Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Infinera Intros Open Mobile Transport for 5G

Infinera introduced a new range of flexponders for mobile fronthaul and a new EMXP Access Unit for mobile backhaul to extend the capabilities of its XTM Series-based solutions for future 5G networks. The solutions are designed for multiple future fronthaul scenarios requiring dramatically higher capacity and significantly lower-latency for 5G mobile transport.

Infinera said its new Mobile Fronthaul and Backhaul Solutions offer the low latency and highly accurate synchronization for 5G applications, such as autonomous vehicles. The solutions are reconfigurable in software and include hardened and non-hardened platform options to support different deployment environments. They are also fully programmable via software-defined network (SDN) controllers and orchestrators, and able to support any 5G radio solution.

Announcement highlights:

  • Infinera 5G-ready Mobile Fronthaul Solution. Adding a new range of flexponders for mobile fronthaul provides mobile operators with deployment flexibility via rack-mounted unit, hardened access unit and hardened clamshell options. Mobile operators also benefit from functional flexibility in which all units are fully reconfigurable to operate as transponders, as muxponders, or in hybrid mode, a level of flexibility that Infinera believes is unique to the industry. The flexponders enable service flexibility with support for Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) and Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI) mobile fronthaul protocols and Ethernet in both 4G and 5G environments. The flexponder features are coupled with the high-performance capabilities required for mobile fronthaul, such as low latency, superior synchronization and new fronthaul-specific capabilities including real-time delay compensation that enables better support for RAN in fiber protection scenarios.
  • Infinera Packet-Optical Mobile Backhaul Solution. Infinera’s Mobile Backhaul Solution now includes a new EMXP Access Unit that extends Infinera’s range of packet-optical transport switches to hardened environments such as street and cell site cabinets. The new unit supports a common software and feature set with the rest of the EMXP range, which includes Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) services, low latency, superior Synchronous Ethernet and 1588v2 synchronization and sophisticated network resilience options.
  • Infinera Open Architecture. Infinera’s Mobile Fronthaul and Backhaul Solutions are designed to be fully open to support SDN control by any orchestrator and offer the ability to transport any radio vendor’s equipment. For mobile backhaul, the full range of Infinera’s EMXP units now also supports a direct Openflow interface, controlled by Infinera’s Xceed Software Suite. This provides a multi-layer SDN control platform and SDN applications.
“The mobile industry is on the cusp of a step change to 5G. While the radio network needs to radically transform to the new 5G infrastructure and services, the underlying transport network requires a seamless evolution that protects operator investments now,” said Sten Nordell, CTO Metro Business Group at Infinera. “One key aspect to this is the ability to support future 5G mid-haul and cross-haul architectures in a truly open transport environment without lock-in to the radio vendor. We are already working with key players in the industry to allow pre-5G networks to be tested against high-performance transport networks and will demonstrate this at Mobile World Congress.”

http://www.infinera.com


OIF Completes SDN Transport Application Programming Interface (T-API) Testing

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) conducted a six-week long global testing of the Transport Application Programming Interface (T-API) standard from the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) with intra-lab and inter-lab testing across five carrier labs: China Telecom, China Unicom, SK Telecom, Telefonica and Verizon.

“As operators move from SDN PoCs and lab trials into commercial deployments, lack of interoperability between the SDN controllers and the orchestration layer above has quickly become the biggest technical barrier for many operators,” said Sterling Perrin, principal analyst, Heavy Reading. “Building a standardized northbound interface and successfully testing interoperability across different vendors and different networks – as the OIF has demonstrated – is a major step forward in addressing the northbound interface challenge and bringing SDN architectures to wide-scale commercial use.”

Thes testing included multi-domain orchestration of services delivered through Ethernet, OTN and optical switching. Carriers and vendors demonstrated how Virtual Network Functions (VNF) and SDN configured connectivity are combined to deliver service life cycle management.

Participating vendors include ADVA Optical Networking, Ciena, Coriant, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Infinera, Juniper Networks, NEC Corporation, Sedona Systems, and SM Optics. Consulting carriers include Orange and TELUS. Academic and/or research institution participants include China Academy of Telecommunication Research (CATR) and Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC).

Participants also submitted a proof of concept demo proposal to ETSI NFV called “Mapping ETSI-NFV onto Multi-Vendor, Multi-Domain Transport SDN”.

A technical white paper on the demonstration is available to download.

http://www.oiforum.com/meetings-and-events/2016-oif-sdn-t-api-demo/

Intelsat 32e Brings Broadband over North Atlantic & Caribbean

The Intelsat 32e satellite was successfully launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana.

Intelsat 32e is designed to overlay certain beams of Intelsat 29e, the company’s first Intelsat EpicNG spacecraft, increasing the throughput available in the highly-trafficked Caribbean and North Atlantic routes and providing resiliency for mobility network service providers servicing those shipping and air routes. The satellite is located at 317º East.

“This is the first of three Intelsat EpicNG satellite launches planned for 2017 as we continue to deploy our high-performance overlay on the world’s first Globalized Network. With the addition of Intelsat 32e, Intelsat is now the only satellite operator with HTS resiliency over the world’s busiest air route,” said Stephen Spengler, Chief Executive Officer, Intelsat. “Intelsat 32e also increases our capabilities to support the growth of our maritime customers in the Caribbean and the Atlantic, such as the exclusive use of our services for broadband to most of the world’s largest cruise ships sailing the Caribbean right now.”

The next EpicNG launch, Intelsat 35e, is scheduled aboard a SpaceX Falcon flight in Q2 2017.

http://www.intelsat.com

3GPP Debuts 5G Logo

The 3GPP has introduced a new logo to represent 5G specifications from Release 15 onwards.  The design is a derivation of existing 3GPP LTE logos.

3GPP makes the logos available for use by manufacturers and service providers to declare that their products are based on the Project’s specifications.

http://www.3gpp.org

ADVA Launches Hypervisor for Optical Network Virtualization

ADVA Optical Networking introduced its FSP Network Hypervisor for helping service providers to automate service discovery and service activation, especially when paired with the ADVA FSP 3000 DCI and network infrastructure solution.

ADVA said its FSP Network Hypervisor creates an abstracted view of the underlying physical infrastructure, helping to decouple the complexities of managing photonic transmission systems while enabling greater network automation and optimization. It assists service providers with topology discovery and abstraction, connectivity management, path computation and notifications. This in turn leads to self-provisioned services, automated resiliency and optimized resource utilization.

“There can be no question that by extending our open photonic system with an open SDN control we are leaps and bounds ahead of the field. This unique combination is the target for the rest of the industry to aim for,” said Christoph Glingener, CTO, COO, ADVA Optical Networking. “Our FSP Network Hypervisor is the next logical step in making our connectivity solutions truly open – in the data plane as well as in the control plane. At its core, it’s all about reducing complexity and helping CSPs and ICPs to be far more responsive to their networks’ needs. It enables real-time response to load changes, automatically reacts to network failures and ensures the most effective path computation. These are things that today’s static networks simply can’t do. You can now achieve in minutes what formerly took hours or even days. Our FSP Network Hypervisor will prove to be a key component for any CSPs and ICPs that are virtualizing their optical networks.”

http://adva.li/fsp-network-hypervisor-slides

Australia's nbn Reports Service Available to 3.8m premises, up 129% yr/yr, 1.6m Customers Connected

Australia's nbn has released financial results for the six months to December 31, 2016, noting strong performance in terms of key metrics and affirming that it is on target to reach the half-way point for its network roll-out by mid-2017 and its goal of completing the network by 2020.

Highlights for the six-month period ended December 31, 2016 include:

1. The number of premises able to order nbn service reached 3.8 million, up 129% compared with the prior year six-month period.

2. The number of homes and businesses with an active service on the nbn network increased to 1.6 million, up 125% year on year.

3. FTTN deployments enabled the higher rate of network build, with currently more than 1 million FTTN premises ready for service.

4. Revenue for the half-year totalled A$403 million (approximately $310 million), up 146% versus the first half of fiscal year 2016.

5. ARPU for the period remained stable at A$43, flat year on year.

nbn noted that in December 2016 the weekly run rate for new premises made ready for service rose to approximately 48,000 on a 12-week rolling average basis; for December 2015, the equivalent figure was 21,000 premises.

In terms of customer connections, the December 2016 weekly run rate reached approximately 20,000, roughly double that of the prior year period. In addition, by the end of January 2017 the weekly run rate for new connections had increased to 28,000.

nbn cited further key achievements for the half-year period including the launch of the second Sky Muster satellite into orbit and an increased focus on implementing advanced fibre-to-the-kerb technology in its network mix.

Commenting on the results, nbn CEO Bill Morrow, said:

- "Now, 80% of the country is either in design, in construction or already able to order a service… the company is on track to reach the half-way point of the rollout this year… nbn is refining processes with retailers to ensure ordering and installing a service on the nbn network can be completed more efficiently".

- "Already more end users are purchasing plans from retailers based on the 100 Mbit/s wholesale speed tier… nbn experienced the greatest incremental growth in this speed tier in the December quarter".

http://www.nbnco.com.au/

China Mobile Hong Kong Partners with Huawei to Migrate services to NFV cloud core network

China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK), a subsidiary of China Mobile, which serves around 850 million mobile subscribers in China, including 535,000 4G subscriptions, announced that in partnership with Huawei it has migrated services to a commercial NFV-based cloud core network.

CMHK claims that it has become the first mobile operator in Hong Kong to cloudify its core network. For the project CMHK deployed a 3GPP system that supports services for more than 20 network systems, including IP multimedia subsystem (IMS), evolved packet core (EPC), Diameter routing agent/mobile number portability (DRA/MNP), home subscriber server/home location register (HSS/HLR) and mobile switching centre-server (MSC-S).

The new network architecture delivered by Huawei is designed to both help maximise return on investment and improve operational and maintenance efficiency and provide a path toward 5G as part of the Network 2020 vision.

Previously, in November 2016 CMHK and Huawei jointly announced that CMHK has achieved a 4.5G mobile network milestone and that the operator had rolled out major network enhancements to enhance service performance and coverage during the year. CMHK and Huawei also completed a live demonstration of a 2.3GHz TDD massive MIMO solution and achieved a TDD + FDD 1 Gbit/s download speed.

In January 2017, CMHK launched a home broadband service providing bandwidth options of from 100 Mbit/s up to 1 Gbit/s.

Regarding the upgrade, Wang Yongde, VP of Huawei's cloud core network product line, commented, "On CMHK's cloud network, network elements IMS, packet switched and circuit switched domains are co-deployed... (and) VoLTE, VoWiFi and mobile data services are co-operated... CMHK and Huawei are jointly developing new technologies such as network slicing and edge computing for the transformation to cloud networks".

http://www.huawei.com/en/news/2017/2/Cloud-Era-HK-New-Cloud-Core-Network

Monday, February 13, 2017

Nokia Tests Video Streaming over 5GTF pre-Standard

On December 23, 2016, Nokia carried out the world's first connection based on the 5GTF 'pre-standard'.

The test, which took place in a laboratory environment in Oulu, Finland, used the 5GTF (Verizon 5G Technology Forum) draft specification and was made possible by Nokia's commercially available 5G-ready AirScale radio access with the Nokia AirFrame data center platform running on Intel architecture, together with the Intel 5G mobile trial platform as an end-user device.

The lab set-up included:

  • Nokia AirScale radio access, BTS with system module and radio unit running early 5G software, with 100 MHz frequency band on 28 GHz 
  • Nokia AirFrame data center solution 
  • Intel 5G mobile trial platform designed to support sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G bands; 2 or 4 layer MIMO; up to 800MHz channel bandwidth; and designed to support all pre-standard specifications trending to a common 3GPP NR standard V.
  • ideo streaming over the air to the device

Harold Graham, head of the 5G Business Line in Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: "This first 5G connection is a true landmark for the telecommunications industry, and yet another mark of Nokia's capabilities in 5G. With its low latency and significant capacity and speed increases, 5G will deliver a variety of new and innovative applications, and Nokia is playing leading roles in all aspects of the total 5G proposition. This 'first' highlights our commitment to being on the front line in providing our customers 5G-ready technologies so that they can seize early market opportunities by building 5G-enabled applications."

Nokia noted that the first GSM call was made in Finland more than 20 years ago using a network built by Nokia. The world's first 3G voice call, on a commercial 3GPP system was conducted in Finland in 2001, and then with the world's first LTE call via commercial software in Germany in 2009.

http://www.nokia.com

IBM's Watson Powers Cognitive Security Operations Center

IBM is putting Watson to work as the augmented intelligence technology for security operations centers (SOCs).

Specifically, Watson for Cyber Security will be integrated into IBM’s new Cognitive SOC platform, bringing together advanced cognitive technologies with security operations and providing the ability to respond to threats across endpoint, network, users and cloud. IBM Security also is announcing a new endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution called IBM BigFix Detect.

IBM Security said that over the past year, Watson has been trained on the language of cybersecurity, ingesting over 1 million security documents. Watson can now help security analysts parse thousands of natural language research reports that have never before been accessible to modern security tools. The centerpiece of this platform is IBM QRadar Advisor with Watson, a new app available in the IBM Security App Exchange, which is the first tool that taps into Watson’s corpus of cybersecurity insights.

“The Cognitive SOC is now a reality for clients looking to find an advantage against the growing legions of cybercriminals and next generation threats,” said Denis Kennelly, Vice President of Development and Technology, IBM Security. “Our investments in Watson for Cybersecurity have given birth to several innovations in just under a year. Combining the unique abilities of man and machine intelligence will be critical to the next stage in the fight against advanced cybercrime.”

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/51577.wss

Intel: Building Trust in a Cloudy Sky

IT professionals are gaining trust in public cloud services, according to the second annual cloud security report from Intel Security, which surveyed more than 2,000 participants. The finding validates an overall perception that confidence in public cloud services continues to improve year over year. Those who trust public clouds now outnumber those who distrust public clouds by more than 2-to-1.

“The ‘Cloud First’ strategy is now well and truly ensconced into the architecture of many organizations across the world,” said Raj Samani, EMEA chief technology officer, Intel Security. “The desire to move quickly toward cloud computing appears to be on the agenda for most organizations. This year, the average time before respondents thought their IT budgets would be 80 percent cloud-based was 15 months, indicating that Cloud First for many companies is progressing and remains the objective.”

Some key findings:

  • Shadow IT - due to the ease of procurement, almost 40 percent of cloud services are now commissioned without the involvement of IT
  • Visibility of these Shadow IT services has dropped from about 50 percent last year to just under 47 percent this year. As a result, 65 percent of IT professionals think this phenomenon is interfering with their ability to keep the cloud safe and secure. 
  • The number of organizations using private cloud only has dropped from 51 percent to 24 percent over the past year, while hybrid cloud use has increased from 19 percent to 57 percent. 
  • On average, 52 percent of an organization’s data center servers are virtualized, 80 percent are using containers and most expect to have the conversion to a fully software-defined data center completed within two years.
  • User credentials, especially for administrators, will be the most likely form of attack. Organizations need to ensure they are using authentication best practices, such as distinct passwords, multi-factor authentication and even biometrics where available.
  • Security technologies such as data loss prevention, encryption and cloud access security brokers (CASBs) remain underutilized. Integrating these tools with an existing security system increases visibility, enables discovery of shadow services, and provides options for automatic protection of sensitive data at rest and in motion throughout any type of environment.
  • Organizations need to evolve toward a risk management and mitigation approach to information security. They should consider adopting a Cloud First strategy to encourage adoption of cloud services to reduce costs and increase flexibility, and put security operations in a proactive position instead of a reactive one.

http://www.mcafee.com/cloudsecurityreport

Nokia Showcases 4.9G

Nokia confirmed plans to introduce its 4.9G technologies by the end of 2017, including a 4.9G massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna that will increase cell capacity by up to five times and a new 4.5G Pro AirScale Micro Remote Radio Head (RRH) that will allow operators to take advantage of unlicensed spectrum to enable Gigabit speeds.      

"Nokia introduced 4.5G Pro and 4.9G last year to allow operators to implement network capacity increases where and when it made sense for them. Now we are delivering features that will maximize their resources, speed up deployment times and cut power and costs especially in the most densely populated locations. We are making 4.5G Pro a commercial reality now and working with customers to innovate with solutions to their network densification and evolution challenges in 4.9G and beyond," stated Frank Weyerich, head of Mobile Networks Products at Nokia.

At the upcoming Mobile World Congress, Nokia and Sprint demo 3D Beamforming software to deliver throughput gains of up to eightfold uplink and fivefold downlink. The demonstration will leverage commercially-available devices operating on TD-LTE band 41. In addition, Nokia will showcase:


  • 4.9G AirScale technology achieving 3 Gbps peak rates
  • 4.5G Pro CBRS-FDD four carrier aggregation connected to Nokia Bell Labs Spectrum Access System (SAS) using a commercial chipset
  • Nokia Bell Labs Liquid Cooling demonstration converting 80 percent of base station waste into useful heat to reduce site power costs.

http://www.nokia.com


Intel Previews Cyclone FPGAs

Intel introduced its Cyclone 10 family of field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) aimed at automotive, industrial automation, pro audio visual and vision systems applications.

The company said the new Cyclone 10 GX is unique among other low-cost FPGAs as it can support 10G transceivers and hard floating point DSP (digital signal processing). It offers 2-times the performance increase over the previous generation of Cyclone. The architectural innovation in the implementation of IEEE 754 single-precision hardened floating-point DSP blocks can enable processing rates up to 134 GFLOPs (giga floating-point operations per second). This is important for engineers needing higher performance using the FPGA for applications such as motion or motor control systems.

The Cyclone 10 FPGA family will be available in the second half of 2017, along with evaluation kits and boards, and the latest version of Quartus, the Intel FPGA programming software.

http://www.intel.com


  • Intel completed its acquisition of Altera in January 2016. 

AT&T Expands its Residential Fiber Rollout

AT&T has expanded its residential fiber rollout to parts of 5 more metro markets: Columbia (South Carolina), Jackson (Mississippi), Knoxville (Tennessee), Milwaukee (Wisconsin) and Shreveport (Louisiana).

By the end of February, AT&T Fiber will be in 51 major metros nationwide, offering 1 Gbps connections to nearly 4 million customer locations.

By mid-2019, AT&T plans to reach at least 12.5 million locations across 67 metro areas with its 100% fiber network.

https://www.att.com/internet/fiber.html

Mellanox Demos Innova IPsec 40G Ethernet Network Adapter

Mellanox Technologies announced that its Innova IPsec Network Adapter demonstrated more than three times higher throughput and more than four times better CPU utilization in crypto throughput when compared to x86 software-based server offerings.

The Innova IPsec adapter addresses the growing need for security and “encryption by default” by combining Mellanox ConnectX advanced network adapter accelerations with IPsec offload capabilities to deliver end-to-end data protection in a low profile PCIe form factor. It offers support for RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE), Ethernet stateless offload engines, Overlay Networks, etc.

“The Innova security adapter product line enables the use of secure communications in a cost effective and a performant manner,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “Whether used within an appliance such as firewall or gateway, or as an intelligent adapter that ensures data-in-motion protection, Innova IPsec adapters are the ideal solution for cloud, Web 2.0, telecommunication, high-performance compute, storage systems and other applications.”

http://www.mellanox.com

CipherCloud Adds Mobile App for its CASB

CipherCloud, which offers a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), released a new mobile app that extends customer-controlled encryption to devices downloading sensitive data and files from cloud applications.

Key features of the solution include:

  • Seamless access to encrypted data for authorized users, on any iOS, Android, Mac or Windows device
  • Multi-cloud support for all major collaboration apps including Salesforce, Office 365, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and many other cloud applications
  • Policy-based AES encryption of selective fields and files containing sensitive information
  • Customer controlled encryption keys supporting on-premises, cloud and hybrid models
  • Adaptive policy controls and conditional encryption based on users, groups, content, location and context
  • Real-time policy enforcement and key revocation for lost or stolen devices
  • Support for internal and external collaborators, including partners, vendors, suppliers and customer
  • Seamless integration with entire CipherCloud platform providing visibility, data protection and governance across a wide range of public and private cloud applications


http://www.ciphercloud.com

T-Mobile US Sweetens Unlimited Plan as Competition Heats Up

One day after Verizon announced its reentry into unlimited mobile data plans, T-Mobile announced the addition of HD video and 10GB high-speed Mobile Hotspot data to its T-Mobile ONE unlimited plan. T-Mobile also introduced a new offer of two lines on T-Mobile ONE for $100.

“I don’t blame Verizon for caving. They just lost their network advantage, and they know it … and more importantly, more and more customers know it. Their back’s against the wall,” said John Legere, president and CEO at T-Mobile. “This is what the Un-carrier does—drag the carriers kicking and screaming into the future. Next up, we’re going to force them to include monthly taxes and fees. Mark my words.”

http://www.tmobile.com

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Verizon Rejoins Unlimited Mobile Data Club

Verizon is launching an unlimited mobile data plan.

Verizon Unlimited provides unlimited data on a smartphone and tablet over its LTE network. The plan also covers HD video streaming, Mobile Hotspot, calling and texting to Mexico and Canada and up to 500 MB/day of 4G LTE roaming in Mexico and Canada. However, after 22 GB of data usage on a line during any billing cycle, Verizon said it may prioritize usage behind other customers in the event of network congestion. Mobile Hotspot provides 10 GB of 4G LTE data, after that, the speed drops to 3G equivalent.

Verizon Unlimited has two options:

  • $80 for unlimited data, talk and text on a smartphone with paper-free billing and AutoPay.
  • $45 per line for four lines with unlimited data, talk and text on smartphones and tablets with paper-free billing and AutoPay.

Verizon is now offering add on service to a connected smart watch, GizmoPal, or other connected device for $5 each month.

"We've built our network so we can manage all the activity customers undertake. Everything we've done is to provide the best experience on the best network – and we've built it for the future, not just for today," said Ronan Dunne, president of Verizon's wireless division. "We also fundamentally want you to have more choice. We're not limiting you to a single plan. If you don't need unlimited data, we still have 5 GB, S, M, and L Verizon plans that are perfect for you."

Verizon noted that its 4G LTE network already covers more than 2.4 million square miles and consistently delivers fast speeds in more places than any other network.

http://www.verizon.com/about/news/get-unlimited-data-network-you-deserve-verizon

Sprint Offers 5 Lines of Unlimited Data for $90

Sprint is launching a special promotion in which consumers can get Unlimited Data, Talk and Text for $50/month for the first line with AutoPay, two lines for just $90/month; and the third, fourth and fifth lines of Unlimited Data, Talk and Text are FREE.1 When you do the math, it’s amazing: A family of five will pay $90/month for five lines.

“Sprint understands the value of unlimited data to our customers,” said Roger Solé, Sprint chief marketing officer. “Customers do more with their phones every day and they want to use them without limits. With our new offer, you can sign up for a plan that allows you to surf and stream all you want and not worry about overage fees and charges. So why not use your wireless device to its full potential to enjoy things you love like Snapchat, social media, Twitter, watching video, texting and calling – all on our highly reliable network.”

http://www.sprint.com/unlimited

See also