Sunday, March 29, 2009

Australia's Nextep to Deploy Juniper's IP/MPLS

Nextep, NEC's wholly-owned wholesale broadband division serving the Australian market, will be upgrading its network to a next-generation IP/MPLS routing infrastructure with Juniper Networks. Specifically, Nextep will deploy Juniper Networks M and MX Series Routers to scale its core network and the SA4500 SSL VPN Appliance to provide secure remote access. Nextep targets Australia's government and business segments and distributes the services through a network of channel partners that includes leading tier-2 carriers, ISPs and system integrators. The Juniper solution will increase network capacity, improve performance and lower cost of ownership. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Commex Introduces Content-Aware 10GbE Network Adaptor

Commex Technologies introduced a dual-channel "content aware" 10GbE Network Interface Card with the ability to perform Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) on-chip inside a computer sever and thereby bypass packets based on specified content criteria to another server. This capability ensures that each server within a cluster of servers will receive only the desired subset of network traffic to process within its maximum capacity; the sum total of all traffic is shared smartly among the cluster of servers. The Commex Vulcan SP content-aware bypass dual-channel 10GbE NIC leverages AMD Direct Connect Architecture by connecting directly to a Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor via a 16-lane HyperTransport interface.

Commex said its content-aware bypass technology coupled with efficient multicore scalability, enables its adaptor card to perform smart load balancing between servers as well as within-server CPU core load balancing. The combined effect of several servers, each utilized to its fullest capacity, simultaneously processing large volumes of network traffic, is a robust modular architecture that can scale proportionally to the volume of traffic that needs to be processed.

Agilent Introduces VoIP Drive Test Solution

Agilent Technologies introduced a drive test solution for VoIP that allows network equipment manufacturers and wireless service providers to integrate voice-quality measurements with drive test RF data used in the optimization of wireless networks.

The VoIP test sequence is offered as a software upgrade to the company's existing drive test platform, which supports RF measurements for all established wireless technologies. Current Agilent drive test customers can purchase the VoIP solution while protecting their earlier investment in the drive test platform. The new solution provides end-to-end service quality measurements of SIP-based VoIP communication. It works by generating real-time transport protocol (RTP) streams that mimic VoIP traffic. The software takes time-stamped measurements as the RTP traffic flows between two endpoints in the data network. The measurements include R-Factor MOS, packet loss, delay and jitter, and can be automated within the same drive test software that simultaneously measures RF. The VoIP solution works for all established mobile data service such as WiMAX, UMTS, EVDO and will work for LTE as soon as a compliant phone is developed.

"Although carriers are migrating to IP-based networks such as WiMAX and LTE so they can deliver a wide-range of data services, voice will remain the primary source of revenue in the foreseeable future," said Dave Stewart, general manager Drive Test Business with Agilent's Network Solution Division. "Voice quality is the major determinate of customer satisfaction, and operators will not profit from additional services if they can't keep customers with high-quality voice communication. Our solution uses the same database for VoIP and RF measurements and enhances engineers' ability to ensure the quality of all services by correlating voice and RF data."

Charter Receives First Day Bankruptcy Court Approval, NASDAQ Delisting

Charter Communications, the fourth largest US cable operator, announced the approval of all of its first-day motions by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

In addition, the NASDAQ Stock Market has notified the company that it will suspend and delist trading of the company's common stock on the NASDAQ Stock Market, effective with the open of business on April 7, 2009.

RADISYS Announces ATCA Single Board Computer based on Xeon 5500

RadiSys unveiled its Promentum ATCA-4500, a new AdvancedTCA (ATCA) single board computer (SBC) utilizing the new Intel Xeon processor 5500 series. The ATCA-4500 is positioned for advanced control, gateway and telecom server functions for 4G networks including LTE (Long-Term Evolution), WiMAX, NMS (Network Management Systems), and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem). The ATCA-4500 represents seventh-generation RadiSys ATCA blade technology delivering on the promise of Moore's law -- doubling the number of transaction or subscriber units that Telecom Service Providers can handle per ATCA slot -- thereby, dramatically reducing cost per unit.

RadiSys' ATCA-4500 has been optimized to meet Telecom Equipment Manufacturer (TEM) requirements for easily integrating into an existing ATCA chassis and for supporting multiple storage options and OS virtualization. RadiSys said a single Intel Xeon processor 5500 series will outperform the previous generation of Intel Xeon Processors 5400 series by up to 25% using standard computing benchmark. Furthermore it offers more than a 50% increase in performance per watt per dollar over a dual socket Intel Xeon processor L5408 based ATCA blade. The processor and feature set were selected so it could pass the NEBS thermal requirements in chassis already deployed in the field.

Support for a massive 8 DIMM array of VLP DDR3 scales up to 64G of memory while providing cost effective options for applications with lower density memory requirements. The board offers multiple storage options, including RAID, SAS/SATA, solid state USB flash drives and supports iSCSI boot. For low-level software, the ATCA-4500 is based on Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI), which is a significant improvement over the old legacy BIOS firmware.

Sierra Wireless Debuts Dual Interface EV-DO Rev A Mobile Data Card

Sierra Wireless introduced its 2-in-1 AirCard 402 designed to fit both PC card and ExpressCard slots, ensuring compatibility for future notebook upgrades. By offering both PC and ExpressCard form factors in a single device, Sierra Wireless spares customers the expense of purchasing a new mobile broadband device when they upgrade their notebook computers.

The AirCard 402 data card is designed for EV-DO Rev. A networks, offering high speed data connections of up to 3.1 Mbps on the downlink and up to 1.8 Mbps on the uplink. Through the convenience of Sierra Wireless TRU-Locate, a high performance built-in global positioning system (GPS), users can quickly and accurately establish location for local searches and navigation.

The AirCard 402 data card offers the same lighted graphic treatment that debuted with the Sierra Wireless USB 598, providing high-impact branding opportunities for network operator customers. It is scheduled to ship in the second quarter of this year.

Allot Launches 20 Gbps NetEnforcer for Next-Gen IP Service Optimization

Allot Communications announced the launch of NetEnforce AC-10000 deep packet inspection (DPI) platform for service provider and large enterprise networks. Allot NetEnforcer AC-10000's characteristics include:

  • Network-wide granular visibility at both the application and subscriber level through the precise identification of hundreds of Internet protocols and applications.

  • "Pay as you grow" deployment enabling network managers to add throughput whenever required, thereby reducing initial deployment outlay.

  • Compatibility with both 1GE and 10GE network infrastructure-enabling easy migration between the two environments.

  • Fast and accurate troubleshooting and capacity planning; accurate service control per subscriber.

  • Robust, carrier-class architecture.

The Allot NetEnforcer AC-10000 is now commercially available.htp://

Verizon Cites Growing Use of Online Community Forums for Customer Service

Verizon noted that its online Community Forums have grown quite rapidly as a venue for consumers to submit questions, share advice, and get answers about its portfolio of broadband, entertainment and communication services.

On the forums, customers can interact with each other, ask questions, problem solve, and learn more about the company's products and services. Answers posted on the forums most often come from the community's highly active members, referred to as "super users," an important subset of customers critical to the success of any online community.

According to Mark Studness, director of e-commerce at Verizon, the Community Forums have been well-received since rolling out last July, generating more than 10 million page views.

"The Community Forums have spurred interaction among customers because people today expect to be able to find answers to their technical questions online," said Studness. "The feedback we've already received shows that our customers value the personalized peer-to-peer advice and feedback they receive from fellow users."

To create the Verizon Community Forums, Verizon collaborated with Lithium Technologies, a major online community solution provider based in Emeryville, California.

STMicroelectronics Introduces MEMS-Based Accelerometer for Mobile Phones

STMicroelectronics has expanded its portfolio of ultra-compact, high-performance MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical System) sensors with a 3-axis accelerometer with absolute analog output. The device is able to operate with any supply voltage in the range of 2.16V to 3.6V and is extremely stable over temperature and time, making it suitable for motion-sensing applications in space- and cost-constrained battery-operated devices.

ST noted that its accelerometer's ultra-compact robust design provides very high immunity to vibration and shock survivability up to 10,000g. Built-in self-test capability allows the customer to verify the functioning of the sensor after it has been assembled on board.

Samples of ST's LIS352AX are available now, with volume production starting in June 2009. Unit pricing is $1.3 for quantities over 10,000 pieces a year.

AT&T Selected for Federal Government's $50 Billion Alliant Contract

The AT&T Government Solutions business unit was among multiple awardees selected by the U.S. General Services Administration to provide services under the 10-year Alliant contract, which has a total value of as much as $50 billion.

Alliant, which was awarded to 58 other companies, is a Government-wide, Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) acquisition vehicle with a contract ceiling of $50 billion with a five-year base and one five-year option. Under the terms of the Alliant contract, AT&T Government Solutions will provide federal defense and civilian agencies with high quality systems engineering and tailored IT solutions to help them maximize their full IT potential.

AT&T noted that it is the only company that has been awarded Alliant, Networx Universal, Networx Enterprise and SATCOM-II contracts - enabling AT&T Government Solutions to fully support the converging IT and networking requirements of defense and civilian agencies across all four of these GSA flagship contract vehicles.

Verizon Business Selected for Federal Government's $50 Billion Alliant Contract

Verizon Business, through its Federal Network Systems arm, was among multiple awardees selected by the U.S. General Services Administration to provide services under a 10-year contract, which has a total value of as much as $50 billion. The contract, for a program known as Alliant, authorizes Verizon Business to negotiate with government agencies to serve as a services and solutions integrator and provide a variety of services. They include business process consulting and application development, communications applications and application management, data-center services, communication integration and management, networking, and secure-application optimization.

Alliant, which has a five-year base with one five-year option, will replace the GSA ANSWER and Millennia contracts for individual IT task orders with a minimum value of $1 million.

In addition to Alliant, Verizon Business provides a wide array of advanced communications and IT services through several federal government contracts, including the Networx program, GSA Washington Interagency Telecommunications System (WITS 3), GSA Local Services Acquisition (LSA) contracts and GSA CONNECTIONS.

Intel Positions Xeon as the Cloud Computing Processor

Intel introduced 17 enterprise-class processors, including its Xeon 5500 series (previously codenamed "Nehalem-EP"), featuring significant performance boosts along with the ability to automatically adjust to specified energy usage levels. Intel is positioning the chips as the server foundation for its vision of an Internet consisting of some 15 billion connected devices driven by high-efficiency cloud computing data centers.

"The Intel Xeon processor 5500 series is the foundation for the next decade of innovation," said Patrick Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group. "These chips showcase groundbreaking advances in performance, virtualization and workload management, which will create opportunities to solve the world's most complex challenges and push the limits of science and technology."

Innovations being leveraged by the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series include Intel Turbo Boost Technology, Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, integrated power gates, Next-Generation Intel Virtualization Technology (VT) and triple the memory bandwidth of previous server processors.

Intel Turbo Boost Technology increases system performance based on the user's workload and environment, dynamically boosting the clock speed of one or more of the individual processing cores. The Xeon 5500 has a processor idle power level of only 10 watts, enabling a 50 percent reduction in system idle power compared to the previous generation. New integrated power gates, based on Intel's unique high-k metal gate technology, allow idle cores to power down independently. The processors offer up to 15 automated operating states. These create significant improvements in chip power management by adjusting system power consumption based on real-time throughput and without sacrificing performance.

Intel is offering two versions (L5518 and L5508) tailored specifically for communications market segments. These processors include options for thermally constrained environments, such as blades and appliances for communication infrastructure, security, storage, medical applications, carrier-grade rackmount servers, router modules and even submarine technology. The L5518 offers 2.13 GHz and a power level of 60 watts. The L5508 offers 2.00 GHz and a power level of 38 watts. New communications and embedded processors feature 7-year extended lifecycle support; these new chips will enable the technology of the future, such as WiMAX, video-on-demand and holographic communications.

Intel is also announcing new server boards that offer a higher degree of integrated components. In addition, the company is announcing the Intel 82599 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller, featuring advanced virtualization technology and unified networking support, which improves network I/O performance in virtualized datacenters. It is optimized to support the increased bandwidth provided by platforms based on the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series, which provides more than 250 percent the I/O throughput of previous-generation servers to best meet the needs of the most demanding virtualization applications.

Also available today is the Intel Data Center Manager software development kit that enables management console vendors to extend platform power control and set rack and datacenter level power policies dynamically, responding to changing server workloads to ensure that racks do not exceed those power levels.

For server applications, processor frequencies peak at 2.93 GHz with DDR3 memory speeds up to 1333 MHz and power levels of from 60 to 95 watts. Under certain conditions, Intel Turbo Boost Technology can provide operating frequencies up to 3.33 GHz, depending on the processor and system configuration. Workstation frequencies go up to 3.20 GHz with power levels of 130 watts, and up to 3.46GHz using Intel Turbo Boost Technology depending on the workload and environment. Each processor contains up to 8MB of level 3 cache.

Intel said more than 230 systems based on its Xeon processor 5500 series are expected to be announced by more than 70 system manufacturers -- including a new Intel customer, Cisco, along with Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Sun Microsystems and others.

Motorola Introduces Wi-Fi SURFboard Cable Modem

Motorola introduced four new DOCSIS 2.0 SURFboard gateways with integrated 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi capabilities. The gateways are remotely manageable by the cable operator and feature self-install software. , the new gateways help cable operators accelerate the delivery of personal media experiences to their subscribers by making broadband available throughout the home with one easy-to-install and easy-to-manage device.

Motorola said its field-proven NBBS remote device management solution enables cable operators to remotely access, configure, monitor and troubleshoot their full portfolio of consumer devices, home networks and services. The new models include a built-in firewall with Stateful Packet Inspection, intrusion detection and Denial of Service attack prevention to protect users from hacker attacks.

Motorola Enhances its DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS

Motorola released a software upgrade for its widely deployed DOCSIS 3.0 BSR 64000 integrated CMTS (I-CMTS) that delivers an advanced level of system-wide high-availability and service assurance. Motorola said the new redundancy capability is need for commercial and high-tier customers as well as increased service tiers for residential customers with life-line voice services. In addition, the new release supports a doubling of BSR 64000 downstream capacity while continuing investment protection that has made the BSR 64000 the easiest CMTS platform to migrate from DOCSIS 2.0 to DOCSIS 3.0.

Release 5.2 expands downstream capacity per BSR 64000 with the support of dual TX32 modules per chassis. This increase in downstream channel density and bandwidth helps cable operators provide greater capacity and bandwidth for commercial and high-tier residential customers. In addition, operators can now leverage superior control of IPTV traffic with greater multicast traffic control, enhanced multipath routing redundancy, and subscriber billing with L2 MAC configuration. The BSR 64000 also supports superior bandwidth management capabilities by supporting both DOCSIS 3.0 downstream channel bonding and dynamic load balancing simultaneously across existing 2:8 and TX32 modules.

Motorola's DOCSIS 3.0 Bronze qualified CMTS includes support for IPv4 and IPv6 and is backwards compatible with DOCSIS 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0 standards to further protect investments in operators' CPE portfolio. Designed for service assurance, the BSR 64000 is also compatible with Motorola's NBBS device management platform and Motorola's eCare solution for remote customer configuration and support.

"Cable operators are seeking to differentiate themselves in today's highly competitive broadband market not only by winning the speed race, but by increasing their focus on network availability. Downtime to the consumer is unacceptable where there is a choice of service providers." said Dr. George H. Simmons, corporate vice president and general manager, Access Network Solutions, Motorola, Inc. "With BSR software release 5.2, cable operators can increase downstream capacity, offer ultra-broadband speeds of up to 160 Mbps, and maintain high-availability of their DOCSIS based voice, video and data services all while protecting their legacy investments."

Obama Nominates Lawrence Strickling to be Assistant Secretary for Communications

President Obama has nominated Lawrence E. Strickling for Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, Department of Commerce.

Lawrence E. Strickling served as Policy Coordinator for the Obama for campaign, where he oversaw two dozen domestic policy committees and was responsible for technology and telecommunications issues. Prior to joining the campaign, Strickling was Chief Regulatory and Chief Compliance Officer at Broadwing Communications for three years. His private sector experience also includes serving in senior roles at Allegiance Telecom and CoreExpress, Inc. and as a member of the Board of Directors of Network Plus.

In government, Strickling served at the Federal Communications Commission as Chief of the Common Carrier Bureau from 1998 to 2000. Prior to that, Strickling was Associate General Counsel and Chief of the FCC's Competition Division.

Alcatel-Lucent Launches Rich Communications Manager for Service Provider Portals

Alcatel-Lucent released an "Rich Communications Manager" that enables Service Providers to offer an online portal with advanced messaging controls for fixed, mobile, and IP devices. Leveraging Web 2.0 functionality, the portal allows mobile and wireline end users to retrieve, view, respond, and forward video, photos and text.

Subscribers can drag and drop content across voice mail, SMS, MMS, email, faxes, calendars, and address books. In addition to eliminating the traditional silos between various networks by making all mobile and PC communications visible in one place, the Rich Communications Manager eliminates multiple logins, user interfaces and contexts defined by different messaging applications.

The product can also support online message management capabilities for 3rd party voicemail systems. It enables end users to retrieve, view, respond, forward voicemails, SMS, MMS, emails, and fax from a web portal with built-in network address book to store all their contacts. The network address book supported is in compliance with GSM Association Rich Communication Suite (RCS)
release 1.0.