Sunday, March 8, 2009

Poste Italiane Upgrades Core Network with Italtel Softswitch Platform

Poste Italiane,

which offers integrated communication and logistic services in addition to mail delivery and collection, will upgrade its core network based on Italtel's Softswitch Platform i-SSW. Poste Italiane has chosen Italtel to develop, integrate and install the basic infrastructure for the delivery of secure network services while handling the issues authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA) and identity management within IP networks. In particular, Italtel's core services will allow the allocation and automated distribution of IP addresses (over 300,000) for accessing various terminals including PCs, laptops, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).

IPI: Say No to Stimulus Spending on Municipal Broadband Projects

The Institute for Policy Innovation, a non-profit public policy organization based in Dallas, Texas is calling on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to reject any plans to fund municipal broadband networks when its meet this week to discuss the stimulus spending. According to a new report authored by IPI senior fellow Barry M. Aarons, municipal broadband has been plagued by failure nearly every time it has been attempted, and at great cost to taxpayers.

In the report, entitled "We Told You So: Continue to Say No to Municipal Broadband Networks," Aarons writes: "In 2004, we cautioned governments to be careful not to sponsor communications ventures like municipal broadband networks, and in particular, local Wi-Fi Projects... time and experience have proven us correct."

IPI notes that municipal broadband systems have been expensive government failures in cities including, but not limited to, Philadelphia, Chicago, Portland and Orlando.

Clearwire Appoints William T. Morrow as CEO

Clearwire has appointed William (Bill) T. Morrow, 49, as its new CEO, replacing co-Founder and current CEO Benjamin G. Wolff, who will continue with the company as Co-Chairman, a position he will share with current Chairman Craig O. McCaw.

Morrow most recently served as President and CEO of Pacific Gas & Electric in San Francisco where he oversaw operations and successfully directed an overhaul aimed at improving the company's efficiency, supply chain and customer focus. Prior to PG&E, Morrow served in a number of senior executive positions at international mobile communications group Vodafone and Vodafone Group PLC, including Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone, Europe, Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone UK Ltd. and President of Vodafone KK in Japan. He also served as President of Japan Telecom Co. and held senior executive positions with wireless telecommunications carrier AirTouch International.

Fanfare Announces Partnership with Agilent Technologies

Fanfare announced a partnership with Agilent Technologies to offer joint customers the ability to seamlessly integrate their test assets and automate complex system testing. Fanfare's test automation solution, iTest will be more tightly integrated with Agilent's N2X multi-services test solution, accelerating the configuration and automation of test scenarios.

The Agilent N2X is widely used by NEMs and SPs to validate the performance and scalability characteristics of next-generation network equipment, and is designed to test IP-forwarding devices that deliver video, VoIP, data services and business VPNs. It is used in out-of-service lab environments to test at real-world scale with realistic traffic, ensuring quality of multiplay services. The N2X addresses the test challenges that multiplay services impose across the IP/MPLS core, carrier edge and broadband access networks.

Fanfare's iTest orchestrates system testing by executing simultaneous commands to a multitude of different devices in a network to simulate real-world network testing. This enhances the quality of services that SPs offer, reduces time to market, and improves productivity across the entire service development and product development life cycle. Integrating Agilent's N2X with iTest will ease the process of automating test assets for existing and prospective SP customers, providing a comprehensive solution for their system testing needs.

Seagate and AMD Unveil World's 6 Gbps Serial ATA Drive

Seagate and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) demonstrated Serial ATA 6Gigabit/second data transfer technology for the first time. The Seagate and AMD demonstration features two Seagate SATA disk drives - one a shipping Barracuda 7200.12 3 Gbps hard drive and the other a prototype Barracuda 6Gb/second drive - in a desktop PC to show the performance difference between the two generations. The PC is powered by an AMD prototype SATA 6 Gbps chipset. The Seagate SATA 3 Gbps drive runs at more than 2.5 Gbps and the SATA 6 Gbps drive at 5.5Gigabits per second, with the performance of each storage interface displayed on the PC monitor.

The Serial ATA (SATA) 6Gb/second storage interface promises backward compatibility with the SATA 3Gb/second and SATA 1.5Gb/second interfaces, and use the same cables and connectors as previous SATA generations to ease integration. The third generation of the mainstream storage interface for desktop and notebook computers also enhances power efficiency

and improves Native Command Queuing, a SATA feature, to increase overall system performance and data transfer speeds of mainstream PC applications but especially applications with heavily transactional workloads such as scientific modeling and forecasting, and engineering design and simulation.

"The increasing reliance of consumers and businesses worldwide on digital information is giving rise to gaming, digital video and audio, streaming video, graphics and other applications that require even more bandwidth, driving demand for PC interfaces that can carry even more digital content," said Joan Motsinger, Seagate vice president of Personal Systems Marketing and Strategy. "The SATA 6 Gbps storage interface will meet this demand for higher-bandwidth PCs. Seagate has a long history of being first to market with new technologies such as Serial ATA, perpendicular recording and self-encrypting drives, and is pleased to be teaming with AMD to stage the world's first public demonstration of SATA 6 Gbps storage."

Iridium Replaces Satellite Lost in Collision

Iridium completed the replacement of the operational Iridium satellite lost in the collision in February with a non-operational Russian satellite. The unique architecture of Iridium's fully-meshed network of 66 satellites enabled the continuity of service to Iridium's customers while one of Iridium's in-orbit spares was prepared and maneuvered into the

constellation. Iridium also said the satellite collision demonstrated the need to improve assessment and warning of potential hazards for satellites. Some specific future activities that Iridium endorses include:

  • Long-term investment to improve Space Situational Awareness (SSA) so
    that the space environment can be better understood and characterized. Adding SSA sensors to government and commercial satellites may offer a cost effective way of improving the timeliness and accuracy of SSA data.

  • Improved information sharing between industry and the U.S. government, with the objective of improving the timeliness and accuracy of conjunction assessment and warning. Iridium believes provision of satellite orbital data by commercial operators would relieve the U.S. Air Force of the necessity to devote resources to tracking the company's satellites, and could provide accuracy greater than would otherwise be commonly available.

  • Government support for policy and processes which would permit sharing of classified data as required to allow for high-accuracy assessment and warning.

  • Funding and resources to support analysis, assessment, dissemination and warning on timelines and with accuracies that enable action to be taken to avoid collisions.

  • Continued support for increased cooperation between the government, and U.S. and foreign commercial operators.

Chelsio and IBM to Develop 10 GigE for Enterprise Servers

Chelsio Communications, which develops 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) adapters and ASIC solutions, announced an agreement with IBM on high-speed Ethernet connectivity solutions. Specifically, IBM will initially integrate Chelsio's technology in IBM Power System platforms. Chelsio will also explore additional joint development activities over time. This agreement expands the current relationship between IBM and Chelsio. IBM will manufacture Chelsio Ethernet ASICs at IBM's 300mm fab in East Fishkill, N.Y.

This agreement is expected to accelerate the development and industry availability of 10GbE adapters and ASIC solutions enabling the next generation IO designs targeted at the enterprise.

Kingston Boosts Memory Shipments in 2008

Kingston Technology Corporation reported 41-percent increase in total memory units shipped in 2008 over 2007 volume. Kingston said that despite oversupply, average selling price erosion and a weakened global economy, it gained significant market share in both DRAM and Flash memory. The company's global sales totaled $4.0 billion U.S., a $500 million decrease from record-setting revenues in 2007.

Verizon's FiOS TV Adds Sony, Turner Content

Verizon announced programming deals with Turner Networks and Sony for its FiOS TV VOD service. Turner will add programming from eight TV channels and an array of movies. Sony will add HD movies for the FiOS TV HD VOD service.

Dell'Oro: Record Base Station Shipments, Steep Price Erosion in '08

The worldwide total mobile infrastructure market revenue grew 5 percent in 2008, driven by the nearly doubling and quadrupling of revenue of the WCDMA and WiMAX markets, respectively, according to a recently published report by Dell'Oro Group. The report also shows that despite 30 percent growth and a record number of base station deployments for the combined GSM and CDMA markets, higher than normal price erosion of over 25 percent, resulted in a 10 percent contraction in revenue for these markets.

"The rapid expansion of HSPA networks worldwide beginning in the first quarter of the year was instrumental in driving the growth of the WCDMA market in 2008," stated Scott Siegler, Senior Analyst of Mobile Infrastructure research at Dell'Oro Group. "The true broadband data rates of these upgraded networks, along with the doubling of the HSPA device ecosystem, including smartphones, laptops and mobile internet devices were the primary drivers of the WCDMA market's ramp. The prevalence of flat rate data plans was even greater incentive for 2G subscribers to migrate to 3G subscribers and take advantage of these true mobile broadband networks. The WCDMA subscriber base increased by over 100 million during the year. More HSPA subscribers, with each subscriber accessing substantially more data, drove operators to significantly invest in expanding and upgrading the capacity of their HSPA networks," Siegler added.

Video Topics:

1. What is the current outlook for the mobile infrastructure market?

2. Have LTE schedules been advanced or delayed in the past few months?

3. Will the Digital TV transition delay in the US have any impact on LTE rollouts?

4. How significant is the emerging 3G market in China? Which vendors are well positioned?

5. How will the economic downturn impact the market for mobile broadband?

TI Revenue Guidance Meets Expected Range

Texas Instruments narrowed its expected ranges for revenue and earnings per share (EPS). The company now expects:

  • Revenue: $1.79 - $2.05 billion, compared with the prior range of $1.62 - $2.12 billion

  • EPS: $0.08 loss - $0.00 breakeven, compared with the prior range of $0.11 loss - $0.03 profit.

The EPS estimate includes $0.04 per share impact resulting from about $80 million of estimated restructuring charges. Previously, the company had estimated restructuring charges of about $50 million in the quarter, or $0.03 per share.

Juniper Expands Security Portfolio with SRX3000 Services Gateways

Building upon its new family of SRX dynamic services gateways and "Dynamic Services Architecture", which were launched last September, Juniper Networks introduced a midrange SRX3000 line of security gateways designed for data center, enterprise, public sector and service provider environments.

Juniper's Dynamic Services Architecture aims to consolidate multiple specialized networking appliances for enabling key services such as Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), Distributed Denial of Service (DDos/DoS) protection, Network Address Translation (NAT), dynamic routing, and QoS in enterprise networks. The SRX security gateways are built on Juniper's terabit speed fabric and run the same JUNOS software as the company's other switching and routing products.

The new SRX3000 line includes two models capable of supporting 10 Gbps networks: the SRX3400 and SRX3600. In addition to delivering firewall services, the SRX3000 line natively integrates multiple services such as Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), Distributed Denial of Service (DDos/DoS) protection, Network Address Translation (NAT), policy and control, identity management, and Quality of Service (QoS). The ability of the SRX Series to support and optimize multiple services coupled with the flexibility to scale cost-effectively, enables the product to provide no-compromise performance and security to applications and key services running on the network, thus delivering a superior user experience and improved productivity.

The extensibility of the SRX Series offers scalable performance based on the appropriate footprint, types of services and number of input/output and services processing cards (SPCs). Unlike single-purpose security appliances or traditional chassis platforms, the SRX Services Gateways deliver a wide range of services to meet evolving high-performance business requirements. Processing resources are available in a pool, enabling services to be turned on as needed.

The SRX3600 can support 30 Gbps of stateful firewall, up to 10 Gbps of VPN, 10 Gbps of IPS, and 175,000 new connections per second. The SRX3400 can support 20 Gbps of stateful firewall, up to 6 Gbps of VPN, 6 Gbps of IPS, and 175,000 new connections per second. Both the SRX3400 and SRX3600 are based on mid-plane design, enabling twice as much flexibility as other units of similar size. Similar to the SRX5000 line, the SRX3000 line offers the scalability of the SPCs and input/output cards for scale of Ethernet ports and services processing.

The base list price for the SRX3400 chassis starts at USD $50,000 while the list price of the SRX3600 chassis starts at USD $60,000.

Juniper also introduced its Adaptive Threat Management open solution for real-time threat defense with network-wide visibility and control.

These solutions are based on a flexible "pay-as-you-grow" deployment model and include: the new SRX3000 Series Services Gateways; a new release of Juniper's network access control (NAC) solution, Unified Access Control (UAC) 3.0; new Secure Access (SA) SSL VPN 6.4 technology with new standards-based interoperability functionality; and new releases of Juniper Networks Security Threat Response Manager (STRM) 2008.3 and Network and Security Manager (NSM) 2008.2 with advanced network management, threat response and reporting.

Among the new capabilities, Juniper's UAC now supports the IF-MAP protocol from Trusted Computing Group's Trusted Network Connect (TNC) that extends the TNC architecture to support standardized, dynamic data interchange among a wide variety of networking and security components, enabling customers to implement multi-vendor systems that provide coordinated defense-in-depth.

Cisco Collaborates on Vision 2030 for Sustainable Cities

Cisco is working with Metropolis, an association comprised of 106 of the world's largest cities, to develop its "Vision 2030" for sustainable cities around the world. Specifically, Cisco and Metropolis have agreed to collaborate on the following main areas:

  • Develop the 'Vision 2030' for Sustainable Cities: Cisco and Metropolis will develop a long term vision for sustainable cities enabled by networked technologies.

  • Collaboration for Urban Innovation: Metropolis and Cisco will explore the possibility of establishing regional Innovation Centres. The regional innovation centers will anchor implementation actions on different policy areas, associating the selected cities and Cisco to develop new platforms and tools to manage urban services.

  • Cisco will also provide strategic advice on the program and support the development of a partnership approach in urban innovation for Metropolis and its business associates, with a specific focus on technology and business partnerships.

  • Create a digital collaboration platform for Metropolis members: Cisco will use its collaborative solutions, such as Cisco WebEx and Cisco TelePresence, to facilitate the creation of a collaborative operating model between Metropolis and its member cities. Using a Web 2.0 approach, Cisco will help facilitate the exchange of innovation between cities across the world.

  • Establish an Urban Leadership "Academy": Cisco and Metropolis aim to jointly develop a framework, with training and skills programs, that demonstrates how cities can use technology more effectively to drive sustainability. Training modules will also help city leaders, urban planners and practitioners better understand the potential role and impact of networked technologies on the performance of their cities.
  • In February, Cisco announced outlined its belief that advanced networking technologies can be used to spur an new era of "Intelligent Urbanisation," where the network serves as the next utility for integrated city management, better quality of life for citizens, and economic development. Building on the thought leadership developed through Cisco's ongoing efforts with Connected Urban Development (CUD), the company's Intelligent Urbanisation initiative will bring together a broad portfolio of Cisco's products, services, partners and solutions. The initial focus will be on global sustainable solutions for public safety and security, transportation, buildings, energy, healthcare and education.

OKI Offers Wideband Codec Conversion in Its Session Border Controller

OKI Electric Industry has added a carrier-grade wideband codec conversion function to its session border controller (SBC) "CenterStage NX3200." The equipment is compatible with wideband codecs such as ITU-T G.711.1, and can simultaneously transfer large amounts of data between voice and video codecs used in mobile and fixed networks. The product is now available in Japan.

"We believe the new wideband codec function for both fixed and mobile networks will enable telecom carriers to offer ubiquitous services to their customers," said Hidetoshi Saigou, General Manager of Carriers Business Division at OKI. "Taking advantage of OKI's leading technologies in transmitting massive amounts of video, voice and data, and its carrier-grade hardware and software technologies for NGN that offer the ultimate in reliability, we will continue to enhance the CenterStage Series that incorporate solutions to telecom carrier needs."

G.711.1 is a wideband codec that was standardized by the ITU-T in 2008 and is backward compatible with the previous G.711 standard. In the field of codecs for mobile network, there is also a clear trend toward wideband compatibility. Wideband codecs, such as AMR-WB, EVRC Rev.B, enable better quality in voice as well as video and data. However, to use these wideband codecs, it is necessary to have a structure to seamlessly hand over service among telecom carriers.

OKI said its it is thee first in the industry to incorporate in its SBC, next-generation wideband codecs for mobile networks (AMR-WB and EVRC RevB), in addition to G.711.1 standard.

ITU: Three Times More Mobiles than Fixed Telephone Lines

"In these difficult times, reliable data become essential to monitor progress and to assess the impact of the crisis. In particular, the monitoring of the digital divide and whether it will increase as a result of the crisis becomes imperative," said Sami Al Basheer El Morshid, Director, BDT, ITU., speaking at the opening of the 7th ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators meeting last week in Cairo. The ITU acknowledges that it is not yet possible to foresee how the economic
downturn will affect ICT markets in general and in the developing world, in particular.

While network operators may see themselves confronted with limited capital and reluctant to follow through with costly
network investments (for example IMT-2000/3G, WiMAX or optical fiber networks), the need to keep and attract new customers, and increase market shares and revenues may also increase competition and bring down service prices. It might also encourage and force businesses to increase their attention to developing markets and low-income users, where much lower, yet highly dynamic penetration rates in the last years hint at greater market opportunities.

The ITU has also just published an ICT Development Index (IDI) that compares developments in information and communication technologies (ICT) in 154 countries over a five-year period from 2002 to 2007. The Index combines 11 indicators into a single measure that can be used as a benchmarking tool globally, regionally and at the country level. These are related to ICT access, use and skills, such as households with a computer the number of Internet users; and literacy levels.

According to I.T.U. data, by the end of 2008, there were over three times more mobile cellular subscriptions than fixed telephone lines globally. Two thirds of those are now in the developing world compared with less than half in 2002. In contrast to the growth in the mobile sector, fixed telephony has experienced nearly no growth in the last decade. Indeed, fixed line global penetration has been stagnating at just under 20 percent.

As for the Internet, 23 out of 100 inhabitants globally used the Internet at the end of 2008. But Internet penetration levels in the developing countries remain low. By the end of 2007, over 60 percent of all Internet subscribers had a broadband connection. Dial-up is being replaced by fixed broadband across developed and developing countries, including Senegal,
Chile and Turkey, where broadband subscribers represent over 90 per cent of all Internet subscribers

The ITU is also launching a second publication called the ITU Manual for Measuring ICT Access and Use by Households and Individuals. This Manual has been prepared to support countries in their efforts to measure and monitor the developments towards becoming information societies. The Manual, which is based on the internationally agreed set of core ICT indicators, is a practical tool for countries to use in the ICT data collection and in preparing ICT household surveys.