Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ericsson Achieves 450 Mbps with LTE-U

Ericsson now has License Assisted Access (LAA), sometimes referred to as LTE-U, running live its labs.  The tests support the aggregation of licensed and unlicensed spectrum for peak rates up to 450 Mbps and enabling fair sharing of spectrum between mobile and Wi-Fi devices. The lab trials of both LAA fair sharing and licensed-unlicensed aggregation - 20 MHz on licensed band and 40 MHz on unlicensed 5 GHz band - were demonstrated from the Ericsson radio development units in Ottawa, Canada and Stockholm, Sweden.

LAA, or LTE-U, extends the benefits of LTE to unlicensed spectrum, providing reliable and predictable performance. The licensed band provides an anchor to ensure a seamless user experience with full mobility while the unlicensed band provides incremental capacity and enables faster data speeds.

The technology milestone has been achieved in cooperation with Qualcomm Technologies.  The companies also confirmed that Verizon, SK Telecom and T-Mobile US are already investigating the performance benefits that LAA can offer to mobile customers on their networks.

Starting in the fourth quarter 2015, Ericsson is adding LAA to its indoor small cell portfolio, including the Ericsson RBS 6402 Indoor Picocell (targeted at smaller buildings under 50,000 square feet) followed by the Ericsson Radio Dot System (for medium and large buildings).

Ed Chan, Senior Vice President, Network Planning, Verizon, says: "Verizon is committed to researching and adopting new technologies that will consistently improve the performance of our network and ultimately the experience we deliver to our customers. We are encouraged by the headway that Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies have made in demonstrating the benefits LAA can provide."

Park Jin-hyo, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Technology R&D Center, SK Telecom, says: "SK Telecom is very active in the development of 5G technologies, which will be an extension and evolution of our LTE network. We are delighted to achieve the successful trial of the 450Mbps LAA and fair-sharing technology with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies and will continue to work closely with them to secure advanced network technologies."

Neville Ray, Chief Technical Officer, T-Mobile , says: "It is very encouraging to see License Assisted Access live in the Ericsson labs already delivering on the promises of both a better mobile broadband customer experience and the fair sharing and co-existence within the 5 GHz band among wireless and Wi-Fi devices. With over 500 MHz of underutilized spectrum in the 5 GHz Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (UNII) band, LAA can provide our customers with superior network performance while effectively co-existing with other Wi-Fi devices to ensure a better experience for all wireless users."

Thomas Nor�n, Vice President and Head of Radio Product Management, Ericsson, says: "Carrier Aggregation was an important technology trend for mobile networks in 2014 and LAA is already set to be a key focus for mobile operators in 2015. Innovations like LAA that improve the user experience while increasing spectrum efficiency will be significant milestones that mobile industry leaders must both drive and support."


HP to Acquire Voltage Security for Cloud Data Encryption

HP agreed to acquire Voltage Security, a provider of data-centric encryption, tokenization and key management solutions.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Voltage Security holds core patents for Identity-Based Encryption (IBE) and Format-Preserving Encryption (FPE). Voltage uses these to enable end-to-end protection of payments systems, from card swipe to back-end tokenization, serving six of the largest payment processors in the U.S. today. Voltage’s solutions allow enterprises to use protected data in applications without having to re-architect their applications or adopt fragmented frameworks. This capability extends from the data center to cloud and Hadoop environments, all under a single framework. Voltage Security is based in Cupertino, California.

HP said Voltage’s proven data-centric encryption and tokenization technology will complement its own HP Atalla information security and encryption business. The company notes that the HP Atalla business currently protects 70% of U.S. payment card transactions.


  • Voltage Security was co-founded by Matt Pauker, Guido Appenzeller, and Rishi Kacker in 2002 out of a Stanford University dorm room. Co-founders also included Dr. Dan Boneh, a Professor of Computer Science at Stanford. Sathvik Krishnamurthy has served as the company's CEO since 2003.

Apple Signs $848 million Power Purchase Deal with First Solar

Apple has committed $848 million to purchase clean energy from First Solar's California Flats Solar Project in Monterey County, California.

Under the largest power purchase agreement (PPA) to date for the high-tech industry, Apple will receive 130 megawatts (MW) AC from the new facility over a 25-year commitment. Pacific Gas & Electric will acquire the remaining production capacity of the solar farm. Construction is expected to start this year with completion slated for next year.

"Apple is leading the way in addressing climate change by showing how large companies can serve their operations with 100 percent clean, renewable energy," said Joe Kishkill, Chief Commercial Officer for First Solar.


Hitachi Data Systems to Acquire Pentaho for Big Data Analytics

Hitachi Data Systems Corporation (HDS) agreed to acquire Pentaho Corporation, a provider of big data integration and business analytics with an open source-based platform.  Financial terms were not disclosed but the companies described the deal as the largest private big data acquisition transaction to date. Industry insiders estimate the purchase price in the half-billion dollar range.

The Pentaho platform simplifies preparing and blending any data and includes a spectrum of tools that enable users to easily analyze, visualize, explore, report insights and predict outcomes. Pentaho offers a platform that is open, embeddable and extensible, which allows it to deliver data and analytics as a service to customers and partners. The company’s partner ecosystem includes Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Cloudera, DataStax, Dell, EMC Greenplum, Hortonworks, HP Vertica, MapR, MongoDB and Teradata. Hitachi is an OEM partner. Pentaho is based in Orlando, Florida.

Hitachi said the acquisition advances its goal of providing business solutions that integrate machine data, information technology, and analytics to distill value from big data and the Internet of Things.

"Data remains an untapped resource for many organizations and businesses – with the realization of the value of that data remaining a challenge," said Kevin Eggleston, senior vice president, Social Innovation and Global Industries, Hitachi Data Systems. "The combination of Hitachi's broad industry expertise, advanced information technologies, and now Pentaho software and the talented team of experts, will enable us to give customers a more complete solution to manage their data – allowing them to leverage the power of big data and Internet of Things in a quicker and simpler way."

"We are pleased to join the Hitachi Data Systems family and truly believe our complementary set of solutions will accelerate the adoption of big data deployments and Internet of Things applications," said Quentin Gallivan, chairman and chief executive officer, Pentaho. "The broad resources, expertise and global presence of Hitachi Data Systems, as well as Hitachi, Ltd., help ensure a strong foundation for Pentaho to continue to accelerate our big data analytics and data orchestration capabilities, bring new innovations to market, and expand support for current and future customers."


Alcatel-Lucent Intros Compact Metro Cell Outdoor Family

Alcatel-Lucent introduced a new Compact Metro Cell Outdoor family that is 50 percent smaller than existing metro cells.

The Compact Metro Cell Outdoor family, which is currently being trialled with a number of operators around the globe, integrates the baseband, an LTE radio, higher power output and modular design options, including external antennas. The compact size also allows them to be wall-mounted and hidden from view, with just the antenna visible, and optimally placed to offer customers the highest service quality.

Alcatel-Lucent said operators can connect these CMCO devices via backhaul into their wider network. In addition, the ability to bypass the embedded baseband unit (BBU) means they will also be able to connect via a Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) to a centralized BBU, managing multiple radios. This will allow them to smoothly evolve networks and leverage the efficiencies offered by a virtualized RAN architecture.

Key features of the 9764 Compact Metro Cell Outdoor Family:

  • Small form factor (approximately 6K cubic centimeters for a 2x2W).
  • Support for LTE mobile ultra-broadband connectivity, with Wi-Fi as an option.
  • Increased capacity, supporting up to 200 users
  • Later versions using system-on-a-chip (SoC) technology will support 60 MHz within one box, as well as the ability to daisy chain to aggregate multiple small cell sectors.
  • Radio-on-chip (RoC) technology which enables 43% greater power efficiency compared to small cells solutions without this technology. 
  • Coverage and capacity support for different scenarios, made possible by various output power: 2x1W for dense urban locations (to complement the existing Metro Cell family), 2x2W for optimal coverage and capacity, 2x 5W for the highest coverage
  • Use of a variety of external antennas (directional or omni directional). 
  • The ability to allow operators to smoothly evolve towards a vRAN architecture, leveraging a centralized BBU.
  • The Compact Metro Cell Outdoor family is commercially available now within the 1800 MHz frequency, B7 operating band and 2600 MHz frequency, B3 operating band, with a full complement of frequencies for FDD and TDD available throughout 2015.

“The goal of this product was to enable operators to seamlessly and simply integrate the product inside of existing street furniture and simplify municipality zoning approvals. Our existing Metro Cells continues to help them with pole-mounting and wall-mounting applications, while we are expanding their deployment options with the Compact Metro Cell Outdoor,” stated Mike Schabel, Vice President of Small Cells in Alcatel-Lucent.


Xirrus Launches Cloud-Managed Wall-Mounted Wi-Fi Access Point

Xirrus introduced a cloud-managed, wall-mounted 802.11ac Wi-Fi access point (AP) with integrated Gigabit Ethernet switch and designed for hospitality, education, healthcare, and any business requiring high speed Wi-Fi coupled with ease of deployment and management.

Xirrus said this product represents the lowest-cost enterprise-class 802.11ac AP available on the market.

“In hotels, a positive Wi-Fi experience weighs heavily on guest satisfaction scores,” said Bruce Miller, vice president of product marketing, Xirrus. “Providing high-quality Wi-Fi to hundreds of hotel rooms was once a time-intensive and expensive endeavor. Our new wall-mounted access point provides high-speed Wi-Fi and wired access at the lowest price point on the market today.”


Wandera Raises $15 Million for Cloud-based Mobile Data Gateway

Wandera, a start-up based in San Francisco and London, raised $15 million in new funding for its work in mobile data security and optimization.

Wandera’s Mobile Data Gateway is a scalable cloud offering that sits in the path of mobile data in between employee devices and the Internet. This helps enterprises to secure the mobile data usage of employees. Wandera also adds mobile data optimization and real-time intelligence capabilities. The company said its Wandera cloud currently processes more than 350 million content requests daily for customers with users in 60 countries. Wandera's partner ecosystem includes AT&T, BT and Samsung as well as integrations with MobileIron, AirWatch and Citrix.

The latest funding round was led by 83North, with participation from existing investor Bessemer Venture Partners. This brings Wandera's total funding to $23 million.

"Following the recent Sony Pictures and celebrity iOS hacks, companies are demanding the next generation of mobile security. We have reached a tipping point where businesses must tackle mobile data security threats head-on or face serious repercussions," said Roy Tuvey, President of Wandera. "We're thrilled to add 83North as an investor and this capital will help us grow and scale at a time when mobile attacks are growing exponentially across all smart devices."


Wandera was founded by brothers Eldar and Roy Tuvey, who previously founded cloud-based web security market leader ScanSafe, which scaled rapidly to thousands of enterprise customers before being acquired by networking leader Cisco in 2010.

Akamai Posts Q4 Revenue of $536 Million up 23% YoY

Akamai Technologies reported Q4 2014 revenue of 2014 was $536 million, a 23% increase over fourth quarter 2013 revenue of $436 million, and a 25% increase when adjusted for foreign exchange. Total revenue for 2014 was $1,964 million, a 24% increase over 2013 revenue of $1,578 million, and a 25% increase when adjusted for foreign exchange.  GAAP net income for the fourth quarter of 2014 was $97 million, or $0.54 per diluted share, an increase from prior quarter's GAAP net income of $91 million, and a 21% increase over fourth quarter 2013 GAAP net income of $80 million, or $0.44 per diluted share.

"Akamai's strong fourth quarter performance capped off a record year on both the top and bottom line," said Dr. Tom Leighton, CEO of Akamai.  "Our strong revenue results continued to be driven by solid performance across all our geographies and all of our major product lines, with very strong growth coming from our Security and Media products. As we look forward to 2015, we expect to continue investing in the business with the goals of building out our network, expanding sales capacity, deepening channel relationships and accelerating innovation to help our customers secure and grow their on-line businesses."


Ruckus Wireless Posts Q4 Revenue of $86 Million

Ruckus Wireless posted revenue for the fourth quarter of 2014 of $85.9 million, an increase of 17.6% from the fourth quarter of 2013. GAAP net income was $2.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with $0.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2013. GAAP operating income was $3.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with an operating loss of $0.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2013.

Ruckus said its revenue for the quarter was impacted by delays in North America education spending as a result of anticipated E-Rate funding in 2015. During the quarter, Ruckus added 14 new service provider end-customers and approximately 60 in 2014, bringing the total service provider end-customer base to over 200. The company also added approximately 4,000 enterprise end-customers in the fourth quarter and 15,000 in 2014, bringing the total enterprise end-customer base to over 48,000.

"Looking back on 2014, we made great progress in growing sales, expanding both gross margin and operating margin, as well as increasing the cadence of new product introductions and innovations. For the year, we reported 24% revenue growth and almost doubled our non-GAAP operating income. We introduced a number of new and innovative products, expanding our solutions portfolio to include software and cloud service offerings," said Selina Lo, president and chief executive officer, Ruckus Wireless.


VMware Appoints Shekar Ayyar to Head NFV

VMware announced the appointments of Shekar Ayyar lead the development of a Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) vertical market team within VMware. Ayyar also leads the company's strategic and corporate development efforts, where he is responsible for aligning strategy and long-term planning across VMware businesses as well as managing the company's mergers and acquisitions, and strategic investments. He joined VMware in June 2007.

VMware also announced the appointment of Sanjay Mirchandani to serve as corporate senior vice president. He leads the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region. Prior to joining VMware, he spent seven years at EMC, where he was most recently EVP of Global Enterprise Services. Also at EMC, he was CIO of the company and COO of their Global Centers of Excellence. He has also held senior roles at Microsoft.


A10 Networks Reports Q4 Revenue of $45 Million

A10 Networks reported Q4 2014 revenue of $45.2 million, compared with $42.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. Total revenue for the year 2014 was $179.5 million, an increase of 27 percent, compared with $141.7 million reported for the year 2013. GAAP net loss was $16.0 million, compared with a GAAP net loss of $5.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. The company reported GAAP net loss of $34.7 million for the year 2014, compared with a GAAP net loss of $27.1 million for the year 2013.

“Overall, the team executed well in the fourth quarter, delivering strong sequential bookings growth and adding over 280 new customers - a new record for A10,” said Lee Chen, president and chief executive officer of A10 Networks. “We launched several new products in the quarter, including the ACOS 4.0 platform that has leading programmability, enhanced application support and manageability that enables important advanced features such as SSL Insight. We remain confident in our ability to grow our business by capitalizing on our unique competitive advantages, expanding our strategic partnerships and continuing to further strengthen our technology leadership.”


Monday, February 9, 2015

Qualcomm to Pay $975 Million Fine under China’s Anti-Monopoly Law

Following an investigation of Qualcomm under China’s Anti-Monopoly Law, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will impose a fine of 6.088 billion Chinese Yuan (approximately US$975 million at current exchange rates.  Qualcomm will not contest the penalty.  Other terms of the settlement include:

  • Qualcomm will offer licenses to its current 3G and 4G essential Chinese patents separately from licenses to its other patents and it will provide patent lists during the negotiation process. If Qualcomm seeks a cross license from a Chinese licensee as part of such offer, it will negotiate with the licensee in good faith and provide fair consideration for such rights.
  • For licenses of Qualcomm’s 3G and 4G essential Chinese patents for branded devices sold for use in China, Qualcomm will charge royalties of 5% for 3G devices (including multimode 3G/4G devices) and 3.5% for 4G devices (including 3-mode LTE-TDD devices) that do not implement CDMA or WCDMA, in each case using a royalty base of 65% of the net selling price of the device.
  • Qualcomm will give its existing licensees an opportunity to elect to take the new terms for sales of branded devices for use in China as of January 1, 2015.
  • Qualcomm will not condition the sale of baseband chips on the chip customer signing a license agreement with terms that the NDRC found to be unreasonable or on the chip customer not challenging unreasonable terms in its license agreement. However, this does not require Qualcomm to sell chips to any entity that is not a Qualcomm licensee, and does not apply to a chip customer that refuses to report its sales of licensed devices as required by its patent license agreement.

“We are pleased that the investigation has concluded and believe that our licensing business is now well positioned to fully participate in China’s rapidly accelerating adoption of our 3G/4G technology,” said Derek Aberle, president of Qualcomm. “We appreciate the NDRC’s acknowledgment of the value and importance of Qualcomm’s technology and many contributions to China, and look forward to its future support of our business in China.”


VeloCloud Enhances its SD-WAN Service with Zscaler and Websense

VeloCloud Networks, a start-up offering a subscription-based, virtualized WAN service for enterprises that aggregates multiple access lines (cable modem, DSL, LTE) into a single secure connection, announced interoperability with leading cloud security platforms Zscaler and Websense, spurring growth of its SD-WAN ecosystem. VeloCloud has also expanded its business policy framework, enabling enterprises, for the first time, to deploy cloud network services and applications easily and with assured enterprise-grade performance.

VeloCloud's SD-WAN service uses an Intel-based customer premise device at a branch office to communicate with a VeloCloud gateway in the cloud. The service analyzes network performance and application traffic to determine the best path and dynamically steer traffic to corporate data center or cloud services.

The new capabilities from Zscaler and Websense bring new virtual services to the platfrom. VeloCloud enables enterprise branch offices to achieve the same security services as corporate headquarters—without having to install multiple, separate appliances in each branch or backhaul traffic over expensive private links to their data centers. VeloCloud’s extensible business policy framework for network services insertion will cover additional services from its growing ecosystem.

In addition, the business policy framework adds explicit link usage policies for business and security compliance, augmenting VeloCloud’s existing automatic multi-path optimization which dynamically steers traffic to achieve enterprise-grade application performance. This business policy framework is transport independent, and also applies to private lines such as T1/MPLS as they are integrated into VeloCloud’s management and optimization of hybrid WANs. The expanded business policy framework provides software-defined WAN flexibility, simplicity and automation over both network services and transport utilization.

“VeloCloud’s Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN brings software-defined flexibility and automation to the WAN, and the policy-driven insertion of network services announced today extends our no-compromise SD-WAN simplicity, application performance and security,” said Sanjay Uppal, CEO and co-founder of VeloCloud. “Our comprehensive business policy framework replaces today’s complicated configuration and stacks of appliances in branch sites with single-click direct access to both on-premises and cloud-hosted services, including those from Websense and Zscaler.”

“For distributed enterprises, equipping branch and remote offices with secure, high-performance access to cloud services has been complex and expensive,” said Punit Minocha, vice president of business development for Zscaler. “Now that our partner VeloCloud’s SD-WAN solution is seamlessly integrated with Zscaler’s cloud-based Internet security platform, distributed organizations can securely and safely leverage the power of cloud computing, while dramatically reducing costs, increasing performance, and improving employee productivity and satisfaction.”


Ruckus Adds Wi-Fi Roaming and Traffic Handling Capabilities

Ruckus Wireless is adding advanced capabilities to Smart Wi-Fi technology to improve IP-based voice calling over Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi Calling) in challenging environments. These include capacity-based client access control, Wi-Fi multimedia admission controls, directed roaming, and automatic packet flow heuristics.

  • Automatic QoS Heuristics - this is the ability to prioritize Wi-Fi Calling traffic by looking at the Type of Service (ToS) bits set by the smartphone in the IP header, or by using automatic packet flow heuristics that constantly examine the size and frequency of packets in any flow, encrypted or not.
  • Capacity-Based Client Access Control - If too many new devices attempt to connect to a given Wi-Fi access point (AP), already connected clients may experience service degradation. To help ensure existing clients' quality of user experience, Ruckus ZoneFlex™ APs can now implement a capacity-based client access control algorithm to decline connection requests from new clients. This new feature allows organizations to protect the user experience during periods of heavy load.
  • Directed Roaming - Leveraging the 802.11v standard, directed roaming helps to ensure the overall quality of user experience for the entire wireless LAN (WLAN) network by directing clients toward another Wi-Fi access point that can provide a better user experience. If a signal falls below user-definable signal strength (RSSI) or throughput thresholds, Ruckus ZoneFlex APs can automatically provide a list of alternative access points and request the client to move to a closer AP.  This solves the problem of clients that stay connected or 'sticky' with a given AP, even if it no longer provides the best connection.

  • Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) Admission Control - WMM admission control improves the performance of Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi networks for real time voice and video services by preventing oversubscription of bandwidth. By requiring clients to request a specific amount of bandwidth before connecting to a given Ruckus ZoneFlex AP, bandwidth management on each AP now takes into account network load and channel connections before allowing clients to connect.

"The innovations we've made will improve the reliability and quality of Wi-Fi Calling applications, which enables both service providers and enterprises to extract greater value from their Wi-Fi infrastructure," said Dan Rabinovitsj, Chief Operating Officer at Ruckus Wireless. "While voice over Wi-Fi isn't new, the ability to deliver a carrier-class voice service over Wi-Fi is something that no one has mastered, until now."


Meru Debuts Controller-less XPress Cloud for 802.11ac

Meru Networks introduced its XPress Cloud, a controller-less 802.11ac Wi-Fi solution featuring cloud-based management and aimed at small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and distributed enterprises.

Meru said its XPress Cloud requires only a PoE-capable Ethernet switch or an optional external power supply, along with a basic Internet connection. Only network management traffic traverses the cloud; all corporate data remains behind the firewall.

The XPress Cloud portfolio includes the new Meru XP8i access point, with management software hosted by Meru and delivered through secure data center providers worldwide. The high-performance, two-radio, 2X2, 802.11ac Meru XP8i offers zero-touch provisioning, with automated channel and power selection capabilities enabling instant self-configuration. Meru XPress Cloud also features an integrated captive portal for secure on-boarding of employee and guest devices.

Meru is also offering two options for the acquisition of XPress Cloud, with XP8i access points available for purchase upfront, or available on a Wi-Fi-as-a-Service (WaaS), subscription basis. Monthly management and monitoring license fees apply.

“We’ve worked closely with small-to-medium enterprises around the world to understand what they need to meet their unique business demands,” said Don Trimble, vice president of SME Cloud Sales at Meru. “These findings, combined with our experience in the design of enterprise-grade WLAN solutions, led to Meru XPress Cloud – a high-performance offering that brings affordability, ease of deployment and scalability to the SME and distributed enterprise markets.”


Red Hat and NEC Collaborate on OpenStack Solutions for NFV

Red Hat and NEC Corp. will jointly develop network functions virtualization (NFV) features in OpenStack in order to deliver carrier-grade NFV solutions with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.

The companies noted that they have collaborated for more than a decade on joint open source software development. In recent years, they focused on NFV system integration with OpenStack, leveraging NEC’s telecom expertise. This enables the acceleration of NFV features in OpenStack and the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) in order to achieve carrier-grade and carrier-scale systems, including data plane acceleration through the Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK). Moreover, these efforts are being contributed to the upstream OpenStack community, to enable Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform to emerge as a leading cloud platform for NFV. Several of the NFV features resulting directly from this collaboration were included in the OpenStack Juno release, or are planned for the forthcoming OpenStack Kilo release.

With this new agreement, NEC's NFV system integrated with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform will be designed to deliver mobile packet core virtualization, also known as virtualized Evolved Packet Core, or vEPC, as well as virtual Customer Premises Equipment (vCPE). NEC and Red Hat plan to continue the expanded collaboration to integrate and optimize Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform and NFV, along with contributions to open source communities, including OpenStack and Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV).


ZTE Completes VoLTE Tests with China Mobile

ZTE confirmed its completion of China Mobile’s large-capacity VoLTE (Voice over LTE) tests.

ZTE’s IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) solutions deployed in the China Mobile test delivered robust and stable network performance, fully fulfilling customer requirements, demonstrating VoLTE capacity, voice quality and continuity that exceeded projections. ZTE completed the full range of tests, including network function, service function, performance test and IOT, ahead of all other participating vendors.

ZTE said its VoLTE and IMS solutions offer hierarchical QoS guarantee, seamless 2G/3G/WiFi/4G voice continuity handover and end-to-end O&M features, guaranteeing HD voice quality, delivering superior user experience and easy O&M.

CommScope Intros Metro Cells on Street Poles

CommScope introduced a new Metro Cell Concealment Solution that features a two-piece design for mounting all the necessary equipment for metro cell operation.  Two can mount and hide radios, antennas, backhaul termination (wireline or wireless), back-up batteries and other equipment on street poles in units that are more structurally balanced and easier to permit.

“The key to successful metro cell deployments is making the equipment as inconspicuous as possible and installing it at just the right location in dense urban areas,” said Stan Catey, senior vice president and general manager, Cable Products, CommScope. “Our concealment solution targets some of the most commonly available street furniture available for metro cell deployment—street lighting poles.”


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Blueprint: How Your Data Networks Can Sustainably Grow

by Thierry Klein, Network Energy Research Program Leader, Bell Labs / Alcatel-Lucent

In a world where leaving the office at the end of the day without one of our devices is hardly imaginable, individuals have become reliant on the technology that keeps them connected during all parts of their waking life. As more and more consumer devices are added to the network, daily Internet traffic is growing dramatically.

To put some concrete numbers behind this:
  • Smartphones and tablets will drive mobile traffic to grow up to 89 times by 2020 from 2010.
  • By 2017 more than 5 zettabytes of data will pass through the networks every year.
  • Enjoy tweeting? Well, that is the equivalent of everyone in the world tweeting non-stop for more than 100 years.
As we know, it takes quite a bit of energy to power our devices so that they can process that data. While battery and power cell technology continues to improve, our consumption continues to grow. In addition to powering the mobile devices, we also need to power the data networks that connect those devices to the Internet. The significant increase in energy consumption and associated energy cost continue to create a key challenge facing the ICT industry today. With massive amounts of devices connecting and users expecting fast, uninterrupted service, how can network providers stay on top of demand in a fully connected world? What can we do to ensure that our networks can support the exponential growth in traffic that will result from these increases in the near future?

One of the challenges we face as an industry is supporting that growth in a sustainable and economically viable way. Network energy bills represent more than 10 percent of the operators’ operational expenses and can even reach as high as 30 percent in developing markets. In 2013, 69 gigawatts – the equivalent of powering New York City 12 times over – was used to keep global data and communication networks, including data centers, running.

Network operators are eager to reduce energy consumption, costs and the carbon footprint of their networks, they’re also working to understand how the network’s energy consumption will evolve based on technology evolution over the next several years. Advancements have been made to address the explosive network growth, but not everyone is aware of them, nor are they familiar with their capabilities and the problems they can solve.

Let’s take an in-depth look at some of the tools available to assist operators as they plan for network growth in a sustainable and economically viable way.

The Global “What if” Analyzer of NeTwork Energy ConsumpTion (G.W.A.T.T.)

To understand the issues facing network growth, Alcatel-Lucent’s research and innovation arm, Bell Labs, has developed an interactive application to highlight the current energy consumption of our ICT networks and of the Internet.

The Global “What if” Analyzer of NeTwork Energy ConsumpTion application (or G.W.A.T.T. for short) forecasts trends in energy consumption and efficiency based on different traffic growth and technology evolution scenarios. This interactive, self-guided tool provides operators the guidance they need to understand the energy consumption and efficiency of their networks, as well as the energy consumption of specific applications such as high-bandwidth video or gaming applications running over the networks.

Using G.W.A.T.T., operators can model their network evolution and show the impact on network energy consumption, cost and carbon footprint from new technologies such as LTE, small cells, heterogeneous networks, VDSL2 Vectoring or VoIP migration. G.W.A.T.T. also provides insights into potential energy benefits coming from network transformation scenarios based on SDN and NFV technologies.

With the help of forecasted trends in energy consumption and efficiency based on different traffic growth and technology evolution scenarios, G.W.A.T.T. allows network operators to specifically pinpoint how these new technologies and high-bandwidth services are impacting the home and enterprise networks, the wireless and fixed access networks, the metro, edge and core backbone networks, and the service core and data centers. This plan allows operators to see any “hot spots” where most of the energy is consumed within the network. Additionally, it can identify the impact of different network transformations and gradual technology deployments to provide a more energy-efficient network evolution process.

Addressing a variety of key questions, G.W.A.T.T. aims to provide answers to key concerns:
  • What is the overall energy consumption of the telecommunication networks?
  • Where is most of the energy consumed in the end-to-end network today, and how much does it cost to power the network now and in the future?
  • How much energy is consumed by wireless networks? By data centers?
  • What is the impact of traffic growth and new applications and services on the energy consumption of current networks as well as future SDN and NFV-based networks?
  • How will the network’s energy consumption evolve based on technology evolution over the next several years?
G.W.A.T.T. has been built to allow operators the opportunity to understand these evolutions and to offer a moment of reflection on the best way to ensure that energy supply matches demand in the future. Over time, Bell Labs will continue to expand the capabilities of G.W.A.T.T. — refining its modeling capabilities, adding new network scenarios and including future technologies in the hope that, with the advent of the Internet of Things and video consumption being at an all-time high, networks have the upper hand to support their growth while decreasing their energy consumption.

The Power of GreenTouch

GreenTouch, a consortium of leading ICT industry, academic and non-governmental research experts, strives to deliver the architecture, specification and technologies needed to increase energy efficiency by a factor of 1,000 compared to 2010 levels by designing fundamentally new network architectures and creating the enabling technologies on which they are based.

Many of today’s networks are optimized for performance, however not for energy efficiency. This can lead to large carbon footprints. Currently accounting for an estimated 2 percent of the global GHG footprint, the entire ICT sector has the potential to reduce global GHG emissions in other industry sectors by 16.5 percent by 2020, amounting to $1.9 trillion in gross energy and fuel savings and a reduction of 9.1 GtCO2e of GHG. When a network is optimized for both performance and energy, a very different design and architecture comes to play, and this is what is needed to be sustainable in the future and realize the full benefit of ICT’s enabling effect on GHG emissions.

GreenTouch brings together the expertise needed to discuss and innovate ways for new technologies to work in concert, while achieving sustainable networks in the near — and not so near — future.

By knowing more about how our networks use energy, research organizations hope to one day build self-sustaining networks powered by natural elements at hand.

G.W.A.T.T. and GreenTouch offer network operators tools and research to help, not hinder, the growth of our communication networks, leaving both the end user and the earth in a happier place.

About the Author 

Dr. Thierry E. Klein is currently the Program Leader for the Network Energy Research Program at Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent leading a team of researchers, engineers and scientists across multiple research domains and locations with the mission to conduct research towards the design, development and use of sustainable future communications and data networks. His team is based in Murray Hill, Crawford Hill, Stuttgart, Villarceaux and Dublin. He also serves as the Chairman of the Technical Committee of GreenTouch, a global consortium dedicated to improve energy efficiency in networks by a factor 1000x compared to 2010 levels. Since 2014, he is also a member of the Momentum for Change Advisory Panel of the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Dr. Klein earned an MS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the Université de Nantes and the Ecole Centrale de Nantes in Nantes, France, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He is an author on over 35 peer-reviewed conference and journal publications and an inventor on 36 patent applications.

BT's £12.5bn Acquisition of EE Builds Alliances

BT agreed to acquire EE for £12.5 billion (approximately US$19.04 billion), giving it the leading mobile network operator in the UK with 31 million customers (including 24.5m direct mobile customers and 834,000 are fixed broadband customers) and significantly expanding its over strategy. EE (everything Everywhere) is the company that runs the Orange and T-Mobile networks in the UK.

The deal is structured as a combination of cash and new BT ordinary shares issued to both Deutsche Telekom and Orange, thereby bringing the traditional incumbent operators of the UK, Germany and France into closer alliance. Upon closing, Deutsche Telekom will hold a 12% stake in BT and will be entitled to appoint one non-executive member of the BT Board of Directors. Orange will hold a 4% stake in BT.

Some highlights:

  • EE has the largest 4G customer base of any operator in Europe
  • By combining the UK's most advanced 4G network and most extensive superfast broadband network, BT will have greater scope for future investment and product innovation
  • BT expects to achieve combined operating cost and capex synergies of around £360m p.a. in the fourth full year post Completion.
  • BT expects to generate revenue synergies by providing a full range of communications services to the combined customer base. This includes BT selling its broadband, fixed telephony and pay-TV services to those EE customers who do not currently take a service from BT. 
  • BT also expects to accelerate the sale of converged fixed-mobile services to BT’s existing consumer and business customers and offer new services, using both companies’ product portfolios, skills and networks. BT expects to generate revenue synergies with a total net present value of approximately £1.6bn
“This is a major milestone for BT as it will allow us to accelerate our mobility plans and increase our investment in them. The UK’s leading 4G network will now dovetail with the UK’s biggest fibre network, helping to create the leading converged communications provider in the UK. Consumers and businesses will benefit from new products and services as well as from increased investment and innovation. The deal provides an attractive opportunity for BT to generate considerable value for shareholders, with significant operating and capital investment efficiencies supported by our tried and tested cost transformation activities," stated BT Chief Executive Gavin Patterson.

“The transaction is much more than just the creation of the leading integrated fixed and mobile network operator in Europe's second largest economy. We will be the largest individual shareholder in BT and are laying the foundations for our two companies to be able to work together in the future. This is another example of the consistent and successful execution of our portfolio optimisation strategy,” said Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Tim Höttges.


  • During 2014, EE added a record 5.7 million customers to its 4G network, with 1.7 million in the last two months alone. This beat the 6 million year-end target. In 2014 EE added 350 more cities and towns, with more than 200 added in Q4 alone, bringing the total to 510 covered UK towns and cities with populations of 10,000 and above. 4G from EE now covers more than 80% of the population and is on target to reach 98% by the end of 2015. The company reported six times more 4G data uploaded and downloaded by customers in 2014 than in 2013.