Are you Ready for 5G?

By: Jesse Cryderman

For a writer who has covered telecom over the past five years, the buzz around 5G can provoke more than a little déjà vu, and I’m sure those who have reported on the space for more than a decade feel a double dose. Just a few years ago, 4G was the next big thing, even though it wasn’t clear which flavor of the technology would predominate. But, in fact, the shift to 4G did happen, it happened quickly, and it is still happening. Mobile networks haven’t evolved to 4G quite like anyone predicted—in fact, it took years for the industry to define 4G and settle on standards…

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Transforming the Network and the Planet

By: Jesse Cryderman

When Facebook reported its energy use in 2013, most writers and analysts focused on the company’s use of sustainable energy alternatives, its collaboration with the Open Compute Project, and its carbon footprint. However, a comparison with 2012 usage reveals a surprising fact: Facebook consumed 33 percent more energy in 2013 than it did in 2012. Turns out that all those likes and photos and comments and check-ins have a substantial material cost. What’s more, Zuckerberg’s modern money machine uses more coal and gas than every other energy source combined…

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The Copper Conundrum for Fixed Broadband Operators

By: Stefaan Vanhastel

In July, Alcatel-Lucent’s research arm, Bell Labs, set a new broadband speed record using ordinary copper telephone lines. With a prototype technology called XG-FAST – essentially an extension of that uses more frequencies – Bell Labs achieved the amazing speed of 10 Gbps over two bonded copper pairs. But, more importantly, â€¦

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Fixing a One-Way Relationship with Fiber: The Asymmetry Problem

By: Jesse Cryderman

Copper and coax have a data relationship problem—data doesn’t move at the same speeds in both directions. This inherent asymmetry is why service providers pitch their download speeds, and not their upload speeds. In extreme cases, such as AT&T Uverse, the difference between download and upload  speeds can be 20X. That’s a pretty unbalanced relationship by anyone’s standards. It also is increasingly out of touch with today’s use cases in both the consumer and enterprise markets…

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Helping Your LTE Network Fly to New Heights with Better Service Assurance

By: Sergio Zveibil

One of the greatest accomplishments of the Golden Age of Aviation occurred on September 28, 1924, when the “Chicago” and the “New Orleans” completed the world’s first airborne circumnavigation. When the planes landed in Seattle, completing a 175-day journey, Major General Charles G. Norton said that the flight was, “brilliant proof of expert flying and mechanical ability.”To an experienced aviator, Norton’s assessment would ring true. But, to the average American in 1924, it would seem as though it took more than just “expert flying and mechanical ability” for those pilots to travel around the world safely…

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Virtualization Reality Check

By: Nancee Ruzicka

Virtualization – instantiating physical devices in software - is the topic of discussion as service providers transform their businesses from capacity and cables to digital services and connected applications. By establishing cloud platforms and enlisting partners, service providers worldwide are building profitable businesses that deliver managed services and operations, machine-to-machine (M2M) platforms, and connected applications. In addition to data center virtualization of IT elements, network function virtualization (NFV) is seen by enterprise IT and service providers alike as a solution for the challenges associated with the increasing volume and complexity of network connectivity solutions…

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Gaining Control of Enterprise Telecom Estates: What the C-Suite Needs to Know

By: Todd Rowan

Return on assets is a key focus of the C-suite. Yet one area often overlooked in this regard is the massive investment made in telecom estates. For multinational corporations in particular, the depth and breadth of these assets may literally span the globe. And with companies growing ever more reliant on their telecoms and network services – whether empowering a mobile workforce, delivering business critical applications or simply communicating with clients and colleagues – telecoms services are and will always be a business critical resource…

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Intelligent RF Routing and RAN Virtualization Puts an End to Wireless Over-Provisioning

By: Wolfgang Weber

Over 80 percent of mobile calls and data usage today occur indoors. The demand now is for reliable services and connectivity inside buildings in order to provide the same Quality of Experience (QoE) for bandwidth-hungry applications no matter where a user is. In an ecosystem where demand for traffic capacity is extremely dynamic and where provisioned wireless capacity is static, traditional network architectures require a degree of over-provisioning – up to 30 percent extra capacity – to ensure that peak demand will always be met…

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COMET News - October 2014

By: Jesse Cryderman

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is white hot, as the technological concept promises to replace purpose-built proprietary networking gear with commercial off the shelf (COTS) systems that can be dynamically configured to perform network functions. In a rare turn of events, communications services providers (CSPs) are driving the demand for NFV with increasing pressure on the vendor community. According to a recent Infonetics survey, 93 percent of CSPs have plans to deploy NFV. However, although ETSI has published a framework for NFV and preliminary NFV specifications, there are many pieces left out, as we’ve reported in Pipeline…

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Letter from the Editor - October 2014

By: Tim Young

“Any technological advance can be dangerous. Fire was dangerous from the start, and so (even more so) was speech - and both are still dangerous to this day - but human beings would not be human without them.” –Isaac Asimov When Asimov wrote this, he was referring to his stories about robots, and I think it’s pretty common for many to regard those with a mix of interest and fear. I, myself, got a dose of the creeps the first time I saw a promotional video for Jibo, though that’s probably less because I fear progress and more because I can’t see paying five bills for an anthropomorphic iPhone app with a Teddy Ruxpin voice…

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