Friday, 26 December 2014

IBM + Ericsson work on multi-MIMO antennae

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/24/ibm_and_ericsson_in_aerial_antics/

New approach for 5G.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/17/if_4g_isnt_working_why_stick_to_the_same_approach_for_5g/

Monday, 8 December 2014

5G Semiconductor research being done

In light of the increasing complexity of mobile networks and associated spectrums, 4G LTE; 5G Semiconductors service extends the segmentation of 4G LTE mobile devices and related chips to reflect on the evolution of 4G LTE across various paths, including FDD LTE, TDD LTE, multimode FDD-TDD LTE and network generations including LTE Classic and LTE-Advanced. 

The extended segmentation has been made to take into account the transformation in the mobile 4G LTE market, notably the emergence of LTE Carrier Aggregation (LTE CA). 

One of the aims of the service is to evaluate the market potential for various multi-stream intra-band and inter-bands LTE CA combinations across all licensed and unlicensed LTE bands. This 4G LTE; 5G Semiconductors service will also assess dynamics of the mobile industry as the technology moves towards 5G. The service will keep track on how all these changes will impact the typical characteristics of each chipset and device segment, including: 

• Assessment of key enabling technologies, mainly these related to the baseband, radio transmission, and RF upfront components 
• The cost associated with implementing these technologies 
• Constraints of implementing new technologies on both the reference design and the industrial design of the device 
• Assessment of the most popular LTE/5G implementations and how these implementations could impact device economies of scale 
• The impact of technology disruption on legacy frameworks 

A special focus will be dedicated to enabling baseband and radio technologies, including the various modulation and multiplexing technologies used, antennae technologies including MIMO, Diversity, and Smart Tuning, Power Amplifiers and Envelope Tracking, and User Equipment specifications. 

5G standards activity gets under way

​Work on new technologies that will form the foundation of 5G standards has been occurring for the last few years; however, the formal standards process has just begun. 

A range of major vendors are working on all aspects of 5G including; Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia Networks and device, semiconductor, and IP vendors including Intel, InterDigital, Qualcomm, Samsung, various mobile operators, academic bodies, and start-ups as well. 

"These companies are all waving their 5G flags, although 5G definitions and visions remain very vague," commented Research Director Philip Solis. "But this is not merely marketing. These companies are most certainly putting a stake in the ground with regards to contributions to 5G that will leverage their work, competitive strengths, and most crucially, patents." 

Some highly influential companies, such as Qualcomm, have remained quiet until recently about their vision and plans for 5G. Meanwhile, more companies, previously not very involved with standardization efforts are putting their hands up. Apple's involvement with the NGMN 5G Initiative is a perfect example, as is Google's acquisition of Alpental—even if Google might only use a 5G or 5G-like air interface to augment fibre-to-the-home deployments with a combination of fibre-to-the-curb and 5G. 

These companies are working together so the standardization process can hit the ground running. They are doing their own work, forming alliances with universities and other companies, and hedging their bets by partaking in different research projects that focus on different parts of the network and air interface, in an effort to dictate the direction of 5G. 

"Expect efforts to get intellectual property into standards to be fiercer than with 4G, but naturally much of the existing IP will be in play as well," added Solis. "More companies learned the importance of having a fair amount of IP with 2G and 3G, so the 4G playing field evened up a little. This trend will continue with 5G." 

Companies should also move beyond sometimes vague marketing and generalizations around 5G and the IoT and create more definitive messaging around how technology will improve specific applications. They need to better describe how waveforms and modulation schemes best apply to increasingly mixed-use traffic. This can only help them with more brand building and influence in the standardization process. These findings are part of ABI Research's 4G LTE; 5G and 4G LTE and 5G Semiconductors Market Research.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Massive MiMo makes market sense for 5G


Chinese vendor ZTE added to the hype and complexity around 5G – a mobile standard that has not yet officially been defined – by talking up the concept of ‘pre-5G’ technology.

The company claimed that pre-5G will be available much sooner than 5G, which has a timeframe for commercial launch of beyond 2020. And ZTE believes pre-5G will deliver a comparable user experience to eventual 5G technology, offering high throughput and low latency.

“Even though the industry is still working on 5G standardisation, we already have a lot of clarity on 5G user experience and the 5G candidate technologies,” ZTE’s Xiang Jiying, CTO of wireless, said in a statement today. “Therefore, pre-5G can be defined and implemented even before 5G becomes standardised.”

The executive claimed pre-5G technology will incorporate certain “key” 5G technologies which can be run over existing 4G LTE equipment.

For example, he pushed the idea that Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple Output) has been recognised as a 5G technology, claiming ZTE has been developing pre-commercial Massive MIMO products without the need to modify today’s 4G air interface.

“Thus Massive MIMO has become an important part of pre-5G,” noted ZTE’s statement.

“In addition, ZTE has been investing heavily in 4G vector processing chips for several years, which have an extensible software architecture and strong processing capacity and can meet pre-5G requirements by modifying instruction sets rather than changing the hardware,” it added.

It seems that this effort by ZTE is just the latest bid by a supplier to grab ‘5G’ mindshare. The vendor is no stranger to 5G media announcements, and neither are companies such asSamsung and Huawei.

Last month Mobile World Live reported on how Huawei is even pushing the concept of ‘4.5G’ technology, an acronym that will likely draw comparisons to ZTE’s new ‘pre-5G’ moniker.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Next generation internet infrastructure achieved 73 Terabits per second rates over multi mode optical fibre in 2012.

Members of MODE-GAP, the European collaborative R&D project which is part of the EU 7th Framework Programme on next-generation internet infrastructure, presented no fewer than three post-deadline papers at the ECOC 2012 conference in Amsterdam.

Those papers include the results of a 73-Tbps transmission experiment using mode-division multiplexing (MDM) over a multimode optical fiber. The other two papers report on "WDM and data transmission over hollow photonic band-gap fibre ... " The project's aim is to combine both techniques -- MDM and 2-µm transmission to dramatically increase the transmission capacity of optical fibre. Half-way through its four-year program, MODE-GAP has been developing novel transmission fibres, and the associated enabling technologies. These include novel rare-earth doped optical amplifiers, transmitter and receiver components, and data processing techniques to increase the capacity of broadband networks.

In addition to the post-deadline papers, MODE-GAP and its members presented 10 technical papers in the main ECOC conference describing progress across all aspects of the project.

On the Sunday, MODE-GAP hosted a workshop in conjunction with the Japanese EXAT project, entitled "Optical Components and Characterization Requirements for SDM Networks."

Spatial-division multiplexing (SDM) based on MDM is the approach MODE-GAP is focusing on significantly increasing the transmission capacity of a single optical fibre. This is achieved by using multiple modes within the same core of what are known as " few-mode fibres (FMF) " as independent channels, each with capacity similar to that of an individual singlemode fibre.

"Post deadline papers that are accepted at ECOC reflect only the latest leading edge results," said MODE-GAP project manager Dr Ian Giles.

"Any organization would be proud to have a single such paper approved, and so presenting three highlights the significant progress the project is achieving and to truly world class levels."

The organizations that compose MODE-GAP include the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre, ESPCI ParisTech, OFS Fitel Denmark APS, Phoenix Photonics, the COBRA Institute at Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Eblana Photonics Ltd, Nokia Siemens Networks GMBH & Co. KG, and the Tyndall National Institute of University College in Cork.

Petabit per second transmission achieved in NEC lab over single Corning fibre

NEC, Corning claim petabit transmission over a single optical fibre
January 17, 2013

NEC Corporation of America and optical fiber provider Corning Inc. (NYSE:GLW) claim to have achieved a new record for the transmission capacity over optical fibre.

Researchers from NEC Labs in Princeton, NJ, and from Corning's Sullivan Park Research Center in Corning, NY, have successfully demonstrated ultra-high speed transmission with a capacity of 1.05 Pbps (1015 Terabits per second) over novel multi-core fiber (MCF) that contains 12 single-mode and two few-mode cores. The transmission employed a space-division multiplexing (SDM) scheme and an optical multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) signal processing technique.

Designed by Corning researchers, the fibre has cores arranged in a triangular lattice, which enables transmission over a large number of spatial modes. By combining spectral multiplexing with polarization and spatial mode multiplexing and employing multilevel modulation formats, NEC researchers achieved a total spectral efficiency of 109 bits/sec/Hz.
The aggregate transmission capacity of 1.050 Pbps is the highest capacity over a single optical fiber reported so far, the researchers claim. This achievement is a continuation of NEC's leadership in ultra-high optical transmission systems.

"We recently demonstrated the highest capacity over singlemode optical fibres, and now we have opened new frontiers with the highest transmission capacity over any type of optical fibres" said Dr. Ting Wang, head of optical networking research at NEC Laboratories America.

"We are proud to lead industry efforts with Corning and to provide solutions that will be the foundation of the next generation of networking." "As the foundation of telecommunications networks, optical fibre innovation enables carriers to cost-effectively keep up with ever-growing traffic demands," said Cynthia B. Giroux, division vice president and research director, Corning.

This new advance in optical fibres with 14 transmission cores is a continuation of Corning's longstanding leadership in optical fibre innovation."

The research was originally reported at the 2012 Frontiers in Optics/Laser Science XXVIII (FiO/LS) meeting in Rochester, NY, in October 2012.

255 Terabits per second over 7 multi core fibre optic cable achieved in Dutch lab

TU/e, CREOL researchers reach 255 Tbps over multi-core fiber October 30, 2014 Lightwave Staff  Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands and The College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida (CREOL) report in the journal Nature Photonics the successful transmission of 255 Tbps over multicore optical fibre. 

The new fibre has seven different cores through which light can travel, and each core can support three different spatial modes via spatial division multiplexing (SDM). Researchers are exploring SDM as a promising way to increase the capacity and reduce the costs of transmission systems in the future when the capacity of fibres in the ground has been exhausted. 

 The researchers described the innovation as "going from a one-way road to a seven-lane highway," adding that the use of multiple spatial modes is "as if three cars can drive on top of each other in the same lane." Combining those two methods increases the transmission capacity of the fibre by a factor of 21 compared to standard optical fibres that have only one single mode core. "This new type of fibre could be an answer to mitigating the impending optical transmission capacity crunch caused by the increasing bandwidth demand," the researchers said, via a press release. This is not the highest capacity reported to date over a single fibre. 

Last year, researchers from NEC and Corning claimed 1.05 Pbps transmission over a single optical fibre containing 12 singlemode and two multimode cores (see "NEC, Corning claim petabit transmission over a single optical fibre"). 

The Europe's MODE-GAP program, in which the COBRA Institute at Technische Universiteit Eindhoven is active, is also looking at SDM and various new fibre types (see "MODE-GAP project makes progress in mode-division multiplexing" and "Coriant transmits 57.6 Tbps via hollow core fibre, space-division multiplexing"). 

The Dutch and U.S. researchers believe their particular fibre design looks promising. "At less than 200 microns in diameter, this fibre does not take noticeably more space than conventional fibres already deployed," said Dr. Chigo Okonkwo, an assistant professor in the Electro-Optical Communications (ECO) research group at TU/e. "These remarkable results definitely give the possibility to achieve petabit-per-second transmission, which is the focus of the European Commission in the coming seven-year Horizon 2020 research program," he added.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

The cellular wireless backhaul market is witnessing significant growth resulting from new protocol data applications. To support the increase in wireless backhaul growth, fibre optic backhauls are being installed throughout the global network and up the tower to the antennae. In addition to fibre optic, Ethernet packet transport is becoming increasingly popular as the protocol data transport through the cellular wireless backhaul due to its flexible capability and logical topology meeting the needs of current and future protocol data requirements.
First 5G tower being installed with 28 GHz antennae alongside 3G and 4G

Sunday, 19 October 2014

What is this Next Generation Cellular Mobile Communication standard called 5G all about?

AlcaLu likes to criticise novel communication infrastructure such as Project Loon


On the 16th October 2014 AlcaLu CTO welcomed small cell competition; dismisses balloons/drones as “quirky”!

Marcus Weldon, Alcatel-Lucent CTO and president of Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent’s R&D arm , sees a new wave of “healthy competition” between macro and small cell suppliers, but describes alternative solutions for network coverage, such as drones and balloons, as “not real infrastructure”. 

At the macro level, Weldon thinks there’s little room for vendor consolidation. “We’re down to only four major macro providers, so we’re almost at the limit of what can reasonably serve a global market,” he told Mobile World Live in a recent interview. With the advent of ‘hetnets’, however, which include a small cell underlay, the Alcatel-Lucent CTO sees much more supplier-side disruption, particularly as small cells are integral to LTE specifications. “[Hetnets] have created an insurgent or new-entrant dynamic into an otherwise stable market,” said Weldon. “I think there’s a healthy amount of competition between macro and small cell providers, giving rise to a good amount of new investment and new energy.” When asked about drones and balloons – technologies touted by the likes of Facebook and Google as ways to extend internet connectivity into hard-to-reach places – 

Weldon said they contained “fascinating http://www.solucionesong.org/ng research ideas” but were much more of a “band aid solution” rather than a way to deploy large-scale and permanent infrastructure. “Real infrastructure is essentially deployed on base stations, towers and small cells, which are attached to real backhaul and real power,” said Weldon. “[Technology] has to have permanent characteristics to be legitimate infrastructure as opposed to niche infrastructure.” The Alcatel-Lucent CTO could, however, see some uses for a “transient infrastructure” in emergency events. He recalled how helicopters were used to carry base stations after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. 

Weldon’s overall view is similar to that of Ulf Ewaldsson, CTO of Alcatel-Lucent’s major rival Ericsson. Earlier this year Ewaldsson told Mobile World Live that talk of balloons and drones for providing widespread mobile network coverage was more “fantasy” than reality. Of course, both companies have a vested interest in ensuring operators use their own macro network equipment for coverage. Looking to the future, Weldon, unlike at least one Bell Labs colleague, does not see 5G as a revolutionary jump from the current crop of LTE networks. 

“5G, in my view, is as an evolution from LTE-Advanced 4G with some new frequency bands and new technologies,” he said. Weldon combines his CTO role with being president of Bell Labs, a post he has held for nearly 12 months. He thinks it’s a good combination. “The CTO’s job is to see the future of the industry, but then you need someone to actually solve for that future,” said Weldon. 

“That is what Bell Labs does. Aligning those two roles has caused a re-energising and rejuvenation of Bell Labs.” Weldon said that when he arrived at Bell Labs they were “lacking just a little bit of direction”. (In a previous meeting with a small group of journalists, Weldon said the trend towards blending service provider and IT elements, such as NFV and SDN, gave a welcome clarity of vision on where Bell Labs should be channeling innovation efforts.) 

When it comes to luring clever innovators and thinkers, Weldon said Bell Labs tended to attract different types of people compared to big-name internet players. “Google and Facebook perhaps focus on fast returns on investment.” he said. “They have a single-minded determination to solve one problem and commercialise it fast with perhaps transient, but non-optimal, answers. Bell Labs’ strength is solving any problem, with diverse viewpoints, and taking the time to do it right. People who are interested in making a long-term impact on the industry come to us. Those who want transient success go on to other companies.”

Friday, 17 October 2014

5G gets United Nations approval

Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of the ITU – a UN agency championing ICT adoption and global standards – said it will play a key role in defining and standardising 5G and that “work was already well underway” to achieve that. 

“The ITU and the ICT industry have recognised the relationship between IMT and 5G,” said the ITU secretary-general, adding that IMT will continue to involve a wider range of stakeholders to finalise requirements for 5G in much the same way as it has for 4G and 3G. His comments were made via video link to a London conference – the ‘5G Huddle’ – organised by the Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF), a global wireless research community, and techUK (a lobby group for UK tech companies). IMT, or International Mobile Telecommunications, are requirements issued by the ITU-R working group. IMT has been in operation for nearly three decades. 

“Detailed investigation of the key elements of 5G is already underway, once again galvanising the highly successful partnership that ITU has forged with the mobile industry and a wide array of stakeholders in the mobile community,” added Toure. “The contribution of WWRF to on-going IMT development has also been very valuable in the past and we look forward to continuing this fruitful collaboration.” Toure said the mobile broadband boom and M2M growth called for a technology approach that addresses the full gamut of apps and devices that are beginning to emerge. Some 5G criteria, he said, include very high system capacity, extremely high data rates, greater spectrum efficiency, low energy consumption and high security. 

Self-awareness and self-adaptability, to accommodate different environments and changing demand, were also 5G features that he expected to emerge. ITU-R works with the likes of national regulators, network operators and academia on IMT. Toure expects the same type of open and transparent collaboration to continue on 5G in order to “establish criteria for IMT 2020 and beyond”. He expects a framework and overall objectives for future IMT development to be finalised in 2015. For some, however, the same old ways of working on standards is not appropriate for 5G. Theodore Sizer, VP of wireless research at Bell Labs – Alcatel-Lucent’s R&D arm – told Mobile World Live that 5G, because it will be so pervasive, will require a much more inclusive standardisation process than for previous generations of technology. If apps and content are to work well on 5G, maintained the Bell Labs man, then app and content providers would need to work “hand in glove” with people who are providing the networks and terminals.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

5G tested at 28 GHz by Samsung

Samsung stakes claim on 5G speed record.  

In the latest bid by a supplier to grab ’5G’ mindshare, Samsung Electronics said it achieved the fastest-ever 5G speeds - more than thirty times quicker than current LTE networks – while also talking up the need for industry-wide cooperation. The tests clocked up fixed and mobile transmission data rates of 7.5Gb/s and 1.2Gb/s respectively in the 28GHz frequency band. 

“We will continue to build upon these milestones and develop advanced technologies that contribute to the 5G standard,” said Chang Yeong Kim, head of DMC R&D Centre at Samsung Electronics. The 1.2Gbp/s mobile connection – which Samsung said was uninterrupted and stable – was achieved in a vehicle travelling around a race track at over 100km per hour. Samsung added that the stationary test was done outdoors rather in a stabilised indoor environment (where previous successful 5G tests have been carried out, asserted the South Korean supplier). 

Although higher frequency bands, such as 28GHz, have speed-related benefits, their main drawback is a short signal range. Samsung said it got round that problem by using its own hybrid adaptive array technology, which uses millimetre wave frequency bands to enable use of higher frequencies over greater distances. The 5G announcement comes only days after Samsung said it cracked the problem of signal weakness when using Wi-Fi in the 60GHz frequency band. 

Although there is no 5G standard to speak of, it hasn’t stopped suppliers claiming ‘5G’ advances. Huawei this week talked of 4.5G technology offering peak data rates of 10Gb/s, latency of just 10ms, and support for 100,000 mobile connections within a km² coverage, and dubbed it “a forerunner of 5G”. 

South Korea’s SK Telecom and Swedish supplier Ericsson, in July, demonstrated 5G ‘elastic cell’ technology to improve data transfer rates by up to 50 per cent – at the boundary areas of cells – compared with existing LTE 4G networks. 

ZTE is pushing for a new 5G access network architecture based on dynamic mesh networking and IP backhaul. In its latest 5G announcement, Samsung emphasised the importance of working with others to help steer the overall direction of 5G development. 

Most recently, Samsung proposed the 5G Rainbow to other industry stakeholders, which identified seven core technical pillars of 5G: maximum data rate, spectral efficiency, speed of mobility (and data transmission rate at the cell boundary), the number of simultaneous connections, communication delays and cost. “In addition to leveraging our own global R&D capabilities, we will also continue to cooperate with other industry leaders and research centres across the world,” added Kim. 

“Whether you are talking about mobile devices, the cloud, or the Internet of Things, the demand for 5G telecommunications standard and its supporting technologies will continue to grow.”

Friday, 10 October 2014

White space 800 MHz cellular wireless technology may emerge in 2015

Ofcom, the UK’s telecoms regulator, said the country is well ahead with plans for white space technology — in fact it could roll out commercially in 2015, ahead of the rest of Europe. 

Seven trials of white space technology are already taking place around the UK, using the gaps between frequency bands, according to the regulator. These efforts include fixed incumbent BT and computing giant Microsoft. The latest trial to be released into the wild involves Google and ZSL London Zoo, in an effort which went live this week. The partners have developed a live webstream of animals including meerkats, Asian otters and giant Galapagos tortoises that is delivered via white space spectrum to viewers on Youtube. 

Vendors MediaTek and 6Harmonics are also involved. This is just the latest initiative to take advantage of a temporary licence from Ofcom, which sees white space technology as a means to address potential spectrum shortages. 

Other trial applications have included early warning for flood defence, enhanced Wi-Fi coverage in urban areas and connectivity for ferries which have no wireless broadband coverage. Following completion of the trials, testing and policy development, Ofcom said the technology could be rolled out during 2015.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Bluetooth, WiFi, Weightless and Sigfox, not to mention GPS & TETRA may become redundant!

4G LTE’s proponents plan to make every one of them redundant, while also ensuring their own advanced wireless standard becomes the only one anyone, anywhere, will ever need. And all this by March 2016.

Long-Term Evolution's supporters have never hidden their aspirations to make it the globe’s dominant radio system, but the priority list for Release 13 reads like a battle plan, assaulting those niches where alternative technologies still dominate. Venturing into unlicensed spectrum, connecting embedded machines, locating and even sending jobs to the printer on your desk — each one will be part of the LTE standard within the next two years.

That particular LTE standard is being developed by the 3GPP (Third-Generation Partnership Project), and a new release of aims and Release 12 should get signed off in March next year, and the work on Release 13 has already started. Last week, the 3GPP published the priorities for that standard, and it seems that connecting mobile phone calls is pretty low on the list.

LTE 4G goes critical
Number One on the LTE 4G hit list is TETRA, which, outside of the US, dominates public safety and the emergency services. Inside the US, that title is held by P25 (a suite of standards for digital radio communications), but maybe not for long.

The US FirstNet project is a US $7bn national network being built to provide connectivity to first responders. The network has been commissioned by the federal government, which has donated 20MHz of national radio spectrum. FirstNet will be based on LTE 4G, despite the standard lacking key capabilities, which have prevented it being used for critical communications.

The most obvious problem is group calling — TETRA networks are regularly used to connect large groups of people, while LTE has been a one-to-one communication standard. TETRA also supports push-to-talk, so responders can be alerted by a squawking radio without having to answer a call.

Release 12 should get signed off in March next year, and the work on Release 13 has already started. Last week, the 3GPP published the priorities for that standard, and it seems that connecting mobile phone calls is pretty low on the list.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Mesh Network Topology

A mesh network topology is a decentralized design in which each node on the network connects to at least two other nodes. Mesh networks are expected to play an important part in the Internet of Things and 5G. 

Unlike nodes in a star topology, which require a router to deliver Internet service, network nodes can "talk" directly to each other without requiring the assistance of an Internet connection. A big advantage of this decentralized topology is that there cannot be a single point of failure (SPoF). If one node can no longer operate, all the rest can still communicate with each other, directly or through one or more intermediate nodes. 

Mesh networks can use a full mesh topology or a partial mesh topology. In a full mesh topology, each network node is connected to all the other nodes in the network. In a partial mesh topology, at least one node connects directly to every other node while others may only connect to those nodes they exchange data with on a frequent basis. 

In the past, when mesh networks were always wired, the topology could be expensive (and complicated) to implement because each node had to be physically connected to other nodes. Today, however, advances in wireless communication and short-range wireless personal network (WPAN) specifications have removed the physical and financial barriers.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Europe at forefront of 5G mobile infrastructure play

Incoming EU digital chief Guenther Oettinger urged caution about the level of public sector support the mobile industry can expect in deploying 5G networks. 

“5G is the future. We believe that is the technology for coming decades and we must now take the necessary preparatory steps. In the commission we want to avoid any delays as was the case with 4G,” said Oettinger. He then added: “There will be some scope with public budgets but [the] bulk of infrastructure must come from [the] private sector. We have to create an environment that is conducive to investment to attract private investors and investment.” 

Oettinger was fielding questions before the European Parliament. One MEP asked what share he was getting of the €300 billion public-private programme called for by incoming EC president Jean-Claude Juncker to kickstart the European economy. 

The MEP also asked “how to avoid the mistakes and delays of 4G?” The new digital chief sidestepped putting a figure on support for future mobile networks. 

The EU is desperate for Europe to be at the forefront of 5G. To that effect, it unveiled a public-private initiative at the end of last year to encourage the deployment of 5G networks and services.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Apple signs up to the NGMN 5G direction

Apple earlier this month joined the Next Generation Mobile Network Alliance (NGMN), as the organisation gears up for 5G. 

The NGMN staged a 5G workshop in Beijing attracting more than 100 experts from leading operators, vendors and research bodies. And it welcomed on board three new partners, including Apple. The other two were Dutch operator Ziggo and Peking University. 

The inclusion of Apple was mentioned in a release about the Beijing event from earlier in September but has only made the headlines now. The announcement said the three are expected to “significantly contribute” to the upcoming work of the NGMN 5G initiative. 

The alliance announced the launch of its 5G initiative at Mobile World Congress earlier this year.

Adore the war of words between carriers and Google? Google just smiles sweetly at Cincinnati Bell

Just this week, Cincinnati Bell began a marketing campaign for its 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) plan, which it will debut in September. Typical of the traditional ILECs, Cincinnati Bell has revealed no additional information on pricing or what parts of the city will be the first to get the service, which is an extension of its corporate 1 Gbps service to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). An extension to residential customers is expected next. So what is prompting the telco's 1 Gbps drive? In March, Cincinnati leaders approached Google Fiber about bringing their service to their city. At this point, the Internet giant has yet to name Cincinnati, or any new cities, as their next 1 Gbps service destination. 


Previously, Cincinnati unsuccessfully applied to become a Google Fiber city. Cincinnati's leadership wants to make the city a more competitive high-tech force. Having the gigabit connectivity availability for local businesses is one step in that direction. Perhaps not surprisingly, not long after the city leaders' story came out, Cincinnati Bell's Ted Torbeck wrote an opinion column for the Cincinnati Enquirer. He said that although Cincinnati Bell welcomes the competition, it has already built a sizable 5,700-route-mile fiber network that reaches over 7,000 businesses and more than 276,000 households. 

Fioptics passes about 40 percent of potential customers in Greater Cincinnati, and Cincinnati Bell has developed a plan to cover 60 to 70 percent of Cincinnati with the service by 2017. Cincinnati Bell is not a newcomer to the FTTP game, having offered its Fioptics FTTP-based residential service since 2009. However, it only offered download speeds ranging from 10-100 Mbps, with each speed tier including asymmetric upload speeds. Delivering 1 Gbps fiber-based service is not foreign territory to Cincinnati Bell. Since 2001 the service provider has been providing 1 Gbps services to its larger corporate clients. This June it began extending the higher-speed service to SMBs, including business incubator The Brandery. 

Cincinnati Bell wasted no time in taking a stab at its main competitor, Time Warner Cable, on its Fioptics site, touting that its 1 Gbps service is "20 times faster than Time Warner Cable's fastest internet speeds for residential customers." That's not to say that TWC isn't interested in 1 Gbps services. The cable MSO said in July that it is participating in Los Angeles' request for information (RFI) process that will target the buildout of a communitywide 1 Gbps network. But in the near term Cincinnati Bell can claim an advantage over TWC. Cincinnati is also not on the list for TWC's TW Maxx all-digital upgrade next year, which includes a 300 Mbps speed tier. Whether or not Google Fiber comes to Cincinnati or even to Ohio, it's not hard to overlook the effect that its initiative has had on the broadband industry overall. Just take a look at the recent activity of a number of Tier 1 and Tier 2 ILECs and a host of cable operators. 

Throughout this summer, a host of traditional telcos (AT&T, CenturyLink and Comporium) and cable operators (Suddenlink Communications, Bright House Networks, GCI Communications and Cox Communications) have announced plans to deploy 1 Gbps service. Both AT&T (NYSE: T) and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) have clearly set the most ambitious goals. These providers announced plans to deliver services to a proposed 100 and 16 cities, respectively. How broad these actual deployments will be is anyone's guess. Offering higher speeds for the Fioptics service, which has been one of its key revenue sources, is important for Cincinnati Bell as it looks to enhance its identity as a fiber-centric broadband wireline provider. This means that even if Google Fiber never sets foot onto Cincinnati soil, Cincinnati Bell needs to be prepared to have a competitive offering that residents and businesses want vs. running the risk of becoming an obsolete slow-speed provider.

Google is up to something with their wireless and fixed broadband infrastructure ventures

Project Loon continues to intrigue.

Beware the Ides of March!

Edward Snowden's leaks allow hackers to reverse-engineer NSA surveillance devices



Over the past year, we've learned of the many techniques the NSA has used to tap into global communications. However, Edward Snowden's document leaks didn't just uncover the gadgets the agency used, they also gave security researchers the necessary insights to develop their own. 

After the NSA's classified Advanced Network Technology catalogue was published, Michael Ossmann and his team set about recreating two of its approved radio-based surveillance devices: one that could be fixed to a computer's monitor connector to send on-screen images and another that can be fixed to a keyboard cable to collect keystrokes.

Before, nobody knew how the so-called "retro reflectors" worked, but armed with NSA documentation, Ossmann and co. were able to create their own tiny transistor-sized devices that could surreptitiously transfer wireless data to a nearby radio point (much like the NSA is reported to have done). 

For reference: intelligence officers can use radio-based trackers to monitor computers that are not connected to the internet. Now that the NSA tech is no longer a mystery, Ossmann intends to educate others about how the NSA's bugs operate so they can be protected against in the future. He presented his findings at the Defcon hacking conference in Las Vegas in August, alongside many other experts who have found ways to expose and rebuild the agency's technology.

Infrastructure startups gain momentum as 5G ramps up

Staying in stealth mode for 5G alpha testing continues to be a VERY GOOD bouncy idea!

Water water everywhere but not a drop to drink

Renewable energy sources with very long payback periods are risky investments.

Vodafone chess game starts by partnership with the University of Dresden on 5G

Vodafone Group announced a partnership with Dresden University of Technology in Germany to expand its existing 5G network technology research programme. 
The operator group and university aim to bring together academics, developer and technology companies to examine the potential of 5G technology and to create technical guidelines for its development. Dresden University has opened a 5G lab, where it has facilities including network hardware and software, chipsets, spectrum and cloud computing infrastructure. 

Vodafone is working with other universities, such as Kings College London and Carnegie Mellon University in the US, along with technology companies and industry groups to drive 5G development. Along with EE and Telefonica, it was one of a number of industry players to throw its weight behind the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the University of Surrey in November last year. 

A Vodafone statement claimed experts predict 5G technology will boost speeds, resilience and intelligence of mobile networks. However, there is a great deal of hype around the subject, especially given the fact that an official 5G standard is unlikely to be ratified for at least another two years.

“Today, mobile communications is all about moving content from one place to another. Tomorrow it will be about being able to control a vast array of objects in real-time with little human intervention. To get there we need to rethink wireless communications, particularly with regard to data rates, latency and IP services,” noted Professor Gerhard Fettweis, the Vodafone chair of mobile communications systems at the Dresden University of Technology, in the Vodafone statement. 

He added that with support from Vodafone and other partners, Dresden “is well positioned to lead a cross-industry effort to find answers to some of these challenging questions”.


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Fixed broadband 5G research budget goes way up to $4 B for Huawei

Huawei is to pump over $4bn into fixed broadband R&D between now and 2017 in response to the advent of technologies such as high-efficiency video coding, 4K television and video, LTE and 5G networks. Huawei made the announcement at the company's Ultra-Broadband Forum 2014 in London. 

The event brought together industry professionals to address topics around what Huawei terms "ultra-broadband". “Huawei has always been focused on customer needs and adding value through core technologies and innovation,” explained the supplier’s president of products and solutions, Ryan Ding. “Huawei recognises fixed broadband as a key direction for strategic investment and will continue to increase the scale of investment in related technologies, core products and solutions. “Our investment will further develop technological advances, help customers increase their competitiveness and decrease overall operating costs.” 

The China-based networking supplier claimed the next three years will be a turning point in the development of fixed broadband technology, and hopes its investment will drive greater collaboration with competitors in fixed broadband. Huawei said it would expand pipeline capacity by developing chips, algorithms and silicon photonics. It will concentrate efforts on IP and all-optical networks, and SDN and NFV, which it said would create more open and intelligent networks. Europe plan Europe has so far played a major part in Huawei’s R&D plans.

Strategy marketing officer William Xu said he hoped to create a "Silicon Road" between China and Europe, drawing an analogy with the historic Silk Road, the ancient trading network that spanned central Asia. Huawei has already opened a number of research facilities in Europe and employs several thousand people across the continent. At an event in Shenzen, China, earlier this month, Huawei told Computer Weekly it planned to develop rapidly as a global IT supplier in spite of its inability to penetrate the lucrative US market. The network supplier said European expansion and emerging markets would help it gain sufficient scale to present a competitive challenge to the likes of Cisco and IBM. Huawei has already expanded beyond its core networking heritage into areas such as storage and datacentre hardware. It also has ambitious plans to become a top tier smartphone supplier, sitting alongside the likes of Apple and Samsung. 

Related Topics: Telecoms networks and broadband communications, Mobile networks, Smartphone technology, Data centre hardware, Network hardware, Software-defined networking (SDN), Network software, Server hardware, IT for telecoms and internet organisations, IT architecture, Networking hardware, Network routing and switching, IT innovation, research and development, Internet infrastructure, Voice networking and VoIP, Mobile hardware, Web development, Mobile networking

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Key elements of 5G mobile are being developed

LIVE FROM WWRF/techUK 5G HUDDLE: 

Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of the ITU – a UN agency championing ICT adoption and global standards – said it will play a key role in defining and standardising 5G and that “work was already well underway” to achieve that. 

“ITU and the ICT industry have recognised the relationship between IMT and 5G,” said the ITU secretary-general, adding that IMT will continue to involve a wider range of stakeholders to finalise requirements for 5G in much the same way as it has for 4G and 3G. His comments were made via video link to a London conference – the ‘5G Huddle’ – organised by the Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF), a global wireless research community, and techUK (a lobby group for UK tech companies). IMT, or International Mobile Telecommunications, are requirements issued by the ITU-R working group. IMT has been in operation for nearly three decades. 

“Detailed investigation of the key elements of 5G is already under way, once again galvanising the highly successful partnership that ITU has forged with the mobile industry and a wide array of stakeholders in the mobile community,” added Toure. “The contribution of WWRF to on-going IMT development has also been very valuable in the past and we look forward to continuing this fruitful collaboration.” Toure said the mobile broadband boom and M2M growth called for a technology approach that addresses the full gamut of apps and devices that are beginning to emerge. 

Some 5G criteria, he said, include very high system capacity, extremely high data rates, greater spectrum efficiency, low energy consumption and high security. Self-awareness and self-adaptability, to accommodate different environments and changing demand, were also 5G features that he expected to emerge. ITU-R works with the likes of national regulators, network operators and academia on IMT. Toure expects the same type of open and transparent collaboration to continue on 5G in order to “establish criteria for IMT 2020 and beyond”. He expects a framework and overall objectives for future IMT development to be finalised in 2015. 

For some, however, the same old ways of working on standards is not appropriate for 5G. Theodore Sizer, VP of wireless research at Bell Labs – Alcatel-Lucent’s R&D arm – told Mobile World Live that 5G, because it will be so pervasive, will require a much more inclusive standardisation process than for previous generations of technology. If apps and content are to work well on 5G, maintained the Bell Labs man, then app and content providers would need to work “hand in glove” with people who are providing the networks and terminals.

Private sector is vital as we gold all the answers for 5G

LIVE FROM WWRF/techUK 5G HUDDLE: Ed Vaizey, the UK’s digital economy minister, talked up the achievements of the Spectrum Policy Forum on its first anniversary, while announcing another programme designed to further encourage technology growth. The forum is a self-styled ‘sounding board’ from the UK’s mobile industry to government and Ofcom, the country’s regulator. “The private sector is vital, you hold the answers,” the minister (pictured) told his audience. Hundreds of companies are members of the forum, he added. And they can tell government and regulator whether proposals are “desirable, practical or risky”. “Spectrum plays a huge role in future economic policy,” the minster emphasised. Other initiatives in the radio sector include joint Anglo-German research between the Universities of Surrey and Dresden into 5G, the theme of the day, as well as work on the crossover between 5G and IoT. However, spectrum is only one aspect of the digital economy and the minister also announced a new programme focused on promoting innovation, to be backed by techUK, the country’s technology trade association. The new programme is called the Future Technologies Network.

5 ideas using spectrum to drive future US market growth

LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 NORTH AMERICA: Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, FCC, used her time in the spotlight this morning to outline five ideas to drive future US market growth, with the issue of spectrum playing a major role. First up, Rosenworcel told delegates at the Atlanta event that more must be done to incentivise federal authorities to free up spectrum for mobile services. “We’re on a hunt to find spectrum from federal airwaves and reuse them for commercial purposes,” she said. “We’re going to have to find ways to reward federal authorities for giving up spectrum.” Next up Rosenworcel turned attention to extending spectrum bands beyond the traditional 600MHz – 3 GHz frequencies usually used for mobile services. “We’re going to have to look high and low for spectrum for next-gen wireless networks. We can no longer limit ourselves to frequencies in the traditional range, we need to look elsewhere. On the low side we need to see if spectrum in the 400MHz range can be reused for mobile broadband. That’s not going to happen overnight. But we could develop a new swathe of airwaves primed for mobile broadband. And let’s bust through that 3GHz spectrum ceiling – let’s go all the way to 60 and 90GHz.” The FCC commissioner also talked of improving spectral efficiency, while acknowledging the important role WiFi plays in the mobile industry. “It’s time to give unlicensed spectrum its due. Let’s leave behind the tired notion of facing a choice between unlicensed and licensed spectrum – good policy requires both.” And Rosenworcel wants to strengthen the talent pool coming through the industry’s ranks. “Across government it’s time for a fresh infusion in engineering. We should create an honours programme for new engineers. The FCC could then be better prepared for tomorrow’s challenges.” She described spectrum as the “biggest challenge” the mobile industry will face in the next five years, a view echoed by CTIA president Meredith Baker, who also appeared on the session. Baker hailed the country’s AWS-3 and 600MHz auctions as “great first steps” but warned that more work needs to be done. “We will need to find hundreds more MHz of spectrum to keep our industry growing for subscribers. And we need a light-touch regulatory regime,” she added.

Lots more to do before 5G arrives

LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 NORTH AMERICA: After acknowledging the success of LTE in the North American market to date, Tony Melone, EVP and CTO of Verizon, highlighted three areas that he sees as critical for the future development of the 4G technology – IoT, unlicensed LTE, and interoperability. 

“There’s lots more for us as an industry to do, and some in the globe have done very well, and others are a little behind. And quite frankly in the US we’ve been one of the leaders in 4G LTE, and that’s because we’ve invested big. That hasn’t been an accident, it hasn’t been inevitable,” he said. 

Describing LTE as the first true mobile internet technology, the executive said that the internet of things will “absolutely be one of the key evolutions in the next three or four years.” “Today we have lots of standalone traditional devices, wear-ables, TVs, cars, you’ve heard about that. 

But the next step to really get to that promise of billions of devices, we need application-specific devices: very unique for serving specific applications, very low cost at scale, on a purpose-built architecture that can handle those amounts of connections,” he said “You will see that evolution happen over the next three or four years, is my prediction. That will drive the economies of scale, coupled with global standards, that will make this a tremendous step,” he continued. 

Moving on to the potential for 4G LTE using unlicensed spectrum, Melone said that this will be “a key ingredient to continue to spur innovation and evolution”. “Wi-Fi is a great technology, will be here for a long, long time, will continue to have a place. And unlicensed spectrum will continue to have a place too. But I believe 4G LTE will be able to leverage that unlicensed spectrum in a way that will enhance the customer experience,” he observed. 

Finally, moving onto interoperability, the executive said that “this is one where it’s core to our industry, it’s what our industry has done for years, but it’s an area where we are lagging, especially with 4G LTE”. “We need 4G LTE data roaming, we need that seamless capability we love, and we need it to happen quickly. It ties back to this ubiquity and the importance of this global standard”, he said. And Melone insisted the operator isn’t getting caught up in industry hype surrounding any future deployment of 5G technology. Noting that the technology is unlikely to be standardised and fully available for consumer testing until around 2018, he stated that it is too early for Verizon – or any operator – to have a roadmap for 5G rollout.

5G and Beyond

5G is the age of full connectivity. The era of partial mobile connectivity is drawing to a close. Full 5G connectivity will change the world of work forever. 

The first mobile phone call was made by New York Motorola engineer Martin Cooper in 1973. Now handsets are computers a thousand times more powerful than the total sum of Nasa’s computing capability 40 years ago. However, it wasn’t until the rollout of 3G and 4G LTE wireless broadband and cloud computing that the nature of work fundamentally changed. Now meaningful collaboration between departments and individuals can occur in real time from anywhere in the world. Remote workers are becoming more engaged and productive. 

Home-work lives are becoming more balanced. 

5G is nearing! 

The impact on business brought by 5G connectivity will be even more profound. 

Fifth generation connectivity is expected in the UK by 2020. Industry experts claim speeds could be 100 times faster than current UK 4G networks – reaching peaks of 1Gbit/s. 

Perhaps even more importantly, the coverage will span the whole of the UK, including remote areas. All businesses – whether digital in roots or not – will be affected by total connectivity. Imagine the paramedic operating on a patient on a mountainside while a hospital-based surgeon issues instructions. Or the personal trainer giving his client a workout from 200 miles away. 

The always-on connections afforded by 5G will begin to make our environments truly smart as the Internet of Things phenomenon develops. 

Apple announced in June its plan for iPhones to become control hubs for the home – allowing us to interact with devices using a network of sensors. Similarly, sensors on machines and in the environment will increasingly transmit information directly into business apps. 

Fulfilling potential Business meetings as we know them could even lose their meaning as barriers to collaboration fall away. Picking up a phone could become a thing of the past as always-open communication routes are accessed by voice commands or gestures. 

Brainstorms from teams spread across the world could become so frequent that they are used to augment every-day thought processes. Business decisions will be made with far greater speed, accuracy and efficiency as constant access to real-time information from colleagues, machines and processes is granted. 

The pace of commerce will quicken. Productivity will rise. With total connectivity and social collaborative software, technical limitations will have far less of a restrictive influence on the quality of human interactions. Mobile collaboration 

The Projectplace tool and smartphone app has been developed by pioneers of cloud connectivity for this always-on, anywhere world. It is enabled for any device and its free app operates on Android and IOS. 

Meanwhile, its digital kanban boards anchor the most complex modern-day projects around the most simple of visual processes. The era of true mobile working is just beginning. The collaborative work that can be facilitated by the best project management software, irrespective of geographic limitations, can drive the profits of every business.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Smart city nodes and 5G

Broadband has become a critical infrastructure for communities in the 21st century. From a variety of sectors, including commerce, education, healthcare and government services, the demands for more advanced, reliable, and affordable broadband is challenging local governments to develop effective strategies for connecting their citizens, businesses, and institutions.

Communities lacking access altogether or still relying on first generation networks will find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide and will find it challenging to attract and retain businesses, provide quality education, and deliver modern healthcare. Local government and community investment can serve as a path for bringing next generation broadband, while also developing network infrastructure and models to meet specific community needs and aspirations.

In the U.S., local governments and communities have taken the lead in building next generation broadband infrastructure. In more than 100 cities and towns across America, a public entity provides services to homes and businesses throughout the community.1 In many hundreds more, the locality provides cutting-edge communications services to such key community facilities as schools, libraries, hospitals, and senior centers. Indeed, public broadband networks in cities and rural towns are providing some of the fastest broadband connections to residents, businesses, and community anchor institutions.

This public effort has been made necessary by the failure of incumbent industries to build next generation infrastructure. As Blair Levin, architect of the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan, noted in a speech in June 2012:

For the first time since the beginning of the commercial internet, the United States does not have a national wire line provider with plans to build a better network than the currently best available network.

Cable and telephone incumbents that often serve as the only broadband providers in most communities have not committed to making significant upgrades or investment in new infrastructure to ensure that each and every community has access to next generation broadband. And despite the attention Broadband has become a critical infrastructure for communities in the 21st century. From a variety of sectors, including commerce, education, healthcare and government services, the demands for more advanced, reliable, and affordable broadband is challenging local governments to develop effective strategies for connecting their citizens, businesses, and institutions. Communities lacking access altogether or still relying on first generation networks will find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide and will find it challenging to attract and retain businesses, provide quality education, and deliver modern healthcare. Local government and community investment can serve as a path for bringing next generation broadband, while also developing network infrastructure and models to meet specific community needs and aspirations.

The challenge, however, for other localities seeking to build new broadband capabilities is to develop a plan for a sustainable and scalable project that meets the unique needs and aspiration of the community while accounting for the financial realities and other risks unique to each broadband project. That means there is no one-size-fits-all approach to developing a successful public broadband network. In some cases, a public network may not make sense at all. In others, the best strategy may be to start with a small network that connects only government and community anchor institutions. For others, an extensive, multi-service fiber network connecting residences and businesses may be the only means to ensure the community is not left behind in the digital economy.

The one thing communities cannot do is sit on the sidelines. Even the process of evaluating whether a public network is appropriate can be beneficial to community leaders as a means to better understand the communications needs of their residents, businesses, and institutions and whether existing services and networks are keeping pace.

The purpose of this report is to enable communities to begin the evaluation of their broadband options. The report begins with an overview of different network ownership and governance models, followed by an overview of broadband technologies to help potential stakeholders understand the advantages and disadvantages of each technology. It then provides a brief summary of several different business models for publicly owned networks. The final two chapters focus on the potential larger local benefits and the risks of a publicly funded broadband project.

[1] See “Community Network Map,” Institute for Local Self-Reliance,http://www.muninetworks.org/communitymap

[2] Blair Levin, “Upgrading America: Achieving a Strategic Bandwidth Advantage And a Psychology of Bandwidth Abundance To Drive High-Performance Knowledge Exchange,” (remarks given at Fujitsu Conference on Paving the Road to Unlimited Bandwidth:
Technologies and Applications for a Connected Age, San Jose, California, June 13, 2012) remarks available at http://www.gig-u.org/blog/upgrading-america-blair-levin-addresses-fujitsu-conference

Software Defined Networking and 5G

The majority of North American businesses (87%) intend to have software-defined networks (SDN) live in their data centers by 2016, according to a survey from market research firm Infonetics Research.

The SDN enterprise survey was designed to enable the company’s analysts to uncover trends and assess the needs of corporate private-network businesses deploying SDN in their data center networks and campus LANs. Infonetics interviewed 101 purchase-decision makers at medium and large North American organizations that are implementing SDN now or planning to evaluate SDN by the end of 2015. The survey results are available in Infonetics’ 42-page report titled “2014 SDN Strategies: North American Enterprise Survey.”

"Software-defined networking spells opportunity for existing and new vendors, and the time to act is now," said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., directing analyst for data center, cloud, and SDN at Infonetics Research. "The leaders in the SDN market serving the enterprise will be solidified during the next two years as lab trials give way to live production deployments in 2015 and significant growth by 2016. The timelines for businesses moving from lab trials to live production for the data center and LAN are almost identical."

Grossner says that SDN vendors still have some work to do. "Expectations for SDN are clear, but there are still serious concerns about the maturity of the technology and the business case. Vendors need to work with their lead enterprise customers to complete lab trials and provide public demonstrations of success," he said.

Respondents to Infonetics' enterprise survey are expanding the number of data center sites and LAN sites they operate over the next two years and are investing significant capital on servers and LAN Ethernet switching equipment. Respondents' plans for LAN uses of SDN are nearly identical to their data center plans.

A majority of survey respondents are currently conducting data center SDN lab trials or will do so this year; 45% are planning to have SDN in live production in the data center in 2015, growing to 87% in 2016.

Among respondents, the top drivers for deploying SDN are improving management capabilities and improving application performance, while potential network interruptions and interoperability with existing network equipment are the leading barriers.

Meanwhile, enabling the hybrid cloud – a cloud computing environment in which an organization provides and manages some resources in-house and has others provided externally – is dead last on the list of drivers, a sign that SDN vendors have some work to do in educating enterprises that SDN can be an important enabler of hybrid cloud architectures.

On average, 17% of respondents' data center Ethernet switch ports are on bare metal switches (hardware purchased without proprietary software), and only 21% of those are in use for SDN.

Interestingly, nearly one-quarter of businesses surveyed is ready to consider non-traditional network vendors for their SDN applications and orchestration software.Infonetics says the survey provides new data on how the enterprise SDN market is evolving, including insights on the intent of corporate private network buyers to help vendors determine how to invest in product development and position their products in the marketplace. The study delves into deployment drivers and barriers, rollout plans, applications, use cases, vendors installed and under evaluation, and top-rated vendors.


http://www.lightwaveonline.com/articles/2014/07/north-american-businesses-want-sdn-in-the-data-center-by-2016.html?cmpid=EnlDirectJuly292014

Monday, 28 July 2014

5G The Communications Revolution


Anticipating that 5G will eventually become the dominant way to communicate, Theodore Sizer, VP of wireless research at Bell Labs – Alcatel-Lucent’s R&D arm – views the next-generation of mobile technology “less as a wireless standard than as a communications revolution”.

So pervasive does he think 5G will be, Dr Sizer told Mobile World Live that a much more inclusive standardisation process would be required than for previous generations of technology.

If apps and content are to work well on 5G, maintained the Bell Labs man, then app and content providers would need to work “hand in glove” with people who are providing the networks and terminals.

And when 5G starts to get traction, in the 2020-25 timeframe according to Dr Sizer, he sees exciting new possibilities. “The folks innovating [when 5G arrives] will never have known a world that had a tether,” he said. “They’re going to create new ways of communicating.”

Courtesy of outdoor 4G and indoor WiFi, Dr Sizer thinks the days of wireline-connected devices are already numbered.


“I believe, very soon, that the last five metres of the connection will be wireless no matter what,” he said.

Dr Sizer also anticipates that network operators and so-called OTT players will work much closer together in the future. “Both sides want the same thing,” he said, “which is good quality experience for their customers.”

Monday, 21 July 2014

ZTE introduces dynamic 5G infrastructure

ZTE unveiled details of a new 5G access network architecture based on dynamic mesh networking and IP backhaul. The move comes despite no formal industry definition of 5G being anywhere near confirmed.

“In 5G networks there could be many types of base station including UDN [user densification network], massive MIMO [multiple-input multiple-output], traditional macro, and D2D,” said ZTE in a statement. “These various base stations will coordinate with each other horizontally more often than they do in 4G networks, and so will require a dynamic and adaptive wireless mesh network.”

ZTE claims such an approach will make it possible for 5G networks to implement highly-effective SDMA (space-division multiple access) and expressed hope that this area would become the “next telecoms industry hotspot for 5G technology research”.

ZTE has already ploughed resources into SDA (software defined air-interface) technology – research began in 2009 – which it claims would help support a flexible 5G access network.

“ZTE’s 5G SDA solution allows self-adaptation of the air interfaces, so that in the same network, a network element can supporting a variety of services, and the SDA can allow multiple wireless access technologies for optimal adaptation, maximising air interfaces efficiency,” said ZTE’s Xiang Jiying. “At present, SDA technology is a key research area for 5G.”

For base station collaboration technology, ZTE said it had already developed its Cloud Radio solution, which lays a “solid foundation for partially-dynamic 5G mesh networks”.

ZTE’s announcement comes only days after Europe and South Korea announced a pact to jointly develop 5G technology. A definition of what 5G actually means is targeted for the end of 2015