Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ixia to Acquire Catapult for 3G/4G Tests

Ixia agreed to acquire Catapult Communications, a supplier of 3G and 4G network test solutions. Under the deal, Ixia will pay $9.25 per share in cash, valuating the transaction at approximately $105 million, or $63 million net of Catapult's cash and investments.

Catapult's test portfolio covers numerous protocols and frameworks, including LTE, IMS, WiMAX, CDMA, VoIP, GPRS and GSM.

Ixia said the acquisition will enable it to provide a single source solution for testing converged IP multiplay service over wireless or wireline networks.

"We're at an inflection point where today's advanced communications are quickly merging into a single, seamless delivery network that combines fixed and mobile communications," said Atul Bhatnagar, President and CEO of Ixia.

Brocade Unveils Application Delivery Controllers

Brocade introduced an application delivery controller (ADC) family designed for IP transport in both enterprise application delivery and service provider high-performance load-balancing environments. The platforms offer 70 Gbps of Layer 4 and Layer 7 application throughput as well as complete physical and logical isolation of application, data, and management planes.

Brocade said it designed the ServerIron ADX to deliver industry-leading transaction rate and concurrent session capacity to help improve scalability and performance for environments with growing amounts of application traffic. Three configurations are offered:

  • ServerIron ADX 1000 (1U fixed form factor)

  • ServerIron ADX 4000 (4U chassis)

  • ServerIron ADX 8000 (8U chassis)

The platform offers Content Switching (CSW) capabilities, enabling the network operator to create rules/policies/configurations to perform application switching and content transformation on a wide range of enterprise applications, including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP applications.

The chassis models feature interchangeable modules with up to 16-ports of 10 Gbps fiber. The ServerIron ADX Series base pricing is $21,995 USD and the product will be generally available in CY Q3 2009.

3Com Plans Return to World Market for Enterprise Networking

3Com outlined plans to return to the global enterprise networking market by leveraging its broad portfolio of H3C edge-to-data-center solutions.

"Our experience in achieving market leadership over the last few years in China has made it clear there is a significant need to take the cost and complexity out of building enterprise networks," said Bob Mao, chief executive officer, 3Com.

3Com listed three tenets at the foundation of its enterprise networking strategy:

  • Design solutions that lower TCO: The H3C portfolio of solutions has been designed and built over the last four years, incorporating the latest in merchant silicon and energy efficiency, as well as a common management platform;

  • Architect future-proof products: The H3C solutions are based on open standards and leverage common hardware and software systems to help solve today's problems while allowing the flexibility to adapt to future technology enhancements; and

  • Deliver a new level of customer intimacy: 3Com has made responsiveness and flexibility a priority, underscored by the stability of a $1.3 billion, profitable, global organization. Elite partners authorized to sell H3C products will also help elevate the level of customer service and support.

As a first step, the company is introducing two new switching platforms, the H3C S12500 for end-of-rack in data centers, and a "flex-chassis" switching platform, the H3C S5800, for wiring closets, smaller network cores and top-of-rack in data centers. The products are manageable by a new platform.

3Com noted that is already is the second-largest enterprise networking provider in the world in terms of switches (ports) and routers (units), according to IDC. 3Com plans to aggressively expand this foundation, which largely has been driven by its position in China, where it holds more than 30 percent market share.

Nortel Reports Q1 Sales of $1.73 Billion, Down 37%

Citing the global economic turbulence as well as impacts from its own bankruptcy filing in January, Nortel reported Q1 revenues of $1.73 billion, decreased 37 percent compared to prior year period. Excluding the negative impact of foreign exchange fluctuations, the decrease would have been 29 percent.

"First quarter results showed a decline in revenue and margins as expected due to the severe economic downturn and our filings for creditor protection. However, despite the declines we saw this quarter, revenue has stabilized and our cash balance is stable from year-end 2008. "We accomplished our initial objectives of maintaining our customer commitments and strengthening our operational performance. Network performance and customer service levels are at multi-year highs and customers are expressing their support of Nortel. Our employees have done a tremendous job under challenging conditions," stated Mike Zafirovski, Nortel's CEO.

Some highlights of the quarterly report:

  • Cash balance on March 31, 2009, of $2.48 billion, compared to $2.4 billion at year-end 2008.

  • The evaluation of Nortel's businesses - Carrier Networks (which includes Wireless Networks as well as Carrier VoIP and Application Solutions or CVAS), Metro Ethernet Networks, Enterprise Solutions and the LG-Nortel joint-venture - is ongoing.

  • Nortel will decentralize its Carrier Sales and Global Operations functions over the coming weeks. This will enhance the business units' overall responsiveness to changing customer and market requirements and provide the opportunity to better serve customers.

  • For the Carrier Networks group, a majority of the revenue decline was in the wireless segments, including a reduction in spending by certain customers as a result of their change in technology migration plans.

  • Enterprise Solution revenues in the first quarter of 2009 were $395 million, a decrease of 41 percent compared with the year ago quarter as a result of the factors noted above, namely decreased customer spending and decision-making deferral due to the economic conditions and the uncertainties created from our Creditor Protection Proceedings.

  • Metro Ethernet (MEN) revenues in the first quarter of 2009 were $360 million, a decrease of 10 percent compared with the year ago quarter with impacts across all businesses. Excluding the negative impact of foreign exchange fluctuations, revenues for MEN would have declined 6 percent year-over-year.

  • LG-Nortel revenues in the first quarter of 2009 were $188 million, a decrease of 66 percent compared with the year ago quarter. In addition to the factors described above, a majority of the decline was in LGN Carrier, primarily due to the completion of a certain customer contract obligation that resulted in the recognition of previously deferred revenues in the first quarter of 2008 not repeated in the first quarter of 2009 and high sales volumes related to 3G wireless products in the first quarter of 2008 not repeated to the same extent in the first quarter of 2009, as well as a significant foreign exchange impact due to the devaluation of the Korean WON against the US dollar. The decrease was partially offset by the completion of a certain customer contract obligation resulting in the recognition of previously deferred revenues in the first quarter of 2009.

Fujitsu Partners with Link America

Fujitsu Network Communications has entered into a partnership with Link America, a minority-owned company dedicated to servicing the communications industry. Link America will provide Warehouse Management Services (WMS) for the Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 7500 Re-configurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) to select customers in support of their advanced communications networking needs.

Link America is focused on delivering broadband equipment solutions for the central office, local loop and customer premises environments. With the addition of the Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 7500 ROADM to their portfolio, Link America will be able to support the real-time distribution and stocking needs of carriers across North America.

DISH Loses 94K TV Subscribers in Q1

DISH Network lost approximately 94,000 net subscribers during the quarter ended March 31, 2009, giving the company approximately 13.584 million subscribers as of that date.

The company reported total revenue of $2.91 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, a 2.1 percent increase compared with $2.84 billion for the corresponding period in 2008. Net income totaled $313 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, compared with $259 million during the corresponding period in 2008. Basic earnings per share were $0.70 for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, compared with basic earnings per share of $0.58 during the corresponding period in 2008.

Texas Instruments Delivers Low-power RF for ZigBee

Texas Instruments (TI) introduced a 2.4-GHz radio frequency (RF) system-on-chip solution supporting the IEEE 802.15.4 standard and an extensive set of applications, including ZigBee PRO networks, ZigBee RF4CE remote controls, smart energy, home and building automation, environmental monitoring and wireless medical.

"The CC2530 solution is specifically tailored for emerging low-power RF applications that will enhance consumer's day-to-day lives, such as RF remote controls and audio/visual consumer electronics, efficient smart energy networks, advanced home automation and personal wireless medical devices," said Art George, senior vice president of TI's High-Performance Analog business unit.

Level 3 Expands Operations in D.C. Area

Level 3 Communications is expanding its operations in the Washington, D.C., area. In addition to expanding its service portfolio, Level 3 will continue to expand its fiber-optic footprint, which already passes more than 20,000 business locations throughout the D.C., northern Virginia and southern Maryland.

"We understand that the national economy is struggling right now and many companies are curbing or halting expansion plans, but the D.C. area remains a thriving business community, and we believe it is an ideal time to expand and take advantage of business opportunities," said William Ganey, Level 3's Washington, D.C., general manager.

AT&T and Partners Transmit 32 Terabits per Second Over Single Fiber

AT&T, NEC Corporation of America and Corning set a new record for optical fiber transmission - researchers transmitted data at 114 Gbps over each of 320 separate optical channels on a single, 580-kilometer optically amplified link, resulting in a total bandwidth capacity of 32 Terabits per second. The laboratory link was composed of seven spans, each containing a single-stage Erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) for both the C- and L-band and a section of Corning SMF-28 ULL fiber, an ITU G.652 compliant ultra-low-loss optical fiber.

AT&T said this exceeds the bandwidth capacity of the previous record-setting test by 25 percent, and over more than twice the distance. The latest milestone, presented recently at the OFC/NFOEC in San Diego, advances development of 100 Gigabit technologies, which are expected to be finalized and ready for deployment within the next few years to boost capacity in carrier backbone networks.

"IP traffic on the AT&T network is growing at about 45 percent year over year, so groundbreaking research efforts like this are critical to our ongoing efforts to stay ahead of our customers' rapidly evolving and expanding needs," said Peter Magill, executive director of optical systems research, AT&T Labs. "In setting this new bandwidth capacity record, we used a transmission method that enables better management of the interference that can result from operating 320 wavelengths over a single fiber-optic link. To do so, we used a new way to generate such signals and a new signal-processing algorithm to receive them again. We're looking forward to further testing of these techniques and the additional bandwidth advances that may come from it."

"There are still several challenges, including maturity and cost efficiency, to overcome before the deployment of such a high transmission rate over a single fiber, but we are definitely closer," added Milorad Cvijetic, vice president and chief technology strategist, Optical Network Systems Division, NEC Corporation of America.

Force10 Adds 90-port GigE Card to ExaScale Switch/Router

Force10 Networks has added a 90-port line card to its ExaScale family of virtualized switch/routers. The line card, built for the ExaScale E1200 and the ExaScale E600 midsized chassis, delivers greater 10/100/1000Base-T density and reduces power consumption by up to 70 percent per port. The company said it achieves the industry's lowest consumption rate.

At 100 Gbps/slot data capacity, the ExaScale card enables line-rate and non-blocking scalability for up to 1,260 10/100/1000Base-T ports in a half-rack chassis, or 630 ports in a one-third-rack chassis. The new line card is based on the ExaScale suite of advanced, packet processing and switching ASICs.

The Force10 ExaScale E600 chassis bundle starts at $63,500. Pricing for the 90-port 10/100/1000Base-T line card starts at $60,000.
  • Introduced in March 2009, the ExaScale E-Series represents Force10's third generation technology and incorporates several innovations to boost its high-level of non-blocking line-rate Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet densities. The platform boasts total throughput of more than two billion packets per second across a switching fabric capacity of up to 3.5 Tbps or 250 Gbps full duplex per slot. With support for 140 line-rate 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ ports in a half-rack chassis, the ExaScale E-Series can support 100 Gbps of useable data capacity per slot.

Tessera Appoints Robert Yung as CTO

Tessera Technologies, which develops silicon technologies for wireless, consumer and computing products, named Robert Yung, Ph.D., as its new chief technology officer. Dr. Yung will report to Tessera's CEO and President, Henry R. "Hank" Nothhaft, and be responsible for the company's technology vision and direction for its continuing innovation in, and development of, miniaturization technologies for wireless, consumer and computing electronic devices.

Yung joins Tessera from PMC Sierra, a provider of broadband communications and storage semiconductors, which he joined in 2005 as vice president and CTO. Prior to PMC Sierra, he served as CTO for Intel Corporation's Enterprise Processors Group, CTO for Intel's Communications Products Group, and CTO for [Intel] China, where he directed Intel's China research.

Positron Acquires Aktino for MIMO-on DMT Ethernet Access

Positron has acquired Aktino, a privately-held developer of carrier class MIMO over Discrete Multitone (DMT) bonded copper solutions. Positron, which specializes in fiber optic transmission equipment for access, metro and core transport networks, said the acquisition would extend its Ethernet product portfolio, which already includes Pseudowire & Ethernet over PDH terminals and aggregators. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Aktino MIMO-DMT solution offers superior rate, reach and reliability performance versus legacy and other
bonded-copper solutions. It extends reliable high bandwidth over a Carrier Service Area (CSA), providing a cost
effective and extended Ethernet service footprint for the carriers. Aktino products deliver five to 100 Mbps Carrier
Ethernet and DS3 TDM solutions.

Positron is based in Montreal. Aktino will continue to operate from its base in Irvine, California.