Wednesday, January 17, 2007

European Commission Studies Network Resiliency

The European Commission is seeking feedback on how best to secure electronic networks against disruption from attack or natural hazards.

A new study has identified a range of important issues for ensuring that future networks are sufficiently protected and resilient. The consequences of the failure of or criminal attack on a single network or sub-system could potentially be propagated more widely and faster than ever before. The study argues that protective measures need to be put in place to ensure that critical services and infrastructure are not vulnerable to such failures, and that there can be no "domino effect" that might otherwise result in a major technological collapse of communications and the many services they support.

"Communication and information infrastructures are the nervous system of our modern society," said Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media. "As our dependency on them grows, we need to do all we can to safeguard such networks. I would not like Europe to experience the huge problems Asia faced over the Christmas time as a consequence of an earthquake south of Taiwan. I therefore call on all stakeholders to participate in this consultation so that we can together determine how best to protect ourselves in the future."

The study carried out for the Commission reports on the reliability (against failure) and the robustness (against attack and other hazards) - of electronic communication networks. It provides insights into the overall security of these networks, based on extensive interviews with virtually all types of stakeholder.

The study makes 10 recommendations for key actions to be taken by the European Commission, Member States and the private sector. These include: emergency exercises and drills, the establishment of pre-arranged priority restoration procedures, the conclusion of formal mutual aid agreements between operators and service providers, addressing interdependencies between the communications and other critical sectors, enhancing information sharing mechanisms including cross-sector communications, the implementation of innovative trusted concepts, and the use of industry consensus best-practices.

The study is available online.

Tropic Networks Exec Appointed to SCTE

Tropic Networks, the developer of "Wavelength Tracker" powered metro regional ROADM systems, announced that Joe Thomas, Director of Sales Engineering, has become the Vice President of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers, (SCTE), Rocky Mountain Chapter, in Colorado. The SCTE is a professional organization that is dedicated to advancing the careers of cable telecommunications professionals and servicing the industry through professional development, information and standards.

Tehuti Unveils 10GbE 10GBASE-T and Dual 10GBASE-CX4 Adapters

Tehuti Networks announced three new additions to its adapter reference design family: a 10GBASE-T single port NIC, a 10GBASE-T dual port NIC, and a 10GbE dual port CX4, low-profile server adapter. All adapters are based upon the newly released Tehuti Networks TN3016 host hardware offload controller.

Navini Demos Smart Beamforming on Mobile WiMAX

Navini Networks demonstrated Smart beamforming on its "Ripwave" MX mobile WiMAX platform. Navini is applying the idea of beamforming to MIMO, delivering what it calls "Smart MIMO". The company said its combination of Smart beamforming and Smart MIMO enables "Smart WiMAX".

"Beamforming and MIMO are complementary. Beamforming enhances the performance of both MIMO A and B and provides crucial uplink performance that MIMO does not. Furthermore, beamforming makes MIMO practical. Without beamforming, MIMO B performance in many situations is suboptimal at best and non-existent at worst. Smart MIMO takes away that uncertainty allows MIMO B to work in all situations. From Navini's perspective having both (beamforming and MIMO) is always better," said Sai Subramanian, VP, Strategic Marketing and Product Management for Navini Networks.

Firetide Teams with PRO 911 Systems for Metro Mesh, Surveillance

Firetide has signed an agreement with PRO 911 Systems, a systems integrator for wireless mesh networks and video surveillance systems. Under the deal, PRO 911 Systems will provide Firetide mesh nodes, wireless access points, and mobility controllers for municipal and public safety mesh networking customers. Applications include wireless communications, video surveillance, shoreline observation systems, underwater networks, and utility SCADA telemetry and meter reading.

Microsoft to Offer Vista Download Option

Microsoft will make Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office release available for direct download by consumers starting January 30. Windows Vista editions offered through Windows Marketplace are available in English only, in either 32-bit or 64-bit versions.

Microsoft will also offer the ability to upgrade an existing edition of Windows Vista to a higher-grade edition by way of an online transaction.

Motorola Wins India's First UMTS Contract From MTNL

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) has selected Motorola for the supply of a Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service (UMTS) cellular network for Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). Under the agreement, which includes network deployment and maintenance services, MTNL will be expanding its GSM network by 2 million lines.

Described as the first UMTS rollout in India, the UMTS network deployment will take place after the relevant regulatory authority of India has authorized spectrum allocation and appropriate licenses are obtained by the network operators.

JDSU Exceeds Revenue Guidance

JDSU boosted its earnings estimates for the quarter ended 31-Dec-2006, saying it now expects to exceed its previously issued revenue guidance of $332 to $352 million. Based on preliminary data, JDSU now expects to report 2007 second quarter revenue in the range of $360 to $365 million.

The company said its Communications Test and Measurement segment performed particularly well during the quarter, benefiting from seasonal strength associated with customer spending patterns and improved execution relative to the previous quarter. Strong revenue growth in Communications Test and Measurement more than offset a small sequential revenue decline in the Optical Communications segment, associated with customer supply chain and inventory rationalization.

Chelsio Announces 10GBASE-T Adapters

Chelsio Communications has expanded its 10GigE portfolio with the introduction of 10Gb Ethernet adapter cards based on the new 10GBASE-T (IEEE 802.3an) standard interface for 10Gb transmission over Category 6 or Category 7 copper cabling.

Chelsio is announcing two new 10Gb Ethernet cards, the S310e-BT storage adapter and the N310e-BT server adapter. Both cards offer a single dual-speed auto-negotiating 1GbE/10GbE port, and support the PCI-Express host bus interface. The dual speed feature allows an immediate upgrade of server interconnects to 10G, while preserving the interoperability with existing 1G switches.

The S310e-BT is powered by Chelsio's Terminator 3 (T3) ASIC and Teranetics' TeraPHY TN1010 transceiver. The T3 fully offloads TCP/IP, iSCSI and iWARP RDMA processing from the host system. Protocol offload reduces CPU utilization by up to 90%, and decreases system power consumption, while increasing network bandwidth, and lowering communication latency. With these benefits, it becomes possible to converge applications that traditionally used niche technologies onto 10Gb Ethernet.

The N310e-BT is a stateless offload server adapter, delivering the highest throughput for 10Gb Ethernet server applications. With the N310 series, enterprises can cost effectively connect servers and storage systems directly to the 10GbE backbone switching infrastructure now using RJ-45 connectors, in addition to the previously available fiber and CX-4 copper.

AT&T Supplies Metro Ethernet for Southwest Business Corp.

AT&T was awarded a new contract by Southwest Business Corporation (SWBC) to connect the financial services company's new contact center with its corporate headquarters, both located in San Antonio. Under the three-year deal, AT&T will provide SWBC with AT&T OPT-E-MAN service, a switched Ethernet service that connects LANs within the same metropolitan area to create a consolidated communications system.

France Telecom Unifies its Global R&D into Orange Labs Network

France Telecom has unified its global R&D activities under the banner of Orange Labs network.

The Orange Labs network includes the 15 R&D laboratories in 7 countries (France, China, Japan, South Korea, United States, United Kingdom and Poland): each R&D site is integrated into its own geographic ecosystem, enabling it to leverage the technological advances and evolving user habits around the world. The network also integrates the Technocentre based in Chatillon and the Explocentre in Paris, which operate as nerve centers for all new products or services.

The company said it plans to expand its role within high-growth environments such as social networks and virtual blog communities by giving users the resources.

"In 2006 we grouped our products and services together under the Orange banner in order to guarantee a unique experience based on convenience and simplicity to our clients," said Didier Lombard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of France Telecom.

Sparkplug Raises $22.5 Million for Wireless BB Networks

Sparkplug, which operates wireless networks across eight states, has received $22.5 million in funding to drive expansion of the company's service areas throughout the Midwest and Southwestern United States. The company was formed last year as the result of the merger of three established companies: Sparkplug in Chicago, Prairie iNet in Des Moines, Iowa; and Telespectra in Phoenix. The company offers connection rates from 2Mbps to 200 Mbps.

The funding was led by Ignition Partners, a venture capital firm based in Bellevue, Wash.; The Greenspun Corp. of Henderson, Nev.; and Trilogy Equity Partners, a venture capital firm also based in Bellevue, Wash. Other prominent investors include Allen & Co. and Square 1 Bank.

Comcast Media Center Exceeds 200 Digital Channels

Denver-based Comcast Media Center (CMC), a business unit of Comcast Cable which provides content for cable system operators, announced new transport agreements for twenty-three additional channels. This brings its total portfolio to more than 200 channels.

These twenty-three channels, which will travel aboard SES AMERICOM's 50-state AMC-4 satellite, bring to 54 the total number of east- and west-coast feeds for widely carried cable TV networks that have been added to the CMC's HITS platform of over 150 digital video and audio services.

Orange Launches Pikeo Photo Site

Orange launched Pikeo -- a free service where users can archive their photos online and share them with others by positioning them on a map of the world. The service is offered in French, English and Spanish. The idea was developed at the San Francisco Orange Labs as part of the programme developed at the France Telecom Technocentre.

Canada's TELUS Selects Spirent for Triple Play Service Assurance

TELUS has selected Spirent Communications' to provide triple play service assurance solution to ensure quality of experience (QoE) for its customers. Specifically, Spirent's SmartSight solution, including SmartSight Central Operational System and IPMax probes, will be deployed throughout TELUS' network. These systems will enable TELUS to emulate the service quality on the customer's line prior to installation, thereby reducing overall installation time.

Nuance Offers SIP-based Speech-enabled Auto Attendant

Nuance Communications introduced a turnkey, IP-based speech-enabled auto attendant solution for employee-to-employee communications. The SIP-based SpeechAttendant Internal Dialer solution is compatible with IP-based infrastructures from leading vendors such as Avaya, Cisco, Genesys and others. It enables employees to reach any person, department or location across the organization by simply dialing one number and saying a name. Organizations maintain a single inbound phone number powered by automated, speech-driven call routing. also allows employees to forward calls to their current location (such as a cell phone, home or remote office).

Siemens IT Solutions and Services Takes Form

Siemens Business Services, Inc. has been renamed Siemens IT Solutions and Services. The company will continue to provide a broad scope of IT services, including IT solutions, infrastructure outsourcing and the management and development of application software.

The new Group Siemens IT Solutions and Services will be led globally by Dr. Christoph Kollatz who formerly headed up Siemens Business Services, while John McKenna remains head of North America operations.

NDS Supports IPTV Trial by KT and the C-CUBE Consortium

NDS supplied its Synamedia solution to protect digital content in an IPTV trial conducted by KT and the C-Cube consortium. The IPTV trial was concluded on December 31, 2006, and final technical evaluation will be submitted to the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Korean Broadcasting Commission for consideration.

The IPTV service was successfully delivered to 270 households in Seoul and Yangyeong County, southeast of Seoul, protected by the NDS Synamedia solution. The service provided over 27 channels including high definition (HD) channels, five terrestrial channels, a terrestrial portal, a user-created content (UCC) portal, 1,200 on-demand videos, and 27 interactive TV services to fully comply with the requirements specified by the C-Cube consortium.

The C-Cube consortium is comprised of 54 companies, including KT, SK Telecom, Hanaro Telecom, LG Dacom, Onse Telecom, KBS, MBC, Samsung Electronics and other partners.