Sunday, January 30, 2005

Infinera Goes Live with Photonic IC Technology

Infinera, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, announced the first commercial deployment of its Photonic Integrated Circuit technology. Germany's freenet is operating a nationwide network of Infinera DTNs.

Unlike conventional optical systems, which use analog optical devices for key networking functions, the Infinera DTN uses digital technology. Infinera has created its own photonic chips that combine dozens of active and passive devices for managing light. The chips converts all traffic from optical to electronic signals, allowing the DTN to add and drop, multiplex, groom, and protect circuits digitally rather than optically. Infinera's Photonic Integrated Circuits include a 100 Gbps transmitter, which integrates ten lasers, ten 10 Gbps modulators, and an optical multiplexer; as well as a 100 Gbps receiver, which integrates an optical demultiplexer and ten photodiodes. Each enables low-cost optical-electrical conversion on a semiconductor chip.

Infinera is offering an optical transport platform based on its Photonic Integrated Circuits. The
Infinera DTN supports 400 Gbps, i.e., forty 10 Gbps channels in a half rack, and 800Gbps (eighty 10 Gbps channels) in a full rack.. 100 Gbps line cards support a variety of hot-swappable client interfaces including OC-192/STM-64, OC-48/STM-16, 10 Gigabit Ethernet LAN PHY and WAN PHY, and Gigabit Ethernet. The platform runs Infinera's IQ Network Operating System to automate network discovery, configuration, and provisioning via GMPLS.

Infinera said freenet selected its solution because the DTN platform is simpler to operate, delivers services faster, and offer more network flexibility than conventional optical networking systems.
  • Infinera is headed by Jagdeep Singh, who previously founded Lighter Networks, a developer of optical switching equipment that was acquired by CIENA.

  • In October 2004, Infinera raised $52 million in new funding for its Photonic Integrated Circuit technology. The company has raised $205 million to date. Strategic investors in this round include UTStarcom and CTC (Itochu Techno-Science Corporation), both of which are collaborating with Infinera to provide optical networking solutions in Asia. Infinera's investor group includes many of the world's leading venture capital firms as well as a strong group of strategic corporate investors. Venture backers include Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital, JAFCO Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mobius Venture Capital, Sprout Group, Sutter Hill Ventures, Venrock Associates, and Worldview Technology Partners.

Marconi Forms Partnership with Huawei

Marconi and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. are working on a mutual distribution agreement that would see each company sell certain products from the other's product portfolio into their respective customers. Marconi will distribute certain of Huawei's carrier grade data products into its key customers. Huawei will distribute Marconi's next-generation access radio products into its key customers. The two companies have also discussed how Marconi can use its extensive services structure to support Huawei's pursuit of equipment business in the European market.

Discussions are continuing regarding a joint product development agreement that will see the two companies derive benefits from the sharing of R&D resource and technologies.
  • In January 2005, Huawei Technologies reported that global sales for 2004 reached US$5.58 billion, representing a 45% growth from a year ago. Huawei cited strong growth in its international sales, which contributed 117% percent growth from US$1.05 billion in 2003 to US$2.28 billion in 2004. Sales from the domestic China market continued at an 18% increase from US$2.78 billion in 2003 to US$3.3 billion in 2004.

  • In October 2004, Siemens Communications signed a cooperation contract with Huawei. The deal covers Huawei's network infrastructure products for enterprise customers, and will primarily cover the Huawei portfolio for Quidway routers and switches. Siemens Communications said this cooperation pact with Huawei reinforces its multivendor strategy for Enterprise network infrastructure.

  • In February 2004, Siemens Information and Communication Mobile (Siemens mobile) and Huawei Technologies have formed a joint venture company to develop, manufacture and market TD-SCDMA technology. The companies are investing a combined US$100 million in the new venture, which will be based in Beijing. Siemens mobile will hold 51% in the new company and Huawei will hold 49%.

  • Huawei has a joint venture with 3Com that supplies enterprise networking solutions, including routers and LAN switches.

NCTA Sees Antitrust Issue in SBC-AT&T Deal

Robert Sachs, President & CEO National Cable & Telecommunications Association, issued a statement urging caution in the proposed SBC acquisition of AT&T: "The proposed combination of the largest and second largest telephone providers in SBC's 13-state region raises obvious antitrust concerns that regulatory authorities will have to scrutinize carefully. Cable companies, other phone competitors, consumers and business users alike have a vital interest in ensuring that this new telco behemoth does not act anti-competitively to thwart emerging phone competition. "

Cable Operators Announce Digital Carriage Agreement

the Association for Public Television Stations and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association announced a progressive digital television carriage agreement covering the nation's local public television stations. The deal ensures that local public television stations' digital programming will be carried on cable systems serving the vast majority of the nation's cable subscribers. There are currently 356 Public Television stations in the U.S. As of the end of January, digital signals from about 100 Public Television stations were being carried by cable systems.

Atheros Ships its 20-Millionth Wireless Chipset

Atheros Communications shipped its 20-millionth chipset during the fourth quarter of 2004. In just under three years, the company has delivered six generations of WLAN silicon. In its Q4 financial report, Atheros said demand for its solutions is at an all-time high. Revenue in the fourth quarter was $41.7 million, compared with $38.3 million in the third quarter, an increase of nine percent. Gross margins in the fourth quarter were 44.5 percent, compared with 45.6 percent in the third quarter, at the upper end of the company's guidance.

Network Implications of SBC + AT&T Merger

SBC Communications confirmed its plans to acquire AT&T in an historic deal valued at approximately $16 billion that is likely to reshape the U.S. telecom market.
The companies expect that the combination of a converged, IP backbone with global scale, a high-density of local broadband access lines, and with a nationwide IP-based UMTS/HSDPA wireless network (Cingular) will be the foundation for truly integrated, next-generation services. The companies cited more than $15 billion in identified short term synergies created through their merger. More than 85% of these synergies are expected to come from cost reductions as the two companies and their multiple networks are consolidated.

From a network perspective, the major impacts of the merger are expected to include:

  • the creation of the largest telecom operator in the U.S. Its assets will include more than a nationwide fiber backbone with more than 77,000 fiber route miles, 750 POPs, network assets in 50 countries and 850 cities, 26 data centers, 52 million local access lines, 5.1 million DSL lines and 77% broadband availability rate in SBC territory, and a 60% share of Cingular wireless.

  • AT&T's IP network will become the backbone for all of SBC's IP services. WilTel currently provides a nationwide IP backbone for SBC. All of SBC's long distance traffic also will be moved onto the AT&T IP network

  • SBC plans to accelerate its move to IP in its local networks, leveraging AT&T's CallVantage platform for offering consumer VoIP

  • SBC's Project Lightspeed will be accelerated. It will leverage the national bandwidth capacity of the AT&T network for its video services

  • All local switches in SBC territory will be upgraded and optimized, while eliminating any duplication

  • The companies will combine and optimize their network centers

  • The companies will consolidate network planning and engineering functions

  • Data centers will be consolidated

  • The companies will rationalize their billing platforms and move to more automated systems

  • The new SBC will use its immense purchasing volumes to negotiate better deals with vendors

  • The two companies' IT organizations will be combined

  • SBC and AT&T's wholesale operations will be combined

  • AT&T's headquarters staff will be merged into SBC. The new headquarters will in San Antonio, Texas

The companies expect the synergies to be above and beyond the efficiency and productivity gains currently being driven by new technologies, such as converged carrier transport networks, VoIP, IP VPNs and Ethernet.

The companies hope to close the merger in 2006, pending regulatory approvals. Neither company foresees any major regulatory obstacle to the deal.
  • In January 2003, WilTel announced a contract to provide SBC Communications with 10 Gbps OC-192c transport for building out its national IP network. The facilities are currently used for IP-based services such as business Internet access, SBC- Yahoo! DSL, SBC-Yahoo! Dial, Virtual Private Networking, Internet Data Centers, and Web Hosting.

  • In October 2004, Cingular Wireless completed its $41 billion acquisition of AT&T Wireless.

Agere Teams with HCL on Network Processor Designs

Agere Systems introduced a simplified Functional Programming Interface (FPI) software platform that runs on its network processors, such as its PayloadPlus APP550 for multiservice networking gear. Agere's improved FPI software features a comprehensive suite of protocols and services for target applications. In addition, the software facilitates quick addition of revenue-generating, differentiating features with relatively small, localized changes in code.

Agere also announced a service agreement with HCL Technologies to help enable telecom equipment manufacturers to deliver their products to earlier and at lower cost. Dedicated teams from HCL are working closely with Agere on the FPI software and will provide customization and system integration services to Agere's customers.

MCI to Link Moonv6 IPv6 Network to Commercial Internet

MCI is collaborating with the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) to connect the North American IPv6 Task Force's Moonv6 network to the commercial Internet backbone, allowing nationwide direct connection to the test bed. The connection will give test participants a native, non-tunneled connection to Moonv6 via MCI's MAE Services network exchange points.

MCI's MAE infrastructure facilitates nationwide Layer 2 interconnectivity and public peering between Internet service providers. MAE Services connection points are located in San Jose, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Chicago, metro Washington, D.C. and Miami (first quarter 2005).

The Moonv6 project is a global effort led by the North American IPv6 Task Force that includes industry leaders, the UNH-IOL, Internet2, the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) and other government agencies, the Defense Research & Engineering Network (DREN) and the High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP).
  • In November 2004, The Moonv6 project, a collaborative effort between the NAv6TF (North American IPv6 Task Force), the UNH-IOL, government agencies and Internet2, completed a new round of interoperability tests aimed at advancing IPv6 testing into new territory.

  • The latest round of testing, which began at the UNH-IOL on October 30 and wrapped up at the U.S. Defense Department's Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) in Fort Huachuca, Arizona on November 12, represented the most aggressive multi-vendor test and demonstration of IPv6 products to date, encompassing voice, wireless, firewalls and application-layer connectivity. Test areas included interoperability in pure IPv6 as well as mixed v6 and IPv4 networks, IEEE 802.11 wireless LANs, VoIP, firewalls and IPsec, dual-stack routing, Internet protocols such as DHCP, DNS and various applications and transition mechanisms.

XO Launches Broadband VoIP Service for Businesses

XO Communications is preparing to launch "Xoptions" Flex, its new bundled VoIP solution for business customers with a broadband connection. The service provides unlimited local and long distance calling over XO's Tier 1 IP network. XOptions Flex will be available for a flat monthly price and include more than a dozen standard voice applications and features for each phone line including call forward, three-way calling, and hunt groups. XOptions Flex will be available in Boston, New York and Washington, DC in early March followed by full nationwide availability in the second quarter.

XO is using BroadSoft's enhanced voice applications software to support XOptions Flex.

XO Communications is also using Sonus Networks' equipment for the service. XO Communications launched their Sonus-based network in 2001 and over the last four years has continued to expand their deployment. Today, the company carries 600 million minutes of customer long distance traffic each month across its IP network.

ARRIS, Xtend Achieve DOCSIS 2.0 using Extended HFC Spectrum

Xtend Networks and ARRIS (announced the ability to offer dedicated high-bandwidth spectrum to commercial customers using standard DOCSIS products. In the tests conducted at ARRIS' laboratories, engineers used off-the-shelf Xtend and ARRIS DOCSIS products under a normal testing environment. Reliable operation and high performance were achieved at 256 QAM modulation downstream and 64 QAM SCDMA modulation upstream.

Xtend's products are based on the ability of advanced application technology and Block Division Multiplexing to increase the available spectrum of the existing cable TV network while providing high-speed symmetrical services to subscribers. Xtend said its technology is compatible with the existing head-end and CPE devices, including DOCSIS, analog and digital TV transmission, and telephony.

Sprint Joins the WiMax Forum

Sprint has joined the WiMAX Forum as a Principal Member to lend its support to that organization's mission of global interoperability standards formation for broadband wireless access products.
Sprint said it is anxious to conduct technical trials as test equipment becomes available.

TiVo Opens Application Platform to Third Party Developers

TiVo released an early-access software development kit (SDK) that allows third parties to create entertainment and information applications that extend the TiVo service. TiVo recently announced a new service strategy to give broadcasters a way to deploy media rich broadband applications to TiVo subscribers,. TiVo subscribers will be able to access such applications from their broadband-connected TiVo Series2 DVRs, whether they're hosted by TiVo servers or running locally on their home PC. TiVo expects a wide variety of applications will be created, such as rich music and photo services, advanced program and movie guides, sports applications, local weather info, and multiplayer social games.

The Java-based SDK is subject to the Common Public License and is available for download on, the world's largest Open Source software development website.

ECI Telecom Expands FTTP Portfolio with New Indoor ONTs

ECI Telecom introduced a new family of standards-based indoor Optical Network Termination (ONT) devices for residences and businesses being served by Broadband Passive Optical Network (BPON). The new Hi-FOCuS B-Light family of indoor ONTs joins the existing family of outdoor ONTs. Both the indoor and outdoor ONT units interconnect various customer-owned devices, including telephones, PCs, and TVs to the operator's BPON network. The products are based on the ITU G.983 standard.

Passave Establishes U.S. Headquarters in Santa Clara

Passave, a supplier of FTTH silicon has opened a new U.S. headquarters. Based in Santa Clara, California. The new U.S. headquarters office incorporates a state-of-the-art development laboratory for support of customers throughout the design-in and deployment of Passave chips in their systems and networks. Passave recently opened Passave Japan KK subsidiary in the world's largest FTTH market, and a new R&D center in Herzlia, Israel.

Passave's EPON solution is compliant with the IEEE 802.3ah standard for Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM).

America Online and Roadrunner Align Broadband Efforts

Time Warner Cable and America Online, both subsidiaries of Time Warner Inc., agreed to develop and market a customized broadband offering with attractive pricing for their current AOL and Road Runner subscribers as well as prospects across the Time Warner Cable footprint. As part of this relationship, America Online will manage the advertising and search opportunities for both the new offering and the Road Runner portal.

The new broadband offering will consist of a special edition of the AOL client optimized for broadband that is combined with Road Runner's high-speed connectivity and its content.

IP Unity Names Motorola Exec to Board

IP Unity has appointed Cas Skrzypczak, general partner at Global Asset Communications, and Adrian Nemcek, an executive vice president of Motorola, Inc. and president of Motorola Networks, to its board of directors. Casimir Skrzypczak joined Global Asset Capital after retiring from Cisco Systems where he served as senior vice president of Customer Services Advocacy. Adrian Nemcek, as president of Motorola Networks, is focused on providing customer solutions for existing cellular radio access, IP networks, telco wireline access, iDEN technology, new broadband wireless access platforms, embedded communications and computer platforms.

Sylantro Names New Feature Server Customers

Sylantro Systems named two new customers, VoEx and STS Telecom. Both companies have integrated Sylantro's applications feature server and hosted communications applications as part of their comprehensive new service strategies to deliver richer, differentiated alternatives to Unbundled Network Element Platform (UNE-P) service offerings.

STS Telecom, a South Florida-based telecommunications service provider, has deployed Sylantro servers and applications as part of the new EVOLUTION enterprise VoIP offering that will be initially deployed in 30 major U.S. markets. STS plans to migrate more than 10,000 existing business and residential customers to the Sylantro platform.

VoEx, a VoIP services and enhanced managed services provider based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has deployed Sylantro's applications feature server as the basis for its IP Centrex and IP Mobility

Japan Telecom Implements Cisco Optical Platform

Japan Telecom has deployed the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Provisioning Platform (MSPP) for its new "Otoku Line" fixed telephone service introduced in December 2004. The Cisco ONS 15454 MSPP forms a metro access ring independently deployed on a nationwide basis. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Analog Devices Announces Blackfin Processors

Analog Devices (ADI) announced the availability of four new network-enabled Blackfin Processors designed for embedded audio, video and communications applications. The Blackfin architecture combines the audio and video processing capabilities of DSPs and media processors with the programming capabilities of embedded 16/32-bit microprocessors. The new devices are targeted at IP-based video delivery, including IPTV set-top boxes.

ZTE, China's largest listed telecommunications equipment provider, has adopted ADI's new Blackfin eMedia Platform for a wide range of broadband CPE devices including IP set-top boxes. In an IP TV set-top box application, the software-programmable Blackfin Processor microarchitecture provides high-performance media processing, efficient audio/video (A/V) compression, low power consumption and multiformat flexibility (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Windows Media Video, VC1, Windows Media Audio 9 and H.264.