Sort by:[Date]

Networking Highlights from 2015 Hot Interconnects Conference: Aug 26-28, 2015


The always excellent Hot Interconnects 2015 conference was held in Santa Clara, CA, August 26-28, 2015. This article summarizes presentations and a panel session relevant to Data Center and Wide Area Networking.

Facebook Panel Participation & Intra- DC invited talk by Katharine Schmidtke:

A 90 minute panel session on “HPC vs. Data Center Networks” raised more questions than it answered. While comprehensively covering that panel is beyond the scope of this article, we highlight a few takeaways and the comments and observations made by Facebook’s Katharine Schmidtke, PhD.

  • According to Mellanox and Intel panelists, InfiniBand is used to interconnect equipment in HPC environments, but ALSO in large DC networks where extremely low latency is required. We had thought that 100% of DCs used 1G/10G/40G/100G Ethernet to connect compute servers to switches and switches to each other. That might be closer to 90 or 95%, with InfiniBand and proprietary connections making up the rest.
  • Another takeaway was that ~80 to 90% of cloud DC traffic is now East-West (server to server via a switch/router) instead of North-South (server to switch or switch to server) as it had been for many years.
  • Katharine Schmidtke, PhD talked about Facebook’s intra DC optical network strategy. Katharine is responsible for Optical Technology strategy at Facebook. [She received a PhD in non-linear optics from Southampton University in the UK and did post doctoral work at Stanford University.]
  1. There are multiple FB DCs within each region.
  2. Approximately 83% of active daily FB users reside outside the US and Canada.
  3. Connections between DCs are called Data Center Interconnects (DCIs). There’s more traffic within a FB DC than in a DCI.
  4. Fabric, first revealed last November, is the next-generation Facebook DC network.  It’s a single high-performance network, instead of a hierarchically oversubscribed system of clusters.
  5. Wedge, also introduced in 2014, is a Top of Rack (ToR) Switch with 16 to 32 each 40G Ethernet ports. It was described as the first building block for FB disaggregatedswitching technology. Its design was the first “open hardware switch” spec contribution to the Open Compute Project (OCP) at their 2015 annual meeting.  Facebook also announced at that same OCP meeting that it’s opening its central library of FBOSS – the software behind Wedge.
  6. Katharine said FB was in the process of moving from Multi-Mode Fiber (MMF) to Single Mode Fiber (SMF) for use within its DC networks, even though SMF has been used almost exclusively for telco networks with much larger reach/distance requirements. She said CWDM4 over duplex SMF was being implemented in FB’s DC networks (more details in next section).
  7. In answer to a question, Katherine said FB had no need for (photonic) optical switching.

Facebook Network Architecture & Impact on Interconnects:

FB’s newest DC, which went on-line Nov 14, 2014, is in Altoona, IA, which is just north of Interstate Highway 80.  It’s a huge nondescript building which is 476K square feet in area. It’s cooled using outside air, uses 100% renewable energy and is very energy-efficient in terms of overall power consumption (more on “power as pain point” below).  Connectivity between DC switches is via 40G Ethernet over MMF in the “data hall.”

Fabric (see above description) has been deployed in the Altoona DC. Because it “dis-aggregates” (i.e. breaks down) functional blocks into smaller modules or components, Fabric results in MORE INTERCONNECTS than in previous DC architectures.

As noted in the previous section, FB has DCs in five (soon to be seven) geographic regions, with multiple DCs per region.

100G Ethernet switching, using QSFP281 (Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable) optical transceivers, will be deployed in 2016, according to Katharine. The regions or DCs to be upgraded to 100G speeds were not disclosed.

Note 1. The QSFP28 form factor is the same footprint as the 40G QSFP+.The “Q” stands for “Quad.” Just as the 40G QSFP+ is implemented using four 10-Gbps lanes or paths, the 100G QSFP28 is implemented with four x 25-Gbps lanes or paths.

Cost efficient SMF optics is expected to drive the price down to $1/Gbit/sec very soon. SMF was said to be “future proofing” FB’s intra DC network2, in terms of both future cost and ease of installation. The company only needs a maximum reach of 500m within any given DC, even though SMF is spec’d at 2km. Besides reach, FB relaxed other optical module requirements like temperature and lifetime/reliability. A “very rapid innovation cycle” is expected, Katharine said.

Note 2. Facebook’s decision to use SMF was the result of an internal optical interconnects study. The FB study considered multiple options to deliver greater bandwidth at the lowest possible cost for its rapidly growing DCs. The 100G SMF spec is primarily for telcos as it supports both 10Km and 2Km distances between optical transceivers. That’s certainly greater reach than needed within any given DC. FB will use the 2Km variant of the SMF spec, but only up to 500m. “If you are at the edge of optical technology, relaxing just a little brings down your cost considerably,” Dr. Schmidtke said.

A graph presented by Dr. Schmidtke, and shown in EE Times, illustrates that SMF cost is expected to drop sharply from 2016-to-2022. Facebook intends to move the optical industry to new cost points using SMF with compatible optical transceivers within its DCs. The SMF can also be depreciated over many years, Katharine said.

FB’s deployed optical transceivers will support Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing 4 (CWDM4) Multi-Source Agreement over duplex SMF. CWDM4 is a spec for 4 x 25G Ethernet modules and is supported by vendors such as Avago, Finisar, JDSU, Oclaro and Sumitomo Electric.

CWDM4 over duplex SMF was positioned by Katharine as “a new design and business approach” that drives innovation, not iteration. “Networking at scale drives high volume, 100s of thousands of fast (optical) transceivers per DC,” she said.

Other interesting points in answer to audience questions:

  • Patch panels (which interconnect the fibers) make up a large part of Intra DC optical network system cost. For more on this topic, here’s a useful guide to fiber optics and premises cabling. 
  • Power consumed in switches and servers can’t keep scaling up with bandwidth consumption. For example, if you double the bandwidth, you CAN’T double the power consumed! Therefore, it’s critically important to hold the power footprint constant as the bandwidth is increased.
  • More power is consumed by the Ethernet switch chip than an optical transceiver module.
  • Supplying large amounts of power into a mega DC is the main pain point for the DC owner (in addition to the cost of electricity/power there are significant cooling costs as well).
  • FB is planning to move fast to 100G (in 2016) and to 400G Ethernet networks beyond that time-frame. There may be a “stop over” at 200G before 400G is ready for commercial deployment, Katharine said in answer to a question from this author.


Recent Advances in Machine Learning and their Application to Networking, David Meyer of Brocade:

This excellent keynote speech by David Meyer, CTO & Chief Scientist at Brocade, was very refreshing. It demonstrated that real research is being done by a Silicon Valley company other than Google!

Machine learning currently spans a wide variety of applications, including perceptual tasks such as image search, object and scene recognition and captioning, voice and natural language (speech) recognition and generation, self-driving cars and automated assistants such as Siri, as well as various engineering, financial, medical and scientific applications. However, almost none of this applied research has spilled over into the networking space. David believes there’s a huge opportunity there, especially in predicting incipient network node/link failures. He also talked about Machine Learning (ML) tools for DevOps/ network operations (see below).

  • OpenConfig (started by Google) aims to specify a vendor neutral/independent configuration management system. That management system has a big ML component from a telemetry configuration model.
  • OPNFV consortium  is specifying Operating System components to realize a Network Function Virtualization (NFV) system. There’s a Predictor module that includes an intelligence training system.
  • One can envision a network as a huge collection of sensors that form a multi-dimensional vector space. The data collected is ideal for analysis/learning via deep neural networks.
  • There are predictive and reactive roles for ML in network management and control.
  • “We are at the beginning of a network intelligence revolution,” David said.
  • ML tools for DevOps: domain knowledge is needed from an analytics platform, which should include a recommendation system.
  • Application profiling was cited as an example to build tools for a DevOps environment: 1] Predict congestion for a given application. 2] Correlate with queue length to avoid dropped packets. 3] Anomaly detection of a pattern that doesn’t conform to expected behavior (if that behavior can be defined?)


Future of ML – What’s Next:

  • Deep neural nets that learn computation functions.
  • More emphasis on control- analyze sophisticated time series.
  • Long range dependencies via reinforcement learning.
  • Will apply to compute, storage, network, sensors, and energy management.
  • Huge application in networking will be predictive failure analysis (and re-route BEFORE the failure actually occurs).


3. Software Defined WANs- a tutorial by Inder Monga of ESnet & Srini Seetharaman of Infinera

This was a terrific “tag team” lecture/discussion by Inder & Srini who alternated describing each slide/diagram. We present selected highlights below.

Inder summarized many fundamental problems in all facets of WANs:

  • Agility requirements are not met for WAN provisioning (sometimes takes days or weeks to provision a new circuit or IP-MPLS VPN)
  • Traditional wide-area networking is inflexible, opaque and expensive
  • WAN resources are not efficiently utilized (over-provisioning prevails)
  • Interoperability issues across vendors, layers and domains reduces chance of automation
  • Hard to support new value propositions, like: Route selection at enterprises, Dynamic peering at exchanges, Auto bandwidth and bandwidth calendaring, Mapping elephant (very large) data flows to different Flexi-Grid channels

Srini commented that the Network Virtualization (NV)/ overlay model has more market traction than the pure SDN/Open Flow model.

Overlay networks run as independent virtual networks on top of a (real) physical network infrastructure. These virtual network overlays allow cloud service and DC providers to provision and orchestrate networks alongside other virtual resources (like compute servers). They also offer a new path to converged networks and programability. However, network overlays shouldn’t be confused with “pure SDN” which doesn’t permit overlays or network virtualization. [We’ve previously described both of these “SDN” approaches in multiple articles at viodi.comand]

Several vendors provide NV software on compute servers running in DCs (e.g. VMWare, Nuage Networks, Juniper, etc). They support VxLAN for tunneling L2 frames withing a DC network (in lieu of VLANs) and then map VxLAN frames to IP-MPLS packets for inter DC transport. However, none of those NV software vendor’s inter-operate with other vendors on an end to end basis. That confirms again that at least the NV version of SDN is not really “open,” as the same vendor’s NV software must be used on the compute servers.

Gartner Group finds that SDN in general (including all the myriad versions, twists and tweaks), is approaching the bottom of the “trough of disillusionment” after falling hard from the peak of inflated expectations that was built up due to all the hype and BS. This is illustrated in the graph below:


Expectations for various technologies.

Image courtesy of Gartner

It’s interesting to note that SD- WANs, which have a much broader connotation than SDN for WANs, continue to ramp up the innovation trigger curve. They’ve yet to reach their peak of excitement and/or hype. White box switches, which we think is the future of true open networking, is on the downward path towards disillusionment, according to Gartner.

We totally disagree as we see years of tremendous potential ahead for open networking software running on bare metal switches (made by ODMs in China and Taiwan).

In closing, we note that National Research & Education Networks (NRENs) have deployed an East-West interface for multi-domain SDN – something we’ve screamed was missing from ONF specified SDN specs for a long time! Please refer to Dan Pitt’s remarks on that topic during my interview with him at the 2015 Open Networking Summit 

The NREN East-West/multi-domain interface is evidently based on a Network Services Interface (NSI) spec from the Open Grid Forum 

The OGF- NSI document Introduction states:

NSI is designed to support the creation of circuits (called Connections in NSI) that transit several networks managed by different providers. Traditional models of circuit services and control planes adopt a single very tightly defined data plane technology, and then hard code these service attributes into the control plane protocols. Multi-domain services need to be employed over heterogeneous data plane technologies.”

Kuddos to Inder and Srini for looking through all the marketing hype, identifying WAN problems and some potential solutions that might be solved by new software. The one that I’m most enthusiastic about is theOpenConfig project (described above in the Machine Learning section) for vendor neutral configuration. It’s purpose and functions are described in this tutorial article 





Surge in Carrier SDN Spending Forecast by IHS-Infonetics Lead Analyst


As service providers seek service agility and operational efficiency in their networks to stay competitive, the global market for carrier software-defined networking (SDN) software, hardware and services is expected to grow from $103 million in 2014 to $5.7 billion in 2019, according to IHS.

“We’re still early in the long-term, 10- to 15-year transformation of service provider networks to SDN. Momentum is strong, but we won’t see widespread commercial deployments where bigger parts of — let alone whole — networks are controlled by SDN until 2016 through 2020,” said Michael Howard, senior research director for carrier networks at IHS.


  • SDN software — including network apps, such as traffic analytics, and orchestration and controller software — is the critical piece that will convert a network into a software-defined network
  • IHS predicts service providers around the world will increase their spending on SDN software by 15 times from 2015 to 2019
  • Due to the newness of SDN technology and the fundamental changes it brings to networks, there is an incredible demand for expertise to design, deploy and operate SDN-based services, and carriers are looking to vendors for this expertise
  • IHS expects outsourced services for SDN projects to grow at a 2014–2019 CAGR of 199%





The 2015 IHS Infonetics Carrier SDN Hardware, Software, and Services market size and forecast report, led by analyst Michael Howard, examines the markets and trends related to building service provider software-defined networks. Specifically, the report tracks software that provides orchestration, controller and application functions; outsourced services for SDN projects; and hardware in use for SDN networks, including routers, switches, WDM and video content delivery network (CDN) equipment, and other telecom equipment controlled by SDN orchestration and controllers, such as CPE.

To purchase the report, please visit

Editor's Note:  SDN is not necessarly an open network!

Contrary to popular belief, SDN does not always imply an "open network."  That's because most of the SDN implementations are, in fact, proprietary extensions of network equipment vendor boxes (e.g. Cisco, Juniper, Arista Networks, etc).  There is no mutli-vender interoperability other than when using accepted tunneling protocols like VxLAN for the network virtualization/overlay model.  Is that SDN?  Purists and the ONF say NO!  Vendors that implement it (many) say YES!

The latest poll from the Open Network User Group (ONUG) found that  71% of respondents characterized their network(s) as "A Little Open or Not at All."   See reerence below or click here for ONUG's Market Perspective of Open Cloud Infrastructure.

Recent SDN References:





IHS-Infonetics: Optical Network Equipment Spending Trends + Huge Growth for 100G Optical Ports

IHS-Infonetics just released vendor market share and preliminary analysis from its 2nd quarter 2015 (2Q15) IHS Infonetics Optical Network Hardware report (Full report published by August 24th).   According to the report, global optical network hardware revenue (WDM and SONET/SDH) grew 22% sequentially in 2Q15, but was flat on a year-over-year basis. Europe is the only major world region that posted positive year-over-year growth in 2Q15, up 8%.  


  • On a rolling 4-quarter basis, WDM equipment spending further extended 3 years of consecutive growth
  • Spending on WDM equipment grew 23 % in 2Q15 from 1Q15, and was up 6 % from 2Q14
  • WDM gear comprised 86 % of total worldwide optical hardware revenue in Q2
  • Spending on optical network hardware in Asia Pacific surged 36% in 2Q15 from the previous quarter, but is down 2% from one year ago
  • Alcatel-Lucent announced an intention to merge with Nokia, an action IHS does not expect to have any transformative effects on ALU’s optical business or the competitive landscape



Analyst Quote:

“With three consecutive quarters of good results under its belt, Europe is signaling a reversal of the terrible optical spending that we’ve seen in the region over the last five years,” said Andrew Schmitt, research director for carrier transport networking at IHS. “This strength is concentrated in Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena and Infinera.” 

"When taking into account currency effects, the results are even stronger - adjusted for exchange rate, optical spending in Europe saw a 30 % year-over-year growth rate in the second quarter when measured in euros," Schmitt said.


The quarterly IHS Infonetics Optical Network Hardware market size, share and forecast report, led by analystAndrew Schmitt, examines the vendors, markets and trends related to metro and long haul WDM and SONET/SDH equipment used to build optical networks. The report also tracks Ethernet optical, SONET/SDH/POS and WDM ports. Vendors tracked include Adtran, Adva, Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, Coriant, Cyan, ECI, Fujitsu, Huawei, Infinera, NEC, Padtec, Transmode, TE Connectivity, Tyco Telecom, ZTE, others.

To purchase the report, please visit




Separately, IHS-Infonetics reports that Coherent 100G port shipments for metro regional optical networks grew 145 % in 2014 from the prior year, and are anticipated to grow another 118 % in 2015.

“Adoption of 100G coherent technology has surged, first in long haul networks and now becoming a material part of metro networks. The expansion of 100G into new markets was the catalyst for our 100G+ coherent optical ports report, which provides an accurate, in-depth picture of how 100G technology is being used today and how it’ll be used in the future as the landscape grows increasingly complex,” said Andrew Schmitt, research director for carrier transport networking at IHS.

“100G is poised to explode in 2016 as new equipment built specifically for the metro reaches the market, allowing 100G technology to economically reach new portions of the network such as metro edge and metro regional,”Schmitt said.


  • 2014 was a banner year for 100G port shipments, led by massive purchases in China from China Mobile
  • Most of 100G coherent technology deployed in 2014 was for long haul applications, but metro regional (<600km) and metro access (<80km) applications will start ramping in 2016
  • 100G market share is concentrated in a small circle of players: Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Huawei, Infineraand ZTE; the only potential catalyst for shifts will come from deployment in shorter reach metro and datacenter applications—the next growth vector for 100G
  • Sometime in 2017–2018, 100G coherent will make another quantum jump, displacing 10G in the 80km or less metro-access market




The 20-page IHS Infonetics 100G+ Coherent Optical Equipment Ports market size, vendor market share and forecast report provides detailed granularity for 100G+ coherent and non-coherent port shipments on optical transport equipment, tracking the evolution of 100G as operators increase the flexibility and capacity of their networks. The report tracks 100G by application, including metro regional, metro access and long haul, as well as specific technology derivatives such as flex-coherent and direct-detect 100G.

To purchase the report, please


Competing market research firm Dell'Oro Group says the optical transport network equipment market will grow at a 10% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR). Demand for metro WDM capacity will drive up the overall optical transport revenues to $15 billion by 2019 according to this Dell'Oro report.

Exposed url:

During this four-year period, service providers will continue to deploy a mix of 100G and 200G wavelengths in their networks. The research firm forecast that over 75 percent of WDM capacity will be from 100G wavelengths, while 200G will contribute nearly 25 percent of WDM metro equipment revenue by 2019.

Jimmy Yu, VP of optical transport market research at Dell'Oro Group, said in a release that the majority of metro equipment sales will come from traditional service providers, but content providers and financial trading companies will contribute to overall growth as they install their own 100G networks.

"The majority of metro equipment purchases will still be made by telecom service providers, expanding their metro network capacity for higher speed services, but we also see a strong trend towards enterprises such as Internet content providers and financial institutions procuring and installing their own high speed 100 Gbps links. This trend is being powered by the increasing importance of data centers to a company's core business," Yu said.

"The network still needs a lot of raw bandwidth and WDM is the best equipment to deliver that.  While high demand for long haul equipment will continue, the biggest growth that we are projecting is in metro applications. The majority of metro equipment purchases will still be made by telecom service providers, expanding their metro network capacity for higher speed services, but we also see a strong trend towards enterprises such as Internet content providers and financial institutions procuring and installing their own high speed 100 Gbps links. This trend is being powered by the increasing importance of data centers to a company's core business," added Mr. Yu.


Verizon conducts field trial of 10 Gb/sec Nex Gen PON2 service; ITU-T rec's for NG PON2

Verizon has completed a field trial of NG-PON2 fiber-to-the-premises technology that could provide the infrastructure for download speeds up to 10 Gbps for residential and business customers. The huge telco's current top download speed for its residential FiOS service is 500 Mbps. The new technology could "open the door" to speeds as high as 80 Gbps, according to Verizon. 

The field trial took place on a network link between the company's central office in Framingham, MA and a home three miles away served by Verizon FiOS. The test required installation of a new optical line terminal (OLT) at the central office supporting four wavelengths, each capable of delivering speeds up to 10 Gbits/s downstream and 2.5 Gbits/s upstream. Verizon also said it was able to demonstrate the simultaneous use of standard GPON and NG-PON2 on a single fiber, and a successful fail-over scenario where its new ONT autonomously restored 10G service by tuning to a new wavelength after a simulated fault was introduced.

Vendor partners in the trial included Cisco Systems Inc. and PT Inovação (part of the Portugal Telecom Group) which provided the NG-PON2 equipment system.

For Verizon's upcoming NG-PON2 RFP, there are vendors like Alcatel-Lucent, Adtran Inc. Calix Networks Inc Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and of course Cisco. 

"The advantage of our FiOS network," said Lee Hicks, vice president of network technology at Verizon, "is that it can be upgraded easily by adding electronics onto the fiber network that is already in place. Deploying this exciting new technology sets a new standard for the broadband industry and further validates our strategic choice of fiber-to-the-premises."


ITU-T recommendations for NG PON2 specify up to 40G b/sec speed:

Recommendation ITU-T G.989.1 series describes 40 Gigabit-capable passive optical network (NG-PON2) systems to an optical access network for residential, business, mobile backhaul, and other applications.

Recommendation ITU-T G.ngpon2.1 addresses the general requirements of 40 Gigabit-capable passive optical network (NG-PON2) systems, in order to guide and motivate the physical layer and the transmission convergence layer specifications. This Recommendation includes principal deployment configurations, migration scenarios from legacy PON systems, and system requirements that are requested by network operators. This Recommendation also includes the service and operational requirements to provide a robust and flexible optical access network supporting all access applications.

The physical layer specifications for the NG-PON2 physical media dependent (PMD) layer is described in Recommendation ITU-T G.989.2 (ex G.ngpon2.2, draft). The transmission convergence (TC) layer is described in ITU-T Rec. G.987.3, with unique modifications for NG-PON2 captured in Recommendation ITU-T G.989.3 (ex G.ngpon2.3, draft). The ONU management and control interface (OMCI) specifications are described in ITU-T Rec. G.988 for NG-PON2 extensions.






IHS-Infonetics Survey: Network Operators Reveal SDN Plans,Timing & Challenges/Alan's Take

IHS-Infonetcs latest report:  "SDN Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey" of worldwide carriers says that global network operators are moving toward software-defined networking (SDN). The carriers surveyed represent 49% of the world's telecom capex and 46% of global telecom revenue.  

-->The study found that 82 % of service provider respondents have either already deployed SDN, are now deploying SDN, or plan to evaluate it in 2015.


  • The #1 reason service providers are investing in SDN is to simplify and automate service provisioning, which they believe will lead to service agility and quick time to revenue.
  • Various barriers are becoming more prominent as operators get closer to commercial deployment; respondents to this year's survey cited integrating SDN into existing networks and immature technologies and products as the top 2 barriers.
  • Operators want SDN in most parts of their networks, with the top domains for deployment consisting of cloud services offered to customers, within and between data centers, and access for businesses.


Lead Analyst Quotes:

"The successful field trials and a few commercial deployments of SDN in the last year keep moving toward more commercial deployments in 2015, still mostly on a limited basis as operators put one or two use cases to the test under real-world conditions in their live networks," said Michael Howard, senior research director for carrier networks at IHS & co-founder of Infonetics.  

"Carriers are starting small with their SDN deployments and focusing on only parts of their network to ensure they can get the technology to work as intended. We see in the results of our SDN survey that though momentum is strong, it will be many years before we see bigger parts or a whole network that is controlled by SDN," Howard said. 



  • The 25-page 2015 IHS Infonetics SDN Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey is based on interviews with purchase-decision makers at 28 incumbent, competitive and mobile service providers from EMEA, Asia Pacific and North America that have evaluated or deployed SDNs in their networks or plan to do so. IHS asked operators about their strategies and timing for SDN, including deployment drivers and barriers, target domains, use cases and more. 


To purchase the report, please visit

Author's Rebuttal:

We firmly believe that the overwhelming majority of network operators, with the exception of NTT, will not be deploying classical/pure SDN-OpenFlow as standardized by the Open Network Foundation (ONF).  Many are evaluating network virtualization (an overlay model where a logical network is mapped onto a physical network) as per the VMware schema.

However, the vast majority of carriers (and cloud service providers like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft) have invented their own version of SDN and instructed their equipment suppliers to implement that.  In some cases, they use a specific vendor product with some user programmablity, e.g. Cisco Metro Ethernet switches used for AT&Ts Network on Demand service (a switched Ethernet WAN service).

The bottom line is that such carrier or network equipment vendor specific solutions are generally not inter-operable with any other SDN carrier or cloud service provider offering. Hence volumes will be limited and network equipment vendors will need different software for different carriers.  As a result, we will likely see pockets of SDN in carrier WANs, but no mass deployment of ONF standardized SDN-OpenFlow anytime soon!


NFV Market to Grow More than 5-Fold through 2019:

Virtualizing Network Security with NFV and SDN - Whitepaper and Webinar:

35 Percent of Operators Surveyed Will Deploy NFV This Year:

Virtual Routers on Track to Grow 125 Percent in the Next Year:

Data Center and Enterprise SDN Market to Grow More than 15-fold by 2019:

Network Operators Rate Router and Switch Vendors; Cisco #1 for 3rd Straight Year:

Mixed-Bag Carrier Ethernet Equipment Market Set to Top $29 Billion in 2019:

Download the IHS Infonetics 2015 service brochure or log in:
  -  Analyst Note: ONUG Spring 2015: Preparing for Open Networking (June)
  -  NFV Hardware, Software, and Services Forecast (July)
  -  Carrier SDN Hardware, Software, and Services Forecast (Aug.)
  -  Routing, NFV, and Packet-Optical Strategies: Service Provider Survey (Aug.)
  -  Data Center SDN Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey (Aug.)
  -  NFV Vendor Leadership Analysis (2015)

  -  SDN & NFV: Lessons Learned (Sept. 24: Learn more)
  -  SDN & NFV: Accelerating PoCs to Live Commercial Deployment (Watch now)
  -  White Box Switching: Is It Time to Jump In? (Watch now)
  -  Service Provider Experiences with NFV: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (Watch now)
  -  Evolving Network Architectures: Cloud, SDN, NFV & Packet-Optical (Watch now)
  -  Router Bypass: Using NFV to Deliver Enterprise Services (Sponsor)

IHS Sales: +1 844-301-7334 

New Mobile Virtual Network Operator Service Agreement & Other Wireless Telco News

Wireless communications service providers are licensing their network infrastructure to mobile virtual network operators.   Telco Cuba, Inc. (OTC: QBAN), a U.S. based mobile telecom and data connectivity service provider, announced today that it has immediately begun offering mobile voice and data services to consumers and corporations as a result of a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement with Next Mobility.

TelcoCuba now provides high-quality voice and data services to consumers and enterprises utilizing LTE, 4G, and 3G networks. Telco Cuba mobile services will be available in other countries via roaming agreements and services with other mobile service providers.  Telco Cuba and its wholly owned subsidiary Amgentech, Inc. are already well established in the local market for Voice over IP (VOIP) services and communications technology. Amgentech, Inc. has provided services to multiple network operators, constructed its own highly reliable network to enable communications worldwide, and has built highly reliant networks for its client base. Going forward, it will now offer extra-flexible solutions that combine mobile voice and data communication services with existing services for blended communication solutions that include mobile voice and data, mobile VoIP, VoIP, International Dialing, top-off prepaid phone service, international roaming, and much more.

The MVNO agreement signed with Next Mobility is a major first milestone for Telco Cuba. It affords Telco Cuba the ability to enter the cell phone service provider market with a drastically reduced startup cost, allowing Telco Cuba to use its budget where it matters - customer acquisition and marketing. Speed to market is the single most important factor in the digital age. Next Mobility is a well-established entity in the space and our contracted services will afford Telco Cuba a time to market of just under 60 days.

--->Apple is reportedly in talks with telecom companies in the U.S. and Europe to let customers pay the Cupertino-based tech giant for wireless service directly, rather than going through wireless firms like AT&T or Verizon.  The company is conducting private trials of the service in the U.S. and has engaged in discussions with European companies to offer a similar service there, Business Insider reports. Also see related RCR Wireless article.


MVNO – Mobile Virtual Network Operator is a term coined to describe a company that setups a platform for the resell of mobile phone services from one of the big three cell phone providers in the United States of America or elsewhere in the world. AT&T, T-Mobile & Sprint are the biggest of the Mobile Virtual Network Enablers. 


In other wireless and telecommunications news and developments: 

  • Verizon recently announced Grid Wide Utility Solutions, a new Internet of Things (IoT) platform service offering utility companies an easy on-ramp to grid modernization. Now available in the U.S., Grid Wide offers electric utility companies an integrated solution for smart metering, demand response, meter data management and distribution monitoring and control.  With 147 million electric meters in the U.S. today, Verizon's Grid Wide aims to transform the delivery and consumption of energy nationwide for investor-owned, cooperative and municipal utilities and their customers. Designed to maximize the benefits of smart meters, the solution comes equipped with a wide range of cloud-based applications intended to help utility companies drive incremental revenue, reduce operating costs, increase efficiency and improve customer experience.


  • AT&T is promoting a $200 monthly cellphone and TV Everywhere bundle that it plans to offer throughout the U.S. -- marking the first fruits of its merger with DIRECTV. Starting Aug. 10, the carrier will provide four phone lines with unlimited voice and texting, along with 10 gigabytes of sharable data. On the video side, AT&T will hook up four TVs with HD and DVR features and the ability to watch on any mobile device. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (8/3), CNET (8/2)


  • Vonage Holdings Corp, a leading provider of cloud communications services for consumers and businesses, today announced results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015.  Second Quarter Consolidated Financial Results - "We continue to drive market-leading growth at Vonage Business, while increasing profitability in Consumer Services," said Alan Masarek, Chief Executive Officer of Vonage.  "At Vonage Business, we delivered 118% revenue growth fueled by the successful execution of our acquisition strategy coupled with strong organic growth. We also made significant investments in our sales infrastructure, brand and leadership team to enhance our position in the rapidly growing Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) market." 


  • T-Mobile US Inc last week reported second quarter 2015 results reflecting continued strong momentum, industry-leading growth, and continued low churn. The Company again outperformed the competition in both customer and financial growth metrics. T-Mobile generated 2.1 million total net customer additions, marking the ninth consecutive quarter that T-Mobile has delivered over one million total net customer additions. Additionally, the Company delivered 14% total revenue growth and 25% growth in adjusted EBITDA compared to the second quarter of 2014. 

 "While the carriers continue to use gimmicks to confuse consumers, T-Mobile continues to listen to customers and respond with moves that blow them away," said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. "On top of adding 2.1 million new customers in the second quarter, we delivered 14% year-over-year revenue growth and 25% year-over-year Adjusted EBITDA growth. Overall, I think our results speak for themselves."  

  • U.S. Cellular to launch LTE roaming in next 60-90 days:  CEO Ken Meyers said U.S. Cellular has completed its first LTE roaming agreement, though he declined to reveal the carrier partner. He said the companies are in the implementation phase of the deal and the respective engineering teams of the companies are working together. U.S. Cellular customers will be able to start benefiting from expanded LTE roaming in the next 60 to 90s days, he said. The partner is likely a Tier 1 carrier, so U.S. Cellular customers will get access to a more robust and nationwide LTE network. Meyers said he expects U.S. Cellular customers to see benefits more than he expects U.S. Cellular to reap inbound roaming revenue.  Meyers said that the agreement is the first of multiple LTE roaming deals the company is working on.


IHS-Infonetics: MSOs Plan Massive DOCSIS Deployments; Shift to Remote/Distributed Access & HFC Optical Nodes

1. IHS-Infonetics conducted in-depth interviews with cable operators (MSOs) across the globe that collectively control 87 percent of the world’s cable capex and found that 42 percent of them plan to deploy a distributed access architecture (DAA) by 2017.

In the study, CCAP, DOCSIS 3.1, and Distributed Access Strategies and Vendor Leadership: Global Cable Operator Survey, respondent operators say their primary choices for distributed access are R-PHY, R-MACPHY and R-CCAP.


  • The operational benefits cable operators are reaping from moving from CMTS (cable modem termination system) to CCAP (converged cable access platform) are just the first step in a long-term transition to distributing data processing capabilities throughout the network
  • Survey respondents, on average, say that about 1/3 of their residential subscribers will be passed by DOCSIS 3.1 (CableLabs spec) enabled headends by April 2017
  • By 2017, nearly half of respondents will have return path (upstream) frequencies of 86–100MHz, while a quarter will have 101–200MHz of return path spectrum


“Cable operators are clearly committed to both DOCSIS 3.1 and distributed access architectures to increase bandwidth in their access networks. Though there is no consensus yet on which distributed access technology most will use, there’s no question they will distribute some portion of the DOCSIS layer to their optical nodes,” said Jeff Heynen, research director for broadband access and pay TV at IHS.


●    Remote PHY (R-PHY): in this scenario, the entire DOCSIS PHY modulation is moved into the node while the MAC layer remains in the headend.

●    R-CMTS: in this scenario, the DOCSIS MAC and PHY are removed from the headend and placed in the node 

●    R-CCAP: in this scenario, the DOCSIS MAC and PHY and video QAM capabilities are removed from the headend and placed in the node. 





The 29-page IHS Infonetics study, led by IHS analyst Jeff Heynen, focuses on DOCSIS 3.1, converged cable access platforms (CCAPs) and distributed access architectures, and how and when cable operators will deploy these technologies and architectures to improve their broadband and IP service offerings over the next 2 years.

The study includes operator ratings of CCAP and distributed access equipment suppliers (Arris, Casa Systems, Cisco, Gainspeed, Harmonic, Huawei and Pace/Aurora) on 9 criteria.  Note from Jeff Heynen:  "These are really the primary suppliers of node-based products. There are a number of Chinese ODMs. But they are really only present in China proper."

2.  In a related report, IHS-Infonetics forecasts global hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) optical node shipments to more than double in the 5 years from 2014 to 2019, jumping from 92,000 to 200,000. Driving the boost are cable operators upgrading their networks with optical fiber cable, taking advantage of its high-bandwidth, low-noise, low-interference characteristics to deliver broadband video, data and voice services to homes and businesses.

“Optical nodes have rapidly become important platforms for cable operators to grow their broadband capabilities. By way of increased node splitting today for increased bandwidth and a transition to distributed access in the coming years, optical nodes will see significant unit growth and innovation,” said Jeff Heynen, research director for broadband access and pay TV at IHS.


  • Globally, HFC optical node revenue reached $356 million in 2014, up 14 percent from 2013
  • In 2014, 80 percent of worldwide optical node revenue came from digital return nodes, and 15 percent from analog return nodes
  • By 2019, IHS expects 35 percent of new physical nodes to be remote CCAP devices, 27 percent to be R-PHY units, and 23 percent to be traditional digital return nodes
  • Arris led optical node global revenue and physical node unit shipments for the full-year 2014



The 23-page IHS Infonetics HFC Optical Nodes market share and forecast report provides worldwide and regional market size, vendor market share, forecasts through 2019 and in-depth analysis for hybrid fiber-coaxial optical nodes. The annual market research service tracks physical node units, logical node segments and revenue for optical node types including analog and digital return, and remote PHY, converged cable access platform (CCAP) and cable modem termination system (CMTS).


To buy Infonetics reports, visit:

My perspective on ONS 2015, SDN & Open Networking

The 2015 Open Networking Summit (ONS) was hosted on June 14th to June 18th in Silicon Valley. It featured a rich set of speakers, open networking panels and a wide audience base comprised of network service providers, network hardware and software vendors, web giants and the academia.  ONS 2015 was the first of the fifth annual summit that I participated in.  To this onlooker it provided an insight into the future direction of networking.   The conference was a showcase of the solutions and challenges in achieving the goal of Software Defined Networking (SDN): to make the network programmable.    

As Chair of the IEEE Communications Society Santa Clara Valley (SCV) chapter, I've had the opportunity to host several technical sessions on Open Networking and also track the rapid pace of change towards SDN.  I am thrilled and enthused by the changes that SDN can provide.  It opens up significant opportunities for new and existing players.   However, I am equally skeptical of when and how SDN will become a mainstream technology, available to any enterprise data center or any end network consumer.  

The basic idea of Software Defined Networking is to make the network user programmable. Sounds simple? It depends on how one defines the network:  

  • Is it a home network, enterprise Local Area Network (LAN) network, ISP / telco / carrier network, a web giant network, Cloud Service Provider Network or a Wide Area Network (WAN)?
  • Is it a private network (located inside an enterprise and accessible only to an internal audience) or a public network (located on a premise not owned by the enterprise)?
  • Is it a physical network (network functionality achieved using dedicated hardware) or a virtual network (network functionality achieved by using software and white box hardware)?


Each network type has it’s own set of solution pieces offered by multiple vendors, which consist of hardware and software components that are provisioned and maintained by a Service Provider (data center, telco WAN, enterprise/campus, cloud computing/storage, etc).  Each network also has its own set of operational requirements.  There are a wide range of issues and concerns, including: security, availability, provisioning, power, cost and serviceability.   

The Open Network Foundation (ONF), which is progressing Open Flow based SDN, has a herculean task of bringing all these pieces under a single umbrella. Achieving SDN in an an “open,” “vendor agnostic” and “inter-operable” way is a challenge the purist can compare to finding extra terrestrial life.

Google’s Fellow and Technical Lead for Networking Amin Vahdat was an impressive keynote speaker at ONS2015.   For the first time in company's history, Amin disclosed Google's internal Data Center Network.  It’s design is based on the principles of Software Defined Networking, leverages CLOS topology, uses merchant silicon and has a single central administrative domain.  A few statistics that are indicative of this massive network are that it handles 3.5 billion search results per day and has 300 hours of video uploaded every minute!  Let’s pause for a minute and extrapolate, at roughly 5MB bandwidth consumption per minute for a 480p video - it translates into about 50 Petabytes of network traffic to watch the video content uploaded over a period of year (18000 years of uninterrupted viewing content stored and generated every year).

Microsoft’s Mark Russinovich, the CTO of the company's Azure public cloud was also a keynote speaker.  He talked about how Microsoft has embraced SDN into the Azure wide area network.  That network can host millions of compute instances, and has exabyte scale storage and a Petabit capacity (Pbps) network.

Note that both Microsoft and Google are competing with Amazon’s AWS (Amazon Web Services) - a cloud-compute service provider platform.

Given the scale out requirement to handle the data generated by the human race today, one thing is clear: SDN is not an option - it is the solution.  That's because large networks that have to rapidly increase the number of users and the aggregate data capacity  (e.g. Amazon's AWS, Microsoft Azure public cloud, Google's customer facing and backbone network, NTT and AT&T WANs, etc) require a software based approach with centralized domain specific control to scale out. The traditional hop by hop routing with expensive, closed, proprietary routers won't make the grade.

AT&T’s SVP John Donovan, was another keynote speaker. He highlighted the journey of transformation which AT&T is pursuing with Open Networking, SDN and Open Source software.  AT&T is on a grandiose mission to replace the traditional telephony network, based on Time Division Multiplexing (TDM)  to an all Ethernet network by 2020. 


The ONS2015 was spread over a week and had several panels on various important topics of SDN Adoption, Use Cases, Experiences, Hot Startups & VC investments, SDN WAN, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), SDN for Optical Networks, OpenStack. The ONS2015 also had an expo floor, comprised of sponsor solution and demo booths from various companies like NEC, ADVA, AT&T, Dell, Brocade, Huawei, Cisco, and Broadcom.

There is a rapid pace of technology advancement, tremendous amount of energy and resources are being invested in this "second life of networking”. One pundit called it "a new epoch."  While there is market fragmentation and chaos, I see that as a positive sign.  The industry is moving forward, asking new questions, facing new challenges.  Consolidation is far ahead.  Let’s continue to build and play by the ONF vision to build, promote and adopt SDN through open standards and open source software development. 

I will close by a quote from Kitty Pang (Network Architect, Alibaba).  It is bold and provocative, yet real: 

"We want to run faster and faster.  It does not matter if it’s hardware or software, open or closed, we choose low cost and high efficiency."


Watch an insightful interview, where Alan Weissberger talks to ONF’s Dan Pitt on ONF’s path towards Open SDN:


Editor's Note:

Saurabh Sureka is the Chair of IEEE ComSoc Santa Clara Valley (SCV), which is by far the leading ComSoc chapter in the world in terms of both membership and technical programs.   He joined the leadership team in 2011 as Treasurer and diligently continued to volunteer each year since then as a ComSocSCV officer.   Saurabh is a Sr Product Manager at Emulex (now Avago Technologies) in San Jose, CA.

Related articles: 

Highlights of 2015 Open Network Summit (ONS) & Key Take-Aways

Pica8 Open Networking OS/Protocol Stacks on Bare Metal Switches



FCC Approves AT&T-Direc-TV; Imposes Conditions to Improve Broadband Competition?

After almost one year of regulatory review, AT&T closed its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV which makes it the largest U.S. pay-TV company.  As expected, the Federal Communications Commission announced on Friday that it's approved AT&T's merger with DirecTV, attaching conditions intended to address the potential harms of the merger. Earlier this week, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it would not challenge the acquisition. 

“The conditions also ensure that the benefits of the merger will be realized,” the FCC said in a news release.  Federal regulators were reviewing the deal to determine whether it would serve the public interest or stifle competition.  Those regulators have said they're more worried about providing choice in Internet access and new, online video options than they are about concentration in the declining pay TV business (go-go cord-cutters!).

 -->We strongly feel it's the latter- less choice of providers leads to less competition and ultimately higher prices!

“We’re now a fundamentally different company,” AT&T Chief Executive  Randall Stephenson in a press release.   The company said it will serve more than 26 million U.S. customers and more than 19 million in Latin America, making it the world’s biggest pay-TV company.

[AT&T reported its earnings on Thursday.  Profits dropped 14% to $3.04 billion.  The company said integration related expenses from prior deals weighed on the results.  Revenue edged up to $33.02 billion- an increase of only 1.4%.  The number of new mainstream wireless subscribers fell by 60%.  AT&T's annual revenue growth since 2007 has averaged a miniscule 1.6%, according to data from FactSet.]  

AT&T Chief Strategy Officer John Stankey will be chief executive of a new division called AT&T Entertainment & Internet Services, which includes DirecTV and the division that also includes AT&T’s broadband and video business.  As the biggest pay-TV provider, AT&T could have more bargaining power with content companies.

“We are more confident than ever about the opportunity this transaction brings,” AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens said on a conference call Thursday.

“We’ll now be able to meet consumers’ future entertainment preferences, whether they want traditional TV service with premier programming, their favorite content on a mobile device, or video streamed over the Internet to any screen,” Randall Stephenson, chairman and chief executive of AT&T, said in a statement.


Conditions Imposed on the 2nd "new AT&T":  

Note: the 1st "new AT&T" was when SBC acquired AT&T in 2006 and kept the AT&T name/

Approval of the deal came with a number of conditions, including some aimed at introducing more competition into the broadband Internet market, an issue emphasized by FCC commissioner Tom Wheeler in his comments earlier this week.The FCC is requiring AT&T to expand its high-speed, fiber-optic broadband Internet service to 12.5 million customer locations and eligible schools and libraries. That’s about 10 times its current size. The FCC said this addresses the concern that the merger would eliminate one choice for television service in the areas where AT&T and DirecTV previously competed. By expanding Internet service, the commission said, consumers will have more options to use services that rely on broadband to deliver video, such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.  AT&T also will be required to offer broadband services to people with low incomes at discounted rates.

The company also will be required to submit its carrier inter-connection agreements for review by the FCC.  Those agreements include "paid peering," which allow a video streaming company like Netflix to pay a fee to a distributor, like Comcast or AT&T, for better service, when they create a lot of traffic for the network. The commission said that the condition recognized the importance of those agreements to online video service and said that it would monitor them to make sure that AT&T would not deny or impede access to its networks in anti-competitive ways.

The conditions remain in effect for four years after the merger closes. The FCC also required AT&T to retain an internal compliance officer and an independent, external compliance officer to make sure that the company abides by the deal conditions.  

A serious concern about the deal is that AT&T is the only major Internet Service Provider whose customers face “data caps” for wireline broadband Internet access1.  The merger could increase the incentive of AT&T to deploy such usage-based pricing to limit access to online video in favor of its own traditional television service. As a condition of the deal, regulators forbade AT&T from deploying discriminatory practices that would disadvantage online video services.

Note 1.  AT&T Data Caps: "Residential AT&T High Speed Internet service includes 150 gigabytes (GB) of data each billing period, and most residential AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet service (up to 75 Mbps) includes 250GB of data each billing period."


Public Interest Groups Weigh In:

Some public interest groups, though, were disappointed. “I thought after the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal that maybe the commission was going to travel down a little different road in consolidation and begin to say no to some of these deals,” said Michael Copps, a former Democratic member of the FCC and a special adviser to the Common Cause public interest group.

“What they are basically saying is you have to treat everybody like you treat yourself, and so I think that is probably the most important protection against anticompetitive practices,” said Gene Kimmelman, the chief executive of Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group, and a former antitrust official at the Justice Department.


More Media Mergers Ahead?

The combination of AT&T, one of the country’s two largest wireless/wire-line telco and Internet Service Providers (via AT&T-Yahoo), and DirecTV, the country’s largest satellite TV provider, is the biggest media merger this year and will create the country’s largest television distributor with about 26 million subscribers, surpassing Comcast, the current leader.

“The fact that this deal closed with probably pretty reasonable conditions gives a little bit more confidence that Charter and Time Warner Cable would close, and maybe down the road opens the door for other deals,” said Amy Yong, a media analyst with Macquarie Group.


IHS-Infonetics: True 4G (LTE Advanced) is Finally Happening; SPs What's 5G?

IHS-Infonetics today released excerpts from its 2015 IHS Infonetics 4G and 5G Strategies and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey, for which operators were interviewed about their LTE network deployment plans, challenges and service offerings. Half of respondents participating in the study say they have already deployed LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) in their LTE networks.


  • Inter-band carrier aggregation is the most common and very first LTE-Advanced feature deployed by respondent operators.
  • Commercial voice over LTE (VoLTE) service is taking off slowly and ramping this year and next.
  • 4G network functions virtualization (NFV) migration won't happen any time soon because the bulk of LTE networks are brand new and, therefore, mobile operators are not ready to undertake migration that soon.
  • Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia (in alphabetical order) are perceived by survey respondents as the top LTE equipment manufacturers.


Analyst Comments:

"We are slowly but surely moving to true 4G, and that's good news. However, most users already believe they are on 4G, and that's the bad news because the experience is far from consistent and is falling short of expectations. How many times does your smartphone display LTE or 4G and you still see the infamous spinning wheel?" said Stéphane Téral, research director for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at IHS. 

"The 5G debate has started with great fanfare, hype and confusion, but little substance about what it is exactly and what it is not. For now, the mindset is still locked into mobile broadband as we know it with LTE, so it's good that the ITU has just stepped in to define 5G in its brand new IMT-2020," Téral said. 



Author's Notes:

1.  What survey respondents think 5G will be at this time is anyone's guess.  That's because ITU-R hasn't even finalized the 5G vision or architecture recommendations.  Please refer to this post for the status of all the 5G work in progress:

2.  One huge problem for "true 4G" users is there is no set of minimum service requirements a wireless carrier has to implement to claim compliance with LTE Advanced.  It seems that a higher data rate than LTE along with Carrier Aggregation is what most wireless operators are implementing or planning.  See Appendix for LTE Advanced Requirements.

In a July 23rd email, Stephane Teral corroborates the above problem:

Hi Alan,  I agree and this is exactly what’s looming for 5G if no one, including the ITU, does not step in to call for the clear cut! At this point, everyone implementing carrier aggregation can claim true 4G (IMT-Advanced), which is much better than saying LTE is 4G when it is defined in the IMT2000 as a 3G technology!

Best wishes,



 For the 38-page 2015 4G and 5G Strategies and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey, IHS interviewed purchase-decision makers at 22 mobile, incumbent, competitive and cable operators from EMEA, Asia, North America and Latin America. The study covers LTE network build-out plans; challenges and drivers; migration scenarios; LTE features, services and suppliers; and operator ratings of LTE manufacturers (Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung, ZTE) on 9 buying criteria.

The service providers participating in the study represent about one-third of the world's telecom capex and revenue.

To purchase the report, please visit:



Mobile Services Market Dragged by Europe Again:

LTE Peaking at $6 Billion a Quarter - Not Enough to Offset 2G/3G Decline:

Operators Spent $67B Outsourcing Network Tasks to Equipment Vendors in 2014:

Telecom Carrier Spending Entering New Era Marked by Diverse Regional Trends:

Mobile Operators Using EDGE, HSPA+ to Improve User Experience on Road to LTE:


Appendix:  LTE Advanced Requirements:

General Requirements

  • LTE-Advanced is an evolution of LTE
  • LTE-Advanced shall meet or exceed IMT-Advanced requirements within the ITU-R time plan
  • Extended LTE-Advanced targets are adoptedSystem

System Performance Requirements

  • Peak data rate

 - 1 Gbpsdata rate will be achieved by 4-by-4 MIMO and transmission bandwidth wider than approximately 70 MHz

  • Peak spectrum efficiency

 - DL: Rel. 8 LTE satisfies IMT-Advanced requirement
 - UL: Need to double from Release 8 to satisfy IMT-Advanced requirement

  • Capacity and cell-edge user throughput

 - Target for LTE-Advanced was set considering gain of 1.4 to 1.6 from Release 8 LTE performance


Other Important Requirements

  • Spectrum flexibility

 - Actual available spectra are different according to each region or country
 - In 3GPP, various deployment scenarios for spectrum allocation are being taken into consideration in feasibility study
 - Support for flexible deployment scenarios including downlink/uplink asymmetric bandwidth allocation for FDD and non‐contiguous spectrum allocationTotal

  • LTE-Advanced will be deployed as an evolution of LTE Release 8 and on new bands.
  • LTE-Advanced shall be backwards compatible with LTE Release 8 in the sense that

 - a LTE Release 8 terminal can work in an LTE-Advanced NW,
 - an LTE-Advanced terminal can work in an LTE Release 8 NW

  • Increased deployment of indoor eNBand HNB in LTE-Advanced.