Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Intel Develops Silicon Laser

Researchers at Intel's Photonics Technology Laboratory have developed a silicon-based continuous laser beam with potential applications in optical computing, communications and medicine. Intel's silicon Raman laser would operate at longer wavelengths than existing diode lasers. More research is needed before the device could be commercialized. A paper on the breakthrough is published online in the journal Nature.
  • In February 2004, Intel announced that it had succeeded in using silicon manufacturing processes to create a novel "transistor-like" device that can encode data onto a light beam.
    Performance of the silicon-based optical modulator exceeds 1 GHz and the Intel researchers believe they can the scale the technology up to 10 GHz or faster in the future. To achieve the result, a beam of light is split into two beams as it passes through the silicon. Then, a novel transistor-like device is used to hit one beam with an electric charge, inducing a "phase shift." When the two beams of light are re-combined the phase shift induced between the two arms makes the light exiting the chip go on and off at over 1 GHz. The on and off pattern of light can be translated into the 1's and 0's needed to transmit data. "This is a significant step toward building optical devices that move data around inside a computer at the speed of light," said Patrick Gelsinger, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Intel.

FCC's Broadband PCS Spectrum Auction Raises Over $2 Billion

The FCC closed its auction of broadband Personal Communications Services (PCS) licenses, raising gross revenues of $2,253,802,000 and, after applying bidding credits, total net revenue of $2,043,230,450. The auction ended after 91 rounds of bidding. A total of 242 licenses for A, C, D, E, and F blocks of broadband PCS spectrum were offered, and 24 bidders won 217 licenses.

The auction included spectrum recovered through the settlement with NextWave Communications, which was reached last year. NextWave had acquired the spectrum in the first such auction in 1994, but later declared bankruptcy. The FCC revoked the license and the case was then tied up in litigation for many years.

Sprint PCS Selects Harris for Next-Gen Microwave Cellular Backhauls

Sprint named Harris as its preferred provider of point-to-point, next generation microwave technology to be used as a transport alternative versus leasing wire line facilities in select markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Specifically, Sprint signed a four-year agreement to use Harris' Truepoint universal platform for point- to-point cellular backhauls as the backbone of its Sprint PCS wireless network in key U.S. markets nationwide. The microwave radios will backhaul CDMA and EV-DO services. Sprint expects to reduce its backhaul costs by millions of dollars a year. In addition to its backhaul application, Sprint may use TRuepoint for a range of additional services, such as disaster recovery, emergency services and enterprise connectivity.

The Truepoint platform can deliver service from 4 to 180 Mbps at frequencies ranging from 6 to 38 GHz. The TRuepoint links can use remote SNMP-based management and feature built-in diagnostics.

LightPointe Extends Range of 100-Mbps Optical Wireless Bridge

LightPointe introduced an extended range optical wireless product based on free-space optics (FSO) technology. The FlightLite 100E extends the line-of-sight distance of previous models to deliver 100-Mbps full-duplex throughput optimized for connectivity up to 1,500 meters. The extended range is three times that of LightPointe's FlightLite 100, which since its introduction in 2004 has become the company's best-selling enterprise wireless bridge. When deployed at shorter distances, the new FlightLite 100E also delivers a more powerful signal that maximizes uptime and performance in rigorous weather conditions. Prices start at around $9,500 per link.

Boingo Signs Roaming Deal with Connexion by Boeing

Boingo Wireless announced a roaming agreement with Connexion by Boeing. Boingo subscribers on commercial airliners will be able to wirelessly access the Internet in flight on aircraft equipped with the Connexion by Boeing service, in addition to roaming on any of the more than 13,000 hot spots worldwide that are part of the Boingo Roaming System.

Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), Japan Airlines, and ANA are currently offering the service to their passengers. Singapore Airlines, China Airlines, Korean Air and Asiana have also indicated their plans to begin offering the service to their passengers later this year.

Ixia Announces Terabit Scale, 10 Gigabit Ethernet Test Platform

Ixia introduced a new 6 port, 10 Gigabit Ethernet test module for its Optixia test platform, providing 600 Gbps full duplex or 1.2 Terabit/sec total bandwidth in a single test platform. The terabit scale test solution is aimed at network equipment manufacturers, semiconductor manufacturers, and carriers that are accelerating the deployment of 10 Gigabit Ethernet technology and services. Early adoption of the Optixia 10 Gigabit Ethernet solution has already begun in Asia with a shipment this month to a large national carrier that is rolling out a mix of complex triple-play services.

Optixia provides a single test platform for Layer 2 and 3 traffic generation, IP Routing emulation, and application testing. The Optixia 10 Gigabit Ethernet solution offers scalability at up to 60 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet in a single test platform. Because of its unique CPU per port design, Optixia is capable of generating and tracking hundreds of millions of unique packet flows while simultaneously emulating IP routing protocols. Optixia also supports Ixia's entire portfolio of Layer 4 through 7 testing applications, including IxChariot and IxLoad.

Ixia's Optixia solution already supported up to 240 Gigabit Ethernet ports per chassis.

MEF to Host "Carrier Ethernet Congress" in September

The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) and IIR Conferences will host a "Carrier Ethernet World Congress" in Berlin, Germany, from September 12th to 16th, 2005. The event will incorporate a high-profile 3 Day conference, in addition to an exhibition and Interoperability showcase. This event is aimed at a global audience of incumbent and competitive Service Providers, as well as equipment vendors, component suppliers and integrators.

CommPartners Raises $15 Million for Network Buildout

CommPartners, an IP-based network operator and telephony services and solutions provider, raised $15 million in new funding to accelerate the build-out of its nationwide IP/PSTN network.

CommPartners, formed in 2003, said it will use the additional capital to extend its IP/PSTN network coverage to 95% of domestic U.S. local calling areas by year-end 2005. CommPartners' current coverage area features an "NFL city footprint" with VoIP services and local telephone numbers available in major metropolitan areas . CommPartners expects to obtain CLEC status in all 50 states by year end.

CommPartners' turnkey wholesale solution enables service providers to offer full-featured bundled service packages. It also offers "carrier services" for origination and termination of traffic into the domestic PSTN.

Laurel's Service Edge Router Showcases Multicast and QoS over Broadband

Laurel Networks is demonstrating video, voice and high speed data over DSL and T1/E1 circuits at this week's MPLS World Congress 2005 in Paris. The demonstration, which will feature Laurel's ST50 Service Edge Router equipped with the recently-announced 8-port10/100 TX Ethernet access card, will showcase Laurel's multicast and QoS capabilities over broadband.

Laurel's ST50 platform offers multi-service functionally including Internet routing, Layer 2 switching, broadband subscriber management, high availability and integrated service management. Recently introduced, three new miniPHY cards add T1/E1, DS-3, E3 and 10/100 TX Ethernet access interfaces to the ST50 platform, enabling the delivery of new services such as VoIP, IP VPNs and broadband Internet access through IP DSLAMs, ATM DSLAMs and traditional T1 or E1 circuits. The cards expand the existing ST50 miniPHY family, which includes AnyService on AnyPort @ AnySpeed SONET/SDH and Gigabit Ethernet interfaces.

Eagle Broadband & GlobeCast Offer Turnkey IPTV Solution

Eagle Broadband and GlobeCast, a subsidiary of France Telecom, are launching IPTVComplete, a turnkey IPTV services solution for telcos, municipalities, utilities, universities and real estate developers across the United States.

IPTVComplete from Eagle Broadband and GlobeCast provides a package of standard, premium and high definition television programming, video-on-demand, pay per view and digital music with full IP multicast video content rights for distribution over fiber, DSL and other private IP networks.

The companies estimate their IPTVComplete turnkey solution can save $1 to 2 million or more in up-front capital expenditures required to design, purchase and install an IP head-end, secure the necessary video content rights, provision circuits, aggregate content, operate and maintain the head-end, and the many other tasks required to launch and operate a competitive IPTV service offering. The turnkey approach can also reduce the time to market to launch a new IPTV service to under 60 days versus the industry average of 12 to 18 months.

The agreement combines Eagle Broadband's IP video content rights, expertise delivering IP video services and IP set top boxes, with GlobeCast's carrier-class IP network and global IP satellite distribution capabilities. By leveraging satellite delivery transport infrastructure, IPTVComplete makes it easier for incumbent and new broadband providers to add high quality video to their existing voice and data offerings to complete a "triple-play" services bundle which can increase subscriber rates, reduce customer churn, generate higher average revenue per user and provide a real competitive advantage.

IPTVComplete's satellite distribution allows Eagle/GlobeCast to install a fully featured, IP video head-end anywhere in the United States, eliminating the need for long-haul bandwidth circuits. Key IPTVComplete options include:

  • 200+ channels of programming from major content providers with full IP multicast rights.

  • Pay per view, video-on-demand, digital music and high definition programming.

  • A full function IP video head-end.

  • Video network & head-end design, integration & installation.

  • Video content aggregation & IP encapsulation.

  • Content encryption.

  • Satellite distribution & transport.

  • IP set top boxes & middleware.

  • 24/7 customer service, network monitoring & technical support.

ECI Supplies SDH to Finnish Defense Forces

ECI Telecom was awarded a new $3 million optical equipment order from the Finnish Defense Forces (FDF). Over the past two years, ECI has supplied FDF with over $18 million of its next-generation XDM optical platform equipment. This year, ECI will also provide its LightSoft network management system to allow secure, reliable and fully resilient management backup.

The FDF's state-of-the-art network has XDMs strategically placed around Finland to provide fast and reliable communications and local response for all areas of the Finnish army, including the ground forces, naval services and the air force.

ECI is also a core member of the DCN Group, a co-sponsored initiative of FDF and DCN that provides a unique mobile interface network to transmit voice, data, and images from anywhere, for crisis management and special events.

Bharti Expands Wireless Contracts with Ericsson

Bharti -Tele-Ventures (BTVL) has expanded GSM/GPRS infrastructure contracts with Ericsson to cover two additional regions on the Indian sub-continent. This brings the total number of regions covered by Ericsson to 15. Ericsson will provide Bharti with complete network infrastructure, including locally produced Ericsson core and access network elements. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Spain's Red Electrica Deploys Juniper's E-series

Red Electrica Telecomunicaciones (RET), a broadband services provider in Spain operating under the brand name Albura, has deployed Juniper Networks' E-series edge routing platform in its broadband networks. Juniper's ERX-1440 edge routing platforms are being deployed in RET's metropolitan PoPs. Each platform is capable of processing up to 48,000 simultaneous broadband. The deployment is designed to extend the wholesale xDSL services RET offers to Spanish service providers. RET has deployed the Juniper Networks solution working closely with local integration partner, Telindus. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Occam Adds 31 New Customers in 2004

Occam Networks added 31 new customers in 2004 for its Ethernet and IP-based loop carrier equipment. The company reported Q4 revenue of $6.5 million, setting a new record. Fourth quarter 2004 revenues represented an increase of 46% over the third quarter of 2004, the company's previous highest revenue quarter.

IPCC Establishes Wireless Wireline Convergence Working Group

The International Packet Communications Consortium (IPCC) has established a new Working Group to define reference architectures that provide feature transparency and seamless mobility across wireline (DSL, Fiber, Cable), and wireless (3G, WiFi, WiMAX) networks. This Working Group was founded by the following IPCC members: Alcatel, Brooktrout, Cisco, Convedia, eLEC, Sonus, Tekelec, Time Warner Telecom, UTStarcom.

The new working group will focus on defining reference architectures for an access agnostic network that will provide feature transparency and seamless mobility across wireline broadband (DSL, Fiber, and Cable) and wireless media (2.5G, 3G, WiFi, WiMAX). Its work will include mobile handover between 2G/3G and WiFi/WiMAX and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) within 3GPP. It will investigate other areas where efficiencies may be achieved in operations and capital costs. This working group will also liaise with the appropriate standards bodies such as, ANSI, ETSI, IETF, 3GPP, and the DSL and WiMAX Forums to expedite the proposed reference architecture.

The IPCC encourages service providers, vendors and enterprises interested to become involved with the Wireless Wireline Convergence Working Group. Contact: Michael Khalilian, M.Khalilian@PacketComm.Orghttp://www.packetcomm.org

See also