Monday, June 29, 2009

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Sworn In, Adelstein Departs

Julius Genachowski was sworn in as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

In comments to the FCC staff, Genachowski outlined a vision of a more connected America, focusing on the following goals:

  • Promoting universal broadband that's robust, affordable and open.

  • Pursuing policies that promote job creation, competition, innovation and investment.

  • Protecting and empowering consumers and families.

  • Helping deliver public safety communications networks with the best technology to serve our firefighters, police officers, and other first responders.

  • Advancing a vibrant media landscape, in these challenging times, that serves the public interest in the 21st century.

  • Seizing the opportunity for the United States to lead the world in mobile communications.

In addition, Jonathan Adelstein stepped down as an FCC Commissioner to take up a new post at the Department of Agriculture,
where he will head the Rural Utilities Service.

Sprint Wins Exclusive Wireless Data Contract for 2010 Census

Harris Corporation, the system integrator for the upcoming 2010 U.S. census, has selected Sprint as the exclusive wireless data provider to help automate the process and to provide wireline and wireless data support to collect the information in real-time. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Beginning in April 2009, approximately 140,000 field workers carried the Harris custom-built devices operating on the Sprint network, with the ability to transmit collected data back to the Census Bureau in near real-time. In addition to their unique data collection capabilities, all hand held devices were equipped with GPS capabilities (allowing workers to verify addresses remotely without relying on printed maps) and fingerprint ID scanning for added security.

In addition, Sprint is providing several other solutions for this program, including:

  • Approximately 500 Sprint Global MPLS sites across United States, allowing local Census offices to connect on a single IP-based network

  • Roughly 1,500 managed devices including routers, switches, firewalls and Intrusion Detection Service (IDS) for additional security

  • More than 150,000 active telemetry wireless devices that will allow workers to collect data remotely, resulting in more accurate reporting and substantially less use of paper

  • About 1,500 mobile broadband connection cards

  • Significant professional services and integration expertise such as on-site security management, dedicated program management, and data center hosting services from Sprint, providing the critical infrastructure "glue" for one of the most complex activities of 2010.

Mushroom Networks' PortaBella CPE Aggregates Up to Four Cellular Data Cards

Mushroom Networks, a start-up based in San Diego, introduced its second generation "PortaBella" -- a customer premise device that can aggregate up to four USB cellular data cards into a single broadband pipe. For example, the PortaBella can aggregate the full bandwidth of a Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile data cards (or any other carrier) to access the Internet or stream video with low latency with four times the speed of a single cellular air-card.

"PortaBella provides the fastest available wireless Internet connection where ever there is cellular coverage," stated Dr. Cahit Akin, co-founder and CEO of Mushroom Networks. "Our technology is truly a game changer not only for the enterprise and sales teams but for anyone requiring a portable instant connection to the net such as temporary construction sites, mobile news teams streaming live video, or maritime. Just think of all the possibilities; PortaBella inside a taxi cab, bus or train or deployed in areas impacted by a natural disaster."

Mushroom Networks is actively pursuing channel partners to expand PortaBella's reach across its targeted verticals.

Brookhaven National Labs Selects Force10

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Labs has selected Force10 Networks' ExaScale family of virtualized switch/routers to help power its network. ExaScale was chosen largely based on its industry-leading density and performance characteristics, which are required to satisfy the needs of its ongoing scientific research as well as the day-to-day operations of its campus LAN. Force10's ExaScale E-Series offers support for 140 line-rate 10 GbE SFP+ ports per chassis. In addition to capacity, the E1200 delivers an 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.

Zhone's New MXK Terabit Platform Gains RUS Acceptance

Zhone Technologies' new MXK platform has been accepted by the US Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) for use by RUS program participants. RUS and the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) are responsible for dispersing the $7.2 billion in economic stimulus funding allocated for broadband initiatives under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

GENBAND and BroadSoft Deliver Legacy Switch Migration Solution

GENBAND and BroadSoft announced a new set of solutions that enable carriers to upgrade their networks while supporting legacy features. The two companies have integrated GENBAND's gateways with BroadSoft's hosted telephony and multimedia applications.

When the GENBAND/BroadSoft solution is deployed for TDM switch replacement, carriers can implement an integrated platform:

  • Residential Broadband -- delivering primary-line services to residential consumers and home offices over any broadband or legacy connection, including GR-303, V5.2 and TR-08

  • Business Connectivity -- connecting legacy Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), such as IP PBX, PBX or Key Telephone Systems, to the PSTN over any form of IP connectivity

  • Hosted PBX-- delivering a complete suite of enhanced PBX functionality over any IP connection

  • IP Peering and Transport -- lowering total cost of operation and increasing network efficiency and operational simplicity

Xena Networks Launches GbE/10GbE Test Platform

Xena Networks, a start-up based in Copenhagen, released its "XenaCompact" GbE/10GbE test platform. The XenaCompact provides wire-speed L2/L3 traffic generation and analysis capabilities in a compact one rack-unit form factor.

Each unit supplies up to six GbE ports or two 10GbE ports in a variety of copper and optical interfaces. The XenaManager test management software provides an intuitive graphical user interface requiring little to no training to use. And, a flexible scripting interface enables test engineers using the XenaCompact to implement a wide range of test setups including those requiring interoperability with 3rd party test tools.

"As part of a cooperative test project between Internet2 in the United States and DANTE in the United Kingdom, MCNC used the XenaCompact to test and characterize various combinations of network equipment we use to terminate transatlantic OC-192 circuits with 10GbE customer interfaces", said John Moore, Advanced Services Director at MCNC. "There has been great interest in the research and education community for a network test tool like Xena's that provides the ability to accurately characterize the performance of a 10GbE network at a practical price point", continued Moore.

Florida's Rybovich Super Yacht Marina Deploys Alloptic for Fiber-to-the-Slip

Rybovich Super Yacht Marina and Refit has deployed the Alloptic GEPON solution to its 60 yacht slips and throughout the 12 acre Rybovich property in West Palm Beach, Florida.

"Rybovich is known for its world-class accommodations and service. By deploying Alloptic's fiber optic infrastructure across our property we increase the value we provide to our captains and their crews," said John Vander Wagen, CIO, Rybovich Super Yacht Marina and Refit. "Prior to the Alloptic deployment our customers used their satellite connections for day-to-day business -- which in general was expensive and slow. Today, all mega-yachts docked at Rybovich Super Yacht Marina and Refit can securely access our dedicated, high-speed Internet and phone services at their slip allowing them to conduct business without the additional fees of expensive satellite connections."

Nature also factored into the decision to employ Alloptic's fiber-optic infrastructure. "Our copper system lasted only three years in these challenging conditions. We expect that fiber will last us 10-20 years and overall is much more reliable than copper," continued John Vander Wagen. By locating Alloptic's Optical Network Units (ONUs) in self-drying power pedestal enclosures at each slip, Rybovich Super Yacht Marina and Refit protects its investment against the ever-changing and sometimes harsh environmental conditions.

Marriott to Offer AT&T Telepresence Worldwide

Marriott International will offer AT&T's fully-managed AT&T Telepresence Solution in its hotels worldwide. Marriott said this technology will enable it to offer customers the widest array of meeting options, whether in-person, virtual or both.

AT&T to Convert 600 Service Vans to CNG

AT&T has selected Dallas-based BAF Technologies to convert 600 Ford E-Series vans to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) technology in 2009.

AT&T expects to spend an estimated $350 million to purchase about 8,000 CNG vehicles as part of a $565 million, long-term strategy to deploy more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles over the next 10 years. AT&T's investment represents the largest U.S. corporate commitment to CNG vehicles to date. The new deployments will bring AT&T's alternative-fuel fleet to more than 15,000 vehicles by 2019.

AT&T will work with natural gas service providers to build up to 40 new CNG fueling stations across its operating region to provide the fueling infrastructure needed for the new vehicles.

In addition to deploying CNG vehicles, AT&T has committed to replacing retiring gasoline-powered passenger vehicles in its fleet with alternative-fuel models. AT&T expects to replace 7,100 passenger cars over the next 10 years. The alternative-fuel vehicles, which will be used by employees in a variety of diverse work functions across AT&T's operations, are expected to offer up to a 39 percent improvement in fuel economy and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 29 percent.

Spirent Delives Test Lab Automation Solution

Spirent Communications introduced a broad set of tools designed to automate the testing process and save engineers and their organizations time and money. "Spirent NoCode" is an integrated, modular, multi-vendor, multi-layer test framework with test and lab management capabilities covering operations, test, systems and device automation.

The company said its solution covers the entire breadth of test automation requirements, streamlining the efforts associated with managing physical infrastructure, integrating and configuring the test environment, authoring and executing test cases, as well as orchestrating entire test campaigns.The NoCode solutions:

  • Spirent NoCode Physical Infrastructure helps engineers realize true
    lab automation and cost-reduction through the optimization and promotion of sharing lab equipment by job scheduling and use of transparent switching infrastructure. Ultimately, organizations can better manage the costs related to utilizing equipment and more easily maintain global test equipment assets.

  • Spirent NoCode Environment enhances collaboration in the lab by integrating and streamlining automation processes within existing infrastructures, supports a standardized communication platform for configuration of devices and implementation, and automates
    configuration and pass/fail criteria within tests.

  • Spirent NoCode Test Case allows engineers to author test cases and convert them into executable scripts without coding. Users can specify test logic in a GUI to realistically emulate network activity, analyze results and uncover bugs. This approach allows users not skilled in
    programming to quickly build automated test cases.

  • Spirent NoCode Test Cycle supports a complete regression environment and enables the optimization and execution of test cases based on available test resources as well as the valuable measurement of
    operational performance.

Spirent NoCode solutions are designed in accordance with the automation framework defined by the Test Automation Alliance (TAA).

Korean Carriers Debut Rich Communication Suite-Based Service

KT, SK Telecom and LG Telecom have launched the world's first interoperable enhanced communication service incorporating key elements of the GSMA's Rich Communication Suite (RCS) specifications.

KT's 'show moov', SK Telecom's 'Mobile Messenger' and LG Telecom's 'OZ messenger', incorporate key features of RCS such as phonebook driven buddy lists, presence capability that includes taglines and status, and voice calls and messaging. In essence, RCS unleashes the communities hidden in a user's phone book and with one simple click, the 'always on' user can share lifestyle experiences and emotions using rich content such as images and video amongst their closest 'buddies'.

KT's 'show moov' client application is available for mobile and PC platforms, so users can access RCS services from mobile and fixed terminals, which is a key feature of the RCS specifications developed by the GSMA. Also, SK Telecom and KT are actively collaborating with fixed line services. For instance, KT 'show moov' is integrated with one of Korea's major portal's e-mail, search services and SK Telecom' s mobile messenger is linked with one of Korea's most popular messenger 'Nate On Messenger'.

The GSMA noted that its RCS initiative is supported by some of the world's leading handset vendors, core network vendors and mobile operators.

NTT Communications to to Acquire Integralis for Security Services

NTT Communications has agreed to acquire Integralis AG, a leading international provider of IT security services, at an offering price of EUR 6.75 in cash per share. The offer price represents a 70 percent premium over the three-month average closing share price on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Xetra).

Based on the number of Integralis shares outstanding, the offer would represent an equity value for Integralis of approximately Euro 75 million. Integralis has 511 employees and realized revenues of EUR 169 million in 2008.

NTT Com said the acquisition will add a market-leading security services platform to its portfolio. NTT Com will offer the enterprise security service to its clients around the world. Customers of NTT Com will, for example, benefit from Integralis worldwide network of security operation centers, which provide a 24 hour service for multinational companies. After the transaction, Integralis will become a lead global IT security unit within NTT Com and will gain access to the large customer base of NTT Com.

In early 2008, NTT DATA, a sister company of NTT Com, acquired a majority stake in German SAP specialist intelligence. In the same year, the acquisition of a majority stake in Cirquent, the former IT consulting unit of BMW, followed. Both companies have performed very well since the beginning of the cooperation.