Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Orange UK to outsource Mobile Operations to NSN

Orange will also outsource its mobile network operations in the UK to Nokia Siemens Networks.

Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will manage, plan, expand, optimize and provide maintenance services for the Orange UK 2G/3G mobile network for the next five years. The deal aims to deliver improved quality of service and enhanced coverage for Orange UK's 15.9 million mobile subscribers, while driving operational efficiency.

Nokia Siemens Networks is also finalizing arrangements for a UK sub-contractor to provide first line maintenance services. As part of the mobile network operations outsourcing, close to 470 staff are planned to transfer from Orange UK with approximately 230 joining Nokia Siemens Networks and the remainder being transferred to a first line maintenance sub-contractor.

ECI Telecom Debuts Compact ADM-64 for Metro-Access Aggregation

ECI Telecom launched its BroadGate-64 (BG-64), a new converged, packet-TDM, micro MSPP (Multi Service Provisioning Platform) designed for metro access and aggregation platform.

The compact ADM platform offers 10 Gbps/STM-64 interfaces and is small enough to fit into street cabinets. It provides 40G of high capacity with a flexible architecture that support both TDM and pure Ethernet. The platform allows carriers to leverage their SDH installed base while offering a mix of PCM, PDH, and carrier-class data services, including Ethernet L1 and L2 and MPLS-based services.

Key features include:

  • Redundant ADM-64/MADM-16

  • Compact -- the smallest ADM-64

  • Unique convergence of PDH, SDH, and carrier class Ethernet/MPLS in a single miniature enclosure

  • Full non-blocking 40 Gbps LO/HO matrix

  • Scalable from 64 Kbps up to STM 64)

  • Cross connect (DXC 1/0) capability -- supporting a rich mix of low bit rate interfaces

  • Optional expansion unit (BG-30E)

  • Ethernet transport schemes -- EoP (P2P, P2MP), EoS, EoMPLSoSDH, EoMPLS

  • Ethernet services support - E-Line, E-LAN, E-Tree Topology agnostic -- enabling mesh, ring, multi-ring, star, and point-to-point topologies

  • Mix and Match - PDH, TDM and Ethernet (L1/2, MPLS) services

  • Advanced video distribution - P2MP multicast tree, IGMP

ECI outlined several deployment scenarios that might require both TDM and Ethernet access, including VOD Triple Play services, mobile network backhaul and
utility network services. Moreover, with its ability to support services ranging from 64 Kbps and up to 10Gbps and from PDH, Ethernet over PDH (EoP) through SDH, Ethernet over SDH (EoS) and carrier-class Ethernet MPLS, the BG-64 is uniquely positioned to cost effectively cope with both current and future requirements of the metro-access aggregation network.

BG-64 works in concert with the ECI portfolio, tied together by ECI's 1Net architectural framework.

Telefónica Offers Discounts to Unemployed Customers in Home Market

Telefónica announced

a new set of plans and special offers in its home market of Spain aimed at addressing the economic slowdown. Telefónica will offer discounts of up to 50% for residential customers who have become unemployed. There is a limit of EUR 20 per bill and up to a half million customers could benefit from this plan.

DASH7 Alliance Targets Low-Power Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Wirless

A new industry group

has been formed to expand the use of a wireless data technology commonly used in the global defense industry but increasingly used by commercial customers. Initial backers include Michelin, Lockheed Martin's Savi Technology and Texas Instruments, along with the U.S. Department of Energy and three of its laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as well as the University of Pittsburgh, serving as technical advisors.

The technology provides the ability to track the whereabouts and status of a wide range of everyday objects, including vehicles, shipping containers, pharmaceutical products, hazardous materials, perishable goods and manufacturing and operational equipment.

The alliance said its wireless technology, which is based on the ISO 18000-7 standard, is more cost effective, more reliable, and operates at lower power levels than ZigBee and similar wireless data technologies.

"As United States companies grow RFID technologies from their infancy into an industry, it is incredibly important to set a common standard for how all of these new applications are going to be designed and built," said Dr. James Shuler, Manager of the United States Department of Energy's Packaging Certification Program.

Semiconductor manufacturers STMicroelectronics and Analog Devices plan to provide hardware developer toolkits that enable product innovations and enhance interoperability, and Texas Instruments also plans to be a DASH7 participant.

Vodafone UK Outsources Network Operations to Ericsson

Ericsson was awarded a seven year agreement

to provide maintenance and operations for Vodafone UK's 2G and 3G radio access networks. The contract includes the transfer of approximately 350 employees from Vodafone to Ericsson, scheduled for the beginning of May. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We see this as a strategic long-term relationship, offering real operational and financial benefits allowing us, over time, to reinvest savings in delivering new products and services for customers. Ericsson is the specialist in this area and will be critical in helping maintain our high quality network -- which customers expect from Vodafone," stated Jeni Mundy, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone UK.

Orange Spain Selects NSN to Manage its Fixed/Mobile Networks

Orange Spain has awarded a network managed services contract to Nokia Siemens Networks covering both its mobile and fixed networks. Under a five year contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will implement an end-to-end managed services solution for Orange's networks, to increase efficiency and reliability of the operator's mobile and fixed network. Orange's fixed and mobile multivendor networks serve more than 11.3 million mobile customers and .,2 million broadband Internet (ADSL) customers across Spain. Nokia Siemens Networks said it will manage Orange's networks from a global perspective.

"In an increasingly competitive market, balancing priorities is an ongoing challenge for our customers. They are under continuous pressure to do more for less, create new revenue opportunities, and stay ahead through technology innovation. By providing them with advanced services that address their everyday needs, we help customers focus on their attention on areas that drive their success," said José Carlos Sampedro, Head of Customer Team, Nokia Siemens Networks.

WSJ: IBM in Talks to Buy Sun

Shares in Sun Microsystems surged nearly 80% after a report that IBM is contemplating an acquisition of the company was published in The Wall Street Journal. The deal could be valued at up to $6.5 billion, according to the article. Neither company commented on the report.


Sun Microsystems Unveils Open Cloud Platform

Sun Microsystems unveiled its Open Cloud Platform, the company's open cloud computing infrastructure powered by Java, MySQL, OpenSolaris and Open Storage technologies.

Sun also outlined that a core element of its strategy is to offer public clouds and previewed plans to launch the Sun Cloud, its first public cloud service targeted at developers, student and startups. The company said its goal is to bring openness and interoperability to the cloud computing market. It envisions a world of many clouds -- public and private -- that are open and interoperable.

As part of the company's commitment to building communities, Sun released of a core set of Open APIs announced
partner support and demonstrated features of the Sun Cloud.

At the core of the Sun Cloud will be the first two services - Sun Cloud Storage Service and Sun Cloud Compute Service - which will be available this summer. Customers At the core of the Sun Cloud Compute Service are the Virtual Data Center (VDC) capabilities acquired in Sun's purchase of Q-layer in January 2009, which provide everything an individual or team of developers needs to build and operate a datacenter in the cloud. The VDC provides a unified, integrated interface to stage an application running on any operating system within a cloud, including OpenSolaris, Linux or Windows. It features a drag-and-drop method, in addition to APIs and a command line interface for provisioning compute, storage and networking resources via any Web browser. The Sun Cloud Storage Service supports WebDAV protocols for file access and object store APIs that are compatible with Amazon's S3 APIs.

Harmonic Introduces DiviCom Electra 8000 Universal Broadcast Encoder

Harmonic introduced its DiviCom Electra 8000 encoding and transcoding platform featuring support for MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) and MPEG-2 codecs in standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) formats at up to full frame-rate 1080p 50/60. The DiviCom Electra 8000 delivers four channels per rack unit (RU) and uses 40 percent less power than the industry average for HD AVC encoding.

Harmonic said the new platform enables cable MSOs to deliver up to four HD MPEG-2 services in one QAM, satellite operators can increase channel count per transponder, telco IPTV service providers can improve reach with constant bit-rate HD video at 5 Mbps or less, and ATSC stations can implement a cost-effective "station-in-a-box" with integrated HD/SD statistical multiplexing and PSIP re-multiplexing.

Key features of the new Electra 8000 encoder include:

  • A compact design supporting up to 4 video inputs in a 1-RU chassis, ideal for operators mindful of their carbon footprint, energy costs and rack space

  • Support for either MPEG-2 or AVC encoding/transcoding, and a wide variety of SD and HD formats, including 1080p24 and full frame-rate 1080p50/60

  • An enhanced compression engine with a unique multi-pass architecture incorporating the latest ASIC and DSP/FPGA technologies

  • An innovative high quality second channel output, capable of delivering a variety of resolutions, from picture-in-picture all the way up to full HD resolution for switched digital video (SDV) or time-shifted TV applications

  • A built-in broadcast quality up/down converter for differentiated services such as an HD broadcast of the premium SD lineup

  • Integrated statistical multiplexing "in the box" with Harmonic's DiviTrackMX, or support for DiviTrackIP in LAN or distributed WAN environments

  • IP or ASI outputs, multiple audio format options, native support for Digital Program Insertion (DPI), and FLEX integrated decoding with IP, 8VSB or ASI inputs.

JDSU Enhances NetComplete with Empirix's Hammer Signaling Monitoring

JDSU will incorporate Empirix's Hammer XMS content traffic and signaling-layer monitoring capabilities with the JDSU NetComplete testing platform. With the addition of Hammer XMS, NetComplete provides a comprehensive service monitoring solution that addresses both signaling and media content, correlates across multiple protocols, quickly identifies network problems, and helps deliver a best-quality customer experience.

JDSU's NetComplete service assurance platform includes NetAnalyst and NetOptimize OSS software and the QT-600 Ethernet triple-play probe. The QT-600 monitors service quality at operational demarcation points throughout a network, gathering media layer details such as call quality, video quality and the amount of data being transferred. With Empirix's Hammer XMS, NetComplete delivers both active and passive signaling monitoring that retrieves information about the success or failure of voice or data transmissions.

Orange Business to Offer Remote monitoring For Cardiac Patients

Orange Business Services is working with Sorin Group,

a global medical device company, to develop and service a remote monitoring solution for patients implanted with cardiac rhythm management (CRM) devices. This new solution is based on Sorin's implanted CRM devices' ability to send data to a non-invasive monitoring system located at the patient's home and on Orange Business Services' capabilities to manage the transmission of the data to the physician.

The companies said their solution will facilitate the follow-up care of patients by transmitting data electronically from patients' implanted cardiac devices to their physicians, without the patients leaving their homes. Using these data, physicians can detect arrhythmia or cardiac disease progression and provide timely therapy, which may reduce the need for hospitalization and improve the patients' quality of life.

TANDBERG and BroadSoft Collaborate on Hosted Business Video

TANDBERG and BroadSoft announced new video communications solutions for telecommunications service providers serving business customers. Specifically, TANDBERG and BroadSoft have partnered to offer BroadSoft's BroadWorks Hosted Unified Communications (UC) application platform with TANDBERG's portfolio of visual communications solutions, including the E20 video IP phone, the 1700 MXP personal telepresence system, the Profile 6000 MXP, and the TANDBERG Codian MSE 8000 Series multipoint control units.

The companies said that by combining BroadWorks' business features with TANDBERG's video solutions, service providers can deliver unique business solutions to customers in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. PCCW Global is a strategic partner to both TANDBERG and BroadSoft in promoting the benefits of high definition video conference (HDVC) among enterprises.

"Video is increasingly important in the way enterprises do business, and its integration with voice, presence, mobility, Web 2.0 and business applications allows employees to be more productive from any 'touch point' -- phone, mobile device, video phone, video console or business application," said Michael Tessler, co-founder and CEO of BroadSoft. "Despite the incredible benefits of advanced video communications, the inherent complexity of deploying an on-premise solution is a major deterrent for many businesses. By providing video solutions 'in the cloud,' service providers are in a unique position to fulfill a demand of an underserved market. Businesses, regardless of size, can now benefit from the power and productivity of video-enabled unified communications."

The companies cited a number of productivity and collaboration applications for the BroadSoft/TANDBERG solution, including:

  • Video Receptionist - a "virtual" front desk by providing two-way video and audio communication between a remote employee and a visitor

  • Video Training - deliver training from an experienced instructor while letting employees learn in their own environment

  • Video Customer Care/Call Center - watch an informational video while waiting for a customer support representative

  • Video Mail - send and receive video-mail messages

  • Video Ringback - create a custom video greeting for incoming calls

Telefónica Offers Discounts to Unemployed Customers in Home Market

Telefónica announced a new set of plans and special offers in its home market of Spain aimed at addressing the economic slowdown. Telefónica will offer discounts of up to 50% for residential customers who have become unemployed. There is a limit of EUR 20 per bill and up to a half million customers could benefit from this plan.