Monday, August 17, 2009

Tata Communications Completes 3.8 Tbps TGN-Intra Asia Cable

Tyco Telecommunications completed the installation, testing and commissioning of the TGN-Intra Asia (TGN-IA) Cable System on behalf of Tata Communications. The fully operational 6700KM TGN-IA system links Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Vietnam and the Philippines, providing route diversity throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The TGN Intra-Asia Cable System is unique in offering a direct fiber path between Singapore and Tokyo, so delivering the fastest available connectivity (RTD is 63ms).

Tata Communications noted that almost all of the region's key cable systems recently experienced simultaneous cuts, severely impacting network traffic across Asia. Most were damaged somewhere between Hong Kong and Taiwan.  TGN-IA was not disturbed as a result of Tata Communications' specific decision to route the cable system as diversely as possible, so helping to improve regional business stability and ensuring our customers remain well served."

The system, which was strategically designed and routed to avoid earthquake and hazardous areas in the Asia-Pacific region, has an initial design capacity of 3.8 Tbps on a city centre to city centre basis. When combined with the Tata Global Network TIC and Pacific cable systems, the Intra Asia cable system will complete Tata Communications' multi-Terabit capability from India to Asia and onward to the United States.

Force10 Selected for China's Magic Cube Supercomputer

Tianjin Dawning Computer Industry Co. has deployed Force10 Networks' C-Series switches and S2410 access switch as the high performance foundation for China's new Magic Cube Supercomputer at the Shanghai Supercomputer Center (SSC). Magic Cube (previously known as the Dawning 5000A) ranked as one of the top 10 fastest supercomputers in the world when it was put into operation on June 15th, 2009. Magic Cube maintains 180 teraflop/s (trillions of floating-point operations per second) of computing speed. Force10's C300 switch provides 5 microsecond switching latency under full load for 64 byte frames.

Motorola Provides Proactive Wireless LAN Security Testing

Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Solutions introduced an AirDefense Wireless Vulnerability Assessment solution designed for proactively assessing the security posture of wireless networks. The solution provides active wireless testing capable of evaluating every deployed wireless access point. Motorola said that by simulating active attacks from a hacker's point-of-view, its AirDefense Wireless Vulnerability Assessment solution allows administrators to proactively assess the security of sensitive systems on the wireless network, such as cardholder data systems. The automated Wireless Vulnerability Assessment technology avoids the need to send personnel or consultants to remote offices and stores to manually conduct testing required for PCI DSS 1.2 compliance.

EU to Invest EUR 18 Million in LTE Advanced Technology Project

The European Commission will invest EUR 18 million on Long Term Evolution (LTE) Advanced technology research.

In September, the Commission will start to negotiate the details with project consortia, including the flagship ARTIST4G that builds on the achievements of the WINNER projects and unites 4G industry and researchers from Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The new projects are expected to start in January 2010.

"With LTE technologies, Europe's research 'know-how' will continue to set the tone for the development of mobile services and devices around the globe, just as we did in the past decades with the GSM standard," said Viviane Reding, the EU's Commissioner for Telecoms and Media. "LTE technologies will turn mobile phones into powerful mobile computers. Millions of new users will get ultra high-speed internet access on their portable devices, wherever they are. This will create tremendous opportunities and plenty of space for growing the digital economy."

Between 2004 and 2007, the EU supported research on optimisation and standardisation of LTE (the WINNER I and II projects, run by a consortium of 41 leading European companies and universities) with € 25 million. This led to the development of the first concept for a LTE-based network infrastructure.

Accanto Launches IMS X-Ray for Customer Service Assurance

Helsinki-based Accanto Systems has launched its IMS X-Ray for providing customer service assurance over IMS.

Accanto System's IMS X-Ray is an Oracle-based application that pulls correlated IMS xDR information from Accanto's Traffic Analysis and Monitoring System (TAMS) as well as its advanced converged network probes (3GMaster, NeTracker, MSA-QX) to present intelligent and customizable views of an operator's IMS network. It supports the latest converged network technology, including 3GPP Release 7 and protocol coverage for SIP, SIP-T, SIP-M, RTP, H.323, MGCP, H.248 (MEGACO), COPS and Diameter (DBP). Of high interest to Accanto's customers is its ability to also support Diameter KPIs and SIP IMS analysis over mobile interfaces.

"While we have experienced the hype and overpromise of IMS like everyone else in our market, we are now heavily involved in helping Tier 1 and Tier 2 providers implement critical portions of the IMS signaling, protocols and interfaces that have strong payback," said Michele Campriani, CEO of Accanto Systems. "They are asking us to help them bring up, troubleshoot, and optimize relatively immature IMS technology to better enable new IP-based services. IMS X-Ray is a practical product that provides the signaling and protocol drill-down functionality as well as KPI monitoring support to ensure that we can deliver on that promise."

ABI Research: One Billion Wi-Fi Chipsets to Ship in 2011

ABI Research is forecasting that Wi-Fi chipset vendors will ship one billion units in 2011 alone. By the end of the following year a cumulative five billion such chipsets will have shipped since the firm began tracking Wi-Fi chipsets in 2000. Wi-Fi is penetrating an ever-widening array of devices. Wi-Fi chipset shipments will total well over 100 million just for smartphones this year, and smartphones, netbooks, and a wide variety of consumer electronics devices such as portable media players, TVs, and cameras will become increasingly important market segments.

In the near term, says research practice director Philip Solis, "802.11n will be the dominant protocol shipped during 2010, and there will be no looking back as single stream 11n chipsets (those not employing MIMO technologies) increasingly replace 802.11g products."

ClearAccess Closes $6 Million for TR-069 Management

ClearAccess, a start-up based in Vancouver, closed $6 million in Series B financing for its broadband device management and advanced data services.

ClearAccess' ClearVision Management System enables service providers to remotely manage residential and small business gateways using the Broadband Forum's TR-069 protocol, enabling active management of the home and office network through a web browser. The company said service providers can use ClearVision to deliver advanced data services such as managed WiFi, content filtering, and Internet time blocking.

The Series B financing was co-led by Blade Ventures and Buerk Dale Victor with full participation from the Series A lead, DFJ Frontier. The investment totaled just over $6M and was oversubscribed.

SkyTerra Intends to File for Broadband Stimulus Funds

SkyTerra filed an application with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

SkyTerra's application, which focuses on increasing broadband adoption by the public safety community, seeks $37 million to fund the development and deployment of two dual-mode wireless devices, optimized for public safety use. SkyTerra would provide an additional $9 million, for a total program investment of $46 million. The devices will be capable of communicating with both 700 MHz public safety terrestrial networks and with SkyTerra's satellites. The public safety community would then be able to use just one handset to communicate on the 700 MHz terrestrial network, or access the satellite when the 700 MHz network is not available. SkyTerra's application will include letters showing the need for this technology from cities and public safety agencies in Texas and Florida.

Meraki Sees Surge in Wi-Fi Devices in Use in North America

Meraki reported a significant increase in the number of wireless-capable devices in use in North America, especially the number of Apple devices and handhelds being used.

Meraki, which enterprise-class wireless networks using cloud-based technology, conducted a census that compared activity seen by a single set of randomly selected Meraki wireless access points in North America in 2008 and 2009 in order to understand macro-level traffic and end-user device trends.

The number of client devices, such as laptops and handheld devices, observed by the same set of Meraki access points grew dramatically by 41% from 149,687 devices in 2008 to 211,190 in 2009. The number of Apple devices observed, including laptops, iPhones and iPods, grew by an impressive 221%. Apple devices now represent 32% of all the devices seen by this set of Meraki networks in North America, compared to just 14% in 2008.

The number of WiFi compatible handheld devices also grew significantly. The number of Research In Motion (RIM) devices observed in North America grew by 419% from 2008 to 2009, and Nokia devices grew by 114%. In 2008, RIM devices represented just 2% of all devices observed, but grew dramatically to 8% for 2009. In 2008 and 2009, Nokia represented 1% and 2% of all devices, respectively.

Also a bold shift, the number of Intel client devices grew only slightly by 11%, from 35,471 in 2008 to 39,209 in 2009. Intel actually fell as a percent of all devices seen, from 24% in 2008 to 19% in 2009.

"It's unambiguous that more people are using more devices to access the Internet via WiFi than ever before," said Sanjit Biswas, CEO and co-founder of Meraki. "But the trends identified by the Meraki Wireless Census also reveal a lot about the devices people prefer and are gravitating towards. The growth in devices overall is impressive, but the growth for Apple, Nokia and RIM devices is stunning. It paints a vivid picture about how people now access the Internet, and the trends we can expect for years to come."

China Telecom Selects Spirent for Mobile Terminal Testing

China Telecom has selected the Spirent C2K-ATS system to test mobile phones before they are offered to its subscribers. China Telecom will use the Spirent test system for parametric radio testing, signaling conformance testing, data performance testing and location-based services (LBS) testing. Financial terms were not disclosed.

FCC Launches National Broadband Blog

The FCC has established a blog to stimulate public dialogue over the development of a National Broadband Plan.

"To foster public dialogue about the National Broadband Plan, we're tapping the power of the Internet to launch a new FCC blog,'' FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski wrote in the blog's first post. "Blogband will keep people up-to-date about the work the FCC is doing and the progress we're making. But we want it to be a two-way conversation. The feedback, ideas, and discussions generated on this blog will be critical in developing the best possible National Broadband Plan."

NEC Employs IP Infusion Middleware for Service Aggregation Switch

NEC is using IP Infusion's ZebOS switch/router middleware for its new CX2600 service aggregation switch. NEC's new CX2600, targeted primarily at mobile backhaul markets, deploys an MPLS function based on IP Infusion's ZebOS technology.

In addition to MPLS and key Layer 2/Layer 3 technologies, ZebOS supports IPv6, Carrier Ethernet and wireless backhaul capabilities.

Nominum Enhances Carrier DNS with Automatic Propagation of Threat Data

Nominum its releasing the third generation of its Trusted Response and Universal Enforcement (TRUE) Architecture, which allows service providers to use DNS to provide instant and automatic protection to end users against a wide range of Internet threats as soon as they are discovered.
  Whereas traditional DNS provides the end-user with direct domain name resolution to any site -- including malicious sites, phishing sites. Malware infected sites or illegal content -- Nominum's Intelligent DNS enables the service provider to use automated threat propagation data in responding to DNS requests.

Nominum believes this use of DNS is necessary to overcome the increasingly dynamic nature of today's Internet threats.  The company said hackers are taking advantage of the shortcomings of legacy DNS systems to continuously change the profile of their exploits in order to sustain their effectiveness and inflict broader damage on the Internet.  To cite just one highly visible recent example, the Conficker worm, which has infected more than 10 million PCs around the world used the DNS as a rendezvous point for command and control.  This worm effectively turned the DNS into an ally of the attackers.  Nominum's intelligent DNS systems were able to track, block, and isolate the Conficker worm and identify infected hosts.

Key features of Nominum's third generation TRUE Architecture include:

  • Personalized Services can be deployed across the provider network for compliance and protection by leveraging the highly scalable, data efficient, threat aggregation platform.  Millions of discrete threats can now be monitored across the network and efficiently bundled into personalized service options for end users such as illegal content blocking, anti-phishing, botnet protection, parental controls and others. Nominum has already pre-integrated threat data to protect against Conficker and to prevent access to illegal child exploitation content on the Internet. 

  • Automated Provisioning of Threat Data across the Network enables network-wide policy enforcement against millions of malicious, illegal or inappropriate Internet destinations with no manual intervention.  Automation reduces the delay, to as little as a few seconds, between the time a new threat is discovered and when it is acted on.  

  • Real-Time Visibility (RTV) for the first time gives service providers complete insight into network activity with logging, real time analysis and reporting for every single DNS transaction without impacting performance and latency.  These real time capabilities allow informed policies, based on detailed data, analysis and reporting, therefore making it easier to spot threats and proactively defend against rogue activity. 

  • Discovery Mode is a powerful risk assessment tool that is valuable for gauging the scope and sources of threats before taking enforcement action.  For instance, botnet command and control sites could be monitored to find how many hosts are infected with botnet viruses and how often they access the command and control sites. This tool can also help study behavioral evolutions of various threats for better policy making that leads to better protection for all end users.

  • Confidentiality of Sensitive Data Feeds prevents inadvertent disclosure or theft of lists of web sites hosting unwanted or illegal content, such as child exploitation images. Confidentiality is maintained end-to-end to eliminate the negative publicity and potential legal liability that disclosure would bring.