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Broadband Forum brings NFV home

Landmark technical specification defines industry s first virtualized Residential Gateway

10 August 2016: The first ever specifications for the virtual Residential Gateway were released today, as the Broadband Forum concluded work on a landmark project to bring the potential of virtualization into the home.

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The Network Enhanced Residential Gateway (TR-317) provides requirements for an end-to-end architecture, creating a flexible and agile environment. TR-317 s virtual Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) eliminates the need to provision and attach new services directly to an end-user s Residential Gateway and enables Service Providers to do this centrally from their Cloud infrastructures, giving the potential for an enhanced customer experience and significant cost savings. Service Providers will be able to deploy new services faster and personalize end-user packages, eventually creating significant additional revenue streams. Quality of Service could also be enforced on a per device, per user and/or per service basis, improving the broadband customer experience, which is particularly important with the advent of new and more demanding services.

This work is extremely significant because many broadband operators are already working on the delivery of some flavors of cloud-based virtual residential gateway services, said David Minodier, Network Architect at Orange, the Broadband Forum member which led the development of TR-317. Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Network (SDN) techniques allow the delivery of such innovative services from a Point of Presence (PoP) or data center to be envisaged, which was not possible before. TR-317 provides CPE manufacturers with a first set of specifications to ensure interoperability between the bridged residential gateway at the customer premises and the virtual gateway hosted in the Service Provider s cloud infrastructure. The new specification is one of the enablers for the Broadband Forum s Broadband 20/20 vision which focuses on specific new broadband home and business opportunities that leverage SDN, the NFV distributed compute / network model, Internet of Things and ultrafast technologies.

TR-317 addresses the current heterogeneous nature of the residential gateway which makes it difficult for a telco to evolve existing gateway models, meaning the deployment of new features or services is often delayed, expensive and sometimes not even possible as some old CPE may not have sufficient resources to support a given set of features.

Local services will be shifted from the home to the network, providing users with highly reliable and expandable virtual storage, which can be provisioned on a pay-as-you-grow basis. The machine-to-machine (M2M) Home Automation Box will also move to the network, providing enhanced and easily-upgradeable M2M services. Parental control per device for example, to limit services accessed by children will also be enabled, along with improved diagnosis/troubleshooting/maintenance services due to operators being able to virtually insert a diagnosis tool in the extended home network to troubleshoot problems and support the customer. Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh said: While the end-to-end architecture has remained fundamentally the same, the business ecosystem has changed significantly, with flagship value-added telco services becoming commoditized and over-the-top companies going from small startups to financial giants. At the same time the consumer electronics industry is flooding residential home networks with new devices. Alongside this, the IT ecosystem has changed and cloud services for residential customers have become commoditized as a result of virtualization and new generation technologies and network concepts such as NFV and SDN.

Enabling operator gateway services with the agility of cloud-based software and supporting some new use cases is the purpose of the Network Enhanced Residential Gateway architecture which TR-317 provides.

Following the release of this initial document, further work to extend its capabilities, as well as new work around the Cloud Central Office (CO) project, will be carried out. This will include evolving the TR-069 protocol to manage the Network Enhanced Residential Gateway components (the Bridged Residential Gateway and the virtual Gateway) and associated services. Requirements for the design of the virtual gateway itself are also being discussed, while the possibility of adding in a capability to allow third parties to provide services via the operator is also being looked at. For more details on TR-317 and how it will impact the industry, watch this video interview with Broadband Forum member Gregory Dalle: https://youtu.be/buOd6YWKSlo1

For more information on the Broadband Forum s work, visit: www.broadband-forum.org2.

– ENDS

About the Broadband ForumBroadband Forum, a non-profit industry organization, is focused on engineering smarter and faster broadband networks. Our work defines best practices for global networks, enables service and content delivery, establishes technology migration strategies, engineers critical device & service management tools, and is key to redefining broadband. Our free technical reports and white papers can be found at www.broadband-forum.org3. Twitter @Broadband_Forum4. For more information about the Broadband Forum, please go to http://www.broadband-forum.org5 or follow @Broadband_Forum6 on Twitter. For further information please contact Brian Dolby on +44 (0) 7899 914168 or

LG V10 Android smartphone review

When I reviewed the LG G2 three years ago, I wasn t convinced that LG s decision to locate buttons on the back of the phone was a good idea. Who ever heard of putting volume buttons on the back of a phone instead of on the side? At that time, no one had done it before, but then one year later I ended up buying a LG G3 and quickly learned to love that unique feature. LG kept the same button location when they released the LG G4, and now three phones later, LG s has a new flagship Android smartphone, the LG V10. Guess what? It also has the uniquely placed volume buttons. Verizon Wireless sent me the LG V10 to test for a few weeks and I found that the back buttons aren t the only feature that s unique to this phone. Let s find out else what sets the LG V10 Android smartphone apart from other current smartphones. 123

DON T MISS: Nexus 6P review4

Hardware specifications:

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, 6-core, Quad-core 1.44 & dual-core 1.82 GHzOperating System: Android 5.1 LollipopMemory: 64GB, 4GB RAMNetwork: Carrier: CDMA 1X/EvDO/eHRPD (850MHz/1900MHz) GSM (850/900/1800/1900) WCDMA Band 1 / Band 2 / Band 5/ Band 8 LTE Band13 / Band4 / LTE Band2/ LTE Band5 LTE Roaming LTE Band 3 / LTE Band 7Display: 5.7 IPS Quantum Display 2560 1440 (513 ppi, 550 nit) with 0.2 Second ScreenCamera (rear): 16MP, f1.8Camera (front): 5MP x 2Expandable memory: Supports up to 2 TB microSD Card (sold separately)Wi-Fi a,b,g,n,ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, Fingerprint sensorHeadset: 3.5mm Audio JackBattery: 3000mAh Lithium IonDimensions: 6.28 x 3.12 x 0.34 inWeight: 6.7oz

What s in the box?

LG V10 smartphone3,000 mAh Li-Ion Removable BatteryPre-installed SIM Card (4FF)Travel Adapter and SB© USB CableQuick Reference Guide and other documents

Physical design and features

The LG V10, like the Nexus 6P pictured above on the right, is a large phone or phablet as many people like to call them. People with little hands and small pockets may find this phone to be too much for them to handle.

But, bigger phones like the LG V10 mean a bigger display and usually a bigger battery, so it s no wonder why tablet sales are down and phablet sales are up. Even though they say that good things come in small packages, that doesn t mean that they can t come in big packages too. Right?

Verizon Wireless is offering the LG V10 in white and black versions. They sent me the white version. The front of the phone is mostly screen except for the top and bottom bezels. The LG logo is embossed into the bottom bezel and as you can see, there are no buttons to be found on the front or the sides. Above the screen is a speaker and an ambient light sensor.

The Dura Skin cover on the back of the phone has a snazzy name, but it s really just a flexible plastic cover with a raised crosshatch texture that provides extra grip. As mentioned earlier, the buttons that control volume and scrolling are located on the back of the phone along with the power button which doubles as a fingerprint scanner, the camera lens, LED flash and laser autofocus sensor. The flat power button is raised slightly higher than the volume buttons that surround it which makes it easy for your index finger to find the correct area it needs to press without needing to actually look at the back of the phone.

I should note that I didn t realize that the LG V10 had a fingerprint scanner until it occurred to me to look in the settings. When I checked the lock screen settings, I didn t see any way to setup my fingerprint so I assumed that the phone did not have this feature. But then I googled it and was surprised to find that the LG V10 does indeed have a fingerprint scanner. The settings are just buried in the privacy section of the general settings. Setting up a fingerprint is similar to most newer phones that require you to move your finger over the scanner multiple times to record various parts of your finger tip.

Once I recorded a fingerprint, I found that the LG V10 scanner worked very well. If I picked up the phone and used my index finger to press the power button to wake the phone, it would automatically scan and unlock without any other interaction.

I like the back cover of the V10 because it has a rough crosshatch texture that gives it a nice non-slip grip. I also like that the cover is removable. Not many phones still have this feature these days, so it s great that LG still does. The cover can be removed to access the replaceable battery, SIM slot and the micro SD card slot another feature that is becoming rarer to find on newer phones.

The V10 has a stainless steel frame with silicon bumpers for shock resistance. The metal sides on the white version of the phone have a rose, gold or copper colored finish. I can t decide which the color it really is, but regardless of the color, it looks a little gaudy to me. That said, the sides are rounded and make the phone comfortable to hold.

The top edge of the phone has an IR transmitter for the TV remote app, and a microphone.

Another microphone is located on the bottom edge of the phone along with a speaker, a micro SB© USB charging port which supports Quick Charge 2.0 and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Speaking of the headphone jack, the LG V10 has a 32-bit DAC which really makes listening to music through headphones very enjoyable. The LG V10 was the winner when I compared listening to the same music tracks on it and the Nexus 6P. I could hear subtle sounds, more bass, and all around richer sound through the LG V10 that I couldn t hear through my 6P. I used my DUNU Titan 1 earphones5 with both phones.

The LG V10 is a sturdy phone that easily passes my Gadgeteer squeeze test with no creaking, cracking or flexing. It feels good in hand, even though it s a large (some would say bulky) slightly heavy phone. The texture on the back cover really helps you keep a secure grip on the phone and prevents it from feeling slippery. As far as looks, the style might not appeal to everyone, specifically the white version. It s growing on me though.

Display

The 5.7 inch quad HD display looks great. The colors are vivid and the text is sharp. As far as touch screen sensitivity, I had no issues or complaints. Now that I ve moved on from the LG G3 to the Nexus 6P, I forgot how much I liked the feature that wakes up the display when you double tap it with your finger.

The V10 has this too and it works better/faster for me than the pick-up-to-wake feature on the Nexus 6P. There s also the Knock Code feature that you can use to unlock the phone with a special tapping pattern that you create.

Other than the back buttons, the main thing that sets the LG V10 apart from other smartphones is the second screen which is located above the main display. I know we ve seen secondary displays before on phones like the Samsung Note Edge6 and Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge7, but I think the LG V10 s second screen is better than the ones on those phones. Why? Well it s not because you can customize it as a launch bar with icons of your five favorite apps. That s a nice feature, but I didn t find myself using it very often.

And it s not that you can configure the screen with five favorite contacts for a quick connect bar. Or that you can setup the second display as a media controller, recent apps list, favorite phrase or to show upcoming appointments. You can configure all six of these menus and then scroll through them by swiping the second screen. Sure, all those features are useful, but none of them are why I like the V10 s second display so much.

The reason why I like the LG V10 s second display is because it s always on. Even when the phone times out and the screen goes blank, the second display will still show the time, date, weather, notifications icons and battery status. This is my favorite feature of the whole smartphone, the fact that it has an always on clock that I can quickly glance at to see the time without picking it up, waving my hand over it or tapping the display. I also like that I can see if I have an unread text message or a Google Hangouts message without having to decipher status LED colors.

When the phone is locked you can also swipe across the second display to see another set of icons that can be used to mute the speaker, launch the quick memo app, toggle the LED flash on the back to be used as a flashlight and launch the camera app.

Camera

Take a closer look at the image above. See the two circles on the left side of the display? They are two front-facing 5MP cameras. Why do you need two front-facing cameras?

For wider selfie shots of course! Here s a selfie with the LG V10.

And here s another selfie with my Nexus 6P. You can see that the V10 has a wider image. I will say that it s a lot easier to take a picture with the Nexus 6P than the V10 because you can use the side volume button as a shutter button. With the LG V10, it s not always easy to use the volume button to snap a picture since it s on the back of the phone. Of course you can use your finger to tap the onscreen shutter button, but even that can feel awkward when you re holding such a large phone.

Here are a few more example images from the LG V10:

No flash with ample overhead LED lighting.

Low light shot with Auto settings, no flash. Weird yellow cast and a bit grainy, but not bad for very little light.

Low light shot with Auto settings, automatic flash.

Close up focusing on the fat pink marker cap in the center of the image.

The LG V10 s 16MP camera which is essentially the same as the LG G4, is supposed to be very impressive. But it didn t really impress me that much. I guess if I were a real photographer I d like all the extra manual settings available in the camera app. But I don t care about the manual settings because I just want to press one button to capture a good pic without having to think about shutter speed, ISO, etc. I m not saying the LG V10 s camera is bad, because it s not.

It s a decent shooter. But it just didn t blow me away like it was supposed to do. Maybe it s because I wasn t able to get outdoors to take some nice nature shots since it s winter right now and we rarely see the sun these days. I see other people raving about the V10 camera in various reviews, so I m a bit bummed that I didn t feel the same way.

Software

In addition to the core Android 5.1 Lollipop applications, the Verizon version of the LG V10 has a pre-installed software bundle that includes the following apps:

LG Health, Amazon apps, NFL Mobile, MapQuest, go90, Panda Pop, Cookie Jam, Empire, Slotomania, Hotels.com, Slacker Radio and Android Pay. Some of these extra apps can be uninstalled like: Hotels.com, Slotomania, Empire, Cookie Jam, Panda Pop, go90 and MapQuest. But you re stuck with Slacker Radio, NFL Mobile and the Amazon apps.

Using the LG V10 for phone calls

I didn t have any complaints from people I talked to while testing the LG V10. Conversations on both sides of the call were clear and with ample volume. I also did not have any issues with dropped calls while testing this phone. Signal strength seemed to be no better or worse than other phones I use on the Verizon network.

Overall performance and battery life using the LG V10 for day to day tasks

Performance felt equal to other newer smartphones I ve recently tested. I found that apps launched without a noticeable lag, and there are no issues switching back and forth between apps. I also didn t have any issues with the LG V10 freezing or crashing.

When it comes to battery life, the LG V10 felt a little better than average which surprised me since the second screen is on most of the time (it will go off it the phone is in total darkness like your pocket or a dark room. I was able to easily make it through the day and sometimes into a second day without needing a recharge.

Final thoughts

I was a little confused when the LG V10 first came out because I didn t see a need for another line of LG phones that are so similar to the LG G4. Now I am seeing that the LG G5 which will soon be unveiled, will also have a second screen. Regardless as to why LG decided to create the V series, the LG V10 is their flagship phone. A fact which is backed up with a flagship sized price tag. The V10 has a lot going for it. But other than the second display, the LG G4 is the better buy because it s less expensive and is slightly less bulky.

However, the G4 only has 32GB of memory compared to the V10 s 64GBs of memory. So it all comes down to your wallet and which phone you like best as far as looks and features. The V10 is definitely the one to beat right now for a smartphone that has a swappable battery and micro SD card memory expansion. It also has the potential to get a wireless charging back cover, which would make this LG flagship smartphone even better. Now I m wondering what the LG G5 has in store for us.

Source: The sample for this review was provided by Verizon Wireless8 on a short term basis.

Please visit their site for more info.

Product Information

Price: $672.00 Manufacturer: LG Retailer: Verizon Wireless9 Pros:

  • Removable battery
  • microSD card slot
  • 2nd screen with always on clock
  • 2 front facing cameras for wider selfies

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have the latest version of Android
  • Heavy

References

  1. ^ LG G2 (the-gadgeteer.com)
  2. ^ LG G3 (the-gadgeteer.com)
  3. ^ LG G4 (the-gadgeteer.com)
  4. ^ Nexus 6P review (the-gadgeteer.com)
  5. ^ DUNU Titan 1 earphones (the-gadgeteer.com)
  6. ^ Samsung Note Edge (the-gadgeteer.com)
  7. ^ Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge (the-gadgeteer.com)
  8. ^ Verizon Wireless (www.verizonwireless.com)
  9. ^ Verizon Wireless (www.verizonwireless.com)

Benefit Cosmetics – Promotional Codes

I’m a big fan of cosmetics and like to try all the different brands on the market. Benefit has always been a favourite of mine because the cute 50s feel to the packaging makes the whole range really lovely to look at, and it looks great pulling a compact out of my handbag, or arranged on my shelves at home. Not only that, but the products feel great and are long lasting once applied.

I’m always keen to try their new products but I have to admit I get a little put off by visiting the counter in-store. I like to browse at my leisure and decide what I want alone, without a sales assistant watching me. The staff are very attentive at most Benefit counters and to be honest it puts me under pressure and often stops me from buying their products. So when I decided to look online for Benefit products it made things a lot easier! Now I can take as long as I like to decide which products to buy. And because Benefit is a little pricey and I save up my purchases, I usually manage to get free shipping by totalling over 50. Delivery was fast.

Benefit is reliable and it’s a brand I’ll always return to.

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