Monday, December 3, 2007

Savvis Builds Application Transport Services with Cisco

SAVVIS has deployed a new Application Transport Network (ATN) based on the Cisco IP Next-Generation Network architecture. As part of a major network and data center upgrade, SAVVIS has now enhanced its global wide area network (WAN) and integrated it with its hosting area network (HAN) infrastructure resulting in a managed application transport network that further virtualizes and optimizes the delivery of enterprise applications.

The SAVVIS ATN is a Tier 1 MPLS network serving approximately 20 percent of the world's Internet routes. It features the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System with Cisco IOS XR Software at the core, along with the Cisco XR 12000 Series Routers incorporating the Cisco Multi-Service Blade (MSB) as multi-service edge platforms. The CRS-1 and XR 12000 routers serve as access and integration points connecting SAVVIS' network and data centers.

SAVVIS' WAN enhancements include new core and edge routers that enable MPLS, high-speed metro Ethernet access, and enhanced end-to-end customer controlled QoS, which when combined with SAVVIS' monitoring and management enables high performance Application Transport Services (ATS) for public and private network enterprise needs.

The companies said enhancements to the HAN augment the WAN upgrade and feature the deployment of the Cisco Application Control Engine (ACE) Blade and Firewall Services Module that is now in production in 13 SAVVIS data centers. This integrated Virtual Services Switch features a 10G network fabric with GigE and 10G customer handoffs significantly improving load balancing, SSL acceleration and security services, as well as enhancing SAVVIS' ability to provide a much broader range of virtualized utility services.

As part of the WAN and HAN integration, SAVVIS has deployed the Cisco Multi-Service Blade, which facilitates virtual firewalls and is integrated with the Cisco XR 12000 Series Router. This enhances security performance and flexibility for SAVVIS customers as it now enables a second generation of in-the-cloud, virtual firewalls.


NextPoint and ZTE Team Up To Deliver Secure Femtocell Solutions

ZTE, a leading global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions based in China, will promote NextPoint's Femtocell Gateway with its range of UMTS products. Specifically, NextPoint and ZTE will offer a joint solution that addresses the end to end requirements of UMTS operators in deploying femtocell solutions.

In addition to providing secured access connectivity over its IntelliConnect System platform, NextPoint will provide technical training and customer support services to ZTE and its customers.

The companies said their combined solution will allow mobile operators worldwide to dramatically improve coverage at home and at work, and will provide secured access for millions of mobile network subscribers.

NexTone and Reefpoint Merge into NextPoint

NexTone Communications, a leading provider of session border controller and session management solutions, and Reef Point Systems, which offers mobile access universal convergence gateways, agreed to merge into a new company -- NextPoint Networks -- serving mobile and fixed-network operators worldwide. The new company will specialize in intelligent, secure and high-scale fixed and mobile IP connectivity solutions.

The NextPoint product portfolio includes:

  • Integrated Border Gateway

  • Session Border Controller

  • Multiprotocol Session Exchange

  • Real-time Session Manager

  • Femtocell Gateway

  • Wireless Gateway

The new company has completed a $20 million round of funding led by One Equity Partners, the private equity arm of JP Morgan Chase, and joined by American Capital , Core Capital Partners, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Safeguard Scientifics, and Summerhill Venture Partners.

NextPoint will be based in Gaithersburg, Maryland and retain offices in Billerica, Mass. As part of the merger, Woody Ritchey was named Chief Executive Officer of NextPoint. For the last eighteen months, Ritchey has led Reef Point into successful trials and deployments with tier-one mobile operators around the world. David Walsh, who has served as CEO of NexTone, has been named Chairman of NextPoint. The company currently has about 300 employees.

NTT DoCoMo Selects Nokia Siemens & Panasonic for Super 3G / LTE

NTT DoCoMo has selected Panasonic Mobile Communications as a supplier
for its Super 3G(LTE) Base Station project. Panasonic Mobile Communications and Nokia Siemens Networks have agreed to cooperate on LTE base station products.

Panasonic Mobile Communications has developed WCDMA base stations for over ten years based on NTT DoCoMo's requirements and has delivered equipment for the operator's FOMA TM network. Panasonic Mobile Communications also joined standardization of LTE technology and development of elements from the early stage.

Nokia Siemens Networks said it is pioneering flat architecture networks with its I-HSPA technology, providing a migration path for operators to LTE. Nokia Siemens Networks also noted that it demonstrated LTE technology in 2006 with data speeds in the 160 Mbps range. It demonstrated a handover between LTE and HSPA in 2007.

Taiwan's Chunghwa Awards IMS Contract to Nokia Siemens Networks

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom has selected Nokia Siemens Networks for its five-year Next Generation Network IMS (NGN IMS) plan.

Under a contract valued at EUR 21 million, Nokia Siemens Networks will deliver to Chunghwa infrastructure and services as part of its IMS Core solution, and will also provide its consumers and business customers VoIP and fixed softswitching solutions. The FMC solution will be deployed turnkey, including network implementation and system integration services and warranty for a two year period to ensure the smooth migration. Deliveries will start in December. In addition, Chunghwa's technical staff will get domestic and overseas competence development trainings.

Chunghwa is already using the Nokia Siemens Networks' 3G, fixed network, and legacy VoIP solutions.

Ixia Load Module Scales to More than 11 Million Routes Across 800 Emulated Routers

A single port on Ixia's XMV16 LAN Services Module -- running its IxNetwork test software -- has scaled to 11,582,100 routes across 800 emulated routers, according to an independent comprehensive test conducted by Isocore at its Internetworking Lab. The goal of the test was to verify the scalability and stability of the XMV16 module's control plane. The module's scalability was validated in what Isocore calls a "testing the tester environment, in which a major manufacturer's carrier-class router was used as a device under test (DUT).

Isocore conducted a multiprotocol scenario where four routing protocols -- OSPFv2, OSPFv3, BGP, and BGP4+ -- were enabled on a single test port. Isocore performed the test using its unique carrier multiservice, single-port scaling, benchmarking methodology. Ixia's XMV16 LAN Services Module operated in its Optixia XM2 field-proven, multiservice test chassis.

Ixia said the Isocore test results validate the scalability and stability of its XMV16 modules. Each of the module's 16 test ports supports wire-speed layer 2-3 traffic generation and analysis, high performance routing/bridging protocol emulation, and high performance layer 4-7 application traffic generation and subscriber emulation. A single Optixia XM12 chassis fully populated with XMV16 modules provides 192 Gigabit Ethernet test ports in 10 units of rack space.

Nokia Outlines its Vision of Internet Evolution

Speaking at the annual Nokia World conference in Amsterdam, Nokia president and CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo outlined the company vision for the mobile industry, predicting a rapid convergence of mobility and the Internet. He also cited the need for the industry to make an increasing contribution to environmental sustainability.

"We are at the dawn of a new era in mobile communications driven by the rapid convergence of the internet and mobility, and Nokia is setting the pace of change. But with market leadership in an industry of this scale also comes responsibility. We are committed to taking a leading role in increasing environmental awareness and performance right across the industry, creating further products and services that help people make more sustainable choices," said Kallasvuo.

Some highlights from the event:

  • Nokia Comes With Music -- certain Nokia devices will be offered with a year of unlimited access to millions of tracks from a range of artists. Once the year is complete, customers can keep all their music without it disappearing when their subscription is over. The program will launch with Universal Music Group International, and Nokia said it is in discussion with the remaining major international labels.

  • Ovi Internet services environment -- enables consumers to easily access their existing social network and content, and is intended to serve as a dashboard to a person's life. Vodafone and Telecom Italia Mobile have agreed to support it.

  • Environmental issues -- Nokia promises to drive new initiatives in the mobile industry in areas such as energy efficiency, materials used in products, take back, recycling, and packaging. One example is the Nokia 3110 Evolve, a mobile device with bio-covers made from more than 50% renewable material. The device is presented in a small package made of 60% recycled content and it comes with Nokia's most energy efficient charger, using 94% less energy than the Energy Star requirements.

  • Industry mobile device volumes Nokia forecasts that in 2008, total volume will grow about 10% from the approximately 1.1 billion units Nokia estimates for 2007. Industry mobile device volume growth in 2008 is expected to be above 15% in Asia-Pacific, China and Middle East & Africa, and below 10% in North America, Europe and Latin America. Nokia expects the device industry to experience value growth in 2008, but expects some decline in industry Average Selling Prices (ASPs) primarily reflecting the increasing impact of the emerging markets and competitive factors in general.

  • Number of Global Mobile Users -- Nokia expects the four billion mobile subscriptions mark to be reached in 2009, rather than in 2010 as previously forecasted.

Nokia Acquires Avvenu for Mobile Access and Share Technologies

Nokia will acquire Avvenu, a start-up that helps mobile users securely access, use and share personal computer files, even if their host computer is turned off. Avvenu is based in Palo Alto, California. The company was founded in 2004. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia said the Avvenu technology would help it deliver a secure file access and share service direct to mobile workers.

"This acquisition is another step toward delivering on Nokia's business mobility strategy," said Mary McDowell, executive vice president and general manager, Enterprise Solutions, Nokia. "Avvenu's 'digital locker' file access and sharing technology allows users to search, access and share PC files remotely, using their mobile or other connected devices, even when their PC is turned off or not connected to the Internet. With the integration of Avvenu's technology, Nokia will further extend its business mobility solutions beyond email to add collaboration tools that enable greater everyday productivity through access to a user's own content anytime, anywhere, from any connected device."

Wi-Fi Chip Shipments to Top 300 Million for 2007

Wi-Fi chipset sales are poised to reach 300 million units this year, according to new data released today by the Wi-Fi Alliance and In-Stat -- a 41% growth rate from 2006, in which 213 million chipsets were shipped.
The rapid growth is attributed to gaming consoles, phones, cameras, storage products and other consumer devices that are increasingly incorporating Wi-Fi.

In-Stat further predicts that by 2011, about 700 million devices will ship with Wi-Fi on board, and by that time, Wi-Fi-enabled consumer electronics and phones will begin to exceed notebook computers in the total number of shipments.

"This was truly a banner year for the Wi-Fi industry, and we expect to see the strong growth continue," said Wi-Fi Alliance senior director Karen Hanley.

AT&T and Verizon Wireless to Swap Certain Assets

AT&T and Verizon Wireless agreed to swap certain wireless assets. Under the deal, AT&T will acquire -- upon Verizon's acquisition of Rural Cellular Corporation -- some former Rural Cellular properties, including licenses, network assets and subscribers, in the Burlington, Vt. metropolitan service area and in rural service areas in New York, Vermont and Washington. AT&T will also acquire a cellular license from Verizon in Kentucky.

Verizon will acquire from AT&T some former Dobson Communications Corporation properties, including licenses, network assets and subscribers, in Kentucky . Verizon will also acquire 10 MHz of PCS spectrum in a number of markets and receive an additional cash consideration from AT&T.

As required, AT&T has also agreed to sell the Cellular One brand to Trilogy Partners. In addition, to fulfill the remaining divestiture requirements, AT&T has entered into a separate agreement with MTPCS, LLC to sell the former Dobson property, including licenses, network assets and subscribers, in Texas and AT&T's share of the former Dobson partnership holding licenses, network assets and subscribers in portions of Oklahoma. Together, these transactions satisfy AT&T's divestiture requirements related to its recent acquisition of Dobson.

All the transactions require regulatory approval.
  • In June 2007, AT&T agreed to acquire Dobson Communications, which markets itself under the Cellular One brand, for approximately $2.8 billion in cash. Dobson Communications operates in more than 60 wireless markets in 17 states, covering a population base of over 12.4 million and serving 1.6 million subscribers. It is the largest wireless provider in Alaska. It uses both TDMA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE technologies.

EC Clears CommScope Acquisition of Andrew

The European Commission gave an unconditional clearance for the acquisition of Andrew Corporation by CommScope. The deal was first announced in June 2007 at a valuation of US$2.6 billion.

CommScope is a global leader in structured cabling systems for business enterprise applications and also the largest manufacturer of coaxial cable for Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC).

Andrew provides broad-based wireless solutions for antennas, cable products, base station subsystems, in-building and distributed coverage, geolocation systems and satellite communications.

The merger will create a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks. Its portfolio will include structured cabling solutions for the business enterprise; broadband cable and apparatus for cable television applications; and antenna and cable products, base station subsystems, coverage and capacity systems, and network solutions for wireless applications.

Cablevision's Optimum Lightpath Cites Rapid Ethernet Growth in NYC Region

Cablevision's Optimum Lightpath division reported a 90% increase in Ethernet revenue growth for Q3 2007, compared to the same quarter 2006. The company said this growth validates its transition to a pure Metro Ethernet strategy.

"Optimum Lightpath - particularly our base of Metro Ethernet customers - has experienced tremendous growth over the past year as we provide enterprise businesses with sophisticated telecommunications needs," said Dave Pistacchio, executive vice president and general manager, Optimum Lightpath.

Telecom Italia to Support Nokia Ovi

Telecom Italia has agreed to enable Ovi, the gateway to Nokia's Internet services, on Nokia handsets offered by TIM.

As part of the collaboration, Nokia will customize the new Nokia handsets to provide easy access to TIM services. Similarly, TIM customers can access all Nokia services through the customized Multimedia Menu embedded into their Nokia device. The collaboration also includes areas such as technology and billing co-operation.

The companies said the agreement will make it easy for mobile users to find Internet services from TIM, Nokia or from other Internet service providers.

The Nokia N95 8GB and the Nokia N81 will be the first devices offered that will have customized menus to provide easy access to both services. Nokia and TIM have also agreed on a sustainable business model for both parties in a mutually beneficial approach.
  • In August 2007, Nokia introduced "Ovi", its new Internet services brand name for mobile devices. Ovi, meaning "door" in Finnish, will be Nokia's portal enabling consumers to access its gaming and music store services. Also under the Ovi umbrella is Nokia Maps, the company's navigation service, as well as future Internet-based services the coming plans to introduce in the coming months. Nokia also promised to make Ovi "an open door to web communities, enabling people to access their content, communities and contacts from a single place, either directly from a compatible Nokia device or from a PC." The English language version of Ovi is expected to debut in Q4.

  • In November, Vodafone, the world's largest mobile operator by revenue, and Nokia agreed to launch an integrated suite of Vodafone services combined with Nokia Ovi Services on a range of Nokia handsets. Vodafone and Nokia also agreed that a number of these handsets will be exclusive to Vodafone.

AT&T Enhances its SONET Services with VCAT

AT&T announced two enhancements to its SONET service portfolio for wholesale and enterprise customers: Virtual Concatenation (VCAT) service and Arc Sub-ring service. Both new offerings provide more efficient and flexible use of bandwidth so that businesses can quickly add, increase, mix and manage traffic flows across networks.

VCAT lets users bond Ethernet paths across a dedicated SONET ring without additional equipment. The VCAT features streamline the process for aggregating voice, video and IP traffic from multiple rings and allow SONET customers to quickly allocate bandwidth when it is needed for services such as business continuity and disaster recovery. AT&T is one of the first U.S. carriers to announce a wide deployment of VCAT technology to support Ethernet services across metropolitan areas.

The Arc Sub-ring feature helps SONET ring customers add new locations through a single connection without affecting the main ring or reconfiguring services such as Ethernet.

The features will be offered in the 13 states in which facilities are available: California, Nevada, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Connecticut.

AT&T said both services offer a significant benefit to financial institutions, government agencies or health care providers, which are dealing in real time with massive amounts of data and traffic across multiple locations. It is especially helpful for wireless operators and other wholesale customers that manage multiple SONET rings in a metro area and want to combine traffic with different speeds over a single link to achieve more efficient use of their existing fiber routes.

In addition to VCAT and Arc Sub-rings, AT&T announced several new features in its optical product suite:

  • AT&T now supports the ability to "oversubscribe" virtual packet rings with AT&T SMARTRing services. Oversubscription allows customers to shift unused bandwidth within a SONET ring to handle bursts of traffic. This allows for more flexible bandwidth management across Ethernet circuits on AT&T's SMARTRing backbone.

  • Unprotected Channel Transport is now available for new Dedicated SONET Ring Service customers. It will allow customers the option to give lower-priority traffic an unprotected channel so that the protection channel may be used to route other traffic.