Monday, March 23, 2009

KDDI, Furukawa, and Teknovus Develop Clock Synch for Backhaul

KDDI R&D Laboratories (KDDI R&D), Furukawa Electric and Teknovus announced an end-to-end fiber-based backhaul transport solution that eliminates the need for GPS receivers at each base station throughout a cellular network. Accurate clock synchronization is required in cellular networks to prevent call drops as subscribers move from cell-to-cell, to ensure high-quality voice communications and to support accurate billing.

The solution integrates one GPS receiver with the OLT (Optical Line Terminal), distributing carrier-grade clock signaling throughout the EPON network to every connected base station.

This could help service providers eliminate costly GPS receivers, cabling and monthly TDM-circuit fees. In addition, this solution enables base station installations in areas with limited GPS reception, such as those shadowed by adjacent buildings or other physical obstructions.

Key components of this end-to-end clock synchronization include:

  • Teknovus Turbo-EPON chips and embedded software.

  • Furukawa's integrated GPS receiver for the OLT, which multiplexes the clock signals into EPON frames using the Teknovus OLT chip. For base stations, Furukawa provides an SFP-ONU (Small Form Factor Pluggable-Optical Network Unit), the FITELwave AG9, based on the Teknovus ONU chip, which de-multiplexes the clock signals with high fidelity for use by wireless base stations.

  • KDDI R&D's timing solutions for fiber-based networks, which eliminate the need for costly GPS transceivers at every base station.

Vitesse Announces Signal Conditioner for 10G

Vitesse Semiconductor introduced a flexible, high-performance Clock and Data Recovery (CDR) integrated circuit (IC) specifically designed to extend 10 Gbps data transmission in optical, copper cable, and backplane applications. This multiport CDR solves difficult high-speed signal integrity design challenges through the use of Vitesse's VScope waveform viewing technology and FlexEQ Electronic Dispersion Compensation (EDC) and adaptive equalization technology.

Vitesse said its new CDR device extends optical transmission at 10G rates on single mode fiber by over 50% and compensates for both chromatic- and polarization-mode dispersion for distances greater then 10 kilometers on exiting 2.5G networking infrastructure. For shorter optical distances, where high-density and lower system cost is paramount, the device enables a 10X speed upgrade on low-grade FDDI fiber from 1GE to 10GE for distances greater then 220 meters. The flexible equalization technology also enables deployment of low cost Twinax passive copper cables to distances greater than 15 meters for datacenter interconnect applications, a 100% improvement over the current standard.

Corning LEAF Fiber Passes 30 Million Kilometers Milestone

Corning has sold more than 30 million kilometers of its LEAF optical fiber since introducing the product in 1998. LEAF is used as the backbone of many of the world's most advanced long-haul networks and is the most widely deployed non-zero dispersion-shifted fiber (NZ-DSF) in the world.

"LEAF fiber is a great example of Corning innovation and has been one of Corning's most successful products, meeting customer needs over many years," said Martin J. Curran, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Optical Fiber. "The performance of this fiber is proven by its operation in more than 100 carrier networks worldwide."

Corning noted that compared to other non-zero dispersion-shifted fibers, LEAF fiber, with its large effective area, allows higher levels of optical power to be transmitted while minimizing nonlinear impairments that can degrade transmission-system performance. This fiber has low chromatic dispersion, which simplifies dispersion compensation and lowers the cost of network installation and operation for long-haul carriers. In addition, this fiber has low-polarization-mode dispersion (PMD), which enables high-data-rate transmission.

mobilkom austria group Selects Starent for 3G and 4G/LTE Core

mobilkom austria group (mag) has selected Starent Networks' multimedia core solution for deployment in its mobile operator member companies across Europe for UMTS and LTE mobile broadband services. Starent is working with Kapsch CarrierCom, Austria for the solution deployment.

mag will initially use Starent's GGSN solution on the ST40 multimedia core platform to enable high-speed multimedia services such as video and Internet on its 3G/UMTS networks. The companies said the ability to easily migrate the Starent multimedia core platform to the 4G/LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) was a key element in the selection decision by mag.

Kapsch CarrierCom is already providing several solutions to mag, such as UMTS, NGIN and R4 and will manage the deployment, integration and support of the Starent products. Financial terms were not disclosed.

China Telecom Reports Tumultuous 2008 Changes

In 2008, China Telecom experienced the historic restructuring of the nation's telecommunications market, completed a major expansion through its wireless acquisition and responded to unprecedented natural disasters, including snowstorms and earthquakes. Nevertheless, the company said its operating fundaments remained robust and its underlying results solid.

Excluding the amortization of upfront connection fees and the impact of one-off items including impairment loss of the Personal Handyphone System (PHS) assets and losses related to natural disasters, the operating revenues were RMB184,779 million, a growth of 4.0% over last year. EBITDA was RMB85,889 million, a decrease of 1.3% from 2007, and the EBITDA margin was 46.5%.

Profit attributable to equity holders of the Company was RMB20,066 million, a decline of 12.8% over the preceding year.

China Telecom's 2008 capital expenditures reached RMB48,410 million, accounting for 26.2% of the operating revenues, similar to that for 2007. Free cash flow reached RMB36,768 million, an increase of 8.1% from 2007.

Revenues from the wireline non-voice services reached RMB82,294 million, accounting for 46.1% of the wireline revenue in 2008, an increase of 8.9 percentage points from last year.

Broadband access revenue for the whole year of 2008 reached RMB40,243 million, a rise of 28.6% compared to last year and contributed 5.0 percentage points of the company's overall revenue growth.

Revenue from direct information services including "Best Tone" Services for the whole year reached RMB4,787 million, an increase of 44.6% from 2007.

Revenue from government and enterprises customers increased by 10.9%, while revenue from household customers increased by 2.9%.

China Telecom also launched its new mobile service brand "e surfing" shortly after the acquisition of the CDMA business. The company's mobile service has shown favorable growth momentum with a net increase of 2.72 million customers in the first two months of 2009, a turnaround from the decline in subscribers after the acquisition of the CDMA business in the fourth quarter of last year.

The total number of mobile subscribers reached 30.63 million as at the end of February 2009.

ST-Ericsson Offers Single-Chip EDGE Handset Solution

ST-Ericsson introduced its 4910 and 4908 EDGE platforms for next-generation, low-cost handsets. The devices integrate both digital and analog basebands, RF transceiver and power management unit (PMU) in a single chip. In addition, these single-chip solutions provide multimedia, security and connectivity features while promising the industry's longest battery life. Mass productions is slated for early 2010.

ST-Ericsson said these new chips are developed for emerging and cost-sensitive wireless markets. The company believes the new devices mark a breakthrough in the cost-to-feature ratio for mass-market EDGE handsets.

"As wireless connectivity proliferates across the entire globe so are consumer expectations for the ultimate user experience. Entry-level cell phone users now desire the same value-added applications available in today's more mature wireless markets, including high-quality video capture and hi-fi stereo Bluetooth music," said Marc Cetto, Vice President Cellular Systems and Connectivity, ST-Ericsson.

BT Selects Fanfare for Automating Network Testing

BT has chosen Fanfare's flagship iTest test automation product as a key component of the strategic testing platform it is putting in place to automate complex system testing. Specifically, BT will deploy iTest in an enterprise-wide initiative to standardize the communication of test assets across the company, as well as between BT and its suppliers.

BT, which has already implemented Fanfare's products in a number of its divisions, is expanding its use of Fanfare products in a move to establish a unified communication platform that facilitates the sharing of test assets between BT and its suppliers.

Fanfare's products serve as the common language that enables all parties to seamlessly share test assets to quickly improve product quality and speed the deployment of new equipment and services to market. With Fanfare in place, BT can integrate test assets and automate complex system testing regardless of the testing hardware and software being used by its suppliers.

"BT is demonstrating its leadership in the industry by making Fanfare the de facto standard for communicating test assets, both within the company and with its suppliers," said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of Fanfare. "As a world leader offering telecommunications services to some of the world's largest organizations, it is evident that BT is committed to the highest quality standards possible. We are pleased to expand our relationship with a company of this caliber."

Ixia Enhances its IxRave Monitoring for Carrier Ethernet, Mobile Backhaul

Ixia has enhanced its IxRave IP Service Verification solution to include Carrier Ethernet and Mobile Backhaul. The IxRave platform, which Ixia introduced in March 2008, actively monitors and isolate faults in a carrier's access network by using inexpensive probes that can be deployed along network edges, at customer premises and at key core points to perform real-time active network validation. The service measurement can then be integrated with a carriers' operation support systems (OSS).

The new capabilities extend IxRave's VoIP, IPTV, MSO and Enterprise VPN services verification offerings. Service providers can now actively monitor, measure and troubleshoot their converged networks and services using a centralized solution.

IxRave actively test all customers' individual paths with the same type of traffic that they use, ensuring high quality of experience (QoE) and SLA conformance. Specifically, IxRave provides network layer 2-7 visibility:

  • Across IP service types (data, VoIP, IPTV, L3VPN)

  • Across network types (DSL, FTTx, Cable/MSO, MPLS, Ethernet Backhaul)

  • Across the service life cycle (service activation to proactive monitoring to fault isolation)

  • Across demarcation points (customer premise to network edge to the service delivery platform) and across all subscriber paths

The new Carrier Ethernet capabilities leverage the carrier's existing OSS system to provide 24x7 monitoring of both network and service quality (QoS and QoE).

The new IMobile Backhaul solution provides service assurance for voice and data backhaul networks to help ensure better service level specification.

NASA and Microsoft to Share Terabytes of Data with the Public

NASA and Microsoft announced plans to make the most interesting NASA content -- including high-resolution scientific images and data from Mars and the moon -- explorable on WorldWide Telescope, Microsoft's online virtual telescope for exploring the universe.

Under the joint agreement, NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., will process and host more than 100 terabytes, representing about 20,000 DVDs of data. WorldWide Telescope will incorporate the data later in 2009 and feature imagery from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Launched in August 2005, MRO has been examining Mars with a high-resolution camera and five other instruments since 2006 and has returned more data than all other Mars missions combined.

"This collaboration between Microsoft and NASA will enable people around the world to explore new images of the moon and Mars in a rich, interactive environment through the WorldWide Telescope," said Tony Hey, corporate vice president of Microsoft External Research. "WorldWide Telescope serves as a powerful tool for computer science researchers, educators and students to explore space and experience the excitement of computer science."

Also available will be images from a camera aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Scheduled to launch this May, LRO will spend at least a year in a low, polar orbit approximately 30 miles above the lunar surface collecting detailed information about the lunar environment.

The WorldWide Telescope is a Web 2.0 visualization environment that functions as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from ground- and space-based telescopes for a seamless, rich media guided exploration of the universe. Through WorldWide Telescope and Microsoft technology, people will be able to pan and zoom in on these images and the most interesting locations on Mars and the moon without distorted views at the poles.

Sandvine Announces Three New Wireless Deployments

Sandvine announced three new wireless customer wins, all of which came through strategic reseller partner relationships. Two of Sandvine's newest wireless customers, one located in Korea and the second in Mexico, are among the top 100 largest wireless providers globally, by number of voice subscribers. The third new Sandvine customer is a European WiMax operator. Sandvine's PTS platform is being used along with products for congestion management and network intelligence.
Names were not disclosed.

"Sandvine is helping more than a dozen wireless operators, including several of the world's largest, better understand the traffic and trends on their mobile data networks," said Tom Donnelly, Sandvine co-founder, EVP marketing and sales. "As wireless networks continue to evolve beyond voice and SMS, our customers are asking for meaningful and accurate network intelligence to address capacity planning and support the introduction of new personalized services based on the growing demand for mobile data."

Sandvine also noted a recent win with a new DSL service provider in Saudi Arabia.

Telekom Malaysia Upgrades 10 GigE Network with Alcatel-Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent has been awarded a EUR 7 million contract for the expansion of Telekom Malaysia's 10 Gigabit Ethernet network.

The contract will see a network expansion in the central and northern regions of Peninsular Malaysia, two of the country's most densely populated regions. Specifically, TM is deploying Alcatel-Lucent's IP/MPLS portfolio which includes its 7750 Service Router, 7450 Ethernet Service Switch, 7250 Service Access Switch and 5620 Service Aware Manager. This enables TM to offer highly reliable Virtual Leased Line (VLL) and Virtual Private LAN services (VPLS) to its business customers. The network will also form the platform for aggregating TM's next-generation (NGN) access gateways and IP DSLAM for future services, including triple play. Local partner Airstar (M) Sdn Bhd will provide engineering services and L1/L2 maintenance. The contract follows a three-year deal secured by Alcatel-Lucent and Airstar in 2006. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent enables IPTV Apps with Microsoft Mediaroom

Alcatel-Lucent has enhanced its digital media suite of products with support for the recently announced multimedia application environment for the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV platform, called the Microsoft Mediaroom Presentation Framework. By using Alcatel-Lucent's Multimedia Content Manager and Interactive Media Manager in conjunction with Microsoft's IPTV platform, service provides are able to offer more personalized multimedia, on-demand offerings while delivering interactive advertising services.

Announced in January of this year, the Mediaroom Presentation Framework helps IPTV operators differentiate their services from those provided by cable and satellite operators by providing the tools to seamless blend on-screen broadcasting with content and services pulled from the Web.

Through the use of pre-tested templates, Alcatel-Lucent's digital media suite further complements this value proposition. Content providers and media agencies can quickly create new interactive TV applications such as voting, enhanced TV or interactive advertisement to augment the broadcast experience and to offer the TV viewer a real interactive and personal TV experience.

Alcatel-Lucent said these templates give content providers and media agencies an abstraction layer so that they can focus on their core expertise and do not have to worry about the technical capabilities of a TV software platform.

The digital media suite also brings to market the capability for an operator to upload a digital media asset once and monetize that asset across many devices and users. Operators can extend the video experience for their TV audience while also enabling that same experience through mobile or broadband. Content packaging to personalize the user's experience is made easy by cross-promoting video assets with music and other services, and by providing multi-platform purchase capabilities allowing users to enjoy their content anywhere, anytime. The look and feel of the experience can be exposed to the content providers and media agencies so that they can tune it to their needs using pre-tested templates.

Alcatel-Lucent is a strategic reseller and systems integration partner for Microsoft Mediaroom.

Separately, Alcatel-Lucent announced that Telefonica is conduction an extensive interactive IPTV advertising proof of concept pilot for its Imagenio IPTV customers throughout Spain. Telefonica is using the application enablement solution from Alcatel-Lucent, bringing increased interactivity and web 2.0 features to the TV experience of Imagenio's already robust IPTV platform.

BridgeWave Unveils FlexPort 80 GHz Radio for Mobile Backhaul

BridgeWave Communications introduced its FlexPort family of high-capacity 80 GHz radios for mobile backhaul.

The FlexPort operates in the high-frequency 80 GHz spectrum to provide up to 1.5 Gbps of capacity for backhaul of both native IP and TDM traffic. Bridgewave plans to release an update in Q3 that will boost this backhaul capacity to up to 2.6 Gbps. The company said that multi-gigahertz allocations in the 80 GHz frequency band make possible these multi-gigabit transmission rates. And unlike bandwidth-constrained microwave or newer Ethernet radios, the multi-gigabit capacity of its FlexPort makes it suitable for 4G backhaul.

FlexPort is a single Outdoor Unit (ODU) platform that connects to existing TDM-based mobile base stations while simultaneously supporting full-rate gigabit IP transport.

Key features include:

  • Simultaneous transmission of up to four native SONET/SDH payloads and gigabit Ethernet streams over a single RF carrier.

  • As cell density increases, FlexPort offers the ability to tune anywhere in the 80 GHz band, greatly simplifies network planning.

  • FlexPort utilizes QPSK modulation, providing improved spectral use compared to other 80 GHz solutions. This translates to lower licensing costs as well as better frequency reuse/conservation of the 80 GHz resource.

  • Carrier Ethernet Management -- FlexPort's Carrier Ethernet Network Management (Ethernet OAM & CFM) enables end-to-end management and monitoring required by carrier-class next-generation networks.

The FlexPort family of carrier-class gigabit wireless systems will be available in the second quarter. BridgeWave noted that it holds greater than 70 percent market share in the 80 GHz space.