It is evident from the latest releases of smartphones that many flagship phones have stopped increasing the size of the smartphone at 5.5 inches. But here is one Samsung beast that manages to top that. Huge devices are trending as of now owing the advent of tablets and the crossover phablets everywhere. One should mention

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Apple’s new tablet – the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is the biggest avatar of the revered iPad although the sale numbers have diminished year on year. Apple is expecting the new iPad Pro to actually push the tablet segment in the PC world with the introducing of some amazing features that many mobile workers and professionals

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The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is expected to be a hotspot for introducing new technologies in the realm of robotics, wearables, and even IoT. Several technologists descend to CES in January to check out meaningful breakthrough tech innovations. The event is produced by the Consumer Technology Association, and 20,000 new products are expected to

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The MEF has announced the winners of the MEF 2015 Excellence Awards. The Awards program is the largest, longest-running in the world focused on Carrier Ethernet services and applications and is the first in the industry to spotlight leadership in emerging dynamic Third Network services powered by CE 2.0, Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO), NFV, and SDN networking technologies. The winners of 31 awards were presented at a special MEF Excellence Awards Dinner on 17 November – a highlight of the GEN15 global networking event held during 16-19 November at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas. “We had an outstanding level of quality from the entries for this year’s new Excellence Awards program, with a particularly large numbers of entries in the technology-related categories,” said Nan Chen, President of the MEF. “The quality of the submissions reflects the excellent progress in reshaping the communications landscape and delivering new, innovative solutions for the global digital economy,” he added. The judging panel for the awards was comprised of global and regional senior analysts from Current Analysis, Frost & Sullivan, IDC, IHS Infonetics, Metanoia, Ovum, SDxCentral, Vertical Systems, and independent judges. MEF 2015 Excellence Awards Winners are listed below. Enterprise Application of the Year Award Winners • Best Application of the Year – Education – Comcast Business • Best Application of the Year – Financial – TATA Communications • Best Application of the Year – Government – AT&T • Best Application of the Year – Healthcare – AT&T • Best Application of the Year – Sports & Entertainment – Colt • Best Application of the Year – Media – Telecom Italia Sparkle • Best Application of the Year – Professional services – Colt Service Innovation of the Year Award Winners • Best Service Innovation of the Year – APAC – Telstra • Best Service Innovation of the Year – EMEA – Telecom Italia Sparkle • Best Service Innovation the Year – North America – AT&T • Best Service Innovation of the Year – Global – Telstra Retail Service Provider of the Year Award Winners • Retail Service Provider of the Year – APAC – PLDT • Retail Service Provider of the Year – CALA – Level 3 • Retail Service Provider of the Year – EMEA – Colt • Retail Service Provider of the Year – North America – Level 3 • Retail Service Provider of the Year – Global – Level 3 Wholesale Service Provider of the Year Award Winners • Wholesale Provider of the Year APAC – Telstra • Wholesale Provider of the Year CALA – Level 3 • Wholesale Provider of the Year EMEA – Colt • Wholesale Provider of the Year North America – Level 3 • Wholesale Provider of the Year Global – PCCW Best Service Provider Marketing of the Year Award Winner – Time Warner Cable Business Class Best Service Provider Network Innovation of the Year Award Winner – Colt Third Network Technology Solutions of the Year Award Winners • Third Network Technology of the Year – CE 2.0 – Overture Networks • Third Network Technology of the Year – LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) – Ciena • Third Network Technology of the Year – Multi-Vendor Solutions – Oracle Communications, InfoVista and Juniper Networks • Third Network Technology of the Year – NFV-Based CPE – Accedian Networks • Third Network Technology Solutions Vendor of the Year – Ciena Professional of the Year Award Winners • MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional (MEF-CECP) of the Year – Marjory Sy, PLDT • MEF Distinguished Fellows – Eric Puetz, AT&T and Raghu Ranganathan, Ciena • MEF Industry Person of the Year – Axel Clauberg, Deutsche Telekom Raghu Ranganathan, Director, MEF and Principal, Office of CTO, Ciena said: “I am very excited to receive this recognition and would like to thank Ciena for supporting my participation in MEF all these years. Collaboration with peers across the industry is key and I looking forward to more exciting progress towards realizing the Third Network vision.” “We’re honored to have our Network on Demand capability recognized by the MEF,” said Josh Goodell, vice president of Network on Demand, AT&T. “We’ll continue to enhance our platform and bring innovative technologies to market with the goal of helping to advance our business customers and the industry.” Matthias Hain, Director Product Management, Colt Technology Services said: “Once again we are very proud about our achievement confirming our consistence in high innovation and leading customer focus in providing the best Ethernet Services to them.” “The recognition of our industry peers and the analyst community of the strength of our Ethernet offering to the financial sector is a great compliment to the team at Tata Communications,” said James Walker, Vice President of Managed Network Services at Tata Communications. “Our case study covered a global datacentre network core for a major global bank, where the customer tells us we have shown real innovation and delivered a major benefit to their application infrastructure. We’re very proud that this was also the view of the award selection committee,” he added.

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Infinera, provider of Intelligent Transport Networks, announced that it is in the first tranche of packet-optical transport network vendors to complete the MEF 100 gigabit (100G) Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) certification program. This achievement validates Infinera as a global packet-optical transport leader that can deliver differentiated services with scalability, flexibility and programmability. To achieve the 100 gigabit Ethernet (GbE) MEF CE 2.0 certification, the Infinera PXM packet switching module, integrated with the DTN-X XTC platform, had to complete a rigorous and comprehensive set of test cases defined by the MEF. The Infinera PXM demonstrated its ability to enable service providers to add newly defined 100 GbE E-Line service capabilities, including Ethernet private line and Ethernet virtual private line services. These services offer Multiple Classes of Service (Multi-CoS), Ethernet Network to Network Interface (ENNI) and User Network Interface (UNI), and consistent handling of Ethernet operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM) frames to ensure end-to-end service provisioning, monitoring and fault management with multiple operator segments. Additionally, standardized advanced Multi-Quality of Service (Multi-QoS) handling ensures consistent handling of various levels of service between multiple operators across geographic performance tiers and application types. With the combined end-to-end network portfolio, enabled by the DTN-X Family and the TM-Series of products, Infinera can now deliver any CE 2.0 service within any network from core to access on a global scale. Infinera now supports MEF CE 2.0 certified services of any granularity from 100 megabits per second (Mb/s) to 100 GbE, with these services supported via a common Infinera DNA network management system from the core to the customer premises. This enables Infinera to support content-rich revenue generating enterprise applications such as business Ethernet, video and content delivery, cloud services and datacenter interconnects. “Global network customers expect dynamic Third Network connectivity services delivered over more automated, interconnected networks, and 100G is key to unlocking those services,” said Kevin Vachon, chief operating officer of the MEF. “The 100G CE 2.0 certification is a rigorous testing process for equipment vendors and Infinera’s achievement demonstrates its ability to deliver higher bandwidth and network capacity to meet the growing demand for dynamic services,” he said. “100G and 10G MEF CE 2.0 certification of the Infinera PXM switching module marks a significant achievement for Infinera,” said Karl Thedéen, SVP, head of Metro Business Group, Infinera. Karl added: “While 10 GbE is table stakes, we are excited to demonstrate our industry leadership in the first wave of 100 GbE certification. As services become more sophisticated and capacity requirements continue to grow, transport networks are becoming more packet-aware. In a competitive Carrier Ethernet market, Infinera is committed to offer its customers the ability to rapidly and easily turn up new standards-based services at scale. We offer our customers a standards-based solution that allows them to deploy differentiated services with greater speed, agility, and assurance, to help them deliver end-to-end service level assurances with service performance guarantees.” The PXM switching module is designed to enable a highly efficient packet optical transport network architecture. With the PXM, network operators benefit form a portfolio of services based on not only Carrier Ethernet but also Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) technologies, resulting in decreased network costs and statistical multiplexing with packet aggregation and transport port consolidation. It offers integrated Ethernet and MPLS functionality over WDM super-channels to deliver dynamic, flexible packet transport services. It can process Ethernet and MPLS packets with QoS up to 100 GbE speeds, map them based on configuration rules into multiple flexibly-sized ODUflex circuits, and deliver them through the transport network to their end destination. The converged Layer 2, Layer 1, Layer 0 functionality in the overall system enables a more flexible and efficient multi-layer network providing rich packet services. This helps service providers reduce capital expenses and increase power and space efficiency by reducing the need for transit router ports and chassis.

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Infinera, provider of Intelligent Transport Networks, and EBlink, pioneer of wireless fronthaul technology, announced a partnership to deliver both fiber and wireless based solutions and to provide an end-to-end fronthaul architecture. In a live field trial with Orange, the Infinera TM-Series and EBlink’s FrontLink solutions delivered mobile fronthaul networking services for Orange’s 4G network in western France, interconnecting baseband units (BBU) and remote radio heads (RRH) from several of Orange’s Radio Access Network (RAN) vendors. In the live field trial, the combined Infinera TM-Series and EBlink FrontLink solution demonstrated on Orange’s network how it can deliver a unique end-to-end performance combining fiber and wireless for mobile fronthaul for today’s mobile infrastructure and for future advanced 4G and 5G mobile networks. Where fiber exists, the Infinera TM-Series delivers bandwidth using high capacity wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology. Where there is no fiber, EBlink’s wireless fronthaul is complementary to the WDM fronthaul solution, enabling mobile operators to bridge the “very last mile” which can, in certain locations, be difficult to reach with fiber connections. In the live field trial, the combined solutions worked together seamlessly without disruption in the network. Mobile fronthaul is a market opportunity that is emerging as mobile operators move to centralized and cloud-based radio access networks (C-RAN) and plan for deployment of high bandwidth 4G, 5G and small cell architectures. “Mobile fronthaul is a challenging environment with tough requirements on latency and synchronisation for optical solutions,” said Sten Nordell, CTO of Infinera’s Metro Business Group. “As one of the few suppliers capable of achieving these requirements, we are very pleased to partner with EBlink and Orange to demonstrate that the combination of fiber and wireless is the right alchemy for mobile fronthaul.” “This partnership with Infinera reaffirms the relevance of our wireless fronthaul technologies and how complementary fiber and wireless can be,” said Eric Sèle, deputy CEO of EBlink. “The deployment of the Infinera and EBlink solutions on Orange’s network underscores the concept that wireless fronthaul picks up where fiber leaves off.” “Combining fiber and wireless is key to a successful mobile fronthaul implementation,” said Philippe Chanclou at Orange Labs. “Infinera and EBlink have shown the feasibility of integration of mobile fronthaul with Orange RAN vendors and have demonstrated end-to-end performance, and we are pleased with the trial results,” added Sebastien Randazzo, project leader of fronthaul trials at Orange France. The Infinera TM-Series, enabling mobile fronthaul, allows mobile operators like Orange to deploy WDM-based optical fronthaul in a wide range of network applications. The solution covers a range of options including passive WDM for low cost fiber relief, semi-passive WDM for added management capabilities and active WDM options where additional networking capabilities are required. Infinera’s active mobile fronthaul options include transponder and muxponder applications allowing the capability of multiplexing multiple Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) and Ethernet services onto the same wavelength. EBlink’s innovative wireless fronthaul solution represents a major technological advance for base station deployment, eliminating the last few hundred meters of fiber that can be difficult to deploy and costly for operators. Wireless fronthaul is a key technology used today by leading mobile operators around the world for network densification/optimization, and to address traffic congestion in dense urban areas. EBlink’s wireless fronthaul solution allows mobile operators to leverage their existing macro sites, and facilitates their deployment of remote macro and micro sectors.

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Spirent Communications announced the introduction of Spirent Landslide EDGE and Spirent Landslide CORE test solutions that provide mobile network operators the ability to deploy and operate in real time to maximize operational efficiencies. Network congestion and overload is the second biggest reason for outages in the mobile network, especially given the explosive growth in the numbers of subscribers using connected devices, applications, and services. The new Landslide suite of solutions uses a proactive approach that gives operators network performance visibility across their networks and detects degradations before they impact customers. The system also enables automated, real-time validation of configuration changes and upgrades. The end result is faster time to market for new services and improved network performance for better customer service, which ultimately drive loyalty from existing customers. “According to industry sources, mobile operators are spending around $15 billion a year globally dealing with all kinds of network degradation and outages, including those related to congestion and overload,” said John Baker, general manager of Spirent Communications’ Mobility group. “By using Landslide CORE and EDGE, carriers can greatly improve the real-time visibility of the network control and data plane as well as validate the impact of each node in the network on individual services from a QoE perspective.” “In terms of direct costs, carriers world-wide are spending billions of dollars a year dealing with outages and degradations,” says Patrick Donegan, chief analyst, Heavy Reading. “In terms of indirect costs, outages and degradations are also a significant driver of subscriber churn.” “With demand scaling rapidly, operators need to expand capacity by increasing resource utilization as much as they can to accommodate traffic growth while keeping costs down,” said Monica Polini, president, Senza Fili Consulting. “For future business success, smart operators should be looking at solutions that proactively provide visibility into network health and provide early identification of issues.”

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CENX, the global leader of orchestrated service management and assurance solutions for physical and virtualized networks, today announced it ranked No. 18 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America. Companies are ranked based on percentage growth of fiscal year operating revenues over the last four years. Overall, 2015 Technology Fast 500 ™ companies achieved revenue growth ranging from 109 percent to 21,984 percent from 2011 – 2014, with an average growth rate of 850 percent. “We are honored to be recognized by Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™program,” said Ed Ogonek, President and CEO of CENX. “Over the past years, we have seen the demand for CENX’s Cortx Service Orchestrator skyrocket as service providers redefine how they manage their advanced data services. Our software uniquely incorporates hyper-scale computing, big data analytics and real-time visualization to address today’s network operations challenges. At CENX, we are building a great team that delivers these innovations across a global market,” Ed added. “What’s clear is that despite market uncertainty, these companies have found a way to innovate and grow, harnessing the power of emerging technologies to disrupt and influence business across almost all industries,” said Robert Nardi, Technology, Media and Telecommunications Managing Partner for Deloitte in Canada. “Congratulations to this year’s Fast 500 companies. We are looking forward to witnessing their continued growth and impact on the technology market.” CENX is also a finalist in the MEF 2015 Excellence Awards, in the Third Network Technology category, for its Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) solution. The winners will be announced at the upcoming GEN15 global networking event November 16-19 in Dallas, USA.

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Spirent Communications’ device intelligence business unit Tweakker announced today that it has won a customer care contract from American mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) GIV Mobile. The contract enables the MVNO to embed Tweakker’s smartphone Device Guides on its website which seamlessly connect to Tweakker’s cloud. As a result, care agents can now solve any customer smartphone issue from joining its network and throughout the subscriber lifecycle. GIV Mobile is a new type of cellphone service created by parent company PTEL Mobile, the third oldest no-contract wireless company in the US. Its Save the World offering provides unlimited plans starting at $20 per month and GIV donates 8% of the monthly plan amount to the charity of the subscriber’s choice. The service has been built around a 4G LTE GSM network that reaches 96% of Americans. Examples of prominent charities supported by GIV subscribers include the Alzheimer’s Association, Doctors Without Borders, and Action Against Hunger. As winter and the festive season approaches, these and many other charities will have a new source of welcome revenue from GIV Mobile, now boosted by better customer care through Tweakker Device Guides. Before Tweakker Device Guides, GIV used to write its own manuals for customer care agents to handle support calls. However, this proved a costly and slow means of supporting the diverse and growing variety of smartphones coming into its network. With customer care being its founding mantra, the MVNO faced an uphill challenge in producing high quality smartphone support tools in the shortest timeframe. After just one week in evaluating Tweakker’s Device Guides, GIV and PTel management saw the deep impact that they would have on care agents’ customer engagements and how they can simplify their customers’ lives through easy self-care. By providing Device Guides directly to subscribers via its website, GIV’s customers effortlessly find the best possible help for their smartphone problems whenever needed. Customers now have the easiest way to update the settings on their own handset online … they just type in their telephone number, click Ok and they’re immediately online with GIV. Agents would be able to trigger an Over-the-Air (OTA) configuration via SMS when handling a call, which GIV has found is the fastest way to resolve handset setup issues from the call center. In addition, with Device Guides, agents avoid lengthy discussions over the phone by converting calls into a self-care experience and simply directing callers to the correct place in the self-care device guide library through a link delivered by SMS or email. “GIV Mobile aims to provide new and existing customers with a care service that is unmatched in America’s MVNO world,” says Omar Abhari, GIV Mobile’s Vice President of Operations. “Tweakker’s guides enable us to do just that and our care agents will be able to work faster and more efficiently. They will also enable us to slash OPEX support costs, which is very important especially for an organization like ours running its own customer support call centers here in the United States,” Omar said. Dennis Poulsen, Spirent Tweakker’s general manager, adds: “Tweakker’s footprint in the American MVNO market is growing quickly. With self-care guides providing the ultimate customer experience when joining GIV Mobile, subscribers will be transformed into brand ambassadors leading them to promote the service to their peers which, inevitably, will lead to more subscriptions, more revenues and boost charity donations.” Tweakker enables MVNOs to radically reduce customer care costs while providing end-users flexible self-care and high quality care experience. Through its market leading device intelligence library and APN Setup, Tweakker provides MVNOs fast and seamless zero-touch on-boarding for new subscribers ensuring ultimate operational efficiency and rapid revenue uptake. Solutions include: APN setup platform, interactive self-help guides, device analytics, embedded applications and remote application management solutions.

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Ethernet was developed in the early 1970s for interconnecting nearby devices typically within the same building, which led to the term Local Area Network, or LAN, was born. If something went wrong, you just had to walk around the nearby equipment and look for faults, such as pinched or disconnected Ethernet cables that were easily addressed. However, as Ethernet found its way into the Wide Area Network, or WAN, things changed drastically. Ethernet traffic was now being carried over tens to thousands of kilometers and “walking around” to troubleshoot faults took on a whole new meaning, especially when Ethernet services are carried over undersea cable networks sitting on the bottoms of oceans – something had to change. Ethernet services had to evolve into something that took into account the unique intricacies of the WAN, such as longer distances, remote end-to-end management tools, multi-operator interconnectivity, and the fact that network connectivity has become critical infrastructure for most businesses. Multi-operator interop becomes important as Ethernet Business Services (EBS) purchased from one network operator traverses one or more other operators’ network. Although this is transparent to the end-user, it’s not to the operators selling the EBS, and thus seamless, standardized handoff between operators must be achieved if EBS of any distance is to become a viable and reliable service offering, which is why MEF E-Access was developed. Since introduced in 2012, the Metro Ethernet Forum, now referred to as MEF, Carrier Ethernet (CE) 2.0 certification has allowed the telecom industry to offer ubiquitous, standardized, carrier-class Ethernet Business Services to customers that are built upon the following five key attributes. Eight Standardized Services (E-LINE, E-LAN, E-Tree, and E-Access – Private or Virtual) Scalability Reliability Quality of Service (QoS) Service Management It’s these five attributes that define what’s referred to as Carrier Ethernet Services, and is one of the reasons why EBS have become ubiquitous globally over distances spanning tens to thousands of kilometers. MEF has facilitated standardized interfaces and operational procedures for interconnect and access. This allows for a predefined understanding of EBS performance expectations between buyer and seller leading to faster time to market. It also allows buyers to compare pricing between network operators offering similar services. By Brian Lavallée, Director of Technology & Solutions Marketing for Ciena’s packet networking solutions.

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