Metrobus of Buenos Aires, the intercity buses of Madrid Arriva de Blas, etc.

Google Chrome to support WebRTC

Google Chrome is implementing WebRTC to enable users to launch Hangouts in the browser without needing a plug-in.

The capability is already available for Chrome Dev and Canary users.  Google plans to update Chrome shortly.

  • WebRTC is a free, open project that enables web browsers with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple JavaScript APIs.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Qualcomm Acquires Wilocity, Combining 60 GHz WiGig with 802.11ac Wi-Fi

Qualcomm has acquired Wilocity, a start-up specializing in 60 GHz wireless chipsets based on the IEEE 802.11ad standard, also known as WiGig technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Qualcomm is launching a family of tri-band platforms that combine Qualcomm Atheros' Wi-Fi and WiGig solutions to significantly increase performance and enable cutting-edge wireless applications. The initial tri-band platform is a reference design based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, which is the world’s first mobile platform designed to support WiGig to enable applications such as 4k video streaming, peer-to-peer content sharing, networking, wireless docking, and backing up entire media libraries in seconds.

Qualcomm said WiGig technology brings multi-gigabit speeds for next gen mobile applications and allows for greater cellular network offload. 802.11ad also extends the Qualcomm VIVE portfolio, and builds on the company’s recent initiatives to revolutionize Wi-Fi networks with11ac 2.0 solutions with MU-MIMO.  Tri-band Wi-Fi solutions from Qualcomm Atheros integrate the multi-gigabit performance of 802.11ad operating in the 60 GHz spectrum band along with 802.11ac that operates in the 5 GHz band and 802.11b/g/n in the 2.4 GHz band. In combination, 11ad and 11ac create the most powerful and efficient wireless solution in the market; coupling the whole home coverage of 11ac with the in-area multi-gigabit connectivity of 11ad will provide users with a superior connected experience.

“Qualcomm is continually innovating and investing in leadership technologies to drive value for our customers while creating new growth opportunities for our mobile, computing and networking platforms. WiGig will play an important role in Qualcomm’s strategy to address consumers’ increasingly sophisticated smartphone, tablet and computing requirements to support applications—such as immediate streaming of 4K video and high throughput peer-to-peer communication to enable the next generation of social interactions between users sharing content,” said Amir Faintuch, president, Qualcomm Atheros.

Qualcomm Atheros has been an investor in Wilocity since 2008 and worked closely with Wilocity to develop and distribute tri-band solutions for the computing market since 2011.

  • The WiGig MAC and PHY Specification, version 1.1 supports data rates up to 7 Gbps -- more than ten times faster than the highest 802.11n rate.  The spec supplements and extends the 802.11 Media Access Control (MAC) layer and is backward compatible with the IEEE 802.11 standard.

  • Wilocity is headed by Tal Tamir (co-founder and CEO), who prior to co-founding Wilocity in 2007, served as Director of Wireless Strategic Planning at Intel, leading the wireless initiatives for Intel's Centrino mobile technology platform. Tal joined Intel from Conexant, where as General Manager he directed development for voiceband and broadband modem technologies.

Nokia Networks to Acquire SAC Wireless for its Integration Expertise

Nokia Networks agreed to acquire SAC Wireless, a privately-held network integration provider based in Schaumburg, Illinois. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SAC Wireless, which has about 450 employees, supports the rollout of major telecom networks across the United States, including LTE upgrades and indoor/outdoor Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS). The company's core business consists of fully integrated network solutions specializing in site development, architectural and engineering design, construction services, equipment installation, commissioning and integration, operations and maintenance and advisory consulting services.

“This acquisition builds on our existing strengths and continued investment in our customers’ success. Once the transaction has been completed, it will help us increase market share in the network implementation space,” said Ricky Corker, executive vice president of North America for Nokia Networks. “With SAC Wireless’ capabilities complementing our own in-house expertise, we are well positioned to bring enhanced quality and increased end-to-end delivery efficiency to our customers. No other infrastructure provider is offering this level of proven services.”

“As we continue to build an even stronger foundation for our U.S. services business, we see great opportunities to help our customers address the tough challenges of network deployment. These range from indoor/outdoor small cells, distributed antenna systems, 4G LTE upgrades, and solving backhaul connectivity and bandwidth issues,” said Jorg Erlemeier, vice president of North America Market Services for Nokia Networks. “SAC Wireless is to augment our existing network implementation service capabilities and increase the size and effectiveness of our delivery organization.”

DARPA Develops Silicon Transmitter Operating in Millimeter-wave Range

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced an all-silicon, microchip-sized transmitter that operates at 94 GHz -- the first silicon-only SoC that has achieved such a high frequency, which falls in the millimeter-wave range.

Researchers with DARPA’s Efficient Linearized All-Silicon Transmitter ICs (ELASTx) program have now shown that silicon chips be used for high data rate, millimeter-wave wireless communications systems.  Conventionally, such systems have used gallium arsenide (GaAs) or gallium nitride (GaN) chips.

DARPA said its all-silicon SoC transmitter uses a digitally assisted power amplifier that dynamically adapts amplifier performance characteristics to changing signal requirements, and it can support a range of modulation formats.  Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems supported the research program.

“This accomplishment opens the door for co-designing digital CMOS [complementary metal oxide semiconductors] and millimeter-wave capabilities as an integrated system on an all-silicon chip, which should also make possible new design architectures for future military RF systems,” said Dev Palmer, DARPA program manager.

Nexenta Hires Hillary Clinton for Keynote Speech

Nexenta, a start-up offering Software-Defined Storage solutions, has signed Hillary Rodham Clinton to deliver a keynote address at its upcoming OpenSDx Summit on Thursday, August 28, 2014 in San Francisco.  The invitation-only event coincides with the last day of VMworld 2014, which also occurs in San Francisco.

Fiber Theft Knocks Out Telefónica Movistar Colombia

Telefónica Movistar Colombia suffered a widespread outage of its mobile network in the capital city of Bogotá and other parts of country.  The company cited an act of theft that damaged its fiber infrastructure.

Virgin Mobile users were also impacted. Telefónica's fixed line, broadband and TV services were not impacted.

Support Grows for Apache Spark in Big Data Streaming

Cloudera, Databricks, IBM, Intel, and MapR announced their collaboration to collectively broaden the range of tools and technologies in the Hadoop ecosystem that leverage Apache Spark as an underlying processing engine.

Apache Spark is an open-source data analytics cluster computing framework that promises to run programs up to 100x faster than Hadoop MapReduce in memory, or 10x faster on disk.

The companies said their new collaboration expands upon the Spark momentum to include several key Hadoop projects - starting with the Apache Hive SQL engine (Hive). Using Spark as the underlying execution engine, this effort will improve the performance of batch SQL jobs in Hive, while seamlessly maintaining compatibility with the core Hive code base.  The companies are also investigating ways to adapt Apache Pig to leverage Spark, as well as other popular tools, such as Sqoop and Search.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Coming Soon -- 25 and 50 Gigabit Ethernet

A new industry consortium, including Arista Networks, Broadcom, Google, Mellanox Technologies, and Microsoft, announced the availability of a specification optimized to allow data center networks to run over a 25 or 50 Gigabit per second (Gbps) Ethernet link protocol. The specification prescribes a single-lane 25 Gbps Ethernet and dual-lane 50 Gbps Ethernet link protocol, enabling up to 2.5X higher performance per physical lane or twinax copper wire between the rack endpoint and switch compared to current 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps Ethernet links. The new specification is being made available royalty-free by the Consortium members to any data center ecosystem vendor or consumer who joins the Consortium.

The 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium said its mission is to support an industry-standard, interoperable Ethernet specification that boosts the performance and slashes the interconnect cost per Gbps between the server Network Interface Controller (NIC) and Top-of-Rack (ToR) switch. The new specification covers 25 Gbps and 50 Gbps Ethernet physical layer (PHY) and media access control layer (MAC) behavior, including virtual lane alignment, autonegotiation, and forward error correction characteristics.

“We believe that 25 and 50 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) serves a focused market requirement for next-generation, performance and cost optimized server- and storage-to-switch interconnects and are proud to be a key contributor to the Consortium’s 25 and 50 GbE specification," stated Rochan Sankar, Product Marketing Director, Infrastructure and Networking Group, Broadcom.

“The companies joining the 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium are taking a major step forward in increasing the performance of data center networks,” said Anshul Sadana, Senior Vice President, Customer Engineering, Arista Networks. “With ever-increasing server performance and with the uplinks from the leaf to the spine layer migrating to 100 Gbps in the near future, it makes sense to increase the access speed from 10 Gbps to 25 and 50 Gbps.”

Ericsson Shows Pre-standard 5G at 5 Gbps in 15 GHz band

Ericsson demonstrated pre-standard 5G technology delivering 5 Gbps throughput in the 15 GHz frequency band.

Ericsson's demo, which was presented for senior management at NTT DOCOMO and SK Telecom, employed a new radio interface concept and advanced Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology. Ericsson 5G network development activity includes new antenna technologies with wider bandwidths, higher frequencies and shorter transmission time intervals.

Ericsson said it is developing radio base stations built with baseband units and radio units specifically for 5G trials. Small cells in a heterogeneous network environment, new frequency bands (including 15 GHz) and high-speed, high-capacity backhaul transmission are also key 5G focus areas for Ericsson.

Johan Wibergh, head of Business Unit Networks, says: "5G will impact both the access and core of mobile networks so we are working closely with leading operators, including NTT DOCOMO and SK Telecom, to ensure a practical and proactive evolution. The development of advanced radio technologies is one of the first critical steps in the realization of a 5G future."

Microsoft Adds Encryption to Azure ExpressRoute, OneDrive, Office 365

Microsoft announced a set of security enhancements to its major cloud services and the opening of a Transparency Center on its campus in Redmond, Washington.  Highlights of the announcement include:

  • Enhanced message encryption in Office 365 as well as Azure’s addition of ExpressRoute, a service that enables businesses to create private connections between Azure datacenters and infrastructure on their premises or in a colocation environment. 

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption is now enabled in for both outbound and inbound email.
  • Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) encryption support is now enabled in for sending and receiving mail between email providers. Forward secrecy uses a different encryption key for every connection, making it more difficult for attackers to decrypt connections.
  • OneDrive has now enabled PFS encryption support as well. OneDrive customers now automatically get forward secrecy when accessing OneDrive through, our mobile OneDrive application and our sync clients. As with’s email transfer, this makes it more difficult for attackers to decrypt connections between their systems and OneDrive.
  • The new Microsoft Transparency Center provides participating governments with the ability to review source code for the company's key product. This is meant to assure software integrity and confirm there are no “back doors.” Microsoft plans to open addition Transparency Centers in other locations, including Brussels.

Interxion Offers Direct Connection to AWS and Azure from European Data Centers

Interxion announced private connections to both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure from all of its 37 data centers across 11 countries.

Private connections are now available from leading AWS Direct Connect and Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute network partners such as Level 3, Verizon, AT&T, IX Reach and BT – who all have points of presence in Interxion data centres.

Private connections between public cloud platforms and enterprise IT infrastructure provide better performance, lower latency and improved security compared to Internet-based connections.

“Our data centres act as a true Cloud Hub, enabling interconnection between Cloud Services Providers, their customers and channel partners making it attractive to customers building and managing reliable and high performance hybrid IT solutions. Thanks to our rich carrier community, our customers are provided with a choice to order services from. For example, in London, Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam we have at least 6 AWS Direct Connect and all 4 network partners for Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute,” said Vincent in’t Veld, Director of Cloud Segment at Interxion.

AWS Adds Lowest-cost EC2 Instance Option

Amazon Web Services announced the availability of T2 instances -- the lowest cost Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance type to date. Target applications include web servers, developer environments, and small databases.

Th new tier significantly reduces costs for applications that do not require sustained high CPU performance but benefit from the ability to burst to full core performance. T2 On-Demand Instance prices start at $0.013 per hour ($9.50 per month). When used with Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) General Purpose (SSD) volumes, T2 instances also bring high-performance storage options to customers at a very low cost.

Customers can launch T2 instances using the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), AWS SDKs, AWS Marketplace, and third-party libraries. T2 instances are available in three instance sizes and are initially available in the US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Australia (Sydney), and Brazil (Sao Paulo) Regions. T2 instances can be purchased as On-Demand and Reserved Instances.

“Amazon EC2 provides an unmatched selection of instances to support customers running whatever workload they want on AWS. Some of our customers have requested instance types that optimize their performance and cost for applications that don’t use the full CPU capability frequently, but require the full CPU resources for short bursts,” said Matt Garman, Vice President, Amazon EC2 at Amazon Web Services. “T2 instances address this need by providing a consistent baseline performance with the ability to burst to full CPU core performance – all at a very low cost.”