Thursday, June 29, 2017

Spectra7, providing chips for high-speed connectivity, raises $4.6m

Spectra7 Microsystems of San Jose, California, a developer of high performance analogue semiconductors, announced that it has closed its previously announced bought deal offering of 11,500,000 units at a price of 40c per unit, including the full exercise of the over-allotment option, for aggregate gross proceeds of $4.6 million.

Spectra7 stated that the public offering was underwritten by a syndicate of underwriters led by Canaccord Genuiy and including Eight Capital and Echelon Wealth Partners.

In addition to the public offering, the company announced that it has closed the first tranche of its private placement of units, as previously announced on June 7th, pursuant to which it issued 3,280,750 units for additional gross proceeds of $1.31 million, including subscriptions by its CEO and certain directors of the company.

Each unit issued through the offerings comprises one common share and one-half of a common share purchase warrant, with each warrant entitling the holder to acquire one common share for 55c per share for a period of two years after closing of the offerings.

Spectra7 stated that the net proceeds from the offerings will be used to fund R&D and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Separately, the company announced amendments to its $6.50 million senior secured term loan facility with MidCap Financial. The amendments include extending the commencement date for principal payments under the loan facility by a year to June 1, 2018, and the option to extend the maturity date of the facility by a further year upon satisfaction of certain conditions.

In relation to the amendments, Spectra7 has issued warrants to purchase up to 750,000 common shares, with each warrant exercisable for a period of five years into one common share at a price of 39c.

For its most recent quarter ended March 31, 2017, Spectra7 reported revenue of $2.7 million, up 8% versus $2.5 million a year earlier, with gross margin as a percentage of revenue for the quarter at 60%, flat sequentially.


* In January, Spectra7 demonstrated what it claimed as the first QSFP28 Double Density (QSFP28-DD) active copper cable (ACC) integrating its new GaugeChanger Plus GC2502 silicon. It also stated it would begin sampling GaugeChanger Plus QSFP28-DD active copper modules to data centre cable assembly companies during the quarter.

Using the linear design of its GC2502, Spectra7 noted that the modules can support both NRZ and PAM4 signalling, enabling 200 or 400 Gigabit Ethernet transmissions over the same cable.

* Spectra7 also announced sampling of IEEE COM-compliant SFP28 and QSFP28 active copper modules to Tier 1 cable assembly and data centre customers in North America and Asia. It noted the modules were available for evaluation and qualification by customers such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Baidu and Alibaba, as well as data centre equipment manufacturers such as Cisco, HP, Dell and Hauwei.


* Spectra7 is an analogue semiconductor company delivering solutions enabling high bandwidth, speed and resolution for electronics manufacturers addressing broadband connectivity markets. Based in San Jose, the company has design centres in Markham, Ontario, Cork, Ireland and Little Rock, Arkansas.

PacketFabric partners with Internet exchanges

PacketFabric, provider of a scalable network-as-a-service platform and a NantWorks group company, announced it has partnered with multiple Internet exchanges (IXs) to extend Internet exchange services to users across the PacketFabric network.

Under the agreements, PacketFabric is initially partnering with multi-metro IXs including AMS-IX and DE-CIX, as well as regional organisations IX-Denver and United IX's Chicago Internet Exchange (ChIX) to launch its IX extension service.

The partnerships will allow PacketFabric to offer an expanded range of interconnection services via its network, as well as enabling its ecosystem partners to reach additional markets and new customers.

Recently, Netrality Properties, owner and operator of network-neutral carrier hotels and colocation facilities, announced that PacketFabric had established a presence at four of its data centre properties nationwide.

Netrality specifically announced the deployment at the following locations: 325 Hudson Street, New York City; 401 North Broad Street, Philadelphia; 717 South Wells Street, Chicago; and 1301 Fannin Street, Houston.


* PacketFabric's software-defined networking (SDN) platform is designed to allow instant, reliable, scalable and secure connectivity between two or more locations. Under the agreement, Netrality customers at the four locations can dynamically design and deploy any network configuration leveraging cloud-based network connectivity to meet their unique and growing network demands.

* PacketFabric, which launched in January this year, offers coast-to-coast connectivity between 130 key colocation facilities across 13 U.S. markets and enables cost-effective and scalable network deployment via its advanced API and web-based portal.


Cavium unveils FastLinQ 41000 10/25/40/50 GBE NIC

Cavium announced the introduction of the FastLinQ 41000 Series products, its low power, second generation 10/25/40/50 Gigabit Ethernet NIC that is claimed to be the only such adapter to feature Universal RDMA.

Cavium's FastLinQ 41000 Series devices are designed to deliver advanced networking for cloud and telco architectures; the products are available immediately from Cavium and shortly due to be available from Tier-1 OEMs/ODMs in standard, mezzanine, LOM and OCP form factors.

The FastLinQ QL41000 family of standards-compliant 25/50 Gigabit Ethernet NICs offer support for concurrent RoCE, RoCEv2 and iWARP - Universal RDMA. The FastLinQ adapters, coupled with server and networking platforms, are designed to enable enterprise data centres to optimise infrastructure costs and increase virtual machine density leveraging technologies such as concurrent SR-IOV and NIC Partitioning (NPAR) that provide acceleration and QoS for tenant workloads and infrastructure traffic.

The new FastLinQ adapters also support network function virtualisation with enhanced small packet performance via integration into DPDK and OpenStack, enabling cloud and telcos/NFV customers to deploy, manage and accelerate demanding artificial intelligence, big data, CDN and machine learning workloads.

For telco and NFV applications, the products provide improved small packet performance with line rate packets per second for 10/25 Gigabit Ethernet, MPLSoUDP offload and integration with DPDK and OpenStack using the Mirantis FUEL plug-in. This allows telco's and NFV application vendors to deploy, manage and accelerate demanding NFV workloads.

Additionally, integrated storage acceleration and offloads such as NVMe-oF, NVMe-Direct, iSCSI, iSER and FCoE enable upgrades from existing storage paradigms to next generation NVMe and persistent memory semantics.

The products also offer zero-touch automatic speed and FEC selection via Cavium's FastLinQ SmartAN technology, which is designed to significantly reduce interoperability challenges in physical layer networks.

Further Features of the FastLinQ 41000 Series inlcude:

1.         10/25/40/50 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity across standard and OCP form factors.

2.         Stateless offloads for VxLAN, NVGRE and GENEVE.

3.         SmartAN to provide seamless 10/25 Gigabit Ethernet interoperability.

4.         Storage protocol offloads for iSCSI, FCoE, iSER, NVMe-oF and SMB Direct.

5.         Management across heterogeneous platforms with QConvergeConsole GUI and CLI.


Regarding the new products, Martin Hull, senior director product management at Arista Networks, said, "Arista… has partnered with Cavium to ensure availability of tested and interoperable solutions for hyperscale data centres… Cavium's FastLinQ 41000 Series of NICs and Arista’s portfolio of 25 Gbit/s leaf and spine systems deliver backward compatibility and investment protection with standards compliance".


China Telecom and Orange Business Services Target IoT

China Telecom and Orange Business Services announced the extension of their strategic partnership into the IoT space during the launch event of eSurfing on the Silk Road, IoT with the World in Shanghai, China, with the new cooperation designed to enable the companies to serve enterprise customers via a combined footprint across three continents.

Through the expanded agreement, multinational customers of China Telecom and Orange will be able to deploy IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) services across each other's networks.

China Telecom enterprise customers with outbound IoT businesses can deploy their assets and offerings on the Orange networks in Europe and Africa, while Orange's global enterprise customers can access the Chinese market utilising China Telecom's IoT network resources and business capabilities. In addition, both partners propose a global solution to address local IoT connectivity requirements leveraging eUICC capabilities and the commonly deployed Device Connectivity Platform from Ericsson.

China Telecom and Orange plan to cooperate commercially and technically to create new service models designed to address global IoT opportunities. Under the agreement, Orange will become one of China Telecom's preferred partners for connectivity in Europe and Africa, while China Telecom will support Orange in delivering connectivity in China.

The agreement also encompasses joint exploration of the potential for enhancing existing IoT capabilities and the application of new technologies such as mobile IoT in the global market.

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Deng Xiao Feng, MD of global business department of China Telecom, said, "China is one of the fastest growing markets for IoT applications, China Telecom is working with Orange to push for the building of an advanced IoT solution to capture global IoT opportunities… China Telecom (and) Orange will address the increasing IoT demand and… support enterprise customers with the IoT Open Platform".

ZTE and China Mobile showcase 5G eMBB

ZTE announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai the launch of a live 5G field test in Guangdong, deployed with China Mobile and designed to showcase an enhanced 5G Mobile Broadband (eMBB) experience using 100 MHz bandwidth and delivering a single-user rate of up to 2 Gbit/s.

China Mobile and ZTE conducted the 5G field test in Guangzhou University Town, selected to represent a typical high-traffic scenario and also a key 'pilot field' for enhancing the user experience in 5G eMBB scenarios. ZTE noted that its 3.5 GHz NR (new radio) base station product was used for the 5G field test in Guangzhou.

For the next stage of testing, the companies will carry out multi-site networking tests to evaluate wireless coverage, throughput, mobility, delay and other 5G networking indicators.

As one of China Mobile's strategic 5G partners, ZTE is providing the operator with a range of products, including 5G RANs and virtual core networks (VCNs). In addition, ZTE has been providing support for research covering key technologies, the definition of product specifications and testing of pilot networks to help China Mobile meet its strategic goals.

ZTE and China Mobile have previously carried out collaboration in the areas of 2G, 3G and 4G, as well as currently into 5G. As part of this work, in 2016 ZTE signed a 5G strategic cooperation memorandum with China Mobile, and ZTE's Pre5G massive MIMO base stations have been deployed into the existing network of China Mobile.


* In February this year, ZTE, Qualcomm and China Mobile jointly announced that they planned to conduct interoperability tests based on 5G NR specifications and over the air (OTA) field tests designed to facilitate large-scale verification and commercialisation of the 5G NR technology. ZTE noted that in 2017 it initiated the non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) project, a core element of the 5G NR program.

* Recently, ZTE and China Mobile Quanzhou Branch announced the commercial deployment of 3D-MIMO, also termed Pre5G massive MIMO, in the city of Quanzhou, Fujian province. ZTE stated that with 16 commercial terminals connected, it achieved single-carrier downlink peak cell rate of 730 Mbit/s, with a single-carrier 16-stream downlink peak rate using 3D-MIMO of up to 700 Mbit/s. In addition, a three-carrier rate of up to 2.1 Gbit/s was achieved.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Linux Foundation Launches Open Security Controller Project

A new Open Security Controller Project is being launched by The Linux Foundation to help centralize security services orchestration for multi-cloud environments.

Founding members include Huawei, Intel, McAfee, Nuage Networks from Nokia, and Palo Alto Networks.

The main idea for the Open Security Controller Project is to orchestrate virtual network security policies for virtualized network security functions, like next-generation firewall, intrusion prevention systems and application data controllers to protect east-west traffic inside the data center. A centralized controller would apply the correct policy to the appropriate workload, and it would broker services among cloud management platforms. A open standard would enable seamless integration of multi-vendor virtual security controls.
                               
“Software-defined networks are becoming a standard for businesses, and open source networking projects are a key element in helping the transition, and pushing for a more automated network” said Arpit Joshipura, General Manager of Networking and Orchestration at The Linux Foundation. “Equally important to automation in the open source community is ensuring security. The Open Security Controller Project touches both of these areas. We are excited to have this project join The Linux Foundation, and look forward to the collaboration this project will engender regarding network security now and in the future.”

Open Security Controller Project technology is licensed under Apache 2. Governance for the Open Security Controller Project has been structured to nurture a vibrant technical community. A Governing Board will guide business decisions, marketing and ensure alignment between the technical communities and members. The technical steering committee will provide leadership on the code and guide the technical direction of the project. Visit https://www.opensecuritycontroller.org for more information.

https://www.opensecuritycontroller.org

AT&T launches fixed wireless Internet in 8 states

AT&T announced that its Fixed Wireless Internet for rural and underserved locations is now available in a further eight states, expanding on the initial launch of the service in Georgia in April this year.

With the latest launch, the AT&T fixed wireless Internet service is available to more than 70,000 locations across underserved or unserved areas in the 9 states. AT&T noted that the service expansion is part of its FCC Connect America Fund (CAF) commitment, through which it plans to serve a total of over 400,000 locations by the end of 2017 and more than 1.1 million locations by 2020.
The states where the fixed wireless Internet service is being launched are as follows: Alabama; Florida; Kentucky; Mississippi; North Carolina; South Carolina; Tennessee; and Louisiana.

AT&T stated that it plans to expand the service to 18 states overall during 2017, including Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. AT&T plans to reach a total of more than 67,000 locations across Georgia using fixed wireless technology by 2020.



  • AT&T's fixed wireless Internet service provides a home Internet connection for customers in rural and underserved areas and offers a minimum download speed of 10 Mbit/s. The connection is delivered from a wireless tower to a fixed antenna located at the customers' homes or businesses.
  • AT&T announced in January that following trials of fixed wireless Internet (FWI) service in 2016 in a number of states as part of efforts to expand access to rural locations with slow or no Internet connectivity via its participation in the CAF II program, it would launch FWI in areas where it had accepted CAF support.

MPLS-TP OpenFlow extensions approved

ZTE announced that the 'MPLS-TP OpenFlow Protocol Extensions for SPTN' (ONF TS-029) technical document proposed by China Mobile has become a formal standard of the ONF (Open Networking Foundation) after receiving unanimous approval from the forum's board of directors.

The release of MPLS-TP OpenFlow Protocol Extensions for SPTN is intended to provide a foundation for interworking between devices from heterogeneous vendors, and between devices and controllers. ZTE noted that China Mobile's large-scale deployment of software-defined packet transport network (SPTN) devices provides an example for other operators, while five operators are believed to be planning to implement the standard in the near future.

ZTE stated that packet transport network (PTN) technology features separate forwarding/control and a centralised management architecture, while OpenFlow offers an open protocol that performs programmable control for flow tables on the forwarding plane. In addition, an abstract adaptation layer supporting OpenFlow to encapsulate the existing forwarding functions of PTN is intended to provide an efficient means of enabling PTN devices with open and software-defined features.

Additionally, this design is expected to facilitate the commercialisation of PTN devices supporting SDN and thereby accelerate the development of the SPTN supply chain.

It was noted that China Mobile has a longstanding commitment to SPTN technology, in mid-2015, working with ZTE, Broadcom and Microsemi, establishing a discussion group within the ONF to research device specifications for SPTN based on OpenFlow and table type pattern (TTP).

In November 2015, a first ONF draft was proposed based on SPTN TTP that extended flow tables, group tables and related fields supporting MPLS-TP, expanded the OF-Config protocol to support QOS, OAM, protection and alarm performance configuration, and leveraged local OAM processing units to ensure a 50 ms protection switching time.

In tandem with the draft specification, China Mobile also organised lab tests for SPTN devices complying with the specifications and amended the document in accordance with the test results. The draft document was subsequently passed for review by experts from a number of ONF technical groups and adopted as a formal standard.

ZTE stated that MPLS-TP OpenFlow Protocol Extensions for SPTN standard is supported by the SPTN industrial supply chain, including chip manufacturers Broadcom, Microsemi, Centec and Marvell, equipment providers ZTE, Ericsson, Fiberhome, Raisecom, Greenwell, Chuling and Huahuan, instrument manufacturer Spirent and open source software Open Daylight and ONOS.

To date it is estimated that more than 50 operators have deployed MPLS-TP-based PTN devices at scale, including China Mobile, which purchased around 590,000 group customer devices compliant with the SPTN TTP standard in 2016. In addition, six equipment vendors have worked with China Mobile to deploy the networks.


T-Mobile trials LAA enabling 741 Mbit/s data rate on commercial network in LA

Deutsche Telekom unit T-Mobile in the U.S., serving nearly 73 million customers, has announced what it claims is a network first with the demonstration of a mobile broadband data session live in the field utilising License Assisted Access (LAA) on its commercial network.

The field testing, which was launched in Los Angeles, achieved a 741 Mbit/s download speed using 80 MHz of aggregated spectrum.

T-Mobile also claims to have become the first national U.S. wireless carrier to make LTE-U available to its customers. LTE-U uses publicly available 5 GHz airwaves to increase existing LTE capacity and enhance the performance of its advanced 4G LTE network. T-Mobile LTE-U technology is now live in select locations in Bellevue, Washington, Brooklyn, New York, Dearborn, Michigan, Las Vegas, Nevada, Richardson, Texas and Simi Valley, California.

For T-Mobile customers in these locations, LTE-U is available immediately to users with compatible smartphones. The company noted that LTE-U provides similar speed and capacity increases as the technologies it introduced in the fall of 2016, when it launched carrier aggregation, 256QAM and 4 x 4 MIMO, while utilising less licensed spectrum.

T-Mobile noted that the FCC announced it would permit LTE in unlicensed spectrum earlier this year, thereby allowing wireless providers to use unlicensed spectrum in the 5 GHz band that is often under-utilised. T-Mobile then began to rollout new network hardware to support LTE in unlicensed spectrum. LTE-U and LAA-enabled devices and equipment share under-utilised unlicensed spectrum without affecting other users on the same band, including those using conventional WiFi.

The company stated that LAA enables greater carrier aggregation than LTE-U, allowing mobile operators to combine larger amounts of unlicensed and licensed spectrum. T-Mobile added that as part of its plans to further densify its mobile network, it will begin deploying small cells featuring LAA functionality later in 2017.



  • T-Mobile confirmed in February that that it was deploying LTE-U technology following FCC certification of suitable equipment from strategic partners Ericsson and Nokia. At that time, the operator stated that using LTE-U it would enable customers to utilise the first 20 MHz of under-utilised unlicensed spectrum on the 5 GHz band to gain LTE capacity.


Claro Brazil partners with Huawei to launch 4.5G

Huawei announced that Claro Brazil recently launched what is claimed to be the first commercial 4.5G network in Brazil, incorporating 4 x 4 MIMO, carrier aggregation (CA) and 256QAM technology, in the city of Brasilia.

Claro demonstrated 4.5G data rates averaging 250 Mbit/s on compatible smartphones during the release ceremony in Brasilia, which is claimed to be around ten times the average rate delivered on the existing 4G network. Claro also announced its new tariff policy at the event, which features increased data allowances for existing packages.

Huawei noted that as smartphones featuring support for both 4 x 4 MIMO and 256QAM become available in the market, users will be able to access the enhanced capabilities offered by the 4.5G network. On the network side, Claro is able to provide mobile Internet access with fibre-like speeds to mobile customers with suitable devices.

Huawei noted that 4.5G Evolution helps operators enhance their networks by introducing 5G technologies into existing 4G networks. This can allow operators to trial 5G-like services and develop the business models that 5G will support in the future.

Separately, Huawei announced that working with French operator SFR it had completed the first pre-commercial field verification of 4 x 4 MIMO technology in France, enabling a downlink throughput of 628.3 Mbit/s using a commercially available phone on SFR's 4.5G network.

The tests with SFR involved a commercial phone operating on the live SFR 4.5G network and served to verify that the use of 4 x 4 MIMO, combined with 2 CC carrier aggregation and 256QAM modulation, can enable throughput of up to 628.3 Mbit/s. Huawei noted that SFR is aiming to extend its 4.5G network coverage to 90% of customers in France by the end of the year, and to increase this to 99% during 2018.


Commenting on the network launch, Claro CEO Paulo C├ęsar Teixeira said, "The commercial release of the 4.5G network, with 4 x 4 MIMO, carrier aggregation, 700 MHz spectrum activation and advanced modulation, will help the Brazilian communications industry to play a significant role in the worldwide arena, as the country is a pioneer in this technology… Claro will use the recently acquired 700 MHz frequency band as a part of its ongoing effort to build a quality, next-gen mobile network nationwide".


ABI forecasts $1.7bn market over 5 yrs for unlicensed/shared spectrum

According to ABI Research's latest Network Evolution in Unlicensed and Shared Spectrum report, which explores the use of unlicensed and shared spectrum, technologies enabling the utilisation of this spectrum type are not only attracting interest from established mobile network operators for low cost network densification, but also from new entrants to the market.

ABI finds that this interest is due to the opportunities that the network technologies offer for densification, neutral hosts, as well as enterprise and private network operators. The research firm predicts that new LTE unlicensed and shared spectrum technologies will create a $1.7 billion hardware market over the next 5 years encompassing LTE Unlicensed, CBRS (citizens broadband radio service) and MulteFire technology.

ABI notes that as a result of the power restrictions inherent with unlicensed and shared spectrum, the technologies are most suitable for small cell indoor or venue deployments. Based on low or no spectrum acquisition costs, plus deployment economics comparable to WiFi, ABI forecasts that demand for in-building wireless penetration in the mid-sized and enterprise verticals will increase dramatically and account for more than half of in-building small cell shipments in 2021.

The research firm reports that numerous companies are developing in technology in this area, ranging from the Spectrum Access System (SAS) providers and Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) operators for CBRS, including Alphabet, CommScope, Federated Wireless, to small cell and infrastructure vendors such as BaiCells, Casa Systems, Ericsson, Huawei, ip.access, Nokia, Ruckus and SpiderCloud.

With regards to CBRS, which uses the 3.5 GHz band, ABI notes that an indication that the technology will transform the in-building wireless and mobile industries is that the CBRS Alliance, which advocates for CBRS technology, counts as members all four major U.S. mobile operators, namely AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, as well as major MSOs, Comcast and Charter Communications, plus Google, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm.

Commenting on the report, Nick Marshall, research director at ABI Research, said, "LTE-U/LAA appeals to MNOs planning to densify but with insufficient spectrum or the capex to acquire it… while MulteFire and CBRS promise low network build-out costs with economics that threaten to disrupt the DAS market... the technologies appeal to service providers as CBRS pioneers a significant change in spectrum management…. (and) traditional spectrum refarming cannot match the mobile broadband throughput demands with the migration to 5G".


LuxNetwork picks Ciena

Ciena announced that LuxNetwork of Luxembourg has selected its 6500 Packet-Optical Platform with integrated WaveLogic Encryption for a new 100 Gbit/s network designed to increase network capacity to support the growing bandwidth and security demands of the major financial sector companies, large enterprises and international wholesale customers.

LuxNetwork, a subsidiary of the NomoTech Group, specialises in providing high-speed, secure optical WAN connectivity to connect businesses to data centres and interconnect data centres. The service provider also offers a suite of managed services for enterprise customers and international telecom operators.

Operating its upgraded network that provides ten times the capacity of its previous system, LuxNetwork can offer higher-capacity services including 10 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet, 8 and 16 Gbit/s Fibre Channel, as well as encryption for protection of in-flight data. Additionally, enterprise and carrier customers are able to leverage dedicated, secure, high-bandwidth and scalable connectivity without the need to own the infrastructure.

The network upgrade will also allow LuxNetwork to consolidate and modernise its infrastructure and to realise operational efficiencies following the acquisition and integration of Telecom Luxembourg.



  • Last week, Ciena announced that Bouygues Telecom of France had selected the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform to enhance the efficiency, scalability and reliability of its network backhaul and aggregation infrastructure, as well as provide the foundation for its new SuperCore network.
  • The deployment was designed to increase capacity to 400 Gbit/s to support growing capacity demand and new high-bandwidth services, as well as allow Bouygues Telecom to expand its mobile and ISP offerings support future 5G services.

CP-TEL rolls out FTTx using Champion GPON

Champion ONE, an open networking company and supplier of optical transceivers, announced it has partnered with CP-TEL, a communications service provider in Louisiana, to enable the deployment of cost effective FTTx services to its customers.

CP-TEL serves rural residents and businesses in Louisiana's Natchitoches, Sabine, and DeSoto parishes, offering high-speed Internet, digital TV and telephone services.

Champion ONE noted that with increasing demand for FTTP services across parishes in north central Louisiana, CP-TEL was faced with the challenge of turning up new services quickly. However, optical transceivers from its legacy provider proved prohibitively expensive, so the company was seeking a partner that was able to supply a cost-effective solution.

Champion ONE stated that it had previously helped CP-TEL double its fibre utilisation by providing 10 Gbit/s single-fibre, bi-directional SFP+ transceivers to support backhaul traffic. Therefore CP-TEL was confident that Champion ONE optics would be compatible with its OEM equipment.

For the new deployment, Champion ONE supplied high-performance SFP GPON OLT optics at lower cost than other solutions. In addition, due to the significantly lower cost CP-TEL was not only able to turn up new FTTx services quickly, but also stock additional optics as spares to help reduce future downtime.



  • In May, Champion ONE introduced a new line of low-cost open network Ethernet switches offering features including SDN and NFV functionality. The Broadcom-based optical and copper switches offer up to 54 ports, with full L2/L3 line-rate switching at data rates of 1, 10 and 40 Gbit/s initially.

  • Champion ONE noted it has partnered with software vendors including IP Infusion, Pica8 and Cumulus Networks to offer a diverse range of operating systems to meet the requirements of service provider and data centre environments and different network topologies.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ericsson: over half a billion 5G users in five years

A big question that must weigh on the minds of the directors at Ericsson is how soon 5G rollouts will begin. It has been a tough few years at Ericsson in particular, and for many other non-Chinese network equipment vendors in the mobile space as well. Many of the big mobile operators in the developed markets have already completed their 4G LTE network construction. Minor upgrades and fill-in projects continue, but for the most part the big spending campaigns have slowed to a trickle.  With mobile penetration rates exceeding 100% in many markets, the networks can only grow by poaching subscribers from local rivals. The good news is that traffic-per-user is surging and the networks gradually are filling up. On the horizon are many innovative apps that promise even heavier network loads, and when standards are fully-baked and new spectrum licenses secured, a healthy upgrade cycle to 5G should begin. In the meantime, there are LTE-A enhancements underway and Gigabit LTE deployments in progress. The big question for Ericsson is: when will 5G begin and how fast will the network upgrades occur?

The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report has just been released. The company has updated this report on an annual or semi-annual basis for the past five years, providing its mobile operator customers and the market at-large with valuable predictions concerning technology and usage trends.

5G is perhaps the starring topic again in this edition of the Mobility Report, with the big finding that by 2022 Ericsson predicts there will be more than half a billion 5G subscriptions, with a population coverage of 15%.

This figure is bolder than what Ericsson has published before. For instance, in June 2014, Ericsson was still expecting a slower uptake for LTE to persist, particularly in Europe. In that forecast from 3 years ago, Ericsson predicted that by the end of 2019, LTE would make up around 50% of the subscriptions base in Western Europe. Of course, in 2014 not everyone had to carry a smartphone. In fact, only 65% of all phones sold in Q1 2014 were smartphones. The 3G network in Europe was well developed, so the Ericsson Mobility Report expected these trends to linger. The current report finds that GSM/EDGE still constitutes the largest category of mobile subscriptions, but that LTE will become the dominant mobile access technology in 2018, and will likely reach 5 billion subscriptions by the end of 2022, or more than seven times the GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions. This will be the final sunset for 3G.

In this year's report, Ericsson calculates that the total traffic in mobile networks increased by 70% between the end of Q1 2016 and the end of Q1 2017 - a huge leap! Incidentally, a big part of the gain is linked to Reliance Jio Infocomm launching its LTE network in India and offering free mobile data on a trial basis. Within six months of launch, Jio reached 100 million broadband and VoLTE customers, making it the fastest growing operator in the world for 2016. But traffic is surging for many other reasons as well.

5G New Radio specs will incentivise early rollouts

Earlier planning anticipated the 5G upgrade cycle to begin in the new decade, sometime after the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. At this year’s Mobile World Congress in February, major mobile network operators and vendors issued a call to accelerate the 5G New Radio (NR) standardisation schedule to enable large-scale trials and deployments as early as 2019, a year earlier than the previous expected timeline. In March 2017, 3GPP complied with this request by approving the acceleration of the 5G NR standardisation schedule to include an intermediate milestone for an early variant called Non-Standalone 5G NR.

Key findings

To follow are some interesting highlights on network evolution from Ericsson Mobility Report:

Ericsson anticipates that by the end of 2022 there will be 9 billion mobile subscriptions. Mobile broadband subscriptions will reach 8.3 billion, thereby accounting for more than 90% of all mobile subscriptions. The number of unique mobile subscribers is estimated to reach 6.2 billion by the end of 2022.

There are more than 1 million new mobile broadband subscribers every day.

LTE subscriptions reached a total of 2.1 billion in Q1 2017, up by 250 million new subscriptions during the quarter.

Operators are evolving their existing LTE networks to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) networks with Category1, 4, 6, 9, 11 and 16 implementations, combining lower and higher frequency bands (both for FDD and TDD modes).

There are currently 591 commercial LTE networks deployed in 189 countries. Out of these, 194 have been upgraded to LTE-A networks.

Ericsson anticipates that the number of VoLTE subscriptions will reach 4.6 billion by the end of 2022, making up more than 90% of all LTE subscriptions globally.

The upgrade to LTE occurred significantly faster than the upgrade from 2G to 3G. In just 5 years, LTE was adopted by 2.5 billion users; it took eight years for 3G to reach this milestone.

Ericsson now expects some large-scale trials early commercial deployment of 5G in 2019 that will use the 5G NR specs.

The adoption rate of 5G mobile broadband is expected to be similar to that of LTE, with rollouts commencing in major metro areas.

Ericsson now expects North America to take a leading role in 5G rollouts as the major U.S. operators have each stated their intention to expand into pre-standard 5G. By 2022, Ericsson predicts that 25% of North American subscribers could be on 5G.

The first commercial use of 5G is expected to be for enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access (FWA).

5G radio access lowers round trip latency to under 4 ms, as seen in a 5G test bed conducted by Scania and Ericsson in Sweden.

Attributes of 5G, including network slicing and low latency, will make safe public transport using autonomous vehicles a reality.

The full 2017 Ericsson Mobility Report can be downloaded here.

https://www.ericsson.com/en/mobility-report

NEC deploys 128 Technology in Japan

128 Technology of Burlington, Massachusetts, a provider of session-oriented routing solutions, announced that Japan's NEC Networks and System Integration (NESIC) has deployed the 128T Networking Platform (128T) to interconnect four sites in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Osaka and Myanmar.

In addition to using the 128T platform for its own corporate requirements, NESIC will also offer 128T to its approximately 5,000 enterprise, telecommunication and government customers worldwide with the aim of improving the quality, security, and reliability of their WANs.

Headquartered in Tokyo with 62 offices worldwide, NESIC provides integrated ICT solutions and services, ranging from planning and consulting to system design and integration, construction and maintenance, operation, outsourcing and business process outsourcing.

The 128T solution is based on Secure Vector Routing (SVR) technology, which is claimed to offer a fundamentally new approach to networking that enables customers to build context-aware networks that can dynamically and securely extend across network boundaries without the need for complex tunnelling and overlay technologies.

128T can be implemented to address a range of routing applications from the branch office, across the WAN and within and between private and public clouds. The platform is software-based and can be deployed to either augment or replace existing network routing solutions. 128 Technology enables customers such as NESIC to both cost-effectively build and offer networks designed to provide greater agility, security and control between distributed locations.



  • Founded in 2014 and launched in 2016, 128 Technology announced in May 2017 that it had raised $21.5 million in Series C funding, bringing total funding to $57 million. Investors in the round included executive management and current employees of the company, individual investors, as well as G20 Ventures. 128 Technology stated that it would use the financing to expand its global presence and accelerate the expansion of the 128T Networking Platform

  • 128 Technology previously announced a seed funding round of $4 million in July 2014, a $12 million Series A round in December 2014 and a $20 million Series B funding round in December 2015.

Vodafone UK selects Ericsson technology for upgrade of 4G network in London

Ericsson announced that Vodafone UK has selected the company to evolve its 4G networks in London and southern England employing technologies including massive MIMO and carrier aggregation to help improve network capacity and end-user performance.

Ericsson noted that massive MIMO technology utilises advanced antenna arrays to improve the quality of radio signals and increase capacity, while carrier aggregation (CA) combines different cellular frequencies to increase capacity and data rates for end users.

Ericsson will also provide Vodafone UK with 5G radio technology as part of preparations for the introduction of 5G in London and the southern region of England.
The agreement between Vodafone UK and Ericsson encompasses technology trials, product validation and commercial deployment, as well as professional services. The two companies have also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) covering the following areas of collaboration:

1.         4G evolution, 5G radio non-standalone and standalone.

2.         5G site deployment scenarios.

3.         NR (new radio) simulations using the 3.5 GHz and mmWave bands.

4.         Development of 5G use-cases and proofs of concept for business services.

5.         Distributed cloud and network slicing proof of concept, including end-to-end latency and cloud-optimised network applications.

6.         Collaboration with King's College London.


7.         Implementing a 5G innovation technology incubation program.


ZTE and InfoVista certify interoperability of SD-WAN

ZTE and InfoVista, a major provider of network performance orchestration solutions, announced the completion of interoperability testing of their combined SD-WAN (software-defined WAN) solution based on integrating InfoVista's Application Performance Orchestration Solution, Ipanema, with ZTE's Micro Cloud Gateway (MCG) platform.

After successful verification testing, the combined SD-WAN solution provides a single box overlay networking solution for hybrid WAN connectivity that guarantees the performance of critical business applications while also supporting a secure overlay VPN, zero touch installation and one-button recovery. The joint product is designed to offer a cost effective solution for enterprises seeking to reduce IT networking costs.

In addition, Service providers can also utilise the new platform to deliver value-added SD-WAN services to enterprise customers as they implement hybrid WANs and seek to augment their enterprise networks.

The combined SD-WAN solution can replace a range of enterprise and communications equipment deployed in traditional WANs, enabling fast distribution, deployment, data backup, and disaster tolerance one-button recovery on a cloud-managed platform.

The joint solution provides enterprises with Application Performance Orchestration capabilities designed to protect and guarantee the end user experience for business-critical applications that form the basis for digital transformation strategies.


Recently, BT announced the launch of BT Connect Intelligence InfoVista-as-a-Service, a new application performance management solution delivered in the cloud that offers a scalable as-a-service pricing option for its applications performance management portfolio. The service provides InfoVista's Ipanema technology via the BT cloud and is designed to provide the capabilities organisations require to orchestrate the performance of business applications running across the network.

Earlier this year, InfoVista announced that BT business EE, the largest mobile network operator in the UK, had selected its Ipanema application-aware SD-WAN solution to protect the performance of in-store applications. EE was to deploy the Ipanema solution across all of its 553 stores via BT's managed service Connect Intelligence.


SFR and Huawei trial 4 x 4 MIMO enabling 628 Mbit/s

French telecom operator SFR and Huawei announced the completion of what is believed to be France's first pre-commercial field verification of 4 x 4 MIMO enabling a downlink throughput of 628.3 Mbit/s using a commercially available phone on SFR's 4.5G network.

Following the field verification, SFR plans to increase its investment in LTE technology as part of its objective of rolling out the fastest LTE network in France and provide customers an enhanced LTE experience.

Huawei noted that SFR began construction of its LTE network in 2012, and subsequently the increasing adoption of mobile video and real-time gaming services has led to mobile data traffic increasing at an average annual growth rate of up to 100% over the past two years. To address this rising demand, SFR launched a new unlimited data package in April this year and plans to focus investment on deploying a 4.5G network.

SFR is aiming to extend its 4.5G network coverage to 90% of its customers in France by the end of the year, and plans to increase this to 99% during 2018. Huawei noted that 4.5G technologies such as carrier aggregation (CA), MIMO and 256QAM can help increase network capacity, with MIMO, in particular enabling improved capacity and coverage, as well as an enhanced user experience, without the need for additional spectrum or base stations.

During the recent tests with SFR that involved a commercial phone operating on the live 4.5G network, the partners verified that the use of 4 x 4 MIMO, combined with 2 CC carrier aggregation and 256QAM modulation, can deliver throughput of up to 628.3 Mbit/s. Huawei noted that this data rate can allow mobile users to play HD video reliably and meet customer demand for smooth video viewing services.

Huawei stated that 4.5G Evolution technology enables operators to begin the introduction of 5G technologies into their existing 4G/LTE networks. This also allows operators to trial 5G-like services and develop new business models that 5G will be able to support in the future.


Regarding the trial, Michel Paulin, chairman and CEO of SFR Group, commented, "SFR's 4.5G network has achieved an average downlink throughput of 300 Mbit/s in over French 221 cities… and it (aims to) further increase the average downlink throughput to 500 Mbit/s by 2018… and will actively promote sophisticated 4 x 4 MIMO smartphones to offer users the best LTE experience".

Cisco and NetApp launch FlexPod SF

Cisco and NetApp have expanded their portfolio of integrated infrastructure and certified reference systems with a new FlexPod SF solution designed to address emerging business challenges by providing infrastructure for the data-intensive scale-out workloads key to digital transformation.

The new solution from Cisco and NetApp features NetApp's SolidFire all-flash, scale-out, cloud-connected storage and Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) B-Series servers and Nexus switching. The new solution is designed to support enterprise and emerging architectures with storage capacity and performance tailored to address the needs of individual tenants in multi-tenant environments.

The companies noted that the joint solution extends the FlexPod technology portfolio that has been deployed by around 8,400 global customers and 1,100 partners in 100 countries.

The new FlexPod SF solution is designed to provide capabilities including:

1.         Predictable performance, offering the ability to run hundreds of applications on a single platform with guaranteed SLAs to independently set capacity and quality of service (QoS) at minimum, maximum or burst performance levels across the infrastructure.

2.         Programmable agility to help address business demands with SolidFire software-defined architecture, simplified management and scale by automating provisioning, management and reporting via programmable SolidFire storage and UCS B-Series servers.

3.         Scale-out performance to help customers align business expenses with growth by reducing initial capex, allowing customers to purchase the compute and storage required and to consolidate infrastructure and increase automation.

FlexPod offers a portfolio of pre-validated, converged infrastructure solutions that combine the Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure, Cisco networking and NetApp storage components. FlexPod is designed to simplify and modernise IT and deliver enhanced application performance, support for a range of cloud strategies and improved efficiency to accelerate data centre transformation.


The FlexPod family includes FlexPod Datacenter for core enterprise data centres and service providers, Express for medium-sized businesses and branch offices, and Select for data-intensive workloads. The portfolio is validated with major hypervisors, operating systems, systems management tools, and cloud management platforms.

Vodafone selects Kaltura OTT TV in Italy

Kaltura of New York, a provider of video delivery technology, announced that its Kaltura OTT TV technology has been deployed by global telco Vodafone for the launch of Vodafone TV in Italy.

Kaltura noted that Vodafone is already utilising the same TV set-top box in Spain. The set-top enables a cross-device TV experience over the Vodafone 4G network leveraging a new set-top-box featuring cloud DVR and an intuitive user interface.

The new Kaltura-based OTT TV service provides subscribers with access to a catalogue of content from a range of TV and OTT sources, which are available through live, VoD, catch-up, start over, cloud DVR and apps. In Italy, the services offers content libraries from services such as Netflix and Sky Italia Now TV, together with the traditional TV channels.

With the Kaltura TV platform, subscribers are able to access a personalised live and on-demand TV service, including with content discovery, cross-device interaction and watch lists. Kaltura's solution also allows Vodafone to introduce new price plan services and to expand its service via regular software updates.

The Kaltura OTT TV platform is designed for operators, broadcasters, media companies and content owners seeking to to launch advanced TV services quickly and cost-effectively.


Earlier this year, Kaltura announced a partnership with Nokia designed to facilitate the delivery of a more personalised viewing experience leveraging its TV Platform for OTT TV service and Nokia's IP video delivery and storage platforms. The two companies noted that, based on multiple live deployments for Tier-1 operators and media companies, they are able to offer a modular solution that integrates Nokia's Velocix products with Kaltura's TV Platform.