Sunday, March 1, 2009

Huawei Supplies 3G Gear for Cricket in Chicago and Milwaukee

Huawei has deployed a 3G wireless network in Chicago for Cricket Communications

, a subsidiary of Leap Wireless International. The network includes Huawei's Dual Homing Softswitch, Media Gateway and 3900 Series Base Station subsystems. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bell Canada to Acquire Circuit City's Canadian stores

Bell Canada has agreed to acquire the Canadian operations of Circuit City. InterTAN Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Circuit City, controls these operations and operates more than 750 The Source stores across Canada.
The Source is a respected leader in consumer electronics retailing right across Canada. Its acquisition supports Bell's strategic imperatives to accelerate wireless and leverage momentum in wireline services like Bell TV, Bell Internet and Bell Home Phone," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell and BCE.

The Source will continue to operate independently from Bell following its acquisition and will maintain its well-known national brand, broad range of communications, computing and audio products, and its seasoned management team to be led by Ron Cuthbertson.

In addition to its extensive lineup of consumer electronics products, The Source plans to carry the full array of Bell consumer services at its more than 750 stores across Canada, including Bell Mobility, Solo Mobile and potentially Virgin Mobile wireless products and services, Bell TV's High Definition television services, high-speed Bell Internet, and Bell Home Phone products, by January 2010.

Under the deal, Bell is acquiring substantially all of the assets of The Source, which was acquired by Circuit City Stores, Inc. in March 2004. On November 10, 2008, Circuit City and certain of its U.S. subsidiaries voluntarily commenced bankruptcy proceedings under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code and The Source commenced a voluntary proceeding under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). Bell is acquiring The Source pursuant to the court monitored sale process being managed by NM Rothschild & Sons Canada Ltd. in connection with the proceedings under the CCAA.

Sagem Intros 24x24mm M2M Cellular Module

Sagem Communications introduced an M2M module measuring only 24x24 mm and with a height of 2.6 mm.

The cellular module is designed for wireless applications with tight size constraints, such as remote metering devices, Point of Sale Terminals and security alarms. In addition, this quad-band GPRS module is very low in power consumption (< 1.5 mA in idle mode) and has extended sensitivity.

TNS to Acquire VeriSign's Communication Services (SS7) for $230M

TNS, which provides data communications services for transaction-oriented applications, has agreed to acquire VeriSign's Communication Services Group (CSG) for $230 million in cash.

CSG operates one of the largest un-affiliated SS7 (Signaling System No. 7) networks in the United States.

CSG also delivers intelligent database services, such as caller ID, to the telecommunications industry, and provides roaming and clearing services to the wireless telecommunications industry. TNS intends to integrate the acquired business into the Telecommunication Services Division (TSD).

TNS said the acquisition enables its to more effectively scale its existing SS7 network and database offerings, add a group of blue chip customers, deepen the TSD management team and significantly augment product development within TSD.

The acquisition is planned to be financed through a combination of new financing of up to $250 million and cash on hand. TNS will also be required to amend its 2007 Credit Facility to allow for the acquisition and new financing. The transaction is expected to be accretive to TNS' 2009 earnings upon close. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the acquisition which is expected to close within the next 60 days, subject to customary regulatory approvals and the successful completion of financing.

Extreme Networks Delivers 10GBASE-T Server Adapter and Switch

Extreme Networks is the first to add 10GBASE-T support to its Summit X650 Top-of-Rack data center switch. The Extreme 10GBASE-T ecosystem extends from high performance server adapters to switches. These infrastructure products have passed interoperability testing with 10GBASE-T server adapters from Intel.

Fujitsu Selects Freescale Processors for LTE Basestations

Fujitsu Limited has selected high performance processors from Freescale Semiconductor for use in LTE base stations.

Freescale said its MSBA8100 baseband accelerator supports the 3G-LTE, WiMAX, HSPA+ and TDD-LTE standards. Combined with the MSC8144 DSP, the MSBA8100 accelerator enables manufacturers of wireless infrastructure equipment to create differentiated channel cards. Freescale also offers a development platform designed to speed and simplify creation of networking equipment for LTE and other emerging broadband wireless technologies. The solution combines programmable data plane software with Advanced Mezzanine Cards (AMCs) featuring PowerQUICC III processor technology and the MSC8144 device. Freescale plans to continue providing additional LTE solutions and products by leveraging Power Architecture processor and StarCore DSP core technology.

Nortel Posts Q4 Revenue of $2.72 billion, down 15% YoY

Nortel reported Q4 2008 revenue of $2.72 billion, down 15 percent compared to 2007, and a net loss of $2,135 million, or $4.28 per common share on a basic and diluted basis. The net loss included a non-cash write-down of goodwill of $1,237 million and a non-cash charge of $951 million in the fourth quarter to increase the valuation allowance against deferred tax assets.

"The fourth quarter revenues decreased 15 percent as the market continued to deteriorate and customers either reduced or deferred spending. However, strong operating performance focused on customers, costs and cash resulted in meeting or exceeding guidance for management operating margin and cash. The management operating margin was the highest since 2000, key customer performance and quality metrics were also at multi-year highs, and our fourth quarter operating expenses were down 30 percent from the prior year," said Nortel president and chief executive officer Mike Zafirovski.

Some highlights:

Carrier Networks (CN) revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008 was $1,234 million, a decrease of 8 percent compared with the year-ago quarter and an increase of 50 percent sequentially. Compared to the year ago quarter, CN revenue were impacted by reduced customer spending, decreasing across all businesses, and by the unfavourable effects of foreign exchange. Compared to the previous quarter, results were favourably impacted by the completion of customer contract obligations resulting in the recognition of previously deferred revenues.

Enterprise Solutions (ES) revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008 was $535 million, a decrease of 30 percent compared with the year-ago quarter and a decrease of 13 percent sequentially. Compared to the year ago quarter, ES revenues were negatively impacted by lower volumes in all businesses and geographies and unfavourable effects of foreign exchange.

Global Services (GS) revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008 was $530 million, a decrease of 12 percent compared with the year-ago quarter and an increase of 5 percent sequentially. The fourth quarter declined primarily due to lower associated sales volumes in other business segments and unfavourable effects of foreign exchange.

Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008 was $371 million, a decrease of 14 percent compared with the year-ago quarter and an increase of 17 percent sequentially. The year-over-year decrease in revenue was primarily due to reduced customer spending and unfavourable effects of foreign exchange, partially off-set by continued momentum in next-generation optical sales.

New Edge Networks Adds Private Ethernet Options

New Edge Networks, the business communications unit of EarthLink, has added two new access options that integrate into its nationwide MPLS and Class of Service network backbone. The new service options are private Ethernet and public IP Security (IPsec) access.

New Edge's new Ethernet offering provides secure access to the private MPLS network at speeds from 10Mbps up to 10 Gbps. New Edge's IPsec provides a transparent extension of a customer's private MPLS based network, whereby remote locations can access the core MPLS network securely over any public Internet connection. With IPsec, data is encrypted and authenticated for secure connectivity over any Internet connection, creating a secure transmission tunnel between the Customer Premises Equipment and the network router. New Edge Networks manages the network-side access element, which simplifies private network connectivity management and makes it more cost effective for customers.

New Edge Networks also provides DSL, T1, DS3 and wireless access options.

BitGravity's CDN Offers 1080p HD Live Streaming

BitGravity, a Content Delivery Network (CDN) provider, announced the availability of BG Live HD, an online streaming service for live events in 1080p or 720p resolution.

BG Live HD is a Flash-based, highly scalable, streaming service built on BitGravity's Distributed Origin-based network which minimizes latency to create a superior viewing experience and low total cost of ownership.

BitGravity said its service offers TV-quality 720p and 1080p HD with only a few seconds delay. For content providers, BitGravity requires only an Apple Mac Pro loaded with BitGravity transcoding software, a PCI expansion card, and an HDMI or HDSDI source connected to BitGravity's network. BG Live HD will be generally available in April. BitGravity is initially offering HD H.264 live streaming software in 1080p or 720p at no price premium over SD H.264 delivery. BG Live HD will be generally available in April. BitGravity is initially offering HD H.264 live streaming software in 1080p or 720p at no price premium over SD H.264 delivery.

BitGravity, a start-up based in Burlingame, California, has developed a new generation of content delivery technology that aims to eliminate routing and processing overhead -- an improvement that it claims can lead to 4-20X improvements in application responsiveness. Its network is based on 10 Gbps, which allows it to increase packet sizes and data per stream and removes throughput bottlenecks. the company combines open protocols with its own proprietary protocols.

New NETGEAR SMB Switches Claim 50% Energy Savings

NETGEAR will soon start shipping new versions of its unmanaged series of network switches that can reduce the power consumption by as much as 53%, according to the company. Aimed at SMBs and delivered via NETGEAR's reseller partners, both rack-mounted and desktop "green" switches incorporate new hardware that optimizes power efficiency. The enhancements include an "Auto Power-down" mode that reduces chip power in each Ethernet port when the signal from the copper link partner is not present over cables, thus saving power, but instantly resumes normal operation when energy is detected. Another "Auto Cable Length Detection" feature enables the switch to use lower power if its connections cover a distance of less than 10 meters.
NETGEAR has applied these green system enhancements to the ProSafe JGS5xx Series of 16- and 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switches (JGS516v2, JGS524v2); the ProSafe GS1xx Series of 5- and 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Desktop Switches (GS105v3, GS108v3); and the GS6xx Series of 5- and 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switches (GS605v3, GS608v3).

Harris Stratex Networks Acquires Telsima for $12 Million

Harris Stratex Networks, which specializes in mobile backhaul solutions, has acquired Telsima $for $12 million in cash payable over the next 12 months.

Telsima, which is based Sunnyvale, California, is a leading developer of WiMAX infrastructure and CPE products. Telsima's engineering has expertise in the areas of network and system architecture, embedded solutions, and software development. The company's product portfolio includes IEEE 802.16d and 16e compatible base stations, fixed and mobile subscriber devices, Access Services Network Gateway solutions and network management tools. Telsima also has offices in Bangalore, Gurgaon and Mumbai in India; and Trzin-Ljublijana, Slovenia.

In September 2008, Harris Stratex announced a partnership agreement with Telsima for end-to-end 4G network solutions.

"The demand for rich media services is growing at an explosive rate, creating the need for faster and more flexible wireless networking solutions," said Harald Braun, president and chief executive officer of Harris Stratex Networks. "In our close working relationship with Telsima we have been greatly impressed by their technology and expertise. We believe the combination of those qualities and Harris Stratex in-house innovation will significantly enhance our ability to expand into new and emerging markets."

Russia's VimpelCom Announces Management Change

Russia's Vimpel-Communications announced that Alexander Izosimov will step down as CEO and General Director effective April 2, 2009. He will be replaced by Boris Nemsic as CEO and by Alexander Torbakhov as General Director. Boris Nemsic currently serves as CEO of Telecom Austria Group. Alexander Torbakhov currently serves as General Director of Rosgosstrakh Life Insurance Company. Rosgosstrakh Insurance is Russia's largest insurance company.

The VimpelCom Group consists of telecommunications operators providing voice and data services through a range of wireless, fixed and broadband technologies. The Group includes companies operating in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Armenia, as well as in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Navajo Nation Establishes 100 Mbps Distance Learning Bridges

The Northeast Arizona Technological Institute of Vocational Education (N.A.T.I.V.E.) has established a 100 Mbps Ethernet based microwave radio network that connects all of the eight member district high schools for delivering career technical instruction. Conterra Telecom Services (Conterra), a national broadband services company specializing in rural areas, won a five-year contract for the project through the U.S. federal E-Rate program.

The N.A.T.I.V.E. district spans 22,000 square miles throughout three counties, servicing an average of 4,000 students annually. The average distance between N.A.T.I.V.E. high schools is 101 miles and 78% of student traveled roads to school are unpaved.

Etisalat & Tata Communications Collaborate on Ethernet/MPLS in UAE

Etisalat and Tata Communications, agreed to collaborate on enterprise network services, enabling dedicated Ethernet services to the customers seeking connectivity in the UAE and globally. The partnership enables Etisalat to extend its reach by offering Layer-2 Global Ethernet services into and out of the UAE, while Tata Communications can now extend its global network coverage into the UAE.

Etisalat currently has partnerships with 15 major telecom providers worldwide for offering international connectivity solutions.

Tata Communications noted that its MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum) certified range of Ethernet services span across five continents and features Layer-2 Ethernet over SONET/SDH, Ethernet over MPLS and a range of configurations to keep pace with the growth in customer requirements.

EXFO Launches Next-Gen Field-Testing Platform

EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering (EXFO) introduced its new portable FTB-500 test platform for high-end installation and maintenance applications on optical networks. This PC-based, Windows-XP-driven platform is designed for characterizing next-generation, high-speed networks. Up to eight test modules from EXFO's rich product portfolio can be mixed and matched on the modular platform. For example, the newly released FTB-5240SP Optical Spectrum Analyzer can be combined with the FTB-8140 40G Transport Blazer inside the FTB-500 platform to create a ROADM/POTS/40G test solution that's tailored to the needs of network operators deploying next-generation systems. This third-generation platform is backwards-compatible with an established base of more than 30,000 existing "FTB" test modules and will support any new module released in the future for optical, transport and datacom testing. The FTB-500's open architecture also allows a wide range of customized or standard software applications and a variety of hardware upgrades, enabling this leading test solution to evolve with customer requirements.

EXFO Introduces High-Performance OSA

EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering (EXFO) introduced a new high-performance optical spectrum analyzer (OSA) to assist network operators in their deployment of current and next-generation optical networks. The FTB-5240S OSA test module, housed in either the FTB-200 Compact Platform or newly launched FTB-500 Platform, is designed for DWDM network commissioning and high-speed network upgrades up to 40G. When equipped with in-band optical-signal-to-noise-ratio (OSNR) measurement capabilities in the FTB-500 platform, the analyzer can configured to create a ROADM/POTS/40G test solution.

EXFO said its proprietary in-band OSNR test method delivers highly accurate measurements for next-generation systems in which noise can fluctuate from channel to channel. Traditional OSNR test tools tend to produce erroneous results, especially for ROADMs and 40G systems. The built-in polarization diversity detection capabilities on the EXFO OSA enable accurate and automated OSNR measurements. The FTB-5240S OSA benefits from ultra-fast scanning and analysis inside the new FTB-500 platform. A 90 dB dynamic range scan can be carried out within 1 second, including complete data analysis. The OSA also supports new modulation schemes, such as NRZ, duo binary, DPSK, and QPSK, which present large line widths and often display multiple peaks. In-depth analysis ensures the correct identification and signal measurement of each carrier.

TiVo, SeaChange Team Up to Integrate Cable VOD

TiVo and SeaChange International, which supplies VOD and IPTV software, systems and services, have joined forces to integrate cable VOD services into the TiVo HD DVR experience. The integrated experience will be available to participating cable operators on select TiVo branded high-definition cable set-top boxes later this year.

"By teaming with SeaChange we are enabling cable operators without OCAP/tru2way deployment plans to increase the breadth and depth of their offering by quickly deploying TiVo set-top boxes that seamlessly integrate VOD in a single, intuitive TiVo interface," said Tom Rogers, TiVo's president and chief executive officer. "This solution also enables participating MSOs to take their on-demand offering to a whole new level by highlighting VOD titles within TiVo universal search results. And the beauty of this is that it can be achieved faster and at a lower cost than most solutions that have been available to cable operators to date."

AT&T U-verse TV Lineup Expands To 100+ HD Channels

The AT&T U-verse TV line-up has topped 100 HD channels -- exceeding the HD channel lineups offered by the local cable providers in every U-verse TV market.

"In this economy, consumers are turning to home entertainment to save money and get better value, and they should pick a provider that offers them more HD bang for their buck. That's U-verse TV," said Dan York, executive vice president of content and programming, AT&T Converged Services. "These great HD additions from the Walt Disney Company help us with important strategic content initiatives and allow us to deliver an even bigger HD lineup to customers. With spectacular picture quality, HD-ready equipment included in every U-verse TV package, and the ability to watch your favorite HD recordings when and where you want with Total Home DVR - you can't beat the U-verse TV HD experience."

AT&T Enhances its Managed Hosting Services

AT&T introduced a Remote Infrastructure Management service that provides businesses a one-stop solution for managing and monitoring their IT infrastructures regardless of location. AT&T Remote Infrastructure Management delivers this capability to a company's location -- whether it is an in-house company data center, remote office, or even third-party center -- along with on-site servicing of equipment if needed. The service is now generally available in the United States and on a case-by-case basis globally. Key elements include:

  • AT&T will design, deploy and maintain a customer's servers, storage and network infrastructure devices. Customers can select from three levels of server management and monitoring support all backed by AT&T's service level agreements.

  • AT&T will manage a company's environment remotely and make "house calls" on premise to install, repair or upgrade equipment - even if that premise is a third-party data center.

  • Companies can access AT&T reporting tools that show the status of servers and systems across their infrastructures through real-time alerts and performance reports on AT&T's BusinessDirect portal.

  • Companies can also combine AT&T Remote Infrastructure Management with other managed services delivered from AT&T Internet data centers (IDCs) for enhanced capabilities such as load balancing applications across both an AT&T IDC and a customer-owned data center.

"In order to remain competitive in the current economy, businesses must concentrate resources on their core competencies. As a result, they often lack the in-house expertise to manage and monitor complex IT infrastructures," said Roman Pacewicz, Senior Vice President, AT&T Strategy and Application Services.

Dell'Oro: Significant Drop Forecasted in Q1 Ethernet Switch Sales

The Ethernet Switch market experienced a mid-single digit revenue decline in the fourth quarter of 2008 and is forecasted to decline in excess of 10 percent in the first quarter of 2009, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. The market is poised to lose over $1 billion dollars in its quarterly run rate over the course of two quarters.

"Although this is the most significant first quarter forecasted decline in Ethernet Switch history, it is important to note that first quarter is typically seasonally weak," said Alan Weckel, Director at Dell'Oro Group. "Businesses are canceling or delaying projects and distributers are lowering inventory levels. In addition, deteriorating macroeconomic conditions have coincided with what is usually the market's weakest quarter of the year, exacerbating the decline in the first quarter of this year," Weckel added.

The report also indicates that 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) will be the only segment to show sequential port and revenue growth in 2009, as purpose-built fixed 10 GE boxes for the datacenter begin to contribute significantly to 10 GE growth in 2009.