Sunday, June 1, 2008

Telenor Deploys Ixia's IP Service Verification Platform

Telenor has deployed Ixia's IxRave IP service verification platform to measure the end-to-end performance of its enterprise layer 3 VPN (L3 VPN) networks and services in Scandinavia. IxRave permits Telenor to remotely perform end-to-end application testing to verify its customers' quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE). Inexpensive probes and virtual endpoints enable Telenor to quickly identify any issues and determine if a fault is in the network (edge and core) or in the access segment (edge to customer premises), and then verify that corrective action has resolved an issue. Ixia said its solution also enables Telenor to quickly and remotely measure complex service level agreement (SLA) metrics and verify SLA commitments on demand -- even before those services are turned up. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Veraz Introduces I-Gate 4000 Session Bandwidth Optimizer

Veraz Networks introduced its I-Gate 4000 Session Bandwidth Optimizer (SBO) for helping service providers to reduce the bandwidth required for VoIP trunks by up to 67% while maintaining toll quality and high reliability. The I-Gate 4000 SBO is currently in trial with several service providers.

Veraz said that in many cases, IP transport costs represent the single largest expense for operators offering VoIP services. The platform helps service providers and large enterprises to minimize the cost of bandwidth as they extend the reach of their VoIP networks and migrate from TDM to next generation all-IP networks.

The I-Gate 4000 SBO, which is built on the company's I-Gate 4000 platform, uses RTP multiplexing technology. It leverages the TDM-IP compression technology already available on the I-Gate 4000 platform without reducing the quality or reliability of VoIP services. A limited version of the bandwidth optimization technology used in the SBO is also available on Veraz's recently announced Network-adaptive Border Controller product family.

The I-Gate 4000 PRO is a toll-quality, high quality VoIP media gateway for TDM-to-TDM and TDM-to-VoIP.

BT Plans 80% CO2 Reduction by 2020

BT announced a goal to cut its carbon emissions intensity by 80 percent across the globe by 2020 , setting one of the most aggressive corporate carbon reduction targets worldwide.

The company also published a new model for measuring and tracking carbon emissions -- backed by the Carbon Disclosure Project. This represents an important step in measuring carbon emissions in a consistent way across the globe.

BT said it intends to meet the 80 percent reduction target through a continued combination of energy efficiency, on-site renewable generation (aiming for 25 per cent of its UK electricity to come from dedicated wind turbines by 2016) and purchased low-carbon electricity.

BT estimated that it has already reduced emissions in the UK by nearly 60 percent between 1996 and 2008.

The majority of worldwide CO2 emissions result from activities in the corporate sector, but up until now it has not been clear what targets an individual corporation needs to achieve to make its contribution to the international challenge.
  • In October 2007, BT announced plans to develop wind farms aimed at generating up to 25% of its existing UK electricity requirements by 2016. The company expects to invest up to £250m in the project.

    BT is one of Britain's biggest consumers of electricity, with an annual requirement of around 0.7% of the UK's entire consumption. The company said its wind farms could generate a total of 250MW of electricity – enough to meet the power needs of 122,000 homes or a city the size of Coventry.

    BT is currently identifying high wind-yield sites on or adjacent to BT-owned land for development with the aim of generating power from 2012 onwards.

Bridgewater Selected for Sprint's XOHM WiMAX Network

Sprint has selected Bridgewater Systems as the network access control vendor for its forthcoming nationwide XOHM WiMAX Network. Bridgewater is the incumbent supplier of Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) services to Sprint's existing CDMA 3G network and will now extend its solution to support XOHM as well. Within Sprint, Bridgewater will provide concurrent support for 3G and 4G networks from a common infrastructure as Sprint begins to commercially deploy the XOHM WiMAX network in 2008. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Bridgewater Systems AAA Service Controller provides extensive mobile WiMAX support often not supported on legacy AAA servers such as device authentication and mobile IP. The AAA Service Controller also features concurrent support for RADIUS and Diameter, as well as broad supplemental authentication protocols such as EAP-TLS and EAP-TTLS. With a common policy and subscriber profile repository that serves all access networks, service providers can create a unified view of subscribers, and realize operational efficiencies by eliminating the need to re-provision subscribers as new access technologies such as WiMAX are introduced.

Bridgewater's platform provides high performance network access control while supporting open network access services, such as over the air provisioning of devices, subscribers and on-demand service models, and lawful intercept services. By being agnostic to various access technologies as well as vendor-specific solutions, the Bridgewater solution is able to support a wide array of access networks and interoperate with multiple network vendor equipment types from a single platform.

Bridgewater noted that it has now been selected by nine WiMAX service providers to provide a range of service control solutions.

AT&T Study: One in Five U.S. Businesses Does Not Have a Business Continuity Plan

One in five U.S. businesses does not have a business continuity plan in place to maintain operations in the event of man-made and natural disasters, according to an annual study by AT&T.

For the seventh consecutive year, AT&T's Business Continuity Study surveyed IT executives from companies throughout the United States that have at least $25 million in annual revenue to get their views on disaster planning and business continuity trends.

To ensure its own business, AT&T conducts Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) exercises several times a year and has invested more than $500 million over the past decade in the program. By simulating large-scale disasters and network service disruptions, AT&T can apply and refine best practices for rapidly restoring communications to government and business customers. Its disaster response team includes specially trained managers, engineers and technicians from across the United States, as well as a fleet of more than 150 self-contained equipment trailers and support vehicles that house the same equipment and components as an AT&T data-routing or voice-switching center.

Some key findings from the 2008 AT&T Business Continuity Study include:

  • Security continues to be key. Even though organizations have learned how to better recognize and even deal with worms, viruses and other threats, there's no question that security remains a critical concern. Two-thirds of IT executives predict that hacking will emerge as the most significant threat to cybersecurity in the next five years. The next most frequently mentioned threats are internal, including accidents (56 percent), sabotage (47 percent) and remote workers (44 percent).

  • Organizations may evolve, but business continuity plans are left untouched. Six out of 10 companies have made some type of business change in the past year that would warrant updating their business continuity plans. However, only 28 percent updated the plans because of any of the changes. Business changes cited by respondents include initiated new or expanded marketing efforts, expanded office space or a moved office, initiated new or expanded online or digital customer service or ordering capabilities, or the company made an acquisition or merged.

  • Simplicity is important with hosted solutions. Even though a hosted environment can provide a company with the resources it needs to continue its business operations, businesses have concerns. Sixty percent of IT executives view security, reliability and cost as their top concerns when thinking about using a hosted environment, and 37 percent are concerned about complexity.

  • Too much information, not enough space to store it. More than one-fourth (28 percent) of IT executives have experienced problems in the past year with insufficient storage space on their company's computers or servers for virtual records.

  • Employee communication is critical. The vast majority (79 percent) of companies surveyed have special arrangements for communicating with key executives during a natural disaster. Although 80 percent of companies have automated text messaging or e-mail capabilities to reach employees outside of work, only 39 percent of companies have automated calling systems to reach those employees by telephone or mobile phone.

Tatung Selects Alcatel-Lucent for WiMAX Deployment in Penghu

Taiwan's Tatung InfoComm has selected Alcatel-Lucent to deploy a commercial WiMAX 802.16e-2005 (Rev-e) network in Penghu County, a rural area of Taiwan. For Tatung, which holds one of the commercial WiMAX licenses for Taiwan's southern regions, the initial deployment focuses on reducing the digital divide, with WiMAX providing most of the wireless broadband data and voice services across 70% of the county's territory.

"Penghu County is one of the initial locations to benefit from our massive WiMAX deployment plan for Taiwan as we move to offer this advanced mobile service to people and businesses throughout the country," said Peter Yen, President of Tatung InfoComm, a subsidiary of Tatung Co. for WiMAX business.

Extreme Networks Prevails in Patent Litigation Against Enterasys

Extreme Networks prevailed in a patent case filed against Enterasys Networks. The jury found that Enterasys Networks had infringed all three of Extreme Networks' asserted patents. Extreme Networks also defeated Enterasys' challenge to the validity of the company's patents.

Extreme Networks said these successful results followed Extreme Networks earlier defeat of Enterasys' claims for damages when the judge determined that the company did not infringe any of the Enterasys patents in the lawsuit.

Trans-Pacific Express (TPE) Cable Nears Completion

China Telecom expects the Trans-Pacific Express (TPE) cable to be completed in Q3. TPE is the first major undersea system to land on the U.S. West coast in more than seven years. It will be more than 60 times the overall capacity of the existing cable directly linking the United States and China, and, thus, will be a major enhancement to the current cable systems between the two nations. The five landing points for the TPE cable include two in China, Chongming in Shanghai, Qingdao in Shandong Province and one in the United States, Nedonna Beach in Oregon.

China Telecom Americas is now pre-selling capacity on the Trans-Pacific Express system.

Virtela Launches Secure Video Extranet Service

Virtela introduced a Secure Video Extranet service that enables businesses to privately connect to video endpoints outside of their corporate perimeter to support telepresence and other videoconferencing applications with partners worldwide.

Virtela said its Secure Video Extranet service overcomes the challenges typically associated with videoconferencing between partner communities, where endpoints often reside on different carriers and Internet peering to connect them adds jitter, latency and packet loss that can severely impact video quality. Virtela optimizes video calls between partners via a multi-carrier network that exchanges video traffic between locations while bypassing public and private peering points and their inherent performance issues.

Virtela currently provides managed extranet services to many leading multinational corporations, and is applying that network and security expertise to video extranet requirements. By setting up and maintaining security policies between partners, for example, Virtela ensures security posture as trusted and untrusted environments become linked.

Cedar Point Names New CEO

Cedar Point Communications, which supplies carrier VoIP switching technologies, named John (J.C.) Murphy as its new President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing Curt Hockemeier, who was named Interim CEO in January. Hockemeier will remain on the Company's board of directors. Murphy joined Cedar Point in October, 2007 as Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales.
  • In January, Cedar Point Communications announced that Curt Hockemeier, a member of the company's board of directors and a veteran telecommunications executive, has been named interim CEO following the departure of Andy Paff as President and CEO.

Brocade Settles Federal Securities Class-Action Suit for $160 Million

Brocade Communications reached an agreement in principle with lead plaintiffs to settle the federal securities class-action lawsuit originally filed in May 2005 in relation to the company's restatement of certain financial results in 2005 due to stock-based compensation accounting issues.

Under the terms of the preliminary settlement, Brocade will pay $160 million to the plaintiff class in exchange for the dismissal with prejudice of all claims against all defendants in the litigation. The settlement is subject to final documentation and approval by the federal district court.

AudioCodes Introduces Multi-Service Business Gateway

AudioCodes introduced its Mediant 1000 Multi-Service Business Gateway (MSBG) - a modular, all-in-one, networking device that combines a Media Gateway, enterprise class Session Border Controller, Data Router & Firewall, LAN Switch, WAN access, Stand Alone Survivability (SAS) and an on-board general purpose server. The platform enables secured SIP trunking using IP to IP session mediation, an integrated SBC and media transcoding.

AudioCodes said its Mediant 1000 MSBG is designed to address the needs of Service Providers and Cable Operators when offering IP-Centrex and SIP Trunking services, as well as the needs of distributed Enterprises.

The Mediant 1000 MSBG is an evolutionary extension of AudioCodes Mediant gateway family, enabling it to be used with a wide range of both IP-PBXs and TDM PBXs.