Monday, February 8, 2016

Con Edison Picks Silver Spring for Smart Grid and IoT

Con Edison and Orange & Rockland (O&R) Utilities, both regulated operating companies of Consolidated Edison, selected Silver Spring to support its Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) plan for electric and gas customers. The program is expected to connect approximately 3.9 million electric and 1.3 million gas customers through the deployment of Silver Spring’s multi-application networking, data, and control platform.

“We are honored to partner with Con Edison and O&R on this groundbreaking project,” said Mike Bell, CEO and President of Silver Spring Networks. “The technology being deployed and their commitment to meeting the evolving needs of customers through the application of advanced technology builds on their nearly two centuries of innovation and customer service.”

Silver Spring also announced upgrades to its Gen5 critical infrastructure networking platform, including doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communication on both 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz frequencies, integrating 4G LTE communications, and delivering simplified modularity for easier device integration. These Gen5 platform enhancements, coupled with Silver Spring’s existing multi-application, range, latency, scale, distributed intelligence, and power optimization capabilities, further enable utilities, cities and other Internet of Things (IOT) device and application providers to deliver multiple applications on a single, unified network without compromising reliability, speed, security, or cost.

Silver Spring said its systems are now supporting nearly 23 million devices.

http://www.silverspringnet.com/blog

Eutelsat Prepares for Launch of Latin American Satellite

Space Systems Loral (SSL) delivered the EUTELSAT 65 West A satellite to the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, where it will be launched aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle by Arianespace. The advanced high throughput satellite will be used by Eutelsat to provide new broadcast and broadband services in Brazil and across Latin America.

EUTELSAT 65 West A has 10 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders, for video and data services and 24 Ka-band spot beams for broadband connectivity in key regions. The satellite is designed to provide approximately 16-kW of power at end of life. It is based on the SSL 1300 platform.

"EUTELSAT 65 West A is an exceptional and complex satellite with advanced capabilities that will bring information, entertainment and new opportunities to Latin America and to Brazil in an Olympic year," said John Celli, president of SSL. "It is our pleasure to collaborate closely with the Eutelsat team, which shares our focus on innovation and performance."

http://www.eutelsat.com
http://www.sslmda.com

Friday, February 5, 2016

Italtel Launches NFV--based 'SIP Trunking as a Service'

Italtel announced the availability of its 'SIP Trunking as a Service' solution - based on its NetMatch-S Cloud-Inside Session Border Controller (SBC) - for service providers' business customers.

The service enables the deployment of a session border controller in the cloud data center rather than at the customer premise.

Italtel CEO Stefano Pileri said: "This solution gives Service Providers a competitive advantage by allowing them to offer flexible and scalable UC&C solutions in their Clouds via an "as a service" model. Their business customers, on the other hand, will benefit from a flexible solution offering security and Service Level Agreements, as well as seamless and automatic updates with best-in-class features which follow a 'pay-as-you-grow' model and can be easily implemented."

http://www.italtel.com/en/

Level 3: Demand for Bandwidth Remains Strong

Level 3 Communications reported revenue of 2.053 billion for the fourth quarter 2015, compared to $2.052 billion for the fourth quarter 2014 and $8.229 billion for the full year 2015 compared to $8.123 billion for the full year 2014. In the fourth quarter 2015, the company generated net income of $3.323 billion and basic earnings per share of $9.33.

"Our 2015 results demonstrate Level 3's solid execution and performance," said Jeff Storey, president and CEO of Level 3. "Demand for bandwidth remains strong and the proliferation of connected devices continues. These demand drivers are creating an enterprise networking opportunity that is well suited for the depth, scale and reach of Level 3's global network and capabilities. We believe we are well positioned to continue to take enterprise market share."

Some highlights:

  • Grew Core Network Services revenue by 5.3 percent for the full year 2015, on a pro forma and constant currency basis
  • Grew Enterprise Core Network Services revenue by 7.2 percent for the full year 2015, on a pro forma and constant currency basis.

http://investors.level3.com

Telstra Books 1800 MHz Band in Australian Spectrum Auction

Telstra secured 57 blocks of spectrum licenses at an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) auction. The blocks of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band cover 12 regions across Australia and will be used to enhance the delivery of 4G mobile services. Telstra will pay A$190 million for the spectrum licences, which have a term of 11 years.

"As a result of the auction, we’ll be at least doubling the amount of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band that we can use to provide 4G services in these areas. In fact, in some regions we will more than triple the amount available. Securing this extra spectrum allows Telstra to deliver more capacity to cater to our customers’ growing demand for mobile data. It will also enable mobile data to be delivered at even faster speeds," stated Telstra CEO Andy Penn.

http://www.telstra.com.au/aboutus/media/media-releases/telstra-customers-to-benefit-from-more-spectrum-in-1800-mhz-band.xml

Final USAF GPS IIF Satellite Successfully Launched

United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched a Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-12 satellite for the U.S. Air Force aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

GPS IIF-12 is the final satellite in the IIF-block of satellites, which are the next-generation GPS satellites that incorporate numerous improvements to provide greater accuracy, increased signals and enhanced performance for users. This mission was ULA's 104th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

"Congratulations to the ULA, Boeing and Air Force teams on the successful launch of GPS IIF-12.  We began launching the IIF satellites in May 2010 and have appreciated the outstanding teamwork of everyone involved as we have worked together to deliver all 12 IIF satellites. This system provides incredible capabilities to our women and men in uniform while enabling so many technologies that impact all of our daily lives. We are proud to be GPS's ride to space," said Laura Maginnis, ULA vice president, Custom Services.

http://www.ulalaunch.com/

Xilinx FPGA to Support 25G per Lane Copper Cabling at Five Meters

Xilinx announced that its Virtex UltraScale FPGAs have achieved compliance to the 25GE, 50GE and 100GE copper cable and backplane IEEE and related specifications, which supports up to five meters of copper cabling in the data center and up to one meter of backplane interconnect.

These specifications include the IEEE 802.3bj 100GBASE-CR4/KR4, IEEE 802.3by 25GBASE-CR/CR-S/KR/KR-S, and 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium 50GBASE-CR2/KR2. Data center customers can now leverage nx25G lanes of copper cabling versus optics for more cost and power-optimized solutions to connect servers to top-of-rack switches using any off-the-shelf, specification-compliant vendor.

"With Virtex UltraScale FPGAs in volume production, and as the industry's only FPGA supplier compliant to the 25Gb per lane copper cable and backplane specifications, we are committed to helping our customers utilize the lowest risk and most cost effective solutions for their data centers," said Kirk Saban, senior director of FPGA and SoC product management and marketing.

http://press.xilinx.com/2016-02-02-Xilinx-Transceiver-Breakthrough-Brings-Greater-Cost-Efficiency-to-Data-Center-Interconnects

Xilinx Tech Ventures to Invest in Cloud & NFV Start-ups

Xilinx Technology Ventures is launching a Data Center Ecosystem Investment Program that will focus primarily on technologies that expand Xilinx's data center products and offerings and ignite industry innovation, time to market advantage, and lower overall cost of ownership. The new program targets solutions for emerging workload applications such as machine learning, image and video processing, data analytics, storage data base acceleration, and network acceleration.

As part of this program, Xilinx recently completed its first data center ecosystem investment in TeraDeep, Inc., a company specializing in convolutional neural networks-based machine learning. TeraDeep is widely recognized for its state-of-the-art deep learning expertise and acceleration technology which runs on Xilinx® FPGAs. Through this investment, TeraDeep will continue to work closely with Xilinx to further optimize its solutions on Xilinx-based FPGA boards.

"Through this investment program, we want to help enable start-ups that create libraries, middleware, and application software to accelerate the broad deployment of Xilinx FPGA solutions in the Data Center," said Greer Person, senior director, Corporate Business Development. "In addition to funding, our portfolio companies often gain access to Xilinx business and technology experts, products, and design environments to help them create more competitive solutions, accelerate time-to-market, and reduce development costs."

http://www.xilinx.com/about/technology-investments.html

German Broadcaster Picks SES Platform

TELE 5, a leading commercial broadcaster in Germnay, has renewed a multi-year contract with SES Platform Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES.

Under the deal, SES Platform Services, a global service provider for the distribution of video content, will be providing services to TELE 5 which include editing and distributing video and metadata (such as information about license periods, pictures, trailers and brief descriptions) – from live broadcasting to video-on-demand.

TELE 5’s inventory of over 8,000 hours of HD video material and over 2,000 assets – from feature films to magazine formats and original reporting – is stored in Fluid MAM (Media Asset Management), a Web-based media management application developed by SES Platform Services and based on secure cloud technology. It enables companies to digitally manage their video and metadata easily and conveniently, before efficiently delivering the content to internet or VOD platforms.

TELE 5 will use Fluid MAM to deliver more than 1,200 hours of VOD content annually. The flexible playout system Fluid PLAY guarantees high audiovisual quality and allows for sophisticated video effects and special forms of advertising.

http://www.ses.com/4232583/en

Swisscom: Flat Revenues, Higher CAPEX for Broadband Upgrades

Swisscom reported 2015 revenue of 11,678 million (CHF), down 0.2% from 2014.  Net income came in at 1,362 million (CHF).

“Currency effects and more intense competition with stronger price dynamic characterised our business in the last year”, said CEO Urs Schaeppi. “In view of the challenging environment in the ICT market, I am satisfied with our operating business. On a like-for-like basis, we achieved a slight increase in revenue as well as operating income (EBITDA). The expansion of the national infrastructure and new offerings according to the needs of our customers will continue to call for high capital expenditure. Fastweb recorded positive customer growth of 6.2% in the Italian market. As a result of strong competition and price pressure, we set ourselves the goal of reducing our costs by over CHF 300 million by 2020.”

Some highlights from the report:


  • Swisscom TV access lines in Switzerland reached 1,331,000 as of 31-Dec-2015, up 14.2% from a year earlier.
  • Mobile lines in Switzerland reached 6,625,00 as of 31-Dec-2015, up 1.3% from a year earlier.
  • Broadband access lines Fastweb reached 2,201,000 as of 31-Dec-2015, up 6.2% from a year earlier.
  • CAPEX in Switzerland reached 1,822 (CHF million), up 4.1 %
  • Group-wide capital expenditure fell by CHF 27 million or 1.1% to CHF 2,409 million


https://www.swisscom.ch/en/about/medien/press-releases/2016/02/20160204-MM-Jahresbericht-2015.html

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ericsson Pushes Gigabit LTE and Hyper-Scalable RAN

Ericsson's next Networks Software 16B release will support 1 Gbps LTE user downlink rates and feature "hyper-scalable" radio access network (RAN) architecture. New Elastic RAN will harness interconnected basebands for optimal coordination throughout the network as a foundation in Cloud Radio Access Network (RAN) deployment. Ericsson is also adding to its Radio System portfolio with new microwave backhaul products and new access radios supporting 4x4 MIMO and 256 QAM.

Ericsson Networks Software 16B, which is slated for commercial release in Q2, will be showcased later this month at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  Key features include:

  • Three component Carrier Aggregation (CA) which enables the user to benefit from up to 60 MHz combined bandwidth from different spectrum bands simultaneously;
  • 4X4 MIMO (multiple input multiple output) which doubles the number of unique data streams being transmitted to the user’s smartphone, thereby enabling up to twice the capacity and data throughput;
  • LTE 256 QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) encoding which packs more bits into the available spectrum; and
  • Ericsson Lean Carrier, which increases both the data throughput received by end users, and overall system capacity by reducing the interference caused by excess reference signaling across the LTE network.

Ericsson’s new Elastic RAN enables every Ericsson Radio System LTE baseband unit to coordinate with any adjacent one, whether in a centralized, distributed or hybrid network architecture using high-performance Ethernet transport networks.  Ericsson said this Elastic RAN approach ensures that capabilities such as Carrier Aggregation (CA) and Coordinated Multipoint (CoMP) can improve the user’s app coverage network wide irrespective of the baseband deployment scenario.

The Ericsson Radio System, which launched in Q1 2015 and became generally available in Q3 2015, is now complemented with three new radio access products supporting 4X4 MIMO as well as new spectrum bands and spectrum re-farming:

  • Radio 4415 with 4x40W output power supports 4x4 MIMO to increase capacity by doubling the available data streams
  • Radio 2012 adds support for the 1.4 GHz Supplemental Downlink band, thereby adding capacity to the network
  • Radio 2212 with 2x80W output power to facilitate spectrum re-farming as operators upgrade from 2G to 3G and LTE

New microwave additions to the Ericsson Radio System include:

  • MINI-LINK 6651, a compact indoor unit with a link capacity of 1.9 Gbps (using 4096 QAM and a 112 MHz channel), which is used for split mount deployments using an outdoor radio unit.
  • MINI-LINK 6354, a two carrier all outdoor solution for traditional frequency bands, providing a capacity of 2.8 Gbps (using 4096 QAM and 112 MHz channels).
  • Multi-band Booster, which provides a significant boost in performance and improved use of spectrum, by combining a wider high frequency channel with a narrow low frequency channel. One example is bonding of an E-band microwave radio, (70 and 80 GHz) together with a radio using a channel in the 23 GHz to enable 10 times more capacity than 23 GHz alone.
  • High Performance Compact antennas for the current MINI-LINK 6363, MINI-LINK 6352 and Fronthaul 6392

"Our latest combination of software, hardware and network architecture innovations supported on the Ericsson Radio System, ensure that our mobile operator customers can continue to delight their customers while driving network performance and efficiency improvements as they evolve to 5G. Gigabit LTE, Elastic RAN, and new radio access and microwave backhaul products are all designed to help our operators become the frontrunners in their markets,” stated Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Radio, Ericsson.

http://www.ericsson.com/news/160204-ericsson-unleashes-gigabit-lte-and-creates-hyperscale-cloud-ran_244039856_c

LinkedIn Develops its Own Data Center Switch

LinkedIn's engineering team has developed its own data center switch to keep up with the rapidly growing traffic demands of its professional, social network.

The new switch, dubbed "Pigeon", is a 3.2 Tbps switching platform that can be used as a leaf or spine switch. It uses Broadcom's latest Tomahawk silicon (32X100G) and switch software developed in house.

In a blog post, Zaid Ali Kahn describes why the company decided to take on the difficult task of switching software code development rather than relying on an existing network equipment supplier. Key reason include ongoing bugs, unneeded features, lack of a Linux-based platform support tools such as Chef/Puppet/CFEngine, out-of-date monitoring capabilities, and the high-cost of scaling the software license.

The Pigeon switch will be deployed in LinkedIn's upcoming data center in Oregon.

https://engineering.linkedin.com/blog/2016/02/falco-decoupling-switching-hardware-and-software-pigeon

Ericsson Rolls out WCDMA Upgrades

Ericsson announced three WCDMA solutions: CDMA Flow of Users, Zero Touch WCDMA and Mobile Broadband Expander.  The company said these updates represent a significant step toward realizing itsvision of mobile broadband for everyone.

Currently, there are 3.6 billion mobile broadband subscriptions worldwide, corresponding to a penetration rate of less than 50% of world population. Ericsson believes over ninety percent of the world’s population to be covered by WCDMA/HSPA mobile broadband networks by 2021.

  • WCDMA Flow of Users allows operators to maintain an optimal flow of smartphone users through a 3G/WCDMA network. It uses a defined selection of software features and settings to automatically balance active user count and consumer experience. As a result, operators can maximize smartphone user experience, even during busy traffic-load conditions, while ensuring high-quality voice services. The solution is already proven in the field, with global operators successfully doubling – or better – their network uplink and downlink throughput performance, while substantially reducing dropped call rates.
  • The Zero Touch WCDMA approach industrializes the Flow of Users solution across all features and parameters in a 3G/WCDMA network, resulting in what can be termed a gold standard. With a gold standard setting based on Ericsson recommendations, a Zero Touch period is introduced in the RAN software upgrade cycle. During the Zero Touch period, there is minimal need for an operator to configure or tune a network, except when dimensioning or expanding coverage. This radically reduces the management effort for a 3G/WCDMA installation, supports faster upgrades, and can triple operational efficiency, along with maintaining high-quality app coverage in both low and high traffic-load scenarios.
  • Mobile Broadband Expander with Intelligent Antenna Sharing enables antenna reuse between existing GSM sites and new WCDMA equipment, as well as reuse of site power, microwave and transport infrastructure. Reusing resources in this way can reduce TCO by more than 60 percent compared with building a conventional site, and supports accelerated rollout of 3G technologies.

“The latest Ericsson Mobility Report shows that 20 new mobile broadband subscriptions are activated every second, and will reach 7.7 billion globally by 2021. 3G/WCDMA networks will continue to be the foundation as mobile broadband brings new possibilities to people and industries around the world. For operators, capturing this global opportunity requires performance, efficiency and innovation – exactly what Ericsson’s new WCDMA launches deliver. We are committed to broadband for everyone, and in terms of supporting coverage growth, these solutions represent some of the most important additions ever to our portfolio,” stated Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Radio, Ericsson.

http://www.ericsson.com/news/160204-latest-ericsson-wcdma-launches-to-accelerate-mobile-broadband-for-everyone_244039856_c

Verizon, Sequans Collaborate on LTE CAT M Chipsets

Sequans Communications and Verizon are collaborating to accelerate development of CAT M-capable LTE chipsets.

Category M is based on the coming Release 13 of the 3GPP LTE standard, which defines new features such as extended coverage, lower data rate and lower power consumption.  Cat M LTE is aimed at a new class of LTE applications for machine-type-communications (MTC) devices, such as wearables, asset trackers, smart meters and industrial sensors.

Verizon and Sequans previously collaborated on CAT 1 LTE technology, which led to Verizon becoming the first in the world to deploy CAT 1 LTE devices commercially.

“We led the industry when we introduced our Calliope CAT 1 LTE chipset platform, tested it on Verizon’s network, and introduced it to the market where it is now being deployed broadly,” said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. “And we are excited to extend our partnership with Verizon to address the CAT M space. Having the support of Verizon will ensure the new Sequans CAT M-capable chipsets currently in development will be ready as quickly as possible.”

http://www.sequans.com

Box Offers Encryption Key Management with AWS

Box introduced new solutions for customer managed encryption, ensuring independent control of encryption keys.

Box KeySafe is available in two offerings.  The first combines Amazon Web Services (AWS) and a dedicated hardware storage module (HSM) to protect keys used to encrypt sensitive data. The second integrates with AWS Key Management Service but doesn't require dedicated HSMs.

“Businesses of every size across even the most regulated of industries can now take full control of their data in the cloud with Box KeySafe,” said Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box. “Today, we’re making customer-managed encryption easier to deploy and more cost-effective than ever before, further raising the bar for security in the cloud.”

http://www.box.com

Nokia Predicts Network Capacity Needs for IPTV

Nokia is introducing two separate analytics capabilities for operators to  ensure the proper network capacity to support new services and maintain the highest quality IPTV service.

  • Capacity Advisor for Nokia Performance Manager (NPM) analyzes past and present network use data to predict the network capacity operators will need to keep up with growth in service usage when launching a service or marketing campaign. Operators can create 'what-if' scenarios to identify capacity bottlenecks and plan capacity upgrades in the right locations at the right time without disrupting the customer experience.
  • Nokia Service Quality Manager (SQM) for IPTV lets operators rapidly identify and fix IPTV service issues 50% more quickly to halve the number of service-related customer complaints. Operators can see on one dashboard the quality of the IPTV service they are delivering and automatically prioritize corrective actions and avoid unnecessary site visits.

"By combining intelligent analytics engines and Nokia's deep expertise in operating, optimizing and delivering multivendor, multitechnology networks, we deliver top network and service quality along with the ability to take action quickly. Today's launch of new capabilities for Nokia Performance Manager includes thousands of off-the-shelf KPIs and reports based on real operational cases," stated Bhaskar Gorti, President of Applications & Analytics, at Nokia.

http://company.nokia.com/en/news/press-releases/2016/02/04/nokia-launches-analytics-to-predict-network-capacity-needs-and-protect-iptv-service-quality-mwc16

Viavi Appoints Oleg Khaykin as CEO

Viavi Solutions appointed Oleg Khaykin as its new President and CEO, replacing interim President and CEO Richard E. Belluzzo, who will continue his position as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Khaykin has also been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors.

Prior to joining Viavi, Khaykin was a Senior Advisor with Silver Lake Partners.  Before that, he was President and CEO of International Rectifier from 2008 until its acquisition by Infineon AG in the January of 2015. He has also served as Chief Operating Officer of Amkor Technology and Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at Conexant Systems.  Earlier in his career he spent eight years with The Boston Consulting Group and prior to that, he was an engineer at Motorola.

http://www.viavisolutions.com/

Viavi Announces Leadership Change One Week After Launch

The Board of Directors of Viavi Solutions appointed Richard E. Belluzzo as interim president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Belluzzo currently serves as Chairman.  Tom Waechter has stepped down as the company's president and chief executive officer and Board member. The Viavi Board is commencing a search for a permanent president and chief executive officer.

The announcement follows the separation of JDSU into two public companies on August 1, 2015 -- Viavi and Lumentum.

RagingWire Data Centers Appoints President

RagingWire Data Centers, which is an NTT Communications group company, has appointed Douglas S. Adams as president of the company effective immediately.

In this new role, Mr. Adams will be responsible for leading the company’s strategic growth plan focused on building wholesale data center campuses in top North American data center markets and working with NTT Communications and its affiliates as part of one of the world’s largest data center colocation providers.

Prior to being named president, Mr. Adams held multiple executive positions at RagingWire leading sales, marketing, product, and operations, and was most recently Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. Previously, he served as general manager of the magnetic and optical data storage products division of NEC Technologies, Inc., and in sales, business development, and senior management at Mars, Inc.

RagingWire Data Centers has nearly 1,000,000 square feet of data center space and 80 megawatts of power in the United States, and an additional 3,000,000 square feet currently under development.

http://www.ragingwire.com/news/douglas-adams-named-president-of-ragingwire-data-centers

See also