Wednesday, October 4, 2017

FogHorn raises $30M for industrial IoT edge computing

FogHorn Systems, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, announced $30 million in Series B funding for its software stack designed for the industrial IoT (IIoT) edge computing segment.

FogHorn has built a complex event processing (CEP) - driven edge analytics software for on-premises edge computing. The software has a very small footprint enabling it to deliver real-time analytics to resource-constrained edge devices such as PLCs, gateways and industrial PCs. FogHorn recently enhanced its CEP platform with a new "Lightning ML" edge machine learning solution that can be used to train and execute machine learning algorithms and other advanced data science models on streaming sensor data. FogHorn says this facilitates the creation and iterative enhancement of “digital twins” and other sophisticated machine learning and AI models without the need to send all the sensor data to a cloud or data center for processing.

FogHorn's “edge intelligence” software targets industrial and commercial IoT application, such as complex machinery packed with sensors. For performance and cost reasons, FogHorn argues data from industrial equipment mostly should be processed locally and not sent to a distant cloud. On-premises computing provides better latency for near real-time feedback. It can also minimize the volume of data to be uploaded to the cloud. FogHorn's software is being used by OEMs and systems integrators. The company is also working directly with end customers in manufacturing, oil and gas, power and water, transportation, renewable energy, mining and agriculture, as well as Smart Building, Smart City and connected vehicle applications.

The new funding round was led by Intel Capital and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures with new investor Honeywell Ventures and all previous investors participating, including Series A investors March Capital Partners, GE Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Yokogawa Electric Corporation, Darling Ventures and seed investor The Hive. The company has raised $47.5 million to date.

“This major round of funding by many of the world’s largest and most innovative technology and industrial companies will enable FogHorn to continue its drive for industry-first innovation in the IIoT market segment,” said David C. King, CEO of FogHorn. “We have seen unprecedented interest from customers and partners in a huge variety of industries for advanced condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, asset performance management and process optimization solutions.”


  • FogHorn is headed by David C. King (CEO), who previously co-founded AirTight Networks and served as its Chairman and CEO. Prior to AirTight, he served as Chairman, President and CEO of Proxim Inc., a pioneer in WLANs and the first publicly traded Wi-Fi company.

FCC offers $76.9m advance to networks in Puerto Rico

The FCC will make available $76.9 million in emergency funding to help restore communications networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The action comes 2 weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated the islands, knocking out nearly all communications. As of October 04, 2017, 86.3% of cell sites remain out of service. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, 66.0% of cell sites are out of service, and 100% of cell sites in St. John are still out of service.

The FCC emergency funding actually draws upon funds designated for high-cost universal service support. Telecommunications carriers (ETCs) operating in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who are already eligible for these funds may now choose a single advance payment of up to seven months of high-cost support to assist with their immediate needs and
anticipated large repair costs in restoring their communications networks.

Ekinops acquires OneAccess

Ekinops, a leading supplier of next-generation optical network equipment based in Lannion, France, completed its previously-announced acquisition of OneAccess

France-based OneAccess, founded in 2001 and with around 350 staff, is a supplier of software and hardware platforms to telecom carriers and service providers serving large corporate and SME customers. The company claims nearly 130 telecom carriers as clients, including 29 in the global Top 100, and has four R&D centres, located in Velizy and Sophia Antipolis, France, Louvain, Belgium and Bangalore, India. In 2016, OneAccess generated revenue of Euro 58 million and EBITDA margin of 9.1%.

For its part, Ekinops mainly addresses second-tier carriers, many of which are in the U.S. market.

Ekinops said the deal strengthens its position as a major player in transport, Ethernet and corporate routing solutions for telecommunications networks. The combined company will have revenues of approximately 76 million euros and EBITDA margin of 6.3% (2016 proforma). The market capitalization of the new group amounts to approximately EUR 119 million (as of September 29, 2017).

Didier Br├ędy, Chief Executive Officer, said, “With the completion of this acquisition, Ekinops will be a stronger company, positioned for future growth. Our shared technological vision, strong software culture and significant commercial, geographic and product sets complementarity will enable us to create value for our customers, employees, and shareholders.”

Mobile Market Update for India

The total number of wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & LTE) in India actually dipped slightly in July, from 1,186.84 million at the end of Jun-17 to 1,186.79 million at the end of Jul-17, according to the latest figures compiled by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) . The dip, which represents a monthly growth rate of -0.004%, was driven by the loss of about two million wireless subscriptions in rural areas. India’s urban centres continued to gain subscribers during July.

The highly unusual decline in mobile subscriptions comes after an extended period of rapid growth for mobile networks in India.  Although one month is too short of a period to draw any hard conclusions about the future growth in mobile subscriptions for the nation, we know that the dip coincides with economic turmoil brought about by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s currency and tax reforms among other factors. India’s macro economic indicators have been pointing down for a while, penetration rates have reached saturation levels in many markets, and the disruptive entrance of Reliance Jio perhaps are all taking a toll on the telecoms sector.

TRAI reports that the wireless tele-density(%) in India declined from 92.12 at the end of Jun-17 to 92.03 at the end of Jul-17. The urban wireless tele-density increased from 167.97 at the end of Jun-17 to 168.21 at the end of Jul-17, however rural wireless tele-density declined from 57.31 to 57.04 during the same period.

Wireline subscribers declined from 24.00 million at the end of Jun-17 to 23.92 million at the end of Jul-17, representing a decrease of 0.08 million lines.





Uniserver deploys Cisco Virtual Topology System in its data centre

Uniserver, a Netherlands-based cloud hosting provider, has deployed Cisco Virtual Topology System (VTS), a standards-based, open software-overlay management and provisioning system for network provisioning of its virtual and physical infrastructure. The goal is greater programmability and accelerated provisioning of its data center network fabric.

Cisco said its Virtual Topology System brings increased simplicity and a repeatable process for high-quality, error-free provisioning. It supports multivendor infrastructure and operational systems like OpenStack and vCenter.

“Our focus is to help service providers such as Uniserver, as well as enterprise operations teams, reduce network configuration complexity and enhance the agility of their multi-tenant cloud environments,” said Jonathan Davidson, SVP/GM Service Provider Networking, Cisco. “This is in line with their mission of simplifying complex IT, and we are pleased to help enable Uniserver provide quality of service to its partners through the adoption of this technology. We are committed to continuing to support them in their network transformation journey.”

Mellanox announces software-defined SmartNIC adapters based on ARM

Mellanox Technologies announced its BlueField family of software-defined SmartNIC adapters, designed for scale-out server and storage applications.

The new adapters leverage embedded ARM processor cores based on the company's BlueField system-on-chip processors and accelerators in the network interface card (NIC).

Key features of the BlueField intelligent adapters:

  • 2 network ports of Ethernet or InfiniBand: 10G/25G, 40G, 50G or 100Gb/s options
  • RDMA support for both InfiniBand and RoCE from the leader in RDMA technology
  • Accelerators for NVMe-over-Fabrics (NVMe-oF), RAID, crypto and packet processing
  • PCI Express Gen3 and Gen4, with either x8- or x16-lane configurations
  • Integrated low-latency PCIe switch with up to 8 external ports for flexible topologies
  • Up to 16 ARMv8 Cortex A72 processors with 20MB of coherent cache
  • 8 – 32GB of on-board DDR4 DRAM
  • Comprehensive virtualization support with SR-IOV
  • Accelerated Switching and Packet Processing (ASAP2) OVS offloads
  • Multi-host and SocketDirect™ enabling a single adapter to support up to four CPU hosts
  • Multiple server form-factor options including half-height, half-length PCIe and other configurations


Mellanox said its new BlueField SmartNIC could be used for a range of applications, including Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), security and network traffic acceleration. The fully programmable environment and DPDK framework support a wide range of standard software packages running in the BlueField ARM subsystem. Examples include: Open vSwitch (OVS), Security packages such as L3/4 firewall, DDoS protection and Intrusion Prevention, encryption stacks (IPsec, SSL/TLS), traffic monitoring, telemetry and packet capture.

“Our BlueField adapters effectively place a Computer in Front of the Computer,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president marketing, Mellanox Technologies. “They provide the flexibility needed to adapt to new and emerging network protocols, and to implement complex networking and security functions in a distributed manner, right at the boundary of the server. This brings more scalability to the data center and enhances security by creating an isolated trust zone.”

PacketLight gains GSA certification for its optical solutions

PacketLight Networks has been awarded General Services Administration (GSA) certification, enabling their full suite of DWDM and optical transport networking (OTN) solutions to be sold to the United States government and agencies. Under this certification, federal, state, and local government agencies can purchase PacketLight products through GSA Advantage!®, the government’s electronic online ordering system.

PacketLight supplies DWDM and OTN solutions that offer up to 200G over a single fiber for systems interconnect, metro and long haul networks.

“As the US government continues its shift towards the cloud, ensuring access to the fastest and most secure infrastructure becomes a critical concern,” says Koby Reshef, CEO of PacketLight Networks. “With this certification we look forward to providing the US government with the solutions they need to increase the capacity of their fiber networks, while maintaining the highest level of security at the lowest capital and operational costs.”

ZTE and Softbank hit 956 Mbps on 20 MHz Massive MIMO

ZTE and SoftBank achieved a peak downstream rate of 956 Mbps on a 20MHz bandwidth in a trial of pre-5G TDD massive MIMO. The trial, which was conducted on Softbank's commercial network in Nagasaki, Japan, featured 24-stream space division multiplexing technology.

ZTE previously achieved a similar rate of 1.1Gbps in a 24-stream field test in Shenzhen, China that also used its Pre5G TDD Ma
ssive MIMO solution.

ZTE and SoftBank are also collaborating on a Smart Life strategic project for post-4G networks, including improvement of spectrum efficiency, 4G/5G network integration, mobile bandwidth, IoT, and Internet of Vehicles.


ZTE signs up as Official Smartphone for PGA Tour

ZTE has signed a three-year marketing agreement to become the PGA TOUR’s first-ever Official Smartphone.

The deal, which includes global rights through 2020, was officially signed today by PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan and ZTE Mobile Devices CEO Lixin Cheng.

“The PGA TOUR is delighted to introduce ZTE as a new marketing partner as we enter the smartphone category for the first time,” said Brian Oliver, PGA TOUR Senior Vice President, Sponsorship & Partnership. “Mobile devices have become such a critical means by which fans watch and get updates on our competition, find information about their favorite players and share PGA TOUR-related content. In ZTE, we are partnering with a global leader in the telecommunications industry.”

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

100G - Challenges for Performance and Security Visibility Monitoring

by Brendan O’Flaherty, CEO, cPacket Networks

The 100Gbps Ethernet transport network is here, and the use cases for transport at 100Gbps are multiplying. The previous leap in network bandwidths was from 10Gbps to 40Gbps, and 40Gbps networks are prevalent today. However, while 40Gbps networks are meeting bandwidth and performance requirements in many enterprises, the “need for speed” to handle data growth in the enterprise simply cannot be tamed.

As companies continue to grow in scale, and as their data needs become more complex, 100Gbps (“100G”) offers the bandwidth and efficiency they desperately need. In addition, 100G better utilizes existing fiber installations and increases density, which significantly improves overall data center efficiency.

A pattern of growth in networks is emerging, and it seems to reflect the hypergrowth increases in data on corporate networks just over the last five years. In fact, the now-famous Gilder’s Law states that backbone bandwidth on a single cable is now a thousand times greater than the average monthly traffic exchanged across the entire global communications infrastructure five years ago.

A look at the numbers tells the story well. IDC says that 10G Ethernet switches are set to lose share, while 100G switches are set to double. Crehan Research (see Figure 1) says that 100G port shipments will pass 40G shipments in 2017, and will pass 10G shipments in 2021.



Figure 1: 100G Port Shipments Reaching Critical Mass, as 40G and 10G Shipments Decline

100 Gigabit by the Numbers

The increase in available link speeds and utilization creates new challenges for both the architectures upon which traditional network monitoring solutions are based and for the resolution required to view network behavior accurately. Let’s look at some numbers:

100G Capture to Disk

Traditional network monitoring architectures depend on the ability to bring network traffic to a NIC and write that data to disk for post-analysis. Let’s look at the volume of data involved at 100G:



(1)




(2)




(3)

By equation (3), at 100 Gbps on one link, in one direction, a one-terabyte disk will be filled in 80 seconds. Extending this calculation for one day, in order to store the amount of data generated on one 100 Gbps link in only one direction, 0.96 petabytes of storage is required:




(4)

Not only is this a lot of data (0.96 petabytes is about 1,000 terabytes, equivalent to 125 8TB desktop hard drives), but as of this writing (Aug 2017), a high-capacity network performance solution from a leading vendor can store approximately 300 terabytes, or only eight hours of network data from one highly utilized link.

100G in the Network – What is a Burst, and What is Its Impact?

A microburst can be defined as a period during which traffic is transmitted over the network at line rate (the maximum capacity of the link). Microbursts in the datacenter are quite common – often by design of the applications running in the network. Three common reasons are:

  • Traffic from two (or more) sources to one destination. This scenario is sometimes considered uncommon due to the low utilization of the source traffic, although this impression is the result of lack of accuracy in measurements, as we’ll see when we look at the amount of data in a one-millisecond burst.
  • Throughput maximizations. Many common operating system optimizations to reduce the overhead of disk operations or NIC offloading of interrupts will cause trains of packets to occur on the wire.
  • YouTube/Netflix ON/OFF buffer loading. Common to these two applications but frequently used with other video streaming applications is buffer loading from 64KB to 2MB – once again, this ON/OFF transmission of traffic inherently gives rise to bursty behavior in the network.
The equations below translate 100 gigabits per second (1011 bits/second) into bytes per millisecond:



(5)



(6)

The amount of data in a one-millisecond spike of data is greater than the total amount of (shared) memory resources available in a standard switch. This means that a single one-millisecond spike can cause packet drops in the network. For protocols such as TCP, the data will be retransmitted; however, the exponential backoff mechanisms will result in degraded performance. For UDP packets, the lost packets will translate to choppy voice or video, or gaps in market data feeds for algorithm trading platforms. In both cases, since the packet drops cannot be predicted in advance because the spikes and bursts will go undetected without millisecond monitoring resolution, the result will be intermittent behavior that is difficult to troubleshoot.

Network Monitoring Architecture


Typical Monitoring Stack
The typical network monitoring stack is described in Figure 2. At the bottom is the infrastructure – the switches, routers and firewalls that make up the network. Next, in the blue layer are TAPs and SPAN ports – TAPs are widely deployed due to their low cost, and most infrastructure devices provide some number of SPAN ports. The traffic from these TAPs and SPANs is then taken to an aggregation device (or matrix switch or “packet broker”) – at this point, a high number of links, typically 96 10G, are taken to a small number of tool ports, usually four 10G ports (a standard high-performance configuration). At the top are the network tools – these tools take the network traffic fed to them from the aggregation layer and provide the graphs, analytics and drilldowns that form dashboards/visualization.


Figure 2: Typical Network Monitoring Stack

Scalability of Network Monitoring Stack

Let’s now evaluate how this typical monitoring stack scales in high-speed environments.

·         Infrastructure: As evidenced by the transition to 100G, the infrastructure layer appears to be scaling well.

·         TAP/SPAN: TAPs are readily available and match the speeds found in the infrastructure layer. SPANs can be oversubscribed or alter timing, leading to loss of visibility and inaccurate assumptions about production traffic behavior.

·         Aggregation: The aggregation layer is where the scaling issues become problematic. As in the previous example, if 48 links are monitored by four 10G tool ports, the ratio of “traffic in” to monitoring capability is 96:4 (96 is the result of 48 links in two directions) or, reducing, an oversubscription ratio of 24:1. Packet drops due to oversubscription mean that network traffic is not reaching the tools – there are many links or large volumes of traffic that are not being monitored.

·         Tools: The tools layer is dependent on data acquisition and data storage, which translates to the dual technical hurdles of capturing all the data at the NIC as well as writing this data to disk for analysis. Continuing the example, at 96x10G to 4x10G at 10G, the percentage of traffic measured (assuming fully utilized links) is 4x10G/96x10G, or 4.2%. As the network increases to 100G (but the performance of monitoring tools does not), the percentage of traffic monitored drops further to 4x10G/96x100G, or 0.42%.

It is difficult to provide actionable insights into network behavior when only 0.42% of network traffic is monitored, especially during levels of high activity or security attacks.
Figure 3: Scalability of Network Monitoring Stack

Current Challenges with Traditional Monitoring Environments

Monitoring Requirements in the Datacenter

Modern datacenter monitoring has a number of requirements if it is to be comprehensive:  
  • Monitoring Must Be Always-On. Always-on network performance monitoring means being able to see all of the traffic and being able to perform drill-downs to packets of interest on the network without the delay incurred in activating and connecting a network tool only after an issue has been reported (which leads to reactive customer support rather than the proactive awareness necessary to address issues before customers are affected). Always-on KPIs at high resolution provide a constant stream of information for efficient network operations.
  • Monitoring Must Inspect All Packets. To be comprehensive, NPM must inspect every packet and every bit at all speeds—and without being affected by high traffic rates or minimum-sized packets. NPM solutions that drop packets (or only monitor 0.24% of the packets) as data rates increase do not provide the accuracy, by definition, to understand network behavior when accuracy is most needed – when the network is about to fail due to high load or a security attack.
  • High Resolution is Critical. Resolution down to 1ms was not mandatory in the days when 10Gbps networks prevailed. But there’s no alternative today: 1ms resolution is required for detecting problems such as transients, bursts and spikes at 100Gbps.
  • Convergence of Security and Performance Monitoring (NOC/SOC Integration). Security teams and network performance teams are often looking for the same data, with the goal of interpreting it based on their area of focus. Spikes and microbursts might represent a capacity issue for performance engineers but may be early signs of probing by an attacker to a security engineer. Growing response time may reflect server loads to a performance engineer or may indicate a reflection attack to the infosec team. Providing the tools to allow correlation of these events, given the same data, is essential to efficient security and performance engineering applications.
A Look Ahead

100G is just the latest leap in Ethernet-based transport in the enterprise. With 100G port shipments growing at the expense of 40G and 10G, the technology is on a trajectory to become the dominant data center speed by 2021. According to Light Reading, “We are seeing huge demand for 100G in the data center and elsewhere and expect the 100G optical module market to become very competitive through 2018, as the cost of modules is reduced and production volumes grow to meet the demand. The first solutions for 200G and 400G are already available. The industry is now working on cost-reduced 100G, higher-density 400G, and possible solutions for 800G and 1.6 Tbit/s.”


Broadcom's acquisition of Brocade faces delay

Broadcom's pending acquisition of Brocade is facing a regulatory delay. The companies withdrew and re-filed their joint voluntary notice to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), triggering a new 45-day investigation period. Brocade and Broadcom now anticipate the acquisition to be completed by November 30, 2017, subject to clearance from CFIUS.

Brocade now plans to directly sell its data center switching, routing and analytics business to Extreme Networks, instead of waiting for the Broadcom deal to first and then making the sale, as had been previously agreed. Brocade and Extreme Networks expect this deal to close this transaction prior to the closing of Broadcom's acquisition of Brocade.

"We are actively engaged with CFIUS and remain committed to Broadcom's proposed acquisition of Brocade," said Lloyd Carney, CEO of Brocade. "We continue to work diligently and cooperatively with Broadcom to close the transaction as soon as possible in a challenging and dynamic policy and regulatory environment. In the meantime, we are pleased to announce an agreement to divest our data center networking business to Extreme Networks, which we believe is in the best interest of our shareholders, customers, partners and the employees aligned with the business."

Broadcom to Acquire Brocade for Fibre Channel Business

Broadcom agreed to acquire Brocade Communications Systems for $12.75 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $5.5 billion, plus $0.4 billion of net debt.

Broadcom plans to keep Brocade's Fibre Channel storage area network (FC SAN) switching business and divest Brocade’s IP Networking business, consisting of wireless and campus networking, data center switching and routing, and software networking solutions.

Broadcom expects to fund the transaction with new debt financing and cash available on its balance sheet.

The companies said the deal is not subject to any financing conditions, nor is it conditioned on the divestiture of Brocade’s IP Networking business.

Broadcom said key reasons for the acquisition include the profitability margin for Brocade's FC SAN business, which currently comprises vast majority of Brocade’s non-GAAP operating profit.

Extreme to Acquire Brocade's Switching Business for $55 Million

Extreme Networks agreed to acquire Brocade Communications Systems' data center switching, routing, and analytics business from Broadcom following Broadcom's acquisition of Brocade. The deal is valued at $55 million in cash, consisting of $35 million at closing and $20 million in deferred payments, as well as additional potential performance based payments to Broadcom, to be paid over a five-year term. The sale is contingent on Broadcom closing its acquisition of Brocade, previously announced on November 2, 2016 and approved by Brocade shareholders on January 26, 2017. Broadcom presently expects to close the Brocade acquisition in its third fiscal quarter ending July 30, 2017.

Extreme expects the acquisition to be accretive to cash flow and earnings for its fiscal year 2018 and expects to generate over $230 million in annualized revenue from the acquired assets. The acquisition is expected to close within 60 days following the closing of Broadcom's acquisition of Brocade.

"The add

US DoJ approves Centurylink + Level 3 merger with conditions

The U.S. Department of Justice cleared CenturyLink's pending acquisition of Level 3 Communications with certain conditions, including the divestiture of certain Level 3 metro network assets and certain dark fiber assets.

Specifically, the combined company is required to divest Level 3 metro network assets in Albuquerque, N.M.; Boise, Idaho; and Tucson, Arizona. In addition, the combined company is required to divest 24 strands of dark fiber connecting 30 specified city-pairs across the country in the form of an Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU). CenturyLink said that because these fibers are not currently in commercial use, this divestiture will not affect any current customers or services.

The acquisition sill requires regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission.

CenturyLink to Acquire Level 3 for $34 Billion

CenturyLink agreed to acquire Level 3 Communications in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $34 billion, including the assumption of debt.

The deal combines CenturyLink's larger enterprise customer base with Level 3's global network footprint. The companies said this scale will enable further investment in the reach and speeds of its broadband infrastructure for small businesses and consumers. After close, CenturyLink's Glen Post will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer and President of the combined company.  Sunit Patel, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Level 3, will serve as Chief Financial Officer of the combined company. The combined company will be headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana and will maintain a significant presence in Colorado and the Denver metropolitan area.

Under terms of the agreement, Level 3 shareholders will receive $26.50 per share in cash and a fixed exchange ratio of 1.4286 shares of CenturyLink stock for each Level 3 share they own, which implies a purchase price of $66.50 per Level 3 share (based on a CenturyLink $28.00 per share reference price) and a premium of approximately 42 percent based on Level 3's unaffected closing share price of $46.92 on October 26, 2016. Upon the closing  CenturyLink shareholders will own approximately 51 percent and Level 3 shareholders will own approximately 49 percent of the combined company.

EdgeX Foundry announces its first release for Edge IoT

EdgeX Foundry, which is the open source project hosted by The Linux Foundation that is focused on Internet of Things (IoT) edge computing, announced its first major code release.

The "Barcelona" software release, which will be available later this month, reflects the collaborative effort by more than 60 member organizations to build out and support an ecosystem for Industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions. The software release includes important work on “north side” Export Service interfaces that provide connectors to Azure IoT Suite and Google IoT Core as well as support for connections via MQTTS and HTTPS.

The EdgeX Foundry project was launched in April 2017.

“We believe that EdgeX will radically change how businesses develop and deploy IIoT solutions, and we are excited to see the community rally together to support it,” said Philip DesAutels, senior director of IoT at The Linux Foundation. “Barcelona is a significant milestone that showcases the commercial viability of EdgeX and the impact that it will have on the global Industrial IoT landscape.”

Zain Saudi Arabia tests NB-IoT

Zain Saudi Arabia is testing NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) technology at a live site in Mina area of Makkah Province. Nokia is the technology partner.

The trial focuses on smart metering. NB-IoT is used to communicate temperature, humidity and air pressure from a remote location via a Nokia Flexi Multiradio 10 LTE base station at 900 MHz.

NB-IoT is a 3GPP Release 13 radio access technology designed to enable connectivity to IoT devices.

IEEE publishes 5G and Beyond Technology Roadmap White Paper

IEEE published a white paper summarizing the challenges and opportunities in building and sustaining a 5G and beyond ecosystem.

The whitepaper, which is titled "5G and Beyond Technology Roadmap", describes key technology trends that will impact design drivers and challenges for technologies to provide simultaneous wireless communication, massive connectivity, tactile internet, quality of service and network slicing. Some topics addressed include: applications and services, hardware, MIMO, mm-wave, edge automation platform, security, standardization building blocks and testbed. The white paper is available for download at no cost on the IEEE 5G web portal’s Roadmap page. The IEEE 5G and Beyond Technology Roadmap will be periodically updated with forecasts for three-, five- and 10-year horizons.

“5G consolidates the trend in convergence of technologies and underlying standards with emerging solutions offering exciting possibilities not only to consumers but also to industries,” said Mischa Dohler, co-chair, IEEE 5G and Beyond Technology Roadmap Working Group. “Disruption will happen at many levels, most importantly through changes in the value chain, adoption of flexible systems management and orchestration, as well as emergence of innovative mobile connectivity technologies.”

The white paper can be downloaded here: https://5g.ieee.org/roadmap

Yahoo now believes all 3 billion user accounts hit by breach

Yahoo, which is now part of Verizon's Oath division, provided notice that all of its 3 billion user accounts were impacted by the 2013 data breach.  Previously, Yahoo had disclosed that more than one billion of the approximately three billion accounts existing in 2013 had likely been affected. The company believes that the user account information that was stolen did not include passwords in clear text, payment card data, or bank account information.

In Memorium: Paul S. Otellini, 1950 – 2017

Paul Otellini, who served as the fifth CEO of Intel from 2005 to 2012, passed away in his sleep Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, at the age of 66.

Otellini, who joined Intel in 1974 and rose through the ranks, is remembered for many accomplishments at the company. He successfully guided Intel through many technology and market transitions, including the financial turmoil of 2008. Intel noted that in the last full year before Otellini was named CEO, its revenue was $34 billion; by 2012, the number had grown to $53 billion. During his tenure, Intel won the Apple PC business and expanded its presence in security, software and mobile communications. As Intel CEO, Otellini was preceded by Craig Barrett and succeeded by Brian Krzanich.

During his retirement, Otellini was active in several philanthropic and charitable organizations, including the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. He is survived by his wife, Sandy; his son, Patrick; and his daughter, Alexis.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Vodafone and NOS reach networking sharing deal in Portugal

Vodafone Portugal has reached a network sharing agreement with NOS (formerly Portugal Telecom Multimedia), a Portuguese media holding company whose main assets include a satellite, cable operator, and ISP, a mobile phone operator, a movie distributor (NOS Audiovisuais) and a virtual carrier of mobile phone services.

Under the deal, the companies will deploy and share a fibre-to-the-home network which will be marketable to around 2.6 million homes and businesses in Portugal. The two companies will provide reciprocal access to each other’s networks on commercially agreed terms.

Key elements include:

  • Vodafone Portugal will gain access to 1.3 million homes and businesses in new areas, consisting of new fibre builds in NOS’s current cable footprint, NOS’s existing fibre reach in areas greenfield to Vodafone, and building homes in new areas. This will increase its total coverage from 2.7 million to around 4.0 million, representing 80% of the households in the country.
  • Each party will deploy, but not share, the link between the central office and the fibre backbone, active equipment and CPEs. Customer connections and activations will be independent of each other.
  • Marketing of services across the joint network will commence from the beginning of calendar 2018. 
  • Both Vodafone Portugal and NOS will maintain complete autonomy and flexibility in respect of their respective retail offers.
  • Vodafone said the arrangement in Portugal is consistent with its fixed infrastructure strategy, which aims for an optimal mix of build, strategic partnerships, wholesale and buy approaches. 

See also