Friday, 31 October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 25 October 2014

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

Sunday, 19 October 2014

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

AlcaLu likes to criticise novel communication infrastructure such as Project Loon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 17 October 2014

5G gets United Nations approval

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

5G tested at 28 GHz by Samsung

Samsung stakes claim on 5G speed record.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 10 October 2014

White space 800 MHz cellular wireless technology may emerge in 2015

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 9 October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Mesh Network Topology

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Europe at forefront of 5G mobile infrastructure play

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

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

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

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

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