Sunday, November 30, 2008

Orange Business Services Offers "Unik PC" Softphone

Orange Business Services has launched a "Unik PC" service for the French market enabling mobile subscribers to make calls from their PC using a USB key and bundled software.

Unik PC allows the mobile subscriber to call freely in France or abroad from any computer connected to the Internet either via the company network, from a home connection or with Wi-Fi. Calls made from a computer are unlimited 7/7 and 24h/24 to company mobiles and landlines in mainland France. Other calls are deducted from the mobile package at the same cost as a call made to mainland France wherever the call is made from. In this way, a company can control costs linked to mobile calls especially those made from abroad.

Unik PC is available as an option for company mobile packages from EUR 8.5 (excl. VAT) per month per line with a "Unik PC pack" at EUR 29 (excl. VAT) that includes the Unik PC key (including the mobile softphone, the "Click to Call" plug-ins and 4 GB of storage space), a headset (microphone + headphones), and a USB cable.

AT&T Appoints Head for EMEA

AT&T has appointed Kevin Maher as Regional Vice President of Middle East & Africa. He will be based in Dubai, where AT&T maintains its regional headquarters, and will be responsible for the strategic direction and tactical management of the global resources serving AT&T's business customers in the region. Maher has been part of the AT&T global sales leadership for the past five years and was most recently a sales center VP supporting AT&T's global customers with networking requirements in the United States. He has more than 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry with AT&T, ITT, Western Union and Global One.

Nokia Siemens Networks Demos LTE-Advanced Relaying

Researchers at Nokia Siemens Networks in Germany have demonstrated relaying technology proposed for LTE-Advanced, which is currently being studied by 3GPP for Release 10 and will be submitted towards ITU-R as the 3GPP Radio Interface Technology proposal.

The demonstration combined an LTE system supporting a 2x2 MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) antenna system, and a relay station. The relaying operated in-band, which means that the relay stations inserted in the network do not need an external data backhaul. They are connected to the nearest base stations by using radio resources within the operating frequency band of the base station itself. Towards the terminal they are base stations and offer the full functionality of LTE.

The demonstration featured an intelligent demo relay node embedded in a test network forming a FDD in-band self-backhauling solution for coverage enhancements.

Nokia Siemens Networks said the demonstration illustrates how advances to Relaying technology can further improve the quality and coverage consistency of a network at the cell edge -- where users are furthest from the mobile broadband base station. The performance at the cell edge could be increased up to 50% of the peak throughput.

"Demonstrating improved cell edge and indoor-user data rates is an important milestone for coverage scenarios. It further strengthens the position of LTE as the major mobile broadband technology. Consumers will enjoy an even richer user experience thanks to higher throughput everywhere in the cell, while operators will be able to deploy their networks in a more flexible and cost efficient way," said Stephan Scholz, Chief Technology Officer of Nokia Siemens Networks.

"LTE Advanced is the next step in the evolutionary development of LTE technology. Nokia Siemens Networks performs extensive research activities for LTE-Advanced in developing this important technology which will be decisive to our customers in the future,"
  • In 2006, Nokia Siemens Networks demonstrated LTE technology with data speeds in the 160 Mbps range as well as a successful handover between LTE and HSPA.

  • In 2007, the company demonstrated a multiuser field trial in an urban environment with peak data rates of 173 Mbps.

  • In February 2008, Nokia Siemens Networks showcased a live demo on commercial hardware and launched its LTE solution based on Flexi Multimode Base Station.

  • In September 2008, Nokia Siemens Networks started to ship its LTE compatible Flexi Multimode Base Station hardware.

H3C Selects RMI's XLS Processor for SMB Gateways

H3C Technologies has selected RMI's Multi-Core Multi-Threaded XLS Processor for a series of products, including the SR66xx series secure routers, the ICG 2200 series information communication gateway, low-end security, wireless AC and switch products. The H3C ICG 2200 (Information Communication Gateway) is a unified communications system that integrates functions of router, switch, firewall, VPN, IAD, wireless AP and accelerator into single box, providing unified communications services through WAN, LAN, VoIP, direct-line, wireless and EPON interfaces.

RMI's XLS Processor is a feature-rich general purpose processor with application specific autonomous hardware accelerators and multiple on-chip interconnect options providing an ideal combination of high level programmability, performance scalability, and intelligent packet management. The XLS Processor enables integrated control plane, data plane, and security processing in a single System-on-a-Chip (SuperSoC) solution.http://www.RMICorp.com

Qatar's Qtel Selects NSN for Full Network Modernization

Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has awarded a US$61 million contract to Nokia Siemens Networks for a full network modernization project that will double mobile broadband speeds in Qatar. Nokia Siemens Networks is deploying an energy-efficient radio access solution, based on a Flexi Base Station, that will offer very significant power consumption savings to Qtel. Nokia Siemens Networks is also providing technical and business consultancy, site preparation, field activities and network operations support. It is implementing a state-of-the-art infrastructure roll-out process, built upon a circuit-switch core network capacity expansion and a packet core network swap based on the Flexi ISN solution for optimized data traffic.

Huawei Supplies IP/MPLS Unified Core Router to Saudi Arabia's Mobily

Huawei Technologies has assisted Mobily, one of the major mobile operators in Saudi Arabia, to deploy an IP/MPLS unified core network. Mobily is a full service operator with wired and wireless broadband data services, but its voice service and data services used to be run through two separate bearer networks. Huawei has supplied six NetEngine 5000E core routers to deploy the nationwide bearer network built on a common IP/MPLS unified core. This paves the way for fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) evolution for Mobily. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hawaiian Telcom Files for Chapter 11

Hawaiian Telcom, the incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) in Hawaii, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The company is seeking relief to enable it to continue to operate its business without interruption to customers, employees and other critical constituents. The requests to the Bankruptcy Court include authority to honor all customer programs such as discounts and rebates, to continue to pay wages and salaries, and to continue various benefits for employees. In addition, the Company will seek authority to use its existing cash collateral to fund operations.

Hawaiian Telcom said its actions are a result of increased competition in an ever-evolving communications industry, an
inability to satisfy its capital expenditure needs while continuing to meet its debt service requirements, a significant
downturn in the economy, as well as the difficulties in the transition of certain back office functions from Verizon
following the 2005 acquisition.

AT&T Expands VPLS to 14 Countries in Europe, Asia Pac

AT&T has expanded its virtual private local area network service (VPLS) in 14 countries across Europe and Asia Pac.

AT&T's VPLS service, called OPT-E-WAN, enables businesses to link multiple locations -- with the efficiency of a flat Ethernet wide area network that can be extended globally. The service is now available in a total of 15 countries -- United States; Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland in Europe; and Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore and Japan in Asia Pacific.

AT&T said demand for Ethernet services worldwide continues to expand. This growth is being driven by the need that businesses of all sizes have for affordable and easy-to-manage bandwidth to support next-generation enterprise applications including disaster recovery, storage and converged voice and video.

Dell'Oro: PON Revenue Reaches Record High

Third quarter PON revenue including both Optical Line Terminals (OLTs) and Optical Networking Terminals (ONTs) reached its second consecutive record high growing 16 percent sequentially and 64 percent over the year ago period, according to a newly published report by Dell'Oro Group.

Third quarter's strength came from both EPON and GPON," said Tam Dell'Oro, President of Dell'Oro Group. "EPON's growth was driven by next generation network upgrades by NTT, Japan's largest service provider. GPON, driven by deployments for Verizon's FiOS service as well as increasing numbers of smaller deployments around the world, had even stronger growth with revenue increasing more than five times that of the year ago period. Despite the weakening economy, we are still forecasting annual GPON revenue to grow more than over 50 percent in 2009," Dell'Oro added.

The report also shows Mitsubishi remained the leader in the overall PON market benefiting by being the primary EPON supplier to NTT for its NGN build-outs. Alcatel-Lucent retained its number two status in the overall PON market and number one for GPON largely due to being a primary supplier of GPON to Verizon as well as having a number of other deployments in Europe and Asia.

The New Clearwire Sets Course

Clearwire will drop the "Xohm" branding and adopt a new "Clear" branding for its mobile WiMAX services.

In a conference call to follow-up on last week's closure of the Clearwire-Sprint deal, Benjamin G. Wolff, CEO of the new Clearwire, said the new company now possesses the three key ingredients needed to revolutionize the broadband wireless market:

  • Extensive spectrum holdings -- Sprint contributed its entire 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings to Clearwire. With this combined spectrum portfolio, Clearwire now has 100 MHz or more of 4G spectrum in most markets across the U.S. Clearwire plans to deliver 2-4 Mbps and peak rates that are considerably faster.

  • An All IP next generation Network Architecture, based on standard mobile WiMAX technology. The company noted that there are now over 80 suppliers in the WiMAX ecosystems.

  • An Open Internet Business Model -- the network will be open to devices, application and services from third parties. The company confirmed that new devices based on the Android platform are in development.

Clearwire has not yet announced its market rollout schedule, but said most of its 46 planned markets would be upgraded to mobile WiMAX in 2009. The company will offer a dual-mode broadband service that lets customers roam onto Sprint's 3G network in locations where mobile WiMAX is not available.

The company also announced today that, while its company name will remain Clearwire, its new mobile WiMAX services will be branded Clear. The Clear brand will apply to all new mobile WiMAX services to be offered by Clearwire in the U.S. and will be phased in to those markets where Clearwire offers pre-WiMAX services, as these existing markets are upgraded to mobile WiMAX technology. In addition, the company unveiled a new marketing tagline, "Let's Be Clear," that will be used in conjunction with the new Clear service brand in upcoming market launches.

"As we roll out our network across the country, people will no longer have to make the choice between speed and mobility. We are bringing a new mobile Internet experience to customers at speeds previously relegated to fixed locations," said Benjamin G. Wolff. "With significant spectrum holdings yielding unmatched network capacity, a next-generation all-IP network, and an open Internet business model, Clearwire will deliver a simple value proposition aimed to improve productivity and make the Internet experience more enjoyable, wherever our customers happen to be."

HP Counts Benefits of Internal IT Transformation

As a result of a three-year IT transformation effort, HP has reduced its IT operating costs by approximately half; provided more reliable information for executives to make better business decisions; and, established a more simplified and dependable IT infrastructure that provides improved business continuity and supports the company's future growth. Starting in fiscal year 2009, the transformation will lower IT costs by more than $1 billion per year from fiscal year 2005 levels. Over this period, HP added more than $25 billion in revenue.

HP said its IT transformation focused on five major initiatives: next-generation global data centers, portfolio management, workforce effectiveness, building a world-class technology organization and a true enterprise data warehouse.

Some key points of the IT transformation project:

  • Reduce spending on internal IT from approximately 4 percent of revenue in 2005 to less than 2 percent in 2009;

  • Consolidate more than 85 internal IT legacy data centers globally to six next-generation data centers in three geographic locations equipped with new, standardized and automated technology. These data centers have 342,000 square feet of computing "white space" -- expandable to more than double that amount -- to accommodate growth, including acquisitions such as EDS;

  • Consolidate more than 6,000 applications running the business to approximately 1,500 standardized applications;

  • Reduce annual energy consumption in its data centers by 60 percent;

  • Decrease the number of servers by 40 percent while increasing processing power by 250 percent, by utilizing HP virtualization and energy-efficiency technologies;

  • Reduce networking costs by 50 percent while tripling bandwidth;

  • Eliminate more than 700 data marts and create one enterprise data warehouse where employees are accessing consistent data to make business decisions.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bell Canada's Privatization Faces Scrutiny

The leveraged buyout deal under which BCE (Bell Canada) was to become a privately held company is facing greater financial scrutiny.

KPMG has informed BCE that, based on current market conditions, its analysis to date and the amount of indebtedness
involved in the LBO financing, it does not expect to be in a position to deliver on the scheduled effective date of BCE's privatization, December 11,
2008, an opinion that BCE would meet the solvency tests as defined in the definitive agreement, as amended. The receipt at the effective time of a
positive solvency opinion is a condition to the closing of the transaction. At the same time, KPMG indicated that BCE would meet all solvency tests
under its current capital structure.

"BCE today enjoys solid investment grade credit ratings, has $2.8 billion of cash on hand, a low level of mid-term debt maturities, and continues to
deliver solid operating results," said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell.

"We are disappointed with KPMG's preliminary view of post-transaction solvency, which is based on numerous assumptions and methodologies that we are currently reviewing. The company disagrees that the addition of the LBO debt would result in BCE not meeting the technical solvency definition," said Siim Vanaselja, BCE's Chief Financial Officer.

BCE said it continues to work with KPMG and the Purchaser to seek to satisfy all closing conditions. Should KPMG be unable to deliver a favourable
opinion on December 11, 2008, however, the transaction is unlikely to proceed.http://www.bce.caIn July 2008, BCE announced a final agreement with a company formed by an investor group led by Teachers' Private Capital, the private investment arm of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Providence Equity Partners, Madison Dearborn Partners, and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity. Key terms include:

  • The purchase price will remain $42.75 per common share;

  • The Purchaser and the Lenders have delivered fully negotiated and executed credit documents for the purpose of funding the transaction, including an executed credit agreement and other key financing documents;

  • The reverse break fee payable by the Purchaser in the circumstances contemplated by the definitive agreement has been increased to $1.2 billion;

  • Closing will occur on or before December 11, 2008; and

  • Prior to closing, the company will not pay dividends on its common shares but will continue to pay dividends on its preferred shares.

Ericsson to Manage MBNL's Shared Network in the UK

Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL), the 50:50 joint venture formed by 3UK and T-Mobile UK to manage the integration of both operators' 3G radio access networks (RAN), has awarded Ericsson a four-year managed services contract for the operation and maintenance of the consolidated network.

Under the deal, Ericsson has responsibility for the operation and performance management of both parent companies' 3G networks and T-Mobile's 2G RAN infrastructure. Around 80 employees from T-Mobile have been transferred to Ericsson, further strengthening its existing UK managed services capability. In the UK, Ericsson holds separate managed services contracts with T-Mobile and 3. T-Mobile and 3 are both global Ericsson customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

T-Mobile and 3 formed their infrastructure sharing agreement in January 2008 with the aim of creating the UK's most extensive 3G network by 2010.

The companies said tis four-year contract will enable MBNL to control operational expenses and deliver high service levels at a time when the 3G network consolidation is moving into the mass deployment phase. The first integrated cell site was commissioned in early February 2008. Since then MBNL has concluded a pilot in the Leeds and Bradford area which successfully validated the network sharing technology and is now engaged in consolidating the radio access networks across the UK.
  • In October, BT announced a five-year managed network solutions agreement with T-Mobile and 3 UK, through their joint venture company, Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL). Specifically, BT will provide Ethernet backhaul connecting 7,500 base station sites on their consolidated 3G infrastructure. The network services contract supersedes the original contracts that BT had in place with both T-Mobile and 3 UK. BT's next-generation Ethernet service is currently being rolled out across the UK. The service will deliver improved access and backhaul service delivery to MBNL.

  • In August 2008, Nokia Siemens Networks announced that it had been selected as technology partner for Mobile Broadband Network Ltd. (MBNL), the network collaboration joint-venture between T-Mobile UK and 3 UK. The companies anticipate creating the UK's most extensive 3G network providing near complete population coverage by the end of 2009. Financial terms were not disclosed. Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will supervise the creation and operation of the joint network on behalf of both companies. The first integrated cell site was commissioned in early February. Although masts and the 3G access networks are being combined, each company's core network and T-Mobile's 2G network will not be shared. Both parties will retain responsibility for the delivery of services to their respective customers and use their own frequency spectrum. Nokia Siemens Networks said its radio access solution will replace most of the two operators' communications stations across the UK and equipment at the remaining sites is being upgraded and reconfigured for higher quality and capacity.

    Clearwire Deal Clears -- $3.2 Billion Investment Completed

    Clearwire and Sprint Nextel completed the financial transaction combining their next-generation wireless Internet businesses. The new company retains the name Clearwire and remains headquartered in Kirkland, Washington.

    Sprint contributed all of its 2.5 GHz spectrum and its WiMAX-related assets, including its XOHM business, to Clearwire.

    In addition, Clearwire has received a $3.2 billion cash investment from Comcast, Intel, Time Warner Cable, Google and Bright House Networks. The transaction with Sprint and the new cash investment were completed on the terms originally announced on May 7, 2008. the Clearwire-Sprint deal announced in May, Sprint will own the largest stake in the new company with approximately 51 percent equity. The existing Clearwire shareholders will own approximately 27 percent and new investors, including Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, will contribute $3.2 billion into the new company to acquire a 22 percent stake.

    Some highlights of the deal:

    • The new Clearwire is targeting a network deployment that will cover between 120 million and 140 million people in the U.S. by the end of 2010.

    • Sprint will contribute all of its 2.5 GHz spectrum and its WiMAX-related assets into a subsidiary of the new company. The implied equity valuation of Sprint's contribution is approximately $7.4 billion. In addition to spectrum, Sprint will contribute to the new Clearwire certain hardware, software and all of its WiMAX-based trademarks and other WiMAX-related intellectual property.

    • The new Clearwire will leverage Sprint's existing infrastructure, reducing the cost of building out the mobile WiMAX network nationwide. The new Clearwire expects to utilize Sprint's towers, fiber network and IT support at favorable bulk rates. Sprint also will realize cost savings for its core business by sharing certain costs of towers and other infrastructure.

    • Intel will work with manufacturers to embed WiMAX chips into Intel Centrino 2 processor technology-based laptops and other Intel-based mobile Internet devices, and will market the new company's service in association with Intel's performance notebook PC brand.

    • Google will partner with the new Clearwire in the development of Internet services, advertising services and applications for mobile WiMAX devices. In addition, Google will be the search provider and a preferred provider of other applications for the new Clearwire's retail product.

    • Google will partner with the new Clearwire on an open Internet business protocol for mobile broadband devices. The new Clearwire will support Google's Android operating system software in its future voice and data devices that it provides to its retail customers.

    • Sprint, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks will enter into wholesale agreements with the new Clearwire, becoming 4G providers of new Clearwire's mobile WiMAX service.

    • Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks and, after completion of the transactions, the new Clearwire, will enter into 3G wholesale agreements with Sprint, becoming bundled providers of Sprint's wireless voice and data services, expanding the reach of Sprint's network to more customers, while providing the cable companies a simpler, more effective vehicle to bundle wireless services.

    • Sprint and Google have also entered into an agreement related to Sprint's mobile services, whereby Google will become the default provider of web and local search services, both of which will be enabled with location information, for Sprint. Sprint will also preload several Google services - including Google Maps for mobile, Gmail and YouTube - on select mobile phones and provide easier access to other Google services.

    • Google and Intel have options to enter into 3G and 4G wholesale agreements with Clearwire and Sprint respectively and have no current plans to do so.

    Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    Digital Divide Narrows in Europe

    The gap between EU countries in terms of broadband penetration is narrowing, from 28.4 percentage points in July 2007 to 27.7 this July.

    New figures published by the European Commission today show that, in spite of reduced growth perspectives for the economy at large, broadband growth has continued in the last year throughout the EU, with an increase of 19.23% between July 2008 and July 2007. On 1 July 2008 there were over 107 million fixed broadband lines in the EU, of which 17 million lines have been added since July 2007. The rate of growth was highest in Malta (6.7 lines per 100 inhabitants), Germany (5.1 per 100 inhabitants) and Cyprus (4.9 per 100 inhabitants) and lowest in Finland (1.9 per 100 inhabitants) and Portugal (1.0 per 100 inhabitants).

    Globally, Denmark and the Netherlands continue to be world leaders in broadband, with penetration over 35%. Nine EU countries (Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, and Germany) are above the United States which stands at 25% according to OECD June 2008 statistics.

    The gap between the strongest (Denmark 37.2%) and weakest broadband performers (Bulgaria 9.5%) remains significant but is decreasing for the first time (penetration in Denmark was 34.1% in July 2007 while in Bulgaria it was 5.7%). The gap can mainly be explained by lack of competition and regulatory weaknesses. For example, while the market share for incumbent fixed broadband operators is beginning to stabilize at around 45%, in some countries (Austria, Bulgaria, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Romania and Spain) it has increased since July 2007. These main obstacles to broadband growth remain to be addressed through the reform of the EU's telecoms rules, which is currently under discussion by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

    The Commission also published the first figures showing fixed broadband speeds, which is an important indicator in a knowledge-based society. 74.8% of reported lines in the EU are in the range of 2 Mbps and above: 62% between 2 and 10 Mbps, 12.8% above 10 Mbps. Greater data transmission speeds generally provide customers with more and better choice at a lower price per megabit. Extremely fast connections (up to 100 Mbps or beyond) such as fibre only cover 1.4% of European internet subscribers.

    DSL with nearly 86 million lines. However, DSL growth continues to decrease rapidly, slowed by 10.9% compared to July 2007, to the benefit of other fixed broadband technologies like cable, FTTH and wireless local loops.

    The report is available online.

    Vietnam Datacommunications Deploys 802.16e Trial with Motorola

    Vietnam Datacommunications Company (VDC), a member company of the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and the largest Internet service provider (ISP) in Vietnam, has partnered with Motorola to commence a technical and commercial WiMAX trial in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Under the agreement, Motorola will install WiMAX Diversity Access Points and more than 100 customer premises equipment (CPE) in the nation's two largest cities.

    Motorola noted that it now has 24 contracts for commercial WiMAX networks in 19 countries around the world.

    ITU Advocates Infrastructure Sharing to Counter Investment Drought

    In response to the global financial crisis which may make it more difficult for investors to obtain financing for continuing network development, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is advocating infrastructure sharing as a means to continue to rapid rollout of network resources to underserved populations.

    In its newly published annual report, Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2008: Six Degrees of Sharing, the ITU examines the sharing of civil engineering costs in deploying networks, promoting open access to network support infrastructure (poles, ducts, conduits), essential facilities (submarine cable landing stations and international gateways) as well as access to radio-frequency spectrum and end-user devices.

    The "Six Degrees of Sharing" theme was first discussed in Thailand during ITU's 2008 Global Symposium for Regulators last March. Developing countries embraced sharing to make more affordable the expansion of ICT networks to rural and under-served areas. Since then, the global economic turmoil has increased the interest in infrastructure sharing in developed markets as well.

    What had been foreseen as ideal strategies to extend broadband network access in developing markets may now be viewed as a prescription for the entire world. If the sources of capital for network investment suffer a temporary drought, the ITU believes policy-makers could take steps to make their markets more amenable to the shrinking pool of investment.

    • Lower investment barriers that inhibit capital flows from one country to another

    • Reduce regulatory barriers (high license fees or market-entry bans) that represent hostile environments for capital investment and market growth

    • Share essential facilities, such as cable landing stations, local switching centres or fibre backbone networks

    • Adopt rules to provide for infrastructure sharing, particularly "passive" sharing of towers, ducts, rights-of-way and other support facilities

    • Overhaul and streamline cross-agency processes to create a ‘one-stop shop' for various network-related authorizations, such as land management, port access, environmental and safety permits

    • Add innovative spectrum management mechanisms that promote increased sharing and efficient use of spectrum

    • Amend regulatory frameworks to eliminate discriminatory rules that favour one company or industry over another in a converged services market.

    • Ensure that government policies and rules maximize the ability of incumbents and market entrants to choose between different opportunities for business plans and long-term strategies, including resale, wholesale, and niche markets.

    Nokia Develops Smart Home Platform with Mobile Support

    Nokia is developing a Home Control Center platform that aims to integrate mobile devices, home networks, home security and household energy management systems. The platform will be based on a customized home gateway with integrated antennas for WLAN, GSM/GPRS, and Z-Wave. The gateway will also feature Ethernet ports, USB ports, a firewall, SD card reader and other connectivity options. Nokia will provide home control logic for simple automatic responses to
    events such as motion sensor triggering, luminance levels, moisture or temperature limits. Consumers will be able to monitor and control their electricity usage, switch devices on and off, and monitor different objects. The platform will be open for allowing third parties to integrate their own smart home solutions and services.

    Nokia also announced a partnership with RWE, one of Europe's biggest energy companies. The companies are working on a joint solution for managing energy consumption and CO2 footage at home. The first result of this partnership will focus on home heating management. The product consists of a central control unit together with remote-controlled thermostats for the actual radiator. The user interface will be the PC and the mobile phone. In addition, a separate display will be available. RWE is also planning special offers combining these devices with new energy supply contracts. In a second step, Nokia and RWE are planning additional services in connection with smart meters beyond 2009. These services will provide consumers with real-time information about their energy consumption and allow them to control their energy bill remotely.

    Nokia is also working with other partners, including Danfoss, Delta Dore, Ensto, and Meishar Immediate Community (MIC) and Zensys. Target areas for these partnerships include security, energy efficiency, wellness, construction, real estate, and smart home solutions.

    STMicroelectronics Cuts Q4 Outlook

    Citing further deterioration on the worldwide financial markets, economic recession in one or more of the world's major economies and the effect on demand for semiconductors, STMicroelectronics cut its financial guidance. The company now expects fourth quarter revenues to be between approximately $2.2 billion and $2.35 billion, as compared to $2.7 billion reported in the prior quarter, or a sequential change in the range of about -12.8% to -18.4%. The revised revenue outlook is the consequence of a recent slowdown in the billings, recent and substantial changes in customers' demand and order push-outs for the month of December. ST said the weaknesses affects most geographies and market segments, and, in particular, in wireless, automotive, and computer peripherals.

    ST also noted that it will reduce its manufacturing activity and reduce sourcing from third-party suppliers, compared to planned activities when entering the quarter. Primarily as a result of higher-than-anticipated unused capacity charges in the quarter, the gross margin expected for the fourth quarter 2008 is now about 38% plus or minus one percentage point.

    Additionally, the company continues to aggressively implement cost-control initiatives and is progressing in its accelerated effort to capture the cost synergies from the recent creation of ST-NXP Wireless.

    L.A. Times: Cyber-attack on Defense Department

    President Bush was briefed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs on a cyber-attack on Defense Department computers, including those on a classified network, according to The Los Angeles Times. The cyber-attack reportedly occurred within networks of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and may have originated with hackers from Russia.

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    Telstra Submits its NBN Proposal but Sees Regulatory Uncertainty

    Telstra formally submitted its proposal to build an open access National Broadband Network (NBN) capable of delivering high-speed access to up to 90 per cent of Australians. Key elements of the proposal include:

    • Telstra would invest up to $5 billion of its own capital.

    • The Government would provide $4.7 billion in the form of a concessional loan.

    • Up to 90 percent of the population would be covered.

    • The network will be capable of providing downlink speeds between 25 Mbps and 50 Mbps in 65 percent to 75 percent of the footprint, with downlink speeds of between 12 Mbps and 20 Mbps in the remainder of the footprint.

    • The network would be designed to be upgradeable.

    • A wide range of services including IP telephony, high-speed internet, IPTV, video-conferencing and telemedicine would be supported.

    • A $29.95 per month entry level 1Mbps retail broadband pricing plan (four times faster than the existing plan at the same price) for customers with a Telstra fixed line telephone service would be available.

    The NBN, which is essentially an upgrade of Telstra's fixed network, is described as one of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Australia. It will be the world's largest fiber to the node networks in geographic terms, requiring some 4000 staff throughout the life of the project. Telstra said it is ready to begin the rollout as soon as possible across multiple locations in metropolitan and regional Australia. The company claims its rollout could be completed far quicker than any alternative.

    Telstra also noted that the financial climate has changed dramatically since the RFP was issued in April, fundamentally altering assumptions on which earlier business cases were built. On this note, Telstra expressed concern over the lack of clarity around possible further separation of network elements. Telstra stated that such a separation would be extremely damaging for Telstra's shareholders, customers and the Australian telecommunications industry. Simply put, Telstra claims that with separation, the NBN simply cannot and will not be built, "There is no business case. The economics don't work. A separated network would be impossible to build or to maintain." Due to these uncertainties, Telstra has decided not to put forward a more fully detailed bid at this time.In early September, Stephen Conroy, Australia's Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, set 26-November-2008 as the closing date for the submission of National Broadband Network proposals.

    The Government issued its Request for Proposals for the National Broadband Network on 11-April-2008. The closing time has been amended to account for time taken by the Government to necessarily work with carriers to ensure that proponents have access to information about existing networks and time to consider it. The intention is that this will help them prepare robust, competitive proposals.

    Key provisions of this RFP issued in April include the ability to:

    • deliver minimum download speeds of 12 Mbps to 98% of Australian homes and businesses;

    • have the network rolled out and made operational progressively over five years using fibre-to-the-node or fibre-to-the-premises technology;

    • support high quality voice, data and video services including symmetric applications such as high-definition video-conferencing;

    • earn the Commonwealth a return on its investment;

    • facilitate competition in the telecommunications sector through open access arrangements that allow all service providers access to the network on equivalent terms; and

    • enable uniform and affordable retail prices to consumers, no matter where they live.

    Viettel Telecom Selects NSN for Mobile Expansion

    Viettel Telecom, one of Vietnam's leading mobile service providers, has selected Nokia Siemens Networks' Flexi Base Station for part of its network expansion across Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Viettel entered the market in 2004 and is now the fourth GSM provider in Vietnam.

    Nokia Siemens Networks' relationship with Viettel Telecom started in 2007, when Viettel deployed the company's mobile softswitching solution. This is Nokia Siemens Networks' first GSM Base Station deal with Viettel. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    Monday, November 24, 2008

    Interoute Deploys 60 Gbps Capacity in 48 Hours with Infinera

    Interoute, which operates a pan-European fiber network, worked around the clock to replace a 1,200 km section on one of its largest customer's network that was experiencing rapid degradation. It took just 48 hours from "order to delivery" for Interoute to provide 60 Gbps of connectivity. Interoute's service provider customer had acquired another telecom operator which already owned a large international optical network. After the acquisition, the unprecedented daily volume of data and IP traffic now utilizing the route necessitated an immediate and substantial upgrade.

    Interoute operates an Infinera optical network across that same route. The companies said new Infinera modules required for the additional 60 Gbps capacity arrived at the sites in a matter of hours, and the Infinera system took just minutes to bring up the capacity, test it to confirm it was running error-free, and begin carrying customer traffic. Most of the time required to complete the job was consumed in providing the additional connectivity from the customer's network to Interoute's Infinera network.

    "Managing to activate 60 Gbps of bandwidth in less than 48 hours has made us extremely proud and emphasized again the first-rate quality of our network, and especially our Infinera optical network, as well as the total dedication of our people," said Interoute CEO Gareth Williams.http://www.interoute.com

    BSNL Selects Dilithium for Mobile Video Services

    BSNL, India's largest telecommunications company, has selected Dilithium for the deployment of new mobile video & streaming services over 2G and 3G networks beginning in 2009. Dilithium has partnered with HCL Infosystems Ltd. to provide end to end delivery solutions for BSNL's live mobile video services. The solution includes the Dilithium DTG 3021 multimedia gateways and the DCA video streaming solution, enabling 2-way video calling and other advanced video services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    Axis Introduces 3 New Network Cameras

    Axis Communications introduced a series of small and smart network cameras designed for securing locations such as small businesses, boutiques, restaurants, hotels and residences.

    All three models provide superior video quality at 30 frames per second in VGA resolution. Two of the models add the option of connecting over an IEEE 802.11g wireless interface with the built-in antenna. One of these additionally features a passive infrared (PIR) sensor for detecting movement, even in the dark, and a white LED light for illuminating the scene automatically at an event or when requested by the user. Other features include two-way audio support with an integrated microphone and speaker, allowing remote listening in on an area as well as communication with individuals directly or using uploaded or recorded audio clips.

    All cameras in the AXIS M10 Series provide multiple, individually configurable, high-resolution video streams in H.264, Motion JPEG as well as MPEG-4 Part 2 at full frame rate. Using progressive scan technology, the cameras provide VGA images of moving objects without motion blur.

    Sezmi Raises $33 Million for its TV 2.0 Service and STB

    Sezmi, a start-up based in Belmont, California, secured $33 million in new venture funding for its personal TV system.

    Sezmi is developing an alternative to the legacy TV experience with a line-up of content from traditional broadcast networks, cable and specialty networks, Internet video, pay-per-view movies, etc. The company says its goal is not only to enhance the on-demand experience, but to stand out from traditional television offerings with a highly personalized, intuitive user experience at an affordable cost. Sezmi is now in trials and will be commercially available to U.S. consumers through broadband providers and national retailers in 2009.

    The new funding includes new investments from Advanced Equities, Inc. and others, and follow-on investments from previous investors: Morgenthaler Ventures, Omni Capital Group, TD Fund, and Legend Ventures.

    "The demand from consumers for an affordable and personalized television experience continues to increase," said Phil Wiser, Sezmi's co-founder and president. "In fact, we hear from consumers every day that they are looking for an alternative to meet these needs and that they are eagerly awaiting Sezmi. It is very gratifying that our vision is validated not just by consumers, but also by the investment community."
    • In May 2008, Sezmi unveiled a new TV service that combines terrestrial digital broadcast television with existing broadband services to deliver video content to a customized set-top box. The system utilizes available capacity in existing digital television broadcast networks and creates a private, secure broadcast transmission for content. The Sezmi interface aims to provide a seamless integration of live, stored, on-demand and Internet video from different sources.

      Sezmi has also developed a smart antenna indoor reception system that makes both its private broadcast and existing terrestrial TV broadcasts accessible. The company said its network-attached reception system can be placed in any location in the home.

      Sezmi is seeking partnerships with broadcasters, broadband providers and content companies. It plans to commence technical trials in preparation for commercial launch across several major U.S. markets later this year.

    • In April 2008, Sezmi (formerly known as Building B) announced plans to co-locate its network operations center (NOC) within Harris Corporation's world-class NOC facility in Melbourne, Fla. in order to leverage Harris' expertise in digital asset management, content aggregation and its nationwide distribution network.

    • Sezmi is headed by Dr. Buno Pati (co-founder and CEO), who previously founded Numerical Technologies (acquired by Synopsys). Before co-founding Numerical, Dr. Pati served as assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Harvard University and a post-doctoral research associate at Stanford University.

    Qwest Trims Broadband Prices -- DSL Starting at $14.99 a Month

    Qwest Communications is trimming its broadband prices.

    For new customers, Qwest Connect Silver High-Speed Internet service with connection speeds up to 1.5 Mbps is now being offered for $14.99 a month for a year (regularly priced at $39.99 a month) and Qwest Connect Platinum High-Speed Internet service with connection speeds up to 7 Mbps is priced at $24.99 a month for a year (regularly priced at $49.99 a month) to new customers.

    Existing Qwest High-Speed Internet customers can upgrade their high-speed Internet service to Qwest Connect Platinum, Titanium or Quantum High-Speed Internet service with a 2-year commitment will receive 2 months of free service.

    In addition, Verizon Wireless service can be added a Qwest Bundle. Customers who bundle all of their services -- including Qwest High-Speed Internet, DIRECTV service, Verizon Wireless, a Qwest home phone package and unlimited nationwide long distance -- can save more than $25 a month, or more than $300 each year with Qwest.

    Blue Coat Achieves Record Net Revenue

    Blue Coat Systems reported total net revenue for its second quarter of fiscal 2009 (ended October 31, 2008) of $119.0 million, an increase of 62% compared to net revenue of $73.4 million in the same quarter last year, and an increase of 16% compared to net revenue of $102.5 million in the immediately preceding quarter. Excluding net revenue associated with the acquisition of Packeteer on June 6, 2008, net revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2009 was $93.9 million, an increase of 28% compared to net revenue of $73.4 million in the same quarter last year, and an increase of 9% compared to net revenue of $86.4 million in the immediately preceding quarter.

    On a GAAP basis, the company reported a net loss of $0.3 million, or ($0.01) per share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2009, compared to net income of $7.0 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2008, and a net loss of $5.8 million, or ($0.15) per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

    "Despite a difficult economic environment, Blue Coat continued to execute its strategy during the second quarter, enabling us to once again report record net revenue," said Brian NeSmith, president and chief executive officer, Blue Coat Systems. "We have largely completed the integration of Packeteer, Inc., which we acquired in June, and recognized $25 million in net revenue from the acquired business in the second quarter. In addition, we achieved integration between our ProxySG appliances and the PacketShaper appliances we acquired from Packeteer."

    For the third fiscal quarter ending January 31, 2009, in consideration of the current economic environment the company is currently planning net revenue in the range of $106.0 to $112.0 million.

    Telenor Pakistan selects NSN for Real Time Traffic Monitoring

    Telenor Pakistan, which serves 18 million mobile users, has deployed Nokia Siemens Networks' NetAct Traffica real time customer traffic monitoring and analysis software. Telenor Pakistan has acquired the GPRS module of the solution for further enhancing the data service experience for its customers. The customer traffic monitoring and analysis software provides a detailed, real-time view to user activity and service usage throughout the network enabling the service provider to react to problems immediately. It can also give valuable insight into users' behavior.

    Nokia Siemens Networks said its service assurance software will provide diagnostic services like information on service usage by data subscribers, time and area of service usage, problem identification and troubleshooting. This information will then be utilized to determine areas of improvement to ensure flawless services to the customers.

    Vietnam Mobile Telecom Selects Alcatel-Lucent

    Vietnam Mobile Telecom Services Company has awarded a US$48 million contract to Alcatel-Lucent to expand and enhance the wireless communications services available through its Mobifone mobile network.

    The contract calls for Alcatel-Lucent to deploy more than 1,400 multi-standard base stations GSM/EDGE latest technology to improve voice and data services over the Mobifone network and to extend coverage and capacity throughout northern Vietnam. This upgrade will enable Mobifone to offer an enriched mobile phone services portfolio that will include content services, air-provisioning and other advanced services by the end of 2009.

    Alcatel-Lucent will provide full turn-key services for the implementation of this major network upgrade for Mobifone, scheduled for completion by the end of the first quarter of 2009. The services include project management, installation and deployment as well as radio network engineering services.http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

    Sunday, November 23, 2008

    Alcatel-Lucent Enhances its Corporate Communications Portfolio

    Alcatel-Lucent announced a suite of enhancements for its portfolio of products for large enterprises, including new capabilities to scale to support 100,000 users and the ability to better integrate with key corporate applications.

    Alcatel-Lucent's Corporate Communications offer includes voice, data, unified communications and contact center solutions whose enhancements enable large business customers to employ data virtualization, increased scalability and strategic centralization in the network to better address the challenges of globalization.

    Key enhancements include:

    • Release 9.0 of the new Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCXprovides a secure, scalable, centralized architecture capable of serving 100,000 users. The system's Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) controller and expanded standards-based SIP trunking allows easier integration with new applications and SIP device management.

    • A new OmniSwitch 9000E platform is being introduced to serve locations requiring high capacity, scalability and virtualization with multi-virtual routing and forwarding, which delivers cost reductions through hardware consolidation and lower power consumption.

    • Release 5.1 of the Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch Unified Communication Solution and OmniTouch 8600 My Instant Communicator now offer multimedia, multi-session collaboration, mobile device integration, and support for third-party applications such as Microsoft Office Communicator and IBM Sametime and Lotus Notes.

    • The Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch Contact Center Premium and Standard Release 9.0 and the latest CC Teamer application help enterprises provide superior customer service.

    • Alcatel-Lucent solutions also encourage more effective knowledge sharing internally and with customers, partners and suppliers through open APIs and third-party integration, enabling improved productivity and cost reduction.

    Alcatel-Lucent noted that it has added more than 5,000 new enterprise customers since the initial launch of its Corporate Communications Solutions offering nearly two years ago.

    Orange Busines Partners with Microsoft on Unified Communications

    Orange Business Services will make available as standard managed services the latest versions of the unified communication and collaboration offerings from Microsoft, including Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, and supporting these services with ITIL standards-based service management.

    Business Together with Microsoft is an innovative solution that integrates collaborative offers into a single user interface in order to improve team efficiency. Since its May 2007 launch, Business Together with Microsoft has been deployed to 150,000 seats.

    Orange Business Services said it differentiates its offer by providing ITIL standards-based service management that achieves secure and reliable performance for an improved end-user experience and a 24/7 service desk to provide global support.

    BelAir Debuts 802.11n Access Point for Service Providers

    BelAir Networks introduced its BelAir20 Access Point (AP), a compact dual-radio, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi indoor AP designed to deliver centrally managed and hosted public or private Wi-Fi services in a variety of high density environments . Key features include:

    • Complements the company's portfolio of outdoor Wi-Fi nodes

    • Leverages the same BelAirOS operating system and BelView network management

    • Integrates with the service provider's back office to facilitate service provisioning and bundling, ease deployment and operation, and reduce network commissioning and upgrade costs

    • Provides wireless backhaul between APs.

    The company said its hosted software based control lowers network CapEx by 30%.

    Orange Adds Mobile TV to its Unik 3G UMA Service

    Orange is preparing to launch high definition mobile TV for Unik, its 3G+ UMA platform. Customers in France will gain access to more than sixty high definition mobile TV channels (including twenty with unlimited access).

    The video content will be deliver with though the 3G network and/or Wi-Fi network at home and in Orange Wi-Fi hotspots.

    The service will be available on Orange's Unik using a new and exclusive handset from LG, the LG Secret KF757. The LG device will be the first UMA handset to include Orange TV Player, Orange's new mobile TV software that enables users to easily flick from one channel to another and to consult a guide to programmes showing on each channel.

    With the Unik service, the network intelligently chooses the best connection available -- Orange Livebox, WiFi or 3G+ -- offering optimal TV quality more cost-effectively when in a WiFi environment.

    Secret KF757 via the Orange TV Player software or the Orange World portal, and is already available on the Sony Ericsson G705u via the Orange World portal. Orange's existing Unik service currently has over 1 million customers in France. The offer is also available through Unifon in Poland, Unique in the UK and Unico in Spain.

    BT Launches New Managed WAN Optimization Service

    BT has launched a new fully managed wide area network (WAN) optimisation service that can accelerate the performance of applications between data centres, remote offices and mobile workers by 5 to 50 times and in some cases up to 100 times.

    BT is also introducing a new applications performance monitoring service that allows IT directors to ensure that vital applications perform according to required service levels. By centrally installing a device in the data centre, it measures response times between user, server and application, providing accurate measures even for remote locations without the need for physical devices at each user location.

    BT's applications performance monitoring is based on Compuware technology, while the new WAN optimization service is based on Riverbed technology.

    "As enterprises look to be more efficient with fewer resources and finances, a managed service environment relieves them of the challenges surrounding the management of multiple vendors. The services we announce today are the latest additions to our Applications Assured Infrastructure (AAI) portfolio, which is a set of repeatable managed services that audit, monitor and optimise the performance of applications throughout their life cycle," stated Jean-Noel Moneton, vice president Network Services at BT.

    BT Openreach Cuts Ethernet Backhaul Prices by up to 65%

    BT's Openreach division is cutting prices by up to 65% across a range of access and backhaul services. Specifically, effective immediately for new and existing connection orders, and from the 1st February 2009 for rentals, the price reductions will encompass most of Openreach's WES, WEES and BES products. Changes include:

    • BES 1Gb product connection reduced by up to 62% and rental by up to 31%.

    • WES/WEES 100Mb Local Access reduced to the same price as 10Mb Local Access for both connection and rental, representing a reduction of up to 43% for connection and up to 14% for rental.

    • BES 100Mb reduced to the same price as BES 10Mb for connection and rental, representing a reduction of up to 65% for connection and up to 26% for rental.

    "For our key Broadband suppliers this means the opportunity to buy super-fast gigabit capacity at drastically reduced prices and the chance to enhance their own network capacity with minimal incremental investment. In addition Communication Providers will soon be able to purchase ten times the capacity they buy today for more or less the same price, allowing business customers to massively improve their connectivity at a fraction of the cost, and providing a boost for UK competitiveness in an uncertain economic climate," stated Steve Robertson, CEO of Openreach

    Sunrise Telecom Sells Protocol Product Group to LTE Innovations

    Sunrise Telecom will sell its Protocol Products Group (PPG) to LTE Innovations, a leading OSS consulting organization for the telecom industry, for approximately EUR 8 million, roughly $10 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2008. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

    Sunrise Telecom's PPG division, which is based in Modena, Italy, is known for its 3GMaster and NeTracker protocol analyzer solutions, though most recently, its Traffic Analysis and Monitoring System (TAMS) and Mobile X-Ray Mobile Data Services analysis platform have gained recognition as dominant monitoring and troubleshooting platforms for advanced telecom environments.

    Trapeze Networks Chief Strategist to Chair IEEE 802.11 Task Group

    Trapeze Networks' Matthew Gast has been elected to chair the IEEE committee that is guiding the evolution of the wireless local area networking standard, 802.11. Gast is the author of the best selling guide to wireless networking, chairs important task groups for the Wi-Fi Alliance and is the chief strategist in Trapeze Networks' Office of the CTO.

    Trapeze Networks noted that the original IEEE 802.11 standard was published in 1997 and since then wireless networking has revolutionized the way people work in the office, at home and on the road. The task group Gast is chairing will respond to interpretation requests on the standard and revise it. The current revision of 802.11 was published in 2007. Since that point, three amendments (802.11k, 802.11r, and 802.11y) have been ratified and IEEE rules require a "roll-up" revision that incorporates these amendments. The revision is currently expected in 2011.

    Agito Networks Names Amit Chawla as CEO

    Agito Networks, a start-up specializing in enterprise fixed mobile convergence, has named former Veraz Networks executive Amit Chawla as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Most recently, Mr. Chawla served as the Executive Vice President of Global Business Units for Veraz Networks. Previously, he spent 13 years at Nortel Networks, most recently as Vice President of Portfolio Management.

    Agito Networks' flagship product fuses WiFi, cellular, IP telephony, and location information. The RoamAnywhere platform mobilizes voice and unified communications for enterprises of all sizes, extending PBX and deskphone features to mobile phones. In addition, RoamAnywhere provides handover between WiFi and cellular networks to reduce cellular costs and improve in-building coverage.

    Verizon FiOS TV Completes Digital Television Upgrade

    Verizon's FiOS TV has completed its migration to 100 percent digital service, In an initiative that began in April, the company phased out the small number of duplicate analog channels that had been offered on its FiOS TV service.

    Verizon has always provided all FiOS TV programming in digital format. Previously, however, Verizon also provided duplicate signals in analog for some channels. Some customers used the old analog signals to view limited programming on a television set not equipped with a set top box, CableCard or digital tuner.

    Hughes Brings WiMAX + WiFi + Satellite Backhaul to Amazonas

    Hughes do Brasil has won a public tender and signed a 36-month contract with PRODAM - Data Processing Company of the State of Amazonas, to deploy a turnkey broadband network solution that combines WiMAX and WiFi access technologies with satellite backhaul. The goal is for PRODAM to provide high-speed wireless Internet access service to customers throughout all 61 municipalities of Amazonas, including government agencies, small businesses, and the public at large.

    Hughes will install and operate WiMAX and WiFi wireless base stations in every municipality, together with over 900 wireless customer premises terminals, all as an integrated service delivered over its nationwide HughesNet broadband satellite network. Each base station includes a high performance, Hughes HX broadband satellite router, which manages the backhauling of the IP traffic over satellite channels to the HX hub located in Manaus, the state capital. In Manaus, the hub is connected to PRODAM's data center and to the Internet.

    The contract calls for completion of the installation process within twelve months. In the first phase, 15 municipalities will receive the service, which includes the WiMAX network connecting various public agencies and a Wi-Fi hotspot for wireless public Internet access. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    AT&T Wins Managed Services Deal with Indianapolis Power & Light

    AT&T was awarded a new three-year contract to provide integrated network solutions for Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), a subsidiary of AES Corporation, a global power company. Under the deal, AT&T will link IPL's locations across the state and monitor its network to optimize data communication through its Managed Internet Service Private Network Transport (MIS PNT) services. As part of AT&T's diverse IP VPN portfolio, PNT provides any-to-any connectivity to link domestic sites to a single IP network that easily integrates new locations and applications. In addition to its MIS PNT services, AT&T also will provide an AT&T Business Network solution, including local and long distance. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    Verizon Completes FiOS Buildout to 27,000 Aimco Apartments

    Verizon is completing its FiOS build-out to 27,000 apartments in Aimco housing complexes in 11 states. The project, which began last year under an agreement between Verizon and Aimco, will make FiOS ultra-high-sped broadband services available to all the apartments. The 27,000 apartments are in 100 Aimco properties situated in California, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia. Aimco (Apartment Investment and Management Co.), based in Denver, is one of the nation's largest owners and operators of apartment communities, with a total of 1,067 properties across 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

    Telcordia Adds Broadband Test and Analysis System

    Telcordia released a test and analysis system designed to reduce the cost of supporting advanced broadband services.

    Telcordia Test Expert, part of the Telcordia Service Assurance Suite, automates the process of service testing and accurately identifies the precise problem so that it can be resolved expeditiously. The system incorporates an expert system that analyzes failure types, frequency, and cost, and mines historical performance and alarm data to pinpoint the root causes of intermittent faults, even after the original fault conditions have cleared. Using service and circuit information from the inventory system and advanced analysis scenarios, Test Expert enables CSPs to find and address the most costly faults quickly and efficiently.

    Telcordia said key benefits include lower OPEX by automating and increasing the accuracy of field service testing, shortened service outages, and accelerated time to market for new offerings with effective field service testing.

    Covad Names William R. Ferraiuolo to Head Wholesale Operations

    Covad Communications has named William R. Ferraiuolo as General Manager for the Covad Wholesale division. Ferraiuolo comes to Covad from EMC2, where he worked for more than a decade and most recently served as Director of Global Business Operations.

    Congressional Panels Warns of Cyber Security Threat from China

    The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission issued its 2008 Annual Report to Congress warning of Chinese cyber attacks, authoritarian rule, and trade violations. In particular, the report warns that China has advanced capabilities for launching cyber attacks at any time and cites a number of recent incidents directed against the U.S. government and defense contractors. The report argues that China is "likely to take advantage of the U.S. dependence on cyber space for four significant reasons. First, the costs of cyber operations are low in comparison with traditional espionage or military activities. Second, determining the origin of cyber operations and attributing them to the Chinese government or any other operator is difficult. Therefore, the United States would be hindered in responding conventionally to such an attack. Third, cyber attacks can confuse the enemy. Fourth, there is an underdeveloped legal framework to guide responses."

    The full report is available online.

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    KPN Commences EUR 1 bn Share Repurchase Program

    KPN has commenced a EUR 1 billion share repurchase program for 2009. In order to meet the interests of both shareholders and bondholders, KPN said it is committed to its self-imposed financial framework with a net debt to EBITDA ratio between 2.0x and 2.5x. Net debt to EBITDA stood at 2.4x at the end of Q3 2008 and is expected to be lower by the end of 2008.

    AT&T Wins $346 Million Managed Service Contract with State of Georgia

    AT&T was awarded a five-year contract with the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) worth a projected $346 million to provide managed WAN, Voice, and LAN services across state government agencies. The extensive managed network services contract is expected to establish a more robust and efficient network for Georgia's government operations, a centralized management model and standardized service levels across the state. In addition, the contract provides the state with a disaster recovery solution and information security services so government operations can be maintained in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

    Cavium to Acquire W&W for Video Processor

    Cavium Networks agreed to acquire W&W Communications, a fabless semiconductor start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, for approximately $19.3 million.

    W&W specializes in low power, super low latency and full-High Definition video processing solutions with single and multi-stream capabilities. The company provides a range of chips, software and board level solutions for single and multi-channel, High and Standard Definition H.264 applications at up to full 1080p encode and decode at 60 frames per second. W&W leverages a proprietary Super Low Latency (SLL) technology that produces perceptual lossless video quality at sub-frame encode-decode delay. Other features include a flexible encoder toolset with in-loop de-blocking filter, single-pass bit rate control, content-adaptive noise filtering, programmable cost functions for motion vector and prediction mode coding, efficient search algorithms, large search area, 1/2 and 1/4 pixel motion estimation interpolation and error resiliency and concealment.
    W&W Communications has an R&D center in Beijing, China.

    Cavium noted that the digital video market consists of five distinct segments, namely capture, process, transport, receive and display. Today Cavium Networks' single and multi-core processors are used in a range of video transport applications. High performance, video encode and decode capabilities are needed in the capture, process and display market segments. High end applications in these markets require encode and decode with pristine video quality, super low latency, single and multiple HD video stream processing up to 1080p at 60 frames/second and beyond. These requirements today are primarily delivered by multi-chip DSP based solutions. Low end requirements which include decode only or encode of low resolution streams are primarily delivered by ASIC based solutions.http://www.caviumnetworks.com
    • W&W is headed by Lars Herlitz (president & CEO), who previously was founder, president and CEO of DSP Research, which was acquired by W&W Communications in 2003.

    Cisco Appoints Head of Brazil Operations

    Rodrigo Abreu has been appointed as country manager for Cisco Brazil, effective December 15. Mr. Abreu joined Cisco three years ago and for the last two years has served as regional manager for the Cansac region. He replaces Pedro Ripper, who has decided to join one of Brazil's leading service providers, after five years with Cisco.

    STMicroelectronics Joins MIT's Ultra-Low-Power Microcontroller Program

    STMicroelectronics has joined the Microsystems Industrial Group (MIG) industry consortium at the Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIG was founded in the 1980s to support Microsystems Technology Laboratories infrastructure and provide direction to the MTL research and educational objectives in consultation with the faculty. ST is the first European company to join the group.

    "ST is a leader in the development of low-power technologies that can reduce power dissipation in embedded System-on-Chip solutions, while maintaining the same level of performance in cutting-edge industrial and portable consumer products," said Alessandro Cremonesi, Strategy and System Technology Group Vice President and Advanced System Technology General Manager, STMicroelectronics.

    BridgeWave's Gigabit Wireless Complies with New ETSI Recommendation

    BridgeWave Communications' 80 GHz multi-gigabit wireless links have been demonstrated to comply with the new European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Draft Recommendation EN 302 217-3 V1.3.1 on its first day of publication. This is the first released version of this Recommendation to include specifications for equipment operating in the new 80 GHz millimeter-wave spectrum band that enables point-to-point wireless systems to deliver multi-gigabit capacity with ultra-low latency.

    BridgeWave's 80 GHz wireless link products have been tested to the latest draft of ETSI, EN 302 217-3 v1.3.1, by Compliance Certification Services (CCS), a NVLAP-accredited Electro Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) Test Laboratory. CCS provides compliance and test services on cutting edge wireless standards, including the new ETSI requirements for 70 GHz and 80 GHz wireless links.

    First Transatlantic 40 Gbps Single Wavelength Transmission Completed

    The first transatlantic transmission of a 40 Gbps IP wavelength (OC768/STM256) was successfully demonstrated by Sprint, in collaboration with the TAT-14 cable system consortium, TeliaSonera International Carrier, and Sweden's research and education network (SUnet). This trial was also enabled through close collaboration between Cisco Systems and StrataLight Communications.

    Spanning more than 9,000 km of fiber distance, the circuit includes a 7,630 km segment of transatlantic submarine TAT-14 cable system between Sea Girt, N.J. and BlAbjerg, Denmark. TeliaSonera provided support and optical backhaul from the European cable landing station for TAT-14 to Stockholm and SUnet.

    Rather than using traditional external DWDM equipment to generate the long-haul signal, the connection was based on Cisco's Carrier Routing System, CRS-1, and IP-over-Dense-Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (IPoDWDM) systems. With the CRS-1 IPoDWDM production solution, the CRS-1 emits a colored 40-Gbps wavelength that is fed directly into existing 10-Gbps DWDM transmission equipment, providing four times the capacity and eliminating costly external transponders.

    "This successful trial of 40-Gbps over IP on a submarine cable system represents another significant first in IP networking for Sprint," said Kathy Walker, chief information and network officer for Sprint. "It serves as a reminder of how far technology has advanced. TAT-14 and Sprint were the first to transmit data at 10-Gbps (OC192) speeds across the same path in 2001. Sprint and TAT-14 are making history again. By transmitting 40-Gbps over an existing 10-Gbps DWDM system, we've demonstrated that Sprint can increase capacity for its customers while minimizing additional capital and operational costs."

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Alcatel-Lucent announces new members of Management Board in Germany

    Wolfgang Weik (63) will be leaving the Management Board of Alcatel-Lucent Deutschland AG and the management of Alcatel-Lucent Holding GmbH at his own request, effective December 31, 2008. He will be vacating the chairs of both boards and the office of Board Member for Finance.

    Alf Henryk Wulf (46), currently Deputy Chairman of the Management Board and Board Member for Sales & Marketing of Alcatel-Lucent Deutschland AG, will become the new Chairman of the Management Board effective January 1, 2009.

    Peter Kury, who will be moving from Thales Deutschland to Alcatel-Lucent during Q1 2009, will be the new Board Member for Human Resources. He will be filling the position currently held by Jürgen Pösinger, who will be leaving the company on December 31, 2008 as previously announced.

    The new Chairman of the Management Board Alf Henryk Wulf, will fill the position of Labor Relations Director ("Arbeitsdirektor") in the interim. Dr. Rainer Fechner (52) will remain Board Member for Technology & Innovation. In this function, Fechner coordinates research and development activities to strengthen the innovative power of Alcatel-Lucent in Germany. The position of Head of Finance, which will become vacant with Wolfgang Weik's departure, will be announced in the near future.

    Amino Acquires Tailfin's IPTV Set-top Box Division

    Amino Communications agreed to acquire Tilgin AB's IPTV Set-Top Box (STB) division for GBP 2.5 million. Tilgin offers a range of H.264 HD IPTV STBs. In addition, the acquisition will also give Amino immediate access to additional middleware solutions -- such as Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks -- as well as extending the Group's customer reach. Amino said expects to enjoy R&D cost synergies delivered through the development and maintenance of common ST Micro based STBs.

    Tilgin is based in Kista (north of Stockholm), Sweden. The company has shipped over 500,000 STB to date.

    InnoPath's MDM Adds Support for the Newly Ratified OMA-DM SCOMO Standard

    InnoPath Software has added support for the newly ratified OMA-DM Software Component Management Object (SCOMO) Candidate Enabler.

    SCOMO is a standards-based method of managing the lifecycle of applications on mobile phones.

    InnoPath first demonstrated draft SCOMO support at the Mobile World Congress in 2007, and as the convener of SCOMO within OMA-DM, the company has been actively working with its key operator and device manufacturer partners to bring to market a solution that is both deployable and scalable. Additionally, InnoPath was the first company to demonstrate interoperability with 3 rd party SCOMO clients.

    "Mobile Device Management is evolving from point products based on customized platforms to a general solution providing care for both consumers and enterprises," said David Ginsburg, Vice President of Marketing at InnoPath. "That the industry has converged on SCOMO for lifecycle application management is a sign of a maturing market."

    NXP Semiconductors Predicts 15% to 25% Sequential Decline

    NXP Semiconductors warned that its Q4 sales will be significantly below market expectations. Citing weakening macroeconomic conditions and a deteriorating sales environment, NXP said that based on overall consumer sentiment, recent order book development, and expected future trading levels, it now foresee a 15% to 25% sequential sales decline in the fourth quarter on a business and currency comparable basis. This compares to the previous guidance of an 8 to 14% sequential sales decline as announced on 21 October 2008.

    Clearwire Stockholders Approve Sprint WiMAX Deal

    Clearwire's stockholders approved the planned combination with Sprint's mobile WiMAX business and the investment of $3.2 billion by Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Trilogy Partners.

    Clearwire's board of directors had unanimously recommended that stockholders vote in favor of the transaction.

    In addition, Clearwire has secured consent to the transaction from a majority of the lenders under a Credit Agreement and expects to execute shortly an Amended and Restated Credit Agreement permitting the Transactions.

    No further consents or approvals for the transactions are required. The company is continuing to work toward closing the transaction before year-end.

    RCN Metro Optical Networks Deploys Ciena

    RCN Metro Optical Networks, a which provides transport services for carriers as well as large and medium-sized businesses, has deployed Ciena's CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform. RCN Metro's suite of services includes Ethernet, SONET, Wavelength, Video Transport, Internet, etc. The carrier has unique rights-of-way, spanning from Maine to Virginia and out to Chicago. In addition to RCN Metro's deployments, RCN Corporation has utilized the CN 4200 in an extensive upgrade to its core and metro networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.http://www.ciena.com

    Orange Business Services Launches Secure My Device Worldwide

    Orange Business Services has launched a "Secure My Device" service to help provide security, supervision and control of mobile and remote PC devices. The service integrates technologies from BigFix, an Emeryville, California headquartered provider of high performance platforms for delivery of managed services. Key capabilities include:

    • Central visibility -- Central reporting and management provided by a global solution gives an IT manager end-to-end visibility of what security policies and rules end-users have on their PC.

    • Easy and rapid roll out with low operational risk -- Orange Business Services host the platforms in secure data centers, manage, maintain and support the core service infrastructure without a dedicated customer infrastructure.

    • Flexible security & management solution -- The consolidated compliance check and patch distribution with security policies can be adjusted per category or per use of devices. The security policies and rules range from mere compliance and patch to a full Network Access Control feature.

    • Cost control -- An adaptive pricing model allows for "pay-as-you-go" pricing in which customers only pay for the options chosen.

    • Future proof -- The solution helps mitigating for zero day attacks and is ready for today's and tomorrow's security challenges.

    The new service complements Business Everywhere and Mobile Office from Orange Business Services.

    Point Topic: Global Broadband Subscribers Hit 400 Million

    The number of broadband subscribers worldwide has reached the 400 million mark, according to a report prepared for the Broadband Forum by industry analysts, Point Topic. In 1998, there were just 57,200 broadband subscribers globally. Only a year later, this number had increased by nearly six times over to 280,890 subscribers worldwide. DSL quickly became the most popular choice of delivery. The past ten years has seen a 600,000 percent increase in the number of subscribers - 300 percent in the last 5 years alone - which now tops the 400 million mark. Over the same period, access technology evolved to include fiber, which began in 2002 with 18,000 subscribers. Since then, fiber now delivers broadband services to over 45 million people across the globe.

    The Broadband Forum also noted its 15th anniversary. The organization evolved from the ADSL Forum, to the DSL Forum, and finally to the Broadband Forum, each time expanding its scope and remit to fit the needs of the industry. During this time its 200 plus member companies have worked together to issue 100 Technical Reports (TRs), with the aim of helping the industry develop the full potential of broadband in the areas of network management and control, access development, network architectures, interoperability, and digital home management. Planning for the future, focusing on IPTV, fiber access, Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) and Energy Efficiency (EE) are all high on the agenda at the Forum's last quarterly meeting of 2008, which is being held this week in Hawaii.


    Nokia Opens Research Laboratory in Hollywood, USA

    Nokia has established its newest research laboratory in Hollywood, California, in order to work with the media & entertainment industry on new entertainment concepts.

    Specifically, web and TV. With a strong emphasis on entertainment and associated experiences, research topics will include mixed reality, content creation and user interface experiences, among others. In addition to recruiting from and collaborating with the Hollywood entertainment, media and art communities, the laboratory plans to further collaborate with the leading universities in the region such as University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of Southern California (USC).

    Nokia Research Center noted that it also has collaborative efforts underway with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University in the US, the University of Cambridge, UK and Tsinghua University, China. This year Nokia Research Center announced a joint research program with two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Lausanne and Zurich (EPFL and ETH Zurich) and opened a lab on the campus of Helsinki University of Technology in Finland.

    AT&T Builds Network Disaster Recovery Organization

    AT&T has completed a year-long initiative to integrate it Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) capabilities.

    The integration project expands the scope of AT&T's NDR functions beyond the core backbone network to also encompass response to emergency situations that impact local wireless and wired access networks. AT&T has invested more than $500 million in its NDR function, which includes more than 150 technology and equipment trailers that can be quickly deployed anywhere in the U.S. or worldwide to respond to a disaster situation. As a result, the company said is now ready to bring unmatched resources to bear to help ensure the flow of both wireless and wired communications during times of need, all backed by centralized command and control to ensure maximum effectiveness and efficiency.

    AT&T said that in addition to consolidating wireless, wired and backbone network recovery capabilities, it made a number of critical investments in NDR equipment and training in 2008, including the:

    • Completion of the 50th full-scale NDR training exercise since the organization's inception in 1991.

    • Expansion of the NDR fleet with new trailers expanding IP technology, satellite communications functionality, power distribution and specialized equipment supporting AT&T's new-generation, 40 Gbps backbone network.

    • Refit of multiple power trailers to improve performance as well as environmental profile.

    • Opening of a third NDR equipment warehouse in the southeastern United States.

    • Addition of an equipment warehouse in the United Kingdom.

    Brocade Reports Record Q4 Revenue, up 17% YoY

    Brocade reported Q4 revenues of $398.5 million, GAAP net income of $38 million or $.10 per share, and net income of $75.8 million or $.20 per share on a non-GAAP basis. In Q4 08, Brocade achieved record revenue, 9% quarter on quarter growth and 17% year on year growth. Revenue for fiscal year 2008 was $1,466.9 million, a growth of 19% over fiscal year 2007. Brocade's total installed base of SAN ports has now reached approximately 19.4 million.

    "Q4 was another outstanding quarter for Brocade, where we achieved record revenues and better-than-expected profitability fueled by our product and innovation advantages in our target markets. Our strong performance in Q4 accentuates an overall outstanding fiscal 2008, in which we achieved double-digit growth, expanded our margin and announced exciting plans to expand into additional, larger markets through our planned acquisition of Foundry Networks."

    Level 3 to Support Pando Content Delivery Cloud

    Pando Networks, which offers content delivery cloud services, has selected Level 3 Communications to provide caching and downloading services. Under the terms of the agreement, Level 3 will support Pando's delivery of HD online video for NBC Direct. Currently in beta release, NBC Direct allows users free access to download high-resolution episodes of select NBC shows.

    PCCW Activates CDMA2000 in Hong Kong

    PCCW has activated a new service that enables visitors from mainland China and other parts of the world to use their home-based CDMA2000/CDMA IS-95 mobile phones to roam onto the company's CDMA2000 network in Hong Kong.

    The new CDMA2000 capability is focused on Hong Kong's urban Golden Bowl Area, meeting OFTA's CDMA2000 license requirement for network coverage and service schedule. Full deployment will be completed by 2010, when CDMA2000 mobile service is envisaged to be available in prime urban areas and other strategic locations in Hong Kong.

    The new service uses Huawei Technologies' fourth generation CDMA2000 BTS solution, based on CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. A technology.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Telekomunikacja Polska to Sell Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCX PBX

    Telekomunikacja Polska will offer the Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCX Enterprise (OXE) system to its largest business customers. The agreement will enable TP's customers to take advantage of the operator's rich service portfolio as well as of Alcatel-Lucent's newest technological solutions. TP has already been using Alcatel-Lucent solutions for small and medium-size business customers.

    Dilithium Offer Video Streaming Support for Android Handsets

    Dilithium has added live video and Video On Demand (VOD) streaming support for Android handsets utilizing the Dilithium Content Adapter (DCA).

    The DCA solution is an infrastructure offering that can be deployed by operators and service providers enabling their customers to access live or on demand video content through the standard players and browser of most handsets, including the iPhone. The DCA software solution supports live and pre-recorded clips in a wide range of video formats. DCA performs on the fly and on demand transport, media format, codec and bitrate adaptation. Android (e.g. T-Mobile G1) users can enjoy live and video-on-demand streaming without the need to install a special application, and may be on WiFi, WiMax, 3G, or 3.5G (HSDPA) networks.

    Nortel Bundles ANDA CPE into its Metro Ethernet Solution

    Nortel has expanded its relationship with ANDA Networks to include the provision of its Ethernet network termination equipment into the Nortel Metro Ethernet Networks portfolio. This will allow Nortel to provide an end-to-end solution for service providers to offer hosted E-VPN services to businesses.

    Specifically, Nortel's Metro Ethernet solutions now include ANDA's EtherReach portfolio which provides an extension of E-VPN services over fiber and copper-based networks. The ANDA products can be bundled with Nortel's Carrier Ethernet portfolio -- which has over 100 customers globally. They can also be bundled with Nortel's Optical Ethernet portfolio which features the Optical Multiservice Edge (OME) -- which has over ten thousand units deployed.http://www.nortel.com

    Nokia Reaffirms Commitment to TD-SCDMA

    Nokia reaffirmed its commitment to TD-SCDMA. The company is developing a TD-SCDMA device for the Chinese market based on its S60 on Symbian OS, and plans to launch the product before the end of 2009.

    Mobile manufacturers Launch Energy Rating Guide

    LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung Electronics and Sony Ericsson have launched a common energy rating system for chargers, making it easier for consumers to compare and choose the one that saves the most energy. Around two thirds of the energy used by mobile devices is lost when chargers are disconnected from the phone but left plugged into the wall socket.

    The new rating system indicates how much energy each charger uses when left plugged into the wall socket after charging is completed. The ratings covers all chargers currently sold by the five companies, and range from five stars for the most efficient chargers down to zero stars for the ones consuming the most energy. If the more than three billion people owning mobile devices today switched to a four or five star charger, this could save the same amount of energy each year as produced by two medium sized power plants.

    Nokia said that over the last decade it has reduced the amount of no-load energy consumption of the average chargers by 70 per cent and by 90 per cent in its best in class chargers.

    In 2008, Motorola began incorporating "unplug alerts" in its phones to remind users to unplug the charger after it charges.

    Fanfare Launches iTest 3.3 Test Automation

    Fanfare released an updated version of its test automation product. iTest 3.3 builds on earlier releases to integrate test assets and automate complex system testing using hardware and software from a variety of different vendors. iTest 3.3 also enables broader use across the quality chain, from the development stage through to customer testing sites.

    New features of iTest 3.3 include:

    • Intelligent Response Parser (IRP) -- allows pass/fail criteria to be determined in a single mouse click

    • Automatic Response Map -- enables IRP pass/fail criteria to be easily maintainable across several releases, even when software changes

    • iTest Assistant -- reinforces workflow for a particular company's quality process, and assists new users of iTest

    • Serial Port -- a new functionality that automates testing of systems and devices accessed via the Serial Port

    • Features to ease the testing of High Availability functionality in carrier-class devices

    AT&T Announces First Super Internet Data Centre in Asia

    AT&T will open its a super Internet Data Centre (IDC) in Singapore -- its first such facility in Asia. The super IDC, an expansion of AT&T's existing facilities, will act as a regional gateway to the Internet and the AT&T network to deliver AT&T Synaptic Hosting, its next-generation utility computing services.

    AT&T said the new facility is part of its US$1 billion planned global network investment in 2008 to increase global data centre hosting capacity throughout the 38 data centres in its global Internet Protocol (IP) network. Other super IDCs are located in Piscataway, New Jersey; San Diego, California; Annapolis, Maryland and Amsterdam in the Netherlands, which will form the regional hubs in the US and Europe.

    The AT&T IDCs allow AT&T to deliver consistent, highly scalable, enterprise-class Information Technology (IT) services around the globe. In addition to the hosting services available in all other centres, the super IDC supports large-scale computing and application infrastructure on demand that can be combined with other AT&T hosting services, such as managed networking, virtualized security, application acceleration and storage.
    • In August 2008. AT&T announced the global launch of its "Synaptic Hosting" -- a utility computing service with managed networking, security and storage for businesses. AT&T Synaptic Hosting uses the power of the AT&T network to manage applications, compute resources on servers and store data. It also provides designated account support all backed by a single end-to-end, service-level agreement that is unique within the industry. The network infrastructure supports large-scale computing and applications on demand via virtualized servers.

      The AT&T Synaptic Hosting service combines technology acquired from USinternetworking (USi) with five "super IDCs" (Internet data centers) in the United States, Europe and Asia. AT&T has a total of 38 IDCs in its global IP network. The super IDCs will be located in Piscataway, N.J.; San Diego; Annapolis, Md.; Singapore and Amsterdam and will act as regional gateways to the AT&T network "cloud."

      Over time, AT&T plans to add IDCs to the regional network infrastructure to deliver "enterprise-class" cloud capabilities to companies in the U.S. and abroad.

      AT&T said Synaptic Hosting will also be extended to deliver similar benefits to other services in its portfolio, including unified communication, content distribution, dynamic backup and restore, on-demand retrieval of high-resolution images such as X-rays and CT scans and many other subscription-based software services.

      The service is especially aimed at companies whose business needs are seasonal or unpredictable, or where end-user traffic spikes are a given. For example, the service allows online retailers gearing up for holiday sales, employers with annual open enrollment for employee benefits and game publishers running online games to manage their own applications — or let AT&T manage them — while paying only for the information technology (IT) capacity needed on a day-to-day basis.

    Sonic to Acquire CinemaNow for Online Movie Service

    Sonic Solutions, which supplies digital media software for burning DVDs, agreed to acquire CinemaNow, a privately held online entertainment provider based in Marina Del Rey, California. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    CinemaNow offers a library of over 6,000 Hollywood movies, TV shows and music videos to users across multiple platforms. The company has relationships with more than 250 content providers, including all major Hollywood studios, and supplies premium entertainment services to a host of PC and consumer electronics device manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Samsung, TiVo, DivX, and ARCHOS.

    Sonic and CinemaNow recently announced a collaboration to enable the download and burn of DVD movies by integrating CinemaNow's content delivery system into new "Qflix" DVD drives. Qflix drives have recently become available from a number of companies including Dell, Pioneer and Plextor.

    "The digital delivery of premium content is at a tipping point," said Dave Habiger, president and CEO, Sonic Solutions. "By providing consumers and OEMs user-friendly content services and software that works across multiple platforms, we will make it possible for any device or PC manufacturer to add an online movie store of Hollywood hits to its products."http://www.cinemanow.com

    Industry Initiative Targets 100 Gigabit Ethernet

    Internet2, ESnet, Infinera, Juniper Networks and Level 3 Communications have agreed to work together to develop and test emerging 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) technologies. The initiative aims to create a 100GbE testbed on the Internet2 and ESnet networks with an operational network capability soon thereafter.

    In support of the development, Juniper Networks plans to leverage its T1600 core router, which offer 100 Gbps of capacity per slot. Infinera plans to develop the 100 GbE interfaces for the existing Internet2 and ESnet optical networks.

    The companies said the development of standards for 100 GbE is a key part of the process to support widespread cost-effective deployment of 100 GbE technology. The IEEE is currently targeting mid-2010 for industry agreement on a 100 GbE standard. The parties will support the effort to create a standard and look forward to implementing that standard.

    "Today, researchers have shifted from working in local laboratories to collaborating on a global scale. Massive data streams generated by this new environment are driving exponential growth in the networking needs of our community that could require 100 GbE services by as early as 2010," said Rob Vietzke, Internet2 executive director of network services. "Together with our collaborators we are working to make 100 GbE a reality so researchers will never be bound by their geographic location or bandwidth requirements." http://www.internet2.edu
    • In 2006, Internet2 announced an agreement with Level 3 Communications to deploy a new nationwide network, designed to seamlessly add capacity as Internet2 members' needs evolve. Internet2 and the Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) also announced a partnership to build the next-generation of ESnet on the shared Internet2 infrastructure. Both networks have already experienced rapid growth and as global collaborations continue to expand to nearly every research discipline making the path towards 100 GbE a natural next step.