Telecom and networking trends for 2017

It’s always interesting (and dangerous) to lay out some predictions for the future of technology, so here are a few visions:

The exponential growth of broadband data is driving wireless (and wired) communications systems to more effectively use existing bandwidth. Mobile data traffic continues to grow, driven both by increased smartphone subscriptions and a continued increase in average data volume per subscription, fueled primarily by more viewing of video content. Ericsson forecasts mobile video traffic to grow by around 50% annually through 2022, to account for nearly 75% of all mobile data traffic. Social networking is the second biggest data traffic type. To make effective use of the wireless channel, system operators are moving toward massive-MIMO, multi-antenna systems that transmit multiple wide-bandwidth data streams—geometrically adding to system complexity and power consumption. Total mobile data traffic is expected to grow at 45% CAGR to 2020.

5G cellular technology is still in development, and is far from ready in 2017. As international groups set 2020 deadline to agree on frequencies and standards for the new equipment, anything before that is pre-standard. Expect to see many 5G announcements that might not be what 5G will actually be when standard is ready. The boldest statement is that Nokia & KT plan 2017 launch of world’s first mobile 5G network in South Korea in 2017: commercial trial system to operate in the 28GHz band. Wireless spectrum above 5 GHz will generate solutions for a massive increase in bandwidth and also for a latency of less than 1 ms.

CableLabs is working toward standardization of an AP Coordination protocol to improve In-Home WiFi as one access point (AP) for WiFi often is not enough to allow for reliable connection and ubiquitous speed to multiple devices throughout a large home. The hope is that something will be seen mid-2017. A mesh AP network is a self-healing, self-forming, self-optimizing network of mesh access points (MAPs).

There will be more and more Gigabit Internet connections in 2017. Gigabit Internet is Accelerating on All Fronts. Until recently, FTTH has been the dominant technology for gigabit. Some of the common options available now include fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 over cable’s HFC plant, G.Fast over telco DSL networks, 5G cellular, and fiber-to-the-building coupled with point-to-point wireless. AT&T recently launched its AT&T Fiber gigabit service. Cable’s DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 are cheaper and less disruptive than FTTH in that they do not require a rip-and-replace of the existing outside plant. DOCSIS 3.1, which has just begun to be deployed at scale, is designed to deliver up to 10 Gbps downstream Internet speeds over existing HFC networks (most deployments to date have featured 1 Gbps speeds). G.Fast is just beginning to come online with a few deployments (typically 500 meters or less distance at MDU). 5G cellular technology is still in development, and standards for it do not yet exist. Another promising wireless technology for delivering gigabit speeds is point-to-point millimeter wave, which uses spectrum between 30 GHz and 300 GHz.

There are also some trials for 10 Gbit/s: For example Altice USA (Euronext:ATC) announced plans to build a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network capable of delivering broadband speeds of up to 10 Gbps across its U.S. footprint. The five-year deployment plan is scheduled to begin in 2017.

Interest to use TV white space increases in 2017 in USA.  The major factors driving the growth of the market include providing low-cost broadband to remote and non-line-of-sight regions. Rural Internet access market is expected to grow at a significant rate between 2016 and 2022. According to MarketsandMarkets, the global TV white space market was valued at $1.2 million in 2015 and is expected to reach approximately $53.1 million by 2022, at a CAGR of 74.30% during the forecast period.

The rapid growth of the internet and cloud computing has resulted in bandwidth requirements for data center network. This is in turn expected to increase the demand for optical interconnects in the next-generation data center networks.

Open Ethernet networking platforms will make a noticeable impact in 2017. The availability of full featured, high performance and cost effective open switching platforms combined with open network operating systems such as Cumulus Networks, Microsoft SoNIC, and OpenSwitch will finally see significant volume uptake in 2017.

Network becomes more and more software controlled in 2017.NFV and SDN Will Mature as Automated Networks will become Production systems. Over the next five years, nearly 60 percent of hyperscale facilities are expected to deploy SDN and/or NFV solutions. IoT will force SDN adoption into Campus Networks.

SDN implementations are increasingly taking a platform approach with plug and play support for any VNF, topology, and analytics that are instrumented and automated. Some companies are discovering the security benefits of SDN – virtual segmentation and automation. The importance of specific SDN protocols (OpenFlow, OVSDB, NetConf, etc.) will diminish as many universes of SDN/NFV will solidify into standard models. More vendors are opening up their SDN platforms to third-party VNFs. In Linux based systems eBPF and XDP are delivering flexibility, scale, security, and performance for a broad set of functions beyond networking without bypassing the kernel.

For year 2016 it was predicted that gigabit ethernet sales start to decline as the needle moving away from 1 Gigabit Ethernet towards faster standards (2.5 or 5.0 or 10Gbps; Nbase-T is basically underclocked 10Gbase-T running at 2.5 or 5.0Gbps instead of 10Gbps). I have not yet seen the result from this prediction, but that does not stop from making new ones. So I expect that 10GbE sales will peak in 2017 and start a steady decline after 2017 as it is starts being pushed aside by 25, 50, and 100GbE in data center applications. 25Gbit/s Ethernet is available now from all of the major server vendors. 25 can start to become the new 10 as it offers 2.5x the throughput and only a modest price premium over 10Gbit/s.

100G and 400G Ethernet will still have some implementation challenges in 2017. Data-center customers are demanding a steep downward trajectory in the cost of 100G pluggable transceivers, but existing 100G module multi-source agreements (MSAs) such as PSM4 and CWDM4 have limited capacity for cost reduction due to the cost of the fiber (PSM4) and the large number of components (both PSM4 and CWDM4). It seems that dual-lambda PAM4 and existing 100G Ethernet (100GE) solutions such as PSM4 and CWDM4 will not be able to achieve the overall cost reductions demanded by data-center customers.  At OFC 2016, AppliedMicro showcased the world’s first 100G PAM4 single-wavelength solution for 100G and 400G Ethernet. We might be able to see see 400GE in the second half of 2017 or the early part of 2018.

As the shift to the cloud is accelerating in 2017, the traffic routed through cloud-based data centers is expected to quadruple in the next four years according to the results of the sixth annual Global Cloud Index published by Cisco. Public cloud is growing faster than private cloud. An estimated 68 percent of cloud workloads will be deployed in public cloud data centers by 2020, up from 49 percent in 2015. According to Cisco, hyperscale data centers will account for 47 percent of global server fleet and support 53 percent of all data center traffic by 2020.

The modular data center market has experienced a high growth and adoption rate in the last few years, and is anticipated to experience more of this trend in years to come. Those data centers are typically built using standard 20 ft. container module or standard 40 ft. container module. Modular data center market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 24.1% during period 2016 – 2025, to account for US$ 22.41 billion in 2025Also in 2017 the first cracks will start to appear in Intel’s vaunted CPU dominance.

The future of network neutrality is unsure in 2017 as the Senate failed to reconfirm Democratic pro-net neutrality FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, portending new Trump era leadership and agenda Net neutrality faces extinction under Trump. Also one of Trump’s advisers on FCC, Mark Jamison, argued last month that the agency should only regulate radio spectrum licenses, scale back all other functions. When Chairman Tom Wheeler, the current head of the FCC, steps down, Republicans will hold a majority.



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Karl Bode / DSLreports:
    Chevrolet offers customers with OnStar Wi-Fi an unlimited 4G LTE data plan via AT&T for $20 per month

    GM First to Offer Unlimited Data Option for Car Owners

    GM has announced it will be the first automaker to offer users an unlimited data options for owners of the company’s LTE-connected automobiles. If you’ve tracked in-car connectivity, some of the initial pricing was downright laughable, with 30 GB of data being offered at prices upward of $500. But slowly and surely these prices have dropped, with GM/Chevy lowering the price of AT&T provided LTE connectivity just last summer. Currently, users have the option of paying $10 a month for 1 gigabyte of data, $20 a month for 4 gigabytes and $40 a month for 10 gigabytes of data.

    Click for full size
    Now, a company announcement states that customers with an in-vehicle OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot can access an unlimited prepaid data option for $20 per month.

    Chevy and GM say that in-car WiFi use exploded last year, with their customers using 4 million gigabytes of data in 2016 — a 200% bump over 2015. The company says it has sold 3.1 million OnStar 4G LTE-connected vehicles since June 2014, but it doesn’t note just how many of these customers sign up or retain wireless broadband connectivity.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    For Optical Fiber, More Bandwith Looms

    The world’s data travels largely by fiber, with more being moved than ever before. San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant Cisco Systems forecasts that data traffic will grow 22 percent a year from 2015 to 2020. Little wonder, then, that more fiber is going in the ground, under the sea and into data centers. This year the optical fiber installed in communication networks globally will total 421 million kilometers, said Richard Mack, principal analyst with market research firm CRU

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    MWC2017: Berner boosted Finnish companies – Tosibox awards

    Bittium alongside Nokia and many other Finnish companies have been on display at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
    Tosibox won the event IoT competition.

    Finland is strongly connected with the event 5G’s, internet, artificial intelligence and virtual reality objects for use. The spearhead presented Suometa 5G test network, within which global players such as Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei to cooperate with SMEs.

    5G future, in addition to Finland, is an emerging new solutions, inter alia, the robot bus projects, the Internet of Things in laboratories and fintechin that is, the financial technology sector.

    “We offer Finnish companies the main competitors in an early opportunity to take advantage of the latest technologies in development work”, says the Ministry of Transport and Communications Anne Berner.


  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    MWC 2017: Everything you missed from the world’s biggest phone show

    3. 5G everywhere

    Is it hype or real? That’s the constant question surrounding 5G — which stands for the fifth generation of wireless technology. It promises a blazing connection that smokes even your fastest home broadband connection, and is supposed to transform the way we live by connecting everything around. More importantly, 5G will unlock the potential of many other tech trends like virtual reality and self-driving cars.

    The answer is somewhere in between. Companies are showing off the hardware necessary to pull off those crazy speeds, but there are still tons of hurdles. The industry hasn’t come to an agreement on what 5G will actually look like, and there’s the issue of getting the necessary airwaves to power these new networks.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    R&M launches lime-green OM5 fiber-optic cabling line at Data Center World

    The company says its lime-green OM5 fiber-optic cabling supports duplex transmission up to future 200G bandwidths, “thereby removing all the cabling complexity that comes with MPO polarity management.”

    OM5 fiber solution. This enables data centers to run 40G and 100G Ethernet over LC patch cords.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    U.S. Cellular to FCC: Keep 5G equipment operability requirement in 37 GHz, 39 GHz bands

    In a filing last week, U.S. Cellular argued that removing the operability requirement would put smaller carriers at a disadvantage when trying to get their hands on 5G equipment.

    “If ‘boutique’ band classes develop for the (millimeter wave) bands, manufacturers would initially, and perhaps exclusively, focus on the needs of the largest carriers,” U.S. Cellular protested.

    Passed in July, the FCC’s Spectrum Frontiers Report and Order currently requires that millimeter wave devices for either the 37 GHz and 39 GHz bands be “capable of operating across the entirety of both bands, from 37 GHz to 40 GHz (including the 37-37.6 MHz lower block).”

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Millimeter wave: The key to 5G?

    5G will use millimetre wave (mmWave) technologies (like WiGig) to transmit the data – using both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. (cont.)

    WiGig and the Gateway to 5G

    But, more importantly, with the closing ceremony now finished in Rio, the handover to the 2020 host, Tokyo, has happened and with it the four-year countdown gets underway.

    This is one of the key moments in the evolution of 5G, which will rely on millimetre wave technologies to deliver great throughputs over cellular networks.

    And already Panasonic has announced it is launching “experimental demonstrations” at Narita, Japan’s biggest airport. For these demonstrations, Panasonic has set up WiGig networks in the airport. The announcement states that visitors will be able to “experience high-definition video download over a next-generation WLAN connection onto a dedicated terminal.”

    Indeed, there is a school of thought in several countries (including Japan), where WiGig is seen as a 5G light technology. And while the usage in Japan is slightly different to those in other countries, it was telling that just a couple of weeks before the Rio Games got underway, the US’s FCC voted unanimously to approve the Spectrum Frontiers proceeding and make spectrum bands above 24 GHz available for 5G.

    In doing so, the regulator opened almost 11 GHz of high-frequency spectrum for mobile and fixed-use broadband – with 28 GHz (27.5-28.35 GHz), 37 GHz (37-38.6 GHz), and 39 GHz (38.6-40 GHz) bands being freed for licensed use and a new unlicensed band at 64- 71 GHz created (adding this to the existing WiGig band from 57-64 GHz to create 14 GHz of contiguous unlicensed spectra). This, in short, creates significant opportunities for those working in this sector.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5G Americas appoints Samsung to its board

    5G Americas, a wireless industry trade association billing itself as “the voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas,” has announced the election of Samsung Electronics America, Inc. to its board of governors. ”

    “Samsung’s network equipment and devices offer an attractive pathway for 5G. 5G technology is expected to drive the next wave of mobile application development for enhanced mobile broadband, the Internet of Things (IoT), and ultra-reliable and low latency communications. Samsung is a key contributor to the 5G standards development to help shape the way customers experience mobile services in an evolving 5G connected world.”

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Internet declared a citizen’s right for 34 million Indians
    State of Kerala turns on WiFi network, promises to fund 1,500 startups and grow 175k IT jobs

    The Indian State of Kerala, home to 34 million people, has declared its citizens have a right to internet access.

    The State’s budget speech (PDF), delivered last week by finance minister Dr. T.M. Thomas lsaac, included provisions for “free internet connections … provided to 20 lakh [two million - Ed] poor families. For others, internet service will be provided at a lower rate.”

    Internet service will be delivered over WiFi at “Government offices, libraries, and public places under the control of Government” and will be made possible by the rollout of a fibre optic network piggybacking on electrification projects around the State.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Looks who’s bailed out internet-satellite provider IntelSat? It’s… Softbank?
    Plans to chuck more cash once it’s merged up with OneWeb

    Softbank has arrived as the unlikely white knight to save Luxembourg-based internet-satellite provider Intelsat from running out of cash. It has injected debt funding and proposed a merger through its LEO satellite firm OneWeb. Now bondholders for Intelsat must give the deal the go-ahead.

    The deal came just as IntelSat announced its Q4 numbers with revenue of $550.7m and full-year 2016 revenue of $2.2bn.

    OneWeb’s mission is to target the last few million potential broadband subscribers on the planet and plans to build a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites to provide connectivity, rather like Iridium.

    OneWeb is after Intelsat’s EpicNG fleet so it can merge its own LEO satellite constellation with Intelsat’s infrastructure on the ground and its GEO satellite network.

    Intelsat’s Ku-band infrastructure is said to be suitable for consumer broadband, connected cars, cellular backhaul, the Internet of Things, and machine-to-machine communications. Although both connected cars and cellular backhaul have some latency requirements that are beyond satellite.

    The press release talks about delivering video using satellite for its media customers to support OTT networks. However, the truth is that OTT video services are sabotaging video pricing in satellite channel delivery, and debt holders should beware of any strategy which holds up OTT as an opportunity, rather than a threat.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Natalie Gagliordi / ZDNet:
    Avaya says it will sell its networking business to Extreme Networks for $100M after filing for Chapter 11 in January — Avaya filed to restructure under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January. — Bankruptcy challenged Avaya has agreed to sell its networking business to Extreme Networks for approximately $100 million.

    Avaya sells networking business to Extreme Networks for $100 million
    Avaya ​filed to restructure under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January.

    Bankruptcy challenged Avaya has agreed to sell its networking business to Extreme Networks for approximately $100 million. Avaya filed to restructure under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January and at the time said it was in negotiations to monetize some of its assets.

    Avaya was spun off of Lucent Technologies in 2000 and became a private company in 2007 following an $8.2 billion deal with Silver Lake and TPG Capital. Avaya expanded into networking in 2009 after it acquired Nortel Enterprise Solutions.

    “Furthermore, we expect the Avaya business to generate over $200 million in annual revenue, increase our market share and offer new opportunities for our customers,” said Extreme Networks CEO Ed Meyercord.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    FCC Chief Says Net Neutrality Has Curbed Infrastructure Spending

    Ajit Pai, the Republican chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said that investment on wireless infrastructure is falling under the weight of overly strict regulations. Those include net neutrality rules that prevent internet service providers from blocking or throttling internet traffic.

    A proponent of limited government and free-market approach to regulation, the chief telecom regulator vowed that the U.S. would increasingly use “light-touch” regulation. He said that would encourage wireless carriers to invest in new equipment, improving service to rural areas and pushing forward to 5G.

    During a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Mr. Pai said that he would pare back regulations that he believes are curbing investment into millions of small cells and miles of fiber optic cable that represent that internet’s circulatory system.

    He said that incentives to build infrastructure is also vital for 5G, which several companies are trying to start offering before 2020, when the final standard is expected to be finished. Industry executives say that the technology will flow out of 4G.

    “5G could transform the wireless world,” Mr. Pai said. “But 5G will require a lot of infrastructure.”

    Net neutrality has been one of the agency’s most controversial policies, but one that has found consumer and legal support.

    In his recent speech, Pai said that the policy stemmed from categorizing broadband as a utility like electricity and water. He said that the rules had injected uncertainty into the market, which had discouraged companies to invest in new infrastructure and jobs.

    Pai said that last year spending on wireless infrastructure declined for the first time outside of a recession.

    “We were not living in a digital dystopia,” he said, hinting at consumer groups that opposed repealing net neutrality. “Our new approach injected tremendous uncertainty into the broadband market. And uncertainty is the enemy of growth.”

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    SK Telecom Exec Talks 5G Tech, 2017 Trials

    Around the globe, telecom companies are placing bets on which technologies will define 5G, the next generation of wireless and cellular networks. Many have already published results from early lab tests and field trials. Now, executives are eager to move into real-world pilots and, gradually, to commercial deployments.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nokia already approaching Gigabits wireless

    Nokia has supplied Qatar telecom company Ooredoo within the base station technology 4.5g Pro Generation. As a result, the capital of Qatar reached some of the most densely in areas already to 800 megabits per second speeds of your data plan.

    Nokia 4.5g Pro AirScale-based base station equipment. 800 Mbps data rates can be achieved while at the same link together the two carriers and signal enters the 4×4 channel 256 QAM modulated.


  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Arista-cats curl up in cloudy containers
    Painting the boxes white

    Bowing to the inevitable, Arista has decided to risk cannibalising its hardware sales and is making its Extensible Operating System (EOS) available for container deployment as cEOS).

    cEOS uses the same software image as the EOS baked into the company’s hardware. HPE is on board, supporting EOS running on its Altoline white-box range, and Microsoft is putting cEOS on its SONiC (software for open networking in the cloud) to handle BGP.

    Other platforms should follow, since the initiative has also been endorsed by chip vendor Broadcom.

    It will run on Arista’s own platforms, naturally enough, but the company expects support on other bare metal switch and standard VMs and containers will follow.

    Running cEOS alongside other containers means it can sit alongside other virtual network functions like network monitoring or automation.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Punching it Down: Insulation Displacement Connectors

    Punchdown connectors were a staple of both private and public telco physical plants for decades, and belong to a class of electrical connections called insulation displacement connections, or IDC.

    The first US patent for IDC was issued in 1961 to two inventors working for the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Corp. 3M is still big into IDC connectors even now

    The original patent illustrations show a striking similarity to the Scotchlocks we still use today

    When an insulated wire is placed in the slot and the appropriate amount of downward pressure is applied, the slot cuts into and moves aside the plastic insulation, exposing the conductor within. As the termination pressure increases, the wire contacts the sides of the slot and begins to deform; in much the way that wire strands inside a crimped connection begin to flow and stretch, so too does the wire in the slot effectively cold weld to the metal contact, forming a gas-tight connection. And like in the crimped connection, the deformation caused by the increased pressure acts to loosen and drive off surface oxidation that would interfere with a clean connection.

    In the telco space, those 66 blocks in that would-be locker room of yore would have been terminated with a handheld punchdown tool with a type 66 bit.

    IDCs are everywhere these days — automotive wiring harnesses, likely every appliance in your house, and dozens inside most computers. And even though IDC was once strictly reserved for low-voltage connections, chances are good that you’ll start seeing IDC used more and more for residential and commercial mains wiring.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smart Antennas Come Into View
    No longer invisible or unforgotten, antennas are getting smarter all the time.

    Antennas are getting smarter, particularly in light of their increasing complexity, along with the intricacies of the environments — existing and new — they play in.

    In some cases, there may even be five Bluetooth devices in one vehicle (one in the infotainment, two in the telematics, and two in the rear seat systems). He said this is not driven by antennas so much as by the applications that are too much for one radio, although some of it is driven by the need to have antennas facing what they need to.

    Because of these new use models, Barrett believes there’s going to be an opportunity for companies that are doing antennas, smart antennas, and higher end antenna solutions. “The world would love to use cheap PCB Inverted F antennas but there are companies that do higher end stuff — like Ethertronics, Mitsumi or Laird — that are really spending time optimizing these solutions. It costs more money but that’s where the world is going to have to go if they want to continue to do what they want to do.”

    BCC Research agrees. The market research firm recently said in a report that smart antennas continue to provide the bulk of the technological impetus that will leave a lasting impact on the antenna industry. Further, the company said that as the industry waits for 5G, antenna vendors are busy perfecting the adoption of smart antenna constructs across power values, operating distances and frequency ranges. They predict the global antenna market should grow from $16.8 billion in 2016 to $22.5 billion by 2021, demonstrating a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.0%. The smart antenna, which BCC said dominates the market, should reach $4.7 billion and $7.6 billion in 2016 and 2021, respectively, reflecting a five-year CAGR of 10.1%.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Akamai: Q4 Internet Speed Up 26% Year over Year

    According to Akamai Technologies’ (NASDAQ:AKAM) “Fourth Quarter, 2016, State of the Internet Report,” global average Internet speed is up 26% year over year, and all key global broadband adoption metrics saw double-digit gains year over year.

    Based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform, the report tracks global Internet statistics such as connection speeds, broadband adoption metrics, disruptions, IPv4 exhaustion and IPv6 implementation. It also tracks trends in the Internet and its usage over time.

    Global Average Connection Speeds and Global Broadband Adoption

    Global average connection speed increased 12% to 7.0 Mbps in the fourth quarter, a 26% increase year over year.
    South Korea again had the highest average connection speed globally at 26.1 Mbps in the fourth quarter.
    At 26.7 Mbps, the District of Columbia led the United States in average connection speed.
    Global 4, 10, 15 and 25 Mbps broadband adoption rates increased 15%, 31%, 37% and 45% year over year, respectively.

    IPv4 and IPv6

    In the fourth quarter of 2016, nearly 807 million unique IPv4 addresses connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform, a 0.4% decrease as compared to the fourth quarter of 2015.
    There was significantly less IPv4 allocation/assignment activity in the fourth quarter, with 6.4 million addresses allocated/assigned vs. 16 million in the third quarter.
    With 47% percent of its content requests to Akamai coming over IPv6, Belgium maintained its global lead in IPv6 adoption with a 20% quarter-over-quarter increase.


    Average mobile connection speeds ranged from a high of 26.8 Mbps in the United Kingdom to a low of 2.9 Mbps in Venezuela.

    Among the qualifying surveyed countries/regions, 30 had an average mobile connection speed at or exceeding the 10 Mbps broadband threshold (up from 24 in the previous quarter), while 58 achieved average speeds at or above the 4 Mbps broadband level (up from 52).

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Public IPv4 drought: Verizon Wireless to stop handing out static addys
    There’s nothing for it but IPv6. And potentially new kit
    Verizon Wireless will soon stop issuing public static IPv4 addresses to its business customers “due to a shortage of available addresses.”

    Instead, it will dish out persistent prefix IPv6 addresses. If you’re a Verizon customer and you need a static public address for an IPv4-only device, you’ll have to replace that hardware with something that’s IPv6 compatible (and not from the tech Stone Age).

    The US carrier has written to customers to inform them of a June 30, 2017 deadline after which it will be IPv6 or bust for those who want to assign anything a fixed public IP address from Verizon Wireless.

    As we’ve often reported, the 32-bit IPv4 address space is finite.

    But it takes work to wrap one’s head around IPv6 and get ready to deploy it, hence continuing enthusiasm for IPv4 and technologies like Network Address Translation (NAT) that tuck devices behind a single address.

    Verizon’s announcement also drops this little bombshell: “In order to reserve new IP addresses, your company will need to convert to the Persistent Prefix IPv6 requirements and implement new Verizon-certified IPv6 devices.”

    Which means organisations with ongoing need for static IP addresses now have the prospect of getting up to speed with IPv6 fast, and then figuring out if they want to run mixed fleets of IPv4-and-IPv6-capable devices.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
    Verizon Wireless expands data cap exemptions to FiOS Mobile App after new FCC chair drops net neutrality probe into the company

    After escaping net neutrality probe, Verizon expands data cap exemptions
    With net neutrality worries gone, FiOS TV goes “data-free” on Verizon Wireless.

    Just a few weeks after escaping a net neutrality investigation into data cap exemptions, Verizon has decided to let its FiOS mobile video stream on its wireless network without counting against data caps.

    Customers who have Verizon FiOS TV at home and a Verizon Wireless smartphone plan can watch TV outside their homes without using up the data allotments on limited mobile plans, the company announced today. Just two months ago, the Federal Communications Commission accused Verizon Wireless of violating net neutrality rules by letting its Go90 video service stream without counting against customers’ data caps as the company charged other video providers for the same data cap exemptions (also known as “zero-rating”). But the FCC’s new Republican leadership rescinded that claim and ended the investigation last month, giving carriers the green light to expand data cap exemptions.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mark Bergen / Bloomberg:
    Tom Moore steps down as Project Loon CEO after six months and is replaced by Alastair Westgarth, former head of wireless antenna company Quintel

    Alphabet Swaps Project Loon Leaders After Six-Month Stint for Latest CEO
    Tom Moore, a satellite veteran recruited in August, is being replaced by Alastair Westgarth

    Tom Moore, a satellite veteran brought in to lead Google’s Project Loon unit, has stepped down after about six months. Alastair Westgarth, who headed wireless antenna company Quintel, is taking the spot.

    The transition comes after the company scaled back an ambitious attempt to build a global communications service by circling the earth with high-altitude balloons.

    “Alastair’s vision for Project Loon aligns with X’s philosophy of approaching huge problems, at scale, to improve the lives of millions or billions of people,”

    X began testing Loon balloons in 2013, working with wireless operators like Vodafone in New Zealand and Telefonica SA in South America. Loon announced partnerships with three Indonesian carriers in late 2015, but has not updated the status of those deals.

    Last month, X invited reporters to its headquarters to unveil changes at Loon. Its engineers had deployed machine learning to improve flight patterns for the balloons, limiting the numbers needed to provide internet coverage. Originally, the project was conceived to create a global network. The new technology meant Loon could launch a small number of balloons over particular regions, accelerating the project’s path to becoming an actual commercial operation, executives said.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why TSN is so Important for Embedded This Year

    A roadblock for the IIoT: non-converged networks

    The solve: time-sensitive networking (TSN)

    Didier: We worked on a way to converge the two successfully, using TSN – which allowed IT and OT data flows to flow together in a converged network undisturbed.

    Three primary capabilities of TSN

    Precise time synchronization: accomplished via a standard of IEEE 802.1as, based on 1588, the precision time protocol that’s been around for about 10 years.

    Traffic scheduling: Combining time synchronization with traffic management, to deliver latency guarantees. Each switch identifies the time-critical data and places it in a special queue. The pitch then forwards each of these packets at very specific times.

    System configuration: Taking a page out of software-defined networking (SDN), this abstracts the network configuration from the end application configuration.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hype Vs. Reality: When Will Internet Of Things Networks Appear?

    If you attended Mobile World Congress last week, as I did, you probably expect to see 5G networks and applications take over the world next week, next month, or at a minimum next year. Under the radar, and if you looked closer, you also saw signs of the new 4G extensions focused on Internet of Things connectivity, LTE-NB1 (formerly NB-IoT) and LTE-M1, which seem to be on this “same” timeline. In the world of IoT, 5G as well as LTE-NB and LTE-M, are critical to carriers being able to offer connectivity options tailored for IoT applications at acceptable price-points, to really make the magic of every device being connected a reality.

    The truth is that developing and deploying new network standards is not an easy task. It takes time to specify, develop, test and deploy new networks. It takes even more time for the hardware and software ecosystem that uses the networks to evolve. Standards development is a messy business, with many large multi-national enterprises involved putting billions of dollars on the line.

    5G, LTE-M1 and LTE-NB1 have all made great strides in the last year, but the truth is we have a long, long way to go before these technologies are fully deployed and able to produce significant IoT revenues for the companies involved.

    5G, though gaining the majority of the press, and probably all the marketing, is much further off than either LTE-M or LTE-NB.

    5G will require a significant upgrade of the current LTE network. In addition, it’s about more than IoT / data. It’s also about upgrading the network for voice and video, and these two items have distinctly different characteristics than much of the IoT data. Given this fact, we may see 5G data deployed in pieces with 5G data available prior to 5G for handsets and voice/video connectivity.

    I don’t expect to see massive 5G deployments until 2020 and later—and that may be optimistic.

    LTE-M and LTE-NB, on the other hand, are built on top of the current LTE infrastructure, making them a simpler (though by no means simple) upgrade to the existing network. Though both of these technologies are targeted at IoT applications, LTE-M has higher performance, supports voice and is better suited to mobile applications, such as asset tracking. LTE-NB is lower performance and cost and is targeted more at simpler and non-moving applications, like water meters. Both technologies are in trials now, with LTE-M slightly ahead

    I expect 2017 and 2018 to be primarily years of network deployment, with 2019 and on when we will really see applications attached to these networks.

    Always remember that when it comes to 5G, LTE-NB and LTE-M, what you hear is always dependent on who you’re hearing it from. Each player has an agenda and is looking to monetize these new networks ASAP, as well as being labeled the technology leader.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What are the Differences Between LTE-M and NB-IoT Cellular Protocols?

    Chief Innovator Rob Faludi, explains two new protocols for cellular communication and how these low bandwidth protocols are different. Watch this video to determine if LTE-M or NB-IoT is ideal for your IoT application.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Michael Liedtke / Associated Press:
    On February 1, Verizon sought a $925M discount on Yahoo purchase, before settling for a $350M price cut, according to a regulatory filing

    Verizon sought $925 million penalty for Yahoo’s lax security

    erizon initially thought the biggest data breaches in internet history merited a $925 million discount on its acquisition of Yahoo’s online services, nearly three times more than the two companies finally agreed upon.

    Yahoo disclosed new details about its negotiations with Verizon in a regulatory filing Monday. The filing doesn’t say why Verizon relented on its original demand, issued on Feb. 1. Verizon ultimately accepted Yahoo’s offer to trim the sale price by $350 million instead.

    The companies struck a $4.83 billion deal last July, but re-opened talks after Yahoo revealed that personal information had been stolen from more than 1 billion of its users in two separate hacking attacks in 2013 and 2014. The discount reflect concerns that people might decrease their use of Yahoo email and other digital services that Verizon is buying, reducing opportunities to show ads.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tower companies feel healthy, but looming wireless carrier consolidation fuels ‘muted’ outlook: Report

    Companies such as Crown Castle and American Tower have long been the foundation of the U.S. wireless industry, but Cowen and Company said in January that they’ve become “everyone’s punching bag” as operators increasingly look to small cells, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and other architectures to densify their networks ahead of 5G deployments.

    Tower companies healthy, but consolidation questions loom amid ‘muted’ outlook

    The tower industry looks healthy heading into the second quarter, according to analysts, but the cloud of potential consolidation among wireless carriers continues to loom over the segment.

    Companies such as Crown Castle and American Tower have long been the foundation of the U.S. wireless industry, but Cowen and Company said in January that they’ve become “everyone’s punching bag” as operators increasingly look to small cells, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and other architectures to densify their networks ahead of 5G deployments. And carriers invested significantly less in their networks last year than investors had expected as they tightened their belts amid an extremely competitive wireless market.

    “In the print, we indeed saw muted carrier spending and conservative guides,”

    Network spending is expected to ramp up if—as expected—AT&T wins the FirstNet contract, giving it the right to provide the nation’s first broadband network dedicated to public safety. But the nation’s second-largest carrier is beginning to take a more holistic look at its network needs, Wells Fargo Securities suggested, and winning the FirstNet contract may not benefit the traditional tower companies as much as it would first appear.

    “(W)e still get the sense AT&T is actively seeking out new relationships on the wireless infrastructure side with more of an integrated bend,” Jennifer Fritzsche of Wells Fargo wrote in a research note. “

    Indeed, AT&T’s new strategy of playing hardball with its longtime tower partners is already paying dividends

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    VNAs Prove to be Essential Tools for 5G Communications

    The ultimate success of next-generation 5G communication systems will rely heavily on the measurement capabilities of vector network analyzers.

    Vector network analyzers (VNAs) are general-purpose measurement instruments that can be used in a wide variety of applications. A perfect example is exemplified in their role in the 5G space, which has become hotbed of activity for VNAs.

    To achieve the data rates desired for 5G communications, it is critical that the channels through which the data is passed do not constrain or degrade the data rate. While the information being conveyed is digital, the signals are fundamentally analog. As data rates increase, analog behavior becomes more critical.

    VNAs are excellent tools for measuring signal integrity and diagnosing issues when data rates fall short of expectations. For example, VNAs are good for analyzing real-world channel defects, like exceeded tolerances on printed-circuit-board (PCB) artwork, as well as plating and dielectric thickness variations. They are able to evaluate connector performance, construction, and how well connectors are mounted. VNAs can also analyze multi-layer PCB stackups and find imperfect vias or ground-plane issues.

    Converting frequency measurements to the time domain, VNAs can even measure the distance to a fault to pinpoint where issues occur. Some VNAs, such as the Anritsu ShockLine MS46500B series, offer an Advanced Time Domain option that enables signal-integrity engineers to measure parameters such as time-domain reflection (TDR), time-domain transmission (TDT), and crosstalk. Furthermore, these analyzers are able to display an eye diagram based on simulated data being transmitted over a measured channel.

    When combined with a well-characterized optical modulator or photodiode, VNAs can determine the transfer function of optical transmitters, receivers, and transceivers, including key parameters such as bandwidth, flatness, phase linearity, and group delay.

    Testing 5G Base-Station Components

    At the base station, unparalleled performance will be required of 5G radios and their RF components. Getting the most out of these components requires a deeper understanding of their behavior. VNAs are used to make measurements as early in the design process as the wafer stage, where S-parameter measurements can be conducted on devices to ensure expected performance or build device models.

    VNAs that cover frequency ranges from 70 kHz to 145 GHz in a single coaxial connection and utilize a wide range of standard embedding/de-embedding techniques allow signal-integrity engineers to realize the most accurate device models.

    The move to microwave and millimeter-wave frequencies will require many more cell sites to account for the greater path losses at these frequencies.

    Combined with historically more expensive microwave and millimeter-wave instrumentation, there is a need for dramatic reductions in cost for measurement equipment, such as VNAs. As a result, dedicated cost-effective VNAs have emerged

    To achieve 5G’s required data rates, many infrastructure companies are employing multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) technologies with antenna systems employing large numbers of array elements, known as massive MIMO. This poses challenges for VNAs, which have been historically used to characterize antenna systems.

    To address this issue, there has been an emergence of small microwave/millimeter-wave measurement modules tethered to a base VNA model to get closer to the devices-under-test (DUTs).

    VNAs are an essential tool for enabling 5G communication systems. They can be used in applications ranging from data-center signal-integrity measurements, through characterization of the devices and components incorporated in fiber connectivity and millimeter-wave radios in next-generation base stations, to OTA measurements required to address massive-MIMO technologies.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Map Of Wireless Passwords From Airports And Lounges Around The World (Updated Regularly)

    Finding an open wireless connection in many airports isn’t always easy, or possible, without a password (or local phone number which is stupid). The difficulty of getting online is why I asked you for and created an always-up-to-date list of airport wireless passwords around the world. You’ve been sending me your tips regularly and I post on the foXnoMad Facebook page when there’s a new password or airport added.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tech Talk: Ethernet
    The economics of rightsizing communications in the enterprise.

    Marvell’s CEO talks about the rising cost of design and why new packaging approaches are essential.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    These engineers think infrared lasers ‘must replace’ data center wiring

    Eliminating a “tangled Christmas tree lights” wiring scenario in data centers is imperative and can be achieved with infrared, reckons an academic network engineering team. Infrared lasers should be installed on the top of data center racks and be used to transmit information. It would be far superior and cheaper than fiber-optic, and it would be better than attempted, but lacking, radio signaling.

    Radio doesn’t work, says Mohsen Kavehrad, the W. L. Weiss Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering at Penn State and one of the [team's] developers, in an article on the school’s website.

    Radio, in millimeter spectrum, an alternative to fiber-optic wires, has an issue in that the signals get unmanageable quickly. “The beams become wide over short distances,” Kavehrad says. That results in inadequate throughput, he says.

    The way to handle increasing complexity in data centers is to simplify the communications. And you do that with flexible infrared “free-space” lasers, Kavehrad says. Buildings should be able to be a mile long, yet allow each rack to individually communicate with another.

    Infrared lasers must replace data center wiring, say engineers
    Using infrared lasers instead of fiber optics or radio signaling improves data center communications, and it can help data centers reduce power costs

    Eliminating a “tangled Christmas tree lights” wiring scenario in data centers is imperative and can be achieved with infrared, reckons an academic network engineering team.

    Infrared lasers should be installed on the top of data center racks and be used to transmit information. It would be far superior and cheaper than fiber optic, and it would be better than attempted, but lacking, radio signaling.

    Radio doesn’t work

    Radio, in millimeter spectrum, an alternative to fiber-optic wires, has an issue in that the signals get unmanageable quickly. “The beams become wide over short distances,” Kavehrad says. That results in inadequate throughput, he says.

    The way to handle increasing complexity in data centers is to simplify the communications. And you do that with flexible infrared “free-space” laser, Kavehrad says. Buildings should be able to be a mile long, yet allow each rack to individually communicate with another.

    That beam is not susceptible to interference like radio; there aren’t any limits to the number of servers and racks that can be connected. And it has high, uninterruptable throughput—the laser won’t be interrupted by humans walking around because it’s placed on the top of the cabinets.

    “Human interference is minimal because the racks are more than 6.5 feet high, so most workers can walk between the rows of racks without breaking the laser beams,” the Penn State article says.

    The existing standard—fiber—is a hindrance to flexible data centers, the team says. It’s too cumbersome.

    The researchers say fiber-optic cable not only begins to resemble jumbled, stored Christmas lights over time, but it causes bottlenecks. Those choke points slow the whole system down.

    Rising power costs make cutting data center power usage critical

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Infrared links could simplify data center communications

    Data centers are the central point of many, if not most, information systems today, but the masses of wires interconnecting the servers and piled high on racks begins to resemble last year’s tangled Christmas-tree lights disaster. Now a team of engineers is proposing to eliminate most of the wires and substitute infrared free-space optics for communications.

    “We and others tried radio frequency signaling, but the beams become wide over short distances,” said Mohsen Kavehrad, W. L. Weiss Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering, Penn State. “The buildings could be a mile long and every rack should be able to communicate.”

    “We use a free space optical link,” Kavehrad told attendees today (Jan. 31) at Photonics West 2017 in San Francisco. “It uses a very inexpensive lens, we get a very narrow infrared beam with zero interference and no limit to the number of connections with high throughput.”

    The Free-space optical Inter-Rack nEtwork with high FLexibilitY — or Firefly — architecture is a joint project of Penn State, Stony Brook University and Carnegie Mellon University. It would use infrared lasers and receivers mounted on top of data center racks to transmit information. The laser modules are rapidly reconfigurable to acquire a target on any rack. Human interference is minimal because the racks are more than 6.5 feet high so most workers can walk between the rows of racks without breaking the laser beams.

    According to Kavehrad, data centers may house 400,000 servers on racks filling a mile-long room.

    Kavehrad estimates that by 2020, data centers will use a total of 140 billion kilowatts of electricity per hour, or the equivalent of $13 billion worth of electricity at today’s rate — the output of 50 power plants.

    While fiber-optic cabling and energy expenditure for idle servers are problems, throughput is more critical. When hundreds of cables merge into a few, data transfer bottlenecks form that reduce the speed at which the data center can deliver information. A flexible, configurable system can reduce bottlenecks and even the number of servers needed.

    The researchers have designed the Firefly architecture, but it is not yet implemented. They have created a simplified, proof-of-concept system to show that their infrared laser can carry the signal and target the receiver. They are transmitting wavelength division multiplexed — multiple signals sent by different colored lights — bi-directional data streams each carrying data at a transmission rate of 10 Gigabits per second from a Bit Error Rate (BER) test set. BER testing determines the number of errors in a signal caused by interference, noise, distortion or sychronization problems.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    TE Connectivity unveils ‘Sliver’ internal cabled interconnects for DC servers, switching, routers, storage up to 25G

    TE Connectivity (TE), a specialist in connectivity and sensors, recently announced the launch of its new Sliver internal cabled interconnects, which the company says “provide one of the most flexible solutions in the market for making internal input/output (I/O) connections on the board.” According to TE, “this new technology simplifies design and helps lower overall costs by eliminating the need for re-timers and costlier, lower-loss printed circuit board (PCB) materials, while reaching speeds up to 25 gigabits per second (Gbps) with the use of TE high speed cable.

    “Our new Sliver internal cabled interconnect system has been enthusiastically adopted by our initial customers as a solution to data rate increase challenges,” commented Melissa Knox, product manager of Data and Devices at TE Connectivity. “It is a flexible, robust, and cost effective connector and cable assembly solution providing improved performance and extended reach while also saving space and lowering design costs for a range of data rate signals within data networking applications.”

    “TE’s Sliver products can be used across many applications, data rates, and protocols (including PCI Express, SAS, and Ethernet). There are several interconnectivity options, including chip-to-chip, board-to-board, chip-to-front panel I/O, and high-speed card edge. It is a scalable platform that can be extended in increments of eight differential signal pairs for convenient and efficient pin configurations.”

    “The new Sliver internal cabled interconnects also solve the design challenge of making products as small as possible with a 0.6mm contact pitch.”

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Direct-connect termination method to be recognized in TIA-568 standard document

    During its February 2017 meeting, the TIA TR-42.7 subcommittee, which establishes standards related to twisted-pair cabling systems, agreed it will include the connection method sometimes call “direct-connect” in a normative annex to the TIA-568.2-D standard. Using this connection method, the cabling installer terminates horizontal twisted-pair cable to a plug. TR-42.7 is using the term “modular plug terminated link” in the current draft of 568.2-D.

    The TIA-568.2-D document is still several steps away from approval and publication, but the inclusion of the modular plug terminated link is a noteworthy milestone.

    “What does that mean? Now, RJ45 modular plugs can be terminated directly onto horizontal cabling and measured in the field. This allows a variety of devices, such as wireless access points, surveillance cameras and HDBase-T monitors, to be plugged without the need for an outlet and a patch cord.”

    Tellas further explained: “ANSI/TIA-568-C.2 currently requires horizontal cable to be terminated on a telecommunications outlet to provide flexible user access. But TIA also realizes that, in certain cases, there is a need to terminate horizontal cables to a plug that is directly plugged into a device. Direct-connect assembly uses a single cable to connect a device at one end; the other cable end is terminated with a jack in a patch panel in the telecommunications room. This allows for efficient power delivery with the lowest channel insertion loss and gives installers the flexibility to eliminate the need for a jack and cord to connect devices.”

    Video demonstrates how to direct attach a modular plug to a horizontal cable

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The 5 most pressing data center trends

    The following are the five most current trends Baxter and his data center engineering team at Page see emerging:

    1. The cloud – “More enterprise-level users are migrating their information technology (IT) portfolios to the cloud,” says Baxter. “Even functions such as high-performance computing (HPC), which owners previously were adamant about keeping in-house, are moving to cloud vendors specializing in HPC applications.”

    2. Edge data centers – “Latency concerns can be overcome by building data centers closer to the end user, or the edge of the network,” notes Baxter. “The facilities are much more compact, repeatable and cost-efficient—sometimes, they are as small as a single rack.”

    3. PUEs leveling out – Baxter asserts how “in a never-ending quest to reduce electricity operating costs through more efficient mechanical design, owners are focusing more than ever on innovative solutions. But it is becoming a cycle of diminishing returns: Facility designs below 1.5 power usage effectiveness (PUE) are common…”

    4. Smart reliability – “If there is an equipment failure, today’s resilient networks and software provide much of the reliability by rolling over data to another server or to a geographically isolated facility,” notes Baxter. “Also, clients now make more informed decisions about how much reliability they really need. They are no longer building one-size-fits-all facilities and are opting to have varying levels of reliability within the same facility.”

    5. EMP/IEMI – Page’s Baxter explains, “Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and/or intentional electromagnetic interference (IEMI) attacks are discussed more and more. This has been especially true on facilities that are deemed critical to public safety and health, either by the government or other regulatory agencies.”

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cornell University has developed a radio technology that promises to revolutionize all wireless communications. A single chip can be used for signal reception of its broadcasting.

    Signal reception and transmission of the same circuit is a big challenge, because the transmitted signal is significantly greater efficacy.

    The easiest way is to make the transmitter and receiver separately. Molnar, however, the team developed a technique by which the same circuit can both send and receive signals in different frequency ranges and different methods (FDD and TDD).

    Molnar transmitter is actually composed of six sub-transmiiters, which are connected to the same signal transmission line. Each transmitter transmits data at regular intervals, but the output power is programmed so that the desired frequency antenna, while the receiver end to drain off.

    The programmability allows the transmitters, the radio signals to generate a desired frequency. The circuit operates as an amplifier and a filter in the other direction in the other direction, so that the incoming and outgoing signal do not interfere with each other. Filters rather than isolation of signals is done digitally.


    Two-way radio on a single chip

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Engineers devise two-way radio on a single chip

    Two-way communication requires, of course, both send and receive capabilities. But putting them in the same device requires a filter between the send and receive circuits to provide signal isolation.

    Without a significant filter, communication would be impossible.

    “Your transmit signal is 10^14 times stronger than your receive signal,” said Alyosha Molnar, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE). “That’s 100 trillion times stronger – that’s a really hard problem.”

    Their work is described in “A wideband fully integrated software-defined transceiver for FDD and TDD operation,” published online Jan. 27 in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Journal of Solid-State Circuits. Doctoral student Hazal Yüksel and Dong Yang, Ph.D. ’15, are co-lead authors.

    Their idea lies in the transmitter – actually a series of six subtransmitters all hooked into an artificial transmission line. Each sends its signal at regular intervals, and their individually weighted outputs are programmed so that they combine to produce a radio frequency signal in the forward direction, at the antenna port, while canceling out at the receive port.

    The programmability of the individual outputs allows this simultaneous summation and cancellation to be tuned across a wide range of frequencies, and to adjust to signal strength at the antenna.

    “In one direction, it’s a filter and you basically get this cancellation,” Apsel said. “And in the other direction, it’s an amplifier.”

    “You put the antenna at one end and the amplified signal goes out the antenna, and you put the receiver at the other end and that’s where the nulling happens,” Molnar said. “Your receiver sees the antenna through this wire, the transmission line, but it doesn’t see the transmit signal because it’s canceling itself out at that end.”

    “This wire is a fairly broadband structure,” Molnar said. “And the thing you do to make it work over a wide range of frequencies is just control those different subgains of the transmitters, to make this cancellation always happen.”

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Testbed Pushes Forward on Time-Sensitive Networking

    Driven by an overarching goal of interoperability for machine and automation control components, one of the biggest trends in automation and control for 2017 is the emergence of Time-Sensitive Networking technology.

    Driven by an overarching goal of interoperability for machine and automation control components, one of the biggest trends in automation and control for 2017 is the emergence of Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) technology. This is a story that we will continue to follow as it unfolds because of its far-reaching impact on how automation and motion controllers could be evolving moving forward.

    In a new testbed report on the Industrial Internet Consortium website , titled “Results, Insights and Best Practices from IIC Testbeds: Time-Sensitive Networking Testbed,” the working group reports on its progress with testing of early prototypes that have implemented TSN.

    A group of a dozen or so leading automation and control suppliers announced late in 2016 that they intend to support the developing TSN standards, and developing new products based on the technology. Suppliers are working in conjunction with both the Industrial Internet Consortium and the AVnu Alliance , and pledged allegiance to the goal of developing product solutions based on this technology including as TSN Testbed partners currently focused on the technical aspects of technical development.

    These three key capabilities form the core of TSN:
    1. Time synchronization: A distributed, precise sense of time is a base requirement for distributed automation and control.
    2. Sending scheduled traffic flows: Based on a precise sense of time, network infrastructure must be capable of forwarding critical automation and control traffic on a timely basis. This is considered an enhancement to the quality-of-service capabilities in most network infrastructures.
    3. Central, automated system configuration: Recently, a key trend in networking has been software-defined networking which enables automated, easier configuration. Software-defined networking is particularly important for TSN

    Testbed lead, Paul Didier of Cisco, states that standard Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)-based equipment can plug into an Ethernet system using TSN.

    “Absolutely. It’s a key requirement to be backward compatible. That’s the whole point, it’s the next version of Internet technologies – Ethernet in particular. You can plug in any device and conventional communication will still work and it will co-exist with this critical automation and control traffic that we’ll have going on. That is the key: we are converging this critical control traffic onto a network that is used by a video camera, Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone, or any other TCP/UDP (User Datagram Protocol) device that you may find in the manufacturing facility. It is by no means required to be a TSN device to connect, but clearly the devices that are TSN capable will benefit from more deterministic service.”

    Specifically, the testbed is looking to influence two Ethernet standards: IEEE 802.1 and IEEE 802.3. All TSN testbed work is filtered to Avnu, a standards organization developing the interoperability and certification based on IEEE’s TSN. And through Avnu, it is channeled back into IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why are creepy SS7 cellphone spying flaws still unfixed after years, ask Congresscritters
    And why won’t the NSA open up about Section 702 spying?

    Two of the most technically literate US politicians want to know why America’s Homeland Security is dragging its feet over SS7 security flaws in our mobile phone networks.

    The Signaling System 7 protocol is used to, among other things, interconnect cellphone networks. It was developed in the 1980s and has virtually no security defenses built in. Exploiting its design weaknesses to obtain a victim’s location, harvest their messages, and listen in on calls was demonstrated in 2014 – although, like similar attacks, it requires access to a telco’s internal infrastructure.

    That raises the barrier of entry for attackers, but not high enough to shut out state-level spies, determined miscreants with similar resources, or corrupt insiders. It essentially means, for example, a carrier in Africa or the Middle East could compromise networks in Europe and America, and vice-versa.

    Last year, a security firm successfully demonstrated how SS7 could be manipulated using a low-cost Linux-based computer and a publicly available SDK – although, again, you need to be inside the telecoms infrastructure to do this [white paper PDF p5].

    Speaking of spying

    Senator Wyden also took to the floor of the US Senate today to ask why he’s still waiting to find out how many Americans have been caught up in the surveillance dragnet being run by the NSA, six years after he first asked for the information.


  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smart Home: $20 Threshold, Lingering Privacy Concerns

    According to Parks Associates, 50% of U.S. broadband households surveyed consider $20 or more per month for a comprehensive smart home service to be a good value. More than 26 million U.S. households own at least one smart home device, which represents a 35% increase from the beginning of 2016. However, privacy concerns remain a barrier to wider adoption.

    “The key challenge in today’s smart home market is to move adoption beyond the early market and achieve mass adoption,”

    adoption rate of smart home products increasing from 19% of U.S. broadband households at the end of 2015 to 26%

    “Almost half of consumers rank privacy as their greatest concern about connecting devices to the Internet, and 40% have experienced a privacy or security problem with a connected device in the past year.”

    This market trend is a significant barrier to IoT development

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    TIA approves TSB-184-A cabling standard for support of four-pair remote powering

    The set of specifications that will provide guidance for enterprises deploying direct-current (DC) power to network devices over all four pairs of a twisted-pair copper cable will soon be available for purchase as a completed document. In February, the Telecommunications Industry Association’s (TIA) TR-42.7 Telecommunications Copper Cabling Systems Subcommittee resolved all outstanding comments related to, and approved for publication, Telecommunications System Bulletin TSB-184-A Guidelines for Supporting Power Delivery Over Balanced Twisted-Pair Cabling.

    The TSB-184-A document is the culmination of years of study and effort by the TR-42.7 subcommittee in cooperation with other standards-development organizations—particularly including the IEEE as it has developed the forthcoming 802.3bt, which is commonly referred to as “four-pair Power over Ethernet.”

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    TIA approves lime green as identifying color for OM5 fiber-optic cable

    In Octber 2016, the international cabling standards development body ISO/IEC (International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission) decided that the nomenclature to be used for wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF) is OM5. In February 2017, a subcommittee within the Telecommunications Industry Association’s (TIA) TR-42 committee (which develops cabling standards primarily used in North America) decided that the jacket color used to visually identify OM5 cable will be lime green.

    TIA’s TR-42.12 Optical Fibers and Cables subcommittee approved lime green as the OM5 jacket color in the committee’s meeting that took place the week of February 6. At that time it also approved a project to develop Addendum 2 to the TIA-598-D standard. That addendum will make lime green the official OM5 jacket color.

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Direct-connect termination method to be recognized in TIA-568 standard document

    During its February 2017 meeting, the TIA TR-42.7 subcommittee, which establishes standards related to twisted-pair cabling systems, agreed it will include the connection method sometimes call “direct-connect” in a normative annex to the TIA-568.2-D standard. Using this connection method, the cabling installer terminates horizontal twisted-pair cable to a plug. TR-42.7 is using the term “modular plug terminated link” in the current draft of 568.2-D.

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The high-data-rate wait for Category 8

    If the high-data-rate applications 25 and 40GBASE-T can be compared to high-performance automobiles, and the cabling systems upon which they’ll run can be compared to highways, then the current state of the technological market is that the plans for those highways have been approved. There are no actual highways built yet, but that’s not holding up the process, because there also are no high-performance automobiles ready to race up and down them. Such is the status of Category 8 cabling systems and 25/40GBASE-T Ethernet systems.

    The “plans have been approved” analogy refers to the respective standards for these technologies.

    In June the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) approved the Category 8 specs, ANSI/TIA-568-C.2-1. Very shortly thereafter the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) approved the 25/40GBase-T specifications, officially titled 802.3bq Standard for Ethernet Amendment: Physical Layer and Management Parameters for 25 Gb/s and 40 Gb/s Operation, Types 25GBASE-T and 40GBASE-T. The development of each standard was a multiple-year process.

    “Category 8 cabling quadruples the specified bandwidth of balanced twisted-pair cabling from 500 MHz to 2000 MHz. This quadrupling of cabling bandwidth is utilized by the 40GBASE-T application to quadruple the previous maximum BASE-T data rate of 10 GB to a new maximum of 40 GB. he higher data rate was achieved while preserving backward compatibility, standardized RJ45 interfaces and cabling that is very similar to previous categories in size and installation practices. These higher data rates are supported over a maximum reach of 30 meters of cabling with two connections sufficient to serve a row of 20 cabinets or racks in equipment rooms or data centers.”

    When the IEEE 802.3bq specifications were under development, Siemon, in its Standards Informant blog, characterized the upcoming 25G application as “one to watch” in a post titled “25GBASE-T to optimize migration to 40GBASE-T.”

    “Category 8 Ethernet cable will play a major role in meeting today’s burgeoning needs for high-speed communications, whether in the data center, voice, video or other high-bandwidth applications that run on copper cable for distances up to 30 meters,”

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cabling standards task group exploring 28-AWG patch cords

    The Telecommunications Industry Association’s TR-42.7 Telecommunications Copper Cabling Systems Subcommittee recently established a task group to study the characteristics of twisted-pair patch cords with 28-AWG conductors.

    The current TIA standard governing twisted-pair copper cabling systems, TIA-568-C.2, includes the requirement: “Cord cable shall consist of four balanced twisted-pairs of 22 AWG to 26 AWG thermoplastic insulated solid or stranded conductors enclosed by a thermoplastic jacket.”

    The higher the AWG number, the smaller the diameter of the conductor. So 28-AWG conductors are smaller than what the standard permits. If 28-AWG cords are used in channels, users can follow a de-rating method to determine the appropriate length (less than 100 meters) of the channel.

    In an article we published in September 2015, titled “Applications for 28-AWG twisted-pair cabling systems,” Panduit senior product manager Thomas Baum explained, “TIA-5789-C specifies a maximum 100-meter length channel for copper cabling, which comprises 90 meters of permanent link cabling (typically solid cable) and a total of 10 meters of patch cabling. If you use 28-AWG patch cabling, you must adhere to a de-rating factor that reduces the maximum channel length achievable.”

    He further explained by way of these examples: “If your goal is to maintain the 90-meter permanent link, a total of 6 meters of 28-AWG patch cord can be used, for a 96-meter channel length.”

    Despite noncompliance with TIA standards, 28-AWG cords have been shown to provide certain benefits, many of which relate to cable management as well as the use of rack space and telecom-room space.

    Applications for 28-AWG twisted-pair cabling systems

  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ethernet Alliance lights path to next Ethernet era with OFC 2017 multi-booth demo

    The Ethernet Alliance, a global consortium dedicated to the continued success and advancement of Ethernet technologies, today unveiled details of its live, interactive OFC 2017 demo. Featuring one of the largest numbers of participating member companies ever, the Ethernet Alliance’s interoperability demo emphasizes the full spectrum of Ethernet speeds from 1 Gigabit (1G) to 400 Gigabit (400G) and features a live 400G demo interconnecting to four discrete member booths.

    As the role of optics in Ethernet is undeniable, the Ethernet Alliance’s OFC 2017 multivendor demo showcases a broad array of optical technologies, featuring 400G optics and form factors, cabling, and other emerging fiber innovations. The organization’s display encompasses two demonstrations, one focusing on a wide range of solutions ranging from 1G to 100G.

    “This demo is much more than merely hooking up PHYs – it’s a true representation of the disruptive transformations taking place at every level of the Ethernet ecosystem. With member company participation among the highest it has ever been in Ethernet Alliance history, we have everything from interoperable real-world products available for immediate deployment, to forward-looking 400G technologies that will be the cornerstone of tomorrow’s high-speed networks, to state-of-the-art test and measurement tools needed for validating a new generation of links and devices,” said David J. Rodgers, board member and OFC 2017 technical lead, Ethernet Alliance; and senior product marketing manager, Teledyne LeCroy. “Our 400G demonstration highlights how IEEE 802.3 standards facilitate interoperability, even at the pre-ratification stage. It’s another proof-point of Ethernet’s capacity to just plug in and perform as expected.”

    “OFC 2017 marks the arrival of the first-generation of 400GE pluggable transceiver modules offered in the MSA based CFP8 form-factor. Our CFP8 demonstration, which stretches between the Ethernet Alliance and Finisar booths, highlights the fast-paced progress being made across the industry in readiness for deployment of 400GE products. Broad participation at OFC 2017 clearly demonstrates that the all-important ecosystem, to drive widespread adoption of 400G, stretching across Module and IC vendors as well as equipment manufacturers has been established.” – Mark Ives, director, product line management, Finisar

    “Molex proudly supports the Ethernet Alliance and its mission to advance Ethernet technologies. Innovation and industry collaboration are vital to the development of each new generation of interoperable interfaces, modules, and protocols. The release of the QSFP-DD form factor specification by a 50 member MSA represents a significant milestone that will usher in high-density, high-speed networking solutions up to 400 Gbps.” – Scott Sommers, group product manager, Molex

    “Panduit is excited to contribute to Ethernet Alliance’s interoperability and 400G demonstrations as a trusted provider of network cabling and infrastructure products.”

    “Xilinx is pleased to be part of the multi-vendor 400GE interoperability demonstration by contributing our Virtex UltraScale VU9P device with 400GE MAC and PCS IP on the VCU140 development platform with a CFP8 optical module. This demonstrates the impending release of the 400GbE standard which will enable numerous applications such as datacenter interconnect platforms for higher bandwidth capacity, next-generation switch and router high density line cards with newer optical modules, and high-end OTN transponders for more efficient optical infrastructure networks.” – Farhad Shafai, vice president, communications markets, Xilinx

  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nokia to split the current Mobile Networks Business Group into two separate units: Mobile Networks focuses on products and solutions, and Global Services focuses on services.

    “The aim of these changes is to accelerate the implementation of our strategy,”


  47. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Endface contamination will degrade your fiber network

    Since the first commercial installations in the 1970s, the deployment of fiber-optic communication technologies has risen at an astounding rate. Fiber-optic capabilities have become so pervasive and so enabling that this technology truly has become the heart of our modern digital age. Just like a human heart, reliability is not just a “nice to have” – it is essential. Networks are expected to work seamlessly the first time, every time, all the time. This will rarely be the case without proper cleaning. Dirty fiber will impact and degrade the performance of the network.

    For the optical signal to transmit and be received with minimal signal loss, ferrule endfaces must be completely clean of contaminants. One of the most basic procedures for the maintenance of fiber-optic systems is to clean the fiber-optic connector endface. The cleaning processes widely used in the field have not kept pace with the demands of the technology. A study by HTI Martin Technical Research Survey of 89 network owners and contractors looked at network failures and found the following.

    80 percent of network owners and 98 percent of network contractors have experienced fiber failures during the installation process.
    82 percent of network owners and 92 percent of network contractors use isopropyl alcohol (IPA) as the cleaning agent.
    12 percent of network owners and 30 percent of network contractors use compressed air for cleaning.

    This huge proportion of people experiencing fiber failure is, in my mind, greatly due to a lack of understanding about fiber contamination.

    Dust can come from a variety of sources, many of which are not obvious.

    Because dust particles are so small, dust can be locked into place on and endface by an electrostatic charge. This can have a huge and deleterious effect on performance of the fiber.

    The risk of network impairment from contamination means the use of a ferrule scope is a good investment. It is important to select a ferrule scope that has good resolution with 200/400x magnification. The better-performing ferrule scopes come with automated inspection and analysis software that is set to the pass/fail standards in IEC 61300-3-35.

    Electrostatic charge: Fiber’s worst enemy

    Electrostatic charge is the invisible enemy. Any time there is contact friction – such as wiping an endface with a dry wipe – an electrostatic charge is generated.

    But because the components of a fiber connector are made of nonconductive materials – usually plastic, ceramics, glass and epoxies – the electrostatic charge does not have a dissipate; there is no path to ground. The charge will remain on the connector endface indefinitely and the particulate will remain locked in place until the endface is cleaned thoroughly and properly.

    The most common effect of contamination on an endface is insertion loss; the light is blocked and the signal is lost. But the complete story is more complex.

    Wet or dry?

    Traditional cleaning methods simply are not ideal to achieve contamination-free endfaces on modern, high-speed networks. Dry cleaning with a wipe or swab, as previously explained, will generate static and attract debris to the endface. It may also not be strong enough to lift some oils and grease from the endface.

    Alcohol is sub-optimal as well. Many engineers use IPA to clean their fiber but all alcohol molecules are hygroscopic. IPA has a strong affinity for water
    That moisture can cause cross-contamination.

    The use of canned air may seem effective, but this method actually pushes dust around the ports and onto the endface, rather than removing it. Dry cleaning tools work, but they need to be used in combination with a wet-clean method.

    Difficult-to-remove contamination like grease only can be eliminated with the use of a solvent.


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