Monday, October 5, 2009

Nobel Prize in Physics Goes to Photonic Researchers

The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2009 was awarded for two separate breakthroughs in photonic research. One half of the prize went to Charles K. Kao for work that led to vast improvement in the data transmission capacity of optical fibers. Kao demonstrated that the high-loss of existing fiber optics arose from impurities in the glass. At the time of his discovery in 1966, Kao was a researcher at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories, Harlow, UK.

The other half of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics went to Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith. The team invented the first CCD (Charge-Coupled Device)., which is the basis of the digital camera. Both Boyle and Smith were members of the Semiconductor Components Division at Bell Labs and began their seminal work on the CCD in 1969.

Equinix Builds Carrier Ethernet Exchange with Alcatel-Lucent

Equinix announced plans for a pioneering Carrier Ethernet Exchange platform to enable the delivery of high-performance global Ethernet services across multiple carrier networks. Equinix is working with Alcatel-Lucent to define enhanced solutions for the exchange of data traffic between carriers providing Ethernet services. The Equinix Carrier Ethernet Exchange platform will use Alcatel-Lucent's service router portfolio.

The companies said the Equinix platform will enable multi-provider carrier Ethernet interconnection that meets Metro Ethernet Forum standards. The partners will review a variety of solutions including Ethernet Network to Network Interconnection (NNI) and additional services that leverage the density and breadth of networks operating within Equinix's centers. The solution will be delivered at Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers globally using Alcatel-Lucent's service routing portfolio.

"Just as Equinix pioneered new solutions for IP and content peering, we are now looking into ways that we can apply our interconnection expertise to the challenges faced by carriers seeking to expand their Ethernet service offerings," said Jarrett Appleby, chief marketing officer for Equinix. "Our work with Alcatel-Lucent pairs the leader in colocation and network interconnection services with the top provider of carrier Ethernet interconnection technology to develop solutions aimed at addressing this critical market need."

"Equinix's new carrier neutral Ethernet exchange program is a natural extension of its existing IP interconnect offerings and gives a competitive edge to customers already interconnecting in Equinix POPs/carrier hotel locations," said Basil Alwan, President, Alcatel-Lucent IP Division. "By leveraging Alcatel-Lucent's market-leading service routing solutions, Equinix is helping open up a whole new Ethernet market for carriers."

BNP Paribas Backs Alcatel-Lucent Financial Services for Enterprise Leases

Alcatel-Lucent and BNP Paribas Lease Group (BPLG) announced the launch of Alcatel-Lucent Financial Services, a multi-country financing program designed to support the communication solution needs of the Enterprise market, and more specifically small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Alcatel-Lucent Financial Services will offer a full range of financial products through the current network of Alcatel-Lucent Business Partners. Customers will benefit from the convenience of an all-inclusive offering from a single business partner able to provide a complete communications solution, maintenance, service and financing tailored to each company's needs.

In conjunction with the launch, Alcatel-Lucent Financial Services kicked off a special market promotion of 0% financing through the end of this year for small- and medium-sized businesses.

Procera Secures Multimillion Dollar Order from Tier-1 Mobile Operator

Procera Networks, which supplies a high-performance "Evolved" Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) platform, announced a follow-on order of $4.5 million to the $5.4 million order from a Tier-1 mobile operator that was announced in August.

This Tier-1 service provider will use Procera's PacketLogic systems to gather network intelligence to maximize the service quality for its subscribers. Procera Networks expects to recognize the majority of this revenue within the 2009 fiscal year.

"Today's announcement showcases the tremendous momentum behind the DPI market and Procera's technical superiority," said James F. Brear, Procera Network's CEO and president. "Service providers require better network information and operational awareness to monitor and maintain resources effectively. We're pleased that the field-tested and proven technology behind the PL10000series enables us to quickly go through assessment, integration, validation and installation to meet these needs immediately, even for deployments for this size."
  • In May 2008, Procera Networks introduced its PacketLogic PL10000, a high-performance DPI platform offering up to 80Gbps of throughput and purpose-built for deployments either at the core or edge of Tier-1 broadband networks. he PacketLogic PL10000, which leverages an ATCA chassis and multi-core processors from RMI, offers four times the capacity of its nearest competitor enabling it to scale for millions of broadband subscribers. It also features Procera's own DRDL (Datastream Recognition Definition Language) traffic identification engine that provides increased accuracy for traffic shaping, filtering and statistics.

Aricent Adds Middleware for RMI's Ultra Low Power Processors

Aricent has expanded its collaboration with RMI Corporation to provide a highly optimized development solution for connected media device designers and manufacturers. The Linux-based solution features Aricent's Media EXP Software Suite running on RMI's Ultra Low Power Processors. Target applications include connected media platforms such as home gateways, set top boxes and media phones across various form factors.

Microsoft Releases Windows Mobile 6.5, Marketplace for Mobile

Microsoft and an array of handset manufacturers rolled out the latest generation of phones based on the Windows Mobile operating system, version 6.5. The new phones are available with a wide variety of styles and features, including full physical QWERTY keyboards, touch screens or both. Windows phones offer more choices of mobile operators and phone styles than any other mobile platform on the market. Manufacturers include Acer, HP, HTC Corp., LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba Corp.

Microsoft also announced the availability of two key services platforms for the new phones: My Phone and Windows Marketplace for Mobile. My Phone is a free service that helps people back up and manage photos, applications and other content from their phone or PC, as well as restore information in the event of a lost phone. Windows Marketplace for Mobile is an online library of business and leisure mobile applications -- as well as games -- that customers can buy and download directly to their phones.

Alloptic Gains RUS Acceptance for RFoG

Alloptic received USDA Rural Development acceptance for its RFoG products, including its MicroNode RFoG ONUs, Return Path Receivers and Transmitters, and its EDFA and DCF optical amplifiers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) provides low-interest financing to rural telephone companies for telecommunications infrastructure in smaller communities throughout the United States. Listed products are qualified to receive financing on projects funded by the Rural Telecom Infrastructure and the Broadband Loan and Loan Guarantee Programs. RUS listing also qualifies Alloptic products for deployment under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Sprint Forms M2M Business Unit

Sprint has formed a new Emerging Solutions business unit to focus on the delivery of machine-to-machine (M2M) and mobile computing solutions to businesses and consumers. The new strategic business unit consolidates resources into one team with common goals and a sharp focus on Sprint's overall open device and M2M strategy and business development.

Sprint noted it already has numerous M2M partners and has certified hundreds of machine-to-machine and mobile computing devices for use on the Sprint mobile broadband network.
  • Earlier this summer, Verizon Wireless and Qualcomm formed a joint venture -- called nPhase -- for M2M communications.

Verizon Wireless and Google to Launch Open Android Handsets

Verizon Wireless and Google announced a strategic partnership to support the Android open platform for mobile applications, services and devices. The companies agreed to devote substantial resources "to accelerate delivery of leading-edge innovation that will put unique applications in the hands of consumers quickly."

Verizon Wireless and Google plan to co-develop several Android-based devices that will be pre-loaded with applications from both parties as well as third-party developers. The family of Android phones on the Verizon Wireless network will come from leading handset manufacturers. The first two such devices are expected in the coming months.

AT&T Agrees to Allow iPhone VoIP over 3G

AT&T has decided to allow iPhone users to use VoIP over its 3G network. The company will take necessary steps so that Apple can enable VoIP applications on the iPhone. Previously, VoIP applications on iPhone were enabled for Wi-Fi connectivity only.

"iPhone is an innovative device that dramatically changed the game in wireless when it was introduced just two years ago," said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets. "Today's decision was made after evaluating our customers' expectations and use of the device compared to dozens of others we offer."

AT&T noted that it allows customers to download or launch on their wireless devices a multitude of compatible applications directly from any lawful Internet website. Additionally, because AT&T uses GSM technology, AT&E supports customers using any GSM phone that works on AT&T's frequencies.

ITU: 4.6 Billion Mobile Phones, 67% Global Penetration

Mobile cellular has been the most rapidly adopted technology in history, according to the ITU, with global mobile subscriptions expected to reach 4.6 billion by the end of the year. This equates to roughly 67% of the world's population. Mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to top 600 million in 2009, having overtaken fixed broadband subscribers in 2008.

Mobile technologies are making major inroads in developing countries, however the ITU's statistics also highlight important regional discrepancies, with mobile broadband penetration rates still low in many African countries and other developing nations.

More than a quarter of the world's population is online and using the Internet, as of 2009. Ever-increasing numbers are opting for high-speed Internet access, with fixed broadband subscriber numbers more than tripling from 150 million in 2004 to an estimated 500 million by the end of 2009.

Rapid high-speed Internet growth in the developed world contrasts starkly with the state of play in the developing world. In Africa, for example, there is only one fixed broadband subscriber for every 1,000 inhabitants, compared with Europe where there are some 200 subscribers per 1,000 people. The relative price for ICT services (especially broadband) is highest in Africa, the region with the lowest income levels. The report finds that China has the world's largest fixed broadband market, overtaking its closest rival, the US, at the end of 2008.

Some other notable facts from the ITU:

  • Whereas three quarters of households globally have a TV, one third has a computer. With prices in continuous decline, and ongoing convergence of devices, the gap is likely to narrow quickly

  • Developing countries are only 10 years behind Sweden in mobile telephony adoption, yet In 2007, infant mortality rate for developing countries was at a level where Sweden was 72 years earlier

  • Even the country furthest behind (Myanmar) in terms of mobile cellular penetration is where Sweden was just 24 years earlier. By comparison, the GDP lag for most of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), compared to Sweden, is over 160 years.

Russia's Yota Deploys DragonWave for Backhauling Mobile WiMAX

Yota, the first mobile WiMAX network in Russia, has deployed DragonWave's Horizon Compact to create 400 Mbps capable links for backhauling traffic on its network. The Yota began commercial operations in June 2009 with service in in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Ufa. The Horizon Compact, a small, 22.86cm-square, all-outdoor unit integrating all traditional indoor and outdoor backhaul functionality, provides transport of up to 800 Mbps per link.

"Within two and a half months of beginning commercial operations, Yota already have 100,000 active users. This is obviously one of the world's most aggressive network operators, and we are thrilled to have been chosen to be one of Yota's strategic partners," said Peter Allen, President and Chief Executive Officer of DragonWave. "The Horizon Compact's track record for successfully enabling mobile 4G networks is growing globally."

Zhone Introduces 24 New FTTx ONTs

Zhone Technologies rolled out 24 new optical network terminals (ONTs) covering a wide range of possible FTTx deployment scenarios.

The new Zhone "zNID" models are optimized to support the shift to unicast media streams that require enormous amounts of dedicated bandwidth. Highlighted capabilities include:

  • Zhone Auto Provisioning -- streamlining installs and cutting deployment times.

  • Smart OMCI -- Zhone's standard's based GPON ONT management interface for ease of operations in GPON networks and interoperability in multi-vendor environments.

  • Any Port -- Any Service -- extending the MSAP model to the CPE.

  • zNID CPE Manager -- intelligently automates operations for simplified management and greater network control for Ethernet devices. Includes automatic configuration and activation, enhanced inventory tracking, centralized reporting, configurable back up and restores and managed software upgrades.

  • Snap to Fit Configuration-- Zhone now offers 27 ONT models covering a wide variety of form factors (indoor, outdoor, single-multi-unit) and customer-side physical interfaces for both Active Ethernet and GPON networks (including POTS, 10/100 Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, T1/E1, RF video, HPNA, packetized RF return, and RFoG); voice interop through SIP, H.248, MGCP, GR-303, and V5.2; and the options of full NAT, firewall, and residential gateway functionality.

  • Zhone's Single-Line, Multi-Service (SLMS) access operating system -- combines service intelligence with intuitive management and a wealth of FTTx networking features. Includes flexible traffic management, enhanced security, and feature-rich voice networking for differentiated service offerings.
  • In June 2009, Zhone Technologies introduced its "MXK" intelligent terabit access concentrator line featuring a non-blocking capacity of up to 3,600 100 Mbps GPON subscribers or 360 1G Active Ethernet subscribers per chassis -- while leveraging its SLMS access operating system for service intelligence and management.

BroadSoft to Acquire Packet Island for Cloud-based Monitoring

BroadSoft agreed to acquire Packet Island, a privately held start-up focused on SaaS-based quality of service (QoS) assessment and monitoring tools for VoIP and video networks and services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

BroadSoft said the acquisition enables it to address the critical need in the market of ensuring QoS, and quality of experience (QoE), for real-time communications. BroadSoft's expanded solutions portfolio will now enable service providers to offer significantly enhanced QoS assessment and monitoring capabilities of their communication services.

Packet Island, which is based in Cupertino, California, offers network management solutions for cloud-based services, with a specific emphasis on services that include VoIP and video. The company was founded in 2004 by Praveen Kumar (CEO), who previously served as VP of product management and marketing at Telsima, where he played a key part in the company's acquisition and integration of Intel's VoIP chip business.

Packet Island leverages protocol-aware DPI technology and a cloud-computing architecture to assess, verify, monitor, diagnose, and optimize QoE for cloud-based services, essentially enabling a "cloud-based NOC" for the new breed of cloud-based converged media service providers. This includes network assessment, QoS design, verification, monitoring based on deep packet inspection, and protocol-level diagnosis, on a massively distributed scale.

Emerson to Acquire Avocent Data Center Mgt.

Emerson agreed to acquire Avocent, a leading supplier of KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) switches and consoles, in an all-cash tender offer of $25 per share, or approximately $1.2 billion. Companies expect the deal to close around January 1, 2010.

Avocent blends hardware, software and embedded technologies in a unified platform that simplifies monitoring, managing and problem solving in data centers. The products allow a network manager to control vast numbers of servers from a single console. The company is headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama. It recorded sales in 2008 of $657 million. Nearly 50 percent of Avocent's 2008 revenues came from outside the United States.

Emerson said the deal expands its set of data center portfolio, which already includes power systems, energy management and precision cooling solutions. Emerson's data center-related revenues were approximately $2.6 billion in fiscal 2008.

Bharti Airtel and Cisco Form Strategic Business Alliance

Bharti Airtel, and Cisco announced a strategic business alliance to help drive growth for Indian enterprises. The alliance will combine Airtel's network services
with Cisco's IP technologies and expertise. The partnership targets managed data services, hosted unified communications, connected branch services and Cisco TelePresence. Airtel and Cisco will appoint a dedicated team to develop and manage these services to fulfill the requirements of customers across small, medium and large enterprises. Mr. Sanjay Mittal, Senior Vice President from Bharti Airtel, will lead the initiative with the support of a Governing Board comprising executives from both companies.