Sunday, November 1, 2009

Video Interview: NTT America on Ethernet Services vs MPLS VPNs


Riverbed Announces Steelhead Mobile 3.0

Riverbed Technology is preparing to release an update to its Mobile WAN optimization solution to provide acceleration for Windows 7 and 64-bit systems for mobile end users. The company said its system can make Web applications up to 60X faster for mobile workers using laptops by optimizing the flow of the HTTP and HTTPS protocols. By employing URL learning, page parsing, embedded object pre-fetching and metadata acceleration modes, Steelhead Mobile further reduces the chattiness and delays that plague enterprise Web-based applications. With these additional tools, business-critical applications used today such as SharePoint, intranet portals and Web-based document management systems, as well as Web-enabled ERP and CRM applications like SAP NetWeaver, JD Edwards and Siebel, all receive application acceleration of up to 60x.

Riverbed is also introducing a "Branch Warming" capability in Steelhead Mobile 3.0. This allows mobile and branch office users to share optimized data and experience even greater overall acceleration. By sharing the data references between the data stores of the Steelhead Mobile client and the branch office Steelhead appliance, mobile workers not only take advantage of all of the optimization benefits of the Steelhead appliance but are also able to contribute data references from their data store to help improve performance for the entire branch office, enabling "warm" performance regardless of location.

Quebec's Videotron Picks Dragonwave for HSPA Backhaul

Quebec-based Videotron, which provides cable television, interactive multimedia, Internet access, cable telephony and wireless telephone service, will be deploying DragonWave's Horizon Compact packet microwave solution to deliver high capacity backhaul for its HSPA network. After winning 17 spectrum operating licenses last year, Videotron is currently building out a leading edge HSPA network in order to offer new advanced services including mobile television and wireless high-speed Internet access. The network is designed to be upgradeable to 4G. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DragonWave's Horizon Compact operates in bands from 6 GHz to 38 GHz and is capable of delivering scalable backhaul capacity from 10 Mbps to 800 Mbps.

Sprint Launches WiMAX in Chicago, Dallas and North Carolina

Sprint launched its WiMAX-based 4G service in Chicago; Dallas-Ft.Worth; Charlotte, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C. and Raleigh, N.C. Sprint 4G will launch later this month in the Texas cities of Austin and San Antonio. These follow 4G launches earlier this year in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Portland, as well as Abilene, Texas; Amarillo, Texas; Bellingham, Wash.; Boise, Idaho; Corpus Christi, Texas; Killeen-Temple, Texas; Lubbock, Texas; Midland-Odessa, Texas; Milledgeville, Ga.; Waco, Texas and Wichita Falls, Texas. Sprint also plans to deploy Sprint 4G service in these additional markets in 2009: Honolulu; Maui, Hawaii; Salem, Ore. and Seattle.

BlueCat Raises $11 Million for IP Address Mgt System

BlueCat Networks, a start-up based in Toronto, secured US$11 million in new financing for its enterprise-class IP Address Management (IPAM) platforms.

BlueCat Networks provides automated solutions that simplify network processes while still enabling enterprises to introduce VoIP, wireless devices (including RFID tags), IT virtualization, and IPv6 into their networks.

The company said thousands of its IPAM and DNS/DHCP solutions have been successfully deployed to meet the rising IP management demands of government, military and both medium and large enterprises worldwide.

The new funding round was led by Bridgescale Partners.

Ciena Offers Carrier Ethernet Training and Certification

Ciena, in association with Global Corporate College, is launching a Carrier Ethernet Certification Program focused solely on Carrier Ethernet technology as opposed to specific vendors or products. Courses are offered in traditional classrooms, online and on-site at customer locations through an international network of partner educational institutions.

To address the needs of beginners to skilled professionals, the Carrier Ethernet Certification Program is led by Ciena Carrier Ethernet experts and is available in four tiers, with each requiring completion of the previous course as a prerequisite:

Carrier Ethernet Associate -- students gain a firm foundation in Carrier Ethernet standards, terminology, concepts and applications. This course is designed for people in or entering sales, general management and executive positions and is the foundation for all subsequent programs.

Carrier Ethernet Professional -- in a lab-based environment, students gain skills and knowledge required to configure and troubleshoot Carrier Ethernet networks. This course is designed for customer service technicians, deployment engineers and technical support engineers.

Carrier Ethernet Consultant -- using case studies, students develop analytical skills required to design Carrier Ethernet solutions for real-world applications. This course is designed for systems engineers, network planners and advanced technical support engineers.

Carrier Ethernet Expert -- students analyze and propose solutions for high-level Carrier Ethernet service provider issues. This course is designed for network architects and design engineers.

Ciena said it plans to launch additional training and certification programs.

SpiderCloud Wireless Unveils Enterprise Radio Access Network (E-RAN)

SpiderCloud Wireless, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, unveiled its Enterprise Radio Access Network (E-RAN) platform. The E-RAN platform is a scalable system comprised of a "SmartCloud" Services Node (SCSN) and Radio Nodes (SCRN).

The goal is to enable self-organizing wireless network capable of extending the enterprise's full suite of voice and data applications and services to any standard handset or computing device. The company said its mission is to bring together the functionality and security of cellular networks with the utility and economics of enterprise data networks. Its SmartCloud Services Node (SCSN) is analogous to an enterprise Wi-Fi switch but can be used by carriers to serve enterprise segments previously too expensive and complex to deploy in-building. Advanced features of its platform include "zero touch" installation and low-cost routing options for voice and data to the world of mobile radio access networks.

SpiderCloud has raised in excess of $35 million to commercialize its E-RAN system for mobile operators. System testing is commencing with European mobile network operators this month with general availability of the technology platform scheduled for 2010.
  • SpiderCloud is headed by Mike Gallagher, who previously was the chief executive officer of FiberTower, a company he joined via the merger with First Avenue Networks in 2006 where Mike Gallagher was the chief executive officer. Mr. Gallagher was previously the president of Flarion Technologies, a company acquired by Qualcomm. SpiderCloud's technical team includes Peter Wexler (co-founder), who previously was the vice president of engineering and product operations at Stoke.

Avago Offers New Short and Long Range SFP+ 10 Gbps Transceivers

Avago Technologies is rolling out new SFP+ optical transceiver modules for next-generation 10 Gbps Ethernet equipment designs. The new additions to Avago's SPF+ transceiver series include the 10/1 Gbps dual-rate AFCT-701SDDZ 10GBASE-Long Range (LR) single mode and AFBR-703SDDZ 10GBASE-Short Range (SR) multimode fiber transceivers for use in enterprise and data center applications. The dual-rate operation allows flexibility in data rate control through hardware or software control.

Avago's AFCT-701SDDZ is a 10/1 Gbps LR transceiver for operation in single mode fiber link applications for distances of up to 10 kilometers and complies with the optical interface specification per IEEE 802.3ae 10GBASE-LR standards and with the transmitter extinction ratio and receiver sensitivity specifications at 1.25 Gbps per 1000BASE-LX.

The AFBR-703SDDZ is a 10/1 Gbps SR transceiver for operation in OM3 multimode fiber link applications for distances of up to 300 meters. This transceiver incorporates Avago's 850nm VCSEL and PIN Detector technology to provide an IEEE 10 Gbps Ethernet design that is compliant with the 10GBASE-SR standard, and with the transmitter extinction ratio and receiver sensitivity specifications at 1.25 Gbps per 1000BASE-SX.

Pricing for the AFCT-701SDDZ and AFBR-703SDDZ 10Gb/1Gb SFP+ optical transceivers are $380 and $250, respectively in minimum quantities of 10.

Starent Posts Q3 Revenue of $86 Million, Up 30% YoY

Starent Networks reported Q3 revenues of $86.0 million, compared to net revenues of $66.1 million for the third quarter of 2008. Net revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2009 were $237.5 million, compared to $183.5 million for the same period in 2008. Net income for the third quarter of 2009 was $15.1 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, compared to net income of $19.6 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2008.
  • Cisco agreed to acquire Starent Networks for approximately $2.9 billion, or $35 per share in cash -- a premium of about 20% over the stock's recent trading value.

ASSIA Secures $10 Million for Dynamic Spectrum Management

ASSIA, a start-up based in Redwood City, California, has secured $10 million in strategic investment financing to support its work with Dynamic Spectrum Management software tools for DSL. ASSIA, which said it has more than 23 million lines under management with top tier service providers in North America and Europe, pioneered the application of DSM technologies to manage DSL networks.

New investors Mingly China Growth Fund and SFR Development joined previous investors Swisscom Ventures, Stanford University, and T-Venture in raising this round.
  • ASSIA stands for Adaptive Spectrum and Signal Alignment Incorporated.

  • ASSIA is headed by Dr. John Cioffi, a veteran of the DSL industry, having served as founder, CTO and Vice President of Engineering at Amati prior to its acquisition by TI in 1997. Dr. Cioffi also held a tenured endowed professorship at Stanford University in the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1985-2009, where he is now an active Professor Emeritus with small research efforts there in broadband access.

  • In September, Ikanos Communications and ASSIA Inc., which specializes in Dynamic Spectrum Management (DSM) technology, announced a partnership to accelerate the deployment of vectored DSL technology. Under the agreement, Ikanos receives a license to ASSIA's essential DSM patents and certain technology for the development of vectored DSL products -- also known as DSM Level 3 -- capable of delivering speeds of 100 Mbps and greater over existing copper loops. In addition, the two companies will co-market each others' products to the network equipment and service provider industries.

Zhone Releases Pseudo-wire Edge-to-Edge Emulation Box

Zhone Technologies introduced its ETHX 3100 Series platforms with Pseudo-wire Edge-to-Edge Emulation (PWE3) enabling operators to migrate TDM applications onto a converged packet network. The company said its 3100 series Ethernet Access Devices (EADs) provide enhanced Virtual LAN support with QoS for the most latency sensitive voice and video services. Target applications include 3G/4G mobile backhaul and T1/E1 leased lines.

MEF18 certified and based on the latest IEEE 802.3ah EFM standard for SHDSL, the 3100 series enables up to 48 Mbps over four copper pairs and supports IP, MPLS and MEF encapsulation. The ETHX 3100s support a variety of clock recovery techniques (Adaptive, Synchronous, and Differential) and comply with the stringent clock accuracy requirements defined by the ITU-T G.8261 specification.

NTT America Appoints CTO

NTT America announced the appointment of Doug Junkins as the company's Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Mr. Junkins will succeed Kazuhiro Gomi who was named COO of NTT America in June of 2009. Junkins will be responsible for the company's technology procurement strategy and vendor selection, industry relations and standardization efforts, and overall product portfolio coordination across both the Global IP Network and Enterprise Solutions business units of NTT America. In addition, Mr. Junkins will continue to serve as vice president of IP development for the Global IP Network business unit, overseeing network architecture, tool development and peering relations.

Mr. Junkins transitioned to a leadership role at NTT America when the global IP network business was migrated into NTT America from Verio, which was acquired by NTT Communications in August of 2000. During his time with Verio, Mr. Junkins served as the vice president of IP engineering where he was responsible for building Verio's U.S. and European backbone network and integrating the engineering and operations of 54 individual ISPs acquired by Verio.

Qwest Announces Cost Controls, Freezes Management Salaries

Qwest Communications announced a number of cost cutting measures. Effective Jan. 1, 2010, the company will no longer provide future pension benefit accruals for active management employees under the Qwest Pension Plan and the Qwest Nonqualified Pension Plan.

Additionally, the company announced it will not award a merit increase to management employees in 2010.

The company expects the change to the Qwest Pension Plan to result in annual savings of approximately $60 million, and the 2010 salary freeze is expected to save the company about $35 million in 2010. Along with other changes to employee health-plan and life insurance benefits, total savings would amount to approximately $100 million in 2010.

Cisco to Acquire DVN Set-Top Box Business

Cisco agreed to acquire the set-top box business of DVN (Holdings) Limited, a Hong Kong-listed company offering digital cable solutions in China, for up to $44.5 million. The deal covers the set-top box business of DVN.

The Chinese cable market is currently the largest in the world with 160 million subscribers and is predicted to grow to as many as 200 million over the next three to five years. Currently, only about one-third of the market has converted to digital cable. With the Chinese government mandating full digitization by 2015, this represents an important long-term opportunity for Cisco.

In addition to the acquisition, Cisco has entered into a go-to-market alliance with the remainder of the DVN organization -- which will continue to be led by current DVN CEO Terry Lui -- in order to utilize the company's middleware and advanced applications as well as integration and support services. The alliance will provide joint customers with unparalleled end-to-end capabilities through the evolution from basic digital broadcast to advanced interactive services.

Under the deal, approximately $17.5 million will be paid up front, with an additional maximum amount of $27 million to be paid over four years based on the achievement of specific sales milestones. The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2010 subject to standard closing conditions, DVN shareholder approval and regulatory approvals.

"Cisco and DVN have similar cultures that emphasize video innovation and a shared vision to enable multi-media connected homes across China," said Ken Klaer, vice president and general manager, International Cable Business Unit at Cisco. "With this acquisition, we will offer customers the powerful combination of DVN's products with the Cisco IP Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) platform, and Cisco will be well positioned to engage in the largest digital transformation opportunity in the world today."

Upon completion of the transaction, the DVN set-top box business will become a part of the International Cable Business Unit within the Service Provider Video Technology Group (SPVTG) at Cisco led by Klaer. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies expect to work together with the aim of providing uninterrupted service to set-top box customers and to prepare for an orderly transfer of the business.

T-Mobile Czech Deploys Cisco CRS-1 Platform

T-Mobile Czech Republic has deployed a new IP backbone to provide a unified infrastructure for its Release 4 mobile architecture. The network is based on the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System platform. The deployment also leverages T-Mobile Czech's "Dark Fibre" project, including the construction of a network of more than 6,000 kilometers of fibre optic lines. The project will offer a capacity of up to 60 x 10 Gbps. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Unity Trans-Pacific Cable Nearing Completion

The Unity cable system, which is backed by Google and five other international carriers , reached a critical milestone -- landing of the cable in Chikura, Japan. The cable ship KDDI Pacific Link reached the Japanese coastline in Chikura earlier this week after two months spent laying the newly manufactured cable from the middle of the Pacific Ocean. With all the cable segments in place, the mid-Pacific splice was completed by the cable ship Tyco Resolute on 30 October 2009, and KDDI Pacific Link will complete the final splice to join the cables off the coast of Japan in the coming two weeks. Upon completion of the final splice, there will be a period of intensive end-to-end testing before the system is put into commercial service.

Construction of the system was first announced in February 2008 by the consortium comprised of six international companies, including Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, Google, KDDI Corporation, Pacnet and SingTel. The Unity cable system will add up to 4.8 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth across the Pacific with construction cost at approximately US$300 million.

Commercial activation is now anticipated in Q1 2010.

GSMA Publishes European Mobile Manifesto

The GSMA has published a "European Mobile Manifesto" which sets out how the mobile industry will help achieve key European Union objectives to boost economic performance, improve efficiencies, protect consumers and increase the use of green technology. The Mobile Manifesto has four goals:

  • Increase Internet connectivity and drive productivity through widespread mobile broadband access - on the move and at home, in cities and in rural areas

  • Engage consumers and improve efficiency by enabling the "mobilization" of commercial and public services particularly eCommerce, eLearning, eHealth and eGovernment

  • Build a greener mobile planet by reducing Europe's carbon footprint through M2M technologies

  • Empower users and maintain consumer trust by providing mobile privacy tools

The Manifesto focuses exclusively on the role mobile can play in achieving the ICT policy objectives of the European Commission and iterates the support that the mobile industry is seeking to facilitate this Manifesto. Specifically the industry is asking the EU for more spectrum to develop a harmonised roadmap for release; for roll-out support to remove barriers to eco-efficient coverage expansion; to be pro-mobile in public services, utilities and infrastructure; to help educate the consumer and promote user responsibility for online data and security; and provide continued flexibility in network management to preserve choice and quality of service and experience.

The GSMA said the effects of these goals are measureable; calculations show that mobile teleworking can reduce carbon emissions by 22.1 MtCO2e a year, or energy savings of EUR 7.7 billion by 2015; mHealth, calculations show a saving of up to EUR 78 billion by 2015 and increasing connectivity through mobile will deliver greater productivity, which is estimated to add an aggregate of up to EUR 349 billion (or 2.9% of EU GDP) by 2015.

"Mobile is a key element in today's society - it is the most ubiquitous, connected and personalised communications tool that we have, and it holds significant potential to improve the lives of European citizens and the economic performance of the region through social inclusion and continued investment in innovation," said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board, GSMA. "Europe has contributed considerably to the global success of the mobile industry and it is an area where Europe continues to be a forerunner. Together the leaders of the industry have developed this Manifesto showing where mobile will help to create a more prosperous, green and inclusive Europe for all."

Motorola Ships 10,000th WiMAX Access Point

Motorola has shipped its 10,000th 802.16e WiMAX Access Point (WAP) base site. Motorola said its milestone shipment represents a more than 40 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) since Motorola's first WiMAX access points were shipped in 2007.

In the 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz, and 3.5GHz the models currently shipping include the WAP 400 with 2x2 antenna technology and the WAP 450 - a higher power 2x2 unit. In addition, the WAP 800 in the 3.5GHz has the versatility to support both coverage and capacity models with 4x8 beam-forming antenna technology.

The recently announced 4x4 WAP 650, which is an easy field upgrade from the WAP 450, offers operators 30 percent reduction in total cost of ownership compared to average 2x2 base stations. Each new generation of the WAP product line is designed with improved energy efficiency in mind to be eco-friendly and reduce operating costs. For example, there is a more than 100 percent relative energy efficiency improvement from the first to second generation radio frequency (RF) unit.