Monday, August 4, 2014

Procera Brings Real-time, Mobile QoE Measurement to Handsets

Procera Networks introduced a new method for measuring mobile end-user experience by capturing real-time location and RAN QoE awareness data at the SIM card level.

Procera's RAN Perspectives is a software solution for mobile operators that provides real-time location and radio access network (RAN) quality of experience (QoE) data.  The method significantly reduces the number of probes that an operator would need to deploy in their network and reduces the need for expensive drive testing by capturing actual QoE data from subscribers. The thin software client could be loaded over the air to subscriber devices.  Real-time forensics on the RAN connection streams back to the mobile operator using the SMS channel. The solution integrates into Procera's PacketLogic platform for transforming the data into actionable analysis of quality, congestion, applications, and out-of-coverage hotspots in the mobile network.

"RAN Perspectives was developed to solve one of the biggest challenges for mobile operators, providing real-time location and quality information in a cost-effective manner that they can use to deliver higher quality mobile broadband services," said Alexander Haväng, CTO of Procera Networks. "RAN Perspectives is the first Procera product designed specifically for mobile Subscriber quality of experience, and integrates tightly into our existing PacketLogic solutions, including our Customer Care Insights offering that can now deliver real-time forensics on the RAN connection as well as on the data connection for mobile devices."

RAN Perspectives is available for beta testing, and is expected to be generally available in the first quarter of 2015.

Overture Intros 8-Slot 6500 Service Aggregation/Switching Platform

Overture introduced an 8-slot version of its 6500 service aggregation and switching platform, which can be used to deliver Carrier Ethernet over any access method, including fiber, E-Access, copper, SONET, and TDM, with full resiliency.

The 6500 is a key component of Overture’s Ensemble Open Services Architecture (Ensemble OSA), an open platform for service automation and network virtualization. Ensemble orchestration and control software activates the Overture 6500 to build connectivity in the OSA between end customers and virtualized network functions.

The newly introduced 6508 8-slot chassis joins the 3-slot 6504 released in 2013 and uses the same interface modules and processors. The 6508 chassis can serve combinations of up to 192 1GigE and 18 10GigE optical, 768 Ethernet over Copper pairs, 32 Ethernet over SONET, 2688 Ethernet over DS1s from a single 19” chassis.

Overture also noted its latest 6500 software release adds cross-card bonding capabilities for copper and TDM groups to the 6500’s existing cross-card link aggregation and cross-card G.8032v2 Ethernet ring capabilities. Cross-card bonding improves resiliency and eliminates the need for service providers to move pairs from one card to another when addressing pair growth. The 6500 cross-card bonding approach consumes no additional card slots and requires no dedicated switching cards, which means service providers don’t pay a premium for high availability and easy growth.

“The latest enhancements to the 6500, together with our Ensemble OSA, demonstrates how Overture is helping create a fundamentally new approach for service creation, activation and assurance,” said Brian van Voorhis, Senior Product Manager, Overture. “As operators begin to realize the benefits of SDN and NFV integration, we are committed to providing a ubiquitous Carrier Ethernet foundation at the metro service edge so that our customers achieve unmatched service agility and operational efficiency today and for the future.”

Time Warner Cable Promises Up to 6X Broadband Speed Boost in 2015

Time Warner Cable (TWC) promised a major speed boost for its cable modem subscribers in seven markets in 2015: Charlotte, Dallas, Hawaii, Kansas City, Raleigh, San Antonio and San Diego.

These markets will join Los Angeles, New York City and recently announced Austin, where the DOCSIS 3.0 service transformation – known as "TWC Max".  TWC is promising Internet speeds up to six times faster than before.

Customers who subscribe to any of the six Internet plans will receive an increase in speeds at no additional cost, with customers experiencing increases up to six times faster, depending on their current level of speed. For example, customers who subscribe to Standard Service, formerly up to 15 Mbps, will now receive up to 50 Mbps, and customers who subscribe to the Ultimate plan, formerly up to 100 Mbps, will receive up to 300 Mbps – three times their current speeds, at no extra charge. Some customers will need a DOCSIS 3.0 modem to enjoy the full benefits of the speed increases.

“We are committed to reinventing the TWC service experience market-by-market, and we’re pleased to announce the expansion of our efforts to these seven key markets,” said Time Warner Cable Chairman and CEO Robert D. Marcus. “We want our customers to know a new experience is coming that brings them super-fast Internet speeds and a more advanced TV product. Maxx starts with a top-to-bottom network evaluation to ensure optimum performance and rock-solid network reliability, and includes a best-in-class customer experience.”

NTT Com Signs NVIDIA for Hong Kong Data Hub

NVIDIA is using NTT Communications' Hong Kong data centre facilities and Arcstar Global Leased line service as its data hub across the region.

The extended service provides NVIDIA with high speed point-to-point Ethernet leased line with up to 10Gbs capability, which is delivered over an automatic re-routable cable network. This offers its regional hub in Hong Kong dedicated, secure and reliable connectivity with its offices in Asia Pacific and across the globe. The secure private network is also backed by Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) and PC-1 for an ultra-low latency path to the rest of the world.

Tony Chang, NVIDIA APAC IT Infrastructure Manager said, “We have always had a longstanding relationship with NTT Communications that has grown over the last six years. Its high quality data centre has been instrumental in helping us house our data assets, while providing reliable support for business continuity across the region. In particular, we value the role the Professional Services team has played in guiding us through the relocation and migration of IT equipment.

Docker Sells its dotCloud PaaS Business to cloudControl

Berlin-based cloudControl agreed to acquire Docker Inc's dotCloud PaaS (platform as a service) business.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Docker, which entered the PaaS business in 2011, said it is now entirely focused on the the Docker container project.

“While we need to focus our resources to truly seize the opportunity behind the Docker project, it was very important to us to provide a smooth transition for the dotCloud PaaS customers,” said Ben Golub, CEO, Docker, Inc. “cloudControl has years of experience running a world class PaaS, and distinguished themselves by the depth of their dedication to investing in the dotCloud platform and customer base. With cloudControl taking over, customers can continue to rely on the dotCloud PaaS for their mission critical applications.”

AT&T Plans Fiber Broadband Rollout in Sprint's Home Town

AT&T confirmed plans to expand its GigaPower network to the City of Overland Park, Kansas -- it first all-fiber rollout in the state. The all-fiber network will provide services featuring symmetrical upload and download broadband speeds up to 1 Gbps.

"AT&T has been meeting the needs of residents and businesses in the Overland Park area for more than a century. Deployment of this ultra-fast broadband service is just the latest step in delivering the newest technology to the community," said Mike Scott, vice president-external affairs for AT&T Kansas.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

ETSI Makes Progress on NFV - Nine Drafts Released

At its 7th meeting, held this week in Silicon Valley, ETSI’s Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) Industry Specification Group (ISG) released nine draft documents for industry comment and elected a new leadership team.

The nine draft documents, which are now posted online, will together complete the first release of NFV when published at the end of the year.

The documents include an infrastructure overview, the virtualized network functions architecture and the compute, hypervisor and infrastructure network domains. They also cover management and orchestration, resiliency, interfaces and abstractions, and security. These are:

NFV-INF007v031-Interfaces and Abstractions.pdf
NFV-MAN001v061- management and orchestration.pdf
NFV-REL001v013-Resiliency Requirements.pdf

Dr. Steven Wright, of AT&T, was elected as chairman, and Mr. Nakamura Tetsuya, of NTT DoCoMo, was chosen as vice-chairman. Both are elected for a period of two years.

Dr. Wright commented “I’d like to thank the outgoing chair, Prodip Sen, and all the ISG participants, for their hard work to bring the ISG to this point. I look forward to assisting the ISG as it continues to progress towards its goal of an open NFV ecosystem with interoperable implementations.”

The ETSI NFV ISG also noted that it has grown to over 220 participating organizations, with over 300 delegates attending this last meeting, which was co-hosted by Citrix and Ericsson in Santa Clara from 29 July to 1 August 2014.

In October 2013, ETSI published the first five specifications on Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV), which aims to simplify the roll-out of new network services, reduce deployment and operational costs and encourage innovation. These new specifications were produced in less than 10 months.

ETSI’s Industry Specification Group for Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV ISG) said this first release identifies a framework and terminology for NFV that will help the industry to channel its efforts towards fully interoperable NFV solutions. Early NFV deployments are already underway and are expected to accelerate during 2014-15.

The five published documents include four ETSI Group Specifications (GSs) designed to align understanding about NFV across the industry. They cover NFV use cases, requirements, the architectural framework, and terminology. The fifth GS defines a framework for co-ordinating and promoting public demonstrations of Proof of Concept (PoC) platforms illustrating key aspects of NFV. Its objective is to encourage the development of an open ecosystem by integrating components from different players.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

MIT: Light Pulses Control Graphene’s Electrical Behavior

Researchers at MIT have developed a method of using light pulses to control the electrical properties of a sheet of graphene. Short light pulses were found to change and reveal graphene’s electrical response in only a trillionth of a second.

The discovery by graduate student Alex Frenzel, Nuh Gedik, and three others, could allow ultrafast switching of conduction, and possibly lead to new broadband light sensors.

The findings have now been published in the journal Physical Review Letters.  MIT also noted that the work received support from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Technical University of Denmark Hits 43 Tbps Optical Transmission

Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) have achieved an optical transmission speed of 43 terabits per second ( 43 Tbps) using a single laser and a single fiber.

The demonstration used a new type of optical fiber (developed by NTT) that contains seven cores (glass threads) instead of the single core used in standard fiber.

DTU noted that its researchers have previously helped achieve the highest combined data transmission speed in the world—an incredible 1 petabit per second—although this involved using hundreds of lasers.

Diablo Technologies Awarded Memory Channel Storage Patent

Diablo Technologies was awarded U.S. patent No. 8,713,379, entitled a “System and method of interfacing co-processors and input/output devices via a main memory system.”

The ‘379 patent describes:

  • A method for connecting non-volatile memory directly to the memory controllers of a processor
  • A learning machine to handle data interleaving/de-interleaving and data scrambling/de-scrambling algorithms for DDR3/4-based memory controllers
  • A method to remap the non-linear DIMM address space back to linear address space used by the driver.

“The introduction of MCS has been deemed as one of the most disruptive breakthroughs in flash memory technology,” said Riccardo Badalone, CEO and Co-founder of Diablo Technologies. “Receiving this patent is another important milestone as Diablo continues to accelerate its strategic growth initiatives. We have significant innovations planned in the MCS roadmap and this validation underscores our commitment to deliver industry-leading solutions.”

In addition, Ottawa-based Diablo Technologies announced the opening of an office in San Jose, California.

  • Diablo Technologies has developed a Memory Channel Storage (MCS) technology that provides tens of terabytes of ultra-fast NAND flash storage in a DIMM form factor, and enables it to interface with the CPU via DDR3 at near-DRAM speeds. The company says its Memory Channel Storage allows for extremely large "big data" sets to be placed entirely within the NUMA system architecture, resulting in real-time processing and analytics. MCS significantly minimizes storage latency and provides a level of predictability that cannot be attained with pre-existing flash storage technologies. With the MCS architecture, systems in big data clusters, such as Hadoop, have access to terabytes of deterministic, ultra-low latency persistent memory.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Comcast Boosts Internet Speeds in California, Texas, Kansas, MO

Comcast has increased the speeds of three Xfinity Internet tiers in California, Kansas, Missouri and Texas.  The new levels:

  • "Performance" now offers speeds up to 50 Mbps, up from 25 Mbps; 
  • "Blast" is now 105 Mbps, up from 50 Mbps;
  • Extreme 105" has been bumped to 150 Mbps. 

"We continue to deliver the fastest speeds to the most homes so our customers can have a terrific online experience," said Eric Schaefer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Data and Communications Services, Comcast. "Whether it’s streaming video, gaming or just surfing the web, customers need an Internet provider that can deliver speed and reliability. Plus, since wireless access is becoming just as important as wired service, we also include complimentary access to Xfinity WiFi with most of our Internet service tiers. We currently offer about 3.6 million hotspots with plans to grow to eight million by the end of the year."

NTT Com Uses "Data Federation" to Link Multiple Cloud Services

NTT Communications (NTT Com) introduced a Data Federation feature for sharing, managing and updating office contact data among the multiple communication services offered via its Enterprise Cloud.

Data Federation shares, manages and updates contact data among multiple services to reduce integration burdens and ensure seamless global communication.  It currently applies to mail, calendaring/scheduling and project sharing applications in the NTT Com Enterprise Cloud.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

T-Mobile Goes Nationwide with VoLTE

Just two months after activating Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in its first market (the Seattle area), T-Mobile announced the availability of VoLTE across its entire U.S. LTE network, which now covers 233 million Americans in 325 metro areas. The rollout uses Enhanced Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (eSRVCC), a new LTE Advanced function.

T-Mobile's VoLTE is currently supported on LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy S 5, Galaxy Light and Note 3 devices.  The company said that more than 2.8 million VoLTE-capable devices are already on its network, and that customers have made more than 52 million VoLTE calls to date. For HD Voice, T-Mobile US uses a 23.85 Kbps voice codec rate.

In May, Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer at T-Mobile, said VoLTE would reach nationwide status by the end of the year.

T-Mobile is also aggressively rolling out Wideband LTE, which the company defines as at least 15+15MHz.  Wideband LTE is already in 17 metro areas.  T-Mobile expects at least 26 total metro areas will be up with Wideband LTE by the end of the year. The carrier is also starting to roll out its new low-band 700 MHz A-Block spectrum. Wideband LTE enables peak network download speeds up to nearly 150 Mbps.

In July, Mavenir Systems confirmed that T-Mobile US' recent VoLTE launch was enabled using Mavenir’s converged IMS voice solution, which was first deployed to launch Wi-Fi Calling in 2011. T-Mobile leveraged those early investments in Wi-Fi Calling to accelerate network readiness and launch VoLTE service.

Mavenir provides the end-to-end IMS solution including key IMS components such as the CSCF (Call Session Control Function), Session Border Controller (SBC), Telephony Application Server (TAS), as well as professional services to perform verification and integration testing to ensure successful end-to-end service interworking.

Nokia to buy Panasonic’s Basestation Business

Nokia Networks plans to acquire part of the wireless networks business of Panasonic System Networks.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal covers Panasonic’s LTE/3G wireless base station system business for mobile operators and related wireless equipment system business.

“Japan is a key market for us, and this agreement is a major milestone in forging closer ties in Japan,” said Ashish Chowdhary, Executive Vice President, AMEA, Nokia Networks. “The acquisition of part of Panasonic’s wireless network business would further strengthen our mobile broadband portfolio and add significant value for Japanese operators.”

Alcatel-Lucent Ponders IPO for Submarine Networks Business

Alcatel-Lucent is  exploring a potential IPO for its Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN) business.  The move could help finance an expansion of its telecom submarine systems and its diversification into the Oil & Gas market.  Alcatel-Lucent plans tp retain the majority of the ownership. Subject to market
conditions, this capital opening is targeted to take place in the first half of 2015.

Alcatel-Lucent Sees Strength in Europe & China, LTE Rollouts Expand

Alcatel-Lucent reported second quarter 2014 revenues of Euro 3,279 million, growing 0.7% year-on-year at constant exchange rates and comparable perimeter. Revenues for the Group excluding Managed Services, reflecting the termination or restructuring of loss-making contracts, grew 5.0% year-on-year. The company cited a very strong quarter in wireless, notably with LTE roll-outs in China and US.

Gross margin reached 32.6% of revenues in the quarter, improving by 140 basis points year-on-year, thanks to cost savings. There was a net loss (Group share) of Euro (298) million in Q2 2014, or Euro (0.11) per share.

"I am proud of the very significant improvement achieved in the second quarter which demonstrates the fourth consecutive quarter of consistent delivery under the Shift Plan. With the upcoming reimbursement of the secured loan and the subsequent recovery of the full ownership of its patents, Alcatel-Lucent recaptures the full control of its destiny and can close the first step of its transformation. The Group can now embark on the second chapter of its turnaround story: innovate, transform and grow while keeping intact the commitment of returning to positive free cash flow in 2015," stated Michel Combes, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent.

Some highlights:

  • North America was lower by 2.6% year-over-year, while sales in Europe grew 6% (excluding Managed services)  Asia Pacific posted a solid 25.2% year-over-year growth, driven by LTE network roll-outs in China. In the rest of World, MEA declined at a mid single digit, while CALA remained challenging.
  • Core Networking segment revenues were Euro 1,369 million in Q2 2014, down 10.0% compared to Q2 2013. IP Routing revenues were Euro 561 million in Q2 2014, down 7.0% against a strong comparison base in the year-ago quarter, with continuing growth in APAC and steady performance in EMEA. There were four new customer wins for the 7950 XRS IP Core router, including Chorus in New Zealand, for a total of 28 wins to date. Nuage Networks added 3 new wins in the quarter, totaling 8 customers. Th 7450 Ethernet Service Switch was selected by NTT DoCoMo to enhance the speed and capacity of its backhaul network.
  • The 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) represented 43% of terrestrial optical product revenues in the quarter, up 12 percentage points year-on-year, and now has over 480 customers. 100G shipments represented 36% of total WDM line cards shipments in Q2 2014 compared to 27% in Q2 2013.
  • Alcatel-Lucent has shipped over 15,000 100G ports lifetime-to-date.
  • IP Platforms revenues decreased 19.2% year-on-year to Euro 324 million in Q2 2014.
  • Access segment revenues were Euro 1,907 million in Q2 2014, a 9.5% increase compared to Q2 2013.
  • Wireless Access revenues were Euro 1,299 million, an increase of 28.1% year-on-year.
  • Fixed Access revenues were Euro 521 million in Q2 2014, an increase of 2.9% from Q2 2013. There were two new VDSL2 vectoring customers in the quarter, bringing the total to 22.
  • Managed Services revenues were Euro 77 million, decreasing by 62.8%, reflecting the company's strategy to terminate or restructure loss-making contracts.

France's Iliad Bids US$15 Billion for 56% Stake in T-Mobile US

Iliad submitted a proposal to T-Mobile U.S. to acquire 56.6% of the company's outstanding shares for $15 billion, or $33 per share.

Iliad said it is making the offer because the T-Mobile is a disruptive competitor in the large and attractive U.S. mobile market.  Unlike a contemplated Sprint + T-Mobile combination, Iliad does not believe there will be any regulatory hurdles to its proposal.

Iliad currently has about 8.6 million mobile subscribers under its "Free" brand in France.

New Construction in Silicon Valley - Samsung

New construction is underway for Samsung Semiconductor at corner of First Street and Tasman in San Jose, California.

The new $300 million Samsung building, which will be the tallest in the area at 10 stories, boasts 1.1 million square feet, a 7-story parking garage, a variety of employee amenities and a landscaped city plaza and open courtyard at its center. The tower will be clad in white metal and clear glass, which the company sees as evocative of its products.

Photos on 01-August-2014

New Construction in Silicon Valley - Stadium TechCenter

New construction is underway at Stadium TechCenter in Santa Clara, California.

Located on Great America Boulevard at Highway 237, the 226,500 sq. ft. project is named after the new Levi’s Stadium located nearby. A new Class A office building will adjoin the campus occupied by Dell. Other tech companies nearby include Arista, Marvell, Brocade, Ericsson, Polycom, Global Foundries, Cisco, etc.

Photos on 31-July-2014

China Telecom Colocates in CoreSite's Silicon Valley Data Center

CoreSite announced a multi-year contract with China Telecom to expand the U.S. data center footprint of one of China Telecom’s premier customers.  The deployment is located at CoreSite’s Coronado data center campus in Santa Clara, California.

CoreSite's Coronado campus is part of the larger CoreSite Silicon Valley market, which is currently comprised of five data centers and more than 860,000 square feet of data center space.