Wednesday, July 26, 2017

SD-WAN Interaction and the Importance of Interoperability

Verizon is rapidly expanding its portfolio of virtual services, including SD-WAN. Interoperability is increasingly important as these are rolled out across the globe. The ability to link SD-WAN into other services is critical, says Shawn Hakl, VP, Product and New Business Innovation, @VZEnterprise.

See video:

Recorded at MEF Annual Member's Meeting in Toronto.

Intent-based Networking and MEF

Intent-based networking is an important part of MEF's work on Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO).

Intent-based networking makes use of next generation network policy frameworks and will enable top-level business and application developers to express the goals of their organization without having to define algorithmically how those goals are accomplished, says Dr. John Strassner, MEF Orchestration Area Co-Director; CTO, Software Lab, Huawei Technologies.

Recorded at the MEF Annual Members' Meeting in Toronto.

See video:

Introducing MEFnet

Daniel Bar-Level, Director, Office of the CTO, MEF provides an overview of MEFnet – a new compute-storage-networking platform that enables development, testing, integration, and showcasing of Third Network service reference implementations based on open source and commercial closed source products.

MEF members currently are working on three 3 reference implementation projects on MEFnet:  (1) orchestration of Carrier Ethernet and IP services across 3 service providers using open LSO APIs; (2) an ONAP-to-ONAP use case involving LSO-enabled automation of inter-carrier processes like serviceability and ordering; and (3) a project focused on enabling SD-WAN managed service providers to extend their service reach in an automated way to locations served by broadband access partners.

See video:

Crown Castle to acquire Lightower for $7.1bn

Crown Castle International announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire LTS Group Holdings (Lightower) from Berkshire Partners, Pamlico Capital and other investors for approximately $7.1 billion in cash, representing an approximately 13.5x expected adjusted EBITDA over Crown Castle's first full year of ownership.

Lightower owns or holds the rights to approximately 32,000 route miles of fibre located primarily in key metro markets across the northeast, including in Boston, New York and Philadelphia, and following completion of the transaction Crown Castle noted that it will own or have rights to a total of approximately 60,000 route miles of fibre in the U.S.

The acquisition will expand Crown Castle's extensive, dense metro network, almost doubling its fibre footprint and making the company one of the largest owners of metro fibre in the U.S. The company's expanded fibre footprint after the transaction will cover 23 of the top 25 largest U.S. markets and is intended to position Crown Castle to address the growing demand for mobile connectivity and higher bandwidth.

The agreement is also designed to provide scale for small cell deployments. By combining Lightower's dense metro fibre footprint with Crown Castle's small cells platform, as well as its real estate and network engineering capabilities, the transaction will better enable Crown Castle to meet the small cell deployment needs of wireless carrier customers.

Crown Castle expects that the transaction will be immediately accretive to its adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) per share and will increase its previous 6% to 7% long-term annual dividend growth target to 7% to 8%. In the first full year of ownership, Crown Castle anticipates that Lightower will contribute $850 to $870 million in site rental revenues, $510 to $530 million in adjusted EBITDA and $465 to $485 million in AFFO, before financing costs.

The company noted that Lightower serves a mix of customers including large enterprises, government agencies, healthcare providers, educational institutions and carriers. Crown Castle provides wireless carriers with infrastructure to support their operations, specifically operating approximately 40,000 towers and 60,000 route miles of fibre supporting small cells once the Lightower acquisition is completed.

Juniper reports Q2 revenue of $1,308.9m, up 7.2% Q/Q

Juniper Networks reported preliminary financial results for the three months ended June 30, 2017, as follows:

1.  Revenue for the second quarter of 2017 of $1,308.9 million, up 7.2% compared with $1,221.0 million in the first quarter and up 7.2% from $1,221.3 million in the second quarter of 2016.

2.  Gross profit for the second quarter of $801.9 million, up 7.4% compared with $746.6 million in the first quarter and up 6.0% from $756.4 million in the second quarter of 2016.

3.  R&D expenditure for the second quarter of $240.2 million, down 13.0% compared with $276.2 million in the first quarter and down 3.1% from $247.9 million in the second quarter of 2016.

4.  SG&A expenditure for the second quarter of $295.5 million, up 0.4% compared with $294.2 million in the first quarter and down 2.2% from $302.3 million in the second quarter of 2016.

5.  Total operating expenditure for the second quarter of $543.7 million, down 8.1% compared with $590.3 million in the first quarter and down 1.6% from $552.6 million in the second quarter of 2016.

6.  On a GAAP basis, net income for the second quarter of 2017 of $179.8 million, compared with net income of $108.8 million in the second quarter and net income of $140.0 million in the second quarter of 2016.

On a non-GAAP basis, net income for the second quarter of 2017 of $220.5 million, compared with net income of $178.0 million in the second quarter and net income of $191.6 million in the second quarter of 2016.

7.  Cash, cash equivalents and short and long-term investments as of June 30, 2017 of $4,214.6 million, compared with $4,043.7 million as at March 31, 2017,

Additional results and notes

For the second quarter of 2017, Juniper reported product revenue of $917.2 million, including routing sales of $572.5 million, down 0.4% year on year, and service revenue of $391.7 million, up 9.0% year on year.

On a geographic basis, second quarter revenue was split as follows: Americas sales of $800.8 million, up 11.2% year on year; EMEA sales of $288.2 million, down 3.9% year on year; Asia Pacific sales of $219.9 million, up 9.3% year on year.

Net cash flow from operations for the second quarter of 2017 was $299 million, compared to $545 million in the first quarter and $360 million in the second quarter of 2016.


For the third quarter ending September 30, 2017, Juniper expects revenue of approximately $1,320 million, plus or minus $30 million, representing a sequential increase of 0.8% at the midpoint.

CenturyLink introduces Managed Hybrid SD-WAN solutions

CenturyLink has announced the availability of CenturyLink Managed Hybrid SD-WAN solutions, offering complete WAN packages that leverage software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology to integrate traffic flows across both broadband Internet connections and private MPLS networks.

CenturyLink's new solutions employ application-aware routing to automatically identify the best end-to-end path based on application requirements and network  latency, and thereby provide optimal performance between users and applications regardless of where applications reside, whether on-premises or in the cloud.

CenturyLink Managed Hybrid SD-WAN solutions are designed to allow businesses to accelerate their transformation to next-generation networks by reducing the complexities associated with integration, operations and performance management when creating a hybrid WAN environment. As part of the offering, CenturyLink provides core infrastructure, design and implementation, security, transport and provider management, along with centralised monitoring and management.

The managed SD-WAN solution also features encryption, segmentation and security policy control via a central portal that secures traffic at all business locations, including branches. Additionally, CenturyLink's range of managed security services that include security log monitoring and incident management and response can also be integrated into the solution.

CenturyLink Managed Hybrid SD-WAN solutions are also available to CenturyLink Alliance program partners.

Regarding the new offering, Troy Trenchard, VP, product management at CenturyLink, said, "the Managed Hybrid SD-WAN solutions enable businesses to leverage their existing investments in MPLS while adding next-generation network capabilities… by using these new offerings, businesses can deliver high application performance and security across the WAN, especially for cloud-hosted apps".

* CenturyLink launched its SD-WAN service providing business customers with centralised control over a variety of private network access technologies in June last year. The managed SD-WAN service bundles site connectivity, equipment, software licensing, configuration, performance tuning and monitoring with a management and analytics portal, while offering the customer the option of managing their own policies or having CenturyLink manage their policies.

Clearfield to expand manufacturing capacity at facility in Mexico

Clearfield based in Minneapolis, a specialist provider of fibre management solutions for communication service providers, announced the expansion of manufacturing capacity at its facility in Tijuana, Mexico.

Through the addition of space and employees at its Tijuana site, Clearfield plans to quadruple its manufacturing presence in Mexico. The initiative is intended to help Clearfield lower its product manufacturing costs, as well as enable the company to meet short lead times and achieve on-time deliveries.

Clearfield stated that the Mexico facility is modelled on its U.S. manufacturing facilities in Minneapolis, and as with its U.S. location is fully equipped with passive optical LAN technology providing fibre-to-the-desktop and fibre-to-the-workstation functionality.

The company noted that, as an established supplier of scalable solutions for the FTTx market, the expansion is an indicator of growing market demand for its line of fibre management and fibre delivery solutions.

Clearfield designs, manufactures and distributes fibre optic management, protection and delivery products for communications networks. The company's 'fibre to the anywhere' platform is designed to address the specific requirements of incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECS), competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs), wireless operators and MSO/cable TV companies, as well as to meet the broadband needs of the utility/municipality, enterprise, data centre and military markets.

* Earlier this year, Clearfield announced that as part of its commitment to delivering carrier-class network reliability for operators it had been awarded independent NEBS Level 3 certification for products in its FieldSmart fibre management platform.

* Clearfield also announced the appointment of Kevin Craddock as national account manager for AT&T. Mr. Craddock had previously held positions ranging from sales engineer to senior director of sales with AT&T. He has also served in sales roles at Charles Industries, Corning Cable Systems, Emerson Network Power, RELTEC/Marconi and Suttle.

Fujitsu develops high output W-band GaN HEMT power amplifier

Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories announced the development of a gallium-nitride (GaN) high-electron mobility transistor (HEMT) power amplifier for use in W-band (75-110 GHz) transmission systems.

Fujitsu noted for long-distance, high-capacity wireless communications, one approach is to utilise the W-band and other high frequency bands that encompass a range of usable frequencies, with increased output using a transmission power amplifier. In addition, there is demand for improved efficiency in power amplifiers to mitigate the increased power consumption of communication systems.

To address these requirements, Fujitsu has developed a power amplifier for W-band transmission that offers both high output power and efficiency, improving transistor performance through the reduction of electrical current leakage and internal GaN-HEMT resistance. Fujitsu has achieved output density of 4.5 W per millimetre of gate width and has confirmed a 26% reduction in energy consumption compared to conventional technology.

Fujitsu anticipates that siting this new power amplifier between wireless communication systems in two locations can achieve high-bandwidth communications at 10 Gbit/s over a distance of up to 10 km.

In order to increase the distance and capacity of wireless communications and decrease energy consumption with indium-aluminium-GaN (InAlGaN) HEMTs, Fujitsu has developed two technologies that reduce internal resistance and current leakage.

Fujitsu has developed technology that can reduce resistance to one tenth that of previous technology when current flows between the source or drain electrodes and the GaN-HEMT device. The technology involves a manufacturing process that embeds GaN plugs directly below the source and drain electrodes to generate electrons at high densities.

In addition, to address current leakage and the resulting reduced operational performance for the power amplifier due to reduced drain current the new technology maintains drain current by distributing InGaN to create a barrier layer below the channel layer. This reduces electron detours during operation and current leakage.

Fujitsu noted that the previous record for power amplifier output density in the W-band for transmitters was 3.6 W/mm of gate width with technology developed by Fujitsu Laboratories. The newly developed technology delivers output of 4.5 W/mm of gate width for a power amplifier designed to operate at 94 GHz.

Fujitsu stated that it plans to apply the new technology to the development of power amplifiers for wireless communications with long range and higher capacity, while also enabling easier installation than with fibre. It aims to commercialise the technology by 2020.

Fujitsu noted that the research was supported by Innovative Science and Technology Initiative for Security, established by the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) of the Japan Ministry of Defense.

Altice USA launches Suddenlink gigabit in 4 new markets

Altice USA announced the launch of Suddenlink Internet service offering up to 1 Gbit/s download speed in four new Gig Cities, namely Batesville and El
Dorado in Arkansas, Maryville, Missouri and Conroe in Texas, and has also increased the speeds of certain other Suddenlink residential Internet services for existing customers in these regions.

Altice noted that local businesses in the four markets will also have access to the new gigabit service, as well as additional Suddenlink customised services for business that provide multi-gigabit bandwidth.

In addition to the new 1 Gbit/s internet service, residential Internet customers with current download speeds of up to 75 and 100 Mbit/s have been automatically moved to services offering download speeds of up to 100 and 200 Mbit/s, respectively. The standard Suddenlink residential Internet download speeds in each region are now as follows: up to 50, 100, 200 and 400 Mbit/s, plus the new up to 1 Gbit/s service.
* In February, Altice USA announced that it was offering its Suddenlink gigabit Internet service in the Kinston area of North Carolina, including the City of Kinston, Lenoir and Wayne Counties, as well as Lagrange and Walnut Creek. At the same time it also increased speeds for certain existing Suddenlink residential Internet customers.

* Altice USA, describing itself as the fourth largest U.S. cable operator, is a major broadband communications and video services providers, delivering broadband, pay TV, telephony services, WiFi hotspot access, content and advertising services to approximately 4.9 million residential and business customers across 21 states via the Optimum and Suddenlink brands.\

Telkomsel and ZTE test FDD-LTE massive MIMO in Indonesia

ZTE announced that it has conducted what is believed to be the first FDD-LTE massive MIMO field trial in Indonesia in partnership with Telkomsel, the country's main mobile operator.

By deploying ZTE's FDD-LTE massive MIMO solution for the field trial, Telkomsel was able to achieve an almost four-fold increase in data throughput to 468 Mbit/s, compared to existing 2 x 2 MIMO FDD LTE network.

The field trial was conducted in Makassar, one of the largest and most densely-populated cities in eastern Indonesia and involved commercially-available TM9 handsets and MiFi units implemented in a simultaneous four handset/MiFi configuration, with 20 MHz of bandwidth.

The trial was designed to demonstrate the capabilities of FDD-LTE massive MIMO technology to enhance the performance of existing 4G LTE networks without the need for new user terminals. Telkomsel noted that the results of the trial will support its efforts on implement network equalisation in eastern Indonesia.

Following completion of the successful field trials, ZTE and Telkomsel have agreed to continue with the next phase of the trials to verify additional technical aspects including coverage, mobility and interference. The trials are intended to ensure the feasibility of the technology and its suitability for a wider rollout across the Telkomsel LTE network in Indonesia.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

MEF aims to define the future of Lifecycle Service Orchestration – Part 1

by Bartosz Michalik of Amartus

MEF is an industry body that, besides other activities, defines the LSO capabilities and APIs to automate the entire service lifecycle in a sustainable fashion. This activity will allow service providers to attain coordinated management and control across all network domains responsible for delivering end to end connectivity services. In order to enable that coordinated management and ensure efficient communication within networks, MEF has defined the reference architecture. In short, this architecture comprises functional blocks and 'LSO Reference Points'. Reference Points are the logical points of interaction between specific functional management components, such as business applications, service orchestration functions (SOF), or infrastructure management and control applications (ICM). The Presto Management Interface Reference Point is the 'north-south' interface for network resource provisioning that sits between the SOF and ICM, and according to MEF 55 (, it is "needed to manage the network infrastructure, including network and topology view related management functions".

Currently, the LSO Presto API efforts are spearheaded by CenturyLink, with active contributions from Amartus, Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson, Infinera and NEC.

Industry-wide Collaboration Accelerates Realization of the Third Network Vision

Last year, MEF began the process of specifying the industry standard to accelerate the adoption of orchestrated network services. Enabling and assuring Third Network services across multiple provider networks calls for an industry-wide collaboration because of the involved level of complexity. In order to facilitate that cooperation and complement the work of its Technical and Operations Committee, MEF has come forward with a number of initiatives.

What emerged from that work was a plan to support and validate the work around MEF standards and LSO architecture by delivering open and close source reference implementations that realize the ideas defined in MEF 55 specification, outlining the LSO Reference Architecture and Framework. MEF has launched a series of initiatives that allow the in-network validation of Lifecycle Service Orchestration data models and interfaces. The current effort of the working groups is streamlined under the umbrella terms of Open Lifecycle Service Orchestration (OpenLSO) and Open Connectivity Services (OpenCS) ecosystems.

OpenLSO is focused on the implementation of functions and APIs specific for service orchestration functionality (SOF). It primarily targets service providers who are accelerating their adoption of LSO to enjoy all benefits of end to end service orchestration over standard MEF services. OpenCS focuses on Presto NRP, which is an LSO interface reference point (IRP) specific for infrastructure and control management (ICM). OpenCS provides reference implementations of connectivity services using combinations of open and close source software, open hardware, SDN, NFV and Carrier Ethernet (CE) 2.0-certified devices. To leverage these technologies, MEF develops this work stream in close cooperation with open source projects such as ON.Lab, OpenDaylight and OPNFV. This ecosystem should be of interest to those service providers that are adopting SDN and NFV to deliver MEF-defined connectivity services.

About the author

Bartosz Michalik is a Software Architect at Amartus, a Certified MEF Engineer, and a holder of the MEF Recognition Award for LSO Hackathon blogging and facilitation. He leads the LSO Presto Hackathon project, and co-leads the OpenCS Packet WAN project together with Donald Hunter from Cisco. He is also a contributor to the Open Daylight UniMgr project. E-mail me at a with any questions or queries.

(NB: Further information about MEF's Third Network Vision and Lifecycle Service Orchestration is available here:

Singtel launches 800 Mbit/s mobile data

Singtel of Singapore announced it is beginning a phased launch of near-gigabit speeds on its LTE Advanced network at selected high-traffic outdoor locations across the island, starting with Orchard Road.

Offering data rates of up to 800 Mbit/s, Singtel claims that the new service is Southeast Asia's fastest LTE mobile data peak speed, delivering up to 60% faster download speeds than existing LTE services that offer speeds of up to 450 Mbit/s.

The operator stated that the near-gigabit transmission speeds are enabled by scaling pre-5G technology solutions, 4 x 4 MIMO and 256QAM, combined with triple carrier aggregation (CA) of spectrum exclusive to Singtel.

Following the initial launch, customers with Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphones will be able to access the 800 Mbit/s peak speeds at the outdoor areas of Shaw Centre, ION Orchard and Tang Plaza along Orchard Road. Singtel noted that deployment at Orchard Road, Raffles Place and Clarke Quay is scheduled to begin by the end of August, while additional Cat 16 smartphones able to support gigabit speeds are expected to be launched later in the year.

The new 800 Mbit/s mobile service augments Singtel's existing nationwide 450 Mbit/s mobile data speeds. The operator noted that according to Singapore's regulator IMDA it currently offers the widest outdoor 4G coverage, as well as the highest mobile data rates on the island.

* Earlier this year, Singtel and Ericsson announced they were working together to pilot massive MIMO and cloud RAN on Singtel’s 4G LTE network as part of the evolution to 5G and delivering gigabit mobile data rates. Specifically, Ericsson supplied its AIR 6468 radio, providing 64T64R massive MIMO capabilities for testing prior to progress deployment on Singtel’s 4G LTE network.

AT&T delivers global network with FlexWare + NetBond for Cloud for Omnicom

New York-based Omnicom Group, a global provider of marketing communications, has selected AT&T to deploy a universal network solution designed to improve its efficiency and increase security for the company and its clients.

To support the delivery of its proprietary marketing services in a more secure and reliable way, Omnicom required a technology provider with the ability to deliver a secure network across all of its locations in 100-plus countries and to its more than 78,000 employees. By consolidating the company's infrastructure into a single network, AT&T aims to help Omnicom agencies connect and collaborate more effectively, as well as reduce operational costs.

The Global Omnicom/AT&T network strategy will leverage AT&T FlexWare, NetBond for Cloud and Threat Manager elements to provide Omnicom with an advanced flexible, secure and efficient network.

AT&T FlexWare is a global, software-centric platform that will help Omnicom to quickly deploy and manage virtualised network functions such as routers and firewalls, as well as make adjustments based on changing business needs via an online portal. FlexWare allows users to add and remove features and scale services on demand. The solution will help reduce Omnicom's hardware requirements and simplify operations.

In addition, AT&T NetBond for Cloud is designed to provide secure connectivity between the AT&T virtual private network and cloud service providers, while Threat Manager offers a security incident and event management platform.

Mavenir to establish 5G innovation centre in Israel

Mavenir, a major provider of technology designed to accelerate and redefine network transformation for service providers, announced it has established a new R&D and 5G Innovation centre of excellence in Ra'anana, Israel that will focus on the development of 5G network and services solutions.

Mavenir noted that the next generation of network infrastructure will be based on a common, flexible infrastructure with the ability to support application with enhanced QoE (for example virtual reality), provide mobility across heterogeneous networks (HetNet), deliver ultra-low latency and high reliability, as well as support the connectivity needs of billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Mavenir is focused on enabling cloud-centric NFV infrastructure (NFVi) across its end-to-end 5G portfolio, encompassing NGCN, cloud RAN, end-to-end security and orchestration, leveraging open development techniques and programming tools. As part of this initiative, the new Ra'anana centre, together with the Brno centre of excellence, will also work on Mavenir's voice/video and advanced messaging solutions.

* Mavenir announced in June that it had launched an R&D centre of excellence in Brno, Czech Republic, which is focused on delivering artificial intelligence/machine learning signalling security solutions. Mavenir's AI/machine learning solution is designed to provide advanced signalling monitoring, active filtering and analytics to ensure networks remain functional and operational and protect customers when using network services.

* The company noted when announcing the new centre that although SS7 has been widely used for decades, hackers have only recently started exploiting its vulnerabilities. Leveraging its expertise in signalling security based on security gateways (SeGWs) and Diameter edge agents (DEAs), signalling transfer points (STPs) and Diameter routing agents (DRAs), Mavenir aims to provide advanced edge and core network signalling protection for network operators.

Ukraine's lifecell deploys Huawei in city of Lviv

Huawei announced a partnership with Ukraine's leading telecom operator lifecell for the deployment of its Easy Macro 2.0-based PoleStar site solution in the tourist city of Lviv.

Huawei noted that lifecell is first operator to deploy Easy Macro 2.0 commercially. Expanding on the Easy Macro 1.0 solution, Easy Macro 2.0 offers support for a wider range of radio access technologies (RATs) and higher power, and is designed to enable more flexible installation and provide more uniform coverage to help operators' address the difficulties of site acquisition and reduce site construction costs.

Huawei stated that Lviv attracts an estimated up to 200,000 tourists per day, creating high demand for network capacity. Ukrainian operator lifecell aims to provide a quality network and enhanced services for Internet access. However, with growth in data traffic network capacity restrictions cannot be addressed where spectrum resources are limited. As a result, lifecell is experiencing strong demand for site additions.

Huawei stated that the installation of traditional macro base stations presents challenges in terms of site acquisition, a lengthy site approval period, and site construction costs.

Integrating radio and antenna elements, Huawei's Easy Macro 2.0 product is designed to be small and light, and to allow the use of power pole resources present in urban areas for site deployment. The solution is therefore designed to resolve the issue of site acquisition for operators and enable faster site deployments.

Huawei's Easy Macro 2.0 offers concurrent support for GSM, UMTS and LTE, while also offering greater large power and significantly extended coverage area compared with the previous generation solution. The product additionally supports horizontal installation and features adjustable vertical beam width (VBW) to optimise coverage in high-rise buildings. The new version also supports centralised transmission and power supply to help reduce site deployment costs.

Huawei claims that using Easy Macro 2.0 lifecell has been able to increase network coverage by 8.73% while the release of suppressed network resulted in voice traffic increasing by 24.93% and the data traffic by 22.08% per cluster compared with the existing network. In addition, the company claims that deployment efficiency for a single site improved by 94% and the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the site was lowered by over 30%.

Nokia supplies network for emergency response services in California

Nokia announced it has been selected to modernise the communications network of the County of Fresno in California to enhance emergency response and public safety capabilities in the county.

For the project, Nokia will upgrade the network infrastructure via the deployment of microwave packet radio and IP/MPLS technology to support secure, resilient and reliable data connectivity for first responders and county facilities.

The upgraded network is designed to provide the backhaul capabilities for Fresno County's digital trunked radio system, which is used by police, firefighters and other public safety departments, to communicate with command centres and with each other. The new network will also be capable of supporting services for a number of other county agencies.

For the project, Nokia is supplying the its 9500 Microwave Packet Radio and 7705 Service Aggregation Router to support IP, Ethernet, TDM and video services, and to enable the transition to a modern all-IP network. The IP/MPLS-enabled microwave network is managed by the Nokia Network Services Platform, which is designed to simplify management and enable improved operational efficiency, as well as allow a transition to software defined networking (SDN) in the future.

Under the terms of the agreement, Nokia is also providing professional services including network design and migration, installation and integration services.

Nokia noted that the project highlights its focus on delivering mission-critical networks for markets beyond traditional communications service providers, in particular to the public safety sector in the U.S. and worldwide.

  • As part of this effort, Nokia recently announced it had been selected to provide an advanced communications network to the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) in northern California, to support hydro-electric power generation and water distribution services in the area. For the project, Nokia was to replace PCWA's existing network with an IP/MPLS and packet microwave network designed to support a range of utility applications.
  • Managed by its Network Services Platform (NSP), the PCWA network featured Nokia's 7705 Service Aggregation Router (SAR) portfolio and 9500 Microwave Packet Radio (MPR).

MTS of Russia partners with Ericsson and Qualcomm to trial LAA technology

Ericsson, working with Russian mobile operator MTS and technology company Qualcomm, announced it has trialled Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology in a first live over-the-air demonstration in Russia, marking the first time a commercial Ericsson product has been used to support Rel-13 LAA.

Ericsson noted that LAA leverages the 5 GHz unlicensed spectrum band together with licensed spectrum to deliver enhanced performance for mobile device users. Together with MTS, the largest mobile operator in Russia and the CIS serving over 100 million subscribers, and Qualcomm Technologies, Ericsson conducted the live trial based on a commercial small cell product for Rel-13 LAA.

The demonstration was conducted in an MTS test lab over a live network and involved Ericsson's Pico RBS 6402 small cell and a Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE mobile test device.

Ericsson's RBS 6402 is an indoor pico cell designed for small building deployments that offers support for LTE, WCDMA and WiFi, 10 frequency bands and up to 300 Mbit/s with LTE carrier aggregation.

* Previously, in June last year the two companies tested LTE-U (LTE-Unlicensed) and demonstrated the aggregation of two frequency bands - 10 MHz in the 1800 MHz band of LTE and 20 MHz in the unlicensed 5 GHz band - at WiFi access points, achieving data rates of up to 200 Mbit/s.

* Earlier this year, MTS, and Ericsson announced trials of 5G technology during which they achieved data transmission rates of up to 25 Gbit/s using a portable prototype of a smartphone. The testing was conducted by Ericsson and MTS at the Opening Arena stadium in Moscow, where a base station operating in the range of 14.5 to 15.3 GHz transmitted a signal to a portable prototype of a subscriber' device at the speeds of up to 25 Gbit/s.

* The trials were conducted as part of its strategic partnership between Ericsson and MTS established in December 2015. Under the agreement, Ericsson and MTS plan to cooperate on 5G R&D in Russia, encompassing areas including spectrum studies of the next generation network and implementation of a test system.

Frontier extends broadband to 238,000 premises

Frontier Communications, serving customers across 29 U.S. states, announced that it has reached a milestone as part of the FCC Connect America Fund program (CAF) ahead of schedule.

Frontier noted that the FCC CAF program requires companies that have accepted funding to deploy broadband to 40% of the eligible locations by the end of 2017. Under the program, as of the end of June Frontier had reached the 40% target in nine states, namely Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia.

Nationwide, Frontier stated that it is currently delivering broadband service to approximately 238,000 households and small businesses in its CAF-eligible areas, and has improved connection speeds to approximately 746,000 additional locations. The broadband expansion involved a combination of Frontier capital investment and resources the FCC has made available through the CAF program.

Frontier is marketing broadband offerings to households with newly provided or improved broadband speeds. Frontier offers speeds of up to 115 Mbit/s, depending on the distance from its nearest facilities, with many newly connected locations able to receive speeds of at least 25 Mbit/s.

Through its involvement in the FCC CAF program, Frontier will use $332 million in annual funding to extend broadband with a speed of at least 10 Mbit/s to 774,000 households and businesses over the lifetime of the program.

* In June, Frontier announced it was providing broadband service to previously unserved residents in 25 counties in Ohio and West Virginia. In Ohio, the company extended service to 12,600 CAF-eligible households and improve speeds to a further 33,600 households. In West Virginia, it delivered broadband to approximately 16,900 eligible households and improved speeds to an additional 117,000 households.

Monday, July 24, 2017

UK alternate operator Call Flow selects ADTRAN XGS-PON solution for FTTH service

ADTRAN announced that Call Flow, an alternate network provider serving the south of England, has selected its XGS-PON solution for what is believed to be the UK's first symmetric multi-Gigabit FTTH services.

ADTRAN noted that broadband operator Call Flow is already offering fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC)-based services providing up to 100 Mbit/s bandwidth across southern England and has now selected its next generation 10 Gbit/s-capable FTTH solution to scale its services.

The new network architecture, which is compatible with Call Flow's existing FTTH network, is designed to deliver significantly higher symmetric multi-gigabit access performance to help the service provider differentiate its offering as it targets strategic expansion over the next 5–10 years.

By supporting 10 Gbit/s symmetric fixed wavelength PON over new and existing fibre infrastructures, XGS-PON is designed to enable a balance between performance and cost, thereby allowing Call Flow to address both residential and business subscribers simultaneously over a single, common optical distribution network.

ADTRAN believes that XGS-PON can double the effective life span of operators' optical distribution networks, helping to protect their network investments while providing the capacity to support new services. ADTRAN stated that was a pioneer in delivering 10 Gbit/s PON solutions, including contributing key technology that led to the introduction of XGS-PON as an ITU standard.

Call Flow is an alternate operator that has built superfast/ultrafast networks across Kent, East Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire in southern England. Call Flow is a major user of BT Openreach's ducts and poles (PIA/DPA) and sub-loop unbundling (SLU/FTTC) assets.

Corning acquires SpiderCloud, supplier of in-building wireless

Corning announced that it has acquired SpiderCloud Wireless based in Milpitas, California, a supplier of in-building wireless solutions, on undisclosed terms.

SpiderCloud is a developer of scalable small-cell network platforms designed to deliver enhanced coverage and capacity for the delivery of wireless services inside buildings. Small cells are deployed by mobile operators and enterprises to improve network efficiency and end-user services.

Corning stated that the acquisition of SpiderCloud's advanced solutions and established position as a provider to key wireless customers is expected to create new market access opportunities. As a part of Corning, SpiderCloud will become part of the Optical Communications segment and align with its target of increasing annual sales from $3 billion in 2016 to $5 billion by 2020.

Regarding the acquisition, Clark S. Kinlin, EVP, Corning Optical Communications, said, "Wireless connectivity has become more a necessity than an amenity, and mobile operators and enterprise customers are seeking cost-effective solutions to enhance service for users inside buildings… with the acquisition of SpiderCloud Wireless, the combined product solutions will help drive optical convergence and enable fibre-deep architectures within the enterprise LAN".

  • SpiderCloud recently announced commercial availability of its Frequency Agile small cell, the SCRN-220, for its enterprise RAN (E-RAN) platform. The new SCRN-220 is an enterprise-grade LTE small cell that can be software configured for the major U.S. bands, including 2 (1900), 25 (1900), 4 (1700), 66 (2100), 12 (700) and 13 (700), with channel widths of 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz.

  • The SCRN-220 is based on SpiderCloud's E-RAN architecture that includes a Services Node controlling up to 100 self-organising LTE small cells, capable of delivering coverage and capacity in indoor locations as large as 1.5 million sq feet. The product can support up to 64 active LTE users and offers 150 Mbit/s peak downlink rate.

  • SpiderCloud also recently expanded its E-RAN system with support for LTE-U, leveraging the Qualcomm FSM small cell platform and the SpiderCloud scalable small cell systems. It noted that the new system was one of the first enterprise scale small cell system to receive FCC authorisation to deliver LTE-U capacity in unlicensed spectrum, and also supported software upgrade to LTE-LAA.

  • In June, Corning Optical Communications launched a multiuse platform combining multi-fibre and single-fibre connection points and targeting carriers, operators and municipalities wishing to deploy fibre-deep access networks. Capable of supporting a mix of network architectures on the same fibre backbone, the multiuse platform is designed to enable LTE connectivity and future 5G networks.