Sunday, May 31, 2009

NetLogic to Acquire RMI for $175 Million

NetLogic Microsystems agreed to acquire RMI, a developer of multi-core, multi-threaded processors, in a deal valued at approximately $175 million.

The merger is expected to enable NetLogic Microsystems to further expand into the high-performance "data-in-flight" processing segment. RMI's XLP, XLR and XLS Multi-Core, Multi-Threaded Processors will complement NetLogic Microsystems' existing portfolio of knowledge-based processors, content processors, network search engines and 10-100 Gigabit Ethernet PHY products. By expanding upon the IP and product portfolio, the merger is further expected to strengthen and expand NetLogic Microsystems' Tier 1 OEM customer base as well as to diversify its end market penetration.

RMI's high-performance Multi-Core, Multi-Threaded Processors enable the delivery of rich IP content and services, such as video, 3G/4G mobile services, voice-over-IP and enhanced security, over tomorrow's wireline and wireless networks. In addition, RMI offers a family of Ultra Low-Power Processors for high-volume enterprise, industrial and media-rich applications, where their unique blend of low power core, media architecture, and connectivity has created a highly differentiated value proposition. The rapid proliferation and growing market for these power-sensitive connected devices are fueling the demand for higher performance, mission-critical infrastructure equipment in core, edge, metro, access, enterprise, storage and SMB networks.

"We are excited by the opportunities presented by this merger because of the remarkable synergies in our technologies, markets, customers, geographic locations and company cultures," said Ron Jankov, president and CEO of NetLogic Microsystems. "Further, we believe that our two companies' individual strengths can be successfully leveraged into tremendous growth potential for the combined entity. Similar to the growth drivers that are opening up new opportunities for our knowledge-based processors and high performance physical layer products, the rapid growth in converged IP traffic and demand for the support of advanced IP services such as video, 3G/4G, voice-over-IP and enhanced security, are opening up new opportunities for high-performance Multi-Core, Multi-Threaded Processors."

Inphi Enables Cloud Servers Pack 384 GB of DDR-3 Memory

Inphi Corp.introduced a new technology that can quadruple memory capacity in servers and workstations at DDR3-2133 rates and beyond. The enabling component of the technology is Inphi's isolation memory buffer (iMB), which will reside electrically on a server DIMM between the memory controller and the DRAM, allowing it to buffer the data lines, as well as command, address and control lines.

"Contemporary multicore processors have a voracious appetite for memory capacity, but board layout and signal integrity issues limit the number of DIMMs on most two-socket server motherboards," observed Nathan Brookwood, research fellow at Insight 64. "Buffer-on-Board (BoB) approaches address signal integrity, but finding space and routing signals to all those DIMMs remains a tough problem. Inphi's iMB provides a clever and cost-effective solution that allows the latest Xeon servers to accommodate four times as many DRAM components in the same DIMM sockets designed for ordinary registered DIMMs. Users who feel hemmed in by the current 96 GB per socket constraint of Intel's Xeon 5500 series should love this way to grow their memories to 384 GB."

Inphi said its iMB technology enable up to 384 GB of mainstream DRAMs to be integrated into standard-sized DIMMs without the need for hardware changes. The iMB chip will transparently make multiple ranks of DRAMs look like a single rank of DRAM to the memory controller.

Inphi is currently manufacturing prototypes of the iMB and expects to deliver engineering samples to OEMs beginning in the summer of 2009.

Sprint Offers App Developers Java-based Access to Location-based Services

Sprint will provide access to tools to let developers quickly create location-based services (LBS) applications and advanced messaging applications. In addition, three additional location aggregation providers, Alcatel-Lucent, LOC-AID and Useful Networks, will help developers create new location-based services for Sprint customers. Sprint launched its open location platform in December with Veriplace and WHERE.

Sprint plans to hold its ninth annual Application Developer Conference in October in Santa Clara, California.

"We want developers to have the tools they need to create useful, engaging and exciting applications for our customers -- whether they're for individuals and families or small business and enterprise customers," said Kevin Packingham, senior vice president of Product and Technology Development for Sprint. "The Sprint Developer Sandbox and new location platform enablers bring tools from outside Sprint into our open Application Developer Program to allow more innovation than developers have in other closed communities."

Mushroom's Broadband Bonding Aggregates Up to 5 Connections

Mushroom Networks, a start-up based in San Diego, announced the second generation of its TRUFFLE Broadband Bonding device capables of aggregating up to five high-speed Internet connections of any type (DSL, cable, T1, DS3, fiber, wireless) into a single Internet connection. The second generation version incorporates enhanced flow-based quality-of-service (QoS), traffic prioritization and application filtering, dual unit automatic failover, 1Gig Ethernet ports and higher maximum throughput rates of over 300Mbps.

TRUFFLE is an Ethernet-based turn-key solution that installs between the broadband modems and the local network at the customer's premises without requiring any configuration changes to the existing network or coordination with the ISP. This enables the user to mix and match various services from multiple broadband providers into a bonded pipe. If one or more of the links in the bonded pipe fail or is degraded, the traffic is transparently spread across the remaining links without any interruptions resulting in maximum network up time. When peered over the Internet with another TRUFFLE device for example: connecting the main headquarters with multiple branch offices, both the download and upload capacity is aggregated solving a major industry pain point -- slow uplink speeds for Virtual Private Network (VPN) traffic.

In addition to much greater bi-directional maximum throughput rates, new features include advanced QoS algorithms and application filtering that intelligently prioritizes and manages traffic improving inbound real-time traffic latency metrics for applications such as voice, streaming, and video conferencing. Duel unit configuration enabling hot-swap failover to the standby unit (active/passive availability); and bypass port failover during unforeseen power outages ensures high-nines network reliability.

AT&T Study: Business Continuity Planning Evolves With Emerging Technologies

According to a survey of over 500 IT executives in the U.S., the dramatic rise in social networking and mobility trends is presenting new challenges and considerations to companies' network security, disaster planning and business continuity programs. The good news: businesses are stepping up their technology investment and efforts to meet these challenges despite the economy; and mobile devices are increasingly part of business continuity plans.

For the eighth consecutive year, AT&T 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. Sixty-eight percent of the companies surveyed this year have locations outside of the U.S. The study is based on an online survey of 502 Information Technology (IT) executives.

2009 AT&T Business Continuity Study Key Findings:

  • Two-thirds (65%) of all executives indicate that their companies will be investing in new technologies for 2009. Investment tends to focus on new
    equipment and a variety of software, storage and security upgrades.

  • Forty percent of executives surveyed indicated that their IT budgets are expected to be lower this year than in the previous two years, while nearly one-fourth
    (24%) indicated that budgets will be higher. Interestingly, companies with business continuity plans in place are significantly more likely
    than those without plans to anticipate budget increases (32% compared to 11%).

  • Sixty-seven percent of executives indicate that wireless network capabilities are part of their business continuity plan. Furthermore, nearly half (46%) stated that mobile
    devices play a major role in their plan's considerations.

  • Three out of four executives surveyed are concerned about the increased use of social networking capabilities' potential impact on network security. Forty-four percent allow employees access to such social networking sites. However, hacking still continues to be listed as the biggest security risk to companies (30% compared with 3% for social networking).

  • One-third of companies surveyed have used their business continuity plan that is in place. Nationally, companies are most likely to invoke their business continuity plan due to extreme weather (25%) or power outages at facilities (19%).

  • Nearly seventy-four percent of businesses surveyed set target recovery times for their key business processes (compared with sixty-seven percent in 2008), an indication that businesses understand not only is it important to have a plan in place, but that plan needs to identify goals and expectations for recovery should it be invoked. In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, these companies have special arrangements for communicating with key executives spanning voice, email and text-messaging.

"In today's business environment, connectivity cannot be disrupted, which is why business continuity planning and disaster recovery efforts are paramount," said Bill Archer, chief marketing officer - AT&T Business Solutions. "The top three lessons learned by the executives we surveyed who have experienced a disaster include: having a plan in place is critical; increase back-up systems to ensure no data loss; and have multiple means of communication available. AT&T is focused on helping our customers stay connected with their employees and customers no matter if and when disaster strikes."

Percello Introduces 16-User Femtocell Chip

Percello, an Israeli fabless semiconductor company developing highly integrated and low-cost digital baseband for UMTS and LTE networks, unveiled the second product in its Aquilo chip family for enterprise-grade femtocells. The new PRC6500 SOC supports 16 users - double the capacity of competing solutions - while delivering evolved high speed packet access (HSPA+) data rates of 21.6Mbps and 5.7Mbps and extended cell range optimized for outdoor applications. It is pin-compatible with Percello's first Aquilo chip - the PRC6000 - an eight-user HSPA+ device, and can be easily used by Percello customers to offer a low-cost solution for residential, enterprise and outdoor applications.

The PRC6500 is compliant with 3GPP HNB specs. It integrates an HSPA+ modem, a MIPS processor, 3GPP L2 hardware accelerators, IP-SEC accelerators, embedded secured platform capabilities, a timing and synchronization mechanism, 2G/3G cognitive radio capabilities and peripherals such as embedded USIM I/F.

Aquilo architecture enables UMTS NodeB and RNC functionality to run on a single die. The family chips contain MIPS24Kc and its peripherals as well as femtocell L1 engine (FLE), which includes an HSPA+ modem and embedded RF I/F.

AT&T Calculates Savings for Conducting Regional Telepresence Meeting

By conducting its meeting of a customer Regional Advisory Council (RAC) by Telepresence rather than face-to-face, AT&T calculates that it reduced emissions by an equivalent to more than 62 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2e) and saved participants more than US$100,000.

Twice each year, AT&T Asia Pacific Group meets with approximately 20 of its regional and global customers who make up the advisory council to discuss a wide range of issues from service quality and support to new products and investment plans for emerging markets.

Previous RAC meetings have been held in Beijing, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Delhi and Singapore with customers generally devoting 3-4 full days including travel time. AT&T takes responsibility for the meeting and hospitality costs while customers pay their own travel and accommodation expenses, with total costs for each meeting exceeding US$100,000 on average.

Using Cisco TelePresence suites, the meeting involved 21 customers from 15 companies including Air Products, Intel, Cargill, Tata Consultancy Services and DuPont along with 15 AT&T staff in ten locations -- Dallas, Chicago and New Jersey in the US, London, Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Former Enron Broadband CFO Pleads Guilty

Kevin Howard, former chief financial officer and vice president of finance for Enron Broadband Services (EBS), Enron's failed telecommunications business, pleaded guilty to falsifying books and records. According to the superseding indictment and the plea agreement, Howard knowingly and willfully directly or indirectly caused Enron's Form 10K for the year-ending 2000 to be falsified because it did not accurately and fairly reflect, in reasonable detail, the transactions and dispositions of Enron's assets.

Qualcomm Debuts 4x4 MIMO 802.11n Solution

Qualcomm introduced a dual-band 802.11n standards-based wireless local-area networking (WLAN) solution with 4x4 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology capable of delivering 600 Mbps of performance. The new chip is designed to enable users to distribute multiple simultaneous streams of high-definition video, voice and data throughout the home. The WCN1320 chip includes an internal high-speed application processor to run the WLAN software within the chip which provides OEMs the flexibility to use lower cost host processors in their design, easing integration, and reducing development costs for adding WLAN to their products.

Qualcomm is offering WLAN reference module designs to enable manufacturers to quickly integrate WCN1320 into a wide range of media streaming consumer electronic devices such as access points, set-top boxes, and media-centric devices.

The new WCN1320's 4x4 MIMO technology uses four spatial streams to distribute multiple streams of concurrent voice, video and data in either the 5GHz or 2.4 GHz radio bands. The highly integrated N-Stream WCN1320 solution utilizes a 65-nanometer CMOS process technology to combine an embedded applications processor, media-access controller, digital baseband, radio-frequency transceiver and system power-management in a single compact 12x12 mm package.

Qualcomm's N-Stream WLAN WCN1320 solution is expected to begin sampling in the second quarter of 2009.

Qualcomm Introduces Single-Chip 802.11n for Handsets

Qualcomm introduced a single-chip, high-performance 802.11n-compliant wireless local-area networking (WLAN) solution for handsets and mobile devices that supports data rates of up to 72 Mbps - significantly higher than previous 802.11a, b, and g Wi-Fi solutions. The WCN1312 solution offers a high level of integration with a 2.4 GHz 802.11n baseband processor, media-access controller, RF transceiver, transmit power amplifier, low-noise amplifier, transmit switch, power coupler and radio-frequency (RF) bandpass filter all in a small 7x7 mm package. The chip uses low-power 65nm CMOS technology and advanced power-management techniques to minimize sleep, standby and active power consumption.

EMC Proposes to Acquire Data Domain, Outbidding NetApp

EMC announced a bid to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Data Domain, Inc. (NASDAQ: DDUP) for $30.00 per share in cash, in a transaction with a total enterprise value of approximately $1.8 billion, net of Data Domain's cash. EMC's all-cash offer represents a 20% premium to the cash and stock offer made by NetApp for Data Domain on May 20, 2009.

EMC said it is bidding to acquire Data Domain for its fast-growing revenue base, its strong data protection-focused management team and sales force and its highly complementary storage software technology that will help to accelerate both companies' ability to deliver next-generation disk-based backup and archiving solutions for customers.htp://

Polaris Wireless Deploys 50 Meter Mass Wireless Intercept Location Solution

Polaris Wireless, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, introduced a mass wireless intercept location application that is capable of pinpointing the precise location of all mobile devices in a network to an accuracy within 50 meters. This would enable intelligence agencies and Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to locate millions of handsets in real time or for a period of time in the past.

"Most intelligence and law enforcement agencies already have the capability to intercept wireless communications during criminal investigations but lack the ability to accurately track the locations of handsets sending and receiving transmissions or map wireless activity on a mass scale," said Manlio Allegra, President and CEO, Polaris Wireless. "Working within the local laws of individual countries, high-accuracy mass intercept location technology allows law enforcement agencies to analyze wireless activity before, during and after an event, helping them put together an accurate timeline of events, identify suspects and gather additional evidence for criminal investigations."

The ability to map and analyze wireless activity on a mass scale gives LEAs a more detailed picture of a crime scene, including who was present, what wireless activity was being conducted and where all handsets were located at any given time. For example, if a bomb goes off in the downtown area of a major metropolitan area, LEAs would be able to identify and analyze wireless activity just before the bomb went off and then track the movements of the handsets that sent and received transmissions in the immediate aftermath. Using this information to map wireless activity around the blast zone, responding personnel would be better equipped to take swift action to identify and apprehend the suspects before they flee. Criminal investigators would also have a significant advantage when gathering evidence and eyewitness accounts from a chaotic crime scene.

Currently, some lawful intercept solutions rely on Cell-ID/Enhanced Cell-ID (ECID) or Assisted GPS (A-GPS) to determine handset location. However, these technologies neither provide the accuracy necessary to deliver actionable information nor can they be used to reliably track handsets on a mass scale. ECID uses crude location information from cell towers to determine location to within several hundred meters or a few city blocks--not accurate enough to be useful in criminal investigations. A-GPS is not any more accurate or reliable given its limitations in critically important urban and indoor environments. Additionally, it can be easily disabled or jammed on handsets.

The Polaris Wireless solution uses Polaris Wireless Location Signatures (Polaris WLSTM) technology to quickly and reliably determine handset location to an accuracy within 50 meters. Like a fingerprint's pattern of lines and swirls, a location can be identified by a unique set of values including measurements of neighboring cell signal strengths, time delays and other network parameters. The Polaris WLS solution collects this information and uses it to match incoming signals to an extensive database of values to determine highly accurate handset location--regardless of the type of environment.

Polaris Wireless is also working on adding advanced analytical techniques to its high accuracy, mass intercept location solution. The advanced analytics, in conjunction with high accuracy, will help narrow suspect lists, eliminate false leads and focus criminal investigations in an effective and efficient manner. When used in accordance with local laws, predictive intelligence can arm LEAs with the information they need to prevent criminal activity before it occurs. As the Polaris WLS mass intercept system continues to be populated with larger volumes of raw and analytical data over time, the quality of actionable intelligence will simply continue to improve.

Qualcomm Shows 45nm Snapdragon Chipset for Smarter Smartphones

Qualcomm is expanding its Snapdragon platform for Smartphones with its next-generation chipset based on 45 nanometer (nm) process technology.

The new Snapdragon QSD8650A(TM) chipset - scheduled for sampling before the end of 2009 - offers significant performance improvements including a 1.3 GHz processor for 30 percent higher performance as well as enhanced multimedia and 2D/3D graphics. The 45nm technology lowers power consumption by up to 30 percent compared to previous-generation Snapdragon products. Standby power is lowered to less than 10 millwatts.

In addition to its faster processor and faster bus speed, the new QSD8650A chipset also offers multi-mode UMTS and CDMA 3G mobile broadband connectivity in the same 15x15mm package as current Snapdragon chipsets. A standalone, power-efficient 2D graphics accelerator and enhanced 3D graphics core deliver a powerful multimedia experience with better performance of Adobe Flash software. It also features integrated GPS and high-definition video recording and playback, the latest Bluetooth 2.1 technology and support for Wi-Fi, high-resolution WXGA displays and mobile TV technologies such as MediaFLO, DVB-H and ISDB-T.

Mformation's MDM to Support Clearwire's Mobile WiMAX Service

Clearwire will use Mformation's SERVICE MANAGER mobile device management (MDM) software for its CLEAR mobile WiMAX service. Mformation's platform ensures that all of the mobile devices are properly configured and working optimally. The company said its deep experience with the OMA DM protocol and its leadership role in managing OMA DM devices are especially critical to the seamless management of WiMAX-based devices, which use this protocol. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Mformation said the user requirements for device management will be much the same regardless of whether they are connected to an all-IP WiMAX network or a cellular network (including CDMA, CDMA 2000, GSM, GPRS, UMTS, WCDMA, HSPA). Regardless of what network their subscribers are using at any given point in time, service providers still need to configure services, remotely activate users, get a real-time view of devices, distribute and update applications and firmware, secure devices and data, and monitor service availability and performance.

"Working with Clearwire on this very important mobile broadband initiative is great validation of the power of our comprehensive MDM platform," said Mark Edwards, Mformation CEO.
  • Mformation previously disclosed that UQ Communications has selected its MFORMATION SERVICE MANAGER to provide seamless device management capabilities for new WiMAX-capable devices as part of the rollout of its WiMAX network. The UQ Communications venture was established with KDDI Corporation, Intel Capital Corp., East Japan Railway Company, KYOCERA Corporation, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

FCC Releases Report on Broadband Strategy for Rural America

The FCC released a report entitled "Bringing Broadband to Rural America" that identifies common problems affecting rural broadband, including technological challenges, lack of data, and high network costs. Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael J. Copps described the report as a starting point for the development of policies to deliver broadband to rural areas and restore economic growth and opportunity for Americans residing and working in those areas.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) established several broadband initiatives with $7.2 billion in funding. This includes $4.7 billion in funding for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in consultation with the FCC. The purposes of BTOP is to provide access to broadband in unserved areas, improve broadband access for both underserved areas and public safety agencies, and provide broadband education, training and support.

The Recovery Act also provided an additional $2.5 billion in funding for the Broadband Investment Program administered by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the USDA. This program is designed to support the expansion of broadband service in rural areas through financing and grants to projects that provide access to high speed service and facilitate economic development in locations without sufficient access to such service.

Alcatel-Lucent Sets Goal of 50% Carbon Emission Cut by 2020

Alcatel-Lucent released its 2008 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report and set a goal of its carbon emissions in half by 2020. Among its targets, the company also aims to improve the functional energy efficiency of key products by at least 20% by 2010 compared with 2008. The 62-page report highlights actions taken in five areas:

  • Reducing the impact of Alcatel-Lucent products on the environment and enabling the deployment of eco-sustainable networks for its service providers and enterprise customers

  • Minimizing the company's carbon footprint and improving its overall environmental, health and safety performance for more efficient and eco-sustainable operations

  • Fostering a corporate culture that opens up opportunities for employees

  • Working with suppliers to create a socially responsible supply chain

  • Becoming involved in the communities where Alcatel-Lucent employees and customers live and work

Spain's Iberbanda Selects Alvarion to Expand WiMAX Network

Iberbanda, Spain's leading WiMAX carrier partially owned by Telefonica, has selected Alvarion to expand the current WiMAX network at 3.5GHz in Catalonia. The expansion results from a tender won by Iberbanda to supply WiMAX services to the Government of Catalonia.

White House Focuses on CyberSecurity

President Barack Obama announced plans to personally select and appoint a White House Cybersecurity Coordinator to drive new policies to better protect the nation's information infrastructure. Shortly after taking office, Obama directed the National Security Council and Homeland Security Council to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the federal government's efforts in cybersecurity. The 60-day review outlines a range of actions that the federal government should pursue. Key elements of the plan to secure America's information and communications networks include:

  • Cybersecurity will be designated as one of the Obama administration's key management priorities.

  • To ensure a coordinated approach across government, appoint a new Cybersecurity Coordinator, who will work closely with the White House Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, and the Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra.

  • The White House cybersecurity coordinator will work with all the key players -- including state and local governments and the private sector -- to ensure an organized and unified response to future cyber incidents.

  • Strengthen the public/private partnerships. The Obama administration will not dictate security standards for private companies. The policy will not include monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic.

  • Continue to invest in the cutting-edge research and development necessary for the innovation and discovery

  • Begin a national campaign to promote cybersecurity awareness and digital literacy.

"From now on, our digital infrastructure -- the networks and computers we depend on every day -- will be treated as they should be: as a strategic national asset. Protecting this infrastructure will be a national security priority. We will ensure that these networks are secure, trustworthy and resilient. We will deter, prevent, detect, and defend against attacks and recover quickly from any disruptions or damage.

"To give these efforts the high-level focus and attention they deserve -- and as part of the new, single National Security Staff announced this week -- I'm creating a new office here at the White House that will be led by the Cybersecurity Coordinator. Because of the critical importance of this work, I will personally select this official. I'll depend on this official in all matters relating to cybersecurity, and this official will have my full support and regular access to me as we confront these challenges," stated President Barack Obama.

I.T.U. Approves Two Specs for Fixed-Mobile Convergence

ITU has given first stage approval (consent) to two new standards on fixed-mobile convergence (FMC). Operators offering FMC will be able to provide both services with a single phone, switching between networks on an ad hoc basis.

Experts say that the standards are an important step in the ongoing study and development of next generation network (NGN) mobility support and FMC service and network capabilities.

Recommendation ITU-T Y.2018 describes a mobility management and control framework and architecture for NGN. The architecture supports IP-based mobility for user devices in the NGN transport stratum. Y.2018 defines a new component called MMCF (Mobility Management and Control Functions) which includes support for handling mobile location management and handover decision and control as well as the interaction with other existing NGN functional components such as NACF (Network and Attachment Control Functions), RACF (Resource and Admission Control Functions), service control functions and transport functions.

Recommendation ITU-T Y.2808 describes principles, service and network capabilities, and architectures for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) based FMC. The Recommendation describes a network architecture that uses IMS to provide the same set of services to user terminals regardless of the use of fixed or mobile access network technologies, and ensures service continuity when the point of attachment of the terminal changes between different access network technologies.

NVIDIA And Supermicro Demo GPU-Based Rack Server with 12X Performance

NVIDIA and Supermicro introduced a new class of server that combines massively parallel NVIDIA Tesla GPUs with multi-core CPUs in a single 1U rack-mount server. The companies said their configuration delivers 12 times the performance of a traditional quad-core CPU-based 1U server. In addition, the GPU can be tied directly into the remote monitoring capabilities of the server for significantly improved system level management.

EXFO Launches Portable 100 Gbps Ethernet Tester

EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering introduced a portable 100 Gbps and 40 Gbps Ethernet tester in a single module. Housed in the company's recently introduced next-generation FTB-500 platform, the FTB-85100G Packet Blazer is a rugged, portable 100 Gbps Ethernet testing solution offering powerful layer 1/2/3 traffic generation and analysis features to stress and validate network elements and network services against demanding corner cases.
The FTB-85100G supports multiple transceiver interfaces (CFP, CXP and QSFP), ensuring maximum flexibility to cover all possible equipment and network designs for high-speed transport alternatives. Users can also generate and analyze 100 Gbps and 40 Gbps line rate Ethernet and IP packets, as well as perform comprehensive EtherBERT tests, all via an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI). With its complete range of test features, the FTB-85100G can execute multilayer testing to rapidly validate physical-layer characteristics and accurately benchmark Ethernet/IP performance of equipment and high-speed packet transport networks.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cisco Releases a Bevy of New Catalyst Switch Features

Cisco announced a large set of new features for its Catalyst Switch and Integrated Services Router (ISR) portfolios. The new capabilities are especially aimed at increasing energy and IT efficiencies, while extending collaboration capabilities of the mobile workforce. Highlights of the announcement include:

Cisco Integrated Services Router

  • Cisco 880 VDSL2 and 890 Series Integrated Services Routers: New small business routers offer faster broadband options (VDSL2) and enhanced performance with integrated security and wireless connectivity.

  • Cisco 1861W Integrated Services Router: Aimed at small businesses, this voice router offers 802.11g wireless support to tighten the synergy between wired and wireless networks and increase throughput across both segments for greater mobility.

  • Cisco 3G Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN) for the ISR: Now supporting HSPA, Cisco 3G WWAN offers increased bandwidth and improved performance and management for network outage or disaster recovery for primary and backup applications.

  • Singlewire Software offers Cisco Application Extension Platform solution: Singlewire Software is the most recent application developer partner to deliver a solution on the Cisco Application Extension Platformfor the ISR. Singlewire's InformaCast solution simultaneously sends an audio stream and/or text message to multiple IP phones, Atlas IP Speakers, the Desktop Notification System, and overhead paging systems.

  • Cisco Unified Communications enhancements for mobility and collaboration: Cisco Unified SIP Proxy to reduce unified communications deployment costs; new voice signatures on the IP Security Network Module to make voice more secure; new mobility and video features on Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express; and new time card management capabilities on Cisco Unity Express to make branch employees just as productive and collaborative as those at headquarters.

  • Support for Cisco EnergyWise on the ISR for greater energy savings: Cisco's price-reduced EtherSwitch modules now support the Cisco EnergyWise capability to help improve energy utilization in the local-area network.

Cisco Catalyst Switch Improvements

  • Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series Supervisor 6L-E and Line Card: The Supervisor 6L-E provides customers with a high-performance, price-optimized, entry-level supervisor enabling rich-media collaboration, and increased energy and operational efficiency in the wiring closet. The Cisco Catalyst 4500 is the first modular switch in the industry to be power-over-Ethernet plus (PoEP) ready, and supports up to 30 watts. Its new 48-port 10/100/1000 line card enables 30-watt PoE support for next-generation high-power devices like videophones, dual-band wireless access points, building service devices and video surveillance cameras.

  • Smart Call Home and EnergyWise for the Catalyst 4500 Series: Cisco has extended its location services Smart Call Home and EnergyWise to its Catalyst 4500 Series. Smart Call Home lowers operational costs and reduces downtime by allowing devices to detect many problems and notify Cisco support teams for resolution before network managers notice them.

  • Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series innovations: Updates to the Catalyst 6500 Series increase flexibility and functionality in campus backbone deployments. Cisco Catalyst 6500 virtual switching system (VSS) and service module integration allow customers to deploy firewall, network analysis module (NAM), and wireless service modules in their VSS campus core, providing the highest scalability and reliability for backbone services. New NAM capabilities enhance application performance by providing critical visibility into voice applications, traffic analysis, and segmented Multiprotocol Label Switching networks.

Ericsson Acquires Bizitek, a Turkish Integrator

Ericsson has acquired Bizitek, a leading Turkish systems integrator of business support systems. Financial terms were not disclosed. Ericsson said the deal adds strategic competence to its services portfolio in the area of business support systems for charging, provisioning, billing and customer relations management. Under the agreement, all of 116 employees will be transferred to Ericsson.

NSN: One Billion Users Connected by Mobile Softswitches

Nokia Siemens Networks' mobile softswitching (MSS) systems deployed by carriers worldwide are now serving over 1 billion subscribers. NSN's solution is used for 40% of mobile softswitching worldwide and for over a quarter of all connections in GSM networks. The milestone was reached in April, when the cumulative active subscriber capacity for MSS systems deployed by Nokia Siemens Networks surpassed 1 billion.

NSN said this figure is based on actual operational subscriber capacity according to customer traffic usage and represents the number of active subscribers that can be connected via the Nokia Siemens Networks MSS. The total MSS capacity -- including buffer capacity for daily mobility operations -- delivered by Nokia Siemens Networks is over 1.5 billion.

"These milestones are impressive indicators of how ubiquitous mobile connectivity has become," says Jürgen Walter, head of Converged Core, Nokia Siemens Networks. "Knowing that one billion people all around the world are daily connecting through our mobile softswitch solution illustrates the trust that our customers place in us to positively support their core business."

Deployed in over 230 operators' networks, Nokia Siemens Networks' mobile softswitching technology uses a "split architecture" that includes the Mobile Switching Center (MSC) Server and the Multimedia Gateway to reduce operating expenditures by as much as 70% in transmission, site, and operation and management costs. It also brings increased savings in power consumption.

Google Previews "Wave" Internet Protocol for Rich Collaboration

At a developer's conference in San Francisco, Google previewed a new online communications paradigm aimed at better integrating email, instant messaging, whiteboarding, wikis, blogging, Twitter and social networking. The forthcoming "Google Wave", which is now opened to developers, aims to provide a new form of Internet communication/collaboration built around the user's Inbox. Google will offer a Wave application to its own users while promoting the technology as a new Internet protocol. The project is led by Lars Rasmussen and his brother Jens Rasmussen, who previously developed location technology that became part of Google Maps.

Under the Google Wave paradigm, users participate in writing/editing/sharing "waves" of conversations that can be viewed in real-time or rewinded. The waves are actually a new form of hosted, multi-user XML documents that are stored on Wave Servers. A wave is identified by a globally unique wave id, which is a pair of a domain name and an id string. A new Federation Protocol is used for enabling the collaboration.

Google Wave is an HTML 5 application built on Google Web Toolkit. It includes a rich text editor and other functions like desktop drag-and-drop Users, for example, can simply drag a set of photos right into a wave. The Google Wave protocol is the underlying format for storing and the means of sharing waves, and includes the "live" concurrency control, which allows edits to be reflected instantly across users and services. The protocol is designed for open federation, such that anyone's Wave services can interoperate with each other and with the Google Wave service. More specifically, the Google Wave Federation Protocol is an open extension to XMPP core [RFC3920] protocol that enables near real-time communication between two wave servers.

As with Android and its Chrome browser, Google plans to make the Wave code open source. Google envisions that it will be one of many wave providers on the Internet. For ISPs, waves would become a supplementary service, like SMTP, FTP or IM.

Whitepapers on the Google Wave Architecture are online.

Level 3 Focuses on Middle-Mile Networks to Expand Rural Broadband

Level 3 Communications is building out "middle-mile" networks across North America to enable local and regional telecommunications providers to expand rural broadband access under the federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.

Level 3 said its fiber network travels through many of the un-served and underserved communities targeted for improved broadband access. In these areas, Level 3 offers extended "on-net" services - services that tap into the Level 3 network at sites outside major metropolitan markets and thereby establish more direct network access to the worldwide Internet.

Extended on-net services enable both wireline and wireless providers to access the Level 3 network. These capabilities serve as a bridge or "middle-mile" network between larger high-speed Internet backbones, such as Level 3's, and local "last-mile" broadband providers, such as cable operators, rural telephone companies and wireless providers.

"Level 3 is focused on middle-mile network connections that leverage the expansive reach of our network across the country, particularly in rural areas," said Sureel Choksi, chief marketing officer for Level 3. "Solving the middle-mile problem is equally important as addressing last-mile issues to pave the way for ubiquitous rural broadband availability."

Nokia Research Center Opens Lab in Berkeley

Nokia has opened a new research laboratory in close proximity to the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) campus. The new lab is under the direction of Dr. John Shen who also heads Nokia Research Center, Palo Alto, California.

Nokia Research Center (NRC), now with six labs in eleven locations worldwide, collaborates with universities and other institutes to conduct leading-edge research. Working closely with UC Berkeley's research units, NRC Berkeley will explore innovations in many areas including parallel computing. Parallel computing research areas include accelerating the mobile web browser and runtime environments; increasing mobile device performance while lowering power consumption in both active and idle modes; and achieving seamless ubiquitous wireless connectivity and cross-domain interoperability.

HDMI Version 1.4 Adds Ethernet, Audio Return Channel, 3D Capabilities

New capabilities are being built into the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) specification, including networking capabilities with Ethernet connectivity and an Audio Return Channel to enable upstream audio connections via the HDMI cable. Specifically, these enhancements will include:

HDMI Ethernet Channel -- the HDMI 1.4 specification will add a data channel to the HDMI cable and will enable high-speed bi-directional communication. Connected devices that include this feature will be able to send and receive data via 100 Mb/sec Ethernet, making them instantly ready for any IP-based application. The HDMI Ethernet Channel will allow an Internet-enabled HDMI device to share its Internet connection with other HDMI devices without the need for a separate Ethernet cable. The new feature will also provide the connection platform to allow HDMI-enabled devices to share content between devices.

Audio Return Channel -- the new specification will add an Audio Return Channel that will reduce the number of cables required to deliver audio upstream for processing and playback. In cases where HDTVs are directly receiving audio and video content, this new Audio Return Channel allows the HDTV to send the audio stream to the A/V receiver over the HDMI cable, eliminating the need for an extra cable.

3D Over HDMI The 1.4 version of the specification will define common 3D formats and resolutions for HDMI-enabled devices. The specification will standardize the input/output portion of the home 3D system and will specify up to dual-stream 1080p resolution.

4K x 2K Resolution Support: the new specification will enable HDMI devices to support high-definition (HD) resolutions four times beyond the resolution of 1080p. Support for 4K x 2K will allow the HDMI interface to transmit content at the same resolution as many digital theaters. Formats supported include 3840x2160 24Hz/25Hz/30Hz and 4096x2160 24Hz.

Expanded Support For Color Spaces -- HDMI technology now supports color spaces designed specifically for digital still cameras. By supporting sYCC601, Adobe RGB and AdobeYCC601, HDMI-enabled display devices will be capable of reproducing more accurate life-like colors when connected to a digital still camera.

Micro HDMI Connector -- the Micro HDMI Connector is a significantly smaller 19-pin connector that supports up to 1080p resolutions for portable devices. This new connector is approximately 50% smaller than the size of the existing HDMI Mini Connector.

Automotive Connection System -- the Automotive Connection System is a cabling specification designed to be used as the basis for in-vehicle HD content distribution. The HDMI 1.4 specification will provide a solution designed to meet the rigors and environmental issues commonly found in automobiles, such as heat, vibration and noise. Using the Automotive Connection System, automobile manufactures will now have a viable solution for distributing HD content within the car.

"The HDMI specification continues to add functionality as the consumer electronics and PC industries build products that enhance the consumer's HD experience," said Steve Venuti, president of HDMI Licensing, LLC. "The 1.4 specification will support some of the most exciting and powerful near-term innovations such as Ethernet connectivity and 3D formats. Additionally we are going to broaden our solution by providing a smaller connector for portable devices and a connection system specified for automobiles, as we see both more and different devices adopting the HDMI technology."

Immersion Demos Two New Haptic Feedback Techniques for Small Screens

Immersion Corporation, which specializes in haptic (touch feedback) technology, unveiled two new concepts for next-generation digital user interfaces based on patented multi-modal haptic and gestural technology.

The first technique, called TouchSense, transforms touchscreen keyboards into ones that feel like physical keyboards.
The second technique, called Immersive Messaging, enables people to share emotions, thoughts, ideas and short pieces of information in real time through physical senses rather than simple text, using a shared physical space on their mobile device.

"Touch technology is the future of user experience for digital devices. By combining our proven haptics with advanced gestural technology, we are significantly advancing usability for all kinds of consumer electronics products, especially mobile phones and other portables," said Clent Richardson, chief executive officer of Immersion.

Brocade Selects Two North American Distributors

Brocade has selected two strategic North American distribution partners to help expand its existing data center distribution network to enterprise IP networking products via channel reseller partners. Brocade selected Avnet Technology Solutions and Tech Data Corporation for their ability to efficiently deliver networking solutions to channel reseller partners, as well as their extensive knowledge, skills, and expertise in the networking industry.

Brocade will continue to sell storage networking products through Arrow, Bell Micro, and InfoX as well as Avnet and Tech Data.

Dell'Oro: Virtualization Bolsters 10 GigE Network Adapter Market

The 10GB Ethernet Network Adapter market rebounded in the first quarter of the year from the prior quarter's decline and is set for a year of robust growth, according to a newly published report by Dell'Oro Group. In terms of vendor market share, Intel regained the lead in adapter card revenue and port shipments, while Broadcom held on to the top position for silicon controller shipments.

"Users continue to virtualize servers because of compelling return on investment and equipment cost savings," said Seamus Crehan, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group. "Once users move to a virtualized environment, 10GB Ethernet server connectivity becomes a very attractive option," Crehan added.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bouygues Telecom to Deploy Alcatel-Lucent's IMS in Pilot

Bouygues Telecom has selected Alcatel-Lucent to deploy an IMS pilot network that enables the operator to test new multimedia communications services that are based on the GSM Association's "Rich Communication Suite" specifications. The tests will take place during the second half of 2009, with Bouygues Telecom offering to its mobile subscribers an anywhere, anytime communications experience over any device. Specifically, Alcatel-Lucent will supply the IMS core network and applications consisting of: RCS application servers, IMS session control, HSS (Home Subscriber Server) servers, border gateway, and service/network management functionalities.

Nortel Seeks Buyer for Stake in LG-Nortel

Nortel, which earlier this year entered into bankruptcy proceedings, is now seeking a buyer for its majority stake (50% + 1 share) in LG-Nortel, the company's Korean joint venture with LG Electronics. Nortel has made this decision to secure a sound future for the LG-Nortel business, its valued customers and employees.

The company notes that LG-Nortel is a profitable, standalone business with a strong balance sheet, and has not filed for creditor protection. The joint venture has enjoyed solid revenues and profits since its establishment in November 2005, with several significant customer wins in Korea and abroad. The business achieved a Management Operating Margin of $341 million, or 27%, in 2008, and Management Operating Margin for the first quarter of 2009 of 26%.
  • In November 2005, LG Electronics and Nortel officially launched their joint venture, LG-Nortel offers communications and networking solutions in the wireline, optical, wireless and enterprise markets in South Korea and the rest of the world.

Broadband Connections in Colombia Increase 51% in 2008

There was a 51 percent growth in the number of fixed broadband connections in Colombia during 2008, according to the seventh edition of the Cisco Broadband Barometer.

The growth can be attributed to service providers' investment in infrastructure and an increase in computer penetration, which as of December 2008 reached 11.01 computers per 100 inhabitants compared with an 8.8 percent penetration in 2007.

Mobile broadband grew 3.5 times in the last six months of 2008, reaching 246,700 subscriptions.

Fixed broadband connections reached 1,812,892, an increase of 20.7 percent during that period. Fixed broadband penetration per 100 inhabitants in Colombia is now 4 percent, compared with 3.4 percent penetration in June 2008. Colombia's growth is consistent with that of other countries such as Brazil, which just reached 6 percent broadband penetration.

The Cisco Broadband Barometer is conducted by IDC and published every six months.

Cisco CRS-1 Marks Fifth Anniversary

Cisco marked the fifth anniversary of the introduction of its CRS-1 core routing platform, which has now been deployed by over 300 customers worldwide. In marking the occasion, Cisco announced a new deployment by Russian mobile operator MegaFon, one of the fastest-growing mobile operators in Europe and Russia's first GSM operator.

The total shipped capacity of all installed CRS-1 systems worldwide is 2919 Tbps, equivalent to more than 25,000 users downloading a 15 gigabyte high definition movie in one second, or to nearly half the world's population having live Cisco TelePresence sessions at the same time.

Despite all that capacity, however, Cisco believes the need to handle more IP traffic will grow strongly in coming years. Under current forecasts global IP traffic will reach 44 exabytes per month in 2012 and the total IP traffic for 2012 will amount to over half a zettabyte (a trillion gigabytes). Monthly global IP traffic in December 2012 will be 10 exabytes higher than in December 2011, an increase equivalent of 500,000 years' worth of uncompressed DVD-quality video

Verizon Business Completes 100G Trial With UK's JANET

Verizon Business and JANET, the UK's National Research and Education Network, completed a field trial of 100 Gbps optical transmission technology in April. Using a 103-kilometer section of the Verizon global network between London and Reading, the trial with JANET demonstrated that 10G, 40G and 100G (gigabits per second) optical signals can be carried simultaneously without signal impact.

During the 100G-trial with JANET, test equipment was used to purposely introduce signal impairments, which were then corrected by electronic hardware. The results showed 100G service can provide more than twice the tolerance of conventional 10G signals for several key parameters as well as a more robust transport system with ten times the data transmission rate.

"Moving toward reliable, high-performance 100G technology is critical, especially for organizations like JANET that support education and research projects requiring significant bandwidth," said Ihab Tarazi, vice president of global network planning for Verizon.
  • In October 2008, Verizon and Nortel announced a 100G transmission test. Verizon said the optical transmission technology performed with better tolerance for signal distortion than typically found in today's standard wavelength of 10G. Transporting data over 73 kilometers of field fiber in northeastern Texas at a 92 Gbps rate, the recent trial demonstrated twice the tolerance for signal distortion when compared with today's standard 10G signal. The Nortel Optical Multiservice Edge 6500 convergence platform equipped with 40G/100G Adaptive Optical Engine technology integrates advanced signal-processing techniques that maintain sustained signal integrity despite significant polarization mode dispersion (PMD).

  • In September 2008, Verizon and Nokia Siemens Networks announced that they had successfully transmitted data at 100G on a single wavelength for more than 1,040 kilometers, setting a new distance record over deployed fiber and demonstrating better performance than conventional transmission.

  • In November 2007, Verizon and Alcatel-Lucent transmitted a commercial information package - a FiOS video stream - between Tampa, Fla., and Miami at 100G for the first time over a live network.

Veraz Networks and Comarch Offer Pre-Paid Wholesale Solution

Veraz Networks and Comarch, a leading BSS/OSS vendor and systems integrator, announced a joint offering for wholesale carriers that combines Comarch's real-time pre-paid, service creation and credit control application with Veraz's ControlSwitch interconnect VoIP platform.

Wholesale service providers are increasingly looking to offer pre-paid billing as an option for their carrier customers. Carrier pre-paid services require real-time billing, credit control and revenue assurance capabilities that need to be tightly integrated into both the carrier's OSS/BSS systems and their voice switching infrastructure. In many cases, wholesale operators' voice networks are a multi-vendor mixture of legacy TDM switches, next generation softswitches and increasingly IMS SIP components. The real-time integration of all of these diverse elements into a unified pre-paid billing architecture is often technically challenging and cost-prohibitive.

The companies said their joint solution addresses the cost of integration by leveraging the ControlSwitch's ability to interwork across legacy, first generation softswitches and IMS-based SIP control elements, providing a unified interface into the carrier pre-paid system and overall OSS/BSS environment.

Empirix Appoints Vice Presidents of Marketing

Empirix named Fred Sammartino as its new vice president of marketing and product management for the company's Service Assurance business unit, where he will be responsible for extending its global reach. Timothy Moynihan joined the company as vice president of marketing for the Contact Center Solutions business unit, where he will be responsible for strategic business planning and product revenue growth strategies.

Sammartino previously served as vice president of marketing and product management for Ellacoya Networks, where he led all aspects of corporate marketing, including market creation, product direction and market analysis.

Moynihan served as vice president of global marketing and channels at Envox Worldwide prior to Empirix, where he developed and implemented company product management and product marketing and channel strategies for advanced inbound and outbound voice communications solutions. Prior to Envox Worldwide, he served as director at Intel Corporation where he created and implemented worldwide product launches and ecosystem and awareness building programs for rapid market adoption.

Dell'Oro: Worldwide PON Revenues Up 9% in Q1

Worldwide PON equipment revenues grew 9 percent sequentially in the first quarter of this year, despite a weak global economy, according to a newly published report by Dell'Oro Group. The report shows both GPON and EPON had robust sequential growth.

"It appears the weak economy has yet to have a major impact on existing PON projects as operators continue to hold to their strategy of increasing user bandwidth to create new revenue streams," said Tam Dell'Oro, President of Dell'Oro Group. "PON revenue growth in the first quarter was higher than what we had expected due to rapidly increasing EPON build-outs in China, strong GPON ONT shipments for Verizon's FiOS service, and continued strong EPON demand in Japan," Dell'Oro added.

The report also shows Mitsubishi remained the leader in the overall PON market, benefiting from being the primary EPON supplier to NTT, Japan's largest service provider. Alcatel-Lucent recaptured the number two position with higher GPON ONT shipments to Verizon. Huawei's revenue share nearly doubled from last quarter and they vaulted to the number three spot due to strong EPON shipments to China, as well as higher GPON shipments to customers in Europe and the Middle East.

AT&T Plans HSPA 7.2 Upgrade this Year, LTE Trial in 2010

AT&T will upgrade its 3G network with HSPA 7.2 Mbps technology beginning later this year and completion expected in 2011. The upgraded network platform could allow for theoretical peak speeds of 7.2Mbps. AT&T plans to begin LTE trials in 2010, with deployment beginning in 2011.

In addition to the planned speed upgrade, AT&T is enhancing its mobile broadband coverage by nearly doubling the wireless spectrum dedicated to 3G in most metropolitan areas to deliver stronger in-building reception and more overall network capacity. Also, AT&T is adding thousands of new cell site backhaul connections to support the higher mobile broadband speeds enabled by HSPA 7.2 and LTE.

"AT&T's network infrastructure gives us a tremendous advantage in that we're able to deliver upgrades in mobile broadband speed and performance with our existing technology platform," said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "With the array of smartphones, laptops and emerging devices taking advantage of AT&T's 3G network today, we know that customers are excited to experience higher mobile broadband speeds, and we are deploying the right technologies at the right times to help them get the most from that experience."

Other key mobile broadband projects in 2009 include:

Near-Doubling Radio Frequency Capacity. In 2008 and 2009 to date, high-quality 850 MHz spectrum has been deployed in more than half of AT&T's 3G network footprint to improve overall coverage and in-building reception, with additional markets planned for later in the year.

More Bandwidth to Cell Sites. We are adding fiber-optic connectivity and additional capacity to thousands of cell sites across the country this year, expanding the critical connections that deliver traffic from a cell site into the global IP backbone network. These upgrades will support the higher mobile broadband speeds enabled by both HSPA 7.2 and LTE.

More Cell Sites. Deployment of about 2,100 new cell sites across the country.

Wi-Fi Integration. Many AT&T smartphones will be able to switch seamlessly between 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. AT&T customers with qualifying smartphone and 3G LaptopConnect plans have access to the nation's largest Wi-Fi network - more than 20,000 hotspots, including locations in all 50 states - at no additional charge. AT&T's global Wi-Fi footprint covers more than 90,000 hotspots, and AT&T also can create permanent or temporary extended Wi-Fi zones in areas with high 3G network use, like a grouping of hotels or a festival.

MicroCells. Customer trials leading toward general availability of AT&T 3G MicroCell offerings, which utilize femtocells to enhance in-building wireless coverage.

Capital investment for these projects fits within AT&T's previously outlined expectation of total capital expenditures for 2009, targeted toward the $17 billion to $18 billion range.

Microsoft Mediaroom Adds Virtualization Support for IPTV

Microsoft announced virtualization support for tis Mediaroom IPTV platform, enabling up to a sixfold reduction in the number of physical servers required to support a full-featured IPTV service, according to the company's calculation. With virtualization support, Microsoft said it is possible to deploy and operate a full Mediaroom-powered TV service for up to 30,000 subscriber homes per market using fewer than 10 physical servers.

Mediaroom with virtualization offers the full functionality of Microsoft's IPTV platform, including video on demand, DVR Anywhere for viewing and managing recorded shows in any room, and Mediaroom Anytime for viewing of previously aired programs or restarting currently airing shows without any preplanning or prior digital video recording. Other capabilities include high-definition video for live and on-demand content, multiview, instant channel zapping, and TV applications that support rich interactivity and seamless blending of Web content and services with broadcast TV.

"Mediaroom with virtualization provides the industry's lowest platform footprint for deploying a full IPTV service," said Andreas Mueller-Schubert, general manager for the TV, Video and Music Business at Microsoft. "Given the pressures of today's economic environment, the reduction in capital expenditure and ongoing efficiencies make Mediaroom with virtualization an attractive proposition for operators of all sizes as they launch and grow their IPTV businesses."

To power virtualization in Mediaroom, Microsoft is using Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft's hypervisor-based server virtualization technology. Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V enables multiple virtual servers to be hosted on the same physical server. Virtual servers share the physical server's resources, such as memory, disk access and CPU cycles. Sharing these resources efficiently can result in a dramatic reduction in the number of physical servers that are needed to deliver services.

NTT Comm Joins Juniper's Open IP Development Program

NTT Communications (NTT Com) has joined the Juniper Networks Open IP Solution Development Program (OSDP). As a member of the OSDP, Juniper Networks provides NTT Com with access to the Partner Solution Development Platform (PSDP), which enables customers and partners to develop specialized applications on its best-in-class JUNOS Software. NTT Com is utilizing the PSDP to expedite the delivery of specialized security services focused on Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) prefix hijacking protection. NTT Com is developing BGP prefix hijacking protection as part of the service provider's involvement in the Japanese government's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications research project.

One Minute Video: Network Flow Processors

Presented by Jim Finnegan, Netronome

Netronome Unveils 40-Core Network Flow Processors for Unified Computing

Netronome introduced a new line of network flow processors designed for the next phase of convergence in enterprise and carrier data centers -- the unified computing architectures that will combine massive I/O virtualization with high-level content and security packet processing. Netronome's NFP-32xx family addresses this opportunity by combining high-performance network, content and security processing with general purpose processors, such as Intel's IA, through I/O virtualization. Additionally, the NFP-32xx maintains backward-compatibility with the Intel IXP28XX used in a wide range of existing network platforms.

Highlights of the new NFP-32xx network flow processors include:

High-Performance: Up to 40 multi-threaded programmable networking cores running at 1.4GHz enable the NFP to deliver over 56 billion instructions per second with 320 hardware threads that optimize memory utilization. This yields 1800 instructions per packet at 30 million packets per second, enabling 20Gbps of L2-L7 deep packet processing with line-rate security and I/O virtualization for millions of simultaneous flows.

Power Efficiency: Operating at only 15 to 35 watts, the NFP-32xx delivers more than four times the power efficiency of its closest competitor.

Software-Defined I/O: Unlike fixed-function ASICs and configurable NPUs, Netronome's NFPs are fully programmable processors. Software-defined I/O supports both L2-L3 packet processing and L4-L7 application- and content-aware deep packet inspection. This programmability, coupled with line rate packet processing, provides the highest level of inspection and throughput available in the industry for traditional NPU applications such as high-performance line cards.

Network Virtualization in Silicon: Virtualized multicore CPUs are increasingly used in switches, routers, and network appliances for control, data plane, security and other networking applications. To scale network performance to 10Gbps and beyond the NFP-32xx offers a PCIe v2.0 implementation including extended SR-IOV with 256 queues to provide guaranteed bandwidth and low latency access to shared I/O devices. Netronome's SR-IOV drivers include configurable algorithms for load balancing to virtualized multicore CPUs and efficient zero-copy mechanisms that significantly improve CPU, memory and system bandwidth utilization. In addition to eight PCIe lanes, the NFP supports a wide range of popular high-speed network interfaces including dual 25Gbps Interlaken, SPI-4.2 and dual 10Gbps XAUI.

Integrated Hardware Acceleration for Security, Content and Parallel Processing: Unified computing architectures place extensive security requirements on the network. Ranging from coarse policy enforcement using IEEE 802.1AE LinkSec to granular and stateful flow-based applications such as IPsec and SSL, security processing is now required for the majority of network traffic. The NFP provides 20Gbps of line rate security processing by embedding hardware acceleration in a programmable dataplane, including cryptography engines, PKI engines, dedicated hardware for true random number generation, and support for in-line and look-aside security processing designs.

Netronome said it is building a large ecosystem including leading operating system vendors, complementary silicon, protocol software stacks, system design services and other tools vendors. It is also offering development tools derived from the Intel Developer Workbench.

The NFP is available in a range of price and performance options spanning from 16 to 40 cores operating at 1.0 or 1.4GHz with optional cryptography support. The sampling process in underway and general availability is expected in Q3 2009.
  • In November 2007, Netronome Systems, a start-up based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania focused on high-performance packet analysis solutions. announced a technology licensing, sales and marketing agreement will Intel focused on its IXP28XX product line of network processors. Under the exclusive deal, Netronome is licensed to continue sales and support of the Intel IXP2805 and the Intel IXP2855 network processors in new designs. In addition, Netronome is developing a next-generation line of IXP-compatible, high-end network flow processors that combine the Intel IXP28XX technology with Netronome's flow management and deep packet inspection architecture.

Monday, May 25, 2009

China Telecom Selects Nokia Siemens Networks for 3G Video Streaming

Close on the heels of its 3G service launch, China Telecommunications is rolling out a high end 3G CDMA EVDO (Evolution, Data Optimized) Video Streaming Service delivered by Nokia Siemens Networks. The centralized 3G CDMA EVDO video streaming platform supports nationwide diversified audio/video format, with quality that is at least 50% higher than the previous 2G solution.

"As the main supplier of China Telecom's video streaming service platform, we are very proud to provide unique and compelling 3G video services in the region," added Zhang Tong, Vice President of Nokia Siemens Networks Greater China Region. "Our flexible and secure streaming control capability ensures service stability and an improved user experience. What's more, given our previous deployment experience, we are ideally positioned to adhere to China Telecom's launch schedule."

Covad Wireless Expands in California -- up to 45 Mbps Services

Covad Wireless has expanded its Southern California wireless broadband coverage for businesses in Ventura County by adding a new base station that offers broadband speeds up to 45 Mbps. This coverage expansion follows Covad Wireless' recent deployment of a new high-capacity fiber backbone in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. The company has deployed over 1.5 Gbps in new fiber capacity this past year in California alone, an indicator of customers' growing bandwidth demand.

ITU-T Advances on the Standards Track -- BT Joins HomeGrid Forum

The ITU-T has achieved another milestone in the progress of - the proposed unified standard that supports home networking over multiple wires (power lines, phone lines, and coaxial) -- has cleared another milestone. This month, the ITU-T progressed the new draft for and adopted as "Baseline Text" significant portions of the Data Link Layer (DLL).

The HomeGrid Forum, the trade group that promotes the standardization efforts, said that having the key elements of the DLL as Baseline Text also means that the group is on track to meet its goal of achieving Consent for the complete standard during 2009.

Stable Baseline Text for the DLL -- coupled with the December 2008 Consented Network Architecture and Physical Layer for -- further enables silicon vendors to progress their product development. To date, three silicon vendors and one silicon intellectual property vendor have announced their intention to develop products for the new standard.

Key elements of the DLL that reached Baseline Text within the ITU-T are:

  • A Time-Division Multiple Access (TDMA) Media Access Control (MAC), which provides guaranteed bandwidth and low latency for applications that have strict Quality of Service (QoS)
    requirements, such as IPTV.'s MAC also includes support for multiple priority levels, to ensure that an application, such as peer-to-peer file transfers, do not impact the performance of
    higher-priority applications like IPTV, VoIP, or online gaming.

  • A Logical Link Control (LLC) sub-layer that ensures delivery of data over home electrical wiring.'s LLC employs an advanced selective ARQ (Automatic Retransmission Request)
    protocol that automatically re-transmits data affected by noise and provides error-free end-to-end Ethernet services to any device on the network connected to power lines, phone lines, or
    coaxial cables.

  • A procedure for efficient aggregation of multiple Ethernet messages over a single MAC Protocol Data Unit (MPDU). This significantly increases network throughput to support applications such
    as High-Definition IPTV that have large bandwidth requirements. specifies line data rates up to 1 Gbps, significantly higher than current generation wired networking technologies.

  • State-of-the-art security based on AES (Advanced Encryption Standard - FIPS-PUB-197) and CCM (Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code - NIST-SP-900-38C).

The functional areas of the DLL that are now adopted as Baseline Text ensure that can support applications with strict QoS requirements (such as high-definition video), and that can be used in
products for the service provider, consumer electronics, and PC markets.

"The United Nations' ITU-T continues to make rapid progress towards a single unified standard for delivering multimedia content around the home," said Matthew Theall, president of the HomeGrid
Forum. "Additionally, this next-generation standard has been actively driven by some of the world's leading service providers, consumer electronics manufacturers and PC companies."

In addition, the HomeGrid Forum announced that BT joined the organization and its Board of Directors.

"Today we provide customers everything from voice calling to advanced video on demand offerings. BT supports the standard as we believe it will enable us to enhance our customers' experience relating to the services
we offer - connecting customers more effectively with content," said Bob Bissell, chief customer environment strategist at BT, and HomeGrid Forum board member.

Orange Business Deploys Alcatel-Lucent IP/MPLS in France

Orange Business Services has deployed a new IP/MPLS backbone transit network in France. This national deployment, which was made in 2008 and during the first quarter of 2009 expands Orange Business Services' portfolio of premium business services offered across the country. The upgraded core network consolidates multiple platforms and strengthens the Orange Business Service delivery of premium business services, including Ethernet, IP virtual private networks and advanced voice over IP services, with the reliability and quality of service that businesses require. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Orange and Alcatel-Lucent Partner on e-Health Initiatives

Orange and Alcatel-Lucent have signed a cooperation agreement to address the healthcare challenges in Europe and emerging markets. The two companies will develop and jointly deliver the next wave of innovative solutions enabling e-Health and enhanced assisted living with a focus on better serving patients and the elderly, increasing the efficiency of business processes for healthcare professionals, and reducing the cost of healthcare delivery. The companies have numerous common references, such as the Polyclinique de Picardie.

Orange currently provides solutions such as « Connected Hospitals » that simplify the work of medical teams by allowing access to patient information at the hospital and improving patient comfort. Similar solutions are also provided at the doctor's office through solution for remote follow-up, online appointment booking, and services. This set of services, developed through Orange Labs' skills and innovative capabilities, also enables patients to be monitored from the comfort of their homes instead of being hospitalized.

Alcatel-Lucent supplies its solutions to the heathcare providers - allowing them to improve patient care by eliminating information silos and, through its Telecare solutions, allow improved care of patients at home who suffer from chronic diseases. Leveraging a strong capacity for innovation through its Bell Labs research arm, Alcatel--Lucent is continuing to invest in the development of innovative healthcare solutions with partners such as the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC) in the U.S. by putting the network in the core of the heath organization in order to facilitate access to quality care, safely, and allowing healthcare professionals to benefit from telemedicine contributions for their medical practice.

China Mobile Selects ST-Ericsson for TD-SCDMA

China Mobile selected ST-Ericsson, the 50/50 joint venture between Ericsson and STMicroelectronics, to develop a new low-cost platform for affordable TD-SCDMA devices for China.

Under the deal, ST-Ericsson will also support customers to develop high-end mobile phones, based on existing and new platforms such as the T7210. With the contract, ST-Ericsson confirms its position as a major technology partner for China Mobile for the development of TD-SCDMA.

ST-Ericsson's T7210 mobile platform supports TD-SCDMA dual-band in 2010-2025MHz/1880-1920MHz frequencies, and has successfully completed handovers of voice and high-speed data services in order to operate optimally in Chinese dual-band network environments. The company's T3G technology has also powered a number of industry firsts in TD-SCDMA, such as:

  • The world's first ASIC based TD-SCDMA system level call achieved in 2004

  • The world's first international TD-SCDMA call in 2004

  • The world's first R.4 (384Kbps) commercial TD-SCDMA dual-mode Samsung phone, powered by T3G's chipset in 2005.

In China's TD-SCDMA deployment plans, the core operating frequency band 2010-2025MHz will be used for the construction of a nationwide network offering voice and low-speed data services, while the 1880-1920MHz band will be used for high-speed data services over TD-HSDPA/HSUPA/HSPA+.

Nortel's Next Gen UC Solution First To Achieve JITC-Certification

Nortel's Application Server 5300 (AS 5300), the newest element of the company's Unified Communications Solution (UC), has passed a rigorous test regimen administered by the U.S. Joint Interoperability Test Command. Nortel said this JITC certification makes the solution the first secure, next-generation UC platform to attain Approved Product Listing (APL) certification from the Department of Defense (DOD).

Nortel's Application Server 5300 is a Session Initiated Protocol (SIP)-based UC software solution that provides secure productivity, mobility, conferencing, messaging, personalization, video and collaborative applications. These applications can function as stand alone UC solutions or work together within an organization's legacy voice and data infrastructure - transforming voice networks into true multimedia solutions. DOD's APL status for the AS 5300 solution makes it the first assured services SIP-compliant integrated VoIP/UC platform to achieve certification for purchase by both DOD and civilian government agencies.

The AS 5300 is targeted for the US federal market, The highly-scalable, carrier-grade (99.999 percent uptime) solution operates on commercial, off-the-shelf hardware. In addition to the DOD's recent JITC certification, AS 5300 is government compliant for Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) and also meets the Department of Defense PBX1 designation. It provides a secure UC experience via secure signaling and media encryption for the Defense Switched Networks, acts as the interface into the DOD ARTS Network and serves as the foundation for migrating other vendor legacy networks to Nortel UC solutions. The next evolution of the Application Server 5300 will provide both Multi-Function Soft Switch (MFSS) and Local Session Controller (LSC) capability within the Department of Defense Unified Capabilities Architecture.

Kabel BW Selects Nortel and Camiant for Softswitch Solution

Kabel Baden-Württemberg, one of the leading cable network operators in Germany with 2.3 million customers, has selected Nortel's CS 2000 , IP Multimedia Softswitch and Camiant's PacketCable Multimedia policy server to upgrade its infrastructure. Kabel BW plans to supplement traditional voice services with video telephony, interactive gaming and multimedia messaging applications that will give users new methods to communicate with colleagues and friends, even if they are using other networks. SIP is replacing the NCS protocol at Kabel BW as the basis for voice and multimedia communication.

Nortel notes that Kabel BW is one of the first cable network operators in the world to upgrade its network to conform to the SIP and Packet Cable Multimedia (PCMM) standard. PCMM replaces the previous Network Call Signalling (NCS) protocol in cable networks, and makes high-quality bandwidth management for multimedia services possible.

Packet Cable Multimedia (PCMM) is a standard which is based on Internet Protocol (IP) technology and facilitates numerous multimedia services such as IP telephony, multimedia conferences and interactive gaming. The PCMM standard is implemented on Nortel's Communication Server (CS) 2000 , a carrier grade, VoIP Softswitch that is used by MSOs around the world. Nortel's CS 2000 was the first call server to support the PacketCable Multimedia standard.

Nortel and longstanding partner Camiant have achieved a substantial technological lead by developing this PCMM solution using Nortel's Communication Server 2000 in combination with Camiant's Policy Management Server.

Combined with the Adaptive Application Engine SIP software, the Nortel CS 2000 enables very simple and innovative services allowing consumers to easily add phone lines in the house or enhance their phone line with multimedia applications such as video telephony, multi-party conferencing, collaboration and media sharing features. Services offered include secure federated instant messaging, instant file transfer, web push, co-browsing, buddy lists with presence and whiteboarding. The solution also includes Nortel's Personal Agent: A web based self-service line management application that allows users to manage features like do-not-disturb, find me & follow me (set of rules that define how and in which device a call will reach the subscriber depending on caller ID, time of day, day of week, presence status, etc.), click-to-call web services and much more.

TPACK Announces FPGA-based OTN Mapper Family

TPACK introduced a family of OTN mappers targeting Optical Transport applications (e.g. MSPPs, MetroWDM, P-OTN and Carrier Ethernet Transport).

TPACK said its P-OCKET devices are suited for both new OTN cross connect systems as well as traditional Muxponder-based systems, and will support line rates from 2.5G (OTU1) to 100G (OTU4). P-OCKET supports efficient and transparent mapping of any client (packet or TDM) into OTN including GE into ODU0 and STM-1/4, OC-3/12 into subrate ODU1 containers.

Level 3 Supplies CDN in Czech Republic

Level 3 Communications is providing content delivery network (CDN) services to Internet BillBoard, a Czech Republic-based company. Level 3's CDN improves online video and flash content delivery for advertising networks, BillBoard and BB Elements, in Eastern European countries, including the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Russia. Level 3's intelligent traffic management technology routes advertising content from the nearest CDN server location to improve video and flash content delivery. These capabilities also provide Internet BillBoard with a single system to distribute advertising content across multiple markets with more consistent quality while unifying operations management.

Virgin Media Selects Motorola's DOCSIS 3.0 I-CMTS

Virgin Media has deployed the Motorola CMTS solution in the UK.

Currently delivering broadband speeds of up to 50 megabits per second, and capable of speeds up to 200 megabits per second, Virgin Media is the first service provider to deliver ultra fast broadband speeds in the UK. Specifically, Virgin Media selected the Motorola BSR 64000 Integrated-CMTS (I-CMTS) solution with TX32 decoupled downstream modules to support market-leading broadband speeds and take advantage of next-generation cable broadband standards such as DOCSIS 3.0 and channel bonding. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Telia Stofa Selects Motorola to Drive EuroDOCSIS 3.0

Telia Stofa, part of the TeliaSonera telecommunications group, has selected Motorola's SB6120e SURFboard EuroDOCSIS 3.0 cable modem to provide ultra-broadband, high-bandwidth data and multimedia services to customers throughout Denmark. The services will be up to four times faster than DOCSIS 2.0.

Motorola Debuts Euro Cable Headend for HD

Motorola launched a new HD cable headend solution for the European market.

The solution delivers rate-shaping flexibility needed to simplify the deployment of HD channels in the cable network, especially as cable operators begin or expand their HD services with video on demand (VoD), network digital video recorders or time-shifted TV. New to the platform is support for the DVB SimulCrypt Conditional Access standard, as well as full integration with DataMiner, Skyline's multi-vendor network management platform. Motorola's solution comprises the following components:

  • APEX1000 - a high density EdgeQAM that supports SimulCrypt-compliant conditional access

  • REM1000 - a Redundant Edge Matrix delivering optimized system availability via APEX1000 redundancy

  • New CAP1000 2.0 - CherryPicker Application Platform with MPEG4 and MPEG2 rate shaping.

Dell'Oro: Optical Transport Market Declines While Asia-Pac Grows 30%

The worldwide optical market declined 11 percent year-over-year led by a sharp contraction in the North American and EMEA regions that was slightly offset by an almost 30 percent growth in the Asia Pacific region, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. Asia Pacific was the largest market for optical equipment in the first quarter of 2009, an event that last occurred six years ago.

"The two countries that contributed to the strong growth in Asia Pacific were China and India as one is building a network to support 3G mobile services and the other deployed the equipment required to support the high number of new mobile phone subscribers," said Jimmy Yu, Director of Optical Transport research at Dell'Oro Group. "This dynamic shift in optical deployment to Asia Pacific had a number of effects including a movement towards SONET/SDH from DWDM, and a reallocation in the vendor landscape where vendors supplying China and India such as ECI Telecom, Huawei, Tejas and ZTE, have gained share and revenue compared to a year ago," Yu added.

The vendors with leading market share in the quarter were Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, Nortel, and Fujitsu. Huawei was the lead worldwide vendor in the quarter with a market share gain of 8 percentage points above that in the first quarter last year.

See video highlights of this report:

1. What were some of your key findings in the 1Q09 Optical Report?

2. What's driving growth in Asia Pacific?

3. How has the growth in Asia Pacific affected the vendors?

4. Has your 2009 forecast changed?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

ZTE Gains US$10 Billion Credit Line from Export-Import Bank of China

The Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) has granted a US$10 billion credit line to ZTE Corporation. Under the cooperation agreement, ZTE and China Exim Bank will join together to establish a financing platform to support ZTE and its holding subsidiaries in overseas market activities including export seller's credit, export buyer's credit, import credit, preferential foreign loans, transferred loans of foreign governments and trade financing, as well as other premium financial services. ZTE agrees to deal with China Exim Bank as a principal banker and handle loans and relevant businesses through China Exim Bank.

ZTE Unveils First Symmetrical 10G EPON Prototype

Shenzhen-based ZTE Corporation unveiled a prototype symmetrical 10G EPON platform. Both upstream and downstream access rates reach 10Gbps, making it more efficient that the asymmetric 10G EPON previously shown. The IEEE 802.3av 10G EPON standard is expected to be formally published in September of this year.

ZTE has now developed a symmetrical 10G EPON board with a symmetrical 10 GEPON port that complies with the IEEE 802.3av standard. This port can support 1G EPON ONU, asymmetrical 10G EPON ONU, and symmetrical 10G EPONONU on the same ODN, providing the ideal solution for operators to smoothly evolve from EPON to 10G EPON. ZTE has also launched a symmetrical 10G EPON ONU product.

ZTE expects that 10G EPON will enter into large-scale commercial deployment within one to two years.

Portugal Telecom Selects Huawei for FTTH

Portugal Telecom has selected Huawei Technologies for the development of the its Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network in Portugal. The carrier also has a customer base in Brazil and parts of Africa. Since 2007 Huawei, in collaboration with Portugal Telecom, has been developing laboratory tests and field trials with the objective of supplying new generation optical technology for the access network in Portugal. These tests are based on GPON. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson's CEO addresses World Business Summit on Climate Change

"A large scale offsetting of CO2 emissions will require new ways of conducting business and new ways of living, and will also require large scale investments in Information and Communication technology (ICT).

This sector could offset societal CO2 emissions by as much as 15 percent by 2020," commented Ericsson's CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg. In support of the UN Global Compact Caring for Climate initiative, Ericsson's CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg addressed UN Secretary Ban-Ki Moon at an official meeting in Copenhagen. Ericsson believes this figure of 15% to be conservative. "We must move away from dealing with emissions after they have already occurred, and focus instead on moving ideas, not people, with broadband being society's new highways."

Mr. Svanberg also spoke at the first plenary session of the World Business Summit on Climate Change, addressing industry and government leaders.

TeliaSonera Announces First Commercial 4G/LTE Site with Ericsson

Ericsson and TeliaSonera have unveiled the world's first commercial Long- Term Evolution (LTE) site in Stockholm. The site will be part of a commercial network scheduled to go live in 2010.

Ulf Ewaldsson, Vice President and Head of Product Area Radio at Ericsson, says: "The unveiling of this site shows that LTE is no longer the story of the future; it is the story of today. Ericsson, as a leader in LTE development, is proud to work with TeliaSonera to bring a commercial LTE network to life."

Erik Hallberg, Senior Vice President and Head of TeliaSonera Mobility Services in Sweden, says: "Being at the forefront of broadband evolution means our customers will be the first to benefit from this groundbreaking technology. This first LTE site is a key step towards further enhancing Sweden's fastest mobile broadband network."

Asia-Pacific Gateway Cable Network Promises 4 Tbps

China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom (Taiwan), NTT Communications (Japan), KT (Korea), PLDT (Philippines), Telekom Malaysia (Malaysia) and VNPT (Vietnam) have signed a memorandum of understanding to co-develop the Asia-Pacific Gateway (APG) as an international undersea cable system within the Asia-Pacific region. Service is expected to begin in 2011.

The APG will span about 8,000km and have a minimum design capacity of four terabits per second. It will connect Japan, Korea, China Mainland, Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand.

NTT Com said the market expansion of Southeast Asia and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region has raised the demand for high bandwidth global communication, including the Internet and enterprise network services. Such services require both high reliability and redundant routes to secure continuous communications and minimize the potential impact of cables being damaged by accidents such as undersea earthquakes.

NTT Com to Add Burstable Option for Ethernet Services

NTT Com is introducing an Ethernet burstable option that enables corporate users of its e-VLAN, Arcstar IP-VPN and Business OCN services in Japan to flexibly and economically configure their networks to handle sudden, temporary bursts of data traffic.

Network data traffic has risen dramatically due to the increasing use of e-mail, browsing, groupware applications, data management for control and security, and network-based computing applications such software as a service (SaaS). Moreover, traffic volume can vary widely within one day or longer, placing a heavy burden on network resources. For many companies, however, the cost of adding sufficient bandwidth to deal with these data bursts can be quite high.

NTT Com's "Burst Ether Access" is designed to provide a cost-effective option for sudden traffic spikes. Two menus will be available: "Burst 10" will provide committed bandwidth of 1 Mbps and the capacity to burst up to 10 Mbps, while "Burst 100" will provide committed 10 Mbps , burstable to 100 Mbps. The monthly charge will be from 84,000 yen (including tax) in the case of Burst 10 for customers using the e-VLAN "zone plan" (access within a defined geographic zone).

NTT Com to Acquire Terabit Class Pacific Crossing Undersea Cable

NTT Com, the international and long distance service arm of NTT Corporation, will acquire 100% of Pacific Crossing's outstanding common shares. The largest of PCL's shareholders are funds managed by Strategic Value Partners.

Pacific Crossing's PC-1 network is the second-largest trans-Pacific subsea cable system, spanning 21,000 km and connecting the U.S. and Japan. The system has landings at Harbour Pointe, Washington (near Seattle); Grover Beach, California (between San Francisco and Los Angeles); Ajigaura, Japan (near Tokyo); and Shima, Japan (near Osaka and Nagoya). The network offers extensive backhaul into major U.S. and Japanese cities.

Pacific Crossing recently added Gigabit Ethernet access support for its carrier and ISP customers. Pacific Crossing's new service allows customers to access the PC-1 network using a standard Gigabit Ethernet interface at the company's four Points-of- Presences in the U.S. and cable landing stations in both the U.S. and Japan. For customers in Japan, Pacific Crossing also has the ability to offer access directly to a customer's premise through a domestic partner network.

NTT Com said it will combine its premier network assets in Japan and globally with the PC-1 network to provide enhanced connectivity between the United States, Japan and Asia NTT Com also plans to retain the Pacific Crossing management team, led by CEO Mark Simpson.

The Blackstone Group L.P. acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Pacific Crossing on the transaction, and Latham & Watkins LLP served as Pacific Crossing's legal advisor. Houlihan Lokey acted as the financial advisor to NTT Com and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP served as NTT Com's legal advisor. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • In March 2008, Fujitsu and Pacific Crossing completed an upgrade project that more than doubles the capacity of the 21,000-kilometer PC-1 trans-Pacific fiber optic submarine cable network. The project, which began in September 2007, involved the installation of Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE S650 submarine wavelength divisional multiplexer equipment in Pacific Crossing's cable landing stations, and the upgrade of the overall capacity to 1.98Tbps, of which 1.01Tbps is available on the two Trans-Pacific segments. The six-month contract was completed without any disruption to existing network traffic.

  • In January 2007, Pacific Crossing raised $50 million in new financing to pay off its remaining debt and finance new projects. The company also announced the appointment of Robert Boss as CEO and Robert Annunziata as Chairman. Boss previously was president of Japan Telecom America. Annunziata has served in a numerous executive positions throughout the telecom industry, including as CEO of Global Crossing during most of 1999.

  • In January 2006, Pacific Crossing Ltd, Inc., a former subsidiary of Global Crossing and of the former Asia Global Crossing (now Asia Netcom), emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Over $650 million of existing debt was converted into equity and $25 million in secured debt.